Yearly Archives: 2003

A New Year Party 1

Shucks! It’s that time of the year again… when the year is ending and I am yet to come to terms with the number of resolutions I had started with and the usual consistency with which I miss the so called ‘set goals’ for myself. It’s that time of the year again, when I am wondering what to do on New Years Eve and even after vowing that I wouldn’t spend it at home, rolling in the New Year while watching some jerks histrionics on TV, that’s what I end up doing year after year :-(. But it wasn’t so this particular year. Luckily I was in Japan at this time of the year, last year. I was excited and sad about it at the same time. Excited cause I was in an all new place and would get to see something I haven’t seen ever and also because I would have the independence to do as I please, which gets toned down majorly when I am home… (yeah talk abt it being 21st century and all that, but it only implies more restrictions AFA my parents are concerned). Was sad, cause after all, I wouldn’t be able to spend it with my folks back home…kya karein the grass is always greener on the other side. But definitely the excitement was much more than the despondency and I was in major josh about the new year plans.

Now it so happened that initially I was going to be all alone (from the desi junta at my office), but later, it so turned out that there were 5 of us there on New Years Eve. Our plans were subject to a lot of hindrances. The first and foremost being that we were all at the client site, working our butts off, working on weekends etc and the prospects of 1st Jan being in jeopardy were quite high. The other reason was that we were being thrown out of our accomodation.. ok I’ll substitute a politically correct term -> we had been asked to vacate our guesthouse (also called skyhouse) because it was to undergo renovation and we were supposed to shift to some place else, maximum by 31st dec (that was not a headache for our client, but for us). This problem had sort of been taken care of by yours truly, at least AFA finding a suitable place which would be convenient for us desis in terms of cooking, costs, distance etc, is concerned. But the shifting bit was still pending. So I’ll cut down to the actual moment, cause that is the interesting bit. Eventually there were just 3 of us, for a so called new year bash. The other 2 preferred to gift themselves some sound sleep instead. Believe me, it’s a very sensible gift, if you have been slogging like that. However, unlike those 2, we, (P, R and I), were bent upon making it a memorable New Year celebration for all further ones to come. We were pretty sure, we wouldn’t be coming back to Japan ever again if we could help it, so this was our only chance to celebrate New Years here. We decided that we would shift into our new Hotels on 31st Eve and then leave for gallivanting around Tokyo!

On D-day, (31st) we left a little earlier than usual (read on time) so that we could get on with shifting. I had the maximum stuff to do. I had to pack up the mini kitchen I had setup and also finish off the cookable stuff because the new hotel in which I was to shift, didnt have the provision of cooking. Also, not only did we have to vacate the room, we also had to CLEAN it up properly, get it APPROVED from the attendent and *then* check in into the new accomodation! For this, an ‘appointment’ had already been fixed with the attendent and there’s nothing in the world that the Japanese are more particular about, if it’s not punctuality. Now these were mammoth tasks especially when one is in a hurry to take some time off for New Year celebrations. Imagine having a deadline to meet here too. Anyway, I hurriedly got along with it. Thankfully we had already done a photo session of that place earlier, anticipating this schedule. Packing up took a lot of time and before that I also had to finish of the perishable items. So I decided I would make Aloo Ke Paranthe to at least finish of the atta and the potatoes. Besides, we deserved some sort of a New Year treat :P. P & R had already done their bit of packing, cleaning and even inspection. So they came to help me. Here it would enlighten one to know that both P & R are guys and you know how they are in matters of the tummy. They both came to check out how I was doing and of course decided to help me out. I deftly made hot and crisp Aloo ke paranthe with extra ghee (in an effort to finish it off, nothing else) as if that’s what I had been doing all my life, while these two tried to clean up the place and also disposed off the garbage (that was really sweet of them). Of course, they made it a point to rub it in too. I fed them with a lot of paranthas in an attempt to show them my gratitude. Not only were they helping me with my stuff, they were also helping me empty out my kitchen :-). We were all on a high since we had finally got the chance to go and enjoy ourselves and moreover we were having hot n sumptuous Desi Ghee wale Aloo ke paranthe in *Tokyo*, which was something totally unheard of, at least in our restricted, poverty-stricken desi circles.

