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Friday, February 01, 2013

Thanks Steve....

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish, said Steve. I listened, and followed.

So, here I am...rock you like a hurricane.

Let's review a list of some of the changes in my life, since my last post, which was (oh wow!) 4 years ago.

  • I moved back to India (Biggg step)
  • I got Married (I highly recommend it to everybody if you can find somebody with whom you can share everything about yourself. Not recommended for the Anthony Sopranos or the Don Drapers of the world.Speaking of which...how good is Mad Men !!? At least up until Season 3, Episode 6 because I've only gotten that far, but I digress...)
  • I'm out of that graveyard where reasonably creative people bring their careers to die - called Engineering (The biggest step of all) - Oh did I mention?  Thanks Steve. 
  • I went for almost 15 months without a job because I wanted to find something that I would want to do, enjoy doing, and occasionally think about doing even when not doing it. Yes, I did think about developing Sociopathic tendencies and entering politics but anyhooooooo...........I'm now in Sales/Business Development. For a still growing company. It's challenging but fun. Plus, I can bend my will and focus all my energies on what I'm doing or need to do. More on that in a bit.  
  • It took me 10 minutes just to figure out how to start a new blog post. I'm that rusty.
  • I remember the times, even as of my last blog post, when I'd be wondering how I could pack on some weight. Let's just say I don't have to worry about that any more :-)
  • Don't worry - regular readers (if there are any left - I mean it's been 4 years), I haven't let myself go. Just have to work harder now to stay um..Athletically shaped. 
  • As of a month and a half ago, I was eating at least 2 entire rows of Chocolate on a standard sized candy bar for dessert,  PLUS 8 - 10 spoonfuls of Boost ('twas the secret of my energy) almost every night
  • Owing to some unflattering feedback from the mirror (what ever happened to only worrying about who was the fairest of them all) and (I suspect) a doctored Doctor's report, I am now snacking on the following:
    • Ragi Chips
    • Ragi Chakli
    • Flaxseed Chikki
  • Note: I have been preparing for this day, ever since I realized I was the type of person who could only stop eating a candy bar when it was finished. A sweet tooth I had, and got several filled/root canal'd on account of that. 
  • I moved back to Chennai, stayed there for a year, and am now in Bangalore
  • Bangalore is great, if you can numb yourself to the traffic, the insane drivers (worst I've seen anywhere in the world. They use their brains to fertilize the Garden city, it seems). 
  • I listen to Fever 104 - The Baap of Bollywood, almost every morning on the way to work. "Coffee with Kiran" cracks me up
  • I still religiously follow Football. Haven't missed a Superbowl in the last 9 years.
    • I still don't like Football. By that I mean Soccer. It seems mind-numbingly slow and scoring seems to happen more as a result of somebody happening to be in the right place at the right time, than design. True it takes skills to be in that right place, but then, imagine the skill it takes for several supremely tuned bodies to be in the right place at precisely the right time for a scoring play to happen in American Football? 
  • It took me a year (almost) to "lose" the American Accent. Still get to use it on overseas calls. 
  • I now speak with a vague Mumbai/Delhi lilt  because most of my prospects are from those regions. 
    • I definitely cannot remember how I used to talk before I went to the US. It's undergone too many transformations since then
  • I'm going to publish this post asap, though I still have a lot more thoughts, just because it's exciting to be posting again, after such a long time. 
I need to get a lot more off my chest though. Things like what it feels like to finally move back to India after almost 9 years in the US, getting out of being an Engineer and into Sales/BD without an MBA. 

It's next to Impossible in India right now. Which explains why I had to look for 15 months. MBAs with fancy job titles that don't mean much to me are a dime-a-dozen in India, and they'are all talking about consulting, strategy, and some other bull$h#t that they spent upwards of 15 Lakhs to go study. What the hell is a "Strategy Leader"? Who is he? What does he do? Lead strategy? Do "Strategy Followers" work for him? 

What the hell does a Sr. Advisor of Global Commodity Management really do? Maybe I need an MBA to figure it out :-)

For now, though...Thanks Steve (and thanks to the better half for being there for me, and to the family. Also, thanks to the Academy for recognizing my work...sorry got carried away. It's almost March)

Thanks Steve - I stayed Hungry. I stayed Foolish. I'm in a better place for it. You may be gone, but  your impact on the world and on so many lives will never be forgotten. 


Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Fanboy Extremes

Right. So I got these pictures of real life posters in a forward, and was unable to speak for a good five minutes on account of laughing my head off (luckily the head decided to come back).

This is a glaring example of the hardest of hardcore fanboys - the worst kind. The ones who are blinded by sheer hero-worship to see things for what they are.

For the many who cannot read Tamil, I will now attempt to provide my translation and interpretation services.

As one can clearly see, the two pictures are merely two parts of one big poster.

Apparently the poster in its entirety is the brainchild of the self-titled Elite Action Corps of Vijay Fans, going by how they choose to call themselves (Vijayin Adhiradi padai).

Here are some of the members whose names appear on the poster. Some of them seem to have very familiar sounding first names (these are in fact the titles of some of Vijay's blockbuster hits)

The Lieutenant: G.K. BADRI Saravanan

Two other prominent members of the Elite Action Force : S. Analmeyyar (The tamil Anal)

R. GILLI Sidhambaram

Some other members:

. A. GILLI Amaran , J. RAJINI Guna (Also holds membership in at least one other elite unit apparently), V. VIJAY Arun, M. BAGAVATHI Gopi, SIVAKASI Simbu, P. VIJAY Baskar, P.V. BAGAVATHI Sekar, M. Hari, J. POKKIRI John and S. VIJAY Karthi.

The poster starts off on a rather upbeat note:

Vetri (Victory) Vijay (Vijay)

2009-l singalathai velvom (We will win Sri Lanka in 2009)
2011-l thamizhaghathai aalvom (We will rule Tamil Nadu in 2011)

Agadhiyaana Makkalukku, Amaidhiyaana naadu ketta engal anbu thalaivar naangal vanangum


Thamizhaga Viduthalai Vengai Puli

(The man who said he'd ask God for peace in the midst of unrest {in the title song for the movie Villu}, our beloved leader, the one that we worship

The Lord Shiva

The Tamil Liberation Tiger)

Vijayin VILLU Vellum (Vijay's 'Villu' will win)

ena Vaazhthum Vijayin Adhiradipadai (as we, the Elite Action Corps of Vijay's fan club, hereby declare )

Followed by the names of the fearless few.

On the left side of the poster is no doubt the artist's rendition of actor Vijay as Lord Shiva, sitting on a rather constipated -looking tiger.

Make of this what you will :-).

P.S. - I'm a fan of Vijay but definitely not a fanboy.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Basic Instinct

