Thursday, December 30, 2010

2010 and the year ahead

Another year is passing by. With it, I once again realise that I’ve never felt anything special on a New Year’s eve. I guess the only purpose it serves for me is to make me look back upon what I have done during the past year and what more there is to do during the coming year. Even today, I am going to do exactly that.

Let me start with saying that 2010 will always be special because of Sachin. He scored a 200 in an ODI, the 50th hundred in test cricket and many other feats which need an entirely separate blog post. 2010 will always be remembered for being the year when we once again saw the rise of the star, and oh, such a rise!

Apart from cricket, I started reading again. I read about 14-15 novels, watched three amazing TV series: Two and a half Men,Boston Legal and House, completed 70 per cent of the Clint Eastwood filmography and started listening to Pearl jam and Mike Oldfield.

On the career front, this year has been quite good and satisfying. I cleared CFA-I and FRM-I, switched jobs, changed my city.

On the front of life, however, this has been tremenndous year. Rather, a rockstar year, where I saw lot of ups and some downs.

I met Anuja and Parul – people from a very different background. It was like seeing life from a completely different perspective. These guys are responsible for shaping my blog the way it is now. Earlier, it used to be full of whimsy posts, but these people restricted me and guided me towards good writing. Anuja is one of the finest political reporter ever. She is committed and energetic, and I am very sure she will get whatever she wants in life. Parul is the most exceptional writer I have ever seen. Any post, no matter what the length, is mesmerizing. Her writing is filled with the pure, unadulterated scent of nature and joy. I am sure great things are just waiting to happen to her. I guess the time spent with them in Chennai will always be one of the best times I’ve ever had. And moreover, I saw the side of Delhi I would never have been able to see without these guys.

I shifted to Bangalore which, as I have already written tones of times, is a city full of friends. In the five months here, I have grown to understand why Delhi means so much to Parul and what Mumbai is for Paplu. I think I am falling in love with this city.

Konark and Chhavi are the people who make this city special. Konark and I were counting and we realized that we have been friends for 10 whole years now! I realise it now that he is the guy responsible for making me whatever I am. I was just a bloody nerd before I met him. And for Chhavi - I can’t say anything! She is one of the finest individuals I have ever met. I discover so much about life and myself while talking to her. Being with her amazes me, making me wonder how strong and hardworking a person can be.

I guess I was saving the best for the last – Ravi and Jadoo, the two guys with whom I share the flat. I can’t remember even a single dull moment in the last five months. It has been a rocking life with these guys around. Though sometimes I miss the Friday ritual which I used to share with Jadoo while we were in Chennai, but I guess here everyday is a Friday night.

I met Harshi on and off, and it was good being friends with her again and to find her doing amazingly well in life.

Apart from all the good things, there have been a couple of sad moments. I left Chennai, and now I regret why I never felt close to my old roommates, Pattrow and Abhishek. They are amazing people. Today, when I have left the place, I miss them. There are memories and very strong memories, which come again and again and make me wish I could relive that life again

The most painful day was the day Paplu left for Mumbai. A person who has been more than a friend, a family for me far from home for the last five years, the guy with whom I have shared my life and dreams, the partner in crime for all those years and even then five years seem like five minutes. No one can ever take the place of Paplu in my life, but I am happy he is doing what he always wanted to do. Bloody investment banker. Asshole.

Somehow the track with Anuja got lost. We don’t talk much. Our lives are different. I am not even sure if we are friends anymore. But it’s the choice we made. I don’t regret it but losing a friend is the toughest thing for me. Since the time I can remember, friends have been my family. I don’t know why, but I am indifferent to my real family. I feel ashamed of it, but I can’t feel the connection. So, in the end it’s just the friends I have.

This reminds me, this year I am going to try harder to reconnect with my family.

I will travel more.

I hate myself for being such a procrastinator that I haven’t devoted any time for charity. I am for sure I am going to do that this year.

In the beginning of the year I decided to write 73 posts during the year. And I am lagging way behind it. To be very true, I am not sure how much I am going to write this year. I am losing the attraction towards writing pretty fast.

In the end, I just can't thank my fellow blogmates, who have been a major support, enough... Your blogs and comments give me somuch to think. They give altogether a different perspective about everything around me. I mean there are literally no words.I hope you will understand the feeling.

I guess it's been a long ranting post. Let me end this with something on the line of the tagline used in advertisements for Hyundai Accent six years ago -- “I thank the holy god, I thank all my blogmates, I thank all my family, I thank all my friends – without whom I would have been just another guy spending just another year.”

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Jingle Bells...

( Sorry, I am late in posting this)

Christmas was special when I was little. Then It lost its meaning for me. Now it has started getting its meaning again in my life. Prime reason being working in the US company or for US company, you get loads of free time when your counterparts goes on leave during Christmas. So at the end of the day its Holiday time for us – India Folks.

