Saturday, June 30, 2007

Banyan Tree..


Infrastructure is quite the fastest growing sector in India and even most parts of the globe.. And for a developing country like India it is the need of the hour. But unfortunately this growth is coming at some cost, the cost of felling of trees.
Pune has been very famous for it Banyan Trees, which are all over the city especially on the side of the highways giving them a scenic view..
The Municipal Corporation of Pune counts and number the trees in entire city and makes sure that the count is well maintained. But now, because of the new wide roads and other infrastructural demands.. the city and its surrounding lost a lot of these green lives. The effect of this might not be faced instantaneously but we know how badly we are heading to a catastrophe due to environmental problems. Banyan tree are one of the largest manufacturer of oxygen and are the only home for birds like owl and hornbill. Further our culture attaches a lost of relevance to this tree and worship them at quite a number of occasions.
So, the National Highway Authority, the Airport Authorities and all other organisations which are in development spree must ensure that they compromise for the each tree that they shed..

Is ZAPAK Doing it Rite??


Now a days advertising has become very important for all companies and they are coming up with new and innovtive ways to attract people. But did you all check the ad for
Not sure how many of you felt the same way.. but I feel that the ad offends the Indian postal service and its glory of being one of the biggest chains in the world.
The mascot of zapakmail is a man dressed like a postman, travelling on a rocket with an emergency light at front.
While the postal services are spending crores to modernise and make its service more efficient this campaign by Anil Ambani's venture Zapak is trying to bring in a disgrace to its slow delivery process.
While entering into e-mail services Zapak should try to compete with the other players in the market and prove its efficiency in comparison with them, not Indian postal services which quite efficient and reliable for its mail and other services.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

MAYA-wati starts glittering b4 her state does..


Mayawati is bringing in lot of hope and goodwill amongst all people of Uttar Pradesh. But while she was busy was the election campaign and as the leader of opposition, she simultaneously increased her assets by 400 %. While filling a nomination for Lok Sabha elections in 2004, she declared her assets at a little over Rs 11 crore. And now according to TOI’s latest report, she declared her current assets to exceed Rs. 52..5 crore..
But then the boom is real estate is a crime factor behind this.. She invested at some prime properties in Delhi – one at Sardar Patel Marg is worth Rs 18 crores (though the real estate agents quote a much higher rate).. Commercial properties – 2 at Connaught Place worth 3.3 crores and 1 at Okhla worth Rs 15.5 crores.
But at the same time she added jewellery and diamonds worth ove Rs 70 lakh and money in banks and other financial institutes have grown from Rs 9 crore to around Rs 13 crore.
Now she is getting busy to pay a penalty and settle the I-T demand.
Before I end listen to this interesting fact: she doesn’t own a car, agricultural or non-agricultural land.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Be careful while preaching HR Skills


Days back I was reading “The Week” (June 10 th edition).. The cover story of this magazine said “Paid to Play” and it dealt with how the HR department in various companies both public and private are now trying innovative techniques for recruiting and retaining the best people in their organisation. Few examples that were highlighted include Continuous Computing which allows all its employees to take a 45-minutes post lunch nap called power-nap; Microsoft GTSC in Bangalore has set up a hi-tech gaming room, christened the X-box, for its employees; and the list went on with lot of creative techniques being implemented to keep people energetic, motivated and thus more efficient.
I still remember the workshop conducted by Wipro Technologies for the fresher recruits, to motivate them to join the company, give them a good feel about the company and a little insight to corporate life. One of their HR department executive Rajesh Venkadri was at our campus for the 2-day workshop called Synergy. There were number of activities (even a few games) which involved lot of fun and folic and each one of us were in our top spirits.
But at this moment I recollect a very disturbing incident that happened and now regretting for not bringing into light then. Mr. Venkatadri just folded a 100 rupee note very badly and then even took it into his mouth and spit it on the floor, and the with in flash of a second a classmate of mine happily picked it up and won all praises from the HR man. According to him, a 100 rupee note is a hundred rupee note and it not a matter of shame to do anything to get it. Basically it was just an extension of the heated argument we had on the fact that not all jobs are treated alike and rag-pickers and maids are looked very lowly.
But he didn’t realise the offence he performed in the process. It is an offence to fold an Indian currency note more than once or trying to spoil it in any form.

Hope this comes to his notice soon and I request people reading this article it practice and preach people to respect our currency notes and do not spoil them.

VOTE FOR TAJ!! (Reloaded)


Is the young generation becoming less patriotic??
Well it’s a matter of shame that being a young Indian I am myself doubting my peers.. This doubt came into my mind see the fact that Taj Mahal is far away in the race to be among the Seven Wonders of the World. Even smaller nations with smaller populations are ahead in the race. I am really not able to find valid reason why many aren’t voting. It’s definitely not that we are not aware of the voting systems because our media is very active and really sells on such information. And we have quite a big cluck of our population using the internet and mobile phones and spending a lot of time on them..
Then what is the reason..?? Are we so busy that we can’t find few seconds to vote? Is it a national pride that we have one of the Seven Wonders of the World in our country? Won’t it be a big boost to our tourism sector which is trying out its best to fight out the Malaysia and South East Asian countries? And increase in tourism does benefit the government and thus everyone in the country someway or the other.

So I request every one to get awaken again and let to the maximum we can to get Taj Mahal in the new list of Wonders..



