Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Tagged II

I have been tagged by If-she-tells-me,she'll-have-to-kill-me. Well actually I don’t know her name… I want to stay alive, u see. The tag requires me to write down a short story which must contain the words - I, me, blowjob, grapes, random, power, loneliness, water, robot, and blue…
OK heres is my 2

She let the fork linger on just a few microseconds more, before pulling it out of her pouted lips, licking it clean. Dropped some grapes in the bowl of cream and slowly picked one. Let her tongue play with it for a while n then took it in her mouth. Soft lights and soft slow seductive music. She was a pro when it came to flirting with men. Did someone say power games? Yes, that’s what it was for her. He took a sip of water. It was clear he felt uneasy, like a robot at a dance competition. It wasn’t something he was accustomed to. His evenings were usually spent in the loneliness of his apartment or working at the office.

I heard about this new place downtown, how about dinner with me tomorrow?” she said while making herself comfortable next to the CPU. Her blue skirt rose a notch. ”You wanna go out with me?” he muttered. She nodded in way which allowed a lock of hair to gently fall and caress her cheek.

After dinner he walked her home. After thanking him for dinner and a peck on his cheek, she walked away. Turned the key in the door and looked back at him with a victorious smile.

He came back to his apartment and dropped on bed. Drained, flushed and some random thoughts in his head about the evening. “Cerebral foreplay, mental blowjob… Whatever!!” and fell asleep.

Phew…. BTW this also happens to be the 50th post on my blog. Thank you all for bearing me so far.
Please hold the applause. I love you all too :-)

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Happy Republic Day

26th January 2006. Bharat ganrajya ka satawanwa gantantra diwas. 57th Republic Day of India.

list of songs that I have cued on Music India Online

Aao Bachchon Tumhe Dikhaayen - Jagriti
Ab Ke Baras - Kranti
Ab Tumhare Hawale Watan - Haqeeqat
Ae Watan - Shaheed
Apni Azadi Ko Hum - Leader
Aye Mere Pyare Watan - Kabuliwala
Aye Watan Tere Liye - Karma
Bharat Ka Rahnewala Hoon - Purab Aur Pachhim
Dekho Veer Jawano - Aakraman
Chodo Kal ki Baatein - Hum Hindustani
Jahan Daal Daal Pe - Sikander-E-Azam
Kadam Kadam Badhaye Ja
Mera Rang De Basanti
Mere Desh Ki Dharti - Upkar
Nanna Munna Rahi Hoon
Sare Jahan Se Accha Hindustan Sadhana Sargam
Sarfarosh Ki Tamana - Shaheed
Taqat Watan Ki Hum Se - Prem Pujari
Watan Pe Jo Fida Hoga - Phool Bane Angaare
Yeh Desh Hai Veer Jawanon Ka - Naya Daur

And my fav patriotic song is "Chodo Kal ki Baatein"... the song is progressive.. it talks about future... it doesnt linger on the past laurels earned or the great tradition of the yester decades/centuries...It asks us to leave aside the thoughts about the greatness of country, its culture... coz thats old...Think ahead.. think of the future and shape it.

Chhodo kal ki baatein, kal ki baat puraani
Naye daur mein likhenge milkar nayi kahaani
Hum Hindustani, hum Hindustani
Hum Hindustani, hum Hindustani

Aaj puraani zanjeeron ko tod chuke hain
Kya dekhe us manzil ko jo chhod chuke hain
Chaand ke dar pe jaa pahuncha hai aaj zamaana
Naye jagat se hum bhi naata jod chuke hain
Naya khoon hai, nayi umangein, ab hai nayi jawaani
Hum Hindustani

Humko kitne Taj Mahal hain aur banane
Kitne hi Ajanta humko aur sajane
Abhi palatna hain rukh kitne dariyaon ka
Kitne parbat raho se hain aaj hatane
Hum Hindustani

Aao mehnat ko apna imaan banaaye
Apne haathon ko apna bhagwaan banaaye
Ram ki is dharti ko Gautam ki bhoomi ko
Sapnon se bhi pyaara Hindustan banaaye
Naya khoon hai, nayi umangein, ab hai nayi jawaani
Hum Hindustani

