Wednesday, December 29, 2010
Monday, December 27, 2010
Tuesday, August 3, 2010
Middle of the semester it was; no respite, assignments supposed to be finished till the end of spring break and some exams even. Sinking star of Hindu myths didn’t show any mercy nor would have the scorching heat of summers. Voila, the wedding ceremony of my sister was planned in the blooming springs of March me being summoned to Hindustan. The exhilarating climax of 2 weeks got over with a snap of fingers. Struck in a limbo, the kick of the semester brought me back.
The reel rewinds….
Packed with so much activity the trip set off the mark with the third night out (having spent 2 nights in travel already) with my friend Gogo munching original Indian cuisine from Bikaner after a long year.
Agreed boy that I had no muscle memory for bowling but still I anticipated tendons and ligaments to show some support at least. They betrayed me badly steering the whole bunch of balls in to gutter throwing Gogs in to rolls of laughter. The next flop show was a random sorry movie watch when we couldn’t get the tickets for Invictus taking our adrenaline to lowest levels boosted only by a boot of freshly brewed beer. The booz kicked in the anecdotist skills back in Gogs with him recounting each and every incident of Convo in great detail making me miss it more than ever. The flood gates were closed again only at 6 in the morning.
The fagged soul had no respite for the next four days due to incessant shopping for coming nuptial ceremonies. The fatigue of the day dissolved the jet lag so quick that I used to sleep like a baby in nights.
Different different yumm cuisines are still sitting at Nukkads (street corner) in Delhi .The outlook speaks of no renovation so forth but who cares when taste buds are happy go lucky.
Delhi is a hub of traditional wear with an immense pool to browse from. I picked Rajasthani, Bengali and Western wear but I pity them to have the fate of blooming once like a and then sealed forever in the wardrobe.
It took 4 days to finish rather wind up as it happens to be a never ending hunt for the girls. The most hilarious part though was expending half of the time looking out for Parul’s JHUMKI (earrings).
The next few days started with the card distribution and believe me it was no easy deal when 1500 people are invited. I was wondering how we are going to manage really but then papa devised “Divide and Manage” making a troop of his friends’ sons to manage each and everything.
Small kids cry on the top of their larynx when they come at socials, so papa came up with an idea of KIDS CORNER to gratify the little ones making them feel at a gala rather.
The pack of six (friends) arrived to combat the chariots of the groom not to allow him just unleash our territory before accrediting us. (It’s an Indian tradition to cut the ribbon at the entrance and gift to sister and brother in laws ).
It was a perfect KODAK moment when the best man (me of course ihun ihun :)) escorted the bride under the shroud of fragrant roses with band beats making the moments in the ambiance. It felt like years just vaporized; the sibling I played around with was getting betrothed .And so the moment came when all the balloons kissed the sky and the garlands were exchanged. She became the wife of the man of her dreams.
The bride bade au revoir by throwing back the cereal (symbolizes wishing for prosperity back her parents home) .The awesome sense of humor of my cousin couldn’t let anyone tickle a drop of tear at the softest moment even when the hard hearted fathers cry like babies. And so the movie came to the climax ……..
Saturday, July 31, 2010
Being air borne and surf as an avian was what he cherished. He used to love the time when his mother used to tell him stories as a kid about Icarus and his magical wax wings. He thought of never going near sun and loosing them like Icarus did once he receive them.
When he got certain that the magical wings were never fashioned again after Icarus fell, he sought other ways when he came across the story book read of magical broom used by witches. He asked his parents where he could find one but they would always tell him that he is too young to steer it not desiring to break the kid’s heart. He was content with collecting the stickers of the witch with broom for time being.
He was so excited when the stories of Harry Potter came and Quidditch became his favorite sport .He used to lay aside pocket money to buy the novel on the same day of its release and would teleport in the novel and race with harry on Nimbus 2000.He always used to wonder why he has not seen anyone playing it in Izmir.
Gone were the days of the fantasy kid world, he was an adolescent now and knew it was all fictitious except the air borne planes. Nothing like a personal air bike or broom exists for the matter of fact. He had to pinch himself to believe when his father got him an air bike instead of counter strike game as he expected. It was unheard of in turkey and his father got it shipped from Germany as soon as the product entered the market.
