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31st March 2007 :: Flywheel

Finally the weekend is here. This week was a little hectic and the weekend is not looking good either. I have to take care of a few things over the weekend as well. I am also going to do some experiment with lights. I am trying to see what can be achieved using the kind of lighting available in every home like a CFL lamp and an umbrella to reflect it. I will have to try it when there is not too much light outside. Let's see what comes out of it. I hope you will appreciate this break from Aussie notes.

30th March 2007 :: Returning Heroes of World War II
Returning Heroes of World War II

This is the last shot of Australian currency, at least for some time. I do have some other good shots but I will post them later as it is getting a little monotonous. From Monday I am planning to post some pictures of Manu so stay tuned.

29th March 2007 :: The Million dollar idea
The Million dollar idea

I was roaming around the city with my friend Lance and I had just completed my studies. I was looking for a million dollar idea “The only thing that comes to mind is invest in a gun and rob a bank.” I told him and then he gave me an idea that I find was really cool. “Better still is to rob a bank and leave counterfeit notes in the safe replacing the original ones and do it in a way that no one suspects anything. The next morning, the bank itself will be circulating the counterfeit currency.”

28th March 2007 :: Let's print our own money
Redefining plastic money

“Hey Christopher, got a million dollar idea. Why don't we print our won money.”
“Very good Manuel, why not?”
“OK, we will print these hundred dollar bills.”
“But Manuel, these Aussie dollars are made of plastic. The cost of making a counterfeit note would be quite high and we would be left with very little profit”
“So what do we do?”
“I Know. Why don't we print US dollars?”
Check out Mental Floss for more on this.

27th March 2007 :: Redefining plastic money
Redefining plastic money

An environmentalist Aussie goes to Safeway and buys some organic food and goes to the check out counter. The checkout clerks asks him what kind of bags would he prefer.
“Paper or plastic”
“Paper, please. Plastic is not environment friendly.”
The question of paper and plastic was raised again when he asked the gentleman how he would prefer to pay. “Paper”. He said and took out a note of 50 dollars.
The clerk takes it “polypropylene polymer, so you are not so averse to plastic after all.”

26th March 2007 :: Pile of Money
Pile of Money

Won't it be really nice if this was indeed a pile of money and you were sitting on top of it. This is one of the shots of Australian currency I mentioned yesterday, more will follow soon. I was in Australia seven years ago and when I see the currency today, it is exactly the same as it was back then while in India it has changed many time over since then.

25th March 2007 :: Plug'n'play

Usually I would have taken a shot with the USB drive in focus but this shot was not very easy as there was not enough light and I was in quite an uncomfortable position to take this. Still I am resonable happy with how this has come up. I have taken a few shots of the Australian currency fora project I am working on and you will be seeing them here in the coming week.

24th March 2007 :: Ghanti Baj Gayi
Ghanti Baj Gayi

If you take your camera and go out, you will see enough things to photograph. This is the bell of an old bicycle in my building's staircase. Like anything else made of iron or steel, it is rusted. Bombay has red as it's favourite colour when it comes to iron specially in the monsoon. The rust starts like measels in Tom and Jerry cartoons. After the first rainfall, you can actually count the tiny red dots popping up before the whole thing goes red like this.

23rd March 2007 :: Crouching Peeping tiger
Peeping tiger

There was a wire mesh on the windows of the Tiger Safari bus so it was safe to let Manu sit at the window seat. I wanted to take some pictures so I also took the window seat behind him. Here he is looking at me through the gap between the seat and the handle above it, waiting for the bus to start.

22nd March 2007 :: “Go away, I am trying to take a nap”
Go away, I am trying to take a nap

“Hey buddy. Wanna pose for me.”
“Oh yeah why not? After all that is the only KRA I have...why don't you take a hike and take pictures of that useless leopard chasing monkeys.”
“Come one, just one picture”
“Get lost, I am realy tired”
“Don't tell me. Even in wild you lions are resting for 20 hours a day and on an average day a male lion only moves to eat or to shag...”
“Now will leave on your own or you want me to chase you all the way to Serengeti.”

21st March 2007 :: So these big cats are called Lions
So these big cats are called Lions

Meow Meow means cat is Manu's language and badi si meow meow (a really big meow meow) is a Lion. This is what he tells me when I ask him what he saw in the Sanjay Gandhi National Park the other day. I don't think there was any need or point in trying to explain what a Lion is and how magnificient and regal it is as none of those qualities were manifested here. Here he really is a little more than a domesticated meow meow.

