Friday, December 24, 2010

Frequency Match!

For almost my entire life I had this huge misconception "I can get along well with only people of my age....". It's sounds weird but it "was" the truth until my final year of engineering. Also until I started working I had never ever been a part of a big max was 3 at the time!! :-D . May be because I am an introvert person But now I have a new "view" on this.

During my final year engineering I started communicating with Abhijith and though there was age was very simple to be myself...and that was my 1st addition to the list..after that I have had many many pals with whom I am comfortable discussing an assortment of topics not finding age as a barrier...
1. My ex- Mindtree team mates and friends Ambika, Smitha and Megha and ESP team members
2. Few members of footloose gang [ I dont want to mention the names, for my own safety]
3. Srini at Mindtree [May be the oldest of my pals]
4. Few of my freiends at SLK software
5. A couple of people here at LSU desi's and class mates included

I realize it is never the age match, but mind frequency match that is long as you have something is common or something uncommon and you are able to accept the person the way they are you can be friends with anyone! The whole difference lies in the point weather you crib about the persons mistakes, intolerances and indifference or you whole heartedly welcome them knowing that even you are not perfect and can be pain in the A** for others :-)..I have had this revelation and Thank GOD for that..just hope I didn't miss meeting few good people earlier because of my "MISS" conception....

And yeah my definition of friends is not only limited to Friends Friends...but with anyone with whom I share this kind of relationship . Family members, employees, employers, classmates , make it short anyone under the SUN!

Thursday, December 23, 2010


I am in a mood to write about foooooooooooood :-). It's kinda serious topic so let me being....

Food plays a very very important role in my life...a few years back I used to think "I am alive to eat" you can only IMAGINE how crazy I am about food...ooops I meant "tasty" food :-P....It comes from my family who has great cooks like my Grand mom, mom, aunt and the men are no less right from my grandpa, father, uncle's to my brother. It so happens any inclusion into our family would automatically be converted into a food lover, classical example is my uncle , married to my mom's sister :-D.

Let me talk about just Dosa to keep the blog "short". During the time when my mom and dad were kids, dosa was only made during special occasions because then it was more cumbersome to prepare plus the number of people in a joint family is unimaginable! They usually narrate some episodes of the dosa day's at home. And when I was in high school my mom used to mention it was the same case with our family, only difference is dosa was an expensive affair for us. So she used to limit making it once in a while. As I grew older I never felt the absence of dosa around me (usually home made). Once I started going out with friends to eateries my boundaries expanded to the Sandharshinis, "NEW" Shanthi Sagar, Adigas and after I started working to MTR's , Mayya's, SLV Delites, Vidyarthi Bhavan. So to conclude dosa was always there to satisfy my taste buds until I landed in US in August 2010.

Post August 2010:
1. Have eaten it twice in an Indian Restaurant here and every time I have repented!
2. Then Anusha had prepared it once and that was no where close to been called a dosa since it was not fermented [ appreciate her effort though].
3. Tired the ready made flour sent by pri's aunt and it was a huge disaster!
4. Fortunately or unfortunately don't remember eating dosa's during my visit to California.

But but but....a couple of weeks ago I was conversing with my aunt and just asked her how to make dosa at home. The next day, did the necessary preparations and by the end of 2 days I was feasting on 'AWESOME" dosa's. Yeah I did make dosa's for the 1st time and it was a huge success :-). I ate them for 4 days if I am right!!! Yummmmmmmmmy......So finally my dosa carving thirst was quenched at last....

Anyways, the point is if I look at the different phases I can see :
1. As a kid, I didn't know much on what I was eating so really didn't know the dosa was a costly affair.
2. As a teenager I never appreciated dosa's, since it was at my disposal anytime I wanted.
3. As a working person Dosa was a luxury and I relished on it
4. Now back to been a student in a No-Dosa Land I realize how important these small things are in life and how you link them with your family, your growth and just make sure you always want to be the Dosa person :-D

P.S : Dosa was just an analogy, the same thing applies to every other food I LOVE :-D

Monday, December 13, 2010

1st Sem MBA.....

Completing my 1st Sem MBA feels GREAT!!! But when I look at the past few months, I realize I have changed a lot as a person and my views about things have also changed. I shall just talk about one point of view in this blog.

To begin with, I was wondering doing BE in ECE [IEEE paper published, good reputation at college etc etc] then moving to Software for 3 years [Managed to get a good name in that. Gokul Please don't comment] and now out of nowhere MBA. You cannot even "TRY" connecting the dots :-). I used to say people I am the worst possible combination:-P. Now I feel WOW!!!!!! Really doing ECE at UVCE made me learn to study independently!! This has definitely helped my MBA, because I had to take a few courses I had no inkling and I did manage to fare well in them :-). Next coming to my Software profession, I had never ever done any Software Programming ever and to clear the Mind Tree assessment and finally doing 2 full time projects has just made me mentally and physically prepare for worst case scenarios. I have utilized that to the fullest in my 1Sem MBA with hectic course work, work and other stuffs that came along.

