Thursday, September 15, 2011

The effect of SMS limit

 The Big Picture - TRAI (The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India) has limited the message service to just 100 per day to the normal customers.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The Spectacles

"How do you think I will look with specs?” I asked Kumar.
"You mean eye glasses? But why do you want specs at all?  Be thankful that you have good sight", Kumar replied.
“I want to see myself sporting eye glasses with a golden frame ", I said with a glee on my face.
"You are crazy. You keep living in your own fantasies", Kumar said with a resigned look.

This was 11 years ago in the English class in the first year of engineering.  Eye glasses always fascinated me because of the new look that one could sport with them. 

Even as a kid, I remember trying to draw faces with a pencil. I was no great artist. So when the face went wrong and had a horrible look, I would try adding specs to the face. For me, a bespectacled face was somehow always better than the one without one. 

College was over. Job happened. Over the years , being surrounded by so many of my friends and colleagues with specs, I somehow stopped imagining myself sporting one. Life without a pair of glasses seemed cool enough.

However last week, I visited an eye specialist and I found myself reading those sequences of letters UQmuS KpDUW from a distance. On a couple of occasions, I did have a problem reading them. 

I went to the doctor as my eyes were turning red at the slightest exposure to dust since the last few days. The doctor told me that I would be better off wearing specs while driving as my eyes were ultra sensitive to dust. Of course it was up to me to decide if I wanted to use them for things other than driving.

Specs? Did I hear it right? Oh yeah… so finally the time had come. And I didn't want to buy those in some neighbouring mom and pop store. I had to brood, research, contemplate and decide on the specs and the kind of look that it would give me.  

I went to buy the eye glasses a couple of days later and my Dad was along with me.

I examined quite a few of them and decided that I wouldn't be spending too much. Finally the choice was between rimless and full-rimmed with my Dad pushing for rimless and me opting for the later.

Dad: Take this rimless one, it looks elegant. From a distance, it doesn't even look like you are wearing specs.
Me: That's the whole point. I want my specs to be visible and make a statement.
Dad: You don't look good with those full rimed ones.
Me: I want the de-glamorized retro look. I don't want to appear too urbane and stylish.

At this juncture, the salesman in the store decided to intervene.

Salesman: Excuse me! The full rimed ones are the stylish ones. These are the ones worn by art directors and ad agency guys these days. The rimless ones are the basic simple stuff.

Did I hear the words ‘Art’ and ‘Ad agency’? That was enough for me to go ahead with the full-rimed ones.

I reached home sporting the new look and stood in front of my mom.

Mom: But aren't these frames pretty old fashioned. I have seen my brother using it when he was about your age.
Dad: Hahaha! Your old fashioned mom calls your frames old fashioned. Go to the caves, kid!
Me: Grrrr!

Were the specs really so old fashioned? I went and stood in front of the full size mirror. Umm… I was ok. But it certainly didn’t appear as cool as I thought I would. Did I get it wrong again? I was lost in deep thought for a couple of minutes.

I was suddenly looking different in the mirror. It was me but I was looking more confident and very assured. There was also some kind of a glow and radiance surrounding me. I was looking perfect. If you asked me how I wanted to look and feel, the answer was staring in front of me in the mirror.

The Other me: What are you staring at?
Me: Nothing. You look so much like me. But you are perfect like a dream.
The Other me: Dumbo. Of course I will be like you. I am your conscience.
The Other me’ is too long a name. Let’s call him Tom - the abbreviation for The Other me.

Me: Oh… no wonder you look so much like me. Anyway don’t you think I look cool with these spectacles on?
Tom: Cool? You broke up with the word cool the time you quit IT. And now these old fashioned specs!
Me: Even you? Are these really old fashioned?
Tom: Of course. Your mom was spot on. Rimless would have given you the look. But as ever you missed the trick and decided to go Old.
Me: Hmpf! I am tired of the word ‘Old’.
Tom: Lol!  You don’t help your cause. Do you? Your hair cut is designed to announce your receding hairline.
Me: This new hair cut is to complement my new bespectacled look.
Tom: Why the funny spectacles? And why the funnier haircut?
Me: This is not funny.
Tom: Remember one thing. You are what you are. Specs/Spectacles improve the visibility of your eyes. They don’t make you spectacular.
Me: But I thought the new girl might like this look.
Tom: I will tell you what. With these specs, you have lost whatever little chance of finding a girl. Your life is over
Me: Grrr! I hate you. I am off now. I got to blog

Tom: Blog? Jalsa? Listen to me and stop writing Jalsa. It no longer suits you. Play your age.

