Tuesday, December 18, 2007

This Modern Life....

This one is taken from wellingtongrey.net . Found it quite amusing. The picture is enough to convey what I mean to say

Definitely my life is like this. I wish it wasn't ;)

Note: Picture used with permission from origina author Wellington Grey

Sunday, November 11, 2007

A good entertainer

We've seen quite a good and bad movies in the last couple of years. Many classics of the likes of rang de basanti and lage raho munnabhai to absolute horrors like Bhool Bhulaiya . While RDB and Lage Raho Munnabhai were classics in their own respect, for some reason for a long time , we had not seen a film with an absolutely single minded focus. Entertain...

That's where I liked Om Shanti Om . A film with an average to good story line, but then, it kept the audiences entertained for 2.5 hours. Witty scenes, good music, decent storyline, good performances, and above all good wholesome entertainment. Even if it meant getting so many guest appearances . It was a movie that we all felt good after seeing it. In general, there was not a phase in the film where the movie went like ,'Oh, when will this end'. Performances of most actors were mostly good, but the best I would like is the variety of guest appearances and the way they were put in there(esp Abhishek Bachchan). For those you are yet to see the movie, try to lip read Abhishek Bachchan in the awards function ;).

A good movie to start the year with. Oh yes, Happy Diwali and Happy new year to all you folks.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Bhool = Mistake - Bhulaiyya = forgettable

Yes,I know that forgettable is not the literal meaning of the word. It is however the appropriate word to be used for the movie. Sometimes you feel that a film was not all that good, or maybe you did not like it because your expectations were too high. Bhool Bhulaiya does fall under that category, however , there's nothing really nice about the movie.

A terrible plot (involving the ghost and havans and all), led by a pretty pathetic acting by Shiny Ahuja, and mediocre performances by everyone else.Akshay Kumar's acting is good, but does not get a chance to really do any kind of good stuff. To top it all, songs are thrown anywhere, making the movie all the more boring. It's interesting that there was a half an hour interval, in which the trailers provided some good relief

But the most disappointing part of this Priyadarshan movie, was that Paresh Rawal and Rajpal Yadav, both of whom I expected to have some good funny scenes, did not have almost any funny scenes or dialogues. Since Hera Pheri, it has become almost an unwritten rule that a Priyadarshan comedy with Paresh Rawal in it, will have some really intelligent and witty stuff from Paresh Rawal. Rajpal Yadav hardly has any role and absolutely no comedy scenes as we have seen in his earlier movies like hungama.

And with random things about ghosts, random characters (Vikram Gokhale at the end) thrown in , you really doubt how coult Priyadarshan make such a movie . Wikipedia did give me one answer

The film began shooting on February 18, 2007 for a 41-day schedule at Jaipur, India and released on October 12, 2007.

A film made in 41 days. Looks like they did not have a story writer and made up the story over the 41 days.

All and all - disappointing. It's not a waste of just 100 rupees or 10 dollars. It's a waste of 3 hours of your life.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Slow Down Culture

I got a forward the other day- but I liked it quite a lot. I could not trace the author of this one , but it's a must read
Slow Down Culture . . .

by a Concerned citizen of this Universe

It's been 18 years since I joined Volvo, a Swedish company. Working for them has proven to be an interesting experience. Any project here takes 2 years to be finalized, even if the idea is simple and brilliant. It's
a rule.

Globalize processes have caused in us (all over the world) a general sense of searching for immediate results. Therefore, we have come to posses a
need to see immediate results. This contrasts greatly with the slow movements of the Swedish. They, on the other hand, debate, debate, debate,
hold x quantity of meetings and work with a slowdown scheme. At the end, this always yields better results.

The first time I was in Sweden, one of my colleagues picked me up at the hotel every morning. It was September, bit cold and snowy. We would arrive
early at the company and he would park far away from the entrance (2000 employees drive their car to work). The first day, I didn't say anything,
either the second or third. One morning I asked, "Do you have a fixed parking space? I've noticed we park far from the entrance even when there are no other cars in the lot." To which he replied,
"Since we're here early we'll have time to walk, and whoever gets in late will be late and need a place closer to the door. Don't you think
so? Imagine my face.

