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Sandeep 's World >> Thinkin' Aloud
Monday, 11 May 2009
Death of a Passion
His jaw opened when she unfolded the painting and held it for him to see. It had everything they dreamt together ... a house at the top of a hill, a river flowing into the green valley ... and what greenery! The picture was titled "Our Dream House" and he could not agree more ... but "Did u wake up all night to finish this off?" "Yeah ... I couldnt sleep at all ... once the idea hit my mind! I wanted to paint our dream house as soon as I can!" ... she giggled.

He pulled her closer to him and she obliged happily ... "U know what I like most about you?" "What?" "The passion that u have ... how u put everything into the things u do ... I wish I could be like you ..." her knees went week and she moved closer to his body.

A month after marriage, she was busy at office and couldnt come home before 9, for a few days. Today she wanted to come back early and finish that painting for him ... she had even thought of the title ... "Man and his Wife!" He was in the living room watching the TV and looked curiously, as she picked up the stand, painting set and closed the office room door behind her, for the finishing touches. A little later, the door opened and his face popped in ... "Dinner?" "Yup ... just a minute!" and he went back.

10 minutes later, she opened the fridge, the curries and rice were heated up ... and the dinner was ready. But, she noticed that his face had a gloominess that she had not seen before. He opened the rice, smelled the curries ... and stopped! "I dont want to have this!" "Why? what happened??" "Its smelling ... how old is this curry?" "NO ... I made it yesterday only!" "Crap ..." he got up ... "Wait ... I'll make something else ... just gimme a few minutes" ... she pleaded. "No, I'll eat from outside ... dont bother" ... "Pleezzzz" she pleaded again. "Forget it now, u had all the time in the world to make something fresh today. All these days u were late because of office. Now, today ... u r gone with that thing!" he pointed to the office room and her half finished painting. She felt a lump in her throat when he went on shouting "I dont care what passion u have ... but make sure u r a good wife first!"

The passion died that day ... and a good wife was born ... a meek, gloomy and listless version of the original! The guys are all the same, isnt it? No matter how progressive they pretend to be before marriage ... all they want is a good looking wife who can cook well!

Posted by usandeep at 7:23 PM
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Monday, 23 February 2009
Two Dreams
With the theme music of 'Kaun Banega Karorpathi' in the background, Amitabh Bachan settled at his plush chair.

"We have Mr Sandeep Unnimadhavan here in the hot seat who has already won Rs. 50 lakhs!" ... his usual mumbo-jumbo followed.

And the question comes ...

"Which of the following is closest to 'Pi'?"
"A. 3.14"
"B. 3.15"
"C. 22/7"
"D. [Some big fraction which I dont remember now]"

I instantly knew (somehow) that the answer was D.

Mr Bachan continues ... "U still have all your life-lines left ... 50-50, audience-poll and phone-a-friend!"

I wanted to talk to my college friend Sujith Vijay at this point. He is a math genius and I had been his quiz partner a few times. I dunno what his number is, but KBC people knew everything. So, they called up Sujith:

Big B: "This is Amitabh Bachan speaking from Kaun Banega Karorpathi"
Sujith: "Hmmm ... ok" [I thought he was sleeping.]
Big B: "Your friend Sandeep Unnimadhavan is here and has already one Rs. 50L!"
Sujith: [Didnt hear what he said ... gulp???]
Big B: "And he needs your help with the last question"
Now, its my turn to talk ... and the 30s timer is started.

Me: Hey Sujith
Sujith: Hello Sandeep
Me: How r u doing ... I havent talked to u for a long time. So I thought I'll call u.
Sujith: Ohh .. ok .. how is the show going?
Me: Show is good ... reminded me of all those quiz sessions with u ... thats y I wanted to call ...

... and a chat followed. I was enjoying the crowd's murmur about this "guy's attitude". Bachan reminded me about the question and Sujith asked me what the question is ... and I told 'Its about Pi ... I will manage ... dont worry!' The crowd erupted to a standing ovation.

Time to give the answer and I said:
"3.14 is only an approximation to Pi, whose actual value is 3.141593... 3.15 is incorrect. 22/7 is 3.142857... and is again just an approximation. Option D is ..."

Thats when I realized that I have not even calculated the actual value of this fraction. I tried to do it quickly, the crowd was stunned to a silence. I stammered and laughs started coming out of the crowd. Even Bachan broke in to a smile and I paniced .... thats when I woke up!

The press conference was about to end ... and these were the final questions - "So when do u plan to conquer the final frontier - K2? And how tough you think it is?"

