Tuesday, 31 July 2007

Girls CAN Read Maps!

Woah! Was that fun or was that FUN! On saturday me and some gal pals headed straight to Pataudi Palace in Haryana and managed to reach there and back in one piece without the assistance of a man. Anyways, that was clearly not the high point of the excursion. The high point of the excursion was the journey and the excursion itself. Armed with good music, handy snacks, lots of cash and great company we set out for Tiger Pataudi's former abode. The balmy weather and verdant countryside also added to the fun. We saw many glorious sights on the way and I felt even more happy as I had not set out of Delhi NCR in a very very long time.

The white palace was more like a huge stately mansion, impressive nonetheless, even though some portions of it were screaming for attention. The palace complex was interesting to explore and included some mausoleums of the royal family, tiny canons, a madrasa, lovely gardens with mughal fountains and a rather abandoned mosque. Inside the palace we got a glimpse of life in the royal strata. Sadly, hunting was a much favoured royal pastime of the Nawabs and so we saw many stuffed animals in the palace, which mainly included deers and one grand tiger at the entrance. Pictures and books of the royal family graced the walls and bookshelves. I was only able to recognise Ibrahim Pataudi, Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi, Sharmila Tagore and Maharani Gayatri Devi in the plethora of pictures on display.

The courtyards and verandahs were amazing and the poolside and huge royal bathrooms were also impressive... hehehe. The hotel staff gave us a tour of two of the rooms in the heritage hotel. The furniture was ancient and one of the rooms even sported an MF Hussain original. The TV lounge was a tad dissappointing because of the tiny TV there. We all went nuts clicking pictures and I even tried my hand at playing pool in the royal pool table. I ended up embarassing myself, but no one was looking so it was quite ok.

The worst part of the excursion was the money we had to shell out to enjoy the palace. They had a No Lunch - No Go policy and the blasted Nawabi Lunch was for 600 bucks per plate plus taxes. Sheesh! Our office pantry serves a better meal!

All in all a thrilling experience. One should always try and get out of the city for short excursions, they certainly do refresh the mind. Plus exploring something new is always exciting.

Sunday, 22 July 2007

Ye Duniya agar Mil bhi jaye to Kya hai . . .

Such a fantastically melancholy and poignant song . . . though I did not admire the vocals much. Nonetheless, a fab discovery from the film Pyaasa . . .

Yeh Mahalon, Yeh Takhton, Yeh Taajon Ki Duniya
Yeh Insaan Ke Dushman, Samajon Ki Duniya
Yeh Daulat Ke Bhooke, Riwajon Ki Duniya
Yeh Duniya Agar Mil Bhi Jaaye, To Kya Hai ?

Har Ek Jism Ghayal, Har Ek Rooh Pyaasi
Nigaahon Mein Uljhan, Dilon Mein Udaasi
Yeh Duniya Hai Ya Aalam-E-Badhawaasi
Yeh Duniya Agar Mil Bhi Jaaye To Kya Hai ?

Yahan Ek Khilona Hai Insaan Ki Hasti
Yeh Basti Hai Murda Paraston Ki Basti
Yahan Zindagi Se Bhi Hai Maut Sasti
Yeh Duniya Agar Mil Bhi Jaaye To Kya Hai ?

Jawaani Bhatakti Hai Badkaar Bankar
Jawaan Jism Sajte Hain Baazar Bankar
Yahaan Pyar Hota Hai Vyopar Bankar
Yeh Duniya Agar Mil Bhi Jaaye To Kya Hai ?

Yeh Duniya Jahaan Aadmi Kuchh Nahi Hai
Wafaa Kuchh Nahi, Dosti Kuchh Nahi Hai
Jahan Pyaar Ki Kadr Hi Kuchh Nahin Hai
Yeh Duniya Agar Mil Bhi Jaaye, To Kya Hai ?

