Sunday, 13 January 2019

Its fine to be normal

With a small baby in tow i have hardly had any time to catchup with what's happening around. 

However there was one piece of news that caught my attention recently. Two sports players being expelled out for appearing on a chat show on TV. That sounded bizarre to me. What harm could that chat show do to the men to be expelled from team.

As a doubting Thomas I went about and watched the show for that scandalous duration. What I heard made me cringe.

One gentleman sitting on the couch says that he declared that he lost his virginity to his parents and apparently they remarked in pride. He said he watches women move and he shows that to his parents.  The other gentleman next to him says the first gentleman's family is very cool and he hadnt seen such till then.  I'm sure he wouldn't have. Thankfully to barely save the grace the host called out the family weird.

I have no opinion to share about the family.  It's their freedom to express and be however they want to be. What concerned me most was what the player tried to say to indicate his family is cool.

Im all yes to sex education at home,  parents should talk about this to their children so that kids don't go to others when in doubt.  But have we become so uncouth in the name of appearing to be cool.  We forget that what we speak on national TV is watched by a wide range of audience.

Im sure the gentle man had better examples to show his family was indeed cool. What example is he setting for his young fans who watched the show.  That it's ok to watch women and imagine what you want and to top it he declares this with pride to his family and they are all proud of his feat and smartness if we can term it that.

I have seen an episode of the same show where a husband and wife shared the martial tidbits in a dignified yet witty ways. I'm not saying it's the most reverend discussion but it showed them to be as normal as all of us are and its ok to be normal.

I sincerely wish that people on national TV have some thought before uttering any gibberish and not set a bad example.

Sunday, 5 April 2015

Are you a Software Engineer Parent??

“You know my son is a Software Engineer in a big MNC, we did everything we could to make him a successful engineer and look where he is now. He might even go abroad this year from company”.

Does this sound familiar? How many times haven’t we heard this conversation in weddings or family gatherings?

Every parent wishes their offspring gets the best of the education, best of the facilities to facilitate the studies, books and what not. A son / daughter has an exam, it’s a bigger exam for the parents. They wake up at ungodly hours to ensure that they can wake them up, give them nutritious food, internet facility, may be even drop and pick them up from exam centers.

The achievement of becoming a graduate is not just the students; it’s also their teachers and most importantly the strength behind them, their parents. Parents also understand when their children take-up campus selection or job interviews; they understand the process and gather information when possible.

But what happens next?? Being a software engineer by profession, I would limit this write-up to talk about the saga of this profession alone. So join me in understanding what we do.

A student’s life takes a leap when they enter the professional world. It does not remain a world of books, college projects, friends, and a cup of chai or Maggie from the college canteen.  It is a different ball game to face the world on your own without a helping hand neither from their chaddi-buddy friends nor from the parents.

It’s a big BIG world out there, competition, trainings, peer pressure, the pressure to outperform, the pressure to keep yourself abreast with the fast changing technology not just to get grade “A” but to keep moving in the ladder; be it in your designation or be it in the salary stack.

Understanding the dynamics of this profession is not rocket science but it is different. It is definitely not a 9-5 job that is logged every day, and this is where creeps in a lot of gap and mismatched expectations.

I understand and acknowledge that there were problems like work-life balance issues even in the 80s but let us all imagine it manifolds in this generation. 

A young professional at an age of let us say 23 years is expected to keep updated with latest technology he or she is working on, build softskills; the right way of approaching people, talking to clients, handling feedback every 3 months, and doing something more which is one expectation that keeps ballooning every year and all this is apart from the actual work that is never fixed from 9 to 5.

So what am I trying to convey here? When our parents could understand us when we were tensed during exams, understand us when we would sit late for studies, go to college on weekends for special classes what happens when we start working? Why does this understanding go south??

After a 5-day long, ( believe me it becomes a long week even if it is just 5 days when your manager or customer is sitting on your head until you have delivered what is required) all that we would want to do is unwind during the weekends, peace when we are back at home from work. I also understand that we would be responsible for things at home as well, but if every mother or father takes a minute to understand what would have happened in a day’s time of their child at work, it would make a lot of difference.

