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Sunday, November 27, 2011

Why this Kolaveri di?

I gave in to the hype. I listened to the much idiotic and nonsensical song on Youtube.

And now every time I am humming that irritating yet catchy tune.

Is it marketing genius or just another occurrence of the Black Swan?(random events are not just relegated to the domain of financial markets are they?!)

I believe it is the Black Swan, although the song and the presentation do adhere to some good practices of selling. The reason it has gone viral is because of some bullet points I could list down, thanks to the Friday night alcohol induced stupor of my roommates and all:-

1. It is region unspecific: - a Madrasi singing in English with the background music adhering to a bit of both north Indian dhols and south Indian variety of dhinka chika. A Punjabi gyrating to it in a barat as well as a Madrasi dancing to it in a drunken stupor is possible. Run the above two settings in your head, you would find it believable, not really outlandish.

2. Expression:-Crying about heartbreak sells, because Indians are sentimental fools. Of course we all remember the song “tum itna jo muskura rahe ho”. As my friend puts it, it is very soulful, as the song comes in the movie at a time when our lead is absolutely down and out. Humans find it easy to associate over misery, failure and heartbreak rather than the counterparts of these emotions.I am not in any way drawing a parallel to this superficial kolaveri and the soulful ghazal.I am merely highlighting that they both share a common underlying emotion of heartbreak.

3. Simplicity (KISS) Principle:- these are the kind of words which all use under the influence of ethyl alcohol, irrespective of the grade of alcohol or the crowd. Talks of first love, crushes, heartbreaks, and repeated reminders of friendship are common across all alcohol induced settings. And a funny thing about drunken talking is the marked penchant for the use of the Queen’s language. Good presentation practices underlie the principle of KISS(Keep it simple silly).One slide should give you one point , 3 points should build on one insight discovery, and two insight will give you a conclusion. Same is the case with a Kolaveri – I see a girl, she doesn’t see me, I drink and let it all go. Period. No talk about romance, wooing and dancing under the trees.

So there you go. In the field of commercial cinema, some basic principles for success are KISS, bridge to the north and south divide using an appropriate plank such as heartbreak, true love or bash the bad guys and superficial rather than soulful presentation.

PS – As  I came to the end of this post, a thought hit me. Is this blog post adhering to basic principle outlined above? Ding Dong !! I would rather let that thought hang on.

Monday, November 21, 2011


For all losers...Pun Intended.


It is not hard to lose....

I have lost my heart......... my love.......... and parts of my life

All at once sometimes……. and one at times…. all the while…

I have lost an ocean of desire ........and yet I smile

For losing gives me the realization......

Of the pleasures...... that might have been.....

It tells me that ........there is lot that I have not yet seen

It lights all the misses…..yet..... reminds me of what I possess

Like steel under fire hardens my heart.....

And prepares me for the fresh start…

It is not hard to lose.......It is not hard to cry….

For it is always good to say …" hey at least I  tried !! "

Tuesday, September 13, 2011


I miss those times !! And yeah, Adonis still fights with Sir Lazealot........with varying degrees of success....!!


My ears feel the thump of my heart…beating wildly against my chest ….
My back feels the caress….Of the sticky sweat…..
 The chilly breeze layeth with little rest….

The choked lanes…dotted with huddled souls…
All fearing the calm before the storm…
My eyes search the one with grace…
Who savors the quiet…before the gong…

I see a form gliding through the lane…
Free from curse of frown face….
With goddess of sparkle lighting the eyes…
All too willing to spread lovely cheer and grace….

The golden light peeks through bashfully…
And the clouds part willingly…..
I see the gliding form…
Always in sight…but never close to light…

The beats temper…the caress fades…
The chill reminds …..That there is ...
No such grace…

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Red , Brown And White

Churchill once remarked when the British left India ,” Power will go to the hands of rascals, rogues, freebooters; all Indian leaders will be of low calibre & men of straw. They will have sweet tongues & silly hearts. They will fight amongst themselves for power & India will be lost in political squabbles. A day would come when even air & water would be taxed in India."

If this statement was made on they day of independence we would have take offence. But viewed in today’s context this seems to have a certain degree of credibility in it.

Lets see,
  1. Is power in the hand of rascals, rogues and freebooters; Mayawati, and Reddy brothers.
  2. Indian leaders – Manmohan Singh , sweet tongue, silly heart and a man of straw, Indeed
  3. Taxing of air and water; well thankfully not yet.
Let’s face it, we Indians cannot take care of ourselves. We are destined to be laborers, the ruled instead of the rulers. We cannot govern, lead or do whatever the white people do. While in the cultural perspective this is an advantage (father and mothers are remembered around the year than just with one bouquet a day in a year!), in the political and social perspective it is definitely a handicap.

Why is this so?

Let’s seek some light.

Capabilities differ across individuals, no doubt about it. Also, a sense of herd mentality exists, at the primeval level; we flock to the place/people that evoke a sense of familiarity somewhere from our formative years of childhood or with people who we can identify some commonalities. By this logic, if there are no external unbalanced forces at play you can see regional concentration of capabilities of a particular kind. And it is true as well, Gujratis are good business men, south Indians intellectually inclined, Haryanavi’s men externally virile, Punjabi women genetically well proportioned and so on and so forth.

Hence from an individual to a region, from a region to a nation there exist some generalities. I do not derive a vicarious pleasure in discussing a nation, and a race’s shortcomings. But yes, if you do generalize race, nation, blood or lineage they offer some surprisingly casual predictions.

Leadership, innovation and clearing a path where there is none does not seem to be our nation’s capability.

Our current processes, rules of governing and our public bodies at the national & administrative level are all British’s gift to us. The fact that we are up and running is to a certain extent the soundness of the rock solid institutional procedures we have. Our lives are comfortable not because of our ruling government it is the institutional resilience of administrative procedures. The Indian contribution to administration as us instantly recall is the Constitution. I am not an expert on the constitution or its contents but again the instant recall of its only claim to fame seems to be its size!

And of course on the flip side we have used these procedures to find and exploit loopholes. (That again indicates that once a path has been established we can optimize it, for personal or for professional gain!!)

