Showing posts from July, 2014

Nostalgia or Deja Vu?

Either way, a walk from Richmond circle to Garuda mall, across the length of Residency Road made me remember the days when I was a student at IIM Bangalore. Our bus would drop us at the city office on Langford Road, and we, penniless as we usually were, walked down the Residency Road to gallivant at Brigade or MG Road. Speaking of which, two iconic places that were on MG Road then, have now moved one street, to Church Street.

Gangaram's book store was brilliant, and I bought many Wodehouses there, and also a lot of cards. Also my first copy of Ogilvy on Advertising- I still have one, but this is a different copy. We spent hours there.

The second was Indian Coffee House. It used to have the cheapest snacks and coffee. Omelettes and cutlets were generally our favoured snacks.

We had to rush back to catch the bus at 7.30 again, and if we missed that, our options were to catch a red-boarded (rural route) bus from K.R. Market, a very crowded bus stop a few kilometres away. Autos were …

Researching Microbreweries

Went to a research conference on Social Media Marketing in Bangalore. During the after hours, tried researching the phenomenon of the microbrewery. Bangalore was the pioneer when it came to pubs in India. The first one started around 1983 and was called Ramada's. The later ones tried distinguishing themselves with different decor and ambience, and some even shut down due to 'recession.' Bier Keller at Hyderabad, and 10 Downing Street (ditto) are some I remember going to. Then I grew old, and the noise got to me, so I did not go to any for a long time.

But now, there is a reason to do so, if you qualify- as in, if you above the drinking age. The reason is 'product variety' or novelty. And a tastier, fresh beer. The two microbreweries that I tried out thanks to a friend (purely for research, of course!) both had interesting stuff. I had read somewhere that Trappist monks invented beer (naturally, in order to serve God through serving his creation), and one of the pu…

Iftar at Campus

There was an Iftar party last evening to mark Ramzan, at the campus. It was a nice affair, with a great spread. Made me think about the several parties at our club in Singareni Collieries while I was growing up. I don't know about grown-ups, but we kids (then) had a lot of fun at those. Generally groups of us would gather, play various games, gossip, do singing sessions, and so on. We were left alone by parents, and sometimes had to be dragged home late at night by them.

I learnt how to play Badminton, Table tennis and Billiards at the club. Swimming too was a regular pastime in the hot Andhra summer, reaching 48 degrees centigrade. I remember doing a lot f cycling too. When we lived in Bellampalli, we had a foursome and played a lot of Bridge (now you know the secret of the razor-sharp brain, ha, ha). We did not have TV then (till 1980 or so), and I don't think we missed much.

Iftar is the breaking of the fast for the Holy month. I have never been able to fast, and I have gr…

Global Events- A Citizen's View

As a global citizen, one keeps listening to and viewing news stories about various things happening all over. That the media allocate their time disproportionately to different corners of the world would be an understatement. But still, the conclusions that can be drawn from all these half-baked and distorted stories are somewhat disturbing, portending of worse things in key areas.

The urge to go to war is not abating. Whoever is right or wrong is not the point. Ukraine/rebels, Iraq/rebels, Pakistan/rebels, or Israel/Gaza residents, all may be right in their own way. The point is, do you need to kill innocents to prove it? If not talks, is there no dharma-yudh (gentlemen's war, for want of a better translation) possible without innocents being drawn into it?

All the well-meaning parties that spend time on TV debates, can't they do some positive social work that may transform some potential rapists in the society, or potential criminals, or even actual ones? I have yet to hear…

Social Media is Bullshit- Book Review

Yes, it is the title of a book by B.J. Mendelson- I'm not kidding. And it is by far the best book on the subject I have read. Not that I claim to have read hundreds, but still, it is in the spirit of this book that I exaggerate a bit.

But seriously, anyone who is in marketing, advertising, PR, or anti all these, must read this book. Disagree or not, it is a brilliantly provocative book on the alleged pluses of Social Media. Mendelson has a page that you can visit to find out more. Here is an excerpt from that page ( which describes what the book is about-

"Social Media Is Bullshit is a guided tour through the bullshit factory that is the social media marketing industry. You’ll see how their primary product, bullshit, is made, who is selling it, and how they’ve been getting away with selling bullshit since 2007."

