Thursday, December 31, 2009

"Aaall is well"

We saw 3 idiots yesterday. As we drove up to Square One because of the Year end shopping craze, the parking lots were choker blocked. This caused some tension and if I had known of the "Aaal is well" mantra prior to the movie -- I would have used it then.

What a great movie! I have come to love Amir Khan & Boman Irani. The other two ( Raju & Farhan) were outstanding as well. The innovativeness of "Rancho" was commendable and I am sure every engineering student seeing the movie ( we have two in the house) wanted to emulate Amir & if not atleast everyone now knows what is a "vacuum delivery" thanks to the movie. Some great scenes from Ladakh made me reminiscence of my days at Dras and the great NH-1A ( the national highway from Srinagar to Leh)

As it happens with every movie I see, the effects linger on for a day and the effects of this one had me smiling away to myself for much of the following day. If you haven't seen it-- go see it and "aal will be well"

Monday, December 28, 2009

Skiing Day

Aay and me made our yearly ski/snowboarding trip during the Christmas break. This time we chose the Kelso Glen Eden slopes in Milton as against our usual choice Chicopee, Waterloo. Kelso being closer won our business. Ant had decided to stay back as per his logic doing this just once a year gave him more aches than thrills. With just 39cms of snow on the slopes (Kelso had their snow making eqpt churning out the white stuff to compensate what global warming is doing to the skiing business around the GTA) and the wind chill factor hovering around the -20 degree mark I made 17 runs on a not so challenging slope and most of which I completed in a "snow plough" position. It was quite embarrasing to see little kids whizzing past with such superb skills and one could easily see that its the likes of these kids who will be representing us in Vancouver in Feb 2010. My careful snow ploghing and slow meandering ensured that I came away without a spill which was not the case with Aay who felt he must push himself over the edge to emulate what we all see on TV and not surprisingly he has come back with a sore behind. I tried to placate him with some piping hot choclate but with all my good intentions the hot choclate did not know which part of his body needed it most :)
I could not get too many pics -- obviously not -- it was too bloody cold to take off your gloves and stand there with exposed hands ,waiting in the feezing wind to get a pic which in all probability would come out a blur anyways.
Towards the end of the day we drove away exhausted, bundled up in a warm car, it had just started to snow. As I sipped my hot choclate I could not help think that this had been a day well spent.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas Day

The last two weeks of 2009 are finally here. Ant & Aay are back from Waterloo and in front of us are a whole string of holidays. On Christmas eve we lit a fire and settled down for Angels and Demons with some Pizza. Tom Hanks was great though many a times I found it too stretched when Tom looked at a sword/arrow held by a statute and took that to be the location where the bomb could possibly be. Very eerily the very next day we heard of the assault on the Pope in the Vatican. I wonder if they summoned Tom Hanks to get to the bottom of it!!
Holidays are a great time to indulge & there was lots to eat-- Anitas's famous burgers and "alo gobi"-- I gorged on cake and every time I ate some I knew i should'nt-- but then its Christmas. Later on Christmas day we drove down to the office where Ant will be doing his internship for the next few months. We found a Timmy's just below and we all trooped in to buy our own favourites ( English Toffee, French Vanila and double double). Its been raining all day.. Toronto has had a very wet christmas.

Saturday, October 3, 2009


I hav'nt written in a long while. I was trying to come up with a reason why that was so. I drew a blank. I guess too many things are happening right now and its difficult to track well in all areas. In the end I am sure the good old NDA training will pay off. Its hard for outsiders to appreciate what those three years did for me-- Those who know, know.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Noel da Lima Leitao

This Sunday morning I received an email from my friend Victor informing me that our school friend Noel had died. Just like that. I read it a couple of times before it sank in. Slowly, I was hit with a sadness that weighed me down that I sat for a long time reflecting on a life that had just ended.

