Monday, April 30, 2007

Gere, Shilpa, & the kiss!

It was all unwarranted, uncalled for, and absolute stupidity on part of Richard Gere.

By what I could make out from watching's clip was:

1. It was not a planned act. Shilpa was caught unaware.
2. Was there something about the guy who was whispering into Gere's ears just before the act?

Ok, now I am not fundamentalist. I am not going to admonish Gere. Neither am I going to burn effigies nor file cases.

What must be said was that the action seemed to be straight out of a Hollywood movie. And of course, Shilpa, quite quickly, gained control and did not seem to mind the act.

Oh, what was the occasion? AIDS awareness! Maybe it was joke.

Mr. Gere, are you married? You almost started the action with a lady who was neither your girlfriend nor fiancé. Wife, she is not, I am pretty sure about that.

Let’s not get into the debate of whether it was right or wrong.

Not sure, what message the truck drivers got?

Now, if that was not enough; the show was as seductive. Women were dancing in 'nice' cloths, and drivers would have got a high. Where do they go straight after the show? Not a hard guess to make!

Do visit:

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Thursday, April 26, 2007

Good ol' umbrella

When was the last time you used an umbrella? I can't remember.

I used one today. First, I was little apprehensive thinking it was too feminish. Then, I was not sure it is in vogue. But it is so hot in Chennai; I thought it was better to use one.

Felt little akward to carry it when it is shady. So I would bring it down to my side. Then again raise as the cloud-shade vanishes. It is not all that uncomfortable to use an umbrella. But I sweat was much as I did on other days. Maybe I would have reduced the melanin tissues and sun burns.

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Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Faking, a big stupidity

An IT company recruited a candidate for a particular skill set; to be deputed in a client location in another country. The person goes through a technical tele-interview and clears it with flying colors. He is given an offer letter and sent to the foreign land.

The candidate goes abroad and right into the frying pan; has to start working on day one. The man fumbles. The client questions him further. He breaks down and admits that he did not have skills in that particular language/technology!

How did this happen? The man desperate for a job; fakes his resume. Taking advantage of the fact that he doesn’t have to answer technical questions face-to-face, he gets someone else to substitute for him. Of course, someone who knows the technology.

He is sent back to India.

He brings along shame - to himself, to the company that recruited him, and more importantly to the nation.

Now, if you are laughing at this, you must stop. It is not a single incident. I am told that this (bad) practice is quite prevalent. And I am also told that such incidents are reported more from one particular state in the country - Andhra Pradesh. Not too sure about that; nor can I ratify it.

Whatever the case may be, I do not understand how one can so blatantly lie.

Just imaging what impression does that leave about India.

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Tuesday, April 17, 2007


Hey is it KBC 3 or 4?

I really don't care! What I remember is that it was launched with much fanfare; with a new super star at the helm. I did watch a few episodes just for a couple of minutes. I really have not followed this format, except for the first edition. I really wanted to participate; called the contest lines; cleared round one; and bunked an entire day just to ensure that I don't miss the call from KBC. How stupid? But I am sure many might be doing that today.

The call never came and after the initial enthusiasm; I lost interest. I did not follow the second edition and till yesterday day I had not followed the third one, too.

For a brief minute, I got glued on to TV watching KBC 3. No, it was not to answer the questions before it is finished like a moron. I wanted to figure out who is a better presenter - Big B or King Khan?

Some reports said that Big B was great and King is no where close. Others said King Khan was faring well.

My views?

Big B was a presenter who had presence. He has been here for a longer time. He is sober. Expresses well. His appeal cuts across all classes/age groups. Naturally, it would be that way, isn't it? Indians have followed him all the time. When he touched the zenith as an Angry You Man, drop like the meteor with repeated big flops, and then again rise like the Phoenix, turning everything that he touches into gold. Actually, it was all because of KBC, isn’t it?

Shah Rukh on the other hand is about energy. He is not that stop-pause-speak (through eyes) kind. He speaks. Lots of fun. He is, of course, relatively new (vis-à-vis the B). He has proved himself in the industry and is considered larger than life (at least by Women-Unkind). What's Women-Unkind? We will discuss that another day.

Verdict. Big B cannot be King Khan; King Khan cannot be Big B! Wasn’t that diplomatic?

Can we have something else other than KBC?

Btw, I have always wondered how Hindi movies and tele-serials always have model-looking actors. Are always shot in plushest of places (sets)? Apt would be 'Woh Serialain Hain Mahalon Wali'!

Dilli and Mumbai me koi gareeb nahi rehte kya? Unki koi kahani nahi banti?

Monday, April 16, 2007

Chennai EMUs: My Saviour

Today, after about a month, I again started traveling by EMU. Hopefully, I will continue to do that for a long time. It is not something that dawned upon me this morning. As soon as we shifted to Harrington Road, I had decided that I will take the train. But alas, I hurt my knee.

Otherwise, home to Nungambakkam station is about 10 minutes walk; and from Guindy to Office is another 5 minutes. The time taken by an EMU in covering the distance between Nungambakkam and Guindy is JUST 10 minutes, can you believe it? Even if I wait for five minutes in the station for the train, I would only spend about half an hour in commuting.

