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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Motivation At Work Place

Working professionals seem to be a disenchanted lot when it comes to motivation at their work places. Some sectors like the software industry have very high attrition rates and recession and market saturation do not seem to be able to put a stop to the exodus. In my six years as a professional , I have realized that the following are the most pervasive causes of dissatisfaction with their employers:

  • Lack of growth opportunities
  • Job insecurity
  • Inadequate financial rewards ( read poor or no hikes and bonuses)
  • Mundane work environment

I must admit I have experienced frustration caused by all the factors listed above at one time or another. The situation gets aggravated when switching jobs is not a very convenient option...

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In Conversation With Nokia

A few days back I shot  an email off to Nokia CEO Stephen Elop trying to explain how I, a long time, loyal and mostly happy customer, feel about the seeming lack of support for those of us who chose Nokia when it launched devices on the Windows Phone 7.x platform. I am a happy owner of a Nokia Lumia 800, but off late it has seemed that Nokia’s enthusiasm for the older platform has been on the wane especially when it comes to app support. New apps have been consistently coming to the Nokia collection but few of them target the older platform. Some of these are apps which can easily be supported on the older platform. An example is the Nokia Video Upload app...

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The Call Of The Wild

I had signed off my previous post with the resolve to be back in Gir for a rendezvous with the Asiatic lion. So when I had a chance to visit Gir a couple of weeks back, I jumped on the opportunity. The forest looked pretty much the same except for the fact it was quite hot. But I am happy to report that the trip was not in vain. I was able to spot two of the last remaining 411 wild asiatic lions in the world. It was an amazing experience. With these sightings, I have now seen two of India’s biggest cats in their natural habitat. The leopard and the snow leopard still elude me. Hopefully, they will also oblige me someday.
So without much further ado, behold the jungle of Gir and its residents in all their glory:
The tented accommodation where we spent the night amidst lions calling in the distance

The tented accommodation where we spent the night amidst lions calling in ...

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Of Gujarat and Its Wonders!

Gujarat is one of the most aggressively marketed states in India from the tourism point of view. So when I got a wedding invite from a friend (with Ahmedabad as venue) I seized the opportunity with both hands. And Gujarat hasn’t let me down. The trip itself was short but quite memorable.
We spent a day in Ahmedabad and got a taste of the famed Gujarati Thali. The meal was sumptuous and I ate more than my fill. Ahmedabad is like any another bustling Indian city. A mix of the new and the old, of the organized and the chaotic. Chaos on the roads makes me feel right at home and Ahmedabad sure felt like home!
Deer sighting from the highway!
From Ahmedabad We left for Diu via cab and after spending the entire day on the road arrived at Diu in the night...
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Republic Day Musings

This morning when I woke up and switched on the television to catch the Republic Day parade live, I was filled with a feeling of soaring pride that I have come to associate with Republic Day celebrations. That feeling however was short-lived.It was quickly dampened by the barrage of cynical and even melodramatic posts on social media. It seemed as if the celebration of nationhood that Republic Day stands for had turned into a platform for publicity of everything that ails our country. Yes our problems are huge but so are our accomplishments.
It made me wonder if this seething discontentment and pessimism is a national phenomenon or something that afflicts our middle-class. Our middle class is the most vocal critic of our democracy...
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Connaught Place Re-lived and Revisited

It has been a while since she and I had visited CP. It used to be our favourite haunt but ever since she shifted out of town, we haven’t been visiting CP with the same frequency that we used to when she was here. So when we got a chance to visit CP this weekend we took the opportunity with both hands. As always, it was a beautiful day spent with a beautiful person and when I returned to home in the evening I had that warm feeling in my heart that only she can induce. However, I have been wondering do I enjoy more when at CP. After all, we meet and visit the malls in Noida pretty regularly. Somehow, I feel CP makes meeting her extra special. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy meeting her even when we don’t go to CP!So here’s how a typical meeting at CP goes...
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Trip To Panna And Khajuraho

I had for long wanted to see the forests of Madhya Pradesh. The wish finally got fulfilled this June when I got the opportunity to visit Panna and Khajuraho after a small personal visit to Allahabad. We reached Satna after a four hour train ride from Allahabad. Our hotel, the MP tourism run Jungle Camp, Madla was another 90 km from Satna. Jungle Camp,Madla is situated right at the Madla gate of the Panna Tiger Reserve at the edge of a pristine forest. The Ken river flows nearby.
The resort at which we stayed and the breath taking sunset observed from the Ken bridge
Since we had arrived at around 2 pm on the 22nd of June, we had a choice between opting for a Jungle safari at 3:30 pm or visiting Khajuraho( famed worldwide for its ancient temples with erotic sculptures) which was just 25 km...
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