So the itinerary had already been chalked out by who else but yours truly. I had asked a couple of Japanese colleagues about what we could do on New Years Eve and I was told that there are 2 things we could do. We could either go to a Buddhist temple, chant through the night and be blessed by the holy sunrise (which would thaw us), the next morning or we could go to a particular street in Tokyo called the Tokyo Millenario and check it out. Supposedly it looks absolutely heavenly and breathtaking. There’s some lighting done on the street and lots of crowds throng to see this. Needless to say, that we were not inclined to spend the whole night in a temple, waiting for sunrise. So we chose option#2. We also decided that we would go to Roppongee after that. Here I must add, that Roppongee is a rather cosmopolitan place especially for Japan. We had already been there once and for the first time saw a place in Japan which had a large number of non-Japanease population rather than a Japanese one. That place is full of pubs, hard rock cafe’s, Karaoke Bars, strip clubs.. err you get the picture. In other words it was a rather hep place and it also offered a lot of variety in terms of food and entertainment.

Our plan was to check out Tokyo Millenario and and then set off to Roppongee. We would spend the whole night in Roppongee and then go to Akhiabara which is the place where all Desis buy their electronic stuff from. This place has its sales on special occassions, New Year being one of them. We were aware that a throwaway sale (it really is that) is on from the 1st of Jan and what better way to join the queue there than going straight from Roppongee. Here I must add, that all desis there (and this means Pakistanis, Bangladeshis, Indians, Srilankans and Nepalese) queue up at the place much before sunrise in true desi style. Need I explain more! So having decided the schedule, we set out at around 10:30pm for our first halt – Tokyo Millenario. My japanese colleague had very helpfully given me the printout of a map of that area on which he highlighted the streets and wrote their names in english and also told me how to get there. (Those guys go out of their way to help ppl). Now it had been quite a while since we had devoured the Aloo Paranthe and both P & R were desperately searching for the ‘real stuff’ (read booze). We checked out all convenience stores after getting off at Tokyo station, but the lord had other designs for us. Not even a single store had anything of their interest coz it was all sold out! We didn’t have any contingency plan for this situ. Finally they managed to get some fruit beer from somewhere and decided to make do with a can each and wash it down with a doughnut. I also had a sandwich or something and just as we were getting out of the store, we saw humungous crowds running in a particular direction. Panic struck us as we wondered what was wrong, but then a brain wave made us realise that they might be going to watch the ethereal Tokyo Millenario. As was evident, we also mingled with the crowd and started rushing in that direction. After some time we saw that there wasn’t just that trail of ppl, in fact ppl seemed to be pouring from every nook, corner, alley and there was a lot of police to control the movement. There were some traffic lights for this heavy traffic! Imagine a number of lanes of *ppl* moving based on the traffic lights, the way we do with vehicles! Till this time we were sure that this mad crowd was definitely heading for something big and saw the crowds merging into a particular street after some time. But even though the crowds were merging somewhere, we were just not able to fathom the end point, what lay ahead .. the street which was supposed to get lit up at 12. It was highly amazing to see that inspite of the size of the crowd, it was still quite a tranquil affair and nobody was panicking, screaming, breaking out of the line or generally creating a ruckus. Comparatively Indian crowds have never been tame.

Suddenly the clock struck 12! Contrary to what one would expect, there was no commotion in the crowd.. people didnt even bother to wish those around them..anyhow we wished each other, feeling silly that we have entered the new year just standing in a stagnant crowd! As we progressed further, suddenly everybody was out with their camera cell phones and going clickety click. ( a very common thing in Japan). We could see some lights in the distance but nothing much. Finally apna number bhee aaya, we also managed to enter that street which had rows and rows of arches covered with coloured lights and the strains of some sad mournful western classical music (it almost sounded like someone’s death ceremony instead of new years) reached our ears. Both P & R were completely disgusted by then. The Tokyo millenario had turned out to be a damp squib and they had definitely seen better lightworks in our desi weddings itself.

