Saturday, December 31, 2011

Bye 2011! Welcome 2012!

As another year comes to an end, I can't stop myself from looking at the year gone by and remember the key moments of the year. As the famous quote goes, 
We don't remember days, We remember moments
This was an year characterized by change. Also this was an year when everything looks the same as the last year.  When i look back, the moments that WOWed are few but the moments that brought a change in me were a lot.. 

WOW Moment:
2011 will be remembered - for India's World Cup Win. Personally, my WOW moments happened after the matches: quarter-finals (Excited in Tawang Cold that i was going to see India-Pakistan @ Mohali LIVE), semi-finals (No Words can describe the elation, the pure joy of walking & sharing the triumph with fellow cricket fans in the stadium and the people from Mohali) & finals (Spontaneous Outpouring of Delhities on the streets). 

In the field, it was not Dhoni's Six in the world cup final that wowed me..  but Gambhir-Kohli innings at the final. Finally, Indian Cricketers did not choke and had the winning mentality. Thank you! Gary Kirsten!. We miss you!! 

WOW Moment - 2:
Anna Hazare's Protests caught media and public attention. India Media gots its 'Tahiri Square' Moment. From the perfect timing ('No News' seasons) to well-planned strategy & tactics, ensured that India took a step closer to its Lokpal bill dream. Hope this would be the beginning of much more active participation of civil society in the major policies of the government. 

Surprisingly all the major nations had one protest or the other. US - Occupy Wall Street Moment. UK - London Riots, etc.. 

WOW Moment - 3
 By far, this would be my most traveled year. Memories of 2 Wonderful Trip Posts here - Assam & UK

Hope 2012 to have many more memorable moments for all of us. Wishing you all to have a lot more memorable moments in 2012.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Indian Leaders! Where are you?

As the nation moves to a new year, the lack of leadership especially political leadership is the biggest national problem. As I am back in Tamilnadu, I am able to experience it - better than ever  The state today is grappling with multiple political issues
  1. Fight with Kerala regarding Mullai-Periyar Dam
  2. Fight with Central Government regarding KoodanKualam - (while the entire state is grappling with daily 4-hour electric power cuts. )
  3. Srilankan Tamil Issue - Mostly on the Fringes
Thankfully, the rains are good this year. Otherwise, the age-old struggle with Karnataka for Cauvery waters would have started again.  None of these issues have easy answers or solutions. 

Successful 'Past' Protests:
Protests like Siliguri & Lokpal has given enormous confidence to other protesters that continuous & sustained protests by a minority will bring desired results in today's media covered India. So expecting the protests to die away (like yester-years) is not going to happen. 

Compromises & Quick Decisions:
So the government requires to be quick on feet. Need to be quick to 
1. Kill Protests - right at the budding stage. Like how Karunanidhi shut off colleges to prevent any pro-Srilankan Tamil protests during the final stages of Srilankan Army - LTTE war. And it involves compromises & quick decisions. And the nation requires have a leader who is trusted by the nation and who brings states/groups to accept compromises. 
2. Make Decisions - Prolonging decisions like Telengana State Formation is not going to help both the parties. 
3. Create Process to handle fasts & protests: As creating a policy of not negotiating with plane hijackers, the government needs to create a policy of not negotiating with people who pressure by fasting or protesting. 

Require 'Connected' Leaders:
And government & political parties can be quick only when they have leaders and not managers on the top. And the recent advances in communications and technology means these leaders can afford to be connected 24*7 with the people. 

Why I love this nation?
While Leninist China can bull-doze over people's wishes, India's democracy needs it to take care of the wishes of a small group. But that is exactly the reason i love this nation - even though it is painful. 

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Amazon entering Indian Markets??

It does not take much to guess that Amazon would soon enter into Indian e-commerce. But my prediction is that it might be sooner (soon as in middle of 2012) than later. 

How I am making this guess?
Because of the recent FREE Super Saver Delivery from Though the super saver is currently applicable only to purchase more than 25 USD (Approximate Rs. 1250/-) and only books, music and DVDs are eligible, it surely shows the current interest from Amazon management team on India. The offer is available until January 15, 2012. 

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

I want a free India!!!

As Indians we are proud about our democracy and hard-fought freedom won from the British. But even after sixty years, India is still not free from corruption, racism, etc.. And the recent incident in Kashmir  makes me to add "Freedom of Religion" to that list. 

