Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Get Back in Shape - Part 1: my selfimposed challenge to lose 6 kgs in 30 days!

oh yeahh!!! that's where you're headed with that diet and laziness plan!
Have you ever put on some unwanted weight?
A sabbatical from work and gymming. A travel across a country that's over-run with delicious cuisines. And an addiction to KFC and MCD. I did it all together and what i got was a grand bonus of 10 kgs - that gradually replaced my six pack abs with what a friend refers to as THE MONO AB(classic in its reference to the amoeba :P). the ultimate ab. The family pack. Or as i simplyfy it - the FLAB.

At a godzilla size of 72 kgs, i've now begun this mission to bring it down to 62 kgs again. But i hate slow and steady. so i decided to go extreme and challenge myself - of that arises my Kamikaze challenge - to lose 6 kgs within 30 days!!!
I have done it before. but this time there's a major obstacle called the NEW YEAR EVE standing right between my 30 days! (and damn im gonna be in goaaaa!!!!!!)

So anyways, here's a step by step breakdown of my routine for this thirty days. (i'll be updating this very article from time to time in case of revisions to or failure of my routine.)

Step 1: Conditioning Workouts
rest assured, im gonna be putting my body through hell. and unlike women, i hate losing muscle mass when im losing weight - which is what typically happens if you follow an ONLY CARDIO (running, cycling, swimming, skipping, aerobics, spinning) routine to lose weight.
So what im doing is getting back to the basics of martial arts - using body conditioning workouts. these workouts are basic enought to be done anywhere, tough enough to maintain the muscle, and rigourous enough to burn the fat right back to hell!
You'll find a plethora of conditioning workouts on the web. but here is one that i highly recommend - do three repitions of this and then briskwalk/run 7 kms:

PS: the fastest ways to lose weight are skipping, swimming, running/briskwalking, cycling and aerobics/power yoga. though using only these techniques will result is loss of muscle mass - so you'll end up with a thinner but relatively shapeless body.

Step 2: Diet moderation
please note the word MODERATION. Never crash diet coz its the worst thing you could do to yourself. ofcourse crash diets work but they leave you unhealthy, weak and with dark circles under ur eyes. so its pointless to lose weight and look n feel like a zombie.
the trick to lose weight is knowing WHAT you eat. Proteins are your best friends when it comes to losing weight - coz your body CANNOT STORE protein. it uses what it needs and dumps the rest away. Plus, your body also needs more calories to process proteins than any other basic nutrient. And keep the follwing in mind:
1. eat whenever you are hungry. WHY? coz if your body knows that you are starving or not responding to hunger, it will start storing fat!!! you need to cheat you body. Chomp on carrot strips, oranges, cucumber, tomato, black gram and onion salad, lettuce, radish slices and 'sukha bhel' (if ur in india) everytime u feel hungry. Peel a lemon into it. Vitamin c is the best refresher :)
2. eat two proper meals a day coz your body needs nutrition and your tastebuds need satisfaction. BUT dont eat too much. eat 1/4th of the quantity, just enough to kill that temptation :)
3. evn in your proper meals - avoid oily stuff (in fact, run away from oily or deepfried stuff as much as possible)
4. non vegetarians can rejoice as their proper meals can be awesomely full of proteins. take any meat - roast it, grill it, boil it, microwave it - and you have ur low fat, high protein meal ready!
Bt pls note that if you are having a high protein diet when you are doing a weights intensive workout - you'll put on weight (muscle mass).
5. vegetarians can settle for more grams, dals, sprouts and an absolute abstainence from RICE! infact, salads are an awesome option for vegetarians. low fat salad reciepies are available all over the net - use them all!!! :D
6. drink a lot of water - or protein shakes. coz it kills hunger, keeps you feeling full, and flushes out toxins n clears your body. (bt in the later parts, when you want your abs to be visible, cut down on salt and water - coz water retention covers your abs/muscle definition and salt causes water and fat retention)

Step 3: Working Out
This is obviously the most crucial part. coz without pain, there is no gain. or loss in this scenario.
divide your workout into 6 sets. do one set per day.
set 1: conditioning workout + 3 mile run + Chest-Shoulder Tricep workout
set 2: LEG WORKOUT (yeah, no cardio here, coz a good legs workout will kill you anyway)
set 3: conditioning workout + 5 mile walk with weights in your hands + core-obliques workout
set 4: conditioning workout + Back and Bicep workout
set 5: 10 mile walk - forget the gym, just pack a bag with some water and some carrots and maybe a camera and go out n explore your city for 4-5 hours! :) take a friend along if they've got the stamina :)
set 6: 500 skips + full body stretches

- Train as heavy as you can. more muscle trauma = more quality weight loss.
- keep yourself well hydrated at all times.
- avoid machines, use more of free weights and dumbells and try to do as many excercises standing up as possible.

i'm myself at step one as of now. will start step 2 and 3 by day 6 of my routine :)
let me know if you following it. the more, the merrier :)
if you encounter any difficulties, let me know. i'll try to help out any way i can.


