So Long Friend

Yesterday’s 14 hour work day & 4 training sessions in a row, albeit short as it was, took it’s tool on Neil & me. I reached home and slept for a solid eight hours, only waking up at 10:30 am. Too tired to do anything other than listen to music and sip coffee, I only got about 90 minutes of relaxation at home before I had to drag myself to the bathroom and get ready to go the office.

Shaved & showered, I went to the office, almost falling asleep on the way there. I had a quality session at 2 pm, which lasted for nearly 2 hours, with a bunch of my colleagues and just had a light snack for lunch. Then it was another crisis management session that I took for more employees and it went well. I had them, most of whom don’t know me, laughing at my jokes and that lightened the mood. Then it was time for finishing some reports and sending mail before we had a small farewell presentation for my colleague & friend Vinitha. It was her last day today at the office and although she is not leaving the company it won’t be the same. She is getting married on September 10th and will be moving to Bangalore and will join our company’s huge offices there.

I met Vinitha on January 18th; I remember we sat next to each other during the first day of process training conducted by our company’s client. During the training and the first month after it we became friends but weren’t that close. Then later, in April, when she moved from Operations to the Training team, we became closer and I saw the softer side of her. As a professional, she is meticulous, very, very damn organized and gets things done. She is also very talented and has highly skilled presentation skills. As a person she is warm and friendly and is so loving, although that side of her took a while to come out. We confided in each other and talked at lengths during our days together at the office.

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Another thing that I so liked about her is the way she is with people like Ajeeba & Neil (who are in our team) and also with some of the agents in the call center. She is like a big sister to them (she is almost 29) and that is a fun side to see. I am gonna miss her terribly and she is very, very difficult to replace but I am glad to have known her and become friends with her. We plan on going to her wedding in 10 days time and after that, who knows when our paths will cross again!

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Song for the day – “Cherry Popsicle” – JANN ARDEN

Crisis Management Theories

So the training workshop that I had mentioned earlier has just concluded today evening at 7 pm. I had reached the office at 10:45 am and a couple of us decided to stay back till 1 am in order to take as many employees as we could through the Crisis Management sessions. This takes just 20 minutes and we try to cover multiple batches of, ideally 20 employees each. However this depends a lot on the flow of calls that we received at the call center. I got 17 people in my first batch and then I did two batches of 6 each and then the remaining 3 people.

So instead of going home at 8 pm, we went to have dinner and then came back to prepare of the sessions. Arranging notepads, paper, pen & the room takes me about 15 minutes to do so, unless there is a major issue. Getting the keys for the training room, making sure that the chairs are arranged properly and that the projector is functioning. I hate having to make people wait for 20 mins after their shift is over in order for us to deliver the session to them and with the time it takes for them to log off their systems, pick up their belongings from their lockers and file in the training room, it goes up to 30 mins. Then they search for their respective cabs that will take them home and inevitably by the time they would have left the premises, 45 to 50 minutes would have gone by after their shift officially got over. And I don’t like them having to go through it.

Added post session, after 1:45 am

Anyways, by the time I concluded the sessions it was exactly 1 am and I switched off my computer and went to search for my cab and luckily enough, it was just 4 people in a car going to the same route, hence I got home by 1:45 am. Lucky me!

Song for the day – “Born Again In Dixieland” – JASON MCCOY

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Notes for 29th August

  • I am currently undergoing a training regarding softskills for customer interaction & feedback / coaching
  • I am enjoying it as we have a really good trainer who is quite effective & the training is interactive
  • I am starting to feel that 11 am to 8 pm is not such a bad shift timing
  • Twice in two days I have had to wait until the train passed to cross the railway cross and get to the bus stop
  • I am getting appalled at the behaviour of some of the people who work in operations
  • I sent my resume to a company that is just setting up an office in my city and I am hopeful
  • That is the second time in 5 days that I sent my resume to another company
  • The big lunch / dinner on behalf of the training team / operations for the new employees of my level is probably happening on Friday and I will be part of the organizing committee – 8 months after we joined

The Guitars Are Calling You To Join Them

It takes great talent to rearrange a classic rock song and make it sound like your own. Rodrigo y Gabriela take a mega cult song like Stairway To Heaven and give it a rumba flamenco twist with a hint of metal. I’m sure that M/s Page, Plant, Jones & the spirit of Bonham will approve.

