Monday, April 18, 2005

10 reasons why I miss Hyderabad!

Its been almost a month that I left Hyderabad to come back to Pune ... and I cannot believe myself when I miss that place! Hyderabad was the first place when I lived away from home ... all alone, in a city where I hardly knew anyone. It was the place where all my assumptions of maturity, independence and ability to take care of myself got changed! Here are 10 reasons why I will always miss Hyderabad!

1. I get a good night's sleep on Sunday and Friday nights. :-) Frankly I am not used to it! Staying in hyderabad I was used to travel every weekend - it was in a way a test of my own patience! This happens no more! So much that still on a Sunday morning people call me to pull my leg and ask "at what time is your bus today"

2. 41 Rao & Raju Colony, Banjara Hills! This was the house (I would prefer to call it home instead) where I stayed for almost 2 years. Here I learnt that managing a home is not easy - groceries, light bills, keeping it clean & tidy ... man, I feel I am really pampered at home (in Pune, that is)

3. Friends - Kushal, Kapil, Suyog, Ajit, Mahesh, Nishchal, Pravin and of course my team at Microsoft ... in a city of strangers ... these are the people who made me feel at home! Moments like the one when I left my debit card in the ATM itself, getting hungry at 12.00 in the night and driving to the city to find some samosas and of course the memorable drive-down to Pune - Man!!! can I ever get to live them again!

4. Prasadz - This place ROCKS! Its difficult to find such a classy mall cum theatre at such affordable rates! I miss the 11th hour movie plans ... the Spidermans, the Fida, the Blacks ... after a quick dinner at Ohris!

5. The Restaurant food - Be it Ohris, Indian harvest, Angeethi, Pickles ... Hyderabad food has been just awesome!!

6. The Home food - Food at home was typically bachelor-food - the bread-omlets, parathas, jeera-aloo and of course ... amul shrikhand!

7. KBR Park - You need to visit this park at least once in life and go for a walk around it early morning to understand why I miss it!

8. Subway - My favourite lunch place ... especially my Corn & Peas (with a little extra corn ... ;-))

9. The art of accomodating 10 people in a poor 3-seater rick ... Its possible nowhere on earth!

10. Last but NEVER the least - my very reason of being in Hyderabad - MICROSOFT!!! The best Employer in the world ... I respect the organization even more after leaving it! The work, the friends, the office, the food, the outings ... man ... why couldn't Microsoft come to Pune!

For these and more, even today during a sound night's sleep ...
I dream of
9th floor of Cyber Towers,
the new Microsoft Campus and the view of ISB from there,
the Begampet railway station,
Ameerpet (from where I usually took my bus to Pune),
and ... Mithaas!!

Even today and always ... my heart would continue to live in these places!

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Five Point Someone!

After a longtime I had a pleasure to read a complete book in two days flat! Five Point Someone - By Chetan Bhagat

This book has three central characters - Hari, Ryan and Alok and their years at IIT Delhi. According to me though, whether it is IITD or any other engineering college (with a good hostel of course) it wouldn't have made that big a difference. Because atleast I am yet to find a college that does not have a totally screwed up system, professors (most of them professors because they had no better choice and yet) with an ego that is totally uncalled for, assignments, exams and the worst part of it all ... results!!! Probably that is why anyone who has gone thru these things during their college days cannot help but relate to the characters in the book!

FPS is set somewhere in the 90's and is the tale of the three friends, about their time together and alone, about their experiences ... scary and enjoyable! They are definitely not OUT-OF-THIS-WORLD people like any bollywood film heroes. They are extremely common people like us!

Alok - The boy next door! Coming from a family leading a barely hand-to-mouth existence, he is in IIT because that, he feels, is the best way to earn a good-paying job and get his family out of all their troubles. A guy who wants to get good GPAs only because if he does not get them he wont get a good job and his worries would continue! Someone who has never had good friends but wants to have them!

Ryan - The guy is a picture perfect! Born to rich NRI parents who keep filling him with money and hence all things he needs in life. He has been studying in boarding school and hence is not scared of things in life! For him life revolves only around friends! Handsome yet intelligent and yet wanting to enjoy life all the more ... thats Ryan!

Hari - the one who relates the whole story. Hari, I feel, is a passive guy. He is madly in love with ... guess who ... ... ... the daughter of the head of the department where he studies ... Neha! And that is reponsible for a lot of "happening" things in the story! Hari knows his limits and does not hesitate talking about them. He knows he wants to be someone like Ryan!

All the three join IIT - the most reputed of engineering instituted in the country, hoping to learn, make a career and enjoy the best years in life ... only to be disillusioned by the fact that life in IITs is governed by just one scaling measure - the GPAs ... so much so that the title of the book is a GPA rating! Chetan Bhagat relates an engrossing tale of memories of Hari of those days when all of them worked really hard but always settled for a Five-Point-Something GPA and yet did well in the end! Although Hari is the narrator, there is a chapter each for Alok, Neha and Ryan to tell their parts of the story ... which is indeed touching!

But if you ask me the best thing about the book ... its the way it is written - very simple, short crisp chapters and a very good style story telling that keeps you engrossed throughout. No where is the plot left loose and the reader does not want to keep the book down all through the end! The characters are really well defined and interestingly developed. The attention to detail is superb! The words just paint a virtual picture of every incident in front of your eyes! But the best part of the book is the language - colloquial, extremely informal as if its a conversation between Hari and the reader. Quite often the author used similes to make a point and these are are simply hilarious ... let me give an example and then I need not say anything more - "Alok went to the professor and asked if a re-test can be arranged and the prof looked back at him as though Alok was asking for both his kidneys"

All 'n all a fun book to read, if not anything else! I must say I loved reading it! The book says there is a movie being made with this story and I cannot wait to see it!