Saturday, November 06, 2010

Ad Wars?

"survival of the fittest"

If u have to survive, u got to fight... but these 'ad wars' are not quite about survival! especially when 2 established/known/popular brands get involved in such an act, its mainly to establish their supremacy over each other.

 What does the company try to convey through these ad wars?
  • to the consumers: "we're the best (or maybe better)"
  • to the other company(s) - competitor(s): "we're better than you buddy". "we've got better marketing minds than you", "we can handle situations", "we can retaliate" etc..
Some of the popular ones:
  • The ultimate cola war (most popular)
  • HUL vs P&G
  • Audi vs BMW
  • MacD vs Subway
  • Horlicks vs Complan
  • Nestle vs cadbury
  • the airline companies


Can we call this kind of war 'cheap'? It's like two 3rd grade kids fighting (immatured?), like cartman and kyle! or can we compare it with what politicians do during elections?

BMW vs Audi:

BMW billboard from Juggernaut Advertising on Vimeo.

Nestle vs Cadburys

Is it all about who can make better advertisements? --- probably!

Do we dare talk about ethics, decency, professionalism etc? do they make sense here?
actually they don't... when someone challenges you, you take the challenge and fight them.
"one should not fight for the sake of fighting, only when there is no other choice..." (sounds lame?). but that's when someone challenges you. What can we say about the one who starts the fight/war?

Actually it takes this much "(  )" of courage to start such a war...  this much "(  )" more than what you already have :)

Rin (HUL) vs Tide (P&G):

when HUL comes up with such an ad against P&G (head-on collision), that requires much more courage. P&G dragged HUL to the court and after so much of drama, the ad was banned. Ideally a company of  P&G's caliber should have retaliated differently (i am not very sure if P&G came up with similar ads or some other professional technique), instead of dragging HUL to the court (an act of cowardice?)... It's no doubt a desperate attempt by HUL to gain P&G's market share, but still...

Sometimes a breakthrough success of one company might make the other one come up with such ads:

Sometimes the company might make arrangements which might look natural/coincidental, with the very intention of defaming the competitor...
                 (a picture like this is, would obviously create some buzz among the consumers)

My all time fav:- during the cricket world cup 1996, Coca Cola came up with the ad campaign "eat cricket, sleep cricket... but drink only coca cola...". Ajay Jadeja and Azaruddin came in one of these ads eating cricket bat, stumps etc. pepsi mocked this by using monkeys in their ads which would eat cricket bats, establishing that only monkeys are stupid enough to eat cricket stuff and drink coke.

And we cannot possibly forget how mountain dew got mocked by other manufacturers... the worst ever :)

now what about the companies that are not a part of this war? they're just curious onlookers? or do they think it's unnecessary? or do they want to stay away? or are they handicapped?

How hard is it to 'mind your own business' and do business???

Please try to answer the above questions...

...and check out this one!

Friday, August 20, 2010

A few ways the world will end...

"the doomsday is coming", "world will end in 2012", "the final battle between the good and evil", "end of the world"... We've been hearing these things for quite a while now. Nostradamus, Discovery channel, astrologer 'punniyakodi', all of them have given their own versions...
  • Nuclear holocaust
  • Alien invasion
  • Global Warming
  • Asteroid impact
  • Global epidemics
  • Volcanic eruptions
  • Supernova
  • Sucked by black holes
  • 3rd world war
Heard all this already so many times...?

Listed below are a few weird/strange/'not thought about' ways in which the world might end.
  • Too much advancements in Genetic Engineering:- In about 60 years from now, the field of genetic engineering would have really developed, All governments will start granting huge funds to the scientists and research labs. initially all the inventions/creations/developments will be in small scale, like "chicken with 10 legs" (so that everyone gets a leg piece) and "dogs that look like dragons" [fan(ta)cy pets] etc...

    Slowly greed increases and we start developing a buffalo sized goats, whale sized prawns, monkeys with 6th, 7th and 8th senses, so that they can do our work etc, and obviously we get a whole range of "bt" stuff...! "bt tomatoes", "bt spinach" , "bt watermelon" to name a few...

One thing leads to another and the animals and plants take over the world and ultimately destroy the human race...

  • The 'CHINA' factor:- China starts to grow really fast (lets forget about India for a while). The value of yuan reaches new heights. at certain point, 1yuan becomes = 2000 dollars = 1800 pounds = 29000 riyals = 15 billion Zimbabwe money etc. China's power economically/socially/literally exceeds all other countries.  Other countries give up. So China starts conquering all the countries. very soon, the world becomes 'one giant China'... it will be no longer called 'the world' or 'the earth' instead they rename it 'the China'... from outer space it looks all red in colour! and now the aliens start putting up their industries in China and start importing goods from it... but a crucial decision is taken in the all planet association that China's development is a potential danger for the universe, hence they decide to destroy China (formerly known as earth)...

  • Divine intervention:- One fine morning god says "THAT'S ALL FOLKS"!!! (loony tunes/bugs bunny style)... But god should give us at least a 3 months notice I say... But what can we do? there's nothing like a labour law or something which is going to protect us!!!

  •  The Robots factor:- 
    • Time machine malfunction:- Humans start sending more and more robots back in time to fix many issues faced in the past, like preventing the Bhopal gas leak, convincing Hitler's mother for abortion etc (Terminator style)... one of these time machines, due some malfunction, sends the terminator way too many years back in time. Terminator meets Adam and Eve. And he terminates Eve for some reason. With no Eve around and nothing to do. Adam eventually dies, as the first and last human being. human race was never formed. world eventually gets destroyed (well,what do you expect robots to do?)
Last but not the least...(bonus)
  • Michel Bay directs a new Hollywood movie with a few Indian actors and releases it worldwide in 80 different languages. and why is this going to destroy the world??? the movie poster itself is self explanatory... the movie is about how a group of heroes save the world from something really bad (with mind 'bursting' stunts)... A film, which is all about saving the world, actually destroys the world?!!! now that is called irony...

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Fading of Information :-)

Picked this from my Organizational Behavior book! Funny read!

How information fades...

