Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Is "Material" ImMaterial

How often have we heard ourselves saying - "I want xyz desperately" or "Thats cool, I wanna have one". Either it be a cool red Merc convertible or a "wallpaper material" house or something like that. Which finally boils down to only one thing - yeah! thats Money!!

When we were kids we used to feel out of the world with a ten rupee note in our pocket with which we somehow could buy the world. Then we grew older and our material needs increased. We wanted video games/cool gadgets/a geared bicycle and what not. As kids having material needs is something understandable. But what about now.

We are 'supposedly' grown up now. With fat paychecks (fat?) we can really buy a lot of things. But alas! we are not even happier than we used to be when we were kids with ten rupee notes. Our bank balance is much higher than what we could imagine few years back. Our credit limit doesnt really have any real limits. But still we need more.

When I bought my first bike I felt great. But sooner or later the craze will go away (fortunately hasnt gone until now). And then I will look for greener pastures, read sportsbikes, cars (jets eh!!). Now with all the easy installment schemes its really not a big deal buying a decent car. But what then? Does the world end there. Wont I always feel like having a new new car that will come in market. Even after buying that wont I have the same feeling again. Does this end anywhere?

People like Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, Paul Allen, Richard Branson have so much money that they can buy half of the poorer world with it. These people have more or less (thats some 'more or less') fulfilled all their material desires and its only then that they feel that Material is really ImMaterial. But does one really need to reach there to realize that its all unnecessary? because if thats so then isnt it a big waste of effort ? Cant we learn from other's experiences.

Well thats quiet a question. Unless I have it I wont realize how important or unimportant it is. But yes! sitting in a air-conditioned santro or a brand new Merc is really a different experience. Isnt it? But is it so big a difference that I should waste so much hardearned money in buying a Merc when Santro is comfortable enough?

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Commuting from home just became easier...

Got an IRiver U10 as a welcome gift in Adobe. Life is good..now I can listen to songs/Radio/FM etc while travelling to office for one hour :D (going/coming included)...Some features..
- Easy access with intuitive Direct Click interface
- Large & vibrant color LCD with dynamic GUI
혻(2.22 inch 260,000 color QVGA TFT-LCD)
- Chameleon Display, unusual ability to change its appearance
- Plays up to 28 hours
- Supports music file such as MP3, WMA, ASF and OGG Q10
- FM radio and FM recording reservation
- Voice recording
- Direct recording from a stereo (with cradle only)
- Photo album + Slide show**
- Movie player***
- FLASH player + Game****
- Text viewer
- Alarm with real-time clock
- USB 2.0, Ultra fast data transfer
- Easy synchronization on iriver plus 2 which is a digital jukebox program
혻(excluding US and EU model)
- PlaysForSure (for US and EU only, with WMP10)
- Firmware Upgradable

Source : http://www.iriver.com/html/product/prpa_product.asp?pidx=74

Monday, August 21, 2006

Movers and Packers : Hyderabad

I am writing this post just out of frustration so that if someone somewhere is looking for a movers and packers to move and pack his stuff he should learn from my experience.

I searched quiet a lot for good and economical movers and packers as I had to move my bike to a long distance. After talking to 4-5 of them "Alliance Movers and Packers" was what I chose because it was the more economical one (7300 Rs including computer, bike, and few more items). Others like Agarwal/Deepak (who are more elite I guess) were charging a bit more.

I fixed Alliance Movers and Packers for the same and the experience has been terrible

He had told 7 days maximum to shift stuff and it took him 9. Thats acceptable to me. But that idiot broke my bike's tail light, stand, and disconnected few wires. Bloody Moron!!

Now this 7300 bucks included insurance also, but who is going to go to their office (or sue them!) for 200-300 Rs worth of damages. But the point is, if he can break the tail light, anything is possible.

Not just that. Those morons sent 2 people in the whole truck to get luggage down. God damn it! 2 people for a 152 Kgs heavy bike. Obviously things will break.

But what can I do other than blabber about this to others so that they can chose some other better (or more heard of) Movers and Packers for moving their stuff.

