Peek into a year of book reading

I restarted my habit of reading books last year after a gap of over an year. However, I was too lazy to write the book reviews. I hope to restart that as well soon. For now, here is the list of books I read last year and a few unfinished ones.

Here are some of the books I finished reading –

The Pirates of Somalia: Inside Their Hidden World

Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman! (Adventures of a Curious Character)

And the Mountains Echoed

Jugaad Innovation: Think Frugal, Be Flexible, Generate Breakthrough Growth

Insanely Great: The Life and Times of Macintosh, the Computer That Changed Everything

Few unfinished ones are Fooled by Randomness: The Hidden Role of Chance in Life and in the Markets, Conceptual Blockbusting: A guide to Better Ideas. It was my third attempt to finish Fooled by Randomness but could only read 70% of it…definitely hope to finish it in my next attempt and then start reading The Black Swan by the same author.

Currently, I am half way through Merchants of Doubt and hope to finish it soon. Watch out for more updates and reviews.


It’s been a long time since I posted anything here and its also an entirely different topic that I am writing about.
I had been facing problems with mouth ulcers since childhood and none of the home remedies, allopathy/homeopathy/ayurvedic medicines helped. Recently I saw an ad about Yakult on TV and was curious to know about it. I found out that its a probiotic drink with tons of lactobacillus bacteria in just 65 ml drink. I thought of giving it a try to see if that helps in anyway and it unexpectedly turned out to be the magic cure for my mouth ulcers. I have been having 1 Yakult per day (not very regularly but at least 3-4 times a week) for almost 2 months now and since then the mouth ulcers problem is totally gone. I was really really happy to finally find a solution for this chronic problem. So, I am sharing it here just in case someone else has the same issue.

Also, there is no guarantee that this will work for everyone. For some people using more curd in their diet helps and for some people mouth ulcers could be because of too much of stress. It’s just that Yakult worked for me and maybe it can also be given a try if you ran out of all other options. This Yakult ad is one of the very few good things that I learned because of watching TV πŸ™‚ .

The caterpillar

As mentioned in my previous post, here is the ultimate one…..the monster….the Caterpillar 777D mining truck. It’s a 1:50 die cast scaled mode and got this one also as a gift πŸ™‚ . It’s oneΒ  of my most favorite trucks and the sheer size of the actual truck and every detail about it always excites me. Although I love lots of other trucks and earth movers, this truck is like my first love πŸ˜€ …….just like how Hoover dam never fails to enthuse me, the caterpillar mining truck is something I would never be bored with. Watched the caterpillar in the making multiple times in mega factories program in NGC and that will always be one of my most favorite ones in mega factories series. The other trucks that I like are the mammoets but still a long way to go before I can think of having one…..of course a scaled model πŸ™‚ . By the way, did I mention that being a caterpillar truck driver is my dream profession πŸ˜€ .

Blackberry bold

After selling my Nokia E-72, I ordered a used Blackberry Bold 9700 from amazon and got it to India through a friend. Apart from those extra scratches on the phone which were not mentioned by the seller and no headset & memory card, the actual phone itself is in a good condition and am pretty much happy with it. Got the BB services also enabled and it’s all working fine. So, finally goodbye to Symbian πŸ™‚ . The next phone….????…..lets see πŸ˜€ .

Goodbye E-72

I thought I actually made a post about my new E-72 and was trying to link to that but then realized that I never wrote about it πŸ™‚ . Anyways bought a new nokia E-72 this august and finally I sold it off today. Though I bought it after a lot of research, somehow did not appeal to me much. So, at last took the decision and bid goodbye to it today. Now the search starts all over again. Whether android, rim or apple is the question but no symbian again for sure. Good bye to nokia forever.

My experiments with cooking – mutton curry

Thought of starting a series of posts with all my cooking experiences. Here is the first one starting with my favourite mutton curry. I never liked cooking but somehow yesterday I just felt like making something and then immediately decided to try mutton curry. It was a big risk considering the fact that I never cooked in my life except one previous experience that I posted here before πŸ™‚ . I called up my mom and asked her the recipe. She explained everything over phone and after a few phone calls and cooking time of one hour, I was done with making the curry.
First good thing was that the pieces were cooked properly. But coming to the taste, I think I did not add enough masala, chilli powder, salt and the tomatoes & onions were more than required. Nevertheless, it was not bad at all given that it was my first try. Now, I know what ingredients were missing and how to get it right the next time (provided I cook again which seems to be highly unlikely πŸ™‚ ).
Thinking of trying out something else next time but definitely a non-vegetarian dish only πŸ˜€ .

