Wednesday, December 17, 2008

One Day of My Life: Worth Many Years

Aah, where to start? After all it has been one good day of my life that will be remembered as long as I will be in my consciousness. C K Prahalad, Nandan Nilekani, Kanwal Rekhi, Carl Shramm, Apurv Bagri, Desh top it all Shereen Bhan......confused! What would you call someone if he had the chance to face these legends in one single day, I would call it 'saat janmonka phal?' Well read below.

It was 16th Dec 2008, a beautiful day in Bangalore, venue Grand Ashok (recently name changed to Lalit Ashok), occasion was the annual gathering of global members of a world renowned private institution acclaimed for its spirit of mentoring upcoming entrepreneurs. Menu of the venue were all this biggies, not just for the designations they hold like Chairmans, MDs, CEOs, Presidents but for their outstanding contribution to the noble cause of entrepreneurship they have upheld from years. Some of them even founded among the most successful companies of anytime in the world, and then there were those who have written books which are considered the outstanding publications of all time, and then there were those who have funded from one to six successful upcoming start ups across India and Silicon Valley thus providing the much required capital and mentoring.

Right from the time the first guest surfaced at the registration desk at 1130 am till about 730 pm, the day was completely action packed and to me, for someone who have religiously seen and worshipped these achievers on television and in newspapers it was nothing less than the joy of India winning world cup finals...And I mean it. There were though many other occasions in my life when I have come across similar people like Narayan Murthy, Rama Bijapurkar and many others invaluable people, this was different than all. One of the reasons was the sheer joy of finding all these men and women discussing, debating and unanimously committing to the knowledge sharing to not so well established and budding entrepreneurs and most importantly inducing right ingredients like innovation to wannabe entrepreneurs was just breathtaking.

One thing most important to take away from this entire occasion was my old belief that the World and India in particular is the place to be in now for all right reasons. One common thread that brought all these phenomenas under one roof was their untiring passion and hunger to see the growth in all its forms, across all sectors and their ability to feel part of the world economy.....who says it doesn't pay to think big. Now the question is what separates all these men and women from the rest of us, I think as they all echoed, their ever growing passion to do something more, the willingness to take risks, the courage to walk down the untrodden path, the foresight to see beyond failures, though continuously learning from them, and most importantly the conviction to trust their instincts.

History across the ages has repeatedly shown that all great leaders had these qualities which distinguished them and have been the key reasons why we remember them and cherish their successes. Then why we, the rest do not just follow these and carve a mark for us as well.... easier said than done perhaps.

Ok ok guys I know who you have been kind enough to read and you want me to finish this blog. Hmm but wait guys here comes the best part of the day. Those who have read my earlier blogs know that I have been kind of inspired by this domain of business from about 5 years now. But what nobody knows is that among all of TV I watched, newspapers and magazines I read, biographies and books I gazed through, had three or four personalities who have left an indelible mark on my heart and brain. One who tops of this list is 'Shireen Bhan', the enigmatic and most popular face of business reporting on Indian television.

I would not regret forgetting wearing my clothes on one morning after bath as much as I would regret forgetting even her name....that is the extent of my admiration for her. As if her eloquent, charismatic, intelligent, and above all her lively character was not enough the fact that she is also among the most beautiful faces of all time adds to make her my most loved women of all times...:)
To know more of ‘Shireen Bhan’ just Google her name and there you will have from the mouth of others just to testify my right claims.

When the proceedings of the day were over and I packed my bags along with my colleagues and started walking to the poolside bar and orchestra to call it a perfect day, there I see this 'Shireen Bhan' in pink salwar looking as ravishing and putting beautiful steps and stopping my breath for few seconds. And here I went like a rabbit to stop her and tell her what all she means without wasting a single moment extending a small piece of paper I was holding and she scribbles 'good luck, Indraneel'.........

Now guys what do I call it, a day manna from heaven or 'saat janmonka phal'. Whatever may we call it the fact that this day indeed is the one that I will probably cherish as along as I live.

