Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Their 3 Awesomely Pathetic Lives

The characters and events mentioned from now on are fictional and purely a figment of my imagination. Any resemblance to real people and real life events is totally unintentional :P

This is the story of 3 young gentlemen. They led their own lives totally unaware of the others existence for the first twenty odd years of their time in the world. Then fate intervened and they had a similar goal in life. Fate intervened again and brought them together in the same I-school. And it was fate again ..... two years down the line when they were picked up for jobs by the same large conglomerate (the-company-which-must-not-be-named). It brought them to the big metropolis of Dumbai, the city of dreams.
Now that they were working at the same place, they decided to rent out a flat (After all the-company-which-must-not-be-named did not provide them accommodation on a long term basis). But finding a place to live in the metropolis of Dumbai was not an easy task, a task made more difficult by the presence of someone else. Yet they managed, with the help of an agent whose extra-terrestrial looks were straight out of the sci-fi movies. But they had a huge falling out with the agent soon after. After being thoroughly abused by Funkaz & Niku, the agent took solace in the comforting words of Deyus.
Oops!!! I forgot to introduce our 3 heroes. So here goes
Niku: The tall fellow with already greying hair. Likes a peaceful, organized and comfortable life for himself. In reality a pretty lazy person. Hated his previous work, so is prepared for anything which the-company-which-must-not-be-named can offer. Takes pride in having amassed a big bank of useless information over the years. Before joining was told by pretty knowing people that his life was going to be hellish and tough. Reality was totally different. Work life (touch wood) has been pretty unlike described earlier.
Funkaz: The taller fellow with already receded hairline. Tries being funny and irritating at the same time with his wisecracks. Has a weird tendency of declaring every girl he sees as his "bhabhi". He had no idea what he was getting into after accepting the offer from the-company-which-must-not-be-named. Fun is something which has certainly gone missing from his life these days.
Deyus: The tallest fellow. Another store house of irrelevant and useless Data on anything and everything under the Sun. Has an unhealthy appetite for the most pathetic Hindi movies. Makes big plans which get scuttled. Orders the most exotically named dish in the menu. Deep inside him lies the desire to dance at friend's weddings. To fulfill this desire he constantly pesters the other two to get married. But so far wisely they have avoided this trap.
The 3 major issues in their lives
1. Increasing waistlines
2. Receding Hairlines
3. Girls (or rather the lack of girls)
Now coming back to their first house. It was with difficulty that they could find a place to live. But eventually they did find an awesome place. A 14th floor creek facing penthouse. in a building named after the third tallest mountain in the world. The view is awesome and rent was quite cheap (compared to other places in the megapolis). So they moved in. Then they learned more of their surroundings. The house had a huge nallah by the side. The lifts occasionally did not work (At those times, our heroes turn into mountaineers). There was an issue with the pigeons of the area too. They (i.e. the pigeons) decided that only birds can have homes at these heights. So they regularly fly in through open windows in the mornings. A pair of owls also have their nest there. Also a huge honeycomb. Now for the people. Now there was a collector in the building too who would keep on asking whether they had paid up for the pujas (even after they had). Another resident is a girl with a big dog who have a habit of terrorizing our heroes in the lift. And there are others too.
Social Life
In the neighborhood, the Purani Dumbai area where they live has 5 malls & 4 multiplexes (at the last count) where our heroes spend their Sundays. So their main social activity consists of going to malls and taking in the sights and scenes the places have to offer. Occasionally they go to movies also. Last movie being "Dostana" (:P). However their lonely and pathetic existence gets brightened up by the visits from fellow I-school mates, who drop in occasionally.
Office Life
Niku: Its awesome as he has got back in touch with some older mates of his.
Funkaz: Gets to hear pearls of the most beautifully phrased and pleasant sounding words in the office. An office which he has made his virtual home.
Deyus: The blue-eyed boy. Takes leaves anytime he wishes and has dealt in billions till now.
The Early DaysIt seemed to Funkaz & Deyus that Niku was known to everybody in Purani Dumbai. According to them he would win any election easily if he decided to contest from the Purani Dumbai area
The Current Pathetic Scenario
Internal communication takes place through Gtalk.
They discuss about the activities of Peter Petrelli and Barney Stinson (for the uninitated, the fictional characters from foreign TV series Zeroes & How I Met Your Father respectively).
Niku has begun pondering over the big issues of life, including his own existence and the meaning of life etc.... (Result of having too much time in his hands). And uses the term pathetic a bit too often to describe their lives.
Deyus is chatting and chatting and chatting and chatting..... (lives in a virtual world more than the real)
Funkaz does'nt get the time to think now. He is very busy with his work.

So this is the the sum total of the current awesomely pathetic existence of our lead trio.

P.S. This blog post was inspired by a friend's post on similar lines.

Monday, December 15, 2008

The Chase: Victory at Chennai

First the bare facts. India beat England in the first test at Chennai by 6 wickets chasing 387 in the fourth innings after having conceded a 75 run lead in the first innings. The sensational run chase was kicked off in the most imperious fashion by Sehwag and the rest of the team built on the start provided by him. There were good performances all around by the Indian players except Dravid. Yuvraj Singh cementing his place in the middle order and Sachin Tendulkar scoring the match winning runs to reach his 41st century. It can now be safely said that the Indian team is on a roll and is looking good to replace the Australians as the numero uno in all forms of cricket.

However this victory was not about cricket alone. The test occurred in the backdrop of one of the most horrific terror attacks in the country. The England team had abandoned the one day series midway and left for home. It was a good decision as cricket was the last thing in anybody's minds when the commando operations were going on. However it was a much braver decision to return to the country for the test series. The matches were rescheduled but the fact that the match took place at all was considered a big victory for all concerned. The England team is easily the most admired team to have come to play in India in recent times. The match is easily amongst the best test matches ever played. And it was a perfect endorsement for test cricket itself. And the perfect finish was provided by Sachin Tendulkar, himself from Mumbai, scoring the winning runs.

Now coming back to the cricket. So many times in the past we have seen India buckle under the pressure of a big run chase in the fourth innings. In fact when the innings started, my expectations were a fighting draw at best. But Sehwag simply turned the game on its head with his audacious innings for which he rightly got the Man of the Match award. However more importantly, the others built on the start provided by him with support from Gambhir. Yuvraj and Sachin put the finishing touches with a huge partnership for the fifth wicket and ensured that the match was won. Sachin silenced his critics by scoring his 41st century and winning the game for India.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

The Five Places

Its that time of the year, when lists are drawn, a time to remember what happened. So I am also going into the spirit and take a trip down memory lane. But with the simple life that I have I don't think an year in my life would be worth an entire blog post. Instead decided to put in a post about the five places which I believe have had the most role in shaping me into whatever I am today. By these I refer to the five schools/colleges which I went to. So here goes.

1. Biharilal Khandelwal Comprehensive Public School, Kanhan (1986-88, LKG & UKG)
My first school in Kanhan, a small town near Nagpur. The place where I learnt the alphabets and numbers. To be honest twenty years down the line I do not have too many memories about the place. I remember my first teacher (Ms. Julie), the school's location besides the Kanhan river and the railway line on the other side. I have faint recollections of going to school in a rickshaw. I can recollect the rabbits and the school gardens. For memories all I have are the two report cards and a class photograph (in which I locate myself with some difficulty).

