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Showing posts from October, 2010

Piccadilly Jim

Absolutely trivial story, but what a scintillating narration. The story in a Wodehouse book is extremely predictable, but it is only an excuse to weave a magic with words. If ever there was a magician I envy, it would be him.

Not that the plot is inane. It is constructed so that a guy has to impersonate himself in a house comprising a few weird characters- a mobster, a formidable aunt, an uncle, an ex-boxer, a lady fiend detective, an obnoxious boy, all contributing to a delicious khichdi of a plot..

Enjoyed it thouroughly...like watching Padosan or Golmaal once more..good lead in for a Diwali holiday..

Placement Diary

ICICI Bank picked up 28 students yesterday- a big haul indeed. Crisil is on campus today, and SBI Life expected this week too. Sentiment seems to have improved a lot in the Indian corporates, compared with last year or two. Good news for everybody. Otherwise, a 2 year effort looks wasted. Placement team has worked hard, and will be happy too.

Lots of former students are getting back in touch. Feels good, and nice to watch their progress through albums and scrawls on facebook. Leads to occasional meetings too, in different places.

A Wild Sheep Chase

Another book by Murakami I just finished reading. I get the feeling reading him that he is somehow mocking at us- not anyone in particular, but the human race in general. I also get the feeling that he believes ours is a multi-layered (I am not sure if I should use the word multi-splendoured) existence. I think that is the reason his stories always include subterranean allusions to things like sewers that run unseen under a city. Sometimes he creates two complete worlds too.

He also has a rather different style of telling stories- this one, for example, has a rather long investigative trail, but rather than a whodunit, it is more of a what-exactly-is-happening kind of a story, but equally gripping nonetheless. For the first time (except in the case of my own book), I think the blurbs on the back of his book are more than justified. Read him to find out more- no, I won't kill the story by revealing all. I'll only say that it has more to do with people than sheep, in spite of wh…

Finance Conclave

Yesterday and today, there was a finance area conclave organised at IMT Nagpur. The student group called Finaholics was the organiser. Must say that they got together an impressive list of speakers, including some from Barclays, Marsh, Mirae Asset Management, Bharti- Axa and the like. The two day event consists of lectures, panel discussions, games, quizzes and the like, and prizes too.

Arth Vyuh is the name of the event. Starting with just an idea, creating an event- or rather, staging it successfully, is a tough thing to do, and our students have done it for the second time this year- first was a marketing area event two months ago. Faculty only helped in the background by providing the encouragement and moral support.

Placement season is upon us and we started off with 5 students getting offers from Asian Paints, one of India's most respected Indian companies.

Adrak Ke Panje

Adrak ke panje literally translates into The Ginger Paw/Palm. This was the title of a super-successful comedy act by one Mr. Babban Khan of Hyderabad. It was a quintessential comic routine with hardly any sets, revolving around a lower middle class Muslim Hyderabadi family. Some classic jokes (many were topical, and changed with the times)-

The hero is surrounded by a clattering bunch of around a dozen children as he enters his home one evening. He says " Itne khush kyon horeain? Main office se aarun koi jail se chhutke nahi aarun" (I am coming from office, not from jail). He carries on in this vein for an hour and half of Rollicking take-offs on everything from the population to landlords, to the police force to almost anything that you can poke fun at.

One classic exchange is between a son of a friend who asks our hero to get him a job. The hero wants to find his skill set, so he does a preliminary interview.

Asks the candidate, Tumko driving aata kya? (Can you drive?)
THe an…

Quotes

"Long ago, when men cursed and beat the ground with sticks, it was called witchcraft. Today it's called golf." Anonymous/unknown origin.

"Russians are good at aphorisms. They have all winter to think them up." This one is from a book I am reading by Murakami titled A Wild Sheep Chase.

How can a woman be expected to be happy with a man who insists on treating her as if she were a perfectly normal human being.”- Oscar Wilde

“A true friend is someone who thinks that you are a good egg even though he knows that you are slightly cracked”- Bernard Meltzer

Memory is what tells a man that his wife's birthday was yesterday. ~Mario Rocco

Hyderabadi

There is a strange lingo called Hyderabadi which may be fast fading away. Some attempts at preservation -

Kaikoo? means Why? and How means Yes.

Kaikoo yaaro? means, Why, man?

Parso can mean day before yesterday, day after tomorrow or a year forward or back..as in "Parso main aaya thaa naa," to a long lost relative/friend.

Kya logaan hai yaaro, is a general cry of despair at anything which should not be happening, but has happened, with people, countries, continents or outer space.

Motabbari hai kya? roughly translates into 'Who do you think you are?' when said in the right tone (not a literal translation)

'Bataan nahi karte hum Hyderabadi' is a line from a song in one of Big B's films. It means, "We Hyderabadis don't just talk,...."

Hum kaale hain to kya hua dilwaale hain- was an immortal song filmed on Mehmood in 'Gumnaam' in which he uses Hyderabadi lingo.

The movie Bazaar starring Supriya Pathak and Farooq Sheikh had some excellent use o…

Dialogues from Movies

Powerful lines in films have the potential to make the films successful. What makes them powerful?

Should fit the character, the milieu, and sound credible. Even a simple line like Holi kab hai? can sound menacing if the right guy delivers it, of course, like Amjad Khan did in Sholay.

Tumhare paas kya Hai? and the reply, Mere Pass maa hai, is a dialogue from Deewaar worth a million bucks. Kabhi kabhi had a lot of lyrical or poetic dialogues (the hero was a poet), which enhanced the mood and effectiveness of the film.

