Friday, December 14, 2012


Odd that as I was listening to Kumar Gandharv, I stumbled across an article on another case of mass shootings in Connecticut

A friend wrote this on her facebook wall: "How many more innocent deaths before the gun laws change in the US?? Isn't it about time?"

Don't know how gun laws are so ridiculous in that country - may be it has to do with the Wild Wild West days and the fragmented original states of America.

About time these laws are amended.
One of the most severe (and very few) drawbacks of living in the US

Friday, December 7, 2012

Let Go

With my eyes shut, I have heard myself saying these 2 words quite often lately...
Things have changed and I can't accept one particular change - and that's a good thing.
Heady times tell me to let go
All that once was, is not anymore
And all that is will soon be gone.
It is the law.
I remind myself of the fragility of all that surrounds me
And if this may seem flighty, it isn't
It is the law
I may go hungry
I will grow old
I will lose my abilities
I will disappoint
But when the dust settles, the few stars in my sky will remain
Or so I believe
There is nothing that is hidden here
Read again.

Monday, December 3, 2012

The Smelly Socks

We finished it with chai, emu, eggs, bread (paav), and bun-maska!
The 1st Red Bull Soap Box race in India, held in Mumbai.

The event was horribly organised but it all ended well on a historic 2nd December, 2012. The Smelly Socks rode down the Mount Mary hill curves and ended with 3 functional tyres and a tired Po - the Kung Fu Panda.

It was interesting how I managed to mumble some words to the superhot VJ Ramona before sitting in our car which had been built almost single-handedly by one of our team-mates. He is 50 years old but younger than most 26 year olds I know. Awe-inspiring bugger.
I rolled down the steep ramp in our car and as soon as I hit the road I veered off-track and into the haystacks; banged my head on the steering control - a severe bump right above my left eye!!
What ensued was a ripped front portion of our car, my teammates pushing my car along, hollering some mumblings, lifting the car up at the turns because of our poor turning radius - in fact, I lifted the car up by myself at one such turn!! It ended with me doing the flintstones drive with my legs powering the car towards the end :D

Some things are inexplicable. I don't know why the rod didn't hit my eye. I don't know how we managed to change the hard plastic cap for a soft cushion wrapped in paper - the very portion that hit my head (I think).

Am alive and I loved it. The 1st ever such race to be held in India and my teammates made it possible for me to roll downhill in our contraption. Tired. 

Wednesday, November 14, 2012


"So convenient a thing it is to be a reasonable creature, since it enables one to find or make a reason for everything one has a mind to do."
Benjamin Franklin

Wednesday, October 31, 2012


Finally found my way to Janta ! A homely, no frills, good food, cheap alcohol bar in Bandra. Don't know how I had managed to avoid it for so long...
Anyway... big shout to A, N, S and S - three of them were new folks A and I met there; 1 was from Coimbatore/ London and the other 2 were from Bangalore. Fun people. Relaxed, easy to converse with and just plain fun. No baggage in public. Need more of those kind in Mumbai. Daym.

Indian aggression

An article in Bloomberg Businessweek - Scaring India to Save it - talks about behavioral psychology and its use at the Mumbai local train stations.
What caught my attention was this:

"They say that many antisocial behaviors in India can be traced to generations of scarcity—of resources and opportunities—and what they call an empathy gap. “We have this idea that whatever little space I get, whatever little opportunity comes my way, I need to make the most of it rather than giving it away, because for the longest time we’ve been used to limited resources,” Prasad says. This fear of scarcity contributes to the inconsiderate driving, line cutting, and pushing and shoving to board trains and buses before they’ve come to a complete stop that characterize any Mumbai commute."

Indians, I believe, tend to be quite aggressive. We become easily agitated in discussions, we like domineering, our answers to most issues tend to revolve around "finding an alternative route" instead of solving the issue.

The paperwork that is required to operate a small business just kills energy - annihilates it. In addition to that there are rounds of backs and forths just to get things done. Why cant I change my electricity provider online? Why is there so little delegation of work? Why do people drive the way they do? What can one do if there as an errant parker on the road? In general, I find it astonishing that people refuse to solve problems - they grow bitter, angrier and eventually fume at not having taken the appropriate steps.

Just yesterday, I was appalled at a decision by a friend to opt for a longer, tedious route compared to a quicker, effective, albeit costlier route. He would not have behaved the same way if the more complex route was the only option. Makes one think of what options really mean... especially when they come gradually instead of abruptly - think of a INR 2 rupee increase in petrol prices each year as opposed to sudden moves.

