Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Greatest Sportsmen of all Time

I have listed the top five sportsmen of all time(in no particular order).These are people whose fame has transcended their sport and are the
most recognised celebrities.They are accepted as true champions across nations and even by people who do not follow their sport.And yes they are legends in their respective sports.

1. Michael Jordan - Ask anyone anywhere ,every body knows Michael Jordan.In India where NBA coverage came only in the mid 90s Jordan was already a star and very easily recognizable.His basketball skills are legendary and has been recognized as a true champion.
2. Michael Schumacher - The name Michael Schumacher has become synonymous with Formula 1.Schumacher is the face of motor sport and even in countries like India where motorsport is not very popular he has attained legendary status.
3. Tiger Woods - Another superstar who has wowed even the Golf ignorant world.Woods is to golf what Schumacher is to F1.
4. Mohammad Ali - Probably the greatest champion of all.He is known world wide even by people who have not watched a single fight of his.
5. Lance Armstrong - One man against all odds,he has captured the imagination of the world like none other.A champion par excellence.

Another name to just miss out of my list is Nadia Comaneci the first gymnast to get a perfect 10 score.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Back to the future - Remakes ka Zamana hai

"Don ko pakadna mushkil hi nahin na mumkin hai"....as Shahrukh hams these immortal lines the front benchers in Sangeet theatre show their consent by a loud round of sonic whistles.Nope this is not a scene from a shady CD theatre in the by lanes of the old city but the reactions to King Khan's latest venture's promos being screened in a popular Hyderabadi theatre.Remakes,like item numbers, have become an integral part of Indian cinema.Ever since Shahrukh stammered and hammered his way to box office success in Devdas ,Bollywood directors have been flocking to the classics to remake them.So we have Ram Gopal Varma's Sholay,Farhan Akhtar's Don and very recently Jai Santoshi Maa. Waiting in the wings is the ice maiden(you will agree once you see her acting) Aishwariya Rai giving us her version of Umrao Jaaan.The Khan brothers,Sallu,Sohail and Arbaz are planning to make Amar Akbar Anthony,Anil Kapoor is trying to reincarnate Mr. India and Subhah Ghai is remaking Karz.
I am not against remakes but what I am definitely against is an excess of them.I already shudder at the prospect of Mithun Da re making all his movies.Bollywood like everything else in India always tries to take the easiest way out.If a love story is a hit we have a deluge of love stories ,if an action film is a hit we have bare torsoed heroes chasing rowdies ,if a sequel is a hit we have sequels galore and the list continues.What avid movie lovers like me want are good movies like Dor,Lage Raho Munna Bhai and Rang de Basanti.It was an Herculean effort to grow out of the eighties nineties' formula movies ...making an entire generation endure the pain all over again is not only unfair but down right cruel.As I type this my roomie tells me that Dev Saab is planning to re make The Jewel thief with himself in the lead....what next Rajnikanth remaking all his Tamil movies in Hindi?God save Bollywood.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Numbers Game


Nature has an affinity for certain numbers and unknowingly they become a part of our life. There are two numbers which play a prominent part in our life and rarely do we think twice about them. One of them is three.From the holy trinity to the third umpire; three is a number which is as frequent as the strikes in Bengal.
Christianity swears by the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost. Hinduism has its Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh and the "Three Lokas".Lord Brahma has three faces whereas Lord Shiva has three eyes. There are the three Musketeers and the three stooges, there’s the Good the Bad and the Ugly. Baseball has three strikes whereas basketball has a three pointer, cricketing decisions are referred to the "Third umpire" .Even Charlie's Angels are three in number. We have three dimensions. Newton postulated three Laws of Motion (even Asimov postulated three laws of robotics).Even the greatest epic of the 20th Century, Lord of the Rings was in three parts. Our national flag is the Tri color. Counting to three is common in situations where a group of people wish to perform an action in synchrony: Now, on the count of three, everybody pull! Have you heard of a three piece suit and what about the third finger gesture? India is a third World country, S.O.S is also in three. The most glaring example of "three" is our planet Earth; it’s the third planet from the sun. The three blind mice, the three men in a boat, the three wise men,land-water-air,examination durations are of three hours, any Tom,Dick or Harry the list is endless. So three cheers for "three".
The other number is seven. We have the seven seas, there are seven colors in the rainboow)remeber VIBGYOR) and seven musical notes. We are in seventh heaven when we are happy. A week has seven days and who hasn’t heard of lucky seven? There’s the seven year itch and what about the seven deadly sins. There are seven continents on planet earth and according to Shakespeare Seven Ages of man. The Harry Potter Series has seven books, Lord Voldemort has split his life in seven horcruxes and we have the Magnificent Seven. The greatest of them all James Bond zero-zero- seven. The number of openings into the human head are seven(mouth, two eyes, two ears, two nostrils).In Hindu weddings the bride and groom take Seven "Pheras"(rounds) around the fire and if you are an amateur astronomer all you have to do is gaze at the sky and you will spot the seven sisters. The world has threes and sevens galore, so dear friends give these numbers a second or should I say a third thought .Life indeed is a numbers game.





Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Hate - A Short Story

The silence of the cold winter night was punctuated by her incessant sobs. She lay at my feet, at my mercy, like a lamb at the butcher's shop. I looked at her, she must have been twelve or thirteen, and her face was covered with blood oozing from the corner of her mouth. "Mujhe Chhod do Sahib"(leave me Sahib) she pleaded. Her innocent eyes stared into the depths of my conscience. My finger on the trigger hesitated. What was I doing? She was an innocent young girl, neither did I know who she was nor had she done me any harm. I lowered the gun and she started sobbing loudly. The distant chant of "Jai Bajrang Bali" and "Jai Shri Ram" was slowly growing louder. The Eastern sky was had a strange twilight from the burning huts.I looked at her and for a moment felt pity for her and for a fleeting moment was ashamed of myself but it was only for a moment. Suddenly images of my room-mates being butchered in cold blood, my girl friend being raped before my own eyes, my hostel being burnt flashed past my eyes. There we were at MG Road watching the procession when someone threw stones at it and all hell broke loose. In fifteen minutes from a model of religious harmony, Tumkur became a cauldron of hate. The girl looked at me and pleaded "Mujhe jaane do saab"(let me go).My eyes met her and we both knew immediately what the outcome of this encounter would be. She stopped crying for the very first time, I took a deep breath, closed my eyes and squeezed the trigger, once,twice, thrice. She fell down silently but she wasn’t the only one I had murdered that day, I had murdered the last living trace of humanity left in me.Tumkur burnt in a furnace of hate and so did I.


Monday, August 28, 2006

Hrishikesh Mukherjee - A Legend


Hrishikesh Mukherjee , one of India’s greatest directors passed away on Sunday. He had been battling ill health for the past couple of months and breathed his last at Mumbai’s Lilavathi hospital. It is a great loss for millions of fans like me .Hrishi da has given Indian cinema some of its best films. He never succumbed to making films with vulgarity or crime. His movies were simplistic and explored human relations.
Chupke Chupke and Golmal are the most watchable films ever made. Hrishi da though was not limited to comedies. His Abhimaan was a movie way ahead of his times and very relevant in today’s DINKS (double income no kids ) generation. The entire country wept for Anand and , Guddi became India’s darling. He also produced one of the most heart rending movies , Sadma .The list is unending but no movie has made more impact than his Raj Kapoor starrer Anari .His bittersweet romances have made millions laugh and cry . Hrishi da you will be sorely missed.

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Pluto: An obituary


For years the ninth rock from the sun of had clung on bravely to the outer edges our solar system. The puny planet, which for decades has been confused with a cartoon dog, has been demoted to a “dwarf planet”. 2500 astronomers from 75 nations have decided that Pluto doesn’t match up to the other members of the solar family (who says size doesn’t matter). Pluto lovers across the world are greatly aggrieved but breathing fire are astrologers who ply their trade on the premise of the nine planet theory. This sudden change not only endangers their livelihood but also questions the basic tenets of astrology. Pluto named after the God of the Underworld has been on the brink for ages and is the latest celebrity to be red carded from the playing field. As the debate over this demotion rages on, the ninth rock from the sun keeps doing what it does best – being eccentric.

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Sent via the WebMail system at mail.ibsaf.org


Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Arjun Singh - Quota King

Just when India seemed to be heading towards El Dorado,just when everything in India was touching unprecedented heights - from the sensex to the Indian cricket team,Arjun Singh happened.In true Congress style he pulled the cheapest trcik of them all- QUOTA.
A secular country is one where any discrimination based on caste ,creed or sex is non existent.Quota is a slap on secularism.It will not only hamstrung India's progress but also divide the country like never before.The sad part is that Dr.Manmohan Singh ,a hero for the entire youth of India,has succumbed to the lucre of power and become a mere puppet in the hands of dirty Congress politics.
India should burn,India will burn.I am doing my tuppence protesting against such dastardly ,divisive policies.I fore see an India where a new wave of naxalism will emerge..the only difference this time would be that the new age naxalites will not be some down trodden tribals but doctors and engineers of this country.
I will never vote for Congress ever again and I wish anyone who reads this post does the same.The Left parties have been the biggest roadblock to India's success.I sometimes feel that the Communists are anti nationalists .Their contribution to India has been a big zero.
Arjun Singh will one day meet the most hideous end ever imagined.He has challenged the youth of India and he ill get a very fitting reply.Kudos to all the doctors and Engineers agitating against Mandal II .We are united in this battle ...if we could get freedom from the British am sure we can get freedom from a bunch of unscrupulous politicians.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Opal Mehta and Kaavvya Vishwanath - Kiss and Tell

Deja Vu....thats what a person feels when he reads the lines he has written but published under someone else's name.Then realization dawns that the lines have been nicked.Kaavya Vishwanath's book How Opal Mehta Got Kissed,Got Wild and Got a Life has opened a can of plagiarized worms.Her defense that she pinched the lines out of reverence to the author is as weak as George Bush's claims of Weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraq.The controversy though has helped Kaavvya a lot and "Opalgate " will definitely give the book sales a boost.As for the book ,well I wish the entire book had been plagiarized.An amaeturish attempt to write a story has been passd off as a book.The style is very ordinary and its books like these which make the likes of me dream of becoming future writers.If you have seen the teen movies,if you have seen the Desi movies well you just about know what's in store.
One good thing about the book? Well ...well.....the picture of Kaavvya on the back cover.
This new trend of creating controversies to sell ,be it the wardrobe malfuntions or plagiarizing specific paragraphs leaves a bad taste in my mouth .In the 21st century quality doesnt sell , controvery definitely does.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Sania Mirza - Miles to go...

