Make your Bucket List: The one with B.L., Salsa and Me

Life’s just one, whats the point in living without attempting each and every crazy (physically non-harmful) thing you wish to do, and that too when you are young? This principle defines my life in the recent times

Inspired by the movie Bucket list, I decided to make one myself. After all, its never too late to try the things you have always wanted to try. Its just this one life that I have got.


First step, make the bucket list. A constantly update list, but here are the current significant entries, in no particular order:

  • Sky Diving
  • Para gliding (2012 May)
  • Para Sailing (2006 July)
  • Bungee Jumping
  • Under Sea Walking (2006 July)
  • Conquering Mount Fuji (12,389 ft)
  • Jump from a tall tower hanging on a rope (2006 July)
  • Trekking to the top of Machu Pichu
  • Ski through the advanced level slopes
  • Learn Japanese language
  • Dancing (2012 March)
  • Scuba diving
  • Take a ride on a fighter jet
  • Driving at speeds over 180kph

As an attempt to fulfill the entries in my bucket list, Bungee Jumping in planned for next week and have started learning Salsa Dance at a club in Seoul. I was so apprehensive of dancing, given that I consider myself to be not-suitable-for-dancing kind, but hey, all it takes is courage and a li’l practice. Went for a few classes and this is what I have learned so far. It is not as difficult to learn as break dance and stuff, especially because dances like Salsa and Swing does not depend on how well you can twist and move your entire body, rather, it just depends on how well you can adapt your feet movements to the rhythm in the music. Check out some basic salsa steps to know what I am talking about.

The best thing about dancing is the electric atmosphere and the energy you get from it. You have to be there to see what I am talking about. Its an entirely different universe behind that door (Man, the sound proofing must be great for the walls there.) Girls and guys sitting around and every song, the guy goes to a girl of her choice and asks her hand for the dance and its called Holding.

The basic etiquette is: A girl (called follower) can deny a guy (called leader) once for one song, if she is tired but its not polite to deny the same guy twice, the same day. If a girl asks a guy for holding, a guy cannot even deny once (why would he?) 🙂 But as far as I have seen, unless someone is really really tired, they dont deny the request from the person requesting the holding. Overall, its fun and you get to meet so many new and interesting people, outside of work-o-sphere, which is something people lack when they are in the R&D field.

We are going on a dance workshop this weekend. A barbecue, socializing and all night dancing at a pension in the hills. Everyone is eagerly looking forward to it I am sure. So am I.

Will attempt on the remaining entries in the bucket list when the opportunity comes. In the meantime, I am busy adding other interesting items to this bucket list.

Why don’t you make your bucket list today? List some interesting things you have always wanted to do, but never had the guts/chance to do it. Let me know if you think I should include them in mine as well.


These Little Things That Matter…

You know.. Sometimes these little things leave a big impression in your mind.. It could even change your outlook about something.. Something like that happened today when I was coming back home from work..

It was about 9:30 pm and eager to get home, I was riding my bicycle at not slow speed through the main road.. The pedestrian light was green and as normal, I made a swift turn to cross the road.. There was a taxi coming from behind and I assume that it would stop and unfortunately it did not.. Avoiding a collision, I exclaimed to the driver “Cant you see the red light?”.. He moved on and I crossed the road.. I saw him stopping a few meters in front of me and lowered the window on the side I was coming from behind..

Predisposed to the sureness that he was about to shout back at me, I prepared my mind for a small verbal battle, as it would have been the case as per my experience back home.. When he stopped in the middle of the road waiting for me to come parallel to him, I got ready with another phrase “Why dont you watch where you are going atleast when the light is red?”.. When the glass was lowered, I saw that the driver was a 50 something man and he gently bowed to me with his palm up, signalling he was sorry for what happened before.. I was touched.. This was NOT what I had expected.. Actually this was the opposite of what I had expected..

Shame on me for the predisposition.. Must do better the next time..

Hanlingo – A great place for cultural exchange in Korea


Click here to visit Hanlingo

I have been associated with this website since the late 2008, when it was introduced to me by a class mate of mine who was studying korean with me.. Since then, I have joined various meetups and even met the creator, Chuck, during one of the large scale meetup, organized at Korea university.

