Tuesday, March 31, 2009


What do you call a blog that writes about a travel experience: Travelogue, so what should we call a blog that writes one's home experience.....

Indore, I will introduce as a 'cute funny city'. People find fun in anything and everything here. My observation for Indorites over the years is that we Indorites are keen on making relations
If you are travelling alone in Indore train: The Avantika Express, definitely someone will start conversation and your whole journey will pass talking and eating! 
If you are first timer to a food joint, there would be plenty of people around to suggest you what to eat and what not to. And giving suggestions is what we are good, rather best at :-) An Indorite can give you suggestion on anything as remote as possible !! 
Hair cutting in Indore is not a short thing. First you have to wait for 15-20 minutes at least. And during this time you will get to hear a never ending debate (topics may vary) of free people around. While you are sitting at the hot seat you will get to know every information, from local MLA, water scarcity to the level of Osama's hiding! Election time is main season for Barbers, Panwaalas and Chaaiwaalas. 
Now I will tell you a normal schedule of an Indorite. Wake up in the morning normally between 7 to 8AM. Breakfast would be light : Poha and Jalebi !! Then Tea-Biscuit before lunch. Normal Lunch followed by snacks in the evening. That would be Samosa-Kachori at least. 
Indore is heaven for Food Lovers. The list is endless but some of which I relish are:
Sarafa (Food Chaupati): Chhole Tikiya, Hot Dog, Garadu, Gulab Jamun, Rabdi, Pattis, Sabudana Khichdi, Makhkhan Bada, Shikanji, Kulfi .. .. ..   ..  ..  .....
(Now there are similar chuapattis in many places in Indore) 
Guru Kripa Restaraunt: GuruKripa is a Restaraunt in the heart of Indore. It shows that Indore's heart is very close to its stomach. Its a place with amazing veg food and your bill will never cross Rs. 30-40 per head, without compromising ambience. So thats heaven for every class!! 
56 Market: Another Food joint!! 
and believe me this list is never ending...

Indore city has well specified markets for all needs. We have cloth market, Bartan bazaar - names suggesting their utilities, khajuri bazaar for books, sarafa for jewellary, Marothia for daily needs. 
Their is so much happening in Indore recently. So many malls coming up now. Roads are improving. Construction everywhere! In my recent visit I saw, every other road is blocked for work. But we Indorites never crib. We never make big issues for anything. We dont panick when there is water scarcity, we dont fight when Avantika Express halts for an hour just on the outskirts of Indore! We dont care when our sitting MP for 25 years now is never given an important portfolio in cabinet. We are happy in our life... Eat and Have Fun !!! 

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


Remember my earlier article on IPL fighters!! 
That same IPL is now NRIPL (Non Resident Indian Premier League). So that leaves Kapil Dev's ICL only Residing Indian Cricket  League. Now the biggest irony is IPL is moving out of India because of security issues during elections and it is moving to a place where elections are exactly co-inciding with the IPL schedule. Yes, SA is helding its general elections in April, 2009. Check here. Agreed that elections in India is much much bigger issue, being the worlds largest democracy! But still for that we have more security personnel, much much bigger force. Seems like this was one more reason for chosing SA :-) 

Monday, March 23, 2009

Formula-1 (Introduction)

Over the span of couple of years I have added many of my friends to the fan-list of world's most thrilling, exciting and fastest sport: Formula-1. Now I want to add more to the sport I love the most (being an Indian it’s a surprise that I like F-1 more than Cricket!) I came across so many friends who like to watch race but because of unaware of rules and pattern one tends to loose interest. I would take you to a ride of F-1 starting from basics to more technicalities and to some amazing facts to develop more interest.

2009 championship:  

  • There will be 17 races in this season; first race race is on 29th March at Australia
  • There are 10 teams; each team puts 2 drivers for the race.
  • Ferrari, McLaren, Williams, Toyota, Toro Rosso, Renault, Red Bull, Brawn, BMW Sauber, Force India are the teams. 
  • A Race weekend includes 2 practice sessions on Friday, One practice session on Saturday and a Qualifying round. Race takes place on Sunday.
  • Practice sessions is for the driver to get accustomed to the circuit, conditions, try their tyres etc.

