Thursday, July 14, 2016

Bargaining - is an ART

There we are, at one of the shopping location to buy some clothes for myself. This is the only time I am actively looking to shop and make a quick finish of shopping and get back home to spend the remaining time in a better way. But this time, it was different. I had come to this shopping with my wife and somehow wanted to show some smart bargaining tactics to her. So at the entrance of the shop, I asked her to just maintain some distance from me while I go to the counter and demonstrate my bargaining tactics. Here it goes -

I go to this fellow in the shop and as usual ask him to show few T-shirts. Then I choose the T-Shirt I like and usually I do not do a trial as i feel it is a waste of time, so the only part pending is the price negotiation. So being confident of my skills on bargaining and to show-off to my wife, I ask him the price - he says "Sir, Rs. 699". I say, "No way, I will pay you only Rs.500" (and I stealthily look towards my wife with a little smirk on my face), She is calmly watching and listening to the conversation.  
Fellow - "Sir, it is not possible to give at such low price, It is surely not possible. I can give you at Rs.650"
Me - "No, cannot accept, it is still very high for this quality of shirt. Make it Rs. 550, that is my final offer."
Fellow - "No sir, we do not even get our margins for this amount. Last offer, I can make it Rs.600 sir"
Me - "Well, seems OK, but since you are a good guy, I will accept it and lets deal it for 600. done". And with this I go to billing counter get the savings of Rs.99 and with a proud face, go to my wife and show her the savings done. She acknowledges and slowly and steadily congratulates me. I ask her, if she has now learnt on how to bargain, and she gently pushes me aside. Says - "Yes, I have learnt a lot. Let me show you what I have learnt". Now she asks me to stay in her place and she goes to this fellow to buy another T-Shirt for me. And finally after the selection process, bargaining time comes -

Wife - "Rs.699 is too much. I can only give you Rs.350".
(Behind the scenes, I laugh a bit. I think starting with half price for bargaining, this will not go anywhere and I feel good that my wife will return empty handed)
Fellow - "Madam, not fair, this is too less. I can offer you for Rs.650"
(I am delighted as the fellow is consistent and I feel confident he will not go beyond 600 which is the same price that I bought for.)
Wife - "NO NO NO... for this shirt, the fellow in that other shop is giving for 350 only."
Fellow - "Cannot give madam. We get this at a higher price than this. OK final offer I can make is 600"
(I pump the fist and I hope my wife agrees to this and ends the bargaining so we can go home soon. But my wife is still adamant)
Wife - "No way, I will not give a rupee more than 350. You want to give then give, else I will go to that other shop"
Fellow - "no madam. That is very less. I can offer you 500 as final offer."
(The laugh on my face is wiped off. I get a bit serious. The fellow is offering at 500 and still looks like he can reduce further.)
Wife - "If you give it at 350, I was planning to buy another one, but 500 is too much. Ok I will go to other shop now." (and starts leaving from there. My smile comes back as she has failed to go beyond my price in bargaining and she could not buy the t-shirt as well).
Fellow - "Wait madam, if you are buying 2, then I can make it for Rs.800 for both."
(My jaws drop. I cant believe what that guy has just gave in with little more pressure. I now start wondering what would be the original cost at which this guy gets it)
Wife - "No, 750 is my last offer for both. Take it or I am leaving."
(I cant believe she is still bargaining. I would've blindly accepted it even for 500 a piece and my wife is still going on....!!!)
Fellow - "Done madam, do you have a bag. The carry bag will cost you another Rs.5"
Wife - "Bhaiyya, what 5 rs?, you can adjust it in the 750 only. Give me the carry bag."
Fellow - "OK madam. Take it" (and hands the carry bag with 2 t-shirts, all for Rs.750).

I tend to avoid the shining victorious smile on my wife's face as she comes to me and raises her eyebrow. I try to look away from her and that is when I understand that bargaining is really an art which is cultivated differently by Men and Women.

And the worst part, I had to live with listening to this story for another month or so when this was repeated to every person that visited our home during that time. I vowed never to show my bargaining skills in front of my wife again.....!!!!


Saturday, March 5, 2016

Story of traffic signals...

