December 28, 2004
December 27, 2004
Terrible tsunamis orginating from a massive earthquake measuring 8.9 on the Ritcher scale lashed the coastal regions of India, Bangladesh, Thailand, Malaysia and Sri Lanka this morning. Terrible, considering most of the people here must be either vacationers or fisherfolk. My heart goes out to the lives of the lost souls.
December 20, 2004
The deal is, you pay a lumpsum 'x' amount, which includes return airfare to your national or international destination, stay in select hotels for that period, breakfast and/or lunch, shuttle service and more in some cases. This is quite a boon, (1) for the special rates and (2) for people with no time to plan their stay or reserve a hotel!
So, where do you want to go today?
December 18, 2004
December 14, 2004
November 28, 2004
November 27, 2004
November 26, 2004
November 18, 2004
En route from Mumbai to Goa, we stopped by at a quaint restaurant 'Kshanbhar Vishranti' - great homely food, packed some for the road.
DAY 1 - Friday, 12th Nov
Reached Goa sometime around 10 am and met our hosts, Shanu & Christopher (of Hallmark Guesthouse where we'd be put up).
Quickly dumped our luggages and headed for Baga beach - a 2 minute walk!
Did an awesome breakfast on the beach by one of the shacks, Antonio's.
After a stroll by the beach and some shoe shopping, I headed back to Baga with Clyde.
Tried some body boarding and realized I almost had to learn swimming over again!
Back to the beach chairs and sipped on some beer at leisure.
All of us then had an early dinner at Britto's which is at the fag end of Baga beach. Clyde showed us the right way of having 'feni' - the local liquor - by burning it on a spoon! Then came a scrumptious seafood platter and lotsa desserts which didn't take much time to get exhausted.
Walked back to our guesthouse and I decided to retire to bed early after all the traveling and the long day. The others wanted to party and headed off to Tito's - the most 'happening' club around. Next day they all told me how bad an experience it was. I smiled coyly. Muahahahaha.
DAY 2 - Saturday, 13th Nov
Since I was fresh from a good night's sleep, managed to wake up the earliest and explored the beach road, most of which was just opening. Dropped in at a German-owned Mubli cybercafe and made friends with the manager there.
The gang was ready in an hour and we headed off for breakfast at Infantaria towards Calangute.
While I was gone there was apparently a big ruckus about our driver from Kent Cars who had gotten drunk and tried getting fresh with our chicks so we fired the guy and were promised by the company of a replacement vehicle and a waiver on payments.
By noon we were on our way to South Goa - Palolem beach. I was initially apprehensive about shuttling beaches and just wanted to chill out at just one. But after arriving at Palolem I took a deep gulp and thanked my friends - this was heaven! Rightly regarded as the most beautiful and virgin beaches of Goa, Palolem was a feast for the senses. White sands, clear(er) waters, a sparsely inhabited island in sight and a fresh water lagoon on the North end. Wow!
We settled down at Fernandes' shack further down North of the beach and had a quick snack before heading off for some fun in the waters.
Nick's devious mind had come up with an idea - to shoot a crazy video of all of us - he even had a hilarious script all worked out, made crazier by the madder minds of Sudi, Swati and Rama. I was the protagonist of the whole thing. Duh. I couldn't even protest! After a lot of masti and madness, we packed up and left back for Baga.
Picked up some desserts n snacks from Tito's - scrumptious bibinca, apple pies and more.
Since the gang had not experienced real Goan clubbing yet we decided to head off to Club Cabana - the haven for party goers in Goa (truly so!) - You can spot Club Cabana from pretty much any location around Baga beach - just look for 3 crazy searchlights which they cast into the sky. Hell you WANNA be there! The place is located on top of a hill - actually a mansion/bungalow converted into a club by the owners - a German couple apparently.
The deal was pretty decent - 600 bucks per person (Wednesday nites are free for the ladies) and an open bar - meaning you can drink all the Bacardi-n-Coke or Peach Schnapps as you can digest. The place was truly awesome - poolside, 2-3 areas with dance floors, 2 open bars and 2 paid bars, massage corners and verandas. My amigos put a bet on me that I couldn't down 10 glasses of B&C. Naturally I won in the end. Most others threw up on their pretty dresses.
DAY 3 - Sunday, 14th Nov
- Waking up early
- Breakfast at Antonio, chatting up Stella, Mubli cybercafe
- Superbreakfast at Britto's
- To Anjuna. The 'Cuckoo Jaws Thoopal?' character is born.
