View of the outside world from inside a fishbowl

April 6, 2011

This blog is relocating!

Filed under: Uncategorized — coolantz @ 6:43 pm

For those who’d like to tune in, the new place is



April 1, 2011

Yaaraan da tashan – part 2

Filed under: Have a nice Day,humor,music,philosophy,Uncategorized — coolantz @ 9:29 am
Tags: , , , , , , ,

For those who haven’t read Yaaraan da tashan – part I’ve reached Gurgaon earlier than expected, thanks to my lucky day.

New Delhi 23’rd March.

Fresh Morning!

I got up early. Early enough to catch mom before she left for school. I wanted to have breakfast with parents. She asked me about my plans for the day, and she said “Do you seriously think you’ll do that, all of those items in your todo list?”. Also, between our various general talks she would come up with “Why bother driving all the way to Hyderabad. Let’s just contact some packers and movers? I’ll foot the expenses. You stay nice at home for some days“, “should I take a day off ? I could help you with your task list“. I wish I hadn’t gone to Delhi right in the middle of week. OK, I had taken off, but people at home were generally busy. She longed to be with me.

Usually, my dad would have been up at the same time, and been up to some exercise and yoga, but I suppose he decided to sleep till late. I get a call from him, and in a sleepy voice he tells “Usually, it’s your sister‘s duty. Today, since you are here, you go drop off mom to school“. I was like sure, no problems. My mom said “Why don’t you play some music in your music system. We find it too difficult to use, so we only watch TV“. This was the cue I was so desperately waiting for. I had recently discovered some awesome songs, and promptly fired up leopard. Leopard is tiger‘s replacement. Tiger is the name of my media centre machine. Generally, the music I find is also well appreciated by my folks. This time was no different, and they quite enjoyed the morning blast. Later, when I drove mom to school, and was talking about things in general, she said “When your sister drives me off to school, she’s usually half asleep, and just stares at the road. Never talks“.

So, after I got back from mom’s school, I was just roaming around the house. Shops and places were not open as yet, for me to go head on with my todo list. I spoke to some people who were up. Mr. SR, Mr. SD joked around in the morning.  SD would be meeting me for a bit in the evening. SR stays at an end of NCR diametrically opposite of where I do. We made some tentative plans to meet in the evening in some central location. If he and I could find time. Damn the middle of the week? what joy?

The birds do chirp here and the flowers bloom!!

Hectic day

Well, after lounging around for a while, I got dressed, and first stop was to be at RTO office, Haryana. I went in, and was stumped to see that government officials had decided to take an off that day, and office was deserted, and there was this group of Haryanvi kids, cursing around, for they would need to wait another day to get their license. I joined them and mouthed out some profanities :). This is the raw, uncivilised and extremely passionate group. This was like a time freeze moment for me. Never gonna see this in Hyderabad :).

Any ways, I had to do what I had to do. Paid of an agent to get my paper work done, gave impression of my car chassis number, and other documents he wanted. He was gracious enough to have it sent to me, once my NOC is done. When he asked me what’ll I do till then, I told him “Drive my car telling I’m a tourist“. I left for other work. Time it took me to get this done, and negotiating a decent rate – 2 hours.

After doing this NOC thing, I decided to blast my stereo, to see if the speakers sound good. Although my sister said that the music system is the best, I had to check it off myself. There was a problem. Just what I was afraid of. The left channel to my amp was sounding like a damp squib. Crap. Utter crap! I took it to one of those big show rooms, and I was squarely told, that some capacitor had been damaged, repair or the guy suggested “saaar buy a new amp“. I knew the stuff, so I was aware I was being bullshitted to. Yep, I was back in Delhi! He took one hour, inspecting and fiddling with various knobs and wires, and I had a lunch with team people from Nagarro. I was famished too, so I called them up, and told them “Guys I’m coming over. Be ready

I reached my old workplace, in decent time, and it was interesting. The guard bhai just smiled at me, and let me in without asking for an ID. I told him that I’m an outsider, and hung out with him for a while till the people came down. Mr. RJ and Mr. PY were sitting at their usual place outside the office ….. Pappu bhaiya’s dhaba. Meeting them was so exciting. Mr. T and Miss PAGS walked out as though there was enough time in the world to even sleep and go. I booed them from behind and got some spring in the step. Mr. AA was going to join us in Mainland china itself. Just one person missing, I asked T where the hell Mr. X is ? I called him and off we went to Mainland China.

Lunch and mocktails later, I parted ways with Nagarro folks. They left, I stayed back, cause I had to meet with a couple of people form ARSD. Mr. S called me, and immediately came to where I was. We sat and chatted inside a cafe near Mainland China.  Mr. RT was supposed to join, and he messaged multiple times about how he was stuck in a meeting and will be out in just 5 mins :). Dude, we did not meet, but it’s the thought that counts, and I appreciate that you cared to at least plan to join. Mr. AM said he’ll catch up at dinner time!

