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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Opportunity


Opportunity is missed by most because it comes dressed in overalls and looks like work ~ Thomas Edison

Saturday, August 27, 2011

FB contests to win :)

My wife, Nisha, has become very active on FB off-late ... primarily due to the many contests that run on them and the Dubai market which is at the stage of exploiting FB marketing potential to the max.
Here are several FB links where a 'like' will take my wife (and me) one step closer in winning the competition.
Do take out a few minutes to access FB and go click-click-click !!
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Contest 1
Step 1 – Click 'Like' button on this page
Step 2 - Click the 'Like' link below the image
Step 3 - Click the 'Like' link below the image
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Contest 2
Step 1 – Click 'Like' button on this page
Step 2 - Click the 'Like' link below my wife's message at the top of the page.
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Contest 3
Step 1 - Click 'Like' button on this page
Step 2 & 3 - Click the 'Like' link below our message at the top of the page at below links

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After you have liked the pages/links above, do leave a comment on this blog or my twitter stream ... Thanks !!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Fatal Error !

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Random chatter - Festivals in India

Several festivals come and go in the second half of the year in India and you see different ways of celebrations in different parts of the country. Celebrations are times when the country turns colorful and there is a lot of joy around. People are generally happy and they talk/meet their friends and relatives on the pretext of wishing them on the occasion. Often, there are people who you talk to only during these occasions wishing over festivals.

Festivals in India are times when people buy new clothes and household things including electronic equipment and vehicles (although past 2 decades has begun to shift this culture and the marketers are slowly changing the culture of festival-buying to anytime-buying)

Festivals add a lot of sound (read noise), color and light to the general atmosphere and everything seems to be highlighted; even people.

Festivals are times when people get a holiday … from work and from educational institutes. These holidays were traditionally utilized for celebrating the festival but the trend now is to take 'vacations' and go to some hill station or even catch a holiday abroad.

If you have read so far and are wondering what am I writing about and what is the whole point I am trying to make… QUIT now

I am not trying to make any point nor trying to put a perspective to anything. This is pure mind chatter translated into words. J
I am simply thinking about all the family-time (with Parents and siblings) I am going to miss during the festivals that i am going to miss in the second half of the year ... away from home.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Yaaaaaahoooooo & Sukoooo Sukooo

 

He has been missing from the bollywood scene for quite some time but I am sure he will never leave our memories. For the generation which has grown up watching his movies, he was always a breath of fresh air on the silver screen.

He changed the way we perceive and look and feel about Bollywood songs. From the crazy caper "Yahoooo …. Chahe koi mujhe jungle kahein" … to fun filled & romantic "aaj kal tere mere pyaar ke charche har zabaan par" & "yeh Chand sa Roshan chehra" to yet another crazy "Aiy Aiy Aiya Sukooo Sukooo J" to the all-out funny-n-mad "Meri Bhainsh ko danda kyon maara" to the romantic "Aaja Aaja Mein Hoon Pyar Tera" to softer romantic number "Deewana hua baadal, saawan ki ghata chaayee" & "Akele Akele Kahan Ja Rahe Ho" and "Dil ke jharokhe main tujhko bithakar" and "ishaaron ishaaron main dil lene wale"… and the list goes on.

I am sure he must have given memorable performances too on the acting front … but I will always remember Shammi for his Songs !!

As he passed away and I saw a message on FB about it … it came as a shock !

(just noticed that inspite of my limited memory, I almost jotted down 10 Shammi Kapoor songs in a matter of few minutes ... and I am sure if I spent a few more minutes, i would list down another set of 10 fantastic songs of SK... )
He is a legend ... albeit a jumping dancing singing one :)
thats the image he will always evoke in my mind ...

Saturday, August 13, 2011

A day of extreme variety

O! What a day it was !

From the sweltering 45 Degrees to the chilling minus 5 degrees.

From the speed boat ride in the open seas to the snow sleigh and tobogganing tyre sliding on snow.

From walking on the HOT sand to wading through waist/chest deep COOL water to sliding and slipping on the COLD snow and flying / parasailing over Dubai Seas !!!

Rode the Bus, Taxi, Metro, Speed Boat, sleigh and even flew with a parachute thingy !!

All in a single day !!!

 

That is how I celebrated my Wedding Anniversary in May !!!

Celebrated on 14th May instead of 15th May … since 14th was a weekend. (Kept 15th May much more calm with a walk down the sea side and a dinner at Kamat Restaurant)

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The Best Khan of Bollywood !!

So who do you think is the best 'Khan' of bollywood … Aamir Khan, Shahrukh Khan, Salman Khan …. Well … my choice is a bit hatke !!

For years … or should I say decades, my favorite Khan of Bollywood has been .... Kader Khan !!

Today, while channel surfing, an out-of-the-blue thought struck me and I was reminded of Kader Khan. I realized that it had been a very long time since I had seen him on the silver screen. Decided to google him and find out if he was still around.

Googling told me that his last movie was Umar, some 3-4 years ago and since then he has literally quit Bollywood.