PS: this is my progress chart:day 1 - 72 kgs
getting used to the gym after such a long time takes a lot of effort. i tire out within 3-4ks of running!

day 3 - 71.5 kgs

Unexpected deterrent - hospitalised for Typhoid! :(
got hospitalised for typhoid midway: hospitalisation was a bummer - it dropped my weight like crazy, but that weightloss was unhealthy weight loss - so i picked up that weight again as soon as i gt back frm hospital. now its back to low intensity cardio workouts and extremely low cal liquid diet (as im still on medication)

day 14 - 68 kgs
2 more kgs to go, to win my challenge to lose 6 kgs in 30 days :)
have to fight dehydration and weakness as i go along - to stay out of hospital and stay healthy!

day 21 - 69 kgs!!! - Piled on an extra KG!!!
as expected, piled on an extra kilo on the new year weekend!!! need a drastic change in plan to lose the gained kilo and keep up to the promised weight loss.
Back to low calorie diet for a week and Changing workout routine to alternate day UPPERBODY-LOWERBODY workouts:
day 1: 5 kms incline walk + 4 minutes of hell + upperbody
day 2: 3 kms run + 4 minutes of hell + lowerbody

Day 27 - 66.5 kgs! 3 days left and only 500 grams to go!
I could have very well lost that final 500 grams over the weekend with one extra session of cardio/kalaripayattu. But i chose to rehydrate, get some yummy food into the system and enjoy a bit - afterall, im doing this to be healthy, not to just flatten out right? :)
the last 500 grams are gonna be a cake walk with 3 days to go! :)
PS: my six pack.... is backkk!!!! :D

Day 30 - 65.8 kgs! VICTORY!!!!!!!!!
The last two days i pushed myself onto a low water, low salt, basic foods diet and worked out only martal arts work outs (majorly cardio and speed weights). And that did the trick. Quite like a finishing move in Mortal Combat! :P swung my weight right down to 65.8 kgs!!!!!!

to all those who said it aint possible - i've just done it again - A SECOND TIME!


PS: if you too undertake this regime, feel free to keep me updated on your resutls or ask about changes you can make to your regime to suit your bodytype/health :)

Thursday, December 9, 2010

10 music videos that you've got to watch!

As a director, a commercial is too demanding. and a movie is often too expensive. So music videos become the perfect vent for their creativity. It's no wonder some of the best and most long lasting work in the film format has been in the form of music videos.

Here are just 10 of those music videos that i can never forget. some of them maybe outdated today, but when they had hit the screen - they reallly were something! check them out:

1. All is full of love - Bjork
the music video that became the seed for the movie i-robot. i'm yet to meet someone who has not been amazed by this video.

2. Frozen - Maddona
Gothic has never been so seductively classic and peaceful as in this video. right from the selection of the tone of the film to the graphics used for the elements in the film - simply perfect! It is the inspiration for countless commercials across the world even today!

3. OK go - this too shall pass
more than 2 million hits on you tube - this one took the domino effect to a new level. though in this case its a chicken and the egg scenario, coz this video draws its insipration from one of the most tediously made car commericals ever!
OK Go also had another smashing hit music video that made waves on youtube:
thorough their videos they've made one take videos quite an art form of this era!

4. Smells like teen spirit - Niravana
if ever there was proof that simplicity rocks - it was this video. no bizzare shit, no path breaking editing. just plain camera work and great music in sync with each other. Now that's a real ROCKING video! (which btw also explains why this has also been one of the best music video's ever - worldwide!)

5. Thriller - Michael Jackson
Michael dedicated his life to take music videos to another level. most of his videos have been path breaking for their time. none of his producers ever had to argue for budgets. and that shows in his videos - mostly in Thriller. which is the first time ever a MUSIC VIDEO, BECAME A MOVIE!
Rest in peace Michael. I wish i could do a video for you!

6. Only you - Portishead
Chris Cunningham left people confused and amazed with this masterpiece. The technique used for this video was later used for commercials by BMW most notably and about 5 to 6 different brands worldwide.

7. Smack My bitch up - Prodigy
the concept was so gripping for this video that it made first person camera shooting an art in itself. I'm yet to meet a person who's not gone 'oh my god!!!' at the end of this video!
Also worth a watch in the same category is this little piece:

8. Boards of Canada - Dayvan Cowboy
a visually stunning piece of work especially in terms of editing by Director Mellissa Olson. using loads of stock footages and real time videos this classic piece of work was created. It's one of the best 'journey' videos i've ever seen.

9. Hero - Enrique
I really don't know if this video even desrves to be called just a music video. It is so well created that its a mini movie in itself. Complete with a story that moves you - shot in a way that compels you to FEEL the song.

