Dec 20, 2006


The Indian team is back among victories. Ya ya, i know its just one win, it doenst really prove anything. But it WAS a comprehensive win, with the team doing well in all departments. And as fans, we are supposed to track and cheer their progress. And not become cynical and critical. Here's the argument

I'm gonna gloat - coz the changes I'd favored in this post have mostly been implemented - and they have worked. I was wondering why Kumble and Laxman were out of the team when the alternatives available were the likes of Dinesh Mongia. They've come back, and promptly made a difference. Zak has been playing like a man possessed, and has proved he belongs in this team as the spearhead. Sreesanth has performed and provided great entertainment. That's the kind of passionate display we wanna see - not the team struggling spinelessly and getting bowled out in less than 50 overs every time.

Dada's back. I was rather indifferent to this development and still am. Will wait and see if he can focus on the play and be professional. If he can, damn good. There is no doubt about his ability, but about his mental state and approach to playing for India. However, I do feel he should be captain if he's in the team. He's a much better captain than anyone else. The only reason he was removed was lack of batting form. If he's in the team and his batting isnt questioned, he might as well lead the team.

Now if these guys keep playing with pride & responsibility, and Yuvraj and Munaf get back into the team, I say India can win the WC. I'll be cheering anway

Dec 10, 2006

A closed chapter

Have you ever been part of a wonderful story, and ended up as no more than a closed chapter? Reached a point where thinking of yourself means thinking not of 'I', but 'us'? Where there is another person, with another body, another life, but one mind and one thought? A person you want to spend the rest of ur life with - and u feel life will be good if she's around, no matter wat else happens ... And ended up alone, heartbroken and hollow?

It sucks. You are never the same again. You can try to forget, try to move on, try filling the void with a million things... it doesn't work. And nobody understands. People say they understand and reason with you. 'It wasn't meant to be - there are better things ahead', 'Get a grip of ur life - it is ur life', 'Try to forget it and move on', 'Ladkiyan to kilo ke bhav milti hain'. Bullcrap I say.

Each one of us is unique - with different priorities, different likes and dislikes, different desires. Rarely can one find another who mirrors himself. How many people do you know who like everything about you? How many people even know everything about you? people for whom you dont have to wear any masks, dont have to lie about anything. people who will like and admire every thing you do, and want to be a part of it, no matter how stupid it seems to the rest of the world? the chances are rather slim. You get few chances in life to be with someone like that. The sad thing is - many of us throw it away.

Distance, differences over small issues, family pressure - many of us succumb to these and lose the one person who was as close to perfect as anyone can ever be. We fight over small things - 'why do u talk to him? i told u he has a thing for u, and im not comfortable', 'why do you wear such short dresses that invite unwanted attention? who r u trying to attract?', 'my family would neve accept a non-vegetarian', 'i need to concentrate on my career at this time'. some shit like this and the story ends. u become a closed chapter.

Thats when u realize the value of what u lost. You date others who are better in one way - maybe they drink, maybe they are from ur own community, maybe they ar willing to play second-fiddle in married life. but the good part is just that. ur thought processes dont match, ur value systems dont match, u dont really respect the other, u cant really trust the other to keep secrets - lotsa things go wrong. you try desperately to find someone and convince urself this person is better - but u know deep down that it isnt true. u r fooling urself, u r hurt and u dont admit it, and it kills u from the inside. u really miss the one person u truly loved, and who loved u unconditionally - and wish they were around to share all the great moments in ur life. were the little differences/issues worth all this pain? probably not.

i've been part of such a story. i messed up and feel awful about all the mistakes i made.i'd love to just 'undo' all that and take life back to those gloriously joyful times - and then swallow my ego, jealousy and make a few minor compromises to make it work. but that cant happen. the chapter is closed, she's now a character in another story and i hope it ends well for her. it's too late for this to work, and there really is no point messing up the new story with remnants of this one. i'll manage somehow, sometime soon i hope.

moral of the story. if u r genuinely in love, dont let little things mess it up. cherish it - a few bumps on the road are fine, if the journey of life is better on that path. u dont want to end up lost, just because you wanted to avoid a few bumps.

and if you've never been in love, u've missed the best thing in life. Even if you cant work things out, you learn and become a better person. It's a great experience. The irony is you dont have the benefit of experience when you face problems in your first relationship. And the first relationship is probably the best.

i know the 'pain' in my post could force you to think twice before taking the plunge, but let me tell u what she told me when our relationship began - "Even if it doesnt work out, the memories will be worth the pain". Trust me, it's true. The memories are worth every bit of the pain, and more.

Dec 1, 2006

WTF is wrong with India?

This country is going NUTS. Check out what happened today:

2 Trains burnt and Maharashtra goes bonkers. because someone defaced a statue of BR Ambedkar in Kanpur!

Another case of a Swami sexually exploiting inmates in some Ashram.

A State Legislative Assembly became a scene of chaos, as legislators went around breaking stuff. We elect these assholes. Sheesh!

And a minister in the Central Govt, (also an ex-CM I think), is convicted for murder. He may receive a death sentence

All in ONE day. India Shining and all. I feel strongly about this, but am too tired to collect my thoughts and pen them down now. And to frustrated to let this pass without comment.


Nov 25, 2006

Bigg Boss

Every now and then comes along a new program that I like, and follow every episode of. There were The Pretender and The Practice on Star World quite a while back. Then there was Nach Baliye on Star One more recently. And now there is Bigg Boss on Sony.

Some people who believe the whole thing is staged, with everyone playing a part as they have been instructed to. But I prefer to believe its all genuine, because these people really are capable of outrageous behavior without outside intervention, incentive or infleunce. Rakhi Sawant IS stupid and loud (and I totally understand why she keeps getting into controversies with local authoroties and Mika Singh and suchlike). Kashmera Shah IS a scheming bitch (or, I gleefully correct myself, WAS). All the men ARE egomaniacs.

Come to think of it - these are all showbiz people - which I dont think is a profession for the most intelligent. They dont realize they are making fools of themselves when they behave a certain way, and provide entertainment at the cost of their reputations, on national TV. Its fun to watch.

They are all small-fry, wannabes or have-beens. Each one likes to think of himself or herself as a celeb, but doesnt respect the dubitable achievements of the others. One funny moment was Kash disdainfully calling Rahul Roy a one-movie wonder (though she herself cant claim to have achieved even that much). This lack of mutual respect creates trouble. Its fun to watch.

Some of them think they are really smart and the others are dodos, forgetting the age-old adage 'You can fool some... But you cant fool all the people all the time'. Thats the mistake Kash made - she thought she could manipulate everybody and everything. She ended up being embarassed, and her misplaced pride only prompted her to say things that made her look even sillier. Again, its fun to watch!

So, we have this house with these dumb, egoistic, politicking bunch of 'celebs' facing a lot of the problems we face in our own lives - dealing with idiots, dealing with schemers/back-stabbers, dealing with short-tempered people, dealing with jealousy, dealing with isolation, or simply having to deal with people we are different from and dont like. Its frustrating at times, but we keep our feelings bottled up. Here a situation has been created such that confrontations must happen. And people who are much more 'rich and famous' than most of us can ever hope to be - are suffering much more than we do. Thats probably why its fun to watch.

Moral of the post: Watch Bigg Boss.

Nov 19, 2006

Fraud. James Fraud

Owners of the 'James Bond' franchise have decided to spoof themselves. In a stellar example of brand suicide, ladies and gentleman, they introduce Daniel Craig as James Fraud in Casino Fuck-all.

This is not the first such attempt. Earlier this year, MI:3 was released - with none of the SFX one expects from an MI movie, and with Ethan Hunt favoring marital bliss over adrenaline rush. We also had Batman Begins and Superman returns, where you got to see the humane, confused side of superheroes.

Gimme a freakin break. I dont care about Bond's feelings, or Ethan Hunt's desire to settle into a normal life with a nurse. I have all those issues in my own life. The reason i love these movies is that these are larger-than-life characters, disdainfully above all these 'normal' issues. They are not expected to fall in love and to face personal, emotional crisis. They are just supposed to kick ass in breathtaking, gravity-and-all-physics-defying action. Thats what I paid for - a high-paced, noisy action movie. Not melodrama. I want entertainment, not philosophy. I want to admire and be in awe of these guys, not to empathise with them in their moments of weakness.

Not to say that movies that explore personal dilemmas and emotions should not be made. Go ahead and make them by all means. But position them that way. And let them be seen by people who want to see such stuff. There's a time and place for everything. A Bond movie is NOT where we expect to see people seriously falling in love. And when i pay through my nose and struggle to get a ticket, struggle to finish work early and watch the first day, first show, I want what i expect. No surprises please.

And now for the facts. This Bond introduces himself as 'James Bond', not 'Bond.. James Bond'. He doesnt care if his Martini is shaken or stirred. He falls in love with a girl - for real - and is willing to give up everything for her. And he admits it to her. The Bond tune (most recent version by Moby, I think) - the tune thats played in the background since the first Bond movie - does not accompany the action on the screen at any time. He doesnt flirt with Moneypenny (or whatever the secy's name is). He does not blow up any of Q's inventions. And he actually fights and gets bloodied. Bond is NOT supposed to do that. He's supposed to just screw everyone and walk away straightening his tie. I expected all this and paid to see it. None of it happened. Hence, my disappointment.

Maybe its not such a bad movie. But anyone who wants to see Bond the way they are used to seeing Bond, should avoid this fart.

Nov 15, 2006

But just how much money, honey?

