Sleepless… But Enjoying!

Its been a week almost since I landed in Chennai. It was a pleasant KF flight that brought me here and well, my nightmares of surviving in the hot weather proved to be a lil wrong! Chennai, I am being told has three kinds of weather, Hot, Hotter and Hottest and, we are supposedly in the ‘hotter’ period. God Save Me when we move over to the Hottest… In my past visit here, I could recollect visiting the VGP Golden Beach etc… trust me, the city is still the same! I could recognize the places in spite of being here after such a long time! Coming back to the reason I am in Chennai, had a really warm welcome to Great Lakes Institute of Management, both weather-wise as well as people-wise. An amazing mix of enthu of the people around me and the cushion given by the previous batch over the first few days here has been great and I am sure enjoyable! To sum up here is my journey over the past four days! It definitely looks like “Ye Who enter here.. Welcome to Heaven’nHell”

Day 1: Landed at Anna International Airport Chennai, the flight circled over the seas twice as there was a dog on the runway! Smooth exit. Neel and me had amazing fun on the way seeing people wearing silky flowered shirts which usually are some things that we were avert to. Registrations at great lakes, old campus, we were siphoned off in a coach to the sprawling new campus. Good arrangements to ensure our luggage reached here before us :). Found my cozy room and settled in.

Day1/2: I had to write it in such a way! We had sessions with Patriots starting from noon around 3 till next day morning 5:30! Well, will not discuss on the contents as this may currently not be an appropriate forum. It was fun and learning together, for the first time, I did not sleep to study in my life! Up again at 9, networked and socialized at the campus, lack of sleep was getting on to me. Had a one-one with Rod (Rohit), for a committee and was back in the bed at 11 as I had to be up at 4:30 next morning!

Day 3: Up at 4, took a coach to Chennai Trade center at 6:30. Amazing stuff, N R Narayan Murthy, Bala Balachandran, A Mahendran (Godrej Sara Lee), Adam Simkins all one stage. After the inauguration of our batch, had tea in a local kakas hop and headed to VGP Golden Beach for a party. In between, I remember having collected books and study materials on MicroEconomics, and am searching for them even now after I misplaced. The rest, as usual again back at 12Am and slept!

Day 4: Up at 4 again for a outbound learning program with ELSA. Had a Commando training and some Psychology tests. Gosh! I have been with a psychology professor for almost 27 years and again…..! Had a Karaoke session in the evening. Nice day, w.r.t Sleep :).

Day 5: On Now, have outbound again today, strenuous but worthwhile, scheduled salsa classes in the noon!

In the process, met the world’s best Managerial Accounting Guru, Dr. Bala V Balachandran, who in fact is our dean! A very simple and down to earth man, who once again proved that my thoughts on, all achievers being down to earth was right.

So thats it for now folks, If I find time out of Economics, Accounting and what not, will publish more posts on GL and my life here as a Gladiator.



Customer Service

I have been using BSNL services for over 26 years now. Yes I was probably even welcomed into my house as a baby with the ringing of a telephone, given that my dad was working in the then Department of Telecommunications, Govt. of India. The DoT has undergone massive changes and is now, in the form of BSNL, Bharath Sanchar Nigam Limited. However, even after my dad retired, most of the people who call up our house, keep complaining that there is poor customer service from BSNL. Well, I have a point to make here. They have provided me the best customer service, weather I go in for a new service or disconnect my old one.

The only problem that people may face is that BSNL is a little ‘not too dodgy’, about rules which many are unaccustomed to. Well, what’s the problem as long as the service is good and works wherever you want… why bother? And regarding the rules, follow it, its governed by laws.

BSNL had launched a 3G wireless CDMA broadband service – the EVDO, in select cities and I had purchased one for myself. It offered speeds utpo 2MBps in Mysore and of course only upto 300kbps in Bangalore. I had initial hiccups in starting my device and trust me, they invited me to their telephone exchange and set it right within minutes. The problem was not with their network, it was with the device supplied by ZTE. Well, usually people come back telling people never respond in BSNL offices, turst me it was otherwise.

