Let There Be Light !

Floating candle at a restaurant
2006 January: Sugandha's and Satyajeet's Naukri Party, Gurgaon

The place is called Park Bulachi and they would light a floating candle on the dinner table.

I took about 4 pics and here are the rest of the three...

Ponder This !

Got these in an email ...

Life is sexually transmitted.

Health is merely the slowest possible rate at which one can die.
Health nuts are going to feel stupid someday, lying in hospitals dying of nothing.

Who was the first person to look at a cow and say, "I think I'll squeeze these dangly things here, and drink whatever comes out?"

Who was the first person to say, "See that chicken there? I'm gonna eat the next thing that comes outta its butt."

Why is there a light in the fridge and not in the freezer?

Why do people point to their wrist when asking for the time, but don't point to their crotch when they ask where the bathroom is?

Why does Goofy stand erect while Pluto remains on all fours? They're both dogs!

If Wile E. Coyote had enough money to buy all that Acme crap, why didn't he just buy dinner?

Did you ever notice that when you blow in a dog's face, he gets mad at you, but when you take him on a car ride, he sticks his head out the window?

Does pushing the elevator button more than once make it arrive faster?

Why doesn't glue stick to the inside of the bottle?

Alt + Tab Replacement

When you press Alt + Tab on a computer running Windows Xp operating syste, you get a list of all the programs running on the computer.

If the number of programs running is large, using Alt + Tab could be cubersome and hard. I recently came across a tool called PowerToys for Windows Xp released by Microsoft that makes the lives pretty cool and esay.

With PowerToys Alt Tabreplacement tool, the Alt + Tab becomes something like this...

The text on the website says...
Alt-Tab Replacement
With this PowerToy, in addition to seeing the icon of the application window you are switching to, you will also see a preview of the page. This helps particularly when multiple sessions of an application are open.
PowerToys Alt + Tab Replacement Tool can be downloaded from this link. I have been using this for about a month now and I face no problems at all of any sort.

To Design or Not To Design

To design or not to design is the BIG question in front of me right now. I bought saurabhgarg.com about three months ago and I haven’t really made a website.

I have a couple of choices in front of me right now. I can design it from scratch; display all my creativity to the entire world and boast of the excellent design. On the other hand I can use some ready made template, customize it and save on a lot of time.

I would now proceed to do a decision tree analysis. Assuming that I design it myself, following things are bound to happen...
1. No CMS. I would have lots of static web pages. Updating each of them would be a huge task. But again even if I go for a template, I still don’t have the expertise to make even a simple CMS. The template thing would also have static pages.
2. Time. I right now have nothing to do at all. And with all the travel coming up in the later half of February, I would not get time to design and update it.
3. Effort. I hate to work! and I can’t even imagine putting that much thought into the work. Although working is fun for me, I still hate doing small things such as editing HTML etc. I enjoy working on Photoshop and other editing software but I believe that they lack the power to keep me busy.

If I decide upon a template, following things would happen
1. Plagiarism. Even though I would have a nice, good looking website, it would be work of someone else and I would certainly be using it without giving credits or royalty. I do not want to do this. I guess this reason alone is more than enough punishment to not to use a template.

So the decision has been reached, I would create my own design, go the hard way and hopefully try to complete the website soon.


Sarkar - The Movie

Yesterday I went to see a screening of the latest Bollywood movie Sarkar. The star cast included Bachchans - Amitabh and Abhishek in the lead roles.

In the words of Producer and Director of the movie, Ram Gopal Verma, Sarkar is his tribute to Mario Puzo's The Godfather. Indeed many sequences are inspired from the legend of the Godfather. Infact the very name Sarkar is a synonym to Godfather.

The movie is about one Sarkar who believes very strongly in his ideology and distinction between right and wrong. He believes that if he thinks something is right, and then he would act on it irrespectiv of the fact that it may not be legally correct, politically correct, morally correct or ethically correct. The thing to question here would be practicality of such a line of thoughts. Since a man has to live in society - there is no man in isolation, should someone stand out and make his presence and individuality felt or should he tone down himself to be acceptable to the society? The very first day when you start learning, you are taught to conform to the social beliefs and if you deviate, there are a lot of negative reinforcements given out. Are we helping propagating the norm? Since we are making everyone think in the same way, follow the same rules, behave in an expected manner, are we terminating the genesis of newer perspectives and thought processes?

The movie also portrays that people are ready to do anything, ANYTHING to realize their goals of power and money. Although there people were among the most powerful ones as shown in the movie but they seeked more power and the clich├ęd saying is hence proved that power and greed have no bounds.

However certain things were missing. The most perplexing thing was the fact that the revenge that Sarkar seeks is incomplete. Sarkar eliminates everyone who had betrayed him, tried to kill him/his father, destroy the family except one. The Police Commissioner. May be because the commissioner left him alive, he did not seek revenge but in my humble opinion, one should never ever forgive and forget someone you don’t trust at all.

There were attempts of humour in some dialogues of a certain character but they were totally uncalled for and deviated from the theme of the movie.

One of the biggest positives was excellent photography and art direction. The camera work is amazing and although I do not see a lot of movies, I believe that it had very very innovative and unique camera positioning techniques.

