Archive for the ‘Photos’ Category

Hitech Span

The Above image is taken from the Roof top Cafeteria of Kanbay. It shows from the left to right the office of VSNL,Edges of the mamothian Cyber Pearl, TCS Deccan Park, A Building under construction, Jayabheri Apts., Accenture andOther Residential Areas

HYD Span

The Above Spanned Image shows the whole view of hyderabad City taken from Golconda Fort

Jogging Area

The Road to Perdition. The Road leading from Cyber Towers to KPHB. Sometimes the gateway to hell !

After the news came in that I made into IIM, Life has almost taken a somersault. I have become complacent and different to work. Days are spend touring the last of the unknown corners of the city.

And I have been enthusiastically pursuing my ‘wanderlust’. Places I have visited after the results are Goa, Pune, Matheran, Kolkata, Burdwan & Sikkim(Gangtok). The most picturesque of them has undoubtedly been Sikkim. After an overnight bus journey from Kolkata to Siliguri followed by a five hour back breaking ‘sumo ride’, we finally reached Gangtok for a three day stay program. The views and the experience it presented was truly worth the pains.

The detailed experience would tale some time to pen down so I would briefly put in some of the things we did in those three days

· Day 1: Visit the downtown shopping complex, enjoy the food there. Look and observe the people and try and get a feel of their lives.

· Day 2: Take a tourist vehicle and visit Changhu Lake, Babaji’s Mandir , Nathula & View point. From view point get a pristine view of the Kanchenjunga and take some snaps.

· Day 3: Check out the ropeway which gives a beautiful arial view of the city, go to Rumtek Monastery

All this while we took some wonderful snaps, whether it was snow covered peaks, or lush green tea gardens spanning the whole view, sikkimese children trudging along the slopes on their way to/from the school, monks of all ages adolescents, youth, middle aged and elderly in their various times as they go through their refreshingly simple and piously puritan lifestyle.

Green hillsAt Changhu Lake

Snow Capped Mts.Kanchenjunga

Babaji's MandirAt Babaji's Mandir

Sometime it made me feel that the ‘concrete jungle’ and the ‘rat race’ that goes init has truly made us oblivious to happiness and peace of mind. Mind has indeed been numbed by the comforts it so desires to an extent such that it is no longer able to experience and appreciate the little joys of life.

Sleeping Monk boy Dharma Chakra

One of my most prized snaps is the one in which a small monk of about the age of 12 years is comfortable napping on the table of their co-operative cafeteria which serves surprisingly tasty Maggi at the very reasonable rate of Rs. 12 and plays popular hindi movie numbers. When he realize he wasa being shot he gave such a mesmerizing smile which I thought is probably extinct in cities like New Delhi, Mumbai or for that matter any metropolis. More of its snaps are present here.

Monks in MeetingRumtek interiors

Wat to Rumtek CompundRumtek Monastery

Buddha's Golden Statue

While in Kolkata, checked out the now wonderfully working Salt Lake City Center. Met with buddies, met my relations and gave a last long look at the city which some time had been my home for a fairly kingfish span.

Salt Lake City Center Salt Lake City Center

The past few days, lots of developments have taken place. I have put in my papers in my company and the travel plan has been finalized. So days are spent socializing with the friends with this rather lengthy two and a half years of involvement, cementing relationships, reinforcing bridges built of the days. Made some new friends during this span too. Took many friends out for a treat that they extorted me to give!

Been spending the last couple of days going to the handful of locales that I missed in Hyderabad. Went to Golconda fort with two friends, had a great time watching the sound and light show. Took some wonderful snaps of bats hanging upside down from the fort walls too! The past few mornings I keep wondering at the beauty of Hitch City, one place which has literally been my domain for quite some time now. I have walked in an out of this place ten times a day and yet remained oblivious to its inherent beauty. Now when time is near to bid adieu, I realize it was indeed one of the very few places of work of international standards; organized, maintained and commanding by its presence.

Last night, after doing a round of window shopping at Hyderabad Central, I capped my experience by watching an otherwise thoroughly avoidable movie “Darna Zaroori Hai” with a friend, just to bring back the experience the numerous weekends and some weekday evening that we spent lavishly wasting on the most ridiculous of movies!

Never really thought this would happen, although when I think in retrospect it was inevitable. As the day nears for me to bid adieu to this place, a bitter sweet feeling seems to engulf me. I have grown sort of attached to this place and the people with whom my life had been so closely entangled the past few years. Its as if a bondage which has grown, much to the lack of my knowledge!

