Sunday, December 28, 2008

Adieu 2008

In an attempt to avoid repeated visits to IMDB, here's my selection, so that i can come back and find everything under one roof.

Trainspotting / Renton :Choose Life. Choose a job. Choose a career. Choose a family. Choose a fucking big television, choose washing machines, cars, compact disc players and electrical tin openers. Choose good health, low cholesterol, and dental insurance. Choose fixed interest mortgage repayments. Choose a starter home. Choose your friends. Choose leisurewear and matching luggage. Choose a three-piece suite on hire purchase in a range of fucking fabrics. Choose DIY and wondering who the fuck you are on Sunday morning. Choose sitting on that couch watching mind-numbing, spirit-crushing game shows, stuffing fucking junk food into your mouth. Choose rotting away at the end of it all, pissing your last in a miserable home, nothing more than an embarrassment to the selfish, fucked up brats you spawned to replace yourselves. Choose your future. Choose life... But why would I want to do a thing like that? I chose not to choose life. I chose somethin' else. And the reasons? There are no reasons.

Good Night, Good Luck :Edward Murrow : To those who say people wouldn't look; they wouldn't be interested; they're too complacent, indifferent and insulated, I can only reply: There is, in one reporter's opinion, considerable evidence against that contention. But even if they are right, what have they got to lose? Because if they are right, and this instrument is good for nothing but to entertain, amuse and insulate, then the tube is flickering now and we will soon see that the whole struggle is lost. This instrument can teach, it can illuminate; yes, and it can even inspire. But it can do so only to the extent that humans are determined to use it to those ends. Otherwise it is merely wires and lights in a box. Good night, and good luck.

Little Miss Sunshine :Frank : Yeah. French writer. Total loser. Never had a real job. Unrequited love affairs. Gay. Spent 20 years writing a book almost no one reads. But he's also probably the greatest writer since Shakespeare. Anyway, he uh... he gets down to the end of his life, and he looks back and decides that all those years he suffered, Those were the best years of his life, 'cause they made him who he was. All those years he was happy? You know, total waste. Didn't learn a thing. So, if you sleep until you're 18... Ah, think of the suffering you're gonna miss. I mean high school? High school-those are your prime suffering years. You don't get better suffering than that.

Million Dollar Baby
: Father :Frankie, I've seen you at Mass almost every day for 23 years. The only person comes to church that much is the kind who can't forgive himself for something.

21 grams
: Voice over : How many lives do we live? How many times do we die? They say we all lose 21 grams... at the exact moment of our death. Everyone. And how much fits into 21 grams? How much is lost? When do we lose 21 grams? How much goes with them? How much is gained? How much is gained? Twenty-one grams. The weight of a stack of five nickels. The weight of a hummingbird. A chocolate bar. How much did 21 grams weigh?

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Lifting the veil

As we were about to go to sleep together in the second class compartment, The granny asked the kids to use a bed sheet as a curtain and put it across the six sleeper berths. I overheard a fellow traveler inform his friend, See I told you these people will do this. I don't know why they did that. I don't know Quran's views on this. Most probably it is just a idiosyncrasy in vogue, generally. The only hitch this time was that, though they had booked six tickets and expected to be by themselves, one of their tickets did not get confirmed and they found me, along with them . Both our reservations were confirmed through Head Quarter quota, But because of my father's designation, there was no way they were not going to confirm my ticket.

I have traveled before and observed this process of erecting a barricade. Reasons can be insecurity, religion, habit etc. Everytime I considered the whole process, needless. But this time I was on the other side of the veil. That's that. And nothing else.

I saw their world for a day, lived their life, shared their Gems, coffees. Everytime they bought a coffee for themselves and without bothering to ask me, bought one for me as well. Never allowed me to pay for it. Me being me, could not refuse. They fed me well. Sweets, fruits, gems and dal chooda . Nearly everything they eat themselves.

Most of us are baffled at the recent bomb blasts. It has been a decade, since I have been hearing about the foreign hand. A few of my friends , privately blame the whole community. The feeling is identical to that of amereicans after the 9/11 attacks, kill all of them, bomb them out.

