Sunday, April 27, 2008

Cool, connected and Uncut

  1. Sleeping with the cooler on... while the world outside burns, it's cool and pleasant inside the house
  2. Finally my mobile phone has been activated, and for the first time since I'm back, I can make calls without any effort
  3. India Uncut. Where does he find these things???

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

An early bird drank beer from a man on a wild horse

1. Early Bird

Go to office early and come back early (coming back was just a matter of luck only today. it doesn't happen everyday)

2. Plan Master!

I spend most of my evening after coming back from office in planning for the coming weekend. We plan to go for a off-Broadway show, a dance show, a body exhibition, botanical garden for the spring bloom, an art museum and eat at historical places. Whoa too much for two days. Lets see what all we can actually cover.

3. Beer

In case of an early exit from the office - it is customary for a person to come and open the refrigerator, take out a chilled beer and start sipping before anything significant takes place.

4. The Man Who Wasn't There

My recent interest in Billy Bob Thornton has lead me to watch some of his movies. I haven't had the chance to actually concentrate on him. This is a well made movie. It has this 'there is no hurry' kind of feeling through out this movie, but in a good sense. The commentary is perfectly blended. This comes from the rich house of the Coens. Can't say it is one of their best but yes, definitely intriguing. This was actually shot in color and then transferred back to black and white. What really impressed me is the 'sluggish time' direction (it is extremely difficult to make an interesting movie out of a sluggish plot) and the eye for technical detail (this is my fav topic; my group used to irritated with my obsession about technicals). Highly recommended for people who enjoy perfection in cinematography (a must for Satyajit Ray fans) and good writing.

5. Wild Horses

A classic from Rolling Stones multi platinum album - Sticky Fingers. My personal fav of the album. I think this is the only Stones album, for which I can say I fell in love with each and every song. I remember buying it from a highly unlikely music shop in Nagpur. I think it was outside a stadium, where a circus used to come. I bought on a whim and I had no idea I was buying a classic. Most of my hunches have worked and I have subsequently become a fan of the artists. The other examples of my 'feel good hunch' buy are - Binaural by Pearl Jam, Slang by Def Leppard, The Ozzman Cometh a compilation of Ozzy's fav numbers, Rotten Apples by Smashing Pumpkins... etc. The list makes me so proud of my musical instinct. All of these albums are my favorites for those artists (Well, the best is still Brave New World, but anyway these are close by). It did betray me a few times though- when I bought Greatest collection of Meatloaf. Well no offense, but I got bored by the time I finished the double cassette album.

Anyway - enjoy the Song

Childhood living is easy to do
The things you wanted I bought them for you
Graceless lady you know who I am
You know I cant let you slide through my hands

Wild horses couldnt drag me away
Wild, wild horses, couldnt drag me away

I watched you suffer a dull aching pain
Now you decided to show me the same
No sweeping exits or offstage lines
Could make me feel bitter or treat you unkind

Wild horses couldnt drag me away
Wild, wild horses, couldnt drag me away

I know I dreamed you a sin and a lie
I have my freedom but I dont have much time
Faith has been broken, tears must be cried
Lets do some living after we die

Wild horses couldnt drag me away
Wild, wild horses, well ride them some day

Wild horses couldnt drag me away
Wild, wild horses, well ride them some day

Monday, April 21, 2008

Life is a box of chocolates !

1. The End

After 2-3 months, the project is over. They say, is it pretty good! Well thats a pleasant surprise. We are not that bad after all!

2. No more smoke

Let's see how long this lasts this time. It has been a month so far.

3. Well, I woke up in the morning and got myself a beer!

Thats a good way to start a long weekend I guess :) Fish combinations, Live cricket, Bud at 11 am ... I hope they have enough of it in Heaven. Oh, wait a minute, I may not actually land up there.

4. Bowl and rattle

Consecutive weeks of heavy duty bowling- 2 hours each. I am getting more and more consistent! Just have to convert the millions of 9s to Clears (consecutive ones :))

5. Airport

Good adaption from the Arthur Hailey novel. Even better with beer and chips.

