Before & After pics of our Money Plant :-)

Ref to my wife’s blog here about the money plant that’s thriving in our house

The money plant a few months after we first brought it by flight to Mumbai

The money plant today, with all leaves turned outwards to catch maximum light since we don't get direct sunlight through the windows

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7 Random truths – in pics

Taking a crack at actually writing a full blogpost after getting tagged by wife 🙂 and keeping with the theme, will try to do it in pictures as far as possible

1. I’m a programming geek – I used to hack in assembly language in college (doing a metallurgy course) . Sadly these days, though i start one or two projects every year, i invariably lose steam in a few weeks 🙂

This is something I’m working on right now… a program to keep track of the calories that i eat everyday on my phone… it’s been trundling along for 2 months now….

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This is an image manipulation program to create a vivid image out of a set of photos taken on a tripod with different exposures using a technology called HDR… currently Stalled

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2. My preferred posture under any set of circumstances is lying down…. or getting as close to it as possible 🙂 In fact, my study group @ BSchool chose a somnolent pic of Winnie the Pooh as my cartoon pic for our group T-Shirt

(Pic credits to my B-School friend Maitreya Sengupta – one of the most creative people i’ve ever met)

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3. I like Photography – and tend to reallllly bug people trying to get just those right angles & settings (ask my wife) 🙂

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4. I heartily detest physically demanding adventures of any kind

Believe it or not, I once trekked 60-80km across the astonishingly beautiful terrain of Laddakh. I hated it! And cannot for the life of me understand why plod rather than drive an Enfield Bullet!

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5. I have never driven a bike – the supposedly ultimate male icon. Though I’ve ridden pillion to a few wierd & wild places (Rann of Kutch here). My two wheeler driving experiences have been on scooters & the trusty Luna moped

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6. I love to cook almost as much as I love to eat

Since marriage, my culinary endeavors have been largely limited to Pasta as my wife doesn’t allow me into the kitchen otherwise. Thus i jealously guard this one recipe to retain my entry permit 🙂

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7. Yes I actually was that thin once upon a time 🙂

During my 3rd year of engineering – when a couple of months in Stockholm without possessing adequate culinary skills thinned me out some 🙂

Yes the other pic’s me now 🙂

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Do I want to tag anyone…… hmmm naah.. action phobia’s set in again 🙂

Cycling along the tree lined roads of rural Normandy

I took this pic of my friend Moi on a cycling trip in Normandy. I’m quite proud of the composition in this pic 🙂  The road narrows into the distance in the centre; the left part of the pic has a slightly dramatic band of leafless deciduous trees and Moi strikes a pose on the right on his cycle.  A group of us on a daytrip to Normandy hired bicycles at Bayeux (of the tapestry fame) to cycle down to the D-Day Beaches. We loved cycling in the quiet rustic tree-lined roads of the rural French countryside. We visited Omaha beach and the US War cemetery that features in the Speilberg movie Saving Private Ryan. We later calculated using maps that we must have cycled 50-60km that day as we avoided the busy (and very dangerous to neophyte cyclists) expressway and took the meandering countryside roads instead. Of course we paid for it by hobbling around our hostel for the next two days 🙂

The lovely waterways of Brugge

Brugge in Belgium is one of the loveliest towns I have visited. It’s definitely on my “must visit again” list. The town has a medieval europe flavor and draws mostly european daytrippers. It has not yet entered most european tour itineraries in India & the east. Marketed sometimes as the Venice of the North, Brugge is full of quiet canals & waterways that are brilliantly lit up in the night. Brugge used to be the primary port of northern europe and had warehouses and merchanthouses lining these canals servicing ships from 1100 AD to 1500AD. The channel that connected Brugge to the sea silted up after that however & the coastline moved away to where currently the modern seaport of Zeebrugge is located. The bellfry of its curch – lit in orange in the second picturue is the town’s most distinctive feature

Old Pilgrim taking a dip in Mukteshwara Temple’s tank – Bhubaneshwar

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Mukteshwara temple in Bhubhaneshwar is an exquisitely carved and pictueresque small Oriya temple.  It’s compactness almost makes it look like a perfect toy temple. The site is protected by Archeological Survey of India. I noticed this old pilgrim taking a dip in the in the small tank behind the temple. Taken with a HTC camera phone

Chateau D’lf off Marseilles coast

This is a pic of the prison island Chateau D’lf as seen from the sea. It was taken by my friend Chaityana as we travelled by boat to another island off Marseilles. The island prison made famous by The Count of Monte Cristo is also visible in the previous picture I posted here. We were not able to land on the islands as the water was deemed to be too choppy to safely land tourists.

Statue of Jesus and Mary overlooking Chateau D’lf – Marseilles

I saw this expressive stature of Mary and Jesus at Notre Dame de la Garde in Marseilles. This church is atop a hill overlooking the harbor and is dedicated to “Our lady of the Watch” – the traditional guardian of seafarers. The church with its gilded statue of Mary and Infant Jesus dominates the skyline of Marseilles. Its interiors are covered with offerrings from devotees – most prominently model ships. 

The island barely visible in the background is Chateau D’lf – the island prison made famous in the Alexandre Dumas’ novel – The Count of Monte Cristo. You can visit the old island prison by boat on days when the water in the bay is not choppy.