Friday, December 29, 2006

Opinions, Perspectives et al

Enjoying my holidays and watching lot of television. Cricket of course takes the maximum share of my TV time now. For me, had it not been for cricket, Travel & Living channel would have walked away with the lion's share of my screen time! It is definitely one of the better channels out there. Disagree with me at your own risk. Grrrrrrr........
TV commercials have also come of age India: my favourite being HSBC's series of advertisements emphasizing 'different perspectives' and HSBC respecting it which enables them to call themselves "The world's local bank". It is by far the best I have seen by any financial services company.
A close second would have to be the MOTOFLIP advertisement. Compared to any Nokia advertisement, the sheer recall value it has is just phenomenal. It is so much about today's India: a hardworking young adult coming home late at night and his middle class parents having no idea as to what their son is doing. As a result his parents are disturbed about the 'more-than-he-could-afford' look of the phone. The best scene is when the mother takes her pallu and covers mouth portraying absolute dissapointment. Brilliant eye-for-detail on the director's part. Kudos!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Better Half....Indeed

I was having this general conversation with one of my friend about things that only girls can do and things that only guys can do etc. Somehow the conversation drifted towards, how each and every word any guy utters can be twisted and interpreted as a MCPisque statement. Out of nowhere she mentioned root cause of most problems are women...I was stunned to hear it from a girl but chose not to make it obvious.
Now when I sit back and think about it peacefully maybe she was right. Consider these examples; Mahabharata-Draupadi, Ramayana-Sita, Homer-Helen of Sparta/Troy(highly debatable which place she belongs to), Egypt-Cleopatra, Bill Clinton-Monica Lewinsky.......anyway. I strongly believe women are the most beautiful beings that God ever created. Dear God, if you are listening you have my vote of confidence.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Boss Told Me So..

This is a funny incident and foolish to say the least. Only I can get myself into such a situation. My boss invited close to sixty people(from all the divisions that report to him) to his house for a get together, as he was feeling very good about stepping into thrilling thirties. I drove down that evening and I was trusting on my instincts to find a nice parking place near his house. So I did.

I was having a chat with him at his terrace, he looked down and said "That is your car, right?". I said (under my breath) "Wow, he is got a good memory and he remebers my gleaming-red, sex on the wheels", (out loud) Yes you are right, you are looking at my darling 'Eleanor'. He replied, I have neighbours who are quite fussy and they are not particularly fond of seeing 'Eleanor' in front of their driveway. I sprinted downstairs and as I was approaching 'Eleanor' to park her elsewhere, there was a middle-aged man peeping out of his car and waiting for me to move 'Eleanor'. I turned back, and said "Boss has asked not to park the car here". He had a weird expression on his face which screamed, young man you are suffering from foot-in-mouth disease, he remarked I am the owner of the house in front of which you have your car parked. Do I have your boss's permission to park my car least?

Vaninsh Vinayakan, Vanish....

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Yesterday, all my troubles seemed so far away....

Of late people close to me have casually remarked, "Vinayakan you are always in control, you need to let go yourself frequently and by doing so you will be able to enjoy life more"...I am trying my best to do the above but I still have doubts whether I am committed to doing so 100%. I think trying is at least is a good start.
Here goes the half-hearted attempt:
I have really forgotten the last time I engaged myself in a 'let's eye-ball each other' situation with a stranger in a public place. I have loved doing it since my hotel days. It is saying so many things without saying anything at all. I try to keep my eye-contact as disarming as possible(or so I believe it to be!). It is more of 'I appreciate your hairdo, dress-sense, smile etc...' Last evening at TGIF(near Priya theatre, New Delhi) there were two girls seated diagonally across the table I was sitting in. The one which was facing me had a simple yet really stylish hairdo with a nice toss of the same at regular intervals. It was nicely resting on her slender, denim clothed shoulders. Initially she was completely engrossed in a conversation with her friend, but when she noticed me *eyeing* her(just eyes..), she would have probably thought "well this guy is cute and there is this tinge of nicety about him, let me enjoy the evening and return the glance". Me and my fertile imagination! After 15-20 minutes we exchanged glances...sigh...sigh...sigh... We continued doing so for close to two hours. I somehow felt there was more to it than we looking at each other. I felt it and and I am sure she felt it too. OK let me hope against hope that she gets to read this post sometime!
I was accompanied by two of my old friends from my hotel days. The conversation was on the lines of we being so open about discussing a lot of things even though we have not met for close to three years and we enjoyed the camaraderie that was there. I talked about blogger and promised there is going to be one posting dedicated to the great evening we had...

