Searching for Activity!

Vinay Krithik gaping at Nature's gifts on display at Totos!

Thats my classmate Vinay on the left, and your's truly on the right. He seems to be an ideal foil, in terms of having the interest to roam around Mumbai on the local trains. Both of us are trying to involve ourselves in some learning activity or some form of entertainment post office hours. We have been debating, but havent really got into action. A couple of things we thought would be to see Theatre plays at NCPA, catch the usual flicks at Theatres, learn French/Spanish, get into some creative workshop or make quick trips around Mumbai. I mildly kicked things off last week, I made a quick and dirty trip to Daman(the place you would have last heard in class 3 geography). Vinay couldnt come for the trip, but Logi came for that crazy night trip. Will post more on that in the coming week.

It feels good to pro actively involve onself in some activty than living a mechanical and mundane life catching the crowded local trains back home!
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Mulling over Club Mahindra

For the past 2 months, the sales team at Club Mahindra has patiently asked me for appointments and I somehow was not in a frame of mind to talk numbers and sign a cheque for them. They called me again last week, and we agreed meeting on saturday evening. The guy who came to meet me, forgot his laptop charger, so we decided to just talk over some sheets and pictures. In a way that was good, as he could have easily made me melt with his pictures and Club Mahindra does look attractive for famly holidaying over the years, but the only thing holding me back is the guilt list of places, that I have built over time collecting travel magazines. Club Mahindra has expanded to 23 locations in India and have some of the best properties, but still there are so many more hotels that are there waiting to be explored all over the world.

Its a tough choice to make. Club Mahindra does have RCI affilation, which allowes members to get to other hotels at a much lower cost than if one were to go on our own. Right now, I really dont care about facilities at places where I stay. I would gladly sleep near the toilet in an unreserved compartment, stay at a lonely beach shack for 50 bucks, walk mountains with luggage on...but once marriage/family comes in, it could be a different ball game.

I would use the better part of the fortnight to talk to members, and people who have used this to understand the actual money spent on holidays as a member( includes EMI, Maintenance cost, travel, food etc). Some more careful back of the envelope calculations would reveal whether I sign a cheque for them, or invest my money in "Impulse" holidays (the way I generally holiday).

Being a hardcore fan of a move like THE BEACH,signing up for a holiday timeshare is a little hard to digest!



Trying hard

  • to get some order into life(predictability)
  • to wash clothes on time
  • to wash them much cleaner
  • to get up when the alarm rings and not pass it off as a song playing in my mobile.
  • to go to the swimming pool and gymn in my apartment complex
  • to enjoy food and get a 'mmm' and 'wow' experience once a day(Right now, to do that I rely on Mani's lunch home or Krishna Boarding Udupa retaurant in Matunga Central Line)
  • to try and finish reading the 3 newspapers that I buy. Hate seeing a virgin, uncrumpled form of newspapers piling in the house.
  • plan an inexpensive holiday that can be done over the weekend.
  • plan for an impromptu holiday, out of India(when I get the time)
  • to get my new cot repaired
  • to buy some furniture for the house
  • to watch some television programmes.Whats the point of buying a new TV worth 13,500 if I dont watch anything on the television? I felt the same when I splurged a 115 k, in buying a 6.1 hometheatre system,with a 43 ' Projection TV in Dec 2005. Hard earned money, u see!
  • to Complete reading all the books, I bought in the last 16 months. I've started all, but never managed to complete. Still, whenever I pass by Crossword, my heart itches to buy some atttractive book.

and ya finally... to leave in time to catch the FAST LOCAL back home to Mulund.


On My Own Trip!

After watching "THE BEACH", I somehow felt that aimless travel had a supporter in me. I would love to escape to some place thats not found by many, and just aimlessly laze around there. Will I be able to find my Utopia? Someday when the project is in a stable state and the folks above me are not greedy enough to launch more products, I just want to take off, on my own trip.

I have always felt, trips should never be too organised, it should be impulse driven and aimless and should be the mind's way of connecting with the culture of the land that I go to. It shouldnt be about booking an accomadation before starting. I have started doing that in most of my trips when I am not with a very 'safe' minded person.

a) Did a impromptu trip last october, when I felt bored of my classmates during my Internship in Bangalore. Did a quick trip to the Majestic bus stand and took the first bus that was empty and going anywhere north. It turned out to be Gokarna, and the bus had too many holes, so I was dripping wet, with the only set of clothes that I had.

b) Did another impromptu trip to Goa, November 17/18/19 last year, when I felt like travelling by unreserved all the way from Chennai.My friend joined me a day later from Chennai. I did that to celebrate the fact that I got a D Minus, as against F grade, in Prof Venkat's subject, last year. When you are competing to fight for grades that are in various levels of failure(, D, D- and F), even a D Minus seems like a war dance.

c) Another impromptu trip happened in February, after placement season, when I went with two friends to Goa again.

d) 4 days before convocation, another impromptu trip to Havelock Island(Andamans)

But most of my places that I had visited are run of the mill places, so my next impromptu trip, would need a little more planning and research on the web, to search for the unfamiliar.