- Anjuna shopping, sharp, henna tattoes, cycafe and French
- Back to Palolem, checked into Fernandes' shack
- Thai dinner and UNO at Banyan Tree, sleeping under a canopy of stars
- Nick's muse, chats her up
- Plans for next day - Nick to shoot another 'planned movie'. I anticipate a no-shoot. Planned vidblogs don't happen.
- Off to bed in shack. Dogs chasing dogs and cackling women won't let sleep in!
DAY 4 - Monday, 15th Nov
- Woke up easy at 9
- Ladies already hit the waters; Nick, Sudi and me follow
- Quick brunch at adjoining shack. Just had some honey toast without honey.
- More beach fun, ladies do more shopping at a beautiful resort with outdoor library (insert name, contact)
- Shack checkout
- Lunch at Dropadi, shopping around markets
- Return to Fernandes, more food n beer
- Kaju shopping in Panaji at Royal Kajuwala
- To Mumbai
- Misty roads, off-track accident. Minorly hurt, all's well. Pathetic journey
- Home sweet home
October 31, 2004
|This is one of the coolest purchases I've made in recent times. Shrek 3D double bill is a pack of Shrek + Shrek 3D, a 16 minute feature film which is in 3D! It's a small adventure Shrek, Fiona and Donkey go thru and takes place in the timeline between Shrek and Shrek 2 (dropping you just where Shrek 2 begins). |
The whole 3D experience, glasses et al is simply AWESOME!! It's my first 3D movie and what better than Shrek for a first of this sort? :)
October 27, 2004
Nick Gray, a great friend I made via Ryze and his blog arrived in India today! Over the next 3 months, Nick plans to explore the REAL India (mind you he's not your average ordinary traveler seeking 'sightseeing' spots) and explore the possibilities of forming a team for his project, BuddyGopher.
I reached to pick up Nick from the airport, in a bit of a mad hurry but surprisingly managed to be only 15 minutes late.
It was close to 11 pm and we had no idea about his accommodation but I had a few hotel numbers I had narrowed down on. Finally we decided to go for Hotel Parkway at Shivaji Park.
Nick made a quick call to his folks, we had a quick dinner at Gypsy Chinese and then he showed me the zillion goodies he got for me!
October 24, 2004
I've been Flickr-ing for the past week and everytime I try it, I find a cool new feature. Today I tried FlickrLive which is taking chat to the next level with real-time photo sharing, instant-buddy, private messaging and more. See the screenshot for more. It offers the kind of communication and customisation which only Opera and Google has given us so far.
These guys are doing a fantastic job of creating a robust community around photo sharing. I've tried it all - Webshots, Yahoo! Photos, Ofoto... nothing compares to the flexibility and usability of Flickr. I'm almost sounding like a brand evangelist now. If you still don't get the message and don't join the site, I don't think I should say anything further.
Look out for Flickr - it's the next buzzword!
Psst... Check out the cool thing on the sidebar of my blog. Shows random pics from me and my friends.
October 05, 2004
1 - Don't despair, it's bad, but it could get worse :) - Murphy's Law
2 - If you're ever feeling down on life, just remember - you were once the fastest sperm in the bunch. - Source unknown. Courtesy of ShodZ
October 01, 2004
September 01, 2004
I cracked it in 10 minutes without cheating or Googling. What's your best time?
Oh and yes, one small thing - mute your MIDI channel, the music makes your mind go number. Dah! Another pun. I gotta stop being corny. Which reminds me...
Gautami's list of changes I gotta make to myself
1 - Stop being shallow (What, me shallow?)
2 - Become more serious and be responsibile (Hmmmmmm)
3 - Stop discussing personal life with others (OK. Done.)
4 - Narrow down on only 1 girl I really really like (Do I have to?) :(
August 14, 2004
a) Tatas offload stake on to Sivasankaran
b) A foreign company (speculations are on for Starbucks) buys the stake
Now personally speaking, and after discussing with Kshitij, I think I'd rather prefer Sivasankaran buying it out fully. Per Kshitij, "they'll (Starbucks) obviously kill Barista...if they buy it... like what HLL did to Dollops by Cadbury's...when they wanted to get Walls here". I agree.
Besides, Starbucks coming in independantly with it's own signature line of coffees would be much more umm... refreshing!