He has been in Dubai since then and he is now into a non-acting profession. He is a teacher. The profession though is not new to him. He was a professor in Mumbai before Bollywood happened and he is content to be back into his old role. Before Bollywood, he used to teach Civil Engineering students at the Saboo Siddik Polytechnic in Mumbai. But now he is teaching languages to Dubai students - Urdu and Arabic. (source)

Having seen in a wide variety of roles since early childhood … as a villain against the likes of Jeetendra in movies like Pataal Bhairavi .. to character roles (especially Father) in several family movies, to the comedy pillar of Govinda-David Dhawan movies … he has literally done it all in Bollywood. If he has quit Bollywood (for whatever reasons), It is a great loss … for Bollywood and for Indians.

I miss him.

(There was another article on the net that I came across; it said he is making a comeback in a TV serial on Sahara One - Source)

Monday, August 08, 2011

Frequent Flyers :)

(Reader Warning: zOke ahead)
On a busy Friday afternoon, while the passengers are patiently waiting for their flight to begin, two men dressed in Pilots' uniforms walk up the aisle. Both are wearing dark glasses, one is using a guide dog, and the other is tapping his way along the aisle with a cane.

Nervous laughter spreads through the cabin, but the men enter the cockpit, the door closes, and the engines start up. The passengers begin glancing nervously around, searching for some sign that this is just a little practical joke but none is forthcoming.

The plane moves faster and faster down the runway and the people sitting in the window seats realize they're headed straight for the water at the end of the runway. As it begins to look as though the plane will plough into the water, panicked screams fill the cabin.

At that moment, the plane lifts smoothly into the air. The passengers relax and laugh a little sheepishly, and soon all retreat into their magazines, secure in the knowledge that the plane is in good hands.

In the cockpit, one of the blind pilots turns to the other and says,

"You know, John, one of these days, they're gonna scream too late and we're all gonna die."

(Got this as an email forward)

Sunday, August 07, 2011

Double-Dip Recession

Hmmm ... so there are talks of a "Double-Dip Recession" now ... with US credit rating being downgraded

 

What Does Double-Dip Recession Mean?

When gross domestic product (GDP) growth slides back to negative after a quarter or two of positive growth. A double-dip recession refers to a recession followed by a short-lived recovery, followed by another recession.

 

Investopedia explains Double-Dip Recession

The causes for a double-dip recession vary but often include a slowdown in the demand for goods and services because of layoffs and spending cutbacks from the previous downturn.

 

A double-dip (or even triple-dip) is a worst-case scenario. Fear that the economy will move back into a deeper and longer recession makes recovery even more difficult.

(source: http://www.investopedia.com/terms/d/doublediprecession.asp)

So now it fack to economic and financials 'experts' to be featured day long on the news channels with their 'expert opinions' on the economy !!

Friday, August 05, 2011

July Reading

 

An excellent month for reading it was … the count is 18 stories … which is a mix of the regular 3I, Feluda and Sherlock stories along with 2 novels as well as 6 short stories which are part of a 12-story collection. It was a month of reading of different varieties/genres as well as something that doesn't fit any genre at all. It can be readily assigned to the genre "Have your Head spun around" !!

 

1. Cheap at Half the Price (from Twelve Red Herrings) by Jeffrey Archer

This was a kind of reading test-drive for me. Read the story and decide whether I would read the other 11. The title of the book was interesting. The story turned out to be good and it also gave me a déjà vu feeling as if I had read this story in some form at some other place.

 

2. Feluda: The Mystery of the Elephant God by Satyajit Ray

A very good one wherein Feluda is pitted against an adversary he is delighted to meet; someone who really challenges his intellect and becomes an adversary to reappear in later stories too. Another interesting aspect of the story was that when the story begins, it talks about a 'Machchli Baba (Fish Saint)' who is called Ebony Baba also because of his smooth and very dark skin.

 

3. Sherlock Holmes: The Adventure of the Musgrave Ritual by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

This particular story involved a treasure hunt kind of mystery for Sherlocks Holmes' to solve. Sherlock unlocks a code which generations from the family never suspected to be a code at all. A butler n the family cracks the code and reached the treasure only to realize that he needs a companion to go about getting the treasure out.

The person dies in the process and Sherlock can only guess what could have happened in the final moments of the person's life. A mystery is solved although the murderer cannot be pin pointed nor located.

 

4. The Three Investigators & the Mystery of the Coughing Dragon by Nick West

A dragon is sighted and some dogs go missing. The 3 investigators are requested to investigate. They end up in a cave which leads to another cave which has some very peculiar features. It was an interesting read and although we know that the Dragon cannot be real, it is nice to read the story as it evolves and mysteries are explained … including the missing dogs.

 

5. Feluda: The Bandits of Bombay by Satyajit Ray

This one was a nice mix with all the makings of a Bollywood Masala Movie … in fact it actually had a movie being made in the story J and that too on the novel written by Jatayu !!

