Weekend Activities

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Imagine a weekend full of activities and movies .. That is what I had this weekend. So, I managed to see about 9-10 movies during the weekend. Its so much that if I vomit now .. I would vomit movies .. :)

  • The Departed (Nice … )
  • Nim’s Island (Cute Kids Movie)
  • Cast Away (Mindblowing .. Wow)
  • Sleepless in Seattle (Cute .. I loved Meg Ryan)
  • Tere Bin Laden (In the movie theatre .. Nice .. For a change America took the beatings!!)
  • Swades (Always good to watch this movie !!)
  • Angaadi Theru (Sad and Depressing movie .. but pretty well taken)
  • Arai En 305-il Kadavul (Ok movie … liked that nice conversation between a God and an atheist)
  • Modi Vilayaadu (Absolutely third rate … couldn’t tolerate it .. stopped in between)
I may have missed some more (will add if I remember later) … this is what I could recall …

I also had a peaceful experience at the ISCON temple at Lenesia, Johannesburg. Maha Prasaadam there is sooo good … its like nothing I have ever had for Prasadam before.

Apart from the above, I also happened to go for a Bryan Adams Concert at the Coca Cola Dome here in Johannesburg. It was my first concert and the experience was absolutely… *I am at loss for words .. and I say ‘awesome’ a lot* … Ok, how about “beyond words” … only an experience would tell you what it was like. The guy is 50 yrs old now .. but I cant see him age at all .. Absolutely “18 till I die” kinds .. Was reminded of some wonderful songs that we used to listen to during college !! Summer of 69 … Back to you … 18 till I die … Everything I do I do it for you … Please forgive me … etc Will blog more about if I feel like later.

For now I am having the "Back to You" song playing in my head ... in a loop !! :(

Learn to write the Indian Rupee Symbol

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Practice !! Practice makes Perfect !!

"Unseen" Problems with Technology

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My Good friend Sachin Sharma mailed me links to some very interesting articles that I thought I should share on my Blog …

Importance of Boredom in life by Peter Bregman
The iPad, as it shows in the Article, is such a wonderful piece of equipment and makes life so much more entertaining and informative. But Peter also goes on to show us so wonderfully, how we sometimes get stuck in this midst of this plethora of gizmos that surround us. They (these Gizmos) make us feel like life is so wonderful and nice and create this mirage around us that we keep chasing with pleasure. In midst of these amazing gizmos we unknowingly tend to forget and ignore some finer things in life- but nonetheless important. Peter reminded us of some seemingly trivial (but important) things in life like Boredom – I quote him here

“Being bored is a precious thing, a state of mind we should pursue. Once boredom sets in, our minds begin to wander, looking for something exciting, something interesting to land on. And that's where creativity arises. My best ideas come to me when I am unproductive. When I am running but not listening to my iPod. When I am sitting, doing nothing, waiting for someone. When I am lying in bed as my mind wanders before falling to sleep. These "wasted" moments, moments not filled with anything in particular, are vital. They are the moments in which we, often unconsciously, organize our minds, make sense of our lives, and connect the dots. They're the moments in which we talk to ourselves. And listen. To lose those moments, to replace them with tasks and efficiency, is a mistake. What's worse is that we don't just lose them. We actively throw them away.” ... Wow … What a revelation …. !!

Googlethink - The giant’s creepy efforts to read my mind by Nicholas Carr
Google Suggest is the new feature Google has introduced where the moment you start typing in your search Google suggests you search strings that you ‘may’ be looking for. At first it may look all helpful and interesting but as Nicholas rightly points out this whole thing also can be very nosy and interfering. This whole ‘personalization thingie’ sometimes leaves us with little room to act for ourselves. And he goes on to say that and I quote

“Software programmers are taking the displacement of personal agency to a new level. Relentlessly focused on making their programs more “user friendly,” they’re scripting the intimate processes of intellectual inquiry and even social attachment. We follow their scripts when we click on one of Google’s keyword suggestions, and we follow them when we select from a list of categories to describe ourselves and our relationships on Facebook. These choices are convenient, but they’re not our own. They’re generalizations masquerading as personalizations.” ... Ya … Again soo true …

Both these above articles show some amazing things happening in the field of information technology (viz the iPad and Google Suggest) but if you look deeper you find that its posing more problems than ever – and the problem is that you would not even see the issues if you don’t look hard – which happens so often – since on the face of it looks like an Angel but it may just be a devil in disguise.

Gold Mine and a Museum at my Workplace

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I have been hearing of this Gold Mine and Museum at my Workplace for a while now but I didn't get the chance to see it until today. I realised today that I have been passing by it on a daily basis - which proves that "sometimes its easy to miss out the very obvious".

The Standard Bank Gallery is currently exhibiting 'Halakasha!' - It's a glorious exhibition celebrating the historic first FIFA World Cup in Africa. The Museum is showcasing a range of artworks dealing with the feeling of nationalism, pride and passion that is linked to the game of soccer.

