Monday, December 19, 2005
Travelogue: Day 3&4 in London
First half of saturday was spent at home and following the ManUtd match against Villa (they won 2-0 and I was happy). Then I was off to Leicester Square to meet Mama. Bugger showed up almost an hour late with me freezing outside Starbucks with a latte that went from hot to cold - that was funny! Anyways, after he got in (apologising that he was practising one of his salsa moves with his partner for the competition on sunday) we walked up to Bar All One to catch a couple of pints - Stella and Guinness. It was a decent place, not the smoky dark pubs and music is not so great at all. Then we were wondering what to do. So we thought we would catch the late night 12:30 show of King Kong. So after we got the tiks, we headed into Chiquito. That place was packed and alive and music's great. We chatted up a few people and it was quite fun. By the time we had our dinner and showed up for Kong, we were quite sleepy. Mama slept through the first half hour, waking up every half hour asking, 'King Kong kahan hai?' and my reply was 'Abhi nahi aaya'. Finally he got irritated and said 'Adha ghanta ho gaya aur saala King Kong kahan hai', and thankfully Mr. Kong showed up on screen. There was this old guy sitting next to me who went 'oooooo' and 'Ho ho ho' when something interesting happened on screen. Was so irritating. Anyways, movie over and we struggled getting a cab home. We waited at Charing's Cross for atleast half an hour at 3am, our balls freezin off as it was windy (and despite our warm jackets) and when we got back suddenly I wasn't so sleepy. Anyways sleep decided it wasn't done with me so I dozed off to wake up at 10:30. We just chilled for sometime before heading out to Oxford Circus. I went to the Apple store to pick up a case, scratch-resistant film and a dock. Then went store to store to get a Liverpool t-shirt for my bro and none of them had it in stock! Damn! Anyways, Shilpa met us at HMV and we went walking to Debenham's and then to Leicester again. Mama and Shilpa found out they had met a long time back in Cal. Small world. So a few more pints, talk about life and eat the pepper steak at Angus Steak House. Yummy. A toffee latte later I was back on the tube, headed back home. Was a good weekend. Loved the streets lit up, good to meet some of my very old friends. Am supposed to meet another old school buddy today!
Saturday, December 17, 2005
Travelogue: London Day 2
Instead of Carnaby street, we looked up and found that the same store was in Neal street (off Covent Garden) so we were off on the Piccadilly line. Thanks to my cousin, I was in every store a girl would like to go into. She kept saying please please please and I was more than willing. Was fun to check out stuff, pure window shopping. We hung around at Ponti's enjoying our hot chocolates before we walked to Leicester Square where I was supposed to meet Mama. He said he would meet us there. So while we were waiting for him, my cuz said I was checking out women. While I didn't disagree I told her that women also check out women. But there's a difference. Men go checking out women and say 'she's too thin and she's too that...' while women say 'oh look at her knees, oh how could she be waering that dress...' I think you understand what I mean. Anyways. Mama got in an hour late and we chatted for some time and then we headed back home. When I got back home, I realised I had misplaced my bluetooth headset, I still haven't found it. Sigh! 3k! My aunt made some nice salmon - yummy! At night it was the movies, to see 'Narnia'. Very nice. Back home and a few minutes with Empire, reading up on new movies and I dozed off. Am off to meet the boys later this afty. Night out in town. Sounds good.
Friday, December 16, 2005
Travelogue: London - the journey and some more
So it was. Got my flight from Bangalore to Mumbai with my baggage through to Heathrow. I was set or so I thought. Flight to Mumbai arrived at 2:30 and I was cooped up in the Transit lounge till 6:30am. I tried sleeping but could not. So ordered cups after cups of black coffee. Watched an episode of One tree hill. Got my phone charged. Called dad. Then got the liquor. And boarded the Dash400 and went upstairs and settled down. The personal DVD player for the seat wasn't working so I decided to change seats (anyways the Sardarji next to me wanted to sleep and kinda suggested he wanted to be left alone - and I left him alone). As soon as I put in Kingdom of Heaven I fell asleep (I have the DVD back home and still haven't finished watching it, so says a lot eh?).