2. Woodlands School, Patna (1988-1992, Std. 1-5)
It was a return to roots when the family shifted back to Patna. I got enrolled in Std. 1 with only 3 months left in the academic year. But still managed to clear it (I was good then :)). Cleared 4 more academic years in the school. From this point on I remember all my teachers. The school did not have any building of its own and separate classes used to run in various rented rooms across Rajendra Nagar. The school though had its own playground with a basketball court. Made quite a few friends here. Still am in touch with a couple of them, thanks to the social networking sites. Unfortunately the school closed a couple of years back. For memory sake, I have the school report cards, class photographs and the little trophies I won during my stay there.

3. Loyola School, Jamshedpur (1993-2000, Std 6-12)
Easily my favorite amongst all my schools. I spent the most time here and feel that this is the place that has played the biggest role in shaping me. The first thing I fell in love with were the school buildings and the huge ground. The friends I made here are still connected. Almost all the memories are still fresh. This was my first time in a boys only school (the previous 2 had been co-ed). The memories I have with Loyola are too many to list down, the buildings, the grounds, the libraries (there were 3 of them), the clubs (around 30 at last count), the events (both inter-school and intra-school) and many more. I took special pride in representing and winning for the the school. The collective joy the entire school took in your success was a feeling which has no parallel. Loyola taught me to believe in myself. After all if you do not believe in yourself , then who will. The school started in 1947 and still is going on strong. And hopefully will go on and on. My memories include report cards (again), the photographs, the various medals and certificates, the honour cards, the yearbook... As I write this I can hear the school anthem going on in my mind.
Till the echoes ring again

4. Indian School of Mines, Dhanbad (2001-2005, B.Tech)
This was one place where I never really wanted to go. Well, after all when someone prepares for IIT-JEE, then you would want to go to an IIT. But having cleared IIT-JEE with a rank of 2724, the IIT option got closed. Not intending to drop another year, I took up the Petroleum Engineering course at ISM. It was an entry to a totally new world. My first time outside the safe confines of home. The age of 18 was the right time to take these first steps into the real world. The campus spread across 200 acres with buildings dating from 1926 to some under-construction did not really seem a home away from home in the initial days. After all, ragging (though much milder than expected) does not make one feel at home. The sight of seniors would be enough to send anyone running for cover. But as time went by, the place did become home. In fact, the number of mid-semester trips to home reduced from 10 in the first to none in the last. This was the place where I got a chance to meet people with varied backgrounds. People who had got together for similar goals. Also this was the first place where I really thought about what I want to do with my life (that I still don't know is another issue). The memories of ISM, well, the semester grade sheets (:P), the certificates for extra-curriculars, the photographs, the degree certificate (:D), the job treats at Mani's Cafe, Ramdhani, the mess, watching cricket in the common rooms, the first steps in connecting to the world, my first computer, the trips to Dehradun, Gujarat and Mumbai for training (:P), the slogging during the semester times and the fun at all other times, the elections and the games of poly-poly, Pratibimb & Srijan. ISM was the place where I got a reputation of being a decent quizzer. And it was also the place from where I got my first job. As I look back they were four truly memorable years.

5. Indian Institute of Management, Indore (2006-2008, PGDM)
Unlike other schools, this was the one place I went by my choice. Of course my choice had been limited to 3 by a few small mistakes (Basically, the choices were IIM-I, IIM-K or continue working in OIL). Continuing working wasnt really an option and after a little deliberation I chose I ;). So 20 months were spent in Planet-I. Wouldnt really go into too many details about my stay there (Already covered). I did feel at home at I from the very beginning. However one thing that the place did do was open up the world. Now I knew more about the options existing in the world than earlier (leads to more confusion actually, I still dont know what I want to do with my life after all). But the time was wonderfully spent. As for memories, photographs & videos (too many of them, but dont want to delete a single one of them), the walks down the hillock, the night quizzing sessions (my reputation as a decent quizzer remained intact), the movies and serials, the occasional trips to the city and outside; All still very fresh.

So this is it. These are the five places which have shaped me. The post went a bit long but I dont feel I have done justice to the subject.

P.S. I would like to get in touch with people with the same shared meories, specially relating to BKCP & Woodlands. So anyone who reads this please feel free to cotact me.
P.P.S This post took up nearly 3 hours of a Sunday evening (phew).

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Pain, Anger...

It couldn't have been a more ideal Sunday morning. I woke up to slightly overcast skies with a cool gentle breeze blowing across the creek. The most perfect morning one could say. That is till I picked up the newspaper. Now that the operations are over, the true magnitude of the losses are coming to light. Page after page was filled with reports of the casualties and pictures of the damaged interiors of the Taj and Trident. Stories of how people had been killed brought about an unexplained sadness to me. I didn't know any of them personally. But the manner of their death filled the heart with sadness. The losses have been huge. And the pleasant weather, providing a respite from the November heat, just seemed to mock everyone.
Afternoon brought the news of Home minister Shivraj Patil's resignation from the Cabinet. He has resigned on moral grounds. There have been a spate of serial blasts across various cities this year. It took over 200 deaths and a 60 hour seige of Mumbai for his morals to rise. Frankly speaking, he should have been fired long ago given his pathetic track record in the ministry. That the UPA government has finally become fully aware of the terror threat can be seen from the fact P.Chidamabaram has taken over in Patil's place inspite of the ongoing global financial crisis.
And speaking of politicians, every word spoken by them fills me with anger. Whether it is RR Patil's description of the attacks as a small incident, or Narendra Modi's antics during the crisis. Politicians cutting across party lines have at least this feature in common. At a time when people should come together, they are busy with their own political games. Disgust and anger are the emotions they bring to the mind.
So on one hand there is pain and sadness at what happened and on the other hand disgust and anger. Hopefully things will sort out soon and return to normal. Life will go on though it would never be the same for those who have had to personally face these harrowing experiences and those who lost their near and dear ones.

P.S. The last couple of months, one man had been virtually holding Mumbai hostage championing the Marathi cause. But has been keeping strangely quiet this time around. Wonder what are Mr. Raj Thakeray's of the current crisis?

Friday, November 28, 2008

A City Under Siege

The siege of Mumbai continues with reports of firing and explosions at the Taj still coming in. Though other attack sites have been seemingly liberated, all this has taken too long to resolve. So far I have not heard of anyone I know amongst the casualties but still cant be too sure regarding that too. Although I have had no direct involvement with the occurrences in the city, still there is a constant thought at the back of my mind. My mind keeps wandering back to the attacks and I have been checking the news sites throughout the day. Today morning while going to the office, i realized that though I had checked the internet for over an hour, I had totally forgotten to even check my mail. Had actually logged on to the news portals the first thing after waking up today Even in office the day was spent, checking the news sites with little work getting done.
However there are a few things about the current situation which have really sickened me.
Firstly the coverage by the television news channels. They have been relaying information to the world as they would for a cricket match. Headlines like "Operations headed for a dramatic finish" look good in sporting arena, not in real life where many people have lost their lives and many more are still in danger. Also the news channels have been openly discussing the operations strategy, showing live pictures of commando movements, talking to terrorists and worse spreading rumors. There seems to be no self-restraint.
Next on the list are the politicians who have already started the blame game, with the opposition calling for the government's head. The political game has begun with the eyes on the ongoing state elections and the coming general elections. And we have our home minister, Shivraj Patil discussing the movements of NSG commandos with the media.
And lastly the general public who have been following and watching these events like they would be watching a movie, except that this is real life. And are doing their part in spreading the rumors.
Confused, Angry, Helpless... These are the words which I could use to describe my emotions right now as i go to sleep
Hoping that the dawn brings better news.

