Nach Baliye - Another Reality

It's a pity that such a popular reality show is surrounded with a controversy over its results after the grand finale.

I was watching Star News where Rakhi Sawant and Abhishek Awasthi in a press conference called by her appeared extremely disappointed with the results. They even mentioned that it is a case of software scandal as the results were through people's votes via SMS.

I heard them saying that Rakhi Sawant will be performing at Juhu during New Year's and blah blah blah... Now while one might empathise with the couple if their claim is true, the mention of her Juhu performance in this context sounds like a publicity stunt to attact audience here. Only God knows what the truth is!

Numbers Repeat Themselves

Those who know what I'm talking about shall wonder how come I'm writing about this so late. But Mrinal, Nivedita, Beta, Swati, Lanchee, Ravi, Pranjal, Raika, Yogesh, Shreya, Yogita and all you guys at Focus, I used to think that at least avoiding to write about this will prevent it to happen. It didn't, so I'm trying to pen this weird thing that happens with me.

Time when I think about having my lunch: 1:11 pm
Time when I look at the watch to see how to schedule the rest of the day: 14:14 hours
Time when I plan to set my alarm for the next morning: 00:00 hours
A vehicle number ahead of my rickshaw: 2121
The bill that comes after I order something at a take away counter: Rs. 111
Not to forget, that this is after the tax. Before adding the tax amount: Rs. 99
Time that I avoid taking my GAP exam (explaining the funda to Deepali): 3:33 pm
Bala's anticipation of my GAP score: 88.8% or 99.9%
The score I actually get in my GAP exam: 88%
A mail sent by Deepali to all, announcing my score: 05:05 pm

Someone tell me how to get rid of seeing numbers like this. It's driving me crazy. I might see some numbers like this again. It happens otherwise too.

Anybody knows what is this all about?

Anybody knows how I avoid this?

New Year's spirit is now high!

I tried and tried and tried and finally I must scream EUREKA!
My New Year's plans are on and it's gonna be a long 3-day celebration this time.
Thank you friends for all the wishes and prayers.
A special thanks to:
  1. Mrinal for eventually finding out some availability.
  2. Deepa for taking all the trouble to go and book our tickets.
  3. My friends who all agreed to come together to the place.
  4. Gautam for giving ideas for New Year's destinations.
  5. All my friends who prayed for us and wished us luck (Deepali!).

Speeding towards the New Year

Finally got a 4-day holiday for the New Year celebrations. Now the gang for celebration is finalised, the duration for partying is confirmed and the New Year mood is set. And all the hotels and resorts in the world seem to be booked :(

Damn, why doesn't the world decide to stay at home this once, watching the festivities on the television or celebrating at the terrace while we get a booking on the outskirts of Mumbai!

Pray we get the hotel booking we are looking for!

Ruler and beggar, roles keep swapping

Life takes you through various ups and downs. Sometimes you feel rich, sometimes poor, sometimes you feel on the top of the world, sometimes you feel frustrated like hell. But the fastest variation of this pattern that I face is when I need to travel within the Mumbai city every single day. Here's a day in my life as a beggar / ruler / beggar / ruler...

Morning around 9 a.m. - I am the beggar:
I set off for office. Finding an auto rickshaw is like finding an oasis.
70% rickshaw wallahs say a stern NO for going to station. But that's not disappointing, it's the way the make a face (like the typical Lalita Pawar character in Hindi movies looking down upon and insulting her poor daughter-in-law) that makes me feel miserable.

After a lot of as"king" the kings for a ride, trying in different styles - sternly, ordering, pleading, puppy face... finally one or the other auto rickshaw wallah agrees.

This happens 4 times a day, every day.

But sometimes, the roles reverse. How and when, that I shall tell you later. For now I need to go to sleep before praying and hoping that tomorrow the first auto rickshaw wallah I come across, follows my command.

The bad thing about being good

We grow up learning not to hurt anybody. But when we implement this in our real grown-up life, many a times we end up not hurting the entire world but ourselves.

