Trip to Bangi

Ah! At last !!!

I've been planning to visit Bangi for quite a long time. Its been in planning stage for more than 6 months and it never got executed. Finally last weekend I was there in Bangalore. I'll dedicate a separate blog entry about the drive, so this is all about the things happened in Bangalore.

Me and Ravi reached there on Friday night by 7.30 PM - (Hell with the traffic. I never thought that it will be that bad) As Saturday night we planned to have a gettogether, we have decided to booze on friday night itself. I've been told about the live bands in the city, so I asked about it. But then Guru said, its all small gals (almost kids)dancing around there and we won't be enjoying it. Ok. Then decided to booze at home. Had to push hard for the second large of the Bacardi. Then slept well. Sat morning, UG mate Raja came. He has not even changed a bit. He looks, weights, talks the same, as he was before 5 yrs!!! Then we all went to 'Forum'.

Wow, is the only word I would say about that place. It was exactly like a mall in the US. Spacious, costly and all kind of shops were there - including theatres. Don't even try to compare it with Spencers. In Spencers you have to find a place for parking and then insert your bike in the line somehow and it will be in the sun. Here for the same 5 bucks they give you a covered bike parking where they have marks for parking - something which I've seen only for cars. Had Pizza in Pizza Hut and visited Bose, Apple and Landmark. Then guys proceeded for a movie - 'Thirupaachi', while I was on my way to meet Kavithai. Went to Coffee day and then to Tata book store in the IISC. The word Garden city suddenly strikes your mind, once you enter the campus. Its full of greenery up there. All the roads are named after some tree. If its Gulmohar marg, then the both side of the roads, you will see Gulmohar trees lined up. Dropped her at her office and then back for the dinner.

12 people came for the gettogether. Srihari has taken his fiancee and Paddy her hubby. After reading his blogs, I had drawn a picture of him in my mind. I imagined a typical GNU guy - funny T-Shirt, all-peter-talks, probably pony hair style, etc. To my surprise, he was a very normal and easy moving person. With all usual teasing and talks, the dinner ended by 10 PM. When we went home, my Super Senior Sakthi and Sub Jun Amar has already opened up the other Bacardi bottle, which we didn't complete on friday. Joined the party. OK. Good sleep.

Sunday was action packed :-) Decided to drive to Megadhatta which is around 100 kms away from Bangalore. Six of us in three vehicles went there. On the way, we have to pay a fine of 500 bucks as Ravi's bike is not insured :-( We have to drive across a river to reach the destination. When we finally arrived at the place, it was like a mini Grand Canyon!!! The view was exciting. Spent some time there, took some photos and drove back. When crossing the river, Srihari somehow didn't properly raise the accelerator. Result? Engine was switched off; water went into silencer; (Thanks da Srihari - I was thinking of cleaning the silencer and now you did that - Sakthi) and we have to lift the bike 90 degrees and hold it till silencer got dry :-) It was simply fun. Then we went to a falls, which was not worth watching. Evening we returned town and then went to Paddy's home for snacks. Returned home and was very tired. Thought would take two parcel idlyies and sleep, but then guys pulled me to a pub. Four large Vodka added to the tiredness, I was fully out of control. I didn't have any hope to get up till next noon. Surprisingly, I woke up early!!! Met Eash and Madhesh and the drove back home :-)

Thinking of what has changed and what not in Bangalore:

(*) Sakthi: Sample 1 - Sakthi: "Machi Guru avanga appa mathiriye oru doctor ponna kalyanam pannanumnu nenaikaran". I know he wanted to marry a Doc, but never know that his mom is a doctor. Sakthi: "illada, avanga amma doctor illa, thatha doctor, so avanga doctor ponnu thana?". Eeerrrrrrr Sample 2 - Me: "Sakthi, Sasthri Nagar ikku eppadi poganum?" The place sounded familiar so it should be some well known area and I was wondering why he is thinking! Sakthi: "So, nee antha Aditi Technologiesla work pannara namma subjuns- juns ponna parka pora?" Wow! I didnt even knew that she was working in Aditi!! mmmm. ivan thiruntha minimum rendu moonu genmam venum.
(*) Dogs: Looks like the dogs population is reduced !!!
(*) Traffic: Good they have a flyover in the diary circle and also in the Hosur road in Madiwala. Apart from that no big change. Same stupid driving & traffic
(*) Crime rate: Still alarming :-( Guys say, they steal petrol from the bikes parked in houses !!!
(*) The voice at railway station: I really wanted to hear it, but then I went in a bike :-(

