Coming back to it.. gradually though

Here is the reason I have been out for so long…

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and yeah.. give me some more time and I will be back! 🙂

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Update

Added the blogroll on the side bar.. Pretty long list, but many of them are definitely worth peeking at! 🙂

Roundup…. No Title

Haven’t been blogging for a while, as the seasonal lethargy takes over. I can’t really blame it on anything else. Anyway, just a roundup of things/people/songs of note –

1. Television – I am in love with the 2 singing competitions on telly these days, Zee Saregamapa 2007 Challenge – Sangeet ka Pratham Vishwayud and Amul Star Voice of India. SVOI is going through a dramatic phase with Gajendra Chauhan ( the pioneer of such singing talent hunt shows) getting confused with his self created frankenstein. However, the singers to watch out for are Toshi Sabri (brought back into SVOI by popular demand, after being ejected on the basis of public voting), Harshit (SVOI), Amaanat Ali (SRGMP, an amazing voice from Pakistan) and Raja Hassan(SRGMP). Raja has the rusticness and purity in his voice, Toshi is probably the best trained and a sufi-genre singer. Harshit will make an awesome playback singer while Amanat probably is the most versatile of the lot, and will surely make a great ghazal singer if given a chance. His rendition of “Tujhse Naaraz Nahi Zindagi” yesterday (6th Oct) was plain simple awesome. The idea behind this long para on these people is to remind you guys that for every Dhoni who came out of Jharkhand, there are several who join Tata Steel on a small stipend! Please support, encourage and look out for these raw talents in the years to come. You can see the videos online here – SRGMP, SVOI

2. Music – 1. Main Agar Kahoon (Om Shanti Om) – beautiful romantic song with a very simple melody and another proof of how good Sonu Nigam is. Especially, when it comes to romantic songs, there are few who are as good. His voice has a certain yearning that others don’t
b. Yoon Shabnami from Saawariya  sung by Parthiv Gohil. A lot of you won’t even know who Parthiv Gohil is. Parthiv is the lost find of 1998 Saregama MegaFinal (youtube videos) (the year Sonu was still hosting the show,  Sanjeevani – another finalist, got a few movies as playback singers (such as Kareeb), and there were some truly amazing singers like Mohd. Vakil, Bela, Mukund and Sudeshna). An year or two after 1998 Shreya Ghoshal became the winner of Saregama. Anyway, Paarthiv had a very strong classical learning background and his rendition of songs like Ketak Gulab Juhi, and Dhanyabhaag Seva ka Awsar Paaya back in 1998 were wonderful. So, Bhansali has given Parthiv a break, along with Monty (the music director, who played some part in the background score of Devdas)
c. Songs from Manorama – 6 feet under.  From a collection of 4 songs (excluding remixes and versions), 3 belong to the category of very good to excellent. Woh Bheege Pal, Dhundhla jo sama bandha, Tere Sawalon Ke.. Try them out.

3. Movie – Johnny Gaddar is definitely my pick from bollywood. Bourne Ultimatum would be the hollywood pick. Johnny G is a wonderful movie which takes you back to the 70s thrillers where things just kept happening all through the movie. Director’s tribute to Vijay Anand and James Hadley Chase is visible throughout the movie. The movie could have been shortened by 15 minutes or so. But, but… its a wonderful movie to see on a weekend.

4. Books – Reading “Of Love and Other Demons” by Gabriel Garcia Marquez right now. Seems good so far, while being standard Marquez narration. Will update later.

However, just in case you got a feeling that this is what is keeping me busy.. Naah!  How many of you out there have lived out of a suitcase to get a house renovated. Working your butt off five days a week to reach home on a weekend (travelling usually in the middle of night both ways) to deal with tiles, cement, paints, designs and woodwork! Ugh.. its not easy!

Btw.. quick emotional outburst – Raikonnen has taken the pole. Hamilton has to wait. Vettel seems a driver to keep an eye on. The last couple of races are going to be amazingly interesting! 😀

Brooding over coffee… a new idea

These days, it rains quite often. Both at Mumbai, and Delhi. When it rains, having a coffee at a Coffee Day or Barista seems far more interesting than having a coffee on a normal day. Especially, if your office happens to be 50 meters away from Bandstand, and the coffee comes with the picture perfect view of an ocean in turmoil, weather gods making everything a little more beautiful, and your spirits a delicate balance of serenity and thoughtfulness.

What do I think of while having a cuppa at the Barista, Bandstand one of these days – Was I like this when I was growing up? The answer is – NO! 

Back then, there were no Baristas. Back then, paying 45 bucks for a cup of coffee was not really possible for me. Back then, coffee was not the most important thing in my life. Back then, I did not need a break from the monotony of a daily life. And back then, having a conversation did not mean I had to take my mind off so many things. Back then, things were simpler! 

Question no.2 – What would be different if I were growing up today? Well, for starters, I grew up mostly in smaller towns – Raebareilly (UP), Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh), Ranchi (Jharkhand, then Bihar). Most of these towns, today, do have something like a Barista where people can be seen hanging out. Where, spending 45 bucks once in a while is no big deal.

Next Question – Why am I saying all this? Because, my guess is that the phenomenon will spread out. And very soon, we will have the next generation of small towns and cities coming up with these coffee parlours.

And hence – Biz Idea – Small town coffeeshop – Coffee2 (Coffee for two! Coffee too!! We have a coffee place too!!!)

