Showing posts from 2013

Resolving Resolutioning

Ok, this may not exist as a word, but it's obvious by its timing that it's about resolution-making. I have  resolutely been against making any resolution of any kind, because I have no clue at all on how to make them see the light of day. The only one I can probably keep is to read a few more books. If they happen to be of the quality of Zorba the Greek, or any of the creations of Wodehouse, all the better. I have also managed to discover a few other good authors over the last few years, through browsing at bookstores, or through 'friend'ly recommendations.

Some of these are Haruki Murakami, Bill Bryson, Sadat Hasan Manto, Alain de Botton, Umberto Eco, Devapriya Roy (The Vague Woman's Handbook), Saurav Jha (The Upside Down  Book of Nuclear Power), Fritjof Capra (Uncommon Wisdom), Subroto Bagchi, Julian Barnes (his 'Nothing to be Frightened of', an autobiography of a kind), Raju Bharatan and Ashok Ranade (on Hindi films and music). Some autobiographical stu…

2013 Ends at Girivan

These pics are from a year-end retreat that we cousins try and do at least once  a year. This time it was in a resort called Girivan close to Paud, near Pune. Had a relaxing time, played some cricket, took walks, enjoyed the scenery amidst some single malt and singular reminiscences, and were fully entertained by the newest kid on the block, Maya, my niece from Down Under -second pic is hers.  My brother Satish was there from Atlanta in the U.S., on a visiting 'assignment'- to have fun. Bakul, another cousin and her family made it from Peoria, Illinois too. Someone had brought Oreo cookies from the U.S., and a niece who made the recent ads for Oreo with Ranbir Kapoor was grilled on how she colour-coordinated her clothes with his! All in all, great fun. We also celebrated three-four cousins turning fifty with some jokes about their memory-can't remember those, as I already turned fifty some years ago.

Radio Days- Vividh Bharati

I used to listen to the radio a lot in my first 24 years- mainly because TV had not come to India. Now that TV has taken over most of our non-working hours, I succumbed and watched it for many years. But the last few days, having just moved and awaiting the transfer of baggage, I became less 'idiotic' and rediscovered Vividh Bharati, the entertainment channel from All India Radio.

Some of its programs and features are outstanding. The quality of the announcers is mostly good. They have also relaxed a bit from their stentorian (dull?) avatars, and smile (you can hear it) occasionally. The selection of songs is invariably good, and there is an attempt to provide a glimpse into Indian classical music through some of their programs. Chhayageet, presented by one of the RJs each night, and Bhoole bisre geet (forgotten gems) are two that I like listening to. There are interviews with film personalities too- Ujaale unki yaadon ke, interspersed with songs. One of these was an intervie…

Fogged Out

It was cold and breezy this morning, reminding me of Delhi. I am glad Indore is milder, because the days are pretty warm and sunny-at least thus far. Delhi winters got me down usually, having grown up in the sunny southern state of Andhra Pradesh.

Contemplation about life and years well-spent (living it) is the norm around this time of the year, so I thought I would sit and meditate for a while. But my dilemma was, that in meditation you are generally asked to think of nothing. So, how can one think of something while concentrating on nothing?

Anyway, I am now attempting to do a bit of both-something and nothing. The thing is, I like doing both. And therefore, will idly think about work and while working, ideate about idling. I have got it down to a fine art. Consultancy is on offer for those interested. Fees are negotiable.

Dhoom 3: A Review

Indian film-makers are now learning the art of making sequels. But their editing skills are still far from satisfactory. An exception like Sholay can pull off a three-hour film. But by and large, others fall short. The reason Sholay pulled it off was because of brilliance in every department-acting, cinematography, dialogue and songs. None of these qualities are present in Dhoom 3. Though they are good, they are not brilliant. The songs are actually awful.
What salvages Dhoom 3 is Aamir Khan. It is a role written for him, and he revels in it, backed by some spectacular stunts-though some are old and tiresome, like the motorbike going under a truck. Nevertheless, some are quite breath-taking, like motorcycling across buildings on a rope.
Another thing I liked about the film is that it equalizes the Chicago police with our own- they come out as chumps, like their Indian counterparts in most films. If this is not globalization, what is?
Coming to the story, a circus owner kills himself in …

Rahat Indori

Just trying to recollect people with names like the headlined one. The film line had a few, like Sahir Ludhianvi, Hasrat Jaipuri, Majrooh Sultanpuri, Firaqt Gorakhpuri, etc.

In our side (hamaare wahan) it is common to have a 'kar' suffixed to the gaon- as in Nargund 'kar' rather than an 'i' like the above example. An 'e' at the end as in Raje, Bhide, Gore, Khare (means 'true' in Marathi), Khote (means falsehood) also signifies some names in those places, though there are no place-names attached/embedded.

Srinath the fast bowler was from Javagal. AK Hangal presumably from Hangal, a place in Karnataka, and Prakash Padukone, you guessed it- from Padukone. By the way, so was Guru Dutt (he was not Bengali).

Surnames are often derived from professions or titles, like Mistry, Batliwala, Tailor, Carpenter, or Cabinetmaker. Or Joshi, Patwari and so on. Or how many Vedas you could claim mastery over- two, three or four (Dwivedi, Trivedi, Chaturvedi respe…

Punjab Da Puttar

Continuing my serial encounters with regional heavyweights.
I met a hatta-katta Punjabi the other day. I asked him where he was going. “Kanaada,” was the reply. “Why do you guys like Canada so much?” was my innocent question. “Bekaas Trronto is a great place, yaar” he said.
“But why?” I persisted. “It’s a ‘player’ to stay there. Good climate, nice people, clean surroundings. Not like Delhi.” “But if everyone goes to Canada, won’t it become like Delhi?” I was inquisitive, and persistent. “Oye, main parathe wali dukaan thode hi kholoonga udhar (do you think I’ll open a paratha shop there?)” “Nahin, nahin, paaji, my matlab was not like that,” I apologized. “I just wanted to know ki why you all don’t want to live in our country.”
“Simpal, yaar. We are still thinking like the British. Commonwealth country with only a few wealthy people. We have mobiles, but nothing to eat. Aston Martin is used to reduce the population, only. Election=inflation is a mathematical reality. We are losing our…

The Curious Case of Compatibility

The compatibility I am referring to is not that of husbands with wives, mainly because that would need a platform much larger than a piffling blog. No, I am talking about compatibility of hardware. As in, apple and orange- or rather, Apple and Microsoft. Or Apple and vendors of Microsoft such as HP.

