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Friday, December 31, 2010

The year that went by … and changed everything !!

2010 proved to be a year full of changes for me.
Life changing changes … Marriage in May
Change of Company … From Mahindra Satyam to Fujitsu Consulting … in August
Change of Role … From a Consultant to a Lead … where I am leading the Business Transformation / Change Mgmt Competency and even got the role of a Manager.
Change of location ... Back to Dubai in November after spending almost exactly 11 months in Mumbai…

2010 was a year of reading … lots of reading. I completed 46 books (includes 8 very short stories by Matthew Reilly, counted as 1 book) during the year. I plan to continue my reading spree in 2011 although I might restrict to select authors and more of short stories rather than 300-500 page novels unless something really exciting and unputdownable comes my way :)
Saw quite a few movies in the theatre. I saw 28 in total, including the last movie of the year which I saw in Dubai. Guess the score might drop in 2011 ... since every movie outing is quite an expense in Dubai (60-80 AED minimum which is almost 750 to 1000 Rs).   
Had quite a lot of fun too
Had a lot more happy moments than sad ones

It was a very good year after 2 consecutive disastrous years of 2008 and 2009
God only knows how 2012 will shape up for me … hope it is a good one !

Books I read in December …

 

1. Buried Fire by Jonathan Stroud  

 

I started reading this one in November on the way to Dubai. I did some Airport reading and a little bit of flight reading before I got distracted by the Angelina Jolie's Hollywood flick 'Salt' playing on the in-flight entertainment system. Could not read much but just got started. Continued reading in Dubai but the reading was rather slow since the initial days were busy and travel time was short & busy. Hence I was not able to complete the book in November and it overflowed into December.

It was an interesting read no doubt but not something that I couldn't put down. It was not something that I could read in spite of distractions. I was easily distracted and it did not really hold my attention. For almost half the book, the story did not seem to move at all at times. It is like a very slow narration of events unfolding over a span of a few days. The story moved slowly and I had trouble completing the book. This book does not encourage me to pick up another one by the same author. But I will follow my rule of reading at least 2 books from an (otherwise well known) author before giving up on them.

 

2. The Three Investigators & the Secret of the Terror Castle by Robert Arthur

 

I am going to read a 'Three Investigators' (3I) novella every month and might even read 2 of them for that matter. There are after all 30+ to read and I intend to complete all of them in 2011 itself. They are pretty interesting and I have always loved mystery and deduction involving novels.

This one was the first of the 3I novellas. I read one of the 3I's last month but now I will follow the order in which they were released / published. Terror Castle introduces the 3 I's and establishing their characters, their style and also highlights the fact that they are but intelligent boys and not super detectives.

 

3. The Three Investigators & the Mystery of the Stuttering Parrot by Robert Arthur

 

Well, I thought of taking up another of the 3I series this month. Being the last month of the year, I did not want to start reading a new series of stories which I will do next month which is actually next year.

This one was a pretty good story of the 3I's chasing a stuttering parrot  leading to the realization that there is not one but seven parrots to locate and a mystery deepens when they realized that the parrots are but clues to a hidden treasure of sorts.

 

4. The Three Investigators & the Mystery of the Whispering Mummy by Robert Arthur

 

This was yet another 3I mystery with a very interesting title.
It is yet another story where one mystery leads to another and the big picture gradually emerges while the baffled reader cracks his head around original mystery.

 

5. Simply Irresistible by Rachel Gibson

 

This one was up for reading since quite some time. Finally picked it up

A very different book! I haven't really read anything like this one in the entire year. It was a singular instance in this year; of me reading about an intensely passionate love making sequence in a novel. I almost got goose-bumps reading it. Even when I was half way through the book, I wasn't sure where the story was heading.

Overall the novel was an interesting one.

  
Five ... not a bad score for the last month of the year :) 

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Movie I saw in December …

 

Yeah Yeah … only one movie this month

In fact, this will be the first movie in Dubai after coming here this year. Saw this one at the Sahara Mall which is actually in Sharjah … actually on the Sharjah side of Dubai-Sharjah border … about 10 minutes walking distance from my hotel which is in Dubai :)

I actually wanted to catch Band Baaja Baarat but it was no longer screening at this theatre and going to other theatre to catch it was inconvenient. So ended up wasting my money on TMK.

