Monday, December 13, 2010

The rewarded me - By my junk mail folder! :)

I got a new office laptop few weeks back and have been setting things up over the last few days. The most important app for mid-level folks like us is the email application. Because of this “transition”(Doesn’t it sound BIG now!) I haven’t been able to keep a tab on the junk mail. I write this piece after I have “SHIFT Deleted” all my junk mails of over a month. Out of curiosity and a nice lazy break after lunch I ensured I at least glanced thru few interesting ones!

I realized in those five minutes that I spent on the junk mail folder that:-

  • I have Become a Millionaire, because someone in Africa wants me to take up a lot of their wealth into my Account!
  • A lady called Preethi (or whatever, what’s in the name after all) wants me to become a “Wealthy Trader”
  • BMW has decided to give me GBP 850,000 (hope I got all the zeroes there!)
  • Jasmine wants to help me “take my business online at ZERO cost”
  • Further down I find that Neha also wants to help me “take my business online at ZERO cost” (spoilt for choice, isn’t it?)
  • An ingenious seller wants me to “Get 500 Premium Business Cards for only $3.99!”
  • Sujata wants me to join a workshop in Mumbai!
  • …..
  • ..

Then I see an unread mail from the most important person in my life, I leave my time of 5 minutes where all these people want me to do something - buy, sell, attend a training, workshop, it’s all there!

I get back to work and into my real life. Boss calling, Wife messaging – Did you…, did you…, did you….kind of tough isn’t it! Everyone wants you to do something. Let’s do it!

No offense meant, none intended!

BTW do you spend these 5 minutes on your junk mail folder, every once in a while….Have a great read!

Friday, November 05, 2010

Blackberry and a 6 year old boy @ Calangute Beach in Goa

On a recent trip to Goa, i was standing outside a small shop about 1/2 km before hitting the Calangute beach in Goa. While my better half was trying out some nail paint and other stuff, i was with the proprietors son Kenaz, a 6 year old boy. As is usual i got a call from the office and i seized the moment to attend it since i was standing away from the prying eyes of some one who had warned me to keep off the calls, while on vacation!
Kenaz spotted the Blackberry in my hand and was quick to speak up and asked to see it. He asked me if there are games in it. I said no games its an office phone. The next question was whether it's a touch screen, before i could answer, Kenaz had found out and nodded his head as if answering to himself. With in the next 10 minutes Kenaz had got on to the net, tried almost all the key features, gone in and downloaded some free app from the Blackberry site.
I was zapped and while i took away the Blackberry from his hands as i prepared to leave, he mentions to his mother that uncle has a Blackberry and while reluctantly letting the device go out of his hands also makes a point that he tried quite a few things.
My mind went back to people whom we encounter almost every other day who whine and crib about not having enough training and experience for them to be able to use technology and tools better, well here's a 6 year old who most likely never has seen a Blackberry, was able to explore all the major features - No Training and No experience!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Do we really care anymore...Ayodhya verdict

Do we really care anymore? It's been decades since the controversial issue of temple first or mosque first came out in the open. Political parties since have tried to milk the issue for their own benefit and that without doubt lies in the single-minded pursuit of power. The pinnacle of this pursuit came to the fore with fabled Rath Yatra that a certain Mr. L K Advani resorted to sometime in the early 90s. This party was able to increase their tally in the parliament and gradually seize power towards the later part of the 90s. They never seemed much interested in the temple anyways while in power at the national level for more than 6 years!

The other principal political party has always been indulging in the politics of appeasement. Today in 2010 as i sit home on a forced holiday, my mind wanders back to the time when i similarly sat home as a young boy when the alleged mosque was brought down by a bunch of over enthusiasts.

I ask myself how is this question - temple first or mosque first more significant or relevant today than say the question of chicken first or the egg first. Get me my chicken first, will ya? :)

Friday, August 06, 2010

Mr. Kalmadi - Did we deserve this game?

When the story broke on one of the news channels, I was of the opinion that it could be a small time scam where at best a few lakhs have been squandered off by some selfish babus. Well it turns out Mr. Kalmadi and party have had other things on mind. In a blatant deed, they have looted the country and its public of thousands of crores. Common Wealth Games are now “Come-on Wealth Games” for some.

