Monthly Archives: May 2009

100 of the Best Movie Lines in 200 Seconds

How cool is THIS?

It would have been the coolest without the background music though :-/

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Lords Of The Roads!

Enough has been said about ST buses and their quality (rather the lack of it) and how they give you a full body massage when you travel by one. Almost-enough has also been said about the need for the revival of the ST service by giving them more money and phasing out the old buses which have been running since the time the Elves left Middle Earth or Aragorn became King of Gondor or Bilbo and Frodo went with the Elves or the Age of Men began in Middle Earth……; I guess you get the drift. I don’t however think enough has been said about the men who drive these deathtraps. So, as a service to humanity and for the purpose of filling this yawning gap between the not-blamed-enough-drivers and the overly-blamed-buses-which-need-more-blame-in-any-case. (Please ignore the grammar)

I am going to use another reference (out of several) to Lord Of The Rings (LOTR). Tolkien, the author of LOTR, created this elaborate fantasy tale around 1938. The story has numerous characters which are part of different lineages, species, community or breed. Every group has something which is unique and special to them. Similarly, according to me, ST Bus Drivers (STBDs) belong to a community which was sired by a man who was the most intimidating mix of Michael Schumacher, Sebastien Loeb and Shrek a.k.a. Wayne Rooney. They drive fast (Schumacher), they drive quick (Loeb) and they generally don’t care about anything moving – including the one they are driving (Shrek a.k.a. Rooney). Now you would ask, what qualification do I possess to be commentating on STBDs? I, my dear imaginary readers, have traveled on ST Buses for more than a year when I used to commute between my home in Thane and my office – Directi – in Malad. Firstly, I should be given a bravery award for traveling in an ST Bus every single day for an entire year. Secondly, I have to be one of the luckiest men alive to have traveled in these buses so often and still be unhurt. Come to think of it, they are quite safe; the only damage I guess is long term due to the beating your nervous system takes. Finally, I think this is enough experience to commentate on STBDs.

To be an STBD, one cannot acquire training or attend driving classes. After all, Legolas didn’t have to go to shooting school to learn to use the bow and arrow. They are born with this quality and eventually find their way to their throne, inside the grimy, dust covered red and brown colored bus. Just the way Aragorn eventually finds his way to Gondor and sits on his throne. STBDs are supposed to wear uniforms which are basically Khaki Shirts and Pants. They however think it is above their dignity to wear something like that, and you should not be surprised to find them driving shirtless; they do however wear white-as-snow vests to be fair to them. I am not sure if there are any rules regarding their footwear, but I am yet to see an STBD driving with anything on his feet.

These people are the masters of the beasts that they drive and their beasts in turn are the Lords of all such beasts. Much like Gandalf, who was the master of his horse Shadowfax – the Lord of Horses. Only they know the kind what gestures made by their arms and feet will incite what kind of response from their beast. All rules of automotive engineering are put to shame by these great Lords. Exactly the way in which The One Ring defied the laws of physics, making the wearer invisible. I am yet to see an STBD change gears by releasing/depressing the clutch (i.e. pressing it with the foot – ironically this is when the clutch is released or depressed). They just stop revving and bang the gear into its proper slot. I cannot imagine how a 1,000 year old vehicle can take that kind of beating; if only they made stuff like that now.

STBDs also control who gets onto their bus and who doesn’t. If they don’t like something about you, or your clothes are too nice and they are jealous, they just won’t stop for you at the bus stop. You can wave all you want and stand in the middle of the road if you want to, but they won’t stop if they don’t want you in. They have a very strict passenger selection process, so I have heard. Another brilliant piece of engineering on these beasts are the suspensions. I don’t know if they were intended to be so robust or it is just sheer luck that they last one whole day and beyond. The punishment they go through is equivalent to the punishment Smeagol was given by Sauron; and in his case, Smeagol relented during the torture. On the other hand, these suspensions I am sure are much stronger than those on the Hummer even. I don’t see how else it could take the torture dished out by the STBDs every single minute that they are at the helm.

I guess you would agree that these men are truely outstanding.

These Men are unlike any other.

They are the best of the best of the rest.

They are the Lords Of The Roads!

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Coldplaying for the fans

I have written earlier about Coldplay; here and one in my old blog – here.

