Wednesday, October 17, 2007

How Our Pilot Got Lost

Kingfisher Airlines has this very nifty device installed on the back of every seat. It provides entertainment and information to its passengers, stuff like outside temperature, speed of travel, altitude, ETA, and, a real time map of the route we have traveled.

Sometimes, (like it did yesterday), it backfires.
Here is the most indirect route a plane must have ever taken.
Common sense indicates you fly in a straight line from point A to point B.
Rising Airline fuel prices would make you do the same.
Air Traffic Control makes sure you don't deviate too much from your flight plan.

Our pilot had other plans.

Check out the route we took coming in to Mumbai.

and I thought I was bad at directions!!


Jab My Ears Didn't Pop

So I went on this little business trip to Delhi... flew there and had a cold. A reasonably bad cold, but nothing to worry about, right??

I was very violently introduced to this thing called air pressure (or the lack of it), which started to make itself apparent at about 4600 mts above sea level. INSIDE MY HEAD.
There was just this balloon of air developing between my ears, and it was painful as hell... The most anokha pain I have experienced ever... EXCRUCIATING, anokha pain.

Let me point out at this juncture that this was an airbus... not the kind of bus you can ask to pull over, stop, or slow down, or anything. I was locked in, committed to 45 minutes of descent-induced pain. (evidently my head is more vulnerable to implosion rather than explosion, given the air pressure in my head was lower than outside and my 'cold situation' was preventing the equalisation of the said pressure).

ergo, Please, take it from me, firsthand.
(and no, earbuds, earmuffs do not help)

*at the time of going to screen, the air pressure in the writer's head, and, consequently the hearing had only been restored to 75%

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Post Production Humor

The output of a particularly productive Saturday afternoon...


1) I tried to read your mind, but it was running at 2 fps (*1).
2) You're so thick, you can be classified as HD (*2).
3) What do you call a horny telecine machine? (De)Spirit 4K
4) He used to pleasure himself so much, they made him a shake (*3) artist.
5) He was so dark, our Lustre (*4)broke.
6) Yo Mamma's so fat, we had to change the aspect ratio.
7) Yo' Mamma's so fat, I had to photograph her in landscape mode.
8) Yo' Mamma's so fat, we made her wear green and used her as the chroma (*5) screen.
9) Yo' Mamma's so fat, she couldn't fit on our SAN (*6).
10) Yo' Mamma's so fat, we had to scan her in 8K (*7).


For the uninitiated...
1) fps = frames per second. The normal speed is 24/25 fps depending on the medium.
2) HD = High Density
3) Shake = software/hardware combination to used to add visual effects to a scene.
4) Lustre = grading system used for colour correction.
5) croma = green screen used for vfx shots.
6) SAN = high capacity (some terabytes) hard disks typically used in data intensive workflows.
7) 8K = highest scanning resolution possible today, uses the highest amount of disk space per frame.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

10 Reasons I Can't be Jason Bourne

1) They won't give me so many Visa's.
2) I don't know how to hotwire a car.
3) I can't ride a scooter that well... i'd simply fall off a high speed chase.
4) I can't find the quickest way out of Bandra, let alone NY, Madrid, or Morocco.
5) I don't know any secrets which may cause people to hurt me... Even if i DID know any, i'd forget them in a hurry.
6) I can't keep fighting once my nose is broken.
7) My nose can't mend itself.
8) I can't really walk incognito anwhere... (the Mathur clan has spread so far and wide, wouldn't be surprised if during an on foot chase sequence some kid yells "arre yeh toh Varun bhaiyya thhe.")
9) Mum wouldn't let me forget who I am (Thank God for that)
10) My online footprint is Waaay to large.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Every once in a while, in the course of your work, one comes across something amazing, brilliant and simply awesome.
Luckily, my course of work brings things that are a little more interesting, and pertinent to most people (given that I'm a part of the "entertainment" business)
Either ways, this is one of those bits that make the work all worth it.

"Hum chal rahe hain judaa judaa... par caravan toh ek hai"


Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Vision Twenty20?

Congratulations to 'Team India' for the biggest comeback in recent times.
One look at the frenzy and fever this last week clearly demonstrates the "back to form" nature of our game. People leaving work early, trains empty, streets empty (although the streets went back to being full minutes after the last ball was bowled, in celebration, ie)

But, its not the game that excites me... nor the 'Return of It'. What gets to me is the way the entire machinery is so kicked about this performance. TV channels are happy that their single biggest cash cow, and their big investments in buying rights and setting up telecast is finally paying off... Advertisers want to recover from their World Cup fiasco... Viewers had all but lost hope of deriving any entertainment from the game whatsoever. Twenty20 may well have been the answer to everybody's prayers (or an elegant solution to everybody's problems... depending on which way you see it)

We win one popularised , "Americanised" version of the game, and everybody involved sees a ray of hope. Cricket is back (regardless of the way, shape or form) Its in their own best interest to hype this up even further. Expect all our 'players' to be suitably and overwhelmingly rewarded. Cars, houses, promotions and hard cash...

