Friday, September 30, 2005

The Scorpio drinking style!

"Don't ever tell Scorpios they've had enough, for they'll smirk at you and quietly but intentionally keep tippling till they're hog-whimpering drunk, out of 100-proof spite. Scorpios like to drink, and screw you if you have a problem with that. Most of them see the sauce as something to savor in itself, and not as a personality-altering tool -- though if depressed, self-loathing Scorps seek total obliteration. But generally, they're fascinating drinking pals, brilliant conversationalists and dizzying flirts. They also remember everything, especially what you did when you were blitzed. Only drink with a Scorpio who likes you."
Most of it is true in my case. Not sure though if I would ever drink myself to death if I'm depressed! How about you fellow scorpios?

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Yesterday once more?

Not really. Yesterday, thanks to the 'bandh' (nationwide strike), I played it safe and chose to work from home. It started off well. There was this slight drizzle, no sign of the sun, just this nice chill. But then it all went wrong. The BSNL link went down. When I tried calling them up, no answer. The electricity decided to play hide 'n' seek, so there was intermittent load-shedding. But thankfully, this being Bangalore you don't mind it usually (as it does not get too hot); but yesterday thanks to that and the link being down, I was plain miserable. Sometimes I wonder if I'm too dependant on the net, its like this sense of security (weird though). So inbetween the calls, emails and nothing to do I spent some time with Dylan's 'Chronicles - Volume 1' book.

What am i listening to this week?

1. U2 - Where the streets have no name
2. REM - Everybody hurts
3. Starsailor - Silence is easy
4. The Cure - Friday I'm in love
5. INXS - Never tear us apart

Keano to go

This is the first thing that i read this morning and while i was kinda shocked by the timing, i guess all of us knew that he would be leaving the first team soon. But what has come as a surprise is that he is not giving too much of a thought to the ready ManUtd back office (coaching assistant) job should he just say so. He had earlier expressed a desire to finish his career with the Celtics. I guess thats quite a possibility given the course of the events that will follow. ManUtd might give him a year in extension while Celtics would be prepared to give much more to add him to their ranks. So all in all a sad day for all ManUtd fans. Its gonna be an end of an era at the end of the current season. But like George Best, Bobby Charlton, Eric Cantona, Keano would be remembered as Captain Fantastic for his days at ManUtd. It would be tough to fill his shoes. Ask Arsenal about Viera and they still cringe!!!

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

This is where I am

Google Earth is too cool. After fiddling with it, found out the HP Office!

Does that song remind you of something? Part II

After Part I, Part II was inevitable.

1. The Beatles - Beatle greeting
Upasana had bought the Live at the BBC sessions. She got me hooked to the Beatles especially with John Lennon saying ‘…and I play the fool’ when asked what he plays in the band.

2. Bryan Adams - Summer of ‘69/Bon Jovi - It’s my life
Not because everyone loved it when they were kids (and some still do). This reminds me of IIMB parties where I used to slide the tracker down as Bryan went ‘Back in the…’ and let the junta sing loudly ‘…summer of ‘69’. Similarly I pulled down the volume as Bon Jovi crooned ‘I just wanna live while I’m alive…’ and the crowd filled in with ‘…Its my life’! Just awesome.

3. Wham - Wham Rap
Rahul, our man from the UK, was a huge Wham fan and a few of us being good friends were subjected to torture everyday on the school bus. But thanks to him, I started to listen more of George Michael and I think his ‘Listen without prejudice’ is one of the best written albums.

4. Los del Rio – Macarena
Me and my initiation into AIESEC’s choreographed dances in the Mohankas’ house in Southern Avenue in Calcutta.

5. Kishore Kumar, Bhupinder, RD Burman, Sapan Chakravarty, Gulshan Bawra - Pyar hume kis modh pe
IIMB parties again. Time would be after 6am (we started at 12am usually). Some junta had their share of eggs before coming back to the party, some who joined after waking up. Everyone just signing themselves hoarse!

6. Kishore Kumar - Jahan teri yeh nazar hai
Reminds me of Nach and the funny hand thingy he does when he dances to this one.

7. Survivor - Eye of the tiger
Two reasons. First being I saw this movie back in ’84 I think – reminds me my uncle’s wedding and we hiring the VHS to see it. Loved the theme. Second was when Aloke and Handa, both drunk, nostalgic and partying in Mumbai call me up saying the song’s playing (in the background) and it reminded them of me spinning it during the campus parties.

