Monday, October 08, 2007

An Evening in Old Delhi

I had been thinking about going to Old Delhi for quite some time now. Having read so much about the Iftar celebrations in the walled city area, when muslims pray , break the roza and go onto consume delicacies, I certainly wanted to experience it. So a good friend P, who shares an equal (if not more) enthusiasm for food, and I headed to spend an evening in Old Delhi on Sunday.
The roza is the fasting during the holy month of Ramadan when devout muslims observe daylong fast from dawn to dusk, without even a drop of water. A small breakfast before sunrise which is known as Sehari and a feast after sunset, known as Iftari.
The road outside the Gate No 1 of Jama Masjid was jam-packed. Vehicles, mostly rickshaws, were lined bumper to bumper. A vast multitude of people here, heading off with their families to shop and eat. We deftly make way to Karim hotel and wait for our turn to be seated. Over here one can see variety of people. Foreign tourists digging into kababs and tikkas after thoroughly examining them, families of people enjoying the elaborate and lavish meal after the roza, young people out there to grab a bite, waiters running in loaded with dishes. The crowd was heterogeneous, the service quick and the food Y-U-M-M-Y.
On the streets it's a party of sorts and people have come out to enjoy. Mounds of sevaiyaan and other sweets, dry fruits, footwear, clothes, bangles and a whole lot of things.
The 100 watt bulbs bathing the shops in a yellow hue. Shoppers bargaining with the shopkeepers over the price of their purchases. Happy smiling faces, twinkling eyes behind the hijab, its all happening here. The area seems like a bouquet of vibrant colours, sound and flavors.
After Karims it was Rabri at the roadside Kallan Sweet Shop where I tried my hand (unsuccessfully) at reading the urdu written on the board, much to the amusement of the shopkeeper as well as P.
Thereafter We headed for the Paranthewali Gali. The shops here are from an era of the badshahs and rajas, well before last century, being run by the 4th – 5th generation of owners. Each of the shop here must have around 20-25 variety of paranthas. We sampled the Matar parantha and Paneer paranth which were good. The paranthas are accompanied by aloo sabzi, seetafal sabzi, couple of chutneys, pickles and greenchillies. With modest prices and seating arrangements these shops are trying to lure the people into their establishments.
Colorful skullcaps with ornate embroidery and exciting design patterns.
To most, Old Delhi may be a down market wholesale bazaar. However the erstwhile city of Shahjahanabad was once the epicenter of Hindustan. To some it still is!

A young shopper bargaining with the shopkeeper for a pair of shoes.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Chak Ditta, India!!!

It's Diwali time as India lifts the Twenty20 World Cup beating arch rivals Pakistan. A young n relatively inexperienced team under a brand new skipper and without the "stars", achieved what was really unexpected and seemed daunting at first.
Started as non-favorites, with the bookies giving 1-16 for India playing in the finals and 1-40 for India winning the cup. Beating Pakistan, England, South Africa, Australia and finally G-L-O-R-Y!!!
Chak Ditta India!!!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Happy Birthday to Me

Just in case u didn’t notice the change in the 'About Me' section, I turned 28 yesterday. Yet another year has passed by. One more year, on the face of earth. I dunno if u feel this way, but 28 suddenly seems much much older as compared to 27. 27 is closer to 25 whereas 28 is closer to 30. At 28 you can’t even give the excuse that u will think about settling down at a later stage. You ARE at the later stage. 30 seems just around the corner.

Anyway, it was after 4 years that I was celebrating my birthday at home with family. It was a quiet and simple affair. Last time when I was home on my birthday, I was 23 years old, still studying in the final year of my post grad. It has also been 4 years since I moved out of the comforts of home and started staying on my own. First in Bombay for 2 years and later in Aalborg for another 2 years. Now after 4 years I have finally shifted base back to Delhi.

The ticket u see below is the train ticket for the journey to Trivandrum for the training of my first job. I carried this ticket with me all this while to remind me that no matter where I stay, I have to return back home. Finally I can say I have arrived. I can now destroy this ticket. Maybe not, let it be there for memory sake.

Fellas…. thanx a lot for your wonderful wishes. God Bless You!!

