Its been a hectic week at work and a hectic weekend as well. Some of you wrote to me as to why the blog has gone quiet for a while...so as another monday beckons here goes the latest post...miscellaneous

Go Carting - This was a nice experience. First time I was doing this in India having missed the great Runway9 experience at Hyderabad during my stay at ISB. The track in Bangalore is pretty small and it took me 3 laps to realize that you hardly needed the brakes. The cars were not that great and the steering wheel was a tard too hard for my comfort. Anyways it felt good to go driving after a long time. Although some random driver forced me to the tyre wall once, the drive was pretty neat otherwise.

Hard Rock Cafe - Had heard a lot about HRC Bangalore. I have been to HRC in SanFrancisco and Universal Studios but still wanted to go ahead and experience the one here. It did not disappoint. The decor is old heritage style and the HRC staff was typical HRC - flamboyant and different. Although the Saturday crowd was a bit too subdued than I expected.

Taking of Pelham123 - All you John Travolta fans out there...My suggestion go and watch this movie. It is a remake of a 1974 movie of the same name and although the movie itself is pretty average as a plot, it has rivetting performances by Travolta and Denzel Washington. John Travolta has aged but he still has the screen presence and suave style that made us love him in Pulp Fiction, Broken Arrow, Face Off, Swordfish and others.

Coast to Coast - Went to this nice restaurant in Koramangala serving Konkani food. The spcialty Chicken ghee roast and fish masala were absolutely yummy. It was worth the wait for a Sunday afternoon lunch and made me wonder at the variety of cuisines that India has to offer.

Fisichella shines at Spa - More people must have watched the Belgian GP today than otherwise with all papers carrying the Force India pole position story. While Raikkonen won, Fisichella put in a exceptionl performance to come second and carry Force India name to the F1 podium. It will be interesting to read what Vijay Mallya has to say about this achievement.

Bayern signs on Arjen Robben - Bayern pulled off a star signing and what more instant gratification than 2 goals to steamroll defending champions Wolfsburg 3:0 in the Bundesliga encounter. It will be interesting to see how Ribery and Robben combination lights up the midfield at Bayern both in League and Champions League. Fingers crossed...

So thats pretty much a round up miscellaneous post. Till next time..stay well

Child in Us

I happened to visit a family friend today and they have a baby boy all of 8 months. It is such unbelievable fun to spend time with children. Just watching them look at you and the world around them with their mystic eyes...You stop and wonder the purity in them, the innocence, the curiosity and their ability to respond to love. Andthen you think about yourself...what so many years of existence has made you. I truely believe the child in us always exists but it gets suppressed, spoilt, tormented by the big bad world.

I thought I would dedicate this post to the child in each of us. And what is better than a chant from Enigma (Lyrics below as guide).


(Sanskrit translation:
Who is of smiling face, bestower of all fortunes,
Whose hands are ready to rescue anyone from fear,
Who is adorned by various ornaments with precious stones )

Puer natus est nobis,
Et filius datus est nobis:
Cujus emperium super humerum... for to us a child is born,
(To us a son is given:
And the government will be upon his

Some day you came
And I knew you were the one
You were the rain, you were the sun
But I needed both, cause I needed you.

You were the one
I was dreaming of all my life
When it is dark you are my light
But dont forget
Whos always our guide.

It is the child in us

State-of-the-art Junk

First it was the metro tragedies and now part of the ceiling of the new swanky Delhi IGI airport terminal giving way in a rain of an hour. Some things never change. We tried to make ourselves believe that the government machinery is not equipped to deliver world class infrastructure. We needed Private Public partnership for putting us on the infrastructure superhighway. We got that but the result is out there for us to see. Maybe the infrastructure is getting built faster but the bigger question looms -Is it safer? Is it sustainable?

Actually the issue is not with the public or private. It is with basic lack of accountability. Contracts are awarded but rarely supervised effectively. Deadlines are imposed but the safety measures are blatantly ignored. The legal system is such that if you drag someone to Court it will take years and a lot of money and resources to prove the guilt. Another strange fact is that this particular incident will not get half the media attention and coverage as the fact that SRK was frisked in Newark airport due to computer based security profiling. Talk about priorities....

