Monday, October 28, 2013




Just a couple of kms outside Pune, the landscape changes dramatically, and you get transported into this magical world.. have a look...

Saturday, October 26, 2013


Spectacular accident on the Dehu Rd-Katraj bypass yesterday... bus driver trying a "Speed"?

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Lunch with Shyam Benegal

What an honor yesterday... had lunch with Shyam Benegal himself, at his residence, discussing his upcoming TV series on the birth of the Indian Constitution, and how we could potentially help in digital marketing of the series.

Amazing gentleman, and a fantastic conversation!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Movie Review: War Chhod Na Yaar

WCNY is another of those recent Bollywood movies that leave the formula far behind, and try something different. And while it left a lot to be desired, it is the brave attempt at offering change that gets WCNY my vote.

India and Pakistan are close to a nuclear war, with the buffoons in Pakistan instigated by the Chinese and the Americans, while the Indian politicians and news channels try to make the most of the "opportunity". When TV reporter Ruth Datta goes to the front line, she sees the "loving and sharing" between the soldiers on the ground, their commanding officers, played by Javed Jaffrey and Sharman Joshi, close friends bound by duty. Instead of firing, they play antaksharis, and victory is in getting the Pakis to sing I Love My India...

The nuclear bomb fails (Chinese made, remember?), and ultimately, peace prevails.

Sweet movie, worth a watch.

Movie Review: BOSS

What should get the crowds in for BOSS...

1. Akshay Kumar looks dapper, has a nice sense of humour, and performs some beautiful action
2. Aditi Rao Hydari absolutely BURNS the screen with her bikini scene - never has a Bollywood actress pulled it off well
3. Ronit Roy in a very good bad cop act; perhaps the best villain in the movies since Jaikant Shikre
4. Some ridiculously funny scenes - plants growing out of BOSS's sweat (power ful!), a fight scene set to background music, the fight scene in the temple, with Akshay trying to hide it from his dad
5. A very well shot chase scene in the gallis and rooftops
6. Sona's item number

But does it work? Sadly, no. There were less than 20 people in the audi on the first weekend of the movie's release! (I wonder - would a great social media marketing strategy have brought in the crowds?)


1. Fatigue of the genre definitely kicking in - with Akshay belting out movie after movie with hardly anything to distinguish one from the other
2. Hamming by Mithun
3. Too much flash back
4. Listless sound track
5. Very little screen time for Aditi when in very little :)

So, should you watch it? Only if you want some mindless entertainment - and yes, feeel free to walk out half an hour from the end.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Durga Cafe at Aundh

The cult famous Durga Cafe is now in Aundh - and though it's been almost 2.5 months now, I just got a chance to partake of their "Pune mein world famous" misal, cold coffee and anda burji today...


Sunday, October 13, 2013

Phailin - Recovery Update

The cyclone threat is over now - and rescue and rehabilitation has already begun in earnest, less than 20 hours after it hit with full force. Almost a million people have started returning home. Rail link between Howrah and Puri is already restored, flights should begin by evening, and authorities hope that power to large areas will be up by tonight.

Here's a screen grab from TV that shows the power of Phailin - a huge truck trailer pushed over to its side on the highway where it was parked!

Super Cyclone Phailin: The Bright Silver Lining

With the super cyclone Phailin now finally decreasing in intensity after a terrifying night for Odisha and Andhra, it is time to survey the damage and assess the losses. Thankfully, and unbelievably, which Phailin was bigger than Katrina in intensity, the loss of lives is almost nil - a huge testament to the hard work and the efforts of the government, the authorities, the met department, the police and the armed forces. With almost a million people evacuated to cyclone shelters, the terrible cyclone 14 years back, which claimed 10,000 lives, is now a distant memory. Instead of counting and recovering dead bodies, the authorities have now quickly swung into action with bulldozers and firemen to get normal life back on track.

Kudos, especially to the Patnaik government in Odisha for an amazing job that we should all be very proud of!