Me: I've not decided yet. K2 is surely the toughest of all eight thousanders and I am training hard for it. Apart from the difficulty of the climb, I have some other problems as well .. like getting the Pak government approval. I am also exploring the possibility of climbing K2 along the Northern face, from China, to circumvent the approval problem.
Reporter: Wish u all the best to become the first Indian to ascend all eight thousanders
Me: Thanks

With that the conference ended. But, the warnings about K2 didnt. Preethu and amma was after me telling about the dangers of a K2 climb:

Preethu: Do you know how many people have lost their lives in K2?
Amma: You have done enough mountain climbing. Now, why do u want to go to this dangerous place?

Thats when I got a call from the Mountaneering Association. They had checked my website and verified all 8000+ ascends, but could not find pictures of Cho Oyu climb. I said that my battery pack was empty during this climb and I could not take any pictures. They said that without pictures my claim to climbing Cho Oyu cannot be granted.

Well ... I turned to Preethu and Amma: "See ... u guys happy now? I will have to climb Cho Oyu again before going to K2!" Thats when, my friends .. the alarm sounded!

PS: Guess, KBC appearance is an after effect of watching Slumdog Millionaire. And yes, I read about a climber being asked to revisit Cho Oyu!

Posted by usandeep at 9:59 AM
Updated: Friday, 3 February 2012 4:57 PM
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Sunday, 21 September 2008
First days in School

What woke him up was a sharp scream from her kid daughter's room and a scared expression in her face. Her face was contorted as if she is facing something really scary and she kept shaking her head. He walked up to her, placed his hands on her forhead and stroked her hair lightly. It seemed to cool her down a little bit ... the scare turned to an expression of helplessness and she mumbled something like "They pushed me down ..." under her breath.

"Who pushed u ... baby?" he queried in the kindest tone he could manage.
"I dunno ..." she said in between her breaths.
"Its ok baby ... its ok" ... he again stroked her hair and sat near her and she curled herself towards him. He took her head and with utmost compassion, placed it in his lap. She was rubbing her hands on her face now.
"All these worms are crawling on my face ..." she again started crying and started rubbing much more vigorously. He had to hold her hands tights and then patted on her cheeks.
"Its ok baby ... its ok ... I'll take care of the worms ..." With his assurance she went silent, curled further towards him and hugged him tightly. He held her closer against him and stroked her hair with a lot of re-assurance.

Some time later, back in his room, the parents were worried:
"Did she say anything to u?"
"She had said she didnt want to go to school ..."
"Again? I thought she slowly started liking school. What happened now?"
"I dunno ..."
"U shud've asked!"
"Hmmm ..."
"I dont want her to panic again thinking of school ... Let us go to school with her tomorrow and meet the teachers. They should know something"

While the parents were planning for the day ahead ... the daughter started off with "a b c d ..." only to get stuck at " ... l m n o p" and then she gulped. Fear and helplessness filled her little face once again!

Posted by usandeep at 1:07 PM
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Sunday, 31 August 2008
A Vaccation plan to Wayanad

She'd been sitting and staring at the monitor for a while now ... and still didnt know what to reply. His mail read:

Hey sweety,

Fwding u the details of the resort I was talking abt. One of the best in Wayanad :) Shall I book for next weekend?


.... a mail from the travel agents followed.

Nayana felt a tickle when she remembered the few days they spent together. Those were among the best days in her life ... new experiences, new wants ... new longings! She had it all from him ... and it was too tempting to spent a couple of days alone with him ... to lie on his bare chest, when he runs his fingers all over her ... playing havoc with her ... his stubbled cheek rubbing against her neck ... launching her into a frenzy!

But the end of all ... the question was, if she is doing the right thing. The lies she told her parents ... to friends ... just to be with him! All she knew abt him was that she luved him ... more than anything else ... and wud do anything for him. But ... what abt him?

Nayana didnt even know his friends ... or room mates. His sister is the only one she knew. Anita Didi kept assuring her that Amar likes her very much and keeps talking abt her. But, there is not much that she cud do to allay her fears. There is only so much that can be done via chat or mail ... she couldnt even talk to her till now. She was eagerly waiting for Anita Didi to come to India during Diwali.

Finally .... after a long tussle ... the logical part in her won ... and with great difficulty she jolted down:

Dear Amar,

I wud do anything to be alone with u ... u mean the world to me. But shudnt we wait for some time now? Atleast till I tell abt u at home? May be till Didi comes to India during Diwali. Hasnt she promised to present the matter at ur home too?