A few thinking souls ask, why. And then not finding a plausible reason, subscribe to the above rhetoric. A very few read Chomsky. A few more, perhaps Arundhati Roy's non fiction.

There is always a reason, either you find it or you don't and if you don't, it is just that you did not either try hard or were plain unlucky. But you cannot take anything out of the reason.

It is one of the best times for most of us, other than those caught in the sub prime net. We never had a better time. And just like the sub prime crisis, when the going is this good, the chinks are always overlooked in the euphoric environment. My guess, is that though we are moving ahead, and we can never include everybody, we could at least try to include as many as possible while moving ahead. And respect those who disagree, the arundhati's , the patkar's. Though history will not be fair to them, they would have played their part in developing a better society.

Aamir and Mumbai meri jaan were exceptional movies. Especially paresh rawal's character and his super philosophy about one person pushing the other person on a trifle and it resulting in a conflagration. Though Chetan bhagat's Three mistakes of my life was mediocre( but a best seller in tier 2 cities ie. Dhoni's India, even better than his other books, tells you how I am myself alienated ), there was this example of the kissing monkeys/ chimpanzees.

An india in metros, another in towns, mostly Dhoni's, another, part community totally aliented ,another india of PAPs( Project Affected people, Narmada, Sardar Sarovar etc), another India in Mamta's Singur, yet another in Gujrat, sub divided into for and against Modi.

How many of us can walk together, is spite of our differences. When all it takes is to live life on the other side of the veil, for a small amount of time and embrace each other, as we are.

Thursday, October 30, 2008


She was engaged last month, to her cousin who works in Dubai. He is presently training for some army stuff in Dubai. She is the third daughter, amongst 6 children, the youngest of whom is a 2 years old girl . Both of her elder sisters are married.

Two of her mother's youngest sisters have committed suicide. One of them had a love marriage with a Hindu. Both have left behind children, who are dutifully being raised by her mother and her grandmother.

She has studied up to 8th Standard, before she calling it quits. Apparently Marathi was too hard for her to pull through. A friend of her works part time in a call center and is pursuing her studies as well. Though she is confident she can pick up a job in a call center, her abbu would not appove of one. Her granny chips in, in our side woman do not work.

Looking at all the salesmen on the train, she innocently asks me , don't they get pan in the train. I smile and say, No. Then I ask her, does she usually go out in the evening to eat pan. No . She asks for one and someones goes out and brings it for her.

She cannot go outside the house alone at any point of the day. The last attempt, a jovial meeting of the school friends, and perhaps her only attempt ended up in a thrashing from her mother. Though her mother claims that she can go out with her friends. She only need inform her on the phone. But when any attempt is made, it is dutifully rejected and she is given strict orders to march back home. She cannot carry a cell phone, only a married woman may. Most of her time is spent in doing the daily chores in the house and then watching the telly. Sometimes she reads Quran.

She was sitting near the window along with her youngest sister and both of them were singing, Mai talli, mai talli, mai talli ho gayi, among other bollywood blunders.

The names of all the friends indicated that all were Muslim. As she is not allowed to go out, her friends at time drop in, usually when her mother is not at home and help her in her chores. On November 5th 2008 her friends will celebrate a homecoming, as this was the date a few years back when all of them came together. All her friends were cooking something at their house to bring to the get together. When she asked her pals, what should she bring, Her friends said, you just come.

After her marriage she will leave for gulf.

Whenever she goes out shopping or otherwise, she always goes with her family. Mother, Father et all.

Her mother loves the telly as much as she does and would love to have an LCD TV, but her father does not approve of the TV, very like me, and it has to be shut down as and when he arrives at home, usually around 3-4 AM in the morning. He ia a namazi and does not aprove of it. Her mother is a tobacco addict and keeps chewing the gutkha from the small pouches.

I don't know if Ruksar looks out at the future and asks her stars, what does the future hold for her. If I put myself in her shows, I see her deceased aunts, mother, granny and her elder sisters as her beacon holders. I want her to know, they are not all. There is another world out there. Not the world I inhabit, but a world I would like a seventeen year old girl in this country to know exists. And enjoy it.