This is after watching a technician struggle to put an HP printer in touch with an Apple Mac at a colleague's office here. Many attempts later, the two pieces of smartware (too smart, if you ask me) refuse to shake hands, or whatever it is they shake in the technical world they inhabit.

Funny, you would think that millions of 'customer-centric marketing' lessons later, compatibility would be a given. Guess again. We marketing profs. shall carry on gamely, nevertheless...

At Wit's End by Erma Bombeck

She is a female Dave Barry- very funny and readable. Not sure if I read anything of her before- probably not, because I would have remembered!

Scathing about life and all its majesty ( I am trying to be funny)- marriage, ageing, kids, husbands, and most everything besides, are her targets. Some of her funniest lines catch you unawares, and the fun multiplies. or instance,

" My children see me as four wheels, a motor, and a drive shaft. I am Snow White with a set of car keys." or, " I don't think women outlive men. It only seems longer."

Or about vacations- "The compulsive desire to buy a carful of souvenirs became so bad, we had to set down some explicit rules."
and "Next to children on a trip, there is nothing more trying than their father."

"Our daughter said she was going to let her hair grow. Like a fool I thought she meant down her back. Little  did I dream it would cascade over her face.."

Many sterling observations like the…

My Marketing Prof

This was a recent gathering that turned out to be my farewell at Delhi. What is remarkable is that my marketing prof. from IIMB, Dr. JD Singh, also joined us at the Foreign Correspondents' Club. He made marketing so interesting, that many of us - Kusum, Narayan Das, Sankar Ganesan, Nanda Kumar, in the US, and me, Harish Chaudhary, and some part-timers like Manglik followed his footsteps. Great Guy!

My home office

These are the mondha-chairs I spoke of in an earlier post. They brought back childhood memories, and are presently serving as my home office chairs at Indore.  Pretty comfy.

Mondha chairs

Not sure if they are called that, but we sat on them as kids in Kothagudem, A.P. while growing up. They are woven rope and cane chairs. Also available without a back as mondhas. I went on a drive outside the Indore IIM campus looking for some chairs, and there was a seller on the roadside-as if he'd guessed. I couldn't resist them, and bought a couple to do up my newly acquired and mostly empty house.

Drove to Mhow, a pleasant 12 kms. away, just to get acquainted with the surroundings. It is getting cold at night, so my ventures will mostly be daytime. Bought a pipe to water a huge lawn-cum-garden I have out in front. More later.

The Year Gone By- 2013

2013 was a good year.

In Jan I was recruiting faculty at IMT Ghaziabad.

In Feb I was planning a convocation at IMT Nagpur.

In March we welcomed Mr. Azim Premji at the convocation.

In April we had a faculty meeting spread over Nagpur and Bhedaghat (Marble Rocks) close to Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh, my home-state to be (though I didn't know it then).

In May, we had a series of alumni meets of Nagpur alums across 5 cities. Also took a family break to Thailand and got introduced to a few Buddhas-sitting, smiling and reclining. A boat ride on the river was a highlight.

Welcomed a brand new batch of students at Nagpur in June. Taught them Golf and the case method.

A very wet monsoon followed in July- August. Lot of guest faculty from my IIM batch came to speak. So did Devapriya Roy, a friend and author from Delhi.

Went to visit Lonar crater in Buldana district, formed by a meteorite hit. Fantastic sight. Had a great golfing trip to Kodaikanal with Gadgil and Vijayakumar, colleagues at Na…

Michael Caine- Autobiography

That was his screen name. He writes better than Bond- Roger Moore, that is. I read Moore's autobiography earlier, but found it mildly interesting or soporific depending on the time of the day.  This one is better-written; the humour is good. Sample this- he quotes a joke from a stand-up comedian- "I slept like a log. I woke up in the fireplace." And a couple of lines from an Austin Powers movie that he starred in-
1. explaining why he had a stiff neck- "I took a Viagra and it got stuck in my throat" (not Michael Caine's line, but the hero's), and
2. another line, his own-"There are only two things I hate in the world: people who are intolerant of other people's cultures, and the Dutch."

His own fondness for humour comes through in the book. Dirty, Rotten Scoundrels was a comedy he starred in and rates highly- it stars in my top ten Hollywood films too. Another favourite he and I share is the actor Humphrey Bogart, and two of his films- Th…

Indore and Outdoor

Ok, that is a bad pun. But fun. I got to go outdoors in Indore. Decided to explore and went to a place that has a lot of history associated with the Holkars who ruled here two-three centuries ago.

Rajwada is a seven-storeyed structure that was burnt by the attacking troops from a hostile Scindia of   Gwalior. It has a small museum with artefacts from those Holkar days, some rifles, copper coins, measures like chhatak, pau, seer etc., and pics. There was also a pic of young Vijayendra Ghatge (actor), who was related.

Very crowded markets, and difficult drive, but worth visiting.


Jokes forwarded by a friend.

