Monday, October 08, 2012


Corruption crusader and the nation’s angriest middle-age man has promised to not only expose another big political leader in the next couple of days but more importantly follow it up with a GANGNAM performance. Addressing a packed media session today Mr. Kejriwal said that they will first brief the media on the financial irregularities committed by this “power person with political connections” after which the entire IAC team would perform a GANGNAM. While he refused to divulge any further details, hoping to keep the entire performance a surprise, speculations are rife that the team would be performing to the latest chartbuster “2G…3G…CWG…..CoalG…..JijaG”

On being asked the reason for this strange decision, Mr. Kerjiwal stated that the motto of his political party is to put smiles on the faces of the aam-aadmi and after much introspection he has realized that in today’s day and age if anything can help him achieve this goal – it has to be the GANGNAM.

Friday, March 09, 2012

Rahul Dravid

My memory of the summer of 1996; when India toured England for a 3 test-series was of a complete black-out! Not of the Indian team by England; but of the live telecast of the entire test series by the local cable operators due a rift with the broadcasters. So when Rahul Dravid made a fantastic 95 at Lords on debut; all I could do is read about it the newspapers the next day.

The first time, I remember watching Rahul Dravid bat was in September 1996 when India and Pakistan started playing the annual 5 match ODI series in Toronto, Canada. Cable television was still a no-no at home considering the fact that we were still studying and so I and my brother decided to spend a few days at my grand-mother’s place (which had cable television). We convinced our mother that while we would be primarily studying and watching a few overs only during our ‘study breaks’. The moment we watched him bat; I remember my brother telling me “Boss, he is something special” and I had to agree. It wasn’t as if Dravid had scored a scintillating 100 or a stylish half century. Coming in at 14/2 he scored a composed 46 of 93 balls and stitched together a match-winning partnership of 74 runs with Azharuddin which earned him his first Man of the Match award in international cricket. It was the manner in which he played Wasim and Waqar, still in their prime that convinced us that we were watching someone very special.

What followed after that is there for everyone to see, discuss and analyze; the 147 at Johannesburg, the magic at Eden Gardens, the match-winning double hundreds at Adelaide and Rawalpindi, the 100 at Leeds and the phenomenal half centuries in both innings on a difficult surface in Jamaica to help India win the series.

Along with Brian Lara, Dravid became someone whose career I followed very closely. Every time he failed, I felt hurt. If critics wrote something about them; I wanted him to fight back. There was something about him that I connected to. Maybe because he still played in the ‘classical way’, something that was rare; maybe it was the manner in which he played the game and conducted itself.

After his batting peak in the 2001-2006 period, where he was undoubtedly the best batsman in the world, I saw his average dip from around 59 to the around 53; in the next few years. He continued to play match-winning and match-saving innings for India, but not with the same consistency. I remember breathing a sigh of relief when he scored a couple of 100’s against New Zealand in 2010 in India’s home-series; I thought he had re-discovered his touch; but then after a poor tour of South Africa, I thought to myself; “Maybe he should call it a day”. But I’m glad he didn’t.

The champion was destined to leave on a high – he was destined to score a hundred at Lord’s something he fell short off by 5 runs on his debut and a year in which he went to become the highest scorer in test cricket! It had to end when he was at the top.

Maybe it was all scripted that way; a champion career that began at Lord’s – the home of cricket, had to end at Adelaide the home of the great Don Bradman**.

** Adelaide Oval has the Sir Donald Bradman Stand and the Donald Bradman museum is also situated in this picturesque city of Australia

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Chetan Bhagat hits out the Gods of Indian Cricket

IIT Alumnus, IIM-A Alumnus, celebrity writer, visionary and the one who has solutions to all of India’s problems, Chetan Bhagat today hit out at the stalwarts of Indian cricket, the magical commentary-duo of “Gavaskar and Shastri” for making some “sweeping remarks” against IIT while they wear commentating in the Inter-Hostel Cricket tournament being held at the Chemplast Ground in IIT Madras.