We are good at following rules set by someone apart from us. We have scant regard for our own capabilities our own judgment of right or wrong but we happily lap on to it if it comes from a different place/person than ours. How else do you explain an Indian waiting patiently at a deserted traffic light in the states but merrily dashing through one here?

Our current growth at an economic level is because of services/processes. Somebody makes a car in Germany we code the processes required to support it. Someone opens a bank in UK, we structure their banking model to help them do their work. And at a personal level, someone makes a warship I make them wires to power it!! But ask us to make a technically advanced car, or a state of the art warship, or when and where to open a new bank; we begin to fumble.

But hey, Sabeer Bhatia gave the world Hotmail, Dhirubhai the mammoth Reliance, the Tata’s the Nano car. So how is it that we are not good at innovation, not clearing a path where none exists?

Well I do not have an answer for that. There are some outliers in any race, and the above seem to be an example of that. But again when I look at the above, I do not really see a Nano coming to the level of an Apple Ipad, or Reliance generating the kind of brand equity that say Google has. Agreed the above comparisons are akin to an apple to a banana one, but they serve well to highlight the cultural disparity that exists.

Again look at the recent Anna Hazare phenomenon. When he was at fast , the nation rocked the government. All of us queued  to his stage because we could  sense a clarity of purpose, we could sense a leader somewhere in the making and Hazare personified the kind of domestic version of leaders we love; self denying, non indulgent and uncharismatic. It also helped that the ruling government looked contrastingly lost.

But Hazare was short lived. He quickly faded into the backdrop and allowed Kejriwal  and Bedi to take the process. He lacked the foresight, discipline iron clad rule of law which leaders posses.

And look what happened later, the educated second rung of leaders, the smart, intellectual kinds wrecked the foundation of trust due to infighting and “difference” of opinions. Whether the bill will pass or not, if it makes a difference or not, there is no denying the loss of momentum that was built in the Ramlila Maidan.

To summarize,the presence of leadership skills are hence a function of race, I would say they are weakly causal and the the cultural fit of Indians seems to be that of servitude

It is not a good or a bad thing to be from a place that scores low on the presence of leadership skills. If there are only leaders in the world then it can’t function. For the simple reason of who will they lead?

Saturday, August 20, 2011


This I penned down while reading Invictus by William Ernest Henley, thanks to a gripping performance by Morgan Freeman in a Clint Eastwood classic.

I like the sound of Victorian classical English.Hope you enjoy the read.


Of the run ...that surrounds me….mad as a dash……… from night to dawn.
I ask the winners what it is all about….

For…I have crawled…….. I have hopped…and I have dashed
I have cut the corners…. and taken the sleights…
But the end in mind …….is naught to sight….
And the years lay heavy…….. as time takes flight…..

Beyond this dash of life and heart….….
Layeth…. but the fruit of might…

It matters not how winding the climb…..
Or how powerful the fruit of might…

I enjoy the ride just all right…
And laze around just as I like!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Clink to Crash


I love the sound of it.

It reminds me of the elegant men and women I see on movies who do it with fancy glasses sipping amber liquid. Try as hard as I might, I could never get that clink sound, in my bottles, I had tried it, even in the tea glasses, but the thickness of them always muffled the sound.

I could however get it here.

A small tap in the glass windows of South Ext colony; it was magic; a small tap was all it took, after I traced the contour using the pen Bhatti gave. The fancy burglar alarms and the imported glass, cut clean like a warm knife on butter, with just the “clink”.

This house was on my radar since a long time, but it was only today I got the necessary obscurity to sneak in. It was raining and mightily heavily, so obviously there was no power. And in absence of light I could become a shadow, crouching among trees, cars under over and across the side.

Crack boom………….echoed the thunder.

Hesitatingly I looked up only to see flashes of bright light. I wasn’t scared on sound or light, but the falling rain seemed thicker than usual and the darkness, damping and pervasive, almost like a coarse blanket.

I shrugged away all misgivings and entered in the room. It was immaculate.......spotless...a few drops of rain gleamed strangely in the flashes of light. I made way through the stairs, and reached down.

I could fathom a shadow moving.

I stopped. There was nobody in the house; the last family had left in one day, and under a cloud of muted whispers all around. Nobody had come after that. Some said it was because this place, it was the abode of spirits.

I gave an involuntary snort! It must be Kumar and Bhattis way of getting the house for cheap. They specialized in ripping houses, then taking them in for dirt cheap prices. Real estate was a profitable venture in Delhi.

The shadow, moved. I could only discern slight movements in the flashes of lightening. There was a flash of flame, and a couple of seconds later I could smell the sweet smoky smell of bidi.

Something told me, that this person was like me, a visitor of the night.

Slowly I stepped down the stairs, my feet sunk in water about an inch thick. I frowned, water down and none above; must be some leak. I had my punch in my hand. I did not like knifes, too messy. Punch did the job but thankfully and it did not cause much spillage.

Using the smoldering tip and flashes of lightening as my guiding lamp, I made way to the source. At an arm’s length, away is swung the punch for the coup de grace, when without warning the face turned t me

It was the face of a helper………..a Majdoor.

Sparse hair wet plastered on his forehead, dressed in a soaking wet half pant and an oversized brown kurtas……….. It was submissive. I reluctantly lowered my hand down and mimicked the other hand with the great Indian open palm gesture.

The reply was the great Indian shoulder shrug mostly coupled with the imperceptible back walk.

He mumbled without making any eye contact,” I am Bunty.I used to work here…for Pinkie memsahib ….”

Ok, but that still did not explain his presence in the middle of the night.

“She left in hurry; I was trying my hand at leftovers”

He was indeed the visitor of the night.

I relaxed; I had nothing to fear from him. In our world, trust was very high. A pundit would try to insult his counterpart and consequently be considered knowledgeable, a Dalal would try to undercut his customer and be called shrewd, a businessman would outmaneuver his competitors and be called savvy, but a thief always helps a thief. Why?

Because the entire world of good people are so united in fighting us evil people ……….that we all must unite to survive.

He turned the bidi’s towards me, I shook my head. He smiled knowingly, “I got lucky”, and held out a sleek black box with slender black sticks.

