Sunday, December 19, 2010


-Pondatti Edhukku? Bonda Tea Irukku!!


Restaurant: Geetha Cafe

Location: Coimbatore

Ambiance: Old-world

As you walk through the congested Geetha Hall Road in Coimbatore at around 7: 30 am, the spicy aroma of Arachu vitta Sambar wafts through the air and fills your otherwise stink infested nostrils. It is not long before you find out that it is coming from the building proclaiming itself as ‘Geetha Hall’. Though it looks like, and is in fact, a marriage hall, there is a portion inside which serves as a no-frills tiffin centre. There are absolutely no signboards of this place, Geetha Café, outside the hall. A small doorway leads to quite a spacious joint which resembles a marriage hall dining area. There are rows and rows of straight-backed wooden chairs behind marble-topped tables. The place, like its people, is spic and span.

A waiter takes your order and if you have a whim for hearing a racy recital of the menu items he is very obliging. Hardly a minute would have passed when your plantain leaf (Vaazha Ilai – South Indian Style) gets filled with Idlys which justify the heroine associated with them to the core. A generous helping of their special Arachu Vitta Sambar makes sure that the fluffy Idlys vanish in a matter of minutes. Next in line is their uniformly sieved and delicious Sevai (Vermicelli). Along with the carefully ground and seasoned Coconut chutney it forms a scrumptious salsa on your taste buds. In the meantime their Medu Vadai serves as a worthy side snack and is the perfect option if you are someone who likes the outer layer crispy and the inner portion mushy. Their pepper sprinkled Venn Pongal is another item to be savoured and the amount of ghee added is just about enough to give you the flavour and at the same time not form a sticky film on your fingers.
If you are a Dosa aficionado then the best option here would be their Ghee Roast. The Ghee blends with the Sambar to give a relishing flavour to the whole fare which lingers in your mouth long after you are done. The Sada Dosai is a routine addendum to the menu and does not offer much to write about nor does the Poori Kizhangu.

Though Geetha café has a limited menu, the importance given to taste and quality makes it a must-eat place for any visitor to Coimbatore. The clincher is that though your stomach feels heavy and content, your purse, surprisingly, doesn’t feel any lighter at all.

Recommendations: Idly, Sevai

PRICING per person

·        Normal: Rs. 30 to Rs. 40
·        Pant loosening: Rs. 70 to Rs. 80
·        Shirt Button Ripping: Rs. 120 to Rs. 150

Thursday, December 16, 2010


-Pondatti Edhukku? Bonda Tea Irukku!!!

When you land a job in the marketing profile there are a lot of disadvantages like no chance of career shifts to research or production, continuous target pressure from management and the predicament of having to live out of a suitcase. But there are other advantages and the prominent one is the chance to eat at different hotels in different places. Hence, I have decided to utilize this advantage to spread some knowledge about the eateries that I chance upon. Patni Pandaaram is a going to be a varying, unscheduled series about different dining places in south India, ranging from plush restaurants to local Aaya Kadais.

The first article of the series will follow very soon...

There is no harm in saying you live to eat, as long as you LOVE TO EAT!!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


If the two-test curtain raiser held in February 2010 in India was any indicator, then we are in for some pulsating action, come 16th December. India and South Africa locked horns in that mini series and neither of the teams managed to unlock them. So the 3 test series beginning in two days will be one last chance for the two teams to establish supremacy in the world test arena before the ODI fever catches on from February 2011.

On comparing the two teams it is evident that India holds the edge in Batting while South Africa is easily the better bowling outfit. So, many ‘experts’ have already dubbed the series as ‘Indian batting Supremacy vs. S. African Bowling Fury’ which, according to me, is not entirely convincing.

When two teams with exceptionally strong line ups with respect to batting or bowling face each other, it’s not the stronger departments that should be compared but the weaker ones. We all know that South African Bowling attack has the capability of taking twenty wickets on any sort of pitch against any batting line up. Similarly the Indian batting line up, on its day, can put any bowling attack in the world to sword irrespective of rumoured weaknesses and pitch warnings. So the two strengths cancel each other out. What about the South African batting line up and the Indian Bowling line up? In my view, these two departments will decide the whole series. So let us make an independent comparison of the two departments. Fixing the maximum rating points as 60, we shall compare the four Indian bowlers (leave out the bench for now) against the six protean batsmen. Each Batsman will have maximum rating points of 10 while each bowler will have 15. I have tabulated the results after taking into account the performances of the players in the calendar year of 2010.