Anyways I do not mind paying the Rs.300 as airport development charge every time I fly through IGI or BIA or Hyderabad GMR. But when I see the actual reality of the so called "world class" infrastructure, it really pains to part with my hard earned money. I really hope that the much anticipated 2010 Commonwealth games go off without a major display of embarrassment.

And the Winners Today are...

One of the biggest things I miss out here is the availability of good movies to watch. I mean English movies you can still find if you have enough fire in you to search for the store, but world cinema? phewwww....I am a huge movie buff and when I have nothing better to do in life as is the case right now, find this rather irritating.

I really love watching world cinema and am fascinated by the way brilliant directors from diverse countries portray life, society, relationships, customs and most importantly people. The following is a non-comprehensive list of some of the best non-English movies among the long list of ones I have watched. It feels nice recollecting.....

Belle Epoque - Spanish (1992 Oscar winner Best Foreign Language film)
Romantic comedy set in 1930s and a story of a guy who falls in love with four sisters one by one before deciding whom to marry.

Kolja - Czech Republic (1996 Oscar winner Best Foreign Language film)
A touching drama which shows how the life of a middle-aged man is changed forever by a little girl. Sensitive, heartwarming.

Life is Beautiful - Italy (1998 Oscar winner Best Foreign Language film)
One of the most watched of all non-English movies this is a tale of unbelievable heroism and optimism displayed by a dad to insulate his young son from the horrors of holocaust in World War 2 Europe. Must cry movie while watching.

Amores Perros - Mexico (2000 Oscar nominee Best Foreign Language film)
This is the film on which the Mani Ratnam film Yuva is loosely based. The movie starts with an accident and shows us the lives of three protagonists from three different strata of society. Complex, superbly edited, non-linear this movie really transports one to the underbelly of life in Guadalajara, Mexico.

No Man's Land - Bosnia and Herzegovina (2001 Oscar winner Best Foreign Language film)
This is the story of 2 wounded soldiers, Bosnian and a Serb stuck in a trench in the demilitarized zone. Tragic with elements of comedy, it is a story of mental conflict, futility of war, common grounds and deep rooted will to survive.

Nowhere in Africa - Germany (2002 Oscar winner Best Foreign Language film)
This is an epic about a Jewish family who escape to Kenya from Europe to survive the onslaught by Germans during Second World War. Multiple layers of relationships, new life, twists and some sweeping landscapes of Central Africa.

Mar Adentro - Spain (2004 Oscar Winner Best Foreign Language film)
A movie which deals with the controversial topic of Euthanasia and the real life struggle of Ramon Sampedro for this right. Mind boggling performance by Javier Bardem (I became his BIG BIG fan after watching this movie) and wonderful juxtaposition of his free will and his physical disability. One scene where the camera pans from his room, through hills and mountains to the sea - the flight of fantasy of a quadriplegic Ramon is bound to bring tears.

Tsotsi - South Africa (2005 Oscar Winner Best Foreign Language film)
Set in the slums outside Johannesburg, it is the story of a small time thug who steals a car and finds a baby inside. The mental association that develops and how it plays out in his complicated life.

Talk to her - Spain (2003 Golden Globe winner Best Foreign Language film)
Another movie which deals with intricacies of relationships. It deals with intimacy, care, difficulty in communication between partners, secrets, infidelity and love under difficult circumstances. Moving performances and fantastic use of figurative. The scene where a play depicts the real life happenings in the lives of the protagonists is unforgettable.

El Crimen de Padro Amaro - Mexico (2002 Oscar nomination Best Foreign Language film)
Controversial and bold. Depicts the struggle faced by priests between faith, obedience and worldly desires.

Caveat: The above list is my personal preference and should be taken as such.

Hope - Faith

Slipping into what promises to be a very different weekend. Much different than the last one and even more different than the ones before that. Well how life can change....As the latest DOCOMO advertisement says it can literally change in a second..and I(yaah stupid me) am talking weeks...Anyways 4 lines of borrowed poetry to roundoff what has been an emotionally draining week for me...

A glimpse of what our future may hold
A beautiful story waiting to be told
Waking me in the middle of the night
Thinking of your smile my only light

- Unknown

Before I try to get some elusive sleep, here is remembering some of the best times at ISB and my close friend and fellow President Karthik whose birthday happens to be today. Happy Birthday President!!!!