8. Robert Tepper - No easy way out
10th boards. 5am. Dad’s made me the tea. I sit at my desk in my room and turn this on as I do my maths.

9. The Righteous Brothers - You’ve lost that lovin’ feeling
While this is not in the original soundtrack, I got hooked to the song when the actors sang it in Top Gun (at the bar). And no one can sing ‘Unchained melody’ like them. Period.

10. Jeff Buckley – Hallelujah
This guy was awesome, shame he died young. He almost makes you cry with this one. Kinda fitted with the season finale of season 1 of ‘The OC’. Check out the soundtracks. I would hugely recommend Mix 1, 2 and 4.

11. Henry Mancini - Moon River
Reminds me of two things. Watching 'Breakfast at Tiffany’s' on campus (Roman holiday is my fave Hepburn movie though) and then there’s the episode in Sex and the City where Big leaves town and leaves Carrie the LP of this song in his empty apartment. Nice.

12. Underground Project - Saturday Night/Deepest Blue - Give it away
Saturday night in Singapore. My apartment. These play one after the other while I get dressed and head out. We always ended up in Equinox somehow. Addy’s still waiting for his lifetime membership card there!

13. Queen - We will rock you (Live at Wembley)
My dad’s friend had bought this album for someone but had brought it home. He asked if I listened to Queen. When I said I didn’t he played the cassette and at the end I had made him leave it behind with me. Best Queen show ever!

14. Hootie and the Blowfish – Only wanna be with you/Peter Andre – Gimme a little sign
Schooldays. Summer holidays. Totally lukkhha!!! Hanging around at Soham’s house as he hollered for me every time these two came on TV!

15. 4 Non Blondes - What’s goin’ on?
Tuba mailed (snail mail) saying that she won the Pilani Western Solo singing this song. So I went and bought the album (no P2P then) only to find out that the other tracks weren’t that good at all. Had to convince the guy to take it back! Was quite a challenge.

16. Gala – Freed from desire
Long train journeys (Calcutta to anywhere is long) during college days. Normal 3 tier sleepers (poor students!)…soot in the hair, bandanas dirty too. Sitting on the steps in the galley (Progga actually lost her bag trying to do something…poor her)…Uday coming and hooking up his two pin jack so that he could plug in his earphones also to my walkman and listen to the songs. Having a blast with AIESEC DU and D(IIT), doing our choreographed steps to this one and singing in hindi ‘ Hawas se Azaadi’. FUN!!!

17. Spice Girls – Stop
Absolutely hate the song. But it always reminds me of Fabio, the funny Italian guy aboard the Silja Line (from Helsinki to Stockholm during the AIESEC 50th anniversary celebrations) trying to teach us the steps to this one. Steps were awful but we all had a blast in that plenary session.

18. U2 – Still haven’t found what I’m looking for/ Stuck in a moment
Lets just say these were the theme songs in life for a while.

19. Chris Rea – Road to Hell (Part II)
Pepsi had brought out these promotional cassettes (back in late 80’s/early 90’s) when you exchanged some crowns or something to get one of these. Thanks to them I discovered this song which is just one of the best I’ve heard till now.

20. Joe Cocker – With a little help from my friends
School. Wonder years on TV. Those were the days! When will they get the DVD out???

End of Part II

Monday, September 26, 2005

Inzamam and cricket's ongoing rants

I was just reading this.
"At this stage of my career, I deserve respect and nothing else," said Inzamam. "I am not pleased at all with whatever has happened. Having played cricket with respect and distinction, I don't deserve this at the fag end of my career."
He was referring to the fact that either he plays both the test and the one day in the super series or none at all. So i did a little of snooping around. The person who comes in (as Sachin's replacement) is Dravid (one day squad); Inzy is still in the test squad (and he should be there). I compared their overall stats. What you get is little to choose, except for the fact that Inzy is no rabbit between the wickets, his fielding is suspect in the outfield and Dravid can cover for a wicketkeeper.

So my question is why does Inzy think he is bigger than the game? I would anyday pick Dravid in a one-day squad if the choice was between him and Inzy. So bugger off please!

Woogle and Toogle???

Woogle: Woogle is a search toy based on the ever popular Google Image Search. It creates image messages out of the words in the phrase you entered.

Toogle: Toogle is a Text version of Googles Image Search. Currently it creates images out of the very term that was used to fetch those images.

Have fun! Works with most simple words. Not perfect but good to search for a few words.

Indian cricket and loose canons!

