Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Taking a break

... from blogging.

I wrote my first post on june-9-2007 on this blog. After more than 2.5 years of blogging and Bull Shitting, I feel like taking a sabbatical from it.

I always thought that I will stop when I don't enjoy it anymore. (I remember mentioning it in some post some time back).. I still enjoy blogging but I think I need to move on to new avenues or as they say - TP. (Our generation seriously needs ADHD treatment)

I am not sure what those new avenues will be. A different kinda blog may be! All said and done, I enjoyed while it lasted. It was a fun ride.

I wrote a total of 400 posts (including this one); BSing about everything under the sun. From Politics to Movies to Sports. Sometimes I touched on topics related to Nagpur (although I named this blog honestlynagpur, I din't intend to make it Nagpur centric).

Some of my posts were extremely opinionated, some just plain lame, others decent, while still others just sketchy. But so is life... :)

I won't decommission this or anything. It will be lying there out in the wild.. or as long as the blogger.com folks keep it. I may even restart at some point. Not sure.

I am looking to buy a new sleek SLR. May be I would like to start a Photo Blog in future. We'll see... I am not too worried about it right now.

Life has phases. I enjoyed this particular phase, where some topic would randomly pop in my head and I would go about rambling and ranting.

Anywho... enuf said. But before I end (or go on a long break), here's some trivia that might be relevant to this blog..

1] The most searched term on this blog was "Saoji.." Most google/yahoo re-direction to this blog came from that term. I have had people from unlikely places like "Kazakhstan" search for this term and come to this blog. It was funny..

2] I had about 35 posts on politics, 45 posts on India and around 84 random posts.

3] Some of my own personal favourites have been...'Aadaa Paadaa' , DCH , 'Nature Blesseth' , 'Zunka Bhakar' , 'Greatest Cricketing Moments' , 'Impossible is Nothing' ....

4] Apart from my family in Nagpur who were the most loyal readers (no surprise :)), I made good conversation with a few friends. You all know who you are ..

Life is a discovery. Till I discover my self a new amusement... Alvida!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Super MJ

MJ Akbar's latest post is just awesome. I like the part where he refers to Obama's sleight of hand on his recent trip to China.
The lean and lissome Obama has learnt to slap [us] with a long hand.

Obama did not have a word to say, incidentally, about Dr A Q Khan's latest revelations on Chinese help in fuel and technology for Pakistan's nuclear weapons programme, a clear instance of illegal proliferation. Do not be surprised, however, if India gets a lecture or two on nuclear proliferation.
Yeah, Mr. O, not a big fan of what you were doing in China (apart from lecturing us on 'having good relations with Pak'. We know that. Thanks but no thanks)
Some politicians take recourse to fudge, and sell the notion of India as a soft power. This is a useful screen when you have turned the nation soft, instead of making it powerful. If we were in the midst of the Garden of Eden, this would have been laudable achievement. But we live in a region where terror haunts the headlines.

Amnesia is an invitation to the next terrorist assault.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Taking a break

Some random stuff going around in life, so taking a break from blogging for a while...

Turns out, even BSing needs a vacation.. :)...So long!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

R.I.P, Mr. Shepard

The new generation of cricket lovers may not identify David Shepard easily, but for people of my generation who started watching cricket on black and white television sets, he was clearly one of the most recognizable faces and umpires of 80s and 90s.

He along with Dicky Bird were the mainstay of cricket umpiring. Between the two of them Shepard was my favorite though..(even when it was fashionable to call Bird as best umpire ever)

I particularly remember an Indo-Pak world cup encounter where Javed Miandad was doing a monkey jump to poke Indians and Kiran More and how Shepard handled that situation really well. He was aware of Indo-Pak matches tensions and would sooth the nerves time and again making sure situations won't go out of hand. An apt Gentleman for a Gentleman's game.

He was also the umpire when Amir Sohail and Venky Prasad had a something going on on the pitch during the famous Banglore encounter of 1996 WC.

He was a thorough professional and good Englishman. And he probably would be most remembered for his 'Nelson' idiosyncrasy. As they say...'Go well Sir'

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

No Television

I know I have been talking about my relocation a lot lately.. and I promise this would be the last time I mention it. I am gona zip it after this.

Last weekend we moved our stuff (well, most of it) to our new home. This included my favorite stuff - the T.V ; and no, I don't call it Stevie, the TV. It's fair to say though that I am hooked to Television in general. I may be borderline couch potato.

And TV has always been a hot button issue between me and my better half. (While on that term, why is the spouse called the 'better' half? Why not just other half? Beats me..)

So anywhoo.. TV is one of the explosive issues we have. The last major fight we had was when I was so engrossed watching NFL that I completely blanked while she was discussing something terribly important (or as she claims it was). And she flipped big time. In my defence, the Steelers were in dumps that day.

Me and my wife haven't budged from our respective positions. I maintain, I don't watch as much TV and she insists I am all about TV. Suffice to say we have an uneasy calm on that front; more like India-Pak on the Wagah border. Both parties have taken a position and no one's willing to back down.

I am without TV for this whole week. And this Internet connection is all that I got. You would think this would make my wife happy. But only yesterday she said.."Damn we don't have TV. It's going to make us go under each other's skin". So as you can tell, this is going well...

Sunday, October 25, 2009


Weekend Levity

I am usually not into 'forwarded emails' or 'forwarding emails'.. but this one I liked. T'waz sent by my Dad.. It says..

Some Laws that Newton forgot.

Law of Queue: If you change queues, the one you have left will start to move faster than the one you are in now.

Law of Telephone: When you dial a wrong number, you never get an engaged tone.

Law of Mechanical Repair: After your hands become coated with grease, your nose will begin to itch.

Law of the Workshop: Any tool, when dropped, will roll to the least accessible corner.

Law of the Alibi: If you tell the boss you were late for work because you had a flat tire, the next morning you will have a flat tire.

Bath Theorem: When the body is immersed in water, the telephone rings.

Law of Encounters: The probability of meeting someone you know increases when you are with someone you don't want to be seen with.

Law of the Result: When you try to prove to someone that a machine won't work, it will.

Law of Biomechanics: The severity of the itch is inversely proportional to the reach.

Theatre Rule: People with the seats at the furthest from the aisle arrive last.

Law of Coffee: As soon as you sit down for a cup of hot coffee, your boss will ask you to do something which will last until the coffee is cold.


I can vouch for atleast half of these based on my personal experience.

Friday, October 23, 2009


It's friday again. And TGIF..

Holiday Season : Feels like the Holiday Season is right around. There's already talk of Halloween costumes. Last year some babe in our office paraded as Sarah Palin for our annual Costume party. Boy! a year has already passed since we had Tina Fey making mess of Ms. Palin...

And I am back : Brees and Co did some real good to me in fantasy league last week. I am now 3-3-0. Not bad for a first timer. Go Saints!!

Average Joe : I usually mess around with names and piss my wife big time. So there's this guy called Jose (pronounced Hozey, as you can tell) and I keep calling him Joe. He's our mover for this weekend. I even have him listed as Joe in my phone. One of these days he's gona yell!... Moi is Hozey... J,O,S,E...

Mad Men : So I think Mad Men is good and all. Well made. But I guess the writers are too caught in the 60s mode. In 2009, instant gratification is the name of the game. You got to keep your viewers attention all the time, baby. If I have to reach for my laptop while watching the show, it ain't working. With Sopranos I was always hooked.

Metra Rides : My suburban rides to work and back on the Metra will be longer and more taxing from next month after the move. Not to mention the long walk from the new station. (The current one was so convenient and easy). Wonder why am I moving at all!! Some one called it the 'Home buyers remorse'. Here's my question, how do these term strike people?

Formality ?? : One of my old friend, CK, from the gone by era, send a friend request on Orkut. (Yeah, I still have an account somewhere in there). And on asking him - "How are you man?", His reply was - "Why the formal message? Is someone behind you?" ... I was like wtf!!! So what was I suppose to write after all these years.. "Saale.. Ga%$& LKB.. L@#%&du.." and make it informal? I tell you boss! decency has no place in this world...

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Kaudu Wins

Mardi, a small rural village in Maharashtra is where my paternal ancestry has it's roots. My Grandfather owned enough area of land and farms to require a decent labor force to manage all that.

One care-taker of the farms even after my Grandfather passed away was a guy named Kaudu. Kaudu and his family stayed right near our ancestral home. And over the years when we visited sometimes, he would be the only person to take care of our brief visit.

I remember him narrating something, that stayed with me. He said, every few years when there are elections in Yeotmal, the people over there feel it's a ritual to stand in line at election booth, and put a stamp on Panja (Congress(I) symbol). The idea he said was to go, put a stamp and collect your money from one mai-baap leader.

In other words, Elections = Stamping on Panja symbol. Most of them were unaware they had to 'elect' an option.

Turns out not much has changed in Maharashtra since 80s. People still stand in line and vote for Panja even when Maharashtra had the highest farmer suicide rate in the country, even when metros and semi-metros are reeling under power shortage, not to mention one of most glaring display of incompetency by state government in handling Terrorism during Mumbai carnage.

