Thursday, December 31, 2009


The year in review.

One of the greatest highs is when you crack your first client. Where you declare, though to nobody in particular, We are in business. At 6 AM in the morning.

Because when you choose this line, you told yourself, whatever it takes. Never mind, if this proved your undoing. When you beat somebody known and established in the line of business, there is a smile on your face. This year brought that smile.

When you kept giving your partner more time because he had to settle his family issues. You kept telling yourself, this will just pass and you will be on a roll. This year brought the disappointment, as it was not to be.

When you want to charge a premium to the market on the promise of better quality. And never once did you realise, what if not. This year brought that wisdom, first close sales, book revenues and then bother about charging a premium. When you are new you have to undercut.

When you realized as early as April, maybe just maybe this won't work out. But by then you had already chosen the path. And once you choose the path, you have to let the path choose everything else for you.

There was an opportunity, because the competition lacked people management skills. Client services suffered, employee morale suffered, client's expectations suffered. This created an opportunity, that we sought to take. But trifles like a nagging wife, a nagging mother-in-law, a nagging father, and financial irresponsibility turned out to be bigger demons that could not be handled.

The first employee was hired. The smile on his face when I gave him the offer letter. The dejection on his face when I told he is out of job, because we are winding down. My own failures at handling him. At times I went pretty far, like a nagging schoolteacher. At others when I should have used technology to rely on , I chose faith and was left disappointed.

My disappointments with having to handle the employee all by myself.

When I finally gathered the courage to face my partner and tell him, it ain't working out. We met perhaps after 3 months. And my partner informed me that he was looking out for jobs. I had guessed that.

Two probable opportunities which did not work out.

But like any other hindi movie, even this has to end on a happy note. Things are moving, I don't know, but they are. And I am happy about it.

Cheers and happy new year.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Start up saturday Mumbai dec 13, 2009

This was my second start up saturday. The last one being in Bangalore more than 6 months back. They have evolved since, making it a paid event.

When I entered Vizisense was making a presentation. I had never heard about them before, but they seem to be doing interesting things. And were pretty open in terms of what they do, how do they do etc.

The question and answer session was pretty mediocre with some one interested in the great Indian exalted ambition of "Value", being sought. I was surprised that compete wasn't mentioned even once, though somebody did mention comcast. A lot of questions were boring, though the presenter was super courteous and deflected the difficult ones with ease.

All start up events do not run on schedule, by design, anywhere in India. So we have this perennial race on covering something really important by the speaker, moderator egging audience for asking that "last question", audience dying to ask a question.

The audience crowd perhaps was pulled from SP, with dudes reading newspapers on the last bench. A very common phenomena in top B schools.

Overall the crowd was a lot more than I had expected, given that the organisers were charging Rs 100/50 per attendee. On top of that people had a funny sticker on their T shirts which announced their names. I did not pick one.

I understand that economics of such a event at this level do not work out, so its ok when people are trying to tweak things to see what works and what doesn't.

The next session was a talk by Deap Ubhi, about his start up Burp. A few takeaways.

Mr. Mani will spend a lot of time in US as he will try to concentrate on the US business of Just dial.

In 10 years justdial this year may make a to of 25 millions and profit of 1 million. I guess INR and not USD.

The VC exit ecosystem in India is not very well developed. In the silicon valley at least the bigger companies are buying smaller companies either for the idea, the system or the product that has been created, the star team or just to help a friend. The same may be absent in India.

The idea of burp was simply an arbitrage opportunity to create a local listing in the India Market. Exactly like printo.

Burp will do revenues of 6.5 cr this year, break even in april 2010, though infomedia is loosing money. Info media 18 is a listed company but I could not find its annual report on the web.

The accuracy of data in infomedia is about 50%.

Burp was unsuccessful in many VC pitches and finally the person they got was a strategic investor who could leverage burp along with his/her other investments.

At the time of the sale, burp had offers from Google and another company. Since Deap was brought up in US, there were times when I could not pick up a few words because of his accent. This was one of those times.

Burp will have a tie up with nivalink.

My over all judgement was that he did a good job in stating the facts as they stood, without sounding way too enthusiastic and going overboard. And since our problem is that we worship success and burp looks like a success, we want as much sound bytes from those, who have been there and done that.

The problem with the Indian market is the GDP and the IT, ITeS success stories. Everybody seems to be trying to replicate the same in other areas, start ups, green technology, VC scene etc.

My judgement is that the picture is not as rosy as it looks. Sure Deap made a lot of money and did have an opportunity to exit, which very few get in India. He might have a taken a few positions which did not turn out just right.

If I was in his shoes, after a year of operations, if I had seen a lot of PR in restaurants in Mumbai, I might have dumped the local business listing model and would have gone straight into restaurants in mumbai dropping every thing else. Set up a payment gateway, take bookings, do food festivals, whatever. But that's just me.

In future start up saturday's the questions need to be moderated and people need to stop asking three questions and expecting people to remenber all three before answering.

Minutes after Deap expressed his disapointment with sms mobile business not turning out very well, there was a talk/sales pitch by a company on mobile campaigns. Had it been an informative talk, I might have stayed, but it was a simple sales pitch. I got bored and left.

I am no journalist or a professional blogger or an event reporter. Had I been one , I would have definitely made an attempt to make this piece more structured and spent time on putting a flow in place. It is a notes for myself type of piece.

p.s. I have got burp wrong throughout this piece, the url is, though there is some IP level conflict, my browser is either taking me to the Bangalore landing page or the Delhi landing page, though i am in Mumbai.

Conversation with A

Why are you hell bent on an online business?

Do a better market research, meet the builders, brokers etc.

There is a risk in any business, I just need to be aware of the risks before I am putting the money in something.

why will a buyer of a property buy from you over the other brokers? can you provide the best deal in this segment, given that you are a novice. My guess was that this market the buyer wouldn't bother about getting a better deal. I need to either validate or negate my assumption by speaking with a prospective buyer.

what is the differentiation that you would be bringing on the table.

