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Thursday, April 30, 2009

SRK may dump KKR

Well there have been talks of Shah Rukh Khan dumping the letter Kolkata from his team name – Kolkata knight riders, but dumping the team in its enterity – that no one expected.

According to a news article in Business Standard,

After dropping "Kolkata" from Indian Premier League team (IPL) Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), actor Shah Rukh Khan has started discussions with Nokia, Sahara, the Anil Ambani group, and several other companies to sell the team he bought just over a year ago for Rs 300 crore, and exit the business.

 

Shah Rukh could have easily sold a stake in the team, but that would come at the cost of sacrifice of part management control. Well, did not expect this romance to end so soon – afterall Shah Rukh's team garnered the highest profit last year (only one of the two profit making team, the other being the champions RR)

Now what could be the reason behind this motive?

TIME – It does take a lot of time on Shah Rukh's part to keep the team running, and everyone knows how much money he would be making if this time is spent on making films and ads.

PERFORMANCE – The sad performance of the team in this edition, and the final nail in the coffin being the loss with RCB – the clash of the titans, battle for the last position.

MONEY – Selling off the team right now, for the next edition, and if no fresh teams are issued would lead to huge valuations and thus a very high ROI in a short span.

HASSLES – the frequent tiffs with the Kolkata municipal corporation, Kolkata police and this new issue with the Fake IPL Blog.

Whatever be the reason – KKR was associated with SRK, and had developed a brand identity with King Khan. It would be interesting to see how the team develops after SRK, well that is if it happens!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Mouse to bell the CAT - Online

There was this time, not many years ago when computers were something alien to the Indian students. Now it has become more of a necessity everywhere. I for one have got totally addicted to this case. Early morning, the first thing that pinches me is checking mail, reader, twitter etc..You probably can't do an MBA without a laptop. Projects, presentations, work... Everything is done on this wonderful machine. Thank you Bill gates, for Microsoft office.

Now even the entrance to this exam is going online from this year, according to a release by IIM, Bangalore.

Hundreds of thousands of students aspiring to get into the prestigious Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) will now be answering the Common Admission Test (CAT) online from this year onwards.

The CAT, scores in which decide admission to the IIMs located in Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Kolkata, Indore, Kozhikode, Lucknow and Shillong, will now be a Computer Based Test (CBT), said a statement issued by IIM-Bangalore on Monday.

This has been in news of late for some time now and the main reason is the exponentially increasing number of applicants.

While about 95,000 candidates took the CAT in 2003, the number rose to about 250,000 in 2008, indicating a whopping 163 percent rise.

According to the IIMs, this has resulted in severe strain on the administrative system of the institutes to conduct the CAT in its existing format.

Some people have raised concerns about the security of the test, which I am sure the CAT admissions committee would look into in detail and ensure all the process before going ahead. Outsourcing it to a third party is nice, but it would be held over a span of days. This has some issues, for one I believe the performance on that particular day, in those particular 3hrs is very crucial, and that very largely depends on the questions coming in.

I hope the committee ensures that everyone gets the same type of questions, and thus ensure fairness. This is far more crucial here as the scoring pattern of Cat has always been relative. 99 percentile meant you are in the top on percent of the applicants and nothing about your score. So maybe, a GMAT type score, say from 1000, would be a better metric, and take the Indian MBA system a little closer to the foreign B schools. (Not saying that they follow the best process, but an online test with different questions for different people has to be scored, and not compared).

What does this shift mean to the aspirant?

Rules would no doubt change. A slightly different skill set would be required, but of course the deserving student would still score. It is like a shift of cricket from one days to T20's – you still need to know cricket, but just adapt well to the new format. Of course, every deserving MBA from IIM should have this adaptability and ease of change, which is very essential in the current business environment.

What does this mean to the coaching insti's?

