Friday, December 31, 2010

10 Things I think I think - 2010 Edition..

10. I don’t know if I would be able to get to 10 things..


9. Contrary to what everyone seems to say, the level of bureaucratic corruption has reduced in my opinion. You might have your scams and your riggings, but the corruption that the common man had to endure is slowly, but steadily, reducing. For someone like me, interactions with the government (booking rail tickets, paying taxes,  heck, even getting a passport approved) were areas where I would have to pay some “commission”. Yet, each of these things I have done during 2010, without so much as leaving my house, and more importantly without an “agent”. Corruption exists, and exists everywhere. But it exists in situations where one party is completely dependent on the other party for something. Call it RTI, call it e-governance, but the level of dependence that I, an average citizen, had on the welfare state has reduced in the last 10 years. Ergo corruption has reduced. Even for that matter, the scams that are coming to light, is a good thing. It means that someone is watching.


8. I think a lot of the problems in the world would just be solved if people would just not mistrust people. Don’t trust someone blindly, but don’t mistrust them either.


7. I think Cheteshwar Pujara should bat No. 3 in Cape Town. Rahul Dravid should go to No. 6. 14 years ago, Dravid moved to No. 3 on the tour to SA. Changed Indian cricket for the better. Time to do the same before Dravid is subject to a Ponting-like witch hunt. Pujara at 3, gets the freedom to settle in, knowing that his getting out doesn’t mean the tail is to follow. The blame for the collapse would not be on him. Here’s an interesting stat: Pujara scored just 29 runs in Durban, but batted out 175 minutes. Look closely, that’s probably more than what Kallis, Tendulkar and De Villiers did (maybe even put together). Put Pujara at 3, and let him have Sehwag and Tendulkar on either side with Dravid and Laxman to follow. Will make a major change to his style.


6. It’s been a while since I have done the Things I think I think feature. I should do this more often. But somewhere, I feel there is very little incentive to think. The more you think, the more everything looks like a façade. You are told what to think, and everything is catered to that. Everything is now a marketing gimmick. Everything is fed to you, and everything is the truth. But there is no avenue to question, to discuss, to dissent, to change your opinions in the face of new evidence..


Thinking is passé.


5. Indian cinema needs good comedy. The last good comedy I saw was Khosla ka Ghosla. All other “funny” movies are the cinematic equivalents of laughing loudest at your own jokes..


There I said it.


4. Come to think of it, but probably India on the whole needs a good comedy. A “Flop Show” for our generation.


3. I still feel like crap for not having started work on writing a book. Maybe next year. Fingers crossed. Maybe I should blog more in fiction. That should get me in shape. For all of 2010, I have only 25 (or so) posts. So probably I need to improve on that too.


2.  Contrary to what might seem from the above points, I am still pretty optimistic about India. That’s the good thing about this place. There is a different vibrancy that you cannot help but feel that we’re on the verge of something special here.


My only worry is that no one will stop to think about it till it’s too late.


1. I’d like to wish anyone reading this a Very Happy New Year. Almost certainly not everything you plan at the start of the year will go as per plan.


But then this is not the time to think about it J


Have a fun filled 2011.


Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Praying at the temple of Che..

You know if he can play out 2 sessions today, he’s set for a long innings..


You know he knows that too..


You know he’s the best guy to do it..


You know he’s better than Suresh Raina..


You know he’s better than any other 23 year old currently playing cricket in India


You know he’s probably better than any other 23 year old currently playing cricket anywhere


You know he’s already scored more than Sachin & Rahul combined.


You know he’s CHÉ..

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Do you wish to have Koffee with Karan?

Cross your heart, tell the truth.. You really do, don't you?? You'd love to be on TV, in glamorous outfits, speaking with Karan Johar, on matters of critical importance such why you don't like that so and so..

Chances are, it doesn't matter..

I hate to tell you this, but no matter what the channel tells you, unfortunately Karan doesn't want to have "Koffee" with you..

Not because you don't have an interesting story, or are not good looking, or are really funny and have a great ability to connect to people..

But more because you aren't in the film industry.. More importantly, you aren't successful in the film industry... Most importantly, you aren't successful right now, nor do you have a movie to promote nor do you have an autobiography coming out in the market..