I hope this page comes somewhere in search engine pages so that SEs like me who always go to internet to search for info come across this and could use my suggestions...

by the way, here is some more information:
Leo Movers and Packers has an office in Madhapur but is comparatively a bit expensive
Agarwal Movers and packers is supposedly ISO certified and they claim to be pretty good (ads in TV etc)
For more information here is a list of phone numbers of some Movers and Packers:
Deepak Packers & Movers
23548367
Leo Packers & Movers 27848085
Agarwal Packers & Movers 27700121
Evergreen Movers and packers: Some Mr Reddy - 9849724111

I wont list Alliance Movers and Packers phone number here because of personal differences ;) .. if you are really interested in Alliance even after reading my post (that blabbers against it) then find it urself :D

Friday, August 18, 2006

things are not the way they were before..

yeah! thats called change. The change was obviously expected. Afterall, I was shifting to a new (or old?) place, new ppl, new work, new atmos and everything. I cant really count the things which have changed.

Just a week back was my last day in CA (Computer Associates) and now I am here in Adobe. Came from Hyderabad to Noida. Left so many old friends behind, and have come here among more old friends (school and college). Coming across so many old faces that sometimes I have to think hard where I saw few of them last.

Office was 5 kms away, hardly took 10-15 minutes in peak traffic. Here its 20 Kms, takes anywhere between 25-45 minutes. Missing my bike too which is on the way as of now. Once thats here, I can try to reduce this time too :D.

Last 5 years I used to come home as a guest. And now I am a full time member at home. Have to go places to get aata/dal and stuff ;) (fortunately didnt happen til now :D). But thats a price I was willing to pay for good home food. Now I am away from all those adventures, trips we used to have on weekends. Really? I dont think so. Today only we were planning to go to ladakh :D. And weekends? yeah! we are going for a movie (great luck or sth - lindsay lohan) today night at 22:50 Hrs (has it got so late in hyderabad ever :D). And tomorrow we have a team outing with food and another movie :D.

But yes! one thing i miss most is hyderabad climate. The weather here is real bad. You sweat all the time ;) . Thanks to office/home ACs that surviving is not that tough. But I miss that cool breeze, those unending showers, the rocks which rocked, the late night talks, the cool green campus and those few old friends...

Miss you Hyderabad!!!

Monday, August 7, 2006

Movie reviews: Shaadi kar ke phans gaya, Omkara, Anthony kaun hai

Last weekend was movie-full. Saturday evening we decided to watch Shaadi kar ke phans gaya because of the law of proximity. It was being played in the nearest theatre around - Hitech. Getting tickets was not a problem. The theatre was so empty that we could have started bargaining ;) but we didnt :D.

Yeah! movie was surely miserable. We entered the hall at 9:05 and after 10 minutes and 2 songs we were already frustrated. Not just the star-cast, but the direction, dialogues, presentation all sucked big time. So we got an idea!! 9:45, Sterling, Anthony kaun hai. Bingo! lets rock. We left the Hitech theatre at 9:23 and were on our seats in Sterling at 9:55 to watch Anthony kaun hai.

Anthony kaun hai was much better if not too good. But is really worth watching once. Some scenes are really funny. Sanjay dutt could have been given more involved role but his lack of presence was still ok.

Yesterday was omkara day. We bought the tickets for 70 (in black, original price:35) and it was total waste of money. I have heard some people who really liked it and cursed me when I told them how I hated the movie. The plot was ok, the non-talkative nature of everyone sucked which lead to lots of misunderstandings and leading to killing of lotsa people. Big starcast, but expectations not met. And PS: dont go with family/girl-friends if you dont want to get embarassed.

Coming weekend is Kabhi alvida na kehna...lets c what karan johar has for us this time...

Sunday, August 6, 2006

Are you Hot!!

http://www.ruhotquiz.net/

Came across this link in Gmail (Gmail tip at the top). This is the result for me :D

Are You Hot?

Your hotness score is: 224

Your quiz results make you a Fit and Fun

Your quiz results make you Fit and Fun Staying active and in shape is your mantra. Hiking up a mountain, biking in a race, or slicing through the lane to make a lay-up, keep you hot. You like the nightlife, and can fit in at the jazz martini bar just as easily as the bass-pumping techno club down the block. You're keeping that core temperature nice and hot and having a great time doing it.

Thursday, August 3, 2006

Bachelor species

An year back when we were searching for a place to live we were shown the door many times after hearing 'we wont give the room to bachelors' or 'bachelors! sorry :)' or 'we dont have any problem but neighbours wont like having bachelors around'. Huh! god bless those few who dont still think the same, thanks to them that we have a place to cover our heads now :).

Why are bachelor's so unwelcomed everywhere ? Well! only bachelor's can answer that :) and may be those few who were haunted by this species. Bachelors do everything that a simple family man can not even imagine. Getting up at 1:00 o'clock, going to office, hitting the disc or a pub (or a simple long chat) with friends in evening, coming back at 1:00 o'clock in the night, playing football in drawing room (doing this on 2nd floor! what wil 1st floor people feel ;)) , playing music at peak volume, jumping , shouting and what not. Obviously this is unbearable to married/old people who like to live life like a machine (getting up at 6:00 o'clock damn it!).

Bachelor's life is so appealing to some guys that they dont even want to get married :). Afterall handling a wife and kids is indeed a herculean task. And then what will happen to late night parties, the frequent outings, the dirty room and endless chatting with friends. But then what can a poor guy do if his parents are pestering him (dont get any ideas! my parents are cool. Atleast till now :D) and forcing him to see pictures of gals etc.

Another problem is falling in love. It is indeed a very hypnotysing phenomenon. Once a guy is in love he cant do anything but love. He forgets his friends, those outings, those chattings, those pubs etc and only thing he likes is sitting under a tree with his beloved. Now obviously if one is in love like this (they say 'truly,madly,deeply') then nothing can stop him from getting married.

But while marrying a guy doesnt realize that its finally first year or two of enjoyment after which there are so many responsibilties to be taken care of that life goes for a toss. Kids, bills, taxes and everything. A married man cant even go for a trip once in 6 months. And even if he manages to save enough money for 4 people (unlike one for bachelors :D) and enough time for a trip, what a trip it will be. A family will go to a place, stand there for an hour, eat stuff, take pics and come back. They wont be able to have late night walks, trekking, rock climbing, travelling at night etc.

Basically a married man doesnt live for himself but for his family (the wife and kids). Luckily the perception is changing nowadays that people are living more for themselves than their family with the culture shift, earning women etc. Everyone has a life of its own. Yesterday itself I was reading in TOI that the chances of a person getting married at the age > 40 were minute 10 years back. But now its not so. People are choosing to live as individual, postponing their marriage for long. Afterall It aides in their personal as well as professional development. A guy who is getting married at 25 wont have enough savings for his family and will always be paying installments. As compared to a guy who marries at 32 or so who has 7 more years of savings, fun, and experiences which will probably make him a better family man. Not just that, if a guy has more years for himself he can try to change his career according to his liking, he can start a venture without any obligations/responsibilities towards his family. He will be more free to try anything before tying the holy knot.

Finally its not just the choice of a guy but also the people around. But bachelor life is indeed the best and most carefree. Three cheers to all the guys who are bachelors by choice:D

bartrip 1.0 @ mahabaleswar

Name has been derived from the funda of barcamp which means an unplanned conference. Yes! Bartrip means an unplanned trip :) (I coined it:D) . Thats what we had last weekend. An unplanned trip to Mahabaleswar/panchgani and pune.

Friday afternoon Vidit and I was discussing about this Hackathon that was being held in pune on saturday. We thought why not club this participation with a day's trip to pune. But after checking the details we noticed that it was for 2 full days and so our trip would not be possible. Great! then lets cancel the hackathon and go to pune for full time masti :). We started calling/pinging everyone to find out details and to check who all are interested. Initially it was me, Vidit, Rakesh and Aditya. Then Nitin also agreed. Adi had to drop the plan becoz of some personal issues so only 4 of us were left. Then Vidit and I convinced Gaurav and Ketan too. And Nirnimesh joined with a very short notice. So finally we were 7 of us. Rakesh had booked a qualis. Vidit and I enquired with Tarun about where all he went and fixed the plan.

We started in the evening at around 10:00 o'clock. After a night long drive with few stops on dhabas for tea etc we reached pune in the morning around 9:00 o'clock. On one of the dhaba we came across a tarzan boy who was hitting a dog consistently :D. It was mostly raining all around with lots of greenery everywhere. Some of us didnt even sleep and chatted for long hours accompanied with mild music from Gangster and Bluffmaster to name a few. We were welcomed by Asheesh at his place. The apartment complex was prettty cool. The weather offcourse rox in pune. After freshening up and 'checking mails' we went for breakfast. While waiting for others, Gaurav and I went for a small walk inside the township and came across some good eye-tonic. There was a small swimming pool also beside the tennis court for entertainment in the township.

After a good south indina breakfast in which we ate lots of Vadas and Dosas we started our way to Panchgani. It was really raining very badly. On our way we stopped at a Shop as Vidit and Gaurav went for shopping for stuff that matters. There were some landmarks on the way with very funny names like 'khadi machine' on the way. The journey was pretty cool with rains all around. The roads outside pune are also good and unbroken (unlike inside pune).

At one of our stops we came across someone who we thought of offering a lift. But that someone boarded a bus and we followed it for pretty long. Well! the bus offcourse couldnot cope with the speed of our Qualis so we went ahead. Our next stop was close to a very green hill which some of us thought of climbing. Rakesh and Nirnimesh climbed it to a good height whereas Gaurav and I came back from half way. Climbing a hill is not as difficult as coming down. I was wearing slippers and offcourse they were slipping every now and then ;). One bad slip and I would have saved a lot of energy which I used while coming down. Call it outsourcing to Gravity ;) . Nitin's slippers broke down on his way up so he came down pretty early with Ketan. In the mean time Vidit was busy clicking pics for all of us. After coming down we were bidding goodbyes to all the vehicles and the people inside but it looked like they were not interested and so were giving us curious looks. Huh! these serious people. Guess both of us were thinking the same thing - 'these people are crazy'.

We reached panchgani after asking the way to lots of people and every one had similar answers - "yahan se straight fir left se right' or 'seedha, ek dum seedha' (even if there is a deadend :D). Well! thanks to all the direction-tellers we finally reached the intended place. These hillstations have a funny taxation policy. Not just the vehicle but they charge money for every person entering. Panchgani - 20rs for vehicle and 10rs/person. Huh! god bless tourists. The first place we went in panchgani was 'sydney point'. Dont know why such a name, but place was out of the world.

The place has nothing, only a small hill top with a railing to stop people from falling directly. But beauty is not in the view, its the endless and unstoppable wind that makes it worth visiting. The wind was so furious that it could have thrown anyone imbalanced. Unlike others who take the road to reach the top of the sydney point, Me and nirnimesh took the path (not the road) less travelled. It was a direct way up the hill made of rocks and mud. We could have directly fallen down had there not been a metal pipe which I guess has only been put there to save lives ;). We held that pipe and climbed up and reached more than 10 minutes before others.

It was not raining heavily, but wind was making up for it. If the rain hits your face rather than your head, it becomes really difficult to stay put. We were being thrown around by the ferocious winds and the rains but even though the pain, the experience was worth staying for. We stood at the corner and faced the wind/rain head on. Fully drenched , we still stayed and laughed and shouted and photographed :).

After coming down we went to the market where we ate very sweet corn and great espresso coffee in a small restaurant. Hot samosas from a nearby halwai added to the experience. Our next destination was the 'table top' which every one was eagerly waiting for and it was indeed worth the wait.

Table top (or table view) is really a great place. The top of the hill is more than few football grounds put together in length and width. No hills were visible around this one. It looked like we are at the top of the world. After walking few steps and reaching the corner we could see the other small hills. While we were in the middle we were seeing something funny on the corner of the hill. There was some small fountain type of thing at the corner and water was coming out of it on the hill. It was like a reverse waterfall. We didnt quiet understand it. It was only after reaching the point of that phenomenon we realized what it was.

The rainwater that was falling down the hill from corners was actually blown off by the wind on the reverse direction, and it was coming back on the hill like a water-climb (derived from water-fall :D). It was really interesting. As we walked around we came across people playing Football on the football ground at the top of this hill. Yes! a football ground on the top of hill. People really have a sense of humour.

