Foods from India

I do not know of a bigger foodie than I. I just got this from a friend and its totally worth it.

On Quarter-life Crisis

Gaurav (@gsik) asked me write something on the Quarter-Life Crisis. Wikipedia defines QLC as
period of life immediately following the major changes of adolescence, usually ranging from the ages of 21 - 30
This definition is hardly sufficient to really explain what it really is. If I can take liberties to explain, in my own words, QLC is that phase of life when you have grown out of your college, you find everyone around you doing great with their lives and you are all confused and dont have a clue what to do with your life.

So I have to answer following questions
  1. Why do I think I suffer from Quarter Life Crisis?
  2. How do I deal with it?
  3. And do I see it as positive or negative energy?

So why do I think I am suffering from QLC?
Few hard facts first. I think I have one of the best jobs in the world with a lot of freedom to do things the way I want to do. My boss is as supportive as anyone can be. My employer is a growing company that will be a powerhouse to reckon with in times to come. I am paid enough money to stay comfortably even in a city like Mumbai. Everything looks hunky-dory. On paper.

While advertising is a great place to be amidst the thick of actions, contributing to few of the biggest brands, trying to create new media and brand businesses, there are times when I feel that I am destined to do things larger and grander than just advertising or brain-storming. I have no clue what this grand dream is. I have been running after for all 25 years of my life and I still dont have a clue where to go with it. There are times when I feel as if I am stuck. And this is the exact reason why I think I am suffering from QLC.

I know that I have had a great education and I am ready to take on the world. But the entire exercise of taking on the world is not even starting. Everything I do, however grand it may be from my perspective looks insignificant compared to the entire world.

And then there are my friends. Everyone seems to be making more money than me. Everyone seems to be having an absolute blast in life with global travels, time for themselves, relationships, carer advancements and latest gadgets whereas I am stuck in Mumbai with nothing of this sort happening. And not even remote chances of it in the sight.

I know I am a future rich famous and important guy but I dont know how and when would I reach there. I have opinions on things around me. Rather strong ones at that. I think everyone around me is mediocre and needs improvement. I dont want to spend time with these people and I would rather sit online trying to discover a new new thing rather than meeting people in social settings. I still laugh and cry with them but mentally I am very detached from them.

I am told that all these symptoms (and thousands others that I am not writing about) point to one thing. And one thing only. That I do suffer from Quarter-Life Crisis.

And how do I deal with it?
Since there are no medications available that might help someone suffering from QLC, I have to resort to home grown ideas. I am giving away an entire list of remedies that I use.
  1. Get busy. As simple as that. I have been told zillion times that an idle mind is devil's workshop. Most of my friends are really happy with what they do because they dont really have time to think. They get up, goto work, come back, have dinner and sleep. The entire long day makes them tired and all they can do at the end of the day is sleep.
  2. Write. Writing is tough. And especially when its me. I am not really known for my writing and literary skills and it makes the task all the more frustrating. You try to write so that you might get an avenue to channel your frustration through (because you dont really have any friends and the ones that you have dont have time to hear you whine and the ones who actually listen to you dont really understand the predicament you are in). And once the words dont come out, you are left with a half written text, that you save on your hard drive to never open again and eventually delete after 5 years (assuming that you would not want to read what you wrote five years ago).
  3. Motivate yourself. You take examples from what everyone is doing around you. You start dreaming that you can also live their lives if you tried. You start buying bling shirts and star studded jeans and start frequenting the "happening" places. You initially get laughed at. Once you get used to it, you start thinking that you are just being unlucky the first time (and everyone else boasts about the luck of the first-timers). Then after the vanity of first timing fades out, you realize that people have moved on from clubbing to mundane activities like lounge bars and coffee conversations. Moment you reach there, they move on further. Its always like trying to catch that train whose driver is like a kid trying to take a revenge for all the beating you gave him in school.
  4. Get more secluded. If none of the above work, its best to confine yourself to isolation. For one simple reason. You would not break more walls and retain the damage to yourself. In fact I am planning to do exactly this in next couple of months.
Finally I was asked if I see this as negative or positive energy.
I think energy is more positive than negative (at least for me). Reasons are very simple. Moment I see someone doing better than me, I would want to better him at his own game. I know I am not meant to do all the things in the world but at least I get to know more things. And this is something that moves me like no other thing. I can spend my entire life chasing that new thing and once accomplished, move on to the next one. And next one and the next one.