Heroes, all of them. Heroes of a nation and an economy starved for entertainment. Heroes of brands and corporations who bet big on the game, lost face and faith and then regained it.

Well played Team India!!!

Monday, September 24, 2007


Hyderabad has this very nice little lake. They have boating and everything, and a Buddha statue in the middle of it. Given that I went there like a pucca tourist (sans the camera hanging from my neck, of course) I decided to take the boat ride as well.. followed by one of the finest dinners I have had in recent times. (The Waterfront, on Eat Street, Hussain Sagar Lake)

Loved the city, loved their roads, and loved the lakeside. I hereby aspire to have a bungalow in Banjara Hills.

O Buddha, grant me my aspirations.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Mere 2 Bhai

Theres this thing I say about friends... the ones who come to your party are friends... those who are among the last to leave are the best friends, and the ones who stay over are family...

This one goes out to two o' ma' brothers... (you`ll know who they are, and what they are best at) Figuratively speaking, of course.


Leopold must be very very happy

Couple weeks ago i was mighty kicked about the new Hard Rock Cafe in Mumbai... Awesome ambience, drinks and basically going on about how we all had a nice time (after a long time, too)
Well, last night we did the same at Cafe Leopold's (Colaba Causeway, although if you know me, chances are you will know where this is too)
what made this evening (and the place) special was
i) It was a very dear friends birthday party.
ii) went there (and sat upstairs) after the longest time, brought college rushing back into my head.
iii) Got a load of how much of a Mumbai landmark it has become (see picture above)

Lets see how long it takes for Hard Rock Cafe to get on of those...

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Bad Week for the 'Talkies'

The week starting 31st August was an extremely unusual one, especially for Cinemas, who's staff are very flummoxed and very slightly ruffled at the sorry turnout at all their properties across the city. The reason being the dismal outcome of a whole load of hoopla.
3 films, 2 of them remakes and one of them a much touted, much hyped one... BOMBED.
Makes you wonder (and doubt)... marketing. Does it really work. Coz I know for a fact (and don't ask me how), that a whole lot of people put in a whole lot of effort - and not just educated guesswork - into promoting each of these films.

Audience expectations need to be managed...but CAN they be? What makes you wanna see the film before you actually have? What does one need to tell you so that you go out and buy that ticket? Is not like a diamond ring that you can see, wear, rub against your tshirt, shine, see and wear again before you decide to buy it...

Answers to these questions will come once I become a marketing GURU...(and will be duly posted here) till then, go catch a flick. But wait for the next weekend.


Tuesday, August 21, 2007

The Great Indian Film Industry

Attended my first 'technical screening' for a film today. Which means I get to see the film with its Producer and Director (and not too many others) sitting right there beside me. Who were also, as it were, seeing the film - in its entirety and current form - for the first time. Gee wiz... here I am. feeling all important and everything.

Welcome Mr. Bollywood

Monday, August 13, 2007

Yellow Fever

Da Da Da DaDa Da Da Da Daaa Da


Hmmm... Chocolaate...

Donuts and Duff Beer... if ya STILL don't know what i`m talking about, you deserve this...

The simpson's movie.. watch the trailer here...

and then.. GO AND SEE THE MOVIE.
absolutely hilarious, and a great way to get introduced to the clan...

If You've seen them before, cant see why you haven't seen the film yet.
Go for it guys.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Memoirs of an MBA...

Long, but worth it...

From: UPPU (lets hope this ain't HIS story...doubt if HCL Comnet has anything to do with ball bearings...but one never knows)

July 26
Dear Diary,

I can't hold myself down. My FIRST day on the job!!
And I like it already. "Assistant Junior Deputy to the Vice
Chairman - Manufacturing". My dad was thrilled when he heard my
designation. "What the f!@#!!!" was his exact words. Oh I love it
when my parents are happy...

Need to meet HR in half an hour. I cant wait to get
My first Employee ID Card and cubicle. I hope Parthasarathy
Whatayblouse Crappers is the beginning of great things.

P.S. I have brought my favorite textbooks back from
the insti. OD, OM and HR should help me grow rapidly in the
organization. And I WILL handle soft issues before facing hard issues
here at PWC.

July 28th
Dear Diary,

Had a lot of fun with HR yesterday. The guy who had
recruited me had left a month ago. So they didnt know I was joining.
We had a hearty laugh over that one.