So it was close to 5PM in the evening, and I had stuck of 3 things off my list, but had gotten aware of the fact that Dhanno was croaking, and I had to drive here for some time non stop. She’d cry. I suddenly thought of this place where the scale was smaller, but people were talented, and competition was cut throat. I had him look at my audio gear. First he was awed. He said “yeh kahan se liya hai?” I told him. I explained and showed him the problem. He immediately cross connected my good speaker to all the channels of my amp, to determine that my amp is fine, and fixed one speaker up after some sand papering and interesting tape work. Now we were talking engineer to engineer. So I was 3 speakers up now, and with just front left not working. This took time of an hour, and I started to get edgy. I called Mr. SD and told him I’d be running a bit late. He said he was running a bit late, so it was OK.

Now I took off my check list, and cut off visiting the optician in Delhi. You think I had time? Consequently, meeting SR was out as well.

So we had a problem with one of my 6inch non component giving out just out of fatigue I guess. The guy at the shop said he could not give me some thing equal to bull audio, but gave me some cheap Sony explod, and promised he’d tune them to make them sound good. He was already in my good books, so I told him to do it, and do it in half an hour. And boy did he. He came through, got another fella, both of them doing different things in my car. After a while they gave me an audition. Not the same stamina as Bull, but they had more jingle, and they were composite with tweeters on them. So now, my car has effectively 8 speakers, haha.

Relaxing Evening

SD called and said he’s on way. I was too, so we met on way, and drove back to my place. He was riding the most majestic punto (belongs to Mr. CS, who was at the time, in bangkok). It had the bass tube that could make the seats move! literally. I got home at about 7PM, with most things on my list checked off, and just partying with friends remaining. So I told my parents, just chill sit and talk with me friends will come over, and we’ll order food.

There were some things that were left undone, but hey, I’m no Oriya!

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Friends who visited

  • Mr. AMTG (Buddy you are, as your name says)
  • Mr. KSC(Fun, Fun, and more fun. Keep smiling)
  • Mrs. RSC(I think you are family!)
  • Mr. SD(Man I never knew, you had so many facets. Next when we meet, we won’t drink but yap the brains out!)
  • Mr. X(You’re passionate, but you surprise me at times with the detachment you exhibhit)
  • Miss DC(Will See you, see you on the other side :). The world’s maddening. Just hang around )
  • Mr. Simba (for first time out, ever. Kisses)
  • Others : Mr.  SR, Mr. RT, Miss RM, Mr. GaGa did send best wishes. Luv  you guys. this is what maters

My day transformed from Fresh morning to hectic  afternoon to relaxing evening! The friends did turn up. In the middle of week. After work. Ain’t I lucky!!!

June 30, 2010

Is it so bad if things don’t turn out as expected?

Filed under: Uncategorized — coolantz @ 11:06 pm

Fortune does favor the brave.

But it is most considerate on fortunate ones. 🙂

Well, life’s like that and every day brings up such a heady mix of circumstances, that one does begin to wonder … yea baby, I’m loving it. If it gives you the impression that I live a lucky life, and probably am killing it at the moment, let me reinstate. I live a very normal (boring for some) life, follow a 9 to 6 work schedule, and work for some one.

That being said, simple things and moments do bring out a smile every once and then.

So, what happened?

Well, if you might have observed, and I might be talking about a significant lot of people here, you’d probably go to a restaurant, and order the same thing every time. You have a favorite, and you stick to it. While it is awesome and I am, by no means questioning your choice, you have cut down (or shall I say excluded) the possibility of anything else impressing you.

I tried to break that circle, and decided to ask for a random thing to be delivered for eating at home. Now it does sometimes (but very rarely) happen, that I order something, but get a wrong person’s stuff delivered. I suppose it would be fairly reasonable to expect the same happens with you. Generally when it does, I return the order, and some mouthful as a bonus to the delivery person, or the person whom I spoke to while placing the order. In the normal circumstances, it gets picked back, and I get my original stuff dropped off, as a courtesy thing.

Don’t we all do this?

Anyways, this time around, since I was ordering random stuff out of the menu, I decided to add this additional randomness add into the equation, and just play with it. I kept the stuff, and decided to try it out. (Random randomness, right).

Guess what . I have a new favorite . 🙂 , and I wonder how I ever lived without it.

But the thing to be drawn here is that every once in a while, I’m going to switch to my “wanderer hat“, and decide to try new things out. I would never know what I had been missing.

June 27, 2010

So ….. What do you want to be ?

