Sunday, December 31, 2006

Security Concerns.. Blah Blah Blah

They say (and I have no clue who they are) that you throw a stone onto a crowded street in Bangalore and its very likely to fall on the head of a techie(IT professional). This is not surprising at all. Most of the happening joints in town are so costly that only the money squandering, "I don't care for tomorrow" techie would frequent them. These techies all have tell tale characteristics. They dress very similarly, have a wind-cheater or a jerkin have a snazzy bike, likely to wear sneakers rather than formal shoes, more often than not in jeans and a T-shirt with some geeky(masquerading as cool) written on it. They leave no doubt in anyones mind that they are a techie and most definitely have a 15-20K mobile in one pocket, atleast 4-5 Gold (not any less) credit cards in their other pocket and at least a few grand in their purse. The same holds good for the fairer sex too, maybe a few specifics differ but they too fall into the broader spectrum of generalization.

Now that we have established to some extent that within the heart of the city, these techies rule the roost with their money and bindaas attitude, lets move a little away from the center of the city, shall we? Lets see we move some 10-12 kms away, towards the infamous outer ring road. Though this place has skyrocketing real estate prices and is fast becoming crowded, after 10PM you are more likely to find only lorries plying the road and very few people walking around. In such a desolate place, when you are driving a car at 10-11PM and *anyone* other than a cop tries to stop the car, what would you do? Would you be stupid enough to stop the car? Would you be stupid enough to get out of your car? Ok... lets say no one tries to stop the car and you need to very urgently take a leak as you have a serious bowel problem with and also short term memory loss which prevents you from taking a leak at office and also lack of civic sense which prevents you from waiting till you get home. Would you park your car/bike on the side of such a surrounding and take the leak? Would such a person feel "relieved", pun intended!

These are very simple questions with very simple answers. It does not take a rocket scientist to tell anyone what is the right thing to do in these situations. But if someone does not do the logically obvious thing and stops the car for some person or decides to take a leak in a place with no street lights around, who is to blame? If my hints have not been subtle enough, I am talking about the murder of techie Adhip Lahiri, which was solved today. He was murdered by 2 people for monetary gains, its like any other money related killing in any other town or city. But with media putting everyone who is anyone in the limelight, we had theories like:
1. Colleagues plotting to kill him because he cornered an overseas opportunity
2. He was laden with financial debt and hence was targeted.
3. many more that I didn't care to read.

And to sum it all up, the specificity that resonates is "Bangalore is not safe anymore". People! Wake up.. this ain't "Bangalore-The pensioner paradise" anymore. This is "Bangalore-The beer and software city". I am not gonna give a lecture on morality here on what money can do! We all know it but in denial that no matter what happens the city of yore will remain intact through all these changes. Which city in India with people with as much money as Bangalore is safer than Bangalore? I am not talking of money in the bank, but of money in the pocket and ready to spend! Ready to spend on not just things that costs lakhs like houses and cars, but for daily masti in malls, multiplexes and eat/drink joints.

Would the kidnapping of a top IT executives child in Gurgaon deem Gurgaon as difficult to live in?? I am sure the "Guppies" won't agree. Would the arrest of a pedophile business man and his necrophilic handyman make Noida a no-no for future companies?

When we dare live the dream we gotta be ready for the nightmares round the corner....

p.s: My post is not intended to be unsympathetic to the loss that Adhip Lahiris family is living with. Its just my view on the outpour that followed.

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Don't spare the axe!

I am tired, I am sleepy and yet I am seeing the pathetic Indian batting display on the 5th day of the 2nd test against South Africa. There comes this point when something just goes off in your mind, the dam of patience just gives way. That just happened to me now and hence this impromptu post.

Take the series up to now. How many of the Indian batsman have shown enough technique, resilience or intent to stay at the crease and score some runs?

