Saturday, December 27, 2008

Song For Tonight

Dont Let The Sun Catch You Crying - Rickie Lee Jones

Don't let the sun catch you cryin'
The night's the time for all your tears
Your heart may be broken tonight
But tomorrow with the morning light
Don't let the sun catch you cryin'

The nighttime shadows disappear
And with them go all your tears
Cuz the morning will bring joy for every girl and boy
So don't let the sun catch you cryin'

We know that cryin's not a bad thing
But stop your cryin' when the birds sing
It may be hard to discover
That you've been left for another
But don't forget that love's the game
That can always come again
So don't let the sun catch you cryin'

Don't let the sun catch you cryin'
Don't let the sun catch you cryin'
Don't let the sun catch you cryin'
Oh, no.


Heard this song on iTunes Radio. Was a live performance. Loved it.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Goalkeepers :D

This just reinforces my theory that goalkeepers are the awesomest entertainers in football. Cristiano Ronaldo might be the first, second and third best player in the world, but he cannot be a goalkeeper ;)

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Have You Ever Seen The Rain?

Humility. Gratefulness. Satisfaction. Contentment. Fulfillment.



Creedence Clearwater Revival - Have You Ever Seen The Rain?

Friday, December 12, 2008

Changing Lives

Life moves in a symphony of crests and troughs of a sine wave. Finish stronger than you start.

Yes. Life is kind.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Do We Bring Terror Upon Ourselves?

It's been a week since the Mumbai terror attacks. Politicians have been themselves, indulging in cheap-giri, media pundits, aam aadmi and every Tom, Dick and Harry have had their opinion on the way forward and about those responsible, Pakistan as usual is protesting its "innocence" and the involvement of "non-state actors" (a cunning new phrase), the Indian government is panicked since elections are round the corner and has done some eye-wash shuffling, foreign countries are somewhere in the mix and trying to further their own causes through statements supporting one country or the other. Its a live drama of Shakespearean proportions and since all the worlds a stage and we are but its actors (stately or otherwise), where is the audience??? Well, let me be one here.

Nothing that meets the eye is really what it seems. Any incident/happening/event cannot be the result of a single act/provocation/event. For a moment, let us rollup and look at events from a macroscopic view, instead of taking a focus on 1 city, 1 people.

What just happened? Some people armed with weapons, killed people. This template can be applied across a host of countries in different regions around the world, a different (or same) people each time, with different people at the right and wrong ends. What is different is same.

To this template, let me now add the following actors: Al Qaeda, George Bush, Musharraf, Narendra Modi, Osama bin Laden, the Israelis, The Irish Republican Army, Iraq, Jemaah Islamiyah, Inter Services Intelligence, L.K. Advani, the Palestinians, Tony Blair, Lashkar e Tayyiba aka Jamaat ul Daawa, Students Islamic Movement of India, Indian Mujahideen, the Central Intelligence Agency, Moses.

Now you tell me, who is on the right and wrong side of the gun barrel amongst them?

If your answer is A, there are counter arguments. If your answer is B, there are counter arguments. And if your answer is "I cant say for sure, but Id like to find out", then you are in for a cynicism inducing day with Wikipedia.

If killing of humans is a sin, then we have been sinners since time immemorial. Right from Kane and Abel till present day, bloodshed and violence has been a hallmark of the human race. From the deliverance of the Jews by Moses through the Purges of Christianity to the demolition of the Babri Masjid and Gujarat Riots of 2002, we have been sinners, directly or indirectly. I put my mind through times past and there is not a single age or period in which I can say that the world has been a safe place to live in.

Man has been fighting for land, for respect, for ego, for identity, for economic gains, for religion from the time we remember. The fighting has not been restricted to any religion, any particular race or any particular place. It has been a constant throughout history, with pauses till it resumes again with renewed vigour.

"Terrorists strike ___________." You can fill the blank with Mumbai, Islamabad, New York, Madrid, London, Dar-e-Salam, Beslan or any other city in the world. The reason you can do that is the same reason it happened in Mumbai: Someone was dissatisfied.

Why were they dissatisfied?

In the case of Mumbai, reports say that the operatives were brainwashed with images and speeches by leaders in the Babri Masjid demolition and Gujarat riots. Now, how many of you agree with what happened in Ayodhya or in Gujarat? And if you feel it was wrong, then why arent the "actors" in those instances behind bars? Why arent they penalized? Why are they still in power (of all places) and felicitated and respected by certain communities of people for their actions. What is the difference between organized, state-supported killing of civilians of certain communities in Gujarat and an internationally known genocide called the Holocaust?

People cheered and whistled when a politician was gunned down in Rang De Basanti. People said they would love to do the same. So when a youth takes matters into his own hands and kills to make a point, hasn't society prepared the criminal? Through its actions, through its callousness, through its alignment/acceptance and lack of critique for other criminals who are on the right side of the law today.

There have been eye-wash investigations which have let off Advani and Modi scot-free and put them beyond reproach. So, if an individual (through choice or coercion takes to the gun to level the scores against those he considers representatives of that line of thought) how does one judge. Both past and present actions?

Our attitudes, our belief systems, our values. These shape our thinking and our responses. An act of reaching out to a fellow human being needs only truthfulness of action and purity of thought. Unfortunately, in the extremely insecure and selfish times from past to present, that simple requirement gets lost in myraid confusions.

But the next time one hears of the denouncement of a race, a religion, a people, a thought or indulges in it oneself, please remember that harming some other person never brings true prosperity or security for oneself. If you are stronger than someone at the moment, someone will be stronger than you the next.

Next time you beat up kids from Bihar for writing Railway exams in Mumbai, know that your children could die in the next attack on Mumbai. Why? Because you yourself set the wheels of hate into motion. And hate foments terror. That is the straightest line of derivation. Everything else is an add-on as per the circumstances.

In the context of this discussion, the important question isnt whether we bring terror upon ourselves? The answer can be Yes/No/Maybe, depending on where you come from.

The most important question is whether we have a choice to be terror-free. And the answer to that is a resounding YES.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Charter of improvements sought in the Anti-terror setup in India

This is a humble request to the Government of India from its people. We stand united as Indians and we support this nation through thick and thin. But we also seek support from the Government to live lives that are free from violence, insecurity and terrorism. We stand, not as Mumbaikars, Delhiites, North-Indians, South-Indians, Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs or Christians, but as one Indian. We are not separated by religion, location or profession. We stand united in this demand for good governance and for the provision of rights bestowed by the supreme Constitution of India on each Indian.

Our suggestions for a better, improved anti-terror control mechanism in India consists of the following:

1. Setting up of an autonomous body for coordination of anti-terrorism related activities.

We seek the creation of an autonomous body for the coordination of anti-terrorism related activities. This body will have a centralized decision making setup and will delegate tasks to local/regional cells. It will directly report to the National Security Advisor and Joint Chief of Staffs of the Indian Military. It shall cover the following areas of responsibility:

  1. Gathering intelligence through focussed resources and passing it to the respective State or Regional cells.
  2. Setting up of and monitoring the progress of a training center for teaching management and communications during terrorist strikes to selected representatives of the military, para-military, police forces, coast guards and medical teams from the States to deal with terrorism events.
  3. Provision of the best available infrastructure and equipment for its members for training and operations.
  4. A central controlling committee overseeing activities and coordination with local bodies in the event of a terrorist strike. This body will report directly to the Prime Minister of India. Any report of terrorist activity or disturbance in any state must be conveyed to this body, which will activate the requisite bodies on the ground into action, keeping the local government in the loop. An escalation of levels of violence beyond locally containable capability will be directly intimated to the Prime Minister of India, followed by an increase in the threat level and activation of more sophisticated military elements.
2. Decentralization of the National Security Guards (NSG).

The NSG is India’s premier anti-terrorism outfit and is well-trained to tackle events of terrorism. However, its current location means an inevitable delay in scrambling its resources into action. We propose a decentralization of the NSG with central command still located out of New Delhi. Identification of regional nerve centres for the location of regional chapters of the NSG must be followed by a setting up of operational centres for the same. In the event of a rise in the threat level (as described in Sec 1.d), the central and regional directors of the NSG will be intimated and brought in to support the operations and offer advice to the central committee.

3. Improved sea border patrolling by the Coast Guards

The coast guard shall be given a more prominent role in this activity. They must train with the Navy for joint operations and develop para-military capability for performing reconnaissance, seek and destroy and preventive strike operations against identified enemy craft or personnel.




These are a few points that came to my mind and I wanted to present them to the Government of India as a set of suggestions from the people to help contributing ideas going forward. Please feel free to post your comments and any ideas which you would like to see added to this charter. I will keep updating this charter with meritorious ideas that keep coming in.


Monday, November 10, 2008

Dear Saurav da

To say goodbye would mean saying you have left. But how can someone who lives on in the attitudes, minds and hopes of every Indian ever leave from our hearts?

This won't be a goodbye. This won't be a farewell.

This is a message that where you left off is where we begin. Your message inspires us each day.

