Sunday, October 29, 2006

Free Riders featured in a magazine

It is extremely heartening to say that Free Riders the IIMA motorcycling community has been featured in Bike India, a magazine for motorbike enthusiasts.

All kudos to hitanshu gandhi for getting the article published, and trying to post the scanned pdf file here. (soon might post a pic or bmp version)

This also reminds me of the first big biking trip, from ahmedabad to gir somnath and back. This was 1030 km in 53 hours, and while returning back to ahmedabad, i had the great feeling of achievement.

To say freeriders is just a club is an understatement. For me it was one way changing my own perception abotu myself, breaking all the mental ceilings i had about my own capabilities.
Again i never imagined there would be more people who might be interested in the same, but now the club has simply grown bigger and bigger.

It also removed the idea that IIMA was only for academics, and there was no other avenue for entertainment.

Enough of my own rambling, this is definitely a proud moment, to get soem sort of recognition, for an initiative that was taken by 2 guys who were bored of the routine.

Hope that this passion for motorcycling remains alive even 5 years down the line, and i will have felt the sense of being a part of a movement that signified change.

Right now gone is my fill shut it forget it bike (hero honda splendor) and now i am on my bicycle, but the spirit of free riding still remains within me.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Champions Trophy

Right now in India is the 10 nation cricket tournament Champions Trophy going on.
when this had first started (in 1998) i was thinking why do you need a mini world cup, when anyways you have the big trophy ot play for?
Lot of the previous editions were forgetable events, and even this one seemed to be a bore.
Round one had weak teams like zimbabwe and bangladesh and strong ones like Sri Lanka and West indies.
The series is being played in India, with very high ticket prices, in front of empty stadiums, and not being telecast on the major sports channel (in india) as well

But this one sure has had its fair share of drama.
Before the series due to ball tampering allegations and for walking out of a match the Pakistan Captain Inzamam is banned for this tournament. Then there is a big issue about the stand in captain Younis Khan resigning, just to be reinstated a day later.
If this much controversy wasnt enough, to of pakistans leading bowlers fail a drug test.
And inspite of these setbacks they one their first match???

West Indies pulled of a win against Australia with jerome Taylor grabbing a hatrick.
Pak beat SriLanka
and New Zealand beat South Africa
3 upsets in 4 matches already

This whole tournament is getting interesting, and also the matches are on pitches which are assisting bowlers, so they are not slam bang kind of affairs where some team bats and makes huge totals and bowlers mid match start thinking of changing career to do something else.

Anyways this seems to be a cracker of an event (I am saying this right before diwali, the indian festival of fire crackers)

Hope all of you follow and enjoy this event as much as i do.
And hope we see some good quality sport.

Monday, October 09, 2006

We didnt start the fire ...

It was Paldy cooking, when his eggs were burning ...
yeah yesterday being a lazy sunday morning, at around 11 AM I was shaving in my bathroom and about to shower, when suddenly there was the loud ringing of the fire alarm, and i thought better run into the shower, atleast the water might keep me safe.
Just about then my flat mate Paldy knocks loudly on the door saying that there is an emergency, and then i go to the kitchen full of smoke, and the frying pan was set on fire (haha gives a new twist to the whole from frying pan to the fire phrase)
We opened all the windows in the living room and shut the doors leading to the other rooms and the passage and simply let the oil in the frying pan burn off.
Just about as I thought the situation was under control, there was a loud thumping noise at the door, and luckily for us Paldy ran quickly and opened the door, else the firemen there would have broken the door (and left us with the bill of getting it repaired ... and surely the landlord would have been furious)
The firemen were surprised and joked about the little kitchen fire, the whole scene was funny, a burning fire pan (which by then had extinguished), me roaming around the house with only a towel wrapped around my waist, and the kitchen and living room filled with smoke.
Thankfully it was just a minor mishap, but its good to know the fire alarm works, and also the firebrigade reaches on time, so all that high rent, and even higher council taxes we pay are atleast put to some good use.
Now you can imagine all this commotion, loud fire alaram, firemen in the house, and nippo (the third flat mate) was still sleeping, and ironically his bedroom is the one which shares a wall with the kitchen.
And alls well that ends well and after this we had our fair share of jokes,
Like Paldy is now known as Pyromaniac Paldy
and we all know what his secret flame was,
And the best is we already had a house warming party (quite literally)
though at that point of time i was thinking otherwise.

Living on a Shoestring

Today i saw my shoelace was frittered and nearly about to break, so i sneaked out from office to go buy a pair of shoelace, and the damn thing cost me 2.49 Pound Sterling.
I was shocked, its like Rs 220 or so in India. Gosh, this is sure one thing which you cant call cheap.
It gives the phrase "Living on a Shoe String" or "Shoe String Budget" a totally new meaning.
Who knows the British if they use this phrase they might mean Middle class rather than extremely scarce resourses.
I sure am not gonna use this phrase really soon again.
Infact with the kind of prices here in London, sometimes I do feel I am living on a shoestring.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Passing Milestones

Yeah, today i turn 25, and man it feels old.

As a kid i used to think at 15 you are the man, who knows the world etc, and then its 18, (thats when you can drive) 21 thats when you can legally drink (yeah i said legally) and 25 .. well thats when motor insurance is cheaper in Western world.

