Monday, December 25, 2006

Christmas quote

What do you call people who are afraid of Santa Claus?
Claustrophobic. :))

~ Unknown

Cheers to longer life !!!

Want to live long? Say cheers !!!!

Its too good to be true, isn't it ?? :)

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

The time is now....

It is 9:58 and it is now. Tomororw at 3:00 it will be now. On my deathbed it will still be now. Since it will always be now, learning to respond to now is the only thing there is to learn.

- From "Notes to Myself" by Hugh Prather

Monday, November 06, 2006

From "online" to "offline" matchmaking

They say the world is round...and hence everything comes back.

After the initial euphoria of online dating died down, what people mostly experienced was disillusionment and in many cases deceit.

Hence back to the age of matchmakers

A very wise move I would say :)

The "I do" guide

There is solution for everything on the net these days.

So if you are one of those people who don't know how to go about getting married, check out the wedding planner.

People do really think of everything these days !!!

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

The new Basanti

Yuck !!!

How can they replace Hema Malini with Nisha Kothari???

Yet one more reason not to see the remake !!!

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Anyone for fried coke?

Am sure you read the title of this post twice....before reading on...

I did the same when I read about fried coke

Looks really inviting.....I am glad there will be a diet version soon :))

Thursday, October 26, 2006

The "Indian" apartheid

Very true.

Being from the North myself, I can very much relate to what the author of this article is trying to say. When it comes to fair skin, people do not have merely a liking or a preference, they have an obsession !!!

How does it really matter at the end of the day?????

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Court of law vs Court of Religion

I am speechless !!!

For all its booming economy and its shining new status in the world, incidents like this makes one wonder if all this proclaimed national success means anything at all !!!

Frankly, I have never heard such a whole of bull s**t being pronounced in the name of religion. I refuse to believe that any religion will have such senseless laws. All the senselessness is being injected by the interpretors or the so-called religious leaders who are supposed to be the enlightened ones to keep the religion alive and guide other lesser mortals. More often than not, these religious leaders only contribute in aggravating the exisiting problems rather than sorting things out. Which is a shame !!!!

Does she not have her hands full already to be now even branded as an adultress? Any woman in her right mind will definitely not committ adultery with a 70 year old man !!! Give her a break !!!

And as if all this was not enough, one of our dear Bollywood producer is even planning to make a movie out of this !!!

Can this get any worse??

Thursday, October 19, 2006

The Bangalore bus tragedy

The bus accident in Bangalore yesterday was a major one, but I am sure not very surprising for many Bangaloreans like me. The driving skills of the bus drivers in Bangalore is something which is not appreciated by anyone sharing the road space with these buses. You can never be sure when they will decide to change lanes all of a sudden without any indication(as it is, lane discipline is something which Bangalore traffic seems to ignore blissfully). Their stops at the designated bus stops is quite often at an angle of of 45 degrees to the bus stop, causing huge inconvenience to the traffic behind. On narrow roads, these buses, driving in the centre of the road, ensure that no vehicle can pass from either side.

The bus drivers are no less than the rulers of the road(since on the road, your power is decided by the size of the vehicle you own). Do they realise how much inconvenience a bad bus driving can cause, because of the sheer size of the vehicle? Do they realise that a small mistake by them can claim several lives?

Maybe the government should consider printing complaint phone numbers behind each bus, similiar to the cabs. And pay heed to the complaints. Maybe then, there is some hope !!!

Monday, October 16, 2006

Campus recruitment...with a difference

Cannot think of a better example of the booming job market in India.

Amazing initiave by the jail authorities.

And a big applause to the employers!!!

After all, everyone deserved a second chance.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Monday, September 18, 2006

Case study on the "Rail Man"

Lalu's stint as the Railway Minister has made its way into the business schools case studies to explore the turnaround of Indian Railways.

Looks like Lalu's career as a politician is finally on track !!

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Utterly butterly delicious...

What started as "Operation Flood" in two village cooperatives, will now be the world's largest milk brand.

Anand Milk Union Ltd or AMUL as we all know it was started in 1970 by the National Dairy Development Board to resolve malpractices by the milk traders and merchants. From 250 litres of milk to 48 lakhs litres of milk per day has been a long journey

"Think big, start small" is what they say !!!

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

The power of the masses

If you remember, nine of the accused were left scot free in Jessica Lall murder case. The verdict was strongly opposed by the masses and the court was forced to reopen the case under public pressure. For all her socialite status and influential contacts, Bina Ramani has been issued a non-bailable warrant for cheating and forgery and has been sent to Tihar jail on a for 2 weeks, with no special previleges bestowed.

