Thursday, March 30, 2006

Soulfull - An Album For A Cause

I met Megh Kalyanasundaram at the Co2007 Chennai ISB meet. Happened to talk about interests and he said that he is into music. He happened to mention to me that he just released his first album "Soulfull". When you buy this album (Rs. 80), part of the proceed (Rs. 35) goes to a charitable organization Sneham. Sneham is a registered organization that raises funds and disburses them to meet the educational and the medical needs of under-privileged children.

The album has 5 songs, all in Hindi. All songs have been composed by Megh and performed by his band AaTmAa. You can check out audio samples of the songs in the audio preview section. The song Maine Ek Sapna features the golden voice of playback singer Karthik. My favourite from the album!

I'm proud that a fellow ISBian is so talented. Good going Megh. Good luck!

Edit : Duh.. I don't know accounting.. AND counting.. Looks like there are 6 songs.
Apparantly Megh has also done the entire CD production cycle too.

Taxi No. 9211

Watched the movie yesterday at Sathyam. Total time-pass movie. Screen play was a little forced in the first half.. and predictable in the second. I heard its a remake of an English movie. I still haven't placed it though.
Movie was made "worth-watching" because of Sonali Kulkarni. She's hot.. right from May Maadham waaay back in 1994. Pity that it took her a long time to make it big with Dil Chahta Hai. Now, if only I could punch Nana Patekar for laying his hands on her :-).

Monday, March 27, 2006

Local Influence..

I was going through Prince Roy's latest post "Home Leave". He has gone back home to Texas for vacation after a 2 year stint at the US Consulate in Chennai. He's headed to the US Consulate in Taiwan after his vacation. I found it funny that he wants Dosas, Idlis, Sambar and "the dough-nut shaped things" (a.k.a. Vadas) in the grit eating world. While I'm here craving for Banana Nut Crunch cereal in the Idli eating world. Like he says.. its hard to ignore the local influence if you stay in a place for a period even as short as 2 years. It just creeps into your life :-). Prince Roy, I'll miss your posts on India. It gave me great entertainment for the last year I"ve been following your blog. It is indeed the end of an era.

However, Prince Roy mentions another American blogger in India. I'm adding Crawdad's Vice Consul to my blogroll. He is currently posted in the US Consulate in Delhi. The post on his Chennai trip made an interesting read. A neutral comparison of Delhi & Chennai.

The latest craze!!

I arrive in India, and I'm shown this video within half an hour of walking in to my house (this is at 2.00am mind you). You probably know what I'm talking about.. If you ever flipped through any of the Tamil channels in the last week, you'd have seen a VERY ordinary looking dark-skinned chap in a BRIGHT yellow shirt making a repetitive gesture that would put you to sleep. This video is being played so often now that its not easy to miss it. Just the bad sense of dressing would've definitely made you give it a second glance.

But, here is what I find funny.. I actually enjoy watching it now!! I don't know if it's a case of induced taste. I hated "Manmadha Raasa" (which was a craze 2 years back) the first time I saw it. But in the end, you can't help but like it. First time you watch this video, you wonder HOW THE HECK CAN THIS BE A HIT??? It has a so-so tune and an okay beat. The only saving grace is probably Malavika and the choreography. Looks cute. But, no ladies and gentlemen, thats not what the big hype is about. The craze is all about "Ghana Ulaganaadhan" and the stone-faced guy in the red-shirt holding the microphone. This song ("Vaazha Meenu" from the movie Chithiram Pesuthadi) has been featuered in all the big magazines like Kalki, Anandha Vikatan and newspapers in the last week. No one really understands how this can be a hit. But apparantly its such a big hit that the the stone-faced guy in the red-shirt cannot step out of his house without being recognized. Poor guy says that he has to walk on the streets these days with his helmet on.

Well, whoever the director is.. kudos to you! It would have NEVER struck me in a million years to shoot something like this. You had the guts and so now you have the glory!

p.s. The question now is.. Would you have liked the song if someone hadn't told you that it was a hit!

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Grass is always greener on the other side? I'm not so sure!

It may be a little too early.. but here's what it is now!

Things I don't miss about the US

1) Standing out in the freezing cold while pumping gas into my car.
2) Folding my laundry.
3) Ironing my clothes (My pet peeve!! I couldn't however wear crumpled clothes, so I'd spend about 3 hours every 2 weeks ironing my laundry).
4) Buying branded clothes (with a Made in India tag) for 60$.
5) Driving 60 miles to go to a temple (or rather a poor excuse for one).
6) Driving 40 miles to go watch a desi movie.
7) Having dosas & idlis once in 3-4 months.
8) Poor excuse for Ice-Cream (nope, not even Hagendas can compare).
9) Poor excuse for bakery products. Bakery products in the US are ALL SWEET! What about puffs? samosas?
10) Calling cards to India.