The disgrace that this has caused the country is paramount and the dare devil Mr. Kalmadi was brazen enough to raise his voice at the press saying he would sue them for defamation, and was also open to any enquiry.

I am certain that Mr. Kalmadi would be able to prove that he was not the perpetrator of all this misappropriation of funds, but even if one assumes his innocence what the heck was he doing while his folks were screwing the country of all this money.

On the charge of accountability, Dear Mr. Kalmadi you must take the blame and therefore at least step down!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Guru, who me...No way :)

If I remember right, we met on the cricket field. I was the striker, a nippy bowler with a suspect action was bowling his heart (& hand) out. I took a wild swing and the bat slipped from my hands, not for the first time though. The guy who got my bat back amidst howls and laughter and witty remarks from both the playing teams was my friend - Shankar.

We studied together, we dreamt together, we played together, we watched the same movies and we were fans of the same old movie stars – Dharam & Mithun. I, had at a certain point in time during my school days in late 80’s opened my home for anyone who wished to study in the evenings, irrespective of school, class, batch. That was my first brush with managing people, I had practically a bunch of 20-25 people coming to my place which my any means of exaggeration was just a 8’ X 7’ room in a chawl. Most of us who got together then bonded well, we went on to form lifelong friendships, if not all, some have definitely stood the test of time & relationships.

Life had different plans for us though. We sort of split after we went our separate ways into engineering and then further into our professional lives. Our first few years in the professional environment were tough given our modest backgrounds and the huge backlog we carried in terms of general knowledge. Most of us were able to overcome those initial tough times. Many of us lost touch with each other and were not able to speak with each other frequently.

One exception was my friend Shankar, who makes it a point to call and wish during Guru Poornima, this weekend was no different. His words, “Guru! Main bol raha hun” are as fresh in my mind as the first time, I allegedly gave a “pravachan” in the holy hills of Bhima Shankar. I am told it was an all night affair, complete with examples and admonishment!

I have no recollections, but the routine continues, I am a Guru without actually being one, I have no idea when I have shared anything significant with anyone that I became close with. I only did my job and never tried to teach.

Hopefully this expectation of many years of me being a Guru will someday lead me to do something worthwhile, befitting a real Guru! J Till that time let me enjoy life!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

The speed challenge 2010

It all started with a lunch discussion like any other trivial but interesting bit. I have been walking in the park near my home for some years now, though I cannot claim to be an absolute regular, but I can manage about 5 (6 on a good day, with some incentive) rounds of the park in about 30 minutes. The calculations apart, there is a storm brewing on this topic for a while and the initiation of this reaction has been a good old friend who has recently caught the bug of walking, jogging and has since the last month or so become a regular. My friends claim that he could clock nearly 7-8 kilometers in an hour has been the bone of contention.

2 Lunch discussions not with-standing, the team took up to individual research and there came the analysis and paralysis of it all, after Our friend set a date to demonstrate it could be done J


-----Original Appointment-----
From: <>
Sent: Thursday, May 27, 2010 12:56 PM
To: <>, <>, <>
Subject: Speed Measure
When: Saturday, June 19, 2010 7:00 AM-8:30 AM (GMT+05:30) Chennai, Kolkata, Mumbai, New Delhi.
Where: <>'s choice





The Analysis begins J


From: <>
Sent: Thursday, May 27, 2010 1:24 PM
To: <>, <>, <>

Subject: RE: Speed Measure


Good sprit <> I appreciate.


I just thought put my calculation here


Walking 8KM / hr means

133 mts / Min

Average stride for a Male is Height * 0.413

Assuming <> Height 5 ft 10 inches  = 70*0.413= 28.91 inches = 2.41ft

Average stride of <> is = 2.5ft = 0.76mts

To cover 133 mts in 1 min <> need to make = 133/.76 = 175 strides which almost means 3 stride per second

Which seems very high (this is a stride generally achived by the running especially elite runners make 200 strides per minute)

Also there are some links mention that averge fit person can walk a mile in 15 min

= 4 miles in an hour

= 4*1.6 Please note this data based on some western world where people are generally tall and fit


Hence one has to walk at 25% more than  this level.


All the best!