They need to setup computer labs or setup online systems to enable the students to practice tests. Also everyone is in complete confusion as to what exactly would be the pattern. Will rough sheets be given to work? Will the questions paper come all at once, or would it be question by question? How difficult it is to read the passages on the computer screen without the facility to highlight or underline the key words?

More on the topic in upcoming posts

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The Big fat Indian Wedding

I am just back from Hotel Green Park, with Dad. Well, my general trips to this hotel are to its bar (obviously) – The one plus one offer on beers is simply irresistible. Oh! Gawd! How I love beer. But well, the thing that I was back with dad might have given you a hint – the visit tonight was not to the bar. A family friends son was salvaged off today and it was his reception (He got married!).

Now there is something about this Indian wedding that you simply can't get in any part of the world. First thing – The marriage itself lasts so long that one can't forget it ever. 3 long days of rituals, a weeklong festivities, and preparations from a long time. I heard the lady (Bridegroom's mother) was on her shopping visits right since January, i.e. she had exhausted all her options in Vizag till then. Vijayawada, Hyderabad, Delhi, Mumbai – Shopping across four cities all by her. Now add another dozen cities from where she had asked many acquaintances to shop on her behalf (How much money do they blow up for this one ritual, er! Well, 3 day ritual). Now you know why the divorce rate in this country is so low, and people thought it has something to do with the culture, society, bringing up, blah! Blah!

Well, coming back to this wedding. The festivities started last week sometime, and the rituals as far as I know, started on Saturday (could be before that too). The one on Saturday was open to a little distant family. This is a good measure, if you want to check your relationship status with a particular family. The function that you are invited to says it all – your distance from the groom's, or bride's family.

I somehow get too lonely at these parties, and prefer not attending them. Well, this is the reason I give to mom for not attending these parties. I would not really get lonely as I don't mind approaching the weirdest of the strangers at the most obscure place, and chat up with them. The real reason I try avoiding these weddings is the constant look by over sized aunties. These get-togethers are typical venues for matchmaking. One couple being blessed and other couples being initiated. Any guy, or girl, above the age of 22 would fall in the eyes of these aunties. The normal chat between two aunties, say heavy auntie (HA), and the pompous Auntie (PA) would be like

"So how have you been? The earings look really pretty", says the HA, smirking in mind "her husband must surely be in illegal activities"

"Oh, thank you so much. Even yours are nice." The PA would reply trying to return the compliment, though celebrating her joy that she could make someone jealous with that costly allurement.

"hey, by the way. See that guy there", the PA would ask HA

"Come on, look at your age. You are still seeing young guys like this. Look at that pot bellied guy there", the HA chuckles.

"Ah! I was wondering whose son he is. Remember my sister's husband's third cousin's daughter?"

"I was wondering what a wonderful couple they would make", the PA remarks, still staring at the guy and trying to find out who the innocently standing guy's mom is.

There one more couple in the process of being formed. I am sure the next SRK starrer from yash raj's studio would be "Auntie ne bana di Jodi"

Now you know why I hate attending weddings, or such social family get-togethers. Too risky. I don't want myself to be the centre of talk for all aunties, and nor do I want my mom to handle them trying to reject the offer, in the most polite manner.

Yesterday though was different, and the bridegroom being the son of one of my mom's good friend, I had to attend the wedding. Thankfully I had my brother for company. I am sure he must be cribbing about it, as he had to stand with me all night, and not with his friends of the opposite gender. Now staying out of vizag for two years, does deluge one of all access to beautiful women. Many of the ones you know are themselves out of vizag – studying, working or otherwise. Some have shifted base with their families, etc. and a good healthy number of girls you could have very easily dated have got married in the last two years. So now you are left with girls too young, which your brother claims as his domain. SINGLE.

One more funny thing at these Indian weddings, or social gatherings. People like alcohol, non vegetarian but the host refuses. Nah! It is a wedding, a holy day, so - no chicken, no alcohol. Ah! Crap! It is not Lord Shiva getting married, in whose case too I don't see any reason to refrain from chicken. We Indians anyways don't consume much of pork to be afraid of the swine flu. My brother and I were very tempted to escape to ESCAPE – the in house bar, but had to restrain ourselves.

