Friday, December 21, 2007

PJ time...?

When was the last time I posted a PJ. I myself don't remember :)

Tom and Jim were good friends. One day, while Tom was visiting Jim's house, they decide to cut vegetables for lunch. While doing so, Tom cuts his finger and blood starts falling on the new rug Jim had put in his living room.

As soon as this happened, Tom and Jim looked at each other and realized they were long lost brothers and hug each other in happiness.

How did they figure out they are brothers?

Kyunki Jim ge RUG mein Tom ka khoon bah raha hai!

Monday, December 10, 2007


Was an ironical incident last weekend.
I was on my way to participate in a Walk for the Disabled at the Kanteerava stadium and ended up being temporarily disabled after meeting with a minor accident.
A few kms down and suddenly found myself flat on the road after being thrown off from the bike. There was some mud and stones collected in a pit-like thing on the road, and the tyres just skidded off.
Got some injuries on my knee, wrist, chest and cheek. But for the helmet, my face would have been smashed as my head had a pretty hard impact onto the ground, which left me momentarily stunned. No broken bones or ribs, luckily.
So, here's hoping to get to full fitness soon and start jumping around again!

Friday, November 02, 2007

Passive-aggressive notes - COOL with a capital K :)

This is fun. I am hooked onto it now :)

Passive-aggressive notes from roommates, neighbors, coworkers and strangers

Friday, October 26, 2007

Back in Bengaluru!

Phew. Am back in Bangalore. Feels good to be back.
I had started to miss the typical Bengaluru stuff. Like gaadi chaat :-D
I used to love eating chaat at the roadside pushcart vendors. The pani-puris and masala puris. Yumm. Mouth-watering. I need to get my fix of chaat soon.
Also was missing the anarchy on the roads. Took out my car to office and bam, there is no escaping the helter skelter flow of vehicles. It just hits you square. No let up. Though, I felt it wasn't too bad from the time I left. Only thing is that number of vehicles has increased. And with it, so has the number of bad drivers (who should not be allowed to operate a Hot Wheels car, let alone a full blown Tata Indica!)
The travel back was pretty uneventful except for a few stray pain points. Had to pay a fine for excess baggage. Can't believe chocolates can weigh that much! But didn;t want to dump any stuff back there so just paid the $50 fine and got on with it.
Took the Delta+Air France flight from Memphis-Atlanta-Paris-Bangalore. I had read too much about the irritations in Paris airport but was lucky to not encounter any problems. I had anyways learnt a little French to help me cope - "Parlez vous Anglais? Si. Merci." :-D Reminds me of the "Kannada gothilla" line alien people soon learn out here in Bangalore.
The funny thing was the Delta flight between Atlanta and Paris had a good collection of Hindi movies. I wondered if there was a sizeable desi population that traveled on that route. The movies included Partner, Shootout at..., Life in a Metro. I watched Life... on that leg along with Shrek3 and Knocked Up.
Life in a Metro is a definite recommendation. Very nice character definitions and portrayal by all the actors, except Shilpa Shetty. She just shrieked her way through the movie. Which was all the more irritating that she was given huge poster space on the movie sleeve cover.
Shiney Ahuja, Konkona, Irrfan(who was the best, according to me). Kangna Ranaut was good in patches. She was good as long as she didn't have to speak a lot. Her voice just grates on my nerves.Something like scratching a nail on a blackboard. Awfully irritating.
Food on the plane was good as was the wine and champagne. On the Paris-Bangalore leg, I got the aisle seat on the 4-seater central line, and the 2 seats next to me were empty. So had a nice stretchy time. Slept most of the flight. Post landing at Bangalore was another crazy time. 3 international flights landed at the same time and there was a line at the security check that was as long as the queue for a FDFS of an SRK movie! There was just one security screening counter and the line almost reached past the immigration check counter. And then the baggage. It was a mad rush with people pushing trolleys all over the place searching for the baggage.
My baggage took more than an hour to find it's way onto the baggage carousel. Finally wound my way out of all the commotion and came out of the airport to find my parents waiting patiently near the gate.
Finally dumped all the stuff in the car and was back on the potholes, humps and pits that were waiting for me with arms wide open. Some things never change :)

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Fun weekends on the East Coast

The last 2 weekends have been pretty eventful and fun. Had been visiting the East Coast - Boston and New York, where I have quite a few good old friends stationed.
First weekend was spent loafing in New York and the second weekend spent admiring the fall colors in New Hampshire up north of Massachusetts.
Will be a detailed update later. For now, check out the pics from the New Hampshire trip:

My Flickr page

and here:


Monday, August 27, 2007

Skydiving - Fly like a bird!

Well, finally I did it. Fulfilled a long-standing dream that I had. When I first used to think about it, I used to wonder if I would ever be able to do it. Lots of questions swirled through my mind. Would I be able to take the plunge? Would it be like others have recounted? Adrenalin rush in the beginning, calmness in between, and then back on terra firma with all it's usual stark realities and finally ends with a pain in your neck, b*tt or whichever organ you highly prefer?
Sounds like how many people describe marriage..or love.