It was a cold wintry March day in 1967 at St Joseph's College, Nainital that I first met Noel. We were in grade 4. Life's success in those days was counted on the number of marbles one had or who had the best fountain pen ( we had just graduated from pencils to pens).I remember he had the biggest "bunta" Anyone remember what that is ?( the striker marble)

Noel was a natural athlete and this was evident not only on the "futta" and hockey fields but even in track and field. He always played full back for St Francis ( Nehru house), the house he eventually Captained in his final year. His kicks always crossed the half line. Little did we know that one day he would dominate the Indian football( soccer) scene as a commentator par excellence.In the evenings in the lockers after a gruelling games period one would find him working with the bull worker and he always had a witty comment on any situation.

He excelled in academics as well passing out with an enviable 7 points in the ISC exams. I recollect English essays were tough in school... I once got 35/50 from Bro O'Shea and I pranced about the class assuming mine was the best till I happened to glance at Noel's paper. It was lying on his desk and he was not even bothered and was busy talking with some one elsewhere in class-- he had been marked 39/50.

Noel was easily a class apart. Athletic supremacy, futta and hockey skills, academic brilliance, confidence and style. I would give him a 10 all through. Rarely does one come across such an individual. I last met him in 1985 in Goa and my wife described him as a character right out of a mills & boon when she saw him striding towards us dressed in full white from a six cylinder vintage car.

Today even as I write this, I know preparations are underway for Noel's funeral. Though we know that this is a fact but my mind refuses to accept the reality. It is hard to forget you my friend but we will meet again on the other side, only this time I aim to have a bigger "bunta" than yours.

Rest in peace, Noel.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Aayush leaves for the University of Waterloo

It was a momentous day for Aayush. The day he officially starts life on his own (to an extent).There would be no more parental nagging to tidy up/ get up/ go to sleep /shower/ do his home work... this could go on & on. From this day on he makes his own choices (to an extent..:))

You can see him in the pic on top standing next to the van all loaded up just before we drove him to Waterloo

He started his day by staying with his best friend "Young" and judging by the fact that they were inseperable over the last 5 years -- it must be tough on both of them to arrive at this fork in their lives and experience the feelings of going their seperate ways.

Early in the day we played tennis @ Frank Mckenie. Aayush smashed me 6-0 ( I had the racquet with broken strings). Not sure when we will play next -- the good thing is that with a 6-0 loss I can only get better -- I have hit rock bottom.

The days leading to his departure for the univ were spent on chosing or discarding all the little pieces of trivia / books and clothes that have been part of his schoooling and teenage life so far. His small room was strewn with cartons which needed to be packed.. I could make out that it was not an easy job as he sifted through years of "stuff" each one bringing back some memories and then having to make a decision to retain or discard...

Later in the day when we dropped him at Beck hall, he was whisked away by the students and staff who got him involved with the initiation activities. Anita, Ant & me tinkered around in his room trying to set it up -- which we did but I later wondered if Aayush had any inkling of what had been so carefully stowed where in his new room. Like he said as he rushed off-- " I will figure it out with common sense..." and was gone

Hopefully we have guided him well so that he can stand confidently on his own in a world that is bound to present him with his fair share of challenges and opportunities.
Good luck Aayush!!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Alfredo the cabbie

Every once in a while you meet a person who really appeals to you from the way he / she talks and conducts himself/herself. We met such a person at Nassau, the capital of the Bahamas. As soon as we came ashore, we ran into a horde of cabby's all offering us a ride to the beaches and the world famous Atlantis hotel whose rooms were priced at an outrageous $25k a night. We walked through the horde and a little distance away stood a cabbie dressed as all cabby's were -- white bush shirt and a dark trouser. He came forward and said "Welcome to my country" The way he said that, mesmerised me and we did not even question the fare or the destination. We went with the flow. We got in and he started to give us a guided tour on the way to our destination. All through his monologue his genuineness came across loud and clear and we swallowed every word he told us. There was respect in his demeanour and when he dropped us off at our destination he advised us where we could get a ride back. To this day I kick myself for not taking a pic of him. He was by far the greatest cabbie I have had. If you happen to go to the Bahamas-- ask for Alfredo!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Ever Take a Real Vacation...??

