Friday, February 12, 2010

Events in my recent life or...

The past year has moved from crazy to stable to more crazier (which includes many interesting moments, of course) and finally moving a notch up to confused! Though this analysis is on back of events surrounding my general personal and professional life, the world economy has done its bit as well to be blamed in my opinion. This is particularly true in light of the old adage that man blames most of his tough situations on external factors, and I dare not question this long-served opinion of some of the world's greatest thinkers (hehe, including me of course!). Anyways this also gives me an opportunity to reflect on my one year of marriage which is as experts put it, one prolonged 365-day honeymoon (i.e. if you love each other very much) or a steep slope if you are one of those guys who act first and think later.
Let me begin with my professional life which has been a greater see-saw compared to my rather stable personal world, thanks largely to my supportive wife who did not freak out too much after living a year with a doofus like me. I had extensively travelled at an unmatched rate (unmatched compared to my pre-marriage years), which, ideally should have pissed off my wife given that I had to leave her behind in all these travails. But the generous and loving saint that she is, she seems to have forgiven me for my mistakes (I mean it is probably a small thing to ask of her given that the world seems to have forgiven me for my inconsequential existence anyways but more about this some other time). It has been a year of mixed fortunes with some positive strokes and some bouncers (fortunately no beamers to date; 2008 took care of that, did'nt it, hehe). My trips have been a mixed bag with a few positive moments and it remains to be seen how they shape my near future, but suffice it to say that it has been a major learning experience. I hope I get an opportunity to develop on the various skills I gained over these trips!
Uncertainty probably is the one defining factor in everyday life of a 21st century guy and this particular year has been the best so far (hope you note the sarcasm here!). Anyways with unemployment rates having beaten their own high jump records and with the fresh eurozone (led by Greece) turmoil, the uncertainty is becoming a certainty at least into the first half of this year as well. Having pumped big money into the world markets with a view to support consumer buying, most of the countries and their respective central banks are now retreating into their shells, alas after finding out that having helped others out of their crises, lest they find themselves in one soon. There have been reports that a Euro area break up may be on the cards if not imminent, given the loss in value of the Euro to the dollar owing to structural weaknesses in southern states like Greece, Italy, Spain, Portugal and the rest of the gang. Well, I am no expert at economics but sure seems shit scary.
My whole point is that it is affecting my life and professional chances and if this turmoil continues and local unemployment rates start getting affected in Euro economies, UK also will have to play its part in mitigating that crisis. And following the axiom that the hand that treats you is likely to get infected itself (Obviously I made it up! What did you think!) UK will probably face its issues again. How do you get to work in the second best traded markets in the world? Somebody tell me.
P.S. I have my first anniversary coming. Please feel free to congratulate me on my success as a husband, if not in any other way. For further comments you can contact my wife (but only through me, sadly as she wishes general anonymity).

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The Maldivian Sojourn

This post being a sequel to the earlier one (written separately so as to aptly describe and separate our 'first impressions' and the 'stay'), would start with probably no candid starting word or phrase. Well, after a luxuriating bath and some well-deserved rest, we set about exploring our options on the island. We were very pleased to realise that the beach started just a few yards away from our cottage, but what struck us pleasantly was the serenity surrounding us. Maldives probably was one of those islands which despite quite a bit of tourists, is evenly spaced throughout the year owing to its pleasant climate and hospitable people. Most of the tourists were Europeans and it would surprise quite a few that German is almost a quasi-official language at least in the resorts. I mean, even the library has more number of books in German than in any other language. Anyways, we sauntered about looking at the various facilities in the resort till evening after which we sat by the beach-side cafe for a couple of drinks. The evenings were magnificent, to say the least, with one the most beautiful sunsets I have ever been privileged to witness. And to add to the ambiance was beautiful live music which added precious somethings to our serene moments together. Thus ended Day 1 with dinner, which does deserve a special mention not just because of the quality and variety but on the hospitality part of the waiters and the chefs as well, which had its share in making our overall stay more memorable.