One of the greates honours of being part of the post '91 era generation is that we have seen India truly change. The flyovers, the Malls, the ever expanding cities, the swimming pools, gyms, the pubs, the metros.

I want Ruksar to walk through these, preferably alone. I would like her to be independent and care free as most Mumbai girls are. I don't care how many siblings she has, what does her abbu think or what her religion is or proclaims.

The pleasure of being a bigot lies in rejecting the concepts like god, religion and nation state, all the while forgetting that these are rejected because one can afford to and one is allowed the convenience to do so. And expect it to be as convinient to all others.

I guess Ruksar is happy in her world, it is just that she is living in this era only though the telly. And I don't hate the telly so much. I don't hate Kareena for getting a Zero figure frame and be a bad role model for all 15 year old girls. For anorexia has not yet India, bur courtest Kareena, it sure shortly will. I don't hate the warring judges at some goddam music shows when rather than peacefully putting their differences on the record. I guess they are also leaving a bad example to our kids. They say it is for the fucking TRP ratings, and the quibbling is all fair and I am a blind man.

Ruksar does not eat well. Her granny is remonstrating , but her mother chimes, What can I do she does not want to eat. Ruksar prefers Thumbs Up.

More to follow.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Final Advice and Gossip

At any point of time you have two choices. One is to be yourself, irrespective of the environment or the world around you. Or become a mirror, with good people be good, with nasty people turn nasty.

One of the reasons for a sustained existence is gossip. Though I may not be present in Bombay, I provide enough reasons for people to continue existing, discussing me. Sometime back people went gaga over the rumor that I was getting married. I don't know how many hours of useful time and alcohol was spent in this endeavor. But as long as it leads to world peace, I am OK with it.

The next topic, which people are amused about is , what am I doing with my life. My throat has gone hoarse repeating that I am in a KPO, but for people back home, "it is a different type of BPO only na, what do we care what is the difference between the two, for us you work in a BPO only". Whatever. When the above fact was communicated to a professor , who taught me during engineering, she rem·i·nisces( this word intuitively came to my mind here, and though I cann't pronounce it, i wanted to use it here, at the cost of being the wrong usage, I don't know but from where all these words come, which neither can I pronounce and nor am I sure about their meaning), "you know, when ever I use to go to library to read any reference book( read foreign author ) , on the issue page I use to always find his name in the list of people who had issued it earlier. He was so good in technical, what is he doing with his life. "

I know.

Even I don't know.

More Advice

Whenever you are taking a decision, you are buying in the consequences also. Subroto Baghchi in his latest book also talks about this somewhere. Though not exactly above but something like when your kids are taking a few decisions , they need to also take responsibility of whatever consequences that decision may entail.

Why should you let someone else, an inanimate thing, like your company and it's salary let effect one so deeply.

He said, I know now that it effects you. But as you grow old, it fades with time and you stop thinking about it. Perhaps for a few, yes, for a few others, a vehement No.

But the point still is very interesting. He also said, irrespective of any thing you should be happy.


Before taking a new job, ask for two things

What is the appraisal system

How will you be appraised, frequency, details. What would be the relevant criterion.

They say the system is rotten everywhere, it is up to you to make sure that the system doesn't hurt you.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Liquidity Risk

I might just skip meeting my internal deadline to become debt free, if I do not sell infy sometime soon. In case I don't the deadline i guess will move into October, if all remains fine.

I might plan to enter the Indian equities market again, but this time I guess, I need to make an educated entry, by understanding the various sectors and the major criterion, based on which the stock prices fluctuate. I may or may not read balance sheets and annual reports, but I need to have an understanding of the sectors at the macro and the micro level, this was from the MBA within me.

A casual chat with a friend gave me these insights.

Finally a quote from Liar's Poker: Bulls make money , Bears make money . Pigs get slaughtered.

Road to freedom beckons.

Saturday, September 20, 2008


Since the last few times, I have inquired( wrong usage) on a Saturday or a Sunday, and when an English play is on, it is always house full. In the good old days, i could just walk over to RS and watch the play in a semi filled theater. Guess, times are changing and tis good for some, bad for me.