Last week we took a cruise vacation to the Bahamas on board the Majesty of The Seas

These ships are monsters - actually floating cities stacked 14 decks high with pools, shopping arcades, resturants, tons of sporting activities and more importantly -- bars in every nook and cranny

Here is Antrix trying to do a Daniel Craig,,,,

& then Aayush gave it a shot too

Anita found a picture perfect shot for herself at Coco-Cay-- I swear I have seen this in a calender somewhere before.

Back on board the Majesty of the Seas, I did some rock climbing ..( please note that I reached the top and rang the bell-- a round of applause please!!

Aayush and I did some para-sailing on Key-West

We also cycled past the Hemingway House-- Remember Ernest Hemingway of the "Old man & the Sea" fame. The house is cozily tucked away in Key West on Whitehead street

& finally we stood at the Southern most tip of the US before we took the ship back to Miami

Some stupid questions that first time cruisers asked of the staff on board
1. Stupid Q: Where does the electricity on the ship come from
Stupid A: There is a cable running from all the way from Miami to the ship...

2 Stupid Q: Do these stairs go up or down
Stupid A: ?!

3.Stupid Q: Where do the staff sleep while at sea
Stupid A: We fly them in on shifts from Miami

For anyone not initiated into the world of cruising-- take one -- I gaurantee you , you will be hooked. We cannot wait to take our next cruise.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Buying a Home

I am sorry I was away for a spot of vacation...more on that later!

On Aug 08, 2009 I stood just outside the white doors of 6561 (above) while Anita my realtor & wife ( certainly not in that order) opened the lock box- I felt it in my guts that this was the house we would end up buying.We had not even entered but i just knew it. In a few minutes after entering I told Anita something I have never told her before--"Lets put in an offer"

We bought 6561 last week. Well it was not as simple as that -- Anita spent considerable time preparing the offer and doing indepth research on what price we should offer.Besides that there were the visits a couple physical and numerous virtual. We took the kids too and all of us were unanimous. We signed up .

Buying a house here is an experience that is unique to this part of the world. Its almost a "game" between the realtors while they go back & forth between the seller and the buyer trying to arrive at a middle ground( price) that is acceptable to all. The owner is perched cooly in his house while the buyer is sitting in a car in the driveway. Every time the price is adjusted there is a flurry of signatures and talk of "not nickel and diming" though every one is trying to squeeze every last $ they can out of this deal. Once they were able to reach a concensus it was only then that the buyer ( me) was called inside. There was much handshaking and congratulations and laughter another bigger and final round of signatures and lots of legal mumbo jumbo between the realtors. In the cachophony of noise and guaffs I wondered if i had settled for the right price and I am sure the seller must have had similar thoughts. He even shared his apprehensions of telling his daughters that the house that they had lived in for much of their childhood had been sold. That was indeed a tough one. Our job was not as tough-- we are to move in to this awesome home :)

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Confused Recession

1. The Bank of Canada has officially declared that the recession is over.
2. Malls are choker block full with shoppers.
3. Restaurants patio's are overflowing not because of the summer but because the indoors are jam packed
4. Real estate market is HOT HOT HOT. Every offer is getting into a multiple offer situation leading to a sale price exceeding the listed price.
5. Mortgage rates are at rock bottom
6. Workopolis is full of opportunities

1. Layoffs continue across North America
2. The company lunches and team building events are all self funded and NOT company financed.
3. Obama says that there is still ground to cover before the economy is back on track..
4.There is caution in investing

What do you make of this? Are we in recession? Should we be saving our $$'s for a ranier day than the present or should it be business as usual?

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

DONOT Say "Cheeeeeeeese"...