Sitting near the dinner spread in a buffet style I did happen to hear an interesting conversation between two elderly pot bellied men.

My positioning near the dinner has nothing to do with my interest in food, it was rather the perfect angle to a hot chik sitting opposite with a guy.

Was he her husband?

Nah! She looks too young to be married.

Her boyfriend?

Nah! Indian tradition, you don't get your boyfriend to family outing.

Must be her brother for sure.

But then why are they holding hands and chuckling so lovingly?

Chill! Botherly love.

Coming back to the eavesdropped talk. One guy slams to the other, "damn these people. I gave a full 200 rupees gift and this is what they serve. It was not a paisa wasool party for me". The other guy, with lots of hair all across his heavily built body, trying hard to stuff all the tawa sabji in his mouth, speaks difficulty," yes, I expected this, and that is the reason I brought along my wife, my 2 kids and also 3 of my nephews. My brother was not available so he had to miss the party" the fry brinjal still hanging out of his mouth. I hope he is now satisfied that his 200 rupees was a good investment.

One the whole, it was a wonderful evening, and it has only strengthened my decision to avoid all such parties. I don't want to wasool all the gift money that my parents would give. Also, it was a very heavy compromise to do with the beer party with friends. Nothing like beer!
"Congratulations! Wish you a happy married life". Thud.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Early Morning Jog

Surprisingly woke up at 5Am today morning. Well, seeing my recent track record that is like a full minimum 6 hours early than my normal up time. APTRANSCO to blame. How can they even think of having a power cut from 4AM in the morning? Tough time it was with the mosquitoes.

So at about 5AM, I woke up and decided to go for a jog. I wanted Mom and Dad to be awake and if possible go out with dad himself, who has been a regular since more than 30 years. 6AMM, mom wakes up, and I get ready and all set, and the power is back. Mom asks if I am still interested or was I going back to sleep. NO! Today it has to be. From many months now, I have just kept procrastinating.

This interest or rather fascination with jogging started somewhere in the first year at L, when Tanuj proposed that we better jog to keep fit. I agreed, and set out for a day or two and that too in the evening, as morning was for sleep. Poor guy! He agreed to all my tantrums, and what did he have to bear? A jog just for a little more than 150mts. After reaching the director's bungalow, I just kept admiring its architectural beauty and insisted that w e rather walk. Jogging is painful. (I still don't understand how I completed two complete rounds of the campus, each being 2.7KM, initially during induction under the name of "Health Run").

He got fed up and there ended my tryst with jogging in just two days. Somewhere during December 2007, me and Tanuj again planned that from the next year we should be more fitness conscious, and should go for a jog and also gym. One of the countless New Year resolutions that each of us make. We started ambitiously on jan 2nd, as jan 1st was spent in deep slumber and hangover after the 31st night party. The real reason for Tanuj to get attracted towards jogging was his hanging pot belly (tondu). We again kept the promise and it went on, again for two days. Tanuj gave up (Nah not jogging!), he gave up making plans to jog with me.

Now two months of intern gave me lots of time, and I actually thought about it once in Cochin where I had ample time all to myself. The pristine marine drive, so much similar to the Vizag beach, and also the fact that my hotel was at walk able distance from the beach actually inspired me walk the line. But, well again someone to blame - My new Reliance netconnect kept me occupied all night, extending up to the time when people generally jog. So there went two beautiful months across the country.

Second year beginning. Here it is worthwhile to say that those in academic life have two beginnings for a year. One in January, and the other in june. We see lots of resolutions being made by everyone in January, and the same continues with the acad-related junta in june too. So here in june 2008, at the beginning of my second year, I had made many resolutions to myself, and one among them happened to be Jogging. Alas! It did not even have a start this time, forget the two days! That is the reason it is said, whenever you make a resolution (or a commitment), do announce it to a couple of your friends, so that you are forced to abide it for sometime atleast. Now you know why marriages are announced to everyone?

