Metallica at Gurgoan, Delhi. A heart break. Nightmare.

Metallica. Right now, one of the biggest band in the world, they are together for 3 decades, they make their fans heartbeats with their riffs, lyrics and presence. I am proud to be one of their millions of fans.

It all started to me in high school may be, or PU. But have memories of hearing them in Engineering hostel, it was the song “Fuel” which got my attention, which starts with.

“Gimme fuel,
Gimme fire,
Gimme that which I desire,
Ooh! ”

I was stuck to them, then in Robosoft (year 2007), I met Mithun Nair, my metal bro, who not only  knew in and out of Metal, Metallica, Iron Maiden. Even played brilliant guitar. It was him who taught me almost everything on Metal. Endless talks on James, Kirk, Lars, Eddie, Flight 666, various albums and of course the “devil horns”. \m/ Thanks bro.

During our talks, we wished attending the Metallica concert sometime in future. Mithun used to reply “Naseeb mein hoga toh hoyega Jamaal”. Jamaal being me here.

Time flew by, me and Mithun parted as I moved to Bangalore, he wandering around in Bangalore later moved in Mangalore. But we were connected. Got to know about F1 happening in India. We thought why can’t we do that. Take break from work, as we had worked for 5 years, never took vacation. Then something happened.

To as part F1 Rocks event (which happens two days before race) in India, Metallica was performing. HOLY SHIT. We couldn’t believe ourselves. They were performing in Delhi and Bangalore.

But Mithun wanted to see them play at the first place they perform in India, along with came F1 and our North India trip. Tagged alone, booked the tickets in advance, Metallica, F1, Train to Ajmer, Agra, return via flight.

And the preparations begin, I decided to leave long hairs, due to that dint go home for months, posters, “Kill-em All” t-shirt. We hadn’t turned a stone around to make this happen. Trust me.

First blow came, due to work commitments Mithun couldn’t make it. Then in the crisis, Subodh stepped up to join me for the trip and make it happen. He came just for me, the trip turned out epic for both, both bonded like anything.

Fast forward to the day of concert.

All set for the concert, excited.
All set for the concert, excited.

It was on a friday, I performed my Juma namaz at Jamia Masjid,  Delhi. Caught the next metro, reached other end of NCR, were among the first at the gates, almost 25,000 were there. Gates opened and the wait begins.  Continue reading “Metallica at Gurgoan, Delhi. A heart break. Nightmare.”

Metallica at Gurgoan, Delhi. A heart break. Nightmare.

Alaska. Idea. Planning. Requirements gathering and kick off.

Don’t know from where to start, how to put this is across. It’s tough, to put it in words.  As Alaska is different, we went to explore, wander, get lost and have some half tea there if possible. In the end it changed us. Totally.

It all started with a friend’s tweet on Twitter (Thanks Navdha), where she wrote about hiking Alaska mountains. For me, it was a sudden outburst, realized Alaska is part of USA, it’s a state of USA. And with my current visa, I can visit it. Quick Google, it was just 4 hours non-stop from my place. HOLY SHIT. Quick call to my bestie on this, rather than laughing on the idea of Alaska, he agreed.

With that, we kickstarted our Alaskan stint. The first question came, how many days ? As it was Alaska. We wanted to get more out of it, including the 3 days of a long weekend, we took a day off from work and made it for 4 days. Midnight flights made it 6 days away from the comfort our cozy bed, food and Bay Area. Will it be worth it ? Screw it.

Next question, what all places to visit ? where to touchdown first ? from where to catch the return flight. Found out, Alaska has two major cities, with proper airports, those are Fairbanks and Anchorage. In that Anchorage being the biggest city. We zero-ed on Anchorage after looking it’s downtown images, it was looking like this, few buildings standing tall, with a background of snowed mountains, front of it was a water body. Hell yeah.

What next ? What all to do, cover, try in 4 days ? We were divided from where to start and end again, even we had a big argument, after that we were ready to ditch plans and stay at home, then over some tea, we were back to the plan. We finally laid out the plan, in a tissue paper. Yeah. A detailed plan below.

Alaska plan
Alaska plan

TLSP was Anchorage to Seward on Day 1. Anchorage to Whittier island on Day 2. Denali State Park on Day 3. Back to Anchorage on Day 4 for return flight via Talkeetna. Continue reading “Alaska. Idea. Planning. Requirements gathering and kick off.”

Alaska. Idea. Planning. Requirements gathering and kick off.

Brace yourself, Ramzan is coming.

Ramzan is coming

Forget the “Winter is coming” from Game of Thrones. Before that, Ramzan is coming. Gonna miss India and this will be my second Ramzan in Amrika. Sigh.

Was thinking up how to get best out of everything, I know this Ramzan will be tough here, but game on. As part of #RamzanPreps, I came with my list, it applies to all as well.

Do all the Rozas.
Do all the Namazes. Fazar and Isha in Mosque (Foursquare check-ins as atttendance)
Do all the Taraveh’s.
Get started with the Quran once again. Add new Sura’s in my memory.
Give Zakat as much as possible, question is, whether in US or in India ? as if I give 10$ in India, it will be 600 INR. Or else, why not both ? as money will come and go. Right ?
Do more of the Dua’s. Pray for everyone.
Call up home and India more. No FaceTime, as parents will point  out I am becoming thin. Can’t avoid FaceTime as well.
Khidmat at mosque, wherever it’s possible.

Let’s make this Ramzan, the best Ramzan of our lives. \m/

Brace yourself, Ramzan is coming.

Am I the bad son to my parents ?

Just got the thought, other day my Ammi Abba went to their Haj, they flew on the last friday and reached safe. Everything went great, but something was bothering me all the time. I wasn’t there in India for them to drop off, or been there for their medical tests or even for their Haj preparations.

