Thursday, May 31, 2007

Timely Dilbert

Ironically, we are having the appraisal process kicking off at our office. :-)

Sunday, May 27, 2007

On Target!

The hutch ads have always been catchy and cute. But not so long ago, they came up with an Ad which showed that they knew their target market very well. No wonder they got bought for billions of dollars! :-)

In case the subtlety is lost on anyone, the ladies always run up the "Large" bill. :-))

Friday, May 25, 2007

For want of airtime...

How good is our National Badminton team? The last match I saw was Chetan Anand, India's No:1 being beaten in the quarter final stage of a tourney by Peter Gade (then World No:3). I was happy then to see the pluck in Chetan and wished for him to do very good for himself and India. Almost a year has passed by and I don't remember seeing many news let alone good news about Indian Badminton.

Then about a month or so back, I happen to hear about the tiff between some of the top Indian shuttlers and BAI (Badminton Association of India). The BAI wanted all players to attend a "elite" training camp for 6 months and attend only those tourneys that are decided by it. This kind of camp would definitely help the younger crop of players and players on the fringe of national team selection. But the folks who are already on the team and doing ok for themselves surely didn't want to miss out on the pay packages of playing in tourneys abroad by attending this camp (which will probably not do them much good). The BAI in turn stopped these players from being considered for selection for these tourneys. Definitely can't blame the players for throwing the towel in and the dictatorial behavior of BAI had to be opposed. The opposition was spearheaded by none other than Chetan Anand and his wife Jwala Gutta along with her doubles partner, Shruthi Kurien. This has been going on for a while with each party taking a media salvo at each other every now and then.

This being said, today I hear the news that BAI has finally loosened its stance and is now going to given permission to the top players to not attend the camp and go ahead for tourneys. This sure is a sweet victory and instead of getting back to their cause (i.e. badminton) ASAP, our rebelling shuttlers had to have the last word. While talking to the media, Chetan claims that BAI must compensate them for the tourneys they missed. While Jwala goes total filmy and says their careers have been "irreparably damaged". You don't play for 6 months in big money tourneys and your career has been damaged? In the same vein, a capable software professional working in a company with pittance salary has also damaged his career! Shuttle Rebels, get back on court and prove your point! "Resurrect" your careers...

Sports professional minus cricketers in India and media starved and nobody wants to lose any airtime....


Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Its finally happened...

The sport of tennis had been longing for two things to happen. Federer to beat Nadal on clay and Nadal to beat Federer on grass. Both are geniuses in their own ranks with Federer being the more accomplished one. In fact, I think Federer plays so good, that he was/is doing more harm to the game of tennis than good. Its almost like in cricket, nobody can beat Australia and hence no finals is fun as the result is a foregone conclusion. The world has been longing for some sort of competition to brew that they decided to make a surface where both of these players will have an equal shot at winning. Nadal won this strange match and possibility of some interesting results was now a reality.

Nadal had since continued his winning streak on clay and last counted at 81 continuous victories on clay, till the Hamburg Open final where he met Federer. The stage was set and Federer finally did it! What makes this victory special for Federer is that he was in some sort of a slump losing to some lesser known players and here too lost the first set. But to be fair to Nadal, he had been playing far more tennis that Federer, 81 is a good number. :-) Now that French open is definitely going to be a lot more interesting, one can only wish for an equally interesting Wimbledon. With Federer on a 41 match unbeaten streak on grass, the tables turn and Nadal, the underdog, should pull off an upset. If this year, French Open goes to Federer and Wimbledon goes to Nadal, we could possibly be privy to a very legendary duel brewing for many years to come.

Boo to domination, hail the underdog! :-)

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Being Nasty!

Dayanidhi Maran is out! I am sure a less competent person will now control the ministry, which is a not so good. He was a young politician and I generally feel the younger crop of politicians are less corrupt. But there was one thing about Maran that irked me to no end and that was his oh-so-obvious Tamilnadu centric IT policies. I agree that more cities in India must get their IT industry going. But I just as strongly believe that we should not lose the edge that Bengaluru gives India in world IT scene. How many IT CEOs did Maran get to Bengaluru versus Chennai? Why this disparity? Bengaluru has been grappling with infrastructure issues for some time now and why is this? The only industry that Bengaluru can boast about is IT and not all of the IT engineers are Bangaloreans. They come from all parts of the country, and hence giving Bengaluru priority is not a crime, but is in national interest. As a cabinet minister in charge of this ministry, he should have been the forerunner in getting attention to this issue. But you heard Kalam and Manmohan Singh talk about it before the IT minister uttered a word even!