Go well dada!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Iv Been Tagged

1. If your lover betrayed you, what will your first thought be?
The more things change, the more they remain the same ;)

2. If you can have a dream coming true, what would it be?
Walking into Wharton as a student.

3. What is the one thing most hated by you?
Being asked to do work I dont believe in.

4. What would you do with a billion dollars?
Buy a huge mansion with sprawling lawns, build a mini 15 seater theatre with the best dolby sound, one video game room with PSP, Playstation, XBox and Wii consoles + thousands of video game titles, buy guitars: acoustic, classical and electric and hire the best teachers to teach me, one games room with a foosball and pool tables, a football stadium within my mansion with AC Milan and Manchester United playing weekly and the rest of the money I will give to my parents to take pocket money whenever required.

5. Will you fall in love with your best friend?
Been there, done that.

6. Which is more blessed, loving someone or being loved by someone?
Playing football is the best feeling.

7. How long do you intend to wait for someone you really love?
Till the time the next one comes along ;)

8. If the person you secretly like is already attached, what would you do?
Keep shut.

9. If you like to act with someone, who will it be? Your gf/bf or an actress/actor?
Depends on what kind of acting is needed ;)

10. What takes you down the fastest?
Dishonesty around me.

11. How would you see yourself in ten years time?
Maybe single, but definately rich!

12. What’s your fear?
Losing my family.

13. What kind of person do you think the person who tagged you is?
Omi - spiritual, socially aware, making-it-happen-person, bong-ly, non-techie!

14. Would you rather be single and rich, or married but poor?
Whatever has rich, I want to be that.

15. What’s the first thing you do when you wake up?
Tell myself this is gonna be the best day of my life.

16. Would you give all in a relationship?
No.

17. If you fall in love with two people simultaneously, who would you pick?
The one who looks good on my B-School profile ;)

18. Would you forgive and forget no matter how horrible a thing that special someone has done?
Raat gayi, baat gayi, dosti gayi.

19. If you get to go back in time and fall in love all over again , would it still be with the same person?
No.

20. What will you do about climate crisis?
Contribute to it so that people can have jobs dealing with it.

I tag Anshul, Nova, Archie, Shweta, Mythun and Ships!

In the Name of the Father

Well, G-day has come and gone. And the score is a 690. Not too great, not too low. Neither here, nor there :D Its the kind of score that tempts you to think of retaking the GMAT again, and yet is a pretty reasonable addition to a pretty good profile.

For now, Im going to sit back and relax. This is a huge day in my life, for the fact that I have managed to get past a mental hurdle that has been in my way for a very long time. And that is actually taking the GMAT and putting up a score on the board. Probably I don't even realize the magnitude of my actions today, but its a huge weight off my shoulders.

All in all, I cannot complain much. The score is in the same range I was getting in practice. Additionally, the only top school I was looking at was Wharton. While Wharton seems a distant possibility now, my score should be good enough for the rest of the schools that are in my target list. Combined with my international workex, decent acads and extra-curriculars, I believe I am a strong candidate.

Now, its a matter of convincing the ad-coms ;)

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Pre-match jitters

G-day is 2 days away. And the pre-match jitters are coming and going. My scores have fluctuated quite wildly and while I am confident of hitting 720, it has to be done on G-day still. Im getting the 49 Qs. Its the Vs that are fluctuating. Last time was a 33. Hope to bring it up to 40 and with my (hopefully decent) Q, it should be a decent outing.

A hundred thoughts going through my mind, wondering many things.

Anyways, I really don't think I am going to be bothered thinking too many things in those 4 hours. It's going to be difficult enough to focus on the test. And thats all Im going to look to do.

Note to self: Let your light shine.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Beckham on loan to AC Milan

This is good news. Iv always liked David Beckham as a player and person. His freekicks are phenomenal and his character is something I have admired. It will be nice to have him on loan and let's hope it is good for both him and Milan!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Sydney, Seoul, Hong Kong, Shanghai

For some reason(s), known and unknown, I wish I could travel to

Sydney


Seoul



Hong Kong



Shanghai

Some Thoughts - Football

This is a sad state of affairs in the BPL. Tottenham are a top club struggling after the departure of Robbie Keane and Berbatov. While both players wanted to leave for greener pastures (Keane to Liverpool and Berbatov to ManU), it remains a mystery why they were sold off without the purchase of any reknowned striker. Tottenham are at the moment a team of midfielders who are not able to gel, and that, coupled with a low morale over the manner of Keane and Berbatov's departures has combined to resign them to the bottom of the premier league. Its a shock that they are there, but its a sad fact, all the same.

Now, with the likes of Bentley and Pavlyuchenko (from Zenit St. Petersburg) and Corluka and Aaron Lennon and Jermaine Jenas, I do believe that they are just about to turn the corner. Hopefully, by Christmas, the lights at White Hart Lane would be burning brighter. Tottenham is a great club with a proud history and the players need to persevere to turn around the season.

All the best guys!

Lovely Ad!

I just love this ad!

Memorable Moments!

Completing a 100 on the CMR (Change Management Review) system at Shinsei was an achievement of some order! I was just browsing through my Gmail archives and came across this sheet I had prepared when I hit the target! Some nice memories :)


Saturday, October 18, 2008

The Story So Far...

Mission Wharton is chugging along at a snail's pace. I have been enjoying my preparations. Which would involve hours of PSP gaming (FIFA 07) and guitar practice ;)

Oh, as for the material, well, if Sarah Palin can aim for the US (Vice)Presidency with nothing more than self-confidence on her side, then so can I (aim for a decent GMAT outing.)

Im targetting a score of around 720-730. I do believe that is my correct level. While I did score a 750 in my mock yesterday, I think it was more of a fluke.

While it might be nice (and/or necessary) to get a 750+ (being an Indian IT engg.), I frankly don't care that much to invest in getting that 99th percentile. I will be pretty happy with 96 (if I am lucky to get it.)

The chief joy right now in life is guitar practice. Am thinking of getting a new classical guitar from downtown Mumbai (to go with my 2 acoustic pieces). That has given mom an excuse to cajole dad to buy a newer, bigger house ;) presumably coz theres no space left in our current house to house my new guitar :D (Note to self: Women!)

So thats all for now folks! Its the final lap (final week) to this grand exam! Wish me luck!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Friday, October 10, 2008

Quick Question

Would you marry your sweetheart or invest in your career?
(Can choose only one)

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Song for Tonight

Don't Cry - GnR

Talk to me softly
There's something in your eyes
Don't hang your head in sorrow
And please don't cry
I know how you feel inside I've
I've been there before
Something's changin' inside you
And don't you know

Don't you cry tonight
I still love you baby
Don't you cry tonight
Don't you cry tonight
There's a heaven above you baby
And don't you cry tonight

Give me a whisper
And give me a sigh
Give me a kiss before you tell me goodbye
Don't you take it so hard now
And please don't take it so bad
I'll still be thinking of you
And the times we had, baby

And don't you cry tonight
Don't you cry tonight
Don't you cry tonight
There's a heaven above you baby
And don't you cry tonight

And please remember that I never lied
And please remember
How I felt inside now honey
You gotta make it your own way
But you'll be alright now sugar
You'll feel better tomorrow
Come the morning light now baby

And don't you cry tonight
An don't you cry tonight
An don't you cry tonight
There's a heaven above you baby
And don't you cry
Don't you ever cry
Don't you cry tonight
Baby maybe someday
Don't you cry
Don't you ever cry
Don't you cry tonight

I don't know if words like "sugar" and "honey" suit a GNR song, but that apart, a beautiful song.

I Wish...

... GnR had never broken up.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Mission Wharton

I am positioning myself to join B-School in Fall 2010. Preps for giving GMAT are ongoing and I will be taking GMAT in another 20 days. The entire process, from start to finish, is however quite extensive comprising of not only the GMAT, but also school research (including curriculum, tuition, aid, placements and career services), applications (including essays, recos), interviews, visa related work etc.

As a whole, Iv decided to name this operation of the next year and a half as "Mission Wharton". Each time I sit and think about the MBA process, the first name that pops to my mind is Wharton. The Wharton School is one of my top two target schools (though by no means the only school in my list.) And it is a very good school. So, why not name this entire operation after a good aim? So, there you go.

First mission of the greater Mission will be on October 25th, when I take my GMAT. Preps are going well and I am confident of scoring in the range of 720 (for sure) to 750 (with a combination of the right amount of concentration and luck on the final day.) Confidence is high and I am enjoying the preparations. Will keep you posted on the results.

Friday, October 03, 2008

The Cycle of Life

Businesses undergo cycles of sustained periods of ups and downs. Similar to that, in the last 8 years, George Bush and his army of militants have brought the world to ruin (low point of the cycle). It might be argued that they were provoked by the 9/11 attacks. But to spread death and destruction across the world (most directly in Afghanistan and Iraq and indirectly in many other countries through further fostering fundamentalism by their idiotic actions) is unacceptable. Add to that the economic crisis that is festering, and you wonder why the world has to pay for the stupidity of one man and his army of arrogant duffers.

