|Anurag Jain's Blog|
Monday, February 28, 2005
All India RC competition at Allahabad
Looks like Remote Controlled aeromodel flying is picking up everywhere in India (Recently there was Turbulence at IITK, which I think got canceled in the end. But hey, anyway there's enthusiasm happening.). Way to go! This announcement also available at IndiaRC.
From: Gaurav [mailto:gauravagarwal2000 AT hotmail.com]
Sent: Friday, February 25, 2005 1:50 PM
Subject: RC Event at Allahabad
Dear Mr. Jain,
It is a feeling of great pleasure to inform you that we are hosting a RC flying event in Allahabad on the 12th and 13th of March 2005 called 'The Vortex 2005'. We are very committed and very actively planning for this event. We have been RC enthusiasts for the last 20 years and a lot of avid fliers are our club's members. Since this is the first time an event of such nature is being planned in Allahabad at an abandoned air strip near the city, the arrangements shall be of top quality and the participants shall be made to feel very comfortable. Our President is Sri Tariq Ali, Ret. Sq. Leader IAF, and the organizing team consists of the under signed. All arrangements for lodging and commuting will be made available.
We will also proivide full arrangements to put up your stalls and banners for all companies wishing to showcase their products or make a presence at Allahabad.
You are required to :
1. Confirm your participation by 28th February 2005
2. The participation fee is Rs 250.00 per team (payable in Allahabad). Please mail after filling up the attached participation form.
3. Send your arrival details so that we may arrange for your accommodation, pick up from station and fooding etc.
4. Select a suitable hotel ( we will present you with a list of options with tariffs ). We will make the reservations, however the participants would bear the charges.
5. Get your return journey confirm tickets booked in advance.
There shall be 3 events each having prize money for the first three winners. There will be participation certificates for all entrants.
Invitations are being send on an all India basis. Details of the competition will be provide after we receive your confirmation.If you have any questions, please feel free to mail back or call at +9415324039 or +919415214481.
Many thanks and we look forward to flying with you,
Neeraj Agarwal and Gaurav Agarwal.
U.P. Flying Club
9A Panna Lal Road.
Incord 2005: A report.
My alma mater, HBTI, successfully conducted Incord 2005 recently. A report follows. But before that, my message on behalf of alumni for the event souvenir. Incord helped bring together Harcourtians - alumni and current students.
A message from Alumni on oaccasion of Incord
We, the alumni of HBTI, are extremely glad and proud to know of Incord 2005, the signature event of FCSEIT, HBTI.
Corporate-Academics interaction is an issue that is critical for sustainable growth of both the parties. A lot of developments happen on both sides, but its only events such as Incord that bring the two together. The technical and business seminars planned in Incord are an optimal mix for industry and students to exchange notes.
Further, Incord represent leadership at two levels: Students, and Institute. In conceiving such a grand event, and ensuring its successful implementation, students have demonstrated the leadership traits which are a prerequisite, more than ever, today in business environment. At a broader level, Incord consolidates HBTI's position as a thought-leading institution.
Such symposiums are also a great opportunity for alumni to reconnect with the alma mater. I have personally interacted with many of the current students - not just from FCSEIT, but from across disciplines - who are involved in Incord. I am very impressed with the dedication and initiative that these students have demonstrated. On behalf of all HBTI alumni, I would like to wish students, faculty, and staff a grand success for Incord.
An Account of events at Incord
(Coutsey Gurpreet Bhatia, IInd MCA)
# First Day:
Opening cermony begun one hour late as Chief Guest didn't reach on time.This created hic-ups in our overall schedule for the first day. Since on that very day there was slot for the speakers, their schedule also got disturbed. but other then that all other event went smoothly. Hospitality was not upto the mark for that day. It was bit shaky. But overall participation of student from within HBTI n Outdside were significant. Motivational Show by Anuj khare also made significant impact on students.
