Shiv Agarwal

Friday, June 02, 2006

It Ends Here...

Will try and keep this short...

Sitting in a lavish hotel room as I type the last entry in this blog.(Thank You Microsoft :))

No. of reasons why I chose to close this. Dont really want to venture out there over here...

Yes I will mostly move to a new URL. Only a handful of personal contacts would have it ... and the rest would come by through pure coincidence.... Atleast I do not have to give justifications if I close that one down too ;)

Till then...


Monday, December 26, 2005

Still a bit of child in me ...

Went to a dentist today ... he actually told me that I still have one milk tooth in my mouth!!!! And it seems the poor tooth has already undergone a root canal ... though I dont remember ever having paid for a root canal!

Qs tagged me and am supposed to jot down 20 things people dont know abt me. Well tough task. Lets see. Mom and Dad are back. Write more later ...


Saturday, December 24, 2005

Snapshots from Rajasthan Posted by Picasa

Sunset at Jaisalmer Sand Dunes
We travelled 900 kms in 24 hours to see this :-)
Posted by Picasa


Jaisalmer Sand Dunes
My shadow on a camel ...
Posted by Picasa

Back Home ...

25th December 2005

Merry Christmas!

Writing after so long. Almost feeling strange. As though this is my first entry.

Reached Pune last night after a 8 hr flight delay, thanks to the Delhi fog. But now when I read all the newspaper reports about the fog disrupting traffic somewhere it feels nice that you were a part of all that mess!!! And more so came out of it!!!

Lots of things to write about, my summers, though I dont remember much of it now :) and yeah photos of the more recent trip to Rajasthan.

So for now, its 2 weeks of relaxation in Pune ...


Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Happy Birthday Dad!

Wed, 31 Aug 2005 4:30 pm

Happy Birthday Dad! There is going to be a party tonight back home. Just the normal family get togethers. But these are the real fun times. Will miss this one and God knows how many more.

Spoke to Dad for really long about getting the car to Delhi. Nothing much came of it. We basically ended it at ‘lets see’ like the numerous other conversations we’ve had on the topic in the past!

Ok, back to Delhi.

Quite an ok day in college. Nothing interesting, except the yahoo conference that goes on during class hours (I hope some media guy doesn’t pull me up for this ;-)).

Sitting in the hostel after lunch! I don’t believe this. A half day! Feels like the way I used to when we got those half days in school. Its almost like a holiday though technically its not.

Just got back after getting a dressing down by the hostel Provost for missing the hostel fresher’s party. Oh man, never before have I seen 7 FMSites sitting for so long without a smile on their face. Guess we were all enjoying the air conditioned room! No, we were really serious.

Hopefully Friday should be a holiday. Thanks to student politics in DU! DU Rulezzzz! Just realized its so much easier to fill half a page on MS Word typing this blog out than doing an assignment and explaining why downsizing is good or bad. :-)

Shall get back to a little studying now.


Monday, August 29, 2005

30th August 2005

  • Nothing much happening since morning
  • HR Test in one hr
  • So dont have much time
  • Too many assignments to be done for tomorrow
  • Why does everything wait for the last minute?
  • The return part might be this Friday ... lets see ...


Sunday, August 28, 2005

29th August 2005, Monday Morning Blues

Second Class of the day
Learning how to use MS Word!!!!!!!
One more class after this :-( Gaaawwwwwwwd!
Then a Consult Club Meeting too.
Comparatively seems to be a light day
Corporate photo shoot photos came today.
Dont wanna comment on mine ... but Swifty's photos are hillarious!


28th Aug 2005

A Sunday spent lazing around completely at Masi's place. Got up late, very late.

Had breakfast or lunch. Dont know what I can call it.

Thought of doing some work, but a full stomach and an air conditioned room in this heat do not make a good combination for work. Slept again :-)

Got the Monday Morning Blues by evening. Finally did some Consulting Club work. Now desperately trying to do an HR assignment. Also sitting in this air conditioned, wi fi enabled room (no I am not in the hostel ;-)) and watching England desperately trying to win the 4th Test of the Ashes.


Saturday, August 27, 2005

Finally ...

Sat, 27 Aug 2005 10:50 pm

Happy Janmashtami!

Finally posting on the blog. Something I thought of doing a zillion times but always landed up typing out one HR assignment or the other instead :(

Even now I think I should be studying FinMan or Eco or something but no, today I shall blog :)

Will cover the last few weeks at FMS in as many bullet points (an integral part of the life of every FMSite ;)) as possible. Forgive the misplaced chronological order of my life.