In the coming US Presidential elections on Nov. 4th, I would go with a vote for a (hoped) change.

John McCain has the credentials to be an experienced President, but it will be very difficult to break away from the policies of George Bush, once he is in the Presidential chair. Sarah Palin is a big-talking, hollow politician, who destroys the credibility and effectiveness of the McCain campaign. An experienced member like Mitt Romney would have contributed positively to McCain's campaign both in terms of policy and leadership experience, but that was not to be.

My reason for going with Barack Obama's campaign isn't Barack Obama. It is Joe Biden. Joe Biden's experience and standing neutralizes John McCain's and Barack Obama is the lesser of two evils when compared to the loud Sarah Palin.

Therefore, the Democratic ticket is the lesser of the two evils (provided Obama actually lives up to his theme of "change".) Personally, his words sound hollow, but owing to political reasons (John McCain constrained to carry forward the Republican policies owing to him being a Republican and Obama not wanting to carry them forward owing to him being a Democrat), it would be a better thing for the world, if Obama brings to an end this "ignorance and arrogance" fuelled US-led war on the world's stability and prosperity.

Barack Obama's not the man. Its Joe Biden (and John McCain on the other side). But together, they (Biden and Obama) give hope.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Where Am I???

Iv been feeling very uneasy since I returned from Abu Dhabi. This feeling started on the plane back home. The feeling is one of disorientation.

I am at a loss to understand where I belong to or will belong to. I don't know if I belong in Tokyo or in Mumbai or in Abu Dhabi or in the US. I don't know whether I am coming or going. I don't know anymore which place to call home. I cannot tell where my next home will be in a month and where I will sleep. Will I be enjoying a home-cooked meal or as usual (in recent times), stepping into a diner to have dinner?

It might sound quite stupid to you, but I'm having a real crisis feeling disoriented thus. The thing that is keeping me sane is that I love my work and am immersing myself more and more into it to avoid thinking too much.

I just wonder how much more time till I have to face upto something that I have been putting off thinking about for sometime.

I'm looking forward to a short break from work where I don't have to travel back to Abu Dhabi (which might happen as soon as November for another 2-3 months). Just need to feel and let the feeling of security of being back in Mumbai at home (???) sink in and rest there.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

GOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLLLLLLLLLL !!!!

I was channel surfing yesterday, when I came across the Matchday 1 of the Champions League for this year. They were showing the Liverpool vs Marseille game and I ended up watching the entire match till about 2.30 in the morning. Barely getting 4 hours of sleep, I trudged off to office and somehow managed to get through the day.

I thought to myself: "Thank God there won't be a game tonight. I am too sleepy to watch! Also, I haven't studied any GMAT stuff for days." And just then I remembered that the Matchdays 1 and 2 would be on consecutive nights!!! The thought of not watching tonight's game is heavy on my heart. On one hand, Im really sleep deprived. But well, its Football and it is my duty to watch. So, I must fulfill my duty.

In honour of the beautiful game, I compiled a few quotes that I found hilarious!!! Hope you enjoy them as much as I did!

The Heroes

One accusation you can't throw at me is that I've always done my best.
- Alan Shearer

(The inimitable David "Golden Balls" Beckham :D)

Interviewer: Would it be fair to describe you as a volatile player?
David Beckham: Well, I can play in the centre, on the right and occasionally on the left side.

Alex Ferguson is the best manager I've ever had at this level. Well, he's the only manager I've actually had at this level. But he's the best manager I've ever had.
- David Beckham

My parents have been there for me, ever since I was about 7. :D
- David Beckham

I can see the carrot at the end of the tunnel.
- Stuart Pearce

I spent a lot of my money on booze, babes and fast cars. The rest, I just squandered. :D :D
- George Best

The Managers, The Bosses

I've told the players we need to win so that I can have the cash to buy some new ones.

- Chris Turner, Peterborough manager, before League Cup QF, 1992.

That's great, tell him he's Pele and get him back on.
- John Lambie, Patrick Thistle manager, when told a concussed striker did not know who he was.

And I honestly believe we can go all the way to Wembley...unless somebody knocks us out.
- Dave Basset

Football vs Anything/Anyone Else

Hollywood made a movie of my life. The film had me proposing to my wife on the football field. I would never misuse a football field that way :D
- Elroy "Crazylegs" Hirsch

A famous football coach and his wife were talking...
Wife: You love football more than me.
Football coach: You're right, wife, but I love you more than baseball and basketball.


And finally, the one that says it all...

Football is not a matter of life and death.
It's much more serious than that.
- Bill Shankly

P.S: Well, it's about 2 hours to kickoff. That leaves me with 1 hour to study and 1 hour to get a power nap to be in time to watch the game at midnight! Can't wait! Manchester United, Real Madrid, Juventus, Zenit St Petersburg are all in action today!

Enjoy!!!

Update: I sat down and completed my 20 question set for Critical Reasoning, which I have been struggling with for sometime now, whilst listening to the FM on my cell. I think it was the music that made me score a near perfect 19/20. I wish they would allow me to take my music into the center on G-day!

A power nap is out of the question now. I think I will go and watch the pundits discuss tonights games. With all respects to ManU, I would love to watch the Juve vs Zenit game. A team on song, Zenit has won the UEFA Cup and the UEFA Super Cup beating teams like Manchester United on the way. Against a resurgent Juve, it should be a classic game. I hope TEN Sports broadcasts this game tonight!

Also, I would be calling up Salvador sir tomorrow to register myself for guitar classes starting this weekend.

On a happy note: Sayonara!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Yahoo!!!

An unexpected piece of good fortune today! I got a mini-promotion!!!!! :D

I will now be taking up some more responsibilities in my project and having a couple of people report to me. Will be driving a couple of projects within the team. Get more direct client interaction, more say in architectural and technical decisions, work and delivery estimations. Will contribute in grooming juniors too.

I was told that the client is very impressed with my work and very comfortable dealing with me. Client has given a resounding vote of approval for my work and support at site.

It feels good to be vindicated! Let there be more.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Crossroads

I took the decision not to see someone and now I will have to in order not to piss someone else off! What a pickle!

She said: "I'm sorry James."

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Song for Tonight

This is the only movie closing credits song that I have ever sat through.

There's Something In The Air - David Bowie (OST: Memento)

Your coat and hat are gone
I really can't look at your
little empty shelf
A ragged teddy bear
It feels like we never had a chance
Don't look me in the eye

We lay in each others arms
But the room is just an empty space
I guess we lived it out
Something in the air
We smiled too fast
then can't think of a thing to say

Lived with the best times
Left with the worst
I've danced with you too long
Nothing left to say

Let's take what we can
I know you hold your head up high
We've raced for the last time
A place of no return

And there's something in the air
Something in my eye
I've danced with you too long
Something in the air
Something in my eye

Abracadoo - I lose you
We can't avoid the clash
The big mistake
Now we're gona pay and pay
The sentence of our lives
Can't believe I'm asking you to go

We used what we could
To get the things we want
But we lost each other on the way
I guess you know I never wanted
anyone more than you

Lived all our best times
Left with the worst
I've danced with you to long
Say what you will

But there's something in the air
Raced for the last time
Well I know you hold your head up high
There's nothing we have to say
There's nothing in my eyes
But there's something in the air
Something in my eye
I've danced with you too long
There's something I have to say
There's something in the air
Something in my eye
I've danced with you too long

Monday, September 08, 2008

Great Frustrations

See. I don't even want to write. Thought of a 100 points, but screw it.

"Make money. It's the only truth." That's the saraansh of this would-have-been post.

Pip and Dantes, I am you. Both in the same lifetime.

Monday, September 01, 2008

55 days to G-day

The countdown began sometime back, which is why I thought I might not be able to post many articles and hence the announcement to that effect.

However, I really missed posting, and as it turns out, I'm not such a dumbo in academics either. Or maybe just plain lucky! The joy of taking tests is back and I'm thoroughly enjoying the game. It's no longer about scoring high, it's more with the enjoyment of getting an answer correct! With that goal in mind, I'm doing pretty decently in my mocks and also have sufficient time to post!

So, it's 55 days to G-day and plenty of milestones to cross along the way. But I am actually enjoying the journey rather than worry about the outcome. And for the first time in years, I am feeling relaxed and confident. The pieces of the puzzle are coming together and things are making sense.

Maybe this is what it feels like when you walk towards your beckoning destiny.

Let's see. 55 days to G-day.

It's Ramadan Time

Happy Ramadan to all you guys out there! There have been many such occasions in the past, but only after living in Abu Dhabi, I realize the significance people place on this occasion.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Friday, August 29, 2008

Rock On

... works. Im gonna watch it again in Mumbai.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Saturday, August 02, 2008

This Is The End...

... Beautiful friend.

This is sayonara till the end of the year from me for my blogging.

I might post intermittently, but then I might not.

Good night and happy reading.

What Is Love?

That purest feelings I feel for my dad, mom, sister, my bestest friends.