This was the time to call Cosku to fiddle around with the air wagon together. Cosku had pretty good knowledge when it came to land wagons but air borne would be a new challenge for him too. They will bend the air and cut through the sea of clouds.
After getting expertise in driving, he could ask Aylin for a ride too and it would definitely be the cool stuff Cosku was talking about.
When called, Cosku didn’t believe at first but he was amazed when he looked at it for real and they started trying to operate it that moment only. The vehicle need to be supplied with initial fuel for making up the thrust and but then it was supposed to use the heat from its surroundings to drive through. It took an hour before they could be airborne. It scared hell out of them at first when they couldn’t control the speed of it and regretting not reading about it first. It just cut across the wind like a blade but then Cosku figured out how to control the amount of heat absorbed and hence change the speed. It got soo much smoother and exhilarating.
Being a coastal kid, he started swimming almost before walking and then wind surfing but this experience was different, definitely different .He had been fantasizing about this for so long.He adored his father for the moment.
Bekir !!! Bekir!!!
Ohh Boy!! Wake up, you don’t want to be late for the first day of school, Cosku must be on his way for here already.
Saturday, July 24, 2010
Hiking seems like the real sport not that I know much about other natural sports like wave and wind surfing. It feels like discovering oneself again in the lap of the sire nature.
In retrospect, I am reminded of my trekking trail on splendid Hemkunt Mountains of Middle Himalayas where blended aroma of cold ice, flowers and wet mud brings even musk to shame .It’s fun to watch how nature seals this place for 8 months to come up with a kaleidoscope of Glaciers, Waterfalls, Mountains, Transparent Lakes and Flower Valleys. When the monsoon rains begin, the ice and snow melt and meadows of ferns and moss and wildflowers paints the lake bank.
I remember how we hiked 22 kilometers steep tracks for flower valley and Hemkunt shrine on the same day and how the hot stew from rice and lentils we got in the Shrine felt like Ambrosia to the fagged souls and how dipping the feet the cold waters of Hemkunt Lake snatched the pain out the feet and made them numb. It was a sight to behold-the cold glossy lake fenced by the 7 mountains and so clear that you could peep in for the rocks on the bed.
We stayed on the small army quarters in the middle of forest and the best thing was the scenic view of snow clad mountain from our window in the morning and river flowing beneath.In India,you are lucky to have an uncle in the Indian army given the fact of all the royalty from the British expire handed over to the army,the most important being the army men still maintaining those British etiquettes and life style.You really feel like a king there and it feels so good for a change with servants at your disposal.Especially if you go to remote places,the army quarter is the best place and may be the only place to stay unless you are backpacking.
This time while googling for a hike route I came across Appalachians and find this really interesting read:
To be honest I didn’t realize there were already the 2,175 mile Appalachian Trail AND the 1,862 mile International Appalachian Trail (IAT) which extends far north into Canada. Unfortunately portions of the Canadian IAT require train and ferry connections and as such only about 100 folks have completed the whole thing.
Technically the Appalachian mountain range exists in Europe as well (you know, the whole Pangea thing) and runs through Greenland, the UK, Norway, France, Spain, and Morocco. The newest IAT extension will also require train and ferry connections and perhaps even a passport. Could the IAT one day become the longest trail in the world?
We ended up doing a minuscule of it with the stats of the round trip being 6 hours for 25 kilometers .Unlike the Hemkunt one this didn’t have a paved path way path to abide by, you could just check white signs on the trees and follow them. It was such a breather to spot out a few blue ones on the way and drink cold fresh water from the rivulet being already out of water stock. You can’t spot out many fellow travelers; may be a few if you are lucky. The ones whom we met were planning to do a quarter of the trail for a month and were carrying bag packs with food and tents all the way. I can imagine how difficult it is to do that on such a severe track and just surviving on the beef stew all along just because it’s very light weight. Only time you can savor a regular meal is when you come across some township in between the trail. I could see the remains of the fire places in between though which people could be using while camping.
Nowadays, it’s so difficult to spare a month or two unless you are in middle of changing your job or so but then you got to be really interested in wildlife or photography to do it for so long but I heard people doing it for 4 months. Kudos really!!