Monday, September 03, 2007

Happy Janamashtami

Glimpses of Laxmi Narayan Temple aka Birla Mandir, on the eve of Janamashtami.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Swar Hi Ishwar Hain

“Swar hi Ishwar hain…. Through sound u can reach God….Sound is above Song, which is affected by language, story, state, literature etc” – Ustad Amjad Ali Khan.

I might be forgetting some of his words here but I cant forget the music which is still playing in my head. Today, I went for a concert of Ustad Amjad Ali Khan, at the Vice Regal Lodge, Delhi University, organized by SPICMACAY. The concert started at 6 pm with Ust Amjad Ali Khan giving a few thoughts about swar and explaing the audience the difference between the Indian n Western music. He started off then with Raag Ganesh Kalyan. This raag was formed, as he fondly remembered, using a tune he was humming one day. He first sang the tune n then played the raag. The audience comprised of people from all ages, both Indians and foreigners. The Vice Regal Lodge lent an air of Victorian era to the ambience. The sound system and acoustics of the venue were good. The raag had many moments where the audience burst into clapping applauding the artists. Ustad Amjad Ali Khan was accompanied by Mithilesh Kumar Jha and Fateh Chand, both on the tabla.

The second raag of the evening was Raag Durga which is also known as Pahadi and is based on the folk songs of Himachal Pradesh. Between the raags he took a break and explained the audience why he needs to file his nails during a performance. The sarod strings are strung on a board made of stainless steel and does not have frets like the sitar or the guitar, much like the violin. He explained that the violin was played using finger tips and then demonstrated how the sarod would sound if played by the finger tips instead of nails.

Raag Durga was a very melodious with the distinct folk feel to it. In between he also indulged in a jugalbandi with the tabla artists who were equally talented. His histrionics left the audience in splits when he deliberately missed a note or two to which the tabla players had already committed.

From where I was sitting I had a very good view of Ustadji and it was a delight, not only to hear the music, but to watch him play as well. The movements of his head which matched the tempo of the music, the encouraging glances to the other artists and the little bits of info he gave about music.

The evening ended with a bhajan - ‘Vaishnav Jan’ which was played beautifully .. as if the sarod was speaking the words. Towards the end he also played ‘Raghupati Raghav’. I think I enjoyed this part of the performance the most. The songs were known and hence I could relate to them more easily as compared to the earlier ragas.

With thunderous applause the concert came to an end. The evening totally rocked. The event was dedicated to Ustad Bismillah Khan.

Saturday, August 25, 2007


It was my last weekend in Denmark and I was hell bent upon visiting Skagen - something which had been put away for a long time. How could I be in Denmark and not visit Skagen all this while? Thankfully the weather was kind and we did have some sunshine. So we gathered at the Aalborg Train Station and we got a discounted pass to travel to Skagen. The first train would take us to Fredrickshavn. From there we took another train to Skagen. The journey was fun with little talks, leg pulling etc.
Skagen station is an old but well maintained yellow building. Right outside the train station is the bus stop. We saw that the next bus to go to the beach was about 2 hrs away so we unanimously decided to hire bicycles. One of us didn’t know how to ride so we got a double bike for him and another guy. Got 11 bikes and pedaled off; in the wrong direction. It was not before 10 minutes when we realized we weren’t any closer to the beach. Change of direction.
The town of Skagen is beautiful. It is a part of the Jutland peninsula in northern Denmark. Most buildings in the old town are distinguished as low yellow houses with red tiled roofs providing a perfect backdrop to this charming place. Like most Danish towns this is a quaint little place with well preserved medieval buildings, cyclists, people chatting at the café tables. The town of Skagen has been the abode of many a Danish artists, especially painters, writers and even music composers. The picturesque locales makes this place really inspiring for these artists. The 60 km long coastline of Skagen is incomparable. The sea, the light, the air, the sand - Skagen and the elements seem to be inseparable.
En route we had to take a stop as two of our cyclists apparently got lost and had a lot of ground to cover. We took a break near this lighthouse (above) which we used as a landmark for signaling our location to those two guys. So while they cycled to this point we snacked on cakes, biscuits and namkeens. Soon we were joined by the lost cyclists and they took a short break. Meanwhile the rest of the guys tried their hand at the double bicycle which had caught everyone’s fantasy.
There is another lighthouse at Skagen which was constructed in 1850. Resumed our journey towards Grenen (The Branch), which is the base point and parked the cycles. From here you can either walk or take a ‘Sandmobile’, which is nothing but a tractor pulling a trailer, to the beach. We decided to walk. Popped up a few beers and started walking towards the beach. The flags of the four Nordic countries Finland, Sweden, Denmark and Norway (Missing - Iceland) Just outside a cafeteria at Grenen.
From Grenen it would take about 15 mins till the ‘point’, which is the northernmost part of Denmark. It is also the meeting point of North Sea (Skagerrak – the strair that separates Denmark from Norway) and Baltic Sea (Kattegat – The strait that separates Denamrk from Sweden), which is what makes Skagen so remarkable.
You can stand at this ‘point’ and notice the oceancurrents and waves coming from your left clashing with the ones from you right and creating a sort of sand carrying mist.
Walked a little in the waves and then we found a good spot and had lunch. Lazed around for a while and then we started a game of football. It soon dawned that no one of us was in good shape and stamina. Still we managed to play for about 45 mins after which there was just enough energy left to get back to the rest of the gang and lie down and have some beer.
Although the water was cold, we noticed that the temp in the North sea was marginally warmer. So it was decided that we take a plunge in the North sea. The temp was such that only 3 people finally decided to venture inside water. The water was cold and with each step it seemed to be getting colder. We reached a point where there was a kind of sand bank. We sat there and soaked some more sun. Finally we decided to get all wet and swim. Surprisingly, after this the water didn’t feel so cold and we stayed in it for about 15 mins.
Out of the water and finally soaked some sun, chatted with friends, drank beer and watched the ships at a distance. I remember spending a lot of time quiet on this trip as this was my last weekend in Denmark and I was kind of capturing the impressions in my mind. Something like soaking the feeling of being in Denmark for the last few days.
Enjoyed a Café au Lait at one of the cafes in the old town of Skagen and finally took the train back to Aalborg.
I *heart* Denmark !!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