20th March 2007 :: Aapka chehla mele liye lucky hai
Aapka chehla mele liye lucky hai

The ad of Pears soap has a girl looking for her mother before opening her eyes in the morning and when she did find her, she tells her that it is her exam and her mom's face is lucky for her. Now a lot of people may see that ad and say “Cho chweet” or “Oooooh, soooo cuuute” but I have a completely different response. I would be scared, damn scared if I had a daughter like her who at the age of 4 knows how to manipulate her parents so well.

19th March 2007 :: Pears

Take the soap under the tap, work up some lather, rush and put the soap in the place, rush back to the washbasin, wash the soap off hands, wipe the hands dry, pick the camera and take the shot. By the time I am ready to take the shot, a lot of bubbles have burst. Maybe I need to try this shot once again when Mira is there to help me. The idea for this shot came when I was giving Manu a bath one day, I realised that the lather makes the soap look good when you have just opened a new bar. Opening the new bar reminds me of the soap ads. In those ads, everyone taking a bath always opens a new bar of soap. If everyone is opening a new bar of soap, what do they do with the old one? Do they keep bathing till they have used up all the entire bar of soap or they throw it away after using it once?

18th March 2007 :: Lipstick #2
Lipstick #2

Quite an eventful weekend. On Saturday we went to Sanjay Gandhi National Park and Kaneri caves and today we bought a new TV set. Manu has been quite excited by all of it. He enjoyed himself yesterday and is quite happy that now we have a bigger TV. I took a lot of images on our day out and I will be posting some of them soon and I am planning to compile a separate image gallery too.

17th March 2007 :: “Son, One day this mortage will be yours”
Son, One day this mortage will be yours

This is a building under constrution next to our building. The price of a house there is about Rs. 6000/ sq ft. This means that a 2 bedroom house with an area of 1000sq. ft. will cost you 6 millions. To buy a house, an average buyer will go to a bank for a loan and would be repaying it for the next 20 years. All this along with the insecurity of his career in a fast paced and ever changing work field. Now you tell, do you own your house or the house owns you. BTW, the title of today's post is not mine, it is stolen from an ad of an Australian Bank (I think Commonwealth Bank).

16th March 2007 :: “Lipstick is for girls”
Lipstick is for girls

Quite intuitively the kids know what they have to do and who they have to follow. Earlier Manu used to take off Mira's bindi and put it on his forehead. Now he doesn't do that. He would like to get his hand on Mira's lipstick but he won't put it on his lips, just crushing it or using it as a crayon is what he would like to do. On the other hand, he wants me to spray some deo on his shirt when I am getting ready for woek in the morning, he also wants my shaving brush and razor.

15th March 2007 :: “That's the toilet bowl, not the bath tub you fool.”
That's the toilet bowl, not the bath tub you fool.

“That's the toilet bowl, not the bath tub you fool.”

When I was a child, sparrows used to be the most commonly seen bird around but now their number has gone down quite a bit. While you do see a lot of crows and pigeons, sparrows are not that common. When I was a kid, these little birds would make nest in our home. We had some pictures on the pelmet above the curtains and they used to make nest behind them and everyday we had to clean it up since we were afraid that they could get hurt by the ceiling fans if allowed to nest in our homes. However they were successful in making nests on the cistern in our toilet. I remember once a sparrow that was only a few days old fell in the commode and my dad had to fish it out with a stick and put it back in the nest.

14th March 2007 :: Last Strawberry
Strawberries and a bada sa kaachoo

While I was talking about the things that were not readily available some years ago, I am also reminded of the nomenclature of some of those things. Those names make me feel that China is the land of innovation and a pioneer in agriculture, Broccoli is “Chinese” gobhi (cauliflower); red and yellow capsicums are “Chinese” capsicums, snow peas are “Chinese” peas. Those pink apples are “Chinese” apples, and the deep red ones are “American” apples, the yellow watermelons are “Chinese” watermelons. The vegetable vendors have a tendency of calling every such thing Chinese.Well, talking about food has made me hungry and I am off to lunch. I think I will have a “Chinese” pizza or a “Chinese” sizzler...or maybe I will have a “veg” Hamburger

13th March 2007 :: Strawberries and a “bada sa kaachoo”
Strawberries and a bada sa kaachoo

Chakoo means knife in Hindi but Manu calls it Kachoo, just like almost all other kids. He liked the strawberries, not the taste but how the looked. He took out one from the fridge and gave it to Mira “Mama cut cut cut kar do” (Mom, cut it in small pieces). Later when I was having my breakfast, he was really excited to see the strawberries “Ha! cut cut cut kar diya”

12th March 2007 :: Strawberries

When I was a kid, fruits like strawberries, cherries, kiwi etc were not very common. They used to be available in very few places and they used to be quite expensive. Today a lot of people has seen the potential of these things and have started growing them. There a lot of people growing these fruits as well as other things that were not very common like broccoli, mushrooms, baby corn etc. Now strawberries are cheaper than apples but still they "exotic" tag has still stuck and they are usually sold in cardboard boxes that have a packing of leaves underneath to give an appearance of a greater quantity.