My dad was in town for the last 2 days and these might count as the bestest days of my life. Just being with him, seeing how much he has changed since I was a kid makes me want to hug him and never let him go. I love you, Dad.


I was walking and hoping for hope. And it rained!!! Im in the middle of the desertland, telling God that my tank is empty, I need reassurance and GOD says: "Im still with you. See the rain." And I kid you not, there were drops of water falling on my head! Sometimes, you just gotta believe.


When the tides are high and the boat is rocked, move on, keep walking, just believe. Just believe in the truth, just believe in humanity, just believe in your parents' karma and your own actions. It is moments such as these that mark a man. Put your head down, put out all the noises around you, close your eyes and desire. Desire it with all the energy you can muster, desire it with all the hope you feel, desire it with all the life gone past you, desire it with all the pain you feel. Desire it, for it is but one more of life's loves, which you may never have, but life cannot stop you from loving it anyways.


If you desire something with all your heart, and you work hard enough to make it happen... lets find out where it ends.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Friends Has Some Of My Favourite Songs Ever...

The Light At The End Of The Tunnel

"There is always light at the end of the tunnel"... "The night is darkest before dawn"... Yada yada yada...

And I just saw a sign!!!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Cracker!

"Ambition is like love, impatient both of delays and rivals."
- Buddha

Friday, July 18, 2008

Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na...

...falls short of my expectation. Nothing bad about it. Seriously. Nothing bad about it. But still. It is umm... let me start from the next paragraph.

I went in after hearing good reviews from friends and sites. My sis wasn't too enthused by the movie, but most people I talked to were. The movie worked on most levels for me, but a couple of subjective points brought it down a bit.

Firstly, the lack of actual humour. I found myself fascinated by Naseeruddin Shah, Paresh Rawal and Jiggy at times and the guest appearance bros, but overall, the laughs were quite forced. You expect the hero to be funny at times too, but I can't recollect a single scene with the lead guy being funny. I like humour in generous doses and this movie fell short. Even Kismat Konnection, which I saw yesterday had its golden humorous moments, but not JTYJN.

Secondly, the lack of sparks between the lead actors. I found the chemistry sorely lacking from the side of the lead heroine. I don't know if her dialogues were dubbed, but one just could not feel the emotion in her dialogues. Genelia looked sweet and all, but no siree... Didn't work for me.

On the positive side, it was a refreshing story setting, though very much akin to Dil Chahta Hai. No negative points there though. I love the contemporary direction our movies are taking these days, and full marks for the depiction of college life, modern parental issues as they are.

Imran Khan makes a nice debut. He has screen presence and looks good, though again, the lack of humour for his role somewhat dented it for me. All in all, nice package.

I loved the girl playing Meghana. She lit up the screen from the first scene she played and I really liked her more than Genalia in the movie. Im not sure if it was Rimi Sen playing that part, but anyways, I liked her. Too bad, she didnt have too many scenes :(

Update: Googled it and it's Manjari Phadnis who is playing that part!

The guys playing Jiggy and Shaleen were superb. I loved the typical Gujju Jigness show and Sugandha Garg was fantastic. Again a pity that she wasn't given too much screen time. I hope to see more of her soon.

The star of the show for me was undoubtedly Prateik Babbar. What did he have? 5 scenes??? But the guy absolutely blew me away. I really, really hope that I can see him in the same intense personality role with a lengthier screen time very soon. Want to see him in a Godfather types role and see how it works out. Let's see if he can handle that (I mean it in a good way. Would like to see what his range is.)

All in all, a timepass movie and three hours well spent!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Try It On Him, I Say

Maybe then, the value of his answers will be more than by normal question and answer.

One Unread Message

Chapter 5: Where It Really Begins

"Yaar, tu bandiyon ke naam bade mast rakhta hai!" said Sameer, amidst fits of laughter. Venky was joining him, slapping his back and both couldn't control their amusement. "Don't mind them, Naveen. I think it's a really nice story," said Priya, smiling at him. They held on for a moment and they both joined Sameer and Venky in laughing uncontrollably. Naveen could see Sameer making paper airplanes from the manuscript he had given them to read and float them over the promenade at Marine Drive. The airplanes flew long and low and finally settled over the waters, reflecting the shining lights of the beautiful Queen's Necklace in downtown Mumbai.

The traffic had trickled down as the hours had passed and the friends had the entire stretch of Nariman Point to themselves. Naveen's Zen was parked down the road and Sameer had his Scooty besides it.

Naveen had just shown the first draft of the story he was writing to his friends. He liked that his friends atleast found it amusing, even if they couldn't stop making jokes about "his sweet writing" or "emotional content" or the "romantic twists in the storyline."

"No, seriously yaar, there are a couple of points with your story-telling. Pehle toh tujhe likhni nai aati. Upar se itni tooti-footi English mein likhta hai. But again, tu bandiyon ke naam mast rakhta hai yaar!" Venky had paused enough to give his expert critique on the manuscript. Naveen punched him lightly and smiled at Priya.

"Seriously man. Geetanjali, Samarra, Nimisha! Where do you come up with these names man? Are there any people I should know about?" she winked at him.

Naveen just looked away into the distance watching the fading lights of the steamers in the Arabian Sea. He was smiling. The light breeze floating by put him in a very good mood. The moon cast a bright light on the foursome as they sat there, laughing, chatting, enjoying each others company.

"Arre, come in guys. The music is getting really awesome. You don't wanna miss it!" Sanjana's voice floated from across the street. She was standing in front of Not Just Jazz By The Bay and motioning for them all to move in.

They got up to go in. Venky and Sameer, Priya, Naveen.

Naveen turned back, closed his eyes and felt that breeze ruffle his hair for one last time. He loved it.

He remembered the words from the movie Memento:

"I have to believe in a world outside my own mind. I have to believe that my actions still have meaning. Even if I can't remember them. I have to believe that when my eyes are closed, the world's still here. Do I believe the world's still here? Is it still out there? Yeah. We all need memories to remind ourselves who we are. Im no different."

"Now, where was I?"


He looked back to see his friends going in. He smiled.

"We lay in each other's arms, but the room is just an empty space. I guess we lived it out. Something in the air. We smile too fast, then can't think of a thing to say..."

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

One Unread Message

Chapter 4: One Unread Message

"Gimme Hope.. Hope Once Again..." crooned Kansas on the iTunes Radio.

Ved sat with a glass of Jack Daniel's, the lights switched off, immersed in the music playing on his MacBook. Looking out of his window, he took in the sights of the beautiful European city of Prague by night light.

Prague, or Praha, as he loved to call it, was beautiful. One of the most eye-catching cities in Europe, it had a glorious heritage and had only been slightly damaged by World War II, which had left its bedazzling splendor almost intact. Prague was an important cultural and economic center in Europe and Ved was here on business.

Years earlier, his father had visited Czechoslovakia and now he had the privilege to be here. Like father, like son, thought Ved and smiled wryly.

He closed his eyes and the years seemed to flash by as quickly as they had sped by. He felt as if he was sitting in a time machine and had been spit forward an aeon in an instant. Images floated into his consciousness from nowhere and he groped in the dark to make sense of them.

He heard voices in the distance. He couldn't tell if it was Pink Floyd singing: "Where were you, when I was burned or broken?" or the sound of Geetanjali saying goodbye as she had boarded her flight to the US to join Wharton. He wasn't sure if it was Geetanjali's voice he had heard on his voice mailbox saying: "Ved, I'm sorry, but I do not wish to continue my relationship with you. I hope you understand."

If she had said nothing and disappeared, he would have maybe been able to come to terms with it. But a one-liner goodbye to years of togetherness crippled him. He was left with no answers and with no one to question what happened?

"What the hell happened?" he had asked himself so many times, but till date walls couldn't speak and so he hadn't received his answer.

He finished his drink and sat down to complete his presentation. Blackstratblues was playing "Anuva's Sky" and he smiled to himself. It was his favourite track and it put him in a good mood.

Ved needed to be nothing short of brilliant in his presentation to the client tomorrow. The client was one of the top banks in the Czech Republic and getting the win would help i-flex get a foot in the door to the lucrative emerging market of the Czech Republic and associated markets for it's flagship banking product.

He quickly went through the slides. In matters of work, Ved was a perfectionist. He trimmed down the unnecessary gimmickry, formatted the text to give it a uniform look, did a retake on the comparison of technologies between the product offerings of i-flex, Misys and Temenos and mentally ticked off the advantages he would be listing for i-flex vis a vis the others.

He completed his assignment, printed copies and put them in neat handouts for each of his clients. He smiled on the job well done and for the fact that all of a sudden, Mark Knopfler had begun to play "Going Home" on his iTunes.

Ved placed his notes in his briefcase, did a quick check of the Prague map to locate the directions to Prague castle, put on his favourite AC Milan jersey, dabbed on some Boss cologne and stepped into his loafers.

"You have mail!" squaked the lady voice on his MacBook. He loved his MacBook. It was a work of art and he was endlessly fascinated by each detailed feature that it offered.

