Sunday, November 30, 2008

Post 487 : Movie 18 The Dark Knight

I have already posted so much about this movie in the day today. I wont bore you much more, just few quick points:

1. Its not a traditional super hero movie. In this case the hero is more human than hero.
2. The evil guy hogs the limelight, but not for once does he come out glorified. Batman (the good guy) is always the fall guy. “Good” actually loses quite a bit in this movie, but you and I come out still wanting to be the “good”.
3. Stark, dark imagery.
4. Some razorsharp cinematic execution/editing – key ones- the bank robbery at the start, the trailer chase of Harvey Dent (where they showcase the Batmobile in full glory), the jettys towards the end and the 10 minutes around the detonator scene…
5. Gotham looks like New York.
6. Extremely realistic movie
7. Questions/explores the moral fibre of the world around us.
8. Imminently leagues ahead of the run of the mill everyday movie. This should be a cult classic.
9. Heath Ledger as the Joker is menacing.

In short a 9/10 movie. Go hit it.

Post 486 : Movie 17 - Positive – a short film by Farhan Akhtar

This is film about a college kid who grows up to see his childhood view of the world, ebb and now start appearing as less than perfect. He realizes the flaws in the world, and to top it all discovers that his dad now has Aids.

Both the dad and the son are photographers.


Extremely touching story and very well enacted by all the actors. Very real.

Arjun Mathur - Abhijit
Shabana Azmi - Mrs. Soni
Boman Irani - Mr. Soni


I liked the movie a lot. Caught it on National Geographic today.

Go watch the movie at

Post 485 : Who is a terrorist?

Like others, I have tried to search for a raison'd'etre for why someone rational would want to blow up the Taj.

The more I think of it, the more I am convinced that terrorism has no logic, is cowardly and is an act of those who would rather hide their head in a toilet bowl than face a gun.

Like Alfred says in Post 478, a terrorist is someone who likes the watch the world burn.

Lets say that, acknowledge that such people also exist and finally, try to include them back into the mainstream....

Post 484 : Twins 5 (Dick Fuld (CEO Lehman) vs. William Fitchner (Bank Manager, Dark Knight))

William Fitchner More at



Dick Fuld More at,_Jr.


Post 483 Movie Quotes Dark Knight (Gravity and Madness)

THE JOKER If we don't stop fighting, we're going to miss the fireworks.
BATMAN There won't be any fireworks.

Just couldn't let me go, could you? I guess this is what happens when an
unstoppable force meets an immovable object. You truly are incorruptible,
aren't you?

(Batman secures the Joker UPSIDE DOWN. The Joker is LAUGHING.)

You won't kill me out of some misplaced sense of selfrighteousness...and I won't kill you
because you're too much fun. We're going to do this forever.

You'll be in a padded cell, forever.
Maybe we can share it. They'll need to double up, the rate this city's inhabitants are losing their minds...
BATMAN This city just showed you it's full of people ready to believe in good. The Joker looks up at him. A twinkle in his eye.

Till their spirit breaks completely. Until they find out what I did with the best of them. Until they get a good look at the real Harvey Dent, and all the heroic things he's done.(indicates ferry) Then those criminals will be straight back onto the streets and Gotham will understand the true nature of heroism.
You didn't think I'd risk losing the battle for the soul of Gotham in a fist fight with you? You've got to have an ace in the hole. Mine's Harvey.
(Batman hauls the Joker up, nose to nose.)

What did you do?
I took Gotham's white knight. And I brought him down to my level. It wasn't hard- madness is like gravity. All it takes is a little push.

Post 482 : Movie Quotes Dark Knight (Planning and its failings)

THE JOKER I don't want there to be any hard feelings between us, Harvey.
(The Joker loosens Dent's restraints.)
THE JOKER When you and Rachel were being abducted I was sitting in Gordon's cage. I didn't rig those charges-

Your men. Your plan.
Do I really look like a guy with a plan, Harvey? I don't have a plan...The mob has plans, the cops have plans. You know what I am,Harvey?

I'm a dog chasing cars... I wouldn't know what to do with one if I caught it. I just do things. I'm just the wrench in the gears. I hate plans.Yours, theirs, everyone's. Maroni has plans. Gordon has plans. Schemers trying to control their worlds. I'm not a schemer, I show
the schemers how pathetic their attempts to control things really are. So when I say that you and your girlfriend was nothing personal, you know I'm telling the truth...

It's the schemers who put you where you are. You were a schemer. You had plans. Look where it got you. I just did what I do best- I took your plan, and I turned it on itself. Look what I've done to this city with a few drums of gas and a couple of bullets. Nobody panics when the expected people get killed. Nobody panics when things go according to
plan, even if the plan is horrifying. If I tell the press that tomorrow a gangbanger will get shot, or a truckload of soldiers will be blown up, nobody panics. Because it's all part of the plan. But when I say that one little old mayor will die, everybody loses their minds!Introduce a little anarchy, you upset the established order and everything becomes chaos. I'm an agent of chaos. And you know the thing about chaos, Harvey? (Dent looks into the Joker's eyes. Finding meaning.)