Memo from CEO to Manager:   

Today at 11 o’clock there will be a total eclipse of the sun. This is when the sun disappears behind the moon for 2 minutes. As this is something that cannot be seen every day, time will be allowed for employees to view the eclipse in the parking lot. Staff should meet in the lot at ten to eleven, when I will deliver a short speech introducing the eclipse, and giving some background information. Safety goggles will be made available at a small cost.    

Memo from Manager to Department Head:   

Today at ten to eleven, all staff should meet in the car park. This will be followed by a total eclipse of the sun, which will appear for 2 minutes. For a moderate cost, they will be made safe with goggles. The CEO will deliver a short speech beforehand to give us all some information. This is not something that can be seen everyday.    

Memo from the Department Head to Floor Manager:   

The CEO will today deliver a speech to make the sun disappear for 2 minutes in the form of an eclipse. This is something that cannot be seen everyday so staff will meet in the car park at ten or eleven. This will be safe, if you pay a moderate cost.    

Memo from Floor Manager to Supervisor:   

Ten or eleven staff are to go to the car park, where the CEO will eclipse the sun for 2 minutes. This does not happen everyday. It will be safe, and as usual it will cost you.    

Memo from Supervisor to Staff:   

Some staff will go to the car park today to see the CEO disappear. It is a pity this doesn’t happen everyday.


Saturday, July 31, 2010

ENDHIRAN (Robot) Movie Plot - My guess

This is purely my imagination of what the plot of the movie would be. I am thinking so much about the movie these days, that i decided to write this...

ENDHIRAN STORY - My guess (this is based on the 1 min film trailer
and the songs which have been released) ----- RAJNIKANTH is a scientist,
a tech savvy, who has developed, with a lot of hard work, a very advanced
human android which has with a very high level of artificial intelligence
and a lot of other skills etc... (Issac Asimov style - something similar to
I-robot or Universal soldier)...

This robot, slowly starts adapting to the society and starts doing all
human activities only better than the humans. includes loving aishwarya
rai...! (Robot with emotions -bicentennial man style).
Santanam, the comedian is probably the Scientist's assistant  - this is
what happens in the 1st half of the movie

Now, from here, the film could go in 2 directions:
 1. Over the time, the Robot gains supremacy over its creator and
tries to take over  mankind or something like that (conventional style).
And, it's at this stage of the movie, we come to know that the scientist is
the hero and the robot(s) is/are the villain(s)...  So the story after this,
pretty much revolves around how good prevails over evil (the out of
control robot), and obviously which results in the destruction of the robot.

2. the govt or some private company tries to buy/get the technology
from scientist  Rajini, to use the robot for military or some other
destructive purpose, which is totally against the creator's intentions/plans
for his creation. So the scientist and the robot team up against the the
govt/organization in order to save the world/country from it's/their
evil ideas... once they succeed in this task, the scientist decides to
destroy the robot (his own creation), just to ensure that no one else
in the future will misuse or abuse such advanced technology!
(terminator 2 the judgment day style - "one more chip has to be destroyed")

I some how have the feeling that, the robot will die/get destroyed at
the end anyways (irrespective of how the story goes)...

P.S. If this matches with the original plot, it is purely coincidental. 

Friday, July 09, 2010

Octopusology in India!

It is the year 2015.

Ever since the prediction of 'Palanisamy' alias 'Paalpandi' the Indian octopus, came true and India lifted the cricket world cup in 2011, the Indian people's faith in octopuses and their predictions has increased phenomenally. All this began in 2010, when Germany introduced this concept of  "Octopusology". Apparently, these creatures have this extra "7th sense" which even humans don't have.

Fishermen get continuous bulk orders from everyone for bringing back live octopuses from the sea. Octopus purchases contribute up to 5% of the GDP now... prices ranges from Rs. 10,000 to even Rs. 70 Lakhs per octopus.

Girls don't think that 'Pugs' or 'Pomeranians' are cute anymore. now they like only octopuses. Boy friends go octopus-hunting' on the eve of their girl friend's birthdays!!!

The movie "Pirates of the Caribbean' is now banned in India, as it is offensive to the nation's favorite pet/animal and it shows the creature as a villain.

And ever since Tata started their new company, TOL (Tata Octopus Ltd), people have access to branded octopuses.When it comes to diversification, no match for the Tatas!!! And they have even started selling the 'budget octopuses' at just Rs.1000/-, so even a common man can afford.

Even actor Vijay lets his pet octopus predict whether his movies will succeed or fail! and every time the octopus predicts a flop, Mr. Vijay kills it and gets a new one. Till date he has killed more that 50 of them! Right now, atleast 15 'Vijay Vs PETA' cases are pending in the high court...

Astrologers came up with new theories. they linked each tentacle of the octopus to a sun sign and started predicting the future of their clients, based on the movements etc. People are more than happy to pay huge amounts for any load of crap that they are told (as long as there is an octopus involved :-))

Till 2012, octopuses were used only, to predict the election results. In 2012, the govt passed a law, stating that, in order to avoid all election/campaigning expenses, the octopus simply chooses the person to be PM, CM etc. Democracy was redefined.

This is Octo-developed India for you in 2015...

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Dollars and Pounds, Adyar

This was once a small 300sqft store selling sports jerseys, exclusively. It was then located next to hotel traffic jam (which doesn't exist now), diagonally opposite to ambika appalam depot, and on the narrow sidewalk on Sardar Patel Road. I still remember passing through this store (back in 2001, on the way to my tuition classes), wondering if the store will ever get any business. After a couple of years, once I saw they were tearing down the store. I felt really bad... But I was relieved, when I came to know that they are just relocating and that too within Adyar. they moved to a bigger place, a whole floor, almost 1000-1500 sqft. Now they had diversified into many other products as well. casuals, sports wear, sports posters, sports merchandise etc. They've started to get good business. the Transformation Process was in Progress (from a lame store to a super store). Located right outside the main gate of IIT Madras, the new store now had a very appealing look and it actually attracted a lot of people, mainly youth, that too, guys, from all over the city.

A couple of days back, i went to the store again. and this visit was after a long time. Unbelievable!!!! the store is now 10 times bigger. the amount/range/variety of the stuff they have now is just amazing. the store is now as big as 'pothys' or 'chennai' silks or 'saravana stores' (brammandamai!), but only better....