Friday, October 26, 2012


There is a lot to learn from reading books... Charlie Munger finds it difficult to learn from other people through conversations when compared to reading what they write.
Imagine, if you had the chance to learn from somebody who has lived a long life and that too, an exemplary one. Now imagine, if there were 2 of them.
Buffett and Munger. There is a lot to learn through what they write and say and through the books and people that have influenced them.

There was a guy named David Sokol who was considered by many as CEO designate of Berkshire Hathaway and boom! He bought some Lubrizol shares before he pitched the idea to Berkshire, and subsequently, Berkshire bought Lubrizol. Odds are that Sokol didn't mean to front-run because he made an estimated USD 3 Mn on them, which, for sure was not that much for him; odds are that he didn't think much about his purchases before pitching the idea.

Not a shred of reputation will be tarnished. Not a shred. And hence, Sokol had to leave Berkshire. WB must have been more unhappy than other shareholders, but something that is mildly wrong is still wrong.

Never do anything - anything that can ruin your reputation or keep you up at night. That's it. And you live a wonderful life.

A similar thing seems to have happened to Rajat Gupta; based on the overwhelming praise he has received from outstanding global personalities and also based on what the judge said - Rajat seems to have done a lot of good stuff. But he bragged - may be unmindfully... there was precious little for him to have earned by talking to Rajaratnam or whoever, but he made a mistake.
And the US is brilliant at setting standards. Nobody is above the law. We like you, you are a good guy, but you did a wrong thing - behind bars you go.

It makes me think of the fragility of life and how much we take for granted. We lie at times without thinking much about it, we evade taxes, we bribe, because it's a way of life, but is it?

I just went through 2 official documents about Sokol, Lubrizol and Buffett. Here and Here.
There is nothing 'financial' about this, hence this post is on the Khadda.
I like what Munger said:

"Charlie Munger: I think it's generally a mistake to assume that rationality is going to
be perfect even in very able people. We prove that pretty well regularly.
WARREN BUFFETT: Do you have any explanation for the irrational?
CHARLIE MUNGER: Yeah. I think hubris contributes to it."

It's amazing - the kind of things that lead people astray; is it really worth it?

Monday, October 22, 2012

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Running, Brains and Evolution

An intensely engrossing talk. Do read it.
People are suffering from fallen arches on their feet (flat foot?), lower back pain. Brains are the largest consumers of energy in a typical urban body. We can't climb trees! We are lousy primates. We wear shoes and land on our heels which is actually bad for our posture and our health...
Truly fascinating.

Makes me wonder about how human eyes will develop based on its new need for reading / watching TV. Also makes me wonder if we will keep becoming weaker creatures over time. What good is hair any more? We don't venture out in the sun. We wear a hat or a hoodie or a car over our heads! No wonder people are going bald younger...


"Money won't make any difference to you and me, Warren. We'll be the same. Our wives will just live better."
Benjamin Graham - Lowe

Monday, October 15, 2012

Why so serious?

A few days ago, I was sitting with a couple of friends late into the night at a coffee shop. Prior to that we were at a pub. They made a plan to go drinking next week and I said, "Will come if I'm alive."
At the coffee shop, we were speaking of a soap box race and me as the designated driver; I said, "Damn... that would be a cool way to die."

To this, my friend asked me why I was so obsessed with death.
For one, it's a certainty - there is no getting around it.
Secondly, when one has few expectations from life, the need for psychiatrists goes down!
Thirdly, it keeps me on my toes all the time which also makes me unwilling to compromise on the quality of my life.

May be this very characteristic about me suits my profession.
Wonly twendy fyyeee eye syay!!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Sam Walton

"I solemnly promise and declare that everytime a customer comes within ten feet of me, I will smile, look him in the eye, and greet him. So help me Sam."
- Sam Walton, Made in America

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Monday, October 8, 2012


From Farnam Street - A refreshing video and a fascinating idea.
A Little Bit of Dishonesty.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Ratan Tata

History is beautiful, especially when it is one's own.
This video of Ratan Tata's formative years at Cornell is deeply sentimental; his love for cars and for planes; the stories about his times with his friends, his disdain for cold weather, him trying to land a small plane at JFK airport and in general, everybody's fond memories of those times.
Sure, the bad stuff would be edited out or left out - but what it must be to look back at the 1950s and say, damn, I've come far!

"Don't slam the door!!!"
A great story in the video is the time when the engine stalled and Ratan had to go for a forced landing! :D

The last 8 minutes of the video are exemplary - praise after praise for Ratan's humility and demeanour. What more could one want from life? To forge lasting relations with people, to enjoy life and do justice for the society around you.