Another thing that I realized after watching movie was the importance of having a cool, composed and a calm brain on the shoulders. I for example am amongst those people who would take decisions in haste and without giving much thought and repent later. I am not sure how many things from a fictitious story could be applicable in real life but yes, patience is something that helps.

Saurabh Garg

Pearls of Wisdom

24th June 2004. I landed with a couple of bags at MDI. My new home for next two years.

23rd June 2005. One year of the two is over and when I look back, there sure is something that I have been fortunate enough to learn in this year. This post, although is a bit late, has few pearls of wisdom that I could gather in this year at one of the best business schools in India.

As they say, management education is about participating in class and contributing to other people's learning and understanding. There are times when some of us tend to overdo it a bit. Everyone must have seen, heard or experienced some obnoxious people who love to speak up their minds. A component of evaluation is based on the contribution you make to the learning of other people in class. And there are people who want to make a killing with this component. They would keep their loooong arms stretched out all the time. I don’t know if they have something to add, but they would keep their arms as stiff as a scarecrow’s. This phenomenon is called DCP. DCP is an acronym for Desperate Class Participation and is used very conviniently for people who speak without adding anything substantial to the class.

Next thing that I learnt at my BSchool is a word called Arbit. If you try searching for it on Dictionary.com, you would not find it. Why is that? Because this word is used exclusively in management studies. In fact I think that this is the most commonly used word in business schools after the sacred F word. Lets try to learn the meaning and origin of this word. Many enlighted souls say that this word is a short form of the word called arbitrary.
"Determined by chance, whim, or impulse, and not by necessity, reason, or principle" - Source:http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=arbitrary

This sounds like a plausible explanation. When people speak up their minds, get creative, determine by whims, forget reason, ignore logic, what comes out is called Arbit !!!!. I can post a few examples here. Lets say the entire class is involved in an intellectual discussion about a car being an HIP (High Involvement Product). A reasonable addition to discussion would be that a HIP is something whose selection involves a lot of thought process and an arbit addition would be that a HIP is something hep. Hip as in hep and happening. Hip as in
"Very fashionable or stylish." - Source:http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=hep
I might not be able to give a very good example of arbitness because am not talented at that and am certainly not the gifted one. By the way a lot of people say that this statement that I just made itself is arbit.



Interviewing Skills

I was supposed to take interviews of the first year students for the events Delphique and Imperium. I interacted with about 20 odd students of the first year batch. Following were the things that I learnt from the experience...

1. There are better people than you are. There were about three or four people who were excellent in terms of thought clarity, were street smart, could deliver the message effectivly and above all were humble.

2. I learnt that interviews ARE really effective in judging people. I am not among those specialists who would know how to talk to people, judge them but I defintely could find when someone was lying, someone was talking the truth etc.

And finally a few random thoughts ...

Since we take these events very very serisouly, the people who are out there to select other people mkae sure that they take in only the absolute best for these events' and the managing teams. Sounds alright when you first think about it but as far as I understand, the real objective of being at a BSchool is the to learn through these events and enhance your personality (apart from regular things like studying etc). Now lets say someone tried real hard and cracked the selection process for a BSchool and now he wants to groom himself, an excellent way to do it would be through these events and committees. But the paradox is that the people who are in the selection committees wont pick him cos hes not that great. I cant think of another way to help this guy and let him develop himself. Any thoughts?


What They Don't Teach You At Harvard Business School - Mark H. McCormack

I never thought highly of the book until I read it. I thought this is yet another book that talks about what management educatoin lacked. The best faculty here at MDI recommended it and I thought if a Prof as good as Prof. Bhushnurmath is recommending it, there has to be something to the book. I got hold of this copy and wow !

The book is an absolute piece of gem and should be read by not just business school graduates or managers but everyone. The book is written by a man that was considered the most powerful person in the sporting arena. Sporting Arena where luck plays absolute ZERO role in your success. Everything is dependent upon the amount of hard work that you can put it. Sporting also puts you into unfamiliar territories and brings out the real person from behind the mask.

Some interesting quotes from this book...

"I once heard someone say that if Thomas Edison had gone to business school we would all be reading by larger candles."

"Companies never function according to their organizational charts. They are made up of people and personalities and politics and power plays..."

I can personally relate to this one...
"... many people in business seem preoccupied by a fear of being left out."

"If you aren't afraid to fail, then you probably don't care enough about success"

I think apart from there interesting quotes, there is more to the book. The book is very practical. The experiences of Mr. McCormack help a lot in understanding the issues.

However there are somethings that I would agree to disagree with. There are many places where Mr. McCormack talks about throwing in the towel even when you know you are right. The thing is that this may be right thing to do to reach higher the corporate ladder but at what cost? Cost of your identity and your self-respect.

Just yesterday I was reading about Mr. McCormack and I found that he passed away in 2003. I wanted to meet this man so dearly ... :( Details about the legend can be found here and here.

This is a 9/10 book and a must read !


Business School Education - A Farce?

When I landed at my dream institute, I had twinkle in my eyes, high hopes and aspirations about the entire concept of going to a B School, I knew I have arrived.

But it all changed during the time I have spent here. Its been just over an year and I have figured out that B School education is atleast not for people like me.