Trust me, I am not marketing for Dollars and Pounds here! they're not gonna pay me even a penny. just that, as a regular customer, I am thoroughly impressed with the transformation the store has gone through!

Now they have 3 floors with separate sections for everything that you can imagine. Football merchandise, Rock band t shirts, Normal casuals, formal wear, accessories (a lot of them), gifts, showcasing items, Bikers gear, summer wear, winter wear. and all in the trendiest possible designs, and in amazing varieties.

I wouldn't say that they have completely diversified their business. that will only make them less unique. They still have that niche status compared to the other stores in the city.

A special mention to the ambiance of the store: Apart from the 'soft music playing small speakers' and the surveillance cameras installed at every corner of the building, which is a new thing, they have done a lot of other architectural additions, which makes you want to spend a lot of time inside the building. Like the hanging 'Dummy Tank', 'Jet plane'. the cloths arranged neatly on a real 'Jeep' (obviously one without an engine :)), the power bike. and the stairs made of solid steel mesh, below which you can see water running.

The target segment is obviously the youth, of age group 18 to 30. and not more than that. It doesn't matter whether you are a spoilt brat spending your dad's money, or a busy professional who shops on every payday of every month, or a normal person who just likes to shop for the heck of it. there's something for you in this store if you belong to this particular age group! As a normal person who doesn't like to shop that often, I kind of wanted to own each and everything in the store.

Bottom line: If you are a 'chennai'ite, this shop is a must visit.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Why is it called 'Chicken 65'...?

'Chicken 65' is one of the most popular chicken dishes in India (at least in South India). Every 4 out of 10 side dishes ordered every time, every day, at every hotel in Tamil nadu will be a 'chicken 65'. this form of chicken has really positioned itself as one of the best, amongst all other dishes.

Ever wondered why it is called 'Chicken 65'? I am sure you would have... at least 90% of the people at sometime or other would've wondered about the reason why it is called 'Chicken 65'. The remaining 10% of the junta who just like to hog food and dont care why it is called by such a name, they are 'god's own people'. lets not disturb them. this post is not meant for them!

Now, I have to tell you about what really inspired me to write a post like this! As I am on diet now, I am avoiding most of my favourite food items (mainly junk food, deep fried, with heavy fat content, milk products, sugar rich, oil rich stuff etc). So i thought, I'll give myself visual treats, instead of the actual treat (sorry my tongue). Off late I started watching a lot of cooking videos online. like 'BBQ pit boys' etc. While cooking these recipes, the chefs actually give a lot of tips, information about the food that they're preparing. extra information on this 'chicken 65' really interested me.

There are many theories, myths about how this dish got its name. some are ridiculously funny. a few versions are:
  • the chicken is 65 days old (If the bird was given one wish, i think it would ask god that it should end up in a tandoori restaurant or a Chinese restaurant. That way it can live longer instead of dying in 2 months!)
  • they add 65 different ingredients in this dish (this theory is 'super bogus' - C65 is one of the simplest dishes you can make)
  • it was 1st made in the year 1965 (this is quiet possible. but again, what did they call it in 1965 - 'this year's chciken'?)
  • they cut the whole bird into 65 pieces to make this dish (I say impossible, as it will be like a minced meat recipe if you are going to cut a 3 pound bird into 65 pieces)
  • you have to marinate the chicken for 65 minutes (sounds pretty lame too. this is not a 'good enough reason' to name a dish)
but the most acceptable/believable/logical theory seems to be that "this dish originated in a military canteen in Chennai and as most of the soldiers, officers were from various parts of the country, to avoid language problems, they actually used a unique numbering system in the menu card/board. and this particular dish was the 65th item on that menu. so it became chicken 65..." (but i wonder what happened to 'Mutton 32', 'Egg 47', ' Idly 01' (idlies are most likely to be the 1st dish on any menu), 'sambar vada 69' etc. why dint those dishes survive?). but we should give the benefit of the doubt to the chicken, i also think this theory sounds much better compared to others.

Now i wanna share some of my own assumptions on how this dish got its name:
  • the waiter delivers the dish exactly 65 minutes after the order is placed. (1hr lead time!!! by now the dish would've been extinct :-))
  • the ideal cost for a dry chicken dish like that should be Rs. 65 (that means standardized price at all places, from a road side shop to a 5 star hotel - not possible)
  • consider a poultry farm, where all the chickens have badges, more like a identity number. there every 65th chicken is used for the preparation of this particular dish!!! (i should get a Nobel price for coming up with such a theory)

another thing which really inspired me to write this post is the following video. this is a must watch!!!

have fun!!!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Lose weight now - Ask me how.!

I am pretty sure that the people who know me will be 'rolling on the floor and laughing' right now!
yes! this post is coming from a person who's unable to reduce weight after multiple attempts (not really) for the past 4 years.

Who says that you should be super fit with six-pack abs etc to give counselling on weight management (all though it is widely accepted and believed - thanks to the media)! A glutton can be a very good counsellor for weight management/reduction! No one will know the "what not to do" things better than him (he's been doing it perfectly)!!!

The subject here, who henceforth will be referred to as Mr. X (girls read it as Ms. X - they are equal in number), is a kind of a person who watches exercise programmes on TV with a pack of potato chips!

Gluttony is one of the seven deadly sins (watch the movie se7en by David Fincher). It's considered as bad as murder, adultery etc. below mentioned are the things Mr. X normally does.
  • has more than 3 square meals a day.
  • the last and final meal of the day(supper) will be the heaviest
  • always asks for extra cheese with his burger/sandwich etc.