South Africa



Pts (/15)



Pts (/10)




























De Villiers






*PP is Performance percentage which is calculated with respect to the number of matches that the player has made an impact for his team as a percentage of number of matches played in the year 2010. For example, Zaheer Khan has played 8 tests in 2010 and has made an impact in 4 of them, making his PP 50%.

It is clear from the above table that South Africa is stronger than India when it comes to its weaker department.

Thus, statistics say that South Africa, in accordance to the favourites tag, should win the series.

But Statistics tell only half the story right? Well, let’s wait and watch…

Thursday, December 9, 2010


I would like to start this post by declaring that I am ashamed of the Tamil film Distributors Association and Tamil film distributors as such. Most of the biggies in this industry have raked astronomical sums of money from commercial pot boilers which follow the ‘Song-fight-comedy-sentiment’ formula. But sadly, not one of them had an eye or, for that matter, a heart to accept Nandalala’s brilliance and release it through their banner. It had to be done by Ayngaran International – a relative toddler in the Kollywood distribution arena – while the Marans who seem to be releasing every other crap in Kollywood chose to overlook this gem.

Let’s move to Nandalala. Nandalala is a story about two people – an eight year old boy and a forty year old man – journeying with each other in search of their respective mothers. While the eight year old Akilesh is your average kid next door, forty year old Baskar Mani is a mentally retarded man with the thought process similar to that of an eight year old. On their way they meet a host of characters who end up helping them or harming them in some way. Finally when they do reach their destination, do they get to meet their mothers? Well, Yes and No. Confused? Well, watch the movie…

Nandalala is a movie straight from the heart. It is also directed straight at the heart. Mysskin is clear about his characters (Nasser appears for 3 seconds in the film, so better ‘watch out’ for him!) and his portrayal of the script. There are no scenes which go overboard with emotion. There are no scenes which exploit the sensitivity of the ‘mother-son’ relationship. Still, Nandalala manages to reach that particular place in your heart which has a direct link to your mind. Every frame of the movie talks to you. When the characters don’t talk the visuals do. Be it the scene where a surly lorry driver manages to discover the child in him as he prods at ‘touch me not’ plants along with two ‘8 year olds’ for company or the scene where a poor slum girl who sells herself to earn a living drenches the sorrows, filth and dirt in her life by standing in the rain, the visuals more than make up for the lack of dialogues. Coming to performances, it would be an understatement to say that Mysskin has lived the role of Baskar Mani. He has given us an unforgettable, indelible portrayal which could have been pulled off by very few in the industry. Ashwath Ram has essayed the role of Akilesh quite brilliantly and has emoted exceptionally well for an eight year old. Snigdha reveals that she is not a ‘yellow sareed’ item girl after all. With a single scene where she describes her stained life, Snigdha proves that she is an actress par excellence. Rohini comes in a cameo and literally disarms you with her looks and her performance.

There is one other person who, according to me, is the actual protagonist of the movie – Ilayaraja. There are certain sequences in the movie which could have come off as bland or even incomprehensible if it hadn’t been for the background score. The music hits your senses where it should. Ilayaraja proves that he is a master when it comes to the art of plucking strings in instruments which will have the direct effect of tugging at the strings of your heart. His orchestration speaks to the viewer on an emotional, primal and psychological level. There is very little need for dialogues when such magical music keeps you spell bound and satiated. After experiencing Ilayaraja in Nandalala I am convinced that all other music directors in India are light years behind him when it comes to background score. Not one of them can compose music that can speak to us. The maestro does it, and does it effortlessly.

Nandalala is an enriching musical experience. It’s an honest attempt at meaningful cinema by a gutsy director. It’s an emotional travelogue for all sons and mothers of this world. It’s a journey which happens almost exclusively on the road. On the road less travelled.