Why don't you start a simple educational reselling business where deal size is 10k to 30 k. So that the commissions are higher.
Me: The problem with software reselling is that the effort spent per sale is very high. Though the commission is higher, but revenue per sale is very less.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Then Steffi, Now Strauss

I am not a huge tennis or cricket fan. I still do not understand the nomenclature of a cricketing field. And I don't know when was the last time I watched a tennis match in its entirety.

Flashback 1999. I had bombed the JEE, was looking at taking anything in Eamcet at a grand 5k rank, when steffi graf came back from an injury, i guess it was Wimbledon. And won.

It lifted me, her courage, when every critic had written her off and no one believed she could, i suppose neither did she.

And I decided I will give JEE another shot.

Flashback over.

I have been a little hung up of little on what if this works and what if it does not. And then I read a piece on Strauss in cricinfo. How a couple of years back, he had almost given up playing for england and then went out and just enjoyed himself as there was nothing more to loose.

Only after the nadir is hit, can you enjoy the moment.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

One Step

One step at a time Phaedrus.

Uncertainty is a challenge and so is my love for back up plans. I need to shed the later for now.
Just try this, see how it works. And if it fails then it fails, and move on easily.

I have always gotten away with my usual, I don't know what to do with my life. For a long time

The cup is overflowing now. I have responsibilities which I need to own up to. Give people
clarity as to where my life is heading and not just a complicated if else version of what my life
might turn into.

Parents have paid some money for the construction of house, which now might be put on hold because
because of my unsteadiness. Some money has already gone down the drain.

Bangalore is like foreign for us.
All a parent wants is to live their life with their kids.
Finally even we will need some support.
What will we do after building a house if it has to be left vacant
We have no love to own a house.
If need be we can buy a house later, here.
You have seen a lot of late, including a lot of struggle, just decide what you want to do now
and stick with it.
Don't worry about running out of money.
You can take another year, we will wait.

Strangely, no talk about marriage.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

See Saw waveform

Gyan time folks.

Remember Manickavachagam Pillai?

Let's say I need to plot the life of a salaried person and a business person( for some reason, i hate the word entrepreneur, the only combination in which i ever use it, is, the mediocre entrepreneur) against time.

A salaried person's life is a line passing through origin with m<1.>

A person who is attempting a business( why should a sane man ever do this is still out of my understanding) can be represented by a sew saw waveform, passing through origin. There also might be points on the graphs which lie below the x axis. Technically you can not hold negative money, but I guess the financial term is , you are in debt.

You start life by getting out of job, where you have to sacrifice certain privileges, a fixed income security at the end of each month( line is discontinuous at this point and goes down(hill)). You liquidate your assets, be it a car or a home etc. Life generally becomes difficult.

Say you do well in the business after some time so graph again goes up. You again want the small pleasures of life, a car, a house etc. Overall this decision reflects business cycles. In boom time you expand and in recession you contract. This is also how a stock price varies, my friend said so.

The challenge lies in managing this uncertainty through out your life. At every juncture in your life, you do not know how will your line move( a la rekhaon ka khel hai muqaddar, rekhaoes se mat kha rahe ho). If you are a science student or a finance fanatic, you will broadcast to the whole world that my life is a Brownian motion.

At every juncture it has only two outcomes either up or down, unlike a drunkard's motion.

Next, let's say your fake mathematical alter ego asks you to capture the line in a mathematical form. At least give me equations of two contours within which the story/line of your life will lie.

You do regression, and all excel modeling and finally you propose this equation:

y = mx , where

m>1 , with a probability of 1%
m is less than 1 with a certainty of 99%( had to type in English as the mathematical equation was giving an html error, and it's been 8 years since I last did some debugging)

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Saturday, October 24, 2009

And Kate Winslet grew old

Titanic remains one of my favorite movie. I have seen it a few times, I guess twice.

We like movies for various reasons.

  1. Because it has a very high imdb rating. ( Godfather)
  2. Because our friends like it ( Requiem for a dream)
  3. Because we can relate sometimes with the protagonist, sometimes with the antagonist, and sometimes with some marginal character( A million dollar baby)
  4. Because we are suppose to like them.( Gandhi)
  5. Because we never understood it and still liked it for a long time, till a friend actually explained us the story, went back and saw the movie, and finally understood it ( Memento)
  6. Because how can some one not like animation( Ice Age)
  7. Because one day I was a kid and dreamed up that I just have to clear the JEE and everything will be perfect, then I thought, well I will do an MBA and everything will be perfect, then.....We always underestimate how is it going to be on the other side of our utopia. We rarely ever even think about it, mostly we buy a thought, that let's bother about tomorrow only tomorrow.
Because some movies show us how is it going to be on the other side. ( Revolutionary Road).

I do not understand music. I cannot read the notes in a book. But I know two kinds of music, one which I like and one which I do not. And then there is this which gets under my skin. The soundtrack from revolutionary road belongs to the final category. It is going to end, then it takes you a note higher. It is going to end and it takes you a note lower. It is going to end, it almost pauses and then you fall short of words needed to describe it.

Why did Kate Winslet grow old ?

Friday, October 16, 2009

Happy Diwali post

Years ago, Mr. Ganapathy asked me to wish Dr. Kiran, Happy Diwali. At that point of time, I was 17 and held the belief that what will my happying something change this world, or some one 's life. And the blunt person that I am, I asked him, why should I ? He replied, it will make him happy. changes things. From the last lines of this movie here.

So was it that I was making him unhappy generally? Whatever.

Here's me, the rude, the blunt, the uncouth, happying everybody who comes to this blog and who doesn't ( pun intended).

Happy Diwali.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The indecision

There are a couple of ways of looking at money.

From a perspective of what your peers are earning. And from another perspective of how much do you need. Provided that you are not hung up about your pedigrees. A lot of friends of mine, keep discussing investing in stocks, because they have a lot of money and do not do what to do with it. I always advice them value investing. But, for myself wouldn't it be a bloody vicarious form of earning a livelihood.

I have a couple of options here. Completely dissolve this firm. Or make it into a dormant one with a solitary client and move on. Enjoy the cash flows while the client lasts.