Though not sounding formal I thank those individuals without naming them for having given this opportunity to make this day of life worth many years of you guys.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi: Aditya Chopra Weds Ekta Kapoor!

This is 0215 am IST, Dec 14, 2008 and I just returned from watching Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi....sounds great title isn't it? Well true to its name going by the love we Indians seem to have on so called happy ending movies, this surely is a great title. There's special reason why I took writing this blog immediately after the movie.

So let me first talk of the movie....hmmm, Aditya Chopra, Aditya Chopra, Aditya Chopra, what I mean is as we know from our past it was written all over our minds that movie will have a happy ending and hence no element of suspense prevailed on the climax in our minds despite Chopra brigade trying its best to create a twist here and there to keep us on tenterhooks. To speak my heart out I consciously think there was neither anything wrong with the movie nor with the direction and as piece of sheer entertainment I am generous to bestow 3 and 1/2 out of 5 stars to Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi. Shahrukh, his co-star debutante Anushka Sharma have played their parts well with the special acclaim to Anushka and has come across as someone with potential to evolve. The music too is also just about enough to remain in the memory for an average period with one or two good numbers.

Now let me come to the real issue why you started reading this blog…the core issue. What comes to mind spontaneously whenever there is mention of middle class housewife in India....going by the Aditya Chopra brigade the description should read something like this, a sari clad woman who wakes up before her husband every morning, cooks breakfast and lunch together so to keep his lunch box ready, washes all clothes, cleans the entire house daily, finishes all household chores, keeps dinner ready to provide him hot servings post his so called tiring schedule (pun intended) in the office, takes his permission for any investment or spending and in other words for all money related matters, oops the list is endless........summing all this is she is loyal to husband (read subservient).

I am neither against the Indian culture nor am I against the thesis of loyalty or affection for the family but I am dead opposite to this ideological system followed in the country from decades. Where on earth is written that husband should always work and woman should always remain in the four walls thus being the prime object of house arrest....I technically do not find any difference between Masood Azhar detained by Pak as house arrest and our Indian women who undergo this.

Thanks though to the ever growing tribe of educated men and women who are outrightly abandoning this unspoken code of conduct and are not shy to flaunt their fundamental rights of equality, be it in any field.....and thanks to this tribe that even their next generation is preached on the changing values in the society. Even though I have least interest in the ideology of feminism, the chauvinistic touch by our filmmakers and by large our saas-bahu serials quite often awaken this thought in me as today's generation will not stand up for this age old custom. It is understandable that the entire society as a whole especially the not so urban part of this subcontinent has built an ecosystem which has this philosophy of housewife being the lady servant of the house and hence will require the persistent efforts by those who understand it is the time to evolve in eradicating this menace. I am not against any woman or man for undertaking the household responsibilities but what I am trying to say is it should be a matter of choice and interest unlike now where it is an unwritten golden rule in many Indian families which is thrust on women right from the time they reach puberty.

Having said this there is also a growing populace of men in India who consistently put efforts to be a genuine part of this change thus extending a helping hand right from changing the baby diaper to cleaning the house. I have though criticized certain filmmakers who believe in this notion, will not hesitate to congratulate and thank those new thinking filmmakers who have been showing this change in their movies from few years now.

I respect the liberty the artists have in expressing their skills in all its forms but need to guard themselves against succumbing to the power of mass attraction at times....the point to be noted here is that I am not saying ban smoking in movies because it is injurious health, as I truly believe it is a matter of personal choice to smoke and hence artists have the creative freedom to smoke on screen but the same is not true for the inequality issue mentioned is indeed a very fine line that will differentiate the right from the wrong in the society due to changing values.

Now this is where I found a common thread between Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi's theme and our modest Ekta Kapoor, who is a household name due to her ever increasing popularity (wish popularity goes down steadily) of K series of soap operas which strictly speaking show nothing but lady servants in the form of rich bahus and saas' wearing silk saris and expensive jewellary round the clock....wonder whether Ekta was subjected to any psychological shock by a woman in her early days.