Bulletin Board

If you are a software engineer who has worked in Bangalore ever in your life, you would definitely have heard of the Infosys Bulletin Board. It is the most famous collaborative platform in India (I am pretty sure about this) and can be described in a variety of ways. Its collective intelligence of 25000 smart people, collective queries of 25000 curious souls and collective creativity of 25000 geeks. So what do you do if you are confused about where to go on a weekend, how to get your form notarised, how to search for your dream life partner, how to .... OK enough lets take examples. The following are some of the discussion tracks today from the Infy BB.

Suggestions on buying a guitar
Where to take my wife to honeymoon (BTW who asks this in a public forum..well)
Remembering Rajiv Gandhi
Wishing NRN Happy Birthday
Alliance invited for a Christian Marthomite girl
Alliance invited for a Hindu Lingayat girl
126 Aircraft deal
Y is BB so quiet???

You get the point rite? Everyday at least 1000 messages are exchanged on Infy BB and trust me you will never be bored if you are surfing BB. And in between these glorious pieces of wisdom are some fantastic pieces of creative writing. Take a look at one below....Hats off to Infy BB and its contributors.

Nothing gets more exciting, thrilling and fearsome than to remain on the other side of the door of the Operation theatre, with the RED BULB on.

You guessed it right, she was expecting a baby and he was expecting news.

37 Minutes ago…..


With all the pain in her, he could see her biting her lips and he was holding her head, consoling her, telling her it’s going to be alright. He said it, but he wasn’t sure himself. He was scared. Very scared. Will she make it out of this? Will I see her again?

But he had to pretend strong, the usual way. Men’s worst fears are veiled by the pretense called courage. That’s the man’s strength and weakness.

The six feet stretcher kept streaming through that entire passage 3 metres wide. Patients, people, survivors, dead and injured all around him.

He seriously wouldn’t have expected it to happen today. The gynoec told him it was two days to go. How could she be wrong ? Blood oozing from his wife’s lips. Wipe it now? He didn’t know. These are the moments the brain fails to co-operate with the rest of the body. You know it, but can’t do anything.

She had clutched his hands too tight. He felt a heavy pain. He told himself, not worse then what she is going through.

He felt my fingers going numb. His legs kept moving in the direction of the operation theatre, His hands numb, His brain weaker, Eyes worried. But all these, his face would just not show. He kept smiling at her. It will be okay. It will be alright. He kept telling her. He repeated that again to himself.

She was looking at him. He didn’t know what was going through her mind. She continued. Was he supposed to ask her something? Does she want to say something? The noise that she let out was deafening for him.

“We are standing near the Niagara waterfalls now; the noise is so much that, even if hundred thousand motors were running, you still can’t hear them near this Waterfall… Now… Ladies, will you please be quiet so we can hear the lovely sound of the waterfall? “ ………..

His mind was racing….. A Man’s mind. Even if it is going through all pain, it still wouldn’t impede recollecting a very bad joke, from some old digest.

The white linen wrap over her was slipping; he had to hold the end of the stretcher so tight along with the bed sheet that it doesn’t slip.

His eyes quickly fell on the pretty nurse who was walking across the corridor with a tray full of strangely colored bottles. Fabulous she was. She is. She resembled his favorite actor. He remembered the day, he lied to his wife, going out with his buddies for her movie, reached around 2:00 AM in the morning, told his wife, “ Hectic day, sorry sweets…., Did you have your dinner ? “

He firmly moved his eyes off her, as she crossed the short path through the side of the flexi door to exit. He looked at the door again. She’s gone.

He could notice the drop of tears running in succession from the left corner of her eye. Her face was terrified; he could smell and sense horror. He wanted to wipe her tears, but just couldn’t. She held his right hand firm and tight. Won’t somebody help her? He looked around.

Careless attendants were walking, talking and listening to cricket scores over the small transistor radio. The attendant squealed, “S#$*! Sachin, again out on 99 ! “ , Run out !!!