I have had quite enough of this BS. I care less what happens to either Ganguly or Chappell anymore. The whole situation is just plain pathetic with everyone not only washing their dirty linen in public but now we have the Mr. Goody Two Shoes like Mr. Dungarpur and Harbhajan Singh who think its their birth right to scream about injustice in the world of Indian cricket! Seriously, who the f*** are they kidding! And while grey hair brings some sense and maturity with it, it does not appear to be the same in case of Dungarpur - why make blanket statements like 'Ganguly has no place in the future of Indian cricket'? WTF!!! Is he the selector? Just shut the f*** up!!! There is a review that's going to happen. Let it take its course and let whatever the panel finds fit prevail. Indian cricket does not need its share of back seat driving. Its had enough!

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Same S***, Different Day

And we thought after the talks with the IT honchos, Hosur Road would be different from today. Unfortunately thats not the case. The pics are from this morning as I was getting into work. I can't fathom how traffic police in this city are absolute nincompoops!!! They have no idea about traffic management. Traffic is much smoother when they are not present; and abolsute chaos prevails when some are in the vicinity!

NYC from a couch!

This is smashing! Had to post this.
"Two guys and a couch see a little bit of the city; 35-freak laden NYC blocks, in fact. Check out this photo journal in which porn, pizza, fat guys in Hummers, and an accordion slinger all glide past as a humble bit of furniture has a night on the town. Includes some great pictures, a few short videos, and for some reason a person freely choosing to eat at a Domino’s Pizza in New York City."

Few things I noticed

1. VH1 has started airing commercials and still has promos of it being 'commercial free'.
2. Star Movies/HBO do not show any movie before the 1980s.
3. More Bollywood stars in Ads nowadays than cricketers.
4. You gotta be damn fit to wear a Tottenham jersey. I'm ruling myself out on that one.
5. Inspite of having more than 40gb of music, I suddenly realise that I don't have a few of my fave albums like Billy Joel's 'Stormfront'.
6. Economic Times has all the worthless news as its headlines while the real financial news is always in small text. Oh! I forgot it was a tabloid as well like TOI. Check out Financial Times and then Economic Times.

Well life's like that I guess!

Wanna enroll to be a 'Hooters' girl?

Well, you wanna read this first. The franchise actually has a 52 page employee handbook and each of the girls need to sign a statement which includes "I hereby acknowledge...the work environment is one in which joking and innuendo based on female sex appeal is commonplace." Hmmm.

Bon Jovi slams the celebs

Some like him, some don't. But you can't take away the fact that he's sold more than a 100 million records. Ok, so he is still alive and not OD-ed yet. And he will not be a Cobain. And he still is married to his high school sweetheart. So is he still a rock star? I guess so. Facts say so. The Telegraph got a rare interview with him where he talks about himself, the band, the career and how sometimes celebs are just a sham!

Bon Jovi is not quite so enamoured of other Hollywood superstars, though. "Some people just court celebrity for the sake of it," he says, his smile lapsing into a sneer.

"People like Tom Cruise. He was always a great actor, but I think the man's lost it, lost it. You won't ever catch me jumping up and down on Oprah going on about how I love this woman. And then others start feeding off it. Suddenly, Kate Moss is on the covers of magazines."

Wasn't Kate Moss always on the covers of magazines? Does he mean Katie Holmes?

"Yeah, her," he says. "These people claim they hate the intrusion that fame brings but then they bring it on themselves by having huge entourages everywhere they go, attracting attention to themselves. It's a great fallacy. Another one's Paris Hilton. Famous for being infamous. And the people who should be getting the attention, people like Bob Dylan, aren't. It's sad."

That reminds me that Martin Scorsese is out with his Dylan documentary - 'No direction home' which is an add-on to Dylan's 'Chronicles - Vol 1'.

Back to Bon Jovi and inspite of being humble, the riches show. He leaves us in the interview with this comment:
"I once flew on a small plane with Bill Clinton," he continues, with a grin. "And a reporter asked whose job was better, mine or the President's? I said that mine was, because I get to keep the plane and the house."
That kinda sums up a rock star eh?

Friday, September 23, 2005

Soccer Commercials

Found this website which lets you download all the sexy soccer commercials, some you might have seen and some you might now. All of them need Quicktime for viewing. Enjoy!!!