Some of the places that are part of my bucketlist are

1) Europe- Greece to Spain
2) Russia to China on the Trans-Siberian express
3) Thailand, in the lesser explored regions(that Lonely Planet Thailand advises me)
4) Borneo, for some adventure like Ananconda 2
5) South America- For some Amazonian adventure
6) Need to read more of Lonely Planet to complete this list!

I will finish this post with some of the best scenes from T H E B E A C H.


Kabhi Kabhi Zindagi Mein Yuhi....

One of the things with working hard, is that you forget that there's a world outside of work, and you start feeling that indulging in other hobbies starts looking like a crime. My house is messed up as usual. So I am tryng to quickly restore santity by washing clothes, sweeping the floor, purchasing basic furniture for the house, and other domestic pending tasks(Like..... collecting my ironed clothes after a week). I guess life would start being a lot better, as I would start feeling good, of having the innocuously small joy of properly managing a house, if not a business :-)



Its that time of the Year- L'Attitude 13 05

A year and a half back, the sequence of numbers 1305 made no sense to me until somebody pointed out that 13 o5 was the latitudinal location of Chennai, and that was how the name stuck for Great Lakes annual B school fest. Preparations started 4 months before towards end of July, and that's when things were looking really hazy. The man core committee was chosen on the basis of how people had contributed to some of the intra event that had taken place in the first three months at B school. Obviously some were happy, some were peeved that their name didn't figure, but guessed right that irrespective of whose name is there or not there, the ones wanting to contribute always would.

It was remarkable seeing the way things unfolded on the day of the event, which underlies the hard work that went into making an event like this. Commitment, they say is when you work when no one is watching and that was imminent all over the campus, as you saw a bunch of people in one corner deciding on how could we make the poster, what theme should we go about with, who would fix the venue, what size of backdrop do we want? A thousand questions spread across a motley crowd of 20 odd people, and the challenge wasn't to just cut through the chaos, but to preserve the quality of work, even as chaos surrounds.

Just as the pace of work increased, came September and October, where internships took a month of our time, and to come back after that and start was the feeling of starting from 0, after scoring a hundred in the first innings. Though it was tough to resume work all over again, thanks to some amazing teamwork, we were able to put in double the amount of effort.But as D-day neared, people who were no where connected with the event started helping out, and the events committee started to make internal events to drive the festive mood home. It was tough playing jekyll and hyde, with one part of your mind is on the festive mood, and the other part of your mind trying to meet deadlines with subjects and assignments. As the proverb goes, cometh the hour, cometh the man, we had enough adrenalin to cope up with the barrage of educational rigour thrown at us, to emerge victors. I guess words can only sum up little of the times then. Even though I was not somebody who worked tirelessly all though, I do know the core team that worked its heart out to put together a great show.

I'd suggest you have a look at a video that we made, which would aptly summarise "The Making of L'attitude 07". L'attitude 08 , the Annual B-School fest of Great Lakes Institute of Management is happening in Chennai on the 20th of December 2008. To know more click here and read the L'attitude blog here


Orkut Consumer Behaviour

I was thumbing through Orkut and chanced upon this. This happens to be a typical software engineer from Chennai, who's orkut intro page I have shown below.

Orkut shows this person as sexy, and cool, but look at the introduction. It says a line that he is friendly and then talks about the topic that the person is most comfortable with(programming, of course!). That pretty much explains the other rounded items in red below the 'about me'.

I guess most software engineers(Read: the kind that you encounter en masse at a company when thousands of people charge outside the office when the 5 15 pm bus leaves for home) are short of confidence and feel shy to express themselves, so end up putting something in the 'about me' column that they are most comfortable with, which unfortunately happens to be programming. I am not saying that people who have better looking intro's got laid instantly, but still the way the 'about me' part of orkut is written, reflects a lot about yourself.
Looking at the various kinds of intro's , there are the 'attention grabbers' who put their CV there or in order to show that they are intelligent, put some not-so-easily-understandable poem. Some use various symbols to show that they are rebels and are 'belonging' to a group, while some cleverly copy what they think will potray them in the best light. Some guys even use Orkut for hitting on women, and doing it relegiously. I knew a guy from Faridabad( who studied with me) who was a porn-ivororous animal, hunting down images of all the girls he saw in orkut in his laptop folder, and using it to fantasize. By the way the guy had a 2% physical sales conversion of all the girls he managed to scrap in orkut, and his 2% was quite high in number, so you can see the effort he put. So Orkut does help you connect, but there obviously is no right way for an intro or a wrong way, but its interesting taking a peek into the consumer behaviour of social networkers.It depends on the convergence of your target market, your sales techniques and the leads you get, or if you havent succeeded at this game, dont worry you can pay money and do the same at any of the marriage portals :-). Else tell the priest in the temple near your house, and finally gain Moksha! and even if this fails, try a Gtalk status of " Single and Ready to Mingle".