The Homecoming

 I am still coming to terms with being back in India. I wonder how this short stint of 2 years has made me become so unaccustomed with the things around here. Sometimes to the point of embarrassment, when I tell people it’s very hot in here. Sounds too NRIsh. Anyways, since the airlines in Europe allow only 20kg luggage per person, I had to leave back a lot of stuff in Denmark. The first thing I did after landing in India was to go and buy myself slippers the next day. I headed to Paharganj. Took a rickshaw to ‘Cheh Tooti Chowk’ which cost 10 rupees. Indian economy is booming and the rickshaw-walas are also entitled to their fair share.

After the purchase of the slippers I couldn’t resist from visiting my fav jalebi shop which is at ‘Cheh Tooti Chowk’. For all you people, who love those thick succulent heavy jalebis with the sugar syrup dripping down and like to have them hot out of the wok, this is the place for you. So I head over to the two jalebi shops side by side and ask for 250 gms of jalebis. I note that the rate is Rs 50/- per kg from Rs 40/- last year. People keeping abreast with the growing economy - I smile to myself. Those two shops have been there since forever. They don’t have names but ask anyone and he will guide you to these shops. I remember the face of the cashier who also weighs the sweets n hands them out to the customers, but the rest of the people have changed. And even though it may be new faces, the person behind the wok will again be wearing the trademark baniyan.
As I dig my teeth into the first jalebi I see a Chinese/Korean/Japanese tourist stop and take pictures of the jalebiwalas with an expensive looking SLR. The batter being poured in perfect shape as the imartis are being made. It’s an art, the way the batter filled cloth is squeezed, the pattern emerges in the oil. Like the hands of some artist, the jalebiwalas hands move in constant, precise and calculated manner. He doesn’t have time to pose for pics. His job doesn’t offer him the luxury of making mistakes as not many people will be eager to eat a deformed imarti. People will buy a deformed piece of art more readily though.

Moving on from the Oriental tourist, I scan the area and see many more tourists. Paharganj is a fav amongst backpackers. You will find loads of them here at all times. Though all guidebooks recommend traveling to India from Oct – March, these people are here in the peak summer months and that too in Delhi. The temperature doesn’t offer them any respite. I hoped to see some Danish guys around, but there weren’t any. Don’t get me wrong, Danes are very fond of vacations and 3 weeks of vacation in summer and later in winter is a norm in the offices. But India doesn’t seem to be a fav destination as I came across very few people in Denmark who had visited India.