10. Fireflies - Owl City
You know that one video which makes you feel damn!!! why didn't i think of this before!!! this one is it. and its made so simply and beautifully that it grows on you without a crinkle... just like the song.

The Lord of War - Life of a bullet
widely and highly acclaimed as the best movie credits sequence ever, this little piece of film cum music video is a sheer masterpiece of greatness! It's a case of a director's perspective turning over a common 'a day in the life of' essay, into a piece of art!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

6 things worth asking yourself everyday

6. Do you feel awesome enough?
if not - you ought to - do whatever it takes - go binge, pump up that music, jog, jump in a drum full of cold water, meet someone awesommer - do anything! it's what keeps your day alive! If you ain't feeling awesome, how'll you transfer the awesomeness to anyone else??? it's a chain, so don't break it :)

5. Have you done something KICK-ASS at work today?
if not, at least get working on it. everybody's a clone. if you want to be something, you gotto be running that extra mile! or the same mile, in for heck's sake, a style that's characteristically you!

4. Did you make someone believe that 'good exists'?
yeah it seems simple, but seriously, when was the last time you made an effort to make someone's day - without any strings attached. helping random strangers is definitely top-of-the-list in this case.
If you gotta KEEP the faith, you gotta BE the faith.

3. Did you push your boundaries/try something new/do something crazy today?
Imagine this. if you were to have a flashback of your life - what would it be full of? same old 'me too' events that are in every body's life? or a series of things so crazy that they can be only yours! Go ahead - Rock that boat!!! its your own anyways!
PS; but remember that its your own boat - don't puncture it with more holes than you can fill while you are rocking it. if you do, be prepared to drown or be stranded on a MAYBE not so awesome island neways :P

2. Have you hurt someone intentionally?
senti part. yes. its important to be a jerk yet not be an asshole. it's a fine line. if though you find yourself answering YES to this question, make it up to that person. or at least apologize honestly. it's the least you can do. It won't make you any better or worse. It's something you just gotto do.

1. Have you loved someone/anyone enough?
Life's short. Seriously. even if you ask someone who's lived a hundred and ten years, or someone who's dying of AIDS at age 10. And the one that has the capability to turn each moment into a piece of eternity, is love. It's all you've got against time. so make the most of it. Love - like crazy, like insane, like totally. and keep no expectations - it's not a trade. Tomorrow's a new day :)

Pushkaraj Shirke

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

God of War 2: a peek into the future of Interactive cinema

There are Legends and Myths. There are Tales and Movies. And there are Games.And THEN, there is the GOD OF WAR series - especially GOD OF WAR 2 - that combines them all in a way that you just can't get enough of it!

Cory Barlog, the writer behind the game has so intricately woven the Greek mythos with his story that it is difficult to judge whether the two are the same or not! Given a person with a not so strong background in Greek mythos, one would actually believe the game to be the story of KRATOS. The gruellingly pleasurable experience that this game has offered my artistic senses needs to be etched out one piece of a time. So let the justice be done.

KRATOS: An anti-hero protagonist, a character artwork straight from hell!
He is powerful, ruthless, power hungry and relentless. Yet you find yourself feeling empathetic towards him. You get drawn into his character. In fact, the character has been so well developed that in spite of his evils, it’s his humane strain that calls out to you through all the layers. EFFORTLESSLY.

Kratos, the son of Zeus in Greek mythology, and his most obedient servant in reality takes on a total turn in the game. Here he is absolutely resentful of the gods, against zeus and will rebel against all forms of authority. But this shift has been brought around with so much conviction through the story – that it becomes the new truth for you.
You are dragged into his evils, to feel his betrayals. You join him on his merciless journey of vengeance to avenge the wrongs done to him. You feel the need for ruthlessness as you step into his ungodly, ash covered skin in the game.
That’s character creation. And what an amazing example of one – Kratos.

God of War – The graphic art of the movie making you can interact with!

You watch a movie – its one way. You read a book - its one way. You watch a piece of art – its one way. BUT WHEN YOU PLAY THIS GAME – its an overwhelming interactive experience!You are the story – you are the movie – you are the character – you are the action.

It doesn’t stop there. The art of the game makes it even more engrossing. An absolute audio-visual treat. Simply check out the range of detailing and imagination that has gone into each one of these scenes and characters, and you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about.

After Max Payne, God of War seems like the next big thing to have raised games to the level of a new art form to me. And maybe if we keep our fingers crossed and our hopes high, this’ll soon be the norm.

Entertainers, are you listening?????

A trailer of GOD OF WAR 3 - a preview to the awesomeness that it is:

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Who the Fuck is Barrack Obama?