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Kuvampatti Vs 'Pengal'ore

It was the month of May in 2001. I came to this great city of Chennai for our placement profile distribution. That was a horrible experience. Wandering across the city in the hot sun and dust. It made me to hate this city. I was sweating like anything and took 2 bottles of slice, thrice a day while on the roads. During placements were over, I was very happy that I got job in a company which doesn't have any branches in Chennai. Hughes had its main development center in Gurgaon and one more in Bangalore. During Jan 2002, we went to the Bangalore branch to personally meet the HR and say that we'll not be coming for the project, as we have already committed in the college. After meeting them, we went to MG nearby. Sipping over a cup of coffee in the coffee day, I realized that I've fallen in love with this city. I was thinking for the reasons:

(*) Sakthi: I'll give you a sample - "Machan, you know why I've a Lord Ganesha sticker in the head light? enna, accident aachunna, avaruku than mothalla adi padum. so accident aagama kaapatiduvar" !
(*) Bacardi: Yes, its something you won't get it in the TN liquor shops :-) You have to go to a bar/restaurant to have Bacardi, which is normally a costly option
(*) The climate: Its really cold, as it was in the month of Jan. I was told that even during summer, it will not be very sunny
(*) City of Youth: I could harlot see someone in their forties/fifties. Guess that more than 75% of the population will be under 30
(*) The colourfulness: You see lot of "cool" looking people - the one with beard and no mush, the one who wears a half-sleeve t-shirt over a full-hand shirt, etc. Although Chennai is a metro, you would rarely find these kind of fellows
(*) Pubs: Although I didn't visit any pubs at that time, Bangalore was known well for its pubs
(*) Language: Bangalore is perhaps the only city in India, where you can survive without knowing its native language. Let it be Tamil, Malayalam, Hindi, Telugu, English, the vendors will talk in that language. Its the only city where the localites are just around 20% of the population
(*) Radio City: Even in small shops, you get to hear this FM Channel. It plays mostly Hindi and English songs and its cool
(*) The voice in the railway station: I really, really, really love that sweet voice that greets you in the railway station. The moment I hear "Your kind attention pleeeeasssse", I will forget myself for a moment and listen to the announcement. Remember the guys teasing me for that. Never mind. I really love it.

During my six month stay, I found few reasons to hate the city too:

(*) Hated Tamilians: The localites will simply hate you, because you are Tamil.
(*) Dog Sanctuary: Every street has at least a dozen dogs. I know that the fittest survives. But donno how all the dogs are fit and every dog survives. None of them are slim or seems to be starving. Where the hell they get food?
(*) Crime rate: Its too high. After loosing my purse, which was kept in the bedroom, to a thief, who 'visited' our home during early morning, while we were in the hall, I can definitely say that
(*) Bus: In buses, the places will be written only in Kannada - I'm not expecting them to write in Tamil, but at least Hindi/English!
(*) Traffic: The traffic is horrible and most of the people drive there without road sense. If you have a two wheeler, probably you will be driving on the platform at least once in a week!

Now that today the final patch is delivered, I'll be going to Bangalore tomorrow. Let me see how things are changed after my 2 yrs life in this Kuvampatti. Yes, I'm going to drive to Bangalore :-)

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A moving bus

Took it Ravi's Digicam. It didn't support B mode. So kept the camera in the lowest possible speed and shot a bus speeding up near my apartments. One of my teammates didn't believed that it was shot here in India. She was so sure that it was a photo of some sort of a bullet train, that I shot when I was in US :-) Posted by Hello

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I read people

Forget the techie blogs and the regular life blogs. Here are a list of blogs that I read which are different and stands away from the crowd: - This says all bad things about Sify broadband. Although I experienced problems on the very next day of installation, I really don't think its that bad - All about cars and bikes in India - The gadgets blog. All about crazy things which you don't see in your normal life. - A group blog by two people called Aarthi and Sriram. Interesting. - Not updated for a long time :-( Talks about gmail, gmail and gmail :-) - A blog by a gal from Baghdad. I really suspect whether she (!) is really in Baghdad. Nevertheless, its damn good. - This has not been updated for almost an year. Still its the best life blog I've read.