1. Sehwag - NOPE
2. Jaffer - NOPE
3. Rahul - Yes {He was very unlucky to be given out the way he has been}
4. Tendulkar - Yes {Watch his 40s and 60s. The old magic is coming back}
5. Laxman - Yes {Most consistent of the lot this series}
6. Ganguly - Yes {Maybe he is missing his sponsors, but he sure has shown intent}

I am not going to Dhoni and below coz, if the top 6 do their job, the bottom 5 shouldn't matter. It is pretty clear where we have the problem and the hunt for a solution needs to start. Its not just that the top 2 have not scored, but they have got out to the most stupid of shots. What was sehwag doing slashing and tapping at balls outside off so early in his innings? What was Jaffer doing hitting a hopeless pull when the team was 3 down and looking in trouble? The mode of these dismissals alone is good enough to fire their asses off the team. Try Robin Uttapah, hell try even Gambhir! I am not a fan of Gambhir coz his technique sucks, but for the bigger message to get through, he needs to play! Look at Zaheer or Ganguly for that matter. Not making those extra crores seem to have hurt them enough to consider playing decent enough for their country!!

Message to the selectors: Don't spare the axe... use it, nonchalantly and without inhibition.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Scotty Time

Its been a while since a cartoon has made me laugh. This is from dilbert and doesn't involve Dilbert! Check it out!

Wally... you da man!! :-D :-D :-D :-D

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Settling Waves

Bangaloreans have had the taste of 6 free to air private FM stations for more than 2-3 months now. Though each started off by trying to woo away listeners from the other, they have all now settled into their own comfort zones.

Radio City - 91.1:
90% English presenation and 10% Kanglish (Kannada+English) presentation with 90% Hindi music and 10% English music. They thrown in a Kannada song once in a while just to please the localites, but the intent is just to stay away from trouble. Their RJs are the best in the business with Sunaina and Vasanthi being the best and the perky Malavika not far behind. They also usually have the best promos. They are trying to cater mainly to the non-localites and they are probably the only station with a loyal listener base.

Radio Mirchi - 98.3:
90% Kannada presentation and 10% Kanglish presentation with 50% Hindi Music an 50% Kannada music. The RJs are usually very predictable and don't seem to have a fan following to note. They play Hindi music during the typical radio primetime i.e. 7-10 AM and 6-9PM. Trying to win the non-localites and localites is not an easy game. Nice slogan, "Sakath Hot Maga". :-)

Radio One - 94.3:
90% Kannada presentation and 10% Kanglish presentation with 50% Hindi Music an 50% Kannada music. Modus operandi very similar to Radio Mirchi and not very inspiring RJs here either. Second best to Mirchi in this playing field. Have many slogans, "Hittappa Hittu" and "Hit mele Hit mele Hit"

BIG FM - 92.7:
Almost 100% Kannada presentation and mostly Kannada songs with the rare Hindi song here and there. Again the RJ's don't seem to innovative and a lousy slogan to boot, "Keli, Kelisi, Life Nimmadagisi". Duh! But one thing these guys know is their target audience, the sorta well to do young localite.

Surya FM - 93.5:
These guys are again almost 100% Kannada presentation and play mostly Kannada songs. They are very similar to BIG FM, but have RJs with more energy. They seem to play more old Kannada songs and that is good coz most of the new ones suck. They cater to the localite at home and also the young localite. Nice slogan too, "Mast Maja Maadi".

Radio Indigo - 91.9:
Moved out of the WorldSpace group and has been known as the cradle for most of the good RJs of Bangalore. They have attracted back experienced Radio City RJs like Cindu (Yes, with a C) and Rohit Barker. They also have some nice young talent pool, but the night patrol guy, Geoffrey seems to be missing in action most of the time. One time, I drove for close to 20 minutes tuned in to only this station and didn't hear the guy presenting the show even once! The most professional sounding channel after Radio City and Radio Mirchi, they sure have a very hardcore target audience and will always remain No:1 in this niche market.