Aditi Kamble Today, Bom ATC transfers only our aircraft to 'special frequency'. ATC: "Kingfisher xxxx, turn left heading 310 due 'reciprocal traffic'". After complying, frequency unusually silent, few seconds later...."Mumbai Control, Good afternoon! Air Force One FL330" (OMG, so freakin' COOL!!) :DSaturday at 6:47pm via iPhone · Comment ·LikeUnlike · View Feedback (29)Hide Feedback (29)Aditi Sulke, Aditi Kamble and 14 others like this.

This and a gazzilion other tweets and facebook updates go gaga over this Mr. Obama every day. Oh! he's in my colony. Oh! he is so great! oh he is so cool! oh~! he's gonna fucking change the world!
Change the world? my ass!

does anyone take a moment to look into this paper dummy called Barrack Obama?
let's rewind to the time frame in which he became president and things might get a little clearer.

A few years back.
America, the country that has built its entire economy with its war machines and war mongering takes war to Afghanistan and the middle east. Its lust for oil is becoming obvious to the world. The 'war against terrorism' farce is losing belief. The war is back firing with deaths of innocent american soldiers everyday that it continues. Afghanistan is literally ass raping America. Public hatred against the country is at its peak. Not only across the country, but even in america itself. THAT CALLS FOR A MAJOR INTERVENTION!

'Damn', they say, we need to do something drastic. We need to pacify these guys. We need to dope them! Let's give these people the greatest drug in the world - and you know what that is? its not cocaine, its not grass, its HOPE!

"so what do you say we do?" ...
"well, how about something drastic."
"like what?"
"let's see... we need to unite america... so we shouldnt antagonise the african american people anymore... we need muslim votes and sympathy... so there's got to be a muslim angle... and its got to be something america has never done or seen before... we need ...... a scapegoat president and a replacement that fits in all our angles!"
"how about this guy... some barrack osama...errr.. obama or something like that"
"who's that?"
"i dunno... nobody does..... but hey, that's the point. we get a clean slate. we can create his image in the media. he's black and he's muslim.... and he can read the teleprompter pretty well"
"ah! and as for the media - the people know only what they see on tv and read in the paper!!! we can fund his campaigns and make him president - call the PR dept right away... call for a press con"
six months later, america and the world rejoices at the triumph of a man nobody had even heard about before. and doesent even bother to question why.

2010. Barrack Obama visits India.
Idiots all around are freakking out. for what??? What has he done???
lets see - pakistan is an openly terrorist funding state... and he is diplomatic about it.
people go gaga over the statment that he loves vada pav and koli dance... what shit? i'm yet to meet a pesident who visits a foregin country where he is pushing his vote bank and says "wht shitty food and dance you have here!" of course he loves it. its his fast depreciating vote bank. the Hope drug is wearing off!

How many of all those people who go gaga over Obama know anything concrete that he has done?
Obama is just a PR brainwashing exercise. and I hope people see it soon.
but even as i do hope that, i wonder would it make any difference at all. people will still be the same. willing to clutch at every morsel of hope thrown at them. for as much a paper dummy obama might have been, atleast it has been an excuse for america to do some good for a few people here and there.
Somewhere, i just hope this farce stays up - only for the fact that the families of the people who died in america's oil lust war feel a little better, only for the hope that saddam's murder is in some miraculous way will some day be justified, only for the reason that in someway the 'you hide my ass, i'll hide yours' world politics of terrorism and terrorism funding will feel threatened.

So.... who the fuck is Barrack Obama?
I'd really like to know. I'd really like the world to know.

BTW... just how much money do you think it takes to run an ADVERTISING CAMPAIGN like this to promote OBAMA:

and again btw, all the financial reforms he promised, only 2-5 % of them actually happened - you know why? coz its still the corporations that control america. Not Obama - he's the puppet.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Bye Bye Bombay - a note to my mumbai folk

Bombay. Yes, Bombay, not Mumbai, is the city i grew up in... or well, i rather tried growing up in. for 25 years now. Yellow lights, cutting chai, vada pava and katta moments... local trains, big red buses, marine drive, bollywood... ramzan at haji ali, christmas at bandra, ganpati-dancing on the streets and insance clubbing nights... there's so much to this awesome city!!! and its all within me now.
But what's the most awesome part of this city, are the people here.
I've travelled across the entire country and i can say this with absolute conviction - the people of my city are the awesomessst people in the country. It's what makes Mumbai incredible.
And what's the best part? my favouritessst people on the planet, are some of the most awesome people within this city of awesome awesome people! :) (yes i've been prescribed an awesome overdose)
This note, is for them.

