To College on my Hayabusa!

Finally the struggle of a couple of hundered days ended on this BIG day. Happiness knew no bounds when the correspondent on the other end keying in some information into the computer announced that I have the seat confirmed for R V college of Engineering , stream - Instrumentation Technology. Dad heaved a sigh of relief. 10 years wind up since this incident, but the pain of courseware and the frightening entrance exam still leaves me with horrifying night dreams.

With the admission process coming to an end, I was tagged as RV'ite (All students of RV college are better known so). First day in college is the day that will remain in memory forever Oct 3rd 2000 - Prof M.R Holla addressing the fresh cream from the millenium batch (seated in the huge auditorium -basically the basket ball court). His words were definitely mightier and sharper than the sword. No kidding here. The power in his voice shaked everyone present there and left a thinking cap on each head.

Leaving the serious note aside for a while let me share the happiness of the arrival of my new 2 wheeler.
Reaching college was quite a big deal 10 years ago, especially from the place I live. Remotely connected by public transport to the city limits then , it would take a cool 1 hour or sometimes even more which included the brisk walks I had to do inbetween the bus rides. Dad one day told that as a token of gift he would shell out some hard earned money from his savings and I had the priviledge to choose one from the list box.

i) Computer

ii) 2 Wheeler

iii) Gold chain (some sort of a necklace)

Rejected the first and the last option from the list.

Reasons - Computer was not that an essential gadget that point of time. Not bread and jam for an Instrumentation stream student.

- Gold Chain! :) oh God! it would have cost definitely 7 times its worth now. But no regrets. I was in no enthusiasm to have a flashy chain around my neck those days anyways.

2 wheeler (a gadi for myself)..hhhhhmm! that was the best one and the right one which fit the situation perfectly. The choice being opted next in question was, which one do I go for? Kinetic honda, Sunny, Kinetic Marvel were all the auto mopeds which were ruling the era. TVS - Scooty was also gearing up its stake in the market presence. I was not sure about the performance though. Dad inquired a few and decided on plunging into the TVS Scooty - the make of 2000 and order was placed. Unlike the wait these days we got the delivery within a weeks time.

Here she arrives the glamorous and gorgeous Green TVS Scooty - EB 7961 - thats the number she stood with competing the other 2 contestants - Bajaj Chetak that Dad owned and a Hero Puch trained by my cousin. Soon my Scooty was crowned the winner, consequences of this winning - both of them (Dad and cousin) had to go in for an exchange to upgrade their bikes.

The route to college, one of the best scenic drives ever, 4 years amidst the greens, morning drives cool breeze, music of chirping birds with the freshness of the dew drops made the start of the day perfect... am missing them all. Zooming through the roads leading to the now known 4 lane mysore road I reached college on time everyday with less or no hazzles at all. My record time of 7 minute 40 seconds is definitely a dream now on that very same route. I say this with a great concern as the roads are not the same anymore, less of road seen and more of potholes cropped up, it could be a clean 20 minute ride. You are lucky if you get away without a flat tyre.
Seasons changed and with it the roads too , it looked more beautiful every season in its own authentic way. Snakes,lizards,chameleons were some regular visitors on these routes , seemed like they took their fitness regime more strictly than the joggers ( who were finding it hard to build up stamina). No Traffic signal and no traffic jams ,it isn't a dream, was a reality for those 4 years of my college rides.
The day it rained I liked the drive even more as I could drench in the water thats so pure , could hear the cuckoo of the bird on the mango trees, could smell the fresh water drops on the heated soil. Friends who owned the much heavy bikes always called my lady - The "HAYABUSA"(sarcasm implied). She of course was sturdy and flexible , strong and hep. She was comfortable with all my friends and they enjoyed her company as much I did. She joined us to many places - commercial street and jayanagar - the most hanged out spots. She joined us to buy the resistors ,capacitors and the IC's from SP road for the project we scored 90 +. I give her share of credit happily for being there and supporting me throughout.

Fatigue, wear and tear is a part and parcel of one's life. My lady Hayabusa was no exception. She at times gave up saying its high time I get some attention. A quick visit to the doctor(the mechanic), she would revive back to the strong lady again, helping me out all the time. She was there during the gala times, pulling two and sometimes three of us making it a cherishing incident to be remembered over and over again.

I completed my 4 years of the course and had to stop taking the route that kept me full of life always, but the quintessencial she (Lady hayabusa) still continued to travel the same route accompanying my sis.[Sis was now a RV 'ite :)]. They shared the next 4 magical years of bonding adding more tales to her biography. After 10 years of bonding with me and my sis, she had to part ways from us. Probably she got bored staying back at home idle for a few months with very little adventure. She decided to move out in search of new buddy one fine day.

I was not willing to let her go to anyone just like that. Luck turned to my favor when Dad had found a new owner for the Lady Hayabusa. She is now gone and happily merrying out there in the city with her buddy! Though we miss her, my New Silver Activa has won our hearts filling the void.

- Ashwini

Corporate Dressing!

Are you sitting on your bed wide awake in the middle of the night ruining your peaceful sleep and the reason thats killing your sleep - "The thought of the menu which need to head the breakfast table next morning", maybe something more of the odds like "What outfit to dive into in a couple of hours?". Sometimes it gets even worse with the silly questions loitering in the brain shell, the kinds like "Do I have the exact change for the ticket,so as to enjoy the bus ride with no hazzles tomorrow?", "Is the car fuel empty to its dry point, did the needle go unnoticed at the end of hectic schedule today?"

Do these ever end??????

We get worried of such subtle things every night, thinking of the morning that's due. The mornings are probably spared for serious matters to be tackled. My way of dealing such random thoughts is to kick them hard into the lonely backyard and snooze back to my sweet dream. How about throwing some light and sharing my views on the topic of "Appropriate Dressing to work".

The very thought of dressing appropriate to work in today's time has more than just the implied meaning to it - being more professional. What's appropraite and what's professional? Simple and no confusion. It's something as per the policy. Yes, Dress code policies are twined to the behavioural aspects in most of the top rated companies today in order to develop discipline, I quite dont understand the funda here though. By doing so do they mean that the ones dressed casually [unless being provocative] are indecent! :) . It's ridiculous to the core.

India is a house of multiple traditions and valued customs with diversified climate potrayed in varied geographical areas. It is a calm host for the people who have silently adopted to these naturally and artificially sustained changes in the environment,thus ending up with more of patterns and variety in Fashion. The exposure to western lifestyle adds up to the trends flying around as well.

Men who venture out to work jumps into a pair of trousers and pulls on a shirt that goes along with it. That ends the choice list, however a few add on a blazer to match the status-quo. A tie completes the suit by the way, but never a mandate.

Feline and fashion double each other. I belong to this category, so can scribble intricate details that highlights the discussion. Especially when I think of dressing myself for a casual day at office, options can vary from a 6 yard cloth (of silk,cotton or any other fabric available) to a classy professional A-skirt coupled with blazer. As read in a recent survey the most common and comfortable dressing in India is the salwar kameez. Ranked next is the saree,a pair of trousers with a matching shirt stands third.

Here's something I want to share about wearing saree to work in the recent times:
Recently when I draped myself in a delicately designed saree to work, was shocked to hear on the comments that accompanied me to all places I stopped by that day. Most annoying were from the ones who eaglerly waited to know the reason or the occasion. Disgrace! Saree is becomming a dress of the past in office culture and gradually loosing its authenticity. Presence of Saree is rarely witnessed on normal working days in corporate environment. Come an ethnic day or any festival around, its not surprising if one sees loads of ramp walks happening [which also indicates less work being accomplished:)]. Does this act fall short of any shame? The notion people carry with them is probably reflected in their words. Often I have heard a lot of newbies say "Saree" is some old fashioned garment but isn't saree the true Indian costume? Why dont we start making our mark stronger? I am not an activitist or any of the sort, only pouring my views.;)

Anyways there were a few healthy compliments that outshined the comments I received the very same day. As I walked down the aisle a co-worker said "we have someone keeping our tradition alive" , "Seems like we have a true Indian lady here" was expressive too. Thanks to them and their encouraging views. According to me appropriate dressing accounts to comfortablity from both ends.