In few minutes it started raining pretty wildly and all the football players left the hill with a big family that had come to see the place (big as in 10+ ppl - thanks to family planning). We 7 were the only people left on the hill. There was really no place on the hill to hide. Only grass and small shrubs covered the whole hill. Special thanks to the rains that we couldnt take any photo on the hill :( . There was a big triangular hill touching the table top as looked from distance. We thought of going till there. Human sight is really very weak. What looked like hardly a kilometer away was more than 3-4 kms away. After going through half way, getting tired and drenched in rain we thought of going back. Nirnimesh who was leading the way with Rocky and me had fallen straight down once already. We still decided to go on and on. Gaurav, myself, Nir and Rocky were the first few to reach the end. The funny thing was that it was just a corner of the same hill and was totally disconnected from the triangular hill we wanted to visit. We cursed for a while made few stupid poses and started back. The rain was in opposite direction which we didnt realized while going forward as it was hitting our backs. Now it was hitting our faces, so it became all the more difficult.

On our way we got strong doubts of whether we will be able to reach home, but we did. We were the survivors :) . We celebrated our survival by having 2+ cups of tea each on the dhaba who gave us a grand discount of 4 Rupees for charging us 7rs a cup and taking 14 glasses of tea. We tried to dry up ourselves which was a herculean task and took a hotel in panchgani itself. The hotel was decent enough - Summer palace (summers? in mahabaleswar).

The morning was beautiful with a little bit of sunlight. Our wet clothes were packed in polythene bags which we had taken with us (thanks to Tarun and Raj for the warning). Vidit was really amused with the photograph he took of Nirnimesh bathing. We had a nice big breakfast with bread-omlett and poha with Tea.

The way to mahabaleswar was equally good. There were small waterfalls all over the place and it was raining real bad. We hired a guide who took us to Kates/echo/needle point. Kates point is named so because a daughter of a british guy died there when her horse went mad (what a story). Its called needle point because there is a big needle like strucutre at the corner of the hill which also looks like an elephant trunk. Nature is really funny to have so many interesting structures all over the place (remember the Santro car rock behind IIIT hostel). The waterfall close by was very inviting and so we decided to pay a visit. We entered the waters and crossed the waterfall to reach the other side. It was pretty exciting. After playing in waters for sometime we decided to start off for pratap garh fort (its hard to remember the name, I referred it as paharganj and pitampura all the time during the trip).

The pratapgarh fort was pretty interesting with lots of great intellectual architectural pieces in it. The twisted stair case because of which it looks like a straight wall and to avoid Elephants from climbing up, the watchtowers from which one guy could take on 600+ armymen at once, the suicide point from where betrayors were thrown down in a closed bori, the shiva statue (made by pandit nehru), and the slippery stairs. Everything was coool. The visibilty was pretty low due to the strong fog which reminded me of the winter tution classes at early morning 5:00 few years back.

On our way back to pune we had plans to stop at a waterfall. We stopped at two of them. One for purely photographic purposes and the other for bathing. The waterfall was real cool. It felt like stones were dropping right on our heads and it was really difficult to stay under that for long. That was our last encounter with waters so we dried up and changed to take our way back to pune.

On our way to pune we came across a very beautiful road which was in the middle of green grounds at both sides. There were hills visible around and a tunnel which we had just crossed. The place was too good so we stopped for a while. The road was pretty wide and one could easily touch 120+ on it. It was all clear of traffic mostly so we had a small football game also ;)) . After some good time we started again towards pune.

We had our dinner in pune at a bakery and that was our last stop. The next was only on a dhaba for driver's dinner where we played with the football for some time. The star player was Rocky with his strength filled leg which was boucing the ball in all directions. His head butt sent the ball across the road in total dark.

Reached home at 6:00 o'clock after a speedy drive (thanks to the driver) . It took us only 8 1/2 hours to come from pune to hyderabad. We were really tired after a nightlong drive and a pretty hectic trip that we slept in the morning. I got up at 10:30 to go to office :) . The next day I slept for full 13 hours in the night to get over the tireness.

Looking forward for another trip like this one. By the way! this was a very trip 2.0 :) (couresy nirnimesh).