poorabiei love you.
momChillax amma! One traaaas you are! I know your astrologer said I’ll die this year or the next – but hey, at least I’ll have died doing everything I wanted to. Except winning that goddamn Oscar! Crap! (bt trust me, I’m working on it ;))
dadWe shall party in Bangalore ;)
You are awesome dad. I owe my simplicity and utter honesty to having a dad like you.
snowy. ashmi. swati. and every girl I’m protective of.Two pieces of advice.
One. Though wrong, life is much easier if you start with the prejudice that “all guys are assholes”. More often than not, it is true. Anyone gives you traas, just give me call, breaking a guy’s jaw and restructuring someone’s facial geography always tops my priority list over anything else. I’m just one flight away.
Two. Study, learn and work hard. If your self esteem and friends circle depends on your achievements, knowledge and talents, it lasts much longer and is much stronger than if it depends on how cool/hot/beautiful you are.Most of the “oh I’m so hot and oooh I’m a babe” chicks from college often end up with marriage as the only serious career option. Apart from ofcourse bartending, waitressing, running behind casting directors, and indulging is escapist alcoholism.
Baaki notes, break ke baad.
gahhh! don’t irritate me. go pack your bags.
phalo phulo, sada suhagann raho :P you are by far the stupidest girl i know – stupid in a naive sense. You don’t realize your own value and are happy just letting others take decisions for you – partly so that you can say that they did that not you – but trust me, eventually, every decision, is yours and yours alone.
Be awesome. Coz you are.
don't worry too much, you'll be just fine. i've been your knight in not-so-shining armor so far, and belive me, 1200 kms dosent call for my resignation from that job :) call me from time to time. and take care.
ketak and sanjeevFatte aur mallu! Banglore jaa raha hoon, swargvaas mein nahi – aur waise bhi, wahan bhi gaya toh bhi bc bhoot bankey tumhaari to maarta hi rahoonga.
Ketak, assure your dad, don’t conflict him – put yourself in his shoes and think. Things will fall in place. And he will let your balls be yours again (someday :P). Tu hamaara tattoo baba hai yaar, chill maar.
Sanjeev, nariyal tel bech tu saaley! Tereko jitni gaaliyaan doon kamm hai. Grow some balls. Or borrow ketak’s if he gets them back. Bastard.Miss you guys man!
By far my best artie ever! You, my darling, are awesome! Always remember the note I wrote you and keep away from stupid people. You are way too naïve and talented to be stuck amongst assholes.
PS: we’ll keep doing our abstract and random art projects together, so fikarrr not J
lishoy and pankajharamzaado! Mere Art partners ho, dost ho, par sabsey badhkar…. ek number ke kameeney ho saalon! You guys, have ruined it for my future workplace buddies! You guys have set the standards so high, it will be difficult to find friends like you at any workplace in the world! Lishoy’s ‘desktop mandir’ and ‘ask the pankazzz’ episodes at Ogilvy….. damn I’ll miss it yaar!
PS: Keep the “kyaaa baaat hai!” episodes going. I’ll try n do the same till we meet again ;)

samrat and kavish. and charles.
Advertising is a fucking parasite pool. You do eventually find awesome people in it too. But you never expect to find them through such randomly bizzaare ways! I don’t even remember how and when we became friends, but I’m glad we did, coz u guys are awesome.
Samrat, you are the shit man! Awesomeness, creativity, simplicity and genuineness – you are sarvagunna sampanna dude! I know you’ll be rocking the advertising planet at every award show. And fikkarr not, I’ll be right there too ;)
Kavish – kameeney, tujheyy dhanno banaakey bhagaaney ka plan to cancel ho gaya, parr darr mat, tujhey diet aur work out mail kar doonga. You’ve got the personality dude – you are the REAL kung fu panda! Bring the Dragon warrior to Bangalore sometime!
charie - keep doodling man. i'm gonna buy all your coreldraw doodles and make a billion bucks outta them one day! love your art and your mallu cool vibe! :)