So finally ladies and gentlemen welcome to the ideological marriage of Aditya Chopra and Ekta Kapoor and thus the invitation reads Aditya Chopra Weds Ekta Kapoor!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Fashion, an invigorating symbol of progress

411,000,000, the exact number shown on the first hit of submit tab on google for FASHION. A term much used and liked by the people across the horizons and cuts across age barriers with ease. So what is fashion after all....a phenomena, a way of life, part of various cultures or a byproduct perhaps. For the uninitiated by wide consent it is considered a synonym for glamour.

Human aspirations by far have no boundaries but the one that knowingly or unknowingly takes the center stage of ones personality is appearance and the aptitude to be fashionable is psychological and believed to play a self esteem boosting role. Madonna's tiny daughter expects her mom to buy her a million daughter dress crafted by the finest designers, actresses choose to wear the latest season wear buying them off the shelves as and when they hit the stores, girl next door tries to emulate the jaw dropping looks of Cruz or Ash seen on TV, a senior KG kid demands a latest Nike shoes....and many more examples mean only one thing. The fashion industry is mushrooming like never before.

Fashion TV, Fashion magazine and now a movie by the name Fashion says the craze of fashion this world has glued into. It is seen generally that people take to fashion much easily than to any other of habit, perhaps there's a logic to it. It gives a sense of accomplishment in day today lives to dress well, look well, be liked by others thus increasing your chances of being the talk of the town. Page 3 parties are a more recognized phenomena to the cities’ elite to flaunt their fashionable accessories, cars and ....

India though is a country that has waken up to the fashion revolution much lately, even though the filmdom has been defining the fashion quotient in the country from past few decades, country as a whole has only taken up the fashion mantra at the end of last century...thanks to the media for so widely exposing the facet of fashion to us all. How else do you explain a farmer entering the supermarket in the rural India wearing the black goggles, colorful dhotis with the painting by locals.

Sceptics though have always believed that Indian culture has been full of abundant examples of Indian men and women dressing with utmost grace and charm, be it Rajputs, Marathas, Mughals or even our local fishermen to say the least....and I echo with these sceptics as well. How else would one explain Ritu Beris, Manish Malhotras of this world presenting the fabricated versions of Indian clothing in International fashion shows.

Fashion though like every other industry has its goods and bads....the passion of being at the top of fashion era has made many to embrace fashion in their consciousness to an extent that the recent episodes of many young models succumbing to anorexia and cases of wardrobe malfunctions across the globe has left black scars on the fashion industry which will take some time to fade away from the memory lanes.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Lot of fire but water eventually: However not any more

It was just amazing to see and hear many of my colleagues in office discussing and to some extent debating my last blog Let us start the movement in our small way....but most important was the passion with which we all came up new ideas and thoughts and one common thread that prevailed all along the heated discussion was national interest though unknowingly. With many people out there with genuine interest it is heartening that country with so many people like you with fire inside is still not standing on a leg of pride and defiance against the trouble makers.

There probably is one explanation to it....though more than ten read my blog right in front of me two to three got up and spoke and discussed which according to me gives rise to two irrational concepts:

Firstly among youth of mid-20s something if 10 are motivated enough at least 2 will stand up with real fire on the burning issues
These 2 come out with new ideas, debate pros and cons but are not motivated enough to drive the change and ultimately water will cease the fire

Hey folks let us not loose the heart, what I derive from this simple explanation is that:

Firstly we need to find creative ways of motivating more and more, which can happen right from the grassroots level, mentoring, teaching at schools, colleges, developing a sense of belongingness towards country, letting kids and teenagers know that there exists a life beyond your and our families and need to embrace the larger life in a true context of national pride, giving testimonials on the fact that the days of lip service to the country and its people are gone and those who envision change with innovation and empathy are tomorrow's leaders, while we sit in plush air conditioned offices there are billion lives around the world suffering from chronic hunger is also an essential ingredient to keep one rooted to ground, respecting those who have always lived and died for the larger than life cause of helping, protecting and growing our society is also of paramount importance thus to live a lasting impressions on teen minds that we salute all those who have lived for all of us and will continue to do so

Secondly on further continual motivation from all quarters, sense of hunger among these individuals to do that extra bit will automatically give out those very few who will come forward to stand up. At this inflection point we need systems in place to encourage these motivated revolutionists and bring them to a platform where their energies and anger are channelized into a right fruitful direction.