"His way of saying goodbye was, 'Tata'" :D

I hope that his reputation is never tarnished because he is one Indian that most Indians tend to admire. Unmarried, lives with his 2 dogs - German shepherds, humble, soft-spoken, true grit and deeply in love with what the family name stands for.

Friday, October 5, 2012

The Snowball

"He (Stan Lipsey) stayed in the hotel that Buffett recommended and ate at Buffett's favorite steakhouse - and was baffled at how Buffett could stand either one of them."

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Sailing away

I have begun reading this book called "The Zurich Axioms", seems to be a wonderful read about living a life, speculating and being un-Indian.
Recently, I completed reading this book called Civilization by Niall Ferguson and I thought to myself, "Why, when Europeans and Chinese kept over-reaching and doing extraordinary stuff with innovation and the like, did Indians not do anything worthwhile on the global scene?" We never sailed far away, we never craved to conquer other countries, our economic might through our spices and agriculture was only for the East India Company's benefit.

In India, one community does stand out for its chutzpah and that is the Patels of Gujarat. They have always been the ones up for an adventure and that is why they are found all over the world.

Going back to history and to the Zurich Axioms, the book says that Switzerland succeeded because of its knack for adventure and speculation - I don't know if that is true but it is truly an interesting way to live a life.
When I think of Indians, I think of the following words:


Indian culture has been predominantly influenced by Hinduism and not by Islam, may be because Islam is a relatively new religion in India, and Indian Muslims are Indians at heart (or so I want to believe). I am not against any religion!!! I am against idiots ;)

Going on, Hinduism - if one looks at the Gita - stresses on doing what should be done. There is no urgency in any of our historical texts/ myths. The concept of meditation stresses on attaining peace. Only society allows an individual to be safe from external aggressive forces. Hinduism also stresses on striving to escape the cycles of birth and re-birth. The concept of Karma has been misconstrued to doing 'good' and avoiding doing 'bad'.
All of this meant that there was no need to do anything new and independent. It also meant that it makes sense to live life with the primary motive of attaining peace.

All of this still influences the India of the 21st century.
We care too much for what the society thinks of us, and how much money we have for later in life and how producing little human beings is imperative for continuation of 'the family name'.
Of course, by now we dont care about how dirty we make our community, because we only care about our own houses - but this is a topic that it quite futile to cover.

Ah, India. We are complex, no? Yes, no?

Monday, September 24, 2012


Yesterday, I was speaking with my Mom about how my generation is so different (on the topic of marriage and relationships); there was a time when people adjusted and compromised.
My mother's take was that it was out of respect for the elders and for the society. I refuted that claim; I said that it was more because there was no individualism, there were no choices. If your father told you to travel 20 kms to do something, you couldn't say, "Hey, I have this and this to do... please send somebody else for this menial task."

This lack of choices influenced a person's behaviour when married. Divorce was a no-no. Fighting was a no-no. Pizza was not allowed. There was no TV. There were no eligible hotties to tempt one.

My mother said then that today's people don't like to compromise. And I agreed. My mother said that it is important to compromise. And I agreed. And I framed a hypothetical situation:

Your (My mother's) daughter is 25 years old and gets married to a 25 year old guy. What should she do if, at the age of 30 the guy meets with an accident, becomes impotent and loses both his hands?
Another question in my mind is: What if, at the age of 30 she finds out that he is cheating on her? Regularly.

The answer, I believe, would be vastly different between:
the 1970s and the 2010s
one's own child and another's child
one's own plight and another's plight
a guy and a girl
a young married person and an old married person

Bharat believes in compromises. For the benefit of the whole. For the peace that goes with one's reputation and standing in society.
India believes in opportunities. India wants to do new things and doesn't want to adjust.
Life is now about taking chances and standing up for oneself, even though it may be at the cost of societal standing or parental disapproval.

Do read this story from Satangel's Review. It influenced this post.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Fortune 500 in 2030

I like Doghouse because they/ he tend(s) to make unconventional and slightly outrageous, although at times, inane comics.
But this one takes the cake!! (for this week at least) - had to repost it.

Haaaa!!! And I love the revenue and profit numbers
And the fact that Berkshire and Exxon Mobil are gonna stay there!

Friday, August 31, 2012


Oh, I love being alone. Only with other people around.

Monday, August 27, 2012

You boy!!