Har zarra hai moti, aankh uthaakar dekho
Maati mein sona hai, haath badhaakar dekho
Sone ki yeh ganga hai, chaandi ki yamuna
Chaaho to patthar pe dhaan ugaakar dekho
Naya khoon hai, nayi umangein, ab hai nayi jawaani
Hum Hindustani

Daag ghulami ka dhoya hain jaan lutake
Deep jalaye hain yeh kitne deep bujhake
Li hain aazadi to phir is aazadi ko
Rakhna hoga har dushman se aaj bachake
Naya khoon hai, nayi umangein, ab hai nayi jawaani
Hum Hindustani

Chhodo kal ki baatein, kal ki baat puraani
Naye daur mein likhenge milkar nayi kahaani
Hum Hindustani, hum Hindustani
Hum Hindustani, hum Hindustani

(I wont even attempt a translation)

Sunday, January 22, 2006

New Blog

No I m not deserting this one. Just that the pics that I post here somehow refuse to get enlarged... some problem which I can't figure how to solve.

So I am now starting a photoblog.


First person to comment gets an autographed photograph of me... just kidding :-P

Friday, January 20, 2006


Anshul a pal from Orkut tagged me..... and he tagged me eons ago... but I was busy putting up all these travel related posts that I almost forgot about it (BTW I know u guys are probably sick of it by now but there is still one left).
Sorry Anshul... here is the post.

7 nick names
7)Gurudev (ye le Birju)

7 things of opp. sex tht attracts me:
5)Long black lustrous hair

7 celebrity crush:
1) Aishwarya Rai
2) Gabriela Sabatini
3) Brooke Shields
4) Kiera Knightley (not a crush but I think she is cute)
5) no more crushes I can think of right now. will update later if needed

7 phrases I use a lot
5)Bas kya?

7 things which I am proud of about myself
1) my logical and analytical skills
2) my confidence
3) my hunger for knowledge
4) my certificates and awards in extra curricular activities in school n college
5) my choice of ghazals
6) my company
7) my education

7 fav movies characters I adore
1) Gabbar Singh in Sholay
2) Mogambo in Mr. India
3) Anupam Kher in Daddy
4) Om Puri in Ardh Satya
5) Amol Palekar in Gol Maal
6) Naseeruddin Shah in Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron
7) Pankaj Kapoor in Ek Doctor Ki Maut

7 things I can eat/drink anytime
1) Chai
2) Coffee
3) Chocolate
4) Lassi
5) Chicken
6) Aloo Parantha with Mango pickle n sweet curd
7) Kurkure

7 people I adore
1) My Dad
2) APJ Abdul Kalam
3) Mother Teresa
4) Einstien
5) Bhagat Singh n Mangal Pandey
6) Rabindranath Tagore
7) Swami Vivekanand

7 actors I like
1) Amitabh Bachchan
2) Sanjeev Kumar
3) Naseerudding Shah
4) Amol Palekar
5) Om Puri
6) Kishore Kumar
7) Raghuveer Yadav

7 actress I like
1) Sharmila Tagore
2) Smita Patil
3) Shabana Azmi
4) Rekha
5) Madhubala
6) Tabu
7) Priety Zinta

7 weird things I can do/ have done
1) Work for 22 hrs at a strech (with only bio breaks)
2) Sleep for 24 hours at a stretch
3) Eat 24 puris with lots of Aloo ki sabzi n Halwa
4) Play flash on the last bench in Digital Image Processig class
5) Stayed awake for more than 48 hours
6) Knocked off a guys tooth when I was in VIIth grade (as a result Dad was summoned to school)
7) Can't remember anything much right now

7 things I want to do
1) Host a travel show and travel to exotic destinations
2) Stay away in a deserted island alone for a month without any electricity, phone, internet or any other means of communication
3) Know everything about everything
4) Have a photoshoot with Aishwarya Rai, Gisele Bundchen, Rekha and Sharmila Tagore
5) Have my own s/w company which will give MS the nightmares
6) Do everything that makes my parents happy
7) Learn to play Guitar n Flute perfectly

It took me a while to finish this and I realised it wasn't all that easy to compile this information. I have deliberately excuded hollywood actors/actresses from the fav actor/actress list. Don't know why... just wanted to concentrate on Bollywood.

