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Showing posts from September, 2013

O Mere Shahe Khuba

This is about songs that begin with an O in Hindi. That roughly translates to an address in which you well, address somebody. Hindi films being eternally romantic, with a few exceptions, usually these songs are addressed to the love of your life.

O meri, o meri, o meri Sharmeelee was a classic sung very fast, tuned by S.D. Burman. Raakhee looked fetching, and was the addressee, and the singer was Shashi Kapoor.

O mere raaja, o mere raaja, khafa na hona, der se aayee, door se aayee, majboori thi phir bhi maine waada to nibhaaya..is another classic, from Johny Mera Naam, with Dev Anand and Hema Malini looking great in the surroundings, supposedly around Nalanda. Kalyanji Anandji had the zingy music, with quite a few good songs like Pal bhar ke liye koi hamein pyaar kar le, and Nafrat karne waalon ke seene mein pyaar bhar doon.

O mere sona re sona re sona re, de doongi jaan juda mat hona re..was a lovely song sung by Asha Parekh in Teesri Manzil, a musical delight. Shammi Kapoor is the …

Amir Garib- Movie Recall

This is not Total Recall, but a partial one. On a flight recently, they showed an old classic (for me) Dev Anand film called Amir Garib. Though I missed a favourite song of mine sung by him with a trumpet in hand (Main aaya hoon, leke saaz hathon mein..in case you are interested) because I watched only a part of it (coz I was dozing, in case you are interested), I enjoyed what I watched.

Well, it's a masala classic, if you must know, and has a message- that the poor are better than the rich. This used to be the message in a lot of films those days. These days, the message might be what Gordon Gekko told us (Greed is good, unless you get caught).

Anyway, there is this female thief called Soni and our man is Moni. But wait, he is Moni by day, and Bagla Bhagat, a kind of Robin Hood who steals, by night. I remember Dharmendra starred in  a film where he played a Robin Hood character- in Jugnu. That also had Hema Malini in the female lead, and ran in Mumbai for 50 weeks.

It's all …

Daft Definitions

Some fun de(finitions)-
Shoe- A piece of leather wrapped around your foot.
Lipstick- Lip-synching wax with weird colours.
Car- A hollow piece of metal with four wheels driven on a moon-like surface on earth.
Aircraft- A hollow piece of metal intent on taking off, except when it is fogged out.
IPL- A system devised by scammers, for scammers with spectators’ money. Spectacular.
TRAI- The regulator that gives everyone a ‘trying’ time.

RBI- An entity that always holds your ‘interest’.

Goa Case Conference 2013

We at IMT started a case conference in 2010 November, and we are now in the 4th year. This is a conference where participants bring a case they have written, and get feedback in an informal round table setting. Faculty members, students and corporates are welcome to participate. We have had several interesting cases emerge from the conference.

This is quite different from research conferences that involve big sample data, which is the usual format in an academic conference. Powerpoint presentations that are normally used in these, we don't allow in our conference. It fosters a more friendly setting, non-threatening, and pleasant.

This time we had a strong contingent from IIM Lucknow presenting their cases, and a lot of people from a diverse set of Business Schools, from all over the country. There were also a few cases from Goa Institute of Management. It was nice to see the enthusiasm from the first time writers of cases. We also offer review and mentoring for anyone interested,…

The Lunch Box- Movie Review

This stuff is delectable. I did not have this kind of a feeling, for a long time. I wished the movie wouldn't end when it did. Often, it's the other way around, thanks to poor editing.

Out here, everything is flawless. I generally don't go gaga over a Hindi movie. But I have to hand it to the director (haven't heard of him either). In the bunch of mostly meaningless masala that Bollywood churns out, this comes like a bolt from the blue.

There are innovative touches, like an 'aunty' who lives above the heroine's flat, and communicates through the window/balcony with her (and whom you never see), and using the reviews of the dabbawalas done by Harvard and Prince Charles in unexpected places. Also their song while travelling in Mumbai trains, used so effectively in the end...