THE JOKER It's fair.
(Dent looks down at the coin in his hands. Turns it over, feels it's comforting weight. Shows the Joker the good side.)

You live.
(He turns the coin over. The flip side is deeply SCARRED.)
DENT  You die.
(The Joker looks at the coin. Looks at Dent, admiringly.)
Now you're talking.

Post 481 : Movie Quotes Dark Knight (Being a man of words)

THE JOKER I told you- I'm a man of my word. (looks around) Where's the Italian?
(The Chechen shrugs. Pulls out a cigar. Lights it.)
CHECHEN More for us. What you do with all your money, Mr.Joker?
(The Joker GRABS a can of GASOLINE from his thug.)
THE JOKER I'm a man of simple tastes. I like gunpowder. Dynamite...(He is SPLASHING gasoline onto the money.)...gasoline...(The Chechen, FURIOUS, steps forwards. The Joker turns. JABS his gun in the Chechen's face. The Chechen's bodyguards REACT. The Joker's men DRAW on them.) And you know what they have in common? They're cheap.
CHECHEN You said you were a man of your word.
(The Joker PLUCKS the cigar from the Chechen's lips.)
THE JOKER I am. (The Joker tosses the cigar at the pile. )I'm only burning my half.(The Chechen watches the money catch fire.) All you care about is money. This city deserves a better class of criminal, and I'm going to give it to them. This is my town now. Tell your men they work for me.

It's not about money. It's about sending a message...(The Joker watches the towering FLAMES. Lau screams.) Everything. Burns.

Post 480 : Movie Quotes Dark Knight (Knife vs. guns)

You know why I use a knife, Detective? Guns are too quick. You don't get to savor all the little emotions. See, in their last moments, people show you who they really are...
(Stephens tries hard to ignore him. It isn't working.)
THE JOKER So, in a way, I knew your friends better than you ever did. (smiles)
Would you like to know which of them were really cowards?

Post 479 : Movie Quotes Dark Knight (Being ahead of the curve)

THE JOKER Those mob fools want you gone so they can get back to the way things were. But I know the truth- there's no going back. You've changed things. Forever.
BATMAN Then why do you want to kill me?
(The Joker starts LAUGHING. After a moment he's laughing so hard it sounds like SOBBING.)

THE JOKER Kill you? I don't want to kill you.What would I do without you? Go back to ripping off Mob dealers? No you...(points)You. Complete. Me.
BATMAN You're garbage who kills for money.
THE JOKER Don't talk like one of them- you're not, even if you'd like to be. To them you're a freak like me... they just need you right now. (He regards Batman with something approaching pity.)
THE JOKER But as soon as they don't, they'll cast you out like a leper.
(The Joker looks into Batman's eyes.Searching.)

THE JOKER Their morals, their code... it's a bad joke. Dropped at the first sign of trouble. They're only as good as the world allows them to be. You'll see- I'll show you... when the chips are down, these civilized people... they'll eat each other.(grins) See, I'm not a monster... I'm just ahead of the curve.

Post 478 : Movie Quotes Dark Knight (Some people like to watch the world burn)

Targeting me won't get their money back. I knew the mob wouldn't go down without a fight, but this is different. They've crossed a line.

ALFRED You crossed it first, sir. You've hammered them, squeezed them to the point of desperation. And now, in their desperation they've turned to a man they don't fully understand.

WAYNE Criminals aren't complicated, Alfred. We just have to figure out what he's

Respectfully, Master Wayne, perhaps this is a man you don't fullyunderstand, either.

ALFRED I was in Burma. A long time ago. My friends and I were working for the local government. They were trying to buy the loyalty of tribal leaders, bribing them with precious stones. But their caravans were being raided in a forest north of Rangoon by a
bandit. We were asked to take care of the problem, so we started looking for the stones. But after six months, we couldn't find anyone who had traded with him.

What were you missing?

One day I found a child playing with a ruby as big as a tangerine. (shrugs) The bandit had been throwing the stones away.

So why was he stealing them?

Because he thought it was good sport. Because some men aren't looking for
anything logical, like money... they can't be bought, bullied, reasoned or
negotiated with.(grave) Some men just want to watch the world

Post 477 : Movie Quote Dark Knight (How the Joker got his scars)

Hello, beautiful. You must be  Harvey's squeeze.(runs his knife across her cheek) And you are beautiful. You look nervous- it's the scars isn't it? Wanna know how I got them? I had a
wife, beautiful like you. Who tells me I worry too much. Who says I need to smile more. Who gambles. And gets in deep with the sharks. One day they carve her face, and we've
got no money for surgeries. She can't take it.(presses knife into her cheek)
I just want to see her smile again.I just want her to know I don't care about the scars. So I put a razor in my mouth and do this to myself... And you know what? (starts laughing)
She can't stand the sight of me... (or crying) She leaves! See, now I see the funny side. Now I'm always smiling.