Hahahaha, I found that funny!

What I really did was an equally, if not more, crazy nutcase thing.
skydived? Now, is that a word? Isn't it skydove? That sounds more like some low-cost airline! Kingfisher, Indigo, Skydove...fits perfect, what say?
Who cares. I just got sucked into 14500 feet of blood-pumping gravity. And wasn't it amazing. No, incredible. No, awesome. Well, I can't find a word to describe it (though if you ask my mom and dad, they would easily describe it a "perfectly idiotic suicide attempt"). No prizes for guessing if I asked their permission before taking the plunge! :D

It all started off with me checking out random skydiving videos on youtube. And on an impulse, started checking on skydiving near Memphis. Generally, Memphis has very little to offer to a person like me. So wanted to try something different. Found a place called West Tennessee Skydiving, rated one of the best in the country run by a person called Mike Mullins. I threw the idea across the table to my two colleagues who also showed as much enthusiasm as me (and one of them was even married, which I found all the more amazing!).
We called up the drop zone and fixed up Sunday morning for the daredevilry. So on the bright and sunny Sunday morning we set off to test how far our hearts would jump up the windpipe and reach the mouth. Incidentally, on the way, we passed the biggest Indian temple in Memphis. So we stopped there and prayed to the God of Skydiving, Hanuman, for his blessings and continued to Somerville to the drop zone. falling!
That says it all!

(click on the thumbnails for bigger images)
We reached at almost noon. The sun was blazing hot but we knew that the weather up above the clouds would be much colder than that. So we met up with Mike who led us to a room with a small TV and handed us legal forms that we needed to fill. The video was basically an explanation of the risks involved with skydiving and ensuring that we understood the risks before deciding on it. The video had a very uncanny resemblance to the Dharma Initiative videos (LOST series fans will know what I'm talking about :-D) with a long-bearded lawyer giving a discourse.

Terminal Velocity! Gonna be my speed :)
The legal video :O

The forms basically stated that I am solely responsible for this suicidal mission and no one but me is responsible if anything untoward happens. I guess signing the forms itself psyches out most people. There are like some 25 places we need to put our initials stating agreement to various clauses. And a place for emergency contact in case of accident! So finally, after wading through the signatures, we paid the fees (heh heh, reminds me of the one liner - Free fall is no way near free! It costs the sky!)
I opted for the video and still snaps shooting which I later was glad I took. I was the only one shot with a Digital Rebel XTi, while other had to do with still cameras :D
Yeah yeah, I know, I was geeky enough to notice the camera model through all the excitement and nervousness.
My jump instructor was Mark Gerlach, an affable, chilled out Aussie. So he was the one whom I was entrusting my life with for the next half hour. He, as expected, tried to make light of it and keep us in good cheer. And succeeded at it with me as well. I immediately felt completely safe hading over my safety into his hands.
He ran us through the arch mechanism, stepping of the plane process. It was a general fun atmosphere in the hangar where all the jump instructors were hanging out joking and ribbing each other.

Sajnaaaa hai mujheyyy..udne ke liye :))
Goin' up, baby!

We were given out jumpsuits which, at first, looked like factory overalls (the blue reminded me of our Ramaiah workshop uniform :-D), but once the harness equipment was provided, we looked like characters straight out of Top Gun, minus the helmets! Was a good feeling.
Joe was my camera buddy who was going to film and snap me throughout my jump and we took some customary interviews prior to the flight. Both Mark and Joe immediately put me at ease with the whole jump thing. Strangely, as expected, I didn't feel any nervousness once I was all decked up.

So we all filed into the small Cessna plane piloted by Mike himself. As we took off and the foliage on dear earth became tinier and tinier, I wondered my usual wonder "WTH am I setting out to do?". But the constant chatter from Mark kept me in sane spirits still.

No Fear!?!
14500 feet, and we're there!

At 14500 feet, about 3miles up from the ground (just realised 14500 feet is 4419 metres! half the height of Mount Everest! whoooo!), we were way above fluffy clouds which were laid out below us like huge cotton puffs inviting to lay comfortably on it. But the mood was anything but comfort inside of the plane. The plane suddenly jolted and stood still, and we were almost floating inside of the plane. First, few solo jumpers took off. From our group, the order was Arun, Deepak and finally, myself.
Finally, it was my turn. When I stepped on the ledge, looking down to the green earth far, far below, my WTH turned into a full WTF. If someone connected a turbine to my heart at that moment, it would have been enough to provide electricity for Bangalore for a day. But there was no going back now. I gave a huge whoop of joy posing to the camera and set off. The first few seconds.....INCREDIBLE. Any trace of fear or nervousness just vanished. It was just pure rush at terminal velocity!

Here we go, NOW! Suuiiciide!
The first few seconds. Time stops still!

We just kept hurtling down, all submitted to sucky gravity. We kept going and going, the best being going right through the clouds. No feeling of comfort pillows anymore. The misty coldness of the clouds felt so damn fresh! The freshest air I could breathe. It was pure adrenalin! The wind was making my cheek jowls flail around and I was having a hard time trying to put up a grin for Joe who was right in front of me with the cameras.
And was I loving it!! I was a bird! Now I know why birds sing. Cause, they can fly! And right now, I was flying too. As someone said, if sitting in an airplane is flying, then sitting in a boat is swimming!! One has to sky dive to know what flying means.

