Friday, 29 February 2008
That was how it had been with most of the women (she wasn't the first, of course). What had surprised him about this one was how soon it had all ended. Usually he could keep them interested a little longer. That is, till they started talking about money and what he did for a living. He'd tried lying about it a couple of times, but they seemed to get the truth out of him eventually.
He'd now become so inured to the rejection that this one almost didn't sting. Besides, he consoled himself, that girl from GE Money would be calling him back on Monday, and she had that pleasingly-pleading tone in her voice of a girl who was behind on her monthly personal loan sales targets.
Happy Birthday, Kracker-boy! This one's for you.
Thursday, 28 February 2008
My key take-away from the movie - work out like crazy, because when all else fails in trying to impress a girl, you can just take off your shirt and pose in front of her balcony and she's sure to get all weak-kneed and mushy in no time. Who said history never teaches us anything?
Wednesday, 27 February 2008
While all this is pretty farcical, it does make it pretty obvious that the Aussies are definitely out to get under the metaphorical skin of the Indian team. So the obvious question is, what should the Indians do? They definitely can't sledge back because, let's face it, they're really bad at it. They're not too articulate, which means that they're a lot more likely to say something that's obviously offensive, instead of being clever and using polysyllabic words that the ICC's Code of Conduct does not cover as yet.
Instead, I suggest they get in touch with their Indian roots and start off a well-publicised campaign of Gandhigiri. The CB series finals will be the last few international games for Gilchrist and Hogg, so it gives a readymade opportunity tothrow as many soundbytes out there as possible saying what wonderful competitors they, and by extension the Australian team, are and such-like and clapping for them at every opportunity, even ( or especially,wink wink) when they mess up. They should make it a point to clap for anyone who makes a half-decent score. Perhaps even call Hayden and Ponting 'Uncle' out of respect -after all Haden is nearly twice Ishant Sharma's age. I'd like to see how the Aussies would respond to that. Complaining that the Indians are being insincere would be churlish, being rude would make them look outright boorish and being polite back would mean that they're being taught manners by a bunch of kids half their age.
Of course, it's important that the media is carefully handled in this. Dhoni would need to give an interview on how the team got together and watched 'Lage Raho Munnabhai' and decided that they'd use Gandhigiri to face up to all the negativity, Bhajji would have to say that he's reformed and maybe Robin Uthappa can talk about how he feels connected to his heritage through non-violence. It's the kind of position that they can't lose from - the Aussie media won't be able to criticize it without sounding like they're criticizing Gandhi himself, the Indian media will go crazy showing stock footage of Sanjay Dutt and Arshad Warsi, and even if they mess up, they can always apologize and talk about how bad they feel for letting the team and their fans and everyone else down and give their best repentant-schoolboy look.
It's not a strategy that would have worked under, say, Dravid, but with Dhoni as captain, I'd say it's workable. He's already won plaudits for his charisma and the way he's led the team by example, AND he's got that beatific smile.
It's a perfect strategy, just as long as no-one talks about Gandhiji's three monkeys.
Sunday, 24 February 2008
Thought 1: There's something very endearing about watching grown people travelling on escalators for the first few times. This is a sight you still see pretty often in places like Bangalore and Mumbai in the malls, especially on the weekends. As they get onto the escalators their faces express apprehension and excitement in equal measure, and then their expression changes to one of wonderment and joy as they get borne up (or down). There's something very child-like and innocent about that, about seeing people find wonder in something that others consider mundane.
Thought 2: The fact that ice-cream sold in the food courts is over-priced may be a good thing. Since any craving for ice-cream is purely for taste, not nutritional value, the marginal utility gained from eating more ice-cream beyond a single scoop is very small. On the other hand, it does impose an additional 'cost' on the consumer in terms of filling him/her up with 'empty' calories and preservatives. The high price of the ice cream at the food court therefore (however unconsciously) internalises these negative aspects, causing the consumer to buy a more optimal amount of ice-cream. At least, that's how I rationalized the fact that I was paying thirty bucks for a tiny little half-scoop of ice-cream at the Swirls stall.
