Monday, September 1, 2014

Childhood Revisited

I was near the main gate of my house just trying to open it up. The noise thus made was enough to let someone' sharp ears make all the required jiggle. Even before I managed to enter and in turn close the door, there was a sweet chirping sound. I turned to find her standing near the entrance to my living room. I could see an all happy face and eager eyes.

Mish was back after a 15 day visit to her maternal grandparents. Tough days for me to go by without her in the house; especially not getting the usual welcome as I come back home from office. So while she was back this Sunday morning, it was all "papa aao".. "papa come" and "aye papa" all through the day. That however didn't stop her from noticing that the rain started to fall. Couldn't blame her as after quite a few days it was raining well so the fall sound was enough to be noticed even while we were inside the house.

Not that the rain wasn't welcomed by me; its been a hell lot of wait for proper monsoon this year; but I was just about waiting for my little princess to get started to pull me and ask for a rain bath. The rain somehow makes her go ga-ga over the weather. She is all set to go out there and enjoy the fall. And I knew it was hard to make her stop; no matter what. That didn't stop me from trying a futile way to do the impossible. My mother was quick to notice that it was in vain. I asked why and "I never succeeded anyway...".

It was true, no matter what it was hard to stop me being away from the rain as far as I can remember. As a child (not as small as her) I would cycle around my society for a good  30-40 min as it rained; whenever it rained. I just couldn't stop myself getting under the fall. Not a choice.. at all !! So it was pretty evident that my daughter was just as rigid to go out there and have fun. On second thought I think I had enough of a resistance from myself and it was time. Childhood revisited !!

Not that it was the only occasion, but I will leave the rest for some other time maybe. For the moment it was just the rainfall and a naughty kid to handle. Enjoy the pic :)
Childhood Revisited

Friday, August 29, 2014

Flavour Basket: Your Recipe Friend!

Did someone notice I talked about another blog taking most of my time lately in the last post? At least the actual owner of that blog did notice that I didn't make "enough" mention of the blog and in fact there was no mention of the name. And for obvious reasons there was no chance of repeating "what's in a name" ;)

A few months earlier while enjoying the tasty dinner I have got so used to now; I casually mentioned to my better half if she considered having a site where she would be able to share the recipes with people. Though I knew the idea crossed her mind on several occasions but the final credit rests with me on finally putting the thought to the table. The egoistic feeling wasn't long lived though as the next thing in line was to find a name for the blog. This isn't the first time we were fighting over a name. A couple of suggestions(though good ones from my side) were down down, we finally settled on another good one from the home ministry. It was all set for the showdown!

Flavour Basket; that' the name!! 

Flavour Basket: Your Recipe Friend!

With the site well set, my wife was all geared up for the new busyness she was to get. Flavour Basket' Facebook page was also set for promotion. By the way, we are just one like away from the first hundred! Flavour Basket' admin wasn't comfortable with the look of the site, unless she started receiving calls and messages about how well the site came up. That at least settled a few butterflies in my stomach as my choice on the look was finally getting appraised ;).

While the confectionery items recipes are the hot favorites on the site, a few others (especially) like the spicy chaat items are doing the circles as well. We did receive a boost when Flavour Basket' guest blogging started on a good note. We received a few sweet recipes but as well some spicy Indian kitchen items. There are items for quite a few occasions, especially the family gatherings, the small kitty parties or those urgent Kitchen trips courtesy the uninvited guests. Though my favorite has been the donuts (and so too for quite a lot of people, who have tasted them), feel free to choose your own favorite. My colleagues have referred to them as Sahana Donuts; not a bad choice either but I prefer to be quite on this christening, at least for now!

Have fun in the Kitchen with these recipes and yes, comments are welcome :) !!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

In The MeanTime...

A year and nearly 2 months since I hit the publish button in this space. People have been asking if I am already done here. The answer to this question for now is a no. Since the last time I posted things have been rather busy both at the personal as well as professional front. And if you have been following part of the attention has been to the other blog, but more on that later. Soon after the last time something was drafted here, the news on professional front wasn't that good so the focus shifted on winding up the things and then later in the year in the search of another place. 

Sahana First BirthdayIn the meantime Sahana turned one and there were huge preparations to be done. After a lot of search the party place was finalized. The actual birth date was falling in the auspicious days period so it was decided to prepone the function and celebrate the birthday on the date which was also the birth date, but according to the Hindu Calendar. The day long event went really well. Good food, dance, enjoyment were all that marked the day. The little one wasn't quite aware of the proceedings but was happy to have her cousins to play with. The photos will stay there for her to admire when she starts understanding :). Coincidentally, its the same thithi today so as per Hindu Calendar its Sahana' birthday as well !!

