About the Blog

This is my diary....what I make sense of, around me. You'll find short prose on contemporary topics that interest me. What can you expect - Best adjectives? …. hmm occasionally, tossed around flowery verbs ?…. Nope, haiku-like super-brevity? … I try to. Thanks for dropping by & hope to see you again

December 28, 2014

and the 2014 award goes to ..

1. Much Ado about Nothing Award - Ajay Maken for leading the high decibel Congress (INC) poll campaign in the 2014 elections to get a resounding thumbs down from voters

2. Kundi fellow of the year award - Indian cricket captain M S Dhoni for giving a clean chit to Meyappan as a cricket enthusiast much before Mudgal report damned him as a confirmed bookie.

3. Bak-Bak Sur award for nuisance reporting – Arnob Goswami for his unflinching commitment to raising the pitch to hysterical levels every night at 9 pm on the idiot box

4. Foot in the Mouth award - Mani Shankar Iyer for his ‘Chaiwalla’ jibe against Modi that boomeranged on him and congress particularly

5. Monumental blunder of the year award - to BJP’s par-de-excellence strategist Arun Jaitley for giving up his safe Delhi seat to get knocked down in Amrinder sing’s turf in Punjab.

6. ‘Smell the Grass’ award - to her highness , selvi J Jayalalitha who had to perch down from her poes garden abode to the humble confines of Parappana Agrahara jail

7. Recurring itch of the year award - to Lalit Modi for staging a comeback by remote managing election win to Rajasthan Cricket Association

8. Cagey dealmaker of the year award - to Sahara shri Subroto roy for converting Tihar Jail annexe into a deal making room to sell his property in attempt to secure bail

9. Jamaai No.1 award - Mango man Robert Vadra for his uncanny ability to put himself and the hapless Congress in bad light throughout the year

10. Thunder’d’olt of the year award - Suhel hairdo Seth for his unflinching commitment to tongue-in-ckeek’anery.

11. Commotion for promotion award - Rajdeep sardesai for promoting himself in bad light in Us even as he hopped from CNN-IBN to Headlines today

12. Houdidni ‘got away’ of the year award - West indies cricket team who slipped away from Rohit Sharma’s blazing willow in the Home series

December 14, 2014

azimuth event: Malala Yousufzai

Malala Yousufzai
if you may have noticed, two of the world’s most inspiring global leaders converged in December this time, in two entirely different ways. One in passing away and the emergence of the other.

I am referring to the first death anniversary of Nelson Mandela (Dec 5,2014) and the Nobel Prize investiture ceremony to Malala Yousufzai (Dec 10,2014).

An azimuth event of a world in transition with one star in horizon and the other in Zenith!

The common stirring plot in their stories is the fight of one person against enslavement, though of entirely different types.

Malala Yousufzai to my mind is the most important global leader today. If our future holds any promise it is because of young leaders like her. She stands for a timeless yet primordial cause, that which is the fountainhead of the most ills plaguing our world today i.e., "Educating the girl child".

For someone so young, growing up in a challenging environment in Pakistan, to stand up to hardcore fanatics for a diametrically opposite belief and to face the gun without fear to my mind is a exemplar of the stirring fight of humanity towards progress .

As her voice boomed through the Stockholm Concert Hall, one just couldn’t help admire her clarity of cause 

I am reminded of what the great Swami Vivekanand said in this regard 

"if the women are raised ,then their children will, by their noble action, glorify the name of the country. Then will culture, knowledge, power and devotion awaken in the land"

'....they (women) will solve their own problems. Educate your women first and leave them to themselves, then they will tell you what reforms are necessary for them"

December 11, 2014

Mess in a Venn

There couldn't be a better tool than the veritable Venn diagram to describe the BCCI mess that's in the Supreme Court currently where N.Srinivasan, the Don Quixote is still pushing his luck with the apex court.

November 23, 2014

Blast from the past

I usually misplace things and then end up turning the house upside down looking for it. During one search recently I stumbled upon a old photograph that immediately rewinded me to the past.

