Saturday, December 17, 2011

Remembering pappa

Dear Pappa
It's been five years we lost you. Circumstances and nature of departure was such a shocking that not a single day from that day passed without remembering you.
Although time and other survieval activities has taken it's course and we started get along with life. Funny thing about life is that no matter how you show how much careless you are makes preserve it more. More and more days passed we realized life is not granted but it's free but short period of time. You taught us
how to be happy in this free life but at the same time responsible to get that life. You never made burden of life but made sure we are capable of lifting it.

There are lot of changes in world from your departure, almost every corner of world is now connected. Can't believe I saw Devendra on skype where once upon time maharashtra times uses to come at late in the evening. Population, pollution, corruption increased many fold but level is same when you were here, so nothing much on that side.

At home front there are some activites happened.. Mamata got her baby, house and also finished her MBA. Same thing Namrata, she finished her M.Sc and working hard in field of yours. Sushma doing
great at USA. Vishwajeet and Devendra strated their carrier. Young lot started doing work almost feel like you are really old now. I am in Australia, getting some fresh air but missing "old"  Sangamner/Patan. Pune never felt as home, whenver there always felt like I am here for study. Back burner issue still exist with Namrata's marriage. But as you were optimistic we are  still hoping that day will come and she will get married. Same health issues are started coping in family... Patan kaka lost his teeth, Pune Kaka had some issue with one of his jaw. Namrata PP got glasses for reading, my right knee started showing sign of wearing.. I always wonder how you kept your health such nice and clean throughout life time. I will never forget you
were there with us for Rajgath along with kaka and told us that you will remember 64 year old climbing mountain when you are at 64 but I realized it much earlier at age of 40!

I had also have shot at failed business. I know you always consider business is not patil's cup of tea but thought of sharing it. I still feel like I can do it if get out of my lathargic attitude.
BTW we did finish few books of yours.. America East- West we did it ourselves while Sailor's of Life is published  by discovery publisher. It is very nice and cost almost 1100 Rs. Your books has given us great joy and almost felt like you were here while doing editing. Planning to write some more books once get time but now a days not much reading practice.

What else, Pune home is going through some coloring, thanks to Adwait's mama and aai. Both are very enthusiastic people.

Sharing some snaps for our scattered family!

Thursday, March 24, 2011


I am sure many of you must have confused about name of country I am referring in title.
Some country names don’t sound best with their current names. Thailand is such a country. “Land” in it name gives little bit western outlook. After visiting it, I felt that such a exotic country should be referred by which is much closer to Thai people and if we read history about the country, ancient name of country - SIAM is much better name compare to Thailand. Anyway I got chance to visit this country for work on short term.

Travelling abroad for short assignment is very tricky compare to long assignment. Long term work always gives you ample time to settle and then plan for site seeing. For shorter duration you don’t get luxury of time. But with proper homework, short work travel to new place can be converted into sightseeing without jeopardizing work. With use of internet you can be prepared for the places to visit, mode of transportation, food etc. You can also find out which transportation suits you best. In Thailand primary language is thai, relaying on road side enquiry is difficult. You have to use transportation which you can travel without much verbal communication. Bangkok has three modes of public transportation – bus, sky train, river taxies. There are also private services like taxies, tuk-tuk (rickshaw). I preferred sky train, because of heavy traffic and routes were easy to understand. To visit old town, you have to use bus since sky train doesn’t reach there.

When you visit Thailand you feel immediately connected because of cultural similarity with India. While traveling in Bangkok, you will notice names like Rama, Ayutthaya. Thai people believe that king is incarnation of Rama.  Current king is Rama-IX! I wonder why they use roman numbers to number their king! On Monday, mostly Thai people will be wearing yellow T- shirts with royal emblem to show their respect to king.  Watching sea of people with yellow colored T-Shirt make you wonder about collective psyche of about Thai people. It might be because of small size of country sandwiched between two dominating culture in region China and India.

Although name of king is closer to Hindu God, religion followed in Thailand is Buddhism.
So you come across - Wats (monastery temple). Also you will see numerous Buddha statues inside Wat. I heard there are more Buddha statutes than number of people living in Thailand. In front of many homes you will see small Buddha temple similar to tulsi vrindavan we notice in some parts of India. So religion and king is integral part of Thai life.

Wats are beautiful temples with large image of Buddha. Most of the time it will be placed below bell shaped structure called chedi. In front of it there will be praying ground called vihan and open space called mondop. I liked their references being close to Sanskrit. What amazed me in most was the entrance of Wat, at front door it has meticulously decorated daemons and Garuda. Compound walls are also decorated with murals, mostly stories from Ramayana.


Apart from wat, Bangkok being capital city has many other tourist attractions such as palaces, modern skycrapers.