Amar was waiting eagerly for her response. He was actually not sure that she wud come again with him. In spite of his best attempts last time when they met, she sounded sceptic abt telling more lies at home and spending days with him. And now the mail ... does this mean that she doesnt trust him??? He was disappointed to say the least ... and miserable to be more precise.

But ... it didnt last long. He knew what he should do to get her attention again. Late evening, he opened his laptop and logged in as anita.sharma@.....com and there it was ... a mail from Nayana, asking abt her vaccation plans. He hit the reply button and started writing:

Dear Nayana,

I am really sorry for not mailing u for the last few days. Work had been a li'l hectic and if things go like this ... am not even sure if I can make it to India during Diwali :(

And yeah ... Amar too mailed me today and he sounded upset. Did u guys have a fight or what? I know that he luvs u a lot and the only thing that makes him upset nowadays is not being able to spend time with u. I've never seen him this crazy abt anyone in his whole life. Is there anything I need to do? I've mailed him back and asked him to take u out tomorrow. Wish u too a gud time together.

Lots of luv,
Anita Didi

Posted by usandeep at 8:56 PM
Updated: Wednesday, 10 September 2008 12:32 PM
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Tuesday, 29 July 2008
As I landed in Mavoor

1969 June.
That was the year we shifted to Mavoor.
The Company was at its height of glory and so was the GRHS.
For us, who just arrived from village, it was a new world altogether.
After the initial euphoria, however, I was awestruck at the prospect of dealing with the academic matters in a totally alien (English) language going by my first day's experience.
I couldn't follow a single word- spoken or written- and the whole of that day and following weeks and months, I remained seated wondering what was going on around, bewildered and perplexed , confronted by a bleak future. I was quiet, just because I couldn't communicate in English, and alienated on account of the same.
My classmates of the then Std V (1969) would recollect... I was in fact written off  by teachers along with a few others in the same boat. 
And Ravidevi teacher once said: Whats all this? , You come - when a question is asked, you stand up -  warm the benches and go home. To Sethumadhavan Master and others, I was a real 'headache'
To me, the very thought of school was horrendous that time and I was always delighted at the outset of Fridays. At School Examinations, I tried copying the questions, as that was best what I could do to spend the minimum time before you are allowed to leave.
The Malayalam Class, the craft class of Saramma teacher who chanted 'Don't noise', the Music class of Sharika teacher and the like, I should say, could provide me some solace in those days of distress.
Then one evening, I was delighted at the commotion downstairs when the bell rang much earlier than usual! - And that was the First ever strike we had in the School, demading reinstatement of Balachandran Master who allegedly smoked in the teachers' room - I enjoyed that one month's parole from School.
I am, however,  indebted to my classmates (both girls and boys) who offered tremendous moral support those days - Asha will be able to elaborate.
What could have happened that year is anybody's guess, and the rest of the story is known to many of you. For others, I recovered from that year's miserable failure and was the topper of 1976 batch, and later did my Engineering in REC Calicut.

[Suresh chettan is my senior from GRHS, Mavoor and a student of my father]

Posted by usandeep at 8:12 PM
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Sunday, 29 June 2008
I Post ...

Thanks to Dhanya for the newest of tags. Though, she has not done the 'Bucket List' yet, I thought I'll take this up, since I luv writing abt myself ;-)

