Monday, 18 October 2010

Blog filler slash facebook conversation

U: well... something is better than nothing ...

V: I am not quite sure if something is always better than nothing da... let us take the example of a sanitation worker in the Indian Railways. he must be praying for days when there is nothing to clean... catch my drift here.

U: haha ... well true but if he has nothing to clean for a long time he'll lose his job ;)

V: Hmmm... point that!

Monday, 6 September 2010

Bengaluru-Chennai Road Trip - In Conversations!

20:37 Hrs - What’s in a name? @ IIM-B campus

V: We have to call the car something, like a term of endearment

P: Champa...

V: Come on! Some nice girly name...

L: What are you guys talking about?

V: Giving some nice name to the car man

L: Which Car?

P: (in an orgasmic tone) Champaaaaahhh

V: No no... hmmm... ok how about Choi... the registration number is CH-01... kinda reads like Choi na!

P: Choi... sounds Chinese! Wokay with me!

L: You guys are serious about this aren’t you!

21:15 Hrs – When do I get to drive? @ Hosur Road

V: Hey P., when do I get to drive?

P: When you reach home and get to sleep and start dreaming.

V: Hey come on, you can’t be driving the whole journey!

P: Watch me!

L: (grins wide)

22:37 Hrs – Nice Cuppa! @A2B 17 Kms from Hosur

P: That’s some nice coffee I say! Let me buy myself one!

V: (angry with P. for drinking half of his) hmmm, ya I know!

P: (comes back in shock) Shit man, the Coffee costs 20 bucks! Crazy!

L: (grins wide)

00:07 Hrs – Chicken Run @ some toll gate after Krishnagiri on Blr-Chn Highway

P: Look at all those chickens on that truck, man!

L: They know they are going to get killed!

V: Naaa! They don’t have that sense right!

L: Whats there to have sense! They just see one being taken and killed. Its not that hard to figure out that you are going to be next soon.

P: (in an orgasmic tone) have you seen how they are killed?

V: Ya I have and I dont see what the big deal is!

P: It’s not right! There should be a more humane way to it!

L: A more humane way to kill?!?

00:10 Hrs – License to Drive @ some place 3 mins after some toll gate after Krishnagiri on Blr-Chn Highway

P: Ok V., Lets see how u drive now!

V: Ah! Finally!

L: You sure you wanna do this P. ;)

P: Hmmm. Ya, I want to analyse his driving.

V: Analyse, it seems! Ready to go! Start Music!

P: Wear your seat belts!

L: Here we go!

00:15 Hrs – Crash Boom Bang! @ some bridge 5 mins after some place 3 mins after some toll gate after Krishnagiri on Blr-Chn Highway

P: Stop! Brake!

L: Brake!

V: (silence) (braking) (praying)

P: Brake!


L: Shit! That stupid chicken truck!

P: Shit!

V: (silence)

P: I better drive V.

V: Let me just get off this bridge!

01:08 Hrs – Divorce speed & stay married! @ some place on Blr-Chn highway

V: It’s real annoying to see these stupid safety road signs after a crash!

P: Ha ha ha. Dont worry V.! Shit happens!

V: So whats you analysis on my driving P.

P: You drove too fast without knowing how much brakes the car would do! You were going faster than me!

L: Ya but that Chicken Truck could have cut in even when you were going at 100, P. It’s just a question of bad timing for V. I think!

02:45 Hrs – Waste of Parking Space @ V’s home in Chennai

V Mom: (in ok Malayalam) Go bring the car and park it inside! Why have u parked it so far away! Lots of looting going on around this area!

V: (in terrible Malayalam) na... thats ok Amma. I am sure that apartment's watchman will take care of the car.

P: (in Guntur Telugu) Silence... Namaste!

V Mom: (in English) you really should bring the car in. I think its very unsafe outside

V: not to worry amma! Am sure it will be safe. Lets go sleep!

V Mom: Hmmm. Good Night (sniles)

V Dad: Good night

V: Good night

P: er... Good Night!

08:30 Hrs – No Beach! @ V’s home in Chennai

V: Hey P. Wake up man! Its 8:30 we have to be there by 10. Wake Up!

