April 2009: Goals and Output.

Off my April 2009 goals, I did ...
  1. Bought the bike. I got it on 15th April 2009. It is a Royal Enfield Bullet Eletcra 5S. I paid a fortune for it (considering my cash flow) but I am happy I did and got over it. I had been thinking about it for a long time now.
  2. Restarted blogging on SaurabhGarg.com. I did. I call my new blog "Questions. And Answers.". Why and how is here.
And I did not ...
  1. Learn to juggle 4 balls: I can do only three. I did not get to the 4th ball. Dint get time to learn the fourth ball. Actually lost the motivation to move on the 4th ball.
  2. Do Twitter Clone: Given up without writing a single code. I have left the blog the way it is. I dint even check with kAgE if he did anything about it. Knowing him, it is improbable that he would have done it.
Neo pointed out that I have done things that I could have bought with money. Things that required me to work, put in effort, I dint do anything about them. This will have to change starting May.

Trip # 1: Thoughts, Trips and Tips

I plan to take a note of *all* trips I make on my bike. Let me call the ride from Neo's place to work as Trip 1. Not that this is something special (I had a bike till about three years back and I use to ride it to work in Delhi and Chennai) but I thought I would record how I felt about things on the dream machine. And I am itching to write.

Without further ado, in "bullet" points, are the thoughts.
  • A bike could be faulty. But like true fans, I excuse the makers for oil leak on day 1. Hoping to get it fixed soon.
  • The hair (or whatever is left of it on my head) goes for a toss because of the helmet. I still have to tie a bandanna before I can put on a helmet.
  • Mumbai roads are bad. Real bad.
  • If you do not use a pair of eyeglasses, your eyes would get about 2 kilos of dust and grime.
  • Your arms would tan by about three shades.
And here are few thoughts that I had in those 45 mins that it took me to ride from Vikhroli to Andheri.
  • I need to dig out my ipod and put all the travel songs on it. Music should be a mandatory accessory for biking. So should be a chewing gum.
  • Riding is real fun. After a point a sort of monotony sets in. This is the time when you start that journey within self that you always hear about. I was coming down the JVLR and I went in that mode for a few seconds. It was nothing less than bliss. It is worth all the effort and pain.
  • Biking does not change you overnight. But moment you put the machine in first gear, that change begins. We just dont realize it, till it takes over you. It changes the way you perceive things and act on them. And mind you, its not that you are looking for a change. It just happens.
On Bullet,
  • With a bullet, comes the famous thump. You feel it. There are no words to do justice to the sound and thump.
  • Never attempt to race with mortals. You should have your own speed. Your own space and your own ride. Never compete. Its not worth it. A bullet gives you the confidence that you control one of the best machines and it is not about winning against someone you dont know and never will.
  • With a bullet, you know that you are controlling a beast and when the beast responds, you suddenly are awed by all the power. Power that you can only exert over a machine ;P
  • And of course not to mention, all the attention you get from everyone on the road. Some are awed by it. Some are jealous. Some are inspired. Some are angry. Some pretend to be indifferent . Some pretend to ignore. But you know and they know and they know that you know that you are being watched. And obviously, you notice all the attention and you want to believe that you dont notice it. But you do. I do.
That's it for the day I think. Keep tuned in for more. BTW I decided that I want to go for a Vipassana course. June is the earliest I can do. Lets hope I can do it sooner. And I need to improve my writing. My style is, too coarse. Tips?

No tips ;P

Bavra Man - Lyrics

As I was shuffling my music in the morning, this song started playing and I was struck by the brilliance of the singer. And then the lyrics caught my fancy. This is easily one of the best penned lyrics of all time. I am copying lyrics from this blog...

Movie: Hazaaron Khwaishein Aisi
Singer: Swanand Kirkire, IMDB
Lyrics/Poet: Swanand Kirkire, IMDB
Music: Shantanu Moitra, IMDB

Bavra Mann Dekhne Chala Ek Sapna
Bavra Mann Dekhne Chala Ek Sapna

Bavre Se Mann, Ki Dekho Bavri Hain Baatein
Bavre Se Mann, Ki Dekho Bavri Hain Baatein
Bavri Se Dhadkaane Hain, Bavri Hain Saansen
Bavri Si Karwaton Se, Nindiya Door Bhaage
Bavre Se Nain Chaahe, Bavre Jharokhon Se, Bavre Nazaron Ko Takna.
Bavra Mann Dekhne Chala Ek Sapna