Post 476 : Movie Quote Dark Knight (How the Joker got his scars)

Wanna know how I got these scars? My father was a drinker and a fiend. He'd beat mommy right in front of me. One night he goes off crazier than usual, mommy gets the kitchen knife to defend herself. He doesn't like that. Not. One. Bit. (The Joker TUGS Gambols cheek with the blade.)  So, me watching, he takes the knife to her, laughing while he does it.  Turns to me and says 'why so serious?' Comes at me with the knife-'why so serious?' Sticks the blade in my mouth- 'Let's put a smile on that face' and...

Post 475 : Movie Quotes Dark Knight (Batman's Limits)

ALFRED  Know your limits, Master Wayne.
WAYNE Batman has no limits.
ALFRED Well, you do, sir.
WAYNE I can't afford to know them.
ALFRED And what happens the day you find out?
WAYNE We all know how much you like to say 'I told you so'.
ALFRED That day, Master Wayne, even I won't want to. Probably.

Post 474 - Movie Quote Dark Knight (Joker on what does not kill you)

I believe what does not kill you, simply makes you stranger....

Post 473 : Music 40 : Down to Earth - Peter Gabriel (Wall E)

This is vintage Peter Gabriel with a brand new song. Listen to the vocals (esp. the choir harmony), read the lyrics. Mindblowing Aha!!


(Feat. Soweto Gospel Choir)

Did you think that your feet had been bound
By what gravity brings to the ground?
Did you feel you were tricked
By the future you picked?
Well come on down

All these rules don't apply
When you're high in the sky
So come on down
Come on down

We're coming down to the ground
There's no better place to go
We've got snow upon the mountains
We've got rivers down below
We're coming down to the ground
To hear the birds sing in the trees
And the land will be looked after
(Come) send the seeds out in the breeze

Did you think you'd escaped from routine
By changing the script and the scene?
Despite all you made of it
you're always afraid of the change

You've got a lot on your chest
Well you can come as my guest
So come on down
Come on down

We're coming down to the ground
There's no better place to go
We've got snow upon the mountains
We've got rivers down below
We're coming down to the ground
We'll hear the birds sing in the trees
And the land will be looked after
(Come) send the seeds out in the breeze

Like the fish in the ocean
We felt at home in the sea
We learned to live off the good land
We learned to climb up a tree
then we got up on two legs
But we wanted to fly
When we messed up our homeland
and set sail for the sky

We're coming down to the ground
There's no better place to go
We've got snow upon the mountains
We got rivers down below
We're coming down to the ground
We'll hear the birds sing in the trees
And the land will be looked after
(Come) send the seeds out in the breeze

We're coming down
Comin' down to earth
Like babies at birth
Comin' down to earth

Redefine your priorities
These are extraordinary qualities

We're coming down to the ground
There's no better place to go
We've got snow upon the mountains
We've got rivers down below
We're coming down to the ground
We'll hear the birds sing in the trees
And the land will be looked after
(Come) send the seeds out in the breeze

We're coming down to the ground
There's no better place to go
We've got snow upon the mountains
We've got rivers down below
We're coming down to the ground
We'll hear the birds sing in the trees
And the land will be looked after
(Come) send the seeds out in the breeze

Post 472 : I believe I can fly, I believe I can touch the sky....

I really hope R Kelly does not mind :-)

Post 471 : Why so serious, son?

Saw the Dark Knight twice in the last week. Its dark, but its heart is in the right place.


The irony of the (similarity between the war in Gotham and the ) ongoing attack on Mumbai was not lost on me. It was interesting to see Batman refusing to kill the joker inspite of the evil he perpetrates.

There is a story there..
Of good versus evil, of what drives rage and rampage, of how behind every terror is a man(woman) who has lost the ability to think rationally and who sees apocalypse as a philosophical constituency.

There is a lesson there...
The innate goodness of living beings (humans and animals) cannot be overshadowed by a few freaking nutcases. Balls to them, screw the defective pieces, the rest of mankind wants to be good.

There is a big question there...
When we look at evil in the eye, do we give in, do we for purposes of waging a war, reduce ourselves to ranks of the evil muppets?

I know my answer, and will stick to my rules. You, on the other hand, can choose to be Harvey Dent, if that is what it is going to come down to.

Post 470 : The fallacy of performance...

An epiphany recent struck me on the topic of "investment performance".....

Invariably, we calculate performance on two basic params:
1. Against a benchmark.
2. Against what we started off with.

I will ignore the first, but look at the 2nd point closely.

Lets for sake of making this easy, assume I had Rs.100 as my corpus on 30th Nov 2007. Lets say tomorrow this has fallen to Rs. 40. My performance for the past year - reduction in corpus to the extent of 60%.

Now assume, on 30th Nov 2009 I am back at Rs.100. My performance is a 250% gain.

Summary :
Rs. 100 on 30th Nov 2007
Rs. 60 on 30th Nov 2008
Negative returns of 60%
Rs. 100 on 30th Nov 2009
Gains of 250% for the year.

Notice the skew....get the drift.

Upside is always from a position lower and hence looks very sexy, downside is always from the "stated top" and hence looks like a soft landing.

