Friday, November 28, 2008

Blasts In Mumbai

Factually speaking, am on a holiday in Goa. But the past two days and still continuing attacks on Mumbai has made me lose my peace. I don't think I would have any disagreements on this fact.

The manner in which these terror attacks have been master minded gives me goosebumps. As I pen down this, the NSG , Army IAF and the police are working to get the things in control.

I am not saddened by the fact that these attacks have happened, but more on the point that still after so many terror attacks, we don't have the Intelligence in place. In a country like our's we just can't afford to check everyone's bags.

The News Channels seems to be having a gala time having a all time high TRP's , adding to the fact that there are no new soap's or TV programs that are being telecast , all thanks to the strikes. I do admire them for the time and pateince they have been telecasting everything to us, and most of the time LIVE, which I thought was a threat to the operations. I don't think any TV channel worth its salt should ever telecast where the commandos are placed and how they are entering, whether its through helicopters or whatever. I just can't understand that they still don't have that basic common sense or probably the only thing thats on their minds is are we better than the other channel and is my TRP better off' Thats the sad but true state of our Media , which doesn't differ much from the politicians of the country

Even in the heat of this issue, every politician has made his/her best effort to put the blame on others and the motto is clearly seen. The oncoming elections. Is this all that the politicians can think of. Why the hell are they landing in mumbai when they know very well that their presence only means the need of additonal security for them , when the need of the hour is the security of the civilians and the people trapped inside. I guess the only time they will get something in their head is when their near and dear one is trapped.

To end this blog, I found something interesting on Amitabh Bachchan's blog. Here's a snippet of the same
"I am ashamed to say this and not afraid to share this now with the rest of the cyber world, that last night, as the events of the terror attack unfolded in front of me I did something for the first time and one that I had hoped never ever to be in a situation to do.

Before retiring for the night, I pulled out my licensed .32 revolver, loaded it and put it under my pillow. For a very disturbed sleep."

Saturday, November 22, 2008

New Updates from Google

In the past one week, I saw two new updates from Google.

[1] Gmail now comes with themes. I have chosen the Beach  to give a touch of Goa to it and also makes it lively. Its a very welcome move and after orkut, it wasn't a big surprise that they would come with themes for gmail also.

To select a new theme , you need to go to the settings -> themes  and you can chose the one you like. 

[2] The new stuff from google is something what they have been known for, ie search engine. But the welcome move is that you can do the same from your mobile. 
All that you need to do is to send an SMS to the number 9-77-33-00000 with the query and you will get the search result in your mobile. 
Now isnt that convenient.  Now for the better news , it doesn't cost you a bomb like 3/- or 6/- per sms . All that it costs your local sms cost as per your package. Now isn't that cheap too.

I think its a very welcome move from google search.
For more details on the same you can check the following link

Rainy Day in Bangalore

Nope, I still haven't reached Goa as yet. This picture is just another one from my balcony in Rustam Bagh in Bangalore and its a very nice and lazy rainy saturday morning...
Yes, Its been raining here the whole morning today.

Off to Goa tomorrow and then on the way back a pit stop in Mangalore at KPK's place and then back to the grind.

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Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The Battle

He said: 'My dear grandson, the battle is between 'two wolves' inside us all.

One is Evil. It is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.

The other is Good. It is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith.'

The grandson thought about it for a minute, and then asked his grandfather: 'Which wolf wins?'

He simply replied: 'The one you feed'

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Book Review : The Alchemist

This book would probably wouldn't need much of introduction. This is easily one of the best books ever read by me, and this wouldn't be a subject of debate by many.

This book revolves around following your dreams. There are many book which are on this fact of following your dreams, this one is much more philosophical and much easier to understand.
Now, going by the fact that its a philosophical, doesn't mean that its a boring book. It has a good story line and its about a shepherd, and his journey towards his dreams.
On his journey, he meets many people, good and bad, but at no point doesn't let any of their actions or opinions change his outlook towards his dream. Finally he meets an alchemist, and he teaches him the best knowledge anyone can get. This would be the take away from this book.
In his journey , he also meets up with a merchant, who sells crystals and not quite enterprising and lost the zeal in his life. When this boy asks him as to why is he not very keen on fulfilling his dreams, his reply is simply that, once one achieves one's dream, then what would be the purpose of living and what would one look forward ahead in life. These words do make sense to quite an extent, but at the same time, not necessarily to be followed. The boy did agree with him , but didn't chose to follow that advise.

