Friday, September 19, 2014

Lesson from Kids Yoga

When we were kids and did too much masti, sometimes mother would pull us (me and elder sis) up; mount us on the dining table (so that we could not escape); and give us a challenge (which was another trap) - sit still, close your eyes and for 10 minutes think only about Lord Ram, Sita ji and Hanuman ji with no other thought in mind... We tried but never succeeded - we were surprised why it did not work out - why we always had some other thought cropping up our mind - why we did not have that self control! We would ask mother why we could not do it - but mother would only smile and say two words - "try again". I think the idea was that even if we did not succeed but if kept trying, at least during that time we should be calm and rested...

I think that is a key to many things - keep trying; even if you don't succeed fully, at least during the time you are trying you are much better than otherwise!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Who moves the train?

We were on a train journey and our co-passenger next berth was a super-cool uber-curious kid who kept asking questions. Once he looked outside the window, felt the train running, and asked, "how does the train move?" I thought to play game; to give him a stupid but logical answer which he could understand... So I said, "There are big elephants at the front of the train who are pulling the train and running fast..." To my relief, the kid bought the answer. He was satisfied and went to sleep.

He woke after an hour or two. As soon as he opened his eyes, he saw outside and realized that the train was still. And he exclaimed, "The elephants have stopped!!!" That was so cool - instead of saying "the train has stopped", he more appropriately said, "the elephants have stopped!"... I felt guilty of misleading this super-intelligent kid.

May be one day when he grows up a bit and knows how trains move, he would say, "that uncle on the train was so stupid to think elephants move the train!" :)

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Think of Trees

At engg college, our department's seniors were hosting 'welcome function' for us. As part of interactions, they were asking us (1st year freshers) questions. One of our classmates (many would remember who she is) was asked something like "what would you like to become in your next birth? Or if you could become something other than what you are - what would you choose?" She replied "I would like to become a tree because a tree is so at peace and ..." 

That was an extraordinary thought and answer and it was so true! 

From that day onward, somehow deep in my mind whenever I think of 'peace', I think of 'trees'...

Monday, September 8, 2014

The CEO’s Email

The new CEO had joined the company with much funfair. He was a big name and industry veteran. Once in a while he sent some emails to all employees in a drive to boast morale. Rohit read one such email and he was mesmerized. The email had so many jargon, buzz words, and what not - so this is how a CEO's email should be! He was highly impressed with the CEO’s email.  

But his curiosity made him test his hypothesis. He copied one line from CEO's email with big words and 'googled' it. The exact line was found to be picked up from a synopsis of a Harvard training package! He was shocked and bewildered! Is it that the CEO did not write his email but someone else wrote it copying content from multiple sources? But why should a CEO not write his own email, especially if he was sending an important message to all employees of the organization? Since he was trying to make a culture shift in the organization?

Couldn't a CEO write one damn good email without plagiarizing it?

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Observations on The Anupam Kher Show

I am a great fan of Anupam Kher and I have huge admiration for his talent and charisma. I think he is one of the finest actors of Bollywood. For some time ‘The Anupam Kher Show’ has been running on popular TV channel Colors and I watch it most of the times. The show’s format is good and it is content rich. Over the time I have made some observations on the show and wish to pen down those. These are merely my observations and intent is not personal towards anyone.

Awarding or gifting the guests at random: In some of the episodes, Anupam Kher gifts the guest with a memoire which is generally a written memento lauding the person for his or her achievements and commending the person. But this practice is followed only when some veteran celebrity arrives at the show and when some newcomer actor or actress or someone less famous from the chosen few comes, he or she does not get any such honor or award. Randomness of celebrity choices to whom such awards are given baffles the viewers and it is an uncomfortable moment near the end of the show. I mean last week you saw how Mr. Kher flattered that celebrity with a gift, but this week the show just ‘abruptly’ comes to an end! The celebrity who does not get award appears insecure about what is going to happen next too. In my opinion, even if Mr. Kher thinks some of the guests are unworthy to get an award and memento from his hands, he should still gift that person a memento – it does not cost much and it appears niceon his part. A good host does not discriminate between his guests.