Sunday, November 28, 2010


Note: I wanted to post this two months back. Unfortunately, it completely slipped my mind. But I didn't want to wait for 12 more months to post it, so here goes...

The rhythm of percussion carried a reverberating resplendence in Sriram’s house. Its residents had gotten used to the earthy beats for ten years now, thanks to Sriram’s 14 year old son, Krishnan.

While charting out his duties as a father, Sriram had made a mental note not to interfere in his son’s likes or interests and give him free reins towards them. On Krishnan’s third birthday, Sriram had heard rhythmic beats coming from the hall. On entering it, he saw little Krishnan squatting in the middle of the coffee table and tapping it with his tiny fingers. There was not even a trace of hesitation in those fingers…there was not even a single beat out of tune. That was the day Sriram decided to take his son’s future into his hands.

Eleven years since that day, his son was on the verge of fame. All the hard work that Krishnan had done was going to pay off. His first major Ghatam concert was scheduled for the evening. Krishnan was glad that he had chosen the Ghatam, or rather, the instrument had chosen him. Ghatam was the most difficult percussion instrument to master, due to its fragility and the subtle pressure related theories it required. There were minute adjustments one made with the opening of the Ghatam, its position with respect to the chest and the constant shuffling of the ghatam to effect the finer nuances in the thaalams or beats. The force generated by the wrist of the player was of extreme importance when playing the Ghatam. Krishnan had learnt this the hard way, breaking 4 pots before figuring out the exact magnitude required. But he felt he had now reached a stage where he can express his individuality through his instrument. The prospects of the big evening sent a surge of adrenaline coursing through him. After continuous persuasion, his Guru, Mr. Suresh, had managed to confirm the presence of the great Ghatam maestro, Vikku Vinayakram, for the concert. The mere thought of performing before his idol sent shivers down Krishnan’s spine.

Hurdles were never hindrances as far as Krishnan was concerned, as he had crossed many of them since his childhood. But, since morning, his whole body seemed to be weighed down by some uneasiness. It was not the usual jitter he used to have before a performance. This was something else…he was sure it was something else, but what was it?? He couldn’t pinpoint a reason for any of the happenings since morning…the ill fated breaking of his Ghatam during the practice, which had not happened for the past 5 years; the inauspicious stumble in front of the temple; the uninterrupted headache he was having. It was as if he was receiving a message, only he was finding it difficult to decipher.

He decided to put all of it behind him and focus on the job at hand. He and his father left for the concert by bike. It was a clear sunny day and the traffic was pretty sparse. That is a good sign, thought Krishnan. Just as he was beginning to ease himself off his worries, the bike came to a sudden halt. How much ever his father tried, it wouldn’t budge. Neither he nor his father had any idea as to what the problem was. As his father parked the bike in a corner of the road and hailed an auto, Krishnan gazed at the bike…what was wrong with it??

The whirring of the Auto’s engine almost blanketed the sound of the steady pattering of rain drops onto the top sheet. The pattering transformed into pelting and soon there was a storm beginning to rage. Krishnan was perplexed. What a dramatic weather change it was; moments ago was the sun smiling…and now this!! The traffic also seemed to have picked up and the auto was moving at snail’s pace in the congestion.

As Krishnan shifted his position on the seat to accommodate his Ghatam he heard a huge crash…even before he knew what was happening, he felt excruciating pain…something was crushing him…something huge…he knew he was never going to cross this final hurdle…the 20 feet tree was too big for him.

He lay on his belly with his right hand secure around his Ghatam. The last gasp of his life left through his fingers in the form of a final Jathi.

‘Trees are Earth’s endless efforts to speak to heaven’, he had read somewhere. It was absolutely true in his case…

Footnote: A tribute to the young Ghatam Vidwan, Krishnan, who died on 27th September 2009, under the immense pressure of a carelessly planted tree...may his soul rest in peace.

Saturday, November 13, 2010


If you happen to meet Mr. A. Raja, our honourable telecom minister, and ask him if he knew how many zeroes were there in 1.77 lakh crore, he wouldn’t tell you. He might ask his security people to rough you up but the reason he will not answer is not because he would feel indignant, but because he would actually not know the answer. The magnitude of his 2 G scam is such that even the perpetrator gets floundered by the sheer power of figures.