I moved away from the mirror. Tom disappeared. I sat down to write a new Jalsa story. But this is what I managed to write. Was Tom right? Hmpf!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

The Black and White man

Year - 2082.

It appeared to me as if I was part of a virtual reality. To be frank, I hadn’t seen this kind of a world ever before.  There were colors everywhere. It appeared as though a painter was provided a software tool like photoshop and asked to paint the world.

That was the diversity in the colors that I saw.  However there weren’t looking too natural. It appeared as if I was a part of some game.

However there was some strange element of monotony that seemed to have robbed the world of its beauty. It wasn’t certainly as lively and rich as the sun rise on the sea shore that I was so used to seeing as a child.

I was in a hall that seemed to have screens everywhere. I am sure there were thousands of them at the place for the event.  The people I saw had sharp features.

Most of them were absolutely flawless. Sharp noses, flawless skin, perfect features devoid of any kind of dark circles below the eyes- They had them all. There were no puffy faces or chubby cheeks to be seen anywhere round.

Their skin colors were also stunning. I had known only one girl in all my life who had the glowing skin that could be compared with the skin colors of these people.

These were the kind of colors that I was used to seeing in magazines and on websites. I can understand if there were one or two such people in one single place. But there were around a hundred of them there and all appeared flawless.

I spoke to a guy from UK who was sitting next to me.

“These people now get to buy the best algorithms to enhance their body and facial features” he said.

It was true. The girls around me appeared as if they were designed to seduce men. They had such perfect features and awesome body colors.

“Well all 21 of us appear to be from a different time frame. Well, in fact we are. But the technological advances make me feel as if we are in a virtual reality”, the guy from UK commented.

He was right. We were the 21 humans around the world who were more than 100 years old. This special conference that was being held in Mumbai called “The Celebration of “Human Race. All of us were the treasured species since there was something human and imperfect about us unlike the current generation.

I saw a Japanese guy moving towards me.

“Hey. You are so unique and out of the world here. My brain read the feed about you but I wanted to know your story in person. Why are you black and white? I know it is something to do with that emotional quotient transfer” he said.

I started explaining him the  story and this is how it went.

My face and features were blanked out due to the mishap that happened during the emotional quotient transfer that was carried out by Facebook on the advertising professionals in India in 2073.

My face lost the features and the color. I now looked like this life sized dummy model used to display clothes in the shops of yore. It was indeed ironical that my face had to be blanked out due to a mishap by a company called Facebook.

 I was however being prepared for this “Celebration of Human race” conference. The Indian teams of scientists were trying to use my picture and enhance my face accordingly. As luck would have it, I had lost all that data during the emotional quotient transfer mishap.

There was only one picture that I had and it was in Black and white. This was the one where I looked like an underworld don in Bollywood movies. My cousin’s obsession (the one who clicked the picture) with the Color accentuated mode left me black and white.

As per the instructions from the conference team, this photo was not allowed to be enhanced or changed in any form so that the natural element could be retained. My picture was left in black and white instead of being colored. I was dressed in a white shirt and black trousers so that it matched my black and white face.

I finished narrating my story to the Japanese guy and others around me.

So, I was the black and white man in the world glittering with colors all around. The 20 other 100 year olds paled in comparison but then they were the natural species and had this specialty about them.

As ever, as it always happened in my life, I was again the outlier. I was the 100 year old with the face of a 29 year old. I was most unique of them all perhaps. But then grass is always greener on the other side. I would ok if it was just green on my side but then it was Black and white. I wish it was colorful.


P.S - All the images except mine are not my own and are from the internet.

This post has been written for HP Laserjet Take Flight With Colour Contest in association with Indiblogger.  Please click below to find out more

If you like the post, then please do promote this post  here.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

The birthday gift

  This blog post has been listed in the Editor's choice on for June 2011.

The clock struck 12. I was waiting for that to happen since the last 1 hour. I wished myself, ' So finally it is the day you have been waiting since the last 3 months - June 3rd. Yes! It was Varsha's birthday.

The New Year, my birthday and birthday of  Varsha were always special for me. Often her birthday was the day for which I would set targets to turn a new leaf. 

This time the target was to lose 3 kgs by June 3rd. Of course these would usually remain mere resolutions and I remained my usual chubby self.