Ok, so where are we heading and what do I want to convey? Nothing much.... saw the orkut intro and a few thoughts were running through my mind, so thought I shall put them on my blog.


1) The guy who's orkut image is pasted is a good friend of mine, so nothing against him. Just found the intro funny.

2) The pornivorous friend doesnt read my blog, so dont have to worry much. If he does, I shall treat him to some Hyderabadi Biryani to pacify him if he does find out.


26/11- Images from Colaba Causeway

All photos taken on 27th November between 4 50 pm and 6 15 pm.


This was taken behind the Taj Mahal hotel in the lanes that lead to it,from Colaba Causeway. There were a bunch of unarmed policemen who were hiding inside the apartments near the road. If you were a bomber looking for a new place to Bomb, you could go right in and do whatever you wanted. Even after such an incident, there are certain sides of the Taj Hotel, that dont have enough protection. The police and the commandos are doing a good job, kudos to them for managing to fight it out for the common man, but still there are some slips, which could derail some of their plans.

Saw a 'Times Now' reporter who was rehearsing his lines before the limelight is thrust on him. Lives of these journalists are also tough, in the sense that they leave their families and come in a high tension zone, and sometimes need to talk gibberish under the influence of their honchos at HQ. But I loved Arnab Goswami's interview today with Suhel Seth, Alyque Padamsee and Shefal sheth this evening on Times Now.

Mumbai they say wll rebound, but somewhere down the line we have taken people n Mumbai for granted by issuing this sentence. The politicians and media get away by this famous phrase. Mumbai is a city of burgeonng population where people come to make a living. So to them if a bunch of people die, it doesnt matter to them as they need to make their daily wage to feed their house. Yes,Mumbai has a spirt and a soul, but dont kill whatever is left by using the cliched dalogue that Mumbai will rebound. Media and the politcians skirt some of the major issues by using ths term "rebounding"

The commandos keep going about on both sides of the road. The police was trying to make the people go back home, but there were onlookers who wanted to see what the heck was happening to their dear city. In between these, were bunch of people whose friends were caught in the TAJ. So they were frantically moving about coordinating wth relatives.

Some more smoke billowing from the new building of the Taj

When we went there, we just saw a grenade come down on the road, and the 4th floor of a building (I guess it was the Taj) that caught fire. It was shocking to see the fire that was spreading fast, even as men were trying to get to a positon from where they could safely extinguish the fire, as terrorists inside were tryng to prevent them from spraying water.

Vinay(My classmate at GL) and I scanned some of the smaller lanes and spoke with the policemen. We found some scattered glass pieces on the lane, which was due to a hand grenade bursting within the Taj. To Think that it came 100 feet away was mind boggling, when you think of the power of the explosion within the hotel room where it exploded.

An ambulance rushing to the save the lives of people injured

Road to Colaba

Glass pieces lying broken on the road leading to Taj Hotel


Terror attacks in Mumbai again

Just happened to switch on Television. The bombs and terror attacks are slowly increasing from isolated reports in VT to a petrol bunk bombed, Leopold cafe and Taj Mahal hotel firing, explosions in Vile Parle. Its sad that such a bustling city is regularly subjected to such bombings every few years.

I see a lot of blood and trash strewn about near the site of blasts, but the way the reports are happening, I dont know whether the media is making up a lot of stuff especially when a reporter says " I think the terrorists have sophisticated weapons and are going to strike south Mumbai today". My condolences with people who have been affected, and I beg the media not to scare the citizens and for heaven's sake, dont add more drama, when you are reporting death. I am sure the reporter would not love to hear his triumphant voice, if he sees his kith/kin being dead.


My Latest Article at Crickblog

Neccesity is the mother of inventions, is what the proverb says, but in Cricket, when you suddenly require a youngster to fill in somebody's boots, it cant be done instantly. The only way of ensuring a transition and ensuring healthy bench strength is by experimenting with raw promising youngsters at home. India seem to have a pretty balanced scorecard, on this front. The following article tracks India's ascent since 2005.


Infy Literature

The last couple of weeks, I have been reading a lot of literature penned by the founders of the Infosys family. Sudha Murthy's "Old Man and his God","Wise and Otherwise" and her other short stories have been a great peek into the Indian way of life,across the length and breadth of the country. I have also been seeing a lot of media attention on Nandan Nilelani's book, 'Imagining India' that is all set to release on the 24th of November. With the newer breed of writers also having a blog to interact with readers, Nandan Nilekani has started his book based blog right here.

