Sunday, December 28, 2008

friends and their renewed time table..

It's a fact that marriage can alter friendships, but it's important to recognize and manage this fact. When couples get married, the first few months, nigh on years can be time spent focusing intently on each other - to the exclusion of previous friendships. While most don't do it deliberately, there is a line of exclusion that seems to divide married ones from their single and married friends.


The losses always begin subtly. You don't call your friends as often. You beg off from lunch dates and you forgo plans to head out to dinner and the movies. Your topics of conversation may seem a great deal more limited than they did before. When a married couple begins expecting a baby - the divide may fracture even wider between themselves and their single friends.

Yes - some change is to be expected, but how much is the real question. When you become Mister and Missus, it should not be at the expense of whom the two of you were before you were married.

While your single friends may not be preparing dinner & running household errands, they are still available for support, amusement and conversation as long as you are available to provide it and seek it out as well. You may not be going bar-hopping every Friday night, but that doesn't mean you can't still enjoy each others company over coffee in the morning before work or at lunch during the day.

It's important to remember that maybe single friends want to talk about what they did last weekend, and married ones might want to discuss how much time they end up spending on getting things done for the household. One might not be able to relate to the lifestyle anymore, but it's not like you weren't single once upon a time yourself, or you won't be married at a later date. Sometimes, listening is more important than understanding.

There is this odd feeling in our society that once one is married, all he/she ever wants to do is stuff with thy spouse. This isn't wrong, but isn't right either. It should not end with a feeling of, "Well, our friendship was great while it lasted."

The truth is, marriages are wonderful, but it could be that there are other streams that need to pour water in this pond. Our lives are built on the structure of multiple relationships. The relationships we have with our families, our spouses, our children and yes, our friends. We need different support systems for different reasons. Support and understanding is vital in all aspects.

Just because you do things differently, doesn't mean you don't still have a place in your life for others.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Ahem - short term memory loss!

Short term memory loss - ahem! I recall this from somewhere.

Well, the most anticipated movie of the year is finally here. Aamir Khan’s Ghajini brings with it the huge amount of expectations that people usually carry with them to the theatre while watching an Aamir Khan film.

Aamir portrays the business tycoon to perfection, and Asin play the girl next door with ease. First reaction after watching Ghajini is of how long the movie is (3 hours +) - but you don't realize 3 hours have passed by - especially the romantic part of the movie, which is quite enjoyable. I heard Aamir in one of his interviews before the movie's release, and he mentioned that this is a tender romantic movie. I couldn't understand that then, but I guess the romantic 2 hours of the movie are worth a watch. Infact, we kept waiting during the course of the movie when the 2006 Diary would be read!

Scenes of ferocious Aamir are good too - one where he makes out from Jiah's faster breath that she has been running, takes all the credit. This version of Aamir hardly speaks, but communicates very well.

Asin proves to be a good actress - Good screen presence, bubbly and charismatic. Aamir Khan is brilliant, as usual! An actor who can never disappoint, neither with his performances nor the overall quality of his movies. What with a different variety of movies like Lagaan, DCH, RDB, TZP and now Ghajini! All very different, but brilliant nonetheless! Jiah Khan had a forgettable performance; her most important scene was when Aamir gets down from her scooter, and she hardly had any expressions while trying to stop Aamir.

Movie definitely is not very violent - this much goes with a masala bollywood movie.

So except an acceptable ending, everything was great. I haven't heard very good of the movie from others, but I got my money's worth. I wonder what's the ending of Tam version of the movie though!

Friday, December 19, 2008

...all you are

Put your eyes on him... Look at his practice swing, almost like he's searching for something... Then he finds it... Watch how he settles himself right into the middle of it, feel that focus... He's got a lot of shots he could choose from... Duffs and tops and skulls, there's only ONE shot that's in perfect harmony with the field... One shot that's his, authentic shot, and that shot is gonna choose him... There's a perfect shot out there tryin' to find each and every one of us... All we got to do is get ourselves out of its way, to let it choose us... Can't see that flag as some dragon you got to slay... You got to look with soft eyes... See the place where the tides and the seasons and the turning of the Earth, all come together... where everything that is, becomes one... You got to seek that place with your soul dear... Seek it with your hands don't think about it... Feel it... Your hands are wiser than your head's ever gonna be... Now I can't take you there... Just hope I can help you find a way... Just you... that ball... that flag... and all you are...

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Young Turks

I've had the opportunity of working with Anupam & Jayadev from TinfoMobile. What I really liked about their venture was the enthusiasm and aspirations with which the firm operated. Be it operating out of a two-room house, to a full-fledged-well-decorated-nicely-furnished office space on the prime location of the city, the firm saw it all. This is what gives you kicks, from a startup; though the ultimate aim is to gain a chunk from client's pockets, the adrenaline rush comes from the quest of being what you want to be; the never-say-die attitude; the hunger of success; overloaded work; kicks drawn from overloaded work; never letting others know about your overload; going for drinks with friends with the thought on your mind that a deadline is pending; and at the end of the day, feeling great that you did what no one else could have done. Sweet.

Here's a sneak peek on their success story, as covered by CNBC Young Turks.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Choice

If you know less than what you should, you're being ignorant. If you are ignorant, you act stupid. If you act stupid, you learn. If you learn, you will do better. If you do better, you'll stay happy.

If you know more than what you should, you're creating imbalance. If you create imbalance, it will affect the equilibrium. If equilibrium is affected, things change for worse. If things change for worse, you stay unhappy.

Choice is yours!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Wedding Blues

This being wedding season, I have attended 10+ ceremonies in last 5 days; have spent 3 sleepless nights in last 7; and on one of those nights, was thinking of how weddings are a complete package in itself. Here are a few thoughts:

The way: Here in India, Hindu couples are married before a small fire, into which we toss flowers, water, seeds, and fruits, which are considered the four symbols of life. In the West, it has been replaced with a larger, metaphorical fire, into which great piles of currency are hurled.

Decent proposals: in private, on a starry night, preferably atop something tall. On bended knee: optional. Skip the bended knee thing if there are lots of other people around - you don't need applause. Besides, she might say no!

Indecent proposals: anything involving skywriting, fireworks, a sporting event, or submerging jewelry in champagne.
It's a classy, if outdated and sexist custom to ask her father for her hand.

The wedding timetable: Six months before, set the date. Also the budget. And the number of guests. This would also be a good time to place an accredited psychotherapist on retainer.

It being your wedding, of course, you get to invite whomever you want.

Here's how it's gonna be: Everybody she wants to receive an invitation will receive an invitation.