All in all, though the channels have increased, I still stick to Radio City and Radio Indigo with the occasional Radio Mirchi during my radio time. I don't hear of any new channels coming in any time soon and this is gonna be the fare on display(?) for some time to come.

I wonder how good/bad Worldspace is. Anyone knows?

Monday, December 25, 2006


How can you drive real dangerous and get away with it? In Bangalore the answer to this is pretty simple these days. There is a severe shortage of traffic cops in the city and those who are around and doing a decent job of it are too busy trying to avoid a traffic jam than to actually catch an offender.

I remember the days when I had a 2 wheeler learners license and I used to drop my friend everyday(a learner cannot have a pillion rider) from college. We would stop off at the end of goodshed road, my friend would walk the next 50-100 meters while I drive by in front of the cops and he would then sit back onto my bike. We used to do this many times during our 14 km ride back from college. We used to do this coz we knew that if any traffic cop caught us, we would have to fork a lot of money!

Gone are those good old days of playing cat and mouse with traffic cops. You can in fact drive as rashly as you want and still get away with it, like this lorry driver did.

I tried to get hold of his license plate and all I got was more cement on my car as I drove close to him. The chap tried to swerve in front of me and only the extra horsepower in my ride saved me!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006


... the title of the blog is chat lingo for laugh my ass off, which is exactly what I did when I saw this pic.

The below pic (courtesy TOI) shows a TDP MLA being removed by Marshals from the Andhra Pradesh assembly for protesting on some issue which I guess was very close to his heart.

The guy seems so happy, proud and content! If ever there was a picture book that had to pictorially represent "I have done my job", this would be that picture!! :-D :-D :-D

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Sunday, December 17, 2006

Malluwoods New Star

Move aside Mammootty, step aside Mohanlal.... welcome Sree, the booty shaker!!

3rd day of the 1st test between India and South Africa. Nel does his usual "I will stare you to death" act to Sreesanth, new at the crease after Laxmans dismissal. Nel goes one step furthur and says to Sreesanth, "Show me some heart.... you don't have the heart!". There are many heartless and soulless people in Indian cricket but Sreesanth is definitely not one of them, he wears his heart on his sleeve, so to speak. Our ferocious youngster, fresh from his 'fifer' on the second day couldn't let this go by. This is what he does!

This is right up there with Miandad doing the monkey act on Kiran More! In cricketing quarters... totally priceless!!

Saturday, December 16, 2006

The e-life

And I now remember.... cool

Citibank had this offer to give a cash back of Rs.50 for paying utility bills through their online portal. Guess what... I took it up. nose smile I decided to pay the BESCOM (electricity) bill online. This was my first time paying a utility bill online and was not so sure about the whole thing. This nervousness stems not because of my lack of trust in citibank but more from my lack of trust in the e-functioning of the government services.

None the less, I took the risk and the payment from the citibank side was quite straightforward. I was surprised by the details they wanted, but that only made me believe that they would actually make the right payment. Now that money was out of my account, the onus was on me to ensure that it reached its destination. wink nose

After making the payment, Citibank had suggested that the payment will be made in 2 days. I waited exactly 2 days and called up Citibank (coz I was sure I would not get a decent person from BESCOM on the phone). Quite promptly and as expected, the Citibank call gave me no reply. They said the money is gone, we have sent the money, call up the vendor and find out. So, I reluctantly tried to get the BESCOM numbers from their site. They have all the numbers alrite, but no one picks those numbers! Anywayz, I remembered reading in the papers a while back about Bangalore One. I didn't know what it had or didn't have and gave it a shot. And by entering the same details I entered at Citibank, I got the details of how much money I had to pay for the month! Now, I was happy the site worked, but also psyched that my payment was not reflected!! shocked I resigned to the thought that an inevitable trip to the local BESCOM payment center is in the offing. Just for luck, I tried the Bangalore One site again today and guess what... the payment was made!! A day late... but it was made!

I don't know what I am more happy about, the fact that the payment was made or that I am gonna make 50 bucks from citibank or that e-governance has actually arrived!