Ek aadmi RAM Mandir gaya aur rone laga he RAM  meri biwi kho gayi. RAMJI bole: Baju wale HANUMAN Mandir me jake bol meri bhi usi ne dhundi thi.   -----------------------------------------------
Teacher ne Gadhe ke samne 1 Daaru ki aur  1 Pani ki Balti rakhi, 
Gadha Pani pi gaya.
Teacher: Tumne iss se kya Sikha?
Student: Jo Daaru nahi pita Woh Gadha hota hai.
------------------------------------- Gandhiji ne kaha :- Izzat karni ho to wife Ki karo... khayal rakhna ho toh wife ka rakho, Pyaar karna ho toh wife se karo...
Magar wife kis ki? Ye bapu ne bataya hi nahin!!! Naughty Bapu!!! ------------------------------------ Wife drinking BEER asked "Tum kaun ho?" 
Husband- "Pagal ho gayi ho kya? Apne husband ko bhool gayi? " 
Wife: "Nasha har gum bhula deta hai "Bhaisaab" ----------------------------------------------- Gadha- Mera malik bahut marta hai!
Kutta- Toh tu bhag kyoon nahi jata ???
Gadha- Uski khoobsoorat ladki jab p…

Bullet Raja

Not a classic, may not even be Tigmanshu Dhulia's best (Paan Singh Tomar was better), but it is a watchable action flick with some subtleties not found in crasser versions of movies about the U.P. badlands.

Its music is not too good, and Sonakshi's role is wishy-washy (what she is doing in Gulshan Grover's hotel room is not too clear, as a part of her characterisation), but on the whole, it has a good pace and I watched it without much effort at it.

I think the undercurrent of the movie is even better than the story on the surface. The fact that most institutions have been compromised, if it is a fact, is disturbing. The courts give bail at their political masters' whims, a mafia rules the state with cops and others simply falling in line, a guy in jail acts as if he is holidaying in the Bahamas, and generally there seem to be no protests from anyone. A businessman (called 'Kuber' by his accomplice holidaying in jail) finances elections in a non-transparent fa…

Medicine for Stress

Actually, it is not a curative, but a preventive medicine. I hate to sound like a salesman on a TV promotional show for medicine, but don't worry. You don't have to go buy anything. Just hear me out. If you don't like what I am saying, you can leave nasty comments.

My new theory (2013, copyrighted but free for use)-

Stress comes from non-acceptance. Some comments, judgements, relationship break-ups, what have you, that we don't want to accept. That is the major cause of (undesirable levels of) stress.

Solution? Accept. Simple? Not really, but could be effective. Accept and move on. If you know yourself (that's a tough one, there), the acceptance of the adverse will result in the effect of the adverse stuff waning pretty quickly.

Try it. No, I am not into starting a cult, and I am NOT accepting disciples. Contrary to my advice, maybe.

One liners- Babban Khan

Suppose you had to come up with one liners for a living. What would you produce? I thought about this, and figured that comedians and their writers have a tough job. Some favourite subjects that comedians have are politics, imitations of celebrities (Johny Lever was good at this), weight (Bharti, TV comedienne who is fat herself, uses it well in her acts), spouses, bathroom happenings, and current events. This guy called Babban Khan was from Hyderabad and did an act called Adrak Ke Panje in the seventies before TV was a household item.

He kept people ROFLing, to use today's lingo, with a single dilapidated set, and a few characters who acted as a foil for himself. He played a poor clerk with a large family, battling a landlord pursuing his dues, inflation, and many other common problems of a common man. His language in the show was Hyderabadi, a mix of Hindi and Urdu.

Some of his jokes-

A neighbour complains to him that one of his (many) sons spat on him. He replies,

"Bura m…

Learnings From Current Events

I don't know if you can make such a leap, but this is an attempt to cull out learnings from events that were in the headlines in the last few weeks.

The Tarun Tejpal Saga

If you 'sting' others, you better be prepared for a sting too.

For female employees, it is that you have to be careful of situations that may lead you to be in close proximity to the (male) boss by yourself. Harassment is a fact of life in many workplaces. You must know how to protect yourself. And of course, if it happens, have the courage to call a spade a spade. Of course, that is easier said than done.

For male employers- a female employee is a human being, not your property. She cannot be mistreated just because of her gender. Neanderthal males need to wake up.
There are also occasional false allegations of harassment, for whatever reason. So you also need to be careful not to put yourself in potentially dangerous situations. Have witnesses, mails, evidence for any such above-board encounters with a…

Purpose of Your Life- It Depends on Who You Ask

It depends on who defines it.

For an insurance company, the purpose of YOUR life is to be insured up to your gills. Whether it is life, car or home, they want you to buy more and more insurance. Oh yes, mediclaim too.

For a hospital, it is to buy their service even if you don't really need it, and get billed forever.

For a car salesman, the purpose of your life is to buy cars- for yourself, your spouse, your child, your dog,...

For a cosmetics company, the purpose of your life is to look beautiful-wearing their cosmetics, tons of them.

For a credit card company, it is to get exclusive deals to SAVE more on every expensive product or service.

For a stock broker, The purpose of your life is to buy more stocks. For a bond market analyst, to invest in bonds, when all you want is to BE Bond...James Bond.

For an NGO, the purpose of your life is to help others, through them.

For a TV channel, it is to watch ads and shut off the programming, and for the newspaper, to read the ads and ign…

Meeting a Long-lost Friend

Met a schoolmate after 1977. It is one of the wonders of email that I traced him (or he did me) recently, and discovering that both were in Delhi, proposed that we meet. So we did.

Narendranath works in the Telecom department, in the central services. Was also a faculty member for a while within their training establishment, and might still do a Ph.D. We were together at Hyderabad Public School, Ramanthapur from 7th until 11th- those days school finished in the 11th (CBSE did). Reminiscing about many of our classmates after such a long time (since we only met a few over the years, was tough, but we did recollect some vividly.

A classmate of ours is a chef abroad, some are entrepreneurs, and some in the public or private sector in service. I am of course, in academia. Nice to know most are successful in their own chosen lines of work/entrepreneurship, or retirement!

I recommend this highly to anyone at anytime. Booster dose of enthu and medicine for the blues, if any.

Pragati Maidan and the Exhibition

There is something about a mela-an exhibition- that Indians can't get enough of. The turnout on Sunday, when I chose to visit the annual exhibition at Pragati Maidan, was unbelievable. I stood in a line that was really long to get in, after standing in one to buy a ticket- not cheap, 80 rupees on a weekend. But was it a sellout. They actually stop selling tickets in the afternoon, because there are too many people inside.