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Jet Blue crashlanding: Live feed in the aircraft

This was maybe a first of some kind. Rawfeed reports that passengers in the aircraft actually saw the live feed fron CNN on their onboard TV while they circled in the air. The DirecTV (which they offer in every seat) was then switched off in the last few minutes before the plane “touched” down. The passengers were spared the creepily recursive prospect of watching their own crash-landing live on satellite TV. Some reports suggest otherwise though.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

The case of the missing spectators

This has been quite a hotly debated topic for the last couple of weeks where everyone's crying about the lack of spectators for home games in football matches in England. I have been following this a bit closely and what has come across is very shocking and surprising.

1. Ticket Prices: The price of a ticket at Chelsea is around $130 and even at a club like Portsmouth (no offence) its around $70. Compare this to the Spanish and German prices. The cost of a ticket at a Real Madrid game is around $60 which is lesser than the Portsmouth one. You tell me where you would rather go! Moreover German tickets for Bayern is around $20-30 which is lesser than what you would pay to see a team in the Championship (English 1st division). I mean come on. The ticket prices are usually a reflection of the wages paid to the squad. So figure that one out, but paying double to watch a Chelski game than a Real Madrid one - get real!
2. Overly defensive: Someone has slipped in the magic formation 4-5-1 and almost everyone in EPL is adapting to this formation. No one wants to lose. Arsenal and Chelsea have gone on to win the league with 1 or less loss in the whole season and even played innumerable 1-0 wins. The number of goals scored in the first couple of weeks of the season is drastically less than the previous season. As Mourinho says, 'Football and entertainment do not go hand in hand'. I hope for the sake of the game that he is proved wrong.
3. Ashes: Maybe, just maybe the low turnout is due to Freddie and the gang upstaging football for once in England.
4. One horse race: I hope for EPL's sake that it does not suffer a Schumacher, where Chelsea runs away with the league early in the season turning the whole season into a damp squib! Go ManU Go!!!

More on this at:
ESPN Soccernet

Fortune INXS

INXS again became a band (since Michael Hutchence's death due to suicide in 1997) with J.D. Fortune, a New Glasgow (Canada) resident joing the band from Oz. JD is a great stage act and his singing isnt that bad either! I personally would have preferred Jordis but I had a feeling that the band would not sound right with a female vocalist. The new album 'Switch' is out on Nov 29th. The new single 'Easy Easy' is already out though. More on it here.

Free Wi-Fi!!! Is it true?

Apparently it is. And who else to come up with it but Google. They plan to come out with free ad-based wi-fi across America. To do this they have started to buy unused fibre-optic cables and also superfast connections. People have already termed it as Googlenet.
A Google spokesman said the Web pages (http:// relate to an experiment begun this summer to offer free, secure WiFi to some Silicon Valley establishments.
Unfortunately, when I tried to access the link it did not work. For more of where this is taken from and the rest of the story, click here.

So its again gonna be a case of wait and watch. But as someone commented,
they had surprised us with the 1 gb mail accounts. So should we be surprised again?

While in India behave like Indians, when abroad behave like???

I often wonder why the same person (specifically Indians) acts differently in two different countries. You will find the same person who - spits on the road, does not maintain lanes, litters everywhere, jaywalks - turn into a saint when abroad. Its as if he was the evil twin of the person you see abroad. If we can follow laws and keep another country litter-free why the hell do we the opposite in our own country??? Can't figure that one out!!!

Monday, September 19, 2005

Emmys 2005

HBO, ABC, CBS picked up 7, 6 and 5 awards respectively. Lost (ABC) won the outstanding Drama Series while Everybody Loves Raymond won the best Comedy Series beating off stiff competition from Desperate Housewives (ABC). Felicity Huffman though made up for the loss with a best actress in a comedy role in Desperate Housewives. Best actor in a comedy series went to Tony Shaloub in Monk (USA). The best actor in a drama series went to James Spader in Boston Legal (ABC) while the best actress Emmy in a drama series went to Patricia Arquette in Medium (NBC).

The full list can be found at E!Online or at the Emmys website.

Friday, September 16, 2005

You gotta be kidding me!!!

This is the report from Times of India. Jamaat, an Islamic group says its going to prevent Sania from playing if she keeps up with her attire. Give us a break...go protest against poverty, girl infanticide or something for the greater good of this country. I sometimes forget which century we live in. These people keep reminding me all the time. What was it called again??? Stone Age eh?

Commuting in Bangalore

Here's something that I received in my mailbox. Its the funnier side to commuting to work every morning to Electronics City.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Rooney: A pain in Spain!!!