I checked my watch at least a dozen times in the last 1 hour. And when it struck 12, I was relieved.  But then I had a new thought in my mind now. 

When and how do I wish her?  I can call her as she is in a different city- Pune. But then every other friend would call. So I decided I wouldn’t.

 ‘May be I should keep her waiting for my call’, my heart told me.

‘You think she even cares for that’ my brain warned me.

And yeah it was just not about the wish, it was about the gift- The photo scrapbook that contained all her best photos.  I wanted to see how she would react once she got the gift.

I thought it was awesome. I knew she would feel the same. But then she wouldn’t just admit. Like every other girl, she was afraid that I would consider a smile from her as ‘Yes! She likes me too’.

Well, I am not particularly great in understanding and predicting human (read girl) behavior. It’s just that I the snapshot of when-she-snapped- me-moment last year when I gave her the birthday gift is still fresh and clear in my mind. 

But then this is another year and we were not in the same city. Absence makes the heart grow fonder. The die-hard optimist in me was kicking and alive.

I slept at around 2 am imagining and rehearsing how the next day would be. I did not know her house address and didn’t want to ask her as that would give her a clue. I had couriered the gift and a cake to her office address. 

She would see the gift and call me all excited. I wanted to talk as if I didn’t remember her birthday. You know ‘the cool smart ass’ kinds ;)

But I wasn’t one. I was a silly billy. I woke up at 8 am the next day and the first thing I did was to check the courier status online if the gift had reached her. The delivery time was 1:00 pm. 

‘So wait till lunch time’, I told myself.

I was at work but then I was in no mood to work. The blue dart page was being refreshed every 5 minutes and my eyes looked at my mobile every 10 minutes. Ah… The wait!

It was 1 p.m. Yay! The gift would have reached her. I looked at my mobile phone again. If there was some kind of electromagnetic rays which my emotions could generate, my phone would probably search her number and call her.

But alas! This was life and not a Rajnikanth Robot movie! I went for my lunch. I ate without talking much. My colleagues found it weird that I did not utter a single word although the food was pathetic.  

Well, there was only the heart running the WAIT function  in my system. All the other parts were on a ‘CHALTA HAIN’ mode.

The wait continued post lunch. After the longest afternoon of my life, I decided that I would call her. It was 6 pm. 

Probably, the courier hadn’t reached her or maybe she was waiting for me to call as it was her birthday. I finally called her.

My heart- Happy Birthday to you, Varsha sweetheart in the background
Me: Hey
Varsha: Hi
My heart: Just a ‘hi’? Isn’t today your birthday? Get a life, Varsha.

Me: How are you? What’s up?
Varsha: Nothing much. You tell me. What are you doing?
Me: Nothing. I was very busy all day. Shit loads of work. Just got free. So thought I would  call you.
My heart: Work? His foot ! I wish I (the heart) could tell you how overworked I am in the last 18 hours

Varsha: Nice. How’s your work?
Me: Yeah it’s good.
My heart: Both of you will kill me. You dumbo! She is unmoved and you act unmoved. Why don’t you tell her how upset you are that she is so unperturbed despite you not wishing her after 16 hours of June 3rd. Mind, please don’t interfere. Mouth, please co-ordinate.

Varsha: Cool.
Me: Happy Birthday!
My heart: Thank God! He said it at last.  I would have burst if he held it any longer.

Varsha: Thank you so much.
Me: Weren’t you expecting me to wish you the moment I called you?
My heart: Why will she? You thought she would appear out of the phone to hug you. Sudhar ja and relieve me of all these tension.

Varsha: Oh...come on.  I am ok with friends not remembering my birthday. I am no celebrity!
My heart: Celebrity? You are the mix of Angelina Jolie and Katrina Kaif for him!  But dude, why she isn’t talking anything about the gift. Did she get it at all?

Me: So how was work today?
Varsha: Oh! I didn’t go to work today.
My heart: That explains it. Why does it always happen to him?

Me: Oh.. But why? So are you going tomorrow?
My heart: The hope I say!!!
Varsha: Oh sorry! I forgot to tell you. I quit that job, left Pune and moved to Gurgaon. I will be going to work from next Monday

I didn’t know what to say.
My heart: I m broke. I won’t work for the next 2 months now. System shut down.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

The idea of JALSA

If you have read my last post on 'The Walk' , then you might have chanced upon the word 'Jalsa' in the last few lines. So then let me get going about Jalsa

WTF is JALSA all about ? 
Jalsa is an acronym for Just Another Love Story Attempt. I believe Love stories ( stories rather) are getting too cliched and routine.  Also, there are more love story attempts than the actual love stories ( again I would call them stories ). 

