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.

-----Original Message-----
From: Gaurav [mailto:gauravagarwal2000 AT]
Sent: Friday, February 25, 2005 1:50 PM
To: anuragkjain
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.

Best wishes

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.
# Letdown:
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.

Hobby Flying takes off in Bangalore. An article in Bangalore Times, Feb 26, 2005.

Besides that article, here's my detailed take on issues with hobby flying in Bangalore/India.

Why is the number of aviation enthusiasts on the rise?
1) Booming economy --> Higher disposable incomes.
2) Exposure to better lifestyles (< -- through regular foreign visits, and via 24x7 media bombardment of western lifestyle).
3) Loosening of aviation regulations.

Why is there a renewed interest in hobby flying?
The factors mentioned above plus the rise of industry role models such as Captain Gopinath. Also, Flying has been elite and remained beyond access to ordinary people. For the first time, Low Cost Carriers around the world are making travel affordable, and in the process demystifying aviation and inspiring people to dream beyond flying in an airlines.

What got me interested in hobby flying?
Using an aircraft as a customer and wanting to be in the pilot's seat are two ends of the spectrum. Making the twains meet is the inspiration. From making paper airplanes to reading Richard Bach's Jonathan Livingston Seagull, and Richard Branson's adventure balloon trips, flight's always been a fantasy. No matter how so ever much one flies, the flying machine remains an enigma, a magic.

How popular is hobby flying as a social sport?
There are social flying activities usually in the form of gliding, paragliding, parasailing, and joy rides in microlights. But, as a hobby, it's not really big in India yet. And that is ironic, considering that India has one of the best flying weather conditions round the year . The flip side though is that it's picking up. I myself get so many queries from people wanting to know what it takes to fly, or how to go for a pilot license etc. The point is that there is enough demand, but the supply side is found wanting. Hence, there is a market imbalance as far as hobby flying/General Aviation is concerned. On supply side, however, things are taking a turn in the positive direction. Companies such as Indus Aviation are pushing GA (General Aviation) through initiatives like their low-cost plane (Thorp E-211) manufactured in India.

What factors will help hobby flying grow further?
Availability of good infrastructure: Good planes, Better instructors, and Top-Of-It flying schools. I have got queries from people who work in Avionics field, and who'd like to train themselves as pilot in order to do their job better. But, where are the flying schools? As a result, lot of people from Bangalore goto Hyderabad, Chennai, Pondicherry, and abroad for flying training. Its highly ironical that, even though Bangalore is considered to be a Mecca for hobby aviation in India, it does not have 'good' flying schools!

Do I think of the risks sometimes?
No. Not at all! The fascination is too big to even see risks. And now that you remind me of 'em, let me tell you there ain't any!

How often do I get to fly?
Availability of good instructors/schools is an issue.

Do I want to take it on as a career?
No. It is purely a hobby. In long term, however, I do want to acquire a microlight, and also get into aviation business myself. Hence, it's a good idea to get a head start!

What is the legal age to start hobby flying?
Sixteen. The candidate should have passed Standard X.

How long does it take to earn a student pilot licence? (how many hours of flying)
60 hours (including 10 hours solo).

What types of planes are typically used in hobby flying?
Cessna-152, Cessna-172, Piper Seneca, etc.

What is the cost of an average flying lesson (per hour)
Rs 3000-3500/hour depending on what kinda plane and flying school you are with.

Any celeb student pilots -- besides lucky ali?
Can't think of any. But hey, everybody is a student: student of life!


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."

"Mindsets play strange tricks on us. We see things the way our minds have instructed our eyes to see. We think the way our minds have instructed our minds to think. We are familiar with one way of thinking. Most of it comes during our academic years, during our student years. The teachers we had, the books we read -- they made up our mindset, and ever since we are stuck with that. We cannot break through this. If you are a successful student in a university, actually you become the 'mini' of the professor whom you liked and admired most ... So that's what mindset does. When you bring in a new thought, you are in conflict with those old thoughts. You struggle, but the old thoughts still prevail because the mindset is so strong. It would be good if we could have an educational system, a learning process, where we could retain our originality and at the same time accumulate insight and never become a mini professor, but remain ourselves and still absorb different views. Yet institutions have their own mindsets, and it's very difficult to penetrate and change them. So changing has to be done faster. It's a faster world -- particularly in the 21st century -- but human minds, our academic system, make change slow. So this has been the hardest challenge that I have faced along the way."

"Poverty is unnecessary. The human being is quite capable of taking care of himself or herself. But we have created a society that does not allow opportunities for those people to take care of themselves because we have denied them those opportunities. I have described poor people as like a bonsai -- that little tree that grows in a flower pot. I said you pick the best seed of the tallest tree in the forest, and plant it in a flower pot, and it will grow into a tiny tree. Is there anything wrong with the seed? Nothing is wrong with the seed. It's the best seed. Then why is it tiny? Because you planted it in a flower pot. You didn't allow it to grow in the real soil. The poor people are the bonsai people. Society has not allowed them the real soil. If you allow them the real soil, real opportunities, they will grow as tall as everybody else."
# 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)
# FoodWorld.


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.

In the band's biggest public performance to date, the harmonies of the mandolin, drums, keyboard and vocals will be brought together in a must-see display of musical genius.

