Wednesday, October 29, 2008


I have always liked this piece about Sachin Tendulkar!

It was 1992. The 18-year-old was up on his toes, carving bowlers like cuts of prime Australian beef to all parts of Perth's WACA ground. The murmurs around the press box grew. The boy had ability, potential, even the makings of a world-class batsman. John Woodcock could bear it no longer. The cricket correspondent of the London Times, wearing his 70s well, stood up, put out his hands and called for silence. "Gentlemen," he declared, "he is the best batsman I have seen in my life." A pause later: "And unlike most of you, I have seen Bradman."

Eat Ghee

Eat Ghee. This is what my mother maintained inspite of people telling her that other oils were safer. She replied, "It is healthier as you need to use less of it."

Seems she was correct. Here.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Some funny and motivational quotes

Education is a progressive discovery of our own ignorance.
- Will Durant

He that teaches himself hath a fool for a master.
- Benjamin Franklin

Give a jackass an education and you get a smartass.

We pay a person the compliment of acknowledging his superiority whenever we lie to him.
- Samuel Butler

Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful.
- Albert Schweitzer

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Books Read

Finshed reading a lot of books recently.

1. One Night at the Call Center - Too filmy in my opinion. This I thought when I read the book. At that time I did not even know that a film titled "Hello" is under production based on the same. A letdown in the story/plot department, after reading Five Point Someone. But the humour was quite good.

2. Anything for You Ma'am - Another of the I-was-in-engineering-college-and-I-had-the-time-of-my-life genre. Good narration, predictably filmy story. Nothing exciting in the story but author can certainly lift one's spirits!

3. Inheritance of Loss - Nice, if slow. Did it deserve the to say this....aaaahhh.....No, I don't think it deserved a prize like that.

4. A Prisoner of Birth - Surprisingly filmy from Jeffrey Archer. Old Jeff is losing his touch. Better than whatitsname novel about Art Auction and 9/11 but nothing better. So second last on my all time JA ranking.

5. The McKinsey Way - Reread this classic. Nice reading!

6. The Broker - Reread this John Grisham thriller. Above average by his standards. Could have been better.

7. The Intelligent Investor - Benjamin Graham's classic with updated commentary from Jason Zweig. Reread this one. How true it sounds in today's financial crisis. I am glad I followed his advice in spirit in letter. Following it still. In Warren Buffett's words - "When the world is greedy, be fearful. When the world is fearful, be greedy." I am following it :)

Saturday, October 18, 2008

How Jet Airlines could have averted the layoffs

Naresh Goyal and Jet Airlines are under a lot of media glare and criticism for their laying off of 1900 employees. Here's how they could have averted this by using some innovative cost-cutting mechanisms!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Ravana, Immortality and Vijaydashmi

This Vijaydashmi/Dusshera I was watching a live telecast of Ramlila and a strange thought came to mind, while I watched the battle scene between Ram and Ravana. As you would know, Ravana does not die when Ram hits him with arrows. When Ram cuts off his head a new one grows in its place. Ravana's brother Vibhishana points out to Ram that Ravana has been given the boon of immortality by Brahma and will die when the Amrita (Elixir) in his navel is hit by an arrow. Ram does that and Ravana is killed.

What struck me was there could be a scientifc basis for all this. Today's stem cell technology does look forward to doing this by harvesting stem cells from an umblical cord, the cord that ties a mother to a child, and using the stem cells harvested from there as a source for all 220 kinds of cells that make up a human body. Of course the end part of the umblical cord goes on to form the navel of the child. This is well documented and future research on human cloning also proceeds in that direction only with a large amount of attention focussed here.

Could it be that Ravana was a user of extremely advanced Microbiology and Genetic Research and that in addition to probably being the first person to use aviation also has this thing to his credit. We will know one day for sure.

As I search the internet for Ravana+Genetics or Ravana+Stem Cell or Ravana+Cloning, I can find related results but nothing which suggests what I have just suggested. When this post is published this may soon become the first entry on all these topics. Am I only one so far in the world to think of this theory, when the evidence has been staring us all our lives?