He was cursing Sachin now, “How could he get so careless when he is just a run away from 1oo? “. Such irresponsibility. Who’s gonna come next? Dhoni, Yuvraj Singh, Pathan ? Sehwag is no use anyway…

The sound from the transistor faded now. He was staring at his sweetheart, she was still moaning. Now, he could see more blood from her lips.. Oozing. Someone, please wipe them off … His heart kept sinking. He quickly kissed her on her forehead; he didn’t know why he did that. But, he did it. She could hardly smile; she let out, a very weak and dry smile even in that terrible pain.

As he was struggling to wipe her tears, he could see one nurse piercing a needle through a hand. The syringe she withdrew now was filled with something that appeared like……. BLOOD. He saw blood trickling down the hands of the lady lying on the bed. He was about to fall, faint. He quickly withdrew consciousness.

It seemed Maroon in color, why do they call it Red Blood, then? Strange. Human mind is so fanatical. It still can afford to think ill logic in distress hours !

They were now near the door. The attendant from inside the room, made a screeching noise and opened the door. A small mouse, escaped through the door. He shockingly jumped up in the air. God, are they gonna take her inside THIS room? What was the rat running away from? Is there a CAT inside the room too? Even with seconds in his hand, before she was gone inside that room, he was searching for the cat inside.

The room inside was nauseating. Medicines, Bottles, Blood, Forceps, Scissors, Oxygen pipes and things he never saw before… Masked human beings! Does he know them? Who should he blame and curse tomorrow, if something happened today? He could hardly see them.

Yeah, I see, he told himself. One stout nurse, one slim one with a scissor in her hand, one attendant with a tray, one tall person, average height, green mask ! Ha! That’s enough! He consoled himself.

They now pushed him out of the room… “Sir, you must go now, please wait outside “, he tried to fight with them. She was now raising her head slowly and waving for him to come. The green masked person beckoned him to step closer. He ran towards the stretcher. She held his hand and he was close to her now.

He could hear her whisper. He thought he heard her say, “Don’t leave me”! What should he say now? “You stupid lady, you are the one who is in trouble, don’t you realize? “ or ……. He didn’t think any further, he kissed her again. He didn’t think at all. He didn’t say anything. He couldn’t. He had to leave. The attender now held his hand and he was out of the room.

He was pushed out. “ Hei, buddy, I am her husband !!!! “ he shouted. He shrugged. Doors closed. People in the corridor were staring at him. He could see a picture of a child hanging on the wall… one note was written on it… “ Shhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh” !!!!!!


Seconds seemed like years.

RED BULB did not glow anymore. GREEN. He was impatient. The nurse came out and she led him inside.

What’s that pink stuff inside the white cloth next to his wife? What is it? He was restless. It moved. He was scared. He was very scared. His Wife now smiled at him.

He stepped inch on inch. He was now right next to the bed. There in the bed was the prettiest woman he had ever seen in his life and there ever could be. He never felt and saw her so beautiful. Ever. She seemed so, now.

Her left hand, gently moved over the white linen that was next to her. Nothing on this earth would have made him more heavenly than this moment. He grabbed the towel, it felt heavier now.

He saw now, crystal … IT’s a GIRL !!

What exactly happened between 9:16 and 9:53 AM?

Anything that you might want to read, will either turn out to be a spoiler or an exaggeration.

I suffer from inabilities in not being able to express the true emotions of a Father, whose heart beats for his loving wife and kid, and that of a Mother, whose feelings I cannot express.


Radio Taxi

So here goes the story....

It was just another day at work for Rakesh. He loved his job of being the driver of a radio taxi in Delhi. It gave him the financial stability, flexibility of working hours and most importantly the time to pursue his passion of playing the guitar. He was happily married with two kids and life was going pretty good.

The time that night was 11:30 AM and he was wondering if he should go home or bid for another pickup. The dashboard on his cab glowed. A trip from South Delhi to Gurgaon appeared for auction. This was not too bad and he was infact close to the pickup point. This trip would also mean he could take it off early and go for his guitar practice with his group for the upcoming performance. He pressed for the bid and yess he got it.