I'll get my cubicle in a few days time. For the time
being I am sharing a nice one with Claire. She's with Corporate
Communication. The phone doesnt work though...

August 2nd
Dear Diary,

Met my boss today. He spend a lot of time with my CV
and then asked me how I managed to get a job with them. (Even he knows
how lucky they are to get me..) He told me to review our material
ordering system in the err... umm... the... the "big yellow and blue
noisy machine section" of the plant.

Claire is working on an "Our Employees Love Us"
campaign. The office boy had just resigned. So she got me to pose with
an apron and a tray of cookies for a photo. They are going to call me
Ramon and use it for ads. I am going to be famous.

August 7th
Dear Diary,

My first breakthrough. I have decided to order
Nickel ball bearings using the EQO.. QEO... whatever formula. It takes
into account item cost, holding cost and weight of ball bearing I
think. The purchase guy gave me a funny look when he saw my annual
requisition contract form. He is obviously not an MBA...

Claire resigned today. She told me carry on with the
"Our Employees Love Us" campaign.

P.S. Lesson for the week. You cannot order 0.7564 of
a ball bearing. It has to be in whole numbers.

August 11th
Dear Diary,

I just got a shipment of 4384 ball bearings. I
Checked up with Engineering. They said that should be enough for
around 14 years of requirement. I gave them 3 and stashed away the rest
in a cupboard in my room. If prices of ball bearings go up, I see a lot
of potential savings.

I have decided to develop informal channels of communication.
From tomorrow I will spend a little time next to the coffee machine
to understand the unspoken messages within the underbelly of the firm.
(That OD book is good)

August 14th
Dear Diary,

I sent my first official letter today. It was to our
Facilities manager Merry Le Bian. She is a hottie. I told her
that the Coffee Machine takes too much time to reheat between
refills. Wrote it in a WAC format and all with a table of contents and
everything. She is sure going to impressed!! I spell checked it in MS
word and emailed it to her an hour ago. No reply yet.

They scrapped the "Our Employees Love Us" campaign. The photo
Shoot was taking up too much time, and people were being
forced to stay late without extra pay. Someone finally went and
vandalised the banner.

It now reads "Our Employers Shove Us". I offered to model
for all the snaps and videos. They called me a dickhead. I was

Dickhead is internal slang for "Big Stud". HR told me.
Everyone calls me that...

P.S. One more shipment of ball bearings came. Again
4384. The contract can't be changed now. I dont have too much space
left in my cupboard.

August 25th
Dear Diary,

My letter came back. It had a pink post-it on it from
Merry. "Please proofread" it said. It was CC'd to my boss. How was
I supposed to know MS Word would spell check her name and change it to
Merry Lesbian????!!!! Where's natural justice?

Today five minutes before a meeting the cupboard
Door broke open. It took me ten minutes to pick up all the ball
bearings from the floor. I had to run to the board room for the
meeting and slipped on a bearing which rolled under the door. I fell on
the coffee machine and tipped coffee powder into the polymer mixing
maching tray. Noone saw anything.

P.S. Sorry for the long break. My computer crashed.
There was a mail from an old friend. She's now married into the
Welchia family I think. Crashed after that. Strange name that

September 2nd
Dear Diary,

My boss told me I may not last the probation period.
I was mighty thrilled to hear that. Imagine!! Permanent in less
than three months!! That should be some sort of company record.

I made a presentation to all the staff yesterday. Some 300 people
were there. I think I sent good vibes. Everyone was smiling and
nodding their heads during the presentation. Someone later
told me my fly was open the whole time. But I don't think anyone
noticed. The presentation was on "An Open Culture: Let the
feeling show!!"

p.s. 17156 ball bearings. I floated a scheme to give
each employee a ball bearing for every year of service. The HR
manager immediately convened a meeting with my boss. Every suggestion
counts here at PWC.

September 4th
Dear Diary,

I have been transferred to the office in Sub-Saharan
Africa. I will be heading the Room Heater and Hot Water Geyser
products division.

They have also told me to pay for all the ball bearings I
bought. I think it speaks much of the entrepreneurial spirit. I have
been told to leave immediately for Kujumbinana.

P.S. A foreign posting in under a year!!!

September 5th
Dear Diary,

I am in Kujumbinana. We don't have a branch


"A career is a wonderful thing, but you can't snuggle up to it on a cold night."

Saturday, August 11, 2007

One Night at the Hard Rock Cafe

Hard Rock Cafe (funny, I always thought I'd need a passport to go to one), till they opened one right here in my city.
Nevertheless, it took me a good six months to actually visit it, and I regretted it (taking that long to go there).