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Wasting Vs. Investing

OK. So I am going to be writing about doing nothing for one entire day. After close to forty-five days of squeezing thirty hours into a twenty four hour day I want to take a break. I thought the ideal way to recharge my batteries would be to just spend/waste one entire day doing nothing, I mean absolutely nothing other than embracing the blogosphere that too for a short while. Tough ask out of someone who is so hyperactive and restless by nature. I will try it anyway; it might just work as a tonic. The point of relevance here is, just in case I want to spend a day like this sometime in future I will at least have a reference point. Let me introspect as to what makes me squeeze so many activities in a regular day. Why can’t I take it easy for a while? Do I aspire for too many things to happen too soon? I would like to believe, I have the answers. I can not afford to take things easy as I have high expectations out of myself, my life, my job(which I am in love with) and just about everything that touches my life on a day to day basis. When I have high expectations I might as well be prepared to invest a lot of time on my so called ‘high expectations’ future. I might be hinting at ‘man makes his own destiny’. I am no exception; what I sow today will be what I will reap tomorrow in other words choices I make today are my half chances of tomorrow.

As for the other question of aspirations, well ‘how much is too much?’ It obviously means different things to different people. What is too much for person ‘X’ might be too little for me and vice-versa. There are some questions which are better left unanswered, this is one of them. Let me quote Robert Browning here ‘Our aspirations are our capabilities.’

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Achtung Baby

AUDI (German automobile maker) as expected has made an aggressive foray in Indian market in the last twelve months. Going by the advertisements that they are churning out in the print media it looks like, very soon Indians will be treated with plenty of serious eye candy on four wheels. Their punch line really caught my eye 'Vorsprung Durch Technik' : In German it means 'Progress Through Technology' or 'Leadership Through Technology Innovation". AUDI please give us excess of it!
Click on this link for more: Passionate car lovers visit the government thinking of building better roads, better investment climate?

On the other hand when Skoda launched 'LAURA' in 2005, I wonder whether their branding department did enough homework! Why would anybody want to name a car 'LAURA' when the majority of the target population speaks Hindi. Doesn't it sound dangerously close to....well, what it is not supposed to mean?

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Love for Stick

Last week I accompanied my friend to a car accessories shop. There were lot of young adults like us, who were doing up their cars. Here was a freeze moment that caught my eye. One of the shopkeeper was walking with a hockey stick's support. I thought his idea was simply brilliant; If you invert a hockey stick, it is perhaps a perfectly designed walking stick. Out of sheer curiosity I walked upto him and asked him, what makes him do that. He replied in Hindi "saab mein player hua karta tha, bike accident ho gaya do saal pehle, ab mein khel to nahin sakta lekin hockey to apne saat rakh sakta hoon. Aur dekhiye naa, yeh toh ab bhi kaam ki cheez hai". When translated, it means, "Sir I used to be a [hockey] player, I had a bike accident couple of years ago, now I can't play but still I can keep this stick with me. And see, even now it is useful" .

Moral is an accident can do anything. From striking a ball into a goal post to supporting a leg...Bizarre, Isn't it?

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Aha Change

I am confused. Few people make 'change' their second skin whereas most of us have this inherent desire to resist change - I wonder why? In order to grow, one has to evolve, in order to evolve some kind of change has to take place. We all consider growth as a good thing. If growth is good then why do we resist change?

Through Orkut, I have found some of my long lost friends. The moment I call them up after getting their number, first thing my friends mention is, your voice has changed so much, secondly you look so different in your photo-so on and so forth.

I hope I have changed for the better! Time for a change management book, I guess..

Friday, September 08, 2006

Are You Safe In Your Car?