We decided to chuck it and reach Roppongee. We also had plans to eat there itself. Roppongee was a very different scene altogether. The streets were full of people and litter!! This was something quite amazing since Japan is a really clean place and no one litters around. May be New Years was an exception. But there were more exceptions than this. Instead of a savvy cosmopolitan crowd, we saw our own desis on every galli, nukkad, drinking away to glory and mouthing punjabi obscenities by the dozen. Khair, P & R continued with their search for the ‘real thing’. We scanned almost all stores, but by that time (2am) nothing was left. I was tired of their futile search and was hungry, but P & R were just not willing to start their day without any booze. Finally we entered another store, where they managed to find some Bacardi. I was too disgusted to enter the store and hovered around the entrance. Suddenly some unknown desi guy came upto me and wished me ‘Happy New Year’. Not in a mood to pick on something afresh, I also responded with the same. That chap went inside the store and as luck would have it, came out with P & R. To his amazement when I started coaxing P & R to hurry up, he realised that I was with them. One should have seen his face as he told P & R that he had thought I was spanish and was surprised to learn that I was a desi too. Somehow P & R managed to get rid of this guy who was quite unwilling to leave us. Now came the booze party. On not finding anything smaller, P & R had purchased a 1 ltr bottle of Rum! They had also bought 2 small coke bottles to dilute it (which were definitely not enough). I wanted to break the bottle on their head itself as they were *still* not willing to go for a meal. They wanted to ‘enjoy’ their drink first. The booze party started on the street itself, like all the other desi groups hanging around that place. Obviously these guys were not able to finish it and wanted assistance from me. I was also continuously reminded of how cold it was and how some sips would keep me warm. I had a couple of sips (neat). Itne mein ek aur desi jee hum logon ko milne aaye. He came upto us and wanted to shake everyones hands and wish them new years. Complied with this drunk blithering idiots wishes too. P & R were dead sure, that he must have placed a bet with his gang that he would accost us and shake hands with me or something. By this time, I was not willing to listen to any other excuse for not going for our dinner.

We set out for a particular Thai Restaurant there. By the time we reached that building, I could make out that both P & R were quite drunk and were being quite funny. I was also feeling woozy as I had managed to fill in a lot. Anyhow, somehow managed to drag these two upto the 14th floor of the building only to be informed that the restaurant had closed. We had spotted a Hard Rock Cafe somewhere and set out for that. When we reached there, it was already 4:15am and the last order was at 4am. With no other resorts left to us, we set out for Mc Donalds. By this time, P was going on thanking me (repeatedly) for getting him there and how he was having the best time of his life. I was also thanked for being his true buddy (huh?). R was quite happy with the way things were and somehow he had probably started thinking he was a plane or something. He spread his arms and ran across the streets saying, ‘I LOVE JAPAN, JAPAN IS REALLY GREAT!’. He even tried his hand at a somersault and fell flat on his face. Needless to say, all this was attracting a lot of attention. P was slightly more sober than R. We managed to get to Mc Donalds somehow, where R told the attendent at the counter, ‘Give the lady what she wants, I have a million dollars’, pointing at me while making this claim. The attendent was all smiles and took our order. God knows what these ppl ordered but I wanted a hot chocolate for myself. I didn’t feel hungry anymore. When the stuff came, R tried to feed me with some French fries by stuffing them into my mouth! I kept cajoling R to come in ‘hosh’. R was literally ‘jhooming’ and P had somehow sobered up seeing that R was all out of control. R kept on with his jabber and now it was his turn to thank me. He also started telling all onlookers how good this cute li’l girl (me!!!) is. He even proceeded to pull my cheeks! Now *that* did it, but I was feeling quite sickly by this time to give R a good retort and just managed to push him away. We decided, it was time to make a move and went to the station.

Even though I wont be able to highlight the train system in Japan in this blog, I would like to mention that one has to buy tickets there, which are sensed by magnetic detectors and then a person is allowed to pass through. If someone however doesn’t do this, small obstructions suddenly jut out to prevent the person from getting through to the platforms. On this particular day, there was just no stopping anyone, and everyone pushed there way through the obstructions! Yet another desi, came up to me and asked my name. I was quite taken aback at this attitude and before I could give him a ‘what’s ur problem look’, R had already told him my name. ‘This cute little girl is my best friend’, he added. Thankfully that guy introduced himself and after getting a cold shoulder from me and funny answers from R, he made a hasty exit. We finally managed to find some suitable place and sat down on the steps there as I was not feeling too well. Suddenly I started feeling really vomitish. Before I knew it, I had started puking! P quickly zapped back into ‘hosh’ and took me to the ladies restroom while he waited outside. I emptied out whatever little I had managed to eat and felt *so* sickly, I couldn’t believe it. Somehow I managed to wash up but couldn’t help feeling rather weak and ill. Some passerby asked if I needed help, but I declined. Due to so much coughing, somehow one of my earings came loose and fell into a drain nearby. On seeing my face in the mirror, I looked like a nightmare, hair all strewn, lipstick all washed out and looking like something the cat dragged in. I managed to drag myself to the loo and hardly had I entered it, when I heard P calling out my name! I snapped back to my senses wondering what he was doing in the ladies restroom! I assured him that I was ok. He had come inside looking for me cause I had taken so long and he was thinking I might have fainted somewhere.