A young Caucasian lady is buying bangles at a shop, those big lac bangles. Another Caucasian couple is being led by a travel guide who tells them that he’s a student and does this as a part time job. An oriental couple with a map, trying to locate the New Delhi Railway Station perhaps. As I capture all these things happening in my surroundings I feel connected to these people in a strange way. Not long ago I was also in a similar position traveling in some country, where I was only for a small time. I had also roamed on the streets with a map in my hand. I was also buying souvenirs and sometimes cursing the weather.

The market offers these people what they want - Cheap accommodation, economical meals, travel agents, transport, communication, mineral water, toilet paper and a good amount of Indian culture.

Too much for my first day in India. I head home with my new slippers.

Monday, August 13, 2007

You know you'v been in Danmark too long if...

- You can say rød grød med fløde, Blåbærsyltetøj, and Angstskrig.
- You love salt lakrids.
- You think there is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing.
- You cannot understand why not every type of meat can be put together on top of bread.
- You think it’s impolite to sit next to someone in a bus if there is a seat you can sit on by yourself.
- You honestly believe that the distance between Copenhagen and Aalborg is long.
- You can tell the difference between a Grøn Tuborg and a Carlsberg beer.
- The first thing you do on entering a bank/post office/pharmacy etc. is take a number. You accept that you will have to wait and take a number.
- When a stranger on the street smiles at you, you assume that:a. he is drunk;b. he is insane;c. he is an American;d. he is all of the above.
- It no longer seems excessive to spend 800 kr. on alcohol in a single night.
- You know that “religious holiday” means “let’s get pissed”.
- You use “Mmmm” as conversation filler.
- The word “yes” is an intake of breath.
- Traditional dinners may not necessarily mean a cooked meal.
- You forget how to open canned beer.
- You can’t remember when to say “please” and “excuse me”.
- Your wardrobe no longer has suits… but blue shirts, mustard colored sports jackets, and lots of denim.
- You don’t mind paying the same for a 200-metre bus ride as you do for going 10 kms.
- You don’t look twice at businessmen in dark suits wearing white sport socks.
- You start to believe that if it weren’t for Denmark’s efforts, the world would probably collapse.
- You find yourself more interested in the alcohol content than the name of the wine.
- You know the meaning of life has something to do with the word “hyggelig”.
- You wouldn’t dream of coming even 10 minutes early to a party.
- You find yourself lighting candles when you have guests - even if it is bright and sunny outside and 20 degrees C.

I came across this article on the internet and saved it to post it sometime when I leave Denmark.

Well folks, its goodbye Denmark. Saturday I flew back to India. The onsite deputation which was supposed to be for 6 months, lasted for 26 months. In the
course of time I came across many new people, visited many new places, learnt many new things. Whatever time was spent there was amazing and will probably be
remembered for a long time.

The weather was exceptionally good the last week that I spent in Denmark. On the 4th of August I went to Skagen with a few friends and we cycled, walked,
played football on the beach, dived in the sea and had a great time. (Will put up a post about it later). Thursday was a lovely farewell party by some
friends in Aalborg. Friday was another farewell party at office. Though I regret not being able to meet most of the client people since they were away on vacations.

With this comes the end of a long & lovely chapter in my life.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Egeskov Slot, Odense

This weekend I was off to visit the Egeskov Slot (castle) near Odense, which is about 400 Kms from Aalborg. The journey of 3 1/2 hrs was filled with fun and masti in the bus with the typical games like antakshari, Dumb , a small breakfast and lots of beer.

Egeskov estate is spread over 1131 hectares, with the castle n parks amounting to 20 hectares, and is located in the south of the island of Funen in Denmark. The castle is Europe's best preserved Renaissance water castle. Egeskov's history dates to the 14th century.

Through his marriage to Anne Trihuus in 1545, Frands Brockenhuus took over a large farm in the village of egeskov. Acquiring large areas inside and outside the parish through inheritance n purchase and in 1554 the manor was replaced by the existing castle.