Most people that I have encountered (not only at my B School but also from other BSchools and I estimate this number to be well above 500) do NOT have even a vauge idea where they want to end in life or a question as simple as why did they decide to pursue management education.

I found out (I don't have any marketing surveys, data and analysis generated using SPSS or Excel) that the single most importnat reason for choosing management career was because of the image attached with B Schools. It is viewed as an extension to education. Its like a transition - complete secondary, move into higher secondary, complete that goto college for graduate and once you are done with graduate educatoin, next in line is - you guessed it right ! post graduate programme in management.

As I understand and infer from a few books that I have been able to read so far, management education is mostly about people skills. The onus is on preparing managers rather than say Chartered Accountants (equivalent to CPA in US) or HR professionals who would go by the books all the time. I think management education should be about only one thing - PEOPLE. Its the single most important thing that can make or break any organization.

The business education atleast in Indian context is a paid vacation. Either you ewre working or fresh out of college, you need a break from dull routines and what do you do? Join a business school.

Trust me, I have seen people dropping like house of cards after those numerous booze parties, hitting each other knowingly what they were doing, copying in examinations, blatantly plagiarising from the web or the library books for not so techies. We have done it all. The only stone we left unturned - management education.


A Prison Diary: Belmarsh: Hell - FF 8282 aka Jeffery Archer

A Prison Diary: Belmarsh: Hell, is the first of three books written by Jeffery Archer when he was in Jail on charges of Perjury.

I completed the first volume in about 100 sittings. That is expected when you are trying to read six books together.

Some bits were REAL amusing like the joke wherein he predicts that the next sermon would be Honour Among Thieves after his previous two sermons were Cain and Able and The Prodigal Son.

The book gives interesting insights about prisons and the way of life on the other side of the fence. If someone is interested in knowing more about Archer as a person, this can be a fabulous guide. You could read about his daily schedule, his preferences, his choices, his love for the game of cricket and what not.

Apart from these couple of highlights, very ordinary book I should say. Very light read, chapters done as days make it easier to read and follow-up if someone is interested in reading in innumerable sittings (the way I did it).

I know that I may never know if he was infact guilty but as they say History is often skewed and is reported by the winning side, throughout the book, it is literally preached that Mr. Archer is innocent and there was a conspiracy against him. I sincerly hope he is NOT guilty. I absolutely adore some of the books and cant believe that someone like him would do something like that. Anyways, the point is not if he is indeed innocent or not, the point is to realize the fact that how to turn a crisis situation to your advantage. Archer was in jail and he had nnothing to do. What does he do? Write a book !


Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell - David Michaels

Wow !!!!

The writing style is AMAZING. I have read so many books, fiction, non-fiction and what not, never came across something like this.

I would definately like to be like Sam Fisher in lot of ways. Infact I am almost like him in many ways. He hates human civilizations... I hate em too. He is not comfortable with people around, I definately aint comfortable. At one point he says that he appreciates beauty and thats that nothing more nothing less. Dittoo for me. He loves to read on history and speaks 7 languages, I sure want to know whatever there is to know about.

And since I am very passionate about anything remotely related to Computer Gaming, we have an entire game on Splinte Cell. I infact was one of the beta testers of a cell phone adaptaion of the title when I was working.

Great Character, Amazing Storytelling skills, All in all ... a must read.

Ratings: 8/10


15th August 1947 - Independence Day

Today, 15th August, we Indians celebrate our independence day.

It’s been almost 60 years since we were freed from British control and we became masters of our destinies. We have come a long way from what we were at the time of independence but there are long long way to go.

We are now amongst the top three countries on the watch list of everyone (along with China, Brazil and Russia). Economy has been doing very well. We are a world renowned source of competent and trained manpower. Our say in international political scenario has never been higher.

There are few things that we can improve on. First and foremost being the removal of red-tapism. The accountability is almost absent from all the sectors. If we can work on these and some other pressing issues, we sure would be going ahead in every sense.

Today I was part of the Independence Day celebration at my campus. Our director, Padma Shri Dr. Pritam Singh raised a question and asked us why do we celebrate any festival or for that matter Independence Day? He said that we want to remember the sacrifices made by millions of people to achieve freedom. I partially agree to what he says. I think I celebrate because its close to me. Its close to my heart. I cherish the freedom. Thus I celebrate the functions.

Also I never understand why do people think about and sing patriotic songs only on Independence Day? I think its all propoganda ! If you were truely patriotic, you could sing all the songs all the time. Why wait for a special day to sing your songs?

Talking of Independence at the individual level, even though we might be independent as a nation, there are many people (including me) that are still dependent on others.

Benjamin Franklin says independence is when he is lord of himself and accountable to none. I think no one else talked about independence in a better manner. When I try to define control and its antonym independence, I can come up with things like political control, physical control and thought control. A political control can only influence the actions; the thoughts however are as independent as a bird in free sky. The power of these thoughts converted into action and played a key role in the independence struggle.

I also believe that there are ways to control the thoughts as well. A very simple example from world of marketing: Word of Mouth Advertising. It is more or less a subtle form of thought control. One might say that since a friend liked the product, there is no harm in reducing the risk of trial and going for it, there is no kind of thought control being attempted here. I would like to disagree with this school of thought. When you are influencing other people, selling yourself to people, doing anything, you are trying to control (successfully in some cases) other people and their thoughts.