Yes the past experience might not have any connection to what I am doing. But I never would have been the same person I am today without them and I totally respect them for it. I can and will continue to explore more and more options whether it be in education or in general stuffs. Because I feel I have the "GUTS" to take up new things and do unusual things out of the routine :-). All thanks to my 1SEM MBA.

P.S: Though I boasted about myself, all this wouldn’t be possible without the love, support and trust my near and dear ones have showed me to date J

I miss you more!

Constant complaint we all hear from people living outside India is " I miss Indian Food". That's the same case even with me, been a junk food eater who enjoys food more than anything else. So after I came here all of us do end up in conversations about the good old times where we could eat mouthwatering food from so many places. But soon I realized when we start talking about food, I always associate it with my friends and family! Here is the list -

1. Home Food -> Mom, Grand mom, Aunt and at times dad, bro
2. Shanthi Sagar, Food Camp, Sweet Chariot -> Family
3. Karthi Sweets, Shiv Sagar Commercial Street -> Reema and Sindhu
4. Adigas, Chalukya, road side pani puri -> Asima
5. BBQ, Masala Cafe, Gullus & Chetty's, ISKON Cafe -> Footloose
6. Shiv Sagar, Adigas Banashankari -> Ambia, Megha, Smitha
7. VVP Puram Street, Vidyaranyapura Pani Puri Stalls -> Uday
8. Mindtree Cafes -> ESP team members
9. All possible food outlets in NEW BEL Road -> SLK friends
10. All the junk food treats like samosa's, bajji's on the way from Mindtree to Home -> My cabmates
11. The lavish food at Bombay House, Taste of Rampur, BBQ -> Shehnaz and Divya

and to top this list is Abhijith with whom I have visited most of these places :-). Yes I do miss eating these food items, but I would never do it alone even if I get the opportunity since it would never be as or enjoyable in the absences of my family and friends. So the point is " I miss you guys more than my food" [ That's so sweet of me! Is it not ? ]

P.S : I would update the list as and when I remember. Sorry if I have missed you in the list. My Bad.

Shopping in Dollars with Indians!

It is a know fact that during Thanks Giving holidays, we get super cool discounts for almost anything and everything in US. Most of the Malls have their discounts starting mid night of Black Friday and extending till next day. Apparently most people end up shopping the whole night going from malls to malls and handpicking their choices. But as you all know, how lazy I am and how sleep addictive I am :-D [ In case you didn't you just got to know! Congratulations! ] I choose to go to the mall the following morning with Aashay, Trina & Ayan. Aashay had the whole plan in place, only thing is none got executed other than the fact that the 4 of us made it :-D.
1. We were waiting for the local bus at 7 AM in the morning when it was raining heavily and was freezing cold and somehow got a bus by 8:15 AM ;-)
2. Ideally the shopping was "supposed" to end by 12:30 and we had to broad the bus back home. But our shopping officially ended by 5 PM. This was because all were shopping individually and due to the sad cell phone service we were unable to reach each other inside the mall. I believe we spent more time waiting for each other than for shopping ;-)
3. Best of all, we went to Best Buy [ electronic appliance store] and after a lot of research, discussions etc we 4 bought the same Sony Camera :-)
4. Headed back home all tired!!! But with an experience of a kind ;-)

I managed to get a few body lotions for parents and myself and the camera. That was it!!!. Trina did her own bit of "useful" shopping. Ayan who didn't plan to shop ended up shopping more than us ;-). And last but not the least, Aashay shopped for himself more than for his family [ he is visiting India this December] :-P.

End of it whether you are a Desi / American you are human, and that's the reason I felt the rush here was just like what I see in Lifestyles, Westsides, BigBazaar or for that matter any other store in India, where people gather where there are discount sales.

Potluck "Desi" Style!

PotLuck : A potluck is a gathering of people where each person or group of people contributes a dish of food to be shared among the group.

We (pri and I) were invited for a Bachelorette Party cum a Potluck at Kirans’ and Jaspreets’ house. Both are doing their PhD’s and Jaspreet is getting married in January 2011. So it was a gathering of all desi’s but all of them expect Pri and I were northies. Initially I was not very comfortable, since my know how about the hostesses were just though Pri. And the other guests were also just the “hi-bye” types. But as minutes passed by, I realized I cannot sit quiet and be so passive! So I stared listening to this conversations; basically full time pass jokes!! Commented on a few and ended up laughing for like 4-5 hours! The dinner was awesome with assortment of food delicacies [though I didn’t get to eat any]. It was 1 AM when things came to an end and people bid adieu.

