Turkey – Through my DSLR lens … (Istanbul, Bosphorus, Suburbs of Istanbul, Etc.)

What a unique city Istanbul is … Definitely, in my Top-5 cities so far.

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Turkish Cuisine …


Pictures taken during our culinary adventures in and around Istanbul …




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Greek Cuisine …

Wah! We had a wonderful time, cuisine-wise, in Greece … I put on 2-3 pounds (despite daily exercise), which proves this fact 😉

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Churches of Santorini … (Greece)

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Greatest Tennis season over the past 30 years?

Pardon the almost unreadable quality of my table (Did not want to splurge on a paid WordPress account for the Plugins 😉 …

(1) Obviously, more credence is given to performance in the Grand Slams, the 4 tournaments with the biggest coverage, impact, money and pressure

(2) Even though Djokovic has a “3-0” (with respect to Grand Slams Won-Finals) season in 2011, his 2011 season deserves to be in the mix for the simple reason that his record against Nadal (7-0) and Federer (6-1) in 2011 is insane considering the kind of years Nadal (2010) and Federer (2009) had just prior. Djokovic kicked some a** in 2011 🙂




2015 US Open: Some random thoughts …

(1) Federer gave a very good fight to Djokovic, but one always had the feeling that Djokovic would ultimately prevail. Though few would call Djokovic’s game “pleasing on the eye” (Federer is an artist with the racket, by comparison), the dude is the complete package as far as a Tennis pro go. Good serve? CHECK. Good (Actually, GREAT) return? CHECK. Endurance? CHECK. Mental toughness? CHECK. Great ground strokes? CHECK. Good net skills? CHECK. Big game experience? CHECK. Peak physical condition? CHECK. It is a fact that Nadal is/was in Federer’s head. Well, guess who is in Nadal’s head? Djoker! I still remember Nadal returning after a stellar 2010 (3 Grand Slams!) and finding that he got smoked 7-0 by Djokovic in 2011. After claiming his 17th Grand Slam at 2012 Wimbledon, what luck Federer has had to have played 3 Grand Slam Finals subsequently, and all of those against the World No:1.
(2) If 2015 is any indication, it is just a matter of time before Djokovic overtakes Sampras/Nadal (14), I think … Though Nadal and Djokovic are both 29, right now, Nadal looks 39 … 😉 Hope Nadal has a better 2016.
(3) Though Edberg has definitely revitalized Federer’s game (Federer’s 2013 had been a disaster) and has made his game very compact, attacking and all-court, one has to say that Becker has done much better with Djokovic (albeit a 5-year-younger ward) … Until Becker came on board, Djokovic went through a stretch of 9 Grand Slams, where he won just 1 and lost in 5 Finals and 2 SFs and 1 QF. Since then, over 6 Grand Slams, Djokovic has won 4, lost a shocker to Wawrinka in 2015 French Open and lost in SF (to Nishikori) in 2014 US Open. Not bad, eh?
I wonder what 2016 will have in store for Tennis fans?

Last-minute syndrome …

The other day, I was waiting for VFS Global in Chennai to open up at 8AM IST so that I could apply for my Vietnam VISA. The security guards (there were several of them) were busy keeping the various VISA applicants at bay, till the official opening time. Most of the folks were there for UK and Schengen VISAs. I noticed a lot of staff members riding into the building parking at 7:59:59AM IST. Now, Chennai, like any other Metro, has traffic issues and quite often there are traffic jams. The way these employees were hurrying in and literally running to the office, indicates that VFS Global has some kind of strict work hours and clock-in/clock-out culture.

My questions: Why are folks cutting it so close? Why are they timing it to the last second? Aren’t there enough variables to make it a huge challenge to “arrive on time”? Won’t the first item which does not go 100% as per plan derail their entire schedule? Isn’t it a lot of stress piled up over a long time?

When I hear talks of India opening up Semiconductor Foundries, I really wonder … In general, respect for time (especially, others’ time) is NOT a huge strength in this part of the World.

  • Ever waited for a celebrity to show up for an event?
  • Ever had flight delays due to passengers turning up at the last minute?
  • Ever wait around for attendees to turn up for a meeting?
  • Ever have to remind people of time commitments they themselves have made?
  • Ever show up on time for a party and notice you are the rare person to show up on time, as per the time indicated in the invitation?
  • Ever seen students do last-minute scramble outside the exam halls as if furiously turning pages in front of the hall will ensure A+ grades?
  • Etc.

Well, you get the drift …

I sincerely believe that one of the biggest things that is holding back India is adherence to time commitments.