So, the question is, shouldn't the show be called "Karan wants to have some Koffee with someone who has a hidden motive"??

Though to be honest, I am not quite sure I want to spend my Sunday evenings with someone who doesn't know how to spell Coffee..

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Random Rant against the Times

So apparently, the question in yesterday's TOI poll was something like this:

After sub-continent's flat pitches, will S. Africa's pace-friendly pitches test India?

89% said Yes
11% said No

And this is not a post to ridicule the 11% who actually believe that the Indian Cricket team will have NO problems on South African pitches..

The first thought that came to me was How many people actually responded to this poll? Nowhere in the entire "article" is that mentioned.. It probably doesn't matter as such. The TOI sells about 2 million papers everyday and has probably double the number accessing the website. So my guess is it could be 89% of a million who believe this.. That's what, 890,000 people???

Or it could be that out of all the poor souls who actually felt like bearing with, only about a 50 or so responded and 89% (comes to about 44??)..

Or it could be 50 Times of India employees who are trying to do what their boss asked them to..

Could someone sitting on the fence on a particular topic, be swayed this way or the other, if he/she finds out that 890,000 people think one way, and only 110,000 think the opposite??

Would that person have the same thought, if he found out that 37 people think one way, 5 think the other way, and the remaining 999,948 really don't care???

The cricket question is not the point..

The point is the Times of India is an important institution in India. Such impromptu opinion polls have the potential to influence public opinion, for or against a certain position..

And considering the TOI has done away with the standard etiquette of dating their articles, and also mostly tends to completely disregard the concept of "conflict of interest", that could be a tiny possibility right??

Monday, November 29, 2010

Ei incumbit probatio qui dicit, non qui negat*

If you feel that A. Raja stole from the country's exchequer, raise your hand..
If you feel that Suresh Kalmadi used public money for his own personal gain, raise your other hand..
If you feel that BSY used illegal methods to approve mining and land contracts in Karnataka, please stand up.
If you have clinching evidence of either, please step forward...
Else, please sit down, put both your hands back where they were, and get back to work..
Work, which might include finding the said evidence..
And start your shouting once you find this evidence..
I am not saying they are not guilty, but I cannot go by press reports, to judge their guilt.
Just as I cannot use press reports to say that Dabangg is the biggest hit of the year..
*- "Ei incumbit probatio, qui dicit, non qui negat;
cum per rerum naturam factum negantis probatio nulla sit.
The proof lies upon him who affirms, not upon him who denies;
since, by the nature of things, he who denies a fact cannot produce any proof."

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Bah Bah Black Sheep

Bah bah black sheep, Have you any wool?
Yes sir, yes sir, 3 bags full.
One for my master and one for the dame,
and one for the little boy who cries down the lane.

Bah Bah Black Sheep, Can't you stick to the script?
Sorry sir, sorry sir, what do you mean by "script"?
I ask you if you have some wool, stick to a yes or no
Answer what you're asked, not what you wish to do

Bah Bah Black sheep, you get that, don't you?
No sir, No sir, I don't think I quite do..
Was being proactive, giving you more than you ask,
Isn't being nice part of the task??

Bah Bah Black Sheep, how naive are your ways
Nice doesn't count for shit these days..
Stick to your task, utter not a peep,
Else, you'll never be The Man, just a Black Sheep...

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Let's talk about... Chetan Bhagat..

Depending on how you look at it, Chetan Bhagat’s life closely resembles mine.


·         Engineering college (check, check)

·         Elite institution (check, check)

·         married someone from the south of India (check, check)

·         worked in an IT-ES-BPO type organization (check, check).


In my opinion, Chetan Bhagat is an ordinary author.


There, I said it..


He has been writing books using himself as a muse, and now that he is an author, I assume his next book is going to be about someone who wants to change his profession from an office to writing a book. That, will also be the end of what he writes, since very soon, he is going to pretty much run out of things to write about.


I think he is an ordinary author, who based on writing nice essays in English class in high school, decided that his lifetime dream was to write a book. He is good at small pieces.. Books are really not his thing..


I think Anand Mahadevan is better.


There’s a part of me though, that wishes I was in Chetan Bhagat’s shoes..

