Yea Yea Yea
This blog turned 2 years old on the 10th of May (see the category “First Post”). In that time it has gone through makeovers, sting operations, abusive comments (and abusive posts), rants, ramblings, gratuitous pictures of women and other various oddities.
I wasn’t quite sure how to celebrate BlogDay. Should I just dedicate one of the 10 beers drunk on the 10th of May to my Blog? A picture of a cake? A rant? Should it just be ignored?
So instead, I’ll leave you with a picture from a recent road trip.
Now, that, my friends, is an Apostle. Well, it’s one of Twelve..er…Ten..er..Eight? Basically there were 12 limestone formations, called the 12 Apostles, along a road called The Great Ocean Road in Oz. They, unfortunately, are crumbling away, but that leaves for some breathtaking rock formations.
(more posts coming soon, as the road trips have come to a temporary halt…)
Only 3 more to go…(Celebrating a small victory)
And what a term it’s been. At the start of this term, the introductory Prof said
Celebrate the small victories
So I am. Another prof said
Despite anything anybody may have told you or you may have heard, may I just say that Australia welcomes you, and with open arms
What a contrast from my introduction to America, which went something like this: “Stupid Immigrant, feeding off our government, stealing our jobs, daring to criticize the greatest country on Earth”. Of course, 75% of the 70 people in the MBA class are International students so maybe it’s pandering to your audience.
Went for lunch to an Italian Restaurant on Lygon St. with Freddy Mercury, the Sexy Singaporean and a few others.
This is Freddy Mercury. A Parsi/Bawa from Chennai, and a reasonably good friend of mine. Knows English and Tamil, and something which pretends to be Hindi. Has seen almost no Bollywood movies ever. When asked to sing a Bollywood song, this is what he broke out with:
Mera Haathi Mera Saathi, Kab aayegi tu
Thus causing enourmous howls of laughter. While we’re on the subject of haathis, the serious lack of Punjabis and North Indians here has also led to a corruption in the name of the only reasonably decent Indian restaurant around here. It’s called Kake di Hatti (complete with the picture of little baby ‘kaka’ wearing a red turban at the entrance). But when Freddy attempted to say it:
Haathi ka kakka? Haathi ki tatti? Kakka and Tatti?
Well regardless, the food was good. He lives in the same building as me, and his flatmate is Bombay Boy, whose pic I haven’t put up yet, because all the ones I have of him are too embarrasing (sleeping with hairy belly sticking out, bending over to get pen but looking like he’s giving his neighbour a BJ, you know that sort of thing).
(Gratuitous Pic of Sexy Sing below)
Ignore the guy next her. He’s Dowry. As in, he’s a sticky close friend which caused Bombay Boy to remark “Yeh to Dahej mein milega” – i.e. if I were to marry the SS (no thanks), he’d be along in the Dowry. Anyway, so we were walking to the restaurant for lunch, when SS yells “Look at that, there is a DILDO growing on this tree”. So we dismiss it as a regular SexySingaporean-ism (of which there are too many to quote), but then I look up, and sure enough, a large fake penis is hanging from the tree. And it turns out, that there are four of them. In Australia, it seems, they grow on trees. I shall take a picture and post it up soon. I took one with my cellphone, but it didn’t come out right
Hmm, what else… In order to foster “teamwork”, “people-skills” and other stuff, you’re put into groups of 5-6 people at the start of term, and then are forced to submit a few group assignments in your various subjects. Those groups are called Syndicates, and here’s my syndicate, doing what it does best. Drinking.
There are a few more posts coming, just thought I’d whet the appetite. I have 2 weeks of break, and nothing to do during those 2 wks, so expect a few rants and stuff.
In the meantime, I leave with my regular diet. A jug of beer, and potato wedges with “sweet chili” and sour cream. Sweet Chili has no chili and lots of sweet. It’s a popular flavour here in Oz. You even get Rice Cakes with that flavour. (ignore the ciggys. I’m a non-smoker)
Ta for now, for a day or so.
