Marathon GT’s & record breaking khatti sessions-Vikram’s trip to India, 2017

…Wrapped up a short & amazing trip to BBSR – great seeing everyone, especially Prakash, BBD and Sanjib after 25+ years. And Anuup, Asish, Dabu, Lalu and Ravi.

We started our Khatti at 4pm and ended at 4:30am! It was fun catching up and reminiscing about our good old school days over drinks and food. Asish and Prakash decided to give all of us a midnight tour of the new BBSR, Chandaka, Nandankanan and Sikhar Chandi etc which we did between midnight & 2am last night. We dispersed around 2:30am however Judge Sir decided that the “shaam” was still “jawaan” and returned in 15 mins to restart the Khatti which went on for another 2 hrs. Dabu also joined around 2:30am.

Missed Sucheta, Sanjay, Rumi, Aman and others in BBSR.

Thanks all for a lovely time. Until next time 🙏

K3K2K1

And then moving to Bangaluru,

Thanks to Raghu, Buddha, DB, Madhusmita, Sambit & Elina and also the attending spouses and kids for such a lovely time. Made my day!

Seeing Elina after 30+ yrs and DB after 25 yrs is surreal – we started talking like we never lost touch

In enjoying all these good times, I can’t help but think none of this would have been possible without our pioneers – Utkala, birthday boy Gyana, Pratyush and others who took the initiative and pushed us to create and maintain this DMS 92 community.

Utkala, Ananta, Shabnam, Tapan, Satyajit and others BLR – missed you this evening. See you next time

– Vikram

Advertisements

Sambit ke karname…aaj bhi!

IMG-20170401-WA0026

This is a short but true story about the dearest of all… Mr. Single Gilhari😀

It happened when last time in 2016, Gyana had been to Bangalore.

We had a great get together at ibis hotel. It was a family get together. We all enjoyed meeting with each other’s families, had too many selfie sessions through Gyana’s iPhone, my oneplus and Sambit’s brand new Google pixel. Kidz too had a great time within their circle. Finally, we headed for the dinner. Post dinner also, we had a few more selfie sessions and finally it clocked the moment to depart. We decided to use my credit card to pay the bill and later to get that amount reimbursed in my account from every other’s share. After too many yes/Nos and repulsions to not to payback, Akkhaa insisted to put across his share over a cheque payment. One fine day he made it… Here is the first-cut premiere show of the cheque….(at the top)

Towards the end of Jan 2017, one fine day it cropped up in his mind “ARE !👉 Ananta, mu tote se get together ra paisaa deini naa”. I said ” No Sambit…with a mysterious smile”. Further, he narrated, “Abbey, Mora maney ruheni, tu mane pakeiba kathaa na!!.. Raha, tote gote cheque lekhiki dauchi”😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂… Instantly, I started laughing loudly… He got confused and looked at me thinking why is Ananta laughing so loudly.. Again, he insisted.. ” Abbey tu paagala hei jaaichhu naa kana? Hasuchu kaahinki? ”… After, too many iterations of similar versions of that question from him, I thought of revealing it… Finally, I told him what happened back during November… Then he instantly started laughing even louder than me… Then, he said, “no man, sometimes I am lost”… I replied again, with a serious voice “no Sam, not sometimes but it’s always”. Again, both of us laughed loudly… Others at the tea shop were just watching us but nobody understood what was that. He handed over rs. 1450 in cash to me and both of us were still laughing…

Click on the audio below to listen to a part of the chat

 

