Showing posts from October, 2014

Sharda- Singer Unknown

There was this song Titli udi ud jo chali, phool ne kaha , aaja mere paas, titli kahe main chali aakash sometime in the 60s, when I was growing up (I still am, but..). It had a voice that was unlike any other voice on radio (TV had not arrived yet). This song was good, and then I heard a few more songs sung by her. Learnt her name was Sharda, and that she sang mostly in songs composed by Shankar- Jaikishan.

A few more good ones were from films such as Around the World (title song- around the world in 8 dollars), Gumnaam (Jaane chaman, shola badan) and so on.

Wonder what happened to cut her career short. Here is a link to the first song mentioned here- Titli Udi-

Happy New Year to Me

I joined IIM Indore about a year ago. It has been a very interesting year living on campus after a longish break. The perks are obvious- green, pollution free environment, peaceful walks, assured power supply and water supply (not available outside, though Nagpur had almost uninterrupted supply of both), and easy commute to work and the option to go back and forth if needed. Food supply too, in my case as I live alone, and use the mess for food- decent by institutional standards.

I also get to meet all new faculty who join because they initially are guests at the mess until they set up homes. Marketing area has seen lots of additions, almost doubling our strength in the last few months. I also taught in our Dubai and Mumbai campuses, getting to meet friends in both places. I am also in charge of MDP or short-term training programs.

Funnily, I met three IMT Nagpur alumni in my first few months here, visiting for an MDP or otherwise. Training programs happen at a dizzying pace at the I…

Some Interesting Stats

These are some interesting stats about this blog.

Followers are 100 in number.

Pageviews today 49 Pageviews yesterday 1,422 Pageviews last month 36,446 Pageviews all time history 200,612
Some kind of a landmark, I suppose. Somewhat unexpected, but gratifying. Thank you to whoever is making this happen. Might just subject you to some more of the same, though, be warned. :)

Naseeruddin Shah's Autobiography- A Review

I was excited when I heard this (And Then One Day) had been published, and even more when I found it  in a bookstore sometime ago- and this time, the excitement was justified.

It is like no other autobiography I have read (including my own, one that I like a lot). Particularly in the kind of self-deprecation it indulges in. Most autobiographies start out with the premise of the protagonist as hero, but this one rarely gets into that mode, if at all. It is honest, brutally so at times, and though initially he comes from a privileged family background, it takes you through tribulations of the worst kind that he suffers-mostly cheerfully.

The feeling of being perceived as utterly useless by parents, schools, and teachers is all-pervasive through most of his early life, and makes you wonder at our schooling system. But then, the same system provides him opportunities to watch some wonderful Hollywood films (in boarding school), and nurtures his interest. And guardian angels do appear whe…

Udaipur Musings

It's fashionable to muse these days. And I can't afford not keeping up. So here goes, after the trip into Udaipur.

Why is the whole city white? And Jaipur pink? Was it through an order from the respective kings?

Such lovely art that shows up wherever you go- on the ceilings, walls, and anyplace you can draw. Why is it that we have lost the art of 'the everyday art'? Rembrandt and so on are fine as creators of the masterpieces, but we need more daily doses of it from being creative ourselves.

How did these guys actually fight wars riding horses wearing 20 kilos of armour and holding shields that remind you of that of Chief Vitalstatistix? I find it difficult to go to work if my shoe feels heavier than usual. Brave!

Why do they allow cars in the city? It's such a pity. It messes up the otherwise beautiful place.

Why don't we operate more ropeways in our towns and cities? They might boost tourism in lots of places that have a view to offer.

Lakes add a lovely tou…

Udaipur- the White City

Visited this city of lakes and palaces with family recently. This is a likeable city, with friendly people and beautiful vistas. One of the best places to get a bird's-eye view is to take the ropeway up the hill which had a fort at one time. You get an excellent view both from the cabin and on reaching the top.The pics below may help to visualise the visual delight. The first is the City Palace (another must-see) and the second is the luxury hotels on the lake Pichola. If you can imagine James Bond lolling in the lounge, he did- in Octopussy. Which is screened in many restaurants for the visitors. The buildings are all white, contrasting with Jaipur, the Pink City. The city is also known for the bravery of Rana Pratap who defeated Akbar's forces, which also comprised Man Singh of Jaipur!

On the Loose

The number of times people confuse 'lose' with 'loose' has ceased to be funny. It is an epidemic worse than Ebola. And there seems to be no cure for it. Not in my sight.

But I should not lose sight of the bigger picture. And should also think out of the box. And invent a cure for it.

