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Showing posts from 2011

Tweeting with the Bengali Foodie

So here I am - interviewing @_soumyasree_ on the bong food forum that she administers. Twitter ensures that the answers are short and tasty
The forum is located at http://bitebybyte.11.forumer.com/ Quick question on your food forum. What's the inspiration? The demanding pallate of @csougata
One more quickie. What's the ultimate objective? Not to let the traditional bengali recipes (and others if I can manage to fish out) get lost after our mothers & aunts retire. But there's a language drawback. Since I started it just as note to self, some recipes are in bengali. Of course. Just needs some time and patience. But I do it impromptu if someone asks for a particular recipe Where do you plan to go with it in the near future ? To organise it properly first. And to translate the recipes in bangla to english for wider comprehension That's a great idea. Any plans for crowdsourcing of recipes? As you might have noticed BiteByByte is a forum and Not a Blog. As such member participati…

Metro times

What's playing on the mind standing the 75 minute ride home is a collection of myriad musings.
What's with the weird looks they keep throwing my way? But then it isn't about me - not just about me. People are always looking around and something just fixes their gaze this ways. Must be the shine off the top of my baldness. The metro journey makes for a good workout of the powers of observation. Not intended in a lecherous manner, though I wouldn't put that past me if the subject was deserving.
Case in question: people sitting and staring hard at the bum in from of them. I wonder why they do that. Are they looking to pull something out of the back facing ass or wishing theirs was as tight?Mostly there is a lot of silence. People must talk, but the music blaring into my ears keeps me safe. I base my readings entirely on eyesight and body language. Why does a woman in a knee length skirt merit such a large group of men around her? Move over guys, I want some NSP too. NSP- …

boomerang

I did not come running to you for the wedding shoot assignment.  In fact I did not even know about you.You came to me at what is technically the last minute - 1 month prior to the wedding.You give me references of friends who are dear to me and so I was flexible in more ways than One.Yes - I believed you and did not take any advance.. as a matter of faith - one human to another.You did not keep in touch and when I followed up - all seemed to be well.
So when you get someone else to call me up a week before the shoot and tell me it's off - we hired someone else cos' your shoestring was too much for us - pardon me for NOT smiling. I'm sure you had your limitations - but that's really none of my business. I helped out when you asked me to to mitigate some of that as well.So I am upset that you couldn't be woman enough to call me. Why get a man to do what women do best?
Now when I cancel the tickets - the voice on the sms tells me we can do a one day shoot. ha!If I was n…

The piano man

Sitting bored in the mall when we could be shopping for her gift. The lady is on an official call, so I'm sitting by the wayside observing the man in the centre of the atrium. He's playing a piano. Hence the name - piano manHe's playing a melody oblivious to the sea of humanity around him. No mean task as it is. His tunes run a plethora of melody with no fixed agenda as it is. He looks around hoping someone would make a request - but the crowd treats him like they would an invisible entity. There's pain in the back of his mind and heart. Nothing hurts an artiste more than invisibility. He never knew he'd end up like this playing the walking melody to thousands. His music had always been planned on the good graces of melody with people singing in chorus.
That things did not go as planned, well no surprise there. Circumstance might have been fortuitous had he been willing to bend over. Ever the true blooded artiste, he'd chosen the path less traveled.Now the wai…

Patterns

The wheel weaves as the wheel wills. We are part of this great pattern that stretches from the moment of creation till coherence dies out. And then some more.
Not a profound thought emanating from the depths of my mind. But true, all the same.We are threads winding one over the other, some thicker than the rest. There are those amongst us who claim to make their own destiny changing the lives of the ones around us. Some of us bind others around our thread knowingly or not making us the centre of that small universe for awhile. A microcosm of the universe at large. Some of us have experiences on human interaction that logic fails to explain. A passing face, a familiar exchange of words, and then sometimes, just a look. Some threads that were unwound a while ago come back to be bound stronger than the past. What the butterfly effect does is alter a part of that weave of the pattern. I get this gut feeling many a time that I'm in the presence of people who are going to impact my lif…

Pension Rations

The very real danger in pension investments is a gross miscalculation of requirements at the time of retirement. Thus you may actually end up investing less expecting returns which may be improbable at the time.
True, soothsaying ability would be helpful to see how things would be 20 years down the line. But that's limited to god himself.
It can be correctly expected that the buying power of the rupee will decline with the passage of time. So we're stuck with a couple of problems here.
- The old may be getting older - but they're living it and increasing the cost on us.
- Also, the nuclear families in the current era reflect smaller family sizes. So a family of 2 kids supports an elder sample size of 4-6.
- Another trend is the lowering of the retirement age - call it the creative calling. So my 40+ years old banker retiring from active service joins the burden that we bear. He might have the investments to back his retirement. But he's moved from an active contributor …

A life so fragile

A random thought that crossed my mind - lose a telephone exchange and you wouldn't be able to buy yourself any food. Yeah, come to think of it - no credit card, no internet and whamm!! Game over.

I love my technology - but this love has made me fragile. My personal ecosystem has become dependent on the flow of electrons to the extent that most of what I do (apart from the bodily functions) is electricity or internet dependent.

talk to my family / friends and stay connected to the world around mecheck for emailsearch for help find an addressread the newspaperbuy & read booksbuy petrolcook foodget the wife a gifttake photographsand the list goes on!!The end of what we call a normal life, will come. And it never knocks before entering.  So plan for it and strengthen your system.... that way you might just survive

Only time will tell

It's not always the easiest of things - getting a suitable reaction from nonchalant folks that is. Anna seems to have done that with familiar ease. Call him a phenomenon or whatever is synonymous with it. He has appealed to the collective mindset and there's an outrage that makes one believe the paradigm may shift. No doubt the nay Sayers are having a field day too. We are used to being skeptics and fear that good may one day come to pass. The government is behaving along predictable lines and is all set to make a martyr. The question is - are they prepared to handle the consequences. A question that only time will answer.