The contrast was shocking. We were talking to a family of 20, that lived in a village, a stone's throw away from our campus. Our campus, for the unfamiliar, was sprawling with trees and pretty plants all around. Air conditioned classrooms. Ethernet-connected hostel rooms. Tennis courts. And people were cribbing about the absence of a swimming pool to chill in.

Here was a family of 20, living in a 2-bedroom house, sustaining itself on a net income of Rs 3000 per month. Thats abt 150 per person per month. Less than what I'm spending on a PVR ticket later today. Most of them were unemployed. When i asked about their entertainment: "Do you own a color TV?" (ok i didnt expect them to, but it was in our questionnaire) "Wat's the point sir? we dont even have power supply" "But i see you have bulbs in the house" "We get power supply for a couple of months before any elections. Otherwise about 2 hours a day. We cant depend on it"

I was rather disturbed by this encounter. My discomfort did not escape the attention of my classmates (who were also on the project i was surveying people for)

Anyway, cut to 2006. Mukesh Ambani has declared his turnover target for "Reliance Retail" is Rs Ninety Thousand Crore (Im writing it in words coz im not even sure how many 0's to place after the 9). I move in with a batchmate from L, who has only one measure for anyone or anything in life - NPV (Net Present Value). I hear my peers discussing salaries they target - "1 lakh per month", "25 lpa within 2 years of starting my career", "Who will be the first from our batch to hit a crore?".

I pause to think - whats the basis for these targets? I mean, has anyone sat down and thought "how much do i really need to be happy?". Like, enough to pay for a house that cheers me up when i return from a tough day at work, enough to afford a Ford Fiesta, and enough to visit PVR and Athena every weekend... all in all maybe 40k per month, maybe 50...

But i dont think thats how it works. People are driven not by rationale, but that basic human tendency - greed. In school, you hope to be secure (20k pm). You make it to a good college and decide you deserve at least 25-30k. If you make it to an IIM, you expect at least 7 lpa ("the campus average you know, I'm an IIM grad after all"). After first year of working, at least 10 lpa, probably much more if you are pursuing a career in Finance. People pursuing careers in finance tend to be more "driven" by financial targets and desire for wealth, and understandably so.

I meet people who aren't happy that they are earning less than 1 lakh pm. I also meet old friends from IIT who are chilling in life and happy with 30k. Tho they'd like to crack the CAT and move up, they arent overly concerned about that. Then there's a family of 20 that has a net income of 3000 and doesnt complain too much.

There's a complete spectrum of salaries, and one's happiness in life doesnt seem to be strongly correlated with their salary. Those who want more money, aren't happy whether they earn 10 thousand or 10 crore a month. Then there are others who are happy whether they earn 20k, 1l or 1cr per month. This leads me to suspect it isn't all about money honey. It's about your attitude to life, and what you make of however much you earn...

Nov 14, 2006

Life worth living. Part 2

Theres a guy in my office. He raps. Everyone knows him coz he composed and rapped a song abt the company at the offsite. Most of us haven't spoken to him ever, still everyone likes him and he's virtually a celebrity.

Theres a girl who's real identity i dont know, except that she calls herself eM and blogs at Again, nobody i know 'knows' her, yet we all talk abt her and admire her blog.

This is leading up to an idea I have, which i will not express explicitly, but give you an analogy. When it comes to products, we talk abt its USP - Unique selling proposition. Companies talk about 'core competency'. In both cases, the idea is of a strength that no one else has, and that can be used as an advantage. Market leaders are known, so are 'niche players' - each does something no one else can do as well as they can - and its their success that everyone admires and talks about. Then there are the also-rans. The Also-rans dont do much, and usually they dont survive very long.

Why is it diferent with people? Most of us are also-rans. The guy who plays cricket, but didnt make the school team. The guy who cleared the Medical colleges' entrance exam in the second attempt, will study and bleed money till he's 30 years old, and eventually become one of the doctors you seem to find every 100 yards away in a city. And the girl who completed her graduation, worked for a year at a decent salary, and then settled into marriage.

I'm an also-ran myself. The guy who entered IIT and finished in the middle of his class. Then entered IIM and again finished in the middle of the class. Not known by many outside my class and my hostel. And now working in Bangalore (like, it would seem, about half of the country's educated young population) with a company 'doing something with IT'.

Yet, the thoughts of mediocrity, ignominy, irrelevance - fill me with an emotion very close to rage. I talk of 'starting my own company someday', 'making some difference to the world i live in', 'accomplishing somethings that lives longer than i can', study the lives and thought processes of admirable achievers - all driven by a desire to break out of this silo of anonymity.

So where is this going, you ask. Frankly, i dont know. I wrote this just to crystallize my thoughts and remind me later someday what everything is all about, where the goal lies and what my motivators are. It is all to easy to fall into the silo of anonymity and watch life pass you by comfortably. Which is why i'm reminding myself what i hav to do.

I wasn't born a talented singer. I never trained in any form of dance, though i may have done well. I never made the school sports teams. Sacrifices and compromises were made to obtain a 'good education'. Now this education has to become the USP, and be used for success in business. Right now, i have neither the idea, nor the money, nor the expertise, nor the experience to take the plunge. 3-5 years from now, I will (have to). Till then, I'll just keep reminding myself.

Nov 11, 2006

Bangalore drift

There are several things I miss about Bhopal. Of course, there were the Black Queen sessions, cricket sessions and general tp with Sarkar, Paaji and the others. But on a more personal note, I had a lot of time for myself. I had time to think about where my life was going, esp. my career. I had time to think ahead, make some plans and identify some priorities. I even had time to realize I’d screwed up with missy and I missed having her in my life.

Since I’ve moved to Bangalore, life has been whizzing past. There are the long days in office (which I don’t mind - as long as the time is spent purposefully). Then there is the eternal question - where to have dinner tonight? Weekends are spent getting drunk, watching at least one movie, catching up on orkut, blogs etc, doing some house chores, and going to a pub/disc at least once. Then the next week begins. Then the next month. Somewhere in between we visit coorg, or kodai or some such place. Sounds very like a very busy, convenient and ‘fun’ life to live.

But somewhere deep down, I’m again starting to have that nagging feeling - that I’m not doing enough with life. These are supposed to be prime years - when one has little responsibility, a lot of energy and a lot of cash. Many of my friends are busy fighting their way up the salary curve. Some of the others have decided to get married and leave the rat race (though they will compete on a different plane with other married guys). I, simply put, am doing nothing. Nothing, that is, to influence the course of my life or my future in a positive way.

In Bhopal, the card games and cricket used to rejuvenate my competitive, sporting spirit. I used to read the economic times and fortune mag to stay abreast with the business world. Blogging and discussions with Sarkar, Paaji and Fatso used to provide some intellectual exercise. Now all that has gone missing - and I need to revive those aspects of my life.

Also I’d earlier posted about what I considered a life worth living. In short, it was all about making a difference to the world - no matter how small - but significant and memorable - in the limited period you have in this world. I don’t think delivering projects or partying contribute to that purpose in any way.

Something needs to be done. Right now I don’t know what. But the first steps are admitting a problem exists, and then trying to understand it. That’s what I'm doing now. I will fix this very soon. Or - as has happened in the past - something will give.

Oct 30, 2006

My World Cup XI

This team flatters to deceive. Last season, when they creamed SriLanka 6-1, and made a record of some 17 consecutive successful chases, one thought we had a bunch of world-beaters coming together and coming into their own.

Then they lost a string of close matches in the Carribbean. I remember one particularly heart-breaking defeat, where Yuvraj had single-handedly steered them from a hopeless position, to within 2 runs of victory. Then he got bowled of a full toss. I dont think he has fully got over that experience till now. It seems to have broken his spirit. He's been in and out of the team, and not looked focused when hes played.

The others are disappointing after promising starts. Kaif has been exposed as a batsman with limitations, and Pathan is unreliable and dependant on the 'condition's to generate some swing.

Anyway, here is the 'best possible 11' for the World Cup in my opinion:

Sehwag, Tendulkar - this is a good opening pair. I dont say 'partnership' coz they never do well together. At least one of them gets out early, but each is capable of taking matches away from the opposition qucikly. And if they ever fire in tandem - goody! Yeah yeah, Sehwag is inconsistent and Sachin is past his prime. But they are still the best bets, and I hope they rise to the occasion when it matters

Dravid - he is god. No explanation is necessary

Yuvraj - an immensely talented player who has been doing justice to his talent in the recent past. He is becoming a mature batsmen and I believe he's going to be the backbone of the Indian batting lineup in the future

Raina, Mongia, Kaif - none are particularly convincing. Can pick any one on form at the time. I'd like to see Raina being developed by the coach. The other two have already wasted a lot of chances they've been given.

Dhoni - I believe he is under-rated. He is known as a hard-hitting entertainer, but he can dig his feet in and hold one end when the situation demands. I dont think hes got much credit for his 'responsible batting'. He also needs to be used better by the team management.

Pathan - I dont know wtf happened to him. I mean - fast bowlers are these mean nasty guys who say tough things to batsmen. Who ever heard of a fast bowler 'sitting out due to lack of self-belief'. He needs to reduce dependence on 'swinging conditions' and learn to bowl accurate, economic spells. Like em Kiwis - they're masters at this.

Munaf - clearly the most consistent and reliable pacer India has.

Sreesanth - he has the pace, attitude and ability. The rest is the captain and coach's job.

Zaheer - Ok, whatever he'd done wrong, i think he's been punished enough. He's good, and he has done well in the Carribbean in the past. He has to be brough back in.