Thursday, November 27, 2008


26.11.2008: A Wednesday (Is that any coincidence?)
Just as I was in the euphoric mood celebrating India's 5th consecutive win over England, a new alert flashed on my screen."Shootouts in Mumbai, 15 injured". Did not pay much attenton to it as it seemed to be some gang war going on from the description given alongwith. But soon the alerts frequency increased at an alarming rate. With eah alert painting a grimmer picture. The moment the words changed to "Terror Attacks in Mumbai", I decided to watch the streaming webcast of the news (No television at home, these are the times when you really miss it). I sat glued to the screen as the true magnitude of the events taking place about 40 kms from me came alive. Terrorists had attacked some of the most important locations in Mumbai including The Taj hotel and CST station. The pictures showed bodies being taken out of the Oberoi Hotel. And the details of the attacks at all the locations began to emerge. It was rivetting to watch but there was a sense of despair as I went to sleep. Just could not believe that this kind of thing could have happened.
Woke up today morning when the phone rang. It was a call from home. Soon there were a few more calls from relatives and friends. There was a general sense of shock among everyone I talked to regarding the events. On switching on the live streaming, more details emerged. The worst part was hearing about the deaths of the senior police officers involved in the operations. When I reached office, the mood seemed tense. The attacks seemed to be the only point of discussion with the work being put on hold. The entire day in office was spent reading the news and checking for updates. To see the pictures of the Taj Hotel on fire was specially distressing as it is one of the iconic images associated with the city of Mumbai. Anyways left office early when the news came in that everyone had been permitted to leave early.
Terror attacks have been carried out before in many places of the world. Mumbai has had to face serial bomb blasts in 1993 and 2006. There have been serial blasts across various cities in India this year, Jaipur, Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Delhi, Agartala... (seems to be an unending list). But the attacks in Mumbai this time have been different. Unlike earlier time when bombs were planted and serial blasts had taken place, this time seemed more like a raid, with terrorists with guns and grenades shooting, killing and taking hostages. They chose to attack the city's iconic locations like Taj, CST, Metro Cinema, Cafe Leopold, Nariman House... As I write this the attacks are still on and its been almost 24 hours now since they began. It has been one of the most planned terror attacks carried out.
There have been other repercussions of the attack also. The financial markets are closed. The England tour of India has been cut short. Chapions League has been postponed. (I support both decisions). Never before has there been such detailed coverage of Indian events across the world. Though this could be mainly due to the fact that there were quite a few foreign nationals amongst the hostages and those killed.
Now for my questions. I know there wont be any answers for this but still...
WHAT is the point of all these attacks? Does killing of non-involved people justify anyone's cause?
WHERE is our security mechanism to prevent these attacks? IF, we have any, that is?
And most importantly, WHY???????

Thursday, November 20, 2008

A Cricketing Overdose

8 of the 10 ICC full member countries were playing international cricket today. Only Pakistan & West Indies were missing from action, though they had been playing in an 3 match ODI series in Abu Dhabi last week only. It was an interesting day's play across the continents. Here are some of the day's highlights.
Game 1: Australia vs New Zealand (1st Test, Day 1, Brisbane): Andrew Symonds scored 8 runs off one ball, which was not accepted by cricinfo software :). Meanwhile Australia suffer a batting collapse to be all out within the day
Game 2: India vs England (3rd ODI, Kanpur): India beat England by 16 runs batting "second" to take 3-0 lead in the seven match series. The bad light robbing chances of a close finish. The ICC should make necessary adjustments to the light rules to ensure such a farcial finish does not take place.
Game 3: Zimbabwe vs Sri Lanka (1st ODI, Harare): Zimbabwe lose their last 7 wickets for 3 runs with the last six batsmen failing to score.
Game 4: South Africa vs Bangladesh(1st Test, Day 2, Bloemfontein): Bangladesh continue playing like themselves and stare at certain defeat.
Seems there really is too much cricket going on.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

The Colours of the Sky

Here is my first attempt at some serious photography. Pictures taken over the last couple of months by my phone camera.

The "skyscape" at the time of sunset. If you look closely you can see a plane flying overhead in the centre of the picture.

The setting Sun across the Thane Creek taken from my balcony. In the foreground is the swampy area

The one I like best. The rising Sun, taken from the window of a plane. I like the diffraction caused by the plane's wing.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The Victory

India regained the Border-Gavaskar Trophy in the very ground they had lost it four years back. The expected clash of the titans did not take place, with India being the dominant side throughout. The Indian team registered huge victories in Mohali and Nagpur, while Bangalore and Delhi resulted in draws. The victory took India to the No.2 spot in the test rankings still 13 points adrift of the Australians.
The Aussies never looked liked the world champion team that they are. The loss of key players through retirement has severely depleted them. And with Hayden at 37, the team would be further depleted. The so called bench strength does not look that good at the moment. The batting is still pretty solid with Hayden, Hussey, Clarke, Ponting and Katich around but the bowling department never looked like being able to bowl out India. The absence of a spinner hurt them. They did bowl out India twice in the last test because of the most freakish debut of Jason Krejza, who took 12 wickets and got hit for 350 odd runs at an economy rate of around 5 an over! Also Ponting drew plenty of flak for his over rate problems and his strange decisions during the Nagpur tests. Australia look like a team in a bit of bother at the moment. And will have plenty to ponder as they go onto face their die hard rivals New Zealand next.
It was a good series for India. The batsman, with the exception of Dravid all scored runs. The bowlers all got wickets. The series also marked the retirements of two of the greatest Indian cricketers ever. Anil Kumble and Sourav Ganguly ended their careers with a final victory over the Australians.
Kumble will be remembered as a leg-spinner who did not spin the ball but still got over 600 test wickets and 300 ODI wickets. He will also be remebered for his 10 wicket haul against Pakistan at Kotla, the celebrations on reaching his only test hundred at the Oval, bowling with a broken jaw in the West Indies and most importantly the manner in which he carried the team after the Sydeny controvery. And he has probably contributed in more test wins than any other Indian cricketer.
Ganguly's list of memories would be even longer. A century on debut at Lord's, the big sixes of spinners, the Toronto series, waving his shirt in Lord's, his falling out with Greg Chappel and finally the comeback. And he left with a golden duck in his last innings after being in good form throughout the series. India's most successful captain, he was a fighter to the core. From the time he took over in the aftermath of the match-fixing scandal, India also began winning abroad. And he never stopped fighting and making comebacks into the team.
With the retirement of these two legends there are voids in the team which need to be filled. Kumble the captain has been replaced by Dhoni. Amit Mishra has taken over the leg-spin duties. However Ganguly's replacement is not clear.Probably Badrinath or Kaif. Also Dravid's lean patch has just continued. He might be the next in the line, though being my favourite cricketer, I would not want him to go but I cant stand the torture he is going through at the same time. The other places all seem to be in secure hands.
Now its time for the series against England which begins with a 7-match ODI series starting from 14th. Given the fact that England were shot out for than 100 by a second-string Mumbai team and India's recent ODI form, this should be another easy victory for India. My prediction 5-2 or 6-1 victory for Team India.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