Before a dad / mom aspires to make their child a Software Engineer, it would be a good thought to understand what it takes for them to be parents to a Software Engineer.

Are you ready to make your child a Software Engineer??

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Bangalore Ganesh Utsava – an evening spent well

Having spent my first two years of work life in the heart of Bangalore, Basavanagudi I had been oblivious to the spectacular Ganesha Utsava that happens in Acharya Patashala Grounds.
I had skipped all these years possibly because I was indisposed towards crowded gatherings but only now I realized that it would have been worth the crowd.

 This year marked the 51st celebration of the famous Ganesha Utsava and that in my opinion is really commendable. To keep the show going on for 51 years and attracting people from all over Bangalore over all these years surely says something about the event.

The first ganesh utsava was started in the year 1962 by a group called Shri Vidyaranya Yuvaka Sanga which was the brain child of two brothers in GK Gopal and GK Obhaiah.  Vinayaka Cycle mart in DVG road was the first venue of this utsava. The two brothers and few likeminded people started the group viz a viz the utsava with an objective to promote literature, culture and kannada and the essence is continued even today with manifold programs lined up for 10days starting on the day of Ganesha Chaturthi.

Artists from all over India come here to perform to a crowd who appreciate music, culture, dance and art. Celebrities of the likes Hema Malini, Kareena Kapoor , Shaan, Usha Uthup, Rajesh Krishnan and more have marked the Utsava over the years.

Along with the cultural extravagance, the BGU has lately started the Sand Utsava where a huge Ganapathi is made out of sand. The 50th year of BGU also exhibited one of the biggest laddos which weighed about 6000kg.
The sand art is very intricate and receives special attention.

The APS grounds which has been hosting the ganesha utsava year after year is vast and accommodates innumerous handicrafts, food and entertainment stalls along with the Sand Ganapathi, Paper ganapathi and the traditional ganapathi to which Pooja is offered everyday for 10 days.  The pandal seating the traditional ganapathi is magnificent and large and beholds the visitor for reasonably long enough time without crowd menace.

Not having much to do over the weekend, me and hubby decided to go the Utsava on 15 September 2013 which was the 7th day of the event.  The events lined up for the event was a show by Beats Guru and Euphoria. I have to confess here that I was inclined towards going mainly because of euphoria playing and the other attraction “Aromas of Karnataka”.

 “Aromas of Karnataka” is an initiative by the Shri Vidyaranya Yuvaka Sanga to showcase the delicacies from various parts of Karnataka and each of these stalls hosts the cuisine unique to the place.  We found some interesting items like Floating Pani Puri, Halu Bai, Jack Fruit Mulaka,
Floating Pani Puri
Neer dosa

Kurukoti Avalakki, Ragi dosa, and more.

One can spend an hour and more in trying many of the delicacies. The utsava has something to offer for everyone, along with the food there are stalls displaying food items, handicrafts, gardening items to buy from. I would rather not comment on the prices but one thing that caught my attention was a stall selling kitchen garden items, that is soil, seeds, fertilizers etc. I could not move on from there without paying for a Brinjal plant for my balcony garden.

This blog would not be complete without a mention about the Beats Guru. They are Bangalore based band whose music is mostly influenced by African Tribal, tribal trance, Arabian and more.  The way their lead artist Ganesh sensed the audience pulse and played the tunes was simple awe-inspiring. I never realized that I spent more than hour going around the stalls listening to their instrumentals.  The second performance Euphoria
really doesn’t need any introduction, Palash and team played some of their famous numbers , some popular rock songs of Bollywood and others as well.

Overall it was a beautiful evening spent with art, music, food and fun!

Tuesday, 18 June 2013


One of the monument sites in Karnataka, that was on a to-do list but I wasn’t fascinated about is what this blog is about.

Bijapur historically stands for the ruling of Adil shahis and this is chiefly symbolized by that one structure which defines Bijapur all by itself. Its enormous dome which is the biggest in Asia is visible from quite a distance and tells a traveler that that they have arrived in the city of Adil Shahis and the city which is the abode of Gol Gumbaz.

