Wednesday, August 26, 2009


The HAL market is one of the best markets around and the vegetables and fruits you get around there are simply amazing. Today Subhash's parents bought Sitaphal (Custard Apple) and Guavas. They look so tempting. I had a guava in the evening and it was heavenly sweet, amazingly soft on the inside and crisp near the skin. Doubtless, the best guava I have ever had. The custard apple was so good looking that I didn't have the heart to eat it ;)

Here are a couple of shots..

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Happy Ganesha!

As always, this year too, we made our own Ganesha for the festival. Subhash's work entirely, when he is around I do NOT get to do any aristic work at all, sigh! ;)

I think the Ganesha turned out cute and happy looking :) And the festival went great, our first in this new house, all the more special :)

Another wonderful GOVT experience

Like I always say, I have to mention specially when a government interaction goes smooth.

So like we all know, our Khata transfer experience has been nightmarish. Don't get me wrong, whenever work gets done it gets done in two minutes, but the number of iterations it takes for that one iteration where work gets done is HUGE. And we have literally made the Jeevan Bima Nagar ARO office our hang out place ;)

So after the usual 10:1 iteration ratio for work doesn't get done to work gets done, we finally got a piece of paper which showed transfer of property ownership. We were told to file property tax returns for last year under SAS and subsequently pay property tax for this year, and produce the receipt for this year's tax payment for getting the Khata certificate. You see, the previous owner had paid last year's fee. But since our Khata transfer process spilled into the next revenue year, the "latest" tax paid receipt would now be 2009-2010 (and the 2008-2009 we attached earlier will no longer suffice. Perfect logic, agreed.) Now the previous owner had filed it before BBMP came up with SAS 2008. So we had to file our tax paid under SAS 2008 to be able to pay 2009-2010 tax. Still good logic. So I got about obtaining and filling forms.

BBMP has made every attempt to make this process painless, except for I couldn't find the nearest contact point's address for Donkey's years. After rounds of phone calls, we were finally referred back to our ARO office for details. So I called them (most of them know me and Subhash and our address by heart now I imagine!) and they told me it is a stone's throw away from our place near Kodihalli bus stop. So went there today after work with Subhash's dad, and for the life of me I couldn't imagine a simpler government process.

We had referred the online tax calculator and filled in the forms. The office was empty, like I heard they usually are, not that much rush. Hours are convenient, 9-12 in the morning, and 4-7 in the evening. There were two guys. We went in, he cross-verified what I had filled, and asked to work out details of depreciation. (I had simply copied it from the calculator) I was scared he'd ask me to come back. But for whatever reason (mostly I am guessing because he was in a good mood) he worked it out himself and wrote it down on the form. He asked me to write a cheque for the penalty we had to pay for not filing the returns in time for last year. Done, and receipt given. Great!

Then came the current year, which was even more painless. Same as last year. I had filled the form earlier in pencil since I was not sure of all details so I re-filled form in 5 minutes in pen in front of him. Wrote him a cheque for the whole amount, accepted and receipt given! GREATO!! He even volunteered to show me where I could have found the address of this contact point for future reference. Unfortunately that never happened because of his dial-up connection I think.

Now all that remains is hopefully one last trip to our friendly neighborhood ARO office to submit these receipts and the Khata should be in our hands! Lets see.

UPDATE: Finally found the link to the document which lists the addresses of the BBMP contact points (including ward offices). If anyone needs it, here it is:

BBMP Contact Points

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Following up

I use the "Follow-up" feature on Outlook most diligently to make sure all tasks assigned to me are completed or at least I know something is pending. These days the average age of items in my Follow Up folder, I find, has gone up a few notches. Because now, most items pertain to my engineers finishing something or review something rather than me finishing something personally. And most such items involve the whole team doing it. And I need to make sure they have time to do it and meet targets. So it is really no longer about me like my ex-boss says. Its all about my engineers and my team :) When they move forward, I move forward!!

Monday, August 17, 2009

The last mile

Lots of things happening around here.

Needless to say Swine Flu had become big news till SRK decided to use some underhand tactics to gain publicity. I don't know why movie stars think they are "exceptional". When you are in an airport and on a flight, you are just one more head. I know of a director in our team who used to get routinely stopped because his last name was Islamic. It happens to a lot of people I know. It recently it happened to our ex-president Dr. Kalam. He took it sportingly, in the most humble way, truly showing what a thorough gentleman he is, and even the newspapers were more than happy to let go with one article somewhere in some nth page of the paper. But if it is SRK, it is a big racket. Wow! Stupid movie stars with stupid airs.

It had been raining all night. Pit-pat, pit-pat. Whenever I reached the shallower depths of sleep, I thought about the clothes hung outside and how wet they would now be. Me and my home affairs, I will never grow over it, sigh! I officially have OCD ;)

One of Subhash's friends from IIM was here over the weekend. He was on his way to Coorg with his wife and 4-month old. They stayed over with us for a day and it was very nice having them over. I am amazed at the patience that these guys have. Almost all of the time goes in looking after the baby. Feeding, napping, changing, feeding, napping, changing etc. And yet they manage to travel. I just don't get how. One of my closest friends K also did this. They traveled all the way to Hawai'i from Phoenix when her first daughter was just 4 months old! I just wish I had equal patience as these guys. They are, to me, super-people. Period.