Indian Constitution clearly states that
"all persons are equally entitled to freedom of conscience and the right freely to profess, practice and propagate religion."
So as a Christian, I should not have any fears about 
  1. Claiming that I am a Christian
  2. Proclaiming that Jesus is the way and the truth and the life (From the Bible).
  3. My Belief that "Choice of Religion" should be also decided by market forces. And people should have access to all information and have 'real' freedom of choice
But regularly i do fear. And the recent arrest of Pastor Khanna - based on a youtube video of a few baptisms (Video does not have any information about where & who took baptisms), only increases that fear. A lot of times, these incidents are shoved under the carpet and are ignored by the media. Thankfully, this time around - Times of India gives voice in its opinion article today - Break Those Walls
Worries about conversion pass over the individual's right to religious freedom, guaranteed by the Constitution
 This is not the first time that such arrests of Christian ministers happen over "forced conversions". And I am not naive enough to believe this would be the last time. My only hope is that there is an increased awareness among the common man about these incidents. 

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Sneha-Prasanna Shock Wedding & My Losing Connection with Tamilnadu

Though i have rarely seen Tamil movies in the last 5 years, I am used to tout my Tamil gossip knowledge as my connection with Tamilnadu & especially with Kollywood. So I was shocked to read about  the upcoming marriage (or) affair of Tamil movie stars - Prasanna and Sneha.

It seems that I did not know the rumor that every Chennaite knew. It made me realize that I am becoming a part-Delhite now and losing my touch with Tamilnadu slowly. Sad but true. :(

Anyway my wishes to Prasanna & Sneha for a happy marriage. And hope this does not end up as another famous celebrity divorce - after a few more years.

Monday, November 07, 2011

Escort Services Advertised through OLX.IN - Is it Legal?

Adult Services & Online Classified:
Like all other industries, even prostitution benefited from the rise of online classified - by cutting the middle man in the process. But in USA, this led to a major controversy. Craiglist - USA's leading online classified player, was forced by law enforcement to pull down its separate section on erotic/adult services.

But considering the taboo around prostitution and the general public image around prostitution, I was not expecting a similar controversy in India. So it was a  surprise for me to see adult ads in OLX when I was posting my ad for selling my split ac.The ads were clearly showing the fee for a single night and contact phone number for the services. 

Adult Ads in OLX
As per the Indian constitution, organized prostitution is clearly illegal. (Thanks Wikipedia). But the ad clearly shows the existence of organized prostitution. For an ignorant customer, it would seem as if Olx is aiding prostituion by the perpetrators. Hope OLX figures out mechanisms to stop these ads before a similiar controversy erupts in India.

Escort Services - Local and Russian - Offered through
Currently Running Ad on

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

One among Seven Billion People!!!

Want to know where do you stand among Seven Billion People in the world. Visit and know the exact number of human births before you. My details are below.
My Position in Seventh Billion People

While the world celebrated the birth of symbolic seventh billion child in UP, India, let us not forget the idea about choosing the seventh billion girl as a girl child. Plan India picked seventh billion child as a UP girl child  to bring exposure to the "missing children" in India.

According to a recent UNICEF report, around 50 million Indians are missing today because of female infanticide. Here hoping for a day when female infanticide disappears from my country.

P.S: Also read "Are we really seven billion of us" in BBC News. 

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Thinking about buying Samsung Galaxy SII? Wait

Are you thinking about buying anAndroid Phone?
And have you zeroed on Samsung Galaxy S2 as the best option available in the market?

If yes, my advice: WAIT.

If you have not heard, Samsung along with Google recently launched "Samsung Galaxy Nexus" @ Hong Kong. Read more about it @

Samsung Galaxy Nexus, uploaded with Android 4.0 - Ice Cream Sandwitch, is the best available Android phone out in the market. Unlike Apple & Unlike last time, when Google launched Samsung Nexus S only in USA, this phone would be available in India. So Indian Android buyers, it is time to wait for Samsung Galaxy Nexus and wow your friends in the party with the new Face Unlock Feature.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

No Excuses for Gurgaon Metallica Stage Riot

Whatever might be the reason 

  • Poor Management
  • No Security
  • No Proper Arrangement for Food & Water
  • Waiting for 2 hours in Queues
  • Travelling from other places,
We, as Indians, have no right to damage other's property. Hope the police uses the Youtube evidences (1, 2, etc.) to nap the culprits. 

P.S: By the way, it is BS to point this as a mistake of Delhities. 

Thursday, October 27, 2011

My Secret Sauce to Office Popularity

Want to know my secret sauce of knowing answers to colleague's difficulties ranging from designing the right chart for a set of data points to setting up a collegue's outlook account.  My Simple Solution is "Google".
Google Search Result Page
I even figure out how much googling does a person know in an interview. :) And I believe knowing the right words to google is one of the key skill required for a modern day working professional. 

If you are not using Google to find answers to your work issues, please start now. Who knows? It might even win you a 1 Million US Dollars.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Steve Jobs - The Master of Presentations

We have all heard that Steve Jobs as the master of Presentation. See the video below to know why. Nancy Duarte makes a case for why Steve Jobs, the Great Presenter can even rival Steve Jobs, the Great Innovator. 
Jobs Sparkline Resonate Workshop from Duarte Design on Vimeo.