  1. FMS is hectic but fun.
  2. Got selected in Consulting Club after two interviews and two tasks. I am glad since it was on top of my pecking order. I hope the club finally adopts the tag line or logo I suggested. They actually seemed to like it at the first meeting. I am flattered.
  3. Its tougher getting into a society on campus than making it to FMS itself. Both have a similar conversion ratio at interview stage (1 in 7) but still it’s the selection process that makes the former so tough.
  4. Delhi has been hot as ever and the Delhiites have already scared the hell out of us by describing the winter days here!
  5. Went for a long weekend to Pune (the Independence Day one). Got a badly needed dose of good weather.
  6. Getting my first exposure to student politics. Delhi Univ seems to be the stepping stone for many politicians of the country. Cars with posters covering them completely are all over the place, candidates walking into the hostel with folded hands and distributing pamphlets. Feels weird.
  7. Havent been on the Delhi Metro yet. Though its just 10 mins walking distance from hostel and connects directly to CP. Hope some day soon I am motivated enough to pick up my lazy ass and make the trip.
  8. Rain in Delhi means half an hour of rainfall in one week followed by 3 days of sweaty humidity. God I can never stop cribbing about the weather in Delhi.
  9. All said and done I still like the city. With all its vices, there is still a sense of belonging that I share with Delhi. Have been here for each and every summer vacation of mine since childhood.
  10. Booked an air ticket to Pune for 1000 bucks! Finally got the taste of a true low cost airline!
  11. Hostel guys would be partying right now. Wish I could be at two places at one time.
  12. Thinking of starting a Life@FMS photo blog. Will probably have to get the Media Team’s permission first! ;)
  13. Hostel food sucks … their strict timing even more :-(
  14. Hostel life is fun.
  15. Had a stats quiz last week. Lets not talk about it. Have another one this week. Hopefully I should feel like talking about it.
  16. Sick of McDonalds. Eat there almost 3-4 times a week at times. Though it has reduced now.
  17. K Nags (Kamla Nagar) has some decent eating joints. Parathas, Chinese, Ice Creams, Chole Bhature etc. However not the stuff you can eat everyday. And if you in the mood to spend there is a Barista, CCD and Dominos too.
  18. Travelling in a cycle rickshaw is a nice experience.
  19. Will probably have the juniors to seniors party next week. Hopefully Cul Secy Udai should fix up some place in Gurgaon and hopefully I don’t have fever this time around. Will be one helluva all night blast!
  20. Will be more regular here. Planning to document each day at FMS. Hahahaha. The first lesson at B Skool, think big ;-)
  21. More bullet points later …


Sunday, August 14, 2005

Happy Independence Day

15 August 2005, 1130 am, God's own city

Happy Independence Day! More later ...


Saturday, July 30, 2005

Week 2

Sun 31 Jul 2005, 1215 pm

Inspite of the busier than busy schedules there are some who still find the time to blog ... pleasures of staying at home I guess. Want to know whats up at FMS? Check out Ankush's blog for two reasons:

1. He blogs
2. He blogs well

Ankush's Blog

However this reference too comes with a disclaimer. Dont believe everything he writes. Right Ankush?


Sunday, July 24, 2005

Week 1

Sun 24 Jul 2005, 2100 hrs

Well after week 1 at FMS my creative instincts have surely gone for a toss. Hence couldnt think of a better title for this one.

Also for those who wanna know how I am being treated by FMS, please follow the link below: (btw posts by Vincentian are mine :-) )

Will post later, hopefully if I get some free time.


Friday, July 15, 2005

Day 1

15th July 2005, 1145 pm

Tomorrow is the first day @ college. Have to report at 7:30. Morning. Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaawwwwwwwwwwwwwwwn.
Goooooooooooooood Niiiiiiiiiiiiiggggggggggggggggg ...


Thursday, July 14, 2005

Saurabh n Me

15 July 2005, 1150 am

Saurabh left this message on the blog today. It so amazingly sums up every moment ...

Dude.... I can never forget those long walks down main street at 4:00 am.... or just about anytime. The times we'd sit on that stone near Marz-o-rin and discuss life and all its complications. how life just stood still for a few hours and the world would make a little sense.

The RK lunches and the Blue Nile Biryanis.... the wild rides on my bike and the sober long drives in your car. The pub 14 steps and the bench in your garden. The beer guzzling night at baker's hill and the ways of Babajan chowk. your mum's delicious food, and your dad's amazing sense of humour. Viki's antics and Diya's cute smile. From love life to career talks, from shopping sprees to the early morning jogs, from doing random things for home to those gala parties in your garden, from teaching you how to drive to the long trips to mahabi and Mulshi... Shiv Its been 8 wonderful years of friendship. And I couldnt have been happier to see you leave home... you know I have been after your life from donkeys years.

I wish you the very best in your new life my friend. I hope every experience helps you grow in more ways than you can imagine and add to your character.

All the best!!

....and remember I'm just a phone call away!



Khaali bore dopaharon se hum to jhola uthake chale ...

Wed 12 Jul 2005, 8:50 pm Somewhere between Pune and Delhi

I know I said in the previous post that it might be my last :-). Just don’t have much to do on the flight.