P: Weren't we supposed to go to the beach at 7?

V: We were but as you can see we overslept! so just get up and get ready quick! We can't end up missing G's engagement after all the shit we have gone through! We have to pick up L. from his uncle's place as well!

P: Wokay wokay! Done!

10:00-12:00 Hrs – They are singing a duet @ G's engagment venue, Hotel Matsya, T.Nagar

P: Is this the place?

L: It looks like it!

V: Am sure it is! check the names!

P: Aah there he is!

L: What are they upto? I guess the engagement is over!

V: I think they are about to sing!

P: Thats what they do in an engagement?!?

V: How does it matter? Lets just wait for the food, eat and leave!

V,P,L: (in chorus) Hey Congrats G. Thanks and great food man!

G: Thanks for coming guys! Do drive back safely!

V: Hey P., we should send G. the bill u know!

13:30 Hrs – There goes P's record @ Bangalore highway, Sriperumbudur


P: Where did that truck come from?

V: (smiling)

P: Shit, how did I not see that?

V: (smiling) I am kinda relieved now Papi!

P: F#@$*R

14:30-16:30 Hrs – Random conversations

Are you a virgin? Aren't you disappointed with all the Marks/CG Race? Didn't you think IITians would be smarter/more intelligent? Whats your ultimate aim in life? Do you want to have coffee? Lets get some tea! What is the best way to evaluate an MBA student? Lets take the elevated highway!

17:00 Hrs – Choi gets a heart attack @ Silk Board

P: Oye, what happened to the car man?

V: Huh?

P: Its not starting, push it to the side of the road and lets call the service!

V: you think they will come on a sunday?

P: They better!

Service came on a Sunday!

19:30 Hrs - Returned to IIMB campus!

Monday, 26 July 2010

How to cope with betrayal - Criminal's PoV

Disclaimer - Not one of those posts I am particularly proud of, lousy, boring, mundane, vague read. So if you are totally jobless, I recommend -

Life, ideally, should not always go according to plans. It should not be this awesomely scripted piece of fiction playing out as reality with you knowing what exactly comes next. Ever so often, some event will come along that will provide a different perspective of how your life will be unfolding... it may be just a course correction, a small diversion or a major accident and no matter what the magnitude is - you still need to come out of it, at the very least, living!

Ok, now that the standard useless intro is done with... Oh yeah, PoV stands for Point of View shot, that camera angle that shows the audience what the protagonist of that particular scene is seeing. In this case, the orchestrator of the betrayal, the one who breaks faith, trust and in the worst case, hearts as well!

Hard-nosed criminals can stop reading from now. This is not about you! Maybe a later post sometime in 20 yrs might have some expertise on corporate crimes of the illegal kind.

What should the perpetrator do post betrayal, if he/she really cares for the victim? If the betrayal is just a speed bump or a 'take diversion' road blockade and life, for the vicitm and the guilty, just takes another path. Can/should the perpetrator risk it and take a parallel road and keep up with the victim or should the miscreant ( is opened up on another tab) just take a whole another road and try to avoid the victim?

My two pennies worth - If the intentions of the perpetrator is good than the parallel lane may not be such a bad ride. Now here's where the grey filter is added to the scene. Who decides the goodness of the intentions? What's the cut-off for it to be classified as good? I have not yet got clarity on that one! Nothing like a shade of grey to colour up your life.

If the intentions are bad tilting towards evil, then just run away! No questions asked, no efforts made... you are guilty of a crime of the worst nature! Selfish betrayal of someone who trusted you more than most, if not all!

Yet to figure out which slot I fit into! Hmmm, now off to find some tea!

Monday, 24 May 2010

Towards traffic, Mumbai Local

I am the beginner the title of the post refers to ( well the title was a beginner's guide to Mumbai Local trains but I kinda changed it but was not in the mood to change the start) and I must confess that over the last 2 months (nearly 2 months) I have had the fortune of travelling against traffic for 98% of the time.

This post would draw on my experiences from the 2% when I got to travel with the traffic. Only 4-5 times did I get to experience the Mumbai trains which are shown in all those photos showing Mumbai's resilience. The ones with all those people hanging out of the compartment. There was even a 3 minute movie which was shortlisted by BBC in one of their Talking Movies' contests which only showed people climbing in and out of Mumbai local trains for 3 minutes. This post draws from the insights captured from those 4-5 trips.

