May 30, 2010

Who is Driving ?

There is a saying in my Mother tongue - Tamil which goes like this. மனம் ஒரு கொரங்கு. It means that our mind is like a Monkey. Or at least, let's assume that my mind is like one.  It keeps on pondering over something. All the time. Even during driving !
That's what i am going to write about. When i drive, if there is less traffic, my mind is outta driving. I start think about something else. Whether i should have bought the bike that just swift past me or whether the uncle speeding next to me will ever polish his soiled shoe or i will be calculating my mileage. Here speaks my mind...
"The mile-meter is at 183 when it came to reserve and i fueled a liter at 189. Now that my bike again came to reserve at 240, what is my mileage ? 240-183...40 + 17...Oh Shit...57 is my mileage. That's a shocking stat for Splendor+ standards.
And while doing this complicated math, i realized that i crossed the U-turn on my way. When did i cross it ? I had no idea what i was doing on the road during my thought-process minutes. I tell myself, Focus on the road you idiot. You will get hit. My mind is all Driving after that. Especially when there is congestion all over, i noticed that I focus only on sneaking through the traffic.
So it's interesting to see how the thought-process evokes based on the traffic. My Friend Sam told me about conscious and Sub-conscious. 
Though your conscious is only on the mileage math, the sub-conscious, something which the conscious isn't aware of, Drives ! It knows the route you commute. This will not possibly happen if you are going somewhere you haven't been before !
I'm not that good at psychology. This is puzzling me. How is my physical manages control the journey  without my knowledge ? If you know about this, please tell me. Who is Driving ? or What is Driving ?

May 20, 2010

[Book] One Night @ the Call Center

The second book of Chetan is as fun-filled as his first, but there are some serious trepidations i noticed during my way to the 276th page. Here are my observations.
  • Still wondering why the author left a request to note down certain things @ the beginning ? It doesn't ring a bell to me !
  • Surprised to see the author providing a prologue on the reason behind writing the book. There is always a special reason/moment that inspires every author to embark upon the subject. It's interesting to see that he got a story of a night in a night ! I mean the story of One night at a call center in one night's train journey !
  • Beguiled by the Author's humorousness. There are umpteen sentences that stimulated a smile. Well done Chetan, your articulations are awesome & aspiring ;-)
  • And congrats to the author for making an attempt to articulate one single night in 275 pages ! Slightly boring, when compared to FPS, but worth reading once !
  • Shocked to see the Author's blatancy in assailing Americans. How can someone so publicly boo a countrymen ? How can he say they are stupids ? How Americans will feel when they read this book ? Is there an equivalent book by an American that writes Indians are insane?
  • Heart-broken when i realized that the Majority of Indian Youth's talent are wasted by dumping them into designations that aren't  worth devoting time. Youth are our real strength. How can we waste their potential for just answering phone calls ? That too, for another country ?
  • Molestation of Modeling aspirants - heard about it. But reading about it for the first time. This is inhumanity at it's insane best. I feel downhearted for those women.
  • Are such morons really exist by the name of Managers ? I feel like this Manager character looks hyperbolical to me. All the 7 Managers i have worked under during my career are Gem of a Gentlemen. I guess i am lucky and gifted !
  • His management jargons really rolled me over the floor. Those Strategic Variables...Rightsizing....Apples-to-Oranges....Pertinent Insights....They are all fun...especially when 'VRoom' responds/reacts to it. I liked his character than the lead roles...reminded me more of the Ryan character (in the Author's previous book - FPS).
  • I cannot accept the 'God-on-the-Phone' philosophy. Just couldn't digest it. It's a Book. A Story. I accept everything but still, that part could been handled better !
  • Obscenity is all over the book. Probably, the author decided that his readers are 18-24 type and choose such an articulation style. Anyway, it's a Fun-to-read book and i enjoyed reading it ;-)

The 'She' Next Door

She is resplendent. Her stare is as shining as the sun when it sets in the sea. Ahhh....those beautiful eyes....and her will die in desperation....Her hair, Summer-short, yet shining...Sometimes, she comes to our home....She likes being with us....Brings along with her a big-bucket full of happiness and a stunning smile that illuminates the house in entirety.
Always wears a T-Shirt and a short skirt or a petite trouser. Slightly chubby yet charming. Lazy. Otiose. An example of innocence at it's extreme best. She always likes to stay with us on weekends. Though her Mom is our house owner, it's still a dime a dozen for us. We just had a ball !
But these days, she is not around. Her mom is preparing her for an interview it seems. Yesterday, as luck might have it, i got a chance to listen to her, preparing for interview on D-Day. Her mom was  busy stuffing an almost rotten-roti into her throat but she is even more busy in making a desperate attempt to recall the answers to an important question. She seems tense as it appears to be the FIRST interview of her life. I peeped across the window as she spills it out, one by one. A...B.......C.....