The castle is a genuine moated castle built directly on the lake. According to the popular legend the oak piles on which the castle stands gave rise to the name. Egeskov in Danish means oak wood. The Count's War during which many of the manors were attcked by the peasants was probably the reason why Frands Brockenhuus wanted to build a castle which was, to all intents and purposes, inpenetrable. Egeskov reflects a time of unrest. In 1986 Count Claus Ahlefeldt-Laurvig-Bille opened the castle itself to the public.
There are about 8 rooms open to the public of which The Hunting Room is the most popular. It was used as Count gregers Ahlefeldt-Laurvig-Bille's study and shows his great passion for hunting. Many of the game trophies are rare as the Impala below which has remarkably long horns (90 cms, while the normal is 50 cms). The room contains trophies brought back from British East Africa and the Congo - Tanzania, Uganda and Kenya of today.
From his jouneys in Africa, the Count brought back many souvenirs like these plus objects of ethnogrpahical interest like head dresses, jewellery and weapons. In The Hunting Gallery, many of the Count's trophies are displayed along with weapons from many countries. The Count was one of the most famous hunters in Denmark and one of the very few who were granted permission to hunt with bow n arrow. The trophies are displayed with the arrow that brought them down. In one corner is one of Egeskov's 'privies'. The castle was extremely luxurious for its time, with 17 lavotories.
The Victorian Room was furnished with typical items of furniture, brick-a-brac, curtains, carpets, upholstery from the Victorian period which were in the family's possession. The paintings and photographs show members of the family.
Titania's Palace is a palace made by English painter and officer Sir Nevile Wilkinson for his daughter. This palace took 15 years to build and has 3000 components collected from all over the world.

Egeskov's wooden man lies under the spire. Its is said that if he is to be removed from the cushion , Egeskov will sink in the moat on Christmas night. Because of this legend the family never used to celebrate Christmas at the castle. Traditonal Danish rice pudding is served to the wooden man so that he can share it with the castle elves and the human occupants can celebrate Christmas in the other rooms.

The Vintage Motorcycle Museum carries a collection of old bikes. A must see for any auto enthusiast.

The gardens around the castle are to enjoy the warm sunny afternoons with a picnic spread and to marvel such beautiful surroundings.

The picnic also had people from our comapny spread across Denmark. About 150 in all. A delicious Indian lunch followed by not so delicicious sweets and finally a group of 25 people returned back to Aalborg.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Weekend Pleasures

The weekend started disastrously with the trip to Skagen being cancelled because of rain n overcast sky. Now why would anyone want to visit a beach on a day it is raining??? (Though one remembers a rainy evening spent at Sankhumugham Beach, Trivandrum very fondly). Anyway, so the plan for Skagen was shelved and with long faces the day kept passing until it was evening and the sun decided to give a little peek. We jumped to the occasion and headed towards Fjordparken near Egholm with beer in our bags.

The next few hours were spent sitting on the bench watching the boats sail by, people kanoeing, jogging, cycling, talking about n number of things and drinking beer. Sitting there I felt a strange kind of calmness and the feeling of being at ease with myself, my surroundings, my pals and the world at large.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Live Earth

I am sure you would have caught your fav artist at/on the Live Earth concerts on 07/07/07. If u have 3 minutes, go and take this survey which will tell you what’s your live impact. With a carbon output of 9.9 tons per year I must def be amongst the above average of us who continue to harm the earth in more ways than one. And I am not alone.. each one of us is responsible. Here are a whole lot of things we can do to help our environments and ourselves.

OK the serious part done, let's get down to
Shek's Tag:-

What am I doing to make the earth a greener place?

1) Transport
I use public transport. Car in Europe??? Hahahahah... Dude, am still employed in an Indian company. I also own a bike, which I ride on non rainy, non snowing days. Well not all the 35 days.

2) Paper
I don’t use printouts until it is absolutely necessary to carry some in a meeting. And also I have this habit of having all the data in one sheet of paper. So I print with Font Size = 2 or something. And just so I utilize each n every part of it and nothing is wasted, I draw doodles on the remaining blank surface of the paper in the meeting.

3) Washing
I wash my clothes together at the end of the week. No whites-and-non-whites-separate for me you racial bastards. Also I make sure I stuff all my clothes to be washed in one go. I use cold water to wash as hot water makes more creases in the clothes which take more time to iron out. My towel was last washed on ....errr March?, which is about the time when I also washed my bed sheet n pillow cover.