"Today she was admitted to Jail No 6, the women's jail. She is kept in the in the reception ward there. No special arrangement has been made for her accommodation"

This makes you believe that all is not lost in this world. And the voice of the common public does get a hearing, even if not everytime. So next time, do not hesitate to speak up !!!

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Is reservation justified?

Using reservations to help undeserving students to get admission in good colleges is only the beginning.

The problems definitely do not end here !!!

Bless the RTI act....the common public is made aware of lots of hidden truths.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

India : A "talkative nation"

A definite boon for the mobile companies.

Am sure contributing in a big way :))

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Singletons' woes

Roti, kapdaa....but no makaan !!!

The problems bachelors face when finding an accomodation.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Luxury bathrooms

If you have a lot of money and you do not know what to do with it, you can go for some of these ideas for luxury bathrooms.
Not sure if I would do it even if I am rolling in wealth (except maybe the teak bathtub)

- Swarovski studded shower cubicle
- LED tiles
- Teak bathtub
- Flower urinals
- Waterfall sink

Read more here

Friday, September 01, 2006

Islam-inspired swim suit

Very practical I must say !!!

I wonder if these will feature in Vijay Mallaya's next year's swimsuit calendar :))

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Change of face

I was surprised when I read this. Rather shocked.

It sounds insane. Will you go for plastic surgery and change your face for a job which gives you 10% more?? Any why is this only applicable to girls, I wonder?

Friday, August 25, 2006

A celestial change

It's time again to revise the list of 9 planets which we memorised in school. As per the latest guidelines of astronomers, Pluto is no longer a planet, since it does not qualify as one, under the new rules of planet-dom laid out by our astrologers.

I wonder how soon the text books will get updated to reflect this change. Will we remember to tell out kids that there are only 8 planets and not 9(out of habit)???

I hope we can still rightfully use the term "Plutonian" for weird people we come across :)

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Gender ratio

Looks like there is something to hope for (especially in view of my last post)

Monday, August 21, 2006

Stop this massacre please !!!

What a shame !!!

We refer to our country as "Bharat Maa". We worship innumerable feminine deities. We are proud of being the country of Indira Gandhi, Mother Teresa, Kalpana Chawla. And still, we find wells and ponds full of female foetuses in India !!!

This has to stop !!! More than enforcing rules to prevent this, the government needs to dig into the fact why female foeticide is in existence even today. And kill the root of the problem.

Some of the things which I can think of are :
- Strict enforcement of anti-dowry act, especially in villages. Dowry is one big reason why a girl child is seen as a burden.

- More security for women, so that safe guarding the honor of women folk is not seen as an additional burden to the male members of the family. Women related crimes like rape, sexual harrasment should be dealt to with more severely.

- Providing low cost/free old age homes. The perception of the male child taking care in old age is one big reason why parents look forward to a male heir. If people know the govenment will take care of them in old age, this feeling of not wanting a girl child will eventually subside.

This is a much bigger issue India has today than reservation in colleges, bad roads and hiking oil prices.

Why isn't there a public outcry against the government to stop this?

Friday, August 18, 2006

Let's talk Pink

In the fashion circuit today, they say Pink is the new Black. The color pink has acquired a lot of popularity and acceptance in the recent past, surprisingly even among men !!! "Men in pink" is the happening thing these days. Pink has always been my personal favorite(a very Venus thing I must say) and hence I am happy to see it getting the recognition it deserves :))

Today, I decided to dig more into this color and what it portrays. Here are some interesting facts about the color pink, which I picked up from Wikipedia and some other sites.

- "Pink" was not a color word known to Shakespeare. He used words like "light red" to describe pink.

- The color pink is now associated with womanhood, just like blue is associated with boys and manhood.

- While the west typically refers to adult films as "blue movies", in Japan these films are often called "pink movies".

- In Catholicism, pink symbolizes joy and happiness.

- Pink, along with red, is traditionally used on maps for territory ruled by the British Empire or for members of the Commonwealth of Nations.

- Pink, being a 'watered-down' red, is sometimes used in a derogatory way to describe a watered-down socialist ('Pinko').

- "Paint the Town Pink" a phrase that arose in the 1950s reflecting its influence on fashion and design and the popularity of pastel colours.

