31 December 2010

What Did You Do In 2010?

Here it is. We are at yet another new year’s eve. We all are looking forward to partying. And this is the time where we make resolutions for the coming year. It’s a different case altogether that most of us fail to follow it.
I thought of no resolutions as such because I never follow any resolutions. So, this time I decided to do something different which is measurable.

What did I do in 2010?
  • Completed my MBA
  • Made new friends and acquaintances. This is important because prior to my MBA, I had very few friends and no acquaintances at all. And I collected these gems only during the last few months of MBA.
  • Got a job
  • Purchased a bike
  • Let go off a few people. And after they left, I realized that they weren’t friends, but just acquaintances.
  • Read the Quran’s translation.
  • Started blogging. Personally speaking, this is the most gratifying personal achievement.
  • Started consuming knowledge and information from the internet. Prior to this year, I just read newspapers and a few books. But, internet has been a new fountainhead of knowledge for me.
  • Spent a hell lot of time watching sitcoms. Saw ‘The Fresh Prince of Bel Air’ and still watching ‘How I Met Your Mother’. (This may really be not an achievement but a waste of time. For me it’s an achievement because for once in my Life I wanted to watch an entire series in it’s entirety)         
  • Converted family to friends. My younger brother Saaquib is much cool with me now. I think the ice has melted between the awkward elder brother – younger brother relationship. Shortly, the ice will be broken. And Mustafa, my cousin, now, is a friend first.
You see, the problem I’m facing here is, that I have very few concrete or measurable things to put down as achievements. This has made me very, very uncomfortable. I’m thinking, I need to be ANSWERABLE to Myself. I have to do better. Even though I have made no New Year resolutions, in my mind I know what needs to be accomplished in the coming year.

We all are a bit hesitant to speak out of our achievements because we may not want to sound snobbish. Equally we would not like the world to know where we lack and where all did we screw up.

I say, make your own list and share it with your friends. See you soon.

20 December 2010

The Fortnight That Wasn't

Okay. It has been 2 weeks that I've not blogged. Is that why I'm cranky off late? Maybe!

So the last fortnight was nothing great. Why? Because I have been PMS-ing. (Nupur said this, I liked so I'm using the word) Male PMSing is mental/emotional compared to females' physical/emotional.

Every few weeks I get weird thoughts about this thing called career which we all are trying to 'make'. A stupid illusion!

So I'm thinking, what am I doing? Is it the right thing I'm doing? Should I continue with what I'm doing? Should I change? Should I look around? So many shoulds, woulds, what ifs and whys, that I don't want to mention a lot.

A good things happened last fortnight. I wasn't Career PMS-ing alone! There were 2 other very dear people who were Career PMS-ing like me, viz, my cousin Mustafa and my best friend Mihir.

It's a good thing because I wasn't alone in my cribbing. I had to rant out my frustrations and so did these 2 gentlemen. So I did what I was supposed to do; met them.

Spent half a quality day with Mustafa over Domino's Double Cheese Burst pizza and a lot of talking and a lot of silence. (It's a guy thing, you know, if 2 men are sitting and not talking, it's as good as they are listening to each other. Telepathy!)

And on a Tuesday, met Mihir late evening. Had an awesome KFC bucket, with Mihir reminiscing  his experiences in the USA. Learnt a few interesting things about food. (What else!) Then a lot of career talks which lead me to an interesting experience.

Mihir told me that he had visited his family friend, a lady, for a tarot consultation. And like any other new thing waiting to be tried, I visited her along with Mihir.

I must say, it was a pleasant experience. Tarot cards don't predict your future, they are like a guidance tool. One has to ask a specific question and then pull a card and the tarot card reader will interpret the card for you. I went as a skeptic and returned, convinced. Convinced, because most of the readings were true to a large extent. And trust me, the damn cards speak!

Over all it was a new experience and if one is open to trying new things, it should be fun.

I'm not rejuvenated or anything, but I'm back to blogging. Cheers!

08 December 2010

It's Good To Be An Asshole.

David Fincher telling Mark Zuckerberg’s story was the only reason I watched The Social Network. David Fincher is the man behind superb films like Se7en, Fight Club and Zodiac. All his films have a great screenplay and precise editing which makes the whole experience almost error-free.

The screenplay has been adapted from a bestselling book called The Accidental Billionaires.

I haven’t read the book, but I did watch the movie. Jesse Eisenberg has brilliantly enacted Mark Zuckerberg as a sly, shrewd, heartless and a con man like entrepreneur. Zuckerberg is portrayed as a loner who has just Eduardo Saverin as the lone friend at Harvard, whom he allegedly cheats.

As the film ended I just couldn’t stop thinking about Zuckerberg.
  •        He is the youngest billionaire in the world and has no ‘friends’ and owns a website where people have hundreds of ‘friends’.
  •         He was ruthless in his conquest of making facebook the biggest social network in the world.
  •         His idea taking shape in reality drove him to work day and night.
  •         He didn’t mind being in the grey area.
Unfortunately, most of the people will end up believing that he was an asshole and crossed every limit to achieve his dream.