Why are Maruti cars so successful in India? Below are the points that come to my mind immediately:

1)Maruti has a sound product line - I do not quite agree. They do not have a good diesel car in their line-up and they do not compete in all segments of the market.(6.5/10)
2)Maruti makes great cars(all critical qualities of an automobile) - Highly questionable, no Maruti car meets the safety norms except for Grand Vitara which is completely manufactured by Suzuki. I am sure in a high impact collision, chances of survival in a Maruti (Omni, Versa, Alto, 800, Esteem, Zen, Wagon R, Swift, Baleno) is extremely bleak considering it is an unsafe car. Can't help but notice the irony here - Maruti is the other name of Lord 'Hanuman'. In Hindu mythology 'Hanuman' is the name of the monkey God who was extremely powerful, immortal etc!.(2/10)
3)Maruti makes extremely energy efficient cars - Not really, if at all there is a difference vis-a-vis cars in the same segment it is miniscule. With the exception of Swift, Baleno & Grand Vitara(V6), it is quite obvious that Maruti cars are somewhat underpowered. Achieving energy efficiency at the cost of a car being underpowered does not speak very highly of an automobile.(7/10)
4)Cheap & easy availability of spare parts - True, Maruti kills the market here. Very strong point.(9.5/10)
5)After sales service - Easily the best in India. For every other car maker, it is an aspirational target.(9.9/10)
6)Low cost of ownership and high resale value: (8.5/10)
7)Refinement and other trivial things - Less said the better, it is definitely not there. Right from how the steering wheel feels, to the gear shift, to how the foot pedal feels. Extremely raw.(4/10)
8)Design and looks - Every now and then Maruti does some cosmetic makeover to their cars and their impactful marketing machinery ensures great acceptability in the consumer's mind.(4.5/10)
9)Last but not the least, Maruti is extremely good at capturing the 'price sensitivity' of the Indian car market. For the kind of localization that Maruti has managed to achieve over the years, I do not see any other car maker doing a better job here in the foreseeable future. (10/10)

Passing thought: When Maruti started making cars in India, for all practical purposes the car market in India was monopolistic. Whatever Maruti did was the industry standard. Even today the safety norms for making cars in India is not well defined, so one can well imagine how it would have been back in 1980s. Maruti exploited this lacuna to their advantage and obviously saved a lot by not spending anything towards making their cars safer. Indian palette is so accustomed to Maruti cars that they just do not think about the safety of their loved ones while making the purchase decision. So my countrymen, a Maruti car is a great value for money but an accident happens only once. Please factor in the *safeness* of a car before buying it.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Let History Repeat Itself

I am no expert on how to fight terrorism...But I am very sure, root cause of 'Jihad' is some Islamic leaders enslaving most young muslim's psyche by limiting their thinking to absolute hatred and contempt for other religions. I surfed around and read this piece on the web..

"Muslims detest pork because they believe pigs are filthy animals. Some of them simply refuse to eat it, while others won't even touch pigs at all, nor any of their by-products. To them, eating or touching a pig, its meat, its blood, etc., is to be instantly barred from paradise (and those 72 virgins) and doomed to hell. Just before World War I, there were a number of terrorist attacks on the United States forces in the Philippines by; you guessed it, Muslim extremists. So General Pershing captured 50 terrorists and had them tied to posts execution style. He then had his men bring in two pigs and slaughter them in front of the now horrified terrorists.
The soldiers then soaked their bullets in the pigs blood, and proceeded to execute 49 of the terrorists by firing squad. The soldiers then dug a big hole, dumped in the terrorist's bodies and covered them in pig blood. They let the 50th terrorist go so that he can narrate the horror story to his brethren." This nailed terrorist activities for a long time to come...

To me this is a brilliant way of addressing the root cause. Terrorism is a psychological warfare and it can fought only psychologically. If US is going to point a gun to the terrorist, well that is exactly what they want--to die as a martyr and take the expressway to paradise.

I have a message for all the brave soldiers who are guarding our borders. Whenever they catch infiltrators(read terrorists), instead of burying their dead bodies with all the respect, burn their bodies with all the respect. As a practice contaminate all the ammunition with pork fat/blood.

Make no mistake I am not against Islam or Muslims, I am against terrorism and the wastage of resources which goes behind fighting it...Anyway it is my humble two penny's worth idea!

Friday, July 28, 2006

Non-Sense of Humour

Yesterday I was at the rest room relieving myself, one of my colleagues rushed in with a lot of huff-puff, relieved himself and then he let out a sigh of relief...I remarked "You were under a lot of pressure, huh?" Then he asked me, "how do you know that I have to deliver XYZ report tonight?"

All I could manage was a baffled look and "oh just ignore what I said"

Monday, July 24, 2006

Look What I found...