An exercise in a most basic aspect of matrimonial preparedness:
Step One. In quiet moments, when alone, try substituting the phrase "my fiancee" for "my girlfriend."
Step Two. Attempt same in public.
Step Three. Make note of any involuntary gastric reactions to this utterance.
Step Four. Now try saying, "my wife."
Repeat steps Two and Three.

Some women believe expensive diamond rings are silly and excessive.
I've not yet met one.

Ask your father and a couple of your married male contemporaries how much to spend. Spend that much.

While it is thoughtful to let her pick out the ring, it is also gutless and infinitely less romantic than surprising her with one.

Make a list of things that you hated from other people's weddings: the horse and carriage, the lack of liquor, religious ceremonies, the lack of liquor, lack of bride's friends, the lack of liquor.
Don't allow these things at yours.
Like it or not, you will defer to your fiancee's wishes in all such matters and be a better man for it. Think of it as pre-marriage practice for the rest of your life.

Comic relief: Now and then, look back at the original wedding budget and laugh at your childlike optimism.

The bachelor party, which, you should be aware, sometimes involves drinking noteworthy quantities of liquor, shall not occur any less than one solid week prior to the wedding day. Recovery time, that's why.

Also in the bachelor party:
Drugs are avoidable.
Shots are avoidable.
Strippers are always avoidable.

On the wedding day, it's all right to be nervous.
It's all right to be scared.
It's not all right to soil your wedding sherwani.

Wedding pictures: Black-and-white is more permanent and more romantic.
Spend more on the photographer than on the flowers, because photos last forever.

Meantime, keep smiling.

We know it sometimes hurts, but you've got no choice: Keep smiling.

PS: A few friends asked me after looking at this post, whether there's anything on the cards for me! The answer is - No. Definitely not!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Boil an egg

One would consider it easy to boil an egg - isn't it.

I came home early today, and was held up in a couple of things. When I turned to see the clock, it was 10 already - thought of calling up some friends to go out for dinner or drinks, but 10 becomes too late for married couples to call upon, and all bachelor friends already had plans. I didn't want to go out alone, and all I was left to do was to get some eggs from the market (considering making eggs is the easiest thing to do, or as I would suppose).

Now that I am back with eggs, I have a task at hand - how to boil eggs. And the answer is, I don't know! Whether water should be boiled first, and then eggs put in the container, or both of them together? What should be the level of water in the container? How long should it stay on the burner? Should I run boiled eggs through cold water also, at a later stage?

I thought of calling up some friends, who might know answers to these trivial questions, but I decided against it, owing to my quest to do it on my own. The only helper now is "Google" - and guess what, there are 3 million results for "how to boil an egg"! I guess I can do it now.

Is it google that is sum of all wisdom (wasn't it The Godfather, as quoted in "You've Got Mail"), or am I so ignorant?

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

It is but natural to safeguard one's interests. What one does is right every single time, without fail, because if nothing else, it makes the person feel comfortable that he did what he thought he should have.

Infact this is what I have noticed - you ask anyone - "what is it that you would change in your past, if you could?"; and the slapstick answer is "I won't change a thing - I will just try and learn from my mistakes."

Well, good to say, but who knows how actionable this would be.

Would you (want to change anything)!
I won't.
Sent from BlackBerry® on Airtel

Monday, November 10, 2008

Startups

In this glorious new age, a key question is this: Just how American is entrepreneurship? The word, of course, is French. But the question is, are you more american that french?

I started feeling good about myself as soon as I realized that I was going to be a part of a startup - nothing gives you a kick more than feeling good about whatever you have achieved at the end of the day - be it a small order raised, or another fellow recruited, or a simple visiting card designed for yourself - one can get that feeling only if you get that feeling. Can't be explained.

I have been a trouble maker - and entrepreneurship is the last refuge of the trouble making individual. But what's good about this trouble making is that the solution is also on the cards - because you know what role you are playing at what time.

I see myself as an entrepreneur, but I define it in a different way. People mix up entrepreneurship with risk-taking - I would rather say that an entrepreneur is a risk-minimizer, an opportunity seeker. I have never felt that I am taking risks - though all my near and dear ones have been of such an opinion. It normally seems so clearly to make sense. One could faintly smell a monster.

And it's also about trust - all those who are together have to have faith - in each other; in their business; most of all, in themselves.

Most entrepreneurs I know do it because they want to, not just to get rich. Money will flow when it should. And anyways, it is never the most sought after thingy.

Nobody talks of entrepreneurship as survival, but that's exactly what it is and what nurtures creative thinking. It brings out the best (maybe the worst). But it definitely brings things out - so there is no harm trying, because you atleast get to know who you are.

And then there is this friend of mine, who has been through various life cycles, each time being in this startup mode, and fighting through the way. Rightly, it is more about preparing yourself for the mindshare and commitment, before anything else.

I admire him for reasons more than one, and I love the way he has explained a startup in the simplest of words here. (http://anupamvarghese.blogspot.com/2008/10/startup-and-family.html). We were both in startups at the same time, and we both have grown in different ways. Stories are different, essence is the same. Ask him. Ask me.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Heroes

Many-a-times, there are things that we see around us, and we instantly think – “yes, this is me”, or “oh yes, this is what I am, or want to be”.

And most of such things are drawn out of media – be it television, radio, or internet.

There is this TV series “Heroes” that I follow – I started following it on recommendation by a friend, and now I can’t miss any of it – I have to catch it on the same day a new episode is released. The show is about people with supernatural abilities, and how fate makes their lives interconnected. It also reflects how someone can be bad at one point of time, while good at the other - it reaffirms the point that perception and introspection play a good hand in what one does.

I understand that F.R.I.E.N.D.S. is the most popular of all times, and I am addicted to it too – I would have watched each season multiple times, and it has gone over to such an extent that now I can watch an episode on mute, and can almost perfectly recite the dialogues verbatim. (Oh I wish I was so good in my school)

F.R.I.E.N.D.S. is very nice dinner, but for me, Heroes is dessert.

“Save the cheerleader, save the world”.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Random Ramblings

I was watching this show on Nat Geo, where the waves come over the shore, and disturb the sand castle. Someone makes the castle again, and sea waves perform their act once again, without fail. I was thinking of something else, when I found a similarity between what I was thinking and this one.

It's not that waves have anything against anyone, but they just are doing what they are meant to do. And the kid next door, who is creating these beautiful sand castles is trying to hone his skills as an artist, and retrying to perfect his castle every single time - but still there is an "uncalled for"conflict between the existence of the two.