I woke up to a couple of aunties chatting loudly (after I slept for a couple of hours). Oh I so hate it. When people don't know how to speak in public - yes, even the executive class of the aircraft is public! She went on about her family, about them being 6 sisters, how one died in a car accident when she was 22, about her family in US, UK and India and about her son and what she wants in her bahu. Man!!! To top it all she tells the other lady, 'You know, you must be thinking I'm talking so much - 'main bas bolti ja rahi hoon' - but you know, I hardly open up to people. My sister in US tells me that I'm anti-social (eh? unsocial would still be acceptable) since I do not make friends fast. I'm very selective about choosing my friends. But we have clicked haven't we?' I just gave up! I think I was in the right place at the wrong time! Hmmmm.
Anyways, arrived at Heathrow. Nice chill in the air. Like it. My uncle picked me up and we headed straight to a pub. Got a Kronenberg and then a Guinness (I had missed having one of those for sometime now) with some ham and mustard sandwiches to go with them. Went to his office. He finished up. Went home. Handed out the gifts and stuff to him and my cousin. Happy! We just chatted while Simba (the golden retriever doggie) licked my face, hands. He's seen me after 3-4 years now. Then my aunt came in and we caught up. Called mom. She called back. Then went to Watford late evening. Got myself the new issue of Empire and a Vodafone pre-paid card. Am set. Fell off to sleep as soon as I got back home. Just had time to take my shoes off.
Am off to central London with my cuz, she wants to go to Carnaby street and I have to look for football jersies. More coming up...
Tuesday, December 13, 2005
Up up and away!!
Yes. The 5 year UK visa finally arrived yesterday after a day of tenshun on Monday. So am up early to go finish up the pending shopping before I get down to packing (I hope there's enough space coz I hate to carry too many pieces of baggage). So far its 2 suitcases (one of which is only mine, the other being the goodies bag), a strolley and my laptop. I have to struggle with these to Mumbai for my 1am flight tonite. I hope its checked through to Heathrow, then I can just sleep at the lounge. 7:30 am is when the flight to London takes off. I just love these flights which give you hardly any chance to sleep inbetween. Anyways.
Adios amigos. Hasta leuga.
Wizards of Winter
My bro sent this earlier today. Dunno what the title meant but this clip is awesome.
This guy in Ohio, close to Cin City, has done up the lights in his house (for christmas) and then let the Trans Siberian Orchestra rock the lights. People actually drop in to the lane to see this and police had been called in to ease the jams there.
Its really good. Have a look.
Monday, December 12, 2005
Bengaluru - What's in a name?
After Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata the IT capital is in line to undergo a change in its name. Bengaluru. I mean come on!!! What does it prove? Close to the roots? I really do not think so. Will changing the name remedy the lack of infrastructure progress in this city? I would think its prudent to go remedy that than change the name of the city! Just my 2 bit.
Sunday, December 11, 2005
Quite a dance mix this time around. :)
1. East 17 - It's alright
2. Paul Oakenfold - Starry eyed surprise
3. Bloc Party - Helicopter
4. Uniting Nations - Out of touch
5. Arctic Monkeys - I bet you look good on the dance floor
Tip of the week:
Listen to Gypsy Soul if you think a mix of Flamenco, Latino, Jazz might seem like music to your ears. My recommendation is the first track - Jesse Cook's 'Rattle and Burn'. Very very nice.