My MBA life of two years can clearly be classified as life before PPO and life after PPO. So in November, after getting the PPO, I was all relaxed. No more placements, no more tensions, I just had to pass through to make it. I decided one fine morning in november, "okay, enough of partying and drowning (you know in what?), I should now think seriously about my fitness. I should go for a jog every morning. Alas! This time agin I just promised this to myself, and as expected it did not see the light of the day.. er! Morning.

I was too engrossed in partying and other sinful activities at the beginning of the year 2009, to be making any resolutions. So no jogging. Yeah, sometime in march I decided once I am back home, I would make use of the long holiday and go for a jog every morning, and to the gym every evening. It has been a month now that I am home, and today was my first morning for a jog. "Delhi 6 loaded on my N72, and running across on the pavement beachside – nothing like it. I am not sure, how long it is going to take to start hitting the gym. Soon, hopefully!

Kill the lazy bugger, where the hell is he?

Tailpiece:

This thing about the fakeiplplayer is making rounds in this season of IPL. SRK is haunted. Do visit it for more dope!

Friday, April 17, 2009

My left INDEX finger is marked!

For the past many weeks we have been hearing stuff on elections – the biggest reality show of India, staged once in five years. This year, due to ample time at my disposal, and interest, I have been following the elections quite closely. In spite of this I have not really felt the urge to vote!

Early morning today, mom woke me up to close the door as mom and dad both were leaving to vote. What? So early in the morning? It is only 8AM!, and it is a special holiday. Well, I just dragged my feet to the door, closed it and slept back.

Watching TV later, me and Dad were discussing the political situation prevalent in the state in particular and the country in general. I was cribbing that the voting process is not online, to allow me to vote at a click. My dad tried hard explaining me the importance of voting, but I stuck to my stance – Why should I take all the pain, stand in a queue, fight the scorching heat amidst heated arguments, and in the end probably find that my name is not there. Even if my name is there, why should I actually take all that pain?

Mom was infuriated as she had to walk back home twice and waste about an hour and in spite of that was not able to vote, as her name went missing from the voters list. I was in no mood to spoil my mood, so why get in at all? Ignore. Who cares? Dad tried hard, and this actually convinced my brother who went out to vote, but the lazy bugger in me was more dominant.

My brother informed me that my7 name was actually there, and I could vote just carrying some identity proof. I thought why not, and set out. I first had a smoke and then after collecting my voter slip went to the polling booth. It was 3:50PM, and the guard there was trying to push me off saying time is over. I had to argue and get into a verbal duel with him explaining him that it is not yet 4PM, and it is his duty to allow everyone till 4, and then shut the doors.

Also this time over, I have observed many people propagating the right to vote. More than the calls for exercising "my franchise to X party", more publicity has been given to the basic right – "call to exercise the voting right". The right to adult suffrage.

"This could be the defining election of our lives."
"Voting is your right and responsibility."
"Vote as if your life depended on it."

You've probably heard all these slogans. Most likely you've seen the political ads and maybe even watched the conventions. So, what's the urgency about; why does voting matter? It's easy to get cynical about voting, especially in national elections where many have been faced with barriers to voting, had their votes discounted or simply haven't found a candidate who speaks to them or their issues.

We have been hearing of sites like letsvote.in, which has been running campaigns all across the country in many innovative ways and using the latest technology. The silent march they held in vizag is a case in hand that I was witness to. Huge hoardings across the city telling everyone about the silent march, and then conducting it peacefully without any noise in spite of the turnout being more than fifty thousand people. Their tie up with a leading online apparel retailer to sell their logo tees is also a case in hand – going the corporate professional way in promoting their cause at little or no cost at all.