Secondly I also realize that end of the day I am human. However large things I may do, I will always remain a mere mortal that cant live beyond a certain comfort zone. My creations will always be lesser than all the mountains, oceans, Mother Nature. But again, can I get bigger than her? Can I beat her at her own game? Time shall tell and all of us shall stand witness to the confrontation.

And to end it all, yes I do suffer from QLC and I am still trying to find out a solution for the same. Prashant has a very interesting take on the entire thing. Please see his perspective also.

P.S.: Although I do suffer from QLC, the text above is a piece of fiction written on @gsik's request.

Lots of Diet Coke and Few Diet Pepsis

Title: Lots of Diet Coke
Equipment: MacBook Photo Booth
Date: 25 Aug 2008
Time: ?
Place: Office. When the Internet was not working. is down again ! is down again...

... because I reached my bandwidth limit !

Independent India and Independent Indians


I got this SMS from Sonali (she doesn't blog yet)
While v celebrate 61 years of independence, i hav just one ques fr u - after spending more than 2 decades in this 61-yr old country, r u a proud indian or an apprehensive indian? I first heard the latest rabbi song 'bilqis' 5 days back on india's independence day and am still haunted by it. And i am still looking fr n ans to the ques raised - 'jinhe naaz hai hind par woh kahan hai?'

And since its 9:30 PM, I am in office and don't have anything important to work on, I thought why not some self-reflection. Please beware that this is going to be a rant where I go on a mental trip and hopefully get an answer. And to put things in context, the song that Sonali is talking about is this. And while I am writing this, I am listening to it.

So the question asks me if I am a proud Indian or an apprehensive Indian. In one line, a short and sweet answer is that I am a proud Indian. And more than apprehensive I am confident, curious and motivated, all three at the same time. If you asked me why, I would have no real reasons except for the statement that everything India is, defines me (large, full of contradictions, basking in the past glory, struggling to cope up with realities of world fast changing world) and everything I am, defines India (young, mediocre, forward-looking, ambitious, trying to prove a point, wanting to lead the world).

And now the longer version of the story. I am confident because I know that in last decades, thanks to few good decisions by some individuals (including my parents, policy makers and my professors), I have got myself bare minimum education required to actually understand things and take an informed decision. I am confident that since I know quite a few things, I would take a decision that is in the best interest under prevailing circumstances. I am no magician with a magic ball to gaze through and predict what the future holds for us. However, at the same time I know that I am on an adventure trip where I chase things like glory, intelligent company and huge rewards for my efforts. And I am ready to take the risk for the same. I am not sure about the results but I dont mind trying.

I am curious. Because of my background, I know a few things and now with all the learning opportunities that this connected world gives me, I want to know a lot more. I want to learn and apply the lessons in real life and use them for my advantage. My curiosity keeps me going. To look beyond the obvious. To dig deeper. To investigate further. To reach the root of a problem and work on it from there. And once I am informed, that is the time when I feel I can be at my best.

And I am motivated. I am motivated because I cherish the freedom that came as a result of a long and hard struggle by millions of Indians. I understand that my life is so much better simply because I can take decisions without fearing any retributions of any kind. I understand that the very act of thinking like that is a privilege. And since I have that privilege of thinking and working in a free world, I know that I need to make the most of it. twiI need to preserve it for the generations to come. I have to leave something behind as a legacy (or even a simple gift). What better gift can I leave behind than freedom?

