Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Happy Holidays

2008
  1. Year of Sub-Prime
  2. Year of beginning of the end of Investment Banks
  3. Year of financial sector meltdown
  4. Year of realty sector meltdown
  5. Year of Mumbai attacks
  6. Year of professional insecurities
  7. Year of blogging
  8. Year of surviving all of these
2009
  1. Year of new beginning
  2. Year of impact of the bailout
  3. Year of new government in US and India
  4. Year of scaling newer heights professionally
  5. Year of hope and success
  6. Year of new challenges
  7. Year of more blogging
  8. Year of growing through all of these
  9. Year of MORE!!!
Looking forward to it.

Happy holidays!! Wish you Merry Xmas and a fantastic 2009.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Aspire

Aim for the sky, you will at least hit the ceiling.

Gems from superboss

Gems from a lunch meeting with the head of my group. Some very wise thoughts and observations.
  1. Luck can be defined as the time when opportunities and ability to capitalize on those opportunities intersect.
  2. A person is presented a minimum of three opportunities in life and if someone is able to capitalize on any one of them or all three they would make it big or as they say "you have arrived".
  3. A person's peak years of productivity are between 35-45. So whatever you do, ensure that you make it in these years or earlier.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

How to appeal to a techie's fashion sense

I can see a lot of techies queuing up to buy this as a new year or valentine gift.

Photo courtesy: sizzledcore
Can imagine the greeting card to say something like this:
  • Baby, "I'm feeling lucky"
  • You are my "key" word
  • You are the "one" in this google (one followed by 100 zeroes) of humanity
  • Can you "debug" me
  • You are the "1" to my "0"
  • My "search" finally ends
  • Can I be the only "Ad" in your life
  • You bring "chrome" (shine) in my life

I can go on......

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The trouble with doing nothing is you can't quit and rest.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Being Human

Parvathy Omanakuttan was 'being human' on the miss world stage. Initially, when her name was called as the last (15th) semi finalists she looked extremely relieved. Then she looked unhappy for being crowned first runner up when she obviously thought she should have won. Again, such a normal reaction and so refreshingly different from the 'gracious loser' face or facade (while thinking bitch!!) these contestants sport. No harm in wearing your heart on your sleeve. No harm in thinking that you were the better contestant and should have won. No harm in looking relieved for making it to top 5 and then miffed and upset that you lost. No harm in being human.
A closed mouth gathers no foot.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Defiance

The reason attacks on India are getting bigger and more frequent is that terrorists are getting frustrated. Nothing seems to bring us down on our knees. They use cycle bombs and we are back on cycles the very next day. They bomb trains but we still take the trains and in more numbers. No matter how much they try, we are not cowered, do not give up living, do not go into gloom and do not get closeted in our homes. We get bolder, braver and start living it up a little more. This frustrates the terrorists and their groups as they want us to bow down to them. I say let's keep frustrating them, make them helpless by not giving in and retaliate eye for an eye.
Defiance of terrorism could be one way of beating it.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Mumbai!!!!!

So much has been and is written about the blast. History of blasts,which rocked Mumbai for last decade, has been traced, discussed, dissected and debated in papers, news channels, tea shops and blogs. I have never felt chills in my bones, not even while watching exorcist, the way I am feeling it now. Maybe it is also due to the chilly weather outside. But the chill I am feeling is not fear, it is outrage, anger and helplessness that my city, my country is ravaged time and again by outsiders who have no business coming here, causing mayhem, killing people and shattering the peace for some crap cause of theirs which is no way related to us. You cannot make our life hell
to go to heaven. If you want to achieve heaven, do good deeds.
This is the time for not regulations but for infrastructure like adequate training of police forces, central forces etc to equip them with skills to deal with terrorism swiftly. This is the time for the country to equip our forces with modern weapons and safety devices. This is the time for the country to use technology to defend proactively and not reactively. No point being called the greatest software nation in the world if we cannot safeguard our own house. This is the time for all of us not to depend on anyone outside of the nation to rise against terror but rise ourselves. This is the time to act and if needed retaliate in the same language. Stop taking advantage of our resilience and stop subjecting us to torture again and again. This is the time to say enough is enough.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Recession hitting campuses




Saw this in one of the classrooms in a MBA college in Pune.