Remember last year, we had an aam admi’s protest that brought in the Right to Information Act. I was dying to see the results of it.. cause even I believed it to be a very good move to fight corruption in our country. And guess what found.. this shocking news in today’s India Express, Railway ministry paid for the case study done by IIM-A. The case study in the year 2006 talked about the remarkable change in the turnover of the railways. An amount of 4 lakh rupees plus and all the service charges, expenses of professors, computer usage and overheads of at IIM-A.
The author of the study, an IIM-A professor was also provided rail travel (complimentary passes)/air travel, accommodation (rest house), local hospitality, data covering and analysis support. This entire truth was out because of an application filled by The Sunday Express under the Right to Information Act.
It took two months for them to finish a 26-page report, with a 45 page annexure praising the “style of the minister”, his “non-interference” in dealing with the Railways Board, his “direct approach” while communicating with zonal General Managers, “caring attitude towards staff and unions”, his image building through the media. And even his ability to identify the “right people as reflected by the coice of his choice of his OSD Sudhir Kumar”.
After the report was complete, IIM-A rolled out the red carpet for Lalu on September 18 when he visited the campus, with new tag to his name “management guru”.
Things didn’t end here; Lalu then met delegates from Harvard Business School, Wharton University, American Defense Institute, U.S. Financial Services Industrial Study Group, MIT’s Sloan business school who visited Indian Railways to hear the “turnaround story”.
So now its upto you to interpret this piece of news as u wish..

Monday, June 25, 2007

Homosexuality in small towns.


The Indian metros have long been considered the mecca for homosexual activities, with a few other cities like Nagpur, Hyderabad, etc. being constantly considered. The media hype and the amount of information overload (with the internet and websites like orkut playing a major role) has changed the scenario a lot now. Even small cities like Allahabad, Lucknow, Kanpur, Meerut, Patna, to name a few have recently seen a surge in the amount of queer activities. What is astoundingly noticeable is the fact that almost all towns have ‘gay meeting points’ which are just a google away! A number of NGOs are doing some work, mainly to make the ‘communities’ aware of the protection they need to have against STDs. While sexuality is a very complicated issue it is incredible how the number of people who have ‘come out of the closet’ has considerably increased over a few years in India.
I tried to find out more on this issue on the backdrop of a ‘gay marriage’ between two girls hailing from Harrayana. Journalism can be a very complex experience and I experienced it first hand in my first stint with ‘true journalism’. Getting a chance to interview a person who flaunts his sexuality openly over the internet was much tougher than I had imagined. I contacted a few people through but it was a futile attempt. (I wanted an interview for my podcast as well but it could never happen!). Having set my mind on the story I went the illegal way. I created a fake orkut account and joined a few communities which openly expose the lack of securities and the slackness in the implementation of the ‘norms’ of and its associated sites. As I browsed through the various communities and their members, a few facts were evident:

  • Getting ‘hooked up’ is very simple on the internet.

  • Nudity and obscenity is the order of the day.

  • For many it is just a medium to escape the monotony of their lives.

  • Pornography is not restricted to the business aspect; many sex chats (C-2-C, as they are called) show the individual and non-economic angle.

  • For quite a few fame hungry men and women, violating the norms of the society is the easiest option and internet provides them a private audience with secret admirers.

  • The serge in the queer behavior may be just a lack of opportunity with the opposite sex (even over the internet) and the strange restrictions that the Indian society imposes on such individuals (especially belonging to small towns).

  • There are however, a number of fascinated first timers who may have been ‘inspired’ by the MTV and other outlets of metro-culture. (If a big football star is Gay, it’s so ‘cool’).

Like always, I don’t wish to leave you with an overwhelming opinion that may obstruct your free flowing thought process. I just had my side of the story to tell you and encourage you to voice your opinions here and have a fruitful discussion.

PS: I’ve deleted the fake profile I had created on!!!



It is very rare that solutions to problems of overblown proportions exist and be perfect in all respects. The idea of cooperatives is one such solution. For a country like India which is moving up in all frontiers and fast emerging a power to be reckoned in the world, there’s a need to make the foundations stronger than ever. This nation building is possible only when all sections of the country are economically strong and socially secure.

The basic principles on which a cooperative system works advocate empowerment through responsibility, power and profit sharing. This form of a set-up does a two fold job. First, it makes sure that the collaborating parties share the profit thus bringing about an atmosphere of economic independence. Secondly, it improves the managerial skills of the whole society involved in it and hence they get a social elation based on their acquired confidence.

We all know how small fishes of the sea team up together to scare away the big predators underwater. Think of a cooperative as a similar setup. While the isolated people would have to face tough times and may wilt and perish, the joint effort of such small seemingly powerless islands would make a giant landmass which would not only float and be self-sustaining but may be able to encourage other organizations as subsidiaries to thrive on its support.

Some may argue that even a cooperative setup may turn out to be a private-profit-maker for a few who would exploit it. This is in fact the sorry story of some unsuccessful attempts. What we need to realize is that such failure would exist only when long term gains of a cooperative are not properly communicated to the people. They need to understand that trust is a very important building block of any cooperative organization.

India has a very long history of cooperatives. A large number of success-stories of our nation communicate to us the power of cooperatives. One must question why the cooperative system has more often than not worked wonders for our nation. The answer is simple; a cooperative helps in harnessing the versatility and potency of the cottage industries. With more than 70% of Indian population living in villages with little or no access to the development that our nation now boasts of, it is logical to think that instead of thrusting the big profit ravenous industries into the villages the underprivileged would be far better off if cooperative industries were able to grow amidst them.

The “India Rural Infrastructure Report” has pointed out that providing telecom connectivity alone to this 70% of India would require funds to the tune of more than Rs. 92,690 crores. Add to this an additional Rs.55, 243 crores for power supply, Rs.5, 892 crores for roads and transport and Rs.4, 488 crores for water and sanitation. As is evident from these numbers, the fact that infrastructure in villages is largely owned by the government faces a funds constraint. Now, consider the fact that 9/10th of village households do not own telephone and 50% of the households do not have power connections. Imagining fully developed rural areas and hence a developed India is impossible without solving this desperate situation; dearth of funds and huge requirements pose a problem that seems hopeless. The only viable solution can be envisaged through the installation of proper cooperatives involving the occupational activities of the region. Right now every 4th poor person on this planet is an Indian. If this scenario has to change we would need to empower each and every individual by heralding a cooperative revolution across the borders of the nation.