# Second Day:
If first day belongs to Industrial exposure then second day totally belonged to student participation. there was Paper Presentation,Quizes,Games on
LAN, website hacking context and many more. School chlidren also got exposure as few schools student group came to listen speakers from IITK and ISI Calcutta. well speeches by these speakers were of really high quality.In paper presention also students from very far of colleges participated like from DAV Patel Kolhapur ,colleges from Kota. BotBash(robo war) was a big hit among student. It created lot of excitment among all, as it was saomething that everyone dreamnt of but didnt expected to happen. Competition was stiff in that event.
# Third day:
On this day there were few more competitiones , Panel discussion was bit informative. atlast Cultural event also was of good standard. student danced on tune of good music.A rhythem of music which tuned the digital mind to maximum bandwidth n frequency. Singer was Mahemoob Ali(winner of SAREGAMA,a Zee Tv Show).Student's performance was above par. in the end there was prize dristibution to winners, participants and to the event coordinators.
# Promises which could not be fulfilled:
1. Video Confrencing could not take place as BSNL move out of scene,as they refused to arrange for the infrastruction as been earlier promised by them.
2. Aryans(or even Euphoria) could not be called as sponorship for it could not be arranged.
# HIghlight of the Seminar:
1.Speakers from IIT(there were 2) and from ISI calcutta.
2.Proffesionals from MICROSOFT,VIRTUALWORKS.
3.Presentation by TCS.
4.Speech by GM of BSNL,IIT Director,
5.Coverage of Seminar By HT, Times of India and other newspapers.
6.There was a media cell of Incord 2005 itself, and it was specially run by MCA batch. Its newsletter was called Incord Times.
2.Scheduling(specially mistiming of Lunch)
Other than that i believe its been the best thing which could have happened in HBTI.
Saturday, February 26, 2005
Hobby Flying in Bangalore/India takes off
Bangalore has always been mecca of hobby aviation in India. Today, there's an article in Bangalore Times, Times of India by Vinita A Shetty on the topic. The article (text version) quotes me on several related issues.
Friday, February 25, 2005
Some of the neat stuff that I came across recently:
# Muhammad Yunus (a celebrated economist) of Grameen Bank, sheds light on microcredit with some real neat insights:
"People were dying of hunger, and I felt very helpless. As an economist, I had no tool in my tool box to fix that kind of situation. While I traveled around the country, I told myself, 'As a person, forget about the tool box. As a human being, I can go out and be available to help another person.' So that's what I started doing."# Google has India Zeitgeist now! (While I attract wierdos to my blog.)
Wednesday, February 23, 2005
IT in Retail industry
Retail has always fascinated me. And IT in Retail, more so. Here are some questions posed to me, mostly from a CIO perspective, and my answers, soon to be published in an Industry Wire published by a well-known market research company for a big IT firm.
# Why are innovations in Supply Chain and CRM so important in Retail?
Retail is, more than anything else, about these two things: Real-estate (location) and Logistics (distribution). The whole Retail value chain is highly dependent on supply chain and customer behaviour. Supply chain innovations are important in order to optimize the Retail business at the operational efficiency, whereas Business Inteligence/Data mining technologies such as CRM give insights into the customer patterns and thus helps optimize the business at a strategic level.
# Inventory means costs. How does a robust retail chain ensure that products do not sit on the shelves?
This situation can be compared to a practice called Yield Management in airlines, hotels, and other service industries. Especially, when we are talking about perishable inventory. IT plays a indispensable role in achieving a solution to this issue. Tracking inventory technologically (RFID) is a new and emerging area. Apart from bringing efficiency in the logistics, RFID also helps in minimizing inventory spoilage, and thus costs. The key to ensuring quick inventory offtake is a) good demand estimation/forecasting, and b) Good inevntory tracking systems. Both these require extensive deployment of IT.
# How can you link needs, technology and innovation and make it perform in Retail?
IT has a crucial role to play in Retail industry. But in order to know and act on the harmonious relationship between IT and business you need a 30,000-ft view of the business. Continuously scanning opportunities in the market, collaborating with academia on research, are some ways to be on top of the IT innovations, and their applications in the industry. About implementation or making IT work, it is ultimately a people issue. You need a very good team in place to see through a successful implementation. Indian Retail industry offers plenty examples of botched IT implementations.