Now that it was decided that I would move out of Karnataka, I decided to get my EVDO disconnected. The whole process, was done within ten minutes. I was offered an option of going for national roaming, when I said, NO, well, it was a matter of minutes for the entire process with a written notice that my device will be active till tonight. All this within ten minutes, its the same organization that people often criticize! I think they have turned a new leaf! Again, the reason for this article was not to promote BSNL 😉 I use other networks, whenever I am out of my hometown :), but just to point out that its no more the same ‘once called lazy’ organization. Kudos to whoever handles the customer service now!

PS: I had one doubt though! I was working in telecom for almost the past 5 years and as far as I am aware, we need to change the SIM to move from 2G to 3G in UK as we would be offered an upgraded SIM! BSNL however claims that you send an SMS and your 2G SIM will become 3G :)! Can we vouch for this? Funny though, the capacities of a 2G SIM will be lower than that of a 3G, so how will I be able to utilize all the services offered by the 3G? Calls for a debate… until I wait for Airtel to open their 3G networks :(.

The First War of Twitter

The past two days, the news channel’s have evaded covering a storm in Bihar/ East, a massive quake in China, covered very little of a massive air space shutdown across the world, spoken too little of the much hyped up Sania-Shoaib Malik wedding. Ever wonder why – yes, The First War of Twitter is here.

Lalit Modi and Shashi Tharoor, the two most popular users of twitter, the microblogging site in India, have fought starting from twitter on an IPL team and now the battle royale covers, tweets, print, visual media and press meets as well! Oh.. just forgot.. even the Indian Parliament. The reason – the youngest team on the IPL list – The Cochin team seems to have lost the original support it had (Koochu Kutties as of now, as they do not have a name :)). Both these gentlemen used Twitter to communicate first. Modi even tweeted IPL announcements through twitter some times. Tharoor, well, his twitter fan following club has grown from a mere thousand to over 6 Lakhs in just six to seven months!

To me, both these men are stalwarts in their areas. Tharoor, has brought life to the otherwise non vibrant ministries. Communicated with the junta in the right sense using tweets as a medium. Not that I am against Mr SMK here, he was still the best Chief Minister Karnataka had in the recent times. Modi, on the other hand, has probably taken BCCI to the next level. Conceiving the idea of IPL, was probably something that no other lazy brain would have thought and well as he is rightly called – premosupremo, he wants to have the say always. Aftear all its his IPL!

There have been mistakes from both parties over the Kochi team and I list them out as below and probably why the two need to be reprimanded by their respective bosses:

– Firstly Modi, they must have pre-announced the cities for the bids. If they wanted Ahmedabad in as Tharoor or his team claims, then why get Kochi into picture
– Kochi, already has a major fan following for football. If Tharoor and his team wanted Kochi, then they would have killed another sport in India which probably is alive only in three states! So did they think of it or were they just making money?
– Modi, knew that a team from Ahemdabad or Lucknow, would have had a bigger fan base than a team in kochi. Since they already had a team from Maharashtra, they could have grouped cities in the bid, like say Kochi/Pune and Ahmedabad/Lucknow, forcing the bidders to pick any one of ’em without affecting the balance.
– Tharoor, I seriously, do not know his relation with Ms Pushkar, who claims to be a realty agent in Dubai, but the company has disowned her!!!! So why was he supporting her???
– Kochi team, must clearly list out their consortium’s co-owners. Even the representitive who was present when the bids were opened looked clueless and shocked on winning the bid! Now, they have got Harshad Mehta from Dubai as their CEO! More murkier.
– Modi and IPL board, must have gone in depth in the Rendezvous consortium in the beginning itself. What were they doing until Modi, tweeted last week?