2014 started with a new place and challenges, a personal loss and life has been here n there. Meanwhile Sahana has been getting naughty all the while. Keep up with me on Facebook to get all the photo updates of the little princess :)

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Interesting Summer Already !

Standing right under the sun, it was damn hot already and I knew the summer was yet to come. My mind was nostalgic, trying to gather some thoughts that I knew couldn't be pictured no matter how hard I tried. Not that my memory is that bad, but it seemed a little too optimistic for me trying to remember how the scene would have been in the summer of '81. 

Sahana's First holi
That was when I had my tonsure, a rather complete one. This time around I had my daughter who was completely unaware of the proceedings. Looking at the weather it was hard to believe we just passed the Holi days, Mish enjoyed her first Holi quite a lot. As is visible in the pic on left here. She obviously was unaware of why everyone was so colorful, not with the clothes but on their faces ;). I don't think she saw herself in the mirror that day, but I captured her enough for future days to have a look on how cute she looked with those color on her face. She anyway enjoyed the day with relatives around. The summer events were just beginning to come by!

Mish was visiting her dad' birthplace for the first time. If there was a bit of excitement my heart was hiding, I didn't realize; for I was too busy thinking of the moment she will had her tonsure. It will be a good workout for mom n dad then! It was a 
Sahana Shrivastava
difficult decision, considering the soft hair she had from birth. And they were growing fast enough for us to maintain and she wasn't enjoying the maintenance anyway. Keeping them for another 2 years would have been difficult. Especially when you couldn't trim them in the period. All these thoughts were now not important. The poor little child had to be perturbed and it was a rather shaky dad who had her in the lap all throughout the ceremony.

The head was shaved clean and it was time to come back. The first visit to dad' birthplace was more exciting and troublesome then she would have first thought. But as it is with kids of this age, they forget sooner than we would imagine. Some discomfort, lot of cries, a tight cling to dad and a quick nap in his arms was all that was done. When she woke up; it was the same mischievous kid that was rolling over in everybody' arms a few hours back. Don't look like she was even aware that the soft n lovely hair on the head are now gone :(

Milind Birthday CakeA month later it was time for me to celebrate possibly the best birthday ever. When it was time to cut the delicious cake(as you see) baked by my wife; the little princess was asleep.
It seemed like the kido realized dad was about to cut the cake. As no one was paying attention to have her into the cake cutting area, she woke up and cried like anything. Finally in the dad arms to cut the cake with him made her happy for it was only a couple minutes that she was there and then she was back to sleep. I wonder if I had any other birthday that was so cherished.

Enjoy the cake, the pic I mean ;). See you around !

Monday, July 8, 2013

An Invisible Network

The other day while talking to a friend we both realized we have a huge contact network if we include all of the social and professional sites that we are active on. And then we casually starting checking if we had a common contact on the professional site. What we discovered was something that is pretty obvious with many of us. For a major percentage of the people we accepted in our network, we didn't even realize they are in our contact. Obvious? Yes. Usual? Yes!. Beneficial? Not from a networking point of view!

Many of my friends accept requests from only those people that they know either personally or professionally or both. And then there are a few I know, who accept all; irrespective of whether they are known to them or not. "What's the harm in having people in your network that you don't know ?". Considering that I work in a social media domain, the question usually pops up; often. While there would be different perspective you could answer the question from; I will take it from the networking perspective.

Having people in your network just for the sake of increasing the count or circle numbers doesn't make sense if you aren't aware you have them. So for instance, you may have a contact who belong to certain industry/domain; say HR; but it's useless if you don't know about him/her especially when you may want to gather some information on that particular industry/domain. The purpose of having a virtual network gets defeated. Laying down in deep the actual benefits that the networking sites were created for. So having people in your network that you do not know, is not bad; not realizing the power of your network is! 

If you don't know about your network, it's difficult to put a price tag on it ;), not that I am asking you do ;). Jokes apart, the worth is not in increasing the numbers in your contact/address books, it rather sits in how you connect! Don't let part of your network be "invisible". You will be surprised how informative and knowledgeable your network could be. Paying a little more attention from the start always helps! 

Are you one of those who carry with them an "invisible network"? Get started to know them, its just a virtual barrier that needs to be crossed!

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Developer in Paris : 5/6

The Opera house was still putting us to dreams, less we knew there were sights much seductive to come in the rest couple of days. We were still afraid of what will happen to the plans to visit the Eiffel. We kept hearing the "you should visit" and "something not to leave" every now and then about the world famous monument.

We decided to postpone it till Friday as Thursday evening also seemed enough busy not to get time. Spending time with the teams was much fun and made the visit worth. And no I wasn't trying to hide the fact that the major and much awaited visit was still a bit away.

