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Of Dreams and More

November 9, 2009

It has been a while, hasn’t it? Well, the second-half of this year has not shied away from making me feel as if I have been sitting upside down in some roller-coaster of sorts.

But today, things have been mellow. The weather was unbelievably fantastic for a day in November. Close to 20 degrees C, sunny and blue skies. Went for a jog with friends and ended up running close to 5 km. Hope the weather stays like this for some more time. Could do with some much-needed exercise.

A few days ago, Life Rules posted a real cool post. Funky tune and brilliant lyrics. And then on Saturday, I saw another beautiful post on a friends FB wall. Its a short movie called Struck (click here to watch it) which definitely struck a chord somewhere. And close to the end of the movie, a soundtrack begins to play that struck me some more. Posting the complete version sung by Israel Kamakawiwo.


The year is drawing to a close.The next step beckons. And as this post draws to an end, I am reminded of that brilliant song from that brilliant movie. Watch Prabhudeva at the end doing his version of the song.

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Guy Talk

June 2, 2009

It has been a hectic last couple of months. Semester endings are always a pain, whether one has 3 courses to juggle or just 1 course to tackle. There is always that report that never seems to get completed till the last minute or that exam which is never thought off till the night before. But in the end all’s well that ends well.

Well, after all that hard-work, a good long holiday was the cry of the hour. So off we went on a road trip right down to Miami. Beach, bikini and beer. Can’t ask for more. There is something about the sea that makes those women extremely hot. Need to do more research on that. And learn Spanish too.

Anyways, so yesterday was just one of those days where a guy gang slowly began to make its presence felt at the author’s place. It was a little after 7 pm and during these long summer days, it was just the right time to enjoy a cup of tea and watch the sun slowly dip into the horizon, soon to dawn on the land we thought of so much these days.

It is an oft-debated theory, especially among the fairer sex, that when a group of guys gets together, all they can discuss is girls. But there are occasions when we deviate from the obvious. And yesterday was one such day.

Our talk started off with the General Motors’ bankruptcy filing news and how this would impact other global players in the automotive industry, we touched upon the possibilities of the whereabouts of the missing Air France Airbus A330, then made our way to the dark side of Dubai and slowly meandered towards one of my favourite topics, Pune. (Yours truly being born and brought up in Pune.)

Three out of the other four guys had – at sometime or the other – been associated with Pune for the purpose of education or work. So the topic started with one of my room-mates mentioning how amazing the schooling was in Pune.

Another guy exclaimed,
“Bhai, UG in Pune!!! Kya mazze ke din the woh!!!”

Another guy blurted out,
“The girls at E-Square!”

He then explained how he once went to a multiplex in Hyderabad to watch a movie, and began to wonder whether women had stopped watching movies. I completely sympathized with the dude. For when I was living in Hyderabad, I had had a few debacles at the only multiplex (Prasads) that Hyderabad had then (PVR had yet not started then). I then decided to keep all the mega block buster type movies strictly for my Pune visits. Rang de Basanti was the one movie that I couldn’t wait to get to Pune to watch. So I saw it at Prasads. And then I went to Pune and saw the movie again to get the actual feel of the movie.

After movie halls, the topic moved to some of the wierd names that Pune areas have. Camp, Koregaon Park, Bibewadi, Swargate, Jangali Maharaj Road. There are so many. But the wierdest that we could think of was the chowk called ‘Seven Loves Chowk’ that lies below the fly-over connecting Swargate to Camp. Why would someone name a chowk ‘Seven Loves Chowk’? My guess is that there was a hotel named ‘Seven Loves’ at that chowk. I wonder how the food would be there?

Any other guesses?

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Go Green

March 22, 2009
When I initially came to the US in Fall 2007, I came across a very interesting documentary on YouTube describing the effect that outsourcing was having on the Indian (yes, Indian) economy. And guess what, the narrator was an American journalist named Thomas Friedman.

Intrigued, I later found that this guy had actually written a book called The World Is Flat: A Brief History of The Twenty-first Century (2005; expanded edition 2006; revised edition 2007) and in one of his interviews he was asked how did he come to think of the mentioned title. And he goes on to describe a discussion he had with Nandan Nilekani while making the said documentary, which triggered off a thought process and the consequence was the book mentioned. Below is a brief overview of what the book is about, straight from the horse’s mouth.

