Exploring Britain!

Here is a list of all the towns and cities where I have been to in the UK. This is just to keep track and remember those wonderful experiences:

1. Bristol
2. Slough
3. Bath
4. Cheltenham
5. Chippenham
6. Malmesbury

I know, London still does not feature on this list! Because, I have never been there, thats why!

A trip to Sussex is on the cards next week and it reminds me something funny from the past. As kids in small town Sanawad in India, we used to participate in local tennis-ball cricket tournaments with a team from our locality. Priyank, out of no where suggested we should call it Sussex. He had heard this name somewhere in the county cricket news on TV and his argument was, when breaking up this name ‘Sa-Sex’, the ‘Sa’ in Hindi, means with and ‘Sa-Sex’ will become ‘A team with so much sex appeal’.

*face palm*

Teenage Hormones! 😀

Anyways, we never won any tournament or won more than a match. Sussex Cricket Club from Baheti Colony Sanawad remains in memories.

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Sleepless nights – Money matters!

Wow! I am in the gang of people who actually have sleepless nights worrying over money matters.
And to add to injury, this is happening for the biggest dream of my life.

Good news first, I got an unconditional offer of admission from the University of the West of England to study BSc. (Hons) – Web Design from their Franchy campus at Bristol, starting 13th September this year. This comes with a 3 year student visa and work permit for following couple of years. Also, included in this is work visa for my wife for the entire duration.

Can it get bigger than this?

I think not.

Now the laundry list:

1. Apply for loan
2. Pay the fee
3. Sit for IELTS (for just being on the safer side)
4. Apply for visa
5. Book tickets
6. Fly!

I have resigned from Rishabh yesterday and serving the notice period for the last two months. Now to kick the list above, first thing I need to go with is the loan application and the most important document missing there is the clearance from the bank as need to clear the education loan taken for Priyanka’s MBA.

Aww man!

This is gonna make me lose weight.

007 Marathon and a trip to Barwani

In the days when the mercury is soaring at 45 degree centigrade, it is hard to talk about any other thing.

Last Friday following an impulsive call, I went to Barwani with Priyanka. I just wanted to get out of Vadodara and this was the best I could do. Fairly enough, it was a good decision and in the end, and we returned rejuvenated and refreshed to the harsh weather of Vadodara.

It is not that if Indore or Barwani are lesser hot places these days, but the fact that, Barwani and Indore are always remains dry whenever mercury rises. In case of Vadodara, the humidity level peaks and makes us suffer until late nights.

Back to topic, the trip to Barwani was a fantastic move. Some rounds of Budweiser, lazy noon and family faces made all the travel worth.

For the next trip, the date of inauguration of Abhishek Bhai’s place is shifted to 14th June. I am rescheduling the plans accordingly.

Hey! I got tickets of ‘Kites’, releasing tomorrow.

AND NOW, I am watching the James Bond Movies every evening. I always wanted to see them all in a marathon. Tuesday was Dr. No, Wednesday was From Russia with Love. Tonight, 007 will be back.

PS: We shifted to Gajanan at office. It’s peaceful, calm and good! 🙂

Just life

Blog things with Himanshu aside, here is an update. I got the increment mentioned earlier on last Monday but not the promotion and increment is just the average and something extraordinary as I was expecting. Nevertheless, it was a good dreaming period about the new designation and more money.

I feel it has been quite a while since I have treated myself well. So, as a token of appreciation to yours truly, a car audio system from Sony was purchased this weekend. YeY!!!

‘You cannot believe your eyes, when 10 million fireflies…’ nice song which I am humming since last 2-3 days.

Abhishek bhai came till Pavagadh and returned Barwani without visiting Vadodara last week. I cannot blame him, though am disappointed, as the heat is really playing spoilsport these days. The temperature in the city and around is almost 42 degree centigrade on an average. Yesterday it was 43 and all the forecasting tools online claiming 42 for rest of this week.

It was HImanshu’s birthday on last Tuesday and at the very hour he turned 23, he came to Vadodara, with a big cake and huge smile. It was a fun little party we had here.

Apart from these things, I watched many notable movies, some for the second time. The Pursuit of Happyness, Million Dollar Baby, A.I., City of God, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and others. Agree that most of the names I took here belong to tear jerker genre but are sure shot one of the better movies made over the decade.

Rest later!

India – A Nation Without People

I never met a person in India who rides a bike or a car and never bribed a traffic policeman. I Never met a student who did not look for leaked papers for 10th, 12th or university exams. Never saw any Revenue Inspector or Patwari who never asked for money. Never in the educational department found any retired person who did not bribe for his hard earned pension and provident fund withdrawal.