After I went out I was informed by P that R was also somewhere in the mens room. Feeling too tired and ill I sat down on the floor, with P settling beside me. Although I wasn’t sleepy, I closed my eyes. Hardly a few minutes passed by when I heard someone talking to P about me!! I was upto my throat with that typical desi attitude and didn’t bother to even open my eyes. ‘Is she your sister?’, I heard that guy asking P and also why I was sitting there with my eyes shut. P gave him some info to mull upon. I heard that he was a Pakistani guy. ‘Desis will always be the same everywhere’, I thought. Before long, he was on his way, of course *after* wishing us a happy new year. It was quite some time and R was still in the men’s room. P told me that he was going to look for him there and now I was alone to fend myself from anymore drunk desis. I sat with my eyes open this time and tried to look as menacing as possible. Soon P returned with the news that R had passed out in the restroom itself and was in a bad state.. bad enough to not know what was happening and to not even get up. He had even misplaced his bag somewhere which contained his passport, but thankfully P found it on some peg in the restroom. By now P was completely in control and decided that he would leave me back to the hotel and we would skip the Akhiabara sale. The vision of a hot bath and a warm bed was too tempting to resist, but then I recalled my sisters ‘farmaish’ for an SLR. So I decided that I would go ahead with the sale. I was feeling much better now, but R was indisposed and we didnt know what to do. P made the weird decision of leaving him there only. He figured that once he’ll come back to his senses, he would get back himself, while we could carry on. Despite my objections, this is what we did. We left R in the restroom and went to Akhiabara. We reached there at 6am thinking we would be the first ones in the queue. To our dismay, the queue was already spiralling down the street and we were somewhere quite in the end. It was *so* cold, that my limbs were going numb. To warm up our bodies, we started jogging on the spot and running etc. But that didn’t really generate much kinetic energy to keep us warm. The store was to open at 10am! Imagine the piteous state we were in. Finally the clock struck 10 and we got in. But by the time we got in ( people are supposed to enter 1 by 1 in the order of the queue and make purchases), the items on sale had already been sold out. It was 12pm on 1st Jan by the time we got home. I finally took a hot bath and crashed, vowing never to have any rum again. Even the rum chocolates in my room nauseated me now. All in all, the whole experience was quite enjoyable (apart from being troublesome), especially R’s antics. He got back safe and sound. Some japanese person found him in that inebriated state and seated him in some appropriate train to get back. The 3 of us have a good time whenever we recollect the New year party we had.

Oh and did I mention, this year also I am gonna be sitting in bed watching some jerks histrionics on TV. Maybe it’s not so bad after all. Happy New Year!!

Ostentatious, aren’t we?

A couple of days back, as I was going back from office, (readers of this blog would be aware that it comprises of a loooong journey all the way from Gurgaon to Delhi), the traffic was moving at a snail’s pace. Nothing new at all! For some reason, the traffic on NH-8 always seems to crawl rather than move..especially since the wedding season has started. (And no, murphy’s law refuses to apply to the opposite lane..) I guess the onset of the wedding season was marked by the ‘Big Bang’ in the marriage calendar.. the day there were supposed to be 12000 marriages in saadi dilli. Even though that frightful day ( i call it that cause I can imagine the traffic situ when it’s already bad with it being supposedly inauspicious for any marriages for a major part of this year, all because of the proximity with Mars) was after the ‘Big bang’, traffic continued to be slow. As we moved towards Shiv Murti, I noticed a wedding procession with all the works and stuff. Instead of the usual ‘Ghodi’ the Dulha came on an opulent looking chariot all decorated with flowers and lights and did I mention how long the chariot was.. it was the ancient equivalent of a limo. Moved a little ahead and saw another marriage being hosted in some place behind a petrol pump.. didn’t even know that space existed there… But this wasn’t the end of it yet.. just a little ahead in Mahipalpur, there was yet another wedding procession, this time headed for a tiny bit of space, that had been cleared up in front of some garages! The way these processions (and the guests who come in their cars to attend these marriages) had clogged up the National Highway, need not even be mentioned. They were oozing opulence without having to look at them..the lights, the noise of the band.. combined with the noise of the generator for the lights, the flowers, the glitter..phew.

