Sunday, May 15, 2011

Second Innings

Posted by Varun | Sunday, May 15, 2011 | Category: , , , , , , , | 14 comments

The last time I landed in Lagos,Nigeria, it was about 8.00 pm and all I could see was the dimly lit runway. This time around though, I took Qatar Airways instead of Emirates and the flight landed in the afternoon.

Nigeria for the first time looked beautiful and I am not kidding or being sarcastic when I say it. There is probably more greenery in Lagos than we have in Bangalore and we shout our lungs out that we live in the 'Garden city'. There is nothing more pleasing to eyes and heart than wide spread greenery and a dash of rainfall. (I've been cooking here and I had to use the words 'Dash of Rainfall' just like 'A dash of Lemon') Yes!! It was also raining when I landed and the whole scene looked so amazing! Wet runway, lush pastures on either sides of the runway, fully loaded Airbus 330 carrying people belonging to almost all nationalities! So what if the the landing gear slipped and it required one brave guy and a pretty airhostess to stop the plane!? Scene straight out of a hollywood movie isn't it!? Nothing of that sort happened though and we landed safe and sound!

Elections in Nigeria completed about a month ago and the guy who has won and will continue to be  president of the country is Mr. Goodluck Jonathan. I am not wishing him luck. It is his name! People believe a lot in him and are looking forward to the changes he has promised to bring. They are hopeful and the whole country is looking to move into greener pastures! For a country that was under the military for so long (Around 33 years), a whole term under a democratic party and a good president to add to it will be a welcome change.

Greener pastures I guess is something we all look forward to all the time in life. It is probably THE driving force of human kind. We always aspire for a better situation for ourselves even though the one we already have might be the best. People who manage to figure this out as early as possible I guess are the happiest. Having absolutely nothing to do gives a lot of time to think about a lot of things in life and this is one such passing thought. 

Looooong flight journey gave me an opportunity to read a lovely novel called 'Life is what you make it'. It is written by one of my dear blogger friends Preeti Shenoy. I loved the book and am extremely proud of her. The book is currently 3rd best seller on flipkart and it has made it to the long list of Vodafone-Crossword Book awards announced on IBN Live. Can you beat that!? I guess she can! I want to see the book become a National Best seller! Without disclosing much about the book I would like to tell you readers that it is a coming of age story of a girl called Ankita. I do not read much books and realised that I will not be the right person to to review it! Won't do justice! I'll probably copy and paste the email I sent to Preeti.

3rd on Flipkart. Awesome! You are making faster progress than Novak Djokovic :) (Shouldn't really compare tennis to books but that is the headline I read first thing in the morning today! 'Summit in Sight'. BTW I have to tell you the book 'Life is what you make it' is awesome! Got a chance to read it in the flight... Finished it in one reading. Had to delay lunch but it was totally worth it... I cried and laughed with Ankita... Loved her, hated her, Felt bad for hating her. And finally felt great to see her back on track, on her feet and doing what she always loved to do... It put me through an emotional turbulence inside the flight. I can understand what it must have put you through to get into the skin of such a character.... Few love letters in the book are amazing... I can simply copy paste them straight out of the book and any girl would go aww :D
And as expected, I got a lovely reply (Preeti always replies) but that is a different story.

It has been raining on and off here and the weather has been quite pleasant. Pity we cannot keep our windows open for the breeze as that will be an invitation to our very own Female Anopheles and we are simply in no mood to feed her.

First week in office hasn't been noteworthy. But some events outside office have defintely been blog worthy! There is a Supermarket 'Shoprite' in Lagos that sells fresh bread in an inhouse Bakery. I had always seen people standing in a queue to buy it but had never bothered to get one for myself. This time around my friend and I decided to get our hands on that famous fresh bread no matter what. Believe it or not, we stood in the queue for about hour and a half just to buy that bread. Steve jobs will be put to shame if he sees this queue. People queue up for his product only on the first day of its launch. Now comes the curious part. How was the bread? I want to write that it was awesome, mindlblowing, yummy! But Nah!! It was like any other bread. Simply couldn't find anything special with it. The wildest guess we could come up with is it is probably the best fresh bread available for such a low price. Pictures below will tell you the story :)

Standing in the Queue

World Famous Bakery :)

Weekend has been a very lazy one! Completed watching the first season of 'Modern Family'. Sitcom has lovable characters and is quite funny. Will have to wait till I get back to India to download and watch the second season. Also got to watch the movie 'Thor'. 3.5 stars out of 5. I like Natalie Portman in any role :)

'Stanley Ka Dabba' (Movie) released over the weekend in India and I am feeling jealous of anyone who's watched it. I wanted to watch that movie and want the movie to do well. Good to see that the movie has been getting awesome reviews everywhere. Just hope it is still running in theatres when I get back. If not, torrents zindabad :)

What else is happening down here in Africa!? I have been travelling around the world. Am I crazy!? No! I am not! I am travelling virtually of course! Making plans, reading about new places, looking at the pictures people have clicked. Feels great to read about new places. Ever tried it? Go on.. Give it a shot! You'll love it... It is good to allow your mind to wander off... It comes back with lots of new ideas and thoughts! Where is my mind now!!? Your guess is as good as mine!
Bavra Mann Dekhne Chala Ek Sapna...

