Friday, October 19, 2012

By Chance in The Incredible India

We visited Ranthambhore National Park on our trip to Jaipur during the Winter of 2011. We were lucky then to meet a tiger in the wild.

In the Summer of 2012 we went to Goa. On our way from the Airport to the city we stopped our car curious to find out why a crowd has gathered. What we discovered is by far a once in a life time experience. A snake have dropped down from the tree losing its balance after it started to swallow a full grown monkey. Some villagers gathered around it trying to tame it with a rope and stick, while the snake is busy gobbling up the remaining legs and tail of the monkey.

I wonder what lies ahead for our next visit to another city ........ we look forward to that in anticipation!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Your fitness is costing us dearly

The 2022 FIFA fever is heating up in Qatar. More and more new and shiny cars are hitting the roads each day. I see hundreds of those around me while driving up to work but there are only a few that have more than one passenger inside. The streets are not being able to cope up with the influx. But streets are not the only impacted, so is the housing sector. You find an apartment to rent in the morning, it is almost certain that it will not be available if you comeback for it in the afternoon.  People who lived in Dubai in the first decade of this century may term this as the “Dubai Syndrome”.

I take the cornice street to go to work every morning except Saturdays. It’s not because there are less traffic on that street, but because all the intersections along this road are manned by traffic cops. It’s got a very a scenic view too as it has got some of the greatest skyscrapers on one side and Gulf sea with paved cornice on the other busy with morning joggers.

The road also have three “Pelican Crossing”, which we wish nobody would use. This is a type of crossing with a pair of standard traffic lights facing the oncoming traffic on both directions and can be controlled by push buttons on either side of the road. The pedestrian can push the buttons to stop the traffic. When there is one such light on a 2 X 3 lanes street the traffic has to stop long enough to allow a pedestrian cross 6 lanes and a divider.

Most of the days we drive uninterrupted but once in a while we are paused by the ones eager to keep themselves fit. The traffic builds up quite fast while the drivers inside has only one though in their mind .....”Dear, your fitness is costing us dearly”.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

RIP - All those Dead Plastics

Being a collector of stamps, calling cards and phone cards et al, I ended up collecting to a lot of plastics over the past years.The ones in the picture above have lived their natural life and are now sitting idle waiting for a new lease of life. But the question is What do I do with all these dead plastics?

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Human Touch

Earlier this year I received a letter from my Insurance company wishing me on the birthday. This was a great gesture and there can be no debate about that.
They had their reasons to be happy as one more year have passed without them having to part with the money that I rightfully think is mine. After all I am the pessimist here and they the optimists.
I opened the envelope and read through the contents inside. The first thought that crossed my mind was it would have been nicer had they have used my name instead of "Customer". However I was pleased that they just did not refer to me by a number .... well the policy number.
It was only later that I realized that there was a separate wish for each policy. At that point there was little doubt I was in the good hands of machines. Machines operated by more machines.

For my next birthday, I wished there will be a little more Human Touch in this world!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Nothing is Permanent

Few of my roller ball head pens ran out of ink last week. As I tossed those into the bin, I paused to reflect on the past years. So much had changed over the past 4 decades that our entire lifestyle went for an overhaul.
During our school days nothing was disposable, not even a syringe or the needle. Everything was meant to last a life time. We used to get refills for our ball pens when we got promoted from pencil to pen. As a matter of fact we were advised to use an ink pen rather than a ball point pen as it threatened to spoil our handwriting. Today we neither see a refill nor an inkpot! You either throw away the pen or change a cartridge......
Often we used to visit the stationery shop to buy one pencil while an eraser used to last for years and a pencil sharpener used to be a lifetime’s asset. But today I wonder if anyone sold or more importantly buy a single pencil. People buy erasers in dozens and box full of sharpeners.
But those concerns our children and they do not develop such attachment as we did. So they don’t mind dumping their year old belongings into the bin.

I realized I have serious complains about my other stuffs as well. I honestly do not know what to do with all these!
My first SLR camera can no longer be used as it is analogue and fully manual!
My fully automatic Pentax camera with 200m zoom lens cannot be used either. Not only because films rolls and developing studios are scarce but also because digital cameras are a better option.
But the irony is that my Sony digital camera that I bought in 2006 can no longer be used as Sony decided not to produce its battery any more.
My net book’s battery life is over and cost of a new battery is more than 60% cost of a new one with latest specification.
Now that iphone 5 is on the market, what will happen to my iphone 4?
Too many questions with a One answer..... Nothing is permanent in Life!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

an odyssey of a office goer

A routine drive to and from work is rather filled with interesting moments. I discovered it  and decided to  track all that crossed my mind on one particular day. All while I was concentrating on driving with no one else inside the car and keeping hands off the mobile.

The first few moments of the journey are quite hectic for the brain. Adjusting to the inertia of motion is one and deciding on the indoor temperature, FM station and moving objects does the rest. The news is usually irrelevant and fails to impact the day to day existence and most of the time makes you sad with news of death and destructions! The music on the other hand has the power to rekindle sweet memories and sometimes not so sweet ones.

