January 20, 2007

Third Bird

For the third time in as many months I was victimized by avian attackers. On this occasion, I was taking a leisurely stroll in a particularly desolate section of Hebbal surrounding my workplace when suddenly my vision was partially obscured. I staggered around before discovering a caramel colored gelatinous substance on my left spectacle. I found a leaf nearby and attempted to wipe my glasses clean, only to smudge the brown stain across the whole surface of the lens. A benevolent coworker came to my assistance and provided me with a napkin, which I promptly utilized to rectify my optical issues.

January 19, 2007

Holiday Season

Pre-Christmas weekend was spent carousing with Koreans. We ate Korean food, watched the film Kabul Express, and went to a temple. This site, located in idyllic Kemp Fort near the airport, is open 24 hours a day and contains a large Ganesha idol and an even larger Shiva statue. It is accessed through the rear entrance of a mall that claims to house the largest kid’s store in the world!

For my Christmas holidays, I returned to West Bengal and met up with my aunt, uncle, and cousin’s family. Together we went to Darjeeling, famous for its tea and situated in a very scenic location nearby the Himalayas with an elevation of about 7000 ft. Although foggy for most of my stay, I was able to glimpse the Kangchenjunga mountain range, containing the third highest mountain on Earth. From the airplane, I was able to view the complete range in all its magnificence from above. I was able to ride the steam powered toy train from Darjeeling to the nearby town of Ghum. This included crossing the Batasia Loop, an engineering marvel where the train completes a 360 degree turn to get up a steep path. Other activities included visiting the Nepalese border at Fatak, picnicking at the lake town of Mirik, going to a rock garden, checking out Buddhist monasteries, and learning how to play pool with my cousin’s son.

Post-Christmas, I came back to Bangalore on December 31st. As a refined man of the world, I try to attend various cultural events. Bangalore has a large community of artists and musicians so on New Year’s Eve I attended an art exhibition called Chitra Santhe and on New Year’s Day I witnessed a classical musical performance at Garuda Mall, one of the city’s largest shopping and entertainment complexes. My friendly flatmate Chang, destined to be one of the greatest dentists this world has ever seen, attended both the art show and concert and has written about them in detail on his own blog. Accompanied by two flatmates and two of their friends, I made my way to approximately the 32nd most happening place in Bangalore on New Years. For a flat entry fee we were able to enjoy unlimited drinks at a club and unlimited food at adjoining Thai, Chinese, and Indian restaurants. I do not remember my meal.


In India, Arnab means “ocean”. In Arabic, “rabbit”. In Africa, ARNAB stands for African Research Network for Agricultural Byproducts.


Some of my more foul-mouthed colleagues have taken it upon themselves to teach me vulgar terms in Hindi. Being pure of mind and virtuous of spirit, I have cleansed these words from my memory.


Not being the type to live a sedentary lifestyle, in the past seven months in India I have participated in strenuous sporting activities such as cricket, mini golf, and table tennis, among others.


A rickshaw driver by the name of Ali and I had come to an understanding where he would pick me up from near my flat at 10:30 am every working day and then deliver me to my workplace safe and sound. Unlike most Bangaloreans, Ali did not possess a mobile phone. Due to my overwhelming zest for work, I sometimes found that I wanted to arrive at office even earlier than my regular 11 am starting time, but I had no way to convey my desire to my rickshaw driver. After a week long trial period, the relationship ended due to this reason.

January 01, 2007

From One Year to the Next

For the hero of our story, the year 2006 was a momentous one. In 2007, the legend will continue to grow. As one year comes to a close and another begins, it is time for some "to do" and "have done" lists taking a look back at the year that was and offering a sneak preview into the year that will be.



Top 3 Achievements of 2006 (in no particular order):

Graduated from Simon Fraser University with a BSc in Computing Science and Business Administration after four years of continuous effort and dedication to my studies

Cemented my status as a bonafide heartthrob with mass global appeal and a diversified fan base

Obtained an internship with Satyam, allowing me to gain international work experience in my chosen field and at the same time explore my heritage, travel India, and visit my relatives



Places Visited So Far (Days Spent):

Mumbai (5)
Hampi (2)
Delhi/Lucknow/Neemrana (10)
Chennai/Kanchipuram/Mahabalipuram (4)
Aurangabad/Ajanta/Ellora/Pune (3)
Kolkata (12)
Cochin/Alleypey/Varkala/Trivandrum/Kanyakumari/Kovalam (6)
Nandi Hills (1)
Coorg (2)

Total Places: 27

Places on the World Heritage List (Visited):

Agra Fort
Ajanta Caves

Ellora Caves
Taj Mahal
Group of Monuments at Mahabalipuram

Sun Temple, Konârak
Kaziranga National Park
Keoladeo National Park
Manas Wildlife Sanctuary
Churches and Convents of Goa
Fatehpur Sikri
Group of Monuments at Hampi

Khajuraho Group of Monuments
Elephanta Caves
Great Living Chola Temples
Group of Monuments at Pattadakal
Sundarbans National Park
Nanda Devi and Valley of Flowers National Parks
Buddhist Monuments at Sanchi
Humayun's Tomb, Delhi
Qutb Minar and its Monuments, Delhi
Mountain Railways of India

Mahabodhi Temple Complex at Bodh Gaya
Rock Shelters of Bhimbetka
Champaner-Pavagadh Archaeological Park
Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (formerly Victoria Terminus)

So far I have visited 11 of the 26 sites. The complete list can be found on the UNESCO World Heritage Center website.



Bangalore restaurants I have been to or plan to go to
Hyderabad restaurants I have been to or plan to go to