But talking to a friend last night reminded me why Christmas lost its meaning. I mean I used to be pretty excited about it till I was 8. The story is like this – I used to get gifts under by pillow on every Christmas. I used to be so much grateful to Santa. I mean I really used to believe that Santa exist. Then I started growing up and all sorts of evil plan started creeping into my mind. One Christmas I decided I am going to catch Santa. I knew that he used to come during midnight. I was all prepared for the night. Slept a lot in day so that I can stay up long in night. With the preparation and commitment, this 8 year old camped himself on the roof.

Now obviously the parents will be worried seeing their 8 year on roof in the December chill. They came up to convince me that Santa will come only when I will be asleep. I replied that other kids are asleep and he is going to deliver them the gift. I will catch him then. See how the age ruins you. Seeing all their arguments falling, finally my parents admitted that There is no Santa and they were the one who used to plant gifts under the bed.

This was the most shattering revelation of my life till that age. Off course life is full of such revelation now. Like “ you have always been a friend/brother for me”. Anyways so that was the end of my Christmas dreams. Viral next morning confirmed that for my lifetime.

But as I always believe everything in life happens twice. I have started feeling joyous about Christmas again. And above that in the secret Santa party in office I got ‘ Out of my comfort zone’ - the autobiography of Steve Waugh. It was THE most amazing gift I ever received on Christmas. I am happy.

On the same note I wish you a great, happy and cheerful Christmas.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Marketing Blunders

Just Saw this somewhere.....

1. Coors put its slogan, "Turn it loose," into Spanish where it was read as "Suffer from diarrhea."

2. Scandinavian vacuum manufacturer Electrolux used the following in an American campaign: Nothing sucks like an Electrolux.

3. Clairol introduced the "Mist Stick", a curling iron, into German only to find out that "mist" is slang for manure. Not too many people had use for the "manure stick."

4. When Gerber started selling baby food in Africa, they used the same packaging as in the US, with the beautiful Caucasian baby on the label. Later they learned that in Africa, companies routinely put pictures on the label of what's inside, since most people can't read.

5. Colgate introduced a toothpaste in France called Cue, the name of a notorious porno magazine.

6. An American T-shirt maker in Miami printed shirts for the Spanish market which promoted the Pope's visit. Instead of "I saw the Pope" (el papa), the shirts read "I saw the potato" (la papa).

7. Pepsi's "Come alive with the Pepsi Generation" translated into "Pepsi brings your ancestors back from the grave", in Chinese.

8. Frank Perdue's chicken slogan, "it takes a strong man to make a tender chicken" was translated into Spanish as "it takes an aroused man to make a chicken affectionate."

9. The Coca-Cola name in China was first read as "Ke-kou-ke-la", meaning "Bite the wax tadpole" or "female horse stuffed with wax", depending on the dialect. Coke then researched 40,000 characters to find a phonetic equivalent "ko-kou-ko-le", translating into "happiness in the mouth."

10. When Parker Pen marketed a ball-point pen in Mexico, its ads were supposed to have read, "it won't leak in your pocket and embarrass you." Instead, the company thought that the word "embarazar" (to impregnate) meant to embarrass, so the ad read: "It won't leak in your pocket and make you pregnant."

Thursday, December 2, 2010

The Week That Wasn't


You pack. You ride. You check in. Wait. Sit. Tuck the seat belt in. And then you take it out. The air hostess. The girl in the aisle seat. The fat uncle in the middle seat. Sandwich. Water. Once again the seat belt goes in. But only to be taken out. You check out and you are done with step one.


You meet. You hug. You smoke. The good ol’ days. The bad new days. You crib. The pain. The gossip. Smiles. Laughter. Loud laughter. And the night passes by before you can even realize.

You sleep. You wake up. There are missed calls. There are plans. Lunch. Coffee. More coffee. The pub. You drink. You start laughing. You drink more. You get senti. You drink more. And more. You black out. You puke. You puke more until you crash. You wake up next morning with a few things missing. A bag, a wallet and perhaps some people. Brief time periods.

You meet. You hug. Lunch. Coffee. More coffee. Dinner. You smoke. You hallucinate. You laugh. Pink Floyd. Tool. And the next 10 hours are a little hazy.

You pack your bags and move for your next destination. Edward Norton asked in Fight Club : If you wake up at a different place, at a different time, is it possible you wake up as a different person. Actually yes, if you wake up among different people called Family.


You talk. You laugh. You eat. You pray. You make small talk. Future plans. Marriage. Job. Food. Salary. Some more blah blah. You pack your bag and it’s time for the great Indian wedding.


People to lift luggage – Check

Taxi to pick you up – Check

Hotel to crash – Check

Good great group of friends – Check

Tonnes of food – Check

Music – Uncheck

Chicks – Uncheck

Dance – Uncheck

Booze – Check

And amid them, tones of jokes about Anshul.

You pack your bag. Take a train. Fight for the reserved birth. Give it up later for a hot chick. Try to make small talk. No phone number. No Facebook account. You de-board, tired of sitting after giving up your birth


Yes, it's crowded. Yes, there are slums. And ye,s everybody wants to be a millionaire. It's once again meeting, hugging, eating, shopping, drinking, puking, smoking, hallucinating, losing a bag, tripping, dancing and more blah.

All in all. Ten bloody fucking days of fun incorporated.

And Yes. Anshul is still an asshole.