I wish to illustrate a simple example which can act as a prototype for an ideal cooperative. The “Yashasvini micro health insurance scheme” which is an initiative taken up in Karnataka, has ensured health care surgery in good hospitals to 20 million farmers in the state. This includes expensive heart surgeries as well. All this is made available to the farmers at an astonishingly low cost of Rs.5 a month! This proves beyond doubt the power that a cooperative system can yield and the far-reaching effects that it may have.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Sparrows and eagles


I can still remember my early school days (in St. Joseph’s College, Allahabad). As much as us, the eagles perched on top of the tall school buildings used to wait for the lunch break. Our mothers’ kitchens served the hungry eagles during the day. We saw the amazing creature making magnificent calculated dives to pick up the litter that we created on the play ground. Coming back to home was not just bicycling through the heavy traffic that has made an exponential rise; it was coming back to the sound of sparrows that always found a safe nestling place in my garden. The mother sparrow’s relentless efforts to feed the yelling babies were both music to ears and a nature lover’s paradise.
Things have changed drastically in the recent times. I went to my old school only to find that like my old teachers the eagles have also taken retirement. The only difference is that unlike the teachers my old friends have not been replaced by their new offspring. I had never imagined that the eagles which outnumbered the students of my school would one day become endangered. The monsters to be blamed for wiping out the existence of these wonderful creatures are pollution, unabated urbanization and unobstructed cutting of trees on the pretext of development. This is ironical for a city like Allahabad which is called a ‘dead city’ considering the slow pace of development here.
My father had put up a small bird house for the sparrows a year back which is yet to find inhabitants. Like other big cities the sparrow song has evaded our ears for some years now!
There is a need to take up the cause of environment preservation (resurrection now) in a big way. We have harmed our planet to such an extent now that individual resolutions may not be enough. A strong political will has become the need of the hour. Governments around the world need to take into consideration the fact that economy of the future world would depend on how well we manage our ecosystem. There are very few examples of a political success which had the environment angle to their campaign and policies. The convincing win of congress in the Goa assembly elections is a clear indication that when it comes to choosing a government we still vote without taking into account the past atrocities that were committed on the environment around us.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007



Cricket is not just a game! I know, quite a cliché. There have been a lot of incidents recently which made me say that. The furor created over the suicide of a young aspiring cricketer, Subhash Dixit, has made many critics and people associated with the game think beyond the money and fame involved in the game. Selectors making huge profits over the selection process are not a secret anymore! Selection of an Indian coach turned out nothing but BCCI hoopla without any results as yet.
There is something with this game, especially in India. I don’t wish to comment on the viability of the claim that ‘we love cricket because cricket is in our blood’, I would just wish to bring to you a small incident that happened today.

PJ: ‘Hey lets go to civil lines guys. We’ll chase around some *%&$# …’

Vinay: ‘Ya lets go. We’ll ask Anuj and Sam as well’

Sam: ‘I’m fine with it. Let’s get our engines kicking!’

Anuj: ‘Sure, let’s go. Haven’t had any funs in a while’

So, all four of us set out on our bikes to have some fun. Meanwhile, Anuj gets a call.

Anuj (on the phone): ‘Ok. I’ll be there in a moment.’

PJ: ‘Hey what happened?’

Anuj: ‘Yaar I’m sorry. Can’t come with you guys. Have a cricket match.’

Vinay: ‘But your match was tomorrow na?’

Anuj: ‘Ya my match is tomorrow guys. I’m umpiring on today’s match!’

We tried to convince him but he was adamant. In the end he evaded our questions and queries and we remained silent. How anyone can miss loads of fun in the company of friends just because he has to umpire in a cricket match! I’m still clueless.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007



Imagine this: You are riding a bike on a busy road along with 2 other friends. Yes, I mean all 3 of you on the same bike! The person driving the very sturdy Pulsar 150cc is good at his job and maneuvering even in the heavy traffic is quite simple for him. Nevertheless, it is illegal and an inconspicuous police jeep parked at the corner of the road is not spotted and they get caught. All papers come in handy and there’s no problem with anything else, an Rs.45 challan is all that would have to be paid. Fair enough, they say, not a bad deal, after all they did break a law.
The police team inspecting the lawbreakers has forgotten the challan receipt book in the ‘thana’ and they’ll have to move to that place which is some 1 kilometer from there. But, how do they go there? I mean, 3 of them cannot ride on a single bike now can they! This doubt is raised in front of the police inspector and he suggests that they can take the inside road where there wont be more checks and reach the police station where after getting the receipt they can go back.
Now imagine this: The same 3 friends ride the same bike, now moving towards the police station. They reach the place faster than the police and decide to take some cold drink at the nearby shop! In due course of time the police jeep comes back and they go inside the ‘thana’, get their job done and move out of the police station again doing the same for which they were caught in the first place. But, now they have the much honored receipt so for a few days they can manage with 3 people on one bike!
Yes you have guessed it right; one of them was me (with my friends Vinay and Sam). May God be with us!!!