Message for Scout – I have answered this tag before, but was gonna answer it again in a different way. So hang on.
Call it a little advertising for MBS (Melbourne Business School)
Home Sweet Home – Trinity Apartments, which is also right next to the School and the Pub. Will show more pics from inside my apartment – it’s got a gorgeous view of the city, and is in the angle, second from the top. I’ve ended up sharing with someone, however. (It’s a 2 bedrm).
So it’s bright Summer’s day and you’re out with your family friends. You go to a place called Sugarloaf Resevoir, and you sit down at the restaurant, and order a cup of coffee. So yer sitting having coffee, and you see a bunch of ducks walk by in the distance…..so you take a pic. And have your family friends laugh at you for being a FOB. BAH!
Observe if you will a Sexy & (Bold) Singaporean – or rather The Sexy Singaporean. On being told that I was taking pics to send back to India, she made the following pose, with the following quote: “Let me show off my boobies, to piss off all the women, and entertain all the men”. She’s a real tease I tell you. “I’m single, but not looking-la!”. But most of the men are chasing after her – even the married ones! Oh, and she said that a handsome man like me should be acting in Bollywood movies. *Grin*
Now we have the more coy Incredible Indonesian. She was almost going to be my flatmate, until I found out that she has a boyfriend(outside of MBS). Bah! Oh and the fact she doesn’t really wanna live another guy…I wonder why…
Class Participation is 20% of your final grade. This means every prof needs to know your name. Hence the big sign in front of my seat (do you really think I’d be sitting there advertising it otherwise..? Ok…maybe I would be…)
OK, I think that’ll do for now, I have a 10 minute presentation to prepare (and the topic, of course, is Blogging!). So I shall leave you now, after having wasted more time on this than I should have (I am soooo scroooooed).
Buh-bye. Next post will have some city photos.
I need to get me a fur coat and an old Cadillac.
Hey folks, above you see an old high-school friend of mine. Her name is Nishel. She’s of Bihari origin, but is based out of the UK. Nishel wanted me to do a whole blog post on her. Why? Did she attempt to prevent the adulteration of petrol? Nope. The upliftment of the Dalits? Nope. But basically because she’s hot, and she’s single.
And she also sent me the following mail:
why arent i on your blog? i want to be on your blog! put my pics on there!!!
Now I wouldn’t have done justice to the poor IIM grad, or to any Social Workers, but I think I can do justice to her.
So this is Nishel, who’s based out of London, UK. Apart from a whole bunch of interesting things, she’s helped manage the Tommy Hilfiger stores here in Delhi, and was responsible for handling the opening of the Moschino store in Mumbai. So guys, if any of you happen to be in London, and think you match her criteria, leave a comment.
(Yea, I had a big crush on her, but she won’t go out with me. )
I went to Bombay/Mumbai…
Long post – be warned!
Ok, so the next best thing to being rich, is having a brother-in-law who is Managing Director (South Asia) for a gigantic American Bank. This means that when you visit Bombay, you don’t get to have fun with the rest of of the commoners. You don’t get to wander the beach aimlessly (though I suppose I could have if I really wanted to). You don’t get to ride the bright red BEST buses, and you don’t get to be flattened like a chapati in the local trains…but there are compensations. You do get to ride around in an S-Class Mercedes (which has reclining rear seats, among other things). You do get to live in South Bombay (Malabar Hill), and have a frikking glorious view of the sea. You also have a duplex flat/apartment. This may not seem like a big deal to some, but Bombay is to India what New York is to USA (in more ways than one). Now maybe you can appreciate what it means to have a duplex apartment. Oh, you also get to watch “The Last Samurai” on a screen which retracts from the wall, and has a picture projected on to it from an overhead projector while 6 speakers blast the sound at you from all different angles…Anyway, I took a few atypical pictures of bombay (beware, I am an AWFUL picture taker), so “read more”
Note: Clicking on the pictures takes you to a larger size image.
