Republic Day

I will start the post with a SMS I got few hours back and which indeed will enlighten the crux of this post

“Bharat ke besharam logo , agar 2 din baad valentine/friendship day hota to abhi tak 100 SMS aa gaye hote. Wishing you happy republic day”.

And if you think for a moment, it’s completely true. Republic day has become just a holiday to majority  of us, including me. The maximum we do is to watch the ‘parade’ on tv along with sips of morning tea and I have not been doing even that for last few years. If it would have been some other special day, we would be wishing our friends, family and close ones. But no excitement is there for this important day.

The day had maximum importance in our lives when we were in school. The preparation for the day’s events used to start many days before. The enthusiasm was great towards the entire celebration. In addition it used to be favorite topic for essay writing : ). Somehow we were connected to day and in turn some thoughs were put towards nation.

Things started changing and now sadly the day has lost importance in our lives. We are not concerned about the day apart from the fact it’s a holiday and an opportunity to relax and enjoy. The question I asked myself was do I ever think about nation in a way that I used to think when I was in early years of school. Alas ! the answer came out as a ‘no’.

But then I am trying to fulfil some duties towards nation. I think the best way to serve our nation today is working peacefully, following laws, helping those who need help  and contributing to overall growth. Let’s keep our cities clean so that we don’t feel emberresed when an outsider comes to our cities. Let no one gets chance to point a finger at something bad happening in some part of country. I know it all sounds day dreaming but atleast put a steap ahead, if we can’t complete the walk. I think this will be the best way we can give some thing back to nation. Like Dr. Kalam building our own India 2020 vision. Lets think for atleast one day about our nation in addition to ‘ I ‘.

Happy Republic Day to every Indian.

I am not flying kites this year

Today is Sankranti, Sky is also clear

But, I am not flying kites this year.

……………………………………………………..

When I was a kid, times were diferent,

We were on the roof, entire day

Forget all hunger and all the work ,

Music was also played by the way

Friends and family were also there,

But I am not flying kites this year.

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Now, I am in office working today,

Recalling memories of that  day,

Thinking about the fun I used to have,

Things don’t work here in my way.

I don’t want to shout, let no one hear.

But, I am not flying kites this year

Some small talks

Hyderabad 2 and half years back : I have been in hyderabad for over 2 and half years now. When I first came to hyderabad, the first impression was great. The city was great not only because it was software industry hub because the way it was set up. Clean roads, greenery at most palces, hitech city and offices, lots of good restaurants, outing spots: all this made a great palce to stay. But most important aspect which I observed was safety. I didn’t heard any major problems from security point of view. Ofcourse there used to be small incidents but by large it was very peaceful. People were busy in their life and everything seemed to be ok.

Hyderabad Today : Things have changed a lot and not for betterment. Earlier two bomb blasts took place killing several people but still it didn’t hurt the image of city. But recent developments have impacted city’s image a lot. All of sudden many news about disturbance in city keep coming. Telangana issue bringing so many bandh one after another along with destruction to public property. Now reliance stores being attacked  in other parts of andhar because of a news channel. Though people can argue that I do not belong to this part, so I don’t understand the sentiments involved and it can be correct to certain extent but few things are beyond my understanding for sure.

The first one that stands out is ‘why do people start comitting suicide whenever something happens’. First at YSR’s death incident, then due to Talangana issue ; everyday I read in paper that these many people comitted suicide supporting the issue. If the reasons are something else, some logic can be applied but comitting suicide for such issue is wasting your life. The astonishing part is many educated people doing such acts.

Autos in Hyderabad: There are some unique things about hyderabad autowalas :

1. They are one of the best when it comes to hiking the rates. If yor are new to city and are not aware of rates, they can ask you to pay 3-4 times. I know other city auto walas can claim thier records, but I still hyd. auto walas at top..

2. Between two same source and destination, they will charge differnt from different sides.

3. Excellent concept of sharing autos and only hyderabadi autowalas can drive when three persons are sitting in front along with him on the small seat.

Chalte Chalte : They say that whatever you learn is never wasted. My hobby of listening to music came in handy in office. I won the Hindi Antakshari in office  along with two other team members. Not a very big deal, but something to cheer about. Many conclusions could be drawn after the event. Team work is important as my team member handled the old hindi songs and I handled new one. Thus music can give you pleasure and chance to get more pleasure. So keep the musical devices and senses on. 🙂 Have a happy week.

2010 – One day away

One more year passed so quickly. The statement again proves time is always relative to your own experience. The no. of seconds in the year are almost same and still we complain every year that this year passed quickly. But seriously it feels like 1st jan, 2009 didn’t happen long time back . Last year celebration was at home with family. This time couldn’t go home and will be wandering on streets of hyderabad :).