no matter how much we drift apart, you know I love you baby. You are the bumbling little happy gnome in my life J and I’ll be by you whenever you need me J I’m maybe moving cities, but don’t forget, I rule this planet ;)
damn your happiness is addictive! It’s bizarre how I know you and yet I don’t know you. Like at all! I don’t even know why you are on this list! But coz you are, I might as well tell you to keep your happy vibes flowing – it feels like vodka in the air J
sriram, kshitij, ramu, sumay, goldie, siddharth evam mere school ke adhik haraamzaadotum saaley toh contact mein rahogey, chaahey jahan bhi jaaoon. See you in Bangalore bastards.
rohon nag
……..Tollywood? ya
Hollywood? Decide karr, phir bataa ;) Oscar toh jeetna hi hai whattefuck! No matter where we go.
Jay. and akshayJam karney mein kyaa jaata hai… bangalore is the music city neways. Just catch a fucking weekend bus and get there. I’m taking my guitar along JPS: jay, hope pick a career that gives you creative liberties or a career that gives you more than enough monies to pursue your creativity. You’ve got more talent than 5 creative morons put together (as seen in THE image)! Make the most of it J
life is short, make it count. Exploit that talent. use that camera. click some pictures. or you’ll end up forgetting why you purchased it in the first place!
menekaIf I had a foolishness meter – you’d break it! I’ve never seen anyone being so full of potential and yet so foolish at the same time. BTW, when I call a person foolish, it’s a compliment. I’m a fool too. It’s coz u don’t wear any masks. You are honest. And all non foolish people in the world know that the first to be victimized, are always the honest. And it’s up to you to understand that the first prerequisite to being honest, is being strong. Don’t let idiots and fairweathers worry you. You are awesome (and awesomely mad) and you know it J
prafulWe are people endowed with the awesomeness to make great shit happen – and with such awesome power comes awesome responsibility. So haraami, jo hi karegaa, contact mein reh!
keep clicking dude. hope to see your work get even better with time. we'll stay in touch. even if it's across cities.
PS: did you know what's according to me, the most amazing thing the buddha ever said - "don't take life too seriously" :)
you just somehow stuck together. If I look back, I find it amazing how we’ve been friends for so long! And despite the long chats we’ve had, if there one thing I need to tell you – is to let yourself be awesome.
varshaaiyyo! u came to my land. now i go to your land. but yet, we are on the same to same planet, so don't the worries... we'll soon cross paths again :) and let me know how your illustrations and independance is going from time to time :) fessshbookkk helps :)
from being a person who absolutely hated me, to being one of my best friends – we’ve come a long way J Just want to tell you that you really need to make that switch – you are a writer/creative person inside. The monotonous you is just the self-perception you’ve learnt to accept with time. It ain’t the real you. Go out there and write a killing!
sara, nihal and payaldarn! we don’t stay in touch neways. But for all i know, you guys no matter how much time and space, marriage and jobs, and studies and escapades drift us apart, you guys are my friends. Will always be.
thank you for your patience. And your knowledge. You’ve been quite an awesome teacher. I owe my copy monster status to you in a biggg, circled with a pencil way J
vaishakhi and mr. makhijathe two people whose wise counsel give me my invisible invincibility cloak. You have been my two most amazing bosses ever. No matter where I am, its you I’ll always look up to J (and to my juniors, I’ll try to be atleast half as good a boss as you’ve been to me J scoldings, and evil ‘I’m so going to kill you pushkar!’ stares included)
manoshimy favouritesssst one and a half persons on this planet. What do I tell you? I can say I wish you find allllllll the happiness in this world. But actually, its pointless, coz I know you always will - coz I’ll be there kicking fate’s ass to keep it coming your way. always.PS: the tattoo, shot gun and the harley davidson bike with the ball chopper accessory deal is still on.

As i've often said... i'm not the kind to miss places and institutions and groups and companies, my attachments are purely to my people. and the best part about that is, no material distances can ever separate them from you :)

so goodbye, but no goodbye :)
love ye, awesomely awesome people of my awesomely awesome mumbai. Let's amke sure we keep this planet rockkinnggg! :D

-Pushkaraj Shirke

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

a monkey's guide to India (a summary of my road trip on the north south axis of India)

a diary illustration of my entire bike-trip from north to south india and the adventures and sights on the journey
this is a fairly concise summary of my wanderings across India on my insane travel quest. These are just my experiences, so please do not entirely believe them until you've experienced the same/or different on your own. cheers!

pangong lake - ladakh (Kashmir) 
Most incredible state in North India: KASHMIR
without a doubt the most scenic, most culturally inspiring, most photogenic place in India. The extreme climate may be a hassle for some, but the experience makes it all worth it. Good food, goood dope and even goooooder (read whacked out) roads to bike on. Living is cheap, food is nominal and travel is expensive - but if you have a bike, wear your sunscreen and have a good pair of glares and maybe a tent, you'll never forget this place in 10 lifetimes!!!

fluttering colourful prayer flags at the Leh palace
Most incredible state in the South India: KERALA

a lull, floating ride through the backwaters
scenic beaches, winding roads, white mist soaked hills, endless forests and sprawling backwater canals - it looks as if god put the best of everything into this one place! Definitely God's own country by all means. food you wont tire stuffing yourself with, getting healing ayurvedic massages, learning deadly ancient martial arts, riding elephants and rowing canoes - this is one places that lets you do it all - and it's dirt cheap!!! what more could you ask for??? 
kovalam beach - a sunset in heaven
MUSTHAVE foods in India
Jaipur-Jodhpur: Amritsari Naan with Sarson da Saag.
Mcleodgang (himachal pradesh): Momos and Thukpa (i know u get it all over india but trust me its nothing like this)
AndhraPradesh and Karnataka: Dum Biryani!!! yummmmm on the road sides :) bad in hotel. pls remember that.
Tamil-Nadu: Roadside MUTTUDOSAS (egg dosaa) - its the most filling and yummy 12 ruppee snack !
Kerela: Meen Polichatu and Karimeen Moleee..... yummmy fissshhyy foooodddddd :D
Goa: a beef steak and a tandoor/roast red snapper is my best bet on the beach shacks - its the ambiance that does it in i guess :)
i'd rather hog king coconuts than eat the food of k.k
Worst food in India: at KANYAKUMARI (Tamilnadu) 
talk about characterless food, and its here. they don't have a menu of their own - its stolen form all over india and prepared in their own version of it!!!! i ate chips and peanuts for 2 days that i was here!
heavenly sunset in kanyakumari - the saving grace

