Monday, December 03, 2007

Home Coming

Going to India this month. Almost 4 weeks. Lots of work to be done, tickets confirm, buy gifts etc. That does not leave enough time to reflect on the past year, which is good i say. A new years trip to goa is being planned, lets see how it goes.
Thankfully, i can keep my stuff back here, planning to travel pretty light. Should be pretty exciting.

Bye bye work !!!! (For 4 weeks )

Friday, November 09, 2007

Happy Diwali

Happy Diwali and Happy New Year !!!!
Still in Japan, more than a year now. Much time has passed. Summer happened some time back. Autumn is here and it's getting colder. Blogging is far and distant these days. Just like everything else. Starts with a fire, ends in smoke. Should try not to sound depressing in the festive season. Should try not to sound depressing ever. Will save the depressing stuff for later.
Tokyo is beautiful in autumn and winter. Rather Tokyo has seasons called autumn and winter.
Will go to India (home???) in December for christmas. Should be a fun time. Trying not to expect too much. A year is a long time. Changes happen. But all in, should be fun. Mumbai always is. Even in the most of bizarre of ways.
Another New year round the corner, may it be a rocking new year for all !!!!

Saturday, October 13, 2007


Been hooked to them for a long time. I remember the first pair being a blue and white North Star from Bata, when I was about 17. I moved to pune shortly and the North Star had died somewhere it between as Bata seemed to have taken it off the shelf. Got another pair of blue and white sneakers which were bad clones of north star and much cheaper for 200 bucks. Cant seem to remember the name now. Wore them to death, so much so , that my then girlfriend bought a pair of blue and white adidas gazelle. Those lasted real long, much longer than the girlfriend, much longer than any other sneakers I can remember. I still did not have the heart to throw them away after more than 5 years, but all good things come to an end. I had started working by now, and sneakers had been moved from being the default footwear to weekends only. Picked up a pair of military green basketball converse which felt pretty good. Guess I was growing out of the whole blue and white . These followed me all the way to Tokyo, where I was able to put holes in the soles by some extensive walking all over the city on the weekends.
And now the time has come to bid them goodbye. Picked Up a pair of black Vans, seem to be pretty popular in Tokyo. Lets see where these take me !!!!

Friday, September 21, 2007


hamamatsucho- haneda airport - monorail
- Flight cancelled
haneda - hamamatsucho - monorail
hamamatsucho - tokyo - JR Yamanote
Tokyo - Fukuoaka - Hakata station(kyushu) - shinkansen.
Hotel - hakata green
Yatai - nakasu -Ramen - Sugoi !!!!

Day 2
Viking lunch - bookin tickets
Big Buddha - under and out.
metro - fukuoka airport - naha - ANA
Yatta !!!
taxi to city court hotel.
check in - move out.
Okinawa burger.
Night at kokusai dori
Jazz and awamori - Hoteru california
Okinanwa izakaya -okinawa dance
Okinawa - goya - dame dame !
yopparai on orion - saved from karaoke.
tip - please dont buy pink lighters when drunk.

Day 3
city court hotel - big breakfast - all you can eat and more
ferry station - right behind the hotel.
ferry to zamami jima - typhoon 12 coming - warnings ignored
Check in at ryokan - Off to the beach
Swimming in the sea - its fun in typhoon 12 !!!
Back to the hotel - big japanese dinner
Beach Bar - Highly recommended
Izakaya on the way back - ALL bars on the island must be visited.

Day 4
Big breakfast at hotel - too bad I still cant eat all that sushi !!!
Back to the beach - Sunny day indeed.
Taco Rice and Cold beer- well now thats a vacation.
Top it it off with a BIG ice cream slush.
Nothing to do on this island - well that was the plan
Too windy on the bridge - Keep to the right .
Nothing on the other side - atleast right off the bridge.
Long way back, pick up some shells on the way.
Off to the super market - 25 meter square only
Aka Jima deer - rare sighting - couldnt see much in the dark anyways.
To the last izakaya on the island - all 3 now visited.
Typhoon 13 unleashed - boy, this is a big one.