Tees Maar Khan

A good one but a disappointment nevertheless

I was disappointed because I had pretty high expectations from Farah Khan. Om Shanti Om (OSO) and Main Hoon Na (MHN) were far better creations from Farah Khan. The amount of planning and creative brainstorming which must have gone into creating those movies was pretty much visible. TMK seemed like it was completed in haste with tight deadlines.

The humor quotient was low. You just cant leave the humor to Akshay. We have seen his disasters like Chandni Chowk to China. The script needs to take care of the humor.

We did see the glimpses of Farah Khan works in the songs with their usual flamboyance and the riot of blue, yellow and red colors splashed across the screen in the form of costumes, wall paints and even lighting. The Farah Khan touch is also seen in the end-of-movie credits where she brings each and every contributor of the movie on screen … something I really appreciate and like about Farah Khan.

The songs weren't impressive. None of them really stuck in my mind. Let us leave out 'Sheila ki jawaani' and the title track one liner and we have nothing to talk about or remember. OSO and MHN had far superior sount tracks which have lived on through the time and you can humm the numbers even today.

The Farah Khan direction was not visible through the movie. The movie lacked the Farah touch of creativity and sheer ingenuity. OSO and MHN both had many many things to remember and wonder about. TMK failed to give me much.

There was a lot of screaming and shouting though, in the movie. Often quite unnecessary.

Saw it on Christmas Day.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Rains .. Yippieee

 

Just yesterday I posted about rains in Sharjah and my wish was answered today !!

The ground was wet in Sharjah when we came to office in the morning and I felt that I missed the rains again. BUT … it began to rain soon and I actually went out and enjoyed the drizzle !!

Oh the wonderful feeling of rains … WOW !!
I just love it ..  

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Rains ...

It rained in Sharjah today early morning .... I missed it ...
 
Hope it rains again soon in Sharjah and Dubai and I am there when and where it does ...

Rajini ... The Big Boss !!

 

A whole lot of Rajinikanth jokes keep circulating and with every new release, there is another round of re-circulation and some new ones popping up too. Recently received an email forward with fresh ones and I really couldn't stop smiling / giggling / laughing at them.

I just couldn't resist posting them her …

He truly is The Boss … actually he is THE BIG BOSS !!

 

1.  Once a big stone obstructed Rajini's way.

He kicked high in sky and now it is so called

.

.

.

The MOON

 

2.  Once when shooting on a beach in Tamil Nadu, Rajinikanth kicked a stone..

Now that stone is known as

.

.

.

SRI LANKA

 

3.  Rajinikanth participated in 100 meter race and obviously he came first...

But Einstein died after watching that...

Because ...

.

.

.

LIGHT came second...

 

4. Once Rajinikanth participated in Moto GP Bike race......

.

.

Don't even try to guess what happened

.

.

.

Rajinikanth won d race on neutral gear!

  

5.  Rajinikanth doesn't breathe.

Air hides in his lungs for protection.  

 

6.  Once Rajinikanth went to Bhopal for shooting and had an upset stomach ...

the result was..

.

.

.

BHOPAL GAS TRAGEDY...

 

 

7.  One day Rajinikanth got angry on his sweeper boy.

He kicked him so hard that he went flying in the sky with is broom...

Today that boy is famous as "HARRY POTTER"...

  

8.  Before Tom Cruise, Rajinikanth was approached for the movie "mission impossible"

but he refused …

.

.

.

He found the title insulting

 

9.  Once Rajinikanth was asked how he felt about the jokes made on him which were spreading through sms and internet.

To everyone's surprise he started laughing & replied - Ennada Do you really think they are jokes?

 

10.  Rajini once taught a child how to play counter strike and that guy is now called..............

.

.

.

"OSAMA BIN LADEN"

 

 

11.  Once Dinosaurs borrowed money from Rajinikanth and refused to pay him back... .

.

.

.

That was the last time anyone saw Dinosaurs

 

12.  Rajinikanth once kicked a horse in the chin.

Its descendants are today called giraffes.

 

13.  An e-mail was sent from Pune to Mumbai

.

.

.

Rajinikanth stopped it in Lonavla ... : D

 

14.  As a kid Rajinikanth maintained a diary of day to day activities, today that diary called as.

.

