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Moneyball


Category –  Drama-Sports ;  Rating –  4  ;  Comment  – Heroic  pursuit of success using a non conventional route!

Another incident to remind me about my limited memory cells and the strong subconscious memory ….   (am actually not complaining, this piece of my senile decay brings in lot of fun into life!)

I probably watched MoneyBall almost an year ago  –  skipped to record my review and just continued with my life (I thought zero impact to anyone including me!).  Couple of days back, I had the opportunity to laugh again at the corporate vagaries with a colleague  –  someone who has similar traits like mine –  the rare ability (ok, call it “strain of crankiness”)  to see the humorous side of the corporate vagaries.  What i found over years is that this ability (ok, the strain of crankiness!) is considered as a taboo at the higher echelons of the corporate society and people who have this ability actually are living like the disguised aliens of Men in BlackScott adams was  probably one courageous individual who came out in the open and was smart enough to monetize his ability by kicking off his Dilbert series.  So, when I discover someone like this (a fellow alien)  I thoroughly enjoy it!  The talk was about how skewed the opinions of managers about their teams  –   in that context, I was asked if i had watched the movie Moneyball and I bluntly said a big NO (senile decay!).

And my colleague went on explain the Moneyball theory  –  the rational to select winning teams which is very different than the traditional one and recommended me to watch the movie.  Having the day off at Bangalore (aarrgh…another embarassing strike day called out by trade unions impacting crores of productivity!!), I decided to look for this movie and bang, when i saw the google throwing  up Brad Pitt images in his baseball cap, it just hit me that I have watched Moneyball already and liked it!!  I remember relating to the fact that how we make heroes out of those managers who mess up things initially, get the projects into RED and then with support of many folks bring the project into Green.   In parallel, we miss to notice those managers who keep their projects in good shape all through the year.

Coming to the movie review, ofcourse it was a good movie  –  good enough to even make it as a mandatory movie in a leadership training workshop!   Brad Pitt was sometimes overshadowed by the bubbly bespectacled Jonah Hill, but that is fine….!!!

Good watch!

Gas Booking


Gas booking had been always an elusive chore for me in the past.  The Gas distributor use to open his shop by 10 am and promptly shut down by 5.30 pm  –   Many a days I was so consumed at my work (ok,  u saw through the excuse!!   🙂 ), I will miss the time window for gas booking.  So, I use to wait for a Saturday ………..

So, when the Indane Gas announced the streamlined LPG GAS Booking through IVRS around May last year, I was one of those who was relieved.   I went through the details on the newspapers (Now Book Indane Gas any hour of the day), promptly understood the process and noted down the relevant new numbers.   I started using the Indane gas IVRS and once I got my phone number registered, all I need to do was to press few numbers on the phone pad and I was done.  I was thrilled that the technology solved my gas booking  challenge!!  Happy ……….

Having solved my gas booking challenge,  I was living ‘happily ever after’……….Suddenly, one day my maid started complaining that she is not getting her LPG cylinder on time……..As I was busy in the kitchen and with my limited mixed up local language skills, all I understood was – she needs me to book her LPG.  I did not even react as I was not sure why she is asking me to do her booking   –  especially she witnesses my daily morning crazy circus in the kitchen trying to meet my target of school bus…….and how does she think I will have time to do a gas booking?

Then over the weekend (when my mornings are not-so-crazy), she mentioned that she took help from one of her friends for gas booking, but was not successful.   I was intrigued now as I thought the IVRS is the most simple way to get the gas booking and why it is tough for my maid and her friend.  My maid is definitely a smart lady  –   she is good in using her mobile phone  –  she has even suggested me on how to download ring tones!!  So, why is this IVRS tough for her?   I told her there is also “Kannada“version of IVRS.