So then I thought it might be interesting to write about them and thus Jalsa.

Why the name 'Jalsa'?
Verve! Passion! Enthusiasm! All these are words that I love but then all these are cliched.
Jalsa In Telugu stands for enjoyment, merriment and pleasure. All these are things that a guy or gal in a love story attempt would look for.

Since I was able to come up with  a cool acronym for it, I decided on Jalsa.

Aren't Love story attempts more cliched than Love stories?
There are definitely many more Love story attempts  than love stories but they are not cliched. A Jalsa story will not have a start or an end. The story will be about the just the interesting/memorable/ touching moments that usually don't get too much of attention in a regular love story.( story). 

The focus unlike in movies or books is not on whether 'he or she finally agreed'  nor is it  'they lived happily ever after'  lines. It's just about those few moments in a love story attempt.

Aren't love stories a better option?
Let me tell you that there no love stories, there are only love story attempts.  The Love story attempt is either one-sided or mutual. That's it.

WTF?  So you think there are no love stories at all ?
Nope. There are no love stories. 
Initially, the boy likes a girl, the girl doesn't - One sided love story attempt. 
Then after a while, the boy still likes the girl and the girl starts liking  the boy - Mutual love story attempt. 
Then they fall in love. And then they get married. Yeah this is the love phase.
Now there are other things like career, children, family responsibilities etc etc that take a priority. Love disappears and the only the  story remains.

Wait! Didn't you say -A Love phase? Isn't that a love story?
Hahaha. The phase is too short and temporary to be called story. So no love stories. 

Also if this is called a love story, what do you call the story that might happen with other man/woman post this story. Another love story? You may or may not. But then there are interesting moments in the next story  as well ;)

Too many stories will be boring. So I think it is a better idea to talk about those wonderful moments in between, no matter when they happen. 

Is JALSA all about unrequited love?
Jalsa stories don't have an end. So you can never say whether it was unrequited love or mutual one.  It's about those moments with a lot of emotions. It is likely that the emotionally charged moments happen in a one sided love story attempt more often than in other stories,

Are the JALSA stories about you?
I wish I had so many stories to talk about. But unfortunately I don't have them .  There is a bit of real life inspiration in these  stories. But yeah a JALSA  story as a whole is fictitious. 

I won't be able to convey these feelings effectively when I write in third person narrating a story about a Rahul or a Rohan . I believe I am good when I write in first person and the whole thing feels so real when I do that . So all Jalsa stories will be first person.

What genre do Jalsa stories belong to?
I didn't know that there was genre for these kinds of writings. These are perhaps the male equivalent of chick-lit stories. Thanks to one of my friends , I came to know that this kind of writing is called Lad lit. That's the closest genre that Jalsa stories might fall into-  Indian Lad lit :)

What's the next thing on Jalsa after 'The walk'?
If I don't get another idea or inspiration, that might be the last one too :)
I don't have a huge list of ideas ready so I'll be taking it one by one.

But I have always been fascinated by these JALSA moments . Not everyone will be writing about them. But may be there will be many who would like to see  it as a part of a story.

So then probably down the lane, when I run out of ideas/content, I would love to get in touch with these people.

If you are one  and would like to share your JALSA moment with me and then the world , you can buzz me on

The JALSA list so far

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The walk

Why do we need to get married? Can't we be 22/23/24 year olds all through our life? Oh yeah.. the human race might cease to exist.

But then she would be there always and forever for me- anytime. These were the thoughts that crossed my mind as the sweetest 25 year old on earth - Deepthi was all set to tie the knot.

It wasn't as if Deepthi (or Dee as I called her ) did not know of my feelings for her. With me being the open book that I was, there was no way that a girl like her wouldn't know about it. She knew it. I knew that she knew it.

But I was so damn sure that she would give me the  ' But then.. you are my best friend!' answer.

 With all the preparations done, Dee had quit the job. She would be here for one day. Just one more day. And then she would be off to her native place Alleppey to get married and then off to Singapore with that geeky to be husband. 

Why are the competitors of guys like me always the Geeky/NRI types? 

Dee calls him perfect husband material. Grr.. whatever that means. I really don't care. These kinds seem to be  well-settled right from the time they go to school.