Likewise is the case with us - we never wish to do others bad; in fact, it is this human nature only that thinks of how others can be benefited, sometimes even before thinking of his own (all right, in some cases it may not be true; but I'm sure it is, in many cases. How can one otherwise explain superiority of human race over other life forms) - and the hypothesis that I have reiterated innumerable times comes befitting, which says that every human is good, unless proved otherwise.

Being happy doesn't mean that everything is perfect. It means that you've decided to look beyond the imperfections.

I do agree that bad things happen, but most of the times, it is a bad judgment or situation, which, by the way, can be handled. The critical thing is to know how to get to the best solution - because there is only one best solution. Any other way, will only be second best. But not getting the best way should not be a concern - the concern should arise only if it seems that there is no way out.

And what works without fail is, plain talk. Talk, because silence is the root of all evil, and blurting your heart out is the best way to know what you yourself think as well; that's because before you say it, even you don't know what you know and what you don't. It's just like when I was a kid and my mom used to tell me to write whatever I had learned - whatever I wrote, I never forgot, and whatever I thought I knew, but didn't not pen down, never occurred to me when required. This now explains to me why I got such grades in school.

And finally - I laugh, I love, I hope, I try, I hurt, I need, I fear, I cry. And I know you do the same things too, So we're really not that different, me and you. We're the same. Me and you. And everyone else too.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

In a trans

..and every time I drive, I wander in a state of trans, where I write blog posts many-a-times, but by the time I come back to reality, more often than not, I reach my destination, and I have no clue of what I have written. It's as if it's just a job - grass grows, birds fly, waves pound the sand, and you never get to notice.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Massa wins, but loses :(

This is bizarre; it's atrocious.

How can Glock let them pass - how can it happen. It just has to be reversed - just like it was done a few years back, when Barrichello had allowed Schumacher to pass, in order to get the desired points.

For those who don't know, Massa won the battle, but Hamilton wins the crown. Most breathtaking last 30 seconds in a formula 1 GP I have ever witnessed.

Next year, beware. Ferrari drivers will be on a roll yet again - Raikonnen & Massa won't let it happen again, and win comfortably. This just might be Hamilton's first one (if he can cling on to it, in case no inquiry sits for this), but definitely his last. The guy just doesn't have the penchant for lucky charms. Or should I stay unlucky charms.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

With great power comes great responsibility – but what’s critical is not whether one has responsibilities to take care of, it is to realize that power comes only to those who have the mettle to sustain it.

Chaos Theory

If things go wrong,

As they sometimes will,

And the road onwards,

Seems all uphill..

 

..when the … is low,

And the debts are high..

 

..something something something..

 

..rest if you must,

But don’t you quit!

 

These are a few lines I can recollect from long time back (I guess I got one of my first prizes reciting this poem in primary school, gesturing my hands up & down, round & round, making faces full of amazement & shock at times, just to show how good I was engrossed during the recitation). It looks obvious, very simple, and yet so complicated.

 

Innumerable times has it been discussed that when things go wrong, one should take them into stride & go on. However, one hardly thinks of the takeaways from such instances.

 

And yet, there is hope. Irony, maybe.

 

Random thoughts, actually.

 

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

... Umrey daraaz maangkar, laaye they chaar din
Do aarzoo mein kat gaye, do intezaar mein...
Sent from BlackBerry® on Airtel

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Dream On..

Dream, you should. I know I don't, but guess will do, sometime.

If you have an hour to spare, click below - exciting stuff. Inspirational. Ecstatic.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

'Good'

I have had this discussion many times, with many people, under various circumstances - and whatever one may say, the crux of the matter is that "everyone is good".

Come what may, even when circumstances galore, just like entropy that always increases, goodness in the world can only appreciate.

Sample this - I host many people from International Hospitality Club; infact, recently more often than not, I've had someone at our place, spending the night, on a stopover or having a look around delhi. And in all cases, I have only heard cases of people helping each other - never has been the case that ANY HC member would tell me that they've had a shabby experience anywhere.

Curiosity is one thing; personal interests could be another - but other than that, I've seen that people don't trouble each other. Agreed that there is a cold war kind of culture change happening everywhere, where people don't even know their neighbors properly these days, but that is mostly because of busy nature of people, and don't say anything about people not being 'good' to each other.

Every day, I greet many people. Many greet me.

"Hey Abhinav, how are you today?"
"I am good Deepak. Thanks. How are you doing?"
"I'm good - thanks"

Having this conversation time and again, everyday, with everyone, doesn't bore me. That's because, it gives a 'good' feeling - a feeling which tells you that you 'indeed' HAVE a life - a life where people do care - although very in a very passive way, as it emanates from this example, but it does make sense, doesn't it?

Don't you think you're doing good? Or you are good? Or if nothing else, I'm good?


Sent from BlackBerry® on Airtel

with arms wide open

Creed performs to bring out the most sensational of the feelings inside, while giving this number.

Another one says:

...when you are with me,
I'm free,
I'm careless.....

...My sacrifice
Sent from BlackBerry® on Airtel

Monday, August 04, 2008

my lady..

The best thing about My Fair Lady perhaps is the way she portrays herself - its awesome. The quick wit gives life and she is nothing less than a pure joyful experience.

Damn! Damn! Damn! Damn!
I've grown accustomed to her face.
She almost makes the day begin.
I've grown accustomed to the tune that
She whistles night and noon.
Her smiles, her frowns,
Her ups, her downs
Are second nature to me now;
Like breathing out and breathing in.
I was serenely independent and content before we met;
Surely I could always be that way again-
And yet
I've grown accustomed to her look;
Accustomed to her voice;
Accustomed to her face.

Her joys, her woes,
Her highs, her lows,
Are second nature to me now;
Like breathing out and breathing in.
I'm very grateful she's a woman
And so easy to forget;
Rather like a habit
One can always break-
And yet,
I've grown accustomed to the trace
Of something in the air;
Accustomed to her face.

a few things..

Good: This thing that the modern day commercialism has started - called as "Friendship Day". Even those who don't really have ample time to let those who matter know that they really matter, take some time out one way or the way, and drop in a message, to say the least.

Awesome: India wins, finally. Defeated SL by 170 runs.

Bad: Massa had an engine failure, with only a few laps to go - sad that he lost out on the championship lead.

Interesting: My folks shifted home recently, and shifted to our home where I grew up as a kid. Since me and my younger bro have been out of home for a long time now (owing to studies first, and then work), all the boxes with stuff came out in the limelight when the shifting happened last week. And boy-oh-boy, what a pandora's box it has been. Reminds me of the F.R.E.I.N.D.S episode, where Monica and Ross go to their parents' home, to pick up their stuff, while the latter were moving. Obviously, all of our stuff was intact (unlike Monica in the TV series, who lost all her stuff to rains, but instead got a Porsche!), and I could feel a kid yet again, while going through my childhood stuff. I did bring a couple of things back to my place from those boxes, to remind me of the good ol' times. Guess I'll start with a few things soon enough.