The day History is made

Very rare are the days that one can claim to have said that history has been made. There have been events which have over the course of time proven to be of historic significance. But to call some thing as historic while it unfolds is a rare occasion. Well, with what little experience I have gathered about the world in general, I can safely say that Barack Hussein Obama's victory in the US presidential elections definetely comes into that category.
Well, on first look, at the surface it would seem an improbable victory. Obama's victory seems to have been written in the Hollywood studios rather than in any real life. Obama is of African-American descent. He is the son of a Kenyan goat herder who came to US on a scholarship. His middle name is Hussein (which also led to rumors of him being a Muslim). He is a first time senator with no foreign policy experience and was a virtual unknown even a couple of years back. Against him was John McCain, a respected war veteran and former prisoner of war, who had been in the Senate for years. Still it was Obama who emerged victorios by a comfortable margin.
The reasons for this victory has already been analysed the world over by political pundits. Most of them agree that McCain lost as a result of Bush's policies. And Obama won riding on the wave of a promise of change. Whether the change takes place or not, only time will tell.
However, the election results do justify one thing, i.e. the Great American Dream still lives on. An African-American president in a country which was racially divided not too many decades ago is a great event in its history. Race may not have been a issue any longer but the final frontier still remained to be covered.
And now we have to see what the future holds. Obama's presidency starts at a very tricky time. The world is in the grips of a big economic slowdown if not a recession. Also there are the various issues like Iraq, Iran, Korea and terrorism which have to be taken care of. The election of Obama has been greeted by enthusiasm across the world. Only time will tell whether he will live upto his promise of change.
But today certainly history has been made.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Tis a wonderful feeling

Tis definitely a wonderful feeling. There is a festive outlook in the air. Diwali is a couple of days away. And after a gap of four years, I'll be at home for Diwali. Well to add further joy to my festive frame of mind, I had home made food for the first time since arriving in Mumbai, a period of nearly five months. It feels great to have a meal prepared by yourself. Nothing much complex, just rice and chicken curry made at my cousin's place.
Today being Dhanteras, decided to gift myself an electric kettle (also helped in achieving the sales targets for Retail folks). Arriving home late in the evening, ran straight off to D'Mart for the neceessary purchases. Came back within half an hour armed with, a mug, spoons, coffee powder, tea bags and sweetener. Reached home and prepared coffeee for myself (for the first time). Cant imagine having tasted anything better :).
Will be off to my home town tomorrow.
Well, I can only say "Tis a wonderful feeling".

And to everyone who reads this blog, Wishing you and your loved ones a very Happy Diwali.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

The Legend called Sachin Tendulkar

If I start writing on the above topic, I could just go on and on. During the first day of the ongoing Mohali test against Australia, the Little Master became the highest scorer in the history of the game. Though this is a big achievement, it had a sense of inevitability about it. He had just achieved something which he had seemed destined to since he made his debut against Pakistan way back in 1989 as a 16 year old. Although he has been the backbone of the the Indian batting for the last two decades, I havent counted Sachin Tendulkar as my favorite Indian batsman at any time. Mohammed Azharuddin and Rahul Dravid have been my favourites. However, Sachin has been and will remain the greatest batsman of all time. I actually started following cricket seriously from that particular Pakistan series onwards (I remember the results of all Indian test matches and most of the ODIs from that point onwards). Many players have come and gone. Sachin has been the only constant. I will not even try to list down his achievements which are many. Here is a random compilation of memories I have of Him and His performances.
  • Carrying on batting after getting hit on the nose by Waqar Younis in his debut series.
  • Hitting Abdul Qadir all over the park in the festival match in Peshawar in the same series.
  • Bowling the last over in the Hero Cup semi-final against South Africa.
  • The performance throughout the 1996 World Cup.
  • The 169 against South Africa in the 1996-97.
  • His pinnacle year 1998
  • The consecutive centuries against Australia in Coca-Cola Cup (Sharjah, 1998) including a tournament winning one on his 25th birthday. I also rememeber the documentary "Tendulkar at 25" which was telecast after this tournament.
  • The century in the lost cause against Pakistan at Chennai in 1999.
  • Century against Kenya in the 1999 World Cup after losing his father.
  • An out of form Sachin scoring a double century against the Aussies at Sydney.
  • The upper cut 6 of Shoaib Akhtar in the 2003 World Cup.
  • The late cut played over the keeper's head off Lee & Johnson in the last Australian tour.
There are many more memories of Sachin Tendulkar as he went past various records. Once he retires there may be others to take his place in the line-up. But can anyone else rule our hearts as he has done for the past 19 years (and hopefully will be doing for some more time to come).

P.S. I also have a personal memory. Having dinner at the restaurant Tendulkar's, while wearing chappals while other diners were in suits.

Monday, October 13, 2008

If Only...

At the outset, I have a confession to make. I have the habit of going through the status messages on my friends' Gtalk accounts. The status messages are in a world of their own. I had written about this earlier too.
Now to move on to the current post. A friend's status read "If Only...". Now according to me, this combination of words is the most depressing one in the English language. All of us have had instances in our lives when we had wished that we had not taken some decision or done something in some other way. But we cannot just live in the past. The past is gone and cannot be changed. (Till some time machine is invented, anyway). So there is no point in these words. "If only" suggests that you are still living in the past. And that past is affecting the present and probably may have an impact on the future too. However, "if only" is not going to change anything and only adds to the sinking feeling. After all whats done is done and cannot be changed. Though t can be modified through actions later. And that is what probably one should work on.
So my key to a happy life. Never use "If only..." and live in the past. After all the present is the only time which matters.

Enough philosophy for now :)

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Durga Puja & Vijayadashmi

Today was Vijaydashmi, the last day of the Durga Puja. This year is the first time I realized that how much I enjoyed this particular festival. For the first time in my life, I have not seen a single Puja Pandal. And I really missed it. From the times I remember, Durga Puja has been the most important festival in my life. Having lived mostly in the eastern parts of the country, Durga Puja was the the time for a week to fortnight holiday from school, college. The things that I remember are the pandal hopping, all day and even night whether with parents, cousins or friends; the beating of dhaks, the huge pandals, the various images of the goddess, eating the bhog-prasad. Even the weather is quite pleasant at this time of the year. And this was true for all the places I have lived, Patna, Jamshedpur, Dhanbad and even Duliajan. But sadly the same cannot be said for Mumbai. Mumbai may celebrate Ganesh Puja and Janmashtani with great fervor. But I still miss the Durga Pujas.