I am: a happy go lucky fella, who likes to try a hand on everything
I think: less nowadays. Its better to face life as it comes :)
I know: that life is not a torture, neither is it a paid holiday, but more of a trek, where u should enjoy the tough climb and the leeches as much as the views at the top!
I want: everything ... if I were Agent Smith inside 'the Matrix'. But, since I am not, I'll settle with what I have :)
I have: a lot of friends to bank upon and a family to go back to
I wish: I had a personal genie to take care of all my wishes as and when I remember. Right now, it's too many to remember!
I hate: the excuse of 'not having enough time'
I miss: all my magical powers ... and my magic wand!
I fear: mist covering the hills just when I gained enough height for a panoramic view, battery going off when I am ready with that perfect frame and the perfect settings, power going off when India need only one run to win in the last ball, cell phone dropping down from my pocket when I am in the toilet, a flat tire in the bike when I am already late for the movie ... actually all these have happened at least once - how sad!
I feel: I should have got my enlightenment a little earlier. Some of the struggles could have been avoided!
I hear: a rising ovation (every time I finish a post)!
I smell: of sweat ... oops ... I haven't taken bath today
I crave: for fish curry that amma makes with rice or tapioca, for fresh air at the top of a hill, for crystal clear and chilled water meandering in the wild and tumbling down the rocks, for the rush of waves going past me and pushing me back to the land and for the wind blowing in the face while the bike does its best
I search: using 'grep' or google and dream of adding a magnetic strip to keys, valet and a lot of other things so that I can 'grep' for them!
I wonder: how people managed without cell phones and internet all this time
I regret: not entering politics or taking up acting! Thats where the money is for charismatic people ;-)
I love: to surprise
I ache: when the ones I love is suffering and I am helpless
I care: about my family
I am not: as bad / rude as I try to sound like
I believe: in my capability to pull people's legs
I dance: only to 'Koi Kahe ... Kehta Rahe ....' - All I need to do is jump with one hand raised ;-)
I sing: every time I feel good :) at least until people around threaten to run away!
I cry: when I need to convince people that I am sad
I don't always: smile
I fight: for my right to have fun
I write: enough to maintain a web site, one photo blog, a malayalam blog and this blog. God save those who read!
I win: when I succeed in making the competition under-estimate me :)
I lose: when I am not prepared
I never: miss an opportunity to boast :)
I always: try to be unpredictable
I confuse: the 'Esc' key with 'F1' and gets to read the 'Help' window repeatedly!
I listen: to all the nice things told about me :)
I can usually be found: at office trying to look busy during work hours, about an hour a day in Bangalore traffic, home for the rest of the day and I don't know myself on weekends.
I am scared: of not being in control of my own body
I need: to repair my reputation at work ... as of now and then look for ways to spoil it!
I am happy about: the fact that u read all the way and reached here!

This time I am tagging Preethu and anyone else who would like to do this! Nobody else I know seems to be blogging these days :(

Posted by usandeep at 12:01 AM
Updated: Monday, 30 June 2008 12:30 AM
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Thursday, 15 May 2008
Breaking the Shackles!
He shuddered ... thinking abt all that again. They were the epitome of mismatch .... that guy hardly had any brains ... infact, he looks like a retard ... and how could she? He failed to understand!

Poor thing ... he knew their parents were friends. She may have just obeyed them not looking at the reality ... how can he help her realize that she is making a mistake?

He had been feeling that she is born for him ... smart and witty ... one who can read his mind, understand most of the things he said, one who sings songs with him, liked his favourite books and with whom he can discuss his interests. But, she was already taken! He did convey that he would love her to be his ... but it was too late. She said, that she is already committed and cannot break her promise ... he saw her pain and knew that she will say yes with a little more push ... but chose not to pain her further! For her, she was a golden oppurtunity which came a little too late ... How he wished, if she broke all the shackles and became his ... he would have taken care of her ... like a queen ... all her life.

The worst part was meeting her would-be ... he looked like a nice chap ... had a nice smile always ... but not the material that she can live with ... not at all her wavelength ... She had told earlier that this guy is reckless and she is scared with most of the things he does. He knew they were no match for each other. He called her up again and mentioned it to her ... and she said she cannot talk to him if he keeps mentioning abt it ... But did she? She never stopped talking to him ... He knew she never can ... He hated himself for causing her this pain ... and putting this guy in such uncertain grounds ... and mailed him to apologize for all that ... Thats when the guy showed his immaturity and teased him for "living in a fool's world". Too immature ... cant he see that she is his gift to him? And there he is ... threatening him ... "if u dont stop this nonsense"! How dare he?

Her life will be hell with this idiot. How he wished, if she saw his reasons and came to him! He had to do something .... he picked up a pen and paper and started writing:

Dear light of my life,

Am sorry for whatever is happening.... not intended...

Yes I have been impulsive and foolish but do you think he is matured enough for you and grown up?

All I did was to apologize....but i was called a fool and asked to grow up and I cant take it!

If you need someone who is of the same wave length and can share you interest. I am always there. Break your shackles and come to me ...

She was in his bike and holding on to him .... in another world. She luved being there ... seeing the world over his shoulders ... with the wind blowing on her face and hair ... he speed past another car, took a turn and positioned the bike to overtake the next one ... and she clinged even more tightly ....

"So howz ur new fan doing?" ... He asked when they were nearing a signal.

"Ahhh ... he sent me another letter today... and flowers..." She sounded irritated ... "I hate that psycho!"

"Ohhh ... I thought he wud stop after I talk to him ... " He smiled.

"Nahh ... may be u shud do what u told him ..." She said.

"Aha ... so that I'll go to jail ... and u get to pick one of ur other admirers!" ... He teased her ...

She puckered her lips to show displeasure and leaned back after loosening her grip on his shoulders.