Saturday, October 12, 2013

My Beautiful... My Baby... My Love

Sizzling Energy

The electricity cables over the Thane Creek - taken from the bridge, around 2 pm on Thursday... from my Canon EOS 600D, with a little digital post processing. The experiments continue...

The Eastern Freeway, Mumbai

Check this amazing pic - guess where it is? Amchi Mumbai, the beautifully designed and executed Eastern Freeway, which will zip you from Chembur to CST in less than 15 mins! Access controlled, with hardly any exits, fenced from the buzz around you, most of the time soaring over the swamps, and the warehouses near the harbour. Simply breathtaking!

Just after entering the freeway from Chembur, the monorail tracks towering above the 8 lane freeway on the left
And just a few mins later, the freeway soars over the swamps with the high tension cables running alongside, as we look out towards the port and the Thane creek on the left

Friday, October 11, 2013

Efficient Mahadiscom

I went to the Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Limited (Mahadiscom/Mahavitaran) office in Aundh the other day to pay some arrears, and was so pleasantly surprised to see the efficiency and effectiveness by which the two ladies on the bill payment counters were processing. Almost at one bill per 30 seconds...! While one receipt was being printed, they actually processed the next bill, counting, entering data into the computer, and then pausing for just a few seconds to pick up the previous bill, before firing the next one! Amazing... they cleared a queue of over 30 people in barely 10 mins.

The queue had place for sitting, another unique and extremely customer-friendly innovation, rarely seen anywhere else!

Also, the ample clean parking for vehicles beside the building was a big relief.


Digital Marketing Leadership Forum

At the Digital Marketing Leadership Forum, moderating Shailja Gupta, Chief Digitial Strategy Consultant (Red Chillies Entertainment) and Ekalavya Bhattacharya, Digital Head at MTV. Exciting morning at the JWM in Mumbai yesterday!

Tuesday, October 08, 2013

My First Pics - Canon EOS 600D

Bought a sexy Canon EOS 600D camera yesterday - here are my first few quick shots!


Wednesday, October 02, 2013

Was Rahul Right?

As I write this blog, the news coming in on TV is that the Congress Working Committee has advised the government to withdraw the controversial ordinance providing protection to convicted politicians. While the nation is heaving a sigh of relief at the turn of events, a lot has been said and commented on about Rahul's role, and the style and manner in which it was done.

First of all, what's the ordinance all about? An ordinance is the route chosen by the government to push laws that haven't been ratified/passed by parliament - this is generally done when the government needs to take some emergency measures and does not have time to go to parliament with it. And what does this ordinance propose? It aims to protect convicted MPs, MLAs and MLCs from losing their seats automatically when convincted, in contravention to the ruling of the Supreme Court. And why the urgency? Primarily because Lalu Prasad's convinction in the fodder case is on the table, and the Supreme Court judgement would mean he would get immediately disqualified and barred from elections for a long, long time! While a bill to achieve this protection is already in parliament under discussion, the government chose to promulgate the ordinance because Lalu needed it in an emergency.

However, when the ordinance was sent to the President, he summoned ministers to ask for clarifications, instead of signing it. And then Rahul put the nail in the coffin going public in a press conference, calling it nonsense, and worthy of tearing it up and throwing it away.

Now most people criticize Rahul for the manner in which he opposed the ordinance. Why do this in public, instead of fighting it in the cabinet meetings? Why do it when the PM was abroad? Why shame the PM and the government? Why make it look like one person is bigger than the government?

And while a lot of this seems fair to ask, let me ask some questions. Can we be sure that Rahul did not question his "seniors" in the cabinet? Can we be sure that the alliance partners like the SP and NCP, which have already opposed withdrawing the ordinance, did not ignore him and instead threaten the government? Was Rahul's word maybe ignored in the cabinet meetings, leaving him with no choice but to go public?

Sometimes, the end justifies the means, and if there was ever any situation in which that applied, this is it!

For that, Rahul, you have my support!