How about you dropping by to say something from your experience or whats your take on today's dressing?

I better take a quick nap now, so as to deliver the best of me tomorrow.



ಆಕಸ್ಮಿಕ ನಿನ್ನ ಪರಿಚಯ
ಬೇಡವೆಂದರೂ ಬಂದೆಯ
ತಟ್ಟಿ ನನ್ನ ಎದೆಯ
ಯೋಚನೆಯ ಸ್ನೇಹಿತೆ

ಪ್ರಸಿದ್ಧ ನಿನ್ನ ಚರಿತ್ರೆ
ಬಣ್ಣಿಸಲಿ ನಿನ್ನ ಹೇಗೆ
ತಿಳಿಯದಾಗಿದೆ ನನಗೆ
ಅ೦ದಿನ ಕಾಲ ಪರಿಚಿತ ನೀ ಕೆಲವರಿಗೆ
ಇ೦ದು ಚಿರಪರಿಚಿತ ಹಲವರಿಗೆ

"ಚಿಂತೆ ಚಿಂತೆ ಚಿಂತೆ"
ಬ೦ದೆ ಏಕೆ ಸನಿಹಕೆ
ಬೇಡವೆ೦ದರೆ ಹೋಗುವೆಯ ನೀ ದೂರಕೆ
ಕೊ೦ಚ ಶಾಂತಿ ಕೊಡು ಮನಕೆ

- ಅಶ್ವಿನಿ

ನನ್ನ ಪುಟಗಳ ಇಣುಕು ನೋಟ ..

ನೆನ್ನೆ ರಾತ್ರಿ ೧೨ ಆದರು ಕಣ್ಣಿಗೆ ನಿದ್ದೆ ಹತ್ತಿರಲಿಲ್ಲ. ಏನು ಮಾಡೋದು ಅಂತ ಯೋಚಿಸುತ್ತಾ ಹಾಗೆ ನನ್ನ ಕಪಾಟಿನಲ್ಲಿಟ್ಟ ಹಳೆಯದೊ೦ದು ಪುಸ್ತಕ ಕಣ್ಣಿಗೆ ಬಿತ್ತು. ಪುಟಗಳನ್ನ ತಿರುಗಿಸಲಾರಂಭಿಸಿದೆ. ಸುಮಾರು ೧೩ - ೧೪ ವರ್ಷಗಳ ಹಿಂದೆ ಒ೦ಬತ್ತನೆ ತರಗತಿಯಲ್ಲಿದ್ದ ಸಮಯ, ನವೆ೦ಬರ್ ಮಾಸ - ಕನ್ನಡ ರಾಜ್ಯೋತ್ಸವದ ಅಂಗವಾಗಿ ಕನ್ನಡಕ್ಕೆ ಸ೦ಭ೦ಧಿಸಿದ ಹಾಗೆ ಕಾರ್ಯಕ್ರಮಗಳನ್ನ ಶಾಲೆಯಲ್ಲಿ ಆಯೋಜಿಸಲಾಗಿತ್ತು. ಕನ್ನಡ ರಸಪ್ರಶ್ನೆ, ಪ್ರಬ೦ದ, ಜನಪದ ಹಾಡುಗಾರಿಕೆ, ಭಾವಗೀತೆ , ಭಾಷಣ ಸ್ಪರ್ಧೆ ಹೀಗೆ.. ಕನ್ನಡದಲ್ಲಿ ಕವನ ಬರಿಯಲು ಅವಕಾಶವೂ ಇತ್ತು.ಅ೦ದಿನವರೆಗು ನನ್ನೊಳಗೆ ಅವಿತು ಕುಳಿತಿದ್ದ ಕವಿ ಇರುವ ವಿಷಯ ನನಗೇ ತಿಳಿದಿರಲಿಲ್ಲ. ಸುಮ್ನನೆ ಸ್ನೇಹಿತರ ಜೊತೆಗೆ ನಾನು ಬರೆಯಲಾರಂಭಿಸಿದೆ. ಆಗ ನನ್ನ ರಚನೆ ಮೂಡಿ ಬಂದ ರೀತಿ ಹೀಗಿದೆ:

ಕನ್ನಡ ನಾಡು ನುಡಿ
ಕನ್ನಡ ನಾಡು ಬಲು ಚೆಂದ
ಕನ್ನಡ ನುಡಿಯು ಶ್ರೀಗಂಧ
ಕೇಳು ನೀನು ನನ್ನ ಮುದ್ದಿನ ಕಂದ

ಇದೊಂದು ಪುಣ್ಯದ ನಾಡು
ಹಸಿರಿನ ಸಿರಿಯ ಬೀಡು
ಇಲ್ಲಿ ಜನ್ಮ ತಾಳುವುದು ಪುಣ್ಯ
ಪಾಪಗಳೆಲ್ಲವೂ ಆಗುವವಿಲ್ಲಿ ಶೂನ್ಯ

ಚಿನ್ನದ ನಾಡು ಗಂಧದ ಬೀಡು
ಈ ಚೆಲುವ ಕನ್ನಡ ನಾಡು
ಕೇಳು ನೀನು ನನ್ನ ಮುದ್ದಿನ ಕಂದ

ವೀರಸಾಹಸಿ ಕಿತ್ತೂರಿನ ಚೆನ್ನಮ್ಮ,
ಹೈದರಾಲಿ ಸೈನ್ಯವನ್ನು ನಡುಗಿಸಿದ ಧೀರಮಹಿಳೆ ಓಬವ್ವ
ಧೈರ್ಯಶಾಲಿ ಟಿಪು ಸುಲ್ತಾನ
ಮಾಡಿದರು ಈ ನಾಡಿಗಾಗಿ ತಮ್ಮ ಜೀವದಾನ
ತಂದರು ನಾಡಿಗೆ ಕೀರ್ತಿಯನು
ಹೆಚ್ಚಿಸಿದರಿದರ ಹಿರಿಮೆಯನು

ಕನ್ನಡ ನಾಡು ಬಲು ಚೆಂದ
ಕನ್ನಡ ನುಡಿಯು ಶ್ರೀಗಂಧ
ಕೇಳು ನೀನು ನನ್ನ ಮುದ್ದಿನ ಕಂದ

ಜನಿಸಿದರಿಲ್ಲಿ ಮಹಾಕವಿ ಕುವೆ೦ಪು
ಮತ್ತಿತರ ಕವಿಗಳಾದ ದ ರಾ ಬೇ೦ದ್ರೆ
ಮಾಸ್ತಿ , ಶಿವರಾಮ ಕಾರ೦ತರು
ತಮ್ಮ ರಚನೆಯಿಂದ ಯಶಸ್ಸನ್ನು ತಂದರು

ಓ ನನ್ನ ಕಂದ
ಕೇಳು ನೀನು ನನ್ನ ಮುದ್ದಿನ ಕಂದ
ಕನ್ನಡ ನಾಡು ನುಡಿಯ ಹಿರಿಮೆಯ ಕಥೆಯ!!
- ಅಶ್ವಿನಿ

ಈ ಘಟನೆಯ ನ೦ತರ ನಾನು ಹಾಗೆ ಮನಸ್ಸಿಗೆ ಹೊಳೆದ ಸಾಲುಗಳನೆಲ್ಲ ಬರೆಯಲಾರಂಬಿಸಿದೆ. ಕೆಲವು ನನ್ನ ಈ ಗ್ರಂಥದಲ್ಲಿ ಉಳಿದಿವೆ, ಇನ್ನು ಕೆಲವು ಖಾಲಿ ಪೇಪರ್ ಸೀಸ ಗಾಡಿಯ ಪಾಲಾಗಿದೆ. ನನ್ನ ಬರವಣಿಗೆಯ ಬಗ್ಗೆ ನನಗೇನು ಅಂತಹ ವಿಶೇಷವಾದ ಆಕರ್ಷಣೆ ಇಲ್ಲ. ಇದೊ೦ದೆರಡು ಮನಸಿಗೆ ಹಿಡಿಸಿದ ಪುಟ್ಟ ಕವಿತೆಗಳನ್ನ ನಿಮ್ಮ ಜೊತೆ ಹ೦ಚಿಕೊಳ್ಳುವ ಪ್ರಯತ್ನ.