# What are the intangible and tangible benefits to be gained by deploying IT in the industry?
Benefits from IT are hard to measure. In 1990 Robert Solow (a Nobel Laureate) gave rise to the term IT 'Producivity Paradox' to reflect the very fact. However, since then technology has changed a lot. Even as researchers and practioners alike are still struggling to measire the IT pay-offs, a few benefits can be clearly outlined. IT is useful for Retail industry not just up to 'Sale'. IT is also critically beneficial for post-sale interaction with the customer. On the pre-sale side, by deploying IT, Retail industry experiences cost-efficient and streamlined supply chain. And on the post-sale side, technologies like CRM, and in general Business Inteligence, provide the firm a handle to optimize the service & product-mix to the customer, and to optimize the revenues by leveraging the customer data that they already have.
# How does the industry appear to a CIO? What are the advantages and the pain areas?
Retail is a booming industry with a lot of scope for growth. Organized retail is just measly 2% of the whole Indian Retail industry. With this growth, IT requirements are expected to grow. There are of course issues such as allowing FDI, recognizing Retail as an industry in order to boost the sector. About the IT of Retail, there are standard off-the-shelf IT products available for the Retail industry. But, we need more innovation for India-specific Retail. Few Indian companies such as Scope have carved out a niche for themselves in the IT solutions for Retail industry.
# Can you name some of the successful retail chains in India with a robust IT deployment in place?
# Shooper's Stop (although, intially they faltered with JDEdwards implementation)
Tuesday, February 22, 2005
Fund-raising event by FameIndia
For tickets contact: +91 80 26493901.
SHRADDHA, a fusion music group formed by Shankar Mahadevan, Mandolin U. Srinivas, Sivamani and Loy Mendonsa, will perform live at Palace Grounds at 6.30pm on 26 February 2005 for one night only, exclusively to raise funds for the F.A.M.E India school for special children.
Swades: A true story?
Recently watched Swades (Also, at imdb). A brilliant movie, I must say. Especially the soundtrack is real neat, most fantabulous track being the theme music played during the titles at the beginning (The accordion/mouth-organ music, that is. It's not available in the album, so I ripped it off DVD).
The interesting part is this though: Is it based on this real-life hydro-power project?
(Update Mar 02, 2005: Apparently, the movie is based on two Kerala guys Anil Kumar and Madhusoodanan C. G., who were the winners of MIT technovators prize in 2003 for the hydro-electricity project! The full story by Dilip D'Souza (Aug 31, 2000).
Update Mar 03, 2005: A good friend of mine told me that there was a serial called Love Stories on Zee TV a few years back where one of the stories featured Ashutosh Gowariker as the lead and the story was pretty much the same as Swades! Same trivia also mentioned at Swades2 blog.)
X-Files: Radical Incrementalism & SOA
Culled this out from my communication in a yahoogroup sometime back.
Message: From: JH Subject: Radical Incrementalism in IT Industry(John Seely Brown's Views)
Hello, I had gone through the writings of John Seely Brown, the former head of Xerox Palo Alto Research Centre and Chief scientists of Xerox . In the current context, many IT companies are facing IT architecture as a barrier during short term strategic move. IT architecture is the overall structure of and interrelations among data, business logic, interfaces of firms computer, other hardware, applications,databases, operating systems and networks. Radical incrementalism emphasizes short-term i.e six to twelve months of operational and organizational initiatives . This new concept helped companies like Microsoft, Dell, Charles Schwab and Wall-mart stores which delivers return to sharholders. But it is an Herculean task to accomplish radical incrementalism. Operational shortcomings and organizational inertia are the barriers in short term innovation in business practices and processes . Current IT architecture needs customized connections to query or communicate data which are application specific. If a third party is involved between clients and vender, the problems become more complicated. So creating new kind of connection to co-ordinate among databases, OS, application and human being is service oriented architecture which is a new innovation. In stead of customized connections, even incompatible operating systems on different vocabularies can be joined, assembled and disassembled early. That means, all participants (clients, vender,customers) have agreed on a standardized vocabulary to serve as a common daclaration overlay. Detail report is provided at www.mckinseyquartely.com .