Nice people still exist ;-). Why do I say so?

I am allowed 30 kgs of luggage on this flight. I had 60. Was so mentally prepared to shell out as much as I paid for the ticket for the additional baggage :-(.

Dad always warned me never to check in with someone else’s baggage. Its basically risky especially on international travel for one could land up in a mess like drug dealers etc etc. And today I was in a position where I needed someone to check in with me. It was after all a matter of 30 x 70 = 2100 bucks! Just then a gentleman, Kunjal, probably in his late twenties strolls into the airport with a small bag. Here was my saviour! Explained to him that I was shifting base and thus had extra baggage and would be great if we could check in together. I was so sure he would deny. He smiled and asked, “I hope theres nothing fishy in there!” And I answer, “Nahin Yaar!!!!”

That’s it we checked in like the best of mates. He gave me my boarding pass, I thanked him, we exchanged the normal pleasantries and he left for security check. Thanks Kunjal!


PS: I have been thanking so many people that my blog almost seems like an acceptance speech ;-)

Monday, July 11, 2005

The Final Countdown ...

Tue, 12 July 2005, 850 am

I leave for Delhi today. Dont know whether this blog will ever have another post on it :-) Depends on whether I feel like it or not. All good things in life are after all short lived ;-)

Dont want this to sound senti or anything. But yes, the feeling of leaving home does leave a rumble in the stomach. 12 hours from now, nothing will be the same again. And I hope I love it. Somewhere I always wanted this and this is the closest I will get to sharing my thoughts on the World Wide Web :-)

G'bye Pune ... G'bye Home ...


Wednesday, July 06, 2005

A tribute to my barber!

Thu Jul 07 2005, 1232am

This may sound absurd to most, but what the heck, this is my blog and I think this deserves a mention, so here it is!

I went for my monthly ritual today, a haircut. And for the half an hour or so that I usually spend there inclusive of waiting time I am generally flipping through pages of the latest issue of Filmfare. That half an hour is the time when I give myself a dose of filmi gossip! My barber (wish I had a name for him) earlier also had Sportstar on his stands, which was my first choice, but I guess they were either not too popular or simply got unaffordable!

However today it was not Filmfare that kept me occupied. Remembered all the times that I have visited him and how well he knew me. Most of my friends probably change barbers every other time (I dont know for sure, coz we dont discuss tht!) I have not been that fortunate or unfortunate.

His grand dad cut my grand dad's hair, his dad cut my dad's hair and as tradition would have it, first father and then son, cut my hair!

Remembered the time when I accompanied my Dad on the scooter on a Sunday morning for a haircut. I was so short then that he had to put an extra plank on the arm rests and then would make me sit on it, so that I could see myself in the mirror!

Most of my realisations of growing up have been in his small little shop. First it was the freedom from the plank, seriously it made me feel like such a kid! Then the first time that I went for a hair cut alone! Oh man, I was a big boy! Dad and I now always went separately for the haircut. He would still go on the scooter and I had my own cycle! Then there was the first time he gave me a shave. I remember feeling so odd asking him to do that! After all I had grown up in front of him, literally!

Remembered the time when he gave me my first haircut after I had those 8 stitches removed from the back of my head. He was so careful not to hurt me, and till date he remembers the spot so well that I have never had to tell him to be careful in that region. He just did it so naturally! And especially the time when in school I kept insisting that he cuts it even shorter lest my khadoos Class Teacher or those idiotic Prefects (I joined tht gang later!) find it long :)

And now, after a 23 year long association, for the first time I shook hands with him. Told him whenever I am back in Pune next, I will plan it in such a way that I need a haircut then. :)

Will have to find a new barber in Delhi ... oh man what a thing to worry about!!!!! But for somebody for whom this change comes once in 23 years its worth a mention!



July 07 2005, 1220 am

Saw Sarkar the other day.

No, I have not taken to reviewing every other movie I see (may be thats why I have not written about Parineeta!) The reason for this is simply the political streak somewhere in my blood (my grandmother being the first ever lady corporator of the Pune Cantonment Board and my grandfather being a member of the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly for quite a few years as a Leader of the Opposition). Also another reason is, though I do not agree with all his actions, I do admire Bal Thackeray for reasons I will not get into right now. And Sarkar was slated to be based on his lifestyle and I wanted to know how it portrayed Mumbai's most powerful man. Surprisingly it is nowhere close to Thackeray.

Came across this article on rediff that more or less reflects my opinion about the film, though not entirely. for eg. I did like the Govinda theme that plays throughout the film. However it is quite accurate and most importantly has saved me the time and energy!


PS: Can anyone find me a Godfather in politics. I am serious. I want to give it a shot.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

The first DVD :)

Wed, Jul 6 2005, 1240 am

I dont know whether this deserves space but I just felt like it ...