Indeed he was, they were all foreign I picked one and lit it with his bidi

The acrid smell of bidi laced with the foreign sweet flavor was like getting cute with a golden haired female using desi language.

I was curious, for he had said “Pinkie madam” and also “hurry”, and his story kind of coincided with Bhatti’s  version so far.

“Where are you from? “I asked.

“Saharanapur, been here since 3 years”

“What happened here?”

Pinkie madam was very pretty. She used to spend a lot of time dressing and going out, but pinkie madam was good to me.

Ok Mr. Pinkie madam let’s move on.

“Pinkie madam always wanted to be pretty. One day she was seized with a fear. It was the fear of not being pretty anymore; it was the fear of going old.

Suddenly this realization hit her hard. She sat stony faced the rest of the day, absolutely still. Towards the evening she stood up straight and walked off the house in a determined gait.”

Aha this story was getting interesting by the moment.

“Madam did not come back that night or the next. I was worried, I did not know what to do, sir was rarely at home and he did not like to be disturbed.

I decided to wait for one more day.

The following day madam came back sometime in the evening. She was looking her usual self, but more excited. She had with her a small girl too.”

I couldn’t help but notice an edge of authority creep into his voice. The change in Pinkie madam was ostensibly triggering a change in him as well. I was feeling uneasy; I slipped my punch back into my hand behind my back, just to be sure.

“Madame was nice to me as usual. The small girl was silent and had a passive expression on her face always. Madam took a bath, and then had food all the time ignoring the small girl. I did likewise. The girl seemed least bothered. She stood in the place madam had asked her to stand without flinching.

Madam then slept off. But she instructed me to give some food to the girl and then spread out a mat for her in the small room for her to sleep.

Soon it was nightfall. Madam woke up and instructed me to wake the girl and get her to madam’s room.

Madam then closed the door to her room abruptly.”

I did not like the story the way it headed; I tightened my grip on the punch.

“After some time I heard a scream, I ran all the way up and banged the door. Another scream echoed this time more piteous. I crashed my whole weight against the door and it gave away.”

There was anger in his voice.

“I…he faltered with the words and then said…madam was having a butcher’s knife in hand. The little girl was cut open like a chicken. Madam held in her hand a piece of red mass and her teeth were all stained red. She looked at me and smiled and beckoned me towards her. I walked close to her and she stroked her fingers across my cheek.”

“Bunty, I will now always be pretty” she said in a sing song voice and then she swung the knife again.

Again? I asked but she had already killed the girl.

Bunty did not reply. He stared the ground in silence.

I was shivering; the rain and wind had suddenly become chilly. Unmindful I noticed the water had reached up to my knees.

Bunty was still.

I shook Bunty roughly; he looked up in a flash, the face of the majdoor no longer his countenance.

He growled, and said, “Who said anything about killing”?

I swung my punch at his face with all my might. The pointed metal edges dug deep into his skull. I wrenched them of roughly hoping to hear the sickening crunch but none came. Instead the edges came out clean.

Bunty had a quizzical expression on his face, he felt his face, and to my horror the gouges were no longer there when he stroked his face with his fingers.

“Who said anything about killing?” He laughed maniacally and kicked me.

I landed flat on the on my back in the dank water. I spluttered and pulled myself up. Bunty was distant.

I said a silent prayer and crashed myself with full force on the mirrored windows.

Once outside I ran as fast as my feet would carry me.

Bunty’s maniacal laugh echoed in my ears.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

The Filter Bubble

After a long time indeed, this blog is seeing something.

This one is based one nice piece of research on Times Crest edition called “The Filter Bubble”. What follows hence is essentially a rehash of that plus a few comments from the devil (an of course thy flame of wit!).

Let me start with Facebook and Google. Everything is personalized and customized right from, your friend suggestions your search prompters, your recommended videos. How this works, is by an extensive analysis of all your past data. So in essence what these applications do is cocoon you in your existing range of capabilities and frame of your mind. Eli Pariser's, has coined the terminology “The Filter Bubble”,  to refer to this excessive personalization, he says "Personalization filters serve up a kind of invisible auto propaganda, indoctrinating us with our own ideas, amplifying our desire for things that are familiar and leaving us oblivious to the dangers lurking in the dark territory of the unknown. "

To add on to the above thought the filter bubble keeps us from discovering new and novel ideas, and areas of work. You do not automatically befriend a person just because 10 of your existing acquaintances know him/her. You would still like to know what is happening in someone life who is not Facebook crazy but nonetheless would figure in your list of real friends. You do not like a piece of information or a video because you have watched similar ones earlier. You may actually prefer something that is not captured by your past record of web activity

But fair is fair, Facebook and Google and other software’s on the web do allow all these filters to be turned off, although you have to navigate a bit for finding them in the settings.

So in essence it may be wise to turn of “igoogle” and of course pick the phone and call someone whose “updates” have not appeared in you Facebook page!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

My Business Card!

“Young leader”, “Strategy Consultants”, “Associate Vice President”, “Corporate Planner”, my oh my there go some of the titles I have been seeing on the linkedin update page.

There is something in a name, isn’t it? When you say you deal with strategy and corporate planning it is quite a kick in the other persons nuts by your leg. What you would do there is maybe some corporate ass kissing and some goggling to make fancy presentations and word documents.(I think goggles is in fact responsible to most of consultants /analysts bread and butter, god know what will happen to them if Google shuts down.)

I am not better, in fact I am worse. I actually went a step ahead; I created my own designation and business card (and submitted the bill!); Business planning & Development. What do I do, in business planning, is basically shoot a lot of mails and based on some gut fell call,sweet talk and if  I get lucky get some time to go and beg. The silver lining is that in this industry you wouldn’t get slammed on your face, because unlike a bank trying to palm you a credit card you don’t need, the counter party in my case actually needs someone to make them what we make. And in business development, I beg (with style of course but if you drill it down to the basest sentiment begging would perhaps be apt one!)