I am happy that a less efficient minister at the helm would mean more good to IT on the whole and Bengaluru in specific than Maran. Just calling a spade a spade, even if its nasty!

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

The new radio city

We have a new FM radio station in Bangalore, Fever 104. These guys are not exactly new and have been around for 2-3 months now, but they have been pretty low key when compared to their competitors. This is strange considering the niche market that every station is trying to acquire. Also, the big name behind this station is Virgin who are a old name in the music game and should know that they need to woo the market, at least initially, even if they do present good music.

They have a very consistent format unlike other radio stations and this is probably what makes them unique. They play 40 minutes of non-stop, ad-free music every hour and then pepper in a few ads in the next 20 minutes. The Bangalore arm of the station is headed by erstwhile radio city RJ Darius and has some other ex-radio city RJs like Fiona and Rohit Jayakaran pitching in. Their song selection though is very much like radio city, trying to play the most "popular" songs in Bollywood and International tracks, though the ratio is almost 1:1. I have not heard a single Kannada song being played, which I think is bold. I did hear an RJ late in the night speak a few Kannada words though. :-)

As of now, I prefer Fever 104 to radio city simply because they play better music with lesser Ads. Sunaina Lal not being around didn't help radio city's cause either. But an annoying thing about Fever is their non-conformance to standard(if there is one). There is some funda of radio station frequencies ending with an odd number, at least in the US there is. In Bangalore too, we have:

1. Radio Mirchi - 98.3

2. Radio One - 94.3

3. Surya FM - 93.5

4. Big FM - 92.7

5. Radio Indigo - 91.9

Radio city started of as 91.0 and changed not so long ago to 91.1. This being said, why did Fever start off with 104.0 ?? I just bought a Car CD/FM player from the US and I know that will not support even ending frequencies. :-( Now, do I upgrade or wait for Fever to upgrade?

Friday, May 04, 2007

Movie Review: Bheja Fry

My first hindi movie in a looong time, and boy was it worth it! Multiplex cinema is here to stay and this movie is the best proof of this. Bheja Fry, a 55-60 Lakhs budget movie, a 1.5 hrs movie, a non bollywood-like star cast movie and yet more fun to watch that the most Yashraj films!

Bheja Fry is the story of a rich, pompous, selfish and arrogant music industry businessman Ranjit Thadani(Rajat Kapoor), who at the end of the movie learns a thing or two about how to be a nice guy. Rajat Kapoor unwinds every Friday night with a bunch of friends. Their activity being, getting some person who believes he has talent to their dinner/get-together and make fun of them, of course without the person knowing that he is being made fun off. Sounds rude ? it of course is, and that is exactly what his wife (Sarika) feels. The "idiot" called in for one such fun Friday night is Bharat Bhushan(Vinay Pathak), a wannabe singer working in the tax department.

The story gets interesting when Ranjit sprains his back on this particular friday and to boot loses his mobile. The significance of losing the mobile is absolutely essential for the movie's intense storyline. :-). Adamant to continue with his weekend party, he calls Bharat Bhushan to come and disregards his wife's suggestions to cancel the friday get-together and care for his back. Miffed by this his wife leaves the house in anger. The rest of the movie is to do with Ranjits efforts to trace his wife and in the process the very unique antics of Bharat Bhushan. All in all a real fun movie and will definitely be worth your time.

Was the movie technically brilliant? Of course not, it is riddled with minor mistakes that are needed to keep the story going. This being said, no one can complain about the performances, most notably that of Vinay Pathak. Absolutely brilliant comic timing and dialogue delivery. Ranvir Shourie could have been used better and Milind Soman was possibly the worst performer in the movie.

On a purely entertainment scale, I would give this movie a 8.0 on 10. :-)