4) Electricity
Last time I had to buy bulbs I got the long lasting compact fluorescent light bulbs. 2 of them. It will take time before I switch to them completely. My PC/laptop goes on standby/sleep with 10 minutes of inactivity. I have consciously tuned the settings this way.

5) Shopping bags
I carry shopping bags for my weekend grocery shopping and use them repeatedly until they threaten to burst and spill all the stuff on the road.

6) Recycle
I don’t use recycled paper but I do recycle plastic/glass bottles and cans. In fact we get 1/1.5/3 Kroners back for every bottle/can submitted. Nothing like buying beer from the money u just made from empty beer cans.

Some other tips that will help u save the environment:-
* Wear jackets with deep pockets. This way whenever u buy something, u can carry it in those deep pockets. You will not need to buy the shopping bags.
* Eat pizza at the pizza shop, no matter how shady it is. Agreed that u like to have your pizza sprawled on your living room floor in a lungi scratching you hair, but if u eat it there u wont need the pizza box and help in generating less trash. You will also conserve water as you will have no dishes to clean.
* Wear jeans to work. Apart from the fact that they are better any day than formals, you can actually save a lot of water in washing before anyone notices that u r wearing the same pair for the last 2 weeks.
* If u happen to stay in colder regions where the sun is rather reluctant then do wear cardigans all the time at work. They allow you to wear a shirt with just the collars ironed. Save electricity in ironing.
* Shower sensibly. No, I am not asking you to do French showers, but who needs hour long showers and bath tubs filled with gallons of water. If you shower daily then you should be practiced enough to bathe in less than 10 minutes. You may indulge in such extravagances from time to time, but plz keep them to the minimum.

On a more
serious note let me end this post with an old native American saying - "We do not inherit the Earth from our parents, we borrow it from our children".

Let's return it to them as a better place.

Friday, July 06, 2007

New 7 Wonders

Thank God all the hoopla around the "New 7 Wonders" thing is about to get over and we can all put down the swadeshi topi and get back to normal life. If u r in US, start making plan to visit the Statue of Liberty on the next long weekend if u haven’t been there yet or start planning a vacation to Europe or to South America. By all standards, The monuments in the New 7 Wonders list are some of the most amazing places on the face of the earth and fabulous tourist destinations. Though there may be nothing official about it, the amount of patriotism people are associating with it is simply astounding. Chain mails are being forwarded, people back home in India admit to receiving SMS from long lost contacts urging them to vote for Taj. Anyway, let’s not get into this more.

Peepal, I am introducing a tag. Heres what u need to do?

Pick the Top 3 destinations from the
list of New Seven Wonders that you would want to visit and write down a few lines about why u want to visit. Don't forget to tag more people and inform them about it.

Simple in'it? (Sorry, Jhoom Barabar Jhoom movie has left some lasting scars in my mind).

So here is my list of top 3 destinations:-
1) Machu Picchu, Peru (Img:
Machu Picchu is a symbol of Community & Dedication!
I am sure everyone has heard about this place, or read about it . The 'Lost City' of the Incans was discovered and brought to light by Americam archaeologist Hiram Bingham. I remember, when I was small, reading a novel - Hardy Boys & the Inca Treasure or something similar and then I became curious and read up a little about it. It was the pre-google-and-internet-not-quite-there time when people actually went to library to find out more about things. I found only a couple of pages in some encyclopedia but the name registered somewhere in my mind. With so much available at the touch of a button you can practically know and see all thats to it in the comfort of your couch. But to see a monument in person is an alltogether different feeling.

2) Christ Redeemer, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (Img
Christ Redeemer stands for Welcoming & Openness!

Now who doesn't want to go to Brazil. :) It's the first place that comes in mind when u talk about South America or football or beaches or supermodels (Gisele Bündchen, Adriana Lima, Alessandra Ambrosio). I think the first time I saw the statue in the video of the song Brazil by VengaBoys. This country is a sure shot fav among people from all over the world and no wonder Rio de Janeiro is the most visited city in the world.

