Monday, May 31, 2010

Reva, a name

Even though I am in London and I do not see much Indian TV / news, I miss ET and I occasionally look at the ET site online though it is less for the news and more for the editorial column.
So it was then, today morning (4.5 hrs behind India) I opened the editorial page of ET to read about the REVA acquisition by M&M.
And I remembered by random gmail id (that still exists and is used to cut out the spam) that was once created out of a romantic dream for the word Reva. I loved the name. I still do but for very different reasons. I loved it then for the sound of the word. I love it now for the memory of what a romantic I was. Just like Twilight Fairy.
When I launched this blog I wanted it to be anonymous and slowly little by little I can say with my blog's 4th birthday a month away, that it possess me into it and combined two worlds that I romanticised of being separate.
So that's what Reva represents to me, a hopeless romantic who wrote beautiful poetry and was once me.
And the article continued to talk of electric cars and said "the spark was ignited when hybrid..." and I did not realise that they were not talking about the spark plug for a few seconds. Which again reminded me of my mechanical engineering days.
I am interning now at a bank. I interned once at a steel plant. I never worked.
I think I was more comfortable with my knowledge when I was at a steel plant.
Mechanical engineering can be easy to understand once well explained.
Even a 48 conversions long contraption which needs utmost precision can be simple to understand and absorb.
Here I feel the financial world is so complex that people work tirelessly to find something in that complex structure that they can build an instrument around and make it even more complex.
When people here explain to me what they do it seems simple but the mechanism is so convulted I wonder why banks stopped being just a safe to keep your money.
Actually life was simplest at IIT, even when Prof Thillai taught me Financial Mgmt during the time that Lehman collapsed. Comprehensible I'd say.
I miss ET, India, Mech and IIT

Maida Vale

Sunday morning, I looked up the net again for a place I wanted to go to way back from during the days when I used to look up the net to check out places to go in London.
Little Venice (Maida Vaile) in NW London
It was a canal with house boats where people can rent them out and stay for a little while. And does not cost too much too.
We had lunch is the water side cafe in a boat to the rocking movement of the waters.
We watched a puppet show in boat again, called the Puppet Barge Theatre where we were the adulty only group while everyone else came with lttle kids about 4 years or less.
We walked along the canal till we came to a cafe that was lying across the canal like a bridge.
And then we came back Westminister where we took a cruise on Thames from Westminister to Towerhill.
Came home for a short break and had dinner.
After that went to Towerhill to take the tube to Waterloo and it was a race against time to get to the last ride on the Eye.
We had a 4 minute 4D experience prior to the London Eye and the 4D was amazing ! worth all the money !!
London Eye was OKish because once you see the view it is the same view and the London skyline has not got much to offer.
But the 4D was pretty cool. It's essentially 3D with a "fourth" dimension to it when water sprinkles on you when you see 3D water sprinkling on you and things like that.
It was a beautiful Sunday.
Next weekend Scotland !!!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Notting Hill

I wondered for a while what I should name the blog post after, the movie Notting Hill or the book Portobello title.

Come Friday I just wanted to sleep again.I left for home early simply because everyone else was.
I came home had dinner and was watching TV because it feels weird to go to bed before it gets dark (and the sun sets at 9pm) And then friends pulled me out to a quickbite to bricklane. Spent a short little while there before I came hope to sleep.
The Saturday, we started the weekend exactly where we left off the last tiem around, South kensington.
For that wonderful cup of coffee and amazing cupcake.
And then off we went in search of the famed Notting Hill.
But as it turns out after we travelled a distance we came to know most of the tube lines to Notting Hill were shut down for maintence. So we decided to get take the bus. We found a bus stop where the bus to Notting Hill stops and as it turns out it took a long long while before we finally got on one. And then got off at Notting Hill bull stop to find out Portobello Market which was our destination in the first place requires another bus.
Finally after a long time we got to Portobello Market, Notting Hill.
It was full stuff. Anything you want you find.
Both sides of the road have stalls and stores of clothes, hats, soveniers, and lots more.
Right in the middle of the road are stalls with food, vegetables and other stuff of sorts.
We shopped for lots of touristy stuff and a friend bought paintings from an artist.
Right in the middle of a crossroads where people were sitting on the pavement eating food, was a man playing on and on, on his guitar. There were people, music, color and friendly noise to the place.
One hell of a place !!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