Burnt the first DVD on my laptop's DVD burner ... and it works!!!!!!! Just dumping all the data from home machines to DVDs now :)



Tue, July 05 2005, 11:00 pm

Here is just a list of things I will miss about home and Pune, my home for 23 years.

792, Agarwal House, Agarwal Colony – the 150 year old bungalow – my home
Troubling Mom each time Jassi goes through a sea of emotions, thankfully she has stopped watching it now!!
Sharing those lighter moments of life with Dad
Teaming up with Dad and troubling Mom!
Mom always wondering how my wife will handle me …
The two little angels in my house, my nieces, Diya and Ayaana
Convincing them that Mickey Mouse was my classmate!
4 am walks on Main Street
Sitting on the stone wall on MG Road discussing life, career and … babes!
Marz o Rin

Vincents, Vincents Street and all its surroundings
Pub 14 and all its members
Bumping into friends everytime I am on Main Street
Masala Dosa at Priya
Irani Biryani at Blue Nile
Mini Pakistan! Its actually a real time simulation of Karachi or Lahore!
Ghar ka khana … everything … mango shake, chicken, the breakfasts, lunches and dinners
Family get togethers on birthdays and anniversaries
Holi, Diwali celebrations at home
10 days of Ganpati Bappa
The dude in Coffee House
Cellium and the Cellium Gang – though no one is now in Poona
My room with all its mess
Mahabi with all its temples, the drive, strawberries and everything
Maharashtrians and Marathi
Just Baked

Koregaon Park
, aaah!
Oshoites ;)
Kapila’s Kati Rolls accompanied with … you know what!
The PICT Gang
My school teachers – they still think I am a good student!
My desktop … has seen a lot more than just books and study material ;)
Thums Up, don’t know how Delhiites can prefer Coke and Pepsi!
Knowing every street, every lane of Pune Camp, where I grew up, makes you feel like the king of the land
Broon Maska, Omelette Bread at Yazdaan and the ‘cutting’ chai
Late night drives to Corinthian
Raat ke 2 baje station ki coffee or chai
Misal, Vada and all other accompaniments of ‘Pav’!!!!
The weather

Will add more as I think of them :)


Friday, July 01, 2005

Its July ...

2nd July 2005, 1:05 am

So far I have simply been enjoying myself to the fullest. Had a break which I doubt I ever will have the good fortune of enjoying again for quite some time.

Suddenly today it dawned upon me that the month of July is here. Just another 10 days before I leave for Delhi. New surroundings, new friends, new activities ...

At the same time, its goodbye to Pune ... home since birth :) For so long I never felt anything about leaving this city ... but today somewhere its sinking in. I am leaving home and knowing fully well that if I do come back it may only be for a 10 day vacation ... and thats being optimistic! Cleaning my book shelves ... which I havent done since school, organising everything on the comp for Dad so that he doesnt have any issues when I am away, finishing all that Mom has wanted me to do for so long and I have kept pending, tidying my room etc etc.

Dont know what to write further ... ending this quite abruptly. Good Night :)


Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Men are just happier people!

Thu 30th Jun 2005, 1150 am

Men Are Just Happier People - What do you expect from such simple creatures? Your last name stays put. The garage is all yours. Wedding plans take care of themselves. Chocolate is just another snack. You can be President. You can never be pregnant. You can wear a white T-shirt to a water park. You can wear NO shirt to a water park. Car Mechanics tell you the truth.

The world is your urinal. You never have to drive to another gas station restroom because this one is just too icky You don't have to stop and think of which way to turn a nut on a bolt. Same work, more pay. Wrinkles add character. Wedding dress $5000. Tux rental-$100.

People never stare at your chest when you are talking to them. The occasional well-rendered belch is practically expected. New shoes don't cut, blister, or mangle your feet. One mood all the time. Phone conservations are over in 30 seconds flat. You know stuff about tanks. A 5 day vacation requires only one suitcase . You can open all of your own jars.

You get extra credit for the slightest act of thoughtfulness. If someone forgets to invite you, he or she can still be your friend. Your underwear is $8.95 for a three-pack. Three pairs of shoes are more than enough. You almost never have strap problems in public. You are unable to see wrinkles in your clothes. Everything on your face stays its original colour. The same hairstyle lasts for years, maybe even decades. You only have to shave your face and neck.

You can play with toys all your life. Your belly usually hides your big hips. One wallet and one pair of shoes one colour for all seasons. You can wear shorts no matter how your legs look. You can "do" your nails with a pocket knife. You have freedom of choice concerning growing a moustache.

You can do Christmas shopping for 25 relatives on December 24 in 25 minutes.

No wonder men are happier.


Courtesy: Sukesh!