-Ananta

DMS92 student hits back in kind…on Odiya pride

Just thought of sharing an experience the first time ever I stepped out of Odisha. I left DMS during the first quarter of 5th Standard to join KV . That was necessary as my father had a transferable Bank Job and being in KV helped. We left BBSR mid of my VI th Standard as my father was transferred to Hyderabad.
First day at school for me. And the ritual of introducing yourself to the class and every teacher . After 3-4 introductions. . it was time for Sanskrit Class..In walked a tall young byet slightly balding man . Most of the students did not like him and it was evident from their faces. I had to repeat the riual.again. I proudly introduced myself being from Odisha and this teacher with a very bad knowledge of geography went onto asking me to talk some aspects of our glorious state and what is it that makes it famous. So I talked of Hirakud Dam, Odisha dance. Jagannath Puri and Konark as much I could talk about our rich cultural heritage. And at the end of it all he remarked so are you not from the state where every year there are floods and which houses some of the worst drought prone areas too and is in the news for the deaths in Kalahandi ! It came on me like a thunderbolt when  a section of the class were laughing out aloud at his sarcasm and joining in the collective apathetic behaviour.
I seethed in anger but being the shy person I was then did not say anything but resolved in silence that I would showcase to the entire Class what Odias are capable of !!
The only way I could prove it was doing well in academics and that was the only ammunition I had..
So I started with securing the best marks in the exams in Sanskrit and it was redemption day everyday when the same teacher asked me everytime i got the best marks in Sanskrit and praised me for my writing skills and command over the language , especially when he confessed in front of the class that he was wrong in saying Odias are backward, rather they ar  gentle  and intellectually evolved people.

– Elina

Michael ‘Gyan’ Jackson, the beginnings…

As some of you know, in about 86-87 I started becoming a huge Western Pop Music fan especially after I was gifted with Walkman by my brother. I started to buy Pop Music Cassettes and listening to the Billboard Top 10 in Voice of America Radio. I used to enjoy the music but couldn’t follow or understand the lyrics. (Back in those days we did not have Google or Lyrics books of course). So, I decided to take advantage of the rewind-forward button of my Walkman and listened to each song some 50 times to write the lyrics in an old Oxford Note Book. Now, that’s the back story and here’s some snaps of the vintage notebook – 30 years after!

Gyana

Western Odisha Trip – Oct 2016

Biopics of the road-trippers

Ok, let me write a few things that happened in the Western Odisha trip that didn’t come out in the minute by minute pictures that we were sending on the way….

It took us about 5 1/2 hours on Friday to reach Burla…. we were little low in energy as we were tired and also because we were harassed by a police on the way. And then Asish appeared like a transformer full of energy at Burla (hopped into his car and drove all the way for hours to meet us) and took away all our tiredness in few seconds !! Asish made a few calls in his trademark hilarious assertive style and got us permission to enter to a special viewing area of the hirakud dam in late night.  

Asish, we missed you in the picnic but those few hours we spent with you on Friday was a blast.

On Saturday night, Susanta arrived by train. Those who know Susanta know that Susanta’s presence is like a breath of fresh air. There’s never a dull moment with Susanta. His wisecracks laced with harmless French words will tire you from laughing. Susanta has got the clearest hearts in the world….Be the way you are buddy. 

BBTG, Biswabijayee the great… what an awesome time we had singing in the car with him. His voice is just peerless. BB is like a charger… he can break into deep sleep any time, any moment and the very next moment he hears or smells food he would instantly wake up! On the way to Harishankar we had to stop to let Ananta have a quick snack of singada (as he had not had any food till 2 pm) …while few of us went out looking for provisions to marinate mutton. This is how BB orders…. Bhai charita singada diya… au duita jhillapi (they were enormous!)…He took a break from eating and then I joined… Gyana tu tike Chenna Gaja try kar… charita Chenna gaja diya…. and then his eye catches something …. Arey seita kana? Mysoor Pak…. Charita Mysoor Pag diya…. Mysoor Pak ta mora favorite…                                                                      

BB is the best travel, picnic buddy you can have. (The ginger slices you peeled for the mutton curry is the best). Hope you made it in time to office buddy for your Business Proposal for the Austrian company.

Satyajit ‘Amul Kool’ Samal. He is Cool to the Square 10. Several times he would beat Pratyush in coolness factor. What a cool dude and an amazing amazing host. He would be quietly watching all proceedings (with his Amul Kool smile) and will chime in the right time to make sure you don’t get carried away and get off track. No wonder he is so highly respected in the medical campus. Hats off to you buddy. You are a revelation (as Ananta would call you – sleeper cell) during the trip.                                            

Ananta Basudev Choudhury, the captain, the anchor, the spirit of the trip….is a true leader. He would take up the toughest work as a leader and will still offer you to be your back-up for your tiny tasks….and still not have any qualms about it. He made sure everyone had a great great time and didn’t lose sight of the big picture. He made sure BB reaches back to office in time. Ananta, I will never forget how you prompted me to take a dip in the Mahanadi…much to the curiosity of the villagers…who would have thought…. who is this joker who jumped in to water without any inhibitions! One of my best moments.                                                                              

