Friday, July 14, 2006

I filled out an application for my my PPF (Public Provident Fund) account and PAN card today. Dad tells me the PAN card application can be filled out at UTI bank but i go there only to be told that this can now only be done at the UTI HQ in downtown Nasik. I go there and fill out the application, stand in line for 10 minutes, only to be told by the clerk at the counter that black ink,not blue(which, of course, i used) is needed. I scavenge around for a black pen, which i finally manage to borrow from a lady who's sitting in the darkest, farthest corner of the office (pens with black ink have magically disappeared off the rest of the people in the building).
I pay Rs.67 and scurry off with the receipt, having been told that the PAN card will be delivered by post to my home.
Next stop: SBI (The State Bank of India) for my PPF app. I park the vehicle in the Nasik sessions court premises and walk it down. Sneeking a peek into the court rooms, I am pleasantly surprised to see that they are clean, well-lit and with spiffy looking computers at hands reach of the officers.
At the SBI office, I am directed to the person in charge of opening PPF accounts. He seems to have a permanently flexed elbow, as if he were born to sign cheques and other complicated looking documents. I take an app form and am told that an attested copy of my drivers license and PAN card app from would be needed. Rush to the copy guy and get three (not one) copies made.
I find out to my pleasant surprise that there's a place called the "Shatu bhavan" where officers attest your copies, quickly and free of charge. I go back to the guy with seemingly permanently flexed elbow (i'm going to call him GWSPFE from now on) only to be told that i need to appoint a nominee AND get signatures from two witnesses on the form. I rush out, do the needful and come back.
GWSPFE tells me the nominee and the witness can't be the same. I strike out my father's name from the nominee box and write my sister's name. GWSPFE asks me, "that's your sister's name ?", as if he never heard of such a thing. I assure him that it is indeed. He finds it hard
to believe that my sister and I share the same last name(wtf?). I notice my arm sneaking towards a thick file lying on the table(planning to bonk him on the head with it) and hastily push it deep into my pocket. He takes off his glasses, cleans the lenses, and peers at my signature.
Seemingly satisfied(phew!) he signs at the top and directs me to pay the money at the cash counter.
I run away as fast as i can with the receipt in my hand. And so ended my tryst with the SBI.
Thoughts on the blasts and "bombay spirit" and India in the next post.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

I found this on the last page of an inflight magazine my dad picked up on board Turkish Airlines or (I like this name better) Turk Hava Yollari.

You find the best things in the weirdest places, or atleast I do :)

This is a guy called Fatih Kisaparmak, apparently a composer and a singer, on his first experience of flying in an aircraft:

The door closed , our plane gathered speed and finally we were airborne. For the first time I was looking at the city where I’d been born form this far up……

…..When you look out the window of an airplane, you don’t see the boundaries of provinces and countries. It is we who have invented the maps for which we have bathed the world in blood. Yet it is so obvious that all men are brothers….

…..We could have been friends of friendship, enemies of enmity. Our common denominators were in fact our common interests. We could have shared life without prejudice, without conflict. And the more we shared , the more we could have spread the immortal song of love.

For nobody was asking the birds to show a passport….

(my thoughts on this in the next post,maybe. Don’t want to sully the beauty of the above words in this post….)

Monday, July 03, 2006

This is one of the most beautiful(for lack of appropriate words to express what i feel when i read this) things i ever read:

I am the shadow, I am the light,

I am the seed, I am the tree,

I am the dewdrop, I am the ocean,

I am the heartbeat, I am the silence,

I am the dragon, I am the dragonfly,

I am the fire, I am the spark,

I am the mist, I am the mountain,

I am the flute, I am the song,

I am wisdom, I am ignorance,

I am the boundless, I am the bound,

I am death, I am life,

Above all- I am.