"I guess its better to ignore ... he'll stop when he gets bored or finds another ..." He was trying hard to sound serious when his eyes involuntarily turned to a cute girl wearing a skirt who stopped next to them in a scooty ....

"Grrrrr ... stop staring at her now ..." She pinched his arms and they both laughed ...

Posted by usandeep at 3:09 PM
Updated: Friday, 16 May 2008 10:35 AM
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Monday, 28 April 2008
Before Kicking the Bucket!

A week back I saw a post on Devilz Abode, about the movie "Bucket List" and he tagged me to write about my "Bucket List" - the things I would like to do before "Kicking the Bucket". My first reaction was that I would like to do things that interest me then and there, rather than making a "Bucket List" and waiting ... but ... on second thoughts ... what will I do if I know that I cant survive for long? I do have a lot of things that I would like to do before going down!

Now, why would I not do all that right now? I guess, its a combination of money, responsibilities and expectations. Once u dont have any of these things, I can surely pursue my list :)

In the movie, Edward Cole (Jack Nicolson) is a millionaire and hence funding was never an issue for him and Carter Chambers (Morgan Freeman). So, for the sake of this post, lets assume that I have enough money ... lets say all the money I can earn in the next ten years, if my career goes in a good shape.

Things I should do:

My first priority goes to my parents. There are three things I would like to do for them:

  1. Setup my beachside apartment at Kozhikode and deposit a good amount in their bank account, so that they can live a comfortable life with a view of the Sea :)
  2. But, I doubt they'll be interested in staying over at an apartment. They would like a larger property to keep them busy. I always had a thing or two for Wayanad. Lets say couple of acres and a house @ Mananthavadi or Meppadi. If they find Wayanad too far to travel, may be Muthappanpuzha!
  3. A comfortable car for travelling around ... say a Honda Civic with a good loyal driver. I know that "loyalty" is something I can never be sure of. But, lets hope that having enough in their bank accounts can buy atleast some "loyalty".

My second priority, I hope will accompany me for all the things I want to do. I'll concentrate on giving her a good time which she can cherish for the rest of her life after I 'kick the bucket'! What says Paaroo?

One more thing I want to do is apologize a person whom I've hurt :( Dont really know what else I can do for her, but I'll surely do whatever I can.

Lets go for the preparations now:

A bike: I'd been a biking enthusiast for a long time, atleast till responsibilities took over and my CBZ started showing signs of senility. I switched over to Maruti Versa then, but deep inside, I've always prefered bikes and the thrills of speeding! To not get limited in the speed aspect, I will go for the fastest available - a Hayabuza :) Well ... people may say that I shud go for a cruiser, suited for long rides, but I've never liked any cruiser bikes (including our own bullets), may be with a possible exception of Avenger. If getting a foreign bike (or getting it serviced here while on a long road trip) is an issue, I may go for Bajaj Pulsar 220 DTS-Fi or even an Bajaj Avenger DTS-i 200. I believe all these are good compromises between fast light weight bikes and heavy / sluggish cruisers.

Camera and Lenses: Now that I have enough money, I would go for the very best - Canon EOS 1Ds and a slew of lenses. Canon EF 50mm f/1.2 L for  portraits, Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L and Canon EF 70-200 f/2.8L IS for general purpose and then exchange my current telephoto lens, Canon EF 400mm f/5.6L with a Canon EF 400mm f/2.8L IS, so that I can combine it with a 2X converter for a much better reach and Image Stabilization. Am extremely happy with the Canon EF 180mm f/3.5L macro I have :) Now, all these lenses and camera would atleast cost me abt 15K US $ (Canon EF 400mm f/2.8L IS is singly abt $6.5K and thats why I settled for the f/5.6 non IS version for now)!

Bike Trip around India: I will take about three to four months for a trip around India. First being the Bengaluru - Chennai and Chennai - Vishakapatnam leg, which I've already done. Past Vizag, I would like to explore some of the beaches in Orissa, Puri and Konark. Couple of days around Kolkota and I'll head to the North.

Cherrapunji, Kaziranga national park, stops for couple of tribal festivals, Khajuraho temple, a visit to Kanchenjunga, near Darjeeling and a drive along the Leh - Ladakh highway is the minimal I would want to do here. Also, there is a skiing resort in Uttaranachal where I would want to stay back for a few days.

I dont mind skipping Delhi, Agra and Gwalior, since I've been to these places before, but would surely head to Amritsar and visit the golden temple, head towards Srinagar and some places in Jammu (dunno what all is possible here, now) and then to Wagah border.