Scorching heat... Middle of summer... a drop of sweat tried to flow down my cheek... Without bothering or de-focusing myself, I looked straight at the RED signal light in front of me and it was quite a while that it had to turn to GREEN. However it was taking forever to turn into GREEN. Still keeping one eye on the signal, I could sense that there is a three wheeler to my right who was also as anxious as me to turn the signal GREEN, however the signal had its own plan on when to turn GREEN. It was a similar situation on my left too as another 2 wheeler was waiting keeping an eye on the signal. It seemed like a start of a formula 1 race where we are all on the starting grid concentrating on the RED lights to go off. By the god's grace, the signal finally decided to show some mercy on our side and turned GREEN. In the same instance all 3 of us and many more following us started to move ahead. It was just like a race... everyone wanting to get ahead of the vehicle in-front of him... Although there are no winners or no prizes to gain, it was still a race for all people. Knowingly or unknowingly we all tried to push each other, honk at each other and accelerate to get past the vehicles in front of us only to find there are more vehicles blocking us from moving ahead.

I had my vision this time on the next signal which was looking green from the distance. As I neared the signal, it turned to Yellow. Instead of applying breaks, I could only think of accelerating to get past the signal before it turns back to RED. As the horror thoughts of waiting endlessly at the signal came to my mind, I zipped past the yellow signal as I passed I could notice it turning into RED. It felt like a glorious victory... An ultimate triumph where I have crossed the finishing line in shining colors. Just as I was about to slow down, a cop watching my victory celebrations could not tolerate and indicated me to stop. All the time I had saved in the previous signal was just about to be lost. He looked at me, I smiled and said "Hello" in the most polite manner. He smirked at me and asked my License. I took out and gave it, he saw my photograph on my license and looked at me... The photo was a 10 year old copy of mine... He looked at me again, I smiled again and said "I know, its from my college days...". He asked me for RC book. I gave him that too... again he looked skeptical about the photo in my RC book. Thank god this was 5 years old photo which had some resemblance for me.

Finally he said ok pay 100rs fine. I asked him for what reason? He said for jumping the signal. I told him, I did not jump the signal, it was yellow when I crossed it. He looked at me and smirked again and told "Sir, when signal turns yellow, it means you should slow down and not accelerate to glory...". I responded saying "but sir, this is what all people follow in our city, Only RED, we stop and not for other lights"... He glared at me and told "If a lie is told by 100 people, it doesn't turn into a truth... please give 100rs". Well there was no choice left for me, I just had to pay 100rs and get back on my way. Just ahead, met with another signal just turning from green to yellow... Instinctively again accelerated towards the signal... Another race to win and many such races continues forever...



Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Shopping - Men vs Women

Sunday Morning - 8 AM - Early to wake up on a lovely cold sunday morning. So lazily lay on bed with my eyes closed when suddenly my wife comes and shouts me to get up. She murmurs something about going to shopping early in the morning (say 10am). Just as I hear the word shopping, my sleep just runs away. I am wide awake, not because I am exited about shopping, but its because my wife and my mom have already planned for shopping and I know its gonna be a long.... very long sunday.... Yet again my role here is to be a driver and a baby sitter (take care of my kiddo) when my wife and mom are shopping. 
"So what shopping?"... I blurt out... and 
my wife starts saying - "just couple of sarees for the function that is scheduled in couple of month's time".
"Couple of months away..!!!, and shopping so soon...."
"No more time is available after this weekend, so get ready soon, we can come home early if we leave early...".
Certainly that did the trick, i start thinking, alright, its just a couple of sarees and we are going to be home soon, so my sunday is not totally gone... Cool. 