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I shoot people !

No! not with a gun, but with a camera. The fact is I don't shoot people much as I shoot other objects. With a passion on photography, I've been thinking of having a digital album. Couldn't get time to scan all my negatives. (yeah, I'm the laziest idiot you can ever imagine) One day I'll do it. Meanwhile, I'm trying to upload a few of my best shots, with whatever I have in digital form.

Keep looking at:

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Rediscover the Web

Get Firefox!

Firefox. The Ultimate browser, which is going to beat IE soon. The story of firefox is impressive. When AOL decided to abandon Netscape, due to its tie up with M$, it created a consortium and opensourced it. The developers initially didn't even have funds to create a website for it. When they sent a mail across to asking for funds, it flooded in. They went ahead and created a brand new cross-platfrom rendering engine Gecko and started developing apps above it - a browser, mail client etc. The browser was aptly named as Phoenix, but then as it been a brand of another software, they changed the name to firefox. Yes, it rocks.

I decided not to install firefox at office, as the free disk space is just around 100 MB. But got net @ home and first thing is to install is Firefox. One of the primary reason is security. It doesn't support any ActiveX fundas and so lot more safer than IE. I'm starting using it and while gazing some blogs, saw some funny looking orange icon in the right bottom. Later I found that when a site supports RSS syndication, it denotes like that. Clicking on it, you can add the site as Live Bookmark, which turns your browser into a RSS aggregator. Wow. Cool!!! I tried several tools for RSS tired of everything, I left using it. Now I've to rediscover it. Surprising, blogger supports it by default, and now my blog is also RSSed in my bookmarks. Another big surprise was Gmail also had an RSS feed !!! So now I don't need Gmail Notifier at all, I've added it to my bookmarks I've to click on the bookmarks for new mails without going to Gmail site.

Another cool feature is 'Find in Page'. When I pressed Ctrl+F I was looking for a small window to popup to find some text in the page. It didn't turn up. I was about to file a bug then noticed a small find bar about the status bar. It highlights the words in the page automatically, when I started typing in. Another cool feature !!! It works in the source view also.

Almost all of the sites, I browse, supports firefox. It has plugins for most of the needs - from Acrobat to real player. Its nearing 10 million downloads. Impressed much by this browser, now I've added a link for spread firefox in my blog. So don't stay back. Get firefox and rediscover the web :-)

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net @ technohut

At last!!!!!! I couldn't believe that I'm blogging from my own PC at home :-) I was looking for a net connection since I bought this comp on Jan 2003!!! When I asked Sift at that time, they told no connections in my area. Touchtel & other DSL connections require a phone connection, so obviously they were rejected. I tried iquara. Again no connections @ velachery. I gave up. Last sunday when I was in Food world saw Sify stall. They said its now available in Velachery and already they have a switch in my apartment. Wow. Signed up immediately. Today they came and installed it. One Sify guy and two more guys from the franchisee cable company came. It took them around 2 hrs to install the cables. When I asked them whether they want tea, they politely refused. They I've to change the question: would you want tea or coffee? they were now hesitant. I said ok I'll prepare coffee and without expecting answer, I went an prepared. When they finally finished and were ready to leave, to my surprise, they didn't ask any tips. I asked Ravi, how much shall we give. We decided to give 100 bucks totally. When Ravi gave them the money, they refused to get it !!! I don't know whether they have strict rules not to get anything, but that was quite surprising. People normally expect tips for doing these kind of stuffs and usually I wont give any. These guys came @ 8.00 in the evening and when they completed it was around 10.30 and sure they have not had their dinner yet as they come directly after completing an installation in another block in our same apartments. I was impressed by the way they behaved and talked and more importantly the way they worked. Despite this, they refused to get any tips. mmm. no words to say :-)

The speed of the net is not so satisfying. Infact very less than office. As per the scheme, there will be no net during day time, but then browsing is legal and can keep the IE window open without any fear :-)

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Think Different

I remember, in my college days, we had a paper and a lab on Television! The staff was explaining the class about how the degauss in the picture tube and a button for that. Nazir, the witty guy of our class, was telling, "if you can't avoid a bug, keep it button and name as a feature. looks like the marketing guys of the TV company are intelligent". Forget the TV companies. Look at Apple. First they introduce a hard disk based player. Following it enormous success, they plan to introduce a memory stick based player. They created it under the same brand and named it as iPod Shuffle.

