Team Lunch @ Dhaba & Pizza Dinner

Today there was supposed to be a big meeting involving many levels of middle & upper management. I was preparing for it from last evening because although I wasn’t going to be participating much, my team would be and I felt that it was important. I had already gone through the same points of the meeting yesterday.

However it didn’t happen and so I tried to concentrate on other aspects of my work and got my team involved in a couple of activities as well. One of my trainers was out sick (she had a temperature of a 101 degrees) and another was out of office. A third member was caught up with something else and had an early lunch, so the remaining 5 asked me if we could go out for lunch and each pay our way. I though, why not? It might take my mind off things for a while.

I’m glad we did, because the team likes to have a little fun. This wasn’t by any means a huge event of team bonding or even a grand lunch – it was just a quick drive to a Punjabi dhaba for 6 of us and eating roti and some chicken. It was good, althought quite hot and dusty – moving trucks would rake up a ton of dust quite neat the open dhaba.

After that we went back to the office and continued with our work. I managed to complete the pending work by 7:30 and left the office to go get some coffee. On the way back home, I thought about getting some pizza for dinner. I called up the Dominos’ helpline number and ordered a Golden chicken pizza with baby corn (pictured below on the right), which I have had once almost 2 years back and that I found to be very delicious. I enjoyed the dinner in front of the tv, watching an episode of American Idol in it’s entierity for the first time this season!


For reasons that I do not want to share at this moment, my brain has been in all kinds of  mental turmoil for the past two days. A 100 different thoughts going through my mind at the same time and unable to finish even one of them is not good. And I’m the kind of person who cannot hide the stress & tension from his face – it’s there in plain sight for all to see.

Yesterday’s review did not go well; even if it was over the phone there were still all training teams from 7 different circles and my center did not shine well in either training or quality. Some issues are beyond my control but it still is bad. On top of that, I made a terrific blunder – I said something that was so stupid, I was lucky that two people who spoke about it right after managed to confuse the clients so much that they moved on to the next topic at hand.

I didn’t enjoy it at all and I was so upset for most of the next 24 hours after that. I made the blunder because my mind is not totally alert and I should not be expected to make such a thing. I need a break and as such I have applied for one – I will be taking 4 days away from work the next week. From Friday till the next Monday. By then another big decision will also be coming my way and I need my head to be sorted out by then.


This always happens to me while I wait for a bus at HMT junction to take me back home from work. Always at night (post 7:30 pm) and almost always when I am alone.

I would be walking to the bus stop right smack in the middle of HMT junction from the office, deep in my thoughts and hoping to reach home without having to wait too long for a bus. At this time of the evening, buses play within a 5-7 minute difference. So I stand there and I would be standing all alone or there might be one or two more persons also waiting for a bus at the time. As the minutes drag and you look around, just before the next bus comes, you will notice a lot more people standing near you and even more walking towards the bus stop!

WTF?! Like cockroaches coming out of the woodwork, the bus stop is now filled with many more people. So when the bus comes, I chose not to alight it as I don’t want it to be crowded. I then have to wait for the next bus, as I did this evening. This always happens!

I haven’t noticed this is other bus stops, major or minor, so it could be something that is unique to HMT Junction! Or is it a conspiracy?


Episode 8 is my least  favourite of the 10 that the makers of Stargate : Universe have aired so far. The reason – it features that demon of all sci-fi franchises; alternate realities!

I hate the multiple alternate realities concept as a plot in any sci-fi series. I can barely stand time travel as a plot even though it has given us some funny & memorable episodes across shows. But alternate realities is a multi-headed monster child that doesn’t hold much appeal for me. And Time hasn’t changed my mind at all. Also it looks heavily influenced by the Alien movie franchise!

An away team from the Destiny explore a jungle planet and find a kino lying near the stargate there. When they play the video they are horrified to see that they are watching themselves come to the same planet in a different timeline. They went to the planet to find any suitable fruits and food nearby and see if it is safe to eat, or even edible, and then take them back to Destiny. An illness plagues the travelers and they are forced to quarantine themselves on the planet.

The kino records the team falling sick and waiting as the time passes and it gets dark. Then a heavy rain fall on the jungle while more of the away team falls sick. And then the alien creature starts to attack: first Brody and then Chloe are killed as the rest shoot at the creatures. This is when we are made aware that these scenes are being watched on the Kino viewing room. Apparently solar flares interrupted with the stargate and caused the the wormhole disruption, which redirected the wormhole back in time to the same location. The footage shows what would happen if normal conditions applied. Now that they found the Kino when they arrived, they changed the timeline.

We then see people dying on the planet, people dying in an alternate version on the ship due to an illness caused by something in the planet. There is a tender moment when Eli sits near a dying Chloe. TJ discovers that the venom from the alien creature cures the illness that the people caught on the planet Hoth (from two episodes earlier). In order to fight the virus, they need to catch one of the creatures; alive. A team consisting of Young, Greer, Scott and Spencer go through the stargate to the planet to capture one but they are all soon killed with the exception of Scott.