Some samples of hilarious banters and harmless arguments between the Laurel and Hardy jodi of Susanta and BB…others who are not aware of their jodi will think they are actually fighting…for a moment I thought they were actually fighting

Kakudi dhua heiki kata huey…na kata heiki dhua huey…

Anjule panire dhua heba na pani budeiki dhua heba…

Peeiba pani rey salad dhua heba na rosei pani rey dhua heba…

Make no mistake, these are accomplished professionals in there real lives – A Technology Architect, a General Manager in a large software services company, a Principal, a Professor in a medical college…

For those few days they were all school/college kids who would beat the energy and enthusiasm of school kids by miles.
Hope to see many many moments like these in dms92….
Gyana
Ananta adds…
Gyana, it’s great that you saved each of those delightful moments in your permanent storage media 🙂 and stopped by for a while in keying those down for the group. But you forgot to mention about the energy booster in the team. It was you bro!

DMS92 schoolies’ brushes with celebrities

When Vikram bumped into a lost NRN…

I walked out of my office yesterday around 6:30pm and there is a small restaurant close by. I stopped to pick up dinner and as I walked out, I see this old Indian guy – prob around 70 yrs old and carry a old plastic shopping bag near the entrance. He was clearly lost and looking for direction. He wasn’t sure where he wanted to go. This is near Times Square so it’s pretty crowded and there is lot of traffic and cops everywhere given the recent bombing. So I look at him for a second and maybe to help a fellow desi, I ask him if he needs help with direction. He looks up and says he wants to go towards 55th St and Broadway.  I then realize that he is this guy.

http://goo.gl/MizHXA

We chatted and I walked with him for 5 mins and we go off in different directions. Funnily this is the second time I ran into him, the first was in 1999 at Mumbai airport

Just normal small talk for a few mins as we walked through the crowd. He said he was staying in a hotel nearby and was in town for some meetings.  I told him, my father was one of the original investors in the IPO in 1993 and he said, “l hope your father made some money” as a shareholder. 😄. Pretty down to earth unassuming guy – no airs and also you can’t figure out he is NRN unless you recognize him. He looked weaker and a bit frail than in the pictures. He is growing old so not surprised

Vikram


Straight drive with Harsha and getting star struck in college!!!    Asish

I had met Harsha Bhogle and talked with him in the airport. I thanked for his nice articles in about budding cricket of that time…. He was very eloquent about the talent of Budha Kaif etc… He was very easy to talk and down to earth guy… I had met him about 15 years back. That same day I saw Shabana Azmi in the Airport…but she was out of bounds.

In college days I had the privilege to talk to Sashi Kapoor and Rajesh Khana over telephone to invite them to be guest of BJB college function being the PR guy of President Sachi bhai. Sashi Kapoor expressed his inability due to lack of return flight to mumbai on the same day…

But we managed to get Rajesh Khana to BJB who created magic with his words..

Batakrushna Tripathy IPS was the chairman Orissa film development corporation. He had provided the numbers. I made calls from the pco

Asish

On the way to Memphis… my first trip to U.S.

(This write-up was originally sent as an email to school and college friends yahoogroups in Dec 1, 1999 after spending 15 days on my maiden business trip to US)

