August 17, 2006

On the Bench

For large companies in the Indian IT industry it is customary to acquire human talent before there is an actual business demand for these resources. These international firms often demand a list of available resources and their skill sets before signing a contract for a project, creating a need to have extra staff on hand all the time. In an environment where speed is king, this technique eliminates the ramp up time related to hiring and training talent that is usually encountered before starting a project. This creates the odd situation of many employees who are being paid to do nothing but wait for a project to begin. In Satyam lingo, these people are assigned to a pool known as "Business Wait".

While awaiting my assignment to Bangalore, I have utilized my free time most efficiently. My primary activities are traveling the nation and visiting my relatives. Secondary activities include playing cards, going to movie theatres, watching Hindi music videos, and accompanying damsels on sari shopping expeditions.

Apart from Mumbai, I have visited the following places:

Hampi (2 days) - A totally different form of India with a relaxed atmosphere and no crowds. Formerly the capital of an ancient civilization, this World Heritage Site contains many ruins of temples and forts. The landscape contains massive boulders perched in strange positions. Hired a rickshaw for both days here and the driver also functioned as the tour guide. A group of 19 interns went on this excursion. Some of the temples are atop high hilltops so lots of hiking and climbing is required. Being slow, I fell behind the rest of my group. Suddenly I was surrounded by approximately 20 menacing monkeys. Fortunately, I did not have any bananas so they soon departed.

Delhi (7 days) - Visited my uncle, aunt, and cousin's family. The highlight was my visit to the Supreme Court of India, where I listened to a gruesome murder trial and a spicy divorce case. Also went on a drive to fort/palace that has now been converted to a hotel in Neemrana.

Lucknow (2 days) - Around 6 hours from Delhi by express train, I visited both relatives and tourist attractions here. Stayed at a house that is almost 200 years old.

Chennai (4 days) - One of the my two Korean flatmates had moved away to Chennai for her job, so I visited her for the Independence Day long weekend. I took a Chennai city tour, went shopping, dined at several Korean restaurants, visited beaches, temples, zoos, amusement parks, and museums. I also took the local bus on several occasions as auto rickshaw drivers refuse to use the meter in Chennai. Once I was hanging from the door until the conductor told me to get in. Another time I met a fellow software engineer who was delighted to find out that his salary was greater than mine. We also had a traditional home cooked meal at the house of one of her colleagues with the men in the living room and the women in the kitchen. Also visited the nearby temple towns of Kanchipuram and Mahabalipuram, another World Heritage Site.

Arnabombshell Update: To the dismay of my loyal readers, this section was missing from previous posts. The female intern community has warmed up to the Arnab Sensation, but I still have not had a chance to mingle with the local ladies. The Mumbai maidens stayed indoors due to the monsoon. The Hampi hotties, Chennai chicks, and Lucknow lasses were similarly nonexistent. The Delhi delights were present but appeared to be quite high maintenance.

Party Games

I am supposed to work in Bangalore. Every once in a while I am led to believe that I will actually be departing soon to this city, so a farewell party is held in my honour. At one of these exclusive events, an interesting Korean party game was played.

3-6-9 Clap

Everyone sits in a circle and in a clockwise direction takes turns saying a number or clapping beginning from number 1. The object of the game is to say the number when it does not include a 3, 6, or 9 and clap otherwise (ie. 1, 2, clap, 4, 5, clap, ...). You must also clap the number of times that a number contains these three digits (ie. 35 is one clap, but 36 is two claps). The game continues until someone messes up the sequence. They are subsequently punished in a humiliating fashion. In the non-alcoholic version of the game, the victim must lie on his back while everyone else beats him for a short period.

To make the game even more difficult, there is a variation where the word "Asa" must be said in place of every number that can be divided by 5.

August 06, 2006

Doggy Bag

Korean guy on seeing dead dog laying on street: "Someone wasted food."

August 03, 2006


One fine day I was awakened by a maiden from another flat. She told me to get ready in 10 minutes, as a car would be coming to pick me up. I inquired as to why. She informed me that I had an interview in half an hour. I had no time to shave the ARNABeard, but was able to get ready apart from that. This was the first time I had heard about it. The interview went decently and six weeks later I am waiting to start that job.


Late at night in a drunken stupor, my Brazilian roommate couldn't find his toothpaste. To his relief, he stumbled upon a tube that had a picture of a smiling family on it and the words "Safe" and "Effective" on it. He began to brush his teeth but noticed the paste had a strange taste. He had in fact found my lost bottle of Odomos mosquito repellant.


A five year old Indian boy by the name of Prince fell into a 50 foot deep hole. By the time he was rescued he was six years old. It took the Indian Army around 50 hours to save him. When asked of his emotional state while stuck in the hole in the ground, Prince replied that he was feeling low.