.... Duh! of course its the 50 bucks!! coolcool

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Bloggers Block

I opened to write a post. I knew what I wanted to write about and blogger took so long to come up that when it actually did, I had no clue of what I wanted to blog about!

Damn!! Bloggers Block and pun intended! slant

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Thursday, December 14, 2006

12 Days Of Christmas

Ask any American around Christmas time for a favorite song or anthem and "12 Days of Christmas" would be one of the favorite ones that gets a mention.

You can never leave a desi out of anything and here is boymongoose, a predominantly desi band coming up with a hilarious parody {download link}. Though they have released their video on youtube, again very funny, I have taken the liberty of getting the mp3 for you.

p.s: As it goes with all mp3 downloads, please delete this file after you hear it! (sic!)

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Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Height of personalization

Saw this Ad on paper yesterday. The Ad shows that the new scooty can be ordered in any one of the zillion colors almost like choosing a paint for your house.

I remember the tough time I had going through the paint brochures to decide on a paint for my house. When you start off, you think you know the color you want. But as you start browsing through the brochures you get more and more confused and in the end are relieved on choosing some color to just get away from the brochures! Having the same problem with a scooter is plain funny! wink big nose

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I couldn't help but post this! I was watching the live telecast of the Tennis Mixed Doubles final from Doha which India won(Yipppeeeee!!!!) and after India won the gold it was back to the Doordarshan studios. One of the commentators did a decent job of giving some stats and on how India had won 51 medals totally in 15 different disciplines. Then he passed the baton onto this joker who instead of taking cue from the previous(and senior) commentator went on with his own well prepared speech. As if this was not bad enough, he ends with this joke!

India medal tally
G - 9
S - 18
B - 24

He goes this way.... "I like the way India has taken a liking to the number 9. 9 times 1 is 9, 9 times 2 is 18, 9 times 3 is 24"!! monkeymonkeymonkey

Of all the things that commentators will be asked in their interview, this proves that Doordarshan for sure doesn't have a single question on Mathematics!!! nose grin

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All Mail - One Place

For the better part of my emailing life, I have used my office-id as the default id for all personal and office related mails. This is very convenient for most parts till you decide to part ways with the organization. On such time, the organization tries extra hard to make your remaining time in the office as difficult as possible and what better way than block you from taking out anything from office in CD's or DVD's because of "IP" issues.

I then was invited to GMail during the very early adoption days of GMail, if I remember correctly, I was number 1600 something to use GMail, thanks to the benevolent Mr.Gupta. Since then I have been hooked to GMail and with firefox, greasemonkey and some extensions, GMail has become my most preferred email client, even beating outlook(which I consider to be feature rich). Now GMail has gone one step further and added this very very useful feature.

Now you can have *all* your emails at a single location, including your office mails(if POP is enabled)! I know many people who check 2-3 email accounts everyday and this would be a real boon to them.

Warning: I wouldn't want to get my office emails on GMail though. I know Google is all smart and full of Phd wallas, but all a hacker needs is one bug and if he pulls off some IP(remember startups have no money, only IP) from your account, you are toast!

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Thursday, December 07, 2006

Tryst with cooking

Due to unavoidable travel reasons the better halves of dad and myself are not at home. This leaves Dad and myself to do all the work at home. slant

Almost all the work at home is kinda manageable except for cooking. My dad is somewhat of a strict one when it comes to food. He needs his rice everyday and hence shortcuts like instant noodles don't fly with him. Hence I had to transform myself from a one dish wonder (I am known to make some mean puliyogare) to chef principal. wink big nose. As they say, necessity is the mother of all invention and though I don't want to deem what I cooked as an invention(that could only be derogatory), I did manage to cook rasam for us. I think I give myself a 10 on 10 for the effort if not for the taste. cool. I went slightly overboard with the chili powder and slightly less with salt. I also had to deal with some very adamant dal which just wouldn't boil. But all in all, we have survived two days on this and the third day is not looking too bad either. wink big nose

Maybe I should try my hand at something more grand next... how about Sambar?? Yes Yes Yes... from my Point Of View Sambar is grand!!