This is an easier option, because it might solve my cash flow concern in the short term. The flip side being that I may need to be involved with people I don't want to be involved with. In an ideal world I would like to dissolve this for the primary reason that I need to move on. There is also this feeling of being taken for granted, accepted that he married the wrong woman, still.

And the heart calls out for blood. Put a knife in your body, and remove this part forever. Yes, I can be melodramatic at times.

A lot of us are idealists when we are growing up. We write essays in exams against dowry, believe that love is above everything else in adolescence, have ambitions, and generally believe that we will just do what we love/want doing.

Over time, we come to wither. Come to accept a word from the lexicon, adjustment. Another, compromise. We come to fear uncertainty and failure.

I have finally discovered an answer to all my challenges in life. Join a gym.

Somebody asked me a few questions from my previous post. As has been my outlook, when in doubt ask questions. I skip a lot of things here, because I am talking about myself, and I take many things for granted, supposedly, since I know myself.

So if you have a question please raise them. No, this is not my attempt to play to the galleries or attempt to convert content to copy.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

The collapse

Came and went.

There was no unnecessary emotion. No bickering. I was asked to give a fair feedback. I banked heavily on Costolo's article from here( ). Costolo espouses the concept of an open workplace, I extrapolated it to the benefits of an open channel of communication. As I had judged earlier the problem was his wife. A woman with all the wrong ideas of the world is the most dangerous person whom I cannot handle.

She did not like me.
She may not have liked the fact that I stayed in a duplex house, while having refused her earlier request on another apartment ( Duplex et all) where we move in together. I just did not have enough patience to share accommodation with a married couple. To me there still is no difference between my previous single room apartment and my current big house. Not so to the world.
I interfered in her life on his father's request.
I did not ingratiate myself to her mother. I openly disagreed with her mother.

Effectively a woman ( I ) scorned.

I sometimes come across as a rude person, especially to women, and am fine with it. But this also was responsible for my undoing.

She may have given a choice/ warning to him to listen to her and not me.

I am not sure; I might be getting personal here and blaming everything on her. The entire fault might just be mine.

One of the traits which has been forced a development within me, of late is decisioning under uncertainty. I do not know the facts, but I deduce them based on the limited amount of information I have and building up on the other parts. A posteriori.

A physics teacher taught me to assume everything in world when I wanted to solve a difficult problem and did not know where in hell to begin from. The only sum I attempted from Irodovo is it's fist sum. Early failure teaches us to cut the losses early.

Numerical methods taught me the beauty of iterations. With each iteration leading me one more step closer to the final solution.

Sometimes, my first judgement is wrong, but I have started the process by making an assumption. The game then shifts to iterating on the problem, till a sufficiently good solution for a problem is reached at.

So the above is my judgement at this point of time. My judgement is also a special case of an assumption. A fact might be a special case of an assumption. So might an opinion.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Hill Climbing

So which hill is this Phaedrus. and least it be confused, more clarification is here,

Sometime today I was waiting on the pond side, having thrown(or is it cast?) a net. None of the fishes turned up
So I stood outside the room, contemplating and somewhere near the horizon I saw the rains.

It was fun standing outside that room on a 9 story building, watching the rain approach and
diminishing the horizon, with its approach.


Saturday, September 19, 2009

Five years of graduation - A reflection, part 2( On Public demand)

Ok, first the facts. The reflection part happened the usual old fashioned way, where a pen and a paper were involved intimately. It got a trifle too personal and too long so I had debunked the idea of putting it here. Nevertheless, the gist or the output is this.

It is about time I settle down in life, and before that get a life. Break the rut that I have become struck in.

Take a long call, in terms of duration and stand by it through thin and thick times.

Finally for chrissake join a gym, it is increasingly becoming my lifetime ambition. Btw my guiding principles for the future/rues of life are below, a derivative of the reflections, lessons, mistakes etc.
  1. Anything can go wrong. There is never only one way to go forward. Each way has its risks, be aware of the potential pitfalls and take calculated risks. Never carry bitterness with yourself.( Dedicated to arundhati roy a) anything can go wrong. b) It is best to be prepared. Right Estha/ Rahel?
  2. Regularize work timings, 9 to 6
  3. Do multiple things, play sport, go outdoors on weekends, join a gym, join some club, make new friends etc.
  4. Create a structure/process for working
  5. Have a soul mate to discuss problems/scenarios at workplace
  6. I am not a great people handler.
  7. Understand that standing alone you will not achieve anything and even if you do, you will be left alone
  8. Regularize cash flows by getting involved in risk free steady cash flow generating jobs, like weekend teaching etc. Easy said than done, but still.
  9. Have two way reporting where you report to the other person and the other person reports in to you.
  10. Be clear on priorities and your idea on the importance and utility of money and make sure everybody is aware of it, family, friends etc.
  11. As the protagonist in Into the wild discovers in the end, Happiness only real when shared. You need someone with whom you can share the workspace, someone with whom you may share your hobbies to travel, drink, and read and some woman with whom you will share your life. I don’t expect to succeed to find soul mates in all spheres of life but at least I am clear as to where the road can lead, if everything goes right. And with Murphy always on my side, I know what to expect, at all times.
  12. The means are many, take angel funding, reroute cash flows etc. Understand the model first and then choose to adopt it, modify it or completely reject it.
There was a time in my engineering college when we were in a party and the DJ played a good track, we use to shout once moooore, once more( aka public demand). I am not sure, but I guess I tried extrapolating that to a classroom, when somebody went to the board and did a really horrible job of attempting to solve a problem. This or some other way, I did try to apply my knowledge, but don't recall exactly where. This came to my mind courtesy the public demand in the header.

The End.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


My electrical engineering teacher called up today morning. They are having an alumni meet in college sometime this month. She wanted to know, if I can make it. Unfortunately I cannot.

Actually I can, but mostly I won't as I anyways need to go back to home for diwali next month. And my home and college are in the same city.