Nowadays, there's a movement in Europe named Slow Food. This movement establishes that people should eat and drink slowly, with enough time to taste their
food, spend time with the family, friends, without rushing. Slow Food is against its counterpart: the spirit of Fast Food and what it stands for
as a lifestyle. Slow Food is the basis for a bigger movement called Slow Europe, as mentioned by Business Week. Basically, the movement questions
the sense of "hurry" and craziness" generated by globalization, fueled by the desire of "having in quantity" (life status) versus "having with quality", "life quality" or the quality
of being".

French people, even though they work only 35 hours per week, are more productive than Americans or British. Germans have established 29 hour workweeks and
have seen their productivity been driven up by 20%. This slow attitude has brought forth the US's attention, pupils of the fast and the "do
it now!". This no-rush attitude doesn't represent doing less or having a lower productivity. It means working and doing things with greater quality,
perfection, with more attention to detail and less stress. It means reducing rejects and wastage. It means re-establishing family values, friends, free
and leisure time. Taking the "now", present and concrete, versus the "global", undefined and anonymous future. It means taking
humans' essential values, the simplicity of living. It stands for a less coercive work environment, more happy, lighter and more productive where
humans enjoy doing what they know best how to do.

It's time to stop and think on how companies need to develop serious quality with no-rush that will increase productivity and the quality of products
and services, without losing the essence of spirit.

In the movie, Scent of a Woman, there's a scene where Al Pacino asks a girl to dance and she replies, "I can't, my boyfriend will be here
any minute now". To which Al responds, "A life is lived in an instant". Then they dance to a tango.

Many of us live our lives running behind time, but we only reach it when we die of a heart attack or in a car accident rushing
to be on time. Others are so anxious of living the future that they forget to live the present, which is the only time that truly exists. We all have
equal time throughout the world. No one has more or less. The difference lies in how each one of us does with our time. We need to live each moment.

As John Lennon said, "Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans".

Congratulations for reading till the end of this message. There are many who will have stopped in the middle so as not to waste time in this globalized world.


This is particularly interesting, especially to people like us, who have been always taught to move fast in life, and those things about hard work is all it takes.Your comments are welcome.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

What's in a name?

Today, this news article on rediff.com says that the name of Bangalore has been changed to Bengaluru. Brings back memories when Bombay was renamed to Mumbai, Calcutta to Kolkata, Madras to Chennai, and so on and so forth.

Now is the time to ask, What's in a name? Do you suddenly feel more closer if the city is renamed to what it was called in Pre-British times? I strongly disagree. Firstly, even if the British renamed cities, it was in those times that these cities developed. The names of these cities are testimony to the good development work in those times, and not to the British Raj. Secondly, I wonder if anyone from the majority working class, cared for the official name of the city.

Then, why am I against this?Simple,more costs, more confusion, and generally more work for nothing. More work, well, I remember in Bombay, that Shiv Sena had given a deadline to all businesses to get their hoardings changed to Mumbai, or else :). So , in a city where people come to do business and make some profits out of their investment, here comes an additional cost . And of course, with everything in Bombay named after Chhatrapati Shivaji, there's this perrenial confusion of which airport to go to. In fact, I sometimes wonder how a foreigner will ever realise that Chhatrapati Shivaji Int'l Airport,Mumbai is the same old Sahar Airport in Bombay that he landed on many years back. But then, people are happy :). If nothing, some good amusement.Aaah!

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Internet Crash ?

Check out this video on Youtube. It's hilarious :)

Sunday, July 15, 2007

IBM branded macine guns?

Wikipedia at it again. It's strange how you come across such interesting trivia ,

This article on Wikipedia

In particular, this piece looks the most interesting to me.
After America entered World War II, IBM played an active role in the U.S. war effort. According to the IBM archive website:

When World War II began, all IBM facilities were placed at the disposal of the U.S. government. IBM's product line expanded to include bombsights, rifles and engine parts – in all, more than three dozen major ordnance items. Thomas Watson, Sr., set a nominal one percent profit on those products and used the money to establish a fund for widows and orphans of IBM war casualties.[5]

In particular, IBM manufactured the Browning Automatic Rifle and the M1 Carbine. Allied military forces widely utilized IBM's tabulating equipment for military accounting, logistics, and other war-related purposes.