Defining SUCCESS


Today was my first working day at National Insurance Academy, Pune. So we had an inaugural session this morning with the CEO of AON Global Insurance Services Pvt Ltd as the Chief Guest. The proceedings started with a very interesting presentation by our director, Dr. K.C. Mishra. He spoke and presented a video of top CEO speaking on success.
Well I remember discussing the topic quite a number of times with my friends and we found it tough to coin a definition for the word “success”.
So, this video was courtesy Wharton, where the same question was toasted in front of few CEO for their views.
Many CEO came in with their definitions and each tried to justify their point.
Most of them tried to relate it to the economic status and monetary gains that one makes in his lifetime. Some called it achieving something desired, planned, or attempted. Some said it is meeting all the goals that you set for yourself or fulfilment of all your dreams and desires. But all had one thing in common to say, success is a relative quality.
But then the best definition among all the 10 corporates who answered was from the youngest one. He said success is directly comparable to happiness in life, if a person is happy it implies he is successful. Now it upto the person; what sort of happiness he looks forward to! For example if he is able to satisfy his wife and children at home, it implies he is a successful family man.
Isn’t it well said?? It is for a person to realise whether he is happy with what he has done, no matter how much effort he has put in to achieve it compared to others, he is successful.
While I was about to conclude it as the definition of the day, our director put forward his! He simply said, Success is not a goal, it’s a journey.
It just sums it all.. All other definitions were case sensitive (so, they even contradict the word definition) but the one liner from our director tends to be the complete definition.
If you are happy or achieved success, it just pushes you to crave for more success. The journey is just endless. People need to realise this and climb the ladder of their life. For a 3 year old though learning all the alphabets will be a tough ask, but then he learns things and greater things, so he just keeps raising the bar for himself(though more often by force) and progresses on the path of academic success. And then so in all other fields.. till the end of his life.
This definition is so universal that it can even be used in the case of companies and organisations. Many companies are called (and more often call themselves) successful, but there again it’s a dynamic process. If you are the current leader in a particular industry, you have to ensure that you continue to remain to same. There is always has a potential threat from of other players in the same industry or the new payers coming in. The growth of the company should always be going up, adding on more products and more consumers.
And even the term relativity is explained better here. There isn’t anything like absolute successful with which one has to compare himself. It’s just relative to your past successes, the circumstances and some other factors. Now, it is for a person to make the best out of a situation; his decision makes him the man he would be in future. So, once he is successful in achieving it, he looks for greater task and pushes for more success.
So, people every one on this planet is successful and should be happy for it, and keep looking for opportunities for taking up bigger tasks and doing them successfully.

Monday, June 18, 2007



We (3 friends and I) set out to go on a biking tour to a near by temple and a picnic spot of sorts (some 70kms from the city) this Sunday. The place is called ‘Sitamarhi’ and is believed to be the place where ‘sita’ descended into the earth. There is of course a lot of dispute over the whole issue. Leaving the set of people who believe that the whole issue is a faux, there are those who believe that the actual place is somewhere in Bihar. Considering the fact that Uttar Pradesh and Bihar are more or less the same place (politically, intellectually, infra wise, religious sentiments, beliefs, etc.) it has never been a much debated issue like the ‘Babri masjid’!

We set out early in the morning on our bikes (both Pulsar 150cc) and as always the road was fun. Had photo shoots; the regular road side ‘chai dhaba’; an occasional ‘good face’ to watch for; a few buffalos; broken roads; smooth highway; speeding trucks (TATA and Ashok Leyland !!!), in all the road as usual. We did flaunt our disobedience and stupidity at the same time by not wearing our helmets, but God was with us!
The temple is some 10 km inside a village along the highway and riding in the village is a big challenge, occasional cattle and small kids crossing the road just in front of you; I need not mention that the road is in shambles.
We reached the place by 10 in the morning and after some soul searching in the temple had our breakfast. The place has got some good facilities for the visitors, now that the place is such a big attraction for people looking for some escape from the daily monotony and Allahabad doesn’t have a lot of good hang out places so this is heaven for us.
Then followed a round of discussions, jokes, walk in the huge temple compound, and what not! Then it was time for lunch. We hogged on some fine rotis, dal makhani, paneer butter masala, kadhai paneer and sprite! If you are a non-vegetarian then this place will not cater to your taste buds. Then another round of jokes, photos, roaming around till it was time to get back. This time the weather was not too polite to us and riding a bike in the blazing heat is not the best of experiences. Nevertheless, honking we rode our bikes to get back home and the lord of rain did finally bless our courage and we had to ride in the sun only for about 40 minutes.
Tired, I sunk into my bed and slept for a few hours. Now comes the sad part. When I woke up I had a nauseating feeling and a slight pain in my stomach. After minutes of uneasiness I finally threw up. Must have been due to the stuff I ate during my day. Then late in the night my dad took me to a nearby nursing home (and ya it was ‘Father’s day’ yesterday!!!) where a male nurse jabbed two injections into my veins. I’m still weak while writing this blog but a lot better than yesterday. But, what a crazy day!
The only pitiful thing now is that I have to restrict the things that I’m eating and eating ‘khichadi’ with lime is just not palatable.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Be careful while preaching HR Skills


Days back I was reading “The Week” (June 10 th edition).. The cover story of this magazine said “Paid to Play” and it dealt with how the HR department in various companies both public and private are now trying innovative techniques for recruiting and retaining the best people in their organisation. Few examples that were highlighted include Continuous Computing which allows all its employees to take a 45-minutes post lunch nap called power-nap; Microsoft GTSC in Bangalore has set up a hi-tech gaming room, christened the X-box, for its employees; and the list went on with lot of creative techniques being implemented to keep people energetic, motivated and thus more efficient.
I still remember the workshop conducted by Wipro Technologies for the fresher recruits, to motivate them to join the company, give them a good feel about the company and a little insight to corporate life. One of their HR department executive Rajesh Venkadri was at our campus for the 2-day workshop called Synergy. There were number of activities (even a few games) which involved lot of fun and folic and each one of us were in our top spirits.
But at this moment I recollect a very disturbing incident that happened and now regretting for not bringing into light then. Mr. Venkatadri just folded a 100 rupee note very badly and then even took it into his mouth and spit it on the floor, and the with in flash of a second a classmate of mine happily picked it up and won all praises from the HR man. According to him, a 100 rupee note is a hundred rupee note and it not a matter of shame to do anything to get it. Basically it was just an extension of the heated argument we had on the fact that not all jobs are treated alike and rag-pickers and maids are looked very lowly.
But he didn’t realise the offence he performed in the process. It is an offence to fold an Indian currency note more than once or trying to spoil it in any form.

Hope this comes to his notice soon and I request people reading this article it practice and preach people to respect our currency notes and do not spoil them.