Across the clouds I see my shadow fly...
Inside Cloud Number 9 :D

After a minute of exhilarating free fall, Mark yanked the ripcord and we were violently jerked up when the parachute opened up. Mark very sweetly whispered into my ear (Actually he was shouting full throttle, but at 15mph winds 2 miles up in the sky, everything sounds like sweet nothings) that the parachute thankfully looked good and let me control the parachute all round the place. We floated for quite some time taking in the beautiful scenery from a bird's eye view. He told me I was his 4999th jump. That's a pretty cool number.

I believe I can fly!
60 seconds of free fall and 2 thumbs up!

Then it was time to land. Mark made an almost perfect landing. And finally back on terra firma. But the adrenalin rush was still intact.

Now this seems something which I would really love to do again, maybe go solo sometime and check out the feeling! Wonder when that's gonna happen. I cross my fingers for that.

For those around Tennessee, check out They were great, cordial, friendly people willing to answer any question you may have and keep you at ease.

And finally, here's the video of the jump. Can rival any action movie for all the thrills! :D

"Gravity isn't just a good idea. It's the LAW!"
"Football, baseball..most sports require one ball to play. Skydiving needs both!"
-- seen on a cotton tshirt, West Tennessee skydiving, circa 2007

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Drive me crazy

Well, a favorite topic of anyone who has traveled westwards from India is the traffic and ease of driving.
I have my own take on that. I actually like driving in India more. Driving in the US is monotonous, almost soporific. Follow lanes, no sudden stops, no maniacal turnings. Boring. Like the assemblies we used to have back at school. Everyone stand in line and follow each other. Curbs our independence.
Driving back home is an altogether different thing. Its excitement every kilometer, you need to be alert guessing if the old man would walk across your path right when you are too close. Keeps the reflexes well oiled.No way can you switch on the music and have a relaxing drive. Except maybe at 2 in the night. But not anymore in Bangalore. The call center cab drivers make sure you relax only after the car's safely parked in the garage (well, whoever can afford having a garage, else it's just the public road with all the alarms on high alert).
Drivers in America drive like the American do (always on the right). While back home, half the drivers drive like Indians should, on the left and the other half drive the American way, on the right.
You miss a turn in India, just turn around on the same side and merrily merge into the oncoming traffic to find your way back. And if your bike or car is upto it, just drive it right over the divider and across. Other drivers will generally understand. You must be in a hurry to get somewhere. Though some drivers might think you are really in a hurry to meet Him up there.

And you really get a good brushing up of your vocabulary on the road. Either directed at you or you directing at someone. While in America, everyone gets along with a wave of the finger.
It is like an nationally approved signal. Can imagine air hostesses showing the finger while welcoming you into the country. Can imagine AirIndia's Maharaja proudly showing off the finger instead of the famous bow. Hehehe.

A pedestrian crossing a busy street in Bangalore is really testing in the ancient scriptures of the belief in karma. Every time I have to cross a road, I say to myself "God, if I have been good through my life, let me reach the other side safely".

Why did the chicken cross the road in Bangalore?
It didn't. It just chickened out.

I have had quite a few incidents on the road myself. Once, I ran across after my friend and got hit by a bike. Nothing much except bruised elbow and knee skin. Another time, I jumped off a bus and chipped off my front tooth. Stupid driver didn't stop at the busstop.
Every time I look in the mirror, it's a grim reminder of what could have happened. I was lying face down on the road, arms flayed. Any vehicle coming behind the bus, and they would have had to scrape me off with a spatula off the road. Heh heh. shouldn't make fun. that could have been much more serious :(

Here's a nice time lapse video of the traffic in India. Funny to watch all the chaos. But what the heck, I revel in it. trying to sleep now. Maybe I should go for a drive. That should do the trick.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Another funny sign I came across...

Was strolling in downtown Memphis, and found this on Beale Street. Nice sense of humor, the artist has :)
I should have got my portrait just for the humor put in by the artist, but then I knew I wasn't up for the discount!

Watched 2 good Bollywood movies over the weekend - Pyar ke Side effects and Khosla ka Ghosla.
PKSE was a fun movie - Rahul Bose in a role tailor made for him (he seems to be getting slotted, though), Mallika showing enough character (and enough of the character, if I may add! :D) in a very unlike-her role and Ranvir in a typical over-the-top performance. The dialogue on superheroes and marriage was a ROTFL-er!
KkG was another well made movie - on the land sharks and grabbing, which anyone in an Indian metro would be aware of.
Ranvir was the common link in both movies - I always enjoyed watching his antics right from his MTV days with Vinay, and more recently, the GretIndianComedyShow. His mimicking of Amitabh is especially howlarious on the show!

Also watched Cheeni Kum last week. A sweet movie. The dialogues are really great throughout. I heard they are making a 3-part series for this?
Cheeni Kum, Cheeni See, Cheeni Conquer!

