Its already Feb and as always time seems to fly quickly. In a few months we would be heading back to India for good. Mumbai, it will be...
The Chinese new year is 2 weeks away. Its the biggest festival in China where everyone heads home. Given the population of China, and the fact that most of the people work away from home, its probably the only time in the year when most people re-join with their families. Meet their near and dear ones...This will be my third new year in China - the year of the Tiger.
Looking back, the China experience has been one of the most awesome experiences I could have had in life. A country which gives you a feel of this massive juggernaut rolling with things changing and happening everywhere. In many ways this is similar to India but in many more ways so different.
The CNY holidays would be in Malaysia for us. Looking forward to seeing the country a little bit.
It was a match which no Arsenal fan would have wanted to see. 2 goals down in the first half. I am not too big a fan of Arsenal, but quite like the way they have shaped up with young players who have come up the rank and a few others who are not really super stars. (unlike a team like Chelsea or Man U). But yesterday, it was Man U which demonstrated once again that the EPL title race was between them and Chelsea. Arsenal can be happy where they are!
Being in China for the last 3 years, meant no access to blog sites including live journal. I had almost given up and hoped to resume blogging on LJ once I get out of China!
It was an accidental act of keying in the LJ website today and it logged me on. This is truly amazing. A feeling of freedom.
It has been a Super Sunday...Leander and Cara winning the Australian open mixed doubles, Roger "fedex"ing past Andy and the match later tonight between Arsenal and Man U. While I wished Andy would win, I almost knew it would be Roger's day today. This man has taken tennis to heights no one could ever imagine of. World sport is truly blessed to have people like Sachin, Roger, Messi et al (would include Tiger as well for the golfer he is) who give the spectators entertainment and joy day after day.
The last journal I penned was in June 2005. Seems like a long time ago. Sometime back one of my friends had told me that blogging is a good for your friends to know what you have been doing. This is of course a positive in today's fast paced life setting.
Yesterday I was on a one day business trip to Chennai. A place I normally do not frequent. However this trip turned out to be a good one. On my way back, relaxing in the business lounge I could get to see some of the public figures around. The Srilankan team was there apart from Ravi Shastri, I S Bindra and Anupam Kher. The Lankans were going to Bangalore to play a practice match before their test tour of India starts. I would have got to see the Indian team as well, with some initiative from my side.(by waiting at the check in area rather than sitting in the luxury of the lounge) Meanwhile, I was quite content with the signatures of Sangakaara and Mahela along with the opportunity to see some stars like Muralitharan, Attapattu, Vaas and the coach Moody.
At home front Pavithra has joined back to work with Cap Gemini. She seems to be enjoying work which augurs well for the both of us.I visited Spain during the first week of November in connection with a pharmaceutical fair. The other positive from the trip was the opportunity to have a look at the Bernabeu which is the home ground of Real Madrid.Close encounters of the soccer kind!
I am posting this from Basel in Switzerland. We have been on a trip from the 10th of this month, starting from the US before coming down here. We head back to India, the next weekend. This has been a very hectic business trip moving from one place to another every other day.
What really touched me was the fact that many of my friends touch based with me while in the US. The nobles’ junta called up through Sreekumar and Sony. I was surprised to get a call from Sony having lost touch with him around 1993! Sree was in his usual self. There were a few others who mailed me during this time.Reni and Aswati came to meet me at my hotel (Hilton, Newark). They formed a lovely couple. The Friday at Newark turned out to be another truly memorable one. Sriram my mechanical engineering classmate came along and took me to the Times Square area. Some impressive hoardings made good photo opportunity! CETians (College of Engineering, Trivandrum) are many in the US, since doing an MS has always been a well established path to get ahead in one's career. We met up with Sangeeth (Tele '96 batch) and Abu (our batch). Apart from that it was a good occasion to remember the good old CET times.
I could not talk to Mrinal, though he had left a voice message from me. He is currently studying law in Boston. I know him from an assignment he was on for Lupin while we were doing an agreement with another company. He used to work for DSK legal then.
Anil and his wife were with me on Saturday. His brother too came along. They live in Philadelphia. We went to an area called Edison. This is known for its "desi"ness and we ate Indian Chinese food at Ming. The idea was to go to New York and see a couple of places. However the snarling traffic did not leave many options open. It took a while before we could enter into New York. I had to be at the JFK airport by around 7.30 pm. We drove through the Wall street and got a glimpse of the Statue of Liberty from Battery park. We took the Westminister bridge route to get on to the expressway into the JFK side.
By around 7 pm we reached the airport and I said good bye to Anil and his family. At some level I also thought about my friends who have shifted the US and who may eventually make it their home.
Pavithra is at Bangalore and it has been nice to catch up with her on the yahoo once in a while.
On April 23, 2005 we played the season ending game at the MIG Club at Bandra. The final was the culmination of the E-Merck cup which is played amongst the pharmaceutical companies in Mumbai. Zandu had beaten us 3 times in the last two years. Two times in the last year's tournament and once in this year's as well. They had won the trophy for 5 years in a row. A difficult side to beat...
Winning the toss, Zandu chose to bat on an overcast morning. They finished the innings at 239 in 45 overs. We beat them in 38 overs losing just 3 wickets. Yours truly scored 65 runs opening the innings. I also won the "Man of the Match" award for the performance. A first for me since the time I started playing cricket!
Pavithra saw me play and I guess it settled those doubts on her mind about my competency to play cricket:-)
Aside - This is the same ground where "God" (Sachin Tendulkar) plays his cricket...
My last visit here was also my first outside India. It was purely co-incidental that I had to step out into Singapore due to the Qantas flight getting delayed.
But this time around I am here on a business trip. I have found that the place is not as mechanical as it seemed like on my first visit 3 years back. Tamil is one of the official languages. The Indian population is quite big here. There is a place called Little India which would have compared well against any of the places you will find in Chennai.
Malaysia is next door. With the Singapore currency far too strong against the Malaysian Ringitt, you will find many Malaysians working in Singapore on a daily basis. The restaurant in my hotel had one Velu (of Tamil origin) who travels daily from Malaysia to work there. The nearest Malay place could be reached within 30 minutes!
I did the "Night Safari" which is touted as the world's first night safari. I would rate it as an "OK" experience.
Sanjay called me up from KL. He is moving to India for good by the end of the month.I look forward to being with my wife later in the day:-)
I have not been regular at the site. I would not attribute it to the lack of time, but to a definite lack of enthusiasm. Married life has been good and Pavithra has found a job quite close to home. Whether it means, she can spend more time at office or more time at home needs to be seen:-)Work has again "plateaud" and will need some fresh initiatives for sustenance!
Rajan has come and my folks are expected later this week. So x'mas and new year will be with them. This year's cricket season hasn't picked up. There are matches coming up but the team has not got on to the ground for sometime now.
We have registered for the Mumbai Marathon "Dream Run" and that should be something to look forward to.