May 14, 2010

From a Minuscule Mind

I often think of few ideas but did not even jot them...So this post is an effort to persist all of  them,.  I already posted this blog in another place for a different purpose but this one is different. Every time i think of something, i will remember it and add to this list of My Ideas. Here i bring my five cents to the table. Few ideas that ignited my minuscule mind. I later found that most of them already ringed a bell in someone else's mind too - long back !

May 11, 2010

The Rise, The Fall

The story of Lalit Modi in today's Mumbai Mirror is here - as good as any james hadley chase novel.
From the clubby world of south Delhi to a Bel Air home...From black sheep to babalog...
The Lalit Modi story. Uncut.

By Kunal Pradhan
Lalit Modi's old-time acquaintances recall a celebratory evening in the winter of 1991, his brother Samir's wedding to Shivani Gupta, the daughter of Delton Cables family, at the Taj Mahal Hotel on Delhi's Man Singh Road.
The hotel was decked up, the city's swish set had turned up in all its finery, and the singing and dancing was in full flow. The baraat, however, wouldn't move; delaying it was KK Modi's elder son Lalit, to the point that his mother Bina had to chide him to speed things up. Lalit Modi responded with an explosion of anger, screaming at Bina in front of the guests.
"We were all stunned by the way he spoke to his mother. He was always rude and arrogant -- quite different from the others in the Modi family," a guest who had attended the wedding said on condition of anonymity.
The short temper has remained one of his defining traits over the years and may explain why the man who was labelled India's most charismatic sports entrepreneur till last month now finds himself the midst of a multi-agency probe, his brand equity tarnished, and that old moniker of black sheep returning to haunt him.
With talk of malfeasance and profiteering becoming common currency, this newspaper can reveal that the intelligence agencies are putting together a dossier on IPL commissioner Lalit Modi, 46.
In Delhi, in the rarefied circles at Prithviraj Road and Ashok Road, and Jorbagh and Maharani Bagh, the whisper is about KK Modi's son's uber extravagant lifestyle comprising a private Lear jet that plies like a taxi, holidays on the Italian Riviera, new year breaks in Mexico at Jimmy Goldsmith's home, the rented mansion in Bel Air and finally, Modi's proximity to Christina and Steve Schwarzman, co-founder of the alternative asset management company Blackstone that specialises in private equity, real estate and investment strategies.
What sets Modi apart from your regular rich is that it can easily be preceded by the descriptor favourite of the tabloids: filthy. Modi's extravagance stands out for crossing the line between opulent and blatant.

Over a series of conversations with Lalit Modi's old acquaintances, some family members and colleagues, we piece together a story that takes us back to a time when only a handful were genuinely rich, when bonds were forged on the wide roads of Central Delhi and strengthened every summer on the streets of Central London, when everyone knew everything about everybody else in the top tier of Indian high-society.
Wedding bells
While the Modi family under the leadership of patriarch KK Modi was flourishing in India as their company Godfrey Phillips went on to be become India's number two tobacco company, in Nigeria, Pessu Aswani had set up a booming business, dividing his time between Lagos and London. His good friend Murli Chellaram was also part of the prospering Indian diaspora in Africa. Years later, Aswani's daughter Kavita would marry Chellaram's son Suresh.
But it was Aswani's other girl, Minal, who led a more interesting life. She married a high-flying professional Jack Sagrani, who lived in Nigeria, London and finally worked in Saudi Arabia for Inlaks, owned by Indoo and Lakshmi Shivdasani. While Minal was pregnant, Sagrani was caught in a scam and jailed in Saudi Arabia for several months. He was unable to visit his wife even when she delivered their daughter Karima in London.
After Sagrani and Minal parted ways, she stayed in the Gulf for a few years before finally moving to Delhi, where she was a frequent resident at her friend Bina Modi's house at A-1, Maharani Bagh. This was few years after Minal and Bina's son Lalit had returned from the United States after being convicted in a drugs and assault charge. Lalit's return had been facilitated by some of his father's friends -- leading businessmen Jens Howalt and VL Gregory, owner of Alexander's Department Store Robin Farkas, and billionaire Leonard Lauder, until recently the head of cosmetics giant Estee Lauder.
Minal and Lalit's courtship began at the Maharani Bagh home... creating a storm