  • prefers KFC anytime, over other snacks! (you must notice the expression on Mr. X's face when he's enjoying KFC. He wont enjoy even an Olympic gold medal victory like that). And always choses butter naan/roti over plain naan/roti.
  • likes to lie down after a heavy meal, (even when not feeling sleepy), and be movement-less like a python which has just swallowed a huge buffalo!
  • thinks (only thinks and never does) he should work hard and reduce weight overnight every time he watches 'Rocky 2'
  • takes a oath to himself every year that he will reduce weight and become trim and slim before next new year, and forgets about it exactly after 7 days!
  • has this regular and definite need for an immediate snack (fruit, sweet, chocolate, ice cream, chips or at least a spoonful of jam - not to be confused with dessert), after every meal (no matter how heavy it was)
  • Goes gaga over any food item which is sweet or which has oil in it. Has a roaring passion for anything which is deep fried.
  • thinks that wasting food is a crime as well as a sin. and 'ensures' no food is wasted by anyone in the family.
  • Always prefers the elevator over the stairs, even if he has to go to the 1st/2nd floors!!!
  • in a buffet, ensures that he tastes every single item/dish that is kept (irrespective of the quantity)
  • Believes and lives according the the mantra "life is short, live it" (without knowing that he's making it shorter)
there are several weight loss 'spoilers' in our lives - things we inadvertently do that stop us from losing weight and send us to the brink of frustration. at certain point we give up!!!

Here's what Mr. X does after he decides to lose weight:

  • starving during the daytime and eating heavily at night is the biggest blunder anyone can make! (it seems the metabolism rate during nights is much lower than that during day time.
  • there are rules about eating diet foods too. the right amount etc.
  • when he goes jogging, he jogs for 2 kms and takes a share auto/Bus for coming back.
  • Goes to the gym and either keeps starring at other people or talks a lot and disturbs other people (I belong to the 2nd category)
  • gives up very easily (at one point even thinks that liposuction is the only option)

 We should remember the one golden rule in weight reduction. There is no short-cut. Hard work always pays... and 'only' hard work pays. Never get sucked into all the bogus concepts and waste money on products like 'fat burn', 'tummy trimmer', 'ab crunch' etc. The companies selling these products spend a lot of money on advertising and the hire super hot model in the advertisements.

Ways to reduce weight:- jogging/running/walking, swimming, cycling etc.. regularly. And a strict and disciplined diet is absolutely mandatory.

And never forget... Rome was not built in one day. likewise you can't transform from 'humpty dumty' to 'bruce lee' overnight!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Southpark in Tamil

Target readers: People who know tamil and who are crazy about southpark (people who dont know what south park is..., dont even think about reading further. it wont make any sense)!

This is how southpark would be if it's dubbed in tamil and played on chutti TV or something!!! (what's wrong with me? how can a non-veg programme like southpark be played on chutti TV? ... never mind)


Eric Kartavarayan
Kartavarayan is one among the 4 friends who live in South Pakkam near Adyar. he's the son of a single mom. He does'nt like people from other areas especially those who are from besant nagar. he rips on besant nagarites all the time! his friends call him 'gundu kathirikka'

favorite quotes: "pongada paradesingala... naan veetukku poren" (screw you guys, am going home)

Kylasam Bragadeeswaran
Kylasam is one among the 4 kids. His family hails from besant nagar, but they now live in South Pakkam. His father is a lawyer in Saidapet court and his mother is a member of many ladies clubs and also the rotary club. he has a baby brother is too matured for his age (pinjuliye paluthavan). He never gets along with karthavarayan.

Stan Marimuthu
Stan marimuthu is an ordinary kid, who loves a girl called Vindya. he is very clever and against all cults. His father is a scientist who works in birla planetarium.

Vikram come from alcott kuppam and his family is very poor. Vikram 'sethu sethu polaipaan'...
Every time vikram dies... kylasam says: ada paavingala... vikrama konnuteengaley da!
 & Stan will say: Pongadaa. t..

... to be continued

Saturday, May 15, 2010

The giant national scam - Akshaya Tritiya

People with really strong sentiments about this concept, this is the time you stop reading this post.!

Scene 1: (a typical middle class family. a conversation between a mother and her grown up son)

Mother: son, today i am planning to buy you a new gold chain... like a good guy you will wear it always henceforth.
Son: what???!!!
Mother: ya, today it's the auspicious day of akshaya tritiya. buying new gold will will bring us more prosperity. and will keep you in good health.
Son (a logical thinker): but mom, I 'am' healthy!!! and we are happy the way we are now. besides i am not really interested in wearing gold n all...
Mother: stop being a smart ass (not the exact words, since it's a Indian middle class family) and do as I say...
Son: what about the play station 2 which I've been asking you for such a long time. or maybe you can give me the money, so I can modify my bike...
Mother: No No! those things are just waste of money. you are a grown up now. you shouldn't be wasting money on video games anymore. It has to be gold. period.
Son (thinks): Oh crap!!!

Scene 2: (the conference room or a really luxurious hotel. a meeting of all top jewellers of the country - 8-10 year ago)

Jeweller 1: gentlemen, sales has really been bad over the past few years. I am sure all of you will agree to this...
Others: yeah! yeah! yes, Haan ji! aamam sir!
Jeweller 1: the situation now is, we get bulk orders for weddings etc, maybe 5 times a month. otherwise it is all small purchases, not worth selling. You all very well know the problems that we face. inventory holding costs, bribes that we have to pay the officials and policemen, the advertising expences etc. Considering all this, we must have massive returns, other wise their is no point in doing this business. This is a great area to do business, all we need is to click the right button.
Jeweller 3:what we really need is a great marketing strategy.
Jeweller 2: yes! it is not really about survival, it's all about minting money to the maximum extent.
Others: agreed! agreed!
Jeweller 1: like in the case of textile retailers, they make a kill during festival times. people are glad to spend on clothing 3 or 4 times a year. and that keeps them in good business. with a good strategy and proper advertising, I think we can also achieve a similar state! in our case even once a year purchase from a Major section of the population will keep us rich and happy for the whole year.
Jeweller 3: what is the segment that we are going to target?
Jeweller 2: Sir, it doesn't work that way! we have to target the whole spectrum of the population, then the strike rate would be much more.
Jeweller 1: the best way to do this is use the religious sentiments of the people. make them believe it's a must, to purchase gold. They are all so vulnerable in this area.
Jeweller 2: great idea! we pick a date and we call it "Must buy gold" day. we can easily liquidate all our inventory on this day. and the profit will be phenomenal.
Jeweller 4: when should this be?
Jeweller 2: Does it really matter???
Everyone: HA ha HA Ha hA!!!!!!

and that is 'probably' how Akshaya Tritiya came into existence.
This is the biggest marketing gimmick ever. and this concept of Akshaya Tritiya is a perfect example of how business people commercialize/capitalize on normal people's sentiments!