6. Spray, kill and suck!

Me and my roomie decide- no more dirt! We clean up everything in sight. The place looks clean and homely now, finally. I hope we can keep it that way.

7. Good Bye!

After 2.5 months the project ends and my manager leaves for India. We had an awesome time together, visiting so many places. A lazy bum like me would have never gone to these places if it was not for her. From being good colleagues we ended up parting as good friends :) I see her off at the airport and she is more than happy to go back to her family, friends, home and garden.

8. Botanic Brooklyn

I was skeptical about this one but my manager forces me out of the house. I accompany reluctantly. It turns out, I am more at peace than her. I take zillions of pictures, some of them at macro closeup and requiring 4-6 shots. She tries not to lose her patience, but then I know (I have tested it often) that she has tons of it :)

9. Brooklyn Bridge

A marvel really. You walk on it and feel the vibes. It was the biggest bridge in the world when it was built connecting Manhattan and Brooklyn. Impossibility loses a lot of significance and Human spirit gains reverence as we walk and read its history. It has taken so many family sacrifices, but mankind shall never forget them now.

10 Hunger

The hunger is coming back. I feel like a kid - full of energy, motivation and ignorance. This is a good sign. That's how I have known myself to be, for so many years. I am glad, for a few days in the past week I felt like, I have just started my career.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Who's missing who, my car and little attentions

  1. Ananya asks me as I pack my bag - "Are you going to Pune?" I reply that I am. "When are you coming back?" I ask her when I should. "Just now." Then after a pause, she adds, "my puppy will miss you." "And you?"... pat comes the reply "I won't!"
  2. Getting behind the wheel, and driving my car after so many weeks! Sighhh...
  3. Shenoy continuously fusses around his wife.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Daddy's girl, misconceptions and Klitus

  1. Remembering that yesterday, I missed a really imp BT - mum says talk to your dad while I'm on the other call... Papa come on the call with 'heyyy daredevil! how are you?' He's refering to all the water sports pics from Eilat... and sounds very excited!
  2. Conversation with a taxi driver on the way back to the hotel: "One tourist from the United States, he came here expecting to see us living in tents and riding camels... you have big cities!!" say he... I tell him its common perception in America that there are snake charmers in every street in India and everyone rides elephants. Tap tap tap goes his index finger on his temples...
  3. I discover that my daemon is Klitus. But do those who know me agree? I have 12 days before my Daemon freezes its form... before that, you all must visit the link and let me know what you think... and perhaps you can find out who your Daemon is, too!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Keeping score, kiss and walk

  1. Natalie and Galit are laughing their heads off at some joke. Galit has been talking on the phone, and Natalie walks over to the white board, draws a vertical line and writes '1' on each side. She's keeping score between Galit and the person on the other side of the phone-line...
  2. On the beach, a couple sits, laughing. The guy says something to the girl and and she leans over and kisses him.
  3. The clean and crisp night air, and an invigorating walk from the beach back to hotel, breathing it in.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Glow baby glow, squeaky clean and cheating

  1. Finally splurging on all the Dead Sea mineral cosmetics... my whole family's going to have such glowing skin now, we'll light up any room we enter
  2. The way plates come squeaky clean when you wash them with hot water and the way they feel all warm and important after they've been washed
  3. Sitting in bed trying to remember the good things that happened in the day and only wanting to sink in deeper and close my eyes.... then choosing this as the 3rd BT and feeling that mischievous guilty pleasure of having cheated on a test that doesn't even matter!