As we enter the gates, the only thing that catches all the attention is the Gumbaz which looks splendid when complimented by the lush green lawns. Marking the path to the monument are blushing Gulmohar trees and lovely yellow flowers.

Golgumbaz veiled by Nazar and Nagar Khana

To keep the curiosity on for the visitors, entrance to the monument is veiled by two structures; commoners refer to them as “Nazar Khana” and “Nagar Khana”. The interpretation of commoners is that Nazar Khana was constructed to keep away from people’s envy on directly looking at the spectacular structure, while Nagar Khana was used as a band stand to greet the Adil Shahis.

One has to cross the buildings, leave the footwear and enter the main hall. The acoustic of the place is such that early visitors in the morning can even hear their own footsteps. The main hall is huge with a center podium which houses cenotaphs of King Mohammed Adil Shahi and his family, the main cenotaph is marked by an elaborate wooden baldachin. The real tombs are located below in the basement and are accessed by a staircase under the western entrance.

center podium with cenotaphs

The history from the commoners elucidate is that the big tomb in the center of the hall belongs to the king himself, the other two smaller ones farther away were his grandkids, the one at the end was his queen, however the one adjacent to his was of his muse and mistress from Srilanka. We will come to more about this view of the story later, for now let’s explore the architectural splendor of Gol Gumbaz.

A flight of stairs takes us up to seven floors which opens to an alley that skirt the dome. This alley is called whispering gallery. The whispering gallery is architecturally designed such that every diagonal corner acts as whispering windows. So when a person speaks from one of the corners, the only person who is diagonally opposite will be able to hear the conversation.

Dome with diagonal acoustic system
Though the whispering gallery appear to be great in terms of architecture, the bigger attention monger is however the dome itself. This is the second largest dome in the world and comes after the dome of St Peters Basilica in the Vatican City. The dome is not supported by columns but by 8 intersecting arches created by two rotated squares create interlocking pendentives. The dome acts an integral part in maintaining the astounding acoustics of the place.  From each of the windows on the seventh floor, one can see the walls bordering the city of Bijapur which now though is in crumbled state still describes the expanse of the Shahi kings.
Now coming back to the curious case of the King Adil Shahi and his mistress. This is a story we heard from the locals and has no records in the history. The story goes like this.

GolGumbaz was initially constructed as a place where the King had his amusements through dance and music. There are small sections inside the walls which is said to house the musicians around the hall, the main stage which now houses the tombs was used as a stage for performances. The king had his place directly opposite to the entrance. The Gol Gumbaz was said to resonate with melodious music of court musicians, but what enhanced the magical experience was the performance of a Srilankan dancer who was also the kings muse. 
The king fancied her more than his own wife and would have secret conversations with her using the whispering alley. On one fateful day, the king in a jest questioned the love of this beloved, and whispered whether she would willingly give away her life for him. The dancer without even thinking twice is said to have jumped from the whispering alley through seven floors and hit the ground on the same stage which she ruled with her dance. Seeing her love towards him the King instructed that a tomb be created for her even though she was a hindu and be placed next to him, a place which his wife does not hold even in death.

Having witnessed the effect of sound and music inside, I can only imagine how amazing must have been those days when the performances were held.

A note to singers, if you really want to check how you sound without music and feel good about your singing visit this fabulous place early in the mornings, you will fall in love with your own voice just like I did.
The monument is open from 6Am in the mornings and is ideally the best time to visit the place to avoid all those people who would love to do a scream test rather than whisper sweet nothings.

The entrance fee to the monument is Rs 5 and there is an extra charge of Rs 25 for your cameras. You can reach the place through your own transport which can be parked inside the monuments ample parking space. For people not having their own transport you can take a shared rickshaw which charges around Rs 10 per person. There isn’t anything around for food, you can either carry your own packed food or have breakfast at Madhuvan down the same road. Make sure to have had enough food or carry water and juices in case you find difficulty in climbing the seven floors. There are benches on each floor where you can relax and enjoy the cool breeze.