I went to renew my driving licence today. A simple Ontario driving licence. This required the agent at the counter to take a picture of me. I was very surprised when I was told NOT to smile. At first I thought that she was joking but ironically this was not a laughing matter. She was dead serious that my mug shot had to be WITHOUT a smile. I hated waiting for the flash to go off without a warning, blinding me in the process. In anticipation of the flash and being told not to smile, made me scowl , so i guess the agent got what she wanted -- A no smile pic. Anyways I got it over with (I am very sensitive about my eyes)

Later as I was walking out of the office I thought to myself-- why is it that the agent insisted for a pic without a smile. The conclusion I reached ( I could not verify this from the agent as she said that these were her instructions-- Period.) This I thought had everything to do with what the law enforcing agencies wanted. Possibly a smile changes our faces and as we go about our business everyday, burdened with all our stresses and deadlines we generally do not smile. So the law authorities wanted a pic that closely resembles our everyday appearance ( a non smiling face)

What does that tell you ?-- we as a society or more correctly as a species have forgotten to smile. Somewhere, something has "moved our Cheeeese"

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Really Inspirational

Really Inspirational

I came across this on youtube.
Really inspirationalseeing the spirit of the little boy displayed on the video.
Next time you see an obstacle-- just roll up your sleeves and get to work. Help will come....

Monday, August 3, 2009

Fake Alien Invasion

Fake Alien Invasion

This really takes the cake in innovative teaching methods. The kids being terrified is where i think they went over. On the other hand the type of video games and movies that we have these days I doubt any of the kids were actually traumatised. I would have loved to have grown up in this sort of a learning environment. For quite some time we have spoken of education and entertainment convergence. This is surely a great example. I know some of you may not agree & you may be right....

Sunday, August 2, 2009

The Pot of Gold @ Niagara Falls

We did not actually find a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow but we spent a great evening together with Pankaj and Shalini at Niagara, sans kids. Shalini was gushing that it was the fist time they were able to get away alone as Neel and Niki were safely ensconced in a camp and they were on their own... did I mention how she jumped at all cell phone rings expecting it to be a call from Niki...

Anyways I must mention a gem from Pankaj. As we alighted from the shuttle that ferried us from the remote parking( its cheaper to park there) to the main visitors centre opposite the falls, Shalini and Anita headed for guess what.. the cafeteria!!!! Pankaj rightly said -- we seemed to be seasoned locals to whom the grandeur of the falls had little value. Nevertheless when we had got over the realization we all did find the falls spectacular and breathtaking.

While we walked around we saw that the "grass on the other side to be greener"-- that( below) is the view of the US side of the falls from Canada. The number of US vistors to the Canadian side proves the the point.

Another "first" on the trip was Anita and "one of us" decided to take a ride on the "pile driver" It was a ride in which you are taken approx 200ft into the air and then "dropped" giving you a free fall feeling. Eventually only Anita took the ride ( me being too chicken to accomany her having done my bit of stepping off the 10m board at the NDA pool)and besides some one had to stay back to take pictures-- right!!. You can see her in the midst of the ride here

I clicked some very beautiful pics from the side of the rainbow bridge

Later that evening Pankaj & Shalini walked across the Rainbow bridge to the US side and drove back to Pittsbugrh. We spent some more time walking the falls before we took the QEW back which was not surprisingly chocked all the way back home.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Antrix's Architecture Model

This is Antrix's latest model.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Kids or No Kids ??!!

No kids, no grief
A new manifesto argues that parenting is bad for your career, your marriage, your bank book and your love life

That is the cover page of the latest Macleans magzine.
Great idea for some nations like China or India but not so for most of the developed world. There could be an endless debate but the bottom line to MY mind is that this is a selfish attitude. Looking at my own kids who now are now adults ( or almost there ..) I can see the type of joy which they(the non parents) would never know, to which they would have totally given a pass. That to me is pretty sad.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

The CAA - Afghanistan Connection

Firstly this is not about the CIA and Afghanistan but as correctly stated above -- The CAA and Afghanistan Connection.