Song for the day – “Stairway To Heaven” – RODRIGO Y GABRIELA

The Missing Ladies

So a short holiday is over, time to go back to work. I am so bored. I was disappointed that three of my sessions had to be canceled; the third one was genuine as it was due to a huge number of calls coming in to the customer service center. I can understand that but not the first two. That was meant for people of supervisory level and they were so lame that only two of them showed up. I waited for sometime until I was sure that I would not have a good turnout and told the two who came to go home.

I gave up my lunch in order to prepare for the session and that is what I get. Anyway, I went off to do some other stuff and took it easy for the rest of the day. My AM had to go by 6 pm since her mom who is new to the state & does not speak the language or know the routes, got lost while shopping. She had to run to go and get her mother and lead her back to their home. That was funny for us but not for her mom…or for her. Although I did send a funny message about the incident to her.

One of my colleagues is acting up again and this time I am not gonna be on her side. I can’t speak for a person who is not blatantly ignoring all the rules and is doing all she can to piss off management. I dunno what I can say. This is not the first time and I just can’t help her blindly. So I said that “I did not hear this and you did not tell me”. I don’t want to see trouble happening. Anyways I left the office early and came back home and played with my little niece for a bit before coming here to listen to some music.

Song for the day – “Kansas Storm” – BUCKETHEAD

Belfour Leaves NHL For Sweden

Former NHL goaltender Ed Belfour has signed a contract with Swedish second-division club Leksand.

Canadian-born Belfour, 42, will join the team at the start of the season in October, Leksand said on its website.

“I see it as an honour to play in a classic club like Leksand,” Belfour said, adding he was lured to Sweden by “the adventure and the challenge.”

Belfour became a free agent in July after spending last season with the Florida Panthers. He has previously played for the Toronto Maple Leafs, Chicago Blackhawks, San Jose Sharks and Dallas Stars.

Belfour won the Vezina Trophy as the NHL’s top goalie in 1991 and 1993 and posted the leagues best GAA in four seasons. He also won a gold medal playing for Canada in the 2002 Winter Olympics.

Onam Day

So how did you celebrate your Onam day today? I bet it was a lot more interesting than what I did. I woke up as late as I could. I didn’t take a shower or take a bath – as of yet and it’s after 7 in the evening. I had my coffee and went back to bed and read and listened to some songs. I read blogs and watched some videos on Youtube. And I had to reply back to numerous Onam greetings as email, orkut & smses.

Ok so food! By 1:30 I was getting hungry and I wanted to have lunch. Dad, mom, Sherina and her baby Geethanjali were all sitting down and we ate. For those of you who understand what these names mean, we had rice, sambar, oalan, avial (I hate them and I won’t touch that), lots of poppadoms, mango pickle, pulinjee (so delicious) and cabbage thoran. And desert was palada payasam that my father had picked up from…who knows where.

A heavy meal like that deserves a proper nap, though I tried in earnest to watch a movie on my computer. It didn’t work and about 20 minutes into the movie, my eyes were closing. It was almost 4 by then and I dozed for a solid two hours. Still listening to music and reading other people’s blogs.

As boring an Onam as I expected!

Song for the day – “The Messenger” – THE TEA PARTY

Happy Onam

So all you Malayalees out there think you know the truth about Onam? This is what actually happened ;)

The Devas : Hey Vishnu, the people of Kerala are so upset right now?

Vishnu : Yo dudes! How come?

The Devas : They don’t have anything to celebrate. All the festivals are of the people from other states. They don’t have any festival to claim as their own. This brings out depression & suicide rates are so high. You gotta do something, amigo! The humans think that you are useless. It’s affecting your popularity.
Vishnu : Ok, Ok! Don’t get your knickers in a twist! Let me think of something  compadres. Hey, I think that king dude, what’s his name, is down there? Maveli. Let me pay him a visit. Servants, give me a disguise!

A few days later….

Maveli : Ha, see that little shit over there? That pygmy walking about like he knows it all. That is Vishnu in disguise. I bet he has come here for a favour. Every time he comes down to Earth, it’s either to kill someone, have sex with numerous females or ask a favour. He has already done the first two things this year. It’s gotta be a favour.
Vamana aka Vishnu aka pygmy : Greetings Maveli. Yo man, I need a favour. Can you, like, go to hell, so that the people of Kerala can mourn you? Then you can come back once a year, so they will be happy and celebrate it. They love you, homie. They can make it a festival and look forward to it and eat lots of food. What do ya say? Please dude, I don’t know what else to do. I’m begging you. Let’s do it.