Till date, ppl have been using the loophole of the “Rs.500/- fine if more than 5 ppl gathered in a farmhouse”. The rule in itself sounds like a joke. However, to overcome such traffic snarls, a new rule has been sanctioned, which includes ppl getting *arrested* if more than 5 of them are present in a farmhouse!! There was a news report of some bandwallahs getting arrested for the effect. Undoubtedly concerned as the authorities are, they end up making ridiculous rules which ppl still find a way about. This brings another thought to mind.. aren’t we as citizens supposed to contribute our bit, by not indulging in such conspicuousness? Probably when it comes to each individual, he’s out to prove that he’s got as lavish a lifestyle as one of the elite khaandaans in those K-serials, no matter what it takes (generally a huge loan) to prove so. I think that’s why Muslim, Sikh and even South Indian weddings are much better because at least they take place in the daytime and the ‘sho-shaa’ is a little played down. Of course, if they have to show how affluent they are, there’s no stopping them.

This is the zamana of designer weddings and weddings managed by *event* management companies..where everything from the pins that the bride sports in her bum…oops bun.. to the jootis of the dulha that would be hidden by the girls side (a common game played up north) is designed by the ‘oh-so-exclusive’ designers. I have seen weddings where regardless of the status of the two families involved, the bride swishes in and out of dresses as if she’s a part of some bollywood rigmarole. Had the dresses not been non-living things, they would probably have been in grateful tears to at least get their 5 minutes of fame, after which in all probability they would never see the light of the day (or night for that matter).

As Barkha Dutt, discussed in some episode of ‘We the people’ recently, why is it that opulent and lavish weddings are becoming *the* thing today? Aren’t we going overboard with the trends? Gone are the days, when Maharajas used to have such elaborate weddings.. nowadays everyone is a Maharaja in his own right. Ideally speaking a court marriage would be the simplest and the best. No jhanjhat, no irritating relatives trying to outdo each other, no hassles of money or managing these ‘events’ and just think of how you could spend all that money you just saved. Personally, hypocritical as it may sound, I wouldn’t like a court marriage. But I would definitely like a quiet affair, where the guest list doesn’t include more than a 100-200 close friends/relatives… Where I can be myself, enjoying my marriage instead of becoming a barbie doll that the bride ends up becoming, with the two sets of parents as the owners.

Online dating

Ever tried online dating? I haven’t, but I created a profile on MSN for myself for the fun of it…out of curiosity to see what happens and then who knows, maybe I *could* go in for it. My profile was rather short and sweet, intentionally so to see if it attracts anyone at all. Till date I have communicated with perhaps 2-3 ppl through it, but never met any of them. Somehow I am just not the types to talk to *absolute* strangers on the net. I could never understand how ppl can waste hours chatting with some doubtful characters lurking in the anonymity that the net lends. Anyhow, with this mode I had an option to choose whether to correspond or to just ignore the responses. For statistical purposes, there are a lot of them out there who are very openly looking for no strings attached sex and make no bones about it. This includes a lot of foreigners settled in India as well. The oldest guy who has mailed me was 48 years or something (at least that’s what he claimed). The youngest has been 21. There are a lot of lonely hearts out there too, who probably don’t know what to do with their lives or their spare time. Many of them could do with some further education AFA their English is concerned.

Here are a couple of ‘funny’ responses.. which I have copied exactly as they were from their mails. Makes one realise, that it takes all types to make this a weird world :-). Enjoy the snippets with my comments inline in italics.


How are you doing? The world has been really pin down with this Internet, we come across ppl whom we rather won’t be able to meet or communicate.
Aboutme I am 28 yrs old guy from Delhi, hmm married for last 4 year. If comes to my relationship with my wife, it really open and understanding. Given each other the space to add spark in the life and go ahead with it.