So I get ready and by sharp 10am, we are on our way to our pre-defined shopping place.
10-25 am - My wife and mom enter the shopping place. I am in the car looking after my kiddo.
10-35 am - Kiddo is troubling me a lot and I plan to go for a small ride.
10-55 am - After a small ride amidst heavy Sunday traffic, I come back to the same shopping place.
11-10 am - Again my kiddo is troubling me and does not keep quiet in the stagnant car. So decide to take him to a ice-cream parlor for a juice which we share together
11-25 am - An hour gone since we reached shopping place first time this day, so we reach the ice-cream parlor and order our favorite Mexican soda.
11-45 am - Sipping all the way to glory, we are done with our small ice-cream parlor outing.
11-55 am - I call my wife on the status. They say, another 15 mins. So I continue my wait at the ice cream parlor.
12-05 pm - Its just not valid to stand in front of ice-cream parlor and watch other people hog up all the items one by one. Hence I decide to place my next order, a hot choco fudge.
12-25 pm - Its almost done, we have finished our hot choco fudge and it was yummy. What next...!!! ??? Lets check the status as its already an hour gone. Call... no change in status. Another 15 mins to wait.
12-40 pm - Now, we are not feeling hungry anymore, but there is a nice hotel in front of us. We want to have something light before retiring for the day which was supposed to happen early but we decide against it. Half the sunday is gone.
12-55 pm - Waiting.... Still Waiting.... call.... Same status.... another 15 mins.
13-05 pm - My kiddo is full, he is getting ready for his next task... Sleep... So he is quietly staring at the front window sitting on his seat. I know its time for him to sleep. In a blink he is asleep. I am all alone...
13-15 pm - I get a call... Finally, Thank God... they say they are at billing counter swiping my credit card to glory... Ask me to return to the shopping place.
13-16 pm - I get a message on my cell - credit card transaction of Rs. 16,245/- ONLY.
13-35 pm - I am at their shopping place, only to see both my wife and mom carrying two bags in each hand. They dump it in the boot and with a smile wife tells me... "We got additional 4 bags free". Stunned at the sentence, I do not know how to react. If I were the shopkeeper, I would not mind giving another 50 bags free because its WORTH... NOTHING for the goods they have sold... And yet I only nod my head and get back to concentrate on getting back to home.
14-00 pm - We are back home for lunch. And I wonder what happened to the plan and focus about the shopping. 

Analysis goes this way -
1) They had decided to go shopping for 2 sarees and came back with around 6 sarees and 3  dresses and of-course the 4 free shopping bags.
2) They had decided to go to shopping early and come back early and yet we are here at home at 2 pm which is not early by any standards.
3) The shopping is for a function which is more than couple of months away and I wonder whats in store for coming weekends.
3) I lost my sunday once again.

So what exactly happened here? The women lost their focus on seeing bunch of sarees in the showroom, lost the focus and bowed down to the might of the various choices shown by the shopkeeper. Totally a lost battle. I could not imagine how that can happen. Maybe that's the power of the word called "SHOPPING".

So next day, myself and my friend decided to go for shopping ourselves. We decided to buy a pair of jeans for each of us. All this we had to do within our office lunch break.
13-15 pm - We are on our way from office to buy a pair of jeans.
13-25 pm - Enter the shop. Walk straight to Jeans section with all other sections blinded to us. We only see jeans there. Shopkeeper shows us 6-8 colors of jeans.
13-30 pm - We have tried out couple of them for our sizes and we have made our choice.
13-35 pm - We are at billing counter with 2 jeans in separate shopping cover. Supposedly the shopping covers are free here too... ;) Swipe the card for Rs.2,500/- ONLY.
13-37 pm - We are out of the shop. So the whole 12 mins, we were focused on what we wanted and got what we wanted and our shopping was done in flat 12 mins... 

If only women could understand this logic of focused shopping.

So does this mean men are more efficient in shopping than women? Lets reverse this trend to say men shopping at an electronics outlet or a sports outlet and women at a super market. Who will take more time? So thereby I can only conclude that its all based on our own interests. We spend more time in what we are interested in.... Do you agree?


Friday, November 28, 2014

Life of my sweetie pie - Third year -

Well it is twosome... awesome... year that just passed by giving way for the threesome... troublesome.... year ahead. The ride in this year has been agonizingly painful monstrous and yet enjoyable joyous with all the normal limits torn apart by this 2 year old kiddo. Yes, this kiddo has stepped into his 3rd year and first thing he does is to lose all his manners. What this means?, oh yeah, until his second year birthday, he was behaving well, normally respecting elders by saluting them, call them with their proper names like amma, appa, aayee, ajji etc. As soon as he steps into year no.3, suddenly all his memory of the good deeds disappear and he starts behaving as a spoiled over-confident all-knowing brat. He starts calling everyone by our name (oh not only first name, he calls us by our FULL NAME). Ok well, lets get to the good deeds first because they are quite less when compared to his other mis-deeds.

