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Showing posts from 2014

Sentosa Island Singapore

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Day 2 As we were back home pretty late on Day 1, this day started late too. The plan was to visit Sentosa Island. What all we would do there was not known as we knew we would miss the main highlight at Sentosa, the laser show. Our flight to Melbourne was tonight, so we would not have time to be at Sentosa late in the the evening.

From my cousin's place, you could reach Sentosa by bus, monorail or cable car. As we wont get too much time on the island, cable car was the best option. It gives the wonderful panoramic view of the bay, a bird's eye view of the Singapore skyline and the harbour, the whole of Sentosa island and far into the sea where you could see many many large ships dotting the horizon.

The cable car starts from Harbour Front Tower II. You have to buy tickets at the entrance of the tower and take the lift to the 16th floor. There are two destinations for the cable car - Mount Faber Peak and Sentosa (Harbour Front is in between the two). The cable car operator sugg…

Singapore

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Prelude Singapore was on our travel list for a long long time, ever since budget airlines made their way to Indian market. So were Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia and all the tourist destinations that you could fly from India at almost the same fares as domestic flights. All of them were part of the itinerary search list as stop over points on our way to Australia.

Singapore got selected as it is always best to be in places where you dont have to worry about deciphering the restaurant menu, especially with a small kid.

The Landing  It was 1830 hrs local time when we touched down. Coming out of the aero-bridge and entering Changi Airport, it looks like most of the other big international airports. But when you start walking, on your way out and read the sign boards, you realize how big the airport is. You see directions to "Terminal C via Sky Train", "17 min walking to Terminal 3" and numerable attractions on the terminal map. It feels like you can spend a day in the…

My "daughter's" first flight

At the age of 505 days, my daughter VG (we both have same acronyms!) boarded the flight for her first trip to foreign country. Little does she know that she is going to a totally different kind of a place. Nor will she remember any of these experiences when she becomes as old as I am now.

She was not even born when we had planned our trip to Australia. That was in the December of 2012. We, me and my beloved, would spend 2 weeks of Christmas and New Year vacation with her P'emma (that what she calls her mom's sister) and celebrate the second birthday of her P'emma's son. Air tickets were done well in advance and we had the tourist visa also ready. Booking was done at beach resort at Lorne, Victoria.

And then came the announcement of arrival of VG to this world 9 months thence. That meant no long distance travel before she arrives. So the trip got shifted to November this year. To her good luck, the trip is now for 3 weeks and includes Singapore!

It is going to be lot o…

Building a relationship - Chapter 1

Beginning "Where do you want our honeymoon", asked Rishi "Manali. It has been my destination ever since I dreamt about honeymoon.", said Sheela. "Oh ya. I should have guessed. All young South Indians wish to go to Manali and all old go to Kashi", he said with a bit of sarcasm. She wouldn't have seen his expression as they were talking over the phone. "And you north Indians wish to see Munnar. Right?", she gave it back. "But I have already been to Manali. Let's go somewhere else where neither of us had been to. I will take you to Manali some other time", he said.
5 months after they got married, Rishi set out the plan to go to Manali on a "second honeymoon". Rishi and Sheela were staying in Delhi at that time. So the idea was to utilize the Easter long weekend and extend it by a day or two. They chose one of the umpteen private tours and travels that ply between Delhi and Manali. The journey starts from Janpath near C…

Bidding adieu

6 years 6 months 16 days That is the time I spent on the first product of my first job. And today it is being shelved. 
A sense of disappointment creeps in as the day ends and I close all the files and terminals related to it. It was a journey that saw a lot of ups and downs. And quite a lot of challenges. We worked hard to overcome those, many of which were our own manifestations, which we call bugs :P
We researched quite a lot of flows, developed them into reality and executed them to be production worthy, beyond exquisite demos that impressed many at the DAC - I had been part of three of them.
The product went over major overhauls and integration to make it more user friendly. It saw many customers awestruck with its potential and impressed with the results. 
Yet there were details that seemed Greek and Arabic to novices. Alas! It is so difficult to unlearn the way people are used to "create" and learn a better way and spend time being "creative" and "expl…

Nandi Hills

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7.00 PM - Casual talk. What plans for tomorrow? Hmm... Let us go to Nandi Hills.. Seriously? If you are interested we can go..

