Not Letting Go and Other Viruses

Most of these are Hindi viruses.

Shaadi Jamaao virus- Aunties are more prone to getting infected, but sometimes Uncles too..Parents are permanently sick with this from the time their kids turn marriageable.

Not Letting Go Virus-strikes founders or promoters of companies, anyone close to retirement, parents of young adults,...with more regularity than Chikungunya.

Apna Kaam Chhod ke..virus. At the workplace, this aflliction is semi-permanent. Those in govt. jobs have a more lethal strain attacking is combined with Permanent Tea-break virus.

Chalta Hai virus. We are a jugaadu nation and want to fix everything so it does not work for long. Helps generate employment to do the same things over and over..

Tumko Maloom Hai Main Kaun Hoon? virus. Though widely prevalent on Delhi roads, has been known to have lesser impact elsewhere, when caught by traffic police in particular.

Kalai Vani and Team- Winners of GOMC 2017 Asia-Pacific

This is the team that I was lucky to mentor for the Google Online Marketing Challenge, 2017. And won in the Asia Pacific Adwords Certification category, beating hundreds, maybe thousands, of competing teams from the region. Proud moment for IIM Indore!

The team worked with a limited budget given to all teams, and came up with a spectacular increase in relevant metrics for their chosen brand- Bhalaje Photography, Chennai. The Click Through Rate or CTR is one such metric. The client increased his business, in addition to intermediate metrics like awareness for his brand. It involved thinking on their feet to experiment, and change strategy when required.

And all this was while simultaneously handling their Summer Internship. Hard work pays!

Another shot of the winners! Cheers!

Names People Call Me

I am a man with multiple identities. I am used to being called names. From the home name (not homonym) of Raja (meaning king in India), to Raj in the U.S., hardly anyone calls me by the given name of Rajendra. In North India it changed to Rajender or Rajinder.

Being a Professor carries its own burdens, and you end up being called "Sir" (sometimes because students don't remember your name, but not always!). Variations of this are Dr. Nargundkar if they can get the last name right. In the U.S., they pronounced 'kar' as 'Car' due to cultural limitations, or habit.

It was Gunds in the MBA class at Bangalore. Sometimes Marcus Gundolius (Roman) or Gundarkar (Ghati) too. One of my friends in Bangalore later was more inventive, and just called me Nar.

I hope I have conclusively proved to you that I have multiple identities. If I haven't, go ahead and call me names.

Kaccha Limbu- Marathi Film Review

This is a film (literally, it means an unripe lemon, a metaphor for an underdeveloped child) about the struggle that the parents of a special child go through. They put their dreams on hold, and deal with their everyday life to the best of their abilities. Helping them cope is a friend each-the mother's boss, and the father's colleague.

The story has dramatic twists with unexpected events, and I don't want to be a spoiler in case anybody wants to see it. See it you should, if your interest is serious films. It's subtitled, so you can understand it mostly without knowing Marathi. And at under two hours, just right, without added masala. It's also shot in grey tone, lending it a dramatic quality.

Sonali Kulkarni was for me a great find, and pours out her heart. Sachin Khedekar and the other two male actors (the husband and the special kid) also have played their parts very well. Anant Mahadevan is seen after a long time in a nice role too.

I am continuing to be impr…

Romancing the Books- Launch at Pagdandi

THIS WAY IS EASIER, DAD. The book is about conversations between Anjali, and her Dad. Both read out parts from the book.
 Smiling at 88. My mom with my niece Miskil.
Milind, Medha, Marla, Nikhil, and Anjali, Miskil, Anu and me.

Books have a way of enticing you-and book launches too. This was one where the subjects of the book were Hari and Anjali, two of my family. And many more in the audience, as the pics above show-Marla and Nikhil were imports from the U.S. and the rest of us from Mumbai, Indore and Hyderabad. The cute book store is in Pune. It was also special coz it was on August 10th, my mother's 88th birthday.

88 Not Out

That's not a cricketer's score. That's how old my Mom will be on 10th August. She retired as a company doctor in an administrative role from Singareni Collieries in Andhra Pradesh, in 1989.

Needless to say, I grew up in small coal-mining towns. We had great fun in the cosmopolitan crowd that we had around us, and our friends are still many of those we grew up with (Kiran, Nisha, Avinash, Aashu, Ritu, Sharat, Shobhna, Shalina, Shonika, Mahesh, Manoj, Subodh, Chitrangi, Shubhangi, Milind, Anant, Shashank, Neetika, Shailaja, to name a few). Small towns have that kind of warmth, and we can still meet anyone from those days, and instantly get along. Same with my Mom and her ex-colleagues-they still meet when visiting each others' towns.

It was an incredible thing for her to become a woman doctor when not many entered the profession-or any profession. She lived in Dhanbad/Katraas, Vellore among other places. Also completed her M.D. after her marriage. Grew up to administer …

Review- When Harry Met Sejal

If you want a tour of Europe, watch Queen or Raj Kapoor's Sangam. If you want a story, watch any film of the 1960s, 70s, 80s, 90s, 2000s. Including the Imtiaz Ali film Jab We Met. But not this.

This made me nostalgic for any of the above-mentioned eras of films. Weird thing was, all the ads shown before the film starred Amitabh. I wished he was in the film, and the film's actors in the ads. Not sure whom to blame, but as the writer and director, Imtiaz Ali should take most of it.

The film's premise is so crappy that one wonders who would make a film on such a stupid idea. It is further compounded by poor dialogue, screenplay and music. Acting is not much to write home about, either, but the script should be faulted for that too.

The Gujju-accented Anushka doesn't actually jell at all, and Shah Rukh looks as though he is sleep-walking; incidentally, I felt the same way in Raees.