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Family away from home

Posted by Varun | Sunday, February 20, 2011 | Category: , | 11 comments

As the day nears for my roommate to fly back to India, I have started feeling restless instead of feeling happy for him for getting out of the 7 star Jail. Am I feeling jealous that he is getting to India before me or will I miss him here!? I guess it’s both.

Roomies (I don't really like this word but since it sounds cool, I have used it) are one's backbone and family away from home. If you have ever had a bad experience with one, I feel sorry for you but then I am not talking about it here. This blog is like its author. Always positive :)

They are there to share happiness, they are there to share your dreams, they are there to hear your stories, they have seen you crib, they have seen you laugh, they have seen your anger, they have been guinea pigs for your cooking experiments, they are someone who have seen you in all moods and are there for you all the time.

They come in all shapes and sizes, all colour, caste and creed but nothing matters. At the end of the day, they are family! I am someone who did not want to get out of home for anything till I finished my college. Had I got a job in Mandya or Bangalore as soon as I finished my Engineering, I would have missed something big in life. I was always confident that I would survive anywhere in the world but got a chance to experience it only when I got out of home in 2005 and what an experience it has been!

As I am typing this out, every friend I have ever shared a room / apartment with is just walking across my eyes. This post goes out to all my awesome roommates. It will be incomplete if I do not mention their names. It will be one long list though :). I will not bore my lovely readers with their introductions but will surely mention one or two traits I love about them the most. This doesn't meant they don't have other traits :D. If you manage to relate it to your personal experiences or roommates, I would think I have done a good job in keeping you occupied :-).

Ashok Poojary -  First ever room mate and a caring one at that :)

Sushanth - Kannada speaking room mate in Mumbai. What more can you expect!? Free spirit...

Purnendu Shandilya - Giant with a heart of gold :). Ready for anything anytime of the day!

Akshat Jain - Spontaneous, Passionate, Playstation Partner

Vikas Anand - Studious types

Chandan Kumar - One of the Best Friends I will ever find :)

Adityavir Tyagi - Good cook, Prankster

Alok Jain - Butt of all jokes and not so typical Jain ;)

Vikas Dhankar - On phone all the time with his Jaanu.

Siddartha Mohanty - Super Prankster, Movie Partner,

Vikram Dev - Sensible, Extremely hard working.

Abhijeet Shetty - Someone who hated to be tied down in Office, Home sick!

Bibhupada Dash - Aloof, Good at heart!

Shamendra Ekka - Explorer, Adventure Freak!

Harsh Gandhi - Khabri (He actually knew where Osama was hiding too. Pity that Bush never asked). Lovely human being.

Maneesh Shanbhag – Mr. Dependable, Personal Photographer in UK :)

Ankur Badani - Industrious

Mohit Gandhi - Rolu Polu, Someone who loves to follow rules everywhere

Sandeep Bharadwaj - Typical Jatt if you know what I mean and an extrovert. Can make friends in minutes :)

Kamal Prasad - Lively, Have a lot in common, Great Company

Love you all and miss you!!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Weekend Movie Mania

Posted by Varun | Sunday, February 13, 2011 | Category: , | 8 comments

I am high!! Totally high on movies I managed to watch this weekend and before my eyes drag me to my bed, I thought I should post the reviews. Some are old, some are new. Some are comedy, some are action. It was a cocktail of movies that took to me to a different world altogether. All the movies can be enjoyed at home on a DVD or you know where you can download them ;)...  Links below the movie names will take you to IMDB and Wikipedia websites for more information.

Courtesy: Google Image Search

The Mummy

I have watched this movie a thousand times (Okay I'm exaggerating) and still watch it whenever it is on TV. I like both The Mummy and Mummy returns. Never tried to watch the third part as it did not have the complete cast and crew of the first two movies.

3.5 out of 5

The Hangover

Timeless classic I would say. Manages to tickle the funny bone whenever I watch it. Awesome.

4.5 out of 5 


Out and out Bruce Willis movie. Mindless Action but well made I would say.

3 out of 5

The Town

Loved the movie. It is a movie a about a small town called Charlestown and about Bank robbers.Ben Afleck has not only acted well but also directed it really well

4 out of 5 

Scott Pilgrim Vs The World

Geeky. A total geek movie. A guy to win his girl has to battle her seven evil exes :) in Mortal Kombat style. People who've played console and PC games at least once in their lives will be able to relate to the movie. If not, don't even think about watching it.