Nehra/Agarkar - both are incosistent but great on their days. And both are better than RP Singh and VRV Singh anyday. RP and VRV have no pace, no variety, no accuracy and no attitude. They are like Venkatesh Prasad. Please dont embarass India by picking them.

Harbhajan - is the only quality spinner and a pretty consistent performer.

Kumble - Someone please tell me why the hell is Kumble out when the best available alternatives are the likes of Romesh Powar and RP Singh?! Kumble at least has passion, commitment and a reputation - even if you cast aspersions on his craft.

Of course - this is an evaluation of 'the usual suspects'. If there is someone doing well, and hasnt been able to cut it with the selectors, i pray he is given a chance. At the cost of non-performers like Raina, Mongia, Kaif and RP

The sad thing is - sport is still about 'game', 'art', 'emotion', 'talent' in India. Why the hell dont people start seeing it as a profession? Where one has to produce wins, not 'perform to please'. Im tired of hearing about Raina's talent and Sania's talent. Ok, they're talented. Good for them. When they represent my country - all i want them to do is get down to work seriously, show some commitment and win. Thats the way we approach our academics, our jobs, our business and most of what we have to do in life. Why the hell are sportspersons given the leeway to be irresponsible and break hearts?

Oct 16, 2006

Kotler had defined the 4Ps of Marketing. I feel the most basic, and the most important, is the Product. And there is a new 'winner' product on the block. Its

The 'online air ticket booking' space in India was pioneered by (MMT for convenience). Now, everyone is familiar with MMT. MMT offers good price and reasonably good service, and has no major competitor. It is also expanding its bouquet of services. I was one of the early adopters of MMT, and used to rave about it to many of my friends (blue-eyed b-school boys most of em, and fairly frequent flyers)

But recently i saw an ad for cleartrip, and decided to take a look. I liked what i saw. And the experience of booking thru cleartrip was so good, i will not even consider MMT in the future. The improvements these people have made include a 'clean' interface - very easy to understand and use, with all the info u need, and nothing that annoys. E.g., the fares u see on the first page after search, include taxes etc. This is much better than wat we r used to, at other sites - seeing fares that seem low at first sight, but keep inflating with taxes etc at every step of the booking process. Cleartrip always gives complete results (unlike MMT which often misses results from one/more airline), and the fares they show are actually available (unlike MMT, where u often see a 'Sorry, the fare u selected is no longer available' message).

This is a great Product. Try it! This is also a lesson for marketers - never relax. Especially when it comes to product improvement and innovation

Oct 13, 2006

F1 Update

Background: Schumacher needs to win the Brazilian Grand Prix with Fernando Alonso finishing out of the top eight in order to secure the World championship. This is his last race before he retires.

Schumacher's formal stand: "To be honest, I don't think there's any chance left for the championship," he said after the race (the last race in Japan)
"We all know that Fernando only needs one point now. To assume that someone will not finish, or to plan on winning (the championship) on something like that, isn't a basis that I want to build upon. I've digested it already," he insisted.

Reactions: Former world champion Damon Hill said: "Michael said he's not thinking about the championship now - that's baloney. He never gives up."
"Don't ever write that guy off. He's going to go into that last race thinking 'how can I win this and Alonso not score anything?' That's the way he's going to approach it. Otherwise he's not Michael Schumacher."

Smoochy's stand: Hmmm. Interesting. We will look forward to this race, licking our lips in anticipation. Hope its not an action-less damp squib, like F1 usually is.

Sep 22, 2006

Some things never change...

I still hate alarm clocks. And Mondays
I still drive my bike to work. And I love biking fast
Work still gets done at breakneck speed as the deadline approaches.
It somehow gets completed in time.
I still let off steam by partying my head off and getting stoned on Saturdays.
I still miss her whenever I'm having a good time, and wonder how it'd have felt if she was with me to share those great moments.
I still dont keep in touch with people i really care about. I really want to. Just doesnt happen somehow.
I still dont blog as much as I'd like to.
I am still putting on weight.
I still want to go to Goa. And fisherman's cove in Chennai. Not been able to work it out.

Most importantly - I still enjoy my life! Every moment if possible

Sep 17, 2006


Any kind of relationship needs at least two things to work - trust and respect. I'm not saying this is enough, but it surely is necessary. If you are ever in a relationship you have any expectations from - make sure you and the other person trust each other as much as expected. And both of you should respect each other and not do anything that hurts the others pride.

Totally unrelated digression : Where does one 'draw the line'? What is ok for me, may not be ok for someone else. What was ok for me in the past, may not seem ok in retrospect. Sometimes you need to push yourself. To find your limits, to get the adrenaline running, and to simply enjoy moments that make a 'life' worthwhile. So how does one know 'this is the line - i should not push myself beyond this or im in a freefall'? Often you can only find out the hard way...

You may not repeat them, but mistakes happen. This is the test - can you trust a person after they make a mistake? Do you continue to respect them after finding out that they can goof up? If you cant- the sooner the farce ends, the better.

Ok sorry for making you read this thus far. Ive just had a long, tiring day. Most of it was a lot of fun, but im just going nuts right now. So shall stop right here

Sep 15, 2006

Alonso's an Ass

I, and I'm sure many other F1 enthusiasts, were quite disgusted by the recent display of 'poor losing' by Alonso and Renault.

First - lets look at what happened. Alonso got docked 5 qualifying places for holding up Massa. Now, these things often happen in F1. The decision is always tricky and very subjective. But people dont usually crib too much - they accept its a weak system where the authorities have a lot of discretion. And we all know how close the race is between Renault and Ferrari. The last car the Renaults would want to have such a situation with, is a Ferrari. Its a lot harder to believe a mistake is innocent - if it hampers your single most important opponent.

And what followed was simply incredible. Alonso's car failed and they said it was all cos he had to start lower down the order and push that much harder. But his fastest lap was more than half a second slower than Michael's. And thats a LOT in F1. If his car gives up before it is within half a second per lap of Michael, I dont think he had any hope of winning anyway.

Then they go on to claim the title has been decided around a table. The facts are - their car was not competitive this weekend and it failed to finish. Their car has been outperformed consistently and easily by Ferrari for several months now and the lead they had, has vanished slowly and steadily. But no, all this is irrelavant - they are losing the title only because of a 5-place starting penalty. Wat a load of bull crap I say!

Alonso then claims Schumi is unsporting and has been slapped with more penalties and sanctions by the FIA than anyone else ever. But he also claims the FIA helps him win championships. I dont get it - if they wanted him to win, why'd he have the most penalties?! Not only is Alonso being a bad loser, he's contradicting himself!

Schumi has been unsporting several times, but never denied it. He's also been punished unfairly the FIA a few times. But he's always answered them on the track. Not with disgraceful outbursts. I remember races where he was penalised and forced to start at the back in a tight title race. He never cribbed - just raced his head off and finished on the podium. Which is why he is loved and respected so much, and thats what great champions are all about. Alono will simply never get this - he doesnt have the mental bandwidth.

Raikkonen is another awesome driver. I liked him but was never much of a McLaren suporter. Now with Kimi going to Ferrari and Alonso goin to McLaren - the decision of 'who-to-support-after-Schumi' becomes a very easy one!

This has been a sad year - Zidane, Agassi, Schumi - legends i grew up watching have all retired. Fortunately, there are the Federers and the Raikkonen's to carry the torch forward. But somehow i dont think they have the charisma of the generation that is now fading into the limelight.

Sep 10, 2006

Naturopathy vs Urban Entertainment

Warning: It is reallly late and I am really drunk as i write this. Had a worthwhile idea, but its probably not a quality post.

There are two kinds of things people do at weekends in Bangalore - and probably other places as well:

1. They could go for a trek, visit caves/waterfalls/forests or a long drive on a highway/expressway to a place where they have some peace and calm. Ill call this naturopathy

2. The other is to go to a mall/pub/karting/bowling/multiplex etc. Ill call this urban entertainment

Almost everyone I know has a clear peference for one of the above. The naturopaths are typically people who've grown up in places like Mumbai and spent their entire lives toiling. They like to get away from all this and visit, say, a hill station. The virgin beauty of such places, the leisurely pace of life, low prices, quietness and suchlike are charming to them. The beautifully simple life they see is in stark contrast with their own hurried, noisy, frustrating city lives. While such places are surreal, the idea of spending much time there isn't very practical. I mean, hills and all look realy majestic and pretty at first sight. But they look the same half an hour later, and the next day as well. Wouldn't one get bored of seeing the same hillview? And wouldn't they start missing broadband connections, McDonald's burgers, Levi's stores and all in some time? And getting annoyed every time they need to walk 2km uphill to get a carton of milk. Let me not even start about trying to get Davidoff cigarettes there!

The other alternative is urban entertainment. This is most loudly sought by the small-towners and wannabes who suddenly have disposable incomes that allow them pleasures they had not imagined a few years back. There is also the other set of people who have arrived. These are the guys who pay 600 bucks at PVR Gold Class cos they like the idea of watching a movie in a good hall, sitting on a sofa with relative privacy, and having their meals also taken care of.

Well, I went to Kodaikkanal last week (check this out!) And this saturday we caught a movie at PVR and then spent an hour at Athena (disc at the Leela Kempinski). I clearly prefer urban entertainment over naturopathy.

Ok, I'm probably not the fairest judge - I grew up in an Army family, staying in places like Ranikhet (hill station with breathtaking views of the Himalayas, Cheetas and stuff), attending summer adventure camps etc since an early age. So all this doesnt appeal to me anymore. Tonight was my first visit to a disc, which was obviously enjoyable and i couldnt have enough!