The significance of the day is attributed to the event of Krishna giving Draupadi the Akshaya Paathiram (a vessel which keeps giving food - unlimited). Other than that, this day also marks Lord Parasurama’s appearance (source: wikipedia).
As the name denotes, Akshaya is a never ending, never diminishing, unlimited non-stop flow. That means, whatever we start and do on this day, will be with us forever and keep on growing as intended. I say plant a tree and watch it grow and give fruits, or start a new business, venture, or maybe a new good habit etc. WHY GOLD???

The sad state of our country is that, these days, people even borrow money from others to buy gold on this day. Banks put a board outside their gates: "today no banking transactions! only gold coin sales"!!!

I am pretty sure every country in the world will have such silly sentiments and practices, but this must be the king of all such things! it seems, on this day, last year a whopping 55 tonnes of gold were sold. To cash on this opportunity banks and retail players in gold jewelry segment have come out with lucrative offers (everyone is smart, except the common man).

Now what is really the downside of this.? investing in gold is a good thing right? only the consumer should know the answer to these questions. sometimes you buy 14 carat gold instead of 22 carat (thinking it is 22 carat gold). and not to mention about the adulterations etc that the jewellers do during these times.

Ever since the government became very strict about arbitrage, smuggling etc, these business people have thought about other means to make huge profits. This is one of those...

The future looks pretty bright for other businesses as well, with the consumers who will buy anything if properly advertised...

don't be surprised if in the near future, you come across ads like those mentioned below:
  • "buy a rice cooker today, and your family will never go hungry : rice cooker day"
  • "buy 5 kgs of Bt brinjal and make this special recipe and serve to your family before 8PM today :Bt Brinjal day"
  • "this whole month is wrist watch month. buy a wrist watch in this month and be the best in time management, we also give you certificates for time management upon full payment for your watch"
  • (this could be the worst) "buying property day: today buy your own piece of land or property and get the direct blessings of all the gods"
Do buy gold! but why on this one day...? pick another day of your choice, when you have a need for gold. when you have enough money to buy gold, when there is no pressure.

These are absolutely my own personal views. no intention to hurt anybody's feelings/sentiments!

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

SNS - the main cause for Global 'Lame'ing

  • Myspace
  • Facebook
  • Linked in
  • Twitter
  • Orkut
  • Buzz
  • yahoo 360
  • Hi5
  • friendster
... and it's not even 10 % of the list! (for complete list, check out the following link)

the Social Networking Sites (SNS) have become an integrated part of our lives today. almost every individual who has access to the internet is a part of atleast a couple of SNSs.

its always good to have a platform to connect with your friends, but having your own virtual farm, growing pigs in it, spending half the time doing that, now 'THATTTT' is lame...

Every person from the age group of 15 - 35 wakes up to switch on their laptop/PC/phone and then immediately log on to their facebook or myspace page. And mind you, this activity happens even before they brush their teeth or perform that 'food associated metabolic activity'...

A survey has shown that one of the reasons for the growing number of divorces among young couples these days, is that the wives are upset about their husbands spending very little quality time with them and a lot of time tweeting and updating their facebook profiles from their blackberrys!!! If this is not a valid reason for a divorce then what is???

The whole concept of SNS is an excellent idea... helps people in a lot of ways. but the way it's used these days, is what makes it completely lame. rather it makes the users 'LAME-O's. And I need not mention the problems  created by these sites these days... ooops!, am not talking politics here. but we all know the truth.  Rich people/celebrities/famous people use the Social Networking Sites as a tool, not to express their thoughts, (which is the very purpose), instead to gain some cheap publicity and create problems.

When an actor tweets "i took a long and comfortable ride in my new xxxxxx car today", and for which the company which owns the brand xxxxx pays the actor (which happens btw), that is an absolutely acceptable healtthy marketing strategy the company is following. No problems with that. But when the celebrities are 'over expressive' in expressing their thoughts etc which could have an adverse effect on the society and hence create chaos, confusion etc, then it becomes a problem...!

The worst hit are the young people, who are already sucked into these SNSs. Anything is acceptable when taken/done in moderation. this is applicable for almost everything. Food, alcohol, medicine, advice etc. perhaps, after a certain point we lose interest in it. say the feeling when we are eating the 9th chapathi or the 9th slice of pizza in a row. This is the concept of 'diminishing marginal utility'. But this theory does not seem to apply in the case of SNS. the more, people use it, the more, they want to use it...! The only thing which can make people lose interest in a networking site is, another new networking site!

If you are a part of any Social Networking Site (say facebook or orkut or twitter) and if you have not done any of the following (even one), then congratulations! you are not a Lame-O:
  • change your profile pic more than 5 times a month
  • post something on your wall, and then keep coming back to the page repeatedly to see if somebody has replied/commented on it... (this is the worst)
  • keep checking out the photo albums of friends, friends of friends, friends of friends of friends etc, for the sake of doing it
  • mindlessly wasting time building your own virtual farm, growing pigs, crops etc and doing it a lot.
  • playing a lot of online games through these sites (Zynga will probably be the biggest company in terms of turn-over by the end of 2015)
  • posting something with the only aim of getting some comments (ex: "I am planning to delete my profile, wat say you people?" or "I hate life" or "wat is the meaning of life", c'mon buddy, like really? you din't worry about that for 20 years and now you bring that up on facebook? how lame are u?)
  • uploading whole folder full of pictures and doing it after every time you take new photos.
  • taking new fotos for the sake of posting
  • (this is my favorite) taking a picture of yourself, to be your profile/display pic or something. If we notice carefully, many people have their profile picture in which eithet their left or right hand will be missing!!! oh yeah, its holding the camera. (I call this self publicity at its peak)
  • adding people you dont even know (possible reasons are: you want more friends, you want to play some silly game and it requires certain number of people to be on you list, you are pathetic etc)
  • begging other people to write you a testimonial or something :-) (apparently, some people think that, the more testimonials, recommendations they have, the more cool they are)
  • having a fake profile
  • if you are a multiple SNS user, copy-pasting the same post in all the sites and that too, every time!!!

