Monday, December 16, 2013

Good Samaritan

Have you regretted not having thanked someone enough who helped you? It has happened to me a couple of times. Its not that I have been thankless; but the feeling of never been able to thank enough. The gesture or help may be small but at the right time; when needed the most magnifies the trivial help. I thought I need to share this incident here because such incidents restore the faith in humanity.

During my latest trip to Brunei; I had to transit via Kuala Lumpur. I was flying low cost carrier and hence the terminal was LCCT, KL. It so happens that most international flights arrive by mid night and the onward flights are not until dawn. Since its LCCT; you are required to walk almost a km to the arrival hall and if not having a direct connectivity; you will have to pass through immigration. The walk to the arrivals is tiring in the middle of the night for someone who doesnt stay awake late night. With luggages its more tiresome.

The queue at the clearance was long and by the time I got the stamping it was post 12:30 AM. My onward flight to Brunei was at 6 AM and its that time when you dont need anything else other than sleep. I was walking by to find an empty chair but none. I tried and tried and gave up. Every chair was occupied; people sleeping and waiting for onward flights like me. I didnt know this; else would not have opted for low cost carrier. Seriously thats what I thought.

I saw few people sleeping on the floor and the idea didnt seem bad. I found a corner near the counters and lied down. It was awkward; lone woman with no shawl to spread even. The floor was cold and I was finding it difficult; trying hard not to invite any attention. It was hardly 10 mins past when a janitor walked by. He asked me something in Malay; I gestured I didnt understand. Then he spoke in bit of English he knew. I said I was from India; waiting for my next flight which was at 6 AM. He asked me to follow him. I didnt know what to do; but just got up and walked behind him. He went near a luggage bubble wrap counter that was cordoned off. There was no one; the shop was shut. There was a cozy chair and a table. He asked me to rest there. He snapped off the ribbon; allowed me in. At first I was hesitant. You never know. But I just trust him and thanked him. Left my bag and luggage nearby. Used the table to rest my head and tried to sleep. I did notice that the man was sitting by for a while and could hear him chat with others.

I didnt realize that I had good sleep. I woke up once in between and noticed him standing at a distance. I remembered to thank him again for his great help once I wake up. I woke up just after at 4 when the bubble wrap shop in charge person walked by to open for the day. It was time to get my boarding pass as well. I searched for the janitor but didnt find him. His cart was also missing. Maybe his shift started or it ended. I never saw him. I felt that I should have thanked him more .

I am again flying to KL this Friday. I will be surely searching for this person and if I find him; remind him of his help and thank him profusely. These things really makes your day; isnt it?

And now; I am off to Malaysia and Indonesia for 15 days starting Friday. Vacation yeah! 

Monday, December 9, 2013

Read and Travel

These days I've been having my WHY days? Lotta questions - at work, personal or otherwise. One of them that constantly bothers me - Why are people so ignorant?

I know of people who dont read a book, who have not traveled, who dont talk to others who could share different knowledge; talk about different topics. But talk to such people for a while and they would behave as if they know everything. Sadly, I have a couple of them as my close friends. Its difficult to adjust with them when talking about something they think they know better and sadly; everything they claim as true will be not.

Read. Period. Your perspective of the world and the people will change. It improves your vocabulary. And of course; you get to enrich your ideas and knowledge. There is never like "I've read too much". I started reading because I liked it. I loved the fact that I could learn by just reading few pages. I didn't know then what a great gift I have. I feel pity on people who dont read. How else would you know that there exists a country called Vanuatu? Or that Da Vinci designed a humanoid robot in the 15th century?

Some of my guy friends say reading is a girl thing. Hell what? But none of the women I know read; the way reading should happen. People read those fictions and novels; and God! these days everyone is an author and its terrible. But yeah! who am I to comment? I would be worse than most who have at least attempted a fiction :-D

There's a proverb in Kannada. It roughly translates to "Travel around the world or at the least read books". Yeah, but I think both are important. Traveling opens a whole new world. Its so rich; its so very rewarding. You gather so much of experience. You get to know the way people live, their culture, their practice, their habits. You get to interact with them, try understanding them.

