Category Archives: Lifestyle

Is Virtual Enough?

I spend a lot of time over the internet, and I have an awesome virtual existence where I have friends. But one drawback I always felt about the virtually existence, the personal touch of being friends only comes after a face to face conversation. The online world can start friendships/relationships for you but it’s highly unlikely that it can take it to the next level.

I have always loved the idea of twitter, but surprisingly I have felt that somehow the 140 characters may be enough to communicate, start a relationship but it drops a lot of thinks as well. Here I produce 5 instances I had online where I feel a bit left out/weird-

1- I have a lot of friends on twitter & blogs as I have already mentioned in my last post here but still I don’t think I am aware when are their birthdays and other trivial details like these which I think friends should know. I can add any all of them on a facebook or Orkut but then simply the essence of a virtual presence is a complete persona but it simply isn’t at one place

2- One of my friends Brainstuck, we actually were having a conversation when something conversation happened where actually my comment would have been unjustified if his age wasn’t close to mine (which I had assumed by default). I actually had to specifically ask him his age before giving comments on the situation. Now friends don’t do that.

3- Then another friend of mine Meera, I actually came in touch with her because of her awesome cartoons which I saw during the election period. Now after reading the cartoon and her take on Indian politics I always assumed somewhere she would be an elderly lady around 40 years of age with a very mature and balanced viewpoint on the Political scenario and obviously an amazing sense of humor. Yesterday when she shared her pic on the twitter, I realized the only thing I have misjudged more was to have thought of Meera as a guy. Well this is her pic and you will have an Idea how wrong I was.

4- I met Nikhil the other day at Costa Coffee after interacting with him on twitter and email a couple of times I always had a perception of him as a mature and serious guy. I was actually jaw dropped when I came to know that he was such a chill & cool guy and had actually recently completed his graduation.

5- A lot of times this happens that my friends are not online, I have telephone numbers of them and I have the inquisitiveness why the hell they are not online. Something wrong, something happening but somehow I never call, because it might be inappropriate.

I don’t if it happens only with me, but I think I sometimes feel a need more than twitter, blogs, orkut to make friends. May be I am skeptical, or may be I will grow with time. So people what do you think, have you also made similar mistakes online, do you feel a need for real connect too?

5 things for a High Higher than Alcohol

As the esteemed readers of the Blog would already be aware that yours truly is actually a teetotaler and doesn’t know how the so hyped “high” of an Alcohol feels like. So I actually discussed the same with some of my friends who have their more than fair share of being “delightfully high” almost thrice a week. So based on inputs from them these are the list of 5 things that give a high higher than alcohol and my hangover remedies for it-

1- Killing High- Playing a Video Game like Counter Strike, Quake, Unreal Tournament, Age of Empires, When you are left alone in the team still you go all the way to win the game, killing everyone else. The feeling that gives rise to surge of adrenalin can only been understood by the people who can spend days playing the game without getting bored out of it.

Hangover Remedy- Mom shouting with the Hitler v 6.0 look on her face to have a bath (immediate relief guaranteed)

2- Speeding High- You are on a road driving, a sonofab***h cuts you off and goes away. That’s a moment of an ultimate high. You sit straight, the eyes narrow revaluating the distances. Gear comes down by two unit, the foot presses on the accelerator, the RPM and speedometer pick up from the slumber. The distance decreasing, 900m, 800m,…100m Finally you cut him off, giving him a finger with your arrogant and spoilt look in a glance and then speed away. What a high! This kind of high also can come through the first time exposure to entities like Transporter, Fast & Furious, Top gun, Death Race & Dhoom.

Hangover Remedy: Sister, Girlfriend, Wife or female friends sitting on the non driving seat. Or the guy who cut you off had a BMW and you were driving a Honda City.

3- Anticipated High- When you out on a date with someone who you really think is absolutely hot. Halfway through the date you realize you have hit on well and your date is already consumed four shots of Tequila. That’s when you get high in anticipation of how lucky you are going to get tonight. For females it generally works other way round, The date should be prefect and the guy just had a glass of vodka wine.

Hangover Remedy: The number of shots shoots to 6 and the date gets all dizzy anticipating she might puke.