Worse still, they only seem to study 24*7 and make no attempt to woo girls. And take away the blue eyed angels from guys who were born to love like yours truly. Life is unfair. 

I hated him. Added to that this guy belonged to MBA. And I absolutely detest MBA. No! Not Master of Business Administration. I am talking about Mallu Brother Association. I hated Mallu guys because Dee always believed that Mallu guys were special creatures on earth. So much that she even liked Sreesanth and thought he was a cool rock star!

My phone rang at around 9 pm that day.  It was her.
Me - ' Hello'
Dee- 'Hey.. wassup? What are you doing?'
Me- Nothing much. I am about to start from office.
Dee- I am at Ash's  place. Listen let's go for a walk tomorrow. You, me and Ash.
Me- Hmmmm
Dee - Ok. I will wake you tomorrow at 5:45 am. Bubye.

Did I just say ok? How could I? Walk with Dee was what I wanted to do . I wanted to spend some  quality time with her. But why Ass err Ash? Kebab mein haddi!

No! He was not an MBA.  He was a Tam Bram but his genuine admiration for the MBA group, and all the things that Dee liked including herself made me hate him.

Ash aka Ashwin was Dee's good friend. Not good? She keeps telling me that he is one of her  best friends. But I wonder how she has manages to have a long list of  best friends. I had lots of friends but only one  best friend ever since I joined work and it was Dee. 

I messaged her around 11:30 pm that night and told her that I was too tired to wake up in the morning. 

She messaged me back saying - 'Nothing doing. Sleep now! I will wake you up in the morning for one long  walk and breakfast with my best friends'. 

Best friends? Why plural? Best friend was good enough. 'I will not go,' I told myself. I always believed the love between Ash and me was mutual. We hated each other He was probably praying that I fell ill the next day morning. Damn! Let him and Dee go. 

Three is a crowd. Especially if the girl is Dee and the haddi is  Ash.

 It was 12:00 am then. I was very tired. But then I couldn't sleep. 
Suddenly all mosquitoes in my room seem to have come alive.
All-out was on. But then every now and then I opened my eyes feeling a mosquito. I never found any mosquito. But then why I was so  damn restless?

No! There was no exam the next day!
No! I was not going out on a date !
It was just one stupid walk with Dee. And I had made up my mind not to go. But then my heart was not allowing me to sleep.

I finally slept at around 3 am.
My cell did not have enough charge and it got switched off at 5:25 am.
And amazingly I  got up at this time and saw all this happening.
But then I did not bother to do anything. I let my phone die.

 I got up at 7 am. I switched on my cell and started charging it.
Dee had messaged me. It read ' What's this??? :(' . 
The :(  in the message told the  whole story. 
But then I would have had :(((((( expression on face had I gone for the walk. 
It wasn't as if I had a million dollar smile on my face either.  

Later in the day, she called me.
I was feeling guilty. 
But then I managed to ask her about the walk in the morning. 

"The walk never happened. Both of you are hopeless. Ash got stuck with his project till 3 am  in the office. And you? You are such an a*#@$@#. How could you switch off your phone in the morning??? '

'Ah!! I messed it up again', I said to myself. 

P.S - This is a part of my new crush project- The  JALSA series. Keep watching this space to know about JALSA!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

100% Love on the Single Screen

'No 100% Love this weekend' I thought as the tickets for the movie were over in all the multiplexes. Life bhi saala gaandu hain

For once, you feel like wanting/doing something and circumstances will conspire to make sure that you don't get it easily. (Opposite of what was said in Alchemist).  

'Forget it', I  said to myself as an irritating Friday ended on an even more disappointing note.

Working on a Saturday isn't easy. Half of the day is lost in cribbing that you are unfortunate to work on a Saturday. The mind is looking for the slightest opportunity to do something that I normally used to do on a 5 day week Saturday. 

My phone buzzed and I got a message. Who could it be? May be another stupid TD-something message asking me to download some silly song. Nope , it was something better. 

It was my friend Kishore and it read ' Booked tickets for 100% Love at Sri Sai Ranga cinema hall for the second show.'  Haa.. Paulo Coelho wasn't kidding in Alchemist for sure :)

We reached the cinema hall at 8:55 pm. There was a long queue about  10m long that reminded me of the serpentine queue  to Lord Balaji in Chilkur temple.  The devotees in this case were so damn determined to meet their God ( the guy at the counter)  and get the Prasad ( tickets for the next day's show) . 