When I got the news from my Manager that I will be going to US in a weeks time then I said ‘YES!’ (my right hand with elbow pointing down in motion hitting the air four or five times) ‘This is the opportunity I was waiting for !’. A weeks time is too less a time to prepare to go to any place and for US it is way TOO less. I sent mail to all friends in US about what to take & what not. I got loads of advice from people….’Take a jacket it will be very cold’.. ‘don’t take any jacket…you’ll find nice ones out there’…’Take a pressure cooker & some masala’..’Some medicines’…’Yes! take a dozen undergarments, socks!’…’Toothpaste!’…’Camera rolls’. There were also advices like….’Speak politely at the I94 interview’…’Dont take much in your cabin bag’… ‘Smile this way’…’Dont smile much…it may look as if you are flattering’. All this advising were too much for me but some were surely useful. You feel like all you knew all the years was crap. Well some of the advices were surely useful. Anyhow I managed to pack everything …well everything (I left my sunglasses, my address book though). Two days before I had to give treat to my friends at the Purple Haze (I was thinking…in case my trip is cancelled…I will make these guys return my 2000 bucks). My heart was beating very fast when I was on my way to Airport. This was the second time I’ve been to the airport. First time I went to an airport was to see off a friend of mine. Weird thoughts like meeting an accident on the way & missing my flight (although I was 2 hrs before) came to my mind ……First trip you know!. Finally I was at the Bangalore airport without anything happening to me. I was holding my tickets tight, then a Sahara Flight guy came took my luggage. I was reluctant to give it till one experienced friend of mine (two trips abroad!) said that nothing would happen. That didn’t stop me from keeping an eye on the luggage till it reached the check-in counter.

The next hour I was looking at people in the airport …how they move, how they talk and picking up some tips from them. Suddenly the feeling that I’ll be reaching US in a days time took me to cloud nine. My friends who came to see me off kept advising ‘don’t lose your passport at any cost’…  but I was hardly listening to them. Then the call came for the Bombay (I mean Mumbai!) flight I bid bye to my friends promising them that I’ll buy this, that for them. I was sheepishly following the queue. ……Now I was on my own…

I was on the way for my ‘first flight’. One thing I was curious about was  how to fasten the seat belt (courtesy Bollywood movies), but I found it very simple. I was glad I was on the window seat but just after 15 minutes the person on the next seat requested if his wife can sit there as she was a first timer. OK! I said at least he didnt figure out that I was a first timer too! I grabbed everything that the hostesses gave. When the flight took off I was looking at the window while making sure the other guy doesn’t see me. I enjoyed the biriyani knowing well that it is going to be the last Indian food I will be having for the rest of my journey. There was lot of commotion at the Mumbai airport. I took a taxi to the International airport with another colleague of mine going to US via Amsterdam. The taxi guy charged me 250 bucks for some 3 odd kms! At the exit point they asked questions like ‘Did you leave your luggage unattended at any time…’. The answers came out in a nice flow as I was hinted earlier about the expected enquiries. At the waiting room I was for about one hr. when the call for business class and other classes came and in the end the economy class. I felt a little bad. Then I was on the KLM-North West airlines. It was much bigger. It had 9 seats in one row unlike the Sahara which had 5 seats. This time again I was on the window seat. I made up my mind that I was not going to leave my seat to anyone any cost. It was about 1 pm on the Saturday, 13th Nov that the plane took off. Throughout my flight my eyeballs were rolling. I was looking at everything the people,.. the interior of a plane …everything. There were 30 percent Indians and I swear 90 percent of these Indians were from software field. After about 1 hr. the big screen on the flight displayed “Mummy”. I wanted to see the movie but there was no sound at all. I thought maybe they have put off the sound as it was night. Despite my unwillingness I was sleeping after sometime. I got up after about 2 hours and saw quite a no. of people were awake and had earphones on. I thought I should’ve got my walkman too. When I looked at the person beside me, he had put on a similar earphone. I carefully followed the cord and traced that it ended at the arm of his seat. Then I saw a pouch in front of me with similar earphones. I put on the earphones and found that it was the audio of the movie! Damn! I missed the movie. I saw a person carrying a small bottle (drinks for sure). I had heard that in the flight they provide drinks (alcohol) and made up my mind that I would be the last person to miss it. I stood up and went towards the sign it showed toilet although I was looking for the pantry. I found a hostess. I asked if I could get orange juice (I dunno why the hell it struck my mind!) while he has giving he asked if I would like to taste wine.I instantly said YES! Red or White? Red!…I said. I was happy about my smartness. After having the wine I went back to sleep again.

