Friday, April 29, 2005

Gotcha!

Finally!It's here!In my hand!I got it! After years of waiting for it,dreaming about it,I made it today!

The visa officer liked my face and gave me my visa to the US for my 3 month trip!Am pretty thrilled about it!An old, old dream comes to fruition!A lot of hopes vested in me,comes true.

Of course,like I said, no regrets being in India whatsoever,but just the thrill of realising a cherished dream, nurtured over the years,is an exhilirating experience!

The morning was rather scary,with 5 software engineers standing in front of me in the queue, being rejected in their visa applications.That was a very dangerous proposition for me and the visa officer was in a terrorising mood,ripping those candidates apart! But I just decided to give it my best,fair and clean shot and leave it at that.If I'm bound to get the opportunity,I will.Nobody can stop me.

And,as destiny would have it,when it mattered most,when my turn came in the queue, that fierce looking American visa officer, in a terrorising mood, on this hot Friday morning at Chennai,said ok!She asked me the purpose of my trip,the current role I play in the firm I work for,how long I've been in this firm,and my qualifications!That's it!And in true blue American style, she said,"Please pay the draft at the next counter.Have a nice trip!" .I almost wanted to grab her and plant a kiss on her cheeks,but just about managed to exercise better discretion!

I couldn't believe it till I came out of the consular office.But now,its reality.And unlike the cliched,reality bites,I can tell you,this is an exhilirating feeling!

More on these pages once I travel.Do watchout!

Thursday, April 28, 2005

The countdown has begun!

I have had a most rollicking day today. And its been exciting as hell, even though its been high pressure!

I am just hours away from my visa interview!My day began early this morning, when I reached office and browsed the consulate website for the documents that I need to produce at their office tomorrow morning. And to my utter horror, I found that they needed my photographs of a specific dimension.I thought, the usual passport size photographs would more than suffice, little did I realise that the American consulate needs photographs that cover my face only UPTO my chin, starting from my hair!Not to miss,the width of my snap shouldn't be gawdy for them,lest they dislike my face and reject my visa!Groan,just why can't they take me at face value?!!!!!!!

Based on this new discovery of photographs with specific dimensions,I rushed to the nearest photo studio and got my snap done.And the studio guy, messed up my hairdo,and my shirt!But anyway,the snap has come about just fine,in the end.Hehehe,good enough to circulate,for the eligible bachelor category that I belong to!

Returning to office,I downloaded the visa application forms,filled them up online,only to be ditched by my computer when I was just about to take a print out!Groan,had to redo it 3 times before I got it right,and eventually did so only on my colleague's PC,not mine!Poor guy, I didn't let him work today!Anyway, that is also done!

And after chasing the office HR and admin guys for the best part of 3 days, I just got the visa fees from them!Ooof!Just a few letters to go now, they should be coming to me in an hour or so!

The wait continues,but the countdown has begun.......!!!

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Excited!

I am feeling very excited today. I have my visa interview at the US consulate in 2 days time. I have never been abroad and I hope that the visa officer is in a good mood, likes my face, believes my documents and gives me the damn visa!

Ah! So many dreams would come true - the long flight with my endless stares at the air hostess,the interesting grub, hopefully some very interesting co-passenger(wud love to be with a French girl on her way to the US!),the pains of immigration, the thrill of landing in the US for the first time ever, seeing a new country, smelling the air of the most advanced nation in the world,seeing the big buildings and fast cars that I have always seen on television and DVD's.....ah...some thrill in life!

Not that I am upset being in India, just that, should this trip materialise, it would be a fulfillment of a very long, old, childhood dream!

Watchout for this space on some experiences in the US, if the visa officer lets me go!

Monday, April 18, 2005

Happy Birthday to my friend!

It is my very good Mumbai friend's birthday today! Am not going to take her name, as its inappropriate for me to put out her name in public,but for want of a name to this piece, am going to name her Divine.