In a short summary, Steve Jobs regularly did four things

  1. Passionate about what his company makes
  2. Get a physical response from the audience e.g. Laughs or Claps
  3. Share repeatable sound bites
  4. Use memorable dramatizations
Though I had written an earlier post about Steve Jobs - A Man Who Inspired a Billion, I learnt a lot about public presentations through this video. 

P.S: Seeing the iphone launch video, it makes you understand on the mobile revolution brought by iPhone. Thank You Steve!

Social Networks Has arrived in India

I was surprised today to find out that the recently elected Chennai Mayor has a facebook profile( and updates it regularly. But the real surprise was that he also has a Google Plus Profile -

You will know that social networks are in the advanced technology cycle when a TN politician started using the social network. I believe Facebook has entered to "Late Majority" in Technology Adoption Life cycle. Be sure to see soon all the politicians being using one or the other social network. 

Technology Adoption Lifecycle

Monday, October 24, 2011

Paying more for pizzas than for the maid

In the recent article on New York Times - "Why I left India?" by Sumedh Mungee, he made a interesting point on how he paid more for Pizzas rather than his maid. And all of us are used to the same. In today's India, we pay for our meals than we pay to our maids for their monthly labor. 

Thanks to the cheap workforce, we never even give a second thought to these inequalities. In my opinion, Domestic Helps & Maids are a sheer waste of human potential and a drain on the Indian economy. Until India frees this unproductive workforce from domestic duties and convert them to productive workforce, India will never become a economic superpower. Hope the situations change soon in India. 

P.S: Though i can understand Sumedh viewpoints on disagreeing to the compromised life in India, I agree with more with Navin Kabra's answer

Photo Image: Courtesy Seth W. 

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

LinkedIn's Classmates Rocks

We all like to know what our yesteryear classmates are currently doing? - Especially to understand whether we are doing better or worse than them. Personally, I was looking for answers to these questions

  1. Where does IIM Indore students actually settle?
  2. How many actually went to a finance role?
  3. Which is the company that has most of IIM Indore Alumni?
Thanks to the new linkedIn Feature - Classmates, it is possible to know the answers to these questions with a single click of the mouse. Please find below a few details about IIM Indore Alumni. Though Cognizant was not a surprise, it was a surprise to see Business Development being the dominant roles of most of the alumni. 

Screenshot of My LinkedIn Classmate Page
Can read a detailed article about the feature @

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

When will India taste true secularism?

Recent Delhi University Controversy over the inclusion of AK Ramanujan's Ramayana is a proof that we, the Indian people are pseudo-secularists. 

Though we pride ourself that we are a secular nation, we allow
  1. Indians to be banned and driven out of nation because of their expressed opinions in a book in a supposedly free country.
  2. Artists/Painters to be driven out because of their work that supposedly offended a particular religion
  3. Schools to use the stories from their religious holy book as a part of their "x minute moral hour"
  4. We never raise an issue when religions & religious rituals are a part of "secular" governments, "secular" firms, "secular" colleges and "secular" schools
Makes me to doubt that I will ever see a truly secular India in my lifetime.

Indian Flag

P.S: Secularism in my mind means absence of religions or religious rituals rather than presence of all possible religions and religious rituals. 

Monday, October 17, 2011

IIM Indore's Baffling Move to Undergraduate Segment

Disclaimer: I am an IIM Indore '08 Alumni. 

When IIM Indore decided to offer a five year Integrated Program in Management (BBA+MBA equivalent), I was baffled
  1. 5 Year Integrated Program will never attract the best talent. Without the best talent, placement numbers are never going to be good
  2. Handling & Managing a 17 or 18 year old kid out of the school is a skill in itself. And IIM Indore (a post graduate institute) currently does not have this skill. 
  3. Not sure whether IIM Indore's currently faculty bandwidth would allow it. 
So it was no surprise to read Times of India article on undergraduate students (who were offered a seat for 5 year Integrated Program in Management @ IIM Indore) being baffled by IIM Indore notice to pursue a distance program on the side.

The story underlines that IIMs are not empowered to give degrees to academic institution. As an alumni, this was not a surprise to me. That is why the programs are not called MBAs but rather PGPs.

But suggesting the candidates to pursue a three year distance education program is taking it a little too far. Sad to see IIM Indore going the IIPM way.. :(

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Who is Bodhidharman? The Tamil Story Behind Shaolin Monks

Unlike Hollywood movies, generally Indian history movies generally deal with the known Indian historic heroes rather than the unknown and unheard heroes. So it was surprised when i saw "7aum Arivu" trailer. For the first time in my life, I came to know a great historic Tamil Personality - Bodhidharman.