 

6. Dougie Mortimer's Right Arm (from Twelve Red Herrings) by Jeffrey Archer

I picked up another story from the 12 Red Herrings after reading the "Cheaper at Half the Price" earlier this month. This one was an 'OK' … not very interesting. The element of suspense was there but the climax was not a strong one.

 

7. Sherlock Holmes: The Adventure of the Reigate Puzzle by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

This story has Sherlock making several deductions from a scrap of paper which was torn from a larger note. It barely has 7-8 words and Sherlock draws out not only the deductions but also solves the case. The skill of handwriting analysis comes in handy and becomes the key to unlocking the case.

 

8. God's Debris by Scott Adams

This one was a real head spinner. I posted an exclusive blog-post on this book alone. It really is a book meant for people who enjoy their brain-matter being spun around in their heads.

 

9. Timeo Danaos  (from Twelve Red Herrings) by Jeffrey Archer

It was a short story about a man who boasts a lot and is ultimately fooled to some extent by another guy. It is sarcastic in the sense that our primary protagonist keeps talking about being an entrepreneur at heart but is fooled by one who really is.

 

10. Sherlock Holmes: The Adventure of the Crooked Man by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

An interesting story with a murder where a strange animal is a companion to the murder. Sherlock uses this usual power of observation, footprint analysis, crime-scene study to make his deductions. Anti-climactic though, the murder turns out to be something else and the case is closed without the murderer (which Sherlock had already identified but not revealed)

 

11. The Three Investigators & the Mystery of the Flaming Footprints by M V Carrey

The story doesn't really start with the flaming footprints. It starts actually with an interesting character called The Potter who lives in Rocky Beach (and visits the Jones Salvage Yard) at the beginning of the book and then … disappears … while a host of other characters appear in Rocky Beach in and around his house on the very same day. The story takes some twists and turns and there are historical events (almost 400 years old) that influence the mystery. Except for the lack of a romantic angle, the story could have well been considered for a movie too J (this is discussed in the final conversation between Alfred Hitchcock and the 3 boys)

 

12. An Eye for an Eye (from Twelve Red Herrings) by Jeffrey Archer

This one was another short and interesting one. A lady pleads not-guilty for her husband's murder charge claiming that she was blind and hospitalized at the time of death. The story is about the defense lawyer working out the best possible way to 'save' her in spite of his doubts regarding her innocence.

 

13. Sherlock Holmes: The Adventure of the Resident Patient by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Yet another story where Sherlock is not really successful in catching the culprit as he is a bit late to anticipate the exact crime
But the highlight of the story is not the crime but a small incident right at start of the story. Watson is seated in the room and Sherlock Holmes deduces his entire chain of thoughts by looking at him and his expressions (the movement of his eyebrows and other little expressions that appear on his face).
It is these smaller incidents which dazzles the reader and makes them a fan of Sherlock rather than the cases themselves.

 

14. The Undomestic Goddess by Sophie Kinsella

A long pending novel

It had been on the reading list for quite some time now … almost more than a year and somehow it always managed to slip in priority. I decided to tackle this before another year slipped by.  

It was a very good one. It came as a breeze of cool air that smells fresh and refreshes the mind and the soul. It was funny, witty and made me smile while I read it.

 

15. Feluda: The Mystery of the Walking Dead by Satyajit Ray

This story had a very interesting character who breaks all bonds with Modern life. No electricity in the house, no car, no modern gadgetry or electronic equipment. His house and his life reflect life as it was about 100 years ago … and Feluda is brought into the picture because his son fears that someone wants to kill him. Interesting!

 

16. You'll Never Live to Regret it (from Twelve Red Herrings) by Jeffrey Archer

I picked up another story from the 12 Red Herrings after reading the "Cheaper at Half the Price" earlier this month. This one was an 'OK' … not very interesting. The element of suspense was there but the climax was not a strong one.

 

17. Sherlock Holmes: The Adventure of the Greek Interpreter by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

This one wasn't as much a detective kind of thing. It served as an introduction to Sherlock's Brother Mycroft who is seemingly far more sharper than Sherlock but at the same time equally far more lazier; which is the reason he is not using his 'skills' as a career. The mystery is not worth talking about.

Interestingly, I did remember a scene of this story where the interpreter is having a conversation with a person and he slips in extra questions without the knowledge of his employer. Mycroft is introduced and his power of deduction is highlighted by his deductions about an individual's profession, marital status, number of children etc just by looking at him.  

 

18. Never Stop on the Motorway (from Twelve Red Herrings) by Jeffrey Archer

I picked up another story from the 12 Red Herrings after reading the "Cheaper at Half the Price" earlier this month. This one was an 'OK' … not very interesting. The element of suspense was there but the climax was not a strong one.

 

Series Completion Score (as of 31st July 2011):  

Three Investigators     15 out of 35

Feluda                         13 out of 35

Sherlock Holmes         24 out of 56

12 Red Herrings          06 out of 12

Total                           58 out of 138

Thursday, August 04, 2011

Noise Pollution