If people of the state are ready to accept such morons to rule over them, giving lazy excuse of TINA (There is no alternative) good luck Maharashtra.

Update : Analysis by Rediff's Bhatt
In last five years, officially each Maharahstra MLA has got richer by Rs 4 lakh. Once again, as it happened in the last ten years, Sonia Gandhi will forget that mini-India named Mumbai needs mega vision, mega planning and great leadership. Till, the next election Raj will be cuddled covertly by the Congress to keep him alive for future use. Floor Space Index is the only thing that would attract her party's leaders. Marathas will not allow OBC to get stronger in state politics and once again the new government will give us a bogus dream of making Mumbai into Shanghai.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Durun Dongar Sazre

There's a saying in Marathi - "Durun Dongar Sazre"... Which means, a mountain seems green and beautiful from afar, but it's something else when you are near it.

The equivalent English saying is - "The grass is always green on the other side".

Why am I on such an idiom ride? That is because this particular news item caught my attention recently when I was searching for something else. (Actually this one too)

There are some damning statistics in there. It says last few years, UK has seen massive exodus of it's own people. Britons, that is. In this great revolving door called UK, immigrants (specially from India,Pak, B'desh, Sri Lanka..the usual suspects) outnumber the natives by a ratio of 2:1.
Surveys recently have uncovered huge numbers of Britons who, given a free choice, would get out of the country. Separate polls by ICM and YouGov found that more than half would like to leave - the YouGov poll found that 55 per cent had "seriously considered settling in another country".
Makes me wonder why the Brits are in such a hurry to leave that nation? Free health care, Free education... Free lunches..!! Shouldn't it be the other way round? The Australians and Americans (where most Brits are running towards) be running to Queen's great nation?

There may be multiple factors to this, and I am no socio-scientist to figure that out, but there's something that we all know. The UK has been ruled by the Labor party for almost two decades now. To be fair, they have been very popular, and continue to be re-elected every 5 years, keeping the conservatives (Tories as they are called there) off the aisles of power corridor for a very long time.

The last famous Tory was a 'someone' called Margarette Thatcher.. (yeh her). A towering political figure of UK, who ruled with an iron hand, but was also responsible for an economic turn around like never before. Thatcher and Reagan probably worked around the same time frame on either side of Atlantic. Both shrewd conservatives who became universally famous for different reasons, but their popularity at home was never in doubt. (Even the opponents conceded that)

But after that point (meaning, after end of Reagan ism and Thatcher ism) both countries took different paths. USA continued to follow loyally, the most common pattern of Democracy - swinging the power of pendulum between the Left and the Right. But UK din't. It continued bringing back Left, again and again completely demonizing and sidelining the Tories with a powerful pop culture ambush.

As an obnoxious centrist (and proud of it) I have my curious case of two countries right where I want. I see a country ruled for 20 years by the same party, with all it's 'easy' labor laws and free lunches (no wonder it returns to power again and again) now looking at the flip side of one party rule staring right at it's face.

If a nation looses it's banks, it's manufacturing industry, it's housing market etc, it can still hope to recover. There's a possibility of comeback. But once it starts loosing it's Middle Class, that's it.

And UK is currently being hit by the great flight of the Middle Class. Because for all practical purposes, it's the Middle class that drives the real economy. And once you start loosing that resourceful talent, you got trouble baby.

They say, for a child to develop a well rounded personality, it needs the nurturing of a loving mother and a toughness of a disciplined father. Both are essential for all round growth.

A nation too needs both forms of reinforcements. A fair social order and helpful hand of government for the weak, but also a tough fiscal discipline with incentive and merit based labour force to drive it.

French guyz realized it last year. The poster child of liberal Europe brought in a conservative Sarkozy to power. There's a good chance England will follow suit in next elections. Else, the emigration would continue at a scale, that won't help it sustain it's economy.

I am of an opinion that for a good health of a nation, the door of power should be revolving between two principle poles. If the door gets stuck with one pole, it's usually a sign of sickness. And that kinda sickness is usually diagnosed when it's too late to recover.


Post Script : A few years back, one of my college friends who had just returned from UK after a long stint there, told me something that struck me.. "Baring London, the rest of the UK is poorer than Maharashtra. You go 100 kms in any direction from London, and you'll see the real England".

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


Wiki link below

In Maharashtra, Diwali starts from Vasubaras which is the 12th day of the 2nd half of the month of Ashwin. This day is celebrated by performing an Aarti of the cow and its calf- which is a symbol of love between mother and her baby.

The next day is Dhanatrayodashi (dhana=wealth, tra=3 dashi=10th i.e. 10+3=13th day) or Dhanteras. This day is of special importance for traders and business people.

The 14th day of Ashwin is Narakchaturdashi. On this day, people wake up before sunrise and bathe after rubbing scented oil on their body (they also bathe using Utna). After this the entire family visits a temple and offers prayers to their God. After this visit, everyone feasts on Faral which is a special Diwali preparation consisting of delectable sweets such as "karanji", "ladoo", "shankarpale" and "mithai" as well as some spicy eatables like "chakli", "shev" and "chivda".

Then comes Laxmi- poojan. It occurs on Amavasya i.e. no moon day. The dark night is illuminated by lamps and at dusk crackers are burst. New account books are opened after a pooja. The stock exchange performs a token bidding called Muhurta bidding. Generally the traders do not make any payments on that day (according to their belief Laxmi should not be given away but must come home). In every household, cash, jewellery and an idol of the goddess Laxmi is worshipped. Friends, neighbours and relatives are invited over and celebrations are in full swing. The broom used to clean one's house is also worshipped as a symbol of laxmi in some places .

Padwa' is the 1st day of the new month - Kartik in the Hindu calendar.

Bhaubeej - it is the time where in the bond of love between a brother and sister is further strengthened as the sister asks God for her brother/s long and successful life while she receives presents from her beloved brother/s.

Homes are cleaned and decorated before Diwali. Offices perform puja. Bonuses and holidays are granted to employees on these auspicious days. People buy property and gold on these days too. Children build replica forts in memory of the founder of Maratha empire, Shivaji Maharaj. For children, Fire works, new clothes and sweets make Dipavali the most eagerly awaited festival of the year.
Happy Diwali folks! Special wishes to Kaka. You are my hero!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

'Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish'

Stumbled upon this awe inspiring Commencement address by Steve Jobs..

Truly one of the Great Minds of our generation.. Check some real priceless nuggets from this speech.
It wasn't all romantic. I didn't have a dorm room, so I slept on the floor in friends' rooms, I returned coke bottles for the 5¢ deposits to buy food with, and I would walk the 7 miles across town every Sunday night to get one good meal a week at the Hare Krishna temple. I loved it.
Again, you can't connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.
When I was 17, I read a quote that went something like: "If you live each day as if it was your last, someday you'll most certainly be right."
On the back cover of their final issue was a photograph of an early morning country road, the kind you might find yourself hitchhiking on if you were so adventurous. Beneath it were the words: "Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish." It was their farewell message as they signed off. Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish. And I have always wished that for myself. And now, as you graduate to begin anew, I wish that for you.

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Weekend Tweets : Late Edition

Marathon : My friend AK was here in Chicago for the Marathon. He knocked it off in awesome time (with a minor toe injury and some cold, that was a super effort). Kudos and more strength to him. Figured, it's more emotional than physical; the strength that is needed to accomplish this, I mean.
Overall was fun to be with the Ks over the weekend.

Fantasy : My limited knowledge of NFL players is now biting me in my ass. Lost two games back to back and with real bad scores. None of my dudes are firing :/

Cold Conditions: Chicago is racing towards winter. The temperature drop is as low as it ever gets in October. But rumor has it, it's not as bad as Denver.

The Move : Will be officially closing this week. Seems like I have been too involved in it for a while. Need a break when this is all over. Phew!

The resignation : V offered to resign from her current place as the move is going to make it hard to travel. Luckily, the people over their won't take any. They are offering her work from home. This should be cool.

Gadgets : My co-worker C, was explaining some 'cool' features of his new phone. I was trying hard to "fake interest" in it and it was probably showing. eh! it's monday morning.. so it doesn't count.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Annoying words

Hmmm...let's see. I think "good for you" is bad when said in a sarcastic tone (and it's usually used in sarcasm). It's piercing.

I also don't like "whatever". But the worst is "like". As in, people using "like" after every one word.
"Nearly half of Americans surveyed said they find "whatever" to be the most annoying word or phrase, according to a poll by the Marist Institute for Public Opinion.[..]"You know" was the second most annoying phrase.

Telling Tale

Maharashtra will go for polls soon and it's a sad fact that my home state is in such a bad shape.

The current government (Congress-NCP) has squeezed out every drop of juice from State treasury, and has nothing to show for development in last eight years of its epic misrule.

