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The United Quirks of America

So, I’m in the US. the supposed land of opportunity. And so far, the opportunities outside of the assignments, projects and the (almost daily) trips to the grocery store, have been few and far apart. Life as a poor Indian grad (henceforth referred to as a PIG) sure is tough, and after two years of work and squandering salary as pocket money, the PIG experience is surely making me eat humble pie (or whatever version of it that I can cook). 
For the last 4 months, I’m calling an 80-year old yet-unfinished place my home. And where I live, is a place famous for every act of entertainment and debauchery known to man – The City of Angels. And sadly, but for a few places, I haven’t seen much of the city. A city where there are internship openings for dog photography must surely be interesting!
In the time I've been here, I have noticed a few distinct quirks about the US and its people, which I’m pretty sure every incoming (esp. Indian) grad student will have asked himself/herself. Now tha…
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Unseen Bangalore: Lakes - Part 2

The last few months have been just great personally and professionally thanks to some very dear people, and I'm more than looking forward to the latter half of the year! But as I sit at my computer on a raining May night in perfect coffee-pakoda weather in the comfort of my room nursing a fever, I return to the blogging scene, hoping to show you some new places to see, and explore.
The history of Bangalore is quite well-documented. The common story of Ballala, the Hoysala king being offered boiled beans by a helpful woman, though fancy, isn't historically true. Inscriptions unearthed at the 1200-year old magnificent temple at Begur, speak of a battle of BengaLooru during the 9th century AD. However, the objective of this post is partly to pay homage to the visionary founder of Bangalore, Kempegowda I
Not many people are aware that Kempegowda was a chieftain of Yelahanka. (In his honour, the BBMP christened Yelahanka as the Kempegowda ward and started its ward-numbering system …

The little-known Vanivilasa Sagara Dam at Marikanive

Here's wishing you a very happy 2012!

From obscure Hoysala temples to large monoliths, from quaint blackbuck reserves to the Merlion, from Madhugiri to Malaysia, the last two months have been the best travel-wise, and have seen me and my humble Santro go places all over the state! This trip, however, was done alongwith my cousins in their i10 (which I must say, is a pleasure to drive!). The destination this time, was the oldest dam of Karnataka - Marikanive Dam or Vani Vilasa Sagara, near Hiriyur in the Chitradurga district.
As a kid I remember visiting Chitradurga and its massive fort, and ever since, the image that comes to mind when I hear any reference to the Chitradurga district is a wild, wild west-type barren land with the Sun burning down on you. But this trip shattered that myth for me.
We started early in the day at around 6 as we knew the traffic would build up on the NH4 Bangalore-Tumkur Road, and sure enough it did. But after gobbling up delicious idlis at the Kamadhenu …

Desktop Calendar - December 2011

When the south-west monsoons have receded, Bangalore and its surroundings receive rainfall courtesy depressions in the Bay of Bengal. I was at Madhugiri last weekend, and was lucky enough to see a cloudburst. This picture was taken atop the huge monolithic fort, and this view of cloudburst over the Devarayana Durga Hills made me forget the horrible roads and everything else! Happy December!

Unseen Bangalore: Lakes - Part 1

Love the new Dynamic theme from Blogger.

Distinguished scientist C N R Rao had once said, and I concur - that a real Bangalorean is someone who was there before the IT boom happened. So, as a third-generation Bangalorean who has spent nearly 2 decades residing in the north end of the city, my love for it has multiplied post-Surathkal, and it really annoys me when a non-Bangalorean walks up to me and says 'Are yaar Bangalore only has like 10 malls - there's nothing to see in this city!'! So I write this post hoping to eradicate that annoyingly false notion.

For one, Bangalore is a city of many lakes. The minor river of Vrishabhavathi flows by the western part of the city, but now all that remains of it is a stream of sewage. So no, Bangalore has no river. But the presence of numerous lakes more than makes up for the lack of rivers or the sea. The city once had many, many more lakes, but they've all given way to buildings and the like. The Kempegowda Bus Station (or Majest…

Meanwhile in Sandalwood...

Oh no they didn't!

Do pay attention to the tagline! Saw this on the way back from work...o_O