Also another silver lining is that in this line, cards or designations don’t really matter. You do, your personality does and your capability to build a relationship. At the risk of sounding boastful, and adding to the obnoxious cloud of narcissism I carry on my shoulders, I do share here my MD remarks” you are right, that account was lying in the coffin, ready to be buried now it with your effort it is back and kicking”.(Sir you just wait, and see who kicks what, I am not a dog to be loyal, I am prostitute who strips at the highest bidders command, and yes I am loyal to the bidder I strip to !!)

Also in business development, I have seen that it is actually luck; you just have to persistent, develop a thick skin, suck in your gut and move on.

In fact all the fancy load of toosh of being passionate about your work is just that; toosh. If you are passionate, you would expect results, you would expect winning all the time, if you don’t win all the time(you just cant win all the time!),you will feel dejected no matter how optimistic you are. So your life would be something akin to a sinusoidal curve that is borderline bipolarity.

However consider the alternate, which is dispassionate work. That is you work but with no heart, only head and all head. When the outcome comes and if it is good you won’t be extremely happy and if it is bad you wouldn’t be sad either. That is your life would be a constant function with a defined amplitude; that is Y=K and the constant K depends on you.

If you in fact read very carefully the above is what exactly Bhagwad Gita says. In fact now I see that all the fancy theories of management being pedaled today are actually a part of our good and prolific religion.

PS- Next on line is the Vedic equivalent of Maslows Heirachy of Needs.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Funny Thing it is...........Asking!!

Today, I got a very good insight from a conversation, good enough for it to be shared.

It is something on appraisals, so I guess you may want to plough ahead.

The appraisal or the largesse bestowed upon the peasantry (you who else!) by the nobility (your boss and super boss!) is essential a function of three values.

1. Utility – See when a beggar accosts you in say a red light there is always a prop as an accessory/USP.A disfigured limp, a bawling kind, runny noses, disheveled countenance to incite the act of giving. Pity is the causality that is triggered.

Now extend the same to an organizational level. The causality you seek to incite is a combination of pity and grudging realization on the nobility of you USP a.k.a utility. 

You should have done something well, very well enough to be appreciated by the nobility. Dig into your archival system for that event(s), the more the merrier. Package those events to relate to the final outcome. In my case it is always revenues, deduce yours accordingly, (adherence to SLAs perhaps!).In essence the pitch or the positioning statements should highlight your utility to the organizations

2. Replacement – Now forget utility.

Focus on utility vis-à-vis what is not available in the market and what is required by the nobility. Nobody likes losing a prized art(one mans art is another scribble if it is of the “Modern” genre!!) possession, irrespective of whether they deserve it or not. What you ask should subtly hint at the relative value he would gain if you decided to call it quits. Say you are X you want Y which is very greater than X. But Y on a measured time frame (a couple of months to a year) will give a far greater ROI than Z cost of new resource addition. Beware; never actually talk about quting because if nobility even gets a whiff of your fluid intentions you wouldn’t get a penny. Play this replacement value card with caution

3. Relational/organizational – You are good, and you are rare (if not lets just say it is the perceived effect!).  

According to core competency matrix there is still the threat of suppliers, here by analogy the other people. No matter how confidential you keep your pay, news eventually leaks out. There are many advantages of fag with HR/admin, the biggest one is gossip. So even though you are having a high utility and a replacement value but if the relational value is low vis-à-vis colleagues and nobility, it might be a tough sale.

At the level(YUPPIE Misguided Banal Asses!), it is the first one itself that is a tough card.(methinks!).However on the flip side, utility alone is not the clincher in the rather funny art of asking. High utility low replacement is equivalent to largesse of pennies or a very efficient machine gun but only firing 1 bullet an hour when you need 2.

PS - Thanks to Chadda, who inadvertently contributed a lot(rather all of it is his only!) to this post.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Happily Angry !!

Emotions, their causality and the consequent ramifications have always fascinated me.

And simple causalities have tremendous ramifications. Consider the sentiments of anger and happiness.

When you are angry, you react, irrationally. When you are irrational, you in economic terms are not performing the act that is likely to give you the most payoffs.

So in principle you would react in a primeval manner that is the reptilian manner (humans are reptiles!!).So there is no difference in the way you react to being angry today as you did say about millions of years back.

However happiness has changed.
What makes you happy is no longer what is giving you the most rational payoff. It is the relative payoff or rather the perceived payoff vis-à-vis your counterparts.

Say you were at X prior to appraisal , you wanted Y but got Z which is greater than Y. Rationally you should happy, but hell you realize that some other smart ass has got W which is in turn greater than Z.

Automatically the comparison is not between Y and Z but rather Z and W.

So in essence your happiness is a function of the relative level of misery of you rival/counterpart. Lower the relative level of misery, higher is your perceived satisfaction, irrespective of the rational payoff to you.

Think about it!

Friday, July 8, 2011

The Esoteric Art of Prioritizing and Decision Making

Isn’t decision making the art one would love to perfect? 

Let’s say for every tough decision to make; you had a list of alternatives and by some uncanny logic you always picked the right one. That is in rational terms the one that gave you the most payoffs.

The two broad based variables, which underlie the base of any decision made, are time and money. (Time is not always money as often observed in cinematic depictions!!)

Let’s say in addition to the art of decision making you also knew the art of prioritizing. That is to say: which of the above variables to be used first and which to be used second.

Good right? But it sounds so confusing……..

Indeed, the above thoughts smack of philosophical lineage so “Let There be Light”, and let’s let’s put some meat on the above skeleton of the thought

How good are you at making the right decisions? Play this game and find out! - Click Here

PS - And yeah the implications of this game are multiple and can be duplicated in other real life scenarios as well.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

What is it really like after an MBA?

A. Moral of a Generic Thought after Graduation 
    • Screw IT. Let me do an MBA and I will be an investment banker and earn filthy money.
    • “This isn’t what I sweated four years for”, would be the thought after engineering in most setups (IT by law of many and most!).”I am sure a MBA would do far more interesting work” is mostly the end thought.
B. Content of a Generic response in an MBA interview session 
I can get an end to end visibility which would give me a holistic approach to problem solving, that in turn could aid me leverage my knowledge and experience to provide out of the box solutions for pressing challenges.