But the alternative formation doesn't look appealing either. The BJP-Sena government which some would say gave a credible government for most part (It's contribution to infrastructure building( Gadkari..) and handling price rise was much better than the current rulers) in it's only rule, has nothing to offer now. It looks a pale shadow of it self. No leadership and no vision.

And worst part is people like Raj Thackray are only making it insane, spending all energies in silly things that have nothing to do with state's real issues. (It has to be noted, he is not with Sena anymore. And is only helping Congress-NCP with his stunts and vote splitting. There's rumor in some circles that he may have a tacit support of Congress/Pawar. One can easily add 2 and 2 and see that)

Sudheendra Kulkarni has a telling tale on Maharashtra
There was a time in the 1960s, 70s and the 80s, when Maharashtra was indeed recognised for many attributes of greatness ― as a leader in industrialization, as a pioneer in the cooperative movement, as a high-performer in the quality of administration, etc
Yes it surely *was* a pioneer in lot many things.

Not anymore. Maharashtra has declined in many parameters vis-à-vis other states and it's fortunes continue to go south at a humongous pace. According to National surveys conducted by it's own party at center, Maharashtra is one of the worst governed states today.

If there ever was a need for a Nitin Gadkari and a Pramod Mahajan, it was now. But alas, we are stuck with bunch of morons on both sides. Maharashtra looks doomed for now unless we can discover our own Modi,Dixit,Patnaik or a Nitish Kumar.


Post Script : During it's hey days Congress Party produced some real good leaders in Maharashtra who did great job specially for Mumbai-Pune belt and South-Western Maharashtra, in late 70s and early 80s. The current bunch of crooks leaders should look at some of their achievements if they have a modicum of dignity at their disposal.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Wake up Sid : Review

Watch it because...

... it will make you fall in love with Mumbai Bombay all over again..(Yeh, screw Raj T..)

.. Ranbir Kapoor is a revelation and has picked right genes it seems

.. for once, I was happy to see, regular Joes and plane Janes as college students.

.. his parents have an understated performance and relation with their son and that breaks the Bombay movie stereotype.

.. feels like an extension of Dil Chahata Hai and Luck By Chance..(and in good way)

.. finally Karan Johar's production house, has woken to the fact, that Non-NRI is equally cool and hip (if not more actually)

Don't watch it because..

.. Shankar Ehsaan Roy and Akhtar combination need new creative juices.(Feels like DCH ghost is still lingering around). We don't need overkill of it.

.. Konkana Sen Sharma is awesome as she is, but she's one movie short of becoming another Tabu. I can only say "Wake up Ko"

.. to show South Bombay crowd, always in discotheque and surrounded all the time by American brands is so not cool

Monday, October 5, 2009

Some flags

I am usually not senti about stuff, but I have to confess, at times when I see the 'Tiranga' flutter, I get a lump in my throat. The last one I got was when Abhinav Bindra was on the podium and the Indian flag was being raised slowly, ahead of other flags in 2008 Olympics.

There's something about the Flag isn't it? It's a piece of cloth, but it symbolizes something much bigger and greater than it's self.

Amongst the flags I like, Canada's would take the cake. This is purely from color combination, design and look and feel of it. (I don't have a particular affinity for Canada, or for that matter any other nation baring India)

My least favorite would be Bangladesh. Just coz of the color combination. Green with a Red circle in the center. I am not so much into drawing/art etc, but even I can tell, that combination is Lame. It's bad.

Another flag I dislike is Sri Lanka's. It's too damn complex. I mean imagine the school kids there making flag drawings in their classrooms. I would sweat if I had to make one.

I like Brazil's flag too. The dominance of yellow over Green is cool. Of the Scandinavians I like Swede's. Not so much Norway's although they are similar.

UK, I feel, has a Royal flag. Although that may be because, I still have an imperialist notion of it in my mind..and align it with power sub-consciously somehow, even today.

Quite a random post eh!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Chicago Looses bid

I was rooting for Chicago to win, although I had predicted it won't. I also predicted that Rio would win the 2016 bid for holding Olympics. (I am not being smarty pants here, but I had predicted it nevertheless..)

My rationale being, in the new Globalized environment, Americans don't hold the lead torch anymore. World is a different place and even if it would have been assumed that Chicago would grease the palms of IOC members to ram through and win, it could not be assumed that Madrid,Rio and Tokyo won't.

They are no paupers. They got some real money muscle too. In fact, lot would say, the opposite is true now. For what we know, Chicago could be the real pauper amongst these cities.

Anyhow the real reason Chicago did not win and had little chance is Numbers. Look at it this way. It was competing against Rio, who it can be safely assumed had all of South America voting for it (except may be Argentina). Now most of South America would generally go with the US, if Rio wasn't a part of the deal. But this was their best chance. Most flights going to Brazil, will have stops in one of those countries.(Just a simple example)

So they probably voted en bloc to Rio. Then comes Europeans. They would again have voted en bloc for Spain, barring a few nations. That leaves Asians and Africans. It became clear from question from Paki IOC dude, that the middle east and large part of Asia was not voting for Chicago. That leaves the continent of Africa. Well, assuming that Obama-Oprah duo may have influenced a bunch of African votes, that wasn't good enough.

Hence I am not wee bit surprised by the outcome. What surprised me though, is how many people actually liked the fact that Chicago din't win. Specially in my office. There were people actually rooting for Chicago not to win. And they may have a point.

Check this Link

Anyhoo... as my friend suggested, who the F knows, where we will be in 2016. Quite true. Who the f really knows.. We may be in Rio for all we know. And honestly, I would love to be there. If you have seen some pictures from Rio, you should no why.. ;)...(My wife calls me pervy pervertson for good reasons )

Bill Maher, though, put it best.."When it came to decide, the Olympic Committee thought- where would you like to spend summer vacation? A land where models invented bikini wax or the land where fat guyz invented deep dish pizza"...

Haha.. Couldn't agree more!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Google Gandhi

Even today, he's India's best known brand

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Andaz Apna Apna

There's something about madcap comedies that gets you. Their innocence, probably. Or the enjoyable stupidity of it all.

Andaz Apna Apna, a Hindi movie made in 1994 was one such movie, that became a cult classic. It came from a director, who had just given a mega hit in form of the intense social drama, Ghayal, where an all-shouting, iron-thumping Sunny Deol gave the performance of his life, and won a national award. So it was quite a 180 deg turn for Raj Kumar Santoshi, to come up with a comedy like AAA even as he was riding on success of Ghayal.

To get it straight, AAA, did not hit it right at the start. In fact, it was tauted as a flop, by what is called as Industry Trade Circle (whatever that is). I remember I saw the movie with my friends in Alankar theater in Nagpur. The theater was half full (or half empty) and lot of people started leaving the movie before it ended. I din't like it myself for first time.

But somehow, I ended up seeing it's re-runs and somehow that movie started growing on me. It was a strange thing really. It took a while for that movie to take off.

Before we knew, the scenes, the dialogues, those idiotic characters, the small nuggets of that movie started making way into our college life lingo. Someone would recount a funny scene ("Kiske Mama kee bandook hai") and the remaining crowd would go in splits. Of course the last scene is the cherry on this AAA cake. Where "crime master" Gogo, goes the whole nine yards in trying to prove his criminal credentials and the Ram Gopal Bajaj duplicates create havoc while in his 'Den'.

The legendary "mark", a cross made by charcoal on Paresh Rawal's cheek, to indicate the "real" Teja still makes me go bonkers; "Teja maii hoo, mark idhar hai" and the stupendous Goga response to that - "Yeh Teja Teja kya hai, Yeh Teja Teja" (mocking that irritating Subash Ghai song from 90s). Not to mention, the awesome duo of Bhalla and Raabut, who almost had me fall off my chair each time they showed up; specially in that scene where Aamir Khan's character Tillu ("Iska naam hamne Tillu rakha kyunki, woh hame tilay pe mila") uses juice glasses to demonstrate a soccer game, and the look on Bhalla and Raabut's face after the 'game is over'.. is real ROTFL. It's shown that Bhalla and Raabut have a tremendous appetite for fiascos and Bhalla is ever so cool about it everytime, making Teja's blood pressure go past the charts.

I haven't seen the movie again in a while now, but some of it's scenes have stuck to me, like, for ever..

"Sir chai mein shakkar dalne ka time ho gaya"

"Lagta hai uncle bigad gaye; doh char din woh gunde mawalio kay saath rahe aur bigad gaye"..

"Amar Prem, Amar Prem, lagta hai koi Hindi film kay mawali hai"

" Sir, aap ne bataya nahi mera birthday hai"; "Happy Birthday Raabut"

I am not sure, if I would find this movie funny again, or at least as funny again, but at some point, in our lives, this was quite a cult to follow. This was probably one of the last innocent comedies of Bollywood, that I know of. It probably hit the 'kiddie spot' in each of us and how!


Post Script : I remember reading somewhere that SRK liked this movie so much, he bought rights of it's DVD, i think.

Monday, September 28, 2009


As the country bid farewell to goddess Durga, the demon-slayer, on Dashami and witnessed the evil king Ravana being vanquished on
Dussehra, a humble Muslim woman in a remote Jammu village slew a dreaded Lashkar terrorist single-handedly.