Over the last few years,  using this site called meant that I never encountered these queues. I was reminded of the days when getting movie tickets on the first day standing in the queue or through some contact in the movie hall was something that you could be proud of.

We entered the hall and sat in our seats. It was as if we sat in an APSRTC regular- no -frills bus. My bum had become so accustomed to the layers of cushion in the Rs 150 Multiplex tickets. Rs 40 meant that we got only this much. But somehow I felt good. It was like the spicy mom cooked home food that one gets to savor after a long onsite assignment where bland food is the only option.

It was my nose's turn to get nostalgic. This was this whiff of air that I was so familiar with watching a Chiranjeevi movie in college bunking some class. 

The whiff of air that I last smelt when I saw the movie 'Kick' a few years back in the Odeon movie hall on the RTC X Roads. I heard somewhere that  all those movie halls will be converted to multiplexes soon. Am I missing on something because of the modernization?

It was a hot day and we felt good today sitting inside the movie hall. It was a different kind of AC to the one that we find in multiplexes today. This was like the wind that blows across your face  when you stand in front of an air cooler. 

In the last movie that I saw at the Big Cinemas Multiplex, I wasn't sure if the AC was switched on. I felt much better in the hall today.

I accidentally hit the glass cold drink (yeah NOT soft drinks, I first knew them as cold drinks) bottle with my leg.  As it rolled on the ground, it made a sound that was so used to as a kid. It was the sound the hawker made striking the bottle opener against the glass cold drink bottles. It was at a time when drinking cold drinks in the interval was something as eagerly awaited as the hero's entry in the movie. 

The movie started and the hero made his entry. There was a huge uproar in the hall accompanied by whistles. There were whistles , cat calls  and huge roars of laughter  for every interesting scene in the movie.  

Multiplexes over the years seemed to have turned movie watching into an art appreciation class rather than the mass entertainment it used to be. After a long 6 day week, I needed some entertainment  and I was loving it here.

During the interval, I was tempted by the sight of the onion samosas.

" I want to taste it. Give me a bit of nostalgia too !!",  my tongue exclaimed. 

" I am full after that heavy dinner.  Please don't stuff that into me ", my tummy seemed to say.

" You are no longer in your teens, you moron. You are almost 30 and you need some discretion especially when it comes to eating ",  my mind screamed at me.

I listened to it and proceeded to have coffee for Rs 10 . There was no Popcorn+  Soft drink+ Nachos Salsa  hole in my pocket . Ah.. It felt so good.

After an hour, the movie ended. 100% Love was ok. But the experience was more than 100% fulfilling. I have just realized the joy that an nostalgic experience  can give us. And I am loving it :)

Sunday, April 3, 2011

And finally we have seen India win the World Cup

The bell rang. It was the pizza guy from Dominos. I got up to remove money find my wallet.  Suddenly on the TV screen, the ball was up in the air and out into the stands. Dhoni had hit a six and India had won the 2011 World Cup.

Hurray! Yipee! We did it! I hugged my friends and we were on top of the world just as we had cracked something big all by ourselves.

The firework had started around 5-6 overs and now it had reached deafening proportions with one house competing with the other to celebrate more. If we as fans could feel so much, it was not surprising to see some of the Indian players burst into tears on the ground.

What is with this passion that we Indians have for cricket? Why are we so attached to this sport? I can’t speak for the whole country, but I guess there will be many who will have the same story as me and my friends.

Classy Jayawardene takes SL to 274. I wouldn't blame the Indian bowlers too much, Jayawardene was too good. Tough chase for India. Will they make it? Come on India. Didn't know what cricket was in 1983. Win it guys for me and many others like me!

This was my status message on Facebook after the Sri Lankan innings. Ever since I started following cricket in 1992 (India’s tour to South Africa), India’s World cup win in 1983 was often discussed as The Moment for Indian cricket.

I was barely 1.5 years old when this happened and don’t know what happened. Yeah I have heard about the Balwinder Singh Sandhu’s ball to bowl Greenidge and  about Kapil Dev’s catch to dismiss Viv Richards a million times on TV . But then I never experienced it firsthand.

Like many others of my age, I went berserk celebrating India’s victory over Pakistan in the World Cup quarterfinals in 1996. But then many of us also cried a couple of days later when India lost at Kolkata in the semi-finals. That perhaps was the saddest day that we had watching cricket.

