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Showing posts from September, 2015

Octobered

The word is an original coinage, and though it rhymes with butchered, it is non-violent. It is usually in and around this month that a lot of people I know have their birthdays (including Gandhiji, to whom I owe special gratitude, having half-filched his autobiography's title for my own). Therefore, I am forced to think thoughts that I normally don't (some would say that I am forced to think, period). In other words, about life, and the long term. Beyond the week, at any rate.

I am not so good at thinking long term, I must admit. But I try. I am trying. No thoughts as of now, but one or two stray ones..

How do you make Gultis  (word used for Telugu people) lose their innocence?
You add an 'i'- makes them Guilty.

What would be the common problem faced by a  Verma?
Worms.

.....a Sharma?
Sharm. (this is a Hindi word meaning shame)

Which Indian State would William Tell settle in, if he had to?
Tel(l)anngana.


Dropping Out

When I was researching the Key Success Factors in the success of anyone successful at anything, I hit upon the most obvious one. Dropping out.

Just to cite one example, Microsoft would not have been founded had Bill Gates completed his education. And he employed Satya Nadella (who completed his education), not the other way round. Dhirubhai never started, so I consider him a virtual dropout.

Excited with this discovery, I have now decided to drop out. Whenever anyone asks me to do something, I prompty drop out. The other day, my family asked me to accompany them to dinner. I dropped out, and they went ahead and had a successful dinner. I contributed to someone's success, didn't I? Likewise, when my friends asked me to join them in a startup, I dropped out. I was only imitating Bill Gates, albeit in my own way. I am sure my friends will succeed.

An enthusiastic group of friends decided to go and run in a marathon the other day. Guess what I did? I dropped out, and they success…

Kis Kisko Pyaar Karoon

Some deft direction and dialogues make this an entertaining, eminently watchable film. If you are a Kapil Sharma fan and are looking for light entertainment, go for it.

It's not a classic, but it's good fun. Its theme is not novel, except it stretches the Gharwali Baharwali (two wives) concept to four. How the hero gets into this muddled life (saving women in distress and getting hitched against his will), and then how he tries to maintain the wives at arm's length from one another is the story, but there's a lot of novelty in the form of minor characters.

Arbaaz Khan as the deaf Don, Sharat Saxena, the maidservant, are the ones I liked in particular. The watchman too. The oft-repeated line "Bhagwan aisa pati sabko de" is used very well, to underline the irony of his predicament.

The muisc is passable, and so are the actresses in the lead role(s).

Why It Helps To Be Low Tech

In a world of high-tech, it helps to be low-tech. Here's why.

No one expects you to be available 24x7 for their moronic missions/updates/conversations.

You can claim innocence of any "├╝rgent" (never understood the meaning of this word) work that your boss wants you to do.

You can have undisturbed vacations.

You can ask for help (damsel-in-distress type) from the hi-tech folk. They are so thrilled with their superiority, that they will go out of their way.

You don't have to explain yourself, except for one explanation that fits all occasions- that you are a low-tech guy!

Wow, what a relief. You can't read this blog? That's because I am low-tech, man @@@..

Dev Anand Birth Anniversary

This guy had an indomitable spirit- at any age. Something one can learn from. One of my favourite actors until Des Pardes-I saw only one film of his after this- he went on making films and introducing actors until his last breath.

He acted with Hema Malini in her first big hit, Johnny Mera Naam, though she was introduced earlier. He introduced Zeenat Aman, in a role full of 'dum' in Hare Rama Hare Krishna. He also introduced Tina Munim, among others. She went on to do many hit films.

He had some unique films, and was usually ahead of his time in his choice of subjects. Swami Dada about religious babas, Des Pardes about woes of immigrants, Hare Rama Hare Krishna about drugs, and even a few old films like Love Marriage which in the times of arranged marriages was quite a bold theme. He has acted with heroines ranging from Madhubala and Geeta Bali to Tina Munim many years later, spanning three generations!

His films were a bit tacky with his mannerisms, but he was loved by audie…

Agatha Christie, Mystery Books and Films

Agatha Christie was a part of growing up. I read a lot of her books. My favourite creation of hers is the Belgian with the egg-shaped head, Hercule Poirot. I also watched a few of the English films that were made based on her books. The three films I liked best were Evil Under the Sun, Death on the Nile, and Murder on the Orient Express. Naturally, they are all Hercule Poirot mysteries, with Peter Ustinov and Albert Finney playing him. I also saw a couple of films based on the Miss Marple character, but to me, she was an "inferior" detective.

The Hindi film Gumnaam was also based on And Then There Were None, written by her. It was a really good film in the suspense genre, where winners of a contest are flown to an island resort, and bumped off one by one..excellent plot. Mehmood acted really well, and the song Hum kaale hain to kya hua dilwaale hain that he sang on-screen became a rage. Other popular songs were Jaane chaman, shola badan, filmed on the lead pair of Nanda and…

Patel Rap 2015

This is based on an old popular rap number called Patel Rap..