- Pink is the color of the Breast Cancer Awareness ribbon. Breast cancer is a leading killer of women, and pink was chosen partially because it is so strongly associated with femininity

- Pink, is also associated with gays, lesbians, and bisexuals, often in the form of a pink triangle. In Britain, Pink News is a leading gay newspaper and online news service. In business, 'the pink pound' or 'pink dollar' refers to the spending power of the GLBT community.

- Similiar to white collar, there is a term Pink collar, which refers to female office worker (sometimes used in a derogatory manner).

Quite interesting, isn't it? Never knew these shades of pink before :))

India and Ghana : Old ties

Continuing on the "Independence Day" note, there is one interesting and less know piece of information I came across some time back.
Not many of us know that the Republic of Ghana, which attained independence in the year 1957, had the roots and inspiration of its freedom struggle in the Indian struggle for freedom.

Ghana, like India, was a British colony. The people of Ghana, though not happy with the British rule, never had a desire to overthrow their rulers out of their country. They beleived that without the Brits, the country will not be able to run itself and will fall apart.

During World War II, soldiers from Ghana were sent to Burma to fight the war on behalf of the British Empire. It was in Burma that these soldiers met soldiers from India and formed a strong bonding with them. The Indian struggle for Independence was then at its peak. After the Nehru and Gandhi back home. The people in Ghana started to realise that for them too, independence from the British rule, was not an impossible dream. Slowly the rebellion against the British rule picked up in Ghana. Ghana, under the leadership of Kwame Nikrumah,finally became an independent nation in 1957.

India should be proud of playing such an inspirational role in the history of several nations independence struggle.

And last but not the least, can you guess where I heard this story? From a cab driver in Pittsbugh(who was a native of Ghana), who dropped me from the airport to the hotel :))

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

"Jana Gana Mana" : Some facts

- "Jana Gana Mana" means "The Minds of All People"

- Originally written in formal Bengali language by Rabindranath Tagore

- Was set to music by Tagore in Madanapalle, West Chittoor district, Andhra Pradesh

- First sung during a convening of the Indian National Congress in Calcutta in December 27, 1911

- A formal rendition of the national anthem takes approximately 52 seconds. A shortened version consisting only the first and last lines (and taking about 20 seconds to play) is also staged occasionally.

- Controversy exists regarding the appropriateness of Jana Gana Mana as the national anthem of an independent India. The poem was composed in December 1911, precisely at the time of the Coronation Durbar of George V, and is a paean in praise of "the overlord of India's destiny". The composition was first sung during a convention of the then loyalist Indian National Congress in Calcutta on Dec. 27, 1911 . It was sung on the second day of the convention, and the agenda of that day devoted itself to a loyal welcome of George V on his visit to India.

- In 2005, there were calls for the deletion of the word "Sindh" and to substitute Kashmir in its stead. The argument was that Sindh was no longer a part of India (it became a part of Pakistan after Partition). However , the Supreme Court of India refused to tamper with the national anthem. Opponents of this proposal say that the word "Sindh" refers to the Indus or to the Sindhi culture and people who are an integral part of India's cultural fabric.

Here is the English translation...
"Thou art the ruler of the minds of all people, dispenser of India's destiny.

Thy name rouses the hearts of Punjab, Sindh, Gujarat and Maratha, of the Dravida and the Orissa (Utkalla) and Bengal;

It echoes in the hills of the Vindyas and Himalayas, mingles in the music of Jamuna and Ganga and is chanted by the waves of the Indian Sea.

They pray for thy blessings and sing thy praise. The saving of all people waits in thy hand, thou dispenser of India's destiny.

Victory, victory, victory to thee."

And here is the transliterated text....
"Jana Gana Mana Adhinayaka jaya hai,Bharata bhagyavidhata.

Punjaba, Sindh, Gujarata, Maratha,Dravida, Utkala, Banga,

Vindhya, Himachala, Yamuna, Ganga,Uchchala jaladhi taranga

Tava shubha naamey jaagey,Tava shubha aashisha maangey,

Gahe tava jayagatha.

Jana gana mangaladhayaka jaya haiBharat bhagyavidhata.

Jaya hai, Jaya hai, Jaya hai,Jaya jaya jaya jaya hai!"

Happy Independence Day !!!

Monday, August 07, 2006

Quit smoking movement

A lot is tried all the time to persuade smokers to quit smoking. Most of the obvious "not good for health" reasons do not work.

Recently European Union companies have started putting the condition "Smokers need not apply" in their vacancy requirements. This, plus a few other initiatives, have actually reduced the percent of smokers in the European countries !!!!

Read the link below for more...