Bavre Se Is Jahan Main Bavra Ek Saath Ho
Is Sayani Bheed Main Bas Haathon Mein Tera Haath Ho
Bavri Si Dhun Ho Koi, Bavra Ek Raag Ho
Bavri Si Dhun Ho Koi, Bavra Ek Raag Ho
Bavre Se Pair Chahen, Baavron Tarano Ke, Bavre Se Bol Pe Thirakna.
Bavra Mann, Dekhne Chala Ek Sapna

Bavra Sa Ho Andhera, Bavri Khamoshiyan
Bavra Sa Ho Andhera, Bavri Khamoshiyan
Thartharati Low Ho Maddham, Bavri Madhoshiyan
Bavra Ek Ghooghta Chahe, Haule Haule Bin Bataye, Bavre Se Mukhde Se Sarakana,
Bavra Mann, Dekhne Chala Ek Sapna
And here is the video from youtube. Too bad they dint shoot it.

Royal Enfield Bullet Electra is here!!

After waiting for about 5 years (I thought about it first way back in 2004 when I was just joining MDI), and talking about it forever (like here, here and here), I have been able to muster enough courage (and save enough money) to get myself a Royal Enfield Bullet Electra.

This one is a Bullet Electra 5S, 2009 Model. Silver. As compared to classic Bullets, this one has 5 gears, brake on the right side and an electric start. There are minor upgrades in terms of disk brakes, steelwool in exhaust and oil controled shock absorbers etc. The engine remains the same. So does the thump. And so does the (in)famous sound.

I got it on 15th April 2009. So far I have done some 100 KMs on it. Couldn't annouce it earlier because I did not get the registration and other documents. Finally, I am assured that by today evening I would be a free man.

Yes, a free man. A Royal Enfield for me is not so much about heritage, performance or durability. It is a dream I have cherished for a long time. Its part of the trip I am on. It is like my second life. For me its freedom from the boring routines that we call life. It takes me to a place where I will be by myself. I will be on the road discovering new places, knowing things like I have never know and experiencing the pains and pleasures of riding a Bullet. I plan to take long journeys on it, once I master the art of riding it. Lets just say, I will get in the God Mode (alternate definitions here), moment I am on a bullet.

BTW, we are calling it RajDulara (and Chetak for brevity). Named after Neo's RamPyari, finally its hum do, humare do. And please, no test rides. Will try to get my hands on a camera over the weekend and upload some pictures. Next on agenda? A trip to Leh perhaps?

P.S.: My last bike was Kawasaki Bajaj Caliber Croma. I had it for about 5 years before I moved to Mumbai. It was sold without me ever getting to know about it. I plan to make this one last for the rest of my life.

P.P.S.: Next todo is to create a trip poster for myself. These posters are just brilliant. Check them out.

Happy Birthday Sachin Tendulkar

Sachin Tendulkar turns 36. Very very happy returns of the day Sachin. May you get us the world cup in 2011.

P.S.: And this is the day when I got my gmail in 2004 :)

Image Credits: Sixer.in

Hum Hai Rahi Pyar Kay

hum hai rahi pyar kay, humse kuch na boliye. jo bhi pyar sey mila hum usi kay ho liye.
Said Kishore Da. Wish life could be that simple.

Here is the video.

99 - Delhi Destiny

Right in the morning I have this bad habit of listening to music. While channel surfing all the music channels, I stumbled upon this fun song titled Delhi Destiny. Reached office and first thing I did (after checking my emails) was hunting for it on IMDB and Youtube.

IMDB just says that its a comedy releasing in 2009. From the song, I know it has Kunal Khemu, Soha Ali Khan, Cyrus Brocha, Simone Singh, Boman Irani in the movie. Who else?

This is one of those movies that I want to watch. Any idea when is it releasing?

The Biking and Travel Blog

What should I call it?

I posted the same on twitter and FB. Got a few responses. Want to add more?

Titan - Be More - Advertisement

This is one of those brands whose communication and ads inspired me to choose advertising as a career.

Pricing and Demand

Lets say I am selling shoes. These shoes are not meant for the entire world, but for a select few. Lets say shoes for computer gamers. Something that all gamers would want for sure.

Once I have a product to sell, I have a few options of creating a pseudo demand (and inflate prices). Let me call them models.

Model 1
I create 500 pairs and sell each at say Rs. 100. Like a typical sales process happen.

