Things Which Keep Us Awake

Things which keep us awake -in my view, after extensive research- are the following.


Will I get batting tomorrow in the game we play every day?

Will my teacher ask for the home work or forget it?


How many Likes will my selfie get?


What do I wear?


What do I cook tomorrow?

Gentlemen (gentle is just a figure of speech)

Where will my next beer come from?

Will I get to watch India play XYZ undisturbed?

What I Like About Facebook

Of course, there's a lot of criticism of it. But I want to look at the positives.

If you invest time, it is rewarding. It's like live Market Research (a subject I like, and teach). On any given day, you get to know what a range of opinions on any topic are- extremes are there in good number, but moderates too express themselves- if you look closely.

It's a great pictorial ride-through the lives of people you like (mostly).

(Pic from a recent outing in Sri Lanka)

It gives you instant feedback on many things- silences, likes, comments, all have a story to tell.

It gets you back in touch. Random conversations on Messenger included, but meetings have also happened many a time solely due to FB- which otherwise may not have. Ex-students, ex-colleagues, and sometimes, forgotten classmates. Or new-found friends-of which there are lots.

You can innovate- I have tried, sometimes with success.

It is flexible, in the sense you can stay on it or away from it depending on your other priorities. At least, I think I can (!), though it may not seem so obvious.

All in all, it has a thumbs-up from me.

Landmark Tunes- Hindi Films

There are a few landmark tunes that are associated in my mind with music directors in Hindi films.

Vasant Desai- Bole re papihara in Guddi. It is so different from the usual songs.

RD Burman- Dum maro dum from Hare Rama Hare Krishna. I don't think anyone else could have thought of this.

SD Burman- Wahan kaun hai tera, musafir, jayega kahan (film- Guide), in his own voice.

Jaidev- Main zindagi ka saath nibhaata chala gaya. A masterpiece from Hum Dono, sung by Mohammad Rafi.

Kalyanji Anandji- Pal bhar ke liye koi hamein pyar kar le from Johny Mera Naam. Dev Anand and Hema Malini added a lot of charm to it.

Shankar Jaikishen- Sayonara, sayonara from Love in Tokyo.

Laxmikant Pyarelal- Mere mehboob qayamat hogi from Mr. X in Bombay.

OP Nayyar- Piya piya piya mora jiya pukare, from Baap re Baap. Early use of Kishore Kumar's yodeling, and trademark hoofbeats that he used in many songs.

Descriptive Names

Some names that are descriptive, or serve a larger purpose-

Yelliah- he yells.

Delilah- works in a Deli.

Malliah- works at the mall.

Telliah- works at a bank.

Gorbachev- Does the Gorba (Gujjus beware- there's also a che in his name).

Bharat- gives Mr. Manoj Kumar a complex.

Mark- he is always one up on you.

David Lean- programmed not to put on weight.

Javagal Srinath- his bowling got your jaw if you weren't careful.

Sivagami- India's answer to Origami.

Rasputin-sounds like a competitor to Frooti.

Dimple and Not so Simple

This is a list of my favourite heroines from films. Naturally, from my era-mostly.

Tanuja was a natural, and acted well -at least occasionally. Hathi Mere Sathi, Mere Jeevan Sathi and Jewel Thief are three films I remember her from.

Mumtaz was cute, and paired well with some. Rajesh Khanna, for one. Aap Ki Kasam and Roti come to mind. Feroz Khan too, with Apradh being one film of theirs I remember.

Dimple Kapadia, who broke a lot of records with Bobby, and a few hearts after that by marrying the aforesaid Mr. Khanna. Saw her in Finding Fanny last.

Saira Banu, who was also a looker, and did the haughty roles really well-watch Padosan again if you don't believe me. Shagird was good too.

Smita Patil, for the real desi, dark and smouldering realism. All her films are recommended, highly.

Hema Malini. The Dream Girl (good marketing!) paired best with Dharmendra in many films, Sholay and Jugnu being ones I remember the most.

Rekha in Khoobsurat was my favourite for many years.

I liked Chitrangada Singh based on Hazaron Khwahishein Aisi, but her career did not take off. Khwahish to see more of her films remained just that.

Vidya Balan had a couple of outstanding performances like Parineeta, Kahani and Paa.

Kajol, who like her mom, was a natural, and paired well with DDLJ co-star, Shah Rukh Khan.

..and of course, Madhubala.

Why You Remember Places

Why do we remember certain places more than others? There are two kinds of places I am talking of-places where we have lived, and places which we have visited.

In both cases, a common reason may be the people we associate with the place. I have lived at least a year in the following places- Kothagudem, Bellampalli, Ramagundam, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Delhi, Bangalore, Mumbai, Clemson, Greenwood (both in the U.S.), Bhubaneswar, Harihar, Lucknow, Kozhikode, Nagpur, Indore.

 Me at Athens, Greece and (below) my wife in Clemson, SC, USA.
Of these, the longest spell at one place as a grownup was at Harihar, where we had small class sizes in our MBA program, and therefore I tend to remember the students pretty well, even with my fading memory cells. There was also another unrelated reason to remember the place itself. An 18-hole Golf course in our colony (thanks to the Kirloskars) made me feel like a millionaire.

Nagpur, a campus (IMT) that was scenic, and people who were among the nicest anywhere, changed my ideas about the place ('hot as hell' would have been the earlier idea)- staff and students included, but the general population too.

Clemson was great for its atmosphere, scenic beauty, and what it taught me- the first baby steps towards research. Teaching too- as a graduate assistant, where I taught undergrads who were more scared of computers than I was!

Visiting places I liked in the U.S. were Grand Canyon, and Yellowstone National Park. In Europe, Rome, Athens and Northwest France (Brittany) are places I remember the most. In Asia, it has to be Japan and Camobodia, which are very different, but memorable, though I also liked Indonesia and Sri Lanka.
At the Kodai golf course with Ravindra Gadgil, a colleague from IMT

Indian destinations that I like include diverse ones like Mandu, Jog Falls, Konarak, Hampi, Lonar, Leh, Goa, Udaipur, Nainital, Srinagar, Kodaikanal (for its Golf too), Kinnersani in A.P. where we had lots of outings as kids, and Bangalore and Hyderabad among the cities. 












Indore and Mandu

 Campus of IIM Indore- above and below.

 Mandu-three pics.

 Back to the campus. Suhita Thatte visits us.

Hindi Medium- Film Review

It is rare for Hindi films to touch on poverty in a realistic manner. This one does. It also exposes the rot in our systems where anyone can fake documents and get benefits that are meant for the needy.

The obsession of parents to go to any length for their kids' school admission is the immediate theme of the film, but the sub-text is our own lack of a sense of right and wrong. Some scenes are very touching, and I liked the second half better than the first (except for the consultant for school admission, I did not find the first half funny).

The actors, led by Irrfan and Saba Qamar do a great job, but it is a well-written and directed film that touches your heart. The guy who really steals the show is Deepak Dobriyal as the poor neighbour who sacrifices everything for the new neighbours in his poor neighbourhood. His wife also plays her role well.

A good film to watch, it makes you think about how little it may take to put many of our systems back on track again.

Review of The Sky is Pink

True stories are sometimes difficult to handle. The Sky is Pink is an uplifting story of a child (actually, two) with a rare condition at b...

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