Saturday, September 17, 2011

Psychology applied to U-turn

Lets say you are at a road which has U turn 1 km away.  

Consider 2 scenarios 

Scenario1: The place you would like to reach is almost 1 Km away, just before the U turn. 
Scenario2: The place you would like to reach is 200m away

Assuming that you have to return to the place you started, how would you react in these 2 cases.  

It is likely that you would be happy off in Scenario1 than Scenario2. Why?

The distance traveled is same in both the cases. Maybe people feel that in Scenario2, traveling additional 800m (to & fro) is not productive - involves additional fuel, time. Of course, in Scenario2, you would not feel that the shop is far and thus you need to travel further 800m. 

Surprising how human psychology works

Friday, September 16, 2011

Back to blogging

Been years I have posted anything on my blog. Hope to keep it regular this time. Lets see how it goes!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

My Icebreaker speech at Toastmasters

This town has holy places like Vemulawada, Dharmapuri and Kaleshwaram. Kaleshwaram is the meeting point of river Godavari and Pranahita. Do you know which town from AP I am talking about?

I will give you a clue: Do you know where PV Narsimha Rao is from?

It also has an NTPC which is considered one of the best thermal power stations in India.

Well. I am talking about my hometown, Karimnagar which is 165 Kilometers from Hyderabad.

I was born in a middle class family. My dad is a Bank officer and Mom a teacher. I am the eldest of the 3 brothers. I did my schooling in Karimnagar till Xth. I never realized when I got to finish the school and went on to college. My best days at school were in 9th and 10th standard when I used to bunk all post lunch sessions on Thursday to watch movies. Whenever there was a cricket match, I used to team with my Best friend and device innovative plans to bunk school. Be it onions to increase our body temperature or giving birth to crazy household functions. We used to call Sundays as S Square (Sensational Sundays). Sundays used to be time for playing cricket, trips to nearby forts, long rides on bicycles, slow cycling competitions. My inspiration from my childhood has been my younger brother, who is a genius at anything he does and knew what exactly he wants from life. He used to participate in many competitions and we used to enjoy getting up early morning to discuss on the same.

I did my management course from BITS Pilani. My graduation at BITS has been wonderful experience. BITS was a cosmopolitan place with a mix of different cultures. BITS had extreme weather conditions. In summer, going out in sun literally burns your skin. And winter used to be so cold that our 8 AM tests had us rubbing hands together to hold the pen. It was amazing to be there with thousands of students spending so much time with each other. With attendance not being compulsory, it used to be absolute fun spending all the time watching TV, playing cricket or playing carom. I was lucky to have known Anand, my classmate at BITS who with his exceptional leadership & inter personal skills has been a source of inspiration till date. I used to be in awe of his visionary thoughts. I could improve myself a lot with his company.

As it is said all good things had to come to an end and I had to start working. Eventhough, I still am pretty thankful for the experience I received at CTS but after a year I was craving for doing and trying something different. At such time, Anand, my BITSian friend rang me up one morning and sounded me off about starting our own company. Frankly, I was scared of leaving my cushy, well paying job with loads of onsite opportunities and starting something which needed huge amount of responsibility and loads of commitment. I had thought about this for weeks, discussed with my family and other close friends. It took about a month to make up my mind and take the decision. I decided to work for myself and work with friends. I was also fortunate that my Parents and my Brother were very supportive of this endeavor.

Though I am not one to read lot of books, a very good friend of mine gifted me “The Alchemist” by Paul Cohelo when I was about to start the company. I loved the book and the message in that book to follow dreams. It made things easier for me during the initial days of our company. I always keep this book in my desk.
Thus we started our entrepreneurial venture, PennyWise Solutions in 2003. As Bootstrappers, we had our teething problems. I can never forget the times when we used to clean the hired computers on a daily basis, have food at Greenlands at 2 AM after 2 continuous night outs. I can still feel the pain when our important resources we had trained for months together left us during project delivery. But what maybe favored our setup was the inherent bonding all of us had. From being a programmer in CTS, to being Vice President of a company looking after its operations, interacting with the clients and executing the projects, it has been learning all the way. I believe wouldn’t have got this kind of exposure and experience anywhere.