A tight slap on the wrist, may be?

A loosely-worded wrap on the knuckles?

A harsh notice asking the guy to tie up the loose ends in his vocabulary?

Or to lose himself among the multitudes, never to be seen again?

Would it mean that I will lose some good friends?

Will it be a lose-lose strategy, or a win-lose one?
Finally, is there something slightly loose above my neck?

Let me know, before I lose my way.

Swinging the Vote

I was watching a bit of the election results and "analysis" on the news channels. Results of Maharashtra and Haryana state elections in India. There are a few things that I concluded.

1. Modi is a vote-puller.

2. Rahul Gandhi is a vote-killer.

3. All others are in-between.

4. Pawar may finally be forced to stay away from power.

5. MNS seems to be headed nowhere with their anti-UP, Bihar rhetoric.

6. Young voters are increasingly voting more intelligently than the old ones (our gen) used to.

7. Better governance than the current one is a near-certainty.

My first Blog Post from Jan 2008

This was titled 'Paper Tigers'.

Stock markets give us an illusion of wealth. The world (at least most of it) is composed of stock markets. And therefore, the world is an illusion. What does the paper money really represent? Why don't all investors cash out while the going is good? And settle down in the Bahamas? Don't know if there is a stock market there. A wise friend of mine who is into real estate broking once told me- the only guys who consistently make money (win-win, if you please) are the agents/brokers/traders etc. in any trading activity. The ongoing hulchul reminds me of that wise guy.

It's been a long run.

A Dictionary of Sorts- Part 2

A continuation of Part 1. From the book by PV Subramaniam (Dictionary of English- The Udder Side)

Marathon- A technique used to evade creditors

Metro- An underground movement operating with official connivance.

Middle Ages- That period of your life when battling your girth is an enormous waist.

Middle East- now rechristened as 'Meddle East' by the US Foreign Affairs Department.

Mind-reading- A mystical quality expected of husbands.

Mirror- an object that rarely makes one reflect.

Monogamy- having one wife too many.

Morgue- a place where you could freeze to death.

Mud Pack- a treatment that greatly improves some women's appearance, provided it's left ON.

Nepotism- The Theory of Relativity employed in an organization.

Southern Contributions to Bollywood

The South has contributed substantially to Bollywood over the years. More heroines than others. Two or three of the most successful have been from the South of India- Waheeda Rehman, Hema Malini and Rekha.

Lots of Southern directors like T. Rama Rao made a series of hit films which resurrected Jeetendra's career along with heroines like Sridevi and Jayaprada- Mawali, Judaai, et al. K. Vishwanath was a talented Telugu director who made Sargam and Kaamchor in Hindi. Bapu directed an offbeat movie called Hum Paanch based on the Mahabharata, made contemporary. LV Prasad made a lot of Hindi films, and so did Nagi Reddy.

S.P. Balasubramaniam has sung a lot of Hindi film songs in the early films of Salman Khan, and also for Kamal Haasan in Ek Duuje Ke Liye. Many recent films of Salman Khan and one of Aamir (Ghajini) were originally Telugu films.

In olden times, many tunes were copied from Telugu or Tamil films into Hindi and vice-versa. The hit song from Kalakar, "Neele neele ambar…

A Dictionary of Sorts- Part 1

These gems are from Dictionary of English-The Udder Side by PV Subramaniam. There are lots more, and of the racier kind also, where these came from. To the family audiences, these should be good enough.

Python- a snake having a crush on its victims.

Rat Race- sporting event witnessed when the cat is out of the bag.

RIP- Do-not-disturb sign used in grave situations.

Peace- What the US wanted Saddam to rest in.

Paunch- no dearth of girth

Perfume- an expensive alternative to bathing.

Pharaoh- Daddy who became Mummy.

Pall-bearer- A guy who lets you down at the last minute.

Zuckerberg Jokes

Some innovative stuff, inspired by the Facebook founder's India visit.

Which would be his favourite Hindi film?

Jhuk gaya aasman.

His favourite song from Hindi films?

Jhuk jhuk, jhak, jhak, Bombay se Baroda tak, tum kaho gate rahe hum..

His favourite restaurant?


What did he do when his girlfriend ditched him?

Started playing Candy Crush Saga.

What did he say to Modi when he was told "Make in India?"

He 'made' a face.

He went to a meeting with top industrialists and celebrities. The emcee asked him about the competition.

A 'twitter' could be heard among the audience.

When Zuckerberg is tongue-tied, what does he do?

Like, you mean, like, stutter, ..