He closed his eyes and smiled. Life was being kind to him.

One Unread Message, said his mailbox. It was from Nimisha.

Pink Floyd played "Wish You Were Here."

(to be continued)

Today's Quote on my Blog

It is not the magnitude of our actions but the amount of love that is put into them that matters.
- Mother Teresa

Friday, July 11, 2008

One Unread Message

Chapter 3: Paradise Lost (Part I)

Geetanjali Roy: Bharatnatyam dancer. Extempore speaker extraordinaire. Classical music lover. The love of his life.

Ved held the photo in his hands. She smiled out of the photograph. It was the smile that had captured his heart 17 years earlier. And he smiled back.

It was a simple smile. The smile of someone content within her own world. The smile of someone who truly cared for life. The smile of someone who had endured pain and yet chose to live life positively.

Ved had seen her and wondered if he was out of his depth in asking her out. But courage got the better of sanity and he had asked her out.

He was glad to know that her favourite colour was blue, her favourite hero was Leonardo di Caprio, that she loved classical music and found solace in Bharatnatyam. He found himself privileged to know that she wanted to write a book, that she was religious, that she wanted a great lifestyle.

He had asked himself what made him ask her out. He never truly got a satisfactory response from himself, excluding: "Her smile mesmerised me. And I wanted to know her better." He told himself that it was her joie-de-vivre that brought a smile to his face. He loved himself because of who she made him.

She brought out the best and worst in him. The 17-year old Ved didnt know what hit him. He tried to make sense of that which happened around him, but all he could think of was: Geetanjali.She introduced him to a life that he hadn't known previously. He found himself free in her company. He truly loved her and wanted the best for her. He found himself a better man just because she had walked into his life.

But just as she was great for him, he also saw a side of him that he didn't know exist. The one where he was mean for no reason; where he was insecure in her company and lost without it; the one where he tried his best, but knew he was losing.

All the same, he had decided that inspite of his privileged upbringing, he would stand on his own feet before proposing marriage to her.

And he did. The trip to Tokyo in his first year as a rookie changed his life.

They say that your destiny is written before you are born and you are but, an implementer of the prophecy.

Well, whatever fate had in store for him, Ved decided he would take his fate in own hands and worked hard to establish himself. He worked hard, tried harder and sincerely gave it his all during his first stint at Tokyo. He had come into the project at a critical juncture and managed to see off the worst days and streamline his project.

His hard work didn't go unnoticed. He was promoted to technical lead in his very first project. It was unprecedented and gave him the confidence that he was capable of achieving his dreams. He earned the respect of his seniors through the dint of his hard work and selfless support that he gave to his project.

Practically, he had also saved some money and was in a position to offer comforts to Geetanjali. Ved understood that financial stability was an important factor in a marriage and any girl would expect her guy to be in a financially stable position before asking her to marry him.

He worked hard to be able to offer the same to Geetanjali. Often when he worked 24+ hour days, he asked himself why he needed to do it? Why did he need to sacrifice his life to serve those who never could do him any good? But the photograph of her that he carried in his wallet always looked back at him and said: "Ved, you are doing it for me. Just a few more days, my dear and we can live happily ever after, you know. It might happen only in fairy tales, but tell you what, we can actually live out our dreams in real life." And with renewed vigour, he tore into his assignments and worked and worked and worked...

(to be continued)

One Unread Message

Chapter 2: Appa

25th June, 1994

"Dear Appa. Wish you a very happy birthday. I wish to congratulate you on your birthday today and hope that you will have many more such great days to come. I admire you and what you stand for. I hope that someday I will become the man you want me to be. But whether I am successful or not in the eyes of the world, I want to be successful in your eyes. I know you wish to see me enter into IIM, Ahmedabad and I promise you that I will fulfill this dream of yours.

Love,
Ved."

Ved knew every word of that letter by-heart, 14 years after having written it. It is the kind of letter you write with hope, optimism, love, respect and an honest heart. He smiled when he remembered it each time and involuntarily gave a sad shrug, when brought back to his present. Sitting now on his bed at home and untying his tie, he looked into the mirror: his hair was edged with grey though he was not losing hair; his skin was lighter in complexion from all the indoors work; the worry lines had etched themselves a little more deeper with each passing year; the creases left by his dimples showed themselves favourably.

"Appa, Appa! Come down fast! See what Bugs Bunny is upto!" The sound of 5-year old Samarra brought a smile back to Ved's face and he proceeded to change into his house clothes before descending the flight of stairs to the living room, where the joy of his life sat engrossedly watching Looney Tunes on her beloved channel: Cartoon Network!

He took a full look at his beloved daughter. Her name "Samarra" meaning "a joy for all who see" had been his idea. And truly, she was the joy, the light, the binding for his life.

Then he sat down on the couch and took her in his lap; and not once did little Samarra blink her eyes from the exciting exploits of her favourite rabbit: Bugs Bunny!

(to be continued)

Shes Beautiful!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Triple Play

I complete 3 years of service today! So many wonderful friends Iv met, beautiful experiences and all the money ;)

Let there be more!

Monday, July 07, 2008

Never Give Up, Never Give In, Never Quit...

To have a burning dream and desire does not mean you get what you desire. Time has taught me that simple lesson so many times.

Today was yet another instance.

The world is justified in telling me that I am not good enough, I am not capable, I do not deserve it. That is it's job.

My job is to care a damn and keep plugging away. And that is what I will do.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Its The Game, Not The Player

You know what Football means to me? It means: Play every game like it's your life, play like there is no tomorrow, play because you love it never expecting anything back, play to win but play fair, play without fear, play to be a hero but be prepared to lose, play like it is your life, play for the ones you love and for yourself, play for the joy of life, play to score goals, play to express yourself, play to enjoy life, play to thank God, play to feel the green grass beneath your feet, play to run, play to smile, play to feel love, play to live life.

There is nothing more beautiful in this world than football.

Football is life. Football is love.

Football is my reason for existence.

Which FRIENDS Character Are You?

Iv always wondered that most of us must have traits of FRIENDS characters within us. From the love of Ross and Rachel to the sweet weirdness of Phoebe to the bindass attitude of Joey to the efficiency and true love of Monica to the amazing humour of Chandler.

So, which FRIENDS character do you relate to the most?

P.S: Psst... I think I relate most to Chandler ;)

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Shahrukh the SRK

I really admire Shah Rukh Khan for many things. One is for his strong, stable marriage. With the pressures of stardom and the general insecurity in Bollywood marriages, its commendable how SRK and Gauri Khan have maintained such a strong bond over time.

Two, for the man himself. I had been to the IPL match between Mumbai and Kolkata and each time they showed SRK on screen, the entire stadium was booing him. But he was blowing kisses back to the audience. It was really a nice gesture and though we were supporting Mumbai and opposing Kolkata, one admired his grace.

Friday, July 04, 2008

One Unread Message

Chapter 1: A Little Bit Of Tokyo Goes A Long Way

"Good morning Sir. We are serving breakfast now. What can I serve you?" The voice of the air-hostess woke up Ved Subramanian. "Orange juice please." he said. "Very well." said the air-hostess and proceeded to pour out a Tropicana Orange in a tall glass with three ice-cubes.

Ved Subramanian was 34, a Solutions Architect with i-flex Solutions and on the flight back from Tokyo to Mumbai. He had been in Tokyo for 3 days to meet with the CTO of Shinsei Bank, Mr. Jay Mazumdar in line with the launch of the Mobile Banking solutions for the bank. They had had a fruitful discussion over the role i-flex was to play in supplementing the existing data service offerings over Mobile Banking with growth plans for the future. After meeting Jay-san, Ved had met with the delivery team for Mobile Banking and discussed the current targets for delivery.

Shinsei Bank had set a target for itself to expand rapidly using technology as it's driver and i-flex Solutions was at the forefront of delivering the solutions to help the bank achieve it's aim.

Ved had been working in the Shinsei account for close to 2 years now and Tokyo was one of his favourite places in the world to visit. He loved the pace of the city, the vibrant places to visit: the crowds of Shibuya, the serenity of Asakusa, the restaurants by the waterfront at Odaiba. He had been coming to Tokyo for the past 13 years and his love affair with the city had begun on his first visit as a wide-eyed fresher. He could speak Japanese well enough to hold business meetings in the language and had travelled extensively across Japan during his visits.

Taking the glass of juice, he looked out of the window to get the view outside. "Truly, God makes his creations with love, care and precision," he thought to himself, looking at the golden arches of the sun's rays streaking across the virgin blue of the morning sky.

And in the instant he thought it, he remembered Geetanjali.

(to be continued)

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

A Million Dreams Such As These

The silence of the notes speak tonight.
Remembering all the moments.
To think I will be growing older without you.
To think I would maybe die with your name on my lips.
To think I wove a million dreams around you.
A million dreams such as these.

A wonderful life, we are living.
Walking onwards, path by path, day by day.
I try not to look back too often,
I try not to look back very much.