There have been difficult times in these years, times of joy and moments of pain. It was difficult to venture into this and even more difficult to continue with this when all our friends were making handsome money and driving in cars while we were slogging in our office. Sometimes it was so difficult that some of us at different points have even thought about quitting. But then we got together and stuck ourselves well. Now we are in a good position. I remember this saying my brother used to say “Courage is not absence of fear. It is resistance to fear”. I could not agree with him more.

All through these years, I changed a lot in many aspects. The only thing that remained with me was my passion for movies and music. While O2 is elixir of life for all, its M2 (Movies & Music) for me. In school, I used to bunk classes to watch movies on the first day. In +1 and +2, I used to jump the fence (ours was a residential college) to watch movies and at work, I used to take permission to go watch movies. From 2004 Jan to 2006 July, I watched almost all the telugu movies First Day First Show. Roja is one music album I would remember through out my life. Before I heard music of Roja, I used to be a music lover and Roja made me passionate about music. In 4 yrs of my BITSian life, I had hardly missed buying a single movie album released during that period. My other passions are dance, riding bike and Tae-kwon-do.

As Robert Frost says, Two roads diverged in a wood, and I... I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference. I hope to make this difference not only in my lives, but at least few other lives.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

My second project at Toastmasters

I had completed my CTM 2 (2nd speech project at Hyderabad Toastmasters club) today. Find below the speech content

It was the Year 1995, Month July. I never imagined what was in store for me that day. I was traveling in a bus back home during a school break. It must have been about 9 PM, when suddenly, there was a big noise. For someone who would not wake up even with an elephant trumpeting next to him, this sound however did wake me up. I heard the sound again. I kept on hearing it again and again. Not that it was as loud as an elephant but yes, it was one of the most unpleasant and irritating sounds to hear. It took me some time to realize that it was the sound of a person snoring. No one snores in my family. That was the first time of about a thousand times since, that I have had to hear this most unpleasant of noises which we human beings are capable to produce. The only prior memories of snoring I have had are from the tele –serial Ramayana where people try to wake up a snoring Khumbakarn.

We know so many people losing sleep over their personal worries be it family, money or work. Not to mention the ever increasing number of people loosing sleep over their girlfriends and better halves. Others lose sleep because of jobs and promotions. In fact, even the prospect of a Toastmasters speech the next day does not make me lose sleep as someone snoring next to me. Come to think of it, ever since that unfortunate incident in the bus, my senses have now been tuned to understand and identify these snoring noises and I have become a helpless victim going through a trauma when someone snores. Most often my hearing senses experience these noises when I travel by train or bus at nights. There is not a single journey when I have not lost sleep in spite of plugging my ears on several occasions. I just keep wishing for the train or bus to never stop. Whenever the train/bus stops, the snoring becomes even louder. Many a times the “traveling snorer” or “snoring traveler” would wake up intermittently when there is a jerk or a small stop, and he would wake up …adjust himself after knowing that all is well, and continue to snore away to glory…like waiting for prize to be delivered on finishing a great marathon competing against the best in the world!

There was a friend of mine who had to share my room during my college winter days. I didn’t know that the snoring of my friend was so loud that people 3 rooms away could also hear it. Maybe my room was 4th room from his. I agreed to share my room. My struggle with sleep started then with every night being a nightmare. I tried all kind of tricks to wake him up. Hitting him, putting on music to wake him up, and switching off the fan. I used to try all these hoping that my friend gets up and before he gets to snore, I can try catching a nap. Unfortunately, nothing worked out. I had to sleep in the mornings/noons to compensate sleepless nights. It so happened once that another friend of mine had come to my room for combined study for a next day morning test. I had then no idea of what would pass on to me that night. He slept in my room eventually. It was just a matter of 10 minutes before I was listening to the jugalbandhi. I always found that there is no sync between 2 people who snore. One snores heavily and only after that person stops, the other one starts. All I could do in that situation was to just appreciate the harmony in which both my friends were snoring. And next day I had to face the music and have tough time keeping myself awake.

Snoring is not just a botheration for the people around. Snoring is not something which can be ignored as the problem of people around you. It is a sleeping disorder and can lead to some serious problems. Due to the obstruction in the air passage there is insufficient oxygen supply to the lungs. The lungs try to suck in more air. In turn the heart pumps faster to cope and this might sometime lead to choking. And sometimes due to this choking, the patient might start moving legs/hands violently to catch gasp of breath. Not only does this physically harm the person sleeping next to him but if not awoken from this state, he/she can suffer serious brain damage and even death.