The English Rains

After a long day of Camden Town, I woke up to a very lazy Sunday afternoon.
We wanted to go to Notting Hill but it remains closed on Sundays.
(In a way that was good, too much of such markets gets the fun lost)
One of our friends suggested we go out for lunch after which he would leave home.
So I thought I would come home about 4 or maybe 6 (and write a report that is still pending).
We went up to Tower Bridge to pick up another friend and walked along St Kathyrine Docks.
In search of an english lunch on Thames we walked.
There were many posh restuarants but none so English and we kept walking.
And we walked and walked and asked for directions.
Finally, landed in a quite english residential area, Wapping.
Wapping !
We went up to a little place for lunch and found a table right next to Thames.
And soon it began to rain, but we didn't move indoors.
We just moved a little away under a shellter
It was cold and breezy. But it was fun.
And from there we walked on eastwards alongside Thames till we found another little place.
Where the waiter would give us English Chips but not French Fries even though both are exactly the same
and which had an even better view of Thames and the Wapping pier !
And then we were to get back from Wapping to Tower Hill.
But a friend who has to get back to East Ham wanted to have coffee in South Kensington.
He claimed it was the best coffee in the world and took us all the way just to find it closed.
Yet we had some coffee and got back on District line tube that dropped us off at Tower Hill and continued on to East Ham.


Well Friday night I did sleep in and not join the other interns to the Royal Philanthromonic Orchestra at the Royal Albert Hall. But Saturday was much better. Taj, Colaba and Nariman got to wait !
Woke up to a lazy Saturday morning (more like afternoon) and looked up other people.
We went to St James Park waiting for a friend to join us.
Reached the park just in time to see the Pelicans being fed.
Pelicans were huge proud birds that walked up to the public and groomed themselves and their might feathers as they posed for pictures.
But the best part about the park was the pigeons and furry little squirrels.
They weren't afraid of people at all.
Then we went to Picadilly roamed about while we waited for a friend and then together took off to Camden Town.
Camden Town.
Is a funny place.
Full of youthful vibes.
We roamed around to find a food market.
Every cuisine you could think of was stuffed into tiny stalls along side a pier.
Just pick up your food and sit on one those toy motorcycle seats facing the pier (which we couldn't get)
Or walk down to the pier and sit on the edge (which we did) and watch an occasional boat or ferry pass by.
You might also get to see one of those laid back teenagers being thrown into the cold water fully dressed.
Then we left the food market to plunge into THE market.
THE market that we could never completely unravel.
With its thousands of little stores and people everywhere, it could not get livelier.
And then come the huge broze horses (or horse busts) with horsemen posing.
A once upon a time stable has been converted into a now spooky yet lively market area.
But make sure you take a leak before you enter. There was only one working restroom in the whole area.
It being the first weekend, I did not see the need for a shopping as yet and didn't (should have).

Pics soon to come

Friday, May 14, 2010

The City

The City of London!
Intern diaries is open once again!

The adventures began at 11am on November 4th 2009 when I got an internship offer, I was not told of the location. It could one of three locations: Singapore, HK or London.

There was a time when I was told I was going to HK.

Then there was a day when I received an email saying I am going to London.

And then there was a time when I applied for my visa to the UK.

And then there was a time when 3/4th left while I was stuck in the unfortunate 1/4th who didn't receive their visa yet.

I was sent to Mumbai temporarily.

And then I was still among the 2 people not to receive their visa.

And then on the last day of the 8th week from applying for a visa, I received my visa.

It was sent to my house in Hyderabad.

12:00 / Tue : I received my visa at home.
3:30 / Tue : I leave office in Mumbai
7:00 /Tue : I board my flight to Hyderabad
10:30 /Tue : My Hr calls to tell me my flight details to London when I haven't even reached home yet.
6:00 / Wed: I leave home to the airport with no print out of the ticket and not a penny or pound in hand.
9:00 / Wed: Board flight to Delhi (managed to get some pounds and a boarding pass of course)
11:45 / Wed: Reach Delhi
1:00 / Wed: Board flight to London
6:30/Wed (UK time): Reach London
8:15 / Wed: In cab after immigration to apartment
9:30 / Wed: Reach apartment in London

This is my first weekend and I am sleeping in.
Too tired to go out.
Hopefully, Saturday is a better day.

PS: Taj, Nariman and Colaba in a new post.