Be that as it may, she started again, so what are you doing with your life, when are you coming back to electrical . There are very few students who read as much as you did during your engineering about electrical. And on for some time.

I gave her my shaky replies, I have moved on. It is difficult for me to come back to engineering and if I do I will need to start over again. It is not that I have reached somewhere in life, which I might have to forsake, but still.

My other problem; a lot of awe I inspire sometime frightens me. I just took life my way and did some things, that's all. I haven't achieved anything yet, neither do I know what I need to aspire for, but still, I am a bit content, as I am not struck anywhere and am generally free.


Wednesday, September 09, 2009

I have become lost to the world (16 August 1901)

I am lost to the world
with which I used to waste so much time,
It has heard nothing from me for so long
that it may very well believe that I am dead!

It is of no consequence to me
Whether it thinks me dead;
I cannot deny it,
for I really am dead to the world.

I am dead to the world's tumult,
And I rest in a quiet realm!
I live alone in my heaven,
In my love and in my song!

Friday, September 04, 2009

Five years of graduation - A reflection part 1

It is more than five years , since I graduated. Though this may not call for anything, but I will still spend some time on my reflections, learnings and failures. Also experiences. In terms of statistics,

Jobs worked in, ( Including for the self) - 6

Sectors worked in - 5
Engineering, Banking, Outsourcing(KPO) , Education, Entertainment

Net Worth: Assets-Liabilities: not much, say the average amount my peers who are doing well earn in a month


May 2004-Kanyakumari, Rameshwaram, Madurai, Kodaikanal - with family

July 5th 2004- First job , SL, Mumbai

Aug 2004- Nashik for one month, on shop floor during first job. Come back for a meeting in the middle of monsoons in a cab in inclement weather, a very dangerous drive I have had ever, from Nashik to Mumbai. Few railway tracks have been swept off to god knows where in that very terrain. Miss a landslide by a whisker, see the biggest traffic jam of my life. And it does not stop raining.

Sep-Nov 2004: Preparation for CAT, made a set of rules for the self, will not call any friend and speak, will not go to movies, will not waste any time. My schedule during these four months was something like below, with some exaggeration:

4:30 AM : wake up and study till 6
6:45 AM: Buy three newspapers everyday and catch the bus in Dombivili
5:15 PM: Leave office, complete reading the three papers in the bus.
6:45 PM : Reach home, take some rest
7:30 to 9 : Study
9 to 10 : tv and dinner
10 to 11:30 - 12 : study and then sleep.

Weekends: Mock test and more study, we worked for six days a week, i think.

I could think this up because five years back i had done something similar for IIT preparation, I did that for around a year. There were times when I did doze off in bus due to exhaustion, the only phase in my life when I have slept while in a sitting position.

March 2004: Got confirmation from B school A of final offer.
Happily went into PI for B school B, was very jovial and careless in this PI, since already had an offer, told that to the panel also.
Few days later school A said, there was a technical problem, actually I haven't made it
School B made me a final offer. I joined school B. Later I had other 2 confirmations from two other B schools for final offer, and I did not attend PI of two more. I did not get through one other.

I have had difficulties with PI all my life. Why do people ask rhetoric and stupid questions?

March 2005: quit my job with 3 day notice period.

July 2005 : Join School B, for two roller coaster years

During these two years

Go to a fort near pune for a 7 KM one side trek
Visit Mulshi, Kanheri caves neat lonavala as part of rotaract picnic
visit sibm and mica in cultural fests, don't win anything
visit mahabaleshwar, and nearby town, forgetting its name
go to goa with b.e. college friends new year 2005/6
go to goa again after placements with mba friends jan 2007
do a summers spread over mumbai, pune, wapi, surat,baroda and Ahmedabad. Baroda is the best city.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Rules of the game

1. If you are not enjoying a game, cut your loss and move on.

2. When you have chosen to be part of a game, giving up is not a option

3. Do not take a decision till you take a decision

4. be aware of the risks, this way or that, just be aware of what all can go wrong. Also right.

5. Enjoy the ride

6. Commitment to a cause is difficult, but I need to learn to play games with longer commitment time

We believe various things at various points in our life, the above are my beliefs at this point.

Manufacturing Enthusiasm

Japan elected a new head of state recently, so did Pakistan some time back when Mussharaf was ousted. Though I abstain from the TV media, but I do follow news here and there on the web, mostly world news.

A friend asked me long time back, what movies do I watch, I gave a snob of a reply, mostly english,I said. He smirked and told me, what's the difference between english and hindi. I just shrugged my shoulders, below my tastes.

Similarly, I follow world politics and have no idea of local politics. Apparently deshmukh may not be the chief minister of Maharastra, these days. How would I know, neither does economist nor the guardian cover that kind of news.

Snob is the word.

So, when one looks at the governments changing and nations being swept by waves of enthusiasm, one wonders, for what are they so happy, don't they know that in two years time all of them would be cursing the new elect. But the rest of the world is not as smart and nihilistic as I may be. So they celebrate, dance, rejoice. Hope, for a better tomorrow. And convert their hope into dreams and a pseudo reality.

And their dreams first crackle, then crack and finally are crushed.

Similar is the case with start ups, when one is founding one or becoming a part of one in the initial days, there is a lot of joy, hope and dreams. Mostly, the same fate awaits them as the vox- populi in a government change.

Chomsky talks about manufacturing consent, I wonder what are his views on Murdoch jr.'s tirade against BBC. Free economy and free speech are something chomsky seems to have debunked long time back, but I am unaware about his views on private media, other than them being used as a medium to construct public opinion, something he calls manufacturing consent.

There was this book, which was helping me stay inside shopper's stop the other day, bless crossword for opening a store there, it compared Mckinsey to jesuits. The founding principle of firm which was on client confidentiality, just like law firms, how four in five McKinsey joiners would leave in 5 years time only to occupy the top posts in some of the biggest companies etc. And other day I was browsing through the newly launched harley davidson, another snob product, india website, and bingo the head of india was a McKinsey veteran.

