You can take a Mysorean out of Mysore… But… You cannot take Mysore out of a Mysorean!

The last week, given that I now travel to Electronics City for work daily, probably for the first time in six years I had to stay in Bangalore on a Friday evening and Saturday morning and experience the traffic! Though I had decided to stay back in my lovely lazy house in a green locality, a wake up call at 9AM (Yeah!) made me wonder what to do over the weekend. Took the normal 60 route and went to Basavanagudi, had amazing dosas at Vidyarthi Bhavana, a recollection of my stay there two years back and then…. headed to Mysore. As I just wondered why I was heading to Mysore for hardly a day left, thoughts came back on an old post which said, You can take a Mysorean out of Mysore… But you cannot take Mysore out of a Mysorean.

As I got into the bus, still wondered why I was going back to this old statement, a bus probably full of IT professionals heading for their home for the weekend (Yeah I can probably claim that I am not one now ;)). Each of those people had the essence of Mysore sunk in their hearts and well would probably live Mysore and breathe Mysore as many do worldwide! As a matter of fact, the past few weeks I have had quite a few people call me and ask how is life in Mysore and how is it as a destination to setlle! Though I had good words to say, I had to tell them that they cannot love Mysore by force, they probably need to go through an experiential phase and then decide on their investments! A lovely lazy city, I can claim, but still not a hot investment destination and I hope it never will be one.

What probably makes a Mysorean is the culture of the cultural capital of the state. The early morning walks on the lake bunds of the city (there are some 7-8 big ones), the walking tour of the palaces, the visits to the Chamundi Hills at the center of the city, a near-perfect zoo with great walks, the heritage buildings in every nook and corner – including the DC office, the Oriental Research Institute, the Palaces, the University, the colleges which are centuries old, my alma-mater Marimallappa’s, the spice markets in SriramPets and the ShivaramPets, the large markets of the city, wide roads and add to this an inclination towards preserving the culture, traditions, languages (yeah the city also houses separate Universities for Music and Sanskrit along with the Central Institute of Indian Languages) with a touch of modernity in the Urs Road, the KD Road and as my friend Raghu says you cannot miss the Purple Haze in Vijayanagar. So much in a city that still is green and decently planned around 10 miles away on both sides with huge riverbanks, cool evenings ranging from 17-23 degrees across the year!

Coming back to the primary discussion, the people in the bus, would probabaly have spent their younger days enjoying the city as it grew, with weekend trips to Betta or Chamundi Hills, savouring the dosas at GTR, the great dishes of Nalpak (which at that time was housed in Urs Road), VB Bakery on the Chamraja Double Road, the churumuri stalls near the town hall, the roadside stalls of VV Mohalla, the Chaupati point near Eshwara Temple, enjoying the delicacies of Annapurna Sweets and Mahalakshmi Sweets, visits to the huge markets with parents and relatives to breathe in the aroma of the city! More to add would have had the weekends spent in Ranganathittu or Talkad/ Gopalswamy Hills or BR Hills and of course the never ending Blue Lagoons near KRS. The rains of the city makes it more beautiful as people head to the Sangam’s, Sterlings and the Skylines of the city.  A visit to the city, without probably visiting the KD Road (Kalidasa Road), KD Cirlce juction Vijaynagar (though useless) (KrishnaDevaraya Circle) or the bylanes of Saraswathipuram would be meaningless for some window shopping or fun destinations. And yes the latest fun destination – the Planet X!

The view of the sprawling race course and golf course from the top of Ch Hills brings back the sweet green memories as one falls into a well of the childhood spent in the city. You must have had a great past life to have enjoyed this city and its colors with the Royal Aura. Wherever you go, you get back to the past and drool over the sweet memories of the city! And yes to be honest, no place other than Basavanagudi even has a scent which can resemble the aura of Mysore. For reasons unknown of my 4 years of stay in Bangalore (Keeping in mind, a year in Bristol and another in Chennai), I have probably visited every weekend to Mysore without fail (though the actual reason may be that I did not invest in a washing machine for some time ;)). But well this time, I honestly tried to stay back in Bangalore over the weekend and well, god knows what pulled me back here – Just as they say You can take a Mysorean out of Mysore, but you cannot take Mysore out of a Mysorean.