Didn't I say I hate shopping??? Anyways, there are a few things in life you have to do even if you do not like it. So Saturday and Sunday I was on a mission. My work started at Forum. First stop at the Van Heusen store. Shirt and tie for my uncle. A very smart jacket and a muffler for yours truly (I did like shopping this bit!). Then was the turn to pick up bindis and stolles and as a result of my efforts I was given a star to put up on the nice christmas tree. Phew. Then there was the spice rack. I was to get one with had 16 containers but could only manage 12. Sorry but can't hunt for 4 more. Did end up buying something special for mommy dearest, really really liked it. Sunday I was at the Bombay store and over a 20 minute conversation with my aunt (in London) on the phone I was instructed to pick up 2 more stolles, this time it was Pashmina. Hmmm. Then a couple of silk scarves. Then get them gift-wrapped. And it started raining outside! Man! Anyways, one more stop at Forum. Another silk tie, this time for dad. Then to Landmark. Picked up the Times Music collections (River, Mountains, Desert) and the Bollywood Lounge cds for my cousin and also a book on Indian mythology. That the end then?
No. My bro gave me another list in the morning which has his games (Doom, Prince of Persia: Warrior Within and Fifa 2006) and ma's MTR sambar powder!!!! Man! I'm going to go shopping only on Wednesday now. I am very tired.
And yes, ManUtd drew again against Everton. Sucks! Capped off my weekend beautifully.
Thursday, December 08, 2005
The ultimate Man Cave Couch???
The Ultimate Man Cave Couch - first of all where did they come up with a name like this??? Dominos (yes, the pizza guys) are running this contest for a $30K couch-potato's dream (so they claim).
For your info this is what it features:
* Two flat panel screen televisions
* DVD player
* Mini refrigerator
* Xbox with three controllers
* Electric Red MP3 player
* XM Radio with one year of free service
* NEXTEL cellular phone and a NASCAR headset
* Two Domino's Pizza Heat Wave hot bags to keep your pizzas warm
* Coca-Cola beverage cooler
* Remote control caddy
* Bottle opener
Hmmm....don't think thats gonna be in my christmas shopping list!
up all night and depressed!
it happened! exactly what i had feared! ManUtd got dumped out of Europe - they couldn't even qualify for UEFA Cup. i was telling my flatmate earlier in the evening that i was sure i would be up till 3am and they would lose. man! this is what happened with Porto way back in early 2002, but atleast that was not in the group stages. am so angry! this team just can't score in europe after having rooney and nistelrooy...something's wrong...everything that Keano said (and got dumped because of it) is true. the defense was paper thin. they was hardly any wing play (oh Becks why did u leave) with Gary Neville of all people swinging the ball into the box. Giggs was a shadow and Ronaldo needs to learn and fast! He is not Sir Stanley Mathews and the sooner he gets that its better. The worrying part was that except the goal and another save from a Scholes shot, the Benfica goalie didn't have to make a save! How crazy is that? I have a feeling heads are going to roll soon, lets see what happens in the December transfer window. Fergie is walkin on a wire right now! This is like the end of the footballing season for me...i don't see Chelski losing its hold on no. 1 in the league so its going to a battle for second place and frankly i'm tired of being optimistic for the club now.
Wednesday, December 07, 2005
less than a week and goin crazy as usual
my uk visa's gone for processing and i should get it by friday. this time i am gettin a 5 year one done cause its an absolute waste of money to do it every 6 months. even so, wat i dished out was more than wat my parents and my bro paid (all together) to get all their uk visas for 5 years from toronto. hmmm....wats happening here???
i get shopping lists for both ways...while i'm going from here to london n toronto and while i'm gettin back to bangalore. i think i wud be one of the few people who travel with a piece of baggage which is of no significance to them...its just a goodies basket!! and liquor of course. both ways!!! and shopping to do in both places!!! uffff....i hate shopping and specially when its not for me (i do very little of that too anyways unless you are talking about cds/books/dvds)!!
am so lukkhha at work...its like the calm again after the storm (there is one after right??)...everyone's chilling out because its december...we officially shut down for christmas to new year's every year...so people are just making their holiday plans.
am quite happy with my canon sd300...it ended up taking some nice videos of the team party...it was a laugh riot the next day when people had come to their senses and discovered what they were upto the night before. so now, people are actually using conference rooms to see the videos using projectors!!! hahaha.
i'm really looking forward to the time in london as i would end up meeting a lot of old friends...a close friend whom i haven't met since we left school, another whom i haven't seen for years. so touristy thingies are a no no this time around. i would like to catch Coldplay though in Earl's Court if i can help it, but looks unlikely.
i'll put an end to this rambling now and listen to the new songs i had downloaded.