I found this on a painting hung on a wall in the company in which i did my summer internship.
I was signed Satish(no idea who he is)

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Hooray ! i'm done with my summer internship ! glad to have come through my first stint in the corporate world relatively unscathed (by that i mean nobody laughed at my final recommendations , too loudly, at least :D).
it was a nice feeling to have presented my findings and reccos in front of the head honchos of the company (the VP mark, GM mark and exports, and the BM) and to get an encouraging response. surprisingly, i wasn't as "shaky in the knees" as i thought i would be. things just seemed to flow once i was standing next to the projector screen. prehaps the fact that my presentation was by far the shortest also helped things :)
i've made some very good friends over th past coupla months. i feel as if i've known quite a few of them way waay waaay longer than just the 2 months that we spent together:)
some things i've learned over these 2 months:
1. i can survive in a place where the receptionist at a purportedly "well-kept" hotel doesn't understand the word "water"
2. everybody who lives more than 400 km. away from bombay believes that every third person in bombay is a "bollywood star"
3. how to say "haanJI", "nahiJI" and "JI" ad infinitum and regardless of what the other person is talking about( this in delhi)
4. that there are (unbelievable but true) dirtier places than dharavi in bombay
5. that it's wayola more funola to stand at the door of a train coach and admire the scenery whizzing past than to peer out at it through pan/dirt/gawd-knows-what-else smeared all over the window panes inside it

Monday, June 12, 2006

Feels good to be back after a long hiatus. This was partly due to the fact that i was travelling the length of India and partly due to the fact that, well, i'm just plain lazy :D
Over the past 20 days i've travelled to Delhi, and places like coimbatore, Salem,Namakkal and Sankagiri, almost all of which names i hadn't heard before i learnt i had to go there.
I'm doing my summer project at RPG/CEAT which implies i need to interact with fleet owners , people who own and operate threir own commercial vehicles. This, as i found out can be quite a variegated and colourful experience.
Delhi had me floundering in its simmering temperature, 45 degree heat and 80 % humidity, something i'm surprised i could handle without becoming indisposed in the process.
As a city, Delhi is far more impressive than Bombay. In terms of its public transportation , more so now with the Metro, it has leapfrogged past Bombay. The Metro lived up to the billing i had gotten from the locals, all i hope for is that the present standard of cleanliness can be maintained as the number of passengers increase in the near future.
I stayed at the company guesthouse, which was situated very near to Connaught Place. This was where i spent most of my evenings. I'm sure the soleprints of my trainers are still imprinted in the walkways there, considering the amount of time i spent traipsing around !
More on this and the trip to south india in later posts...

Monday, May 01, 2006

Some more reunion pics !!

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Ten things you always wanted to know about me but didn't know whom to ask, or knew whom to ask but were too terrified to, or thought you knew about me but now i'm going to surprise you....

10. I'm terrified to death of cockroaches. especially the kind that can fly. between attending four classes in a row(that's eight hours) and spending time in a room with a cockroach, i'd choose the former, and that is saying a lot.

9. I absolutely love to argue for no particular reason on any topic under the sun. this can be very irritating for the other person, unless he happens to be like my friend Aniket, in which case we can spend the night arguing about a topic as mundane as whether chocolate ice-cream tastes better with or without the chips in them.(they taste better with, :p)

8. I really don't picture myself as a tall guy. A lot of times i've wondered who the person who says, "you, tall guy" is referring to.

7. I absolutely hate it when things don't go according to the way i've planned them out in my mind. of late, i've learnt to course-correct a lot better.

6. I love it when people compliment me on my dress sense, seeing as how it happens so rarely anyway.

5. I love my dog, but i'm not as obsessive about him as anybody who's seen any pictures of me might believe(especially on orkut). he actually growls at me when i try and pet him, sometimes

4. I suck at maths, especially for an engineer. i've managed to get fairly decent grades by working twice as hard as someone who's fairly good at it.

3. I'm something of a hypochondriac. which is strange, considering the fact that i've played competitive sports most of my life. definitely not anybody's idea of an athlete.

2. I envy people who seem to handle their relationships without getting caught up in the emotions. compared to most people, i think i'm too much of a soft touch.

1. I don't really want to earn those big barrels of billions of dollars of money, atleast not at this point in my life. I value the option of having the time to catch a movie or read a book after dinner, something i haven't been able to do this last year.

allright, at the end, i must add : these are all ideas and abstractions and, like all ideas and abstractions, they're liable to be absolutely meaningless, in fact, i'm betting almost all of them are :)

however, this one was for those who think they know me, or for those who know they don't....