Things I do miss about the US

1) Internet speeds.
2) Breakfast Cereal varieties ( my Post Banana Nut Crunch especially )
3) Uninterrupted power.
4) Access to the latest electronics at the best prices.
5) My Mazda6 & its stereo.
6) No mosquitoes!
7) Skiing/snowboarding.
8) Salsa clubs.

Well, looks like a decently good bargain so far. I see a lot of the things I do miss about the US going away over time.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Chennai ISB meet.

Thanks Srikrishna for organizing this one..

We had 9 people and a future aspirant attending this meet. There were quite a few absent. We counted another 9 people missing the action today.

Venkatakrishna, Vijay & Mukesh (a 2008 batch ISB aspirant!)

Megh, Sachithanantham & Srikrishna

Me, Karthik & Pavithra

Narayanan & me

Friday, March 24, 2006

A taste of what is to come?

As part of the forms in the checklist of things to be completed before joining ISB, there is this accounting test which everyone has take up. It is a small test to give one an idea of how competent he/she is in accountancy. The test results indicate if one should register for the Accountancy pre-term course or not.

I saw someone's mail no the yahoogroups for the 2007 batch claiming that this is what he/she got after attempting the test..

"For Heavens sake, please register for the pre-term in accounting!!
Let alone Accounting, you don't even know counting!! You had hit
rock bottom by the 5th question itself and in all subsequent
questions, were digging 10th question, any forlorn hopes
of redemption were lost..and now, its an abyss..being human (if at
all, by some stretch of imagination, you claim yourself to be a
specimen of the aforementioned species), try is what you can and
please do :(".

Lol. Whoever setup the test to give that comment as a result had a good sense of humour. Ofcourse, I approached the test now with a sense of impending doom. 34 excruciating questions later... I got a

Your knowledge of Accounting Concepts is not up to the level required for the core courses.
It is highly recommended that you enroll for the pre-term module. Click here to register.

Phew! That was a close call. I think I just made it across the border betwen the "Nasty Message" and the "Not-so-nasty Message".


I had the chance to go to this new place in Chennai called Ascendas. Interesting place. Decently done up place. Looked straight out of the sets of a Shankar movie.. It probably will figure in the next Manirathnam/Shankar movie. Very urbanistic interiors.
I noticed a "Dollar Store" inside it. Yes, the concept is the same as the Dollar Store chain in the US. Except that everything here is Rs. 99 (max). The store mostly carried the same stuff that a US Dollar store carried. I wonder if its part of the same chain.
I also noticed a fancy gym inside Ascendas called Fitness One. Flashily done interiors. Not gaudy by any standards. I stepped in to enquire about the montly fees. Rs.3000 per month!! Lol. I stepped out immediately and asked my sis how much a normal gym membership costs. Rs. 1000! At the risk of sounding archaic, I'll say that things have definitely changed in the 5 years I've not been in India. I remember that I used to go to a gym which charged me Rs. 300 per month back in 2001. And it was probably the most expensive gym there was at that time. Fitness One seemed to have quite a few members too. So, it also looks like affordability has increased quite a bit too. People in general seem to be a lot more fitness conscious now than they were 5 years ago. Good stuff!
The upper floors of this complex were leased out to software companies. I didn't get a chance to go up and take a look around. They had those "click spokes" across the section leading to the elevators. These click spokes (like the ones across the train stations in the US) counted the number of people going in and out of those sections I guess. A lot of the people eating in the food courts (pictures above) were working professional. Good working ambience I guess. I'd have loved to be working in one of these complexes and probably have my family over for dinner at the foodcourt below. Another thing I noticed was that all the working professional were dressed in business casuals. It can be a pain I know, but it looks cool too. I know for a fact that some people just dress plain BAD back in the US. There's definitely better dressing sense in working professionals here in India.

Edit : I just heard that the building is actually called Ascendas' International Tech Park.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Some things never change!

I spent the first day of my return to India mostly vegetating at home. However, it was a very interesting day! I spent a major part of it reclaiming my territory at home. This ofcourse, involved some haggling with my sis over cupboard shelf space. Over the last five years when I've been away from home, she had slowly taken over the space left by me. Now, I'm back to make her life a living hell.. muwahahahaha. * smiling with an evil grin *.