We Indians have a long history of celebrating mediocrity.Unlike the Japanese who pursue excellence we pursue "averages".Sania Mirza is another example of the nation rejoicing in mediocre achievements.I agree Sania has done a lot for Indian tennis.She has many "firsts" to her credit but in terms of achievement she has miles to go .
Sania deserves the accolades that she has got but giving her the Padma Shri is going overboard.The advertising agencies across India have grabbed the opportunity with both hands.That she is young ,successful and pretty makes her the perfect"model" to sell products.But the fact remains that after her initial triumphs Sania has struggled on the courts.Whats even more worrying is that she looks plump and out of shape.She has needlessly got into controversies off the court and they seem to be distracting her.
WTA's best newcomer award has further boosted Sania mania in the country but her defeat to a 1000 odd ranked wildcard in the Miami Open has made it evident that Sania Mirza is fast on the decline or she was never the world beater we all made her to be.Sania Mirza is another case of a mediocre player being given god like status.Its high time Sania pulled up her socks and concentrated on her game or else the same media which has made her a queen will rip her apart..if she doesn't believe me she can always call the erstwhile God of Indian sports ,Sachin Tendulkar and get some advice.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Mallika Sherawat - An Inflexion Point in Indian Cinema

Mallika Sherawat has changed the way movies are made in Bollywood.If flowers and bushes in Hindi movies have become extinct, she is the culprit.For years audiences in cinemas across the length and breadth of the country had been dying to see onscreen kissing.But all they got was two flowers bumping into each other or the shaking of bushes.Then Mallika happened.
Nowadays "bold"scenes have become as common as songs in Hindi movies.Every heroine in Bollywood is in a kissing frenzy.The industry is overflowing with wannabe Mallikas and the quality of cinema has fallen a level.The lines demarcating good and the really bad movies have blurred.Nowadays 99% movies are bad with wafer thin story lines and minimistically clad heroines.The "Ghar ki izzat","sati savitri" image of heroines has gone for the proverbial toss.INdian cinema at its all time crassy lowest.One day when analysts sit down and analyze how the great Indian film empire collapsed,the first point they will write down would be "Mallika Sherawat"and her"Kissa kiss ka".

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Quotes from Ayn Rand's Fountainhead

Here are some of my favourite quotes from the best book ever written.
Keating: "How do you always manage to decide?"
Roark: "How can you let others decide for you?"

" I can accept anything, except what seems to be the easiest for most people: the half-way, thealmost, the just-about, the in- between."

Roark: "Independence is the only gauge of human virtue and value.What a man is and makes of himself-- not what he has orhasn't done for others."

"Civilization is the progress toward a society of privacy. The savage's whole existence is public, ruled by the laws of his tribe. Civilization is the process of setting man free from men."

"Kill reverence and you've killed the hero in man."

"It had to be said: the world is perishing from an orgy of self-sacrifice."

"Man's ego is the fountainhead of human progress."

"Great men can't be ruled."

"I do not recognize anyone's right to one minute of my life."

"Self-sacrifice?... It is precisely the self that can not and must not be sacrificed."

"Don't work for my happiness, my brothers--show me yours--show me that it is possible--show me your achievement--and the knowledge will give me courage for mine."

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Ricky Ponting - The God of Sad Things

It was a One day but provided two miracles.South Africa chased down an improbable target of 434 to down the Aussies and win the ODI series at the Bull Ring.Ricky Ponting is a great batsmen probably the greatest at present but as a captain he has many dubious records,Sunday was just another addition to his long list.

He became the first captain whose team couldnt chase the lowest total in test cricket(103 aginst India in Mumbai ).

  • First Aussie captain to lose the Ashes in the last decade and a half.
  • First Aussie captain to lose to Bangladesh in an ODI.
  • He couldnt bowl out SouthAfrica in over 130 odd overs , first time it has happened to an Australian team in the last 20 years.
  • Couldnt defend 331 against New Zealand and 434 against South Africa.
  • First captain to lose a ODI series to South Africa.

The way things are going he may become the first captain to lose a test series to the Proteas and who knows maybe even a test to Bangladesh.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Cricket and Racism

The recent South African tour to Australia has revealed the ugly side of racism.The Proteas had a torrid time facing the racial taunts hurled at them.To many it may have come as a surprise but I am very sure that racism is very much a part of the cricketing world.
Take County cricket for example.The world has seen great colored batsmen from Weekes to Lara but there are very few top class batsmen in County cricket.The reason - The age old feeling that a black man can only bowl fast,hence you have the Devon Malcoms and Chris Lewis' reperesenting England as bowlers but no black batsmen.At the grass root level itself the divisions are made,if you are from the subcontinent then you are suited for batting or spin bowling ,if you are colored then fast bowling and if you are fair skinned well you can do whatever you want.
Take the case of match referres ,the Chris Broads and the Mike Dennes' of this world suspend the likes of Ganguly and Ranatunga for "excessive" appealing whereas the likes of McGrath get away even after finger wagging and mouthing profanities.
The crowds in Australia have once again proved the hypocrisy of the country.The Aussies always preach something but do just the opposite.Hence we have the Aussies accusing Chinese swimmers of using performance enhancing drugs and claiming to be on a moral high ground .But when Shane Warne tests positive all he gets is an year's ban and no one says a thing.The abuse hurled at Muralitharan is another example of the underlying racist currents in Oz.Racism is a monster that is slowly but surely dividing the cricketing world.