Maveli : Ok, alright don’t cry. But you gotta make up some story. They won’t believe that you had to sink so low and come here to beg me a favour. The last stupid thing u did was dress in drag and get Shiva all so horny and then you guys did it and had that son. So think of some story to go along with it.

Vamana aka Vishnu aka pygmy : Yeah , yeah. Don’t worry. My slaves will write up a story to fool people. They won’t know what hit them. It will be a grand success. So you ready. Bend down!

Maveli : Whoa! Dude, I don’t know you that well!

Vamana aka Vishnu aka pygmy : No, no! Not that. Shiva can do that for me. I just need to push you down to hell. And don’t forget, come back every year around the same time.

Vamana pushes Maveli down with his foot and sends him to hell.

And that’s how we came to celebrate Onam!

Like father, like son

I got my first look at 20 year old Kasper in Manchester City’s 1-0 win over arch rivals Manchester United last weekend. City’s goalkeeper was excellent is keeping United’s potent attack at bay and rightly deserved the plaudits on keeping a clean sheet against the defending EPL champs and favourites to win again. Notice the familiar face? See something familiar in the way that he carries himself and plays on the field?

You would because Kasper is the 20 year old son of former Manchester United & Denmark goalkeeping star Peter Schmeichel! Yes the great Dane & star goalie, who left United in 1999 has a son and he is a good goalkeeper himself. Isn’t that ironic that the son plays for his dad’s former club’s crosstown rivals? Absolutely the stuff of legends. I again managed to catch him in the 0-1 loss to Arsenal but he played really well and stopped a Robin Van Persie penalty. Hope to see more of the younger Schmeichel in years & years to come. He has massive shoes to fill – dad Peter was twice voted the World’s Best Goalkeeper and is often considered among the all-time top 3 goalies ever. Well, he has had a good start!

Arsenal 1 Man City 0

Arsenal continue their good start to the new season by beating Manchester City 1-0. Sven-Goran Eriksson’s side again looked impressive, with Martin Petrov and Emile Mpenza missing glorious chances. But Arsenal took control, with City keeper Kasper Schmeichel (former Danish & Manchester United keeper Peter Schmeichel’s son) saving Robin van Persie’s 65th-minute penalty after Micah Richards fouled Alexander Hleb. Arsenal lost Philippe Senderos in the pre-match warm-up when he aggravated an ankle injury, forcing Arsene Wenger to draft Gilberto Silva into central defence. But Cesc Fabregas pierced Manchester City’s defence for the first time this season with a late strike to give Arsenal a hard-fought victory.

Arsenal are placed at 6th on the standings chart on 7 points, having played 3 games in the league, winning 2 and drawing one.

Battlestar Galactica : Season 1

I’ve finished watching the entire 1st season of Battlestar Galactica a few days back but somehow I put off blogging about it till today. All things said, I do like the series, I am a big fan of it now. However, if you ask me, which one I prefer — it will still be the original series! Actually, watching the new BSG made me appreciate the old one even more! There are some very interesting characters changed / added to the series which make it very compelling to watch. So, a cylon attack on the 12 colonies means that the remainder of the humans must make their way away from their home space. Led by ‘Commander Adama’, the humans set out in various spaceships surrounding the lone surviving Battlestar, the Galactica, in search of a lost mythical 13th colony, Earth, and a new home. My fav addition to BSG is the character Karl ‘Helo’ Agathon, played by actor Tahmoh Penikett. ‘Helo’ gave up his seat on a raptor so that ‘Dr.Baltar’ can escape to the Galactica. He survived on the radiation poison filled Caprica by injecting antidotes and later captured by Cylons. He was rescued by a copy of Sharon and falls in love with her.

watch field of dreams online The two of them make their way to Delphi, where Helo sees another replica of Sharon and realizes that she is a cylon. He runs away but she catches up with him and says that she loves him and that she is carrying their baby. Meanwhile on Battlestar Galactica, the new President Laura Roslin butt heads with Adama, while winning the loyalty & respect of his son Apollo. Apollo and Starbuck have a complicated relationship due to the death of Zack – Apollo’s brother and Starbucks’ former lover & trainer. Col.Tigh is an alcoholic (played brilliantly by veteran actor Michael Hogan, plagued by his promiscuous wife’s behaviour and her pushing him towards greater power. He also is very unpopular, especially with Starbuck & Apollo.