26th November - Alice Comes To Wonderland

On this day in the year 1864, Oxford professor Charles Dodgson gifted the story Alice in Wonderland to a little girl. This girl, Alice Liddle, was the one who inspired him to create this masterpiece. The book is written under the pen name - Lewis Carroll.

While I revive my memories on this piece of fiction and walk down the rabbit hole, you may revisit Alice In Wonderland here!

Innocent people killed again

Serial blasts hit Faizabad, Lucknow and Varanasi today in the afternoon. While this post is being written, at least 12 people have been reportedly killed. It's disheartening how a person who might be attending a court session, a person who might have just finished his lunch, a person who might be having a happy Friday, suddenly becomes a count. A count among the number of people killed/injured due to the blasts. So while we were just recovering from the various untoward incidents that happened recently, now there's another one. I wonder when each and every person leaving his house in the morning would be sure that he'd return back home safely. May God bless the souls of the victims and may we ourselves and the authorities become alert and smart to avoid such incidents.

Mumbai local trains

I sometimes feel that I should write a book on Mumbai's local trains. Well until the time comes that I get enough time to write a book, I've started scribbling. Here's my new blog 'Mumbai local - a world of its own' totally dedicated to life in Mumbai's local trains.

Is someone lying to you?

Feel like someone is lying to you but not sure? Dating someone and want to know if the person's stories are to be believed? Need to employ someone but find his credentials too good to be true?
Here's a cool link that tells you How to Detect Lies!

Super India!

Cheers to India! We have made it to the list of Top 10 fastest supercomputers in the world.

It's great to know that a cluster platform at Pune's Computational Research Laboratories (a Tata subsidiary) is ranked 4th in high performance computing. The Tata Supercomputer is called EKA, that means ONE in Sanskrit. Hoping that we soon create a Supercomputer / enhance this one to make it to number ONE position in the list.

All the best our super brains!

For more info on this, log on to the NDTV site here

A Mannat For Shahrukh

I had heard about people being die-hard fans of some celebrities and I always wondered how can some people cross limits for just one glance of their idol!

But on Friday, when Shahrukh Khan celebrated his birthday, I somehow didn't find such fan-following as wierd as I always did. We partied hard that evening at office (oh but that has to do nothing with SRK's big day) and just when I was tired like hell, my dear friend Vijeeth said that he'll be going to see Shahrukh at Mannat (the star's bungalow at Bandra). Damn, the guy worked hard that day, partied even harder and after sweating out all his calories, he was keen to travel just to get a glimpse of his favourite star! Then, I heard about a friend's friend who had already taken the star's 'darshan' and he was really proud of it!

For once, I could understand how one crazy fan could feel. I mean I still find it a bit strange, but then it's nice to look up to and have that kinda respect for someone nice.


Good things happen to good people, but that good time takes its own good time to come.

India - World Champions!!!

My last post incidently was about the tie between India and Pakistan. And now I write on our ultimate win!!!

How I managed to leave office to watch the match right from the first ball! How Mrinal finally convinced his boss that he be allowed to leave early! How we prayed we watch the match together as whenever we did so, India did win (superstition or whatever, when it comes to the nation, I believe in this)! How we managed to find a restaurant where we could watch India winning together! How we all at the restaurant prayed together, cheered together, got worried together... saw the winning moment together!

I remember how we all lost a heartbeat when Pakistan needed 6 runs in 4 balls. Misbah-ul-haq tried a desperate six and we keenly watched the ball rising up in the air and falling only in the hands of Shreesanth! Those few seconds had so much meaning.

I salute the Indian team - this one where each player is better than the rest, each one played brilliantly! I am so proud of our team! Great going boys! We all love you!

3 Cheers For 3-0

A petty score of 141, but then even Pakistan made just 141. I remember how I just hated when there used to be a tie between 2 teams when we could have won by saving just 1 run by the opponent team. Must say I love this Twenty20 World Cup where a tie in a poor match can become so very interesting.