I have made numerous friends and even conducted one meetup involving participants from Suwon area. While there are 1000s of language exchange/cultural exchange websites in the world, there are a few factors which make Hanlingo far ahead when compared to others, especially in Korea.


1. The creator, Chuck, actively listens to our opinions and implements our feedbacks very promptly. I guess such a fact is quite important because, along with numerous other benefits, it helps us weed out imposters and help the website better day by day. Along the span of 2.5 years I have been associated with this website, I have seen many examples of prompt actions he has taken.

2. The chat window in the main page. While I dont use it personally a lot, I have seen a lot of people using it and asking language questions and getting the answers from people online. I guess that this is one of the important features that makes this website so helpful to make friends. One can ask a question in realtime and get the answers.

3. The users on the map. Hanlingo shows the users on the map based on the input they have given while registering. This is VERY helpful especially for people looking for getting friends/language exchange partners near them. Instead of using a basic search, one could directly go to the map and then check for the desired target friends based on sex, native language and distance. I find this feature quite unique and helpful.

4. Even though any other such website has a Forum, I guess that Hanlingo forum is quite resourceful as well.

5. Book Deals. While  I haven’t used this specific feature as much, I guess this is a one stop for all your book deals. It actually shows all the books available cheap (less than $10 a copy). I am planning to use this feature in the future, whenever I need to look for a good and cheap deal.

6. Meetups. One can organize meetups and define the place and date and put it up on the main page for others to sign up. This is something like but the best part is that unlike the Meetup website, when you need to pay some money to the website for making a meetup, Chuck encourages interaction by making this feature free of cost.

While I can go on and on about the good things about the website, I would say that its only complete when you actually experience it yourself. While everything on this website is not free, some of the important, essential features are kept free for use so that the users can use them in developing long term friendships and learn more about different cultures. There are members from various parts of the globe as well.. So even though its mainly used by Korean users and people living in Korea, there is a global touch as well.

I have been here for quite a long time and have made some good friends during that time. I hope that you do too.

Click here for accessing the website:

Something on relationships and Psychology

These days I am very much into Psychology and Relationships..
I don’t know since when… But, analyzing people and events have always been my hobby/habit.. I have learnt a lot about people and “how they think” and “why they do what they do” etc thanks to various people I had come across with.. I take this as an opportunity of personal growth as well..

Anyway, I came across an article by a Psychologist named Al Turtle. He has given a detailed explanations of various stages in a relationship and has tried to define what he calls the path from temporary “Romantic Love” (which every couple experiences due to the drug called phenylethylalamin, excreted by our brain) to “Vintage Love” (thanks to endorphins).. He also aims to create what he calls a “Relationship Map”, which is aimed at assisting you in analyzing where you are in a relationship, just like a regular geographical map..

I recommend this article to those who are in a relationship.. It would surely make you understand why things happen the way they are…

NOTE: This article is VERY long.. So I would advice people with no interest in Psychology against reading this…

Without any further ado, here you go..


Quote:  “And so with all five components of the Biological Dream we have:  the human brain desires a community, a reliable connection with other humans who express their differences freely, can act independently, can reach their full unique productive potential and where there is safety. And this, I believe, is hard-wired in all humans.  We come into the world with these five  needs and expectations: Safety, Reliable Membership, Diversity, Autonomy, Purpose.”

Photo: Beauty of the Night

Had my presentation today..  Went quite well.. Going to a place to Taroko tomorrow. It is a gorge and quite famous in Taiwan.. Since there are none of this kind in Korea/India, along with some Korean friends I met at the conference, I thought of visiting there tomorrow. Its about 4 hours from Taipei (one way).. Looking forward to it.. Will post on the trip, once I am back..

In the meantime, check out Beauty of the Night. It was due for some time..


First Impressions of Taiwan

Reached Taipei today for presenting my paper on Tactical Networks, in IEEE-VTC 2010 Spring.  After arriving Taoyuan International Airport about 3:30 pm (Local Time), I was took a TowardYou Airbus to reach the place where I would be staying for the next week. This time, inspired by other travelers, instead of checking into a hotel, I thought of staying at a hostel. The airbus took me to Far Eastern Plaza Hotel from where I reached the hostel on foot.