4- Lovingly High- The first one year when you are in love with someone and that someone loves you back is a period of an unmatched high. I mean the high lasts longer than that if you can force manage yourself to love the same person over an extended period of time. This is a very dangerous kind of high, can make you behave erratically and over consumption might lead to untimely death. Case in Point: Heer-Ranjha, Laila Manjnu, Romeo-Juliet etc etc. So bottomline is consume with caution.

Hangover Remedies: Lover’s khadus baap, positive pregnancy tests, presence of the other in life and most effective one- Marriage.

5- Chocolaty High- This is one of the easy obtainable high, You go to a nice place order a Sizzling Chocolate Walnut Brownie (You can also order Chocolate Avalanche @ Mochas). The people will bring you an amazing post of a deliciously sweet cake made of amazing walnuts and chocolate. Which would be mounted (not for dry humping you perverts) by a large scoop of vanilla ice cream and a cup full of chocolate sauce poured over the entire thing. And this served on a sizzling plate. Man you reach the seventh heaven.

Hangover Remedy- Well the only remedy which can work on this high is, keep the bill of the expensive Gym you have joined in your pocket and see it before you order and while you eat. Though this is not a sure shot remedy works otherwise for me I tend to order another piece thinking “Isiliye to Gym kar rahe hai ki aur kha sake”

So these are the things that give me a high higher than the Alcohol. The topic of the post was
suggested to me by a very dearie friend, and coincidentally its her birthday today “Many happy returns of the day to you”.

MBA Connection

I was having a chat with one of my friends, It was a catching up after a long time chat and the conversation moved in such a direction, which can happen only between two MBA’s. The amazing point was there was nothing substantial in the conversation; but still both of us had a hearty laugh and shared an amazing moment of connect. I am reproducing an excerpt of the conversation which happened between us-

Anu: Surat, city of bombs
me:  cool, City of Diamonds as well
     Shaadi ke liye shopping kar lo
     😛
anu:  ye y e..
      u mean..pehle diamonds khareed ke rakh lu
      fir ladka to mil hi jayega
      lol
me:  he he he
     Aur kya
     obviously
     Ladka bhi khush rahega
anu:  corrct
      i shud optimize my time
me:  ladki ne diamonds already khareed rakhe hai
      mujhe dukhi nahi karegi
      Diamonds ke liye
      😛
anu:  lol
      mayb or mayb not..
me:  Thats the nightmare guys have when they are palnnign to get married
     “Mujhe 22 Carat Solitare chahiye” types
     🙂
anu:  lol
      but mister
      there is smething called as credit also
      coz.. agar main 10-20lac k diamond credit pe le lungi ….to uski vaat lag jayegi….
      lol
      ki holo?
me:  He he he he
     10-20 Lac ka credit
anu:  yeah
me:  baap re
anu:  ajakl credit dene k liye bahut banks vaise bhi ghum rahe hain
me:  Matlab tum shaadi ki annual returns main liabilities main lis hogi instead of assets
anu:  vo sari zindagi chukata hi rahega
      aur nahi to kya
me:  Bechara structured financing ka course revise karta karta mar jayega
anu:  kisi ke palle padungi …to sochega ki pichle janam me koi ghor paap kiya hoga
me:  🙂
anu:  lol
      lol
      LOL
      arrey uski khud ki life imbalance ho jayegi…. balance sheet kya banayega 😀
me:  Persona Life Sub Prime crisis
     the asset which looked strikingly attractive on the eve of the marriage turned liabilities in the longer term
     Leading to Bankruptcy
     Awesome Awesome
     lets Recommend US govt they should design a bail out package around you 😛
     for financing all your diamonds
     what say?
anu:  lol
      pls recommend them
      atleast wud fetch me lotsa limelite
      if nothing else
      😀
me:  he he he I might also get the Nobel Prize for solving the Sub prime Crisis
     Win-Win-Win Situation
     🙂
anu:  yo yo

Really Refreshing

I have always loved Limca Ads, generally they go well with the image. I somehow find myself relating so much with their new ad. Specially with the kind of chemistry the girl & the guy have and the music track & lyrics conveys the message right across. It just seems to be perfect. Good work Limca, good work O & M. I feel the need to be refreshed after watching this one.
You can watch the Ad here, and The lyrics are as following-

Fuhaarein, Baucharein, Nazaare chura lo na,

Kuch boondein chura lo na,
Thaki si zindagi se, ruki si zindagi se, kuch lamhe chura lo na,
Kuch yaadein, kuch sapne apne chura lo na,
Thaki si zindagi se, ruki si zindagi se, raftaar chura lo na.

