Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Decadence of Youth

I began this decade as a nice bright kid , just beginning college in the cowboy heartland of India. It was the end of 1999, Y2K was biting us , Indian economy was just beginning to come out of a prolonged slump, being pulled up the Internet frenzy.

Cricket was huge and Karan Johar and Adi chopra were at the peak of their prowess.I had just opened my email account.I welcomed the millennium without discovering the joys and vices of alcohol.Azhar was a cricketer and Farhan akhtar a director then. I cut my hair short after Dil Chahta Hai. Pity it never grew back.I had a lot more hair and a lot more hope.I wanted to start chicken roll shops.

Its been 10 long years since then and quite a roller coaster journey .

The teens have ended and i will be at the doorstep of thirties when the new decade begins.

That's been the journey of my waistline,

Quizzing and Jogging
are now just pastimes,

but my journey is the tale of this storyline

Downhill .
that's been my story with my hairline,

Uphill .
has been my struggle with love line.

but it seems to have hit the correct rhyme.

My Job
keeps moving me in elliptical paths like tramlines

East of India
is where i have come back from time to time

but the best part of my life have been the places where i have got to dine

School and college
appears like some era Byzantine,

These days,
Its all all about office from morning nine to nine

but what i like the most,is the friends i made during my working time

Is what i seem to be getting to at a slow incline

My Youth
Is what seems to be in a fast decline,

and in six months it will be time to turn a very happy twenty nine.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

The Irony of Bellary

Went to Bellary,the heartland of the Karnataka Mining Mafia this week.

Found out that ,

Its got an international school, but no good govt schools
Its got Rolls Royce Phantom's by the dozen, but no good roads.
Its got big diesel gensets, but no reliable power connection.

We have just about begun building infra in the Bangalore's and Delhi's of India.
When will we ever reach the Bellary's of the world , if we ever do.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

The Hall of Fame

Every Oscar season , one gets up and starts to look up to what's the finest that the world has watched over the last year.This year too , the journey began for me.

Its taken me to invictus with an education waiting to provide me with one and The Hurt Locker kept safely in the Locker . And all this while i have been blind to the Blind Side.

But 2 sports movies in the oscar fray has got me to write what i have always wanted to write.

My list of the world's best sports movies.

As my pirated DVD walla at National market says, sir you are the only one who comes looking for sports movies.

So here it goes

Chariots of Fire. It is an insult to rank a movie like this . The soundtrack , the story , the expression all are so ingrained in any sport's afficiando's minds.

1.Invictus ....Mixed 3 of my favourite topics Sports, Politics and Africa in a cocktail mix that left me fairly heady after watching it.

2.Mystery Alaksa .....a mysterious little movie , really cute sports flick about a small town and its tryst with a big hockey match.

3.Hoosiers....Small town in American Midwest, that alone was good enough for me to watch.Gene Hackman as the coach of the basketball team , with a slight temper problem is tempting enough.

4. The flying scotsman - Graham Obree the superman on wheels and his epic journey on wheels is documented so well in this epic. This is perhaps the best superman movie ever made.

5.The World's Fastest Indian ....Small Town NewZealander , big time motor biking. Age , Engines, Passion, and Anthony hopkins make it a must watch.

6.Miracle - Kurt Russell as Coach Herb Brooks is a revelation.The movie like all sports movies is inspirational.

7.Jerry Maguire - Show me the money , show cases Tom Cruise's best ever acting efforts. Cuba Gooding junior was even better.

8.The greatest game ever played - I love the hero, but i loved the sidekick even more. With a caddy like that why would one ever need a soulmate , or a shrink or perhaps even a coach.

9.The Rookie - Its my lucky charm. If i watch the movie and hear the story of the patron saint of miracles, i start believing that i can do anything.After all wouldn't we all want to do great things even after we turn 30.

There are plenty of others from the raging bulls, to the bull durhams, from the Race against the sun to the Drivens of the world.

Sports movies can be romantic too like Wimbeldon. Murder mysteries too like Match point or thrillers like Swimfan. They can be in hindi too like Iqbal, Chak de India.Aamir believes strongly in the genre with Lagaan, JJWS and Awwal Number. They can create movie franchisees too like Mighty Ducks or the mother of all the Rocky Franchisee. They can be arty too like Offside the Iranian movie.

But mostly sports movies are thoose which leave you with a huge feeling of happiness.They leave you behind with a super self belief of being able to conquer the mountains of your life.

Unlike sports, the movies could actually be very predictable , yet highly enjoyable. I have always felt inspired after watching them.

You will always Remember the Titans. It is an Express tablet to feel good.And you could watch them on Any given sunday and any time of the day.They make for some very Cool Runnings.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

TrendSpotting via Social Networking Sites

Some pretty Interesting patterns

1. Going abroad is cool, really cool

God knows how many ppl hop on to the networking bandwagon when they are in edmonton or little rock or washington.

On last count there were 38 towns and cities called washington in Wikipedia in USA. Edmonton's can be found in USA,UK and the Australia.All this just makes the above mentioned trend even more popular.

2. You got kids. Pls let the world know.

Michael Jackson, was hauled up for holding prince from the balcony.

This emerging trend is becoming more observant as i move up the age ladder.

Guys and Gals or rather young mumma and puppa just make sure the kid is happy and not as much of a net freak as we all are.

3. Trekking/Jogging/Mountaineering/Hitchhiking

The Great Indian Outdoor Journey has begun. Perhaps brands like Timberland and The North Face should finally begin their trek to India...or atleast to the young Indian consumer on Facebook.