The viewing angle

What's a few years plus or minus when you consider a lifetime as a point of measurement. However, we are trained to think in terms of the here and now rather than adopt a big picture view. It's always the planet versus the galaxy argument here. I believe that it's vital to keep both - micro & macro vision in correct perspective when making a choice. Life is after all, a succession of choices viewed expertly in hindsight. Rearview vision is always 20/20. But we tend to go with tactical moves without demonstrating sufficient strategic intent. The successful ones tie one to the other. So you want to be a photographer. A famous one at that, making greens by the load. It wont happen overnight unless the tooth fairy drops by and feels generous. You got to work at it. I'm in the process working 6 days on the regular job and skipping about here and there landing myself an assignment every now and then.
The first step was the toughest. I had more nervous nellies than I'…

Your story

All of us tell stories. These stories define us. How we tell our story makes all the difference in life. It makes a difference on the way people look at us and understand where we're coming from. A story is also the most effective method of running some helpful self analysis and sorting out the road ahead. Getting the story elements right is critical to good reading. It is vital that the readers get involved and feel that they have a stake in your success.There's always the protagonist - the hero, that's you.
Then there's the situation into which he has been thrust. A job for example.
Follow that up with the spice. The reason why he can't continue working as he always did. Call this guy the villain, could be the boss or maybe a set of changed Market conditions.
So what does the hero (you) do in this case. This forms the crux of your story. What did you do differently?
Results notwithstanding the reader must identify with you. Now apply this to your resume. Many make…

Why Skimp?

As the word is aptly defined, “providing or consisting of less than is needed”. Of course, it’s important to put down the “needs” and the “wants” with equal alacrity. Indian weddings are not rally known for being skimpy, so why this?
I’ve been attending weddings for quite a while now. Sometimes as a guest, but mostly in my role as a wedding photographer. This does allow some insight into human psyche and the actions that result thereof. It is in my nature to be observant and records memories. As a wedding photographer, I am entrusted with a great responsibility - to ensure that you love what you see, 10 years down the line. The images may not be perfect - but they must reflect perfection.  Now here’s the catch. The average Indian family spends more on flower arrangements than they would spend on a specialist photographer entrusted with the capturing of these moments (he/she also captures the flower arrangements for what it’s worth). Maybe it’s an old paradigm - but I believe that it’s t…

Metro-types!

Travelling the metro has become a daily routine now. Once the novelty wore off, I've just kinda got used to it. I try not to be one of the dour faced commuters executing the robotic function of going to work. People still look at me typing away on the iPad as some kind of novelty. If only we'd move ahead of that. For my part, I like to observe. A 3rd party view or gods eye view. Call it whatever. 
People watching can be a full time activity without appearing "nuts" .There are the silent ones with purged up faces looking like they just had a lobotomy. Then the swingers who move with the metro coach. Every jolt is reflected in their posture. So these guys are never really standing straight. The chirpy ones with music in their ears are also special. Only as long as their volumes are on mute. Sleepyheads also abound. They sit , they sleep off. Miraculously, they awake just as their station arrives.  I was once in their category - travelling from Huda city centre in deep s…

The Mango Traveler

Time is money. Too much of it can induce boredom. Waiting for a flight announcement is quite the painful task. This time the airline folks have pulled of a Houdini. No one is around to face the ire of the disgruntled passenger. My backpack weighs heavy on the shoulder but that's of no concern to Spicejet. That's when the iPad comes out and the language flows. The big question : is violence a solution here? Being mr.Gandhi is definitely not working.
Then there's an announcement and we make a beeline for the counter. Interestingly enough in this country, get 3 people to stand in a format resembling a queue and the rest assume there's a free giveaway - so they all get in line too. I question them on the delay.. and they look askance. My watch must be out of sync with their little brains. These are characters straight out of a Dilbert cartoon strip. But then they never expect the Mango man to question their actions or inactions as the case may be. The other mango travelers…

Sorry for the inconvenience

Monday mornings are it.
Mr. Murphy is on a roll. Everything seems to be acting up. There's this lovely curtain of White across the runway which has limited visibility to the immediate proximity. My flight scheduled for 0745 is being rescheduled constantly. The current estimated time of departure is 1015 hours. They still have an hour on hand to reschedule that particular time. I trust the fog will force their hand.
Still I'm better off than those poor folks on board their flights for the last 2.5 hours sitting like ducks on the Tarmac. I got a couple of calls from friends on their respective work trips sitting it out with no space to move around.
All around, flights are getting pushed back and the mango passengers are getting pushed around. I was hoping to escape the morning chill - but here I am cooling my heels in sight of the exit. The inconvenience caused is deeply regretted.

After a while

So here's the deal. I'd given up on writing for sometime. It wasn't that the thinking process had stopped; rather the effort necessary was not forthcoming. One month into the new year, I realised the error in motivation and decided to rewind the tape.
That's just how I am. We live in a freezing house. Her love warms it into a home. But we still freeze. The reason for this frigid temperature is the Delhi winter coupled with low or no sunlight. It does stay cool in the summers though. I'm currently huddled up in multiple layers of warm clothing with a mock fur cap (that keeps the bald top warm). It's the middle of the afternoon. She's taking in her Sunday nap by my side after a heavy pasta session. The idea of a nap seems alluring but I won't sleep well at night and that is important. An early morning flight to Hyderabad awaits my arrival. A long week no doubt; with lots of walking a fine line involved.
At least I have a long Valentines weekend to look fo…