About me as such I am into Business, which really makes me travel, but I really enjoy it, love driving, can pick up my car and end up to an unknown destination, but that only fun in life. Enjoy life as it comes. Other than traveling reading, writing and interacting with ppl.

What hold us back to indulge ina relationship? Hmm our marriage. What is Marriage? It is not a ritual or an end. Its is a long intricate intimate dance together and nothing matter more than you own sense of balance and your choice of partner.Now who we think is out PARTNER? . ..

Partner is the person who is someone special, who seem to know the art of bringing so much happiness and warmth in your hearth, someone you can tell your secret, dreams n feeling to, someone u can really trust to help n see u through, when you find there.

Anyway is pretty long mail I have written, you must be yawing. He I would love to hear back fro you , if u want you can email me at $$$$$ (at the rate)yahoo( dot) com or if yr instinct allow u can call me at ##########. You take care of yr self and be safe

Some understanding spouses! Shows that swinging is quite prevalent and open now. For all I know next they would be advertising for an orgy or something! Thanks Pawan for explaining the insititution of marriage to me.. ‘Be Safe’, he says! Wonder whether he meant safe as in sex..


This is Avi Here. I searched you through the MSN Match, thinking a friendship with you can be a rewarding experience.
Some expectations!

For last 3 years I was an NRI, and have come back to explore the possibilities of settling back to india. No other reason, I think I love India and Delhi and would like to do something in my life, in my own country, not in some foreign land in some foreigh country.

You can go through my profile in MSN a link to which must be somewhere in this mail. If that appeals you, why not give freindship a try. You can email me on “$$$$$$$$$”.


Aa-ha! So here’s a patriotic, garam khoon , deshbhakt!.. Why doesn’t he admit he got laid off!

Congrats dear lady,

Its u lucky day 2 day!!!!

And mine 2!!!!

Coz we’ve found each other!!!

Oh My My! Lucky me.. doesn’t he sound like Reggie from Archies! ‘We’ have found each other indeed! Hope he goes and finds some sense for his head.

hi ,
well it dosent get better then this i guess…….a
guy and a gal meeting up through the net…..well i
saw ur profile and believe me it was quite magnetic
and i didnt have second thoughts abt sending u this
mail…….as for me iam someone who is born brought
up and spoilt in panjab kinds ……working here in
a mnc……iam clean shaven and i stand 6 ft
tall dark and for u to decide if iam handsome or not
else its like every donkey praises his own
tail……dont take me as a donkey either… far
as the person in me is conerned iam more of a outdoor
kinda guy who is into golf ,trekking and adventure
sports andlove driving my car………and i like doing
my own thing…….i guess thats it from my side and
in case u feel that some chemistry is there between
us drop in a line…..


Uh? Chemistry through mail? never heard of such a thing, if it existed!

Hi,This is Anil the cool guy, but my friends use 2 call me Anny Wld u like 2 call me Anny.I love traveling,listening Music.Bassically I am a party animal.
I am six feet tall handsome,smart guy. I have casual styleing. I am lookins 4 a gal who is smart sexy and senceual (generally gals r not Kidding). Should have good sence of homour.Should be putting up in delhi or around
Yeah sure, Anny nanny.. would sure help if you improve your english some! Gosh!

Access denied

Ever come across this all-pervasive message on your computer screen? Well I have, coz I access the net mostly from office and of course Big Brother always has eyes on my activities. Gone are the days, when barring porno sites nothing else was ‘access denied’. Gone are the days when Yahoo, MSN, ICQ all used to be ‘accessible’ all the time to everyone. Gone are the days when all greeting card sites were a quick means for anyone to wish someone. It was perfectly fine to be downloading MP3’s, checking your web mail and surfing the net for whatever you can imagine (ok, don’t imagine too much now). It was perfectly fine to be receiving and forwarding huge attachments (at times MP3’s and MPEGs too) and everyone had infinite space in their mail account. The bandwidth of the company network was able to take all this load and still survive.

