Friends Series (1) : I didnt have anything on that topic

I just realized that in my friend circle (especially the IIMB one), a lot of us have this habit of cracking one liners from friend. And I thought I should pay homage to Friends through this episodic writing on some of the most amazing one-liners I’ve seen people pick.

Phoebe has a knack of cracking phenomenally universally applicable statements like this one –

I didn’t have anything on that topic, so I went another way. (Context: Season 1 – Ep. 6 -The One With the Butt…. Chandler narrating the story of his date with the Italian girl Aurora who is married to Rick and has another boyfriend Ethan and the “friends” are discussing about the uncomfortable feeling around going out with someone who is going out with someone else. Joey cracks the landmark – When I’m with a woman, I need to know that I’m going out with more people than she is )

What does that remind me of?

1. ACP – Arbit Class Participation – a phenomenon that every MBA has definitely been through, and especially in courses where faculty members/professors have additional weightage for participating in class discussions. People come up with such garbage CP as “In the multidimensional and prospective interest of the economy, its important for organizations to add value to the pet allowance of the third strata of economically imprudent and strategically deprived dogs sleeping in the garbage cans of south mumbai.” (Background questions could have been something as simple as “Do you think Maneka Gandhi and her animal activism is the way to go?”
This ACP reminds me 2 more things – First, A2Z CP where people had explanations of A to Z of CP, e.g. BCP – before class participation, CCP- creative class participation, DCP – Desperate class participation and so on.
And the second was bullCP – where backbenchers would float 5 random keywords which had to combined in a single participation – whoever does that successfully, gets to float the next set of keywords. Example – Intoxicating, Aliens, Titan, Paradigm Shift, Professor – There are organizations known to have made paradigm shifts in their strategy without realizing any benefit because a bad strategy could make a customer feel like an alien, say something like customers perceiving Titan not as a brand of watches but as a company that is disposing intoxicating wastes in space simply because they agreed to a professor’s suggestion of coming up with a brand called Titan WaistLine. Beat that!

2. Wheel of Fortune – and hence, Shilpa. I have associated WoF with a random turn of wheel leading to a random topic on which someone asks questions, etc. Shilpa has a knack for that – On a table where strong discussions on credit cards is happening, she can end up asking a question like – who killed Lala Lajpat Rai.

3. The way people live their life – like defeated warriors. I could not change the tide of things, so I decided to do something else. I tried a couple of times, but realized that I cant change this. So I decided to do something else.

4. The need to be counted- A lot of people have this problem. I have that. I feel a little left out when I dont have anything to say on a topic. Either I try to paraphrase. Or, I go back to the drawing board and learn something new. But most of the people have an urge to be counted.

There are so many things that you can read in this …

Movie Review: Black Friday (2007)

An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind – Mahatma Gandhi

I watched the censored version of Black Friday a couple of days back. I have been thinking of why it was banned. It was said that it will bias public opinion in favor of the charge-sheeted offenders. Will it?

Since eternity, all wars/battles have been master minded by some and executed by several others. These several others are made to believe that they are fighting for a cause. That the cause is greatest cause one can fight for. At times, its revenge for the brotherhood, at other occasions, it might be a struggle for existence and survival. But the cause is always fair. Wars shall cease to exist if people believed in Gandhigiri – someone slaps you on one cheek, offer him the other cheek for slapping. Keep doing it till he is tired, confused, and shocked out of his wits and that’s precisely when his thinking becomes clear. That’s when he would apologize and seek mercy.

Does that mean once my sanity is restored, I should justify the reasons for the fight and the motives of the offender? Hmmm… I don’t quite think so.

Black Friday is a very well researched and well made movie(?). I would rather classify it as a documentary. Or, the serialization of history as shown on History Channel. The bottomline remains – it’s a great movie.

But that does not take anything away from the star-cast full of enraged, confused, frustrated, cheated, lost common people.

Pawan comes up with a truly superlative performance. And Kay Kay comes up with another good restrained and underplayed performance. All the other supporting actors have done justice to their role.

The movie has its comic real life moments as well. Imtiyaaz Ghavate chase which goes on for a long time, and the policeman eventually saying “Ae Imtiyaaz! Yaar ruk ja yaar!” and the shot where a hungry Kay Kay peels off a banana to eat and a hungry constable walks in.

The screenplay is realistic and gripping. The editing is slick and fast paced. Cinematography is just what it should be – scratchy, real, and not with a lot of jazz. The real footage shown from the then Newstrack videos adds the element of nostalgia.