But seriously guys, a hill's a hill and a forest is a forest. You can like the sight and enjoy some solitude for like 15 minutes. On the other hand you can have a weekend with choice of booze in a pub playing Aerosmith, followed by a good movie at a comfortable and technologically advanced multiplex, choice of cuisine at good restaurants with well-mannered waiters who speak intelligible English, and come back to your well-furnished house at night. Isnt the latter much more enjoyable?

Aug 29, 2006

NOT Love Actually...

Heres a very logical, scientific and very unromantic look at the attraction between opposite sexes. All this talk of love and all is bullshit I say.

As usual, this is not simply what I feel. Im no expert on anything and never claim to know something y'all dont. I just read some stuff u may have missed, and write it here!

Men and women get attracted to each other for different reasons. Men, by nature, are promiscuous and territorial. They look at a hot/smart girl as territory they'd like to 'conquer'. Thats why they show off. That's why they are protective and jealous. And that is why they stray. Its like - ok, i own this piece of territory now. What more can i have? And obviously, they dont expect 'existing territory' to leave them if they try to conquer more. Territory once conquered is to be taken for granted.

Women, on the other hand, are genetically programmed to seek the best 'seed'. They want their man to be smart, intelligent and capable of cutting it in the big bad world. The assumption is, the child who has his genes, will also do well for itself. Which is why a girl is more likely to date a rich geek, than a guy is to date a smart-but-not-hot girl. Also, why do women like their man to have an emotional quotient? Simple. They feel such a person would protect them and their child, and can be relied on.

Learnings: Love is a load of crap. There are deep, sub-conscious but very real 'needs' that drive the attraction between couples.

If you are a guy - you should look manly enough to produce a healthy child, be smart enough to earn enough (and produce a smart kid who can earn enough), and sensitive enough for your woman to trust you with her all.

If you are a gal, you just have to look hot. Advice to hot women: He IS a territorial animal. Read above what all a guy has to be, to be perfect. Its a lot. You were probably born hot and didnt have to do anything until now to be perfect. Now is ur turn - let him be, and make him feel good about himself.

Considering that the expectations are so different, its amazing relationships work out at all! If you are in one, cherish it.

Aug 27, 2006


Have not written much recently. Ppl take offense when i write personal stuff, and i didnt really find any issue to write abt lately. Came across this post by Shreyas and got thinking. Heres my take

Nationalism is a sense of belonging to a community - taking pride in its achievments and worrying about its problems. I agree with some of the things Shreyas said, but disagree completely with his dismissal of nationalism altogether. I think its a good thing. We've all heard the cliche about man being a social animal a million times. And i feel nationalism, national pride and suchlike are manifestations of our social needs.

There are issues that affect all of us - the poor state of the infrastructure affects the time i take to reach my office/mall/whatever and the mood i reach there in, bomb blasts in Mumbai could have killed people i know - or even me if i was workin in mumbai like mosta my batchmates and happened to be traveling in one of the doomed locals, my best friend from school lost his father to Naga insurgency, i cant go out late with my girlfried in delhi coz its unsafe, my home state (Punjab) will be the first to be affected if India was to ever lose Kashmir. To me, these are common problems of most Indians. And nationalism is a defense mechanism and an aid like the 'teamwork' at our workplaces. I may not care too deeply for some of the work, and may not particularly love the people i work with - but we have to work as a team for all to succeed. Nationalism is the same thing on a much larger scale.

Also I often hear people lamenting on the lack of 'freedoms' today. They want to be free to have their opinions and express them - and not care about religion or regional sentiments, government policy or the Indian cricket team. I agree that would be nice. But if everyone were to live in their own little silo and not care about the country - it would only worsen our lives. we'll have even more reckless politicians coming to power and making more laws like 47% reservation. we'd probably be hit by increasinly audacious and frequent terrorist attacks.

Exercising your right to vote, staging protests against bad government, supporting the Indian cricket - these are all our social responsibilities. We have the opportunity to live freely today because previous generation have toiled to ensure we have freedom. Now if we take it all for granted and shirk our responsibilities, we would certainly be inviting disaster!

On a different note though, I agree with Shreyas about delinking individual achievements with national pride. If Mittal has made it big, none of us did anything to help him do so, and therefore have no right to share pride. Pseudo-nationalism also leads people to extoll immature under-achievers like Karthikeyan and Sania Mirza, which makes me balk

And i also dont like it when a 'sense of community' assumes political and quarrelsome overtones. People fighting over religion, language, regional heritage miss the big picture and their actions become counter-productive and self-destructive. Which probably suits their power-lusting leaders just fine. More on this in Un-jihad below.

Aug 21, 2006


This is on a sensitive subject. So if you aren't prepared to consider a radical view, just skip it. I dont want any1 telling me later that my view is unacceptable and they are offended by what i wrote.

Consider this - the violence post-Ayodhya in '91 was terrible, but it was an unusual incident. Then we had blasts in mumbai. There was a gap of two years. While I was in school, i used to hear about small terrorist attacks carried out by Pakistani operatives once in a while. Such incidents were not very frequent, and always blamed on a foreign enemy. And mostly they used to happen in faraway, war-like Kashmir.

What we have now is violent, disturbing acts being carried out shockingly close to 'home' - the Lal Qila, the Parliament, famous temples, the locals of Mumbai... its happening more and more often and gets getting closer to you and I each time. And its not foreign intruders anymore. Its now terrorists recruited from our own country.

This is a summary of stuff I recently read - which i have no way to prove or any justification for believing - but i think its true. The terror establishment in Pakistan - due to international pressure or whatever - is no longer directly involved in what is happening here. On the face of it, they are supporting the 'war on terror' and trying to be helpful neighbors. But they have some extremist elements there who plan, fund and supply arms and ideology to idiots in our country who execute the plans. That way, we cant blame any outsiders - and they can label it a 'freedom struggle' and make us look like authoritarian assholes who cant keep our house in order. Very meticulous and alarmingly efficient if recent history is anything to go by.

Now I dont care much for the fact that Im a Hindu. Nor do I have anything against the Muslims or Christians in my country. But I do have a problem with someone who is willing to die and kill me and my people because we are not of the same faith.

This is a time India is trying to develop into an economic power of the world. We have people working hard - improving their lives and trying to build a globally competitive economy. We dont need an asshole screaming 'Jihad' and striking terror at the heart of Mumbai. I have friends in Mumbai - who have toiled hard to obtain a world-class education and are toiling hard to make careers for themselves, and to contribute to the building of a nation we can all be genuinely proud of. Some of them are Catholics, some of them are Muslim - i dont care. I respect them and would like them to achieve something. I hate the assholes who plant bombs in the trains these guys travel in. And if religion is what drives them, I say remove the root cause.

Screw secularism. You are either an Indian - and loyal to India and its people. Or you get the fuck out of our country. I know this would sound harsh, but I suggest that the freedom of religion be revoked. Convert to Hindusim (or Christianity for all I care - thats not the point). And if you'd rather be a Muslim than be an Indian - get out of here. We dont need you fighting with us and holding us all back. Its not that i am agsinst giving people complete freedom. But if freedom is going to be abused, people dont deserve it. I'd love it if the entire Muslim community lived in harmony with us. But if the freedom to practice Islam leads to riots and blasts and trains being burnt and Pakistani cricket victories being celebrated by bursting crackers, I dont think its worthwhile.

Of course, our polity - who see the aggrieved and en-blocked Muslims as a vote-bank and a source of their obscene power - would never take any step of the kind Im suggesting. But I wonder how long the majority will just sit back and take so much shit. It was their frustration that created a Bal Thackeray. And it was bottled and oppressed passion that brought to power in UP - a BJP govt that promised a Ram Mandir. I hope the problem is not solved in such a violent manner in the future. But if the leaders keep trying to appease their votebanks, something will give soon.

I'm not a religious hardliner who has anything personal against Islam. But I think the whole 'Jihad' funda and trying to establish supremacy of one faith or one God - whose very existence no one has any evidence for- is a load of crap. I'd like to believe the process of 'civilization' has moved on to a place, where people stop fighting over territory or religion, and compete economically.

If a Chinese person can manufacture better than me, or a Pakistani can sing or bowl better than me, I'd accept defeat with dignity and give them the respect that is due. But is someone's idea of 'establishing superiority' is striking fear of bomb blasts in my heart, or forcing me to queue up at the security check at Forum mall and get my bag checked, I dont think they even deserve to be a human being in the 21st century.

Aug 15, 2006

Kotler Update

Philip Kotler was recently in India. He did an interview with Economic Times and Im noting some points I found interesting.

4Ps was updated to include People in the 21st century. This includes your own back office and frontline people, infact anyone involved in the entire sales and support process (CCDV - elaborated below). 'Our strength is our people' is probably the greatest corporate cliche of all time!

He chose the 4 'P's because his own name begins with a 'P'. He said it jokingly but I wont be surprised if it were true. This would support my hypothesis that great people have a 'me first' thought process!

The new Marketing framework is CCDV - Creating, Communicating and Delivering Value. Lets take Tata Indicom Broadband in Bangalore as a case here. The opinions hereon have nothing to do with Kotler, they are mine!

Tata Indicom Created value by ofering a broadband service at a competitive price with freebies like Static IP, Router, No hidden charges. So far so good.

They advertised like crazy and managed to contract with big residential complexes. They have Shankar Mahadevan doing a breathles jingle and billboards all over the place. Value Communicated!