In fact,some time back there was an interesting discussion as to how most of the things related to the development of the internet were funded and supported by defence bodies, as the sole aim of them was to use them to improve their strength on the military side. I wonder sometimes what would have happened if they had used the same money for similar purposes minus the war. I guess it could have been both ways, maybe we would have had more peaceful results out of these things, maybe we would have never had these things :)

Among other news, saw the Indian Ocean concert at Hayward yesterday...It was too good.

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Call center for the blind

There is this interesting article on BBC news about a call center in Mumbai(Bombay) which is meant for visually challenged people only.

I find this as a good sign, because people are thinking out of the traditional app roach that blind/handicapped people are only limited to a set of jobs.( If you've seen Black , there's a very nice dialogue that Amitabh has to reflect the same). Also, I am sure that this will give them a sense of achievement, and also , an all important, making them financially self sufficient.

Most importantly though, I feel that the fact that the person at the other end does not know that they are blind, will instill a great feeling of confidence since it gets rid of the (sometimes undesired) sympathy. Kudos to the people who got this great idea to work.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Reflections of India - 2

So here's the big deal. India is rich. Teenagers have more money than ever before. If not , they have a credit card. Is it just because of the economy booming?

I don't agree. It's because of a new way of life, which is more influenced by the western philosophy. More and more credit cards, more and more malls, and more are the people influenced to shop. And oh, the big 'chain' restaurants. I don't think I can generalise, but when I was in college, I would not dare to ask my dad for 100 Rs . to spend on one coffee in a 'coffee' house . And again, not that we did not spend money. But, somewhere show business has come into picture quite a lot. It's just so 'cool' to sit in cafe coffee day, and it's so 'uncool' to go to a local restaurant and have coffee. Surprising.

The positive side is, though, that it is fun. There's a lot of life which somehow was non existent. I mean, now there are umpteen places to hang out, as opposed to a very few.

And of course, cultural values have changed. It's no longer a taboo to divorce someone and move on, and as pre martial relations and teenager independence are going over the roof, the new Indian generation is breaking the shackles of that 'Humaare yahaan aisa sab nahin hota' thing. While some of it is wrong, I do believe that it's good in a way, since I would rather follow something in which I believe in rationally, than just be forced into it since I was brought up here. Maybe it needs a little bit more care.

One interesting thing I observed, which follows from one of my earlier blog posts, is that somewhere we have developed the tendency of going the 'under the table ' way, instead of going straight. Somehow every employed person who tries to do his duty, is considered 'khadoos' and the corrupt guy is considered - 'flexible aadmi hai'. I found , particularly in this visit, that most working class people will do their duties properly, if you speak politely to them( One guy was just too shocked, when I said 'Aap please zaraa yeh kar denge' ) Something, which we might have never tried, might just work . It's about giving it a shot.

This post has been badly structured, sorry for that. I just had too many thoughts, and could not organize them properly. Your comments are welcome.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Statistics of the India trip so far

Days spent: 16
Places visited: 3
Shopping done: Rs.25,000
Number of people who have told me that I have grown Fat : 31 ( and increasing)

Monday, May 07, 2007

Reflections of India

I have come to India a good 2 years since I last came here. Also, having learnt the experiences of life in Uncle Sam's land, I have been kind of away from the way of living in India and Bombay in particular. This time, as I come back, I feel there are so many things I wanna tell everyone

Firstly, India has grown rich....For some reason, I still think of India as the one I left in 2003, which is a far cry from anything you see right now. Somehow people have all the money to spend on expensive restuarants, funky mobile phones (I want to write more about this in a separate blog), and in general, India has changed

Let me start with some things that I did not like though. The first habit being branding us guys as 'US returned' and worse terms. A simple example

