Tuesday, August 29, 2006

funtwo's rendition of JerryC's Canon Rock!

[via Borax]

This is the boy with the 7-million views on YouTube. NY Times recently uncovered the identity of "funtwo". This guy's fingers fly all over the guitar! He's out of this world.

Quoting NY Times..

EIGHT months ago a mysterious image showed up on YouTube, the video-sharing site that now shows more than 100 million videos a day. A sinewy figure in a swimming-pool-blue T-shirt, his eyes obscured by a beige baseball cap, was playing electric guitar. Sun poured through the window behind him; he played in a yellow haze. The video was called simply “guitar.” A black-and-white title card gave the performer’s name as funtwo.
The piece that funtwo played with mounting dexterity was an exceedingly difficult rock arrangement of Pachelbel’s Canon, the composition from the turn of the 18th century known for its solemn chord progressions and its overexposure at weddings. But this arrangement, attributed on another title card to JerryC, was anything but plodding: it required high-level mastery of a singularly demanding maneuver called sweep-picking.

The two related articles on NY Times are online here and here


Monday, August 28, 2006


I will never attempt to fly by Go-Air from today! I had booked a ticket to Chennai from Hyderabad on the 31st Aug a couple of days back. I receive an SMS today saying that my flight has been cancelled due to "operational reasons".

What do I do with only my return ticket now?? No alternate arrangements made! And the customer service as pitiful. Outrightly said that there is nothing to be done. Just try and book another ticket for another time/date!

WTF??????????????? I"m REALLY pissed!

My advice to everyone. Pick SpiceJet or someone else. Don't be left in a lurch like me! It's just not worth it!

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Dropping the security check bar to new lows!

I was going through Slashdot and I found a report on this small incident..
This is hillarious.

Man's iPod slips off his belt clip into the loo while he's taking a dump on an airplane. He even confesses to the waitress about it. The authorities detour the plane to Ottawa and do a bomb-squad check. They interrogate the passengers for a few hours.

Click here to read the entire first hand account of this!

Reminds me of an incident that happened at the Raleigh Airport in Dec 2001.

I am lined up to board the aircraft to Detroit to visit my cousins for the Christmas break. The Air Hostess announces on the PA system..

"We will now perform a security check on a few passengers. These passengers have all been chosen randomly. There is no need to panic.

Abdhul Khaled, Mohammad Irshad, Shamim Begum, Asif Ismail, Feroz Khan, Irfan Pathan, ........"

Yeah right!!

p.s. The names weren't exactly the same ones.. but you get the gist! :-P

Friday, August 25, 2006

Battle of the Sexes column updated..

The He Says She Says column has some new posts. Good reads!

Thursday, August 24, 2006

It takes a lot of BALLS to make a Video like this

An amazing video which I really enjoyed.

Courtesy : Shelly

Edit : www.animusic.com apparantly does a lot of these animations. Pretty cool stuff. You can find a lot of their animations on youtube or google video. Just search on animusic.

Dharan & Parijatham

I managed to catch the song "Unnai Kandene" for the first time on video on You Tube a couple of days back. This song has been one of my favourites since Dec 2005 when I heard it for the first time. I'm extremely thrilled that this song now is topping the charts in Tamil movies. Dharan, the music director, is an old time friend from even before I left India for the US. It feels great to see such a young chap like him shine. Go Dharan!
Here's the video.. followed by an interview clipping of Dharan.

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One comes and one goes.

Bragadhambaal.. passed away Aug 21st @ 12.55pm. Wish I could have been there with her.

I lost my grandmother couple of days back. She was 93. The stalwart of my family is gone. 11 children, 17 grand children, many others who have come into the family, and the numerous great-grand kids have all felt her warmth and fallen in love with her. She will always be my wonder-woman. I don't know any woman as resolute as her.. as solid as her.. as warm as her, as simple as her. I don't know any woman as patient as her.. as disciplined as her. I don't know any woman as optimistic as her or as religious as her. I have always felt that my family (and by that, I mean my extended family also.. uncles, aunts and cousins) has been my strongest safety net. I would attribute every bit of it to her. Everyone in my family carries a small bit of her in us. Some quality, some value, something we have picked up from her. I would say that it is her essence that keeps us all so well knit. I have no words to describe the warmth I have felt just by holding her hand. The feeling of calm that always set in me after having an extended conversation with her is incomparable.