One more similar site, though with a funny overtone is BleedIndia.com. It has a funny character PAAPu RAJ very cleverly saying what they want to say. The front head tagline – "No tension. Why vote in election?" is again a very catchy tagline to catch the eye of the reader. An example of their funny antics to get across their point -

Meet our Candidate: PappuRaj, of the esteemed 'Bleed India' party. Read about his manifesto, his beliefs, and his agenda

With funny questions like the below, they prove and make everyone think the terror we would be under just because we don't vote.

This is where your Vote counts!

Who Has Bled India More?
a) Moral Police b) Chor Police

What Is a bigger threat to India?
a) Valentines Day
b) The Recession

The TATA's can never be far for any public service. Janaagraha, linked with industrial conglomerate Tata has been running a campaign that berated youngsters with this slogan: "If you are not voting, you are asleep." Janaagraha's Web site has received millions of hits, and has helped 500,000 Indians register as new voters.

An average youth feels like, "come on! It does not affect me. Why should I vote?". " I rather go on a date with my girl, or sleep maybe!". The message cuts it well, "dude, you not safe with your girl in the presence of the Rama Sene's of the country!"

Now the issue – why are these campaigns so much important this time over. The 180 million people under 35 who are going to vote this year, and the 43 million of them who will be first-time voters. A huge number, and if they are to vote this year and every season that comes as a responsible citizen, this is the best time to educate them of their responsibility.

I was the last person in the queue, and thus the last person at the polling booth to exercise my right. Yes, I have just returned back from the polling booth, exercising my franchise, and smearing my left index finger.

Tail piece:

One more thing that seems to be in fashion this season is "hurling of footwear on leaders". The latest victim being our own Prime Minister wannabe – L.K. Advani.

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Prime Ministerial candidate Lal Krishna Advani became the latest 'slipper' gate target on Thursday. Pawan Agarwal, a BJP worker, threw a slipper at Advani on Thursday.

Earlier, a retired school principal had thrown a shoe at Congress MP Navin Jindal in Kurukshetra.

In a similar incident, an agitated Dainik Jagran journalist Jarnail Singh threw a shoe at Union Home Minister, P Chidambaram during a press conference at the Congress headquarters in Delhi.

Last December, Muntadhar al-Zaidi, an Iraqi journalist with Egypt-based al-Baghdadia television network, had thrown his shoes at former President George W Bush during a news conference in Baghdad.

Well, when will our habit and obsessiveness with everything western change? Change – See, even I am forced to use the slogan word of Obama's Campaign!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Movie time.. April 2009

These times of full vela time is the right time to fulfil all the backlog work that has been pending since long. And well, what better than view all the movies that I always wanted to watch.

Right from the first year at L, many of my friends have been hooked to TV series and somehow I have maintained distance from them. But not anymore. I have completed the first season of Heroes and am presently watching the first season of Two and a half men. The 1TB hard disk that I recently bought is loaded up with all TV series available on the LAN. I hope these holidays be fruitful!!

Now, as is generally do, for the benefit of my readers – a brief review of all the movies and TV series I have seen of late. You can find a similar post here.

MOVIE REVIEWS

  • Yes Man: Jim Carrey. You can't beat the guy. I would not say this is one of his better movies, but well, watchable. It is about a guy who decides to say YES to everything. Rating: 7/10


 

  • Milk: The Oscar nominated movie about a true story. The story of Harvey Milk, and his struggles as an American gay activist who fought for gay rights and became California's first openly gay elected official. Very well made movie. Must-see. Rating: 9.5/10


 

  • Jumbo: Totally ignore. I saw this movie thinking Akshay kumar would have added something watchable in it. But NO. It was a complete wastage of time. Rating: 1/10


 

  • In Bruges: Again a wonderfully made movie about two people and their escapades to Bruges, Belgium. Two men are caught up in this beautiful European city and explore themselves. Bruges is shown so beautifully that it actually tempted me to book my tickets. I wonder if the tourism board has something to do with the film! Rating: 9/10


