Tuesday, November 22, 2011
Monday, July 19, 2010
This collection is, as usual, very well written and a page-turner. There is something about his stories, they are always refreshing, in line with the current trends and never fail to end with a twist. However this time, many of the stories have a semi-predictable feeling, something we are not used to from Archer. Having said this, the book makes for a light and easy reading and most of the short stories are quite delightful. The stories which I personally liked the most are: The first story - 'Stuck on You', 'Members Only' and the last one 'Caste-off'.
Finally, for diehard Archer fans (like me) its a must read book :-))
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Saturday, September 5, 2009
Well.. I cannot miss this weekend. It is 'Teachers Day' today. This post is Teachers Day Special. It is dedicated to all the teachers who have made my life and helped me in many ways to be a better person.
I know this post is going to be very long... because I don’t forget my teachers and I want to recall something or other about each of them... So be patient...
My journey as a student began at 'Sachchidanand Vidyalaya' in Captaingang. A small town in Kushi Nagar district of UP and around 40 KMs from Gorakhpur. It was mission school with 'Father' / 'Brother' / 'Sister' culture. Very serene place situated at the bank of a canal. Giant eucalyptus trees... surrounded by fields... Aaahhhhh...I still miss that place. And there, I met my first teachers...
Sister Helen was my favourite... Worked a lot on my English. Thanks to her that I am writing today. Maxwell Sir... used to tell stories...with full imaginative animations. Thanks to Kailash Sir for Biology and Ramsurat Sir for Sanskrit... My favourite subjects then. I melted a plastic funnel in Science lab in 7th std and still escaped un-punished. :-) Thanks to Kushwaha Sir for his Maths and Science. Thanks to Rajkumar sir for his Geography and Yadav Sir for my ‘Shhuddha Hindi’.
Special mention for Laxmi Sir for bearing my pathetic Arts. He once asked me: “How can you get 100 in Maths & Science and manage only 29 out of 50 in Arts. Don’t you think about it?”. My answer was simple: “Sir I think a lot. But only problem is that I am not able to reproduce my fantastic imagination on the paper :-)” He was speechless on this fearless (shameless) answer.
Thanks to all the teachers of that small school. I never came second in any of the class in that school because of them. Even if I am not mentioning all of them, I still remember them.
Better than a thousand days of diligent study is one day with a great teacher.
I enter my 9th std and door opens for me at ‘M. G. Inter College, Gorakhpur’, probably the most respected college in Gorakhpur for State Board. Only problem was... It was not a Co-Ed school ;-) Still... parents used to die to get their ‘Suputra’ admitted in this college. Here I came across one of the most worshipped teachers.
Even if I was a ‘Science/Maths’ student, this was the time when I started taking a greater interest in Literature..... English, Hindi & Sanskrit equally... Thanks to Mr. S C Tripathi (Kabir) and Rohitashva (Shakespeare). I cannot forget my Maths teacher.. The ever smiling .. Advani like creature Mr. Shyam Bihari Srivastava.
The problem that I cannot recall most of the names of my teachers here is, everyone was given a nick name. I remember their faces, their nicknames but not the actual name. HCL & K2ML were Chemistry teachers. DNA was for biology, Pascal for Physics and so on.
Thanks to all of them..
The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires.
Another four years and I enter a ‘Sarkari’ type college in Allahabad, with a dream to be an ‘Engineer’.
These were the most important four years of my life. The most enjoyable, the most productive, the most exciting... and so on.
Being an Engineering college, it was again Co-Ed. The attention was bound to be shifted from Literature to a more beautiful creature of nature. :-) Girls in my college were very talented. They had Brains. It is commonly said that Beauty is always inversely proportional to the Brain. Well... I have already said that ‘Girls in my college had Brains...' And what about Beauty?? Well... That lies in the eyes of the beholder. :-)
Well... Now to teachers....
Here I came across some of the teachers who influenced me a lot.
The introductory lecture from Dean Mr R P Singh... God... his voice was so Intimidating and Influencing at the same time. He taught us ‘Professional Communications’ and re-ignited my liking for English... in particular novels.
Teaching is the profession that teaches all the other professions.
Principal Rohatgi Sir was another gem of a person. For every problem, however small it may be, we used to go to his home and complain. He used to listen to us patiently and provide his maximum support. Though he was The Principal and was bound many regulations, he always extended his personal support to us.
He once asked me to read a satire ‘Raag-Darbari’ by ‘Pandit SriLal Shukla’ if I get time. I read it after leaving the college and understood fully why he wanted me to read it. This was the way of a great teacher to make me learn a lesson.
Another Big thanks to my Electronics Engg department, Tripathi Sir, C P Singh Sir and ever smiling Satya Prakash Sir (for always listening patiently to the departmental problems with mental students)
Dixit Sir, Ashutosh Sir, Rastogi Sir, K B Singh Sir, Shatrughna Sir... everyone out there at IERT deserves a big Thank you from me.