Small lesson in life: If you stay long enough with an idea, you either succeed or give up. The outcome of this scenario forms your prejudice or better put your outlook in life. It forms one of the many thumb rules we pick up about life, due to our personal experiences, when for all we know the datapoint we represent might just be an outlier. That's how I guess, biases and prejudices are formed, and one day if you live long enough, your kiddo is 20 and wants to explore this world for himself, you tend to impose your biases and prejudices and carve a road out for that bugger to walk.

Which usually is the reason, you end up screwing your relationship with your progeny.

The fuckers fired my boss on thursday, friday was his last day. Pretty unceremonious the whole tamasha. My speculation rests in peace here. He became a father last week and is blessed with twins, one boy and one girl. He is strong enough to take this shit and still walk on.

There is a way to fuck, a way to fire, a way to walk out, and a way to communicate. Unfortunately the powers that be in my firm do not want to understand that. Power corrupts. It's funny when you read in papers that so and so fired so and so number of people, you read the same, have superficial discussions of recession with your friends, spouses, colleagues etc. When lighting falls just on the person standing next to you, you understand what lightining is, especially when you know that person did not deserve it. He had taken a few numbers on his head and then then passed a few to me and some other to another collegue. I and my collegue did not live up to the numbers, it was impossible to and everybody knew it. Hence my boss was given marching orders. Vendatta is the name of the game.

Since I am being a bit diffident about the whole fuck up, i might be given the next marching order. The last words of a Mexican brigand were : Don't let it end like this. Tell them I said something.

Friday, September 19, 2008

stones, pebbles et all

After the herculean effort required to accomplish the above, i.e. find a way to put iton the blog, I don't think I have much to say. It's been a while since i wanted to accomplish the population of the fields.

A person once said to me, don't compare your life with any body else, take a glass, first put the stones, when it cannot take any more, put mud, when it cannot take anymore mud, put water aka H20, covalent bond, weaker than ionic, 108 degrees between two hydrogen and one oxygen atom. I swear to god, i remembered that and did not Google it.

So my analysis is above. First inference any donkey can make is that i need to start by quitting my present job. oops btw i forgot marriage in it. I guess, that idea is still in a gaseous stage, need to give some more time for it to condense, then we will think about it. It's funny why we use '"We" instead of "I"..blame MPD or unabomber...your pick.

Things at office are getting murkier, i have a kind of idea, what's going on, but I can't put my speculation here. Marching orders do not look very far now.

P.S. : there is a typo above in my current job, it is not 9 to 5, but i do have time for myself. two wrongs make a right.

Thursday, September 18, 2008


I had a dream, for long that working in a start up environment will be fun, invigorating and allow me to find my peace in life. Over the past 6 months, I have let a bad experience, blur my dream from fantasy to hell. I allowed a bad experience and the resulting bitterness and rancor to change my views. I am wrong to change my views so often. The present experiment was a pure vanilla failure.

But, it may have changed a few things for me forever. There is this song from the movie Sindabad the sailor from Rock on. All it took was this song and a casual chat with a friend, though not on the above lines, for me change my outlook once more.

So often I have advised my friends, two very close ones who have had emotional break ups, not to let the bitterness remain. Ironical, that though I myself had a different experience, but I could not let the bitterness go. Back to the saying, easy said than done.

The dream lives now, along with a tinge of bitterness for now. Let's see how long before i free it up.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


So , I am not a camera person anymore, having lost my camera a few days back.

Cities/Towns I have visited in last one and half months:
  • Chennai
  • Vellore
  • Yercaud
Met Jayan and Pathak in Chennai, Saw the golden temple in Vellore, got drenched while boating in Yercaud, coz it rained and we were adrift.

Friday, September 12, 2008

give up

One of the easy ways to bore people is not to write for a long time, then the blog achieves its objective of being a vent to my personal frustrations and disappointments and remains personal.

Many years ago, I use to have principles. They make life a tad difficult to live, but when the going gets tough they help you navigate tougher times. Conversely, not having principles, makes life easier generally, but when the going gets tough you don't have the wherewithal to navigate the tougher times.