2009 was a year full of events specially last few months both for my own life and for the world around. This year end brought some good movies like paa, rocket singh etc. Ofcourse 3 idiots lies in a altogether different category. India won some great cricket matches. This is wrong with me because every time I try to recall good about India, I go to movies and cricket. But to be frank right now I am not able to recall something fantastic that happened in India. Not being psessimistic but the dust on good memories has piled up:) . On the flip side there were some serious issues like naxalism, Satyam Scam, corruption in jharkand and latest Telangana issue putting our country to shame and blocking the progress of country. For more details browse through latest issues of India Today and Outlook 😀

The first half of year was full of fun as it was final sem of my M.Tech and most importantly it was the time when i started blogging  in march :). Soon I was paased out of college and wating for my job joining for few months. I utilised this time in travelling and went to differnt parts of India. This also gave me an opprotunity to stay at home for so many months after a long time as in past 2 years I was away from home for most of the time. Then came the time of ups and downs and finally joined my job last month.

Still in early days of my job but can say that life is much much differnt after college. You have to fight everyday to avoid becoming dull and unenthusiastic. You have to look for various ways to keep urself on high spirit. Otherwise soon u will be part of the same routine cycle. Fortunately I joined my job at year end and this is the time of parties and events and I already was part of many of them.

Oo, again shfiting from the title of the post. Let’s pull back towards new year again. I expect the coming year to be more challenging, exciting, eventful, cheerful, peaceful and progressive. Just imagine that world is going to end in 2012 and live these years as if they are your last 2 years. Again in 2012 world will reamin alive but again imagine world in going to end in 2014 and live next two years to full extent and continue this till ur last moment on earth. Things will be wonderful for sure.

Wishing you all a very happy new year. May this year bring you all the happiness and fulfil all your wishes. Ofcourse, this will be tough for God ( Remember Bruce Almighty 🙂 ). Chant the mantra that you got last friday – “All is Well ” . Enjoy, spend time with family, party with friends or just watch tv at home, choose your way to get the ultimate result- happiness

Mumbai Dabbawala Management Class

Mumbai Dabbawala as they are commonly known were invited to my office yesterday for a presentation and I got a chance to attend one of the best management lessons. It was a unique experience and the key learning was education is not decided by degrees. It was a presentation that could match the standards of any management guru and personally I liked his presentation better than noted management guru Prahalad Kakkad’s.

Before I begin to tell about presentation, I  would like to give an overview about Mumbai Dabbawala  to those who don’t know about them. It’s a team of around 5000 people who carry lunch boxes from people’s homes and serve them in their office. Sounds very simple but it’s one of the most appreciated business for it’s excellent management skills, accuracy and reliable service. They have a six sigma certificate and ISO certification which companies strive to get. The most astonishing element is that 85 % of people in team are illiterate and rest of the 15 % are also not degree holders.

He started with a video that showed the overall working of Dabbawalas, how they operate, their network, their values and every details about them. Then he started with the presentation. His way of presenting was extremely witty and some very good one liners were used.

Some of the key things I learnt about the Dabbawalas were ;

  • They carry 2 lacs lunch boxes every day to all corners of Mumbai with an accuracy of 99.99 %. This means 1 out of 1 million services has a chance of going wrong.
  • The average age of working people is 50 years and their work involves lifting weights of around 50-60 kg overhead.
  • Every person is a share holder and gets equal salary irrespective of the distance traveled, age or amount of work.
  • Dependency on technology is minimum. They travel through local trains and bicycles. They don’t have offices and thus capital involved is minimum
  • A color coding is used to identify the destination that is written on top of the lunch box. A lunch box may be carried over by more than 6 people to make it reach to correct destination.
  • Sorting of lunch boxes is done online that is on the road, in local trains etc and this happens multiple times without any mistakes.
  • Mumbai housewives fear more to Dabbawalas than their husbands. Reason being they have to keep the lunch box ready at the specified time and a delay more than 10 seconds is not tolerated. Repeated mistake for 4-5 days may lead to termination of service.
  • The cost of service is very less as low as Rs. 300 per month.
  • This business is continuing from last 119 years successfully without any strike.

It was a pleasant surprise to listen him talk about industry terms like process, domain, growth etc. He was not only using these terms but he had in depth understanding of all these things. After all he had given presentation in IIMs and other business schools.

After explaining about their way of working he gave the practices followed in their business. The things that kept them successful for these many years and still continuing. Some of them are listed below :

  • Keep every thing simple. It’s applicable particularly in their business where not many are literate even. The process followed should be as simple as possible.
  • Every one is share holder and that gives them a sense of responsibility.
  • Customers are the most important. He gave an example when Prince Charles wanted to meet them, the time and venue of meeting was decided by Dabbawalas so that customer service is not affected.
  • If you want to start a business, use existing infrastructure to minimize capital invested.
  • Find proper people for work. Even if the person is under qualified, it’s fine. An under qualified person is more motivated than over qualified person. This is not applicable everywhere but works at most places specially in their business.
  • Have people work for longer duration at one places to make relationships with clients.

There was lot more to learn. The best part was it was learning but more fun. In the end we were introduced to a person who worked as Dabbawala for 8 years and now working with  a leading IT firm with same dedication. Commitment to work pays off, atleast Dabbawalas display that.