Amidst all hobnobbing about monetary figures, another figure of immense importance has started to raise its neck above the troubled waters - The electoral figure of majority - that magical number of 272. Congress were shameless and forthright when they pulled the plug from the ventilator for Kalmadi and Ashok Chavan. The fact that both were from their own party helped in their decision making. But with A. Raja they are in a sticky situation. Some might call it gum – ‘A Raja Gum’. 18 MP seats lie in that old wrinkled lap of the Tamil Nadu chief minister and unflinching supporter of A. Raja. He doesn’t need to make a statement proclaiming threats with respect to those seats. It is already implied. That is the reason why Jayalalitha’s statement offering open support to the congress in case of any coalition fall out is one of the shrewdest political statements ever made in the recent past. By giving out such an offer she has opened up 2 possible political scenarios.

First, a political fall back in the TN assembly poll scenario. A brief look at the current TN assembly composition tells us that the 36-MLA-Strong congress holds the trumps in the TN coalition government. Jayalalitha’s statement offering support shows us how well the veteran has played the numbers game. She has been brave enough to go against the ideologies and sentiments of her allies in TN (CPI, CPM and MDMK, all three of who are open critics of the Congress). They make up a measly number of 17 MLAs which she might not even lose once the settlements are done. Even if she does lose them it only further widens the distribution of the vote bank as all three parties are unlikely to ally with DMK.

This scenario, though, is likely to happen only if congress considers Jaya’s olive branch. What if they don’t?

This scenario is, again, favourable to AIADMK. The congress’s current clacking about TN house being full and Jaya’s offer being a desperate attempt at restoring lost stronghold in the TN assembly is just an initial show of bravado. Even if it does abide by its stand, there is no question of the fact that it faces serious pressure to terminate Raja as a cabinet minister or force him to step down. This offer by Jayalalitha comes in the exact nick of time that she can proclaim it to have instigated the reaction from Congress. This will serve as a DMK image tarnishing tool during her campaign for the 2011 assembly polls.

By going after A. Raja, initiating opposition and people frenzy and putting out an unconditional offer to the ruling party, Jaya has indeed set the cat amongst the pigeons. What answers do the rulers (or, should we say, ruler) in 10, Janpath have?

Sunday, October 31, 2010


The Debates have died and the debris has settled. ESPN Cricinfo have finally released their list of ALL-TIME WORLD XI. It is now time to move on to a list that is far more important. The one that is going to be revealed right here, in this very page which is being visited by millions of fans world over every day (curiously though, they all tend to have the same IP address), is a much more important and a far more patriotic list than that totally biased one which had only one Indian (imagine the atrocity of leaving Sanjay Bangar from an all time XI! Truly apocryphal!). In fact this list is full of Indians. It can be called…well…let’s say, All time Ridiculous Indian XI.

Now, before embarking on such a strenuous project which had the potential to consume most of my otherwise packed office hours (apply 4 point formula or read previous post), I did some extensive research of India’s capped players from the 90s. With a strong backing from this acquired data I have now decided to let this list out. Before going to the list let me take this opportunity to tender my apologies to Sachin Tendulkar and his fans. Though it is a criminal offence to leave Tendulkar out of any list relating to cricket I hope all you guys, including the great man himself, accede with me on perusal of the list below.



· Shiv Sundar Das

· Devang Gandhi

· Sanjay Bangar

· Akash Chopra

· Sujith Somasundar

The Final Cut: Sujith Somasundar and Devang Gandhi.

This deadly duo has all the attributes needed for a successful test match opening partnership. Firstly a very strong defense; next…hmmm…what else? I surely seem to be forgetting something here…Ok chuck it. An Honourable mention at this juncture has to be Aakash Chopra. If there was ever an example for cricket being a ‘gentleman’s game’ this man was it. He was so gentle with the ball and the bowlers - A strict ‘no no’ to any shot which needed some amount of force to carry it across the inner circle.