Who is Bodhidharman?
Wikipedia says,
Bodhidharma was a Buddhist monk who lived during the 5th/6th century and is traditionally credited as the leading patriarch and transmitter of Zen to China. According to Chinese legend, he also began the physical training of the Shaolin monks that led to the creation of Shaolinquan. Scholars believe that Bodhidharma was a Tamil born in Kanchipuram, Tamil nadu

Yes you are reading it right. China got its world-famous Shaolin Monks from Tamilnadu. 

So the next time, you see a kung-fu action movie, remember that Tamil culture has its unique impact in it.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Shutter Island - Book Review

Recently, I have started reading a lot of fiction & non-fiction that were converted to popular movies - e.g. The Lincoln LawyerThe Blind Side and  Stardust

Shutter Island
In that tradition, the recent novel i picked up was "Shutter Island". Extremely well written book that really surprises you at the end. One of the problems with reading a story after seeing a movie is that - you always see the characters shown by the director rather than the character created by the author while writing the book. e.g.  I always see Daniel Radcliffe while reading Harry Potter Series.  This book was an exception to that case - which is a testament of the thought-out characterization by the author. (I saw only the early few minutes and not the entire movie)

Though this is not a page-turner, it still keeps you interested enough to mull over and come back to the book. But the surprising climax is the highlight of the book. 

Rating: 3.5/5

My Comment: Good book to read a little bit everyday. But might not be the right book to pick for a flight trip.

Photo Source: hcplebranch

Saturday, October 08, 2011

Meaningless or Meaningful Lives???

There are some stories that raises questions that are tough to answer. Today's TOI Story on  "Satisfied with Life, Couple ends life in Goa" is one of them. In the suicide note, the couple wrote

"We have lived a very eventful and happy life together. We've travelled the world, lived in different countries, made more money than we ever thought possible, and enjoyed spending as much of it as we could on things that brought us joy and satisfaction. We believe in the philosophy that our life belongs to us and only us, and we have the right to choose to die as much as we have the right to live."
On the close heels of an IIM-Bangalore student committing, It shocked me to see people living "meaningless" lives or a life without purpose. Life "for many Indians" today has become just about earning money and spending it in material things - which they believe - is the only source of joy and satisfaction. They fail to understand there is more to life that just material things that supposedly bring joy and satisfaction. 

Personally, for me - my purpose is largely derived from my Christian beliefs. It is easier to believe your life has a purpose [:)] when you don't believe that you are created because of a random chance. 

P.S: Know this is more an one-off event. But still i fear this may not be the end of these suicides of people who supposedly have "everything" in life.. 

Friday, October 07, 2011

Dynamic Views in Blogger Rocks

It was five years back, I set up my first blogger account. I had been just selected to IIM Indore. And all my new classmates were sending their blog details to yahoo groups (Most of them with just 1-5 posts. And that point of time, I did not understand the ulterior motive behind it.. :)). Inspired by them, I started this blog - Titled then as "Tirunelveli--> Chennai-->Indore-->???". Basically to communicate that I don't have any idea whether the heck this is leading me to. Then the blog metamorphed as "A Blog to Express and not to impress" and then as India-centricity. In the meantime, I amassed a good number of page views and my first 100 USD through Google Adsense. 

But I had always regretted the decision for choosing blogspot over other blogging platforms - wordpress. Only the fact that I can't enable adsense account in wordpress kept me in the blogger platform. And I was forced to live with the ugly-looking standard templates of blogger. 

So it was surprising today, when i accidentally found the existence of newly created templates called "Dynamic Views". And I have to say "DYNAMIC VIEWS ROCKS". You can read more about Dynamic Views @

Today, I am proud of my choice of "Blogger Platform". :)

Hope you also like it. 

Thursday, October 06, 2011

The Man Who Inspired a billion

It was a shock to hear about the death of Steve Jobs - just a day after the launch of iPhone 4S. Personally I have never owned an Apple product - mostly because they were out of my budget - most of the time. But I have admired this man - for never stopping to push the boundaries of what is possible and for creating the most valuable company in the world from a company that was on its deathbed. 

Though he passed away yesterday, his legacy will live on and will continue to inspire countless others.. 

Steve Jobs,
Even Though I have never used any one of its products, your efforts have given rise to great copy-cats - that have made an enormous difference in life.  For that, A BIG THANK YOU. 