What’s my point? There used to be this sardarji’s outlet in Ranchi, called Frankies. That, as far as I can remember, was the only decent Burger place in Ranchi back in 1990s. And it used to do roaring business. Will that place become extinct if a McDs came into being. I don’t think so!  And hence, the case for making an early move into the smaller towns, building loyalty, and harvesting it. Start small, cater to the small and growing. Be the Air Deccan of coffee shops. AD was not meant to be for those who fly business class, or where the company foots the bill for travel. It was supposed to bring air-travel to the masses. And needless to say, they have been successful. They have ushered in the modern aviation era in India. And I see them comfortably placed for the next generation of evolution as well. Simply because they are present in most of the remote destinations.

That’s as much as I would write from my bizidea notebook, while I think of the numbers!  I am sure many would disagree!  But the disagreements are what would interest me more! For two reasons – 1. you can give me some food for thought! 2. As JRD said – Despite all the difficulties, all the frustrations, there is a joy in having done something as well as you could and better than others thought you could. Let me add an Einstein to it as well – If at first the idea is not absurd, then there is no hope for it!

Quite a bit of stuff..

The last three days had a lot of interesting stuff happening all around –

1. Movies like Apne, Aap ka Suroor released. And I consciously stayed away from theatres. lsat heard, people had totally given up on a capped Himesh facing stiff competition from an animated Himesh [ Caricature of a caricature.. that’s intriguing] … and the Deol family’s emotional action movie. One helluva tearjerker, I hear! And going by Dharam paji’s performance at the IIFA awards, nothing short of an oscar nomination!!

2. Indian team finally won a series against South Africa. Last night, the way they started their batting, I wasn’t too hopeful. But it was a good chase in the end. A very very scratchy Yuvraj managed to hold on till the end, thanks to several dropped catches! A cat with whiskers using all his nine lives…

3. The prancing horses finally managed a 1-2. It was good to see Raikkonen at 1. And after a while, it was not because someone else goofed up. They were right up there from the start! 🙂 Good pitstop strategies this time, reminiscent of their glorious days.

4. Was watching A B Vardhan’s (CPI) defense of Pratibha Patil’s various glorious acts. It was great to see a leading politician defend the case with the wisdom of a 5-year old. “Everyone does it.. So what’s wrong if we are also doing it” citing the numerous cases of inappropriate candidatures here and there! Interestingly enough, Pratibha Patil has finally claimed that the allegations are false and baseless. How? Well, that’s not really important, is it?

5. I was writing a post on Air Deccan. Will post it later during the day.. but even before I say something, I saw this post on Y-Lal’s blog. That’s one senior from IIMB days that a lot of people used to admire. In short, everytime I think of an Air Deccan experience, its an equivalent of caught in a peak-hour 2nd class compartment of mumbai local. Whatever you go through is your problem, because we offer cheap services!

Welll…. so much to write.. I think I will pass!

Well.. I haven’t stopped watching movies, or plays…

Well.. I haven’t stopped watching movies, or plays, or listening to music that I want to talk about, or books that I have read that I want to let you know about. and its not that I have been totally deprived of time either! Yes, life has been a bit of this and that, but I think its more of outright laziness lately that has stopped me from writing!

So… Wassup? Me? Watched Shrek3, Cheeni Kum, Shootout at Lokhandwala and n number of Naruto episodes lately. [ Remind me to start writing about animation series like Naruto and Avatar-The Last Airbender as well]

Shrek 3 was neat, not as neat as 1 or 2, but neat nevertheless! Time well spent. Watched it at Eros, Nariman Point. It was a pleasant change to watch a movie from balcony for 60 bucks, in a really downtown location (people tell me that it doesnt get more posh than that in mumbai – South mumbai is “the” place!). I guess one of these days I would stop watching movies so frequently because I don’t think a movie like Shootout deserves even 25 bucks, leave aside 250 bucks! The movie was pathetic, to say the list. Rediff was right in commenting about the idiots who fund such movies. Cheeni Kum would have been a perfect movie if the length was shortened and Paresh Raval muted a bit! Tabu and Amitabh are cool, and its surprising to notice that they had a pretty cool chemistry! Its a good movie to watch!

At one time I really wanted to blast movies like Tara Rum Pum having watched the early shows. But thats some less blood on my hands! 😉

Watched a play – “Flowers” at NCPA. Its a monologue enacted by Rajit Kapur (Of Byomkesh Bakshi fame). (Here is a review that I largely agree with) . Same problem as Cheeni Kum. The length, though short by the standards of usual plays (90 mins), could have been shortened further. More so, because there was no change in scene, no pause, no other character but the protagonist, and no movements. Its about a priest who’s torn between his duties as a priest, his love for his wife and his lust for a courtesan. Its a 90 minute narration where the priest walks through the course of events, his emotions, his agony and conflict, paints images using his words, and makes us all visualize the drama! Rajit Kapoor managed to be ok. But the play was just not my kind. I don’t want to take the credit away from Rajit, but c’mon – I have a low attention span. I can’t concentrate on something for 90 minutes on the trot! Not a lecture from the greatest of professors, not the same song even if I am in love with it, nothing!

My analytics blog is still waiting for the remaining articles and a response to Amit’s comment.

There is a blogger meet on 9th June in Mumbai. I am still debating within myself if I want to attend! Should be fun. Lets see!

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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