I did realize it really does not matter if you are in the right company or not, you must get comfortable and enjoy it! Hadn’t I done that, I would have never enjoyed the 4-5 hrs I spent there. In fact I would have cribbed about it all the way long:-P. Also credit goes to the people there who welcomed into their group shared stories their stories and experiences [made sure everyone understood and followed Hindi] and pulled everyone’s leg so no one was left “behind”. All in all a nice experience! :-D

Yes it was “Potluck and Bachelorette Party” that I attended for the 1st time and I am glad it was Desi style ;-)

Monday, November 15, 2010

Me Danced! :-D

I accepted the offer to anchor a Indian Fest conducted by ISA ( Indian Student Association) called UTSAV at LSU because, the person who asked me was dear to me :

1. He was one of the people who came to pick me from the airport, when I 1st landed in Baton Rouge
2. I adored his compering skills during our welcome party and the way he conducted himself!

So 4 days before the actual event I go for doing my script rehearsals and by the end of it all I know is I am dancing for a kannada song! [ Jinke Marina..yes yes you read it right it is JINKE MARINAAA only and yep you got it Arpitha was dancing for it]

The ISA people had this idea of doing a medley of Indian songs for the final performance and we all were requested to participate. I didn't want to be the only one objecting it and putting down the enthusiasm, I tried to escape by telling I am busy etc but it didn't work ;-). So since I was already in deep soup why not enjoy it ? And that is exactly what I did!

The anchoring and the dance were both appreciated by many people. And I am glad about it. Most importantly I had a blast doing it! Wouldn't mind trying it once again somewhere sometime.

The Dance Video

Oh ho its "HOT"

During the 1st Launch week, I had missed a company visit! from MBA!! And every time I see the awesome blanket that my classmates received from them, I feel BAD and SAD! I don't want to miss anything as part of MBA, since I am here missing a lot of other stuffs back home...Makes sense right!

So last Friday, 12th Nov 2010 we had a company visit to Tabasco (Sauce Manufacturing Company, located at Avery Islands ,2 hours drive from Baton Rouge). It was painful to get up at 6 AM after having a busy week with Marketing Presentation. Thanks to Praveen, who dropped me to school. We got into huge Hi-tech buses and the moment I sat I slept! 1 hours of bliss full sleep made me feel good and once we got off we were welcomed with some awesome donuts, and coffee! The trip was worth this at least :-D. It is basically a family businesses and owned for about 200 years now. The whole place was green and spread till where I could possibly see. The architecture of the buildings was British based I felt. So we visited the actual red chilly factory, tasted a fresh paste of hot pepper and man it was "HOT", people were coughing, crying, jumping, cursing once they tasted 1 tiny particle of it! Imagine when is is zillion times hotter than green chilly for me, how that non-spice eaters would have felt.

We next had a presentation about the history of the company during whcih time I had another cup of coffee and was chatting with my buddies back home. Finally we visited the manufacturing and packaging division and it was a good experience indeed. We finally had to grab a sandwich and head back to the buses. Way back, I didnt sleep rather I chatted with my MBA friends and came to LSU by afternoon.

I still feel the burn in my stomach when I remember the taste of the hot pepper!! ;-)

Mother of All Presentations

Back in engineering I and Asima had struggled to do presentations! We used to be nervous just like the rest of them not because we did not know how to speak, but because we did not know what to speak that sounded "technical" ;-). I must agree, that Asima was a much better presentation maker than I was. I ROLF laugh when I remember the multi-color slides I had come up with and how she convinced me to go with a single sky blue background!

Now after 3 years, I am more confident and comfortable to talk about anything with anybody for any length of time. I am not trying to boast, but just giving a base for my next reading.

So here in MBA, as you all know there are infinite presentations and discussions. have been doing good so far. But, for marketing we just need to give 1 presentation for the whole semester for about 45 minutes. The prof is real good, he is the sport management guy at LSU for football as well. he will analyse, observe and critique your entire presentation on the way you dress, walk, talk, breathe, eat, sit and behave in the class the day you are presenting! Fortunately or unfortunately we were the last team to go for it, 10th Nov 2010!

Off course I had the same old fear I had back in engineering for this one! 1 week of exhaustive meetings, brainstorming and discussion with the prof made us put up a great presentation for the class. We however, did not win the extra 10 points that we compete for with another team who present on the same case study, but we were happy and content by our performance. But, what was most important for me was the prof feedback on my presentation and it was good, which made me all smile!

Now I can sit back and take a break not worrying about presentations till god knows when! :-)

And on the day of our presentation, I took my classmates to an Indian Restaurant and they just relished the food! :-)

LSU Vs bama!