ಓ ದೇವನೇ!
ನ೦ಬುವೆಯ ಇಲ್ಲಾ ನ೦ಬಿಸುವೆಯಾ?
ಓ ದೇವನೇ ಎಲ್ಲಾ ನಿನ್ನ ಮಾಯೆ
ನಿನ್ನಿನ೦ದಲೇ ಈ ಜಗತ್ತು
ಈ ವಿಸ್ಮಯ ಈ ಸಂಪತ್ತು
ನ೦ಬಲು ಸಾಧ್ಯವೇ?
ಅಸಾಧ್ಯ ಎನ್ನಲು ಸಾಧ್ಯವೇ ?
ಎಲ್ಲಾ ನಿನ್ನ ಮಾಯೆ
ಹಗಲು ನಿನ್ನಿ೦ದಲೇ
ಇರುಳ ಕತ್ತಲು ನಿನ್ನಿ೦ದಲೇ
ಹಗಲು ಇರುಳುಗಳ ನಡುವೆ
ನೀ ಇರುವೆ ಎ೦ದರೆ
ನ೦ಬಲು ಸಾಧ್ಯವೇ ?
ಅಸಾಧ್ಯ ಎನ್ನಲು ಸಾಧ್ಯವೇ ?
ಎಲ್ಲಾ ನಿನ್ನ ಮಾಯೆ
ನನ್ನೊಳಗೆ ನೀ ಕುಳಿತು
ನನ್ನ ಮನದೊಳಗೆ ನೀ ನಲಿದು
ಹಾಡುತ ಕುಣಿಯುತ
ಹರುಷದಲಿ ಬಾಳುತ
ನೀ ಇರುವೆ ಎ೦ದರೆ
ನ೦ಬಲು ಸಾಧ್ಯವೇ?
ಅಸಾಧ್ಯ ಎನ್ನಲು ಸಾಧ್ಯವೇ ?
ಎಲ್ಲಾ ನಿನ್ನ ಮಾಯೆ

ತಾಯಿಯೇ ನಿನಗೆ ನಮನ !

ತಾಯಿಯೇ ನಿನಗೆ ನಮನ
ಬೇಡುವೆ ನಾ ಆ ಹರನ
ಸದಾ ಇರಲು ನಿನ್ನ ಜೊತೆ ನಾ

ಒ೦ಬತ್ತು ತಿ೦ಗಳು ಹೊತ್ತು
ನನಗೆ ಜನುಮವನಿತ್ತು
ನಿನ್ನ ಮಗಳಾದೆ ನನ್ನ ಪುಣ್ಯ
ಆದೆ ನಾ ಧನ್ಯ

ಲಾಲಿಸಿ ಪಾಲಿಸಿ ಮುದ್ದಾಡಿಸಿ
ಅಳಿಸಿ ನಗಿಸಿ
ನನ್ನ ಗೆಳತಿಯಾಗಿ ಸಲಹೆ ನೀಡಿದೆ
ಸರಿ ತಪ್ಪು ಕಲಿಸಿ
ಸದಾ ನನ್ನ ಹರಸಿ
ಒಳ್ಳೆಯ ದಾರಿಯ ತೋರಿದೆ
ತಾಯಿಯೇ ನಿನಗೆ ನನ್ನ ಕೋಟಿ ನಮನ


ನೆರಳ ಜೊತೆ..

ನನ್ನೊಳಗೆ ನೀನಿರಲು
ನಿನ್ನೊಳಗೆ ನಾನಿರಲು
ಎಲ್ಲಿದೆ ಅ೦ತರಕೆ ಸ್ಥಳ

ನೀನೆ ನಾನಾಗಿ
ನಾನೇ ನೀನಾಗಿ
ಹಾಡುತ ನಲಿಯುತ
ಸಾಗುವ ಬಾಳ ಸ೦ತಸದಲಿ
ನಾ ನೀ ಎ೦ಬ ಬೇಧವಿಲ್ಲದೆ
"ನಾವು" ಇರುವ ಸದಾ ಜೊತೆಗೆ
ಈ ಜೀವನದ ಪಯಣದಲಿ

ಇನ್ಯಾವಾಗ ತಲೆ ಕೆಡುತ್ತೋ ಆಗ ಮೂಡುವ ಮತ್ತೊಂದು ರಚನೆ ನಿಮ್ಮೆದುರು ಇಡುವುದು ಗ್ಯಾರ೦ಟಿ!

ಅಲ್ಲಿಯವರೆಗೆ ನಮಸ್ಕಾರ.


Midnight coffee!

Not intentional, not planned - we hit the road at about 10 in the night.This was an year ago; the days when I started to sit behind the wheels and tried to balance them on the freaking Bangalore roads. Dad and an uncle from next door personified the status of my "Gurus". Sessions lasted for an hour or so every night in the nearing neighborhood. Driving had taken a spot on my daily routine from a fortnight. 2 wheels are a lot easier to tackle, with not a lot of brain work required. But when it turns out to be a 4 wheeler that you need to handle, then comes along with it all the thrills. Your eyes, feet, hands are all pulled into full action. Brain gets overworked trying to match the safety to perfection.The first time I ever tried to drive, the only thought that came to mind was "If I ever had exercised all the sense organs as much I was doing during these driving minutes, I would definitely be no less than a super computer!". Quite true isn't it ? A few days more into this exercising I was doing a fairly good job; but was yet to be certified from the expert - My Sis. She is no less than a Schumy when on the hot seat. My last session was pending though. I had to get over the fear of driving on the expressway and which one to head to was the question. 4 lane Mysore road - yes the nearest and the familiar one win the maximum votes.

5 of us(Myself, sis, a childhood friend living next door, her dad, of course my daddy dearest as well) hopped on occupying all the seats. Turned on the engine,stepped on the accelerator and yes we start off the unexpected journey. Initial kilometer or two was smooth as the roads were familiar to my senses. Residential area meant less vehicles around. Knowing the location of every hump and filthy pot holes on that patch of road - it was easy to drive by avoiding them all.

Confidence shot up and I owe it to the constant guidance and encouraging words from the experts along. They were all enjoying the SLOW drive on that cool and breezy night. I emphasized on SLOW with an intention. Indeed I was really slow that day. A happy teen on his luna passby zooming to glory and thats when I realized my speed - it was not more than 40kmph. So afraid was I that I could feel my sweat glands working up. I said to myself - Not bad dear, you are doing it great for the first go , especially for a lady like me who has this roadophobia since the childhood days. Random thoughts started running parallel on mind. Words started popping up faintly and lyrically as narrated at home by all the ones who know me from the day I was born - "She is scared of road and vehicles from the day I know her walking on road. As a kid she would jump into the gutter with a sight of a truck approaching from the other corner of the road."

Pomph! A sudden loud honk of a lorry got me back 100% on the road. It was time to fight these lines away and erase them off from my memory. Increased speed stepping a little harder on the accelerator but conscious enough to be able to balance it right. More compliments and comments on my driving showered as we proceeded. The headlights highlightened a sign board that read Ramnagara. Wow! was the feeling . I made it, sweeped a clean 70 km in about 1hour 25 min.I announced the name of the city aloud as we entered it. My excitement sounded as if it was first time I was seeing that name. With that announcement came a short break to switch over. Sis grabbed the steering and sped away showing her skills and the grip on the wheels.

A decent 15 minutes drive landed us in the coffee shop. First time we had the genre of the kind like Daddy and Uncle making themselves comfortable on the cozy sofas of the branded cafe shop. The price tags on the menu card left them shocked and raise thier eyebrows. I scrolled down each side of the menu for something thats new , never tried, but ended up deciding my all-time favorite cold coffee. As Sis and friend engross themselves in the coffee deciding conversation, my sight of vision turned to the clock ticking and banging to the hourly tunes.