I am pulling an extract of what the book has in store.

" Why then, do our challenges seem so intractable? We are an emerging economy, making waves in the global market, but the numbers of our poor are still staggering. We struggle to provide our citizens with basic levels of education and healthcare. In many parts of rural India, infrastructure is nothing more than a distant hope – we have villages with no roads leading out, and villages with mobile connectivity but without electricity, where people have to walk miles to the nearest town just to charge their phones.
I believe that much of India’s challenges come from our divisions. The Indian state has long championed the country’s ‘unity in diversity’, but in reality, our diversity has also meant that we are a fractured society, split along the lines of caste, religion, region and class. As a result, our politics have long been a politics of our divides rather than one driven by ideas or solutions.
However, there is a chance that this has begun to change. I think that the most effective answer to such politics is creating a ’safety net of ideas’ that can weather political storms and divisive rhetoric. If such ideas become popular across large numbers of voters, no government can survive by simply mining our resentments, and without addressing these issues."

If this interests you, I'd reccomend you book your copy at the earliest.

So This weekend's theme and flavour

1) Order the book

2) Complete Sudha Muthys books

3) Watch a DVD rerun of "Swades"


England 0-2 Down! Whats the Road Ahead

I had written this article a couple of days back for Crickblog. If you find some 3 minutes to thumb through, I'd suggest you click here


India's first I.T Magazine for Women

Came across an ad in my inbox for this magazine called L.I.V.E I T. Now if this magazine can get me women like this in IT(reverse positioning), I will buy the magazine on a 5 year subscription :-)
I always have bad memories of women in IT, as the hittable chicks are already having a waiting list, the emerging ones have boyfriends who flirt with them in sourcecodes and tech talk. So if u cant code, ur chances of hitting on even the second string ones are gone. The rest of the lot are invariably loaded in your project, and when I was in Infy, I had 6 girls in my team and some of their conversations went like this(2005 August/september time)
Sample a conversation at 8 15 pm, after a routine On-site call(Am converting this from Tamil to English)
Girl1- Hey, did u find the guy interesting ?
Girl 2- (She was on the phone, so I cant hear).#$@#%$%$*
Girl 1- " hey, You should not reject him, You are a Dot Net girl, he is a C# guy who also knows mainframes.Its a good combination for work. He is soo ideal no, marry him na"
I was dumbfounded! Why does this have to be so formulaic and happen only in Chennai , damn it?
During my engineering, I asked a friend of mine, who was the hottest girl in their department, and he said pointing to a girl, " she studies well da, she got 87% in the last univ semester exam". I coughed and caught cold soon enough.
Believe me, these are times when its tough to pass a comment on the person, as it takes some time to get over the shock of what he/she said. Women, I have met in Chennai(in IT) invariably end up marrying your skill set(java, #$%^^ whatever) or your temporary onsite stint.
So If you are an IT girl who indulges in such conversations, then you wouldnt have understood the joke. So go back and code... and create an application for skill set based dating(orkut, u have competition)
If You arent, please feel free to socially network with me...


Nice Interview!

Just chanced across this on In.com http://www.in.com/active18/watchnow/watchvideo_mc.php?autono=357158

An Interview with Harsha Bhogle! He states that his first commenary stint was in 1983, while he was a student at IIM-A, and its 25 years since he started getting into this field of cricket/television journalism.

Over the week, liked a couple of other links that has started the week on a good note. Loved both those speeches by Harsha. I regard him very high, as there is a certain romanticism i assosiate with his simplicity and when he comes on air. I've literally grown up watching Harsha Bhogle since the early 90's when he was handling ranji trophy matches for ESPN.

Check this and this


Back To School!

Just before returning to Mumbai after Diwali, I managed to pass by my school in Adayar,Chennai (Bala Vidya Mandir)
Hand Cricket Wicket- The Cement block next to the temple was our stumps, where three lines were carved way back in 1993, when we started playing hand cricket. Some of those lines dont exist, but if you observe closely you could see a few straight lines. The temple was built around 96-97 and that restricted the place we had for cricket. Our dressing room was the tree and behind the wicket

The serene Jungle gym has given way to more cemented structures. Sad they couldnt maintain the jungle gym. That was one lovely place for a lunch with classmates with beach mud and trees all around. I guess we did play hand cricket there also. I guess thats where I started giving commentary bytes aping Tony Greig, Brian Langley(Of Prime Sports Fame), Ranjit Fernando and Micheal Holding.

