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Showing posts with the label Rambling-Rant

Cooking Rice Kheer

Well ... getting bored of eating the same stuff, I tried out cooking rice kheer the other day. Here are some snaps. I first looked up the recipe here , and then cooked plain rice and set the milk for heating ... The next stage was to mix them up, add sugar and starts stirring ... And here's how the final preparation looks like ... Delicious ....

Individual Inc.

In 2004, on the same day as today, I made my first post on this blog, and I have loved every bit of it. Blogs are the individual's 'press releases' to the world - they are chronicles of what people do, think and feel about their lives - and by doing all this, blogs epitomize the much elusive state that mankind has been in quest of, since time immemorial - FREEDOM! And when it comes to freedom, lets hear from the perspective of freedom's champion - Mahatma Gandhi. I quote Louis Ficher: Gandhi believed in revealing himself. He regarded secrecy as the enemy of freedom-not only the freedom of India but the freedom of man. He exposed even the innermost personal thoughts which individuals usually regard as private. Guess Gandhi would have loved to have a blog :-) [I have quoted Gandhi on individualism earlier as well]. How correct Gandhi was becomes clear when you read today's authors talking about the importance of individuals in the present society. For example, Tho

What I had for breakfast

Well actually nothing special - but it was the first time I made it all on my own: sandwiches. Got up lazily at 9 - and made tea - while having tea - cut some onion and tomatoes. Had put potatoes in the microwave. Once they were cooked I cut them too. Then, I mixed and mashed the whole thing, added salt and some biryani masala (since I did not have garam masala) and smeared some butter on it. This I microwaved for a minute and then mixed it to get the butter mix up. Reheated it for few more minutes. Toasted a few slices of bread - put the mixture above between them - and done! Anyone having any tips to further spice this up?

Food and Couch

I am at Norwich now at my Studio apartment - nice cosy place. It has a couch like the one Joey and Chandler have in F.R.I.E.N.D.S. and I am spending most of my time at home watching Friends on TV, eating and surfing the net!! Proper Couch Potato Eh!! Yeah ... So presented below are some photos of my lunch today (Baked Beans with Onion sprinkled on a bread; the bread is smeared with butter) - tastes amazing - believe you me! And the next photo below that is the Sofas on which I spend most of time sitting and surfing! .

India Rising!

A friends of mine who is in the US, sent me this YouTube link: While this India rising story is fast becoming a cliche, the video nevertheless makes things look quite amazing. And so many Indians abroad seem to be getting more and more sold on the India story. I however believe there's more to it than meets the eye!! :-) The troubles of working (or operating business) in India are quite irking - for example I was stuck for 2 hours today in Ghatkopar - fortunately the habit of having a book in my bag helped me - but imagine the amount of morning productive time I wasted! The stock market which went up and was hailed to stay put even as the US melted under sub-prime, has finally crashed today [ last reported it fell 1300 odd points]. The real estate prices which have been rising in speculation are already falling in smaller cities and while they have stayed put in metros - the whole urban dream seems to be crumbling because of the inability of the governments to be able to sup

Croocket ...

Since the 1999 world cup - when I finished my class XII exams and most eagerly awaited the tournament and India's performance - I have lost interest in the game. Match Fixing scandals, continuously erratic performance of the team ... reasons are too many why I no more follow the game with the same fervour as I used to. Yet - being an Indian - cricket comes in one's blood - and the blood shows when the team looses - more so because of no fault of theirs. The crooked cricket that the Australians play - full of frets, abuses and arrogance - takes away all the dignity that the game ever claims to have had. And to top that, when things refuse to go their way - they run like kids to their Momiee - the ICC and its officials. The way the umpires have not just favoured but been ' subservient ' to the Australian Team - the game has gone to new lows. Check out the last part of the 3rd minute. But the most unfortunate part has been the Australian Media's role of bringi

Nothing British about it !

A comment on Atanu Dey's blog . “Educate the elite alone so that the unwashed masses will be more easily controlled.” British built a educated class (bureaucrats) to do slave work for them. That worked very well for them. All they needed were dumb slaves who know how to read, write and regurgitate. And they did a terrific job of marketing. The slaves feel good about themselves and brag about it too, like so: “I work for the Indian Civil Services”. Why do we keep blaming the British for the state of our education? The concept of keeping education limited to few coveted 'castes' was preached and practised by Indians long before the British set their foot on this soil. And indeed, the reason why we have not been able to uproot the "flawed macaulian educational system" is because we DO NOT WANT TO. So many among our population still believe in casteist ideas!!

A Shouting Boss!