This was definitely adding more fun - placing orders at 12am! Shoot it man. Its midnight. 2 cups of hot espresso, a cold coffee,a creamy chocolate drink, a latte (not sure of the fancy names) is not complete without a hot cohocolate fudge cake. The cold night complimented the hot fudge so well that the plate lay empty in just about minutes of its arrival. Tossing them all down our throat it was time to head back. Woohoo... the mission completes with uncle driving us back safely into our street and bidding a smiling bye for the special day(ooops "MIDNIGHT" I would rather call it) of all our lives.

Every time I visit a coffee shop now, I wear a smile on my face while I place the order. Guess the same is the case with the other four too :)

ಆಸೆಯ ಭರವಸೆ!

ಆಸೆಯ ಭರವಸೆ ...

ಅದೊಂದು ದಿನ ಕಚೇರಿಗೆ ಬಂದವಳೇ ಎಂದಿನಂತೆ ನನ್ನ ಸೀಟಿನಲ್ಲಿರೋ ಕ೦ಪ್ಯುಟರ್ಗೆ ಲಾಗಿನ್ ಆದೆ. ಏನಪ್ಪಾ ಇವತ್ತು ಕೆಲಸ ಎಂದು ಯೋಚಿಸುತ್ತಾ, ಹಾಗೆ ಮೇಲ್ ಬಾಕ್ಸ್ ನಲ್ಲಿ ಸ್ಕ್ರೋಲ್ ಮಾಡೋಕ್ಕೆ ಶುರು ಮಾಡ್ದೆ. ನಮ್ಮ ಆನ್ ಶೋರ್ ಲೀಡ್ ಏನ್ ಕೆಲಸ ಕಳ್ಸಿದ್ದಾರಪ್ಪ ಅಂತ ಅವ್ರ ಹೆಸರಿಂದ ಬಂದ ಮೇಲ್ ಗಳನೆಲ್ಲ ಹುಡುಕಿ ಓದಿ ಆಯಿತು. ಇನ್ನು ಕೆಲಸ ಪ್ರಾರಂಭ ಮಾಡಬೇಕು ಅನ್ನೋಷ್ಟರಲ್ಲಿ ಸಹ ಉದ್ಯೋಗಿ ಒಬ್ಬರಿಂದ ಬಂತು ನೋಡ್ರಿ ಒಂದು ಪುಟ್ಟ ಕವನದ ಸಾಲುಗಳು. ಈ - ಮೇಲ್ಸನ ಯುಗದ ಕವಿ ಘೋಷ್ಠಿ ಅಂದ್ರೆ ಇದೆ ಇರ್ಬೇಕು ನೋಡ್ರಿ :). ಈಕಡೆ ಇಂದ ನನ್ನ ಉತ್ತರ , ಆಕಡೆ ಇಂದ ಅವರ ಲೌಕಿಕ ಜ್ಞಾನ ಭಂಡಾರದ ಮಹಾಪೂರ .

ಸಹೋದ್ಯೋಗಿಕವಿ ಸಾಹೇಬರು:
ಮುಸ್ಸಂಜೆ ಯಾಗಿರಲು ಕಾರ್ಮೋಡ ಕವಿದಿರಲು ಅಲಲ್ಲಿ ಇಣುಕುತಿತ್ತು ಮಳೆಯ ಹನಿಯು
ಬೀಸೋ ಗಾಳಿ ತಂಗಾಳಿಯಾಗಿ ಹೊತ್ತು ತರಲು ಹಳೆಯ ನೆನಪ, ಮೌನದಿ ಪುಳಕಿತ ನನ್ನೀ ಮನ
ಮಾತು ಮೌನಗಳ ನಡುವೆ ಎದುಸಿರು ಬಿಡುವ ಬದುಕ ಪಯಣದಲಿ.. ಬಣ್ಣ
ಕಳೆದುಕೊಂಡು ಹಣ್ಣಾದ ಬಿಸಿಲಿಗೂ ಸಿಕ್ಕಿದೆ ಮುಗಿಲನೋಕುಳಿಯ ಈ ಮಳೆಯ ತಂಪು
ಭೂಮಿ ಸ್ಪರ್ಶದಿ ಬರುವ ಕಂಪು ಕುಣಿವ ಹನಿಯ ಗೆಜ್ಜೆಯ ಇ೦ಪು
ಬಿಸಿಲ ಮಳೆಯು ನಗುವ ಅಳುವು ಹನಿಯ ಸ್ಪರ್ಶದಿ ಮೊಳಕೆ ಒಡೆದು ಬೆಳೆಯುವ ಎಳೆಯ ಚಿಗುರು ಕೀಳಲೆತ್ನಿಸಿದೆ ನೋವಿನ ಮುಳು ಆಗಸದಲಿ ಮೂಡಿಸುತ ಕಾಮನಬಿಲ್ಲು

ಮುತ್ತು ರತ್ನಗಳ೦ತಿರುವ ಈ ನಿನ್ನ ಸಾಲುಗಳು ಅದೆಷ್ಟು ಸತ್ಯ ಎಂದು ಯೋಚಿಸಲು ಹೊರಟೆ
ಸುಳಿಯಿತು ಅದೇ ಕಾರ್ಮೋಡದ ಕತ್ತಲು ನನ್ನ ಕಣ್ಣ ಮುಂದೆ
ಎಲ್ಲ ಬರಿ ತೊದಲು, ಸವಿ ಸವಿ ನೆನಪುಗಳು ಕಾಣಿಸಿತೆ ಹೊರತು
ಈಗ ಸಧ್ಯಕ್ಕೆ ಉತ್ತರ ಬದುಕು ತಿಳಿಸಿದ್ದು -- ಶೂನ್ಯ ಬರಿ ಶೂನ್ಯ ಈ ಜಗತ್ತು :-)

ಸಹೋದ್ಯೋಗಿಕವಿ ಸಾಹೇಬರು:
ಸತ್ಯ ಸತ್ಯ ನೀ ಹೇಳೋ ಮಾತು ಸತ್ಯ ....
ಮಿಥ್ಯ ಮಿಥ್ಯ ನಾವು ಕಾಣೋ ಕನಸು ಮಿಥ್ಯ ....
ಆದರೆ ಬದುಕಲು ಕಲಿಸುವುದು ಈ ಕನಸುಗಳು - ನಿನಗಿದು ಗೊತ್ತ ?

ಸತ್ಯವೋ ಮಿಥ್ಯವೋ ನಾನರಿಯೇನೋ ಸ್ವಾಮಿ
ರೆಪ್ಪೆ ಬಿಚ್ಚಿ ಹುಡುಕಿದರೂ ಸಿಗುವುದಿಲ್ಲ ಈ ಭೂಮಿಯಲಿ ಒಬ್ಬ ಒಳ್ಳೆ ಅಸಾಮಿ,
ಆಕಡೆ ಈಕಡೆ ಎಲ್ಲಾ ಕಡೆ ತುಂಬಿ ತುಳುಕಾಡುತ್ತಿದ್ದಾರೆ ಲೋಕದ ಹರಾಮಿ
ಇದಕ್ಕೇನು ಹೇಳುವೆ ನೀ ಮಹಾ ಸ್ವಾಮೀ ?