After exploring Bangkok in first two weeks, I thought of exploring nearby cities closer to Bangkok. I decided first to go to Ayutthaya because city was very ancient. It always fascinated me - life of humans before industrial revolution. This city was founded in 1350 and it was capital for kingdom until 1767. In its peak glory, population was 3 lakhs!   So Ayutthaya city was must GO for me. City is around 1 and ½   hrs travel distance from Bangkok by train. City is small and there is nothing left except Ayutthaya Historic Park which has ruins of old city. Bird’s eye view of park gives you glimpse of older glorious days. It has numerous wats, huge reclining Buddha and famous Buddha’s head entangled in tree roots. Now this park is UNESCO’s world heritage site.

 Apart from ancient sites, Thailand also has lots of natural scenic places like sea shore, islands. Bangkok city is situated along river Chao Phraya. By the time river reaches Bangkok, it travels distance close to 300 km and along the way many tributary rivers joins. Geographically this terrain is flat, so in Bangkok this river looks very wide. Since river travels such long distance, carrying sand/clay on its way water color is always brown. Because of numerous tributary rivers, very fertile delta region is formed at mouth of gulf of Thailand. While traveling in ruler area you can see lush green rice paddies and water canals. In Bangkok, this river is also used for public transportation. There are many water ferries. Considering Bangkok traffic, this is also good option during rush hours.


I also visited port town called Pattaya. It was closer to Bangkok and one can easily manage return one day or weekend trip. Although Pattaya is famous for night life, it has many other tourist attractions. From Pattaya, around 6 km distance there is beautiful island KO Larn. This small island is famous for beaches. There are routine ferries from Pattaya to this island and back. On island there are motorcycle taxies which can take you to the beaches.  Some hoteliers maintain few beaches. They provide beach chairs, umbrella, changing rooms.  After playing and swimming in sea water they are ready to serve you with hot food, although little expensive.  But you don’t mind considering remote location and scenic beauty sea has to offer.

Exploring any new place is not finished until you taste local food. Before visiting Thailand, I had tried some Thai food such as Pad Thai, red/green chicken curry with coconut milk. I loved it since it is much closer to our hot and spicy food. So I was very excited about food in Thailand but I was wrong. Migrated food taste is very differently compared to original. Most of Thai dishes have lime leaves as ingredient which gives dish very strong bitter taste and smell, so I couldn’t explore many local dishes. But I did like few dishes like pad thai, papaya salad. But one can thoroughly enjoy tropical fruits while in Thailand. You will find many road side vendors selling fruits.
Leaving Thailand was little heartbreaking since I missed mountainous Chaing Mai region and Phuket island to explore. Although I got little glimpse of thai rural life while visiting Pattaya, Ayudhaya, Kanchanburi but these places are geographically located on flat plans around  Chao Phraya river. Because of time constraints and travelling distance I couldn’t manage trip over there. But for compensation I did visit Kanchanaburi which has some hills bordering Burma. This place is also famous because of War Museum. During world war –II, this area was under Japanese control. During that period Japan tried to build railway system from Bangkok to Rangoon using prisoners of war. It is estimated roughly 1 lakh prisoners died on that railway project because of hardship and maltreatment. There is Kanchanaburi war cemetery associated with POW. Old bridge built by POW during that period is major tourist attraction.

Overall I am just happy, since I managed to explore most of Thailand while working for short duration.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Technology Explosion

Sometime back read article about finding stars which are 200 billion years old, which caused debate again about big bang theory versus study state universe. Boy, just can't imagine people are working backward and forward billion years thinking about what will be state of universe few hundred billion years ago or in future. When I think about this I want to scream, scream in such a way that my scream's radiation will last similar to cosmic background radiation.

Big bang theory followers (Stephen Hawking’s follower ) found this radiations which got emitted during big bang and will remain for life time of universe.

With all this theory, mathematical calculations, experiment with cosmic radiation, CERN (particle colliding experience to find ultimate universal unified theory) I feel very miserable about my life. Other than two times a day hot meal I never had big ambition from my own life. Once in a while watching cricket match on TV was another ambition. For most of excited matches I was able to fulfill that desire watching at some general store behind 100 people and going home resigned once India lost.

But life changed drastically once PC (Personal computer) start occupying life. First it was job since every engineering graduate from any background started coding because of God called Bill Gates.. So one fine day you end up coding for Americans.. in process you fulfill another unachievable thing air travel and seeing align world. You are just wondering how to cope up with new changes, you start worrying about changing technology  etc. And start working on it. What happen to simple ambition of just having nice day with hot meal?