The acting to me was truly electric, with the first-timer, Nimrat Kaur, doing even better than the veteran Irrfan Khan. She reminded me of Smita Patil a lot. Nawazuddin is also very effe…

How To Guides- Part 2

We continue to look at this business of businesses and the following How To Guides which are next in line for publication-

1. How to get your kid admission into Kindergarten. An associated book will be on How to Beg for Favours and a supplement titled Standing in Line and Enjoying it! Sequels will cover High School, College and Post Grad studies.

2. How to Copy a Hit TV Show. Warning: This may not sell well, since all ideas for TV shows have already been copied.

3. How to Dance Like Govinda. Most important tips here will be on getting that manic expression on the face right. The dancing anyways is tough to describe in writing.

4. How to Join the Army. This will have a couple of chapters describing the various ranks that the army has, distinguishing between the various shoulder straps of various colours and the medals that you can get in a lifetime. And a little bit about holding a gun correctly.

5. How to make a mythological for TV (we still do, and some of these are better than the …

How To Guides- Part 1

Part 1, because like Batman and Star Wars, I hope to have lots of episodes of this evergreen series. After all, everyone agrees that learning never stops. So how can guides? Wherever you have learning, can guides be far behind?

The first few guides-

1. How to give expert opinions on TV talk shows. You must not make sense, and shout louder than others-that's the key. Bonus chapter on Dealing with Arnab Goswami!

2. How to look sexy in a Food show- pouting, smiling and other chapters. Can also double as a guide to winning beauty contests. Add on a how to wear a swimsuit guide, that's all.

3. How to clear interviews for any job - learn twenty important words and use them randomly

4. How to write a winning blog. If I knew that, I wouldn't be writing this post.

5. How to become a star. Be born in a star family. Read the guide for other tips, like switching babies in a maternity ward.  95% guarantee of success. 5% errors may be due to typos. Please excuse.

Truth is a Pathless Land- Book Review

This book is about Jiddu Krishnamurti, one of the well-known philosophers from India. What is somewhat surprising is that he was a made-to-order philosopher, almost forced by his mentors, at the Theosophical Society, into becoming one.

Deborah Richards writes about his days during the process of being transformed into a thought leader. How an Englishman spotted him on a Chennai beach, took him under the wings of the Theosophical Society, and how Annie Besant became his foster mother, and took him on Kailash Mansarovar and other trips to help him discover himself.

The accounts of his having discovered the highest chakras of Kundalini are similar to what I read about in UG Krishnamurthy's (no relative) autobiography. While one cannot comprehend this process, our gurus seem to have documented it in ancient texts.

What Jiddu did after being annointed a messiah was surprising, though. He dissolved the Order of The Star, which he headed. He said an organisation was not needed to discov…

Getting Serious

When will we grow up and get serious about all the Syrias (or Koreas) of the world? Not very soon, until countries stop thinking of themselves as policemen of the world, and poking their nose into other people's business (rather than getting their own house in order).

Till then, here is a PJ to keep yourself distracted.

An employer is the one who employs an employee. Right?

Therefore, a Barber is the one who sends a barb to a Barbie.

Laughter is the best medicine, in the face of onion prices, chemical weapons, and shooters in the backyard of the Navy (building). And Miss Americas from India. Columbus must be happy.

 Just a thought. Would we have Muthoot Onion Loans being incorporated in India soon?


Learnings

Learnings from Photography- It's the angle that matters. How you see life, or want to see it, depends on which angle you choose. Pessimism versus optimism, joy versus despair, etc. etc. You can also throw light on the 'objects' of your interest, focus, and forget the rest.

Learnings from teaching- You cannot teach a person that does not want to learn. If you create love for learning, you don't have to teach. And, you can't stop someone from learning, if he wants to.

Learnings from Jobs- Your happiness depends on what you do, not what others get/make. You can always do better.

Learnings from Movies: Indian-good used to triumph over evil. Now we don't know which is which.
Hollywood- We are intruders in a world of aliens, vampires, and comic book characters.

Learnings from kids- Be happy, nothing matters in the end.

Why

Why bad news sells...because people want to explore the limits of their innate goodness

Why Godmen succeed...because we fail to see the God within us, and the Godman knows this too well.

Why economies go through a crisis..because a roller-coaster is more fun than a flat growth of whatever percentage..