None of what I said above is illegal or unethical. Its just that the way we calculate, seems to impact human pysche such that we always underestimate a fall and we always are delighted with a rise.

Whats the point?...Nothing, really, just helps to know how we are hardwired.

Posty 469 : A week of trying to kill the songbird....

I was out for just a week, and look what those a***holes did to my city. They bombed it, raped it, hammered its crown (The Taj) and blew its beer belly (Leopold).

I am reading blogs/newspapers/media full of bravado...."yeah, lets sock them up", "lets, fuck the pakistanis", "lets get the muslims by their hanging balls", "lets make the politicians chew cud"....and on and on...

What amuses/amazes me is the response in its very nature its violent, its eye for an eye, and it is absurd. I strongly believe no single community is responsible for this problem.

I know quite a few Muslims, they are more pious than most others. I know a few wannabe politicos, and they are quite decent human beings as well. Pakistani civilians, they just love us.

Do you blow up Karachi, because some fucker in ISI cannot control his hormones? Do you mass murder Muslims, because some lolly sucking coward believes it is "the road to paradise littered with 73 virgins" when he shoots innocent babies with a bazooka?

The world is a bad place, and I don't mean that we sit and watch the joke as it gets worse. An eye for an eye is needed. The question is "which eye" for "which eye"?

I only have questions, don't have answers. For sure, I know the "answers" which I am hearing so far are so damn wrong, I know it by the curl in my insides.

What do we do? Just twiddle our thumbs.....Or,  fo starters, Mr. Mehta has a few tricks up his sleeve. Reached here via Gotta Be Max.

The article is at NY Times. I have copied it below for easier reading.


What They Hate About Mumbai img1


Published: November 28, 2008

MY bleeding city. My poor great bleeding heart of a city. Why do they go after Mumbai? There’s something about this island-state that appalls religious extremists, Hindus and Muslims alike. Perhaps because Mumbai stands for lucre, profane dreams and an indiscriminate openness.

Mumbai is all about dhandha, or transaction. From the street food vendor squatting on a sidewalk, fiercely guarding his little business, to the tycoons and their dreams of acquiring Hollywood, this city understands money and has no guilt about the getting and spending of it. I once asked a Muslim man living in a shack without indoor plumbing what kept him in the city. “Mumbai is a golden songbird,” he said. It flies quick and sly, and you’ll have to work hard to catch it, but if you do, a fabulous fortune will open up for you. The executives who congregated in the Taj Mahal hotel were chasing this golden songbird. The terrorists want to kill the songbird.

Just as cinema is a mass dream of the audience, Mumbai is a mass dream of the peoples of South Asia. Bollywood movies are the most popular form of entertainment across the subcontinent. Through them, every Pakistani and Bangladeshi is familiar with the wedding-cake architecture of the Taj and the arc of the Gateway of India, symbols of the city that gives the industry its name. It is no wonder that one of the first things the Taliban did upon entering Kabul was to shut down the Bollywood video rental stores. The Taliban also banned, wouldn’t you know it, the keeping of songbirds.

Bollywood dream-makers are shaken. “I am ashamed to say this,” Amitabh Bachchan, superstar of a hundred action movies, wrote on his blog. “As the events of the terror attack unfolded in front of me, I did something for the first time and one that I had hoped never ever to be in a situation to do. Before retiring for the night, I pulled out my licensed .32 revolver, loaded it and put it under my pillow.”

Mumbai is a “soft target,” the terrorism analysts say. Anybody can walk into the hotels, the hospitals, the train stations, and start spraying with a machine gun. Where are the metal detectors, the random bag checks? In Mumbai, it’s impossible to control the crowd. In other cities, if there’s an explosion, people run away from it. In Mumbai, people run toward it — to help. Greater Mumbai takes in a million new residents a year. This is the problem, say the nativists. The city is just too hospitable. You let them in, and they break your heart.

In the Bombay I grew up in, your religion was a personal eccentricity, like a hairstyle. In my school, you were denominated by which cricketer or Bollywood star you worshiped, not which prophet. In today’s Mumbai, things have changed. Hindu and Muslim demagogues want the mobs to come out again in the streets, and slaughter one another in the name of God. They want India and Pakistan to go to war. They want Indian Muslims to be expelled. They want India to get out of Kashmir. They want mosques torn down. They want temples bombed.

And now it looks as if the latest terrorists were our neighbors, young men dressed not in Afghan tunics but in blue jeans and designer T-shirts. Being South Asian, they would have grown up watching the painted lady that is Mumbai in the movies: a city of flashy cars and flashier women. A pleasure-loving city, a sensual city. Everything that preachers of every religion thunder against. It is, as a monk of the pacifist Jain religion explained to me, “paap-ni-bhoomi”: the sinful land.

In 1993, Hindu mobs burned people alive in the streets — for the crime of being Muslim in Mumbai. Now these young Muslim men murdered people in front of their families — for the crime of visiting Mumbai. They attacked the luxury businessmen’s hotels. They attacked the open-air Cafe Leopold, where backpackers of the world refresh themselves with cheap beer out of three-foot-high towers before heading out into India. Their drunken revelry, their shameless flirting, must have offended the righteous believers in the jihad. They attacked the train station everyone calls V.T., the terminus for runaways and dreamers from all across India. And in the attack on the Chabad house, for the first time ever, it became dangerous to be Jewish in India.