· Sanjay Bangar

· Vijay Bhardwaj

· Atul Wassan

· Hrishikesh Kanitkar

The Final Cut: Vijay Bhardwaj, Atul Wassan, Hrishikesh Kanitkar.

Vijay Bhardwaj is the perfect one drop foil for our majestic openers. It seems that he used to have great hand-eye coordination before he started wearing spectacles. The crowning moment in the chronicles of his three test career surely has to be a defiant 35-ball innings of 6 runs on a bouncy Sydney wicket against the furious pace of Brett Lee. Legend has it that after facing Brett Lee during that innings, Vijay was convinced that he had eyesight problems as he failed to spot the ball on more than one occasion.

Atul Wassan is one of those unfortunate dyslexic Indians who gets muddled up with numbers. Confusion with respect to batting and bowling averages made this gentle giant to assume that a high bowling average and a low batting average is the practiced agenda in cricket, while vice versa was the way to go. His exemplary batting average of 23.50 and not so bad Bowling average of 50.40 gets him into our middle order (though I am aware that he was actually chosen as a bowler, I would like to stick with my selection as I feel his analysis of Batting during ‘Fourth Umpire’ is far better than his analysis of bowling or, for that matter, his bowling itself).

A swat over mid wicket in fading light against Saqlain Mushtaq to seal a famous Indian win over arch rival Pakistan is the only reason why Hrishikesh Kanitkar is in this team. It’s not very different from the reason why he was in the Indian team during his illustrious career of 2 tests and 34 ODIs.




· Sanjay Bangar (What? He can do anything on a cricket field!)

· Vijay Dahiya

· Saba Karim

· Deep Dasgupta

The Final Cut: Should we even have a speculation?


Once when Geoffrey Boycott was asked who he thought was India’s best wicket keeper, he quipped in his usual Yorkshire accent that India’s best wicket keeper was Syed Kirmani, adding that India also possessed a gem of a ‘goal’ keeper in Deep Dasgupta. Such was the young Bengali ‘keeper’s aura. He redefined the art of wicket keeping with his nonchalant, casual ways behind the stumps which often led to even the soft spoken Sunil Joshi venturing into a tirade of choicest words from diverse Indian languages. Though an International Test Century against England does question his worth in this particular line up, his wicket keeping prowess and the very fact that he generously let ‘bye’gones be ‘bye’gones more than makes up for it.



· Tinu Yohannan

· Dodda Ganesh

· Debasis Mohanty

· David Johnson

· Harvinder Singh

· Sanjay Bangar

The Final Cut: Harvinder Singh, Dodda Ganesh

Harvinder Singh was the most feared spinner and the least feared medium pacer that India has ever produced. The variations with pace (Slower ball was his stock delivery, while ‘mystery’ ball was his surprise weapon as the ball often failed to reach the batsman) along with his vast experience (his 3 match test career spanned for an astonishing 3 years from 1998 to 2001) make Harvinder a sure shot in our line up.

Dodda Ganesh was a man of less words; and lesser wickets; and even lesser pace. Three attributes which make him an auto-pick.



· Nilesh Kulkarni

· Rahul Sanghvi

· Ashish Kapoor

· Harvinder Singh

· (Of course) Sanjay Bangar

The Final Cut: Ashish Kapoor, Nilesh Kulkarni

Ashish Kapoor was the classical off spinner India were looking for after the retirement of Venkatraghavan. After he came to the fore India have decided to stop looking for such options in the future. One of the reasons why his colourful 4 test match career didn’t garner enough attention was due to his constant shuttling between Punjab and Tamil Nadu. He made it such a habit that after a while he even divided his first class career between the 2 states.

Nilesh Kulkarni got a wicket of his first ball in international cricket when he dismissed Marvan Attapattu of Sri Lanka. He immediately decided that he had to finish his career on a high right then and there. Though he had taken the decision in his mind, mundane cricketing rules made him play the whole test match. He must have been a baffled man when he was asked to play the next match- Sri Lanka the opponents again- as well. When he got picked for one more test against Australia, he decided enough was enough. His brutal spell of 1/137 on that minefield in Chennai against the clueless Aussie batting order was enough to stamp his name in the annals of history. He never stepped onto an International Cricket field again.