This was coming. After his outburst during the England match a week back, he got himself sent off against the Yellow Submarines last night at Villareal. Fergie had leapt to Rooney's defense after the Nothern Ireland game, but this time around he thinks that Rooney would benefit as he matures through these experiences. Players like Rooney are hard to come by but with them come the temper which sometimes work as an asset while like last night sometimes lead to a downfall. All said and done I would have understood if he retaliated after a tackle and had commited a cynical foul. He did what Beckham had done at the World Cup a few years ago...lost his bearings sure you screamed 'what an idiot' as soon as he mocked the referee because you knew what was gonna happen then. Mr. Rooney - off you go please!!! And he could not have picked a better referee - its was Kim Nielson who had sent off Becks during that World Cup. Don't think he had an alternative actually. So while I am a huge fan, such idiocy is just not what you had wanted to see. So fortunately or otherwise, Man Utd kept their wins on Spanish soil to just one. Next stop is against Benfica at Old Trafford in a fortnight's time. Would Rooney be missed? I have a feeling he would be!

What am i listening to this week?

1. Mylo vs. Miami Sound Machine - Doctor Pressure
2. Oasis - The importance of being idle
3. Freemasons - Love on my mind
4. KT Tunstall - Suddenly I see
5. U2 - Sometimes you can't make it on your own

Yahoo Mail Beta launch

Some users in America might already be using the new beta version of yahoo mail. The rest of us should expect the same in a month according to reports. This is the major overhaul of this web mail service. The interface looks close to an Microsoft Outlook one. The new features also look pretty good and include:

-- Fast and easy-to-use interface that functions like a desktop client application

-- Drag-and-drop message organization

-- Reading pane to instantly view messages

-- Comprehensive and speedy search of e-mail headers, bodies, and attachments

-- Ability to view multiple e-mails at the same time

-- Automatic check and delivery of new mail

-- Keyboard shortcuts and right click menus

-- Ability to scroll through all message headers in a folder, rather than page by page

-- Address autocomplete

-- Industry-leading protection from spam and viruses

-- Available on Firefox (Mac/Windows) and Internet Explorer (Windows only)

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Blog search on Google

It was on the anvil and now its here. Macworld talks more about it.

HP sever ties with Williams

HP today announced that they would be severing sponsorship ties with Williams at the end of this Formula 1 season. They had been the main sponsor for Williams since 2000. Williams as such would get a totally new look as they are also changing engine partners (BMW) and switching to Bridgestone tyres from Michelin.

I had expected this to happen after the arrival of Mark Hurd, who replaced Carly as the CEO of HP. Having come from a pure operational background, he has his mind set on getting the company and its stock back on track. Most of his plans have started to give positive results as he stresses to cut down on 'hobbies' and focus more on core business. HP has also stopped selling ipods. There was hardly any value add there. The stock has rebounded from the low $15 (last year) to $27.69 (as of today).

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

are these real pics?

got these claiming to be Katrina pics. while i have my doubts, they look damn neat!

Federer in the Indian cricket team?

Figure this one out:

Federer= Has not lost his last 23 finals
Indian team= Has not won the last 18 finals

So is Federer the missing link? What says you? Food for thought?

Monday, September 12, 2005

eBay buys Skype

I had posted sometime back regarding the impending sale. Now its official. Online auction site eBay has agreed to buy internet telephone company Skype Technologies in a $2.6bn deal.

read more | digg story

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Whose road is it?

We were coming back after dropping off a friend at the airport, when suddenly all the traffic was stopped to make way for a VIP. While this was a typical incident, we started discussing whether the VIP has a right to stop the traffic at any given point of time. Couple of things come to my mind:
1. The right to the road is every citizen's. And the VIP is usually someone elected by the people. So he isn't some king ruling his fiefdom, who has a right to make them wait so he can pass. What if there is a sick person or some other emergency? Too bad eh? Moreover, sometime you just don't know how long you have to wait till the person passes with his/her entourage. And if you didn't notice, policemen magically appear at places where none seem to exist during other times when they are genuinely required.
2. Another side to this is, as Dibyo pointed out, the VIPs never understand the totally screwed up traffic scene in Bangalore. They always find wide open spaces to zoom through. Let them travel on Hosur Road between 8:30 - 9:30 am. I would love to see these VIPs squirm in the traffic jam and then shoot off their mouths as how Bangalore is such a sexy place to love in and there's no problem with traffic. Everything citizens might say is just pure delusional , must be a conspiracy to politicise and spread propaganda eh? Absolutely I say, we all are just a bunch of morons! Citizens are always wrong aren't they. But they always need to pay higher taxes every year. I wonder where all this money goes? Specially if you have noticed that the population in Bangalore has quadrupled in the last couple of years. I do not see any public work getting done. The Airport flyover has been re-started (it had started some 2 years back!).

