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The Odyssey

The journey home ...

Last Build Date: Tue, 06 Mar 2018 13:22:26 +0000


I'm back

Sat, 18 Oct 2014 19:08:00 +0000

I just realized that it has been over 7 years since my last post on here. Life definitely has changed a lot for me. For one I'm a married old fart now and probably hitting the halfway mark of my short stay on this earth. I have been running and am finding it hard to slow down and so as a first step to slow down I'm going back to my last be of writing :-)

Brazilian Motels

Tue, 05 Jun 2007 03:15:00 +0000

This is just a warning for those unwitting souls who assume that a Motel is a cheap place to say, its not in Brazil. It is just a glorified place of ill-repute. I am constantly amazed at the different usage for similar things in different cultures and countries. Like the motels for example, in Brazil they are booked by the hour and are only used to do the act, apparently they are used even by the married ... because they are apparently maintained better and come with a jacuzzi!


Mon, 28 May 2007 02:59:00 +0000

(image) The word generic has a totally different connotation in Brazil. It is the more acceptable terminology for a pirated/ripped off product. Sao Paulo even has a couple of malls dedicated to such products right in the middle of Downtown. Here you can find anything w.r.t software, music, movies, technology and such.

They had Spiderman 3 a month before it was out on the theaters. If you want the windows OS, all you have to name is the version. Most shops have catalog books that gone on for couple of hundred pages. The best part is : they give you three months money back guarantee for their their products (take that Microsoft!). The cost: 5 dollars if it is a CD and 7.5$ if it is on a DVD. And when you want to Music, you don't just get an album but the artists who discography!

I did take advantage of this offer!

Smoking in Brazil

Mon, 28 May 2007 02:28:00 +0000

Though there are countless smokers in Brazil. These warnings do help in keeping new converts down! For a culture that is very accommodative of smokers, these are truly strong!

Sign of Growing old - Panting

Wed, 23 May 2007 01:58:00 +0000

(image) I spent the last weekend on a island playing football on the beach and swimming in the calm backwaters, when reality hit hard and fast; I am getting old, I can't run like I used to neither can I play football for hours on end like I used to! No its panting like a dog after just 10 minutes.

Of the six guys who went on the trip, 4 were in the 18-20 range and they easily showed how much of a difference 6 years makes not only on the running but also on the stomach. Inspite of my minds hard effort to get my stomach under control, my stomach - atleast for now - seems bent on growing out of my body!

Other than my lack of stamina the trip was a wonderful welcome break from the monotonous workaholic routine. Even got to stay at this amzing house that an old man had built from scratch with his own hands over the past 32 years. More on that tomorrow ... work calls. For now enjoy the new pictures from Bras(z)il!


The first Goal

Sat, 19 May 2007 06:45:00 +0000

(image) I finally scored my first goooooaaaaallllllllllllllllllllllllll in Brazil. Better late than never I guess, specially with the added weight around my belly. I keep telling myself that I need to accept it as a fact of life and not try to fight it by going on a diet. The stomach is indeed more stronger than the mind ;)

Who knows maybe I'll be a decent football player yet.

And tomorrow I get to play football on an island wohoo!

Hunger the great uniter

Tue, 15 May 2007 23:18:00 +0000

(image) One of the toughest things about the traveling job is eating alone. You can endure the hours in the hotel via working ... working but when you have to eat your dinner and you don't have a another person to go out with it s**** big time! A couple of days is fine but doing it day in an day out sucks your energy. Some days I just prefer to skip dinner - My mother would say that is a good idea seeing that I don't seem to lack in the mass department! Which made me glad when I had a couple of dinner buddies the other days. They were off the street and maybe needed a shower and a pair of new cloths. Other than that they were in a similar situation as me ... they had company but no money, I had money but no company and voilà it was a perfect fit. It was heavenly to see the smile on our three satisfied faces. The best part : I don't speak Portuguese and they had no idea what English was, though we all wore clothing with holes (I having paid for it as fashion, while they wearing it out of necessity) . But we understood food very well. Some people may say that love is the only thing that does not need a language. I beg to differ, I think food has no language too!

That being said I would have preferred the world to have been a little more kinder to them. With epidemic drug and gang related violence in Brazil, the best solution is to get these young kids off the streets and in a more productive environment. This shouldn't be just the prerogative of the government or the well heeled but also us common flock who can afford more than two square meals a day.

Mother's Day with a twist

Mon, 14 May 2007 22:28:00 +0000

So whats the most commercialized day in Brazil ? No not Christmas ... and they haven't there are no turkeys running around ... apparently the Brazilians think more of their mother than anybody or anything else. The most astounding part is that certain prisoners are let out of the jail for a day to go see their mothers. And the craziest part is that 98% return to their cells!

This is one part that I really don't understand about the Brazilians right next to their two hour lunches!