I would say, its a must read.
This book has already been translated in 67 languages across the world and soon to be a movie.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Ads: Bharti

The new Ad by Bharti is impressive. After Cadbury's which has been winning the best Ads for several years, I guess its been replaced by Airtel. But the new ad, which is not really an Airtel Ad, but a branding for Bharti group as a whole.

Its beautifully used Indian which mean Bharti.

The Ad goes as follows. Hope to get a you tube video soon. Will put up on this. Till then this is what the Ad says

"1500 years ago, An Indian taught the world how to count"

"An Indian was the father of Surgery"

"90% of computers in the world use a chip manufactured by an India"
Vinod Dham

"An Indian was the first to develop Wireless technology"
Jagadish Bose

"An Indian was the first who thought and proved that a war can be fought with Peace"
Mahatma Gandhi

If one Indian can have such big Ideas, what can a Billion Indian's do"

Well the words might have been a little different, since its picked up from my memory, but the message remains the same.

I just hope that Reliance doesn't think of an Innovative way to flick this Ad. After all that's where their expertise lie.

Top 40 Richest Indians

The global financial crisis has hit the subcontinent hard--the wealthiest Indians are worth 60% less than a year ago.

These are painful times for India's richest as the ongoing global turmoil drastically reshapes their fortunes. The country's once soaring stock market fell 48% in the 12 months, the rupee depreciated 24% against the dollar and gross domestic product growth is expected to slow down to 7.5%, partly owing to double-digit inflation.

All of this conspired to knock 60% off the combined fortunes of the nation's 40 wealthiest. Their total net worth fell $212 billion, to $139 billion, down from $351 billion a year ago.
Last year's No. 1, U.K. resident Lakshmi Mittal, dropped $30.5 billion amid plunging steel prices, but he slips only a bit, to No. 2. Mukesh Ambani, who oversees petrochemicals giant Reliance Industries, grabs the top spot for the first time, despite losing $28.2 billion in the past year. His estranged brother, Anil, ranked third, is the biggest dollar loser, down $32.5 billion.

Others were nearly wiped out entirely. India's wind power man Tulsi Tanti and his brothers lost 91% of their fortune, amid reports about the poor quality of Suzlon's wind blades. Real estate fortunes were among those hit the hardest. K.P.Singh lost $27.2 billion since we last published our listing but is down an astonishing $39 billion since his DLF stock peaked in January. Property tycoon Ramesh Chandra's net worth dropped 91% to $1 billion. His Unitech lost half its market capitalization in one day last month.

Thirty-three of the 34 tycoons who returned to our ranking of India's richest are at least 20% poorer than they were a year ago. Only one fortune from last year's ranks increased, that of brothers Malvinder and Shivinder Singh, who sold their 34% stake in generic drug firm Ranbaxy Laboratories to Japan's Daiichi Sankyo at a hefty premium to its current stock price. They added $550 million to their combined wealth.

Others with pharmaceuticals fortunes outperformed the market, but thanks to a sliding rupee, their net worth fell too. Dilip Shanghvi of SunPharma, India's most valuable drug maker, was poorer by $800 million, despite an increase in his net worth in rupees.

Six people dropped off our list altogether after losing a collective $7.9 billion. They included flamboyant liquor and airlines tycoon Vijay Mallya, whose Kingfisher Airlines (other-otc: KNGFY.PK - news - people ) is racking up losses, and Gautam Thapar, whose Ballarpur Industries is India's largest paper maker. Taking their places are four newcomers, including Micky Jagtiani, who oversees a retailing empire in the Middle East, and Hemant Shah, son of a Bollywood film producer, who made his fortune in construction.
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Returning to the list after a one-year absence are Yusuf Hamied, head of generics producer Cipla, and Brijmohan Lall Munjal, patriarch of Hero Group, which makes motorcycles and bicycles.

Some more sobering statistics: While all 40 tycoons were billionaires last year, only 27 now have 10-figure fortunes, nine fewer than in 2006.

These net worths are snapshots of wealth taken on Nov. 3, when we locked in market prices and exchange rates. Had we locked in just a week earlier, the losses would have been still greater, as the nation's main index gained 21% in the days leading up to our list publication.

Privately held companies were valued by comparing them to similar public companies. Indian nonresidents like Lakshmi Mittal were included as long as they still hold Indian citizenship. This ranking, unlike the Forbes billionaires list, includes family fortunes.

Dont get Limited By Negative Thoughts.

Here's a story about George Dantzig - the famed mathematician, whose contributions to Operations Research and systems engineering have made him immortal.

As a college student, George studied very hard often late into the night. So late, that he overslept one morning, arriving 20 minutes late for Prof. Neyman's class.

