30 July 2009
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Posted By joseph
So what is this blog really?
Well, the funda (as most engineer turned managers turned lost souls like to say) is quite simple. See. We are not celebrities though we have appeared in our own little page 3s on the canteen wall. We are not musicians or turn-tablers though we do have our own fans in the bathroom (crazy cockroach says Hi!). We are not pro writers for any magazine, unless of course “Dog-eared yellow notepad” is counted as a magazine. We do not know anything about wildlife and can’t tell the difference between a vulture and an eagle though we know how to tackle rats and have spotted our share of rabid dogs on urban streets. We are DEFINITELY not race drivers though we’ve won multiple races to the swipe machines to punch in our cards before 9AM. Heck, we are not a lot of things and we’ve already said that in our Pitch here.
So who are we?
A couple of frustrated b-schoolers who have experienced the many joys of life and living for all the 24 years before they started working. Two greenhorns who entered their jobs with such glamorized ideals as “job satisfaction” and ended up giving their hearts and souls to their work. For the past 2 years we have been around most of India to all the four corners, learnt a lot about this massive country and its people - through the eyes of marketers. Learnt to find means of entertainment in every kind of place and come away with stories for everyone to hear. 2 years hence, we find ourselves in vastly different lives from our initial days in the corporate world. I’ve quit the whole corporate side of things completely and joined a design firm named Elephant Strategy + Design while Namrata works as a brand manager for stationary products at a giant ciggie company whose name rhymes with I SEE TEA. We have changed a lot since our carefree campus days, grown a bit cynical in life, learnt more than can fit into a blog post and travelled so much in such short timelines that we’ve lost track of miles, boarding passes and the faithful driver’s names.
We have a wide range of interests between the both of us, but what makes us different is our obsession with detail in each of those interests. What makes us different is that we love our jobs (mostly!) but still want to run away. And that we really just want to hang out, have a great vacation and catch up after a loooong time.
It’s been a seriously long while since we’ve seen each other. No really, see below!
And we are hyper-excited about the auditions too!
...but enough about us, if you want to know more about us, click here.here.
Why Save Our Souls?
Because we’re stuck. In office, in life, and haven’t had a awakening life experience in a while now. Campus-life and the days before were full of random mini-challenges mixed with an ultra-competitive spirit. Work is competitive too and very very engaging but it is just not the same. The fun is not the same, the freedom is not the same, and it sure as hell isn’t as scenic.
Save Our Souls is a message to ALL the office-goers out there, especially the ones who give their all to their work. This is for reclaiming our lives. To ensure that 30 years hence, all our memories are not made up of which business deal we cracked, how many units we sold, how strongly we pitched and how quick we rose up the ladder. This is about awakening our souls, and making immortal memories while we are at it. Of having stories to tell our grandchildren about things more special than what happened in our constrained cubicles.
And we know we are not alone in this thought. There are millions like us out there who feel the same and want their lives back. That’s why this message. We hope to give you enough memories and inspiration from our GDC journey to make you fight to save your souls too. Maybe this is our cause, maybe it is not noble as some, but it is essential. For most of us, its something we don’t even realize as life flies by us. Stop. Think. Reclaim your lives.
Why the Cedia Sports?
This is another question that has come up so many times. Why so many darn photos of this car? Is it only for buttering the organizers? Well?
Because its a car that refuses to stay in the garage, that cannot be left parked, that begs you to take it out on the open road and push itself and yourself to the limit. Because it connects with your soul with its power, torque, handling, gorgeous looks and sheer charm. But mostly because its for the 1-2 hours of bliss when you drive it every weekday; hours that punctuate an otherwise rote office-centered life. For the weekends that need you to leave the 5 days behind and live every moment. And because its the car I own, and utterly love.
As we said, Save our souls is not our cry alone. Share your moments of boredom, inspiration, pain, frustration and enlightenment in office with us; send in a photo of yourself at work too! We’ll feature them here - atleast for the next 3 days. Make this blog yours as well, because it exists only because of you all!