10.00 PM - Good night..

10.01 PM - Let us go to Nandi Hills tomorrow. For sunrise!! So early? That is what people go there for..

03.15 AM - Alarm goes off. Getting up early is never a problem for us, you know.. when it is for a tour.. :P

05.00 AM - Jet Set Go.

The route from Horamavu to Nandi Hills is relatively easy. Take the Outer Ring Road to Hebbal. From under the Hebbal flyover take a right onto the airport road (NH 7 to Hyderabad). After you pass the diversion for the airport, you reach the toll gate. Take a two way pass (Rs 115). Continue on the highway towards Hyderabad. Few kms after you cross Devanahalli junction, you will see a diversion to the left, clearly (if you know where to look for sign boards in Indian roads) marked "Nandi Hills".
This is a narrow road but very well maintained. Almost all the early morning traffic is towards Nandi…

Get it right or regret

Election fever in the world's largest democracy. There is euphoria and hysteria in the air. Heated emotions and filthy language. And innumerable BREAKING NEWS. Who said what and who countered it is the tagline on most TV news channels.

Most of it is the norm these days. After all, 24 hrs news means every bit (or is it called sound bite) of political activity is tracked by cameras (may be mobile ones too, as shown in "What an Idea Sirji").

What is new this election season is the use of social media. Hordes of staunch supporters, or you can say warring rivals, of BJP and AAP flooding the Facebook News Feed with arguments For and Against. And news material posted left right and center. Mostly unverified. Or simply created by the party loyalists to feed the hunger of the supporters who are in dire need of material proof to win a brownie point. That too with a guy who you have added as "Friend" in FB. It shows the amount of political interest in the middle class In…

Coorg, Karnataka

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March 29, 2014

The last weekend of March was a long one with Ugadi holiday on Monday. And its the perfect time for a trip in South India, just before the summer heat gets in.

Madikeri, popularly known as Coorg or Kodagu, is the closest long weekend outing destination. And most probably the one to top the list of must-see places around Bangalore. So we decided that let Coorg be the first of our outings with our kid, who just finished 9 months in this world.

Many people discouraged us from travelling with the kid as it is never easy to stick to the timings in your itinerary. Also there is fear of kid falling sick due to travel and change of weather. But I should say, we had good confidence in our sweet daughter, who has surely gotten our travel genes. She was the first one wake up and get ready for the trip!

We - me, SL, VG, and my in-laws - started from Horamavu, Bangalore at 6AM. Early start is helpful in beating the city traffic at Bangalore and all other small towns that come in be…

Hong Kong

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October 25, 2013
3 days before I got an email from my manager in US asking me to travel to California for a week for a meeting. Initially it was good news as I had not visited US for more than 2yrs. So it would be good to see folks in the office and meet my cousin at Los Angeles - that is always on my itinerary to USA.
But this time I was little sad too. My daughter is going to come to Bangalore for the first time on Sunday. And I wouldnt be here to receive her. :-(
After many rounds of checking possible routes with low airfares, I finally decided on BLR-HKG-SFO and SFO-LAX-HKG-BLR on return. The good part in this itinerary was I have a stop over of 13hrs at Hong Kong on the onward journey.
Googled all the must-see places in Hong Kong. Got some info from a friend who had travelled via Hong Kong  many times. Jotted down a possible itinerary (probably the first time I have ever done that).
I reached HKG at by Cathay Pacific flight at 11AM. Half an hour delay means I may have to squeeze…

Happy New Year 2014

Wishing all my readers a very happy and prosperous new year 2014.

The year 2013 had started off with a declaration (I can call it a new year resolution too) that I would keep you all engaged with a rejuvenated blog, with many more travelogues. Alas! I managed to write down only 5 of them. But two of them were an accomplishment, if you can give credit to the fact that I wrote about my trips that had happened 7 years before.

I could certainly have done better. But what is past is past. Now time again for yet another resolution that 2014 keeps the blog alive with a post at least once in a month.

2013 had been an interesting year for me. I had moved into my own (yes my own) apartment in Bangalore. And we were waiting for a new entrant in our family! Many arguments on whether it is a boy or a girl. Suggesting and discarding lot of baby names.

Our bundle of joy was born on 24th June. We named her Varsha Girish. Yes, you guessed it right. Her nickname is also VG. So selfish of me!!

Varsha h…

Jaipur 2

July 6, 2006
Khandu's marriage trip coming soon here!!

That was a message posted here 5 months back. Phew!! Such a long time since I got a chance to write anything. Today being the last day of 2013, with less than couple of hours remaining, let me try to finish this blog (and another customary one for the year) quickly.

Khandu, for those who dont know, was my classmate at IIT Delhi. A year after finishing our MTech, Khandu decided to take the plunge. Surprise for most of us as he was (we too) reasonably YOUNG.. This marriage trip was the second one in the series (first was of another batchmate Sonal).

Attendees: Me, Anoop, Sandip Dwivedi (a junior of ours).
Source: Delhi (Me and Anoop were doing our Phd and Sandip was enjoying his final days at IIT).

Being a hot and humid season, the trip was planned for night travel. We headed to Jaipur House (on Pandara Road, New Delhi) to catch the volvo bus run by the Rajasthan State Transport Corporation. We hadn't booked our tickets ear…