According to sources, the incident took place during the semi-final match between Ganga and Pampa hostel; which turned out to be a very low scoring one. Shaz burst out stating that this has been an extremely dull match with neither a “Citi Moment of Success” nor a “DLF Maximum”. Sources told us that they also heard Gavaskar saying on air that the crowds were shabbily dressed and not even one among the thousands gathered could ever imagine getting the “Nokia Fan of the Match Award”.

Reacting to this, Bhagat said this morning that he was shocked to hear such comments about the IIT Brand. He tweeted the following “The quality of students in the IITs is so good that they get success that is far greater than Citi and DLF! In fact Citi and DLF don’t even get slots on Day 7 of Placements on many an occasion have to return empty-handed!” He further went on to add that IITs have made immense contributions to Indian cricket and such remarks about it are un-called for. Explaining the rationale for the same to a news channel he said “Take the example of Kris Srikkanth; he grew up, playing all his cricket in the same Chemplast cricket ground, brought us glory in the 1983 World Cup and also Chairman of Selectors ensured that we won the 2011 World Cup”. Such significant contributions by IIT for the development of Indian cricket should be recognized, discussed and celebrated he said”.

This is for the second time this week that Bhagat has reacted strongly when questions were raised about IIT.

Amidst, all this, the question to ask is what were Shaz and Gavaskar doing commentating in the inter-hostel cricket tournament. Sources tell us that since they had a day off last night and did not have to cover the Champions League Double header at Chepauk, as “good-will ambassadors” of BCCI, they decided to see the talent available in India (and make some quick dough in the process)! When contacted Gavaskar said that they were not authorized to speak on the subject without getting consent from the BCCI.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Anna Met Lalit

While the media was on a frenzy reporting on the Anna Hazare movement and how it had galvanized and united the entire country to fight against corruption, silently almost unnoticed, Lalit Modi the ‘Original King of IPL’ made a short visit to India. While none of the main-stream media even got a whiff of this (even though Modi is known to sport the most expensive and fragrant perfumes!); he couldn’t escape the ‘Roving Reporter’ – Sunstroke. Before you think ‘man this guy seems like this is a real journalist who doesn’t run after the stories that everyone runs for but has an art of waiting for the real ones and how he is the fresh breath of air that media industry was looking for etc; sunstroke actually did nothing ! Modi, apparently wanted to know who is the most low-key reporter in the city who can help him out without him getting noticed and the answer was unanimous! Sun-stroke. (Remember the good old Tinkle days when the tiger used to fall on Shikari Shambu, get trapped and Shambu used to get all the credit?; ya something like that!!!). To cut a long story short; Lalit met Sun and asked if he could get a meeting with Anna; yes Anna Hazare! While hearing this Sun almost lost his mind; but Lalit explained that he shares a lot in common with Anna, that they both were victims of corruption and he had some ideas to share and he wanted to do it quickly as he had a return flight to UK the next day! What follows is an excerpt of that discussion that took place in a coffee shop in an undisclosed location:-

Anna: "Aao Lalit, kaise ho

Lalit: Bas theek hoon Anna ji, wanted to share some ideas with you and hence wanted to meet you.

As he speaks he orders for 2 Starbucks coffee; 2 Cappuccino large he says, waving his hand…..

Anna: Lalit, tum pee lena; I am on a hunger fast till we get the Jan Lokpal Bill; you know how important it is and how this time I will ensure that I fast til the end and……

Lalit: Annaji..sorry I forgot about it; let me cancel it; I respect your sentiments and as a mark of solidarity I won’t have Cappucino either; I will settle for Hot Chocolate instead!

Lalit then went on to give one of the greatest motivational and visionary speeches’; excerpts of which are mentioned below:-

Annaji listen to me; while I understand that you are on a hunger fast for the Lokpal Bill, but I believe the issue is much larger. What you are targeting is a solution to a problem; what happens once the Bill is signed?

What is the roadmap for the next 5 years?

What are you planning to do next? In short Annaji..

”Where is the Vision, the Strategy”? I want to address all that.

1. Firstly, Annaji, I think this hunger-fast is a very old and “un-cool” way to protest. I mean why trouble your body like there is no tomorrow!. It’s more like a 18th century idea; It is like asking Suresh Raina to play test cricket; you got what I am saying?

