2013 in review

So the year 2013 ended at last and that too with a bad news as usual; the news being the announcement of a lousy increment in salary at work. I was so sad that I cried at home. I cried at the unfairness and the unappreciative attitude for my work and dedication. I am highly unmotivated now and have decided not to be much proactive at work now. :( Reminded me of the quote:-

“Make no mistake: Your salary is held to the same standards your grades were held to in the educational system, where you couldn’t surpass a 100 no matter how hard you worked or how intelligent you were.” ― Carlos Roche

Sigh!! Anyway moving on…so a new year has started!! 2014!! Time just flies! Let me take a stock of the last year….

# Travel – travel is the first word that pops in my mind when I think about 2013. Kolkata in January, Talakadu in February, Kanyakumari – Poovar in March, Shillong – Cherapunjee in May, Krishnagiri – Shivanasamudram in July, Erode in August, Dharmasthala – Malpe in September and my hometown in November. Phew!! :) :) Travel wise 2013 was awesome!!

# Work – Work place has been exciting, challenging, frustrating, surprising and annoying in the last year. Some old colleagues went and some new colleagues joined. Old students moved to 3rd semester and new students came in. Old groups broke and new groups formed. Got a new job offer with good increase in salary but refused it. Participated in Antakshari competition at work and lost by just one mark!! Participated in a quiz event and got second place :)

# Home – D and I continue to be happy with the usual crazy stuff and usual married life stuff thrown in :D We booked an apartment at last after much speculation and now we are formally under home loan debt. And the price of real estate in Bangalore…phew!! So wish us luck in this arduous journey of buying a home in a metro city. Fingers crossed!

home Loan-Cartoon

# Family – On the family front 2013 has been not that good. In July, my sister’s bag containing two laptops, one tablet, one mobile and two pen drives was stolen in a professional way from the inside of the airport building at Copenhagen. :( All the important data, passport, resident card, research work, photos..everything was gone. But I think after that my sister has attained a new level of detachment from worldly materialistic possessions. :D :P All “moh maya” gone :) Then, my in-laws had come towards June end and were planning to stay till November.But in September, after receiving late night call from neighbors about an attempted robbery at home by a gang of robbers, they had to leave hurriedly by that morning flight. It was a very stressful time for all of us.

So now as 2014 starts, one resolution I would definitely like to make is about my blogging habit. I will definitely be more active in blogging, reading and commenting this year. I will write more often. I will try to take part in all these blogging contests that keep happening every month!! Fingers crossed!!

I started to blog in December thinking I will do a daily post challenge but I didn’t go ahead after one post. December was a hectic month at work but January is going to be a relaxed one because of semester break. So I wanted to post this post on January 1 and take up a daily posting challenge this month but by the time I completed the post , clock had already struck 12 and now it is showing Jan 2. Sigh!! Is that a sign?? :(

Anyway here is wishing all my readers and visitors a very happy, healthy and prosperous new year!!


“Another fresh new year is here . . .
Another year to live!
To banish worry, doubt, and fear,
To love and laugh and give!

This bright new year is given me
To live each day with zest . . .
To daily grow and try to be
My highest and my best!

I have the opportunity
Once more to right some wrongs,
To pray for peace, to plant a tree,
And sing more joyful songs!”
― William Arthur Ward

Windows shopping

I start browsing the internet and open bluestone – the jewellery website.  After a while, with a sigh, I close it and open flipkart. Then in various tabs I open various categories of stuff. I also open Zansaar and Fabfurnish in tabs – furniture (specifically the chest of drawers I have been dreaming of), kitchen tools, decor and what not. I keep closing and opening tab after tab.

D who was sitting beside me with his own laptop struggling to learn python programming, had been seeing my screen from the corner of his eyes apparently and unable to hold his curiosity any more says – “What is going on? What are you trying to buy? You are surfing from jewellery to kitchen stuff to shoes to god knows what! !”

Me – ” I am doing nayansukh (treating my eyes to delights) just like men surf p***. This is the new Windows Shopping because I am doing it on Windows OS” ;) ;) :D :D


I have been one of the worst bloggers both in writing and reading blogs. Last post was in July when I had taken up daily blogging challenge. After that I got so tired that I again disappeared :P :P Not done at all!! So I have decided to do one more daily posting challenge in the month of December. The blogging marathon begins!!Posted from WordPress for Android

Posted from WordPress for Android

Day 31: Lessons Learned

Phew!! So July is over today. Last few days I have not blogged due to two reasons. Firstly I have been busy at work with the new semester starting on 1st August and second, the lack of comments and/or readers discouraged me to write :( But on the other side, a lot of gratitude is due from my side to Rajesh of Destination Infinity fame to comment on each post during this challenge. Thank you so much DI for being there!

