Friday, December 30, 2005

Firing in the temple of education: 'IISc'

Sad to see the same things (shootings, bomb explosions, terrorism) happening over and again in India. And this time in my alma mater, Indian Institute of Science (IISc). Prof. M C Puri of IIT Delhi lost his life in the sad incident.

I don't have enough words to explain the loss of a great individual, and turmoil that would have been created in IISc due to this shooting.

Feels like yesterday, when in the same Tata Auditorium- where this incident happened, I had the pleasure of organizing seminars and functions that were attended by dignitaries like A P J Abdul Kalam and Pt. Hari Prasad Chaurasia.

And very odd, when I realize that few close friends of mine were actually taught by Prof. Vijay Chandru- the creator of Simputer, another brilliant faculty injured in the incident.

This post is in memory of Prof. M C Puri, to quick recovery of people injured, and, to peace around the world.

PS: Tomorrow, I plan to write about 2005 and resolutions of 2006! A demain!

Photos: Chinchoti Waterfall

Here are some of the selected snaps. I beleive the camera settings were not optimial, but good result considering that it was compact point and shoot camera! Thanks R for the camera and the snaps!



Water stream




A star pattern created by a Spider





Our 'Large' Group (yours truly took this photograph, so not in there!)




One more photo of the group (moi, still not in the snaps!)




Another beautiful water stream



The waterfall...



Waterfall: One more!...

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Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Is this my blog?

or a recap of my weekend activities?

[Category: Personal x Personal]

Going through past few weeks' entries, I feel that my blog has become "too formal"; I have not posted my opinions, or thinking but rather more of what I had done in the recent weeks, making the blog appear a little dry to my own taste. I can imagine how boring it could be for a reader :)

OK, let me make amends! I'll try to post a bit more of myself on the blog, and not just the activities I am doing.

I realized (again on the weekend!) that I am in India for less than 2 weeks now. After which it's a journey around the world. I am very excited to just get on it! Having stayed out of hotels for last 3 years, and out of hostels for most of last 11 years, I am not at all worried about geographical or other changes, but at the same time, I feel that few things will never be same once I start on this journey. It's gonna be tough, it's gonna be tiring but sure, it's gonna be FUN (note the caps!), and I am dying to just reach there and start the trip!

However, one thing that I have already started missing, and am going to miss dearly is the community service activities I was doing. Though I love athletics, trekking, gym, sky diving etc, I believe two things that give me real solace and mental piece are teaching kids in the groups I was working with, and the community meal service in the local "Gurudwaras" (Sikh Temples). Through both these activities, I feel complete with myself and at peace. I am not sure if I'll find the time, energy or patience to teach kids (yes, you need to be very patient with kids), and wondering if there will be any "Gurudwara" nearby INSEAD in Singapore and France. It's all the more ironical as I am not a born Sikh, and my family follows Hinduism (in India, 75% people are Hindus and only about 3-5% Sikhs). Though I visit Temples, Mosques and Churches (Diversity friends!), the community meal service part of Gurudwara is something which has always attracted me as it fosters a sense of belonging-ness to one Supreme Entity and belonging-ness to each other as human beings.

I must carry some photographs of the children I was working with, and some Spiritual Music to take care of half of it.

For the other half, INSEAD parties should be more than enough to creating bonding with other "super charged" human beings. I hope these ultra smart people don't realize that INSEAD admissions committee made a mistake in taking this ignorant kid to their school!

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Trek to Chinchoti waterfalls

[Category: Personal]

Last Saturday, we had a Get Together of my Undergrad college in one of the good hotels here in Mumbai. Graduates from 1988 to 2005 batches came in... It was fun, and the party ended past Midnight. Then I found another friend, and we were out in the city partying until 4AM. I take a train from there to get back to my room. Reach back home (5:30AM), and roomy tells me that there is a trek planned to Chinchti Waterfall at 6AM.

Now given an option, what does your truly do?

Yes, right, I go catch that train and go for trek. Somehow manage to keep sense of what's going on, after all the booze of night!

But glad that I went to the trek. It was an amazing, wonderful experience. Last trek I did was more than 2 months back in Korea, so this was a welcome change.

Chinchoti is a small waterfall, and this trek is very popular among youngsters in Mumbai. We were a group of 30, some young, some not so young! Though this was my first trek in a big group (I always used to go for nuts' treks, with only 2 or 3 mad friends of mine :P), I thoroughly enjoyed it! I got a chance to swim also, too bad I didn't carry my swimming costume. So guess what, I swam in Jeans! It's the first time I did that, and I hope it's last too!

Enroute, we took some snaps too, which I will post once I get them. And I made some new friends too. One of those friends has written beautifully about Chinchodi, which you can read here! Very well done, K!

Warning to others like me: some heavy poetry!

After coming back from the trek, I had two dinners, one with each friend, and then crashed in to the bed! Slept for 9 hours, which is a 6 months high record for me!

Overall, many firsts in the weekend. I hope the present weekend is half as good as the last one!

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Thursday, December 15, 2005

Mumbai Marathon

[Category: General]

Mumbai (and all the Marathon enthusiasts) are getting ready for the Mumbai Marathon to be held on Jan 15, 2006.

I can see many new faces on the Marine Drive jogging trail in the morning. And ofcourse some celebrities who I have seen quite often in past few weeks like Mr. Anil Ambani!

Too bad, I will miss this really cool marathon by a few days!

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Wednesday, December 07, 2005

A day when strangers became friends...

[Category: Personal]

Last Saturday was very special. All day, I was out with a new friend who was teaching me French (And I was 'teaching' her Hindi!). We went to a couple of landmarks of South Mumbai in the forenoon, followed by lunch in a good restaurant. Then we headed to beach side, and finally we bade Bye to each other in evening.

Was coming in a bus, when I got into conversation with 3 school girls... it so happens that one of the girls' sister was getting married on Sunday. We discuss the marriages, Gujju functions, Punjabi weddings and all the stuff. By end of it, I practically got invited to that marriage!! Cool...

Happy as I come back to my destination, going over the day's happening, I decide to take a walk on sea side on famed Marine Drive.

Got in to a conversation with a stranger 'Mark' from South Africa there. We went for a coffee, and then had a Paan too! At 1 AM! no kidding!

Well, next day I came to know that he was none other than Mark Culllinan, an Oxford Grad, South African cricketer and cousin of more famous Deryl Cullinan. Mark was such a gentleman that he didn't even tell me this. He talked all the while about Deryl, Cricket, Poverty, His work, dreams... We even discussed INSEAD MBA (His brother James graduated from INSEAD!)... But he didn't hoot about his own records. Probably that's what separates greats from the good ones!

Thanks Mark, for a wonderful evening! I hope you enjoyed India and your visit here was fruitful.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Category: ??

[Category: General]

When I started this blog, I used to assign a category to every post, but somewhere in between I dropped that habit. Realized it a couple of days back, and today categorized all the posts.. may not make sense to do it now, as may be I would have categorized them differently in the first take, but better late than never. And being the kind of perfectionist I tend to be sometimes, I can sleep better now :P