 

  • All the president's men: Old Classic. I was waiting for Richard/Nixon to be downloaded on DC, and found this movie to be very similar theme wise. About the Watergate scandal that hit the US in 1976, and the quest of two reporters to unleash the mystery behind it. Rating: 9/10


 

  • The snow Walker: One of my friends suggested me this one. It is a well shot movie about a pilot and his passenger who get holed up in a deserted land and their survival instincts. In spite of the two not knowing a common language how well they commute to each other and live on is shown wonderfully. Rating: 8/10


 

  • Idiocracy: A crazy movie for one of those evenings when you just feel lazy and wanna have beer all alone. Switch on this movie, have a tub of popcorn ready in your hand and a couple of bottles of beer ready. It is about the future land where it is shown that the Human race become very dumb and stupid, and the travails of a guy from the present in this idiotic future. Rating: 6.5/10


 

  • Jugaad: Completely forgettable. The name of the movie attracted me towards it, but well Manoj Bajpai still needs to learn the art of selecting movies. Rating: 2/10 (only for the title!)


 

  • Billu Barber: It has Shahrukh Khan, so it has to be good. But well, if Rajnikanth could not support the story what can SRK do, in spite of Deepika, Kareena, Priyanka, lara? Nevertheless, the songs were good, and it had SRK. So watchable once. Irrfan Khan also did a commendable job, and he is the main protagonist actually. SRK is only for the glamour quotient. Rating: 6.5/10


 

  • Nick and Norah's infinite playlist: Want to see a movie with your date. This one could be your pic. Pretty well made about teenage romance, and the subtleties involved when a girl asks a guy out for five minutes. Rating: 7/10


     

TV Series

  • Heroes Season 1: It is about the extraordinary powers vested in some of the humans. They are the Heroes. The cheerleader, Peter petrieli, the painter, Nakamura, etc.. and SYLAR who by profession is a clockmaker, and turns into the bad man ripping apart the skulls of these heroes to configure his own head and gain access to those powers. It also has an Indian character – Dr. Suresh, who is not a Hero in himself but helps the others to discover themselves. The season 1 was all about how everyone discovers their powers, and how Sylar is stopped from exploding the terrible bomb.


     

  • Two and a Half Men Season 1: Charlie and Alan are brothers, and Jack is Alan's son who all start staying together in Charlie's beach house. These make up the two and a half men. We also have Rose – the stalker, Charlie and Alan's mom, Judith – Alan's exwife, and some more characters. It is a fun sitcom on the similar lilnes of friends but with a different theme.


     

Now you know what has kept me occupied all these days. I have seen some more, but I have this policy of just updating 10 movies at once, so keep waiting for the next dose when I complete my quota of 10 movies.


 


 

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Of Chocolates, votes and Nano

Life has got back to the normal human being timings, and I am finding it hard to get back to normalcy. Two years of MBA does change a person a lot. I have been home from since two odd weeks, and have literally done nothing. In spite of my ideas and various desires, I have managed to be too lazy to initiate any of the plans I had meticulously discussed and bored my friends with.

I turned 24 on Sunday, the 5th of april. Shhh! I am not all that old, that is just the biological sign – the "how old are you" quiz on facebook has declared me a lot younger than that. Mom had planned a langar at the gurudwara, and I was busy in the nitty gritties of organizing it, the whole of last week. Sunday turned out to be a good day, and I even adorned the Lucknowi kurta pyzama I had bought from Lucknow. My brother commented that I looked more like a politician than a chocolate seller wearing that. Chocolate seller – that is how I would be referred to in a few months, and am already seen as one even now. For those who try staying away from this pleasure of chocolate munching due to calorie consciousness, and don't allow me my Lamborghinis, please jump into the fray.

Finally, chocolate is no longer a guilty pleasure. Le Whif, which just launched yesterday, combines chocolate and aerosol science with their zero calorie chocolate inhalers.