Model 2
I create 500 pairs. Sell them in lots of 50 at Rs. 50 each. Once each lot gets over, I jack up the price by Rs. 25. I create that "rush" where everyone would want to buy the shoe when its still 50. If lot 1, gets over, everyone knows that if they dint buy it for 75 (and miss this lot), the price would go up at 100. So on and so forth. Also, since these shoes are limited in number, by raising the "price", I raise the "value" of the shoes that have been earlier purchased. I theoretically sell faster and make more money.

Model 3
Reverse of Model 2. Lets say I want at least Rs. 100 per pair. I create lots. I sell the first lot for Rs. 200. Every incremental lot, I reduce the price. I think this is the worst of all. This is infact the winners curse. The price for other users falls as a result of actions of the winners. But there is something interesting. Moment I slash the prices from Rs. 200 to Rs. 100, I think a lot of people would compare the two prices and use models like contrast and grounding to buy in herds.

Is there a merit in thinking about pricing and economics before you create a business? Which of the three is advisable in the long run if your product is not a commodity? Is there a fourth, fifth, sixth .. way to think about pricing and generate demand.


Originally posted on Cyntax Blog

I want to work at

I wrote this on my Nokia E51
Am at MDI and I have realized that I want to work out of a campus. Lots of open spaces. Lots of simulation. Lots of time. Where we dont chase deadlines. Where life moves at a pace that I decide. Where I discover new people and talents. Where I get discovered.

Wrote while visiting MDI on my recent trip to Delhi.

The Weekend - 11, 12 April 09

I was in Delhi this weekend. A quick summary would be

Train - Mathura - Agra - Fatehpur Sikri - Traffic Jam - Delhi - Home - CP - Home - Cyntax - Amar Motors - GK II - Select City Walk - MDI - Maggi@GE - Go Air - Meru - Godrej Hillside Colony - Creativeland

And like always, there are details to follow. Lemme see when I get time to talk about em.

  • Train - It was sheer luck that allowed me to board the train. I was to board from Borivali station and my rick driver took me to Dahisar. With 6 mins to ETD. And we had a RAC ticket. That meant my friend and I were forced to share one berth for the night.
  • Mathura - Got down at Mathura. After spending the night sitting, walking in the bogey, remmebering the time table and amount of time it stops at each station, shifting weight, getting down at all the stations, eating whatever came my way, reading The Case of Exploding Mangoes.
  • Agra - Yes, the Taj Mahal city. I went there and did not see the Taj. If there was no Taj, Agra would have been one of those million little cities in India that no one would have ever heard of and no one would ever go there. Everything from people to government to administration to weather was very average.
  • Fatehpur Sikri - I dint know that Fatehpur was a UNESCO World Heritage Site. If its one, its been left to rot by the administration. Anyways, the place is very serene. You could be in the middle of a maddening crowd and yet be with yourself. I was hoping for a miracle (I think I am looking for some kind of support to lap onto) but it never happened. May be next time?
  • Traffic Jam - En route from Agra to Delhi, around the Haryana border, farmers were protesting for something. Collosal waste of time, money, resources and everything else. I have always hated those "strikes". Anyways, I could see all the Munger's mental models in action. From group think to social proof to biases and authority misinfluence to reciprocation.
  • Delhi - Home!
  • Home - Maa kay haath ka khana :D
  • CP - BTW the official name is Rajiv Chowk, its still called by one and all as CP. I too prefer CP. Its the best place to hang around in Delhi IMHO. I make at leat two trips to the place for sure everytime I go there.
  • Cyntax - Kunal and me spoke about Cyntax. He looks committed to it and hopefully I can make up my mind soon.
  • Amar Motors - One of the reason I went to Delhi was to buy the bike. Went to this dealer called Amar Motors. For a company like Royal Enfield and a product like Bullet, the dealership was a mess for sure. The brand, product, company attracts certain kind of people and there was no one there to take care of those kinds of people. Guess you can do very well with branding and marketing efforts but when it comes to real life interactions, you have to find a way to manage them!
  • GK II - No notes. Boring visit to that market. Obviously there were tons of pretty faces. Wish Mumbai ones were like that.
  • Select City Walk - Met Shubhi and she insisted that we goto Select City Walk. I want to know who are the people who goto that mall and actually buy things from there. Every thing was way out of my reach!
  • MDI - Went to MDI. I went to my room (#309), SharmaJi's, Change Masters (its now called IFCI Swarna Jayanti Hostel), Dome Terrace, the loos, the library, Jhajis, Acad Block, CC etc. It was so full of emotions that I could have cried. Somehow prevented it. Anyways, a visit to MDI also reaffirmed my belief that I am most comfortable when I am in a campus like setting. I wrote this text while I was roaming around the CC
  • Maggi @ GE - When we were at MDI, Maggi at a road side dhaba outside GE's office in Gurgaon was our staple food. For the old times sake we went to this dhaba and got the maggi. I ate it when I was in the meru on way back to home and it was bliss. People miss food from homes, I missed food from this dhaba.
  • Go Air - Flew with Go Air. Ok experience. Flight was delayed by 40 mins. Once I was inside the aircraft, things were on time.
  • Meru - This is where the power of branding was evident. We were going to take a cab home. There were at least three paid AC taxi services available at the airport. We dint even look at them. Without even talking to them, we went to Meru, got in the cab and left. I think this is where Meru does well compared to other businesses. Marketing is ok but the experience that I get as a customer when I travel with them is exceptional. From comfortable rides to courteous drivers to punctuality to electronic billing. Guess
  • Godrej Hillside Colony - Surfed the web. Slept fitfully for three hours.
  • Creativeland - Back at work!
I think I like this new way of logging travel. Of course it cant replace the good old travelogue, may be I will write that too but this is convenient for logging in the highlights.