But when it came to delivery - they fell flat on their face. People who applied for broadband connections - who would be impatient by default - were made to wait more than two months without any communication about the application status from the company, let alone actual installation and activation. Most people get frustrated and cancel. Those who get the connection are annoyed by the delay and then appaled by the poor service standard.

Therefore, they lose out to Airtel in this market and Reliance in CDMA telephony.

This is quite typical of companies in India. Nice ideas, lot of bureacracy and talk, little action. Nobody wants to put in the real effort and get their hands dirty. Thats why China kicks our ass in manufacturing. I hope im part of the generation that changes that!

Aug 13, 2006


Finally! Broadband at home. These Airtel guys r gr8. Die Tata Indicom!

Sweet... will be more action on this blog now!

Aug 12, 2006

Sad, but it had to..

... end this way.

Ever seen a hero and a villain make peace at the end of a movie, and carry on with their good and bad lives as if nothing ever happened between them? I haven't. And I suppose its the same in real life.

Specifically, once you exchange a certain three-word-phrase with someone, and both of you really mean it, there simply is no going back to being friends or acquaintances. The story either ends in marriage or estrangement.

This kind of estrangement is weird - it does not have plain hatred or dislike at its root, cause u cant hate someone u once loved. U know they are still basically the same person, and there is always a soft corner - however small. But a few mistakes or deeds or acts can be unforgivable and unforgettable - leading to complete cutoff.

But this cutoff is still better than the 'gray area' where u love someone and know that it cannot work out in the long term. The way it ended is quite sad, but i guess i should be glad it IS over.

Aug 2, 2006

Gini index

An interesting after-note to the previous post on Indian Economy.

Another load of bull we've heard recently is that Indian growth is very lop-sided. Some cities are growing with the force of IT, ITES, Finance etc, while 'the real India' that lives in villages isnt getting any better. This argument becomes most important during election time with Opposition parties championing the cause of the 'aam aadmi' and 'rural India'.

The rich-poor disparity is measured using an economic index called the Gini index which essentially measures the difference between a perfectly uniform income distribution and the actual distribution.

India has a Gini index of 33%, compared to 41% for the United States, 45% for China, and 59% for Brazil. This means the distribution of wealth in India is more even than any of these countries. So, the 'aam aadmi' and the 'gawar' in India are better off, compared to their counterparts in US, China and Brazil.

Im sure the parties in Opposition wouldnt agree :)

Of Indian Economy...

Beautiful piece here by Gurcharan Das, the former CEO of P&G India, whose celebrity-like status I havent quite been able to understand. But he does write well.

This piece expalins clearly what many of us suspect or believe - that India is growing inspite of the State rather than because of the State and its policies. That also explains the unique anti-incumbency trend in India. In most other fast-developing countries, parties do some good work and get voted back to power because people are generally happy with economic growth. Here, parties in power just get in the way of development, and then try to claim credit with campaigns like 'India Shining', only to be duly booted out by a frustrated public.

I've never understood why Jawaharlal Nehru is always voted as the best PM India has had, in any survey. The facts suggest quite the opposite. His 'socialist' philosophy for India wasnt in sync with the age of globalization. He's the one who nationalized everything and created incompetent PSU behemoths, that sapped the adrenaline out of India. But of course, in school we are all taught how great he was and what a wonderful thing it is to be a 'socialist, secular, democratic republic . Im sure the 'socialist' was a bad idea, and have some reservations about the secular and democratic parts also.

I also doubt the so-called 'Non-aligned movement' that we are taught as if it were gospel. Did it really make sense to go it alone and become irrelevant, rather than take a side and stay in the mainstream of world politics and trade?

India is now on the right track. But I am worried about the indoctrination of school education. We are forced to align our thinking with principles that are clearly irrelevant in this day and age, if not altogether wrong. Our past is glorified, and not critiqued till you get to late-college, and even then traditional thinking is challenged only in a few good colleges, with thinkers like Dr Veeraraghavan.

Ive heard many people voicing the opinion that Indians are too risk-averse. We lack the killer instinct, we dont have enough entrepreneurs, our best brains defect to the West. Well, you want all that to change, start with encouraging free thinking at school! How realistic is to expect children - who are taught a load of bull and pressurized to get higher grades with little freedom given to develop social, artistic, or athletic interests - to develop into risk-taking torchbearers of a new Indian economy later in life?

Jul 28, 2006

Tullee ho!

This is quite incredible. There exists a desi site called - tullee ho is hindi for 'get stoned'
Wow! and they hv events - like bartending workshops. goin for one this sunday
damn cool!

Wish 2 help

Unusual post for this blog. Bear with me.

Was browsing thru and came across this: 11-year-old mother struggles for survival. In short - Father dead, mother broke - works in cow shed. Mothers friend raped her and now she has a baby with no way to suuport herself or the kid.

Wish these NDTV morons had left a link like : If u wish to help wats-her-name, leave a message here. Otherwise wats the point of reporting something like this?!

I know it is extremely unlikely, but if any1 knows how these NDTV guys can be contacted, lemme know.

Back to bloggin abt bull tomm!

Jul 25, 2006

The new look...

Recently changed the blog template to this one - looks much better and much more professional than the last 'green' one i was using. I love green - but my blog had a pretty sucky look.

Today I saw the blogs of the last two people to comment here. They are using the same template. Now, I dont know whether they liked this, and decided to use the same for theirs, or if its just a very popular template. Either way, I like to be different, and will revamp the look of this blog again pretty soon.

I genuinely loved this template... {sniff}

Jul 23, 2006

Salaam Bombay - 2

There was some argument about Mumbai being the declared the rudest city in the world and my dismissing the survey as a load of crap. Let me elaborate

The criteria used to determine 'rudeness':
- People didnt hold doors open for others
- People didnt pick up something u dropped
- Shopkeepers didnt say 'Thank you'

For crying out loud, this is a definitively Western defition of politeness. These things are simply not the norm in our culture. If one was to behave 'politely' as they define it, people would view him suspiciously, not with admiration.

And the bias is well reflected in the survey results - ALL the cities at the bottom of the list are Asian. Every single one of them. NY is on top, and most others near the top are either in US/Europe or countries with strong US influence. Its just a way of saying 'we are good and you are uncivilized because u dont measure up on our yardstick'.

Someone commented that the behavior being measured was 'nice'. Well I feel being addressed as 'Bhaiya' or 'uncle' is nicer than being called by my first name by people half my age. I also feel touching elder's feet is a show of respect and is 'nice'. No one in the West does any of that. But I dont go out and publish that the West is shockingly rude.

I thought civilization was moving to a state where differences would be respected and people were free to choose how to express themselves and how to behave. RD's survey does not respect those values. And that's why I'm dismissive of it. Whether or not Mumbai is rude - is an argument we'll get into only if you're unbiased, willing to respect differences, and make the comparisons on universally accepted measures - like whether people would say sorry after knocking u in traffic.

One for freakonomics!

REcently a friend of mine got married and was ebing pushed by his wife to buy a car. This is a calculation he tried to explain to her:

Monthly expense on car:
EMI - 8000
Insurance - 1000
Maint - 500
Driver (optional) -5000

Assuming u do 1000 km a month (thats a lot): this means Rs 14/km
Add Rs 4/km for fuel
So Rs 18/km

Cost of hiring the same car as taxi anywhere, anytime its needed : in the range of Rs 12-18/km

Why the hell should he buy a car??

Jul 21, 2006

All About India

This web page sums up what I was taught at school, over some 8 years, about our country. Ok, it isnt exhaustive and doesn't provide you with boring details like which parts exactly, of South India, were ruled by the Cholas, the Cheras and the Pandeyas and when.

Nice read, surprisingly non-judgemental. Have kinda got accustomed to western reviews of India painting it as a country of semi-civilized people who eat with their hands and live with cattle on the streets and have weird customs.

The worst was Readers Digest's survey of the rudest cities in the world. There is at least one person who does not agree with me that the survey results were a load of crap (read comments on Salaaam Bombay). Will elaborate soon - coz it is a touchy subject and Im not happy to see a counter-view.

Jul 18, 2006

Its all about A&C

Oh crap! So now we can write and control blogs thru, but not view them (anything with blogspot in the URL is banned). I'm wondering what they'll do next - ban all cellphones in India coz terrorists use them. I have a better idea - ban all construction and usage of toilets in India. That oughta put those terrorists off. Sheesh!

Anyway, this post was meant to elaborate upon the A&C principle, which i referred to in my last post, and maybe some in the past. Here goes:

Only two things are important in life:

- I am more than god.
- I am always right.
- I enjoy everything I do.

- I know I'm right no matter what evidence is provided otherwise.
- Go Screw yourself.

This is Smoochy's talisman. You stick with this and u will succeed in everything in life! However, for this to work for you, you have to show complete faith. You abandon this principle in challening times, and you are certain to end up looking like a fool. Stick with it when it seems crazy to - and u'll come thru with flying colors.


Jul 17, 2006

Yehi to life hai professor!

Yesterday I Had my first date in a while. It wasn't really a 'date', more like meeting a friend. I know y'all will call it 'date' whatever I say and what-the-heck, even I prefer to think of it that way :)
I had a good time, thank you very much! But I know y'all have very vivid imaginations and absurd expectations at times, so stop thinking right now! And dont even bother asking me if this is 'headed somewhere'. I dont even know if we'll meet again and when that might happen.
The upside is - empirical evidence that there is Life in Bangalore. Mosta my pals had almost convinced me otherwise and sombrely forewarned me abt the futility of searching for company in Blore.
The other upside is i know i will eventually get over Missy completely - sometime soon.
This statement does not follow my revered A&C principle, but one has to temper beliefs with realism and honesty at times. A&C does not mean making a fool of urself.