Monday, March 06, 2006

The New Marketing Mix

For decades McCarthy's marketing mix - the 4 Ps(Product,Price, Promotion and Place) have ruled the roost .The first thing an MBA learns in marketing are the 4 Ps.The entire marketing fraternity swears by these time tested fundas. But now these concepts have come under severe criticism.
Management guru Prof Jagdish Seth has not only questioned the relevance of the marketing mix in this age but has also come up with the 4 A s of marketing - acceptability, affordability, accessibility and awareness.According to Prof Seth marketing today has more to do with what customers actually require rather than the product-centric world that companies think they require. "The consumers' is gaining power. There is excess supply and it has become the buyer's market."
In this cutomer centric world the 4 Ps may soon become extinct.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

The Empire Strikes Back

The brilliant performance by the Englishmen has left the Indians shell shocked.As in Pakistan,Rahul Dravid's captaincy left much to be desired.He is turning out to be the Ricky Ponting school of capataincy rather than the Steve Waughish school to which Sourav Ganguly belonged.I am very sure that India will lose this series and after my previous post where I predicted a 3 -0 sweep for the Indians will have to eat my words.It is really disappointing to see India wilt away the way they have.Kudos to the Englishmen for proving crictics like me wrong.

Monday, February 27, 2006

The Empire Flies Back

The English cricket team to India had come with a lot of fanfare and the cricket loving crowds were expecting a keenly contested series.One week into the tour and the Englishmen have turned turtle without a ball being balled.Half the team is on the injury list.Skipper Vaughan is out,Trescothick is home,Simon Jones is injured(whats new??) ,and if rumours are true even Duncan Fletcher is not well.Well two things come out from this ,one - How in the name of Christ could England send such an unfit squad and two,we are in for another "Brown wash" .I am betting my last ruppee that England will lose 3 - 0 .I am waiting for the series to begin and see the Indian batsmen wallop the English attack and our spin twins wreck havoc in their batting line up.This series will see India lay claim to be the true challengers to the Untouchable Aussies.The only good thing about the Poms is that my favourite player Andrew Flintoff gets to lead the side for the first time. Way to go Freddie!!!!!

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Jessica Lall - Blind Justice

The acquittal of all the nine accused in the Jessica Lall murder case is a slap on the face of not only justice but on the fabric of society.How can anyone get away with murdering a human being in the presence of nearly four hundred people?It is really sad that nearly 140 witnesses turned hostile and equally sad that even in 21st century India, Law and Order remains a bed fellow of the rich,mighty and powerful(read politicians).It is truly a black day for justice.
Petition for Retrial

Monday, February 20, 2006

A Few Interesting Facts

A good samaritan forwarded these facts to me.I cannot confirm the veracity of these but definitely are interesting.


Many years ago in Scotland, a new game was invented It was ruled
"Gentlemen Only...Ladies Forbidden"...and thus the word GOLF entered into the English language.

In the 1400's a law was set forth that a man was not allowed to beat his wife with a stick thicker than his thumb. Hence we have "the rule of thumb"

Each king in a deck of playing cards represents a great king from history:

Spades - King David

Hearts - Charlemagne

Clubs -Alexander, the Great

Diamonds - Julius Caesar


If a statue in the park of a person on a horse has both front legs in the air, the person died in battle. If the horse has one front leg in the air the person died as a result of wounds received in battle.If the horse has all four legs on the ground, the person died of natural causes.


In Shakespeare's time, mattresses were secured on bed frames by ropes.When you pulled on the ropes the mattress tightened, making the bed firmer to sleep on. Hence the phrase......... "goodnight, sleep tight."

It was the accepted practice in Babylon 4,000 years ago that for a month after the wedding, the bride's father would supply his son-in-law with all the mead he could drink. Mead is a honey beer and because their calendar was lunar based, this period was called the honey month .which we know today as the honeymoon.

In English pubs, ale is ordered by pints and quarts... So in old England, when customers got unruly, the bartender would yell at them "Mind your pints and quarts, and settle down." It's where we get the phrase "mind your P's and Q's"

Many years ago in England, pub frequenters had a whistle baked into the rim, or handle, of their ceramic cups. When they needed a refill, they used the whistle to get some service. "Wet your whistle" is the phrase inspired by this practice.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Peter Benchley - A tribute

Peter Benchley the famous author is no more .Benchley's best selling novel,"Jaws" introduced a new term to Hollywood - Blockbuster.A whole new genre of movies featuring creatures going berserk can be attributed to this novel.The seventies were the peak of Jaws mania and the great white shark became the most feared predator till Spielberg introduced us to the T Rexes in Jurassic Park.Peter Benchley will be sorely missed by fans like me.The world has lost a literary jewel.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

The 3 Cs of Marketing

Industrial marketing is very different from consumer marketing.Industrial buyers buy products/services on behalf of their organizations and not for their personal use whereas consumer buyers buy them for their personal consumption.The 4Ps of marketing hold good even for Industrial marketing but to be a successful sales person the 3 C s have to be followed.
The first C is - Convince the customer.A good sales person should try to convince a customer with a good proposal or a presentation which should leave the customer convinced that your product will fulfill his need.
Second C is- Confuse the customer;If unable to convince him confuse him with lots of jargon, lots of add ons which he may not need at all etc.
The last C should be the last resort and only used when desperate for a sale- Corrupt the customer.Corrupt the customer with cash,women ,wine...These fundas wont be available in any Management text book but more often than not sales people clinch deals using these same fundas.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Cricketing Fundas for Team India