I still can’t stop talking about them. I just love them too much for too many reasons. Again, I don’t know how many are aware, but Coldplay is one of the few bands who are doing their bit for the environment as well. They realise that their live shows cause damage to the environment and they buy Carbon Offsets to try and reduce the damage. How can you not like a band like this one?

Apart from this, they made an awesome gesture recently by giving their latest album for free on their site. You can download the album Left Right Left Right Left here if you have already not done it. So what if the album is a recording of their Live Performance? It is still a great gesture.

About the album, I love the performances. The songs seem so different even though they are the same! The start to Clocks is awesome. The band knows that this is one of their most popular songs and were brilliant in playing it to the audience. Especially the ending of the song was a brilliant surprise. The same goes for Fix You. However, I have never loved Viva La Vida so much before. It just sounds SO much better in this album. All the songs are great like always, but these are the songs that stand out. When you have decided why you like a particular song, it just feels great when the band betters those reasons. Don’t know if I am making sense, but I love them too much.

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Unfurl it!

As I mentioned in one of my earlier posts, I am currently working at Patni Computer Systems Ltd as part of my Summer Project for my MBA course. One of the things that Patni is known for, apart from being one of the leading global providers of Information Technology services and business solutions (this from their website :P), is the awesome transportation service they provide their employees with. The transportation consists of a fleet of buses on contract which follow particular routes every single day. And when I say fleet of buses, I mean a fleet which can rival that of a small city’s (say my home city Thane) Municipal Transport (TMT) service! OK I might be exaggerating a little bit, OK quite a bit, but you get the drift.

Once the day is over, it is fun to see two dozen buses, in the white and brown livery, leave all at the same and make their way out of SEEPZ one after another. I know what you are thinking, I was just ranting about their huge fleet of buses and now I am talking about only two dozen buses! Actually, they have close to 30 buses at their office in SEEPZ and similarly they have offices in two other locations in the city. So that works out to quite a lot of buses traversing quite a lot of routes.

The route I take from SEEPZ comes to Thane via Powai. This route passes through the flyover which goes right over the Larsen & Toubro (L&T) campus. I like this flyover a lot just for the way it has been made in between some of the buildings in the L&T campus. At this point, to my left comes the glass covered building of L&T Infotech; and finally I come to the core point I want to make.

Atop this building, every single day, in the evening twilight, I see two men getting down a hoisted Indian Flag, the Tricolor, the Orange-White-Green, fluttering in the wind! And it is one of the most awesome sights I witness. And before I know, a smile comes to my face. I wish more companies would hoist a flag. It is not just about having the Flag atop your building, it is about the emotion behind it. It is about telling everyone, that we are an Indian company and we are proud of it. If it were upto me, I would not only put up the flag and tell the guards to hoist it and get it down every day (which L&T does), I would give this PRIVILEGE to a different person every day. Imagine the precedent one would be setting by doing this. I understand that things like you having the building for yourself and other such issues come up, but they are too trivial.

Taking this a little broader, I don’t think there are enough Flags around anyways. Flags to us have become a symbol of the Independence and the Republic days only. I have bought myself a small cloth Indian Flag that I am really proud of. I know there are many issues attached to this, the fact that by law, you cannot hoist a Flag unless you have permission. But I remember a few years back when someone was arrested for hoisting the Flag at his residence and he defended himself and won at the Supreme Court! There some absolutely valid reasons for this law, but there has to be some leeway given in this regard.

For now however, I guess atleast the corporates should Unfurl it!

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Need more reasons to love Top Gear?

I don’t know how many people know about this, maybe many do, but Top Gear uses almost FIFTY audio tracks on an average for ONE episode!

This goes to show the extent to which they go, just to make it that much better. A single piece of video (a car test or a task) uses almost fifteen tracks, some for just a few seconds. If there is any particular track you heard in an episode and wondered where it came from, you can check it up here – http://is.gd/Bp3m

Not that I needed this reason, but I can’t help but love it even more now (if that is possible)!

I have said it a lot of times, this show is not just about cars. Itis about british comedy, awesome locales, brilliant film making, superbmusic and while they are at it, they talk about absolutely breathtakingcars as well. Now THIS is complete entertainment!

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A reply to Mr. Aviraj Singh Saluja

Dear Mr. Aviraj Singh Saluja,

I am deeply humbled by your praise for me and thank you for your wishes.

