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.