"Oh my! I have never seen a man laughing as much as you do"... "You must be keeping her very happy!!"...
My friend and I debated whether the boisterous aunty was Punjabi or... well.. guess, she had to be Punjabi. Her daughter was clearly embarrassed with her mother's loud persona at the store - she quietly asked us to leave while we still had the chance. There I started laughing again, much to the delight of the Punju aunty.
I turned to my friend, "Wow... aise logg kahan miltey hai!!??"
She managed to turn an OK day into a good day :)

Activity makes one believe in one's worth. When I tell my friends that all I do is read in my office, many snicker and quietly wonder if I do any work... This topic has been broached before but the essence is that somebody running around while working at a McDonald's would seem to be doing more 'work' than a writer. Against this backdrop, I see around me that people often find it unnerving to be in a public place, alone and useless. And this feeling has been exacerbated by mobile devices (which are often used to cover up times of vulnerability and loneliness and uselessness).
May be that is why meditating, aka sitting still and breathing, is rewarding.
More people ought to try it.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Who will cry when you die?

When I was dying, I wondered whether or not I was loved. But then, oddly, I thought of who I loved. Do you know who I thought of? I thought of her. Chitrangada Singh.
But well, I do believe that it's really irrelevant because once you die, you are, well, dead; so it doesn't really matter who thinks of you in a kind or an unkind way. And yet it does. It does because the alive when thinking of their death like to think of pleasant things and yes, it is warranted.
I am certain that people will cry when I die and even years after I'm dead - but does that show who I am  and what I have done or does it show who they are and how well they thought of me? I believe it is the latter.

Monday, August 6, 2012


A painter paints, a farmer farms, a singer sings.
A human being in the 21st century works and manages to live.
We like compartmentalising. I like that word by the way... compartmentalise.
It is pervasive; humans like knowing what is to be done and at times are more comfortable being assigned tasks.

For example, what can one person be doing if on a vacation for 30 days? Odds are that by the 2nd week, the person will re-think the vacation and would want to go to familiar surroundings or watch a familiar movie or have a drink with a friend.
For example, a human would much rather believe in God and heaven and hell and karma that consciously, continually and strongly challenge it. The middle ground is agnosticism wherein there is no need for an answer - may be because 'just in case God exists, you don't wanna anger him!'

A similar analogy is the way a life ought to be lived. In India, marriage is not an option and children are not an option. Not so long ago, living away from the parents was not an option. Not so long ago, bias against blacks in the US was not an option. Not so long ago, accepting homosexuality - especially in the Christian world - was not an option. Non-commitment is still barely an option. Abstinence used to be an option but seems not to be any more.

Humans like rules and like believing that they can break them. At times, they like to break the rules. And at times, well... they should be broken. Sex before marriage. Polygamy. Green hair. Euthanasia. Capitalistic slavery. Prostitution. Tax evasion. Money laundering.

Leave a Mumbai-ite with some money, alone in New York city with USD 5000. He/She would have the freedom to do whatever provided he spends 4 weeks in the US. Odds are that he will get bored and will crave to fly back.
Make a human leave his job with the condition that he can't take up any other job but do give him more than enough money - I believe that he won't know what to do with the entire day. After all, how much can he travel, read, watch TV? 3 days? 7 days? 6 months - Ha.

We like knowing what to do because that allows us to break away once in a while and relish that break. The novelty of anything brings with it joy.

But what is the mindframe of a yogi? How does a philosopher live his life? How does a writer live her life? What if joy itself is a part of the construct may be just because he/she has had that option/ control in his/her hand? Does that change the impact of the compartment? Should that be an endeavour?

Saturday, July 28, 2012

India should not strive to become a superpower

"For very many years, the Indian experiment with nationhood and democracy was written off by Western observers. Indians were informed, through a series of premature obituaries, that our country was too diverse to be a single nation, and too poor to be run on democratic lines. To be sure, the nation was scarcely stable or secure – it lurched, as it were, from crisis to crisis, from riot to assassination to border conflict to open war. But somehow, India survived; somehow (and despite the Emergency) it even stayed democratic."

"But to fly from Bangalore to Delhi, and back, is literally to fl y over a serious challenge to the 
emergence of India as a global superpower. Obscured from the bird in the sky is the Naxalite insurgency in central India, which covers at least one-tenth of the country’s surface, and which has at its core the sufferings and discontent of tens of millions of tribal people."

"The challenge of the Naxalites; the insidious presence of the Hindutvawadis; the degradation of the once liberal and upright Centre; the increasing gap between the rich and the poor; the trivialisation of 
the media; the unsustainability, in an environmental sense, of present patterns of resource consumption; 
the instability and policy incoherence caused by multi-party coalition governments – these are seven 
reasons why India will not become a superpower. To this, so-to-speak objective judgment of the 
historian, I will now add the subjective desires of a citizen – which is that India should not even attempt 
to become a superpower."

These are excerpts from a fantastic Guha creation.
India is a mystery. It should not be a country - It should have been a continent comprised of many nations. It seems to me that there is nothing that binds us together except history.