Thursday, November 20, 2008

Love is in the air again!

The financial situation at the moment is so bad that women are now marrying for love!!!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Layoffs

Companies are firing employees across the world. The recession which was considered a minor quake has become on of the biggest to hit the economy in more than two decades. Some are comparing it with the great depression. To avoid cost overruns companies are firing employees. I have a different view on handling manpower during recession. Until and unless you are in deep financial mess, and you cannot survive without firing employees, I would recommend keeping them. Cut costs by reducing salaries, not declaring bonuses, stopping salary hikes etc. I am sure all of them will react more positively when you announce salary reduction, no bonus policy and other cost cutting initiatives than the staff cuts. Also, remember the old adage - a friend in need is a friend indeed. In this difficult time, if the organization keeps its employees, it goes from just a company to a friend to all of them and thus makes them loyal for life (well, ideally speaking).

Friday, November 14, 2008

T-shirt saying

I know I do not look busy, I did it right the first time.

Gems of the day

  1. My face is red because I drink watermelon juice. The juice is red, you know.
  2. Heard this from a guy - My face is red not because I am blushing but due to the inner glow.

Now come on, a guy having inner glow does not make him gay. Infact, it makes him gay and happy.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

WTF

Obama after getting elected as potential president did not call our prime minister. He called other world leaders including the head of Pakistan but did not call Singh. Media had a field day with this piece of junk. Speculations were rife that Obama does not consider India that strategic and Singh that important to call.
Consequences (could be all hearsay) as I too didn't get a call confirming any of the below.

  • Sensex fell (this might be conjecture).
  • Nuclear deal was presumed to be in jeopardy
  • Left rejoiced with the above thought
  • BJP popped champagne thinking that Obama will call Bajpayee as they are definite to win the coming elections

Singh was so upset that, after crying in his bathroom, issued a statement that he was traveling and so missed Obama's call.

WTF!!!!!

So what he didn't call. India is too important for the world to ignore. He didn't call now, he will call later. Why bother at all. India has its own growth story going on, the world needs India as we provide cheap labor with far superior quality than any other nation, a billion people so a great market for products and a nation on the brink of 6-7% growth when all other economies are in recession. Obama should be worried if Singh does not take his call.
The world needs to toe India's line and not vice versa.
Indians - stop sucking up.

Latest news - he called.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Big Boss - in a city college

Had gone to one of the city colleges for recruitment and was surprised at seeing security cameras installed in the classrooms. Good of college authorities to have posted the sign in all the rooms.
Now, why would the college do that? I can think of several reasons:
  1. The furniture is antique (read old and crumbling) and they are scared that students might take some with them and sell them on ebay.
  2. Management wants to catch the students cheating.
  3. They received complaints that students sleep in back benches and to discourage them the cameras were installed.
  4. They received complaints from students that professors sleep (you wish) in the class instead of teaching and this is their way of keeping a tab on the teachers.
  5. The management is voyeuristic and wants to catch the students in the act, if you know what I mean. Interesting idea, the clips can be sold on you tube.
  6. Somebody in management got a sweet deal (read below the table) from the security company.
  7. The management was inspired by big boss and decided to let the students know who is the BIG BOSS.

if they installed for all of the above reasons why put in the warning sign?

Sadly, there were no cameras in the bathrooms.

Angrezi....

Saw this in one of the colleges in the city. If you don't get it then well the college cannot be blamed either.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

It's really amazing how unimportant your job is when you're asking for a raise... and how important it can be when you want a day off.
The trouble with doing nothing is you can't quit and rest.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Black is the new White

America unprecedentedly voted an African American into the Oval office. Surprisingly, this time, the Bradley effect did not affect. I remember asking one of my American colleagues, during the time when Sonia was touted to become the prime minister of India, if America will ever select a woman or a black president and he said not in the next decade. Well, it did.
America, the closet racist nation, finally voted for a black president. Sign of real progressiveness.
What next? Rechristening the White House as the Black House.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Fashion

Clich├ęd
Corny
Stereotype
Not insightful
Plot done to death in magazines, TV serials, news channels etc etc
Even the much hyped “scenes” were short of expectations. If you read times you’d know which ones I am referring to.