NOW you are just doing catching with technology, by the time you finish reading one technology another emerges better and faster making previous absolute. What about time spend by me studying previous brain? Already life is too hard for body which DNA is wired for wandering about food for generations, surviving new technology world is very difficult. For me, technology explosion has caused bigger problem than theory of birth of universe. I just wonder how to survive in this technology explosion; if anybody has idea please let me know.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Trip -- Pravara Sangam

When we think about trip we generally try to find something which is very popular destination either locally or internationally. It is fun to explore align places no matter how much populated those destinations are. But sometimes, you get tired of hoping around and over crowdedness.

If you don't have much time to travel or you are tight on budget it is always a good option to explore near by places. I always found this approach exciting and very rewarding. You have to find such places with the help of some veteran since these places are not in books and its publicity is generally mouth to mouth. One good thing about these places is relatively less commercialized.  You can also explore local clothing, culture, food, habits etc.

Accidently I bumped to such place recently on Pune–Aurangabad highway. While driving, I noticed some old structured temples while crossing bridge. I inquired little bit about this place in Aurangabad and came to know that those are very ancient temples of Shiva and Rama. Visiting Ancient temples was enough motivation for me to explore this place.

Next weekend I drove to same place and visited temples. Temples were located on both sides of the river. First I went to the largest temple, which was relatively in better condition and had sprawling area covering big garden. Because of trees, place was very serene and tranquil. Middle temple was well protected with huge walls from all side. From inside you can go on top of wall and can walk over it.

It was an architectural marvel. It was built based on ancient Maharashtra architectural style - Hemadpanti. In this style of architecture mainly basalt rocks are used since these rocks are easily available in Maharashtra. This style got its name from its creator - Hemadpant. He originally builds this type of temples in 13th century. Then he was prime minister of Yadavs of Devgiri. During that period his style of building temple became popular across Maharashtra. If we consider these temples are build during that period, we can conclude these temples are at least 600-700 years old.

Watching temple withstanding so many years of natural and human activities, you just wonder about durability of structure. You wonder about how it might have build, what will be social/cultural situation during that time. After watching outside wall one can understand it was build for protection in case enemy attacks. Temple’s outside wall was covered with sculptures, depicting ancient tells from Mahabharata.  I also noticed that not a single wall or ceiling was left without any artistic sculptures. After exploring main temple and nearby smaller temple I rested for a while in garden next to temple. There was another temple which was half submerged in water and other temple which was got isolate because of backwater. From local guide I come to know that there was an old village and it got wiped out because of new dam. He promised me to take that temple with help of his boat.

While strolling in garden I came to know this place is not just temple on river bank but very good bird sanctuary. Little bit further on river, government has build dam and its back water caused whole area getting submerged into water. Guide told me because of backwater village got displaced and causing temple remaining in ruins especially which was other side of river which does not have direct access point. Since area is cut off from rest of human world, nature flourished in this area causing large area to be swamped and well covered with grass.

While going to other side of river, I noticed many birds apart from normal duck and goose. There were few migratory birds as well and I think I also watched storks!! Generally storks migrate from Siberia to India in winter.  It gave me immense pleasure since I went only for temples but easily be able to see some exciting birds without spending much time looking for them. Nowadays, it is difficult to watch normal birds because of rampant urbanization and human encroachment in their natural habitat.

Temple across river was not in good shape only outer façade was standing and inside there was small temple. But because of no human activities around, nature has reclaimed area and there was tall grass all over places.
On way back we purchased one big fresh fish from nearby selling fisherman. Due to dam, sizes of fishes are bigger than compare to normal river water. We also asked him if someone can cook for us and we will pay for cooking and he readily helped us to find one family. They gave us nice hot and spicy fish curry/fry along with bhakri! It was memorial meal because of hot fish with cold breeze flowing. After food it was very difficult to return back to Pune. But anyway normal routine was awaiting and so I have to come back. But trip has accomplished main objective of getting away from routine and unwind. I will definitely suggest exploring nearby local places; you never know you might find something new and refreshing.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Brian Adams and me

I heard advertisement that Brian Adams is coming to Pune and he will start his Asia tour from Pune. How rapidly world has changed... I still remember my school days when I took an oath "I will use my mother tongue for all types of communication and study". But by end of 10th standard I have to give up that oath since science was not available in Marathi. By the time I got job I got education in English but rest of the communication was only in Marathi (at least for me) and because of job accidentally landed in america and suddenly my poor Marathi soul felt that I am destined to be global and I have to get over my past marathi background and get into English background. Day to day work communication was okay since you talk mostly technical. So to enhance my English image  started hanging out with american/Canadian friends to star bucks, sport arena. Still some how felt something is strongly missing and later realized it is songs and musics.