Although snoring can afflict adults at any age, it is most common in overweight, middle-age men. Snoring is more common in men more than in women as the nasal passage in men is narrower than in women. Snoring is not something that can be taken lightly. It needs to be taken care and consultation can be sought in this case

So what does one do? Should one just grin and bear it, or is there some solution to the problem>? It turns out a lot can actually be done even at home. I call this MeDiCleFitS. The acronym can be expanded to Medication Diet Clean habits Fitness and Sleeping posture.

1. Medication – Try nasal decongestants
2. Diet - Avoid high fatty dairy milk products and also eating food just before going to bed
3. Clean habits – Avoid smoking and alcohol
4. Fitness – Lose weight and exercise regularly
5. Sleeping posture – Sleep on your side without a pillow with elevated head of the bed

Snoring is a common problem. But the next time you are told that it is uncomfortable to sleep next to you, it is time for a visit to the doctor.

Remember “Laugh and the world laughs with you, snore and you sleep alone.”

Monday, May 7, 2007

Kids of this generation!

Yesterday night I was in subway having my dinner, I heard a kid of 7-8 yrs talking. The topic was of Spiderman 3 and she was saying that she is aware of the story. When her mom asked her how, she says "Its very simple. Just go to wiki and type spiderman3. You get everything." She goes on saying "There is also some alien material in the movie which when gets stuck to Spiderman, he turns black.". I was shocked initially. I looked at her to confirm if it is the kid who is speaking. I couldnt believe she knew all these. Being aware of the internet know-how to play games is fine. But knowing wikipedia and knowing how to search for things is wowwww.

I am amazed at the kind of information these kids have. They even know where to look for, to find information. These kids talk in sophisticated english, know when to use the word former and the word Ex. They maintain mail accounts, chat, play online games and do all the things which I wasnt even aware of till my graduation. It was only during my graduation that I knew what an encyclopedia is and these kids know everything at this age, much more than what I know.

Are these signs of getting old?

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

My New Blog

Finally, I have created a separate blog for movies. Music and Movies have always been my passions. These are 2 things which havent changed through out my life. The idea behind creating this blog is to capture my thoughts of every movie I watch and put it here. I dont think I would be able to do that for every movie as I watch quite a lot of movies. But I would definitely try to blog on every good movie I watch.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Discover the 99/1 Principle

Got this fwd sometime back. Good one!

What is this principle? 1% of life is made up of what happens to you. 99% of life is decided by how you react/respond to it. What does this mean? We really have no control over 1% of what happens to us. We cannot stop the car from breaking down. The plane will be late arriving, which throws our whole schedule off. A driver may cut us off in traffic. We have no control over this 1%. The other 99% is different. YOU determine the other 99%. How? By your reaction. You cannot control a red light, but you can control your reaction to it.

Let's use an example. You are eating breakfast with your family. Your daughter knocks over a cup of coffee onto your business shirt. You have no control over what just happened. What happens next will be determined by how you react. You curse. You harshly scold your daughter for knocking the cup over. She breaks down in tears. After scolding her, you turn to your spouse and criticize her for placing the cup too close to the edge of the table. A short verbal battle follows. You storm upstairs and change your shirt. Back downstairs, you find your daughter has been too busy crying to finish breakfast and get ready for school. She misses the bus. Your spouse must leave immediately for work. You rush to the car and drive your daughter to school. Because you are late, you drive 60 km an hour in a 40 kmph speed limit. After a 15-minute delay and throwing Rs. 500/- traffic fine away, you arrive at school. Your daughter runs into the building without saying goodbye. After arriving at the office 20 minutes late, you find you forgot your briefcase. Your day has started terrible. As it continues, it seems to get worse and worse. You look forward to coming home. When you arrive home, you find small wedge in your relationship with your spouse and daughter. Why? Because of how you reacted in the morning. Why did you have a bad day?
A) Did the coffee cause it?
B) Did your daughter cause it?
C) Did the policeman cause it?
D) Did you cause it?

The answer is "D".

You had no control over what happened with the coffee. How you reacted in those 5 seconds is what caused your bad day. Here is what could have and should have happened. Coffee splashes over you. Your daughter is about to cry. You gently say, "It's ok honey, you just need, to be more careful next time". Grabbing a towel you rush upstairs. After grabbing a new shirt and your briefcase, you come back down in time to look through the window and see your child getting on the bus. She turns and waves. You arrive 5 minutes early and cheerfully greet the staff. Your boss comments on how good the day you are having.