We should sit in Ramleela Grounds for 1 month; we should mobilize the entire country-men, we should do everything that we are doing now, but with a slight difference! We should eat only Junk Food for the entire month as a mark of protest; so only pizzas, soft-drinks and burgers. For breakfast, lunch, dinner; only junk! Not only us, we should urge everyone supporting the movement to do the same. You see Annaji, whether you fast or eat junk food for a long period – the end result (damage to your body) is the same right? So we are not even compromising 0.001% on the core issue; just using a means that is more applicable for the 21st century India.

2. Can you imagine; this single move by you would help you garner support of the entire student community, IT, BPO working population and the every-growing, affluent Indian middle class! If not for the cause, I am sure it would give them a chance to gorge of junk food everyday!

3. Also, Annajiby doing this while this we ensure that the number of people participating in this movement would multiply in no-time, I will ensure that I speak to my colleagues in Pepsi, Coke, Dominos and Pizza Hut (The Kings of Junk) to see if I rope in them as sponsors for this event! Don’t get me wrong Annaji, it is not commercializing; but just a way to ensure that we are able to get the support of not only the ‘Common Man’ but also ‘Corporate India and the Shining Indians’. We can have a main-sponsor, an associate sponsor, a beverage sponsor and so on; you leave that planning to me Annaji; I will take it to closure.

4. Also Annaji, by doing all this I am sure we will get the bill passed! But we must not stop at it; that would be a huge mistake on our part; having built this franchisee we must ensure that we then take up the next issue and then the next. In fact if we can identify 5 to 10 major issues before I speak to my corporate friends, I can discuss on a long term contract with them; say for a 5 year period. I will tell them “See for the next 5 years, we will take up these top 5 issues of national interest; we will ensure that there is coverage by all the mainstream media for atleast 2 hours every day.” Once I give them a commitment and a long term view, we can get better deals from them. You get my point of the Vision na, Annaji. It is a vision for” National Interest”!

5. Also Annaji I have even more interesting ideas, but I will leave you with one final one; you can then think over them and I will send you the rest via e-mail once I reach UK. You know Annaji living in the UK has given me so much more exposure to the problems of the world; the crisis in Greece, the uprising in Egypt; the GDP growth issues in the US etc (since I don’t have any work here I have only been following all global news J ). I believe that if we restrict this movement only to India; we would again be “narrowing our vision”. Ultimately we are all the same people across the world right! Hence every year for 1 month we must take up top issues from across the world and raise similar protests for the same; to decide on which are the top ones we can have an elimination round or some process which again I would look into and finalize; and yes, for this as well I can talk to my corporate colleagues across the globe and we can work it out.

I have lots more to talk Annaji, like having an open and transparent bidding processes to pick the top 5 issues (process being audited by a Top 4 Global Firm) etc but as of now I must leave…Please do think about these and let me know…

If Anna Hazare has a change of heart, plan or mind in the next few weeks, you know whom to give credit for!

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

My Letter to a Leading National Daily

Sir, It was interesting to read your article titled “Course in biz ethics must at new IIMs” which talked about the course in Business Ethics being made mandatory at IIMs. I feel we would be fooling ourselves if we believe that by virtue of making these courses mandatory, students passing out of the hallowed portals are less likely to commit or participate in corporate frauds. It would most likely remain as just another course with a certain number of credits to be obtained! And of-course grab front-page headlines in all leading national dailies!

Ethics forms part of an individual’s core values; something that is inculcated, gets moulded and etched inside oneself during the very early stages of one’s life with the key stakeholders in this process being the child’s family and school. Trying to change these values or inculcate new ones during an MBA program would be leaving it too late! Hence I believe that if we are really serious about tackling this menace of corruption we (all sections of society including academia and corporates) should focus on developing similar course content for school students. The probability of it creating an impact on the future minds of the country is much higher.

