New York! New York!

Landed in New Jersey…I should be reporting at work in a couple of hours now.

A sense of relief at landing back in the North East. This is like a second home to me…the land of Dunkin Donuts (coffee and Boston Creme). The midwest was a little cold for my comfort. One big difference that I have noticed between the North east and the Miwaukee area is the attitude of the people…folks here in the north east seem a lot friendlier..a lot more smiles greet you here…the people in Milwaukee seemed to be a little too caught up in their own business to notice other people…I had actually expected the opposite since the north east is the business and educational hub of this country…people are supposed to be more on the move here than anywhere else in the country..Wisconsin, on the other hand is farm country…acres and acres of farm lands growing I know not what.

But maybe its just that the people here are more used to foreigners amongst them and maybe also resent them less.

Anyways, its time to hop out of bed and get ready for my first working day in almost a month! I sure hope it will be fun…I have missed having deadlines, having tasks to complete and meetings to attend…

Off I go….

Cleaning up

So…here I am…all set to fly to New York.

Yesterday was a pain….the majority of the day was spent in cleaning up the house. The lease expires this month-end and we are all going our seperate ways today…the appartment has to be turned over to the management and they will do what they call “an inspection” before assessing how much we owe them in damages for not keeping the appt clean.

Cleaning is a very educative process..you get to look at corners of your house that you have never looked at..not even when you moved in. You take out that suitcase full of clothes and you figure out that there are a bunch of things that you have never used – what a waste of money and space! I personally find throwing away stuff very difficult. I am the kind that wants to keep everything even if I am not using it.

My body is sore with all the cleaning and packing…I am just sitting here hoping I land safely in Newark airport by 5 PM today. I have now moved ten times in the last 3 years. Kind of reflects on how unsettled I am in life, doesnt it? Every time I swear to myself that I will never talk of moving again…but old habits die hard, I guess…

In other stories, Safin beat Hewitt to win the Aus Open. I kind of expected Federer to wrap this up in pretty much the same way he did last year…but he is human after all. A little incident during the match..Mr. Hewitt, his majesty had a small altercation with a line judge and the chair umpire over a line call…the news report tell us His Highness “exploded in anger”. I cannot understand how a player can talk demeaningly to an umpire, after all he is the highest authority in the match, right? I am a short-tempered guy myself, but I have never actually plucked up the courage or the conviction to “explode in anger” at my boss.

We do not seem to understand that getting angry is probably the easiest thing to do in a tough situation. This is where the greatness of players like Federer, Sampras, Agassi,Bjorn Borg, Lendl, Ramesh Krishnan et al comes in. They have shown us how you can perform better by reacting to your own mistakes more often than to the mistakes of others. Rage is important, but more important is to know how to use it.

So much for this banter…I have now shamelesly embraced the blog culture. I am now officialy one of those people who exist only on the internet and have surrendered their physical existence. More crap when I reach New York!

Adios amigos…

Weekend ahoy!

A couple of good things about Friday are :

You know the work week is coming to an end…the endless meetings, the excel sheets, the deadlines..everything is going to take a break for a couple of days…the other thing is that you can look forward to two days that are your disposal to do almost anything you want to..of course, there is the odd chore or two — laundry, cleaning etc…but I would say you get a pretty good deal.

A quick movie review — Sideways — nominated for 5 Oscars including best picture and best Director. I thought it also deeserved a nomination for Best Lead Actor…but then of course, what do I know about acting!

The movie itself is a pretty fun portrait of two men with contrasting characters – one eager to look at the positive side of life in an almost reckless manner and the other drawn into the depths of negativity and depression. There is, of course, a lot more to the movie than just that…its just that I didnt catch the whole gist of it at one go…I’ll probably watch it one more time just to figure out the nuances.

Not to mistake, one of the reasons I did actually go on to watch this movie was the fact that it had been nominated. But I did enjoy it neverthless and I would recommend it to anyone willing to experiment.