Commander Adama, played by James Edward Olmos, so very different that the almost grandfatherly original Adama (played by Lorne Greene, is a loyal & deeply respected man. He sometimes makes decisions that he does not like but has to take for the best of everyone. He gets shot by Sharon – which leads me to her! Sharon is actually a cylon, one of the several bearing the same likeness. At the end of season one, she shoots Adama in an assassination attempt that fails, when her cylon self is awakened while on a mission. Baltar becomes a part of the crew and even becomes popular & the vice-president to Roslin, all the while being coaxed & guided by a version of Number 6 in his mind.

Number 6, portrayed by Tricia Helfer, is a sex kitten, steaming my computer screen as I watch her sway past in various sexy outfits. The season ends on a gloomy note when Adama is killed and a raptor crashes on Kobol. Number 6 leads Baltar to a location and shows him the child that they are both about to have. Starbuck travels back to Caprica in search of the Arrow of Apollo, which is supposed to lead them to Earth. Roslin confronts Adama on the fact that although he claims to know the location of Earth, he actually liked and does not believe that Earth exists! He only said that to boost the morale of his people and for them to have something to hope for. Roslin hires Starbuck to find the arrow and she leaves for Caprica and finds Helo & Sharon alive on the planet. Sharon leaves them both on the planet on a cyclon ship.

So what is gonna happen next? I’ve already started viewing Season 2.

Smooth like This

Woke up so late that I kind of felt like going back to sleep for the rest of the morning. But I was woken up by a phone call by Reshma, who wanted me to see if there were any good girls of marriageable age and of the Ezhava caste, for her cousin! When the heck did I become a marriage broker? When I asked her this question, she said that she was asking all her friends to look out for someone as her cousin is becoming quite desperate after being unsuccessful for a long time. I would have guessed that he’d be smothered in proposals, since he is a very successful businessman in Abu Dhabi. If he can’t find a girl, then what about the rest of us poor slobs?

I decided to get up and stretch, get coffee and went to watch CNN & BBC for a while, then turned to watch yesterday’s EPL football highlights. There were some wonderful attempts on goals and some goals yesterday.

Switched on the pc and started listening to music and downloading some at the moment. By about noon, we had a nice little rain going on that really set the mood. As I sat here in my room, with a cool wind blowing against my back, the sound of the rain falling on open windows, a cup of strong black coffee in my hand – and this song starts playing on my mp3 player.

Gray socks and black shoes, black hair and eyes so true
A smile like a cool wind blowing through lips that kiss like a fool
These are the memories I have of you
No, these are the gifts I took from you

Your skin is so close to mine that it seems to know my name
And your laugh — well, let’s just say
Something wicked this way came
And in this old hotel my heart pounds like a drum
It beats with the rhythm of missing you
This is the rhythm of missing you

Take a look at the blind man, fool ain’t got no cain,
Blind man is dancing, in the driving rain,
Well I am that blind Man and I can finally see,
What I’ve always know : you belong to me

There ain’t nothing wrong with this hotel that a big bomb couldn’t fix
My doorman he’s a reprobate and the maid she’s been turning tricks
And in my broken sleep I wake up from some pain
My heart drifts through the window and sails into the rain

Oh Lord, I miss you, I miss you here in the dark
This comes from Nashville, baby
It’s a call from a wounded heart
And if I want this heart of mine to ever mend
I guess I’m gonna have to find you again

Yeah, I’ll have to find you again

Song for the day – “Blind Man” – PAUL GROSS

Food, Fun, Friends, Drinks…Fight?

So what happened today? It was a very casual day at work, there being a festive atmosphere and some Pookalam contest going on. I wanted to go early and come back early (the support staff was on a half working day today) but I slept very little during the night and hence I was drowsy and cranky in the morning. I sat in a daze while awake during the morning hours and napped for a while in between.

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Today was Vinitha’s wedding & sort of goodbye treat for some of us. She had wanted our entire department to go out together but it couldn’t materialize and hence she took out the girls on the 14th and treated the guys to a great lunch today afternoon. After I rushed to the office to take part in some festivities, we decided to go out for our late lunch. Vinitha, Girish, Neil, Manoj & myself went to the Sea Park hotel on the road leading from Pathaddipalam to Premier. We had hyderbadi biriyani, chicken 65 & some huge pieces of fish fry. The fish was the best, so totally delicious. We washed it down with Pepsi and also had a small ice cream after that.