The person who always worried about getting to next year in academic years in school days and later on somehow getting paid based on education. Music/art is out of scope, so my music/songs knowledge in any language including marathi was close to none and suddenly I felt urge to learn English music and songs and to show of to my friends how cool I am with music I took first cassette/CD of English songs. Since I had no idea about singers, type of music, I relied on  street side vendor and he gave me Brian Adam's cassette. I felt cheated while listening to it since I hardly understood what he is saying! Now he is in Pune, organizers might have confidence in number of people visiting his concert ... how much Pune changed! What about me? Now I listen all kinds of music but also started liking indian classical music as well. Because of Brian Adams I finally landed locally.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

इचलकरंजी - पुणे बस

बऱ्याच दिवसांनी बसने प्रवास करण्याचा प्रसंग आला. तसा आता पेट्रोलच्या किंमती व टोलच्या लुटीमुळे तसा कार प्रवास अशक्य झाले आहे. त्यातच वयामानाने ड्रायव्हिंग करायला कंटाळा येतो.
पण काही कारणासाठी मिनचेस जावे लागले. जाताना कोल्हापूर सूपर एक्सप्रेस पकडली. झोपण्यामुळे जातानाचा प्रवास जाणवला नाही.येताना मात्र वडगावच्या छोट्या बस स्थानाकामुळे  बसची भीती वाटत होती.

इचलकरंजी-पुणे  बस आली. बसची अवस्था बघितल्यावर प्रवास रखडत होणार याची खात्रीच पटली. बरोबर गावाकडील नातेवाईक असल्याने कराड पर्यंत तरी कंटाळा  येणार नव्हता.  कराडपर्यंत जुन्या गोष्टीना उजाळा देत प्रवास उत्तम झाला. कराड नंतर करायच काय हा मोठा प्रश्न होता. पण गाडीत एका नजर टाकली आणि लक्षात आले की प्रवासात खूप वेगवेगळ्या प्रकारचे लोक होते आणि प्रत्येक जण आपआपल्या विश्वात रममान  होते. प्रवास थोडी फार पु. लं. च्या 'म्हैस' आणि 'बॉम्बे टू गोवा' ची आठवण होत होती.

माझ्या  पलिकडील खुर्चीवर अगदी काल परवा लग्न झालेले एका जोडपे बसलेले होते. सतत एकमेकांच्या  खोड्या काढ, मधेच कानात गुजगोष्टी कर.

त्यांच्या समोर तीन चार बाकडें सोडून  तीन लहान मुले असलेले गरीब कुटुंब बसलेले होते. ते सतत कन्नड मिश्रीत मराठीत गोंधळ घालत होते. त्याच्या वागण्यात एक मोकळेपणा होता. साताऱ्यात बस थांबली तेव्हा सर्वांनी घरुन आणलेला डबा, विकत घेतलले वडापाव, भजी मिटक्या मारत संपवले. पुढे साताऱ्या बाहेरील टोल नाक्यावर स्ट्रॉबेरी घेवून ती ही  संपविली!!

त्यांच्या या मुक्त वर्तनामुळे त्यांच्या पलीकडे बसलेल्या पांढरपेशातील पन्नाशीतल गृहस्थ वैतागुन चुळबूळत होता.  बहुतेक त्याला त्यांचा गरीब असून  सहजपणा पटत नव्हता. एक दोनदा त्याने त्यांना  दरडावण्याचा   प्रयत्न केला, पण त्या  कुटुंबाने बसच्या  आवाजात त्याच्याकडे सोयीस्कर दुर्लक्ष केले!

या सर्वांवर कहर म्हणजे दोन  कॉलेज  नुकतेच संपलेल्या मुली! माझ्या तीस पस्तीस वर्षाच्या लाल डबा प्रवासात एवढ्या फॅशनेबल (सूट होईल इतकच) मुली पाहिल्या नाही. एक सतत i-pod वर गाणे ऐकत होती तर दुसरी सतत मोबाइलवर गप्पा!  त्यांच्या कला पाहून पुण्या पर्यंत नक्कीच बोअर होणार नाही याची खात्री पटली. पण त्यातील एक  लवकरच उतरली.:(

साताऱ्यात रायगड जिल्ह्यातील काही शालेय मुलींचा गट चढला. बहुतेक कुठल्या तरी स्पर्धे साठी चालले असावे. त्यांचा चिवचिवाट,  बोगदा आला  की आरडाओरडात रुपांतरीत व्हायचा. सरांचा आवाज त्यांना थोड शांत करायचा. अर्थात सर, पुढें मॅडमशी शाळेतील राजकारण/समाज - गावकरी  यावर गप्पा झोडत बसले होते.

एक मुस्लीम बाई मात्र या सर्वां पासुन अलिप्त होती. ती आणि तिची जागा .. कोणाला सहसा बसू दिले नाही.

बोचर्‍या थंडीत प्रथमच प्रवास संपू नये असे  वाटत होते.