.

.

Guinness Book Of World Records

 

15.  Once Rajinikanth taught a kid how to enter a house without ringing the doorbell....

.

.

.

Today that kid is known as inspector Daya (from CID)

 

16.  Once a boy inserted a CD named Rajinikanth into his PC...

Guess what...

.

.

.

His PC started Rotating around the CD rom

 

17.  Intel's new tag line for its processors...

.

.

.

"Rajinikanth Inside"

 

18.  Rajinikanth's school time homework is now known as

.

.

.

wikipedia

 

19.  Rajinikanth was caught on d highway for speeding................

.

.

.

While walking

 

20.  Rajinikanthh and Superman once had arm wrestled and the loser had to wear his Underwear over his pants..

.

.

We all know who won

 

21.  Rajinikanthh knows that Bingo Mad Angles is tasty from .

.

.

which angle.

 

22.  Once Rajinikanthh taught a boy how to kiss. Now that boy is known as '.

.

.

.

Emran Hashmi'

 

23.  Rajinikanthh can make two parallel lines.

.

.

.

 Intersect each other.

 

24.  When Rajinikanthh crosses the Road,

.

.

.

The cars have to look left and right before moving.

 

25.  After release of Robot,

Rajinikanthh gave Times of India 3 stars.

 

26.  Rajinikanthh calls VOLDEMORT by his name

and Voldemort calls him as "u know who"

 

27. Rajinikanthh goes to court

and sentences the judge...  

 

28.  Rajinikanthhh kills Harry Potter in the 8th book.

 

29. Rajinikanthh can kill Spiderman with BAYGON!!!

 

30. Time and tide, wait for Rajinikanthh.....

 

31.  Rajinikanthh knows ...

:

:

Who let the dogs out !!! :D

  

32.  Rajinikanthh was practicing for a spelling test...

The rough sheet he used is known as ...

:

:

OXFORD DICTIONARY !! :D

 

33.  Rajinikanthh has seen the face of the fat lady who owns the house in ...

:

:

TOM and JERRY !! :D

 

34.  If Rajinikanthh was born 100 years back,

Britishers would have fought to get independence from India !! :)

 

35.  The ultimate RAJINI fact :

 

Even GHAJINI remebers RAJINI !!!!!

 

36.  People who set CAT paper will have to pass RAT paper from this year onwards.

Yes RAT paper....

:

:

Rajinikanthh Aptitude Test !!! :)

 

 

37. Rajinikanthh once had a heart attack...

His heart lost..:-p

 

And the last but not the least …

For all you BIgg Boss fans and otherwise …

 

38. Rajini was asked to participate in BIGG BOSS 4 and he did … the next day everybody heard the announcement …

.

.

.

"Rajini chahte hain ki Bigg Boss Confession Room main aaye"

 

EnZoy !!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

The tyre around my stomach

I started visiting the GYM recently and began with 10 minutes on the Treadmill.
 
Yesterday I saw a guy there and asked him if he was a gym Instructor ... he said Yes.
 
I told him about the tyre around my stomach and askled him for specific exercises targetting the tyre.
 
He showed me 2 of them on day 1.
 
So now I am gonna try and reduce my tummy
 
lets see how it goes ..,

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Movies I saw in November …

1. Golmaal 3

 

Delivered as promised. This one was again a riot of colors and laughter. And of course, not to forget the numerous cars exploding on the screen. Don't even think about the story line etc. Ignore it and enjoy the movie minute by minute.

I have written about the Golmaal brand of movies earlier and it would be mere repetition top say anything more here.

 

2. Action Replay

 

This one was an interesting one. I won't say I liked it. I won't say I hated it.

It sure reminded me of the movie 'Back to the Future' where the 'hero' has to unite his father and mother after he accidentally becomes the reason they may never meet / marry. Bcoz his mother is developing a crush for 'him'. Action Replay seems to have lifted a similar concept but bollywood'ized it.

The movie was colorful. And Akshay was showing off the styles and dressing sense of the 70's/80's …BUT what about Aishwarya. She looked very much from the 21st century. In fact, co-actor Neha Dhupia carried off the 70's look pretty well but Aish seemed a sore thumb … a misfit in the 70's backdrop. Someone forgot to inform her dress/costume designer about the retro look of the movie.  