This post is about an incident that occurred in the 1980s. What looks like a perfectly serene shot with a man taking aim and a eager kid watching on had a bit of anticlimactic end .

And for once my curiosity got the better of me and landed my father in trouble in quite unforeseen ways

Back in the early eighties, my father had a licensed air rifle, which he often took during our family outings in our Fiat 1100d (MYJ2141) . Come to think of it now, it was more out of a necessity to keep the gun in smoking condition rather than any penchant for shooting or wild games.

I barely recollect the reason why he said he’d bought it. In the early seventies while constructing our house in what was then the outskirts of Belgaum city, wild animals frequented the area in the night and maybe found it handy for self defense .

My father was a good marksman and he loved hunting, a game that he had picked up from my grandfather in the pre-independence days, when hunting as a sport was not banned in India. But by the 1970s, the ban was in effect and my father had to be content with targeting birds & fowls after switching over to a spring loaded air rifle.

Our favorite spot was a sprawling mangrove farm of a family friend outside of Khanapur town, bordering a thickly wooded area near the border of Goa which we used to frequent.

On this occasion my Dad took a few shots and was successful in getting hold of a partridge. And while he was loading the rifle for another shot , I began pestering him for my turn.

The air rifle needed to be cocked and loaded by giving the barrel a rap near the muzzle which would bend it down. This would break open the action of the gun which could be reset back after inserting the pellet . Just as my father had coiled up the gun and was about to load another pellet in the barrel, I somehow managed to wriggle between his arms in and pulled the trigger. The powerful spring in the air rifle uncoiled and it snapped quite violently in his hands.

Before I could realize what happened, my father was staring at a broken rifle and bloodied hands due to its violent uncoiling which left him with cut wounds. Luckily he did not sustain any serious injuries and neither did I from the sound thrashings that rained upon me. 

October 6, 2014

Argumentative Commotion - 10 questions to the media

Dear News Channel,

Every day evening I switch on to you to catch up on current happenings around the world but what is dished out to me is something entirely different. So here is my list of questions to you and the Press council of India

1. Why is News offered as News Debates? Why do I have to listen to 4-5 panel members and their often biased (and generally ill informed) opinions on various topics one after another as prime NEWS

2. Why can’t you just report the NEWS just ‘as it is’ instead of communicating it through the prism of your values, beliefs, and priorities? And since much of media is owned by political parties & Business houses, is it fair to believe that this practice could be biased and motivated at times?

3. It is common knowledge that what you dish out is for the consumption of the illiterate or semi literate in the viewer category (who happens to be your largest consumer segment). Is it not dumbing down of your general viewer in other socio economic category?

4. Why is everything sensationalized? Do you think you can earn more TRPs just by sexing up the NEWS or by provoking somebody?

5. Most of what you people report - is it 100% factually correct? Does it stand technical, legal or procedural scrutiny?

6. Why does the prime time News anchor have to take on the mantle of being the conscience keeper of the Nation (as Arnab Goswami of Times Now claims)? Why does the news channel management give news anchors so much autonomy to act like the ‘ Judge, Jury & the Executioner’ on complex News subjects in about 10 minutes time.

7. Why do you News channel advertise your market share so aggressively? Do you have to tell me that your tribe of misled viewers is growing by the day?

8. There are regular faces on your panel lists - people who can provide a ‘spin’ on a topic or indulge in intellectual mast**bation. Are these ‘regular’ panelists who put so much of presentation skills on display do it for nothing?

9. Why does the debate generally end up in a shouting and slanging matches? Is it not ‘argumentative commotion’ offered as informed opinions?

10. Why is paid media not a crime? Why does the media still indulge in it?

Finally please take a honest survey about what the common public and the intelligentsia have to say about the media in India. Do you think Bollywood mocking you people through ‘Peepli Live’ was just a flash in the pan.

Looking forward to a response.

