December 25, 2010

Christmas Carols

This is my second Christmas in Hong Kong (first was in 2007 when I had just joined the job, and was in HK for a brief stint), and the place just feels awesome during the time. May be, its the same with all places with US and EU citizens, or may be its different here. Anyways, its an SAR of China, and to see people celebrating Christmas vacations is really pleasing. 

I have started liking the idea of year end holiday season, running all the way from 25th to the New Year. This is really an ideal way to unwind oneself after working hard for the whole year. Its like the weekend that comes at the end of every week - and seems like a perfect way to start the next year. I would be visiting Times Square today, and going by what I have heard, that place would be exploding with people. 

December 18, 2010

Just Married!

I'm back in Hong Kong for the final few days of this year. And the past month has been eventful, to put it mildly. I JUST GOT MARRIED.

This may be one of the biggest event in someone's life, or may be not. For me, it is THE BIGGEST event of life for sure. Where else would 500 odd guests turn up just for me. Where else you get to change you life completely from that moment on. I am ecstatic, and hopeful about the future. There are so many things to do in life, and needed to get over with the marriage thing to move ahead. 

I got myself a new MacBook Pro as well - putting me firmly as an Apple Fan. Now I own their latest iPod, iPhone 4, and a MacBook Pro. Initially wanted to purchase the MacBook Air, but then realized it was slower than Pro, and was a good 'second laptop', rather than first. So here I am, writing my first post with the new machine, and feeling quite good about it.

Weather in Hong Kong has been very chilly for the past days, and the temperature has hovered around 10 for most mornings and evenings. I need to get a good room heater, and also some warm clothes. My existing wardrobe is quite insufficient for this climate, more suited to Mumbai's one. 

These are the last two weeks in 2010, and it certainly has been an eventful year. More on it on the next post. 

November 17, 2010

Two Days To Go

So we are just two days away from my India trip. Its been almost 3 months since I moved to Hong Kong, but it seems like much longer. I am missing the Indian food a lot, rather am missing home cooked food. Here I have been eating outside everyday, and after a while you kind of get bored with it. For a vegetarian, HK doesn't offer you a million choice, so its just A, B or C everyday. 

I want to eat Aaloo Chat.
and Fried Rice and Manchurian
and Paani Puri
and Plain Dosa
and Matar Paratha

Will add more as and when new things come to mind. 

And yeah, need to remember one more thing - have to get married as well :)

November 14, 2010

One New Thing A Week

I stumbled upon an interesting blog today - named Done Thing. This blog is about something I promise myself almost every year, and then forget all about it. For the past couple of years, I have been making a 'Things To Do Before I Die' list, but its soon forgotten. Let me make a fresh start once again.

This blog talks about doing a new things every week. And the definition of the new things is just something which we do not do in our daily life. It could be as simple as trying a completely different cuisine, to a mild trek. So, let me try following this every week from now on, and lets see if I could come up with a list of new experiences. 

I started with it today itself, and read a book in McDonald's. I have always seen people at coffee houses and the McDonald's reading books, staying there for hours. I have always envied them, and thought of finding enough time to do so myself some times. Well, today I did it - I read a book there today. And there were two more firsts as well - (a) it was the first book I read on my iPhone (on its iBooks application, which is really cool) and, (b) it was my first Charles Dickens novel. Planning to read 'A Tale Of Two Cities' sometime soon. 

On the book, its a classic and there is nothing I could write about it which hasn't been written earlier. A part of this book was included in our Class 9 english text book - though at that point of time I had no clue about the book or its author. It a smooth read, one which can be finished in a few hours. 

Update: I forgot to mention the name of the book - 'The Christmas Carol'. 

November 6, 2010

Globalization: The Big Change

Globalization. It means different things to different people, but everyone certainly has a notion about it. For some, it means an open world, and easy access to foreign lands. For others, it means a whole new world altogether. 

I do believe that the world has underestimated the effects of it - even now. What started of as a ploy by the richer nations to search for new markets for their goods has back-fired upon them. They wanted free access for everyone in the world, hoping to sell their products and services. What they didn't realize was the fact that one day the companies in these emerging markets would also try to compete with them, and not just in the foreign land, but also back in their home turf. 

Globalization made world flatter - and the notion of sustainable competitive advantage is lost for ever. Knowledge and technology are easily available. No new products can remain untouchable for long - there is a whole army of people analyzing everything and the data can be accessed in seconds over internet. So, the new companies doesn't have to go through the same learning curves as the old companies did. The game has changed, and now its just about the speed and agility. And may be to some extent brands, which have an irrational appeal (and hence some form of competitive advantage). 