Exhibiting astonishing, raw courage, Rashida Begum took on the two terrorists who had barged into her home late Sunday night in Thana Mandi village in Rajouri district. The woman, in her early forties, grabbed an axe and swung it wildly, killing one of the armed terrorists and injuring the other. Seeing his partner meet a bloody end, the other terrorist fled in sheer dread.


Sunday, September 27, 2009

Happy Dussera

Happy Dussera to everyone!

Missing all the food and festivities already :/

Old Post redux

Weekend Levity

Found this moderately funny. So posted it.

Friday, September 25, 2009

It's Friday again

5 Year Celebration : Was chatting with a friend yesterday and he told me he completed 5 years in the same company. I congratulated him but at the same time it struck me, how is that a cause for celebration. I mean the previous generation folks would stick to same job (often to same desk and same chair) for 30 years and carry that as a badge of honor. Not anymore I guess; we now have 5 year anniversary, and that's a big deal. If you stick around 5 years, you are already loyal. Except may be in Japan where they still join and retire from same company (or otherwise commit suicide, which ever comes first)

Leno : Had some guts calling Rush Limbaugh on the show few days back. What a freaking jerk that Rush guy is. Wonder why NBC even allowed Leno to go with it?

Hmmm I see : So "The US Senate on Thursday voted unanimously to triple non-military aid to Pakistan to $1.5 billion per annum till 2014". OK, so lets get this straight. They are tripling the aid AND moving out of Afghanistan? Whoa! Talk of unleashing some Pak on us ..

Contributing : Coming days we intend to make some heavy duty contribution to the economy. Our visit to Ashley and Sears and Costco may just be the beginning of a long winter of shopping. It's exciting and tiring at the same time to think of it.

Punjabiyat : An overdose of that in the new Yash Raj Hadippa movie was what got me. Although the theater was full (what a surprise!) and I noticed there were lot of Pakistanis in it. The underlying theme of movie is Indo-Pak cricket matches. On a side note, the stupid pop-corn cost more than the ticket.

Was Wondering : If things have come to such a stage that I have more online friends than offline. I need to write something about this social networking thing in a new post (as if I don't BS enuf). My father still beats me hands down with his friend circle and social network, and he doesn't have to login in Facebook/Linked etc. How he manages such an awesome network at this age, is amazing.

Thursday, September 24, 2009


North Indian farmers are selling their wives to survive, it has been revealed.
The more beautiful the woman, the higher the price she fetches, it was claimed.
The deals are allegedly being settled on a legal stamp paper under the heading "Vivaha Anubandh" meaning marriage contract. Once the new "husband" is tired of the woman, she is allegedly sold to another man.
What can be more insane than this - "The deals are allegedly being settled on a legal stamp paper" Who makes these 'stamp papers'? What century are we living in?

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

New Mantra

Team India coach Gary Kirsten has asked men in blue to eat, play and love to avoid fatigue and give better performances. The new 'sex mantra' by the coach is for boosting up team’s competitiveness wherein sex is a must, even if it means going solo.
If I had a coach like him, I wouldn't complain :D

On a side note, Yuvi's absence is going to kill the Indians. He is the backbone. He and Sehwag not being in and Dravid (The Wall) being out in the jungle playing his "technically correct" innings, I don't see how we can go too far.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Today's Monday

..and I thought why do I have to start with a morning blue. Instead, embedding this awesome soundtrack from one of my fav movies..

Sunday, September 20, 2009

The Difference...

between the two...

This almost made me throw up..
"He was able to kidnap an injured Indian officer whose throat he later slit, the report said. Kashmiri came back to Pakistan with the head of the Indian officer and presented it to top army officials, including then army chief Gen Musharraf, who gave him a cash award of Rs 1 lakh," the report said.

Pictures of Kashmiri with the head of the dead Indian officer in his hands were published in some Pakistani newspapers and he became very important among militants, the report said.
So much for common thread running between us..

Friday, September 18, 2009


Hadippa : My wife is pushing me to watch new Yash Chopra movie - 'Dil Bole Hadippa'. I am not sure how to bail myself out. The theatre is right next door. She's incentivizing me saying, 'Rani wears a bikini in the movie..'; how shallow am I, she thinks? Well can't blame her.. but only if I was a Rani fan.

Foosball : I thought I had lost that art. But I beat 2 or 3 good players last week. Looks like I found my Mojo. I will be shooting from all cylinders today..

Pani Puri : The Bombay Chat House guyz don't know what Pani Puri is. They kill it. My mom makes the best Pani Puris in the world. Period.

Fall : Looks like Chicago skipped a few weeks of Summer and has entered Fall pretty soon. The air feels wintry already. :/

House Inspection : I got a feeling, thats just a formality. If your seller has decided to screw you up, nothing can stop it. It's not possible to check each and everything. But I want to trust Humanity for once.

Patriots : What an ass-**** Brady is. He made possible two touch downs in last 2 mins of game against Buffalos. Made an ass out of them.

Festive Season : It's right around the corner (in India). We miss it here. We'll be visiting some temples to get in the grove. Specially since I like Dosa at Aurora Temple and Samosa chat at Swaminarayan.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Race factor

I was scanning some news channels yesterday of all hue and found Larry King..(ye, that guy who was born in ice age and wears suspenders..) discussing the 'race factor'...

I find it interesting..(stupid, actually) for people to assume that just because O is the new President, racism will vanish from America!

That's naivety. It's like saying, since the most powerful politician in India is woman , and we have a woman President and several female Chief Ministers, and Indira Gandhi ruled India for good part of 2 decades, the discrimination against Women was over...

It will take 100 Os to change this, if at all. Point being, certain discriminations like race, gender, sexual orientation have nothing to do with leader of the day. It's ingrained through decades if not more.

And racism does exist (not that I have personally experienced it yet), and I may add, in both directions (yes please..), and it has taken centuries to come to this point..lest we forget.


Good post in NYTimes

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

'Men lie and women cry'

Men lie and women cry, they say. And, now a new study has claimed that blokes lie six times a day and twice as often as the fair sex.

Researchers have carried out the study and found that men tell six fibs a day on average to their partner, boss and work colleagues, while women come out with just three, leading British newspaper the 'Daily Mail' reported.
I think I can personally beat that average any day. But what kind of 'research' is this anyway? Get a life, will ya!

Oh! The High Moral Ground

The United States fears recent weapons purchases by Venezuela could fuel an arms race in South America, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Tuesday.

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez also said his nation will purchase an anti-aircraft weapons system with a range of 185 miles (300 kilometers).
The khujli king Chavez, is up and poking yet again. But what basis does US have for complaining? It's like the cat calling the kettle black, no?

The arms race in Sub-Continent is a US baby. And US profits most from it. Now to think that other countries (however notorious their intentions are) cannot do the same is simply lame.

All the "help" provided by the US to Pakistan is currently being directed towards India. What about that Madam Secretary?

Monday, September 14, 2009

Sau Chuhe Khake...

So the Congress Party is now giving us lessons in austerity it seems. Right from the 'Top'.
The Congress' austerity drive received a giant push on Monday. Sonia Gandhi flew on an economy-class ticket from Delhi to Mumbai to inaugurate a new party office.

On Tuesday, Rahul Gandhi will travel by train to Ludhiana for an official function. So clearly, the Gandhis want to lead the austerity drive by example.
I understand this symbolism; specially when people in India are reeling under extreme price rise (thanks to inept handling of essential goods inflation by these "austerity drivers" by the way)

This drama does not surprise me one bit though. This same family claims 'not to own a Car' in it's declaration to Election authorities.

Sau Chuhe Khake...

Saturday, September 12, 2009


For someone who's always complained that I never get a good parking spot, this is a sweet deal. Owning a Prius, finally paid off ;)

Friday, September 11, 2009

Information and Mis-Information

The Internet age has exploded into massive information overload. But this also means a very real potential to be misinformed too!

The Democrats are only now learning how easily a ton of misinformation can be transmitted within seconds to a vast majority of people. (Point in case , the death-panel misinfo by conservatives).

But let's not get holier-than-thou here! I am only pointing this out because the foot is now on the other toe. The huffington post kinda elites should remember that the same internet was used for last 8 years to pass a lot of (mis) information too!

The fact of the matter is, no side is above board. As a political agnostic (at least in this country), I find it amusing that people are now waking up to this mininformation ogre.

You did it for last 8 years with little circumspection. Now handle it. Don't be cry babies. Take the bull by the horn.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Good one

Obama's speech on health care tonight was good. It was measured, and my fear that he is being pushed towards extreme left by his own base was unfounded.

Which is cool. I have argued that you have to rule from center as far as possible. Some of the most popular Presidents have been centrists. Right from Kennedy to Clinton.

He found his voice tonight. He was assertive but not aggressive. He came out as the 'good guy'. Anyhow, the real trouble for Obama is not from Republicans. They are a lost cause for a few years atleast. It's really from his own base. If he can handle them smartly he is in for a long haul.