He won the double diamond award in his play-home which means he is the most well behaved, disciplined child among the 5 people in his batch (God only knows how). His teacher compliments about him saying that he is the one to remind everyone about the morning prayer if they are late for some reason, he is the one who is most active and tries to help others when required and yet he is totally opposite at home. Next, he has started a bonding with the kitchen items. He is always ready to help his mom and grandma with kitchen activities, to the extent that he can peel off the egg-shells neatly from 15 boiled eggs, he can mash up the potatoes, he tries to wash utensils (ofcourse wasting a lot of water) and he wants to help in all the items either in cooking or cleaning. He has developed a very quick and broad thinking, acts swiftly, answers are quick and crisp and he can now understand around 4 languages clearly. He asks lots of questions as to WHAT, WHY etc which are at times difficult to answer by us. He recognizes the voices of people over telephone and identifies them accurately atleast 95% of the times. Started to use tab and can unlock and navigate on any kind of smart phone (Ofcourse he does not see or touch the non-smart phones). He likes to sing and dance and is very fond of swimming pools. This year his favorite dance track being "lungi dance" and his favorite song to sing being "tum bhi ho".

Now for the troublesome part - he has become naughtier and is attracted by some kind of greed. He wants whatever he sees as important, but once he gets it, it stays for only 2 mins and then either it is destroyed or wasted. If its food item, its wasted and if its any playable item, then it is destroyed. This has gone to an extent that he has broken a tab monitor. Luckily it is still functional with a huge crack on the monitor. There is no play softly in his dictionary. He cries for anything he is told NO to and he very very hard to console otherwise. Our patience has got no limits now as it is always on the upper side. We have forgotten what it means to be patient anymore. We need to shout at him loudly to scold atleast 3 times an hour for all his activities. He cannot sit idle for more than 1.5 mins. The only time he sat quietly was when he hurt his leg and we scared him that it will get worse if he walks or runs. That trick worked for an awesome total of 5mins (a world record) and we experienced a world with no noise for that 5 mins and then things came back to normal. He also gets angry very soon these days and the main part is, when he is angry, he throws anything held in his hand without understanding the consequence. So we are always very careful to make him angry only when his hands are empty. Also it is very difficult to make him understand when he is angry or crying. However, when he cools down and we talk to him softly he tends to understand and behaves well only that the damage would've already been done.  

Anyway the threesome troublesome year is done with and hoping the next year would be a little less troublesome. Keeping fingers crossed with absolutely no hopes of situation improving around for another year or so. 


Thursday, July 10, 2014

The magic of Animated movies

"Ha ha ha... YOU WATCH CARTOON MOVIES!!!... hu ha ha ha" - one of my cousin sister blurted out at me when I said I had recently watched this movie called Shrek and it was wonderful. I could only watch her and give a weak smile on the outside as I saw her elder sister also join the conversation and join in the laughathon. The elder sister also shared the same belief as her younger sister, the belief that the animated movies were only for the children to watch and not for the so called "grown ups". Tough I could smile weakly from outside, I was laughing from inside at the arrogant ignorance of these two sister and I could only squeak out "What you believe is wrong, anyway its no point explaining to you gals now. Time will come when you will recognize what I am talking about today." and I left the place at once ignoring their continuing laughter. 

Generally people who are moving from these pre-teen to teenage, tend to believe that they have "Grown up" and usually do believe in such silly stuffs about animated movies are for children and what not. However this was not me around 6 months back, because even I did share the same belief until I happened to be forced to watch this Shrek. Once I was through with this movie, I just could not help watching it another twice or thrice before becoming a fan of animated movies. However this was just the beginning. It was just pure magic in these animated movies, looking at the various types of creatures, characters coming to life and you just cant avoid falling in love with these characters. The creativity and the believable narrations that show up in these movies are just too awesome.

It was hardly 6 months after this incident that this same cousin sister called me up asking if I had some more animated movies as she had just watched Ice Age and had begun to like the animated movies. The magic of animated movies had got to her now. I could only remind her about this incident before sharing around 5-6 more animated movies with her. Then it started that I used to be the first to watch these movies and recommend the best movies to her so she can go and enjoy the same. 