Exasperated Viewer

September 20, 2014

Yo Ali

The IPO and subsequent listing of Alibaba  is an epoch making event in the anthropocene era in many ways,

Old : Alibaba aur Chaalis chor
New: Alibaba aur Chaalis (hazaar) crore

Old : Mere Pass Gaadi hai, Bangla hai, Bank Balance hai sab kuch hai.tere pas kya hai?
New: Mere pass Jack Ma hai

August 29, 2014

ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

I have done many small acts of charity in the past, but none that remotely involved ice nor bragging about it with friends and family.

But when I see friends doing that on social media I wonder whether its narcissism at play or plain simple concern for a disorder that is as insignificant as Afghanistan cricket is to ICC rankings

I mean the nasty virus ebola in liberia or Assad’s weapons in Syria is killing more people now than ALS would in about 100 years. The world’s attention is pouring cold water over that fact. 

I must admit that it was fun watching the likes of Bill Gates & Zuckerberg taking up the challenge, many celebrities got the attention, but did they donate any money ?

Pouring a bucket of cold water over a unsuspecting victim has always been a popular trick. This one was a clever variation and therefore very creative. Trendy because it caught on with the celebrities and commoners alike

I personally find it no better than a unwelcome’ subscription' offer. I will certainly not take part in the challenge for various reasons; the least being it can kill.

If you really want to contribute, pls do so for my cousin Ajay Rao whose plea is as original as it can get

Please contribute Rs. 1000 to AMOS (Ajay's Mercedes Obsession Syndrome). Those who don't want to donate (Cheap ba******!) need to make a goat sit on top of an inverted empty ice bucket and give it a slow lap dance. The proceeds from donations as well as the rights to those very entertaining videos, will be used to bribe the SPCG (Society for the prevention of cruelty to Goats) officials to get from them a back dated NOC and of course to buy Ajay Rao a shiny black Mercedes Maybach (with grey hub caps). Donate soon.. he's very very sick!!!

August 10, 2014

Dear teenage me

Creative exercises on  private online communities is a good way of unwinding in spare time. Any day better than playing Candy crush saga on Facebook and sending those irritating invites to all and sundry.

Creative exercises provides for absorbing engagement that results in voicing opinions and ideas on the brands that interests you thereby providing a collaborative platform with manufacturers

Here I am reproducing a recent activity in the forum

The exercise as provided by the moderator is as follows 

 Dear teenage me,

Howdya doin buddy, keep rocking. I am writing to you from 2014, 26 years older and wiser so listen carefully because it’s a ‘time capsule me’ with a once in a life opportunity coming back to give you some change course corrections tips . So here are your new coordinates
• Don’t take your goals so seriously and push yourself that hard. You know what ? these are simply goal posts and they keep changing as you move on. Unfortunately you think they are fixed and sacrosanct. Believe me its not , a time comes when you are just in front of the goal post and you just turn the other way since it doesn’t excite you any more. 

• Know thyself well, be acutely aware of your strengths & weaknesses. Only then real progress can happen. God has gifted with you many strengths but the odd weakness can undermine it in many ways. Just being aware is a good starting point towards working on it, sooner the better and you will figure out how to tackle it
• You are working towards a happy satisfied life and you think a good job and lots of money will get you there. You know what, after changing several jobs and earning some money along the way I can tell you there is no correlation between happiness-income relationship nor life satisfaction-income relationship. Your happiness come from your emotional well being (your daily life experience in so far as how much of  joy, stress, anger or affection you felt) and your  10,00,000 pay packet makes no difference to it. 

• Remember you want a happy contended life and there is no silver bullet for all your problems while getting to it. Don’t run after money, keep your friends and near and dear ones close to you, work for job that can give you hope instead of stress, stay closer to your work (you will not be happy with the long commute) and give back more than you take.

So long ya, bye for now as my time travel coupon is being completely used up.