If you had any one of the above ever during your life, there may be some faint existence of light at the end of your rather gloomy life. .........................See here

Thursday, June 16, 2011


“Do you realize what time is it “, bellowed her uncle from the door hands akimbo. Anamika glanced form the book she was holding, with a rather weary expression on her face and said weakly, but “Uncle I am just reading, it is an interesting book”.

 “Humph, what good is that going to do you anyways, I never had any use for books, despite that aren’t we having a good life”, Said her uncle striding towards her in a dominating and stern voice. He plucked the book from her hand and said, “Sleep now, you look so tired”. Anamika meekly obeyed.

Her uncle leaned forward and kissed her forehead, she felt his bristly moustache but as always his touch was smooth. With the book in hand, he made it to the door for switching off the lights. He hesitated slightly but finally gave in and kept the book softly on her table. Anamika peered from the covers and gave a smile before disappearing in again.

Anamika was a twenty year old, living in a huge joint family in Chennai. Anamika had the best of comforts in life and she had attended one of the leading colleges in Chennai, a rarity in her family and needless to say something for which she was thankful. Now that she had passed out, she wanted to study ahead for a specialization. She had put in the word to her mother, and the response had not been very encouraging. However her mother had promised to talk to her dad and uncle and this frightened her. Her uncle was a stern man having rigid views on many things especially when it came to family issues. However, he was fiercely protective of all the members and very committed to the business. Anamika had no doubt in his affection but sometimes she detested his iron hand.

She made it to the B-School at last.

The first day there was an induction going on, with various professors coming and sharing their contributions in the times to come. It was becoming a bit boring as professor after professor came in and started lecturing about what his subject could do and what was the scope, in essence making a pitch for a good number of candidates for his course.

I don’t know why but they even had the librarian come over and give introductory talks. Whether it was an exercise in futility or an attempt to appease the ego of the guy, it was plain stupid to expect a bunch of above average students to listen to the nuances of searching a book using the electronic system. It was just after lunch time and heads were lolling around with a rather heavy and delicious meal by hostel standards. And I daresay, the chubby, Shorty had a very nice monotone to his lecture which acted as very sleep inducing.

Then suddenly without warning he stopped, thanked and said it was time for a tea break. I glanced at the watch; it was nearing a quarter past three. As he made his way out of the lecture hall, I heaved a sigh and stretched my arms. Pop crack went my stiff joints, and I got some stares from my neighbors, which I returned with an apologetic smile.

Making my way out of the hall, I saw ad hoc groups forming and chatting up. As I was walking down the stairs I came alongside Anamika for the first time. I greeted her and we began conversing. She struck me as a timid person and no doubt someone from a very conservative background. I was to realize later how conservative she was during the way back to the final session when I asked her for her contact number.

She stared at me as if it was the ultimate sin, and then replied “No, I cannot”.

I was taken aback; it wasn’t as if I had asked her out for a movie or a meal. Seeing my curious stare and interpreting it as a sign of being insulted, she replied back, “I am so sorry, you see it is my parents and uncle; they sometimes check my cell and if there are any boy’s numbers then there is a lot of explaining to do”.

I was surprised, as so much that I started laughing. “Not a problem; I don’t want anyone to get into trouble because of me “, and brushed way any further talks on the subject.

One day it was pretty deserted in the campus, it being a Sunday was partly responsible. I was getting quite bored, and decided to venture down to get some munches and while away on some videos You Tube and its sister concerns.

As I came down, I saw Anamika working on the laptop. Many times we had to work on Sundays as well so it was not put of the ordinary for day scholars to come up to the campus. But the mess hall was deserted, and even the helpers were not around. I got curious as to what she could be working on, but I did not want to just barge on to her. Suddenly without warning she got up and began walking out.

The stride of hers was one of determination, as if she was looking forward to something.

“Had I missed out someone’s birthday?” I thought wearily. Females have a very marked penchant for celebrating the expulsion from a birth canal, and hold a lot for timing in delivering the wishes. I am bad, pretty bad at remembering dates I just pick up the phone and call someone I miss, and I guess I do it with random frequency.

No, No otherwise I could see other girlie gangs as well.

Now I will digress. A couple of day’s back we found some cat had a brood of kittens, in the campus. Most had been disposed off by the administration but a couple had found their way back, courtesy the many kind souls who took to feeding the regularly.

She made it to the backside of the mess, where somebody had fashioned a rudimentary shelter for it. Making encouraging noises, Anamika lured the kitten out and it came out pawing its tiny feet. A biscuit morsel, materialized magically in Anamika hand and she started swaying it and the kitten’s eyes followed it, hypnotically. She kept it tantalizingly close to reach, and just jerked it away as the kitten made it.

This went on for some time, I was wondering what she is up to. Either give it or leave it, why are you badgering the poor thing I wanted to blast her off. A petite hand sneaked slowly towards the kitten, while the other one continued its biscuit game. The kitten engrossed as it was did not see it approaching.

A jerk and she clasped the kittens, leg and in return received a swipe from its claws. Anamika paid no heed to the tiny drops of blood which blossomed in her hand. Inhumanly she pulled the kitten dragging it by its feet.

Dragging it towards the parking lot of two wheelers, she gave it one look of triumph. Then she kneeled down lovingly took the paw in both her hands. Making encouraging and soothing noises…….she snapped it into two.

Crack!! Like the crunch of dry twig under ones feet.

The mews were piteous, but she had a maniacal smile on her face. Freeing the kitten she stood up and the poor thing tried limping away, but the paw was snapped into two separate pieces. She looked at the biscuit morsel in her hand and threw it down. The kitten made no effort to reach it.

The moment passed, the devil vanished from her face and the saint returned. She started running towards the hostel. Well, out of sight I watched as she got a couple of people from their rooms.

“A bike dragged the poor thing, and I guess ran over it too. It seems the leg is broken. I tried giving it a biscuit but nothing happened.”

I am so sorry!! , she said nearly in tears.

Damm it!!

A couple of kind souls, who had taken the kitten, took to pacifying her and the kitten in equal measure. Slowly and weighed down by guilt she cut a sorry figure back to campus.

