Thursday, December 26, 2002

Xmas and beyond

Spent Christmas at home doing absolutely nothing. Cut a small cake in the evening and dropped off some sweets at Jayanthy's.

Off to Mumbai tonight, so no more updates till New Year's eve at least. Happy Holidays, everyone !

Monday, December 23, 2002

Where's Joseph Heller when you need him ?

The office has about a dozen VOIP phones installed in the conference rooms and in a few cabins. Making calls to the US using these phones doesnt cost the company a cent. The marvels of modern technology. But...

The IS department says they can install an IP phone in my room only if they have me marked as a frequent user of the normal phones, with a high ISD bill. Now the reason why I do not have a high ISD bill is that I try to use the IP phones as much as possible, good employee that I am.

In essence, I need to spend a lot of the company money for me to save the company money.

Sindha got a job offer with MVJ Medical College, Whitefield. She has resigned from her current job but needs to serve the notice period till Jan 17. The college has a bus, so the commute should be better in the New Year. (The driver didnt turn up, btw. I still double as the driver).

We are off to Mumbai on the 26th, back on the 30th. Taking the Udyan, returning by IA. Another family get-together which I'm looking forward to. This trip has the bonus of meeting up with as well.

current book: The Talented Mr Ripley by Patricia Highsmith

Friday, December 20, 2002

Wednesday, December 18, 2002

Defective jeans

I should stop wearing these old black jeans of mine. I dont remember when I bought them - could have been four to five years back. Now they are faded, frayed at the bottom and sport pale patches and numerous holes at various places. However I still wear them to work. Guess there's nothing as comfortable as old jeans.

Frankly, I'm scared of buying new clothes. Shirts are okay, but I keep fighting a long drawn battle with all the pants I buy. Sindha bought me a pair for my birthday a couple of years ago, which I've worn just twice. They are a lovely pair, but just dont seem to fit my waist. Must be a manufacturing defect. This defect has strangely spread to a few of my other pants too.

current book: The Tintin Companion by Michael Farr

Monday, December 16, 2002

As expected, the BJP won in Gujarat. Not sure why...

As expected, the BJP won in Gujarat. Not sure why this scares the heck out of me.

I dont think I've written about my New Zealand fixation. I've always had this dream of migrating to New Zealand and settling there. People tell me its a very cold country and they have more sheep than humans. Sounds like a good deal.

Saturday, December 14, 2002


Saturdays still piss me off. I'm here working at office when I could be chilling out at home. All because of that stupid bandh call last Monday.

Want to play Black and White. Want to try out Age of Mythology.

Want to watch India win overseas for a change. Want to see some spine in the batting, some sting in the bowling.

Want to be at Pecos, beer with beef on the side and rock bands I never heard before but sound oh-so-marvellous.

Want to be home with Sindha, listening to music and reading a good book, birds near the window and all's right with the world.

Man, I'm a spoilt brat.

Wednesday, December 11, 2002

Four Parties

Sindha and I had received party invites from four people, spread out over the past three weeks. The first was a birthday party of the son of a friend, the second was a dinner invite from a newly married couple settling down in Bangalore, the third the first wedding anniversary of another friend and the last the house-warming ceremony of our neighbour.

The birthday party was a typical Mallu male affair. Wives and kids in the ground floor, sitting on chairs around the dinner table and talking about cookery, knitting and other delightful things women do. The husbands were on the terrace downing Old Monk, Kingfisher and McDowells. The wives waited patiently, dutifully, obediently till late in the night for their husbands to descend. The husbands drank, went down for dinner and cracked jokes which were much appreciated by all. The menu included chicken curry, kerala parotta and veg fried rice. There was merriment all around. Oh, one of the wives had a spot of bother with asthma, but her husband was busy with his third shot of rum and so she had to wait till he was done. Strangely enough, yours truly didnt drink that night.

The second party had Sindha and me seated in the living room along with 4 to 5 other couples. We spoke about our jobs, our ex-companies, our common friends and classmates from college. My friend's in-laws hovered in the background, making sure we had everything we wanted. Dinner was masala dosai, idli and pongal. Sindha and I got home by 1030, feeling much better about life in Bangalore.

The third party - my friend's first wedding anniversary - was on the terrace of his house. There was a caterer who catered hariyali chicken, chicken tikka, veg kababs, veg biriyani, chicken curry and veg kadai. Smirnoff, Teachers, Bacardi and Kingfisher were available in plenty. There were couples in ethnic Indian wear (kurta pyjama, salwar et al), western wear (midriff revealing tees, figure hugging tops, etc) and there were couples like Sindha and I who wore their sole set of decently ironed clothes. Music was by The Doors, Eagles, Nirvana and Clapton. Champagne flowed after the cake was cut. We got a small portion of champagne, but not the cake.

The last party was held on the terrace of the apartment next to ours. The invite said 1230pm, so we reached there at 1240 to be fashionably late. Sadly, we hadnt accounted for Bangalore time. The hosts reached a few minutes after us, the rest of the invitees reached on time at 1:30. The buffet had pulao, puri, kurma, curd rice and halwa, catered by M/s Kanthi Sweets, Thippasandra. Returned home to a good afternoon's sleep.

current book: The Tintin Companion by Michael Farr

Tuesday, December 10, 2002

Buffet Redux

I managed to sneak in half of my BPCL stock (20, to be precise) just before Arun Shourie made his announcement on divestment. Sold them at Rs 230, at a fat profit of 40 bucks a share. They are currently trading at Rs 200. I think I will keep the other half for a while and wait for it to go up again. I will also hold on to my 50 HLL shares for at least 6 months, maybe a year. Getting HLL at Rs 159 a share is a real good deal, IMHO.

I had also speculated on IDBI Bank. Made another good deal there, sold off 100 shares at a profit of Rs 4.5 each. Nice, no ?

On the flip side, my Reliance purchase (15 shares at Rs 297) will take a while to become profit worthy. My Franklin Templeton equity mutual fund is also in the red - invested Rs 20,000 at an NAV of Rs 31, the current price is in the Rs 29 range. Oh, well. I can wait

By the way, does anyone have an invite code to spare ? My long time friend from college, Mathew Kuruvilla, would like to open an l-j account.

Thursday, December 5, 2002

Went to the Strand book fair. Very crowded. The s...

Went to the Strand book fair. Very crowded. The selection wasnt anything to post about either. Did get some amount of discount on a few books, though. Picked up:

  1. The Stories of Ray Bradbury

  2. A Doll's House - Ibsen

  3. Kiss of the Spider Woman - Puig

  4. A set of 3 Ripley novels, including The Talented Mr Ripley - Patricia Highsmith

  5. A new Cinema quiz book

I had read Spiderwoman and Bradbury, always wanted to own them though.

Running to stand still

There was this prof at SP who used references to Alice in Wonderland (or Through the Looking Glass) in almost all his lectures. He was particularly fond of the part in Through the Looking Glass where the Red Queen and Alice run like crazy but wind up where they started. I now understand how that feels.

Lots of work, lots of stuff to do. But nothing changes. In fact, "do more with less" is the mantra. When do we get to take a step forward ? If at all.