Old wine new bottle

I have joined Uzanto. It’s into usability consulting, and has two other sites, Mindcanvas and Slideshare. Mindcanvas does customer surveys through game like methods and slideshare is for sharing slides. My work here would be as an Interaction Developer. Which is kind of a new idea, as it lies in between a designer and a developer.

And the company is based in Delhi, so bye bye mumbai. Everything happened so fast that here I am with just one jodi of clothing and no chances of getting to mumbai for my stuff before 15th jan.

And my number has changed, now it is 9910829201.

And everything happened so fast that kisi ko bhi mumbai chhodne ke bare mein bata nahi paya.

And btw, i, vinod and vishal had an awesome weekend. We went to Kangra valley, namely to Kangra, palampur, dharamshala and mcleodganj. The pics will soon be here(flickr).

Stolen phone and fried hard disk

Electronically the start seems bad. The only two pieces of hardware on me, my phone which somebody flicked and my usb hard disk which a army dude fried.

Agra is one mad place. A friend tells me their used to be a hospital for the senile here. Consider these, the rear view mirrors of all bikes folded inwards like hands in namaste. A gazillion types of jugad vehicles, with tullu pumps and scooter engines. ALong with ghoda gadis and bullock carts. They can manage to jam the traffice in perfectly good roads. When traffic gets jammed people jump their bikes upon the sidewalks, and which a moment later gets jammed too. So all in all after prateek’s marriage I had only some time in Agra and I couldnt see the Taj.

The marriage though not my first north indian marriage was the first in which i like ‘participated’. Though standing on the sides and looking on, on dancing girls, and other such rituals. Still it was fun. Only it was a little bit lonely, as i was the only outsider in between cousins and their families. And meanwhile i grew a little careless, and my phone got stolen. Prateek’s family did try to find it, checking the servants and so on, but it couldn’t be found.

More of prateek’s friends arrived on the marriage night and we did some baraati naach.
Overall it was a great experience. I felt i was living inside the movie monsoon wedding, though the drama was less.

So here i am in delhi, since. I went to gully parathe vali, chandni chowk, qutb minaar. And red fort. At its entrance there is an Xray scanning device. I had my hard disk in my bag. Fortunately i remembered about it. I took it out and showed it to one army guy and told him to check it personally as it would be damaged by xray. He was looking at it from all sides, while another army vala took my bag and began examining it. For a second while i was giving my bag to that guy the first guy put my hard disk into the xray machine. Idiocy even has limits, he could have told me that either xray or leave or anything of that sort. I was pretty sure it was gone. And indeed when i checked after reaching home it sure was not detected.
Anyways spilt milk, why cry.

And i have realized ,” mobile hard disk is not good for archiving stuff. “

On On!!

Last sunday was loads of fun. I like running and i like beer. So where do these two things meet ? In a hash of course. You can know what it is here
I liked the concept very much. If you are in a new place, and you love traveling to unknown places, this is for you. just google hash with the place name. If that place has a local chapter of hash harriers or maybe some other hashing group, you’ll find the next run. Call up and go ON ON!!

kya baat hai!!

I just saw the “Kya baat hai” on MTv. If i remember correctly, it was hosted by Cyrus earlier, and i had always admired him. Of how he could mediate a debate. He’s an expert in making a very serious situation into a comedy and getting people who were a moment ago fighting, rolling on the floor laughing.

But this episode was hosted by Rannvijay. The roadies vala vj. The point of the debate was, “Do you think, IITs are overrated?” And the basis for this debate as laid out by Rannvijay was that in a recent college ranking two IITs didn’t make into the top ten. Which in itself is a very poor basis for such a point to be made. Who did this ranking? What is their credibility?

Anyway, Rannvijay made it very obvious very clear from the beginning what he thought of IITians. What he did was go to TSEC (engineering college in mumbai), stop random students and throw them this question. “Are iits overrated?” Some said no, which even though he tried to but couldn’t change. Others were like, “they study all time, we have fun”, “you can’t judge people from a day’s performance”etc.etc. Finally he got two people to come to IIT powai to challenge IIT junta. The challenge could be anything, he said.

Meanwhile we reach IIT kanpur, inside one of it’s classroom. Where two rows of iitians take on two rows of non-iitians.
IITians:We have CNC machines…only the one machine in Asia, … wind tunnel…etc..etc..
non-iitians:thats because government doesnt give us that much funds to buy all that stuff.
IITians:iits are funded not only by the government, even it’s alumni give us huge amounts.
non-iitians:but these alumni were also created by funds from our govt some 30 years ago.
Rannvijay:the point is if we give funds to some college in patna and make it a iit..say we make 10 more iits, will these be still be good.
IITians: IIT’s pillars are it’s students and it’s faculty. the students come here after JEE. and only the very best are chosen as faculty.
.
.
.
non-iitian girl: iit guys hooted in a college function when a girl was dancing onstage.
iitian: women get raped in DU, at least that doesnt happe here.
.
.
Finally Rannvijay stepped in, having during the last 15 mins given comments like, ‘these are the best brains in india’ and such. He said lets decide it in the basky court. 5 ppl on both sides.
IITians won 8-4. But the non-iitians should be given credit as they were basically strangers and they did score 4 points.
Anyway I do not want to go into this debate and rip off the arguments, but i would like to go into why did MTv choose this topic?