A few days in Jaipur and Udaipur, may be a camel safari and Bharathpur bird sanctuary would summarize Rajasthan. Next, I would drive around Gujarat, Kuch region till Surat and then along the cost to Mumbai to spend a few days in this happening city.

Here on, its pretty much chartered waters for me. I've already done Mumabi - Pune - Mangalore, Kochi all the way till Kanyakumari. So, I'll head towards Nagpur and then to Chhattisgarh. The places I want to see here is Chitrakoot waterfalls and couple of their wonderful national parks, famous for spotting tigers and other wild cats. Time to head back towards south and I would atleast like to cover Ajantha / Ellora, Hampi, Badami, Pattadakal / Pattadakallu and Bijapur before reaching back in Bengaluru.

Treks to be Done: Time to be back in South and more treks. The places I've missed all this time have to be there in my bucket list :)

  • Anamudi: Obtaining trek permission to Anamudi would be a tough thingie
  • Agasthyakoodam: Is open only during Feb
  • Vavulmala: Vavulmala had been teasing me during my treks to Chembra, Mukurthi and Vellarimala and is surely atleast a four day effort
  • Kodai - Munnar: Missed joining a trek organized by Chennai Trekkers, but this one is surely due
  • Narasimhaparvatha: Again, this one remained in my list coz of permission issues due to Naxal presence

Vintage India: These were a few things I wanted to see and spend some time with the camera: Jallikkatu in Tamilnadu, the process of Paddy harvesting all the way to sperating rice from Chaffe, a full Kathakali performace right from the makeup stage, a Theyyam/Thira performance (the folk arts in Kerala) and a day with the Fishermen

Treks around Bengaluru: Lemme make it simple ... these are a few places around Bengaluru. I want to trek to all these places and write about it. Ideally I would like to camp on the hill top for whichever places and spend a night under the stars:

  • Savandurga: I'd been there once, but was lost en route and spent a night in the jungle :)
  • Rangaswamy Betta: I'd been here once, but with a group. I want to glee enough information during a second trip and provide it in my site
  • Siddarabetta: Same as Rangaswamy betta
  • Madhugiri, Antharagange, Makalidurga, Kalawara Betta aka Skandhagiri, Sivaganga, Devarayana Durga: Never been to any of this. I would want to collect enough information about these places and write about it in my site

Going International: Now, there are a few places I want to be all over the world.

  • Paris: One city I always wanted to go! Now that am there, I would also like to check out London and Rome, also pay a visit to Switzerland and the leaning tower of Pizza
  • Great Wall of China: Heard that its possible to walk all the way along this. Can I?
  • The Great Pyramid: And ofcourse, a trip around and near Egypt to check out the Sahara and sone other famous monuments
  • Serengeti National Park: Have seen so many wonderful pictures from this place and is there in my dream list. Would want to spend a few days here and get some good shots :)
  • Iguaza and Victoria falls: These are the worlds largest falls and I had been drooling over the picture :) Lemme decide which is better!
  • Cambodia and the great temple there ... when I am at it, some other cool locations around Singapore and Malaysia

Adventure Sports: Make no mistake, I have done a few of them already, like Bungee jumping, para sailing ... etc. But, my bucket list has more exotic items like Bungee Jumping @ Angel Falls, White Water rafting in Amazon, Black Water rafting in the caves of Australia, Skydiving and treks in Alaska, Grand Canyon and to Everest Base Camp.

At the end of it all I would return to stay with my Amma Achan and may be try my hand @ farming!

Hmmm ... I know the list has become too long :) I would probably need a lifetime to cover all this! So ... here is my Bucket List.

Now, the tag rule says, I need to pass it on. I wud pass it on to Preethu (ofcourse), Rejilz, Vishal, Saritha and Dhanya! Thanks for giving it to me Devilz, I enjoyed making the list!

Posted by usandeep at 10:30 PM
Updated: Monday, 2 February 2009 11:25 PM
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Friday, 11 April 2008
A Welcome Note...

The information screen at the counter showed that the Lufthansa LH 0754 is "On Time" and the ETA is 12:05. He thought for a while and coined the expansion for ETA - must be Expected Time of Arrival. Once the mystery was solved, he started wondering what he'll do when she comes out - Hide in the crowd and give her a surprise ... Stretch the arms so that she can run in ... or Lift her up in the air in a tight hug :) Its been a count down which started a month before, when she booked her tickets, and culminating in this wait at the airport arrival. And there he was ... with just about half an hour to go and waiting impatiently at a vantage point, offering a full view of people walking out!