He is mainly focussed on what social media cannot do for small businesses or small guys …

Humour of a Kind

All these are from Anguished English by Richard Lederer. There are many more where these came from-in the book.

Some Student Bloopers

A myth is a female moth.Socrates died from an overdose of wedlock.Then came the Middle Ages, when everyone was middle-aged.Gravity was invented by Isaac Walton. It is chiefly noticeable in the autumn, when the apples are falling off the trees.Beethoven wrote music even though he was deaf. He was so deaf he wrote loud music.

Some quotes-

Monotheism is a gift from the gods.It takes about ten years to get used to how old you are.Always be sincere, even when you don't mean it.I wish the Arabs and the Jews would settle their differences like Christian gentlemen- attributed to Arthur Balfour.

Notice on a doctor's door- Specialist in women and other diseases.

Monsoon Come Lately

Like Johnny-come-lately, Mr. Monsoon (like some ladies we know) is late. Well, better late than never, some might say. What with having to deal with El Nino and other distractions, we should be thankful he came at all. Otherwise, we would have had a party with no guest- metaphorically.

When he comes too soon (no innuendo intended), we complain. And when he does not come (likewise), we predict a future worse than the Great Extinction during some pre-historic Stone Age -pardon my pale knowledge of the paleo-age nomenclature.

Now that he is here, we are hoping he'll stay for dinner. We can actually make some, since the veggies will become affordable, and the crops will bloom. Acchhe din aagaye?

I Think.....

I decided that I would write a thoughtful blog. Therefore, I sat down to think. The only problem is, whenever you decide to do something, that something eludes you. So the thoughts which otherwise run riot, ebbed to a trickle, and after a bit, completely vanished.

So then I decided I will write something thoughtless. And promptly, my thought process was back where it used to be-on track. I now have a wealth of thoughts on conventional wisdom, and what it does to all of us. Will share a few.

Conventional wisdom says that we have to grow up. That childhood and its glory are at best ephemeral, with a life of a few years. Grown up life is the majority of our life. The impact of this is that there are too many grown-ups, acting, well...grown-up, all around. And the wars and the competition grows by the day, and innocence and fun are hard to come by.

Conventional wisdom tells us that one must categorise people- by the clothes they wear, the cars they drive (or whether they do) how they sme…

My Budget

Today is India's budget day. So I thought I would set out my plans for the year.

1. Meet classmates of 30 years past at my IIMB alumni get-together later this year.

2. Celebrate at least 3-4 occasions with family in Pune/Hyderabad.

3. Teach innovatively/Write a few research papers that I enjoy.

4. Watch a few good films.

5. Read a few good books, and of course, not to disappoint you,

6. Write a few more blogs.

Sounds achievable to me, with no major fiscal deficits to account for.

OP Nayyar

This guy was unique. His music was playful, sensuous, seductive, and he had a distinctive hoof-beat rhythm in many of his songs too. He in later years also wore a hat that made him look different. His best songs had Asha Bhosle and Mohammed Rafi singing them, but occasionally, he composed a couple with Kishore Kumar. This is a list of some of my favourites, which I never stopped enjoying.

Maang ke saath tumhara maine maang liya sansaar..

Aao huzur tumko sitaron mein le chaloon, dil jhoom jaaye aise baharon mein le chaloon..

Jaiye aap kahan jaayenge

Pukarta chala hoon main gali gali bahar ki bas ek chhaon zulf ki,...

Chain se humko kabhi tumne to jeene na diya, zeher bhi chaha agar tumne to peene na diya.

Mera naam chin chin choo, from Howrah Bridge.

Banda parvar thaam lo jigar...phir wahi dil laya hoon...

Lakhon hain yahan dilwale aur pyar nahin milta....

Babuji dheere chalna, raah mein zara samhalna...bade dhokhey hain is raah mein.