I made myself scarce from the swelling crowd there. I was shaken by what I just saw. She is dangerous, very dangerous and I was scared of her. But I knew nobody would believe if I told them what just happened.

Nobody, cause I wouldn’t …if someone had told me.

Back in my room, as I was scribbling this down, there was a timid knock. The hairs on the back of my knuckles tingled; the knock was the very sorry type of knock.

In peered her face, “I am so sorry to disturb you, but can I come in for a minute”

Friday, June 3, 2011

Pulling a Fast One

It has been some time since I have expressed views on something other than emotions, life and relationships. However, today I try my hand at the latest sensation sweeping the nation.

That of pulling a fast one......... :):)

Consider the given two descriptions.

A small time farmer, a retired army truck driver……………..Someone who spent the better part of his life ridding a village of liquor menace and getting it to stand on its proverbial feet. Someone who does not have a bank account, owns perhaps one suitcase full of khadi, and sleeps at well wishers places.

Now look at someone who is a self appointed guru of Indian culture. All worries can be solved by simply breathing with thought. Knowledge notwithstanding, he can dispense off opinion on anything from economy to cancer. Who spearheads an empire turning close to 1000 crore annually and has a villa in Sweden courtesy faithful followers.

Of course I am talking about Anna Hazare and Baba Ramdev respectively.

I am just trying to step into baba’s shoes for some time. A shrewd businessman, a Yadav by birth, he had everything going great, a nice business, good number of followers, and the basis of a political formation. Sometime back even I revered him for propagating the ancient Hindu way of living. Then all of a sudden he became predictable, he started talking politics. He realized just yoga cannot spearhead the business for long, you need policy as well. He picked up the oldest horse to run his political rhetoric on, corruption and black money.

His happy run was interrupted by Anna who came out of nowhere and sat on a hunger strike against corruption. His timing was perfect, rocked by scams, India Inc and India youth were desperately looking for some trust and respect to be bestowed on someone who wasn’t the ritual orange clad ascetic. This Gandhian kindled the same emotion as the real MK, courtesy age and impeccable credentials. His consequent success earned him the respect and power for which he believed and lived for. Anna became a thorn to Ramdev, which was pretty much evident by his displeasure at the appointment of father son duo for heading the Lokpal bill. Parry and counter parry went one, sometimes in front of the curtains and sometimes at the back (just guessing!).

Finally Baba decided to show Anna …that mine is bigger than yours!

So now a subset of corruption was picked up a.k.a black money. While Anna’s fast was the consequence of series of well planed but failed steps Baba is all smoke and mirrors. Anna had written to the government for the Lokpal bill, suggested a team a plan and a methodology for its implementation. Anna had done his homework well, he had a bureaucrat Kiran Bedi and a saffron counterpart (swami Agnivesh), on his team. Working together they had tried other bureaucratic routes before turning on to a strike. 

Baba on the other hand has done nothing apart from rhetoric. Does he have a plan of getting the money back, no. Is he aware about the working of global economics and finance, I doubt?Does he have a team that could bring this is a lone warrior.

Even I want to get Swiss Bank loot of India back here but I am neither a veteran economist, nor a politician and I really don’t think a juvenile thought of banning higher denomination currencies will even scratch the surface of the problem.

A half naked orange clad god man fasting in India is not going to stir any diplomatic routes or generate hysteria that could be milked for India’s benefit. Au contraire the bending of the Indian government (4 senior government official to placate one man in the airport?!!!!) to a single man appeasement is going to send a wrong signal as a weak nation.

Before the strike nobody knew Anna and that was his key success factor. I read about Anna after news screens splashed him all over and I could read nothing but good.Baba however has his shares of good and bad.

So what exactly does Ramdev intend through his fasting?

Judging by the preparation for his elaborate setup it seems partly to be an exercise in showing political might. Ramdev is not going to sit on strike for one day and call it off. Government can get the crores back in India in the blink of an eye certainly not before lack of food does damage to Ramdev.

  1. Middle Ground - A middle ground perhaps then? This time we could maybe get one bill, a law, or something that could outshine Lokpal. It is going to be a tough one as the Lokpal has an admirable history of repeated failure that has kind of added on to its delayed partial success.
  2. Leave me Alone-The other one could some kind of understanding, of leaving Baba’s empire untouched and letting him build his might in peace. Remember Brinda Karat and bones in medicines, a failed attempt to nip a rising competitor in the bud. But this seems a long shot. If Ramdev is left alone then from Haridwar he can come to New Delhi pretty soon. And leaving religious leaders alone is scarily reminiscent of operation Bluestar and our Khalsa Sant Singh Bhindranwale
  3. Share the Success - The last one. Share the limelight, adding a clause in existing Lokpal bill tabulation that could have a little something on black money? This way Ramdev and Anna can be on the same team yet be used on and off against or for each other.
My predictive powers are limited I will wait and watch, but the last one seems plausible. However a gut feeling says that this could be over fast and have a surprise element in it…..

PS- I am neither a believer nor a supporter of either Anna Hazare or Ramdev, I am too narcissist and selfish. I am just offering a perspective that seems to be logical!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Sex..........Age.........and Blood

When you eat something bad, you only realize it when you have gastronomic issues after some time. This time varies depending on your metabolism and the level of shit you unknowingly ingested. However the trouble you face is after a time lag, normally a day to 2 and the extent of trouble is directly proportional to the fun/ enjoyment you had. What I am saying is that you get the worst hangover, at the most inappropriate time, albeit after the best party.(isn't that the premise of the series of the cine flick, "The Hangover"

Now I am reminded of this after about a week of my recent one day visit to Chennai. My uncle had come down for a commiserating the loss of a loved one, and so had my kid sister with her. Having been in Bangalore for 7 months without seeing anybody closely my blood, I was at the level of diminishing utility of life. I called my uncle and on the spur decided to go and visit, although the situation was not really a joyous event. But I miss the company of my kid sister V...(Click Here..)

Their house had a bad feeling about itself, I could feel it the instant I walked in. What are supposed to say to an 80 year old grandmother who just lost her 84 year old husband?

I just sat there

Thankfully that moment was pretty brief, grandmother wasn't really feeling well, so she was ushered internally somewhere, and my uncle right on cue moved me to the top floor of the house that had more life.