Now one of the things that came up in many of the reviews that I read of this movie was that it was a typical “Indie” film…so I went out on the web to check out what exactly Indie meant…turns out it is short for “independent”.

Basically that means any movie that was prepared by an individual who did his own finances without the help of major studios.

There is a whole business around making Indie movies (check out : http://www.indiefilms.com/ for example). The reason being that a lot of indie films recently have been either winning Oscars or smashing the box offices lately (The Blair Witch project is a fine example…the movie was made with a budget of $35000 and made around $200 million at the box office!!!) So, if you are a fim-maker, go for it!

That’s all I have for today…I know that this has been a pathetic display of writing…the only thing that keeps me going is the belief that it cannot get any worse…

Happy Weekend!

The sequel …

Hi Folks…

As promised, I am continuing my blog — never mind how pathetic it is..

Lets start off with an interesting article on the drinking prohibition in Pakistan: http://www.swordoftruth.com/swordoftruth/archives/oldarchives/sas.html

I do not know if I have anything to say about this, but it is sure that you can bend facts to fit your perspective of any situation/circumstance. Essentially, there are no rules – just your intrepretation of them!!!

The next one is the story of an urud poet whose couplets have enthralled me ever since my dad gave me a copy of his collections — Mirza Ghalib. I will be the first one to own that I know as little of Urdu or urdu poetry as I do about any kind of literature (which is not saying much!)…but the beauty of this man’s poetry was its very simplicity and the fact that it is very open to intrepretation on more levels that you can imagine.

my favourites:

koi ummeed bar nahin aati

koi soorat nazar nahin aati

maut ka ek din mu’ayyan hai

neend kyon raat bhar nahin aati ?

[ mu’ayyan = definite ]

aage aati thi haal-e-dil pe hansi

ab kissi baat par naheen aati

Read more about him if you like : (http://www.cs.wisc.edu/~navin/india/songs/ghalib/intro.g)

I will close this section here…there are no “real-world” things to report…the world is going on about its business as usual…its a cold Friday morning here in Milwaukee and I am desperately awaiting my travel to New York…

Sayonara…

Shift from regular practice

When I started off this blog, I had vowed that it would be a storage house for my abstract ideas. Since none have been forthcoming in the past few months, I have decided to start using this as a notes section. This is the first section – a beginning …

Sunday 23rd January, 2005 : I finally bought the iBook. It has been on my mind for some months now. The 12 in display was a little scary in the beginning, but I guess I am used to it now. Its been almost a week with my iBook and “I’m loving it!”

Monday 24th January : The car is gone…sold! Buying and selling cars is kind of a difficult thing….when you buy you have all kinds of nagging worries – did I pay too much for it? does it have any problems that I do not know of? etc…but over a period of time you get aquainted with it and slowly start adapting to its performance, the small noices and the niggles that worried you initially, now act as a guarantee that everything is now OK with the car. Anyways, enough said on this.

Some notes: This cannot be a diary…I hate writing diaries…they need you to be meticulous – about dates, about facts and details and I just cannot do that! So I will just write about things that came to my attention:

Tibetan Sky Burial :http://alumnus.caltech.edu/~pamlogan/skybury.htm This was one of the hardest things for me to stomach. I had read of the Parsi funeral ritual where they allow the vultures to devour the flesh of their dead…but the Tibetan ritual is more systematic and rigorous. They actually make sure the body is completely disposed off using natural means.Foriegn witnesses are not allowed normally to such rituals, but exceptions are made now and then.

Chess: Moving to a more “modern world” topic….I was reading up on some of the famous openings in chess. These chess players are really hard-working. I read somewhere that a Grandmaster’s preparation for a tournament consists of devouring hundreds of chess books (mainly game logs of famous past games), discussion sessions with his “helpers” (who, themselves are International Masters in their own right) and massages!!! Tylenol, anyone?

I will close this pathetic section here..seems like a decent start…will need to see how the follow up goes…