3) The Kremlin and St. Basil’s Cathedral, Moscow, Russia (Img: Kremlin/St. Basil’s Cathedral represents Fortitude & Symbolism!
God bless Russia for inventing Vodka! Russia has always been the friendly country from where we bought arms. The cathedral is def one of the cutest, if I may say so, ones in the world. It was commissioned by Ivan the Terrible and built on the edge of Red Square between 1555 and 1561. Legend has it that on completion of the church the Tsar ordered the architect, Postnik Yakovlev, to be blinded to prevent him from ever creating anything to rival its beauty again, much like our own lore about Taj's architect. Anyway, Russia and the other eastern european countries have caught my fascination for some time now. And it would be great to be there and have a quick peek at what lies behind the Iron Curtain.
What the heck... I would absolutely love to be able to visit ANY one of the sites. And as a traveller I realise that you don't need a reason to travel. You travel coz u want to.
I tag:-
Here are my pics, of the 3 sites from the list of New 7 Wonders, where I have been to:-

Eiffel Tower, Paris, France.

Neuscwanstein, Bavaria, Germany.

Colosseum, Rome, Italy.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007


Tagged by Sakshi

1. Pick out a scar you have, and explain how you got it?
Right hand palm, just below the index finger. In school we were playing 'pakdam-pakdai' (No, its not some fetish game u perv!!!) and I was running around this bus parked inside the school campus. The flap of the compartment where the stepney is kept was raised and hidden by some leaves from a nearby tree. While running towards it I saw the raised flap just in time and used my hand to save my belly from having a deep gash n my intestines being spilled out. As a result, 5 stiches.

2. What does your phone look like?

3. What is on the walls of your bedroom?
This poster

4. What is your current desktop picture?
Office: The company defined wallpaper. Can't change it. Its been the same for 2 years.
Home: Standard SONY VAIO wallpaper.

5. Do you believe in gay marriage?
Yes. Gay or Straight, doesn't matter.

6. What do you want more than anything right now?
Its 12:23 pm. M hungry, I want food.

7. What time were you born?
12:40 am

8. Are your parents still together?
Very much.

9. Last person who made you cry?
Dont rem... must've been ages ago.

10. What is you favorite perfume/cologne?
Ive used Brut cologne a lot and it happens to be one of the fav.

11. What kind of hair/eye color do you like in the opposite sex?
Any color would do. As long as the hair is lustrous and the eyes are expressive. (copied it from someone's blog.. cdnt find words that would express it in better terms)

12. What are you listening to?
Keyboard sounds.

13. Do you get scared of the dark?
Nope... never.

14. Do you like pain killers?
Now, who likes painkillers? I dont like to consume any medicines and will go out of my way to avoid it.

15. Are you too shy to ask someone out?
No, but choosy and a bit reluctant at times.

16. If you could eat anything right now, what would it be?
A I would like paneer naan, butter chicken, daal makhani, some biryani and raita, lassi to go with it and ras malai or something for dessert.

17. Who was the last person you made mad?
Dunno, but I am sure it was someone in the office.

18. Is anyone in love with you?
Not that I can think of. I dont really think I am secret crush material.

Consider urself tagged, if u havent done this by now.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Happy Birthday Panchamda

(Pic Source:

Rahul Dev Burman (June 27, 1939 - January 4, 1994), music composer and singer whose songs have entertained each and everyone of us. And is still providing bread and butter to most 'DJ Remix'walas.

Here are a few of the genius' songs, categorized into several random categories. Such was he versatility of this musician that anyone would find it hard to pick 1 song from each category. Here is my attempt:-

Do Lafzon Ki Hai Dil Ki Kahani, The Great Gambler (1979)
This song is an all time favorite. Very melodius and romantic. Some songs which came close are:- O Hansini - Zehreela Insaan (1974), Kitne Bhi Tu Karle Sitam - Sanam Teri Kasam (1982), Tu Hai Vahi Dil Ne Jise - Yeh Vada Raha (1982).

Aur Kya Ahede Wafa, Sunny (1984)
I somehow like the Suresh Wadekar Song MUCH more than the Asha Bhonsle version. Other songs in this category :- Aanewala Pal Jaanewala Hai - Gol Maal (1979), Agar Tum Na Hote - Agar Tum Na Hote (1983), Diye Jalte Hain - Namak Haram (1973), Tujhse Naraaz Nahin Zindagi - Masoom (1983).

The way this song has been rendered with so much pain and hurt in the voice, is just phenomenal. Other good songs in this category:- Aaja Piya Tohe Pyar Doon - Baharon Ke Sapne (1967), Aaj Kal Paon - Ghar (1978).