Friday, August 04, 2006

Signs...of bad times ahead ???

A couple of weeks back, we heard about Intel slashing 1000 jobs. Yesterday, it was AOL, cutting down their workforce by 5000.

All this brings back the not-so-fond memories of dot com crash couple of years back.

Though India so far has not been affected so far since we are cheap, that might no longer be the case anymore in the near future due to the rising wages here. The IT boom and the resulting high salaries of IT professionals in India is the very thing which migh take away the Indian advantage, of Indians being more cost effective.

Are these a sign of bad times ahead? Not a very comfortable thought I must say ...

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

All work and no play......

This sounds familiar
.....the ability of not being able to totally get away from work
.....the compulsion of checking mails even when on vacation
....the curiosity to know what is happening at the work place even when you are at home....

Read more

Do we ever take "real" breaks ??

Cell phones to keep predators at bay

Interesting article.

Girls, you ought to read this.

Guys - does it work??

Monday, July 24, 2006

How many can you find?

I got this one sometime back. Pretty interesting.....

This picture has names of 100 Hollywood movies hidden in it. We need to use the pictorial clues to find out the movie names?

Wanna try? (Click on the photo to enlarge)

Thanks Karthi for sharing this...

Internet news vs print news

Since most of us these days rely on the internet for news, here is an interesting take by Robert Cringley on how we miss out on a lot of info, bcoz of the growing preference of internet news over print news.

You can read more about Robert Cringley here :

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

The changing face of Indian Railways

I recently visited the Majestic railway station to see off a friend and was pleasantly surpised to note a few changes at the railway station.

To start with, the parking ticket provided in the car parking area of the railway station was a smart card. Difficult to beleive, isn't it? I had heard of smart cards being provided in the car parking area at Bangalore airport, but never did imagine it at a railway station.

The second thing which took me by surprise was the AC waiting room. You must pay a visit there if possible to actaully beleive your eyes. There were good quality black leather sofas in the AC waiting room for passengers to sit. The place was quite aesthically done up, with one wall sporting a textured finish in bright yellow color. The floor had new gleaming absolutely clean tiles. There was a quite creative tourism map of Karnataka on the wall, not the usual atlas map. Another frame had the lyrics of the famous rail song, sung by and picturised on Ashok Kumarin his youth ("Rail gaadi chuk chuk chuk chuk"). The blinds on the windows were multi-colored, giving the room a bright cheerful look. The pay-and-use bathroom in the waiting area was clean and without any stench. In short, the place was comparable or better than a Business Class waiting lounge in any airport in India.

Maybe I have gone overboard with the description of the place. But the point is it really did take me by surprise!!!

Needless to say, the Railway Minister is doing a great job!!! It is very difficult for people to be able to praise his work because of his past, but he has proved he can be a good at minister when he decides to. He has introduced lots of changes in the way things used to happen, which resulted a decent profit for the railways last year. Some of the changes which helped railways profit are :
- Upgradation to higher class in case of available seats
- Strict checks to ensure genuine VIP bookings(for freedom fighters and senior citizens)

There is still a long way to go...but its good to see that the improvements have slowly started trickling in. However, One thing which needs to be taken care of is the security aspect in the trains, esp after yesterday's blasts in Mumbai.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Bangalore....What is missing ???

Till a couple of years back, Bangalore was supposed to be probably the best city to live in India. Main reasons being its tremendous growth due to IT and its round-the-year amazing weather. Bangalore was touted to be the next Silicon Valley of the world, the next big thing in the face of Indian soil.

Now, it is doubtful. Will Bangalore really be able to acheive the predicted heights?

There are lots of things that need to be worked upon today, to make Bangalore the dream city. I moved to Bangalore in 2002, and I have seen the city change...rather crumble...before my own eyes. The change of governments and the apathy they have shown has not done any good to the place.

I want to use this forum to discuss what all can be done to improve the city we live in. Let us not only talk about the problems, but the soultions as well. And last but not the least, let us find a way to have our opinions and suggestions heard.

Your inputs please.....

Monday, May 29, 2006

The Da Vinci Code

The Da Vinci Code is finally here. After getting a green signal post a special screening from the I&B ministry, it was finally released last week in India with a disclaimer and an Adults only tag.

I saw the movie on Saturday nite, thanks to a friend who booked the tickets in advanced. The pre-release hype and the contraversy surrounding the movie ensured lots of eager audeience and a full house. Those who had read the book wanted to see if the director Ron Howard has done justice or not. Those who had not read the book were simply waiting to discover what the hype was all about. I started the book last week but was unable to finish it before I actually saw the movie. However, by then I had a fair idea of what the story was all about.