Once inside, it is a rainbow of colours, people, stalls, and, guessed it...FOOD. There is so much food inside of all types that you can't get enough of the sights and smells. Of curse, it is overpriced and not as good as some of the specialty joints in town, but there is enormous variety. But why talk of food?

There is plenty more, and some of the stalls I visited always had something on offer for everyone. Clothing of all kinds, in particular. The huge crowds on that day made it tough to savour things at a slow pace (my preferred pace) but still, it is…

Ek Shaam Mastani

There are few things that can beat an evening out with friends. There were seven of us, almost a 100% turnout of the regulars from my IIMB batch. The venue chosen was different, called the Foreign Correspondents Club, though we did not spot any foreign correspondents that day. I suppose they have other watering holes.

I met Himanshu Manglik after many many years. Both of us had started post-MBA life in the same organisation, Living Media publishers, in 1984 in DelhiWe had the pleasure of being joined by the redoubtable Dr. JD Singh, who taught us marlketing basics at IIM in 1982. Being a marketing academic myself, I have been meeting him on and off, and he is just as jolly as we remembered him from then. There were jokes, and banter about everything under the sun. We had a quiet corner on the terrace, and so we did not disturb anyone. There was another marketing prof., Harish from IIT Delhi, and others from the corporate and bureaucratic walks of life. Those whose wives were tracking…

Happiness and Productivity- What is the Correlation?

I am into correlations for the moment. Commonly accepted wisdom in Human Resources Management says that a happy employee performs better, is more productive, etc..

Is that necessarily true? I was unhappy and good at my studies in school. Many sales managers (and other managers) increasingly ill-treat, mistreat, and abuse their subordinates into performing or being more productive. Usually, they succeed.

The contingency theory of leadership claims that leadership style should change according to the type of subordinates and the context. China today produces goods at a lower cost than mot people in the world. Are their workers happier? I don't know, because I never heard of worker satisfaction surveys in China. Not sure if these are permitted under their system.

The question simply is this- is happiness of the employee at work over-rated? Now that I have provoked you, let us hear from you readers.

Great Art and Money - An Inverse Relationship?

Not too sure if this hypothesis holds, but it's worth hypothesising. Is there an inverse relationship between good/great art and money? Is the penniless artist struggling for survival just a stereotype? Is tragedy a part of an artist's life, mostly?

The hypothesis is inspired by a movie I saw on TV after maybe two decades. The movie is Rajnigandha. It was made by Basu Chatterjee in the early seventies and remains one of my favourite films. The budget would have been modest, no big stars, sets or ostentation of any sort. It had lovely music, good technique (Vidya Sinha speaking with herself often, imagining or re-imagining herself alternately with the two men in her life, symbolism through the bouquet of flowers) and a simple, riveting story. If you compare it with expensive, crass extravaganzas churned out by the dozen, this one warms your heart (at least mine) any day.

Another movie made in the same period was Anand, by Hrishikesh Mukherjee. Rajesh Khanna was paid a limited …

A Fake CV

These days, there are companies which only do verification of resumes, or parts of it. There are fake degrees, fake work experience claims, and fake Ids. So I decided to create a fake CV for myself, with which I will apply for various jobs. But I will only join an employer who trusts me- and will not check my CV out.

Here it is-

An energetic 35 year old is looking for a job at your company. These are his (my) plus points.

Education: Too much. More than you can use- degrees like MBA, BE, CA, CFA, etc.

A temperament that goes beyond the call of duty, to doing household work for the boss- no exclusions. Will be happy to drive his car, buy groceries for him or spouse, drop his kids to school, and book his vacation tickets. Serving coffee to him in office excluded- a matter of principle.

Worked at a multitude of top MNCs in my 15 years of work life. Challenging assignments handled included a role as country head, regional head, branch head and COO, CMO, CTO, CIO, and a few more, which wer…

Copenhagen Business School

IMT Ghaziabad has an ongoing partnership with Copenhagen Business School, and one program out of this is a short-term exchange program for 20 of their students who come to Ghaziabad for a 2 week exchange with a small project that they do for a company in Delhi, and learn various things through experiencing Indian food, culture and places.

The second such program started today, and an enthusiastic bunch of youngsters came over. They are assigned buddies from among our students here, to guide them through their logistics and exploration. There are also some talks on entrepreneurship, and this is part of a program on International Business that they are pursuing at Copenhagen.

Had a chance to interact with them, with a brief talk about India and its diversity of cultures, languages and faiths. And definitions of forts and mountains (the tallest one in Denmark is about 150 metres, according to estimates). I told them about my visit to Charleston 'fort' from my time in the U.S.- i…

Joining IIM Indore

I will soon move back into a teaching role at IIM Indore. It has exciting possibilities, to shape young minds in the classroom, rather than young faculty members outside it, that I was (mostly) doing in my administrative roles at IMT.

It has been an eventful four years at IMT. First at Nagpur, where I was at a lovely integrated campus with some great students, and wonderful colleagues- both faculty and staff (non-teaching and support). The years I spent there saw the Nagpur campus mature into a more confident one, and the chip on the shoulders of students about comparisons with Ghaziabad (the older mother campus) slowly disappeared. Rankings improved, and an overwhelming number of faculty applied for jobs, and we had to say no to many. Faculty screening was almost as stringent as the students' admission screening. The placement process improved, and we put in place a team for corporate relations across India, supported by students.

Students responded well to freedom that they got…

Yercaud and Kotagiri

There was an excuse to come to Coimbatore this weekend, and so we ( a couple of friends from here) took off over the weekend to two places in the hills on consecutive days.