ಸಹೋದ್ಯೋಗಿಕವಿ ಸಾಹೇಬರು:
ಹುಡುಕುವೆ ಏಕೆ ಅಲ್ಲಿ ಇಲ್ಲಿ
ಇರಲೊಳನೆ ಒಳ್ಳೆ ಮನಸ್ಸು ನಿನ್ನಲ್ಲಿ
ಕೊಚ್ಚು ನೀ ನಿನ್ನ ಕೆಲಸದಲ್ಲಿ ಅಡಗಿರುವ ಆ ಹರಾಮಿ
ಇದನರಿತರೆ ಸೊಗಸಾಗುವುದಿಲ್ಲವೇ ಈ ನಮ್ಮ ಭೂಮಿ
ಇದೆ ನನ್ನ ಉತ್ತರ ಮಹಾ ಸ್ವಾಮೀ

ಅದೇನೋ ಸರಿ ಗುರುವೆ
ಒಮ್ಮೆ ಇಣುಕಿ ನೋಡುವೆ
ನನ್ನ ಮನದಾಳದಲ್ಲಿ ಬಚ್ಚಿಟ್ಟಿರೋ ನನ್ನ ಪುಟ್ಟ ಮನದೊಳಗೆ
ಕಹಿ ನೆನಪನೆಲ್ಲ ಹಿಂದೆ ಬಿಟ್ಟು ಚಿತ್ತದ ಆಸೆಯೆಡೆಗೆ ಹಾರುವೆ,
ಕಾದು ನೋಡುವೆ ... ಸಂಭ್ರಮವೆಲ್ಲಿದೆ..ಅಲ್ಲಿಗೇ ಸಾಗುವೆ..
ಓ ದೇವನೇ ಸುರಿಸುವೆಯ ನೀ ಅಲ್ಲಿ ಸಂತಸದ ಮಹಾಪೂರವೇ ???
................... ಕಾಯುತಿರವೆ ಆ ದಿನಕೆ ...

ಸಹೋದ್ಯೋಗಿಕವಿ ಸಾಹೇಬರು:
ಏನೇ ಆಗಲಿ ಸಾಗು ನೀ ಮು೦ದೆ
ಉಳಿಯಲಿ ಕಹಿ ನೆನಪು ನಿನ್ನ ಹಿಂದೆ
ಮರಿಯಬೇಡ ಕಲಿತ ಅನುಭವ ಅ೦ದೆ
ತೋರಿಸುವುದು ಜೀವನ ದಾರಿ ನಿನ್ನ ಮುಂದೆ

... ಅಂದಿನಿಂದ ಯೋಚನಾಮಗ್ನಳಾಗಿರುವೆ... ಅರ್ಥ ಹುಡುಕುತ
ಇನ್ನೆಷ್ಟು ದಿನಗಳುರುಡಬೇಕೋ ತಿಳಿಯದಾಗಿದೆ ನನ್ನ ಮನಕೆ....
ಸದಾ ಕಾಯುವೆ ಆ ಬೆಳಕ ಕಿರಣದ ಒಂದು ರೆಖೆಗಾಗಿ
ರೆಕ್ಕೆಯ ಗರಿಯ ಬಿಚ್ಚಿ ನನ್ನ ಕನಸ ಲೋಕಕೆ ಹಾರಲು
ನನ್ನ ಮನದಾಸೆಯನು ಮುಟ್ಟಲು..

ರಕ್ಷಿಸೆಂದು ಬೆಡುವೆ
ದಾರಿದೀಪವಾಗೆಂದು ಕೇಳಿಕೊ೦ಬುವೆ
ಹರಿಸು ನೀ ನನ್ನ
ಕೈಯ ಮುಗಿಯುವೆ ನಾ ನನ್ನ
ಓ ! ದೇವ ಇಗೋ ನಿನಗೆ ನನ್ನರ್ಪಣೆ.

ದೈನಿಕ ಕೆಲಸದ ಮಧ್ಯದಲ್ಲಿ ಇಂತಹದೊಂದು ಪುಟ್ಟ ಕವಿತೆಯ ಚಕಮಿಕಿ ನನ್ನ ಸ್ಪೂರ್ಥಿಯನೆತ್ತಿ ಹಿಡಿಯಿತು. ನಿಮ್ಮ ಮಧ್ಯೆ ಕೂಡ ಈ ತರಹದ ಜ್ಞಾನಿಯೋಬ್ಬರಿರಬಹುದು.ನಿಮ್ಮ ಚಿಂತೆಯ ದೂರ ಮಾಡಲು ಕಾಯುತ್ತಿರಬಹುದು. ಸರಿ ಹಾದಿಯೆಡೆಗೆ ನಡೆಸಬಹುದು. ಹುಡುಕುವಿರ ಆ ಆಸೆಯ ಭರವಸೆಯ?

Days of Snow!

Stumbled down thinking of the snowy days..
With 2 years gone by , the thought of cold chilly breeze ,soft snow flakes make me relive that wonderful afternoon. It was barely a day or two since a group of 3 colleagues landed in the well known gloomy city of the world - Seattle. "Beauty " in its simple form of all the odds of superlatives, I could describe this city in a word. As I go back leaning onto my chair feeling the bliss as fresh as ever, I start to experience it all over again. Nothing different, nothing special, still each landscape, each new spot slides by as a power point presentation.

Little things which go un noticed in our day
to day schedules of hurdling back and forth for work and home, caught my attention that very day. I admired nature more than ever. A simple gesture would mean it all when a hand holds you tight when you are about to trip and fall. I would have loved to capture that moment when a young couple helped this old lady trying all her best to get onto the half crowded bus approaching the stop. The rough faced lady had wrinkled hands and feet, seemed barely ready for the season that had set in. I doubt if the woollen cap from the nearby store did any help either. It was not any unsual scene for the everyday passerby, for me - it was yet another picture sketched in my cerebrum's corner.

Caching onto the picture in my mind as I walked down the street, I saw a gentlemen placing his order at the starbucks counter round the corner. His looks were so identical to one of those movie stars - a neat shave , nicely tucked shirt and blazer that matched his trouser - he was definitely pulling it off very well. A woollen stole to keep him warm added the style that was demanded. Entire attire fit him so well, it was hard to say if he was sent down to earth just to jump into that piece of clothing. Even when I was trying to make this frame stand on my mind I saw him walking away with a cup of freshly brewed espresso mixed with little cream and tipped up with a bit of cinnamon to add in a little flavor for the day that's just begun.
A lonely bench, otherwise a hangout spot for the college teens, was crying in silence.
Not disturbed, not touched, not bothered of its existence - the teens walk beside it making their way to the classrooms nearby.The bench stands out craving for some noise to keep it entertained as it would have been on bright sunny day.

Snowman was something that had appeared in a hollywood movie or in some fairy tale cartoon show till that day. Oh man - I was seeing it in real! Playing with snow balls was yet another dream come true. My hands go stiff, no sense of a muscle after a 5 minute session with the snow and bare hands. Needed first hand experience you see :)

How strong the roots go deep into earth , fighting the cold and melting the snow, so that their stem rise to bloom an eye soothing flower that look fresh and healthy - just to please the onlookers. The colors are plentiful and their attributes so precise and sharp.The fresh farmers market was my next stop. There was a full swing in the area and it didn't seem a chaos. Loved the song they sang when a big fish was said "sold". It had the authentic feel that I was in search of for the whole day.The fresh fruits smelled so pure and I wished I could be a bee for that moment of my life to extract the purest form of nectar.

What more could I have asked for? Every day , every thing around me seemed so special, tried my best not to miss anything that gave my heart and vision a pleasure.

Memories do remain fresh and I think they will forever.
- Ashwini Nagaraja

Experiment with JAVA Banana

This was not any usual Saturday. The peculiar feeling in the morning I woke up had something in store for sure. As I gulped the morning coffee, I was quite not getting the instinct of what this feeling actually was. I was gazing at the newspaper headlines and my mind started rewinding to a few episodes behind its current scene. After a while it came to a sudden halt at my office desk.

"It was a lazy Friday (a day before this feeling started creeping in), the long weekend of Thanksgiving in the other shore, keeping the day as dull as it could be. Not a task to complete, no emails to read or forward. Sense of boredom prevailed everywhere.

I am not the one who can idle away the time to waste gossips about the daily K-soaps or otherwise, so be it work or something productive, wanted to utilize all the minutes on hand into things that would keep my mind working before it rusts.