1999 wasn’t any better. India’s loss to Zimbabwe messed it up for us and we weren’t good enough to go to the semis.

The 2003 World Cup was great for us till we ran into Ricky Ponting’s men in the finals. We still aren’t good enough we thought.  2007 ended with the first match defeat to Bangladesh and then Sri Lanka crushed whatever little hopes we had. ‘When are we going to be the World Cup champions? ‘, we all wondered.

‘Sachin is God and Cricket is a religion in India’.

For all of us born in the eighties Sachin Tendulkar is not just The God but a human force who symbolizes our hope and aspirations. A World Cup win was eluding him time and again although he usually is at his best in the World Cups.

Life can’t be so unfair. Not at least to The God of cricket, Sachin Tendulkar and his billion Indian devotees.

To call cricket a religion would be an understatement in this modern era. Cricket for people like us is a way of life.

We take inspiration in our studies and our daily jobs watching the cricket matches. We have archetypes of cricketers in our minds and understand a lot of things in our daily lives and careers based on these self-constructed archetypes.

India winning a series or a cup is usually an inspiration for us to turn a corner in our lives. India’s win over Australia in the 2001 series especially that stand between Dravid and Laxman is what we look up to when we are down in the dumps in our careers.

India’s loss of Zimbabwe in the 1999 World Cup is what flashes across our mind and reminds us how important it is not to slip in an easy assignment. 

We all know that it is essential to have different qualities while doing different kinds of tasks. Sometimes you need to things fast at a scorching pace like a Virender Sehwag often does while at times it is essential to buckle down and set the house in proper shape like a Rahul Dravid. When we mess up things and have nowhere to hide, we still hope we get lucky like Joginder Sharma did in the 2007 World T20 final.

So the innings that Dhoni played yesterday, promoting himself up the order to counter the off spinners is going to inspire us for the rest of our lives. That six that he hit to win us the cup will remain etched in our memory.

Yesterday when I reached home at 12:30 am, I got a call from one of my crazy cricket friends.

‘Buddy, we have won! We are the World Cup champions. I don’t care how we perform going ahead. This is a victory for our generation, those born in the eighties. We now have a story to tell our children’.

Oh yeah! I couldn’t agree more. And what an awesome story.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

My name is ...

There is this blogger who added me to some group on facebook the other day.  I was glad about this and thanked her. ' You are very welcome, Raghu'  she said.

I was not comfortable with this. No, it was not about what she said but there was something that sounded different and I was not too happy about this. I gave it a thought and I realized what it was. 

I often used to comment on her blog posts where my screen name is Kidoredo.  So she usually replied calling me Kido which I was used to.  Now I was uncomfortable when someone called me by my own name - Raghu.

Well, now that I have brought this topic about my name , let me go on with the whole story.

As a kid, I never liked the name ' Raghu' ( neither do I like it now.. but more on that later). It was so old fashioned even at the time when I was a kid.  My full name when I was admitted to school was K. Raghu Chaitanya and I always liked the name 'Chaitanya' more than the name 'Raghu'.

Being a devotee of a saint Raghvendra, my mom gave me the name 'Raghu'. Thanks to my Dad I was Raghu Chaitanya and not Raghavendra or Raghupathi. Ah.. how boring would those names be ! Why couldn't she christen me as Venu, Vamsi or any of those cooler names of Lord Krishna? Well, she was never a fan of Gods who practiced polygamy.

As a kid, I adored megastar Chiranjeevi/Chiru and his movies. In most of his movies, he was called Raja or Raju. parents got the first two letters right and why 'ghu' instead of a 'ja' or 'ju'.? Raja/Raju appeared so cool.  Even heroes like Venkatesh and Nagarjuna had better names in their movies.

Raghu sounded so old fashioned and cliched even at the time when I did not know what 'cliche' meant. Added to that, Telugu family heroes like Sobhan babu  and Murali Mohan often had the name 'Raghu' in the movies those days.  'How uncool is that?' , I often wondered. The fact that I never had a 'pet name' like a Munna or a Bunny at home never helped my cause.

When I was in class 8, I decided to do something about my name. I started using K.R. Chaitanya and even Chaitan on all the labels of my books. Chaitanya to me was cool and I sooo loved the very few friends, cousins who called me by that name. 