As my tribute to the city, I plan to cover one epic building/ downtown monument/ roads etc.. as I visit every alternate weekends hence forth! So, Read On!

Random Posts from Manamai!

For some sane reason, I am coming back on all my Social Networking Accounts viz facebook, Orkut, friendster, forums like puzo, projectw, afaqs forums, pagalguy, video sharing sites like youtube and yes of course, back tweeting!!! There was a time when I had deleted each of these accounts as I was tired of seeing someone losing their cow and trying to poke me to find if their cow could be found on my farm! I may travel in what Shashi Tharoor termed as cattle class, but definitely I am not yet rich enough to own a cattle farm and the harsh reality is that I did not like the aspect of owning a virtual farm and seeing virtual money! Such games made no sense to me!!! Of course, soon, I would like to measure all your experiences on using such games and how and why you liked it if you were one of the aficionados of the amazing Farmville by Zynga(R) on facebook. And twitter needless to say, I was one of the few who jumped into twitter and jumped out just because, at that time, I did not want others to know where I was going and what I was doing! I was loyal to orkut, but the rest of the junta ditched it! So folks, yes, I am planning to do some research on why you would use social networking, pour in your thoughts on this. After all, even blogs are social networks!

For long, I have been really famous in context switching. I have had the privilege of tagged as being someone who could move from one serious topic to a totally unnecessary and unknown topic leading nowhere! Now how can you link a walk discussing office politics on the way to Nisarga moving to Mysore or HSBC accounts in Bristol all of a sudden! Well that WAS me. Take this one, from social networking I am just moving to a totally unrelated topic – Raghu Dixit music. The course has been lighter on me for the past few days. As I still ‘TRY’ to understand the Activity Based Costing, decided to listen to Raghu Dixit’s flicks from the movie Just Maath Maathalli. His voice and music are certainly mesmerizing and can get you hooked on to the same song for hours together.

My hostel block has a new addition. A badminton court! Not that I am playing. I am trying my level best to be the audience of at least those who play. The books call me back as soon as I try to head to the courts. And when I head to the books, my Mac calls me back… Thats life… anyway because of this, I have been able to learn more about my Mac, which never seems to end.

Also, had been to Mahabalipuram today. Binoy/Imon counted that this was just the 6th or 7th time I got out of the campus minus the Karmayoga visits which will sum it up to some 16 or so. Mahabs has a new Cafe Coffee Day. Finally had the flavor of Chikmagalur Coffee after two odd months! Wow!!! 🙂

Namma Cafe Coffee Day at Mahabalipuram

Its rare that I keep changing my cell phone numbers. But Vodafone has been really bad in providing customer service in TamilNadu. In fact I was probably explaining to them what needs to be done to clear a network error over the phone yesterday! So after 20 odd days of misery with address proof, network errors, call drops I moved out of Voda to TATA DoCoMo, which seems to be working fine till now.

Light schedule for two more days before a deluge of Economic studies hit me hard! So until then, if I step out, expect more blogging.

60 Years of ‘misused’ Republic

Well, I had no other words. It was the 60th Republic Day and a few channels aired the new ‘Phir Mile Sur mera Tumhara’ apparently looking forward to increase their TRP’s.

But what struck me the most was the fact that we do not respect the people who guard us at the borders. I traveled back to Bangalore, as sleepily as  the characters in the New Mile Sur…. But was woken up by a huge commotion in the bus. Reason: Someone stomped on someone’s foot and called him a drunkard, of course the person at the receiving end not being the both!

It went to such an extent that the man had to explicitly tell that he was very much disciplined and an ex-service man and knew absolutely how to behave in public. This is when he was being abused with the most corrupt words in the Local Lingo. Well India, here is a question that we must ask ourselves. How are we behaving with the people who pledge their lives to guard us? Is this the way? Is this the respect they deserve?