What ails the Indian cricket team?This question is as frequently asked as the strikes called by the Left parties in India.I too have given it a lot of thought and tried to analyze the situation in a MBAesque way.
Leadership : More often than not the blame of a poor defeat is put on the captain.India though has had exceptional leaders be it Ganguly or Dravid.So leadership is never an issue.The leader though is.Most Indian captains are usually swayed by biases towards their state/zone and cricketers who are not worth their salt end up representing India.
Bench Marking :I agree that any player who plays first class cricket will have some talent and also agree that due to the captain's and selectors' whims and fancies the best players may not be selected but still India can be No 1 if they bench mark themselves against New Zealand.No individual player is great but all 11 make a great team.
Strategy :We often see the same players score runs against India over and over again.I mean who can forget Anwar,Chanderpaul,Hayden,Afridi,Younis Khan,Jayasuriya,Inzamam,Andy Flower...and many more.What does this show?It shows that India doesnt have a strategy for each player or if it does have one it is the wrong one.
So all India has to do is have a good leader who can benchmark his team's style of playing to New Zealands' and have a sure shot strategy for each and every opponent we face and we would be at the top of the cricketing world.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

"Con" Banega Crorepati ?

India TV has alleged that underhand dealings have taken place to choose participants for the famous TV show Kaun Banega Crorepati.The show is currently off air citing ill health of Big B which has further fueled speculation of wrongdoings.
As with every other popular event/show or celebrity in India KBC too has come under the harsh glare of the media.Sensational journalism rules the roost when it comes to TRP ratings.News channels have started manufacturing news rather than reporting it.TV viewers are made to sit through hours and hours of footage and discussions on Amitabh's health or on Ganguly's inclusion/exclusion.Add sting operations to it and you get to see hazy images of our MPs or movie stars cavorting in bed or accepting bribes with the same religious fervor that they accept "prasad" in temples.
KBC might have been conning people but the real cons of this "media" age are the news channels .The answer my dear friends for the million dollar question - "Kaun Banega Crorepati?" is simple - "Its all in the news"

Monday, January 30, 2006

Rang de Basanti - A Cinematic Taj Mahal

Cast: Aamir Khan, Siddharth, Kunal Kapoor, Sharman Joshi, Soha Ali Khan, Atul Kulkarni, Alice Patten
Director: Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra
Every Friday, Bollywood dishes out the usual fare of crap, lousy, clichéd, plagiarized movies which not only degrade Indian cinema but also make ardent movie fans like me cringe with horror. But once in while Bollywood outshines and outclasses itself. Rang De Basanti (RDB) is one such rare instance where Indian cinema has not only redeemed itself but actually taken the step up in movie making; it is a film as all films should be made- Entertainment with a message. It is Indian Cinema at its very best.
The best part of the movie is its narration. Very rarely do directors credit the Indian audiences with intelligence and hence end up explaining each and every detail. Thankfully Rakeysh Mehra does not feel the need to educate the audience and narrates the story taking the cine-goers’ knowledge for granted. The story is about Sue (Alice Patten in a brilliant performance) who comes to India armed with the diary of her grandpa who was a jailor in during the British Raj. She is in Delhi to make a documentary about the freedom struggle based on the characters in the diary — Chandrashekhar Azad, Bhagat Singh et al. In India she meets Sonia(Soha) and her gang of friends - Aamir (DJ) — the high-voltage Punjabi who races, boozes, fights, dances and at times sings those gems of 70's. Sharman (Sukhi) — the butt of most jokes who fears he will die a virgin. Kunal Kapoor (Aslam) —the lone Muslim in the gang who is loathed by his family for his 'Hindu friendships'.Karan (Siddharth) — A business man’s son who hates politics, higher studies abroad and his mobile when it shows 'dad calling'.
Atul Kulkarni(Lakshman) plays the role of a student “Saffron” party leader who hates “Apni sanskriti ki hatya” but is convinced by Sue to act in her movie. The care free, aimless youngsters come of age when Sonia’s fiancĂ© (Madhavan) an ace pilot is killed when his MiG Crashes. The Government blames it on pilot error to cover shady defense deals of the MiG spares.
DJ and gang take matters into hands and solve the problem….How? Well you will have to watch the movie for that.
The movie touches a chord in the heart. It actually makes one realize how impotent we have become, how callous our attitude is, towards society towards our country and towards life in general.
It does have its flaws though, for one it’s a tad long. The climax is disappointing and the last 20 odd minutes of the movie defy logic as well as common sense.But even with these few glitches the brilliant script, the amazing cinematography the avant garde performances of the entire cast and a refreshingly new way of story narration makes this movie a must watch. Aamir Khan is at his usual best, Soha Ali Khan shows us that she has indeed inherited her mother’s acting genes. Siddharth , Atul, Sharman and Kunal too are terrific in their roles but there are two scene stealers in the movie - Alice Patten and A.R. Rahman’s music.
RDB is a must watch…one of the best movies to hit the screen in a long time.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Band Names

