Sunday, October 28, 2007

Giving Up, or Going Up

On your life's mountain, you will face times when you have two choices - give up or go up. It's infinitely easier to give up and let the mountain consume you, but if you want to live, you need to fight and go up. You have no choice.

Once you realise this, it's much easier to go up than to give up.

Trust me.

Life Comes Full Circle for Ganguly and Dravid...

Dravid has been dropped from the Indian one day side for the initial matches against Pakistan, and is likely to stay out for the whole series. Life has come full circle for the two, after Dravid was part of the decision to leave Ganguly out more than a year back.

Dada fought and came back with a bang - will Dravid be able to do the same?


If you ever wondered what the SENSEX really meant, how it was calculated, etc, here’s a great link that explains it

SENSEX is a basket of 30 constituent stocks representing a sample of large, liquid and representative companies. The base year of SENSEX is 1978-79 and the base value is 100. The Index was initially calculated based on the "Full Market Capitalization" methodology but was shifted to the free-float methodology with effect from September 1, 2003. As per this methodology, the level of index at any point of time reflects the Free-float market value of 30 component stocks relative to a base period. The market capitalization of a company is determined by multiplying the price of its stock by the number of shares issued by the company. This market capitalization is further multiplied by the free-float factor to determine the free-float market capitalization.

Free-float Methodology refers to an index construction methodology that takes into consideration only the free-float market capitalization of a company for the purpose of index calculation and assigning weight to stocks in Index. Free-float market capitalization is defined as that proportion of total shares issued by the company that are readily available for trading in the market. It generally excludes promoters' holding, government holding, strategic holding and other locked-in shares that will not come to the market for trading in the normal course. In other words, the market capitalization of each company in a Free-float index is reduced to the extent of its readily available shares in the market. A Free-float index reflects the market trends more rationally as it takes into consideration only those shares that are available for trading in the market.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Bobby Jindal..

Name rings a bell? Well, it should from now on.. Bobby Jondal, son of Indian immigrants, at 36, has become the Governor of Louisiana, and the youngest US Governor currently in office. Also, the first non-white Governor of Louisiana since 1870.

How long before an Indian becomes the Prime Minister or President of a foreign country? How long before a Tata or Reliance buys out a nation's primary industry? How long before India colonizes the world?

Stupid thinking? Maybe.. time will tell...


You know, I have this fixation with certain names - I do not know why, but they just arouse some feelings inside me, something strange I cannot put my finger on, but it's almost over powering...

Andheri, Marol, Chakala, Sakinaka, Lokhandwaala (yes, Mumbai..), Ranikhet, Almora.. and some more...

Are these linked to some special memories? Not really... Special people? Not really... Dreams? No, not at all! Then what is it about these names?

I do not know - I just know there's some connection, and I am trying to figure it out...


An IPO is like losing your virginity - you never know how it will be until you do it, and you can only do it once!

Movie Review: Bhool Bhulaiyya

Very few Hindi movies have a story that is the star of the movie. Bhool Bhulaiyya is one of that rare breed of Hindi movies where the story grips you from the beginning till the end, and doesn't disappoint at the end!

I will not give away the plot - I really want you to go and enjoy the movie - but here's a brief introduction...

An American-bred heir to the throne (the sexy Shiny Ahuja), and his young, beautiful wife (Vidya Balan), are on a long visit to India and insist on staying in their princely mansion, long neglected and avoided because of rumours of spirits who made it their abode decades back. The educated couple, of course, do not believe the rumours, and explore their mansion - but things suddenly take on a sinister twist. People are attacked, furniture goes crashing to the ground, voices are heard... is there truth in the rumour?

Akshaye Kumar, as Shiny's wierdo psychiatrist friend, makes an entry almost an hour into the film, and completely takes it over. Shiny is handsome, and a treat for his female friends. Vidya is beautiful as always, and along with her trademark love scene, proves that she can be an awesome actress, given the right role. She's good! The rest of the cast, the mansion, the cars - well, all I can say it's a beautiful setting that only adds to the aura and feel of the movie.

Not for the children, though - so keep your kiddies at home, and catch the movie - ideally, the late night show :)

Quote for the Day

There is no problem, however complex, which, upon careful consideration, cannot be made more complex!

Twenty 20 Again

India walloped the Aussies in a one-off Twenty 20 game at the Brabourne in Mumbai, proving the World Cup win in SA was not a fluke.

Australia started with a bang, Gilchrist hitting RP Singh for 3 consecutive boundaries before RP struck with a beautiful yorker uprooting his stumps. Ponting and Hayden steadied the innings, and then cranked up the tempo, and at one time, it looked like Australia would put up a score well over the 200 mark... but some awesome bowling by the spinners Harbhajan and in-form Murali Kartik ensure they managed only 166. Dhoni marshalled his resources beautifully, and some great strategizing ensured that India's plan of frustrating the Australians, especially Hayden, worked to a T - the Aussies could not capitalize on their start, and lost the initiative in the middle overs.