I stood wide-eyed watching my world unravel,
I stood helpless from the mention of your name.
I looked down, coz I didn't want my eyes to give away my world of hope and dreams.

If only I had known,
How futile were my million dreams.

But tell you what,
We are born to survive. We are born to keep going.
To dream a million and one dreams. To live that one'th more dream.

And of all the paths I walked, I love the one with your smile.

The past is gone and the past has been buried.
I love the present, I love the future.

It is but a million dreams such as these, that I am left with.

The Story As It Happened

Things are moving well here. After the initial storm and "losing" my bearings, I am back in the saddle and moving fast towards the destination. Its been enjoyable and I enjoy the feel of pressure at a laidback pace.

The Shinsei learnings are really helping me and I am really, really happy with work and life in general. I know where I am going and have a semblance of a plan at last.

We closed the SIT for Islamic Banking today and are moving to UAT. A few days of UAT and with proper planning, we can go to production with the Islamic functionality currently on standby. Corporate developments are expected to be delivered soon.

It is fun to work under the right amount of pressure. To be honest, it isn't the client driving you that matters, but your own sense of duty and enjoyment at solving issues that really brighten up ones day.

My analytical skills have really sharpened over the last year and a half (any B-schools listening??? ;) and it contributes to enjoying the problem solving even more.

Well, all in all, its been a good day and a good 2 weeks in Abu Dhabi so far. A trip which started with almost everything going wrong has metamorphosed into one where I take the steps towards building a good career.

So long and so forth and seeya next time.

Arigatoo... Shukran :)

Masail Khair!

Saturday, June 28, 2008

The Theatre of Dreams :)

Appa is visiting Manchester tomorrow! He will be going to Leeds. Iv asked him to visit Old Trafford and take pics!!! :D

Iv also asked him to get me a Manchester United jersey!!!

Boy, am I happy! Someone from my family is getting to visit the Theatre of Dreams :)

Mohammad

On Thursday night, I got out of office by 7.30 PM. Planned to watch Dasavatharam at ElDorado theatre near office at 8.30 PM. Went to buy tickets and turns out, they didn't have a show for 8.30. So bought a ticket for the 10.30 PM show and decided to finish dinner and come back.

Bought some eats, an energy drink, chocolate milk, refilled my cell and sat at the park near Al Salam street to have my food and talk to Appa, Amma, Nithu and friends. Had a chat with everyone and finished the food. Came home to change into something casual and hurry back to the theatre.

As I was walking along to ElDorado, at the junction between Al Salam street and Electra, suddenly an Arab man came walking towards me. I said: "Yes"?

His arms were outstretched, like that of a father wanting to prevent his son from harm, his eyes were wide and had pain written in them and a searching look, as if he was looking for his missing son. He said: "Mohammad" and looked into my eyes.

In that moment, I could see a desperate search. I simply couldnt place it. Why? How? For whom? I just couldn't explain why that man searched for a "Mohammad" in me. It was all in a moment.

I walked on.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Silence Is Golden, Silence Is Golden :)

Its been 5 days(and nights) in Abu Dhabi so far. From losing my baggage to regaining it today, getting used to the life around here, feeling mad at the poor public transport and communications facilities to coming to terms with them. Beautiful Gujarati thali lunches and dinners, super-sized everything. Malayalis everywhere and office talk in Hindi and Malayalam.

Its been a novel experience. And works not even begun yet :)

Dads abroad, Sis travels often, Mom at home, me here. When did times turn such :) And the beauty of it is that love has no distances :)

All the weaknesses, naivete, open-eyed view of life of a young boy has crystallized into the cool, unruffled present. Theres no bitterness over the method of teachings, nor any pain. Coz Iv learnt that Silence is golden :) No matter how badly you are hit, no matter how hard your heart breaks, no matter what... travel is the balm to all that you wish to move on from :D

Jeena shayad isi ka naam hai.

Am looking forward to the experience.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Life Is An Eight Letter Word

Sometimes, scripts for life are written before hand. They are written from the heart. Of loss, pain, sorrow, suffering, redemption, second chances, moving on.

It will be Chelsea this time to win the Champions League. A story of try, try till you succeed, a story of triumph over personal tragedy, a story of playing as a team when it mattered.

To go where no Chelsea team has gone before.

Forza Chelsea...

Football is life... Football is life.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Integrity and the Future of India

Visiting Japan can change someones life. The way Japanese society and business are structured to be consensus driven and internetworked, the emphasis on "wa", the strict codes of conduct and honour (in both personal and professional lives), the limitless efforts to achieve perfection. I could go on. It's to be seen to be believed.

Honesty and sincerity are some of the key drivers of the Japanese way of life. A very simple thought kept striking me many a time over the one and a half years in Tokyo.

Seeing cars and bikes travel at top speeds on city roads made me think: Its a result of the discipline and confidence one driver has that the other driver will stop at a red signal, that enables one to travel without a care in the world.

Discipline, sincerity, honesty, integrity, humility. Some of the key reasons Japan is what it is today.

To be very honest with you, today if you ask me, between the US and Japan, I love Japan as much as I love my own country, India.

The US: I hate that country. For what it stands and for the way it manipulates the world to do its bidding. For the way it treats other countries of this world as if they are just a means to better the lives of Americans. For the way it treats the entire world as its backyard to do as it pleases to screw up with no sense of understanding or care about the impact on the people of that country (case in point: Iraq and Afghanistan.) The US is the anti-thesis of what Japan is. I have grown to understand and appreciate the way of life of the Japanese and admire it and love it (atleast the parts Iv looked into deeply).

The fact that the US is the dream destination for hordes of people (including many readers of this blog) might colour the opinion of people negatively towards what I have written, but I stand by my words.

The words of former LTCB President Katsunobu Onogi san with respect to the way Japanese business and economy are structured (from the book Saving the Sun) still ring in my ears. He talks of the Japanese economy being an interdependent system with one part of the system feeding off the others and reciprocating in return when needed.

If you didnt get the point, it means: the economy works for the benefit of all. No single entity or individual stands to benefit grossly. Infact, the Japanese way of business is to treat it as an enabler for national growth and the growth of society as a whole, for the benefit of all.

It is my guess that Shinsei is an outcast precisely because it broke this code of honour/conduct/Japanese way of business.

How ironic no? Onogi san before 1999 and Yoshiro san post 1999. Same bank. Starkly different standings.

But you might wonder, why am I rambling about the Japanese way of life and business when the title of my post has nothing to do with it.

Well, here I come to the point.

I have often asked myself what it would take to make India on par with the developed nations of the world. To enable people access to basic facilities like electricity, drinking water, sanitation and health care. To enable them to be in a position to demand more than just basic facilities. To be in a position where my kids can think of choosing their school, college, careers based on interests instead of just following the crowd and doing a degree without any real goal and then getting into a working life, again without any goal.

Its all linked, you know. Progress, prosperity, a good life, a fulfilling life, sincerity in life, integrity of character, honesty of purpose, vision and goals.

As a wide-eyed fresher a couple of years ago, I was told I had to take a finance exam as part of my training. I got down in right earnest and diligently sat through the training slides, making notes, going home and revising, practicing problems.

As exam day dawned, a lot of people got nervous. And they somehow got hold of the question papers and xeroxed them and thus prepared for the test. To be fair to them, its known through the grapevine that thats how a majority of the sample space used to give the test.

I was asked if I wanted the papers, but I refused as I was quite satisfied with my preparations and confident of aceing the test. In the end, I managed to clear it on my first attempt.

A couple of people were infact caught with the papers and no action was taken. Taking action would have shown the testing department in poor light and brought into question the methodology of testing and the checks and balances therewith.

Thats just how we work. A symbiotic relationship between thieves of varying orders.

It has always surprised me that people will go to all lengths to "show" they have the knowledge, defeating the very purpose of providing them with the tools to gain knowledge.

It makes me angry/sad/apprehensive that the future doyens of Indian industry have feet of clay and such a standard of integrity. I suppose they cant be blamed really, for that is exactly how our machinery functions. And if you are not a part of it, they will beat you down. Its called self-preservation.

We are an insincere people. In work, in our personal lives (Im amazed how "committed" and married people stray so easily when the partner isnt looking, rather has no way to look.) What is the purpose of such a "commitment", the "till death do us part" sham routine called marriage, I wonder?

We need to understand that we need to look inwards into ourselves and improve ourselves instead of pointing fingers at other countries and listing out their frailties, as a means of self-defence in the face of criticism. There are advanced countries in this world and while industrialization and academia are important pillars of their growth, so is the human and integrity capital; the industry of the people is what has catapulted them into the position they are in today.

Ultimately everyone has two hands. And one mind. And its upto us to channelize that mind to use those hands constructively.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Quick Thought

Wonder in these times of (sub-prime) crises, how (and why) JPM managed to buy out Bear Stearns and also the Shinsei Headquarters at Hibiya Park!

Friday, April 11, 2008

We, The People

I visited Shardambal Kovil today with Mom to get some Archanai Prasadam. On the way back, we saw an urchin kid, maybe around 6-8 years old, lugging a baby in her arms. There was another kid, again 6-7 years old, who was with them.

