Sunday, March 21, 2010

The Trip to Chilka Lake

Couple of weeks ago I went to my friend Chitto’s wedding in Bhubaneswar. Yes, another man down. Back in Kharagpur, his room number was C-209, mine was C-206. Also attending the wedding were Satwik C-207 and Piyush C-208.

The day after reception, Piyush, Satwik and I drove to Chilka Lake, about 100 Km from Bhubaneswar. Chilka Lake is the second largest lagoon in the world and a globally renowned sanctuary for migratory birds. It is also home to a rich mix of rare species of aquatic life, not to forget the dolphins. Now, none of us are nature lovers per se; we were doing it for the “been there, done that” factor and take back pictures of exotic birds to show off.

The night before the trip, we planned to reach Chilka OTDC (Orissa Tourism) office by 1PM; the next day we were there at 3 PM (don’t ask). At the counter, they told us that we are late and don’t have enough time to go to the place where dolphins are sighted. There was a standard trip of 1.5 hours available which takes to a small island which has a temple but not any colorful birds to speak of. We paid extra money to hire a boat for 3 hours so that we can travel to another island a little farther where some of the Caspian Sea birds migrate.

As we started the journey, a group of sea-gulls started following us. They were white and not that big, but no one debated once I suggested that they must be from Siberia. We hadn’t taken all the trouble only to see good old local birds. Here’s a video of them. I would continue to deny that they are regular Indian birds.

All this while we were guzzling beer and the evening-sun was shining beautifully on the water surface. Below are a some photos. Click on them to enlarge.

Just when we were getting into a dreamy mood, the boat-owner told us that we don’t have enough time left to go the island which was promised to us at the counter, instead he can take us to another place called Cheerihaagu. We didn’t have any option in the middle of water. Satwik told me that Cheerihaagu means bird shit. That place has whitish rocks which look as if birds have covered them with their shit; so much for the exotic experience.

On our way to Cheerihaagu, we sighted a few birds which we all agreed amongst ourselves, must have migrated from Mongolia even though they too were not colorful.

As we continued moving, the photo of the day was clicked:

It evokes so many stories. A lonely being on a lonely island; a somber evening hue; the bird which belongs to the wind, standing on a piece of land amidst an endless sea of water. A further dimension was added once we learnt that this bird is sitting on Cheerihaagu.

On our way back, a fly came and sat on my hand. It was green, blue and black. At last a colorful flying being was sighted and it didn’t matter that it was very much Indian. I honored it by taking a video. At the end of the video you hear the first line of this lovely song in a desi drunk accent.

And so the trip ended. There I was, in one of the most surreal places on the planet, on the verge of a uniquely romantic experience with promises of a million colors and shades, and all I am left with now is memories of bird shit and a house-fly. Déjà vu and Déjà vu, and Déjà vu again.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Facebook Status Messages If Your Boss Is In Your Friend List

You can’t escape having colleagues and bosses in your Facebook friend-list. Why not make the most of it. Have status messages which show how much you value your work and your boss, how devoted you are to them and how much you deserve that salary raise. Below is a sample list:

1. Out in the woods, all alone by myself, no food to eat, no water to drink. All I can think of is, "Wish my boss were here!"

2. I have seen heaven. It's my office.

3. Monday. Lovely :).

4. Free trip to Miami can wait. Work beckons.

5. Filing Divorce. Ground: Spouse asking me to put her first instead of my manager.

6. It’s time for that weekly coffee break.

7. My three favorite animals: Ant, Dog and Worker-bee.

8. No Electricity. Ran out of money to pay the bill, again. I hope that raise comes my way soon.

9. My boss strongest.

10. If it were my boss in place of Adolf Hitler, the Second World War wouldn't have happened.

11. During my marriage vows. I say" I’ll give you all the happiness in this world, but I expect just one thing from you. Respect for my manager".

12. I’ll like to dedicate this song to my boss: "Everything I do, I do it for you".

The list was compiled with the help of one of my colleague Rekha, a real quick wit. Please join and add your quips here in this FB group. I will be regularly updating it.
Be gentle folks; I am a boss too :).

Saturday, March 6, 2010

A Tree, A Lizard, And A Dementia

This is not a “proper” post, in a sense that it is being done just for the sake of discipline. Am working on something interesting (hopefully) which is taking time. However, I would hate to break the “at least one post per week” rule. Can’t let the weekend go dry.

Be careful what you wish for: Three mornings ago, I saw a lizard in my bedroom as soon as I woke up. It was a big fat one. There have always been a few cobwebs near the ceiling, but they pretty much keep to themselves. But the lizard was a new intruder. Plus it had the ability to move. And you don’t want to see a big fat lizard first thing in the morning unless you are a lizard of opposite sex (with due respect to homosexuals and to those with weird fetishes).

I did what the helpless do. I cursed it. I pointed my finger at it and kept staring it, wishing it death. (You can get away with almost anything if you stay alone). After a while I got up and went to office.

When I returned at night, I saw my bed covered with red ants. They were feeding on the corpse.


Heisenberg’s psychology principle: In my previous office, many a times if I was late, I had to park my car outside near a park (haa haa). In general, you’ll expect that most cars will be parked in areas which are shaded by the trees. But most of the employees left only after 7PM which meant that the cars had sufficient time to cool down. So they sought areas which were NOT under a tree to avoid having bird-poop on their beloved possessions.

One such area was my favorite spot; it was closest to office. Over two years ago, I saw a tree being planted near that spot. It seemed harmless then, the little one. I continued parking there for the next one and a half years, which is when I got shifted to another office.

Last week, I happened to go to that previous office and mechanically parked my car at the same old spot. As you might have guessed, it was found covered with bird-poop when I returned. There the tree stood; the big boy; still not fully grown, but big enough to attract birds on its shoulders.

What surprised me was that it must have been growing for the one and half years when I used to park there and I simply didn’t see it all that while. Strange, how sometimes the more one observes, the less one notices.


That’s it. Those two were the only out of ordinary events in my life last week.
Wait. Well there was this minor detour which had me having a beer, an ice-cream and a chocolate pastry, simultaneously. The pastry was named “Dementia”.