Other Things you must read & see
  1. One More Thing - MG Siegler, Techcrunch
  2. Hear Steve Jobs Speech @ Standford -

Apple disappointed me! :(

After a long time, I was really, really looking forward to the new iPhone Release.. (This is important because I am an Android Fan). Main reason for the sudden interest in iPhone was my plan to buy a iPhone for my parents. (In my opinion, Android is still too complex for my parents). And thanks to the persistent rumours of a cheap iPhone (

A 15k iPhone would have really blown away the competition and would have established iOS as the leading mobile operating system in the world. And nobody else other than Apple have the capabilities (supply chain) to launch a good sub-15k smart phone in the next two years. But sadly, Apple choose not to do so. Rather they chose to release an iPhone which just nullifies Android's differentiators. A big fail from Apple - which is always expected to push the envelope w.r.t iPods, iPhones and iPads. 

With the speed in which Google iterates on its Android OS, Apple would be forced to a do a lot more catch-up when the next iPhone is launched.  

Saturday, October 01, 2011

State Education Minister Appears for Class X Exam

Times of India reports about Puducherry education minister sitting for Class X Exams. When i read this, the questions that come up are

  1. First of all, how did they let a person who has not passed even X Standard to become a education minister. It shows badly how our political situation is screwed.
  2. Even if he has done poorly, will anybody fail the minister?

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Get an Additional 10 Hours Each Day

Seth Godin in an interview published in problogger
 I guess you make decisions about how you want to spend your time. What you didn’t mention is that I’m America’s worst watcher of television, cause I don’t spend any time doing that, zero. And I’m America’s worst attender of meetings, cause I don’t do any of that, zero. So I know people who do five hours of each every day. So right there I save myself ten hours a day.

Though ten hours seems too many, not watching TV and avoiding meetings should save at least save 5 hours for each of us.  

It happens Only in India

A toll plaza attendant is shot dead by a car owner since he was ready to pay the toll tax of Rs. 27/- (Around 0.6 USD). You can call it road rage or drunken driving. But this happens only in India. And the culprit is still free after committing  such a brazen crime. 

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Google takes a crack at Online Movie Distribution in India

Majority of successful start-ups in India are focussed on adapting a foreign idea to Indian environment. And sometimes, these start-ups do so a good job that foreign company can never enter India. e.g. SnapDeal & Groupon.., etc.. 

So it is rather interesting when Google India tries to do the same. Its entry to online movie distribution through is one of the shrewdest moves by the company in recent times. As US statistics show, movie rentals contribute a significant amount to internet data traffic.  And in India, a paid model will never work. So Google is killing two birds - by taking a leadership role in online movie distribution through its youtube and this also helps it to position itself along with India TV Channels in the minds of the advertisers. 

Launched three months back,  YouTube Box Office channel has already got over 11.5 million views in India and is the #20 most subscribed (all time) channel in India. And they have recently started telecasting 2 box office movies

  1. Shaitan
  2. Pyaar Ka Punchnama
Please note that both these movies are being telecasted ahead of their TV release. 

Sunday, September 18, 2011

What is Communal Violence Bill? And Its Implications

"Prevention of Communal & Targeted Violence Bill 2011" introduced by National Integration Council has caused serious disagreements among various parties in India.So a blog post on my understanding of the bill.You can read the entire bill @ (67 page document)

Primary Objectives of the bill
  1. Prevention of State Sponsored Communal Violence and Ensuring a creation of system/mechanism to handle communal violence
  2. Creation of National & State authority for communal harmony, justice and reparation. 
Communal & Targeted violence tears apart the fabric of a nation and ultimately creates an unstable nation. So a bill created to specifically target this menace is always welcome. 

Some New Things
  1. "Hate Propaganda" is also recognized a crime
  2. Recognition on creation of a hostile environement against a religious or linguistic minority, in any State in the Union of India, or Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes as a crime. 
Major Objections Against the Bill
  1. Trinamool Congress and a few other parties point out the anti-feudal nature of the bill. 
    1. Personally, i always support increased autonomy for the state. So my natural tendency is to oppose the bill in this issue. 
    2. But our history suggests that vote-seeking politicians will always use the targeted violence to appease the majority.  So a bill of this nature can be passed only by the centre. If Lokpal bill can be anti-feudal and still be right, why can't Communal Violence Bill be right?
  2. While BJP would like to point out that this is an anti-Hindu bill. Considering the definition of the group as " religious or linguistic minority, in any State in the Union of India, or Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes"
    1. Again past Indian history suggests that the major state sponsored violence (remember the bill primarily handles state sponsored violence) have always happened against the minority only - e.g. Kashmir pandits, Gujarat violence, Orissa Christian Attacks, Anti-Sikh Riots of 1984.
My Objections:
  1. While I am happy that SC & ST are being covered as a part of this bill, it might be better to cover other caste-based violence also as a part of the bill. 

