Friday, June 29, 2012


"He would regret it for the rest of his life. It will prick him through his life. I gave him full freedom you know, I don't want to force, this was his choice. He left....."

I heard these statements being made by a woman outside a supermarket. She was talking on the phone. I felt sad looking at her. She was educated, well dressed and came from a middle class family like most of us. Her voice quivering; pleading conversation. For a moment I imagined lot of things. Was her husband treating her bad? Was her son giving her trouble? What was the sad situation she was in that she didnt seem to care her surrounding.

I picked the basket and walked into the supermarket; got my stuffs and forgot all about her until after 10 mins. She was still on the phone talking standing out. This time I heard "He definitely wants to do engineering. That is his choice. He doesn't care about my choice and my wishes......"

I just rolled my eyes and felt stupid about feeling bad for her few minutes ago.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Wine and Wine

Itching to write on wine for sometime now. Visited wine festival held in Bangalore few months ago. They had good collection of Indian wines. I looked forward to visiting it since I carried my memories of wine tour in California. There were wine tasting and grapes stomping and other activities. But as expected I did not find it too great.

Now its just because of my expectation that I was disappointed. Nevertheless, the fact that Bangalore was hosting the wine festival and that people are patronizing wines is good enough.

My experience has been a drive through the scenic Napa and Sonoma valley lined with acres and acres of vineyards and old mansions. Every vineyard has its winery that can be toured to learn about the grapes, its variety, how climatic conditions affect wine type; wine process and storage facility. Not complete without wine tasting sessions with good cheese and crackers.

Through the years, have learnt about different wine types and their specialty. My friends and seniors know whom to contact for an expert advice on wine :P Yeah weird source isn't it? I have an interesting anecdote as well. That story is for another time. Anyway if you need a recommendation on this elixir, you know now whom to ping! Here are some pictures from few of my wine tours.

Landscape dotted with rows of vineyards along the way.


On the left side too


A fitting statue; Liked why the grapes bunch is too important here. 

 Grapes ready for harvest

 Wine tour. A friend arranged for a private tour. This man was explaining how they choose the grapes and all that story; it was nice to learn a lot while sipping signature wine.

Wine processing units

Oak casks- they provide a distinct flavor to the wine as they mature

First glimpse of wine

An old winery at Sonoma valley

Aged casks

No description :)


And more...

Posing in front of the wine bottles during one of my trip to Napa - me in 2007


Saturday, June 16, 2012


"They look like space and they're not real and they're not realistic. They're like space and they don't look really, really much like space. They look abstract". I have been trying to decode these statements. What is the speaker trying to convey. These are from a 5 year old girl who is already an art prodigy; already garnered worldwide fame and holds the distinction of being the youngest professional painter in the world. Every one of her paintings in last year's solo exhibition in NYC were sold within seven days.

I have been reading this piece of news since morning and searching for various abstract paintings. But sad! I dont understand any of them. There are lines and colors, and left at that. They do not convey any meaning. Is that what its is supposed to be? Why would someone do something of this sort?

A bit of curiosity beckons everyone. Is this what it is? Wikipedia says "Abstract art uses a visual language of form, color and line to create a composition which may exist with a degree of independence from visual references in the world"

 "...which may exist a degree of INDEPENDENCE...." Which means it does not have to convey any meaning; it need not be legible to lowly humans as me :) It is open to any interpretation your mind in its capacity can make. So when intelligent people understand and appreciate abstracts; I am still trying and trying but in vain. It's like this. Prepare a dish and ask people who taste it to guess. What they guess is the dish! :)

The riot of colors and chaotic lines would definitely have some pattern isn't it? Yes, the chaos theory tells so. Its only the uber intellectuals who can understand that. Not lowly folks like me. How about you?

Life is an art. Little bit of curiosity keeps it spicy and pepped up. Imagine if it were all clear and understood by all? When would there be confusion, indifference, ambiguity, misunderstanding? We need this. We need the deviation from reality, from being recognizable, from being crisp and from being held accountable. 

How else could we transform a failure to success? Those who don't understand are fools!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Some of my Posts

Saw this tag at Neha's and decided to do it. Been ages since I took up a tag. But this one gave a chance to revisit some of my best posts. It feels a sense of nostalgia to remember those good days when the writer and the reader were so passionate. Here are few of my posts which were famous for the right and the wrong reasons.

Your most beautiful post

Definitely have to be one of the numerous posts with travel posts. The new place, experience, culture and the nature energizes me so much and I feel alive and beautiful each time I see a new place. I would choose the set on Costa Rica.

