Archive for the ‘I’ Category

We have moved.

As mentioned earlier, we have now moved to our new address. Look forward to seeing you there…

To do before launch

Scribbler on the Net will soon have a new home. And just so I don’t forget, here is a list of things to do before I make the new URL live…

1. Theme changes

  • a. Change top banner (immediately)
  • b. Create more top banners
  • c. Remove the blue stripes from the back
  • d. Can fonts (body text) be changed to Tahoma?

2. Ad code (?)

3. Move posts

4. Finalise list of Blogroll

5. Stylesheet finalisation

6. Copyright Notices

  • Copyscape
  • Creative Commons

My new car

… is the Hyundai Verna Xi. First day report: I love it!

Check it out on its site. More info as more driving happens!

First time usage

I’d been using Zoundry Blog Writer all along. Then it would give me trouble uploading images. So I tried w.bloggar. That would not configure my WordPress.com blog. I thought about Qumana, but it was too heavy. Performancing is ok, but demands Firefox.

So here I am back with good old Windows (and MS) with the new Windows Live Writer. And so far, it’s surprisingly good. One post old!

And whadd’ya know… it wraps around the photo too! Hallelujah!

This is one tool you simply MUST try out for a while. It’s killer. (Am I seriously talking about a Microsoft product? Wow!)

There are shirts and then there are shirts. I am rather class-less when it comes to the matter of dressing. Give me my pair of Jeans and a shirt or T-shirt and I’m good to go. I normally have about 2 (two) formal shirts ready and waiting for that occasional meeting, function, interview (less occasional than the earlier two events!) and other such necessities. These are complimented by a pair of formal trousers. Also normally on wait.

As Gabbar Singh would say, Ek trouser aur shirt do… bahut na-insaafi hai! (heh!), the reasoning is simple. Both shirts belong to the light shade category and the trouser is of a darker hue. Hence either combination is possible. It also makes life easier when “dressing up”! Brown trouser + White shirt or Brown trouser + Beige shirt. Simple.

Obviously, not everyone would approve of this method. For the discerning, there are places like Savile Row and such. I recently chanced upon one such place… not that I was in London or anything, just through blogs! English Cut is a fine tailoring setup and if they really do create (make is a small word for their process) shirts the way they claim to on their blog, then I feel ashamed. Little did I know that so much craftsmanship was possible in a shirt. The buttons, collars and even cuffs.

Perhaps when I do make it to London, I should get myself a couple of these, eh? Until then, maybe, Indigo Nation could do well to send a couple of their tailors down there!

[Via: Gaping Void.]

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IT’s Bangalore

Or is it? Some have started referring to it as Bengalooru. Variants of that spelling too! But name notwithstanding, the city is the same. Lovely weather, great places to eat, good place to work and a rotten place if you don’t know the language. Why?

As anyone who has moved to a city that primarily speaks a language you cannot will vouch, life does become tough. So much so, that you walk up to Auto rickshaws gingerly and ask if they will go in the direction you are headed in. In Bangalore, though, auto drivers have a rulebook entirely their own and they will travel only if there is no traffic on the road. Or so they have me believe right now. I’m open to being convinced against that one!

Auto drivers, who I have always believed are equally bad no matter what city you are in, are a grade worse in Bangalore. I have lived in Pune for 20 years, Mumbai for 6 and been here for about a month. I have also been to Delhi umpteem times and to Chennai, Ahmedabad, and Kolkata recently. Nowhere are they as bad or conniving. Ask the locals and they would mumble their agreement.

There are plenty of adventures and episodes to be narrated here. More as one finds more time.

Cheerio.


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Perhaps that is me

Wonder why this artwork appeals so much to me… Those who know me, any suggestions?

theresaword220.jpg (+) Click to enlarge

(c) Hugh Macleod


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I am currently in Chennai and living at a rather nice hotel. Our flight landed about 20 mins late last night and so we were even later in hitting the bed. So when I woke up this morning, I was a bit groggy and thought i saw Mohammed Kaif walk out of the lift when I descended the stairs. Hm.

For a split second, I wondered why I imagined I saw Mohd. Kaif and not say, Catherine Zeta-Jones. Good question, na? That’s because I did see him and not just imagine. And in the rest of the split second (I managed to split the second into two :)), I gathered my thoughts, composed myself and managed a “Hey, Hi!”. Not very eloquent, I agree, but given my state of mind, I think I did well. 😀

The next shock was when I saw Suresh Raina at the breakfast spread getting some juice. Hu? Yes him. And then just after him came Harbhajan Singh. So I decided to look around. And lo and behold! There sat the Indian cricketers. M S Dhoni, Ajit Agarakar, Dinesh Mongia, Irfan Pathan and even Rahul Dravid.