So what does Independence mean to me? I have thought about this a lot of time and every time there is a different answer. At times conflicting and at times comforting. But the essence remains the same. Independence for me is the complete freedom of thoughts and actions. This would mean being financially, morally and socially free. Apart from the financial freedom, all the other kinds are offered by the environment you live in. In my case it happens to be India. I did not choose India. It was something that was forced upon me (along with a lot of other things like my parents, my family, my physical appearance, my receding hairline etc.). To be very honest, if I could choose a country, I dont know if I would have chosen India over other "developed" and "free" countries. But now that I am an Indian and I have become what I am, there is no choosing things/people/countries. Only thing that remains debatable is how to take India to new heights.

There are tons of things that are awesome about India. And then there are many more tons that needs to be changed. Stories of corruption, favoritism, red-tapism, bureaucracy, laziness, mediocrity, procrastination, organized religion etc. are in abundance. Rare are the instances of honestly, brilliance, dutifulness, obedience etc. Still rarer are stories of Manjunaths, Dubeys, Kumars who have raised their voices and laid down their lives fighting for causes that they believed in. And there are people like Abhinav Bindra, Sushil Kumar and Vijender Kumar who have broken the age old shackles and have proved themselves on the toughest platform they could have participated. I can go on talking about the likes of Kalpana Chawla, Kiran Bedi, Lt. Saurabh Kalra, NR Narayamurthy, Azim Premji, Dr. Bose (not Netaji), Sam Pitroda, Mother Teresa and host of others who have not only raised the bar and made us proud but changed the way, the world at large perceives India as a country. More than changing the perception of the world around us, we should be talking about changing the way we think about India as a country. The way we think about ourselves. What we have and how we can leverage them to reach farther.

A country is made of its people and is what all these people, decide to make it, collectively. It is very easy to play the blame games and curse the "system" but it takes courage to actually voice an opinion. A country is a place where we all have agreed to live (in a lot of cases by choice and in few cases by default) but since we are here and now is our time, one needs to contribute and do whatever one thinks is in the best interest of the country and self. It can be as elementary as teaching your maid or as monumental as casting your vote in the elections (which as numbers would prove, only less than 65% of Indians do). A country is not about You. It definitely is not about me. It is about us. It is about we. It is about India. We need to move beyond the petty battles of YOU and ME and work collectively for US

Change is something that is very interesting. Change is one of those things that everyone desires and asks for. And moment there is even a glimmer of change, everyone starts resisting it. But why am I talking about change all of a sudden when we are talking about India and being an Indian? What do you think things like our opinions, our leaders, our policy makers, our education system, our perceptions, our thinking, our actions need?

And coming bacl to what Rabbi asked, "Jinhe Naaz Hai, Hind Par Woh Kahan They, Jinhe Naaz Hai Woh Kahan Hai?". Do we have answer? I dont know about a lot of things and I don't know how to weave beautiful stories and poetic text but I know one thing for sure. Next time, there is someone who challenges my India, I would be there and I would stand tall and be counted.

What is your story? Please share. Please ask yourself. Please ask your friends. Please ask strangers. Please investigate.

August 15, 61st Birthday.

Spoke about Independence Day here.

With so much of work, and yet another blog to take care of, its increasing getting difficult to create quality content :(

I dint want to become a prolific blogger to have less time for blogging. A stupid example of negative feedback loop in action.

Mumbai Delhi for 20,000

Inflation has hit us real hard. There used to be a time when one could travel Mumbai to Delhi on a low cost airline for just about 3000 bucks including taxes. Today we cant get one

If you click on the attached screenshot, you will see the kind of prices they are charging for a one way trip between Mumbai and Delhi. Is this justified .. ? I dont think so. And yes there were cheaper flights available but I ticked them out so that I can take this screenshot.