Our school auditorium and the erstwhile Jungle gym were bordering the Gandhi Nagar Tennis court. Secretly most of the boys were hoping that some of those gleaming fluroscent yellow tennis balls would bounce of the court and we would get to keep some of those tennis balls. COSCO was the brand, we amateur gulli cricket players loved owning. I guess we played 7 stones, football and catches also with the same ball after school. Those days were so simple, with modest ambitions and time for everything. The fresher yellow colour of the COSCO ball was a sign of your status, and ofcourse if you had a spare ball, at a time when guys just lost a ball, in the midst of a interesting game, your status grew by leaps and bounds.

My school auditorium flooring seems to have changed, apart from some architectural modifications. I owe this auditorium for helping me make the transition from a guy who couldnt address a crowd, to a guy who went and hosted inter school quizzes.
The auditorium now has AC rooms and proper control rooms unlike the messy wires that were all over the place earlier. I remember a play in class 7, when I had a small role as a son, who was eating. Now when you get free coke and cake to eat, and you suddenly realise that your play is about to end, I thought the free party was about to end a little too soon, and I ended up gorging myself with cake and coke, and ended up ruining the play, as everybody's attention was on me.
It was good rewinding memories, 8 years after I passed out school.



Ten Sports, seems to have roped in Aarti Chabbria for this show called Cricket Boom Boom with a scaery Atul Wassan. Mandira Bedi-Part 2? Going Past Noodle straps Huh! Sometimes its an insult to cricket when some one like her hosts a show. Cricket isn't just about Fine Legs, Balls and Shots! There's lot more to it and TRP that meets the eye!

My Day will come! Even if it takes a few years, It sure will . Hope never dies :-)

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Chidambaram Reunion

Driving in the Tamil Nadu Monsoon enroute Chidambaram

I seem to be making some gesture to Madhanagopal, Aanand, Ananthavenkat. Probably complaining about the mosquitos.

Aanand making a point on the bad quality of water in the hotel that we stayed.

Sakthi staring and wondering after he tied the knot! "Was it three or 4 knots that I tied in the melee and the noise"?
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Long Time!

Its been quite a while since I shared my experiences on my blog. I've been travelling too much in the last 3 weeks and for the better part of the 3 weeks I had been without access to an internet connection. each of the weekends I was in Chennai. Oct 9-10th weekend was a marriage of a close friend from Sulekha.com(Jairaj), Oct 18-19 was the marriage of an engineering friend, classmate from Vel Tech-Sakthikumar. His marriage was in Chidambaram. Last week for about 5 days I was in Chennai, came back yesterday morning by Dadar express. I have totally burned about 15000 Rs in my 6 trips( 3up, 3 down)(3 flights, 3 trains) and am going to curtail travel for a while. 'Rainy days' are actually here, and its time to save some money. I shall compose a long post with pictures sometime tonight on how the last 3 weeks went.

In those three weeks, My Mumbai house has been neglected a lot. Have some clothes to wash, iron and segregate. House is in a complete mess. This weekend too, I will be occupied, but thankfully within Mumbai, but no let ups, time to make the house a home. Right now filling in drinking water in the tank, which has been thirsty for three weeks. Need to bathe and catch the 8 47 am Churchgate Local. Quite a task!

While I was driving from Chidambaram to Chennai along the ECR, I came across the new Great Lakes Campus that is being built near Mahabalipuram. The 09-10 batch would move to the new campus, which is slated to be partially open for our Grand Alumni bash in January 2009. If you want to have a brief peek, play the video below


Bomb in Bandra?

A few minutes back, I went outside after I heard a few 'light' bombs go off near my house. I had to go out for grabbing whatever morsel of food was available, given that there was an informal curfew after Raj Thackeray was arrested. I saw a Banana seller, and was asking him, whether the bombs were coming from MNS workers or whether people were celebrating India's victory(too late in the day for a reason like that). He saw me, gazed at me and smiled and said " Diwali hain na". Damn! Never have I felt so out of place and sync with this festival, but this year, living away from Chennai, and living a mechanical Mumbaikar life, I totally forgot about the Diwali weekend. Raj Thackeray! You've just changed the way, I start to think about a bomb! Thankfully its Diwali and its just one of those crackers! Time for festivities and lights. Let the show begin.



This looks like the marriages season and quite a lot of my friends are getting married around the same time. One of my friends got married last week in Velachery, another getting married this week in Chidambaram. So that means a quick dashing visit to Chennai on Friday evening and back to bustling Bombay on Sunday night, after the marriage on Sunday.
Come November and December, there are marriages in Nandanbar(Somewere in Maharashtra), Ujjain(MP), Chennai and Jaipur. Thats quite a lot of travelling that week (Dec 2-9 week). Suddenly matrimony seems to be a little interesting from a perspective of trying to see if any value can be provided to reduce the headache assosiated with the operations aspect. Trying to crunch some numbers and meet a few people in Chennai this weekend to see if math, irrationality,oppurtunity and money tend to meet at a junction!