I feel guilty for not being there for them, may be will feel it for rest of my life. Last Ramzan I wasn’t there at home as well, even this Bakrid I will not be.

Abba never missed my bus, train, even my flights from Bangalore. Even amidst his busy schedule, health, he was just there for me. Don’t know how he did, but he was just there for me, for us, for everyone.

Even me working or getting paid since ages, Abba was always ready to give me some money at the last moment before my bus starts. 🙂

Abba dropping me off ages back.
Abba dropping me off ages back.

And Ammi is ammi, massive massive respect for her. She does everything to me, packing, laundry, even food packing if going via travel. Anyways, no need to tell on her. Even for Ammi I wasn’t there. Continue reading “Am I the bad son to my parents ?”

Am I the bad son to my parents ?

So be it… Apple, dream, done.

Other day I was in a meeting with couple of technical architects of Apple over a project, there were so many thoughts going on project, suddenly the below mentioned thought came in mind, I just smiled, couldn’t ask anything more, did the success kid expression virtually.

It was the summer of 2006, I was in the 6th semester of my Engineering. I was lazing around in my hostel room, skimming through an IEEE Spectrum magazine, to find something which may interest me.

Steve Jobs, with his demo.
Steve Jobs, with his demo.

I saw a picture of Steve Jobs giving a demo of Tiger OS on an iMac. I was a Windows user, an Unix student, read the whole article. Figured out, Apple had launched the Tiger OS and it was Apple’s WWDC event article, it helped me to get an insight of Apple Software Development. I was like, goodness this is cool.

That time, I knew PC’s hardware were from different company, windows OS was from Microsoft.

In case of Apple, they were making both hardware and the software, later bonded together.

I shared this to my bestie, went to the college lab for the internet (yes, in those medieval days college labs had internet or the cyber cafes). I read about the Tiger OS, Apple, drooled over Apple website. I knew about Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, but now got a bigger picture of Apple after a quick internet search.

I wished I could for work Apple one day. Continue reading “So be it… Apple, dream, done.”

So be it… Apple, dream, done.

Another usual lafda, ran the railway platform without the platform ticket.

It was an usual weekday, tuesday.  Amidst that, dad was in bangalore and he was off to native in the evening. I was with my normal routine,  half tea, formals, work, Vaalvo, Hosur road and office.

Even at work, there was the usual stuff, mails, team mates, good guy Xcode and so on. So dad’s train was at 6.50 PM, I was at chill. Dad had left my flat at 5, I was like okay can manage and I will be at Majestic to pick up dad and go to railway station with him.

At 6 PM, I came out of office for namaz, then 6.10 I was at the bus stop thinking I can make it by 6.30 to majestic as from office the majestic is 10 mins by bus.

Got the first available bus, here we go. Majestic, focal point of bangalore, the route which everyone has taken n number of times.  Green light, my bus took the left turn to richmond circle, I started to have feeling I will be late. By the time I reached corporation circle, it was 6.30. Peak traffic and there I am stuck.

Bangalore

Got call from dad, saying he reached majestic. First instinct, I told dad to go ahead with his train rather than meeting me. Dad said he will wait, then I convinced him to catch his train without me.

6.40 I am at mysore bank. Sulking feeling, I will be not making on time. 6.50 I am about to enter majestic, dad calls up saying his train right on time. Damn, I can’t believe the Sholapur express was there right on time. When I had travelled it came late all the time, first time in it, it came at 8.30, second time it came at 7.40.

I was cursing the universe for being against me to miss dad’s train. Who knows, it was working for me. Continue reading “Another usual lafda, ran the railway platform without the platform ticket.”

Another usual lafda, ran the railway platform without the platform ticket.

India’s speed post is underrated.

Screen Shot 2013-04-11 at 10.27.15 PM

Last year, I was supposed to send few T-shirts to my big bro Nair Saab who was in Mangalore. Simple plain T Shirts, along with some Metallica pins. I had packed those in a cover, the cover which comes with threads. As I was staying in Electronics City Bangalore. There is one big Professional Couriers shop, by default went to them, thinking it will be a 5 mins job.

They straight forwardly declined, saying they can’t ship the valuable items. They don’t take CD’s, USB’s, electronics, other valuable items. God knows what they ship as “everything has some value”.

Later I went to DTDC, an another courier service. Even they declined with the same reason. I had to catch a train next day at 5 PM, thankfully a friend suggested to try “Speed Post” of Indian Postal Service. Electronics City has a main post office at BDA Complex. I went to them after lunch. Speed Post guys happily agreed to handle my shipment, the final price came to 60 Rupees along with internet tracking.

Next day, I was bout to catch my train, got a  call from my friend saying shipment has reached that too without a scratch. I was an one happy customer.

Another occasion, I had some official Liverpool FC merchandise to ship to Kanpur, Kolkata and Bagalkot. Packed those pretty well, small packets, as they were accessories. This time went with BlueDart. Those people billed me around 1400 in total, saying its for air travel, internet tracking and national shipping.

I thought, 1400 was way too much, I visited “Speed Post” to get quotation, surprisingly they gave the quote of 190, to all the three shipments. Of course I went with Speed Post.

The Kolkata and Kanpur shipments, went with air delivery, Bagalkot was a local delivery. Almost in 3 days, everyone received their shipments without any problems.

Conclusion:

1. Speed post is pretty reliable. On the other side, the handle all types of items. No fuss.

2. Comes with internet tracking by default, if needed air travel. No extra costs as other private courier service brags.

3. Even their shipping rates are pretty cheap, compared to others.

Moral of the story: “Give Indian Postal Service a chance.”

India’s speed post is underrated.