The way to travel

Thu, 10 May 2007 02:55:00 +0000

I finally got to travel by Business class last weekend, thanks to my wonderful colleague Nicolus Castro. Even though the client wouldn't pay for Business, he upgraded me on his personal points; what a way to travel. If anybody says that there is no social divide in the world needs only to hop into a long distance flight and it would hit him like a ice storm on a hot day. To start it off you get better silverware than the commoners (Coach/economy), you get three times as much leg room and to top it all off the American carriers finally treat you like Human Beings (Common in Asian airlines).

But the food still sucks on the US carriers ... they need to get some training on such things from Singapore airlines. If you all ever do get to travel business you should try it on Singapore Airlines. Even if I have only traveled coach on it, I could see how the upper classes get treated.

The farewell gift

Sat, 21 Apr 2007 18:33:00 +0000

(image) Brazil had a parting gift for me, just so I could experience all that it had to offer ... My car got broken into. It wasn't at gun point but it still cost me (rather my company) some serious money.

I am glad that they only decided to steal the GPS and the spare tire, costing me 2000 Reals and not the car itself! To compound all this, the rental agency apologised to me as they told me that the insurance does not cover, inspite of me taking the full coverage. I don't know why I bought the insurance as it doesn't seem to cover anything in Brazil!

Other than this small pin prick, driving was fun in Sao Paulo. All you have to do is watch for the two wheelers that wiz by and the not stop at red lights in the night.

The car is the one in the picture!

The hippies are alive

Mon, 09 Apr 2007 22:45:00 +0000

(image) The last weekend was spent in a small village called Sao Thome das Letras in the state of Minas Gerais, Brazil. I was there to do some trekking, visit some surrounding waterfalls and take in a little bit of rural Brazil. But I had the shock of my life to find that all the hippies of the world had decided to retire to this piece of land.

The rumor around Brazil is that this place has accounted for more UFO sightings than for the rest of the world. After you have been there for an hour you would understand why. Some parts of the mountainside had a strong marijuana smell that you would see stars in daylight. The village that I stayed at was an eclectic mix of Hindu symbols, spiritism and mediums. I was hoping to buy some Brazil artifacts but was instead shown a lot of Indian ones (atleast with Hindu symbols and gods) and when was given a discount at the gift store when they found out that I was India (I don't get the hippies!).

That being said, the place was wonderful, the terrain not for the faint of heart, the food mouth-watering and the people as always great! Special thanks to Monica and her Family for the trip!!! Below are some pictures ... will probably add to it!


The book is on the table

Sat, 31 Mar 2007 23:59:00 +0000

Apparently that is the first English sentence that Brazilians learn! And I keep hearing it over and over again from everybody down here. The next thing off course is me trying to kill Portuguese and them doing the same to English. The funny thing though is that after a couple of weeks of trying you kinda of get the picture. The important thing in translating is that literal translation does not work 'cause it doesn't help in explaining weather howdy or how do you do is appropriate.

That being said my use of a mixture of broken English and Portuguese is probably going to have some short term effect on my speak. When I return I am going to be kissing every girl I meet, thumping the chest of every guy and talk to them as if they are alien to English!

At home across the world

Tue, 27 Mar 2007 03:37:00 +0000

Just thought I would drop in a note from the beaches of Brazil (Or as the locals call it Brasil). I had the good fortune to go to a chruch this past weekend and I was blown away. I was taken aback by the similarities of the atmosphere with my Church in India and the US. The loving (Which the Brazilians definitely do not lack) atmosphere was amazing. I guess the love of Christ feels the same in all languages!!

I also had a new experience ... I am no longer just the Indian. I am now the Indiano from America. Or the Indiano-gringo! It feels funny to be representing two different cultures a task that I am pretty well versed. After all I have only spent 4 years being the resident Indian expert to a ton of Americans! The adulation did not only stop with the nickname but resulted in people jostling for pictures with me ... quite a few pretty ones among them too!


Thu, 01 Mar 2007 00:03:00 +0000

I'll keep this note short, sweet and to the point. Ladies, guys don't like to be called cute, period. So don't think you are scoring a brownie point by using that word. We are not teddy bears, we are hunks (atleast in our mind) and we would rather be known for our rough edges than our smooth ones (Not speaking about the metrosexuals or ...).

Further somebody like me with a forest on their face is not cute! Scary? maybe. Cute? Heck No!

Peace out

An apology

Mon, 26 Feb 2007 02:03:00 +0000

Not from me. But from Jet Blue. I wish the rest of the companies would have the guts to do this ... hey wait maybe this will start a new tread and Microsoft can apologise for their crappy software, Walmart for their labour practise ... Massachusetts DMV for harassing me!

That being said, I do really like the apology ... if they follow through on their promise. Maybe we will have our first ethical corporation.

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Odyssey - Book 3 - Chapter i - London

Fri, 09 Feb 2007 02:37:00 +0000

I finally visited London to tell the British empire that the sun has set on it ... ok maybe that was stretch. I think I can now write a guide book on how to see London (the important parts) in a Day with time to spare.

