Saturday, August 30, 2003

Heading back

'Twas a good trip, considering. Got a lot of work done, met quite a few people out here, got invited for dinner with a few others, learnt quite a bit about the direction the company is moving in, saved a person from potential layoff and got a PDA thanks to .

But of course, it will be good to get back. There's a whole bunch of things I need to do once I get back on Monday, all coming under the heading :"Moving House".

Monday, August 25, 2003

It feels odd reading about the blasts in Mumbai s...

It feels odd reading about the blasts in Mumbai sitting half a world away. I hope this doesn't escalate into something big. I hope there are no more deaths. I hope my brother and my friends will be fine.

Dallas is hot. Its not just the heat, its the intensity of the sun which surprised me. Bhaskar took me around yesterday, we were walking from the car to a store when the sun hit me at full blast. I couldn't see clearly for a while, it was that bad. Of course, I spent most of the day indoors, so I didn't really get affected. But I think sunstroke is a definite possibility if I stay out too long.

Didn't buy anything much yesterday, apart from a moisturizing lotion for Sindha and a few chocolates. I debated over buying a PDA but didn't find anything within budget (less than $100) that I liked. Sony's Clie is an option, I guess. Lets see if I get time over the next few days to go out again. I've got a few dinner invites, one from my boss for tomorrow. Two other people who've come with me from India are ex-Dallas employees, so they know quite a few people here. I'm piling on with them when they go out, so that takes care of most of the evenings.

Need to get busy with PowerPoint. There are three day long meetings starting Wednesday. Fun times ahead.

Saturday, August 23, 2003

From <lj user="beatzo">'s post

I don't agree with the lists, but this was too much up my alley to let go

1984, George Orwell
The Alchemist, Paulo Coelho
Alice's Adventures In Wonderland, Lewis Carroll
Animal Farm, George Orwell

Anna Karenina, Leo Tolstoy
Anne Of Green Gables, LM Montgomery
Artemis Fowl, Eoin Colfer
The BFG, Roald Dahl
Birdsong, Sebastian Faulks
Black Beauty, Anna Sewell

Bleak House, Charles Dickens
Brave New World, Aldous Huxley
Brideshead Revisited, Evelyn Waugh
Bridget Jones's Diary, Helen Fielding
Captain Corelli's Mandolin, Louis de Bernieres
Catch 22, Joseph Heller
The Catcher In The Rye, JD Salinger

Charlie And The Chocolate Factory, Roald Dahl
A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens
The Clan Of The Cave Bear, Jean M Auel
Cold Comfort Farm, Stella Gibbons
The Colour Of Magic, Terry Pratchett
The Count Of Monte Cristo, Alexandre Dumas

Crime And Punishment, Fyodor Dostoyevsky
David Copperfield, Charles Dickens
Double Act, Jacqueline Wilson
Dune, Frank Herbert
Emma, Jane Austen

Far From The Madding Crowd, Thomas Hardy
Girls In Love, Jacqueline Wilson
The God Of Small Things, Arundhati Roy
The Godfather, Mario Puzo
Gone With The Wind, Margaret Mitchell

Good Omens, Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman
Goodnight Mister Tom, Michelle Magorian
Gormenghast, Mervyn Peake
The Grapes Of Wrath, John Steinbeck
Great Expectations, Charles Dickens
The Great Gatsby, F Scott Fitzgerald
Guards! Guards!, Terry Pratchett
Harry Potter And The Chamber Of Secrets, JK Rowling
Harry Potter And The Goblet Of Fire, JK Rowling
Harry Potter And The Philosopher's Stone, JK Rowling
Harry Potter And The Prisoner Of Azkaban, JK Rowling
His Dark Materials trilogy, Philip Pullman
The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy, Douglas Adams
The Hobbit, JRR Tolkien

Holes, Louis Sachar
I Capture The Castle, Dodie Smith
Jane Eyre, Charlotte Bronte
Kane And Abel, Jeffrey Archer