Friday was going to be a bit rushy, specially since we planned to leave a little early for the Eiffel and may be one more place if we had time to. We finally managed to get thru the last day in Paris office very nicely, completing all the meetings that we had planned. When it was time, it was difficult to leave people here. Its been just a week and the bonding already showed. So it was farewell to the office and all the colleagues, hoping a few would visit us in India in the coming time.

And finally we embark on our journey to the Eiffel. Office, Hotel, Metro and in some time we were at a place were we could see it from some distance. A tuk tuk ride and we find ourselves at the place, just below it and it was time for some cam action. Taking pictures is fun but it becomes difficult when the building or a structure is as big as this one.

I tried some tricks and here is a view I was able to click from my phone camera. You may find a better high def version on my Facebook profile. The charm of some buildings/monuments is that you just keep them in the visibility. Less care about the vicinity and irrespective of the cold weather and the chilly wind. And on top I forgot to carry my gloves and the cap. Even the ear plugs just to protect my ears with this wind.

The next wait was for the darkness to settle in so we could see the Eiffel in all lighted up. We decided to walk around a bit in the mean time. And the river on the other side of the road was just the attention we required. For otherwise it was difficult to wait, the wind was catching up a little and was getting chilly. We were close to the Eiffel but didn't realize the other side of the road would present a little far but just as lovely a view. In fact it seemed better than the one close. A couple more before we heard the water, to what seemed a backyard. Stairs? yeah sure and we get down to be a little closer to the river. Wonderful sight as would be obvious:
Here is a panoramic view I had from the river side. So while this was just as fascinating, I nearly lost my breath the moment I turned. The view was worth a life. And you could compare it to the view one would have of the Taj on a full moon night.
As you see the sight was just awesome and the click as much difficult. I leave it to you to decide how good the click was ;).

And this was it. We take the metro back to the Hotel. Dinner and stuff packing were still to be done. And yes, there is this post to be finished and published. Hope you enjoyed the series. I have a flight to catch tomorrow morning so I think its time I put the post to an end and hit the button above that says "Publish" ;)

Paris, thanks for having us. It was fun!! 
Farewell !!

Friday, March 22, 2013

Developer in Paris : Day 4

Middle of the week already and we haven't had a chance to visit too many places. The silver lining was that the meetings with a few people and just some unofficial chat with the others were going really well. People back home have been asking if the weather has been a problem. Seriously not as bad as we expected it to be.

So while the Eiffel visit was still in the pipeline (yeah unlucky sorts for now), we were getting a good look of a few more things. We decided a little and quick visit to La Défense is a good idea. And what a good idea when you have someone to take us thru the way and tell us little stories about the few places we went to (Thank you Hicham :) ). 

For example the structure (rather the building) that you see here is the world's largest for a built up that's without any pillar support. So the bow structure (or the arc down) that you see if not supported by any pillar whatsoever. The structure is very big for that sense and in case you are interested its just sits on the other side of the La Défense mall. You may find a short cut from the make up store if you are actually inside the mall. Walk straight thru the store for the exit on the other end. And just on the left of the picture there is a big stature that will be of interest in case you would want to see the view of Paris with the Arch de Triumph in it. The absolute top of the place presents a wonderful view I am told. And it is really high. A 
Image Credit:wiki
sample of the skyline from the La Défense is here on the right. The night view I am sure will be much more seductive.

Not much time since it was the afternoon and we took the time from our lunch time. So we decided to hurry back as we were required to take the subway two times in order to be able to reach the office. Fun all the way it was!! The ride in the metros (subway) has been fun. I don't think the frequency of the rides have been the same in India. Figuring out the route was much of a challenge and winning the bet when you get it right is much more enjoying.

Come evening and there were some plans as well. We were being taken for another tour in the streets for some wonderful views and dinner at a Libanese restaurant. I will leave to you to figure out the pronunciation of the hotel. All I can be of help is a nice clear picture of the entrance.

The food we found was very good and stuffing. The company that we had was just the icing on the cake. It was nice to be able to walk the streets with the guys especially when we met them after some good gap. The fiddling with the menu cards at the restaurants have been made easy this time again like yesterday. Food and desserts finished, we decide a walk to the opera house. I am told its as beautiful as anything during the night with all the lights. We do a 5 minute walk to find ourselves in arguably the most expensive place in the area we were in.

But did we complain on this? No not at all and there was no second thought about that as well. What we saw in front of us was just eye catching and glittering at the same time. Not sure if what I captured above was more glittering and rare or the trio who were generous enough for a walk that evening with us. In case you are wondering, here they are :). Thank you guys, we just loved the time!!

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