My sister came in and without saying a word she walked to me, and sat down on my lap, her slender fingers clasping my hand. She doesn’t speak a lot and she speaks pretty softly, but now she just sat silent.

I asked her why she was here.

A smile and sad reply….

I marveled at my aunt who had done such a fine job of bringing her up.

I was pretty tired, having been up all day and traveling all night. I excused myself and was soon enough feeling the chillness of water on me (I had put some ice cubes in water; their overhead tank had fired up like a heater!). As I felt the chillness of water trickling all over me, a thought fired on.

Why is it that some kids are always good to talk to? On a generic note why is that some people are always good to hang around with? Is it blood line? Or is it a super-set of that particular subset.

There has to be causality to it, my rational mind could not work without a linear relationship and I was suddenly reminded of Philip Phulman and Northern Lights.(There is a movie on this as well , I misremember the name..)

According to him there are some universes that have souls of humans who exist outside of their body. Soul is rather a very heavy word to use, rather consider it as their essence which reacts and adapts to their moods and is visible in some manner outside of their bodies, rather than inside as in case of us homosapiens on planet Earth

This thing is called as a daemon.

And it is normally opposite to the sex of the owner and it is generally an animal that indicates the personality of the owner. Warrior kinds would have a lion as their daemon, workers as rats and mice, pretty females as birds and so on and so forth. Now these daemons react to their owner’s thoughts, sometimes before and sometimes after the thought has occurred, but rarely on cue, there is always a time lag. But the particular thing is that they can change their shape, depending on the intensity of the thought. For instance; if I have a say a leopard as my daemon and I am suddenly feeling very calm, my leopard my change into a harmless dog. This ability to change shapes however diminishes with age and as given in the book it completely ceases at puberty.

Ahh…good thought……..

So I tried to draw parallels while working the lather under my arm.

Based on my past experiences and interactions I see that young females are normally good company. They are well, true and straight. Their daemon shows clearly in their actions. So to control them and to understand them you need logic not discipline.

However with the same it seems is not true with young boys. Thus it implies to me that young boys augur well to disciple as mean of a regulating factor while younger girls to logic. If you reverse the regulating factors you end up with, lets say contrarians (non conformal is overused).Gay men, and Poonam Pandey type females.

However there is always a balance in life.

With passing age, the delight of feminine company slowly diminishes. I guess it must be to compensate for their good times earlier. (it is some not all........linearity has its own Black Swans!!). If I consider maturity as the yardstick a la Phulman type; females become more adept at concealing and layering their thoughts and actions with advancing age. To use another philosophical allegory” Their souls become dirtied with their sins”. Hence their daemon becomes opaque unreadable and an absolute nightmare to be with. On the flip side souls with sin are easy to manipulate.

Men on the other hand go the reverse way.

The lather was now being washed under the stream of lukewarm water, the ice cubes had vanished.

Hence there must be 3 filters gender, age and blood. The delight of company is in direct causal relationship with these filters. No particular precedence of any one neither any particular dominance. But to me it seems that it is always vice versa. I guess that is why young nubile females seem to prefer the company of older bald and paunchy men.

I was done with act of cleaning all the dirt on my body but my clothes needed attention. I had just one set on me.

Hence it may explain whose company that may delight you. Turn back and identify the good times you had, the company of people you enjoyed. Employ the above filters, and gauge if it is causal.

If so, is it linear?

And if it is causal and linear…………..plan future interactions accordingly.

And yeah, if all goes off well in current as well as future state get dark chocolate and thank me while you eat it!!

On a devilish note try and do it for bad ones first , the subsequent delight may be sweeter!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Weekend Diaries_Evil Policeman !!

It has been quite a long time I am scribbling this actually. 

It must be the normal curve effect, anything and everything eventually dies down and you end up somewhere in the 96 % quartile range. Try as you might, you can run but you can’t hide away from it. You can tweak the frequency and the amplitude but you can’t kill it.

This in fact was what Sirjee was telling me a couple of days back.He said"An year after MBA, I am nowhere , close to getting clarity in life.I am as confused as I was before, however I am more matured and much more wiser."
Sirjee, " You realize that you are slightly less confused than others, because you at least realize that you don't have clarity"

A pause, and then" Indeed Srikant............... indeed".(It takes balls and foresight to say "No" to an offer that is huge(not big, but huge) in financial as well as snob scales...and Sirjee has them)

Saturday morning I did not wake up, because I did not really sleep. Late night was making some cost model for a new project, that is the only way I could avoid going to office.I am no longer taken by the terms” an hours work, maybe 2”.Whenever that happens, it turns into almost 3 quarters of the day gone.

I mailed at 2 am, now that ensured that I don’t get called to office, but also left me fidgety and sleep deprived.

I met up with a friend of mine (female) this weekend. The idea was to just say hi and mall around, and perhaps shop.


Boy-o-boy, I deduced, it is both a noun and a verb.

By purist standards it really isn’t a noun. However if you apply the filter of gender then it becomes one……………………….. from the male perspective.

For instance, consider me as a causal indicator. I can’t shop, I don’t know how to, I can’t be bothered with it. Whatever I wear are either gifts, or what my mother or aunt deem fit for me to wear and they know or have understood what I will wear and what I wont

But for females, it is bliss to shop, and funnily they seem to have a marked penchant for footwear shopping the high heeled ones in particular. It is actually very insightful that they are able to walk into a store and select all the colors, textures, sizes and finish combination that are never ever available with the shop.

Devil and wit of flame have a funny way of lighting up.

I wanted to buy a t-shirt. I walked into one store and asked my friend to pick one for me; this is how it went

She: Some jazzy green color …………..  
Me: What I can’t wear raunchy color shades

She: Light pink……..
Me: Now look there I think you know I am not gay

She: Muted brown …………
Me: I am yet to get married and there you are picking me grandfather color clothes

She: Red …………
Me: this one is reminiscent of Pakeezah , btw any of those there in Banglore?

This seems to be the last straw. She put them all down, and picked a white T-shirt with some muted stripes, and I nodded.