Well rested and feeling pretty good about the place, Day 2 began with us exploring the beaches and the water. Not having enough opportunities back home for putting on my swimming gear, I am sure you would appreciate my itch to get into the ocean and let the waves caress me all over. I will cease to get more mushier about all this but I am sure you understand my exuberance here. So after splashing about for a couple of hours (my missus never learnt to swim and so was content to stand on the sidelines cheering on her man and reading something about high society marriages etc) and living my dream of spending sunny afternoons on beaches and reading, we got back to the cottage. We then showered and dressed for our first 'official' activity - the sunset cruise. Here the speedboat takes couples into the middle of the sea and 'into the sunset' as I would like to put it and I must say that the view caught me spellbound. I assume the readers know my cynicism to such things and so very well appreciate here my use of the adjective. Nevertheless, we returned in a hour or so and after a splendid dinner of Maldivian and Sinhalese cuisine at the resort, retired for the day.

Day 3 began with us enrolling for a tour of a local Maldivian island (Risadhoo) post my favorite activity of each day there - breakfast. We roamed about visiting a few more parts of the island till the tour guide called for us. Local islands in Maldives give us a more candid view of local culture. But first I think I would like to apprise the readers with some facts on Maldives. A pure Muslim country but with an amazing literacy percentage of 98.2%. Almost everyone speaks English, it along with Malay, being a concurrent part of school courses here. And to add to that, secondary education was free and compulsory. We roamed about the island, took a few pics of the 'Dhonis' (local fishing boats), did a little artifact shopping and sped back to our resort by late evening. Then we showered, dined and retired for the day but boy, don't I love beach evenings.

Day 4 in hindsight was the most adventurous I have gotten in a long time. We had enrolled for a 'Island hopping' programme spaced over the entire day virtually. In this the guides took us to three islands: a local island (to enrich our knowledge of local culture), a luxury island (to make us rue over what we were missing on our resort island) and finally for a barbecue lunch on a desert island. Though the visit to the luxury island was nothing much to comment about except rue about the inability to afford the same, the local island visit was an enriching experience as we learnt about customs, habits and everyday lives of Maldivians. We then cruised towards the desert island and by the time we landed there we were close to being famished and so after eagerly devouring the barbecue we were set off to explore the waters. This time I was prepared with my snorkel gear and I waded along and enriched my marine knowledge. Spotted quite a number of coral formations, both developed and nascent apart from a wide variety of fishes. Sorry for not being able to provide any decent pics of the same owing to my unpreparedness on that account but promise to carry an under-water camera the next time along. Thus after spending a couple of solitary albeit serene hours snorkeling we headed back to our resort.

Day 5 was a no-activity day as we lazed about. I did a little more snorkeling while my missus delved on some further reading and broadening her horizons. Come sunset and we visited the sting-ray feeding site where a guy in a kind of rubber gear gets into the water and feeds chunks of meat to sting-rays. Man those creatures at close-range can be ominous though they keep clear of humans I heard. We then dined, played some Foosball and retired for the day.

Next morning we packed, had breakfast and got aboard a speed boat for airport. Thus ended our week long sojourn at the peaceful isle but we came back with fond memories of our honeymoon.

The Maldivian Sojourn (Part 1)

Well, as I promised, the post on my Maldives visit rambles on thus. Mark that this is 'one' vacation I can actually call as 'one'. Anyways after spending a few sedate days in Hyderabad (my home-town), we got back to Mumbai, packed our suitcases with the 'appropriate' clothing and set out to chill. we had booked ourselves on the IA flight from Bangalore to Male and considering that it was a mere 2hr jaunt I have nothing spectacular to report about the flight per se.

It was a beautiful day when we landed at Kurumathi Cottage and Spa (that was a part of the Alifa-Alifa Atoll) by a speed boat from Male airport. I guess the speed boat journey is something to report about. Firstly, it felt divine to be cruising at break-neck speed in serene blue waters, while watching the white jet-stream created by the motor at the rear. It makes one wonder (on a more philosophical note though), as to how man's inventions 'disturb' the peace of nature. Man, I am back at my normal digressing avatar, eh! So as the blue sea rolled past us with nothing but water around us for more than an hour, and I was done picking at my camera and finding impossible angles to take the pictures of the sea, my mind wandered into an adventure mode and I started chalking out plans on what I could accomplish other than taking pictures.

While this activity was being undertaken by my inner self, my outer self realised that we had reached our destination and my first impression was "Oh My God! Its truly beautiful". This feeling could also be because of the fact that it was my first visit to any island, but I don't want to take anything away from the truly spectacular picture which was in front of my eyes. And I was happy to see a similar expression on my missus' face, which in hindsight I would say provided me with an utmost satisfaction. Thus we dis-embarked and made our way to spending our first couple of days at the beach cottage.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

On getting hitched....