Day 5
Early morning - rain now stopped.
Stranded on zamami jima - What to do today???
Big trek to the top of the mountain - great view
One more lunch on the beach shack - everything on the menu now tried
Need to check out today - Typhoon 13 doesnt think so
Alas : - All Boats out of the island cancelled!!!!!
Hitch a ride to Aka Jima - Scary guy that one
Well nothing to do here as well - the room has no doors !!!!!
Walk up the hill to the last island - looking for a plane out.
Pilot does not fly in this weather - stranded again.
Tv dinner with nice oji-san and oba-san - fried chicken and salad good.

Day 6
Breakfast with the couple - pretty decent stuff.
Get a lift back to Zamami - Need to take the boat from here.
Finally off the island - The kids do some nice backflips to say bye- bye
Take a break on another island :- Nice tonkatsu for lunch
A quiet walk up the hill, around the port - and back in time for the boat.
Choppy ride to naha - rush to the airport.
No flights till the next day - And sea sickness strikes.
Check in to a hotel on Kokusai dori for the night
Last dinner in okinawa - and it had to be mcdonalds.

Day 7
Big breakfast time - i love these hotel breakfasts.
Taxi to the airport - flight on time
Same faces all around - all struck by typhoons.
To haneda in a couple of hours - starbucks, I did not miss you
Haneda to shimbashi - back on the monorail
Back to work with bento in hand - Welcome to Tokyo

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Shraavan in Japan

Ten days into shraavan, and it's getting crazy in here. Where is the "shraavan special"? Where is Indi rock ? Too many questions as usual. But time goes on.

Monday, July 30, 2007


Its tough, always is.
Its fun, always is.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Prison Break

A lot of time has passed since the last post. I do not know why I don't blog anymore. A lot's been happenning, but don't feel like writing it down. Maybe everything's become too much of a routine. Maybe it's too much work. Maybe I cannot take this place. Maybe it's my life I can't taste. Maybe I cannot feel my face.(o.k , the last three lines are from "Freak on a leash" by korn. Got carried away a bit.)
Been to a lot of places, the last three months, but never felt like writing. And what is compelling me to write is a TV series. Prison Break. Do not remember the last time I was hooked to a TV series. Or maybe I like the idea of a Prison Break. No, I am not going to get philosophical, I hate that crap.
But it's an interesting TV series. All the characters are interesting, which is rare. It always makes for great drama, if the main lead in a story is not the only protagonist. My favourite is T-Bag, that is one sick bastard.
More later, need to finish season 1 for now. Hope this post gets me back on track for more.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Golden week

Japan has this tradition of golden week, which is like four random holidays in a week which combined with the weekend can be made into a pretty big vacation. I suck big time , so i was stuck at work covering for other people on vacation . Thankfully my japanese friend was here, so there were was some relief in the misery. The trip around hibiya park in the beer haze was the highlight.
Bumped into a friend from college at the smoking room. Bizzare coincidence, but all for the good I say, hopefully more party times ahead.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Happy Birthday Robert

Its here again . The 17th of april. I am 29. The last year of my twenties.
I had to wait till 9 p.m to get a drink. The Boss chooses to do the semi annual performance review today. Kinda ironic , I think, being reviewed on your birthday. Went for a quite couple of beers with my japanese best friend at Brussels at kamiyacho and then for a couple more at the standing bar at the the railway station. Back to work today.

Well,Happy birthday to me !!!!

