Monday, June 30, 2008

Consequence of not reading emails correctly!

A couple of days back , I got an email saying I have been nominated for an award at office that would be given during a meeting where some leaders would speak. I obviously got excited at the thought of being amongst the 3 people who got nominated to win this award and felt that a 0.33 percent chance is not too bad a chance to win something .

Today was the D day and though I was super thrilled about our DC win than anything else, this award nomination was somewhere at the back of my mind . As the award part of the function started, I could feel an urge of anticipation from my side. Then the slide that showed our names flashed on the stage and suddenly I saw 2 other names along with the 3 I had known and then the results were called out and the person who read it out said there was a tie. I was kinda hopeful since 2 out of 5 is still a better chance than 1 out of 5. The 1st winner's name was flashed across - It wasn't my name and I just clapped like all the others and waited and then they announced the 2nd name - It was another guy's name and though my position in the seat did not change, I could feel my heart sink . I know one of the awarded guys personally and he is outstanding and have absolutely no regret but its just that feeling of hope that was there and that want of winning something that was killed in that single moment. That event was enough to put me off completely for the day. I had a pretty good time with my friends later but that irritating feeling just overshadowed every other emotion I had for the rest of the day.

Curiosity as it was, I came back and checked the email that was sent to us and realised that none of the winners were part of the email and then suddenly realised that what I had missed was a single line, written in Times New Roman in Font 10 and in bold - "Please be present physically to collect your nomination certificate" and then it suddenly hit me that had I read this line earlier, these unnecessary hopes wouldn't have been there, I wouldn't have probably had this expectation at all , I would have remained happier in the thought that I was nominated and would have forgotten about it . The email was so crystal clear and said that you did not win any award and that you were just one of the several nominees . I felt miserable after I read that and felt that I should be honest and blog about this as well.

The last few hours have been so irritating and frustrating that I I seriously just hate the thought of even getting nominated for any such award for future . But it has taught me one single thing - Read every line , Read every punctuation mark , Read every damn thing !


Persepolis - An animated film based on the true story of an Iranian woman - from her childhood to the time she moves out to France, is what you would probably call a complete entertainer . You feel her emotions , you feel sorry for the Iranians , you feel sorry for the people suffering through it and your heart goes out to the people who have had to live in such trying conditions where your not sure of seeing another day.

Here is an example of a film that is so different in terms of the concept but you can still connect with it coz' the character is like anyone of us. Its not what you would normally expect from a Pixar kinda animated movie. Instead, this is a story that almost seems real but just that it is unconventional.

Set in the backdrop of Iranian revolution, this is a story of a small girl whose family has been actively involved in the revolution - staging against the oppressors etc. As the mins go by, it slowly unveils what happened when the regime took over the country, that resulted in so many illogical rules - examples included women wearing scarfs, complete ban on alcohol , not being able to share your views in public , other oppresive rules which just made life so difficult for people .

It also highlights the period where the Iraq-Iran war raged on, where close to around a million people were killed. The terror that was prevalent can be easily sensed in the movie and it makes for some captivating viewing.

Coming back to the story, due to circumstances, the girl is sent to Vienna to study, where she finds mixing with people extremely difficult initially because of the cultural differences. Whenever she tells someone that she is from Iran, they just take look at her in utter disbelief ! And though she changes slowly , she still feels guilty of having left her family back in Iran. Finally, after a set of disappointments in Vienna ,she returns back home only to discover that things have changed way too much and just she cannot come to terms with it . She again finds it almost impossible to adjust at her home, this time. More of it would just completely spoil it for those who might want to see this wonderful movie.

Some of the things it concentrates on are questions like , how women with liberal thinking ,symbolised by the girl's granny , can still survive even in such places though expressing anything of this sort in public is almost impossible. People who even think of doing so are punished - whipped or they have to pay huge amounts of money. There is a particular scene where her father says , this was the same land where 15 years ago , your mom and I used to hold hands and walk on the road but now its impossible. Another scene where she cries in front of her grandmom about her impending divorce is amazing. In reply to this , her grandmom says, "Don't worry, the first marriage is just a practice for the second".