You develop that understanding, that adjusting behavior. You will learn to give in, to let go, to prepare for the unexpected, to not be surprised. You learn to co-exist with the dogs, the raccoons, the cockroaches. You learn to appreciate even the minutest of help. You learn to trust, you develop trust. You learn to make that extra effort; in everything and everyone.

You learn to appreciate everything and anything; and learn to pause and savor the most mundane of moments. You will not pick on mistakes and you'll learn to forgive and forget. More importantly; you learn to love - truly.

So read and travel.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Lots to Write

Lots to Write.....


Lost to Write....

I dont know why logging into my blog and writing does not attract me anymore. Is it because I have become lazy or finding it tired with all the work around or simply started to be indifferent towards my blog. 

When I was at peak in posting on my blog; I used to wonder at few of my fellow bloggers who went from infrequent to not writing mode. How could they do that? Now, here I am. 

Whenever I want to write something; a thought strikes. Hundreds are writing about this and thousand others already know; so why should I be writing about the same stuff again? Want to share anecdotes but not getting that motivation. Then again; from whom or from where should I be getting motivation from? Why cant I find it within myself the way I used to couple of years ago. 

I need to change man! for sure. Change in my way of thinking and my behavior towards this blog. Writing has always de-stressed me; so I dont fathom why I am not making use of this anymore. Hereon; I will make sure I will write something once in a week at the least; even if it means just scribbling. 

These days; I have done lot of traveling. October I spent a week in the country of Brunei. Brunei! I know! of all the places. But my close friend lives there and so I just grabbed the opportunity of visiting a country I wouldnt visit otherwise. The experience was different. 

Then in 2nd week of November spent 6 days visiting Jaipur, Ajmer, Udaipur and around. Wow! I want more! The places, the people..phew! Now; in December; I am going to spent 3 weeks traveling around mainland Malaysia and Indonesia :-D 

J? Hmm.. 

Travel is one thing that keeps me sane; with all the pressure at work. And yeah; someone please give me a job in travel sector! I can compromise on the money I make as long as I get to travel. 

 Any which ways; in few years I am gonna quit the corporate job and take up travel as my full time task or do vacation volunteering or something of the kind. 

These are best case scenarios. In my real world, Gypsy turned 1. He has been getting lot of complements like Handsome and all that. He keeps me busy; naughty and always needs attention. Would not leave my side until I stroke his ears and caress him. Here are his birthday pics. 

Monday, October 21, 2013


But what, about? my dear
Crib about the state of affairs...
Critics abound doin 'em 
Suggest a word or two to 'em?
What would be left for the experts?

You may say...
There are other things.
Travel? I do 'em much..
Guilty of trumpeting about
Photos and captions?
Isn't that what I've been doin'?

But 'bout what?
No! not good at 'em
No! not with half baked knowledge

Yet what to write
Now? Here?
Do I write about my day to day stuff?
Nah! pretty mundane to garner any interest
Poems? Ah! Yes!
So here is one

In response to Makk's Write Here Now comment

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Straight Thoughts

I was in deep sleep last night. I couldn't call it deep sleep since my mind keeps thinking something or the other. I don't know what time it was but then a sudden thought.

Why is a straight line straight?

Don't ask me what got my mind thinking. I didn't have any discussions related to Geometry with anybody recently. I quit them all after college. Nor was I working on anything related but this question popped up. And then thats it. Went back to sleep. But I did make a mental note to research and write about this. I didn't do any research yet. Thinking about it; I have just one question that I probably didn't realize it at school. Even if I did; wouldn't have dared asked my teachers.

Who concluded the definition of straight. Ah! I do remember the equation of straight line and how its of zero curvature and shortest distance between two points and line traveling in constant direction and all that. Yet! who said straight means this. Why not something else?

These are not straight thoughts after all, aren't they? My mind just went bonkers.

