Thursday, October 28, 2004
Saturday, October 23, 2004
Dusshera this time is on Friday ( 22nd Oct 04) , Sat ( 23rd) - Sun ( 24th ) are anyways formally off , since we dont work on Weekends in office. I however work from my Home office on Sat-Sun .
Just to be clear , Dusshera is like the "prequel" to THE BIG FESTIVAL for Hindus in India. Diwali. YES DIWALI . ( Its like for Hindus what Christmas is for Christians. Hence its that BIG !! ).
According to Hindu mythology and the epic Ramayana ,On Dusshera day , Lord Ram killed the evil Ravan and rescued his wife Sita from him . Ra however had to wage a war and after a long drawn epic battle , he finally defeats Ravan on this day.
Diwali is the day , Lord Ram came back to Ayodhya ( the place he ruled) after conquering the evil Ravan and his country Lanka .!!!
Just to give an overview ,this is how the 3 day BIG weekend was planned out for me :
- 21st Oct - Thursday Night -
- Went for Delhi Bloggers meet in the evening , its took place at a pub in GK .
- I had to attend the Mehndi ceremony ( Song and Dance ceremony ) of my school freind , Ricky ( this is his pet name ) . The ceremony was at the Park hotel inCP.He is a Sikh and hence his mehndi and marriage on the weekend is expected to be very colorful and fun filled.It so turned out that Jeff, Marc ( the clients of the company I do consultancy work with are staying in Delhi for sometime ) and Rishi (my freind and USA head of the company ) wanted to attended this ceremony too. Since they wanted to see a Punjabi Mehndi ki Raat. ( Son and dance night )
- 22nd Oct - Friday , - I had to attend/do the following :
- Attend Shaily ( my distant cousins ) Ring Ceremony at the India Habitat center at lunch . She is the HR head at LG Electronics India and the groom is Systems Head at Daksh India ( an IBM company now ).
- Take Jeff, Marc for an evening out at " The Ravan bursting and fireworks show " taking place a stone throws away from my house ( this is fast forward and quick detail on what essentially Dusshera is..;-) )
- Go and watch FLAVORS the new movie at night/ or Go for Dandiya !!!
- 23rd Oct - Saturday : I have to attend Rickys wedding and will be there from the evening till very late in the night.The wedding is at a farmhouse on the outskirts of Delhi.
- 24th Oct - Sunday : Attend Rickys Reception in the evening and late night .!!!
Not to mention many things which will invariably occur and come in/or have come in between these main course items. !!!
Wednesday, October 20, 2004
Dandiya is a Gujrati dance ( similar to Garba in some ways ) . It requires a male-female couple to form a Dandiya pair . 2 guys or 2 girls can dance , but it never has the same feeling or excitement. Dandiya is great place to make new freinds , especially in the opposite sex. Since I have participated in the last 3 years, I have some or the other way always won a prize . From Best couple , to Best Dressed Couple etc and so on . However , it feels kind of sad that work has got the better of me . And this time I am planning to be mostly a spectator . In the previous years I would spend some 1 month training on the dance with my cousins and some freinds before the event. Poor me !!! Times change !!! But as Arnold says .....I WILL BE BACK !!!!
The Dandiya I organized in 1996 was called " Qayamat 96 " ( Qayamat means, end of the world, or something to leave you shocked or swestruck in Urdu .) During Qayamat , we developed a sort of group riavalry and a more financially strong competitor grew in the same Residentail colony . Those we our freinds-becoming-competitors , since they didnt get good posts in the organizing committe . They called their Dandiya Mela as Kashish ( meaning something which is grows into an obsession ) . Kashish was the only popular known Dandiya in Delhi ( atleast to my knowledge) from 97 , 98,99, 2000 till 2001. They have stopped the Daniya from 2002 onwards since they didnt find it financially viable. From 2001 onwards , 2002 , 2003 , 2004 - the best Dandiya to go in Delhi has been Dandiya Masti ( Masti means crazy). I have been going there for the last 3 years.
I have organized Dandiya event myself when I was in Class 11th ( 1996) with 2 other freinds !!!! I was Vice president of the organizing committe . It was a 2 day event , where some 2000 people danced every night. It was a huge success.!!! We never organized the event in the coming years , since we all got busy with higher studies and even though the event was a BIG success we didnt make much money , infact we had to pay some debtors from our pocket money !! At that time Dandiya wasnt even popular like these days in Delhi ( it was a ONLY Bombay thingy then ). But now Dandiya in Delhi , is as good as Bombay ( as some people say ) . Though I know people from Bombay will have a snobbish attitude toward Delhi Dandiyas.