The pickup itself was eventful. Five people forced themselves inside the car - 3 girls and 2 guys. They were totally sloshed and told him in no uncertain terms that all five would have to be accommodated. They also offered a huge tip for the favour. Rakesh thought of objecting but then he felt it would create more of a fuss than good. It was not a battle he wanted to fight at that hour. He had seen the night life of Delhi and detested these kids of rich parents who lose control of themselves. His passengers were very loud but that did no affect Rakesh. He kept thinking of his daughter who will travel to US to study medicine. While on one hand, he was a proud father on the other hand he hated the fact that his daughter would have to go so far away from him. He always thought that daughter is his till she is married. Yaah he would find a nice guy for her and get her married in style. Lost in the thoughts he had already driven into Gurgaon.

They asked him to go from one place to another in Gurgaon to drop people off at their homes one by one and soon there were only 2 of them left. Two girls probably in their early to mid twenties. They told him the next place to drop and he heard the girl sitting in the front seat comment "What about him? He is good". The words did not register with Rakesh until 10 minutes later. The girl in the rear seat shouted all of a sudden to stop the car since she needed to have a smoke. He looked at the rear view mirror at her and what he saw shocked him. The girl had taken all her clothes off and looking straight at him. Rakesh felt his grip on the steering loosen for a second. But he recovered and said curtly that he could not stop since it was an extremely deserted place. Hearing this, both the girls got livid and told him chillingly that he has no option. Either he stops or they tear their clothes up and shout for help. Rakesh slammed the brakes hard and the Logan came to a grinding halt in the dark road. For a second it was all quiet. All he could hear was the sound of crickets.

Then one of the girls spoke up and said that he needed to satisfy them physically right then and there else they would impose rape charges on him. Rakesh could feel a chill flow down his spine. He was a righteous man and he could almost see the picture of him on the headlines next morning. How would his wife deal with it? How would his kids who loved and respected him come to terms with such a horrific allegation. His neighbours, people he knew...everything he had built up over the last 40 years of his life...all would be gone in an instant. He was just helpless...He felt two pairs of eyes glued on him as these thoughts kept spinning. He said he needed 2 mins for a phone call. And of all people he called his wife up. He explained to her the situation and pleaded her for help. Very few people would have probably called their wives but Rakesh loved his wife and she had always been the rock solid support in his life. The phone was silent for a minute and then his wife said........

That night left an indelible mark on Rakesh. The excruciating pain of doing something to save his social respect, his dignity, his family and life almost killed his sense of self-respect. He started hating himself and his self esteem went for a toss which took years to recover. His wife stood by him through the entire ordeal and was as bold and practical as she was that night. It was a trauma which even when he recounts, you can see the pain in his eyes. Today he just thinks about it and wonders where we are as a society and what values and morals parents are imparting to their kids. Were those girls not from a respectable family? They were his daughter's age for God's sake...And then again what is respectable? The only solace for him is that his son and daughter are as loving and close to family as ever.

PS: This is based on a true story


I sat at the airport feeling down. Looking out of the glass panes I could clearly see the runway. The frentic activity as the flights were being prepared for flying to their next destination. I have always been enchanted by airports. The fact that they offer the fastest form of travel between places and forms the bridge between two individuals, between friends, between families in the dispersed global world today fascinates me. It had been 4 extremely hectic days with lot happening in life. Meeting old friends,new friend, having fun, spending time with them was all wonderful. Yet I felt a strange feeling inside me. A feeling of pain...a feeling of longingness...A feeling that I dont know when I will meet them next, when I would be able to spend such wonderful times again.

Some places are special and are etched in your memories for ever. In my case the places like Oh Calcutta (Nehru Place)where I had 3 wonderful meals in 4 days, Saket Select City Walk where I spent an entire day with a friend watching movies and doing nothing, CR Park Kalibari grass lawns where I sat for close to an hour on Janmashtami evening. Every city has its charm and Delhi was no different. But I guess what makes every city special are the friends you have and the people you spend your time with. I think those special moments stay with us more than anything else. My first visit to Delhi proved to be as charming as I could possiby expect. As my Jet airways flight took off in the evening sky, I looked down at the sprawling capital city and said to myself....Adios...but I have a feeling that I will be back again soon.