Fell in love with the place the minute I set foot in it. (and loved it more the minute I stepped out, but more on that later)

Don't know what it was, but the ambience, music, crowd and the overall look and feel is sooo different from anything else I have seen - not that I have seen much - but what clinched it was the eternally heady mix of alcohol and old friends.

Thouroughly recommended, and no, they haven't paid me to write this post. (although a few gift vouchers WOULD be welcome)

Hard Rock Cafe... anybody listening??

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Of Shy Exhibitionism

I was trying to convince a friend to give me the URL to her blog... She refused...
Now whats wrong with this picture?
EVERYTHING, if I am asked (which is just about never, ergo - this blog)...the whole point of a blog is that you put up your knowledge, thoughts, feelings, emotions (and sometimes just cold logic) for the whole world to see. Why else would you post something that is so easily accessible to just about everybody who wants to go there... no passwords, no permissions and no restrictions to reading what's on.

Answer: Its a bit of a rush knowing that people you don't even know exist, can see whats up in your life, and have a look what you think is important and pertinent.
The problem, I guess, arises when people who you DO know... albeit vaguely, have access to that little piece of info... The one's who are close won't do anything about your personal ramblings... and the one's who aren't... CAN'T... Its the ones that fall in the middle who are the problem.

Here comes life's little paradoxes...

PS: i DID manage to get the aforementioned blog URL at the time of going to print of this post...


Tuesday, August 7, 2007

"Available" vs "Appear Offline"

Instant messaging is allowed on our office network. Agreed ours is one of the more liberal offices around (they have only just resorted to limiting one`s net connection, and that too not on the manager's network) ergo, Orkut, Gmail, Google Talk, MSN, Yahoo, Skype ... you name it, we can run it. No proxies, no web messengers, no trickery required.

Such easy access makes you wonder, isn't it great for the people you work with to have you accessible realtime, and yet with the option of shutting them out... conditional privacy.

So far as I can say, work is so much easier when people are in touch constantly... my gtalk is like a hotline to me. AND I can shut it off..AND  I can choose to ignore it...AND it is unobtrusive...(unlike my cell phone) All you need is the discipline to stay away from those frivolous chat sessions all the time (personally, I think a little bit of it here and there makes for a decent break)

To read more on it... see the WSJ's article on IM @ the workplace.


"A career is a wonderful thing, but you can't snuggle up to it on a cold night."

Saturday, August 4, 2007

What's YOUR Story

...thats the tagline for our current brand assignment : Filmaka

Made me wonder
what IS a story?

I did find out.. in fairly succinct terms, by way of an item in my inbox. here's the lowdown (courtesy of Copyblogger)

Storytelling reveals meaning without committing the error of defining it.
~Hannah Arendt

Storytelling is the most powerful way to put ideas into the world today.
~Robert McKee

It’s all storytelling, you know. That’s what journalism is all about.
~Tom Brokaw

If you tell me, it’s an essay. If you show me, it’s a story.
~Barbara Greene

Don’t say the old lady screamed—bring her on and let her scream.
~Mark Twain

It’s not the college degree that makes a writer. The great thing is to have a story to tell.
~Polly Adler

A song ain’t nothin’ in the world but a story just wrote with music to it.
~Hank Williams, Sr.

Stories are the single most powerful weapon in a leader’s arsenal.
~Howard Gardner, Harvard University

Stories tell us of what we already knew and forgot, and remind us of what we haven’t yet imagined.
~Anne Watson

You have to understand, my dears, that the shortest distance between truth and a human being is a story.
~Anthony de Mello

Small Car VS BIG Car Part 2

(ref. to part 1)

Here's what happens when small car FORGETS to stop in its tracks...

Green as Never Seen

Took the bus to Pune yesterday. Came back with the colour green imprinted on my cornea. There was so much of it. (when you could see through the fog, ie. )
Just like a walk, er, drive in the clouds.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Small Car vs BIG Car

Theres a Hummer in my building.. all bright and yellow.
Stopped in my tracks the first time I saw it (and the second, and the third, and so on) Now usually, I`m not a fan of the Behemoth automobiles. but what do you do if you see a mini-behemoth (this one's a baby hummer - an H3)

you guessed it... YOU STOP IN YOUR TRACKS
Absolutely stunning.

PS - Like with any other thing beautiful out there (including most women I know), I haven't been able to touch it yet. Just couldn't get myself to do it.

The Blogging Apple

Time to bite the blogging apple (and a couple of plums to boot) yet again. This here is my THIRD attempt at blogging... and consequently my third attempt at being regular at anything.

lessee how this one goes. me, no hopes from this one either...


PS: This time I am assisted by my trusty (and extremely capable) SE W810i. So expect a whole lot of pictures and comments on them.