Its DANDIYA Time !!! Navratras ( the nine holi days before Dusshera - big Hindu Festival ) got started last Friday ( 15th Oct) . The Navratras last for 9 days and mark the beginning of the festival season of Diwali. From the last 4 years , I have been going for Dandiya on ALL 9 days on Navratras. But this time , due to heavy work load. Today was my 1st day of Dandiya :-( . Feeling missed out on a lot of important stuff , but still I am happy I finally got time from work to attend.
Friday, October 15, 2004
SYLVIA ( *** ) : Dying is an ART !!!! This brilliant movie on Sylvia Plath opens with these words . I saw this movie on DVD yesterday , and must say it left me moved , pondering , thinking , infact it ignited my Insomnia more . But its worth it. I mean , when I rented the DVD - I went by the description at the back cover and what I knew about this great poet. I came home and surfed the net for the reviews on this movie. To my surprise , not many review except the "New York Times " had great words on this movie. But F*** All the reviews and the critics. I think this is one of the best movies which I have seen in recent time. Gwyneth Paltrows acting and he way of emoting the distrubed yet brilliant mind of Sylvia plath is simply amazing !! Infact after watching the movie I realised why it hasnt got great reviews. Simply put. The movie is different and has a genuine true to life ( its a bio pic and based on facts ) feel to it. Watch out for the scene where Sylvia invites Ted Hughes to her house ( at the end of the movie ) . She has left her husband ( Ted ) house and is living alone with her kids in an apartment. Out of sheer boredom , complexity ,and love for her husband she invites him over. Gets dressed like her fabulous old self and greets him .They make love and the best scene an piece of acting follows. When Sylvia asks him to leave " the other women " and to start life afresh with her. I thought Gwyneth was simply brilliant in that scene. WOW !!! This movie will touch you on many levels. Watch it to be moved and do check out the movie site www.sylviamovie.com on great info on Sylvia, Movie and more ...
Tuesday, October 12, 2004
Its 4 am , I have finished all my work at 2 am .
Here is a quick glimpse of my day/nite from the time I came back from office today.
- Left office at 7:00 PM in the evening ( had completed most of the work today and hence left early ).
- After a drive of 1.5 hours , I reach my GYM in Lawrence road ( near my house ) .I live in North Delhi , whereas my office( where I do my FULL TIME marketing work ) is in Noida - a cool 1.5 hours drive one way !!!
- Exercise for about 1 hour at the gym.
- Reach home by 9:45 Pm , have dinner and Watch some TV . News , Music Television , Sports etc. Nothing in particular - channel surfing.
- No coffe plans with freinds tonite or any late nite drive plans , since the week just started ( we anyways partied in the weekend) plus I gotta check some emails and work .
- Start work at 11 pm -Sent out reverts to all emails , had a small chat with clients, coordinated some stuff etc etc . The regular stuff.
- All work and my regular dose of daily net surfing also done!!! Its 2am .
Cool , I can finally sleep now - its 2 am and I hit my bed.
After 2 hours and failing yet again....oh god yet again...trying to sleep -
I find myself staring at ---at ----at----------at....!!
Staring at the LAUGHING BUDDHA on my dressing table !!
Oh GOD WHY CANT YOU MAKE ME SLEEP ON TIME ?????
This BUDDHA is LAUGHING ?? On WHO ?? WHO else ?? BUT ME ??
I work all day , all night , goto office, talk to clients,try hard to meet and do meet my marketing targets , goto gym , get stressed out , drive sometimes or sleep or listen to music in my car ( while my driver drives) for 3 hours or even more a day ...and YET YET YET ...I CANT GET A NORMAL SLEEP ???
While this BUDDHA sitting pretty on my dressing table ...laughs..laugh..all day....he is looking at me ?? Something is wrong ???
I DESPERATELY NEED SOME TIPS ON HOW TO CATCH SOME SLEEP !!!
Anyone reading this BLOG with TIPS on HOW TO SLEEP BY 2 AM ?? Please send an email urgently on email@example.com
Guess what I do next ...SHEER MADNESS...., wake up.... pick up my NOKIA 7610 and start clicking some snaps of the buddha , me and my madness . !!!!!