Kangana was totally wasted and I don’t mean because of drugs and alcohol. Spread awareness and literacy, so somebody please give her a dictionary. There are a lot of other swear words.
Mughda was a revelation – understated and restrained
Priyanka was out of this world.

The only joy during the movie was trying to guess who these people might be in real life, if you know please mail.

Final word - The movie was completely 'out of fashion'.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Gambhir vs. Watson

The issue between Gautam Gambhir and Shane Watson has become quite 'gambhir'. Couldn't resist the bad pun. But, on a 'gambhir' note (there I go again), the discrimination against all players non-white still continues. Gautam was at fault for hitting Shane during his running between the wicket (watch news channels or read news papersfor more details, this blog is not times) but Shane did provoke Gautam verbally and to add fuel to the fire did not budge from his running line. So it was but obvious that Gautam run into him, albeit purposely. Well, if you are standing in the line of a running player be prepared to get nicked. However, ICC did not see it that way and penalized Gautam by bannning him for a test and levying a fine of 10% match fee on Shane. Now that is discrimination. Verbal assault is as painful as a physical assault and a provoker should also be held equally responsible. Ok, his punishment should have been a little less severe than Gautam but 10% fine is nothing, plain peanuts. He should have been fined 100% match fees. That would have been a warning to him and others that provoking will not be tolerated.
Kudos to Gautam for standing up to Shane. A double ton and a nick which cost only one match - totally worth it.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Walks

I like long walks, especially when they are taken by people who annoy me.

Papa Pancho

If you are a punjabi food lover, take a trip to Papa Pancho either at Versova or in Bandra. The restaurant chain is owned by Prahlad Kakkar, thus the name Papa Pancho. Yes, the word Pancho means exactly what you are thinking. Can you expect any less from Kakkar given his in your face sense of humor? The restaurant has a very dhaba style setting which makes you feel that you are sitting in a dhaba on a national highway. Food is typical punjabi fare and taste is above average. Try dal makhni and aloo jeera(what else can you expect from a couch potato). Entrees are served with rotis, raita, onions and curd in a thaali. Order a glass of masala chaas or lassi to go with the food. Best to go with a group of friends and let loose in punjabi or hindi, omkara style, and you will experience a true punjabi fun way of eating and having a good time. Not too expensive is an added plus.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Happy Diwali

Wishing all of you a very happy and prosperous Deepavali.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Aarghhhhhh

#%&* %$#* #$*# #$$* #&&* #@**

Monday, October 20, 2008

Bailout

"Investment analyst and entrepreneur Dr. Marc Faber concluded his monthly bulletin (June 2008) with the following:
'The federal government is sending each of us a $600 rebate. If we spend that money at Wal-Mart, the money goes to China. If we spend it on gasoline it goes to the Arabs. If we buy a computer it will go to India. If we purchase fruit and vegetables it will go to Mexico, Honduras and Guatemala. If we purchase a car it will go to Germany/Japan. If we purchase useless crap it will go to Taiwan and none of it will help the American economy. The only way to keep that money here at home is to spend it on prostitutes and beer, since these are the only products still produced in US. I've been doing my part."

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Mantyhose

I thought fashion will evolve from skirts to maybe saris or sarongs for men but as they say 'you are limited by your own imagination'. The new stuff out in the markets for men is a thing called mantyhose. In lay man terms - it's a pantyhose for men, thus the name mantyhose.
Going by the same logic, shouldn't 'pantyhose' be for a pan. Couldn't resist this lame PJ.
Fashion is truly converging. Earlier, women had skirts, saris, long and short dresses, pantyhoses, garter belts, stockings etc and men had suits, pants /shirts and shorts. Then, female fashion invaded male domain with evolution of pants, shirts, shorts etc for women. They even usurped business suits which were a very male thing. Well, now it's the turn of male fashion to move in on female territory. Skirts, manbras, manscars and mantyhose and this is just the beginning.
The world is slowly moving towards becoming unisex. There might come a time when malls will not have separate aisles for men and women clothes. They will all be in the same section. Don't raise your eyebrow, did you imagine mantyhose 10 years ago. Impossible is nothing.

Bright side - Now, couples can wear each other's clothes without being called kinky.