The terrorists’ message was clear: Stay away from Mumbai or you will get killed. Cricket matches with visiting English and Australian teams have been shelved. Japanese and Western companies have closed their Mumbai offices and prohibited their employees from visiting the city. Tour groups are canceling long-planned trips.

But the best answer to the terrorists is to dream bigger, make even more money, and visit Mumbai more than ever. Dream of making a good home for all Mumbaikars, not just the denizens of $500-a-night hotel rooms. Dream not just of Bollywood stars like Aishwarya Rai or Shah Rukh Khan, but of clean running water, humane mass transit, better toilets, a responsive government. Make a killing not in God’s name but in the stock market, and then turn up the forbidden music and dance; work hard and party harder.

If the rest of the world wants to help, it should run toward the explosion. It should fly to Mumbai, and spend money. Where else are you going to be safe? New York? London? Madrid?

So I’m booking flights to Mumbai. I’m going to go get a beer at the Leopold, stroll over to the Taj for samosas at the Sea Lounge, and watch a Bollywood movie at the Metro. Stimulus doesn’t have to be just economic.

Suketu Mehta, a professor of journalism at New York University, is the author of “Maximum City: Bombay Lost and Found.”

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Post 468 : Raga Notation

I plan to start publishing some of the Ragas I am learning. I am definitely afraid what I am learning is just one particular version of the Raga and my own limited rote is not going to take me too far. Want to share (my version) of what I am learning for 2 reasons:

1. To share
2. To get validation that I am on the right track.

To share my version of the Ragas it is very essential we get out notation right. So I publishing in this post the notation that I am going to use to explain the sequence of notes.

You have to remember :

1. I am learning these on the harmonium
2. I am at this point not too bothered about taal and timings. (am still at a very early stage).
3. I am self-taught, so my knowledge is fraught with error and mistakes.

The sequence of notes for me is....

Lower Notes (left of the harmonium) - Mandar Saptak



Center = Madhya Saptak


Tara Saptak (higher notes)



Enough for now, if I use more notations will update this later.

Post 467 : Mr. Market vs. me (Baseline and sound a war cry....)

Like all macho bumblers (I am one), I sincerely believe I can outperform the market. (What a chweet delusion...) Have been investing since 1996. Lost all my savings in 2001, and then today again, I am seeing significant wealth erosion.

My sincere belief is, both of these experiences have contributed immensely to my wisdom (to wit, what use wisdom when there is no wealth to back it!!, but remember when the game is over the king and the pawn go back into the same box).

My recovery from 2001 was not well documented. This time around I plan to play this game hard and fight tooth and nail. I have heard soothsayers predict the worst. Equities are being written off.

I vehemently disagree. Mutual funds be damned, so be FDs, debt funds, real estate and ilk. I might lose, I might win, time will tell. Till then, lets enjoy the game. I think Satish shares a similar belief here....

I plan to post my weighted portfolio out here once a month. My bet is, next 1-3 years, we shall only see volatility and trending decline in our weighted portfolios, and then the tide shall turn. I am biding my time for that day.....

Here goes my porfolio......



For me to win, everything else remaining constant that 79.41 has to steadily increase. For Mr. Market to win, all he has to do what he has done so well in the past 3 hammer and tong.

Post 466 : Music 39 - Crying in the rain (Everly Brothers)

I used to have the Everly Brothers (golden hits) album while I was growing up. The first song on that tape was "Crying in the Rain". The album was on a Indian label called Magnasound and it had cost me Rs. 35, maybe in 1991 (not too sure though).

Today, thanks to Max and his post... I recalled this song again. Downloaded it and was listening to it almost ad infinitum... I also like the A-ha version the same song, something I (again) grew up listening to (as well).

Very lovely song from 1961 (I think my memory still works....I  actually did a google later and was off bang on....phew!!).



Song Lyrics: "Crying In The Rain"
Recorded by: "Everly Brothers"
Written by: (Carole King and Howie Greenfield)
Single: Released December 1961,
B-Side - "I'm Not Angry"
Album: "The Golden Hits Of The Everly Brothers" - June 1962

I'll never let you see
The way my broken heart is hurtin' me
I've got my pride and I know how to hide
All my sorrow and pain
I'll do my cryin' in the rain

If I wait for cloudy skies
You won't know the rain from the tears in my eyes
You'll never know that I still love you so
Though the heartaches remain
I'll do my cryin' in the rain

Rain drops fallin' from heaven
Could never wash away my misery
But since we're not together
I look for stormy weather
To hide these tears I hope you'll never see

Some day when my cryin's done
I'm gonna wear a smile and walk in the sun
I may be a fool but till then darling you'll
Never see me complain
I'll do my cryin' in the rain

I'll do my cryin' in the rain
I'll do my cryin' in the rain

Post 465 : Serotonin in my head...