Volley of questions: Quite often and abruptly at some point in the show we witness Mr. Kher showering the guest celebrity with a volley of questions. It is like a ‘rapid fire round’ without being labeled so. Viewers get confused for a moment and take time to settle down and realize what is happening. When this is in progress, which can start anytime without viewers or the guest having any clue, communication is one-way, i.e. Mr. Kher asks questions, the guest answers, but Mr. Kher instead of grasping the answer or responding or reacting to it, simply asks next question. At times this looks insensitive. After all, the guest might have shared a piece of his or her heart; something private or something dear to his or her heart; and the host is expected to respond or at least acknowledge it sensibly!

Too much flattery of some while ignoring some others: I don’t know if it was intended through the format of the show that the host Mr. Kher should often be too personal or impersonal towards the guests depending on who the guest is. When some old timer veteran actor or actress comes, he is seen flattering him or her with all the powers he possesses but when some youngsters or less famous celebrity comes, he is seen too impersonal or aloof/detached at times. I noticed when Sonam Kapoor came, at many points Mr. Kher kept her at arm’s length, i.e. did not respond with the same warmth with which Sonam was talking to him. Is it contempt or disapproval reflecting in Mr. Kher’s behavior towards those he thinks do not deserve too much respect for their not-so-great talent? It also reflects in the fact that Mr. Kher appears to have done much homework on some celebrities while on some others he appears unprepared and more like scratching on the surface.

Calling multiple celebrities: In many episodes two celebrities were called while it would be better to have only one. I think this show’s best USP is the content which is soaked in personal experiences of the celebrities who come on the show. Most of the time the celebrity guests have too much content to share but Mr. Kher has to flip between the two guests and hence viewers lose continuity. Though I must say that Mr. Kher tries to be balanced towards both hosts on such occasions brilliantly. I think if at some point of time this show could be documented in the form of a book, the book will definitely be a great hit. But for that to happen, episodes with two or more celebrities in it won’t make that much sense.

Appearing insensitive towards some guests: I am a big fan of Aditya Roy Kapoor. In today’s (7th of Sep) episode I did not like it when as soon as Aditya arrived and sat down – Mr. Kher asks something like, “We were discussing how Parineeti has been a topper and good in studies. Somehow I feel you have been an opposite of her…” This was not a respectful line to begin with; after all, was it written on Aditya’s face that he was not good at studies in school? For next fifteen minutes or so Aditya is quizzed on how he did not know what to do in life (which no kid does!) and in short how he fitted into the mold Mr. Kher had created for him! The frank, honest and cool manner in which Aditya handled all these questions was adorable. And while asking all these questions, Mr. Kher laughed at Aditya while Parineeti joined him and also interrupted Aditya with her comments perhaps in order to show her presence on the show and not to allow Aditya eclipse her. In my opinion some editing should have been done for Aditya’s portion to come uninterrupted.

There are many positives of the show too, that is why I shall continue watching it. If I have to name a few, first thing is rich content, which won’t be possible without the brilliant Mr. Kher asking those probing and intelligent questions which encourage celebrities to come out of shells and bare their hearts. Honoring one viewer in each show and giving him/her opportunity to talk to the celebrity is also a very novel idea. Mr. Kher himself is excellent and adds huge star power to the show. Still, sometimes I have felt uncomfortable with the points I mentioned in the earlier parts of this article and hence thought to share what I felt. I am sorry if some feelings were hurt of the viewers who consider this show or Mr. Kher flawless. There is always a room for improvement – as Mr. Kher says and I like it very much, “Kuchh bhi ho sakta hai”!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Different Worlds

Keep pressing remote control's buttons and each TV channel shows a different world. Similarly at this very moment so many different worlds are unfolding. At this very moment, someone is in bed, some other travelling, some driving, some working, some fighting, some eating, some are in dreams, some are in others’ dreams… So many worlds in a single world…

Sunday, August 24, 2014

It's Entertainment at Box Office

Watched It's Entertainment today. Filled with sidesplitting comedy and comic scenes - it's great entertainment for all. Kids in the theater were heard enjoying a lot; good decision by parents to bring them along :) Akshay is the best and Krishna Abhishek has done great role too. 