I am feeling so nostalgic now that I can’t write anymore... However what I am planning is a certain visit/call to the above mentioned people. They deserve a lot more than this.
HAPPY TEACHERS DAY !!!!!
Signing off now.... Till next time....
Sunday, August 23, 2009
The last week was pretty un-usual for me. I was NOT overloaded with work...
I had the time to visit one of my friend at his new flat and to celebrate his daughter's birthday party.
It is always good to take some time out of your regular schedule and then make the most out of it.
Sometime I think whether TIME is the rarest thing in this world...?
We often dream of many things... But most of the dreams remain unfulfilled and we blame 'Arre Yaar.. Time nahi hai'
Just look back at the college days... Time used to stop when we were in college.
We used to sit in a room... and spent long hours discussing trivial issues... The topic can be anything... be it boring classes, irritating professors, Girls' hostel or Canteen food.
Those winter nights spent with friends, covered in quilts and blankets... Those Bak-Bak... pulling each-others legs... Those were one of the best days.
Off-late I have been accused of being 'Too Busy'. Because often I am not able to catch up with my friends or family members.
Yes they are right... I am not sure when was the last time I called a friend just to get to know how he/she is doing?
Of course.... I do call my friends.. But these days, calls are limited to 'Happy Birthday', 'Happy New Year' and some other ‘Happy’ moments.
This can also be blamed to latest trends in Service Industries in India, specially IT Industries. Wherein the family or personal life of an employee is not given the due importance when compared to the professional life.
I have been hearing a term called 'Work Life Balance' for quite some time now in the office...
Project deliveries, Deadlines, crunch schedule... all contribute to late working hours... and ultimately, this leads to minimal or No social life. I am afraid this is becoming a serious problem, mainly in India.
I just thank God that I got enough time to think about it... and look back what I have been missing.
Tomorrow will be a new day and I will call my friends... Before another monotonous week starts, I will have enough time for catching up with friends and family.
Now... off to a lighter topic.
Mom somehow got to know that I was sleeping till 12 Noon. (Mothers always know what their children are up to).
And the result..? I got a good solid scolding session on various things.
(You are getting up now..? so.. you didn’t have breakfast till now..? Don’t skip your breakfast.. When will have your lunch..? You should take care of your eating habits and eating time... blah-blah-blah...)
I must say...It was good. Once in a while I deserve it ;-) This reminds me that I really need to take care of these things.
In football, Manchester United thrashed Wigan 5-0 at DW Stadium. Wayne Rooney scoring his 100th goal in the 'Reds' jersey. In Cricket, England performed well in the fifth and decisive Ashes Test against Australia. Insha’Allah, they will win also. In Formula 1, it was a bad day for Ferrari.... their replacement for Felippe Massa was no match for him and finished last on the grid in Valencia. Hoping for a better day for Ferrari and Force India F1 teams in tomorrow's race. Only time will tell.
Well... It’s worth mentionable here that he has been planning to take a new mobile for last couple of years and I would not be surprised if he again changes his mind overnight. :-)
Finally, a note of thanks to the Media. They have done a good job in restricting the panic of 'Swine-Flu' among 'Aam Junta'. And not creating an Over Hyped situation by standing with cameras at the gate of 'Sassoon Hospital' day in and day out. Sincere thanks to you guys.
I hope... the coming week will also be a less hectic one for me.
Sunday, August 16, 2009
Another week passed by.... another very busy week..
Thank god, it is over.. I had been slogging like dogs in this week...Even dogs would be sleeping more time than me these days...
Anyway... that’s what I am being paid for.. So cannot complain much... and that too in this recession time :-)
Life has never been so dull for me...
My 'so called' social life has been cut to zero... I have become a 'Couch Potato' these days...
My activities has been limited to just a two way journey of 'Home to Office' and vice-versa.
All these, courtesy a certain 'Mr. Swine Flu' who is on tour of Pune.
Pune has been paralyzed by this tiny monster. The fear is getting under the skin of Pune-ites. People are troubled 'less by this Virus' and 'more by the panic'. Sneezing and coughing has become a crime and people doing so are being treated as terrorists.
Off late, the situation has improved. Government authorities have finally got into action. My office management also contributed and distributed masks to every employee. However, they contributed towards another symptom of 'Swine-Flu'. Every one complained of 'Breathing Problem' after wearing the masks.
Pune has been 'Talibanised' these days. You cannot find a pretty face on the streets of Pune, for which it was once famous.
Everyone has hidden him/herself behind a veil.
Most of us have finally come to terms of it and deduced that 'Crating awareness and keeping cleanliness is the only solution to fight H1N1.'
Dont spread rumours, spread awarenes.
On a brighter side, there are some advantages too.
people have suddenly become aware of etiquette and cleanliness. Most of my office colleagues have been avoiding confined spaces like elevators and rather opting to take stairs. If you wanna bunk any boring meeting or a lecture from your boss, just sneeze mildly and excuse yourself... No one gonna bother you.
There was a certain rumour of our offices getting shutdown for a week, on similar terms of 'Mexico Model'.