For a minute, she looked at me as though I am crazy and said “amma, athunalli matthaduvadhu computer amma……………(Madam, if you call that number, it is computer which is talking to you.  If you say something also, it will keep telling, please press this number, please press that number……they have put some computer which can not understand what we are talking…..and it will never take our booking)!!”……….I was completely flabbergasted and then could not control laughing……….

Gas booking  –  IVRS  –  Vagaries of it!!!

GONNA BE A BEAR!!


I just did an informative post for women before this …Women leaders and self-confidence. So, am justified to post this  satire actually  (God, am i feeling guilty to make fun!? and trying to be defensive and justify this post?).  This mailer definitely made me laugh!   🙂

Disclaimer (oh, yes…..I can put a disclaimer!!):  This is not my writing – it is a forwarded mailer with a bold note “send  this on to a lady friend. She will get a big chuckle out of it!”  If you are someone who cannot stand the jokes which border sarcasm and if you are a guy ..…..i strongly recommend to “you skip this post…”

GONNA BE A BEAR

In this life I am a woman. In my next life, I would like to come back as a bear.

When you are a bear, you get to HIBERNATE.  You do nothing but sleep for six months. I could deal with it. Before you hibernate, you’re supposed to eat yourself stupid. I could deal with it too.

When you are a girl bear, you birth your children (who are the size of the walnuts) while you’re sleeping and wake to a partially grown, cute, cuddly cubs. I could definitely deal with that.

If you are a mama bear, everyone knows you mean business. You swat anyone who bothers your cubs. If your cubs get out of line, you swat them too. I could deal with that.

If you are a bear, your are expected to wake up growling and have excess body fat.

Yup, gonna be a bear!!  

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Cricket lessons – for leadership


I am so close to be qualified as an atheist if you consider cricket as an Indian religion.  I watch cricket for the sake of news because every other Indian guy follows cricket  –  after the IPL era, cricketers have become equal to movie stars  –  figuring in page 3 gossip columns and endorsing all possible FMCG products.

I should say I showed a little more interest in cricket (still continuing to be an atheist, though) in the past few years, especially after my little one’s initiative to induct me into the cricket religion –  I even witnessed IPL matches in the Chinnaswamy stadium (more of a family outing?!  I also wore a red dress to support the RCB!) and started following the schedules  – more to ensure the little one’s morning schedules to school are protected from watching late night matches!  Often spotting Kumble and Dravid at school was another dimension.

I think this background is enough to establish my level of interest in cricket…………..

Couple of weeks back, on one of those occasional thinking aloud sessions (sometimes i just talk what is going in my mind), I said that to compensate for my missed walking sessions, I should be doing some alternate physical activity………listening to this, my little one suggested that I play cricket with him  at home  –   oh, the home cricket is more of a batting practice session where he keeps hitting a ball which is tied on a rope from the roof…. –  when I said I do not know cricket, he also very enthusiastically offered to teach me.  the only condition is that I will be assessed regularly on my cricketing skills.   I agreed.

My first class was couple of days back –  I was in  for a surprise on the technical stuff which an 8-year-old can churn out  about cricket –  it started with a lesson to me that cricket first needs INTEREST .   Then came the importance to AIM,  POWER with which to hit the ball, PLACEMENT, TIMING, CONCENTRATION, how to STRATEGIZE (I could only gape!!), REACTION, SHOTS LEG SIDE, SHOTS OFF SIDE.  And there were tips  –  to remember leg side is your left side, think that both starts with “L”, and the off side is other side and they both start with “O”.  I was given all types of balls and all types of instructions  –   “spin, googly……”  ” hit on the leg side, assume there are three fielders in the slip, etc………etc……..”.   After half an hour of intense coaching, we finished the class.

Being a long weekend, we were at home yesterday enjoying the lazy Bangalore weather………..and suddenly the little one announces the test   –   first sem first exam –  on what i was coached in cricket.   It was a 15 minute session and I was tested in what I was taught and then graded…………see the grading paper (ignore the spelling mistakes!).   I was thrilled that I got a lot of As in my grade sheet………..but my little one responded……..”You have to improve.  this is a preliminary test and you should get all A+”…….