Have a nice weekend!!!

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Paris Day3

The 3rd day started with a visit to the Musée du Louvre. The Louvre is the world's largest museum and believe me even a week is not enough to see it completely and appreciate the things on display there.... We reached there early around 9 am and proceeded the tour... when you enter the museum campus the first things that catches your eye are the glass pyramids...

We entered from the glass pyramid and got our tickets (8.5 Euros) and took hold of the maps at the reception and started with the tour. The Louvre has 3 wings - Denon, Sully and Richelieu, and 4 floors on each wing... It’s HUGE! It's like a treasure house with long corridors and a maze of rooms. A minimum of six hours just to cover the basics. and if u r among the more artistically inclined be ready to spend you whole day here.

We started with the Denon wing, coz thats where Monalisa is... While going towards Mona Darling (as roomie S refers to it, jokingly) we came across the famous statue of Winged Victory of Samothrace. Also called Nike of Samothrace, it is a marble sculpture of the Greek goddess Nike (Victory), discovered in 1863 on the island of Samothrace. It is situated at the staircase intersection of the 2nd floor, I guess.
Next we kinda breezed through the chambers and reached Monalisa. Also known as La Joconde it is probably the most famous creation of Leonardo da Vinci and perhaps the most famous, most discussed, most romanticized, celebrated, or reproduced piece of art.

Since it was early there werent as many people there and I got a chance to oogle at the Monalisa for about 10 minutes... Its amost 2.5 feet X 2 feet. An enigmatic smile, and eyes which seem to be looking straight at you no matter from where u r looking at it.

BTW Photography is not allowed in most places in this wing and there are two guards standing at the Monalisa, who’s behind a bulletproof glass which also prevents the light from deteriorating the painting. From what I heard, Napolean hung this painting in his bedroom and was obviously smitten by it, much to the discomfort of his queen Josephine who had it removed from the bedroom.

6000 European paintings including works by Leonardo da Vinci, William Turner, Thomas Gainsborough, Rembrandt van Rijn, Johannes Vermeer, Peter Paul Rubens, Jan Van Eyck, Raphael, Veronese, Eugene Delacroix, Ingres... It also shows sketches and drawings made by some of the aforementioned artists, and others.

The next wing which we saw was Sully and here we came across Venus de Milo. Aphrodite(called Venus by the Romans), the Greek goddess of love and beauty and the statue describes just that... Pity its dilapidated, much like the Nike
There is a whole section which tells you the story of Louvre. From the time it was just a regular chateau to the time it became this museum...The construction of Louvre began in 1190 when the then King of France, Philippe II Auguste, build a fortress to protect Paris. When the Renaissance came, it became unfashionable for a King to live in a defensive castle built in the Middle Ages. The Louvre was continuously expanded by later kings until Louis XIV moved the capital to Versailles and in 1793 the Louvre was opened officialy as a museum. The glass pyramid designed by I.M.Pei, was finished in 1997.

Lotsa Egyptian items and statues in the Sully and Richelieu.
Well to tell you very frankly I am not all that artistically inclined so I had listed out a few things which were a must see for me like the Monalisa, Venus de Milo, Nike of Smothrace, the glass pyramid etc... so I stuck to a skeleton plan of covering these things but for someone who has a taste for art and is more knowledgeable, this is the place to be... But it was such a great learning experience... I dont think I have the caliber to appreciate the art or vast sea of ancient items but if a person like me is left with an indelible impression then it sure is gonna please the more knowledgeable ones… One small grudge I hold against the museum people is that noithing is written in English. Every painting sculpture has a small card with little description, but all in French. I guess the impression of French being snobs isn’t all that unjustified.

I enjoyed writing all the above coz I did a lil bit of my own research for the links and coz of that came to know of so much things which even after visiting the place I was unaware of. One more suggestion - M sure u wd have read the Da Vinci Code but if u visit the Louvre then go back n read it again.. The book will be so much more fascinating.