Katherine, Anya Seton
The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe, CS Lewis
Little Women, Louisa May Alcott
Lord Of The Flies, William Golding
The Lord Of The Rings, JRR Tolkien

Love In The Time Of Cholera, Gabriel Garcia Marquez
The Magic Faraway Tree, Enid Blighton
Magician, Raymond E Feist
The Magus, John Fowles
Matilda, Roald Dahl

Memoirs Of A Geisha, Arthur Golden
Middlemarch, George Eliot
Midnight's Children, Salman Rushdie
Mort, Terry Pratchett
Night Watch, Terry Pratchett

Noughts And Crosses, Malorie Blackman
Of Mice And Men, John Steinbeck
On The Road, Jack Kerouac
One Hundred Years Of Solitude, Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Perfume, Patrick Suskind
Persuasion, Jane Austen
The Pillars Of The Earth, Ken Follett
A Prayer For Owen Meany, John Irving
Pride And Prejudice, Jane Austen

The Princess Diaries, Meg Cabot
The Ragged Trousered Philantrhopists, Robert Tressell
Rebecca, Daphne Du Maurier
The Secret Garden, Frances Hodgson Burnett
The Secret History, Donna Tartt
The Shell Seekers, Rosamunde Pilcher
The Stand, Stephen King
The Story Of Tracy Beaker, Jacqueline Wilson
A Suitable Boy, Vikram Seth
Swallows And Amazons, Arthur Ransome
A Tale Of Two Cities, Charles Dickens
Tess Of The D'urbervilles, Thomas Hardy
The Thorn Birds, Colleen McCollough
To Kill A Mockingbird, Harper Lee
A Town Like Alice, Nevil Shute
Treasure Island, Robert Louis Stevenson
The Twits, Roald Dahl

Ulysses, James Joyce
Vicky Angel, Jacqueline Wilson
War And Peace, Leo Tolstoy
Watership Down, Richard Adams
The Wind In The Willows, Kenneth Grahame
Winnie-the-Pooh, AA Milne
The Woman In White, Wilkie Collins
Wuthering Heights, Emily Bronte

Godfather, The (1972)
Shawshank Redemption, The (1994)
Godfather: Part II, The (1974)
Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, The (2001)
Schindler's List (1993)
Citizen Kane (1941)
Casablanca (1942)
Seven Samurai (1954)
Star Wars (1977)
Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964)

Memento (2000)
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975)
Rear Window (1954)
Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, The (2002)
Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
Usual Suspects, The (1995)

Amelie (2001)
Pulp Fiction (1994)
North by Northwest (1959)
Psycho (1960)
Silence of the Lambs, The (1991)
12 Angry Men (1957)
Lawrence of Arabia (1962)
It's a Wonderful Life (1946)
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966)
Goodfellas (1990)
American Beauty (1999)
Vertigo (1958)

Pianist, The (2002)
Sunset Blvd. (1950)
Apocalypse Now (1979)
Some Like It Hot (1959)
Matrix, The (1999)
To Kill a Mockingbird (1962)
Taxi Driver (1976)
Third Man, The (1949)

Paths of Glory (1957)
Fight Club (1999)
Boot, Das (1981)
L.A. Confidential (1997)
Double Indemnity (1944)
Chinatown (1974)

Requiem for a Dream (2000)
Maltese Falcon, The (1941)
Singin' in the Rain (1952)
Bridge on the River Kwai, The (1957)

Sen to Chihiro no kamikakushi (2001)
Saving Private Ryan (1998)
All About Eve (1950)
M (1931)
Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975)
Raging Bull (1980)

Once Upon a Time in the West (1968)
Se7en (1995)
Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon (2000)
Wizard of Oz, The (1939)
2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)