Months passed by, years went by, and today she is the one who watches these movies first and suggests me on which ones are to be watched. Following on her recommendation, I am here watching "How to train your dragon-2" and as I continue to watch the movie, I recall this small but memorable incident which instantly brings a smile on my face as to how the magic of these animated movies work on people always. Before I wind up, below are some of the must watch wonderful animated movies from my personal likes (in random order) -

Shrek (1) - Just the movie which introduced me to the animated movies. Introduced to a character like Ogre and the use of fairy tale creatures was amazing tough for the short time in the movie.

Ice Age (1 & 2) - Nice movie, characters like scrat, mammoth which are not normally heard of became more of a common animals to be known. Tough part 1 and 2 were good, the Ice Age series deteriorated so much that part - 4 was not even inspiring to watch the trailer. 

Ratatouille - Imagine a rat cooking in kitchen the delicious food, well watch the movie and it seems believably real.

Wall - E - Love story of a garbage robot. An amazing movie with least effort on dialogues and you are still guaranteed to sit through the whole movie without blinking an eye-lid.

Megamind - A truly genuine masterpiece. Wonderfully scripted dialogues and the amazing creativity of villain becoming a super-hero is amazingly narrated.

How to train your dragon - The movie which just turned out to be a monstrous hit when nothing much was expected out of it. looking to be a "childish" movie, turned out to be one of the best movies as you fall in love with the dragon named night-fury.

Cars - Amazing movie about the race cars and their feelings. Very well narrated and you will simply feel good after watching this movie.

Kung-Fu Panda (1 & 2) - You just cant stop watching this movie again and again just for the fact of seeing a panda do kungfu. This hilarious movie keeps you interested from frame 1 until the end credits are complete.

Chicken Run - An intelligent movie on the schemes and plans about a chicken trying to run away from a chicken farm. Very enjoyable.

Bolt - An animated movie inside an animated movie. Story of a cute little dog which believes itself to have super powers only to realize its a gimmick of the film-makers. 

Up, The Incredibles, Finding Nemo... and many more which have come and gone about ants, bees, bugs, penguins, monsters and other animals but the magic of animated movies keeps spreading and improving with growing technology.


Sunday, April 20, 2014

Recovering Precious Snaps from my old PC

Well, It is my Anniversary day of 2014 and what do I have? Both my wife and kiddo are in native town and I am all alone. Good news is that I have all the time in the world to spend it nicely and effectively. So how do I spend this time nicely now? I have a very important task which I have been waiting from long time to get it done - There is a desktop computer of mine which is around 8 yrs old and it contains lot of my old precious snaps which I have not been able to transfer to my new laptop, because of the USB ports not working on that desktop. So I want to spend my day in getting those precious snaps with an organised plan in place.

Plan - A -
It is simple. Remove the hard disk (HDD). Take it to a computer hardware shop. Get a cable which connects the desktop HDD to my laptop USB port and copy the data. Pretty simple. So as planned I remove the HDD, take my two wheeler and go to the computer shop which is nearby. As from my history books, simple plans never fall in place as planned, so as I did not expect, the shop was closed. So what, no problem. Move to next shop. Again, as I begin to start expecting, that cable is not available. The same is the result in another couple of shops. Well, it dawns on me that my Plan - A has failed miserably being a simple one. I have no choice but to return back home.

Plan - B -
I see the size of my precious photos, its around 10 GB. So I decide to think of Plan - B now. Again, plan B is now to connect my desktop to internet, copy my files into my share drive (which is called Skydrive by Microsoft) and then download it using my laptop. Its a time consuming process but will definitely work. So as it happens, I boot my desktop and notice that it is running on Windows XP. (For those who do not know, Microsoft has recently stopped any kind of support to XP operating system). So I try to open Google in my old IE version 6 browser and it starts throwing all sorts of errors. Somehow I try to avoid all of those and go on to Skydrive homepage and login. After logging in, it asks me to upgrade my browser to either IE8 or Firefox or Chrome or safari. Well, its simple, just click a button and it starts downloading the update files. However, once download is complete, I try to start my update process and it shows a message on my face saying update cannot proceed due to some internal processing error. The same error comes for all the specified browser update files. Now this is getting a little weird. I cannot update and I cannot use Skydrive without the update. Its a road block again. After trying few more tricks, I give up. There is no point in pursuing Plan B anymore. Its failed again.