Anyways, I had a day off from work today which was spent in basically doing nothing. Watched a few downloaded episodes and followed the cricket matches. International cricket returned after some time. And there were interesting things on the field. Ponting finally scored a century in India, though after Day 1, the match is still in the balance. A depleted Bangladesh beat New Zealand for the first time in an ODI. Now will be following that series with more interest.

Being a festive holiday, quite a few SMSes went to and fro today. There were generally the usual ones wishing Happy Durga Puja/Vijaydashmi/Dussehra. But the one which stood apart from others read " Happy Vijayadashmi!! May you also win over your bosses as lord Rama won over Ravana :) "

P.S. Its now time to change the "Missing Pujas" status from my Gtalk and Orkut accounts.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Pigeons & Flights of Thought

Sunday mornings are meant to be slept through. But today wasnt meant for such a pleasurable activity. Early morning I was waken up by strange noises in my room. The source of noise turned out to be a pigeon fluttering about my window. Had to get up and shut the glass window to stop it from coming inside. And then I saw another one moving along the floor. When I tried to shoo it away instead of going through the second open window it decided to fly into the hall. The hall has glass doors on the balcony side and glass windows at the other end. Now pigeons are supposed to be pretty intelligent animals, with a great sense of direction and all that. We also hear a lot about pigeons being used for delivering messages. But after what I saw today morning made me think that how could any one trust these stupid creatures. This particular pigeon went into hall. It flew across and banged into the balcony doors. Flew back and banged into the windows. And this process was repeated again before I could go and open the sliding doors. And then it proceeded to settle on the fan. It was pretty tough to make it fly away. Some bird!!!
Well, by this time I had lost all thought of further sleep and proceeded to stay in my 14th floor balcony watching the other members of the species flying around. Overhead at regular intervals aeroplanes went passing on their way to land at the Mumbai airport. And this is when my thought process started taking flight. Human beings have been always trying to copy from the nature around them. Seeing the birds they also wanted to be able to release their spirits and soar across the wide sky. This dream came to be true, albeit in a different way, with the invention of the aeroplane. Now, the though which came across my mind is would we have thought about flying if there had been no birds to teach us about flight. And if no such thought had come would there have been any aeroplanes. And without the aviation industry how different would have been the world today. And more to the point, would the progress made over the last hundred years since Wright Brothers' invention took off, have been possible.

Friday, October 03, 2008

The Clash of Titans: A Preview

People may have their own arguments. But in my opinion, the India-Australia test series is the ultimate cricketing clash. People say a lot of things about the Ashes, but probably thats because the Britishers are nostalgic about everything. With the decline of the West Indies, the Wisden and Frank Worrel Trophies have lost their sheen. India-Pakistan clashes do not have the passionate following associated with them anymore. South Africa's isolation during the Apartheid period has ensured that though being tough competitors, a series against them does not attract as much attention. So finally it boils down to India vs Australia as the ultimate showdown in Test cricket.
This is the second 4 match series being played between the two countries this year following the acrimonious and highly controversial series earlier this year. In spite of the many controversies it was a keenly fought contest with India winning the 3rd test in Perth after losing in Melbourne and the controversial test in Sydney. The series ended with Virender Sehwag scoring a match-saving century in Adelaide. Eight months on, the Aussies are in India for the return series.
The Indian side remains more or less the same but there has been significant change of personnel in the Australian camp. The biggest loss has of course been that of Adam Gilchrist both behind and in front of the stumps. Gilly will definitely be missed, by the team as well as all the fans. The Australian spin attack has for practical purposes vanished with Brad Hogg and Stuart McGill retiring one after the other. The Australian search for an opening partner for Hayden is still unresolved. And Andrew Symonds, one of the men at the centre of Monkeygate controversy has been thrown out of the team for having gone fishing. So, all in all, it seems the Aussies definetely look quite vulnerable. And going by their performance against the Board President's XI, they are the underdogs in this series.
As far as the Indian team is concerned, it has a sense of familiarity around it. No injury worries, all the big names still around. This series is considered to be another chance for the Fab Five of Indian cricket to have another go at the Border-Gavaskar Trophy. They also have a chance to redeem themselves after the poor showing in Sri Lanka. It will also give them a chance to shut up the critics who have been clamoring for their retirement. Personally, I feel that the Fab 5, Sachin, Dravid, Kumble, Ganguly and Laxman should retire only when they want to and not just because people have started hollering for their retirements. In my opinion a player should quit only when somebody else is able to push them out of their slot, like Gambhir replaced Jaffer on account of his splendid showing over the past year. Players like Rohit Sharma, Yuvraj Singh, Kaif, Badrinath, Raina etc maybe good enough but they have still a lot of way to go before they replace the middle order stalwarts. Similary Piyush Chawla, Pragyan Ojha and Amit Mishra are definetely not in the class of Kumble. So lets stop all this talk of retirement and just enjoy the game while they are there.
Hoping to be able to enjoy another rivetting series between these two nations.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Welcome To Sajjanpur

The past week was full of news. Some bad, the Investment-Banking industry and some good, the great news about the Indian oil & gas sector. The week ended with another bomb blast on a Saturday, this time in Islamabad. However this post is not about any of these events. Thanks to the torrent downloads, I am now updated with all the happenings in the movie world. And it has been quite a while since I wrote about any movie.
Just finished watching the new Shyam Benegal directed film, "Welcome to Sajjanpur". The film is seen through the eyes of the central character, Mahadev, played by Shreyas Talpade who is an aspiring novelist. However he ends up becoming a letter writer. And we get to see the variety of things he gets to do being one of the few literate people in the village. He also abuses his position but manages to do the right things in the end.
A slightly different kind of movie from Shyam Benegal. This is set in a small village in the Hindi heartland. The film also touches on a large number of social issues, like widow remarriage, superstitions, organ selling, muscle power in local elections, the third gender, village infrastructure etc. These are mentioned in passing but the focal point remains the letter writer.
And finally acouple of random thoughts which crossed my mind while watching the movie
  1. Pen is mightier than the sword
  2. With great power comes great responsibility

Overall, the film is definetely worth a watch

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The Shock & After-Shocks

It was some Saturday for the financial markets. Three major shocks in one day, Merill Lynch being taken over by Bank of America, Lehmann Brothers filing for bankruptcy and AIG suffering huge losses. AIG was rescued by the money pumped in by the Fed which for all practical purposes has taken over its control. And all these after the recent collapse of Bear Sterns, Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae. Citigroup has had its value eroded by a large extent. All of these companies seemingly the victims of the sub-prime lending crisis in the USA. The recent collapses come just as the world was on a recovery path from the crude price shock.
During my B-school days, most of the people had come with dreams of becoming an investment banker after completing their MBA. Being placed in Merill Lynch or Lehmann Brothers would have been a dream come true for most people. These investment banks had also built up a reputation of taking the "toppers" only which implied solid acads and excellent communication skills. As time went by people became aware of the other profiles available and moved on to other profiles also. But still being an investment banker was the job.
When I was in second year the sub prime crisis had started taking toll with fears of the oncoming global recession whch would lead to lower packages. However these fears came out to be largely unfounded and the placement figures reached new heights. However six months down the line, it seems that those fears are coming true. With even the big banks collapsing and being taken over, there have been huge job cuts. The finacial markets are down and this may lead to the smaller firms also shutting down. Cost Cutting and downsizing has become the buzzwords across all the sectors. Reports are coming daily of companies cutting jobs or being taken over.
And where does this leave the B-school jobs. During my two year stay at Planet-I, I never worried about not getting a job. And in fact got the exact kind of profile that I had been looking for. But given the current situation, this may not be the case now onwards. The market has to absorb the people who had their jobs cut and the batches passing out from the B-schools. And so the competition would be more while the jobs are getting reduced. The salary figures and packages are expected to go down and new profiles will have to be explored. And quite a few compromises would have to be made.
Situation definetely looks grim, with more and more rumors circulating (I was chatting with a friend who told me that he had heard from some knowledeable person that ICICI was about to go bankrupt due to its dealings with Lehmann). However it is not that bad speacially in India. The growth rat would be lower but still healthy and with the reduction in crude prices, inflation would also be coming under control. And quite a few people would be coming back to India, maybe a reverse brain drain will be take place.
All I can say is lets keep the fingers crossed and hope for the best.
P.S. A friend's post on similar lines is here