“What is the fun ………if it is all white that you want to wear?  Don’t you like colors in your attire?”

“White is a powerful color and so is black. And I normally wear them both”.

“That may explain why you’re kind of on the bi-polar side. You swing from one end to the other, euphoria or gloom; it is magnified in your case". You are ….”she paused and said,”Elastic”.(Click Here...)

I laughed out again. She was good with words, and pretty adept at being deferential and scathing at the same time.

She smiled back; “Take this one, if that is what you want”.

I beckoned the attendant, and then I realized that I could get another free with that. I asked him to get a same piece.

“Are you, going to wear 2 white t shirts? She asked trifle surprised.

“I am going to wear neither, these I going to gift”…

“And for you…..”

I changed my mind.

Shaking her head, at my elastic behavior she walked away to the exit.

I paid and made out, only to be greeted by the smell of filter coffee.

So we sat down at MTRs, the smell there is very Satvic. And hunger dear is very smell dependent. I ordered in Tamil and as usual the way I speak is kind of weird so service is good.

One masala dosa, one vada and couple of jalebis later we were both sipping coffee.

MTRs in that mall had an open air section as well. I could discern a couple with a kid diagonally opposite to us loaded with bags. The mother was trying to feed the kid some tidbits from her plate but it seems the kid was in mood for colic. It (gender unknown, hence the noun description!), and was bawling its gut out.

I was trifle surprised and averted my eyes away, I had shades on, and so the mother did not realize that I was observing them.

We were done with the coffee and my friend had to leave. She normally turns into a maid, and her car into a pumpkin, well before evening.

We were making our way out, but I was curious as to why the mother had pointed at me for. Incidentally at the billing counter again, we saw them purchasing some sweets.

“I saw you pointing towards me while we were eating, is something amiss” I asked very politely. (That is verbatim)

The mother seems slightly embarrassed at my query, “ She…”,  pointing at the unusually silent kid “Was troubling a lot, and I just pointed towards you and said, if you trouble more, the police uncle sitting with the black shades will put you into prison.”

Hahahahahahah !! , I roared in laughter.

My friend also smiled, and said “Actually you look very frightening with those on”.

“What makes you think I am not”?

“You are not”, she said with finality.

Meanwhile the couple made a hasty exit not wanting to have any more conversation a purported evil policeman, who thankfully had their kid silent.

PS- I came back and took a self snap!! , evil is too powerful to be ignored :)

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Belief or Wait......From Where? :)

That one statement lends itself to a myriad of interpretations.

The difference between awaiting and waiting………what is it?

Got to hand it to females, they are good with words, good with anagrams, interpreting silences, pauses, tones and even laughs. I love their company, and I seem to get along well with them. Well............some of them :)

I was posed this question today, on a call, with a female. Imagination is allowed to take control if ………you do plan to read ahead. 

What do we await?
We await happiness, we “await” for good things. “Awaiting” is always with hope. We “await” for a good word from the boss. We await luck, we await arrival of a friend, and we “await”, the next trip to family. You see, “awaiting” is always in the positive sense. Never is the anticipated outcome expected to derive anything other than a smile, a laugh or a sense of contentment.

However we wait for the cooker to give its quick whistles signaling the meals is ready. We wait for the heater to warm up the water, we wait for the serpentine queue of metal boxes to move, we wait for a firang to understand that 2+2 = 2X2 = 4.We wait for the sermon from some wise guy to get over.

That was some quick thinking I could give on the call. This elicited a laugh. It was genuine; so it was I think the right thing to say. The devil as I am, I could resist a golden opportunity to score some brownie points, “So my dear, it was this smile that I was awaiting for, not waiting, hope you can understand”.

"I think I believe you Srikant".

Damm that’s mushy, I don’t like mush. It makes me feel uncomfortable.

Time to hit back……..(a swat ..........needs a swat................ a hug......... necessitates a reciprocating hug that sweeps off the feet and intellect .............needs a bit of wit in response!)

"Well that is good, but dear, belief you know is very dicey. It is satisfying no doubt about it, a little bit frightening and a lot demanding. What scores among these actually depends on where the belief comes from"

"Where does it come from, what do you mean?"

"Well belief in someone/something can come from two places, either from the head or from the heart. It is the source of this belief that is important rather than the belief itself."


"Well, you see when there is a heart belief, it is irrational, subjective and a lot dense and utterly unpredictable. But on the positive side it stays , it does not depend on one action or activity, it is not transient but lasting. For example, you pick up a fight with say your mother (I heard females do that a lot, irrespective of age!), but you know that when things calm down, she would believe you, stand by you, support in what you want, or whatever you did.

But when, belief comes from the head, it is rationally driven and very objective.However on the flip side, it is transient. You may not trust the belief always, it comes and goes. One action it springs, another it disappears.

So, tell me if you do believe me, which btw is dangerous, for you never believe a guy who is in the business of hustling, but that’s where we are not going today. Where we are ........actually is to know where this belief comes from?"

Long silence………I am becoming good with them, so I stretched it longer……But, I knew the response, in fact I was willing to bet on to a strip dance by me in the middle of Garuda mall on a Saturday.I even knew the exact phrasing.

"Well, here it is both …I guess".

Bingo!! No strip dance, but that I already knew.

However I did not anticipate, a sudden post script, to the above non binary response.

"Well ............right now it is heart".

Damm, I spilled my rather hot tea…..for this I did not expect.

The silence this time was uncomfortable and I did not want to stretch it.

"So, is it shopping again for today"(females love to talk about shopping ....anytime!!)

"Yea, got to get something for another social event" a hurried response.

"Good for you, catch up with you later then".

"Yea we will do that".

So if you have read this long, on a Saturday, tell me……………

Is there nothing you await........................ ???????????!!!!!!!

Or better still……….. Do you wait, or rather do you await for the weekend, do you wait or await for the Monday morning. And irrespective of the “a” do you believe in whatever “ing” you have, that is do you believe in whatever is it  you wait or await, and if so do you believe it from your heart or your head.

Ponder on…if desired…. Else scotch is always there, if the outcomes to the above thoughts are not merry….. Ho…….. Ho………. Ho…….. !!