Notice the difference? Two different scenarios . Both started the same. Both ended different. Why? Because of how you RESPONDED. You really do not have any control over what happens to you. But you have complete control on how you respond to it......choose your response and celebrate life!!!

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Conservation of resources

Few days back, I happened to read an article on depletion of natural resources and their implications. After I finished reading the article, I was immediately thinking about Movies. I felt the same principle applied here. Natural resources should be carefully planned and preserved so that we have them for future consumption. If we consume everything in the present itself, there wouldn't be anything left for future. Similarly, the number of movies in all the languages I can understand (Telugu, Hindi, English, Tamil) are limited.

Many a time I used to watch 4 movies in a day. There were numerous occasions in the past 10 years where I watched over 6 VCDs/DVDs in a single day. Whenever a new movie is released, I feel restless till the time i watch it. If 4 movies get released in a week, i try to watch all the 4 ASAP and end up waiting for the next release. If only I could plan these and watch one per day or in 2 days, I could have the movies available over the week (taking a pragmatic view that I would not be able to watch it everyday due to the nature of work I do) till Friday when the next set of movies get released.

I watched Friends 1st season a month back. Today I watched 9th season. Before I watched Friends, I used to wonder what makes most of the people write Friends as their favorite TV Series in their profiles/blogs and what makes orkut and other similar online social networking sites to ask for TV series. Today, Friends is updated in my profile as well as one of my favorite TV series. Now I am left with just 1 more season. I would have watched it yesterday itself has I not read the article. There are about 25 episodes in that and I plan to watch it over the next month or 2.

Isnt this conservation of the entertainment resources we have, which are scarce & limited? I believe it is also time I look for alternate sources of entertainment :-)

Friday, April 13, 2007

Worldcup & World Champions

This has been a topic I have been constantly trying to avoid the day India lost all the chances to get into Super 8s. It has not been easy coping up with the fact that India is not in world cup anymore. Over the past 15 years I have been always reading the Sports Column. That used to be the place where I start reading the Newspaper. These days I skip anything to do with cricket.

Many things went wrong in the world cup. It has been the most dismal performance from India in a series in the past decade. The last time I felt this bad for India going out of World Cup was in 1996 when India lost to SriLanka in Semifinals. Those were the days when there were no cell phones or sms. I was in a residential college (+2) and was so much into cricket and following all the cricket updates. I used to run to our college mess, library, wardens, lecturers to find out scores. After every match, I used to go to library to read the sports section in all the newspapers there. It was hard then to believe that India lost as I was hopeful of India getting into finals. I was then constantly thinking that maybe, India would have won had crowd not behaved that way. It was more than a decade ago. And now it is even bitter.

I strongly felt we are not such a bad team that could not even go to super 8s. But then it is the performance on THE day which matters. When I think more about this, I feel that we don't deserve to be World Champions. We have not played like 1996 World Champions SriLanka who played outstanding cricket a few seasons before the world cup and almost an year after the world cup. Australia! Well, they truly are world champions. They have been going from strength to strength from the 1999 world cup. They have been invincible wherever they went. They deserve the world cup. Don't they?

I wonder if a team should be crowned world cup just based on performance in a series? Should that mean that the team is World Champion for the next 4 years? I think there should be other factors as well in addition to performance in just one series. Or maybe we can make the world cup happen every year or every 2 years? Some may argue that it then undermines the importance of World Cup. We might want to look at soccer. Then, is it the same with Wimbledon or French Open or US Open? We should try to become World Champions in true sense. Not just for the sake of the title. Our team should achieve the status of Australian Cricket which is feared by one and all.

Back to blogging!

I had hectic schedule for the past one month with financial year closing, projects, clients, billing. We have roped in external Quality Consultants for our company and this should make my life even more hectic. Hope I'd be able to find some time to blog.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Tata Sky ho tho life jingalala!

Tata Sky ho tho life jingalala! This was my reaction after watching yesterday’s match on Tata Sky.