Awaited: Lots of things. Can't pen down all right now - infact, can't pen down many, ever. Catch 22. Perception. Good will. Confusion. Loads to come..

Friday, August 01, 2008

Milkshake..

Daydream delusion, limousine eyelash
Oh baby with your pretty face
Drop a tear in my wineglass
Look at those big eyes
See what you mean to me
Sweet-cakes and milkshakes
I am a delusion angel
I am a fantasy parade
I want you to know what I think
Don't want you to guess anymore
You have no idea where I came from
We have no idea where we're going
Lodged in life
Like branches in a river
Flowing downstream
Caught in the current
I carry you
You'll carry me
That's how it could be
Don't you know me?
Don't you know me by now?

- Before Sunrise

Thursday, July 31, 2008

The truth is, there are only two things in life, reasons and results, and reasons simply don't count

Monday, July 28, 2008

Superpowers..

There’s this game (or let’s call it an application, an activity) on Facebook, where you rank various parameters on one of the topics from most favorable to least favorable, and you are matched to all those friends of yours who run that application as well. The name of the application is LIKENESS (or is it LIKENESS UnRATED, I am not too sure).

I was killing my time a few days back, when a request from one of my friends came (on facebook), which said that my friend has run the activity “Superpowers” in Facebook, and wanted me to take the same as well. Workless as I was, I clicked on the link and started the app. Before I knew, I was fantasizing all the powers one-by-one, in order to select which one I will cherish most.

Anyhow, I finished my rankings and got a match score with my friends (to see the scores, one can go to facebook and check my scores there).

Well, this has happened about two weeks back, and I had almost forgotten about this. But just a few days back, I realized that having such powers (or even the faintest hint of some/any of them), might take you for a toss!



No, I am not talking about any superpower here – I am talking about real life. If you look at the image above, you’ll see that one of the powers mentioned there is “Mind Reading” – when I was visualizing this power two weeks back, I thought it should make life really cool, because you get to know what the other person might be thinking in front of you, and accordingly you can manipulate the person – manipulate is not the right word; it is better to say that you can do proper conditioning of the circumstances at hand, so that things are for the best. (Remember, Mel Gibson in ‘What Women Want”?)

So now, again, let me reinstate that I am not talking about superpowers in real life. The “Superpowers” app of facebook merely gave me an insight that I would not change a thing in me-self, because I just can not say what all baggage it will come with.

I have to my credit (or has it been that credit of anxiety, of worries, of tension) the knowledge of something that I would have never liked to know. We live in such an artistic world, that we have acclimatized ourselves to the rights and wrongs of our society, our culture, our acquaintances, our near and dear ones. But when one gets to know something which is a little bit more than what he/she ought to know, it disturbs the equilibrium of knowledge, and creates instability - at least in a human mind. It leads one to think what should not be thought, and question every act – which is quite misleading. If it’s about a person/s, this makes it difficult to look him/her in the eye.

Don’t think I’ll be able to elaborate on that – so net net, superpowers are a big no no.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

...the 'water'ful journey continued..

After we reached our destination, we had a guided tour of the largest rice mill of the country (with no comparison to Indian ones though). It has always fascinated me - I have always wondered that whatever we eat, we use - how is it created, how is it prepared, how has it reached the state it is in?

Hence, it was an inspiring tour.

After the tour comes the hard part - the one of explaining to the owners of the industry (who, by the way, know as much English or Hindi, as I know Bengali). So most of the communication was done by nods and signals - we took the easy way out - I nodded affirmative to whatever they said, and they reciprocated in the a similar fashion.

As I understand (or I choose to believe), they understood our proposition, and we, in principle, agreed to work together. Timelines to be still decided.

After the meeting, had nothing to do in that countryside place, so we were just killing time when someone mentioned that Rabindranath Tagore's house was nearby, just a 10 mins drive. Having nothing better to do, we went over.



It was a country house that Tagore used in his spare time, when he wanted some time out from his Shanti Niketan affairs.

One interesting point - I just observed that I have always believed that Einstein's era was a long long time ago - but when I saw a pic of Tagore & Einstein together in former's countryhouse, I got some credit in my knowledge bank.

Water Water everywhere..

Astalavista Baby!

Thus came the field trips, in thy countryside.

The day comes with a trip - had to visit the largest agro-industry in B'desh, because they were interested in making use of our services (true it is, that our line of business has lots of takers, and I have hardly met anyone who hasn't been interested in the kind of work I do!) - t'was a 200 mile journey, and I enjoyed every bit of it (including the time I dozed off for).

I have never really been a morning person (wow, that's news!) - but still, I am bang on time when it comes to urgency. Early morn it was when we had to start (yes, 0700 hrs is too early for me), and first one hour was slept off - in this time, we only managed to come outside Dhaka, so nothing was really lost (I have already traveled the city a lot in last few days, and hence can recognize places/roads). Once we were in the outskirts, scenes of the havoc created by floods started showing (it was shocking for me, but for those who stay here (e.g., our driver, our client), it was business-as-usual [wow, additionality factor {only those who work in the field that I do, will understand this, so don't break your head thinking about this 'additionality'}]).

Anyways, I saw hundreds of brick kilns submerged! Could only see their chimneys above the water - its difficult for me to digest that people plan their business around floods, and are OK if their bread & butter goes down in floods, albeit only for a few months.





We go forward, and cometh another exciting thing - crossing an over-flooded river by a ferry. This has been the most adventurous thing of my trip so far (all right, I won't compare my flight with this one - both are different genre). These huge ferries take as many as 20 trucks across the river - very streamlined process, and very interesting. It reminds me of the ferry ride Tommy Lee & Ashley Judd take in the movie "Double Jeopardy" (yes, I liked the movie, and what was nice to see was how Judd escapes from there).

Our ferry ride took about an hour to cross the river (it was long).









And here's what happened - while we were crossing the river, we saw a boat (with fisherman in it) going down in the midst of the river - obviously, the attention of all (300+) people on-board shifted to the scene - though I had no part to play in this whole exercise of saving them, I felt very content after this journey. (Pic of the saved boat/fisherman below [notice where everyone is focused]).



Well, the day was eventful enough, and we reached the destination in another few hours. Totally exhausted at the end of it though. Understandable.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Easy way to lose $$$

Day 2:

Day starts fine with the breakfast in the hotel. First meeting of the day is with the one of the ministries of this place, and it came as no surprise that there are no regulations at all! Over and above that, WE are asked to prepare a draft policy (taking some cues from Indian policies), that we want to be implemented in Bangladesh - "what an idea sirji".