I am feeling ravaged, there is a mad head-ache plaguing me. It is also giving me the fever. I had to rush back from office. The nausea is unbelievable and was burping all the time.

I did a google on "burp nausea headache" and the first two pages were only about "morning sickness".

Is that what I am suffering from :-)

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Post 464 : Live in your world, play in ours






Long before PS3 and the current branding, Sony Playstation used to run this campaign called

Live in your world Play in ours

I personally have felt this was brilliant. I wonder, why, they gave up on this brand strategy.

I still think they should revive it, it will do wonder to their brand image.

Post 463 : Jargonbuster

I think I should start a series called jargonbuster.

There is immense joy in co-habiting a world created by Dilbert and partaking the nectar everyday. I must share this "joy" and poison your world as well.

Coming soon....

Post 462 : Babelfish on steroids

My wife tells me not to shun or make fun of a foreign language. To clarify, I am not even remotely trying to do that.

Her second piece of advice is go with the flow, enjoy a new world and not to resist.

How do I explain this?

I am open to new experiences. I am learning music with no desire of a gain or advantage or even "coolness" (I am learning archaic ragas on harmonium, does anyone even understand any of that now).

My resistance is profoundly personal,  to my own world crumbling. I love the wizardry (or so my immodest self assumes) I can carve out with English. I can never do that easily with any other language. My brain spews out constructions which even I myself admire when I read them a week later (....and so, ladies and gentleman,  here I am, presenting a self-confessed narcissist....)

Also, my argument with her is, if we do have to learn a language, then lets learn a language for the love it. I learnt Urdu (written and spoken) for a few years in my teenage years, because I wanted to read that poetry in its native tongue.

Learning a language (or for that matter anything) for money is akin to selling out. The results will be just as functional as the drivers itself.

But then WTF, I am seeking Buddha in a manga of violence.....

(PS - I think this frustration shall pass as well....time will chime first and then chaff away).

Post 461 : Babelfish on sedatives

Language is a bloody jackshit mule, we drag along  & take for granted all the time.

If you got what I meant in the sentence above, you have understood a bastard version of English. You have clearly read between the lines and (hopefully) understood that Language is fairly important in my scheme of things.

At heart, I am married to prose. So for me, language and the ability to "twist, turn, squabble & squirm" words is an essential part of living. The very reason I don't connect to a host of (otherwise) perfectly socialable genial types is because of their complete inability to enjoy a song&dance show of words.

For me, English and Hindi are the only languages that I can swim and survive in. I can speak Tamil, Marathi, Gujrati and Malyalam - but just enough to say "I can't speak this language well" :-)

And now, suddenly, I am bedded with folks who might not understand my song....

I am devastated. How on earth do I fight, argue, debate, abuse, respect, cuss, swear.....

The gift of gab(and prose)  is fun only if there are others who can play along. Imagine a nightmare, where everyone I knew spoke a foreign dialect and I spoke Rushdian English....Would it be fun? Like Sienfeld would say "Nah....."

Post 460 : Fluttering bug

(Image from

A bug trapped on a window sill flutters,
Inches away, with a glass of wine I am oblivious,
For one, its a quest to live,
(Ironically) For the other (also) its a quest to live.....

Monday, November 10, 2008

Post 459 : Life is one happy merry go-round

Was watching TV today, and was seeing NDTV Good Times - some program which profiled celebrities.

It never fails to hit me that all these programs which profile people - socialites, business honchos, celebrities and do a rat-a-tattle with them, you end up feeling "this is it", this is the life I wish I had.

All these clowns (they are performing for the camera, right?) paint a picture of balance, sophistication and magnanimity.

You will never hear Kishore Biyani say that he is "short tempered", or Shah Rukh say, I smoke like a chimney  and my lungs might give up anytime (even when he is asked his "one poison" - he might say "coffee" or some innocuous crap like that.)

A lot of blogs too, present a picture of the owners  (slightly contrary to my previous post) like they would paint themselves - more akin to a self - portrait.

Get the drift?

I hope I am not part of the same trap.

If I ever give a TV or media interview, my yin and yang both will (hopefully) meld....

As for this blog, I hope you can see shades of how (real and) deficient  I actually am - I am human, I have failings and though I am not proud of them, neither am I ashamed of them.

Post 458 : Har blog chup chap se yeh kehta hain ki isko kaun likhta hain ?

I read quite a few blogs regularly. Infact, on a side note, I think in a few years, I will stop subscribing to print newspaper (except for the potty-reading) - blogs should be able to cover all news, better and with a lot more bias (note I said bias, not unbias)

One of the thing that fascinates me, is how people sometimes reveal so much about themselves (and that includes me) to an inanimate URL which will archive your emotion/written spiel till the end of time.

Also, even blogs which don't reveal much, actually reveal more. (Confused??)

Just the style of writing will give you an image of a person on how she/he is.

Blogs have changed my perception of certain people I know. Some of them end up appearing so cheerful, but when they write the hidden pessimism escapes out.