Everyone back home is shaken. I was shaken too, but for a short while. I remember that the last 3 years have been a little rough on her. Her age was starting to tell. She had fallen ill more number of times in the last 3 years than she had in the 90 years before that. I remember how I was shocked to see her when I'd come back in December 2005. She had shrunk in size, and had aged considerably in the two years I hadn't seen her. And this March when I moved back to India for good, I had the chance to spend 1 month at home and with her. Her spirit had started to flail... constantly battered by the pain of illness. I remember my December conversation with her when she asked me "What have I done to deserve so much pain? What have I done to outlive everyone from my age? What have I done to watch my young ones go before me?". I was dumb struck. I had no answer for her. I have never EVER heard her say any such thing before. She was one who had seen too much to complain. It was at that point I realized how much in pain she was. Her body was failing.. and the constant battering was defeating her spirit.

I sit back and think now how it must have been for her. 93 years on this earth. She must've met so many people. Seen so many eras pass. The British Rule. My grand dad. Her children. My grand dad passing away. The struggle to get her children to support themselves. My whole family migrating to the city. Her grand children growing up and supporting themselves. The great-grand children.. Changes in life-styles. Changes in values. Changes in morales. Then watch the people she grew up with leave this world one by one.. till she was the only one of that era. I vividly remember the last conversation I had with her before I left for ISB. We were discussing how my maid Mariamma was helping her out through her daily chores. Mariamma has been with my family for the last 25 years. My grand-mom smiled and reflected about how in the early 1930s and 1940s, they never let any servant of some other caste enter the kitchen.. and things had changed over time and now we ate what Mariamma cooked. She reflected on how stupidly important this had been once upon a time during her younger days and how the world is slowly attributing more importance to the quality of people than to where they come from. My grand-mom was not an educated woman, and all her knowledge was just through experiences. It tired me just to think back so long ago into her life. I realize how tired she must have been. 93 years is a long time. All the way back to the dawn of the last century. Now, I tell myself.. one comes.. one goes. I was ecstatic just a few days before this incident.. for the birth of a new life.. and now.. I am otherwise. Such is the way of life I guess.

Paati.. I will miss you. Always. Your life has been worth every second here. I hope to be half the person you were. I hope to do you proud.


Sunday, August 20, 2006


Writely.com is Google's answer to MS Word. Google has acquired Writely recently. This is an online version and is absolutely free. One more weapon in Google's Armoury! Looks like Google's slowly building up capability, piece by piece, making it all free and preparing to pull the plug on Microsoft's cash cows! What next? A Google OS?

Quoting from Writely's page.

What exactly can I do with it?
# Upload Word documents, OpenOffice, RTF, HTML or text (or create documents from scratch).
# Use our simple WYSIWYG editor to format your documents, spell-check them, etc.
# Invite others to share your documents (by e-mail address).
# Edit documents online with whomever you choose.
# View your documents' revision history and roll back to any version.
# Publish documents online to the world, or to just who you choose.
# Download documents to your desktop as Word, OpenOffice, RTF, PDF*, HTML or zip.
# Post your documents to your blog.

Seriously.. people here at ISB need to start using this software and the spreadsheet software from Google. Its modifiable by multiple people.. and allows version control! Definitely beats mailing around word documents to everyone to modify, and then submitting the wrong version at the last minute!


Friday, August 18, 2006

My pretty's pretty!

Kavia... born Aug 15th @ 3.59pm. Wish I could've been there!

Previous related post : Farewell, my pretty!

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Talk by Naukri.com CEO

Sanjay Bhikchandani, the Founder & CEO of Naukri.com was here last evening to give a talk to ISB students enroled in the "Planning an Entrepreneurial Venture" (PAEV) course. He was the second in the speaker series after Manish Sabharwal from TeamLease. He was brilliant too. Very inspirational, very down-to-earth. The entire class was packed..with students occupying even the aisles and steps. Naukri.com is India's biggest dot.com company. It has survived the 2001 slump and is going public in a year or so. We got to hear the entire story of how things came about and how they became so big. He spoke a lot about what he did right and what he did wrong (all in hind-sight ofcourse). More and more inspiration to be

Just like Manish, Sanjay too said that they were at the right place at the right time. Ofcourse, Manish said it a little different :-). He said that he knew that they were at the right place and since they knew that, they were going to hang around there till it's the right time!