Anyway, these crazy things or rather off the track stuff keeps happening. A friend of mine messaged with few lines of poem. He writes good verses. And I responded with few more lines continuing at where he left. I mean, it just fell into place. I thought I will give it a name. Fusion poetry maybe? The thoughts here again are not straight; mind you. But they nice; here they are.

Tales, dreams or just passing thoughts,
with every passing touch of time
I feel assured more & more ..
somebody will feel sad when I get buried...

Sad of all the moments lost....
Waiting and contemplating, 
Was it meant to be? 
Maybe, maybe not, 
Live the moment, live the thought.

I went off to an event this Sunday; kind of a hippie themed flea market. Cutting out the shopping; the ambiance and the music was good with a live band and crazy folks. And yeah I am not saying what crazy stuff I did ;-)

Oh! and these days I've been clicking snaps with my phone camera and it doesn't cease to amaze me at the clarity, speed and zoom capability. Here are few ones.

A different kind of ant.

Not so common butterfly came into the living room the other night

A common house fly - I mean check the details the phone camera has captured

Say Hi to Gypsy. All grown up, naughty and hyper. Here he is making up a sad face to gain sympathy.

Travels lined up here after. Next weekend off to Brunei to meet my bestest friend. I wanted to go to Kota Kinabalu from there for few days to hike Mount Kinabalu and get lost in the rain forest. But with my friend not accompanying; the thought of going out there alone kinda didn't appeal.

Later in November; off to Rajasthan with Neha and Akhil. They are awesome company and we had good time when we went to Aurangabad. Come December; it could be Malaysia and Indonesia or Philippines and Indonesia. Yieppie!!!

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Little pleasures

These days; I have started enjoying going around alone. Its strange; because a couple of years ago I used to get cooped up inside my house on weekends and wonder why I don't have close friends who share my interests. But hell! it took me all these years to enjoy experiencing things around in solitary. Now it did take a while to realize being alone is different than being lonely isn't it.

And this me time; gives me so much of freedom. I can do what interests me without worrying about anything. I can walk miles together without having to hear complaints; or eat where I want and what I want and more importantly whenever I want. Its not that its always alone; I do have couple of friends who share my interests and I am glad I found like-minded people. Better late than never. So instead of dreading weekends; these days I've started looking forward to since I know I have something or the other to keep me occupied.

There are plays to see, events to attend, places to walk to or people to meet. Today; I walked along the MG Road Boulevard. The boulevard had nice walkway with chairs and flowering trees before the metro rail construction. They had to destroy it temporarily for railway construction and post that; the corporation had painstakingly reconstructed the boulevard again. This time; much better. Its been around for a year and a half now and I've always wanted to go. There are art exhibition, music something or the other happening and I went today.

I walked along the boulevard; amazed by the art exhibits and being on MG road; it seemed in some other place. Totally undisturbed and on its own. Continued along and walked inside Cubbon Park. Bangalore's gem. I hope it stays that way. Again, amidst the city and yet all you can hear is birds chirp and see dense foliage at places. Found myself wandering into the State Central Library and oh my! What was I doing all these years being here? That was heaven. A day well spent!

Where are the ants going? Outside the photography exhibition

Drawing by school kids exhibited all along the boulevard

Kids playing snake and ladder

I have always been crazy about snapping windows and doors. The doors had this mono blocks which was too enticing.

A bird there, a man here. An owl overseeing from above

There was a puppet exhibition as well. Puppets from all around the world - different kinds - rod puppet, popup puppets, string puppets, shadow puppets..It was a treat to the eye.

Shadow puppets

Play area

Its crowded; but I am alone....Contemplating

Do you know there are statues of Queen Victoria, King Edward, Sir Mark Cubbon, Chamarajendra Wodeyar and Seshadri Iyer located in front of various historical buildings within the park. They are all 100 years old now. The Central Library, The Band Stand, The High Court were built before the 1920s. 

Here is the status of Queen Victoria right at the junction of Kasturba, St. Marks and MG Road but not many know its existence. This status was installed in 1906. 