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Another Week Ends

Another week ends and comes another Sunday. The one thing I really do not like about my current job is the 6 day week. Although I maintain strict office timings and havent had to put in too many extra hours on any week day, every Friday comes the bad feeling of missing one rest day. Every Friday, I see the "Weekend :)" status on various gtalk accounts, I still have another day in the office remaining. My week comes to an end late on Saturday evening. With the 6 day week there are many things left over to do on one Sunday. And things really have to be planned out well in advance. And given Mumbai's pathetic and unpredictable weather, plans generally have gone haywire.
After 6 office days comes a Sunday and it has a really lazy feeling about it. Like today morning. I woke up, saw that it was still raining and decided to get back in bed.Then realized that some thinga needed to be cleaned up. Clothes put in washing machine, room rearranged a bit and time for the computer to be put into action. Opened the same old set of webpages, orkut, gmail, facebook, yahoomail, cricinfo and google news. Read the stories of the bomb blasts in Delhi which are now happening with alarming regularity and some other stuff. Have been advised not to venture out too much after the blasts. But then who would want to in this weather. As I write this it is still raining. And being in Navi Mumbai, the places I can go to are the nearby four malls. And as my laptop speakers are not working, I think the best way to spend today would be to just go back to sleep.

Thursday, September 11, 2008


It seems some people in this world have nothing to do. So they RESEARCH. As the word itself implies they re-search, search for something which has already been done before. And come to their own new conclusions about this world. Or maybe assume something to be true and then let the world know about it. There have been some quite some weird researches and findings in this regard. Here's another weird research which I found while surfing. According to it alcohol "helps" in remembering the "good times". Another so called benefit of alcohol.
"Researchers have found that people who drink are more likely to remember the good things and least likely to recall the bad things, say, the worst experiences of being drunk in a party as alcohol affects memory in a selective manner."
Here is the link to the full text http://www.rediff.com/news/2008/sep/10alco.htm

Sunday, September 07, 2008

The World of Comics

I have found a new world. Or to be more accurate have got renewed my acquaintance with a long lost world. The world of comic books. It was the early nineties when I had got hooked on reading comics. And my reading covered the entire range of the hindi comics available at that time. Whether it was the slightly kiddish collection from the Diamond Comics (Chacha Choudhary, Billu, Pinki.... )group or the slightly grown up version from the Raj Comics (Super Commando Dhruv, Nagraj, Bankelaal, Parmanu ..... )stable or the bit more grown up editions of Indrajaal comics (Phantom, Mandrake etc) I would eagerly read all of the them. Of all these my favourite was undoubtedly Super Commano Dhruv, whose most endearing feature was that he did not have any super human abilities and relied totally on his brain power to overpower his opponents. I eagerly awaited the release of new Dhruv comics, speciall the ones in which he comined with the other Raj Comics superheroes mainly Nagraj. My comics source was a local neighbourhood shop which gave out the comics on rent. In parallel I moved from Champak to Nandan to Suman Saurabh.

However as time passed, slowly this attraction towards comics passed as my reading habits changed. The major change was in the language. From Hindi I went on to English. First came the abridged classics, then moved on to Enid Blyton, later to Hardy Boys. As time passed, came authors like Agatha Christie, Desmod Bagley and Alistair Maclean. This was followed by a very lean period in which my reading dwindled. The novels were now few and far between picking pace at times and dropping off completely at others. Now it was mainly the modern writers like Michal Crichton, John Grisham, Jeffery Archer.

And then came J.K.Rowling. I give her total credit for arousing my interest in reading again. I awaited the Harry Potter books with the same eagerness like the way I used for the next Dhruv comics book. Only the waiting period here was much longer. To fill this time I started exploring other options, specially the works by Indian authors in English. In the meantime also read some of the Hindia classics. And now I have been reading up on everything that I can lay my sight on.

Some time back I found a website with the links available for all the Dhruv comics. It was like an entry point to the old times. Since then I have downloaded all the available releases. Re-read the old ones and caught up with all the action which I missed over the last few years. The comics have also changed and tried to keep up eith the modern times in their looks and appearance. But as they say "अब इनमे वो पुरानी बात नही रही". But who cares, I love downloading and reading them.

At present I like the following Nagayan series by Raj Comics , The Virgin Comics new entries, and the weekly comic strip Arbit Choudhary (http://www.arbitmba.com/).

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Bihar (2)

This is in continuation with the previous post. The current situation in the state remains grim with the flood waters not expected to recede for some time. The relief operations are going on but are not in full swing. The breach in the embankment is being plugged but not much progress has been made. But the main issue of the human tragedy remains. People are still stranded without food and no drinking water.
Here is a link to an article which echoed my thoughts on the current and the general situation of Bihar.

Saturday, August 30, 2008


As the title suggests, this post is about my home state, Bihar. I am a proud Bihari and never have had to hide my state of origin to anyone. Although what there is to be proud of is a question to which I do not have any ready answer.
As I write this, over 2 million people have been rendered homeless due to the sudden floods in the Kosi river. The current occurence has been due to the sudden shift in the river's course due to the breaching of the embankment upstream in Nepal. The flood waters spread across the vast plains have caused large scale devastation with the worst probably still to come.
A natural disaster of this scale may or may not have been avoided. But the thing which really annoyed me is the almost complete lack of awareness of the situation amongst people outside Bihar. Here I am in Mumbai and I have heard no mention of the devastation amongst the people or even in newspapers. Only through the internet did I become aware of the magnitude of the situation.
This situation raises a pertinent question. Does India really care about Bihar? or has Bihar totally slipped out of the national conciousness? Bihar has become a by-word for lawlessness, and Biharis are the first ones to be targetted by the xenophobic politicians of every part of the country to raise their vote banks, be it in Maharastra or Assam. The question is why this state of affairs regarding Bihar. Maybe it is because of the politicians, always the first and easiest target.
Or is it because of the Biharis themselves, who have got so used to situation that they have stopped caring. We Biharis work hard. There are no doubts about it. But the hard work is for getting out of the state. Nobody wants to go back.
The state's infrastructure is in a mess. The education levels are amongst the lowest in the country. There is no industrial investment of any note in the state. Outsiders would not even think of going to Bihar. Whats the cause of all this? Does anybody have an answer?