After weeks of procrastination in getting my car ignition repaired it finally gave in. Every crank on the ignition lead to to a sickening click and nothing.... It had finally died on me.There was no choice but to get it towed to the mechanic.The CAA guy who showed up in response to my call looked East Asian, had a Canadian ( not sure what that means but I guess you get the idea) accent but with a Arabic twang. He quickly and expertly hooked up the car and winched it on to the trailer. As we rode to the mechanic we started to chat. Jabe ( name changed) was from Afghanistan who immigrated to Canada approx 10 years back. During his childhood he told me,getting to his one room school was an adventure. With rockets flying and road blocks preventing movement of pedestrian and vehicles , reaching school was an achievement in itself never mind what happened at school. To cut a long story short he never completed his schooling and he came to Canada as a refugee. As I looked at him while he adeptly handled his GPS and laptop I wondered if i could categorize this individual as uneducated??!! Not by a long shot...
I asked him of the situation in Afghanistan currently and his eyes welled up as he stated that there were solders and peace keepres from approx 80-90 countries in Afghanistan and all of them had their own personal agendas. He pinned a lot of responsibility on Pakistan for what has befallen his beloved land and talked about the destruction of the Bamiyan Buddhas and the safe haven provided to the radical elements by the tribal belt on the Pakistan border. He wished the world could leave Afghanistan to itself and possibly the Afghanis could start a new life of their own.
His voice came through with so much pain and anguish that I wondered if he had ever known happiness in his life..... so i asked him ....if he was happy in what he currently did. His face lit up and he said -- Ever since he was a child on the streets of Kabul he used to wonder what made all those automobiles move and that fascination had never left him. Through sheer interest and effort he learnt the trade and today nothing gave him more satisfaction than nursing a troubled vehicle back to life....he added ..."Every man should do what makes him happy". Looking at his grinning face I realized that he had successfully not only made the transition from Kabul to Toronto but also given a meaning to his life which could have very easily ebbed away in strife torn Afghanistan

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

A Signaller comes calling...

After a long time we were visited by a fellow ex Signaller, Col Sumesh Kumar and his wife Namita. The world is small indeed as we had discovered some time back that Anita's colleague @ work, Savita had a sister Namita. Namita had taught Antrix in Noida back in 2003/2002 and through her husband we had a Signals connection. Not only that Namita and Anita had taught at the same school as well. There were obviously a lot of connections and while we talked there were some common friends that surfaced and were refrenced. As the conversation turned un-avoidably to be more Signals oriented, I hoped Surrender did not feel leftout.

It was a nice evening we had and it would be suicidal if I did not mention that Anita churned out some great food ( as usual) and my statement claiming to have had a hand in the cooking did not seem to be taken seriously at all ( wonder why????)

Sunday, July 5, 2009

New Owners for 5623 Cosmic Cres

After four long years ( I have never stayed this long in any place- -three yrs has been the max) we signed on the dotted line today to sell our house to a Cuban couple Idael Rey and Yadelys Dominguez. We had quite a line up of realtors and their clients outside our house, all vying to get the deal. It was quite an experience. In the pic above ( left to right) you can see yours truly, our Realtor Anita, Idael and Yadelys and their little daughter who has given Anita firm instructions not to sell the house to anyone else now!!

Since we missed the buyers realtor, Alfredo, who clicked the picture above here is another pic with Alfredo Lorenzo and the new owners

Friday, July 3, 2009

Father's Day in Pittsburgh

This should have been posted almost two weeks back on Fathers day but a series of events prevented this from happening. The first was that my laptop hard drive crashed and with that went all my pics that we had clicked during our trip to Pitts. I was able to salvage a few which still lingered on my camera but the majority were reduced to digital nothingness-- next we decided to sell our house which resulted in Anita imposing "cabin cupboard" conditions on us. ( Those who have attended a military academy would know what is implied) -- everything is spick and span ready for an inspection and the environment is least conducive to a normal living..... lastly getting into the cabin cupboard condition required some back breaking effort on part of the whole family.....Anyway back to Fathers day... Both Pankaj and me got identical shirts

and we also cut a cake ( a doughnut with a candle)

Though you do not find Shalini and Anita in the pics -- I am sure you could guess that they had a big hand in getting Fathers day off the ground & like i said earlier -- I lost their pics in my laptop crash. Lastly on behalf of Pankaj and myself , I wish to thank Neel, Niki Antrix and Aayush for the presents and making Fathers days so memorable.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

