Sunday, July 29, 2007


One half of knowing what you want is knowing what you must give up before you get it.

~Sidney Howard~

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Valley of flowers - on a budget

Budget traveller for valley of flowers? Nuff Zed!!

The 17 words that will never fail you

The 17 words that will never fail you:


Free Time?

"No one ever told me what to do with free time."

She was telling me about her work schedule. She had started a new job, it was seasonal but she would be paid for the entire year. She would have a few months off.

No, she wasn't a teacher. She was a tour guide in Barcelona, Spain.

The statement and ensuing question intrigued me, for I had no immediate answer but it started me to thinking. I knew it was one of those questions where the real answer shaped a lifetime of thought and behavior.

"What would I do if I had several months of free time?"

So many of us don't even have the free time to even think of what we would do with a lot free time. Some would say they would simply get another job with the gift of free time.

What would you do?

You hadn't thought about it either huh?

Time is a finite resource, just as money is. What we do with a little is often reflective of what we would do with a lot. How we handle what we have now determines the spirit and style in which we would handle much more.

So what would you do?

"I don't have time to think about that! Inspire me, don't ask me silly questions!" some would say.

I give you sixty seconds.


If I write another page or so and you read it, it will take you sixty seconds, so I won't write it.

I give you that sixty seconds right now as free time.

Now, what are you going to do with it?

~A MountainWings Original~

IMS Simcat Problems

Ha Ha Ha!

This one, here, is a nice one about IMS SIMCATs. Well friend you should have tried T.I.M.E. AIMCATs!

Where are you?

Six types of behavior choices:

Level 1
I don't want to get in trouble

Level 2
I want a reward

Level 3
I want to impress someone

Level 4
It’s the rule. I follow the rules

Level 5
I consider other people’s feelings
Being quiet in a movie theater

Level 6
It’s my code.
That's who I am.

Where are you?

~Posted on the wall at Kipp school in Atlanta, GA~

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Indian languages carry the legacy of caste [?]

This article here, claims so. I am ambivalent towards this, since they do not carry against only the lower caste. They do so against the upper castes too. And, a prejudice is not in the language, but the people who made the langauge. The language merely reflects this prejudice. English, due to its Judeo-Christian origin carries enough bias against anyone who is not a white, anglo-saxon. An example? The word Philistine. Check the meaning and its not-so-subtle reference to people who live in what is today referred to as Palestine!

New Media

The new media is here. Changing business models are nowhere evidenced better than this small newspiece. Newspaper gives away Prince CDs!
The important point to recognise is that new revenue models and new ways to be profitable have to be thought of. DRMs, copyright protection is going to be harder and harder to prevent. People want the music, but at a reasonable price. Otherwise some Napster, BitTorrent, Coolgoose will come again and again, the occassional iTunes notwithstanding

HP7 - The deathly hallows

I just finished reading Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. I will write more about my own experience later, but for now, here is the reading diary of someone else! Enjoy! And this, here, is the review from TIME magazine.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

A digital crystal ball for war-gazing

Artificial intelligence to help win war? Could be, but it is no match to natural stupidity! Anyhow, here are the details!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

A saner voice - Is the iPhone madness for real

Although, I have no use for the iPhone in India, I am nonetheless touched by the same through the e-world. Every tech newsletter has written about it.

Steve Jobs is one slick marketer. He knows that reducing supply makes price go up. This time, he has not reduced supply, just made people think that there are enough to go around. Voila! Black Markets have opened in it. Ebay has auctions about it!

Anyhow, should one buy, if one has a use for it. No. So says Bob Rankin. A sane voice, if there was ever one!

Monday, July 16, 2007

A strange situation

Strange is our situation here upon earth. Each of us comes for a short visit, not knowing why, yet sometimes seeming to a divine purpose.

From the standpoint of daily life, however, there is one thing we do know: That we are here for the sake of others...for the countless unknown souls with whose fate we are connected by a bond of sympathy.

Many times a day, I realize how much my outer and inner life is built upon the labors of people, both living and dead, and how earnestly I must exert myself in order to give in return as much as I have received.

~Albert Einstein~

Thursday, July 12, 2007

The downside of Royalty

Now I know the benefits of our being a Republic. Have a dekko here.

Saturday, July 07, 2007


There are two insults which no human will endure: the assertion that he hasn't a sense of humor, and the doubly impertinent assertion that he has never known trouble.
- Sinclair Lewis

Never insult seven men if you're only carrying a six shooter.
- Harry Morgan

Man is the only animal you can insult by calling him an animal.
- Anonymous

Thursday, July 05, 2007

New Ads

There are two new ads that I want to write about today. Both share a common trait, they turn around things completely, and thus create magic!

The first one is the one from SBI, where a group of really old and retired people play cricket in the street, their ball lands in the house of a group of young children, and the ensuing dialogue is what you would expect, had the youngsters been playing and the oldies been sitting in their homes! The references to "reserve ball" and the taunting song-and-dance routine by the oldies on being able to play the game inspite of losing their ball, is sheer magic! It is a cleverly crafted ad, where a strong role reversal takes place. The ad is a treat to watch.

The other one is from ICICI Prudential Life Insurance, the now-famous "Jeetey Raho" campaign. Contrary to established norms, this one sells life insurance in a radically different way. We have grown up on a staple diet of LIC ads, which never mention death directly. Death is the ever-present-but-never-mentioned, euphemistic fear around us. There are references to "Anhonee", "Durghatna", "Eventuality" and so on. The best ad from LIC I ever saw was one where a widow is shown after the marriage of her daughter, and the VO congratulates her on the same, and wonders how difficult it must have been, especially "Verma Sahab Ke Jaane Ke Baad". She says, "Asli Jimmedari Toh Unhone Pehle Hee Puri Kar Dee Thee, LIC Policy Lekar. Bachhon Ki Padhai, Beti Ki Shaadi Sab Beeme Ki Rakam Se Hee Puri Hui. Main Toh Kehti Hoon, Ki Hum Sub Ko LIC Ki Policy Zaroor Leni Chahiye". An simple but effective what-will-happen-when-you-die kind of Scenario-Building (see, I can't leave my MBA roots behind :-D ).

But the ICICI ad talks openly of death. A wife asks her husband to sign the insurance papers and when he asks her directly, "Mere Marne Ke Baad In Paison Ka Kya Karogi?", she coolly, blatantly and sarcastically replies, "Doosri Shaadi Karoongi, World Tour Pe Jaaongi". Of course, she then goes on to explain that an insurance will lead to lesser tension on the husband's part for the family's future and therefore his longer life. At the end, when the husband bends to pick up a dropped pen, she blesses him on the head and says "Jeetey Raho". The ad is available here.

To me, both the ads represent changing social mores. An aging population, which is healthier than previous generations, one not reluctant to age in a less-than-graceful fashion is playing cricket in the SBI ad. This is similar to American Baby-Boomers enjoying a second life after retirement. The other one talks to the present generation in its language. A language that is found in Channel V, MTV, Dil Chahta Hai, is full of PJs, bitter repartee, sarcasm etc. is the one best understood by them. Of course, it does address the whole issue in a more serious manner also, but there too, the logic is a completely new one!

I wish I see more ads like these. Kudos to the film-makers! May their tribe grow!