Another thing that comes to my mind right now is emotional dependence. As has been said many times, man is a social animal. Man can not exist in isolation. Everyone needs someone to fall back on.

There is yet another aspect called the interdependence. Interdependence is when dependence and independence coexist together. The first question that comes to my mind is how the two faces of coin coexist? How can independence be dependent on dependence? Simple answer ... change the very definition of independence to incorporate for necessary dependence. Very basic example is that even to think independent, sustain one self, one needs an elaborate support structure (like dependence on others for food etc.).

I think everything comes down to the definition.

There was this discussion in a class where a Prof and MS got into argument about the effectiveness of team vs. individuals. This is not related to independence and control and thus would be thought about later when I wouldn’t have anything else to do.

More Later !!!!


Independence Day - Wallpaper

Samit made this wallpaper and gifted to me and told me that I can use it once on my blog and I cant redistribute it. He can be reached at samit_india@yahoo.com for getting the permission ;)

Actually he din't make the wallpaper from scratch... he edited it from www.aqshar.com. Aqshar has amazing collection of wallpapers and computer generated art. A must visit place.

ORIGIANALLY POSTED ON Friday, August 16, 2005

And as I post this, tomorrow is our Republic Day !

Q and A - Vikas Swarup

Ever since emergence of "Indian Writers" on the literary scenes, there has been a rush amongst people to start writing. Some good and some ... not so good.

The entire book has a negativity attached towards it. There aren't many pages where you don't read about a bad thing happening to the characters in the book.

I agree to the fact that India as a country lacks few things. We might not have the best of the regulators, honest people and kind hearted people but there ARE a few people who are absolutely wonderful. The book portrays India as the nation having the biggest slums, where train robberies are common-place, where no one can be honest and make his living without any unethical/illegal act, where there are two sides to everything. I know these are very hard words against a book that has been made available in 15 countries and a motion picture is planned around the plot.

A typical masala film end plot where the hero gets the heroine, punishes all the criminals, helps his friends achieve his dreams and live happily ever after. The last act is adopted and as they say, is INSPIRED from one of the biggest bollywood blockbusters of all time - Sholay. There is more to it but I think there is no point putting it in words here but there is a certain character who says he can't reveal the actual thing. He would instead give a hint. Here is my hint. The lead character in the book, whenever in a fix, does whatever his coin tells him to do. He tosses the coin and if it's a head, he takes the right decision and if it's a tails, he would take the wrong decision and somehow it is always heads. Sounds like Sholay?

However there were few things that I certainly liked about Q and A. After reading about half of it, I knew the book is not up to the expectations and I should stop reading it but something kept my interest alive and I completed it. I don't know why, but I kept reading it, enjoying some jokes (since may be I can relate to them).

All in all an interesting read but not upto the expectations.


Crossword Books

I finally decided to go visit Crossword. It opened some time back and ever since I have been trying to go and have a look.

The place is absolutely stunning. There are other bookstores in and around Delhi (like The Om Book Store) but few things that set this place apart are the number of titles they have, their ambience, the wide open spaces and the people there.

They have these sofas spread here and there among the book shelves where you can sit and read through the books. There would be soft instrumental music in the background. People said you could buy coffee there and sit as long as you want, I however din't see any coffee outlets. May be next time.

The staff there was VERY helpful. I wanted Freedom at Midnight and I could not spot it. I asked the people there and they wasted there time to locate the title even though I had told em that I would not buy it, I just wanted to have a look at it.

I ended up buying two titles, need to gift them to two very special ladies. And I am sure that I would be buying many more titles.

The website can be visited at http://www.crosswordbookstores.com.

And yeah a visit to Crossword added yet another goal in my kitty - Own a bookstore :D


The House of Bamboo

Stuff hanging from the roof
2005 December: Imperium Farewell Party

There is this place called The House of Bamboo at 32nd Milestone in Gurgaon. We went there for a party ... with my camera and this is what came out ot if.

And by the way, the first post for 2006.

Tuesdays with Morrie - Mitch Albom

Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom is simply put superb. I don't respect things like Good Living, Happy Living, Art of Living and things like that but Tuesdays taught me lots and lots of things. Actually it ain't taught me things but helped me realize. More importantly it gave me few answers to things I was always thinking about.

I was always wondering if I should conform to the norms laid down by the society and even if I feel limited in them, shall I try to break out of them. Morrie gives me the answer. I always thought I would end up doing something like Morrie - things that won't exploit other things (quite a change from my previous thoughts where I wanted to be rich at any cost). I started answering the basic premise behind the concept of Marketing. Again Morrie provides the answer.

Few things that I can instantly recall from Morrie are Live in Now, Say things you wanna say, Don’t wait forever to let people what you always want to say, Listen - Listen, Listen and Listen. Nothing is as good as listening to people.

I always knew these things were important and I knew them at the back of my mind but Morrie made me realize them. Will make sure I implement them.

They say Paulo Coelho authors some life changing books, I say NO. I never really appreciated his work. Morrie changed it ! Morrie has the power. MUST READ.