All through my journey in the bus and on foot, I was trying to observe and absorb as much as I can about Taipei. Being popular as a safe city (apparently safer than Seoul), I was looking forward to meet the local people and taste the local food. After quite a few traveling experiences, I have came to believe that, in order to taste authentic local food, street food is the way to go..  Though I spent today for rest and recharge before I go for the conference registration tomorrow, I plan to delve into the vastness of Taipei Night Markets after that.

I must admit that the hostel which I had checked in to, is much better that what I had thought.. Located next to Taipei 101 (The ex-tallest building in the world in terms of occupiable floors, a record recently broken by Burj Khalifa) this hostel is in fact located next to a night market. Though I admit that the facilities are fewer when compared to expensive hotels, I have already found three things which is unique to such places.

  1. Friendly host: If you do your research right, you can choose a hostel with a very helpful host. In my case, thanks to the reviews from, I was not disappointed. Vanessa is a very friendly person, who waited for me for about 3 hours (Thanks to the delayed flight). She lives in the building and is incredibly friendly.. First thing what she did was to introduce me to the facilities and was more than willing to help me plan the rest of my trip. And most importantly of all, her English was flawless.
  2. Common room activity: The hostel has a common room where the people who stay here come for meeting others. Today, there were so many university students who had come for an overnight stay as a part of their club. I found that Taiwan stresses on English education and as a result, I found that 100% of them spoke English, something rare in the Asian countries. I also heard from Vanessa that another Indian is going to check in tomorrow. Eager to meet him.
  3. Cheap Washing ‘n Drying: For as low as $1.5, I can wash and dry all my clothes at one go.  This is something I have missed in all the hotels I have stayed, each time I traveled abroad. Most of them charged me $5 upwards for a shirt/trousers.

On my way from the airport, while turning around a corner, I found something like an outdoor fashion show with models wearing “strange” (I fail to appreciate the FTV-type hairdoes!!) hairt syles standing in front of a COACH showroom with lost of people photographing them.  While walking along the streets, I saw a woman (in her late 20s) pushing a buggy. Familiar with the sight in Korea, I looked for the cute baby sleeping comfortably inside. There was a baby alright, but it was a puppy. Resting comfortable on the cushions, there it was.. Small and cute..  Dog Walking.. Taiwan style??

With a growing interest in cars these days, I also observed the trends of car brands.. As expected, Toyota and Nissan were the majority with a speck of VW, Benz and Lexus here and there.. There was even a KIA but not a single Hyundai.. Quite Surprising for someone coming from Korea..  There was also a Samsung Anycall showroom (did not know that they used the anycall brand outside Korea)..  The most striking this about Taipei roads was the cleanliness and the thick lush of green trees separating the lines. Though the traffic density was quite high on the roads, the breeze smelled fresh, probably due to this green magic. There was a really large number of motorcycles on the road (A sight common to India, but quite rare in Korea).  The apartments  crowded the street sides, but were not very tall though. The people were quite kind when I was asking for directions.. On the whole.. The first impression is quite good and I cant wait for delving more deep  into this vibrant city in the coming days..

Tomorrow, I plan to board the Taipei Metro for the first time and go to the most popular attraction in the city: The National Palace Museum (with 677,687 artifacts, it is one of the largest museums in the world). Then I would go to the conference site for registration and welcome reception followed by a visit to the local night markets for a taste of Taipei night life.



Best of K-Pop (Korean Pop)

Thanks to a recent popular Korean drama called “Smile, You” I came across the following track and it instantly became my favorite Korean track till date.  This is a song by Melo’ Breeze (멜로 브리즈) and is very apt for the drama, which reveals a story about two families who used to live at the opposite ends of the world, forced to come together by fate.  It details how the super rich family tries to make it, after going bankrupt, living in their former chauffeur’s (who is a grandpa) house following his rules. Check out the song below.

Just for the listening pleasure, the next song is Vis-à-vis, by the same band.

Good Day.