Plan - C -
Well, its a namesake plan. I do not have any plan C now. Running out of ideas and am still wondering and thinking about how I can get past this. As one final resort, I just plan to try out my USB slot. This is the same thing I had tried somewhere an year ago without any success. Still out of the living frustration, it is my only hope now even-tough I know the truth. And as I expect this not to work, my only way would be to take the HDD to one of my friend's place where the USB slot could be working and use it to copy my files. So I get my pen drive, insert into the USB drive of my desktop knowing the result as failure... but what do I see here. Suddenly there is prompt on my desktop saying "a new hardware has been recognized". Somehow I freeze and stare the monitor in disbelief that my USB drive is working. I double check and YES, it is working. Immediately without wasting any further time, I get my external HDD and insert into the USB drive and start copying.

With a happy and a pretty much relieved mindset now, I see the files slowly copying on my monitor and start wondering why did I waste my last 5 hours using the Plan A and B. If I had tried out the USB in first place, it would all have been copied by now. As it dawns to me that I am still a software engineer by profession and its a pretty usual practice that we always try all other routes before touching the basic routes unless otherwise specified. I recall another similar incident which brings an instant smile on my face and keep staring at the monitor looking at the files being copied with total disbelief.


Friday, March 28, 2014

New year without a change .... NAAAAHHHH!!! - 2 -

Missed the first part - Click Here.

So during the travel, lots of colorful people board and alight the bus, there are usually quite a lot of group of 2 peoples around who are usually their working colleagues and most often these 2 people are of opposite sex. That's where it gets interesting. Few of the conversations (which I overhear) they have are funnier and I really do not know if the conversations are worth the time spent during this travel. In the end it does not matter since its the best way to keep yourself entertained in the middle of traffic.

So here it goes - Generally I have observed in their conversations, always the female counter-parts are whining about their work, managers and other colleagues when the male counterparts are always like super-dudes who give moral support and supposedly guide the female counterparts on how to react to those situations as if the males have got lots of experience in this field. That's the interesting part of these conversations, normally females start off saying - "Oh my god, just when I was about to leave - Manager comes and gives me work. I had to beg him to let me go home and had to convince him that I would do it first thing on the next morning." So Male counterpart - "Dont worry yaar, managers are always like that. You dont have to beg for that sake. Since its beyond office hours, its your right to get up and keep going. Dont even bother to such things. Next time he says any such stuff, call me. I will speak to him." I laugh in my mind for this advice thinking if the situation was a vice-versa (i.e. If manager had given work to male counterpart), would he have reacted the way as he was advising. I would bet he would've begged too or kept his mouth shut and worked out the night to complete the task. However when it comes to moral support, all sorts of advises come along.

Similarly another instance - females talking about their colleagues spending more time during coffee and tea breaks whereas this female supposedly is working harder but never gets the credit for her work and stuff. So she wants to revolt and demand manager on why this injustice towards her by giving her more work. For this, the male starts off suggesting her to go on and talk to her manager and do this, do that... blah blah. So lot of times these are very interesting only because the suggestions and advises that come out for moral supports are not always followed by themselves. 

Sometimes it is tempting for me to interrupt them and ask then to stop talking the nonsense or whether these are general guidelines available somewhere only for the sake of talking or is it really that they generate dynamically when they hear the question. More than the stress beating techniques, it feels like - how to impress a lady in next one hour or so. however I resist my temptation to talk to them in the fear, the fear of getting to listen about "none of your business", "get lost", "Excuse me, who that hell do you think you are" kind of stuff. Generally it will be like pouring the oil into a burning fire. So keep myself out of it, enjoy the conversations and be happy.

As the travel in bus ends, nothing would change in male or female counterparts either personally or in their professional life, yet they keep talking on the same piece of crap every time they board the bus until they get down at the destination. However whether it helps them or not, it certainly does help me in killing the time and virtually reach my destination happily thinking about all these things are worth their talk or not. Certainly worth my time for listening to them tough.

This is what has been making my travel a fun stuff until now. So keep looking for these group of 2 coming together. Once I get closer to these people, I close my book, fold my bag and keep my ears open....!!!