Mom indicated the kids and said: "Look. There are kids living like this too, in this world."

Mom asked me to give her the bananas we got as prasadam. I went forward to give her bananas and she says: "Uncle, iss ke liye doodh lena hai. Iski mummy bazaar gayi hai. Uncle, iss ke liye doodh lena hai." The subject in question was the lil kid she was holding.

I strongly felt like taking a ten rupee note and giving it to her, but somehow the thought of encouraging begging stopped me from doing it. I gave her the bananas silently and walked back, but a gamut of emotions exploded in my mind.

Later, we went to have dinner at Geeta Bhavan. A man, probably as old as my father was waiting at our table. We had a nice dinner and finished soon. We said our thank you to the person and left (after paying the bill, ofcourse :)

Watching the kid, watching the man, made me feel something I couldn't quite define. It is not pity I feel for them. I don't think anyone needs my pity.

I think its a mix of emotions from admiring how they cope with life, with so less on their side to a hope that someday, they can rise up and make a better life for themselves.

I salute that person who waited at our table. He is probably doing this job hoping someday his kids get the chances, he may never have received. He will probably continue doing it till the day his body doesn't support him.

When I was in Tokyo, I once told people that someday I want India to be like Tokyo is. The people laughed at me and said that is not possible, EVER and to take it in writing.

I still don't believe them.

In response to one of my previous posts, Vijaya had written that we must be proud of Indian minds on whose strength the corporations of the world are running. I agree.

In my opinion, an Indian success story is not just the Indian NRIs heading MNCs. It is as much the uncommonly "common" Indian person who fights for each square inch of space, each job, each travel berth, each spot under the sun.

Each Indian works damn hard, undergoing tremendous amounts of stress, almost always a ready smile and a kind word, even the poor helping those poorer than themselves. And returning home to a small home, maybe a slum home, tired, hungry and having worked a hard day.

Think of the bus drivers, cops, sewage cleaners, construction workers. Think of the hard work they put without getting their faces on the front pages of TIME magazine.

There is an order of truth joining the person who waited at the table with the rest of India. The truth is that he works very hard from morning to night to earn a few rupees which would probably go into a savings fund for his children's education, an occasional ice-cream, a new shirt for Diwali.

The rest of middle-class India saves pennies by bargaining at the vegetable market, spends frugally, works hard at a job, resists temptation to splurge extravagantly and builds up a lifes worth of savings to buy a home, get married, fund their future, the future of their children.

People like you, me and the rest of us who are lucky to be born into families where want is unheard of, every wish is granted and life is a bed of roses in most cases; it is the very least that we somehow find ways to constructively utilize our gifts to work towards the betterment of the lives of those who don't.

We have done nothing to earn the privileges we have or worked to be born into the families that have been able to help us achieve our dreams and goals.

It is not politicians peddling quotas for money who are the true India. It is not politicians peddling communal disharmony who are the true India. It is not corrupt bureaucrats who are the true India.

It is you, me and rest of us hard-working Indians who are the true India. And no matter what anyone says, I believe that inspite of all the differences amongst us, inspite of any negativity that surrounds us, inspite of a responseless Government, we can and we WILL rise. When that day would come is unknown, but it will happen. We will rise with people power.

We, the People. We, the Indians.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Its A New Day, Its A New Start

I officially close my association with the Shinsei MobileBanking project today. A journey of almost 2 years, starting in July 2006 comes to an end. So many lovely experiences, so many opportunities, so many learnings, so much left unsaid, so much left undone :)

I'm quite privileged and lucky that I was in a position to serve this team.

Tomorrow is a new day and I'm ready to meet it on its merits.

Billa No. 15786... Hain

Friday, April 04, 2008

I Love The Smell Of Napalm In The Morning...

... It smells like... VICTORY!

This is my favourite line from the movie Apocalypse Now. Brilliant movie, with brilliant picturization. This line is towards the end of the Battle of Kilgore and said by the Colonel (who likes to fight or surf.)

Tonight, while returning from the gym, I was thinking of a headline I read in today's paper. A BEST driver died at the wheel and the bus was moving backwards. The alert conductor applied emergency brakes and saved the passengers. The poor driver was only 45. The report spoke of the stresses on a bus driver, driving through narrow lanes, with zigzagging vehicles and people all through.

Firstly, I pray for the soul of the driver and I hope his family gets adequate compensation (what would be adequate???). I hope his kids get to goto school and study to improve their and their mother's lives.

Yesterday morning, I saw a guy cleaning my car. And I wondered. People talk of savings and onsite et al. We are so caught up with our petty financial worries and life in general, that we forget to thank the Almighty for how fortunate we are to have a good education and the means to a great life.

What we consider as regular or a given might be someones life wish. In this context, I am reminded of a favourite Hindi poem of mine (unfortunately, I forgot the names of the poet and the poem), that I learnt in my 12th standard.

It spoke of children of rowmen of boats on the river Ganga, diving into the Ganga to retrieve coins thrown by passengers of the trains running above. Later in the evening, the boys wear clean shirts and oil their hair and the girls wear jasmine flowers in their hair. Its a beautiful scene that has stayed with me after all these years.

My life in Tokyo was so posh, that I sometimes wonder what good deeds I might have done in my life that enabled me to live such a life in something very close to heaven on earth.

I used to think that like most others, I too would have trouble accepting the life back in India. The quality of life, the fight of getting through each day.

But tell you what! Im actually feeling no difference being in Tokyo and being in Mumbai. Tokyo was a beautiful home for me for one and a half years almost. That's quite a bit of time and compares with the early part of my life, where we used to stay in a place for roughly 2-3 years only. Being in Mumbai, I only look back on Tokyo as a beautiful dream and with a gratitude for having been able to experience Japan and its culture and people in the very best sense.

Trust me, my trip to Japan has changed me so much as a person. I cannot believe that I am the very same person that I was before my trip. More optimistic, more risk taking, more self-knowledgeable, more worldly wise, more accepting, more humble (???). I have changed. And for the better, even if I do say so myself.

When I look around myself in India, I ask myself: "Hey, why cannot I devote my life to helping the people around me? Why cannot we improve ourselves? Why cannot we dream of being a First-World country? What stops us? Even if something is stopping us, theres no obstacle in this world that hard work cannot overcome. Impossible is nothing!"

Each day, when I talk to Dad, I feel grateful to him for all that he is and for the various sacrifices he has made for his family. Each time I look into my Mother's eyes and each action of hers, I know there might never be ANYONE in this world, who could love me so purely and selflessly, just coz I am her son. When I look at my sister, I see a good individual who is successfully progressing towards becoming a well respected Chartered Accountant.

I love the smell of India in the morning... It smells like... home.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

When We'r Hungry, Love Will Keep Us Alive :)

Iv had two love affairs in life and the second of those has been the MobileBanking project that I worked in for close to two years :) It took me on so many journeys, taught me so many things and in the end, left me like I was a nobody.

But, I'm not disappointed. And the reason, for those who have been in love, is understandable. It gave me a sense that cannot be explained and as much as I try, I cannot look back and regret it.

As I have thought back and said to myself so many times over the years: "She came into my life and left me a better person for someone else."

Dream On. Stay hungry. Stay foolish.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Last 450 Minutes In Japan aka Farewell

Wonderful farewell! Am really grateful to my friends. Am at peace with my destiny and my present. Am fully confident of my future. It's never gone according to plan, but hey, haarke jeetne waale ko Baazigar kehte hain!



Swamigale, I leave my fate in your decision. I shall take whatever you give me, and never give up.

Thank you one and all!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

What I Learned In Tokyo

People are often unreasonable, irrational, and self-centered. Forgive them anyway.

If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives. Be kind anyway.

If you are successful, you will win some unfaithful friends and some genuine enemies. Succeed anyway.

If you are honest and sincere people may deceive you. Be honest and sincere anyway.

What you spend years creating, others could destroy overnight. Create anyway.

If you find serenity and happiness, some may be jealous. Be happy anyway.

The good you do today, will often be forgotten. Do good anyway.

Give the best you have, and it will never be enough. Give your best anyway.

In the final analysis, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway.

- Mother Teresa

Thursday, March 20, 2008

One Man's Dream

My mom asked me tonight, if I was sad to be leaving Tokyo. And in an instant, the feeling I had been having ever since I started being in a position to go back, got a face.

Previously, I wasn't able to understand what I had been feeling with the topic of going back to India. And suddenly, when mom asked, it struck me. I really wasn't sad to go back.

And thats because, I have grown up so much as a person and a professional here.

I have worked hard to establish my name as a capable individual and succeeded. I have travelled and toured many parts of Japan and gathered an understanding and respect for it's culture. I have learnt to take myself less seriously and not be so rigid about life in general. I have learnt that being an Indian is an essential part of my identity, my makeup, my nature and by living elsewhere or being a passport-citizen of another country won't make me feel otherwise. Nor will I get the feeling of home like I do in India, because that is where family and love is.

