Saturday, September 29, 2007

Avaya gaya...

In what has become the trend of the season, big private equity players are gobbling up some big names in the tech. Not so long ago freescale went to Blackstone group and co. Now its the time for a very accomplished player in the voice and system integration space, Avaya, to get bought over by Silver lake partners. Also, 3Com, perennially part of every networking race, but the winner of none, has also got bought over by Bain Capital and Huawei.

Its so crazy to think that such deals, done in the plush corporate boardrooms, could decide my money investing decisions. But strangely, it does. And paranoid as one has got to be in the high paying tech industry, I think I will wait and watch for a while...

mera number kab aayega?


India has won the T20 world up quite handsomely. There was a lot of vindication of the selection of the team, of the captain, of the playing eleven etc. Very sunny days for Indian cricket these.

While all looks well and wise, there are some administration woes under the carpets. The ICL has got as much sympathy or support because it has pointed to many of the problems that ail BCCI and vouched to fight or get rid of them. One of the biggest of these ailments being zone politics. Look at the selection of Team Managers for the last few tours. Ravi Shastri for Bangladesh tour, Chandu Borde for England tour and Lalchand Rajput for the T20 World cup, all from Maharashtra. Now, the post left vacant after Kapil Devs resignation as NCA chairman goes to Ravi Shastri. Ravi Shastri, after his retirement, has been more of a businessman and at best a commentator than an active coach or mentor. I don't have an alternate candidate, but I do question the merit of this decision. Is this the smoke that indicates fire?

BCCI may have bought some time thanks to the distraction from the World Cup win. But if it doesn't get its act together, the well preparing ICL could take the game away from them, pun intended.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Epitomizing Thick!

We have known George Bush to make some really stupid gaffes and here is the latest. He has pronounced Mandela to be killed by Saddam! :-)) In fact, Saddam has killed all the Mandelas.

Since you can get almost anything on YouTube, here is the video of the famous words being uttered!

If people find public speaking scary or difficult, you cannot find better inspiration than this. Here is the leader of the most powerful nation in the world, making the most ridiculous of blunders one after another and still on song for a encore the next day. :-)

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Rail Rescue

A year or so back, I could feel a distinct improvement in the road conditions across Bangalore. A lot of pot holes had gone missing, many roads were widened and many flyovers became operational. The traffic had in no way reduced, but was made more bearable.

This years rains have come and maybe almost gone and they have taken the roads with them. Majority of the roads have now been revisited by the pot holes and flooding due to rain is almost passe. With the "Namma Metro" taking its time in coming and being limited in nature, at least to start with, I think Bangalore should start thinking of solutions for the next wave of traffic troubles. Its unlikely that our metro will have the reach like the famous Paris or London metros, and hence we need more alternate mass transit system.

I have heard Narayana Murthy talk of mono rail and here is an example of it in action in Sydney. Look at the support pillars, they don't seem to occupy much space and the rail seems to fit into the narrowest of roads.

pics courtesy wikipedia

I know there is plan of some kinda mono rail for Bangalore, but I think we will need a lot more like these planned and done so very soon.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

I am...



We have beaten the champions!! And my cocky comment in the previous post of an India vs Pakistan final... well, Nostradamus, thy successor is me! :-)))

Can't Walk, Can Dance

The 20-20 cricket world cup has reached its final stages and India surprisingly finds itself still in the reckoning. Even the Pakistan team should be feeling the same, considering the dismal performance of the two teams in the 50 over ODI world cup.

While I await the India vs Australia match, the other semi-final between Pakistan and New Zealand is currently on. The Pakistan opener Imran Nazir complained of a thigh strain within the first 2-3 overs of their innings. He claimed that the injury happened during the course of this match and nothing to do with the previous match. Remember he got a knock on the family jewels in the last match and had to hobble out retired hurt. The NZ captain, Daniel Vettori allowed him to get a runner and no less than the team captain Shoaib Malik walked in. This of course helped the Pakis tactically, but I wondered how restricted Imran Nazir movement at the crease would be, considering his injury.

I first tried to spot some discomfort when he played the back foot cut. He had no problems and was getting on top of the ball easily. I then tried to see if he can play the front foot cover or straight drives. Though he didn't play any of these shots, he did play the sweep, which needed him to stretch his front foot, which was done quite effortlessly. Next came the towering sixes of Vettori, for which Imran danced down the track should to get to the pitch of the ball and then whack it, again all this done with no discomfort. Before Imran got out, he went on to score a crucial 50 and take Pakis very close to victory. And once Shoaib hit the winning sixer, there was Imran Nazir, running full hilt to congratulate him on the victory! Vettori must be thinking that he shouldn't have been the good guy and should have in fact disallowed a runner, as everyone could see that he sure didn't need one!

