Team Outing

November 23, 2005 at 7:46 pm (Personal)

 Its been almost 4 months now in Bangalore, but this is the second weekend I am spending here in this town. (Yes, the first one was also for a team outing!)

Well, honestly speaking; I didn’t expect it to be this good at all.

After cancellation and last minute rescheduling the outing with my team at work pace was finally ON. It is something I was looking forward for a long time.

> Start <

We were asked to come to office at 3pm on Saturday. We boarded a mini a/c bus and left to a “secret place”. The tour guides refused to reveal where we are heading to. She explained what sort of place it was and some briefing on what activities we will be having there but the name of the place was a well kept secret all through out the journey.

Thirty minutes later we were still inside Bangalore city, somewhere near Silk board junction and our bus broke down. So we stayed there for about one hour waiting for the replacement bus to come and pick us up. At 7pm, we reached some forest resort near Bannerghatta National park. We were server some refreshments, check in to our respective tents. Yeah, by tents I mean those camping kits that you will see in adventure movies.

> Reached Destination <

No television. No Radio. No Electricity. Just a blanket to bear the cold winds blowing in the middle of a jungle. We were never informed about what we will be doing and when. The entire trip was a surprise affair. We thought we will be allowed to just spend time inside the small tents. But then about 9.00pm then said we have to get ready for an “activity”. When asked what it was, we were told its an adventure activity. phew! whatever!

We had our first *activity*. I don’t know why they call everything an “activity”. It was more like a game for all of us. Enjoyed that!

> Dinner < Not bad considering the fact we were in a jungle

Post dinner we were split in to two teams and handed over a shabby map. Yes, treasure hunt in the middle of a jungle at 11pm. Total darkness. Only few battery powered torches to find our way in the dark and scary jungle space. Each team were accompanied by a highly non cooperative guide who was asked specifically by the tour operator NOT to help any teams in finding routes unless in case of emergency. We got lost several times but had to work our way back.

The MID NIGHT TREK (aka treasure hunt) went on till about 3am. Our team lost! Guess we spent lot of time trying to soothe the guide in asking for answers instead of finding them ourselves. We came back to our tents and got some well deserved sleep not knowing what’s going to hit us the next day.

> Sunday <  Morning – Breakfast

Post breakfast, We were introduced to our next  `activity`. A vertical climb of some 2 to 3 story high wooden structure. Of course safety strings were attached, but we have to reach the top and stay without holding any support for 5 seconds. My colleague Babu was clearly the best among the team. He was a hero among others who struggled to make it.

The high climb got over with no one getting seriously hurt. Only some minor bruises.

> Adventure ends here.<

The day was followed by some highly boring group discussions and role plays. Yeah, informative but it really hits you when each time the coordinators says “you must take this knowledge back to your work place”. Come on….

We had one more game to end the day. Reached back office again at 7.30pm.

The coordinator finally conveyed her TRUE feeling that this team was THE most talkative bunch she has ever been with. Most of the time, there were too many people trying to talk that no one was left ready to listen. J

On the whole, the adventure part was cool and the “gyan” part was a little overwhelming at times. But can’t deny the fact that we came back with some informative thoughts which can indeed be implemented at work place. (Especially, the knowledge from a mock 1:1 

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This day changed the fate of two biggies forever

November 23, 2005 at 7:44 pm (News)

This day will go down in to the history if India as one of the important ones in the lives of two great personalities.

One Mr.Lallu Prasad Yadav and other is our beloved Sourav Ganguly.

Lets talk about cricket first. (although the other episode is more important for country’s progress)

Ganguly named in Test squad; as a player and not a captain: However bad his form was, he thought he can never be dropped. Someone by the name of Jagmohan Dalmia added more truth to this statement.

Finally, Kiran More and the panel of five selectors acted brave and dropped ganguly from the one day team. But you know, ganguly made it all easy for them by this great statement during the SA tour :
“Chappel asked me to quit”

He thought he can stage another public drame and throw chappel out, funny that he got himself thrown out.