Some people say that Morrie is a real story. I probably would never know but I would sure want to meet a man with such personal strengths. He is staring death in face and still he is as strong as anyone. I always thought one must be independent of others. I always practised it but I realized that what I was doing was following independence in action. My thoughts were very much dependent on others. My very self was, is, will be dependent. Forever.


The Turning Torso

While reading the newspaper today, I came across The Turning Torso. It is a skyscraper in Sewdan is the second highest residential building in Europe.

I found The Turning Torso one of the most goodlooking skyscrapers I have ever seen. The pics that I have seen so far are awesome and I can't imagine the view when I get to see it for real.

The tower is modeled on Santiago Calatrava's design Twisting Tower. They say it is inspired from the human body.

The tower is roughly divided into 9 five story cubes. As the tower rises in height, with each subsequent cube, the tower twists around the axis and the ninth cube is rotated by 90 degrees with respect to the first tower. The first two cubes would have meeting and office spaces and the rest seven cubes would be resedential with 149 deluxe apartments. I sure would want to have an apartment there. The tower officially opened on 27th August 2005 and infact they are offering people a trip to the tower for five days... Wish I was in Sweden...

Detailed information about the architect, design and history is available at the links mentioned

I off late have started taking a lot of interest in large structures, buildings, artefacts and similar stuff.

This started as a post about The Turning Torso and I am afraid it would end with the Calatrava and praises for him. The work he has been able to conceptualize inspire people. Atleast I am having second thoughts about my choice of career and I thought about quitting everything and get into designing and sculpting.

Following are few links about The Turning Torso and Calatrava
http://www.turningtorso.com (Official Turning Tower Website)
Real Time Turning Torso Webcam View

http://www.calatrava.com (Official Calatrava Website)
Calatrava.info (Unofficial Calatrava Website)
Calatrava Designs


Uncommon Common Sense

In the last 6 hours, I have been told twice that Common Sense although appears very common but in fact, in reality it’s very uncommon. The first person to do that was Prof. Ahluwalia when he came to teach us Advertising Management and the second was Prof. Sanjay Bakshi when he came to teach us BFBV. I talked about him in my other BLOG at http://egyaan.blogspot.com/2004/12/prof-sanjay-bakshi.html

I had been waiting for this cause ever since Term 3 started and today I finally got to see him. As they say, the looks could be deceptive, I expected him to be a funky kinda person, who would have an athletic, lean body type, would be wearing Denims to class. I expected him to be very informal kinds but when I finally saw him, I realized that I shouldn’t make presumptions about people.

I thought I was the biggest techie around until I saw his desktop. He had about 20 icons lined up on QuickLaunch, and I could not recognize most of them. His taskbar was as heavy. He of course had minimal icons on the desktop. Just like any other techie ;)

Coming on to the class, he talked about Mental Models today. Everything was fine and going good until something called Backward Thinking was introduced. Simply put, Backward Thinking is not doing things that are not expected. For example, you want to run a business effectively. You list down things that you should not do to avoid ruining the business. And you make sure that you don't do the things in the list. Sherlock Holmes said
It is an old maxim of mine that when you have excluded the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.
So everything is fine, he said it, gave a few supporting arguments and that was that. But when you actually think about it again, you realize that Backward Thinking is just another tool to just be in the rat race, not win it or emerge as a winner.

Here is a very simple example to illustrate this further. You are among a batch of 100 students in a school. Assuming that you won’t be expelled until you fail in academics, your objective is to pass through the school, you just need to get passing percentage in the examinations. For passing percentage, you don't have to read the entire text, don't have to attend all the classes etc. You do just the bare minimum. The result: You are not expelled, you pass but you don't perform exceptionally or you don't top the class.

Extending this further, assuming that the objective is not to just pass the course but actually come first in the class. Now not to be the first among the class, you don't have to skip anything (means read everything), not miss any class etc. Two inherent problems here are identifying the right variables (you are never sure that the thing you are not doing is the right thing to not do), interaction of variables (you don't know how other variables that you have not considered affect the outcome). Bottom-line is that you do not do the things that you decided not to do and still might be far from the objective.

I know due to the amazing control over the language, I have made Backward Thinking absolutely gibberish... :( Wish I was better at English.

According to backward thinking, if you want to prove something as correct, assume that it is incorrect and prove that it is not incorrect and hence the original proposition is bound to be correct. Taking an example where Backward Thinking has been applicable (according to Prof. Bakshi) and extending it further to prove it wrong. He says that
Instead of thinking how to make your business better, think how to ruin it, and then simply avoid those things.
is an example of application of Backward Thinking.

Our ultimate objective here is to make the business better. We list things that would ruin it. A list could be ignoring the daily operations, getting the wrong people for the wrong situations, taking decisions without analysis etc. Assume that there are no interactions and the list of variables is complete. Now to achieve the objective (to make the business better), we just have to make sure that we don’t do these things. We do the opposite. We concentrate on day to day operations, get the right people and processes in place, and take decisions rationally (another word and concept I am fond of). The result? We run our business just normally, not exceptionally. We end running the business the way others do. We thus should be able to get the result others are getting. Others are doing well, We also do well, X also does well, the level of average is raised and end of the day everyone is pretty much same. We do not achieve the objective. The preposition is thus wrong. Backward Thinking thus failed.