3 out of 5


Beautifully told story of a young 11 year old Boy who lives with his granny, a younger brother a goat and few cousins in a farm house. Fun fact about the movie is it the highest grossing New Zealand film of all time.

4 out of 5 ( 4 only because it is just a 90 min movie)

My best friend's girl's_Girl_(2008_film)

Romatic Comedy. Has its moments. But then thats it. One time watch only if it is on TV and you have nothing else to do.

2.5 out of 5  

Ghost Writer

Awesome! A tale of a ghost writer (Ewan McGregor) who gets himself entagled in political conspiracy when he decides to ghost write the memoirs of an Ex British Prime Minister played by Pierce Brosnan.

4 out of 5

Since it is 14th of February, I would like to take this opportunity to wish Saint Valentine a very happy birthday and wish a very happy Valentine's day to all my loved ones!

Lots of love,

Friday, February 4, 2011

A handwritten blog post :)

Posted by Varun | Friday, February 4, 2011 | Category: , | 37 comments

This is something I have always wanted to do. Post a handwritten blog post. In case the written font is not too clear you can click on the picture to enlarge and read. Hope you enjoy it.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Incredible India - Pleasures of Travelling

Posted by Varun | Sunday, January 9, 2011 | Category: , , | 27 comments

Whenever I come across pictures of amazing locales or read about them, I add them to my never ending list of places I want to visit. Worst part about this list though is, it is no where documented! It is stored in some corner of my mind. Before I lose track of all these lovely places, I thought I'll list them out here. Listed in no particular order. I want to visit the first place in the list as badly as the last one.

♥ ♥ I love to Travel ♥ ♥

I will stick to places in India for now and in the part 2 of this series, I'll list out the places abroad.Please note that I have not listed the places I have already been to.

Travelling is something that gives one new insight to life. It also gives us an opportunity to learn new cultures, taste new delicacies and it makes us realize that there is lot more to life that updating Facebook status and it also makes us realize the importance of the place you are currently living in. 
This post will be incomplete if I don't thank my Dad. If I have been to so many places in India (20 states out of 28), it is only because of him and it is only because of him that I love travelling. I can argue that I am a Sagittarius and travelling or wandering comes to me naturally but then as a kid if someone's infused that travelling is good and something that can be enjoyed and not something to be feared of, it has to be him!

Here goes the list;

1. Andaman and Nicobar Islands / Lakshadweep - Two Amazing islands in India. One in Bay of Bengal and the other in Arabian Sea.

2. Leh and LadakhJammu and Kashmir / Vaishno Devi

3. North East India (Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Tripura - Sister States)

4. Jodhpur / Jaisalmer  (Rajasthan) - Only desert in India

5. Daman and Diu

6. Puducherry

7. If possible, every small village in Himalayas. Himalayas is one mountain range I never get tired of seeing. Have loved all my trips there.

8. Gokarna

9. Kanchipuram Temple and Madhurai Temple for its architecture.

10. Nainital / Kanatal / Kodai.  In fact all small and big hill stations of India.Have been to most of the famous ones.

11. Reserve Forests / Wildlife Sanctuaries / National Parks  - Would love to go to every one them. There are about 100. Bharatpur, Kaziranga, Gir and Corbett are on top of my list.

12. Goa - Yes! One more time.

13. Ajanta and Ellora Caves

14. Hampi - Want to go here again with a DSLR Camera

15. Alleppy - Kerala - Backwaters and House Boats

16. Dhanushkodi - End of land. Very close to Srilanka

17. North Karnataka - Bijapur, Badami, Patadakal, Aihole, Kudala Sangama

Since I am posting the links of each and every place, I am getting lost reading through them and have been typing this post since last 2 hours. I have a strong feeling that I have missed a lot of awesome places and I will surely keep visiting this post time and again and keep updating it. It also increases the numbers of hits on my blog you see :-)

If you think I have missed anything, please let me know! I'll surely add it to the list. In this busy world, I have no clue when and how I will find time to visit all these places but I am someone who firmly believes that time can be controlled and can be tweaked the way we want it to work.

I had watched the video below earlier but when I watched it on a television in Nigeria, it suddenly brought a sense of pride in me. Told my Nigerian friend proudly that this is India!

Watch out for part 2 of the series :) Hope you had a great weekend! Have a wonderful week ahead!

Update from Nigeria: Nigeria is treating me very well. 4 weeks out of the 12 have flown in no time. In 8 more weeks, I'll be back in India. Have plans to go to a nearby reserve forest and shop for some Nigerian handicrafts. India vs South Africa test series was awesome. Looking forward to one day series now.