I call them motivated revolutionists because as I very strongly believe that going forward the foundation for a desired new tomorrow will be laid by the common man turned new age homosapien who knows what it takes to bring irregularities of the system in the public light, is not afraid to take on the system if necessary and if he or she believes in the larger picture. Sadly though from where I am seeing at the moment the environment is least conducive to inherit these motivated individuals....but nonetheless I am not going to stop trying to unite these revolutionists.

I sincerely appeal to all those few who are reading this blog and especially those very few who feel the need for motivated revolutionists and feel can be part of them to come forward and I see no reason why we will not make a difference.

Let us start the movement in our small way

It's really been long and tiring to hear everyone talking of change this country needs in terms of better governance, increased accountability, change in age old archaic laws etc, but we luckily have started seeing the wave of change off lately be it RTI act, emergence of new generation MPs like Jindal, acceptance in the society that able leadership may not be the forte of only old but young can deliver too, the fact that more and more NGOs are mushrooming thus playing a pivotal role which even our so called beauracracy has not been able to accomplish, the social acceptance in the business world for PPP (public-private-partnership) and many more indicate the initiation of this paradigm shift in the state of the nation we as a country are looking forward to.

At the same time the metamorphosis of the sort we all as nation so desperately desire in the midst of new challenges and social enemies like terrorism can only happen if we all in unison echo the same vision and are ready to drive the change ourselves. It is easier said than done as we all are seeing on national media post Mumbai attacks, every political party of its consequence hasn't left a stone unturned in blaming the failure of the ruling government in preventing the terror attacks this despite knowing the problem is much bigger and needs to be addressed at the grassroot’s level. As the reports indicate the RDX used was smuggled by bribing the customs and police....The question is whom do you blame? To say the least this has been happening from decades and is being curbed only as a lip service in the aftermaths of the events like this one. The example stands testimony to millions of such issues happening in India round the year.

We the so glamorized below 35 odd youth of this nation cannot certainly bring the change phenomena with the blink of an eye as everyone seems to expect but we surely will take tiny steps in right direction.
Some preliminary but very essential difference we need as I feel are:

Abandon politics as a so called selfless domain, no individual or animal need never ever be selfless….the entire concept of selfless progress is a flawed one which has deep roots established in corruption, unethical conduct, thus emanating all the political ills of our society
We must form an institutionalized politics thus making every politician and politics at higher level accountable for its act, not only during his tenure but till his decisions are expected to influence the normal working of the system be it positively or negatively
Incentivise the politicians generously for their accomplishment....who on this earth by the way would like to remain at the helm of affairs of his division and still get only moral victories, guys we need materialistic incentives to motivate them
Hold the politicians or parties accountable levying a penalty, barring elections etc for any untruthful derogatory remarks which do not come on the basis of some established evidence....punishments can be borrowed from Election Commissioner's office
Enact a law into place barring any rogue element or party or an individual engaging in public scrutiny of other religion or caste or even a community...this one needs to be tough....our country is sick and tired of the likes of Praveen Togadias, Raj Thackarays and the so called moral policing, and the judiciary need to be tough on these monger of self interest
The choice of politicians to be based only on merit and no person with established evidence against him of any criminal intent or past should be allowed to contest elections
A federal body to only supervise and impose the code of conduct to these political partieis which are well drafted after a public opinion or debate along with the experts from people from all walks of life
Multi pronged strategies to be in place to ensure good governance in politics a la SEBI
Red tapism, shadow boxing, lip service to the knee jerk emergency control is a strict no no going forward
Encouraging the participation of general public in the decision making, also providing breeding ground for potential leaders is never to be left out of the eyesight
Ensuring the defiant systems like the above ones in place along with the all round implementation is at the end of the day in the hands of the current law makers sadly which makes me feel back to square one making me wonder will this ever happen
Nevertheless no matter what hiccups we may have to face at least we can put our best being the youth in 20s and 30s to strive to unleash a new leaf of change