SELECTION - a tuff task


While the companies in the West are looking into India as the best option for Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) and Knowledge Process Outsourcing (KPO), few Indian organisations like BCCI and Congress-NCP-Left are regretting for not Outsourcing the job of finding a coach and candidate for the President respectively.
This might be for the first time in the history of Indian politics that such a long list of potential candidates were discussed and it took the longest time for them to satisfy all parties. Recently they zeroed in on one name, surprisingly a female candidate Prathibha Patil. Now she might turn on to become the 1st women President of India.. But hold on, here I have a doubt, How should we address her in Hindi (caused President is generally called Rastra’pati’)? I don’t think we can convert the gender and call her Rastrapatni.. it will be interesting to know the right answer.. will it be Rastramata, Shrimati Rastrapati..?? I can’t wait to find it out…
The situation is even worse for the BCCI, it is in its worst period ever. It started its search for an appropriate man to coach the Indian cricket team since shameful 1st round exit from the World Cup under the guidance of Greg Chappel. Few weeks ago it looked almost certain that Dav Watmore will sign the dotted line, but many differences erupted in the selection panel and after a long process Graham Ford was selected for the job. But as some put it, this decision might have been taken in Rahu kaal, as Ford declined the offer and decided to continue his tenure with English cricket county, Kent. Now with an abroad series week ahead, former cricketer Chandu Borde has been allotted the job temporarily.
Well I really hope BCCI comes out of this bad patch very soon and even our politicians improve in selection process. And I don’t want to see the job portals and newspapers carrying ads for people to apply for the posts of coach of Indian cricket team or the President of India. And it would be even worse if we have a reality show calling on the people to sms and vote for their choice.

Saturday, June 16, 2007



Well, this post may seem to you a bit (or a lot) odd! The fact is that I was listening to a few things that I recorded in the last semester at college, a few friendly interviews; a friend of mine said in one interview that its hard to define "myself" ... "I like people to judge me and form opinions about me based on that ... ".
But, I've noticed on Orkut that there's almost no one who is able to say such a thing and refrain from leaving the 'about me' section blank !!!
Here's a random pick from orkut ... Someone's profile's 'about me' for you. (I don't know the person and my appologies for using it here without your permission, hope I don't have to run to my lawyers for this!!!)
"WELL!!,this is slightly difficult.But,honestly speaking,i am more or less a regular sort of a person but definitely with my own bag of idiosyncracies…usually I am friendly and amiable,but occasionally unpredictable...a little naïve and slightly confused about the world at large.
My “good-girl” appearance will lead you to think that I’m a very sweet-tempered,docile,obedient girl-next-door but that’s true only to a certain extent...because this impression eclipses a certain part of myself which is obstinate,and occasionally unreasonable and unpredictable.believe me,it leads people to form various kinds of opinions about me which are inevitably conflicting.close ones can form an accurate idea about me,though.and usually,I’m very quiet,but i have my moments of enthusiasm when i can talk people's heads off.
I can’t stand superficiality or artificiality of any kind and attach immense value to simplicity and honesty.
And before I forget....a bit of a crackpot,I love scribbling rubbish on paper....usually the products of my daydreaming...hehehe "

Friday, June 15, 2007



I voted for TAJ MAHAL just now! I know it is quite late but better than never right!! And what a time to vote; in a couple of days the Presidential voting is going to take place. I don't wish to thrust my opinion on you but just had this thought in my head, should I vote for TAJ just because I'm an Indian? Is it not the voting for 7 wonders of the world? Well, I voted for TAJ! I'm sure you have already done that, or may do it after reading this blog ...
The website says, "This immense mausoleum was built on the orders of Shah Jahan, the fifth Muslim Mogul emperor, to honor the memory of his beloved late wife. Built out of white marble and standing in formally laid-out walled gardens, the Taj Mahal is regarded as the most perfect jewel of Muslim art in India. The emperor was consequently jailed and, it is said, could then only see the Taj Mahal out of his small cell window". And I read an email some time back which talked about Taj being Tejo Mahal build before the Mughal period! I'm sure most of you got that mail as well and read it, forwarded it. Like before, I don't want to comment on this one as well. I voted for TAJ just now and I'd be happy to see it making the list of the final 7 !!!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Chennai me Chain-nahe


The biggest thing happening at Chennai now is the Advance Booking for the most-awaited movie SUPERSTAR Rajnikanth’s

SHIVAJI – The Boss. Everyone must have seen the promos which are on air in all the national news channels and is the most talked about regional movies in recent times. All channels are starting innovative contests and as a result adding on to the hype surrounding the movie. The advance booking opened last Sunday. I had seen similar mad rush for movie tickets at Hyderabad during the release of films by Chiranjeevi and now even Mahesh Babu.. The reports of queues extending over half a kilometre, stampedes and even some of the theatres announcing that the tickets for the first few days reserved by the fans associations.
The city’s distributor proudly smiled for a TV interview saying that it’s the first film to be released in 18 screens in city and the film has collected over 1.5 crores on the 1st day of booking. The movie is also being dubbed into Telugu and releasing at large number of screen in Andhra Pradesh. The Hyderabad city distributor has put in everything he had, a whooping 7.5 crores for the rights, even more than what it I for Chennai. The film is also releasing at quite a number of places abroad, especially Japan where his film do well.. and even the special screen at Seattle is a total sell out..
While all the distributors are keeping there fingers crossed, the Superstar himself went to Tirupati for the divine’s blessings. The film has many firsts to its credits and it includes highest renumation The fans here are putting up big banners and are excited over the Palaabhishekham (pouring litres of milk over the star's banner). When asked not the waste it and instead donate it to the needy, they promised that double the quantity used for the celebration will be given out as charity.
But the most wonderful thing about it what I found in today’s Hindu newspaper; the Ray of Light Foundation, a city based NGO that sponsors the treatment costs of poor children fighting cancer, had added the ‘social clause’ to the 8: 30 a.m. screening of the film on Sunday(17th) at Abhirami theatre by turning it into fund raising for its projects. Those buying tickets (Rs 300, 500 and 700) from Landmark will be issued donor passes for the show, with the proceedings forming a corpus to the children fighting cancer.
Further an added incentive is that the ticket buyers get a receipt that entitles them to a tax waiver under section 80 G.
What more can a Rajni fan ask for?? Just bite your nails off in the exciting wait for the film to release this Friday.. The countdown is nearing zero !!
Posted by Harsha