Wow.. a week of leave.. but this turned out to be a pure rumour only.
We tried to confirm it with our manager and he calmly said that (with an Ear-to-Ear Grin) 'Even if the offices are shutdown, we will be working from Home or Worse, go to Hyderabad and work from Hyderabad office.' As if Hyderabad is on a different planet and people out there are immune to this virus.
Anyway.. no more discussions on 'Swine-flu'... Let’s fight it and not spread it.
Back home, my family is always troubled by these incidents.
When I was in Mumbai, it was the hub of all activities. Within a week of landing in Mumbai, Mumbai faced the heaviest rain of the century. 26-July. I can never forget that disaster. Then it was Local Train Bomb Blast.. Another heavy rain, MNS activities and then worst of all..Terrorist activities.
It seems that I have taken my bad luck to Pune with me. Can’t help it.
I have somehow passed almost half of my weekend.. The remaining half would also be passed.. Watching TV and reading novels.
Thank god, English Premier League (Football Season) has started this week and this would be weekend time pass for next 8-9 months.
There was some scintillating football on display by the young Gunners (Arsenal)... Cash rich Manchester City also won and gave some hope of money-back.
Chelsea also won their match, courtesy a superb added time goal by Drogba. United and Liverpool are playing tomorrow.
In Cricket, Sussex won T-20 league in England defeating Somerset. And 'The Wall' Rahul Dravid would be (probably) making a comeback in the Indian ODI squad for Sri Lanka tri-series and Champions Trophy.
Finally, Happy Independence Day to all the Indians. Our PM has assured us not to get panic of H1N1 or drought situation. I am taking his words and going to sleep now.
P.S.: I came across this quote somewhere and found interesting in the present context.
'20-30 people died of Swine Flu and everyone is running to wear N95 masks. Millions of people die of HIV AIDS and no one bothers to wear a condom.'
Think about it.
Sunday, August 9, 2009
What a week that was... I am simply relieved that it is over.
And with the end of the week, ends a long pending saga... My Mid-Year performance review.
Performance Review... you know na..? Well... at least everyone in IT world is used to this terminology. Isn’t it?
In simple terms, it is a meeting where your Performance is to be reviewed against certain parameters. But often it turns out to be something else... In real terms, it is a meeting with your boss where you are humiliated and assaulted for all the Right things you did which annoyed your Boss... And believe me, they keep a good account of these small things.
Why bosses are so cruel??? Don’t they have any human feelings? I remember one of these incidences when I was in Tech Mahindra in Mumbai. Let me go in flashback as I recall... My friend and her Boss, both went in the meeting room cheerfully, as if they were going to share some girlish gossip. But what came out after a long hour of battle was a dead appraisee (My friend) and a triumphant appraiser (her Boss). Within an hour, the entire floor was flooded with my friend’s big sobs... Sadly, she left the company within few months of this incident. No more details... she might be reading this.
Well... Mine turned out to be a rather pleasant one. My Boss praised me a lot and hoped that I will continue my hard work with same spirit in future as well. Am I really that hard working and dedicated towards work...? I don’t know... May be my Boss is right this time... Why confused..? Leave it yar... Let it be Bollywood type 'Happy-Ending' to a week of hectic office work schedule. And now I am off to a ‘to-be’ pleasant weekend...
I want to enjoy my weekend to the fullest... But this bloody ‘Swine-Flu’ thing is not allowing me... After all, I am in Pune, the worst hit city in India. I wanted to roam around the city, try some new restaurants, go for some shopping (So many ‘Monsoon Sales’ waiting for me) .... But no more plans... I will have to be at home.. mostly sleeping and reading novels... Dil ke Arman Aansuo me bah gaye.. I cannot imagine myself visiting a mall or a theatre or even a nearby restaurant wearing a mask...
Today, we received a mail in our office from our Communication team, about the symptoms and Do’s/Don’ts of Swine-Flu. Since then I have been feeling like I have fever, cold and a sour throat. The only symptom which I am not at all feeling is ‘Loss of Appetite’ :-). I have been eating healthily and sometimes been accused of adding to India’s food problems. But that does not deter me... I am a certified ‘Foodie’ will continue to remain so.
So.. its decided now. This weekend , I have very limited choices. Sleep, Cook / Eat , Read Novels and watch TV.
But what to watch on TV?? Daily Soaps? Well... I am not a big fan of ‘Saas – Bahu’ serials... I loathe them... News Channels ?? Guys... Indian media is going to dogs... I can’t bear them except for some good English news channels.
Only thing remaining is Sports... yeah I am a big sports fan... ‘Ashes’ series is going on... and yeah... Football season is going to start... Watch this Sunday, My team, ‘Manchester United’ gonna play ‘Chelsea’ in FA Community Shield at New Wembley. Its a traditional curtain raiser to the new Premier League Season...
I hope Manchester United win on Sunday and I can go to office on Monday with a cheerful mood.
Only Time will tell... Till then...