If you have not done even one of the above mentioned things, then you are using SNSs the way it is meant to be. please dont change.

Readers may add more to the above list...

Friday, March 26, 2010

Fun at Mudaliar kuppam boat house

Last sunday I had been to this boat house near mahabalipuram, an excellent place with backwaters from the Bay of Bengal. It is located 15 kms from mahabaliburam and approximately 1.5 hr drive from Chennai.

When my friend invited me to go to this place, at 1st I was a bit hesitant. And when I heard this place is full of water sports, I thought one really needs to be fit to get involved in such activites (the truth is, I dont know how to swim!!!). But actually I was totally wrong. All you need is a fun loving mind...!

A little bit about the gang... We were a group of 9 people. except for me, everyone else was really fit and they go on regular treks. I was the odd man out. but i did manage to have super awesome fun... :)

We started from Chennai Thiruvanmiyur at around 6am (getting up so early on a sunday morning - not at all easy!). 9 of us went in 3 cars. early morning drive on the ECR (east cost road) was a real treat. Myself, Sagar  and this really cool Mexican dude Poncho (Alphonso) went in the saame car. While we were on the move, Poncho taught us a little bit of (Spanish). We returned the favour by teaching him some 'really good words' in Tamil and Hindi.... en route we had a couple of pit stops.

We reached the place at around 7.30 ish, had a light breakfast and we were, all set to begin...
We were given Life jackets. To start with, all nine of us boarded a motor boat and headed to the ocean. It was a 30 minute boatride in the backwaters before we reached the ocean. And I must appreciate the scenic beauty of the place. The green coloured water, and trees on boths sides and most importantly the birds... there were 100s of them.

We went inside the ocean and spent nearly an hour in the cold water. After which we took a 'tender coconut break' for 15-20 mins. Now comes the best part... We hired a fishing boat (motor boat number 2 - courtesy - the local fishermen) and went inside the sea. after travelling for about 10-12 kms we halted at a place. all we could see was water, in all directions. I was a bit scared to jump into the sea, inspite of the fact that I was wearing the life jacket. many of my friends took a dive. And we did some fishing too...

when one of our gang members, Indra, found it difficult to make it back to the boat, I went for the rescue and saved her... (somebody pls nominate me for the 'red & white' bravery award)!!! I am pretty sure that the 8 people who came along will be laughing out loud on reading this... but atleast let the rest of the world think that I am a hero!

After almost 2 hrs we came back to the shore around 11am and we had another 'tender coconut break'. we now boarded the boat number 1 and headed back to the boat house.

the water scooters and the speed boats were waiting for us. All of us took the water scooter for a 10 min ride each. it was very interesting and enjoyable. It was like attending a personal interveiw after a group discussion :-) the scooter does a maximum speed of 70kmph, but since it's on water, you feel as if its going at 120kmph or something... The life guard who comes along with you on the scooter gives you maximum liberty in riding the scooter the way you want, since it's only in the backwaters and not in the ocean. the speed boat (3 people along with the driver) was also equally good. Poncho took a kayak and spent almost 1 hr rowing it around the place (man you need a lot of patience to go kayaking)

It was already 12.30 after all this. we came back to the car and we ordered some sea-food. Food was'nt all that great there... finally at around 2pm we all left the place and headed back to the city.

I was one memorable sunday!!! Would love to do this once in every 2 months...

for more details on this, drop in a comment. I shall reply to u!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

When Terminator Met Captain Vijayakanth...

Situation: Terminator (T) comes to Chennai on a mission to save the world. He originates near mylapore bus stand from a ball of lightning fire, and he's naked. The first person he sees is Captain Vijayakanth (V) (a Popular Tamil actor). he finds out that V's cloths matches his (T) specification.

Assume: Terminator understands Tamil (and Captain understands English)

the original scene (

Termintator (T): I want your Cloths, sunglasses, gun and motor cycle.

Captain Vijayakanth (V): uyyyeeeeeeeeeeeee! Tamil nattuley enna pathu indha kelviya keta modhal aalu nee than da (you're the 1st person in tamil nadu to ask this question)

T some how manages to get cloths

V: tambi, yaaru da nee? (bro, who're u?)

T: I'm a cybernetic organism, a humanoid with living tissue over a metal endoskeleton. sent back in time to save the world.

V: ada, namma aalu!!! naan kooda kitta thatta appadi than thambi (Oh really!!! u're like me then... I am also something like that only)

Terminator falls on the ground and starts laughing after hearing this

V: ennapa sirikirey? nee robot illey? eppppppadi? (your laughing? are'nt u a robot? how did u do that?)

T: for joke like this, does it really matter if you are a human or a Robot or anything else...

V: sari thambi, adha vidu... variya oru tea rendu masala vada saapidalam? (ok bro leave it. why dont u come with me and we'll have 1 tea and 2 vadas each?)

T: Negative!

V: innadhu? (wat?)

T: can't have tea or vada. I've not been programmed to eat all that. I can have burger or pizza or KFC...!

V: Tambi, Tamil nattule motha hotel galoda ennikka 5468, adhula burrrrrgurrrrrrrr kidaikura yadanga 1428, motha KFC outlettunga 9, namma area pakkathula irukkura burrrrrrrrrrgurrrrrrrrrrrrr jointunga 38... aaana idhula oru yadathula kood freeya yedhuvum thara maatangaley pa (captain quickly summarizes the details abt various hotels and burger joints in tamil nadu and also says that he does'nt have any money)

n hearing this T spits... then becomes normal after sometime! T takes out some money from his pocket and holds it in one hand showing it to captain. he offers another hand to captain and says...

T: "Come with me if you want to eat"

V: sooober appu! appadiye oru quarter vangi thaapa (thats nice, also buy me a quarter bottle of alcohol)

T: Negative! it is not mission priority! Hastala vista baby!!!

V: Aska lakadi gala gala baby!!!

The end of scene... to be continued!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Words are like bullets...

They say that "think twice before you say something". But I say, think 10 times before you say 'something'... and atleast once, after you say that thing...! because 'words are like bullets'

getting into one's 'good books' is the most difficult task. You spend weeks/months/years to do that., but spoiling it, takes just one second... maybe even a fraction of a second.!

