Friday, September 28, 2012

1851 : Shep Pettibone

shep pettibone


If that name does not ring a bell to you….then you might have missed the entire Pet Shop Boys and Modern Talking generation.

I am trying to get Raavan introduced to the music of a generation that was plain and simple ;and dance music was still very much what I call as clean, clever electronica.

Shep Pettibone was a very popular mixer (DJ) who did versions for Modern Talking, Pet Shop Boys and Madonna….actually a few for George Michael as well.

He used to do 12” inches mixes. Whoa? What does that mean?

To an generation fed on mp3, 12” or 8” is the length of the vinyl tape – a 12” Shep Pettibone mix would be an ultra long (10 min +) of a song….

(right now listening to the Pet Shop Boy’s classic Always On my Mind – and a Shep Pettibone mix at that!!)

Thursday, September 20, 2012

1850 : And in the mobile race

Continuing from the previous post….from a pure aspirational state, it could be (again in 2020)

1) IOS
2) Microsoft
3) Andriod

Aha….yes I am betting on MS big time.

1849 : Bets from an inveterate gambler

From my previous post, my clear bet that is the online ecom market in India is waiting to go bust…..almost a dot-ecom bust.

Here are some other bets which I fully back….all of these are for 2020 :

1)  Facebook wont be what it is today….I mean they shall be a shadow of themselves.
2) Google will still be around…and kicking ass.
3) Amazon shall be what Apple is today – the star of the day.
4) Microsoft will be around….still there and still in the money. And if they lose Balmer soon enough, they might just kick Google’s tail.
5) Apple will be a shadow of themselves.
6) Samsung will be king of the electronics world…..especially in terms of innovation.
7) India shall no longer even optically be competing with China. That comparison will be rendered superfluous.
8) Flipkart will survive, albeit in a more profitable sense….but other wannabes in India might just not survive.
9 ) Honda will come back roaring into the global marketplace – fighting with arch rival Toyota and the ilk
10 ) Hyundai shall be far ahead of both Toyota and Honda on sheer market presence.

Some of my older bets that hit jackpot
1) Tata Nano will be a dud.(2010)
2) Honda shall adopt diesel globally soon enough. (2011)
3) Solar will be a force bigger than wind power (2007)

Some that did not
1) Have been betting on Microsoft all along….they have just not moved.
2) I though RIM would be hurt by Apple, but would come our strong…they seem currently on their deathbed.

Lets cross our fingers and wait for 2020.

1848 : The carts they are flipping….

Read my earlier post 1785 - When will the kart flip -

I was hearing some rumors that the flip dance has begun. Now only if someone could verify this for me.

1847 : Unbelief



I have always been ambivalent about Naipaul (VS). Having said that though, I love his book called Islamic Journeys – Amongst the believers – it’s a classic. Its fascinating, riveting and at the same time subtly philosophical.

I just hunted it out again. Am going to re-read it soon enough.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

1846 : To read or not to read…..

I have started reading again on account of the Kindle (Bezos, a big thanks, quite seriously!!), and I thought I shall restart maintaining the reading list. Every time I finish a book I shall update this post, and add a new post about the specific book.

Who am I maintaining this for ? For my friend Raavan, who once he learns English is going to hopefully like some of these.