Filed under: Uncategorized — coolantz @ 5:14 pm

This is one of those perennial questions, whose answer is ever so changing. When I was a kid, I was asked, countless number of times …. “What would I want to be when I grow up”

Answers, at different points in time, varied from actor, zoo keeper, astronaut, police cop (yes it’s true), mathematician, and so on.

Post school, the same question would pop up in more subtle variations such as “child …. what are the future plans ?” . Looked as though people decided to make it their business, to know what kind of profession I aspired to be in.  Well, I was kind of clear, of what I wanted to become, pretty early in my life, but I got egged here. Thanks to a lot of unsolicited advice. On the lines of… “Why don’t you do MBA?”, “Do further studies … you’ll get a more paying job”.

Anyways, as the universe was conspiring to somehow get me to reveal my plans, my lack of interest in such discussions pushed people off my conversation group, and I was in the bliss full period, where I had assumed I was past the “pesky questions”.

I was so wrong, and the question has sprung forward, from a person I hardly know. Then again, it’s vital he knows. He represents the management of my current employer, or perhaps serves as an interface to the management. I suppose, as a part of implementation of a certain process in the organization I work in, I was assigned a certain role. He casually, after a meeting asked me, if I enjoyed this particular role, or would I rather do a certain other well-defined role here.

This was thought-provoking.

The currently assigned role required me to take certain decisions, and collaborate with my team, plan for weekly release of deliverable to the client, and so on. As a part of the package, I was also required to check the health of team, which I was not too comfortable doing. It did not result in an outburst from me, because the team I was assigned to work with, was sufficiently autonomous. People are talented, responsible, and sufficiently driven. I absolutely cherish the time I spend with them (imp. not with the project, but with this group of people).

However, I also understand that with the nature of work I do, this seemingly goody good fabric of harmony might be shredded apart as and when the employer feels necessary.

The other alternate path would require me to pursue a path of technical island, and explore safe landing spot for others, actively engaged in working for a project. For those who aren’t technical vocabulary challenged … an architect. Let me point it out here, that while I would want to be doing the first role for certain aspects of work and durations of time, I also would define me to be the second option in certain points of times.

So I suppose the career paths for me do not bifurcate into directions A and B. I need to find my trail in the middle. A thing or two I’ve realized after observing myself work  (the introspection in solitude 🙂 syndrome) are as follows:

  • I like to work with a certain amount of ownership of the project. If I get uprooted too often from one project to another (as a technical architect would), I’d probably be driven insane. I mean, this way, I’d be providing a move on to many things, but hardly seeing anything to the end. I guess belonging is something I crave for.
  • I do not aspire to check work of others and drive other people to work. I like it best when people are smart to work with, and encourage mutual discussions, and active role play in division of work. More like collaboration.
  • I like to solve problems. Simple ones, or one that have that aura of mystery around them. I guess it all boils down to my belief …. “Everything happens for a reason”.

Anyways, I suppose whatever I say now will be a snapshot in time, and should be interpreted as that. I’m sure no one wakes up one day and says “I’m gonna be a <so and so> person in an organization.

April 16, 2010

Deplorable numbers, for what are they worth?

Filed under: Uncategorized — coolantz @ 9:47 am

It was a majorly publicized catch phrase, especially by the foreigners who’d  visit India, to get rid of their impressions of a country where elephants, and people doing some magical rope tricks, and other freaky entities co-exist.

Perhaps they had not braced up for what they did see. The sheer numbers must have made them feel dizzy, and given them a sort of high, their drugs would have failed to deliver.

The market, for anyone who wishes to manufacture and sell was tremendous. And new strategies and plans  were devised, specially called “made for India”.

Anyways, today’s screaming news headline really made it to the top. India has more cell phones than toilets. It was already, a well published fact that India does have more temples than toilets, and who would have known, the number of phones would also pip that number. I mean, it’s India, the number of toilets would be somewhat proportional to the number of people in the country.

UN, has really kicked off this extensive market research, and it seems their projected figures would still be a short fall by the completion of a certain project’s goal, by year 2015.

How important is access to proper sanitation, as a goal for mankind in India ?Well there are people discussing this problem, but my post is not focused to that problem, and if I were to discuss that, I’ll digress.

So back to the point. India has so many people, and well connected at that. Seems like cell phone is the most widespread computer in the country. Yet, apple app store, and nokia’s ovi initiatives are not specifically targeted for the country. Do they not realize the opportunity here?

It seems Indian people don’t really mind inconvenient pooping circumstances, but the hell they’d love to be connected. A huge, connected workforce. Distribute intelligence . For what it’s worth?

March 16, 2010

Shipping problem solved.

Filed under: Uncategorized — coolantz @ 9:29 am

Imagine this:

Seller is willing to sell, consumer is more than happy to pay. Still, it’s a no deal. Loses for both, and why ? Because geographically speaking, the two endpoints are really far away.