SCMHRD- Insecurity?

Me-too-Branding- Symbiosis-Pune

I happened to see this advertisement in Outlook, when they carried a story on B schools and their unexplainable rankings. I always thought SCMHRD was a decent B school, but it looks like they seem to have dug themselves in a hole with their name, which has positioned them as a HR B-school. They are trying to reverse that by spending a few lakhs on re-branding themselves, but what is tough to swallow is the way they are doing it. Showcasing that their students won some random case study contest, and thus saying that their B school is intelligent in other aspects also, is a bad case of I-want-attention- syndrome that lower rung B schools like IIPM resort to. I once saw a B school advertise that their school won 3rd prize in debate and 2nd prize in Rangoli at some local college and that was advertised as one of the USP's. Schools like XLRI are also largely percieved as HR B schools but the brand is so strong tha despite that, their grads get placed in other functions to(especially people who've taken the BM discipline instead of PM&IR). Private B school positioning is an interesting aspect in a largely cluttered market. How do u decide which B school is right for you. IIPM and its likes tries to show boys and girls in a self important pose and usually plug a long message from its dean, and puts some attention grabbing techniques like "IIPM-dares to challenge IIMs". Now that SCMHRD has done such an advert, I hope these guys get serious about their Brand equity and get an ad/branding/PR agency to manage their brand, else the serious Snap aspirants may give it a miss, as the ad sounds pretty IIPM like. ( Nothing against IIPM, just that their advertising makes me fall from my seat every time). I am sure SCMHRD is a decent B school, and they just dont need this insecurity feeling, to go splurge on print media advertising in such a manner.

On Train Advertising

Airtel Express?

Big Mac riding on the "Deols"

Happened to come across these ads in Mumbai. With so many people taking the train during peak time, trains are a great place for a mega splash. I hear that having your brand on the handle, which commuters hold on to, in the local trains cost 1.5 lakhs for one train for a month. Actually pretty inexpensive when you compare it to a hoarding or any other public place.

Yesterday McDonalds have launched a campaign in Mumbai around their happy price menu featuring cartoons of Dharmendra and Sunny Deol. I am not aware of them being brand ambassodors for McDonald, but who knows it may even be a spoof.


Indian Real Estate starts to Tweet

I came across this rather nice way of tweeting. My batchmate(At GL) Shriram, who is with MARG Constructions, has set up a tweet account, which seems like the SEZ giving you "did-you-know" bytes. Check the MARG twitter page here

I had been to a sumptous dinner at a place called Mani's lunch home in Matunga. Matunga in Mumbai, bears a huge resemblance to Chennai's good old Mylapore and Triplicane, with temples and Tam Brahms all around.

Need to check a few good places to eat in my Mumbai Food Guide. Have my cousins coming on Sunday. I might take a short trip to Baroda this saturday to watch the Irani trophy match, time permitting.


Naaku Mukka Anyone?

Came across this advertisement, in the regular mailers from agency faqs. It's got a catchy tune. This was the advertisement done for Times of India.

Irani Trophy

Its that time of the year, that the Irani trophy is played. To know more about it, its history and a speculation on its future, I'd suggest you to check my latest article


Bhelcome to Sajjanpur

Last night, as soon as I came back from work, after munching a quick dinner, I went to Gaiety theatre in Bandra Talkies for " Welcome to Sajjanpur". It was a nice, simple movie that went on like a passenger train, or a town bus. In essence, the slow pace of the movie and the well etched out characters made it a lovely movie to watch. The movie had only 2 songs, and both of them were lovely and melodious to hum. The movie is worth a watch, as it transports you to a village and the way the story is told, you feel as if you were also part of the story.

The movie reminds of slow moving, immensely enjoyable rustic movies with simple happy-g-lucky characters that one had seen previously in a Basu Chatterjee or Hrishikesh Mukherjee movie. Its like an extended re run of Malgudi days or Byomkesh Bakshi. I've heard that the other two movies that released yesterday were duds( Saas, Bahu and Sensex- You dont mess with Zohan).

Time for a rural holiday to escape from the madness of the fast life in the city that's constantly on the love. Heading to open my Lonely Planet and Outlook Traveller for some searching!


Advertising in the Mumbai Local Trains

Talk about advertising in the Mumbai Local Trains: This one takes the cake over the rest of the ads. Aimed at frustrated and tired men who get into the train like a herd of unattended cattle. Wow! Looks this 'Namrata' just got her customers at a very less acquisition cost:-)

I notice that in Mumbai, the daily soaps, programs and reality shows finds its way into trains and buses. The whole of Mumbai(atleast the working population), on an average travels 40 minutes-60 minutes a day one way, so they are bound to come across some TV promotion or channel promotion. When IDEA launched its media promotion, it plastered all the Mumbai trains yellow. Now thats one way of announcing yourself with a bang and whenever there is a splash in Mumbai, the Mid-days and Mumbai Mirrors add to it, by spreading the word.