Tuesday, June 12, 2007



It was beyond my expectations and I had not set my expectations to the minimum considering the big star cast and an impressive story line. The movie provided the much needed breath from the recently grown stale Bollywood. It was a really ‘Hatke’ movie and a few dialogues may therefore require the discretion of the audience.
The story line as most of you must already know by now goes like this: Amitabh (aged 64) is a chef and owns a restaurant in London, which is ‘the best Indian restaurant of London’! Cheeni Kum is indeed this ‘Buddha’ (Amitabh’s name in the movie) who has a nasty nature and a notorious temper. Tabu’s role was in fact carved out to suit her style and very few people could have done justice to it in a more befitting way (the only actor who could have replaced her according to me is Julia Roberts). She plays a girl (aged 34) who is to the point and has a clear head and a huge attitude, which at times overshadows the tall grace with which the bigB looks out of the silver screen at you.
Food connects the two and the relationship grows stronger with each passing frame but not for a single second did I find the movie dragging, even the songs were refreshing and moved the story along with them. Both the lead roles give the audience a very strong reason to bare the heat and go out in this still intimidating sun (for people of south India, this movie could be a perfect watch for a lazy Sunday with someone ‘special’). The character of the girl bravely faring blood cancer, ‘sexy’ (yes, this is the name of the little, cute girl), needs a special mention. Her shots with Amitabh hang on a perfect balance due to the out of the world performance by the surprisingly talented cherub.
Though the movie is a fun filled one with witty dialogues and a quick humor, I found it addressing quite a lot of issues that plague our society today. Sex, for instance, was discussed very freely in the movie, which, sadly, is still a stigma in India. ‘Chatri’ (the Hindi euphemism for condom) was the theme of a few scenes and the audience was informed about all its flavors: chocolate, strawberry, vanilla, etc… lol. The Indian style of living was compared with the western style and a few dogmas were ridiculed. At the same time, the patriotic characters appreciated their motherland.
The most amazing thing about the movie that strikes you throughout is its simplicity and the ease with which you start to feel comfortable with each character. Paresh Rawal (playing the father of Tabu, six years younger to his son in law) is at his best yet again. Amitabh has proved with this movie that he is indeed the king of Bollywood (whatever may be happening with him in his new career of farming); he has given one of his best ever performances, the real challenge being to express a lot to the lady he loves without being able to say much on her face. As for Tabu, she has proved once again that when it comes to the really challenging roles she can be your best bet!
Do watch the movie if you like lite entertainment !!! I’ll give it 7 out of 10.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

India Shinning??


Yesterday while I was reading an old article by Tarun Khanna Professor, Harvard Business School, I messaged Prasoon that our country’s growth is not be propelled by the rich Indian diaspora as it is in the case of the Chinese and though the eminent author expected our country to follow the same.. Its rather the frontline Indian conglomerates who are leading from the front in the race to go truly global.. And now number of Indian companies in different sectors, like the software, mining, renewable energy, oil and gas are investing heavily and acquiring firms to break into the top few in their field.. Once I messaged him all these (for people who are wondering how I could messages so many things, well thanks to Airtel as it provided free sms service here in TN circle) I went on feeling happy that our companies proved the Harvard Professor wrong and very soon the TATA Steel will be among the top 3, TCS into top 10, SUZLON and HINDALCO into top 3 and so on.. without much favour from the people of Indian origin settled in various parts of the globe.. And within a decade we will overtake the Japanese and emerge as the 3rd largest economy in the world.
But all my happiness got lost the moment he replied “Dude but our country is still very poor. I saw a picture of a begger on the front page of Hindustan Times, drinking water from a roadside puddle.. while we celebrate the success of the corporate there is a vast population who are still unaffected by these success”.. His next message said “I want to eradicate poverty.. I know its very tuff.. But it is possible”..
I was totally moved by his words and his observation.. for the moment I replied that “Our generation has been awakened and new and better politicians and bureaucrats will evolve and things will improve soon..
But then I couldn’t stop thinking over the issue.. I noted a very shocking statistics every fourth poor person in the world is an Indian..
I heard many foreigners travelling to India saying that the one thing the recognises here is the big division between the rich and the poor in the country.. But I never expected it to be such a serious issue and just assumed that these things are common in all countries and just because of our excessive investment in arms and ammunition due to the unrest across our borders since independence, we are not able to address the issue well.
Now I feel its as if we have two Indias existing simultaneously.. While the rich are getting richer and getting good support by the government, the poor are getting poorer and been deprived of the small benefits the governments in trying to provided them. It so shameful that billionaires like Bachchans are occupying farmlands calling themselves farmers..
The states like Maharashtra, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh which are home to cities like Mumbai, Bangalore and Hyderabad trying to prove themselves as world-class and comparing themselves with Shanghai.. these are the same states which have the highest farmer suicide rates.
And though Indian GDP is growing at a healthy rate of close to 9 since we entered the 21st century problems states with large populations like Bihar, UP and MP are not well attended.. also the north-eastern states are yet to get their due share..
Quite a number of people from these states have done remarkable things and made the entire country proud and everyone knows each others capabilities but still these people are associated with paan marks and milk traders.
So for the country to really grow, development show benefit all parts of it.. no state should be treated with step mother attitude.. And the politicians should realised their duties and responsibilities and concentrate on improving the conditions of people of their region rather then his monetary gains..
The government should stick to its election propaganda and work for the aam admi and gareeb admi.. they need more support now and even they are the ones who are more loyal and will vote for the party during the elections..
The finance ministry wasn’t as much bother by the rise in the inflation as its now due to the rise in the value of Rupee over the dollar which is a big loss for the exporters..
I don’t blame the government’s quest to attract greater FDI and its investment in proving the infrastructure and other plans but the only thing that would make it complete is that all the plans should be inclusive of benefits to poor and needy.
And I am not calling for eliminating poverty to a perfect zero but the percentage could be well brought down to single digit as in most other developing countries compared to ours which close to 25%.
And then I was thinking how interested and dedicated people like Prasoon could help in this font without joining politics and the best example that comes to mind is none other than the Nobel laureate Muhammad Yunus and his Grameen Bank.. his model might help in eliminating poverty to a certain extent.. we had similar success in the form of women self-help groups in Andhra Pradesh, milk producers of Anand, and the SEWA women, to mention a few.
Our people need financial help and quite a lot of moral support to be bold and try out their own venture with assistance from banks.. most Indian are conservative in nature and are little nervous and not aggressive in nature to try out of their own something different and innovative though we are very capable of..
Yes indeed I am very hopeful that our country will fight poverty and will indeed be a perfect world leader in future..