A bevy of pretty airhostesses walked by his front and one of them had a cute smile and a lovely gait. He remembered one of those days when they were sitting in Cafe Coffee Day and chatting non-stop. In between, she asked if they cud exchange seats. He didnt quite liked facing the wall but still agreed. After a while, couple of girls sat near them and his eyes turned involuntarily towards them. In a minute he felt that piercing pinch of hers and the warning that "I made u sit the other side and u still staring at other girls? Am going home!" He looked away from the air hostesses and smiled :) Naah ... he shouldnt be doing this now! Its just ten minutes more now and he should be a good boy!

A little later, people started coming out and his heart started beating faster. Every minute seemed longer to him and she could come out any time now :) Thats when that spoilsport security guy came out and started asking everybody to step out of the walkway and go behind the railing. Everybody ignored him for a while ... but his voice became sterner every minute and another security personal joined him brandishing a cane to shoo the people away. Slowly, but surely, people started moving out of the walkway and behind the railing.

He soon found another vantage point, outside the railing, from where he could see people coming out and booked his place there. But, wherez she? Almost every passenger from the Lufthansa flight seemed to have come out and it was already half an hour past ETA. She had called him from Frankfurt and there was no chance that she cud've missed the flight or anything. Guess, its the customs guys. They would have caught her ... aaaahh. These guys are so greedy and they'd want their share for every electronics item in the bag. Crap! She'll have to shell out some money now to get out of there!

Another group of airhostesses walked in wearing the Kingfisher uniform. One of them was a little taller than usual - may be abt 5'8" - and had dusky complexion, looking hot. She reminded him of Sheethal Mallar, on whom he had a crush on for a long time. No doubt, Kingfisher has the best airhostesses! He watched her cat walking towards the stairs and then moving up.

People already started getting back to the walkway and now his view was getting blocked. A grumpy looking old man came right in front of him and started standing there. Aaaahh ... where are the security guys when I needed them? And wherez she??? It was almost 45 minutes now since the flight landed and he was getting increasingly impatient. He started thinking abt the things they were planning to do ... once she was back. A movie was for sure :) He has not watched any of the new releases coz she wanted to watch them with him! And yeah ... tomorrow evening @ 13th floor restaurant, enjoying the view of Bengaluru city! He also had to restart his morning jogging and exercise routine. His thoughts were interrupted by a loud sound from the rear side of the old man standing in front of him followed by a foul smell. Aaaaahhh ... this man is indeed a pain!

He took a stroll out still keeping the walkway in his sight. It was past 1'O clock now and his eyes started drooping. Wherez this girl now? He had warned her not to do too much shopping and end up getting caught by the customs guys. Wish she listened to his warning. He remembered that there is one of her colleagues whoz traveling with him. Hope, he has some sense and helps her out with the luggage. Half an hour he returned to the earlier spot. The crowd had increased by then, but luckily, the old man had left. He managed to get some space to stand by, though not with a good view, from where he can make out if she comes out.

The only entertainment he had was the pretty airhostesses walking by and he thanked god that she was not around :) This time, it was a group in a blue uniform and one of the faces looked familiar. Is this blue GoIndigo? ... yeah, then this girl was the same girl he had seen during his last trip to Delhi! He could remember that she had a christian name, but just couldnt recollect the exact name!

Finally, at 1.30, the wait was over. He saw her and another guy coming out of the terminal with their luggages and before he could hide to give her a surprise she saw him :) He walked towards her and gave a smile to her colleague ... held her arm and took the luggage trolley: "Hellllooooo .... this is Vivek ... his luggage was caught by the customs guys and that took us the time!". "Ohhh ... ok", he said, while stretching his hands to him for a shake hand. "They had crossed my luggage too ... but I wiped it using a wet tissue :) and told him to do the same. HE DIDNT LISTEN!" she said with a beaming smile, clinging to his hand!

Half an hour later, they had dumped all the luggage into the car and heading out of the airport and she said: "Did u wait for a long time sweeto? I told that dumbo to wipe the cross mark but he didnt and finally had to pay them 500 rupees ... and the luggage itself arrived late ...". He smiled and said "Its ok sweeto! Lets go home now!"