Us guys headed back to the office and worked on our reports till around 7:20. Neil and I decided to have a couple of drinks and headed out to Velocity Bar near the High Court junction. Well, I actually passed by it first and didn’t know where it was. I have only been there once, way back in February, and wasn’t sure where it was. We finally found it and entered to a full capacity noisy atmosphere but in a minute two guys left their table, so the waiter guided us to it. We just had a couple of drinks, vodka+sprite, and chatted for a couple of hours and then walked our ways back to our respective homes.

Oh, I almost had a fight with a drunk asshole! While we were walking back and talking, some idiot pushed me from behind and then mumbled some nonsense. I swore at him and told him to go fuck himself and to get off the streets if he can’t handle his drink. I was so livid that I swore a bit more until he was out of hearing distance. Some people are just plain assholes and need to be kicked in the balls! Infact I had raised my leg to kick him in the groin initially until I realized that he was drunk!

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Song for the day – “Long, Long Way To Go” – DEF LEPPARD

ROSHAN’S ELEVEN : Most Beautiful Songs

  • Imagine – John Lennon
  • Sacrifice – Elton John
  • Hallelujah – Leonard Cohen
  • Stand By Me – Ben E. King
  • More Than Words – Extreme
  • I Will Remember You – Sarah McLachlan
  • Save Your Scissors – City & Colour
  • House Of Gold – Andy Stochansky
  • Montreal – Blue Rodeo
  • Mystery Girl – Roy Orbison
  • My Name – George Canyon

Song for the day – “Montreal” – BLUE RODEO

A Soap Bubble & Inertia – The Gandharvas

The Gandharvas – although the name is so Indian, the band is not. The Gandharvas, who take their band moniker from the Sanskrit word for the mythical all male spirits who had mastery over musical languages in ancient India, were a 5 member rock group from London, Ontario, Canada. No Indian connections as far as I can tell, except for the name. They were an alternative styled band and their debut album was as eclectic & weird & different as they come. Their 1994 debut, A Soap Bubble & Inertia, is a collection of tunes that would seem impossible to categorize other than ‘alternative’ but it is just not enough. The songs vary from First Day Of Spring, their most memorable & successful single, a song which sets the standard for the band, a semi-ballad that starts from a dreamy slow tempo to a more rockier climax to Circus Song, what can I can best describe as a Russian circus theme music! Seriously, the song reminds me of some circus shows that they would air here on Doordarshan back during the days of India-Russia cultural exchange programs.

Then there is Cans, which is an instrumental piece with cans being the main instrument backed by the usual guitars, drums & bass, the playful (it has birds chirping sounds) Dallying & the ominous grungesque Bundle. The Island is another slower tempo but rockier track with some cool lead guitar breaks and my favourite song on the album. Yes, I like this song more than the normal fan favourite of First Day Of Spring. I feel that you can add this track as the opening credits song of a movie about an island (?) where strange things happen or in which some lab experiments gone wrong occur.

The 8 minute Soap Bubble Meets Inertia is a grungier track with interesting interludes and the last couple of minutes could actually make up a totally different song all together. Other tracks are Breakfulls Of Heroin, the catchy & playful Coffee Song (“keep me awake, me awake, there’s still something to say, this is my surreal holiday”), Elevator Bugs, The Supreme Personality & Saturn Quits Fasting.

It’s too bad that the Gandharvas split up after only 3 albums and like 6 years of existence. I would club them among my favourites if I had heard about them when they were still around; as it is, I only heard them in 2002. Still, they are original enough to warrant a special place in the alternative & experimental music bracket of the numerous bands that have come & gone and stayed in our memories. You can to some of their songs & watch a couple of video at their MySpace site, which is maintained by a couple of their former members, now that the band is no more.

Song for the day – “The Island” – THE GANDHARVAS

Peca joins Blue Jackets

Michael Peca has been one of my favourite players in the NHL and I have tried to follow his career as he moved from Buffalo to the Islanders to Edmonton to Toronto (he has also previously played for Vancouver). And now the 2 time Frank J Selke trophy winner has joined his 6 th club in the NHL by signing a 1 year contract with the Columbus Blue Jackets. Peca, 33, is an 11-year NHL veteran who has registered 164 goals and 245 assists for 409 points with 676 penalty minutes. His last season was cut short when he suffered a broken leg in Chicago on the 22nd of December. He has reached the Stanley Cup finals once with Edmonton & once with Buffalo, losing it both times. He was also captain of Buffalo & of the Islanders as well. He has also won Olympic gold with Team Canada in 2002.