I was mulling over this and was surprised that these exactly are the leadership qualities which are required in any individual!!!  My scores in the sheet here replicated below for clarity

SEM 1, EX 1  (read as semester 1, exam 1)

Interest B , Aim A+, Power A+, Placement A, Timing A, concentration A, leaving balls A, reaction A, shots leg side A, shots offside C.

So, how do you think i fared??!!!!    🙂 🙂 🙂

In July (aka, ‘Im Juli’)


Category – Romantic Comedy  ; Rating – 3.5 ; Comment – Simple, refreshing and the travel background makes it interesting!

I watched this movie in German with English sub- titles.  Helped me recollect few German words  –   “Bitte, Danke, Guten Morgan,..Nacht…..” and was reminded that we have to pronounce Juli as Yu-lee.   Ofcourse, I can never afford to forget my Munich Oma and Opa (God bless them! ) –   Mr&Mrs Jacob  – to be pronounced as Mr & Mrs.Yacob”  –   J is existent in German, but pronounced as Y..!!

Ok, about the movie………the drab, unassuming hero (college teacher played by Moritz Bleibtreu) believes an imaginary story by the heroine, played by Christiane Paul.  This makes him take a wild odyssey from Hamburg to Istanbul  –  and he does a lot of things for the first time in his life – this helps him in discovering himself and in turn his true love during this journey.     The  interesting part is about the heroine’s habit   –   she takes a vacation with no predetermined destination – the way she explains it……..so impressive…..  “I even went to Afghanistan” ………with a shine in her eye……makes you feel you should start doing it now!!  (I have to keep it in my bucket list!). And, the sites of Istanbul, Hamburg, the journey through Eastern Europe…..nice sites to watch!

I hear that this is one of the unique German movies which is light and romantic!!  Good job by the director, Fatih Akin!  WATCH!!!   🙂 🙂

Pati, Patni and Rs.10,000 scheme!!


I was concerned that I am suddenly aggressive and becoming a feminist  (do you need to be a woman to call yourself  a feminist?)…….reason???Because all these days, I had been proud that I am very objective and look at both sides of the coin for any issue….but two weeks back, this is what happened……

Our house help came that morning as usual  –  but her face was swollen and she told that her husband hit her because she opened a bank account and moved the money from a private chit fund to savings bank account   –   given that she is totally independent financially and runs her household with two kids by her own earning, i found no reason for her to  let her husband manhandle her……..when I asked her why he hit her, I gathered that it is a common phenomenon………….and I got aggressive and told her –  “nodu, Lakshmi…..if he hits you again, just hit him back”….She looked at me and true to her innocence self said ”  he is stronger than me, it is difficult to hit him back”………

I never thought  before I retorted strongly  “take chilli powder and put on his face if he comes to hit you anymore”………..I was fuming…….Later when I relaxed and thought about my advice to her, I was concerned ……….

What happened to me? Did I always have these wild streaks within me?? I was sharing it with my friend saying that I probably have become wild…and not docile as i think of myself.  Was a bit conscious that I was reacting to an input without much thought………..

And a week later,  I was flabbergasted when i read the front page article in newspaper Deccan Herald  Pati, Patni and ten thousand…………..this is about an innovative (!!??)  proposal from a state minister in Andra Pradesh, India……….the proposal is for to establish a reward system  for women if they beat up their abusive husbands……

While it will take lot of effort to implement such an innovative idea and it is for the government officials to handle this,  this news item made me upgrade my concern to worry  –  an AP ruling minister  is thinking like me or vice versa!!…………danger danger………God, save me and my thoughts!!!!!   🙂 🙂

ps –  if you are yet to watch how the south Indian regional movies portray an AP ruling minister, you will need help from someone who does it to understand  why I am worried and reaching out to almighty to save me and my thoughts!!   🙂  🙂 🙂

Cricket Crazy


I almost got used to the fact that Cricket and my 8-year-old are inseparable.   But a recent conversation between us sealed this fact.