First, Kotagiri, a lesser known hill halfway to Ooty from Coimbatore. This, coupled with the excellent weather, made it a memorable tour de force (ok, the usage may be wrong, but it expresses what I want to). Cold but a healthy kind of cold, clouds passing by and then standing still, magnificient tea-trees-ok, plants-everywhere your sight went, and all this from the big window in the room too. Orange pekoe was the name of the hotel, and I recommend it for its location and view, not to mention good service.

Yercaud, the second leg, had a magical mist all through, and we enjoyed it sitting in the balcony of the cottage we were in, and on the drive down. The depression in the Bay had also caused rain on the way there, so it was a combination therapy for the blues, if any.

Yercaud is an unhurried kind of hill station,…

Crime and Punishment- Executions

There is a headline going around the net that North Korea has executed a number of people for watching TV. Though I have not read the details, I think it should have been the other way. Producers of ghastly TV shows (and films?) should be shot, and people watching such clap-trap should get our sympathy, ad should be counseled at state expense. The poor guys did not know what they were doing, and deserve to be forgiven.

But seriously, don't governments have better things to do than this? Why is it that every dictatorship lives in mortal fear of the media? More importantly, does this strategy work? In a world of democratic media (largely, except where the net is banned or censored), does it matter what you control in the mass media? Even in olden times, there were underground pamphlets and stuff like word of mouth going around, bypassing attempts to muzzle the free flow of information.

The lesson may be, first, not to be a dictator, and second, make your money and leave to enjoy it…

American Desi Names

Most people in the US can't (or think they can't) pronounce Indian names. Anyway, whether that's true or not, names of Indians in the US get modified (no, this is not a political statement, even if it contains the word 'Modi' hidden somewhere).

So the names of people change, usually to a short and easier-on-the-tongue version. I used to teach at the Clemson University as a grad student, and my name Rajendra was shortened to Raj, which was similar to Rog (for Roger) and therefore easy to say. A friend in California, Kiran, shortened his to Ken, which proved useful to him in business- he was into real estate broking. He also converted his last name from Kenjale to Jolly, which I think is a stroke of genius.

In academics, we now have several Indians at US universities, who have adopted a different strategy. They use a name twice, one in a shortened form and another in the original. So you have a Nat Natarajan, or a Das Narayan Das (who is a friend, incidentally, a pr…

Ghosts of Girlfriends Past

This is a movie I am talking about, not ghosts of my girlfriends- though that might be an interesting thing to talk about as well. (Also, they are all alive, so I will leave THAT to a future date)

This guy is a cool fashion photographer, and has girls falling for him like nine-pins (when played well). He believes only in one night stands or less, and has been trained to be this way by an uncle of his, who also comes back as a ghost and tells him to mend his ways.

Anyway, as the title suggests, he meets a few ghosts of his old girlfriends, and they take him through a re-run of his early life, when he used to be a normal guy wanting commitment, but then he chokes on asking his girl for a dance, and then goes off his rocker, turning into a philanderer.

A very interesting premise, and a lot of funny scenes, but somehow, I got the feeling the screenplay could have been better. Some of the scenes and dialogue are pretty predictable, and why he should want to give up what works well for him…

Pics From Reunion at Bheemeswari

These are pics representative of the good times we had on a recent trip with engineering classmates and spouses. The outing was to Bheemeswari, a resort run by Jungle Lodges, Karnataka govt., around 100 kms. off Bangalore on Kanakapura Road.

The Cauvery river flows close to you, and there are  a lot of activities too, including a boat ride in a coracle. The first pic is of a railway saloon which a friend had invited us to, while he was travelling in Bangalore. Nagarjuna and me are on the right in the saloon pic. Others are C. Srinivasa Murthy (now in the US), G. Sreenivas who organised this one, and on the left, Venu (also a Golfer) and Suri (just retired from the Navy). K. Srinivasa Murthy (entrepreneur, now retired), and Ramesh were there too.

All in all, a good time was had by all. That's the idea of reunions, isn't it?

On the God of Cricket

This is about the hype about Sachin retiring. I am an admirer of his cricket, and enjoyed watching him bat in many a game. Being a fellow 'kar', I was proud that he was doing ('karo'ing) something not many others were.

But so many others have done wonders for Indian cricket. Starting with the stolid Sunil Gavaskar, the silken-touched Gundappa Vishwanath, the greatest catcher (according to me- you will be shocked if you see some of his catches in close positions) Eknath Solkar, the solid Abid Ali, the patient Mohinder Amarnath, the flashy Srikkanth, the great hitter Sandeep Patil, the wonderful leader Kapil Dev, the caresser of balls Laxman, the deadly 'in-swinger' Javagal Srinath, the shrewd captain Ajit Wadekar with his 'best in the world spin quartet of Bedi, Prasanna, Chandrasekhar and Venkataraghavan, who won us two series in England and West Indies.

And some others like Dilip Sardesai, Syed Kirmani, Azharuddin, and the great wall of India, Rahul dravi…


Chhota Quiz

If Copy, Gopi (a name) and Gobi (the vegetable) all sound the same when pronounced in the local tongue, where are you?

Prize: Free trip on the next Mangalyaan (Mars tripper)

Hint: Not in the same place where Bus and Boss would sound the same (bonus for guessing both- a free CD of all of Arnab Goswami debates to carry with you on the free trip, so you don't miss home)

Employee Types - For the HR Guys Out There

There are many types of typologies (this is a tautology), so another one won't hurt. This is an amalgam of my experience at various places I have worked in-

Type 1. Rabble-rouser (RR) : They rouse rabble. In other words, they foment unrest over things. What things? The things change, but they remain the same. The quality of food served in the canteen, the quality of pens procured by the office, the results of annual appraisal, the colour of the curtains, matters very little what the issue is. If there is rabble to be roused out of it, RR is there, on the job (pun intended).