Music – Indian Ocean don’t need a mention. Bandeh is the probably the pick of the lot. But its an album you can keep for the keeps.

Vote- Watch it. Unless you are a pig headed religious captain who cannot absorb reality the way it is. It’s a must watch.

Movie review: Eklavya – The Royal Guard

How many times have you had a great meal followed by a bad dessert? Or a lot of drinks and a great feeling before you puked and destroyed it all? Or, a JJWS kinda feeling where someone pulls that final gear and beats you in the race just when you thought you had won it?

The movie is a pretty good one, but for one haunting memory of the India-SriLanka one day match (the second ODI of the recent series). Everything cruises on so smoothly that you forget that it’s a contest. You are ready to give India a thumbs up on their performance. And suddenly, they lose the match! Eklavya is just that. A great movie where Vidhu Vinod Chopra just decided to go bollywood in the end and come up with a very very very typical climax.

Eklavya – Amitabh, is Eklavya’s movie. Just that Amitabh is the Lord Krishna of Bollywood. Movies, Media, Scripts, Characters, Stories are all centered around him. And he never disappoints. Saif Ali Khan stands tall in front of Amitabh, and that speaks volumes about his performance. Amitabh and Saif are the Maharaja Mac and Coke of this happy meal. And there are plenty of tiny little French fries.

Story, Screenplay, Dialogues, Cinematography are the big plusses. Obviously, in addition to the performances of the stars. Characterization is the biggest strength of this movie. Eklavya’s love for tradition and his innermost conflicts are well portrayed. All the characters – Harshvardhan(Saif) as the heir apparent who realizes his true origins after his mother’s (Sharmila) death. Rana (Boman) and his anger at realizing that his royal palace guard is the father of his children. Nandini (Raima) as the mentally retarded daughter and her joys and fears. Pannulal (Sanjay Dutt) as the low caste DSP is good in his cameo. Rajjo (Vidya) as the poor-girl-love-interest of Harsh & Jyotivardhan (Jackie)- the deprived brother of Rana – these two could have been built better. But considering that the movie is really about Eklavya only, creating these strong profiles is a big achievement.

The element of suspense as the drama unfolds is quite intriguing. It’s a well tightened 2 hour movie, implying no embarrassing song and dance sequences.

Movie does not have a consistent pace – it varies with different stages of the movie. The average movie goer will be disappointed at times. And the yash choprization of the climax where everything falls together is the worst thing about the movie.

And the last big take home – a Trailer of Munnabhai chale America in the intermission

Wow with Windows Vista and Tata Indicom

I had not quite liked the WOW advertising Windows vista folks had done with Coffe day tie-up.

But here I am sitting at the MUmbai Airport, and suddenly the usually paid Tata Indicom Wi-Fi Service is being offered free by WOW. Catch – you have to download and view a demo which takes about 15-20 seconds. Takes you through some catchy sections and walks you through the features. Even though you are in a hurry to get through the demo, you end up walking into their hands and notice a few nice features like instant network, 3D flip windows, instant search, etc.

But the baseline marketing problem – how do you catch the attention of a customer effectively, has been answered pretty effectively! Hit the pain point (need to be connected) of a user segment (corporate travellers/ with wi-fi enabled laptops) at a location where they need it (airports in India- minimal connectivity, high idle time if you reach in time). Bingo!

The interesting bit would be –
1. given that the websites visited via this gateway is an information that would (hopefully) be available with Tata Indicom, and can be snapped by WOW. Can they effectively use this data?
2. More simply, whoever registers with this access code, also ends up providing an email id (maybe a personal one). Here, you are talking about people who have already seen a demo of the product. Can you think of the next stage marketing strategy for these guys?

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(Ticket)less amusement

here.. another proof that Lalooo gets as much media attention as Ash-Abhishek

However, the most interesting part of the coverage is 3-4 versions of the same incident by different people, all closely related to the event!

Frontrunner Paradox

Nice post by Seth.

The frontrunner paradox is not something new. However, from a totally experiential perspective.. I have seen the big become bigger with consummate ease. Small becoming big is news item, yes. but big becoming bigger is the most obvious thing to happen!

The big question is – are the front runners, who more often than not, lose (as per Seth), lose so hard that they cant win again? Or, is it a vicious cycle of winning and losing?

Indian Blog Awards!

… are on here

Lets vote for the GreatBongs and the India Uncuts or whoever you guys support.

I gave in to Bong’s plea for the most humorous blog award!

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