Joe & Namrata
PS 1: Why this post? Only ‘cuz everyone else has put up their claims to fame and purpose of their lives. Its time we found one too!
PS 2: Why IIM Outdoor? ‘cuz its got our college name in it, ensures a certain “captive audience” of all similar bschoolers and that most of them NEED to go outdoor! Plus, its a play on our alma mater where we first met!
30 July 2009
(2) Comment(s) (22)
Posted By joseph
The photo above was shot at 7AM from Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary, 8000ft above sea-level overlooking the Garhwal Himalayas in Uttaranchal. Somedays we’re lucky enough to witness such sights, other days (and mostly everyday) we walk out of our home and head to office not noticing all the little wonders of life that come across our way. Hopefully, the GDC drive will give us the chance to stop and take in all that India has to offer while travelling leisurely - heck, 300-350kms/day is a luxury for such a trip.
So what did I see first thing in the morning? I woke up groggy after all the hectic posting last night and the discovery of a new twist in the tale, trudged out of bed to grab by the newspaper by the gate and look what I see!
Luckily I had my phone with me to capture this. Looks like good ole Gopalbhaiyya has done his job in time today with the cleaning!
And now. It has been just over a week since the Top 12 have been chosen. The activity has been chaotic and addictive to say the least. My job misses me and feels it is not getting enough attention from me. So here’s to a small forced break from TGDC for now for me!
Before I close, there’s a small announcement here: We reached 100 followers just now! I thank the 100th follower (Harini S) for giving us such a great number (99 was always cool but not awesome!)! And I thank each of the 99 others who’ve signed onto this site without us cajoling them or asking them, but just from their own interest. Your participation thus far has been a humbling experience for Namrata and me, and we can’t put into words how elated we are with every new follower, every new mail in our inbox telling us we have a comment and every new like we see our dashboard.
You guys are the REASON we’re here! THANK YOU! Soooo much. We mean it.
Have a good day!
PS: Feel free to download the high-res versions of the photos from the links below them and use them as your wallpapers. They’re all for you only! Of course, scroll down for some wallpapers of the Cedia Sports as well!
PS 2: Sorry for re-posting this, some of the links had broken!
PS 3: I want a PS3! Blu-ray madness! :D
29 July 2009
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Posted By joseph
On Sunday, we watched Hangover - the Las Vegas flick which has the box-offices ringing and the the crowds hollering.
The movie is utterly hilarious, is stupid but witty, stars Heather Graham (since when was that a bad thing?), introduces a ridiculously cute baby and is slickly edited to ensure the pace never slackens. It is also a movie about a bachelor party, a tradition which was unique to the western world till it found it’s way to India a few years back. Bachelor parties are the epitome of comedy movies, everything that can go wrong will go wrong in a place full of drunk guys trying to be at their most immature selves with no care for tomorrow. At its peak, a good slapstick comedy or a good bachelor party will have a moment of sheer brilliance, a joke that leaves you snorting or a conversation about life and its loss to marriage that leaves everyone silent for a moment. Both are unnecessary, completely bacchanalian in nature, possibly dangerous to your health (imagine snorting while eating a slice of hot spicy pizza), best enjoyed with a good group of close guy friends, pure unadulterated fun and lead to unerasable memories.
We also drove up to Tiger Hill, Kamshet in the Cedia Sports (a.k.a Blackhawk). The hill (we are not totally sure of its name, but who cares?) is a hang-gliding point set high above the NH4 and the Mumbai-Pune Expressway. On the way to the hill, we stopped at Rangoli Restaurant for a hot cuppa chai and ended up having ice-cream instead (yes, we’re guys!), we drove past a totally smashed Corolla Altis (thankfully both the passengers were safe), got lost twice and finally ended up meeting our other group of friends in their White Merc E220.