1. The Bangles - They were originally called the Bangs. However, that name was already in use by another band, so the band added -les, in tribute to the Beatles. A second story is that the band had been informed that they needed to change their name en route to a show in Las Vegas; one of the band members scrawled "Bang-less" on a napkin and the "Bangles" were born.
2. Beastie Boys - The name Beastie is an acronym standing for "Boys Entering Anarchistic States Towards Internal Excellence"
3. The Beatles - A tribute to Buddy Holly and the Crickets. Beatles is spelled with an A because rock and roll was called "beat music" in England at the time. Also a reference to "The Wild One", in which one character confronts another after the latter's extended absence, telling him that "the beetles [girls] missed you!"
4. Bee Gees - A contraction of "Brothers Gibb"
5. Black Sabbath - Inspired by a 1963 Boris Karloff horror film of the same name.
6. Blink 182 - The band was originally called Blink but an Irish band ( Blink by the same name threatened legal action. The band added the completely random number 182 to the end of their name.
7. Celibate Rifles - the opposite of Sex Pistols.
8. Daft Punk - from a music review that described a record from their first group (called Darling) as "a bunch of daft punk".
9. Depeche Mode - Inspired by a French fashion magazine of the same name. It translates to English as "Fast Fashion" or "Fashion News"
10. The Doors - Jim Morrison took the name from a book about mescaline called The Doors of Perception by Aldous Huxley, which in turn took its name from a quote by William Blake (If the doors of perception were cleansed everything would appear to man as it is: Infinite.).
11. Duran Duran - Taken from the name of a character, Dr. Durand-Durand from the cult Science Fiction film Barbarella.
12. E Street Band - Bruce Springsteen's band was named after E Street (E, not East) in Belmar, New Jersey, because the band used to practice at the E Street home of David Sancious' mother. (Belmar's 10th Avenue was the subject of Springsteen's song "Tenth Avenue Freezeout".)
13. Foo Fighters - Foo fighter was a nickname for Unidentified Flying Objects during World War II by Allied pilots.
14. Fountains of Wayne - Named after a New Jersey lawn ornament store.
15. Guns n' Roses - From the names of the co-founders Axl Rose and Tracii Guns.
16. Iron Maiden - named after the original Iron maiden, a torture device. Often erroneously thought to have been a reference to Margaret Thatcher.
17. Led Zeppelin - After being told by friend and fellow musician Keith Moon that the band would go over like a "lead zeppelin", the band distorted the spelling (so that the name would be pronounced like the metal lead, rather than lead singer) and took the name.
18. Metallica - Named after an underground metal magazine from the early 1980s.
19. Moby - Richard Melville Hall (a.k.a. Moby), took his stage name from the book Moby Dick, which was written by his great-uncle, Herman Melville
20. Oasis - after a nightclub in their hometown of Manchester, England in the 1960s associated with early performances of The Beatles.
21. Pink Floyd - The band was originally called The Pink Floyd Sound, after blues musicians Pink Anderson and Floyd Council. Fans later abbreviated the band name to Pink Floyd, which stuck and became the official band name.
22. Radiohead - They originally used the name On A Friday, a name referring to the only time where all band members were able to practice. Radiohead was taken from a Talking Heads song.
23. R.E.M. - The name was selected by band members out of a dictionary, because they liked the sound and ambiguity. It refers to the rapid eye movement phase of sleep.
24. The Rolling Stones - The band was named after the song Rollin' Stone by Muddy Waters, one of the band's idols.
25. Savage Garden - Their name is taken from The Vampire Chronicles by Anne Rice.
26. UB40 - Named after the U.K. Social Security form for unemployment benefit.

Martina Hingis - A true tennis great.


When Martina Hingis hit a forehand long in her encounter against Kim Clijsters in the Australian Open the crowd rose to their feet not to cheer Clijsters for her victory but to cheer Hingis .Martina Hingis was the queen of tennis when a foot injury put her out for two years.Doctors said she would never be able to play again but the Swiss miss fought against all odds and after a two year lay off showed that she still had the game to unsettle even the best.
I am sure that asthe year progresses Martina will get even better and will rightfully claim her place at the top.

Baghdatis sets the Aussie Open on fire.


Unseeded Greek player,Marcos Baghdatis set the Open on fire by beating David Nalbandian in a thrilling five setter.Down two sets to love the 20 year old from Cyprus showed gladitorial spirit to win the remaining three sets.Baghdatis had already scalped the likes of Andy Roddick and Ivan Ljubicic and played some scintillating tennis to oust Nalbandian to reach the Ausralian Open final.Mens' tennis has lost some of its charm and has often has been termed boring since the retirement of Sampras and the total domination by of Roger federer.Hopefully Baghdatis will continue his giant killing spree and derail the FedExpress.

Quotes from The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari

Wage war against weaker thoughts that have crept into the palace of your mind. They will see they are unwanted and leave like unwelcome visitors.

Everything is always created twice first in your mind then in reality.

Act as if failure is impossible, and your success will be assured. Wipe out every thought of not achieving your objectives, whether they are material or spiritual. Be brave, and set no limits on the workings of your imagination.
Never be a prisoner of your past. Become the architect of your future.
You will never be the same.

When you control your thoughts, you control your mind. When you control your mind, you control your life. And once you control your life, you become the master of your destiny

We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual
beings having a human experience.

The quality of your life will come down to the quality of your contribution.

The best time to plant a tree was forty years ago. The second best time is today.

Nourish your spirit. Do the things you fear.

Sure I am that this day we are masters of our fate, that the task which has been set before us is not above our strength; that its pangs and toils are not beyond my endurance. As long as we have faith in our own cause and an unconquerable will to win, victory will not be denied us.

One must not allow the clock and the calendar to blind him to the fact that each moment of life is a miracle and a mystery.

Self knowledge is the stepping stone to step mastery.

Every second you spend thinking about someone elses dream, you take time away from your own.

The purpose of life is a life of purpose.

What really separates people who are habitually upbeat and optimistic from those who are consistently miserable is how the circumstances of life are interpreted and processed.

Its only when you have mastered the art of loving yourself that you can truly love others.

You will never be able to hit a target that you cannot see.

Always declare your goals to the world. Once you make your goals known to the world, there will instantly be pressure on you to work towards its fulfillment, since no one likes to look like a failure.