Reminds me of a famous quote I read about Winston Churchill.

Faced with hostile parliament once, the invincible Churchill stood up to deliver his speech. He said, if you want to look at my enemies, don't look on that side (pointing to the opposition benches), look behind me. They are my real enemies.

Only Churchill could have said that. O, a person of history can take a cue.

Lo and Behold!

If I am right, the next financial crisis, when it comes, stands to make the last two years look like a 'warm up'
bummer! So we are still not out of the woods and there's already talk of the next crisis? What more, that would be even bigger!!!
"They [financial crises] are all different, but they have one fundamental source," he said.

"That is the unquenchable capability of human beings when confronted with long periods of prosperity to presume that it will continue."
That's wisdom overflowing from the cupeth Mr.Greenspan!

Moi thinks, Mr Green, you are just providing more fodder for Mr. Michael Moore's new movie "Capitalism: A Love Story"; which is most likely to be lapped up by a huge audience. (Trivia : 70% of Moore's 300 Million earnings /year come from non-US nations. Get the drift? )

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Weekend Tweets

Nut Jobs : The conservative idiots are now opposing Obama's speech to students. They fear 'indoctrination' of their kids. Freaking morons; If O is asking your dude to stay in school and study hard, that indoctrination is WELCOME, no? Idiots.

Woohooo : Brazil beat Argentina to qualify for WC next year. This is swell. Brazil is my favorite team in Soccer and Argentina is one of my least favourites. What more, Argentines are gasping for breath. They are close to being eliminated..

American Dream : Or something like that. Chasing that and finding a home in suburbs is a painful process. Specially when one of your innate traits is - impatience.

Fantasy Football : I have no clue why I joined it.

Cross Training : C is teaching me Italian, L is teaching me Spanish and I am teaching them Hindi. "Are you Happy" is 'Estas Feliz' in spanish as it is 'Lei Felechi' in Italinos. And quite frankly 'I am' or 'Si' :)

Bollywood Hollywood : C and his wife are hooked to Bollywood movies, and we are running out of giving him more Cheesy recommendations on netflix. Coz Bollywood is slowly turning.. non-Bollywood. And those guyz are smitten by colors and song and dance and..everything that till date, defined quintessential Bollywoodness..

Magic Jack : Is one helluva cool thing. My parents and in-laws are having a ball. Talking back home was never so easy...

YSR Shock : My friend told me that the pilot Satish Reddy who died in chopper crash was his uncle. He had recently retired from Armed Forces on insistence of his family to stay back with them in Hyderabad. In Kargil war he survived a plane crash a few times and had close call with death. The irony is he died in a civilian role. Fate has a strange sense of ...

Friday, September 4, 2009

'More dangerous than Swine Flu'

I couldn't help but ROTFL by this awesome comment..

'YSR is dengerous than SWINE FLUE'.. Link

On a more sombre note.. Slimes Times of India reported that..
[..]Telugu television channels estimated that 67 people died of shock on hearing the news of their leader's death in a horrific air crash Thursday or committed suicide, unable to bear the loss.

YSR, as the late leader was popularly known, has surpassed in death the popularity of actor and Telugu Desam Party (TDP) founder N.T. Rama Rao who died in 1996.
"Surpassed in death the popularity.."???????? Am I reading this right? In other words, since 67 people died hearing the news, which is probably more than NTR's score, YSR was a bigger killer hero?

My God people!!

I am speechless really.

I am posting this under..'It happens only in India'. The reason being, in India, people, specially the poor ones, are conditioned to believe Government and their leaders are their Mai-Baaps. These leaders are demi-gods who can sway these folks the way they want. Part of the reason being, Government has such awesome authority and hold over ordinary people's lives, they have no choice but to beg,crawl and genuflect. No wonder Socialistic mindset rules the roost even today. Government control is complete and unchallenged.

And since, these Mai-Baaps decide the fate of people, who better to worship than these Gods.

And as regards to YSR's sudden death, quite frankly, I find the deaths of those 5 people accompanying him more tragic. I mean the deaths of the pilot and the secretary who were forced to go in a Chopper in bad weather, ostensibly because 'God' YSR, wanted to visit some village in his personal Pushpak...

Thursday, September 3, 2009


Yep, this is as close as you can get to put the finger on the pulse. This commentator has done exactly that. He has spelt out what's ailing the country right now. The 'ideologues'. And mind you, on both sides. (The word 'both' is significant)
[..], we tend to listen only to like-minded opinions as media fragmentation encourages us to filter out varying perspectives. If you're a liberal, you avoid FOX News. If you're a conservative you revile MSNBC. The dynamic is even more pronounced online, where a niche media source can be found for any outlook.
The fringe extremes on both ends has taken over the debate thus rendering any reasonable, moderate, centrist approach, impotent.

I like his second point in explanation.
Second, our lifestyles favor knee-jerk reactions. The way we think, work and live in the Digital Age demands we quickly categorize information without investing time into rich interaction, research and understanding.
Yep, perfect.

America is not a monolithic society like say Sweden or Switzerland. Moreover it is huge in size and population compared to other western puny little nation-states. Most of them having at most one big metropolis to 'brag' about. It's racially and socially diverse nation. To compare it with other puny ones is apple and oranges. Can't apply a readymade template and go for cut-copy-paste.

Hence it is all the more imperative for a ruling formation to tread a centrist path so as to accommodate maximum views. (Clinton was popular for a reason. He chose to become a centrist, reconciling figure) If one administration tries to push something down a vast majority people's throat, it risks loosing the goodwill of independents (and political agnostics)

When you are driving at full speed, it's dangerous to take a sharp left (or for that matter right) turn. Omaba's 'advisers' should have known better.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

So many roles

We do play many roles in a lifetime, don't we?

Apart from being son,brother,husband (may be boyfriend in case of lucky ones)etc, we play citizen, friend, co-worker, student, employee, father, uncle, etc.. in different stages of our lives. Often these roles inter mingle and run parallel, even as we try to fit in each "character". It's like signing a bunch of movies and working in multi star cast movies at the same time. And we keep adding roles even as we hold on to the old ones..

We either perform the roles good,bad, better or worse than other roles. I wonder if there's a role we are meant to fit to T. As in, is a good employee necessarily a good friend? Or a good student necessarily a good citizen?

If I had to take stock of all of my roles would it be possible to rank them in ascending order. Can I say at some point, I was a bad husband but a good friend? I was a better citizen than an employee? I don't know. It's all relative and all world's a stage.

I don't know what role I have enjoyed the most so far or what role I fit most. It is quite possible I haven't been good in any roles, or may be good in all roles in parts. Who knows? The truth may be somewhere in between those two extremes!

I feel like not being too hard on my self sometimes. It's hard enough that I have to keep up with all characters.

As Woody Allen said - "90% of life is showing up"... Of course, I think I would like to do more than just show up.

And of course this post is..ultra random!

Thursday, August 27, 2009


There's a simple Marathi term called - Yog. I don't have a good English equivalent of this word; but I find it neat. It is basically used to define 'opportune time' or 'right time'. As in the time is ripe for such and such thing.

I like it because it encompasses a lot in those 3 letters.

Things happen when the time is right. Or it's time for it to happen. So no point forcing or trying to create or manufacture a situation to 'get it'.

Let me add some context to this bull shit I am doing here.

Me and my wife have been planning a Europe trip for sometime. But every now and then something comes up and we are unable to execute the plan. (I should note that my wife is more keen than me to go to Europe)

I have tried to rationalize this using the term Yog. I have been telling her that when we have the Yog of going to Europe we will. But for now lets enjoy where we are.

And she's been cool about it. We have enjoyed all our vacations in US. From the Hawaiis to the Key Wests and the Montanas, they have been great personal explorations and discoveries. And have been worth our dime.

One of the places I am very keen to go in the US is Alaska. Let's see when the Yog comes.

I stumbled upon a book called '1000 must visit places on Earth' (or something of that order). And let me be honest. I am not infinitely enamored by all the hype that surrounds these tourist places. For me the important thing is, I should feel refreshed after a vacation. Then it doesn't matter if it's Mt. Macha Pichu or our good old Lake Geneva 60 miles north.

Vacation = Mind set. If I can get in good mood, enjoy a couple of beers, engage into something refreshing and/or just simply relax, I am good.

So coming back to Europe, may be we are keeping the best for the last. Our Yog of going to Europe will come in a way when the time is best to enjoy it most, I guess.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Wither BJP

Whats happening with BJP is slightly disappointing for me but not entirely surprising. After all nothing fails like failure.

BJP is in a tail spin after the Jaswant Singh episode. And Arun Shourie's latest interview, to NDTV is most depressing to say the least. I have had highest regards for Mr.Shourie and his work. But his outburst and that too to a channel like NDTV (which has a glee all over) is shocking.

Nevertheless, with BJP down and possibly out, Sonia madams monarchy has no serious challengers and is all set for a long haul. Monarchy is strong and kicking. Not that it had any serious challenge anyways, with national media firmly behind it all along.