Ofcourse, I hate to keep reminding myself that I'm 26 now and she's 24 now (and not to mention.. a dentist). But its nevertheless a lot of fun to haggle with her. Just before going to sleep last night, I realized how much of this I missed. We had a good laugh over it last night. I think somethings never change!

p.s. I gave myself a pat on my back for not doing the same with my 93 year old grandmom. I decided to leave her in peace and take things up only with my mom and sis :-P

ISB Chapter

Closed shop in the US and moved back to India yesterday morning. This is the beginning of the ISB chapter of my life :-).

Thursday, March 16, 2006


Here's the funniest thing I've heard in a long time

Jayalalitha gets nominated for Nobel Peace Prize!!

World Federation of Tamil Youth (WFTY) (wtf??), how about nominating Osama next?


I read about "Thee" by Encore on Lazy's blog. Awesome stuff. Encore is a bunch of young neighbourhood guys from Chennai who released their first album "Thee" sometime back.
Check out their music samples here.
Encore.. Nice music guys. This post is an attempt to support you guys. (I will also be buying your CD when I get back to Madras in a week :-) ). Its because of guys like you with fresh talent that I love listening to Tam music. You give me variety!

Done with Seagate!

Got walked out of work today after my exit interview. I am now officially done with Seagate. It was a much more emotional deal for me than I thought it would be. I have no idea why though. Right after that, I had lunch with a bunch of good friends from work. I guess its the feeling of losing my comfort zone.
All eyes forward, all hands & legs aboard. Its time to get out of cruise mode and to get ready for the rapids coming up.
But.. before that, almost a month of R & R! I'm looking forward to living with my parents for a while. Mom's cooking, Dad's eternal optimism, and playful banter with my sister. Its going to be a fun 25 days.

Monday, March 13, 2006

The Zen Experience!!

Photos courtesy

Got myself a Creative Zen Vision : M (30 gig) portable media player. Its the equivalent of an Ipod Video. But much better.

1)4 hours video viewing time vs. the Ipod's 2 hours video time
2) Divx & Xvid format supported on the Zen
3) Built in FM Receiver
4) Built in Microphone
5) Extras like Calender, Organizer & Tasklist. Can sync with Outlook express for task list and contacts!
6) Comes with a leather pouch & wall charger unit
7) Can play video straight into a TV (requires additional wire which is 8$ i hear)
8) Noticeably better sound quality than the Ipod
9) Can create playlists on-the-fly just like the Ipod.
10) Don't have to use the Itunes interface to download songs to the player
11) Can upload songs back to the computer from the Player (the Ipod cannot do this)
12) Can create a separate partition for Data and use it as a Jump Drive.
13) Same price as the Ipod and hence better value for your money

1) A tad bit thicker than the Ipod. Otherwise the dimensions are the same.
2) Doesn't have the click wheel. Has a stripe pad instead. The stripe pad is cool, but, I find it a little too sensitive. I think I will take a while to get used to it!
3) Doesn't look as sleek as the Ipod. Having said that, I'd say the Zen still looks cool.

So.. weighing the facts, I'd say that the Zen is a much better deal than the Ipod. Cool, I am happy with the choice I made! Time to get clickin'


The 2007 batch at ISB sounds interesting to me already.
I found myself a bunch of people to frag with. I found myself a bunch of people interested in dancing. I found myself a bunch of people who like Tennis, Cricket and Volleyball. And ofcourse, the unsaid.. I'll have 425 sharp minds to be locked in battle with for the next year. Each person who has got an admit, has obviously shown that they are capable and have their strengths. Its going to be a challenging fun year ahead. I expect the experience to leave me sharper than I am now.

Cheers to the challenge and fun ahead!! I'm excited!!

Playing the Devil's Advocate

Last few weeks have been very interesting with the Blank Noise project slipping into high gear. I think it is a very bold campaign and has been long overdue.

However, I think listening to just one side of an issue is never good. I don't think any campaign/argument is good without constructive criticism and counter opinions. I say so because it prevents us from slipping into what I call the "mass mentality" mode. Other points of views can help to come up with a solution.

I think Wundergal's harassment posts (9th March & 5th March) inspired me to write this one.

Wundergal, to answer your question on "how many of u have been in the crowd? Wat did u do?". If I were in the crowd, I probably would not have done anything because of the one glaring fact.. I don't know who's wrong. I'm not saying that in your case the guys weren't and you were. But you assume (and in turn want us all to assume) that the guys are the ones who're wrong, EVERYTIME. You are wielding a very powerful sword and I, for one, have seen it being unjustly before. And I have been at the receiving end of it and I know how defenseless I feel against that sword. When has a guy EVER been given the benefit of the doubt in a situation like this? Forget the benefit of the doubt.. heck, there is NO doubt. Usually everyone assumes WITHOUT DOUBT that when it comes to a confrontation, that the male is usually the guilty party.