On arrival in class, he saw two maths problems written on board. He quickly copied the two maths problems on the board, assuming that they were the homework assignment. After reaching home, it took him several hours to work through the two problems, but finally he had a breakthrough and dropped the homework on Neyman's desk the next day.

Six weeks later, on a Sunday morning, his excited professor awakened George at 6 a.m.

Since George was late for class, he hadn't heard the professor announce that the two unsolvable equations on the board were mathematical mind-teasers that even Einstein hadn't been able to answer.

But George Dantzig, working without any thoughts of limitation, had solved not one, but two problems that had stumped mathematicians for thousands of years.

Simply put, George solved the problems because he didn't know he couldn't.

You are not limited to the life you now live.

You have accepted it as the best you can do at this moment. Any time you're ready to go beyond the imitations currently in your life, you're capable of doing that by choosing different thoughts. All you must do is figure out how you can do it, not whether or not you can. And once you have made your mind up to do it, it's amazing how your mind begins to figure out how.

A person is limited only by the thoughts that he/she chooses.
This story began to spread, and was used as a motivational lesson demonstrating the power of positive thinking. Over time Dantzig's name was removed and facts were altered, but the basic story has persisted in the form of an urban legend

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Joel's Wedding!!

The day Joel got married in this lovely church. St Patrick church off Brigade Road. First time I got a chance to see a Catholic Wedding in Bangalore. Though I had seen this church from outside many times , I never had the opportunity to go inside. Probably the day was destined as 9/11 .. There is something with this number and me ..

That's Joel and Tina after the wedding ceremony. He seems to be a happy man. It was indeed a treat to attend a ceremony like this.

The couple taking blessings from elders.

The Married Couple

Movie Review : Fashion

Movie: Fashion

Another movie of Madhur Bhandarkar. Just like one can make out the books of 'Chetan Bhagat' similarly you can easily make out that the movie is of Madhur Bhandarkar.
For someone who has seen the movie Page 3 its not much of a different scene. Typically the same issue but this movie is concentrated on one aspect ie Fashion. The rest remains the same.

Something about the movie. The story is about a girl from Chandigarh who wants to become a super model, and its her dream. Though her parents don't approve of her dreams she is persistent about it.
The movie further dwells into the dark realities of the fashion industry, the page 3 people and finally the Priyanka Chopra makes it big. She is helped by many on her way up, but when she reached the top, then things begin to fall apart and goes so bad that she goes back to her family. The family then boosts her up and ask her to take a second stint.
Thats when she realises her faults then the movie revolves over how she copes up with everything and makes it big.
The movie shows the ugly truths of the fashion industry. How people are used and also how the law of karma works. Its also about fulfilling your dreams if you are serious about it.
Worth a watch!!

Mahabharatha names and their meanings from Nama Sutra by anantha

I found a nice blog on the names of characters in Mahabharatha
Here is the excerpt from the same.

"That great epic had some very colorful characters. I've always wanted to know what their names meant without dipping into Maneka Gandhi's book of names. Now that I've found out, I thought I'll share it with you...

Yudhishtra = one who's committed to the ideal.
Bhima = one who knows no fear.
Arjuna = clarity of pure devotion.
Nakula = one who's free from pain.
Sahadeva = equal to the gods.
Duryodhana = defender of evil.
Ashwattama = one with the obstinacy of a horse.
Bhishma = one who rules fear.
Dhritarashtra = blind ambition.
Draupadi = enemy of offenders.
Drona = one who injures his foes with weapons.
Drupada = one who stands like a wooden pillar.
Karna = one who thinks of himself as the doer.
Kripa = one who does and gets.
Kunti = one who removes the deficiency of others.
Pandu = he who is without prejudice.
Sanjaya = he who is victorious over all.
Abhimanyu = one who is imperishable.

If you had pored over the meanings, you'll discover that Dhritarashtra, Draupadi and Drona's names serve as cryptic codes for their characters. So obviously it's the work of a seasoned author. "

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Book Review :Cashflow Quadrant

Another of Robert Kiyosaki's book. Everytime I read a book from him, it inspires me no end to start investing more. This book added more value than the previous ones which I had read, ie Rich Dad Poor Dad and Guide To Investing. The simple tips of getting rid of your debts and the different levels of Investors was a take away for me, having read the other books. Of course the repeition does occur in the books, but its a welcome refresher , especially for me, who doesnt have the habit of going through the same book again.

I would say its a must read for each and everyone. Its just going to change your perspective of finances and investing.