Monday, August 24, 2009

What's up

I have been hated for a variety of reasons, at various points of time. A dear friend in MBA hated me for daydreaming and reading stuff on internet on random topics. Here is wishing him more luck, my latest interests

I haven't been able to make head or tail out of any, but I am trying. Another assignment for self is to pick up a subject and understand it completely on my own, a la engineering. Say, pick up Digital Signal Processing, and read it up on each saturday in a libi and complete the subject in 3 month's time. I have had many pipe dreams, let's see if this remains in the pipe or comes out in the open.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Managing uncertainity and Than Than nann

After three hectic days during the beginning of the week, I took friday off. In my line of work there is no such distinction between a week day and a weekend.

The last night I was browsing the net generally and there was a rotten article on yahoo on how kaminey is starting some kind of trend. The article also said that it was a vishal bharadwaj movie. Now I had a vague kind of idea, that there was some movie called kaminey coming out, with shahid kapur and pc. I had no intention of even noticing it. A lot of movies have gone by with my being indifferent to their arrival and then their subsequent demise.

But since this was a vishal bhadawaj movie, I decided to give it a shot.

So when Friday morning came, I went to watch a morning show at a nearby multiplex, which is at a walking distance from my home. And only the morning show suits my pockets.

So there I went to see Kaminey with a lot of expectations. I had browsed its website the previous day and was aware of everything which was there. Also thanks to torrent, the songs also were downloaded.

Kaminey was fine.

I have this affliction where my head feels heavy after I have seen a movie in a theatre and hence I usually avoid hindi movies, which are unnecessarily long.

I still had a heavy head so I took a nap in the afternoon. Someone trying to sell me a barclays credit card broke my slumber in some time, and there was no sleep anymore.

Later, I went to watch another play at rangashankara, sic. It turned out a combination of a wonderful script and mediocre acting. The script was from some foreign play, hence was good enough. But as is true with indians, they take a pleasure in ruining every beautiful foreign thing.

In acting there is this problem of form, where an actor needs to kill his personality and effortlessly own another skin of a character. In the play, the leading lady did the opposite; there was unnecessary swagger, accent and pure buffoonery from her side. She also happened to direct the play and hence no one could possibly ask her to take it easy and let it flow, as I guess the lingo is. The other characters Theo and frank were fine.

The problem with young women who think they are ogle-able is that they take this fact very seriously and forget everything else. Like you see a person with very good upkeep, but once the person opens his mouth, all you want is to run away.

There was another play I saw last week, mere bed ke niche rehne wali. By far the best play I have ever seen. The actors were 12-16 year olds.

I ran into a senior from my engineering college at sic. He was also in the startup game and recently has moved on, so that he could get out of office at 6 PM every day. He said there are other things also that he wants to do in life.

One of the challenges of a start up life is to manage your time efficiently and relax often, otherwise one might burnout or if one succeeds this way, the rest of the life stands ruined.

Today morning I had around 5 interviews for people I was planning to take on internship, starting at 8:30 AM to 11:oo AM. None of them turned up.

The difficulty in this scenario is to take failure chin up and not let bitterness and a sense of failure creep in. Also to let yourself brace for the next challenge. Many things do not happen as we want, not even closer to what we want. One would like to identify the mistakes, correct them and move on. Make a new plan, incorporate the learning and throw the net in the ocean again and wait. And wait . And wait.

Friday, July 24, 2009

This and That

Read this and That .

Finally this.

Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening
Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.

My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.

He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound's the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

Robert Frost

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Monday, July 13, 2009

Fitzgerald again

I finally read , the great gatsby by Scott F Fitzgerald.

In a way it was boring and a letdown for me, but for this super last paragraph, which I quote here.

I wanted to read this ever since I read a few letters to his daughter, which his daughter had published and found their way into some American literature book, which was selling at a footpath for peanuts, say 5 years back.

Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgastic future that year by year recedes before us. It eluded us then, but that's no matter- to-morrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther.... And one fine morning-
So we beat on, boats against the currents, borne back ceaselessly into the past.

To juxtapose, something from clerks 2.

Dante Hicks: Why *do* the Go-Karts help?
Randal Graves: I don't know. They just remind me of a better time in my life.
Dante Hicks: Like when?
Randal Graves: Like when we were young and the world was still in front of us.
Dante Hicks: We're not that old.
Randal Graves: Yeah. But, sometimes I get the feeling the world kinda left us behind a long time ago.
Dante Hicks: You know, you can do something about that.


Sunday, July 05, 2009

The push

I never really thought I would learn swimming.

The only reason I use to avoid a shower, when a kid, was because I use to grasp for breath and had to come in and out of a shower. And more over I knew I was lazy enough, not to bother hitting the waters, expecting a eureka moment, before I actually start swimming.

So When Sudi invited me to learn swimming in my, 9th or 10th standard vacation, I analysed my downside risk, 100 bucks and 1 month effort, my upside, 100 bucks and a world swimmer, I decided to take the bet.

They took three days to teach me how to swim, quite an accomplishment, because I was promised a minimum 1 week. I also picked up cycling on the way. Then, a month or so transpired.

The next bug to hit me was Jumping from a 2-3 meter stage, I forget what they call this feat in Olympics. I had my eyes set right on the gold. I had seen sudi jump from there and admired his courage. So one day, he asked me why don't you try it. I said why not.

Now, at my height, you usually double up the distance between the mean water level and my eyes, so let's say it was 4.5 meters. And yes, at that age I was also afraid of heights. Needless to say you could pick a random word from the dictionary with a suffix of phobia, and there was a 90% chance that I would have it.

So, I climbed the stairs, Sudi leading me. He stood on the edge and jumped. He had told me what to do. You need to pierce the water, so keep your toes pointing down. You can go and touch the pool floor, or just after getting into water, free your hands, which had to cling to your body during the jump, and push the water down.

I stood on the edge for five minutes. Sudi, encouraging, requesting, pleading, giving up on me. He also said, look everybody from the road can see you and you are almost bare, why don't you just jump.

After five minutes, I turned back and climbed down the ladder.

