The Tiger Experience

If you are familiar with this blog, you would be able to guess that I absolutely dig opportunities that let me travel to one of the many national parks in India. These nature reserves preserve and showcase the unparalleled biodiversity that India possesses. The dizzying array of flora and fauna in the Indian jungles can be represented by one iconic animal – the Royal Bengal Tiger. The sight of a tiger cooling off in a water hole, confident and unfettered, and then walking with a nonchalant swagger, that only the powerful can have, and turning his gaze at the beholder for the last time before disappearing into a bush as if to say “Hey! What’s so interesting? I am just being a tiger”, evokes emotions so profound that are indescribable in words...

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Beautiful Bandhavgarh!

Bandhavgarh is popular as the tiger haven of India. A national park where almost every visitor is guaranteed a tiger sighting. People throng here in the hundreds to see the world’s largest cat in it’s natural habitat. This park has been the scene where some of the most iconic tiger documentaries have been made. It is also the home of Bamera, India’s largest tiger. I had the opportunity to visit Bandhavgarh earlier this month. It was a trip full of bitter sweet moments. The generally benevolent tigers of Bandhavgarh did not oblige but I was blown away by the sheer natural beauty of the environs here.

I had booked two jungle safaris for my stay here. I must say there was never a dull moment in those 8 hours I was inside the reserve...

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Simply Goa!

The allure of a Mumbai to Goa road trip had not left me since I had first watched ‘Dil Chahta Hai’. The movies beautiful and fun filled depiction of the drive to Goa and Goa itself had made me want to do a similar trip for a long time. So when a group of friends planned such a trip, I happily joined in. And what a trip it was! When the feeling of being with some of your best friends combines with the festive atmosphere of Goa against the scenic backdrop that only Goa can provide, it creates a heady cocktail that can both blow your senses and sooth them. And it is the ability to cater to both these extremities that defines the Goa experience.

We spent the first half of our time in South Goa. We stayed at a resort on the Palolem Beach. South Goa is scenic and peaceful...

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On The Tiger Trail (Yet Again!)

My fascination of wild cats (of the feline kind) knows no bounds. And somehow, despite the taxing work schedule I have, the stars have been mysteriously aligning themselves to make such trips possible. The reason for the trip was, again, a farewell to a team member. The jungle, however, wasn’t the same. This time, we decided to take our tiger quest to Ranthambore.

Ranthambore, is a very different tiger habitat from Corbett. The forest is dry and the days warmer. However, there are pockets of dense green jungles. The undulating landscape, the ancient hills, the numerous lakes and the deep ravines all combine to create a beautiful and surreal environment. It is not surprising that the king of the jungle resides in those beautiful environs.

A beautiful sunrise at Ranthamboreof Ranthambore

A beautiful sunrise at Ranthambore

We arrived at Ran...

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Of AAP and Hum!

So the Aam Aadmi Party is at it again. The only difference being, now, they are in power! Aam Aadmi Party was born out of Anna’s anti corruption movement with the promise that they were taking the plunge to cleanse the system from within. It seems, however, that their singular agenda is to turn governance and administration into agitation and gimmicks. When they should be looking at ways to reform the delivery of public services to the people of Delhi, they are using the media glare on them to launch a shadow campaign for the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections.

Soon after assuming power, they took steps to fulfill their electoral promises and garnered well deserved praise for not forgetting their promises to the people of Delhi after the elections...

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Looking Back At 2013

It’s that time of the year again. Winter chill has set in and the infamous North Indian fog has already started delaying flights and trains. Christmas festivities have just concluded and I am sitting in my office cube trying to pen this post before it becomes pointless to do so. The spirits are high and most of my colleagues are on vacation. Somehow, sitting in a sparsely populated office doesn’t seem so bad. I am experiencing a sense of freedom and privacy, that I have seldom felt at work. For some magical reason, I am not feeling disappointed at coming to work on the last day of the year. I am sure, I will be home in time to ring in 2014 with my folks at home.

2013, like most years and life itself, was a mix of both good and bad for me...

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Sunny California

This post is a month late and when most people are reflecting upon their lives in the year that has almost gone by, I am rushing to complete this post about my first ever trip to America. It was mostly a business trip and I spent most of my time working on the design of some awesome features that will be added to the product that I work on. However, I did manage to squeeze a weekend out of my schedule and see a little bit of California.

So let me continue with the lazy tradition of letting the pictures do the talking (though I would love to hear from you in the comments section). Behold!

View of Irvine city

View of Irvine city

Landscape glowing in the sunlight!

Landscape glowing in the sunlight!

The Atlantis Ride at SeaWorld, San Diego

The Atlantis Ride at SeaWorld, San Diego

Penguin at SeaWorld

Penguin at SeaWorld

King Penguins at SeaWorld

King Penguins at SeaWorld

Cichlid from the Rift Valley in Africa

Cichlid from the Rift Valley in Africa

Another species of cichlid

Another spec...

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Trip To Corbett National Park

Ever since I had read Jim Corbett’s Man Eaters of Kumaoun as a 12 year old, I have been fascinated by tigers and the Indian jungle. His vivid description of the jungle , and its sights and sounds have left in me an enduring yearning to go back to the jungle at the first opportunity. Corbett National Park is the one place that brings to life the visual imagery woven by Corbett in the masterful narration of his experiences.

An opportunity presented itself when my team in office decided to take a one day trip to Corbett to bid farewell to one of the most respected team members. Needless to say, I grabbed the opportunity with glee. And what an experience it was! I did not get to see a tiger. Yet, I have come back with my soul nourished and a song in my heart...

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(Re)Visiting My Childhood Years

I visited Naini Tal earlier this month to participate in the 125th Anniversary celebrations of my Alma Mater – St. Jospeh’s College. And what a trip it was! It was like being transported back to my childhood amid the smiling faces of teachers and friends, and the picturesque Himalayas. I was there for 4 days and spent most of the time in school trying to relive the good old days. However, I still managed to stroll along the Mall, savour Sonam’s momos, relish Neeru’s Bun Tikkis and trek to Tiffin Top. It was a trip that seemed to end too soon but I have come back with invigorated memories of my childhood and the careless banter with friends. Shared below are some pictures I took while I was there. Sit back and enjoy (and reminisce if you are a Semite 🙂 ).

Naini Tal on our day of arrival (2nd october, 2013)

Naini Tal on our day of arrival ...

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Must Have Tools For Moonlighters

Many of us in the IT industry like to work on small personal projects for keeping pace with the ever evolving technical landscape. As technology and software development paradigms have evolved, so have the tools that support the new age SDLC frameworks. Software Development Methodologies are converging towards being more Agile and allowing widely distributed teams to function more effectively. The advent of the cloud and mobile app development has spawned an entire army of moonlighters who work for their organizations by the day and for their own selves by the night. It is only natural that the cloud and mobile revolution have influenced SDLC framework tools like project management tools, source control systems and bug tracking tools...

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