The Queen bath in Hampi

During my last day at Hampi, i wanted to visit the infamous “Royal Enclosures”. As i stepped out of the car, all i saw a towering structure and scaffolding everywhere. Climbed on the small outer wall, and made my way into the campus. The sight that greeted me was overwhelming. 
It was the size of a football ground where the whole world could fit in. There were structures scattered through, some in good condition, while many were in ruins.Watching the scores of tourists rush in, make their way towards a structure towards the end , i too joined them and walked along, taking it all in.
 The stone gate structure that lay outside the Royal Enclosure
Crossing the Mahanavmi Dibba, (a 8-tiered platform where state functions and festivities were held) i came upon a long stone structure that was part of the irrigation system in Hampi.
This elevated channel  is meant for feeding water to the tank and is made of stone pieces 8 to 10 feet each joined by vertical props, also made of stone.. Curiosity got the better of me, and i went to the other side to the “Pushkarni”… 

Also called the Stepped Bath, or the Queen’s bath, this is a stepped well designed for bathing. The water flows in through the stone channel into this tank.

Although i had seen a similar structure near the Vittala temple in Hampi and in Dwarasamudra- The Hulikere, this Pushkarni was just as fascinating. Giving us a glimpse of how Royal the lives of the Kings and Queens were, and the creativity and craftsmanship of the artisans, the temple tank still stands tall drowning us in its beauty….
One of the architecture marvels, the neatly arranged row of steps added to the beauty of the well.. We sat there for a while, till the Sun beat down on us forcing us to get back to the car and turn on the AC….

Dont Stop…………Sony Ericsson Walkman Ad

There are some beats and words that catch our eye and we keep humming them
there are others that we just dont remeber or care too much about…
and then there are those which sound familiar and our mind wonders what it sounded like….

There are ads we watch day in and day out
Some we remember for the images
Some for the models
and
Some others for the music/background score…

The Day i saw this Sony Walkman Ad on TV, i couldnt get the music off my head. Kept humming, singing these few words over and over… Finally, i gave in, hunted for the ringtone and pulled it into my phone…
While doing the research, i discovered it was a piece from the song Tik Tok by Kei$ha…. Curious to know what the whole song sounded like, i googled that and found this video…
Honestly- i dint like the song one bit…. the lyrics put me off.. the video was just trashy… but yet, the piece that Sony had chosen for their ad was perfect and peppy…..
Creativity & Content :
Sony Ericsson had used water and colours and a gorgeous model/dancer. They had made it look like we were watching a live performance, when the finale shows the video as being screened on the Sony Ericsson Walkman’s OLED screen.. 
Recollection:
You bet i remember the ad even today… 
It has been days since i saw it 1st and dont think i’ve seen it too many times after that… 
The music does the trick here….
The dance in the rain does the trick…. 
Amazing clarity
Amazing sound
Sleek and smart looking…. 
The gadget had it all …
It reminds me of Step up and Street Dance movies , the moves and grooves are simply too hard to forget… After a long time, this is an ad that i shall remember for a long time to come!! 🙂

By the water cooler…. Sly me!

