Wednesday, March 28, 2007


I read an article that really disturbed me a lot. I debated a bit about putting up a dark post about it, and have finally acquiesced.

"Kevin Whitrick was a 42 year old man who, March 23rd, became the UK's first cyber suicide today. He was participating in a chatroom, webcam'ing the entire event of him typing a cord around a hook and tying it around his neck. Some users of the chatroom that watched it described it in various ways. Some saying that they pleaded with him to not do it; others say they heard people egging him on. Then when he committed the act, the tone changed and the people in the chatroom realized it was no joke and several called the authorities."

What does this say about our world now. People watching with bated breath and actually egging someone to take his own life? i'm terribly disturbed by this news, the very fabric of civilization is under stress here. People getting perverse pleasure out of acts of extreme violence, and then forgetting about them when the next violent act appears. True, that violence and crime are nothing new and have happened for all eternity, and will continue to do so. But in a war (earlier) the people who saw the horrors had no option but to be aghast as they were in the midst of the danger- the incidents affected them to the very core of their souls and numerous amongst them were scarred for life by witnessing such tragedy. But now, sitting in the comfort and safety of their homes, people have the option of switching on a medium (TV, internet) and witnessing extreme horror with nonchalant ease while their popcorn or microwave dinner is cooked. And switching to Friends as they make themselves comfortable in their couches.

Are we becoming the generation that is "cool" and non-affected by gore and violence. I'm afraid not, we're the generation that is beginning to enjoy violence and slaughter...

Sunday, March 25, 2007

A loaded weekend...

Had a great weekend!

After the disaster of Friday evening (match..:(), the weekend certainly looked up a lot. First I had the most awesome nap on saturday afternoon. Ok, ok that hardly constitutes a 'great' time, you say? Well this was that all encompassing, head to toe kind of nap in which you just knock off to a dreamless world and after 2-3 hours of being in a completely different zone you awake, softly; with a smile on your face and relaxed feeling all over. Brilliant.
Then, we (RB, R and I) had passes for the Rednex concert in a college festival in the city (Remember 'Cotton Eye Joe'- yeah, Rednex are the one-hit-wonders behind that one. They are a country/ western kinda band Strictly predictable stuff with all their songs having the same musical score (except one softer ballad type number), but it was good fun to be in a college fest concert setting after a long time (I'd gone to the Indian Ocean concert recently, but somehow it didn't have a college atmosphere.

After the concert we decided to drive upto Nandi Hills. This is our next-door-neighbourly-hill station where we used to go quite often, but hadn't visited for quite some time (Also R hadn't ever been there). So we got ourselves some good dinner and then started off towards Nandi Hills at around 12 at night. It was, as usual, a very nice night-time drive, the road is smooth and with light traffic around we covered the 70 odd kilometres in an hour. Well, the resort at the top was closed but we got ourselves a great vantage point which overlooked the lights of Bangalore and was neatly perched between a cove of trees with the stars shining down from a surprisingly clear night sky (It took me straight back to 2002 when we'd visited Dehradun for the surveying camp. The sky was as clear as it was then and we could see the stars spread out like a bunch of diamonds scattered carelessly on a midnight blue bedspread). And then the conversation started. Three people from DCE, cool breeze, late at night- a million reminiscences of our days in that beautiful college flowed as we discussed everything from that hallowed era. It is just so much fun to talk about those days where we had no cares, no thoughts, were totally comfortable and knew what was in store the next day. Where difficult teachers could be bunked without a thought, where late nights were a norm, where friendship ruled supreme, where joys and sorrows were shared (and laughed at :))..(ok, ok i'm gushing now...)
We returned at 4 in the morning, time well spent.

On sunday, we went to play golf again (er..driving range. Had a great time and have understood the tick that golfers get about playing again and again. Its still Sunday evening- lets see if this weekend still has some more to offer :)

Friday, March 23, 2007

A great evening and subsequent thoughts...

D was/is in Bangalore for a couple of days. Met up with her at 13th floor day before yesterday (Have you tried 'Brahmos' over there- excellent, eexxcceelleenntt. R had recommended it and I haven't been abto order anything else over there till now- it simply is the best thing there :) ). Its always fun to catch up with her because we meet/speak extremely infrequently, but conversation still flows along quite smoothly, no awkward silences etc. She has recently joined an investment banking firm in the private equity area. As expected, she's very busy with even weekends disappearing under the persistent waves of work that she endures. Anyway, seems to be enjoying work, so good for her.