Next meeting is with a honcho - the person who supplies people (as labour) to Japan & Mid-East - awesome and flourishing business he has - apparently he also wants to jump the bandwagon and invest in renewable space.

Then we meet those who manage Grameen Shakti, the NGO arm of Nobel Laureate Muhamad Yunus' Grameen Bank - there, we get the flavor of where actually all the funds coming in Bangladesh are going.

Its all about PR, at the end of the day, is what I have realized.

Talking about the city, its amazing to note that this place runs on gas - not on gasoline. Bangladesh is almost self-sufficient in its fuel requirements! More than 90% of the vehicles here are Toyotas (with a majority of them reconditioned and shipped from Japan).

Points to note: never ask for veg food; never ask for liquor; always wear a neck-tie if you want to impress the one in front of you; never leave your bag in your cab [if you leave it, don't leave any cash in it; stupid me - I did, and lost $$$ :( ]

Poor me.

Sent from BlackBerry® on Airtel

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Bangla Diaries

As a matter of fact, yes, I am. I am here. Not Kolkata - its Bangadesh.

When the opportunity to visit B'desh was building up a few months ago (mind you, for purely business purposes), I thought the country wouldn't be very different from India - anyhow, the country was an offshoot of India, and shouldn't be very different. Though many advised me not to visit this place for numerous reasons (many reasons being social, many developmental, many others, only a few reasonable) - I chose my work to take priority, and went ahead planning for the visit.

So, the plan finalized; Visa received; hence cometh the date to travel.

We get to know that Friday and Saturday are the weekends in B'desh, so we had to be in the country before Sunday morning, so that we may start our meetings Sunday first thing (like Monday first thing in India). Hence we had to take a Biman Bangladesh (BB) flight (this is the official airline of B'desh). My travel agent double checked with me before finalizing the ticket, suggesting that I should travel a day later, so that I can take a Jet Airways flight, which would reach B'desh Sunday mid-day. In order to save that half day, I overruled and asked him to get the tickets.

So here we were, at Delhi IGI Airport, at 12 noon on Saturday (flight scheduled to take off at 1500 hrs, to reach Dhaka at 1730 hrs). Reached airport, and we don't see at BB counter - on inquiring, we are told that the flight is delayed by a whopping 5 hours. Striving to catch hold of any BB official, we waited for an hour, and then lost hope - went back home, to again come back at 1700 hrs. So, we come back at 1700 hrs, and see a mob standing near BB counter - there are two helpless ladies standing at the counter, trying to help people get their boarding passes. I was amazed to notice that after Raipur airport in India, this was the second place where manual entry was done (imagine, no computers at the counter of BB, to check records!).

So back to the boarding pass queue - a flight of a capacity of 200, and out of them 100+ were Surds! I thought it wasn't to Dhaka, but to Ludhiana. Anyways, 2 hours hence, we get our passes, and we are off to the lounge, and subsequently for the aircraft.

In the aircraft at 2030 hrs, and surprizzze - no air-hostesses! No stewards as well. Wait 30 mins, and we see two stewards coming in,asking everyone to keep quiet. Another amazing thing - person sitting next to me - takes his shoes off - brings out his radio - and we all a part of the melodious thumping Punjabi songs courtesy Jaggy-D and Mika! True, Music has no boundaries!

So the stewards trying to tell everyone to fasten their seat belts, but alas - they don't speak in Punjabi, which most of the junta in the plane understand - so the steward goes out of the place, and calls security to help people with tying their seat belts! Amazing.

Cometh 2200 hrs, and the pilot come in - we fly, at last! (Should I expect any soft drinks to start with, or a 3 course meal? A wine bottle please? Joking?)

The course of the journey refreshed my memories that date back ten years - to the days when Blue line and Red line buses used to ply in Delhi. If I were to say that those buses were better than this journey, THAT would be an understatement as well!

Another key observation - everyone has his own bottle of Scotch handy - flight takes off and the glasses come out. People start drinking as well as hiding. I have never tried to hide as much while cheating/copying in my college exams, as these guys were trying to, from each other. Wonder if people thought drinks will be taken away from them, if caught??

And food in flight - well, don't even talk about it - I couldn't even have half a bite. Thankfully, I had a sandwich at the airport, that kept me alive.

Finally, we land at the airport (how many airports have I seen like this - ufff!), and head for immigration - 0200 hrs, day 2. Another 90 minutes at the immigration/luggage collection, and we are off to our hotel (thankfully the airport pickup by the hotel was patient enough to wait for us all the while).

And at the hotel, when at the reception we told that we came in BB, they were awe-struck! I am not surprised why!

So a journey that started 1200 hrs day 1 from Delhi, ended at 0200 hrs day 2 - time taken from Delhi to NY non-stop 14 hours. Time we took - 14 hours. Cool, not very far. Just yet!

PS: I am here for a few days - so more action awaited!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Run Lola Run


As the name suggests, the movie's all about running (no, not like Tom Hanks in Forrest Gump) - The beauty of the movie is in the details - there are 1581 transitions (edits, dissolves, fades, wipes, etc) in 71 minutes of action (i.e. excluding the credits, and pre-credits sequence). This equates to an Average Shot Length of about 2.7 seconds. Interestingly, if you observe, the editing is relatively slower towards the end of the film. For most contemporary films, the opposite is the norm. This is what makes this movie so unique.

No wonder this one is quoted (arguably) as the best from German cinema till date.

Friday, July 04, 2008

Itsy bitsy

With time passing by, it becomes all the more difficult to stay away from this..

True, it's been a long time now that I was here. Been held up in so many things - a glorified version would say that I have been "making a difference to the society" ;)

Yes, I'm working these days. And working good. Be it arranging Carbon Finance for sustainable technologies, or deal structuring for renewable energy projects - it's all happening. On top of it, talk about making companies and events "Carbon Neutral" - Neutral means offsetting the emissions made by the activity.

The space sure is exciting, and with every passing day, it gives me enough and more evidence that this is where I would want to be!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

"Nice Try" is Worthless

Waiting is a trap. There will always be reasons to wait. The truth is, there are only two things in life, reasons and results, and reasons simply don't count.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Check..

Time: 0100 hours
Mode: A Ford
Down: Spirits (6 Vodkas, 1 Beer & 2 glasses of water!)
Up: Spirits again!
Reading: 130 kmph
Distance traveled: 35 kms
Time taken: 16 minutes

I wonder why, but I tend to condone overspeeding as long as I can reach the destination.
Check! Don't repeat.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Roger that!