August 11, 2004
10 o'clock passed and still no call from the car which was supposed to pick me up. Finally they called at 10:30 (the car had a puncture on the way). It was my teammates Aru & Jenny and Karthik from the opp. team. We were all in a fresh mood as today wouldn't be as boring as yesterday. Compare Fun Republic to Chor Bazaar! It continued to rain mildly.
Somewhere near JW Marriott, Karthik had a brilliant idea - "Why don't we stop over at Alfredo's for a cuppa cappuccino?!" - "Rrrright, we nodded", fully aware that we're gonna be more grounded than the coffee after we reach so late.
DETOUR Alfredo's served great food, so we decided to order some. Karthik and me had a beer, some salad, pasta and some garlic bread. The crew calls. Aru thrusted his phone quickly to Karthik who coolly told them we'll be there in a jiffy. We moved on after the full breakfast. The time? Past 12:30 :) Finally we reached our destination.
We were quickly briefed. The crew was mad, but not quite as we expected. We were blissfully sure they took enough time to setup their cameras too.
The rest of the day was full of fun, doing crazy things we would never do in a theatre (can't disclose all the details till the show is officially announced). But scenes included the 6 of us going up and down the escalators - what fun, and getting paid for it :) besides some promo shots and doing some quick sound bytes. [will fill in game details here later]
Some interesting moments:
- I stopped one of the elevators. Wonder how you start them back :)
- Aru goes to the loo atleast a dozen times - to do his hair
- Jenny carried a heavy bag - containing food (theplas) for us (learning from yesterday's ughy sandwiches)
Needless to say, our team - JAK won! We took home 800 bucks. Quite modest, but not bad for having fun most of the time. And making fun new friends like Aru, Jenni and Karthik!
I was the only person on time. People started turning up only after 12.
Including our co-ordinator-cum-hostess, Kalpana.
We were supposed to be 2 teams of 3 each.
Avadhi (ironically meaning 'time' or 'limit') was there since 11. But had to leave.
Shruti was there. But had to leave.
Kapil didn't have to leave. Coz he never made it. His bank went bankrupt.
Jay made us all wait. Coz he didn't reach on time.
Finally to form the 2 teams, Kalpana had to approach these young lovebirds in Barista. They enthusiastically agreed and then the gal started asking me all the questions she didn't ask Kalpana. Meet Aru(nachal) and Jen(nica).
So it was them + me, versus 3 other guys - Karthik, Jay and dunnohisname.
Our task - Purchase books worth a 1000 bucks, a basketball, a Mercedes emblem, vinyl records and an antique fan today - and sell it tomorrow in a mall - for a profit! The team which makes the higher profit wins. Zimple.
The shoot was over only by 8 - phew! Was it tiring or what. More on the details later. I'm not supposed to talk about it much.
While travelling back home by train, a strange thing happened. The train halted a little before the Charni Road station. They applied emergency brakes. People were peering outside to sneak a peek. What transpired was that a kid was just saved after he fell off the platform. For a moment there... everyone around just touched their heart and head - thanking God for averting a disaster.
Reminded me of the intro lines of the fantastic movie Love Actually...
General opinion's starting to make out that we live in a world of hatred and greed - but I don't see that - seems to me that love is everywhere.
Goodnight! Tomorrow's another hectic shoot!
August 10, 2004
After watching the movie, I think (1) I agree with Cooper about Europe. (2) The Bratislavan tourism industry is gonna flourish. Besides Amsterdam's.
Later afternoon, had some awesome Parsi food at this quaint place called 'Snack Shack', supposedly the only Parsi cuisine in Bandra. Grilled chicken sandwich and chicken biryani - 100 bucks. Not bad eh? Oh and a Thums Up. And curd. Good deal. Highly recommended. Next time, kulfi :)
Now I'm gonna share a little secret to 'destress' oneself. No i'm not contending to be the next Deepak Chopra. Sit straight n listen up, punk! - It's something I did today. In the middle of the maddening city crowds and traffic... just keep walking around quietly at your own pace or sprint. With the world around you whizzing by and you in your own trance, with a smile on your face and not a care in the world... it's awesome!
Meeting Shruti, Kaps and Kalpana for an interesting event. Details classified for now. The most I can say - reality TV show. Watch this space! ;)
August 06, 2004
August 04, 2004
Woke up to a small celebration at home with family. Another cake! Bring it on!