A one day performace shouldn’t decide JEE was one of the points which kept coming up. There are other people who may even be better than those finally selected who did not perform on that day. Why did they not perform? But those who got selected did perform on that day, so they got selected. Are you asking for a series of tests. Now JEE has two papers elims and finals. What are the expenses involved in conducting JEE? What would happen to the expenses if the tests were more in number? And those who did not get into iits did get into other engg colleges. By what, some entrance test? someone who did’nt get selected in that test may give them the same argument..”one day performance”.

Funds given by government was another point. The other colleges felt they were not given enough funds. Where could our government find so much funds? They have got a limited amount of funds and a billion mouths and hands outstretched. So they prioritise. Now do they get anything out of the 4 lakhs spent on each iitian deserves another post.

And who is overrating iitians if they are being overrated. The media? The politicians? It is like going to aishwarya rai and asking her, “do you think you are overrated?” if she says yes, then it becomes a fact that she is overrated. If she says no, then she is a liar.

I am not too sentimental in this post, am i? If i am it is because of all the things we have to face. People have such views about us, please consider the following and tell me if you have heard these:
a)iitians get at least 40-50k salary in india easily.
b)just one line in your resume can get you a hundred offers, line being, ‘i am an iitian’.
c)iitians always study, they don’t have any fun.

All i have to say is, people give us a chance before naming us nerds.

Drunk drivers or killers?

So some guys got drunk. Then they took to the road. Somewhere in bandra the driver lost control. The car went offroad and mowed down a some people who were sleeping on the pavement.

The police swung into action. The media had a field day. They had all the components to make a great story. The ‘rich brats’, ‘drunk’, ‘big cars’ etc.etc. The driver even showed them his middle finger. No wonder the story made cover page. The masses always love such stories. ‘The poor downtrodden people killed by drunk rich brats’.
Let us look at the facts.
a) Drunk driver creates an accident.
b) …ah ..
I can’t seem to think of point b. Why were the others arrested? For being drunk? If i remember correctly some of them were past their 18 year age limit. Can 18 year olds get drunk? I am not sure. They cannot get into a pub and order drinks, for sure. Whatever…if they have broken some law they must be punished. For drunken driving it is maximum 6 months in jail and some fine.

The point I am getting at is, I hate such news pieces. They do not give a complete picture, which is even pardonable. But they skew the topic in such a way that they get maximum viewership. My point being, why were the people sleeping on a pavement?Didn’t they have beds in their homes? Did they not have even homes? Where did they come from? Why can’t they live peacefully in their village? Don’t they have land in the village? And is sleeping on the pavement legal? Do people in all megacities in other poor countries sleep on the pavements? Why can’t the media ask these questions? Are people on the pavement so part and parcel of our life? Don’t we want them not to sleep on the pavement? To have their own homes.

What is true and will be is that people will get drunk. And some of them will drive. Irrespective of how wealthy they are.

The SuperGroup

People saw black clouds rushing, as if god had pressed the sky’s fast forward button. Nobody noticed the 4 guys silently entering their lane, as they were too busy grabbing clothes from the hanging lines and covering their vegetable carts with plastic. They ran inside their homes and birds tried to find space between shutters of old buildings. No one could have guessed what would happen in the next few hours.

Their was an old Shiva temple at the end of the lane. Some said the shivlinga their was from the time of Raja Bhrukuteshwar. Seeing no other place the 4 guys ran towards the temple for shelter. Getting wet was not such an issue, but they had to protect their cache of grass. Their was nobody at the temple. They made themselves comfortable and without much ado lighted a joint. Soon the smoke covered the room. Munching on the leftover coconut and peda, they sat their hallucinating. Their thoughts were broken when with a loud crash the door of the inner sanctum opened.

The bright light due to a lightning outside stole the darkness from the room. And as the boom crash sound of lightning followed the light there came out of the door a man, dancing wildly. His hair was very long and matted and his body covered with ashes. His eyes were so red, they seemed to spew fire. Each time his feet hit the ground it felt like the earth had been shaken. The fat one, so entranched was he, by the man’s dancing took a drum kept nearby, and started playing. Meanwhile another one took a pooja thali.