4. Gizmo's ......

You got mail. You show it. You got a Google Wave Account. Shout from the top of your voice.

5. Degrees Help

Its the new caste system of the world. I mean don't go far, see my own blogger profile for the same.

Journeys via the marquee degrees you obtain is definately far shallower than experiencing life.

Guess the best way somebody described it was a 5 minute dialogue by Boman Irani in the movie bluff master.

Some of theese even i am guilty of, but by and large i observed the same , rather than participating in the same.

Saturday, October 17, 2009


I changed my blog template today. Changed it after 3.5 years. I edited my profile. Changed my place from Kolkata to B'lore after 3 years of being here. I had got too used to kolkata. I got even more used to blore.

Had a great run in both cities.Literally. Have written before about kolkata, so this post should be about bangalore.

What can i say about my life here.

Stayed alone for 15 month; then moved in with angad since the last 6 months;
Richards town and its park. The movies at Everest . Small town life in a big city.
Quizzes at KQA ; pubbing at Opus ; Monopoly at Kartik's ;Jogging at Ulsoor;Running at Cubbon;

The best possible entertainment.Long hours, first time with SAP, first time at sales,murli for company to drive to markets. Learnt stuff, cried cribbed, but generally enjoyed.Food for thought with Mikhail, evenings with goutom, sujata , rajshri, jishnu, .....with music and great food.Cultivated a baggage of even more beautiful memories than kolkata.

Had a brilliantly worked out life. As there is no such thing as a perputal motion machine, this great setup too will have to go.

There is enough anecdotal eveidence that this has to happen.Just don't know where ITC will put me next.

Hope it still would be bangalore.

Either ways,i will always cherish my time in Bangalore. Next time though would like to stay.

Saturday, October 03, 2009

3rd time lucky - An ode to Mr Sekhar Chandra

My first 3 bosses, in my rather short corporate carrier were from my own MBA Alma mater - xl. In fact only my current boss is not an xler.

The 3rd amongst those, but perhaps the one who left the most lasting impression on me, was Mr Sekhar Chandra. He retired a few days ago.

We gave him a good farewell. But he is the kind of guy who will celebrate it as his birthday. God given or acquired , on wouldn't know but he had an amazing sense of humour.

Here is one for the record. On the last day of his working life , he met another colleague while peeing at the toilet.He replied to goutom the colleague --- isiko Peer Pressure kehte hain.

If you gave a smart ass comment, you would get a smarter retort back.You sent him a cheeky mail, you would get a cheekier one from him back.He was my boss for a year.

He taught me some valuable lessons on tobacco industry,and taught me some rather invaluable lessons in life.

His corporate climb was far from spectacular, but his impact on me was spectacular.

I used to discuss golf with him, a sport i have no idea about. I gave him a pack of assorted confectionery some 13 months back. Going to his cabin, eating a candy and talking to him about anything was my favourite stess buster for a year.

In his last days he was busy writing anecdotes from around the ITC sales organization in the last 30-40 years. I was his part time editor, though i may have only edited a story or two. In fact he liked a blog entry of mine and used it too for his collection.

During the last phase of the project , during the last days of his active working life, we tried to find an appropriate title for his book. I was so stuck on Gen 42- the answer to the universal question in ITC , a double pun on 42 of hitchhikers guide to the galaxy and Gen 42 - an antiquated but an extremely useful report created for adequate stock planning in ITC. He showed me the folder which kept his collection of stories. Rather i peeked into the same, and saw that there was no presence of " Shit Happens" my blog entry which was to be made into a story.I was anyways going through some other strange notions on some other work and personal front related issues. I just added this , and i thought perhaps he never really put my story and just told me the same so that he could use my help.

15 minutes into my imagination, he casually showed all those stories to me , including my " Shit Happens" which was now renamed "Diary Notes". The story had been there all along.

He taught me perhaps the most important lesson on that day - the importance of trust.
Trust i guess is a weapon we need to rely on even when it gets broken. Its something we just need to trust.

That was Mr Sekhar Chandra. You can trust him to say a few lines on this passage. And trust me they will be memorable gems and not some random lines.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Scattegories for Scatterbrains

Name Place Animal Thing

This is a game almost any body who was a kid once , which means everybody knows. it didn't take much , just two sheets of paper ,some pens and pencils and all the imagination in the world. this wonderful experimental apparatus, helped pass time in the classes in which teachers were absent, in the long car and train journeys , you took with friend s and cousins to marriages,picnics, family reunions, and when i got bored with fighting with my sister during vacations.( One side note --- Summer Vacations is the most important loss in the transition from a student to a corporate types)

Well now Parker brothers the guys who gave the world Monopoly , have come with Scattegories. Its as an often used copy in some old ITC product lines goes "same great taste, great new pack". But seriously its been packed well. Its got not 1, not 2, not 4, but a 26 sided dice. One face for each alphabet of the English Language.And its got many lists with things from Animal Names to Things in a zoo written on them. The objective is to max all items on the list with the alphabet which has appeared on the dice. If you think its easy try doing it in 1 min intervals for which they have given timers.

The result is great commotion, confusion and a lot of fun. Playing with more people means you realise how similar you and your friends think. I mean common, have can all 4 (lalith/pranay/angad and i ) think of only Herr as a title with H. Especially when you can have his or her majesty.Every time same answers come , you don't score.

Try playing this game. To me its an ultimate party game. If you are a quizzer or were in any way enamoured by lit fests , then this one's a game, for you.

Go on . Your time starts now....tick tick tick....