The interesting thing is while every other memory stick based players push in every available feature, they removed every feature in it. Except, play, pause, forward, rewind buttons, the only other button is Power On. Clever. They removed the display. Wonder how the use will select the song? Well, they can't. The player will arbitarily load a song and play. Its keeps on playing the songs in Shuffle Mode. They removed the display and saved some $ and they save more $ by having no functionality for managing playlists, selecting the songs etc, and call the shuffle mode as a feature. The intelligent idea is that they stress that its the important feature in the product.

The another nice product from Apple is the brand new Mac Mini.

At $600, its very tempting me to buy. I've fallen in luv with Mac when the first time I worked in it. Let me see, whether I get it or still wait till some G* cube, which is affordable. Of the G* things, G4 was the cutest one. G5 is also ok & its the latest. May be I'll get a G9 or G10. The Mac Mini is called BYODKM - Bring Your Own Display, Keyboard and Mouse. Mac enthusiastics already started a website called :-) Just like the Apple guys, the apple devotees are also crazy. Don't think so? Look at the iPod Shuffle Jewellery:

The funniest thing is not that just the fans are crazy. Even the people from the opposite gang also !!! Look at this pic:

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Hoardings on the road

For a long time, I've been looking at the hoardings on the road on. They have improved a lot now-a-days. Lot of creative work is put in them. Recently, I'm looking at the ones by Pondi Tourism all along the ECR. They express Pondi as a silent, slow and relaxing place where one can rejuvinate. The ones that I like very much:

  • A watch & one arrow pointing to hour needle saying Chennai & the other arrow pointing to the minute needle saying Pondi
  • WeekENDS at Pondichery (yes, here is where I suttified for the blog title)
  • www.pondichery.calm
  • PONDissssssHERY

The last two are displayed on the other side, so you see them when you come towards chennai

  • Traffic jam? take a U turn
  • You can always come back next weekend
Apart from the pondi ones, I simply luv the Kuber Jewellery one, which is kept in the Cathedral road - Mount road junction. There are three reasons for me to like it:
  1. Asin looks great in the 1st picture :-)
  2. Asin looks great in the 2nd picture :-)
  3. Asin looks great in the 3rd picture :-)

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New Year Celebrations - Contd.

Ha. That was a wonderful day. Actually during the afternoon got pissed off with the code and stuff. By 5PM, left the office and directly went to my cousin's home and was playing with her kids. Called up guys and decided to go somewhere. By 7PM I left her home and went to sub-juns home. Hema, Yuva, Sandilya darling, Arun & Ashok joined me. Called up Vetti Prabhu but he said he is celebrating the new year with his school friends. 'Good' I said 'I don't have to see your face on the first day of an year' :-)
Initially we decided to go to some resort in ECR. Only calling up we came to know that the Collector has ordered all the ECR resorts not to conduct any kind of functions during New Year's Eve. So after a long discussion we went to Radha Park Inn for a dinner. Sadly Sandilya's dad called him and asked him to come back home as he has to donate blood for some urgent need. I did miss him :-( As the ball room was bit costly, we decided just to have dinner in the restaurant. Luckily when we went there it was 9.30 PM and since there is no much crowd in one of the ball rooms, they brought down the prices. So we are in!
The food was not so great, not up to the normal Radha Park Inn standards, but decent. There were few games and a dance performance by an externa group and of course they opened the dance floor for everyone. We were enjoying with those games, dances and everything - esp. teasing Hema for his new "venture". He has to leave by 11.30 as his mom was alone. Surprisingly we got a call from Vetti Prabhu, for saying a HNY. When we asked where he is, he replied, Radha Park Inn !!! Hmmm. Fate. We have to see him on New Year :-( He was in the bar with his school mates.
We came out and was thinking where to go. We decided to go to Marina. We drove to Marina only to find out every other inch a police man was standing and guarding the entire beach road. No one was allowed to go to the beach. We were stopped by the police, as we didn't booze, we didn't have any problem. We could see many people like us were coming in bikes and cars and going away with dissappointment. No place to wander after that. So straight away we went home. It was almost 3. Went bed and welcomed New Year :-)

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