Message: From: Anurag Jain Subject: RE: Radical Incrementalism in IT Industry(John Seely Brown's Views)
John Seely is a vetreran and visionary in IS area. The topic he's talkin about is highly relevant, especially for organizations that are opearting in a high-velocity environment, and for those organizations that are led by IT-driven transformation. The issue of how such orgs. deal with rapid change in technological context and how they align their business processes with the new technological forces so as to be able to avoid a discontinuity in their service/product offerings to customers, is highly contemporary, espically when orgs. grow huge in size. Also, as you said, planning horizons are becoming shorter, and technology choice-basket bigger and bigger.
In my opinion, strategic planning is dead. Its only emergent strategy that is useful today because of higher external environment turbulence than ever before. IS departments too have been grappling with the problem. Well, the answer seems to be SOA (Service Oriented Architecture). There's been some talk about SOAs for some time now. Web-services seem to be enabling the SOA implementation.
Monday, February 21, 2005
Gary Kildall: A Computing Legend
Gary wrote PL/M for Intel microprocessor 8080 and in the process proved that 8080 was actually a computer and not just a microwave controller! Then to prove that the language PL/M was useful, he wrote the operating system called CP/M. It is what really showed the way for the modern computing. He tried to sell CP/M to Intel in 70s but Intel could see no use for it. DRI also was one of the first companies to develop a GUI called GEM.
He's the man who's famous to have gone flying when IBM came calling. About the creator of CP/M, the story goes that when IBM held a meeting with Gary's company Digital Research Incorporated (earlier InterGalactic Digital Research) to license CP/M, Gary chose to go flying in his plane! As a result, IBM went to Bill Gates' Microsoft and licensed their Q-DOS. Well, this story is only party true. The part about Gary going flying is wrong. As this documentary (Direct download link. Mpeg, 279MB) says, He actually had attended the meeting with the IBM!
About DOS winning over CP/M, what happened after IBM went to Microsoft is that IBM realized that there could be IPR problems with Q-DOS, and hence they went back to DRI for licensing CP/M. This time Gary/DRI licensed CP/M to IBM and also let them sell Q-DOS at the same time in the spirit that the market will decide the winning product. But the marketing strategy of Microsoft was a killer one: While CP/M was priced at $240, Q-DOS was priced only at $40! Rest is history.
Sunday, February 20, 2005
Haridas Mundhra: GrandDad of Harshad Mehtas and Ketan Parikhs!
Recently, a close friend asked me my ideas on White-Collar Crime (WCC). Now, I ain't no expert on the subject. However, I had submitted a paper on WCC long time back as a part of my course work. Some Dope.
When one talks about WCC, immediate names that come to mind are:
# Union Carbide executives for scotching the responsibility of Bhopal Tragedy.
# HLL Executives for disowning the responsibility of discharging mercury-laden effluent to a gorgeous lake in Kodaikanal.
# Harshad Mehta
# Ketan Parikh
# Mike Milken, junk bond trader
# Nick Leeson aka Rogue Trader. (Think Barings Bank).
# Kevin Mitnick. THE legendary hacker!
# Dmitri Sklyarov (of Elcomsoft). Russian. Advanced eBook Processor, software that can crack protections on Adobe Systems' eBook.
# Jon Johansen, a 16-year-old Norwegian. DVD Decryption program: DeCSS.
But did you know that before all these gentlemen happened, there was Haridas Mundhra. We are talking vintage here: circa 1957! Haridas Mundhra was a businessman based out of Delhi/Calcutta. What Haridas did was that he colluded with the bureaucrats and politicians in power and manipulated Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) shares. Mundhra owned a number of companies which were not performing all that well. Mundhra was artificially keeping their stock prices high and when doing so became unsustainable, he enlisted the help of the then Finance Minister T T Krishnamachari (aka TTK). TTK and Mundhra came out with a brilliant scheme: They made LIC buy shares of Mundhra's in-the-red companies! (Sounds familiar? Rings a bell, eh?) And so the happy association went on until the lid on the scam was blown over, leading to the resignation of TTK.