A Musical Night

You can’t ask for a better evening than this. Going to a live performance is always a great experince. This was the forth time, I enjoyed a celebrity concert. Earlier three were of  Shreya Ghoshal, Indian Ocean Band and Mohit Chauhan concerts. But watching Shankar-Ehsan-Loy perform live was altogether a different experience. Thanks to my friend Ashish, I got chance to attend the concert.

Shankar-Ehsan-Loy, the trio has given some beautiful music in past few years.  Also Shankar Mahadevan is a great singer and that adds more quality. Moreover the ambience was set in superb way and as soon as I entered the hall, first word that came out was ‘wow’. We reached the place at perfect time when all the testing had been done and they were getting ready to perform. We had some snacks and were ready to follow the beats.

The show started with the blockbuster hit ‘Dil Chahta Hai” title song. The beats of drum were making me tap my feet. The crowd was gathered near the stage and we headed towards it after first song. So, here I was watching Shankar Mahadevan perform just from 5 feet distance. He is a great singer and it was demonstrated in every single song, he sang. The song was followed by ‘Wake up Sid’ title song. Again a popular number and atmosphere was simply great. The crowd was shouting for ‘rock on’ but they kept them for later section.

Then the next song from his musical box was  Mitwa. A nice melody and he invovled crowd in singing too. The connection with the audience was established immediately. Then Shankar displayed his classical skills with some combination with instruments. He also sang a telgu, a tamil and a marathi song. He also introduced 2-3 more singers one of them were Anusha who is the singer of song Lazy Lamhe. She rocked the stage with the song ‘Yeh Mera Dil pyar ka Deewana’.

The next few songs that lined up were all briliant composition like rock on, where’s the party tonight and the famous breathless song. The last section was the greatest where he had kept his best. He started with Kajarare and every one was forced to dance. Next was “Meri laundry ka ek bil”l from rock on and the show was concluded by “suno gaur se duniya walo”. The last three songs were the greatest in terms of fun, energy level and crowd involvement.

The concert will remain in my memory for always. It was a great sight to watch the musician whose music we admire, perform live so brilliantly. Seeing a live performance has been a great experience. My next desire is going to AR Rahman’s concert. When he is coming to city ? Any Idea ? 🙂

Movie Reviews

Paa :

Haven’t seen a good movie in recent times and looking for a good option ? Want a movie to go with your parents ? Want to watch  Amitabh Bacchan outperform himself once again ? Having a kid still inside alive and looking a movie for that kid ? One word answer to all these questions is ‘Paa’.

Paa is not a movie about awareness about a certain disease. It’s also not a serious story of a diseased child. It’s a story of a mature child and his relationships with people around him. Infact it’s not just about Paa. The movie should have been titled Paa (and Maa) because the relationships between mother and son, mother and daughter, father and son all are important.

Story starts with a young politician amol ( Abhishek Bacchan) and his meeting with his real Paa 🙂 (Amitabh Bacchan ) who is a 14 year old boy ‘auro’ with a disease because of which his physical condition is like an old aged person but with normal mental health like any other child. Vidya Balan plays the character of mother of  auro and amol doesn’t know that auro is his son. He bonds with auro and get to know about his son in last days of his son’s life. Amol and vidya had splitted in the past and auro brings about their reunion in the end. The movie ends with auro calling his father ‘paa’.

The movie keeps u engaged right from beginning. Emotions have been strongly built in the story. They don’t moist your eyes but reveal the bonding and understanding of auro with everyone. The best thing with movie is you are watching a movie about a diseased child but it’s no a very serious movie The mood of the movie is light entertainment and you never feel burden. The dialogues are witty at places and makes you smile. The movie has several clap worthy scenes. Two-three scenes need special mention :

1. One where auro asks vidya not to sacrifice her tasty food just because he can’t eat it.

2. Auro’s visit to rashtrapati bhavan.

3. Introduction of Paresh Rawal ( Abhishek’s father) with auro.

There are small flaws 2-3 times in movies. Abhishek’s media handling scene is a bit far stretched and looks not required. Also movie looses its pace in last 20 minutes but just when u feel u can feel bored, it get back on track. Placements of songs in movie is appropriate and the best track for me is stil the instrumental of title song.

In short Paa works because of simplicity in narration. good performances from everyone and fine screenplay.

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De Dana Dan  :

You go to a Priyadarshan movie with very high expectations and  sometimes that works against it. De Dana Dan was like a cooked dish that had every required ingredient including presentation, but somewhere cooking went wrong. Resulting dish is edible but not tasty. Too much analogy given, better come to facts.

Akshay Kumar, Sunil Sheety, Paresh Rawal trio together; add a bunch of artists like johny lever, rajpal yadav, chanky pandey; add katrina as lucky charm :), nice songs but somewhere something still is lacking. That’s the problem with De dana dan. There are some funny in fact hilarious scenes here and there in movie, but at the end u don’t feel satisfied with complete movie.

The first half of movie introduces characters one by one and the confusion starts to build. You expect a laughter riot in second half but suddenly akshay kumar disappears for a long time and the interest drops in next one hour. Also the climax which is hall mark of priyadarshan movies, where all characters of movie come together, hasn’t turned out hilarious this time.

On the whole an entertainer but not as great as Pridarshan’s earlier work.