14 Sep 2012 Walter Issacson Steve Jobs 9/10 Excellent read. I found it inspiring and the book made Jobs a more humane person with an infantile ego
13 Aug 2012 JM Coetzee Disgrace 10/10 Outstanding. My 3rd read of the book. If you have not read this book…I urge you to. Minimalism combined with stark imagery. Coetzee is cross between Kundera and Rushdie, my two other fav authors
12 Aug 2012 Randy Pausch The Last Lecture 3/10 Crappy. This is my third attempt at reading this narcissist take on dying. I have learnt more from the Jobs book than this shit tale. I have never finished the book.
11 Aug 2012 Garth Stein The Art of Racing in the Rain 9/10 Fantastic. It starts of as a cute book, gets philosophical, and actually gets damn endearing and makes a bigtime emotional connect.
10 Aug 2012 Milan Kundera The Unbearable Lightness of Being 10/10 Outstanding. My 3rd read….and 2nd in the last 2 years. What can I say? I plan to read this every year, at least once.
9 Jun 2012 Salman Rushdie Midnight’s Children 8/10 Fantastic. My 4th read…..strangely I did not enjoy it as much this time around.
8 June 2011 Robert Spencer Books on Islam (set of 2) 6/10 Engaging Read. But very Islamaphobic. I am genuinely interested in religion and philosophy, so I liked this history….but others might not.
7 May 2011 Milan Kundera The Unbearable Lightness of Being 10/10 Outstanding. My 2nd read.
6 May 2011 Sylvia Plath The Bell Jar 6/10 Read Once. Her poems are so much better.
5 Apr 2011 Salman Rushdie The Enchantress of Florence 7/10 Read Once. Only for fans.
4 Mar 2011 Stephen King The Shining 9/10 Haunting. Must Read. The movie and the book are both one of a kind.
3 Mar 2011 Michael Ondaatje Divisadero 4/10 Pass. Very mediocre book.
2 Mar 2011 Salman Rushdie SV 10/10 Outstanding. Controversies not withstanding. My 4th read, as a piece of fiction, this book is a masterpiece. Also, its really not disrespectful to Islam, all it does is use a bit of creative licensing while telling history.
1 Mar 2011 Salman Rushdie Shalimar The Clown 10/10 Outstanding. Fall in love with Kashmir.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

1845 : The lost ages

I have been working for 16 odd years now…..and I do take vacations every now and then….not too many…not too few…..about 1-2 weeks a year, at best.

I have to admit though, that this is the first time in my entire life that I have felt like escaping to a vacation.

Really….I have never looked at vacation as an escape, except for now.

Is this what they call as a mid life crisis?

Saturday, September 15, 2012

1844 : The lost green world

Four years to a death, still feels unreal. If I were unemotional, it makes me wonder, what “a wonderful green world” this could have been.

Friday, September 14, 2012

1843 : 10 parts of desire

Raavan was talking to me yesterday. He was wondering, why history never mentions that he had a heart (too), 10 parts of desire (and hence his multiple philandering behaviour compulsion!!), his thoughts and his grief.

His point was, he might be painted as a 10 headed monster, but he has a heart, just as soft as any of us, beating within his exterior.

I think he holds a few other grudges, and I can’t rationalise them completely – but the one claim I can attest to – is his soft heart.

His grasp of Indian languages might not be flowery powery, and he does melt softly in presence of a lady in sari….and yet, I ignore these…..because….Its damn lovely and romantic to fall in love 10 times over.

1842 : Mom and me

My mom had come visiting yesterday. She and Raavan had a fun time together. Mom who is a stickler for grammar, dots and dashes – and Raavan who is just learnt Hindi and English….the clash of the titans!!

I have forever been torn philosophically, on whether rules and grammar (at an early age especially), kill creatively and lateral thought…..or is creativity best within the rules and ambit that we all agree upon as a society.

Look at animals, they remain wild and untethered….and I think its due to absence of any elaborate rules.

What do you think?

(Raavan wrote the Wren and Martin equivalent for Sinhalese Smile)

Thursday, September 13, 2012

1841 : Red Letter Day

Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes wonderful stroke of luck.

-Dalai Lama

Monday, September 10, 2012

1840 : Define customer service

I found this story fantastic, though apocryphal possibly. I have never shopped from, but have always found their story, incredible and admirable.

Reproduced below for easier reading….

One entrepreneur recalls when Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh proved the superiority of his company's customer service.

zappos security breach: are you next?

I heard Tony Hsieh, CEO of online shoe retailer Zappos, address the Inc. Business Owners Council a couple of years ago in New York. He was promoting his (then) new book Delivering Happiness. What I remember about Hsieh's appearance was a simple anecdote on service he shared--about pizza, of all things.

As background, Tony's unique success at Zappos came from imbuing Zappos with a ubiquitous corporate culture focused on nonpareil service and customer care. His company succeeded by branding itself around, customer service, corporate ethics and dependability of deliverables. This became so embedded that Zappos' service ethic extended way beyond normal good service.