More Later ...

chirayu said...
how about thinking "not to be placed below the top 10% in the class" ?
Sunday, September 18, 2005 2:55:17 AM

ORIGIANALLY POSTED ON Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Five Point Someone - Chetan Bhagat

Five Point Someone by Chetan Bhagat, is renowned universally as an excellent book. People have been recommending it to people for a long long time. Things were said that you could relate to watever was written in the book, you could understand watever they were saying, you could relate to watever they were doing ...

I say CRAP !!!!. This was my second book by an Indian Author and this one also dissappointed me. :( The first one being Q n A by Vikas Swarup.

I probably would not be able to make an effort to read any other book by "young" Indian authors. :(

ORIGIANALLY POSTED ON Monday, September 26, 2005

Windows One Care Live

In one of the Information Security class, Prof. V. Sridhar talked about the strategy by Microsoft for Vista. He said that according to him Vista would have bundled Antivirus, Firewall and other security related tools. He added even the current version of Windows XP has an in built firewall but not too many people use it or know about it.

Prof. Sridhar was bang on target. With Windows One Care, Microsoft has officially given away an Antivirus and a complete Firewall. As of now the "service" (not the product) is completely free - it is in the beta stage. However there are chances of it going paid. And I am pretty sure that they would bundle One Care with Vista.

Windows One Care
Windows One Care is an Antivirus, Firewall, Maintenance tool, Backup and Restore Tool, Automatic updater rolled into one. I think this is going to give a very tough time to companies like Symantec, McAfee and other companies with single line of business. It would most probably be bundled with Vista. Logically people buying Vista would not want to buy software additional software from only antivirus companies or firewall companies.

I installed it very recently on my computer. Installation was absolutely hassle free. I had to click on a webpage and it was done. I did not even select the drive, the installation options and other things. There are however a few glitches. If you run a pirated copy of Windows, you would not be able to download and install One Care. It checks for the authenticity of the Windows before everything else.

Service or Product?
I think that One Care would be an online service and it would be based on subscription rather than one time purchase. As a user, you would have an option of paying for the service you want to use instead of paying for all the services even if you don’t want to use other services. This means that if you really like McAfee VirusScan very much and do not want to use One Care antivirus and want to only one One Care firewall, you pay for the firewall and keep using the McAfee VirusScan. All other functions would be disabled. And as and when you need more things, you can pay and use. Simple!
And you never know, One Care could be sold as a stand alone product too. But it would make a lot of sense to sell it online as a service rather than a product.

+ves and -ves
And finally some comments from an early user aka me !
+ Very easy to use interface
+ Does not needs a lot of intervention from the user both in operation and configuration.

- Does not give too many options to a power user. If I want to customize the application and make it work according to my whims and fancies, I can not. But I think this would be provided as and when the final version is out.
- Another problem is the amount of memory it consumes. I was running a virus scan and it made by computer very slow as compared to virus scan with Norton.
- I connect to the internet from behind a http proxy and Windows One Care Live can not update itself automatically. I did not see an option of manual update on the website or in the software. I thus have no clue about updating my copy.
- I had the Windows Blue screen of death occuring very regularly ever since I installed One Care. I do not know if these are related to this software but the frequency funnily increased after installing the software.

Remembering Srimant Madhav Rao Scindhia

He left this world on 30th September 2001...

This brings me to yet another coorelation ... A large number of influential congress leaders did not die their natural death. Starting from Mahatma Gandhi to Bose to Mrs. Gandhi to Rajiv and Sanjay Gandhi to Pilot and Scindia ...

ORIGIANALLY POSTED ON Friday, September 30, 2005

S is for Sue, Sue Grafton

Ever since I have started reading books, novels, biographies ... have come across a lot of interesting things and authors.

Sue Grafton is one of the few VERY interesting ones ...
The protagonist is Kinsey Millhone and she is a detective. The series is about some serious issues but there is an added flavour of wit thrown in. Basically my kind of a person and may be thats why I kinda like her ...

I have long long way to go, I have just read the following three books...
#H is for Homicide - Sue Grafton (2005 Nov 12)
#K is for Killer - Sue Grafton
#M is for Malice - Sue Grafton

The website is located here.

ORIGIANALLY POSTED ON Sunday, October 16, 2005

Behind the stage artists !!!!

How many times it has happened that I would listen to the song and praise the singer, the musicians, the composer, the video and everything about the song. I dont recall being curious to the lyricist of the song ever !

My recent favorite is Maine Dil Sey Kaha, from the movie Rog. This song has been performed by KK. One of the things I like about this song is the meaningful lyrics. I could connect to each and every being used. I probably never admitted but I think this song personifies me.

Anyways coming to the track, this song has been penned down by someone called Nilesh Mishra. I got curious and searched for other songs and was I surprised to see his work... He has written almost all my recent favorites. I think Nilesh is second only to Lucky Ali whe it comes to putting emotions to words.