Stairway to heaven. A hidden cast-iron spiral staircase in State Central Library

Inside the library. Books and books and just books. Its readers paradise. The building of central library is again an old one built in 1915 in classic European style with Tuscan and Corinthian columns.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013


Ego clashes
Pride beckons
Anger seers
Humiliated! one says

Don't assume
Ask why
You never know what might come up
Comforts the other. 

Who'll get away?
Ego? Has good chance! 
I'm the best of all! 
I am always right!
Now fuel me more! 

Who is in me? 
Go away you ego! go away you pride!
You are all broken!,  you are all fake!
Who is in me? 
Lift the veil of self
Stripped of ego
Is me...

Of me...

A recent conversation spurned these thoughts. 

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Knock! Knock!

Yeah! I am knocking the door of my own blog space to check if it still recognizes me. Its been 2 long months since I blogged or visited other blogs. It was busy at work; happens at regular times when the product is in design phase. I ended up having evening calls with the US teams everyday for 3-4 hours. Thus, leaving no time to relax and blog. Its tapered a bit now but would remain the same for next few months.

All my promises in being regular about my travel sojourns went into water. So are my little things in life I wanted to jot down. Never mind, its fine to go off track once in a while. Apologies to all my wonderful bloggers whose posts I've not read in a while; I know what precious stuffs I've missed. I will ramp up!

But yeah I've been relatively active on Facebook. FB doesn't need as much time as blog and I check it out on the go! What was happening here was I wrote down a para or two; got interrupted and when I got back; I would've lost the flow. Sometimes, it was the lack of interest as well with so many other things running on my mind and lot of writing to do at work with design docs and such specifications.

However, most of my weekends were eventful. Notably; I met with Gayathri Vishwanathan. She is a sweet girl from Mumbai; who has stopped blogging frequently. She was in Bangalore for 3 months on a technical course and we decided to meet couple of weeks she were to return to Mumbai. Showed her few hidden landmarks of Bangalore; hope she had a good time with me.

My quest for vintage and neglected buildings in Bangalore. This is in the heart of Bangalore Shopping district but I am sure no one would take a second look!

Bang opposite to the previous one.

Then, I met with Dev whom we met in Sri Lanka. He stays in my area but we hardly have time. It was good to meet over a noon and share travel stories - his and mine over few drinks. I also met with a couple of other friends over coffee and lamented how nice the life is! :-P

Been eating good food - Lebanese, Trinidadian, Moroccan, Italian, Mexican, Texan and of course Indian. Not much of an eater but I am thankful to God for making me adventurous in trying new cuisines. And folks, do you know there are good breweries in Bangalore? House brewed specialties and others to indulge in after hectic weekdays. My food indulgence will definitely make you all drool!

Corn and wow! look at the flares!

Yummy Yum!!

Banana split anyone?

Or maybe a mocktail?

I celebrated my birthday last month; this was ordered at work

Attractive ambience huh? This is a steak and sizzler house I've been frequenting for 8 years now. My favorite place

A sizzler I partially devoured at another steak house

House brewed wheat and hop, German Weiss, Irish Red Ale and Irish Dry Stout....In that order

And of course! food during Ramzan. Being a vegetarian, I am not a good authority here but let me tell you that the sight itself is a good appetizer. The food on both the sidewalks on Mosque Road in Bangalore is worth visiting. Its famous and some items are only available during Ramzan like the Harira, Haleem and Pathhar ka ghost. I so want to taste everything there in vegetarian format; but whenever I ask for a vegetarian samosa or kebabs; I get a dirty look! :-/ So I stick to desserts

Steamy hot Semiya Paal (String hoppers and beef)

Rose milk, kulfi, yogurt, custard....