Vita e bella, La (1997)
American History X (1998)
Sting, The (1973)
Touch of Evil (1958)
Manchurian Candidate, The (1962)
Alien (1979)
Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939)
Rashomon (1950)
Leon (1994)
Annie Hall (1977)
Great Escape, The (1963)
Clockwork Orange, A (1971)
Treasure of the Sierra Madre, The (1948)
Reservoir Dogs (1992)
Sixth Sense, The (1999)
Jaws (1975)

Amadeus (1984)
On the Waterfront (1954)
Ran (1985)
Braveheart (1995)
High Noon (1952)
Fargo (1996)
Blade Runner (1982)
Apartment, The (1960)
Aliens (1986)
Toy Story 2 (1999)
Strangers on a Train (1951)
Modern Times (1936)
Shining, The (1980)
Donnie Darko (2001)
Duck Soup (1933)

Princess Bride, The (1987)
Run Lola Run (1998)
City Lights (1931)
General, The (1927)

Metropolis (1927)
Searchers, The (1956)
Full Metal Jacket
Notorious (1946)
Manhattan (1979)
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969)
The Graduate (1967)

I actually have the divx rips of Memento and The Great Escape. Haven't seen them yet. I own Crime and Punishment, haven't read it yet. I'm such a dork.

Dallas Reloaded

So here I am in the Doubletree hotel again. Talk about Deja Vu. Leaving home was exactly like the last time - Sindha, Papa, Amma, tea, 6pm, goodbyes, the drive to the big difference was that the kid was 'outside' this time round.

The flight was boring. Lufthansa stewardesses haven't changed much in the last three years. They are still the hoity-toity sorts who roll their eyes when you ask them anything in Indian English. Hmph ! I managed to get some sleep though, ignoring them. Talking to the Russian student seated beside me also helped. (Yes, she was a blonde and her name was Anna. No, not the one you're thinking of, but close)

A colleague from office and his wife were also on the same flight. They were part of the m2i (move to india) brigade that arrived a couple of years back, i2ers who were working out of the US and took up the option of shifting to India. I get irritated by a lot of the things these folks say and do while comparing India to the US. My colleague's wife stepped into a friends car at the Dallas airport and started "Oh, its such a relief to sit in these cars. I missed the sliding doors" and to her husband who was driving: "You are not in India, you need to be careful while driving". I guess I have a chip on my shoulder. I get really bugged when Indians get into this India-bashing routine in the US.

I'm hungry. The cafe at the hotel doesn't have anything really good, but I don't have much of a choice. There is no restaurant or fast food outlet within walking distance of this place. I'll call Sudha and Bhaskar later on, I don't really want to disturb them on their weekend. There are quite a few of us Blr-based i2ers staying at the hotel this week. Maybe I'll scout around and see if I can pile on with someone.

Damn, miss Sindha and the baby like crazy.

Friday, August 22, 2003


I don't watch sitcoms. But who the heck is Maura Tierney and why does she always play me ?

And no, oh children of google, I don't want a helpful link to in response to this post

Tuesday, August 19, 2003


Shit. I'm travelling via Chennai. Aug 22 night, returning on the 1st.

Monday, August 18, 2003

Pointless points

  • Completed five years with i2 yesterday

  • Rachana likes Clapton, Knopfler, AR Rehman and Yesudas. She certainly has good taste. Of course, the only other singer she's heard is me.

  • My tickets to Dallas haven't yet been fully confirmed. The one route which has a confirmed booking is through Chennai, not Mumbai. Eeks !

  • Finalized on a house to rent, over the weekend. Its no great shakes, but its the only one we liked from the dozens we saw in Whitefield. This house is still 8km away from Sindha's college, though the traffic is low on this route. On the positive side, its very close to the house we are planning to buy in Brookefields. Will shift by Sep 2 or so, once I get back from Dallas

  • Prashant is in town, looking for a job change

  • My stomach is back in action. I'm hungry, as always

Thursday, August 14, 2003

3 walls and an upset stomach

Saw 3 Deewarein yesterday. Liked it a lot. The ending is slightly far fetched and a bit too clever, but the overall tone of the film is extremely good. Very well directed. Naseeruddin Shah is excellent as usual, Jackie doesn't really have much to do but play the strong sober type and Nagesh Kukunoor and Juhi Chawla are passable. Easily Kukunoor's best film yet and one of the better movies I've seen all year. In fact, this could be the best Hindi movie I've seen all year. Felt quite satisfied after watching it yesterday.