Jalaa Do Ise, Fooq Dalo Yeh Duniya
Jalaa Do, Jalaa Do, Jalaa Do
Fooq Dalo Yeh Duniya
Mere Samne Se Hata Lo Yeh Duniya
Tumhari Hai, Tum Hi Sambhalo Yeh Duniya
Yeh Duniya Agar Mil Bhi Jaaye To Kya Hai ?

Friday, 13 July 2007

The 90/10 Principle by Stephen Covey

Got this in a mail, liked it a lot. . .

Discover the 90/10 Principle. It will change your life (at least the way you react to situations). What is this principle? 10% of life is made up of what happens to you. 90% of life is decided by how you react. What does this mean?

We really have no control over 10% of what happens tous. We cannot stop the car from breaking down.The plane will be late arriving, which throws our whole schedule off. A driver may cut us off in traffic. We have no control over this 10%. The other 90% is different. You determine
the other 90%. How? By your reaction.

You cannot control a red light., but you can control your reaction. Don'tlet people fool you; YOU can control how you react. Let's use an example. You are eating breakfast with your family. Your daughter knocks over a cup of coffee onto your business shirt. You have no control over what just happened.

What happens next will be determined by how you react. You curse. You harshly scold your daughter for knocking the cup over. She breaks down in tears. After scolding her, you turn to your spouse and criticize her for placing the cup too close to the edge of the table. A short verbal battle follows. You storm upstairs and change your shirt. Back downstairs, you find your daughter has been too busy crying to finish breakfast and get ready for school. She misses thebus. Your spouse must leave immediately for work.

You rush to the car and drive your daughter to school. Because you are late, you drive 40 miles an hour in a 30 mph speed limit. After a 15-minute delay and throwing $60 traffic fine away, you arrive at school. Your daughter runs into the building without saying goodbye.

After arriving at the office 20 minutes late, you find you forgot your briefcase.Your day has started terrible. As it continues, it seems to get worse and worse. You look forward to coming home, When you arrive home, you find small wedge in your relationship with your spouse and daughter. Why? Because of how you reacted in the morning. Why did you have a bad day?

A) Did the coffee cause it?
B) Did your daughter cause it?
C) Did the policeman cause it?
D) Did you cause it?
The answer is " D".

You had no control over what happened with the coffee.How you reacted in those 5 seconds is what caused your bad day. Here is what could have and should have happened.

Coffee splashes over you. Your daughter is about to cry. You gently say,"It's ok honey, you just need, to be more careful next time".Grabbing a towel you rush upstairs. After grabbing a new shirt and your briefcase, you come back down in time to look through the window and see your child getting on the bus. She turns and waves. You arrive 5 minutes early and cheerfully greet the staff. Your boss comments on how good is the day that you are having.

Notice the difference?

Two different scenarios. Both started the same. Both ended different. Why? Because of how you REACTED. You really do not have any control over 10% of what happens. The other 90%
was determined by your reaction. Here are some ways to apply the 90/10 principle. If someone says something negative about you, don't be a sponge. Let the attack roll off like water on glass. You don't have to let the negative comment affect you! React properly and it will not ruin your day. A wrong reaction could result in losing a friend, being fired, getting stressed out etc.

How do you react if someone cuts you off in traffic? Do you lose your temper? Pound on the steering wheel? A friend of mine had the steering wheel fall off) Do you curse? Does your blood pressure skyrocket? Do you try and bump them?

WHO CARES if you arrive ten seconds later at work? Why let the cars ruin your drive? Remember the 90/10 principle, and do not worry about it. You are told you lost your job. Why lose sleep and get irritated? It will work out. Use your worrying energy and time into finding another job. The plane is late; it is going to mangle your schedule for the day.Why take out your frustration on the flight attendant? She has no control over what is going on. Use your time to study, get to know the other passenger. Why get stressed out? It will just make things worse.