Why we make a remake (Zanjeer is the latest)...because it takes too much effort to think of a fresh story.

Why song credits on most TV and radio shows don't include the lyric writer or music director these days..because the anchors think the songs dropped in from heaven or from the lips of movie stars.

Why songs from the sixties or seventies sound better than those from 2013..because they were.

Why do we watch TV, also known as the idiot box? Because we are...yeah, you got it!


Of Godliness and 100% Attendance

This is to celebrate the golden jubilee (50,000 views) of this blog. A classic dug up from my archives. Will strike a chord with students and ex-students, I am sure.
Of Godliness and Compulsory 100% Attendance Note: This was written during my days as a student at IIM Bangalore, where we were briefly subjected to the rule.
Thought-provoking articles are always a success. Because the reader likes to be provoked- or it could be because he likes to think that he can ‘think’- there’s no other way his ‘thoughts’ could be provoked. Anyway, proceeding with the above assumption, when the compulsions to write became unavoidable, I turned my attention to the issue of compulsory one hundred percent attendance. The more I thought about the subject, the more it provoked me. In fact, half-way through my ‘thinking’ trip, I suddenly realized the rationale behind the 100% attendance rule.
There are people who look upon the rule as an infringement of their Right to Skip Classes-as enshrined in the Students’…

Shudh Desi TV Serial ka Script

A lady appears wearing a Kanjeevaram silk saree straight out of bed in the morning. She looks at the visitor who rang the bell. Ma-in-law, sister-in-law, are listening in. It is not considered to be rude to listen in to private conversations.

The lady-in-Kanjeevaram (LIK here onwards) looks at the visitor and gasps, (translated into English) "...you, I thought you were dead."

The visitor looks at the LIK and freezes,  " ..You mean.."

LIK:  "Yes, I got married again. Why have you come here now?"

SIL and MIL (out of sight) begin to smirk with an expression that says, "I knew it. This holier-than-thou bahu had a secret..wait until my son/brother gets back.."

The frozen guy unfreezes, and gives a sacrificial lamb's expression, and says, "I will never want you unhappy", and then freezes his expression again, and walks out.

The LIK turns around, only to find the smirking in-laws coming out of their positions behind the respective walls.…

Shudh Desi Script

I am inspired by the title of a recent Bollywood film called Shudh Desi Romance. I thought about the lack of original scripts and decided to come up with a decidedly pure Hindi film script. This can be used by any wannabe director who can't afford a regular scriptwriter.

Boy (loosely used - could be from 20 to 45 years old) meets girl (age is unmentionable).

Sings a dard-bhara love song. If you don't know what that is, stop aspiring to be a Hindi film director and drive a truck.

Girl falls for the hero, and then they both sing a song prancing around gardens of Switzerland, USA or any of the tourist wonderlands.

Enter a villain. Centuries ago, this used to be a very tame rapist or jaaydaad grabber like Prem Chopra, or Ranjeet. Now, it is a guy who aspires to be a world-conquering ganglord, like a Bond villain. But the old world ones had priceless dialogue like "Ise liquid oxygen mein daal do. Oxygen ise marne nahin dega aur liquid ise jeene nahin dega."

Through skill…

Learning From Big Brother

We live and learn. So it is that we learn from the Big Brother. There's only one left after the Gorbachev ideas of Glasnost and Perestroika, in case you haven't noticed.

Like everyone else, Big Brother also suffers scams, budget deficits and trade deficits. But unlike everone else, BB has a solution. There are two major angles to this.

1. Count the number of countries in the world. Around 190 at a rough count.

2. Bomb one every 2 years. Reasons, like an audit of a forest strewn with a few skeletons, can be found if you look hard enough. Any reason with a word like genocide, weapons, and innocent civilians sounds convincing enough. Soldiers on a draft have no choice, in any case.

You are now Ok for 380 years. After that, Martians may take over anyways.