The story he told in 2010 was this: Hsieh was at a sales conference in Santa Monica and, after a night of bar hopping, came back with a group of friends to his hotel. The group decided they wanted a pizza. The hotel kitchen was closed. In a fit of drunken braggadocio, Hsieh recounts, he dared his friends to call Zappos customer service and ask for a phone number for a local 24-hour Santa Monica pizza delivery. They did, and within two minutes were supplied with several numbers by the Zappos employee. Such was the broad-minded, unscripted service orientation Hsieh branded throughout his firm.

Creating a practical ethical, customer-centric company is about little actions, not grand idealistic mission statements. It is about making service like breathing. It's about becoming habitually "good." Tony Hsieh understood this in spades.

As Gordon Gekko in Wall Street famously said, "Greed is good." He had it exactly backwards: "Good is greed."

For the long-term entrepreneur, goodness and service make the putative rewards of business greed--money, success, status, and happiness--much more likely. Customers sense goodness. They want to be around it and touch it. They intuitively trust it more than all the quantification analysis and sales explication in the world.

In a world frequently populated by rogues and thieves masquerading as benign capitalists, and in a world increasingly dominated by coldly efficient technology--oriented toward dehumanizing, distancing, and quantifying those pesky customers--branding one's company as humane and caring in all the simplest human interactions is invaluable. It builds trust, reputation, good will and value for the long term. This is not Pollyannaish. It is really practical greed. It is the ultimate selfishness.

Per creating a culture of goodness, Aristotle said, "It is easy to perform a good action, but not easy to acquire a settled habit of performing such actions."

Thank you, Aristotle.

1839 : My weak sense of history

I have been a Joan Baez fan for quite some time now. Did not quite know that once upon a time, this Diva dated Steve “Apple” Jobs.

What a pleasant coincidence, well, if you don’t see it that way, think hard, you will hit upon it eventually!! (Clue : Take what you have gathered from coincidence)


1838 : Woh Pehli Baar

If you never waited for a phone to ring….then sadly, I don’t think you have experienced all facets of love.

Waiting, can sometimes stretch through days and even months…but its this sweet child of mine, that I crave for.

Love, bitter nothings and an interminable pause Smile

Sunday, September 09, 2012

1837 : What is Art?

Art can obviously be different strokes for different folks….and yet, we somehow crowdsource a view of what constitutes “good art”.

Yesterday, Raavan and I went for his first Hindi-English play (yes, he has learnt enough of those to goto a play….in Sinhalese, he can direct a play !!).

The play was especially meant for someone like Raavan, who is just coming to grips with a culture/a language….and YET!!

There were a few things fundamentally wrong with the play. Lets ennumerate some of them:

1) It was self-indulgent : Well, so was Jobs, but he ended up changing the world. When self-indulgence, becomes a complex game, (like the one played by James Joyce….his fiction requires a person to seep into his mind, instead of his characters….and that too me…is someone else foie de gras…and not mine!!)

2) It was shallow : Don’t assume because you see layers in your writing that others will….If you are good actors, but bad writers, get a good writer.

3) Invest in props : A live act relies on props, actors and sound to convey the mood. The play yesterday was devoid of props, the actors “smiled” even while supposedly fighting….and music was unfortunately absent.

4) Emote : Raavan is new to culture and language, he is not new to human emotions. If a live act cannot convey emotion, then please stop it….do a canned one.

5) Involve : The live act has an advantage, the arena is shared…..the key word being shared… involve your audience. Consider them as part of the act.

6) Come out of the closet : In my bathroom, I think I sing better than Dave Matthews, but I am sensible enough to know that in reality I don’t. Don’t thrust your art on someone, if it is still raw. Even if you do share, do it in a non-active mode – like YouTube, which I can choose to switch off, the minute I SwitchOff!!

Enough said….

Someday I hope to write some great stuff. Till then you choose whether you want to read my personal stuff art at this blog!!

Thursday, September 06, 2012

1836 : Daddy time



1835 : The kind Kindle

I have recently moved to a Kindle, and in 1 month I have finished 3 books. Back to reading and thoroughly enjoying myself.

Monday, September 03, 2012

1834 : The day I shall always remember

It was the 3rd of Sep….the day I shall always remember….because that was the day that my daddy died…

(From Killer…Papa was a rolling stone)