Thursday, November 29, 2007

Hold on..

I'll be out of action for a few days - since I'm getting into some work (for a change, as you would already know)

In the meanwhile, you may want to go through this initiative by few friends of mine (Click Here to read, or right click to save)

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Early morn..

Yey! I woke up at 6 in the morning yesterday!

Surprised at such an opening - I am too. So is S who I share my apartment with. So are A & B, with whom I went for a swim yesterday morning. And one of my friends said, "Take a Golden Diary & a Golden Pen, and jot this date down in it - because it will go down as one of the most different days of your life!"

Golden Diary - Golden Pen - Golden Words..... and someone once said this to me that the golden words are not repeated! I guess such golden words are meant to be repeated once in a while, making sure that you do not forget the value of such gold (..which, by the way, is trading at US$ 809/oz.).

Well, such PJs apart, I agree what many people keep telling me - mornings are beautiful (though not as much as the dreams I see), and one should definitely make it a point to make use of it. And it makes all the more sense to do something constructive at that time (or destructive, like S & B, who keep trying a reduction in their tummy levels).

Coming to swimming, I love to tell the tale on how I got to learn how to swim. It dates back to my SSK days (..and believe me on this, military has its own way of teaching things) - my first week in a new school, a hostel, me being a kid not even 10 years of age at that time, a HUGE swimming pool with the uninviting and transparent cold water that I could see all the way to 27 ft deep - you're standing in queue will whole of your class, and the queue is lined up next to the stairs to the high board, which fyi was more than 10m above the ground level. And so you hear the word "Quick March" - the queue starts moving up the ladder, and where the board ends, queue walks right into the water. (fyi, not many in the queue knew how to swim). Those who knew how to swim safely floated through the water and came out; and those who did not have the luxury of knowing swimming beforehand, had the time of their lives! You jump into water, and it feels like a gush of water is trying to intoxicate you. It seems like you're gonna go down, and drown - and suddenly you feel a bash on your back - hit by a long stick that the instructor is holding - you think it to be your saving grace, and try to catch it - it hits your head the next time - you almost lose consciousness, but you start throwing your hands and feet frantically in every direction - and before you know, you've had the first swim of your life.

Yes, you know how to swim now. See, such an easy way of learning how to swim!

PS: I missed the morning swim today!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Perception, Misconception & Introspection


noun 1 the ability to see, hear, or become aware of something through the senses. 2 the process of perceiving. 3 a way of understanding or interpreting something. 4 intuitive understanding and insight.

ORIGIN Latin, from percipere 'seize, understand'

This is what Oxford dictionary has to say on "perception" – and what I have to say is that perception of perception is also a perception. It is not only related to what you think of someone else, or what your understanding about other person is, but it is moreso related to what you would WANT to think of that someone.

For instance, X might consider me to be an out-and-out gregarious individual, but on the other hand, another person Y might think of me to be as conformist as it can be. It's all about perception. It is again all about perception when someone would think you to like continental more than punjabi food, if you know more pubs in the vicinity, as compared to dhabas! Aaahhh!

It's a real pain sometimes, but anyways – there are ways of playing around with your perception as well; for instance, if you are perceived to act in a manner as responding to a situation, you can jump up a surprise if you think is apt, or you can play the normal game and still emerge a winner, knowing beforehand what you should do.


noun a false or mistaken idea or belief.

An excellent example of misconception is what I recently saw – People have a knack of getting into trouble – albeit uninvited (I know I am modest, but showing off sometimes, it's ok..). So the guy used to be the sound pad for many, sometime back. Things that followed led to a situation where being a sound pad started being misconstrued as being the mouth piece! Eventually, as is the norm, thoughts around the guy having interest in a girl started rolling the circuits, and before one knew, it was termed as a couple (woah!). This leads to disturbance between otherwise friendly guy and girl, and things do not really stay pleasant anymore! Such is the nature of the culture, that those friends who persuaded this relationship from a normal friendship to a virtual companionship, started playing hide & seek. Things, as expected, would not be the same anymore, and hence, misconception leads to a catastrophe in an otherwise jovial friendship!