Every ‘Shiksha Karmi’ or ‘Samwida Shikshak’ or primary temp teacher in village primary schools in India is there not by his merits but the very fact that either he is from a reservation quota or knew someone or paid something.

Public property and infrastructure, which includes state and city transport buses, roads, bridges, railway networks and other installations, always get burned, vandalized or dismantled everyday by one bunch of hooligans or the other. If by mistake the city bus driver, who is eventually getting only INR 2500/- (App. USD 50) a month, scratches other vehicle on the much crowded streets on the overloaded cities in India, rather than take the driver to the police station and ending the matter, the crowd takes the responsibility to beat the poor fellow up and then burn/vandalize or damage the bus, jamming traffic, damaging public property.

Who will pay for that broken glass my dear?

Does your father know the cost of that glass?

The stone you just hurled at the bus caused damage more than triple of that salary the poor driver was earning for a month.

The buses keep running in same conditions.

And a fellow like you or me says, ‘what to do man, this is India, the government cannot run a decent bus service. Everything is broken here.’

You burn down the entire coach of a train (It always comes in a set of 2 or 3 not one). A single of those costs approx INR 3,50,00,000/-, and complain about the losses and service of the railways.

Kids are dying of hunger. Child labor is present in your own house. You know at least 4 kids who do not go to school and even work at your office/school/college and do nothing to either stop or teach them.

You know where the next generation of India, which started off as farm working kids to urban slaves, is going.

You know how hard every Indian works to pay all those taxes to the government and they spend on public property.

This is the insult to India.

This is the insult to the nation.

I constantly blog about these issues on my social blog at http://nationwithoutpeople.blogspot.com.

This is what you must be mailing across than just creating a hullabaloo on the mail, which was created some 5-6 years ago and comes into rotation whenever a new batch of useless BE kids, who know nothing about programming but somehow hold a degree, got nothing to do and learn for the national growth, join software companies, where they get paid obscenely to sit in AC cubicles and daydream about going onsite someday.

On the above pictures, do you have floated such emails if the flag was there in the feet of Sai Baba?

No?

Why?

Just because, he is pseudo-god for 98 percent of India public?

Human worship, not the respect of the greater thoughts is the norm in India. First kill the evils inside you and your homes.

I was forced to express my views about the content of this mail as this year I got it for the 16th time.

First take action and then forward any such idiotic emails.

And as for the second picture, can you here the national anthem from this pic?

It’s a farce!

Baheti Colony Days

As was decided in my last post in this blog marathon which me and Himanshu are holding, this post is dedicated to my days in Baheti Colony, Sanawad.

My family shifted to Baheti Colony in 1990 in a rented house, when I was 8 years old and my class 3 exams just got over. Back in those days, it was a new colony and not many houses around. It was a farmland earlier with many trees and muddy grounds. Sighting of snakes was a common thing.

The families who lived there had some kids like Rajesh Bhai, Shrikant Bhai, Pappu Bhaiya and others but my only friend in the neighborhood was the girl next door, Sapana, who was about my age. In less than 10 months time, my family built our own house on the plot next to the rented house and shifted. I admitted to the nearest school, the Sarasvati Vidhya Mandir for 4th standard.

Then other kids came to live in the colony. Priyank, Ashwin, Hitesh Bhai, Himanshu, Dipali, Bhupendra, Akhilesh Bhai, Tina, Nikhil, Amit and Sumit and many more. We become friends and spent most of the time playing hide and seek in under construction houses in the colony in never ending noons, after school.

Older kids used to bath in The Bavdi (a big well), which is just outside my home and I always dreamed of learning to swim and jump from the top into the water. Until one day, the municipality of the city decided to clean the Bavdi and started distributing drinking water from the same.

In summer days, we used to play cards under the street light with all out beds joined together and gossip till late night before going to sleep in still warm summer air.

Music and dance was another part of life. Technology was changing and our colony got its first cable connections. Many of the homes decided to stay away from the ‘unnecessary’ expense of Rs.50/- a month on the extra channel and kids were doing just fine with one and only Doordarshan.

On TV, it was all about Jungle Book, Disney’s Tail Spin and Duck Tales, Discovery hour and weekly sops. It always left us with a lot of time to spend outdoors doing nothing and just be happy.

One hour tuitions, dinner at 7:30, wiring to get electricity at the roof and audio cassettes were the norms for every kid. In exam times, we used to study in the small huts or tents prepared on the roofs, declaring sovereignty from parents. I can remember my BIG hut was made of a iron beam, a ladder, old rugs and window panes which were removed in the summer time to let air flow in the kitchen.

Many kids played marbles and used to fly kites, but honestly, I was not that good in marbles and my kites never took off. I learned Cricket only after the Cricket World Cup in 1996.