India lost Sehwag very early, but young guns Robin Utthappa and Gautam Gambhir (who later won the man of the match award - a sexy white Maruti SX4) took charge, and carted the Aussies all over the field, coming especially hard on Brett Lee. And as the game progressed and the Indians took charge, the Aussie captain looked completely at a loss for strategies and tricks - boundaries and singles came with equal ease, the Aussie gifted away runs by the dozen through wides and no balls, with the free hits being taken for some serious runs. And by the time UV (Youraj) showed his devastating form hitting 3 sixes, including a consecutive pair, the win was just a formality. Dhoni did not waste time - a final six cementing the victory and proving this young Indian side could really take on the best in the world, and win!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Quote for the Day

On a T-Shirt:
Whether you think you can do it, or you think you can't, you are right!


I proudly flaunt two flags on my dashboard, and while many think I am just too lazy to get rid of the "independence day hangover", I really enjoy having them there... and the other day I decided to see how many others actually did the same. Can you believe it - in a 20 min drive, I passed not one, not two, but an unbelievable 13 cars with the Indian tri color on their dashboards!

Is this patriotism? Is this just a fad? I don't know, and frankly, I don't care - but I know one thing for sure - when Yogesh and I first started buying flags to put on our bikes on Independence Day, people almost seemed amused!

I get very upset when I used to see many Indians almost taking pride in criticizing us as a nation. They didn't feel upset about the poverty and corruption, and the state of politics here. They didn't feel sad when we lost a cricket match. They felt vindicated! It was almost as if they were glad that they could call us a wretched nation! Why? Is this the hangover of centuries of foreign rule, where we were told over and over again how we were meant to be ruled over? How we could never be a proud independent nation?

Things have changed now, for sure, led by a generation that is used to being proudly Indian! No wonder there are so many beautiful tri-colors flying high!

Cricket and More

India beat Australia in the last one dayer at Wankhede last night with a valiant 50 run partnership for the 9th wicket by Murali Karthick and Zaheer Zhan, after Murali had mesmerized the Australians with a 6 wicket haul to restrict them to just around 200. Australia walked away with the Future Cup though, with the score in the 7 match series 4-2.

Interestingly, Rahul Dravid was dropped from the playing eleven on performance grounds, and ended the series with a miserable 51 runs in 5 matches. And while Dada got a duck in this match, he and Sachin lit up the games with some excellent innings and good opening partnerships.

The world has come full circle...

Thursday, October 11, 2007

World's Richest Man Anyone?

Any guesses? Bill Gates? Warren Buffet? Mexico's Slim?

Sorry guys, the world's richest man right now is probably none other than Mukesh Ambani, with a staggering 60 Billion USD in personal wealth!

The Sensex is poised to hit 19000, and Mukesh, Anil and DLF's KP Singh are all set to rocket into the world's richest league. So much for the Hindu Rate of Growth!

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Two Worlds...

Read this nice piece in Goldratt's "The Goal", which I thought was so apt!

Isn't it strange to feel your own world is falling apart while those of the people who are close to you are rock steady? And you can't figure out why they are not affected the way you are. About 6.30, I slip away from the plant to run home and grab some dinner.

As I come through the door, Julie looks up from the television.

"Hi", she says. "Like my hair?"

How many times has it happened to you and me?

Bliss in Goa

There are picnics, and then there are picnics. And then, there are PICNICS. Our 4 day picnic to Goa was the third kind :)

Frankly, I did not want to blog about it. I have a tendency to write stuff in my diary, and in my blog, in order to get closure. It helps me "archive" my memories, freeing up my mind for the present and the future, knowing my past is secure in some book, and now, on some hard disk in Googleworld.

But I did not really want to do that with my Goa memories. For the first time in a decade, I could switch off my mind from work and tensions - really switch off. I could close out any thoughts of revenue targets and utilization ratios. I did not carry my laptop - no mails, no IMs. Even my cell tried to help - it fell in a bucket of water, died out completely for three days, and only started working once I was back in Pune (it was a different matter that I could borrow Shweta's cell for two days).

For me, the holiday meant forging relationships with team mates I barely knew before the trip, but who grew to be close friends by the end of the trip. It also meant losing some close friends - it was inevitable, really - apparently, misunderstandings have a gala time on picnics! It meant showing off my beautiful Goa - its food, its natural beauty, the warmth of its people, its hospitality. It meant sharing memories of my childhood, and showing where I grew up, my home, my school. It meant taking them to Nerul, for a walk to Miramar, for a dip in the sea at Reismagos, for a ride in the ferry. It meant making sure they tasted the best in food, from Crab Dry Fry, Chilli Chicken Goa Style and Prawns Masala Fry at Ritz, to Stuff Crabs and Cafreal at Sea Pebble.