Reached office and as expected, the compound was full of ankle-deep water. Ughy water. The bindaas acrobat executive that I am, I jumped across the parapets and walls around and reached mostly dry, with the exception of a part-wet sock. More ughness.
Had a superlazy day and soaked in all the... hey where's the sun? OK, wishes will do for now.
Everyone was waiting for cakesplashing time. When it came, no part of my face was spared. Thankfully, the brand new shirt was spared. I looked picture perfect. Faceload of cake with a cherry to top! Will post pics tomorrow.
Wish count: About 15 SMSs, 20 calls, 12 e-mails, 25 messages on my Ryze. (And still filling as of 11:53 pm) Damn, I'm feelin good. Hey, I'm a natural Leo. Being full of myself is a trait. I didn't choose it ;)
- Last nite at 11, buddies Manish n Kapil picked me up from work.
- Went to Kalpana at Worli Naka. (Huh?) - Oh well, what's in a name? Food's great. Try it.
- Downed a bit of my new fave, Old Monk. Starters were OK dokey.
- Main course was some veggies. Don't ask me names. But the Dal Tadka ROCKED!
- 3rd August, 11:50 pm - I'm tellin the fellas about Fahrenheit 9/11
- First call, bro. Plays the smarts. Calls at 11:58 so he can get through the lines.
- A barrage of SMSes. Manish, Vanali, Prashant, Kamal, Lincoln.
- Sameer calls. Checkes where I am and till when I'm hanging around. Wishes, hangs up.
- Avinash does ditto. Dinner done, we decide to move on.
- No sooner am I out of the premises, than I see myself blindfolded.
- Someone pounces on me.
"Stop it Manish, Kaps. Don't act like kids".
As soon as I open my eyes I realise - I'm surrounded by the WHOLE gang. All of them! Sam, Avi, Rakesh, Raxit, Prashant!! So well it figures - Sam and Avi calling me up to check where I was. The planned surprise! :D
With 2 cars, we then headed to Worli Seaface. The folks had got a cake along. Had an awesome time there with the cake and all the friends. Thanks a ton fellas - this was the bestest gift ever!
By 1, we headed home. She calls. :)
July 22, 2004
Bumped into Prasad from NIIT. He's now working with a call center plus doing photography as a hobby.
If that wasn't enough, Manasi (again from school) is now a certified LLB. Congrats, dudette! But my spoon of nostalgia runneth over, so more had to happen, right?
Right. Jigesh, again from school... got himself a new job in the US at Wilshire Associates (they build investment solutions) as a Software Developer.
July 18, 2004
Have you ever been through a crisis and smiled through it? I did. But today, I couldn't. Not because of the series of events, but more so because I was losing my own essence. I think it's time to put my learnings into action. Ameliorate. Get back myself. And then talk about making a difference.
To change 'Things are gonna be OK' to 'Things are beautiful the way they are. Live the moment'.
Sorry about the cryptic post. It's not for you. It's for me.
July 16, 2004
Narendra Rocherolle sold Webshots to http://www.excite.com in 1999 for $82.5 million. Excite went bankrupt later, and to settle off debtors, auctioned their holdings. Rocherolle and his associates bought it back at a 97% discount (!!!) for $2.4 million. Let's get to the bottom of the iceberg. The gentleman this week sold it again, this time to C|Net. At another whooping $70 million. So the next time you see a man laughing away to the bank, it's not because they changed something in the Matrix or a black cat passed by twice. Narendra Rocherolle might have cracked a deal. Again.
Trivia: C|Net also recently bought over MP3.com
Thanks for the heads up, Nick.
July 15, 2004
Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.
In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.
Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.
It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.
- William Ernest Henley
July 11, 2004
On a personal note, had a great day. Work was relaxed, the internal shuffling of places was fun, contrary to wot I expected. Then joined ole pals for this scrumptious Marwari dinner at Bhagat Tarachand in Kalbadevi. I had 3 scoops of butter on 3 rotis. Surprisingly, I didn't bloat or anything. It was quite nice in fact! The meal was simply awesome - fingerlickin' good!
July 09, 2004
Just recently, met someone whom I thought I'd never meet or even get a chance to talk to in all my life! And more than anything else, the simple understanding that they're doing fine and happy with life is like a million dollar gift in itself. Doing coffee and conversation is a perk.
Karan (Saif Ali Khan's character) was right in the movie Hum Tum: "No byes Rhea... Kyunki yeh zindagi bahut lambi hai". Cheers. To the surprises of life!