I had worked a plan for close to 3 weeks, so I can spare some time to volunteer at AID ( Association for India Development) . They basically have food stall during the football games, and the proceedings of the business is sent back to India for some social cause.

Lucky me, I get to go for "THE" most important match. LSU Vs. Alabama! The atmosphere is like India, Pakistan cricket match a couple of years back! :-)

I had to wear a LSU T-Shirt when I am working at the stall with gloves on hands when ever I am touching any edibles! The shirt was literally stinking with food smell but I has no choice but wear it. And since I am the "strict" veggie, I was at front desk just facilitating the whole business :-D.

I sneaked from the food stall a of times and went to the stadium to witness the craziness! Serving the drunk wild fans, enjoying nachos and cheese my self with quick visits to the stadium made my day more interesting than whats was happening since a few days! 8 hours, awesome fun, no MBA, no Work...just serve, eat and watch! It was perfect. Did get an opportunity to bond with fellow Indians in the stall as well. Would love to do it sometime when I can afford! ;-)

P.S : Off course LSU won the game!!! ;-) score was 24 LSU, 21 bama...6th Nov 2010

Monday, November 1, 2010

MBAA Games 2010! Geaux Green

After never ending PoB [ Practice of Business] sessions every Friday as part of our MBA course, last Friday was something different!!

Yes, we had our very own "Sports Day" for the 1st & 2nd year MBA's. We are divided into 4 Cohorts [ Blue, Red, Purple & GREEN]. I belong to the Green Cohort. Apparently Green has been winning the trophy since 3 years!!! When they sent a registration form for adding our names, I just volunteered for Tug of War [ Considering the fact that I am no sports person and didn't want to be one of the reasons just in case Green lost this year].

Chilly Cold morning, all wearing sports ware [ unlike the usual Business Formals!!] and some even in Halloween Costumes was a treat to my sleepy dead eyes!

Kick-Ball - Green lost and won a game each. I was just the photographer for the whole event apart from clapping my hands when someone played good.

Volleyball - I was so exhausted clicking photos ;-) I just rested on the ground with some friends

In the mean while Green had won some other game

Relay - I participated in 4 legged race and frog jump. The guys between whom I stood in the 4 legged race, literally squeezed me in an attempt to lift me and run!!! I am applaud for the but it since that day my arms are aching like hell [ Nah anything for Green and no PoB ;-) ]. Green was the 2nd best.

Tug of War - Though I had registered for it, I never got an opportunity to participate. But I was a huge moral supporter for the guy at the end. His name is Bobby. He gave me his jacket so I don't freeze in cold that morning, so I thought I must scream my guts out to cheer him up. The usual scenario's is we stand 5 feet away from the rope and the moment the whistle blows scream like crazy people saying " Geaux [GO] Green, Come on Bobby, Push it, You can do it" and once we win/loose start over again !!! Green was the 2nd best!

Anyways end of it cumulatively GREEN won as usual, we took a couple of snaps before everyone left for early Halloween Celebrations and me coming to work!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Home away from Home!

After 2 months of classes, we were getting Fall Break [ 21st & 22nd October], this was a long 4 day break since weekend was also there!

I had planned to visit my bro during this time, and he had booked my tickets to San Jose,California long back. As the days neared, I was more worried about my 4 days absence here, the pending task I have to complete etc. One of my friends asked me "Are you exited to see you bro" and I was not so "reactive " about it then. But when I stepped into the plane to go, I know I skipped a heart beat, when I realized I am going to meet FAMILY!!! That 's the time when I said to my self screw the pending task, screw assignments let me not think of it for the next 4 days!!! And I must agree it was the best decision I made :-D

Had a wonderful travel experience from Baton Rouge to San Jose [ sitting next to a Yahoo Employee and a Manager of some company], landed in San Jose, picked up by my bro, headed straight to a Indian Fast Food Center, packed Dosa, Idlis and filter coffee and came to his apt ooops I would rather call it HOME!!!

Was impressed and surprised the way his home was maintained, hogged dosa and dozzed off on the carpeted floor [ better than my unstable air mattress]. Woke up when mom called, spoke to her briefly got fresh and had idlis and coffeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee :-). Was watching the latest hit "Endiran" when bro came home and picked me. Visited his office, met his colleagues, boss and had buffet lunch with them in an Indian Restaurant [Sneha]. After that, bro took me to shopping!!!! Then we headed to a Jain Temple [ Was very relaxing and felt good] and had dinner at Tirupathi BHIMAS [ I can still feel the taste of RASAM I had there]. Then bro thought me how to drive for about 2 hrs I guess.

Next day same routine, but we made a visit to Shiva Vishu Temple at Liver-more, then headed to San Fransisco. The drive was really endearing! Visited
1. Golden Gateway Bridge
2. Crooked Street
3. Peer Street
in San Fransisco and dined at a posh Italian Restaurant with one of his friends.