It's sad for democracy in general that an alternative pole is diminished into irrelevance. And one party rule, with monopolistic mind-set at that, can only spell trouble.

Anyways, Indians are getting what they voted for. So no point ranting.. (this last note is for me).

Disappointing nevertheless.

Sunday, August 23, 2009


My wife recently went to a classical music gathering. She was invited by her friend who was part of the musical group. It was a small gathering and some "Guru" from Pune was on a tour to the US. She sat through about 3 hours of that program, listening to songs but mostly observing how deeply involved all the 'jaankar' public there was.

I have seen and known these people (there are some in my extended family). They are extremely committed folks. It's like it's their faith. Their mission. They are purists. For people who 'understand' music and sur and taal etc (and hence are jaankar of that subject), Classical is *the* real deal. Rest all is, well.. crap.

Since I don't pretend to understand Music and Art to any intellectual level, I give these invites a pass in general. Being a lesser mortal I fall back on good old Hindi movie songs, that I have got accustomed over many years.

If Music as an art is hard to get, there should be some agent who can create Music that is easier to get along for the non-purists (or masses if you will).

That brings me to Pancham a.k.a R.D Burman.

The state of West Bengal has given us an awesome battery of stalwarts over the years in the field of Arts/Music/Cinema. But Pancham happens to be my favorite Bengali. He was the King. He connected to every layer, to every stratum, to masses and classes alike, with equal ease.

Right from Hum Kisi Se Kum Nahi to 1942, A Love Story (which I thought was below par compared to his own work), no other music director and his music has caught nation's imagination to such an extent.

70s and 80s was his golden era of course.It was when he created his magic. My personal RD favorites are the ones he created with Gulzar. RD and Gulzar individually were super brilliant, but together they were compelling.

An Intoxication called Gulzar

Pancham not only transcended age, he transcended generations. No wonder all these copy cat remixes we get to hear these days have their roots in RD's songs. (Speaks volumes of his 'scalable' music)

He was a 'kalakar' to the core, so to speak. The man had such a massive talent ingrained in his DNA, he probably never bothered to game the system. Which is why, he was sort of a Fakir. And this Fakir created probably India's best music till date.

I mean, the song from Khoobsoorat - "Piya Bawari.." is an intoxicating fusion of classical and contemporary. He easily re-packaged a classical theme into a more digestible and easy to go along, simple presentation. Or the great use of folk-instruments in "Raha pe rehete hai.." from Namkeen which was nothing short of brilliant.

Music is an art form. And R.D Burman was it's proponent. And in many ways, he helped, lump of masses, help appreciate the beauty of this art form. And there in lies his genius.

There's a song in the movie Parinda - "Pyar ke mode pe..". Observe how the sound of flute and Asha Bhonsale's voice camouflages, so much so that it's hard to figure where the flute begins and where Bhonsale ends. Asha Bhonsale should be credited for bringing a mesmerizing effect to it, but there's no denying Pancham's genius in setting it up. Singularly brilliant..

Of all the pop culture icons of India of any generation, for me Rahul Dev Burman stands out as the greatest. I know the Gen-X and A.R Rahmans of the world have won Oscars and what not. And no one's taking away anything from their greatness. But for me, a kid from 80s, Pancham Da was real deal.

He was... the Badshah.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

End of NRIism

Swapan Das Gupta is brilliant or what? I mean there's a reason this guy is head and shoulders above the NDTV / IBN live TV columnists.

Himself an NRI at some stage of his life, (studied and lived in London for few years), he captures the current state of NRIs with compelling ease.
Until the early 1990s, India was home to a middle-class that lived in a state of permanent deprivation. However much we loved our country and waved the flag on the few occasions India won a Test match, our Third World status confronted us incessantly. Although life was never as unbearable as in the Communist bloc, we lacked those little luxuries that make drudgery bearable.
'we lacked those little luxuries that make drudgery bearable.'.. How very true!
To the NRI confronted with a precarious descent into obscurity, there is only a small solace: interventions on the net.
One word. FANTASTIC.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Weekend Tweets

@ This article in New York Times says - "Its cool to have a pot belly". That's an emerging trend it seems. And moi is got thinking..'there's hope for halals like me'. Good bye Gym; Good evening Beer/Wings.

@ We are looking to move from our current location. And the debate continues. Suburbia or not? My Desi Khoon wants best of all worlds.

@ On SRK's airport fiasco in Newark, Salman Khan says "good that the country has such a tight set-up. And that ``there has been no attack after 9/11 because of this.’’ Link

@ Planning to watch Kaminey on Tuesday at the theatre next door. I can be accused of some Desi-giri, as Tuesday's have 5$ shows :)

@ I need a hair cut and the new Italian guy I found in the downtown where I have been going for last few times is acting pricey. He suddenly jacked up his charges by a whopping 50% in one go.. Looks like the tiger has tasted blood; the dude who recommended me to him, also recommended a bunch of folks from my office..

@ Obama it seems, got emotional and all during a Town Hall operation. That's a little unbecoming of a Pres. Hope he gets a grip soon..

@ Was searching for some old funny movie clips on Youtube and came across this one. 'Bhairon becomes Bairan and Bairan becomes Bhairon, because their minds are very narrow'. Amazing!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Galli Cricket

Gili ki Suki, was gross. But that was one of the expected norms for toss up.Apart from the toss, Galli Cricket redefined many a cricketing terms. Some of them not even part of regular First Class Cricket.

For example one tip, one hand. Or "only off-side" rules. Or "current" out.

A game of Galli cricket usually evolved over a period of many cricketing sessions. It crystallized it's rules and contours based on what neighbor was a pain-in-the-butt (and hence hitting the ball directly in their compound was out), what side of the road had higher probability of traffic nuisance (as if traffic was a nuisance and not the actual game being played on public property), what side of the arena had more bushes/trees..

But once the rules got defined and refined, the show was on. It use to go into dark hours of twilight, in diminishing lights, until the symphony was broken by a shouting Mom of one of the 'studious' players. (That player would not be from S.F.S)

One of the other reasons for an unceremonious end of the game would be a broken window of a not-so-sporting neighbor. A khadoos and in all likely hood, a bald oldie, would stop the game by his ruckus over a broken window. So much so that by the time he came out of his house, shouting, the only concrete evidence of someone playing cricket was the small tower of red bricks which masqueraded as a wicket. Coz all the players would have vanished from the scene of trouble faster than my 401k's gains ..and those bricks would be standing tall and only helping in making the guy's face go red like them.

As kids grew into college going 'young adults', Galli Cricket also became an excuse for some bizarre activities. Like making an impression on neighborhood 'flames'. Some over enthusiastic fielder in the sleeps (yeah, we use to have sleep position too..go figure) would make a seemingly simple looking catch into a Jonty Rodesque diving acrobatic stunt just to impress 'her'. She wouldn't even notice, but no one was blaming this 'impresario' for trying too hard. His many fake dives for a simple catch would not even invite a nod or a hello after several weeks. In most cases, the flame wouldn't even know the guyz existence. These stories would begin and die on the cricketing field itself.

Although there was lowest common denominator ground rules for all Galli Cricket, some of them got tweaked from neighborhood to neighborhood or even cities.

For example when I use to play in Mumbai with my cousins on vacations, they played Galli Cricket with a different set of rules. (Being Bombay, they called it 'Box Cricket'). The kids there were extremely conscious of space limitations, and that notion had got hard-wired into them. So much so that when we played cricket on Versova Beach near my aunt's house, we would even make a boundary line and play box cricket although there was no compelling reason to 'box' it.

When I visited India last year, I found Galli Cricket was conspicuous by it's absence. Probably Cable TV/ Pool Tables / Competitive exams.. or a combination of these factors all have conspired to replace my dear Galli Cricket off the slate.

Long before T20 became the cool poster child of cricket, 80s school kids, had already identified a fast paced, intense, easy to consume , fast-food cricket. It was Galli Cricket. And boy did we enjoy it! Right from the toss, to the controversial run-outs and nics, to touching of bats when the non-striker and striker swap positions, to contributing 25 paise for one MRF ball, to deciding the batting line up based on who bowled first, to arranging "matches" with 'next Galli' folks and signing off on a notebook, declaring a win or a loss.... every game ensured an intense drama of cricketainment.

P.S : Not to blow my own trumpet, but I did have a lethal doosra in under-arm spin :)

Monday, August 10, 2009

'Split India'

Right. That's what this Chinese 'strategist' says.

While I am not surprised by the idea of a Chinese wanting India's demolition, I am definitely surprised by the tone and language of this article. It is blatant, upfront and smacks of arrogance all over.For example..
"China in its own interest and the progress of Asia, should join forces with different nationalities like the Assamese, Tamils, and Kashmiris and support the latter in establishing independent nation-States of their own, out of India. "
.."It has pointed out that China can give political support to Bangladesh enabling the latter to encourage ethnic Bengalis in India to get rid of Indian control and unite with Bangladesh as one Bengali nation; if the same is not possible, creation of at least another free Bengali nation state as a friendly neighbour of Bangladesh, would be desirable"
Chinese designs are already well known in certain quarters. Their encircling India strategy has worked wonders so far, for them. If only the fools in New Delhi, at helm of country's affairs knew better.