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

The Peter Principle...

The Peter Principle is the principle that "in a hierarchy every employee tends to rise to their level of incompetence".

Read that once again..

"In a hierarchy, every employee tends to rise to their level of incompetence!!"

The sentence (or The Principle) hit me so hard, that I spent an hour trying to make sense out of it.. An hour of office time, that too..It bothered me at some level.. Was it making fun of me and my abilities??

Then I wrote it down, on pen and paper, and then it made sense..

Much as it sounds funny, and satirical, I think it makes perfect sense. It means that you keep rising in an organization till such time that your incompetence doesn't let you go any further.

It doesn't mean that your boss is incompetent...

That would have been too easy..

And then it wasn't so much fun to read that line..

Thursday, September 30, 2010

17 things Bob Sutton believes in...

Bob Sutton was my MS&E 280 (Organizational Behavior) professor at Stanford. Probably one of the most enjoyable classes I had, and the final assignment was probably one of my best pieces of fiction (Don’t ask, it was that kind of class).. Bob is also the author of many books on Organizational Behavior, including “The No Asshole Rule”, and his latest “Good Boss, Bad Boss”.

I recently stumbled upon his blog , and while he still has the same (sometimes irritating) boisterousness in his writings as he does in person, it’s also struck a chord somewhere. Would encourage everyone to go there once in a while. Everyone of us, is a boss somewhere, and has a boss somewhere.. So in his honor, I reprint something straight from his blog. I wanted to link to this part alone, but couldnt find someway to do that in the short time that I had. You might find yourself nodding in agreement (or in disagreement), but I have been thinking of writing something on these lines for a while..

17 Things Bob Sutton believes in..

1. Sometimes the best management is no management at all -- first do no harm!

2. Indifference is as important as passion.

3. In organizational life, you can have influence over others or you can have freedom from others, but you can't have both at the same time.

4. Saying smart things and giving smart answers are important. Learning to listen to others and to ask smart questions is more important.

5. You get what you expect from people. This is especially true when it comes to selfish behavior; unvarnished self-interest is a learned social norm, not an unwavering feature of human behavior.

6. Avoid pompous jerks whenever possible. They not only can make you feel bad about yourself, chances are that you will eventually start acting like them.

7. The best test of a person's character is how he or she treats those with less power.

8. Err on the side of optimism and positive energy in all things.

9. It is good to ask yourself, do I have enough? Do you really need more money, power, prestige, or stuff?

10. Anyone can learn to be creative, it just takes a lot of practice and little confidence

11. "Whenever people agree with me I always feel I must be wrong."

12. If you are an expert, seek-out novices or experts in other fields. If you are a novice, seek out experts.

13. Sutton's Law: “If you think that you have a new idea, you are wrong. Someone else probably already had it. This idea isn’t original either; I stole it from someone else”

14. "Am I a success or a failure?" is not a very useful question

15. The world would be a better place if people slept more and took more naps

16. Strive for simplicity and competence, but embrace the confusion and messiness along the way.

17. Jimmy Maloney is right, work is an overrated activity.

NB: Also, would be very interested in knowing how many of these I practice ( or absolutely do not practice).. Maybe in private.. :)

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

A Bird Brained Story...

"I don't like to be in a cage, Sir", the bird once said.

"So how can I help you, my dear birdie??" said its owner...

"I don't want to be in a cage any more.. I'm a bird.. I need something else.. I need to fly in the sky, over the mountains and the oceans and the into the sunset.. This one is just so cramped.. I need more space.."

"But the other birds don't seem to be complaining.."

"That's not my problem is it?? I am telling you my problem.. Why can't you solve my problem??"

"Listen to me.. I know what's best for you.. You're just a bird, dear Birdie.. The world outside is tough.. you're not used it.. They'll eat you alive.."

"So, what should I do??" asked the dejected bird..

"You know what, dear Birdie.. Now that I think about it, there's one thing I can do.. And keep in mind, I am only doing it because you are my favourite bird.."

"What's that??" said the excited bird..

"You said you need more space, correct??"


"How about I give you a bigger cage??"

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The best sentence I have read in a long time..