After Louvre we went to Montparnasse Tower which is the tallest building in Paris, 59 floors, 180+ mtrs. From here Eiffel looks the best. The ticket for going to the top is about 8 Euros. At the time of construction, it was the highest building in Europe. The 56th floor has a restaurant from where u can enjoy the view.
But the best view is from the terrace. We reached there at 4:30 but waited there till 6:30 for darkness. To see the city of lights . And it was worth the wait. Some more Eiffel pics from The tower.
After this we went to see the Arc De Triomphe and Champs Elysees. These are the places which look completely different during day and night so I suggest you pay them short visits just to adore the beauty in the evening and night.
The biggest (and perhaps the only) disappointment of the Paris trip was Moulin Rouge. They have jackets n tie compulsory. DAMN!!!! Sirf bahar se hi dekh ke aana pada. You can also attribute it to the lack of enough planning:-( So people dont forget to pack the necc stuff in case u planning to go to Paris and intend to see the Moulin Rouge. Had to console myself by the thoughts that somethings should be left for the second trip.

If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man, then wherever you go for the rest of your life it stays with you, for Paris is a moveable feast.”- Ernest Hemingway

Paris, la Ville Lumière - The City of Light, Heart of Europe, Romantic City, the City of art and culture. Where artists got inspiration and recognition. The city which has stood the test of time. Where lovers walk hand in hand on the banks of Siene.

All I can say is "I'll go back some day."

Complete Paris Album

Monday, January 09, 2006

Paris Day2

Day 2 began with a visit to the Basilique du Sacre Coeur the Sacred Heart Basilica. It was conceived as a symbol of thanksgiving at the end of the Franco-Prussian War. The basilica is at the top of Montmartre. You can either take the cable car to reach the top or climb the steps as we decided. Inside the basilica photography is not allowed so I cant get you any images from there but on the roof is a huge painting which depicts Jesus.. couldnt catch the context of the painting and there was no one around whom I could ask....some very beautiful stained glass work.. and very peaceful... since it was early morning not many people were there.

On our way out we met a group of Indians (yes Indians are everywhere in Paris) whom we met last day at the Chateau. Turns out they are guys from my company who are working in a project in London. During our entire stay in Paris we bumped into each other many times. Beware of the people at the foot of the basilica who will approach you and ask for money. Best thing is to ignore them and they dont pester you for long. In the neighborhood is Place du Tertre where you will find many caricature artists. From the top of the basilica the whole city looks very beautiful and the view is wonderful.
Next Stop Eiffel Tower. We got down at Trocadero station and approached the Eiffel from the Palais de Chaillot side. This way you get to see the Eiffel from a distance and the palace as well.(If u get down at the Passy station u surface right at the foot of Eiffel). The vast green expanse beneath the tower is the Parc du Champs-de-Mars which contain the Trocadéro fountains. Luckily they were running when we were there. Seeing Eiffel had a spellbinding effect on me and I remember not moving for a minute...
Gustave Alexandre Eiffel built it for the 1889 Universal Exhibition. It wasn't meant to be permanent but then they placed the Radio transmission, and later TV transmission, on it and hence it survived. What a shame it would have been had they demolished the structure. Anyways we got the tickets (Euro 10.70) n started the ascent on Eiffel. We went straight to the top taking the lifts and decided to take the steps on our way down. That way it is less tiring. The view from the top is a sight to behold. On a clear day you can see upto 60 kms, but the day we visited it was slightly clouded so my guess is we were seeing upto 30 kms or something.
The tower has 3 platforms at 57.63 mtrs, 115.73 mtrs and 276.13 mtrs. First level has a restaurant, souvenir shops and an ice skating rink> The second level again has a restaurant. The top level has some scenes captured in statues like Eifel meeting Edison. On all the levels there are telescopes which need 2 Euros to operate. Do see the city through these. We walked down from level 2 to level 1 and all the way there are placards pasted which mention some facts realted with Eiffel e.g. Mata Hari was caught in 1914 coz the Eiffel intercepted her transmissions.