Life is like a journey on the highway, and this is just a passing milestone. My journey was unknown, and i made pitstops along the way, school, college, work, business school, ....
and now work again, in a different country, different continent altogether.

Where am i going i dont know, but in this journey the destination doesnt matter (well the ultimate destination is death, and if you are too religious, then for an atheist like me its surely hell after death) but enjoying the journey is whats important.

I have made my fair shares of errors (wrong exits on the highway) and paid for that, I have taken loads of short cuts and gotten benefits for that, This is like my odometer telling me, you have travelled for 25 years, how much more to go (who knows?)

Well my last one year was fantastic, i celebrated my birthday in finland in a youth hostel and then went on a cruise from near helsinki back to Germany, nothing fancy today i guess, work beckons, and its just another regular day.

(mis)Quoting Robert Frost

The woods are lovely, dark and deep, But I have promises to keep(do i?), And miles to go before I sleep, And miles to go before I sleep.

yeah in this case my miles are the work hours i put in today, before hitting some of the pubs.


Monday, October 02, 2006

more of Gandhigiri (why he didnt win the Nobel Prize)

Its a shame that the man who was the first to preach non violence, and civil disobediance, who over threw the regime of the mighty (though after the world wars it was weakened considerably) British Empire, by simply by civil disobediance, such a person who actually practised turning the other cheek was never given the Nobel Peace Prize.
Anyways right from the website of the Nobel Committee, is an article which talks about the same (
Anyways while I am talking about this Gandhi giri, its quie ironical i am working in the very same land which he sought independance from, though for an American bank (well isnt America like the British Empire at the turn of the previous century?)
But well I am here from my own free will, (or is it social and peer pressure???)
Well it would be nicer if one could remember the great man apart from his birthday and after some bollywood flick professes his preachings with a twinge of spice added

The Construction worker

this is a pic taken in the Metropolitan museum of art.
A Wonderful mural, and guess i identify with it a little more because of my dad's back ground in the construction industry. (making construction elevators he makes a life wee bit easier for the construction workers)
Dammit he should use this as a logo on his visiting cards, but then i guess it would be a problem of copyright laws :(

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Of Gandhigiri and other ramblings

yeah I am posting this its already 2nd october in India, where Indians (well most of the 1+ billion people) would be celebrating Gandhi jayanti, on the birthday of Mohandas "Mahatma" (The great soul) Gandhi.
He was the man who was mainly responsible for gaining Democracy for india form the british empire, and shall always be known for Satyagraha (non violent protest) and civil disobedience.
Well as always, rarely do people remember dead great persons apart from anniversaries and obviously not many care about the principles he preached.
so on this theme there was a movie 'Lage Raho Munnabhai' Starring Sanjay Dutt.
Well though the movie was a wonderful entertainer (I saw it in New York, first day first show) it does well to rehash the great mans learnings, i do feel the indian Media has gone a little over board with the concept of gandhigiri.
The politicians, underworld nexus has taken the country far from the idealistic place he might have wanted the country to be.
The movie is strictly an entertainer but nothing much else. I doubt it shall make an iota of change in any persons life.
This movie might seriously have the Mahatma turning in his grave (Though being a Hindu his body was cremated and not buried, thus he doesnt have a grave, but thats metaphorically speaking)
Well about me being born a day after Gandhi, and being from same part of Gujarat (Saurashtra) my parents did want me to be a similar noble as well as a great person unfortunately i did disappoint them :)
Far from being non violent i regularly got into fights, and though got beaten up more often than not, but none of those great qualities did ever filter down to me.
Guess it also has to do with genes and upbringing [:p]

Dixteeno meet up in NY

We had a training program in New York, and there it was nice to meet all the new associates across the world, but was nicer to meet up with fellow friends after 4 months who were recruited by the same firm (now i dont want to name my firm and get into trouble, like that English Secretary in the French Audit firm)

But yeah, this lead to meeting my great friend BaLLLma again, and this is a picture from the roof top party which we had in one of the treny places in New York,
This was the dixteeno reunion, with Me BaLLLma (Narahari is what his parents named him,) and Nippo (Manish) drinking Long island Ice Tea in Manhattan (not too far away from Long Island :P ) Well atleast during the parties we dressed up like those "Wall Street Types" though I guess it is going to be sometime till i get comfy wearing a suit every day (thankfully at work it is business casuals, suit and a tie would make things a little tough and make me wake up those few minutes early as well)
Another is a picture of the sunset, taken across river hudson. Well not a great pic, but was clicked from my phone, by a semi-drunk me.

Picture my Desk

yeah this is what it looks like,

this is the picture i took by my camera phone (Sony Ericsson K750i) in my very first week, now each of these 3 screens would have multiple windows open, and on bloomberg there would be streaming of news through out from my launch pad.

Also you might notice there is very little clutter (as per my standards ... Mom Dad I know you are smirking as you read this ... especially dad) now that i have moved quite a few seats there are books, pieces of paper ... well yeah there is a lot more clutter now.

but for those who might not have seen a trading floor, might not realise the important of multiple screens (come on you might think why does one need so many) but seriously since i am a structurer i have 3 screens, exotics traders all have at least 4 and flow traders have 6 screens in front of them. And among these you have small windows open evey where.

And for those who have been in dealing room/trading floor might just say ... ahh another newbies desk.
Damn he does no work ... yet why is it a blank screen on bloomberg?
(yep this was in the past)