Above all, I have learnt to dream and follow up on my dreams; in small or large measure, immaterial.

No. I am not sad to leave Japan. Japan has been kind to me, beautiful to me and has been a catalyst for my career.

I have had many, many fantastic experiences here and cherish them all. Right from the skiing trip to Gala Yuzawa to the beautiful sunsets of Kisorazu, over the last year and a half, I have been fortunate to have been witness to many such beautiful experiences.

Having mom over to visit, watching AC Milan live!, visiting Kyoto and Hiroshima with mom. Such fantastic memories that I will cherish life-long.

Tokyo is a beautiful experience in my life that I cannot ever forget. The people here are fantastic, the country beautiful and the culture is one of tolerance and humility.

But, it is also time for me to move on and (hopefully) use this experience to become a better person and a better professional.

I am prepared to meet life with optimism, cheerfulness and maturity.

Arigatoo Nihon-jin.

Monday, March 10, 2008

The Audacity of Hope

I am not talking about a blind optimism of the kinds that says poverty will be removed, roads will improve, people will have drinking water, all without working hard for India. I am talking about the hope of seeing all kids going to school, women having a safe life and equal opportunities, a good honest life in India. To hope when all seems lost is difficult. But one must hope. One must work towards that hope. And therefore, I talk about the audacity of hope.

(Reworded from Barack Obama's Speech at the Democratic National Convention in 2004.)

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Football is Life

In my next life, I want to play Football full-time. I want to live my life on the ground kicking the ball between the goal posts!

Football is life. Football is all there is to life.

And AC Milan is love.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

The Voice of Peter Keating

As always, I turn to my favourite book, The Fountainhead.

All of us have all the characteristics mentioned in The Fountainhead. It's because, all of us are flawed. Yes, even those who consider themselves Roark.

The author says that the characters of Peter Keating and Catherine Toohey are failures because they were weak in the senses to be self-less by sacrificing their interests in the interests of some set goals (Peter) or other people (Catherine). Or those who are forced by a practical set of constraints to follow the beaten path (Wynand).

As for Dominique Francon, the less said the better. Apart from the convoluted romantic angle, she serves the sole destructive purpose of breaking the pure love of Peter and Catherine.

The World is made up of 99.9% Tooheys (the Ellsworth kinds.) Insincerity and incompetance is what drives this world and hence, I am not off the mark with my comment.

Howard Roark, to me, is a convenient myth. For all his detachment towards the world, picture in a dependent family and social constraints and let's see how the author works around that.

There will be Men are made of steel, no doubt. Ones who are committed to their art, task with utmost devotion.

But true detachment would be if one were unmoved by the act of destruction, as much as one is pleasured by the art of creation. And thats where Roark fails. Thats where Ayn Rand's theory of Objectivism fails. It is partial and thereby a failure.

Roark, while of the highest importance amongst the novel's characters is, but an ideal to follow. It is upto each individual to follow that path uptil where one chooses/can.

A Peter Keating might imbibe traits of Roark (assuming he is the chosen Fountainhead, though not necessarily so), a Wynand might aim to be a Keating (in an alternate Universe), no one would want to be Ellsworth Toohey (though most might find it easier to give up breathing.)

But to all, the goal is reached by a long-trodden path. And the path may not even be the same for all. By no means so, the destination even.

That's because The Fountainhead doesn't end on Page 1.

Who's Looking Out For Them?

Read this article today. Am speechless.

Good Luck AC Milan

AC Milan vs Arsenal at the San Siro! Good luck Milan!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Keep Walking

"When you are going through hell, keep going." - Winston Churchill

Im just gonna close my mind and keep walking.

Churchill won the Second World War for Britain. I will win mine someday against this system.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Dream On!

I want to :

1. Watch Milan play LIVE in a Champions League match and win.

2. Watch a LIVE game between Real and Barca at the Santiago Bernebeu

3. See the Olympics LIVE in Beijing.

4. Travel to Rajasthan, Leh, Vaishnodevi in the next few months.

5. Visit Europe, Italy specially and travel the routes my Dad took.

6. Learn to play the Guitar well in the coming year.

7. Watch India vs Australia LIVE in Sydney.

Bas itna sa khwab hai!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Baap Ka Raj Hai Kya?

This is not acceptable.

No way is the MNS representative of Maharashtrians, let alone Maharashtra. No way is Maharashtra the sole asset of Maharashtrians. The Constitution of India grants each citizen freedom to travel across the length and breadth of the nation and engage in any occupation which is not detrimental to society or immoral. Apart from Article 370 of the Constitution which restricts the ownership of Property in Jammu and Kashmir, there is no law restricting ownership of property in any other part of the nation.

So, each time Bal Thackeray or Raj Thackeray or any other 2-bit goon says: "Mumbai is for the Marathi Manoos", ask them to go and revise the Constitution before speaking. Their attempts to hijack the fundamental rights of citizens of Maharashtra, be their origins from North India, South India or anywhere else, is just that: an attempt to hijack the fundamental rights of the citizens of Democratic, Secular, Sovereign India.

Their stand has no legal standing and their strong-arm tactics are tantamount to suppression of democracy and a contempt of citizen's rights. While I am a believer in non-violence, I think its high time the government, both Centre and State, answers the goondaism of these so called party-leaders with an appropriate response. It is the common citizen who suffers because Raj Thackeray wants to make his useless presence in politics felt. It is a regular Mumbaikar (and not only Maharashtrians) who face problems daily, when these fools decide to throw tantrums.

Burning buses in Dadar, stoning hospitals in Thane, burning homes in Kankavli. How does this benefit the society?

There are millions of people living in poverty in Dharavi and the many chawls that are spread around Mumbai, while these "representatives" live in government provided bungalows, highrises in posh areas and own large lands in prime spots. The ordinary family puts their children in government schools since they cannot afford the high fees and donations of private schools, but these "representatives" send their kids to the top schools charging fees that would run a village for a month. When they say they "understand the common man", "are fighting for the common man", I say NO, they are only serving themselves and making a fool of the uneducated masses or bigoted masses who will follow their rhetoric for want of a better goal.

I fail to understand how they are blaming the North Indians solely for the problems in Mumbai. How does a fruit-seller or a pani-puriwallah or a taxi driver contribute negatively? Don't we all enjoy eating a fruit chat outside college or a pani puri at Juhu beach or bless the cabbie who gets us to our exam center in time for the paper? I say these people infact help Mumbai work better and help the pace of life keep up.

While the argument that slums and chawls are populated by such people might be thrown at them, I say, it is the politicians who are to blame for the poor living conditions and the tax on the city's resources. They themselves cultivate the slum-dwellers as vote-banks and refuse to either improve their lives or work with the Municipal corporation to stabilize the real-estate and living conditions including water, electricity. Prime example coming to mind is G.R.Khairnar who was doing what the law stipulated and got suspended for doing his job.

The Shiv Sena has always had a history of violence to achieve its objectives or push through its point. The MNS under Raj Thackeray is following in the footsteps of the Sena. It's almost as if Raj Thackeray has to keep up with the Joneses (or the other Thackerays in this case) to prove himself. And ultimately, it is the common man who is being penalized for the mindset of these bigots.

While the majority may harp on reliance on legal measures, it is not sufficient to curb such narrow-minded bullies. It is not easy nor possible for the common man to group together and indulge in violence to combat these people. Besides, an eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.

The thing is, we might not beat them, but let's not bow down to them either. Mee moden, pann vaaknaar nahi! It's what they taught me in school, Raj Thackeray. How ironical, no?

Sunday, February 10, 2008

War and Peace - Part I

I decided I would write this article about a month back, when I read this news report on BBC.

"War is something absurd, useless, that nothing can justify. Nothing." Louis de Cazenave said so and this article can stop right here and the point would have been made.

But Im still gonna write ahead anyways. Maybe just to vent out my feelings on war. It's been building up for a long time now. Since, I want to say so much, I am going to make this a series. Starting with Part I then.

The first memory of me thinking about the futility of war and its consequences seem probably to start with the movie Lakshya. The character of Priety Zinta is sitting in a hospital canteen after having witnessed a soldier die and she talks of "Aman aur Shanti." And another soldier, who is a friend of the dead soldier flares up and ticks her off saying that the country cannot sell itself off and must defend oneself when some other country has made the first strike. Even soldiers do not want war, but they cannot sit back and watch as others attack ones country.

Even discounting the melodramatic lines of Priety Zinta's character, the sincerity of the words (mainly the soldiers) really touch you. I wonder what name I should give to this emotion? Helplessness? Desperation? Frustration?

Another poignant scene in the movie shows an officer who is wounded in battle, clutching his gun and a photo of his family and exhorting his men to go ahead and complete the mission. On their return, they find the office shot.

As a kid and even today, when I used to watch something scary, I used to tell myself to be calm by thinking that these incidents are only on film and so the actor will live, he wont be hurt in real life.

But I suppose these scenes are nowhere compared to the actual existences in real life.

More in Part II