"You shall go home beneath triumphal arches" Napolean promised his army after the battle of Austerlitz in 1805. Another of Paris's symbol - Arc de Triomph. Much like our very own, and my beloved, India Gate. So many evenings spent in the sprawling India Gate lawns, all came back rushing in one go. It is surrounded by 12 great avenues converging in a star shape - Etiole. There are subways to reach the Arc and for GOD sake people dont try to run through the traffic. Its way too dangerous. The Arc is gray in color but miraculously changes color at night when it looks the best. Anyways it has the "tomb of the unknown soldier" much like our desi Amar Jawan Jyoti. Beautiful statues mark all the pillars of the arc. I guess it is the highest arc in the world.
The Arc is at one end of Champs Elysées (Elysian fields) and the other end is Musée du Louvre (Louvre Museum).

So from Arc de Triomph we start walking down Champs Elysées. Les Invalides, Petit Palais, Pont Alexander III, Jardines des Tuileries fountain, Place de la Concorde, Ferris Wheel and many such more enchanting sights greet you on the Champs Elysées. The best brands set up their shop here. Mercedes, Toyota, Peugot, Louis Vitton, Christian Dior, Chanel and many such more names which I dont have the power to recall. Shopper's Paradise.

Finally we headed back to the Eiffel in the evening for the Siene boat ride and to catch the the lady at night.
Need I say more.

(BTW in case u r interested in catching all the rest of the pics from Paris I will post the link in my next post. Stay tuned!!)

Friday, January 06, 2006

Paris Day1

Time to write about the Xmas vacations.... Had a GRRRRRRRREAT time...Saw some of the most amazing places and satiated my wanderlust...

24th Dec
Reached Charles de Gaul airport, Paris around 10 am and then started off... First thing that we did was to get the 'Paris Visite' pass for 3 zones...With some research n inputs provided by project members who had already been there we decided to go for the 3 zone pass only... apart from Chateau de Versailles and Disneyland, almost all the other places are within the 3 zones. It took a while to get the hang of the Paris Metro system (details n Metro map) but once u get it it is really simple... and efficient too. By the time we checked in the hotel and had lunch it was 2:30 and our plan included visiting the chateau on 24th as it was closed the next two days.

Managed to reach the 'Château de Versailles' by 3:45 and the next 2 hours were spent in the magnificent place. And the best part is that photography is allowed within most of the palace, except a few. Dont forget to catch the kings's bedroom, the beautiful paintings which adorn the walls and the cielings, the chandeliers, The potraits of famous men n women and the statues. Far too many for me to name here. The palatial gardens are another sight to enjoy. I would suggest that the best time to go there is a bit late in the day when u can catch the sun setting.

The next thing to cover was La Defense. It is a high tech area with tall skyscrapers and offices many big names. The best building is without a doubt 'The Tête Défense', also known as the Grande Arche de la Défense. It is a 106 meters white building with the middle part left open.

Now Manish, my manager who was also in Paris with family, at the same time (as were my other colleagues Datta, Satya n Suresh with their resp families) calls me up n tells us that we should def visit Notre Dame that day as they were having the service on the eve of Xmas and the whole place was worth seeing. So we head to "Cathédrale Notre Dame de Paris".

Notre Dame is probably the best example of French Gothic art. It took almost 180 years to complete and on the spot where this majestic cathedral now stands, the Romans had built a temple to Jupiter, which was followed by a Christian basilica and then a Romanesque church.

One of the more interesting features of Gothic architecture is the gargoyle. Hideous monstrous looking creatures, which were to scare off evil spirits and attract pagans(remember Da Vinci Code) to the Christian Church. Many of the multi-headed, mixed creatures were pagan symbols associated with chaos. The grotesque images that gargoyles conjure frightening representations of damnation and perhaps a reminder to lead the spiritual, religious life.

Victor Hugo's 'The Hunchback of Notre Dame' talks about the romance of Quasimodo, the bell ringer @Notre Dame and the beautiful gypsy dancer Esmeralda.

The Cathedral has 12 bells and each has a name. The largest is Emanuel which produces a F# (F sharp) sound. The bells are still rung regularly, but not by hunchbacks I hope.