The Winklevoss twins and Divya Narendra alleged that Zuckerberg stole their idea from their concept of a Harvard.edu social network. I don’t think so. It was a lame idea! Like any other cry babies with no substance, they managed to get a US $65 million payout.

Zuckerberg allegedly cheated Eduardo Saverin off his equity stake in the company. Today Eduardo owns 5% of facebook. Most people label Zuckerberg as an asshole for this precise reason that he back stabbed his lone best friend by cheating him. But going by the portrayal of Saverin in The Social Network, he was a worthless CFO and did not deserve the original 30% stake. His only contribution was the start up money. Zuckerberg was a visionary, not Saverin.

Why am I ranting about Zuckerberg’s antics? The answer is because we need to give a little thought to the underlying philosophical question of good and bad and right and wrong.

We need to understand that good and bad and right and wrong are relative terms. There is no absolute. There are some obvious wrongs like, murder, but sometimes murder can be relative and can be termed good. It all depends which side of the fence you are sitting. For example, a policeman killing a terrorist is not considered a murder by the law. Similarly the terrorist organization killing a policeman is not a murder. For both the party, it’s good riddance of the other ‘bad’ party. Did you get my point?

So this way all good and bad and right and wrong is relative.

And then there are people who are perpetually in the grey area. For them nothing is right and wrong. They are the rebels who cannot conform and can point out the whites (good) when the society tells them that it’s black (bad).

Right at the start, Zuckerberg is shown to create facemash.com, where he hacks into girl students’ profiles and asks the viewers to rate them on their ‘hotness’. Eventually when he is presented in front of the disciplinary committee and is asked to make an opening statement in his defense, he says that he has already apologized to all and he would like some recognition for his work. He says that he has pointed out some gaping flaws in Harvard‘s security system.

That’s what I’m talking about.

Also, Zuckerberg is shown to be a very hardworking, diligent and passionate guy. This is a very important trait that a lot of people missed. It was probably suppressed under the weight of  the display of his asshole-ness.

Every great entrepreneur has a similar ‘My way or the highway’ attitude. Other tech entrepreneurs like Bill Gates, Steve Jobs and Larry Ellison to name a few are known to be ruthless since their young days when they weren’t world changers. They just had an idea to change the world and their attitude that got them where they are today.  And yes, they were and still are hardworking and passionate about what they do. 

The world is a worse than the jungle. These people know that they need to be ruthless to stay ahead in the game. They want to change the world with their idea. If they really gave a fuck about what would the world think, then they wouldn’t be the people they are today. As Nike says, ‘Just Do It’, they did it and we just keep on thinking…

Had they been thinking about rights and wrongs, they would have been writing some blog or reading it! (I just couldn’t help slapping myself here!)

02 December 2010

Harvard Invites BMC to Lecture White House!

In a world where governments try hard to work within deadlines and provide world class solutions to the public, BMC stands apart. Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation or BMC is a body which has some credentials that nobody can match with. 

The constant year round digging of roads and perfectly imperfect patchwork was noticed by Harvard. They were totally amazed to see the year round precision in digging roads and the amateurishly ingenius ways of filling it. What attracted Harvard was the true artistic blend of tar and dirt in patching up the road. 

The dean of Harvard said, "Even a 10 year old American kid would know how to make a straight levelled patchwork on the roads. What truly amazes me is that how do grown up Engineers, Contractors and Supervisors not make a levelled road! It takes true courage, grit and determination to forget one's basics to create art in simple contracting and engineering." 

The dean's eyes swelled with tears of sheer joy when he spoke the above words. He continued by wiping off a tear, "And the sheer act of filling up potholes with gravel, mud and very rarely tar makes me think, why don't we have artists like these in America? Why? There are so many good things that happens when the potholes are filled with gravel. And even better things when they are left in peace as every pothole has a story to say! I've come to know women undergoing labour pains have felt so relieved when their ambulances pass through the gaping potholes. So many families have saved money because these women gave birth on way because of the crests and curves of the artisitic patchwork and unique strategically formed potholes! In our country people go to the gym for boxing. In Mumbai they just fight on the road because of these one of a kind inventive, crafty roads lead to beautiful traffic snarls.We want to study the benefits of roads like Mumbai. In Mumbai, cars die down in maximum 4-5 years because of the roads whereas here even when someone sells it after a decade, it's almost perfect. No wonder car companies are lining up in India. We have to save our car companies and save them from bankruptcies. People will buy cars when their old cars wear down. We need roads like Mumbai to revive our industry. There are so many parallel industries which will be supported. For example the fitness industry, especially the back pain specialists will thrive. Shrinks will be overloaded with frustrated people. I can't imagine the endless imagination. I'm so happy that I want to cry!"