I know inflation is taking its toll on airlines, fuel prices are all time high and manpower cost is increasing by the day. The taxes are adding additional burden but 20K for a one way flight is stupid.

khddssd blogs

Note: Edited on 20 May 2013 to remove links.

There was I time when I would boot my blog editor on Blogger and post about every small leaf moving with every strand of wind. And then there came a time when I would post things that are truly monumental.

As we increasingly live in a digital world where every bit of data and information you put anywhere on the Internet can be searched and indexed and retrieved easily. And moving with the times, I need to change the way I blog.

I will no longer create a new post on every small update. Now its about one place for everything related to a particular topic.

  • This might mean several edits on the same post.

  • This would mean trouble for people reading my blog from RSS readers.

  • This would also mean comments going out of context. This would mean more trouble.

But I think the trouble is worth it. A post would no longer remain a small rant on things. It will, over a period of time, become a long page with lots of details on a particular topic. It will become my personal Wikipedia. In fact I had realized this long back and hence the pbWiki.

Also I have realized that juggling multiple blogs is very difficult. Apart from contributions to,, venturewoods, I manage quite a few blogs. My photoblog, personal blog, new new thing, Friends from Creativeland, value investing and probably a lot more blogs that I am forgetting (yes unofficial MDI blog, MML blog etc.). It is very difficult to juggle between all these. You tend to put a lot of effort on creating one and promoting it and as a result you ignore the other ones to die their natural, slow and painful death.

What do you think? Should I post on every small think? Or one large post with lots of data and information works?

Originally posted on here.

Rabbi Shergil - Jugni

Rabbi Shergill - Jugni on Youtube

More I listen to Rabbi and more I connect with other Rabbi fans, more I like him. On Sonal's recommendation, I listened to Jugni. As compared to Bilquis where he talks about few heroes who laid their lives hoping for miracles, Jugni talks about India as a nation and things that we the people face everyday. The hard decisions we have to make. The trade offs. The sufferings. And the hope for a better future.

Lyrics (reproduced from
Jugni dekhan chali desh....
Jide janmay si kadi ved...
jidon kadyaa si angrez...
Ki banyaa usdaa....
Ki banyaa usdaa haal....
kede kite usne kamaal...

vir meryaa ve jugni....
vir meryaa ve jugni kehndi aa....
ek raah nawe aaj pandi hain..

Jugni jaa wadi kashmir ....
jithe roz maran das vee..
soni behnaa te sone veer..
oooo ro ro poochna..
ke jaghda tayi mukhnna...
jedo jhelum paani sukhnaa

vir meryaa ve jugni....
vir meryaa ve jugni kehndi aa....
ek neer nawe aaj behndi hain..

jugni jaa wadi punjab....
jithe padhe likhe bekaar...
bech zameenaa jaawen baahar...
uthe maaran jaadho....
uthe gori lain vewha..
peeche tabar take raah..

vir meryaa ve jugni....
vir meryaa ve jugni kehndi aa....
ek nayi udhari lendi aa....

Jugni jaa wadi bambai..
jithe sonda koi nahi...
sab labban cheez koi ....
kis kise noooo labbe...
jeno labbe woh bechain....
mathe matke uske pain...???

vir meryaa ve jugni....
vir meryaa ve jugni kehndi aa....
ek sah safar daa lendi aa....

jugni jaa wadi aaj dilli,,,,
uthe bheed ch ral ki bhuli..
kitho aayi teh kithe chali...
sab basar gaya...
jeddon aaya usno cheta...
taaki mukhea thaa usdaa belaaa....

vir meryaa ve jugni....
vir meryaa ve jugni kehndi aa....
aaj naam guraa daan lehendi aa.......

I have to reiterate that India needs more artists like Rabbi Shergill. We need people to understand the issues that confront us as a nation and its citizens. We need people to get everyone's attention towards these issues.