I observed some torn tree trunks and it seemed that they were once home for the bees and then bears had ripped open trees or hives to feast on honey, honeycomb, bees and bee larva. I could spot out some of the wild pink mushrooms too. As my roommate told me, the colored ones are poisonous but the white ones are edible.
When I look back, the visit to the flower valley of Hemkunt was great in the sense of a having a company of a local guide feeding us about the plant species growing out there. Every plant had such a peculiar shape matching its nature like poisonous ones looking like snake fangs. We could spot some birches whose barks were used by our sages to write all our sacred books. The best part of the whole journey was going near the point of no coming back - a deep crevasse on the glacier ice sheet we were walking on ….
Friday, July 2, 2010
Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.
In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.
Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds and shall find me unafraid.
It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.
A Victorian poem written by William Henry which forms the central theme and pumps up an inspirational boost Nelson all the eighteen years he was incarcerated in a match box sized prison on Robben Island. Pooh-poohed at first by all teammates when their captain Pienaar suggests the poem as the anthem, the poem later feeds in the adrenaline to the underdog spirits of SpringBoks.
Seasoned like a fine French wine, Morgan Freeman has done a perfect job posing as the protagonist of the movie without any need to pack a new attitude to fit in the character of Nelson. Our Matt Damon alias Jason Bourne has played Francois Pienaar in the movie, the team-lead of the SpringBoks with a new tinge of being a silent leader this time.
The well chiseled brains of Nelson contrived their application in the outset of the movie plot itself stopping blacks when want to use their newly earned political power to detract identity of the springboks by snatching off their colors and logo. Nelson being a tolerant man instead flexed this as the spade to boot out the ingrained apartheid. Had been it supported, it could have thrown the nation to dangerous ramifications like civil war with police being primarily controlled by the white minority.
Nelson invites Pienaar next for the evening tea and tells him of his desire of getting SA the rugby world cup which impresses and perplexes Pienaar at the same time but he tries his best to follow up. With the help of new coach, he adopts the method of self compliance first rather than imposition to bring new ethics in his team. On the request of Nelson, the team travels to all nooks of the nation and organizes rugby camps so as to generate interest of the nation especially kids in Rugby. All the team needed was the support and motivation from their own country and Nelson did all the efforts to get the team that. He even visits them before every match and wears the team shirt to show his support. This all worked in a loop, the support improved the team’s performance which in turn raised the confidence of nation in their team giving more support to it. The blacks and whites got a common motivation which leads the black and white colors to leave Africa rather than the springbok colors. The team dethrones Australia, the incumbent champions of Rugby for the first time and grabs the winner cup.
PS: It’s the best feeling when you change the mindset of the whole crowd and bring a transformation. Few people have the guts to do that and they live for centuries to come.
I would like to recount the similar incident of troy when demigod Achilles visits his goddess mother to seek opinion of whether he should fight the war with Troy. His mother replied in affirmative even with the knowledge that his son wouldn’t survive it ; just thinking that he would be known for centuries for his might in the war but even 3 coming generations won’t remember him if he stays back and live as a normal man.
Life definitely has a purpose, search for it and get it done before you are done…..
Take Home Message: a) Inspiration and motivation has the capability to do wonders and bring the best in anyone.
b) The most hard mélange of people can be brought to terms by smart brains either in right or wrong ways( NELSON and HITLER) .
Sunday, June 27, 2010
Trips are such a respite from the 9 to 6 monotonous company routine when you just put all work stress on back burner and chill out. I was jaunting to phoenix for a 3 day family trip to see my sister who is here for 3 weeks to visit her husband.
I was using METRO rail to reach airport for the first time in states which is supposedly very rare here; thanks to the oil and car companies bombarding rail networks and setting up road webs to spread their business in corporate US. So it’s just California, Georgia, New York or a few more who have some internal rail network but nothing similar to TGV in Europe exists across states with aviation left as the only option unless you want to spend days on a road trip.
For the first time I have left my laptop back at home since he companied me during sophomore year and rather decided to grab my pen instead to put down my thinkings. Part of the motivation was watching REMEMBER ME recently where Tyler goes very morning to a coffee shop to write a dairy to his dead brother about his what and where about .I could sense the soothing touch from it when you write your mind on a piece of paper and your thoughts take a graceful form. Now that I think of it, it is making more and more sense to pen down the travel dairies as memories are really lush green as you live them and you don’t fail to mention half of the things you experienced.