THE ALL TIME RIDICULOUS INDIAN XI: Devang Gandhi, Sujith Somasundar, Vijay Bhardwaj, Atul Wassan, Hrishikesh Kanitkar, SANJAY BANGAR (Captain, Vice-Captain, 12th Man and Substitute Wicket Keeper), Deep Dasgupta (gk), Harvinder Singh, Dodda Ganesh, Ashish Kapoor, Nilesh Kulkarni

That, my folks, was the All Time Ridiculous Indian XI. There were some tough choices that were made and some hard decisions that were taken. As Ravi Shastri says, in the end Cricket is the real winner.

Sanjay Manjrekar, when asked about his controversial exclusion from the line up, had two words to say – “It’s Ridiculous!”

Of course Mr. Manjrekar. And we thank you for reiterating it.

We have also decided to give away a special ‘most diverse player’ award to Sanjay Bangar for getting nominated in all categories. That is something even the famous Sachin Tendulkar can only dream of.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


Disclaimer: This formula works only for those people who incorporate it diligently in their lives. The author has absolutely no bearing on the results of the formula.

Many people, especially the educated employed youth, tend to have this ‘Social status aphrodisiac’. What will he think of me? What will she think of me? What will my neighbour’s father’s friend’s sister’s brother-in-law’s 3 year old daughter think of me? Well, for those of us who do fall in that category (come on, I know you do! Don’t sit there and roll your eyes…) I have conceived a four-point formula which has, until now, worked for me.
1. Speaking Style: This point is of immense importance in work life. Whenever you are in a meeting or a conference you will, more often than not, be forced to say the following: ‘That’s a good point!’; ‘That’s true’; ‘I agree’. Always remember to add something extra before those phrases. ‘Actually, that’s a good point!’ sounds far more sophisticated, mysterious and intelligent than a mere bland ‘That’s a good point!’ Your peers and bosses are bound to be awed by you. “That guy! Look at the way he uses ‘Actually’! He must really have some layered depths of knowledge!” they start to think (Or at least that’s what I think they start to think). Instead of saying ‘That’s true’, try and say ‘Exactly!’ in a clear, ringing voice, at the same time clicking your thumb and your middle finger while pointing your index finger at some random point on the ceiling. Believe me, That creates instant impact.
2. Computer manners: Most of us cannot live, let alone work, without a laptop or a desktop. So this point comes in as the most universally applicable point. Whenever you are sitting in front of your computer, arrange your face so as to give the impression of something life-threateningly serious going on before you and you are the only person capable of handling it. When you have an office with a privatized cubicle, there is no need of auxiliary equipments like myriad documents, age old technical diagrams etc. to cover what you are actually doing (read-minesweeper, cricinfo, solitaire, Wikipedia). But when you are part of an open office or when you are at home, it’s better to keep any of the aforementioned documents open. Or at least a pre-planned excel sheet with scores and scores of unrelated, complicated and absolutely unfathomable numbers spread across important sounding columns (‘Tax Invoice No.’, ‘R05 Value’ , ‘Production quantity’, ‘minimum specification’ etc.) should do the trick. In the case of software professionals, minesweeper/cricinfo/Wikipedia should themselves do the trick. Even at home this point is extremely important. With an open, complicated excel sheet on the task bar and a sober expression playing on your face you can watch Friends/How I met your mother/Two and a half men with a free mind. This exercise also helps improve you control your emotions as you will be experienced enough to watch a sitcom without laughing or pretending to laugh along with the laugh tracks (Note: The said exercise is not recommended for Dr. Vijay, Captain Vijaykanth and T.R Films as they are in a totally different league when compared to petty American sitcoms).
3. Expand your area of work: By this, I don’t mean you have to actually butt your head into all functional departments of the organization and increase your knowledge about their respective functioning. No, you don’t need expansive work. All you need is expansive talk. When you talk about your job profile you should sound as if you are the only person apart from the CMD because of whom the company is running. You don’t need to know what are the functionalities involved and technical details. Just a lot of important sounding English words ought to be enough. ‘Product Development’, ‘Strategy analysis’, ‘Catalogue management’, ‘Market development’, ‘Software Systems management’, ‘consulting champion’, ‘Production planning’, ‘Customer relations management’ etc. Sound Important don’t they? Just brush up some support data for each of the aforesaid, actually existing, job profiles and you are good to go.
4. Complete and unabashed utilization of ‘The near-miss factor’: (Note: though this point may sound applicable only to those people who managed to ‘Bell the CAT’ and get interview calls from IIMs, only to later find out that they were mere add-ons, it is actually applicable to others also. They can actually modify it with a single letter – P. After all, the only criterion to get a call from ‘IIPM’ is to be Homo sapiens. And at least most of us fulfill that criterion.) Many of you might have got interview calls from prestigious institutes like IIM/SP Jain/IIFT etc. All others are automatic call getters of IIPM. Try to bring almost all conversations that you participate in towards your ‘thirty minutes of glory’ (In case of IIPM, just walk in to a branch nearest to you immediately to have a firsthand experience. They have perennial openings for MBA, E-MBA, Global MBA, International Executive Entrepreneurial Programme, Dare to think beyond ‘IITs/IIMs/YALE/HARVARD/STANFORD/OXFORD’ Programmes and other such exciting initiatives). Let me give you an example of how to go about this particular point. Below is a conversation I recently had with an acquaintance:
Acq: Hey Jagan! What’s up?
Me: Nothing much. Work is hectic as always. Just had these additional responsibilities of market analysis and product development thrust on me.
Acq: Oh! Great man! So much responsibility! That’s good for you right?
Me: Yes of course! But it’s hampering my CAT preparations. Also with 3 previous IIM calls (You can make that 18 in case of IIPM), there are increased expectations on me this year.
Acq: Wow! You got 3 IIM calls? That’s great man! You must be brilliant then…blah…gifted…blah…blah…prestigious…blah blah blah…toughest exam in India…blah blah blah blah
Easy isn’t it?
Thus, we come to the end of the four-point formula. These points have been made public after extensive research, firsthand experiences, market surveys, quality assurance procedures, strict conformance to international standards, customer satisfaction initiatives, simulation of business models, five year development plans, defense measures…er… stuff like that.
Have you noticed how much of an exponent of the four point formula I have become?