Friday, February 18, 2005
Ode to Scooter. (Aka Scooter Vs Babes & Bikes).
Recently, in the Times of India there was this real neat article on the way Scooter has been a part of middle-class Indians' lives. I found it particularly interesting because I myself drive a scooter. An antique one at that: LML Vespa 1990 model! Registration # UP-11 5018. I love my scooter, I do. However, in tune with the spirit of the article, my scooter is becoming a bit of a bottleneck when it comes to attracting 'chickas'. Babes would rather walk with me or offer me a ride in their car (Role-reversal version of Aaja meri gaadi mein baith jaa) to the planned destination. But they wouldn't get on my scooter, for the fear lest somebody should see them on a lowly-scooter and their social standing ruined! Its actually baffling because when you think of it deeply, (most of the) girls are supposed to be this 'family types' (at least in the long run) [okay, enough of stereotyping]. And, scooter carries a lovey-dovey family sorta image. Then logically, it should be a 'chick-magnet' (a friend of mine once used this term for laptop!). Only, it ain't! There you have it. Logic humbled at the altar of consumerism! Damn the booming economy!!
And what the heck does the article mean by: If the bike sees the road as a woman to make love to, the scooter prefers instead to haggle with her. Baloney. Bollocks. Billions of Blistering Barnacles. Ten Thousand Thundering Typhoons. Scooter can make love to the road as well as bike can, and better! I rest my case.
Here's a pic of me and my Vespa. And, tons of guys. (By now, you know why I am with guys and not babes) Hey, wait a minute. I just realized that those tons of guys are totally hiding my Vespa. Are they ashamed too? Maaaan!
Ode to the vehicle that drove middle-class India0 comments
Thursday, February 17, 2005
Bacchhhaaaaaooooo. And other classic Desi film rants!
Got this in an email recently. This real neat compilation captures the times of Hindi cinema over the years (read 70s/80s).
Top Ten Indian Filmi Dialogues
10. Kuttay, Kameenay mai tumhe jaan se maar doonga
9. Mai tumhara ehasaan zindagi bhar nahin bhuloonga
8. Itnay paisay tum kahan se laaye?
7. Main tumharay bina mar jaa-oongi.
5. Yeh anyay hai bhagwan
4. Bataoo, heeray kahan hai.
3. Tum may-re liye mar chuke ho.
2. Police meeray peechay lagi hui hai.
----> And the number one dialogue is ....
1. Mai tumharay bachhe ki maa ban-nay waali hoon.
Here are the best of the rest...
- Ghar mein do javaan betiyan hain
- lo...muh meetha kar lo
- mein yeh shaadi nahin hone doongi
- aaj pinky ka janam din hai
- yeh aap kya kah rahen hai, bhai sahib
- Bhaiya !!!!!!!!!!
- Ma, tum kitni achchi ho
- Aaj mein bahut khush hoon (usually to be followed by a tragicturn of events)
- arre isse to tez bukhar hai
- Nikal jaa mere ghar say...
- Hatoe naa, log kiya kahengay
- khabardaar joe mujhay haat bhee lagaya
And the best:
- tumne apni ma ka dudh piya hai to ...
- gurkha, ise dhakke maarke bahar nikal do.
- Maine tumhe paal pos kar bada kiya..
- Ab tumari maa hamare kabze main hai
- Pulis ko tum jaise naujawanon par naaz hai
- Driver, gaadi roko
- Tum jaise gandi naali ke keede....
- Ek baar mujhe maa keh kar pukaro beta"
- aur ye bechari begunnah hai. That's all, your honor
- tazeerat-e-hind , dafa 302 ke tahat, mulzim ko maut ki sazasunai jaati hai.
- Mulzim ko Baa izzat bari kiya jata hai
- Ab hum kisi ko muh dikhane ke layak nahin rahe
- (hero/heroine opening their eyes on a hospital bed) Main kahan hun?
- Kya isi din ke liye tujhe paida kiya tha?