Quoting an article ,

There are four key components that lead to blogging success:

  • quality content
  • frequent updates
  • blog exposure
  • direct interaction with readers

If any one of these components is missing, the blogger is unlikely to maintain the connections and momentum necessary to garner success. While the onus of quality lies entirely on the blogger, the other three components can easily be satisfied by participation in blog challenges.

So I took up the daily posting challenge for the entire July month. I have not been entirely successful in fulfilling my challenge. Out of 31 posts that I should have written, I have written only 23 posts including this one. I tried not to write any run of the mill posts giving daily updates from daily life just to post daily. And writing non personal posts need research and time. Not to mention that UBC thing is useless. They send mails (with blog post prompts) with one day delay according to IST and in that also they miss several times!! Anyway so here are the lessons I learned from this one month exercise.

# A blogger must take up this challenge at least once. It renews and re-energizes the creative juices. One has to forcibly put an end to the writer’s block.

# One must keep some posts scheduled especially over the weekend when one needs to spend time with family in real life. This challenge hones your planning, time management and prioritizing skills.

# Take advantage of photo post themes like Wordless Wednesdays etc when one needs a break from thinking and typing so much.

# Quality of writing improves with regular writing practice. One gains more confidence and knowledge both by writing and researching.

# The pressure of daily post leads to inspiring ideas and topics for blogging. But the same pressure is sometimes frustrating. It starts to feel like a chore and one stops enjoying. Sometimes instead of serving a lavishly and painstakingly prepared dish, one ends up serving a quick fix dish.

# This challenge requires a lot of time commitment. I was able to write 23 posts only because it’s a slow month at work due to semester break. Blogging daily (as well as a day job and chores at home) without a break can be exhausting some days, which explains the breaks I took :) It is my first time!

# Support, blog prompts and comments are essential to keep up the momentum.

# There was a noticeable exposure of my blog ( more internationally than nationally) and Increase in blog traffic. I gained 30 followers on WordPress reader for my blog.

Now the million dollar question – Will I take up the challenge again? Not in recent future and without planning it thoroughly :)

I crossed the finish line! Bhaag Reema Bhaag!!


Further reading:-

A good read and I agree on all the points. And t think she had taken up 366 days challenge!! Phew! Read it here :-

The 7 advantages and 7 disadvantages of daily blogging

Day 26: Indian Humor

A resident of Panvel filed an RTI after he was fined Rs 100 for a traffic offense but was not given a receipt for it. That made the police tense and they tried to pacify him and what not. Fine. But what  that guy said is a joke. Speaking to the newspaper Mid-Day, he said, “At the time we crossed the signal the lights had turned orange, so this is not precisely a crime. Blah Blah. Blah Blah.”

India is the only place where the orange signal instead of signifying “go slow” means “press your accelerator and go before signal becomes red”. :-|

So our politicians and bureaucrats have a very good sense of humor.

Our Planning Commission has estimated that anyone who spends Rs 33.33 in cities and Rs 27.20 in villages per day is above poverty line!! :)

I think our esteemed members of Commission do not go to buy vegetables and staples from the market themselves. With onion at Rs 40/kg, potato at Rs 29/kg and cauliflower at Rs 25/kg (According to today’s HOPCOM price) and then rice or flour and dal, I wonder what can a person do with Rs 33.33 in my hometown, let alone metros like Bangalore! To go from home to office will cost more than Rs 15 in bus and if it’s a Volvo then …..!!! So that’s Indian humor. But wait it gets better! :)

After this, ex actor and now politician Raj Babbar stated a full meal could be had for Rs 12 in Mumbai!! Wow! Apparently he also provided a break up of his estimate – Rs 6 for two rotis, Rs 5 for half plate of dal and Rs 1 for a spoon of vegetable. But where all this is available that he kept it as a secret. Was he talking about real nutritious food for filling one’s stomach or just having a morsel/ an idea of it? Do these people actually live in India or some other planet? So again a very good example of Indian humor. :)

Now I suspect what to be the outcome of an eternal Delhi – Mumbai fight, Congress leader Rasheed Masood said a meal could be had in parts of Delhi for Rs 5. He said further that “You can eat a meal in Delhi in Rs 5, I don’t know about Mumbai. You can get a meal for Rs 5 near Jama Masjid.” Maybe we should leave Bangalore and move to Delhi!  * Sets a reminder – Have to search for houses for rent near Jama Masjid, Delhi* By the way which hospital in Delhi will be best after having that Rs 5 meal, dear politician? So again a very good example of Indian humor. Our politicians beat the hell out of famous stand up comedians!! :)

And now I am going to die of laughter!! After Raj Babbar and Rasheed Masood, Union Minister for New and Renewable Energy Farooq Abdullah has said that one can have the full meal for Re. 1. :D Firstly we know it is extremely hard to get a Re 1 coin (Read my post – Killer Chillar) and secondly even if we get the precious coin, the question arises again where? Mr. Abdullah says it depends on the common man – how much they can afford and they have to manage in that only.