I am at a client's office and there is one hot-shot who is shouting (on the phone) to anyone and everyone whom he is talking to - even worse he has kept the door of his cabin open to make the 'heat' felt to everyone outside. To one he says - "Its 10.30 and you are still not in office, when do you think you are going to start working" and then to another he says - "I have heard people walk in sleep, where did you get this habit of sending emails in sleep? What's the sense of sending an email at 12.30 in the night?" I despise such people (and companies) who lay too much stress on timing of work than the work itself. What's the point of hankering around the time one works as far as you get the desired results? Why should a company mandate work timings on its employees - especially in these times when most 'corporate' workers are knowledge workers and virtually everything works 24x7? I am thankful that I don't work for a company like t

From the good-ol' print

There were two articles in the Hindustan Times (Dec 10) which I felt like reacting to. The first one was a very relevant plea for attention towards sensibilities of the disabled . No surprize that that article is written by a Britisher. In India, we have become so used to witnessing misery, poverty and disability that it never strikes our subconscious when disability is used as a comic element in movies. I never felt anything watching the scene in Om Shanti Om which makes fun of a limping character? Some of you may argue that no one is making fun of the disability but rather the character - well I think its a matter of sensibilities. The fact that we find a disabled character funny, clearly signifies we do not feel any pity and definitely no compassion towards the character. I am not surpized, no one in the censor board noticed this as well!! The second article is actually a news item about Maharshtra Knowledge Corp - creating its own version of the Wikipedia. What amazes me is ou

Chak De!

Yes ... its true - after 13 years of expectations for a second world cup - WE HAVE WON the first ever Twenty 20 cup!! Don't worry I am not going to get into the same loop of 'we worked as team' blah blah .. there are better reviews of the match around. So better go read them ! I just want to point out one thing that irked me. My heart sank every time Sreesanth and Joginder Sharma bowled those beamers off the wicket which were either going to go as 'wide' or deserved the hardest hits!! And yet, at the end Dhoni said - "... I decided to give the last over to Joginder, who wanted to make a name for himself in international cricket - it did not matter if we won or lost!" Did it not really matter??? A billion people watching the match, sacrificing their precious times .. I saw almost the whole Mumbai rushing home early yesterday - and the Indian captain says 'IT DIDN'T MATTER!!' Yes, I agree that this team won because it went without expectations

Do we like the same toothbrush?

The title of this post is just to went out my frustration at the animatedly friendly line you see in invitation emails for Shelfari (Do we like the same books?) . Actually, I am not frustrated at the service or the way it introduces itself - my objection is to something else ... read on if you are interested. The service is really an amazing concept - I wish I would have thought it and launched it. The way it introduces itself too is really good. Having tackled with the problem of 'introducing' websites myself - I do feel this is one of the better ways to do it. But isn't there is a limit to how many times you invite a user?? My first point is that if a user has invited me to the site and I haven't responded means that I am not interested in the service for one reason or the other. It could be pure disinterest or may be that I don't have time for it. Either way - I AM NOT INTERESTED!! Then why should the website send me a 'reminder' for the invitation??

Wah Taj .. Aah Taj

GreatBong does it again ... he has again managed to put across a sane voice among all these Taj maniacs, and as usual in the most hilarious way ... जिओ अरनब जिओ ... An excerpt And I wondered. What if? What if, many ages ago, we had the technology we have today? We could have reported the Rowlatt Act as bogus through simple clicks in Orkut, launched SMS campaigns for the release of that man who gave us “Gandhigiri”, and dialed into FM stations to express our solidarity with those dudes in Champaran. How cool would that have been ! Read full: Aah Taj My two cents are these - whether or not Taj had won - tourists visiting India would anyway have visited this beauty before visiting Goa, Kerala or Bangalore. It not being in the list would not have made any difference. But anyway - what can one do if all patriotism Indians have can be exhibited only when they are sitting (on bench?) in front of the computer screens or watching a "Rang De..". Well why am I blaming others ... wha

Reliance Comm. site's Verisign certificate is outdated!

Millions of online customers using the Reliance Communications Website are being taken for a ride by the company. The site proudly displays the 'Verisign Verified' seal on its bill payment gateway ' '. However, on clicking the seal one will get the following message from the Verisign server: Alert! You have accessed an outdated Verisign seal verification page. This page cannot confirm that this Web site is a current VeriSign customer. You should investigate the Web sites security before transacting with it. Verisign is a seal of trust on the web - just like the ISI mark on electronic goods in India. Displaying an outdated Verisign seal on a website is similar to forging the ISI Mark on household goods. While I am not aware if Reliance Communications can be legally challenged in the courts (especially in India) - this is definitely tantamount to cheating its online customers.

Is this helping Justice?

