Favorite movies…

Ok ok ok… maybe I come from a generation which considered it intellectually inferior to watch too many movies. But come on… there are too many good movies floating around to escape having some favorites!
well I love those old musicals…. of the genre of “The Sound of Music” and “My Fair Lady” or maybe “Casablanca”.
Another movie.. made sometime in the 1970s called “Hello Dolly” is also one of the movies that I have probably watched a zillion times.
Talking about movies.. any movie with Julia Roberts is always a sure hit with me. Agreed though that she is not the best actress around but she definitely is the most charming. “My Best Friends Wedding”, “Mona Lisa Smile” and of course ” Pretty Woman”. There is something infectious about the way she laughs…. reminds me so much of someone I know (guess its an open secret who)….
They once made a movie call…. “Thoda Sa Roomani ho Jaye”…. most people will not recall the movie.. well it had been an atempted musical from NFDC. Had an excellent sequence with Nana Patekar… when he describes the rhymes and reasons for ‘Water’
Descriptions… words .. probably leave the most lasting of memories on my mind. The way Higgins describes the English language in “My Fair Lady” or Mel Gibsons ending sequence in “The Patriot”….
Well here is an opinion for whatever its worth… Heroes seem great on screen because whatever they say with passion seems to be heard by ever character around them with considerable belief and respect. While when we say the right, logical, rational things… no one really bothers around us. So, the guy on the screen inspires and awe… though honestly.. I am yet to meet many people who can make me feel similarly in real life………
But there had been one…. We used to call him ‘Baap’ at SCMHRD

A Farewell…

This one goes a bit away from the run-of-the-mill stuff I generally write over here. Its been 4 months since I joined my current project. Perhaps it needs to be mentioned that it is also my first…
So there I was, hesitantly setting up my desktop. a bit wary of asking favors from strangers. then suddenly out pops a face from behind my Cubicle wall. A round face, round specs and a long long braid …..and a bindi firmly afixed in the center of her forehead.
“Ashish, will you please join us for our project party today?”
Madhumita, our track lead… the backup project manager and the uncrowned Quality queen for our division. And thus, I too joined a score of other people working with and under Madhumita. Over a period of time… I learnt whatever I know about my job till date from her. Admired and took inspiration from the quality and quantity of her work. And now that she resigns from our company and moves ahead with her life…. I wish her all the best and say a heartfelt “Thank You Madhumita”!!

An impending marriage, crashing servers, absconding maids… peace

Been a long long time since I wrote something here. Anyway, had all the reasons in the world to actually just go off on a trip to nowhere. Got engaged, to a Tamil Iyengar Brahmin who refuses to accept an MCP for a husband and smiles indulgently at my many faults. I shudder to imagine what evangelistic thoughts race through her mind whenever I am in the middle of describing a night with the bottle. It is a bit funny though, she used to find the things i said in my druken stupor endearing when i was a college guy in dirty jeans. Maybe thats acceptable for a guy who is broke most of the times… not one who is supposed to be on the verge of becoming a family man.
Talking about family, i am reminded of my workplace. Seeeeeeeee !!!! 6 months into a job and the phrase family connects to the office of all places. Generally, its a fairly routine place to be (my office)…….. but sometimes it can be a lot of fun. Like today, when we are having a ball because the clients’ server crashed.

In fact, crashing systems make a lot of business sense for the company as well. I present my case hence forth:

1) Crashing servers lead to project delays, in a time & material project this translates into the client being billed for one more working day per person. That gives you a whopping incremental amount for your revenure at no extra cost.

2) The company gets to show off its disaster recovery system to perfection to the client. Otherwise it only remains a lifeless piece of information on paper waiting for a tropical storm to destroy all buildings in the developed world… or maybe a neuclear holocaust or two.

3) The employee morale gets a major boost. trust me , no-one is happier than an IT guy when servers are crashing on the client’s end.

4) The case study to be prepared for the given contract becomes a lot more interesting to read. Anecdotes can actually be even more priceless than the end product itself… “The Area Sales Manager for XYZ accessed his system on the D-Day to find all his data erased !!! However, we (The Company) took just an hour to restore the system. the needed data was delivered and the meeting was saved!!! Yet another moment of client-company bon homie; Yippeeeee!!!

Yeah, i guess sometimes my derision with IT shows through. Anyway, staying alone can actually result in some unforseen problems all around. My maid refuses to to cope with the odd hours i keep and threatens to quit every second day. The dhobi takes my clothes and conviniently forgets about my very existance till the next weekend. I guess that is more troublesome to the people around me… who wants to sit next to a guy wearing the same set of clothes for the entire week!!