Qualifying takes place in 3 phases: Q1,Q2 and Q3.

  •  In the first qualifying session all cars run in the allocated time of normally 15-20 minutes. Best 16 cars qualify for the second qualifying whereas rest of the cars start from the grid at last (in order of the time they clocked in first qualifying) 
  •  In the second qualifying 16 cars run trying to come in top 10 to qualify for Q2. Last 6 cars are placed according to their times. 
  • In the last qualifying session final grid for the race is decided. Driver who gets best time starts from the front or what is called pole position.
  • Cars cant refuel after the qualifying till the race. This is an important strategy point for the teams to fuel their car accordingly. If they fuel light and get pole position then they have a trade off as they have to pit early for filling fuel early in the race. 


  • Cars start from their position. 
  • They have to take a pit stop to fill fuel and change tyres. 
  • Winner gets 10 points and then the order is 8, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2 and 1 point for the eighth position. 
  • At the end of season, i.e. after all 17 races are completed, Champion is decided on the basis of maximum points.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Plan ahead...

We(me and my wife Dhanashree)have started our photo blog:
We'll daily present few pictures taken by us.

This week would be Formula-1 special with the season's first race just a week away. I will try and explain the game for the beginners, thrills involved and rules for those who want to know about the game.

After that a week long holiday. Will update on that amazing break very soon.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Cricket Teams need a Mathematics Coach

Its not far that Cricket teams demand for a Mathematics coach because of the complicated Duckworth-Lewis calculations. With so many miscalculations leading to blunder recently, we could very well have a D/L expert in the team! This is in view of last ODI between England and West Indies when Windies lost by 1 run when their coach miscalculated to believe they won by 1 run and agreed to call off the match when getting dark. If known he could have asked to play few more balls to meet the D/L requirement.
In that way we can also see few teams asking for awareness coach. Remember, Inzy un-aware of T-20 ball out rule :-)

India Abroad Person of the Year

And the India Abroad Person of the Year award goes to - Mr. Fareed Zakaria, author of The Post American World. The award is given by the weekly newspaper India Abroadowned by Rediff since 2001. This award is given to recognised names in various fields since 2002. Previous winners of this awards were:

2007 Mira Nayar

  • Film maker
  • Born in Rourkela, Orissa on 15th October 1957
  • Famous movies: Salaam Bombay, Kamasutra-A Tale of Love, Monsoon Wedding, Namesake etc.

2006 Indira Nooyi,

  • CEO, Pepsico since August 2006
  • Born in Chennai, Tamil Nadu on 28th October 1955

2005 Bobby Jindal

  • Born on 10th June 1971 in Loouisiana
  • Member of the U.S. House of Representative

2004 Mohini Bhardwaj

  • Retired Gymnast
  • Born on 29th September 1978 in Philadelphia

2003 Sonal Shah

  • American Economist
  • Born on 20th May 1968 in Mumbai

2002 Swati Dandekar

  • Born 6th March 1981 at Nagpur, Maharashtra
  • Iowa State Senator

Monday, March 16, 2009

He returned to finish his dinner!

“Soon after 26/11 terror strike he left his Taj dinner mid-way to save his life. The CEO of Unilever Group, Paul Polman was back in the city once again on Friday, the 13th.”

When I read this news, a natural smile came on my face. That should be the spirit, to keep the ghosts of the past behind and look into the future. Here is the whole news.

IPL – the Fighters

IPL guys must be really appreciated for their spirit of fighting. For they never miss the opportunity, rather sometimes create an opportunity for a tussle. This time it is fighting hard with home ministry to schedule its matches in the month with National elections. I even came across debates where a side argues that elections should be postponed as IPL dates were announced earlier. Is IPL above national elections today? Rather it was quite expected that elections would be held sometime in April, May of June because of which UPA was asked to present an interim budget. Now, even after aware of the expected election dates IPL schedule was launched with matches an April and May. This might be surprising but actually it is not. If not now ICC won’t provide window to IPL before Nov-Dec ’09. So our multi-million dollar business IPL is finding hard to reschedule. After all there’s so much money involved. It’s bigger than Cricket itself!