Monday, April 14, 2008

Done in time, cool elegance and burrrrrp

  1. Finishing work in time for the evening party, so that I neither have to skip it, nor do I have to feel guilty about being at a party when there's work waiting to be done...
  2. The party, or the Passover Toast, as it has been officially christened, is at a delightful venue, surrounded by lush green fields on all sides... there are manicured lawns there, with a variety of flowering trees in full spring bloom... a wooden arched bridge stands over a sparkling lake, in which there are swans. There are wicker couches (huuuuuuuge ones!) with the most inviting looking white pillows... and there are plenty more pillows lying scattered around... while there are chirs too, people prefer to use the pillows and lounge on the grass... and the menu - dessert and drinks! This has to be the the most chilled out, yet elegant place I've been to!
  3. We walk into an Indian restaurant, and are trying to decide what to order, when the owner, seeing that some Indians have arrived, comes to talk to us... he suggests that we share a thali (a full course Indian meal) - "trust me, you both won't be able to finish it"... and he's right. And do I even need to mention how supremely satisfying it is for me to eat a full desi meal after a whole month?

Friday, April 11, 2008

Weekend, drama in glass and GPS

  1. Coming to the end of the week... this week has been kind of dull, work-wise. So I'm glad its over and the weekend's started.
  2. The display of glass art at the Eretz Israel Museum in Tel Aviv. I literally gasp out aloud at some exhibits - they are so striking. There is a fluidity and delicateness in glass, which I suppose is near impossible to achieve with any other material. And despite the delicate nature, the structures can be so bold, so strong, so dramatic... I drag my feet out of the gallery at closing time, cursing myself for not coming a little earlier. And for not carrying my camera.
  3. GPS - a largely unused technolgy in India. The cab driver manouvers his way from the museum to the hotel with no difficulty with the aid of the GPS... and I find myself wishing I'd had some sort of a GPS inside the museum. I had a map, but was still hopelessly lost, at least for the first few mins...

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Driver, one more and Shuka-Carmel

  1. Meeting a very interesting taxi driver - he has just quit the army after 12 yrs of service and is driving a cab because he wants an easy job till he figures out what he wants to do next... he turns out to be very interesting company, and the journey back to the hotel turns out to be quite pleasant
  2. Sleeping an hour extra than I had initially planned
  3. Having the time in the evening to go to the market - my second trip to the Carmel market turns out to be quite productive and I find an adorable white top with black polka dots, among other things...

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Is it bad luck, desparate and hats off

  1. I cross a black cat's path and wonder if it will have bad luck now...
  2. Desparate Housewives - who ever thought of such a twisted plot?? And then put it forth so funnily?
  3. An email from Seema tai which says 'hats off to you, woman' in response to the scuba diving pics that I sent her

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Breakfast, frame it and doing it the microwave way

  1. I'm late and I miss the cab for office. No, that's not good, but what is good is that while I wait for another one to arrive, I can have breakfast...
  2. I show Galit a picture of a flower with a honey bee on it, that I took this weekend - one that, I must mention, I'm particularly proud of... she says "you've got the touch! I'd have it framed if I were you..." It's not really that good, but her saying this pleases me to no end.
  3. Getting the hang of microwave cooking - the aloo-palak sabzi turns out quite decent, and its good to eat something simple and healthy

Monday, April 07, 2008

Jaccuzzi, Chamomile anyone?... and family

  1. Relaxing in the Jaccuzzi at the hotel. As the water jets gently massage my back, all the tension seeps away into the warm water.
  2. Trying out Chamomile tea... I don't like it that very much, but at least now I know what all those fashionable women in novels keep drinking!
  3. A long chat session with the everyone back home. Jui and Pallu are both in Nagpur, and there's much excitement... the call lasts for a good part of the hour. Its so good to hear all their voices and the familiar chit-chat

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Picture perfect, first snow and new me

  1. The magnificent landscapes in Israel. The vivid colours, the greenery, the neat and tidy farms, the mountains, the stately roads... they're all very impressive. We travel about 550 kms today, and for the entire journey, the view is a treat to the eyes.
  2. Seeing snow for the first time in my life. Okay, I had expected something more awe-inspiring... but we only got the last of the snow at Golan Heights. But nevertheless, there's something to it when you see snow for the first time in your life.
  3. Tanmoy wants to know how it is possible that I can 'tolerate' people these days, and not get frustrated of having to spend time with strangers... it's strange, really! I used to be so reticent about mixing with people I haven't known for ever, that this 'new' me who can interact with strangers and have fun in the process is quite nice to be!