An incident last night, made me come right back to my blog (which, unfortunately I haven't had much time for , of late) because I had to get a shout out.
Four of us are walking back from a movie (Slumdog Millionaire -which by the way is overrated, IMHO) in one of those ubiquitous strip malls designed to cater to all your diverse interests in one convenient location. As it so happens, this particular group was a very typical Indian group - which no doubt indicates to the seasoned observer that the guy - girl ratio is extremely skewed , as it is wont to happen in such typical groups.
The law of averages in Typical Indian Groups therefore manifested upon us the numbers of three males and one female. It also dictated that we stand around, talking loudly and searching for answers to the following, in order:
Why Slumdog Millionaire is overrated; Would any one of us crawl through the day's produce from a make-shi(f)t wooden digestive by-product disposal structure, in order to secure an autograph from Amitabh Bachchan (No to that - yes to one from The One, The Only Superstar seemed to be the general consesus from the 3 males, with the one female expressing utter disbelief at this consensus); Why Anil Kapoor sucked as the host (with beard, shiny nylon suit, ridiculous accent); Whether this was one of Anil Kapoor's many comeback vehicles (with discussion touching upon whether Tezaab or Rajkumar were his others); Why on Earth the winning prize money is set to Rs. 20 Million on a program that is admittedly for Who(ever) wants to be a Millionaire and so on.
Anyway, you get the drift and I digress. After this soul-stirring discussion, we attempted to walk over to the parking lot and had to cross the road (inside the complex). Suddenly, we see this car bearing down upon us, there is a stop sign right in front so we know the car has to stop. However, the driver starts revving the engine repeatedly and it sounds like something straight out of Quentin Tarantino's Death Proof, with some crazed psychopath behind the wheel, who likes to make roadkill out of the innocent (us).
As a result, my Basic Instinct (for survival) kicks in and I make haste like the wind and fly across the road. Providence or fate or merely co-incidence had, while we started crossing the road, placed the one female in the group, Sha, right beside me (which, let me tell you, seldom happens) and closer to the approaching car than I.
This is where things get a little interesting. As stated, my Basic Instinct is to add miles to my footspeed and get out of the way of the Death Car. Sha, on the other hand does something that made me write this post. She gets a hold of my right hand, as well as the rest of me and ends up moving in tandem with me, as a result of being a complete attachment for the moment. She almost felt like a third arm and a leg.
The way things looked, she might have jumped on top of me if she could have.
Anyway, as things turn out the car stops at the Stop sign and some fat, incredibly pasty, white dude pokes his head out the window and yells out "That really scared you didn't it? *Smirk*".
Basic Instinct kicks in (Sarcasm) and I yell back " YOU ROCK DUDE!" at which point there was no further comment from the other side, and the car glided away silently.
I am very clear about the nature of my relationship with Sha. It is the very definition of Platonic and I definitely respect her. She's shown, several times to be unflappable under pressure, albeit of a different kind. She's level-headed and does not hesitate to state her opinion. She's smart, intelligent and considerate.
Nevertheless, I couldn't help think back to her actions.
Why was her first instinct/reaction to cling to me, instead of trying to get to immediate safety? Did the fact that I was a guy have anything to do with it? Was it mere co-incidence that I happened to be standing/walking right next to her?
Was her basic instinct, to seek protection rather than safety, at a time of crisis? Did this basic instinct stop at her as an individual, or did it extend to women as a whole?

Sunday, August 17, 2008

New Business Proposal

More samples of a conversation that I found myself in, although not necessarily contributing to.
Two guys I know, have come up with a 'radical' new business proposal designed to take advantage of certain Indian characteristics and traits.
RaKu, who is not Indian, was observing that as a general rule, Indians seem to have been blessed with a generous smattering of hair about the hindquarters. He specifically recalled this Indian girl that he used to date and vouched for the fact that the blessing he referred to earlier was definitely in abundance. We were not inclined to argue.
AnSi, who IS Indian, also agreed, apparently from personal knowledge.
At this point, RaKu came up in an instant, with the business proposal.
"Indian Ass-Hair Wigs. We gonna go around and request Indians to make donations".
The business idea definitely seems like it might work. People might actually voluntarily make donations and contributions although questions of flexibility might impose themselves in the harvest process.
Upon inquiring if RaKu would be interested in the role of harvester, going around and harvesting said hair from volunteer subjects, he however expressed his disinclination, going as far as stating that such tasks were for people like AnSi.
This led to some contentious and controversial statements between the two, involving extreme political incorrectness in relation to each other's possible sexual orientation. Fingers were pointed and scenarios described.
I could only stand there and shake my head. Just like so many other business ideas - not too bad in concept but failing when practical considerations are to be accounted for.
Will Indian Ass-Hair Wigs ever see the light of day?

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Back to Blogging...

I know I haven't written anything in over two months and it seems like an awfully long time. I've been busy writing a few sketches that I hope to be able to have onstage in an upcoming event. It was a very different experience. I realized firsthand that it takes a whole lot to actually write something that makes sense to me , sounds appealing and flows the way I want it to. This is a 12 page script but it seemed to take forever. Plus I wasn't really sure how to write for the stage since almost all the writing I've read in this aspect consists of screenplays.
It took me two months just to get it right and I'm reminded of another piece of 'inspired' writing that took about two months as well: My Statement of Purpose for Grad School. Man, that thing takes forever. You write and re-write , scratch, rinse , repeat.
Anyway, since that part of my brain isn't occupied with writing a script anymore, hope to get back to Blogging and telling people something. :)

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

In the doghouse...

This from a conversation involving a couple of pals, KapGo and Satan*.