> Ganguly’s ODI career. RIP <

Today, the selectors laid foundation stones for his test career’s cemetery. Yes, they made a good decision by selecting him. Cos now, he cannot complain of not given a chance. They should go ahead and make him play in the 11 and ask him to prove himself. I am sure he will fail. The only thing he is good at nowdays is staging drama’s and roleplay’s off the field and in the dressing room.

Kudos to Indian selection panel and all those who were brave to fight against a clueless captain and a failed player. Think of the other factors they would have to put up with; dada would have tried all the tricks possible to get back, both on and off the field. We all know that his career would have ended long back if we dont consider the Dalmiya factor. Funny that on field his performace is no better that Sujith Somasundar or even worse. I would like to know where he stands in domestic batting rating? In the last ten for sure.

Yes, he was very good at one time. But that is long gone now. Lets move on and wish Dravid and his loyal men all the best for their future together. For a change, we will see them play cricket and cricket only. No more politics and dramas.

Funny Quotes from the Press:

Ganguly was included in the team as a “batting all-rounder” to provide more balance to the side which has three specialist spinners and pacemen each.

It will be Ganguly’s first international outing after his public spat with Chappell. Ganguly has gone on record to say that the spat was a thing of the past and he was willing to work with him again and play in the team in any capacity.

================================================================

Now for the second historic story.

Yes. Its India, in Bihar, and its Mr.Lalu Prasad Yadav.

Everyone saw this coming, but no one was brave enough to predict such a tur around failure.

The mandate in Bihar is a vote for “change” and “governance”. The Assembly poll results that brought to an end 15 years of Lalu Raj in the State. 

Press Quotes:
Battle lost, supporters desert Lalu Prasad

 Bustling with activity till Monday, the official residence here of former chief minister Rabri Devi and Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief Lalu Prasad Tuesday fell quiet with the party’s defeat in the polls, out-of-bound for all except the few close to them.

The imposing iron gates were shut and the sprawling 1, Anne Marg residence was deserted after results showed that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-Janata Dal-United combine had routed the RJD.

There were no crowds of supporters shouting slogans and jostling with each other to get a view of their leaders, and only a few security men were seen.

The guards had strict instructions to turn away the media and allow only a few RJD leaders as Lalu Prasad, in a bad mood after his party’s 15-year reign ended, was taking rest.

“We have been instructed to close the gates and not allow anyone in, particularly media persons,” said a guard.

“Everything is missing here, no gathering, no supporters, no activities,” said another security man.

Sources at the residence said the Bihar strongman was restless and nervous and once the RJD’s defeat became obvious, he lost his cool.

“Saab’s (Lalu Prasad’s) mood is bad, he was restless and nervous after the RJD-Congress alliance lost the battle,” a source said.

A senior RJD leader admitted Lalu Prasad was upset and this was reflected in the gloom at his residence.

Unlike the last assembly polls in February when RJD emerged as the single largest party with 75 seats, it managed only 54 seats in the 243-member assembly this time.

Lalu Prasad was the proxy ruler of Bihar since 1997, when Rabri Devi became chief minister after he stepped down from the post over corruption charges.

Sources said Rabri Devi spent most of her time Tuesday with her children but was restless when news came that she was trailing in initial rounds of counting of votes in Raghopur constituency, which she eventually retained by a slender margin.

Fantasy Cricket

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Lalbagh Express : Unreserved compartment

November 17, 2005 at 7:47 pm (Personal)

I work in Bangalore and travel back to my home town Chennai every weekend by Lalbagh Express. Thanks to my laziness, I don’t get a reserved ticket and travel by unreserved compartment every time. But its kind of fun though cos its only 5 or 6 hours journey time and you get to meet all kinds of people. Since its unreserved, you can always expect more than 150 passengers in a compartment meant for 72. This is like a normal crowd.
 