But who am I kidding? Preaching to the choir never works, does it?

The Delhiwala babus are still soaked in the Hindi-Chini Bhai Bhai fantasy fairy tale.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Friday pop tarts

@ Have a sore finger from playing volleyball at company picnic. But can type; Which is a pre-requisite for any job in 21st century I guess.

@ Looking to watch some old mindless Govinda Movies. They are available on Netflix. They can be a good break from monotony of heavy/intense movies.

@ Not sure what's the criteria for "Cash For Clunkers". My wife's Accord gives a mileage of less than 19 gallons. So it *is* a gas guzzler after all.Could have been a good candidate.

@ I am so NOT following all this health care fuss. I am completely checked-out from National news here. Don't have the stomach. My only source of current affairs is the NPR radio, I listen to while driving to and from Metra Station. That is all of 20 mins.

@ 'S' sent 2 pictures from the Alumni get-together in India. Boy!, people have grown pouch. We are now officially into the "Uncle" zone.(Moi included)

@ Chicago is expected to hit mid-90s tomorrow. It became a 'talking point' on Lunch@Work. Simply coz Chicagoans can't handle HEAT.

@ Just remembered, Summer is called "Dhoop-Kala" in Nagpur. And so far I have enjoyed my "Dhoop Kala" in Chicago. (What an awesome term!)

Thursday, August 6, 2009

The Disconnect

Since a new Desi Theatre has come next door, I thought it was our moral obligation to watch a bollywood flick. And we did. Last weekend we chose in our wisdom, to watch a movie called Love Aaj Kal.. (Until yesterday I was calling it Love Aaj Tak, before my wife corrected me...)

The more movies I watch the more I feel disconnected with India. OK. Let me paraphrase this. The more new movies I watch the more I feel disconnected with new Generation India.

A simple explanation would be, "I am getting old and this is natural". But I think if I peel the layers, this is beyond me getting old (which is a fact of life anyways).

I have no beef against "romantic" movies in general. I think they are just fine; although given a choice between Comedy/Action and Romance, I won't sweat too much. It's a no-brainer. No it's not the lovey-dovey chic flicks I am against. I am against this whole, new thing of "trying to be cool" stuff.

Actually "trying too hard to be cool" stuff. Being cool should come natural. You should not have to make an effort to be cool, if that's your ultimate aim in life anyways. And that's where this excuse to a movie-making, Love Aaj Tak falters for me. It tries too hard to be super cool.

Only it doesn't. It's all over the place. Trying to cling on to "traditions" by having an over doze of Punjabiyat in the movie.. (Imtiaz Ali is one movie short of beating the Chopra camp now). And at the same time showing two NRIs of the Internet Generation trying to have a long distance relationship.

It's an interesting subject actually.. and very contemporary. Can connect to young demography. But....

Anywho... so looks like it will be a while before I revisit the Desi Theatre next door. Even the samosas over there suck! Bad Desi Movie and bad Samosa. That's a loose-loose.

P.S : Sigh!..I am already missing those samosas in Alankar Cinema, Ambazari Road

Wednesday, August 5, 2009


- Hitting the sweet spot on your Golf swing and breaching 200 mark

- Making a smooth turn on a curve on a freeway ramp

- Using curse words chatting with your old friend

- Getting right that perfect 5ver on a Foosball

- Surprise at your bag being the first to roll off a Baggage Claim Carousel !!

- Wise crack gone wild ...

- Closing a deal

- Finding the right gift

- Finding the right words

- Shouting yourself hoarse after your team's win

- Rooting for someone

- Cracking a real bad joke and feeling good about it..

- Surprising "her" out of the the blue..

- Making Dal Tadka and getting it RIGHT

- An email from your high school friend you haven't spoken in zillion years

- Breaking traffic rules in Nagpur and "going with the flow"

- Reflecting and realizing... "It wasn't that bad after all :)"


Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Harassed Husbands Club!!

This is hilariously WTF...
On Independence Day, a group of men will meet in Shimla and make a plan for "freedom" from "harassment" by their wives.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Fair Call!

Atanu De makes a fair point.

"In 2008, Indian taxpayers paid around Rs 700 crores (US$140 million) for Muslims to travel to Saudi Arabia"
Yep. And we call ourselves "Secular" !


Mmm... trying to think what can be done with 700 Crores? Let's see.. Health Care, Education, Infrastructure...?

On the other hand.. don't even bother. Economically bleeding India and winning elections again and again is a time tested mantra for the current dispensation. And that has seldom failed.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Reference points

Every generation has bucket of reference points. They may be in form of Movies or T.V series or Sports events or any other world events. Like for example, the Beijing Olypics was such a mammoth event for the Chinese of this generation, the kids there would always refer to it in some form even as they grow old. This Olympics would be their Reference Point forever.

Indians of my generation have a few. Like Asiad'82, 1983 WC, Bhopal Gas Leak... DD and it's sitcoms and of course those Ads.

Doordarshan or DD itself has become a Reference Point for many now. There are forums and Youtube videos talking of those DD series and Ads.

I have many ads that I still remember from the DD days. One of my favorite was.. 'Dhoodh Dhoodh Dhoodh..Dhoodh hai wonderful, pee Sakte hai roz glassful"

It was brilliant on multiple levels. So was Lalitaji of Surf but for very different reasons.

The Dhoodh ad probably made many kids in Indian middle class household.. go for it. It was a massive win for that ad. It glamorised the otherwise insipid, plain white Dhoodh. Like the Lalitaji ad did for middle class upwardly mobile baby boomers of 80s India, the Dhoodh ad hit the sweet spot with the kids demography of that generation.

If advertisements can be such a powerful medium for communicating positive messages I wonder if its power is being under utilized currently.

May be, may be not.

Here's a list of my favourite ads from the yore...(this is not ranking)

1. Dhoodh....
2. Amul
3. Garden Vareli
4. Rashtriya Saksharta Mission.....
5. Air India - (The one with Jagjit Singh song)
6. Tata Steel - ("We *also* make steel")
7. Vimal ....
8. Dunlop Tyres
9. Cadbury's Dairy Milk
10. Asian Paints

P.S : I know I have missed the 'Hamara Baja' ad in the list. It's intentional. I never liked it. It was overtly sentimental to the point of being pretentious. But as always, that's my view.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Moi Want to Fly

"According to a 2001 National Transportation Safety Board study, 69 percent of passengers who completed the survey did not watch the entire safety briefing"
As part of its "Nothing to Hide" marketing campaign, which highlights the carrier's lack of fees compared with its so-called low-cost airline competition, the airline professionally body-painted five naked airline employees to perform the safety video with a pinch of cheeky humor, literally.

OK thats it. I am flying Air-New Zealand next

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Live Life :)

Check this youtube video. (Can't embedd)

JK Wedding Entrance Dance

I think these guyz are just discovering what we always knew...

Monday, July 27, 2009

The Corporation

Let me assume a hypothetical scenario 20 years from now and let my imagination fly wild for a while.

The year is 2029. Google, now a conglomerate giant with huge presence in all domains is looking to work closely with the Andra Pradesh state government in India. Google has diversified in clean energy,sun power,mechanical industry,defense,manufacturing and what have you.

It signs up an MOU with AP state government to set up a shop in Vijaywada. But there's also a clause in it's contract. That Google has the right to create it's own private army, and if attacked by Naxalites, who are against Google's presence in India, strike back at them.

Much to the dislike of AP's people the government allows Google to build it's own private army to protect itself and it's employees. Soon Google sets up it's shop in Vijaywada.

In the meantime Google realizes that it can now venture into building Army which is turning out to be a profitable business itself. It can outsource it's army to different state governments who are dealing with their own set of armed conflicts.

So now Google ties up with all and sundry and provides state-of-the-art Armed forces with awesome weaponry and all. Google's army is now more powerful and effective than Indian State's army. Seeing this Google's parent country, USA, smells blood. It can now leverage this company's presence to brow beat Indians into buying American stuff.

In the meantime Google contact's Chelsea Clinton, the first female President of the United States and asks her to talk to United Kingdom to change certain monopoly laws of the nation. UK's tough laws had blocked Google Search engines as it wasn't adhering to it. After much arm-twisting from USA, UK under duress from Chelsea allows free search engines of Google. The entire UK IT work force is upset.

But that's not enough. Now Google also wants it's bete noire China to fall in line. China has blocked all Google searches in it's country owing to some controversy in the year 2025. This is seriously hitting Google's revenue in the Mandarin region. USA, takes advantage of a contract it had signed with China, and claims China is dishonoring it's deal. USA threatens of an all out Economic Blockade if China does not budge, and both are almost at war with each other.