Gradually the man who was oblivious of everything initially, absorbed in the surroundings, including the four guys who were playing like rockstars. The redness of his eyes seemed to vanish with his fury.

Raising one hand, he motioned the 4 to stop playing.

Then he said, “The world had gotten so evil, I was here to do my duty by finishing off this kaliyuga. But your “wild rocking” music made me loose my anger. And it will take me about 1000 years to get fully angered again.
You better keep rocking, or I’ll be back (with a wink).

Anecdotes Bhilai valon ke

I’ll post anecdotes about friends sent in by friends :).
The first batch has been baked by subhash. Aur kisi ko kisi cheez se pain ho toh mujhse kahe…and if anyone wants to narrate any other kisssa abt our friends plz mail them to k.a.anand@ gmailDOTcom

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:—–Anirvan:——

1) This is one of the stories that can b treasured as it was created by anirvan(in my words his name means anir–matlab bina pani ka,,,van–matlab maruti Van),,,,,
U may remember Mr. chakraborty,mathematics teacher (the ghost of middle school),,,well when anirvan was in bhilai some 5-6 years back in durgapuja,,,he had a small dispute with the persons who r from sec-4 durga pandals(as anirvan belongs to sec-10 durga pandals),,,so he took a stick (bans ka danda) frm one of the pandals n was likely to beat Mr. chakraborty n told him that i m no more a student of urs n can slap n beat u…..well what a gutsy guy….

2) This was one of the famous story that many of us knew that anirvan had created when we r in middle school,,once upon a time one of his relative(as far as i remember his maternal aunt)was going to scotland via aeroplane(thankgod usne yeh nahin bola ki khud ki fighter-plane se scotland gaye the…),,,so when they have reached at very high altitude,,,then anirvan aunt suddenly saw a whale with his/her family in the ocean….cool a person who is flying at a very high altitude cannot see the ship equal to size of titanic but can see a whale with whole family…..

3) One of anirvan magic creations….we all know the situations that all the mumbaikars have faced last monsoon on 26th n 27th july…..well at that particular time anirvan was there at mumbai stuck somewhere (a few miles away frm his home in mumbai) due to heavy rains,,,,as the rains stopped for a while he had started his journey back 2 home,,,due 2 heavy rains all the roads flooded n its impossible for all people 2 go back 2 their home but our gutsy anirvan had swimmed back 2 home along with the bodies of dead mammals n rodents,,,infact the water current is so strong that it is impossible for animals to swim(it is well known fact that most of the animals can swim very effectively),,,but anirvan had swimmed back almost 12 kilometers n that too against the current(well we all should suggest anirvan to take part in competition to cross indian ocean for this rare feat)….then when i asked him why he is not accompanying us to swimmingpool in lonavala trip then he told me that he forgot swimming………

4)Anirvan who has enough potential to recreate the aura(magic) of HARRY-POTTER series….had convinced Abdi(AKA Abhishek Choudhary) that my nick name, my family used 2 call me is Maadho(infact it is MANTU.),,n that abhishek had clarified with me on lonavala trip after so many years finally he got out of anirvan aura…..

5) Anirvan who had done Phd. in fekology have one more emotional+tragic story in his kit(potli baba ki) that he reopened in front of me n my roommates………….story is like this:-

He had 2 face the flood situations whereever he goes(last time in mumbai,,this year in surat),,may b indradev is unhappy with him…….

well flood alert has been given 2 surat residents in prior,,,so our MR.Feku chakraborty,,,had purchased some vegetables n milk(as his mind is always active),,,finally surat is in flood,,,,n his mind signalled that he should smoke,,but to his utter disappointment he had exhausted his stock….then he saw a paan-thela open(astonising paan-thela is opened apart of the fact that 1st n 2nd floor of his apartments has been evacuated due to flood),,,,then this hero of surat swam again to have his cigrattes packets,,,when he is back into his apartment,,,the packets got soaked leaving cigrattes wet,,,,,he then lit the gas stove n dried the cigrattes(i m not a smoker but my friends tell me that if once cigrattes got wet its not possible them to dry up in fire),,,may b anirvan had dried the cigrattes in pan….anyways he became hero of the apartment n everbody have great expectations frm him,,,,he is very kind 2 give all the milk packets 2 the family having childrens(round of appalause for that)….now anirvan resides in 3rd floor n water had flooded 2nd floor n now came up till his window(just a feet or two below his window)…he catched two-three big fish from his window n then made fish-curry frm that n invited whole apartment 2 have feast,,,n all gujju maximum of them are vegetarians,ate this fish-curry with delight(i don’t remember the exact no. of flats in his apartment that he had told me,,,but if my memory serves me right then it is approx to 30)….

6)Rarest of all:—–

Anirvan who have all kind of stories that can never b imagined,,,n apart of all this he try 2 convince everybody that he is true….