There in came the experts too…to show that they are after all the experts J


From: <>
Sent: Thursday, May 27, 2010 1:43 PM
To: <>, <>, <>
Subject: RE: Speed Measure


Good analysisJ


And some more


From: <>
Sent: Thursday, May 27, 2010 2:02 PM
To:; <>, <>, <>, <>, <>, <>
Subject: RE: Speed Measure


Yes. An avg persons fast walking speed is around 7 kmph


Best Regards,


And Determined as we were, both Raja and myself hit the track (er.. Park) last night and demonstrated that it could be done, though the cynics J were not present.


From: Naresh Choudhary
<>, <>, <>, <>, <>, <>
Sent: Thu May 27 20:25:41 2010
Subject: Re: Speed Measure

30 minutes 5.25 rounds of the park, 1 round equals 800m.

Naresh Choudhary
Sent from my BlackBerry, Pardon the typo's!...

And the encouragement and validation and support of course from the one who initiated it J


From: <>
Sent: Thursday, May 27, 2010 8:52 PM
<>, <>, <>, <>, <>, <>
Subject: Re: Speed Measure

Count down begins 24 days to go

Sent from my BlackBerry Wireless Handheld

Eagerly waiting for the D Day, meanwhile we practice hard… Let’s do it J

Monday, May 03, 2010

2 Birthdays & me :)

There is someone in my life with 2 Birthdays.

An official one and a real one!

Imagine the amount of effort one has to put in to remember just one Birthday and now try figuring out how does one deal with two.

Last year I almost(?) forgot the real birthday and it was only after prodding and taunting on “what is today’s date” did I make a calculated guess and saved the day (rather night) for myself.

This year was no different, as usual all my aids and means used for remembering birthdays failed me on that fateful day, I forgot once again and there it was the questions on “what is today’s date?” started with a smily J and ended with a frown L.

Next year I will be watchful, the reminders have been set in 3 different places, hopefully all 3, if not at least one of them should come to my rescue.

Till then, Wish you a very happy birthday and have a great year ahead, K!!!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

IPL - Greed, Ego, Arrogance and Lalit Modi

My interest in cricket has almost got to a point of no return after the match fixing scandal some years ago. It was only the odd Sachin Tendulkar innings or a great performance by one of the Indian players that would invoke some interest.

The IPL changed it to a fair extent and i feel the way the product was packaged and marketed was phenomenal. Lalit Modi was the guy who almost single handed created this product and marketed and lived it right thru. Somewhere down the line Lalit Modi became (well it seems he always was!) arrogant and egoistic. He probably was taking the IPLs succcess to his head. This ego, greed, arrogance led to Lalit Modi's downfall and the sad exit in the form of a suspension.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Dantewada - A final wakeup call

For many of us who live in cities and urban areas, the life and times in remote corners of India are the images seen in movies and documentaries. Like most others I too have been far removed from the realities and the real troubles that people living I these areas go through day in and day out.

No violence is justified or can be justified and the voices that I get to hear on TV are alarmingly both pro and anti Maoist violence. How can a democratic set up thrive and live actively if there is a sword of consistent and repeated violence (mis)directed at innocent citizens as well as armed forces (police, CRPF etc.) at will? One always felt that there was a marked difference in insurgency from within and the one we are subjected as a nation from across the borders, but the recent incidents have brought out a stark fact that both need to be dealt with strongly.

I for one am unable to make a decision as to why and what has gone wrong so horribly that we as a nation state are unable to convince, sell (or market) the idea of a thriving, large democracy to the millions of people living in these remote areas?

For many years now, close friends have called my views as socialist, communists and even Maoist, it hurt for the first time when someone tried to equate me with Maoist, I do not think any principle – socialist or communist justifies violence of the kind we have been seeing over the last few months. It’s time for both the parties to come to the table and solve the issues at hand – PEACEFULLY.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