Fight Against Corruption should be from the bottom

Though I liked what i saw on TV about Anna's fast (i.e. Civil Society winning a battle against the political class), I am not a big fan of Lokpal bill. So in that context, I found this article - It shouldn't pay to pay bribes to be good & a must read. My 2 cents

  1. Corruption should be fought from the bottom. i.e. We as a group do things the hard way rather than getting things done easily (but illegally). i.e passing a exam for driving license by studying rather than paying money.  
  2. Incentive for an individual to catch corruption should be higher than the value of the corruption itself. Otherwise, the corruption would never be caught. For e.g. if a traffic police gets 100% of the fine laid by him on the violating professional, Actual traffic violations in India would come down drastically. 

Not Guilty does not mean Innocence

It has become a habit among Indian Politicians to interpret "Not Guilty" Verdicts as "Innocent" Verdicts. "Not Guilty" verdict simply means that crime was not proven without any reasonable doubt. So it really irritates me to see Narendra Modi & BJP Team showcasing the Supreme Court verdict on Gulberg Society Riot case as a victory of innocence for Narendra Modi. 

It is and will always be plain to everybody in Gujarat & in India that Narendra Modi went against the secular fabric of our nation when the state & its machinery(police) remained inactive & mere spectators during the the riots (Ref: NYTimes Article). If anybody wants any proof on the impact of the riots on the secular fabric of the nation, hear to any intelligence officer pointing to the increase of the terrorist recruits in India after Gujarat riots. So whatever the verdict comes from the court, Narendra Modi & BJP would always be "guilty" in my eyes. Until BJP accepts responsibility and take just action against the miscreants, fasts and speeches would not win the votes of the minority. 

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Hindi Diwas

Some days should not forgotten! And Today (Hindi Diwas Day) is one of them! The sad day when Indian parliament (the 'supposed' pinnacle of its democracy) decide to pick the language of the majority over others as the single official language of the nation. If you don't know me, my views are

  1. We all have to recognize that India is actually a 'nation of nations' - which united for the first time on August 15, 1947. Thanks to its policy of princely states, even the British did not completely control the Indian sub-continent. 
  2. Personally, my 'tamil' culture & my 'religion' are the two things that contribute to my identity. And culture is maintained and a lot of times synonymous to the language. So in my dictionary, enforcing the language of the majority is the same as enforcing the religion of the majority on me. Leninist China can do it with its mandarin but not a democratic India. (Even you think all people in China speak Mandarin, please google)
  3. Not all the languages of India are mutually intelligble
15 years later, 70(official estimates)  - 500 (other estimates) tamils lost their lives to fight-off against this Hindi. You can read more about it @ Thanks to it, other languages can be used as the official language by other states. (Point to Note: Not even half the states have Hindi as their official language)

On a side-note, the anti-Hindi agitation of 1965 was led by another 'Anna' who fought against the majority Congress in the state. And the new "Raja" belongs to Anna's DMK Party. To prevent more Rajas rising up, sadly another 'Anna' has to rise up.. :)

Monday, September 12, 2011

War For Talent - Does A War has to be vaged for Talent?

Read a very nice article about "The Talent Myth" written by Malcolm Gladwell. A Must Read Article for all who believe that superior talent & star-power alone are the reasons for a success in an organization.

Though the author primarily establishes his thesis through a single company (Enron), I do believe the principles (to a certain degree) applies for the most companies. Some points that i liked and are relevant too.
  • Some organizations have started believing more in stars rather than the system. But the organizations that are most successful at that task are the ones where the system is the star. (e.g. SouthWest Airlines where the people do tend to give raises based on seniority)
  • In today's world, asking people to think outside the box has become a fad statement.  But if everyone had to think outside the box, maybe it was the box that needed fixing. 
Do read the article. 

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Wonderful Tourist Trip to United Kingdom (Britain & Scotland)

Disclaimer: This post is written primarily that these memories stay with me.. rather than for a third person

I had been thinking about a trip to United Kingdom for a long time (maybe a year or two). And finally was able  to action it over the last week. 

Why UK?
1. Matter of Convenience - A Known Language & Boarding & Lodging options available in London
2. Saravanan being there. It has been five years since we met.. 
3. History is an area of interest to me.. 

How planned I was?
Other than a day trip to Edinburgh, none of the other dates were scheduled in my trip. But had a distinct understanding that Saravanan would be taking me to Lake District trip for the first two days. And most of the other days would be spent in London & nearby areas. 

Day 1 & 2:
First day, I travelled to Windermere and spent the entire afternoon and evening in the lakes. Especially spending an hour in a self-driven boat was an experience in itself. 

After figuring out that there would not be much to do at Windermere, we travelled to Blackpool Pleasure Beach - UK's most visited theme park & one of the oldest in the world. Just suffice to say that it was a day of adrenalin rides. 