"Back in 1948, doubts were also being cast about the Indian experiment with nationhood. Never before 
had a new nation not based its unity on a single language, religion, or common enemy. As an inclusive,
plural, and non-adversarial model of nationalism, the idea of India had no precedent or imitator."

The concept and practise of capitalism has changed human nature. It has made humans more useless, more shortsighted and oddly stupid in their real selves. Sure, it makes people create the LHC or discover the Higgs Boson or create skyscrapers or ships that fly to the ends of the Universe - but we have left the true animal behind. Somewhere, India was and still is a strong bastion of what it was to be human - Bhutan may still be there. The pursuit of excellence and a good life has been replaced with that for power and more. It is not the right path.
The urge to pee is greater than the urge to pray is greater than the urge to dominate.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Do Nothing

Action Bias. It is a plague that has hit large swaths of humanity. The incessant need to do something. May be that's why I like walking alone because then I am not answerable to anything or anyone. Just like the time, recently, when I walked alone at this village in Ladakh called Stok and I stopped walking and I sat down for a half hour may be just because I wanted to.

An ad made me right this. I think it is write in the message it's trying to convey. Go nowhere. Do nothing.

It's your time
To waste time
Coz you'll never be young again
So go nowhere
And do nothing
Chat up the wind!
Kiss every frog
Stare at nothing
Waste more time
Coz you'll never be young again
Tick tock Tick tock Tick tock...
Waste away (Empty your head)
Float away...
Coz you'll never be young again...

There was a time not so long ago when people had time. It seems to me that people don't have time nowadays. Ok, will leave office at 6pm and go to gym and eat and watch TV and sleep. I will wake up early because it's the healthy thing to do, eat some food and watch a movie and go shopping and meet a friend and talk and talk...
What happened to not doing?

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Life and Ladakh

The fragility of life haunts me in a romantic way. I still think of my friend who died more than a month ago, and the way he died makes me really believe in the power of life and that which we don't cherish - life itself. Tsunami, earthquakes, car crash, an odd fall, a virus or a bacterium, a deranged human being, a missile from an unfriendly country - anything can hurt us and there is nothing we can do. I have written this way often and yet have not grown tired of it. Should I tell her that I love her? Should I tell him that he is awesome? Should I smile more often and be crazy for no reason? Should I breathe some pure air because I have the ability to? Is the process of earning money interfering with one's desire to live one's life? Can this be balanced? I can't eat Korean food once I'm dead, nor can I kiss a girl or drink some wonderful water.

In other news...once again, I am off to the mountains (This Sunday). I love them because they don't care.
And once again I must say goodbye in case I don't come back alive; it would be a wonderful way to leave existence - in the mountains. Am not ready of course, far from it :)
Have sustained an injury in my right knee but still going for a 4 day trek through Sham valley. After that, plan to live in a village away from Leh. Let's hope I make it through all of this.
PS I weigh 73 kilos. Shall let you guys know what the number stands at when (and if) I'm back.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012


Somehow, I have managed to stay away from Queen for the last 25 odd years. I am happy now for I have found Freddie Dikra :d a.k.a. Freddie Mercury aka Farrokh Bulsara
The music, the lyrics, the insanity, the voice, the voice, the voice.

Dynamite with a laser beam
You say Shark, I say - Hey man! Jaws was never my scene and I don't like Star Wars!!
All I wanna do is... Bicycle!!
I dont have no time for no monkey business!!
200 degrees!! That's why they call me Mr. Fahrenheit!!

I have been a little insane about their songs - but I wonder what Queen would have been without Freddie.

Freddie!! Sing away in my head por favor!!

Monday, June 11, 2012


Spoiler Alert.
The final season of House MD has ended. A fitting end. Am happy we did not have to deal with the misery of Wilson's death or House's imprisonment/ death/ suicide/ murder...
Am truly going to miss the show. My eyes were watery when the house burnt down on house and Wilson tried to run towards him.
I hope that some of the 'lessons' don't leave me - those related to being an ass, having fun, not believing people at face value, the value of relationships, but foremost may just be the fear of imprisonment - may it be through a physical injury, a mental illness, a prison, bearing with personal commitments or just living a woeful life.

Sunday, June 10, 2012


Yes, please look up the meaning of the term first. Kleptocracy.
Generally, I write about China on my other blog but I thought I should write here for a change. First, is this post by a very interesting man who lives in Australia and operates a very small short-focused hedge fund. The post talks about how the country is a little bit difficult to decipher. The one-child policy and the country's economic regime has created very unique behavioral patterns which ought to culminate towards a revolution.
Second, is this video which is a 40 minute interview of a guy who speaks of China becoming a mafia state. All plausible. 

