Tuesday, May 27, 2003

Of brothers and cooks

Guess what, Kichan gets a call from MBT after 2 years ! They had made him an offer during campus placements in 2001, which they withdrew later on, stating bad business conditions. One of his friends contacted them recently as she had heard they were hiring. They resonded asking her to join and to let her friends know. So our man mails them and gets a fast response, asking him to join on June 2 in Mumbai for training ! The stipend during the 3 month training period is very low, much lower than what they had promised initially. But at least he has a job in his hand right now.

He will be coming to Blr on Saturday. I'm putting him on the 700am flight to Mumbai on Sunday morning. , do you have any VIPs to receive on that day ?

Finally got a cook ! 's cook appeared yesterday and after a short round of negotiations, started work immediately. Sindha is now feeling guilty over having a cook and a maid to do household chores which she believes she should handle herself. Right.

Govind arrived yesterday. Sindha's cousin and uncle will arrive on Thursday evening. Kichan should be here on Saturday morning. The burning question on our minds right now - where will everyone sleep ???

Finished Owen Meany and started The Tin Drum. Read Ed McBain's Romance in between. Owen Meany is definitely good, but I still think Garp and New Hampshire are Irving's best. The Cider House Rules isn't bad either, but I'd place it fourth on the list, just behind Meany.

Saw the four animatrix shorts yesterday. Didn't really figure out what the big deal was. Only the Reniassance ones seemed to be relevant. Oh well, I'll need to wait till June 13 at least, I guess.

Monday, May 19, 2003

Friday, May 16, 2003

Homeward bound

My credit card problem finally got resolved. Used it today morning to check out of the hotel, so Rick's card didn't get charged. That was a relief !

Finishing up stuff at work here. Did an interview of a person looking to join i2 and move back to India. Had a few other meetings and a very interesting lunch discussion with i2's first employee. Met quite a few folks whom I had worked with earlier, either through email or over the phone. Its nice putting faces to names.

Spoke to in the afternoon. Thanks for all the help/advice and the invite to Canada ! Will take you up on it sometime. Called up too, it was good to talk to him after so long.

Bhaskar will pick me up in the evening and then we'll head over to Sudha's place. Need to stop by at a store and pick up the bare essentials - chocolates for the office, home and friends. I would also like to at least browse through a few electronic thingamajigs and see whats cheap and good. A Palm maybe ? A digicam ? Don't think I'll buy any of them but it might be good to browse through stuff, if I have the time. Or rather, if Bhaskar/Sudha have the time.

So the trip comes to an end. If Sindha had been here, I would have liked to stay on and roam around the US a bit. Maybe another time. Right now its back to Bangalore ! Yeah !

Thursday, May 15, 2003

The credit card saga is getting curiouser and cur...

The credit card saga is getting curiouser and curiouser. Called up the good folks at Citibank twice today (Sandeep had called them up twice yesterday too, from Bangalore). They claim - "101%, sir" - that my card is perfectly fine and has a healthy credit limit. Yes, they do see the 6 rejections but thats due to network errors from Visa. Its a Visa problem, not a Citibank problem. Do they have a Visa number for me to use and scream at someone ? No, they don't. So what do I do next ? Imitate King Bruce and keep trying till I succeed. *sigh*

Have a couple of meetings and an interview tomorrow. Plan to meet up with Sudha and Bhaskar in the evening. I'll probably check out of the hotel tomorrow morning and stay at Sudha's place in the night.

Went out for lunch with a few of the ex-team members. It felt a bit bizarre. The last time I was here, I was the odd man out. I was the guy from out in the boondocks, trying to learn the product and transition work to some place called Bangalore in India. Right now I own the product, the entire team is over in Bangalore and the folks who were originally part of the team and have not been let go are scattered around working on different things, uncertain of their future. Sad, really. I'm sure this is happening at a lot of American companies who are moving stuff to India.

The stock market seems to have picked up. Managed to offload my IOB stock at a small profit. Hero Honda and Aventis Pharma have both shot up the charts, boosting my net worth. Ditto Canara Bank and SBI. I just need to get rid of my SAIL and Infy stock for my portfolio to look healthy.

The Matrix Reloaded appears to be all sound and fury, signifying nothing. At least thats the impression I got from the Rediff review and from 's post. Fantastic action sequences, huh ? I can't wait.

My travel bag overfloweth with dirty laundry. How do I get space for stuffing in chocolates ? Thats all I intend to buy, really. I would have liked to get a digital camera, a palm pilot, some shoes and stuff for Sindha, etc. But maybe next time.

Wednesday, May 14, 2003

Back in Dallas after a few adventures. Executive ...

Back in Dallas after a few adventures. Executive Summary:

  • The presentation was just about ok. There were very few customers to attend and their response was fairly lukewarm. Better than having things thrown at me of course, but I would have liked them to show a bit more interest.

  • Gambled and lost $45 at the Vegas casinos. , hope you are happy

  • My credit card refused to work when I came back to the hotel in Dallas. Luckily managed to get hold of a co-worker (an ex-boss really) who pulled out his card and saved the day.