The way upto the peak of the hill is an exercise in madness for someone driving a sports sedan. The path is 2-2.5 metres wide at its widest, it is built with gravel, slush and some remnants of tar thrown in for the mix, shrubs line up on both sides impinging on the path threatening to leave your car with a million scratches and the angles of incline cross 45 degrees at some points. There are times when you feel you are driving into nothing more than a wall of trees until you see the 90-degree-inclined turn hidden at the last moment. By the time we made it to the halfway point for a pit-stop, the Merc’s wiper had completely given up. So we all piled on into one car - 6 of us - and braved the worst.
Which happened. The worst thing that we could do was screw up the clutch. Which we did. Around 300 metres from the top, we ran into a 60deg incline and with 6 of us onboard, the Cedia gave up hope. The clutch started burning, the atmosphere started smelling burnt rubber-y and all of were cursing the other guy about how much weight they’d put on. So 3 of us got down, while 3 of us drove up for the rest. Slowly.
When heaven and earth collide
300 metres later the moment of sheer brilliance hit us, just like in slapstick comedies and bachelor parties. Hard. The peak of the hill overlooks the the curves of the expressway and the cloud-kissing peaks of the Sahyadris; in the monsoons, the view is breathtaking with the dark ominous clouds flying by rapidly driven by the immense wind at the high altitudes. Your breath is taken away both by the sheer brilliance of the view in front of you as well as the crazy wind-speed which literally blasts you in the face. We forgot the rains and ignored the safety of our cameras while we pitched camp to take some shots. In a while, we forgot our cameras as well and just lived the moment. Being up on that hill in that weather is like hitting the sweet spot in a perfectly done roast-lamb or coming across your favorite sitcom moment. In other words, it is awesome and simply cannot be explained using proper metaphors!
As the light faded, we realized that just like good slapstick comedies and great bachelor parties this too was completely pointless if it wasn’t ended quickly enough. So we got angry at each other for not having started earlier, some of us cribbed about having eaten too much for lunch, gaining weight and hence burning the clutch, while others cribbed about not being able to spend more time on the hill and I just sat back and drove the Cedia.
Driving up Tiger Hill then, is nothing like Hangover or bachelor parties. It is real and pulse-pounding, it is highly involving and conjures up many a heart-in-the-mouth moment, it gives you a sense of belonging with nature after reaching the peak and leaves you with a sense of accomplishment when coming down…but at the end of the evening, it is pure unadulterated fun and leads to some unerasable memories; just like moronic slapstick humor and mindless bachelor parties.
And they all leave you with one great hangover.
What an ending!
Anything for Mitsubishi Cedia
PS: I know all of the photos are of the car and not the place itself, but you cannot hold that against a guy’s first long drive in his new car!
29 July 2009
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Posted By joseph
Shot on the road to Anantnag from Srinagar in the Valley of Kashmir.
The beauty of the Kashmiri valley with all its snow-capped mountains, open roads, colorful fields, beautiful people and pollution-less atmosphere is rudely interrupted by the presence of these jawans at almost every 0.5km along the way. The army patrol is present at every single corner ensuring you never forget the turmoil that this land is in. The feeling of experiencing paradise is never too long and your senses are always jolted awake by the harsh reality that is Kashmir.
To me, this single picture captures almost everything that I experienced in my week long stay at my aunt’s place in Kashmir in the summer of 2007. I visited Srinagar, Anantnag, Pahalgam and Gulmarg, and I was humbled by the lives of the people there. The war, the strife, the beauty, the peace, the color, the many layers of scenery, and finally the ease with which the vibrance of life co-exists with the almost unnerving possibility of death in this valley. And how it is an everyday affair for the many many Kashmiris out there.
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Fresh out of college, we were thrown into the dust bowls of U.P and the jungles of M.P. Sneaky trainees that we were, we took full advantage of the available resources to explore. Whether the pine trees of Almora or the ruins of Khajuraho, a Bhojpuri film shoot or some gun-laden, mustachioed dudes in the Chambal areas of Bhind - our travels always had added flavor!