Go on Pakis, do what you have to do to get into the finals... we will meet you there. ;-)

Wednesday, September 19, 2007


The title of this entry is a kannada word which means something close to mix of "decency" and "honesty" but maybe a more stronger version of the same. Read the rest of the post and you will know the reason for the title.

Some 18 months back an almost unexpected turn of events happened in the political scene in Karnataka. A young aspirant politician, HD Kumaraswamy, pulled off a true political coup. He took a bunch of JD(S) MLAs and went to some resort in the outskirts of the city as JD(S) pulled the carpet from under the feet of the then Congress government. HD Deve Gowda, then, couldn't believe what was happening. Kumaraswamy's elder brother, and a more seasoned politician, HD Revanna stood at the sidelines with wide eyed and open mouthed. BJP was becoming a force to reckon with in the state over the last 2-3 elections and they wanted a stint at governance to prove their mettle. They were more than happy to side with JD(S) to form the government. To add, their leader Yediyurappa was aging and wanted to be a CM before his time is over. All these put together, Karnataka saw a successful political coup.

What followed was political drama at its best. Deve gowda was distraught. There were talks of him taking political sanyas. Every interview of his in the days that followed showed a dejected and teary eyed former PM, totally at loss of words. Senior JD(S) leaders wanted the "rebel" MLA's expelled. This would of course mean the end of JD(S) as everyone knew since the majority of the MLAs were with Kumaraswamy. As days went by, a deal was made for splitting the governance in 2 stages. First 20 months to Kumaraswamy and next 20 months to Yediyurappa. Somehow, Deve Gowda slowly warmed up to the whole thing and all was well then. This brought an end to the political careers of many senior JD(S) CM aspirants like MP Prakash. Deve Gowda gets back to his good old irritating ways and look like things are actually gonna work out.

18 months go by, we come to the present day and close to the day when JD(S) needs to transfer power to BJP. But now, we suddenly have all kinda problems to get this done. Kumaraswamy who brazenly went against his dad when he had to form the government, now swears totally by his father and says he would do whatever his dad says. Deve gowda says he will talk to Vajpayee and they will decide the future. Yediyurappa is already seeing his dreams of his tush on the CM gaddi fading. BJP feels betrayed, JD(S) does what they do best... hold on to power or pain the people in power(Dharam Singh can vouch for this). Where is the niyatthu?!?

When I first heard of the Kumaraswamy move a year and a half back, I felt sorry (very very little) for gowda, but when I saw them patch up in a week or so, I figured this was a well planned show for the people. And now, the real face of the drama comes back. We bring these jokers to power and these guys play their games while the people who voted them in.. well, they wait for these guys to finish making their crores and then do something to make the common mans lives better!

Sunday, September 16, 2007


It has rained real crazy in Bangalore for most of last week. Its good to see Bangalore at its gloomy best, reminding us Bangaloreans of the good old days. I see many complain off this gloomy weather, but this is exactly the weather that sets Bangalore apart from the rest of the big cities of India.

This being said, I share a strange love-hate relationship with all this rain.
1. I love it being gloomy, but I hate it when it rains so much that the football ground gets all slushy.
2. I love it when I can sit for hours at home without having to bother about turning on the fan, but I hate it when I have to use the water heater to have some hot water since the solar heater didn't get enough sunlight to do its job.
3. I love it when the roads are empty during peak hours when there is heavy rain, but I hate it when the period after a heavy rain results in huge traffic jams even during non-peak hours.
4. The lazy me loves it when the rain gives my car a free wash, but I hate it when my car gets a free mud coat the day after the rains.

Rain in Bangalore... You can love it, You can hate it.... you can also ignore it, :-) which is exactly what I am gonna do.

Friday, September 14, 2007


Watching the India vs Pakistan match which has just ended in a tie. A really good match.... had lotsa fun for a change! Would take a match like this anyday than a run blast of 200+ runs! But this could be just me. :-)

But the rule says, when there is a tie, 5 bowlers will trying to hit the wicket and get a point each time they hit the stumps. A very desperate attempt to match the soccer penalty shootout. It is funny, but nonetheless, still desperate. Its almost like, we will do anything for more acceptance of the game in the world!

... and India beats Pakistan again at the World Cup!! :-D

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

The impossible!

Having watched the Aussies play cricket over the last 10+ years, I would not mind any team playing any kind of cricket just beating them black and blue. This is why the Aussie tour of India in 2001 when Bhajji routed them or the Ashes in 2005 become so important.

I was critical of 20-20 cricket a couple of posts back and I more of less stand by it. But having said that, a Zimbabwe victory over the famed Aussies is something else! Kudos to a team which was helped in no small part by the weather, the state of the pitch and most importantly the over confident approach of the Aussies. The last shock defeat in ODI's for the Aussies came on the very same day two years ago when the Bangaldeshis got the better of them.