I was surfing around on the web. I found this T-shirt which I feel all, bloggers would relate to..Go ahead, get one for yourself at

Saturday, July 22, 2006

'Professionalism' Xtreme

I was reading a text related to Hindu mythology. The conversation was between Lord Yama(Hindu God of Death) and Lord Shiva(Hindu God of Destruction). The situation is, Lord Yama is not too happy with his job of taking lives, causing pain and grief. As his boss is Lord Shiva, he lets Lord Shiva know about his dissatisfaction with the job.

To begin with Lord Shiva is a patient listener and then he says, "I well and truly understand your dissatisfaction but at the same time it is your job and you have to be professional, and there must not be any half measures around it".

Moral is, do your job and do it well without getting too emotional with it!

Books Ahoy

Aha books... I particularly never developed a taste for management or self development books, as I feel they have the lowest shelf life. Having said that, there are some books which are not to be missed. All the young adults globally, who probably are at the beginning of their career and considering they are a little low on the exposure, unknowingly end up making some mistakes on the professional front. Mistakes are fine but one should maintain a distance from blunders, which have the capability to haunt us for a long time to come. To avoid these blunders career building books come in real handy.

Two books I strongly recommend are 'Career Warfare' by D'Alessandro and just to have a very aggressive outlook about the way one thinks about an organization or looks at management in the company they work for, I recommend 'Winning' by Jack Welch. The quality of these books come across in the first ten pages itself.

Read them ...

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

'Me'-The Movie Critique

Media, Bollywood and Madhur Bhandarkar's fans are awaiting his next movie 'Corporate' with bated breath. I am no movie expert but looking at the promos, I just get a feeling that the movie will do well at the box office and will sway the public opinion about the 'Corporates' to a great extent. That said, I do not expect Madhur Bhandarkar to treat the subject holistically. Still a couple of days to go for the movie release but when the ad screams 'PAISA'----'POWER'-----'POLITICS' I am somehow forced to believe the subject would not have been handled with a lot of finesse.

Friday is the movie release, Saturday I might get infected by 'Foot-in-Mouth' disease...


Saturday, July 01, 2006

'Art of War' With Mongrels!

One of the days while I was returning late from work, I was walking towards my house, four stray dogs(read thoroughbred mongrels) started growling and one of them barked in real hatred. I was no knight in shining armour, so the brave Vinayakan was about to pee in his pants, but at that time I felt as if there was a lump in my throat so I coughed and to my bewilderment the street dogs stepped back..I coughed again(purely intentional) the dogs, they just went away. I was surprised and I was blinking, wondering what happened.

Just to validate my observation I tried the same stunt on the following days and boy it works. So readers, pass the 'social self-defence' message on. Whenever any of you folks(or anyone in your known circle) gets rounded up by dogs, try coughing the dogs away--I do not know whether this is universally true for all dogs but it definitely works with street dogs in my locality!!

Friday, June 30, 2006

David Vs. Goliath

I have always had a keen interest in business case studies and business rivalries. I have been reading a whole lot of stuff related to it these days. Right from Cola wars to Bank of America Vs Citibank to MasterCard/Visa Vs American Express to Airbus-Boeing standoff.

The rivalry of our times/generation is going to be Google Vs Microsoft. Click on the link below, this is by far the best Flash work I have come across

Not just on the basis of this video, but by the other things that I am reading, I predict there will be no Microsoft by the year 2015. Imagine the world of computers, without Microsoft...Food for thought I guess!

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Heartland Hindustani!

Couldn't resist from putting this one up. Click on the photogarph for a closer look. It is 'It happens only in India' at its killing best!

*Maharaja's Tommy Gun*

Featured here is the world's biggest cannon. Photograph is from road trip to Jaipur in 2005. Location: Amber Fort, Jaipur

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Reduce the Drag Coefficient

This one is about the 'parachute effect' inside the car. When cruising at a speed of 80-85 kmph there is enough atmospheric friction that any moving object would encounter. All the fighter planes have a needle/nose in front to negate the atmospheric friction they encounter at Mach speeds and above. Car manufacturers design the car after studying the 'air-flow' around the shape of the car in a computer stimulated environment. When car makers study it, they just take it for granted that windows of the car would be closed. On a highway, if you just keep any one of the four windows open or just the 2 windows at the rear or in front open, there is inlet for air, but there is no outlet which results in a 'parachute effect' inside the car. 'Parachute effect' puts more pressure on the engine where in it consumes more fuel to provide the same thrust. At the same time if you keep one of the front window and one of the rear window open it facilitates cross ventilation and reduces the drag on the engine.