The trip started as one in India, the cab driver fleecing me for all I was worth, the ride from the airport to the hotel was the most expensive I have ever taken - 80pounds. to top it all out he lied and got another 20 from me. So the total was 100 pounds ~ 200$ ~ Rs 9000! Even though the company took the tab, it left a bad taste in my mouth ... not only have the taken the kohinoor from Us now they also had my 100 pounds!

But the trip wasn't all bad, I did get to see a lot of places I wanted to see, though the highlight was the Kohinoor! Maybe someday I'll get it back to where it belongs.

Without further adu here are the pictures!

The Odyssey of a wandering Nomad(n)

Mon, 29 Jan 2007 02:09:00 +0000

I am finally getting down to putting some words into the editor, and I thought 'finally' would never come. Just so you all know, I haven't just been bumming away my time but have been gainfully travelling around the states and the world in the pursuit of the greens. In the last four months I have been 'home' for less than four weeks not that I am complaining but that does put a damper on my spirit of writing. That and my resolve to write in hierarchical order. But that resolve has gone out the door, more so because the longer I wait to write about each of my trips the list of forgotten literary sparks keeps increasing ... like the time the guy from Ghana kept repeating the 'negro' word to me in front of a train load of African-Americans ... or the reason I think that LOL is the most overly used Indian word or why driving in Boston/Massachusetts sucks (Mainly due to the RMV(DMV)!

That being said this is the coming back post to start afresh!

South-east Asian hospitality

Sat, 28 Oct 2006 01:59:00 +0000

If you are an air traveller then you need to fly through Singapore or Hong Kong. The service is par excellance; the environment wonderful and its always good to look at a smiling face treating you like you are travelling business class! I was floored by the way even the immigration officials put on a smiling face answering stupid tourist questions.

Not only is Singapore's airport the best I have been to, Singapore airlines beats everything else when it comes to service.
Just as a side note European airlines are the most snobbish of the lot.

From my limited interaction with Singaporeans I gathered that their smiling face was not a mask but sense of beaming pride about their country that they want the whole world to notice.

Things to do: Take the free city tour if you have more than 5 hours of layover. Also try the Kongee at the noodle shop.

In the Pic : My bud Ganesh who waited 4 hours to see me for 5 minutes; Inside Singapore Airport

And it's funny ... You enjoy your life

Thu, 19 Oct 2006 15:12:00 +0000

... When you're happy to be alive - "High of 75" by Relient K

This song is so true!

I was talking to a friend of mine who recently made a miraculous recovery from throat cancer and could sense the optimistic change in him. Small pin-pricks did not matter any more and neither the lack of frills in life, he was just happy to be alive! I have been there, and I am still here inspite of the doctors giving me a few years to live (11 years back). So sometimes when I sit and crib about why the world won't give me a million dollars, I remind myself on why I should stop wining and enjoy my life; 'cause Jesus has given me a new life ... literally.

Six days to India

Tue, 17 Oct 2006 02:53:00 +0000

It's that time of the year again, when I go back home to inject a concentrated dose of Indianess in me. An almost yearly ritual, only this time around I had only two week to prepare for it. The main casualty of this short notice has be the usual goodies that have to be carried to India, specially "American" chocolates (Not that I am complaining). I have no idea where or when this ritual started but, from time immemorial, people who 'return' from the US usually carry enough chocolates with them to start a candy shop! The irony of this ritual is that, these same chocolates can be bought in India for a fraction of the cost.

For those in India: yes this is an excuse for not bringing any chocolates this time around ... need a better excuse? I'll give you one next time!

Wed, 11 Oct 2006 20:04:00 +0000

I am an Uncle as of 2:40P.M CST!!!!

The cost of love

Tue, 10 Oct 2006 23:28:00 +0000

In a stark reminder of the huge pseudo-cultural war between "supposedly-Indian" culture and "new-age western" culture, a couple were shot on the way their marriage because the girl's brothers did not approve off it. I cannot but find it ironic that the society frowns upon 'love marriage' while at the same time churning out 10 movies a day themed around "love".

Any Indian movie would not be complete without a major love story in it, but if it were to happen in real life there is hell to pay. Are we still that hypocritical in the day and age? We most definitely are!!

Touch wood

Tue, 03 Oct 2006 04:27:00 +0000

All these days I was telling everybody within earshot about the boring and stress free nature of my work, so when an issue hit me today it made me work on it for 14 straight hours. A valuable lesson learned, never dis any good thing in life, it might just come back to bite you and to show you it's true worth. Today was also an eyeopener to a new employee in my department who was expecting to learn DB2 UDB inside out within a month, but was overwhelmed by today's issue (her second day at work), which was a good dose of reality.


Sat, 30 Sep 2006 01:38:00 +0000

I know I have cribbed about this before, but the moving doesn't stop and neither does it's pain. Well I think I'll be moving to Boston pretty soon, maybe even go to India before that. At least I had my mom and dad help me pack up a lot of stuff. Moving three times in 4 months sounds crazy even to me. life's still good though!