Saturday, March 22, 2014

New year without a change .... NAAAAHHHH!!! - 1 -

As the previous 2 new years my life has just started to expect something major happening on a new year eve. However, this time it has been a sudden gradual change which has started from this new year and has been continuing since then. 

My workplace is hardly 5 kms from my place and I usually enjoy travelling this distance on my own vehicle so that I can control my in-time and out-time. However a week before this new year, I got a sudden news that I would need to go to client place for the next 3 months on account of a project. Normally this is not a bad news unless your client place means it is in same city and an additional 20 kms to travel. Again, under normal circumstances, this 20kms does not matter much, unless you are living in a town where travelling this 20kms takes 2 hours on public transport and 1.5hrs in your private vehicle. I had no choice but to accept my fate (rather curse) and move on. 

Few points to consider before moving on were -
1) The client place starts the work as early in morning as 8am. (In my work place it would be around 10-30am).
2) The client place does not work on saturdays (however, since we are moving on to work with them, they somehow decided to work on saturdays instead of letting us OFF).
3) To reach the client place on time, I need to leave my home by 6-45am. (Something which I have never done before in my professional career on daily basis).
4) I would need to take public transport (read Volvo buses) to reach the client place. (Taking private vehicle was ruled out since it would just empty your pockets on petrol cost and driving in the traffic was stressful in itself).
5) There was nothing I could do to avoid this transition. (Blaaah...!!!)

So I decided to get my monthly pass for Volvo and started the hectic travel to the client place. It seemed like 4 hrs of travel time was too much to take in without any entertainment on the way for first few days, so I decided to take use of my library membership to the full extent. So my usual travel plan would include getting on to bus as early as 7-15am and start reading the books. The same plan while returning from client place as well. This routine continued for a while but somehow due to the hectic travel timings, my sleep deprived body started to argue. It was then I decided to take full use of the morning 2 hrs to just sleep away in Volvo amidst the cool A/C. This also turned out to be routine for a while until one day everything changed for me.

Usually I started cursing this routine thinking it some kind of a punishment to me and having to cope up the client pressure as well as balance the work and family life. But then few things changed. There is a dialogue in movie "Paan singh Tomar" where the militaty captain says - "Pehli baar dekh raha hoon ki koi saza ka maza le raha hai" (Translates to - "Looking at someone for first time, who is enjoying his punishment"). It started happenning to me as well. I got used to this routine and travelling became more fun. How? - Well all happened when I started to observe the people in the bus on how they talk, what they talk, their reactions, their emotions etc. Normally all people on these buses which I travel are from one or the other IT companies which can be found in abundance near my client place. 

Would like to share some of these experiences in the next part. Click Here

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Movie - Dhoom 3 - My Review -

Aamir... Aamir... thats what is the movie all about. His Revenge, his childhood, his action sequence, his songs, his circus and last but not the least HIS BIKE. Dont keep your expectations high, neverthless you wont be disappointed by the movie for its sheer entertainment and nothing else. Here and there, few frames are available in the movie without Aamir in it, but in almost 90% of movie, you would see him and he is a pleasure to watch as well. Anyway, so lets get back to the review.

Movie starts off with a very nice background story of aamir's childhood, the child portrayed as Aamir has also done a nice job. Its about his dad (played by jackie Shroff) being an owner of a circus in Chicago which is in loss and the bank of Chicago is behind him to recover the loan or close down the circus. As the hindi movies in the past have shown, the dad does not want to close down the circus and cannot repay the loan as well. Hence his short role comes to an end and rest of the movie is about Aamir to take revenge on the bank.

Now supposedly Aamir is negative in the movie, and then the supposedly positive cast of Abhishek and uday need to team up again and stop Aamir from taking his revenge. So the intro of Aamir starts with a chasing sequence, himself on bike and rest of the Chicago police in their cars. I admit, these chases have been done over and over again and you can possibly guess each and every frame of what happens in this chase except for one silly move where aamir makes his escape as expected.

Then the theme of movie, blah blah blah... Nothing much happens and movie runs normally until 5 mins before interval. An amazing twist in the movie which makes the first half of the movie amazingly watchable and keeps you insterested in the second half. And then second half starts with a romantic angle (well you need to realize there is Katrina too in the movie), and hence one song and then normal drag of hindi movies. yet again there is another interesting twist towards the last half hour of movie and then the climax is as usual on the expected lines.