Drifting in such thoughts I noticed a few sparrows feeding in the grass outside. The temperature in the morning was already above 40 degree Celsius but I guess food comes first. I remembered my early school days when I used to believe that sighting of one Common Mynah was a sign of bad luck. A day then was pretty much decided by the following rhyme:

One for sorrow
Two for joy
Three for letters &
Four for toys

I was weak and superstitious and it went on to torment me spoiling the childhood bliss. Remembered the day I told myself that I am no longer going to let the silly birds to dictate my happiness or sorrow. These days they make me smile.

A car with a sign “Baby on board” passed by. This is quite a common sight particularly with a very high percentage of young population and moreover they love to have children. But this one was quite old and I thought that the baby to whom it belonged is probably now old enough to drive the car.

Soon after that a new car drove past with a brand new yellow sign and a closer look revealed the text. It read “Civil Engineer on Board”. I was completely clueless as to what was expected of me or my fellow drivers. Were we supposed to keep distance or go and hit him…… a mystery remains to be answered!

Usually it is quite common in the mornings to see a few women drivers hastily wearing their make-up on their way to work every time they had to stop their car. The men however like to have their sandwiches or coffee or cigarette on the go. But that particular morning there were none of them. But for the first time I saw a woman driving a car with her dog sitting on her lap. I thought of clicking a pictures but it stopped a bit far from me. You could be fined if you were caught driving with your child on the lap, I wondered if there was a law that forbid one from having a dog!

While I waited at a signal, I saw a man cross the road. He had a file folder in one hand and a plastic carry bag in the other. He looked up and met my gaze for a moment and moved on. His face had a mixed expression of frustration, shame and failure. The eyes seem to searching for answer to why is this happening to me. In a city where very few walks on the streets he must be going through a phase which nobody wants to but most of us can’t escape. He had come thousands of miles away from home with dreams and promises which at this point in time looks very distant.

When I was returning home after work, the person from the car beside mine waved at me at the traffic signal. He gave a beaming smile and lowered window and I returned his gesture. He called out my name and said “how are you? Do you remember me, we worked together?” Too embarrassed to say no, I replied “yes off course! I do remember you.” Even to date it is a painful reminder that old age is catching up with me and I keep digging into my memory cells looking for a name for his face.

The car in front then was determined not to let me exceed the speed limit even by a fraction. He would neither accelerate nor give way. So the momentary road guardian bought me to a safe stop allowing enough time for the light to change from amber to red. The guy behind me thought otherwise. He overtook us from the side squeaking and screeching almost flew over the intersection in his Land Cruiser.

Some people live life as if there will be no tomorrow. The owner of that car seems to believe …… Drive your car as if the traffic light would never turn green again”!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Give Or I Will Take

There are a few unwritten rule based on underlying philosophies that we assume governs the Universe or more aptly our world. In effect majority of we people abide by these including many who does not believe but still practice. As a result we co-exist in this world happily or worriedly. One such governing factor is based on the principle of “Give and Take”. You give something and you take something else in return, a barter arrangement, be it for goodies or for favors.
But that probably is only true for person to person dealing. Sooner or later you will realize as I did is that the interpretation of “Give & Take” for a company is you give and the company takes.  I have never met an organization who believes otherwise. Please give me the address and details if you happen to know one!
Often one ends up having to do more than one project at a time. While they never forget to bill the clients separately, they never remember to pay you anything extra.
So how do you get it back? Here are some of unforgettable theories put forward by my friends over the years.
Who should absorb the time lost in the traffic? Should I spent this time out my personal time or it gets adjusted to the total office hours or could this be split 50 – 50. I leave home on time in the morning and leave office on time in the evening. I do not grumble if I reach home late in the evening and neither does the office complain in the mornings!
One of my college mates always wanted to leave the office early on a day he was late in arriving. His explanation was “I do not want to be late twice on the same day.”
An Italian designer friend once said “why do I have to do things today that I can do tomorrow.”
A Egyptian friend always used to say “ I still have time.”

Saturday, June 9, 2012


One really doesn’t understand the true meaning of the word WE unless he start to work under a boss who happens to be a manager in the true sense.

Every time when the boss comes from a high level management meeting, he usually starts sharing the information about an upcoming submission. The statement that comes out expresses the determination to succeed while evoking a considerable amount of team spirit. “We will have to submit it tomorrow… come hell or high waters!” … a dialogue many people are accustomed to!

It doesn’t take much longer to discover that this particular “WE” is correctly spelt “Y-O-U”.

A decade back the parting speech used to be “don’t forget to place it on my desk before you go home today (read late night)”. Today it has changed to “do remember to email it to me as soon as you are done”.
Good thing about all this is that I am learning the trick of the trade and hope one day soon enough I will master the correct spelling of this magic word ....... "WE"!

Monday, May 14, 2012

You Said It

Shakespeare.."Coins always make sound, but currency notes are always silent. So when your value increases, keep yourself calm and silent"

John Keats.
. "It is very easy to defeat someone, But it is very hard to win someone" 

Einstein.. "I am thankful to all those who said NO to me. It is Because of them I did it myself.."