Expecting disappointments in my current job, as in my previous job, I had made a list of things to expect and not to expect. In a better mood, I would have given the hyperlink, but frankly sitting in my room in the afternoon, when I haven't even brushed and just woken up, i just fail to care.

The most important point in the list was that, don't care of people not backing you. That to me remains the most important point. Unfortunately , I don't have the energy to remain true to it. If I had remained true to that, in tougher times like this I would have passed through.

I feel like quitting the job today, though I have felt such for the past 6 months, but the feeling is stronger and perhaps more desperate today. I feel like going to Mumbai and finding something there. Perhaps , it's got something to do with the bhagoda gene in my body, which advices me to run away when the going gets tough. I start worrying about pay parity, loosing out the ROI race with my college peers, expecting people to back me, and feeling pissed off.

I know, i will come over it and look over to this day just to have a hearty laugh at my little problems. My problem of the moment is do I just switch off and become a vegetable and let the spark die, or keep of fending mediocrity, trying to win over it, when I have realised there is nothing more dangerous than mediocrity with a strong backing . It shreds excellence to pieces.

Excellence needs to be pure in it's own right, but can excellence stay aloof when it knows, it should win a fight, but suddenly reality knocks. Excellence rather than winning is on the verge of breaking down and it will take tremendous fortitude to merely stand and repeatedly be defeated and not disintegrate.

Ladies and Gentlemen , on subsequent thoughts, I give up at my workplace, for now. Better to kill the spark, by itself than wait till a day when mediocrity extinguishes it.

I might change my mind, it will only take a moment. But not today, not in this game, not on this field, not against the assholes I am pitted against right now.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008


Google Analytics informs me that i have visitors from Alabama (2), California, Arizona, Louisiana and Massachusetts and none from India.

Life's little ironies, a year back all these states in US would have appeared Greek and Latin, but 6 months into outsourcing and i have picked up a few things, east coast, west coast, west coast accent, mid west( and how it lags both coasts) etc.

The weather in Bangalore more than makes up for the crazy autowallas.It rains in the evening in the middle of summer and soaks up all my cloths in the balcony, and since I work US timings, I am not at home at these blissful instants to take preventive action

Just finished Alexander- sands of Ammon..decent read. Am back to reading Black Swan, as usual backwards. One of the problems in life, when you have left a non fiction unfinished and moved on in life, is to come back and find the exact point where you had ditched the book. So the simple solution that I found is to read the book backwards in that case. The twain will meet someday.

Boss : Don't get married before 30
Parents: So what's the deal with marriage, the society asks us uncomfortable questions
Friend : I have made arrangements for the Bachelor party, you just nod your head.
Wiki : Marriage is a personal union between individuals. This union may also be called matrimony, while the ceremony that marks its beginning is called a wedding and the status created is sometimes called wedlock. The act of marriage changes the personal status of the individuals in the eyes of the law and society.

Marriage is an institution...

INSTITUTION....get that.

Book of the moment : Crime & Punishment, for things at office which I won't talk here.

Been visiting the GYM. tread mill, KMs run, fitness...BTW why do my thighs pain when I run, I am just 26. And yes I only run in the gym, nothing else, no weights, no stretching for me.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Woh subah kabhie to aayegi

Filhaal aadhe ghante main aane wali hai . It's about 5:30 in the morning now, and all i can recall is, had i been where i was about a year back, i would have have waited for another half hour and seen the dawn break from my window and gone for a walk around the pond.

Times have changed and so do have I.

During my engineering days , i had this theory which said the temperature of blood in a human body is inversely proportion to his age.( Garam khoon.. got it??) When I was there, I use to think, I will change things, I will do this that etc. Pithily put, I had this million things to do and I thought i would do them.

Today at the door of celebrating the fourth anniversary of getting out of my engineering college( which at that point I badly wanted to) and one year after getting out from a top B school, I realise the things i want to do now have actually reduced from millions to single digit numbers.

That's why the homage to the temperature theory.