Left for Grand Canyons the next morning……..
Every place is peculiar when we view it from holistic perspective. Phoneix is sitting in the middle of cacti clad naked muddy mountains. These cacti are really fun looking trolls with hands protruding from literally anywhere. There are a just a few cities spread across Arizona and you travel like for hours till you reach from one to another not even seeing a fluttering bird for miles. It’s just the shining beacon of the sky making mirages and companying you all the way.
Rather than the curled up snake roads of the Himalayas making you puke out all the time, these mountains have straight gradually steep roads resembling like Aravallis of Rajasthan. The well developed road network makes the road trip such a fun with no hitches and jerks in the feel like airborne vehicle.
It was so endearing to see how the barren spirits of the desert gave away to the country side grass land kind of vegetation when the beautiful town of flagstaff came over. This city is designed with a European outlook to it with the same stony roads and restaurants serving outside on the streets.
Plateaus were nowhere visible for miles now and there were huge grass lands on both sides of the road and we felt like lost in middle of nowhere. The sign board to the Grand Canyon after miles was such a breather and so it became clear that we had already reached the pinnacles of Colorado plateau already and huge gorge canyons carved out by the Colorado was sitting below us shining in different shades of orange.
It was amazing to see how the canyons were being carved out with the forces of nature looking like a stack of plates on top of each other. I felt like a humungous old city came out of the earth’s womb. As I read on wiki that nearly two billion years of the Earth's geological history have been exposed as the Colorado River and its tributaries cut their channelsthrough layer after layer of rock while the Colorado Plateau wasuplifted. I had never seen such a huge valley and the best part were both wind and river chipping the mountains in their own styles.
PS: Grand canyons have awesome appeal to save in the hard drive of brains. Nothing seems better than a road trip in Sonata humming songs and watching the sun setting on the horizon through the vast grasslands.
Take Home Message :Stone is the most mutable thing given sufficient time.
The fun part about travelling and working with new people is getting a bunch of new experiences which keeps carving out our individuation at subconscious level. Every culture carries its own peculiar traits and you just end up saying "Oh boy!! Never mind, just a cultural difference".
As it turned out that all CISCO interns with me are Americans and I am hanging out for the first time with just them. So just felt like penning down their peculiarities.
Americans are a fairly new cosmopolitan breed sprang up with European base tinged with natives Mexicans & Cubans and Africans imported as slaves in the beginning. How can I blank out Asians who keep pouring in everywhere for better prospects (and of course that includes me).Like an alloy, they have altogether different traits from comprising cultures.
They are nurtured to be self dependent from child hood itself as 2 month baby starts sleeping in his own room and hence doesn’t get the habit to cry on the top of his larynx if his mom doesn’t watch out for him for some time. Even when the baby hasn’t even learned to walk properly, he is just being dropped in the pool and swimming gets in his reflex itself. I know it’s like a tradeoff between being emotional and impassive but we Indians are really on the other extreme with really irritating and pampered kids.
You don’t have anyone on your disposal to do all menial stuff unlike in occidental world where lack of jobs makes people adopting all sorts of profession and you end up never learning to rectify anything other than getting the thing to a repair guy. I have to admit that I can’t even change the tire of my bike.
AMERICAN EXPRESSION is neat and most of my blog readers would agree too I guess, watching SIT COMS unfazed with unblinking eyes all the time. It’s sometimes funny how Americans even change the pitch of their voice to describe their IT'S LIKE and keep using phrases every second sentence. They are interesting raconteurs explicating everything with full visual expressions.
These people are binary programmed being either fitness freaks or fleshy crumbs with a ton weight and flesh literally hanging out. I have also started caring about calories in my food intake never even thought before but you really get the hang of it once you start listening about it all the time and then it’s like “Ohh boy ,I really got to have salad tonight as I ate French fries in the afternoon”.