The spinoff benefits on the main and ancillary industries, can keep you going for two years at least. There could be some add-ons if you also get oil cheap from the enemy of the country you bomb, in case the bombing happens in …

Ideas for GDP Growth

Who says India cannot grow at 10% a year? We just have to re-align our economy to what is right for us, instead of looking at it through jaundiced Western paradigms (ha, managed to use this word). In other words, we have to reposition our economy as The Festival Economy. Dubai has something called festival city, so why not a festival economy out here?

All the nation's resources must be concentrated on the festivals. We can easily count around 300 festivals, so that'll keep us buzzing almost year-round. All products and services, supplies, and infrastructure should focus on the festivals. And there should be no shortages, to ensure that the Gods don't go crazy and punish us. So we have to have power for all, roads for all, sugar and oil for all, and so on. The people who have to produce these get fined if they don't produce enough to supply to all the festivals. Those who do, get rewarded with more festival orders.

Everything would be hunky dory, because who can compet…

New Happiness Measures

No half-measures allowed. Happiness is too important to be left to the unhappy. So here we go, acquainting the world with these brand new measures of the big 'H'. Get ready to measure and be happy.

1. How long the batteries last. If your laptop and mobile batteries last longer than the next guy, you are, by definition, happier...than him or her.

2. Muscles/square inches of body in case of boyfriends. If you are a girl.

3. Beauty/square inches of body for girlfriends, if you are a guy.

4. Furniture/square inches of home space if you are a 'settled' female.

5. Amount of beer/other liquids per square inch of home space if you are a 'settled' guy.

6. Number of facebook friends you have, if you are 'settled' or not, man or woman. This is non-discriminatory, and totally democratic, unlike 150 countries in the world.

7. Number of biryanis you cumulatively ate in a lifetime, if you are a Hyderabadi. Pseudo-biryanis to be deducted from the total.

8. Irani chais…

Eateries at Nagpur

I had a chance to eat at a few more places thanks to farewell parties, golf group parties and faculty get-togethers in my days at Nagpur. Here is a quick review of the sights-sorry, eats.

Centre-point at Ramdaspeth has good food, and a new look. The top floor at the other, Airport Centre-point has a live singer in the evening. Food is Ok, service is good.

Repose, a ninth storey lounge in Sriram Towers has a very good view of Nagpur. Though the lighting could be better, the seats are comfy, and food is good. Music is set at a volume which 50-year-old ears can tolerate, unlike some other places devoted to Youngistan decibel levels - as a prof. of yore said, it is a debacle, not decibels in those.

10 Downing Street makes it unnecessary to visit U.K. , what with the rupee value and the 3 lakh deposit that the Empire asks of you to go there. If you can have the ambience here, why bother? The menu is innovative, with lots of variety. David Cameron, you just lost a tourist.

L.B. has a party…

Moving On

On to Delhi and Ghaziabad from next week. Added a second golf hole to the campus golf course at IMT Nagpur, giving more room to flex the golf muscles.

A series of dinners and lunches with various colleagues happened over the last few days, and the feelings that usually remain at the periphery threatened to spill over, that something good was coming to a close. But there has to be a closing for a new beginning to happen. So it is just as well.

Nagpur is a unique place with good vibes, and along with Kirloskar Institute, Harihar, will rank in my list of best places to work in. A good combination of nice students, nice faculty and nice staff. Tends to make you fat, if you believe in the theory of correlation between happiness and body weight.

So now I am off on a slimming quest.

My Own G-10

These ruminations are to prove that G is an important letter in the alphabet. Wanna bet?

1. A lot of positivity comes out of words that start with a G- Good to Great.

2. Very commonly used term in Lucknow, U.P. is G Haan.

3. In Delhi, or Punjab, it is turned around to Haan G, but still contains the all important letter.

4. Important countries of the world (whose currency does not depreciate) are called G-10 nations.

5. GDP is a measure of how well you are doing, except in Bhutan, where only happiness is measured. Poor souls.

6. India's answer to James Bond, Mithun, went by the name Gunmaster G-9. Not F-9 or B-9.

7. An important gaali (honourable term of address) in Hindi is Gadhe...

8. Ghotala, the Hindi word for scandal, also begins with a G.

Above all, two words that drive the spiritual, and the corporate sports-world start with a G-

9. God, and

10. Golf.

I rest my case.