Some of the other ads in the compartments more so look at generating hope in the mind of the traveller who is looking at the next best step to grow in life or to make money. More so temporary-aspirational-money making advertisments .Most of the other Ads in the local train border on instant loans-no questions asked, part time work that can 'guarantee' 90000 rs a week,Money making oppurtunities by investing just "2 Lakhs" and finally social messages for business networking from frustrated souls.(like the one below)

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Back to School?

A couple of weeks back, my mother wanted me to accompany her to her school in Vile Parle(Mumbai), so that I could click some pictures and also see the school and house my mother had lived during the 60's in Mumbai. So on a Sunday morning at 8 am, I was out on the roads and we went to Vile Parle(E) to see the school. The photo above was the school my uncle had studied, so that was the first stop. I had a glance inside the school and remembered my days in school in Chennai. Those days any building seemed big because we were tiny tots, and today thanks to too many structures, a school is sometimes just looked at as a building. Inside every school is a treasure of history, moments of innocence that has shaped us, teachers who moulded us in the wonder years of our life. The last time, I went to my school was way back in 2005 July/August. Must make a visit to Bala Vidya Mandir, when I visit Chennai next time.

My mother was way too excited when she entered the airport quarters, as she went about showing me the playground she played and once lost her slippers. It didnt matter much to me whether Chaddha uncle lived in that house or Narayan Mama was in the adjacent flight, but the least I could do was listen to my mother, as she rattled stories of her days as to who lived where and how she liked one aunty more than the other. But it was interesting, seeing the enthusiasm in her voice, as she told a story about each house that she saw, her friends in that colony and instances from the 60's

Seemingly, this was the flat my grandparents lived in

This was the school my mother went to. Though this is near Vile Parle(e), the school is on one end of the Airport quarters and is more so closer to Chakala in Andheri. I must admit that the guards at the school were a really nice bunch of folks, who said " Jao, Bindaas Dekho" when my mother requested permission for being let in, as she was an old student. It was a nice poignant moment. More than that, it was a Sunday well spent. When we were on our way back, I learnt that my grandparents moved to Chennai in 1969, and when I heard that, I just thought, if only Bryan Adams had composed the song earlier, My mother could have vouched just as the famous number goes " The Summer of 69, Those were the Best Days of My Life"
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Sports Marketing- Can We Look Beyond Cricket?

That's what my latest article explores. Read my article here


Zindagi Train Hain, Waqt ke track pe!

A few minutes back, as I boarded the train from Bandra to Lower Parel, I was listening to the audio track "Zindagi Train Hain, Waqt ke track pe " from the movie "The TRAIN" on my mobile, and with each passing station in Matunga,Mahim,Dadar and Elphinstone Road I felt as life was passing away like the Mumbai Western Line. Suddenly with the over cast clouds and wind in the air, as it swept across the western line, I asked myself, why is that central element of contentment missing in life. The anxiety increased with each passing station. It was like each station was a junction in life asking me to get down and do something, and I was mutely travelling in the train. Each station seemed to say, you may not be cushily travelling, but there's a lot that you can do to be content in life. I have never felt this lump feeling as the stations passed by and the song playing on my earphones reinforced the thought even more.

As I got down from the station amidst the industrial revolution of masses getting down and walking at neckbreak speed from the platform to catch the taxi to work, I asked myself what were the things that could make me happy, or in Management Lingo, what was Brand Kartik standing for?

1) Being somebody who just had holiday trips like that on impulse
2) Somebody who could find some amazing places on earth and be fortunate to have holidayed there.
3) Somebody who does something as an alum of school, engg, and b school
4) Somebody who got lost in an amazon jungle, and lived the life of a robinson crusoe. Tired of watching re runs of Jurassic Park and Anaconda, time to live moments like that.
5) Somebody who keep in touch and meet up regularly with the circle of close friends, irrespective of geographical distance.
6) Somebody who could just talk at length about cricket and analyse it with an intelligent bunch of folks.
7) Somebody who never had to dance according to falsity of the people in the corporate jungle.
8) Somebody who could attend music fests on impulse
9) Thinking...........................................................................


Mumbai- Ganpati Bappa-Visarjan

Ganpati in the AIR(tel)

Colourful elephants add to the element of celebrations in the street leading to the idol

Some Images of last evening. I was walking to the Lower Parel Railway station enroute the epicentre of the Lalbaugh Ganpati Visargan.


Ramayan Finally!