Entering a local train in Mumbai is quite easy actually. All you have to do is to ensure that you stand at least 2-3 feet close to the tracks and as the train enters into the station, the wisdom of the crowds will ensure that you are pushed into the nearest compartment.

And once you enter into the compartment, you may understand the inherent natural urge that makes sunflowers follow the sun when your brain commands you to crane your neck and turn your head in search of oxygen. That is if you are fortunate not to find your head nestling cosily in the armpit of a raunchy old man who ardently believes that the density of pubic hair is a sign of virility.

I am taking a horticultural diversion here. You know the whole sunflower following the sun thingy is flawed. As in I think it may not be true for all sunflowers cos the ones in my campus dont tend to face the sun through the course of the day. Now getting back to those trains.

After all the search for oxygen you find that perfect spot where the angle of the fan is perfectly in accordance with the aerodynamic principles of Bernoulli and you are definitely sure all the mathematical and geometric calculations have been made and like I have previously mentioned the spot you have nailed is perfect and you come against that most dreaded law... Not sure if it was Confucius or if it was one of the Marathikars who said it - "In local trains, when perfect spot found, beatific smiling old man or angelic smiling old lady suddenly comes around!" You just have to give way.

And through it all you hope that the person you stand next to has had time to clear his bowels because in your search for Oxygen the last thing you want to find is Methane or Hydrogen Sulphide. You hope not to stand next to someone who has had beef and mutton pulav to eat the previous day and not had the chance to go in the morning. In other words, you hope that you are not standing next to me!

Thursday, 20 May 2010

Overbridge, Matunga Station

He is a blind beggar. This is not going to be one of those posts where the author tries real hard to capture the times in a truly eloquent and witty way and then stun the reader by springing a twist in the final line by declaring that the protagonist is blind using a very subtle and poetic sentence. Why? Firstly, I think that whole format has become quite stale. Jeffrey Archer has done it to death. Secondly, and probably more importantly, I am not that good a writer.

So the start pretty much puts it across in a straight not so subtle way. The protagonist is a beggar and he is blind. He is this blind beggar who stands at the end of the overbridge in Matunga station towards the East side - Kings Circle Side.

Over the last month and a half or so, I have walked past him almost on a daily basis and I admire the dignity with which he stands over there in that corner. He is either wearing a blue t shirt or a dark blue shirt and thats neatly tucked in to a terycot formal pair of pants which was the fashion of my father's generation but still continues to hold its own today. No formal shoes but a nice pair of leather sandals. And he doesn't make a sound. Singing is not his style. Nor does he plead or implore you to drop some coins. He just stands there, listening., in a corner, trying hard not to disturb or bother you.

I am not sure how much he collects daily and I haven't seen him around on Sundays. He puts in a 6 day or a 5 day week. And that overbridge is all his.

I am more interested to know what all he must be listening to during his 'office hours'. Has he picked up any Tamil from the Matunga crowd? Does he smile in embarrassment listening to teenagers sharing their newly discovered romance or does he nod in cognizance? Can he feel the madness and the rush of many trying to catch their morning commute to work? Does he empathise with the exhaustion of those returning home? Does he wish to see the joys of the kids who run to Shivaji Park for their daily dose of the gentleman's game at Shivaji Park? Was he standing there when the name of Sachin Tendulkar made the rounds around the park? Does he have friends whom he meets and shares a drink with at the end of the day or week? Does he recognise the sound that my bag makes and does he expect some coins in his palms every time the bag comes near?