The photo above shows clockwise from top-right - The soccer boots of legends Eusebio, Pele and Maradona - The history of Vuvuzela, which is so much part of the country's soccer - Some photographs and Handicrafts associated with South African Soccer history.

The Standard Bank literally sits on gold. Ferreira's Mine - an old abandoned gold mine from the late 19th century was rediscovered during construction of the Standard Bank head office in the 1980s. After taking the access tunnels of the mine into account, construction continued over it. Portions of the original mine as well as the new museum associated with it, have now been opened to the public.

The above photos shows rremnants of old time Stamp Batteries belonging to the Stamp Mills used for mining in olden days - Artifacts found while clearing the mineworks - Entrance to Mine shaft (now closed) - and photos on the walls depicting mining and associated activities in those days.

It was amazing to find how much fun and activity is possible at work itself !!

My 4th Marriage Anniversary

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Maintaining the tradition of taking breaks on my Birthday and Anniversary, I took a leave yesterday and decided to stay home and relax. I started by day with a visit to the Madhya Kailash Temple located in Midrand. Peaceful and serene as it was – it gave a perfect day to start by day with some silent prayers. . I then decided to reduce my “head weight” by having a haircut and for the “head weight” that I had a nice close crop was what I deserved and I got. Back home and I took a nice second bath before having my simple lunch of Puliogare – Tamarind Rice. I then had a looooong talk with Janani (who told me her part of the day) – a visit to the Temple and a Spa. She was also planning to visit the Kokum Restaurant in Pune to try some Kerala delicacies there – Heard that it was good.

I had an evening outing with my friends to the Sandton City Mall to enjoy the festive environment out there.
Soccer Handicrafts
Brazil's Kaka Autographed T-Shirt
Maradona's T-Shirt
 Me with Zukumi

We enjoyed the splendor of the Sony’s 3D Television and a sample 3D movie show, that displayed the excellent effects that a 3D makes possible. Now you can see all your daily TV programs in 3D with the Sony TV. It seems, the 3D TV would convert even the normal broadcasted TV programs to 3D. But the only problem is … will I want to see all my programs wearing 3D specs? Imagine .. Guests come over to your home and you tell them “Sorry you cant enjoy the TV” … because you don’t have enough 3D specs with you !!! The only way it may work is - if there is a feature to switch off the 3D feature and see the TV normally as well. I am sure Sony would have thought of all that !! But it was wonderful nonetheless.

We then headed to the North Indian Cuisine Restaurant – Dilli Durbar in Sandton. I have to say that this was the best Indian food that I have had in Johannesburg. The food was absolutely delicious and every different dish that we had ordered had a distinct flavor. Samosas and Tandoori Mushroom for starters, Paneer Tikka Masala, Dhingri Mattar and Dal Makhani along with Butter Naan and Rice for main course. It was a highly satisfying dinner and we returned back home to see the second half of the first Soccer semis between Uruguay and Netherlands. Again it was a very exciting match with totally 5 goals scored. The Dutch won 3-2 to proceed to the finals – I was a wee bit disappointed as I was backing Uruguay - Just for Forlan … the guy has had an excellent world cup till now .. it was shame they couldn’t proceed to finals !! Anyways I am waiting for today’s CRACKER match Spain vs Germany … I support is slightly swaying towards Germany. Lets see … May the best team win … It would be a memorable match for sure !

Birthday Gift to myself ... Skydiving experience

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If I were in India now, I would be surely be on a holiday somewhere, continuing our tradition of a vacation on every Birthday/Marriage Anniversary weekend. But this time around, I am here in Joburg and Janani is there in India. So, its a difficult time for both of us and I have been feeling down all of last week. But still I decided that I should celebrate and do something different on this Birthday also. So I enrolled myself to a Skydiving Experience on the 4th of July, 2010.

Did it cheer me up or what !?! It was a once in a lifetime kind of an experience. So I will let the pictures and videos do the talking.

Just to explain what happened in a bit more detail. So we went up in a plane that took us to an altitude of 11500 ft. So I am attached to my Tandem Master for my own “Good”. The Door then opened and I could see the ground so below … and it was an awesome view. The instructors had given me enough confidence that I was not feeling very nervous … Just a little … It was almost unbelievable that I jumping off from such a height that I didn’t feel much nervousness … If at all that makes any sense :) … Then immediately after the fall the instructor on the top opens up the Dragger Parachute - which is a small parachute to slow our fall down, as two people tied together would fall faster … Then the video guy started the filming … and I am all waving and enjoying the view … The feeling is absolutely awesome and it was like I am floating on a layer of thick fluid … I am hearing nothing as all I can hear is the sound of the wind blowing …. This lasts for about 45 secs … and then the parachute opens up … After this it’s a cozy ride back down to the ground … :) .. The Experience … PRICELESS !!!

Brazil crashes out ....

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And with that it also brings down twitter ... So many tweets that the twitter server crashed ... :) .. Ok ... Ghana has a good chance now ... Ha ha .. Interesting Soccer world cup !!

Sent from my Nokia E71.
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