Both movies seen in India ... Nothing seen in Dubai/Sharjah in November

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Books I read in November …

1. Hover Car Racer by Matthew Reilly

 

Yet another fast paced book by Matthew Reilly. The book was about racing and hence speed was an inherent factor. Surprisingly the book was not as fast-paced as his other novels. The book had its fair share of twists and turns (figuratively as well as literally) with the usual turning points spread across the book. 

 

Just like it happens to Jack West Jr. or Scarecrow or any other lead characters of MR, Jason Chaser (lead character of this book) also goes through a near-death experience where we are given a feel for a few moments that the Hero has perished and there was no way he could have survived, although MR fans know that the hero survived and are actually wondering how did MR manage it this time.

 

A very interesting read over all and now that I have exhausted all of MR literature … I am like .. Now What? MR has already spoiled the genre (this is something we keep saying to each other time and again – me and my best Friend). Any thriller or adventure novel appears slow and at times excruciatingly slow after reading the blitzering (or whatever the word is) pace of his novels.

 

So Mr. Matthew Reilly, when are coming out with your next novel. And do you have anything that you have not published but wrote it once upon a time and no one seems interested in publishing. I am interested in reading that stuff too. I think I should write to MR asking (or let us say – begging) for more.  

 

2. Thanks for the Memories by Cecelia Ahern

 

Guess this was the last Cecelia that I can read. I think I have read all of her books. This one begins with a very interesting premise and doesn't create suspense about how an individual stranger gets access to a host of memories of another person. The reason behind the occurrence is not the story. The story is how things take shape. The series of events and coincidences that take place and the way the story twists and turns. It's a simple mildly entertaining read with some bits of emotional stuff thrown in here and there.

 

It did make my eyes moist. They were on the verge of overflowing a couple of times but never really did. Even if this one was not very strong on emotion or story or action … I still liked it.

 

I completed the book 2 days before I flew off to Dubai. This means that now I will not have direct access to my best friend's library and hence I expect my reading to slow down a bit. But I will still be travelling with some books to read.

 

I tried to carry around 5 books in addition to Feluda Vol. 1 & 2 …. But I had to shed the weight during check-in where the girl at the counter did not allow me to carry any extra excess baggage. I have travelled international for about 5 years now and one complete passport is full of stamps now. I never faced such an excess baggage situation.

 

Anyway …. I managed to travel with Buried Fire and Feluda Volume 1 & 2. I was planning to read the entire Feluda series in 2011; maybe now I will have to begin in this year itself. For other reading, I will have to see how much I will buy / pick up in Dubai and how many trips I make to India. I will also explore the option of reading on the laptop although I have never preferred doing that.

 

3. The Three Investigators and the Mystery of the Fiery Eye

 

I started reading this before I left for Dubai and continued it in Dubai. I have read this one during my school days but I am on a repeat spree now as far as 'The Three Investigators' series is concerned.
It is fun to read the book because in spite of my poor memory and the fact that I have read those books almost 20 years ago; while reading the story there is a sense of déjà vu that I am getting. There are times during the reading where the particular thread or event in the story seems familiar. I do not remember what will happen next but the overall reading experience was a good one.

I loved the Three Investigators series as much as I loved Sherlock Holmes and reading them again was a delight during school days. The 3I stories have an element of mystery and investigation and the titles are rather interesting.  The Mystery of the Fiery Eye or the Shrinking House or Headless Horse or Flaming Footprints – these are just some of their very interesting titles.  And not to forget the very interesting cover designs too.

 
--> I started reading 'Buried Fire' on the way to Dubai. I did some Airport reading and a little bit of flight reading before I got distracted by the Angelina Jolie's Hollywood flick 'Salt' playing on the in-flight entertainment system. Could not read much but just got started.
 
Continued reading in Dubai but the reading was rather slow since the initial days were busy and travel time was short & busy. Hence I was only able to read about 50 pages of the book in November and it overflowed into December.
 
There was very little reading that happened after travelling to Dubai, since I was busy with project activities. Hope December is better ...  

Monday, December 20, 2010

Gym & GM Diet …

 

I have begun visiting the Gym again in my hotel in Dubai. Since I have just begun after a long gap, I am restricting myself to only 10 minutes of treadmill walk.

 

Its a start.