In Black and White


I was at Hyderabad for the past 2 weeks when all the examination results were released. I was happy that the results were better this time compared to earlier ones. The pass percentage of 10th and 12th in all board examinations were lot better than the earlier years and then as the trend goes the girls faired better than the boys.
And I was further happy that students from Andhra Pradesh did well in the entrance exams like the IIT-JEE and AIEEE bagging lot of top ranks..
But on June 8th Hindu Edition, it points out that India has the dubious distinction of having the highest teenage suicide rates in the world.
Now try to find out the reasons for it I found 2 of them.
Firstly it is because of the over emphasis on studies and marks given by their parents and even the entire society. Always people expect children to perform well irrespective of their backgrounds and circumstances. For thing to change everyone should released that good marks aren’t the index to people’s potential and there are things people can do and come up well in life even without good scores. And not everyone can get got scores, and they might be skilled to do something else.
Secondly, it is due to the high rate of child abuse in India. Indians are very fond of pointing fingers at the “decadent West”, the high divorce rates there and so on, but are we any better?
There are either because their parents and other kins sell them for the need of money or due to their fear of parents. So we should realised that thought we Indian are very proud of our culture and are well brought-up under our parent’s guidance; but when looked at a broader scale there is a difference.
Our children need lot guidance and lot more support. They must be trained to cope up with such situations and suicides should be the last thing coming to their mind. A young bud should go wasted without getting a chance to bloom.

Team India


This post is coming after a Theirry Henry’s recent interview to an Indian journalist mostly taken during his recent visit to Asia, China to be more specific and more so for a campaign of Reebok products for which he is a brand ambassador.. What surprised me the most was the had Indian taste buds.. this god of football like to eat Indian food while at UK though is fully aware that they aren’t the best for this health and fitness,, And the moment he was asked his favourite dish.. pat came the answer Baigan.. and then he continued the list of items he eats.. naan, chicken tikka, bread and other chicken curries..
Then he was surprised to hear that he has lot of fans in India.. and people love to wear arsenal t-shirts with number 14 on back.. though he is one among the 100 most influential men declared by the TIME magazine for the being one of the greatest players of the most popular sport in the world he doesn’t expect himself to be noted by the second largest populated country..
He knew Indians are obsessed with cricket and do not play much football. And when asked about cricket he said, he knew all the rules and follows a little, more because of the media excessive reaction to England’s victory in the pervious Ashes series; but then he complains the matches to be too long..
But truly, I am surprised why we aren’t that good at sports, especially in all the popular ones? Is it true that cricket is ruining the other sports or is it because of our genes?
International Cricket is certainly a lot dependent of the Indian sub-continent atleast as far as the viewer ship and sponsorship issues are concerned. The game is not just treated as a sport but a gets lot of emotional attachment as well. It makes people go crazy, many worship for the Indian team and many yagnas are performed before big tournaments like the World Cup (May be this time gods didn’t want our countrymen to waste their time and money over this sport and our team was knocked out in the 1st stage). And then when our players don’t meet the people’s expectations their houses are stoned and painted black. And more amazingly Team India stands for the Indian cricket team as if it is the best in terms of team efforts and working together as a group.
Infrastructure and sponsorship are treated as the primary problems in the growth of other sports in our country. Now with the advent of number of MNC who wish to leave no stone unturned to get recognition and publicity are coming up big way in sponsoring sports even other than cricket.
Western Union money transfer was the prime sponsor for Premier Hockey League, Nike is sponsoring football teams at junior level, ABN-Amro sponsors few golf championships.. Mittal Sports Foundaion sponsors younger and emerging player to help them nurture their potentials and achieve international fame.
Hope these initiatives bear fruits and we do good at sports.. Hope India too gets to produce players like Henry and Federer and leaves a mark even in the world of sports (I mean beyond cricket)..



The old dhoti clad ‘babus’ of the government offices of UP and BIHAR have long back disappeared from the face of what we now perceive as the modern India. But there’s not much that an old enthusiast would miss in these offices. Some reminiscence of the golden days still hover around in the present day offices, ‘paan’ being the most significant of all and obviously the most conspicuous.
31st of May was ‘anti-tobacco day’ and all those who are going to read this blog of mine are totally aware of the ill effects of tobacco and the other addictions (I sincerely hope none of you are either smoking your life away or dirtying it with the hues of paan). There’s one social angle to the whole paan story. The fact that the once considered ‘cool’ addiction is the cause of a lot of nuisance to the people who like their environment and surroundings to be clean! The paan stains cost the exchequer dearly either in terms of the money spent to clean them or the loss of reputation (especially in the service industry). The work is drastically slowed down as the work and jawing time overlaps at almost all times.
But, all said and done, there remains one fact almost untold in all articles which criticize the paan chewing babus of India. The job of most of these babus is synonymous with boredom and monotony. While jobs with comparable monotony in the private sector provide room for HR activities, a government official can hardly dream of any such provision.

