Bangalore Update - 1

It has been such a long time since I have been online....Lot happened. Came to a new city, joined work after a break of more than a year, started looking for a place to stay and so on and so forth. But the good thing is that the first week has been pretty exciting so far. Met a number of extremely intelligent guys in my program from the best B schools of the country, enjoyed the company accomodation, watched Manchester United get ripped apart by Barcelona and most importantly got a place to stay. Good start it seems. Although much of this was due to providence, I guess I was due for some good luck for a long time.

The place is pretty nice, both my apartment as well as the city in general. Coming from the torrid heat of Kolkata probably added to its charm. Anyways more on the city and the new life later. I am yet to get my laptop and hence would be pretty infrequent on the net. For the first time in more than 1.5 years I am beginning to get what I call Sunday evening syndrome. The symptoms being depression, restlessness, longing and just plain disappointment that the weekend is over. So with tomorrow begins another week of struggle and survival.

New Trendz

These days one trip out of home and you can get to see the broad spectrum of life in India and also catch a glimpse of the so called affluent shining India society at large. I mean the beggars still roam the streets, shanties are abound next to sky scrapers and people still sleep on pavements. But that has not changed. I have seen all of that as I grew up. Some things really do not change. But what has changed drastically is the outlook of the burgeoning middleclass. Some examples?

Dress - One visit to the shopping malls and you have everything from girls wearing revealing tank tops, short skirts, tight slacks, low cut jeans and guys sporting ponytails, earrings and colored streaked hair. Man I feel so back dated and out of place...I can see the generation gap widening :(

Food - More and more people have switched to having sausages and sandwiches for breakfast instead of luchis or bread toast. Lunches typically are at work and dinners are mostly eating outs. Eating fruits are no longer fashionable and so instead of having mango people drink Tropicana Mango and instead of peeling and having leechies, people are having Tropicana Leechie Twirl. Fish is getting morphed with people having fillets instead of pieces. Everyone hate biting the corn and instead microwave the Act II popcorn. Even typical restaurants are out of vogue and in is the Pizza Huts and KFC.

Habits - Increasingly people have become bold. Public displays of affection are common and couple no longer have to resort to unlit street corners and shady parks. OH before I forget the trend I HAVE to mention. People moving around in crowded buses, trains, clinging to autos but with the earplugs on listening to music. This craze of listening to music while negotiating the mad traffic, crossing roads, getting tossed on a bus really amazes me. I just get anxious about the safety hazard it brings along. Well that is young India!!

There is more but my mom is waiting for me to take a shower so that we all can have lunch. Anyways, one small disclaimer before I end. I merely described the changes that I have observed and this is not a criticism against the practices. The debate about decency, safety, practicality, progressiveness is best left for another day and another post.

Hypocrisy = Complexity

I do not like hypocrisy...I never liked it. I mean call a spade a spade...why hide it? Yet people take resort to this time and again. Only it results in complications, heartburn, disappointments and frustration.

The other day I had been to Mumbai and happened to listen to one of my childhood friend's story. He was on the verge of getting married when his fiancee and her parents decided that she could not move out of Kolkata and relocate to Mumbai since it would mean that she would have to give up her job. My friend had been dating this girl for 7 years and although she had urged him to move to Kol had never ruled out the fact that she would relocate. My friend tried. But the opportunity he got in Mumbai was much better and hence he took it up and relocated to Mumbai from Hyderabad. Little did he know that this would come back to haunt him. So in front of both parents, the girl's dad says that the marriage needs to be put on hold till both of them decide on the location issue.

When you knew everything over the last few years what were they thinking? And if it was something they knew all along why did they not have the courage to just call it off earlier when his family and relatives were not involved. Some would say, why does the girl need to sacrifice and relocate? I agree... Why should she? But then there were other alternatives. She could have made it clear that there is no point going forward unless the location thing is sorted out. Or better she could have moved to Mumbai and tried to get something for herself. The problem is that people want everything to come on a platter. It is a daunting proposition to jump into uncertainties and then figure out the best way. No one wants to get their hands dirty. Anyways that is entirely a personal prerogative and if place is indeed more important that the person why try to project otherwise? It is much better for everyone if this piece of truth is spelt out.

Anyways people say life is complicated. However time and again I want to disagree. It is as complex as we make it to be. And hypocrisy really adds to this complexity.


He had the ball on his feet and with the goalkeeper beaten, a sure goal was in the offing. Yet he failed to do it and the costly mistake came back to haunt his team as Barcelona equalized in the second minute of extra time and went on to the Champions League final on 27th May. For those of you who saw the match know I am talking of Didier Drogba. A character who I always thought of as a maverick genius but I was wrong. His behaviour with the referee proved that he is an actor and a person devoid of integrity of character. He played to the camera to atone for his earlier mistakes on the pitch.

The Barcelona Chelsea match was one of the best champions league matches I have watched in a long time. I have immense respect for Guus Hiddink as a coach and I have no doubts that Chelsea approached the game with the perfect strategy. They infact went ahead to a wonder strike from Essien but Drogba failed to kill the match and wasted two glorious opportunities. I like Barca, I really do and one must admire their unrelenting energy and inventive football. But it is just that I felt that tactically Chelsea had done enough to mow down Barca. Anyways thanks to Iniesta (one of the best midfielders rite now) Barca find themselves having a shot at Manchester United in Rome.

Football has it all. It is just a reflection of real life. Probably that is the reason why it is so popular worldwide. So for Chelsea its a case of so near yet so far and the story of missed chances and what ifs...[sigh] [sigh]. The picture of a young supporter crying his lungs out clinging to his dad said it all. Heartbreak... :)

Mumbai Diary

Mumbai trip had been fantastic. Met my ISB buddies and more importantly met some childhood and school friends after ages (read 10 years). Visiting mumbai on a long weekend also meant that I did not face any of the horror traffics that Mumbai is infamous for. I wanted to visit this place for long and it feels nice to be here. Went out to gateway of India, saw the Taj Mahal hotel (even more famous after 26/11 terror attack) and chatted away to glory for close to 5 hours on marine drive. Saw the sun set on the Arabian sea and had a wonderful dinner at Jazz by the bay.

I also ventured out on the Mumbai local train to visit my schoolfriend in Vashi. It was a real fun get together and resulted in 2 of my friends deciding to skip work yesterday and just enjoy at home. Everything was ust perfect until 10:40 PM last night.

I saw it happening as if in slow motion. The car came speeding from the left and we were on a collision course with it. The driver of our auto braked and turned right to avoid a direct impact and the centrifugal force was too much for it. It toppled scratched on the road and came to a stop. I was the first to come out of it and people came rushing in. Luckily neither my friend nor myself seemed to be critically injured. First we thought of going to the hospital but then decided to go home and then assess the damage. So here I am with pain in my left shoulder, a bump on my forehead and a cut in my left leg. I hope it is not too bad given that I can move my hand and there is not much swelling. But the pain indicates, I might have injured a muscle or two. Maybe I will go vist the doctor tomorrow morning after landing in kolkata just as a precaution. Anyways the only silver lining to the whole thing is that things could have been worse.

Well what can I say...bad things happen. Destiny I guess....Anyways I have some pics from the trip which I will post once I get home. Ciao