But then comes a day, in every organization’s network-congested-life, when it grows larger and as that happens, the top mgmt, finally realises that “Khulee Chhooot”..umm err.. i dont know how to spell it now..this gives it a very ‘access denied’ meaning.. ok “Full freedom” for its employees is certainly not beneficial for the organization. Moreover in this era of the post-IT-boom-gone-bust-days, one needs to cut down all kinds of unnecessary costs. Obviously all these things classify as luxury for a normal employee.. so the ‘normal’ employee is imposed with certain restrictions whereas the top mgmt, still has Khullee..ok Full freedom.

The new rules are defined in such a way, so that the employee is able to take in the shocks bit by bit.
Round 1 – the chat clients are blocked..but wait, all is not lost, only for certain hours..the working hours. Then greeting card sites are blocked, but again, they are accessible after working hours. Then MP3’s are blocked and of course the same time limitations. (How can they block them totally, after all they also listen to the same music that we download, on the intranet!). Then size limitations are put in for mail accounts. All popular sites like cricket sites, joke of the day sites are blocked.
Round 2 – Restrict the kind of attachments one can receive or send. All mp3’s, mpegs, exes, jpgs, gifs are blocked. Non office hours? Does that mean all hours out of the 24 except the working hours? No, from now on they mean only 6-9 in the evening.
Chat? Cards? oh everything is ok only from 6-9 and no not even on sunday is this timing changed.
Round 3 – No chat at all. New proxy mechanisms make sure that URLs are blocked on basis of the words entered. Now almost the whole internet gets blocked, except for good old google of course. Size of mail box reduced to an iota.
Round 4 – Impose policies of all kinds, which bar the employees from any recreation on the net. Did I mention that the top mgmt has different policies and even different internet links?

These are some of the strategies that organizations follow. Some of it is definitely needed but not to the dictatorial extent of every site being blocked without reason! Of course it’s not as drastic as having no internet connection at all at your desktop, so that the cause itself is done away with. I find it difficult to imagine how ppl in Infosys or ST Microelectronics survive! I mean block all you want, but you do need the net for official work also.

Anyhow, in situations like these, it’s always the employees vs the Big Brother. The BigB forgets that the employees are after all in the IT field and come what may, would find out alternate ways and means to access the ‘access denied’ stuff. So after some time, it really is no real saving of bandwidth or manhours coz those who have to, will do. And those who don’t, anyway won’t. But you know that the restrictions are way too wrong, when almost all employees are finding out new ways and means to access the denied.

So for all you bandwidth starved ppl out there, here are some tricks of the trade. Of course try them at your own risk coz Big B is *always* watching.
Anonymous proxies: you surf the net using these proxies. They act as a buffer between your proxy and the final site. There are various kinds. Ones which encrypt the URL, ones which dont, ones over SSL etc. Depending on the type, you can access sites without anyone (not even BigB) knowing which sites you visited. Of course you need to keep your database updated coz someday BigB is gonna realise that almost all employees seem to be visiting for some reason.
Use software which sends your data over socks proxy or SSL – You can visit or for more details. All you have to do is install the software, make some settings and voila! you can say bye to BigB’s ‘access denied’ web page. And did I mention that you can chat, download (music too) through this? But again, BigB is listening to all ports that you are using and before you know it, the ports for these softwares would be blocked.
There are a few sites which take the URL of the download you want, change its extension and give it back to you with a decent extension that the firewall won’t block. Or they offer you ways to access ftp via http, if your firewall blocks ftp.

Wonder why the corporate networks, still can’t control spam the way they impose these restrictions!

Picture this…

….a small island with beautiful, clean, pristine beaches, huge groves of Casurina trees and small convenient looking bamboo log huts for you. The huts are on a higher level than the ground on a ‘Machaan‘ of some sort (like cottages in Assam etc). Just outside your hut you have a hammock tied, to pamper your sense of lethargy and revel in that ecstasy..the lazy afternoon sun streaming through the trees while you are napping with a book (that you have been reading) on your face..aah!! bliss…of course, you have all kinds of nature sounds to keep you company.. the waves bashing against the beach, the crickets making their sounds, small little birds twittering around.. peace, quiet and could live here forever.