Came out to realize bro's car was towed, had to hunt for it and pay a hefty fine! Didnt realized the drive back to San Jose as I was exhausted!

Next day, met Nikhil & Srivatsan [ Friends and Colleagues from MindTree]. They are studying MS in San Jose [ This year just like me]. Nikhil prepared some good coffee and I had a typical gossipy chat with them. Nikhil then took me around his campus followed by some mouthwatering Punjabi Lunch. We then went to a Tech Exhibition [ though the plan was to go to an ART museum]. Had some fun seeing & experimenting some techie stuffs. Lost our way back home, so asked my bro to pick us. Then went with bro for more shopping and had CHAATS for dinner .

Well that's the end of it, next day traveled abck to Baton Rouge [ bad travel experience] and got back to my routine of worrying about everything! Yes Bro's Home was HOME AWAY FROM HOME, for 3 days I had good sleep, good food, good company and no responsibilities to worry about just like how things were back HOME and above all I was with FAMILY. I couldn't have asked for a better break!!!

Though my heart desires I get such breaks every weekend if not everyday!! Is it too much to ask for ?

Monday, October 18, 2010

A weekend that wasn't!

After mid term exams, I was really looking forward to having a great stress free weekend :-)

The Initial Plan was :

1. Get my Learners Permit to drive in US on Friday afternoon
2. Have a good poker night at our place on Friday night
3. Saturday morning get up without an alarm ringing!!!
4. Clean the apartment
5. Go for lunch with a couple of friends to an Indian Restaurant
6. Finish my take home exam on Saturday Evening
7. Prepare Bisibele bath & Paysam on Sunday :-)
8. Get ready for my trip to California coming weekend!! [ To meet my brother]
9. Wash clothes and Iron them

What actually Happened :
1. Since I didn't have my Indian DL with me, I was turned down at the Driving License Office
:-( [ After waiting for about 2 hours]
2. Pre-pone the lunch plan on Saturday to dinner on Friday night [ I didn't get to eat Saga Paneer]
2. Poker night though was fun, we had to wind up early since many were tired
3. I had to get up like 6:30 in the morning on Saturday, to go to some driving school and attend some 6 hours of class room lecture [ To get the certificate through which I can apply for Learner's Permit]
4. I came home like 4 PM in the afternoon on Saturday, crashed on the bed, woke up at 6:30 PM and started cleaning my apartment.
5. Since I was not done with my Take Home exam, my entire Sunday went for it. This meant no Paysam, no Bisibelebath and no visiting temple .
6. Lastly, forget washing clothes I couldn't find time to wash my hair as well.

Looking forward to a better long weekend this week.....

Friday, October 15, 2010

My perpectives change according to my convinience

I had my 1st set of mid term exams this week [ giving exams after 3+ years]. It was very challenging for me to sit for any length of time and write [ I am now more used to typing on the computers].

One Exam really went good [ Marketing] and the next 2 were terrible :
1. Information Systems
2. Accounting.

From what I have heard, here the professors curve [increase] the marks in case the performance of the entire class is bad.

And the grading system is
>= 90 - A Grade
89<= >80 - B Grade
69<= >89 - Grade C etc etc.

So even if you get a 70% [ which is considered really good in India], it is equivalent to flunking here!!

In India, if I pass I am good, if I get a First Class I am glad, if I get a First Class Distinction it is a miracle and it really didn't matter how others performed!!!

Now in US, my performance is totally based on the entire classes performance. If I belong to the majority of them who have done the exams really bad the professor will curve our grades. If I belong to the minority of people who have done the exams bad I have to leave with bad grades and if I belong to the minority of people who have done the exams really good, instantly I am the enemy of many :-). So me giving my exams and be done with it will in no ways is the end of the story.

Anyways the main point is since I did 2 of my exams really bad, instead of hoping to some how get good marks [ miracle] I am just hoping that the rest of the class also have done it really bad so the professor can curve our grades. I know it is a sad-dist thought, but I am only HUMAN I ought to think like one!!!

Its a question of 1.25 Dollars == 62.50 Rupees!!!

I was studying for my accounting quiz which was due Wednesday!!! [ I totally suck at Accounting] when Hari came to our apartment and started literally abusing the washing machine!!! Apparently, he had fed the machine with a couple of dollars and they were stuck Neither can he remove the coins nor can he use that machine :-). The expression on his face was hilarious!!! I didn't concentrate much as I was studying [ pretending :-)]. Pri got up and went along with him to have a look at it .

After about 10 minutes I get a call, Pri saying "Get some tools like jump clips and safety pins because the coins are badly stuck!!"