- "Maa main first class first pass ho gaya hu" followed by the jug jug jiyo beta
- "Yeh sauda thumhe bahut mehenga padega" ??
- Bhagwan, maine aaj tak tumse kuch nahin manga, aaj pahli baarkuch maang........
- KANOON KE HAATH BAHUT LUMBE HOTE HAIN
- Aey jee! Aap bade woh haiN!
Wednesday, February 16, 2005
Dire Straits in Bangalore!
One of my favourite bands Dire Straits are gonna be Bangalore in March 7, 2005! For tickets (Rs 2500, Rs 1000), call 080-25705858.
Know Dire Straits' early days' story? Here's the neat trivia that I have taken from Richard Branson's biography (Losing My Virginity)
One day while in bath, Arthur Frolows, who helped Simon Draper - top guy at Virgin Records, and who also happened to be Richard's cousin - with spotting new bands, heard a new band called Dire Straits singing Sultans of Swing on the radio. He leapt out of bath and talked to the radio station. He discovered that the band had not yet recorded their music in a studio, but this song was a love recording specially commissioned by Charlie Gillett, the radio show host. Virgin went after the band and the evening before they were due to sign contracts, Richard and team took Dire Straits to a Greek restaurant to celebrate. At the end of the meal, the Greek owner offered them all marijuana joints. Everyone smoked a joint and the evening wound down. The next day Dire Straits called Virgin up and said they were going to sign with Polygram. No reasons were given. It was only ten years later that Richard read a book about Dire Straits which explained what had happened: "The band did not sign with Virgin since they thought that Virgin had plied them with drugs before the signing to befuddle them." That well-meaning gesture by the Greek manager cost Virgin Records over 500 million pounds!
(Click on pic for bigger version)
Recently watched Finding Neverland. The story is about the life of J M Barrie who wrote Peter Pan. Peter Pan was apparently based on one of the kids he knew. As we all know Peter Pan is a character that always stays as a kid and never grows up. Considering that, here's the interesting part: The actual Peter on whom the character Peter Pan was based, actually committed suicide. Read all of that in this article at mirror.co.uk. However, be careful about the take-away from that article as many people have warned about the errors in the 'facts' mentioned.
So, what's your NeverLand?
Tuesday, February 15, 2005
Interesting Corporate Buy-outs
# East India Company
Didja know that the British part of the East India Company is owned by an Indian today? Apparently, Subhash Chandra, chairman of the ZEE group chairman bought this company in mid-90s! I would've expected more media noise on this one!
# Air Asia
Just 3 days before Sep 11 in 2001, Tony Fernandes (of TuneAir), a Goa-born Indian/Malaysian alongwith three other Malaysians and an Irishman formerly with Ryanair bought Air Asia Berhad from heavy industries firm DRB-Hicom in December, after the nation's second airline had accumulated $37 million in debt since its launch in 1996. Guess how much Tony paid for Air Asia. Believe me, if you don't know the answer, no way you can guess. Here's why: Tony paid exactly Rm1 (Yes! US$0.26!) to acquire the whole airline! Last September (2004), Air Asia went public and raised $250m (USD). Get that!!
And that's not all. Tony went ahead, and in 2004, bought 49% stake in another airlines, this time an Indonesian one, called AWAIR (declared bankrupt in 2002) . Price? $2 (USD)! With such deals, Air Asia has pioneered the cross-border JV model in airlines industry.
With a Cigarette in my hand: A Lesson Learnt Late
When cable TV had come into our Indian/Doordarshan-only lives in early 90s, there was this very popular anti-smoking campaign on, if I remember correctly, Zee Tv. Titled 'A Lesson Learnt Late', it was not just any other advertorial sorta thingie. Rather, it was a full-fledged song running into maybe 4 minutes or so. The impact of this ad is obvious from the fact that irrespective of its title, people remember it as 'With a Cigarette in my hand' song/campaign. The lyrics were really meaningful and the tune was catchy. The vocals (Gary Lawyer) were amazing too. In a nutshell, a very impressive public-service campaign. I've been looking for this song for long time now, but to no avail. If anyone has it, please lemme know. Here are the lyrics courtesy Anshul Bhatt.