I repeated this the next day. On the third day, again I and Sudi went on the stage, I asked him to show me how does he jump. He jumped. Then While I was standing on the edge, unbeknownst (You may blame, Hardy for my using that word. Thomas Hardy) to me Sudi came from behind and pushed me. In a sec I was in water and celebrating. Yes, I had did it.

I jumped a few more times, without any push; once or twice I even touched the pool floor, at 15 feet depth. For reasons I forget now, I stopped going to the pool from the next day.

I have remained a swimming pool swimmer since then.

Sometimes, all we need is a little push. Sometimes Sudis are around, sometimes they are not. It becomes difficult, when they are not.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Celebrating a decade

Of getting out of school/ Under graduate college

Of starting to eat vegetables after a conversation

Of standing up after being blown apart

Of taking a year off to prepare for IIT

Of learning to drive a scooter, driving it at high speeds and finally giving it up before I was even eligible for a license.

Of taking care of household chores, helping mom buy vegetables.

Of walking out of ramaiyah.

Of walking into krisnamoorthy.

Of discovering that I can stand up to a BPL service center, a central bank teller, a corrupt BSNL. Win sometimes and letting Anand's dad help me win at other times, with BSNL and shifting of landline to Nallakunta.

Of defying abhishek's dad on the phone and holding my own.

Of clearing the written test for NDA and then chickening out of the physical test and the medical.

Of sleeping for 5 odd hours in the night for a year, for a dream.

Of rewriting my 11th annual exams to improve my overall percentage, only for Mumbai University to ignore 11th as a non board exam a year later.

Of travelling to Kukatpally everyday for a couple of months.

Of realising that it's been a month since dad has been transferred to Mumbai and everybody in the locality knows this, but me.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

More Button Things

My fav piece of prose

It didn’t matter that the story had begun, because kathakali discovered long ago that the secret
of the Great Stories is that they have no secrets. The Great Stories are the ones you have heard and
want to hear again. The ones you can enter anywhere and inhabit comfortably. They don’t deceive
you with thrills and trick endings. They don’t surprise you with the unforeseen. They are as familiar
as the house you live in. Or the smell of your lover’s skin. You know how they end, yet you listen
as though you don’t. In the way that although you know that one day you will die, you live as
though you won’t. In the Great Stories you know who lives, who dies, who finds love, who doesn’t.
And yet you want to know again.
That is their mystery and their magic.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Jack be nimble, Jack be strong

At the cost of repetition, when I look at things and fret on how bad a situation is, I should merely, objectively assess it. But not take too much from the assessment, what will always be important is, how do you see the future, how can you envision things moving.

In supply chain management, my seniors told me the first rule of forecast is that it is always wrong. Still, the hottest jobs in SCM remain forecasting related.

The fun in life is to take a bet, know the upside and the downside, stop bothering about back up plans or exit strategy and then execute the bet. There will always be a very thin line between the betting coming out trumps or not. History, as NNT points out will be more kind to those whose bets make them and stoicism will still be under rated.

In a way, it seems it is all about taking stances.

When I was being taught various subjects in my engineering, I use to think, it doesn't matter what individually the subjects are called, but the end result should be an ability to comprehend a painting and if courage permits , to paint on a canvass. Would science or math be involved in this. I don't think it would matter.

So Johnie, stop fretting.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

The pleasure in walking

So, I am immobile in a way. There was a time, when generally I had nothing to do, and I would go for a walk, sometimes in a park, but mostly on the roads. The problem with parks being that you need to go around the same periphery time and again, and you keep seeing the same people.

The only adventure, I have is by walking in an anti clock direction. For some strange reason everybody walks in the clockwise direction, i.e. when looked from the heavens. I know clockwise and anti clockwise directions are not absolute.

So, now if I need a break or need to think on some pressing issue, I cannot walk. I have to walk within my house, which involves changing my direction of motion every half a meter, a hugely inconvenient exercise.

Only now do I marvel, on the miracle of our body, and it’s working . Now I will sure join a Gym, to make sure I remain fit.

If an attempt to make rotis is a war, then the dough is your enemy and the sookha aata your best ally. I attempted it today, and the atta somehow turned up very sticky. I had to use a lot of sookha aata to make sure I somehow managed to make rotis. Another of my assumptions which lies quashed today is that , if you can make a roti blow up like a ballon, then it is properly cooked. It happened with all my rotis that they blew up, but later I realize, they were a bit uncooked, so I had to again heat tem on the tava.

I have always believed in owing up to your mistakes, and correcting them then and there.

From Johnie walker, “I might be a slow walker, but I don't walk backwards".

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

In support of an Auto

Wiki defines an auto thus, An auto rickshaw or three-wheelers (tuk-tuk, auto, rick, autorick or rickshaw in popular parlance) is a motor vehicle that is one of the chief modes of transport across many parts of South and East Asia, especially as a vehicle for hire. It is a motorized version of the traditional rickshaw or velotaxi, a small three-wheeled cart driven by a person, and is related to the cabin cycle.

I came back from Mumbai en-route Pune last week and met with an accident. I wanted to show it pictorially using some software, but I will let that feeling pass. The auto ended up ramming a car whose motion was perpendicular to the auto. As with all accidents, this one also took just a moment's misjudgment from the car driver who grandly underestimated the jest with which auto wallahs are used to driving on roads, here in Bangalore. Just as the car driver took a turn, it was clear to both the driver and me that a crash was inevitable.

What we usually appreciate with the Volvo buses on roads are the comfort and the speed. But the best part about them is they are safe because they have one of the best braking system on board. These days bikes also come with disc braking which makes today's generation x more adventurous and the others on the road more shaky.

The auto wallah needs to be given credit for the fact that he did not panic, he timed the accident perfectly. He should also be given a stick because of the over speeding. On a moment's whim he could have slammed the front brakes and the auto might have overturned and all hell would have broken loose. The maruni omni, has this problem of overturning also. Once I saw it skid on a road and barely avoid turning over.