I sat at my desk thinking what next to splurge on, I blindly open the home page - Google the master for anything to start with. In hunt of some good articles I sat in front of the tube watching the grey/blue alphabets on the white monitor running down into many pages. While doing so a tiny image caught my attention right away. The Google was dressed with pie and cookies to mark the turkey day as otherwise known as the Thanksgiving Day. A click on the colorful pumpkin pie took me to a page which described the procedure to make it with ease. Few more clicks led me to a whole bunch of low calorie desserts for a prefect weekend. My eyes spotted a simple banana treat - Java Banana.

A lot of chef programs running on the television sets these days keep many foodies glued to their idiot boxes, when on air. Am one of the food lovers from both ends - maker to the eater. You get it right; I was already trying out the recepie mentally and preparing for it. The next thing I started doing without any hesitation - write down the quantities of all the ingredients that would go into making of the tasty and beautiful to look "Java banana". Wondered who named it so? And why? Was it something to do with the coffee beans or the Java beans? Who cares if it’s called "Java" or "Cobol" or "Scada" when you have a delicious dish in your mouth to cherish at the end of your meal, "........

As my mind limped to the present, I saw a few bananas lying in the fruit basket on the dining table. Not hard to guess my next move. I was already planning to start the process. Asked mom if all the ingredients were available at home or if there was a need to make a quick visit to fetch them from the nearby grocery. Not much to my amaze everything I needed was a hand length away.

Trying a recepie for the first time is indeed fun in its own variety. This case was nothing different. My sister joined the journey and we had to go the road three times to reach the final destination. We had peels off the sturdy banana, cut them into slices as prescribed. Made some fresh brewed coffee to add its aroma well blended with the vanilla extract. And there we go - the cooking begins.

First try ended up in the making of the famous Lacto king chocolates' prototype :) which in no way matched to something that was anticipated. This was the result of a wonderful idea of using powdered sugar that came handy instead of the crystal sugar.

We had to go into the restart mode. The measuring expert - Me, got 6 tablespoons of sugar straight into the hot pan that melted a tablespoon of cooking butter. As the liquid got to its flowing state, sliced banana jumped into the bubbling mix and syrup bound to it very well. No Stirring was our mantra to keep the banana in its sliced form and not making it mushy. Finally to top this all, the brewed coffee with vanilla extract went in, to gel the mix to its right proportion. None of us knew the exact look of the final recepie, so was quite impressed with what was on the table.

My sister had a weird idea of adding a twist to this recepie, we revisited the second method all over again and the twist over it this time was a little sour and a little citric. She squeezed in about 4 to 6 tablespoons of orange juice to the hot sauce once the coffee vanilla extract was poured in. It indeed ranked the dessert superior among the three trials.
The tanginess hit first and then the sweetened caramel banana touched your taste glands, making the recepie an ultimate Saturday special.

The main ingredient for our main recepie was ready to make its way into the serving bowl. I also ensured that a scoop of vanilla ice-cream rested in the refrigerator to make the dessert a little creamy, also to add its very own flavor.

Credibility to another powerful ingredient goes to sis - pinch of fried and powdered Khus khus sprinkled on top. My creativity made its way and the dream dessert - so called Java Banana was served, presentation not taking a back spot either. It was absolutely delicious and definitely worth the effort.

An issue that needs everyone’s attention.

Back in the year 1998, I was a 10th grade student and I had a routine following every morning. Get ready by 8 am, pop in some upma or an idli for breakfast, not to forget the calcium needed – a large glass of milk. Rush to school with those heavy backpacks which contained the whole year’s syllabus. Getting into the crowded city bus with the bags that weighed close to quarter ton - of course with some struggle. Ensure to keep the uniform still in its clean and pressed status. Making sure the polished shoes did not get dirty. Then the straight 7 hours of interesting and boring lectures. (You definitely have this mix wherever you study). At the end of the day, cross the hurdles again to get back home the same way as in the morning.

While heading back from school one fine evening it was late and I could not wait for a city bus. So I got into an auto to reach home in time. It was the first time I traveled in the auto alone. You can imagine my state of mind, a young girl taking an auto ride at 6 in the evening. I tried hard not to think of anything evil or bad but damn this human instinct, every breath I took was shaky and every tick of my watch was a hammering on my head.

Why should one be so scared to travel in the auto rickshaw? This is nothing new to any commuter in big cities of India. It has been a massive problem from over a decade now, but do we see real action in place? There are a few initiatives taken on this account but it really does not bother the rikshawalas who fall into the category of problem creators.

I would like to narrate a few instances which have inspired me to write this article.

I was with my sister in the heart of the city. We were totally tired walking up and down the roads with heavy traffic, so we decided to hire a rickshaw to commute a short distance that would not cost more than a minimum fare (Then the min fare was 7 rupees). We were glad that the driver agreed to take us to the asked destination, but the surprise came by when I saw the meter showing a good 35 rupees when we reached. My sister and me we engrossed in a conversation and did not pay attention to the meter jump. When questioned, the driver started shouting in an abusive language. After a 10 min heated argument, finally we had to give up as we did not have any proof of the distance covered. (It was barely a 2 km stretch that we traveled but ended up paying 35 Rupees). – Day time robbery.

Next experience with the rude driver: On a rainy Sunday afternoon it was difficult for me to get back home after a relaxing movie in one of the famous multiplex in the city. So I decided to take an auto back home. I fairly had an idea of the fare as I had traveled the same route a few days before. But when I asked the driver right in front of the Mall I was shocked to hear the rate he asked for the trip, a decent 200 rupees where it just costs a little over hundred. I gave a blank look at him and immediately his reaction was to start a lecture about the IT professionals who earn so much but think 10 times to pay the rickshaw fellows…. Blah blah blah… he continued. To my luck I carried my umbrella that day. I walked a distance of about a kilometer and hired another auto who charged me just what the meter display showed. – Fooling the knowns.
My uncle and aunt once came to our city to visit us during their vacation time. Also with them came their 4 year old daughter Trisha. Since it was their first visit they did not know the route and also did not know the distance between the city bus stand and our house. The driver had asked them that he would charge a double on the meter as it was the wee hours in the morning. My uncle had accepted it as it was under the policy.But the driver had a clue that this couple was visiting this place for the first time from the conversation between Trisha and aunty. He took advantage of this situation and you would not believe that the trip cost them nearly 300 rupees where the normal fare is not more than 45 rupees.( Even with double rate it should not cost over 90 rupees. I wonder whether he took them for a real ride in the early morning.) – Taking undue advantage of the innocent.
It’s not only me who has faced issues with such irritating auto drivers but a lot of my friends and relatives have much more instances to iterate.

When I stop an auto driver and ask a trip to “XYZ” location he either does not stop or he claims a ransom amount which is way above the normal fare. Most of the times I wait for about 20 min to get an auto to my destination, meantime not less than 10 rikshawalas would have declined to take me to where I need to go. Have you faced a similar problem? I am sure you would have at one time or the other.

There are a few exceptional drivers who do not belong to this group. They make you reach your destination in a comfortable way. But the tagline for auto drivers does remain branded with the corrupt ones alone.

Its better we start revolting against these corrupt drivers in a silent way. Stop using rickshaw if you have the energy and time to take the bus. It would be the best way to retaliate against them. This way you also contribute a little towards environment saving.

- I pledge to use auto rickshaw only when it is required.
Ashwini Nagaraja

Technology growth!

What’s new? A techno geek walked into XYZ shop and asked the attendant – Hello what’s new today? This is a common scene one can observe in most of the outlets growing in various parts of the cities also expanding the horizon slowly into the rural parts.

Technology is growing every day, new discoveries and inventions making a strong mark in every field of life. Today it’s so easy to talk to your dear ones who are miles away in a part of the different world by just dialing a few numbers. Ordering your favorite Pizza’s and getting it delivered to your home is just a few clicks on your computer screen. Life is getting to such a level where everything seems automated and the most admiring fact is that you can still be grounded at one station.

Today’s world has products ranging a wide spectrum that is cutting time and energy on most of your daily routine activities , be it your morning brushing using the battery operated brush or your bedroom mosquito repellent that is switched on at night. Life gets adapted quickly to each of these new products in the market which makes everything seem easy going. The question one needs to answer at this point is - are we becoming slaves to these technical products with days passing by?