I was watching this movie "Rules of Engagement" a few minutes back, and couldn't help but notice how closely it relates to my military school days - the times when everything and anything is related to reason, and circumstantial evidence is hard to come by. The times when we were told to do, what to do - and on top of it, were questioned for the same. Roger that!

Friday, May 02, 2008

aaarrrggghhhh..

A long, long time ago...
I can still remember
How that music used to make me smile.
And I knew if I had my chance
That I could make those people dance
And, maybe, they’d be happy for a while.

..well, it's really been a long long time that I went on the playfield - and today I realized it really has been a long time. Two hours of nets could make me realize what two years of ignorance could not - that time flies by, and one becomes old! In essence, I went to warm my cricketing skills up in the nets today morning, after a cruel gap of four years (last I played Cricket was during our IIMK-IIMB sports meet days I guess, back in 2004). With the first time I rolled the arm over today, got a cramp - second brought a hamstring - third back pain, and the fourth one a ligament tear - well, almost..

Guess will go back to some light routine in next few days, once this pain subsides. And then, some regular stuff.. I swear, this time is for real.

Monday, April 21, 2008

it's nothing...

I tell you everything that is really nothing, and nothing of what is everything, do not be fooled by what I am saying. Please listen carefully and try to hear what I am not saying.

memory cells?

You see every drink of liquor you take kills a thousand brain cells. Now that doesn't much matter because we got billions more. And first the sadness cells die so you smile real big. And then the quiet cells go so you just say everything real loud for no reason at all. That'ok, that's ok because the stupid cells go next, so everything you say is real smart. And finally, come the memory cells. These are tough sons of bitches to kill.

more on golf..

I was watching "The Greatest Game Ever Played", and I can not agree more when I say that it's a gem of a movie. But what I would still say is, "The Legend of Bagger Vance" still stays a masterpiece - a class act. I can watch the movie on and on and on and on.

Having watched Bagger Vance earlier, I sort of preempted all the scenes of the movie - could relay Bagger Vance and Junuh right in front of my eyes, while Eddie was talking to the golfer every now and then. Ahh - gotta watch it again now. Breathtaking. Marvelous. Gold.

Getting Lucky - Part II

Ways to get lucky..?

  • Pay attention to your surroundings; you won’t spot good luck unless you look for it.
  • Strike up conversations with strangers; you might meet the love of your life or make an important business contact.
  • After you meet someone interesting, follow up with an email or a phone call.
  • Stay relaxed, even in pressure situations; it’ll help you be more aware.
  • Vary your routine everyday. Walk on the other side of the street, or try a new lunch joint.
  • Be aggressive about making changes you want. Still thinking about going on a country-wide trip? Just go already.
  • Follow your hunches and gut feelings; many seemingly random occurrences are actually the result of good subconscious decisions.
  • Treat nagging doubts as alarm bells; they’re often right, even if you can’t pinpoint the reason.
  • Expect good fortune; if you think something’s going to happen, you’ll be more likely to spot it when it does.
  • Believe in lucky charms. It doesn't have special powers, but the confidence it gives you is very powerful.
  • Smile. People will smile back, and suddenly you’re off to a good start.
  • Outlast bad luck; often a negative turn of events creates unexpected opportunities for good results.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

You can only get smarter by playing a smarter opponent..
..and the problem is that we have far more opinion than information..

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

The Mystery Girl - Rebecca..



A masterpiece of stylistic contrasts, Rebecca would likely have come apart at the seams but for the relentless intensity of producer Selznick. It is adapted from the reflective, dreamlike novel by Daphne Du Maurier, but directed by the claustrophobic “Master of Suspense” Alfred Hitchcock; it was subject to Selznick’s own uncompromising vision of sweeping grandeur and absolute fidelity to the novel. But somehow these conflicting elements fused as one, to create a first-rate epic romance with a unique, enigmatic texture of its very own.

It’s quite fitting that the central character of ‘Rebecca’ goes unnamed. Rebecca, the character, is the most talked about, admired and hated character in this film but you never see her. You guessed it, she is dead. Her presence/ghost still haunts the walls and rooms of her former home, Mandelay. Her widowed husband Maxim De Winter (Lawrence Olivier) has since remarried a younger, more na├»ve woman (Joan Fontaine) who goes without a name (“hey you”, ”Mrs. De Winter”). Maxim seems to be broken up over the death of Rebecca: he never seems happy, jumps into violent outrages, and almost jumps off a cliff. His young wife is constantly compared to her and constantly falls short. Rebecca was a woman of noble class, intelligent, strong, commanding, and most important breathlessly beautiful. The simple “second Mrs. De Winter” can’t even hold up her own against the brooding Mrs. Danvers, Mandelay’s chief maid. Mrs. Danver’s is a mean, spirited, and somewhat insulted that Maxim would marry under Rebecca’s standards. Her loyalty to Rebecca’s legacy creates a friction between her and the new wife.

Given that this is a Hitchcock movie, nothing is what it seems, obviously. It is a testament to the old master´s technique that the film plays like a supernatural thriller, but the film eventually evolves into a drama and a mystery.

Despite the many forces pulling “Rebecca” in all different directions, the film emerges as a coherent and intriguing whole. It manages to be both sentimental and unvarnished, both fairy tale and thriller, both faithful to the book and a compelling work in its own right. Hundreds of films fall into the “gothic” camp; this is one of the very best –an expansive, captivating classic.

Monday, April 14, 2008

October Sky

"October Sky" is a teen-years biography of a NASA scientist who got his start building rockets in his basement. It is so full of spirit and letter-perfect filmmaking that I defy anyone to watch this movie without getting a tingle in his or her heart.

Thrilling in the best sense of the word, traditional without being corny and with a script, photography and symbolism that could be the basis of a film literature textbook, "October Sky" is a classic in the making. It's just a pity it didn't get Oscar nomination.

The picture stars Jake Gyllenhaal as Homer Hickman, a coal miner's son determined to break away from his assumed destiny following in his father's bleak and dangerous subterranean footsteps. Inspired by the launch of Sputnik in 1957, Homer buddies up to his school's nerd to pick his brain about physics. They eventually garner the curiosity of whole town and get ire of his unsupportive father.

The defining moment in "October Sky" comes half way through the movie when Homer is left to fend for his family after his father is severely injured in the inevitable mine cave-in. Homer sees his dreams dashed and surrenders to the fate his father always had in mind for him. Hard hat on, pick axe on his shoulder, he's about to go down into the tunnels for the first time.

Like the opening shot of "Contact" that takes us on a three-minute tour of the universe to show us just how small we are, a brilliant 60-second sequence summarizes the entire picture in one flawless and powerfully symbolic sequence.