Every year, there used to be stray puppies all around the place. Moti, Bhuru and Rani were the most popular dogs around and had designated owners. Moti and Bhuru were Indian Labradors while Rani was a Pomeranian. Bhuru disappeared in 1995, Rani Died in 1996 and Moti died of a wound in its neck in 1999 on my doorstep.

After all these years and living far away from the good old memories, it has changed drastically. All the kids are now grown ups and just like me, moved far away to make a living.

I still call Baheti Colony my home and love it from the core of my heart.

So there!

Dear Himanshu,

Whats the next topic?

Wedding Anniversary and Weekend Study

Office work is going as usual and the buzz about appraisals is going stronger by the day. As I mentioned in my new year’s blog, the designation upgrade is on the cards this time around. This sums up as not just the appraisals and raise but a promotion as well.

I asked Himanshu to come over for the weekend and he did so we started with the IELTS preparation and dedicate the whole weekend for some kick-ass English study. I am pretty confident about my command over the language but it is different to blog and write something very formal. A test, is always a test. Plus, you got to be serious when the fee is about 7.5 K for the attempt.

As soon I can get the results, hoping I am going to score above 6.5 bands, I am going to send my applications to Northumbria University for the BSc (Hons.) Web Design.

Should I write this here after the first statement? What if someone from the management reads this and cancels my promotion?

LOL! Anyways I am just applying, an admission is a far away thing and second, the session I am targeting is January.

Well, in the end, Himanshu and I agreed upon blogging everyday about a common topic and share here at WordPress. His blog ‘Life in Motion’ is at http://himanshukhede.wordpress.com and to tell you, here is a guy with a lot of ideas and a lot to say with a different perspective towards life. I hope he catches up with the language and hopefully we will be in for some fantastic twisted blog posts! 🙂

Yesterday, 26th April, marked third wedding anniversary for Priyanka and me and to celebrate the occasion, on Sunday evening, we went to Pavagadh and a dinner and coffee at Barista last night. It has been such a wonderful journey with many ups and downs, but I must confess, I am happy.

Dear Himanshu,

As discussed, here is my blog post about IELTS and other stuff, waiting for yours.

AND I think our next topic should be ‘Baheti Colony Days’.

Are you in?

The Return of Malaria!

Boy! I was hospitalized once again. The Malaria returned on the Sunday before and temperature shot to 102.5 with a pulse rate of 116. I got discharged on Wednesday, took rest for the remaining of the week and returned to work this Monday.

As always, I hate it when I get sick. Doctors said it was Falcipharum Malaria; the parasites stay in the liver and attack whenever the immunities go down. So this time the treatment is for the permanent cure of this crap virus.

Another bad news is about the big bucks which I was saving for the IELTS. They are all gone in the hospital fee. Now I need to wait till next salary or my mediclaim to get approved.

Watched ‘Kick Ass’ last night and tell you, this is one movie which mixes Kill Bill with Batman and the output is superb!

Go for it!

Summer Afternoons and A Work Week

Nothing can be written when one has the extreme moods. Being way too happy or upset or angry can never help one who seeks out some inspiration to write.

In my opinion the best writings which can be presented as honest opinions from a person’s mind come when it is full with mixed emotions.

A lot has happened over the last post I wrote here and life seems headed on its own path which is as curvy as road from Dehradoon to Masoori. Priyanka has returned from Indore and a lot of things being discussed between two of us.

This is April, time of the year when corporate appraisals take place. My best bets are a designation upgrade and a salary pack at par with the current market offerings.

The reviews have been done and management has taken the decision on the next year’s fate of its dear employees. It is just a matter of a couple of days before the verdict comes out. Figures crossed.

For my personal front where my family life and career occupy the most of thoughts, I am still in looking for the perfect solution to all my worries.

I am planning for a big CV update with new academic enhancements which will take almost three year (You are right… a degree in Web Design) to follow.

My office has got a new leave management system which tells me that I have 7.68 leaves balance which I can avail with prior notice. Now that was a surprise for a guy like me who went on leaves without pay for last 6 months. Now, I am not sure as to how to use all those balance leaves.

A trip to Indore or Barwani, inclusive of 2 weekends and a workweek sounds just the way.

For the occasion, I think inauguration of my uncle’s new home will be the best time for this plan. Dates will be, as I have been told, around 20th May. HOT summer!!!

The temperature today at Vadodara is 41 degree centigrade and as if that is not enough, the prediction of this week remains almost at the same mark. Late in last month, we had it almost 43 degrees for an entire week. Talk about global warming. I say, it’s not a farce.

Move it dude, there is so much happening, just in a way which is so not cool.

By the way, my boss, Mr. Apurva Shah, resigned from his position as Delivery Head and so my Team Lead Meetul.

More later.