Hope we win the Twenty20 World Cup, and this time by playing well throughout the match!

India - Pakistan Cricket

After a long time reached home on time to watch India playing. How excited I was! We all were! Well, we just finished batting and with a score of 141 and a wicket even in the last ball I wonder what we are upto! All I can hope is that we field better to win the match. For once, I am interested in watching India field. All the best boys, let's win as we enter the festive period with Ganeshotsav and Ramzan!

My writing stroll in stock market!

Just a few months ago, all i knew about stock market was... nothing except the spelling. But as i would always vouch for, advertising teaches you all.

Before I left my previous to previous agency, Focus, I had a small stint in a brainstorming session for Motilal Oswal. Yeah, that was the first time I got to know the very basics. However, I tried not to be on the account and fortunately my dear Nivedita got to work on it!

I moved on to Mudra's Rapp Collins and Motilal Oswal's online work followed. Well, I studied a bit and did a decent job on it (it didn't require too much of 'stocket' science) to crack that particular brief.

I moved on to Pinstorm, and just as I started enjoying Swissotel accounts, I got my new brief on Kotak Securities! Well, well, I think God really wants me to be master of all 'trades'. Thanks to Nileshh and Bala, I now know much more than just the spellings of the stock lingo! Yep I've been learning and writing a lot on shares, stocks, mutual funds, SIP (which until some time back i thought had to do only with beverages!)...

And to my own surprise I'm planning to invest in the 'top performing mutual funds', to go for 'systematic investment planning' and to keep a close watch on the 'upcoming IPOs'. Economic Times, DNA Money, CNBC & Zee Business which a few weeks ago were some 'I'm not interested in this stuff' are what I regularly try to read / watch.

I'm so glad to be in a profession where you are, sooner or later, a student of everything under the sun and then you know all about it to convince the world!

Never stayed at one, wrote for many. Are luxury hotels calling me?

It all started at Focus Communication, one of my favourite workplaces. I got to handle my first luxury hotel account – Grand Hyatt Mumbai. A big fat book of brand guidelines handed over to me on my first day was determined to test my patience and skills. In no time, I started with a headline for a small direct mailer (or was it an invite?).

From there started my era of writing for the best of the hotels! Hyatt Regency, Park Hyatt Goa, Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces, InterContinental Eros, Crowne Plaza, Sahara Star… Wow!!! Before I realised I developed a flair and love for writing for hotels – campaigns, ads, newsletters, mailers, invites, compendiums, brochures, radio spots… you name it. When everyone around felt that I must be getting saturated with hotel writing, I actually was falling in love with it all the more. What can be more beautiful than branding a few exotic restaurants / lounges and after a few years walking into one and telling your family / friends that you have named this restaurant / lounge!

After 2 years of this beautiful aura, came the day when I quit Focus. But obviously, I was feeling upset of the fact that I won’t be writing for these luxury hotels anymore.

Soon I joined Pinstorm. Good people around, nearby location and Maggi already had brought enough smiles on my face, and I was in fro a surprise. I got the SwissĂ´tel Sydney Account! And that’s not all, soon followed SwissĂ´tel Moscow and Singapore as well!

Can’t express my joy, but one thing’s sure… now my dream of writing for hotels (of course, other categories too as I am missing my DIAGEO and jewellery writing as well) has extended to having a stay there as well!

My lady luck, are you reading?

Annu's Coined Word/s of the day!

1. Too many men eating up your head?

That must be TREMANDOUS pressure!

2. Rainy season and all that romance?

Beautiful as it is RAINOMANCE!

3. A horrible portfolio lacking all the stuff it must have.

Well someone must be showing his PORTPOLIO!

What men want

There's one thing all men love, especially when they surprisingly get it from a woman. And that's precisely the reason they may love what follows...

Was that enough space? Well, if you have women in your life, this is the maximum space you can get. Love it and love to live with it.