Courage gives you the self control to persist where others have failed.

The only limits on your life are the ones that you set yourself.

Fear is nothing more but a mental monster you have created, a negative stream of consiousness.

It is not what you will get out of the books that is so enriching. Its what the books will get out of you that will ultimately change your life.

You sow a thought, you reap an action.
Reap an action, you sow a habit.
Sow a habit, you reap a character.
Sow a character, you reap a destiny

One must never live in the thick of thin things.

Wage war against the weaker thoughts that have crept into the palace of your mind.

They will see that they are unwanted and leave like an unwelcome visitor.

When you control your thoughts, you control your mind. When you control your mind, you control your life. And once you reach a stage of being in total control of your life you become a master of your destiny.

Time slips through our hands like grains of sand, never to return.

Failing to plan is planning to fail.

Having the courage to say no to small things in life gives you the power to say yes to big things.

The most productive people in this world have cultivated the habit of doing things that less productive people don’t like doing, even though they ( more productive ppl) too might not like doing them.

Laughter opens your heart and soothes your soul. No one should ever take life so seriously that they forget to laugh at themselves.

Don’t accept a life of mediocrity when you hold such infinite potential within the fortress of your mind. Dare to tap into your greatness. Its your birthright.

Act as if failure is impossible and your success will be assured.

The quality of your life will come to the quality of your contribution.

Your life moves to a magical dimension when you start striving to make the world a better place.

Happiness is a journey, not a destination.

Hope for what will appear in your future is what gets you out of bed in the morning and what keeps you inspired through your days.

Today is the day to enjoy the fruits of your efforts. Today is the day to seize the moment and live a life that soars. Today is the day to live from your imagination and harvest your dreams. And please, never, ever forget the gift of family.

Life dosent always give you what you ask for it, but it always gives you what you need.

Your genius will shine and happiness will fill your life the instant you discover your higher purpose and then direct your energies towards it.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

The Numbers Game

Nature has an affinity for certain numbers and unknowingly they become a part of our life. There are two numbers which play a prominent part in our life and rarely do we think twice about them. One of them is three.From the holy trinity to the third umpire; three is a number which is as frequent as the strikes in Bengal.
Christianity swears by the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost. Hinduism has its Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh and the "Three Lokas".Lord Brahma has three faces whereas Lord Shiva has three eyes. There are the three Musketeers and the three stooges, there’s the Good the Bad and the Ugly. Baseball has three strikes whereas basketball has a three pointer, cricketing decisions are referred to the "Third umpire" .Even Charlie's Angels are three in number. We have three dimensions. Newton postulated three Laws of Motion (even Asimov postulated three laws of robotics).Even the greatest epic of the 20th Century, Lord of the Rings was in three parts. Our national flag is the Tri color. Counting to three is common in situations where a group of people wish to perform an action in synchrony: Now, on the count of three, everybody pull! Have you heard of a three piece suit and what about the third finger gesture? India is a third World country, S.O.S is also in three. The most glaring example of "three" is our planet Earth; it’s the third planet from the sun. The three blind mice, the three men in a boat, the three wise men,land-water-air,examination durations are of three hours, any Tom,Dick or Harry the list is endless. So three cheers for "three".
The other number is seven. We have the seven seas, there are seven colors in the rainboow)remeber VIBGYOR) and seven musical notes. We are in seventh heaven when we are happy. A week has seven days and who hasn’t heard of lucky seven? There’s the seven year itch and what about the seven deadly sins. There are seven continents on planet earth and according to Shakespeare Seven Ages of man. The Harry Potter Series has seven books, Lord Voldemort has split his life in seven horcruxes and we have the Magnificent Seven. The greatest of them all James Bond zero-zero- seven. The number of openings into the human head are seven(mouth, two eyes, two ears, two nostrils).In Hindu weddings the bride and groom take Seven "Pheras"(rounds) around the fire and if you are an amateur astronomer all you have to do is gaze at the sky and you will spot the seven sisters. The world has threes and sevens galore, so dear friends give these numbers a second or should I say a third thought .Life indeed is a numbers game.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