A colleague claims to have spoken to Dravid and told him about the work we do (:)). But I could not stop gasping and staring thorugh breakfast. After messaging everyone who I knew would appreciate the gravity of the event, my life seemed set.

Never have I looked forward to breakfast more (except of course when… ;))


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Topics I want to blog about

At the moment, there are plenty of topics I would like to blog about:

1. Steve Waugh’s Autobiography (Out Of My Comfort Zone)

2. Match Point (the movie)

3. A one-year-old’s birthday party

4. Tax filing in India

5. Review of Microsoft Office 2007 Beta

While it is a big thing that I have so much to blog about, I also need to find the time and inclination to elaborate on the above topics. Hopefully, this week, I shall.

Amen!


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I’ve been robbed

Late last night (so I assume), my car window was broken (smashed) and my music player panel was stolen. The perps decided nothing else in the car including deo, sunglasses or even CDs were worth their time or effort. So here I am at 7.30 am with a nice hot cup of tea when the building guard notifies me “Sahab, wo gaadi ka kaach toota hai”. Incredulous as my look may have been, he did not even blink and proceeded to report that the said panel was also missing.

Now I have a question as to whether he took it and then reported the break… it’s possible, eh, that only the window was broken and he made the most of an available chance? But then I also found out that another 3-4 cars had suffered a similar fate. Hm. Theory 1 stands unsubstantiated.

Despite all that, the fact is that I have to spend about Rs 1,500 to get the window replaced and get a new panel… that I guess would cost another 2-3 thousand. What a waste.

P.S.: Last year on June 17, my car had an accident (I was driving) that cost me about Rs 10,000. It’s July 20 today. Any ideas? Should I visit an astrologer?

Saas-bahu aur Tupperware

Weekends are fun. Weekends are time to be spent with family. If you are married, there are also the in-laws. So what better way than to include the entire family and have a nice weekend, eh? Right. But what if it involves a roomful of screaming, clapping and generally delirious-seeming women of all ages?

Continue Reading »

Blogging with friends

For long, I was the lone blogger among all my friends and it is now with great pleasure that I announce the arrival of a couple of my close friends in the blogosphere: Mr Rider and Ms Mumbai!

Check their spaces out here: All Speed… But No Pace (don't ask me why!) and Mission Mumbai (getting the activist streak? Find out.)

And then there's me. Have fun. 

My Column

Well, yours truly has a column on Yahoo! India Cricket. Check it out right here.

Do send feedback. And be nice!

Desicritic of the day

Desicritic of the day

Gee… I really don’t know what to say! Thanks!

Any Day Now…

I will soon be moving to a new blog… a WordPress one. Why? Because they are easier to maintain and offer better navigation and categorisation options.
Also, I have an invite to give away… please me and it’s yours!

My new address will be: Scribbler On The Net.

See you there.

I kid you not. This evening, I reached home after a tormenting drive from Andheri to Chembur (those in Mumbai will appreciate the effort it takes at about 6 pm!).

To start with, things were normal… I came home, freshened up, changed and sat down in front of the TV… my ‘seat’ till dinner. Soon enough, though, I was startled to hear something that sounded like vessels clanging together and tumbling down from a height.

Initially, I thought the noise had come from the neighbouring house where the interiors are being done and did nothing about it… who wants to leave a nice cosy spot, eh? Soon again, the noise was heard again and this time, it was even greater and it sounded as if it were closer to me… time to check the clues, Watson!

A leisurely walk into the bedroom revealed nothing and on reaching the kitchen, I decided to reach for a bottle of water and lo, there it sat over the gas stove! A pigeon. In my kitchen. Chilling out! Once the initial shock died and I regained my balance (physical and mental), it was time to figure out how to get that feathered fiend out of the house.

Let me assure you that I am no animal hater and in fact, the window ledge in my bedroom has been converted into a maternity home by all pigeons. I think word seems to have gotten about in their circles and there are more arriving by the day to meet the newborn(s). So much so, that a new would-be mother is also getting comfortable with her eggs as you read this.