My Favourite TV Ads

Some of my favourite Ads on TV. Agree that the creative minds are definitely working harder. I am pretty much sure that with slowdown, the Ads budget would have been all time low and would want the maximum mileage out of it. Nevertheless here are some of my current favourites

Tata Sky Plus Ad
The one featuring the perfectionist again, doing all the house hold work just to watch the cricket match. Its simply awesome. Even the teaser campaign that they had was good. Its a new trend now to publish the teasers.

The ICICI Prudential Insurance Ad
The same family doing the wonders again. While the same kid showing some priceless expressions and dialogues. The mom not having any dialogue does her bit with the smile. This series of Ads also have been awesome and always stops you from doing something else apart from watching the AD.

The Nerolac Ad
A small story of how a house painted with Nerolac changes everything. It brings out the subtle issues in the life of an Indian, and thats what touches the audience the most. The background voice over which is similar to that of Gulzar adds more to it.

Will add more to this list.
Post your favourite ones in the comments.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Obama is the new President of US

Democrat Barack Obama wrote his name indelibly into the pages of American history on Wednesday, engineering a social and political upheaval to become the country's first black president-elect in a runaway victory over Republican John McCain.The 72-year-old Arizona senator quickly called his opponent to concede defeat and congratulate his rival in the longest and most costly presidential campaign in American history.McCain spoke graciously at an outdoor rally in Arizona, commending Obama on his victory and emphasizing that he understood its special importance to African-Americans."The American people have spoken, and spoken clearly," McCain told disappointed supporters in Arizona, many who booed and growled as he called for the nation to unify behind the victor and his running mate, Joe Biden.The 47-year-old Illinois senator, son of a white mother from Kansas and an African father from Kenya, mined a deep vein of national discontent, promising Americans hope and change throughout a nearly flawless 21-month campaign for the White House.

Obama stepped through a door opened 145 years ago when Abraham Lincoln, a fellow Illinois politician, issued the Emancipation Proclamation that freed African-Americans from enslavement in the rebellious South in the midst of a wrenching civil war. The powerful orator lays claim to the White House on Jan. 20, only 43 years after the country enacted a law that banned the disenfranchisement of blacks in many Southern states where poll taxes and literacy tests were common at the time. With victories in Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and other battleground states, Obama built a commanding lead over McCain after surging in the polls in the midst of a national financial crisis. He and his fellow Democrats sought to link McCain to the unpopular George W. Bush. Obama soared into the national spotlight with his electrifying speech at the 2004 Democratic National Convention, when he was making his first run for the Senate and polishing his message of unity in a country that was mired in partisan anger.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Kumble Calls It a day

2 November 2008
It was tea time of the final day of the 3rd Test Match between India and Australia. It was a boring draw and the match was just waiting for the formalities to be completed.
After tea the news that was flashing on the scroll bar was shocking. Anil Kumble has called it a day, and today was the last day he would ever be playing in Test.
Not quite sure ,what prompted him to take such a quick decision. Saurav Ganguly's retirement too was quite quick, and knowing the issues he was going through, it was quite evident that he didnt really do it willingly.

I somehow feel that Kumble retirement was some similar issue which has occured in the dressing room. Feels sad that the players who have got glorious victories to India have to leave the Game in such a haste.
Started his career in 1990 and after 18 long years has finally declared his innings.
He also the career best of 10 wickets in an innings and 8 times 10 wickets in a match. I still remember the ODI final match against WI in the challengers cup in which he had clinched 6 wickets. He was a different cricketer. Not that the opposition would get scared of him but he would do the damage.

Its a day to remember for Indian cricket fans and specially those in Bangalore.
He has 619 Test wickets to his name and 337 in ODI, quite a feat.

Book Review:The White Tiger

Book : The White Tiger
Author : Aravind Adiga

I picked up the book only for the simple reason that it had won the "Man Booker Award" this year. Its the first book I have read which is an award winning. Normally I tend to be away from such books, but for some weird reason I felt like picking it up.

Must say that its a great book to read to learn and know about India. Yes its not the rosy picture which is painted, but one that is of reality. At times it got carried away a bit more and I didnt quite like some descriptions. The last chapter was really good. It was surely a good ending with some good punches. Every book has one chapter which is a meant to be re-read time and again. In this book it is definitely the last chapter.

The protagonist , Balram , who is a person from small village always has big dreams and always in pursue of it. He makes sure that the good in him never dies and does take some calculative risks in life. He makes sure that he learns every trick in the book to become a entrepreneur.

This book in some way reflects the protagonist "Guru" in the movie "Guru".

A book worth read if you want to read about the Indian village cultures, the typical indian entrepreneur , the politics and the Urban culture as it is today.