Shakespeare."Never play with the feelings of others, because you may win the game but the risk is that you will surely loose the person for life time". 

Abraham Lincoln
. "If friendship is your weakest point, then you are the strongest person in the world"

.."Laughing faces do not mean that there is absence of sorrow! But it means that they have the ability to deal with it".

Willian Arthur.."Opportunities are like sunrises, If you wait too long you can miss them".

Napoleon.. "The world suffers a lot. Not because of the violence of bad people, But because of the silence of good people!" 

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Toothpaste and Forwarded Emails

I still receive forwarded email once in a while though I would admit that with the ever increasing popularity of social networking sites, this has remarkably gone down. A few months back I received an email with the subject as 15 Brilliant Uses of Toothpaste. And that declared that toothpaste's cleaning capabilities work wonders on many things besides our teeth. The same ingredients that help polish our pearly whites can also soothe some common ailments, make household items sparkle, and even get rid of stains and pungent smells. 

I am glad that I did not delete this mail without reading it as opposed to my usual action with such mails. As I glanced through, a few of the uses mentioned caught my attention and particularly the one at number 11 in the list.

Recently my daughter's DVD of Barbie movies stopped working and she was visibly unhappy. I  remembered this email. Nobody at home had any faith at this remedy but Voila! it worked. This over used DVD got an extra lease of life! Maybe another day soon enough I would be writing about my experiences about a few more of these odd uses of this morning ally......

As Received:
1. Relieve irritation from bug bites, sores, and blisters: These skin irritations all tend to weep and, in the case of bug bites, often itch. Apply a drop of toothpaste to a bug bite or insect sting to stop the itching and decrease any swelling. When applied to sores or blisters, it dries them up, thus allowing the wound to heal faster. It's best when used overnight.

2. Soothe a stinging burn: For minor burns that do not involve an open wound, toothpaste can deliver temporary cooling relief. Apply it delicately to the affected area immediately after a burn develops; it temporarily relieves the sting and prevents the wound from weeping or opening.

3. Decrease the size of a facial blemish: Want to speed up the healing of a zit? Apply a tiny dot of toothpaste to the affected area at night before bed. Wash it off in the morning.

4. Clean up your fingernails: Our teeth are made of enamel, and toothpaste is good for them, so it stands to reason that toothpaste would also be good for our fingernails. For cleaner, shinier, and stronger nails, simply scrub the underneath and tops of fingernails with a toothbrush and toothpaste.

5. Keep hair in place: Gel toothpastes contain the same water-soluble polymers that many hair gels are made of. If you are looking to style and hold an extreme hair creation, try gel toothpaste as your go-to product if you are out of regular hair gel.

6. Scrub away stinky smells: Garlic, fish, onion, and other pungent foods can permeate the skin cells on our hands. Scrubbing hands and fingertips briefly with toothpaste removes all traces of smelly odours.

7. Remove stains: Toothpaste can make tough stains on both clothing and carpets disappear. For clothes, apply toothpaste directly to the stain and rub briskly until the spot is gone, then wash as usual. (Note that using a whitening toothpaste on colors can sometimes bleach the fabric.) For carpet stains, apply toothpaste to the stain and scrub it with an abrasive brush, then rinse immediately.

8. Spruce up dirty shoes: This tactic works great on running shoes or scuffed-up leather shoes. As with carpet stains, apply toothpaste directly to the dirty or scuffed area, then scrub with a brush and wipe

9. Remove crayon stains on painted walls: Rub a damp cloth with toothpaste gently on the marked-up wall and watch the Crayola marks disappear

10. Make silver jewellery and other silver pieces sparkle:Rub toothpaste onto jewelry and leave overnight. Wipe clean with a soft cloth in the morning. Make diamonds shine by giving them a gentle scrub using a toothbrush, toothpaste, and a little water. Rinse thoroughly to remove all traces of toothpaste. Do not use this method on pearls, as it will damage their finish.

11. Remove scratches on DVDs and CDs. This remedy has been used with mixed success rates, but it seems to work fairly well on shallow scratches and smudges. Apply a thin coating of toothpaste to the disc and rub gently, then rinse clean.

12. Tidy up piano keys before tickling them: Piano keys retain oil from the skin, which then attracts dust and dirt. Clean away grime gently with a damp, lint-free cloth and toothpaste; after rubbing in the toothpaste, wipe the keys clean with a second lint-free cloth.

13. Deodorize baby bottles: If baby bottles develop a sour-milk smell, a good cleaning with some toothpaste and a bottle scrubber will clean away residue and deodorize. Always make sure to rinse well.

14. Remove the burned crust on irons: For those of you who still use an iron, you may find that after time, the plate of the iron develops a burned crust. The silica in toothpaste gently grinds away this rusty looking layer.

15. Defog goggles: Scuba divers, swimmers, and athletes may already know about this handy little trick: Rub a small spot of toothpaste into each lens of your goggles, then rinse thoroughly, and voila! There'll be no need to ever buy expensive defogger gels again. Avoid rubbing too vigorously, though, as the abrasive ingredients in toothpaste could scratch the lenses