Friday, March 09, 2007

The Show Must Go On Part - II

Well, well, well. It's been a year already.
I post this as a sequel to my post last year after the academy awards. In true filmi fashion. Compared to last year, I have been away from television and movies much longer this year. Guess that just happens to all of us as time passes by. But I have tried to watch atleast the big ones. If a lot of people like it, there should be something worth watching, shouldn't there?
I am too fussy about my movies. But come to think of it, I am too fussy about everything. More so when I am paying. It seemed o.k in college when I was blowing my dad's money to watch crappy movies for almost 5 days a week (The subhash ghai ham scene special "Taal" was watched first day, first show.Bought tickets in black !!!!). But I am working hard for my money now. I really do 60 hours a week for every penny. Although i don't actually sweat in the air conditioned offices, I think I deserve every single spare minute on my weekends. These days of absolute vanity are priceless, much more valuable than money. So when I spend 2 hours(sometimes 3, 3.5) on a day off to watch a 40 year old guy play a college dropout,dancing and singing wierd or a guy stopping bullets with sandboards, I feel like I have betrayed myself. I feel I have let down all the hard work put in the past week, wasted time and money and 3 hours of free time of my life which I can never reclaim. It's an irreversible crime in my books. My friends often ask me to take it light, it's just a movie. Yeah, maybe but give me back my 3 hours and erase memories of the fat parsi guy doing ninja-karate with another 40 year old. And that is supposed to be cool. But once in a while there is a good flick, which leaves you feeling entertained and coming back for more. How many bad flicks you bear for the one good movie is astounding. Sometimes i feel i just go to the movies to crib about them later, but once in a while a film comes along which makes it all worth it.
The Departed was one of them for me. I did not have the chance to watch much of the movies that were in contention for the academy awards this year. Babel,apocalypto,pan's labyrinth, dreamgirls, children of men,the last king of scotland, flags of our fathers,letters of Iowa Jima still remain to be seen( the last two only cos those are clint eastwood movies).They even had an Indian film,, water nominated for best foriegn film, which i did see and the less said about it is better. I could somehow grab a dvd of The departed and it was paisa vasool. The film won both best film and director and matin scorcese must have gone home a happy man.
Now, I have this funny thing about Martin scorcese's films. I fall asleep while watching them. Every single one of them. I know he's supposed to be one of the great filmmakers of our times, but then maybe I do not understand cinema. I really don't need to understand cinema, for the simple reason that I am not in the movie business. Does anyone know how a roller coaster works? You just get on it, take a ride, and get off. It's the same with movies for me. I simply need to be entertained. period. And i prefer movies to roller coasters. I went to see aviator with one of my friends, and she freaked out when she found me snoring in the cinema hall !!! I could not help it, I just dozed off. I watched taxi driver on cable. I fell off to sleep after half an hour. i woke up in some time, the movie was still on and I dozed off in another 10 minutes and woke up at about the end of the movie.
No hard feelings for martin scorcese. As i said earlier, maybe I do not understand films. So here I am sitting in my apartment on a week night with nothing to do. I cannot sleep and I have The Departed to watch in my comp. I take the odds and put it on trusting martin scorcese to put me to sleep again. Two hours later I am wide awake and I know martin scorcese has won the oscar(partly because they have been waiting to give him one for a long time). I am not going to write a film review, there are other people paid to do that. I feel I have watched the one good movie I get to watch in a year. That's all there is to it. paisa vasool !!!!

p.s :- I now know that if jack nicholson were to even fart on screen, I would stand up and applaud saying that was the best onscreen fart I have ever seen and nobody can do it like he does.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Happy Chinese New year

Happy Chinese New Year !!!!
Well you know what the chinese are upto when you are in Japan. Yesterday was chinese new year's eve, so I made plans to visit China town near Yokohama which is japan's biggest china town. Wnated to visit it last time I was at yokohama, but could not. So I made plans with a friend, and off i was to yokohama again.
To get to chinatown you take a train from yokohama to Motomachi-Chukagai Station, the terminal station of the Minato Mirai Line. We reached there and it started drizzling a little. Sure, china town was huge, but it didn't somehow seem like new year's eve. We went to the usual street side shops and lots of restaurants. Nothing beats Indian chinese food though. The rain was still pouring and we had not found anything interesting other than a few bruce lee full size posters and a 100 yen charge for a toilet to take a leak. There was also a temple in here, but not too many people around. Didn't quite feel like new years !!
Decided to skip back home much earlier than usual. Hope the chinese have more fun in china on new years !!