Happy Father's Day

Thu 30th June 2005, 12:40 am


Courtesy: Maaru :)

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Tue 28 Jun 2005, 1030 pm

Was generally doing TP on the net today after the regular emails etc etc. And stumbled upon a blog. And it took me by surprise. It was an almost exact replica of everything I have experienced in life till date, the feelings, the victories, the highs and lows and believe me this was no general stuff.

The kind of stuff posted is something which will probably never appear on my blog. But yeah I do know it is online somewhere, available for the world to read, if ever interested. Have contacted this person. Lets see if he responds.

Bye for now. Will go and spend some post dinner time chatting with mom and dad ...


A warm thank you!

Tue 28 June 2005, 1015 pm

Been away for some time. And am simply amazed to see the amount of good wishes I have received ... some from friends I am yet to meet, I have only met them online! Not to mention the numerous phone calls ... I was so wrong to think that I am the only one who reads this blog!

The past few days have been quite hard, full of running around and tense moments. Almost drove me crazy. Felt very very lonely at times. But as they say, "all is well that ends well". Hopefully should be more regular now ...


Sunday, June 19, 2005

From Boys to Men

Sun Jun 19 2005, 4:30 pm

1990: We were all the same
2005: We are doctors, engineers, managers, sailors, CAs, artists and what not! We have gone 'oer sea or mount or plain!'


Thursday, June 16, 2005

Fly India Fly

Fri 17 Jun 2005, 1115 am

Picked up the morning newspaper and went to the one place where no one else can come and interfere and lemme read in peace! I am king and the owner of the newspaper for the next 10 mins!

As usual glanced through the headlines, city news etc etc and moved to the biz section. For a second I thought I had mistakenly picked up yesterdays newspaper. Once again the top story was an Indian airliner stealing the show at the Paris Air Show.

This was indeed fresh news. Another Indian airline placed an order worth 6 bn USD for new aircrafts at the show! I had not even heard of the airline before – Indigo!!!!! All I knew was that Indigo was a car!!!

Indigo is another low cost airline which all of a sudden has made waves in this country after Air Deccan, SpiceJet and apex fares from the others. And with an order which is almost 6 times the turnover of Infosys, India’s aviation sector seems to be finally taking off. Good job Praful Patel!

India has about 200 jets as of now and has placed orders for another 150. This, compared to 6000 in the US!!!!! The gap is too huge but the rate at which this sector is growing its just a matter of time.

This also means huge employment opportunities in the country from pilots to air hostesses to ground staff. There is soon going to be a plethora of jobs and half to full page Times Ascent ads like the ones KF Airlines posted some time back.

Institutes like Frankfinn will spring up in every nook and corner of the country just like IT training institutes did when the software bug bit the nation.

All in the entire picture seems good, based of course on the assumption that the airlines have a sound revenue model backing them. Its surely not going to be easy recovering costs selling tickets at 50% discount etc.

For now, Indian Railways, you have competition.

And then the biggest doubt as my 87 year old granny raised when I was discussing all this with her, “Beta, do these guys know how to take off and land an airplane?”. I said, “I sincerely hope so!”


Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Height of Baniyagiri

Wed 15 Jun 2005, 1348 hrs

Riaz sent me this message about a baniya
today (I belong to this community. Supposedly old time traders known for their miserly instincts!).

Q: How often do you have sex?
Baniya: Alternate days
Q: Why??? (puzzled at the fixed time table!)
Baniya (With a sad expression): Kay kare bhaaya. Ek din to condom sukhane mein hi lag jaave hai.


Tuesday, June 14, 2005

The Monsoons are here

Tue 14 Jun 2005, 11:40 pm

Well the monsoons have finally announced their arrival here. Mercury levels have dipped, the grass is finally green and weatherwise Pune can now give any hill station a run for its money.

And what amazing fun it is driving in the rain at full speed on the empty roads with windows rolled down and the cool breeze hitting you straight in the face. What a respite from the suffocation of the AC while driving.

I am not one of those who gets absolutely excited about the monsoon ... but this could well be my last encounter with good weather (I dont consider weather up north in the capital good!) for quite a while ... hence putting it down here :)


Wednesday, June 08, 2005

BJP ... On its way down?

Wed Jun 8 2005, 8:30 pm

Have received various comments about my post on Lalu Land. Some said don’t write about politics but how long can you keep the topic away from someone whose destiny (read janampatri) reads nothing but politics!

Been in bed all day battling a bout of severe infection. And to keep me company was Mr. L.K. Advani, President, Bhartiya Janta Party (no electricity here so don’t know whether his resignation has been accepted formally). Every channel I switched to all I could see was India’s high profile politician being coaxed into withdrawing his resignation and talks of the future of the BJP, the only party if at all which provided some sort of competition to the Nehru Gandhi clan, the Congress.

Lets just go through the sequence of events that led to this turmoil.