After seeing the movie, you get a feeling as to how people, who have no idea of anything called freedom still have the will to survive and you are forced to stand up and appreciate this. Maybe at times, they just live their lives , even if they don't want to!

Its a hard hitting film that was nominated for Academic awards last year, it makes for a wonderful weekend watch . And why would I go to such a movie ? Narayan is the answer to that coz' in him , you have a genuine film lover who views each of these as an experience! Thanks for convincing me to watch this movie.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Victory in a Corporate Challenge fest!

A couple of weeks back, we got an email saying there was a Corporate Challenge being
organised by Honeywell and as soon as we saw DC, we were all excited to take part in it.

Unusual requirement was, instead of the usual 3, they needed 4 ppl in the team. Aravind and I
were sure to take part, then we approached Aditya, from my junior batch and equally passionate about Dumb Charades, part of a good DC team in college and he approached us as well . Voila! We had 3 in the team. Next, we thought of Sridhar, my batch mate who was part of another equally kickass DC team in college. So here we were - 4 from Cisco set to take part. The funny part was all 4 of us were generally used to acting in our respective teams !!!

As is our wont, we did not bother doing anything till the last min. And a couple of days back, we decided to use "our"(Aravind and I) team's codes since 2 of us were in a majority. All we did was make fun of each other's codes and then we were all set to go to the fest.

Interestingly enough, our 3rd original DC team member Narayan, now part of another company,
also came with a different team .We definitely missed having him in our team, but we wished him the best of luck and hoped they would do really good as well.

To our surprise, there was tremendous response to the event , as there were overall 80 teams
taking part in DC from 45 different companies !!! We also found our perenial DC competitors -
previously from RV, now working for NI, taking part and we just wished each other , already
hoping that we would clash again in the finals.

The prelims started and by the time we went, we had already seen around 8 teams get all the 3
parts of the chit - a Personality, a movie and a word in less than 90 seconds and we had to get it well within time. I picked up a chit and had a "not so easy" set compared to others.

We got :
Tiger woods - very simple
Resident Evil - movie - kinda ok but tricky
Prank - again tricky.

But we had 3 great DC guys who transformed into amazing guessers and managed to get it in 58
secs which was very tricky coz' there were few other teams coming after us. At that stage we
were 5th in the standings. One more team cracked their chit in 55 secs and we were in the 6th
position and hoping that no other team would crack it ! And thats exactly what happened ! We
were the last team to qualify , the NI team was also there in the finals as expected and so were other equally talented teams and yo ! we were set for yet another duel!

The finals started and we shared the lead with the NI team after the first round. Second
round was a theme cum mirror round - where a particular theme was given and we had one actor acting, the other actor mirroring exactly what he was doing and the 2 guessers looking ONLY at the mirror. Luckily out of the 2 choices that were available - Harry Potter and Music, we got Harry potter and managed to crack the chit in 47 secs( out of 60) , and the crowd went
crazy and so did we - jumping on top of each other !! We were now in the lead !!

Next round probably defined the complete finals for us . All teams had to guess names of English movies, sorted into easy, moderate and tough categories and as many as possible in 90
secs. We defined our strategy to go for the tough category and we cracked that round big time! We got 6 tough ones in 90 seconds when most other teams only 2 moderate + 1 easy, 3 moderate and so on, which was truly fantastic! We hit a jackpot with 180 points ( 30 for
every tough one) and the organisers said " We are stunned that they could crack 6 of them in
the tough category" ! The other team did pretty well too - cracking 5 tough ones in 90 secs.

The final round required 3 actors to act 3 different things and connect them with a theme .Since our team was filled with actors , we just went with it and got a pretty easy set - Opera house , Eiffel tower and Statue of liberty, the connection being that they all lost in the race for the 7 wonders of the world .We cracked this set in 23 seconds and celebrated like we used to in college . Jumping up and down and sharing high fives !!