I had no choice but to venture into this, I took with me a fork, my hair clip and headed towards the laundry place. When I entered the room, both of them had expressions indicating " We have lost everything in Life, we cannot even do laundry NOW!!!". It was challenging to take up the task, but I found this more interesting than studying accounting [ At that moment at least].

I banged the machine left and right [ Hari was scared that there might be a CCTV which will see us abuse the machine so much] but, nothing was going to stop me!!! I wanted to try all things before I gave up. I inserted the fork, my hair clips and did all possible tricks I learned in my Hardware labs [Smacking the devices] but no use!! It was about time we gave up and I saw a metallic name tag lying on one of the machines. I inserted even that, and this time it went so deep into the hole that, I couldn't get it back. Hari was laughing his guts out, and said 'Arpitha is inserting more stuffs into the already jammed machine", it was funny and illegal but I really didn't care much. Next I again inserted the fork and there was some jerk in the hole and "Tappak" the name tag fell down, and with a little bit more fiddling 5 quarters fell out. Hari was the happiest and I was the proudest person at that time. I took one quarter in memory of my expedition and called the day off with a couple of pics!!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

New Avatar for my blog!

Hi Reverie Faithful Blog readers!!!!

First of all extremely sorry for not blogging this long. I have been busy with my course work!!! But if you come to think of it, my 1st job here is MBA. Evey thing else comes next!! [ Not really ;-)] so I think, me not able being to blog should be fine to some extent at least.

Anyways, after receiving 2 constructive feedback [ negative feedback] on my blogging style, I have decided to change my blogging style.

1. No more detail stories : Apart from the fact it discourages many of my readers, it is time consuming to write in depth and right now for me Time is EVERYTHING!!!!!

2. I would blog when there is something really interesting to share, no routine daily stuffs. You
guys must have understood my life here. Me having no sleep is a constant!!!

Anyways will cya all with my new blogging style some time soon. Till rest your eyes!!! :-D

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Cycling, Football & Shopping - Busy Weekend!

Day 3, 19th September 2010

It is the time to "SHOP”!!!!

My brother had sent me a coupon of Express - A Branded Retails Chain of Clothing stores!!! It had a 40% discount for a $100 purchase and was expiring on 11th October 2010. Since Hari also intended to do some shopping for his Birthday, we decided to go to the Louisiana Mall that afternoon.

So after the Sunday routine of taking head bath etc etc and having a quick brunch we left to the mall. Here Mall just means a place where you can find many shops or building’s for shopping. It is never a single multistory building with even multiplexes in them. The max you can find might be a 2 story buildings. The surface area is so much that it might be a 10-50 minutes to walk diagonally. After, a few minutes of losing our way, Hari checked the location of the Express shop from one the shoppers and we went in. My basic goal was to shop for just $100 and not a penny more than that. Though I did my bit of formal shopping in India for MBA classes, I nowhere meet the dress etiquettes followed here!! I know with so much pain and effort Abhi and I have hunted for good brands and good shirts and pants but the business professional clothes I have belong to business casual’s category here!! So as dictated by my brother I wanted to buy a Pencil Skirt and a nice blouse [Which would suit different bottoms!!]. After trying a lot of skirts and blouses I zeroed down to a black pencil skirt and a purple blouse [LSU color]. When I tried the completed outfit Hari Commented “you Look totally Like a Different Person" This I take as a complement given the fact Hari never gives a damn to any of these stuffs. Pri did help me decide what to buy and what not to so I owe her big Thanks!! Once I was satisfied with my selection I went to bill it and realized I was $20 short for a $100 bill. So I picked up a lovely pearl necklace which would go with the entire professional attire!!!

Once we left the shop, my next item were a pair of comfortable flat semi-formal shoes for daily wear to class. The one I got from India has almost wore out, so I got a $10 speedo semi-formal black shoes [with a 50% discount]. Next we moved on Dillard’s showroom, where Pri and I persuaded, convinced, confused and made Hari buy a pant, 2 T-Shirts and a belt for his Birthday. By then I was almost exhausted and I had a test the next day, so I insisted we head back home without making any pit-stops for a drink or a snack. And oh yes!!

We did have some snaps taken all our way through shopping so you guys can see the Mall Concept here!!!

Cycling, Football & Shopping - Busy Weekend!!!

Date 2 - 18th September 2010

If Cricket is a Religion in India then people worship Foot Ball [ American ] in LSU!!!

This Saturday was the 1st Game at LSU :Louisiana Vs Mississippi. The 1st home game at LSU is called the "Gold Game" and usually people end up wearing Yellow clothes to show their support. The stadium where the game was played called the "Tiger Stadium" is stone throw away from my apartment!!! So I had the advantage and the opportunity to see why LSU is called the university for Party Animals!!!

People start Tailgating like 36 hours before the game!!!