Minal and Lalit's courtship began at the Maharani Bagh home, and the two sprang a surprise a few months later by expressing the desire to marry each other. Their declaration of love led to one of the biggest commotions the Modis have ever witnessed. While Bina Modi felt betrayed by her friend for allegedly luring her son, who was ten years her junior, into a profitable marriage, KK Modi told Lalit that he would not give his consent for the marriage.
After days of negotiations, angry outbursts and threats, sources say that Lalit finally had his way. Permission was granted for the wedding (which took place on October 17, 1991), a maintenance allowance was promised by the family, and Lalit was included in the Godfrey Phillips as a director. "Lalit said he would create a scandal if the marriage was not agreed to. The Modis were left with no choice," said a family friend.
Mumbai move
Since Lalit and Minal's wedding had caused such a stir in the social circle in Delhi, the new bride soon discovered that she didn't have much company because not too many of her childhood friends were very forthcoming.
The couple decided to move to Mumbai, where they first lived in KK Modi's flat at Sterling Apartments on Pedder Road. However, by the time Lalit's family grew -- son Ruchir and daughter Aliya joined step-daughter Karima Sagrani -- they had first rented, and then bought Minal's father's house in Juhu, which was rented out for film shootings until they moved in.
This house, where the Modis lived for more than ten years, caught fire in December last year and is currently under repairs. There have been some allegations of arson for claim of insurance money, but so far they remain unsubstantiated.
Modi launched Modi Entertainment from a plush sea-facing office at Bandra Bandstand. He was instrumental in getting ESPN to India. He started a lottery and briefly tied-up with Disney. However, though they were pioneering ventures, none of them really matched Modi's ambition, and Modi usually parted with his partners having burnt bridges.
Lalit knew Raje though her school friend Bina Kilachand, who had moved to Jaipur with her
The turn around
While he was living in Mumbai, sources said he continued to receive a maintenance allowance from his father's company as his own businesses failed consistently. Things started to turn around, however, once Lalit's friend Vasundhara Raje took over as Chief Minister of Rajasthan in 2003.

Lalit knew Raje through her school friend Bina Kilachand, who had moved to Jaipur with her. Lalit Modi followed soon after, hoping his proximity to the CM would help him set up a profitable business. Soon after he shifted to Jaipur, Raje and Kilachand allegedly had a big falling out but Lalit stayed back as one of Vasundhara's closest allies, and his reputation as an alleged wheeler-dealer started to grow.
While in Jaipur, he not only took over the cricket establishment using a legislation which brought the state cricket association under the purview of government, but also created a storm for his alleged involvement in the sale of some heritage havelis. This is now under probe.

Modi's fortune further escalated after he entered the Board of Control for Cricket in India representing Rajasthan-- first as a dealer who helped the Pawar group defeat Jagmohan Dalmiya -- and then as a money-making whiz kid who finally came good business-wise. The BCCI's profits soared over a billion USD in 2006 with Modi in its midst. Two years later his brainchild, the IPL, took cricket's economics to a different level.
Family ties
Lalit Modi's family and friends, most of whom have already featured in this article, are an integral part of the IPL. Minal's sister Kavita is married to Suresh Chellaram who owns a majority share in the Rajasthan Royals franchise which incidentally had the lowest bid amount at the auction in 2008.

Lalit's step-daughter Karima is married to Gaurav, son of Monica and Vivek Burman of the Dabur group. The marriage caused a stir in the Burman family similar to the one in the Modi family when Lalit and Minal tied the knot.

The Burmans have since distanced themselves from Gaurav, who first lived in London but now stays in a disputed four-bedroom flat on Sir Pochkhanawala Road, Worli, rented for Rs 600 a month by Godfrey Philips from a Parsi trust.

Gaurav is a stakeholder in Global Cricket Venture, a firm that has the digital, mobile and internet rights of the IPL. His brother Mohit Burman is a co-owner in Kings XI Punjab, which he owns as part of the consortium consisting of his childhood friends Karan Paul and Ness Wadia, and Wadia's ex-girlfriend Preity Zinta. The franchise, however, is up for sale now.

BCCI officials say that Modi did not disclose any of these relationships with franchise stakeholders at the time of the bidding for the first eight IPL teams.

One of the owners of Kolkata Knight Riders is also an old friend of Lalit Modi's. Jay Mehta, son of Mahinder Mehta, who owned Saurashtra Cements, and Lalit are childhood buddies.

Luxe lifestyle

Those in the know reveal several details about how Modi's lifestyle has changed over the last three years. To start with, he has been going on lavish holidays to the most exotic destinations in the world. In the Italian Riviera, he allegedly rented a boat in which he invited several friends from India, including some senior politicians.

The Modis have also been spending the Christmas vacations in Phuket's Aman Resort for the last few seasons with friends and family. In 2008-09, they allegedly went to Mexico, where they rented Jimmy Goldsmith's home. Goldsmith was the billionaire father of Imran Khan's ex-wife Jemima.

Around that time, Minal Modi was diagnosed with breast cancer and Lalit rented a house in Bel Air, one of Los Angeles's poshest suburbs, for stay during her treatment. Karima and Gaurav Burman also stayed there until Minal bounced back from the illness.