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

House MD

Once again, House MD makes me right, yes, right, this post. Season eight is marvellous. Chase was stabbed and what ensued was classic House. House and Wilson share a wonderful relationship. Chase said, "He is the only one who can fix me". Something like that.
The frailty of that which we call life is astounding. Most of the times, good things happen and sometimes, bad things happen. There need not be a reason. Bad things happen.
I am undergoing physiotherapy for something odd with my left leg; the mere thought of not being able to walk is demoralising. The thought of being left alone is unnerving. And yet, that is the way life is deemed to serve us, or may be the other way around.
Often have I been called odd. I do see myself as a misfit and oddly, many people think so too about themselves. But I guess life is well-lived in one way - the individual way. I am reading the biography of Steve Jobs and the following part of the ad campaign which is now popular says a lot about who we, as humans, are supposed to be.

Here's To The Crazy Ones. The misfits. The rebels. The trouble-makers. The round pegs in thesquare holes. The ones who see things differently. They're not fond of rules, and they haveno respect for the status-quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify, or vilify them.About the only thing you can't do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push thehuman race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius.Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world - are the ones who DO !

Going back to House, how does compassion change facts? Why are morals expected of people in a way that is deemed fit by the assessors? What good is a life lived in subjugation? It could be taken away anytime. 
Jobs had often said that he didn't expect himself to live long.

Monday, May 7, 2012


For long have I skirted this issue... why do we lose our cool? And by we, I mean I. :)
Personally, I guess it has to do with being stuck in situations which are leading nowhere, which in turn cause frustration. This could have to do with a simple conversation with a strongly opinionated person who is not open to backing down from a conversation that is leading nowhere.
I also lose my cool when emotions and societal norms are mixed with logical/ correct or business-oriented decisions; that is to say when bureaucratic delays and known errors are caused through egos which can't be countered.
Sadly, I can't remember the last time I got really angry. I wonder if that's bad. I get frustrated, yes, but not downright angry.
I want to walk.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012


Was listening to the radio today... yes... radio still rocks!! Anyways... someone said... "I don't take myself too seriously; I see quite a few spiritual types who become very serious - that is when I get bored." I couldn't help but smile with fondness. Suits are dangerous and so are the people within. Life is a bit of a joke and it's best to dance your way through it. It is a bit of a jolt that I received in the last year regarding the importance of sincerity and the futility of seriousness.
And hence, quite a bit of my hair was coloured purple and may be why I mustered up the courage to sing regularly at karaoke and may be why I wear more colours on myself and may be why I decided to begin meditating on a regular basis and may be why I started paying attention to my fitness and may be why I love music at a different level now. The peeps are a little missing... but the peeps shall be found... here's to life y'all. Here's to life. 

Saturday, April 21, 2012

To Life

I spoke to a friend from Junior College yesterday and it took me back to those days. How I detest and love who I used to be... I still don't know why it took me such a long time to become comfortable with myself. I used to be insecure and now some people see me as quite self-assured; I believe I'm just a shadow of my past now. It frightens me when I think of how enjoyable life is right now but yes, the core of man's spirit comes from new experiences. Gosh, how I love my 'profession'. Very odd that be. Let the music flow. Cherish the alcohol. Stay away from boring people. Do new things. Look into the horizon. Pay due respect to the mice. 42. Always know where your towel is.

Sunday, April 8, 2012


So he died yesterday. This post is not with the intention of receiving comments or making a mark. May be it's just a reminder. Things happen which are outside our realm of control. I loved him for selfish reasons, but I loved him nonetheless. I hate that this happened.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

100 100

So I had to write about this. This will be one of the many 1000s of articles/ posts about Tendulkar's 100th century. Although a '100' is quite an arbitrary number, being human we consider it a milestone. If he had ended his career at 99 centuries, we would have longed for that one more.
For many Indians, cricket for the last half of the 90s and the 2000s was a lot about Sachin Tendulkar. This guy is five feet five inches tall and has been called one of the worst sledgers in cricketing history because of his uncounth stubbornness at the crease and his focused and composed demeanour. He has always let his cricket speak for him and cricket fans the world over hail him as the little master.
For me, it is emotional just seeing him play well. The way he removed his helmet, looked at his bat and then looked up - may be at his father - it made me want to cry a little. When India won the world cup, I was happy for him because he needed it for the country. I wonder what he feels everytime he does his country proud and when he knows that he is such a revered figure in this country. I remember his performance in the '96 world cup and in '98 in Sharjah. The younger population will never understand what it meant to us when we saw him unleashing the demon within and clobbering mighty bowlers with his mouth shut.
For me, he has been larger than the Indian team and he has been a face of India in many parts of the world. A 100 100s don't mean much, may be it is as good as 99 or 101 centuries. There have been so many times that he has been dismissed in the 90s, and he in fact holds the record for the most number of times dismissed in his 90s, largely due to his fantastic and long batting career.
I remember his slight stride with a the straight face of the bat at a 45 degree-ish angle off the vertical and the ball would go soaring away for a six. People would be perplexed with his technique and with his effortlessness. I remember how charged the atmosphere was in the Sharjah series when we had to attain a certain number of runs to qualify for the final. Am not sure why that series was so important but it is etched in my mind. 143 runs. Long live Sachin.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012