We met a year ago when I was in Mumbai on a week's trip. And so began a most special bond of friendship, that I have truly come to cherish. There are very few people I go out of my way for, and she is certainly one of them. Even though, we live in different cities, it really doesn't take us too long to just dial the other's no.or SMS/email each other and reconnect. I have grown to have an immense comfort and confidence level with Divine, in just a year, just as she has (at least,no harm in believing so!!). Its amazing how short periods can be the seed for lifelong experiences and bonding, especially, in this day and age of materialism and lack of character in many other streams of life where years of bonding is no certainty to a lifetime of association.

Divine & I have had a blast of a time, even if at a distance. From long talks on the phone, to unending,lengthy emails its been one helluva ride! Thank god email service providers are hiking up the space they are offering to beyond 1 GB........sure could do with all that space to just share and experience times with a super friend! All this along with tons of laughter, fingering around, pulling each other's leg,figuring out the nuances of love life and breakups,to talking about technology markets and jobs to our own careers.......oh....I'm glad I have such a fine human being for a friend, where I can just be myself.

On this Divine birthday, I wish my special friend a very, very Happy Birthday and a fantastic day, year and future ahead!

Saturday, April 16, 2005

Media moves....

The recent big-ticket movement of Rajdeep Sardesai from NDTV is a shakeout in the media industry, as far as I'm concerned. This is one guy who pretty much spoke his mind and didn't care too much about the reputations and profiles of his interviewees. I have seen scores of his programmes where in his typical, inimitable style, he would sign off with an interviewee, saying," At the end of the day, X, isn't it the responsibility of the people like you in power, the authorities to take care of the system?” And at most times, he pretty much guessed the reactions he was going to get.

As one of the long standing reporters of the doyen of Indian broadcasting, Dr. Prannoy Roy, this cricket fanatic would surely have made even Dr. Roy have a lump in his throat with his exit from NDTV. Not too often do you see Dr. Roy animated, but there have been more than a handful of occasions when Rajdeep and Dr. Roy have orchestrated some of the finest broadcasting hours that Indian television has seen. I mean, before Star News, before NDTV, it was this duo along with that other class act, Vinod Dua who used to bring incisive news to our homes. I will never forget those wonderful nights back in my school days, when I used to wait for The World This Week on Friday nights when Dr. Roy just had me hooked on something never seen before - news from around the world in a half hour capsule, with such limited sponsorship and no jazz or advertising as seen today. And I distinctly remember, a young Rajdeep with a squeaky voice, covered in jerkins sending in reports to the newsroom and Dr. Roy asking him very pertinent stories that would translate to news-worthiness of the story. It was as far back as that, that this combine of Dr. Roy and Rajdeep created a lot of flutters and then went on to attain legendary status in Indian television broadcasting.

But this exit of Rajdeep needs to be seen in a far greater context of what Dr. Roy has done for Indian television broadcasting. Not just Rajdeep, but quite a few of his team’s lead anchors and journalists have gone on to hone their wares in greener pastures. It only reinforces my admiration for what Dr. Roy has done to Indian television broadcasting. This psephologist turned king of Indian television journalism, especially in the tough realm of current affairs has pioneered, nurtured, built and made an industry against all odds possible. In one of the recent awards that NDTV received, Dr. Roy said that the Indian television industry now employs over a million people, with a significant number of them in the news broadcasting stream. And I could distinctly sense pride when he stated that.

Why don’t we moot the idea of instituting an award in Dr. Prannoy Roy’s name? I think it’s the least we can do to recognize a man who has created an industry and provided so many lives with opportunities to make the most of news, not just in delivering it, but also in analyzing it, synthesizing it, and I dare say, opinionating it. We have so many great people from India, in different walks of life. More often than not, we tend to get carried away with the glitz and glamour of these high profile individuals. But here is a man, who has tirelessly worked and deserves accolades more than he has actually received.

Friday, April 15, 2005

HI...I'm new here

Hi,

Just created my first ever blog a few minutes ago!Had been hearing so much about this blog world,that I finally decided to get down to exploring it.And it sure is an interesting concept!Hope to pour this place with tons of boundless energy, thoughts,ideas, emotions and of course, opinions!

Cheers, Arun

"Its astonishing how much energy some people waste worrying that someone else might be enjoying life in ways that they don't approve of". -- Kevin Michael Vail.

Please visit my columns on:
1.Arun's Corner on
www.zine5.com
2.aranganath on www.mouthshut.com