I had the experience of watching Tata Sky in action yesterday. I happened to watch the match India vs. Bermuda at Anand's place. Anand got Tata Sky installed a few days back. There is a world of a difference between the normal cable transmission and the digital transmission from these satellite television service providers. The screen is without even a single grain and the sound is incredibly clear & crisp. It introduces you to a new way of watching cricket. You don’t have to depend upon the channel to serve you your favorite angle. You can decide to watch in whatever angle you wish. When an ad is shown after every over, you have the option to select other views where you get to see whats happening in the stadium. This way we could make sure we watched only the match and nothing but the match all the time. Very often while watching a match, I would want to see the score and have to wait for some time to see it. These days with internet, I would go to cricinfo and check the score. With tata sky, you can see the scorecard whenever you want. You can also watch highlights and make sure you don’t miss any important moment of the match.

One can view the schedule for the next 7 days for most of the channels. You can just scroll down the list and put alerts for the favorite programs so that you don’t miss them. While watching one channel, you can get to know in a box at the bottom whats going on in other channels. You might have watched channels like Pogo, Jetix in regional languages (Telugu, Tamil). With Tata Sky, you can change the select any language out of English, Hindi, Telugu or Tamil.

I would want to get one at home if Tata Sky starts providing regional channels. Otherwise, I would have to anyway pay to the cable operator for these. Another thing I would like to wait and see is their service levels.

India back into action!

The match was an amazing one and a thorough entertainer. That too coming from a defeat in the previous match against Bangladesh, amidst protests all over the country, made the match even more enjoyable.

What a match it was! It was a run riot with boundaries flowing everywhere. Indians made merry while the media was left to check records with every run, every boundary and every six.

I am eagerly looking forward to the next match!

Media, Hype and disappointment of Indian Cricket fans!

It was unfortunate that so many Indian fans reacted in such a violent way burning effigies, ransacking the houses of the cricketers after the defeat against Bangladesh. Cricket is called a gentleman's game. I don’t think the same can be said about cricket fans, especially in India and Pakistan. Cricket is no longer taken with the Sporting Spirit. A win is associated by the fans with upholding the country's respect and a defeat is viewed as a national disaster. The same fans who sing their praises, idolize them, resorted to violence after the defeat. When we win, we use all the superlatives to describe them. We would share their accomplishment and celebrate their success. Media would elevate them to the status of demigods and inspire us to worship them. When we lose, we go to the extent of hurting the family members of the cricketers. Media would again use all the expletives only to describe the pain of losing the match. We gladly share the success but don’t share the pain of their defeat and give more pain to them. Are we right in doing so?

Sporting Spirit! We all studied about Sporting Spirit in our school days. We are all told by our teachers and parents that it’s the spirit of participation that matters, not the result. Then why does Young India react so violently for a defeat? The educated along with others resort to such violence. I wonder what they would achieve by doing so.

These extreme things apply not just to cricket but to our lives, our professions as well. In our work and personal life, there are lot of people who have expectations from us. If we are right in behaving in a violent way for the cricketers not meeting our expectations, would we be ok if we were met with same response when we don’t live to the expectations of others? Do we ever bother to think about it? When it comes to us, we are humans. Aren’t the cricketers humans?

I wonder if there aren’t better things to protest against! Would there ever be a protest if some political leader lets us down? I don’t think so! I wish we could use our energies against something which would benefit us.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

India opens at World Cup today!

The most-awaited world cup tour begins for India today. Its been tough waiting for India's match for a week now. If this is how an avid Indian cricket fan feels, I wonder how the players must be feeling. Its been difficult week for me watching the minnows literally thrashed by the big names. There is anxiety. There are lot of questions. Will India get the cup back? Will Pathan strike form? Will Sehwag get into rythm? Will India win convincingly against Bangladesh?

I am a die-hard fan of Master Blaster, Little Master, Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar. He has done so much for Indian Cricket. How can I forget the times when he had been the ONLY hope when Indian cricket was deep in trouble with match fixing controversies, great players like Kapil leaving? He has been the only person who could bring a billion people to watch when he comes to bat. He has been our BEST batsman in the worldcup as he has been our best batsman ever. I really hope he gets the cup for India.

All the best Sachin. All the best India!

A night without internet!