We went to a resort, and food wasn't allowed inside. For some reason 3 people close to me tried to smuggle food inside the resort. On top of that, they gave the same reason(in the same words).The reason was 'Yeh ladka America se aaya hai, aur bahut Bimaar hai'. aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah! I did not like this on several counts. First, I believe my approach has generally changes towards breaking rules. Especially if it serves little or no purpose to do so. If they don't allow food inside, it's prob to keep the park clean, and I feel that is 100% justified. And please, just because I am US returned, does not mean tht I am the most sick person and hence should get all the favours. I don't like because people do this, and then people will say, yeah America se aaya hai, khaane peene ke bahut naatak honge. All this when you really don't want it.Disheartening :).

I always stick to the philosophy that a person who goes to America is no where different from a person who does not go. It's just a matter of making a career choice, that drives a person there.

Have I changed? Maybe not. I am just 4 years behind all these people. It's they who have changed.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

How To Get from New York to Paris

Priyendra sent me this link. This is how to get from New Yor to Paris courtesy Google Maps. Check out the steps :).

Sunday, March 18, 2007

The End of our Era of Cricket?

As the 2007 world cup went underway, I came across this story on Cricinfo , which said that there were only 5 players surviving from the 1992 world cup to the 2007 world cup. It included Inzamam, Sachin, Lara, Jayasuria and A C Cummins who played earlier for the WI and now for Canada. Inzy has already announced his retirement and I am pretty certain that we'll not get to see the rest for the next world cup.

There's enough of nostalgia , especially , since when I started watching and following cricket seriously, all these players esp Lara, Sachin and Inzy were just starting to fire at the international scene. As a kid, I remember maintaining stats of every match of Sachin, and of course who could not be a fan of Inzy after that 60 off 37 balls that he made against New Zealand in the World Cup Semi's in 1992.

All these years, all these players have gone through ups on downs, but then, they have defined cricket for our generation. They have given their countrymen reason to cheer, reason to dance, reason to cry, and just have been an inseparable part of our lives. The time has come to bid farewell to some of the finest cricketers we have seen.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Indian Superman- a must see

Alok sent me these 2 links, one of a north Indian ( or Bollywood) superman, and one of a south Indian one. It's hilarious

North Indian Superman

South Indian Superman

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Munnabhai 3 is here!

We saw this trailer or munnabhai 3 at naz8 yesterday.... Probably will me one more masterpiece.....The topic this time: Munnabhai Chale America....

Check out the trailer for more. Check out this article as well.

Lage Raho Munnabhai!

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Revenge on Telemarketers

I am sure you would have all heard these calls, saying that you have been chosen to win a grand prize, to how your name came up in their electronic lottery, or just how they can make your life so much better.....A set of steps to take your revenge on them.. ..typical tit for tat style, since they annoy us, annoy them as much as you can....

This guy probably did the best thing. Check this out. It's really hilarious..!

Other great ways to handle them :)

1. If MCI calls trying to get you to sign up for the Family and Friends Plan, reply, in as SINISTER of a voice as you can, "But I don't have any friends...Would you be my friend?"

2. After the telemarketer finishes speaking, ask him/her to marry you.

3. Tell the telemarketer you are busy at the moment, and ask him/her if he/she will give you his/her home hone number so you can call him/her back.

4. Ask them to repeat everything they say, several times.

5. Tell them it is dinner time, BUT ask if they would please hold. Put them on your speaker phone while you continue to eat at your leisure. Smack your food loudly and continue with your dinner conversation.

6. Tell them that all business goes through your agent, and hand the phone to your five year old child.

7. Tell them you are hard of hearing and that they need to speak up...louder...louder...louder!

8. Tell them to speak very slowly because you want to write every word down.

9. If they start out with, "How are you today?", say "I'm so glad you asked, because no one these days seems to care, and I have all these problems..."

10. Catch them off guard by saying in a husky voice, "What are you wearing?"

11. Cry out in surprise, "Helen, is that you? I've been hoping you'd call! How is the family?" When they insist they are not Helen, tell them to stop joking. This works especially well if the telemarketer is really male.