Parul from Brining up Adi  is all set to launch her second book ” By the water cooler” . If you read her first book– ”Bringing up Vasu” you will look forward to her second book…. 
  • You need to write a post telling a story or an anecdote based in an office. It could be about you, your spouse, kids, neighbour, whoever – it just needs to be based in an office. It can be funny, serious, somewhere in between, but it needs to be based in an office. It can feature a single protagonist or multiple characters, but it…yes, I know, you got it. 
  • You need to link to this post
  • You need to put By The Water Cooler in the title of your post
  • You need to leave me a link to your post in the comments section
  • If you don’t have a blog, leave me your entry in the comments section and it will be counted
If your entry is selected then you will get autographed copy of this book :-) 
LAST DATE – October 31st, 2010
Here is my entry………….
It was Oct 2005, i still remember the day vividly.. I had been at this fancy corporate for little over 3 months, and had just about settled in. I was taking care of Middle and Senior level recruitments [on my own] and had been managing quite well. I sat in the 6th floor where all the Vice Presidents of various departments had their cabin. Our cubicles in the center and their cabins all around, like as if they were guards watching over us. 
Anyways, without getting carried away… It was a Saturday, and our Corporate HR head was in town for some Senior level interviews.  I had come in early, set everything up, made sure the candidates shortlisted for the final round remembered their schedule. It was 12.45pm and i was getting ready for my Spanish class. A candidate had just finished his interview and was walking out, when i decided to hop into the Boss’s room to remind him of my heading out for a bit for the class and the afternoon line up.
This is what happened next…. 
Me: Sir, may  i come in?
Him: Yes, please come in and take a seat, will be with you in a minute[ he was on the phone]
Me: I stood anyways, waiting for him to turn
2secs later
Him: So, tell me why you want to move to Chennai and take on this position? From your resume i can see you have quite an extensive experience, and you have been in Hyderabad all your life.
Me: [Gaping and lost wondering what to say.. but understood that Boss had assumed i was the next candidate, coincidentally was a woman ;)]
Sir, i am looking for something new and challenging. yes, i have spent all my life in Hyderabad, but am ready to move to Chennai if the opportunity presents itself.
Him: The position Will require you to work during night since it is a US based process. Can you manage that?
Me: [cheeky me] Yes, Sir! In my present job i come in during the day, but work for atleast half a night… 
Him: [Swivelved in his chair and had the most stumped look on his face]
Me:[ was suddenly damn nervous and wee bit scared of what he was going to say]
Him: You know something, Aarti..[slowly a smile crept up his face] I was going to offer you the position. You sounded quite convincing back there… 
Me: err, umm. Thank you Sir… :)[gave the biggest sheepest smile i could remember]
Him: So, did you come to see me for something? Are there any candidates waiting or shall we break for lunch? 🙂
Me: Came to tell you that we can break for lunch and that i was going to go attend my Spanish class and return. Everything is taken care of, and the candidates will be guided by Sruti from the other HR team.
Him: Alright then, go on… get out of here!! 
This incident i shall remember always… He was also the one who was most reluctant when i said i was quitting.. Tried hard to get me to take a 3mth break and return!!

Tales unfold

As we rode  along lush greenery in Anegundi, our guide Virupaksha suddenly brought the autorickshaw to a halt, pointed to the left and told us “lets go explore some cave paintings”.. Lakshmi and i looked at each other sceptically as we did not see any mountains or caves, and the sun was beating down with a vengeance. The auto driver and Virupaksha understood our apprehension and said “its just here, not far”
Virupaksha said -You see the fields, we walk through them, and then you see the tree there, just take a left and voila, you are there at the caves… 
It was only after we crossed the fields and came to the tree did we realise their idea of “its just here, not far” was a mini trek.. Stumbling upon boulders, we made our way to the top to see a vast open space filled with wild shrubs and bushes. Virupaksha and Lakshmi went ahead, and i followed them few paces behind till they finally stopped at a large boulder with a cavity in it. 
There were quite a few sketches on the rock, some looked like bulls, others resembling stick figures we doodle.
 On the neighboring rock, we saw a circle with multiple little circles, a ladder, waves, petals and strokes all around. 
Virupaksha gave us his interpretation of these, while recently Lakshmi discovered it was something entirely different while doing research for her article- Stories that rock art tell.

Here is a post by Lakshmi as well..


Looks like there is so much more than meets the eye when it comes to paintings and sculptures from our past…

[Skywatch Friday] Blazing glory

Like fire
lighting up the sky
the clouds
scattered about
Like fire
adding a bit of spark
the clouds
liven up the skies
Like fire
blazing glory
the clouds
they add life and spice!! 
These were shot on my Blackberry few days ago from a moving car in Chennai, hence the blurred effect! 🙂

[Theater] 39 steps

Richard Hannay meets this gorgeous woman who out of nowhere pulls out a gun and shoots into the air during a theater performance. She then invites herself over to his house, following which she gets murdered. A murder that Richard is caught into for no fault of his, a series of chaos, clumsiness, and characters is what 39 steps is all about. 
Today, got an opportunity to watch the preview show of 39 steps by Evam and Radaan.  Dint have to do anything, dint have to pay anything, went watched gave my feedback and got back!!
Based on the movie 39 steps by Alfred hitchcock,  which was in turn loosely based on the adventure novel The Thirty-nine Steps by John Buchan.this play went on for over an hour and had us in splits, gaping, wondering and wondering how fine tuned the final show going to be. 
4 actors play more than 10 characters.. switching between roles in seconds, alternating between being a man and a woman, moving the furniture on the stage around… 
Agreed, there were a few things that could be tweaked, could have been made better, but the team has over 2weeks to fine tune and am sure by the time they perform to the audience, it will be near perfect!! 
For information about the play and tickets, click here and here is Evam’s Blog 


Need more reason to believe Hitchcock is hilarious?
29th October- 7:30 PM
30th October- 3:30 PM and 7:30 PM
31st October- 3:30 PM and 7:30 PM
Tickets available at all Landmark outlets. Online booking at http://www.indianstage.in/EventDetails.do?eventId=1140.
 