Consider this scene.. you are at a bus-stop and suddenly you turn around and notice a big commotion between a guy and a girl. The girl's stand is that the guy misbehaved with her. The guy's stand is that he didn't. HOLD THAT THOUGHT FOR JUST A SECOND. What is your reaction to it? 99.999% of the people at this point are thinking "oh.. another guy who can't keep his hands to himself". Well, not without reason ofcourse. There have been enough incidents which have happened, to influence our thinking this way. All, I'm trying to say is, give the guy a chance. Time's have changed now. This is a day when women know what they want. This is a day when they're not afraid to go get what they want. It can happen the other way around too.. however ridiculous it may sound. Don't assume that the guy is always the one at fault. There are a lot of times when the women too provoke such incidents.

At this point, I have a few questions. Women talk & share all their experiences, that is a commonly known fact.
To those who listen : How many of you actually take the stories shared by your women friends with a pinch of salt? I wish I could hear your replies. It is just amazing how women can make the guys sound like villians when they share their stories. Does it ever strike you that you hear only one side of a story? Doesn't it strike you odd that you always hear "oh.. he did this to me.. he did that to me.. that rogue" and hardly any "oh.. I actually hit on him.. and it turned out this way"? There are always two sides to a story. It can really help if you don't form opinions based on just one.

To the women who tell stories : How many of you really have the courage to tell their friends about what really happened? Why is it that women are afraid to acknowldege their libido even with their women friends? Are you afraid that your friends will be judging you? You don't have to make up stories, do you? Even if you do, least you can do is not make the guys sound like villians? Remember, you could've been the one who initiated it. You can cry "wolf", but do it responsibly. Because today you are in a position where people are listening to you. You could be unjustly indicting someone else.

Wundergal, I say all this because I have been at the receiving end of it and I really didn't have a defence. I was pronounced guilty even before my side of the story was heard. Well, I think I was declared guilty even after my side of the story was heard.
I don't claim to be an angel. But, in that case I wasn't the one at fault. But the women conveniently edited some major details and made me sound like I misbehaved. And when my word was pitched against theirs, surprise surprise.. no matter what I said, it didn't make a difference. I could see it plain that I had already been declared guilty.
I"m not the only one this has happened to. So, that being the case.. How would you expect everyone to just jump in without actually knowing what happened?

p.s. Just to illustrate how the "Blank Noise Project" can also consider other points of views.. "O Women!" is a post by Savy which I found linked in the Blank Noise Project. It was just like the other links found listed with the Blank Noise Project. As a guy, I was wondering how everyone enlisted to blog for Blank Noise Project had only one kind of opinion. Where was the counter-balance?? I search a little more.. and I found "For The Guys Only" in the same blog. Savy.. pat on your back for not being biased. I'm sure you do the men around you proud. Very well written articles, both of them. Blank Noise Project.. sad that you chose to pick only one of her views and use it for your blogathlon.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

X3 - The Last Stand

Photos ©

A movie I definitely want to watch. The trailer is mindblowing!!

Rise of India @ abc news

Very interesting video which featured on ABC news.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Vettayaadu Vilayaadu Sound Track - First Impressions.

Photo from

Just got a chance to listen to Harris Jeyaraj's newest album. First impression.. awesome!! I liked 4 out of the 5 songs after listening to it the first time.

My favourite song so far has been Manjal Veyil. Good use of the rock guitar. Hariharan does a decent job in the song with Vijay & Nakul adding good secondaries..

Close seconds are Paartha Mudhal & Uyirile. Sexed out instrumentation for Paartha Mudhal I must say. Gives me the feel of Suttum Vizhi from Ghajini. Maybe its Bombay Jayshree's voice which lends it the similar feel? Unni Menon & she have done an excellent job in this song.
I didn't like Nerrupe at all. It sounds a lot like the Rahathula Rahathula from Ghajini (which I didn't like either).

Thankfully, the lyrics in this album aren't as crappy as Anniyan's lyrics. I still haven't heard it enough to appreciate the lyrics entirely.
I'm excited about this movie. With Gautham Menon in the director's seat and Kamal Hassan playing a cop after a long time.. will this be another Kaakha Kaakha? The songs sure live up to the expectations!

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Proof of global warming..

Hilarious cartoon..