Thursday, October 14, 2010


Two 1st innings which were starkly similar. Two 2nd innings which were annoyingly alike. Two 3rd innings which were curiously comparable. Yet, two test matches which ended diametrically different from each other. .

The Recently concluded Border-Gavaskar Trophy between India and Australia proved to the world that the calculated aggression of one day cricket or the mindless madness of the T20 is no match to the layered drama and unpredictability of test cricket. Just the last innings alone provided extremities with respect to situations and positions of advantage. While in Mohali, Aussies called the shots from the first ball of the fourth innings until a certain Superhero christened ‘Lax’man blew their hopes apart with deft touches, soft caresses and wrist work which was almost biologically improbable, in Bengaluru, the Kanga‘rue’ was nipped in the bud itself by a toddler learning to walk on an international cricket pitch and a veteran who could actually bat with a walking stick. Such has been the beauty of this series; such has been the beauty of test cricket all along.

If there was ever a time when test cricket needed a vaccine to protect itself from the rapidly spreading T20 virus and the dangerous ‘spot-fixing’ bacteria, this was it. Even purists were almost ready to show the red signal to test cricket; what with one-sided series, empty stadia and abysmally low TRPs on one side and stomach churning scandals involving spot fixing on the other side. Test cricket needed two teams who could turn the tide for it; two teams who could never play dull cricket even if they tried; two teams who, irrespective of rankings and ratings, brought out the best in them while facing each other. India and Australia together shouted ‘Aye Aye Sir!” to bring cricket’s purest form the respect and laurels it has always deserved. Pitch conditions took a back seat; toss result was given but a second glance; Umpiring errors were long forgotten after instantaneous moments of disbelief. What lasted was passion – pure, frantic passion. If VVS Laxman’s murderous gestures towards Pragyan Ojha in the dying moments of the first test gave weightage to the theory of test cricket’s ability to build up unbridled passion even inside the softest of individuals, Sachin Tendulkar’s vigorous punch of the air and the emotionally charged up expression on his face at the end of the second test simply shut out the doubts regarding the said theory. No other format of cricket could bring its most loved son to such heights of delirium. Tendulkar, for a brief moment, became the 10 year old curly haired boy who hated losing even plastic ball cricket matches played amidst the busy streets of Bandra. That little boy had given test cricket its due on his behalf. Test cricket has always paid rich dividends to those dues and will continue doing so.