Overall not a brilliant movie or a fantastic movie, but pretty much a one time watch movie. This could've been a better movie if only they focussed more on how Aamir robs the bank instead of the chase sequences. This is in similar lines of Dhoom-1 where none of the robbery is shown as to how it happens and we always see the cops chasing the robbers on bike. In that aspect, Dhoom-2 was little bit better since the robbery is shown on screen which keeps viewers interested.

Finally this is just a movie which does not show the best performance by Aamir but the Aamir's performance is definitely the best in the movie. A movie to watch only for Aamir and nothing else. Around 2 stars out of 5 but an extra .5 for Aamir ;)

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

CLASH OF THE TITANS - 2 -

Missed the first part - Click Here

So for the first attack - I show him my index finger and on a little higher note, I tell him to go to kitchen and help his mom. He looks at me and blankly says "Naa...", I tell him the same again by raising my voice a little more, and he outright rejects it with another "Naa... No...". So I take out my triumph card and tell him - "Oh boy, mumma is going to give you chocolates if you go to kitchen...". Aaahh there it is, his eyes are now gleaming when he listens to the magic word - Chocolate. My triumph card has worked. He is now on his way to kitchen at a double speed. I relax and get back to watch my match in peace... Only for next 40 secs.

40 Secs pass-by, my kiddo is back to my place. Taps me on my hand and says "choc... jayeeee... " (meaning he wants choc). I just cant understand why is he asking me when I had such wonderfully sent him to his mom asking for the same. At same time my wife comes to the hall, gives a wicked smile. Instantly I get the signal and understand that my wife would've told my kiddo that the choc is not with her but to ask daddy to get one. Hence he has come back to me asking for choc. My triumph card has been crushed by the combined force of my kid and my wife. Back to square one. I decide to take on the aggressive mode. I point my hand at him, in a flash I realize I have held the tv remote in my hand and at the very moment my kiddo grabs my remote and starts clicking some buttons. It changes my channel and I get up from my seat to grab my remote back... "No... no... na...naa..." he screams and runs towards kitchen with the remote. I have no choice but to run behind him. 

Obviously he cant outrun me and hence I catch him soon, he tightens the grip on the tv remote. Again obviously his strength is no match to mine, hence I easily over-power him and get the remote from his hand. He starts screaming and runs behind his mom. I return back to my tv and switch back to my match. Since my kiddo is now crying in the kitchen, I believe I will be able to completely watch my match now. 

Hardly another 30 secs pass-by and my wife carrying my kiddo comes to hall. "Now... there... dont cry baby, pappa will put on the rhymes for you". Instantly my kiddo stops crying and shouts - "Ee... ya... O...", "Ee... Ya... O...". I am stumped out now. I cant change my channel now, but not only my wife has made my kid remember his initial demand but has also silenced him out from crying by showing him a hanging carrot (i.e. rhymes on TV). Now my kiddo is expectantly watching me and slowly murmuring - "Ee... Ya... O..." repeatedly. It seems like he will again start crying if I don't put on his rhymes. Unexpectedly, my wife has hit 2 birds with one stone here. I cant watch the match in peace when my kiddo is making such a sad face nor I can put on rhymes and surrender to my kiddo. One final punch was missing until this moment and my wife just lands the final blow - "please put on the rhymes naa... Look he is so much keen to watch his rhymes...".

Thats it. I cant take it anymore. I accept my defeat and surrender to the combined mighty force of my wife and kiddo. I finally change my channel and put on the rhymes. My kiddo has now started saying loudly "Ee... Ya... O..."... and feels pretty excited too. He gets down on the floor, moves closer to TV and starts watching his rhymes being played on TV. After sometime, he comes to me - "Appppaaaa.... Apppa... " calls me and points his hand towards Tv and says "Ee... Ya... O..." and gives a big giggling smile. I too return my smile and realize that the match was just not worth a watch in exchange for the smile on my kiddo's face. I keep the tv remote on the tv top, hold my kiddo and take him on my lap and start enjoying rhymes with him.

As they say History repeats again, on the next day... the clash of the titans repeats again... another fierce battle awaits... !!

[THE END]