Vegas was exactly how I imagined it would be, after hearing about it from many people. Its basically a bunch of casinos in the middle of a desert. The cab driver who picked me up at the airport mentioned that farming is the number one industry in Vegas. "Have you heard of cash crops ? Well, thats what we farm - cash".

Each of the big casinos/hotels have a central theme. Ceasar's Palace looks Roman, the Venetian (where I stayed) imitates the look of Venice and has a lot of Michaelangelo-like paintings, Treasure Island looks very pirate-y, etc. I walked down Las Vegas boulevard in the night - they all looked great lit up.

I tried the slot machines at The Venetian. Won a bit initially, which of course spurred me on. Lost about $40 when I called it quits. Lost an additional $5 at the airport in a last ditch attempt to at least break even. Oh, well. Was fun, though.

My hotel in Dallas first didn't give me a room as they said they were full. This in spite of me confirming with them that I would be back by today. Finally they gave in, but I got stalled again when my credit card stopped working. Had to run to office and pull out Rick, who used his personal card. Phew ! Had a scare. Still worried really. What if someone at the hotel had used the card (they had the number) and overshot the credit limit ? !!

Two more days at the Dallas office and I fly back on Saturday. Yesss !

Saturday, May 10, 2003

Leaving on a jet plane

But I don't want to go !! Want to kick in my heels and refuse to budge.

Am starting on this Odyssey today evening. First stop, Bombay. Then the blasted de Gaulle airport. Then Cincinatti. Then Dallas. Then Vegas. Dallas. Atlanta. de Gaulle. Bombay. Bangalore.

Damn ! At least it gets over in a week.

On the good news front, met Beladev after six years. He is in town for just a day, staying with his brother at Madivala. He looks the same, though struggling with a goatee right now (he's on vacation). His son looks very much like him and appears to be quite a handful. , he didn't get any mail from you.

Wednesday, May 7, 2003

Who wants to be a millionaire ?

Dear Friend,

I am Mrs. Rosetta Kambia wife to the late Chief Kenneth Kambia from Sierra Leon. I am writing you in absolute confidence primarily to seek your assistance to transfer our cash of twenty-five Million united states Dollars ($25,000.000.00)now in the custody of a private Security trust firm in Europe. the money is in trunk boxes deposited by my late Husband.

Source of the money:

My late Husband Chief Kenneth Kambia , a native of Mende District in the Northern province of Sierra Leone, was the General Manager of Sierra Leone Mining co-operation (S.L.M.C.) Freetown . According to my Husband, this money was the income accrued from Mining Co-operation's overdraft and minor sales.this money could not be put to use as a result of the civil war between the rebels forces of Major Paul Koroma and the combined forces of ECOMOG peace-keeping operation that almost destroyed my country, following the forceful removal from power of the civilian elected President Ahmed Tejan Kabbah by the rebels.before the escalation of this war, My Husband had already made arrangement for I and my two children to be evacuated to Ivory coast with the CERTIFICATE OF DEPOSIT he made with a security firm in Europe through the aid of U.N evacuation team.

During the war in my country, and following the indiscriminate looting of Public and Government properties by the rebel forces, the Sierra Leone mining cooperation Was one of the targets(just as my husband suspected) and it was destroyed. My husband including other top Government functionaries were attacked and killed by the rebels in November 2000 because of his relationship with the civilian Government of Ahmed Tejan Kabbah.

As a result of my husbands's death , and with the information we got that the rebels are out for us, the burden became too much for me to handle coupled with the ill health of my daugther(she died in the process as i could not afford her decent medical care. Our only hope now is the boxes deposited with the Security Firm.

I cannot claim these boxes myself due to reasons i would explain to you in subsequent emails,if you signify your interest.

To this effect, I humbly solicit your assistance in the followings ways.

1. to assist me claim this boxes from the security Firm.
2.open an account with a bank in europe where the money would be lodged through the help of the security firm presently keeping the boxes.
3.once the money is in your possession and has been successfully lodged in a bank,you will assist me and my surviving son travel to your country to start a new life and transfer the money back to our care.

For your assistance, I am willing to give you 15% of the total amount for your effort and another 5% to cover all the expenses that may incur during the business transaction, Lastly, I urge you to keep this transaction strictly confidential as no one knows our whereabouts.

Please as you show your willingness, Forward your full name,and Telephone/ Fax numbers, to me via this email address(rosettakambia20@netscape.net). earnestly awaiting your response.


May God bless you as you assist us.


Monday, May 5, 2003


Survived the flu, was pretty bad on Saturday though. Reported for work today.

Might leave early - my throat is still sore and I have this irritating cough...

Friday, May 2, 2003

Down with fever

Not at work. Replicating office mail from home is such a pain ! Why do people send huge attachments when they don't need to ? Why do morons on the mailing list list then hit 'reply-all' , including the attachment in their reply ?

This isn't helping my fever any.