Compare this to traveling by car. Typically, I would start at 8.45 am. By the time I cross the Chetpet signal; take the Haddows Rd. and reach Gemini; it would easily take half an hour. I don't even want to discuss the rest of the journey. Constant braking, changing gears, and brawls with auto drivers and others! Reaching office daily can be a harrowing experience.

Of course, there are downsides. I sweat a lot. Walking in Chennai isn't the same as walking in London.

I have recently invested some good amounts of money on car stereo. Now, that is something that I will miss, terribly.

But then, I am beginning to realize that the amount of vehicles on the road will continue to increase disproportionately to any betterment in infrastructure. Better use the public infrastructure than driving your own vehicle, if you can.

I am just thinking; why can't the IT companies provide pick up and drop only from the Tidel Park MRTS station?

Poori & Monica, is there an EMU facility in B'lore? No, no. Not the bird. EMU stands for Electrical Multiple Units. Too technical for ya Bengulureans! :P Suburban trains, does that ring a bell.

Did I hear - METRO? HA HA HA HA

Picture taken from:

Monica, Oh My Darling!

Having written about Orkutting, it would be worthwhile to mention that if not for Monica; I would have never got into the groove.

Monica, I am, in the first place, honored that you (YOU) invited me to be your friend in Orkut. And of course, I will always remain grateful to you for bringing some meaning and purpose to my life on Internet.

It was for you that I, now, have close to 60 friends in the virtual world; though they are known ones; yes, I would have otherwise not kept in touch with them with such ease.

Never mind that I am quite addicted to Orkut and waste a lot of time; and also never mind that Savitha frowns as soon as I log on to Orkut; as she knows that I might go on doing nothing but stare the screen.

Never mind!

Monica, if not for you what would I have done!

At times, I wonder to myself “what would have happened to Orkut without her?” : P ;)

Friday, April 13, 2007

Runny nose!

Now, this is not something serious enough to write about. But it is bothering me.

I have been having a cold for the past one week. Constant sneezing and running nose.

My problem is with running nose. If I am in my cubicle, I am fine. I can blow away my nose to glory. Though my wife disapproves publicly blowing my nose. But then I can't run to the loo every time I want to clear the blocked passage. Then, I might end up half my productive day doing that.

The most irritating thing about cold is if your nose starts to itch during meetings. It is difficult to take our your already soggy kerchief and blow! Any attempt to just wipe it away is futile. You become so conscious. Think about it, your boss is staring at your face and making some important remarks, while you are following the flow inside your nose. You are worried if it is starting to show through the holes.

Oh God! Help me!

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Thursday, April 12, 2007

The Traffic Kills Me!

Before I start, let me admit that I am not a good time manager.

But the traffic in Chennai kills. Usually, as soon as I come to office the first thing I do is to start the Mail Client and then couple of messengers to check personal messages. Today, I decided to vent my frustration.

Usually, a stretch which should not take more than half an hour now take one and half hours to commute. No, the distances have not grown; it is the traffic. I have always cursed B'lore for its traffic. But then there it is so because the infrastructure there itself sucks. It was never the case with Chennai. We always had good broad roads. The traffic always moved. But for the last two years, the growth in the number of vehicles on the road has outstripped any initiative to create better infrastructure.

It is good to see that, today, people are able to afford good cars. The question is where do we drive. Driving is no more an enjoyable because of the condition on roads.

Is there a solution?

I would say that infrastructure in Chennai is not all that bad. We have a North-South EMU service. One section is Beach-Tambaram line which run almost the entire stretch of Chennai. It runs (almost along) the GST Road which itself is a good broad road. From Central, there are two sets of line. One which goes towards Gumidipoondi and sometimes till Sulurpet. Another line runs slightly towards the West.

The bus service in Chennai is good. The MTC, though with slightly old fleet, is quite dependable.

The latest addition to Chennai's transportation infrastructure is MRTS line which runs from Beach to South-East of the city. Today the service is operated till Tharamani which houses Tidel Park, Chennai's first mega-IT park. The plan is to stretch it till Velachery , which is probably the fastest growing suburb.

But all these, just, doesn't help. There are various bottle necks. At some strategic places, the roads have to be stretched.

I remember an interview of Harshad Mehta, long time back. He said that Railways could build huge office complexes on each of their railway stations. Think about it, you get down at the station and then take an elevator to your office. Dear Mr. Lalu Prasad Yadav, are you reading this.

I am sure there are more ways to help reduce misery. I am not the one to do it. But please whoever is in charge, take care.

Till then all that I can console myself with is that Chennai is still better than B'lore. :) That line is for you Monica Darling.

Picture: Traffic Jam was drawn by J.Sreevenkatesh, VIII A, Vyasa Vidyalaya Matriculation School, Chennai. And it appeared in The Hindu.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007


Now I am no more in the PR industry. After seven glorious (blowing my own trumpet), I have joined an IT services company in Chennai.

Apart from Marketing, tele-calling is also comes under my portfolio. I have always been against tele-calling. I have never liked an anonymous person calling me and offering me goodies or offers. Yes, I have fallen for few but generally I hate it.

Now if that is the case for commodity/end customer products, we need to consider if tele-calling/cold-calling the best way to reach out enterprise customer and talk to them about services which have long decision making periods and not impulse purchases.

I cam across Cold Calling Is A Waste Of Time: Sales Success In The Information Age, a book by Frank Rumbauskas. Am reading it to make sense to my job.

Will share experiences.

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