So the dude that our auto wallah is, he slammed the back brakes and made an oblique crash with the car. The good thing again with an oblique crash was that we skidded on the car surface rather than suddenly being brought to rest. I hope you have studied momentum somewhere. If not, mv = constant. I hope.

So we crashed with the car and fell on one side on the road. All it took was barely two seconds. Finally what i like about the auto is that it was so easy to walk out of the crash, coz it is a very open vehicle. Had it been a car, the doors might have locked, and like some English movie, there would have been a fear of the wreckage becoming a bomb in itself. One moment we are down on the road, the next moment, people have turned the auto back in its normal position.

The people around were helpful. They wanted to turn back the auto right away, but then realized that I was inside, and in a bit of a zonked out state. I was just sitting inside the wreck, in what could have been a lot more dangerous.

So I support an auto, in a crash.

It's been more than a week and half, but there is a small niggle at two places in my leg, which is avoiding me to walk long distance or generally go out and get work done.

I need to pay the cell phone bill. Need to go to ICFAI. The laptop screen has turned into a flickering mode, so this Acer might again have to go to the service center. I might have to buy a desktop for an employee.

All these are part and parcels of everything going wrong at the same time, which I am fine with. My only concern is, when the niggling go will. And since it is at two places there is a good enough chance that, it will go from one place only and then again keep swapping the point of pain.

From Scott Fitzgerald, The curious case of Benjamin Button. (That reminds me, I still need to find the great gatsby and read it )Benjamin Button: Sometimes we're on a collision course, and we just don't know it. Whether it's by accident or by design, there's not a thing we can do about it. A woman in Paris was on her way to go shopping, but she had forgotten her coat - went back to get it. When she had gotten her coat, the phone had rung, so she'd stopped to answer it; talked for a couple of minutes. While the woman was on the phone, Daisy was rehearsing for a performance at the Paris Opera House. And while she was rehearsing, the woman, off the phone now, had gone outside to get a taxi. Now a taxi driver had dropped off a fare earlier and had stopped to get a cup of coffee. And all the while, Daisy was rehearsing. And this cab driver, who dropped off the earlier fare; who'd stopped to get the cup of coffee, had picked up the lady who was going to shopping, and had missed getting an earlier cab. The taxi had to stop for a man crossing the street, who had left for work five minutes later than he normally did, because he forgot to set off his alarm. While that man, late for work, was crossing the street, Daisy had finished rehearsing, and was taking a shower. And while Daisy was showering, the taxi was waiting outside a boutique for the woman to pick up a package, which hadn't been wrapped yet, because the girl who was supposed to wrap it had broken up with her boyfriend the night before, and forgot.

When the package was wrapped, the woman, who was back in the cab, was blocked by a delivery truck, all the while Daisy was getting dressed. The delivery truck pulled away and the taxi was able to move, while Daisy, the last to be dressed, waited for one of her friends, who had broken a shoelace. While the taxi was stopped, waiting for a traffic light, Daisy and her friend came out the back of the theater. And if only one thing had happened differently: if that shoelace hadn't broken; or that delivery truck had moved moments earlier; or that package had been wrapped and ready, because the girl hadn't broken up with her boyfriend; or that man had set his alarm and got up five minutes earlier; or that taxi driver hadn't stopped for a cup of coffee; or that woman had remembered her coat, and got into an earlier cab, Daisy and her friend would've crossed the street, and the taxi would've driven by. But life being what it is - a series of intersecting lives and incidents, out of anyone's control - that taxi did not go by, and that driver was momentarily distracted, and that taxi hit Daisy, and her leg was crushed.

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Saroj Smriti- Part 1

ऊनविंश पर जो प्रथम चरण
तेरा वह जीवन-सिन्धु-तरण;
तनये, ली कर दृक्पात तरुण
जनक से जन्म की विदा अरुण!
गीते मेरी, तज रूप-नाम
वर लिया अमर शाश्वत विराम
पूरे कर शुचितर सपर्याय
जीवन के अष्टादशाध्याय,
चढ़ मृत्यु-तरणि पर तूर्ण-चरण
कह - "पित:, पूर्ण आलोक-वरण
करती हूँ मैं, यह नहीं मरण,
'सरोज' का ज्योति:शरण - तरण!" --

अशब्द अधरों का सुना भाष,
मैं कवि हूँ, पाया है प्रकाश
मैंने कुछ, अहरह रह निर्भर
ज्योतिस्तरणा के चरणों पर।
जीवित-कविते, शत-शत-जर्जर
छोड़ कर पिता को पृथ्वी पर
तू गई स्वर्ग, क्या यह विचार --
"जब पिता करेंगे मार्ग पार
यह, अक्षम अति, तब मैं सक्षम,
तारूँगी कर गह दुस्तर तम?" --

कहता तेरा प्रयाण सविनय, --
कोई न था अन्य भावोदय।
श्रावण-नभ का स्तब्धान्धकार
शुक्ला प्रथमा, कर गई पार!

धन्ये, मैं पिता निरर्थक था,
कुछ भी तेरे हित न कर सका!
जाना तो अर्थागमोपाय,
पर रहा सदा संकुचित-काय
लखकर अनर्थ आर्थिक पथ पर
हारता रहा मैं स्वार्थ-समर।
शुचिते, पहनाकर चीनांशुक
रख न सका तुझे अत: दधिमुख।
क्षीण का न छीना कभी अन्न,
मैं लख न सका वे दृग विपन्न,
अपने आँसुओं अत: बिम्बित
देखे हैं अपने ही मुख-चित।

Monday, May 18, 2009

Jo beet gayi so baat gayi ……

I did not understand the last four lines, still. 

Jeevan mein ek sitara tha
Maana woh behad pyara tha
Woh doob gaya to doob gaya
Ambar ke aanan ko dekho
Kitne iske tare toote
Kitne iske pyare choote
Par bolo toote taron par
Kab ambar shok manata hai

Jo beet gayi so baat gayi ….

Jeewan mein tha who ek kusum
The us pe nitya nyochawar tum
Wo sookh gaya to sookh gaya
Madhuwan ki chaati ko dekho
Sookhi kitni iski kaliyan
Jo murjhai phir kahan khili
Par bolo sookhe phoolon pe
Kab madhuvan shok manata hai ?