Ramayan meant only thing for me- Rama DEFEATING Ravana and on a similar Note India conquering Sri Lanka. Somehow It never happened in a bi lateral series over the last 3 decades. Finally Dhoni's men paved the way for a Ramayan script. What was different this time around?

I suggest you check my latest article which explore more of that. Click here to read the article


Mumbai Gearing up for ' Ganapati Bapa Morya"

I see huge pandals and cut outs all over Lower Parel, and even bigger Vinayaka idols being carried out. I guess tommorow the Siddhi Vinayak temple would be converted to a mini Tirupati, and my friend Arunachalam, plans to visit the temple at 4 am tommorow. I have no such plans, will come out and witness the procession for a while. Got a few things to set right in life, so will be attending to that.


My New Article on Chaminda Vaas

How-Vaas-Zzzat is the title of the article, and it was published a couple of hours back on Crickblog. I'd reccomend you to click here to read the article.

Back Ache!

Carrying a heavy 4 kg Laptop + other paraphernilia on a crowded Western Line with the mad rush has its toll on the back.

The Mohammed Rafi Song comes to mind when I look at my daily life.

Aey Dil Hain Mushkil, Hain Jeena Yahan, Zara Hatke Zara Bachke, Yeh Hain Bombay Meri Jaan


Excellent Ad

Chanced on This

Found this piece on my Professor who taught us International Entrepreneurship at Great Lakes. His classes were phenomenal in the sense that it taught us how business plans change in reviews and presentations to VC's and how an idea and can be pruned over and over again to make it look sellable!


The Race to be NOT number 1

I've seen people competing to be Number 1, right from School, College and obviously even the dog-eat-dog corporate world. But these days in the garb of being different, companies are branding themselves as number 2 and Number 3.

Sahara TV is fighting to be the number 3, General Entertainment Channel

Luminous Inverters does TV ads and proclaims that its number 2

Agency Faqs proudly proclaims that its number 2

Now, Who's queueing for Number 4?

Sutta Na Mila!

Heard this song when some of my juniors sung this full throated at Flames,Le-Meridian. Found it after 4 months on Youtube. Great Music, Great Video and "Hummable" lyrics. Reminded me of a certain "Abbey" in M.B.A. "Abbey" would be coming to campus on september 2nd as part of the HR summit! Wish I was back at campus to see that guy who wrote the incredible book M.B.A(Mediocre But Arrogant). There couldnt have been a more precise book on crazy B school life in India.

Go ahead! Scream "Sutta Na Mila" :-)


Dhoni- Time to Make a Man out of the Boy?

Dhoni must be in a fix after yesterday's loss, but I still feel that the test captaincy must go to Dhoni, and India, need to regroup their core unit to form a great team. Reminds me of the time of the mid 80's when the Australian Team had a absolutely new team. Great decisions then reaped in benefits as the teams after Border's men, went on to reach lofty heights. Building a team for the future, didnt seem to help the Windies much, as after Richards and Richardson, they just werent able to fill in the void.

I've written a piece on why Dhoni would be the right choice. Do flip through it when you find some time.

Best Way to Celebrate Independence Day

Sleep in a Non descript station(Canacona) on a wooden seat, trying to sip some warm chai at 3 am, even as the rains pour on the konkan Coast. Aaah my back aches post Independence day.


Anil Kumble- Has the Sun Set Over his Illustrious Career?

Anil Kumble has been India’s unsung hero, but is it time to salute this warrior and try developing more warriors in the current crop of fringe spinners? An in-depth look at his bowling stats reveals a lot more than just numbers would.......................
Read the full article here.

Forced by a Thief at an ATM.?

If you are ever forced by a thief or someone to take money out of an ATM machine, enter your pin number reversed.
So if your number is 1254 mark 4521.

The ATM machine will give you your money, but will automatically recognize thisas a plea for help and will alert the police unknown to the thief. Now isn't that some useful info for starting the week.

Update: Srini says that this might be a rumour!


Some Memories

8th, 9th and 10th August have some significance in my life. 8th August 2004, was when I got through Infosys on a cloudy morning in Chennai. 9th August, 2004 was the date of joining of my first job-Polaris(which I didnt go on to join). 10th August, 2005 was the day my Grandfather passed away. My grandmother is beside him in the picture. This was taken in 2005 through the first mobile camera that I bought, so a rare picture it is, found it on my Flickr account just yesterday. I immideately sent a collection of pictures to my grandmother(through Zoomin), who is in Chennai. I still remember the days my Grandfather would take me out for walks in Nanganallur, an area in suburban Chennai that i visited everytime in my Summer holidays. I used to make him buy Big Fun Bubble gums and Suadavali Pepper mint, and I enjoyed a lazy walk across the Malgudi'esque Nanganallur. Just miss those good old days :-)
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