 

I might give GM Diet another shot in coming weeks / months.

 

I have done both of the above in Dubai earlier (last year) ... lets see how it goes this time around ...

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Post No. 305

Well Well Well … I missed the century mark once again. 
 
Just like last year when I missed my 200th post and instead made Post No.204

 

I was just looking at my score this year in terms of blogging and I realized that there have been quite a few. A count of all posts since inception and I realized I crossed 300 mark this month.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Judging the book by its cover ! Title actually

Do you judge a book by its cover? I mean the cover design.
I do.
In fact, I read the title from the spine of the book and then if it interests me, I pick up the book, have a glance at the front cover for art work etc and immediately flip the book and read the back cover which gives a snapshot of the books storyline. If it interests me, I take it. If it doesn't, I leave it.

Reminds me of a time in my school days when I would judge the book by the cover and the title alone :) That's how I picked up my first of Sherlock Holmes (The Hound of Baskerville) as well the 3 investigator series.

The first thing that struck me about the Three Investigators series was the title of the books and the cover art graphics. They had extremely interesting titles and they were the primary reason why I picked up those books in the first place. A bit of googling gave me a list of all the 3I titles. I am putting down the entire list … highlighting (bold font) the ones I find most interesting. :)

 

The Three Investigators 01 - The Secret of the Terror Castle.pdf

The Three Investigators 02 - The Mystery of the Stuttering Parrot.pdf

The Three Investigators 03 - The Mystery of the Whispering Mummy.pdf

The Three Investigators 04 - The Mystery of the Green Ghost.pdf

The Three Investigators 05 - The Mystery of the Vanishing Treasure.pdf

The Three Investigators 06 - The Mystery of the Skeleton Island.pdf

The Three Investigators 08 - The Mystery of the Silver Spider.pdf

The Three Investigators 09 - The Mystery of the Screaming Clock.pdf

The Three Investigators 10 - The Mystery of the Moaning Cave.pdf

The Three Investigators 11 - The Mystery of the Talking Skull.pdf

The Three Investigators 12 - The Mystery of the Laughing Shadow.pdf

The Three Investigators 13 - The Mystery of the Crooked Cat.pdf

The Three Investigators 14 - The Mystery of the Coughing Dragon.pdf

The Three Investigators 15 - The Mystery of the Flaming Footprints.pdf

The Three Investigators 16 - The Mystery of the Nervous Lion.pdf

The Three Investigators 17 - The Mystery of the Singing Serpent.pdf

The Three Investigators 18 - The Mystery of the Shrinking House.pdf

The Three Investigators 19 - The Mystery of the Phantom Lake.pdf

The Three Investigators 20 - The Mystery of the Monster Mountain.pdf

The Three Investigators 21 - The Secret of the Haunted Mirror.pdf

The Three Investigators 22 - The Mystery of the Dead Man Riddle.pdf

The Three Investigators 23 - The Mystery of the Invisible Dog.pdf

The Three Investigators 24 - The Mystery of the Death Trap Mine.pdf

The Three Investigators 25 - The Mystery of the Dancing Devil.pdf

The Three Investigators 26 - The Mystery of the Headless Horse.pdf

The Three Investigators 27 - The Mystery of the Magic Circle.pdf

The Three Investigators 28 - The Mystery of the Deadly Double.pdf

The Three Investigators 29 - The Mystery of Sinister Scarecrow.pdf

The Three Investigators 31 - The Mystery of the Scar-faced Beggar.pdf

The Three Investigators 32 - The Mystery of the Blazing Cliff.pdf

The Three Investigators 33 - The Mystery of the Purple Pirate.pdf

The Three Investigators 34 - The Mystery of Wandering Caveman.pdf

The Three Investigators 40 - The Mystery of the Rouge Reunion.pdf
 
P.S. Never judge a book by its cover. And never judge a book by its Movie either ;-) 
 

Friday, December 10, 2010

Movies I saw in October ...

ROBOT
 
This one was a must see. A Rajani movie released in Hindi is definately a must see. I had even seen the non-Hindi version of 'Sivaji - the Boss' before the TV channels started telecasting the hindi dubbed version.
 
ROBOT is a technologically superior movie (as compared to any other bollywood/Tollywood movie ever made). It was also an interesting movie to watch. Entertainer.
 