Followig is the list of songs written by Nilesh Mishra ...
Jism - Jaadu Hai Nasha Hai
Krishna Cottage
Rog - Maine Dil Sey Kaha

I hope to see more good work from him in times to come. I now have a reason to try out every new song ;)

ORIGIANALLY POSTED ON Sunday, October 24, 2005

Down and Out

One of the rare moments ... when I am down and out.

But hey as I say ...
n'Joy everything !

And since I am reposting this, I realize that I can not remember why did I make this post. !

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON Wednesday, November 09, 2005

I wish ...

I wish I had a HUGE bike, specifically an Enfield or the good old Harley. Ofcourse getting a Harley is kinda tough but I don't think Enfield would be a problem once I start working.

On my way back from dinner I saw this guy on a bike, he was arrogant all right, the wa he talked to the ticketing assistant, I absolutely hated it but I liked his bike. He had this Enfield that was as big as a Maruti 800.

He had modified this bike with changed front fenders. The seat was lowered to the level of the speedometers. I can think of kAgE's Bullect Electra. He had'nt done any modifications but his bike looks royal. May be the royal blue color on the bike makes it prefect or may be that he uses this wax daily on his bike... I can also think of WalkinEagle who has this sexy bike whose name I cant recollect right now but it is one of most expensive bikes around in India.

The best part about these bikes is the put-put-put sound they make when they are being driven around. People notice it from atleast a hundred miles. Its a very distinct sound and I don't know about other people but I am full with envy.

ORIGIANALLY POSTED ON Sunday, October 23, 2005

10 years of ... a Dream !

It's monday morning and I opened up a newspaper to find the following ads on the very top and very bottom of the very front page...
10 years of "good you called"10 years of "I'm 2 mins away"
And as I flipped the pages, I found the following
10 years of "nice tune, yaar"10 years of "got a charger?"10 years of "hd a gr8 time, thnk"10 years of "missing u :-("
On the entire back page, they had

10 years of touching lives across India.
And they are Airtel!

I as always tried to guess what the product could be ... My best shot was Delhi Times, the supplement with The Times of India (I think this "paper" is as bad as they come; this is another story, would try to cover later).

So the point is that Airtel has completed 10 successful years in the telphony market. They have moved from a cellular service provider to complete telecommunication service providers with specialized services ranging from Landline services to Email on the go.

When they started operations, they were a small comany charging about 16 bucks per minute for an outgoing call and 8 for an incoming call. In 10 years, the call rates have dropped to about 2 bucks on an average for outgoing and free for incoming ! Talk of changing the face of the market...

Airtel obsoleted the fixed line phones and made a telephone a personal item for the first time in India. For the first time with a phone, you could talk to people directly without going through long channels.

Next in line is outsourcing of the network. Management gurus said that your core competency should never be outsourced or given to third parties but no sir, Airtel would do it. In the long run, one may never know what might happen but in the short run, the strategy sounds great with all the benefits flowing into theor books. Infact other operators are also following suit.

O by the way ... Today happens to be Children Day, celebrated on the occasion of Pt. Jawahar Lal Nehru's BDay. He was our first Prime Minister. Yet again, I would like to reserve my comments for the gentleman.

Also two week long India International Trade Fair (IITF) starts today. 2005 marks the 25th aniversary of the IITF. I have many many fond memories of IIFT including a job hunt when I was in 11th std.

ORIGIANALLY POSTED ON Monday, November 14, 2005

Update please wait - W32/Nyxem-D

Somehow for the last few days I saw this funny icon in my taskbar that looked like a small computer and when I took my mouse over it, it read "Update please wait". The computer was acting funny and there were few other problems too.
1. Norton Antivirus would not start with Windows even though it was configured like that.
2. My "commmon tasks" were not being displayed in explorer/folders.

Then suddenly I got curious about this "Update please wait" thingy and googled it. Off the few top entries, one of them pointed here. I followed the steps mentioned there to realize that I was infected with W32/Nyxem-D. Some more clicks on the web made me sure that it was indeed a worm.

I was infected by a malware after about two years and I was very angry. Somehow I was also very happy to see a real problem on my computer. I had to spend about an hour doing it all by myself and I was able to get rid of it.

And when I tried to find the reasons for the infection, I found that I was infected because of my open share. I had created that open share to help me copy files quick over the network. Further analysis revealed that it "offers the promise of pornography". I am sure I have never copied anything remotely resembling porn on my laptop.

Removal Instructions and Automated Tool
Apart from making money, the antivirus companies do sometimes act as good samaritans also and Symantec has created an automated tool to remove the worm. They identify this worm as W32.Blackmal.E@mm and the removal tool is located here. I certainly enjoyed working though the registry and restarting the computer 5 times to remove it. Tool was not that much fun.

I think I have been attacked by a virus after about a couple of years and it was huge fun to work on it :D

Million Dollar Homepage

Being a business school student, I come across a huge number of ideas that promise a lot of potential in terms of getting popular and minting money. http://www.milliondollarhomepage.com/ is one fine example that I atleast could'nt have thought of in years.

Created by Alex Tew, it took 4 months for the Million Dollar Homepage to get to the magical figure of a million.

IBM Thinkpad R51 - KQ1 - Reposted

I posted in a previous post about my thinkpad. It islocated here.

