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Wednesday, December 17, 2008

New Year - 2009

Was just thinking about New Year, I have created one list.. which lists all the action items on me or say things which I want to do in coming year, I have to accomplish, I have to do, my liabilities, my backlog, things where I lag behind ( as compared to others(you can’t stop comparing in your mind.. that is human nature). This list includes my wish list as well. What I wish and I wish to get and achieve. My all hidden desires which I want to…

I am trying to create one list which will include what went wrong this year, what I did, what good happened, when my heart felt great, when my heart felt bad, when I my mind felt bad. New experiences, new people, new environment and lot many more.

Do you think you can also such list, if you can give it a try, and discuss this on New Year with your friends or family… and I believe doing this you can feel better and de-stressed?

You can talk of solutions as well.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Universal Childrens Day Celebration

Universal Children’s Day

December 07th 2008

I know the day is not the Universal Children’s Day, but we celebrated the event on this day. Here we refer to the DVCI Community relations. We support or we try to do our bit in a sense to give back to community a kind of act which affects many lives.

It was a sunny Day and we were hoping a lot of action while the day proceeds. Amdocs supports four organization viz. Annapurna, Rachna, Saraswati, Salvation Army. These organizations provide support and shelter to the orphan children.

We planned to organize and celebrate the Universal Children’s Day with kids from these organizations. Planning started quite a long back as we were planning to organize such an event which will be kind of unique and each and every kid enjoy it. We had meeting DVCI Community Relations meeting, ideas started to pore, we were sure at one point that we want to organize a full day long event.

After lot of ideation sessions, and reckoning we all agreed upon an event which will look like a fair infect we ended upon a decision that we will organize a fair in which lot many stalls, games, amusement and entertainment will be there.

The Event started with the National anthem and lamp lighting from our DVCI Community Relations Head Jitendra Dutt Sharma. After that kids were separated into two groups and they were free to play games and visit stalls.

It was observed that kids were very active in outdoor games and the games in which lot of physical activity was involved. Stalls were there and kids were attracted to one stall in which you have to aim a pyramid of glasses with a tennis ball in course to take down the pyramid in three chances.

Some kids were good at carom challenge stall and it was seen children’s were well versed with general knowledge and mathematics, as they did fairly well on quizzes.

Children’s from some organization came up with the science projects, as we have informed them in advance that there will be a science project competition and one with the best project will win the competition. Kids took that challenge and came up with really good projects. One was on wind mills and one was on power generation using road speed breakers.

Kids enjoyed the food as well and post lunch we thought kids will feel bit tired but we were taken aback as kids were full of energy and ready to play other games such as one minute games and the enjoyed jumping castle and other stalls.

As the day proceeds to an end, kids felt kind of tired and at the right moment came in the popcorn and Frisbee and some other snacks along with tattoo maker (oh he was there since morning, but from morning he was not that busy). Tattoo maker faced some hard time as when was making different tattoos, so later he decided to make same tattoo on all kids 

In evening we had a few dance performances from kids and the prize distribution. Later when kids were leaving we gave them a gift with our best wishes.

All went well in the end and kids return to their places safely.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

BladeRunnerZZZ Trip Done : Night Trip to Sinhgad on 28th

Sunrise at Sinhgad, well this term seems to be invalid as this is my second night trip to Sinhgad and have never been lucky to witness it.

All we got to see was

Night Trip ---- the term itself excites me, and when we planned d trip to Sinhgad it was even more exciting as I had been there once .

And so with the itinerary send and the preparations done, we met at the 24 Hrs Open CCD at Chandni chowk, though the departing time as mentioned in the itinerary was 1: 15am , we started at around 2:30am ; Coffees and Conversations binding us.

So off we go on the pathetic roads to Sinhgad, took the wrong road once and when we took the right road we realized that the entry to Sinhgad in the night has been stopped since 15th Aug . Entry opens from 7 in the morning and they have also started taking charges for allowing bikes and cars (20/bike, 50/car).

This was our first halt, we spread the mattress bought by Nitin and sat down there to enjoy the stars with groundnuts :P. We also took some frightening snaps of ourselves with the torch light on our face

Finally we patoed the security guard , paid him some Ghoos :P and started for the hills ..

The roads as mentioned were pathetic and we had to be extra careful so as not to slip.

As we neared the top, suddenly it started raining and there was haze all over to the extent that we were not able to see the bike in front of us, this reminded me of Malshej (What a lovely trip it was). So slowly and carefully we reached the base camp of Sinhgad. On reaching there due to the rain and mist we were not able to realize which direction to go in till the tapri waala bhaiya lead us to the parking .

D tapri waale baba though looks too young for the tag BABA but was very friendly and also strict at times (see how he is making people wait for the sandwiches), he helped making sandwiches and also shared some with us . Thx to Gita and Nitin for the sandwiches .

D 2 stooges @ Sinhgad

And Finally The Vampire and the beauties

Lots of snaps and exploration later we started back for the base camp where the tea and kande bhaji was waiting for us.

Stomach full and happy abt the trip we started back for the Khadagwasla dam where we spotted these beasts all raring to go for another trip ..

The 10 Best Books of 2008

Jason Fulford and Tamara Shopsin

The 10 Best Books of 2008
As Described on NYTimes.

Thirteen Stories
By Steven Millhauser.
Alfred A. Knopf, $24.