Type 2. Boss's Mouthpiece (BM): The guy (or gal, in these equal opportunity times we live in) speaks as if he is echoing the words of the boss, a la Moses in The Ten Commandments. The boss can take a vacation, but the BM will do the needful. Make you feel right at home, as if the boss is around. Sometimes, the mouthpiece is so fast, he/she snatches the words out of the boss's mouth even before he …

Krish on Mars

Krish (sorry, dunno how many h's appear in his name) goes to Mars. No, I mean, this would be a sequel after a few years. This is an imaginary recount of his trip there. Krish goes there, hoping to solve advanced problems. But what does he see?

Martians live contented lives.

Their religion is Humanity- sorry, Martiality-only, it does not mean what you think it does. They don't fight. Not even husbands and wives. The downside is that there are no husband-wife jokes.

They already have all the life-skills as they are born. No need for learning them the hard way, like we struggle to do all our lives.

The poorest man is automatically elected as the head of government. But the moment another guy is proved poorer, he has to give up his position to the next guy.

Martians don't have long ears. In fact, they are incredibly well-proportioned, and smile a lot, making them look even better.

They don't fly saucers, more like they use thoughts to take them from one place to another. …

An Indian Poirot- Vish Puri

That tag is given by one of the blurbs on this book- and that is what made me pick it up. Well, not quite Poirot, but very readable and interesting is this detective called Vish Puri, a denizen of Delhi. He likes chilli pakodas, and seekh kababs, like a true Punajbi, and employs staff with engaging nicknames, such as Facecream and Handbrake, and Tubelight. These people help him, more like Paul Drake and co. in Perry Mason stories, to dig up evidence that will exonerate his clients, or get them disentangled from unwanted matrimonial alliances.

The Case of the Missing Servant starts with a rich lawyer being accused of murdering his tribal maid-servant. After a lot of twists and turns, and another murder along the way, it gets resolved satisfactorily- the denouement happening as in a Poirot mystery, with an assembly of all the major characters in the house, with an inspector (like Japp) keeping an eye out for the surprise that Puri will spring.

The Delhi descriptions of people, places a…

Random Diwali Thoughts 2013

The small plane is more fun to fly in than the big one. The Wright brothers had the most fun.

The Chinese are better at making Diwali stuff for the masses than India- fact of life. And a few other things, like furniture that guys want to buy.

There is no whiskey like the single malts- some of them, at least. My list would include most Islay malts, and Glenfiddich.

Food tastes divine when you are hungry. This is akin to the words of the great Confucius ( a man with a misleading name) who apparently said, "When hungry, eat. When sleepy, sleep." I agree.

What makes for a great movie is the edit. Mostly, it has to do with removing the unnecessary.

There is no greater happiness than friends, family  and nature. Everything else is a burden which we carry.

Mickey Virus- Film Review

There is a hacking job for which the cop hires a young and vagabondish, work-hating hacker. He does the job, apparently, and then things start going wrong. A string of murders continues unabated, and the hacker is accused of stealing 100 crores from the account of a fence...who is now after him. The police also suspect him of one of the killings due to a misunderstanding..

The rest is an interesting resolution of the above mess. I like whodunits, particularly those which I can't figure out. This is one of those. A commendable yarn, believably built up. The informal dialogues and smart characterisation of the two inspectors, the hackers and his gang of pals, the professor who is their inspiration, are all well-thought out. There are no item numbers to distract, but there is a nice looking actress (Elli Avram who is apparently Swedish) in the brief lead role who fills in admirably. Manish Paul fits the bill for the lead. The graphics are particularly good, and play a role in enhanc…

Farewell, Manna Dey

It sounds incredible, but he sang the classical songs and the comic ones with equal gusto. When growing up, I saw Padosan for the first time. The verbal duel between Kishore and Manna Dey has since become memorable and remembered often for its fun lyrics (ek pe rehna, chatur bolo ya goda), and acting by Mehmood and Kishore Kumar, Sunil Dutt etc.

Among his classical songs, one that I liked a lot was Tere naina talash kare jise woh hai tujhime kahin deewane, which sounds philosophical. His qawwali filmed on Balraj Sahni Aie meri zohra jabeen is of course immortal in time (Waqt, I mean).

He also sang a few good romantic ones like Yeh raat bheegi bheegi, yeh mast hawaayein, ...with feeling. The Anand song, Zindagi kaisi hai paheli haye, was also one of my early favourites which I used to attempt singing. So was Mera Naam Joker's Manna Dey number, Ae bhai zara dekh ke chalo.

Poocho na kaise maine rain bitayee picturised on Ashok Kumar in Meri Surat Teri Aankhen and Laga chunri mein da…

Place Names in Songs

Place names in songs sometimes bring in the patriotic fervour, as in 'Yeh mera India, I love my India,' or 'Hai preet jahan ki reet sada, main geet wahan ke gaata hoon, bharat ka rehne wala hoon, bharat ke geet sunata hoon.' (Shah Rukh Khan and Manoj Kumar respectively).

Sometimes, the reference is to an ornament which fell in a marketplace (Jhumka gira re, Bareilly ke bazaar mein), or exotic locations where love blossoms (Night in London, An Evening in Paris, or Love in Tokyo). The hero sometimes proclaims his antecedents, as in Rampur ka basi hoon main, lakshman mera naam.

Bambai se gayi Poona, gayi Patna, phir bhi na mila sajna, is the lament of Juhi Chawla in a song.

In the old-time farmaish or 'request' song shows on radio, even the names of towns the requests came from were very entertaining. The most famous among them was Jhumritalaiya, but there were many frequent ones like Rajnandgaon, Jabalpur and Kathgodam. Shekhupura in Pakistan figured regul…

Sanjeev Kumar- An Actor Par Excellence

This is a random tribute to a great actor I grew up watching. In roles that needed him to do a variety of things. Scream at Gabbar Singh with rage in Sholay (his voice was one of the highlights), act mentally ill and dependent on his caretaker in Khilona, act playful on roller-skates in Seeta aur Geeta (hawa ke saath saath, ghata ke sung sung...maybe the only song on roller skates), act coy in Manchali, but also mischievous (O manchali, kahan chali ..was one of my favourites for its energy).