You gotta listen man,
to this song of mine

Very soon you'll be stayin
In a motel of mine

Where you'll sleep and dine
And you'll say it's all fine

You don't need a reservation in a motel, man
but who says I don't need one in my country,
Coz if I can steal a job from another guy
I'll do what it takes, and celebrate

To hell with Big Bang reforms, man
I wanna be a small guy, a small guy
What is good for me is good for you
That's what I will continue to say....

A Five Point Program for Good Governance

Ask all government employees to stand in line and get a certificate from ten common citizens about their conduct on the job. Give all those who score less than 60% a one year warning to shape up or..

Put all rules on the web, pertaining to any government permission, license, permit etc. and ask the citizen to print the stuff, stick a picture if needed, and post a copy to the government official concerned (maybe a scan). If you don't hear from him in three days, the citizen is deemed to have got the certificate/license/permit. Then the burden shifts to the official to prove that the citizen should not be carrying that.

Remove all subsidies on gas cylinders. It does not help a household anyway-too small an amount. Instead, cut the inefficient supply chains and make gas available on demand. It will help shut down all the inefficient dealers. And bring prices down. Even if the prices don't go down, people will be willing to pay for efficiency and lack of time-wastage. Even better…

Festivals- Private and Public

What exactly is the purpose of a festival? I am not really a religious guy, but this is not about religion anyhow. It is about the festivals, traditionally celebrated by us.

To my mind, it is to bring joy and peace to ourselves, and maybe to others. Whatever we want to practice in terms of rituals and diet etc. is our business, and no one else's. Similarly, what other people practice at home as their rituals, diets, etc. is their business, not ours. That is not only fair, it is also a sensible, common-sensical approach.

Why the State wants to get into this and muddy the waters for people, giving a chance to all kinds of strife, is what beats me. The State must endeavour to maintain peace rather than stir things up, in my view. If it is not doing that, it is a failure of Governance, however small. Something to think about.

O Maaria Redux

Ok, I will admit I don't know what exactly redux means but it sounds good here. I think (hope) most people in India exposed to the media will get this. The promotion mystery rather than the murder mystery is at the heart of this poem- all situations are imaginary, and have no relation to reality. Read and sing in Hindi, to the tune from film Sagar.

O Maaria o maria, o Maaria ho ho
O Maaria o maria, o Maaria ho ho
Arre Peter jab bola tha tujhse
Shaadi karega Indrani se
Kaise kaha tha yeh bata aa aa aa

O Maaria o maria, o Maaria ho ho ho
Arre Jo bhi bola tha tujhse
Tu Home Guards mein baith ja re
Kaise kaha tha yeh bata aa aa aa

O Maaria o maria, o Maaria ho ho ho
Shola sa tan man mein ek bhadka to hoga
Devendra ki baaton se dil bhadka to hoga
Sun ke woh baatein kya tu chup ho liya tha
Mummy se poochhunga kya aisa bola tha
O Maaria ha, o maria ha
O Maaria ho ho ho ho ho

My Brand Names

The business of naming brands/people/things is tricky. You can get it right, and sometimes, horribly wrong. If I could name the following, my favourite names would be-

1. For a West Bengal Political Party- Oh, Calcutta.

2. For Salman Khan's signature shampoo which will compete with Pant-ene - Shirtoff.

3. For the FM Radio Jockeys who like to yak non-stop- Yukyuk.

4. For stock market "experts" who let you sink, as they are unable to predict a downturn- Titanic.

5. For Nitish/Laloo- Do Be'Chare'

6. For Arnab- Go, Swami.

7. El Nino- Kisiki to suno.

8. Google's next product- AtiSunder!

9. Guys who agree to get into Big Boss-  GetaLife

10. People who read blogs- Golden Hearts!


Teacher's Day

In India, September 5 is celebrated as Teacher's Day. I had a rather unique one. I was in Belgaum, where my father grew up, to visit an institute for a guest lecture to their students. Gogte Institute of Technology has an MBA program where I was. Very hospitable faculty folks made it a nice trip. Had a nice informal discussion about their plans, now that they have become autonomous, within the VTU (university).

Belgaum has limited flights, so my return flight was from Goa. Which meant a beautiful drive through the Western Ghats from Belgaum to reach Goa airport. I would recommend this drive to anyone interested in natural beauty-particularly in this season. I was reminded of another drive through the Western ghats when we drove from Bangalore to Gokarna a few years ago through Agumbe. Sunsets there are fabulous.

Belgaum is a nice mid-sized town with great weather. I have been there a few times, and loved it every time. Also watched the first-ever IPL match in the first series whe…

Phone Etiquette for Calling Me

The rules are fairly simple. I won't need to write a book about these.

1. If I don't know you, don't call.

2. If you do, don't expect me to pick up. I won't.

3. Message me what you want to talk about first, if you want me to even care.

4. I am not here to answer calls from people whom I don't want to talk to, but who want to talk to me.

5. There is always email. Which I may reply to.

6. Go to Rule 1.

That's it. Simple, ain't it?