Tuesday, December 06, 2005
1. Manga - Bir kadin cizeceksin
2. Lifehouse - You and me
3. Nickleback - Photograph
4. Oasis - Let there be love
5. Fleetwood Mac - Everywhere
Remixes Out - Sampling In
While the Indian scenario is facing an over-kill of anybody and everybody coming up with a remix, I think the international music industry is shifting from remixes to sampling.
Eminem sampled Dido's 'Thank you' in his song 'Stan' and that was a few years back. Am not sure if that was the beginning. Some English tracks even have hindi old songs sampled in them. Truth Hurt's 'So addictive' had 'Kaliyon ka chaman' sampled. The other way does not work usually - they sound quite crappy (not saying that 'so addictive was any less).
At present sampling is flooding the market and most of the songs I like. Madonna's new album includes tune sampling from a lot of artists - 'Hung up' has Abba's 'Gimme gimme', 'Future Lovers' has Donna Summer's 'I feel love', 'Forbidden Love' has Kraftwerk's 'Inspiration' etc etc. Mariah Carey's new album has sampling from Imaginations' 'Illusion' in her song 'Get your number'. There's another song I heard recently (do not remember artist or track) which had Fleetwood Mac's 'Big Love' sampled. Its quite neat. This doesn't screw up the old song and at the same time, adds a new flavour to the new original song (and its lyrics). This is just gonna get more popular.
While you are at it, check this. Not sure if they are samples or rip-offs of old songs!
And if you wanted to know the legal side to sampling, read this. Am quite sure that hindi music directors over ages, have not been aware of license fees. Maybe now? I wonder still!
Sunday, December 04, 2005
What a week!!!
My last post was just before the conference started and all the nightmares were threatening to come true. Its been a crazy crazy few days. At the end it was well worth it! It was loads of fun. I had been a tough pain-in-the-ass for most people to get all the work done and at the end it was all forgiven; there was a party couple of nights before where we really let our hair down. Over the course of the last couple of months I have figured out who stands where in the professional space at work. The simple thing I have noticed is that its easy to gain respect of people with hard work and I have given it back to people who are lightyears away in seniority. Just having put in years don't count for anything if you are not willing to bend your back when it matters. As they say, yesterday is history; what you do today is most important!
Another thing I figured out is that while techies are awesome in conceptualising and coming out with great ideas, a mba education gives you that much a better perspective. The reason I'm saying is that in this conference, people were asked to present papers; some of which were shortlisted for potential products. A group of 4 global CTOs formed the panel. Most of papers fell flat as basically the participants were dreaming in their technology, not backed up by thorough number-crunching and market research. Even segmentation and targetting were way off. Simple things like NPV and profitability/break-even were not calculated. At the end anyone who wants to write you a cheque needs to see the money. Just an idea is not worth it. I have thought of millions myself, in the shower!
Anyways, that being said the month is December, the time to chill out. 14th night I leave for London. Stay there till 20th, head off to Birmigham the same day and catch my Toronto flight on 21st to go home. I get back only on the 4th/5th of Jan. So long holiday!!! Yipppieeee!!! The only thing I'm scared is that my balls might freeze off in Toronto with -10 degrees the temperature there right now! But it should be fun with my first white christmas. Couple of my friends are driving down there (they should get their visas in time) from US. So it should be a blast!
And yes, my new black 60gb iPod has arrived at my friend's at US. Can't wait to get my hands on it in a few weeks.