The previous ad which was on a similar theme featuring Riya Sen was this one.

Aukaat

It feels really good to be in Pune, especially when I spent two awesome years of my life here in this city. The best part of the student life is that it attaches you big time to the city. You leave a part of yours when you move out, Pune is same to me. Irrespective of 1001 complaints you will receive about it whether the traffic which never seems to be in order, or the potholes which seem to outnumber the number of roads in the city or the rains which show a deep influence from Jim Carrey’s Mast yelling all the time ‘Somebody Stop Me!!!’ or now the latest politician on the block Mr. Raj Thackrey and his lingual biases. Despite all this my love for this city is something which is constant, you can attribute it to weather, the crowd anything but for sake of my comfort I would say I have spent two best years of my life right here. A few days ago I was actually contemplating where to have dinner, was not really sure where I wanted to have my dinner and what I wanted to eat. When me & Sumeet passed what used to be our college building one and a half years ago. I saw the NCC canteen was still open and I immediately pulled over.

As I climbed down the stairs of the canteen, a feeling of Nostalgia hit me. Nothing had changed there. The seats were the same, the students were scattered and the conversations regarding tests, subjects, movies were going amidst thick layers of cigarette smoke (yes I know the sticks are banned, but you can’t stop the kids. Not in their college canteen, absolutely not. More coming on the ban in my next post) It just seemed that we have moved further away. A realization that the places don’t change we are the ones who change; I saw this was the place where I used to have my daily lunch for two years. I actually relished the canteen food after the long lectures and hardships of deadlines and assignments, today I would not think of visiting a place like this. Yes, I am quite a snob when it comes to places to eat and watching movies I do not like any place which lacks proper ambience. But the college canteen despite nowhere close to the places I prefer to eat in was something made me feel home. The surprises came in the form of people, Ganesh Anna the manager & cashier of the place, Chandu and other waiters and chefs recognizing us immediately. Coming up to us talking being concerned how we are doing. We ordered our food and as soon as we did and the waiter narrated the order to the Chef. The manager shouted back at the chef “Ache se banana, Bhai ka khana hai” (prepare the food well, it is for our brother). A feeling swept in that how respect worthy & important we were for this guy. How we sat in the place like we owned it, no formalities, nothing doing absolutely like a king. No 5 star in this world could match that, having eaten in best of the places but the kind of treatment was irreplaceable.

Now I fully understand when DJ (Amir Khan) says in Rang De Basanti “Mujhe University main hi rehna hai. University main apni ek aukaat hai. Log kehte hai DJ main badi baat hai kuch karega DJ. Universtiy ke gate ke is paar hum life ko nachate hai aur gate ke us par life humko nachati hai” (I want to remain in the university only. Inside the University I have a standing, people say DJ has something special about him, they know me who I am. They say I will achieve one day. On the insides of the gates we make the life dance on our tunes on the other side of the gate life makes us dance on her tunes).

I have had parties which have amounted more than my entire expenses at the NNC canteen for months. But still those restaurant people won’t even know what my name is. But is NCC canteen main, ithe to apni kuch aukaat hai. Log Jaante hai mainnu yahan par. (in this NCC canteen I have my own standings people know me here). NCC rocks!!!

34 Bubblegums & Candies Launch

Ever since I have developed a fascination for books authors have been a part of conversations around me. Until today my perception of an author used to be of some kind of celebrity, some what like the Katrinas and Shahrukhs of the world. We all know they exist and in real, but they seem to live in a different world. When I got an opportunity to attend the book launch (for the first time in my life) in form of an invite for the launch of 34 Bubblegums and Candies, the first book from the author Preeti Shenoy, I grabbed it with both the hands.

My excitement to meet live with an author, who I used to follow through her blog, took me to the destined place well one and a half hours in advance to ensure I didn’t even a single minute of it. I walked in the crosswords and saw her books being displayed on the showcase. I picked the book in my hands and felt the cover page and the back page details which I had been seeing on the website on actual paper as a book. I kept the book down as I didn’t want to read it before the launch actually happened. I wanted to hear the author and her feelings for her first book before diluting her reactions with my own perception of the book.