Beginning in the spring of 2008 as part of a culinary art experiment executed by Harvard professor David Edwards and his students, the innovative concept moves "eating habits to their logical conclusion." While we've yet to actually try the chocolate, we're sure this will spark a new culinary craze and lead to even more gastronomic experiments.

There are these new chocolate inhalers which would enhance your mood curves, while ensuring that it does not increase your curves at the wrong places. Anyways, moving from chocolates to elections - maybe I should give this alternate profession a serious try. What with so many well educated people jumping in the bandwagon. Now, I sincerely hope India is steered ahead to a glorious future under the able aegis of these talented people.

Talking of election, cases of giving incentives – mainly cash and alcohol for votes has dominated the newspapers for the last few weeks. There were reports of huge cash being found in cars, alcohol being distributed to lure the innocent voters, and even bus tickets being given to the junta for their travel to the meeting venue. This news report from Bangalore beats them all – distributing VIAGRA for votes.

Politics in Thailand and buying votes are nothing new, but creative ways to garner favor among the populace is a challenge for even the most resourceful candidates.

In lieu of cash, one Bangkok candidate in a recent election allegedly handed out Viagra tablets.

Wow! Now this is what I call thinking out of the box. What do animals need the most? Sex? Give them that, and they are on your side. This snippet which once again proves the importance we give to the libido – "In cricket, guards were first used in 1874, and head helmets were used for the first time in 1974. It took 100 years for people to realize that brains are also important."

I have been commuting the streets of Vizag on my dad's active. I should say, for every trip anywhere, I have to compulsorily make a trip to the mechanic shop which the bike so loves. It always forces me at odd hours to pay him a visit. For example, a couple of days back Baka had come down from Lucknow. On his way to his home place – aruku, he halted here for a night. We hanged out in the evening, ate Biryani in the night, and then after watching a movie till 3AM, I had to drop him to the bus station at 4AM.

We set out on my active, and with lots of difficulty reached the bus stand fine. On my way back, the accelerator wire just got snapped. I tries all m y mechanical brains to fix it back or atleast set it for a make use to reach home – but no avail. It was 4:30AM in the morning, and I was at a a calm residential area. There was no chance of any public transport in the vicinity, and my home was still 2KM far away.

I called up my brother who, very sweetly, did agree to come down to pick me up at this unearthly hour. I stand there in the residential area trying to look away from the street dogs who stare very dangerously at me. I get a call from him. "Dude, I am all ready to come, but you have locked the door from outside, and the keys are with you!" my brother says. Oh my Gawd! Now I can't help it. My brother does not have the spiderman powers to glide down the second floor. I have no other option but to leave the bike there in the open, or to push it through for the 2KM, and drag it home. I preferred the latter option for its safety. This shows how much I love the active, but the infidel that it is – it loves the mechanic shop more than me.

I adhered to its demands, and took it to the mechanic shop first thing in the morning, and also paid 100 rupees for its courtship. It worked well, and listened to me obediently, for one day, but made the desire for another date the next day itself. I again had to bend down to its demands – what other option do I have?

Yes, it is old and does require companionship at this age. But well, I am in no way interested to be its escort every time. So, I am planning to sell it off to someone who would be more than happy to foster its courtship. At the same time, I do need a personal mode of transport. What do I go for? The newly launched NANO??

Should say, Ratan Tata and his team have proven to be the best marketers of the year by generating the maximum interest in this vehicle and making NANO a word of common parlance before even launching it. Unfortunately, the Nano would hit the roads only after july and for this part of the country it sure would take much more time. I rather go for a second hand "nameless car" – The Maruti 800. Or, as dad suggests, stick again to the good old Activa – maybe a new one!!!

p.s.: Will AIRTEL please realize that I no more reside in UP, and I am not interested in its "Namaskar, airtel aapke liye laye hai… "Dude, I am on roaming and even these pre recorded tele marketing calls are being charged. DNC registry!!!