The world would evolve into a more efficient place - and this doesn't mean a better place. A lot of jobs exist today because we have inefficiencies - if they are eliminated, we would have a lot more unemployment. We are moving towards equality - we could easily get the work done by the people who charge the lowest wage. In effect, we are slowly moving towards a world where the per capita income would converge - it might take decades though. We are all connected by social networks, and share similar ideologies. Barring China, which doesn't allow most of these web sites, rest of the world may converge to a similar culture. We all like McDonalds, and are certainly losing our local differences gradually. People are moving all around, and any big city in the world would have people from all nationalities. So, in effect, slowly and slowly, we are becoming global citizens. 

I do not know how that world would look like, but am sure we are witnessing a great change. Never before had people interacted so much amongst themselves. Never before people had easy option to selecting the places where they wanted to settle. Never before people were connected to each other to such an extent. This would invariably lead to a uniform efficient world - where everyone has access to the best in the world. We needn't buy shabby clothes as we have access to GUCCI and ARMANI. In this transformation, west has most to lose, and east has most to gain. 

October 30, 2010

October End: Ticket Bookings

October is almost coming to an end, and this means my vacation in India is only a few weeks away. I'm still not fully done with all the bookings and all. Guess booking a ticket was much more simpler in old days when all you had to do was fill a form and stand in a queue at the railway booking counter. Nowadays, with so many offers and promotions going around in all the websites, you are confused looking for the best deal. There are special fares on selected airlines on some routes if you book the tickets using a specific bank's specific credit card. I wish we were back in the earlier days. 

Had a little photography session last week, and clicked some pictures of Hong Kong night life. Really in love with the vibrant life here, and will be clicking a lot more pictures of the place in coming days. 

October 24, 2010

The Big Bang Theory

Just when I was starting to get bored with re-watching the episodes of FRIENDS once again, I discovered another sit-com which is in the same league (if not better). Its slightly different from FRIENDS in terms of its target segment, so it would be unfair to compare the two. Nevertheless, its really awesome, and a must watch. Moreover, unlike FRIENDS, this one is contemporary, and the Season 4 is currently underway (this could be a sad news as well, as you can watch only so many episodes at one go). 

The show is set in California, and is about a group of geeks (all physicists) and a hot blonde who lives across the hall. All of the geeks though differ in their levels of idiosyncrasies. 

Sheldon Cooper is the character who is supposed to be the lead character - he has the highest IQ, is arrogant, lacks the understanding of basic emotions, and has an OCD. Leonard Hofstadtar shares the apartment with Sheldon, and is slightly low on geekiness (compared with Sheldon). He also has a crush on the girl living across the hall (Penny). Kunal and Howard  are friends to the two main characters, and frequent their place for dinner. Howard is Jewish, whereas Kunal is from India. Penny (the girl) works in a cheese cake factory, and is an aspiring actress. 

The show deals with the daily lives of the these 4 geeks and the blonde girl. I am already done with two seasons, and am currently on third (which shall be finished by next week). 

September 26, 2010

Coffee Houses and Blog Rolls

I have been overly worried by small things lately, and try to make my life perfect. I try to arrange everything, finish every unfinished job, and erase all items on my 'to-do' list. I just realized how futile this exercise is, and no way I'm ever gonna finish all the pending work. So, instead of worrying about them, I should rather start enjoying life too. 

Lately, I had started passing time, and waiting for some in future from where to start living. I guess I need to start living immediately - my life isn't so much of a mess. Its decently well organized, and planned. Ok, a few things here and there do happen, but what the heck. I still have almost 90% control over what I do. 

The other day I read about the starbucks and their coffee. I like the place, and the ambiance, though am still to find my favorite coffee there. I am a tea person, but don't expect to find "Cutting Chai" in Hong Kong during office breaks. So, will need to find my favorite coffee soon. I sure know what I won't like - Espresso and Caffe Americano. I still am not able to understand how do people drink Espresso - its so concentrated and bitter. To me, it seems more like grabbing a medicine. And it gets over so quickly - I mean, not at all perfect if you wanted a small break from office. 

Caffe Americano is similar to espresso, along with hot water. Though still better than the Espresso, this still doesn't qualify as coffee for me - my idea of coffee/tea is one with the Milk. My mom always tells me to drink milk regularly, and this is the only way I can follow her advice :)

Secondly, I need to re-organize my blog rolls. I have too many inactive/uninteresting bloggers on my list. And I do not visit most of these. I need to discover new and interesting people and their blog. People who live a very different life than I do, and live at a different place. I remember my old engineering days when I had a long list of blog friends (that was the time when blogs had just come in). Most of those guys have either stopped blogging, or have shifted their blogs. 