Anirvan likes travelling n had gone to ujjain,,,,,now story takes a new twist…Anirvan visited 2 KaalBhairav,,,that is a temple near a shamshaan bhumi(Crematorium),,,,he reached there in evening and spent a night in that temple(as he had told me that nobody used 2 stay there in night time as there are aghori(tantrik) n u can see ghosts n peculiar looking evil spirits (having tail of lion,head of wolf with horns n body of vulture n now by this time my roommates fainted) between 12pm to 4am…gud thing is that they doesn’t enter the temple but if u will constantly see them they hypnotise u to come out n once u r out of the temple, u will b killed,,however anirvan kept on seeing them for those all peculiar looking evil spirits for sometime n then he slept……..

another story on same day(infact at night)………..

Doesn’t exact remember the place he had gone(but he had gone somewhere like Amarnath Dham),,,,there he met a person who was an IIT passout but have left his house an was living like a saint(duniya ke moh-maya se dur ho gaya tha),,,,,so they both have gossips n after sometime anirvan felt that his stomach was empty,,then realising the situation, saint told to anirvan that as anirvan is very true n kind person he will give him food n then,,,us mahatma ne ek thali prakat ki(jisme chhapan bhog the.) one more thing that magical person had shown that kind of chamtkar only 2 anirvan……lucky guy…ain’t he???? all the IITians passout isn’t it great 2 know that IIT had produced a magical person….

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:——Parag:——

I(sarvanan) n parag both r in pune since long time but got 2 see each other only when we met at the day of lonaval trip…..
he is astonished to see that my height increased so much(i m 5.10″ approx),,,then in between them conversation i told him that sarvanand height had also increased n he is 5.8″,,,,then our parag felt bit awkward aur mujhse kaha abe aisa mat bol,,,,mujhe abhi tak aasha thi ki kam se kam sarvanand se to lamba hoon….,,,well dear parag average indian height of a boy is 5.6″……so there is no worry as u r above average.

Parag whose belly have some extra pounds which is very common if u r an IT guy, had seen adds of sauna belt,,,n alas purchased one,,,,then when we met for lonavala trip during gossips i have suggested him to try sauna belt to reduce those extra flab,,,,then suddenly he screamed…..kabhi sauna belt use mat karna, maine 20 din use kiya 1 kilo bhi kam nahin hua aur TV mein bolte hain har din 1 inch kam hoga…bakwas hai,,1500/- Rs. gaye paani mein……

Maverick Jethmalani?

There are always two sides of a coin. And we can only see one side at a time. Which may make us think that there is only one side existant. When it comes to establishing law and order, we have got the justice system, which looks at both sides of the coin. At least in priniciple it should. So if someone kills someone else, it tries to see the reason behind the killing, whether it was premeditated or hot headed, etc. The whole point of this is that it is not objective, like in some countries, where there are rules like, cut the hands of the thief etc.

Even if we assume that the principle of presuming the accused as innocent until otherwise proven is for once forgotthen. Even if the accused is guilty, he/she deserves the right to have the best advocate. Now comes the question, is our justice system dependent upon the advocate’s competency? The probability is high that the prosecuting and the defending advocates would never be eqaully competent. One would always be better. The fight is biased from the start. As it does matter who has the better advocate on his side. So if people think that since Mr. Jethmalani is a great advocate, Manu will be acquitted, they are in fact admitting a flaw in our justice department.

Tunga Balla Torava

“but inside ….we are all tigers.

That is how the MTv ad for the Xbox 360 ends. Totally out of this world, this ad is weird. When i first saw it, and did not see any product coming, i wondered if it was a MTv promo or something. But then it came in the end. Did some googling and found that the creative director was Cyrus Oshidar of MTv. Also found a lot of postings by firangs who couldn’t make head and tail of it.

So here are some facts:
a) there is no game called Porok. It is purely a fictional game.
b) the language used is just a mixture of 3-4 languages. I could make out mallu and tamil words in it. I am sure the other words are from kannada and telugu.
c) it was shot in the middle of mumbai and not in a village.

Advertisements have to target a focus group. What works in cities, may not work in villages. What works for teenagers, may not work for middle ageds. And so on. So let me ask you who could be the focus of this ad? Who might the people who might buy the xbox?

Games in india are still played on PCs. The personal computer has become ubiquitous in cities. You could play for a hour in a cyber cafe for Rs.10. Highly affordable. My guess is 99% of serious gamers in india use a PC. To me they look like a good market. Very computer savvy. Having high paying jobs in IT. And they would already be aware of the XBox, even before seeing the ad. The ad is not informing them about anything. It’s just selling them the attitude. Every ad doesn’t have to “sell” the product. The point that it needs “selling” may make a bad impression.
And here this ad outclasses many others.