Your most popular post 

Hmm that would be Chaos Theory and Fractals. I got people following me after this post; and had many asking me with curiosity about how I got to know about this. Even to this day I get mails/comments from people who want to use the software programs I created for fractals and if they can refer to this link for their research paper :)

Your most controversial post

Haan bit difficult since I have got into bit of controversies. Let me see....There were quite a handful of posts where it got murkier on the comment page and there were brickbats and clubs virtually thrown at each other. There were few which had an email thread set off and virtual do-gooders bitching about me without even knowing me! I have so many such posts in my kitty that I don't recall them. I have lost readers, I was told I am jealous, I was told to be biased, I was contacted by heads of institutions... :P Some of them are 'A' Thoughts, Its a MAN MAN World, India - Just a Notion?, Insignia at IIT

Thanks Neha for helping me with identifying my controversial posts :P

Your most helpful post

That would be Chaos Theory and Fractals. I get people requesting to refer my post for their research theories and projects and it really feels good. Another post is Naming Cyclones. Helpful is not really like saving from a life threatening stuff but in gaining knowledge :)

A post whose success surprised you

The post I love your comments. It was a sticky topic to write on; but packaged with sarcasm and humor; it worked its charm. Surprised that people really enjoyed it and came clean on doing it themselves :)

A post you feel didn't get the attention it deserved 

Umm there are few of them. Posts which have a blend of sarcasm never deserve the attention because I think sarcasm is hard to understand. I don't remember any; it does not matter :)

The post you're most proud of 

Have to be Kaapi Time and Taking the Lift. I really like it when I can write about simple everyday things in life. I have written on many such topics; these two are my favorite.

Thanks Neha, it was nice to go down the memory lane and revisit some of my favorites and controversial.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

All about ET

You finished writing my piece? ET asked me the other day. When I was talking to him last week; I just mentioned that I am going to write about him. He promptly asked me about it. I told him it would be my next post. ET...strange name huh?

Well, the name is Abilash Sekar. It was about 6 months into my first job, one noon at a restaurant; some of us joined another group for lunch. We were a bunch of freshers, completely prepared to enjoy the financial freedom by indulging in food. Yeah it was food, food and food. A friend introduced as "He is Abilash"; that was when I first met ET. It was a formal "Hi". To me, he looked like a high school kid; not that I was any better. Yet, there was something about ET...(ET! I dont know what it is even to this day ok?)

OK! So this is ET's latest pic. Does he not look like a high school kid?

Why ET? His friend told us that this guy had an amazing contradictory qualities that made him unique species. Very lazy yet agile when required. Slacking yet good academic records...Seems closer to a nerd? Maybe I am being nice to him....was a nerd; that's why he was nicknamed ET. That stuck among his friends and at home and even at work. People knew ET as ET than as Abilash. What his friend told about ET was true; which I gradually found out through the years.

At work; we didnt collaborate since he and I worked for different projects but for the same release. We would go to lunch together. Always soft spoken, innocent looking bespectacled ET was a silent killer when it came to food. He can gorge on and on; but one look at him and no one would believe it for his slender frame. I liked to watch ET eating :P Again ET I dont know why. Its just that you look cute while eating :P

ET hated walking; but soccer was his life. I can't imagine how? Would take 30 minutes to walk half a kilometer but very good at soccer. Well, he didnt know until few months back that I followed soccer too. ET likes driving a lot; he used to drive his Zen to office. Well, a gang of 5-6 of us made a good freshie gang and it was fun. ET left after 2 years to pursue MS.

About his extremely opposite qualities; I recall an incident at Lake Tahoe. Incidentally; 3 friends who left to pursue MS and 2 of us who went on business trip to US decided to make a road trip for 10 days. Our first destination was Lake Tahoe. It was freezing being December; so we wanted to have something hot to warm us up. We stopped at a Chinese restaurant and ordered for soup. ET was seated opposite to me; while reaching for my soup; I knocked off the glass of water; the water spilled on the table and the excess was about to spill on ET. His reflex was so fast that I thought I was seeing a fast-motion in a movie...He just got away in a blink of an eye. Here is a pic before that event occurred.

The same evening; when we were leaving from Lake Tahoe; my friend was tired and asked if ET can take the wheels. So ET who has not driven a lot in the US; just got behind the wheels and made it look so easy on a snow slicked road. He drove all night without any show of tiredness. He can do that with ease on Indian roads as well on the very first day he lands in India. I asked him about people who stay abroad for few months and then complain about how they cant handle Indian roads. His response was "I just spent 2 years only; but I was born here remember?" Yeah but not everyone are this way; dont they throw a price?

Some more incidents like these prove ET being ET without a doubt. Mature in thinking; meticulous planning but no one would ever have a clue about it. We were supposed to go to Antarctica last December; the plan was to board a ship from Ushuaia, Tierra del Fuego on a 16 day trip. Then again, ET ditched me and instead traveled to Columbia. ET! You owe me one now that I have written all good things about you :P

Well, on a serious note; it feels good to see him being  regularly in touch. Trust me; even in today's world of social networking overdose; people are still so busy to catch up on each other. Most of my first friends at work are not in touch; they don't bother to call when they visit Bangalore. ET is one of the few..Glad ET :)

The start of the road trip - Dec 2007

Couldn't resist this ET ;-) You can give any hot babe a run for her money ;-)