As BCCI is striving hard for its new schedule they haven’t forgotten their enemy ICL. First they dint allowed Indian players to play with domestic NZ team as NZ domestic cricket have players like Hamish Marshall who play in ICL. Now, they are opposing presence of Craig McMillan at commentary box. NZ has already lost their ace bowler Shane Bond because of this IPL-ICL rift. To be true, T20 tournament is brainchild of Zee with Kapil Dev. BCCI copied the idea and executed it big, with the fat cash its sitting on. Still the reason for banning ICL is unclear to me. Does BCCI have sole right to mint money from cricket in India? Very soon we"ll see BCCI taking over local tennis ball cricket tournaments as well :-) 

As I complete writing this, now I am seeing the news of another fight of IPL. This time with broadcaster Sony!! 

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Its Half Year Now!!

15th March, 2009.. Guess what is the importance of this day?

Its 6 months from the event that triggered Global Financial turmoil. It’s the day 6 months back when Lehman Brothers filed bankruptcy. It was the doomsday for Lehman employees.

Things have changed, mostly for good of Lehman people. But these 6 months were the most uncertain time of our life. In due course of time Barclay’s over Lehman Brothers, North America and Nomura took over its Asia-Pacific and Europe business. Since then we have seen speeding business integration between Nomura and ex-Lehman. Resource allocation and re-allocation etc.

But these 6 months gave us the best teaching of life: Patience! There was so much happening around. World was on a roller coaster ride and we were at the pinnacle. From the day Lehman filed bankruptcy all of us flooded our resumes in the market. Can you imagine bunch of IITans going for walk-in interviews? Sometimes these walk-ins were too unprofessional to take place at local bar! But that’s life. With the support of same positioned colleagues many of us stood strong and fortunately (and hopefully) are now better placed than our counterparts elsewhere. It was great on part of our friends, family and contacts in other companies to constantly support us. In all, these 6 months were most important time of my life! It actually brought a lot of visible and non-visible change in me.

Thanks to all my friends, colleagues and family members!!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Trade Unions for IT in India?

Is it the high time that millions of IT professionals need a Trade Union? With the current economic downturn and US President Barrack Obama’s protectionist policies many IT professionals are expected to lose job. So is there really a need for the IT work force to unite under a union? Well political parties are demanding in West Bengal and Kerala for a long time now. Let’s first see why Trade Unions are required in the first place.

  1. To demand for minimum wages as under labour laws,
  2. Safer and better working condition,
  3. To prevent any discrimination based on gender, cast, race etc.
  4. Maternity benefits to women,
  5. Fixed timings, if on night shift one should get extra benefit, and so on.

Now the point is that, IT employees (though some may not agree) are paid much better than minimum wages defined under labour law. Also work condition is much better as compared to a textile mill or a mine. Now anyone who joins IT industry knows very well how volatile job market is. And this volatility is high because of high frequency of job change seen amongst IT employees and in some cases hiring and firing by the company. But this is the price paid for the benefits and perk the employee gets. 

Leftists are demanding trade unions in IT sector since long citing instances when employees have to work in between 10 to 14 hours (Read here). Recently Communist party in Kerala has opposed lay off by an IT company. Here is the article by a famous Kerala newspaper, Mathrubhoomi.

It might sound unreasonable for the white collar jobs to be a member of a union but such trade unions already exist and are now all the more active in Europe. There was a big protest against layoffs by HP in Europe sometime back (link). Protection of jobs, unionization can be the plusses but strikes, political interference in promotion, regular workings, project comes with the package. 

News 24X7

One of the most important and essential part of my routine is reading newspaper every morning. If I dont read each and every page of ToI, Economic Times and BT, I dont feel complete. And its with every newspaper, whether I read ToI or IE or anything. Then I come to office and read each and every blog on economy, finance and politics. In my quest to find out why I am so eager to get to know news, I was just wondering how much of this news is actually relevant to me?