The final climax sequence of 100'sof Rajani's on screen was definately a delight for the hard core Rajani fans who saw him in double-role throughout the movie and had 100's of him on screen in the climax. Some one said "It doesn's get bigger / better than this" 
 
 
Khichadi - The Movie
 
I had seen a few episodes of Khichdi on TV a long time back and it seemed like a light comedy. Senseless but still it seemed better than all the idiotic K-serials and red-saree clad jewellery-decked scheming women on the screen. It was a welcome relief from all the cry-babies all over the idiot box.
 
The movie was pretty much the same. the same theme and level of humour. Not a bad watch but definately not something u had to go all the way to the theatres to see. Watching it at home would have been equally enjoyable. albeit more enjoyable with the whole family around.
 
I wanted my parents to go and see this movie, but Diwali festival means 'Operation Cleanup' not only at home but also at office. Dad was busy with shop cleaning, stock taking etc over the weekend and Mom was busy with house cleaning and also cooking the various festive delicacies. They did not go and going by the kind of movieis, it won't remain for long in the theatres.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Books I read in October …

 

1. Scarecrow by Matthew Reilly

 

It has been quite some time since I read a Matthew Reilly. So as soon as I got my hands on a MR novel, I scheduled it up next. Scarecrow is a Schofield series novel not a Jack West Jr. one. Scarecrow novels are action packed adventure with modern technology weaponry. No myths or legends here. No ancient sites & unbelievable mythological stories here. There are secrets but not of the ancient types. The two characters have different genres although both thrive on nail-biting thrill. Having the expectations set right is important or else there is disappointment even if the book is good.

 

I have read Ice Station & Area 7 from the Scarecrow series and it was like a reading an action sequence out of a movie. I expected Scarecrow to be nothing but pure unadulterated action. It only turned out better.

 

The action was not only fast paced but uninterrupted. MR puts tight deadlines / timelines to his stories and a lot of action is packed within the confines of those tight timelines. In this novel in particular, action is seemingly pouring from all directions with a host of adversaries who are after Schofield's head. Literally.

 

I am a satisfied soul after reading MR novels. As with the earlier ones, this one was an unputdownable and I completed the whole of 500+ page novel in 3 days flat.

 

2. Hell Island by Matthew Reilly

 

I usually do not read from the same author twice in the same month BUT Scarecrow got completed in the middle of the week while I was in Pune and I did not have any other book at hand except MR's Hell Island. Well, I had to read something :)  

 

Hell Island was small as compared to MR's other books which are indeed huge. At about 80 pages, it is classified as a novella rather than a novel and I actually completed it in a single day.

 

This is again was a Schofield novel. A peculiar thing about this novel is the adversary Schofield is up against. The adversary is a 500 strong mob of well trained non-tiring combat-ready technology-aided deadly-weapons bearing APES. Yes, apes and not men or soldiers or mercenaries'. Apes

 

---- After completing this; I went through 1.5 days of time, when I had time to read but no book to read. The only week I travel to Pune with one book is the week when I complete the book ahead of schedule and left with time but nothing to read. :( Irony of Life!

 

3. If You Could See Me Now by Cecelia Ahern

 

An interesting storyline and very interesting insights into certain relationships, facts of life and how we tend to forget life itself and 'waste' it by overly concentrating on supporting things like job, responsibilities etc. Not to say those are not important. But they are not life either. They are there to enhance life and not take the fun out of it which eventually happens in practical reality. Chasing and trying to control money, career, responsibilities, relationships etc leads us into a trap where we just keep on doing the chasing bit losing sight of why we were chasing them in the first place. 

 

In some ways it also tells u that there are friends around. All you need to do is trust them and discover them. We adults have so many mental barriers and guards around us; not allowing anyone to touch us. These friends are in effect not visible to us, not because they are invisible but simply because we choose to ignore them.

 

This one got completed in 2 days (the only thing being that the day 1 and day 2 had about a week in between when I could not touch the book at all. I read 75% of the book on day 1 and remaining on day 2)

    

 4. Terror on the Titanic: A Morning Agency Adventure by Samit Basu

 

Time for some Indian fiction. DORK was indeed a good one. So was Meluha. Feluda is lined up for next year and I did try my hand at Ruskin Bond too. The premise of this Samit Basu book seemed pretty interesting and so I thought about trying it. Also, I saw the ad of another Samit Basu book which also seems to have a pretty interesting premise.