“Do you know what I want to become when I become big?”  –  this is how the conversation started.  I continue my house chores and ask absent-mindedly “what?”.   It is not that I am not interested about my kids future plans, but being a veteran parent, I knew by this time that these plans keep changing every summer / fall  and is cyclical.  I have heard things like “I want to be an astronaut” and also something like “ I want to be just a normal father/mother”.

While I heard  “I want to be a cricket umpire!!!”,   I dropped my chores and was surprised. This is something new….given the cricket crazy kid,  I would have expected something like  “I want to become a batsman, leg spinner….”   –  “I want to become an umpire” was a googly to me!!.

So, I asked with bewilderment “ Umpire?  Why?”.

The little one recites “ See, if you are an umpire, you will never get hurt frequently like the players and you can be always be part of cricket matches.  Also, the best position to watch a match is the umpiring position”

I was floored  –  call it Cricket Crazy nation !!!!!   I can vouch that cricket gets into the system of our little ones when they are in the wombs!   🙂 🙂

Milk!


Everyone was in a hurry!  The birthday party is at 7 pm and when it was decided to attend the birthday party, it was already 6.30 pm.  The elder kids (7&8) were all ready…….The little three-year old nephew was so excited that he was running around the house with his toy car and driving it all over!!.

Sister-in-law was busy….-  she was getting things ready for dinner for the elderly folks staying back at home, getting herself ready, packing small things (when you go with three kids on a road for half hour, you will be surprised to know what all they demand  –  especially when we are stuck in the traffic inside a car!)  Suddenly she realized that little one is not interested in finishing his milk.   Being as patient as any mom can get (I admire her for her patience when it comes to little kids!), she was cajoling the little one to finish his milk.   But the time was ticking…………after five minutes of unsuccessful cajoling, she moved to the next mode – little threatening………”See, if you do not finish your milk now,you have to stay back at home with aunty” .

The little one continued to drive his little car on the dining table and with no wink of an eye he answered ”  Why?  Aunty also did not finish her milk?”   🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

Ofcourse, sister-in-law was stunned !!!

Smelly Socks!!


Ok, as the title says……it is actually about the smelly socks!  So, if you are one of those who is really particular about all these hygiene stuff, then probably you may want to skip this post!!

If you are still reading, I am 90% sure that you are not the finicky teenage girl and not even the touchy hygiene conscious parent!!  Probably you are one like me, who can find humor even in a smelly socks situation….what say you?

Here is the smelly story!

Living in an apartment complex has its own advantages, especially if you have kids.   My 7-year-old spends more time in the apartment complex’s common play area than at home over all weekends ……the only reason weekdays are spared is because they got to spend time at school!  Sometimes the time in the play area spans to even to the entire day with a lunch break (while entering home for lunch, the first request is ‘can I go back after lunch to play?).   Sometimes there are multiple flying visits to home accompanied by friends  – they are all default thirsty (can we get water, aunty/uncle?) and unbelievably hungry (the packets of biscuits just disappear in minutes!!).

It was  this Saturday evening  –  almost 7.30 pm.  I had been pretty much lazing around the whole day, establishing that I am relaxing  after a week at office  (actually, it was only 3 days at office  –  Wednesday was Republic day and Thursday I was out sick – bitten by the virus around the city!).  The intercom rings…….and it was the 7-year-old from the play area   “I  left my socks with Aniketh.  I got to go to his house and collect it and then come home”.   I was puzzled.

There is a rule on the house  –  considering the apartment complex is too huge with many blocks and multistoried, we always warn the kids to stick to the common play area on the ground floor  – If they have to visit someone’s house, they need their parents permission.  So, I was irritated that the rule was broken “When did you go to Aniketh’s house?  Why did you go?  You never called to say that you are going to their house?  Did you climb all the steps or you went by the elevator?  You come back home now” .  I just cut the call to show my unhappiness that the rule was broken.