And to TOP it all , open my laptop (for the uninformed - my laptop is practically my wife , girlfreind, and my child ... I sleep with it next to me. Its online 24 x 7 and I can practically have a chat conversation on messngers while I sleep or dream or wutever the shit you call it .!!! ) go online and post this STUPID POST and IMAGES !!!
GOD SAVE ME AND GET ME OUT OF THIS INSOMNIA ??????
Found this on the internet ....
What is insomnia?
It is not unusual to have sleep troubles from time to time. But, if you feel that you do not get enough sleep or satisfying sleep, you may have insomnia, a sleep disorder. People with insomnia have one or more of the following:
difficulty falling asleep;
waking up often during the night and having trouble going back to sleep;
waking up too early in the morning;
Wednesday, October 06, 2004
Relaxing in the evening at the SUGAR AND SPICE Coffee Shop at TAJ PRESIDENT HOTEL. Got really tired for the day , with all the shopping ( got some perfumes , some accessories for my nokia 7610 , and some clothes ) and clicking pictures on the beach.I wonder why they served a pepsi can with a straw ???? However the kathi rolls were awesome there and so were the pastries !!!
The beach can be a calming experience for anyone !! I took a short walk at the beach and captured some 360 degree views as well. However since I am still figuring out how to upload those on this blog . You will need to wait for them. Anyways...enjoy the pics for now..360 degree captures and videos are for another blog . Guys at blogger.com please wake up and smell the coffee !! oops...Just wanted to speak to Nescafe for a cross branding deal on this blog .!!! ;-)
Went to Chowpatty (Beach at Marine Drive) : It was quite comforting to find the beach clean as I had heard some horror stories earlier about it. Someone told me it had become a disgrace for Bombay till recently and no one wanted to visit it anymore due to the filth. But now its spic and span and back . Please visit it when in Mumbai - it still has its own magic in the evenings and mornings !!
CROSSROADS : The mall which started it ALL in Indian Retailing. Its now doesnt seem much of a deal with some 15-20 BIGGER and Better Malls in Delhi , Gurgaon , Noida where I go mostly for shopping. But still it is a Good Mall and has some exclusive stores .Do check out the Home entertainement stores of JBL , Nakamichi , Designer clothing by Urban Concept , Morgan De Toi and the other funny/complcated Italian designer ...Dont ask the name..plzzz.he shoud keep a short form.. Although photography is Banned here .. I wonder why ? But still many people including me had a free will with their mobile Cameras !!
READY FOR THE DAY !!! I planned to do some shopping in day at CrossRoads ( the first proper mall shopping experience in India was started by this mall some 5 years back) , Heera Panna ( all you gadget freaks ..sabe some money and visit this place..its cool ) , Vamas ( designer and branded clothes) .Also visiting the Chowpatty ( Marine Drive) and Worli Sea Face in the evening were on my list for the day.
HAVE FRUITS TO GET OUT OF HANGOVER !!!! In the morning I had fruits for my breakfast to get out of the hangover of Lushingggg around the previous night ...Also remember to sleep for full 8 hours , dont worry about the time you wake up in the day . I wake up at 3 in the afternoon on Sundays after Saturday night partying !! I am still a HUMAN SOUL...right??? Any other comments let me know ;-)
At LUSH the drinks bottles were lined "bottoms up" and had small taps at the ends for quick pouring access for the Bar Tenders !!! Have seen similar thing at Delhi too , but not for ALL bottles . Seems people in Bombay really drink a lot if they get working at it !! By the way RED Bull ( energy drinks ) based drinks and cocktails seem to be very popular there , cant say the same for Delhi !!!
You can keep me out of the party , but not the party out of me!! ...Keep guessing what it means .
In the meantime and on a serious note. I am working on writing posts and articles on the sessions for IOAC 04 . However it is taking time , since I need some data on the presentations digged up and until it comes through to me , my articles wont be posted on the blog.
So Preeti and others at IOAC 04 , anyone who is reading this blog , I have already emailed you on my request.
However , I thought this delay might be a good excuse in sharing the party activities of my Mumbai trip. So people here it goes . This is a list of places I catched up on my Mumbai trip and if you believe how I managed all this in 2 nights and 2 days. Well its a skill , only we PARTYHOLICS know.. some more on this term in later posts !!!