Jo beet gayi so baat gayi

Jeewan mein madhu ka pyala tha
Tumne tan man de daala tha
Woh toot gaya to toot gaya
Madiralay ka aangan dekho
Kitne pyaale hil jaate hain
Gir mitti mein mil jate hain
Jo girte hain kab uthte hain
Par bolo toote pyalon mein kab madiralay pachtata hai ?

Mridu mitti ke hain bane huye
Madhu ghat phoota hi kartein hain
Laghu jeewan leke aaye hain
Pyale toota hi karte hain
Phir bhi madiralay ke andar
Madhu ke ghat madhu ke pyale hain
Jo madakta ke mare hain
Wo madhu loota hi karte hain
Wo kachcha peene wala hai
Jiski mamta ghat pyalon par
Jo sachche madhu se jala hua
Kab rota hai chillata hai?

Jo beet gayi so baat gayi ……

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Because, Life Is Beautiful

Girl Interrupted 
Susanna: [narrating] Have you ever confused a dream with life? Or stolen something when you have the cash? Have you ever been blue? Or thought your train moving while sitting still? Maybe I was just crazy. Maybe it was the 60's. Or maybe I was just a girl... interrupted. 

Raoul Duke: And that, I think, was the handle - that sense of inevitable victory over the forces of old and evil. Not in any mean or military sense; we didn't need that. Our energy would simply prevail. We had all the momentum; we were riding the crest of a high and beautiful wave. So now, less than five years later, you can go up on a steep hill in Las Vegas and look west, and with the right kind of eyes you can almost see the high-water mark - that place where the wave finally broke and rolled back. 

Yuri Orlov: There are two types of tragedies in life. One is not getting what you want, the other is getting it. 
Yuri Orlov : Never go to war. Especially with yourself. 

Sean: It's not your fault. 

Sean: So if I asked you about art, you'd probably give me the skinny... on every art book ever written. Michelangelo? You know a lot about him. Life's work, political aspirations. Him and the pope. Sexual orientation. The whole works, right? I bet you can't tell me what it smells like in the Sistine Chapel. You never actually stood there and looked up at that beautiful ceiling. Seeing that. If I ask you about women, you'll probably give me a syllabus of your personal favorites. You may have even been laid a few times. But you can't tell me what it feels like to wake up next to a woman... and feel truly happy. You're a tough kid. I ask you about war, you'd probably ah throw Shakespeare at me, right? "Once more into the breach, dear friends." But you've never been near one. You've never held your best friend's head in your lap... and watched him gasp his last breath lookin' to you for help. If I asked you about love, you'd probably quote me a sonnet, but you've never looked at a woman and been totally vulnerable. Known someone that could level you with her eyes. Feelin' like God put an angel on Earth just for you, who could rescue you from the depths of hell. And you wouldn't know what it's like to be her angel, to have that love for her be there forever. Through anything. Through cancer. And you wouldn't know about sleepin' sittin' up in a hospital room... for two months, holding her hand, because the doctors could see in your eyes... that the terms "visiting hours" don't apply to you. You don't know about real loss, 'cause that only occurs when you love something more than you love yourself. I doubt you've ever dared to love anybody that much. I look at you. I don't see an intelligent, confident man. I see a cocky, scared shitless kid. But you're a genius, Will. No one denies that. No one could possibly understand the depths of you. But you presume to know everything about me because you saw a painting of mine. You ripped my fuckin' life apart. You're an orphan, right? Do you think that I'd know the first thing about how hard your life has been - how you feel, who you are - because I read Oliver Twist? Does that encapsulate you? Personally, I don't give a shit about all that, because - You know what? I can't learn anything from you... I can't read in some fuckin' book. Unless you wanna talk about you, who you are. And I'm fascinated. I'm in. But you don't wanna do that, do you sport? You're terrified of what you might say. Your move, chief. 

Verbal: After that my guess is that you will never hear from him again. The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he did not exist. And like that... he is gone. 

Giosué Orefice: "No Jews or Dogs Allowed." Why do all the shops say, "No Jews Allowed"? 
Guido: Oh, that. "Not Allowed" signs are the latest trend! The other day, I was in a shop with my friend the kangaroo, but their sign said, "No Kangaroos Allowed," and I said to my friend, "Well, what can I do? They don't allow kangaroos." 
Giosué Orefice: Why doesn't our shop have a "Not Allowed" sign? 
Guido: Well, tomorrow, we'll put one up. We won't let in anything we don't like. What don't you like? 
Giosué Orefice: Spiders. 
Guido: Good. I don't like Visigoths. Tomorrow, we'll get sign: "No Spiders or Visigoths Allowed." 

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Kir Ket

There is beauty in IPL, because the consumer loves it. And since it is a high money spinning game, the commercialization and rampant commoditization is but to be expected. And I like the cricket.

If DLF maximum was a sham, the citi moment of success is the gutter. A few gems Harsha Bhogle said the other day and a few years back:

On Average he is bowling straight, on the middle stump. (After the bowler had bowled two consecutive wides, one on leg and the other on off) 

The questions you are putting me are indicative of our place in the society. (After the co commentator looks at Nita Ambani and asks HB, if she flies economy or in her own jet)

Many years ago, he appeared in a beach T shirt on the commentary box. Boycott ridiculed him for that and Harsha’s repartee was, there is something called letting your hair down, once in a while, but how would you know. (Boycott is bald)

Bhogle is genius. And the genius failed me. 

And that’s a citi moment of success, the genius said in the IPL commentary for a boundary. 

Harsha Sir, The fall hurt.  The extra sessions after the matches were watched because Harsha Bhogle along with Gavaskar and Boycott would discuss the subtleties, and would crack a few jokes. So Cricket meant, the game the commentary and the after match/day analysis.

Whenever I watch IPL on weekends these days, the commentary is mostly near mute, and during extra innings I prefer 9Xm. The jokes are better there.

I think I am getting old, and out of sync with times.