And yes, if you were ever wondering, you can never get a speeding ticket in Bangalore. I would love to meet someone who has ever got one in the last couple of years!!! If you haven't noticed the city speed limit has been revised to 10 km/hr.

Salaam Namaste: A review with a difference

NY Times has this review on Salaam Namaste (needs NYT login, which is free). Its interesting to read a review written by an American (though her name suggests she has Asian roots). I have to agree with her though on the review, having seen the movie yesterday. For Indian viewers, its a typical Yash Raj film. Saif is turning out to be quite a good bet for first day openings. I had got my tickets on Wednesday. On Friday I had gone to pick up some other tickets and the movie was house-full till Tuesday.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

How to password-protect files and folders on hard disk

I have always found this as a problem since I shifted to Windows XP as there is no option in the OS to password protect files on the hard disk. I discovered Axcrypt recently. After you install this, everytime you right click, there is an option to encrypt as well decrypt files and folders on your hard disk. The best thing is that this software is free. Go ahead and try it.

Thursday, September 08, 2005


Here's a few pics of me through the ages. That really makes me sound so old!!! Anyways...

One of the oldest of me with the cats in Delhi.

Back when I was 9-10 yrs old i think.

My school pics are not scanned. So this one's from the Nordic Cruise when I was in AIESEC in '98

With Kaps and Nach back in IIMB

At Basel during the St.Gallen exchange.

New year's with Niks and a few vodkas and tequilas.

During my London trip in 2003.

My bro plays in ManUtd...din I tell you? From my SG days.

With my bro at Niagara

With Handa from the recent Kamshet trip.

Skype on sale?

Bloomberg reports suggest a possible bid of $5 billion for Skype by Ebay. Stock prices of Ebay dropped to $39.02 (-4.3%).

A case of I told you so...

I had posted about Sven's formation for the English soccer team and I had said that its a doomed move. Look what happened yesterday. 4-5-1 is not the ideal formation with the players on the pitch. Becks is not a holding mid-fielder. Why try and mould him into one when you have Parker and Butt? The problem is that Sven loves a few players and can't do without them, which leads to an imbalance in the side. They look more and more like the ManUtd team of last season where they would create chances but were not able to capitalise on any. You won't get any goals having one man up front and that also someone like Owen. He doesn't help in the buildup, he needs the ball to be fed to him around the penalty area. Won't do if the team has any hopes to win the World Cup. Sven has his days numbered. It won't make a difference what he says, it would be upto the FA. Now England needs to win both against Austria and Poland to qualify.

New Orleans Vs. Mumbai

New Orleans vs. Mumbai: A comparison I came across yesterday!

Inches of rain in New Orleans due to hurricane Katrina... 18
Inches of rain Mumbai (July 27th).... 37.1

Population of New Orleans... 484,674
Population of Mumbai.... 12,622,500

Deaths in New Orleans within 48 hours of Katrina...100
Deaths in Mumbai within 48hours of rain… 37

Number of people to be evacuated in New Orleans… entire city…
Number of people evacuated in Mumbai... 10,000

Cases of shooting, looting and violence in New Orleans...Countless
Cases of shooting and violence Mumbai… NONE

Time taken for US army to reach New Orleans... 48hours
Time taken for Indian army and navy to reach Mumbai...12hours

Status 48hours later… New Orleans is still waiting for relief, army and electricity
Status 48hours later… Mumbai is back on its feet and is business as usual

USA... world's most developed nation
India... third world country

Nano and Rockr!

In case you are wondering what the above two words meant, you are not quite up to date with the ipod world. Apple revealed Nano and Rockr yesterday.

Nano is the new mini. The basic change has been to shift from a hard disk player to a flash player. As such is lighter and slimmer. Its available in 2gb and 4 gb models.

Rockr is the new Apple-Motorola phone which is also an ipod that plays around 100 songs. Frankly I do not see how it is of too much value considering other phones can accomodate more songs (Nokia's new N91 has a 4gb capacity). Moreover while other phones can get songs wirelessly, Rockr needs to be synchronised with iTunes. But maybe apple intends to get into the phone + music market slowly not to cannibalise their big ipod market share.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

English soccer team woes!!!