Thursday, June 07, 2007



Very often in my discussions with friends we look out for incidents and people who can really act as a good unifying factors in the country especially between the hindu and muslim communities.. Cricket as the most popular option (though I still remember many people cheering for Pakistan and celebrating on Sachin’s dismissal during the Ind-Pak in 2003 World Cup).. Abdul Kalam is a close second, though not interested in taking a second term as the President of India, which he rightly deserves, he was a very popular and is well known and admired people of all communities, all age groups and all regions of the country.. The third choice was Sania Mirza and I needed say any thing about her.. do i?? ;o)
Recently I visited the town of Shirdi which was home to godman Sai Baba.. learnt from the localites there that the town is getting more and more devotees in recent times and the curve is on a rise, reaching new heights every year.. Andhra Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation (APTDC) provides good bus service to Shirdi and especially from Hyderabad, organises various package tours providing number of options for people to choose.. We took a 3-day package; covering Shirdi-Nasik-Triambakeshwar.
After a 13 hour overnight bus journey we reached Shirdi, a nice cool morning breeze welcomed us to the temple town. Very quickly we got ready to go for darshan as we learnt that Sundays have peak rush.. My father even arranged special VIP passes for all four of us.. it was my first visit to the place but as my sis and mom were there already so they guided me and we got the darshan in just half an hour.. the main idol of Baba, carved out of milk white marble, was located at a big hall.. very beautiful and very peaceful..
Then while we were visiting the surrounding temples started the afternoon Aarti.. Suddenly all talks ceased and everyone started joining their hands and clapping to the tune.. it was so wonderful to see EVERYONE getting united in the act.. it was a long (compared to the regular om jai jagadish) and melodious tune.. But the best thing is that the moment u start thinking that its going too long the tune changes.. the Aarti prayer has several verses each having different tunes and the more uniquely – different clapping style which adds beauty to the prayer..
It is this Aarti at Shirdi that found as a great unifying factor.. people of all communities and all social and economic backgrounds shed all the differences apart and devotionally get involved in it.. Baba being a fakir himself, the place has number of fakirs still there and lot of Muslim devotees.. I also spotted few Sikhs(easy to recognise, thanks to their turbans) and few foreigners (either Christians or Hindu followers)..
There are 4 Aartis performed at Shirdi each differ form the other and are performed at different timings through the day..
So anyone wishing to have peace and wish to see a really secular India visit Shirdi and make sure u attend as many Aarti sessions as possible..

OOPS !!!

The entire conversation was essentially in Hindi but for my audience here’s the English translation (please put up with a few Hindi words which are used only if essential). This incident happened with me and my friends when we went to Satyam multiplex in Chennai for Spidy 3.
Rahul, Harsha and I were waiting for a friend to arrive for the show and those who are aware with the satyam theatre would know quite well that with no space to sit, the wait in the sun is not an easy affair (I hope the friend we were waiting for reads this … lol). And it was then that this ‘gentleman’ approached us!

“Bhaisaab, can you please do me a small favor?”

“Well, how can I help you sir?”

“You are a ‘hindi’ guy na that’s why I came to ask you!”

“Sure sir, but what can I do for you?”

“Bhai, I needed 24 tickets for Shootout at Lokhandwala, tomorrow 12:45pm show. These people are not willing to give me more than 12; can you get me 12 tickets please?”

“Well …”

“Please sir, it would be very kind of you. It’s a family party and we can’t have half the people left out, here is the money”

“Ah, ok … which movie did you say? And how many? Which show sir?”

He explained me everything once again and I again asked him to repeat it and he did. We steered towards the ticket counter and I tried to coax Harsha to do the talking over the counter. He declined (&%^$#@*&!&*). I rehearsed the whole transaction once again in my mind while I was standing in the queue, when I reached the counter I still was not confident but managed to get the 12 tickets. The man was waiting at a distance and I handed over the tickets with such haste as if I was carrying a dead lizard in my hand. I don’t remember seeing a gleam on his face on receiving those tickets which were so important for his party! I don’t think he even smiled at me while he got them, but even if he did I was just looking into his eyes, as if signaling the end of a secret transaction (which it was evidently), so I may easily have overlooked the smile.
After he was gone and we were back in the sun, waiting, we debated over the possibility that he would black those tickets. Your guesses are as good as mine, but I did help him out!

Those who used the tickets were doomed because Shootout at Lokhandwala was one of the worst movies ever.
Spidy3 was good. But Harry shouldn’t have died (what a way to die though, in the arms of his love and his best friend!)
Learn to say ‘NO’ not just when it comes to your (unsafe)‘close encounter’ with an obliging stranger but even while buying tickets for people you don’t know that well.


Very few people would disagree with me when I say that ‘The use of cell phones must be restricted in high sensitivity areas like near the operation theatre in a hospital’. However, when it comes to the implementation and bringing to practice the preached, the administration of such places hit a staggering halt because of the uncooperative attitude of the people.
I spent quite a lot of time in a hospital recently (my sister was blessed with a baby boy) and I noticed how the people of India are totally uncouth when it comes to knowing how to behave in a public place. They were not expected to switch off their cell phones as it does help one in connecting to their dear ones. But, though there was no sign board which instructed them to keep their cells in silent mode, each and every minute I could hear some freak’s cell phone ring out loud, playing some irritating number from Himesh Reshmiya.
Such things cannot be forced onto people. They need to be cultivated in the society through character building of the nation. The recent vandalism carried out by the so called ‘Gujjar liberators’ has been commented on by the Honorable Supreme Court as a matter of National shame and on the backdrop of such a horrendous event for the surging nation we need to put in a lot of thought into ‘National character building’.


The DIG, Agra range made a statement on CNN-IBN that “the police reacted as soon as they got the information”. He was commenting on the incident which is not a rarity in Uttar Pradesh anymore, a huge group of lawyers assaulting a young man in the court premises. He was allegedly being ‘punished’ by the lawyers of the Agra court for brawling with one of their colleagues who happened to be his brother in law.
Such a callous behavior was heightened by the fact that the ‘lawyers’ involved in the incident supposedly took a lot of pride in what they were shown doing on the national news channels; a broad smile stretched across their face while they insulted the very profession which gives them an identity.
The DIG’s stand is shameful to say the least. “As soon as they got information…”? The incident happened inside the court premises and the police get the ‘information’ much after the whole episode is telecast on news channels across the nation. God forbade, but if such is the reaction time of the police force of our nation then the government must pass orders to dismantle the forces and issue arms licenses to all the citizens of this ‘democracy’.