5623 Cosmic Cresent is on Sale

After 4 years we decided to put our house for sale. The decision was followed by almost two weeks of unrelenting activity when we had a team painting the house and another doing up the floor. Infact to get the floor done we were "sent out" of the house for three and a half days. This was followed by some intense cleaning and scrubbing. You would not believe the amount of trips Ant and Aay made between the basement and the second floor moving furniture/ clothing / luggage and tools. As the walls and the floor were freshly done we had to be careful of all the nicks and scratches that could potentially come up on account of the movement. When it was all done it looked like this

.. and btw as the showings continue everyday we remain exiled from the house. Thankfully to Satish Prasad well timed vacation we are able to "camp" at his place which is just a two minutes drive from our house.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Aayush gets a new MacBookPro

This past weekend we drove to the Apple Store at Sherway Gardens with the intent of buying a MacBook Pro for Aayush's Engineering Course commencing this fall at the Univ of Waterloo. Apple having priced their machine a good $500 above the standard fare in the Intel class have hit upon a winning strategy to grab market share. They offer a student discount of a $100 along with a free itouch. Its no wonder that students flock to the Apple stores in droves where now to even talk to a sales person you need to take an appointment. To give them ( Apple) their due, they have three categories of staff on the floor in the store. One is the Concierge with Orange shirts, then are the sales persons in dark blue and finally the techies in light blue. The Apple store on 5th Ave in New York is seen to be believed. Reminded me of the Louvre in Da Vinci Code. I half expected to see the inverted pyramids !!!

Canada Day: Jul 01, 2009

Canada Day

Today being Canada Day made me reflect for a few minutes on what does being Canadian mean? Suppose I was to go live elsewhere for sometime, what would I miss most about Canada? So here are a few that come to my mind

Tim Hortons

Tim Horton's Coffee: Something most Canadian's relate to and love. There is even a Tim's in Afghanistan Bagram airport & on my last trip to the US I felt a tinge of sadness to see Tim's coming up on the southern edge of the 49th parallel.


Camping: Though over the years we have been here I have not gone to too many camps but I love camp life -- sitting around a fire nibling /drinking.


Kayaking: In 2008 Anita gave me two kayaks for my B'day. I have come to love the sport and have spent quite a few afternoons paddling up the Credit River. That is Antrix in the pic above. On most days I take an audio book along and my camera. Stowing a beer under my seat is standard practice -- I am exploring a way to keep two bottles. The only thing keeping me from doing it is the need to take a leak if i drink too much fluids--- & no I have not sunk to those levels yet. ( doing it over the side)


Caludron of Cultures: Canada has immigrants from all over the world. The spirit of accomodation to embrace one and all is to be experienced to be believed. The team that I belong to at work has a Russian, a Guyanese, Egyptian, Romanian, Chinese, Indian,Irish and a Britisher.I have never seen so many cultures and nationalities living in perfect harmony.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Final Inspection

For those of you with a Soldierly streak in them -- I stumbled across this recently.


*The soldier stood and faced God,* *
Which must always come to pass.
He hoped his shoes were shining,
Just as brightly as his brass.

'Step forward now, you soldier,
How shall I deal with you ?
Have you always turned the other cheek ?
To My Church have you been true?'

The soldier squared his shoulders and said,
'No, Lord, I guess I ain't.
Because those of us who carry guns,
Can't always be a saint.

I've had to work most Sundays,
And at times my talk was tough.
And sometimes I've been violent,
Because the world is awfully rough.

But, I never took a penny,
That wasn't mine to keep...
Though I worked a lot of overtime,
When the bills got just too steep.

And I never passed a cry for help,
Though at times I shook with fear..
And sometimes, God, forgive me,
I've wept unmanly tears.

I know I don't deserve a place,
Among the people here.
They never wanted me around,
Except to calm their fears.

If you've a place for me here, Lord,
It needn't be so grand.
I never expected or had too much,
But if you don't, I'll understand.

There was a silence all around the throne,
Where the saints had often trod.
As the soldier waited quietly,
For the judgment of his God.