Wish

Oh Lord - give me patience - NOW!!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Jet is flying the good times

Jet and Kingfisher have finally decided to be 'friends' to tide over the downturn in the economy. As they say, in business, film industry and politics, there are no permanent enemies or friends. Not so long ago, Mallya implicated Goyal, not so overtly, of using his political nexus to thwart Kingfisher's launch and expansion plans. Now, they have joined hands in a purely 'platonic' way.

Welcome to the new cartel of Indian airline companies. First, Kingfisher bought the low cost carrier Deccan and slowly started increasing fares thereby putting a spanner in the growth of low cost sector. This gave other low cost airlines good opening to increase their fares. Now this 'friendship'.

Inspite of crude prices falling from their high of $150+ to $80 today, the prices of air travel which was increased due to hike in crude has not decreased. With this 'friendship' one can only assume that it will either stay there or go up. I hope the MRTP guys are not sleeping and will look into this 'friendship' more closely to ensure that monopoly is not created as these two now will own about 60% of the market.

The current news is that they have invited Indian to join hands with them. Trust Mallya to go for a 'threesome'. He is not known as the king of good times for nothing.

Customers get ready to get 'screwed', again and again and again......

Monday, October 13, 2008

Sensex - smile

I hope the guy in the pic below and million others would be smiling today. With this upside rally, I pray that some of them who are stuck with capital erosion are able to make some profits or atleast recover their capital and exit.

There are certain things which you should never 'try' to time or outguess:
  1. Markets
  2. Nature
  3. Women


In all of above, the chances of looking like the guy below are pretty high.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Sensex - pic is worth a thousand words

Nothing can explain the gloom due to sensex better than this picture.

Great pic from Rediff.

End of Capitalism

Lehman's bankruptcy.
Merrill's takeover.
Goldman's and Morgan's conversion from investment banks to commercial banks.
Bail out of AIG, Freddie, Fannie and Bear Stearns.
Relief package for troubled loans.
Takeover of top three Icelandic banks by its government.
Ban on short selling.

Is this the end of Capitalism (greed, greed and more greed)?
Is this the beginning of 'Socialist Capitalism'?
Does it mean India's philosophy of socialism in capitalism was right all along?

Smoking Ban - more

In addition to non smokers, there are of sections of society which are thankful for the ban.

  • Chai wala /Chewing gum wala
  • Rehab Clinics
  • Better halves/Partners - Now they don't have to put up with the nicotine breath in the name of love.
Sometimes, the government does good things.

Sensex

What sensex needs right now is a 'viagra'. This is a classic case of not keeping fit as youth leads to requirement of artificial boosters in later stage. Only if sensex was trim, fit and not bloated in Jan this year it wouldn't have seen this meltdown needing a CRR cut, the viagra i mentioned earlier, to keep it 'UP'.

But like Viagra, it will only prop up for a short time. What next?

Warning: Regular doses of viagra might cause dangerous side effects.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Performance Appraisals

It is that time of the year. Season of year end performance appraisals. I came across a few gems which really drive the point home.
  • I work for money. If you want loyalty, get a dog.
  • As long as my boss keeps pretending that I am earning a lot, I go on pretending that I work a lot.

Will add more as and when I come across. Feel free to use these in your discussions.

It's a dog's life

I came across a website, link below, which sells doggie clothes. That is common you'd say. But this company is not just selling clothes, but also bikinis. Yeah, you read it right, the company is selling bikinis for dogs.
http://www.dogclothes-apparel.com/sites/Sportswear/Bikini.html

How do they make bikinis for dogs. What do you ask when you go to buy? Can I get a size 36B or is it BB. What do you do for reference? In a lingerie store you can look at some woman (like men need an excuse), point and say that size is what I am looking for. Hell, you can look at the salesgirl and say that. But how do you do that for dogs.

This is not the all important serious life changing stuff this post is all about. This is about the expression "It's a dog's life".
The expression means the person's life is miserable. It sucks. For trivia buffs, this expression was first recorded in 16th century.

Let's look at a dog's life:

  • They can pee/poop where ever they want and not worry about cleaning.
  • They don't have to worry about whether the toilet seat is up or down.
  • They can lick their wounds and move on.
  • They are carried by women in arms and are in constant contact with their boobs (if you need a substitute - woof woof).
  • They get to lick women all the time and not get screamed at or asked to use listerine.
  • Women never fake headaches with dogs.
  • They get to do the doggy style..always....