After a frightfully long period of lack of blogging, I am going to present to you a heartful rendition on a heartfelt topic close to every guy's heart - MARRIAGE. Though I must admit I do feel a bit ashamed at my disappearance I believe I have an absolutely reasonable reason for the same - I was seriously courting a beautiful girl who I am happy to introduce to my esteemed audience as my wife and my better half (and she is better, I say!)

Well, I am sure you are skeptical on my being able to throw much light on a subject which probably has many more esteemed scholars debating even as I am penning my thoughts. But please understand that every blogger, every researcher is unique - unique in his thoughts, his understanding and more importantly his circumstances. So do not write me off just yet..

Anyways, after a blissful honeymoon in Maldives (about which I am going to blog soon in detail), we (me and my wife!) soon settled down back in Mumbai, even as we made plans for our next outing. Sorry, I am digressing here but the point is Guys...just chill, its not that hard or that demonic as certain literature puts it. If you guys have a good understanding with each other, its just another extension of courting (but just get used to seeing someone around you 24/7). Life is definitely more organized and there is a thrill in planning for small things and sharing thoughts on common subjects. Guys might feel here that they are losing their independence and that some one always wants to keep an eye on what he is doing, but trust me its just your feeling. Nobody's snooping around and more importantly no one can take your freedom if you just remember that you cannot take someone's freedom either. Gotcha...that is the most important mantra and as you all might have heard the story of the ugly old hag and Sir Lancelot - leave her decisions in her hand and sure enough she is going to trust you with her decisions.

This post is for those hapless guys who might not have trusting friends to show them the right path :)

Thursday, June 26, 2008

The tantalizing world of Football

Yippie....Its soccer time.....Some of the best football teams of Europe battle it out for a coveted crown, The EURO CUP. What can one say about it....electrifying atmosphere, splendid football and of course the drama and action around it.
The Euro 2008 is no less different. Down to the last semi-final and with Germany already in the finals, the time is ripe and I hope my blog serves as a fitting finale to a mega event. Iam penning this watching the 2nd semi-final between Russia and Spain. One a champion in its own right and the other giving it all to be one.

Frankly Russia has been a revelation in this Euro cup, who having been beaten flatly by Spain in their first Group match are trying to turn the tables on the former champions. I probably will not be around my laptop to blog the end of this match, but is sure to be an entertainer. Spain's already 2-0 up and only a miracle can save Russia. But i end this blog now to watch the remainder of the match and hoping that Russia does not do a Greece the next time around.

Do we feel....

Its one of those days. Watched a movie....a pretty old one from a current moviegoer perspective but nevertheless worth a second look. Mr. & Mrs. Iyer. For those who would have seen it and felt a something in their heart, I need'nt really go into the details. But this blog is a statement of a heart which caught a twinge a second time as well, to those either who felt the same and to those unfortunates who have'nt been able to experience a directorial magic.

There are certain aspects of human life which you tend to look a second time. Feel it more than twice and think about many a time. Inhumaneness and fear are two such aspects. And Aparna Sen, very stoically brings out those emotions in her actors who are witness to some of the worse atrocities one human can inflict upon his brethren. Finding themselves in the turmoil following the Godhra incident, the lead pair find themselves running and lying for their lives and in the meantime understanding the concept of love. Rahul Bose and Konkona Sen, I feel, have given memorable performances and successfully drive home a point, long forgotten.

We need such more films and such great concepts in this world where people have stopped feeling for thir neighbour.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Fate of Indian Cricket....

This topic, I know has been discussed widely on many forums but I would like to state that it would not be rhetoric :)...For those ardent fans of cricket as a game, the recent performance of the Indian team would like to be treated as a moment to be forgotten, for that matter even the English team's performance in the recently concluded Ashes. But from an Indian fan's perspective its high time the team reassess themselves - are they suited to represent the country in the world forum or not. Though not apt (considering the consistency, though) one would like to wonder how the Australians manage a whitewash while we strive to keep the series alive!! They play to their strengths with only one thing in mind: win whatever it takes. One feels that the killer attitude is heavily lacking in the Indian team (it has been so for quite sometime, I guess) and the current performance seemed so lacking in grit and if I might say, even showed a lack of basic cricketing skills.