Thursday Night :
- Red Light (***) ( not that Red Light..you dirttyyy mind ) .Its a club !! Wonder where do these people select their names from . Rather name it Brothel-minus-babes-lounge !!! Being a Thursday night , it was understandable that the place wont be spillin over with people and I had heard a lot about this place. However as it turned out , it was okkish for the day . Even with small crowd they could have jazzed up the things a little bit. However I used this time to make freinds with the resident DJ ( DJ Kabas ) and get his take on the clubbing/Djiing scene in Mumbai .Kabas looked very young , probably in 1st year college. I asked him why he took up Djiing ....His reply was ..every 3rd guy in Bombay is a Dj and hence him too. Also he said DJing had its own perks for him like free booze , free part access in every disc and club through his DJ network and yes he gets to mingle with the best crowd everytime !!! He can pick and choose ...!!! Voila..Come to think of it..I envy him. The guy was playing some amazing music.However the only thing which heated up the night was 2 American girls doing a Coyote Ugly on the Bar counter and the bar tender spraying the water from the Soda jet on them .!!! Good value for money , even though I would have preferred a much active dancing crowd and a filled up place. However I think the place would be really HOT on Saturdays night. Can be visited if you are in Bombay on Sat nite.I was there for a couple of hours and had nothing much to do except drink some beers , take some starters ( horrible ones ) and some fags puffs !!!!
- Insomnia @ Taj Mahal Hotel ( **) : checked up the place very late , probably at 2 am or so . It was totally empty and utilized this oppurtunity to check the decor and talk to the Manager. Insomnia is on a decline on the popularity scale from what I have heard recently from people in the clubbing circle in Bombay. The manager mentioned its only filled up on Saturday and Friday nite and that too only after 1 am till 3-4 am ..2 hours for a club in the best known 5 star hotel in Bombay isnt good enough to my mind . You can skip this club if in Bombay .
Friday Night :
- Lush Lounge and Bar @ High Street Phoenix ( *****) : Its not many times , when you see someone giving 5 stars to a club. But this place..ROCKED !! It is perhaps the best club I have been to in terms of "NO. of People dancing VS No. of People idle and drinking Ratio."Every soul in the club was dancing and yeah I mean every soul. I bet even the flies , the bees , the rats , the spiders would have been dancing with the crowd. I reached there at around 11 pm and stayed there till 3 am and it was rockin all the while. The drinks menu was fantastic , prices reasonable and understandable. For a person from Delhi , the clubs in Bombay seems ridiculously cheap !!! I dont know the reason for this technically , maybe the drinks taxes are low in Bombay as compared to Delhi but hmmm...We pay a lot of money to Party in Delhi ..Phew..!! Ok coming back to the music and the crowd. The crowd was awesome it can also be because of the fact that next day Oct 2 ( Sat nite )was a DRY DAY ( No booze day ) due to a National Holiday .Also the area where LUSH is situated aka High Street Phoenix complex has many discs/lounges/eating out places and hence its generally filled with people all night.So I am told. Now for the music , the DJ played some awesome tracks. He kept his numbers limited to the popular Hindi/English/Punjabi numbers but his song selection , sequence selection and remixing skills were damn good. Any other mortal would have found it difficult to have the whole packed crowd dancing Non stop for 5-6 hours. HIGHLY Recommended on Friday and Saturday night .The time I spent there dancing , enjoying the music and generally having FUN , would be a Highlight for me of the trip to Mumbai. !!
- Provogue Lounge @ High Street Phoenix (***) : A clothes boutique by the day and a club in the night !!! Wow , the owners certainly seem to know how to extract maximum value from their expensive Real Estate ( In Bombay the saying goes , Real Estate is only now left to be built on the Arabian Sea ).Good crowd , Good music . But somehow the place didnt have the ambience needed to create the crowd stickiness. Could see people moving in and out unlike Lush .!! Check it out if you dont get entry in the other clubs at High Street Phoenix !!! ;-)
Before my clients now start thinking , that I party too much and dont work !! Let me AGAIN remind everybody I only clubbed at night and that too after attending a Marathon Conference at 7 hours stretch and add another 3 hours of networking or wutever the new word is ...!!!
Please dont make me feel guilty :-(
Every man needs his POISON !!!
Monday, October 04, 2004
View of the Hall after the conference was over !! All Good things must come to an end !! PHEW ...It was a long long day ...However , since all sessions has their own unique flavour about them , it kept me alive and kicking . I interacted with a lot of people , some whom I have never thought would get to meet( Mr Ajit Bala ) or some whom I thought I would meet - never showed up ( Nino this is for you !!! ) . All in All , it was a great experience at the 1st IOAC 2004 ( Mumbai) .The event was definately a Headstart for BIG and BETTER things to come !! Preeti and All the team of IOAC 2004 , many thanks from my side for providing last-minute-unannounced-cooperation !!! I hope to catch ya all at the next IOAC Conclave 2005 ....p.s : By the way the chunnis/dupattas in the red/silver shade with blue denim jeans was a great idea !! Its definately whats my idea of the Indian Internet Industry is - An International Face with an Indian base !!!