Sunday, 2 May 2010

The daily stroll home... till June

And the 19:53 Slow train to Churchgate brings me to the stop where I get off - Matunga Road. Start walking towards my right as I disembark from the train and stop at the refreshments stall to buy me a Lichika. It tastes a bit odd for a Litchi drink but its nice nevertheless. Climb up the ramp to reach the Matunga Z-bridge - an asbestos lined ramp which takes one from Western Railway halt (Matunga Road) to the Central line (Matunga) - that takes me over the Railway Coach factory. I think to myself that this a perfect place to have a chase sequence from an action movie, they should get some Vijay movie shot in Mumbai, with him being the gang lord at Dharavi or Sion or some slum or he can be a Dosa master at Ayyappa's road side dosa stall (more on this later)

The Z-bridge ends at the overbridge of Matunga station and I walk past the blind beggar wishing I had some change to give to him just to pay tribute to his presence at the end of the overbridge every single day of the week. As I get down to the roads I see people fervently looking at the lottery numbers on a small kiosk which has these screens flashing numbers. The kiosk stands next to a paper shop that sells Tamil and Malayalam magazines to what must be a regular South Indian clientele brought up in the shady (in terms of tree cover) locales of Matunga.

The Thandai shop and Vada pav try tempting me but I do not wilt. My mind is made and I walk past the shops selling "South Indian flower garlands" as my stomach is waiting for that Podi Dosa in what is arguably the Best Dosa Stall in Mumbai - Ayyapan dosa kada right next to Mani's Lunch Home (who serve unlimited Full Meals for Rs. 70/- with unlimited Pappadams) opposite to a mid-sized temple. The place is teeming with young and old alike. No doubt hooked by the awesome Dosas and Sambar. Pineapple Seera to round off my dinner and I walk out of the lane back to the main road.

Walk right past the old Mallu uncle selling pirated DVDs of the latest Tamil and Malayalam movies sitting right next to the entrance of the Kochu Guruvayoor temple and past Amba Bhavan coffee club where you can drink the closest resemblance to South Indian filter coffee Mumbai. Enter King's Circle and take a left towards Mysore Concerns - selling filter coffee powder and Coimbatore butter, walk past the Pulao/Pav Bajji wallah and the health juice shop, glance at the queue outside Madras Cafe, walk towards the New Punjab Restaurant thinking of the night I spent with 2 buddies eating pappad and drinking 7-Up while one of my friends tried hard to down that 2nd bottle of Beer.

Wonder how there is always a queue outisde Madras and Mysore Cafes and remember the great rasam that I tasted there last Sunday. Cross the road and remind myself to have the Summer Special Mango ice-cream with Malai the next weekend and also make a visit to Idli house to have their out of this world Jackfruit idli that reminds me of the Ella Appam that my grandma made the last time I saw her alive. Walk past the Kulfi wallah, telling myself all the time that I need to control the urge to have a mixed Kulfi plate as my pants are refusing to comply to the requests of my ever increasing waist size.

Decide to try out the cheese szchewan rolls opposite the Kulfi shop for dinner tomorrow and also decide to never step into the New Yorker and end up paying a bomb for vegetarian food. Must have breakfast at Koolar Irani Cafe on Sunday. Kheema with Bun Maska and Irani Tea. Also get some really strong ginger soda, odd tasting raspberry soda, nice spl tea with burun maska and some nice plum cakes.

Take a left now to enter the Adenwala road, which is all dug up and ready to be concretised, walk past the Khalsa college road and the AMP hostels to enter the gate of Belle Ville.

The dog, traumatised by guys when it was young according to the old aunty who owns the place, greets me with some noisy barking. Ha, I am home... at least after A. throws down the keys and I enter...

Thursday, 15 April 2010

Posting from the Maximum City

Mumbai, on recent estimates, has a population of over 13 million people. India's most populated city. And in the last 10 days that I have been living in the city, I have realised it's only ever really all about the Mumbai people.

The taxi drivers who call out to you and return 1 rupee change as you try to rush and catch your train. The old man reading the Economic Times without a care in the world while religiously waiting at Dadar to catch the 9:25 Fast train to Goregaon. The old aunty living on the first floor of a bungalow in Wadala with 3 dogs for company, letting out the second floor to paying guests and fighting to reclaim the ownership of the ground floor from the Government. The auto drivers who don't mind coming for minimum fare. The 70 year old lady standing on a jam packed 2nd class compartment of an 8 PM Thane train with the courage to not hold on to any aid for balance. The line of boot polishers who work away in zen-like rhythm that has been perfected over years of grinding routine to provide that masterpiece shine.