And others, who I thought were pesky chaps, have turned out to be such sensitive intelligent souls - or so their blog tells me!!

Wonder, what people think of me....I am sure my blog gives me away as well.

Post 457 : What would Buddha do when faced with a sinking feeling?

In the past week, that "sinking feeling" is setting in. Romancing the pain of uncertainty, dancing on the fringe of my own belief.

Rishi recently asked "How often do we step back and ask, is this where my life is supposed to be heading?" or something to that effect. I usually don't do that often.  Why?

For that you need to understand a bit about me. In general my approach to life is short fused, gun-trotting - in short, cowboy junkie who likes risk, who plays hard and who is not afraid to lose. On the other hand, some early experiences in my working life made me approach work from a very rational - level headed perspective - a slow and steady tortoise.

Get the drift? So for example, in stocks, I first shoot (post my research of course!!) and then verify whether I have won or lost - as in I dont mind falling over the edge. But at work, I am Mr. Steady. At home, I am the former - quick to assess the situation and shoot (or scoot depending on the situation :-)).

Now given, this Jekyll and Hydey game which I keep playing....

(where is this freaking post going?)

In short, I am at a point where I think life has come a full circle. The conflict is killing me, almost a mid-life crisis.

I took the day off today to take stock, to think, to ruminate, to procrastinate, and hell, I still have no answers.

(Hell, this post is actually going nowhere, I cant seem to open up to this post!!)

For now, I will abandon this thought here, and come back later, if I am still adrift (and afloat).

Post 456 : Panditji Bhimsen Joshi


I started listening to Panditji 8 years ago. Last week, he won the Bharat Ratna. Between the time I started listening to his songs and now, he seems to have grown very frail. I can think of lots of possibilities and none of them make me happy.

Panditji, you have given me more than any stranger could have ever given me without meeting me.

Thank you!!

Post 455 : English as a foreign language

Got this as an email forward. Mean no harm or ridicule. If I ever speak Chinese in life it will be terrible (and I know that!). This is just published for the mirth. Be a sport and enjoy!!

Most of them are from a site called







Interesting Pedicure....


I think its a shredder...


Bottled water in a tin can...










Harry Potter anyone...


And finally death...


Post 454 : Music 38 Lazy Lamhe (Thoda Pyar Thoda Magic)


Sung : Anusha Mani
Lyrics : Prasoon Joshi
Music : Shankar Ehsaan Loy

Extreme foot-tapping number. Very addictive, esp. the DJ Aqeel mix....very well executed.

Anusha Mani is outstanding in her sensous rendition of this number.

Will go into my list for top songs for 2008 :

1.  Pichle Saat Dinon Mein (Rock On!!)
2. Bheeni Bheeni Mehki Mehki (Welcome to Sajjanpur)
3. Sinbad the Sailor (Rock on!!)
4. Lazy Lamhe (Thoda Pyar Thoda Magic)
5. Miit Jaye (Kidnap)  

Beete Sarak Sarak Ke, Dekho Ye Lazy Lamhe…
Chalte Khisak Khisak Ke Ye Lazy Lamhe, Lazy Lamhe

Kaisi Liye Khumaari, Dekho Ye Lazy Lamhe…
Palkein Bhaari Bhaari Ye Lazy Lamhe,
Dheela Chhodd Khudko Aa Tu Ungliyaan Phiraa… Phiraa…
Hasraton Ki Rasmein Tu Badan Pe Likh Ja… Likh Ja…
Dhadkan Hai, Oo-Oo-Oo-Oo…
Thehri Si, Oo-Oo-Oo-Oo…
Saansein Hain, Oo-Oo-Oo-Oo…
Gehri Si…. Oo-Oo-Oo-Oo…

Ye Lazy Lazy Lamhe… Lazy Lamhe-
Ye Lazy Lazy Lamhe… Lazy Lamhe

Beete Sarak Sarak Ke, Dekho Ye Lazy Lamhe…
Chalte Khisak Khisak Ke Ye Lazy Lamhe, Lazy Lamhe
Kaisi Liye Khumaari, Dekho Ye Lazy Lamhe…
Palkein Bhaari Bhaari Ye Lazy Lamhe,

Ye Lazy Lazy Lamhe…
Lazy Lamhe-Yeh….
Yeh…. Ye Lazy Lazy Lamhe… Lazy Lamhe
Ye Lazy… Lazy… Lamhe…
Ye Lazy… Lazy… Lamhe…

Rut Hai Ye Rut, Iss-Se Kaam Le Zaraa…
O Zaraa
Letaa Hai Bagal Mein Mausam, Thaam Le Zaraa…
Jaam De Zaraa…
Rut Hai Ye Rut, Iss-Se Kaam Le Zaraa…
O Zaraa
Letaa Hai Bagal Mein Mausam, Thaam Le Zaraa…
Jaam De Zaraa…
Aalsi Tammanaa Hai, To Aankhon Se Tu Pii…
Aarzu Pighalne De Aur Haule Haule Jii…
Sharaabi, Oo-Oo-Oo-Oo…
Har Mann Hai, Oo-Oo-Oo-Oo…
Behki Si, Oo-Oo-Oo-Oo…
Sargam Haioo-Oo-Oo-Oo…