The sports facilities are really awesome here and being a surprise to myself too but I started sports as a graduate student unlike most folks who lose interest at this stage. I started with table Tennis and pool and now can do at least average in them. I am learning ultimate Frisbee , lawn tennis and basket ball these days. Let’s see how far I travel…
Saturday, May 29, 2010
It was already twilight when Bekir came back from the flashback footage from yesterday and the beacon of sky turned from radiant gold to dark bronze taking away the sheen of the lake. Floral scents began to waft around from fragrant orchids with cool weather making aroma from petals evaporate slower. Birds were chirping as high as their larynxes could license.
The surroundings began to coalesce in darkness and he was drowned in the mélange of sentiment implosion. He felt an invisible burden pouring down making him befuddled.
“I should tell Cosku about it. It seems like a disease, equivalent to mind-fuck. He being my childhood buddy will definitely have some panacea”.
“Or maybe not, my chances seem remote. Aylin is already hooked up with a dandy hunk. Why would she like the geeky spectacle bearing – chubby cheeked-braced tooth Bekir”.
“But girls like intelligent and fast guys; I am much more mobile and strategic than Ali in the sport. She seemed imprinted, at least a little bit, may be / may be not”.
“I don’t have an experience!!!!!”
“Everyone starts as beginner .Stay calm. Keep faring. For the harder you try, the closer you go. ” His teacher’s words echoed deep.
“Cosku has to shape up the script of my love story”, he felt like a protagonist to act in a play for a moment.
Thoughts kept pouring in and continued to tickle down……………..
Ultimately the thought stream geared towards talking with Cosku which untangled the knot in the stomach and the laughter unrolled.
Off on the rolls of his skateboard, he headed to Mustafa Kemal Sahil Blvd. to meet Cosku. Coksu was involved with his cousin Alain playing Frisby and learning different throws. Watching Bekir dashing in to the yard, he called him to join them but Bekir’s modality gave him the hint of his queasiness.
“Everything comes so naturally to me, I have never put in any effort. It’s the first time I have this feeling of queasiness which keeps on harping,” explained Bekir.
“Your brain evolved super cool but this is where it left behind. This is a not a programming assignment you will finish in a couple of minutes and get over with it,” Cosku laughed.
“Does this work?” Bekir did a cool somersault in the air.
“Dude, just use your brains to impress her with some cool stuff.” said Cosku.
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
Bekir dropped a pebble in water producing a splash scaring the floating ducklings. He was pinching himself in disbelief how he was spending whole past month of his vacations gaming and suddenly lay off and left off with queasiness, only musing about a blonde girl whom he met yesterday. It was the last breath of constancy in a gale of change.
His mom called him to get ready and eat breakfast soon. This was the day of grade announcement for junior high and like every other day of school, his friend Cosku came to company him. Bekir always packed a happy-go-lucky attitude and knew he would sweep through easily. Bekir never cared about grades but somehow his brains prophesied to do the magicke and evolved to snag a bargain with his laziness. The wizardry again maneuvered to make him the topper taking Cosku by surprise who could never understand this affair even being his closest friend since childhood. Cosku even being an untiring guy could never beat him.
On the spur of the moment Cosku came up with an idea of catching up with some girls from another school supposed to attend grade announcement on the same day. This was purportedly the most famous school in Izmir and guys always tried to hook up with girls from there. When he urged on Bekir to accompany him, he gave a nay response ideating of a new counter strike game his father promised to get him if he aced. When again japed about his straightness,Bekir nonchalantly agreed and accompanied Cosku to swan lake.
It was very unlike Bekir to broach conversation with girls being always involved with geeky computer games or soccer. He was caught attention of this green eyed blonde girl sitting by the lake who chanced to know Bekir as a gallant player of soccer from Izmir high school. After all, she was the foremost cheer leader of Manisa high and their team discomfited because of Bekir’s last minute goal making him despised but imprinted among whole cheer lead squad. This happened when their captain kicked the ball with a bending crossing pass that kissed the grass a foot in front of Aylin’s boy friend, alone on the right side near the edge of the box. All of a sudden, Bekir materialized out of nowhere with a bang and got his right foot on the ball, netting the ball right across the dumbfound goal keeper.
She came over to talk about yesterday but being always casual about girls he didn’t recognize her. Watching her walking over instilled in him a fear of fumbling with words, losing control over facial muscles and senses. He felt so clueless for a second when she complimented him as if he forgot about everything and then blushed afterward.