Let us look for example the batting performance of Sachin (considered by Indians as a demi-god - 14 runs off 62 balls) - at a time when he should have strived to do the opposite. He was looking so lacklustre that if not for his stupendous run-record one would have imagined him to be a middle-order batsman from the most deplorable Ranji team. His batting gave SA's the impression that where the great master fails, the whole team is anyways going to cave in and that's what happened. I would on my account treat him to be the main reason for the series defeat (if rain recedes). The attitude of Kartik, though was a treat to watch. All of 21 and playing perhaps his first overseas series, he took the attack to the opposition, caring a damn for the likes of Pollock and Kallis. He infact showed how cricket is to be really played!

And we know that he would most likely not make it to the World cup as the currently injured players of the likes of Dhoni and Yuvraj would saddle themselves. His is an attitude the senior players should adopt if they want to see India go anywhere upto the semi-finals in the World cup. One would definitely like to see Team India show a thing or two to the world audience, but I can't still help feel that it is going to be another loss of face.

Monday, December 25, 2006

Love, Actually!! 2

Consider the earlier blog as a prelude to the mystery I am about to unravel. A man develops his unique personality through his life and the experiences which he accounts for in this journey. In his quest for a partner to share and understand, he socializes and comes across various people who he influences and who influence him. He tries to identify the one soul who he connects with in thoughts and ideas. Point to get across here is, not just the other person's similarities with himself but the capacity to live "their" common ideas and the pleasure they can get out of living the way they believe in.

Do they have the capacity to lose themselves in a convoluted crowd and find happiness in one another while still preserving their identities? Who is the first person that comes to their mind who they think can love them the way they love themselves? Does someone's presence around you give you a sense of exhilaration and thankfulness for both his existence and yours?

I believe that love is a feeling which craves for best in someone with a simultaneous drive to give your best. If it can give a new meaning to life, its risks and its ability to produce and successfully attain new and higher dimensions, that's what is true passion and true love. Its not a mere meeting of the hearts but a meeting of the minds. If he/she is the one person you want to hold in your arms and who gives you the feeling that you deserve your share of happiness no matter what the world thinks; if a word from that person makes you feel justified in your actions and if one kiss from that person can give you the warmth in this frigid existence - trust me, you have found your soul-mate.

Life is not mere existence. Its about unraveling the mystery it presents at every corner. Nothing better than a person who shares your enthusiasm for life - no more, no less.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Love, Actually!!

Don't be surprised at the title and don' expect a rendition or a critic of the movie with this name....just a collection of my thoughts on the topic. Well, where do I begin. A dictionary meaning to start out with: a feeling of closeness and understanding. Perhaps, this definition has provoked many to consider the first person towards whom one has the first pang of the above feelings mentioned to make him/her the only subject of her/his affections. And affections considered in isolation never smoke out, though it should definitely make one wonder whether such affections are unique or can be duplicated upon another human.

Also there is no absurdity in duplication as it has been stated very solemnly in the holy testament - "Love thy neighbor". Well, here the question arises: do you wish to spend your entire life in the company of your neighbor ;) Just a slight humor but to get the point across. So we come to the conclusion that it is not too difficult to love considering that every person in this world is a true Christian or of any faith (Anyways every faith does exhort love as the pinnacle of human glory). Now we are left with that one person (provided we find him/her) with whom the equation is slightly albeit uniquely different. Don't wink, as I have not messed with the words. Remember that every feeling is different in some way or other. Let us make an effort in understanding love now that we know what we are looking for....

Have you missed being with someone? Has anyone eclipsed your life so much that you see a hollow in your existence? I know it is tough to imagine but one has to make a decision. What I feel and experienced is that longer the time gap of meeting someone who you really love and want to spend your life with, the bitter you get at circumstances which have made you part company. You tend to appreciate the importance of that single person in your life and in entirety understand the concept of love. So, in essence, sometimes distances bring out the true nature of relationships and enable you to come to a decision about who you want to be with and what you want from life. So wait for such a situation (a situation, which is bound to happen sooner than later in this fast paced world) and you will know the true nature of your affections.

Hope everyone finds the love of their life....I myself am on this adventure....