From my point of view – Yes we are! The machines are gaining an advantage over human intelligence. With the advent of artificial intelligence, robotics and in the world of today where scientific advancement has reached its maximum level, anything is possible to happen. Anything means really anything!

There are developments in various fields of technology - advancement in medicine and hospital support, advancement in communication, advancement in agriculture, advancement in infrastructure and what not. It’s a never ending list. We can term it the “Technical Volcano”.

As a child I would wonder how those live pictures get captured into a frame and could be revisited whenever required later – yes I am talking about the photos and videos. But now if you see the advancement photography has reached to, I am surprised even more. A decade ago could you ever believe that a day would come when the camera could automatically capture a picture when it detects your smile? It is possible! Thanks to the technology having opened up its arena in the direction of “Digital” mode. It’s so easy and handy for everyone to operate the digital devices available in the market. I feel proud when my granny takes a perfect picture with an easy click, when my mom and dad are able to operate the high end gadgets.

The thought of cooking in India in the olden days reminds me of the kitchen filled with the spicy aroma, where women involved in the preparation of the delicious items using those different hand operated mixers and grinders (made of stones usually). This is not something that has completely vanished but still it’s not a scene in most of the cities anymore. Thanks to the invent of electricity and the present day power operated mixers, choppers, processors and microwave oven – cooking is so easy but not as delicious as olden days. Ask an old aunt of yours to taste something you’ve cooked with the same ingredients as they did in their old kitchen, you’ll get to know!

There were days not so far ago when you had to stand for long hours in the queue to withdraw cash from your bank account. Now with the ATM’s cropping up all over, withdrawing cash can’t get any easier.

A recent visit to the grocery store kept me amazed when I saw square watermelons and baby carrots. Agriculture is not in the loosing game either. Various techniques to improve the growth of the harvest have been considered to obtain quality vegetables/fruits. Tomorrow if there is an article on red mangoes and green oranges I don’t think one would be surprised.

Science and technology growth has helped in various other aspects of life. The geo satellites which transfers the data about changes happening on earth and the anticipation of any danger or calamity is a gift to mankind I would say.

I’ve tried to pull in this short article some of the great deals of life that has been made so easy using advanced technology. This is a highly debatable topic and there are a lot here confused at this point of time deciding whether to use any automated devices that make life easy or whether to go back and lead a primitive life. I would like to make a valid point at this junction of my writing to clear the thoughts of all those who are reading this through – Use machines and its advantages when necessary and when not please avoid them.

Finally another machine is helping me wind up this article! Ironical isn’t it? But I am grateful to the advantages it provides me with.
Happy to be a part of this world filled with technology!
Ashwini Nagaraja

Can I live it once more?

Gone are those lovely schooldays. Wonder if I can live it once more.

It wasn’t very long ago. Memories are fresh, lingering around my mind. There are a lot of things I will never forget in my life. It may sound a little funny as I go on; you are welcome to have a hearty laugh. There is no objection at all.

A cozy bed making you sleep as long as you want, but there comes the Hitler of your home (Mom) shouting and giving an order “It’s time baby .Wake up!”

I am damn sure; no one cares for this wake up call. There is an alarm ringing every 5 minutes. Hmmm right! Snoozed and snoozed and snoozed. Then there is this final call from your Mom, if you don’t wake up you know you will be late. Suddenly you get up and rush to get ready. Those neatly pressed uniforms, clean and polished shoes, neatly cut nails, oiled and combed hair. I remember those funny pony tails for girls and those joker shorts for boys. Sharp at 8 in the morning breakfast is ready on the table. The schoolbags are packed with books arranged as per the timetable. Finally all set to leave for a big day ahead.

Those cranky benches, wounded blackboards are part and parcel of everyone’s life. We run into the classroom, drop the bags at the designated desks, and move to the prayer hall for the start of the day in school. “Oh my God...... I begin my day….” - The prayer in chorus and the tune that gets on so well ends with a patriotic “Jai hind”. Automatically makes you bow a salute to mother nation. Isn’t it? With this monotonous morning event coming to an end we are still not finished, we have the newsreader of the day step up the stage to read a few shocking headlines from the “TOI- Times of India”. [A part of the newspaper in education (NIE) workshop].

Getting an awareness of what’s happening around the world, though not able to understand everything that was read out to the assembly (students group in the prayer hall is addressed as an assembly – a school term) we move back to the respective class rooms. There’s a monitor in the class making a note of all those involved in mischievous acts, making noise or playing any pranks. I would be on the top of this list.

It was a boring history class and the teacher walks in. She was tough lady with an attitude who never tolerated any indiscipline in the class. A classmate of mine played a silly old prank on her for fun (Threw a hand made paper rocket to the black board when she was pointing at the Chola Dynasty reigns) and guess what happened - he was standing outside the class for the whole of that lecture.

There are multiple such instances we can remember and cherish, Home work not completed - get a thrash, nails not cut - a scale on the knuckle. (It brings a chuckle now when I see my long, shaped and well groomed nails.) White shoes almost looked brown – no polish – run 5 rounds in the ground – a neat 2 kilometer exercise. (No wonder I am a good athlete and have great stamina, Thanks to my brown shoes.)

Lunch hours were another sit together event where the boxes were emptied in minutes and it was time for some gossip. Do you believe - the guys enjoyed this bit so much until they grew up? (Laughter for sure I know.)

The Physical training period was one leisure hour which turned all our stress into sweat. I owe so much to those sunny afternoon PT periods for my great complexion (Sarcasm indeed!)

Those annual day preparations every year - can never forget getting dressed like a film hero or heroine, dancing to the famous numbers of the year, singing in ones own Raaga, Taala and Shruti. Becoming a tree or a vegetable – ultimately making a fool of one ’s self – yet being so proud to have been appeared on stage . I don’t regret any of those moments as they are the stepping stones of whatever I am today.

At the end of a tiring day with over 6 hours of continuous listening its time to get back home. Evenings snacks and get to play outdoors obviously after you are done with homework. (I don’t see much of this now). Getting dark, its time to get back home. There were times when my mom came in search of me as I never returned from the neighboring playground. Now you get it right -- it was really difficult to get up early in the morning after such a long and tiring day. Still I enjoy the whole stuff of being a school kid. Can I live it once more? I would love to.

No matter how old you grow, keep your mind at age 10!
(Secret of being young at even 80)
Ashwini Nagaraja

Precious 20 days ….

You have crazy drivers here but none can beat one from India” – Stacy a tough lady in her mid forties made this comment as one speeding car passed us.

We were seated on a bench waiting for a bus on a mid summer afternoon in Seattle, US. I acknowledged “That’s true.” She picked up the conversation and went on about her experience in the early 90’s. She was in Chennai in 1994 for a span of 20 good days on a business trip. Peter, Rebecca and Frank accompanied her. This is how she describes her experience. As I landed in the Chennai airport I could feel the heat from everywhere. It was pricking me. I hoped not to turn into a boiling chicken by the time I check into the hotel booked for a group of four who flew down all the way from Kansas city to this well known city in India - Chennai, the then Madras.

The fun had just begun. People stared at us as if we were directly out from an animal park or probably we were the missing clowns from the famous Jumbo Circus running in the city. I could not concentrate much of this as my body temperature was rising with the humid climate. Rebecca, my fellow colleague was looking at the handborads to see if any name sounds familiar. But she was finding it difficult to read the names out there. I remember one of those names with great difficulty Vijayakrishnan Balachandran T .Oh my God! I wonder how difficult it should be to remember the names of its kind. Isn’t it easy to have Jim, Tim, and Pat around rather?

When we were almost lost, there was a sign of relief - finally a short dark guy with a huge mustache shaped in a funny way, dressed in a white coat ,white trousers and a white hat on his head , approached the group silently and said “Madam, (pause) Sir, I will take you alllllll to hotel. (Deliberately stressed the word “all” to get the accent right, the way Stacy put it) I am Kesavan”. Only thing that kept me still refreshed was that there would be an air conditioner in the hotel room. “I am dying”, I cried. Frank added “Is this where I am going to work for the next 20 days of my precious life” Chorus came in “NOooooooooo!” But there was no go.