I PREFER not to reward people for doing crazy, foolish things to get in the news, but the people who run most news outlets disagree with me, probably because the public at large does too. And since the public likes to read news about people who do foolish, crazy things to get in the news, the news is often dominated by people doing crazy, foolish things…
Democracy in America blog in The Economist

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Monika Rigby

I don't know Monika.. Monika isn't even her name any more.. She goes by another name... She married and changed her name to something else.. If you add the total amount of time I have met her, it's probably is about an hour combined.. You could say she's a friend of a friend of a friend... The last I met her was about a year ago for not more than 30 secs at a chance meeting at Dadar Railway Station.. Through the last year though, I have passed her numerous times in traffic..

And each time I see her, for those 30 seconds or more, all I see is loneliness in her eyes..

You probably don't know a "Shahrukh Khan" or a "Sachin Tendulkar".. But there's an Eleanor Rigby everywhere..

Sunday, September 05, 2010

Things I think I think

- Can mostly be found on Facebook..

- But it has been a while, hasn't it?? I think I last wrote this string almost a year ago.. It's not been like I have stopped thinking.. You could say I stopped writing.. But I am now making a concerted effort to start writing again.. There aren't too many things that I think though.. There's no one to blame.. Just me.. I do have ideas that I would like to expand on.. I could possibly write a book like Author Gogoi.. Author Gogoi is coming up with a book, sometime now soon.. Was to be around the Aug. 15th timeline, but it's coming up soon.. Buy a copy.. NOW.. Or rather, hen it comes out..

- But Facebook is indeed a good thing.. Half a Billion people can hardly be wrong.. It felt good to "meet" old friends.. Also felt nice to see most people are doing well.. Felt really good to see my friend Thaminie Perera, doing what she really likes and setting up her own Piano Studio.. If you're in the LA area, and want your kids to play like Bach or Beethoven, get in line to her studio.. Sometimes, when people do what they always wanted to, it makes you feel good... I guess living vicariously is the best some folks can do..

- As I write this, I am also watching Jab We Met.. I don't know why I like the movie.. But I do... What can I say?

- There are days when I think I am creative, and there are days when I think I am as creative as a tortoise.. I don't know how creative tortoises are, but I think not much..

- The more I think of it, the more I regret not running for the elections last time around..

- I think this post is a very bland one, and I apologize in advance.. Think of it like a batsman who's having his first hit in months.. I have even stopped promising that I shall write more often, going forward.. Cannot guarantee..

- A passing thought.. Is Sachin Tendulkar eligible for a pension for being a Air Force Group Captain??

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Mahadeo Babar - An appreciation

Chances are, you have never heard of him. If you have, you either live in or around the Kondhwa area, or really, really follow Maharashtra politics.

Mahadeo Babar is a face you would see all over Kondhwa. He is, you see, the sitting MLA for the Hadapsar constituency but is primarily from Kondhwa. Prior to his election last October, he was the sitting corporator, and has been in the past, a deputy mayor of the PMC.. If you have been here, you'll see his face plastered on some birthday poster, some rallying cry, heck, some protest rally.. There was a poster last week where he was supposed to be the chief guest at, (I kid you not) a left-handers convention on "World Left Handed Day"... The things you learn in Kondhwa..

Now, our Mr. Babar, is no saint.. He is an Indian politician after all.. Pretty much the entire land on which our complex is built, is owned by some Babar or the other.. Same with most land in Kondhwa.. I don't know the background as such, but I know that he has two bungalows in this area.. The water tanker waala , the laundry waala, the milkman, the vegetable vendor, heck, even our watchman, is "Babar saab ka aadmi".. His political party is no beacon of ethics either..

But he's different...

How many sitting MLA's does one see early in the morning in a track suit riding an Activa and making small talk with the newspaper vendor and folks on their morning walks??

Leadership is not just providing direction.. It is the ability to have those following relate to you..

If our dear leaders, in politics and elsewhere, were more visible to the general public - without their convoys and security guards, laptops and blackberrys - maybe, just maybe, this world would be a better place..