Have been walking around with an upset stomach since yesterday morning. Not sure what caused it, but its been keeping me awake for two nights now. Have started a course of antibiotics today, didn't seem to be any other option. Hope it gets better soon.

Tuesday, August 12, 2003


If I were an artist, I'd splash red paint on an inky black background.
If I were a writer, I'd write about skulls littering the marble temple floors

If I get to paint, if I get to write,
If I get to break these chains of mine

Ok, now back to the real world.

Got a mail yesterday from the CEO, titled "Keep u...

Got a mail yesterday from the CEO, titled "Keep up the good work". Doesn't do anything to lift my motivation level, sorry.

Thursday, August 7, 2003

Offsite and off the road

Organized an offsite session for the team yesterday, at Eagle Ridge. Went off pretty well. Used the six thinking hats technique and came up with a nice long list of issues and ideas.

I wanted to return home early, so hitched a ride with Narasi, a co-worker. His car broke down in the middle of nowhere, also known as Bommanahalli. We were trying to avoid the Silk Board junction and had just entered a river cleverly disguised as a road when the car stopped and refused to start. We pushed it, we pulled it, we murmured sweet nothings into its bonnet but it just dug in its heels and didn't move.

Narasi calls the Hyundai Mobile repair folks, who assure him they would reach the spot in 45 minutes. This is at 7:15pm. We get a call at 8:30 reassuring us they were on their way, they got held up at Tumkur Road. In between these two calls, we witnessed a fight between two cows who had come over to examine the car.

We decide to get a mechanic and hail a passing auto. The passing auto has a passenger who has almost passed out, drunk. He very kindly gets out and ushers us into the auto. He then proceeds to walk away without paying the driver. The driver reaches out and slaps the guy twice. The guy shouts. The driver yells back. We sit in the auto, looking at each other. Eventually they kiss and make up and the driver takes us to Hosur Road, informing us there is a service center for cars very close by. There sure is one - a Maruti service center. The car we have is a Santro.

After much coaxing, we get the Maruti repair guys to come over and look at the car. The autodriver hangs around as he has nothing better to do. Its 9:30pm now. Narasi gets a call from the worthy folks at Hyundai saying that they are very close to Silk Board junction and should be at the site any minute now. We tell the Maruti guys to hurry up. They do and get the car to start. They advise Narasi not to jerk the car as the fuel connection to the engine has a loose contact. Narasi pays them, I pay the auto guy, the cows finally get some sleep and we drive off into the moonrise.

PostScript - Narasi gave me a set of chocolates today, thanking me for sticking with him. Nice of him, really.

The deed is done !

Actually the deed hasn't been drawn yet. The agreement however has been signed by both parties and my entire savings has been handed over to a total stranger. Hopefully this stranger will build me a home in about eight months time.

Monday, August 4, 2003

Fictitious leaders

Re-reading an old book is like catching up with an old friend. You take a while to start talking, but once you do, you start feeling very comfortable and cozy. You switch off the tv, put your feet up and relax. Picking up Watership Down on Friday instead of returning to The Tin Drum was a great idea.

Started thinking about great leaders in fiction when I was midway through the book. Hazel from Watership Down is up there on the list, without doubt. Who else ? Don Corleone is perhaps more of a great manager than a leader. John Galt ? Dumbledore ? How about Atticus Finch, even though he didn't really lead many people ? Gabbar Singh could also be on the list.


Friday, August 1, 2003

Just came across <a href="http://www.livejournal....

Just came across this while jumping from lj friend to lj friend. Read the last comment.

Words fail me. This is incredibly sad and shocking.