His nawab who says Shabba Khair (good night in Urdu) in a particular style, in Manoranjan, a comedy based on Irma La Douce, his nine roles in Naya Din Nayi Raat, his tortured self in Trishul, his deaf and dumb act in Koshish, his song in half-pants in Devata (chal baithe church ke peeche), his boss wooing multiple scretaries in office with the same sad story in Pati, Patni aur Woh, were some more memorable roles. I think he also was the bride-killing monster in Jaani Dushman.

And his double role …

Bheemeshwari- Resort on the Cauvery

A part of the 9 or 10 Jungle Lodges and Resorts that Karnataka government runs across various places in the state, Bheemeswari is one (others include Kabini, near Mysore, and one at Devbagh near Karwar). Set on the banks of river Cauvery, this is also known as Cauvery Fishing and Nature camp. But there is no fishing allowed here now. What is available is a guided trek, and many other activities like the rope climbing, river walk a hundred feet above the stream (Burma loop), parallel walk on a rope with another for hand-holding you through it, and such. I personally liked the slide down the steel rope- it is great fun. There is also a longish coracle (circular) boat ride, over rapids which were mild compared to what I had tried out in Hogenakkal some time ago. Rafting is also there, but payable extra. But the Cauvery river and the forest through which it flows is breathtakingly beautiful, and if you so choose, you can just lie around in a hammock and gaze at it, or doze off, and it would…

Kishore Kumar- 3

Some more gems from the guy that I can remember readily. This is a medley, dard bhare songs included.
Jeevan se bhari teri aankhen, majboor karein jeene ke liye..from Safar
Zindagi ke safar mein guzar jaate hain jo makaam woh phir nahin aate..this gives me goosebumps whenever I hear it, it is sung so soulfully.
Yeh jeevan hai, is jeevan ka, yehi hai, yehai hai, yehi hai rang roop...
Kuch to log kahenge logon ka kaam hai kehna..
Dukhi man mere sun mera kehna jahan nahi raina wahan nahin chaina
Musafir hoon yaaron na ghar hai na thikaana ..
Jeevan ke safar mein rahi milte hain hain bichhad jaane ko aur de jaate hain yadein tanhaai mein tadpane ko..
Kaise kahein hum pyar ne hum ko kya kya khel dikhaye, yun sharmaayi kismat hum se hum khud se sharmaaye..
Thandi hawa yeh chandni suhani aiye mere dil suna koi kahaani..
Teri duniya se hoke majboor chala, main bahut door...
O maajhi re apna kinara nadiya ki dhaara hai..
Dil aisa kisine mera toda, barbaadi ki taraf aisa moda.
Mere mehboob qay…

Kishore Kumar- 2

These are what I call the mellow duets sung by Kishore Kumar.

Yeh raatein yeh mausam nadi ka kinara yeh chanchal hawa

Jadugar tere naina, dil jayega bachke kahan, ruk jaoon...

Tere bina zindagi se koi shikwa toh nahin..

Is mod pe jaate hain, kuch sust kadam rakhke, kuch tez kadam daale..

Tujh sang preet lagayi sajna,...

Likha hai teri aankhon mein kiska afsana...

Yeh duniyawale poochenge, mulaqat hui kya baat hui, yeh baat kisise na kehna....

Beqaraar dil, tu gaye ja khushiyon se bhare woh tarane, jinhe sunke duniya jhoom uthe ...

Shokhiyon mein ghola jaye phholon ka shabab, usme phir milyi jaye thodi si sharaab...

Aap ki aankhon mein kuch mehke hue khwab hain, aap se bhi khubsoorat aapke andaz hain..

Kishore Kumar-1

There was a KK special episode on one of the music channels a couple of days ago. About 10 songs were played. That got me thinking, as to which songs I would select as his top ten. It's too tough, because I like so many more than ten. So let me try doing this according to categories of songs. I understand this may go on for a few more episodes, like a bad serial. But anyway, here goes-

Exuberant Songs

Jai jai Shiv Shankar, kaanta lage na kankar- from Aap ki Kasam

Yeh jawaani, hai diwani, hat meri rani,..from Jawani Diwani

Zindagi ek safar hai suhana, from Andaz. Has some great yodeling.

Chala jaata hoon kisi ki dhun mein, tadapte dil ke taraane iye..from Mere Jeevan Sathi. Ditto on yodeling.

Main hoon jhum jhum jhum jhum jhumroo, fakkad ghoomoon banke ghumroo..from Jumroo. wonderful zest.

Zindagi hasne gaane ke liye hai pal do pal, from Zameer, filmed on Amitabh

Daru ki botal men sahib pani bharta hai, phir na kehna Michael daru peeke danga karta hai, which Pran sang on screen in…

Book Review-There May be an Asterisk Involved

This is a book (fiction) about the mad world of ads written by Vedashree Khambete, a lady from the world of advertising in Mumbai.

As expected, it includes a lot of tidbits about the functioning of the ad agency and its associates like films, radio, and vendor industries. But fundamentally, it's the story of Ira, the protagonist, and the people in the agency she works in- the bosses, the colleagues, trainees and a love interest. The characters are not very well-etched though, and are on expected lines-could be because I worked in an ad agency long ago. But they are certainly likeable, except an obvious villain-the ex.

The hectic, fun, crazy, unpredictable world of advertising is captured well, though the love story angle is pretty predictable. It is a good read for the readers interested in light, witty stuff that is an easy read. I particularly liked the footnotes that are LOL add-ons, and sometimes even better than the story-line.

The asterisk is indeed there to be enjoyed.

Slogans and Catch-phrases

In India, there used to be some catch-phrases that we would see regularly from the sixties onwards - I can't help it, I was born in the sixties.

'Garibi hatao' was one such, plastered all over the media. What happened to that we don't know, but the trend these days seems to be Amiri hatao, or 'inclusion'.

Our college in Hyderabad used to have student bodies which would scribble their slogans on walls. "Down with zionist forces" used to be one of them. I didn't understand then who they were, and what they had to do with us. Still don't, in fact.