A few days ago, I ventured to find out what Mr. Friedman was writing these days. His latest book is called Hot, Flat, and Crowded: Why We Need a Green Revolution—And How It Can Renew America (2008)

This sounded interesting. I needed more information. Once again YouTube to the rescue. As I watched this brilliant presentation yesterday, my mind trotted back to my visit back to India last December. It was a short visit, after a gap of 16 months. And as I roamed around in the city where I had spent most of my life, I slowly began to have this scary notion that if and when I plan to come back to Pune, there may be no place left for me.

For, the city seemed like it was going to burst any minute. Malls at every nook and corner. Traffic sense that dint seem to have any sense at all. Where was my green Pune that I left a few years ago? In 2006, I remember on my trips back from Hyderabad, I used to complain about the condition of the roads in Pune. There used to be more craters than roads. Well, the roads have definitely improved, but there seems to be no place on those roads to walk, let alone drive.

This presentation drives home that very point, that a whole new class of people is slowly emerging, all who can afford to live the same lifestyle that normal Americans do. And its about time we start worrying about the burden that we are imposing on this planet.

I was so glad when I came across this campaign this morning and I hope that we all slowly but surely move towards a green revolution. In Mr. Friedman’s own words, “We have exactly enough time, starting now.”

Go Green !!!

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A few years ago…

March 15, 2009

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Salaam Namaste

March 8, 2009

I was reading Just a mother of two‘s Alphabet Party and thought why not try her idea of using alphabets to draw the lady in red.

The dress is made completely using alphabets like U, S, L, P etc. With Photoshop’s versatility, I could flip the alphabets wherever I needed.

Also, while browsing the Internet, I came across an article which was good food for thought. (read it here)

Happy Women’s Day !!!

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La Vita e Bella

February 17, 2009
So, last Friendship’s Day, I tried my hand at a Goan sweet dish which turned out to be pretty good. Motivated by the outcome, for this Valentine’s Day, I tried an Italian sweet dish called Tiramisu. Credit for the recipe goes to my Mom.

Ingredients: (serves 4 people)

1 Light sponge cake (angel food cake available at Walmart)
3 cups warm water
3 teaspn coffee
5 teaspn powdered sugar
50 gm whipped cream
100 gms Mascerpone cheese (available at Weg
mans)
250 ml milk
3 tbspn custard powder
1 teaspn vanilla essence
1-3 tbspn rum (depending how intoxicated you want your guests to become)

Preparation:

1. Cut light sponge cake into small cubes

2. Mix the warm water and coffee together and pour evenly over the cake

3. Make a thin custard (by mixing the custard powder and sugar into boiling milk), and pour this over the cake


4. In a separate vessel heat mascarpone cheese, whipped cream and little powdered sugar and mix till it is smooth. Add vanilla essence and rum once the mixture is a little cool. Pour this mixture over the cake


5. Decorate with dry cocoa powder and grated chocolate
(I decorated it to suit the occasion)

6. Keep the dish in the fridge for 1 to 2 hours till it is firmly set

7. Serve cold

Buon appetite!

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The V@gina Monologues

February 8, 2009
The other day, as I sat in the bus wondering what plans to make for the weekend, I noticed the local paper had this on its front page.

Love was in the air, Venus shone brightly in the sky and an interesting play at the Schwab Auditorium. Sounded like a perfect potpourri of events. So we went for it.

And what a play it was !!! At the start of the play, the narrator requested the audience to switch off their mobile phones. She added, “Sorry ladies, no vibrators today!”

An annual event here at Penn State, Eve Ensler’s V@gina Monologues is an Obie Award-winning play made up of a number of monologues which all relate to woman sexuality in some way or the other. A subtle mix of humour, satire and eroticism, the play had the entire hall (dominated by women) mesmerised and in splits of laughter.

On the brochure handed over to us during the play, the director Shana Lombardi had written a beautiful article. An excerpt from the same:

“Tonight, laugh, cry, let your minds be open, and let your toes curl. But when the curtain closes, remember to take with you the spirit of The Vagina Monologues: the self confidence and the common bonds, the means of connecting to the important women in your life, and supporting each other. Remember to let creativity and love flourish in opposition of violence.”

The event is in fact a part of a global movement called V-Day, launched by Ensler in 1998, which works to stop violence against women and girls, including rape, battery, incest, female genital mutilation and sexual slavery. V-Day has raised over sixty million dollars for women’s anti-violence groups.

Apparently the play seems to be a huge hit in India too, and I am looking forward to see that one too, whenever opportunity offers a chance.