At that time, I also went to a tuition where I shed my image of an 'Yes mam/Yes Sir'  student and instead start pulling everyone's leg including the guy who taught me. When I was in Class 9, studies became more important and I moved to a more serious tuition where there was more study.

Somehow all the K.R Chaitanya hype and hoopla fell apart and it was back to K.Raghu Chaitanya on all the labels on my books.  Good things never last long. The next 3 -4 years were as boring as they could. 'The name 'Raghu' is so synonymous with all the seriousness and boredom of the world',  I wondered.

The year 2000 and I was in IIIT. There were 3 guys with the name 'Raghu 'and 3  with the name 'Chaitanya' in our batch. Here is my chance to get rid of this name 'Raghu' I thought.  I thought of many cool names starting with R. 

'Rocky, Ricky, Rags!' I thought Ricky was the best of them and so self-christened myself by that name.

Ricky sounded so cool. Ricky was so contemporary. Ricky Ponting was also coming of age during that time. Ricky Martin wasn't doing too bad either. 'It can't get any better', I thought. It felt so good when all of the IIIT junta was calling me Ricky. 'There you go Raghu',  I said it myself.

However once I was out of IIIT into the big bad world, doing a job, the name 'Ricky' disappeared into the oblivion. I made an effort to retain the name 'Ricky', but somehow couldn't.  

And then one day  one of my blushes ( my name for a crush) said '
' Ricky is so unlike you.  The name Raghu suits you more.'  

Damn. I thought.  Am I so boring and old fashioned :P ?
And her words still echo in  my ears. Sob! Sob!

Perhaps Shakespeare was right. What's in a name? A guy called 'Raghu' would remain the same even when called by some other name :D

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Chicken or the Egg

Content or Marketing? This is the question that usually stumped me whenever I thought of marketing my blog. I always had this feeling that I will start marketing my blog once I write very well and have a great layout.  

Although the thought had its own merits, the problem that I faced was the 'ideal layout or content' on my blog never happened. It was usually one good or may be an ordinary post followed by a hiatus. I happened to show my old blog to someone who was interviewing me for a social media role and he was like WTF! 

The interviewer thought that it was random ramblings of a bored soul which I agree it is :). But what screwed me was the fact that I did not any social gadgets on my page not even a counter on my page. And yeah I was waiting for the perfect blog site with the perfect layout to happen.

It's a chicken or egg problem because I wanted a good number people to read my blog and then perhaps I thought I would start marketing it. But then people don't come to know about your blog unless you market it.  So then I started putting my blog links on facebook and gtalk since about a year.

I also realized the fact that I do need more interaction on blogosphere and I can keep improving the blog and its layout.  So yeah this interaction bid made me join Indiblogger and yesterday I had the pleasure of meeting so many bloggers in the Bangalore Indiblogger meet. 

I totally loved it and felt at my one day trip to Bangalore from Hyderabad was more than worth it.

As a part of my marketing my blog, I made a card for my blog and distributed it to around 50-60 bloggers. Here you go

I know I know ! It is a pain to type the silly URL  from a physical copy. But then you get know the other person a lot better through a  face to face interaction. Once that is done, the social networking can always be done later. What say?

Now moving on to the card. Movie reviews? Design? Typography? Well well..I don't do all of these. 

For example, I wrote quite a few Telugu movie reviews on the ibnlive site. I haven't written anything since I was tired of writing cliched reviews criticizing the movies in the same way every time.  The Telugu directors were never bored but then I was.  May be with 4 movies releasing this Sankranti, I just might get back to it.

And yeah I do have immediate plans of starting Bollywood reviews on my blog.

Comics! Yeah, I have done a few of them.

Blogging? Yeah yeah I do  it :)

Marketing? Advertising? That's my job ya !

Photography? I use a regular digital camera and my photos very very ordinary. Any photos which appear otherwise are courtesy the ladies in the pic or the location.

Design? Yeah, seems to be one of those many things that interests me!

Typography? My latest crush :D
Ogling at a font on any kind of text on the hoardings, buses, bikes and figuring out if it is a Serif or a Sans Serif font is what I have been doing of late!

So all these are things that I have on my card interest me and I believe they are the touch points for me to connect with the talented ones in each of those fields.
I have always had this fear that a marketing/promotional effort should not create high expectations that the product cannot match. But then this one for me I thought  is the way to inspire me to create a better blog and a better experience. 

So then if you are one of those whom I met yesterday and is reading this,  STAY with me( The follower tab I say :P) and I'll make things better :)