Characters You Meet

These are a few character sketches, though brief, of characters I have met in my life spanning around 54 years so far. They enlivened my life, and I am ever grateful. Maybe you had a few, too to enliven yours. If not, have fun with these.

A guy who perpetually carried a funereal expression on his face, as if he had just returned from one. The guy resembling him the most is Chief Vitalstatistix from Asterix comics, who is scared of the sky falling on his head.

Another who spoke as if he were preparing for CAT, MAT, GMAT, and GRE all together. Meaning, high-flown English. Alas, they don't make them like that any more.

A guy who would talk only about the opposite sex, and how to 'win friends and influence people' of the right kind. He was in the U.S. in a cosmopolitan environment, and was country-neutral when it came to his friendships, but not gender-neutral.

Another who was just the opposite of this 'friendly soul', who was not just tongue-tied, but also shied away…

Book Review-Jack Patel's Dubai Dreams

I saw something on the back of the book that called bankers 'bangers' (in Malluspeak) and that piqued my interest in this one. And it turned out to be a really good read. I suspect it is partly autobiographical, or sounds like it. The characters are all very real, the Indians, Americans and the rest.

 The story is narrated from the viewpoint of a private banker living in Dubai. I learnt a lot about the world of private banking/investment banking after reading it. Finance is not my forte, and I understand very little of what goes on in the big, bad world of multi-million dollar investments. Well, now I know a couple of percentage points more.

But this is a well-told story of the pre-2008 and post- 2008 world (and Kenya where Obama's family comes from), and it gave me the following insights-

Kenyans call snacks 'bitings'.There isn't much difference between a lottery and investments that he are speculative, whatever may be the instrument or investment class.Dubai …

Lasting Contributions of Bollywood Heroes and Heroines

This is a TIC (tongue-in-cheek for backward people) look at lasting contributions of Bollywood Celbs of my time and yours-

Alia Bhatt- the jokes, of course. After Ajit (a villain), these are the most formidable.

Jeetendra- the white shoes are his legacy.

Mithun-da- Turning, twisting, gyrating, redefining Newton's Laws of Motion.

Rajesh Khanna- the look, a romantic one.

Dharmendra- Main tera khoon pee jaaonga . The dialogue.

Jaya Bhaduri- her laugh

Dev Anand- his scarves, and the delivery of dialogue without punctuation. The way he said, ..well, anything.

Madhubala- the crooked smile which floored the straight guys.

Helen- Her slimness in a world of overflowing adipose tissue. Amazing.

Mehmood- His anti-Fair and Lovely anthem in Gumnaam. Hum kaale hain to kya hua dilwale hain.

Shatrughan Sinha- Khamosh! One-worder rather than one-liner. But also had one liners like "Tum jis school mein padhte ho, hum uske Headmaster hain"

Om Prakash- his facial expressions were classic.

Haider and More

Saw Haider and liked it, but there are a few improvements that would have made it a classic for me. Mostly, it's the pace. It is slow in the first half, which as a marketing man, I find difficult to take. The story is quite static in half one. It takes too long to just establish the fact that Haider (Shahid Kapoor) was sent away to study, his father taken away by cops, and that Shraddha loves him. The cinematography keeps it going, with lovely shots of Kashmir.

The screenplay and editing needed to be crisp, for a story like this one. The complexity of the relationships and the dilemmas of all the characters does come through, but at the cost of early disinterest in the happenings. If it was an adventure like Sholay, the action would keep you glued, but here, it should have been edited far better. Sequences with Shraddha's brother, the army interrogation, and a few others were just superfluous, and added unnecessary drag.

Most Hindi films suffer from this malady, though. The l…


Let us try and clear the mist- I mean, from the alarmists. They are the ones who keep posting alarmist messages like-

Don't read the newspaper, it'll make your mind weak.
Don't eat pizza, it contains hidden micro-organisms that will cripple you.
Drinking Coke makes you impotent.
Morning walks/jogs can displace your arteries.
Ogling at guys/girls can make you blind.

You get the drift, right? So I decided if I can't beat them, I shall join them. Here I go-

Stay away from Arnab Goswami. He is too serious.
Stay away from Salman's films or you'll lose your shirt!
Stay away from investment bankers. If you don't, you'll lose your pants.
Stay away from parents. They tell you what to do.
Stay away from your teachers. Or you will start believing you are a nitwit.
Don't have kids. They make you cry.
Don't marry. Prevent Chapter 11/bankruptcy.

That's all for now. Back with more if you aren't 100% Satisfied with these.