And the Chinese are flocking to see it - the title welcomes them!
Hehe, I can think of much more poor jokes - but then, they would need to carry a censor rating :D

P.S: My Yosemite update still is to happen, but then a grand place deserves a grand scale. Any description of that place would run into pages. Needs some time :)
So keep waiting (if you are!).

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Yo San Francisco!

The long weekend for Memorial Day was a welcome one with a well-deserved vacation. This was the first weekend that I was traveling out of Memphis after coming to the United States.
After much deliberation, we had zero-ed in on San Francisco with a 2 day visit to the Yosemite National Park, the oldest national park in the United States. Sups and Mitesh agreed to be our gracious hosts :-)
After initial hiccups, with everyone having last minute speed breakers, we met up on the morning of Friday. It was good meeting Vikas after a long time. But unfortunately, my baggage got delayed which led to a day of inconveniences (am still fighting with the airlines for that). Had to get new sets of clothes, chargers, etc. But then, the charm of SJ and SFO went a long way in lessening the pain of the delayed baggage.
After a sumptuous breakfast of dosas and biryani, thanks to the ladies cooking (a special mention for the yummy Harissa, thanks Sups), Mitesh took me shopping for emergency clothes. Finally, by afternoon, we were freshened up and ready to hit the town. First stop was the Indian cafe, Amber, where we had some tasty kaati rolls and veg frankies, which satisfied out palate with great Indian taste. Next was the visit to the world-famous Golden Gate bridge. We first stopped at a Sunset Point outside Mountain View and then drove through the Pacific Highway Coast on the way. We stopped at one of the ocean shores to take in the might of the Pacific. We reached Vista point to see the bridge shrouded in a thick fog. It was impressive, nevertheless. We decided to return when the lights were switched on at the bridge. We visited Sausulito, a sleepy town with a good view of the Alcatraz - The Rock, the famous prison from where there is no escape. It was tough to get a clear view of it in the encompassing clouds.

Golden Gate
Lonely farer

You can see the outline of Alcatraz just to the left of the boat, way back blurred in the fog.
After having some hot coffee at a quaint little cafe, we shopped for souvenirs. I picked up some fridge magnets and an Alcatraz t shirt.
By then it was past dusk and we drove up to a higher point to get a view of the bridge from top. It was so windy out there that the cameras left alone, could have flown off. And mind you, the S1 IS with 4 batteries, is no ballet dancer! But the views were amazing. A fully lit Golden Gate really lives up to its name. Covered in swathes of golden light and the ensuing fog added to the magic effect. Thought not too good for photography. But who cares. Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder, not some Carl-Zeiss lens :-D

It was time for dinner and Mitesh had arbitrarily picked a Greek restaurant, Mezes in SFO. And what a good choice it was. To say that the food was great, would be a gross understatement. Each and every dish we ordered was something special. And the wine did help in adding its bit of taste. I surely recommend it to anyone who's in that part of the town to try it out. You wouldn't be disappointed.
After dinner, we drove down the Lombard Street, the crookedest street in the world. I had seen videos of this street earlier, and the experience was just as good.
Finally, reached and and everyone crashed expecting the early start to Yosemite the next morning. I stayed up still trying to locate my baggage from a pretty customer-unfriendly service at Aloha Airlines. They didn't have the courtesy of calling me with updates all through the day. I had to keep calling them to check for updates. Finally, slept thinking the baggage was a goner for ever.
Woke up pretty early next morning and got the news that my baggage was found. Had to make a change in the travel plan to drive to the airport to pick up the baggage. Had breakfast at the highly recommended iHop, which we found on the way. It was true to the recommendation. The omelettes and pancakes were really some tasty stuff. Finally, we were on our way, stomachs filled with food and hearts filled with anticipation :)

Wait for PartII for the Yosemite update!

Until then, check out the pics at

Also, this kept us in splits ->
Especially the background score! Man, was it awesome!! Complete ROTFL material!!

Monday, May 21, 2007

Insane Ramblings...

Just came across this piece of poetry that circulated among our Jundk group (people in the slideshow up above at the top of the page) with each one contributing. Just started off as a harmless reply to fun mail...and boy, did it snowball into a poetic free-for-all! We rock! 'Twas fun! And I thought I should post it here. Vikas even put it up on the NDTV poetry site :D

Insane Ramblings
- Jundk

In the confines of cubicles by artificial light,
Sipping coffee from the machines day and night.
Speaking on phones , in meetings we sit.
Staring the monitor, the keyboard(s) we hit.
Far away from loved ones whom for days we do not meet.
Remembering them, working, on our seat.
This is life for us,
Working away from homes and loved ones in places afar.
What a life, techies we are.

Prashanth, Software Engineer echoes his heart:
What you say is true, my friend
Sitting on the revolving chair, the misery never seems to end
But there are the plus points too, you bet
Which include free phone, email and Internet
But when the month reaches its last day
And the bank accounts are credited with your pay
One's joy knows no bound
Because ultimately, its money that makes the world go round.

A Friend, Vidya asks
Did you just write that??