So I have started what can be termed as a proprietary fund and at times when I think back at what I have been through and what I am currently going through, especially the last 4-5 months, I feel fortunate for having access to such an opportunity. I already see myself developing in odd ways. However, the risks are difficult to comprehend.
As an employee, one's issues are competitive and seniority oriented. One looks forward to promotions, appreciation, beating another person in the team/ company, getting recognition from a senior but is never too worried because diligence tends to pay off.
As an owner and as a fund manager who is responsible for a corpus, everyday is an intellectual and mental struggle which is also very rewarding because of the freedom and control and lack of fear. However, the risks are such that I could not have comprehended them a year ago. Here I am, sitting on a corpus which needs to be invested, but I am slothy about it because it needs to be deployed qualitatively and carefully - not rapidly for the quick buck. The strain of sitting on cash is quite something. The strain of waiting for an investee company to perform is also difficult to adjust to because in a normal business, one is more in control of what is happening whereas here, one has to hope for the investee management to do good work. 

Monday, February 20, 2012


John Lennon has his band of followers even today. I have loved him only because he was a part of the Beatles; for me the band was bigger than him. But once in a while, I have come across some of his (possible) quotes such as:

Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans.

“When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down ‘happy’. They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life.” 

Monday, February 13, 2012

My life

Nick Drake started singing and I wondered why I got his portrait made... and then I heard his voice and the truth he spoke - so I smiled. He sent my mind back to school and college; it seems like somebody else I am thinking of right now.
I remember my insecurities and I remember crying alone. I remember my clumsy gait and my pretenses. I remember my blind pursuits and being called strange. Most of my oddities are from Junior College times, the frugality, the search for who I was, the need to slightly impress those around me. One of the many crazy things I also remember: I never knew how to behave around people, I could never hear myself speak when people said I spoke to rapidly. I remember jumping from the window ledge to the corridor for no particular reason except may be to emulate someone else. I wondered (as I do now) why people behave the way they do. Odd things make me tick and surprisingly, that was the same then.

But I see myself today and I believe that I have become more shallow, much meaner and slightly cold. I have also gotten in touch with myself and I know that I strive to be immensely truthful. A friend asked me if I am different around different people... and I said that, a few years ago I would have said, 'Yes'; now, I say 'No'. I am quite the same around most people: a little lost, a little crazy, quite silent, an open book but immensely personal. My coldness stems from reality and the tiny issues I have with social customs - I usually mean well but can't seem to bother with niceties.

There was a time that I felt I was quite alone, in terms of how I am; now, I am quite sure there are many weirdos like me. Does it matter? May be. "I want to be unique! Everybody else is!!"

I may never understand the influence that music has had on my development, but I hear Nick's voice right now and I know he is beautiful. 

Wednesday, February 8, 2012


I was at the Sahara Star yesterday, which is near the domestic airport terminal in Vile Parle East. Was dinnering with a friend and his wife -OMG this is insane!!! I now have friends who are married!!!! Insanity I say!!! This is madnesss!!! This is not Sparta!!!!

Anyway, we ate at Namak where they have some odd custom where they welcome people to eat with their hands. The servers were sub-par and slightly confused, although the hospitality was stupendous - the greeter made sure we sat down and took care of us until one of the servers could come by with menus and complimentary refreshments. So we had food there, which was nice and not excellent, but nice nonetheless.. loved the biryani :D

We then went around the circumference of the dome inside the hotel and made our way to the coffee lounge, and this is why I am writing this on my blog. We sit down at 1020 pm, the place is about the shut at 11 pm. Yes, there is a normal coffee shop at the lower level which, I believe, is open 24 hrs a day.
We sit down and are lusting after the pastries on display; I feel like having an espresso and the server says something odd. He says that there is a cover charge of INR 500 per person. I am utterly dumbfounded.
I ask him to ask a senior person if we can not pay that ridiculous amount because we had just finished dinner downstairs... The senior dude comes along and says that he is sorry, but it is a policy of the 'restaurant', but he did say that since the place is shutting soon, we were welcome to sit.
So I think, well, if we can sit, and we want to have a coffee and a pastry, why can't we order it? He says that we can, but it will be subject to the cover charge. Ludicrous.
So, we decide not to order anything.