So now that it has been established that I am not an bird hater, the problem of shooing the pigeon away was back at hand. For some strange reason, at this point, I started wondering about my choice of words to the pigeon and assuming (it’s a safe assumption, you see) it knows none of the languages I do, it hardly mattered whether I muttered “shoo” or “avast” or any other words of ‘choice’! Thankfully, I was alone at home and decided to test my knowledge of expletives!

It’s one thing that the bird did not understand what I said (maybe because it cannot hear… I noticed no ears, you see) but it’s entirely another when it decides to protest my actions. And how! I managed to get its attention (how is mystery) and the darn thing decided to go for its version of a stampede right there within the kitchen. In fact, I realised that it was scared when it decided to get rid of its lunch on the kitchen counter and then fly over to the light and perch itself atop. This put the problem in an entirely new light…

Moments later, a thought struck me like light(n)ing! I decided to switch the light on and off to scare it away. Hmph. A lot of good that did… only more defecation. Geez.

Soon enough, though, it relocated to its original camping place, the window. Now all this while, it kept on looking through the glass and wondering (I imagine) how to get out of there. Little did it realise that there was the open part of the window right under it. Over the course of the next 20 minutes or so, it explored all the corners of the kitchen including the sink. At one point, it was so scared that it confined itself to a corner in the sink and refused to move… poor thing actually, but my problem was yet unsolved. It would be fair to remember here that I was the victim.

After a round of the kitchen and a fair bit of fluttering (including that of my heart considering the glass objects present), it perched itself on the window again momentarily returning to further defecate on the kitchen counter. Dinner tonight will be hard to ingest.

During its many attempts to find the open part of the window, it had banged against the glass on many occasions… it did so one more time and this time decided to sit on the counter to survey the terrain as it were.

By this time, I had a kitchen cloth to aid my efforts and repeated flashing of this weapon produced more fluttering and showed no signs of a solution being found. With much courage (hey, it has a beak and can fly with a lot of fluttering that is scary) I got as close to it as I could and waved the cloth one final time.

Finally, it flew straight into the open window and found its way out. I’m sure it’s having quite a chat with its friends about its adventure. In fact, it could well be blogging about it in its own world… perhaps a search on Poogle would reveal something!

For now, though, the kitchen window (and all others in empty rooms) remain closed. And so they shall when we leave home tomorrow.

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Just a few days ago, I asked for the omission of Sachin Tendulkar from the Indian team. Little did I know that he would do this to me! But for once, I am happy to be eating my words… and I really enjoyed the way he made me do it!
Perhaps it’s time I did the same about Sehwag… that would give the Lankans the heebie-jeebies! Anyway, I don’t expect this to be a cakewalk for India in any case and tomorrow (Oct 28) should be a great game.

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Sarah Jessica Parker in ‘Sex and the City’
Sounds creepy to say the least! But that’s what Zoom TV is announcing. It will create local versions of Friends [1, 2] and Sex and the City [1, 2]… why is anybody’s guess. I mean, hasn’t Friends been tried before on Indian TV (called Friends Forever) and was it not an outright disaster? Here’s the sequel!
Out of curiosity, I wonder what the cast would be like… especially in the case of Sex and the City. I mean, is there an actress that can play the character of Sarah Jessica Parker? (Yes, I watch it).

Hmmm… here’s a list that I think may just happen… actually I cannot think. (I’ll just pen down some names!) Suggestions are very welcome. And the wackier the better!

Friends (Original Cast) *That’s some detail there*
Rachel – Jennifer Aniston VJ Anousha?
Monica
Phoebe
Ross
Joey
Chandler

Sex and the City (Original Cast)
Carrie Bradshaw
Samantha Jones
Charlotte York
Miranda Hobbes
Mr Big
Aidan Shaw
Trey MacDougal

Why bother, I ask? If you ‘general notice‘ is in favour of only your own people,IIPM Notice! may as well send out an e-mail or internal mailer…
Anyway, the contents of this notice are hilarious. Must-see on today’s Page 3 of Hindustan Times (Mumbai at least).

The gist of it is that whatever claims they have made are true and that everyone else (including the people who have denied having any association with IIPM are liars).

There. Go live with that!

Going by the language, they don’t have much of a lawyer to issue ‘notices’ and maybe this is another exercise for the students itself! Har Har!