Prashanth replies:
Yes, I did write that now
But even I wonder how
Coz with so much work to do
The insides of my head feels like a zoo
To tell you, for writing things like this
For a brief while, I can afford to give the work a miss

Suprada an MS Student from Arizona State Univ adds:
And there are us student too
With deadlines to meet and profs to greet
Day or nite means nothing to us
Slog all the time..Thats our curse

We speak to the comp, our best pal
And Everybody thinks we're slightly off
All we want are no deadlines
And then its Partytime!

A frustrated sleep deprived Vybhav,
Onsite support bemoans;
And then there are blokes like me,
That wake up in the hours of wee.....

Just to receive some stupid phone call.....
Only wishing it was some cool gal

But there alas, goes the system crash .....
Here it is, the same old trash .......

There are phone calls from everywhere , left , right and centre ...
Away then from your TL , you want to canter ...

Sorry life it is of a software engineer
Away from everything you want to meander.

Suprada continues in a blaze:
For some its day, for the others, nite
But similar is our plight
This misery we share...
Of the comp and its stupid software
Ah how nice it would be, to sit and chill
As once we all did!
Gone are those days...
All's left is my mind in a daze!

Vikas Pitches in shyly:
Are you guys good or what !!
Thought would try my hand too, in that
Be it Student Be it Engineer
All of us have the same veneer
Of taking on the world and making a Difference
Of deciphering this thing called Life and making some sense
To write such stuff and give ur work a miss is no crime
Hey, know what? I can also rhyme :)

Another Novice Sathwick says "NOW EAT THIS":
And then there are other folk,
Who sit all day looking ard for work,
And when it comes there is hardly any,
Surf and chat, happily,
Plan for the weekend,
And thus week ends
By painting the town RED... !!

The Grateful Prash:
Thanks for collating the poems Charlie
Tis really wonderful to see
All you people writing ode upon better ode
Which is really better than looking at ____ing software code
And for all you students
There is no reason to get tense
Coz JundK is always there
In times of joy, to share
And in times of strife, to care
That is what makes each one of you, a friend rare!

Vidya says ruefully:
Well, well, well,
All this hullabaloo rings a bell
I was a Software Engineer
Only to move from the pan to the fire!
I fear
Now that I'm here
I'm no longer free,
The best of my life is now behind me

And Rashmi has a valid Point:
I feel sorry for all u'r plights
Being a S/W engineer's wife is my plight

S/W Engineer's work is never ending
And their wives frustrations beginning.

Only the four walls of my house is my sight
Which is making me lose my insight
Atleast You guys get a better bait.
Hope to see a "coming home early" side of my mate..

Monday, May 14, 2007

Cool Firefox extensions

Cool Firefox Extensions:

For all those who are Firefox fans, here are some cool, funky extensions.
There are guaranteed to make heads turn towards your monitor (even if you are not having a page with Pamela Anderson photos all over it!)
Beware, these may not be the best in terms of memory utilization and all the geeky stuff. So if you are one who cringes at the task manager turning Matrix-like green, then this might not be your cup of tea. But they are kinda fun to have.

Tab Effect -
One of my favorites. But a resource hog. It makes a cool 3D transition when changing tabs. Its like a whole cube moving around to the next tab. It does take a second to do it, considerably slower than the normal tab shifting. But its fun.

Firesomething -
A timepass funny add-on. It has a cache of different names and changes your browser name (on the top left of the browser screen) from Firefox to random names - I have had names ranging from ThunderElephant to SuperPorcupine to guarantees you some humor whenever you notice the names. But you might need to do some fix for it to work on Firefox 2.0

Dictionary Tooltip -
A pretty useful add-on. When on a webpage, double click on any word and see its meaning in the accompanying slide-out window. No more opening and keying in a word to find out its meaning. Gives you dictionary, thesaurus, synonyms and antonyms as well!

Galleropa -
Again an useful tool rather than a cosmetic one. You can load your frequently used webpage links into galleries and use it as the default page when Firefox loads up. If there are a host of sites you log into each morning regularly, save them in the gallery and make it your Firefox default. So you have easy access to the links to each of this pages. And get to it without much navigation.

VideoDownloader -
Use this download any video file from youtube, google videos, metacafe, etc. This saves the file as a flv file which then needs an FLV player to playback the clips.

Other cool tools

ATNotes -
A very, simple Post-It notes software. You can configure colors, sizes, etc. You can even send each note to a different computer connected on the network.
Looks like I am not able to find the link to it. Google and find out yourselves.

Process Explorer -
Its an advanced version og your Windows task manager with lot more advanced features. One use I used to put it to is to find where the downloaded youtube/metacafe files are being stored by IE. And fine details of unknown processes that somehow appear.

BGInfo -
It gives information about you hostname, MAC Id, ip address, free space, memory used and available and can be displayed on the desktop. It gives an easy snapshot of the system at any given time (not real time though. You need to update/restart it every time you need to exact current information). But good, all the same.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Funny signs...