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Change we all see but fail

In early century when I was 22 I decided now is the time to get going to live a life different from what my parents, teachers have dreamt of to live life of an engineer or a doctor, and like most other youngsters with the adrenaline rushing inside to be the change that textbooks have always spoken off on one fine day came to Bangalore. I was determined like never before inspired by India Today, Bussiness World and the like by the success stories they published again and again of Narayan Murthy, Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, Vijay Mallya and others.
I have somehow never luckily felt moved by the concept of locating somewhere else but India, more so by the headlines Indian businessmen have been making ever since I gained my senses from 5 years or so. Thanks to media world over by so widely articulating the India success story in all its forms be it engineering, management, entrepreneurship, science or even dabbawallahs and un-earthening the tremendous potential we as a country have, the consumer driven economy that it is.
True India has challenges probably very few countries have, be it corruption, politicians, illiteracy, poverty, etc but hey who says they can't be improved. As we all know the overall state of the nation has been gradually improving, thanks to the role played by media in highlighting the value of learning technology (computers), english etc, we are finally waking up to the vision the likes of A P J Kalam have always envisaged.
There's only thread that is acting as the biggest roadblock to the growth of the nation and it is not the population, not the geography and not the illiteracy to say the least but the so called constitutional democracy that is taken for granted in sheer disrespect to the architect who drafted every inch of it.
It's the Nilekani's, Shashi Tharoor's, you and me who need to take the oath to not to be submissive to these Raj Thackaray's, Deve Gowda's, Advani's, Narendra Modi's, 21st century Gandhi's and stand up courageously against their vote driven agendas and am sure the day will soon approach when we can say this is our India after all and embrace the change we all can cherish.
Well whether I will join that league of change makers....perhaps only time will tell.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Quash The Democracy Temporarily

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Terror..terrior..terror..the latest word to join the pary of state's inability to maintain law and order. And how? rewind to 26 Nov, 2008. Why don't the terrorists blast the assemblies? May be because they together form a cool ecosyste supporting each other just to drive home their case of politics, agenda being votes.
Hey god we no more need those 524 MPs, or MLAs, all we need is one inevitable one, a leader who can show the change with the support from people. All we need now as a final resort is a la Jr George Bush leadership. A tough one to deal for the terrorists....we no longer can afford to laugh at famous uncle sam jokes, we after all need the same approach now. A watch at every nook and corner, and perhaps only Bush can deliver this leadership.
No matter what the world says we have a right to defend ourselves, now more so after Mumbai attacks and nothing less that post 9/11 approach of US will do. And who else than Bush, who delivered it for the past 8 years without even a single minor attack....hats off to you Mr Bush.
The CPI, BJP etc who don the hat of so called left wing politics at times are pure hypocrites....had Modi's, Advani's, Sonis's or Karat's kin died in the attacks, only then would have realized the importance of ruling with sanctity.
We all Indian's must unite and stand against the dirty shit of our post independence era called as politics and I believe the courage of standing against this system will automatically put things in place one after the other and will give our nation the new blood of leadership that we all desperately require. But people of India can't alone fight the terrorists, but can alone fight the pale system of politics and then together can stand all it LeT or Al Qaeda.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Hypocrisy Personified: Chiranjeevi