The director knows how to be subtle - Homer's mother spends her spare time painting a mural of a Beach on her drab kitchen wall, which goes almost unnoticed until a bullet pierces the window.

Jake's performance, while overly wide-eyed in the tradition of 1950s-style dreamers, is so easy to rally behind that every time one of his missiles sears into the sky, the audience feels the same rush he feels.

From a film theory point of view, "October Sky" is a a shining example of nearly flawless filmmaking, brilliant in script and execution. But more than that, it proves that a movie can be 100 percent traditional and still be fresh and exciting.

There is so much more I could say about this movie. It's just peppered with both understated and towering cinematic master strokes. But suffice to say, go watch it!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Khuda Kay Liye..

If given a choice between Pakistani movies and Pakistani TV shows/serials, one would settle for the small screen any day.

Cinema in India has undergone a sea change and whether one likes it or not, the harsh fact remains that cinema here is entertainment driven. In that respect, KHUDA KAY LIYE is miles apart.

You really don't take to the film at the outset. For, it takes time to come to the point, but once it does, there's no stopping it. However, there's a flip side as well. A theme like the one depicted in the film is not everyone's cup of tea. Although one does identify with the proceedings, the film is more for the thinking viewer, for those who dissect cinema after watching it, it's a film that sparks off debates and discussions.

One cannot turn eyes away from the fact that Khuda Kay Liye is a well-made film that reaffirms a dangerous fact - the world is only getting more and more divided!

The film depicts the dilemma the well-educated, progressive-thinking and liberal Pakistanis face, post 9/11. The West looks at them as potential terrorists, while fundamentalists frown on them.

The educated and modern Muslims are in a difficult situation because of their approach towards life and their western attire. They are criticized and harassed by the fundamentalists and on the other hand, the western world sees them as potential suspects of terrorism just because of their Muslim names.

The film has two stories running concurrently. The elder brother wants to pursue music as a career and leaves for the U.S. The younger brother is so influenced by the fundamentalists that he turns into an altogether different person completely. The younger brother's story of forcibly marrying a woman, the woman wanting to flee from his clutches but can't, takes you back to the Karisma Kapoor starrer Shakti-The Power. The elder brother's story is novel and deftly executed. In fact, the elder brother's story is heart breaking.

Director knows exactly what he's talking about and has handled several portions with dexterity, especially the penultimate 20 minutes in the courtroom. Only thing is, the chaste Urdu spoken by Naseeruddin Shah is difficult to decipher. Naseeruddin Shah, as always, is awesome.

There can't be a better way to portray such sensitive things with so much ease. The sound track will surely make your emotions flow. I still have one doubt: Whether Muslim people willingly choose the way they lead their life or whether they are the victims of the society and the traditions and the culture in Pakistan.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Golfers paradise


The mind is restless, turbulent, obstinate

and very strong...

To subdue it is...more difficult

than controlling the wind.


Arjuna's observations to Bhagavan

Bhagavad-Gita Chapter 6, Section 34


Bagger Vance, a caddie who helps World War I hero Rannulph Junah find his “authentic” swing on a Savannah golf course in 1931, is one of a kind. More than a helper with a few words of great golf advice, Bagger Vance is a fictionalized version of Bhagavan, the supreme Hindu god. And Rannulph Junah isn’t just a golfer from Savannah, Georgia. He is a fictionalized version of Arjuna, the mortal whom Bhagavan assists in the Hindu scriptural epic, the Bhagavad-Gita.

The 1931 golf match at the Links at Krewe Island between the fictional Junah and two of golf’s greatest legends, Bobby Jones and Walter Hagen, never happened, of course. But the backdrop of The Legend of Bagger Vance is very real. A sensational golf match would have provided folks with a much-needed diversion from the daily grind of Depression-wracked America.

It wasn’t long ago that the idea of golf instantly brought to mind the pot-bellied over-fifty crowd with plaid slacks and two-tone shoes. But even before Tiger Woods swept that image away in the real world, the aura of the game was changing in the movies. When Kevin Costner—playing a hard-drinking club pro who has squandered his talent for the game—gave Renee Russo her memorable hands-on golf lesson in Tin Cup, the idea of the golfer as macho male sex symbol had arrived.

Now, in this Robert Redford movie, Matt Damon steps up to the tee to take on Costner’s role of the prematurely over-the-hill golf genius.

If you give this movie a chance and let yourself be drawn into the tranquil and beguiling scenes of a young man struggling to find his courage and keep his balance in the green arena of the course, you’ll forget the deficiencies of plot and acting and all the rest. It has a lyrical sincerity. It catches the way in which golf takes you away from the preoccupations of daily life and transports you to a world where nature seems simultaneously friendly and indifferent to your plight. It’s a good-hearted movie about a game that never lets you forget that how you hit the ball and read the greens and cope with the hazards tells you something true about yourself.

For the millions who play the game, this movie is compulsory. For the millions more who have wondered why apparently sane people go slightly mad when they head for the fairways, it will help to explain what the madness is all about.

Waterfront?

When I watched "Ghulam" about ten years back, I found the script amazingly refreshing, and the performances were superb. Siddhu (Aamir) could really carry the movie on his shoulders (as he quite normally does these days) - those days, he was just coming out of chocolate-y boy image, and hence to carry off such a persona was breathtaking.

However, when I saw "On The Waterfront" a couple of years later, I was shocked, to say the least. The movie was a rip off. I mean, OTW came many many years ago, and was one of the best performances of Marlon Brando (though I like him most in Godfather, for no reasons at all).

I wonder whether Brando make On the Waterfront great? Or was he just great in it? I watched it yesterday yet again, but still couldn't decide.

And Pigeons - is there something in them that I fail to see? Cinematography is just wonderful, and rightly so, the movie grabbed as many as Eight Oscars! A must watch.

Take this for the starters,
"If I spill, my life ain't worth a nickel."
"And how much is your soul worth if you don't?"
"Which side are you with?"

"Me? I am with me!"
Do you believe that God loves you with all his heart?

Do you feel that God loves you with all his heart?

What's the catch?
"Come here, give me a kiss."
"Why?"
"Because I need it!"

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Casablanca

..and following Notorious, Casablanca is an obvious choice. I know I have office running in the morning, but can't really let Ingrid down by not watching her best performance ever, with Bogey also doing the tricks..

So here's something to relive the moments..

Ilsa: [laughs ironically] With the whole world crumbling, we pick this time to fall in love.
Rick: Yeah, it's pretty bad timing. Where were you, say, ten years ago?
Ilsa: [trying to be cheerful] Ten years ago? Well, let's see...
[remembers, smiles]
Ilsa: Oh, yes, I was having a brace put on my teeth. Where were you?
Rick: Looking for a job...