It was, I remember, many years ago,38 comments
Sunday, February 13, 2005
Whoever said that 'Age is a very high price to pay for maturity' was bang-on.
Sometimes I think Nostalgia is a country I wanna migrate to! Admit it: Irrespective of how shitty the music and movies scene was in your childhood, you wanna embrace it all over again.
Why am I emoting so much? Why am I all of a sudden bitchin about old times? Here's why: the other day I came across some happening old-time Bollywood tunes in a restaurant (Aishwarya Parkland on Bannerghatta Rd). Listening to it was like moksha-praapti (=nirvana) kinda experience (not that I would know it!). I asked 'em to lend the cassette to me so that I can rip it off to MP3s, but they wouldn't let me. Now, the babies on this cassette are real hard to find. It's not like I can goto a music shop and bang, there it is. I know that fact and that's why I asked for borrowing the tape in the first place. During all this discussion, all I could find was that the tape turned out to be an album called "Hey You", an 'Instrumental on electronic guitar' compilation by an artist called Ashish Bhadra. Anyways, here's a list of numbers on that killer tape. If anyone has any of 'em babies, lemme know:
# Shahenshah - Jaane do jaane do mujhe jana hai
# Khudgarz - aap ke aa jane se (Mai se meena se naa saaki se) *
# Paap ki Duniya - Chori Chori yun jab dil dhadke *
# Kaash - O Yara
# Zabardast - Jab chaha yaara tumne
# Shahenshah - Andheri raaton mein sunsan sadko par
# Khudgarz - Zindagi ka naam dosti *
# Kaash - Baad Muddat Ke
# Kaash - Phool Ye Kahan Se
# Shahenshah - Hey You
(I have got *marked songs)
Talkin of Bollywood in 70s/80s, here's a really-creative site which you can spend hours on, if you are familiar with 70s/80s movie and music culture in India. (do check out his archives too). A Pakistani counterpart to that would be Bubonic Films (Statutory Warning: Please exercise your discretion before watching any of Bubonic Films' content. I will not be responsible for the loss of your soul).
Friday, February 11, 2005
My Kanpur trip in Dec '04
I visited Kanpur, city of my Alma Mater, after a long time in December 2004. The purpose of visit was dual: To visit HBTI & take care of alumni initiatives, and Air Deccan's inaugural flight launch. Following are news reports about Air Deccan's Delhi-Kanpur-Delhi flight launch (Click on pics for bigger version). It was quite an experience being involved in the launch, especially since the airport was being opened for commercial flights after 10 years so. Right from getting the airport opened for action to making sure that all the requisite permissions were in place for flight to land and take off, it was a thrill that culminated in inaugural Delhi-Kanpur flight landing in Kanpur, and me boarding the inaugural Kanpur-Delhi flight 40 minutes later.
Times of India Kanpur Dec 23 '04
Indian Express Kanpur 25 Dec '04
Classic SWA Ads
I love following classic ads from the peantus airline: SouthWest. Descriptions from SWA site.
Before we goto print ads, do check out my most favorite classic Unknown Flier video ad (MPEG format 5.1MB, Quicktime format 2.3 MB)
In 1992 "value" was the fad sweeping the airline industry. At Southwest we stuck with the everyday low fares we've always had, and always will.
If you're thinking that another airline is number one in Customer Satisfaction, think again. In 1991, Southwest Airlines had the fewest customer complaints per 100,000 passengers of all major airlines, a feat we duplicated in 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, and 1996.
Thursday, February 10, 2005
A few pages that I've recently been reading or been meaning to read. By culling 'em ouuta deep bowels of my inbox and putting 'em here I will certianly read 'em sometime!
# 100 Photographs that Changed the World
# Come on, you sons of bitches, do you want to live forever? (Daly's life).
# My Life as Quant
# The Rotary Wing Society of India
# Rants Of A Single Guy!
# United Paper Shuffle
# 100 years of Einstein
Monday, February 07, 2005
Rise of Indian Fusion music
I've always been recieving a lot of mails about Indian music, especially Indian fusion music. Of late, however, the frequency of such mails has increased. Sample a few emails I've got in recent weeks. These only show how interested global population is becoming in Indian music.
