Saturday, July 28, 2007

Awesome Threesome

It was an evening of great cheer! An evening in the making for a good 6 weeks. Sriram invited Abhijit and myself for a reunion of sorts and we decided to stag it out on a Friday evening. First choice Firnagi Pani at the City Center Mall was ruled out coz we were three stags too many with no "hinds" along. A fair amount of deliberation ensued on phone about the place to spend this highly anticipated evening. Neither of us had met since Abhijit's birthday in early June.

From dhabas on Medchal road to Terrace Bay all names were thrown. One wanted to go to a "dhinchak" place and the other wanted a quiter environment where we could speak. Well as providence would have it we got both! Read on.

I suggested we go to the Zafraan Exotica on Road # 12 in Banjara Hills. I was there this Tuesday and could not get enough of the place. AGreement! We reached there in one piece (This was after Sriram decided to "muscle" the Scorpio around the busy roads of Banjara Hills.) It was payback time after what Abhijit did to Sriram's WagonR a few minutes before that. From the passenger seat both the rides were fun for me! :)

While the valet was pulling out I saw the entrance to Afterlife and suggested that we spend some time there and then go up to Exotica for Dinner. Agreement again! This was turning out to be a fun night. After the special discount on the cover charge we entered the pub to be greeted with some pulsating techno music. The crowd was thin but that didnt mean the DJ was taking it easy. I guess it was DJ Amit. He played some neat tracks and shifted from Trance to House and to some Hip Hop before we decided we had enough of the music. The place is definitely a "must" for those who love good trance / house music. The best part for me was that a special arrangement with Exotica meant that you could order snacks from the Exotica Menu while enjoying drinks and music at Afterlife.

Exotica was a vision of peace and tranquility after the "afterlife" experience!:) We were very promptly and courteously seated in table of our choice and we enjoyed a good dinner over the sound of some oriental music and water flowing. A lot of catching up to do meant we were talking till well past closing time. We should do this again and soon! A tribute to the "Last Man Standing"

Friday, July 27, 2007

Gaurang's first birthday party

Gaurang's first birthday was a blast! In all the possible ways! :)

The occasion was made happier with Richa and Rohit coming together for the first time before both our families. The decor was good, the food was awesome and the kids had a great time, especially Yodhin! All in all it was a party that we will all cherish.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

To buy or not to buy

To be or not to be: that is the question

Shakespeare could not have put it better even after hundreds of years!

The recent boom in the economy and the spurt in the Real-Estate prices, especially in Hyderabad, have individually fueled my predicament. And, I am sure, for thousands of prospective buyers like me across the country.

Not long ago, in the late nineties, a flat at a particular price range was a good buy but not "affordable". Thanks partly to the "lower" income levels and partly due to absence of easy funding options of today.

As I grew along professionally so did my purchasing power but alas the quality of construction left a lot to be desired and not many projects were coming up in areas one would like to buy. What ensued was a period of lull when the pace of growth was stable but steadly building-up. This was the "Golden Period" for the real estate market. Some good quality projects in decent areas came up. Many struck the right balance in quality and price, the proverbial SST (Sasta, Sundar & Tikau) variety and got lapped up quickly. Banks were also waking up to this opportunity and loans were getting easier to obtain. What I was waiting for was to settle down and a good project to fall into my lap. Anyways, the point is that I did not buy real estate when I could have. The fault is solely mine. Period.

The prices have been escalating, nay, elevating! their way out of my reach. It was as if a divine conspiracy was unfolding to deprive me of an opportunity to buy a house for myself. From a figure of 800-1100 per square foot the prices are now in the range of 3500-7000 per square foot and this in a only a matter of few years.

Have the prices topped out!? Has the market stabilised? When is a good time to buy? Is this a good price to buy? Will I see any appreciation in the next few years?

To buy or not to buy: that is the question!

Moving on 2.0


Moving on seems to be a good thing to do when you are not sure of where you are and whether it is right for you. You know it inside you when things are not going the way they should. Despair, disappointment and diffidence start creeping in.

The best way to tackle this tag team is to catch them by the scruff of their necks and throw them out of the ring. Now! is it possible to do so in every part of your life? Professional? Personal? Social? I say yes! It is.

I recently quit the Indian School of Business, Hyderabad and joined a premium Real Estate Development company. Things are settling down and I am quite enjoying the challenge of working in a near start-up company.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

The streak ends!!!

Hmmmmmmm.........It had to end! didnt it? It was too good to be true! A fairytale debut for a rookie driver in the ongoing Formula 1 season. Who would have thought that the driver brought in to replace Juan Pablo Montoya as the team's second driver would be so successful!

Lewis Hamilton became an overnight celebrity. From a new kid on the block to a Championship leader. The transition was swift.. flawless and nearly lethal. Spread over nine races, Lewis racked up an awe-inspiring 70 points, making it to the podium in all the nine races. A good lead of 12 points over senior team-mate Fernando. Alonso, a two time reigning world champion did not know what hit him and from where! Within the first few races he was trailing behind his team-mate who was just getting his ears wet!

Divine providence for McLaren fans? yes it was! A particular friend of mine is a McLaren devout and he was dubbing this as the return of the "Silver Arrows" as the McLaren fans fondly call their fav team.

Anyways! Coming back to the streak... You have to hand it to both McLaren and Lewis. They were as a team very very reliable, flawless and consistent! (Alas! If only Kimi can better his DNF percentage!)

Life at 300 kmph is a challenge and it was the first time we saw Lewis make a mistake. A mistake that he took in his stride and managed 9th even after being a lap down by going off the track! He has shown tremendous skill, determination and flair for doing what he loves doing! If anything he lacks the humility that Great Champions before him possess.

I wish him all the best and hope he will provide for some interesting races and racing! That's why we all watch Formula1, don't we?
Copyright © Kartik Agarwal - 2007