First they got hammered aainst by the Danes. Then they just scraped through with a 1-0 win against Wales. So what is it that is going wrong with the team?

Lets see, for the first game most of the goals came when Sven changed the complete side (it was a friendly) and you had players like Glen Johnson defending and David James fumbling with the ball as usual. So while it was a shock loss, I would not have been so worried.

But the scrappy 1-0 win does not give the picture of a world cup winning side for sure. And I always get into a discussion with friends as how this team can play so badly when you look at the side. Its one of the great sides, but its like the Indian cricket team. Most of them would end up playing individually or just have an off day. Unfortunately if you look at sides like the Czech Rep. or Brazil you just cannot do both. Specially if you plan to get your hands on the world cup!

I think the first problem has been sorted out thanks to the Danish drubbing - the goalkeeper. I don't know what Sven saw in James to persist with him for so long. Robinson is a far more accomplished goalkeeper. David James is just rubbish. And for him to say, ' I did not prepare for the game (Danes) as it was a friendly' reeks of unprofesionalism. What did he think - it would be a walk in the park for him!???

The second problem is with the formation. Sven wants to play the diamond formation with Rooney just behind Owen in front. Unfortunately, if do not have a Butt or a Scott Parker, you just cannot play that formation. He instead went on to change it to a 4-5-1 formation against Wales. Why????? Can't he see that even Fergie changed that formation to a 4-3-3 (for ManUtd) one when he knows thats the best way to win matches. I don't think England can play a holding game like the Italians. They just get too confused and bogged down.

The third problem is that with the left winger. Joe Cole might score goals but don't think he is the person to run up and down the left wing. As such the attack would get narrow and be constrained to balls played up the midfield or from crosses across the right. If you have to beat the best, balls need to played from both left and right and as such the attack is more wider. Downing would be my automatic choice.

So my ideal team would be:

GK: Robinson
Defenders: Gary Neville, Rio Ferdinand, John Terry, Ashley Cole
(Covers: Jamie Carragher, Sol Campbell, Luke Young, Wes Brown)
Midefielders: Becks, Stevie G., Downing
(Covers: Butt, Parker, Lampard)
Forwards: Rooney, Owen, Defoe
(Covers: Wright-Phillips, Crouch)

Sven needs to think about what he is doing. It looks like he is more interested in qualifying than grooming a world-beating team. People's patience is being tested for sure.

What are your thoughts on these?

Kazaa setback with Australian court ruling

First it was Grokster, now its Kazaa. An Australian court ruled against Kazaa, saying it was breaching copyrights. Interestingly enough, they have not found Sharman Networks guilty of breaching copyrights themselves, but its beause of their 'intent' of encouraging their users to do it!!! Thats some food for thought. Kazaa plans to appeal against the verdict, but I wonder what this means for the end user. The usual plan of action is to shift to another network. We could see more use of torrents now or users shifting to iMesh or Limewire. Read more on this article here.

Monday, September 05, 2005

What am i listening to this week?

1. Rihanna - Pon de replay
2. Dios Malos - You got me all wrong
3. Doves - Caught by the river
4. Finley Quaye and William Orbit - Dice
5. Coldplay - Fix you

The ideal house?

We were talking about the ideal holiday last night during dinner. I would surely like the house in this pic for my holiday. Wouldn't mind if I were able to live there either!!!

the weekend getaway...

Last Monday over a rapid round of mail exchanges, we (Aloke, Handa, me) decided that we should plan a trip over the weekend (3rd/4th Sep). I already had a ticket lying I just had to pack my strolley and take off!! We decided that we would go to Kamshet, which is just off Lonavala and not too crowded.

