Saturday, September 8, 2007

Of Friends, Me and Our Blog...

Hectic schedules, busy days, work pressures, pending household chores, issues in projects, spreading epidemics and absconding team members... all these and more have squeezed the life out of us. And it is during such times we look upon friends, we look for outings ... we look for stress busters!
It is at this point that I started blogging...with the only intention of relieving some stress (and believe me writing or speaking out your thoughts does relieve quite a lot!) I started thinking out of my daily chores and the office pressures, and the change in thoughts made me feel better. Then came the question, "Don't my friends have the same pressures?? Do they not need stress busters?? Then why don't I apporach them. Reading and writing might not be a stress reliever for some, but atleast reading the blog and pondering over the topics would definitely be refreshing!" With this thought, I decided to make it "OUR blog". Initially I had to follow-up...but then friends started typing their thoughts and it was a wonderful response.

It was good to know that my friends have loved the content and appreciate the matter. Pradnya says "pratyek blog nava watto...each time a fresh new topic" while Janhavi likes our blog as it does not have gyaan sessions. Another friend, Sunny Boy aka Suraj mentions of simple writing being the virute that compells reading the blog to the full, rather than scanning through. One of my friends who is a master at blogging, Nagesh anna, appreciates the topics chosen saying they are filled with joy and evoke positiveness.

Let me be honest here! The topics that I chose were more related to my life and the intention were to make these as positive as possible so that my dear friends who have been contributing so generously, feel that the blog is actually a stress reliever. And Nagesh anna's comments probably fit here the best, "What i like about your blog, is that you are giving an opportunity to all your friends to speak out. Not everyone is hyperactive enough on the net to maintain their own blogs. Initiative like yours will encourage them as they see their words being read and appreciated on your blog." A few friends who have been reading our blog have started their own blogs now...and if our blog has inspired them to do so, I would be very happy about it.

The unique matter of our blog probably is the header that change every week. Some have appreciated this as on weekly basis, some during the feedback. For me it has been a wonderful blogging experience so far and I hope it has been for all my friends who have been a part of it. The post about Aaee was the one that received most comments (that was very obvious) and the next was about friends. Ashwini says "your friends blog is really emotional"

Continuing on the introspection/reviews, let me put some things that have been suggeted to be worked upon and the plans further:

The first feeling that I received said that though the topics were good and were well edited, they seemed to be cut short and made small. I agree with this point and I am planning to re-visit all the topics again with more emphasis on some sub-topics. However for the current, I am keeping topics as open as I can, so that any person who can contribute without having to think much.

The second is probably most common so far...our blog has been a good reading experience as it wasn't completely the "me" thing, instead it was "our"...which reduced the personal touch and made it a sort of 'others experience'. Now this point is a dual sided point and there is no hard-line that says so-much of me and so-much of others would be a perfect combo. So what I am looking at doing is adding my own experiences as and where I can, so that our blog is still "ours" and at the same time, has a personal touch too.

And finally as Sunny boy suggested I am working on adding my own style of writing...

Overall, our blog has been good...thanks to all your contributions. At the same time, since the only thing that is constant is change, I'll keep changing our blog, our topics and the style of writing to keep up with the change, try covering more on every topic. Your inputs, suggestions and feedbacks have been very please do have them coming in!

The topic for next week, very obviously is the Almighty Lord Ganesh Festival, so please post in your memories of the wonderful festival. The week after that we would be talking about the hazzards and problems that we create while celebrating the festival. So keep emailing to

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Dear brother, with love!!!

25th Aug - 5:30 am: Waiting at the Domestic Airport for my flight to Chennai
6:00 am: Flight takes off...and in seconds we are in the clouds
9:00 am: Flight lands at the Chennai brother is waiting to receive me
9:15 am: We give each other a tight HUG!!!

That was the moment that took me into the clouds. It was a experience that I feel short in words to explain.

We (me, my bro and dad) spent the weekend in Chennai. Probably three of us had never had such a wonderful time together. Sadly aaee (my mom) was not able to be with us...we definitely missed her. On Saturday we went to my bro's campus (the L&T) and a mall where we did some shopping and eating and a lot of chatting. On Sunday we went to the beach called as the Marina beach. This was the first time I had seen the east coast of India (and first time tasted the fish from the Bay)

Chennai is a wonderful place...the statement can be generalized to say "the place where one's bro stays" is a wonderful place. About an unbiased opinion, I would say, the people are warm and helpful. Communication stands a problem as they don't understand Hindi and English is a bit of problem. And yet they seem to do their bit to see that strangers are not stranded. Locals are similar to the ones in Mumbai (they have 3 lines as well)...just that they are not so crowded. The major reason is bus transport being the favourite mode of commuting. Bus fares are amazingly low and buses reach to every corner of the city. The rickshaws have digital meters installed...none of them work and fares are to be bargained. Verie simblee (very simply) if you are a stranger to Chennai, buy a map and opt for the locals. Salted banana chips are worth do buy a packet when you are there. For those who love fish, if you are accustomed to the sea recommended is don't try, very likely you would not like it. Chapatis and rotis are luxury items, rice is all yours. Chennai, though a metro, does not seem to be brand crazy. Fashion is slow to come. We did see a KFC and a SUBWAY, but for Monginis, no Birdies...just local sweet shops. People still go by "Early to bed and early to rise". Don't know when they get up, but the city closes near to 9! At 11, it is like 2 AM in Mumbai. Cool place to be. Finally those who like (buying or gifting) sarees, Kanchipuram silk is worth buying here.

Though I noted all this about Chennai, the best part was the "jadoo ki jhappi" when I reached and all the time that we spent together till the last minute. I was in Chennai for approx. 46 hrs and we spent all that time together. With him, time has always been special...but now that the distance has increased, that we know we would be meeting less often...the value of every minute in such occasions is worth a lot more than words can express. Probably the only way to feel the preciousness is to experience it! It's truly said, distances bring relations closer.

Dear bro...miss you a lot!!!