There might be nail biting last ball finishes in One day cricket. There might be Ties followed by insane scenes involving super overs in T20. But nothing can match the sheer purity of the game which is exhibited only in test cricket. May the oldest and unblemished form of the game continue giving us sustained happiness and that rare sense of fulfillment even after having sat motionless and unproductive for five continuous days. Long live Test cricket. Long live its masterful artistes.

Friday, October 8, 2010


  • Rahul Gandhi's RSS, SIMI Equation
  • Railways on a Recruitment Frenzy
  • LED Displays on Vodka Bottles
  • India's Last Gasp Victory at Mohali
  • A 'Golden' Twist to the CWG Tale
In some unusually blatant remarks, Rahul Gandhi has described RSS as ‘Fanatical’ and no different from the banned terror outfit SIMI (Student Islamic movement of India). The fundamental reason behind his comparison is the fact that both groups held ‘Fundamentalist’ views. “I only know that both RSS and SIMI hold fundamentalist views”, he said. On being pointed out that RSS, unlike SIMI, is not a prohibited group, he reiterated that he only knew they were fundamentalist. “As I said, I only know that they are both fundamentalist. That supports my theory. All this crap about RSS not being a prohibited group doesn’t help me, so I don’t know about it”, he stated nonchalantly.

Indian Railways have started a recruitment frenzy and plan to fill 2 lakh vacancies in 6 months. Mamta Banerjee, the Raliways Minister, unveiled the conceptual brilliance behind this recruitment drive. “Anyone found staring lovingly at an Electric/diesel Engine or the respective coaches will be recruited with immediate effect”, she announced. Following the announcement there has been mad mobs of dewy eyed youths at most railway stations across India. In a totally surprising but related development, Indian off spinner Harbhajan Singh’s name was found on the first recruitment list. Apparently he had given a playful hug to Indian ‘Coach’ Gary Kirsten which was taken right into cue by the Recruitment board.

Two New York based Liquor Lovers have come up with vodka bottles that carry a programmable LED display that scrolls a personalized message of your choice in bright lights around the bottle. Medea vodka is the first one to start the quirky and innovative message-on-a-bottle trend. Like a news ticker, words scroll by, delivering birthday greetings, sweet nothings - even a marriage proposal. “We were always seeing dazzling displays on our Vodka bottles after drinking from it, so we thought ‘hey! Why not!’ and that’s how this happened”, they say proudly. To a question on whether any sort of message display is possible they say that though the desired display is possible, the best effect is felt when you drink from it and then look at the display. “That way you can see any message you want. Heck, you can even see a movie!” they say, causing instant panic in the Indian Film Industry.

V.V.S. Laxman played a soldierly knock to guide India to a thrilling 1 wicket win over Australia in the first of the two test series in Mohali. Battling back pain, a determined bowling attack, an ambitious opposition captain and an Indian captain confused about the concept of By-runners he steadied a sinking Indian Batting order to reassure their dominance in World Test Cricket. Speaking about his knock, Laxman said that he was happy to be of help in a winning cause. “I am very happy to have contributed to the win. Hopefully I repeat the feat if I get picked for the next test”, he said. On being reminded that he was no longer playing for his place in the side and was now a permanent member of the test side, Laxman sounded surprised. “Is that so? Gosh! Nobody said anything about this. That’s why I have kept on playing like my place was up for grabs. Well Well. That does put things in a different light doesn’t it?” he winked sending out strong signals to the Indian dressing room.

Meanwhile, in a surprising twist to the CWG 2010, Actor Vijay has claimed that the main reason behind India’s brilliant performance and Mad Rush for Gold in the CWG has been his JOS ALUKKAS Advertisement.