The touts, the Vada Pav sellers, the Dabbawallahs, the street children, the beggars, the PYTs travelling in the first class ladies compartment hanging out to get down at the next stop... Mumbai is only ever really all about the people.

Sunday, 7 March 2010

Welcome to VIM!

Vulgarian Institute of Management... a very prestigious institute that lakhs of potential business managers apply to everyday in the hope of a better career and a better learning and keener insight into management.

The selection is through this national exam called the VAT (Vulgar Admission Test) which is taken by some 3 Lakh students across the country and finall only some 300 odd fend up into each VIM located in a few cities across the nation. 0.01% selection rate. So you can imagine the quality of the students who come in here. Bright, ambitious, cream of the crop!

Given the proven pedigree and the unmatched intellect... one can not be fault to expect nothing but the best from the select few. They should end up being great business minds who revamp society by their dynamic thoughts and fair and just acts.

But thats not how things work in VIMs across the country... the students (a mix of freshers and members with work ex) enter the college and from the very first day of orientation and are made to experience fear psychosis... there is already a fear which is present in most of the students mind thanks to the high fees and the resultant education loan that they have to pay off... hence there is a pressure of getting a good job after placements.

This fear is taken to the next level by the behaviour of the Placement Committee... which is quite weird in my humble opinion cos... every student comes to VIM to get a better job, not to learn the skills and wherewithals to get a better job but to actually get a better job even if they dont necessarily have the skills and wherewithals.

Now with this being the case, the Placement Committee (a bunch of students who are elected to pitch to companies to come to campus to recruit) should be held in high esteem if not worshipped. But they are among the most disliked people on campus... even some horrible Profs are not disliked as much as Placecom. Why is this so?...

Wednesday, 24 February 2010

Not about Sachin's innings

I was lucky to have got the chance to watch the first 200 in ODI and the first 400 in test cricket.

The ODI 200 happened earlier today and after a long time I watched an innings completely or atleast from the 18th over. Better writers and experts than me will be filling up paperspace and serverspace with infinitely better written articles on Sachin and his innings over the next couple of months. So I shall just keep it short and simple - It was brilliant!

Moving on... thanks to some really superstitious Sachin fans I was forced to watch even the commercials during the telecast and I was really shocked by some of the ads that were shown. I was trying to justify the thinking that must have gone into some of the ads.

1) There must have been some brilliant market research that must have thrown up this stunning insight that the purchase decision makers for cement have faith in swimsuit clad women coming out of the beach ala Ursula Andress in Dr. No. Can not see any other reason for the JK Super Cement ad unless JK Super Cement is holding up something that we do not know.

2) I tried, I really did... I promise you... I tried earnestly.... but I just can not understand why a mobile phone company wants to advertise that you will get killed when you use their mobile and cross the road... which in a nut shell is exactly what Micromaxx communicates in their ad which shows the not so unique feature of being able to connect to Facebook and then far more uniquely getting killed!

3) Why does IPL need to have such poor ads I dont understand. no wait let me rephrase that... Why does IPL need to have ads I dont understand. How many Indians watching the ODI series against South Africa will not know about the IPL and the availability of tickets? What I think they should concentrate on is to make the tickets more affordable. The cheapest tickets for a RCB match in Blore is somewhere around 900 Rs. if I am not mistaken.

I heard from some of those really superstitious Sachin fans that there are more such terrible ads being aired on TV... they even mentioned a Dr. Fixit ad with some bad pun on breaking news... hope to see it soon to then include that in the post as well.

Tuesday, 16 February 2010

After a while...

This is not going to be funny... I am not even going to try to be funny. There are times when life just brings you down. When everything is black and white instead of the grey tone that our life normally plays out in.

I seem to be running but not going anywhere. Feelings and beliefs in which I had bet all my of life's convictions on seem to be breaking down. I am being evil, insensitive and indifferent and in spite of knowing all of this, it just does not seem to bother me. There are questions that need to be answered and unfortunately these questions have no easy answers!

And I am not losing weight as fast as I had hoped... I was losing a bit initially but now I think I have hit some sort of road block!

This is just a random post with no rhyme and absolutely no reason... just wanted to keep the marriage with my blog afloat when my affair with Twitter is going through a bit of a lull.