If you've read so far, I am sure either of the two things have happened. You think I am on pot or that writing crazy fictional accounts is my new weekend hobby.

This surely sounds crazy, no? Can such a company ever exist? Can a Corporation be so powerful so as to influence four Big nations and their governments?

But then what if there existed that kind of Corporation. What if that Corporation through it's policies influenced lives of all the exact same nations I mentioned. What if that Corporation during it's 275 years of presence changed the world order?

Yes, it did. It was called East India Company; a company that ruled over the global fortunes for good part of it's 275 years of history. We have had empires wrap up in shorter times than East India Company's run.

East India Company (EIC)had it's own private army. It used to have strategic alliances with various Kingdoms in India who would outsource the management of their armed conflicts to it (Ray's Shatranj Ke Khiladi has a great scene about this particular part). EIC, of course had a far superior man power and weaponry. Slowly East India Company expanded into good part of the country, and on seeing the profit in armed conflicts in India, the Queen jumped in. The company came first; the Raj came next.

After the Battle of Plassey, East India Company made huge losses, and to compensate, it asked Great Britain (The Brits were the colonists) to dump all Tea into the US as that Company faced financial crisis post the battle (similar to my fictional story where Google asks USA to change UK laws). This led to the Boston Tea Party as free Tea angered the local population. That was the tipping point.

EIC also forced Britain to go to war with China as China had angered it with all curbs (This was just a pretext that Britain used against China, similar to my crazy story). It was called the Anglo-China opium war.

So in a strange way during that rough period, USA,India and China shared a common enemy. That enemy was East India Company.

We have seen giants like GE,GM,IBM, Micro-soft,Google etc in our lifetime. None of these even remotely compare as far as influence of power of EIC is concerned. And look at it's duration!! 275 years. That is mammoth; Massive by any standards.

I don't have a specific point about writing this post. But something was remarkable about East India Company; that I never fully comprehended before this book I read on the 'Greatest Corporations ever to rule the world'.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

No Kiddin

This for real.. no kidding. My favorite part is.. "We does ayarn and house kiping"

(Thanks Shrini, for forwarding this)

Friday, July 24, 2009

Images : India

There's work around for everything, ain't it! No fuss, No sweat! Thaz my India :)

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

The Hitavada

Nagpur is the 3rd biggest city in Maharashtra, and I have not checked the latest census, but I am sure it's in top 15 cities of India by population. It is also officially the 'second' capital of Maharashtra (whatever that means).

And yet for all this, it does not have a decent local newspaper to cater to it's populace. It has 'The Hitavada' of course and it 'had' something called as 'Nagpur Times' sometime back; but that's about it, I guess.

First of all the Name. I mean what in hell does that name mean! Who comes up with such names for a Newspaper- 'The Hitavada'??

I have heard names with Times,Express,Daily,Tele in it. But this must be the most unique name for a newspaper ever. On a related topic that I won't go into too much now, I have a feeling Nagpur brings up these random names which I can never make sense of. Specially some names of it's localities or *suburbs*, if you will. (Sample this - Jaripatka, Bhamti Parsodi, GaddiGudam.. and of course SitaBuldi, smack at center of the town)

So coming back to 'The Hitavada', I tried to look up for it's website. And Bingo! I got it. They have an online version of it. And the quality is just terrific.

For instance if you click on the Editorial link, you are taken to a page that will give you some local news. One such news item is hilarious.. Another fake currency circulation detected, it's by a Staff Reporter. This newspaper has turned the notion of Editorial on it's head. Makes you wonder what the Staff Reporter is reporting on the Editorial section.

I find this snippet hilarious..
According to Police, Dr Murtuja, a resident of Bajrang Square and his driver Ankush Rajaram Pal (27), a resident of Jai Hind Nagar, Mankapur were coming from Kalmeshwar to Gittikhadan in a Mahindra pick-up van (MH-31/CQ-3831).
Why so much of information! Like for example the number plate of the pickup van. Why would you do that? Unless you expect people to go their DMVs / RTOs and check who the guy with white van and that number plate is? "Oh, so it's HIM"?

Also in the Editorial Section there are stories like.. "Girls more dedicated, hard workers than boys:" ..., "Orange City’s own Santa Claus"... etc. All are funny.

Well, what can you say. Nagpur *is* funny.

Also most people there have an air of arrogance about them. It's a mystery though, "for what and why"?. PuLa Deshpande nailed it in his brilliant essay .."Mumbaikar,Punekar ani Nagpurkar". He brings out the perfect, loud and pompous character of a Nagpurkar. The way he depicts it all, is just stupendous.

Keeping in tune with that Nagpuri smugness, I am sure every Nagpurkar worth his salt thinks of Hitavada as no less than their own NYTimes. ... I wouldn't be surprised if I ever hear this.."Are tumhara New York Times kya hai ho!... apna Hitvad koi kum hai kya..?"

And the person who says this would say it with such mega confidence you would be speechless. There's no rejoinder you can ever have for that! You cannot make a comeback. Period. After all The Hitavada is "ours" and it's spectacularly Nagpuri :)

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Weekend Twits

- So even after gulping a few beers in our Agile Scrum room, we could not come up with a name for our new team. Looks like we need more Beer-Fridays@work.

- Called up my good'ol' college friend 'S' in Nashik. Little did I know I would be connected to 6 others via conference. Chiwda galore and I was laughing till my throat dried.

- A new Desi theatre has come right next door in our Burbs. With "Bombay Chat House" adjacent to it, this place is fast turning into an Indian Katta.

- Saw Quantum of Solace on DVD. Why are these people hell bent on destroying the Bond Franchise?

- I got sucked into debate, my two co-workers were having over (you won't believe) - Lord of the Rings. I finally added it to my netflix list; The extended versions of that. I hear it's painfully long.

- A guy in the car front of me on the light was busy picking on his nose and was in intense 'tandri'. I finally had to honk him... It was hilarious and gross at same time.

- It's been a while since I got hooked to anything on Cable. The last thing was Sopranos. Even HBO sucks big time. (At least the ones we have)


Friday, July 17, 2009

No go Amigo

You can't get out of it! Nopes. Once you are in, you are in. I am talking of Vonage phone service that, in my wisdom, I took up 2 years back, hardly ever used it and now I wanted to get rid of it.

I might have made not more than 10 calls on that line in total in 2 years and I was paying monthly bill of around 20$. (Naturally it was auto-debit, as is most of my other bills).

A cursory glance at my statement made me realize why the heck am I even paying these folks.

And then my ordeal began. First of all, you cannot call them on weekends. No. Whoa, Whoa, Whoa.. you just can't. It's too much of a pain for them to 'serve' on the weekends. Of course you *can* buy or renew your contract even at 00:00 hrs in night on Sunday. But you cannot, would not cancel your service.

So you put an alert in your phone to call them on weekday and as Murphy's Law would have it, the alert matches your time of a random office meeting. So you skip it thinking you'd call in lunch.

Many lunches later, you have still not called and again a new statement makes you aware of the 'call of duty'

And finally One day, you connect. Boy! that feeling of 'connection'. You wait for about 4 minutes on the line, keeping your speaker phone and your patience ON. And she shows up. The goddess who's finally going to relieve you of your pain. But she's not going to make it easy to let go. You know it. She knows it.

It's a mind game. "Sir, why do you want to discontinue"; "We can give you 2 months free"; "You know we have a loyalty membership program".

By the 5th question your sugar level is high. You are now 2 inches close to barking! But you know, you want to restrain. You want to first get off the hook somehow. In a strange way these call center guys have too much power.

The Abhimanyu needs a way off the Chakravyuha..

And your patience pays off. You've honored your 2 year contract and now there's no penalty for 'gettin out'... and it feels good. You paid them for 2 years, you din't use much of it, and it actually feels good to get rid of that service that you never used.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Sears .. nah Willis

Damn! that name Willis is so Brit. So anyways, Sears , the iconic tower of Chicago is being officially renamed - Willis Tower.

Willis Group Holdings, is a London based Insurance Broker.

I have a small personal connection to Sears. My office desk was bang opposite it on the other side of the road, in 2005-06, when we were on South Wacker.

I am not on Facebook yet, and have been resisting to join it for a while, but looks like it has a Group of folks who have come up to save the name. Not sure if this would push me to join. Nevertheless, this is my own little protest, on my blog, which is read by...arrrr.... a grand sum of 3 people, give or take one.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Suicide Clinic?

"British conductor Edward Downes, a longtime stalwart at the Royal Opera and maestro of the first-ever performance at Sydney’s iconic Opera House, has died with his wife at an assisted suicide clinic in Switzerland"

I am a supporter of euthanasia where the condition for patient/individual is unbearably painful; however inhuman/immoral this may sound to 'people of Christ' out there.

I wasn't aware that there were 'Suicide Clinics' though. By calling it such, they are not doing justice to the dying patient. The term suicide rings a negative bell.

I think #3 here makes sense. "People should not be forced to stay alive".

In India a ton of saints have taken samadhis, although it's not the same, in essence these people detached themselves from pain.