So now they are going to teach us financial management so that we can have a meal at Re 1. Isn’t that an absolutely delightful example of Indian humor? Did you think we Indians are a serious lot? Humor is the only thing that is making us go on with our daily lives!!

Further reading

A hilarious cartoon by Jiggyasa



Day 25: Bad Day At Work

There is this colleague, a PhD and Professor nonetheless, who has some serious anger management and ego issues. Both are inversely proportional to his height. He has shouted at some colleagues for small non issues and today I was his target. I also didn’t stay quiet. Nobody shouts at me and gets away with it. But as one of my friends used to say – “Whether mud falls on you or you fall into mud, you are the one who will get dirty”. So I left before the scene got worse.

But I couldn’t stop myself from crying. All my female colleagues rushed to console me. And as a result of crying, I got a headache. Humph! Later I let the Director know.

Whenever I am in a bad mood, two things cheer me up surely.

1st Eating any chicken dish.

2nd Listening to this song.

Though scientists swear by chocolates, somehow eating chocolates never cheers me up. What cheers you up? And please don’t say alcohol.

“If you know someone who tries to drown their sorrows, you might tell them sorrows know how to swim.”― H. Jackson Brown Jr., P.S. I Love You

Further reading

13 Tips for Dealing with a Really Lousy Day.

Day 23: Bhaag Milkha Bhaag Review

Four of us, D, I, MIL and FIL went to see Bhaag Milkha Bhaag. It was the first movie in a multiplex for our group. Here goes my review:-

Story – The story is inspired from a true life as per the credits. The movie is a biopic of a famous Indian athlete Milkha Singh or “The Flying Sikh”, a title drawn from a comment of General Ayub Khan. The movie attempts to give an account of the ups and downs in the life of one of India’s greatest sprinters, showcase his failures, his victories, his grit and determination. The movie tells the tale of a person’s journey from witnessing the massacre of his family during Indo-Pak partition and becoming homeless, to joining a gang of thieves and falling in love, followed by recruitment in Indian Army from where he goes on to become one of India’s most iconic athletes.

The Good Points –

# A successful attempt at inspiring the audience to overcome the odds and do good in life instead of giving into crime.

# Very good acting by Farhan Akhtar. He has done justice to the character and the director’s vision of the same. And the way he has built up his physique!! His portrayal of mental and physical prowess is awe-inspiring.

# Shooting locales, computer graphics, cinematography, accuracy etc are good.


The Bad Points –

# Awfully long movie. 3 hours and 7 minutes! It has been a long time since I watched such a long movie. 2 or 3 songs and some unnecessary scenes could have been removed from the final edit.

# The bits and pieces from Milkha’s life have been sewn together yet they do not form a good taut screenplay together. The aim and objective of the movie is somewhat lacking. There is no building up to the climax scene in the movie. I missed that.

# Excessive repetition of past events from Partition. And the haunting image of a phantom killer on horseback reminded strongly of Zanjeer.

# 90% of story is being told in flashback by Milkha’s coach. And flashback within flashback isn’t good for audience. Audience like MIL and FIL are not so movie savvy to grasp such different time zones. They tend to get confused. And what is with Bollywood showing song and dance sequences in flashback? Does the narrator actually sing the song or do the dance? and how can he tell what talk/song/dance happened between two persons when he was not there? Bollywood should really get over this flashback narration drawback and stick to facts.

# Humor is misplaced and bland in the movie and is poor in quality. All that was missing was a Sardar joke!

# A make out scene and an implication of sex taking place with moaning caused a bit of discomfiture as in-laws were there. Thankfully the movie was so long that the scenes didn’t stay for long in their minds.

# There is a gaffe. In a scene Farhan hums lyrics from the famous song “Nanha Munna Rahi Hu” to charm Beeru (Sonam Kapoor). This was before he joined Army. But the movie which has that song was released in 1962.

Overall – a good effort by Mehra and superb acting by Farhan Akhtar. If you are interested in biopics, inspiring movies that showcase a person coming to terms with his traumatic past to better his future, to excel in his chosen field by hard-work and can bear a long movie, go for it.

Day 21: Sad Day

On July 21, my sister, BIL and my niece were on their way to Italy from Copenhagen. They had two bags as hand luggage. One of the bags which contained two laptops, one tablet, one mobile and two pen drives was stolen in the most professional way from the inside of the airport building. All the important data, passport, resident card, research work, photos..everything gone. A loss of Rs 2 lakh at least. Add to that the fact they had to cancel their flight to Italy and lose money in that process. Denmark being a country with very low crime rate has low staff in law and order. The airport has no CCTV cameras and public can enter the airport building! The police and staff are themselves saying “There is a slim chance of getting the stuff back”. They and the public just blame the East European immigrants for these sort of organized theft and crime in their country, but don’t seem to do anything about it.

So it was a sad, tensed and shocking day for all of us. It was like 5 years of their lives has been wiped out. I was not in a mood to post anything. So I am posting now and backdating it.