I think it's time that we redefine the meaning of "It's a dog's life". It should no longer be used by people whose life suck. It should denote happiness and imply that life rocks.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Credit Crunch

What worries me most about the credit crunch is that if a bank returns my cheque with a remark 'insufficient funds', I'll not know if they are referring to mine or theirs.

Monday, October 6, 2008

What men want?

I know what men want. Men want to be really, really close to someone who will leave them alone.

Directions

It is a well-documented fact that guys will not ask for directions. This is a biological thing. This is why it takes several million sperm cells, each one wriggling in its own direction, totally confident it knows where it is going, to locate a female egg despite the fact that the egg is, relative to them, the size of Wisconsin. - Dave Barry

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Spread your wings


Concrete "Jungle"


Golden Horizon

At times don't we all feel like spreading our wings and flying to that golden horizon.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Smoking Ban

One thing Ramadoss and the government finally got it right. The ban on smoking in public places. I can see all smokers up in arms hoping this post will go up in smoke.

India's population is 1200 million and there are approx 120 million smokers, according to latest census, which translates into a “whopping” 10% smoker population. All smokers are indignant that government is curbing their freedom. Questions like if smoking is injurious to health why doesn't the government ban manufacturing of cigarettes instead of banning smoking in public places. If I were to draw a parallel, this would be similar to laws on speeding. When cars are made to go over 200 kms/hour why are there laws which makes speeding over 60 illegal? Why not just ban the cars or pass laws which will ensure that cars with speed capacity of over 60 are not manufactured?

Banning cars or banning manufacturing of cigarettes will be infringement on freedom. It would mean a ban on making a choice. However, banning smoking in public place is upholding the rights of 90% people to inhale tobacco free air. This is such a fundamental right which smokers violate with impunity regardless of whether it causes air pollution, allergic reactions or plain irritation to others.

I say smokers should rejoice that manufacturing cigarettes is not banned. They are free to buy cigarettes and kill themselves. After all, every one has a right to screw their own lives.

Thank God the smoking ban is finally in place. Now, your smoking will not kill me.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Campus Gems

  1. If India becomes an agrarian economy it can avoid sub prime debacle.
  2. India is on the path of development and it can be seen by the fact that global brands like Gucci and Prada are easily available. (And we are worried about sub prime)
  3. BPOs in India can enhance value arbitrage by currency differential. (Pray so that Rupee never appreciates)
  4. Background in HR will help me become a better finance person.
  5. Internship in finance will help me in picking up streams like HR or Marketing.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Leader

During boom every body is a leader. But, a true leader is one who rises during the times of trouble, turmoil and calamity to lead from the front - Manoj Jain

Yaadein

Unhe hum itna miss karte hain
ki unhe abhi dekhu yeh hum wish karte hain

Smokers...more

Smokers and non smokers (basically all, well almost all) generally leave the last morsel of food or throw it while they are rushing or being rushed. But, smokers will always ask to wait for one more second to take that one last puff or drag.

Smokers

Have you ever noticed a peculiar thing about smokers. They will not pick up a food item from the floor/ground, like normal people, but will promptly pick up their unlit cigarette and not hesitate in putting it in their mouth.

Future

Sketch your future, but do it in pencil - Adolf Hitler.

Friday, September 26, 2008

It's my turn on Sarah Palin

Everyone is talking on, about, for and against Sarah Palin. I want my share too. Of the topic I mean. McCain can have the rest. He will truly have a 'first mate'.

I think it will be good if McCain and Palin get elected. The world will be a better place with an old haggard and a broad ruling US. They are already in deep economic trouble. This will compound their misery. McCain and Palin will be so much up their own asses and each other's that they will not meddle in affairs of other countries like their predecessor Bush. This will give time and space for all other countries to sort their affairs themselves. All nations are capable of sorting their own houses and given a chance without Uncle Sam's meddling they will do a great job.

Regarding Palin - what an ass.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

National anthem

UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization for all you bozos) announced Indian National Anthem as the BEST national anthem in the world. Well, atleast this is a rumor doing the rounds of internet. I checked UNESCO's website to confirm but did not find any news relating to this.