I make it a habit to reach the station as early as 5am to catch a window seat for myself. So I got one this time too and was reading news paper and solving sudoku to kill time. About 6.30am train left Bangalore city. Two more stops at KR Puram and Cantonment before we begin the long journey towards Chennai. When it left city the crowd was pretty ok, just a dozen people standing. But once we stopped at KR Puram, everything changed. About 100 people tried to cramp in to the already full compartment. By now all theoretical and practical limits to the number of people in a compartment have well been exceeded. Must check on the Guinness book of records to confirm this journey as a new record. Slowly men settled down near the door and women started to sit on the floor pushing and yelling at people around. 5 or 6 people shared the three seaters.
 
But here is the best part, I was hoping no one will disturb me cos I am in a single seat and that can’t be shared with adults by any means. But God had other plans for me, two small boys and a girl slowly cramped and inched towards my seat, their mother shouting in Hindi/Urdu from a distance asking them to sit somewhere. Slowly 2 little of them pushed me and shared the seat with me and in a few minutes time another one was sitting on my lap. By the time we reached the next station, 4 of us were sharing a seat meant for ONE. :-)
 
I was working the entire night before and wanted to catch some sleep on the way back home. But that is clearly ruled out now. I love to eat the masala dosas that is served from the pantry. Although not tasty and certainly not hygienic, its like a tradition. I wanted to have it this time too but I couldn’t cos I can barely move my hands 4 inches on either side, forget about holding the dosa in one hand and eating with another when you have 3 kids sitting almost ON you. I hardly ate anything for 20hours and was starving. Still 5 more hours to reach Chennai. However, managed to hold on and started small talks with people around asking about where they are going and what’s the occasion. Seems like all of them were traveling to attend a wedding in Ambur.
 
Three hours passed and crowd started to come down as people got down in Katpadi and ambur stations. Got back my seat fully and promptly fell asleep. Not for long though. Woke up to see Basin bridge station. Had to get up as Chennai central is only minutes away.
 
Got down in central and caught a bus to koyambedu. From there a share-auto to pillar and straight home.
 
Man, what can I say… A great journey indeed!
 
PS: A colleague of mine wanted to travel by the shatabdi which leave Bangalore 30mins before Lalbagh, but I assured him that Lalbagh won’t be very strenuous and its only Rs.102 compared to Rs.505 for a shatabdi. For sure, I was wrong.

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Meeting Friends : Veera and Kutty

November 12, 2005 at 7:48 pm (Personal)

Kutty was in Bangalore for a couple of days. And I imagine he had too much free time that he didn’t know how to kill and finally decided that he has a long pending activity of calling up old friends. If you think rains in Chennai are surprising, think again. Cos “kutty”, the great “ooolu” of alpha agreed to have dinner with me and veera. Can it get any bigger? :-)
 
(Baadu payaan, didn’t care to call or mail for ages)
 
Veera and kutty came in veera’s new BMW bike. We parked in “No parking” and decided to walk to the restaurant. Its “Ayyanar’s Restaurant” on the ring road, domlour. Although its only minutes walk from my office, I have never been there before.
 
Kutty reminded me of the good old days when he said “Chennai is cooler than Bangalore these days”. Come on, kutty and “big” stories are inseparable. Remember once he made all our juniors in alpha believe that “Jai Jai Shiv Shankar” remix that topped MTV charts was his creation and that he sold the copyrights to MTV for a lakh.
 
Moving on, We reached the restaurant. Ordered some rice and roti’s. Kutty ordered only one naan, but it is then we heard that he already had two unlimited meals an hour back. Veera ordered chicken rice and asked the waiter if they will serve more chicken pieces and less rice? I ordered egg biriyani and ended up watching veera eat all the eggs leaving only some little scrambled pieces for me. Thank you veera for you generosity.
 
But really, I have seen people who eat non-veg but I have never seen people eat non-veg like veera does. He attacks them as if the chicken is still alive and needs to be killed. He is the real “singam”. If Veera is not stopped then eco-cycle will be messed up with all the living organisms already killed and served to veera to surmise his hunger.
 