33% Womens Reservation Bill in Parliament - India

Last week saw a marked difference in the opinions expressed by a variety of politico's over the women's reservation bill that recommends a 33% reservation for women in the legislative. Let's put this in perspective.
There are the majority who seem to be favoring this bill and do not seem to have any issues with it as such. There are the laloos, mulayams and sharad yadavs who seem to be markedly opposed to the bill in its current form where according to them the "pichda mahila" (backward women) who belong to he SC/ST, OBC, Dalit, Muslim classes are not adequately represented.
One of the things that the earlier round of reservations taught us and that we need to keep in mind is the fact that reservations if deserving and necessary need to be NOT based on the caste, religion etc and more on the economic nature of the backwardness and that the reservations can NOT be open ended and need to be time bound.
States like Maharashtra do have a concept of the creamy layer that decides the eligibility based on not just the caste but within that based on the economic condition, i am not aware of the specifics but it takes into account the persons Gross annual income to place one in the creamy layer and determine the suitability.
The far more important question is do we need 33% reservation for women in the parliament? I personally feel we do not, the important thing is to ensure reforms in the political system and that alone would ensure "normal" people who do not have the muscle and the money power could make an attempt to enter the system and do their bit. Reservation to me seems to be a thing that we probably do not need as much as the reform in the system.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Tiger Woods & Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, et al

Been wondering for a while now, There is definitely no doubt that what Tiger did was unacceptable but did the media and the general public go wrong somewhere.

We tend to look at the personal and the professional aspects of the person in the same vein, Is it right?

I feel no and that's what makes the likes of Sachin Tendulkar far more superior to the rest because they have shown (there are only a handful of them, i believe) exemplary behaviour on and off the field. This makes them even more precious for us to adore and admire.

A Tiger Woods would never be a lesser golfer but the personal behaviour and the personal traits that go on to shape up the personality of a human being too play an important role.

Sachin - You are great (may be god as some say :)). Tiger, apologize and move forward, may god be with you!

My bags...

It was a definite strategy, I can relate to it now when I think about it.

As I started school at a tender age of 3.5 years, I was handed a metal bag (peti) that carried my books.

As I grew a little smarter, the metal “peti” was replaced with a cloth bag and I think I continued with the cloth bag for almost 7-8 years. With few interruptions where I had to carry a nylon bag that friends and colleagues made fun of because in a fit of anger due to my poor performance at school my bag would have been thrown off some place in a fit of anger.

The cloth bag went away only when the more trendy back packs came in the late eighties, they were fun and they were trendy, they looked cool, it was the way to go for the school and college going crowd. I continued using this till I got to my engineering college, a long train journey in the first year meant one had to rely on that back pack heavily and as the pressure eased, I moved on to the more convenient plastic bags that one could carry in hand with just a notebook or two!

At work initially it was a “NO bag” personal policy, I would just carry the pen (with an attitude of Pen is mightier than the sword J). As I graduated towards the bike my bags returned with a vigor – for the raincoat etc. Now I drive to work, the bag carries a laptop and few sundry things. One of the oldest bag that has remained with me is not 10 years old and going strong.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

My name is Khan, SRK & the fanatics

What we saw over the last 1.5 weeks was a new, refreshing wave that possibly signifies a larger change that has set in.

People i believe are beginning to take on the fanatic elements, the goondaism that has in pockets been used effectively to garner votes and support questionable agendas.
SRK taking on the Thackerays in Mumbai gave people an opportunity to step out and take a stand as well as make a bold statement. The movie, "My Name is Khan" is good and hopefully the momentum would continue because its good too.

The Shiv Sena that i remember is the one that used to work for the locals, provide books and stationery to needy students at the beginning of the academic year, help the poor with basic facilities, conduct sports events and so on, its difficult for me to see it stoop to such levels for some trivial politicking and reasons of ego. Both the MNS and SS are trying to out do one another on such behaviour with a spineless Congress government at the state level.

The state of Maharashtra is losing in all this 3rd grade rubbish that gets associated with it and its peace loving and simple people.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Is it not yet a case of racism - Aussies bashing up Indians in Australia?

The Indian governments response to the ongoing crisis is surprisingly muted and it seems to be soft considering the grave nature of the crisis. Its apparently been over 400 attacks on Indians in the last one year, an attack every single day?

Is it a clear case of racism, the happenings certainly suggest so and i am sure there are always two sides to a story but this one from Australia seems to be a lot more clear and convincing.

The Australian media has been reporting in a fair manner for the large part on the issue and the reports do tend to suggest a lot of things being wrong.

The Indian government must take it up a lot more strongly with its Australian counterparts and also bring out a lot more pressure through the common wealth as well as the UN.

Mr. Krishna and Mr. "Twitter" Tharoor, your attention please. Get safety for our students and citizens in Australia, FAST!