Another real life example of misconception is here. It is a misconception about innovators: their ideas are completely original. In fact, innovators get ideas the same way that everyone else does: Some they dream up, and others they borrow. They take a little concept from here and combine it with one they've found somewhere else. That is not to suggest that you rip off someone else's idea and represent them to the world as your own. Instead, the innovator's talent is that he or she knows which ideas to borrow from other fields.


noun the examination of one's own thoughts or feelings.

— DERIVATIVES introspective adjective introspectively adverb.

— ORIGIN from Latin introspicere 'look into', or from introspectare 'keep looking into'.

Once you've developed a perception, and followed it up with misconception as well, then you know that the time is ripe for some introspection. Not that it will lead to some precious results, but it always helps to have a status check once in a while, on the directions going forward. And there are multiple ways that lead to introspection, which you would say are crazy!

Hug a tree! Backpack across the country without regular support systems! Get up one day and make breakfast for your beloved! Or for your parents! Or for your roommate! Sleep under the stars! Make a conversation with a beggar!

Obviously these are not the conventional ways of introspecting, but what has been seen is that such steps can yield better results when it comes to knowing more about self, than any other. Doubt it? Try & you'll see. Straight from the gut…

Sunday, November 18, 2007

..and the fitting reply to the confessions...

Dear Pers-:

I read your posting with great interest and have thought meaningfully about your dilemma. I offer the following analysis of your predicament. Firstly, I'm not wasting your time, I qualify as a guy who fits your bill; that is I make more than $500K per year. That said here's how I see it.

Your offer, from the prospective of a guy like me, is plain and simple a crappy business deal. Here's why. Cutting through all the B.S., what you suggest is a simple trade: you bring your looks to the party and I bring my money. Fine, simple. But here's the rub, your looks will fade and my money will likely continue into fact, it is very likely that my income increases but it is an absolute certainty that you won't be getting any more beautiful!

So, in economic terms you are a depreciating asset and I am an earning asset. Not only are you a depreciating asset, your depreciation accelerates! Let me explain, you're 25 now and will likely stay pretty hot for the next 5 years, but less so each year. Then the fade begins in earnest. By 35 stick a fork in you!

So in Wall Street terms, we would call you a trading position, not a buy and hold...hence the rub...marriage. It doesn't make good business sense to "buy you" (which is what you're asking) so I'd rather lease. In case you think I'm being cruel, I would say the following. If my money were to go away, so would you, so when your beauty fades I need an out. It's as simple as that. So a deal that makes sense is dating, not marriage.

Separately, I was taught early in my career about efficient markets. So, I wonder why a girl as "articulate, classy and spectacularly beautiful" as you has been unable to find your sugar daddy. I find it hard tobelieve that if you are as gorgeous as you say you are that the $500K hasn't found you, if not only for a tryout.

By the way, you could always find a way to make your own money and then we wouldn't need to have this difficult conversation.

With all that said, I must say you're going about it the right way. Classic "pump and dump."
I hope this is helpful, and if you want to enter into some sort of lease, let me know.

(Thanks T, for your help on this post)

Friday, November 16, 2007

Confessions of a Beautiful Mind -

What am I doing wrong?

...Okay, I'm tired of beating around the bush. I'm a beautiful (spectacularly beautiful) 25 year old girl. I'm articulate and classy. I'm not from New York. I'm looking to get married to a guy who makes at least half a million a year. I know how that sounds, but keep in mind that a million a year is middle class in New York City , so I don't think I'm overreaching at all.

Are there any guys who make 500K or more on this board? Any wives? Could you send me some tips? I dated a business man who makes average around 100 - 150. But that's where I seem to hit a roadblock. 150,000 won't get me to central park west. I know a woman in my yoga class who was married to an investment banker and lives in Tribeca, and she's not as pretty as I am, nor is she a great genius. So what is she doing right? How do I get to her level?