Anyway, enough of food. We had some small talks and discussions about all our “leelai’s” back in school days and how we lost touch after that.
First we decided that we must split the bill equally and then I broke the news of Rs.76.5k. :-)
 
Kutty got a call from “her” and was absent for most of the time. :-(
 
Anyway, finally bill arrived. Paid. They served “sombu” as some mouth freshners in the end and veera asked the waiters if they serve “non-veg sombu” and they gave a stare in return.
 
So it all came to an end, we walked back to my office. Veera and kutty left and me back to office in front of the 17″ Display. Wondering how much more there is to life than the three things we spend 75% of the time with : Keyboard, Monitor and Mouse.
 
The End.

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The Greatest Cricket sledges of all-time

November 5, 2005 at 7:48 pm (Forwards)

Cricket is a gentleman’s game, but Sledging (from the wiki with examples) makes you think otherwise.

Here are a few examples. [Via] The Lankan

1. Rod Marsh & Ian Botham: When Botham took guard in an Ashes match, Marsh welcomed him to the wicket with the immortal words: “So how’s your wife & my kids?”

2. Daryll Cullinan & Shane Warne: As Cullinan was on his way to the wicket, Warne told him he had Been waiting 2 years for another chance to humiliate him. “Looks like you spent it eating,” Cullinan retorted.

3. Glenn McGrath (bowling to portly Zimbabwean chicken farmer Eddo Brandes): “Hey Eddo, why are you so F**ing Fat?” Eddo Brandes:”Because everytime I F*** your mother, she throws me a biscuit”

4. Robin Smith & Merv Hughes:During 1989 Lords Test Hughes said to Smith after he played & missed:”You can’t f**king bat“. Smith to Hughes after he smacked him to the boundary: “Hey Merv, we make a fine pair. I can’t f**king bat & you can’t f**king bowl.”

5. Merv Hughes & Javed Miandad:During 1991 Adelaide Test, Javed called Merv a fat bus conductor. A few balls later Merv dismissed Javed: “Tickets please“, Merv called out as he ran past the departing batsman.

6. Merv Hughes & Viv Richards:During a test match in the West Indies, Hughes didn’t say a word to Viv, but continued to stare at him after deliveries. “This is my island, my culture. Don’t you be staring at me. In my culture we just bowl.” Merv didn’t reply, but after he dismissed him he announced to the batsman: “In my culture we just say f**k off.”

7. And of course you can’t forget Ian Healy’s legendary comment that was picked up by the Channel 9 microphones when Arjuna Ranatunga called for a runner on a particularly hot night during a one dayer in Sydney… “You don’t get a runner for being an overweight, unfit, fat c**t!!!”

8. James Ormond had just come out to bat on an ashes tour and was greeted by Mark Waugh……..
MW : “F*ck me, look who it is. Mate, what are you doing out here, there’s no way you’re good enough to play for England”
JO : “Maybe not, but at least i’m the best player in my family”

9. McGrath to Ramnaresh Sarwan: “So what does Brian Lara’s d*ck taste like?”
Sarwan: “I don’t know. Ask your wife.”
McGrath (losing it): “If you ever F*&king mention my wife again, I’ll F*ing rip your F*fing throat out.”

10. Mark Waugh standing at second slip, the new player (Adam Parore) comes to the crease playing & missing the first ball. Mark – “Ohh, I remember you from a couple years ago in Australia. You were sh*t then, you’re fu*king useless now”.Parore- (Turning around) “Yeah, that’s me & when I was there you were going out with that old, ugly sl*t & now I hear you’ve married her. You dumb c*nt”.

11. Yet another Australian witticism with this time porky Sri Lankan batsman Arjuna Ranatunga the victim. Shane Warne, trying to tempt the batsman out of his crease mused what it took to get the plump character to get out of his crease and drive. Wicketkeeper Ian Healy piped up, “Put a Mars Bar on a good length. That should do it.”