11th March 2007 :: “May I speak to Kaushik Merchant?”
May I speak to Kaushik Merchant?

“May I speak to Kaushik Merchant?”
“Yes, you may if you call his number.”
“Is this his number?”
“No, I am sorry it is not.”
“Can you give me his number?”
“Do you really think I am a telephone directory?”
This conversation may sound rude but not if you get the call while you are sleeping and not just once but about 4-5 times a week. Read more about the phone calls for Kaushik Merchant.

10th March 2007 :: Lotus, our own Phoenix
Lotus, our own Phoenix

I thought I was done with dry lotus images but then I found this image and I like it too much to not post here. This image personifies the nature of the lotus. Every part of this flower is useful, the stem is edible, and the seed head that looks like an old fashioned shower are edible too and the petals of the flower are used for medicinal purpose. Lotus is also the national flower on India and it is symbolic of many things including the ability to stay clean even in mud where it grows as it can grow in the filthiest of the water and still stay spotless clean and white and pure. Another remarkable thing is that the seeds of lotus will still produce flower even if planted 5000 years after they were created. I think this gives the flowers a Phoenix like quality…I guess even Phoenix couldn't have risen from his ashes if it had waited for 5000 years.

9th March 2007 :: Nutritional and healthy
Nutritional and healthy

The pack says nutritional and healthy but I am not sure how a boiled sugar toffee can be healthy. The only nutrition, I guess, it has to offer is calories. It is just like that statement “I am in shape...round is a shape.”

8th March 2007 :: Candy

Manu's cousin gave him a pack of these candies. Manu is a little choosy about what he will eat and he eats chocolates only. He will not eat these candies but is quite fond of getting us to open these for him and they making us eat these. “Papa, tophee khalo” He'd say before shoving these awful candies in my mouth. Now he seems to be bored with them and these are the last few remaining candies, which thankfully I will not have to eat.

7th March 2007 :: One for god, one for my wife and one for a sick friend...
One for god, one for my wife and one for a sick friend...

This is the same flower I posted a day before yesterday from a different angle. I wanted to post the two shots one afte the other but doidn't since I had to post the holi shot yesterday. If you think about it, flowers have a very important and highly regarded place in our lives. Flowers are given to loved ones to people who are sick anmd even to god and I guess the status they enjoy is not quite rightly deserved, what else can you think of that looks so beautiful ever after it is dead.

6th March 2007 :: Hope you had a nice holi
Hope you had a nice holi

4th of March was Holi—the festival of colours. I wanted to post this image earlier but just couldn't. I hope al of you had a nice holi. Manu also enjoyed holi with colours and a water pistol. To read more, see more pictures and videos of holi, visit Mental Floss.

5th March 2007 :: A dry rose?
A dry rose?

No, you are not right. This is not a dry rose but a dry lotus. This flower came from mahalaxmi temple. When it was fresh it was unmistably a lotus but after it dried, it looks more like a dry rose than a dry lotus. Even when it has completely dried, it has not lost it's colours.

4th March 2007 :: Twist

The first time we had beer in Australia, Mandeep asked for a opener from his friend who was treating us. We did not know the concept of a twist top cap at that time but now I feel it is quite a nice one. I don't know why we don't have such caps on beer bottle in India. Any one working in the beverage company would know what sort of means people use to open a beer cap, using their teeth, the bracelet, the lock of the car and what not. The only possible reason I can thing is that maybe they get some sort of sadistic pleasure out of it.

3rd March 2007 :: Last clip standing
Last clip standing

More than three years after moving to Bombay, we have not figured where to get quite a few things for our supplies from. Mira still has not found out from where to buy hair clips and with Manu breaking the ones she has, she has almost run out of hair clips. This I guess is the last decet clips she has.

2nd March 2007 :: Dhoom machale dhoom
Dhoom machale dhoom

Manu is quite fond of my phone so I bought this for him. You can read the story behind this phone and mine in a post with the same title—Dhoom Machale in Mental Floss.

1st March 2007 :: Good coffee, but quite expensive
Good coffee, but quite expensive

I have tried a few drinks, some of them were absolutely awful while some of them were nice. This cold coffee from starbucks was good. It was good but quite expensive when compared to a similar drink by an Indian brand that tastes as good. But that is OK, starbucks is not selling in India and they have not priced their drinks accordingly. If they chose to enter the Indian market, I guess they will price these drinks more economically. These bottles must have been picked up by an importer and sold here. Anway I would anyday prefer an expensive but good drink over an expensive and awful drink. :: Defining Your Blogs Worth: TopSites: