Help me decide a new year resolution

I have been contemplating on many things lately. One of them is deciding a new year resolutions. I have decided the first one. It is–> Whatever new year resolutions I decide, I will diligently follow them  🙂

Yeah! Thats the problem. I have been a good decision maker. However I’m not a good implementer. Every new year I make resolutions and almost all of them die a slow death within a month or two. But this time I have decided. I’m not going to make heavy resolutions. Why take risk of non performance?

So… I have problems in plenty. People have started calling me fat. I’ve lately become really bad at managing money. Its been almost a year and I’m still searching for a good job. I dont have a house of my own and I’m not able to save enough to buy one. I have entrepreneurship dreams but new ideas have dried up.

Hmmm… so tell me, what should I do this new year?

Thank you Readers

This is my first post for more than a week now. I have not been posting anything substantial for last 15 days. Yet readers continue to throng my page. Thank you readers for boosting my confidence to write again and again. I’m conveniently assuming that you guys love my articles    🙂

Its been 7 months since I started this blog on wordpress. It has already registered more than 11,148 unique hits till date… an average of 54 hits per day. I never thought I could generate traffic of that volumes in a short span of time. My blog was also selected to be featured on CNN and BBC during the terror attacks on Mumbai. I think that was too much of an honor for a mediocre writer like me.

Thank you guys, really. Its been an amazing journey till date and will continue forever.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

I’ll be taking a short break from blogging. Till then, I wish you all a merry christmas and a very happy new year!


Executive Toilets?

I went to a client visit at a fairly well known company today. I had a strange yet very common observation. It is about toilets. Here is what heppened-

I had to meet a CxO level person. Naturally he made me wait for quite some time. I was asked to sit in an ice cold conference room. That triggered my potency to a nature’s call. Obviously once the meeting was over, I asked the house keeping staff to direct me to the wash rooms. To my surprise, there were 4 different wash rooms. One for the ladies (understandably), one for the male staff, one for visitors (unisex) and one for executives. Executives? Yes. I was told that the bosses dont like to ‘pee’ standing shoulder to shoulder with the staff.

Hmmm… may be the VPs and CEOs follow a different posture.   😀

Short of Ideas

I’m short of ideas these days. I dont know what to write on my blog. Love stories? Not right now. They bring back sour memories. About current affairs? They are too gloomy. Terrorist attacks, sorry state of Indian Politics, dug up roads, bad network, job rejections… these are few topics from the long list of titles I have already rejected.

So what is left? Movie reviews? I have a policy. A movie will find a place on my blog only of it is very good or very bad. I didn’t find any of the recently released movies worthy of a review, either ways. So nothings much on this front as well. Ghajini is awaited, but it will have to wait.

Any one who would like to tell what you want me to write on? I’m happy to oblige  🙂

Ghajini: Peak a poop!

Last few months have been a relatively quite affair for the bollywood. Salman was robbed of a princely treatment when his (and Subhash Ghai’s) ‘Yuuvraaj’ bombed. Ironically, even the change in spelling as per some numerologist could not prevent it from sinking. There were talks that Shahrukh’s ‘Rab ne bana di jodi’ might provide some respite. But I hear that Aditya Chopra’s return to main stream direction has received only a luke warm response. The pundits had already written it off in the reviews, and I wisely stayed away.

ghajini_posterHmmm… this post isn’t about what the Bollywood is going through. Its about Ghajini and the hype! No wonder… its a trademark bollywood stuff. Whenever a movie featuring the Khans (Amir, Salman or Shahrukh… note the order) is due for release, we witness a hype of magnitudes larger than the turbulations of economies. Even Akshay has joined the fray with ‘Chandni Chowk to China.’ When it comes especially to Aamir, the hype has to surpass every thing else. Anyway, so what is Ghajini all about? Its a story of a millionaire man, played by Aamir, and his tryst with his destiny. Life is full circle for him till one day his girl friend gets raped and murdered. Unfortunately on the same day, he suffers brain damage and starts forgetting things. He tattoos the details of those who killed his girl friend in a bid to take revenge. The movie is all about his ordeal with the modes and cruelties of life.

Ghajini is actually a remake of a Kollywood movie (Starring Surya) made under the same name by A R Murugadoss, the same guy behind this movie as well. I’m sure Murugadoss was inspired from the Hollywood flick ‘Mememto’ by Christopher Nolan. I read the story of ‘Memento‘ and it seems he may have made only cosmetic changes. Should I be complaining? May be not. Ghajini was a big hit in Kollywood. The story too should suit the Indian audience well. And I have no doubts about Amir’s ability to carry the movie.

All in all, I think Ghajini should be a good package. I’m looking forward to tear it apart!    🙂

A trip to CST

cst_mumbaiI went to the ‘Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus’ for my personal work this Monday. Being as curious as a cat, I couldn’t stop myself from observing the station from a terrorism angle. I’m not criticising any one. Neither am I pointing fingers the way media men did during the whole Taj-Oberoi-CST attacks. I’m just penning my plain observation (and my comments/concerns in the brackets).

So to start with, the CST had bunkers installed on the sides from where the two terrorists had walked in. (As far as I know, there area at least dozen entrances and exits to the station. I wonder what makes them think the next attack will happen in similar manner.)

There were lot of taxis, public and private vehicles coming in and going out in the same area without much surveillance. (Except for the blasts in local trains, in all other blasts a public carrier was used. May it be a bus, a taxi or any other vehicle. So what if an RDX laden taxi barges in and blows away the are. There is no way a police can stop it.)