12. Ravi shastri v/s the aussie 12th man (don’t remember who, and don’t want to slander anyone) shastri hits it to this guy and looks for a single…this guy gets the ball in and says “if you leave the crease i’ll break your f***ing head” Shastri: “if you could bat as well as you can talk you wouldn’t be the f***ing 12th man”

13. Malcolm Marshall was bowling to David Boon who had played and missed a couple of times. Marshall: “Now David, Are you going to get out now or am I going to have to bowl around the wicket and kill you?”

14. Fred Trueman bowling. The batsman edges and the ball goes to first slip,and right between Raman Subba Row’s legs. Fred doesn’t say a word. At the end of the over, Row ambles past Trueman and apologises sheepishly. “I should’ve kept my legs together, Fred”. “So should your mother” he replied.

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Should we plan for the future or not?

November 3, 2005 at 11:49 am (Other)

See, back in India(AFAIK) we strongly believe in *fate*. Both good and bad things are influenced by some superior power called fate/God. This is a basic philosophy no matter what religion, cast or sect we belong to.
 
I was pondering today for a long time on this topic… (me, pondering!?! How often do i do that these days?)
 
Ok now, I am not going to question the basic faith in god and confuse myself and you.
Lets leave that aside forever. Lets safely lock that discussion up in a Pandora’s box and mess with it when we are 60 and got nothing else to do.
 
My question to myself(and to all you anonymous readers) is : “Should we plan our future or just leave it to the hands of fate?” . Sometimes “Future Plans” sounds like a oxymoron to me! Cos if you cant have control over your future then what does “Future Plan” mean ?
 
One argument would be, forget about the future, forget about the past and enjoy the present before it becomes a part of the past. Ok. For those who have their dad’s business doing well or with a bank balance in excess can easily follow this philosophy. Buddy, this is not for you and me!
 
For us commoners, we need to plan our future. And we start with planning our monthly expenses and goes on till investing for your child’s future post-graduate college fees when you are still in your early 20’s! This is how most of us plan! Don’t we? But look at the “If”s and “But”s in this. We have one answer to all questions “God knows”. Ok so if God knows all these then why are we trying to plan for it ? Why not God plan it for us? (Hmm… Can I get any more stupid?)
 
So does this mean we should never plan for anything ? I don’t know.
 
Some guys(like me) go to the extent of framing 2 or 3 backup plans for one instance or incident.
Does it mean these guys are so confident about the control that they have over the things around them?
Now, what more can I say? Does it mean they don’t believe that fate can easily come in and screw up their plans upside down and leave you stranded and/or pleasantly surprised.
Ok, so there is no definitive answer to this. But one thing is for sure, better not to take that “fate factor” in to our future calculations. Best bet would be to Plan and then expect surprises !

Disclaimer: Hey, this is just a opinion, just a loud thought. These are not my views on how one should live or what one should do with their life.

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Diwali Party 2005

November 1, 2005 at 3:50 pm (Personal)

Yday night was really great fun.(Now that we are in early 20’s and not late teens, definition of “great fun” must be interpreted with minimized vivacity)

Back to topic, my company had arranged for a party. I was allowed to bring friends as guests to the party. Veera and three other guys from GCT joined me. It was pretty dull in the begnning with just munching some popcorn and standing away from the crowd. “Bangalore figure super machi” -> Me and veera must have exchanged this sentence a millions times in the evening.

Fun and game shows were going on which all of us were interested to play. Finally there was a call for group of 5 for some game and we jumped in. They gave us some newspaper and a chart paper. We have to cut characters/words from the newpapers to form a phrases for the diwali celebration. There were about 10 teams and I am sure we finished first from the last. We really sucked. But we had our share of fun in participating and got a “Perk XL” as a consolation prize.

There were some pretty ordinary fireworks at 9pm. We had dinner after that. Dinner was also not great.

 

Here comes the big part, after dinner we decided to hit the dance floor……..!

I know how poor my dancing skills are! So guys not good to add more insult to that. But come on, not everyone is a prabhu deva! We just had fun.

        

It was a Diwali to remember for sure. My “thalaa diwali” at Microsoft :-) 

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