Notorious

Wonder why Ingrid didn't get an Oscar for playing Alicia in this awesome 1946 Hitchcock movie..and Cary Grant's brilliant, as always.

My favs:

Alicia: Don't ever leave me.
Devlin: You'll never get rid of me again.
Alicia: Never tried to.

___________________________________

Devlin: A man doesn't tell a woman what to do; she tells herself. You almost had me believing in that little hokey-pokey miracle of yours, that a woman like you could change her spots.
Alicia: Oh, you're rotten.
Devlin: That's why I didn't try to stop you. The answer had to come from you.
Alicia: I see. Some kind of love test.
Devlin: That's right.

Friday, April 04, 2008

Smile..

Every time I read this post, I fall on the floor laughing!

Here's something for you to smile, today - "http://abhinav-gupta.blogspot.com/2006/12/peg-by-peg.html"

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Back to normal..

Now that I am back to a streamlined way of living (read going to office, coming back, watching a few movies a day; going to bed on time, waking up early...yes, I said early, going to office again..yaada yaada..), I shall see the facets of corporate life yet again, in a different way.

As of now, it looks interesting; exciting; thought provoking; and above all, asking for lots of hard work. Need to go back to those technical days, when we paid no attention to the profs in class. It does come back!

Monday, March 31, 2008

...it was easier to feel the anger. The anger fueled me, kept the sadness from taking over every ounce of my body. But the anger is no longer here…no longer my confidante, my companion, my ironic solace. I am left with nothing - just hollow - and empty.

The time I spent on myself - really a great help - makes me realize that I should be a part of the journey.

“I don’t want to be a passenger in my own life.” – Diane Ackerman

Monday, March 17, 2008

Alex also says,

Rather than love, than money, than faith, than fame, than fairness... give me truth.
Alex says:

I read somewhere... how important it is in life not necessarily to be strong... but to feel strong.

Step back..

“Fill your bowl to the brim
and it will spill.
Keep sharpening your knife
and it will blunt.
Chase after money and security
and your heart will never unclench.
Care about people’s approval
and you will be their prisoner.

Do your work, then step back.
The only path to serenity.”

- An excerpt from Lao Tzu’s “Tao Te Ching”

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Drafted..

More often than not, I end up creating a draft post, and by the time I think of publishing the post, it becomes outdated, or irrelevant. A friend of mine pointed out to me the other day that my blogging frequency has increased in last two weeks or so. I told him that the frequency is more so the same, but it's just that the published posts have increased multi folds in last few weeks. But when I went back and looked at the stats, I did realize that the drafts are still almost same in number, and hence the activity is on a higher side - conclusion being, I have loads of spare time these days (which, by the way, I won't have very soon - I have plans). I have to figure out what I should do within whatever spare time I have with me, in next few days.. blogging not really helping me enough..

Ignoring calls

Confession -
I have a habit - that of ignoring the phone calls from the numbers I do not recognize.
Usually what happens is, when I am in good mood, I tend to pick up calls from any number, and engage in a warm chat.

On the contrary, when I am not in the best of my spirits, I most definitely decline calls from numbers I do not recognize (read, numbers not saved in my phone address book). And in many cases, I disconnect the calls from my acquaintances too, only to return call at a later stage.

Not to mention, I disconnect calls when I am busy as well, again to call back at a later stage.

And when someone lets the phone ringing, without picking it up, that's a heart breaker!

Got Lucky?

We don’t always recognize making gut-level decisions. So when they result in good fortune, they feel more random than they actually are. Luck is happening all around us, but are we attentive enough to spot it? Here’s a quick look at luck that’s changed loads of things in history. In most cases, it was far from random.

  1. 1895 – As German physicist Wilhelm Rontgen experiments with electron beams, he happens to put his hand in front of the source of radiation. The image of his bones is projected across the room. Rontgen has just invented the x-ray machine.
  2. 1945 – Percy LeBaron Spencer, an engineer at Raytheon, is surprised to discover that radar waves have melted the candy bar in his pocket. Soon after, Raytheon unveils the Radarrange, the world’s first microwave oven.
  3. 1948 – Swiss mountaineer George de Mestral notices how burrs stick to his pants after a walk in the woods. As he examines one of the burrs, an idea strikes. He calls it velours crochet; we know it as velcro.
  4. 1958 – A 12 foot-long, 7,600 pound thermonuclear bomb, 100 times more powerful than what was dropped on Hiroshima, lands off the Georgia coast – just 20 miles from Savannah – after the collision of two military jets. It never detonates.
  5. 1984 – With the second overall draft pick of the NBA draft, the Portland TrailBlazers select Sam Brownie. The Chicago Bulls win six world championships in 8 years with the next pick: Michael Jordan.
  6. 1989 – During a Canadian Football League game, a fan’s image is projected onto the big screen. The crowd cheers so loudly, the young woman, who’s wearing a Labatt’s T-shirt, is escorted to the 50-yard line at halftime. Her name: Pamela Anderson.
  7. 1998 – Pfizer researchers studying gene receptors as a way to ease high blood pressure notice that their male volunteers are becoming, well, excited. Pfizer ends up marketing the pill as Viagra.
  8. 1999 – A customs agent on the US-Canadian border stops a man on gut instinct. Turns out the man is an al-Qaeda terrorist planning to attack Los Angeles International Airport on New Year’s Eve.
  9. 2004 – A cellphone set to trigger an explosion on a busy road in Karachi fails. Pakistani police link the phone to the residence of a top al-Qaeda operative. There, they uncover a plot to blow up US financial institutions.
  10. 2005 – NASA scientists track a 320-meter-wide asteroid flying toward Earth. They give it a 1-in-50 chance of hitting our planet in 2029. Will we get lucky again?

Saturday, March 15, 2008

What to answer..



More often than not, we try to answer wrong issues - if I pick a fight with someone senior at work, maybe I will think that I should leave my firm, because that's the easiest way out from the current uneasy situation. What we tend to avoid, in most of the cases, is to solve the problem from where it began - for instance, maybe I should either try and work around the problem (read, help the other person understand my concern), or else, if there're problems around the former, I should try and prove myself - not by leaving the place but by making sure that everyone gets to know what I am capable of! Leaving the place would be an extreme, which I should think of only if I see no respite at all.

It's not really a matter of what exactly it is that we are going to do, it is more so about what it is that we are trying to answer. And if that problem is that I am not getting my due, it might do me good to make sure that I get it, one way or the other.

Of course, easier said than done..