We finally managed to get hold of the presentation that Manish had used for his talk. And now I recall a few of the quotes used in his presentation...

* Never met an unhappy succesful entrepreneur, but met many unhappy succesful employees of other compnaies
* Don't let the 15 lakh loans you have stop you from being an entrepreneur. Infact, if you do things right, this is the least amount you will have as loans. And beyond that, the 15 lakhs will be a mere rounding error.
* Start a religion, not a cult... religion is the only one which outlives its founder!


Thursday, August 17, 2006

Lightbox Effect

I'm currently in the process of experimenting with some Lightbox effects on my blog. Try clicking on the images on my previous post :-). Leave some feedback comments.

[Thanks : Siddhi]


Monday, August 14, 2006

Independence Day @ Section A

Another colour co-ordinated day. Our tribute to the flag! (Well, green didn't exactly co-ordinate, but we tried!)


Weekend flies by!

The weekend after the mid-terms flies by!! Well, it wasn't exactly a big weekend anyway. Had exams till Saturday evening! Spent the evening and today with my parents. They were here to visit. It was fun having them around. It was my mom's first time on a flight (and my dad's second.. 25 years after his first)! It was a great feeling to hear her talk about it. Some of the small pleasures of life! Ofcourse, she still feels I called them up more regularly when I was in America! Don't know why, but I find myself having personal time only late nights here at ISB.. and by that time they're asleep! The group assignments and other friends/groups take over during the day! Anyway, they had fun looking around the campus too. Took a lot of pictures with them. It was interesting to observe their reaction to ISB :-). I think that my mom was a little intimidated! But she handled it well for someone with very little exposure to the outside world. Overall, I think she had fun.

Now.. for the 2nd half of the term. Many many assignments, many many cases! And need to prepare for the 2nd half better! I got screwed in my exams!


Friday, August 11, 2006

Mid-terms.. AGAIN!

We have our mid-terms tomorrow. This is the worst I have been prepared for any exam at ISB so far. Corporate Finance is interesting, but it's taking its toll on me. I am guilty of not doing any pre-read or post-read. My contribution for the Corp Fin assignments haven't been that high either. I guess, a good lesson learnt. The previous terms, even though I hadn't been that regularly in touch with my readings, I was actively involved in the assignments, and hence, I had a certain degree of confidence going into exam week.
Operations Management, the other subject we have a mid-term exam on, has been very very interesting. Prof. Sridhar Seshadri from NYU handled the subject brilliantly. I really enjoyed the subject and was actively involved in the assignments. However, I think towards the end, I slacked in that too! I hope to start studying for that subject, sometime this evening. Hopefully it will be enough time.
Amazing contrast in my approach towards all the subjects this term. Entrepreneurship and Operations Management, I enjoy and really look forward to every day! On the other hand, both the finance subjects Managerial Accounting for Decision Making, and Corporate Finance, I dread! I have developed this mental block for finance related subjects because of my poor performance in the first term basic accounting course! As I prepare for the exam tomorrow, I realize that it isn't that bad. I just needed to put in more effort into these subjects, 'cause it doesn't come naturally to me.. unlike say Operations or DMO (Design Modelling and Optimization).


Thursday, August 10, 2006

Two classic pictures!

Some amazing JIT photography by Samir! This is the Operations Management class, where we're learning how to optimize every process, and reduce wastage, etc. We're learning a lot of new Japanese terms for quality (curtesy Toyota) like jidoka, kaizen, poka yoke, etc. Today, Rahul boldly introduced the class to the new concept of "Zen".

Oh, by the way, that's the professor near Rahul, in the middle of his lecture.

Note :
From the dictionary

n. To figure out something by meditation or by a sudden flash of enlightenment.

A caption contest is underway in my class for these two pictures. A few entries so far..

“Rahul ban gaya sleeping-man”

“Some people talk in their sleep. Lecturers talk while other people sleep. ” ~ Albert Camus (French author and philosopher)

“Sleep Therapy - for better learning”


Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Suit Day!

Suit Day was fun. For once, the class looked like a B-School Class!

John Abraham, RV and moi.