 

Found this novel a bit stranger with aliens and creatures. I like the idea of putting an adventure storyline with the backdrop of Titanic's maiden (and only) voyage. Well, as I read the book, I realized that Titanic was not just a backdrop. The movie took inspiration or built on various events and characters from the Hollywood movie 'Titanic' … be it the couple standing at the deck with arms outstretched or the painting of the girl wearing 'only' a piece of jewellery or the  girl from the first class visiting the lower third class decks for a 'dance session' which she enjoys. The book kept using the events from the movie and built the story around them with a touch of alien creatures and the two Morningstar agents.

 

I haven't really become a fan of the book or the author though. The characters neither had a strong personality nor did the Morningstar agency. I could not comprehend its purposenor the story had the gripping effect on me. Of course, I could always blame the Ludlums and the Matthew Reilleys of the world who have set the bar high for thrillers. Although not a fan, I am still looking forward to reading 'Turbulence' by Samit Basu since it has an interesting premise and I would like to see how he treats the subject. Maybe after that I will decide whether to continue reading his books or not.

 

5. Roads to Mussoorie by Ruskin Bond

 

Well… Well … Well … I picked it up finally. Happy to have read 4 books already this month, I decided to give RB a shot. And surprisingly I wasn't really disappointed. Of course, I am not really impressed either and may not pick up a RB unless my friend really pushes me to read one.

This one again read like a collection of memories put together. An interesting read.

My friend loves nature and goes hiking almost every year and RB books kindle her love for nature with the descriptions of nature and its bounties. They fail to do a similar kindling in me for 2 simple reasons. I am not really a nature buff (although I do love it) and more important, I don't really have a photographic memory and neither do I have a photographic imagination.

I can create fantasy worlds in my mind and I don't trouble creating cities and action sequences in my mind's eye. But I fail miserably when it comes to imagining nature , the riot of colors of flowers and leaves in full bloom, the soft cool breeze and the almost heavenly feeling it can instill within. I fail to do this imagination stuff and hence I am unable to enjoy literature which describes nature; hence, my inability to enjoy Ruskin Bond.
 
Well … Novembers gonna be a busy month. Relocation to Dubai/Sharjah and beginning of the project (2 projects actually – One I am on and the other I am supposed to supervise as a Change Mgmt Consultant). Lets see how do I score on the last 2 months of the year. A year which has been exceptionally good as far reading is concerned (and other wise too)
 
 

Monday, December 06, 2010

My Shortest international Trip

 

Just a few days I wrote about my international trips and the counter went up again. I travelled to Muscat, Oman and came back on 3rd Dec.

One more international trip and 2 immigration stamps get added to the tally.

And yes, I should mention here that this trip was My Shortest international Trip till date.  

The sector was Sharjah (UAE) - Muscat (Oman) - Sharjah (UAE)

6.00 - take off from Sharjah

8.08 - landing at Sharjah

So in a matter of 2 hours … I completed an entire trip :) (Considering the air-travel)

I left my hotel in Dubai around 3.30 PM and went to Sharjah Airport … and by 9:00 PM I was back in the hotel.
The whole journey was like a whirlwind. I was carrying my laptop and a book to read. At Sharjah airport, the wait was long since I reached pretty much in advance. Funny thing was that there was a Mumbai bound plane at the same gate from where my Muscat bound plane was t take-off.  Every time they announced for people to board the plane, I felt like doing it.  I felt even more home-sick. During this wait at the Sharjah airport; and I even worked on Arbit a bit.

The actual journey was short … about 45 minutes only. Its almost like it began and it ended. Once in Muscat; I got out of the plane and headed towards the gate for boarding my return flight. I reached there to see that they had begun to board the same. There was a long queue so I had a few moments top spare.

I sat down, pulled out my laptop and my falafel sandwich. Worked the last but of Arbit strip in those few minutes and saved the final comic strip. Finished the sandwich and the strip and boarded the flight.

It was the same flight that I came by and even the staff was same. It was like I never got down from the plane; only changed seats. A colleague of mine even got the same seat :)

What a journey … My Shortest international Trip till date