I liked the movie. I would give it 4 stars out of 5. Except for sometime in between, where it appears slow, the pace is good and keeps you captivated. I liked the cast, all of them did a good job. Not very impressed with Tom Hanks as Robert Langdon, as we are all used to seeing him in complex character roles. Hence this one really did not bring out the best in him. I especially like the characters of Sophie Neveu(Audrey Tautou) , Silas(Paul Bettany) and Leigh Tibing(Ian McKellen).

After reading the description of the Louvre museum in the book, I found the actual museum a bit too modern to my taste in the movie. However, the shots of the museum, Saint Sulpice church, Eiffel tower and the rest of Paris was a delight to watch. Also, the paintings and the hidden meanings were explained well.

I am still reading the book. Would want to see the movie again once I finish it. Maybe I would feel differently about the movie then :)).

Would like to know views on the movie from people who have read the book. Any comments ??

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Life line......

Ayn Rand says....

"My philosophy, in essence, is the concept of man as a heroic being, with his own happiness as the moral purpose of his life, with productive achievement as his noblest activity, and reason as his only absolute."

Life cannot be simpilfied better.....

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Dhoni and the soap ad

You just cannot miss the Mysore Sandal Soap hoardings all over Bangalore featuring the newest cricket star M S Dhoni. Agreed that Dhoni is any eye-catcher...but can he be signed for a soap ad? His skin is definitely not one of his best assets. His wavy streaked tresses are what he is known for, and talked about, especially in feminine circles. To make things worse, the photographer who shot the ad seems to have forgotten that the shoot was for a soap ad and not for a shampoo ad. His liking for Dhoni's hair, more than his clearly visible in the ad.

Seems one of the reasons for choosing Dhoni as the brand ambassador for this product was that his initials M S match the soap initals. I personally feel Yuvraj Singh would have been a better choice :))

Here is a sincere request to all the ad makers of the world. Next time, please put some thought before signing up your models. Else your ad is nothing but a mockery of your product as well as the model!!!

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

"Being Cyrus"....could have been more..

If I were asked to summarize the movie "Being Cyrus" in a few words, I would say it is different okay kind of movie. Part of the reason for going for the movie was that the promos projected it as what is called "parallel cinema" certainly is....but when you walk out of the theatre, you realise you do not carry much with you.

The story revolves around a Parsi family......the Sethna family....Dinshaw(Naseeruddin) and his wife Katie(Dimple) stay in Panchgani, in a huge dilapilated bungalow. Dinshaw is a famed potter whose best days are clearly past and who now spends his life in a mostly delirious state due to the dope he smokes. Katie is his wife....who is clearly unsatisfied with life and her husband. She wants much more from life than Dinshaw can offer her with his limited means in the small town.

This is where Cyrus(Saif) lands up for a one year stint as Dinshaw's apprentice. Katie welcomes him into the household with open arms and makes no bones about her sexual advances to Cyrus.

The cast is good. Nasseruddin Shah does not quite make an impression, maybe because we are too used to good performances from him by now. Saif is good but not outstanding...his role really does not offer him much variations in terms of acting, inspite of him being the main character of the movie. Dimple's role is clearly different from what she has ever done before. She does justice to her role as the frustrated wife who simply cannot bear her half-deaf husband and who does not think twice before expressing her sexual needs to a man probably her son's age. Boman Irani as the elder Sethna son is very good.....he plays the angry sceaming son, the irritatred neighbour, the uncaring husband and the flirtatious lover....all to near perfection. Simone Singh is the young pretty demure bride married to Boman Irani....who casts away her inhibitions and smokes her days away to glory the moment her husband leaves for work. The cast to actually watch out for is the old Mr Sethna(Honey Chhaya). He does an amazing job as the harassed father. His expressions are something to watch out for.....whether it is when his eyes light up at the sight of food....or when he reminisces his old days during the British Raj or when he is in one of his delirious states where he simply does not recognise anybody. An ace actor I must say !!! Manoj Pahwa as the violent police inspector does a good job too.

The movie does not have any songs. Though in English, the movie has a generous spattering of Gujarati...Gujarati being the language spoken by Parsis. This makes it difficult to understand parts of the movie.

The script is weak....and maybe that is the does not have such a powerful impact on the audience. The so-called mystery is cliched and not thrilling enough.

A lot of hype but not much substance :((