The innumerable dry twigs from the casurina trees form a carpet on the soft sand. You already feel like walking barefeet. The fresh air makes you take in gulps of it. You switch to exploring mode and head straight in any direction. It’s a small island, you are bound to reach the sea. You notice that the trees suddenly stop after a point and from there starts the virginal beach..the sun is blindingly bright but thankfully the trees form a cool green canopy over you. The waves are gleamingly furious and lashing with full force. It’s high tide. The sand also gleams and gives the impression that you would be burnt alive if you step on it barefeet. You take in the expanse of the neverending Arabian Sea in your view, spot a couple of small islands and then look beyond where there’s just the water bobbing up and down and marvel at the way the ocean seems to have a life of its own..and the way it reminds you of a wild animal wanting to break free.

You promise yourself to come here the first thing when the sun weakens a bit. You notice makeshift showers erected at regular intervals, just before the beach starts. They have been put up to wash your hands/feet from any sand. (you can also do a ‘satyam shivam sundaram’ if you feel like it 😉 ).
You get a notification from your stomach in terms of a groan (mebbe a growl) that it’s time to put something in it. You head for the central bamboo log cafe but suddenly remember that you should wash your hands and also check out the bamboo log hut assigned to you. You head for the hut, climb the wooden stairs and get in the room. Whoa! The room has a comfy spic and span look about it, with all necessary basic amenities thrown in. There’s an attached bathroom which is bigger than you would expect on a small island like this. There’s arrangement for electricity (through generators at specific hours). The beds look *really* inviting and the sound of the sea is actually lulling you to sleep. Hunger wins over sleep and you wash and go to the cafe.

After a sumptous meal, you decide to go to the beach. You head for the beach and this time, the sun is almost kissing the ocean over the horizon. The waves seem to be reaching out just so to catch a bit of it. It seems to work.. the sun is sinking deeper and deeper.

The beach looks much bigger and the ocean much farther. Lot of water has receded and it is low tide now. You eagerly step on the sand and almost sink in! The dry sand is so soft it takes you in..all over the place you see small little crabs scurrying around hastily as they see a Goliath (You!) approaching. You are left to see the zillion patterns they have made on the sand while digging a home for themselves. They actually dig, collect a lot of sand, make globules out of it and deposit them on the outer surface.

You reach the wet sand and its easier to walk. It has retained a lot of water. The splash of the loud waves excites you and you discard your footwear (you could do the same with your clothes too, the beach is pretty private) and run into the water. The cool water kisses your feet and recedes back as if taking blessings…LOL:-).
You notice more crabs scurrying around for dear life and a lot of starfishes embedded in the sand. In a lot of places the starfish has just left a deep impression in the sand whereas it is actually not there..
It’s getting darker now.. and the sky has various shades of purple, orange, yellow, grey..Every passing moment gives you a newer and more amazing, picturesque sunset. The colorful hues of the sunset reflect on the wet sand and it gets on a deep orange sheen. At the same time, a nascent moon peeps out in one corner of the sky, almost going unnoticed. It’s twilight! You feel one with the nature.

The colors on the sand become deeper and deeper and finally merge into darkness. The sun has completely set and the twinkling lights on the neighbouring coastline can be seen. A lighthouse flashes its rotating light after every few moments and it vaguely reminds you of that story ‘The Foghorn’ that you had read in your english text book at school.

There! How would it be to spend a couple of days in such a place?
Add to it, adventure activities like kayaking and parasailing, nature walks and island exploring, some fun stuff like a volleyball court on the island and a carrom board in the cafe, indescribable experiences like the chance to play your flute with the waves bashing in the background and the serene solitude that the place offers you and it becomes a perfect vacation.

We also had a motorboat ride somewhere into the ocean. This was another nice experience.. the spray of the water on you when you are speeding, the boat bobbing up and down when you shut ignition in the middle of get to feel the ocean up close and’s almost as if it’s alive and breathing.. a giant amoeba, inhaling and exhaling.. you wait and watch with bated breath to see dolphins.. suddenly you see a whole group jumping in and out of water! But it’s too sudden to be clicked.. a couple of handycams are able to capture it though. A couple of gulls come down and fly very low, suddenly they swoop on the surface of water and you realise that you have seen them lunching. The dolphins play ‘aankh micholi’ a couple of times. The tour includes a close up of all small little inaccessible islands with jagged rocks as a coastline.

The place is Devbagh – a small little, relatively unknown island on the coast of Karnataka. Although the actual stay on the island was just 2 nights and 3 days, I cherish it much more than the rest of my vacation. which I spent at Bangalore (with one day in Mysore thrown in).