Badal jaaye agar mali chaman hota nahin khali, bah…

Definitive Songs

It's tough to define them in a creative field such as music, where tastes differ, but so what? I will try and define some songs that define music directors that I know-

1. Roshan- Jo wada kiya woh nibhaana padega from Taj Mahal. Mellow.
2. Rajesh Roshan- Chhoo kar mere man ko, kiya toone kya ishaara, from Yaarana. Ditto.
3. SD Burman- O meri, O meri O meri Sharmilee, aao na tarsaao na.. from Sharmilee..vibrant
4. RD Burman- Dum Maro Dum from Hare Rama hare Krishna, a generation-changer.
5. Kalyanji Anandji- Khaike pan Banaraswala khul jaye band akal ka tala from Don- party song, Indian style.
6. Laxmikant Pyarelal- Haye re haye, neend nahi aaye- a sexy duet picturised on jeetendra and Leena Chandavarkar in Humjoli.
7. Shankar Jaikishan- Aaj kal tere mere pyar ke charche har zabaan par, sabko malum hai aur sabko khabar ho gayi- you feel like dancing when you hear it. If you don't believe me, watch it at
8. Ram Laxman-Didi tera devar …

Coefficient of Happiness

I am not even sure what a coefficient is, but no matter. I will still propound (I know what THAT is) a hypothetical equation where happiness is equated in an equation to various things which have coefficients (I didn't say I can't use coefficients, did I?)

Happiness = x*Necessities of life (food, around 2000 calories a day, 2 pairs of clothes, some detergent, minimal housing, money to buy maybe 2 or 3 pizzas in a year, a transistor radio) + y*Free indulgences that you can have such as conversations with friends including on fb or mail chat, walks with anyone you like to or alone, laughter, staring into the sea, mountain or plains, listening to bird sounds, or to free music + z*(inexpensive indulgences like a cup of chai/tea/coffee or beverages of choice and a samosa, an occasional game of golf played with friends) + a * (very expensive indulgences like a house in Florida or a single malt everyday or your own golf course or a get the drift)

Now, my hypothesis is …

Power of Letters

There is a lot of power that a letter of the alphabet packs. You wanna bet?

H has a lot of negative energy. For example, add h to wining, and it turns into whining.

T can transform things in space . Here can become There in a jiffy.

A ditch can get evil powers if you put in a 'w' for the 'd'.

You can't make light of it if the 'l' goes out of it; you get a 'fight' going.

And not only can you have a tit for tat but also a tat for a tit by switching the 'i' and the 'a', rather than playing with an 'i' for an 'i'.

See what I mean? No? You are just being mean.

Excitement at IIM Indore

We have the 2014-2016 batch of the 2 year MBA program starting at the campus. This will be the 17th batch I think.

Excitement is in the air, and the student-run store on campus (called Pi) along with the loan-offering banks and the phone service companies are in an overdrive. We had a short function to inaugurate the batch and introduce the faculty. Energy levels are up, and classes will be full steam ahead.

The rain is still eluding us though, and hopefully will turn up soon. Before the budget. Heard it rained in the Mumbai metro. We are like this only. Incredible India!

Balle Balle in Bali

Templing at Bali. Their temples have gates that are open at the top- so that God has greater access to you and vice-versa.
The word vice has a very odd way of turning up everywhere, from vice-president to Vice Commission, by the way. Vice-chancellor too. Reminds me of an old joke. What is the vice of the vice admiral? The rear of the rear admiral.
Anyway, Bali is a paradise on earth, and I recommend putting it on your bucket list, pronto. Notice the thatched roofs in the second pic. That gives the temples a great unique look. The third is the temple called Tanah Lot.

Lola Kutty

Found a blog about Lola Kutty, for those who used to be fans. Zimbly wonderful character. I watched a lot of the Lola Kutty show.

The News

A typical news show.

Anchor: This is breaking news. We bring you news like you have never seen it. Three die in a train accident in Jamungaon. The minister declares that there is no sign of sabotage. Kin of dead get 25 lakhs each, injured, 1 lakh each. The Prime Minister has expressed deep sorrow at the incident. And now, for more on this, we will go to our correspondent Shivani, on ground zero.
Shivani, what do you have for us?

Shivani: Thanks, Rumpeltiltzkin (or whatever). Three people have died in a train accident here at Jamungaon. The minister has declared that there is no sign of sabotage. Kin of dead will get 25 lakhs each, injured, 1 lakh each. The Prime Minister has expressed deep sorrow at the incident.

Anchor: Thank you, Shivani. Our second story today is about the reforms in the power sector. The power minister just said that there will be major reforms in the power sector, including generation, transmission, distribution. We have an expert with us here, Mr. Taraporewala,…