I am reposting thisfortwo reaons. One, its beenan year since I bought my laptop. I bought my laptop on 31st oflast to last year. I founda key broken, wanted to get it replaced but IBM peopledurely and courteously refused to do so. Company policy theysaid. So I hadthis new laptop, it was not more than two days old and IBM would not change/replace/repair it because it was their company policy.

Second reasonfor thispost isthe broken keypad thats gotten even worse. Somehow the space bar has started acting funny. Sometimes, I wouldget a perfectly fineandnormalspacing and at other times I wouldnot insert andspaces. I have absolutely no clue how all of a sudden thismight happen.

And now since IBM has sold Thinkpad asa brand to Lenovo, I dont think there is apoint in even calling them up to get some help. Andsince the annual maintenance I had was for a year only and they could not help me when I was covered by their warranty, i cant even imagine to talk to them without the warranty.

And if you are wonderingwhat happened to thispost, thisis becuase of the funny space bar.

This is my last line in this post and I am trying very hard to maintain my typing speeds and hitting space bar ...

My Kind of Books

Some people have this misconception that I read a lot. Here are few inside scoops.

I see you with a new book every ther day? How? Are you amazingly fast reader?
SG: LOL. I do not read a lot, just like to show off with a new book every two days. And if you are asking me this question, I have achieved my goal. I want people to think that I read a lot and atleast some people have started assuming that I read a lot.

What about all those books in your cabinet?
I like to have lots of books in my cabinet. I bought all these books at Nai Sarak for 20 bucks each so that my cabinet looks real cool. I was also thinking of fake book holders to make my cabinet even more stuffy...

But then how do you know about so many different authors and books?
I thought I mentioned before this candid interiew that I would not talk about my trade secrets and things that make me loose my (as Porter would put it) Competitive Advantage. However if you are still adamant, let me know and I just might give you some tips ...

Ok, so what kind of books do you want people to think that you read?
I read everything from fiction to non-fiction. Before coming to MDI, I did not know that reading can be a pleasure and help me get a lot of attention. The day I realized that I have to get poeple's attention, I started showing off with the books.

Rang De Basanti - Roobaroo

Song: Roobaroo
Artist: A.R. Rahman, Naresh Iyer
Music: A.R. Rehman
Movie: Rang de Basanti

When I sing this song, somehow I sing it soemthing like "aye saala... abhi abhi... kisee more pay ..."

I think I need to write to write this song all again with the same music and different lyrics ... with "kisee more pay"

Here are the original lyrics...
aye saala
abhi abhi huaa yaqeen ki aag hai mujh mein kahi
hui subaah main chal gaya
suraj ko main nigal gaya
ruu-ba-ruu roshni heyy - 2

jo gumshuda-sa khwaab tha
voh mil gaya voh khil gaya
uulon hathaa pighal gaya
kichhaa kichhaa machal gaya
sitaar mein badal gaya
ruu-ba-ruu roshni heyy - 2

(dhuaan chhataa khula gagan mera
nayi dagar naya safar mera
jo ban sake tu hamsafar mera
nazar mila zara) - 2

aandhiyon se jaghad rahi hai lau meri
ab mashaalon si bhadak rahi hai lau meri
naamo nishaan rahe na rahe
ye kaaravaan rahe na rahe
ujaale mein pee gaya
roshan huaa jee gaya
kyon sehte rahe
ruu-ba-ruu roshni heyy - 2
dhuaan chhataa khula gagan mera
nayi dagar naya safar mera
jo ban sake tu hamsafar mera
nazar mila zara
ruu-ba-ruu roshni heyy - 2
aye saala - 4

Swatch Internet Time

In as back as 1998, Swatch came up with this concept called Internet Time. I was ignorant till date. I just learnt about Internet Time and I am an instant fan ... !

I think Internet Time as a concept makes a lot of sense. As we are moving towards the global world where physical boundaries between people located in different countries are blurring every second, there is in fact a need for a standard universal time.

So advantages ... ?
1. Swatch can now make, market and sell an entire new range of watches. When you are bored of your regular time, switch to swatch.
2. If people adpot this as a standard in near future, huge huge royalty fees from mere reference to the term (just like CDMA by Qualcomm) would be realized.
3. Swatch gets even more credit for being just more than yet another watch company.

4. People get a standrad reference for time. Although the current time and date system is one of the most beautiful concepts ever and is very hard for Interet Time to replace it, people can still do away with a standard reference for time online.
5. No confusing time zones, conversion charts, sunrises and sunsets, daylight saving formulaes and all that rocket science.

So what exactly is Internet Time....?
Pretty Simple ... instead of having seconds as the basic unit for measurement of time, we have something called .beat as the building block. A .beat is equivalent to 1 minute and 26.4 seconds. A day is now divided into 1000 beats rather than 60X60X24 seconds. A day begins at @000 Swatch .beats and ofcourse ends at @999 Swatch .beats

Posted by Saurabh Garg @893

Interesting Advertisement

Credits: Times Wellness

This is one of the Flash movies released on World Aids Day - 1st Dec. Although this post is a bit too late but as they say better late then never...

The Nidhi Kapoor Story

Did you like this post? May be you want to read my first book - The Nidhi Kapoor Story.

Check it out on Amazon or Flipkart?