Monday, February 12, 2007

Aye Aye Captain

Spent a whole day sailing on saturday!! Well not much sailing as the ship was pretty much docked at the port. But it was great fun to be on board the centaurus leader. A childhood friend ( he kept introducing me to everyone as
"Bachpan ka dost" !!!) is the chief officer and had arranged for me to visit the ship when it would be at yokohama
port for a day. It seems you need a customs pass to board the ship, and you can do that only when the ship is
docked on a public and not a private berth. The agent was really helpful, he sent the pass by e-mail and the
directions to get to the ship. We decided to meet for lunch and then maybe my friend could get shore leave so that we could come out in the city at night.
So off I was on saturday. There was not much of a journey to do, Had to reach tsurumi station which was around 30 minutes from shimbashi, direct on the keihintohoku line. The tough part was to take a cab from the station to the port, but I had come prepared bringing the address written out to me in japanese by a colleague. I guess a bus would have cost me much less, which it would have as I later found out, but I wasn't planning on reaching real late. The cabbie knew the port so was there in no time, and surprisingly took me right to the ship. That was a bit unusual, I thought I would have to walk atleast a bit, but for all you know, the cab could have driven straight in the ship and got off at the cayman islands where the ship was next headed. It would not have been as easy as i make it sound, but the point I am trying to make is that I ended up getting out of the cab real close to the ship. I wonder If i could take a cab right to the ships at the bombay docks. On that note, I do not remember going to the docks in mumbai to see a ship, although grandpa worked in a merchant shipping company and dad still works at the naval dockyard. Should do that sometime.
I got out of the cab to be greeted by my friend who was at the top of the ship, asking me to come up. Now, up was a nice 13 floors up and I could hardly see him. I was escorted to the top by a junior officer in an elevator which is supposed to be used only when the ship is not at sea. Chief officer was lowering the deck for the cargo to load in. Nice job I think for a guy who is second in command of the ship. But it seems he has to do a lot of these mundane jobs on the ship. The total crew would not have been more than about 15, half of them engineers and half sailors. We got finished lowering the berth, and set off for lunch.
On our way to the ship's dining room, we stepped into the captain's office to meet him. It's the captain's ship, guess he has the right to know who's on board. The captain got up to greet me and my friend did not sit down till the captain did. He kept adressing the captain as "sir" and it felt a bit out of place to me. I have worked at a lot of places, small to mid-size companies where you would need to address your immediate supervisor as "Sir". But ever since in my current job in an M.N.C, the environment is quite open. It's common for men in uniform to have a certain code of conduct. I do not believe imposing rules would guarantee respect, But it sure makes it easier to establish ranks. You know who is the boss, so there is no confusion when out at sea. I found it quite amusing when the other crew addressed my friend as "Sir", and I was the chief officer's friend, and the "royal" treatment was being passed on to me as well. I almost stop one of the blokes and ask him to call me by my name, cos the queen has not yet officialy conferred the title upon me. But i was on someone else's ship, guess you need to play by the rules.
The lunch was the closest to home cooked food I have had since i got to japan. The fare was nothing fancy, steamed pulao and a beans curry with flavoured yogurt for dessert. But because of almost the whole crew being Indian, and also the cook on board, meals are usually Indian, i am informed. After finishing off lunch, I was off to a guided tour of the ship. We first took a halt in the chief officer's cabin, stopping for a smoke. The small room is pretty decent complete with a refrigerator and a laptop. We then proceeded to the front of the ship, where all the navigation controls are. The captain was on a break leaving my friend in charge and I took to helping him out at his tasks. The first thing to do was to level out the ship. It was slightly tilted towards one side, not so much that you could not notice, but a small arrow hung upside down on the wall indicated so. So my friend proceeds to empty water from some large drums at the bottom of the ship from one side so that the ship levels out. We don't have go down and open taps where water starts gushing out and then close them when they are done. It is done in the usual way, by pressing a few buttons on the keyboard and few clicks of the mouse. Next, he shows me the radar. Now, I have been fascinated by this little piece of equipment for a long time. I always wanted one when I was in school, so I could hide my comics and start studying once i knew my mom was in a 100 metre radius. I always wondered how tiny dots on screen could help you know exactly what was in front, but using it first hand it seems real helpful. I also got to blow the horn of the ship to scare the birds away a couple of times, before my friend figured out I was not going to stop until he asked me too. The migrating birds, it seems regulaly use the front deck for their morning duties, and the junior crew has to spend cold mornings cleaning the deck.We then proceeded towards the engines which were at the lower decks(where else??) Even when the ship was not moving, there was a lot of noise cause of the refuelling going on. My friend gave me some technical jargon, which was lost in the din. The chief officer then had some to chores to complete while I waited in his cabin. He finally managed to get some shore leave and about 5 we were off to the city for a few drinks.
We reached yokohama by bus, the fare being 500 yen for 2 people 1/4th of what I paid for the cab while coming. Found an english pub and caught up on old times. The ship will be sailing to the west now, to the carribean islands and i guess my friend will reach India about the same time I do. We do the usual promises of keeping in touch and meeting up In bombay soon and part ways. It was a day well spent, with an old friend and an old fantasy of sailing far far away to distant land.
It's back to the usual cut, copy, paste from monday. Sometimes, I think of all the professions I considered when I was younger. Enrolling for the merchant navy was topmost on my list. I even got through the same time this friend of mine joined, but as they say, life is what happens when you are making plans for it. So it's writing code, for me. For now. You never know what's in store. And anyways, whatever I would have ended up doing for money, I would have hated it, cos i would have to do it, no choice. That's where work stops being fun for me, when I have to do it and do not want to do it. And I guess knowing me, I cannot stick to anything for too long. So crib I shall and crib I will.
By the way, zero points if you could not guess what was the cargo on the ship being taken from Japan to faraway lands. TOYOTA COROLLA.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Maha Palika