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The real purpose of blogging

Got this lovely one from Savage Chickens, one of my favorite pieces of cartooning! Check out the website at


I watched Om Shanti Om last year and wanted to write about it for a long time but just could not get around to doing it. Heard a song from the movie and was reminded of it.

The moview was OK(pun unintended). I mean the story is nothing great to write home about. But I liked the treatment of the extremely hackneyed subject. The celebration of Indian film industry, with a self-deprecating look at our movies, was a refreshing change. I think Manoj Kumar should have realised that Shahrukh Khan lampoons himself more than Manoj Kumar. I really liked the awards ceremony portion, where Shahrukh Khan is nominated for movies that are strikingly similar to each other, the same slow-motion-running-into-each-other's-arms, etc. Akshay Kumar's revolver-in-the-crotch routine was lovely and so was Abhishek's deadpan question, "Who's OK?"

Apart from that, the songs were amazing. Apart from "Aankhon Mein Teri" which is quite nice, the really soulful lyrics are in "Main Agar Kahoon", especially, "Kisi Zabaan Mein Bhi, Woh Lafz Hee Nahin, Ke Jinme Tum Ho Kya Tumhe Bataa Sakoon. Main Agar Kahoon, Tumsa Haseen, Kayanat Mein Nahin Hai Kahin, Tareef Yeh Bhi Toh Sach Hai Kuch Bhi Nahin." It is rare that someone like Jaaved Akhtar confesses that he has no words to describe someone, and that too in such beautiful words! Hats Off!

The other portions are quite Kitsch, but I liked one Sher:
Itni Shiddat Se Maine Tujhe Paane Ki Koshish Ki hai,
Ki Har Zarre Ne Mujhe Tujhse Milane ki Saazish Ki Hai.

Of course, this is the homegrown version of the "The Alchemist" or "The Secret"!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Policy Bazaar

My friend, Alok Bansal, has started a website along with some other people. Policy Bazaar ( is an insurance aggregator. An interesting and useful concept. The company has now received VC funding. Here are the details.

Info Edge will pick up 49% stake in Etechaces Marketing and Consulting, which runs . Info Edge India Ltd, the owners of, will invest Rs 20 crore for a 49% stake in eTechAces Marketing and Consulting Pvt Ltd, an online aggregator of insurance products, the company informed the stock exchange. eTechAces runs, an online aggregator of life and non-life insurance products. The website essentially collects insurance leads and let the insurance companies compete for it. 

In a press note issued from the company, Info Edge, Ambarish Raghuvanshi, CFO and Director, Info Edge (India) ltd. said, “eTechAces has a great management team and a differentiated approach to distributing financial products online, by empowering the customer to enable comparison of available options and make an informed data-driven decision. The company’s bouquet of products include insurance products to be sold online, which is so far an untapped area in India. In other countries, especially in Europe, it is a high growth category."

Etechaces is founded by Yashish Dahiya who is also the CEO of the company, Alok Bansal and Avaneesh Nirjar who act as the CFO and COO of the firm respectively. It was only in July that Info Edge invested Rs 6.5 crore ($1.54 million) for a 40 per cent equity stake in Applect Learning Systems, a Delhi-based education content developer. It had already disbursed Rs 1 crore as part of the first tranche of the investment. 

Earlier this year, Info Edge invested $1 million in StudyPlaces Inc, as part of the latter’s $3-million series A round led by Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers.

Back to blogging

Well, it has been quite a hiatus. Forced, mostly. As I check my blog, I realise that the last entry I wrote was on 27th June. A lot has happened after that.

My wife and I had a son born on 2nd July, 2008. So to that extent, I became very busy with the running around and arranging this and that. A normal delivery and all was well with the mother and baby. Named him Samyak.

My mother expired after a brief illness on 3rd August, 2008. A deep loss, which I am yet to overcome and possibly never will. She was the pillar of strength in my life, the guiding force of most everything I did, the proverbial friend, philosopher, guide, shoulder-to-cry-on, always-here-to-help-you and many more things. I still cannot believe she left me.

Plus, there's office and the busy season, what with CAT here and students anxious and my taking Workshops here and there, there is no time. e.g. I got to run the house as well now, something that my mother used to take care of.

Have been reading lots in the meanwhile and plan to write a lot about a lot.