me at the vivekananda memorial/thiruvallur statue at kanyakumari (TN)
 The most boring state: Tamilnadu
why?????? coz according to their govt, every second temple is advertised as a tourist must visit destination - and besides temples, they practically have nothing!!! and even if they do, there'll be a temple right in the middle of it!!! the worst part is, all the temples are similar in architecture. yes they amaze you, but once you've seen 5, you've literally seen them all! add to that the fact that you ain't the religious type, and you are as bored as a walking zombie.

thiruvallur statue at sunset - kanyakumari
The state with the most shamelessly corrupt cops: KARNATAKA!!!!!! shocked??? I had also thought that Delhi would win hands down - but as a friend of mine put it across flawlessly: "cops in karnataka are so corrupt that for the right price, they'd screw their own mothers! for a little more, they'd let you join in too!"
despite having all papers in place i was pointlessly detained in 2 places in karnataka.
30 kms away from jog falls for 3 hours, they stop me and ask for papers. on seeing that i have all papers the cop says that my PUC certificate is not valid in Karnataka as it is yellow in colour and i need a BLUE one. They insist i pay a fine. I refuse. Then they play good cop bad cop and a chamcha cop asks me to settle the matter with a little money (read bribe). on refusing again, they all start talking to me in kannada as if they cant speak hindi or english and try to scare me into paying a fine. i refuse, pull up my bike, take out my sleeping bag and camp right there. 2 hours later, they miraculously all speak hindi again and even abuse in it!! and then they try giving me a lecture on ethics and value of time!!
another half hour later when they see that i wont pay a bribe, they return my papers and let me go.

even the lizards of tamilnadu are more co-operative than the cops of karnataka!
 WHAT MAKES THEM THE WORST? the fact that mumbai and delhi cops are corrupt with a sense of shame, they know what they are doing is wrong. Karanatak cops do it as a matter of pride!!! the car had a fine collection side and a bribe collection side - a derelict plastic bag was shabbily propped up on a seat to put in all the bribe money as if were santa claus's booty bag!
PS: i did get their Info - the cop was wearing his badge in a way that i couldnt read the name but he said his name was circle inspector Sagara.... and the patrol car they were in was registered KA 14 G 725.

should have taken this keralite elephant (beenu)
to help me traverse the roads of maharasthra!
Worst Roads in India: MAHARASHTRA travel on the roads of maharastra and you'll know exactly what i mean. back breaking madnesss! broken roads, gravel, dust, dirt, insects flying at your eyes, sweltering heat..... phewwwww! I know the geography of the region and the coastal belt erodes roads faster, but dont tell me the state that houses some of the best minds in the country and the economic capital of the country dosent have the mental and financial resources to solve the problems!!! if only you bastardly politicians had the time to look at management more than stuffing your own pockets!!!!

The theft, rape and crime capital of India: DELHI
all you have to do is board a metro looking like a tourist, or answer a call on a swanky phone at a bus-stand or walk a road alone at night and you'll discover it for yourself. visit a police station and look at the crime record board. it'll make you feel like a statistics professor or something. stolen phones, stolen wallets, mugging, drugging, house break-ins, conning, assault - its all there. seems like a crime menu of sorts - as if you can pick your own gourmet crime experience for a price. luckily, i just had my phone stolen in the metro.

biking haven- open roads, deadly rides J&K
Most amazing bike route in North India: Manali - Keylong - Leh Bike through rocks and mountains, landslides and snow slides, snow and rivers and streams, dust and gravel,amazingly clear mettaled roads and roads you'd need a compass to know the way on. the scenery is of-course a bonus to all this. The painful skin peeling sun burn you are likely to suffer, also tottally worth it.

allepy-periyar-munnar : the smoothest curves ever!
Most amazing Bike route in South India: Aleppy - Periyar - Munnar
If this route was a woman, i'd fall for her downright, left and centre. the most incredibly smooth and eye-grabbing curves any one could ask for. add to that mist so think that you only see white and grey, pepper in a few sudden bursts of lush greens and endless stretches of cultures tea plantations, sprinkle in a few encounters with snakes and elephants, stroke it with challenging muck fields and bumpy backwater roads and you have the ride you were looking for. what a babe... errr, i mean place!

kovalam beach lighthouse
Best Beach In India: KOVALAM (KERELA) Scenic beach, waters so clear you can see the fish and jelly fishes swimming in the water, no crappy public, deep shoreline to swim in (unlike most beaches which are more sand and less water), great surf to ride the waves and amazing art shops all around. cheap as hell and thank heavens not yet discovered as a major tourist place!!!! Im so so soooo going here at every chance i get!!!!