I hate writing about politics. I really do. And I sure don't have all the information to comment. But who has all the information anyway. The mumbai B.M.C elections are over. And the party in power has been re elected. They have been on it for the past five years.
In a time where the number of slums has doubled, so has the number of Legal slums . ( Quite fascinating term, "Legal slums")
In a time where garbage collection and disposal sytems have nearly collapsed.
In a time where infrastructure has gone from bad to worse.
In a time when floods ran havoc in the city.
In a time when floods ran havoc in the city. Again.
In a time of power crisis in the city for the first time that I know of.
In time where almost every transport project in the city is facing inordinate delays.

I mean, come on, these guys stood with us through all these times. Sure, by the way things are shaping up, there will be real tough times ahead. And who better to carry us through all that. They stood by our sides then, they sure will be standing at the sidelines again. With the people, always.
Kudos to the ruling party. Cheers !!!
Before i get real emotional, I am signing off.
I just hope I get back to mumbai before the floods this year. Who doesn't like a day off from work to play in the rains.

Monday, January 15, 2007


Caught up with sumo wrestling this weekend. There are about 6 tournaments every year in Japan, 3 of them in tokyo.
I guess i could still be around when the next one came along, but decided to go anyways. I went on saturday, but it was all sold out for the day and the next weekend as well. So I bought tickets for the next day and returned home.
The next day it was back to Ryogoku on the sobu line from Akihabara. Sumo tickets are pretty expensive, the cheapest ones being around 3500 yen to ringside seats going upto 15000 yen for one day. I had decent tickets although on the second floor. I got up a bit late it being a sunday and all and missed having chanko nabe which is the staple diet of the sumo wrestlers.
The fights were fun and I generally had a good time. Sumo is not that complicated to understand, and as long as you dont find the sight of two overgrown men jostling with just jockstraps on a bit wierd, it's time well spent. Sumo anyways is pretty well known around the world now, so everybody does have an idea about it. But watching those really huge guys in person was something. I also learnt that "rikishi" and "yokozuna" were actually titles and not just the names of wrestlers I used to watch as a kid in WWF. Yokozuna is the highest title you can have and rikishi follows next. I remember the yokozuna in WWF sitting down on his opponent after the end of a fight, and the poor guy would have no chance. No such thing in Sumo though !!
They say its real tough to become a yokozuna. It takes years of training and winning consistently. And once you are a yokozuna, you have to keep winning or quit gracefully when you start losing too much. How very Japanese !!!
I wish we could have that in some of our popular sports back home, where yesteryear heroes go on well beyond their prime and have to be literally kicked out disgracing themselves and their supporters.
Cheers !!!