Contact 9840444916, 9840612333 for more details!

Live and Tweeting

Last wednesday evening i remember catching up with Sandeep at the Subway F4 meet and talking about weekend agenda… Thursday was spent getting a new battery for my laptop, which happily died on me friday evening and i was left in the mercy of my awesome phone!! Oh well!! … 
The weekend was already there and now its over and gone!! Saturday and Sunday spent at IIT Madras being a part of the TEDxChennai … Its been over a year since i was inside the IIT campus, and it was a lovely feeling walking through the road enveloped by lush greenery..
I had been curious about TED and wanted to attend a conference atleast, and that is a wish that came true quite fast!! One day i read a tweet from Sandeep inviting Tweets/Bloggers and photographers for the event.. i replied expressing interest and voila, i was in!! 
Saturday had me landing in IIT at 11am, enjoying a few speeches [which were actually a trial run for Sunday] and ofcourse the TEDx chennai workshop run by Laura Stein, giving inputs on how to go about having your own TEDx conference….
Kiruba shankar and Ram Sahasranam, the duo who brought TED to India
Tweeting was basically giving updates minute by minute on what was going on, something interesting someone said, a picture, a person, and so on. My phone did save grace by being alive through the day, well almost…and then luckily there was wifi in the workshop room which meant i pulled out my iPod touch and swung into action.. vroom tweet vroom tweeet vroom tweet!! 🙂
 The whole bunch of us- tweeter me & Sylvian[on the mac] and rest were blogging…
 As the day ended, and i walked out of the campus, i started wondering how Sunday would be,  and if my phone would sustain through the day…. There was wifi in the Auditorium but not accessible[protected and meant for IIT students]… Charged my phone to full, and headed to the Audi at 8am excited and anxious…. 
The day then flew by with speaker after speaker enthralling us with their experiences, videos, pictures and life lessons… during a break, we went out exploring the Product stalls… Met Balaji Lakshmanan[part of F4 gang] and is an IIT student, robotics expert who was showcasing a robot he had created… Next to him stood a small guy, who wasnt fluent in English, but had invented a machine that wowed us… This was a device that he says will detect mobile phones when they are in silent mode… He has pitched to Egmore Jail and they have expressed interest. Said he hadnt gone ahead marketing it as he was waiting for funding…. !! Was so overwhelmed…. 
The guy in red shirt in the middle…the one in suit is Balaji Lakshmanan
For those interested, the videos/speeches will be up on TEDx website shortly… you can however read the blogs posted live on TEDx blog There is also an interesting post made by an attendee, Venkatesh on yourstory
It was one awesome experience- not only did i manage to attend the conference, share the expereince, i also managed to take home some lessons as well.. …. And i did get some cool feedback from those present and others on my tweets.. Looking fwd to more such opportunities….
 The entire social media team- Bloggers.. tweeters… photographers!

A weekend well spent… 

Group Pics Courtesy the Photographers at the event…
Others: Me!! Shall upload others i had taken and share link

Always a 1st time

Today was yet another 1st! I attended an event as a Live Tweeter!! Yep, that is the power of social media for you.. TEDx is happening in Chennai tomorrow at IIT Campus and today there was a trial run followed by a TEDx workshop! 

Was at the venue from 11am enjoying the experience… A chance to meet some interesting people, fellow bloggers and twitter friend who I finally met! Sharing the events as they happened on twitter parallely gaining bit of insight into TED I am now looking fwd to tomorrow…. 

[Skywatch Friday] The Sailor rests

Everytime i visit the Elliots beach, Besant Nagar, am drawn to the Karl Schmidt Memorial that stands alone near the ocean… The memorial seems to tell a different story at different times of the day… Curiosity got the better of me and i started digging, asking people on what this memorial was…. 
Discovered that the Schmidt Memorial at Elliots Beach is a memorial for Karl Schmidt, a Dutch Sailor who lost his life while rescuing a drowning swimmer…. 


 
Beautiful and majestic
Alone and forlorn
The memorial stands strong….
A shelter for many
A hideout for some
Perfect spot to watch the sunrise
Get a glimpse of the sunset
From across miles, 
The memorial catches my eye…

For more beautiful skies, visit Skywatch Friday

Have a lovely weekend all!! :-)