M & V


Monday, August 07, 2006

Where do I go from here?

I'm in a terribly confused state now..

Events leading to my confused state

1) My Operations Course : I LOVE IT! The whole deal with operations just seems so intuitive. It comes very naturally to me. Maybe after years of listening to my dad on the phone with the factory.
2) PAEV Course : The last talk we had from Manish Sabharwal inspired me even more. There is this part of me which has always wanted to be an entrepreneur. I probably got that streak from my dad.
3) My visit to my Aikiya family's place : Every study group at ISB is assigned an Aikiya Family. An Aikiya family is a prominent business family here in Hyderabad. My study group has been adopted by Mr. Hemant Jalan who owns Nucon Industries in Hyderabad. They are India's biggest producers of Pneumatic Cylinders, Pneumatic Valves, Air Treatment Equipments, etc. We had gone to their house last night for his b'day party. It was inspiring to see how a single person can do so well by being an entrepreneur.
4) Some family pictures I saw today : One of my cousins had mailed some pictures taken last month. A bunch of my cousins from the US had come down for a wedding and so many of us were together after such a long time.

My Problems

There is this other part of me which wants to go back to my roots and live in Chennai with family; afterall that was one of the primary reasons I moved back to India. Now post ISB, if I went to work elsewhere, I'd be defeating the purpose of this entire exercise! I might have as well been in Colorado leading a plush life!
I was thinking about which line to get into post ISB. I know that I want to be in Technical Product Development. That's why I'm majoring in Marketing and IT/Operations. A part of me tells me that if I want to put in effort, I should be putting it into my own ventures! Another part of me tells me that I don't know enough to be on my own, nor do I have any ideas to start a new venture. The Operations Management classes make me want to take up my Dad's factory and run it. But, what is the growth down that line? We're just into contracting work supplying sheet-metal finished parts to automobile manufacturers.
Manish in his talk also said that a consulting job would help get a good perspective on domains to become entrepreneurs on. I'm working on a project with a consulting firm from the US for my ELP. The consulting club is going to kick off preparations for the placement seasons by beginning to work on cases. Should I try to be a consultant for a while? Should I spend time working on those cases too? I hate the thought of having to travel so much as a consultant. I'm more the types who like to work for sane hours, and then do something else in the spare time. Like learning new instruments or playing a sport. A consulting job would deprive me of those things. My discomfort with Hindi isn't going to help me either, if I get a job somewhere up north. I know I'll probably learn the language well enough in a place where I NEED to use it. But, still!
I know I can do well wherever I go or whatever I end up doing.
At the same time, am I being too picky? Sigh... life is so much easier with less choices.

Heck, this looks like one of those business cases that I read in my strategy classes. Which option should I pick?

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Here it goes again..

Found this on Kiruba's blog. Wonder how he finds such cool stuff!

Sunday, August 06, 2006

PAEV kicks off

The PAEV (Planning an entrepreneurial venture) classes kicked off last week. The first class was a drag (I don't know if it was because I had already been sitting in 4 hours of class before attending this one). It wasn't just me.. A lot of people walked out after the first half. I was in two minds. I didn't know if I should drop the course or not.
The 2nd lecture of PAEV was in direct contrast with the first one. We had an external speaker to talk to us about his experiences as an entrepreneur. The speaker was Manish Sabharwal, a serial entreprenuer. He (along with Ashok Reddy) had started India Life straight out of college. Manish is a graduate from Wharton School of Business. India Life was then bought over by Hewitt. After India Life, Manish and Ashok went on to start TeamLease in 2001. TeamLease is fast growing and is already poised to overtake TCS in 3 months to be the largest employer in India. What a phenomenal growth! They currently employ about 51,000 people in India.
Manish talked about how he started off on his entrepreneurial path, and where it led him. He talked about how he kindof lost the David vs. Goliath battle against Hewitt and finally sold India Life over to Hewitt themselves, his learnings from the whole deal, and so on. TeamLease was born out of all these learnings, and he says hopefully they will gain critical mass quick enough to hold out against the Multi Nationals who're coming into India.
Overall, he portrayed his learnings beautifully, and gave his views on the do's and don'ts of being an entrepreneur. He had 250 of us held captive in the Khemka Auditorium for two hours. I'm convinced that I will learn something from this course now!