Well, back to our national anthem. For all you ignoramuses out there,
  1. The anthem was composed by Rabindranath Tagore and NOT A.R. Rahman.
  2. "Chak De India" is NOT our national anthem. If you said yes to this, it's time for you to join your child's class or better yet, go watch a movie in Fame to get educated. Reach before the show starts so that you don't miss the anthem. Please do not come back thinking A.R Rahman is great to have composed such a song. Read point number 1.
  3. The anthem suggests that if people of India come together they can carve a glorious destiny and future for the nation.
  4. This does not glorify Britishers contrary to some of the conspiracy theories, again floating on the Internet.

I don't need UNESCO's validation. I believe my national anthem is the greatest in the world. I love it, respect it and get goose pimples every time I hear it. All other Indians who are too lazy to show respect to our national anthem, eat MUD.

JAI HIND!!!!

Submarine Racing Championship 2008

Live coverage of the 2008 submarine racing championship held in the Atlantic Ocean.



Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Skirts...

This year's HDIL fashion week saw emergence of Skirts for Men. I am not surprised considering most of the designers are gay.
Interested folks can check the link below. The article is titled "Haute ensemble for men: SKIRTS!"
http://www.indiwo.com/india/features/hdil-india-couture-week-september-2008/haute-ensemble-for-men-skirts/47591/1

"Skirt Chasing" goes unisex.

One advantage though - A quickie can get quicker.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Why women are so annoying?

I have an answer to that one. It is genetic and hereditary and can be traced back to biblical times. Remember how Eve was created. From Adam's rib. (Documented proof can be found in the book of Genesis, chapters 1, 2 and 3, with some additional elements in chapters 4 and 5).

From that day on women have been RIBBING men.

Just one chance

All I ask is a chance to prove that money can't make me happy.

Pet love

Big cats can be dangerous but a little pussy never hurt anyone.
Whoever first said that "A dog is man's best friend" had never seen a pussy before.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Are we a country of advisors?

Yes!!!! We Indians like to dole out free advice. Whether we are an authority or not we like to give advice.
Fever - You have fever try turmeric mixed in milk (Yuck!!!, why not just take poison instead).
Sachin - that ball needed a square cut and not a pull (thanks so much dude, on my own I managed to set only 5 records but now I can do so much more...)
Want to reduce fat - drink water in the morning before brushing teeth (yuck again!!)
Pimples - Use your piss or cow's piss on your face (No thank you, but if you want I can piss on your face. Gladly)

Some people might argue that it is human nature to give advice. I say bull shit; it is an out and out Indian trait. We are experts at everything in this world except at minding our own business. We should have a patent on "free advising" and if someone is found trying to dole out free advice we should charge them royalty.



My advice for all those who get free advice - don't take any.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Math and Women

Math is complex. So is a woman.
Math is all about curves, figures, equations etc. Same is the case with women.
World needs math in every sphere; Calculus, research, space, measurements you name it. World needs women in every sphere, well, that's why God created Eve.
EXCEPT - Math has logic......

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

True crisis

Financial world is in a turmoil. Companies are falling like nine pins and there is no end in sight. This looks like an re-enactment of sinking of the Titanic, the mammoth unsinkable ship sank and took thousands of people along with it to their watery graves.
Is this crisis- losing money, job, security of livelihood.
My definition of a crisis is when everything is sinking around you, threatening take you down and you don't have a family, friends or loved ones to turn to, for comfort, support and encouragement, that my friend is a TRUE CRISIS.
If you can confidently say yes, I have my universe full of people who I love and trust, then, nothing else matters. All other crises are temporary.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Small vs Big things

Why is that small things make women happy? Is it because that they take the big things for granted. They are entitled to it. Men are always looking at big things in life. Big car, big house, big bank balance, big vacations etc. Women assume that they will be getting all of these so now they want small thoughtful gestures, flowers, chocolates, calls 5 times a day (so you are buried in work, doesn't matter). How many times have you heard from a woman; small things make me happy. REALLY!!!!!!!

Skydiving

On a cold Monday morning just after shaking off the Monday blues one of my team members called up to ask if I was interested in jumping off a plane with a parachute.
I am a little crazy and was feeling a little suicidal on a Monday morning after starting my day at 7 AM with no coffee, so I said, “Sure, why not ? ” This sounded like fun and put on a very brave face as if I did this kind of thing for a living. Actually I do, I work in a financial services company and have a girlfriend and it is full time job making the twain meet, so I pretty much have experience in it.