July 11, 2014

The A to Z of Budget 2014

The finance Minister made a 2.5 Hour long budget speech yesterday, here is my snapshot version listing the A to Z of it

A - AIIMS in every state
B - Bank recapitalization (Rs 11,200 Crore corpus)
C - City smart (100 new smart cities)
D - Digital India
E - Entrepreneur creation (10,000-crore start-up fund)
F - FDI hike in Insurance
G - GST roll out firmed
H - Hygene (promise sanitation to every household by 2017)
I - IIT & IIMS (new ones)
J - Jobs creation push
K - Kisan Vikas Patra (rekindled)
L -  Lifeline to MSME’s (new clusters & credit lines)
M - Merging of Aadhar and the National Population Registry
N - New scheme icons (Deendayal Upadhyaya and Shyama Prasad Mookerjee)
O - opening up defense sector
P - PPP Mantra ( for executing new projects )
Q - Quest for fiscal prudence (4.1%)
R - reigniting Real estate Business
S - Skilling  India
T - Tax breaks  across Income categories
U -  Uptime on Electricity supply
V - Vodafone smile please  (no retrospective tax)
W - Water conservation drive
X – X factor (long term structural changes embedded)
Y – Yo-Yo effect on Sensex
Z – ZZZzz  on  ruffling opposition feathers

April 23, 2014

More Berlin walls will crumble

So how updated are you on the current tech jargons? If you are as of today morning you would probably know phrases like ‘Internet of everything’ and ‘ Ubiquity of Online access’.

The second one essentially means that every soul on this planet is now staring at some form of screen with a potential access to the internet. And if Project Loon is to be believed, the quantum leap to get the ‘world wide’ really ‘webbed’ is also near. And another tipping point is said to arrive sometime in 2014 when according to the UN International Telecommunication Union, mobile subscriptions will top the world’s population.

A small portion of this population is currently reaping the ‘online’ dividend i.e, have access to internet. However the ‘potential’ of growth here is what is driving companies mad and they are trying to outdo each other in getting there first. Apart from the now familiar mobile eCommerce (consumer transaction) or mobile social media (social networking) what will be mind boggling is the amount of data that will just come out of user created information and somebody will come up with the trick to decode it.

Will all these lead to another ‘BIG BANG’? Many new possibilities will be thrown up. New disruptive business models will be the norm when it happens. More interesting is too see how it impacts ability to work collaboratively on a globe scale. Many more Berlin walls (mostly unseen) will fall and drive the world faster to ‘flatter’ mode.

March 23, 2014

Why my vote goes to Modi this time.

Disclaimer first - I am an AAP party member and therefore no fan of BJP nor its leaders. Yet I am batting for the BJP for a variety of reasons this time.

First , the congress hangover has been terrible and should be gotten over quickly. The second term mandated to them was an unmitigated disaster imposed by the voters on themselves. So it’s time to put them in cold storage for a long time . There are reports that the party is in terminal decline, so this might send them into a political coma.

The last 5 years can be best described as a puppet show in delhi, the only problem is that the puppet happened to be a honest and intellectual prime minister who could neither talk nor assert himself. He ended up like a convent educated decent boy who by some strange quirk of fate ended up a monitoring a vernacular school class fully of rowdy and insolent boys.

An assertive and powerful leader is long overdue. The business sentiment in this country is as flagellated as the current PM’s non assertive voice. There is a need for some strong centrifugal force in the national polity that can keep the economic wheels moving with a clear purpose & agenda. This force should be strong enough to manage bullying & undisciplined allies.

AAP at the moment only appears to be ‘the bull in a China shop’. And there is a room of suspicion to believe that the wily congress party could have deliberately drugged this Bull and directed it to the ‘BJP’s china shop’ just at the opportune moment to see the spoilers. You can always rely on the Cong to pull out the dirtiest of tricks for self preservation.

Electing a ‘third front’ at this time is like inviting a motley band of discordant music players each carrying a different instrument to play at the funeral. Their cacophonic music can just be the crudest joke at this most somber moment with the congress leading the procession with the funeral pyre.

BJP’s propaganda machine has worked overtime to prop up the Modi’s Gujarat development model which I suspect could be his achilles heel if he comes to power. Swami Iyer has recently written a nice article in ET about why running a govt at the centre is a different ball game altogether.

My vote goes to build a strong national party at the center with an influential leader at the helm. Clearing up the congress created mess in the shortest possible time is the expectation. Modi seems the best available alternative at the moment

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