Jul 12, 2006

Salaam Bombay

Recently there was a huge hue-and-cry in the Indian blogspace about a Reader's Digest Survey (i think it was RD) that bestowed the dubious honor of 'World's Rudest City' on Mumbai. The parameters for gauging rudeness were
- people did not hold doors open for others
- people did not pick something u dropped and return it to u
- shopkeepers did not thank their customers

Ok, so Mumbaikars dont have the time or inclination to bother with Western courtesies. We all know wat they dont do, and frankly couldn't care less. Yesterday we found out what they do, when there is a real problem

(In case u dont know, Mumbai was hit by 8 serial blasts, at its very lifeline - the suburban railway which carries millions home every evening. The blasts took place at 630 pm - peak traffic hour)
  • On hearing explosions, people didnt run away. They went to the site to help those who were injured
  • People with vehicles offered assistance to others who were stranded
  • People trained in disaster management during the floods last year came out to control the situation
  • Restaurant owners offered food and water to people who were affected. Note that they did not complain no one was thanking them
  • People ensured the safety of women and children first

The city showed great composure and resilience in the face of serious adversity - which they are no strangers to by the way. However, Mumbai retuned to relative normalcy today, rather than staying depressed about a terrorist attack for several years. India will not go and bomb countries out of existence, unlike a superpower whose fury was unleashed upon poor nations, even though there was no real evidence against them.

We stick together, help one another and demonstrate the meaning of 'unity in diversity'.

If the Westerns think we are rude coz we dont display the same pretentious behaviors as them, they can come and kiss my ass for all I care. And in keeping with our 'rude' reputation, I will not apologize for my attitude.

Jul 11, 2006

World Cup 2006 posts

Set of my posts thru WC 2006. {with a big grin} I went with my heart and backed the winning horse!

Viva La Italie!

Still on the World Cup

Go Italia!

Tifosi at heart ... Rejoice!

Tifosi at heart ... Rejoice!

I thot of starting with 'Yay' or 'Yippee' but thats sounds too lame. In fact i will not even try to capture the joy and elation of Italy's World Cup victory in words.. i cant!

The best team won! Not a bunch of mediocres who can only convert free kicks, not a bunch of jokers who call their tomfoolery on field 'samba flair', not a bunch of kids who play with a '12th man' at home, and NOT a team which disgraces the finals with a dive-earned-penalty and an inexplicable red card. Champions should be above all this.

They came in as underdogs blemished by a scandal, with an unknown striker and fewer stars than any Azzurri in recent history. In the end it wasn't about South American flair or European ruggedness, it was all about Italian pizzazz (forgive the pun). They played like champions - conceding only an own goal and a penalty that should not have been awarded in the first place, and scoring 12 goals with 10 different players (for perspective - the highest tally in these finals was Germany's 14). A solid team, with a lion-hearted defender who should've been the 'Man of the series', a keeper who is God, earned the place in history that they truly deserve.

I was there - in an Italy t-shirt, at one of only two tables supporting Italy in a coffee-shop with more than 100 people. Seeing 20+ tables of sad-looking people, I felt credit was not being given where it was due. So i am making up with this testimonial.

God bless the Azzurri! Yay? Nah.. too lame!

Jul 5, 2006

When will u die?

I am going to die at 66. When are you? Click here to find out!

66 is nice... not painfully old, and certainly not soon!

Go Italia!

The better team won last night. And it was italy. I was thrilled beyond words and to borrow a phrase from McDonald's, "Im loving it"

Someone remarked at the end of the game that the Italian experienced should have expected to win against the bunch of youngsters Germany had put together, and it really wasn't a big deal. Bullshit! These same guys before the match had said:
- Italians will be distracted by the match-fixing scandal at home
- This is the worst 'Azzurri' in many years
- Klinsmann has inspired Germany and they look good to go all the way
- Germany's "twelth man" (crowd support) would be a big factor in their favor
- Germany has the best attack on display and are the only team playing with two upfront
- Germany will attack from the word go while Italy will try and rely on their solid defense

If u saw the match, it was Italy that took the initiative and created the chances in the first half. They were good, they were well organized and they were dominant. I was especially happy to see Italy play positive for a change, and not the boring stuff one has come to expect from them. Tho I'd be much happier if Totti made way for Del Piero. Totti is a bloody diver and epitomizes everything that makes Italy infamous. DP is a refreshing talent in a hard-working team!

Now onto the Final. I'd be much happier to have Italy face off against Portugal. Portugal have created their share of controversies in this World Cup and have been playing rough. That is traditionally Italy's domain. So it will be interesting when they run into each other. Also this is the last chance for Portugal's underachieveing Golden Generation and Figo.

The more important factor is - Les Bleus have been the nemesis of the Azzurri in the past decade. They beat a solid Italy on penalties in France '98. Then there was the Euro 2000 Final - which Italy led till the 92nd minute. As everyone was waiting on the sideline to celebrate, a freak goal in injury time allowed France back. And they carried the momentum thru to extra time, winning with a Golden Goal. I hated the Golden Goal rule since - good riddance to bad rubbish!

If France were Italy's opponents in the Final, I'd be very very wary. They have a good record against Italy and they'd be coming in after beating Brazil and Portugal. There will surely be a last hurrah from Zizou and his bunch. Not necouraging prospects for the Azzurri and their fans.

Sunday night... lets believe ... and hope!

Go Italia!

Jun 27, 2006


Always wanted a career in Consulting? To be a 'thought leader'?
Check this out!

Still on the WC

Nothing annoys me more than people cheering for England to win the World Cup.
England's a fairly ordinary team. Its just that the English Premier league is the only one junta in India are able to follow, with the real leagues - Spanish, Italian etc being played late at night (India time) and not being covered well by our channels.

So they get to see some English players dominate other ordinary players, esp defenses (Remember, the real good midfields and defense are in Italy and Spain) and they think these English players are actually the best. So the England XI is like the EPL all-stars and our ppl think they are a really competitive, difficult-to-beat unit. Wrong! Thats just the best of the mediocre. And thats why they always lose before the semis, and thats wat will happen to England this time also.

Sidin had a post where he imagined Rooney scoring the winner for England against Brazil in the Final. Dream on!

Viva la Italie!

I couldnt let the World Cup just pass without a single post about it, could I?!

Most people were pissed about last night's result. I agree that Australia were the better side on display. I agree that the penalty was unreasonably harsh. I partially agree that Italy didnt deserve to go through last night. But then I'm a die-hard Italian fan (pronounced Eye-tally-un). I loved it. I especially loved it when my dad cribbed that the result wasn't fair and I could smile wickedly.

Now comes the why. Borrowing a Christian funda, Italy's the 'anti-Brazil' (like the Anti-Christ). They dont attack. They dont mesmerize. They try instead  to squeeze the life out of a game . They are defensive, they are tough, they are messy (Messi? I thot he was an Argentine... he he.. sorry couldnt resist the PJ...). They are often offside, they dive, they mislead the referee. And as it now appears, they fix matches also. Not quite ambassadors of the beautiful game.
But they are effective. You'd see them shut out oppositions and score once or twice on the counter-attack and confound the opponents, just like they did yesterday. They love killing the encounter and taking it to the penalty shootout, where Buffon is God. Its a different school of thought, and not a pretty one, but I love it :)

My fascination with Italy goes back to France 98 - when i started following football seriously. I saw a replay of the Divine Ponytail single-handedly creating magic and taking an ordinary team to the Final, only to squander it all by shooting over the bar. My heart went out to him. It was the epitomization of 'So close yet so far'

A great, creative player - reduced from 'divine' status to anonymity and infamy ... for one mistake. You gotta feel for Roberto Baggio. And his luck didnt get any better. The next World Cup, Italy had one star player - and Del Piero played the same position, so Baggio had to sit out. The irony is, by the next major tournament, DP had been sidelined by Totti - Italy's new star, who also played Left out, ensuring that DP was now left out just like Baggio (nice pun no, aint i brilliant :) ) I loved Roberto Baggio and DP, but Totti's an ass

Italy has suffered due to their own philosophy in the past. in all major events i can recall, they've lost sensationally - in shootouts or to Golden goals. They dont look like getting too far in this world cup. But I'll be cheering for them. To pain the shit out of everyone and go out in typically agonizing fashion - there'd be nothing more unimaginable than Italy losing a shootout with Buffon in goal - but i somehow feel thats exactly wats gonna happen.

Till then, cheers and cheer on!

Jun 21, 2006

Bloggin abt bloggin

Excerpts from my first blog post:
Ok I never thought I'd actually get down to doing this. I didnt think I had the patience to write regularly, especially when I'm not certain that anyone - myself included - is ever gonna read the junk i put down here. I still dont think so. So this may well be the first and last post here... (irrelevant crap)
My apologies to any1 who thot this might be worth reading. I hope one of these nights im inspired (probably by vodka n orange) enough to write something that actually is! Cheerio

My view has gone 180 degrees. Lets take one point at a time.

- Time for blogging : if u have an awlays-on broadband connection at homeor at work, u will surely find the occasions!

- Any1 reading wat u write : its up to u.
Some people write only for themselves and ill get to the benefits of that later.
Some write for the world to read. I guess they derive a lot of satisfaction from receiving loads of responses and comments. it takes time and effort to make ur blog a famous one, but if u want to disseminate and discuss with the world at large its worthwhile
Most, like me, write for myself and a few close ones to read. Its a good way to keep in touch and discuss interesting subjects.