Friday, 8 January 2010

AnnoPeep repellant - To repel annoying people

Fine we do have quite a few products and brands to repel mosquitoes and cockroaches. The ingenious Chinese have also developed those superb electric rackets which gives one a feel of how Adolf Hitler must have felt when he was organising massacres of Jews.

Wouldn't it be great if there was a repelllant that could be used to ensure to repel those people who annoy us. The backbiters, the perenial pessimists, the racial fanatics, the domineering dumbwits etc. Lets admit it, we all have a few friends who we are obligated to be friends with. They could be your cousins, or the sons/daughters of a close friend of one or your parents, the best friend of your best friend, the best friend of your girlfriend, the husband/wife of your wife's/husband's sister/brother... you are getting my drift right.

These are the people who you are obligated to smile to when you much rather stick a fork up their ass and ask them to scat! Life would be a whole lot easier if there was a repellant which we could spray on or apply as a lotion or something and this would automatically keep away the annopeeps (mespeak for annoying people). These repellants should ideally be odourless or have some fragrance to it. I guess it would also need to come in non-allergic variants for those people who have breathing disorders. The repellant should in no way make the individual wearing it look bad or evil.

Until such a product gets developed we have to do the best we can with body odour, bad breath and annoying speech defects.

Sunday, 3 January 2010

A few good men

My take on life and how it should be lead have had a few tinkerings and paint jobs over the last couple of years. I had to read up about the External Environment and its impacts on the organisation for a paper in college and I realised that even individuals get influenced by external environment... alright, I can not take this approach anymore... I was not sure how to start the post and brought up all this external environment nonsense! Truth is - I want to write a post on the importance of individuals in my life.

Not gonna start a preachy post on parents and teachers and brothers and sisters. Just going to stick to a few people who influenced me in more ways than I could have imagined over the last two years.

The first is Mr.A - he probably had the biggest influence on me over the last 2 years and had the least interaction with me. He was the reason for me to get my first job and it was a big deal for me considering that I didnt have any other option. And after 8 months since I started my first job, I got a chance to interact and watch how Mr. A worked from close quarters and what amazed me was the goodwill he carried even whilst holding a high position. I have a long way to go to reach the positions that he held and holds now but I do wish, in due course of time, to garner the same amount of goodwill that he got from his peers and those who worked under him. No one said a bad word about Mr.A.

The second is Mr.S. Mr.S did something which I never thought could ever happen - he pitched for me. I decided to quit my first job and leave and this man, who held the top most position in the company I worked for, actually took the time to hear me out and try and get me into another role so that I would not go wasted. It was amazing considering the fact that I had worked for only 7 months in the organisation and I was a very very junior person. He was and is a super sales guy and he basically sold me to Mr. A and Mr.G. I owe Mr.S big time cos he got me a chance to work for Mr.G.

Mr. G had been my boss for 1 year and 3 months (till June 09, I esigned and entered college to try and learn some management and once I come out I hope to be a manager in the mould of Mr. G). Mr.G was not the normal boss one would get. The ones who didnt know Mr.G well would give the reason of him being an NRI for the totally different disposition. Truth is Mr.G is an Indian at heart although he was born and brought up in UK. As I type this post, Mr. G has resigned and returned to the UK.

The room I used to live in back then was somewhat on the way he returned home from work and the conversations we had whilst returning from work ranged from the Indian freedom struggle to Sikhism, from motherhood to change management, from long tail of content to voyeurism... and he used to know it all. I just sat in mute attention while he spoke.

The best part of Mr.G was that he would let us have fun in the office and he encouraged office humour, some times at his expense but those who did make fun of him did so at their own peril. You throw the kitchen sink at him and he would throw the bath tub at you.

Mr. G supported me throughout the year and he often said that there is nothing wrong in making mistakes but not doing anything in the fear of making mistakes is a bigger crime. Mr.G always backed him team and he also brought the best in us and that's why I will always miss him.

I count the chance of having worked in the same organisation as Mr. A, Mr. S and Mr.G as one of life's big mercies. Hope to imbibe what I have learnt and make use of the learnings if and when I get the chance to lead!