I also noticed that 90% of the movie was shot in Bangkok. Don't know what will happen to Narendra Modi's "Come, Make in India" slogan! After returning back, thought to check the financials of the movie: Cost: Rs 75 Crores; Box office collection: ~ Rs 71 Crores after two weeks. It appears that its production cost was too high; even if it earned more than Rs 100 Crores, it won't have made much profits. Apart from spending on too many stars (who had got small roles anyway), one major factor for such high production cost would be shooting 90% of the film in a foreign location. 

When Modi asks to "make in India", it is not only to generate local employment and local business but also to save costs and make more profits! I hope movie makers learn this as soon as possible - so that their finances also keep entertaining them!


Friday, August 22, 2014

Touching Cows

A cow had roamed to the middle of the road, attracted by speck of greenery on the median strip. As she was busy dealing with the grass, a car zoomed past her. As soon as it passed besides her, the driver brought his hand out and touched the cow on her back. It is a Hindu custom where it is considered sacred to touch a cow. We can guess that the purpose of this custom would be to encourage people to serve cows, to feed and protect cows who give us milk second only to our mother’s milk. So does this casual touch-while-you-go business serve any real purpose? 

This gesture is indeed ‘symbolism’. At the very moment the driver was touching the cow, he must have felt reverence for mother cow; at that moment he must have had pious thoughts in his mind; and hence I think this custom though symbolic in nature would still help preserve some goodness in the hearts of practitioners… 

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Merry Go Round

In our neighborhood park there is a small merry-go-round which runs when pushed manually. Once a mother was seen pushing it while several kids enjoyed the ride. But she was holding the ride and also running round and round as the ride moved. I wondered why could not she stand at one place and simply push the ride to get it running! Why take the pains to run along with it? On second thoughts I could get it - She was not moving with the ride but in fact she was moving with her kid! If she stood at one place and pushed the ride, she would need to let her kid go out of her hands which she did not want to do... Tells how difficult it is to judge others from our own frame of reference. Also how parents take emotional decisions to protect kids while kids can judge them logically and consider them wrong...

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Car's Windshield

Cab driver stopped the car and went on to clean the corner of wet windshield. The moist and hazy surface was not getting perfectly clean. He kept trying and wondering what was wrong... I suggested to try cleaning from inside. He tried and it was done in a moment. That is how we keep trying to solve problems from outside while at times key may be to try from inside...

Friday, August 15, 2014

Happy Independence Day!

Independence of our country was earned at a great price and is ensured everyday by great sacrifices. If we could follow some bullet points from the wonderful speech by our great PM Sri Narendra Modi, our country will attain greater heights:

(1) Avoid imported goods and buy more ‘made in India’ items.

(2) Impart good values to sons so that daughters remain safe.

(3) Keep our localities neat and clean.

(4) It is our responsibility to build the nation our freedom fighters dreamed of.

Happy Independence Day India! Long live 15th August!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Vistara - Luxury Airline from Tata

Why all airline companies in India should have English names? (e.g. Air India, Jet Airways, Indigo, GoAir, SpiceJet). Here comes Vistara - newly launched airline, majority owned by Tata and it is called "Vistara" - word derived from Sanskrit word 'Vistaar'.

Here are some glimpses of Vistara:

Brand Vistara having a premium positioning has been designed elegantly:

All images courtesy the airline's Facebook page:

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Parikshit Sahni

Happened to spot Parikshit Sahni in one of the old movies and observed how good looking he has been! This picture shows him with his father Balraj Sahni . And what to say of their acting skills!!!