People come up with wacky/intuitive ideas to offer the logistics for the problem, but it still exists, and raises its ugly head time and again. Like, often I want something, that’s available in the US, so I ask a friend of mine to carry it back to India when they plan to come.

Yesterday, my sister ordered some clothes to be shipped in a similar arrangement.

I had my dinner shipped.

I had a good dinner yesterday, because I asked my friend to pack it along and bring it over. From Lucknow. For those unfamiliar, Lucknow is like a Mughal food (Kebabs, Biryani, etc.) paradise. In fact, it adds a special taste to such dishes, which is not available elsewhere. So kebabs from that city won’t be like the typical kebabs available in delhi, gurgaon. Biryani would also be different.

I had once gotten a chance to eat all this because I was there for a wedding, and needless to say, I was hooked. So I had craved for all these delicacies, for some time now, when my friend RC declared (all out of nowhere), that he intends to make a quick weekend trip to Lucknow.

I asked him to get some kebabs back for me. He agreed.

He is the one to go one step beyond, in most of the things he seriously tries.

So, yesterday, when I got a call from him, I was hoping to get some frozen/half done kebabs from Lucknow.

But I got an entire spread. No kidding. There were kebabs, Biryani, some thing called “Sheermal”, and curd to go along with the biryani.

The glutton in me took charge, and I gobbled up all those dishes, at a tremendous rate. So much so, that I thought I’ll hurt my stomach by the end of it. 🙂 But I didn’t. All is well.

Thank you RC. you made my day.

March 11, 2010

A great artist .

Filed under: Uncategorized — coolantz @ 8:34 am

Sometimes I surprise myself with my varying tastes in music. But this time, I guess it’s really over the top. 🙂 pun intended. There’s a new artist I absolutely adore. Her name Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta.

Behold, I have a new favorite.  I certainly agree that she has those on stage antics, and a style that screams out loud, but the music is very fresh. I enjoy her music more when there is a Visual disconnect, i.e, on a radio, mp3 player.

Maybe it’s a persona she has created, but now got to live up to. Even legendary musicians (Freddy Mercury, Prince) had a style that left (and probably still does) much to be desired. But they were great people. Anyways, as they say beauty lies in the eye of beholder, maybe there is someone out there who likes it.

I sure hope the Fame ball keeps keep rolling for her.

For those who still haven’t figured it out, I’ve been talking and praising Lady Gaga.

January 21, 2010

What could be the prologue?

Filed under: Uncategorized — coolantz @ 7:12 pm

At times, life just throws the most unexpected situations at you, and you wonder … “why me” ?

Picture this :

I’m standing in my office cubicle, holding a rather larger than usual knife (yep, you’ve heard that one right). My boss, who was initially coming towards me scampers in the opposite direction screaming “I didn’t mean it that way … someone help. What do you think happened with me today ?

December 15, 2009

A badminton court

Filed under: Uncategorized — coolantz @ 8:43 am

There was this empty plot adjacent to our house. There were a few people, who’d wanted to play some game in the evening. The plan was (evidently) on for past 2 years. Finally, the defining moment happened.

Two people met up, both wanted to play,  and weren’t just talking out of their hats, when they said “LET’s DO IT”.

It is nicely leveled, floodlit, and a stone’s throw away from the house. Sanjay … thanks. You’re the man!

Neighbors .. “what is the excuse now?”.

Lets’ all play!

November 23, 2009

Winter, cold, shivering ….. nice :)

Filed under: Uncategorized — coolantz @ 10:29 am

This always catches me unprepared. I have to (as if , from a habit) suffer at the onset of winters. I love when the weather changes from unbearably humid and hot to comfortably cool, in the evenings, to nice and easy throughout. That is, the transition time.

But I invariably fail to take into the account the projected temperatures the season aspires to attain. It usually happens one day (actually, on night) , that I’m like ‘nice  weather … let’s go out’ … type of mood, and when I do, I feel a bit too uncomfortable, and end up sulking.

This season, things were no different. Mom suggested prudently “Baccha, start using blankets, don’t you feel cold at night…. ” . Now, there’s also a reason for me not ready to buy into her suggestion . The room I live in, happens to be exposed to the roof, and so, it gets really warm during the day. So, naturally, I did not pay heed to the useful advice.

So one night, when I was sleeping, (actually not sleeping, I had a bad dream, and got up to drink some water), I felt it. I crawled back on to my bed, and realized it was so freaking cold. I had a various reactions to it. I shivered I tried to cover myself with an extra bed cover. No good! I just lay tossing and turning. That is how I spent the night. I call it the day “winter walked in”.

Every year I face such a day. A day when I realize, it’s time to pack up tees and shorts, get sweatshirts and woolens out. Start using blankets, etc.

I love winters. yay!

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