The launch started at the predetermined time and in came the person who was very much a normal human being and changed my perception of authors. I was expecting someone with a somewhat stylish Brit accent indicating the flawless English usage and pronunciations. A minute of conversation dawned on me the realities of an author. The launch was triggered by her introduction and a welcome note by the crosswords team.  

The launch was presided by Anuja, sharing the dais with Preeti, who in words of Preeti herself is one of the most energy spreading people she knew and also fostered a passion for Preeti’s writings. She started her address with the answer to the question which was haunting everyone’s mind, what made her traverse the journey from being a blogger to becoming an author. She talked about how a sudden and unfortunate turn of events made her realize the value of every days in her life and more the value of our life being lost every day because we fail to live up to it. She also added how the snippets or experiences of our lives are perfect analogies with bubblegums and cadies and helped her derive the name and concept of her book 34 Bubblegums and Candies.  

Preeti concluded with reading an excerpt from the book. After which another excerpt was read by Anuja and her experience with the author and how she could correlate with the book and could swan how the every bubblegum and candy in the book has come out straight from the heart of the author. The ceremony was drawn towards the end with some games and an interactive question answer session with the author herself. The ceremony marked it closure with the signing of the books by the author.

What stole the entire show and made it so special for the guests and the author herself was the gesture by Atul & Purvi, for whom the author is a full-time devoted mother of two. They made very cute little bookmarks for the guests present in the launch and personalizing them for each one of them. You can read about the entire effort put in by the kids here, by Preeti herself. I being the lucky one got one of the bookmarks, which says “Dear Prateek, Thanks for buying my mom’s Book.  By Atul and Purvi”

@ Atul & Purvi: The bookmark is awesome. I will always keep it with me to remind me of you two.

Attending this book launch was an amazing experience for me specially to realize how the heart of an author goes in every page of the book to actually make it happen. How some unfortunate incidents can be changed by a person’s outlook to create something positive and meaningful out of them.  There were lot of moments where I could actually connect with the author and also feel the inspiration and inhalation out of the book. The most engaging part of the ceremony was when Preeti read a chapter on Radiators & Drains. She talked on glimpses of people around us, how there are radiators who emit constant positive energy spreading a feel good around us and then there are drains which actually feed on our own energy and exist only to pull us down. The chapter concluded on how one should surround himself with Radiators and avoid drains. This one was a certainly the bubble gum for me, I have been thinking of it since the moment I have heard it and read it and then re-read it.

Two questions which actually float my mind are not about radiators and drains around me. The question is about me am I a radiator or a drain? If I need can I change myself to be one or the other by efforts or being a radiator or drain is imbibed through our genes? And more importantly is a radiator emitting energy at all points of time in all moods and in all situations? I have my own perceptions to these questions but no definite answers. I am not sure if there are any.

P.S.: I have read the whole book cover to cover already within 2 hours of the launch. Initial feedback is if you like non fiction without any storyline; this one is worth reading and every word of it. A detailed review will come later after chewing the multiple bubblegums & digesting the sweet candies.

 

RoadTrip

Recently I was to shift base from Hyderabad to Pune for a period of three months. All those who are exclaiming in the shrill piercing baritones “AGAIN!!!!”. Yes my dear friends yet again and this time to take some enjoyment out of this transfer process and during the course of the transfer; I decided drive from Hyderbad to Pune. Though my mom freaked out on the idea and her constant pestering made me hire a driver for the route. But I drove all the way from Pune and the driver was a jerk who made my trip a disaster.

I was supposed to traverse the green route and he made me drive on the Red one which had not eating joints in the middle. Being the non highway road the ride was very very bumpy for some Km. I actually drove the first five hundred kms without the break. You jerk if you are reading this you lucky that I didn’t killed you for this. I took you for navigation and directions and that where you screw up. I don’t like this.

But the whole experience of driving on such a journey all alone and such a stretch was just awesome, When I entered Pune I was starved exhausted and almost dead. But still I loved the trip.Life ROcks

Obsessions

Here I mention my obsessions, people who know me would already know how crazy I am about these-

1- Sun Glasses- Well I don’t know what’s between me and them but you know the sunglasses those red and green coloured which you saw on the display window “Yeh kaun pehan sakta hai”. Yes I am that guy, somehow all the sunglasses are meant to fit my face. So I generally keep these killer eyes undercover.