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Looks like someone has finally called the bluff of the family Chaudhari. Dr (?) Malay Chaudhari’s education (!) has been laid bare and soon, it may be time for his son’s qualifactions to be laid bare.
Man, it looks like they will regret taking on the blogosphere!
[Via India Uncut and DesiPundit]

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He looks pretty!

Logic escapes me when I see the photo with this story.

Check this.

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Victory?

There’s a smug feeling about Greg Chappell for the last couple of days and why not? After much controversy, it would seem that he has finally had things his way. How he did this is unimaginable.Getting through the an(n)als of Indian cricket and getting things his way despite being a ‘foreigner’ has indeed been nothing short of Herculean by the coach.

And no sooner than the team was announced, Chappell was waxing eloquent about the choice of the team and how Sachin is “almost hitting form” and how this is good for Indian cricket.

Gone is the grumpy look about him and he is a new man. One only hopes this augurs well for the future (read until the WC in 07).

p.s. I don’t know how Ganguly too has managed to get a tennis elbow all of a sudden. Sounds rather shady, if you ask me.

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Double Standards

Finally, the team for India’s next two series (v Sri Lanka and South Africa) has been announced and the selection leaves a slightly bitter taste in the mouth to say the least.Why? Because Tendulkar made the cut. Before you screm Bloody Murder, consider this:

In the recently concluded NKP Salve Challenger Series that was meant to display the talent available, Tendulkar barely made a mark (I wonder where Chappell gets this from). VVS Laxman, on the other hand, shone bright and scored rather well. The argument presented by Kiran More is that the “focus is on the youngsters”. In that case, why is Agarkar in the team?

Coming back to Tendulkar, he hardly moved the scorers and if experience is the argument here, Laxman has it too. Plus, he’s in form and not returning from injury either.

Let’s get one thing straight here. I am not against Tendulkar. He is a class act and deserves to be in the team as long as he wants to be. But if certain arguments are being presented for one player, they should apply to all.

I say bring in Laxman even if it is at the cost of Tendulkar. Call me crazy, but it’s a question of using the same yardstick for all players. Else, don’t give us this bulls*** about experience and form and age.

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Blogs with Yahoo! News

Finally one of the big boys has picked up the news-worthiness of blogs and decided to add them to their News sections. About time too!

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MBA Mafia

And I don’t say this! It’s AC Himself! And on his own site! And in an article by his holiness the Ponytail!

What I am trying to drive towards is the non challengeable fact that management
as a stream of studies is more hype than content.

Lest you guys not believe what I have extracted from his ‘thoughts’, here is the link (to his site).
Actually, you will have to do some work and find your way to Thoughts > MBA Mafia. I suspect it may soon be moved and hence the screenshot. Apologies for the size… but the sites is a Flash one and I cannot hyperlink to the article.

I need to disinfest my mind because I actually endured that entire article and cannot think strett anni moar…

Sue This!

I think this post is jinxed. My computer has crashed thrice and each time I was about to hit ‘Publish’! Never mind!

The point I try to make is bloggers are increasingly being tracked and even sued in some cases because of their outspokenness. This, in no case, though, should compromise the very nature of blogging and freedom of speech must be upheld. SOunds a bit like a speech at Azad Maidan, but bear with me. There is a point at the end of this!

About two months ago, a blogger was sued by a company not because he said something but because a visitor left a comment on his blog that was against their interests. Wow.

There’s something to be learned for Rashmi Bansal and Gaurav Sabnis regarding their IIPM fracas from this… maybe they could sue all those nasty comment(er)s (which I am sure have originated from one of the IIPM edifices) and in a way get some of their back. At the end of the day, what they have said is in the larger interest of the students (current IIPM students excluded).

But it is not surprising that there has been so much of spam comments hitting the fan (or their blogs) because Mr A Chaudhari (aka Mr Ponytail) has a lot to lose. But, for someone who doesn’t think before claiming that his institute is better than the IIMs and that he is a management guru (I am Dr Spock!), he sure has taken this expose rather badly.

Interestingly, there was also a ruling by a US court where it said that anonymous bloggers may not be sued for their views. Time to go underground, maybe? Nah! Some reactions about the court ruling are here as well.

Good job, guys.

When shit flies

Truth just isn’t what it used to be. People who want to tell the truth still exist but are not as abundant. So when you do find someone who does speak up (unlike newspaper ads), I think we should stand by them. But battles that are fought by individuals against the might of larger institutions seldom end well for the individuals.