In his first collection in five years, a master fabulist in the tradition of Poe and Nabo­kov invents spookily plausible parallel universes in which the deepest human emotions and yearnings are transformed into their monstrous opposites. Millhauser is especially attuned to the purgatory of adolescence. In the title story, teenagers attend sinister “laugh parties”; in another, a mysteriously afflicted girl hides in the darkness of her attic bedroom. Time and again these parables revive the possibility that “under this world there is another, waiting to be born.” (Excerpt)

By Toni Morrison.
Alfred A. Knopf, $23.95.

The fate of a slave child abandoned by her mother animates this allusive novel — part Faulknerian puzzle, part dream-song — about orphaned women who form an eccentric household in late-17th-century America. Morrison’s farmers and rum traders, masters and slaves, indentured whites and captive Native Americans live side by side, often in violent conflict, in a lawless, ripe American Eden that is both a haven and a prison — an emerging nation whose identity is rooted equally in Old World superstitions and New World appetites and fears. (First Chapter)


By Joseph O’Neill.
Pantheon Books, $23.95.

O’Neill’s seductive ode to New York — a city that even in bad times stubbornly clings to its belief “in its salvific worth” — is narrated by a Dutch financier whose privileged Manhattan existence is upended by the events of Sept. 11, 2001. When his wife departs for London with their small son, he stays behind, finding camaraderie in the unexpectedly buoyant world of immigrant cricket players, most of them West Indians and South Asians, including an entrepreneur with Gatsby-size aspirations. (First Chapter)

By Roberto Bolaño. Translated by Natasha Wimmer.
Farrar, Straus & Giroux, cloth and paper, $30.

Bolaño, the prodigious Chilean writer who died at age 50 in 2003, has posthumously risen, like a figure in one of his own splendid creations, to the summit of modern fiction. This latest work, first published in Spanish in 2004, is a mega- and meta-detective novel with strong hints of apocalyptic foreboding. It contains five separate narratives, each pursuing a different story with a cast of beguiling characters — European literary scholars, an African-American journalist and more — whose lives converge in a Mexican border town where hundreds of young women have been brutally murdered. (Excerpt)


By Jhumpa Lahiri.
Alfred A. Knopf, $25.

There is much cultural news in these precisely observed studies of modern-day Bengali-Americans — many of them Ivy-league strivers ensconced in prosperous suburbs who can’t quite overcome the tug of traditions nurtured in Calcutta..With quiet artistry and tender sympathy, Lahiri creates an impressive range of vivid characters — young and old, male and female, self-knowing and self-deluding — in engrossing stories that replenish the classic themes of domestic realism: loneliness, estrangement and family discord. (Excerpt)


The Inside Story of How the War on Terror Turned Into a War on American Ideals
By Jane Mayer.
Doubleday, $27.50.

Mayer’s meticulously reported descent into the depths of President Bush’s anti­terrorist policies peels away the layers of legal and bureaucratic maneuvering that gave us Guantánamo Bay, “extraordinary rendition,” “enhanced” interrogation methods, “black sites,” warrantless domestic surveillance and all the rest. But Mayer also describes the efforts ofunsung heroes, tucked deep inside the administration, who risked their careers in the struggle to balance the rule of law against the need to meet a threat unlike any other in the nation’s history.

By Dexter Filkins.
Alfred A. Knopf, $25.

The New York Times correspondent, whose tours of duty have taken him from Afghanistan in 1998 to Iraq during the American intervention, captures a decade of armed struggle in harrowingly detailed vignettes. Whether interviewing jihadists in Kabul, accompanying marines on risky patrols in Falluja or visiting grieving families in Baghdad, Filkins makes us see, with almost hallucinogenic immediacy, the true human meaning and consequences of the “war on terror.” (First Chapter)

By Julian Barnes.
Alfred A. Knopf, $24.95.

This absorbing memoir traces Barnes’s progress from atheism (at age 20) to agnosticism (at 60) and examines the problem of religion not by rehashing the familiar quarrel between science and mystery, but rather by weighing the timeless questions of mortality and aging. Barnes distills his own experiences — and those of his parents and brother — in polished and wise sentences that recall the writing of Montaigne, Flaubert and the other French masters he includes in his discussion. (First Chapter)


Death and the American Civil War
By Drew Gilpin Faust.
Alfred A. Knopf, $27.95.

In this powerful book, Faust, the president of Harvard, explores the legacy, or legacies, of the “harvest of death” sown and reaped by the Civil War. In the space of four years, 620,000 Americans died in uniform, roughly the same number as those lost in all the nation’s combined wars from the Revolution through Korea. This doesn’t include the thousands of civilians killed in epidemics, guerrilla raids and draft riots. The collective trauma created “a newly centralized nation-state,” Faust writes, but it also established “sacrifice and its memorialization as the ground on which North and South would ultimately reunite.” (First Chapter)

The Authorized Biography of V. S. Naipaul
By Patrick French.
Alfred A. Knopf, $30.

The most surprising word in this biography is “authorized.” Naipaul, the greatest of all postcolonial authors, cooperated fully with French, opening up a huge cache of private letters and diaries and supplementing the revelations they disclosed with remarkably candid interviews. It was a brave, and wise, decision. French, a first-rate biographer, has a novelist’s command of story and character, and he patiently connects his subject’s brilliant oeuvre with the disturbing facts of an unruly life. (First Chapter)