The difference in points between the 2nd team and our team was 108 and we were completely
ecstatic that we won convincingly! More than the gift vouchers ( which were very good!), we just
totally enjoyed the thrills and the spills and the adrenalin rush that just comes with DC since all 4 of us are pretty crazy about it!

The finals was watched by a packed audience and as we went down from the stage, people rushed to congratulate us and it continued throughout the evening. We even had people from other companies who went on stage to speak about the Fest as such, talk about having had a great time looking at the Cisco team in the DC finals!

More was to follow . The Cisco team came 6th in Mad ads and 2nd in the "Battle of the bands"
and guess what? We won the overall trophy which was a beautiful crystal trophy along with a
"man of the match" type of cheque saying that Cisco had won the event this year.

A fitting end to a great great day that will stay in memory for a really really long time!!!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Condolences to Jane Mcgrath

Having spent a good amount of time during a period of 6 months last year in Australia, one of the things I realised there was sporty the entire nation was and the amount of respect they had not only for sports people but even for community causes. I must have seen atleast 3-4 covers of different magazines highlighting the story of Jane Mcgrath - a cancer survivor. She was as popular there as her illustrious husband, probably the best line and length bowler in cricket - Glenn Mcgrath. The two of them set up the Mcgrath foundation for spreading awareness and helping those out suffering from Breast cancer.

This morning I heard the shocking news that Jane Mcgrath is no more and on reading online articles , heard that her health deteriorated after complications from a bone cancer operation. May her soul rest in peace and Australians/all others round the world would always be grateful for her support towards the cause and being helpful to all the other people who were suffering from the same disease. It seems she passed away with her husband and her two children by her side. May God bless them and give them the strength to overcome this huge loss .


Monday, June 02, 2008


Its official now . IPL has been the biggest thing that has hit World cricket since maybe the Kerry Packer series and people who watched it all over the world cherished it . BCCI made awesome profits in the range of 350 crores or more according to newspaper reports , the Franchise concept worked - some of them were trying to draw even in the first season while others were busy sacking their CEOs. There was also a hilarious forward which had the Blore owner , asking people to drink a particular brand of beer he is associated with because he invested a lot of money and his team just wasn't able to perform !

A day after IPL, in the evening ,even my dad felt that he missed watching cricket - which almost resulted in me collapsing from my seat as this was probably the last thing I would expect from him. I truly agree with him though. IPL , as one of the news channels kept saying , threw all the Saas bahu serials out of contention and ironically, even the news channels suffered since people in general were no longer were bothered about the 9pm news but were instead worried about what their favorite city IPL team was going to do in the last 5 overs !

There were very many great moments - McCullum's first day "beltax" century, Akhtar's fiery spell in his comeback match against Delhi, Gilly playing that hurricane knock against Mumbai ( I actually saw this in the airport just before boarding a flight and generally, janta queue up much before the announcement goes by , but this time was different , as they approached the line , they were walking slower and slower so that they don't miss Gilly's batting and yes, he didn't disappoint - Match got over at 11.25 pm mins before we boarded the flight ! ) , a few hatricks , loads of action and drama , a Hollywood inspired first IPL final ( a 1 sec slot was worth 10 lakhs during the breaks during the final !) and Rajasthan Royals !

The Royals - they beat all the pre tournament hype and criticism when people said any team would win except the Royals ! Watching them play was a treat and a great learning to any other team . Led by the "Blonde Bombshell" ( Read Warne) , as Ravi Shastri put it , they just walloped every damn team on the way and won the finals and also the hearts of zillions of cricket fans . For more on this, just type in Royals and IPL in google and you will find crazy number of articles talking about this team!

Finally, if anybody comes back home after work and suddenly says, "who's playing today" and suddenly realises that IPL is over, you will know that he has been hit by what many call the IPL effect ! Next year it will be bigger and better with more money for everyone involved. Finally, who is the loser ? maybe the aam janta who pay up the money to watch the match !!!