When I got down at Amsterdam first thing I wanted to check was my luggage. I went to the KLM counter to double check my connecting flight to Newark (not New York), my entry point to US. They said that I need not worry about my luggage, as it will directly go to Newark. I was not convinced so checked with my colleague and he said the same. At the airport we roamed around and then we thought we should have something. We had coffee. I had Capuccino(‘coz I heard the name earlier) and my colleague (2 trips experienced…should mention that!) had black coffee. It cost us $11. I thought if this is way I will be spending I wont have much to save. The airport at Amsterdam is something to see. It is perhaps the busiest in Europe, at least I thought that way. While boarding the flight I changed the time to local time. They provided breakfast over there in the flight. I was waiting for them to come to my row when one Hostess asked if I was Mr.Parker. I said I was Patra …Gyan Ranjan Patra. She went off and came back again saying that the special breakfast was for me and by mistake it was written Parker instead of Patra. I remembered that the travel scheduler at office asking if I want to specially order my food advisably vegetarian ‘coz you never know they are providing Chicken or Beef. I had said Yes. I opened my breakfast. I had bread, yoghurt and a big pack. I opened and saw all kind of uncooked vegetables beautifully decorated. If this was my specially ordered vegeterian dish then I HAD IT. I settled for bread and yoghurt for breakfast. Next came the drinks trolley with a variety of drinks apart from Cold drinks that I didn’t know. I was not sure what to ask for then I said Soda, ‘Which Soda?’ When I delayed in answering he said ‘Club Soda? ‘I said ‘yes’. These are the times you feel that you don’t know anything. The next flight was peaceful as I was already two flights experienced. When I reached Newark it was still Sunday. I had reached the United States of America! That was the longest Sunday I ever had ..literally. I started feeling jet lag. I had no time as I had to collect my luggage as well as to check my departure date at the I94. This is something one should be careful of if you are going on B1. They asked questions to make sure I leave US in time and my departure was stamped 14th Feb 2000 as expected. So I was sure that I will be staying for 3 months if everything goes well. I rushed to collect my luggage…..sorry baggage as Americans call it. I had to make a few changes of my English (which was British) and spellings too. I saw my baggage at the roller but it was going inside again then someone said it will comeback again so no need to worry. Not much adventure happened on the next flight -from Newark to Memphis (my destination) . The plane was smaller than the Sahara Airlines and the travellers had a more rustic look. One can say these are the typical country men of the mid-south (that’s what they call people of Tennessee and other southern states). I reached at 7:00 pm on Sunday 14th Nov. I covered a journey that should have taken more than 36 hrs. in about 24 hrs. At the Memphis airport I saw big photographs of Elvis Presley. Memphis is the birth place of the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll. I was collecting my baggage when someone (an Indian) asked if I was from BFL Software. He introduced himself as my colleague in Memphis and he had come to receive me. I had a nice sleep at the apartment so that I can make it to the office the next day…my first day in US.

FIRST FIFTEEN DAYS IN U.S.

One of my colleagues picked me to office. The roads here are neat and 3-4 laned and depending on the speed in which you are driving you will have to drive on one of these lanes. All the cars are beautiful. You will find all the models Toyota, Volvo, Chevrolet, Honda on the roads. The Fedex office where I work on behalf of BFL Software is huge and even for visitor pass you need to show your passport. At the office initially had problems understanding what the American clients spoke. Not the language but the accent. They speak very slowly unlike we Indians and listen carefully at whatever we say. In a few days I got adjusted. Unlike Indian towns and cities here the places are sparsely crowded (I don’t know about busy cities like New York or Las Vegas). It is really hard if you want to have a cigarette or any small thing. You have to go to a shopping mall on a car for it. Dependency on car is much because in small places like Memphis the public transport is bad if it exists at all.

In the weekdays my life is routine – go to office, cook food, watch TV and sleep. Now I have started liking my food. No other go. If you don’t have a car you will be holed up in your apartment. In the weekends, if you have a kind friend who will give you a drive then you can have a nice time. If you don’t have a car or friends your life will be miserable. Let me tell you about shopping complexes. In a shopping mall like Wal-Mart you will find everything from DVD to vegetables, shoes to toilet paper. Indian shopping malls like Food World or West Side will look like kids in front of them. The vegetables are really big. At first I mistook onion for cabbage. Here everything looks artificial. You go to a person and ask something they may not talk to you as you are stranger. But at office you meet people you don’t know but they will ask you “Hey! How are you doing?” as if you know them for years.

Here everything is formal & artificial. Back home in India things are bit different. After about a week I felt sick of this place. Yes, culture shock. All my dreams about US was gone.  Maybe I haven’t seen the best of US yet. And maybe I will start liking the place….maybe. After all it is only 15 days in US.