Have been on a marathon session of watching movies. The two i saw ...well the incorrect usage is ..tonight.. but i will still use it ( correct usage is, previous night, but it's still dark outside) , are

1. The bridges of Madison county
2. American Gangster.

Yesterday i had seen
3. No country for old men.

Last weekend

4. Manorama, 6 feet under
5. Johnny Gaddar
6. 3 : 10 to Yuma.

My best pic ....well for once i will stop judging the best in a set of unrelated articles.

None of the movies were in a theater way of protesting against the frivolous pricing in movie theaters in Bangalore.. 300 bucks..thanks but no thanks.

Things i have picked up in the last few days..

1. Difference between copy and content.
2. It's tough to find the right website vendor in Bangalore who accepts a payment cycle of 30 days.
3. The worth of money.. not in the statistical sense, but more so of having whatever number, when you need and at the place you need.

Books i have been reading

1. iwoz..according to me not worth the 395 i spent at the Oxford in Jayanagar. Well, I did find an Oxford in Bangalore. Since then I have discovered a thelewala on Brigade Road, near New arya bhavan who sells good, inexpensive , pirated books.

Actually there are 3 good shops on church street who sell, new and old books at a discount. Unfortunately they still do not stock pirated books, a concept equally acceptable to me and Thomas Friedman.

2. A million little pieces..james frey, a great start ..fizzles out later.
3.Banker to the poor, Mohd. Yunus, reading it..makes me remind of my days at a bank where we use to insist on collateral.

In about some time i will make some coffee, if i am able to find the coffee powder in bhabhi's kitchen ie and wait for the breaking dawn from the balcony.

Saturday, January 26, 2008


1. Humiliation and pain are the greatest teachers.
2. Watch what you talk.

Today we were taken apart by a few senior colleagues in a Chinese restaurant. Later recalling the incident to another senior colleague i remarked offhandedly " I don't mind being blasted, but not by the people who are not the stakeholders".

Somehow, a few hours later at morning 5:30 i recall that comment, and i realise that they are the board members and very much the stakeholders. So they can blast me.

That's why point number 2.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Growing Up

The books i have read over the last 3 months.

1. Man and Superman
2. Doctor's Dilemma
3. Saint Joan
4. Fooled by randomness
5. Glass Palace
6. A book by an IIM bangalore prof about Indian idiosyncrasies
7 Black Swan (incomplete).
8. Reluctant Fundamentalist(read over 3 visits to crosswords, one in Shoppers Stop and 2 near M G Road)

When we grow up we take different roles,take for e.g. you get placed out of a b school,you are generally ecstatic about what the future holds, how your life is going to be changed completely.

There is this moment in Glass palace when Dolly leaves Rajkumar, forever. Something which she would not have imagined when she was marrying Rajkumar. The note she leaves behind talks about their love and Rajkumar and its memory will always hang on.

Similarly a few months, into a job..sometimes the ecstasy changes into disillusionment, for a few.Personally i was a lot lot after i got placed after my engineering than i was out of a B school.

Successful traders have a very simple strategy when they invest, how much profit they want or how much loss can they taken, after reaching any one of the position , they sell their security.

Well, then why do most of us do not take this strategy for their job.

And coming to humans and relationships, is this a strategy applicable at all...someone in equity research might call this modeling of relationships/human behavior. MBA s are usually obsessed with modeling of everything, future guidance, projected balance sheets etc.

People derive motivation from different things, like nature, fire in belly etc. I derive most of my motivation from reading. When you do nothing else but read for 3 days on a trot in all your free time, it says you can attempt a lot of other things as well, if that level of monomania can be sustained.

I remember the first time it hit me, it was about a couple of nights before my second sem maths paper during engineering. For all of the night i was reading A fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry when i should have been practicing matrices. Something changed that night, to which i could give a shape only after a couple of years. I may call it diversion from the road of academic excellence..but then perhaps both of these things are not correlated at all. Whatever.

These days, one of my biggest problems when i go to a book shop is to walk through the section of Wodehouse stuff. It gives me creeps , to buy any book, what if I have read this book before? I have forgotten most of the books i have read by Wodehouse.

So these days i ask the bookshop owner, Get me everything by Shaw.