2- Computers- Since the days we need a 5′.25″ Floppy to boot the system and another floppy to load Gwbasic and then another floppy to keep our programs. I have been a computer geek. I have seen the era where a Floppy used to come for 50 bucks which was 1.44 MB to the DVDs in 15 bucks with 8.3 GB storage. My journey has been marked by 5 different computers and I have loved them every bit.

3- Books- I actually started late from most of my peers who had a reading habit. I started in 2001 but since then reading has been my favorite past time. I have read and bought so many books that every time I go home I get a lecture from my Mom to arrange all the 250 books personal library I have managed to acquire and read. I have these weird quirk that when I finish a book i say i will read this again. But this actually never happens.

4- Writing- I started writing in fourth standard in the creative writing workshop I had, and wrote a seriously silly poem-

There was a cat chasing mice
It bit her not once but thrice
but the cat was brave she did not cried
but started chasing the mice.

(yes I was an early starter for Tom & Jerry)
and my English teacher Mrs. John appreciated me a lot (She taught us AA rhyming scheme in the workshop and this poem was a result of that) and since then I have been torturing people with my writing.

5- Coffee- I have always hated all kind of drinks which are served hot but somehow I fell in instant love with coffee. After coming to Pune Barista was like a dream come true and for the next two years my attendance at Barista was way higher than the attendance at my college. The love with coffee and Barista is still on and a late night coffee has become an obsession.

Friendships

Every time I see Top Gun which is one of my all time favorite movies, one scene makes me nostalgic, when during the second hop Maverick is defeated by Jester and all the Top Gun Pilots are in the Washroom-

Goose: At least Viper got Iceman before he got us. We still got a shot at it.

Maverick:It was stupid I know better than that. It will never happen again

Goose: I know (Gets up)

Goose: I know……

Thats the kind of confidence which marks unbelievable friendship. I am one of the few lucky guys who got a chance to be trusted like goose did Maverick.
Thanks Waggy, for being there, saying I know with you I can never meet an accident, sitting at abnormal speeds with me, and always believing in me.

Lessons

When you look back towards the years spent one finds the life, that there have been series of practical lessons people who have been important at some point in life. I here jot down some of friends who have made me learnt some very important lessons in my life.
•Shantanu- Always stand by your friend, no matter what!
• Ankit- Live every moment to its maximum
•Prince- When you are aspiring for the best, its hard work that makes the difference not the talent
•Shubhajeet- My will I can.
•Wagas- Sometimes it just matters that someone is there doing nothing, but still there for you.
•Sripati Sah- Do everything in life but never loose focus.
•Ravi Mishra- Lust and Liquor can outweigh closest friendships
•Rohan- Sometimes it is better to let go things than to cling on them
•Priya- To trust someone is the fist step to getting betrayed
•Aditya Shekhar- Some people remain beyond the purview of rationale & logic
•Anupam Pathak- No situation in life so worse that you can’t laugh at it
•Shubhadeep Sarkar – How to be a perfect diplomat
•Namit Srivastava- Attitude does count a lot
•Deepti- There can be another line of thought apart from my own
•Somendra Chaubey- The best time to have faith on people is when they are loosing it on themselves
•Reena- Never take a stand but still communicate what I want
•Sumeet- Being ethical
•Sumit- How to do what you think is right.
•Vishay- Being professional and leading from front
•Vikram- How to be nice yet truthful always
•Praveen- Focus Focus & Focus.
•Neha- Sometimes its just a few lines and a smile which can win friends for a lifetime
•Ruchi – Being practical and emotional at the same time
•Mahashweta- Being happy go lucky might win you friends but also lead you to ultimate chaos
•Arindam – Playing Squash
•Vikash, Anoop, Sid, Balli, Saurabh, Rahul – Sometimes a lot of things can happen over silly little nothings
•Nikhil Narayanan – Blogging and Standing up to take the onus to bring changes about things which are not justified.

To everyone who has contributed beautifully to my life. Thanks a lot. And here I tag Vinni & Nik.