So what is ajaydsouza.com all about?

Gateway ID Series

This blog has been called lots of things: excellent, good, fun, enjoyable, and even boring, monotonous, horrendous (ok not this one). The most recent comment has been “boring”.

So, why was it called boring. Because, it has been a while since I made a personal post.

This blog sees two types of visitors, viz. those who visit my blog for the personal posts and those who visit my blog for the WordPress related posts, plugins and the theme.

When I started ajaydsouza.com in October 2003, I had only one thing in mind, blogging about my life. In fact, even till today, most of my posts are still filed under Personal.

Over time, things evolved. I got into WordPress plugin development, released my first and only theme and then started blogging professionally. So, little surprise that this blog moved away from the traditional personal blog to a blog that targets multiple audiences, those who read my personal blog posts, those who come for my plugins, those who read my reviews and those who come for the jokes.

And, I try my best to please them all.

So, what determines my blog posts?

It’s always been the life that I lead. When I was in engineering college, a lot of this was visiting restaurants, watching movies and trying to pass engineering.

When I got into work life, it revolved around visiting restaurants, watching movies and working my heart out.

When I got into MBA, I stopped blogging that frequently. This was primarily because MBA life didn’t give me a minute to blog.

In the second year of MBA, life eased out a bit. I was able to take up blogging professionally again. I also revived Techtites, which was dead for nearly a year before that. In fact a lot of my “free” time today is spent on planning posts on it.

Now, in my current day job, it seems a lot similar to MBA life when I didn’t have time to dedicate to my hobbies. However, if you’re tracking me on Facebook, you’ll realize that I do my best to do something besides work.

So, to wrap up this post, here’s what I have been up to recently:

Vincent and me when shopping for a new laptop he needed to buy. We ended up picking up the Gateway ID series laptop.

Gateway ID Series

It is a really beautiful high-end laptop at just about 50K. As for me, I’m a Dell person. This December, my beautiful, but now old, Inspiron 6400 should get a much needed cleanup. I hope Dell support is as good as it was a year back!

We also attempted to visit the Pizza Hut in Forum, but they are under renovation. So, we ate at the Sahib Singh Sultan, which in my opinion is really out of place in a mall like forum. The restaurant was really delightful.

The restaurant is a tribute to a bygone era and everything from the interiors to the culinary experience is reminiscent of a mix of the traditions of Indian royalty and the British Raj.

The restaurant will transport you to the year 1853, when the first Indian train made its run from Bori Bunder to Thane. Much care has been taken to recreate the feeling, with the tastefully done décor, silk tapestry, and exquisite silver ware.

From one end of the wall to the other, there is a Pullman-style carriageway which makes you feel like you’re dining inside an actual train.

On the technical front, I have moved this blog to Media Temple. I’m not sure if this is the best option! In my bid to cut costs, due to limited income, this seems to be a compromise. I also need to work on optimising this blog, which is painfully heavy for some strange reasons. If anybody knows why please do let me know!

Now, it’s time to hit the sack. I begin a new week in a few hours. But, I promise to blog really really soon!

Selling Books at ABC

While making my last post, it completely slipped my mind about our visit to Appa Balwant Chowk in Pune to sell our MBA books. ABC is a well known place in Pune where you can pickup second hand books for MBA, engineering and other streams. There are several raddiwalas there who buy your old books and then resell them to eager buyers who can’t afford a brand new copy.

Hence, every year ABC sees a stream of students dropping in with their old books. We joined this list of students to sell the books we collected in the past 20 months. Any money is good money!

So, Aditya, Akshat, Sneha and me took the afternoon bus to the city. We were joined by Namrata, who had already sold her books the previous day. Got down and Atur Center and took rickshaws to get to ABC. The moment we alighted we were “received” by book sellers interested in purchasing the books. Boy, can they smell students interested in selling books from afar!

One thing I can’t do is bargain. But luckily for me Namrata and Akshat are the experts at this and Sneha and Aditya can provide decent backup! So, I stood with minimal talking while they bargained and sold all our books for a cool 3K. My share Rs. 600 :)

Show me a college student with loose cash, and I’ll show you a student waiting to spend it!

Since we were free, we headed off to Dhole Patil Road which was a good Rs. 50/- by rickshaw to eat Katti roles, some pastries before realizing we just had nothing to do there!

So, it was back to Atur to catch the bus to Aundh, where we dropped in to Idlicious. We learnt to our surprise that they had stopped serving customers and only offered parcels. The reason: the Pune corporation now only permits those with allocated parking to serve customers. This has resulted in the closure of several restaurants across Pune, including Cafe Coffee Day. So, we picked up parcels and then headed back to college where we ate the idlis.

And, that was the closure of an interesting day :)

13 days later

No, I am not talking about the movie, but just the last 20 days of my life; life that has kept me so busy that you haven’t read about any personal updates.