He continues, "We have always been Consumerism driven country and we want our countrymen to spend more. With roads like Mumbai, businesses in USA will sprout like weed and grass." (apparently the dean was high, I guess)

The Americans will save USA by building Mumbai like roads! We wanted to be the Shanghai of India, but destiny had other plans. BMC has put Mumbai literally, in USA! The American people have filed a petition to rename Washington DC to Mumbaston BMC. It's said that there will be a paan spitting competition inside the White House to make all corners glow in red to welcome the BMC delegates so that they feel at home.  

Mr. Roadaala Phaadkar, Mr. Jantaala Chodkar, Mr. Paiselaa Khaakar, Mr. Khawoon Dakaarmaarkar and Mr. Yeda Banaakar visited for a guest lecture at the White House organized by Harvard.(Don't ask me how!)   

Mr. Yeda Banaakar felt very proud today. People put a city on the map of another country, but BMC literally put  a whole country in his city! He started his speech, "We don't do anything special to create art on roads. We follow one simple rule that defines us. This is the first time that it is been shared with the common public. It's our life's motto and it goes like this. HUMEIN SIRF KHODNAA AUR CHODNAA AATA HAI. (we only know to dig and fuck) Jahaan hum raaste mein khadday khodtay hain aur public ki khushi chodtay hain!"

Listening these golden words the President of USA Firaaq Yedamaa leapt out of his seat and started hitting his head like Nana Patekar. Why? Because he realised his mistake. He wanted to bring change for the good to revive his country. But actually his country needed change for the bad! The Indians knew it. This is the reason of India's lightning fast progress. DON'T GIVE A FUCK ABOUT THE PEOPLE. JUST GET BUSINESS! Simple. It wasn't a Nana Patekar moment, it was a 'why didn't we think of this' moment. 

How shameless we Mumbaikars are? We should spit on each other's face for accusing BMC to do a shoddy job all round the year. If they had not been so artistically creative, USA couldn't have saved itself. We are so selfish to think that a huge chunk of our tax money goes to some ingenius officers' pockets. Don't you know, they deserve this money. They put so much time to think and create 'art on road'. We are so narrow minded that we wanted precision of levelled roads. How stupid we all are? It's only with open minds we can understand that when we were expecting basic contracting, simple engineering jobs which required minor child like planning, the geniuses of this great agency were creating art and subconsciously saving USA! 

Move over M. F. Hussain, BMC is here! 

P.S. I'm just too frustrated by Mumbai roads, thought to vent out 'artistically creative' way :p (I know I have used these two words a lot!)

An Infernal Intuition

A few days ago it was announced that the very hot Ms. Malin Akerman will be replacing the notorious Ms. Lindsay Lohan in the movie Inferno after Lohan opted out citing she has to concentrate on her rehab! I feel it was the worst decision of her life. There are many bad professional decisions she has taken, but I’m sure this one would top the list. 

Inferno is a biopic of infamous pornographic actress Linda Lovelace who starred in Deep Throat, the highest grossing porn film ever. It is estimated that when the film released in 1972, it grossed over US$ 100 million. The film was then distributed by a network of Mafia family.

Deep Throat is a unique phenomenon of the pop culture of the last century.

Inferno will make an excellent worthy watch for all the viewers whether they know the history of Deep Throat or not. Just consider the points:
  •     It’s a biopic of the leading lady of the most infamous X-rated movie of the last century
  •     It was so famous that mainstream film audiences went to watch it
  •     There is a strong mafia connection
  •     Although it is said that the film made US$ 100 million, some conspiracy theories claim that the film made in the excess of US$600 million. (And this was 1970’s!)
  •     A censored edition of the film was released on DVD for fans of pop culture and those wishing to own a legitimate copy of the infamous movie
  •     Linda Lovelace made and changed statements that she was forced into pornography by her sadistic husband!
a. First she said that making the film was a liberating experience
b. Then she said that she was coerced to perform the scenes by being hypnotized and sometimes brandished with guns and rifles to complete the acts
c. Later she became an anti-porn activist!

These are just few of the ‘facts’ associated with the history of Deep Throat and the late Linda Lovelace.

What do you want in a film to be entertaining? It has to have a fascinating story to be told! This will definitely be a good watch. Plus, for any actor/actress, playing a real person is a high and there’s a truly immense scope of performance.  

Troubled soul Lindsay Lohan was the first choice to essay Lovelace’s role. Hollywood said that all she needs is one good film. She got one, Inferno. And she kicked it, trying to kick a habit (addiction) she can’t.

I’m not a fan of Lindsay Lohan. It’s just that I have a very keen intuition. There have been times that I’ve noticed people and knew that they would make it big. (I so want to say that about me :p) Obviously I can’t tell it now because then it would be plain stupid and unbelievable.

Once again, is my intuition telling me something?