Scott dials the Stargate, and waits for the event horizon to flutter. During that time, he takes out a Kino and records a message, summarizing everything that is going to happen to the Destiny in our reality.He explains that they got a virus from Hoth, and that the deadly creatures are their best chance for the cure. He also explains they live in mounds, so they can find a live specimen during the day without getting attacked. After he sees the Stargate is malfunctioning, he prepares to send it though so that the team from our reality will find it and heed his warning. Before ending the transmission, he begs them to believe him, and urges them to act fast or everyone will die.

The episode ends here.

It’s The Cruelest Summer

The state of Kerala has been transformed into one big hot oven

  • Palakkad (Palghat) has hit the highest – 41.5 degrees Celsius  yesterday. 6 people were affected by sunstroke in the city.
  • Punalur (in Kollam district) was the next highest at 39 degrees
  • In most of the remaining districts, it varied between 33 and 35 degree celsius.
  • The IMO predicts that the days ahead will be no different.
  • The maximum temperature in the state has risen by .2 degrees while the minimum has risen by .9 degrees.
  • As of now, summer diseases like chicken pox have not been reported but…look out!
  • Power consumption in the state has risen by leaps & bounds. I myself use the ceiling fan and a pedestal fan.

Now I know what a melting ice cream cone feels like!

Great Dane’s Hattrick Vitalizes Arsenal

That’s the way we gotta do it boys. Arsenal came back from losing the first leg of their round of 16 of the Champions League against Porto to pummel their opponents 5-0 at the Emirates Stadium. Danish striker Nicklas Bendtner – heavily criticised after a succession of misses in Saturday’s win against Burnley – scored twice in the first half & once in the second to wipe out the 2-1 lead Porto were protecting from the first game in Portugal.

Andrey Arshavin was instrumental in both first half goals as Bendtner added the final flourishes to Arsenal’s flowing attacking moves that enabled them to take control almost instantly. Samir Nasri, taking on Cesc Fabregas’ midfield mantle in the absence of Arsenal’s inspirational captain through injury, embarked on a weaving, angled solo run that took him past a succession of Porto defenders to score.

Substitute Emmanuel Eboue quickly added the fourth as Arsenal launched a sweeping counter-attack from a Porto corner, Arshavin again making life easy for his team-mate to go around Porto goalie Helton and score.

Sweating Bullets In Cochin City

How hot & sweaty & sticky is it in Cochin city for the last two evenings? I can’t get much energy going. I’m so tired right now that I am ready to drop.

Last evening, despite drinking a cold long glass of 7up and then some more water, I got de-hydrated. I fell asleep with the lights on at around 12 pm and woke up 2 hours later with the mightiest leg muscle crap that I have ever had to suffer. It went on for about a good 20 minutes while I tried to walk it off.

I looked and saw that my bed sheets were soaked in sweat and my pillow covers too suffered the same fate. I quickly changed them as I didn’t feel like lying back on them. Tonight it’s around the same and I can’t keep my eyes open much longer (it’s just 10:30 pm). Gonna try to get some sleep.

RIP Corey Haim

Canadian child actor icon Corey Haim has died at the age of 38 of an apparent accidental drug overdose, according to the Los Angeles Police Department. Police told Canwest News Service they received a call just before 4 a.m. that Haim had been transported from a residence in North Hollywood to Providence St. Joseph’s Medical Center in Burbank, Calif., where the actor was pronounced dead, LAPD Sgt. Michael Cammert said Wednesday.

Known for a 1980s Hollywood career as a teen idol, he was born in Toronto to Jewish parents. He starred or co-starred in a number of films such as Lucas, Murphy’s Romance, The Lost Boys, License to Drive, Silver Bullet and Dream a Little Dream. Most notably, he collaborated numerous times with Corey Feldman, the pair being dubbed “The Two Coreys”. Haim and Feldman starred in a TV ‘reality’ show titled The Two Coreys, which aired on the A&E Network from 2007 to 2008.

Never able to capture the stardom he had as a child, Haim struggled for years with substance abuse issues. However, his role in the movie Lucas is one of the best that I have ever seen by a teenage actor and I always get tears in my eyes when I think or tell others of the final scene. Corey, you were a big part of my 1980s and my childhood & teenage years. We will miss you.

Corey Ian Haim (December 23, 1971 – March 10, 2010)

Raise A Toast

A dimwitted priest goes to New York for attending religious delegations & seminars. Along the way he also gets himself invited to many political & diplomatic functions & dinners. A few days before he leaves back to his hometown, he is invited to attend the retirement party of a highly prominent US Senator.

At the party there are many toasts in the name of the Senators. However, the best is said by the Senator himself – as he raises his glass of wine, he toasts “To the best moments of my life, spent in the arms of another man’s wife…… mother”! with a smile. The priest doesn’t understand the roars of laughter at the Senator’s wit, until a sympathetic soul explains it to him.

Within a week of the priest returns back home, he is invited to attend a fund raiser where he begs to give a toast. After many turns, finally the host gives him the mic, whereupon the priest, with a smug smile on his face, begins : “To the best moments of my life, spent in the arms of another man’s wife!”

At this there are gasps and groans and people whispering all around the hall. Finally the host pulls the priest close and says “You have better explain yourself, padre”. The poor priest says “You’ll have to forgive me. I forgot the name of the bloody woman!”