Btw, recently found a lot of monin syrups (strawberry, caramel, mojito, etc) in the supermarkets here. Looks like time to make some nice beverages.

Rakesh turns 26

Rakesh/raki/rocky…..turns 26 today πŸ™‚ . Another year older and when I look back at the 25th year, it has been one of the most eventful years in my life.Β  There have been many developments both in my personal and work life. But today what made me to actually make this post is not those events but this feeling of mine when I got up this morning……..I was still not completely awake and I heard some activity going on in the kitchen already. It’s my mom in the kitchen who started off with her daily chores. Its been 26 years today and every day….every single day, she has been there for us irrespective of how she was.

I still faintly remember how she used to walk me to my school bus stop when I was a kid….of course I also remember how she used to beat me when I refused to go to school πŸ˜€ . She gave up her own career so that I can have a good future. Its been 5 years since I left Hyderabad….2 years in IIT and 3 years in bangalore, I was having fun but back in Hyderabad she was always thinking about me. Even now when I go to home, she says its better not to come as she doesn’t like it when I go back to bangalore.

So, this birthday its to my mom because of whom I am what I am today. All I can say is thank you mom πŸ™‚ .

From 28 to 32

Before anyone comes up with any weird guesses πŸ˜€ , I am talking about my waist size πŸ™‚ . Yes, you read it right…..I am talking about my waist here which shows how happy I am. All these years I always wanted to put on weight and was never able to inspite of whatever I did. My waist size has always been 28 and it used to be always difficult to find many options for jeans. Now at last, my weight is 60+ (between 61 – 63) for almost 4 months now and that’s really an achievement for me πŸ˜€ . Today I went to get a jeans and surprisingly, waist size 32 was fitting fine….though 30 was kind of ok, 32 was more comfortable. So, finally I crossed the barrier of 28 πŸ™‚ .

Getting a MacBook Pro

At last I am getting it….I am getting a MacBook at work πŸ˜€ … its going to be the newly released MacBook Pro….the 15″ one. But the only problem is the procurement is a long process and I will be able to play with it only after 2 months from now πŸ™ ….but its definitely worth the wait πŸ™‚Β  and I am really excited to get my hands on the new macbook. Will update it here once I get it shipped.

Update May 20th 2010:

Fortunately/unfortunately apple released the new macbook pro hardware at the same time as I was raising a request for mac. So, after a long wait for a month, finally cisco has evaluated the new macbook pro hardware and gave a green signal to ship new macbooks. So, today finally the purchase order has been placed and my new mac book pro will soon be shipped from singapore. Can’t wait to lay my hands on it πŸ™‚ .

Moved to a new apartment

After 2.5 years of stay in Bangalore I finally decided to rent a 1 bedroom apartment for myself…and that is when the problems started.Β  My requirements were a decent sized apartment for a single person with car parking in a good locality……don’t think it’s asking for too much but it was not that easy to find one.

Even after a month’s search I could not find a decent apartment that I could rent….and in the process of my search (sulekha was the only source of my searches) I found some really interesting houses…….one guy posted an apartment for Rs. 7500 with 10 months advance that did not even have doors for bathrooms, the kitchen which was actually an extended room into the veranda with some asbestos sheet as the roof. Then there was this house that was not even big enough to accommodate a 6’x4′ bed…and the owner says, a software engineer who was staying there until recently moved to US now and even got a citizenship there πŸ™‚ . So, does that mean, I have to squeeze myself into that matchbox like house in the hope of getting a US citizenship πŸ™„ !!!

Though I was completely against going with agents, in desperation I finally thought of contacting some and none of these people charge anything less than a month’s rent πŸ™ . So, was back to sulekha again.

Finally after many shocking experiencesΒ  I could find an apartment suiting all my requirements but for a slightly higher rent but I had no other option….and it was through an agent πŸ™ (good part is he did not charge meΒ  one month’s rent as commission). But now after a month and a half of stay in this apartment, I must say it was a really good decision. I am enjoying every single moment here especially the amazing view of the lake and coconut grove from my balcony. Its so refresing and worth every paisa πŸ˜€ .

The other good part about this place is this being a big campus, even at midnight you can safely go down for a walk (which I rarely do πŸ˜€ ) which reminds me of the good old IIT campus days. I am eagerly waiting for a good rain during the day to see how it would look…..will post some more pics then.