'Step forward now, you soldier,
You've borne your burdens well.
Walk peacefully on Heaven's streets,
You've done your time in Hell.'
Author Unknown~

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Fence Repair

This Sunday afternoon, with Anita and Aayush being away , Ant and me decided to fix up a broken fence in our backyard.

This is how it looked after we were done. The gaping hole you see is the one we are going to tackle next

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Celebration of Life

Yesterday I attended an event the likes of which I have never attended before. A friend's father passed away. They had the funeral and follwed that up a few days later with a afternoon event called " Celebration of Life" for the person who was no more. Instead of the natural greiving and sorrow that usually symbolozes death, this event was focused on bringing out the good life that my friends father had lead. There was a slide show playing and members of the family mingled among the guests sharing the times they had cherished with the person. Somewhere midway during the afternoon my friends mother read a letter she wrote to her husband. It was very emotional and it added the solemn touch to the evening. It was so refreshing to look at the passing away of a family member as unquestionably an unredeamable loss but also as an opportunity to celebrate the fullfilling and joyous life that had now come to an end. I had taken a ride to the event with a colleague and as I was driven back I sat in silence. Was the silence due to the refreshingly new outlook to a life that had just ended and had me dumbstruck or was it because in my own way I needed to stay the course in respectful silence?

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Archirectural Models- Aquatic Center

Every few days Antrix goes "underground" culminating in a week at Cambridge and eventually surfaces with a model. The last one he completed yesterday of an aquatic center is shown here ..

and finally the final model which got a bit "unsettled" in transportation

Monday, June 8, 2009

Fauji Kids

I got this in an email .. seemed very appropriate.


1. You were born in a Military Hospital
2. Half your toddler years were spent being looked after by Bhaiyas ( no
explanation here)
3. You went to school either on Bhaiya's cycle or in a Shaktiman
4 .You know what a shaktiman is. ( No! it isnt the TV serialabout half man
and half machine starring AB lookalike)
5. Jeeps & Jongas dont excite you - they were your regular mode of
6 .The only alternative to the Central School was the Army School.
7. You always called Kendriya Vidyalaya Central School. Gosh even today
that sounds better!
8. Your entire family could survive in one room temporary quarters with
25 trunks, wooden crates, the dog, the bedroll and two bhaiyas flitting
9. The smell of Brasso & shoe polish was regular staple.
10 .Mess was not what you created in your room, it was where you went
every Friday for the free "english" movie.
11 .The "English Movie" was very often a western and you couldnt follow a
word! Sometimes you just went for the samosas and the local
drink that they insisted was Cola.
12. At the end of the month your dad had to pay for many pink slips
showing how many samosas and local drinks that they insisted was
Cola you had consumed. They never missed any!!!
13. You attended many May Queen Balls before you knew what Miss India was.
14 .Your mother regularly got dressed, perfumed and dissappeared for the
Ladies Club.
15 .You knew towns like Mhow, Wellington, Deolali and Bhuj
16 You werent a millionaire but hey you had Swimming, Horse Riding,
Squash, Tennis and Golf!!
14. You thought the main reason to have a Golf Course was to have a Holi
15. You can still take one quick look at the epaulets and figure out the
16. You discussed wednesday's Chitrahaar in the Shaktiman.
17 .You can still recall the special & particular smell of the CSD canteen!
A special prize for the correct concoction - mine is - it was a mix of
Hamam Soap, Ponds Dreamflower Talc & Surf i think. In some corners it had
overtures of Brooke Bond red Label as well.
18. Your vacations were a package deal consisting of D-forms, Sharma Uncle
Ka jonga and Army Mess ka kamra.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Aayush made it for kayaking today

As usual Aayush is photo shy but I managed this pic

While Aay went out to the lake I paddled lazily up the Credit river and snapped up some dream properties on the riverline

and while I clicked away I was surprised at how easily this rower powered through the water with such ease..

..another property that I liked but my batteries ran out before I could get the pic I wanted. You can see the blue tip of my kayak in the picture.