Rahul Desai

Rahul Desai

An irregular blogger, slow paced reader and an optimistic pro-government Indian, Rahul is an information security professional with an undying urge to write reading-worthy articles.

5 Ways To Say "Wah Taj!"

7 min read | About India, Travel

People like to flaunt. And no different am I! I, fortunately, possess many things worth boasting about. Like my wife’s PhD, her research work. Like my blog. The latest addition to this list is this cheeky question: “Have you visited the Taj?” Shockingly, a lot Indians who otherwise have an easy access to this spectacular Wonder of the World are oblivious to its exquisiteness. If you have also been humiliated by this pinching question, here is your calling! It is never too late to say “वाह, ताज!

Assuming you have taken the first clue to visit the Taj, you may start your planning with this article. Like any other vacation, this too requires planning. (Vacations, when planned, often yield more fun. Learnt by experience. Unplanned vacations can be more fun for that matter. Let’s just ignore this whole point.) When it comes to travelling in India, some amount of research and a significant amount of advanced planning can make your life exponentially easier. Point being, before you scoot off, do some homework! Based on my wife’s and my first-hand experiences, here is Chapter 1: “Where Do You Start From?”

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Why Pune Is Not Bangalore

6 min read | About City, People, Pune, Bangalore

I have spent the biggest part of my sane life in Pune (Maharashtra, to be precise). If forced to define, I would say I am equally or more a Marathi (Maharashtrian) as I am a Gujarati. I have loved every moment (almost every) of my time being there and I any day love Pune and being in Pune more than any other places I’ve ever been to.

Little over two years ago, the fate had me relocate to Bangalore. Another beautiful city, but with less than limited love interest from my end. Rang Shankar, Radio Indigo and Cha Bar aside, there was barely anything to feel energetic about. And then suddenly, Bangalore was declared 3rd Best City To Be Visited In 2012 one fine morning. Not much later, a worldwide survey honoured Bengaluru as the best Indian city to live in. (My moving to Bangalore didn’t influence these developments in any way.)

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Hypocrite That We All Are

3 min read | About People, Cricket, Video

Paradox and Hypocrite happen to be two of my favourite words in the English language. I’m assuming it’s because I can relate to these terms quite closely. While I tend to find, notice and remark irony out of most of the practical situations, I feel I’m strongly responsible for their very existence. Thanks to some distinct contradiction between my speech and action, I manage to produce interesting whirls in many affairs I’m directly involved in. Such behaviour – often unintentional – is usually amusing and beneficial; however, the only honest word to define is Hypocrisy.

Much as I try to introspect and implement stronger life-ethics, I’ve observed I often (unknowingly) take a path of pretence – something that
 conveniently works my way. Not that I’m proud of it, nor has it played any role in the little success I’ve achieved in my professional and personal life; I can only be honest that I haven’t always been the most neutral person one should ideally be. And so I thought of resorting to someone I know who’s always stuck to her/his stand in everything s/he had to say, someone, I can learn from – like my parents, teachers, close friends, relatives. Drifting as my thoughts could be, I was led to think – Most of us are Hypocrites – at one or the other level.

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5 Workout Tips That Work

7 min read | About Health, Fitness

When you learn, teach. When you get, give. - Maya Angelou (US Author & Poet, 1928).

I’m no wizard in exercising or dieting. We have gym instructors and nutritionists for that. However, with consistent (read futile) attempts over decades, I've attained the inside knowledge of why common people often fail to adopt a workout routine. I feel I must share the secret in the interest of humanity.

Starting way back from 6th grade in school when my parents took up ‘family lifetime membership’ at a Health Club at home, to Kota, Pune, Bhopal and now Bangalore. I’ve made generous donations to some of the biggest players in the ‘health and fitness’ business in these cities. And they have failed to get me what I want. Actually, I’ve failed to understand what I want – or rather, what I need to do. All I’ve gained is some more weight, increased BMI and learnt some creative excuses not to exercise.

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30 Odd. What is it like?

2 min read | About Life, Personal

Exactly 5 years ago, I had written an article on how great a deal it was turning 25 – stepping into Grihasthashram. Apart from the poor response and less-welcome comments, it had content that seemed completely irrelevant lately. I deleted the article.

I had to wait for 5 years and another milestone of my age to write this article. It’s an interesting stage from 'numbers' point of view.

While I turned 30 today, both of my parents are 60. In ITSM terminology, combined, our age is 150 years. If we were to bill God (or nature?) for everything we do on a day-to-day basis, we would have billed for 150x365x24 man-hours. Of course, I’ve gladly ignored my sister’s existence for this hypothetical example. But I like this landmark. Anyway.

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Fuel For A Journey Called Life

6 min read | About Society, Life, Humanity

For months, I had completely disconnected from news and newspapers simply because of the extent of negativity they concentrate on. I do have all the respect for media – paper and electronic – much more than what they deserve; still, I feel what we’re witnessing these days is the all-time-worst decline in journalism standards (so in India, at least).

Fortunately, we also have some quality options like Times of India – Crest Edition (thanks to Kaushal for referring this to me, I’ve been a regular reader again). I was recently reading about Security and Privacy in their recent issue (Cover Story: Dec 18, 2010). Putting aside Wikileaks and Assange’s method of reaching the truth, the message is clear that balance is disturbed. Bad is weighing over Good and if the Karmic Law is to be believed, we’re in for a big trade here.

I turned pages and appeared the epic 2G scam. People in the West are moving to 4G and our ministers (and TelCos) are spending billions to make sure we don’t move to 3G as well! Surprisingly, amidst extreme pessimism and negativity, somewhere I could sense the ray of hope. As they say, this too shall pass!

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5 Reasons To Quit Facebook

4 min read | About Social Media, Opinion, Facebook, Lifestyle, Video

Being a social media addict, it is not easy to  NOT like Facebook or sorts. There have been really strong reasons, however, behind writing this article. We all 'Facebook' for one or the other reason. But there may be many others, why we should not.

Earlier today, I was going through a photo-album and ‘tagging’ people. (That’s what we’re supposed to do, right? ‘Tag Faces’? ‘Face’ book?) So I did. To my surprise, I could identify two extremely opposite sets of people:

  • People that I never imagined would use a computer, were on Facebook. (I wouldn’t have imagined this, say, five years ago. But not anymore. They are quite active. They do ‘like’ my comments and photos off and on. They are very much here to stay.)
  • People that could be on Facebook weren’t really there.
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