Signs (the road-signs kind, not the spooky Manoj-Night-Shyamalan kinds), slogans (like the ones on tshirts. There was a phase where I only bought tshirts with slogans printed on them) have long piqued my curiosity. And there is never a dearth of signs that are amusing - either due to spelling mistakes or the thoughts they express. So I try to capture the funny ones and have had a collection from quite some time. Here are a few that I really found funny.

This was on the road right next to the state secretariat. Talks true about much of the development happening here. Never "In Progress". Always "Under Progress". They might never reach par or over progress :)

At the Pune zoo. Molest? Tantalise animals? I can imagine Rakhi Sawant doing an item number in front of them to tantalise them! Or an eve teaser behind the female chimp! And what about the poor badger. Please don't badger the badger!

At a bird sancutary outside Pune. Complete family harmony at a jinks joint? And I didnt get the camel in the pic.

At a roadside intersection at Pune. Passed out? That must have been lot of casualties! Well, that shows the quality of teaching.

At Mahabalipuram. Teach "male-to-male and female-to-female"? I'm getting doubts about this. And 20-year experians. Are they different from Aquarians or Saggitarians?

At Mahabalipuram. B****, m****, Sutta na milaaa? No way! Check this out, dude.

At Pondicherry. I just loved this clay Maaama and Maami at a shop!

At Pondicherry. Never seen such a thing earlier. Would you be comfortable in it? What if it goes over a hump? Hmm...never mind! (But nonetheless, a great way to keep the city clean)

At Pondicherry again. Some menu, this. And Chutnet? Misspelling it once it fine, but twice over?

At Pondicherry. Nothing funny about this. Just was impressed by the idea of communal integration coming through simple calendar placements.

Back of a car somewhere in Bangalore. Literal translation from Kannada reads
"You only come.
Not you.
If anyone could decipher this code, leave it as a comment!

On the Bangalore-Mysore highway. Big Banian tree! What about Big Underwear tree? :)) (Brought to you by Rupa Underwear and Banian! Thanks Rupa)

At Nandi Hills. It's a warning, Amrutha and Sarovara. Both of you don't get into them. But into what?

At Nandi Hills again. This sign is at the edge of the cliff. Getitng there needs Hanuman-ish caliber. Looks like the painter didn't heed to his own sign!

This was at Hampi from a moving auto. The line in red at the bottom read 'South Africa'. Was the sign really exported from SA? Or maybe a promotion of free parking in SA? Can't park in India? Please visit SA and park your vehicles for free there!

In a bus in Goa. Sealing? Maybe 29 can be cramped and sealed into one!

At a tourist spot outside Bangalore. Do they mean the art gallery is inside the...?

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Night Rider...

An attempt at being funny, that I had tried a long time ago...found it in my archives. Thought will put it up here. WTH, anything in the name of creativity. That's what blogs are there for, right :-D

The stars were shining, the moon was bright
And I didn't sleep a wink last night

Neither she slept, neither let me sleep
Slowly and softly, up on me she would creep

Hiding in the shadows, she harassed me
How she was, I could not see

After a long time, I caught her sight
And finally clasped her tight

I can never forget the time we had
Thinking of it makes me go mad

Who it was, I am sure you would want to know
What can I say? She was a female Anopheles mosquito!

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

In top Gere

Well, Shilpa Shetty is in the news again. And the title matches perfectly for her. She has made it a habit now to be in the news. Quite a newsmaker now - step aside, Amar Singh, who must be busy making arrangements for the other Mangalore gal. Abhi toh woh Aish kar rahi hai, Rai-ght?
Coming back to Shilpa, this seems such a no-brainer. From what I have heard and pics I have seen, it seemed a harmless kiss on the cheek. Much less controversial than the stuff she or any of the other actresses do on-screen, from time immemorial. Remember the Aamir-Karisma canoodle in Raja Hindustani. Or Madhuri-Vinod Khanna in Dayavan. Or more recently, one which I was wide-eyed, Madhavan and Vidya Balan in Guru (I gave all the info for any of my voyueristic readers who will go rushing back to youtube or the friendly neighborhood CD guy. But come to think of it, I doubt if I have any readers, let alone voyueristic ones ;-D)
Now there are people demanding apologies from both the parties. Maybe Richard can apologize by saying - hum to appke apne hain, koi Gere nahin! Maine koi Gere-oni harkat nahi kiya...
And hope he doesn't get arrested for Gere-kanooni acts of pecking our actresses who epitomise the sabhya nari image. Well, that is the bastion of the one-and-only Emraan Hashmi. And Mika :))

What did Mika sing after kissing Rakhi?
Sawan-t mein lag gayi aag, dil meraa.......
(Surprising I never heard or came up with this earlier!!)

As I read someplace else, most of the protest must be by people who are just envious that they couldn't get the chance which Gere did with so much ease. He showed us hum kiss-ise kam nahi.

Sidetracking, the cricket World Cup seems to have lost its charm. The Ozzies look like the only true team and we do not have the two short-fused teams - India and Pak - to provide the uncertainites and twists. So long to that.