Ok I couldn’t stop obessing over the brownish building to the left hand side of this photo. It’s a building called ‘Haveli’ and the unbelievably brilliant architect did the following: He created duplexes (or is there some other plural), and EACH floor has this HUGE triangular balcony, which most of the residents were using as a garden. I have yet to see this idea replicated in either New York or Hong Kong (but somebody correct me if I’m wrong). Someday I will rich and vulgar enough to buy one of those places.
Ok, once upon a time, there were lots of textile mills in Bombay. Well they all went bust, and of course, the logical step in the evolution of that land is in the form of bowling alleys, restaurants, and shops. So I present to you Phoenix Mills, complete with a McDonald’s to the right, and Spaghetti Kitchen (yummy Italian food) to the left.
Ah. Marine Drive by night. Do I have to explain why it’s nicknamed the Queen’s Necklace? It’s also a place where lovers go for moonlit walks. I would go there, it’s jsut I don’t have any partner to take with me Someday, I swear, I’ll stop being the software geek and wow the world by wooing a woman…in the meantime… I have some surfing to do…(no, not on Shaadi.com).
Ok, this is a VERY SMALL and NARROW take on Bombay. The city is a lot bigger, and has a LOT more crazy things about it. I’ve only covered about 0.0000000001% of the city (duh), and that too from a rich, elitist standpoint – plus I was only there for the weekend. There are beaches, and slums, and movie stars and gangsters and pao bhaji, and bhel puri, and Trishna Seafood Restaurant and Swati Snacks, and Gateway of India and Elephanta Island and Parsis and Reliance Interactive Movie-on-demand Cable Television (just about to start up soon) and really-good-driving-compared-to-the-rest-of-India and why Rohinton-Mistry-and-his-stupid-book-A-Fine-Balance-can-F-off which need to be talked about, which I don’t have the space for here, and will refrain talking about, because I’m a Delhi-ite.
A few more notes (What I learned on my way from The City(Delhi) to The City(Bombay))
1) Do not fly Air Deccan. I understand that they are a low-cost carrier and all, but please, surely water can be served for free? That being said, I booked my tickets on a Wednesday (for Friday) for Rs. 7500 return (that’s US$170).
2) My title is called Seven Islands, because once upon a time Bombay used to be seven islands (or was it 9), which eventually started reclaiming land during British Rule, and ended up as the out-stretched hand known as Bombay). Question – why did they stop reclaiming land? Hong Kong reclaims some land every year – 20 years on, it’s unrecognizable!
Till next time, folks
Okay, so I’ve decided to document my daily commute to work.
Below you see a nice little snapshot of Josip Broz Tito Marg, New Delhi. Marg is the Hindi word for Road/Street I guess. It was a nice and cloudy day when I took these pictures so the lighting’s kinda wrong…
The photo below signifies “new” New Delhi. A city which has perpetually been under construction the past five years, courtesy Sheila Dikshit, the current woman in charge of Delhi, and a host of other agencies. What you see in the picture below is a FlyOver being constructed. Flyover being a British English term, I’ll translate for the Americans. What you see there is an Overpass. Within the past 5 years, no less than THIRTY-TWO flyovers have come up across the city, and more are coming up, to prevent the teeming masses from having to wait at red lights in the 47 degrees celcius of the Summer. I call it a sign of Progress. The old folks of course, are lamenting the death of “their” Delhi….the one in which you got to see an unsightly mess of cars, bikes, trucks, pigs standing at a crossing/intersection honking to death and sending nice wisps of Carbon Monoxide while they wait.
The teeming masses I was referring to above are here in full view. Note the lack of Maruti 800s in this mess. (See my previous post titled sign-of-progress-and-hopeful-obituary)
Some Indian Jam Anyone?
This is a picture of Nelson Mandela Marg. Note things don’t look so bad here…Yes, there is actually a road in Delhi called Nelson Mandela Marg. Get over it. Delhi also happens to the only place in India which has an MG road, where the MG does NOT stand for Mahatma Gandhi. (It stands for Mehrauli-Gurgaon. Mehrauli being another ancient part of Delhi….)