Satan's roomie has a dog that Satan freely adopts/borrows, but only when it doesn't need to be fed/cleaned up after/bathed. In other words they are friends with benefits. This is important in the context of the conversation that follows.

KapGo, looking pensively at dog:

"Y'know, it is said that after a while, dogs start looking like their owners"

*After a pregnant pause of no more than 10 seconds..*

Satan (with all the depth of knowledge that only true enlightenment can bring):

"Well as long as their puppies don't start looking like the owners, I guess its fine!!"

That's deep.

*Name changed to provide more information on the nature of aforementioned pal's activities.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Get that 'appy feeling in you...

I keep coming back, every now and then to this one question: "What is happiness?". More importantly, how the F#ck do we know when we are really, truly happy? Is it as simple as just a state of mind?


No, really. If happiness is simply going from a negative state to a positive state then yes, compared to your previous state you are better off. You can pat yourself on the back for it and feel ecstatic. However, that does not necessarily mean that you have achieved happiness, does it? It just means that you're not necessarily in a shithole.


However, its a lot easier to tell when you've hit Rock Bottom - you know it instantly. The tail's between the legs and the general countenance can be described in one word - Droopy. That's rock bottom. Should we then be 'happy' whenever we are elevated to a state, any state that is NOT rock bottom, provided we have at some point in time, indeed hit rock bottom and know/remember how that feels?


Can I then say happiness can be defined somewhere along the lines of 'NOT sad'? Does the absence of one automatically mean the presence of the other?


'In US &A' - you hear people greet each other with "How are you doing?" and for most people who've gotten used to this form of greeting its fairly easy to have perfected the art of the standard reply "I'm good. You?". Reply: "Good". You move on with your lives and even if the other person's feeling anything BUT good they wouldn't really be inclined to say it would they? After all, 'Laugh and the world laughs with you. Cry and you cry alone." Isn't that true?


Coming back to the pursuit of happiness: I can't say I haven't sort of gotten used to a certain number of things going absolutely wrong in general [I think I would be a prime example of Murphy's law] because the fabric of my existence in the universe seems to be woven with trouble-thread. And yet, miraculously I manage to survive and things do get better. Before they get worse. And then better. And then worse. The fabric, it seems , goes round and round.


Therefore, I have wondered if I should just be happy when things actually go from worse to better, or if I should be really pissed off at Providence/Fate/God/My own actions and wonder what makes things go wrong in the first place. [Been looking for the answer for 27 years now and don't see any answer in sight except that P/F/G intend it that way] I have seen that things will go wrong whenever they can but I also know the situation will eventually improve. Therefore, I have found myself in situations where, perversely, I've been sort of happy when things were going wrong - because I knew they'd inevitably get right. However, here's the curveball: when things go right again, I've wondered if I should simply savour it or look ahead at what's coming since, like I said, things will inevitably go wrong again.


Recently, a song by Bobby McFerrin kind of put things in perspective for me.

"In every life we have some trouble

When you worry you make it double

Don't worry, be happy......"

When you worry - y ou make it double. Ahhhhhh. How simple. It works.Changed my perspective (and my life) I'd like to think.Have had a rough year and a half dealing with an issue that wouldn't go away. Got that fixed and am now on the road to recovery. The process of getting to here has been insufferable, arduous and downright annoying. However, that song has definitely taught me something. I now savor the moments when I'm in the positive state with the conviction that I have the capacity to deal with things when I'm in the negative state.
I think that's happiness to me, but I'm still studying it.
Does money buy happiness? Not according to Ari Gold, of HBO's critically acclaimed TV show, Entourage, talking about people in L.A.
"Nobody is happy in this town except for the losers, look at me, I'm miserable,
that's why I'm RICH."
Maybe if you were born with it :-).
There's this security guard who works in my building and usually comes in when I'm leaving work (usually tired and wanting to get the hell out.). Anyway he greets me with the usual "How you doing!!?" but the question by itself is laced with enthusiasm. After I mumble the customary "Good. you?" his response, is always the same as well.
Either he's simply gifted with the best things in life or more likely, he's learned to derive positive states from everything he's been given. One of these days, I plan to ask him.
What do you think happiness is?
True happiness. What would make you say you're feeling 'OUTSTANDING'?.

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