Just like the current imbroglio involving IIPM, Rashmi Bansal and Gaurav Sabnis. Since I have been (very) late in jumping on to this story, I will not link individual posts, rather just one that sums it all up.

In conclusion, I think Rashmi and Gaurav were well within their rights to say what they felt and I think their claims and findings were true. For long, I have wondered about the source of money for IIPM and the subsequent quality they deliver. Their Pune campus for one, is hardly a campus and no more than a building.

I hope more bloggers stand up and fight for Rashmi and Gaurav.

ADDITION 1: I just saw this blog and it’s a howl! How is “Andy” ever going to convince anyone he has posted anything before his “more after lunch“!??!??!

Game Over!

This was bound to happen. Just that it’s a little sooner rather than later. And what’s the deal with psychological sessions for gaming??!?
People have even died because they played for over 50 hours at a stretch. Soon enough, we might not see people on the streets because everyone is hunched over a computer screen… sometimes one has to think that there are advantages of not being as well wired a country as South Korea. In fact, gaming is considered a sport in this country.

And then what?

Is there life after death? Where do we go when we die? Does the devil chew on our souls and spit it out? What happens to blogs that die? Where did that last one come from?

It came from some recent thinking I have been doing (on the side… not my profession, mind you!) and I am wondering what happens to blogs when their owner(s) pull the proverbial plug as it were. While I am not so worried about individual blogs, I am more curious about those that are run by communities or groups. Especially if there is one owner who can pull the p.

Normally, most bloggers would cross post and cross link (and do all that jazz) to preserve their precious thoughts in more ways than a cow can moo. Despite their best efforts, though, there would be the odd post that is lost. And given the volume of posting that most bloggers have, I’d bet half my beard (why not!) that they would not remember which one they are missing. At a very superficial level, the solution is to blog using a blog writer.

Community blogs are great and offer a good chance to (hopefully) meet like-minded chaps (and chappies, not chappels!) and have some friendly banter or maybe even a touch of rancour. But invariably, one grows to be friendly (openly) or at least admire others’ writing. If the community blog is your only link to their space and (if you are also an idiot like me) you have no other record of their whereabouts in cyberspace, what do you do? Searching for their name on Technorati is an option if you know the name (or alias). I don’t. And I am looking for at least 4 people (or spaces) as of last week. It’s hopeless.

So I return to my question as to what happens to these blogs? I would also like to know what happens to the efforts that have gone into creating that space not only by the owner(s) but also by community members? The place obviously got its following and character after a long time of contribution from many and not just one…

But I still want to know where the posts went to… And the people. Whither bloggers?

Please please please take this in the right spirit. Just got this from a friend and thought it would be a good chuckle!

A young second generation Indian in the US was asked by his mother to explain the significance of “Diwali” to his younger brother, this is how he went about it…

“So, like this dude had, like, a big cool kingdom and people liked him. But, like, his step-mom, or something, was kind of a bitch, and she forced her husband to, like, send this cool-dude, he was Ram, to some national forest or something…
Since he was going, for like, something like more than 10 years or so.. he decided to get his wife and his bro along… you know…so that they could all chill out together.
But Dude, the forest was reeeeal scary shit… really man…they had monkeys and devils and shit like that.
But this dude, Ram, kicked with darts and bows and arrows… so it was fine.
But then some bad gangster boys, some jerk called Ravan, picks up his babe (Sita) and lures her away to his hood. And boy, was our man, and also his bro, Laxman, all the gods were with him… So anyways, you don’t mess with gods. So, Ram, and his bro get an army of monkeys…
Dude, don’t ask me how they trained the damn monkeys… just go along with me, ok… ..
So, Ram, Lax and their monkeys whip this gangster’s ass in his own hood. Anyways, by this time, their time’s up in the forest..and anyways…it gets kinda boring, you know… no TV or malls or shit like that.
So, they decided to hitch a ride back home… and when the people realize that our dude, his bro and the wife are back home…they thought, well, you know, at least they deserve something nice… and they didn’t have any bars or clubs in those days… so they couldn’t take them out for a drink, so they, like, decided to smoke and shit… and since they also had some lamps, they lit the lamps also…so it was pretty cooool… you know with all those fireworks…
Really, they even had some local band play along with the fireworks…and you know, what, dude, that was the very first, no kidding.., that was the very first music-synchronized fireworks… you know, like the 4th of July stuff, but just, more cooler and stuff, you know.
And, so dude, that was how, like, this festival started.”

Sound familiar to anybody?