Tailgating : A bunch of people, could be friends, colleagues, family , students or just new buddies set up a tent in and around the campus.They bring a bunch of eateries and drinks [ Beer holds the King Share], barbecue and sit and enjoy the game which is live streamed on their Televisions set as the game goes on inside the stadium. So right from Friday afternoon, I could see big buses, trucks tailgating in and around the campus. In fact the congestion is so high that :

1. Nicholson Apartment Admin had distributed pamphlet on what precautions the residents need to take
2. Most parking lot facility people had restricted parking post Friday afternoon and what not!!!
3. The mobile phone networks crash!

On the game day, my MBA class also had set up a Tailgate in campus which I visited along with a senior. Man O Man, I haven't see such a unanimous crowd ever in my life in terms of dress code, mood, enthusiasm and beer!!!!! There was one women who got her 3 month old baby girl for her 1st Game!!! It was so damn hot, yet she wanted her kid to have this experience!!!! I visited my MBA tailgate event, where most of them were playing games ; basic intention was to drink beer :-) . I was unable to tolerate the heat without drinking beer I headed back home :-P

The game started around 6:00 PM, and after that Pri, Hari and I thought of taking a stroll across campus and take some snaps. This time the campus was less populated. Few people watching the match in the tent, huge crowd outside the stadium trying to enter it and many people drunk to the brim of their consciousness. I came to know that the stadium holds 92K people and some years back, when LSU was winning a very important match the noise recorded on a Hector scale was 5.5!!!

Where ever we went we saw sign boards that said "Geaux (Go) Tigers!!", "Beat the Bull Dogs!!" and what not. Hearing the roar in the stadium when LSU played good, made me decide I need to go to at-least 1 game during my stay at LSU. I almost feel it would be like Harry Potter Quiditch Games!!! :-D

Finally, after a couple of snaps, walking around campus, meeting people who were not able to stand on their feet we decided to head back home. If there is one thing I can compare this to an Indian Event, it would be "Kumbh Mela". Well there are no stampedes hear but the craziness is definitely here to stay!!!

P.S : Many of my classmates have promised me to find a ticket this season for going to the game. It would cost $10-11. I hope I get one soon!!!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Cycling, Football & Shopping - Busy Weekend!

Day 1 - 17th September 2010

For a very long time, I had plans for going on a cycle ride around the 6 mile lake near LSU campus called the "LSU Lake". Last Friday, I decided to make this wish come true!!! I got off work by 5:00 PM, went home got fresh and boarded Transit to take me to LSU Recreation & Gym Building. Here we can borrow bicycles for 2 hours each day without paying any FEES!!! I know that is really COOL. So after finishing the initial formalities, We got the bicycle with a sexy helmet!!!

We started off by around 7:15 PM I guess. When I initially started peddling, for about 5-10 minutes I could hear a couple of bones crack in my body. GOSH!!! I know, I had become that inflexible and rusty :-). And yeah, it took a lot of effort, sweat, courage and energy to just make the cycle move by peddling. The 1st round was exhaustive, and I was pretty sure I would never attempt anything like this again. The only thing in my mind was "Arpitha, keep peddling and keep moving, don't stop for a break because if you did!!! then you would never get back on the cycle!!" :-) But the good thing about it was, it made me feel less guilty for eating Cheese, Butter, Cookies and what not the whole week ;-). Hari 's presence also helped a lot, but I guess I spent some of my energy talking to him, which otherwise might have been used for peddling [ seriously I was that tired!!!] and yeah he took some snaps of me riding!!!.

Finally, we completed one round and stopped to take some rest. Hari and Pri were planning for a second round [ which I was not going to do, if I didn't want to faint while cycling] So we sat and were discussing our options and as seconds passed by, I felt better!!! Yeah, I felt so relaxed after a short break that I was in for the 2nd round. 2nd round, was not that exhaustive; may be because we were riding slowly or may be because by then my mind and body was ready for what was ahead. We chatted all the way along while riding. At the end of it I felt I could do with one more round!!! :-D [ I know you guys must be thinking "TOO MUCH!!" ]
So after covering about 12 miles in 1.20 hours it was time for us to head back to Wal-Mart. So we returned the bicycles, had dinner at a Mexican place and took off to shopping!!!

I feel cycling helped sweat a bit of my excess flab :-D which I am glad about and I ought to do this weekly once. This is what I have in mind, hope my body has the courage to follow this routine and my schedule has 2 hours in spare each week!! :-D

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Poker, Uno & Bluffing - Out at Midnight!!!