Gyan Ranjan  Patra

Dec 1, 1999

You got pranked Raghu !!!

Raghu gets a prank call from San Francisco….

In Indian American accent
‘Hi can I speak to Mr….eh…Tripasuri Raghunath’

In Bangalore Indian Techie Delivery Manager accent –
‘Yes…This is Raghu here’

‘Oh Hi Raghu….I am Rakesh Das from San Francisco. Do you have a few minutes to chat?!’

‘Yeah sure’

‘Great… We are a mid-size Product Services company based out of SFO. We are looking for someone of your experience level to build and lead our Bangalore office…I was very impressed with your profile… I see that you have an IIM degree as well…
I would love to hear your thoughts on this and experience…’

‘Sure… I have done…..Blah blah blah …

….

….

for 2 min)

‘Wow ….wow ….wow’

‘Blah blah blah…(for 2 min)

….

….

‘Wow! ….Wow! ….Wow’

‘By the way who referred my name to you…’

‘…you referred by Venkat…’

‘Oh yes, I know Venkat’

‘…who happens to know Sambit Rath…’

‘Yeah I know Sambit Rath’

‘…who happens to know Gyan Patra’

‘…. Umm… Gyan Patra…Abey Gyana tu ….I started doubting in the middle of the conversation…’

‘Laughter’

‘Laughter!!!’

Speaker turns On….

Sambit, Raghu, Gyana…all roll into Loud Laughter !!!

————————–

It all ended with a nice GT…

IMG-20160701-WA0035

Chacha Choudhury aur Moochwale ke charche

Moochwala-1 So I was on a bus to Cuttack to one of my Seniors marriage …I bumped into a distant Uncle in the bus after 4 years… The previous time he met with me was when I had taken a software ecommerce job at Bangalore. Just to give a background… He is one of those overconcerned uncle types for no particular interest or reason…

He asked, Arey Dipu…tu kirey…bahut dina parey dekha…au einey kouthee…

I said, moon sei Bangalore software dotcom site…

Uncle, little surprised…
Ahuri sei dotcom site?!!
Chari barsa taley ta seiyya kahu thillu… dotcom site ta bani jaichi… Ahuri kana karuchu?!

ChachaC-1U shud have told him that u and ur colleagues are trying to add some more dots to it

Moochwala-1So if I bump into him again and asks, ‘ahuri sei dotcom site rey… Arey dasa barsa taley parey website bani jai thilla para?!’

I am eager to reply…’moon http ku https conversion karauchi’ :))

Moochwala-1Another day another question from another uncle…

Dui hazaar loka tuma company rey?!

Tamey sabu kana karucha sethee kahilu?

Computer chaleiba payeen etey loka?

ChachaC-1Haha. Even I had a same situation with someone in my village..

Similar to that of urs…

You should have said to your uncle…Computer ta baa mari jaaichi.  Amey sethipaain ete loka taa Ku bancheiba paain havan karucchu with dhulia baba mantra

Next time u say that u r no more into chhota mota developer’s work. Now u have become computrrr baba

So u r creating dot come jobs to be completed by entry level babas

Moochwala-1Arey se Bapina ta kan computara data entry sikhuthilla…

Tike taku kouthee Bangalore chakirirey pureidounu…?!

ChachaC-1Arey aama toka taku kouthi purei de company phompany dekhiki

Moochwala-1Ta computer typing speed kete?

Na mamun sei speed rey Bangalore rey habani… Tikey au speed karu

ChachaC-1Taku gote typing tutor de.. Taa speed badhiba

Baba, aaji kaali only haata typing re chaakiri milooni.. Duita jaaka goda re b pilaa maane type kaleni

Typing nuhe.. Computer re badei paaribu ta?

Moochwala-1Baapina typing speed bahut badhei deithiba einey Ananta…

Tu tikey Bangalore rey ta payeen dhara dhari kari jogaada kar…

ChachaC-1Lakhye tankaa laagiba baba. Upara officer maaguchi

Moochwala-1Lakhye tankarey ta eithee PCO kari basiba… Tahele thau

ChachaC-1Chhada jaha taa bhagyare thiba seiaa sie kariba…