Here are my questions specifically:
- Where do you single rich men hang out? Give me specifics - bars, restaurants, gyms
- What are you looking for in a mate? Be honest guys, you won't hurt my feelings
- Is there an age range I should be targeting (I'm 25)?
- Why are some of the women living lavish lifestyles on the upper east side so plain? I've seen really 'plain jane' boring types who have nothing to offer married to incredibly wealthy guys. I've seen drop dead gorgeous girls in singles bars in the east village. What's the story there?
- Jobs I should look out for? Everyone knows - lawyer, investment banker, doctor. How much do those guys really make? And where do they hang out? Where do the hedge fund guys hang out?
- How you decide marriage vs. just a girlfriend? I am looking for MARRIAGE ONLY
Please hold your insults - I'm putting myself out there in an honest way. Most beautiful women are superficial; at least I'm being up front about it. I wouldn't be searching for these kind of guys if I wasn't able to match them - in looks, culture, sophistication, and keeping a nice home and hearth....

(Thanks T, for your help)

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Of Parties and Paranthaas..

Let's talk about impish M. I haven't known M for a very long time (an year and a half is not very long, right?), but I can predict her actions to such precision that it should make her a very close acquaintance of mine.

Just the other day, I was telling her about our core group (nah, not the intricacies, but more about what friend circles mean) – I was telling her that we (and by we I mean our group comprising of A, B, S, S, G, B and the likes..) have a sense of celebration which is not exactly dependent on the number of beer cans rolled out, or the glasses of Brahmos (you don't know about Brahmos? I'll dedicate a post to it later..), or for that matter the numbers of hours spent dancing after being completely bamboozled – the common string that ties people together is the sense of being together, even when far; the state of Unagi (!! – you don't watch F.R.I.E.N.D.S kya?), which is total awareness of things happening around you; the sense that we might choose to travel all the way to Murthal to have those unbeatable paranthas (with that connoisseur-like white butter and the never ending topping provided by Lassi!), rather than shadowing towards TC or Purple Haze to gulp down a few pints.

Infact, I was talking to P the other day when she just mentioned that there are two people in this world that she can even die for, both of them being her friends – I found this statement very puzzling, and I did have a lengthy argument with her on the same (okay, I understand that this post is for M, so I'll talk about his incident when I mention P in a separate post).

So, M is someone I would call a-22-year-old-wannabe-grown-up, who believes that life starts with the adolescence, and ends by the time you start having kids (not really, but in essence – because her consideration set ends very close to herself). She doesn't even venture to fourth degree of separation to take people into her consideration set, and hence most of her deductions are very skewed. She lives in a world where quitting smoking is the hardest thing to do, and the best way of treating friends is to call them on a party.

M believes that priorities are decided then and there, in the spur of the moment, and it is not something that should be upfront – because then you can play around with the case at hand. I find this a possible way of easing out in some cases, but this can land you in big-time troubles, as and when the time arises.

I must say, M has a wonderful predelection of awesome things – the other day, she took us to this spectacular place which one can not imagine to be in the boundaries of Delhi. I swear, if I go to that place and get lost one day, there's no point coming after me – I would have had multiple heart attacks out there – and as they say, meri laash cheel kauwey kha chuke honge! (my corpse would have fed kites and crows)! You spend a couple of hours there, and you don't need to travel all the way to Chambal to see all the plateus and valleys (and maybe the ghosts and daakus a.l.a pirates).

I do not know many people who are as fond of F.R.I.E.N.D.S as I am (if not more attached to..) - however, I know that M will beat me to a quiz on F.R.I.E.N.D.S quiz hands down! I wonder if she passed out of Lincoln High. And another thing I have a gut feel is that she could as well write "Woman Undone", as much like Rachel could.

Though she lives, eats and sleeps in the imaginary world of 'Central Perk', I guess she understands that real life is not even close to reel life.

Now that M has gone through some testing times, and still has some challenges ahead of her, I'm sure she'll really GROW UP! Won't she?


Of interests and choices...

This post relates to an individual who has been an epitome of hard work - it has been more than 30 months now that he has been working in his present firm, and by normal MBA standards, it is A LOT!!

Individual in question would be called 'S'. Let me iterate a few of his traits - he is one of the most knowledgeable individuals I know; he has diversified interests and those interests vary from construction and civil engineering (he is not a civil engineer) to HDTV videos on BBC, from interior designing to Rajasthani Handlooms and marble craft; his fan following includes me (hehe..); he is one of the few guys who like Mumbai (!!!); and he is content with his life (I am sure this facet will call for a debate, but let's see if S comes to this post and debates it; otherwise, the post stays as it is!)