Hum Kisise Kum Nahin, Hum Kisise Kum Naheen (1977)
Very hep and youithful qawwali if I may say so. Other good songs in the category: - Jina To Hai Usika, Adhikar (1971).

Huzur Is Kadar, Masoom (1983)
The comic timing of Naseer and the shokhi of Shabana make this ghazal a treat to watch as well as hear.

Mitwa Bole Meethe Bain - Parichay (1972)
The choice for this category very difficult with songs such as Abke Na Sawan Barse - Kinara (1977), Beeti Na Bitai - Parichay (1972), Meethe Bol Bole - Kinara (1977), Raina Beet Jae - Amar Prem (1971) in contention. I had earlier chosen the song Ab ke na sawan barse but changed my mind later on.

Jane Do Naa, Saagar (1985)
This is inarguably the best seductive song for me. The effect may be more due to the visual appeal pf the song than the musical but it just rules. Other songs in this category:- Ek Chatur Naar Karke Sringar - Padosan (1968), Yeh Ladki Zarasi Diwani Lagti Hai - Love Story (1981).

8) SAD
Meri Bheegi Bheegi Si, Anamika (1973)
Other songs in this category are:- Kya Hua Tera Wada - Hum Kisise Kum Naheen (1977), Raah Pe Rahte Hain - Namkeen (1982), Yaad Aa Rahi Hai - Love Story (1981).

Pyar Hamen Kis Mod Pe, Satte Pe Satta (1982)
This song tops the categoryundisputed. Other songs:- Dekha Na Hai Re Socha Na - Bombay To Goa (1972), Dum Maro Dum - Hare Rama Hare Krishna (1971), Gol Maal Hai - Gol Maal (1979), Ye Jawani Hai Diwani - Jawani Diwani (1972).

Duniya Mein Logon Ka, Apna Desh(1972) or Dil Lena Khel Hai , Zamaane Ko Dikhana Hai (1982) would be close, but not quiet. (ROT in hell Himesh Reshamiya)

O Haseena Zulfowali, Teesri Manzil(1966)
So many lovely songs to choose from:- Aaja Aaja Main Hoon Pyar Tera - Teesri Manzil (1966), Duba Duba Nashe Mein - Drohi (1992), Jaane Jaan O Meri Jaane Jaan - Sanam Teri Kasam (1982), Jahan Teri Ye Nazar Hai - Kaalia (1981), Khatooba Khatooba - Alibaba Aur 40 Chor (1980), Piya Too Ab To Aaja - Caravan (1971). I hope u agree with my choice. This also happens to be RD's first Hit film and then there was no looking back.

Lakdi Ki Kathi, Masoom (1983)
Now who hasnt sung this song as a child (errr... people who were grown ups in 1983? :P ). Other songs in this category:- Bada Natkat Hai Yeh - Amar Prem (1971), Lalla Lalla Lori - Mukti (1977).

Chadti Jawani Meri Chal Mastani, Caravan (1971)
Though it is not exactly folk based but it has the use of colloquial words or the lyrics are a touch less refined and give the feeling of a village belle singing it rather a city girl. Other songs:- Bechara Dil Kya Kare - Khushboo (1975), Ghar Jayegi - Khushboo (1975), Goriyan Kahan Tera Desh Re - Caravan (1971).

Roz Roz Aankhon Tale, Jeeva (1986)
Another of my favs. Other songs in the category:- Yeh Shaam Mastani - Kati Patang (1970), Tujhse Naraaz Nahin Zindagi - Masoom (1983), Is Mod Se Jate Hain - Aandhi (1975).

PS: Will update the post tomm. Its already 28th June in some parts of the world including mine.

Friday, June 22, 2007


Since I really dont have anything to write, how about sharing some pics?? Well, here are some pics from a Sunday spent at the Danish Airshow which happened at the Air Force Base near Aalborg on the 10th of June.
(Apart from the pics I also have a tan which refuses to subside even after 2 weeks)


Belgium's Fouga Magister taking off.

Patrouille De France, flying the Alphajet.

French colors

F-16 Fighting Falcon, ready for take off.

This baby can roar.

Sikorsky S-61 Sea King.

Swedish Saab AB JAS 39A Gripen.

Patrouille Suisse in F-5E Tiger

Close call

Italy Air Force's Freece Tricolori.

Some very tanned people at the show.