By all means my answer is ‘NO’. Firstly the person was aged say about 60, and the other person was probably in his thirties. Dude first thing, respect your elders. Secondly he was plain and sincere in his response. Lastly, he had worked in the armed forces and had pledged his life for the nation. The other guy in question was probably not even patriotic by a tenth of our old man! This probably calls in for a change in our thoughts and re-look at how we treat others in the society no matter what or where they belong to.

Is Raj getting it right?

The superlong weekend was spent by me lazing on the sofa and watching the innumerable news channels Tata Sky offers. There were only two main news on these channels, one was the floods in the northern part of my state and two was the Maharastra elections.

Oops, I did not get the second one right, it was Raj Thackrey and not the elections! Little, did you observe that all the news channels have forgotten the elections, the preparations for the elections, the performance of this/ previous governments and are more concentrated on the war between two sena’s?!! The news channels are bound to confuse the common man. Now if you ask me, the already confused Indian electorate are on the verge of making these three decisions

a. Congress/ NCP has fared very badly in the performance of the current government (Shekar Gupta was very vocal on this yesterday in Left Right and Center on one of the channels)

b. There is no party other than Congress/NCP to vote for as the Senas are themselves at war! This is a masterplan to nip the budding Thackerays and sing an end to the Senas.

c. Congress seems to be nowhere in picture, so lets vote for either of the two sena’s n BJP. 😉

Well none of these options currently bother me as I am quite far away from Maharastra, but well if point c is to be noted, then its a matter of concern. If MNS is a part/ supporter of the new government then definitely non Marthis in Mumbai/ rest of Maharastra are in for trouble. Raj Thackery was not even willing to use a Hindi word, leave along English on the news channels! My thought wanes away as to is he right in publicly criticizing the non-Marathi’s coming on to Mumbai.

He is right, in one sense, but indulging in public violence to achieve the same is wrong. Political parties have written a lot about creating jobs in their respective states, imagine, if I create 10 K jobs in my city and 9K are taken away by outsiders, the citizens of my city are bound to lose and there will be definitely a disharmony amongst ourselves. The same is happening even in Bangalore as well, the IT infrastructure created by the government employes more non Kannadigas than Kannadigas and the government must do something before a Raj is born here and intervene. (The other Raj of the state was a saint and is revered by almost all of the true kannadigas)

The Shiv Sena on the other hand seems to be normalising and might have realised its too late to save Mumbai any more. Hence they have reformed and are probably accepting everyone into their fold. Probably the same may apply to other states capitals which have metamorphasised into industrial hubs and nerve centers, but it might be possible to preserve the populace and culuture in the remaining secondary cities rather than creating non sense in the already established cities.

I leave this blog hoping that the Maharastra electorate will opt for the right choice.

Our Shatabdi Express has been Tuned to Perfection…

It had been quite long since I had traveled by the fastest train connecting my city to Bangalore. Was always fed with the thoughts that it makes no sense to spend so much money to travel on a train! I still had the memories of traveling to Chennai (the then Madras) on the same Shatabdi when I was a kid for holidays.

Last week had a passing thought that I pay the same amount on the KSRTC Volvo to Bangalore, so let me shell out a few bucks to the fastest train and see whats up there as well. Well it was a big surprise awaiting.

I was watching that the outer side of the Shatabdi coaches had undergone a facelift. I just thought it was the remodeled doors and windows, nothing else. But this trial run of mine today, proved me wrong. I entered the coah and was just amazed by its new interiors. Plush environments snazzy seats and doors, I just had a feeling I had traveled back to Bristol on a First Great Western train. Time wise as well the train took under two hours to complete that journey  and overall, I had no go early to catch the seat etc… headaches as a KSRTC Volvo. Its thumbs up from my side to the new Shatabdi and any given day, I don’t mind shelling out money on that if I want to reach the IT capital a little early.

Article in iE on the new coaches: http://www.expressbuzz.com/edition/story.aspx?title=Stylish%20LHB%20coaches%20in%20Shatabdi%20Express&artid=A9/RH0HbUaw=&type=

PS: I do not think we have a recession as everyone else argue. The Shatabdi was 100% occupied!