In two minutes, the little one is back home  – he removes his shoes and gets in! Apparently, he had been out almost the whole day – from 10 am in the morning. I can imagine how sweaty it will be by 7.30 pm –  and he has worn the socks in the morning!

I shoot the questions again  –   the entire family gathers to see what is going on …..

  • “Why did you go without telling us?”  
  • “No, I did not go to his house.  I was asking if I can go now to get the socks”
  • ” If you did not go to his house, then…….how did the socks go to their house?”
  • “Aniketh took it to his house…..”
  •  “Why will Aniketh take your socks?”
  • ” Oh, when I was playing football, the socks was troubling me (his way of saying that it was sweaty and sticking to his feet)…So, i removed it. Because my khaki trousers did not have a pocket, I gave it to Aniketh for keeping.  He kept it in his trouser pocket and after we finished our game, he forgot and went home”

By this time my teenager could not stop talking at the same time  –  “you gave the dirty socks to him and he kept it in his trouser pocket and took it home?!! Yuk!!”

The little one was completely puzzled….”If  I keep it out, it will get lost.  So, I gave it to him so that  he can keep it safely!! He is my best friend and he will keep it safely”…..

Now, I was trying to control my laughter……..on one side I have the hygiene conscious teenager and the other side is the little one who is blissfully unaware of why we are doubting his best friend’s ability to safe keep his smelly socks!!

Believe me………..MEN(Boys) are from MARS!!!   🙂 🙂 🙂

Have Fun


It has been a very physically taxing week….the proposed root canal treatment preceded by strong antibiotics literally had pulled all my energy down…I was indeed looking forward for the weekend to rejuvenate! I was almost counting the weekdays, which seem to be passing slooooo….wly.  Finally it was Thursday evening and I was relieved that it is just another day for the weekend.

Then comes running the little one with a bright red card in hand…”Look, what it is! It is the birthday party of my friend on Saturday and I have told them I will come as it is holiday for you “……..I was indeed visibly disappointed that one fourth of my much awaited weekend will be gone in this party….considering that even the family outings were very limited the last couple of weeks, I agreed to go and accompany the little one.

It was the birthday evening…though I was still tired, when we reached the venue and saw the other parents and started chatting, I felt better…I laughed a lot and true to the saying “Laughter is the best medicine” , I felt much better than all of the last couple of weeks!  It was a good three hours and while coming back in the car, the little one was on continuous chatter mode – all thrilled about the return gifts, balloons, how many games they played and who did what, etc, etc.  Then suddenly, when the car was getting parked, comes out the advice to me “I think you should celebrate YOUR birthday like this…you should invite Ani’s parents, Arjun’s parents, Anitha aunty,…….(the list goes on and on including all the parents)…May be, we can do it in FUNCITYitself ”

I was amused by this sudden advice.  I was indeed feeling a bit guilty that we could never celebrate the little one’s birthday this time as promised by me.  But irrespective of that, here comes the advice that I have to celebrate MY birthday!!…I was intrigued and asked “my birthday?!!  It is another six months away!! And why should I celebrate my birthday? Only little children like you celebrate their birthday in FUNCITY. I am too old for these FUNCITY birthday parties!”…….bang came the reply without any hesitation….”Just to HAVE FUN!!…You can laugh and talk like today and can be happy!”…

I was moved – it is just not that the little one has noticed that I have had a good time with other parents in the party, but also wishes me to have much more fun!

Though it is too early an age for the little one to even understand on the fact that he has wished good happiness  for the other  person, i was overwhelmed that it came very natural  –  the thought to see the people around you happy!!

Wanting to see others happy ……..it indeed is a great asset to possess!……..I pray this thought stays with the growing years………..I am sure to see the little one will grow into a wonderful individual in the future!

Have fun!!   🙂   🙂

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