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Monday, December 04, 2006

Music Review: Ustad and the Divas

Ustad Sultan Khan (Piya Basanti fame)is back and he has more than a diva to keep him company. The evergreen Chitra is joined this time around by the two best that Bollywood has to offer, Sunidhi and Shreya. There are 6 songs and a few remixes(this is the norm!) in this album and on first hear they seem like an OK compilation.

The best song of the album and the one whose video is already being aired Leja Leja, sung by Shreya Ghoshal and she has done a fantastic job! The video is also very catchy featuring the extremely good looking lass from Bangalore, Nina Sarkar. This is the only song by Shreya but I think she has the meatiest one! There are 3 songs by Sunidhi with Billo being the best one. Chitra has 2 songs in this album with Rangeela Rut is probably the peppiest number in the album. The sound of this song sounds very familiar, but I can't place where I have heard it. There is this constant presence of Ustad Sultan Khan's voice in every song and somehow that didn't do it for me. He must be a great Sarangi exponent(he is after all a Ustad), but I somehow don't find his voice that captivating or romantic.

The music of this album is by Sandesh Shandilya who had a pretty good run in Bollywood not so long ago, but has been on the fringes since. All in all a decent offering from him with the Divas taking the cake. I most certainly couldn't get the Piya Basanti feel in any song, but maybe more listening of this album would help. I rate it a 6.8 on 10.

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Asian Games are on?

Well yes, the Asian Games are on at Doha and India has sent a contingent of 426 athletes! shocked Up to now, We have one gold in Chess(Koneru Hampy) and couple of silvers and bronzes to date. This is relatively okay and we have been winning in mens and womens hockey too.

What surprises me though is the lack of interest for the games. First off, its televised only on DD, which still needs to learn a trick or two on marketing an event like Asian Games for which, I am sure, they have paid a lot of money! Secondly, the print media, at least TOI, seems to know very well that Asian Games has not entered into the peoples psyche and hence is not even in the first page of the Sports page! Add to this the very pedestrian commentary by the same old faces/voices almost puts you to sleep. These guys surface every Asian Games, Common wealth Games, Afro-Asian Games and SAARC Games and treat each of these no differently than the State Championship!

Anyway, a chance to watch the Chinese dominate and edge ever closer to world domination in sports is very interesting. Up to the early 1970's they used to win the same number of medals as India and then someone in the administration took the whole issue of sports seriously and today they totally dominate the Asian Games and give very decent competition in the Olympics. What is interesting about their rise in sports is also the respect they garner in other fields. Most of the rich west treat sports and fitness as being an integral part of their lives and they tend to relate and respect folks from countries who also treat sports similarly. China is doing that quite well these days and earning many brownie points while our obsession with a sport that the west has no clue of isn't getting us many crumbs!

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Saturday, December 02, 2006

Making hay while ...

Does the name Alex Tew ring a bell to any of you? Well, if it does not lemme give you people the dope on his claim to fame. This chap came up with an advertising idea called the million dollar homepage. People would buy advertising space from this guy for $1 for every pixel. If the idea sounds like something that would never fly, think again! Have a look at the page, its filled and our man just pocketed a cool million dollars(there were a million pixels). Now the genius who came up with this dumb idea is back with a new idea ... now don't get your brains working overtime as Mr. Alex Tew sure didn't! He is going for the multi-million dollar homepage and since he knows people won't fall for the same trick twice, he is trying to lure people by giving away a million dollars for whoever clicks on the 'lucky' pixel. I think the odds are better in any game in Vegas than on this page!

If this idea of his also "clicks", then I am gonna go confidently ahead with a billion dollar homepage!! Hell... if netizens are this moronic, lemme give it a shot while they remain so! cool
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