Music as a medium becomes is really helpful to hook on people from all walks of life to ponder on these issues. Initially people become fans (of the artist) and eventually the music. And once they know the music, they start understanding the causes that the artist is trying to talk about. They start discussing it. They start debating it. And finally they start working on it.

Bhayankar Thandi Beer

Rabbi Shergil - Bilquis

Last night, just before I slept, I chanced upon another song from Rabbi Shergill on Channel V. I just caught the last part of the song that ended with the beginning of our National Anthem.

Today morning first thing I did was download (illegally) the song. I heard it and it swept me off my feet. It is a must hear for anyone who even remotely thinks of India. While searching more about it, I realized that the song is about a month old and already has already been featured elsewhere on blogosphere (a very good post on Sepia Mutiny).

The song is available on the website of the album Avengi J Nahin at For those who prefer images to music, I found a low quality version on youtube here.

I will lift part of the lyrics from there, with due credits to Amardeep (Amardeep's blog).
Mera naam Bilqis Yakub Rasool
Mujhse hui bas ek hi bhool
Ki jab dhhundhhte thhe vo Ram ko
To maen khardi thhi rah mein
Pehle ek ne puchha na mujhe kuchh pata thha
Dujey ko bhi mera yehi javab thha
Itno ne puchha ki mera ab saval hai ki
Jinhe naaz hai, hind par vo kahan the
Jinhe naaz hai, vo kahan hain

Mera naam Shriman Satyendra Dubey
Jo kehna tha kah woh kah chukey
Ab pade hai rah main dil main liye ek goli
Bas itna Kassor ki humane likha tha
Woh sach jo har kisi ki zubaan tha
par sach yahan ho jaate hain zahreele
Jinhe naaz hai, hind par vo kahan the
Jinhe naaz hai, vo kahan hain

Mujhe kahte hain ? Manjunath
Maine dekhi bhatakti ek laash
Zameer kay beech sadak lakhiyonpur khedi
Aadarsh phansa jahan baataon main
Aur chor bhare darbaron main
Wahan maut ? ki ek khabar hai basi
Jinhe naaz hai hind par vo kahan the
Jinhe naaz hai vo kahan hain

Maza naam hai Lavleen Kumar
Unnees june unnees baar
Unnees unnees unnees unnees baar
Unnees unnees unnees unnees unnees unnees .. baar
Looto to haath kholo bazaar
Nalaspora aur Virar
Cheeno zamin humsey
Bhejo humain pataal
Jinhe naaz hai hind par vo kahan the
Jinhe naaz hai vo kahan hain

In this song, Rabbi talks about Bilquis Rassol, Satyendra Dubey, Manjunath and one Lavleen Kumar in the song. I know about Bilquis Rasool, Satyendra Dubey and Manjunath but can someone tell me who is this Lavleen Kumar? I searched his name and the context 19th Jun but could not find a thing. Someone please add here.

The lyrics talk about all these modern day Indians who have suffered because they thought they could raise their voices. Because they thought they could ask Y. Because they dared. Because they were Indians.

And their sacrifice probably got lost after our dear media moved onto other "more important" matters like health conditions of movie stars and relationships of cricketers. This song comes as a reminder for us. We do not want any more young engineers, management graduates to suffer the same fate. If these incidents fail to awaken the society, I wonder what would.

As I said earlier, the song ends with riffs from National Anthem and when it ends, you are left feeling good and bad at the same time. On one hand you are proud because you are humming your favorite tune. And you feel bad at the same time because music brings back memories of things being talked about in the song. The injustice, the call for action and finally the harsh realities of society we all dearly love.

In the end, I simply love the song and the entire idea of using music to spread word about India and being Indian. Do we know of more musicians like Rabbi? Can we please have more musicians like that in India?

5 versions of Super Mario Bros theme

Super Mario is a game that I have grown up playing. On youtube, I found these awesome vids.

Flute and Beat Box




Play Symphony

WOW.. !
Image Credits: Faith9990 on Flickr

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?