Friday, August 29, 2008

The Joker and Game Theory

First of all, I must make this clear. I really liked the movie "The Dark Knight", specially Heath Ledger's potryal of the Joker. While surfing found an interting link connecting one of Joker's actions with the Game Theory. In one of the sequences, the Joker plants bombs on two ferries stranded in the middle of the river with their detonators on the other boat. There is no way to go out from the ferry and the people have half an hour time to take their decision, otherwise he would blow up both the ferries. A case similar to the Prisoner's Dilemma. The attached link connects this sequence to the Game Theory and Nash Equilibrium.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

The Empty Horizon

Its been a some time since college got over. Since then I have moved on. Joined my new work place. Have shifted to a new location. A new life met me. Some acquaintances got renewed. Some who were on the fringes of my college life became the new friends. Lost touch with quite a few people. Some have stayed in touch. And finally and I think most importantly met lots of new people. So in a sense, for me, the world has moved on quite a bit in the last few months.
After this boring background, I come to the point I am trying to make. I was chatting up with a friend today over the phone. During our conversation an intersting point came up. The point which I refer to as "The Empty Horizon". The fact is for probably the first time in my life i have nothing to look forward to in the coming future with certainity. So far life had been going on in quite an orderly manner. It was just a series of deadlines. Going to the first school. Year by year progressing through school. Then came the first major marker, the 10th board exams. Soon followed in a couple of years by the 12th board and the various entrance examinations. Then in engineering college came the semester system. One semester after the other went by and four years down the line I had become an engineer with a job in an oil company. I joined my first job in a totally new place but still I had something in mind. A certain target was still there in the horizon. I wanted to do an MBA, mostly to get out of the work conditions which I did not like. So over the next year, cleared CAT, cleared the interview and went on to join an IIM. 2 years of MBA came and went by. And now I am working for another oil company albeit in a totally different role.
After all this, I have nothing to look forward to in the future. There are no set deadlines. Except for some minor office work, which probably has no impact in the larger scheme of things. I guess now the time has come to take things as they come. Or the other way is to do things as I wish to do. And for whatever anyone might say, the only person who really matters for me is myself. Earlier I was living with targets which came and went by. Now have to find my own targets.
So in this sense definetely it is an empty horizon. And I guess this is what life really is.
And the only philosophy which stands true would be the good old Carpe Diem.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Best Performance Ever

August 20, 2008

A day which will forever be etched in the memories of all Indian sports fans. India has achieved its best performance ever. The Helsinki record of 1952 was equalled with unheralded Sushil Kumar winning the bronze medal in 66 KG Frestyle category. This came as a pleasant surprise on a day when all Indian eyes were fixed on the boxers Jitender and Vijender. Though Jitender lost, the icing was provided with Vijender reaching the semi-finals assuring India of a third medal in the Beijing Games.
With these performances India has achieved its best ever Olympic performance ever. Apart from the medallists their have been heartening performances by individuals like Saina Nehwal, Mangal Singh Champaiya, Akhil and Jitender Kumar and Gagan Narang.
Lets hope these performances lead to even better performances in the future and more importantly bing more focus on the development of these sports.
To end the post this memorable quote from Akhil after beating the world champion "Dreams are not the ones you see while you are sleeping, but the ones that don't let you sleep"
P.S. To top the great sporting day our cricket team also won the ODI in Sri Lanka.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

India @ 61

This is in continuation with a post I had written on the same lines exactly a year ago.
A whole year has passed and I think its a good time to review what has or has not happened in the last 12 months. Quite a few things have happened in the past 12 months.
On the sporting front we now have our first individual Olympic gold medallist. We are the T20 world champions. Indian football team has reached the Asia Cup Finals for the the first time in over 20 years. And our national sport seems to be living only on past glory now. The team failed to qualify for an event which it once used to dominate.
On the political front, things are rotten as usual. Our so called honorable Members of Parliament continue to bring themselves further and further down in our eyes. The Cash for Votes scandal in the Lok Sabha being the latest.
The Kashmir issue still remains unresolved. Added to it we are confronted with major regional vs national debates.
Even the economy is not looking that rosy with rising inflation and slowing growth rate. We might not be able to make the big leap into the developed world soon.
We are still watching the same bad movies and nothing worth remembering has arrived in a long time.
And now on a personal front. Things have changed a lot. I have entered the corporate life. Not as hectic or fast paced as I imagined it would be but into a rather sedate and laid back approach to things. From a hostel room I have shifted into my own, albeit rented, flat. The college mess has changed to office cafetaria. Last year people around me were classmates and professors. Now they are colleagues and bosses. In more ways than one, now I am more independent. Certain rules have been removed to be replaced by some others. So, in short, life has changed. And hopefully for the better.
And as for The day... Well it still holds the same meaning for me. Its a holiday and I do not have to go to work :)
Jai Hind
P.S. This time Google seems to be in the Olympic spirit. So no picture in the post

Monday, August 11, 2008

The Olympic Gold

11th August, 2008

A golden day for all Indian sports lovers. For the first time in my lifetime the Indian national anthem was played in the Olympic Games. Abhinav Bindra became the first Indian ever to win an individual Gold medal in the 112 year history of the Games. By winning the 10m Air rifle event in the Beijing Oympics, Abhinav Bindra gave a perfect start to the Independence week. Kudos to him for providing a feel good feeling to the entire nation
Here is the link to the final score sheet
With Rajyavardhan Rathore to follow and Saina Nehwal going great guns in the badminton singles, we can hope for more medals in the forthcoming days.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Let the Games Begin

As I write this post, the world's biggest celebration has begun. Its an event lasting for 16 days but whose memories will continue to linger for a long, long time. Probably the Olympics are the only event which bring citizens from the whole world together. It is said to be a celebration of people's achievements and not just restricted to the sporting events themselves. This time it has led to opening up of China to the world, a country forever thought to be hidden behind the "bamboo curtain". China is trying to showcase itself to the world. Even the Great Chinese Fire Wall has been broken down. The Games began with a grand opening ceremony watched by the whole world in the presence of many national leaders.
The Games would hopefully be remembered for the sporting perspective only. And hoping there are no lingering controversies or disruptions.
So as they say, "Let the Games Begin"
P.S. From an Indian perspective lets have some memorable performances and hopefully a few (not expecting many) medals as well.

P.P.S. The Games have already begun. I am a couple of days late. But better late than never :)

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Bomb Blasts all around

Something quite sinister seems to be taking place. Yesterday it was Bangalore (8 blasts + 1 unexploded bomb) and today it was the turn of Ahmedabad (9 blasts). All blasts quite small in nature. The casualties were fortunately quite low in comparison to Jaipur serial blasts a couple of months back. However the question remains. Is this part of some larger plan to create anarchy all around the country? And if so which city is going to be the next target?