I am currently in US on a training, so I’m surviving on a monthly stipend in New York city and stipend as all stipends go is not a whole lot to indulge in this crazy thing. So we checked out the most cost economic place (told you, I work in financial sector). The search was a pilgrimage which we undertook by journeying to the Mecca of all search engines, Google and like God’s reply to prayers, it gave us multiple answers ranging from cheap but far and expensive but close and some in between, and like God’s answers the information was all confusing. Why does Google have to give you multiple options? Wouldn’t life be much easier if you had very few options and you had to choose one of them than having a million options making it difficult to choose? Add to the chaos 7 more people and the war began. All of a sudden everyone turned into an expert in the places they’ve never visited and in the country they are visiting for the first time. This actually proved little knowledge is far too dangerous than no knowledge. So we discussed the options and then one of the team members took the responsibility of coordinating with the sky diving place. God bless him and his enthusiasm. He called up three places and did a price comparison and we finally after a lot of deliberations froze on the cheapest one, like that was a difficult choice to make. However, the place didn’t work out as it was becoming a logistic nightmare to get there so we had to go with the one which was the most expensive. We started discussing the option and after a lot of meetings (shows again that I am in financial sector) and emails and some more meetings and a lot of convincing that the experience is worth the money managed to convince 9 people. We also appealed to the quintessential Indian trait of freebie and said that if there are 9 we get $10 off per person and that just clinched it. Oh, the price for the jump was a measly $325 including the cost of getting a video and after the princely discount of $10.

I got up on Saturday, Nov 11 at 6 AM to catch a train at 7 or rather couldn’t sleep all of Friday night due to excitement and some fear. It should have been an omen considering it was 11/11. Think 9/11 or 7/11. Someone in the group pointed to the connection and the rest of the group was ready to murder him. The most obvious thing happened, which normally would happen to most of the people on a Saturday morning, we missed the train. So we had to take a different train, change stations, take connecting trains and go two stations from the actual destination and then take a cab to get to the skydiving place. It is called Skydive Long Island in Long Island, NY. Should we have taken missing the train as a hint and gone back? No, the never say die spirit or should I say the crazy side prodded us to go on and go on we did. We reached the place and paid for the jump, full in advance. Then were asked to sign an agreement absolving the place from all legal obligations. No wonder they wanted the money upfront. We were showed a video of a lawyer who made it very clear that no matter what happened to us, if we sued, like we could, we would not win as we had already signed the papers and there was no refund policy if the parachute didn’t open. We still went ahead.


The first timers have to jump in Tandem. It means that you are strapped to an experienced sky diver who controls the parachute and ensures that it opens when it should. We met with our instructor who immediately put us to ease by saying that he was extremely nervous and it was his second jump. I then realized that I was in good hands or rather strapped to a good chest. I got into the harness and went through basic training. Then I was off on the plane climbing the sky with one and only one intention; to conquer the sky, fly like a bird and feel free. It gets a little dizzy up there so it really doesn’t matter if it is one or three. The plane climbed to 11,000 feet, though we were promised 13,500 feet. The per feet basis cost came to 24 cents and the sky diving place owes us a refund of $60. This definitely proves that I work in financial sector. However, remember we signed an agreement which said no refund in any case. The moment of truth arrived and I was sitting at the ledge partially hanging in air with my instructor strapped to me. He gently rocked me twice, just enough for me to say no, and jumped, just not enough for me to stop from jumping. I was in air falling at a speed of 120 mph with wind and the ground rushing at me at a break neck speed. That was the time I broke free, free of my fear of heights, free of all tensions in life, free of the world. It was just me and the troposphere and the song playing in my mind “I’m free, free falling”. The free fall lasted for about 30 seconds and the instructor opened the parachute. Damn, why didn’t the fall last an eternity? He guided the chute to landing and I landed hard on my butt. It still hurts a little. Two of my team members also landed at the same time and we got up and walked on the runway, Top Gun style. We did something top gun style and came out as top guns. Money well spent. If I have the time I would do it again and would encourage anyone who gets the opportunity to do it at-least once in their lifetime.