I have to agree with a friend of mine who said, "For all the negatives of this new format, it does give minnows a chance to compete". He couldn't have been more right! This being said, what are India's chances against Scotland?? :-)

Sunday, September 09, 2007


We are moving offices soon and have been interfacing with an interior design company. In the last 2 months we have seen 2 people quit the team that used to interface with us. This would be no surprise if we were talking of an IT company and looks like there are other industries following suit. Why do people quit their job? What are they looking for? What should they be looking for?

These are very subjective questions, but if you have time, this could help you answer some questions. Though these are observations of one individual, see if you can empathize with his dilemmas, wishes, complains and learnings. :-)

Saturday, September 08, 2007

What is the hurry?

I am currently watching the final ODI between India and England, and the match seems to be heading towards one with low scores. And after the questionable Dravid dismissal and the abysmal Tendulkar decision, things looks a little less interesting.

Nonetheless, coming to the reason for this post, I saw an Ad come up for the 20-20 world cup and also another trivia that came up which said England has played the most number of 20-20 internationals, 6! I can remember India having played only one, in SA. And the total number of international 20-20 matches is just 19! The format is at such a nascent stage and we already having a world cup for it??

Its quite understandable that if cricket has to grow, the 5 day version will definitely not appeal to other countries and the 50 over ODI format also takes a little too much time. There was an attempt at playing the "6's tournament" where each team has six players. For whatever reason it wasn't successful and we now have this variant. All this being done to cut down the time taken to finish a match, and that is needed to make it more TV friendly and compete with games like Basketball, Baseball etc.

That being said, what is going to be fed via the tube to the potential followers of the game is far from the real soul of the game. There are probably many good things about 20-20 games, I say so because I have seen very few these matches. But from a relative stranger to the game, it does present a lot of imbalances. The finer points of the game will take a bigger beating with this format of the game. Its too batsman friendly and even among batsmen, its more pinch-hitter friendly. We all love watching Afridi thrash the ball and sometimes make a fool of himself, but the fun in watching a laxman leg-flick, a ponting hook or a tendulkar drive and totally different. The McGrath line, the Murali tweak or Warne's leggie is again as engrossing as any piece of batting. These things will be missing in the 20-20 games, even if the same players play in the new format. This is simply because the new format of the game doesn't allow for much time to set oneself in as a batsman or a bowler to fashion a dismissal.

Will I be watching the world cup? Most definitely... its after all cricket. But, I am not convinced that this is the best way to present the game to the rest of the world.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Blue Friday

This is how I was greeted today morning....

Before we go windoze blasting, I saw this after the lappy rebooted from its first blue screen of death in nearly 2 years! Going by typical M$ standards, I think they have done a decent job with XP. Not so sure about Vista though....

Tuesday, September 04, 2007


The topic of creativity can be fodder for a light hearted post and also for a serious discussion. Lemme try to walk the line in the middle.

I started off thinking in this direction after listening to the Mahiya song from Awarapan. The song is quite catchy and the singer Suzanne really caught my attention. I start thinking... man, the music director has got some creativity! I find that Pritam is the music director. Now, I like his songs, but I also know for a fact that his plagiarisms are also the most difficult to catch. I think "what creativity, the guy must have whacked this tune from somewhere". One of my cousins informs me that she has seen a version of this song on the net which is even better than the original. I hunt around and find the singer to be an UK based Pakistani, Annie. Her song is the original Mahiya and she in fact lends her vocals for the remix version of the song in Awarapan. Now I think, man this girl is creative. I listen to the rest of her album and no song in it comes close to this. I think, "what creative, she looks like a one song wonder".

Contrary to what many people think, talent and creativity are very luck driven. If you can maximize the slice of luck that gave you an opportunity to display your talent and creativity and get maximum mileage from it, you can then expect this mileage to take you much much further for far less real creativity in the future. Just get into the big league, keep your eyes and ears open and play the right cards. The rest of the story just falls in place. Clubbed with this is the obnoxious self belief in many that they are creative. What they really are is quite different. They have just fooled themselves into believing every inspired or adopted idea to be self contrived.

Really creative people are creative all the time and most probably are not blessed with the luck needed to cash in on this creativity. Most of the so called creative people are just ordinary people with one inspired, borrowed or luck induced idea which happens to strike them just in time to reconstruct their creativity halo as it started disintegrating. For e.g., I have just displayed how one such idea can present itself in the form of a blog post to leave streaks of creativity as it whizzes past your fleeting eyes, as they wander from one boredom induced blog to another. ;-))

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Indirect Answering Techniques

Though its rude to be generic, I think there is some truth in the whole "Blondes are dumb" saying...

Here is a rather simple question posed to a Contestant in Miss Teen USA 2007. As can be seen, she completely goofed up the answer, but in a strange way, did answer it too. ;-)