The Trigger:

Advani (moved to India from Pakistan post ’47) goes on a week long visit to Pakistan. He visited his school too amongst other places. He must have felt the same way I did when I went to Vincents last week. Is asked to inaugurate the restoration work of ancient temples. During the speech he quotes Jinnah verbatim in which Jinnah envisioned Pakistan being a secular state. Mind you this was not Advani’s remark. It was a quote.

What got reported:

Indian media goes all out saying Advani calls Jinnah secular. Pro Hindu outfits like the Sangh Parivar and the VHP go in a frenzy. Mass protests mark Indian streets with effigies being burnt all around.

The Reaction:

Advani returns after 3 days and resigns from the post of the President of the BJP. No questions asked. All he said was his statements were quoted out of context.

The BJP all of a sudden has now realized that it is without any person whom they can look upto as a leader.

What next? BJP leaders make a beeline outside Advani’s residence asking him to reconsider. All of a sudden, Advani finds himself in the midst of people who claim that he did not say anything wrong. Frantic calls are being made to Vajpayee and other senior leaders. But where were all these people when Advani was in Pakistan and there were all round protests back home in India? Did it take a resignation for them to show their support and solidarity towards the senior most man in the party after Vajpayee.

Meanwhile, the BJP’s troubles have worsened. Its an irony that they are actually supposed to be celebrating their 25th year! The humiliating defeat in the Lok Sabha last year and in almost every subsequent assembly election the BJP badly needed to get its act together. And this is not what the doctor ordered.

This could read good news for the party’s second rung of leaders (Sushma Swaraj, Arun Jaitley, Pramod Mahajan and the likes) who have been trying to break into the top leadership of the party for many years now. But none of them command the same amount of respect and stature as that of Advani or Vajpayee. With Bihar elections looming large the party is desperate to have Advani back.

The party also needs to get its ideological position right. The BJP has always been looked upon as a pro Hindu party and that’s how it will always be. Any attempts to portray themselves as secular or pro minority are simply a waste of time. As a result the BJP has strained relations with old time supporters as well like the RSS, Shiv Sena and the VHP without having gained much ground on the secular front either.

Could this be the downturn of the BJP, the party that in my opinion actually put India on the road to progress … you never know. Meanwhile the Congress which underwent similar turmoils before Sonia Gandhi stepped in is enjoying every bit of it. This is politics, and in India it’s a little bit more.


Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Can India really afford a second election in Bihar?

Mon 6th June 2005, 1730 hrs

A classic example of power hungry politics was displayed recently when the UPA Government dissolved the Bihar Assembly in the dead of the night and ordered a second round of elections in the poverty stricken, illiteracy bound state of Bihar.

The reason: Horse Trading by the NDA when they bought out elected MLAs of the LJP (Paswan's party)

Though everyone knows that such efforts may indeed be on, there is no sure shot evidence. The Governor himself has gone on record saying that he received no concrete complaint against the so called horse trading. Then why the dissolution? The answer is simply that Lalu and Paswan could not see Bihar being run by anyone but themselves ... they probably dont want the state to see better days coz tht would mean the end of their 'rule' in the State!

Why did they dissolve the assembly in the middle of the night?
Reason: The NDA had mustered the majority and would have staked claim the next morning! Would have been too late to wait till dawn.

And even if horse trading was indeed going on is the term the right one to use. If two thirds of the elected members of your party are willing to defect for a sum of money or a seat in the new Government, it doesnt speak to well of your own party does it Mr. Paswan?

And Laluji, the most vociferous opponent of horse trading has an enviable record at the sport himself!
1990: Won over a third of BJP MLAs when the BJP withdrew support
1993: Split the 19 member JMM coz he was against the formation of Jharkhand
1995: On the eve of the polls he split the CPI(ML)
1999: Split the CPI
2002: Split the JD(U)

At the end of the day the biggest loser is going to be this country. India will hold another election in Bihar and apend crores from its coffers on another election which could well have been avoided. There has been a PIL against this in the SC, but am sure nothing will come of it. Its ironic that the man who filed this PIL is also named Shiv!


Thursday, June 02, 2005

Vincenti Dabitur

Thu June 02 2005, 11:20 pm

Some things in life are just not planned.

After lunch, Vik and I out of the blue landed up at India Ice Cream. Though just 2 mins from home I have never been there since I left St. Vincent’s. This is no multinational chain of ice creams. It’s a local ice cream store, but is every Vincentian’s lunch break hang out!

Soon after, we were walking towards school! Absolutely unplanned. Summer vacations are still on, and there was pin drop silence in the huge campus which is otherwise bubbling with activity. Except for a small boy desperately trying to fly a kite in the middle of the ground and a few peons doing regular maintenance work there was no one. I remember coming to school last year around the same time … its very much the same … except the addition of the magnificent Fr. Oesch Hall and a new school bus with a new color! Vik preferred the old blue trademark Vincent’s bus shade, I didn’t mind this one either … it finally looked like a school bus!