I am not a hard nut to crack, and I break quite easily - though one needs to know how to do it. S has been one person who doesn't even need to tread that far - with him, it is auto play. More than two years in last five - I've spent telling him the most innate instances, and have blurted out things even I hardly knew. I am sure everyone has an outlet, and it's just a matter of time you realize who is yours, for a specific amount of time.

Talking professionally about S, he has been right on the doorsteps of his dream job for last two years, and as I speak here, I wonder if he has ventured and grabbed the opportunity that he has been promised for a long long time. His is, I believe, a glamorous job, if taken in right sense. I mean, there are a few “jobs that pay the rent”, and there are some which you would love to do even with a hefty cut, because you know that you won’t really be working, but having fun and having a gala time all the way through. Being a guide is something I have a craving for, and I know for sure I’ll venture into it professionally or personally in due course of time. Just that now is the time for the “jobs that pay the rent”. :(

Well then, S has also been someone who would rather go for something he desires than what the society would want him to – I have had innumerable discussions with him on this, and I try to convince him more often than not, to look for better avenues (atleast financially), and he also confirms my thoughts in essence, but when it comes to real execution, he falls back on the much appreciated self satisfaction in the current work place, with all the promises of getting right kind of opportunities soon enough.

I wish S gets the taste of his favored cuisine soon enough.

Friday, November 09, 2007


Here's a thought - a thought around what is the best way to identify what you're supposed to do when out of college. This post is regarding someone, who I shall call A in this post, who followed his dreams rather than settling into an easily available and comfortable position.

I met A straight after my grad school, when I was about to begin my first professional experience - A had done bachelors in engineering, post which he chose an option which though would not rake in lots of moolah, but would surely give him an opportunity to do the work he wishes to do. A co-founded a firm in Mobile VAS space, and till date, the firm has achieved such heights in terms of recognition that even most established firms in that space can not boast of. Starting from bagging the first emmy award for a mobile application, to winning young achiever award, to getting the much coveted reliance appreciation award for two years in a row - this firm has come a long way. Having featured in the Young Turks on CNBC and after getting offers from the best movie production houses of the country, there is hardly anything that A's firm has left aside in terms of getting honors. And if I ask someone after telling all this what the strength of A's firm would be, one would be amazed to know that today, it is sub-5.

I myself have closely been related to this firm and hence have known what are the challenges this firm has faced. And A's commitment amid all those challenges has been nothing less than exemplary. I myself have been an integral part of a startup, and I understand what are the intricacies of running a business all by itself. Bootstrapping has its own facets; so does funding - but finding a right mix between all permutations and combinations is the need of the hour.

Coming back to A - the challenge A faces today (I believe this is the REAL challenge) is that he is short of motivation. This lack of motivation comes from the fact that there is shortage of people who can make up his team. It is always a pain to see that though everyone wants to make big money by getting involved in a startup early, no one really wants to get hands dirty. No one really understands that in order to play these cards, one has to be ready to be in a position where he/she does not even get paid for an year (just a time frame I quote here)! Just the other day I was talking to this guy in Ohio, when it came up that he really doesn't want to invest much in Indian startups because the risk appetite of people here is very low - everyone wants instant results, which is hardly ever.

And the real difference is made by the support that these bootstrappers get from their families. Because in Indian context, the culture is such that one needs to think in multiple directions and take various scenarios into consideration before taking any such decision. There is always a tussle on whether one should take a ten-to-five, decent paying IT job, with multiple opportunities to travel abroad and make chunks of money every now and then; or to tread the path that would make you think about your bread and butter before going to sleep every night, but will definitely give you a sound sleep at the end of the day, because what you did in the course of the day was what you really wanted to do in first place.

This post is digressing from A, and I'll just redirect it.

'A' today has an option of continuing the way he is, struggling with getting the right kind of people, but having a sound sleep whenever he gets a chance, and ultimately doing the work he loves to do; or he can get into something conventional and take a comfortable life, doing something he doesn't really relate to. Options befitting, choices galore..