It is easy for me to go on and on about it with many examples...but I want to keep the blog short. For more on drag coefficient click

In any case, best thing to do is to keep all 4 windows closed when on a highway for better energy efficiency.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Get Needled..(for a good cause)

I really get spooked out with needles and stuff but I think whoever is healthy and is a able blood donor, that person should always take that extra step to donate blood. I donated blood today to Red Cross. 'Good Citizenship' is really encouraged and it is one of the core values of the company where I work in. I plan to donate blood once in every 4 months, I feel it is a great social cause. Apart from donating blood and paying taxes I do not think I am really making any contribution to the society.

Readers give me some bright I can contribute more!

Sunday, June 04, 2006

I Spy

My spy antennae are sending a lot of signals. Mira Nair(Monsoon Wedding fame) has plans finalized for a Hollywood remake of Munna Bhai M.B.B.S. The movie will be named 'Gangster M.D' with Chris Tucker in the lead role. Ms. Nair is waiting for Chris Tucker to get over with Rush Hour 3. Production is scheduled to start by January 2007.


Saturday, June 03, 2006

Fuel Efficiency

In these times of rising fuel prices, I thought pushing for energy efficiency when we drive our cars would be our minute contribution to the overall well being of the 'system'. Things like avoiding sudden acceleration, braking etc can be easily avoided if one is quite calculative. I mean if one is approaching a red light at a speed of 50 kmph (approximate distance of 100 meters) one can just switch to neutral and let the momentum carry the car through instead of closing the gap to 30 meters and then pushing the brakes. On a highway one can maintain a constant speed of 80-85 kmph than clocking 120 kmph, at this speed the engine obviously is revving more and guzzling lot more fuel.

Have made some more observations, its about the right kinda music for the road(which keeps you awake), 'parachute effect' inside the car etc...Will post them soon.


Friday, June 02, 2006

My Friend and My fancy Wheels

Featured here>>>Gev and my car. Now you all know why he was mistaken for a westener. This photo was taken on one of our prevuious road trips. It is at the McDonald's on the Delhi-Agra highway.


What Are You Lookin' At?

It's me>>> The photo is taken at 06:10, with the camera on self clicking mode at the monument site. Last weekend I drove down from Delhi to visit the Taj. I started off at around 02:00 with my friend. Something really funny happened at the Taj entrance...My friend 'Gev' is a Parsee(from Jamshedpur), he is so fair that most people mistake him for a westener. At the entrance I asked for 2 entry tickets for Indians. The person at the counter took one hard look at Gev and said "you have to buy 1 Indian and 1 foreigner ticket"...I said we are Indians, what is the problem? Then he says "Aap to teek hain, aap ke saath jo hain unka kya?"..Gev was quite irritated by now, he replied in brute bihari "Arey chamdi pe mat jao, Zuban pe jao"(meaning do not go by skin colour, go by what we speak)...


Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Foto Ops

My brush with has got me hooked -love the effects, different angles, lighting can have on a photograph...I am trying to read up magazines and websites to build a theoritical base on photography. Let us see how far I go!

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Fancy Wheels Cometh..

I was at the 8th Auto Expo 2006 in New Delhi. Courtesy a business visitors pass given to me by my dad.

The very fact that marquees like BMW, Porche and Benz was not there was in itself a big let down. To begin with I would like to divide Auto Expo in to some broad categories. Pavilions of auto components companies, truck companies some Bus manufacturers etc., have practically no meaning to me...

Then the Vintage car section, some really cool eye candies out there..

So, lets write about the other 2 categories that interest me the most....The 'cars that are in my reach in near future', and 'cars which are beyond my reach'...The absolute ripper in the 'car in my reach' category is most definitely Fiat Grande Punto..some neat lines and angles, what with Alfa Romeo right on its tail, it was such a crowd puller!! The association of FIAT & TATA Motors, I guess is going to breathe some life into FIAT...who continue to struggle in India even after a sound product line.

'Cars out of my reach category'...none other than Ford Mustang GT...I don't think Ford is going to launch Mustang in India, but if the import duty is eased in another 10 years, then for sure I would be tearing the Delhi's road apart..........