The Mystery Duo

So the star studded Indian line-up did not live upto its name. And Team India lost a test by one of their biggest margins ever. To put it simply they were outfoxed by the Lankan spin duo of the veteran Muralitharan and the newbie Mendis. Mendis actuaaly lived up to all the pre-debut hype surrounding him, getting both Dravid & Laxman in both the innings. The question now remains whether the line-up has any answers to the spin duo or is it going to be another abject surrender over the next two days.

I guess we will have to just wait and watch.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Horse trading and the Dark Knight

It has been some time since I last posted on this blog. In between shifted to a new city and started on my new job. All this activity and the fact that everything is blocked in my office has prevented any new postings in the blog. Today's blog is on a couple of totally unrelated issues. The inspiration for this blog is the daily blog section which appears in the newspapers.

The first issue is the victory of the UPA in the trust vote. It was something which I personally felt should have happened but the manner of the victory with all the allegations of horse trading which took place further lowered the already quite low opinion of our so called "honorable, elected" representatives. Wonder why we keep choosing such people for making our decisions.

And now to the second topic. The Dark Knight. An absolutely brilliant film with some fantastic acting all around, although Heath Ledger's Joker simply outshines the rest. The film did lead to a couple of conclusions
1. Comic books are for kids, but this movie is definitely not.
2. Batman does not have to play a central character in his own movie. He is more of a secondary character here.
But still overall a great film to watch.

And the India-Sri Lanka test series is underway. Hope our star studded batting line up has some answers to the mysterious spin duo of Murali & Mendis.

Till next time "Why So Serious"

Friday, May 30, 2008

The season's flavors: Facebook and IPL

With the league phase over and the knockout phase about to start, the IPL show is about to end. Surfing on the net found and interesting article about facebook and IPL. If IPL had a profile on facebook it might be something like this....

Here's the link to the article

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

I am Back

After giving some thought to the friends who actually read the crap that i write, I decided to keep posting my random thoughts in the blog

Actually today's post is inspired by an article I read about a blogger who posts everything about her life on her blog which is more like a personal diary and is getting about a few million hits a month on her blog page. My blog has an average of 50 hits / month :(. I definetly do not want my blog to become a personal online diary but still here are a few things which I did over the last month. Visited relatives, got bored at home, saw a few movies and appeared on national TV (a telecast which I did not see myself) and got bored more. and so decided to re-enter the blogging world.

My learning from the previous month
"Doing Nothing is seriously boring work"

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

The Last One (?)

It was a mid-August weekend night. Having nothing better to do, and trying to follow the latest fad, I decided that it was time to enter the blogging world. And thus Nishantzworld came into existence.
The blog has coincided neatly with my two years of life as a student (or participant as we are called here) of the Indian Institute of Management, Indore (or just Planet-I). Now after about 40 posts over a 18 month period, I think its time to move on. This blog had posts with glimpses into the I-Life, and some random thoughts about the world. There were quite a few posts on cricket too. The blog was shut down for nearly 3 months during my summers. And now that the I-Life is nearly over, I am not so sure about the future. I think maybe its time to move on.
But before that a few random memories of the last two years. I can easily use all the cliched words and expressions.... It was a most amazing and wonderful experience.... I had the time of my life.... learned quite a lot [:)].... made new friends and blah blah..... Well have to admit that though it may sound cliched but all of this is actually true.
The stay started with making acquaintances with lots of new people. Of course there were a couple of familiar faces in the crowd of unknowns, a fellow student and a professor (both from my previous college). I also managed to find one person who had actually heard of Duliajan to whom I did not have to explain its location. And then the classes and the routine life began. However life was far from routine, batch meetings at 12:30 a.m..... club events at 11 p.m.... assignments having eod as the deadline.... And of course the classes and the professors, each one bringing their individual touch. Time flew and soon it was second term and time for the summer placements. having gotten through it a bit early, it felt good to rise early in the morning get suited up and play cards to pass time and cut the tension. And time flew again.... there were water fights, parties, celebration of all the maor festivals. Soon it was time for summers to get a taste of corporate life.
After the summers got over it was back to normal grind, though the fourth term was much more grinding than usual. This term also witnessed the saddest point of my stay here. We lost two of our batchmates and those were the worst days of my I-Life. However life went on and things slowly limped backed to normalcy, but there was a permanent void left.
The fifth term was definetely the most relaxed.... had more than its fare share of holidays, pretty few classes and the T20 world cup going on... It was a term for travelling and visiting new places. And it was the term for IRIS. Me tried to conduct 2 online quizzes at a national level which lets say were not completely glitch free. This was also the term for catching up with lots of serials and movies.
The sixth and final term was a term filled with expectations, hopes and nervousness about the future. After all it was placement time. It was light in terms of classes but definetely not as fun as the previous one. But in the end all's well that ends well. And the only the thing left here is to collect the degree and walk out of the campus as a Post Graduate Diploma in Management. For me it would be back to the same industry.
So these were the some of the memories of the past two years.
I am not too sure about the future of the blog... whether I will be able to continue this or not? Maybe will have to think about it as time goes. However this would most certainly be my last post from this place.

Monday, January 28, 2008

The Silent Letters

27 January, 2008
Watched the Australian Open Men's Singles final betweer Novak Djokovic and Jo-Wilfred Tsonga. It was one of the more entertaining grand slam finals with the two players playing with aggresion for the ultimate glory. In the end the "Djoker" prevailed over the Frenchman Tsonga and became the first Serb to win a Grand Slam singles title. The result was good for tennis breaking the monotony of Federer winns.
However this post is not about tennis. Seeing the players' names on the screens, a thought crossed my mind. Why does Djokovic begin with a silent "D" and Tsonga with a silent "T". Why are there silent letters in the English dictionary at all. I mean if one does not pronounce these letters why have them in the spelling. I remember spelling knife as nif when I was small because I wrote it the way it sounded. And who was the persom who introduced this concept of silent letters. Must have been a real sadist to have deviced a way to torture generations of people with this crazy idea.
Then maybe this idiosyncracies give the language its appeal. After all, Amitabh Bachhan did once deliver the famous line "English is a very funny lamguage".

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Alien on Mars

Maybe I have been watching too much X-Files lately (finsihed the second season now) but this news seems interesting. Mars explorer Spirit has supposedly taken picture of what looks like something resembling a human form on Mars.
Here's a look at the pictures
So is this real or just another hoax?
P.S. - The figure is claimed to be that of a woman but weren't men supposed to be from Mars and women from Venus?

Friday, January 18, 2008

The Kite Runner

Saw the movie today. One of the most moving films which I have seen in the recent times. It tells the story of Amir, a storyteller, and his kite runner and friend and half brother, Hassan. Its also the story of the rapid degenearation of Afghanistan through the eyes of Amir. Afghanistan, a beautiful and happy country in 1976 (when the film begins), is ruined by the Soviet invasion and Amir escapes to USA with his father. However, he comes back in 2000 and sees a strange land completely savaged by the Taliban rule.

The narrative is compelling. One feels for the protagonists and feels sad on seeing the vents which had happened. The move is mostly in the local languages Dari & Pashtu with English subtitles. However there are a few disturbing scenes in the film regarding child abuse.

It has the simple message "There is a way to be good again" and says not all is lost ever

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

HAPPY 2008

To anyone & everyone who reads this blog....

Wishing You A Very Happy & Prosperous 2008