I agree with you that this country does deserve the stablest of Governments and the most honest of Leaders and I hope with all my heart that we are able to give this country what it deserves. However, it saddens me to know that you have no expectations from me or my Government. It is sad that you have lost all expectations.

You say you had expectations after I had been elected as the Prime Minister in 2004. However, I went through the election records and saw that you did not vote in the 2004 election yourself. I am not saying you have no right to have expectations, but it is your foremost duty to vote and be a part of the most basic of democratic exercise. You say you were happy that I was the Prime Minister, but you had nothing to do with me becoming the Prime Minister. I can easily say that you do not deserve anything in return, however, I will never say that.

You talk about the last 5 years as if that is all it takes to turn-around a vast and expansive country like ours and make life better for the common man. I cannot entirely blame you for having lost all expectations. But what expectations do you have? Are these expectations same as that of the all the other people in this country? You Sir, are one of the 7.1% of the elite population who use the internet. I again can’t blame you for being a part of such an elite crowd, as one of my Government’s responsibilty is also to make sure every person gets benefit of the internet revolution. However, there are more pressing matters than making sure that the common man gets his share of the WWW. It is not incorrect to compare our governance and systems to those of a superpower like the USA, it is however unfair to compare a 62 year youngster with a 232 year old veteran.

It is encouraging to see that you so deeply believe in the power of Goodness. I assure you that this victory will not make us complacent, it is rather a form of encouragement for us, a show of faith from the people. My enthusiasm will never deter; and as far as the things I personally wished to do for the country are concerned, I assure you that the seeds were already sown 5 years ago. Being from the urban middle-class, you would surely agree that Rome was not built in a day.

You believe that you speak for a large majority of the urban middle-class; I believe that you also voted for the same large majority of the urban middle-class. You also seem to forget that 70% of this country’s population resides in the “non-urban” areas and therefore it is essential for me to concentrate close to 70% of my efforts in serving them.

There is not much that I can take from your letter, but not because it does not have anything to give, but because I already know what my people expect from me. Please do not lose hope in the power the voice of a twenty-something has, this country is soon going to be run by the same people. For now, for today, I have been given the responsibilty to lead this country because I am the best we have as you say and not because I am ideal. The next five years Mr. Saluja, I will try my best to live upto your hope and other’s expectations.

Wish you the best when you go to America in July.

Faithfully,

Dr. Singh.

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IT is my desitny?

I have never been a person who believed in destiny. I never wanted to believe that certain things in my life have already been decided. It somehow makes me feel uncomfortable. However, I am being made to rethink.

As quite a few of my imaginary readers would know, after finishing my Junior College, I started doing my graduation degree in Engineering (IT). Yes, I thought I want to be a Software Engineer. But almost all of you know that I am not one! Halfway through my graduation, I realised I *don’t* want to be an engineer. I dropped out and finished my graduation in Management (BMS). I have always been a tech freak and staying updated with technology is one of my passions (This was the logic behind becoming a Software Engineer).

I graduated in Management and specialised in Finance in my final year. Although I was certain that I wanted to make a career in Marketing. Taking Finance was my way to show myself what I would have to do rest of my life if I did opt for a career in Finance. It worked out for me. I sat for placements, I did get a good job in Marketing and I did do very well at the job. The job in question here though, was (yes, you guessed it) at an IT company! But I really didn’t mind it, I really like this field remember? The company was Directi, which is a great company to work for. I was working for their business unit called Logicboxes and had absolutely brilliant, young, like-minded people working around me. All in all, an awesome learning experience.

Having worked there for a year, I knew I had to study more and secured admission at K J Somaiya Institute of Management Studies & Research (SIMSR) for an MBA, specialising in Marketing. I am having a great time doing my MBA and through my first year. MBA demands you to do a summer project at any organisation, in the two months between the first and the seond year. Again I sat for placements, I did get a job in Marketing and hopefully will do very well again at this job. The job in question here again, (yes, you guessed it) is at an IT firm! This time however, it is at a bigger company called Patni Computer Systems Ltd. and this one usually competes with the Infosys’, the TCS’ and the Wipros of the world. So a bigger company and hopefully better too, but still in IT!

So inspite of avoiding being a Software Engineer, am I destined to work for IT?

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