Saturday, February 05, 2005
Earlier I was (still am) sick of spam mail. But, of late, I have been troubled by comment spam in my guestbook. I have been getting at least 5 spam comments everyday. What the spam comments do is that they sneak in a hyperlink to their site, which is usually some shady site hawking some shady wares/z. Google has already understood the magnitude of this problem and undertaken steps to handle it in their blogging system (blogspot, where you are reading this). But I am no google. For smaller guys like me, comment spam is becoming a major problem a la spam mail.
BlogStreet and my Blog
I believe that community building on Net is a successful business model. It's been done successfully on networking sites, dating sites, and other niche professional sites. In that domain, BlogStreet is a neat site which is trying to build a community around bloggers. It's nice to know that my blog is the Blog of the Day at BlogStreet.
Wednesday, February 02, 2005
Will A380 put Rajdhani out of business?
There's been a lot of talk on how the new big-daddy jumbo-jet A380 will impact Rajdhanis, and in general, upper-class train travel in India. Here's my take on the issue.
Full service airlines world-wide are struggling to remain, or jump into that elusive P&L color: black. The socio-economic and political world scenario, esp. post-911, has given low-cost carriers (LCCs) an upper hand. With this backdrop of the aviation industry, the A380 comes just at the right time. Today, the industry needs to attract volumes by offering lower prices in order to make more absolute profits. In that scheme of things, A380 squeezes in quite snugly.
In India, one of the target segments that new airlines are looking at is upper class train travelers. Let’s look at the competition to A380 in numbers. Total passengers carried by Rajdhani Trains in 2002 was 2.7mn and total earnings were 245 crore Rs. Hence the average revenue would be 907.5 Rs [1922.90 Rs (AC 1st), 961.50 Rs (AC Sleeper), 610.3 Rs (AC 3-Tier)]. These average revenues, esp. AC1st class, are well met by low-cost carriers even today. Further, Average Earning Per Passenger Kilometer for Indian Railways for 2002-03: 2.43 Rs (AC 1st), 1.11 Rs (AC Sleeper), 0.78 Rs (AC 3-Tier). The same figures for a LCC, on a small plane, short-haul route could be in the range of 8-10 Rs. The same figure drops to Rs 4-6 for a big 180-seater plane, long-haul route. With quadrupling of the sector capacity with A380 (LCCs will use single economy class 800 seats configuration), the pricing gap between Rajdhanis and flying can be closed. Ergo, it is evident that by bringing down the fare-levels, A380 will certainly cause a shift from upper class train-traffic.
Having said so, however, a few riders are in order. First: Only metro-airports in India are gearing up for accommodating A380 in next few years. So, Rajdhani traffic on non-metro cities will not be affected. Secondly, the travel market itself is growing rapidly. There will, therefore, be room for both competing modes of travel because of the increasing pie size. As an illustration, last year domestic aviation travel grew at a scorching pace of 24%. Yet, the Rajdhanis are not exactly going empty!
In the end, even though A380 and LCCs are a match made in heaven (read Toulouse!), and even though carriers such as Air Deccan have expressed interest in bringing A380 to India in due course to time, I do not expect an either/or situation between A380 and upper-class train travel. Even as A380 will enable more common people to fly, both modes will continue to co-exist peacefully for foreseeable future.
Blogger Meet Details
Here's the account of blogger's meet on Tsunami aid efforts. Due to time constraints, I had to leave early. Pictures here (@ madman).
Tuesday, February 01, 2005
Watched this 1977 Best Picture Oscar winner recently. Annie Hall is brilliantly funny. It's about relationships. The closing lines of the movie sums up the whole relationship issue.
Opening lines:Essentially, what Woody Allen is saying is that hey we are all selfish in our relationships. Also, howsoever much problems, pain, hurt our relationships cause to us, we gotta live with them.
Some brilliant quotes from Annie Hall:
Annie Hall: Sometimes I ask myself how I'd stand up under torture.0 comments