Thought 3: I saw this middle-aged woman with her daughter and (probably) the daughter's boyfriend, waiting to buy a sandwich at Subway. She had the sort of bad haircut (really short and straight) they give women when they've fallen badly ill or got some sort of mental disorder (I hope that's a politically correct way of putting it), and she just seemed rather lost, singing some kind of song to herself. I gave her a bit of a half-smile which no-one else caught, at which point she started smiling back at me. The daughter didn't see me smile, so she scolded the mother for smiling at a stranger. I thought I'd step in and explain, but then I figured he daughter seemed to be having a tough enough time holding it all together without having strangers tell them when it was okay for her mother to smile. It can get pretty tough taking care of people who are ill.
Thought 4: I realized I'm usually very polite to strangers like sales-people and auto-drivers. I'm not sure if that's because I'm just generally a nice guy, or if it's because there's a competitive streak in my Good Mallu Catholic Holier-than-Thou blood that wants to get a few extra points on a scale of relative holiness.
Saturday, 23 February 2008
Friday, 22 February 2008
We know you, we know your children, husband, neighbors, so these are the
ways to make sure, as best as you can, so that the things that you promise that
you'll do, you're doing exactly that.
Sounds ominous right? Maybe not. Link via How the World Works.
So I was thinking about this recently while putting up all these blog posts, and I figured I'm still pretty much on track. It's up to all of you guys now to hit it big. And don't forget to put up embarrassing tidbits about yourself on facebook while you're becoming successful. Remember, I'll be taking notes.
Thursday, 21 February 2008
Much has been made of the IPL auction and the way money's been thrown about almost indiscriminately at the various players. Cricinfo has a summary on the auction, with a picture of SRK and wife looking like Yash and Avanti Birla -wannabes, and there's another on what the team compositions are like. There's also loads of stuff floating around all over the net on the merits and demerits of the league and stuff, and I've blogged on it as well.
There's been a lot of comparison with other sports and sporting leagues, especially football and the EPL. As it happens, I just finished reading Fever Pitch by Nick Hornby. It's an account of his life as an Arsenal fan, and that too as an Arsenal fan when they were rough, middle-of-the-road plodders rather than the extremely rich Francophone plodders they are now. There's something deeply personal about the way he talks about his total obsession with the club. It gives an insight into one aspect of club football that the commentators on the IPL have not touched on much-namely, the fans. It's different from international sport, where you'd almost always support your own national team. With clubs, you choose whom to support, and it's not necessary that those around you may agree.
The book got made into a movie with Colin Firth, then another movie set in Boston starring Drew Barrymore, with the Gunners replaced by the Red Sox (digression: last year when the Red Sox won the World Series we had a guy from the Boston office here in Bangalore with us, and he was trying to explain how crazy people in Boston were about the Red Sox, so he referred to the movie; I don't think he was too pleased when I told him that the movie was an adaptation of a story originally based on soccer).
The book stops in 1992, the year that the EPL was set up, before money really started flowing into English football through TV rights and all the international players started flooding in. Arsenal has since then become a richer and much more successful team, with a large worldwide, but I wonder if the fans are anywhere as fanatical these days.
Cricket, especially in India, rarely seems to care too much about the fans - as long as you've goto your TV on, it doesn't matter what you really feel about the game. And even the administrators would probably laugh at the thought of going and watching the game at the ground. Maybe with the IPL we might see a change. And with it, we might see some interesting fan literature as well.
All three then turned to the Supposedly Wise Man (SWM, henceforth) and asked him for his expert opinion. The SWM turned to them, gave them his most sagely, beatific smile and said, "The best way to ensure that your opinion is always considered to be an expert one, is to keep your mouth shut when you don't have a clue."
Such is the way of the SWM.
Wednesday, 20 February 2008
Anyway, go read the post and the comments if you're bored and have bandwidth. Put down any comments you may have. (Note: I reserve judgement on any other content on the blog - it's not really stuff that makes me go wow!, but hey if it pushes your buttons then good for you).
Colours, you can thank me later for the plug.
UPDATE: Ah shucks! Looks like colours has decided that he/she doesn't want to come out and play. Um... Sorry?
Tuesday, 19 February 2008
How come Ravi Shastri is allowed to call (the umpire) Peter Parker 'Porky' every time he mentions him? It may not be racist, but it's definitely insensitive.
I wonder if it would be a good idea to bring back Mohammed Kaif. The team needs someone in the middle order with some experience and maturity to complement Yuvraj and Dhoni. It will be a little hard on Uthappa, but then he's not really doing too much with the chances he's getting right now.