September 11, 2010

Annapurna: Nepalese Food in Hong Kong

At the outset, let me clarify that we didn't go to the place with the intension of having the Nepalese food. My friend K saw this place on the way to their home, and going by the name, thought it to be a 'desi' one. 

So we entered the place with the intension of having some Indian food, and soon realized it wasn't to be. After thinking for some time (on whether to stay there, or look for some other place), we decided to give it a try. We order a couple of starters, and another couple of items from the main menu. The place has a decent ambiance, though its a little cramped for space. Most of the dishes we had had a very simple taste - similar to home cooked food. Unlike most of the places here, specially the Indian restaurants, the food was very mildly spicy and quite light. Almost everything we ordered was was light on the stomach - even their Rotis were Phulkas, as against the typical Tandoori Rotis. 

I don't think we are going back to the place again - its slightly on the expensive side, and the food is very similar to one that the Maids can cook at home. Or the one served in daily lunch tiffins. The only good point about the place is the location. The taste won't strike a chord with the usual expat population as well - who prefer the curries for their spicy nature. 

Restaurant: Annapurna
LocationG/F, 59 Staunton St, Soho, 2857 2966
Meals for Two: HKD 400-500

House Hunting

House Hunting is a tedious exercise - irrespective of which part of the world you are in. There are too many things to worry about the place you want to move into - the location, locality, size, ambiance, connectivity, and a lot more thing. One careless mistake, and you are stuck with a mistake for the next 12 months. 

I started with my house-hunting today in Hong Kong, and saw quite a few places. Yet to finalize on the final location though. I'm a little confused between the location I should go for - whether to go for a far off quiet location, or to take one close to the central location. The far off localities here offer new homes and peaceful surroundings, whereas the nearby areas have slightly smaller homes and a little noise. Will think over it for a couple of days, and make a decision. 

September 4, 2010

Once Again in Hong Kong

I have finally landed in Hong Kong, having vacated the house in Mumbai. This has been a complete circle for me, and I have landed back in the place where I started my work life. 

Over the years, I have changed a little. Initially I was quite opposed to the idea of settling abroad, and always preferred India over other places. However, with time, have come to realize that its a nightmare to live in Mumbai. Its one of most inefficient places in the world, and there is very little hope of things improving any time soon. 

I have come back here with plenty of hope, and desire to do things. Ever since I made the job switch, my work hasn't required me to stretch myself. However, that was in the past. Having joined my team here, things should start moving fast. 

For the moment, its still my first week in Hong Kong, and am still in the process of settling down. I do not yet have a proper phone here (having returned my blackberry in office, and my personal phone not working). Should get something done by next week - either get an iPhone for personal use, or apply one from the office. 

August 10, 2010

Mumbai Rewind

Slowly and slowly the realization is dawning on me that I'm leaving Mumbai. That I would be here only for a few more weeks before leaving for Hong Kong. And even though I know that I would be coming back, I don't know for sure when it would be. 

Mumbai is very different that any other city I have been to all my life. It has a pace, and it keeps moving. The very thing that makes the life tough here, and to some extent unbearable, are the things that separate it from the other cities. No other city moves so fast, and no where else the local trains run at an interval of 3-4 minutes. No where else the rainy season lasts for 3 months, while pouring continuously. 

I would be vacating my house as well, and will need to sell off the furniture. All of it has to be done over the next 3-4 weeks. I remember when I came to this city a few years back - clueless and naive. This city has changed me a lot, and it has witnessed all the positive changes in me over the past few years. From a shy and reserved guy, I have become much more confident. I had my first home here, and also my first car. 

July 30, 2010

New Beginning: Back to Hong Kong

I'm bidding goodbye to Mumbai (albeit temporarily) once again. Would be moving to Hong Kong for a brief stint, and it starts all over for me again. Have been hopping between the two places for more than 3 years now, and there doesn't seem any end to it. I'm yet to make up my mind over where to stay permanently, and am flowing with the current. 

I will need to dismantle my house in Mumbai, and along with it, all the furniture. Had bought each and every thing with great care, and now it would be really painful to sell them off. Next few weeks would pass in trying to unwind everything, and hopefully I would done by the end of August. 

I am not sure what life has in store for me at this junction - with the impending marriage in another four months time. I have to make a decision quickly - regarding where I want to settle down. One way or the other, the decision has to be made quickly. Or I may give Hong Kong another chance, get a small stint abroad and then come back in a year's time. 

Lets see where I find myself by the end of this year - keeping my fingers crossed, and hoping for the best. 

February 7, 2010


Sometime I get this feeling that I have made enough sacrifices in life, that I ought to have enjoyed the life a little more than what I actually did. And atleast at some point, it should pay off. May be, this is the point, or may be I am still making sacrifices.