Stereotypes and Getting Real

Is our life unique or is it stereotypical? This is a question that has intrigued me often. As time has elapsed, I have become more and more convinced that many of us view our lives in a stereotypical way. And its not unexplained phenomenon. It starts as early as 4 years when the child gets admitted to school. The kid is taught the rights and wrongs and also the stereotypes of the society - scoring good marks in school means intelligence, studying more means better results, parents pedigree means kids need to follow footsteps and so on and so forth. The list is endless but you get what I meant.

Then through the teens, a person starts stereotyping their personal lives. TV, movies, novels, even newspapers and friends all play an active part in shaping it up. The do and the donts...the idea of the perfect guy....the stereotype of the sensitive boyfriend. The stereotype of "being in a relation" is "cool" and those who are not being a bunch of losers. Stereotypes of "being in love"....Stereotype of the dream match....Stereotypes of the perfect guy proposing and the girl saying "Yes" with tearful eyes.

Stereotypes do not end at marriage. They are really part of us and move on along with us in each of our endeavours. But I want to just stop and ask myself. Should we really live our life within the boundaries of stereotypes? Do we want to be judgemental and anticipative influenced by our stereotypes. Do we want to perceive people, relationships based on stereotypes? Say if it says "To love someone takes 394 days 43 hours 15 minutes." Will we wait for the time to check if we love someone? "If something appears too good to be true, it is not true". Should we just believe in it or should we try to verify it ourselves? I just think that the world is a strange place inhabited by all sorts of people. And that probably makes it a more exciting place. Stereotypes are there ingrained in each of us. But it is up to us to get real. It is up to us to decide what is right, what is wrong, what is good, what is bad and what is ideal. Trust me that way this world will be a much better place for everyone.

Philosophy Revisited

Life comes a full circle. According to Hindu mythology this full cycle comes either in one lifetime or in multiple...but the fact of the matter is that it does. As I stand today at one of the most fluid phases of my life, I wonder if indeed I can see things repeating from my past...only this time circumstances and my feelings towards them is different.

Work - When I first started work after my engineering, I really did not have much to do. I remember going to work and being upset about the fact I was not contributing. Now 7 years later, faced with same situation, I know that its a temporary lull before the storm that awaits me. I left my first job in 3 months due to this frustration of not working and now I am enjoying the 3 months of honeymoon period.

Travel Abroad - Before I had travelled to US, this was definitely one of the top must-do things in my life. I craved for it and was extremely happy to have finally made the first trip in 2004. Now as I stand on the verge of filing a US visa again, I dont feel a thing. Infact I am not at all bothered by the time it will take. I am more like things will take their own time.

Personal Life - All I have to say here is that no matter how much you try to fit the wrong cap on the bottle it wont fit and jump out.Yet the right one seems to fit in quite effortlessly. Common sense but then who said that common sense is common.

Right and Wrong - This is a broad bucket under which would like to classify all my general perspectives of what I historically considered right and wrong. As days have passed, I have seen that faced with similar circumstances and issues, I am more considerate, more holistic and more insightful. I understand that a lot of times right and wrong depends on the viewpoint.And there exists a lot of issues which are in the shades of gray. Seeing life, cultures, societies and people in general helps.

Anyways enough of this philosophy - some updates from my life

ISB Alumni Meet (Bangalore Chapter) - This was really nice and happened at Geoffrey's in Bangalore. The dean had come down and it was a great opportunity to meet people from our batch as well as from earlier batches. Wonderful evening.

Phoenix - Seems this is the place where I might have to relocate. Having flown through Sky Harbor International multiple times, I liked looking at the sight of the imposing city on the northern fringes of the Great Sonoran desert when the flight takes a sweeping turn before landing. Now the feeling of having to stay where the average temperature is more than 40 degrees in the summers is slowly sinking in.

Infosys - A lot of debate as to whether the CISF commando deployment at Infy campus was a step in the right direction. Whether a company should pay for security from the government when it should be the duty of the state. I agree with concerns from many corners that many of the smaller companies would not be in a position to afford this security cover. But one needs to be cognizant of the fact that with the law prohibiting non-government forces from operating any automatic weapons, the private security is reduced to sitting ducks if a horrible attack does happen. With around 20,000 people in the picturesque campus in Bangalore, Infy is the showcase of the might of Indian IT and this deployment will go a long way to send a positive signal to clients and businesses across the world that India Inc is protected.