So, here’s a quick round up of the last two weeks of my life.

The week from 19th to 24th of Jan was like any other week of my life. Spent all of it blogging, reading, eating, talking and sleeping.

23rd was the first and last test of this semester. The test was on Strategic Marketing. We were given a choice between a two simple questions and a case on TESCO. IMO, education should be practical and case based to ensure that people actually apply their minds to everything. A healthy mix of theory and practicals is ideal. However, MBA turned out to be primarily a learn by rote, which is something I simply can’t do. Hence, was forced to understand and write exams where results took a hit. No regrets on that, because I put in my best and did well so far :)

Aditya, Sneha, Namrata and me decided to go out for dinner on 23rd. After much pondering we went to Haka’s on FC Road, Pune. The food sucked completely and totally. Really felt like I was cheated of my money.

Took the early morning Volvo to Mumbai on 24th to spend the long weekend at home. I had to get the taste of the horrible Chinese food out of my mouth. So, I headed off to my favorite joint Dynasty to meet a friend. As usual the crab meat soup was delicious. We ordered the Seafood platter and it turned out to be sizzling and not dry, though I would have sworn it was dry the last time I ordered that.

26th is the Republic Day of India and so a public holiday. As a result the roads are usually empty and people stick home. This weekend was different because many had left the city for the long weekend.

Went shopping to Westside, near Opera House as it was the last day of their sale. Following this, I met a friend at 5 Spice in Bandra. We were seated at the Non-Smoking, Non-Alcoholic sections of the restaurant, which didn’t make a difference, since it was a dry day.

The service here was a lot slower, possibly because the design of the place is such. The however, remains delicious :)

I initially planned on returning to Pune on 27th, but postponed that to the next day. Spent 27th at home, working almost all day. Took the earliest Volvo I could to find my way back to Pune.

The last few days has been dinner at Tamanna, dinner at Mezza9, a class and presentation for Strategic Marketing. Looking at my mention of that subject you may tend to think I’ve shifted to Marketing. Well, no, I remain a Finance graduate. That is just one subject :)

I’ve given Techtites a new look yet again. So, will be spending tonight working on that one.

75% MBA

As I mentioned, I returned to SCMHRD, rather reluctantly I must say. Spent the entire day catching up on blogging and finally got down to finishing the synopsis for the Finance paper before retiring to bed. Realized I had forgotten one of my hard disks in Mumbai itself, which means a good amount of entertainment awaits my return.

Friday was lecture day. It began with a four hour lecture (which got cut short to two) of Strategic Marketing and this was followed by an Advances in SCM lecture.

Dinner on Friday night was at McDonalds when a whole bunch of us headed out there. The normally freezing AC at the place was off to give us warmth from the cold winter outside :)

Spent Saturday as well working on my blog. I’ve started the Plugin Review series at WLTC and it’s been met with a great response! This time I will reviewing plugins weekly. If you’re a WordPress plugin developer then submit your plugins.

Saturday evening was spent working on the Advances in SCM project. I still have to complete the presentation. Today is reserved for that. Dinner on Saturday was at Fasoos with Sneha only, since everyone else was out of college, so to speak.

Similarly, Sunday was the Research and Reporting day as well as tomorrow. SIIB had their annual festival spreading across Saturday and Sunday and Sunday night was the rock show featuring Parikrama. So, the entire evening was filled with their music. Except for But it Rained, I’m not a big fan.

As for the title of this post. We received our third semester results on Saturday. I’ve cleared all subjects and hence the title of this post. CGPA is a 2.7 which is good enough this semester :)

One last semester to get through and yours truly is an MBA.

A Week in Pune and it’s Mumbai again

After a good long party, I went off to watch The Day the Earth stood Still on Tuesday. Wednesday and Thursday were relatively lighter days. Went off to McDonalds for dinner on Thursday. Was so exhausted, that I just crashed after coming back.

Friday was lecture day with me attending a Strategic Marketing class. The strategic marketing class so far has been filled with cases which makes studying a pleasure. I hate subjects that require us to learn by rote and vomit it out at the exam. While theory is necessary, it is important that there are a good number of cases.

The internet connection at college has been as terrible as ever. The experiments by the network folks are a massive failure and we are starved for a decent connection at one the finest business schools!

Spent all of Thursday coding. I’ve worked on upgrading Connections Reloaded to the next version. I have submitted the same for approval at the theme repository. Given the current controversy, I’m sure this approval process is going to be a while.

I also released updates for three of my plugins, viz. Open Picture Window, Add to Feed and Auto-Close Comments, Pingbacks and Trackbacks yesterday.

Ohh, as for Mumbai, I came back here late Friday night. Was accompanied by a friend who had some personal work out here. We have painting going out at our place in time for Christmas which requires me to spend a while at home. Have some plans for the next few days. Will let you know how it goes.