I landed in Mumbai on Thu night, following which Kan and I had to zip to Astrid's (who owns the place in Kamshet) house to pay her the money. They take room rent in advance. You just pay for any extras viz. Beer, cold drinks, snacks at the cottage. This was followed by the quickest Thai dinner ever (clocked at 28 min..with a cab waiting...go and beat that!), after which I crashed at Kau's place. Next morning was chilled out with me having nothing to do in particular as the whole of Mumbai geared for another day at the office. So I could meet up with Handa only around lunch time, where I took the opportunity to visit his humble abode and park my strolley. He promises me (Aloke, Kan, Abby are witnesses to the fact that he has expressed his desire to move out soon) that I would stay with him in a not-so-humble-abode next time I visit. We will wait for that one till it actually happens! Anyways, Resh joined us for lunch as we dug into some chinese food at Kamling at Churchgate. Handa was off to office again as Resh and I went next door to Mocha to down a Sangria before the movie (Pyar mein twist). Please avoid the movie, see it on vcd/dvd if you wanna absolutely catch it to see the stunning Ms. Kapadia. In the evening, Handa came and joined us at Geoffrey's. The Economist have them on their city guide but I could give the place a miss. It was too bright and the music was very bad. When did you last listen to Air Supply croon at a pub??? That settles it I think! Then we were off to Not just jazz where I helped Handa come up with a make-it-yourself pizza and I polished off my pasta. Kan and Aloke joined soon and after dinner and drinks we were audience to a car go up in flames bang in front of the Not Just Jazz crossing on Marine Drive. We had never seen something like that! We then conned Handa to pack his stuff too and head to Aloke's with me so we could all leave together the next day. As usual, after a few groans and moans he was game and we were off, but not before we got some softees with Handa claiming he did not want the 'big' one, when clearly he told me and Aloke that he wanted the big one with nuts and the works. And again, after the cribs, he was the one who had polished it off before either of us did manage to finish our 'small' ones!!!

Day 1 at Kamshet
We were off by 10:30am with Abby joining us. We had got ourselves a Toyota Innova for the trip which cost us around Rs.4500 for 2 days including daily allowances for the driver. The car's pretty comfortable except for the last seat which is less spacious than other models I have ridden in Toronto. But it handled the roads and potholes amazingly well so I would definitely recommend it for out-of-the-city trips. We had got a detailed mail from Native Place as regards to the direction to the cottage. It was absolutely perfect (to the exact kilometre)! We were in time for lunch which we washed down with a beer. After lunch we went exploring the area to find a way to the lake. While the property does not have direct access to the lake, if you are willing to jump fences and crawl under barbed wire fences, you will be rewarded! We absolutely did that and soon we were at the lake. Its very beautiful as its surrounded by mountains and you can see the clouds and mist settling down on them. While boating is not allowed you could take a dip in it for sure. Abby was looking forward to catch his first live fish and then smoking the same. He was to be disappointed too!!! While everyone took a nap, Handa sat outside to take in the scenery while he read his book. I joined him soon and we played a game of songs, singers, albums. We discovered a large number of them, specially songs end with the letter 'E' or 'Y'! Abby was on the receiving end of most of these!!! Hahaha. Most of the evening and night was spent drinking the Red Absolut and playing Cranium and Taboo. I ended up becoming quite a Cranium addict and we finally called it quits around 4:30 in the morning. In between these sessions, we had quite an interesting discussion on hindu mythology viz. ramayana and mahabharata where Aloke told us the links in the epics and how they were connected.

Day 2 at Kamshet
Day 2 began with a powercut around 5pm (just as we had fell off to sleep). There was no generator but since it was cool, I managed to sleep till 9am. The morning began with breakfast and masala chai. Handa made sure that the guys at the cottage were kept busy preparing our lunch so we could use their bat and ball and have us some one-tip cricket. Aloke decided he wasn't gonna beat the 5 runs that Handa scored, so he decided to win it the golf way by scoring -46 runs (you lose 5 runs for every dismissal), which would have put Tiger Woods to shame. In the meanwhile JP and Ranu turned up from Pune and we headed to the lake (taking a different route). Abby was the first in the water and called everyone a prude who didn't want to go in. Handa joined in and taught Abby some swimming lessons. The weather was perfect with an overcast sky and a slight breeze (the temperature would have been around 20-21 degrees celsius). We hung around the lake for quite sometime before he headed back for lunch. Beer was called for as we feasted on some great chicken. Cranium followed, with JP acting out the happiest bent dead body ever!!! We left around 5:30pm but not before we had to tackle the muddy roads to our car. The aftermath to that was caking the carpet at the Meridian in Mumbai with our muddy footprints as we went for dinner to the Great Wall!!! We were wondering if they would throw us out. And you should have seen the car...looked like we were just back from the Dakar Rally!!! The last time I had done something like this was to drag the front carpet at the Park in Calcutta all the way home (it got stuck to the fiat and no one noticed...we did notice someone yelling though!!! hehehe). Just for trivia, all the chikki vendors (atleast 95%) call themselves Maganlal Chikki (Abby wondered if anyone would use that as a meeting point!)in Lonavala. Go figure!

So all in all it was an awesome weekend, which kept the every 3 months meeting schedule on track. So here's to the next one around New Year's!!!