On the other hand, the story is politically very spicy as well. Tharoor has been slammed by almost every single person from his party as well as the opposition as well as the people who call themselves the opposition! Sharad Pawar, who runs the BCCI, has not spoken a word about this… Wonder Why??? If he does, I doubt if he will be holding his ministerial berth with the food inflation being so high! Soniya madam ki daya chahiye… Then no comment press, I am on a foreign tour to escape the summers! Sorry….

This apart, I personally want both of them to continue in their positions, may be just warned and let off. Tharoor is learning as a minister and well he is trying to change the way ministers are being seen by the youth. Modi, he is in a different league altogether… A shrewed businessman, amazing planning, great vision. No one in the current BCCI team can match his stature or connect with everyone like he does.

The first war of twitter, will definitely not end soon and the sufferers may be the IPL teams, franchises, players, the brand itself. Hope Tharoor/ Modi will come out clean and just improve the image of their respective departments.

In my personal opinion as well, I think Ahmedabad must get an IPL team. Pune, I still do not think it is worth it. The geographical distance w.r.t Mumbai, may put the team at risk. IPL next year, may soon go beyond the hieghts of Dharmasala as well.

When you start loving the public transport!

To be honest, I have not been a part of even a single bus day initiative kicked off by R Ashok, the transport minister of Karnataka. Co-incidentally I have traveled in an auto on all the four Bus Day’s until now that have been organized by BMTC in association with an NGO in Bangalore. Blame it on not having direct buses at appropriate time from the place of my stay to Cunningham’s or the attractive Green Auto’s on roads, whichever it is!

But with the pockets pinching over the past one week, as I have no more constant income, I have stuck to using low cost public transport. Note low-cost, I have stopped using the Volvo/ Mercedes services between Bangalore and Mysore and have moved back to the Red Bus! Today, of course, I celebrated Bus day compensating all the previous bus days missed by me and honestly, hats off to the transport organizations in both Bangalore and Mysore and JnNURM for revolutionizing them further.

Back to Mysore by train, from a day’s visit to Bangalore, to Varun’s new Ice-Cream Shoppe venture etc etc… I convinced my dad not to pick me up from the train station! Trust me, I was again amazed by the road transport facilities in Mysore. With digital signboards, indicating your wait for the next bus (116, to Infosys is pretty frequent ;)), I was sort of reminded of waiting for a bus in Piccadilly, minus the ambiance and well, a totally opposite weather!

So, folks my request with such amazing frequencies and service from BMTC/ MTS I think you must stick to Public Transport whenever possible! You wont feel bad, with the quality you are getting now a days, of course, maintain it pretty well as well, its your responsibility too!

Aaptha Rakshaka

It had been a long time since I had given Rajeev Masand a run for his money! Yeah… I watch only two programs on CNN IBN, one The Week That Wasn’t – *ing Cyrus, Kunal, Kaneez and of course Now Showing *ing Rajeev Masand. Well, I was bound to write the reviews of almost each of the movies I watched and the whole of the last year I did that without fail. This year has been horrible… to the fullest. It started off with My Name is Khan… and now to add fuel to that fire, its Aaptharakshaka.

I went to Aaptharakshaka almost two months after its release. Every one I met, called it an amazing movie. Guys trust me, I rate this movie 3 on 5, just for Dr Vishnuvardhan’s acting. See this movie, only if you are watching for Dr Vishnu. Aj had told that this movie is not good, still dared to go to this with an upcoming sub-registrar in Mysore, of course, both of us coming out cursing ourselves and disappointed. The movie is very predictable and has bad graphics. Music is mediocre. The Naagavalli story is becoming too common. At least the director must change the plots. Again the story of Vishnu and Avinash solving the troubles of the family of two brothers wont work out.

Its a pity that I could not be positive about Dr Vishnu’s 200th and last movie, which gave me a headache. To compensate, I will and shall watch Naagarahaavu as many times as possible when I feel like doing it, to recall his acting in the bygone era… Long Live Vishnu, the grand old fellow Mysorean… in the hearts of all his fans….