Had been on a trip to delhi for Diwali. Had an interesting journey. Had been travelling in a second class sleeper coach… AP Express. The train was supposed to start from Hyd at 6:30 in the morning… that meant I had to wake up at the unearthly hour of 5:00 AM. It also happened to be one of those painfully rare mornings when i saw the sunrise at Hyd.
Once i reached the Secunderabad Railway station, triumphant and proud of my early arrival, my enthu was dampened somewhat by the annoucement sayig that the AP Express was delayed by 30 minutes!! They say, “Punctuality is at best a lonely pleasure’, and i So totally agree with them.
Anyway, the train was full of the regular culprits one finds presnt in train compartments in any part of the country. My immediate neighbour was a middle aged lady from Kerela… Elizabeth Kurien. “Call me Mona, that is my pen name’ She charmingly introduced herself while i did the yournger-polite-guy-sorts duty of pushing her bags (Three) and a bedroll (One) under the berths. “Pen-name” ?? I said. So i had a man of letters with me (Or should that be a ‘woman’ never heard of that phrase). Unfortunately i made the mistake of vocing my doubt… the next thing i knew . Mona was handing me a bunch of small booklets; … “Its a long journey, you can enjoy my shers on the way!! And there i was, stuck in the middle of some sentimental trash feauturing heaving bosoms and unshed tears… and a chase maternal woman offering to share her food with me… alonwith all her unread repertoire. Mona came across as a failry lonely soul. A rich businessman for a husband who by her own accounts is hardly ever at home.. and a married son settled abroad. i have a her phone number with me, and a promise to call her up once i return to Hyderbad. Guess neither matters.

Current Mood: Happy
Current Music: Circle of Life

Education and similar inconsequetial stuff…

my education has seen a constant state of decline… my schooling was done at a 120 year old institution called Colvin Taluqdars’ College. heritage, traditions, you name it the place had it in exuberant abundance. quite a start for your academic career. anyway, the rot started right from the moment i entered a new college… hardly 7-8 years old. forget about traditions… the college did not even have well defined rules. Kumaun engineering College… that was what it was called. nestled snugly in a remote Himalayan Valley, the college kept away most of the world’s capitalist tendencies… in other words basically that meant no placements, no amazing salaries and sometimes a seriously unambitious crowd. what it had in abundance was beauty and lethargy. i am yet to meet a KECian who has not been super lazy at least in part.
chilly mornings to sunny afternoons to breezy evenings…. you name it we had it at KEC. classes, well yeah they were also there… amongst other things; like enoromous spiders, brawls with local villagers, RAGGING, stale samosas and an annual Sialdah Mela.
to me kec would always remain the place that took away my fear of speaking in public… and to some extent singing.
KEC also meant friendships… wonderful, beautiful, enduring friendships…

that was my college… then for my PG i entered an institute which was hardly a year old… SCMHRD nasik. the rate of this perpetual decline of educational standards suggests that i should do my PhD as the first batch of some institute in Bihar!!!
SCMHRD… well more about it some other time…

A dusty old City… Kebabs and Henna tipped fingers

i was born in allahabad, an ancient town at the confluence of two of the mightiest rivers in northern india… the Ganges and the Yamuna. however, i was brought up in one of the last bastions of Nawabi culture in India… Lucknow.
Lucknow… the name itself invokes memories of lanes and bylanes. shops piled high with fruits… crowded market places and evenings filled with the smell of spices and flowers. Lucknow…a city that forgot to move ahead with time. Dusty and grimy… and so totally laidback.
to me the most exciting aspect of Lucknow had always been the eateries… and there had been so many in number. till date i am yet to get over my facination for Seekh Kebabs glistening in coal fires, Golden Parathas, steaming Kormas and aromatic Pulaos.

Shopping in Lucknow is not a routine activity… in fact it is one of the major sources of cheap entertainment. Muslim women in hijabs of various shades of Blue, Black and white can be seen haggling with Pujabi shopkeepers. only their eyes visible through the veil….. agitated, angry bright with passion. occasionally, a hand with henna tipped fingers would emerge from the swathes of cloth and examine the ware.
Lucknow… its been 6 years since i left the city for my studies. yet, i yearn for the relaxed lifestyle so common in that city

There is always a first time…

there is always a first time dont you think? something as romantic as a first kiss….or as mudane as the first haircut. Mundane did i say? well “First” of anything is never unaccompanied by excitement. Halt!! think of something that you did for the first time and were not excited by the thought… or maybe just a bit nervous. whatever it was… it could just never be mundane. so here i am… a bit excited and a bit nervous… with my first ever attempt at a Blog. I am Ashish… a consultant in one of India’s leading IT companies (anyway there are too many of them floating around now). just felt like talking a bit…… hence this blog. some great guy said…. The coolest things in life are what others say you cannot do… i think writing stuff which someone will wanna read is one of them. till next time tata