Finally we got into the cab (Stacy said it looked like an old big pumpkin – probably she was referring to an ambassador car the only famous ones then for the cabs). The first ever experience on the Indian road. My goodness! Am glad that I’m still alive today. That took the death out of me. I still get a cold shiver down my spine when I think of that incident. We just hoped to reach safely without hurting any fellow passenger on the way.

And here we stood at the entrance of the Challenger Inn hotel in some Kum…kkaam. (She could not recollect that place and I doubt the Hotel exists).

Rebecca and I walked towards the reception and there was a young lady standing next to an antique wall clock as if eagerly waiting to greet us a welcome. She smiled for everything possible and I too faked a smile back. Soon we were done with the paper formalities and checked in, yes I finally found the air conditioner; much to my relief .It is the best possible invention to mankind.

Jet Lag! And you know I did not get proper sleep. I was missing my home sweet home already. Next day I was up early and was heading towards the block where I was supposed to work. It took clean 10 minutes when I finally was able to make it to the other side of the street. As I approached the building entrance I was welcomed by the group with which I was working for the past 2 years from Kansas. Names were familiar but faces were new. It was a memory game for the initial two days. I was calling Nalini, but found wrong face turning to me. She was Nandini, I got mixed up. That’s how it is right? You know it better. The team enjoyed my company as much as I did. The mornings and afternoons I spent my time in office and almost everyday I visited Indian restaurants. I like my dinner light. So idly was my favorite supper menu. They planned for an outing a day before our departure. It was a visit to the seashore – the famous beach down then, not sure if it is still so. I was completely excited. I asked Rebecca, Peter and Frank to join us and they were glad to. We had to take cab as it was a cool 30 minute drive from our office. This time I enjoyed the drive. It was Kesavan again trying to be more skilful in his driving . It was much better than the expensive rides of Universal studios or any theme parks, more exciting and thrilling than the X scream or the Insanity ride on the Stratosphere tower in Vegas. I could feel the cool breeze and there we were at the beach. Kesavan dropped us at the entrance to a quarter mile pathway that was supposed to be walked to reach the shore. There were stalls on both sides of the pathway and we stopped at most of them. We liked the ear rings that were so delicately crafted and took away my attention. The ancient Japanese fan with wonderful paintings on it was attractive. Of course Peter and Frank still recalls the taste of the crab masala they had in one of the food outlets there as Rebecca and I were busy shopping. Nalini forced all the four of us to have an amusing evening snack that’s famous in India - a plate of Bhel puri. I liked it as it was customized to be bland enough for my taste glands to accept. I wonder how people eat so much of spice at a go. (There was a chuckle).

It was indeed a beautiful calm evening when the Sun kissed the darling Earth to bid a good bye for that wonderful day and whispered to her that he is going to come back soon with another morning of new life and excitement. Moonlight and the low music of drums from a tribal band on the shore made it perfect for the night. We saw them dance to the tunes and of all the things in the evening I loved the stall which carved our names on the sea shells. I remember the whole episode everytime I see my name “Stacy” on that beautiful Shell safely preserved on my drawing shelf.

As she said this we heard a screeching sound of a bus. It came to a sudden halt in front of us. Both Stacy and I smiled and walked our ways. I admired her narration and that is why I pen it down here for you all to enjoy!

Life is exciting; you need to adventure a little!
- Ashwini Nagaraja

A typical IT experience!

A newbie fresh out of College is happy to be placed in a reputed firm. Family and relatives are happy on this achievement. This fresh face enters the heaven (then) which will be paying out the defined salary on the last day of the month. Yes this is definitely going to be lot more than the pocket money he/she got in college. The smile on an employee face is self-explanatory for his/her status in the company - Fresher.

Introduction, orientation, meeting colleagues, paperwork and the trainings are marked on his/her calendar for the initial few days to make him/her familiar with the work culture. He/she finds friends who have similar interests. Everything seems to be colorful and joyful. The lunch breaks are more than an hour. It isn’t easy to get rid of the bunking habitJ. Enjoyment is the only thing on their minds and that is what they will be surrounded with. How long?? Soon the Fresher tag goes away. He/she becomes a part of the industry.

Though one has fun filled days in the initial months of joining any company, slowly this phase (known as the honeymoon period in IT terms) fades and the routine sets in. True colors appear. Monotonous days, nothing seems to be happening around you except that you see an elderly man in his forties or fifties, THE MANAGER gazing at his monitor, the inbox is open which has a thousand unread emails stacked up. I wonder if they are able to read them all in a day. Hats off to them if they do. On the other end of the room there is a software developer who is scrolling down his code multiple times to locate the root cause of the issue assigned to him. There is another guy screaming at his pager” Oh no not again. I finished with one production issue just now. This is disgusting, I need to have my breakfast.” Also in the same room there is a testing team struggling to test a requirement but the database is down. A HIGH severity defect is raised. This is the usual morning scene in any software company.

In the cubicle next to you sits a girl who spends most of the time talking to someone on her cell phone so softly as if she is whispering into the mouthpiece. There are many colleagues and friends of mine who have asked this one question several times for which I have no answer till today. “What do girls talk about for hours and for god’s sake why on the phone?” I say bluntly “Do they really need a topic. No not necessarily “. But what do we girls talk. I am not that fond of talking for long hours. So am out of this branded tag. There are exceptions on all statements people make you see. Of course!

By the time everybody settles in for the day it’s almost noon and that’s the perfect time for a team discussion. This is just another chance for the team members to get away from work. A face always filled with ??Questions?? walks into the chamber. Mostly the leads are a he not a she, so I shall start addressing the team lead as a he. No offence to fellow colleagues! He then starts with percentages, dates of completion, RTM, Designs, template, artifacts … the list never ends. From day one this is Bullshit to me as No one follows process the way it has to be. I understand the scenario completely. It is not as easy as it appears to be! Final tag line the lead makes before leaving the chamber “The Audit is scheduled for …..” Am sure no one from the team ever hears the complete sentence he makes.

When you walk by the coffee pantry (I call it the Gossip center) you get to see a group hanging around to discuss many things from politics to fashion, X generation to robotics, Mainframe to Dot net and what not. A lot of talking happens over a coffee. I steal the tag line here from the favorite coffee shop in town - CCD (Café coffee Day).

Its time for lunch and the stomach bell starts ringing when clock strikes one. The cafeteria is the next hang on place. The non-localites have no option but to eat the food that tastes the same everyday. Even with all the hating they stuff in the same thing unless they find a better place which serves good food.

A lot of these techies spend their Quality time post lunch to resolve the issues on hand, develop new stuff, and enhance the existing functionality, creating document for recording the details etc. The seniors with expertise come in for rescue when a situation goes out of control or when there is an issue that needs immediate attention. That is how one learns the criticality of the problem and modules they are working on.

It is almost the end of the day, when creeps in silently the need for status updates with the counterparts who sits thousands of miles away. I forgot to completely mention about one important gift in any company – Instant messaging. Yes the means of communication between anyone in the company is possible through this technology. No wonder how all of them in the floor appear to be busy the entire day. However in its real usage, a message comes in at the time you are about to pack your bags and leave. It typically starts with:
Abcdef: Hello Good morning.How many ever times we correct them that “it’s good evening here “there are a few of those who don’t get this right even the next day.
Reply goes back:
Xyz: hiAnd the conversation continues … If needed there will be a meeting arranged to clarify the doubts and to get things flow in the right direction, the way it has to be.
Abcdef: Thank you for sparing a few extra minutes on this. Good night.
Xyz: thanks
Conversation ends:

The tired employee finally leaves his desk and moves towards the door only hoping for a better tomorrow. As I have said there is always an exception to this scenario and I would really be happy if there is a better one.
- An experience really counts!Ashwini Nagaraja



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