We attended the service there and it was after a 15 years that I entered a church. My Junior school had a church in Delhi and i used to go there regularly. once out of junior school I somehow never went to a church again. Not the typical religious kinds u see. I felt really good after being there.

Opposite the cathedral is Pont de l’Archevêché or the Archbishop's Bridge.

There are many beautiful bridges on the Siene(the most beautiful Pont Alexander III to follow in Day 2). The amusing thing is that Pont Neuf or The New Bridge is the oldest bridge in Paris :-)

Next we walked down till Hôtel de Ville - Paris's city hall, which was well lighted up for the occasion. It is also the Mayor of Paris' office.

Finally called it a day and headed for our hotel. We tried dinner at an Indian restaurant in the vicinity of our hotel, which was near Gallerie Lafayette , which goes by the name "Kashmir Palace" or something similar. Mark my words people. DONT GO THERE. All their nans and parathas are the same(thick n undercooked). The Baingan ka bharta doesnt have any baingan and the Daal Makhani is made with Masoor ki daal. I mean c'mon who makes Dal Makhani with masoor ki dal. Bad end to an otherwise fantastic day.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Au Revoir 2005

2005 has been an eventful year. Somethings good some not so good.

In the very beginning of the year I completed something which I was contemplating for a long time. I got certified in the technology in which I work i.e. Siebel. What followed next was a series of arguments/discussions with my manager to get released from the project GEMS. I had completed something like 1.5 years in the project and according to me it was time for me to move on. I had hit a point when the work didn’t offer anything new, exciting or challenging. My manager thought otherwise and wanted me to go to Bangalore where the project was shifting in some time. But I did not relent on my stand and finally got released. With nothing viable for me to take up immediately, I was on bench for about two months. These two months I spent giving trainings to people, preparing technical documents and writing a proposal for a project. This was something new for me, esp. the proposal writing part. And I did learn a few things which were quite diff from the regular stuff.

Finally I was offered this project, in Denmark, and I took it. I was informed just a week in advance of my departure about the project and hence the trip home was a short one. This was also the time when I sat in an airplane for the first time. Mumbai –Delhi – Mumbai. 29th May I was in Denmark. New team, new project and new client. After about a month or so I was asked to develop something using Java. Until that time I had not written a single line of code in Java. The task to develop an entire component in Java seemed daunting at first. The initial days were tough. After Java came PL/SQL which was another unknown area till then. Finally all the project deliverables were met and right now the project is in UAT phase.

Some new work coming my way after which I should be heading home. This was also the year when the company introduced the Skill Based Incentives in certain hot technologies and I was a recipient.

Apart from all that stuff on the proff front a few other things happened in 2005.

I started blogging, If it wasn’t for blogging you wouldn’t be here reading me.

I learnt how to cook. While in Bombay the maid used to cook for me. But here there are no maids and hence one needs to fend for himself. And just for the records, I am pretty good at it.

I experienced snow for the first time in life. Sometime in mid Nov and it was great.

I turned 26 and 2 grad and 3 post grad classmates got married. Time to start making my plans. Plans to fail my mom’s attempts to get me married in recent future..

Met new people. Made friends with some, lost touch with some pals and reconnected with some long lost pals.
In 2005 I indulged in two hobbies of mine. Photography n Traveling. Got myself a new camera – Canon S1 – IS and traveled to Goteberg in Sweden, Paris, Amsterdam n Rotterdam, and a few places in Denmark.

In 2005 I neglected the guitar. Its been over six months since I last touched the strings, My guitar is lying in India at a friends place. In hindsight I think the decision to not bring it along was a rather foolish one.

Those two months on bench let me do a bit of reading which I had not done for quite some time. Fiction, non fiction, autobiographies and some lame stuff.

In the past year I think I have grown. Learnt a few new things and tried not to forget the old. Discovered some new facets of me. I think I know myself more than I knew ever before.

Ancient Zen wisdom says – “He who knows others is wise. He who knows himself is enlightened.” So the journey to wards enlightenment continues.

Au Revoir 2005