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Market mania, sab kuchh milega, spring and buddy

  1. Hitting Tel Aviv's streets on bicycles! Natasha and I pedal off to explore the markets... Its my first expedition to Carmel market here, nd its quite a revelation. Tel Aviv's shopping is not all about malls and boutiques and quaint little shops. There's this huge, bustling open market, where vendors display their wares on stalls, and there's plenty of yelling, and bargaining, not to mention, plenty of inexpensive stuff available... My yearning for shopping and that too with another shopping freak is quite satisfied.
  2. Spring is in the air and the weather is just simply perfect. One can wear something light and roam around - tis neither too hot nor too cold. The gentle sun just offsets the cool breeze, and there's so much colour around - people have gotten out their summer clothes after a long and cold winter, and there are myriad varieties of flowers sitting in colourful buckets around every other corner. There are musicians on the streets displaying their talents as people lounge about. Every now and then, you come across an impromptu party that has broken out around one of these informal bands, and people have started dancing, carried away by the lively music. For the first time I fully understand why spring is so celebrated in books!
  3. After a long and tedious hunt, we finally find 'Sab Kuchh Milega' - a hippie Indian restaurant which gives delicious Indian food quite cheap. Its as if my prayers have been answered... And finally after so many days, I get to eat rotis... sighhh... us desis will remain desis! Indian food rocks!
  4. After a chilly walk on the beach after sunset, Natasha and I sit down at a road side cafe for a hot cup of cappuccino and apple pie. We've only met yesterday, but we're already getting along quite well. Its good to know that she's going to be here for the next two weeks as well... so I'll never be starved for company - this especially when the people I hd become friends with here over the last 3 weeks are all slated to leave before I do!

Friday, April 04, 2008

Short n sweet, things to do and party

  1. My calendar looks scary for the day - meetings continuously from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m with just one half hour break in between... now, meetings scare me! They make my eyes glaze over, a fog envelopes my mind, and I feel paralyzed in the brain... and then, mirculously, two of these meeting which have been scheduled for an hour each are done within half an hour each, and I suddenly have an extra hour in hand.
  2. When it has begun to look like this weekend is going to be wasted doing nothing much other than sitting in the room watching movies and perhaps strolling on Dizengoff street or to the nearby beach (all of which are otherwise fine things to do on a weekend, but not when you have just two weekends left to explore a new country!), a plan for Saturday unfolds, and Friday starts to look good too, with shopping in the morning and the beach in the afternoon...
  3. An impromptu party at my room. The menu is funny - maggi, rice, sabzi and ready to eat sambhar... but there's plenty of fun and spirits are high. Adding spice to the party is Russel Peters' stand up comedy. His timing for quips is perfect!

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Fresh n fragrant, nostalgia and evening nap

  1. My clothes that have been laundered here at the hotel have a delightful fragrance that fills the wardrobe... and when I use the fresh towels, or put on one of the blouses or T-shirts over my head, I like to take a deep breath.
  2. Seema Tai, one of my cousins who used to be in Jerusalem very many years ago is thrilled by the pictures I send her, and writes me an email saying how she is reliving all her old days through my pictures.
  3. I come back to the hotel early today, because I have a headache, and catch up on some badly needed sleep. I wake up feeling much better, and then have some hot lemon tea... the vapours waft through to my nose, and it feels so good on a chilly evening.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

It's free, come what may and encore!

  1. Talking to my grandma over Google talk - she sounds so astonished and delighted to hear my voice. She's initially worried that I'm spending too much money over an international call, and finds it hard to believe that it's free!
  2. Many mishaps later (we first melt a vessel in the microwave, then the microwave starts emiting sparks), we finally manage to cook a mixed veg 'kolhapuri'... and it turns out surprisingly good... the fruits of hard labour are indeed tasty! Perhaps fate had mercy on us when we wouldn't give up.
  3. Looking at the pics taken at Eilat, I feel the thrill once again and as usual, fall in love with my camera all over again...