A perfect day

It’s a relaxed day at work. One that gives you half an hour for a coffee after lunch. That it has been raining heavily here in Chandigarh, only makes this Friday sweeter.

I took a rather long run in the morning today. Stepped out of the room totally oblivious to how awesome the weather was. It had rained heavily and the Himanchal valley was all too clear. I took a different route today, and it proved to be a good bet. The road to Manasa Devi temple from Panchkula does not get to see too much traffic. I mean, how many people undertake a pilgrimage on a weekday morning? So I had the road to devour. I hope it remains this pleasant; a good cold morning helps a jogger’s cause.

The product we have been working on will finally be released today, or tomorrow. Yes people work on Saturdays too; I have committed that sin repeatedly much to my own displeasure. Not tomorrow though, I am going home today! So anyways what it means is all work is done. My manager mailed us all in the morning asking us to investigate on our own if there were any standing issues in the software. Now I am a good responsible boy but I don’t work for pleasure. So I’ve been spending my time chilling it while some over-enthusiastic folks are trying to find defects in the software even now, just to earn some brownie points with the manager. To hell with that.

Also, never open an account with Nainital Bank. Yes that’s a real bank registered with the government. I know the probability of a non-pahaadi (pahaadi = native of Himanchal/Uttaranchal) opening an account with these guys is lower than Paris Hilton’s IQ, but I still thought wise to drop in a word of caution.

This is not because the bank is bad. It’s decent, reliable, service is good. But somehow it does not understand that a total disregard for globalization and technology is not going to bring or retain customers. It does not deal in forex, it does not have e-banking, no atms, it does not issue foreign education loans maybe because its managers still view leaving home shores as blasphemy. Whatever be the reason, my family has finally relinquished their holdings with this ancient masterpiece for a more competent HSBC. The events leading to this were numerous but in no way bitter. Dad suddenly needed a bank that had SWIFT facilities, and I needed a bank that would issue a foreign education loan against our account.

Ending with a sardar joke. I liked it :O)

Prince Charles & Sardarji were having dinner.
Prince said, “Pass the wine you divine”.
Sardar thinks “how poetic”
Sardar says, “pass the custard you bastard”.

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Speaking musically

Music is very close to my heart, as is the case with many people. Often, I think of recommending music to friends, but never get down to it. So this blog is a small step in that direction.

Night song, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan and Michael Brook – I am not a big fusion fan, though I like some work by Shakti that I heard. However, Night song is not a fusion album. It is all about Nusrat’s brilliance. The guitar and the occasional keyboard camouflage their original flavors to suit sufi. These songs make as much sense on a quiet walk as they do in a crowded bus to office. You may have heard some of these songs, though mutilated and “mastered”, in some music videos that read Nusrat’s name in credits. Remember tere bin nahi lagda dil mera? Hear the original!

Aerial boundaries, Michael Hedges – I love, love, love this one. My idea of acoustic guitars has mostly been Tears in the rain, and of late, thanks to free records available on candyrat.com, Antoine Dufour and Andy Mckee. But late Michael Hedges made acoustic guitar music in the 80’s. Dufour et al are more advanced in techniques, their guitar has more depth, and the speed in insane. But I miss soul in their music, which I thought Aerial boundaries had in abundance.

Everything by Nick Drake – He made just three-four albums. The music is very blue, so if you are highly sensitive to music, this may not exactly cheer you up. Sorrowful but brilliant, I love many of his songs. I cannot immediately think of a parallel, but if you like songs like high hopes, comfortably numb etc, this has the same dark poetic undertones, though the songs are played mostly with just an acoustic guitar.

A story of futile medical tests

This blog hasn’t seen any posts in a while. That’s because I was in Bangalore, doing nothing. It was like Sabbath, only longer… so no writing could have happened.

I left Bangalore by a Saturday night train. Obviously, Friday night constituted of drinking and passing out. Next morning I woke up with a swelling in the ankle. Dismissing it as one of those things that happen when you roll and tumble, I let it be. A week later, it was still hurting. I went to the office physiotherapist; he suggested I get a uric acid test done. For a second opinion, went to an ortho. Got an xray done, normal. He added to the uric test, a rheumatoid factor test and some more. Put me on some medicine.

So I ran the tests, and ran to the doctor with the reports. Reports were all clean, he finally concluded it was either a sprain or a muscle pull (a diagnosis my mother had also submitted, minus the tests and the jargon). So now, poorer by 1600 rupees, I am in office with an anklet on my right foot and some painkillers in my tummy.

I am not challenging the doctors’ competence, what had to be done had to be done. I am just wondering, in our country, if a poor woman sprains her foot or hurts her back, how does she handle it? Sure we have government hospitals, but their efficacy and competence is a topic I will save for another day.