After coming home for dinner at 10 PM last Thursday, I was not able to connect to internet. I kept on trying for some time in vain. I tried calling my ISP without any success of getting them on line. It was clear that I had to spend Thursday night without internet. I could suddenly empathize with millions of Americans when they experienced loss of power and felt lifeless. I could feel their plight. Oops! Whats happening? Does internet play such a vital role in my life? I haven’t been thinking too much about this. My mom sure seems to know this. When I said internet isn’t working, she was quick to reply "So there is no work for today. Why don’t you sleep quickly just for this one day?" Does it feel like an abuse? It certainly isn’t any abuse. Then why does it feel so?

Internet! How much did it change our lives? How much are people like me dependent on it? I started wondering if internet were my addiction or passion or profession. My profession or for that matter most of the professions depend on internet. Well, internet provides so many things off hand. A few months back, I was watching Apollo 13 and could not get what Roger that meant. Google came to our rescue. Few weeks back, we had to go to Nagarjunsagar. We could get all info - courtesy Wikipedia. Last week, we had got a message from tata indicom that it was the last day for paying our bill. Online Payment had me get confirmation in next minute that bill is cleared. Be it PVR Cinemas, Imax, Paying bills, information, Bank transactions/account information or be it work, its all through internet.

This has been the biggest change for me in this decade. Who knows how this would change in future? Who knows if there would be something that would replace internet? Let’s wait and see!

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

My Icebreaker Speech experience!

I had my Icebreaker (first speech) at Toastmasters on last Sunday. It was a great learning experience not in the routine way. Icebreaker speech is the first speech to introduce the speaker to the group and identify scope for improvement. The objectives for preparing the speech are clearly defined in the manual and that helps you structure your speech.

I was assigned a mentor and the mentor called me up a few days before the week, gave an outline of how I should proceed, the speech structure, opening & closing and took me through a site which had great audio/video files of some great speeches . He taught me how to measure the time by just writing the speech in Arial font 10 size in an MS Word document. I was quite surprised that my mentor took so much time out of his schedule to explain me these things and later even review my speech through a couple of iterations. Not just this, he was even excited to go for a dry run and wanted me to get prepared well.

I decided on giving Icebreaker on Tuesday night and got it confirmed on Wednesday. I took some time and tried to write something about myself. I was very busy through out the week and could not spend much time in fine tuning it. The speech was in some presentable form on Friday and realized on Saturday that I was only 50% ready when I first try to give a mock. After giving a couple of mocks, I timed the speech to be about 9 minutes when the alloted time is between 4-6 minutes. It was a tough task to cut down the speech from 9 minutes to 6 minutes maintaining the flow and covering all aspects of my life.

When I reached the Toastmasters venue, I was even more surprised as another member enquired about my speech and volunteered to listen to it when I told him that I couldnt give a dry run to my mentor. He heard my speech and gave a very positive feedback which helped ease my nervousness. With so many inputs and so much of help, there was no way that I could not do the speech well. I did it well and even won the Best Speech award. Not bad, I can speak too!

Wait, the good things arent finished yet. My mentor even sent me an extensive mail after my speech giving the feedback how my speech went on. This was the best & most valuable feedback somebody ever gave me.

Wowww! Isnt it amazing? I cant just wait for my next speech :)

Monday, March 12, 2007

Traffic Police without uniform

Most of the time we see people complaining about almost all the things. How many of us crib about inefficiencies in government and various departments of government at one point or the other? I believe everyone does. This one thing caught my attention over the past few months. Some of the traffic junctions like Begumpet flyover, Srinagar Colony - Panjagutta junction, etc are always crowded and the traffic crawls during peak hours. But very often you see that there are no traffic police to regulate the traffic. There would be so many people who just curse the traffic police and get on with the traffic. But I see a few changes happenning from past few months. I see at some crowded junctions, few people donning the hat of the traffic police and regulating the traffic for some time.

It is a pleasant thing to see such people trying to make difference instead of just criticizing about the things around us. I know a few friends who work for NGOs during weekends and some teach the less fortunate kids during their free times. I think more and more people are showing interest in doing such things. We dont have to wait for netas or big babus to create wonders or work out miracles in making our future bright. I believe small things like this put together make a lot of difference. Way to go India!

Monday, March 5, 2007

Adaptations and Inspirations?

I saw this movie "I see you". I am not sure if many people even heard the name. Its a recent Hindi Movie starring Arjun Rampal and a newcomer Vipasha. This is almost frame-by-frame remake of an english movie "Just Like Heaven" with a little more drama to bring the movie to the climax.