NDTV is running an expose into the BMW Case today. It is showing tapes of some sting operation to reveal the negative role played by the Public Prosecutor. Meanwhile, the reporting team is also pointing fingers to the very witness who prompted them in the first place to do this story. And at every available opportunity they are themselves trying to take maximum credit for releasing the story. In reality, what NDTV is doing might probably deprive the victim of justice and help the accused scrape through without a sentence. Tomorrow when the court hears the case, the credibility of the witness will be questionable thanks to the 'expose' by NDTV. Further, since the victim and his lawyers are now very well aware of the impending allegations and evidences to be presented in the court (again thanks to NDTV's expose), they will come doubly prepared to refute each of these and also armed with possible claims and appeals of the evidence being fabricated. What NDTV Should have don

Kab theek hoga?

Update: My phone is working again. कब ठीक होगा? is the question that has been asked to me umpteenth time since yesterday. Its as if someone close is ill and recuperating - in a way its something closer .... my cell phone! Indeed, the illness of a cell phone nowadays is no less than that of a close relative. You are prepared to travel long distances to get to the best hospital ... I mean the best service center. You inform all near and dear ones immediately that your phone is out of order and provide alternate contact numbers. You call up the service center every morning to find out if the repairs have been done, and finally everyone asks you - ओह! क्या हुआ उसको? In fact, on reaching the service center - I simply could not help but smile on the perfectness of the analogy. The distressed faces of people (stressed further by the excessive heat) who came with their mobile phones were reminders of how painful it is to have a faulty cell phone! Lets hope my own dear cell phone comes o

Doesn't it distract you?

In India we hardly ever differentiate between personal space and public space! People happily chat away the most romantic conversations sitting in office surrounded by colleagues all around. The lady in front of me now is doing just that, and the fact that I understand Bengali (language in which she's talking) almost as good as Hindi is making matters worse for me. Its hard to concentrate when on your own report when the person in front of you is planning a weekend trip with her boyfriend!! On one hand its good that we are not too hung up about being 'formal' in office (like it is in the UK) and the fact that this makes colleagues much more approachable helps in better team dynamics. However, I have a firm belief that some aspects of one's life should be strictly personal - like your chat with your boyfriend! One should, if not out of regard to others, but just for one's own privacy move out of their cubicles/bays/seats - somewhere more private to converse privatel

A lousy innings

No, I am not referring to India ’s batting performance against Bangladesh , I am referring to the ‘extra innings’ session hosted by Charu Sharma and Mandira ‘Cricket’ Bedi. It’s a lousy program and its current quality is worse than the ‘third umpire’ that used to appear on DD (with Krish Shrikant). When the studio came back after the first innings – the program director probably instructed the presenters to make the opening melodramatic by remaining silent for a few minutes. But instead of looking like shocked fans at a loss of words – both Charu and Mandira – looked more like lost presenters caught unawares by the camera! While the guests on the program are good – the presenters have been pretty ineffective in involving them properly. Add to it the nervous laughs of Ms Bedi that come right when the guest is trying to make an honest comment – the direction of the show sure does look very poor! Another lousy and artificial snippet on the World Cup telecast is the VISA advert – the

The best way to loose customers

Ok ... Here’s a tip from TATA indicom - how to weaken your market position as a new entrant by scaring away new customers ... It so happens that I am planning to buy a data card and have 3 options – Reliance, Airtel and Tata indicom. Since I own a Reliance phone I wanted to try a data card from a different provider ... so I went to Google and typed ‘Tata Indicom data card’ – the link I got was for tarrifs of the service. Thereafter I went to ‘Contact Us’ section and after selection of 3 dropdowns I got a number for their wireless service: 022 55990121 On dialling this number I get a message that this number has changed .. kindly visit 9223001951 to obtain the new number ... So I go to 9223001951 and got the new number 022 67990121 On calling 022 67990121 I was informed that this number was only for wifi services and I need to dial 9220000121 for wireless services (they don’t even have an internal call transfer mechanism!!!) On dialling 9220000121 I am routed through 2 option sequ

Meritocracy is not an absolute law

There are two kinds of people who are successful in the industry …. The first who have great talent The other who have great contacts .... and they both need each other... however the rarest of most respected are those who have both. For me the biggest difference in the transition from Academics to Professional circles has been the realization that meritocracy is not an absolute law. While in schools and colleges too, there would be some difference between different students due to their upbringing, but ultimately it was meritocracy which ruled. There are always students who do not have proper guidance at home or resources to make it to the ivy league, but unless the disparity is huge (like a slum child vs. rich brat), the meritorious always end up with a better career, even though the amount of hard work put in might be a little more for the unprivileged. Probably this is the true testimony of the Indian educational system where higher education is within reach of middle class. With