Saturday, December 04, 2010

From Awe to Disillusionment

India has undergone dramatic changes in the last decade or two. One of the most significant thing in this rapidly changed India that I admired (till recently) the most was the advent of news channels somewhere during the late 90s. I felt they were “fresh”, the journalists were “well educated” discussed and debated on important national and international issues and more importantly had panelists who were champions in their respective fields. So attracted was I to a few news channels that television for me apart from sports meant NDTV 24*7, CNN-IBN, CNBC-TV 18 and NDTV Profit; that was it; I followed these channels as if they were the gospel of truth, elevated some of the anchors to the status of a “demi-god” and literally worshipped them. I watched them online, ensured that I read their columns in the news=papers (and it meant reading multiple papers as each had a column in different ones) and also shared the ones that I felt were very good with a group of friends and felt nice about it.

Now with the (in)-famous Radia tapes exposing the “best-in-the-business” I suddenly feel I was so foolish!!
• The column that I read the other day was not the opinion of my favorite journalist/anchor but was what the corporate head felt should be written in-order to project a certain image of him in public.
• That debate that I chose to watch at 8 pm on Saturday night instead of going out with friends was actually pre-fixed. The moderator already had an agenda (again decided by some corporate) and ensured that the debate was tilted in that direction!
• That magazine that I started subscribing since another of my favorite journalist writes in it; had articles which were again written or spun in a way to please certain corporate.

Suddenly I feel cheated, I was so naïve to think that we live in a democracy and one of the pillars of democracy is free and un-biased presses; who with the power of their pen and words have the influence to shape public minds! Alas little did I know it’s all “Fixed”!! It’s all pre-decided! What message to convey, whom to please, whom to bring down, whom to high-light; it never was an independent opinion!
It is 8 pm Saturday evening again, my eyes shift to the remote control (they are so trained to it), to switch on one of the news channels, but my mind now tells me that it’s much better to spend the evening with friends and family…… least I won’t feel let down.

Friday, December 03, 2010

Simple Pleasures of Life

Ever wondered or thought about how you spend your typical day; have you tried to observe your thoughts and see if they follow a particular pattern? I think if we do, we will find that as we grow older our thoughts follow a typical pattern, mostly ending in questions for which we do not have answers but for which we try our best to find answers to; it would mostly be worries revolving around either the personal, professional or health front.
  • Do I really want to settle in this city? Can I plan something for the next five years?
  • Is the EMI too high? Will the real-estate prices ever come down?
  • Am I really doing justice to my potential at work?
  • He was so bad at school and look where he is today! Life is really unfair!!
  • Why am I falling sick so often?
  • Why are flight fares so expensive?
  • Why don’t I ever get visibility at work that would help me plan my travel home and save on air fares?!
When not actually working, we tend to spend most of our “brain processing time” in trying to find answers to these and many more questions; the answers to which we feel would finally give us some peace of mind! But alas, by the time we find answers to them, a completely new set of questions arrive to bother us and then we again exercise our free “brain processing power” to find answers. It’s quite a vicious circle and by the time its 3rd week of December, we look back and say “Geez, the year went by so quickly and we just did not find time to enjoy ourselves, hopefully next year we won’t have so many things to worry about” !!! And before you realize year becomes three, becomes five and a decade……….

It is so different from the early school going days where we had absolutely no worries; or in fact very few ones like ensuring that we don’t forget to carry all text-books to class, or don’t forget to trim our finger nails before the Friday assembly. One school of thought is that school days is a phase and as we grow older and more responsible there would be “questions and worries” and we must learn to handle them..It is natural progression. While I understand that it is the norm, my question is can we look at our school days, find out what gave us maximum delight (and when I mean delight it is a period of absolute joy)..and can we replicate the same in our now grown up adult life?

I have set out on this mission and have started taking some initial steps and I must say it does work. It could be anything that you loved doing when young, eagerly looked forward to it, but completely shelved it as you grew older maybe because you did not have the time for it or thought maybe “these things are meant for kids or as they say in Hindi “bachon wali harkate hain”…Not for grown-ups and mature people like us”. Try looking back, make a list of things that you loved and start taking out time for it during weekends. And while doing it completely forget about all current worries, office work, switch-off your mobile phones and just immerse yourselves…..It would be re-freshing, energizing and most importantly lots of fun!.Its called re-living the simple pleasures of life.