What transpired above was rather ridiculous for a hotel as nice as the Sahara Star, especially because it was with paying guests of the hotel. A cover charge? Really? Some rules need to be bent. Yes.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Ruminating yet again

I attended a dear friend's marriage in Agra. It was cold, I was surrounded by his IITian batchmates and I was happy to be there. 
I saw J. Edgar and got a peek into the life of a person who changed the world in a not-so-insignificant way.
I saw Coriolanus and wondered what Ralph Fiennes is made of. Wonderful actor he is.
I heard Michael Buble for the first time and I heard the mischief of Sinatra in his music.
Advaita, the band, is going to create some truly amazing music in the years to come. I know it.
Max Chandra is in Chennai right now (as far as I know).
Unfaithful made me question the concept of sanity.
The Selfish Gene makes me question the nature of human beings, reaffirms my belief in the insignificance of it all and makes me smile at the thought of our pursuit of the natural us.
And here I am waiting, while I see multitudes of people passing me by.
Often, and without effort, I see people through another eye; as though I am an alien looking at the human population engaged in activity. It scares me when I see myself functioning this way; detached, unemotional and yet immensely sensitive. And even though I am consciously engaged, I am alone. I am not sad, just pensive yet crazy. 

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Who are we?

I have written about this guy before, here, and luckily, I came across another article on him. More of an interview. The guy is nearing Chennai - please do read this interview/ article about Max Chandra and The One Step at a Time Foundation. I liked this:

"Do you miss anything?
I cannot say that I miss much. I miss intimacy - not sex - intimacy in holding hands, in a kiss, in a hug... I miss having a friend to talk to when I am suffering or when I am excited. I miss sharing moments."
May be this speaks a lot about who we really are. And somehow it is at conflict with who we are genetically supposed to be - food and sex should spur us on, but it is not the same anymore. We, as living beings, have changed.

Moving from one charitable foundation to another initiative: CancerFights
I was at Pritvhi Cafe with my friend who had come down from the US and at the tea/ snacks counter I saw a familiar face. AP seemed shock to see me; we were seeing each other after school (10 years ago!) and what followed was a flurry of words about what we are doing and how life has been. I knew she had been on TV as a presenter on a business news channel and I also kinda knew that she was doing her PhD in finance. And then she drops a bomb - she was starting a charitable organisation/ foundation. I was taken aback because a person who has been on TV, professionally, and who is pursuing her PhD is not expected to do something as 'altruistic' as this. However, this post is not about her.  
This post started with Max and is now at AP. It amazes me that there are still some of us who are capable of doing this - leave the line, care less about the material, care less about accepted norms of progress. Who are we if not willing to do something meaningful? Odd that I just wrote about this very topic some days ago. When I read a bit of what CancerFights had on their site, it disturbed me because... I was there, back from a lazy day of work, the purpose of which is to potentially live life with a better temperament and improving rationality and knowledge along the way. I managed to quit my job and stay away from the family business and I believe I'm doing a great job with my life; I also believe that I will soon try to teach a case study oriented course to undergraduates who could really use such a non-rote course. I wasn't disturbed because I am 'not doing anything meaningful', I think I am on my way to doing worthwhile things; I was disturbed because I envy such people.
To walk for consciousness.
To work closely with cancer patients - the quality not the quantity.
Here's to living a meaningful life. Congratulations Max and AP.

Thursday, January 5, 2012


So it's SE, LK and RS whom I quite miss. Am sure I wouldn't be able to tolerate them for too long but I can't most people. Oh, how easy it is to succumb to the lure of the material world and the fear of being penniless. SE asked me, "What is the purpose of life?". "To enjoy life to the maximum extent", I replied. And then I added, "Bearing in mind limitations such that the enjoyment can be sustained until the end." He frowned. Why? Zed.
So here I am, working out financial valuation in my odd way while listening to this new piece of alternative, folk Indian band, in my office which looks more like a studio. My head is spinning (is that English?) for I am contemplating the investment decision I have made. Monday shall be decision day.
What value am I adding to society by pursuing this career? Not sure. However, this career allows me free time to then participate in this society. Spanish classes for now, teaching is on the cards, so is travelling. I hope I can teach something that is case-study oriented to students - the shallowness of Indian education will ruin us as it has been for a while. Why? Zed.
Procrastination is evil. I should work on this soon!!!