Flashback Sep 2004

I was cleaning up my hard-drive and sorting out some old pictures. These were taken when one of my school-mates visited me one and a half years ago. Good memories, awesome company, great place.

Pic 1 : Maroon Bells

Pic 2 : Sunset at Independance pass

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Farewell, my pretty!

Most times, I think getting attached to anything is totally not worth it. Ofcourse, easier said than done.. What happens when someone places a 15 minute old new-born baby in your hand and she holds your little finger? As cliched a scene as this might be, its not the easiest thing to deal with. I find it hard to describe what was running through my head at that point. I love kids. But, lets set that aside for a few minutes. Here I am in the maternity ward with my cousin S (well, more like relative.. but well, thats the only family I have here) and her husband A and his parents. We'd just rushed into the room after nearly 14 hours of sitting outside in the lounge waiting to hear good news.. I was there just helping them out if they needed anything. After spending a couple of minutes in her grand-parents' arms, Rakhi was handed over to me. She didn't even cover the length of my arm from elbow to wrist. But, then the most amazing thing happened. She reached out and grabbed my finger. Hard to say when the bond formed.
That was a year and a half ago. I visited Rakhi as often as I could since then and she was always delighted to see me. I was one of the faces she recognized other than her parents and her baby-sitter. I've now watched her through the stages of being a rolling rollicking baby, a crawling infant (more like a half drag I should say) and now a walking toddler. I was extremely delighted when she picked up my name a couple of months ago. She had no hassles staying with me for hours. She understood Gujarathi and Marwadi (languages her parents spoke to her in).. but not English or Tamil (the only languages I know). She even understood some German 'cause her baby-sitter was German and she spoke to her everyday in German. I always looked forward to the day when she would have a conversation with me..
Unfortunately, things change. Life changes. Yesterday their family flew to India. They won't be back before I leave the US. And I won't be meeting them in India 'cause they're not going to be in Madras. I drove them to the airport and spent some time with them there at the airport. Just when I was saying bye to them, I realized, I didn't know when I would be meeting Rakhi again. Maybe next year? Maybe a couple of years down the line? Would she remember me then? I'm not sure I have the courage to imagine her not recognizing me. But then, all things change.. Farewell my pretty. A bond/attachment I shall never regret, but nevertheless one that will probably hurt a lot.

Bush @ ISB

How many US presidents have visted your school/college?? :-)

Here are pictures and videos from President George Bush's visit to the Indian School of Business.. and a transcript of his interaction with the students/alumni from there (a White House link).

CEO's of tomorrow eh?? Only time will tell!

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Its that feeling..

Whatever you do may seem insignificant, but it is most important that you do it.
- M.K.Gandhi

A must read...

Wednesday, March 01, 2006


Turned in my resignation today.. I felt very bad about it. I love the work I do. I like every individual I work with in my group... well, almost everyone. I have learnt tonnes at work. To my consciousness, I have worked hard and given it everything I've had. And from my company's end.. they have recognized my effort and hard work. I guess that its been a fair deal so far. A few people have been telling me that I"m letting go of a very good job. Not many people get an opportunity to lead a team 2 years into their job. Hopefully, I'll prove that there's always opportunity and as long as one puts their heart and soul into the work, one's efforts will always be rewarded.

21 days to go. Tonnes of stuff to pack. I still haven't figured how I'm moving all my stuff. Should I get rid of everything I have? I don't know. Its going to be a torturous 3 weeks. But, well, looking at the brighter side.. it will be settled one way or the other in 21 days :-).

Moving pain!

In the last month or so, I've come to realize that making the decision to move is a lot easier than actually moving. Moving to India is not an easy deal. Moving out of any country is not easy I'm sure. I've learnt that neither UPS or Fedex ships any personal items to India. Hmm, so what next.. I'll have to call a professional mover to move my stuff. Heck!! Thats a 1000$ minimum.

I've been trying to sell my car.. and that takes a lot longer than I thought. Its been up on sale for over a month and I still haven't been able to sell it. Big surprise eh? Student town.. expensive car.. go figure! It doesn't take a genius to work out the reasons for not being able to sell it.

Selling my car has been the most difficult thing I've had to do as part of my move to India. This is my first car.. and its a smart one too. I've loved every moment I've spent with it. All 36.5K miles I've driven on it, I've fallen more and more in love with it. Well, this is when they say, attachment to anything is not good. The day I put my car on sale, I was in severe depression. Adios amigo! You've served me well.. hopefully the next owner will treat you well.. You haven't ever let me down.

Tribute to you my amigo!! All I can do is put up some pictures of you..