There’s enough being written in the media about the marriage of Srija, daughter of Tollywood superstar Chiranjeevi and her elopement with a middle class person. Some questioned the values being propagated by the films and some presented the unbiased picture of the story. The million dollar question is what is at stake? Two hearts loving each other or father and daughter in a culturally bonded society or perhaps the wrath of youth of the nation for taking a U turn from his much admired lover boy image of Telugu movies into a hypocrite person?
Well to me it will always be the last one. Mr Chiranjeevi must not forget that he lived better pat of his career symbolizing the image of an actor with one who fights ills of society, one who respects women, one who cares for the people as a hero, and one who mesmerizes his lady love with his charm winning her heart. In a world where actors are also seen as heroes in real life thus raising the bar of expectations this unexpected gesture of turning a blind eye to his own values imposed on a larger section of society is really questionable.
Hats off to Srija for having the courage of standing up to the powerful clout of her father and taking everyone at task thus in a way reminding the whole country of many roles played by her father in similar virtual situations.
My point of bringing this matter to fore front is definitely not to offer my emotional support to Srija but to drive home the point that our society irrespective of education, profession is still full of such cheap ideological people who in the name of culture and values downsize the very sentiments of human values that stand a class above all those dubious roles played by such individuals. Marriage of Srija didn’t turn Chiranjeevi into a hypocrite person but just showcased this hidden trait of his to us thus killing numerous awakened 21st century fans.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Some laugh at your expense....Plagiarism

Folks found this in print long back....don't remember the author. Thanks to him or her anyway:
  • Your book has a happy ending - I was so glad when it was over
  • This book is dedicated to my wife without whose cooperation in keeing silent it would not have been possible to write it
  • Divorce: Future tense of marriage
  • No one is ever satisfied. Poor men wish they were rich; rich men wish they were handsome; bachelors wish they were married; and married men wish they could run away
  • Today the only guy who likes to see a girl fully covered is her insurance agent

My Top 10 Hate List

  • Corrupt Politicians
  • Female Foeticide
  • Dowry
  • Hypocrisy in us
  • Archaic Indian constitution
  • Molestation
  • Slavery
  • Saas-Bahu serials
  • Terrorism - Naxalism
  • Child Labour

Monday, August 25, 2008

iPhone iPhone iPhone!

Heard of it? If you haven't then it's very likely that you either aren't yet born or staying no-where else but in the jungles of amazons....
That's the Apple iPhone....most sensationalized creation by man ever. He he he to me it's just one piece of over hyped useless piece of instrument that doesn't even provide the basic features of tele-device. Well if one really wanna know it then here is the camera compatibility, no message forwarding to its brother, no Bluetooth....what the heck?
True Apple guys are design geniuses but who cares....Let me name few more of its cousins. Apple must understand customers are ready to shell out any amount of money but hey guys don't rob them for something which isn't worth it. I can't imagine buying a Porsche or a Ferrari and then finding out it clocks 300 kmph only in test conditions....a pure s***.
Hey guys in India make sure if you end up buying it then it's 'coz you understand it the way it is and not because it's iPhone that sold more than a million pieces in just a week in US. Good Luck buyers.

Sunday, August 24, 2008


Finally a winner in splitsvilla....dissapooooointingly it's Shraddha. Have followed this show quite closely a la Roadies and was worth it. Raghu Ram and MTV's this team luks like is rocking....r coming up with one after another sterling shows. Splitsvills was just one more spicy show with a grain of salt....two boys....20 girls....mind boggling concept.
I started off saying a chauvinistic show but realized it's game of one's own desire to be chosen or dumped in her quest to be winner. To add it realizing the sexist stint came the twister that ultimately man will be chosen by the lady thus far.
I am sure MTV has already started coining up the cases for splitsvilla 2 in line with roadies' success....but hey guys make sure the contestants really live up to the expectations.
Finally Miss Heena Pardesani you simply rock....unlucky dude Varun....not able to yet rationalize his choice of Shraddha thus intentionally knocking off his ego playing role (a comment by dumped girl on Varun as an unlikely candidate for Heena in real life) or is he simply a man with no brains....whatever the truth be....the comment was right and ain't deserve Varun