Now you know the 90-10 principle. Apply it and you will be amazed at the results. You will lose nothing if you try it. The 90-10 principle is incredible. Very few know and apply this principle. The result? Millions of people are suffering from undeserved stress, trials, problems and heartache.We all must understand and apply the 90/10 principle. It CAN change your life!!!

Avifauna Galore !

Our lawn seems to attract its fair share of birds. Species observed so far - Hens, Cocks, Ducks (...!), Joys, Koel, Crows (aren't they everywhere), Pigeons, Mynas... and some species I do not recognise :D

Sunday, 8 July 2007

Congratulations to us all !

The verdict is out and the world has taken its pick. India's Taj Mahal stands proudly among the new Seven Wonders of the World. The immaculate beauty of the Taj spells grandeur and it is truly romance in stone. I remember the first time I saw the majestic monument. I was 16 and it was hot as hell, but the moment I laid my eyes on the Taj Mahal, I was pretty much dumb struck. For there it was, in all its glory.

Taj Mahal, India
The Reigning Beauty 

More than anything else I am glad that in this screwed up world 
of ours, among the Seven Wonders of the World, one is a symbol of love.
The others are symbols of defence, religion and the like. This goes on to illustrate that no matter how our world may be swept by waves of terrorism, hatred, malice, materialism, utilitarianism and other such 'isms', nothing beats the power of love. Though I am a tad disappointed that St. Basil and Ankorwat lost

The other Wonders of the World, equally beautiful and significant are:

Chichén Itzá, Mexico
(My Pick)

Stattue of Christ the Redeemer, Brazil

The Great Wall, China

Machu Picchu, Peru
(My Pick)

Petra, Jordan

The Roman Colloseum, Italy

Monday, 2 July 2007

Let's hit the PUB Yaar !!

So what's the hype about anyways? Is it about lights too low in which you can't read the menu, or is it about the music too loud in which you can't make out if you are talking to a guy or a gal on the phone? Finally, after my first rendevouz with pubbing, I have all the answers and more.

In pubs, three things reign supreme - ambience, booze/smoke and crowd. The time when I would normally be heading home after stretching my limit (self-induced curfew), is the time that a pub begins to somewhat come alive and people trickle in, in small numbers. We were lucky to get free entry (contacts, you see! not that I was paying anyways). I expected to open the sound proof doors of the pub and see a vibrant crowd dancing their blues away. What I got was an empty dance floor. Bummer eh? Not quite. The music was hip, the ambience was new and fantastic, the crowd was... well it wasn't so crowded (attention all you whiners n Delhi critics - Delhi has a nightlife, in fact delhi has a really late nightlife!).

We sat on the plush leather couches and enjoyed the music, the ambience and strained our eyes trying to read the menu. As we waited for the drinks to arrive, I observed the crowd, they were not my type of people, hehehe. The first round of booze began, though I 
had a cocktail called mojitos (much to my annoyance, they did not have breezers, the waiter seemed to smile sympathetically/mockingly). I tried a sip of vodka followed by bacardi, didn't like either! So now, main madira pee leti hu :P

Finally people started trickling in, lots of foriegners as well (this does not imply we were the first ones there - thank god for small mercies). But still no one on the dance floor. So we had scrumptious chicken mexican wraps in the mean time. As the clock struck 11.45, the dance floor began to liven up and my friends did a little jig, but they sat down too soon as they thought I was getting bored, which I was not. Sadly for us, we had a curfew. Just like Cinderella, at the stroke of midnight, or a little later we left the pub. On our way home we saw the aftermath of a bad bad accident (YIKES!).

By and large, a fab new experience (glad that I am keeping some of my new year's resolutions). Would I do it again? Maybe, but not very soon, perhaps with a bigger gang this time and a different pub. Two is not company and three is certainly not a crwod as far as pubbing is concerned I still don't see what the big deal is, but it was good.

PS: The best part was all the dry ice ka dhuaan on us after every five minutes! What a seat it was. lol!