In the post-Tendulkar era, this would be my team:
Openers: Sehwag and Gambhir, with Uthappa as back-upThere you go - no players as illustrious as any of the Big Four point Five (that's Tendulkar, Ganguly, Dravid, Kumble and Laxman), but that could well be their strength, with everyone contributing. Sort of like the Sri Lankan team under Ranatunga.
Middle order: Rohit Sharma, Yuvraj, Kaif - Uthappa could fit in here too ,
or Dhoni in India. Not Pathan though - he's perfect at no.7 and and first
All-rounders: Dhoni, Pathan, Piyush Chawla. Maybe Praveen
Kumar could fit in, though he's still got some way to go
Bowlers: Harbhajan, and any 2 out of Ishant, Sree Santh, RP, or Zaheer.
Maybe Murali Karthik as back-up for Bhajji.
Sunday, 17 February 2008
We've got an intra-office cricket tournament coming up and the department is setting up it's team, so the match was to help us figure out exactly where we stand. It turns out that we stand mostly at the edge of the boundary, waiting to go retrieve the ball when it gets picked up from outside off to be planted anywhere between square-leg and long-on. We got to 74 of 12 overs, they got to that in about 6. Not a confidence-booster. At the end of it all, thankfully, my foot didn't hurt, although every other body part did.
Somewhat strange to think that the most exciting thing that's happening in my life right now is an intra-office cricket tournament. A year back I would've laughed at that thought. Two years back I might have even turned my nose up at it. Wonder if it means that my go-getter enthu is running out, or it's just me slowing down to Bangalore's pace.
Anyway, cricket is a better way to spend Saturdays than roaming about the neighbourhood checking out new department stores.
Tuesday, 12 February 2008
The D-school alumni network alerted me to this video on Facebook. Interesting way to get people to take notice of the old pink building. And I suppose they can be forgiven for claiming that students discuss the upcoming budget over coffee. They're usually discussing how to finish the course in 2 years without going through too much trauma. I wonder what the faculty thought of it, especially considering the stated opinion of at least one of them that the real world is 'a little over-rated'.
As for the policy suggestions, I'm not sure Chidambaram would be rushing to implement too many of them. Besides, some probably need to be fleshed-out more - for example, lower tax rates would prove useful only if you remove tax loopholes across the system. Also, I don't know how good an idea reverse mortgages are - besides the risks of predatory lending and incorrect/biased valuations, you would have to overcome low financial literacy/product awareness amongst senior citizens for it to have any serious impact.
Full marks for enthu though. Maybe now we'll get to see JNU remake Don, with an undercover capitalist infiltrating the politburo by impersonating Budhadeb.
"If your boyfriend or girlfriend who lives 3,000 miles away is worth dating, it
better be high-quality because you might as well have no boyfriend or girlfriend
than a low-quality boyfriend or girlfriend who lives 3,000 miles away," says Mr.
Harford. "If you're going to visit for a weekend, you want a high-quality
weekend. You don't want to arrive and crack open a beer. You want lobsters, you want Champagne."
And they don't even talk about the phone bills. All-Purpose Economics once more comes to the rescue.It's also pretty amusing to find out that there's such a thing as the Institute of Long Distance Relationships. I wonder if they get their funding from Hallmark cards and such-like.
Sunday, 3 February 2008
Bonus bad joke: TOI reported a few days ago about the Sangh Parivar setting up Software Shakhas for IT professionals. I wonder if they'll have an RSS feed for that...
Friday, 1 February 2008
A quick search on YouTube brings up this video of Bhajji taking on Symonds. Inconclusive evidence no matter what Michael Slater says in Part II of the clip, and thankfully Tony Greig balances him out somewhat.
My take: the ICC botched up when they let Procter adjudicate the first time around. I bet back in Dubai the head honchos of the ICC probably thought he'd be smart (and/or cynical) enough not to rock the boat. If the issue had been resolved properly at that first instance, the coverage of the series, if not the results themselves, would have turned out differently.
Anyway, that's that. Given how Harbhajan played in Adelaide, he may not play much of a role in the ODIs anyway. And the next time there's a problem, maybe the Indians can just challenge the Aussies to a break-dance competition.
I'll admit I'm becoming a YouTube junkie now.