This was the pic clicked at the Final session of the IOAC , which was a group discussion and interaction with the audiences at the end.I have some reservations on the discussions which took place in this session How to Measure the ROI of Online Advertising?
!! Infact I have some firm views on this. A detailed review of this session will come alongside my other sessions briefings post later .
After 3 sessions ( Mr Ajit Bala's keynote address , Mr Ramesh Kannan , Mr Santosh Desai - he presented the most amazing presentation on Internet and its changing face for the Indian user and according to me was the HIGHLIGHT OF THE DAY ,Mr Murli Tewari - lunch was served and I utilized this time to talk to the organizing committe members , some other visitors and ofcourse click some more pics of the team who did a wonderful job !!
This image was taken by me of Mr Ajit Bala during his speech , however since I was a little far off ( in the 3rd table row ) from the front and even after 4x zoom on my 7610 , I couldnt take a clear picture of him !! :-( My sincere request to Preeti and all at IOA ( whoever might be reading this blog ) to supply me with some pics of the event , so that I can upload on my blog .
THE PIONEER ARRIVES !! Mr Ajit Balakrishnan has been my idol ever since I have known the internet. I have never met him in my life and this was my oppurtunity to shake hands with him and I did !! Guess what we talked about ?????? I introduced myself to him and told him I am an independent blogger and have come to cover the event and he asked me what company I worked for. I briefed him and then gave some comments to him on his blog not being updated to which he immediately replied - Its been updated just 10 days back !! I also asked him , to add me to hig Blog Roll list ....I guess I dont deserve this yet but still , I had to try anyways!! . He was very polite . Also , in my enthusiasm I asked him the very 1st question for the day of the conclacve after his speech finished. His speech was fabulous and carried glimpses ( images) of the average Indian internet surfer and the changing face of the Indian webviewers. He also empasized upon the Main target segment for Indian online Advertisers to be in the age group 20-29 .He ranked this as the most critical and most HOT TG for the advertiser . My question to him was " what were his thoughts on the mature online user 30-35 age group , whose interest lies in Finance , Investments and products like Life Insurance etc " ?? His reply was - this segment is also very important and is growing very rapidly. But its still second to the 20-29 young segment of Internet users !!
While everyone was settling down for IOAC to start and since there was a small delay .I used the time to introduce myself to the organizers of the event and had a small talk with them on the day ahead. This is the pic of the Main Team at IOAC ( from L to R ) Seema ( Sr Mgr Business Development ) , Preeti Desai ( President ) and on extreme right Mr V Ramani ( CEO Mediaturf ).The team has done an excellent job in setting this muc needed forum up !!!All delegates were greeted at the Registration counter and offered Breakfast Tea/Coffee ( thoughtout the day), Lunch and a courteous operations staff !! I have attended some seminars in the past where even a 100 people staff didnt had a clue of whats going on !! For a 1st time Conference IOA has done an excllent job. GOOD FIRST IMPRESSIONS TO ALL ALREADY !!
Decided to go for a Jog and swimming in the morning. This was the view from the Swimming pool area of the Marine drive in the morning. Look at the sea .I am tolf many people come in the morning to jog on this stretch of Road ( including some Mr Ambani !! )
The view from my room at 6 am in the morning. I decided not to sleep , instead I worked on my laptop , called some freinds in Delhi , watched TV and generally time passed . I knew NOT sleeping the entire night was a BAD option for me , since the day of the conference was going to be very long and I had only slept for 2 hours last night. But my INSOMNIA catched up with me.!!!!
Me and Kaushal went to the 24 hours coffee Shop" Palms " at the Hotel at 3 am , since I was feeling very hungry after the partying out at Red Light. We had a blast at RL - saw some American Girls doing a Coyote on top of the Bar counter. The girls must have drank a lot , since they were keen on dancing on TOP of the Bar counter while the Bartender was spraying water from the jetpipe . Met the DJ at the place and got to know from him the party and djiing scene in Bombay. The DJ at the club was a college student who was working part time as night DJ and the job brought him the incentives of free access to booze , dance, drink , chiks ( these were his exact words !! ) and ya tonnes of partying !!