Kaminey is the latest rave apparently. My Facebook wall was full of how "fuper" the movie "if". Etc. You get the drift. I am assuming from all of that, that one Shahid has the f-instead-of-s syndrome in the movie and the other possibly has a stutter (or maybe the same one has both?!). Need to plan to watch this movie sometime soon if I need to keep my sanity even after seeing a wall full of "Kaminey if fuper" sort of stuff. My god! Talk of originality!!

Finally got home that fifty-five incher. Its amazing how much technology can do. This TV is so thin, I had to see to believe it!! And also went cosmetic shopping with an old colleague who is leaving for Germany to do her MBA and needed some expert advice ;) I took the opportunity and finally got that Minerals foundation from L'Oreal. I have this bad habit with cosmetics. I am extremely enthu about buying them and researching them, but after I get them home, I rarely wear any of them more than a couple times :( I hope this one has better usage stats than the rest!!
And as I enter the nth phase, the hormones are playing their part. And I am a miserable wretch some days. Boy! I hope I get past this soon!!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

News from here

-Magadheera, Chiranjeevi's son's latest movie (and I think his second? or at the most third?) is out and every day they is a fresh conspiracy news on it. Apparently people went through a stampede in one of the theatres. And died. (First of all a useless waste of life) And now they want every one including Chiranjeevi's ancestors in heaven to apologize to the public. And why? Because Chiranjeevi is no longer mortal. He is a public servant you see. Else they want the movie to be banned. And some other bloke comes on and says his lyrics were stolen and so Allu Aravind should apologize for it. Yet some more people simply take to destroying theatres because they cannot get tickets.
Phew! And all this is on News channels about 60% of the time. So is Allu Arvind the victim or is he cleverly marketing his movie to keep the hype alive. What is your take?

-We finally got property ownership change intimation from the friendly neighborhood Khata office. But they want us to pay the current year tax before they issue the Khata, so some more trips in the offing. Got to hang in there..

-All over the state (Andhra, I mean), stockists seem to be determined to make hay while sun shines. So they are hiding all the pulses stock in godowns, homes, theatres, in short wherever they can find, so as to wait for the prices to go up some more (if that is possible, with Toor Dal already at 100 per KG) so they can make a tonne of money. Well, when you elect YSR, what do you expect people? So we pay the price! While he takes off to some Muslim pilgrimage place this time (he is done with Jerusalem and Tirupathi isn't he?)

-Swine Flu scare is much abound. Methinks we should all buy masks and move around. We were advised to work from home if we were prone to sneezing. I hope it dies soon enough. With our kind of population density and all the other good stuff, I'd rather be safe than sorry. But then the media always hypes things up. Our media has long gone the American way. We now sport a penchant for drama in our news, the conservationist DD News is history!

Meanwhile elsewhere the earth is shaking, and typhoons are having fun. Ooooh, not a very good week this, is it?

Friday, August 07, 2009


My CCIE still doesn't show the re-certification status. Apparently it takes 10 business days from when they receive scores to when they update the status in the CCIE database. You'd think with all the technology we sell, we'd be able to do it faster, sigh, no! I am still waiting..

Went to the Cream and Fudge factory to treat colleagues in a spanking new Innova which one of them bought. Good trip, even better ice-cream (it is made in the Coldstone Creamery style), great company. Well spent afternoon :)

Subhash's mom wanted to make "boorelu" for me since I love them. She picked today to make it since it was an auspicious day (sravana sukravaram) and they came out simply umm..umm..yumm.. so gobbled a whole lot of them up :D

So overall a great gourmet day I say!

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Some more tasks done

I feel that itch to write, but I don't know what to write about. Its not like I have nothing to write about. But I don't know which ones to put on this page and which ones to not. Hmm..niceties, niceties!

Finally got that CCIE re-certification burden off my head. Phew! But it still doesn't show up in the system, apparently they take 10 days to update, my god! So much for lightning fast speeds!! Anyways, that finally frees up my evenings. Only problem is I don't know what to do with them. So I am spending more time working. Well, I am boring like that ;)

Finally watched the Harry Potter movie. I liked it. Yeah, it didn't do justice to the book, but so what, the book is too detailed to fit in a 2.5 hour movie. That reminds me of one Happy Potter movie that I watched all alone! Yeah, all alone! In a theatre in Milwaukee. I hate watching movies alone in theatres. It feels so lonely. But in Milwaukee, I was a loner. I had no choice. Subhash was far away in Bangalore so I went. Alone. I liked the movie but the psychological barrier of watching it alone was too much ;)

Almost done with performance reviews for the team. My first as a manager, on the other side of the fence. I kept it honest :) I hope I can continue it that way in the coming years! Luckily it wasn't that tough, I didn't have any hugely nasty messages to give..