Right, so why am I telling you about meeting an old friend? (Big deal, i meet friends all the time, what can you tell me that I don't know about meeting friends? - are these the questions coming in your pretty little head-- Well boo hoo! this is MY blog and I'll write whatever I want to ..dig? )

Right, where was I? Yeah, friends etc. Well theres something that she said that really is triggering this post. She said that most people have regular friends, a bunch in school, another in college, another at work. And thats when I thought, because we choose our friends in this way, all my friends from a particular time in my life will be similar in a number of ways. What about getting friends who are, in her words, 'abnormal'. Thats so true, we lose a number of very interesting and stimulating interactions because our social circles are extremely restrictive (take school friends for example- the fact that they've studied in a school implies a few things- similar financial condition, similar upbringing in terms of education, similar expectations from parents etc.)
When I meet people from other schools, education backgrounds, its extremely uplifting and refreshing to see that the world is not just a simple plain full of engineers with mbas hunkering after money and business politics. Its just great to meet people who have a totally different take on life, who are inspired and are passionate about other things- things that you've never given much thought to, but are very significant.

I'd love to say that after thinking all these things I'll make a vow to meet people from different walks of life and to increase my friend "variety" more, but I don't know whether this is something I can do...I DO classify my friends in school, college, mba, work categories in my cell phone- hmmm, this'll take a lot of changing in my outlook :)

Thursday, March 22, 2007

A day out, or why they call me swapnil 'norman'...

This post has been in my system (not my laptop, my head) for the past four days. But somehow I've been too busy to get this down (long story, boss away, work coming down on my ever-responsibility-evading-head-etc) - till now.

Last weekend was a three day weekend and I was in Bangalore itself, for a change. As expected the weekend was strolling around at that leisurely (boring?) pace that all long weekends stroll on when you don't visit any place (I have a theory- the guys who decided that we should have 2 day weekends must've really researched the hell out before deciding. One day is too short, 3 days gets just a bit boring if you're not travelling...two days is juusstt right!)

Anyway, got up on sunday and thought that this'd go exactly as saturday..lolling around all day, going out for dinner etc. BUT things changed later...:)

A couple of friends and I went to the driving ranges at a golf resort nearby. This was the first time I was playing golf and was suitably excited (well i was just driving the ball, not actually playing - but what the hell!)
It was ok ,with all our posturing and trying to look as if we knew what we were doing :). However, the moment of truth arrived. If you've played cricket, while batting sometimes you get bogged down , unable to play strokes, difficult to get the ball through gaps or even in getting singles- and then there's that moment when the ball hits the sweet spot on the bat and races away through the covers...THAT changes everything :) the world becomes a better place, everything just brightens up a bit. Thats what happened on that day on the driving range... after loads of shoddy shots and slices, that ONE clean smooth shot happened, perfect swing and the ball just flew and flew and sailed and sailed...dropped beautifully near the 100 metre mark ( ok, ok I was playing for the first time, what d'you expect bluddy 300 metres?)(also and also..I was using an 8 iron, not a there, 100 metres is perfectly respectable..ya ya so the frail old ladies were going over 150 what is your point exactly? ...YOU shut up)

Anyway, in that one moment one realises why people love this sport, playing in sweltering heat (my family and I used to laugh when we drove past the dhaula kuan golf course and saw people playing with the mercury hitting 44 degrees...celcius!)

Another funny thing was that after some time I wasn't getting any good shots and was getting quite irritated. Then T and I decided to have a can of beer while R was right in his groove- hitting the ball cleanly and dead straight. After the beer every shot I took was just out of the golf 'how-to-play' handbook...while poor R started playing so badly that he actually hit two balls, in a row, that skidded and sliced into the paths of the other players there- a forward push of...hold your breath...2 yards :)

hehe, and thats the way the cookie crumbles..cya soon my loyal readers :)

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Why do we continue to torture ourselves...

Disclaimer/Warning: This post is coming from me sitting infront of the TV watching India being easily decimated by Bangladesh...this is not a humorous post, I repeat NOT a humorous if you're looking for cheer- look elsewhere (i'd suggest

ok, now to the post- Why do we poor followers of the gentlemen's game contnue to raise our hopes whenever the indian "boys" don the heavily paid for, plastered with sponsors' logos jerseys (yes, they have the Indian flag somewhere, hmm, i think somewhere between the sahara logo, and the nike that was some interference in the TV signal...but cmon, it must be there somewhere)

I don't grudge the bucks these guys make, I guess they're extremely talented and awesome superstar cricketers with tremendous hand-eye coordination and stupendous power...but somehow when they shrivel up and collapse against relatively inexperienced (oh cut the crap, against terrible teams, who make 1/10th, nay 1/20th of what the poorest of our cricketers make)teams, it just hits you in the guts...

Aww cmon people lets have a miracle, show us that the demi-god status is not entirely unjustified :(

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Its been a while...