Posted by usandeep at 7:54 PM
Updated: Friday, 11 April 2008 8:08 PM
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Tuesday, 1 April 2008

Have been watching this being thrown around for a few days now and it finally reached me via Preethu :) Am filling it to avoid bouts of emotional blackmail ;-)

1. LAST MOVIE YOU SAW IN A THEATER? Taare Zameen Par, amazing movie from an (the only one) amazing Khan

2. WHAT BOOK ARE YOU READING? Book???? Guess the last one I read was Wireless Networks a few years ago, only coz I had to figure out some stuff at work :(

3. FAVORITE BOARD GAME? Chess ... the last time I played it, I barely managed to escape against 7 year old Achu :( and wowed to never play against him

4. FAVORITE MAGAZINE? Balarama, Poompatta, Eureka, Sasthrakeralam, Chitrabhumi, Nana, Mangalam, Manorama in chronological order

5. FAVORITE SMELLS? Pear Glace :) Now dont ask me whats it ;-) And ofcourse, the smell of rain, especially the one after a few hot days!

6. FAVORITE SOUND? Sound of waves with u in the middle :) sound of streams inside an otherwise quite forest, sound of birds chirruping

7. WORST FEELING IN THE WORLD? Being unable to help when somebody needs u

8. WHAT IS THE FIRST THING YOU THINK OF WHEN YOU WAKE? How much more time do I have before I REALLY HAVE TO wake up?

9. FAVORITE FAST FOOD PLACE? Am not much of a fast food guy and the only place I can think of is Juice Junction

10. FUTURE CHILD'S NAME? Its a secret ... clue: its a name from Puranas and also the name of a beautiful malayalam movie :)

11. FINISH THIS STATEMENT. "IF I HAD A LOT OF MONEY I'D...? Take a long sabbatical, pack my bags / camera and drive arnd to all the places I always wanted to go :)

12. DO YOU DRIVE FAST? Ofcourse! As fast as I can :) and atleast some are scared to sit behind me. I believe, I've mellowed down a bit nowadays - more to do with my bike / car getting old!

13. DO YOU SLEEP WITH A STUFFED ANIMAL? Animals? May be ... I like being mauled ;-) Stuffed??? Nah!

14. STORMS-COOL OR SCARY? Luv them :) Try riding at 100kmph+ on a bike without wearing a helmet and stretch ur arms wide :) One of the coolest thing to do!

15. WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST CAR? For the record, Maruti Versa and already made very gud use of it! But deep inside, I am more of a biker than a car guy ... so my real answer wud be CBZ!

16. FAVORITE DRINK? Bejoy's and Maaza were my favs for a long time. Dont find Bejoy's anywhere nowadays and I got bored of Maaza. Nowadays I try different fruit juice cans from Tropicana and Real ... Peach, Lychie, Pineapple, Grapes. Apart from these, strawberry milk shake.

17. FINISH THIS STATEMENT, "IF I HAD THE TIME I WOULD ..... do everything I do ... a little more :) I hate people saying "I dont have time" and try not to say it myself

18. DO YOU EAT THE STEMS ON BROCCOLI? I eat almost everything ... why not stems of Broccoli?

19. IF YOU COULD DYE YOUR HAIR ANY COLOR, WHAT WOULD BE YOUR CHOICE? If I cud??? Who can stop u from dying UR OWN HAIR? I can .. and I've done it before (golden brown and darker brown). Its just a matter of trying other colors now :)

20. NAME ALL THE DIFFERENT CITIES/TOWNS YOU HAVE LIVED IN? I assume its atleast for a 3 month period. Then its only Kozhikode (till graduation) and Bengaluru (till now)

21. FAVORITE SPORTS TO WATCH? I watch Cricket, Tennis and sometimes F1 and athletics

22. ONE NICE THING ABOUT THE PERSON WHO SENT THIS TO YOU. Shez the sweetest ... and the leechiest :)

23. WHAT'S UNDER YOUR BED? Suitcase, a tent, tripod, camera bag ...

24. WOULD YOU LIKE TO BE BORN AS YOURSELF AGAIN? Sure ... but can I keep the lessons I learnt ;-) ?

25. MORNING PERSON, OR NIGHT OWL? Usually morning person ... night owl when there is time pressure (like a release) or too much fun (like a get together)


27. FAVORITE PLACE TO RELAX? On the top of a hill ... or a beach side

28. FAVORITE PIE? The only pie I liked is PI (3.1415). Isnt that a cool number?

29. FAVORITE ICE CREAM FLAVOR? Black current! Yummeee!

30. OF ALL THE PEOPLE YOU TAGGED THIS TO, WHO'S MOST LIKELY TO RESPOND FIRST? I generally dont forward mails unless its very different / new :) and this one most of the people around have already done it. Unless, somebody want to try it out ... the trail ends here for me :)

Posted by usandeep at 12:05 PM
Updated: Thursday, 10 April 2008 5:24 PM
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