The most powerful word in english is....

No it's not that... its not that word either...

The most powerful word is "sorry".  This word, is so powerfull that, it can change any situation to a favourable/good one! and of course, it requires a lot of courage (real) to say this... but trust me, it's worth it. and people like to hear it...


this is not applicable for the following 2 types of 'sorry's
1) the 'sarcastic sorry' - abuse -
2) "I'll do anything I want and get away with a sorry" sorry - missuse -...

another word which is my favourite is... "please". with this baby you can get your work done in a much easier way than it is meant to be! Now tell me, who wont like you, if u say 'please' with your eyes twinkling and your pretty face smiling at them? (consider the work done)

Swear words - use them in moderation!!! wondering how?
with friends, people with whom you've got the liberty, u may use swear words... in the name of fun (if that is within your/their comfort zone/level). dont swear too much, or you'll be called a 'gutter mouth'.

Hate words - NEVER

they say that the tongue is the most powerful weapon. in my opinion, it's like an animal, tame it! you'll be proud of it! you'll love it.
it's also a prisinor, as ferocious/dangerous as 'hannibal lector'... think before you let him out. later dont regret. sometimes it's better not to let him out... remember the damage Dr. Lector could do!!!

even when you are left with nothing else in this world, you'll still have words with you. you can count on them! last but not the least... Words have the power to take anyone's heart away... (sweet words, lovely words, awesome word)

Boyzone - 'Words' - Lyrics

smile an ever lasting smile
a smile can bring you near to me
don't ever let me find you gone
'cause that would bring a tear to me
this world has lost its glory
let's start a brand new story
now my love
you think that I don't even mean
a single word I say

it's only words
and words are all I have
to take your heart away

talk in ever lasting words
and dedicate them all to me
and I will give you all my life
i'm here if you should call to me
you think that I don't even mean
a single word I say

it's only words
and words are all I have
to take your heart away

it's only words
and words are all I have
to take your heart away

da da da da da da da
da da da da da da da da da da
da da da da da da da
da da da da da da da da da da

this world has lost its glory
let's start a brand new story
now my love
you think that I don't even mean
a single word I say

it's only words
and words are all I have
to take your heart away

it's only words
and words are all I have
to take your heart away

it's only words
and words are all I have
to take your heart away

Saturday, February 13, 2010

The Afghan Girl.


'The Afghan Girl' - Sharbat Gula

this is not just any afghan girl. this is the picture of the most famous afghan girl ever. dont believe me? find out for yourself!
if you search the internet for, say 'american girl', you'll probably end up finding a bunch of blondes, spoilt teanage girls in their stupid 'sweet 16' parties or something. and if you search for 'Indian girl', you'll probably find girls in salwar, DPS or lady sriram college girls, or worst case, some celebrities... dont even think of searching for 'french girl'! the results are quiet obvious... but 90 out of 100 search results for a 'afghan girl' will the that of 'Sharbat Gula' - The Afghan Girl! what makes this girl special?

It was 4am in the morning, and I was alone in my room... i came accross this photograph (not that I was searching for pictures of girls or something :-), it came as a mail forward!) 
Trust me, I could'nt look at it for more than 5 seconds!!! the very moment I thought I need to see or be with another living Human being that instance. Can you believe it? I am a 25 yr old Male, weighing 85 Kgs (187lbs) and who can knock down anyone else of equal or lesser weight, in a street fight or a bar fight, but was scared to see a simple photograph of a 12 year old girl!!!

Now I know I have to justify the above statement, or else the readers are never gonna come back to read a 'chicken's' blog ever again...

Jokes apart, the look on her face and the piercing green eyes makes the difference. It's as if she's communicating through the picture...

Sharbat Gula, the afghan girl (a woman now) in the picture, was photographed in 1984, when she was 12, by a jounalist named Steve McCurry for the National Geographic Magazine. The Photograph was put on the cover of the magazine in 1985, and very soon became one of world's most popular and wanted pictures. The image itself was named as "the most recognized photograph" in the history of the magazine. It became a symbol both of the 1980s Afghan conflict and of the refugee situation worldwide.
She was forced to leave her home in Afghanistan during the Soviet war for a refugee camp in Pakistan where she was photographed. The Soviet strike killed her parents - forcing her, her siblings and grandmother to hike over the mountains to the refugee camp.

When you look into her eyes, it's as if she's asking/telling you - "what the hell are you looking at? sitting in front of your laptop/computer in your safe home after having your 3rd or 4th meal of the day. what do u know about suffering? what do you even care about? all you want is to have more and more, but all I want is to live"... Now no one knows if this is what she really meant, when she posed for the pic, but with that gaze she gives in the photo, i would say this is exactly what she meant...

The identity of the Afghan Girl remained unknown for over 17 years. Afghanistan remained largely closed to  media until after the removal of the Taliban government by foreign troops and local allies in 2001. Although McCurry made several attempts to locate her, he was unsuccessful.
In January 2002, a National Geographic team traveled to Afghanistan to locate the subject of the now-famous photograph. However, there were a number of women who came forward and identified themselves erroneously as the famous Afghan Girl. Now, who does'nt like some publicity!!!
The team finally located Gula, then around the age of 30, in a remote region of Afghanistan; she had returned to her native country from the refugee camp in 1992. Her identity was confirmed using biometric technology which matched her iris patterns to those of the photograph with almost full certainty. She vividly recalled being photographed—she has been photographed on only two occasions: in 1984 and at the reunion with Steve McCurry. She had never seen her famous portrait before it was shown to her in January 2003.

The Afghan Girl Before and After, 1984 (left) and 2002 (right)!!!

Click here for The Picture in Optical Illusion Form, but dont stare at it for too long, or you'll get a headache!