Well I've been away for quite a while now- more than 7 days- whew- I hope this is just an exception rather than a glimpse into how this beautiful blog is going to spiral down to a slow and melancholy ignominious death (its dying by itself so will it be suicide?).

Anyway, lets try to pull this baby up from her sorry deathbed and instill some verve into it (btw spiral down, death, melancholy, deathbed, suicide- all within the space of the first four lines? Don't worry my loyal readers [ thats 21 poeple, no less, whose life will never be the same again {so you thought I wasn't keeping count- well I AM- so there}], I am not suffering from bouts of chronic and clinical depression, infact I'm completely hale and hearty [Infact some mean people will say- too hale { hmmppff..well we'll see who'll be laughing when apocalypse strikes and y'all will be starving to your bones, with loose skin over your emaciated skeletons; while i am relaxing in the shade as my 'extra hale' takes care of my nutritional requirements..hah..then we'll see, losers! I win again!)
[er..apocalypse, starvation, emaciated skeleton- sheesh- I should probably stop this post right here, before I start talking about comas and hanging and guillotines...aww, there I go again]

Stop, before I terminate (?) this post, lets give it something for the family viewership that I have (thats just me, always thinking of other people..sniff..what did you guys do to deserve a guy like me..sniff..wait- don't answer that - No YOU shut up, you...)

Ahem, well, work this week has been going pretty well, i've been keeping pretty busy, i'm learning things I ran away from in my MBA, and generally having a good time.

My roomie and two of his friends are staying at home for sometime, so the world cup (which incidentally started yesterday- btw west indies won!how they beat pakistan, I do not know) is bound to be fun with slanging matches between supporters of opposing teams in the matches.

Also, I'm reading a collection of Somerset Maugham's short stories and 'death of a salesman'.{ All books bought earlier have been read, I guess i need to include a trip to Blossom in my agenda for the weekend}

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Nice line...

Just read a gem in a Jack Higgins mindless war novel..didn't expect it here -
"In war there are no victors, just victims"


Did the morning yoga, excercise routine again I really need to increase my flexibility :) lots of other things...

Monday, March 5, 2007

Culinary expertise...a.k.a. experiments

We cooked dinner was a small, compact, basic meal comprising of dal and chawal (rice). We started at 9:30...and finally ate our exquisite cuisine pm! Yeah, one and a half hours straight...

What this accentuates is that you NEED to have the right tools for any activity. Now who would've known that there's such a world of difference between a pressure cooker and a normal vessel. (I've cooked the same meal in half an hour using a cooker- once upon a time!) But it was fun. All three of us put in our combined thoughts/suggestions for cooking this elaborate fare..but eventually allowed S' mom's instructions to lead the way in our experiment. (I'm sure I would've made dinner better..yes i would've - yeah i would've - YOU shut up! ). But eventually it was a really nice homely dinner.

Anyway, another thing I really wanted to talk about was the "virtuous circle" that S is initiating , and I'm trying to piggyback to lead a slightly less degenerate and healthy life. Got up at 5:30 this morning, went for a nice jog, a bit of exercise and lots of fresh air! Invigorating! Oh by the way I came back and had a shower with, hold your breath, cold water- AWESOME!!

Lets hope I can sustain this. With a partner pushing, I think this exercise regimen has a much better chance of succeeding. Amen :)

Trip to Kabini Cicada jungle resorts

I got back from a 'team-building' trip to a nearby (5 hours) resort on the banks of the Kabini, a tributary to river Cauvery, last week. We (the strategic marketing team) stayed for 2 nights and 2 days plus travel time.
We started off last Monday, 26th Feb'07 and returned on the 28th.

Ok, facts over, now lets get to the trip itself...

The resort is one that promotes eco-tourism wherein the high points of entertainment are activities which would've been a naturalist's delight.( A jungle safari, by jeep or boat through the Bandipur National sanctuary which is populated by a number of different types of animals- from miniscule birds to towering pachyderms; from mischievous monkeys to stately tigers; from boring boars (did you see the pun, bor..boar.., get it? :))to ...well cute Cicadas (Cicadas are actually small insects that make noise- don't ask me why they named a damn good resort after some creepy-crawly...sheesh this rich resort-owner type dudes are weird).

The trip itself was ..em..quite predictable. We went on a boat safari, someone became the butt of jokes and was ribbed to distraction, people drank a lot, danced a bit, some time in/around the pool and the customary team building games(?)- this time using the theme of theatre.

Anyway the point of this meaningless post is that went on a trip, which i'd probably like to repeat sometime in a smaller, more intimate group...hmm..yeah this has been a tame ending- not one of my better efforts...