Sitting by the Arabian sea last evening and watching the naughty waves multiplying into a million droplets after giving a high five to the rocks was a true delight last evening. The sea still maintaining its calm, perhaps it got used to the playful nature of the waves, was behaving beautifully mature. But then, we were in for some more surprise.

The rain gods caught red-handed all those struck by Cupid's arrow and clicked the picture perfect by flashing lightening. In no time, the clouds started protesting with thunder louder than the sound of the hearts beating with love. And soon, as we juggled the thoughts of staying back or rushing away, we were blessed by the first shower of this monsoon. Thick cold drops tapped us and whispered the message sent by the monsoon months, “Get ready for some Rainomance, we are coming to wash away the heat!”

From 'My back at work' to 'Back to work'


My summer vacation's over and i am not upset about it. One month of complete bed rest, and later a month of being a couch potato and evenings out has been just perfect. The best part is that i have put on visible kilos and am happy about it (of course except the tummy that needs some trimming).

Finally i got the break at the only place i applied for a job and it's just going as i thought it should. Dream job is that i can call this and i am not talking about job profile for this once (that i'll keep for later).

Friends who know me like their own self would know how much i wondered why they don't serve maggi out on the streets or better still at office. You got it folks - we have maggi at my workplace! And fishes, not the smell of prawns that some people love to eat, but a fish tank... i love it!

People here are very nice too and i feel like repeating the McDonald's tagline. Another good thing is that Mrinal's office is almost walkable from my office (poor sweetheart of mine ;)) and we leave from work at the same time and early enough (touchwood). Nivi too is on the top floor of the same building! Appears too unbelievable na!

I hope it remains this way and i do some great work out here!

Well, tomorrow's my second week at the new place. And i am pretty excited about it! See ya!

Summer vacation

All the time to shop in Mumbai. All the time to laze around. All the time to read books and watch the TV...

Wow! I am loving the summer vacation I have earned for myself after all these years. About job search, well... there's some more time until I start mailing my resume. Until then, well i relax while you work ;)

Enjoy your weekdays!

A young old couple

I went to visit my orthopaedic surgeon and as usual I was endlessly waiting for the receptionist to call my name. All I could see around were elderly couples – three of them as man and wife, and two good-old friends (I felt young… youngest!). Well, after I realised I have forgotten my Reader’s Digest at home, after I played Tom & Jerry on my cell phone for the nth time, all I could do was observe my fellow beings.

My immediate neighbours were the ‘there’s something good about everything’ types. Each of them held a walking stick. The one with the uncle sitting besides me was spanking new. Once he realised they have started getting bored and his beloved will feel the pain all the more, he started some soft conversation. He drew her attention (and mine too, unknowingly) towards his walking stick… oh he really appeared to love this one!

How she told him it was a cat’s face (the wooden handle), how he corrected her that it was a dog! How they both started adoring and analysing it together, “Oh see these are the eyes, and these cuts here… these are the mouth lines… oh see they have not marked the ears…”! So innocent, so much like second childhood, so inspiring, so much love!

Some time later, the vivacious receptionist started chatting with almost each one of us. We realised that after my turn (the next one) it’s my favourite couple’s turn. We also realised that the couple had arrived before me. When I was tired sitting already, they sure must be. So I decided to tell them that they can proceed, once my name was called. But before I could, the sweet uncle told me that his beloved is having problem sitting for so long. I said they can go before me. But then his self esteem resisted, “No, no, it’s ok, you go ahead.” And after my strong convincing, for the sake of his love, he agreed.

Together with their sticks they walked to the ortho, together with their walking sticks they came out, together they thanked me. While aunty gently held my hand, “I hope we didn’t take too long, thank you,” uncle said everything without saying a word.

And then slowly supporting each other and taking the support of their sticks they disappeared out of the corridors. Well, their walking sticks, the one with a dog face and the other one too, sure are a support that assists them while they walk… the life, together and gracefully!