Sneaking out at the drop of a hat, is one of those prized habits which I thought I have lost in the dry dreary sands of monotonous daily professional life. There used to be a time, when a whim or a fantasy could have my gang trolling down around two kilometers at the inauspicious innocuous time @ 02:00 hours towards the highway in pursuit of cold coffee with ice-cream and dollops of gossip. Those days, we thought it was a passing phase and more as a sign of young restlessness, was quite right about the first one, though much later I realized that it was more a result of intoxication by life; getting a kick out of it!I had long been planning a trip down to some nice location, and have it as a college reunion of sorts. Finally time had come and we headed for
Goa, thanks to ridiculous planning and an almost absent co-ordination! People landed from far and wide; Hyderabad, Bangalore, Lucknow, Pune and
Delhi. Some got a leave, some ‘managed to fall sick’ and some others arranged a GD/PI at one of the IIMs as an excuse to take the FRI off. Thus we had Fri, Sat and Sun to savor
Goa.
It was as if we were re-living out college years these three days again, starting with the inevitable mess-ups’ that was trademark of any of our endeavors back in college. One of the guys managed to miss his Flight, ended up shelling a small fortune to return to his hometown and in the process abstain from the meet; others managed to loose their sunshades/sunglasses and spectacles; and then there were a few discerning others like me who managed to get his Digicam soaked in salinated sea water, thus putting it out of circulation for a long while apart from creating enough room for expenditure so that all dinners at restaurants for the next three months will have to be stopped to compensate for the loss!

Goa from Satellite
(Goa as it Looks from Satellite)

Myself and a friend took a Volvo from Hyderabad to
Goa, Paulo Travels, a Volvo service which was till now one of the worst maintained, most expensive and most impolite that I had come across till now. But being the monopolistic service provider to
Goa, we were left with little or no choice. So while I spend the night wide awake grinding my teeth in the cold ( the Air conditioning was running at full power for no reason and the luxury of blankets were not something Paulo entertained!) and bearing the loud snores and the drooping head of my friend A, I kept wondering about the unpredictability of life, here I was meeting up with all my hostel buddies after such a long time, quite a few of us couldn’t make it in the convocation and rest assured that very few of us would ever be able to take time out of their jam packed schedule driven lives to make way from another meet once they get full fledged into the Hustle-Bustle of life.

Goa Tourist Map

We reached Panaji at about 10:30 A.M after a long journey of about 15 hours and drove straight to awaiting friends at ‘Palacio-de-Goa’ hotel, a rather nicely kept up hotel with a decent pricing for its services.Soon we took to hiring bikes to go around the city, and check out the beaches. At this point it is worthwhile to mention the special preferences that some people had towards beaches frequented by foreigners, who were uncannily naked and took to sunbathing ignoring the gaping eyes of the natives and the Indian visitors.

I actually had the uneasy experience of having a fellow Indian tourist run out of Water while bathing, to go fetch his camera to take a snap of a blonde foreigner tourist who had just taken off her top and was proceeding to the waters for a bath. That person actually proceeded to about 10 meters of that lady with his camera in his hands and a lustful eyes and a gaping tongue hanging out, and took her snap. My instant reaction was of that of humor, but the realization soon dawned on me that, we 'Sex Starved Indians' are probably one of the most indecent and cheap behaving ones when it comes to respecting people's private space

On Board the Ferry
(On board the ferry enroute to Calangute)

On Board the Ferry

We short listed three beaches as a part of out Itinerary, Calangute, Baga and Anjuna. All these beaches were at a drivable distance from Panaji and were quite popular amongst the tourists. Of these Calangute is by far the most popular of all beaches, Anjuna as per the highly reliable information of one of my friends from IIM-Lukhnow is the more 'Virgin' one, rather less commercialized and a favorite amongst the peace loving, topless and sun bathing foreigners. Hence it found an irrevocable place in the ‘must see’ list of this college pass-out bachelors group. I must admit, I too was quite excited at the thought of getting a real peek into the nicely chiseled bodies of blondes and brunettes.

Goa Panjim.jpg

(Beaches Along
Goa Costline : From Satellite)
What was left of the first day was spent grandiosely trolling in the Calangute beach and swallowing and digesting the beauty of the ocean and the sky and the horizon that holds them apart. Incidentally a lot of water and adventure sports activities are available in Calangute, these include but are not limited to water scooting, Para-sailing, paragliding, speed-boating and paddle-boating.

Sun Going Down Against the Setting Sky Soaked Gang

 

Calangute Beach

(Calangute Beach : from Satellite)

The most exciting of these was definitely Para Sailing.

Parasailing

The sheer pump of adrenalin as the jet of cold air thrusts on you and jolts you high up in the air, can be scarcely put to words. Initially it is scary and you hold on to the safety harness, wondering when it will slip through your torso and engage you in a free- fall, slowly the realization takes over, that its probably not going to happen, and even if it would, it would probably be better to enjoy the breathtaking beauty all around. Soon the muscles begin to relax and you are finally enjoying the spread around you. The splendidly Turquoise Blue water and the golden sands with little 'ant-sized' people hustling-bustling around the shores. Its truly a breathtaking experience. What makes it all the more exciting is the sudden jerks that you are bound to get as and when the speedboat decides to increase its velocity, with an effect pushing you higher up in the air. One such jolt, and your worst thoughts come dancing back, are you finally going to drown & die? Oh No! you are not even Married, and even worse you are still a Virgin!!

Water Sctooting

Anjuna Beach

(Anjuna Beach: From Satellite)

 

Akshardham Temple

Posted: April 2, 2006 in Gibberish Blabber, Photos

With more than ample time to spare and running out of places to visit, I decided to include the much talked about, newest attraction of Delhi, Swaminarayan Akshardham Temple.

Akshardham Main Temple

With this is mind, hoped into an auto after taking a metro ride to Connaught Place, and it faithfully landed me right at the doorstep of the huge 'Temple Campus' (Working in Hitech City this is the easiest similie that came to my mind, need not be the best or the most appropriate). The Temple compound was almost immeasurably huge, much larger than the Infosys People Factories constructed across the country.

Mandir Complex

The first thing that crosses one's mind or rather that should cross the mind is the name of the mandir, Akshardham. The very sound of it proposes great meaning to the plenary nomenclature. Akshardham means the eternal, divine abode of the supreme God, the abode of eternal values and virtues of Akshar as defined in the Vedas and Upanishads where divine bhakti, purity and peace forever pervades.

The entire tour of the mandir can be considered to consist of the following sub itenaries for every darshanarthee or devotee

  • The magnificent Central Monument
  • Other Monuments of religious importance, like the foot prints or the ten doors
  • Hall of Values (Paid) – 45 mins Audio Animatronics show
  • IMAX Screen Film on Neelkanth (Paid) – 40 mins movie
  • Boat Ride through the Indian Heritage artifacts and models(Paid) – 12 mins

The Central Monument

The beautiful monument built without steel, consists of 234 ornately carved pillars, 9 ornate domes, 20 quadrangled shikhars, a spectacular Gajendra Pith (plinth of stone elephants) and 20,000 murtis and statues of India’s great sadhus, devotees, acharyas and divine personalities.

Gajendra Pith

Carvatures
The monument is a fusion of pink stone and pure white marble, where pink stone symbolizes bhakti in eternal bloom and white marble that of absolute purity and eternal peace. The specifications of the monument are as follows

Height: 141.3 ft
Width:
316 ft
Length:
356 ft

The roof has intricate carvatures which have the power to mesmerize any roaming sight.

Ceiling

Water Elephants

There are many other splendid monuments like the fore mentioned The star attraction of the whole tour however is the three paid audio visual shows, which are so superbly crafted that they take you to a different realm altogether, almost making you feel that you are transported to the time when neelkanth quit his home in search of truth.

Visit to Kanpur

Posted: April 1, 2006 in Gibberish Blabber, Photos

My short trip to Delhi was spiced up by a 3 day detour to Kanpur. It all started at earlymorning 0500 hours when I boarded Shatabdi Express from New Delhi to Luckhnow, with my journey ending at Kanpur. What followed was a nice experience of a town sleepily immersed in a small town mentality; amicable people strolling at leisurely pace, congested roads, almost lack of public transport facilities except auto rickshaws and six seaters and a power supply which was inconspicuous with its absense almost the same amount of time as it was actually present.

The mornings were spent with lengthy walks in the adjoining Agricultural University, which had almost endless farms in which the crops were the decor for the large part of the land. Thanks to the controlled irrigation, cultivation and other agro based technologies being practised the fields were almost picture perfect with greenery splattered woith hues of golden yellow and bright shining grain stalks.

Green Revolution

The farming practised is extensive in nature and exhaustive rotation of crops also takes place, as a result a variegated spread of plantations are easily visible across the vast strech round the year .

Agri university

I also spent a totally usable evening watching an equally useless movie at the aole decent M ovie theater in Kanpur : Rave3. I watched a stupifyingly decayed and stale movie called 'UMAR' hence no wonder thatin the total hall apart from us there were only four other people who had turned up towatch the film.

The good thing about this however was the fact that we got to see the Rave3 and the associated shopping complexes and make knick-knack purchases.

Rave 3

At a Food Court

Overall kanpur was a very interesting experience for a Big city Dweller like me. For someone who has spent his entire life in metropollis such cities really facinate with the curt set of offerings in terms of culture shocks and challenges it throws up and with the pleasant homliness even the ost desolate corner of the city has to offer.

Delhi Metro Rail

Posted: March 30, 2006 in Gibberish Blabber, Photos

For some, life is never without an unexpected twist or a bend ‘just around the! As I tossed myself lazily up from my bed, expecting a rather uncannily laid back day ahead, little did I know that surprises would spring up from the most trivial of things. Starting from my ride in the Delhi Metro, from Dwarka to Connaught Place, my first go at Delhi Metro, I in all my innocence was busy taking some snaps in my digital camera.

Station 1

Route Chart

Station Signboard

Attention Notice

Pannel

It was all going well as long as I was doing this in the open air, but once inside the station, just when I pressed the shutter release button, three flicks of flash lit up the whole place. Immediately three cops came running to me with a shrill blow of whistle, and hauled me up. I was taken to a nearby booth where a lady straight out of the move ‘Bandit Queen’ stared me at my face and ask me to hand over my digicam. My warning bells began to ring and I immediately protested saying that nowhere was it written that photography was prohibited. The lady gave a sly & obnoxious smile and pointed to a huge board right behind her back where it was written in very small font that among other things photography is in the banned list. I realized the futility of trying to explain the pointlessness of this information board especially when writings on it were so unintelligibly small and when it was placed so strategically that it would not be visible to even the most prying of eyes.

Metro Train

Inside View 1

Inside View 2

I instead took the time tested ‘senti’ route; I have seen that when done when the act actually hits home run in even the most desolate of circumstances. I took the line of being an outsider and visiting the Delhi Metro, the nation’s latest pride, and one of the newest additions to the numerous tourist attractions of Delhi. I was intrinsically trying to make them feel good and important of being the ‘guardians’ of such a famous thing. The ‘Feel good Factor’ finally set in even in those bunch of hard hearted weather beaten cops, and they reluctantly let me go with a stern warning that if caught next time I would have to face dire consequences!

This is something that’s quite characteristic of New Delhi, as much as its famous bird-watching locales, it teaches you to negotiate and talk yourself out of the most sticky of pitches, in turn teaching critical lessons of man management and interpersonal communication skills. Little wonder then that Delhi folks are normally pretty much adept when it comes to giving lengthy voluminous vocal discourses and rambling in the work place

Rain Rain Go Away ..

Posted: March 8, 2006 in Gibberish Blabber, Photos

Rain, rain, go away.
Come again some other day.
Little Cheetos wants to play,
In the meadow by the hay.

Rain Clouds 2

With thick Black Clouds Hovering in and around Hyderabad,

Rain Clouds 1

gifting us bouts of rains, which assiduously Drech us from toe to tip of the hair, there is very little outside activity to be done. So all day, as we return from office, hoping that the Rain Gods will have 'merci' at least till we drop down at home, we just sit and stare at the clouds. I for one enjoy the serenity their view affords to a "Rat-Race-Participant" like me. I love getting wet, I like sitting tight while others run helter-skelter in search of shade.

Enjoying Rains

This is me sitting at the terrace of our apartment, notice the commanding presence of the Hitech City Cyber Towers and the clouds on top of that. It appears as though the clouds form the Halo-Ring for it, giving hope to all the distraught Software Devellopers, that there is still life and it will still go on. Doesn't matter the Dliverables, the Deadlines, the Night-outs, the Coffee mugs Stains, the Client Walkthroughs and the unending Conferences and Meetings. Life will still give another chance, a fresh new start, in which you might not be able to undo all the wrong done before; but you will certainly have the ability and the power to set forth to do something right, something corrective, something promising and something hopeful.

Reminds me of the Bengali Proverb, "More dark the Night be, More Colorful shall be the Dawn"

Hitech City A Place which has been my home for exactly two years now deserves a special mention. Its the poster-boy for the devellopment that has for some time now envelloped this sleeping pair of Twin Cities: Secunderabad & Hyderabad. Before we start off on a photo journey around this little ‘silicon island’ I would recommend that this little introduction about it be first read. Now, once we are off with that, lets proceed to the photo journey.

Comming first is the foster poster boy of the Hyderabad Government. This is Cyber Gateway, home to among others Dell, GE, HSBC, Accenture, Oracle, Amazon, Microsoft & Nipuna.

Cyber Gateway

If the Question you are having is the word ‘Foster’ then the answer is simple. This is second only to the Cyber Towers the first building in this whole area, the brainchild of Chandrababu Naidu. I have dropped it from my list because it has become so hackneyed that it surfaces on the viewers mind the moment someone mentions Hitech City. The Fact remains that Hitech City contains a whole lot more than that one building. Proceeding in the same road you get Tata Conultancy Services, Deccan Park, without doubt one of the most eye-catchy building in the whole area. Set in Brick red and cylindrical in shape this commands a majestic presence in the hitech city road.
Tata Consultancy Services

Right opposite the road is the latest in the triology of (Cyber Towers, Cyber Gateway & Cyber Pearl). All of these are building owned by the Government of Andhra Pradesh and leased to MNC’s for their operations. Each of these sported the latest in technology when they were built. Cyber Pearl houses among others Keane, GE, Nipuna, IBM, HSBC & ICICI
Cyber Pearl

The road that forms the spinal chord connecting all these buildings within a 2 KM range is wonderfully built and nicely maintained. Currently we are traversing in this same road in our jouney

Road  leading in

Comming next is the nice and petite building of VSNL. While being prim and proper in buildup, its truly no match for its bigger brother TCS Deccan Park. So I have instead focussed on the more attractive aspect of that. It houses three goliatian sized Dish Antennas probably acting as a Gateway or simply as a communicational Equipment. The cause let aside, they are breathtaking to look at and really catch attention with their Sky facing profile.
VSNL Satellite Dish

This Area wall a Rocy place and hence the view from any of the well located software companies would comprise of such scenic beauty. Note thet apparent balanced composition of the scene, with the small rock all ready to roll off the bid boulder, but yet lazily gazing at the sky, as if in perfect peace with itself

Natural Rocks Facing the Cemented Rocks ( Buildings of S/W Firms)

Comming to JVP. A Building that hosts three companies Kanbay, EIQ Networks & Agami Solutions with Kanbay taking 90% of the volume pie. But with the sparkling new Campus comming up beside Microsoft, Wipro and ISB, Kanbay would soon be moving out of this cramped location . What sticks out in this picture is the awkward color combination and the littered spread of ‘windows in the wall’. If that did stick out like a sore thumb, let meexplain. the color combination and the arrangement of windows is in keeping with the laws of Feng-Shui. Apparently the owner of this building, Jai Prakash Reddy, is quite a believer in these arts. Quite interesting, considering that , he is an NRI Returned businessman who started a company by EIQ Networks, built a good building to house about 1000 odd people and now draws his main revenue out of renting his premises to large and growing companies like KANBAY. EIQ has a total strength of around 35 people now!

Kanbay

Descriptions about hitech city would hardly be complete without describing the informative and endlessly entertaining inscriptions and advertisings on the numerous rocks along the way. Whether it is Working Men’s Hostel or Women’s Deluxe Hostel or Chinese Chowmien or Punjaabi Dhaba or finally Puncture Repair Shops. These perform the incredulous role of bringing isolated instances of smiles on the faces of the numerous Software labourers toiling in and out of these factories, especially with the creative use of Language and the innovative marketing approahes. I emphasise the later because one look at the pictire below and all would be able to identify the spelling mistake in the writeup, but few would be able to appreciate the innovative Out of the Box approach of painting the message on discarded tyres. All this by an uneducated ‘unskilled’ labourer earning some meager 25 – 50 Rs. per day!
Interesting Advertisement

There are three others things that I would probably leave for the next post, Raheja Mind Space housing IBM, Accenture, CSC, Oracle, Amazon, Qualcomm & Bank of America. Then there is Ascendas Vannenburg IT Park housing Computer Associated, Accenture, Invensys & BAAN. Finally there are newly built buildings of GOOGLE, DELL & Deloitte. I would leave these for the next post as they too would require an equally elaborate writeup from my end and also for the simple matter that these are more like the trendsetters in the HITECH CITY.

See many more photos of Hitech city here.