Find below the characters in the movies and their roles

Arjun Rampal (TV Anchor) - Mark Ruffalo (Architect)
Vipasha (Nurse or Doctor not clear) - Reese Witherspoon (workaholic Doctor)
Chunkey Pandey (hero's colleague & friend) - Donal Logue (hero's friend, not colleague)
Kirron Kher (heroine's mom) - Dina Spybey (heroine's sister)

The more I see good english movies, the more I realize that many Indian (Bollywood or Tollywood or Kollywood)( are either inspired (saying the euphemistic way) or adapted from them.

Ek Ajnabee - Man on Fire
Deewar - Great Escape
Murder - Unfaithful
Koi Mil Gaya - ET
Hum Tum - When Harry met Sally
Kaante - Reservoir Dogs
Kyon Ki - One flew over the cuckoo's nest,
Teen Deewarein - Shawshank Redemption
Ghazini - Memento
Athadu - The Wanted

The above list goes on. The list becomes many times bigger in case of music. The words Bollywood, Tollywood and Kollywood are again taken from Hollywood.

When I was in my school, I had seen Criminal (Nagarjuna's movie). I loved the movie though it didnt go well with audience. I thought it was a very well thought and made movie was used to wonder how these directors get those ideas. Few months before I saw Fugitive and its disappointing to know that they just translated the movie into Telugu/Hindi instead of at least adapting. I dont mind if movies are adapted, like Sarkar. Adaptations can be used to reach out to people who have not heard that theme before. But cannot stand these true translations without even making an effort to understand & adapt to the culture. Leave alone indian movies which are remake of english movies, Hindi movies are made from South Indian movies and Vice Versa without trying to adapt the same.

I wonder if our movie producers/directors/story writers copy those from the west coz we cant find anything new? Do they do it coz they have exhuasted all the topics? Its hard to believe that a country with about 100 crores producing highest number of movies in the world cannot come up with new themes/topics. Or do they do it coz they find it easy and convenient and take audience for granted?

The positive thing about the current scenario is that the Indian cinema is currently going through a lot of changes. Lot of good things are happenning. I hope the trend of copying western movies changes with a lot of new people getting into this industry and lot of people given chances like never before.

My Celebrity Look-alikes

Friday, March 2, 2007

The Bliss of working from home!

Its been about 6 months that I have been spending good time working from home. It gives me time to spend at home and saves me a few hours 2 catch on sleep. Our clients are mostly in the US (PST, CST, EST) and UK (GMT) timezones and being a small startup, we cannot afford to dictate working hours to the clients. This means that we have to be available for a few hours at least in each timezone. India is in GMT +5.5 hrs and PennyWise work timings are from 5:30 Hrs GMT (11 :00 hrs IST) to 14:30 Hrs GMT (20:00 Hrs IST). That way we work most of the UK time and area available to serve their requests the same day. This also covers good amount of PST, CST and EST timezones.

We have calls late/early Indian hrs with existing clients for Project Status updates or New clients for prospective projects. In the initial 2 yrs of starting the company, we used to spend insomniac nights at office and sleep there whenever there are deliveries to be made or early morning (Indian Time) calls with clients. Next day we used to getup and rush home, get ready and be back immediately. It used to be a rush hour then. There were times when we had to sit idle for a few hrs as the call was at 3 AM and we just had to idle the time. Whenever we had to deploy the project on client's computer for UAT and we had to spend hours just to upload the project files while we just need to watch whats happenning.

After the initial 2 yrs, we got Internet at home and we could then talk with clients from home and do some work. But still whenever there was a call another person or whenever there was a critical delivery, we still had to be in office. 6 Months back we had setup the system to log into office network from home and this has been a great deal of time saver. If there is a call, i can now take it from home. If it involves another person, I can get it conferenced. I have access to all office resources/files/project info/code and can update client about the same without having to go to office. I could get some discipline in my life in terms of having food at time, getting some rest in between calls, spending some time with the family. If there is any crisis, my computer is hardly few feet away and it would just take me at most 5 minutes to connect to office network and address the scenario. No need to dress, no need to pick up the bike and go to office. I can now sit at home and do the remote deployment while talking with my brothers or watching TV.

Above all, it feels great to be at home, a sheer bliss indeed. I am enjoying being at home for the entire weekend (after years I guess) and working from home. I still go to office during weekends. But thats when there are interviews to be taken or important meetings to be attended.