Shiva must have his presence in TN religion.
But the bum bole dopie crap rules Karnataka
 Best place for Drugs in India: KARNATAKA
i don't think i even need to explain why. its no wonder all the concerts in India are held in Bangalore. With corrupt cops running the state, hash, weed, mushrooms, ecstacy, heroin... you name it, its all available here. if you are a junkie, my darling, here you are in heaven.

a kalaripayatt performer blazes rings of fire with a staff
Most tourist friendly state in India: KERELA i considered quite a few parameters before deciding this. what struck it in is the massive absence of irritating touts in the state!!! unlike everywhere in India, they don't pester the shit out of you for a room, massage, this, that. tour, travel etc. they let you be! phewwww! what a relief that is!
secondly, even the waiters here speak atleast basic english and hindi along with their native language - which is a blessing if you have recently suffered TamilNadu.
and last but not the least, the modesty of the place is stunning. nothing is over hyped. Everything, every place, every place is aptly described and well worth every penny you pay for it. If you are a traveller, this state is the state you ought to travel in to really enjoy a journey.

planned a route on a road map, tracing off shoots from the golden quadrilateral. read up some suggesstions from the lonely planet - which is by the way the best travel assist ever. and then it was time for me and my bike to take off.
I could just keep writing this for hours and days and days together!!! so i think i'll just wrap this here. go out, grab a vehicle or just hop a bus or train and chase a unicorn around the country. you'll most probably find it sooner or later. or even if you don't you'll have experienced a country like no other - so diverse, so beautiful, so corrupt and yet so amazingly touching that you'll never be the same again. EVEN with or without the unicorn you were chasing :)

to living to the fullest,
Pushkaraj Shirke

NOTE: all illustrations and images have been created/clicked by me. in case you need any, i have RAW images of them all.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Tata Photon - a consumer's nightmare!!!!

Pushkaraj Shirke i purchased a TATA PHOTON connection from TRISHALA MARKETING. When i called just dial for a photon connection, these touts from trishala came over promising me a good deal. they sent their servicemen to deliver it to me, collect cash and collect address proof from me.
within one day the connection was disconnected.

said it was cause the address proof was incorrect. i had specified when i purchased it that i had moved to a different house, which address proof they would have to collect the next day. they never came.
i have called over a hundred times to collect address proof, but no one ever comes despite promises being made.further on when i asked for a refund, they claim to have registered a complaint which according to them takes 7 days to be registered.


Saturday at 2:48pm · · · Flag

    • Tata Photon
      Seems like you've hit a problem spot... could you please provide us with the details of your connection??

      You can either give it to us here or mail it with this issue to 'tatateleserviceslimited[at]'

      we'll escalate your issue as so
      on as our offices open on Monday morning.
      (And thanks for the link to the consumer forum post...)
      Saturday at 2:53pm · ·

    • Pushkaraj Shirke what details do you want?
      i have the useless tata photon device lying at my house for the past three months. 9920394613 is my phone number. give me a call and get it collected from my place asap.

      Saturday at 9:23pm · ·

    • Tata Photon Thank you for your number. Our team will get in touch with you shortly. We'll also need the number of the photon device so we can check against our records to find the issue.

      Saturday at 9:45pm · ·

    • Pushkaraj Shirke the one on the box?
      or the one on the device sticker?

      Saturday at 9:46pm · ·

    • Tata Photon There is a Customer Acquisition Form (CAP) form that you'd have filled when receiving your device. You'll find the Tata Photon number on it. (You may even find it printed on the inside of the box.)
      8 hours ago · ·

    • Pushkaraj Shirke
      i gave all those numbers to the person who called. i got 3 calls in one day. had to explain everything three times to each one of them!!!

      if that's not frustration enough, they ask me to go to a shop in lokhandwala and give the details there
      again and check the status of my complaint - and i do that after waiting in lin.... and the counter girl tries to bloody cross sell a pre paid connection to me!!!

      on top of that she tells me that my complaint was not registered earlier, so now i will have to re-register it and i will get only 2300 rs back from the 2500 rupees i paid - why??? because 200 rupees is non refundable activation charge!!!!
      activation charge for a service i never used?????? for a fault you guys made in hiring people who'll sell just for the sake of selling irrespective of whether you can or cannot deliver the promised service???

      i refused to submit my device and walked out of that place.
      i think i deserve my full money back and more - for all the 100 calls i had to make, for travelling to the shop over and over again and for facing months of useless inaction from you guys!
      25 minutes ago · ·

    • Pushkaraj Shirke in any case, here are all the numbers:
      MEID: A1000005006992
      pESN: 801FFC93
      S/N: Z49MAB1011203982

      6 minutes ago · ·

A Compilation of My Fitness Photography Work

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