Thursday, June 30, 2005

Bright and colourful

This is kinda follow-up to Saba's smiley post. I came across a lot of 'smile makers' this week.

The most exciting of all was a surprise email from a long lost friend. This friend registered in and found me and sent me an email. It was such a wonderful surprise, so good to hear from her after this long (we were together till 10th std) and to catch up on each others lives. We have just exchanged a couple of emails and we still have loads to catch up on. Most surprising was to know she has been married since last 2 yrs and is now an expectant mother!! I am certainly getting older :(

I had given up on long time back as no one wrote to me in all these years that I registered, nor did anyone respond to me. But my friend's email made me log-in and I found that another friend had registered a year ago. I sent her an email without much hope of receiving any reply...and lo! the very next day her email was nicely sitting in my inbox. Wat more can one ask than to be reunited to two long lost friends in such a short gap?

Well, my joys didnt end here. Another happy note was Michelin declaring that they are going to re-imburse the ticket money to all the spectators of the USGP 2005 :D. First, unexpected friends and next unexpected money! I love surprises!!!

Google has launched their new satellite mapping tool, Google Earth. I downloaded their free version and have been doing a lot of exploring since then. I am so amazed at the technology and the information they have. You can even view side view of the earth's terrain. I could see buildings in Chicago to Mount Everest and Mount Kanchenjunga. Do try it out..its awesome! I love Google!!!

Our plans for the long weekend has finally been finalised. As usual, there were people who wanted to join in and opt out..The count was finally fixed and yesternight we sat down armed with our laptops hunting high and low for car deals and hotel deals. After about 4-5hrs we finally booked the cars and the rooms. Fourteen and two 1/4th people are going to Mackinac Island, Michigan and places around it. Leaving on Friday eve...gonna be a night long drive. I love road trips!!!

Hope you all have a great weekend. See you all on Tuesday! I love long weekends!!!!!!

Friday, June 24, 2005

Book Tag

Its been a long long time since I have read books on a regular basis. I have always had this guilty feeling that I no longer read much. But the taggie thingie going on motivated me so much that I actually went to the library to get the books I have been wanting to read for a long time, 'The Da Vinci Code' and 'Life of Pi'. Unfortunately, all the copies of both the books were out. Hopefully I get them soon. If not, because of this book tag going around so much, I have come across many titles which has been added to my 'to read' list. Isn't this an awesome activity?

Total Number of Books I Own -
Four. Three of which I had brought with me from India and one is actually V's. Of course, back home in India, I have innumerable books which I collected since childhood. Books I received as prizes in school and as gifts. I don't remember buying any book in particular. I never had the need as we own a book shop. So, I always got to read many many books without the need to buy. Whichever book that I felt need to be in my collection, I simply 'took' it.

The Last Book I Bought -
Stranger Stories by Satyajit Ray and Modern Indian Short Stories. Both of these I had bought for the flight from India. I love reading short stories, be it the ones we had in our school syllabi, ones by O' Henry, Jeffrey Archer, W. Somerset Maugham or just a collection of stories by various authors. I love the twists in the Jeffrey Archer and S Maugham stories. Probably one of the reason why I enjoy reading stories written by my blog friends so much.

The Last Book I Read -
Angels and Demons by Dan Brown. Well, this book needs no introduction. I found the research done and the pace of the book amazing and unputdownable. I enjoyed Deception Point too. After reading these, I am so looking forward to read The Da Vinci Code. I am going the reverse way - people normally read DVC first, then Angels and Demons and then Deception Point. My path was exactly reverse! :-)

Five Books That Mean a Lot to Me -
As most of us feel, five is a very small number to list all the books the we love. I read only fiction, so as such I have no 'life changing' book that I am very close to. Books that mean a lot to me are the ones I grew up with. As with most of us, it started with Enid Blyton's books. The first books I remember to have read (apart from school books, nursery rhymes other 'learning' books) are the Noddy series. How I used to pester my dad to take me to our shop so that I could get the next 2 Noddy books (I was allowesd to take only 2 at a time).

From Enid Blyton's kiddo books I transitioned to more 'mature' Hardy Boys, The Three Investigators and then Nancy Drew. From then I moved on to Sherlock Holmes, Agatha Christie and her dear Miss Marple and Hercule Poirot series and the Perry Mason series.

About then I also started reading classics like Dickens, Jane Austen, Thomas Hardy etc. Its been so long ago that I read all these classics, I sometimes think of reading them all over again. During the early stages of reading classics, I remember being touched by the story of The Little Princess. I was so excited when, after a few years, I got to see a movie based on that story.

A few books that my dad suggested me to read were Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl, To Sir With Love, Farewell to Arms and To Kill A Mocking Bird. I dont think I need to mention how beautiful each of these are.

The next set of books that I love are plays by Shakespeare. Of them all, I have read three in quite detail - The Merchant of Venice, Julius Ceasar and Twelfth Night or What You Will. I had these in my school curriculum from 8th till 12th std. Julius Ceasar was the toughest of all. But, having these books in my syllabus helped me get interested in reading his other works. Of course, I read the translated version of the rest of his plays. I didnt have the patience to read them in Shakespearen language!

I was planning to write about the books I love in five categories (Five is the number here, remember?), but even five categories are not enough. In this last category, I would like to mention the comics I love. Starting with Tinkle, Amar Chitra Katha to Archies and my favourites till date The Adventures of Tintin and The Adventures of Asterix and Obelix. I also remember reading a few Photo Romance in my early teens :-). And how can I forget my favourite magazine of all times Target!

Five Books I Want to read (This is a section that Anks introduced which I feel is quite apt!) -
The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown

Life of Pi by Yann Martel (Thanks to Ricky for reminding me of this book)
Lajja by Tasalima Nasarina (Thanks to Anks)
The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri (Thanks to Moonie)
Shame by Salman Rushdie

Tag Five people -
Well, this is an open invitation to all book lovers who haven't participated yet. People with no blog are welcome to post their tag as a comment to this post.

Monday, June 20, 2005

The US Formula 1 Grand Prix

As many of you know, this weekend was for the USGP to be held in Indianapolis. Due to unavoidable circumstances we were unable to go for the qualifying race in Saturday. But later while checking websites for updates, me and V came to know about the controversy brewing up. It seems that during the practice session on Friday, two cars had accidents due to their tyres bursting. Michelin investigated the reason for the tyres bursting and declared the current tyres being used to be unsafe for the Indy pit. They planned to fly in another batch of tyres for all their teams. However, they couldn't get fresh tyres for the qualifying race on Saturday and hence the 7 teams using Michelin tyres used the unsafe ones for the qualifying race. Michelin wanted them to use the 'new' tyres for the finals, but according to F1 rules, they have to use the same tyres for both the qualifying and the final race.

So, when we went to Indy on Sunday morning, it was still unsure how things are going to be. If the association agreed to bend the rules and allow them to use the new tyres, the race would go on. Else, we were worried the entire race might get cancelled. We were 9 of us, with 6 seeing the race for the first time. My friend Rashmi and her husband had come all the way from Virginia just to see the race. Everyone was excited and we were armed with a Ferarri flag, Ferarri tees and caps and and Indian flag to cheer the Ferrari team and our own Kartikeyan. There was lots of excitement and the familiar Speedway that I knew so well (my office is just opposite the racetrack) looked completely different...lively and colorful with hundreds and thousands of people from all over the wall. I later read that there were an estimated 120,000 fans.

We had very good seats where we could see the longest part of a lap. From where we sat, we could see the first 5 turns where the cars slow down and max action happens. The race started with all the 20 cars lined up. After the necessary formalities, the cars took off for a practice round to heat up the tyres. Seeing the cars, we were relieved that atleast they did come up with some kind of solution to the issue. But our relief was short lived...for except for the 6 cars running on Bridgestone tyres, rest all the cars went in back to their pit stop. They had all withdrew from the race and now only 6 cars were participating!!!

After the fans got over the initial confusion, they started getting frustrated and people started booing and throwing bottles and beer cans on the track. Many non-Ferarri supporters got up and left in disgust. We stayed on... of course each and everyone present were disappointed and upset. But looking at the brighter side, we were happy that Ferrari got a sure shot win and Kartikeyan got his best chance ever to increase his rank position. Practically, there were two parts in the between Michael Schumacher and Rubens Barrichello and the other one between the remaining 4. The race was between one of the best team (Ferarri) and 2 of the worst teams (Jordan and Minardi). Within no time both the Ferarri cars zoomed off leaving the remaining 4 cars far behind. Kartikeyan did pretty ok as he managed to get to the 4th position from 5th. I was hoping (wicked that I am) that something should happen to the 2 cars in front of Kartikeyan so that he can come 3rd, coz soon there was no chance of him to overtake his teammate Monteiro to get into the 3rd position. The highlight of the race was when Schumi took his second pit stop and when got out of his pit stop, Barrichelo was right in front of him and Schumi managed to nudge him out of the way and get back into 1st position. Barrichello was forced to get out of the track into the grass to avoid a collision. I am sure he must be having a huge grudge for Schumi for that!

Well, the race ended and no one was surprised with the results. It was a subdued Shcumi, an irate Barrichello and an overly happy and grinning Monteiro who went up the podium to take the victory stand! Many people were demanding a refund of their tickets and I read later on that the Indy Speedway are contemplating on the refund. Overall, though it was the oddest race ever, with frens around it was a good fun. Not as exciting as expected...but in a way we are all glad to have been a part of the F1 history!

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Breaking grounds

Recently while surfing through the channels on TV, I stopped short when I saw Rahul Khanna smiling back at me! They were showing 'Bollywood/Hollywood' on the Sundance Channel. It was a delightful surprise to see an Indian movie on a regular movie channel here. I was doubly delighted coz I hadn't seen this movie earlier. Found the movie to be quite nice and funny. The next day once again I was surfing and this time I saw Rahul Khanna on a different getup. They were now showing 'Earth'. And today, it was 'The Guru' playing on the USA channel!!!

Its really pleasing to see Indian movie breaking grounds into the American homes. I wonder how long will it be before I get to see SRK!!

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

My turn now

By now I guess everyone who have been tagged have done this. Nupur started it and it spread like wild fire. Here I am with my replies...

My real name

Colourful Life


My ability to hold on to all the fat and calorie intake

My Nepali Background
Me being Indian
Me being from Sikkim

Losing loved ones
All creepy crawly creatures, prominently snakes
Being late for exams (I still get nightmares)

Brush my teeth
Eye Liner

Eye Makeup

Already have what I want touch-wood*...don't want any more :-)

TWO TRUTHS AND A LIE (in no particular order):
I love scary roller coaster rides
I love being in water
I enjoy water parks


Go Home and meet my family and relatives
Go Home and meet my friends
Go Home and eat mom's food

Happy with my current career, but no harm in contemplating what I could have been instead
Graphic Designer in major animation company
Interior Designer

South East Asia
(Sigh! That still doesn't cover all the places I wanna visit!)

Don't know. Will think of them when the right time comes :-)

Marry V and live happily ever after
Sky Dive again
Travel the whole world

I guess everyone's done this by now..Hey Rhicha and still haven't. Now its your turn! Also, anyone else who haven't been tagged yet, need to do it now. No excuse!!

Monday, June 06, 2005

Koffee in Kolumbus and movies

Columbus finally has a full fledged Starbucks of its own...yippeee!! For 4 days before the opening, they were offering free coffee....went there twice ;-). Now we have a decent place to hang out with friends and have good coffee too :-). I know you must be thinking, 'whats the big deal?' But had you been staying in Columbus for the last 2 yrs, then you would know. I remember we used to drive 45mins to go to the nearest Starbucks so that we can have a good cup of coffee!!

Saw the following increasing order of my liking. After Kaal and Main Aisa Hi Hoon, I guess these movies are atleast okay!

Lucky.. well, cant say I actually liked it. This one too I watched on the net and was fast forwarding most of the parts. Cant stand Salman Khan much. Liked the songs though. Some are pretty good.

Naina.. saw this on the net too. Found it to be pretty okay, but I guess watching it in the theatre would have helped in the effects.

Dude, where's the party?.. saw this in video. And this one's fun. Its a crossover movie, American Desi starring the fav boy Kal Penn. The movie is funny and I enjoyed it through and through.

Bunti and Babli.. saw this in the theatre and loved it! This certainly tops the charts. It is entertaining, funny and fresh. Loved Abhishek and Rani in this. And the surprise in the Kajra re song was good. Would like to see it again. But would like to cut off the rap no. picturised on Amitabh in the end. What were they thinking??

Friday, June 03, 2005

Meri yaar ki shadi hai

This long weekend was one of the most exciting and important weekend ever, since I got to attend the most important day of my dear friend Rashmi. Yes, Saturday was her wedding with her long time beau :-). Me and V flew to Washington DC on Friday eve and went over to her appt for dinner. It was wonderful meeting and old friend after such a long time. After dinner we went to the hotel not wanting to keep them awake for long before the long day ahead of them.

The next day me and V got up real late. We quickly got ready for the marriage and got the directions to go to the parlor where Rash was getting ready. Being the 'Ladki wale' we were supposed to accompany the bride to the temple. But, as luck would have it, we got lost and it was getting late so finally decided to go to the temple directly. Again after a few wrong turns we safely arrived at the temple. I realized that was the first time I visited any temple since coming to the US. Thanks Rash, atleast coz of you we both got to get blessings together! Soon, the bride arrived followed a few moments later by the groom. Both were looking great and the couple looked a perfect match. The marriage started and the fun began.

Now, I have hardly attended marriages in my lifetime. This was infact the 4th marriage that I have ever attended (that which I remember since childhood). I however realized that this was indeed an American desi marriage. Everything was short and simple. I can commend my friend to have managed and arranged everything so well. The most interesting part of the entire ceremony was the punditji. He was explaining each ritual and also pulling the groom's leg in that process. While explaining, he was giving reference to Ramayana and Mahabharata saying 'aap logo ne TV mein dekha hoga':-). And the fun part was how while saying the mantras, the punditji was saying "America deshe, Virginia kshetre, so and o grame...". That had me almost in splits.

The ceremony completed peacefully with no objections from anyone whatsoever and the newlyweds were showered with blessings and wishes from everyone present. By then the rats in my stomach had started warming up and I was looking forward to the dinner. Most of the guests moved on to the reception hall, while the bride and the groom and few others took a stop to change into more comfortable outfits. The reception hall was located in the midst of a quaint little 'mall' which lay by and beautiful lake. While waiting for the newlyweds to arrive, few of us took a stroll by the lake and enjoyed the serene beauty. By the time we returned back to the hall, the rats in my stomach were running all over making weird noises.

After some more wait, the couple-of-the-day finally arrived and everyone heaved a sigh of relief not being able to contain their hunger any longer :-). After waiting for a polite amount of time, all the guests attacked at the snacks immediately followed by the food. The food was food after all :-).

After the food, the dhoom dhamaka started with dancing and fun. The 'wilder' crowd started dancing and gradually started pulling in the more 'shy-er' ones like me in. After seeing everyone was on the dance floor, I too had to join in. The next hour or so, we had a fun time, dancing and even playing games. Finally, it was time to call it a night.

Rashmi, I know you have been waiting for me to put up this post. I don't think I have given a full justice to it, but I hope you like my point of view :-). Wanna thank you for involving me & V in your day. We both had a lovely time. Wish you and Anupam a very happy, loving, colorful, successful and exciting married life :-)