Four Corporate Years

For the first time, I have officially spent more time outside the college than I did inside it.  My PreUniv lasted just two years and another four years for grads.  Four years of being a Corporate Honcho has got me nothing more than a tummy and has made me more eligible to learn almost nothing.

To earmark my second longest relationship with any institution, I write this blog expecting that this would not take the spot of being the longest. A relationship where I would have preferred to break up and probably vice versa, where the company would have preferred to break up with me, but still we both have cordially lived life together till now.

This post is going to list out the positives and negatives and probably my life as it shaped over the past four years in my company!

Post August 2005: A rainy start to my career on the 4th of August, on the Outer Ring Road in BTM Layout. Weirdly dressed in formals, I made it to our so called corporate training center traveling over 16 Kms. My efforts to search for a proper residence close by was in vain as I found every bylane in Bangalore to be dingy and filty and crowded and muddy! Being used to the wide and empty roads of Mysore, I was not getting adjusted to the Bangalore roads! Settled down in Rajaji Nagar in an aunt’s place and well ensured that I have a good start in the then Bangalore.

Two months passed, Bangalore was not getting into me and health was failing due to the weather. I was in deep shit! Called home and told my mom that I want to quit and continue with studies. These dud technologies were not getting into my head as well. Got support from home and without preparation I took the CAT 2005 and well the result was as expected. No Calls.

Meanwhile the not so snazzy – but still I am cool sort of HRs and the other higher ups in my company stopped impressing me and my instincts carried on with the idea of getting out of Bangalore, which still remains a dream.

Nothing else happened for the rest of the year, I just moved into a team after training and shifted between aunt’s house and a house in BTM, where again, I could not feel at home. Aunt moved to RT Nagar as well and I decided to settle in Vijayanagar given that my company was not confirming where my posting after training would be!

Almost at the fag end, was well settled within the team and had decided on two things. One, I wont stay in BTM Layout again. Two, Life has to change after CAT 2006.

Post August 2006: “Absolutely fantastic”, these were the flatteries at work for nothing. Absolutely nothing. Got promoted that year, ducked CAT again and the call to quit Bangalore grew more and more within! The year also saw me learn new technologies like SAP/ABAP R-4 which took me nowhere.

This was probably the most uneventful year of my life, except that I got a few good friends at work. I used to spend More time at traffic and less time at home and work! That was “Namma Bangalore”. Health was deteriorating due to the pollen and I had almost lost my resistance power (at least thats what I felt).

The call to quit Bangalore, grew up and I attended an interview with Infosys, with the hope of being placed in Mysore. But that was the only thing that was not offered to me and well, I preferred traveling to City Center than E City, and further augment my non technical knowledge. But to be honest, I was not doing anything almost for the whole year.

Post August 2007: It was three years in the company. A monumental reason given the rates of attrition! My company won a huge contract and lost it. I was slated to travel onshore for that and it did not happen. But opportunity knocked me out once more and I had to travel in November – missing another round of CAT.

Bristol Ahoy! British Airways safely landed me in London Heathrow and well I toured the entire United Kingdom in three months and returned back to India. The year ushered in an era where Benagaluru was born from Bangalore. But work remained the same after I came back as well. I was rather overworked and furstrated. Had taken an off and moved out of my office area on the joining date and celebrated quitely at home.

Destiny ensured that I would not turn 24, in India and had a bad Birthday in Bristol. It was quite a lazy and tame year, but quite eventful in terms of my visits to UK.

Post August 2008: Destiny had it and I had to go to UK, to convince someone that we could handle a managed service with our knowledge! I did that, but well fell out with my own management in a dialogue over honesty at work and professionalism with my communistic thoughts conveying to them that they were neither.

Most of this time was spent at work, trying to impress the client and to a large extent I succeeded. As destiny had it, I turned 25 in UK and landed back in India as well. Its a pleasure to come back and its refreshing to be back home and look forward now for a positive turn at last!

Now I look forward to make most of what all I can when I can…. Going by the words of A life… as it is.