The Bet - A Short Story

The flare of the match stick lit up the dark room. Vivek lit the candle cursing the electricity board for the zillionth time. “What do we do now? How do we watch the remaining movies? ,” whined Shalini. “Well guys, I just called the electricity department and they say our transformer is gone, that means no power till morning” quipped Nalini. “Why don’t we go out?” said Gail and four pairs of eyes turned towards me. “Whats the POA (Plan of Action) Sid?” I looked at them, Vivek, the Konkani from Kerala, Gail from Mumbai, Shalini from all over India (her dad was in the army) and Nalini the “Telugu” who had lived all her life in Gujarat. We had first met in our first term in MBA.The girls were in HR and Vivek and I were from Marketing. We met through common friends and realized that we shared the same interests and hated the same people in college and lo we were the best of pals. I was the motor mouth of the group, the guy who had a word (actually many) to say about anything and everything and hence nick named Sid (after the fast talking weasel in the movie Ice age).As four pairs of eyes stared expectantly at me I said “Why don’t we all go to B&C?”
Bottles and Chimneys (B&C) is a famous pub in Hyderabad and one of our favorite haunts. We were seated in those lounge sofas that are like open Venus flytraps and you keep sinking in. I put a cigarette to my lips and a blue flame shot from my golden lighter as I clicked its round ivory “button”. The lighter was a prized possession. It was gift from my uncle. It was German made and my Uncle had boasted that it was the finest piece of German technology. The lighter was rectangular in shape, gold coated. It had an ivory button shaped knob at a corner and a small nozzle. The lighter was a marvel of German technology because it always lit up on one click. My uncle had said that the only time it needed two clicks was when the butane got over.
The girls gave me disgusted looks as I puffed away.Shalini said something about passive smoking, someone about lung cancer but Nalini hit me where it hurt most. She said “You only smoke because you have that lousy lighter”.
“Don’t call that lighter lousy” I retorted, my voice rising, partly due to the loud music and partly due to the tequila dissolving in my blood stream “It’s a marvel of German technology, always lights up on the first click.”
“Really? Would you bet on it?” said a voice and we whirled round. There was a man in his mid forties. He had unkempt hair and stubble. He was short and had a gray shawl wrapped around him. He looked like any other man on the street but for his eyes. His eyes were thin slits almost reptilian and were blood shot. “Would you bet on it?” he asked again.
Before I knew it I blurted out “Of course old man but whats the bet?” He looked at us and drew out a duffel bag and laid out two bundles of neatly stapled 500 rupee notes.
“If you can light that lighter of yours ten times in succession I will pay you 1 lakh rupees”
“And what if I am not able to?”
He paused and said “If you are not able to, you will have to give me your right hand my friend.”
The girls did an “AAh”, Vivek stood up and I felt a queasy sensation in my stomach. “Don’t do it Sid” pleaded Nalini, “Don’t be a fool Srikant”said Vivek.
“So sissy you man enough to take the bet!!” said the man in the gray shawl.
I looked at him and then at the money and then my friends. I took a long puff at my cigarette, not knowing at that time that it would be my last and said “I will do it man, my lighter has never failed me and it will never fail me”. The bet was on.
The blue flame darted immediately at my click. “One” said Vivek, the man in the gray shawl stood emotionless, his slits piercing into me like two Mongolian daggers. Two, three, four, my “precious” kept my faith but at “five” things started to happen. I noticed that the music had died down and there was a considerable crowd around us .The man suddenly took out a clamp from his bag and laid it out on the table.
“Six” said someone, the man removed an axe and laid it on the table. The sight of the axe sent a murmur through the crowd and I felt a drop of sweat trickle down my spine. “Seven” and the man started sharpening the axe on a small grinding stone. My shirt was damp with sweat. There was pin drop silence in the pub, even the bar tenders had joined the crowd. “Eight”, I looked at the girls they had turned a shade paler. The man though started murmuring “I will get a hand, I will get a hand” and stared at my right hand and said “What a lovely hand I love you my hand”. My fingers trembled; my heart was pounding like a piston of an F1 car. “Nine”, Beads of sweat were all over my forehead. The man started smiling, singing and was getting all agitated like a kid about to get his candy. The entire pub was under the spell of a nervous tension. I brought my finger to the ivory button, the man was practicing his axe swing, I closed my eyes felt my finger touch the ivory button.
What happened next was a blur, suddenly there was a lot of shouting and screaming and before I could press the button I was knocked down and by the time I got up I could see cops all around. The man in the gray shawl was held by two constables, he was writhing like a captured snake and kept shouting” I have a bet to win I have to have his hand .The tenth time the lighter has to be lit the tenth time” the constables dragged him away. The inspector told us that he was a psychopath who had escaped from the mental asylum. He had j robbed a jewellery shop and had cut off the owner’s right hand. The police left after asking afew questions and reprimanded me for the bet.
We sat down and Nalini said “That was a narrow escape Sid” I looked at her in mock bravado and said “Come on! I would have won the bet and won the money, the cops ruined it all.” I pulled out a cigarette and clicked the ivory button,” Click, click, click!” The lighter didn’t light up.
The lighter never ever did work after that “tenth” time., I don’t know why and I never bothered to find out but I did quit smoking cause whenever I put a cigarette between my lips I always remember the Bet and how I was one click away from losing my right hand.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Raj and the Maharaja


Raj Singh Dugarpur has been an enigma of Indian cricket for the last few decades.As his name suggests he is one of the few Indians who still live in the "Raj".Here is the only Indian who at India's finest hour,the 1983 world cup ,said that it was a fluke and that the Windies lost the cup rather than India win it.Here is the man who doesnt consider Kapil Dev to be a great player even though he has been voted the best Indian player of the lst millenium.
He is a staunch critic of Jagmohan Dalmiya,but when he had the reigns in his hand what did Dungarpur do?He hoisted Azhar as captain,made the Indian team lick the boots of any white team they played against and kept players like Ravi Shastri(who could have been the greatest Indian captain) out of the side.Regionalism,groupism and even (as later incidents showed) match fixing were thriving in his era.Dalmiya for all his faults has put India in a very commanding position in the ICC and Dungarpur has been a dismal failure.
His diatribes against Sourav Ganguly arguably the best Indian captain are totally unprecedented and shows how an insignificant person like Raj Singh can say anything and get away with it.
What is Dungarpur's contribution to Indian cricket? A big zero,actually he has done more harm to it.On the other hand Ganguly has served Indian cricket like no other player .He instilled the Aussie spirit in the team.I am no Ganguly fan and agree that his days are over but we as true cricket lovers should not let parasites like Raj Singh belittle our heroes and get away from it.I am sure no one will remember Dungarpur 50 years from now but Sourav Ganguly (love him or hate him) has already become a part of cricketing folklore and will always be regarded as one of the greatest Indian players.The days of Raj are over Long live the Maharaja .