Monday, August 02, 2010

These are a few of my favourite things.. in no particular order

·         My family.. all of them.. Yes, even those I keep fighting with


·         Annika’s smile


·         Dil Se OST


·         Dal chaawal – with ghee


·         U2


·         Mark Waugh on a cricket field


·         Mark Knopfler


·         Roger Federer


·         Govinda movies.. Some of them at least


·         The Godfather


·         Puran Poli


·         Sitting at home watching the rain..




Saturday, July 17, 2010

Stuff that bugs me..

  • Beyond what segment of the Indian car market, is it mandatory to employ a chauffeur?

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Career Counselling required..

At what point in your career, does the focus shift from “doing a good job” to “keep your boss happy”?


Friday, July 02, 2010

I went through my old posts, and came to the conclusion that I can write good stuff if I wanted to.


If only I did that more often.


It's only numbers... Or is it??

Yesterday was the 10th anniversary of me joining the salaried class.


But does it matter?


Can one quantify experience in numbers?


You could have year after year of the same experience 10 different times.


But I digress.


Yesterday marks 10 years to the day I joined my first job.


That’s probably a better way to put it.


What have I learned? What have I achieved?


Does it matter what I have achieved in 10 years?


Do I even want to achieve a thing?


Do I have just a lead role in a cage?

Friday, June 25, 2010


for 3 years, I never had a problem posting anything..

I would write what I wanted, and write what I thought, about things I thought I thought.. But these days I do have a problem.. I don't know why it is so..

Maybe it is Facebook..

Maybe it is just ennui..

Maybe it is simple fatherhood..

Maybe it is just me..

Saturday, May 01, 2010

Support Afghanistan today...

Cricket used to be a game which we played..

Because we enjoyed it..

We lived it..

Just a bat and a ball required.. no stumps no boundaries, nothing..
Even could be played in a verandah with a book for a bat, and a ping
pong ball for a ball.. Declared runs, one bounce one hand out, limited

It's a game for enjoying..

For all that and much more.

Support Afghanistan today against India..

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Look who's back!!!

Call it "losing my mojo"

Call it "Off the wagon"

Or maybe "Back on the Wagon"

But the fact is, it's been 2 months since I last wrote anything..

I had promised myself never to go through such a lean period..

But I did

But not any more..

I am back!!!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Factoid that might interest only me

I think it is very funny that Shah Rukh Khan has acted in Pardes – about an Indian going to the US – and Swades – about an American who comes to India!!!


Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Fact of the MATTER

One of the things I am perennially struggling with is why anything matters to anyone, and more importantly, whether everything that is supposed to matter actually ought to matter, and most importantly what are the things that really should matter?

So I gave it a try to see how far I go trying to resolve this struggle.

What are the things that REALLY REALLY REALLY matter?

Family – Yes. Family does matter, doesn’t it? After all, everything you do is for your family. You earn, you provide, you buy stuff, you cook, at some level it’s for your family. But then, there are cases where your own family can be your worst enemy. Brothers fight over property, Parents and kids fight over the choice of the spouse. And when I mean fights, I mean the “over-my-dead-body” kind of fights, not the quarrels over who loves whom more. Plus, the definition of family is kind of subjective. I might say my family is me, my wife, daughter, father, mother and brother, in-laws, and maybe a few cousins. But someone not on this list, could also be counting me as family. I get along better with some uncles than some others, so even if the relation is the same, I’d count some as family and not the others.

So maybe, I ought to qualify my statement further. The family, that gets along with you, matters.

So, may be, it’s friends that matter. But then if you had to choose a good family versus a good friends’ circle, you’re definitely choosing family, aren’t you? So compared to family, friends aren’t that important.

Jobs? C’mon, really??

Education? Maybe. It’ll probably help you get a job, but then you’re on your own. You almost definitely cannot have a job without the education. But do you have to go to school for that??

Peace? – If I were GOD, I’d say Peace matters most. And not the India-Pakistan type of peace. Individual peace. But I’m not, and most of the people I know are really not at peace, so I’d say it doesn’t quite matter as much.

GOD? – Definitely not. If God mattered, everyone would at least agree on which God to follow.

Or may be I ought to give up trying to figure out what matters and why it matters and just try to do what I have been doing well enough, so that the rest doesn’t matter.

But then if what I have been doing well enough, doesn’t matter, should I be doing it?