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Happy New Year !!!!

Happy New Year !!!!!!
Just had a nice long break from work. Offices are closed for almost the full first week in Japan for new years. It could be a pretty lonely place during those times. But I had my computer stacked up with movies and friends season 10 to keep me company for the extra long weekend. I did go out partying for new years as well, with no fixed plans and ended up having a blast.
This party sounds the best new years party I've had, atleast on paper, but I did miss all my friends. But as they say, you can't have your cake and eat it too. Of putting things on paper, I'll try and make a list of how I've spent my previous new years.

2006- Tokyo- Vanilla, mogambo, karaoke (all in roppongi)
2005- House party on 30th, Qila on 31st at andheri west
2004- Hawaiin Shack
2003- Hawaiin Shack
2002- Shraddha (Thane)
2001- At home. Everybody else in goa. (Worst Ever)
2000- resort in pune. somewhere near abc farms.
1999- resort in pune. somewhere near abc farms.Morning in balewadi
1998- at home in pune (with a date )
1997- scooba doo (pune)
1996- Small restaurant in bandra. "Temptations" after 1.00
1995- Friends place ( new chandra)
1994- Parents annual new year family get together at vashi
1993- Parents annual new year family get together at vashi

Holy Cow !!!! I've gone back till the time I was 15 !!! I don't think I can go any further. I don't remember it being anything more than a holiday the next day in school.
I am sure i was sitting at home in 1992 (s.s.c cha varsh aahe !!). I am not the one to make new year resolutions, but when I wrote this list down, i remember having made atleast 2.
The first one was in 1994, when I decided I had become too old to hang around with my parents for new years and will not do that anymore. I have stuck to that one for 12 years now.
The second one was in 2001. It was a very depressing time for me overall. I should have listened to my friends and popped along with them in the car to goa. I gave them the sorry excuse of having to stick to my job(the first one), which had come after a long wait. I don't even want to get started on those times, so i'm not going to elaborate. I think if only I had not woken up at 11.30 that 31st december night and spent the next 2 hours wide awake, I would have given up the whole over hyped partying on new years thing. But that was not to be.
I woke up the next morning feeling miserable, and spent the whole year miserable. I remember meeting another of my depressed buddies on the first (the both of us rocked at sulking and being generally frustated about everything during those days). We both had lied to each other saying we were out of town for new years, and bumped into each other the next day.
When we found out that we both spent new years at home, and atleast could have gone out together somewhere, we had a nice laugh.(The both of us used to laugh senseless on anything and everything for what seemed like hours. Still dont know why). So we decided we could catch a movie. The flick we saw was govinda's disastrous "Aamdani athanni, kharcha rupaiya".
Needless to say we were more messed up, and never have and never will go out together on the first of jan to watch a movie together since.
The moral of the story is that I made a resolution never to be sitting at home on new years eve. However pathetic the plans might sound, even if performing eye surgery on yourself might sound more interesting, i need to go out on new years eve. I just cannot sit at home thinking it is just another night. It sure is. But not for me. Another insanity of this world that i will live with. Mostly forever. So don't be surprised if you see me partying on new years eve in 2050 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Happy New Year !!!!!!!!!!!!