Ye Lazy Lazy Lamhe…
Lazy Lamhe-
Ye Lazy Lazy Lamhe…
Lazy Lamhe

Morr Ke Kamar, Ke Koi Dil Dhoond Le…
Dhoond Le…
Hothon Ke Kareeb Manzil Dhoond Le…
Dhoond Le…
Morr Ke Kamar, Ke Koi Dil Dhoond Le…
Dhoond Le…
Hothon Ke Kareeb Manzil Dhoond Le…
Dhoond Le…
Nasheela Sa Koi Manzar Dhoond Le…
Zulfon Ke Paas Ikk Ghar Dhoond Le…

Resham Sa, Lazy Lamhe…
Gunaah Kar, Lazy Lamhe…
Gungunee…Lazy Lamhe…
Si Chaahat Kar….

Ye Lazy Lazy Lamhe…
Lazy Lamhe-
Ye Lazy Lazy Lamhe…
Lazy Lamhe

Beete Sarak Sarak Ke, Dekho Ye Lazy Lamhe…
Chalte Khisak Khisak Ke Ye Lazy Lamhe,
Kaisi Liye Khumaari, Dekho Ye Lazy Lamhe…
Palkein Bhaari Bhaari Ye Lazy Lamhe,
Lazy Lamhe

Dheela Chhodd Khudko Aa Tu Ungliyaan Phiraa…
Hasraton Ki Rasmein Tu Badan Pe Likh Ja…
Likh Ja…
Dhadkan Hai, Oo-Oo-Oo-Oo…
Thehri Si, Oo-Oo-Oo-Oo…
Saansein Hain, Oo-Oo-Oo-Oo…
Gehri Si…. Oo-Oo-Oo-Oo…

Ye Lazy Lazy Lamhe…
Lazy Lamhe-
Ye Lazy Lazy Lamhe…
Lazy Lamhe
Spend Some Lazy Lamhe With Me…
C’mon Babe!

Post 453 : A blue whale beached by a spring tide's ebb

The spring tide is out to browbeat and bulldoze....

My portfolio was over 70% down since highs. I usually don't bend or feel the pinch, even when the times are down. But this time it was different...

I just came out of a period, where I saw my employer (an US I-bank) go-down in a matter of days (not months!!). This experience/memory was fresh....Coming back to the local markets, my biggest bets were on Suzlon and Moser Baer. Given the rumors surrounding Suzlon (and given it is as non-transparent) as a Reliance...I just gave in.

I sold off a bulk of my positions in both of these. They used to be 88% of my portfolio.

My new re-balanced portfolio now includes:

1. Small residual bits of Suzlon (CMP 68) and Moser Baer (CMP 78) (I still believe in these 2 giants, just that I can't over-leverage. My own faith is deserting me at times like these...too much at stake).
2. Mount Everest Mineral Water (fanstastic brand Himalaya, great margins and now a TATA company) (CMP 90)
3. GM Breweries (a company that is valued at 44CR at CMP of Rs.44, makes profit of 15cr per year, pays 2.50 per stock as dividend, 6.5 % yeild).
4. Champagne Indage (My wine fascination does not end with just Sula, Grover is part of it as well. Drink Chantilli ) (CMP 150)
5. Balaji Distilleries (generates 74cr in profit and is selling for 95cr...does not add up at all)
6. United Breweries (I am betting big on legal liquors in India, its obvious by now....remember liquor is almost recession proof) (Not a value buy at all @ CMP 150, is very expensive @ over 40PE, but still I believe in it)
7. India Hotels  (the whole enterprise is close to 900m at this point, no brainer!!) (49 CMP)
7. Small holdings in Religare(CMP 330),  Entertainment Network(CMP 135), Bayer Crop Science(CMP 220ish), Adlabs (CMP 180), Gitanjali Gems(CMP 90)....

I think I am done for now - will not sell now for at least 3 years. Will accumulate more of these (and new ones) as and when my monies allow. My desire to be baselined (for a fresh start, for new beginnings) has been executed today.

At the end of this carnage, I am now around 25% of my peak porfolios. The battle lines are drawn, my fort has just been re-inforced, the chink in my armor is gone....From tomorrow, balls to the spring tide.....this is an amphibian whale!!

(Title comes from Sting's King of Pain)

Post 452 : The last trickle of my juvenile MPD avtaar....


Just checking on the front....



Post 451 : I have MPD, one of my personalities is a 16 year old juvenile derelict....(Content warning....)

None of this is my original. All of it is copyrighted by someone on the web. I don't have the original sources, thanks to an email forward.

Some of it might offend a few of you, since they are not all politically correct. If you are one of them, please dont read beyond this point (whoa!!, thats brilliant legal speak, how does one known what will offend before he/she has read bits of this....but you poor biased soul, go figure!!)

If this is copyright violation, let me know, I shall gladly pull any of these images out. My idea is not to lynch or make money, but instead to share a few genuine loffs.