Finally there were some uniformed policemen laced with stenguns posted inside the station. Various posts are now in place and we see men (and women) occupying them. Metal detectors are installed as well. However they keep making noise and there is hardly any one listening. I saw 4 policemen sitting besides the post with metal detectors. Two were reading news paper, one was sipping tea and the forth one was dozing off. (Frankly, I cant blame them. There might be 50 policemen at CST. But there were also more than 2000 commuters. Too much for the liking of already over worked security personnel.)

I was carrying a back pack similar to what the terrorist were carrying when they attacked CST. But I was never stoped and questioned. (May be I look too innocent). I had my prying eyes circling the entire station with suspicion. I also tried to take pictures (even of policemen) pretending I was reading an sms. I got away too easily. (Either the police is very smart to know who’s a culprit or they are too dumb to notice it.)

Overall, I think we have not learnt from our mistakes. I dont know how much more lives will it take for us to realise that we are indeed under constant threat of global terrorism.

Tamannaon ka Behkava

“Tamannaon ke behekave mein aksar aa hi jaate hai…
Kabhi hum chott khate hai, kabhi hum muskurate hai.”

For my English readers, the above line means “We often get disillusioned by our desires. Some times we get hurt while some times we laugh it away. These are the first two lines from a popular ‘Ghazal’ mesmerizingly sung by Chitra Singh. So often we get tempted by desires that we make mistakes we ought not to commit. Desire is a very dangerous word and I prefer to use and practice it sparingly in my life. There are three desires, which when not under control can ruin you beyond recognition. These are Sex, Power and Money. I’m no philosopher to tell you what they are and who do you control them. But I would like to narrate you my experience with desires on two separate occasions yesterday.

One: We were going to Dadar in my car (Remember, I stay in Mumbai). As we approached Sion circle, I broke a traffic rule for lane. Obviously the traffic cop stopped me and explained me why and where I was wrong. He asked if I wanted him to issue a ticket for a Rs. 300 fine. I was almost tempted to offer him a Rs. 50 note and fly away. But my conscience told me that I should get out and remind him of his duties. He got angry and threatened to apply some dirty clauses to rope me in. It finally ended when I paid the fine and told him I can complain in the anti corruption bureau. Most of other motorists, including the ones traveling with me were tempted to bribe him and get away. It is normal, but I was happy for my abnormal act. I managed to control two of the desires, preventing the cop to mis use his power and then narrowly conquering my greed to save some money by bribing him. May be it is a small incidence, but who knows when the world might change?

Two: It is not really related to the ‘Sex-Power-Money’ trio. This is more of a social desire where all of the three play role in making oneself believe that he/she has ‘arrived’ (god knows where). We were sitting at the doctor’s place where I saw a young (fairly) mother was talking to her daughter in English. Nothing surprising, except that her daughter must be around 5 years old. Their demeanour suggested that they were indeed local. Two things annoyed me the most, one was their language (which was poor) and second, the lady spoke fluent Marathi and Hindi alike. Why on earth then she choses not to speak in her mother tongue with her child? Are you trying to tell us you have enough money and power to get a so called ‘western’ and ‘modern’ life styles? My foot! Desires, nothing else… and really foolish desires. God bless such people.

Cartoon: Back where it all began.


Came across a really correct depiction of what has happened to our economies. Nothing to worry though, we were at this place 4 years back and we weren’t at recession. So we shouldn’t panic. Enjoy!  🙂

Realty Panics

I got a call from a Mumbai builder’s office today morning. The executive was trying to give me informatin about the apartments they were trying to sell. I had in fact visited this builder in February earlier this year and he wanted to know if I was still interested. Back then, they quoted me about 45 lacs for a 600 sqft 1 bedroom-hall-kitchen apartment in Kandivali (E), Mumbai. It was too much for my liking and I decided not to buy the property. The builder now is willing to sell me the same apartment at as low as 36 lacs. That is at approximately 25% of erosion of price within space of 9 months.

Whoa! The builders, it seems, are seriously feeling the heat of recession. However its no surprises for us. There have been talks of a price correction since long time. The property market was already swollen like a hippo for last 2 years. People argued that it will fall, and people like me believed them. The wait is now finally paying off. Incidently it seems to be happening all of a sudden. I spent last two weekends surveying properties in Thane and adjoining areas. Believe it or not, a 3 bedroom hall kitchen apartments with all the modern amenities and excellent society are available at a sub-50 lacs price (all inclusive). And these are areas not too far from station. As far as I know, it was difficult to get even a ‘small’ 2 bhk at that price in Thane about an year ago. The rates are suddenly under a slide. In fact, a builder called me and offered me to arrange for a pick up at Thane station/ Check naka to help me commute to his site.

Builders are actually getting desperate to off load the property they have at hand. One of the reasons I see for this desperation is the realization of investment they have made. Most of the land acquired was in the times when market was on its upswing. Loans were borrowed. Staggering rates were paid to get hold of the prime property. However due to recent slow down, the sale of new houses came to a stand still. Buildings were built, towers were erected. But there were not enough buyers. This is prompting builders to reduce rates and recover whatever money they can. I spoke to few real estate guys whom I know to get a first hand account of whats happening. A prominent real estate agent who operates between Powai and Mulund said, “There were times when we used to handle 12-15 enquiries per week. I had to heavily staff my office to cater to the incoming calls and visits. Today however we barely manage to sell 1 apartment a month, that too at lesser rates.”

It is evident that the recent slow down has eroded wealths of one and all. No doubt why builders are now shifting their focus. Unlike 2-3 years back when they stressed on building premier properties, they seem to have shifted back to the economy homes. An article in Times of India today mentioned the names of most prominent builders who are changing their gear from luxury to affordable housing. Seems the builders have learnt their lesson.

If you ask me, the gyanguru, wait for 2-3 months and you will get prime property at dirt cheap rates 🙂