Day 3 - My first plan for the day was spend just a half day in British Museum. But i found the museum so good that i spent the entire day in the museum. One of the happiest moments of the trip was to see the million year old hand-axe from Chennai, Tamilnadu - proving that Tamil civilization is one of the oldest civilizations in the world. Other areas of interest were Assyria, Babylonian & Egyptian empires because of their linkages with Israel in the Bible. Entry to British Museum is free but an audio guide will make your museum visit memorable. A Must for anybody visiting London. Evening was spent in Trafalgar Square, Piccadily Circus & Buckingham Palace. 

Day 4 - Plans for the day was to spend the morning @ Madame Tussads(Wax Museum), afternoon @ UK Parliament (Guided Tour) & Evening @ London Eye. But Madame Tussads was a dud - Came out in an hour. Marvel Comics 4D Movie was the only good thing about Madame Tussads. UK Parliament Guided Tour was enjoyable - good to know the system behind our imperial rulers. London Eye does give an bird's view over the city. Since there was time left, went to the famous Tower Bridge & Tower of London.  

Day 5 - Visited Edinburgh. And this was the best of my 8-day trip to UK. Visited Edinburgh Castle, Scottish Parliament, Holyrood Palace. And was lucky to watch Royal Edinburgh Military Tatoo.. (Bought Tickets in Black and watched it)

Day 6 - Travelled to Windsor Castle.. Took the conquer the towers tour in Windsor Castle.. It was great. On the way back, visited Robert anna & IJ akka. They convinced me to come back on Saturday.. 

Day 7 - Visited the state rooms of Buckingham Palace & St. Paul's Cathedral. Buckingham is the richest palace that i have ever come across. Wealth amassed from conquered nations were displayed proudly in the palace. St. Paul's Cathedral is one of the most beautiful cathedrals. If you have time, do climb the towers. On the top, you will get to see one of the most beautiful sights of London. 

Day 8, Sunday - Went to Hillsong church london in the morning and science museum in the afternoon. Time out with Lovelyn & Robert anna after the fiver year gap was lovely. And with that - one of the most beautiful vacations of mine came to an end.. 

Interesting Things I Noted:

  • There are 2 Britain - a cosmopolitan London and a common-man Britain seen outside of London. It is because of this common-man London, Britain's future is secure
  • Contrary to my misconception, British people are not as rude as one seen generally in Heathrow Airport. 
  • Scots are a proud people and bent on preserving their identity even in this small nation. Made me to think when was the last time - I was proud that I am from Tamil and have a different culture, identity to people from other parts of India. 
  • Surprisingly the cafes in the palaces of London are a lot cheaper than the cafes in Indian palaces..  
  • Most of the tourists to London are from other European countries. But expect to see quite a few Chinese on your trip. 
  • Indians South Asians are everywhere. Can't even spend 5 minutes without seeing another south asian on the roads. 
  • Britain's current fashion Trend among Teens: Weird is Cool

Altogether a lovely & memorable visit. 

Sunday, April 03, 2011

2 Special Days in a Week

Special Day 1
What a special day in India's history. A day in which my neighborhood became a party house. And I am sure it was same across the entire nation. I have seen the most happiest day(in my 25 years of existence) of this nation's history. 

Hats off to Dhoni & his team - for doing this. A day which will be remembered and relived (thanks to zillion highlights that will be shown) for the rest of my lives. 

Special Day 2
India's semifinal match against Pakistan - This is because I can tell my future generation that "I was there". :)

Saturday, March 26, 2011

India Northeast Trip Report - Kaziranga National Park + Tawang

Disclaimer: This post is written primarily that these memories stay with me.. rather than for a third person

When Ajay suggested that we might go for a trip to Northeast, my major motivation was to ensure that the holidays of this year did not lapse (My company has a policy of allowing only certain holidays can be carried forward to the next year) and also to make use of cheap Rs. 1 ticket fare.

Our Objectives of the trip was very simple..
1. Visit Kaziranga National Park and take as many jeep rides and elephant rides as possible
2. Visit Tawang in Arunchal Pradesh.

A Bad Start
First shock of the trip was the cancellation of the train from Guwahati to Furkating station near Kaziranga.. Thankfully, Guwahati bus stop was near to the railway station. So we took the bus to Kaziranga National Park. Actually this turned out to be a blessing in disguise since we landed at Kaziranga National Park at 4.30am rather than the expected noon landing.. Seeing me roaming on the road(actually trying to find a lodge to stay) with a trekking bag at 4.30am, the Assam police van promptly stopped and interrogated me & Ajay for 30 minutes.. (Hmm.. What a start to the tour.. )

Kaziranga National Park - Safari Ride
But all this was forgotten when we took out first jeep ride inside the Kaziranga National Park(Central Range -   Range nearest to most of the tourist lodges and hotels) And was lucky enough to sight my first rhino immediately after entering the park. And that started a day of sighting more rhinos, wild elephants, wild buffaloes, wild hen & cock, swamp deer, monkeys, birds, birds and more birds(especially in Eastern Range).  (Photos Here)..