Darvaz : The Door To Hell

This big hole is called by the locals as the ‘Door to hell’. It is situated near the small town of Darvaz, Uzbekistan. The story of this place lasts already for 35 years. Once the geologists were drilling for gas. Then suddenly during the drilling they have found an underground cavern, it was so big that all the drilling site with all the equipment and camps got deep deep under the ground.

None dared to go down there because the cavern was filled with gas. So they ignited it so that no poisonous gas could come out of the hole, and since then, it’s burning, already for 35 years without any pause. Nobody knows how many tons of excellent gas has been burned for all those years but it just seems to be infinite there.

Click here for more pictures and a video.

Kathryn Bigelow : Female Win-aglow

Director Kathryn Bigelow’s modest war film The Hurt Locker was the bigger winner on Oscar night, having won six Oscars to the three won by Avatar. The Hurt Locker also made history by becoming the film with the most modest box office in the race to beat the film with the all-time box-office record.

In another unique twist, Bigelow became the first woman in Oscar’s 82 years to win as best director. The movie as won best original screenplay for Mark Boal — and took the craft categories of film editing, sound editing and sound mixing.

Jeff Bridges was an enormously popular choice as best actor for Crazy Heart and he went ga-ga in accepting the Oscar, while the overflow audience in the Kodak Theatre applauded wildly. Bridges, the offspring of actors, thanked his parents for inspiration. Sandra Bullock was another popular choice, in her case as best actress for The Blind Side. Mo’Nique took the trophy as best supporting actress for her role in Precious, while Christoph Waltz’s role in Inglourious Basterds won best supporting actor.

And one bright spot; Star Trek won for best make up.

System Spring Cleaning & Sorting

The sudden release of free hard drive space had also got me to do a kind of ‘spring leaning’ for my computer. The absence of enough free space had prevented me from sorting of the assorted files that I have saved on my drive (for the past 3.5 years) and sometimes I can’t find files that I am looking for.

I’ve also deleted quite a few files (mostly videos), that I really didn’t want to delete, in the interest of saving space and downloading more files (again mostly  videos). It was a case of which ones were more important to me to keep. Remember, I only have an 80 GB capacity HDD and, before getting the 320 GB external, a 120 GB portable hard drive. With tv series downloads being at 350 an episode (in the case of Stargate: Atlantis, Star Trek Enterprise & Star Trek : TOS) space was at a premium.

So the last couple of days have seen me spending quite a lot of time sorting out my files and storing them into different folders on all 3 drives. I now need to clean out the internal drive and defrag it. I was also thinking of backing up all the files that I need into the 320 GB and formatting my hard disk.

Arsenal 3 Burnley 1

Arsenal defeated Burnely 3-1 last night to level on points with second-placed Chelsea. Cesc Fabregas opened the scoring when he slotted in from close range but soon afterwards he was forced off injured. Burnley equalised when David Nugent latched on to Leon Cort’s header and looped the ball over Manuel Almunia.

Theo Walcott curled in a sublime shot to ease the embarrassment of Nicklas Bendtner’s awful finishing before Andrey Arshavin rifled in a third. The result takes Arsenal to within two points of leaders Manchester United, who won at Wolves 1-0 later on Saturday. The Gunners are level on points with Chelsea but have an inferior goal difference and have played one game more than both their title rivals.

The Night Before A Wedding

Today was the night before the wedding of Firdous, one of my team members. Since most of the team were busy on Sunday, the actual day of the wedding, we decided to go to his house this evening and give him a gift that we had bought for him for the occasion. Attending this event is akin to attending the wedding and since it is in the evening, a lot of people prefer this.

I arranged for a cab from the office to take us to the groom’s house which is about 5 kms away from the office. Manoj, the MIS spoc from my team, also brought his car along, so Wasim, Ajeeba, Roopa and myself went in the company cab to Firdous house. Following behind us were Anusha, Rajeesh and a girl from Admin in Manoj’s car. A couple of guys from the Quality team and the remaining guys from Admin also joined us at different times. I think it meant a whole lot to Firdous that many of us could come to the function.


We found the place with some difficulty; it’s a little rural like area with very few buses and very few pockets of commercial activity. In fact, I had to call Firdous to guide us to his house. Once there, we were introduced to his mother, sister, brother-in-law, cousins and grandmother. They asked us to sit in the living room and brought us some soft drink. We talked for a while and took a couple of pictures.

Pretty soon they asked us to have dinner, which is mass home prepared chicken biriyani. They had a couple of temporary tents set up nearby and tables & chairs arranged in them. We all sat together and then people started serving these huge quantities of biriyani rice and chicken pieces that was piping hot. A little salad was also served on the side. Man, was it delicious and we all tucked in to the hot food. Unfortunately, Roopa, one of my trainers, felt a little sick due to the heat and the hot food and the fact that she rarely eats properly.


Post that we had to leave quickly so we said our goodbyes to Firdous and made our way back to the cars. Roopa, Ajeeba and I went in the company cab and I ensured that the two ladies were dropped off home before I got dropped just a little after 9:45 pm.