Sunday, January 24, 2010


This is the third time I am attending saarang and this time it's kinda special to me, since this is the first time I am attending it as an IITian... btw, for the people who dont know what saarang is... It's only 'the most' popular cultural fest in the country which is hosted/conducted by IIT Madras. it usually happens in the last week of January every year. in this 4 day long youth festival, guys and girls from all over the country turn up to the campus to be spectators/participants in various events and shows.

it's also the most 'coulourful' event that happens in chennai... and atleast 50-60% of the gentlemen crowd come because of this reason.

so it began... on 21st January. one more thing about saarang is... the spotlight shows happen in the evenings. day time is mostly full of games and workshops and competitions etc. this year, spotlight shows as usual were:
  • the classical night (performance by Dr.Balamuralikrishna and dance performance by Dhakshin seth dance troop),
  • Choreonite,
  • Rockshow (Hammerfall and one other band. skid row cancelled their trip due to some unforseen circumstances - we were told) 
  • light music show (Shankar-Eshan-Loy)
Dr. Balamuralikrishna's 2 hr long kutcheri, which was the opening event, was incredible. when u listen to him sing, you wonder how someone can have such a sweet and distinguished voice, for like 40+ years... crowd went crazy when he sang all his signature songs, especially when he performed "paluke bangara mayana...". he's a legend!

The same night, BMK's performance was followed by a mindblowing dance performance by the dance troop 'Dakshin Seth'. the dancers were so flexible and bendy... (it hurt my ego when I saw them - i know I can never do what they do). the star attraction of this show was the lead dancer Isha Sharvani... Oh... My... God... she was simply 'out of the world'! havent seen a gorgeous Indian girl dance so well since Vyjayanthi mala, Padmini, Shobana and Maduri Dixit. It was love at first sight! "Isha..., by any chance if you are reading this blog, this is to inform you that you have struck me like a thunderbolt (godfather style)". I know she's a hot celebrity and I am just a fat potato and there's a '1 : 1 million' probability that she'll read this blog - it's a long shot... but it's worth a try... :-)

 Now is the fun part... I planned to attend Kamal hassan and Gautam menon's lectures the next day but for the programme which starts at 9 am, I got up at 10.15 am.....!!! the oppurtunity cost for that 1 hr and 15 mins of sleep was very high. no one else can learn the economic concept of 'oppurtunity cost' more practically! but I heard from my friend that kamal's speach was 'short and sweet'. and then the day was filled with a lot of workshops and events, none of which I attended. I also missed the 'salsa' workshop which I will regret for the rest of my life (maybe even in the after life)... most of my friends have attended it and here's what they had to say: "thank you IIT"...

The same day in the evening, 'choreonite' was the spotlight event. many colleges have come to show (off) their talent. some of them even from outside chennai (Bangalore, Trichy, Coimbatore etc). And guess what... My college (UG) SVCE, also came and performed. Though I was the only guy who cheered/shouted for them when they stareted, they gave a very good performance and the crowd did enjoy it! and of course, the performance by Loyola college, one of the most ancipated performances of the evening, did live upto the expectations. I had to explain to my MBA classmates, who asked me about Loyola, that it was the parent college of 'LIBA' B-school, on hearing which they were all like "ooooooh ok". I have to mention the performance of Stella Maris college. I call it the angel dance . If there was a college in chennai, with only good-looking girls and nothing else, it must be stella maris (MOP Vaishnava college girls - I've not forgotten you people, but face it - stella it is!). Btw CET won the event and runner up was NIT trichy.

The next day, I dint miss that much, like I did the previous day. I started the day attending the DJ workshop, which btw happened in my department and my own class room. DJ Kave, DJ Prashant and DJ Zen - thanks you guys! now I can scratch the disc and know how to use the turn table etc... atleast I can pretend that I know all that :-). then I went outside to repair my cycle, which btw is a totally unwanted piece of information in this blog (sorry folks). afternoon was good fun. there was this hip-hop competition which happened at the SAC(IIT's main auditorium). have you seen the movie 'stomp the yard'? if no, then pls skip to the next paragraph... it was exactly like that. this kinda thing happening in India, that too chennai!!! India is now a developed country, in my opinion . it was basically a 'dance off' between two teams. they dance for pre-recorded hip-hop stuff. and the stunts those guys performed, was amaaaaaaaaazing. the guys who performed had really practiced very hard i would say. at a certain point it looked a bit dangerous as well. i was just like that movie.

Then there was this prelims for all the metal bands in front of SAC. each band had to perform for 15 mins, irrespective of the number of songs. the qualified bands got to perform at the OAT (open air theatre) -bigger, better setup (which I did miss - not completely though). after that I had a shawarma in the food court and bought myself a saarang t-shirt (unwanted info number 2).

Next day was pretty Ok as well. i went to the CLT complex where a number of workshops were taking place. pottery workshop etc (i wonder what makes people want to learn pottery n all - but to my surprise a lot of people were doing that. people who fall in the following categories: geeks, nerds, dorks :-) - (all in the name of good fun)). then i went into the 'face painting' workshop. No...! its not what you think. i would never give my face to anyone to scribble on it! but a couple of my friends did!!. I passed on a bad comment (like a poor rating) on the painting done on my friend's face, and got abused by a girl who did the painting... (well! that's me). Then after that, I along with my friend went on to see the fashion show in the SAC. we waited for sometime and lost patience. so much for the fashion show. we came out even before it started. I had to submit an assignment that day. so I had to sacrifice Saarang activities for the rest of the day.

Evening came, and it was time for the most awaited event of Saarang 2010. SEL (shankar-eshan-loy) show.

it did start as per schedule. but the trio apeared on the stage only after an hour. till that time we had to listen to some dumb solo singing performances. we were a group of 20-30 people sitting/standing/dancing/shouting/hooting together. the open air theatre looked like one giant disco/club without supply of alcohol. hope IIT considers that option too, in the future :-)... shankar performed all his usual/signature songs. the kind of crowd, which would normally go crazy without any reason, went totally crazy and out of control, on seeing shankar mahadevan perform (it was like adding petrol to burning fire). I came back to my room and i was so tired, but I dint sleep. instead i wrote this blog... the next day is going to be pretty much the same. rock show which will be happenning in the evening is an eagerly expected event. good luck hammerfall (in handling the out of control/super enthusiastic IIT crowd)! but for me saarang is over since i am not gonna be here the next day...

Overall experience @ saarang 2010 - 8.5/10 (mine) 
Now I already cant wait for Saarang 2011. it never gets boring...