Not All Is Jam, However
Ok so off Nelson Mandela Marg is what was/is? India’s first 7-star hotel, The Grand Hyatt…er whoops. Sorry, there’s no more Hyatt attached to its name. Once upon a time, the Delhi Development Authority dreamed up scheme to populate South Delhi with 7 5-Star hotels-in-a-belt, as part of some grand Tourism Plan. Well three of those hotels came up – The Grand Hyatt, The Marriott and The Radisson. When people noticed a hotel coming up in their backyard, they protested. Then the environmentalists got involved. Then finally, the people who were going to make the remaining 4 hotels realised there was zero infrastructure (Roads, transport, e.t.c) to make this thing viable. So we’re left with 3 hotels located in strange parts of the city, not doing very well. So bad in fact, that Hyatt is no longer associated with the Grand-not-Hyatt anymore, and not being able to think of another name, it is simply called The Grand….
The Grand Hy…er..um..ah
Ok so this is the current look of National Highway. The central artery that connects Delhi to Gurgaon. And one of the many arteries that connects Delhi to India. This road takes you Jaipur,Rajasthan-the Land of Kings…Gurgaon-Jaipur is a smooth flat black carpet, which you have to pay to use. Delhi-Gurgaon was an awful two-lane piece of crap full of cars inching at 1 cm/hour, and (im)patiently waiting in line to enter Guragon, or head off further to Rajasthan, and vice versa. So now Delhi-Gurgaon is being converted into an 8-lane toll road…and in the meantime, the cars are inching…at 1 cm/hour.
National Highway 8. Delhi to Jaipur
Just a brief peak at the Radisson, which has its history explained above. The Radisson is doing relatively well for two reasons. It is very close to Indira Gandhi International Airport (New Delhi). And the second reason is The Great Kebab Factory. FREE BEER on Sunday Lunches, and All-you-can-eat Kebabs for 600 rupees….but at 600 bucks per head, you damn well better get all you can eat, heh.
Home of The Great Kebab Factory. YUM!
Welcome to Haryana (State neighbouring New Delhi, and harbouring Gurgaon). Why is Gurgaon important? This place is home to IBM, Fidelity, Microsoft, Sun, Cisco, Wipro, TCS, HCL, Daksh, GE Capital Services, Maruti Suzuki and host of other companies responsible for the New India. They are all in the Outsourcing/Technology field (except Maruti, of course). The funny thing about all of this is that the situation here is the reverse of America. Everybody lives in the main city (Delhi) and goes to work in the suburbs! This because the city is at least 1500 years old. But that is neither here nor there.
Yay, we finally made it
This Building is the first thing you see after crossing the border into Gurgaon. It’s called the DLF Gateway Tower. But apparently, the boob architect who designed this building had some bizarre idea of Ships in his ming…so it is actually in the shape of a Ship’s exhaust tower (or chimney, or whatever), and is thus called “The Ship Building”. At the bottom you see a sign reminding you that the National Highway (and all of Delhi) are still a work-in-progess..
Gateway to the Suburb
This is the building belonging to Convergys, a MultiNatiional Call Centre op. You get to see some cute college-going women wandering around if you hang around there…of course this what ‘a friend’ tells me. I, of course, wouldn’t know.
Hello USA? This is Convergys speaking
And the green building that you see in the centre of all this filth is good old HCL Technologies India ltd. A software consulting/outsourcing firm, and my current source of income. To the left, you see another outsourced firm (that slightly grey building. That happens to be Agilent Technologies (The breakaway software division of Hewlett-Packard).
Work, Sweet Work…
Well there you have it. It has always been the aim of this blog to show you pictures of India that you wont find in the media….though credit has to be given to CNN for abandoning its usual position with a recent set of shows on the Outsourcing Debate, where they actually showed a balanced view of India, FOR ONCE.
Hope this page loads fast on your browser…
Of course if you refuse to unplug yourself from the Matrix, the standard experience-of-India fare can be found at this blog. Where, as the author will assure you, this is the “Real India”. The photographs I’ve posted are all fake, of course.