- Stuff not being worth reading : the same reason for which ppl blog for themselves. It helps to crystallize ur own thots. eg U may not be in favor of reservations. But when u try to blog abt it, u'll find urself thinking abt the facts and implications, doing some research and rationalizing with urself. At the end of it, u hv gr8 clarity abt wat the issue really is and how u feel abt it. This is even more powerful when writing abt personal issues and incidents. U can put ur feelings into words and it gives some peace of mind. and u create records of memories that come in handy later in life.

All in all - i'm a big supporter of the blog movement. everyone should blog. ideally everyone should do yoga and meditate a bit also, but bloggin will do for now.

while on blogging, i must mention my role model blog - Amit Varma's India Uncut takes the cake. Hes a journo so he has time to maintain a blog like that and i'm a consultant so i dont. but i love his blog - several short, smart, funny posts abt all kinds of things. hv listed several blogs on my blogroll (somewhere on the right hand side of this page), but i dont hv the patience or interest to follow all of em. Hitler's soul's My dayz with myself is another one i vist every time he posts - outrageously hilarious and honest. Sidin's Domain Maximus is almost as good.

Also visit each post by nakul and bikash - but thats coz i know them well personally.

Thoughts? opinions?...

Johnny Blogger White Label... Keep Blogging!

Jun 19, 2006

The 4 B's

Kotler attained immortality in the world of Management by coming up with the '4 Ps of Marketing'

I dont think I'll get there, but here are Smoochy's 4 B's of bachelorhood:


The first three are self-explanatory and all fulfil basic needs. For those who arent sure how business fits in, you've got to have a sense of purpose, think big and start early (read this)

And thats basically all there is to it!

10 reasons why...

a beer is better than a girl:

(in no particular order)

- A beer does not feel insecure. You can stay away and come back whenever you want

- A beer does not straighten or color its hair and ask you for an opinion.

- You dont need to bathe and shave before u hv a beer

- 60 bucks and a beer is urs. No strings attached. No emotional involvement. No time invested

- Fosters, Royal Challenge, Haywards, Kingfisher... you can have whichever u want on any day.

- If you see another guy with the same beer you have, u feel happy not jealous

- No matter how many years its been, it stays in the same shape

- A beer doesnt mind if you take its top off and put ur mouth to its mouth in public

- Your parents will not mind if your beer isnt Punjabi

- A beer doesnt ask you abt marriage. If it had feelings, it'd probably be happier the longer u stayed an uncommitted bachelor

Any1 got more? Post em in the comments section

Jun 16, 2006

Review on M:I 3

In one word, avoidable!
In two words, what fart?!

The most disappointing sequel ever. You wouldn't realize it was M:I but for the theme music that plays during the credits (and not even in the movie - i thot the theme was a key part of the M:I identity, but then so was action - but this one had neither)

You pay good money to watch Ethan Hunt pull off some amazing daredevilry. Gravity, logic and credibility - defying stunts. Not to get married and get senti. What the hell will they come up with next?

Imagine going to the next James Bond movie and to find him married, and playing in the garden with his 4-yr-old girl and 2-yr-old boy for the most part, while his plain-lookin wife cooks inside. And if he goes on some fairly short and uncomplicated mission in the second half only to save his captured family. ANd its his wife who shoots the bad guy in the end while he lies unconscious.

Sheesh! I'm so disappointed I'm almost angry. One should spend good money only on beer - at least it doesnt throw up any unpleasant surprsies, unlike movies and girls.

Jun 15, 2006

Funny moment

I actually witnessed this first hand in the John at Forum mall yesterday.

Guy, relieving himself, "Ah Hi!... I was thinking of you only... In the bathroom {smiles mischievously}"

Suddenly his other phone rings...
"Hi Sheila!... Ya I'll be up in 2 min" (Im assuming he meant PVR - which was the only floor above us. Even if not true, it makes things more interesting ;) )

Back to line 1 "Oh Sheila, she works with me, just a friend... really.... No... No"

As the people at Mastercard would say:
"2 Cell phones : 11 thousand rupees,
Tickets at PVR : 300 rupees,
Caught two-timing with ur zip down : Priceless!"

Guy-who-wanted-to-see-funny-posts : Dude, I've rediscovered my sense of humor. Cheers!

Jun 13, 2006

Good times

The horo said the horrid period would last till 12 Jun, and boy have the last few weeks been bad.

Now is when 'good times' r supposed to begin. I hope there is a hidden message in 'good times' that I'll be hittin upon a large free supply of Kingfisher! Hope floats, and as Freddie Flintoff says 'Boola la la la weee-o!'

Cheers.. to the good times...

Jun 8, 2006


U can get hit by a truck, train, or tsunami... but nothing hits harder than the truths of life! Whack!

My horo said i'd hv a horrid time between 22May and 12Jun with no clarity of thot or happiness. During my first week in B'lore, I was totally livin it up and thot horoscopes wr a load of crap after all. Then Whack! Ive run out of cash and my credit card dues r up to an astronomical 80k. Ive ordered a bike that hasnt arrived and Ive realized my license is valid only for driving cars (!?!) Ive got a TV but no cable connection yet and the world cup begins tomorrow. Having a tough time with a steep learning curve at work... the crib-list wouldnt end and the only respite is the one-hour swim every night. And now my ex-GF of 5 years tells me she likes some1 else and he's likely to propose to her soon. Gotta give credit to that horo after all.

'If you love somebody, set them free. If they come back, they are yours. If not, it was never meant to be'

I took too long and was too tentative 'coming back'. And now it emerges that it was never meant to be anyway. I continue to push the limits on being tough...

Btw - when i wrote yday that I'd be resuming bloggin, I had NOT planned to start with a cribnote. Dude-who-wants-humor-here : Sorry boss, I fail to see any in the current situation. Will soon try tho

Tomm, or soon... Sootta paradox Pancham

Jun 7, 2006

Dont give up!

I guess the number of people visiting this blog has dropped to below-survival levels. It was probably in single digits (per day) in the first place, and is laboriously 'tending to zero' now.
However, i intend very much to revive this blog, so dont give up on me just yet.

Was disconnected with the cyber-world for the past couple of weeks. My comp arrived from Bhopal yesterday (almost intact - my beloved DVD writer has gone bust tho). Will be getting it 'broadbanded' asap and will resume writing.. thr is a lot to blog abt now, apart from the long-pending Hitler-ian and other philosophical posts.

A friend recently observed that my blog was 'too serious' and should incorporate some humor for readers' sake. Point taken. will try.

Adios for now

May 21, 2006


Watched the enthralling second game of the Ind-WI series. Saw Yuvraj take India from a 'hopeless 60/4' in some 18 overs, to 1 run short of the West Indian score with 2 balls to go. A brilliant, matchless effort (93 bowled) - ending in an absolutely heart-wrenching failure.

This sets up the series very well - all squared after two close and exciting contests. If only the matches were not at such unearthly hours...

But the thing that'll stay in my memory for a while is Yuvraj's effort - briliiant, so close... yet agonizingly far... just like it was for Sarwan earlier in the match (98 not out - stranded at the non-striker end in the final over). I wonder how that feels and am trying to imagine an analogy with no success so far.

May 20, 2006


After a bad 'false start' to my career, it now seems that the 'course correction' is done. Not to demean my last job. I have great respect for my previous employer and the role had its challenges and opportunities. But it was not the role for me, nor was I the person for it. Goodbye, and thanks for all the fish.

Read this post from Louis (pronounced loo-ee) and got thinking. I echo some of his sentiments about 'chasing after dreams' and 'running cos u r used to' beyond a point. I hope my next job and most of what I do later also feels worthwhile, and that there is satisfaction and a sense of purpose at the end of long, tiring days. Have heard several ppl i know, talk like that in the last few days.

On the 'long, tiring days' - my reaction is lukewarm. I've got everything i wanted in life with some effort, but never too much. Am yet to find something that requires huge effort and is worth it. 'Getting down to work seriously toward a goal' is a milestone in the journey into adulthood that I should have reached some time back. I hope to get there very soon, and to find myself prepared for it (and enjoying it?).

Here's to new beginnings, and new-found hope...

May 12, 2006


"Tough times dont last, tough people do"

"If it doesnt kill you, it makes you tougher"

Oh well! Time to discover just how tough I really am...

May 7, 2006

Reservation is right

Thats the title of this post on Orkut by some guy. Rather strongly stated and biased for my liking, but funny in parts.

May 4, 2006

Another IIT question

News Clipping (courtesy TOINS):
A 23-year-old Indian Institute of Technology-Kanpur (IIT-K) student, Shailesh Sharma, on Wednesday committed suicide by hanging himself in his hostel room...
According to Shailesh’s batchmates, he had failed in advanced thermodynamics for third time in a row and had shared his failure and acute distress with his classmates...
On November 30, a similar case was witnessed when mechanical engineering second-year student Dharaskar Swapnil Chandrakant had committed suicide by jumping from the roof of the administrative block. The IIT-K authorities had then attributed stress as factor behind the incident. Shailesh is the fifth IIT-K student to have committed suicide.

The whole presumption of the 49.5% reservation argument is that IITs are elitist, and 'deserving' candidates are being denied the opportunity to obtain quality education.

That is not the problem. It is a symptom. With due respect to all SC/ST candidates, if they are unable to get through open competition for IIT seats, it is because of weak academic background and lower-quality education they are provided before JEE. That is a real problem which the Govt should work to solve. In stead of reducing fees at IIMs, they should invest in primary and secondary schools.