Raaj Kumar had a lot of lines which were quite effective, like in Pakeezah, he sees Meena kumari's ankles while she is asleep in a train, and leaves her a note saying Aapke paon dekhe, bahut khoobsoorat hain. Inhe zameen par mat rakhiye, maile ho jaayenge...a very romantic message, delivered in a unique way.

Of course, we have a lot of the cliched stuff which catches the fancy of the movie goers, like "Kutte, main tera khoon pee jaoonga" or "Mogambo Khush …

Diary of a Dictator

Many people write diaries. This could be what a dictator's diary might be like-

Oct 1: Ordered three beheadings. They were very irritating. They kept saluting me all wrong.

Oct. 7th: Don't like today's date. Ordered my soldiers to catch the first 7 people they find on the street and throw them into a vat of boiling oil.

Oct. 10th: Broke the back of a silly politician advocating people's rule in our country. What good is that? When the people already have a perfect rule-mine.

Oct.25: Forcibly married 32 women I picked out of my poor subjects. Threw some people out of their houses to accommodate the new wives. The people protested, so my soldiers escorted them deep into the forest, and left them there.

Oct. 30: Had some fun today. Watched lions and alligators killing some men and animals.

Read Hitler's book again. What a genius!

Ides of October

Julius Caesar was told by a soothsayer to beware the ides of March (15th of March). But the ides of October have proved to be good for The Commonwealth Games participants from India and the cricket team of India.

The middle of a month generally brings on a kind of 'interval' syndrome, usually with no tensions of bills to be paid or commitments to be made. The end of the month may again create problems of looming (temporary) bankruptcy , at least for salaried people or those on a dole from parents or someone else.

This time the Dasara/Pooja is on a weekend, so there is festivity in the air, with pandals galore in the city. The institute has a student fest called Milestone 35 coming up, and therefore also a festive feel. We held a press conference recently to apprise the local press about the Event, and it was well-covered by them. Much easier to do than say, in Bangalore, where the press acts pricey.

Good Show by Indian Athletes

I was idly watching some of the Commonwealth Games- usually I don't watch much of athletics related stuff, as I find it very tiring even to watch! I was surprised at some medals we won. I was also shocked that no Indian before this games won any individual gold in athletics, barring Milkha Singh, aeons ago. If nothing else, it shows you how low the athletes' motivation is. I happened to be watching when Kavita Raut got a bronze with a super effort. I think it was the 10000 metres. If an unsung lady from a hamlet can make it this far, I am sure we are missing many more talents hiding elsewhere.

Here's a thought, you TV channels galore without a clue. Why not promote athletic shows instead of the same old "talent" competitions, most of which only showcase the judges and get them work? Might actually unearth a lot more talented athletes and make some officialdom take notice, particularly if big names like Barkha Dutt host these. How about it?

Rankings of IMT N

WE have been ranked 29 and 30 among Best Indian B schools by this week's issues of The Week, and Business India respectively. Coming soon after a similar ranking by Business World, it tells me that we are doing something right.

Industry interaction with guest faculty is up. Student activity levels are up, with a Marketing Seminar, Finance Seminar happening. Preparations for the coming year's placement are also seriously afoot, with a lot of workshops and activities underway.

Location which was touted as a handicap no longer seems like one. We also started a small 2 hole golf courselet (small course) where we teach interested students the basics.

Had a great alumni meet with 200 students attending at campus early October. Poised for greater things, with students, faculty, support staff all playing their roles well.

Got a few more targets- diversity, international accreditation, and maintaining quality and self- belief in everything that we do...

Celebrity Prattle

Interviewing film celebrities must be a pain in the neck or other areas for those who do it routinely. It tends to follow a formula worse than the typical potboiler, and typically goes something ;like this-

Interviewer: So why did you do this film?
Celebrity: I believe in doing something different. It was the role of a lifetime. The director said he would not make the film it if I refused it.

Int: Why did you take 20 films to find success?
Celebrity: I don't have a godfather in the film industry. I had to struggle, and work hard before I got noticed. The producers did not market my films properly. But I am grateful to the audiences who stood by me, and made me what I am.

Int: Heard that you are doing an item number in an upcoming film?
Celeb: Yes, but it's only as a favour to XYZ. I am not into item numbers on a regular basis. And this one is different from the ones that are usually shown in movies.

Int: What are your views on the state of our nation?
Celeb: Young people have a differ…

After the Quake

This is a book by Murakami. Reading him after a break, I am still drawn by his surrealistic fiction. This time, he uses the Kobe earthquake to tie a few stories around, but the depth in them is surprising. Drawing someone into a long book is relatively easy with description, but doing it in a short story is not so simple. And Murakami seems to do both (long and short) with equal ease.

The contrasts between the hidden and the apparent, both in stuff that he is writing about and that which is within us humans, is both well-crafted and thought-provoking, in a way that common fiction cannot touch. An unusual blend (masala), I must say...for instance, the story of a guy who just constructs fires out of driftwood that arrives on a beach, is almost magical, in that it creates so much out of thin air (and some driftwood). His takeoff on the phrase 'down-to-earth' as meaning standing steady, when actually the earth itself is rumbling deep down, ready to erupt anytime, is equally insight…

Ruminations

It struck me that I am 50 years old. Another 10 years to go before I can aspire to be a Rajini, without becoming a robot. So what should I look forward to in the coming ten?

Taste some good food from around the world.
Play some good golf- in Nagpur and elsewhere
Write a couple of books
Write at least one blog a month
See my daughters graduate and get on in life
See all the institutions I worked in grow to their full potential-without me, they can go faster
See all friends, family, colleagues-present and past, work towards whatever they wish to work for, and achieve most of it...
Do things which I feel proud of and do less of those which I am not proud of..

See you when I am 60!