So I just started turning pages to see which news matters to me. So that from now on I will just brush through these pages and save time (though there is no need of saving time these days :) ) Front page is obviously important, you can not overlook it anyways. Thats the reason some of the tabloids show tha masala news on the cover page! Amongst the inside pages, obviously news of my city is important, National Politics do affect me and I am really curious to know whats going on globally, so natural to stop at these pages. I should also know the views of experts so Editorial page is utmost important. Then comes my favourite Business and Sports page, since they are favourite so can't even think of skipping them even when there is no Formula-1 Race or a Cricket match is played. So... that means I cant skip a single page. I am so news hungry!! 

I wonder why people cry at 24 hours news channel. Just imagine what would be the condition if you get news only once a day, like earlier on DoorDarshan. Is that really enough. Things change so fast. There is so much happening around the world. Agree, that 24 hour media is covering some crap to very crap issues as well. But can't blame them, at least they are covering all the important news and when there is no news they are bound to show masala news to keep their channels running. When there's no news, they can't just stop airing till there is any news. Isn't it true that getting ignorant of so many global issues by sticking to one news a day is worse than having 24X7 media that can show all the issues and in no-news time air its crap. You are not bound to watch it all the time anyways. 

Monday, March 9, 2009


(in the tone of Dilliii 6)
Basti hai mastano ki Mumbaiii
Gali hai deewano ki Mumbaiii - 76

Mumbai-76 is the place I landed in July 2001. It starts after L&T when the beautiful Powai Lake starts.
At the end of the semicircular necklace is the premier IIT Bombay, some prefer to call it IIT Powai or IIT Pawai!! But the lake is not the only thing that captures attention. To the other side is series of skyscrapers.. I will come to it later though.
Most remarkable thing at Mumbai-76 or Powai is IIT!! IIT has a huge campus of 5 acres. It has Powai Lake at the left (if you are facing main gate) and Vihaar Lake at the back, with a small hill on one side. Its amazingly green, clean and best place in Mumbai to have an institute of this stature. Opposite to IIT is a small market. It had some legendary places earlier (remember SP, Manoj tea stall, Laxmi etc. ?) but as the road widening is utmost important because of heavy traffic these legends are removed or rehabilated elsewhere. One restaurant of Historical Importance (especially for IITB alumni) is our very own - Maddu Mess.. Its a very small restaurant, sorry its a very small kitchen. Where aunty makes amazing dosa, innovative egg-dosa, dal-bada with coffee. USP of this place, it opens at 5 in the morning!! And whether its weekday or weekend, there is a waiting of at least 15-20 minutes.

Now comes the other part of Powai. The exotic Hiranandani!! Its so unlike Mumbai and for the first timers, its so unlike India. When I saw this first I was amazed. Cemented Roads, Sky scrapers, Superb buildings, cleanliness and Gigantic structures makes it ecstatic. It has place for everyone. Galleria is a complex where you can find all kinds of shop, all kind of restaraunt. You can actually get everything here. Be it Dominoes or Karims, Mochas or Yokos or a normal Foodcourt for every kind of food. Just opposite to Galleria is Rodas - the ecotel hotel. And ahead of it you have Go-karting track!! So you can get everything at Powai. Life is happening. You name and its here. And it is developing so fast, every few months you see another giant standing. Now I heard there are 2 multiplex coming in vicinity. There is so much to write, as there is everything. You can see Hiranandani in so many movies, to name a few, Ghajini, Kalyug, Shakti, Slumdog Millionaire and the list goes on.

For Shopping you have Galleria, D-Mart, Haiko, HN market.
For Food there is Mainland China, China Valley, Saffron Spice, Mantras, Utsav.
For Pizzas there is Pizza Hut, Dominoes, Smokin Joes, Papa Johns.
For Ice creams there is Naturals, Hockey Pockey.
For coffee and hookah we have 2 CCDs, Mochas, Kasbah.
Amongst others there are numerous vendors in the market and still the place is spacious. There are numerous offices, BPOs but still there is no crowding that you find anywhere else in Mumbai.

My reason for expressing my Love for Powai is because during my college days I have never thought of staying at Hiranandani.
But fortunately my office is at Hiranandani, a km from my home !!My Love with Mumbai - 76 continues.. and its incomparable to Delhi - 6 or Indore - 3 :-)