The Formula One season also seems to be pretty interesting this year. What with Kimi in a Ferrari. At last, he gets a stable set of wheels under him. Until now, he must have been the unluckiest guy around.
But somehow, the Ferrari colors don't suit him. He looked the Iceman part in the silver flannels of McLaren. The red just doesn't jell with his outlook. Red is more flashy and suited Schumi best. More for the jumpy-jumpy types. Not the brooding, Kimi types!

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Want to be a millionaire?

How many of you have received email notifications informing you that you have won obscene amounts of money through some online lottery business promotion?
Or that there is a vast sum lying in an unattended account in some remote unknown city in Africa -ever heard of Ougandongou something?- where the account owner was killed in a plane crash or a dictator who fled during some coup. I have got mails from people ranging from Nigeria to SAfrica to Congo.
Other common ones are UK National lottery and Microsoft lottery. The funniest thing is is the Microsoft winning notification is always sent to my GMail account. Could it BE anymore
If I claimed all the amount that was promised in each mail I have received till now, by now I would have had more money than the GDP of any G-8 nation. Heh heh.
Coming back to the topic, the accounts which receive these sort of the mails are the ones that are exposed on the Internet. And its almost a daily phenomenon.
Wonder how many people really fall for these scams. I should sometime reply to one of them and see where it goes. Maybe one of them is really true!

Went to a basketball game at the FedEx Forum couple of weeks back. It was an awesome experience. It was a match between the home team, the Memphis Grizzlies and the Chicago Bulls. The Grizzlies won by a solitary point in the last 4 seconds, so that was really a great match to watch. And we had court side seats where we got a good view of the proceedings. The mid-game entertainment events were fun as well - the cheerleaders, the band and the very flexible acrobats. It was St Patrick's Day as well. And I got a first hand experience of the celebrations at the Irish pub in downtown Memphis. IT is basically an Irish festival where people wear green and drink their hearts out - in true Irish tradition. Saw it all - beer guzzling, boisterous, crowd with a fair mix of the fairer sex :) It was originally a religious festival which has become a community celebration over time and American influence. I went with my colleagues - one of them an American of German-British descent who gave me quite an insight about the festival. You can find the photos on my Webshots page.

Lucifer finally convinced me to overcome my procrastination and set up my Flickr account for putting up snaps online. Thank you! It is a very interesting thing. Improves perspective, for me. Check it out from the link in the sidebar.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Onsite diary..initial days!

After the welcome surprise of the first class seat in BA, I finally landed in Memphis on 19th Feb.
I did not have any trace of jet lag though (I know all you jealous buggers would say it was due to the first class seat. But then, I pride myself in my body adjusting to different clocks easily)
Right now am nicely settled out here. The company had a brand new apartment ready for occupation. And completely furnished to go with it. With cable and DVD as well.
First thing in the US, get a car. At least in Memphis. Public transport is as common as an empty road at 9 AM in Bengaluru. That should give you an idea. Cabs have to be always dialed for and buses are like 2 in a day. The roads are practically deserted during non-peak hours. Though, a reason for this might be the distance from Memphis downtown. But I like the area. Quaint houses giving an impression of a old-time township. My apartment has a gym, tennis court and swimming pool as well, to boot. Planning on being regular to at least 2 of the 3 of them. The cold weather's not been to kind to make any plans until now. It also has a nice lake for a leisurely walk with your wife or girlfriend around. But then, I have to make to with walking hand in hand with my camera.

The variety in food is also amazing. I've tried almost every kind of cuisine - American (obviously, duh!), Japanese, Chinese, Italian, Mexican, Thai, Vietnamese, lots of Indian too. Of them, found Vietnamese pretty close to Indian food, at least in spiciness. But I liked Japanese among all, their sushi was really nice. And at another place, they cook the whole meal right in front of you at your table. The cook was a juggler with all is cutlery as well. Was entertaining to watch him cook. But once in a while wondered what if the butcher's knife he was juggling around just missed the mark and flew towards one of the patrons happily dining (that's so much Calvin-like thinking).
Heh heh. Would make a good headline in the papers the next day -


Hahahaha. I found that pun damn funny.

Rented my first car as well. Since I am alone, didn't feel the need for a big car anyways. So went for a compact for now. It a cute little Chrysler PT Cruiser. I am sure some of you will hate the look and some will like it. At the beginning, I hated the look. Looks like a lovechild of the Ambassador and the Swift. But it kind of grows on you gradually. The interiors are really spacious with some really cool designs. Its inspired by the retro cars of the 60s or 70s. The door handles are the button press and pull type - you might remember them from the good ol' sturdy Ambassador cars back home. anyways, enjoying driving around here. didn't take too long to adjust to the left-hand driving out here. I guess, this is better for a left hander, somehow. Just perception, I guess.

Been watching a lot of movies as well. Watched 300 at a theater recently. Pretty nice - the comic book style of picturisation. But I felt there was too much blood and gore all around. And man, did Xerxes really look like that man-giant, bathed in gold ornaments?
Also watched Babel today. Brad Pitt if just amazing in this movie. A thoroughly restrained performance. Had just watched Fight Club a few days back. 2 entirely different characters. And he did justice to both.
Seems like too many movie reviews, heh heh. That's because of the sheer number of movies that I have watched in the last 3 weeks. Easily 2 movies a day on average.
More for another day.