And no, I wasn't carrying any camera and there are no pictures. Vivek took this pic way back in 2005 at Fatehpur. May be an apt place for a ref?

Wishlist / Bucket List

I was talking to a friend and I realized that I dont have one single wishlist. I have blogged about my todo's in past (here, here, here)

Here is my wishlist (aka the bucket list)
  1. Get a Royal Enfield Bullet Electra. (Got in Apr 2009)
  2. Get a Sony PSP. (Got it in Mar 2008)
  3. Buy an iPod. (Got it in Aug 2006 and donated it to my sis in Dec 2008)
  4. Publish at least one book. (Done. The Nidhi Kapoor Story in Oct / Nov 2014)
  5. Preferably a travel book.
  6. Teach. (Done. At EMDI. Two courses. On marketing and planning. Aug / Sep 2014)
  7. Bunjee Jump. (Jumped off Macau Tower in May 2010)
  8. Bike from Kanyakumari to Leh.
  9. And from Rann of Kutch to Arunachal Pradesh.
  10. Visit places in my Travel WishList. Visit 1000 cities across the world. 
  11. Win a WSOP bracelet. 
  12. Run a Marathon in less than 4 hours. 
Funny how I have want so many materialistic things in life!

Update. The initial list had 10 items. The first ten. Added more as I went along.

Last updated on 16 Sep 2016

Origami Crane

I have always been an Origami fan. As a kid I remember folding all kinds of paper into all kinds of shapes. Not that it excited me, it was one of those million things that you do as kids. And then when I stumbled upon Prison Break, I wanted to be able to make Cranes and all the other things that people make with one sheet of paper.

Somehow, yesterday, I started reading about it and decided to learn at least a few things. The Crane was an obvious place to start. Googled and used this image to learn how to fold a crane.
This is the final result. Not as beautiful as the ones Michael (Scofield) makes, but its still a crane. And it can still bring a smile to anyone.

I made two of them. The second one looked better. And while you are at it, you might want to check out this TED talk by Robert Lang where he marries the art and science of origami and creates wonderful objects (check out his website for his creations).

Any more origami aficionados?

And yes, I realized that I need gratification for my efforts. Even if its small. Even if it comes from myself only! I see things like juggling, origami, rubik's cube etc as those small little things that give me that instant gratification I look for.

Mindmaps and Website layouts

While working with Mindmaps it dawned upon me that why can't I do my website design like a huge inflatable mindmap? It would be easier for the visitor to find his way around on my website. It would be easier for me to create it. A quick and dirty website layout that I designed with MindMeister (one of those few free online mind mapping software).

And I realized that WK website is like a huge 3D Mindmap. Done very well. Time for inspiration!

Man About Town

Last night when I was wondering what to do, while channel surfing, I chanced upon Man About Town at Sony Pix. Although I dont watch a lot of English movies, something about this one appealed and I saw it.

Here's a tailor ...

I realized that Jack's life is very similar to mine (mine being lot less successful), he has the same insecurities that I have (although I dont have a wife to worry about), he is skeptic of same things I am of (apart from the fact that he is rich) and he is as confused as I am.

And its a wonderful movie. It enters my list of favorite movies. And I dint know that "Man About Town" meant these.

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?