I was under the opinion that last weekend will turn out to be like any other weekend. But there was a surprise element in it that I really enjoyed. Since it was Ganesha Chathurthi [ Saturday, 11th September 2010], my initial plan was to clean apartment ASAP, and prepare some nice lunch with some sweet!!! But the plan got changed due to some unforeseen circumstances and we ended up going to Wal-Mart shopping in the noon. So our trip was

1. Fedex Office - To Collect my iPhone which was couriered by my brother
2. Indian Store - We bought some frozen Chapathis
3. Wal-Mart - Basic weekly shopping [ On the occasion of the festival I got a T-Shirt for 1$ ].
4. A stop at Community Coffee store [ Something like Coffee Days]

and headed back home by 5:30 PM. Hari invited us for a poker night at his place. We agreed instantaneously!!!

Pre-Reading : Hari's roommate and friend for 7 years, Richie was on a vacation to India around the time we came to LSU. Vandana, Hari's friend wanted to play poker once Richie gets back. So Pri's and my wait for 1 month to play poker coming to an end.

So Hari, came to pick us from our apartment at around 8:30-9:00 PM. But we were still having dinner, so he informed us he would pick up another friend and then stop by our house. So Pri and I got ready in a hurry [ I was initially wearing my tracks, thinking that it would be just a few people I know, but after knowing a few more may join us, I jumped into a Jean ( Indian Effect) ]. So Hari picked up Ashay [ 2nd year Engineering student, from Pune] and came to our place. Hari , Asay, Pri and I then went to Vandana's [ MS student, from Tamil Nadu] home to pick her up. We came to Hari's home by 9:30 PM. Since we were waiting for some more people, I took a break and came out to call my parents. The various reasons being :

1. To wish them on the occasion of Ganesha Chaturthi
2. I had the new phone!!! DUH!!
3. I was conscious of the fact that may be for the 1st time ever in my life, I would be staying 0ut that late!!

So after a few minutes of waiting we started playing poker.

1. Pri
2. Hari
3. Me
4. Ashay
5. Vandana
6. Richie [ Did his BE and MS here]
6. Sirish [ Did his MS here and working. Soon getting married to his fiancee whom he addressee as "WIFE" already!!!]

Since, Pri and I did not know how to play Poker, Hari gave a live demo. He was a non-stop chatter box!!!! Since he was successful in explaining how to play poker to me, I am confident he can become a good professor. We were bored by his explanations and people were bored by playing a demo game. BUT!!!! Hari is never satisfied with his explanations!!!! After quiet a bit of persuasion, he finally gave up and we started playing the actual game. Soon one more person came to play the game : Rajesh Shankaran.

Once again Hari "Started off" and this time Rajesh was also a competitor,. The more Hari explains, more doubts this dude comes up with!!! I really do not know how we finally managed to start the game. So , after a couple of rounds of interesting game, out of no where Rajesh asked me my last name! When I told him, he asked "Are you Tribuvan's Sister?"

Rajesh Shankaran : Pursuing his PhD after doing his MS here. One interesting thing is my brother and he were roommates here in LSU!! He commented telling my bro and I look similar [ No one is going to buy that one!!! ].

Then on poker goes on for almost 2 hours I guess. Some intresting observations:

1. Hari - Never plays or bets his money. He always gives up in round one!!! Only time he plays is when he is sure he is going to win!!!! After some rounds, Pri used to taken his chips and bet on his behalf, though he was very much against it. Vandana & I supported her!!

2. Vandana - Asks recommendations from Hari and Rajesh. They usually end up giving some different suggestions. Then since she is loosing lot of money she says " I am allowed to withdraw from the game, because I am bankrupt"!!! She also dictates Sirish not to make any foolish moves!! [ He never listens to her though]

3. Rajesh - I think more than playing, he was asking doubts!!! and finally when all his doubts were cleared he would withdraw from the game!!!! [ I know it's irritating and funny at the same time]. And yes, though Hari talks a lot, most of it makes sense, but that is not true with this guy!! He was trying to be metalinguistic, but failed miserable. Nevertheless, it was full time entertainment for the rest of us.

4. Ashay - Was a real player. He used to bluff a bit, bid and be involved in the game as much as possible. usually I used to give him change when I won and at some point when he won he started distributing changes to all!!!

5. Richie - Wanted to play a good game. But, Hari or Vandana would comment on his moves and he would re-do it all over again!!

6. Sirish - The dude who wanted someone to win huge amounts!!! He would bid for such high prices, which would make Hair or Vandana say "Dont do that!!!". His logic was simple, no point playing with no risks and no money to make!!

7. Me - I played average!!! :-)

After poker we played UNO and BLUFF, and by the time we were done it was 2:30 AM!!! :-ooooo. I still wonder how a sleepy head like me never felt sleepy the entire time. Hari rushed me back to home, and I had a fruit and slept off.

When I bid good bye to all the people, I never forgot to mention "Lets do this once again". Because I thoroughly enjoyed it!! made me relax and get some good laughs!!! Hope we have a poker night some time soonnnnnnnn :-)

Dedicated to all "Healthy" Card gamers!!