Aside from this spending, it is his private jet, which he uses for most of his travel needs these days -- including the IPL match in Dharamshala and the ICC meeting in Dubai recently -- that has come under special scrutiny. Not only because it raises aspersions of unexplained assets but because the aircraft has become a bit of a joke in his social circle.

"Is it a plane or a taxi?" asked one source. "Private jets are usually used judiciously, even by the biggest industrialists. They are for work, not pleasure, and they're supposed to help by getting you to far-off places quickly. No one, except Lalit Modi these days, uses it as a replacement for all other means of transport," the source added.

The word is that Lalit Modi's extravagance is a retaliation for all the years when he was looked down upon by other families in their social circle. "It was in his nature to be loud, but he never got a chance," a source said. "The only problem is that overdoing things has got him in trouble now."

Modi's extravagance is a retaliation for all the years he was looked down upon!!


May 6, 2010

Cloud Computing Introduction

This wave has not yet calmed. What is Cloud computing ? Everyone is trying to understand what this technology is all about. The following 2 minute video will give you a good overview.

May 5, 2010

Sachin Tendulkar starts Tweeting !

What a time to join twitter ? I praised myself. A week back i joined twitter and to my surprise, my hero joins Twitter. I first did not recognize it when my friend Karthik texted me, "God in twitter. Really cool". Then i asked him again and heard the good news. Sachin_rt is how he registered himself. As the actual names sachin, sachintendulkar, srt - are already taken by his fans.Don't ask me where it was published. Ask where it was Not. I mean, every possible News channels, social forumns, blogs started echoing it. He started with the following tweet.
Finally the original SRT is on twitter n the first thing I'd like to do is wish my colleagues the best in the windies,
And his bio is simple yet striking. Proud Indian, it said. It seems like he owns a Blackberry mobile and tweets from it. In 20 hours, 65,000 started following him. This will impact the twitter traffic tantalizingly. I just noticed the followers count minute by minute. I click the refresh button, booom - 200+. One more refresh - again 200+. I don't think anyone else in the whole world might have got this popular. The highest followers count is for Ashton Kutcher (4,850,653 followers). I think, Sachin will easily cross him in less than a month ;-)
The two images below, shows how fast & fascinating is the rate of increase in his followers count.

Now the good part of it, his fans feels closer to him. They get to know what he is doing everyday.  I saw some fan comments saying, "Wow...I am following SRT...Feels great...". Same for me. Every Die hard fan has the same passion. His one line, "All the best to my team in windies" will inspire every single player in the Indian team competing in the Caribbean now. Every tweet will now become news headlines on TV channels. How is his injury. And all. He said abt his friends also. Like this one.  Sehwag has become father of another baby boy. Even he discloses unseen pictures of him. Like the one he uploaded below.

Sachin, if you are reading this, A biiiiiiiiig thank you from all of us.......

May 1, 2010

Deepika Padukone in Sony Cybershot AD

What a style?!, I was amazed by her aggression. Wowed by her walk. How can someone manage to impress so much in less than a minute ?! It's Deepika Padukone's 30 second walk to a ramp in a Television commercial. It was for the recently released camera model - SONY Cybershot TVC.
I don't really spend much time on fashion shows & ramp walks as i am not that interested in clothes & cosmetics. Who will spend time to watch those walks? Even we can't afford those apparels. But this 30-second ad gave me a second thought. The video embedded below is a longer version of the ad i saw. This one is around a minute but that actual one they show on TV was less than 30 seconds & was even better than this.

Also there is another one minute video on the making of this commercial, if you are interested. What i liked most in this ad was the way she unpacks her hair before starting for the walk and the aggressive here-i-come style of a walk to the stage and finally, taking that camera out for a 270 degree shot, it's just perfect!
Deepika Poshly Padukone, you Rock !

URL Shortening for Twitter Folks

I just joined Twitter. I do have a blog to convey my thoughts but sometimes, all i want to leave is a line or 2. I don't need a dedicated blog post for that. So, I joined the micro-blogging Twitter wave finally. Now i logged in to twitter to leave the below 2 liner.
A class in a school was asked, "Whom you want to be ?". One of them said, I Want to be a T V : Read Why:
Now the problem is, i exceeded the 140 character limit by 40 ! "Ouch.....Idiot..This is not a blogger compose menu to elaborate essays", i told myself...

Have you exceeded like this before ? Especially when you are leaving a Link/URL that occupies most of your message ? Don't worry. There are FREE URL Shortening services available. One of the best team in the business is

You can go to this website, enter the actual URL and they will shorten it for you in less than 10-12 characters and see your tweet qualifying for the 140-char deadline !
A class in a school was asked, "Whom you want to be ?". One of them said, I Want to be a T V : Read Why:

Happy Tweeting fellas.....

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