Paththar ka ghost! Apparently its very task oriented and time consuming! The stone is heated for few hours and the meat (beef/chicken) is cooked for another few hours. Only limited quantity is cooked per day due to laborious process and there's queue at all time. Moreover; this is only cooked during Ramzan and in one and only one store at Mosque street

Charcoal searing away

Typical crowd..the roads are full

With no walking or parking space

And the mosque

Oh yeah! there was a Sunday Soul Santhe flea market 2 weeks ago. It happens once in 3 months. The crowd is great; lotta artifacts but expensive. Stalls are put up by people who pursue hobbies and turn it into business like caricature, quilling, terra-cotta jewels etc. Its got famous these days and they had corporates sponsoring them. Prasad Bidappa hosted a fashion show as well. A pint of KF cost 150 bucks. But that was not what shocked me. What shocked me was the crowd! I felt I was two decades behind, folks have changed a lot; kids boozing and smoking around; barely there clothes....Ummm....

Glass painting on household items

Few more of a different kind

Paintings on canvas

Hmm shoes! but I am not sure if I want to wear patterns on my feet

Terracota jewelry

Caricature on beer mugs, rum shot glasses and photo frames

Tea kettles and water mugs colorfully painted

Wall clocks, ash trays on recycled liquor bottles

Famous caricaturist and cartoonist Paul who cartoons on colonial bangalore. I wanted to buy a laptop bag that had Koshys area on one side and Dewar's bar on Bamboo bazar on the other; but didn't.

I watched a couple of English plays; dramatics and theater is picking up in Bangalore. Its good to see crowd attuning music and theater festivals. I also ended up catching a short break and went on a monsoon drive along the Western Ghats and to meet my cousins in Chennai. More about that in my next post.

On my birthday driving to Chennai :-)

Now; I am off to catching up missed posts.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

I'm a Woman


I won't prepare coffee in the morning. I would like my coffee while still on bed and you should prepare and bring it to me. 

I won't cook for anyone. You may visit my home but you've got to take care and cook and feed for yourself. I would also expect you to cook for me; but of course I won't insist or stare at you when you are eating. 

I am not an entertainer. I won't entertain you; but I have made provisions for the same. I have a BIG Plasma 3D TV for you to watch and get entertained while I may read a book in my own space. 

I won't say "chooo chweet" or "cute" when kids yell. They better STOP!

God bless if the maid doesn't turn up. I will go fasting for days; but I won't cook! Who's gonna wash the vessels and clean up the kitchen? 

I won't arrange your clothes in cupboard. Don't ask me where your underwear is? Thats your underwear! 

Don't expect me to listen to you, hear your problems and cuddle you up. Go find a teddy bear. 

I fight; and I fight. That's it. Don't wait for me to come up to you and make it up. I won't (crossing my hands now!) 

And man! why should I try changing you? Don't think I might try to bring you in line.

I also don't expect you to hold the door open for me to pass. 

Nor do I expect you to pay the bill at the restaurant. 

No; I don't want you to pull the chair for me to make me comfortable. 

I don't wait for you to offer to drop me home - I can hire a taxi. 

Yes, I can fix a light bulb and I can clean the ceiling. 

AND don't expect me to be a carrier of your future progeny. 

If you've  developed all these ideas by reading mushy quotes; wake up!

I am a WOMAN

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Socializing in Bangalore

Last weekend, I visited a friend's house. Her brother got married last month and due to my accident; I was not able to attend the wedding. So made it up by visiting them last week at their home. Now, any chat up generally brings up work related stuff and then it occurred to me. I mean in a flash!

Why didn't it occur to me all these days? Maybe it was so normal and obvious. Any kind of meeting; be it with friends or family; or distant relatives or even a social gathering with strangers. You'll find they are all engineers; most of them if not all. The topic of work never stops to creep in at these gatherings. And without even realizing; you have started a whole plethora of talks that may seem to a layman that here is a mad group!! 

For one, when we talk about 'reproduction', don't assume that we are planning our family. It may give you a heart attack when you hear things like "I reproduced a dozen times" by a frail looking unmarried girl. And yeah we try to 'reproduce' 'bugs' all the time. We don't want a healthy baby; just bugs. Bugs when we talk are not crawly creepy insects. What we are discussing here are 'reproducing the issues in software'

We will be a bunch of faded-jeans and loose T shirt wearing folks; with very few of them giving any attention to fashion. But the gadgets will tell you a contradicting story - smart phones, sleek notepads, tabs and what not from the US of A. And yeah; the must have accessory are the dark circles beneath our eyes and the fat around our belly. Gift of working as a techie I say!!