Kaziranga National Park - Elephant Ride
Next day, we took the early morning elephant ride in the western range of Kaziranga National Park. As expected, saw quite a few rhinos very close - mostly in pairs (mom and a kid)..And with the elephant ride, our Kaziranga stay came to an end and it was time to move to next destination. (Photos Here)

Interesting Things I noticed in Assam:

  • Unlike most other states of India, I did not notice even a single malnourished kid on the roads during my travel. This might be because of the fertile land or because the state is not poor or both. 
  • Thatched roofs with Dish Antennas were the common sight during my trip. It was rare to see a home built with brick & cement. Either construction material is very expensive or the earthquake-prone Assam has learnt the hard way about building homes in brick & cement. 
Change & More Change in Plans:

Our initial plan was to travel from Kaziranga National Park to Tawang in 2 days - Kaziranga National Park to Bomdilla and Bomdilla to Tawang. But one of our friends recommended not to miss Nameri Eco Camp. So we left for Tezpur in the morning. But when we met the travel agents in Tezpur, the shortage of seats for the shared Tata Sumo travel from Tezpur to Tawang became quite apparent (Because of the usage of vehicles by parties for the Assam elections). So we decided to stay for the night in Tezpur and try out luck for the early morning ride from Tezpur to Tawang. And thanks to God, we got our seats.. And that started 14 hours of hell travel from Tezpur to Tawang. Funny/Idiotic BRO (Border Road Organization) boards and the beautiful scenery made the entire journey through no bad roads bearable.

But the morning walk to Tawang Monastery (Largest Buddhist Monastery in India) made me to forget those aching muscles (from the travel). First day was spent in walking through the small town to Tawang Monastery & War Memorial built in the memory of Indian Soldiers who sacrificed their lives in Indo-China War. It was great to read and see about the Indo-China War in Tawang. (Chinese claim to Tawang lies in the fact that Tawang is part of Tibet  - thereby belongs to India. India's claim is based on the British agreement with Tibet on the Territory)

Paradise Unexplored?
On the second day in Tawang, we travelled to Madhuri Lake..  (Would have loved to travel to Bumla Pass/Indo-China Border. But the army was not ready to allow people because of the recent snowfall. ) This was the day you realize that North East is really the the Paradise Unexplored (Claim about the NorthEast by Incredible India Campaign). It was a day of beautiful mountains, cold & frozen lakes, snow, snow and more snow. (Photos of Tawang Trip Here)

Interesting Things I noticed in Tawang:
  • Tawang's economy is built around the army and its troops. 
  • Town wakes up early. Don't expect to find breakfast after 8am. And most of the city closes by 6pm. 
  • It is surely not a touristy place. You can count the lodges by your fingers.14 Hour Journey keeps the tourist away. 
  • Entire trip from Tezpur to Tawang & Tawang to Madhuri Lake is infested with Army Training Institutes, Battalions and outposts. 
A Journey of Firsts:
It was the first time that I saw wild rhinos, Did my bird spotting, Saw snow in India, saw frozen lakes in India and took a helicopter ride. And it was a journey that i would never forget - thanks to this post. 

Though we met our initial objective of visiting Kaziranga National Park & Tawang, missed out on visiting  places we were considering during certain part of the trip. (Shillong & Nameri Eco Camp). 

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Why I am looking forward to 2011 Cricket World Cup?

Until today, 2003 Worldcup world cup was the high point of my cricket passion/cricket craziness. The passion/craziness owes a lot to do with the fact that I was living in a boy's hostel during the world cup. 

1. Going  2 hours before the match to occupy the best place in the TV room (Just before TV). 
2. Not being able to take a toilet break.. Because the entire room is so packed that you are sure you won't be able to find a place when you come back.
3. Predicting that India will reach semi-finals after 2 poor performances in the first two matches - And seeing the prediction coming true
4. Commentary better than Harsha Bhogle from friends sitting with you. 

means that 2003 world cup will always be one of the most memorable memories of my life. So the defeat in the final was one of the bad memories of my life. It even cured my cricket craziness for a certain time. Even T20 world cup win did not rekindle my love for cricket. But somehow I am awaiting the start of this world cup. 

1. Unlike 2007 world cup, this India team is focussed on winning the world cup. 
2. This is Tendulkar's final world cup. And he surely does want to add a world cup win to his resume
3. Again, I believe and am predicting that India will reach another semi-final. 

So again.. Counting the days for world cup to start.. 24 more days..  Hoping that this would be my best memory of India in a world cup.