See more snaps at

Monday, March 26, 2007

The Kiterunner...

On the way to the US, all through my flight, I was engrossed in reading 'The Kiterunner' by Khalid Hosseini. It had been long since I had got down to reading any book, and this book was a welcome return to book reading. Picked it up in Pune on an impulse, during one of my umpteen rounds on FC Road during my 2 week stay in Pune.
What a rivetting book it was. Beautifully written, I could almost feel the angst coming through the literature.
The book is set in Afghanistan of the 70's-80's when the Taliban was just finding their foothold in the country's larger spectrum and come into power. It traces the life of 2 friends - Amir and Hassan - the loyalty, sacrifice, jealousy and redemption. And written so realistically - it cannot fail to make you feel for the protagonists. Though the ending was a bit Bollywood-esque. Still left me with a good feeling at the end of it.
I was so engrossed in the book that I couldn't keep it down even while in the queues for checking in and boarding the flights. A must-read, really.
And looks like its on its way into being made into a movie ( Guess it should be a good watch.
But then again, looking at past movie adaptations of acclaimed books, one can never be sure of how the movie will turn out to be.
But it would surely make a good Bollywood movie, for sure.

Friday, March 16, 2007

The best Rube Goldberg I've seen...

Remember the Honda commercial everyone was raving about sometime back...see this as well!

Click Here for more great videos and pictures!

About Rube Goldberg:
Reuben Garret L. Goldberg (July 4, 1883 - December 7, 1970) was a cofounder and president of the American National Cartoonists Society. He is one of the most famous cartoonists in history, who earned lasting fame for his Rube Goldberg machines (exceedingly complex devices that perform simple tasks in very indirect and convoluted ways). (more at

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Visiting Uncle Sam's land...

So here I am. Sitting in the erstwhile busiest airport in the world - O'Hare at Chicago - just landed from the busiest international airport, Heathrow at London and waiting for the American Airlines flight to take me to the busiest cargo airport, Memphis. Seems like I am stuck to being busy now..
Long wait and nothing to do, so thought will take out my laptop and write about the travel experience at least. After all, my first international travel. And until now, loving every moment of it!!
The route I took was interesting. Didn't get tickets from Bangalore to Chicago directly, so had to take detour to Delhi and then land here. Travelled by Kingfisher Airlines to Delhi. From there, took British Airways to London and a change of flight to Chicago. It would have been technically cool if I had travelled by Indian (Indian Airlines' new avatar) between Bangalore-Delhi. That would have made my travel like this - Indian (Airlines) in India, British (Airways) in London and American (Airlines) in Chicago :-D Cool, eh?
Oh, but haven't told the best part yet - the travel between Delhi and London on a British Airways 747 Boeing! My flight ticket was upgraded from the normal World Traveller to the Club World business class ticket - and I got like these awesomely comfortable cabin to sit in (Explore the Club World cabin) - there were only about 20-30 seats in the cabin with each seat separate from each other facing each other and separated by a divider. Got the best of the wine and dine available on British Airways and a beautiful view. And some really beautiful girls as well. Too bad that I didn't pack the camera batteries in my cabin baggage. The views - especially the snow capped mountains on the Pakistan-Afghan border were a sight to watch. I am now a fan of British Airways for the preferential treatment they offered me.
Actually, when they announced my name over the PA system at Delhi, I was apprehensive for sometime wondering why might they be calling out my name. Different questions started forming in my head - excess baggage? taking illegal substances or something? I approached the helpdesk with trepidation and asked them about it - they just said that they are gonna change my seat numbers. They didn't even gimme a clue that it might an upgrade. Was a pleasant surprise when I finally got to my seat :-)
Rest of the flights were normal. Tried to get enough sleep and keep my body in track with the changing time zones. The food was really great and I filled myself every time something was offered. The wines were good as well.
Chicago is beautiful to look at from the air. Seemed like some graphics professor has drawn it using all available instruments with meticulous planning. Also, got to see snow at Chicago. The whole place was looking like white dust all over - again felt foolish at not getting my camera batteries - all Kingfisher's fault coz they said batteries would not be allowed in cabin baggage. But BA was cool about it.
Wanted to go out and play in the snow and see how it felt like. But didn't want to take a chance by getting lost at the airport :-)
At Chicago, got my I-94 for 3 years. Only question he asked was about my designation which he had to write on the form. Got selected for extra security check at O'Hare. But luckily, no strip searching :-))
Hopefully, Memphis also will be fun for the time I shall be here. The apartment I am gonna be staying has already been booked by the office and they have a cool website as well - Did a Google Earth search on it and found that its just half a mile away from the office I'll be working in.
Almost time for boarding the flight - will update more later. Hopefully, all my stuff in the checkin baggage are still intact as I had packed - after all the throwing and lugging it might have encountered in the holds of different airplanes!

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Work of art...

A funny sign that I came across recently...
wonder what they were trying to say...where is the art gallery? Inside? ;-))

If Bipasha played the role of tawaif instead of Ash, the movie would be....

Umraao John!