We sat under the huge pipal tree of the school and memories of the best days of our life flashed across our minds … all the mischief we did in class … principals … teachers … friends … the canteen … scouts … everything!

And just like us, Balwinder (Balli) a classmate of ours, casually walked in, just to pay school a visit! Vow, what a surprise! And then it was like a mini reunion of the batch of 1997! We talked and laughed and laughed … haven’t laughed like that in ages. Didn’t realize how time flew!

All plans for the afternoon went kaput … but it was worth it!

The Vincents Anthem:

Vincenti Dabitur ! That noble clarion call
Resounds in every heart, and beckons us all
Come, let us rally round, and by its spirit stand
Thus, shall we truly serve our School, our Home, our Land

Vincenti Dabitur ! Vincenti Dabitur !
Students fair and true, we shall dare and do, and win.

Vincenti Dabitur ! We follow with delight
Though paths beset with woe we'll ne'er quail with fright
Though life may take us far o'er sea or mount or plain
From proud and grateful hearts we'll swear our School refrain

Vincenti Dabitur ! Vincenti Dabitur !
Students fair and true, we shall dare and do, and win.


Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Does every post have to have something here?

02 June 2005, 3 am

Gawd! Its three in the morning ... finally feeling sleepy! No wonder I dont get up until almost lunch time! Always knew something was missing in life recently, guess its breakfast! Dont know how long this luxury will last. But who cares about tomorrow ... thought of posting about Bihar's politics, but then Laloo is not the best way to start your day off isn't it?

Good night ... or is it Good Morning!


The Road to FMS – Murphy’s Law : What you least expect, happens - Part II

01 June 2005, 2350 hrs.

FMS – D Day

We planned to leave at 5. It was 8:30 and we were still in Pune. And yeah, none of us knew the roads in Mumbai! Fortunately we reached the outskirts of Mumbai by 11 am, 3hrs before the exam. Joys of driving on the Mumbai Pune Expressway you see! But now we still had to find the centre. 2 hrs of driving in the crazy Mumbai heat and traffic and after a million wrong turns, my centre was nowhere in sight! And to help us out were some great specimens, rickshawallahs who only made gestures either by hand or their eyes (we almost thought talking was taxed in Mumbai), another started laughing at us when we told him where we had to go and he realised how far we were from our destination, felt like socking his face then and there, and how can I forget the dude whose directions were longer than the Ramayan.

Vikrant even suggested skipping the exam and chilling out in Bandra! His exact words were, “Shiv, anyways you not gonna get a call! Tell folks at home you did not make it.” Did anyone hear me call him my best friend? And suddenly out of nowhere we are bang in front of my centre! Thank God!

Also met Mihir Kanitkar, my classmate at Vincents (spent 12 years of my life here) by chance. His rickshaw crossed me while I was standing by the road. To meet someone like that in Bombay was truly amazing.

After four and a half hours of driving I was pooped. But still had an exam to take! Went to the classroom and started yawning. The guy sitting in front of me almost fainted when he heard my antics of the day! He was so tense. And I was so sleepy!

The paper started and I started enjoying it. Don’t know what got triggered but it did not feel like an examination. Just one of those papers which click with you I guess. In the heart of hearts I knew I had done well.

The rest of the day in Bombay was quite eventful to say the least. Our car got towed away twice for wrong parking within 2 hours, we never parked after tht, got stuck in an hour long traffic jam thanks to Saurabh driving on the wrong side of the road in a city like Mumbai, and to top it all we were on the way to Ahmedabad! We finally reached Pune at about midnight, swearing never to drive down again!

FMS – Stage II

So I finally made it to the final 400. But only 60 were going to be selected. 1 in 7! Now what? Is it even worth a shot I asked myself. Anyways I just badly needed a holiday from work and it had been 6 years that I had visited my relatives in Delhi. The call couldn’t have come at a better time. For me it was more of a vacation!

As luck would have it, I converted my SP Jain call just hours before leaving for Delhi! With a backup in hand, tension for me was something which existed only in the dictionary. The interview was one of the best I ever had, the only one which comes close is ISB, Hyderabad. The extempore and group discussion were satisfactory! On hindsight everything is always cool isn’t it!

Results were declared the next day itself. I was in. (Why the hell would I be wasting so much time otherwise!! :))

The story about the FMS watchman telling me on the phone I am not in and me driving down to the Faculty in the middle of the night to cross check with the notice board, I shall save for some other time! I sure am going to meet that dude when I get there and probably treat him to a chai!!

Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine that I will be moving to Delhi! Dilli apun aarela hai! Tumhari Hindi sudhaarne ko ...