No gathering will exist without having a person who has just returned from 'onshore' and another one waiting to go in that group. The 'onshore' is most time US of A. It can also include Europe and Oceania. And yes, we will draw comparisons towards anything starting with "In America......". Don't get confused if you see someone struggling to use a fork and knife to eat his pizza; he is preparing himself to go 'onshore'. You will be shocked; but we are the only ones who are excited about the sliding rupee!! More rupee in hands when dollars are exchanged!

We 'churn' codes and 'heat' maps. And if you hear us talking about Jar, Cookie, its not about food. We are talking softwares. We keep processing; day in and day out; an we upload and download once in a while. What? Don't think naughty now! We purge and make things obsolete at whims and fancies. Today its a bug, tomorrow its a feature and we file a IP!!

If you give us a warning, we aren't really bothered you know. We just look for errors. So if you are amidst such a group; which you will most likely be when you are in Bangalore; just switch-off and switch-on the way we techies do!! Thats what software has taught us.

Monday, July 1, 2013


Now, Angkor Wat is the name everyone identifies. But Angkor Wat is one of many such temples that exist in Siem Reap. Few of them older than Angkor Wat, few more grander and bigger. As such, its not possible to get a guide for whole day. For one; its not about the expense; but about the control of time. You have total control of your time and can choose where you want to spend more time and the ones you want to skip.

Nothing is worth skipping but since the sq km area clustered with these temples run into 100s an you may need over a month to visit each one. And if you are from India; you wouldn't really need a guide since the temples are designed around Hindu mythology. Even if you are not a Hindu; you will know most things and then the temples and the art are self explanatory.

After Angkor Wat, we visited Bayon. Bayon is just across Angkor Wat. Its a 12th century temple built by Mahayana Buddhist king Jayavarman VII. Note that Jayavarman VII covered to Buddhism whereas his predecessors were Hindu. The conversion happened due to the influence of Sri Lankan Buddhist monks who visited Angkor kingdom. The capital of Jayavarman VII was Angkor Thom. If you have to visualize, all these places are just less than a km away; but each king had his own capital and a state temple.

Whats special about Bayon is that unlike a conventional temple tower design, the edifice has distinctive feature of numerous and serene stone faces on the many towers. The 54 towers has a total of 216 gigantic faces stares at you. Some historians believe that these are the faces of Bodhisatva called Avalokiteshvara or Lokeshvara while there are also conclusion that the faces may also be of King Jayavarman VII as DEVARAJA "God King" since the stone faces bears a strong resemblance to the king himself. These two theories need not be mutually exclusive. Later part of the 13th century saw the temple undergo modifications when the Khmer empire reverted to Hinduism and further alterations when Theravada Buddhism was adopted.

So what was my reaction? Well, by now I must say I was too stunned to even react. I kept thanking God for blessing me to be able to see these marvels and at the same time; feeling the walls of the temples to confirm I was really there. The feeling is overwhelming; nothing prepares you for that experience. If you ask me to describe in words my feelings; I can't. Visit Siem Reap to understand what I am trying to convey

Such tours are common :)

Bayon first glance

A scene of a day to day life on bas relief. A VIP on his way

Men at work

Elephants at war

Amry at war


War scenes

Everyday life of a Khmer

First look at inner courtyard

This is what i was talking about

Alterations - images and sculptures confirming conversion to Hinduism

Leaves you stunned; imagine gigantic faces looking at you which ever way you turn

Inner courtyard

A close up

Size comparison

Apsaras everywhere

A unique one; if you observe the image is smiling and the teeth are visible

I will die to be experiencing this

A very close up of a face. As you go to the top most courtyard; the gigantic faces come face to face with you