What they are doing instead is buring their heads in the sand like ostriches, reserving seats and getting in people who are not ready for an IIT education.

IIT is not a lottery. In fact, JEE is where the ordeal really begins. As the above news item proves, an IIT education is rigorous and unforgiving of the weak. All 4 years are like JEE over and over again. But forcing people in, they are doing more damage to their cause, instead of uplifting them. What will they do when these problems come up? Reserve a %age of pass grades for category students, to support them rise above their weak academic background?

And I'm not even going to begin about the impact on the 'IIT' brand. I dont think people who label the IITs 'elitist', can understand or care two hoots about the 'IIT Brand' (Never mind the BBC and others who do stories on this).

Having flunked a few courses and seen tough times at IIT myself, I truly feel sorry for Shailesh and others like him, and many more who will be forced to suffer the same fate by myopic and populist politicians.

Judicial joke

The Supreme Court of India in April-end sometime (exact details are not imp) delivered a verdict that directs states to 'actively work towards' prohibition.

Article 47 of the Constitution, under the Directive Principles of State Policy is relevant here. The second part of Art 47 reads: "The State shall endeavour to bring about prohibition of the consumption except for medicinal purposes of intoxicating drinks and of drugs, which are injurious to health."

There was some concern raised about the amount of alcohol being consumed by the present generation 'mindlessly aping the West'.

I read that and thought 'Hmmmm. So now the judiciary is going to tell us how to live our lives.' They are going to tell us that Gandhian philosophy (which inspired Art 47) is an absolute, and they will withdraw the freedom that you and I have today, to consume alcohol for non-medicinal purposes.

I'm sorry Your Honor, but I miss the point here. Don't we have real problems to worry about - like poverty, corruption at all levels, commercial fraud, communal tensions, naxal violence, abuse of all kinds of funds that are supposed to improve our lives, underworld activity and abduction, politics-and-mafia nexus, Bollywood-and-mafia nexus. If all that is too macro - has the Court been able to get people in this country to form queues and respect queue discipline, or enforce the selling of goods at the right price - at or below MRP.

Our judicial system allowed Salman Khan to go scot-free after he ran down a human being. But for taking the life of a deer, he has to go to prison for five years. Wow! Thats fair and just, and I feel so secure living in this country - cause I know this is a land with the rule of law.

Sarcasm and bigger issues apart, I'm also immensely piqued that I'm not allowed to make choices here. People in the West drink much much more, and its not considered 'bad' or immoral. But in this supposedly free and democratic country, I am being forced to accept and live by an obsolete and anyway-questioable philosophy. Not only does the state fail to provide a decent standard of living and security, it is even taking away the things I value and can afford.

Lastly - we take great pride in being the world's largest democracy. Democracy means I have a right to choose who governs the country and makes all policies and executive decisions. I am trusted with the 'right to choose' a representative. But they do not trust me to control what I drink and how much.

As everyone used to say at IITM - 'What fart da!'

Apr 29, 2006

'How u will die' Quiz. Nice timepass

You scored as Disappear. Your death will be by disappearing, probably a camping trip gone wrong or an evening hike you never returned from. Always remeber that one guy who was hiking alone and got in a rock slide. He could have died, but he cut his own hand off to save himself. Don't end up like him (or worse, dead).













Natural Causes










Cut Throat




How Will You Die??
created with

Apr 26, 2006

A Life Worth Living. Part Un.

Was watching 'Biography' on History Channel today. They were covering the life-so-far of Richard Branson, who I consider one of my 'role models'. Consider this:

Branson quit school early and was actually encouraged by his headmaster to do so! His first business was a students magazine, and he went on to own a record company, an airline and what not. In a recent ad for Samsonite, he says "To me, business isn’t about wearing suits or pleasing stockholders. It’s about being true to yourself, your ideas, and focusing on the essentials"

Sunil Bharti Mittal started with a cycle business at the age of 18, His subsequent ventures included healthcare (capsule manufacture) before he jumped into telecom, and is now getting into retail

Bill Gates is probably the most famous dropout billionaire ever. He is also known to have slept in his jeans overnight in a garage writing code, and has a disheveled appearance to this day. While he has stuck with one business/brand - Microsoft, no one can say its the same business it was 10 years ago (Remember the pre-Windows days - No email, no MS Office, no blogs :) )

Dhirubhai Ambani was born in a poor village that he left at age 16 to 'learn business'. Textile - petrochem - Infocomm - and now Retail. Thats diverse - and thats what one calls a legacy!

Dr Vijay Mallya's story is not quite the same. He inherited a business. But he took it to new heights, and now plays in Airlines and politics!

What is common among these men - apart from the fact that I really admire them - is that they achieved what was considered impossible. All of them, save Mallya, came from modest families, did not have much formal education, yet they built huge diversified businesses and left their mark.

None of these guys went to an IIT or anything similar. At IIM, I've heard almost everyone say (with great clarity of thought and purpose), things like 'I want a career in finance. It befits someone of my intellectual capability'. 'I do not want a career in the FMCG industry. Sabun-tel nahi bechna'. 'IT main paisa aur auqat nahi hai'. I look at what the above greats have done - and a distinct feature is all of em have done more than one thing - manufacturing, selling, services, IT/Telecom. So why cant the capable IIT/IIM grads handle the variety of challenges?

Anyway, I shall now dispense with the commentary and critique and talk about myself and my philosophy in life.

I recently had a cushy job with a great company. Good money, peaceful hours, nice people, people-friendly policies and a secure future. It was great-for someone else!

I can not live with that kind of anonymity. Work, feed your family, do a few things you wanted - which were beyond your means at a point in life, and go to your grave satisfied. And be forgotten soon.

I've given up that job and am planning a short career, with a steep learning curve, some impact on whatever business I work for (preferably work on), and plenty of money which I will save to start my own business some day.

All the guys I mentioned above - entered a services business (air travel, retail, telecom) where they raised the bar on quality and surpassed consumer expectations. I will do the same one day and be admired for it. Its the only thing that would make life seem worthwhile to me. Someone very close to me once wrote about me 'little did I know that one of those people who affect earth-shattering changes had just entered my life'. One of my profs at IIT - the only one I ever grew close to - called me 'the biggest waste of potential I have ever seen'. I cant live with that. I have to live up to the potential I know and people have acknowledged. That is a true statement of purpose - straight from the heart. Ambitious? Definitely. And why not?

There is this question about my determination and ability to 'put fight'. I have fought for things I cared about - my top rank at several schools, my JEE AIR, first-year grades at IIT, a seat at IIM, first-term grades at IIM, Manfest - and I've always got the results I wanted.

If there is a question mark, it would have to be against motivation. Most people can put in continuous efforts to achieve results others expect them to, or admire them for. I can't. I have my own ideas of what is important and what I want to do in life. Had I been in the States or something, I'd have probably dropped out of school to do my thing. But this is India - I come from a middle-class army family, and I probably dont have that much courage.

I will make my place in history - or at least go down fighting. If I go to my grave without doing anything huge - it would not be at the end of a typical IIT-IIM career and a comfortable life. The epitaph would say 'He really, really tried'

Apr 23, 2006

IAF wants IITians!

Interesting read, at least for egoistic IITians!

IAF (Indian Air Force) goes hunting for IITians

Generation Y

An extract from Kotler - Marketing Memo on 'Generation Y'

The following traits are often ascribed to Gen Y:

  • Optimism and big expectations from the future
  • An obsession with achievement
  • technology savvy
  • Greater acceptance of racial and ethnic differences
  • Media savvy
  • Busy schedules
  • higher levels of stress
  • A heigthened ability to multitask
  • A strong sense of community and teamwork
  • A wish to make money but a need to give back
  • Emphasis on immediate gratification
  • Suspicion of advertising

    Somehow I found this depressing. I thought some of these things were part of my identity, only to discover that they were genaral traits of a 'segment'. Its a 'lost in the crowd' kind of feeling which I found disturbing.

    But it also strengthened my belief in the power of market research/analytics, and my desire to make a career in the same. Hope it works out - I really dont want a 'sell soap' or a 'sell asset products' job.

    Also, Gen Y is a pun. We are also 'Generation Why' - because we question the basis of everything, and do not accept norms and conventional wisdom just because we are told so. Gen Y includes people born between 1977 and 1990 (I dont understand why 77, and not 76, 78, or the nice, round 80).

    My own term for what follows is 'generation SMS'. At least in India, I think SMSing changed the way people communicate, and a whole lot of other, related things that great 'thought leaders' can discuss in detail and depth. Somehow SMS didnt become 'big' in the West or too many other places, but in India it is huge!

    Trivia: I also discovered while typing this post that i can type without looking at the keyboard (wow!). For the record, the error is <5% and usually only 1 char left or right, usually left!

    The Anti-Gandhi post - it will happen! Just need some free time, and some clarity on the job scene first :p
  • Apr 22, 2006


    Crude, simple yet very meaningful. At leat in my opinion - and thats all that counts on my blog!

    Every movie is a teacher. Every song an inspiration. Every book is a bible. As i fight the battle with myself, every thing that I learn is a weapon.

    Credit: Rajas 'The King' Raut

    And one more thing - I dont need your pity. It's my life. I live it on my terms and I'll do what I want to do. Things look tough - even bleak. But I have my dreams, my ideals and my plans. One day you will see. If I'm on a path that seems crazy to you, thats why I am on it and you are not. Respect that if you can - and lets just leave it at that.