Tuesday, May 31, 2005

The Road to FMS – Murphy’s Law : What you least expect, happens - Part 1

Mon, Somewhere between 30th and 31st May 2005

Oh boy! The chronological order of the posts on this blog is in one BIG mess. Anyone who can still make head or tail of what I write surely deserves an award! This is going to be another loooong post like the laptop one, but then I guess it deserves every bit of it. Everyone who thinks FMS is a tough one to convert should hear me on this one. I think I’ll break it up into multiple posts.

FMS – The Perception

FMS, an institute about which the only thing I ever heard was that there are only 60 seats and too tough to get into. And to top it all, the test is conducted in Mumbai! Everyone I know who took the FMS exam, took it with a pre determined mindset that they would not make it. An institute, to which when I was applying, my Dad told me “Don’t apply just about anywhere son!”. Took him quite a bit of convincing to let me fill that form. An instructor at a coaching institute told me to skip the test, so that I could attend a mock interview for the SP Jain and ISB calls I had! Rumours also of a reservation for Delhi students were all over the place. All this, not because its not a good institute, but people think chances are too less! Guess the only thing left was God himself telling me not to take the test. But He had other plans.

FMS – The Night Before

It was 15th January 2005, 10 pm. I had just returned from office, dead tired. Had the test the next day in Mumbai. Was in no shape to go. Got a call from Vikrant and Saurabh, don’t know whether they qualify as friends or brothers. They were not taking the test. But when 3 guys get together to plan a Sunday, ideas go wild. And so they did. We decided to drive down to Mumbai the next morning. Inspite of our vehement protests Saurabh said he’d bring the guitar. Ok, so now atleast yours truly decided to go for the exam!

Rest will follow soon!


Monday, May 30, 2005

Customer Service at its best

Mon 30th May 2005, 1847 hrs

Well we have always heard of instances wherein non Indian (did not feel like using the term foreign) companies have gone out of their way to address customer complaints, and a typical reaction to that would have been "India mein toh koi aisa kabhi nahi karta!" (No one would have ever done this in India!)

I beg to differ. Had a bad flight experience with Jet Airways on a flight from Delhi to Pune. And they are supposedly the best airline amongst the Indian Domestic Carriers today. (Dont know abt the new airlines yet!) Sent them a stinker via email, never expecting a reply.

And reply they did! A point to point explanation of every complain or issue I raised. And very convincingly and also a replacement for the damaged baggage! Though the replacement is not important, what I appreciate is the pains taken in investigating the entire matter and sending such a detailed response.

From someone who said "I will never fly Jet again" they have surely won my confidence back in the airline! Well done Jet Airways!

A few excerpts from the looong response i received:

I am concerned to note the cold, abrupt and unresponsive manner in which
the concerned cabin crew handled your repeated request, as at Jet Airways, our crew members are trained to serve passengers in an efficient manner. The matter
has been brought to the attention of our Inflight Division and the
concerned cabin crew has been counselled to ensure that our passengers are
promptly attended to.

Once more I apologize on behalf of Jet Airways for the inconvenience you
had to go through.

Based on your feedback, our staff have been briefed at Delhi and Pune
Airports once again to facilitate our passengers and to be careful when
handling checked in baggage.

Mr.Agarwal, thank you once again for having taken the trouble to have
written. We look forward to your support and continued patronage of Jet
Airways and to welcoming you and Mrs.Meenakshi Agarwal on board soon.


Vijay Sethi
General Manager
Service Quality & Client Communications


Thursday, May 26, 2005

India’s Dream Co. Kicks Off …

Thu, 27th May 2005 11:54 am

After a very long and unavoidable delay today I start work on a software consultancy assignment I picked up recently.

Though a very small step forward I am only too excited about this, which probably is the first one towards me setting up my own enterprise.

So for now, its back to the same old stuff I have been doing for 6 years … software design, client interactions, late nights … but this time its not for some huge company … its for myself … and so its going to be fun!


Wednesday, May 25, 2005


Thu, May 26 2005 10:27 AM

Received this in a mail today ... so true ... so well written ... so hard to follow ...

Today before you think of saying an unkind word
Think of someone who can't speak
Before you complain about the taste of your food
Think of someone who has nothing to eat

Before you complain about your husband or wife
Think of someone who's crying out to God for a companion
Today before you complain about life
Think of someone who went too early to heaven

Before you complain about your children
Think of someone who desires children but they're barren
Before you argue about your dirty house someone didn't clean or sweep
Think of the people who are living in the streets

Before whining about the distance you drive
Think of someone who walks the same distance with their feet
And when you are tired and complain about your job
Think of the unemployed, the disabled and those who wished they had your job

But before you think of pointing the finger or condemning another
Remember that not one of us are without sin and we all answer to one maker
And when depressing thoughts seem to get you down
Put a smile on your face and thank God you're alive and still around

Life is a gift
Live it.
Enjoy it..
Celebrate it..
And fulfill it..