We stayed at Bomfin, a beautiful villa hotel bang next to Tito's and Cafe Coffee Day in Baga. At 1400 per night, with 3 people in an AC room, I think it is a steal. And while we never really required it's swimming pool , the location of the hotel makes it just perfect for that perfect team outing.

Shweta had arranged for a minibus to pick us up early in the morning, as soon as the 12 of us got down from Amrutyog in Panaji after a fun-filled overnight journey from Pune.

After freshening up, we all came to Nerul, where we had a truly sumptious breakfast, even by Goan standards. The star of the table was some hot Bhaji Pav from Vishwanath's.

After a tour of the house and the grounds, we visited Reismagos and Kegdevelim, and then on to Panaji for lunch at Ritz. We had good fun at the beach - here on the left, you see Urvish, Anjali, Harsha, Prajakta, Darshana and Rakesh doing what we call the Amruta jig :)

In the evening, it was Dona Paula and Miramar - bhutta and coconut water, walking on the beach, coffee in the rains at Coffee Day, and some bhel puri. The sea had receded far out, and the sand bars made it possible for us to walk right out into the sea, completely inaccessible in normal times! Met Yogesh and Jai there, too.

Dinner that night was at Nerul - from masala crabs to fried fish and prawns, followed by some delicious fruit salad. Siddha, Shweta, Yogesh, Deepa and Jai, with Puchan Kaki, Sudha Kaki and Sunanda Atya also added to the experience of dinner with a Goan family :)

We came back to the hotel by 11, and played cards into the late night.

Sunday morning, day two, was dedicated to masti on the beach, and the team got a chance to experience the amazing water scooters - most going for two helpings :) Interestingly, once back in Pune, I used one of the videos I took of Amruta on the water scooter, as an example of what life at Persistent is about - more on that on my other blog - do check it out! Afternoon meant two hours in a lovely shack on the beach, resting in the breeze, and we enjoyed some awesome Cafreal and Prawns along with the music.

In the evening, we visited the Aguada Fort, and then the Taj, waiting for the sun to set. Some of the team went to see fishermen in action, others walked on the seashore, exploring the rock formations.

Once it was dark, we came to Panaji. Siddha-Shweta hosted us for high tea (prawns pattice and pastries with soup and juice), and then we all enjoyed the amazing ambience of Sea Pebble, out in the sand on the shores of the sea, at the foot of the majestic Dona Paula rock.

And the fun had just begun. On day three, Monday, we took off for Cabo De Rama, in the far South. I had never been there myself, so I was as much a tourist as everyone else. The area is far too beautiful to enjoy from inside a bus, and we all got down a couple of Kms before the destination, clicking dozens of pics and enjoying the flora and fauna of the place.

The fort itself is pretty ordinary, but the vistas are worth the trouble! After exploring a bit, we discovered this most beautiful and isolated beach close by, and climbed down the cliff to it. Didn't ever want to leave after that!

But we had to, we had not even had lunch - which we finally did at 7 pm at Nanutel, where Salil made sure we got the best :) Then it was off to Persistent's office at Verna, then to Old Goa, and finally, back to Panaji. We were still all in an adventurous mood, so we ditched the bus and took the ferry instead - Urvish even managed to take a short stint in the cabin!

Some of us visited Mambos at night, then came back to the hotel for cards and chats - the rest stayed the night on the beach, coming back only at sunrise! Rakesh was chased by a not-so-welcome breed :) while I had to fend off a drunkard who insisted we should come and help him bash up a shack owner!

Day 4 was our last day in Goa, and we decided to make it even more special - so we hopped onto some bikes, and took off, the MTP Roadies, visiting Pilerne, then Old Goa. I had a Pulsar, and I was riding after a long, long time - and I still managed to take a 2 km stretch of slope handsfree, with Amruta as my pillion rider, who was such a darling and trusted me enough to take the S curves too! Finally, dusty and hot, but happy and excited, we reached Panaji, and had a delicious lunch at Goenchin.

Before long, it was 4 pm. We had to come back, and with a heavy heart, we packed our bags, took the bus for Panaji, and crawled into our berths for Pune. Siddha and Shweta had come to see us off, and while I am used to these departures, I could sense more than one of us had tears in our eyes at what had been the end of a most beautiful Goan experience.

We played some games, we sat and talked about the fun we had had, we played Uno, and we joked about the dinner place. But our hearts were not in it - they had been left behind in Goa.

At the end of the day, there was only one way to console ourselves - a promise that we would all come back soon!

For more pics, visit my photo albums on Flickr. You might get some idea of the fun we had - you just might!