'Brain drain' was another favourite of the intelligentsia, who seem to coin new phrases when they have nothing better to do. Whatever little brains we billion people had, were apparently being drained through immigration to the West. But what prevented the half-a billion or more who stayed back from using their brains is what never could penetrate my (thick) skull. Now, we seem to have an abund…

War Chhod Na Yaar- Review of the Film

This is a new genre in Hindi films, and commendable for that reason alone. It's a comedy with a war-to-be as the backdrop. An India-Pakistan war, to be more precise.

The only complaint I have about it is that the jokes could have been more in number, and the sentimentality could have been cut out- but it is too much to expect that from a Hindi movie, I guess.

In particular, Javed Jaffrey does a good job as one of the lead characters, supported well by his boss in the Pak army, and his bosses - the political and the military. The Chinese general spewing Siddhuisms picked up from Comedy Nights with Kapil (Thok do, Phatak, etc.) are nice touches, and the non-exploding Chinese bombs are hilarious. The nuclear bomb is labelled "new clear" as if it's a cosmetic.

I think Dalip Tajil plays many roles, including that of the American trying to sell arms to India and Pak. Does it well too. Soha is OK, as the TV reporter, and Sharman Joshi looks handsome as the Indian trooper h…

Celebrities and Surnames- A Correlation Study

What are the chances of your becoming a celebrity with the surname Mishra? Gurnani? Gopalan? Almost zero. But a Kapoor in your surname would increase your chances by a million times. A Khan in your last name, by a zillion times (Saif and Irrfan in addition to the triumvirate).

Celebrity-hood sits as easily on a non-Khan too. Not convinced? Khan (Na) is a powerful surname, shared by the first 'superstar' Rajesh and then Vinod, and his son Akshaye. (Sur)name yourself Raman, and you may become the big boss of Physics or Maths, but a name like Padukone would catapult you into the big league of Badminton or Bollywood.

Some other powerful surnames are Bhosle, Bachchan, Kumar (Manoj, Rajendra "jubilee" Kumar, "jaani" Raj Kumar, and my all time favourite Kishore), Burman, Dutt, Mehra, Desai, Parekh, Roshan, Samanta (the producer-director), Rai (both the Northern and the Mangalorean versions), Shah (Kundan directed Jaane Bhi do Yaaro, the cult comedy), Kher, Bajpai…

Complete Entertainment Package

A certain god-man in India has left behind all the Bollywood releases this week and threatens to do so for several weeks. A typical movie made in Bollywood has certain elements we call masala, necessary for keeping different members of the audience happy. The way this man is going, he may become a one-man entertainment industry himself.

What are the masala elements a typical film has?

Dance and music- watch your neighbourhood channel for this guy doing a raas leela (thankfully, by himself) and a tandav. Just like the extras in films, there are a few hundred devotees also joining in.

Chase- There are two here. One for his own arrest, and another is on as we speak, for that of his son.

Drama- There was some before the arrest, in terms of feigning illness, then disappearing from one place and emerging in another.

Dialogue- "Prison is like Vaikunth for me", "No prison can keep me for long"- a la Gabbar Singh.

Sex- well, that started it all, with charges of misconduct.

Benefits of Turning 53

The benefits of turning 53 are many. I am now eligible for all these-

You are no longer a teenager and you know it. You are an uncle/aunty for most of those wet-behind the ears people, who think you are 'respect-worthy'.

Most dyes (and baldness cures?) have been tried out and now you get to accept the grey hair. Makes you graceful.

You have money in the bank. If you don't, you no longer hope for it to be there.

You stop ranting about how bad the world is, because you couldn't change it one bit in all this time.

You have some unknown riches in terms of progeny- it's not Greek. It means sons or daughters.

You have already worked for long enough not to get disillusioned by the workplace. Scott Adams only brings on gentle laughter, not an uproarious one.

You start giving advice, which no one wants, but you still give it anyway.

You can drink with your own money instead of your parents'.

You have to worry only for a few more years, if you are the worrying type.


Corporate Chieftains

Like the tribes which are now extinct, corporates have their own lingo that seeks to impress. Does it? Let's figure out with the help of a few designations and their full forms/meaning.

CEO- Chief Entertainment Officer. Most would qualify, eminently.

CFO - Chief Frauds Officer. Remember Enron?

CTO - Chief Tinkerer with Office computers

CMO- Chief Mourning Officer (for bad sales, which is most of the time)

Exec Ass to the CEO- the second word says it all!

Vice President- Second guy in a two-man company

President- One who oversees the shutdown of a company or a government. Yes, he can!



Which is which? Or what's what? A mini quiz.

Anterior and posterior.

Starboard and Port

Port and Sherry

Anna Domini and B.C. What's between the two?

Dead Meat and Living Vegetable

Zero hour and Question Hour

Shakespeare and Stillwater

Moronic and Titanic

Gandhiji and His Relevance

Firstly, let me clarify that I have limited knowledge of the details of Gandhiji's life, so the following observations or thoughts could be termed half-baked. I also do not agree with him on everything he did or inspired. Now, you may read on.

He had a sense of humour, which I don't see around in too many people, who are self-righteous about trivial things, and easily offended.

He had an interest in reading and writing. My autobiography is a lift (inspired?) from his- I just called it half-truths instead of truth. Not sure if anyone does any of these two things these days.

He lived simply. I know no one wants to these days.

He walked a lot. Car manufacturers may have a tough time if more people learn to do so.

He tried to be truthful. Need I say anything on this?

O Mere Shahe Khuba

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

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

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

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

Amir Garib- Movie Recall

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

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

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

It's all …

Daft Definitions

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

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

Goa Case Conference 2013

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

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

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

The Lunch Box- Movie Review

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

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

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

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

How To Guides- Part 2

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

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

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

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

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

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

How To Guides- Part 1

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

The first few guides-

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

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

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

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

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

Truth is a Pathless Land- Book Review

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

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

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

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