The proceeds of the concert will go to F.A.M.E India for the construction of a school building where 120 differently-abled children of disadvantaged backgrounds will have access to special education and therapy services.

Please do support by attending the concert. The tickets are priced at Rs.250, Rs.500 and Rs.1,000 and are available at F.A.M.E India.

Kind regards,

Yogi Varma (Ms.)
Executive Director
Foundation for Action, Motivation and Empowerment (FAME India)
Add. 1130, 19th Main, JP Nagar II Phase, Blr - 78


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 .



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.
Capital Markets
# 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!

[Tons of guys. From back to front: Sapan (ChE, MS, BP Maryland), Yash (Electronics, IITK, IES, IIMC, Evalueserve), Me (the dork), Vishad (Electronics, IITK, Business, Noida)]

Now, admittedly, there have been mishaps when it comes to girls and my scooter: A flat at 0100 hrs in the middle of nowhere; A broken clutch-wire at 0030 hours - as a result of which my Vespa is prancing around like a wild, out-of-control, waiting-to-be-tamed horse. Mind you, all this while with a pillion! (Actually in this particular case, for all my scooter-jingoism, I dont really blame her for saying no to my scooter for ever and till the end of the time). But hey, comeone after all its a machine. A lovely one at that! During my Kanpur visit, when I met Mr Lohia, owner of LML group that makes LML Vespa, rather than wasting time talking business, I should have given all this useful feedback: How to make scooter attractive to babes. That one-point strategy could be the revival of scooter business. McKinseys and BCGs of the world can not give you that strategic insight!

Anyways, what the heck, I choose my scooter over girls (I can see that day ain't far when: Main aur mera Vespa, aksar yeh baatein karte hain..)

Enough ranting. Point made. Nobody hurt. Over to the article (Thanks Santosh for such a fantastic piece).

Ode to the vehicle that drove middle-class India
14 Feb 2005, Times of India.

If the Indian middle-class man were to be reborn as a product, chances are it would be as the Bajaj scooter. Squat, a belly going to pot, wearing a grey safari suit, undist i n g u i s h e d but resourceful. With a wife perched uncomfortably at the back, Gudiya squeezed between the two and Cheeku standing up front. No product comes close to capturing the essence of middle-class India as well as the scooter.

For decades the scooter was both literally and metaphorically at the heart of the Indian middle-class consciousness, imparting its own unique flavour to how we lived our lives. Today, with the motorcycle having all but erased the scooter from our hearts and minds, it is worthwhile examining what made the scooter the force it was and asking what does the transition from the scooter to the bike say about the Indian man today.

The scooter carries with it an aura of safety (over its macho cousin the motorcycle) that its engineering does not quite merit. Its smaller wheel size actually makes it a less stable vehicle than the motorcycle but the air of safety that it so convincingly carried has more to do with images that surrounded it. It had a stepney, which provided a welcome safety net on independent-minded Indian roads.

It had space to squeeze in a full family, a place to carry vegetables, a dickey to store sundry needs of the family. In short, it seemed safe because it catered to the all those stable, worldly things that made a man a 'responsible' person. Most importantly, the scooter hid the machine from view. Unlike the bike which revels in displaying its muscular architecture, the scooter covers up the beast within with rotund blandness. The rounded soft shape of the scooter helps it be seen as a domesticated beast of burden, anonymously performing the duties asked of it. Overall, the scooter is middle class and safe because it goes out of its way to advertise its lack of masculine ambition; it wears its unprepossessing modesty on its sleeve, by eschewing any heroics.

This is evident in the manner in which the scooter negotiates the road. If the bike sees the road as a woman to make love to, the scooter prefers instead to haggle with her. If the bike hugs the curves of the road, melting the rider onto the tar, the scooter maintains an awkward distance, unconvinced that continuous mobility is a natural human condition. If the bike purrs, the scooter stammers; where the bike is a gushing river, the scooter a spluttering tap; if the bike an untamed stallion, the scooter a recalcitrant mule. The bike pillion rider fuses into the driver - dropping a girl home on a bike is a rake's pleasure, on a scooter a 'cousin brother's' duty. If John Abraham is the poster boy for bikes, Amol Palekar on his way to the ration shop is the abiding scooter role model. 'Heroes' on bikes wear bubble helmets and boots, on scooters they chew paan and give signals with their feet.

The scooter celebrates the functionality of motorised mobility, not its recreational energy. At a time when we coped with scarcity with heartbreaking dignity, the scooter was our imperfect solution. It needed to be kicked incessantly, first aggressively and then pleadingly, at times it needed to be tilted at an impossible angle for the fuel to start flowing and its spark plugs needed more cleaning than Bihar politics. But it blended in perfectly with how we lived and what we believed in. Restrained, repressed, modest, versatile in an unassuming way, the scooter spoke for us and our way of life like nothing else. No wonder the Hamara Bajaj campaign rung so true. For once advertising made us look into a mirror and told us a truth we all recognised.

The transition to the bike too tells a story. In the year of the scooter, the bike was a Yezdi, Rajdoot or a Bullet, all belonging to the hirsute world of grown-up men. The bikes that actually did well in India were the colourful boy 100 cc bikes that offered the tamer, less intimidating version of the real thing with fuel efficiency to boot. This allowed us to move gradually from the stolid functionality of the scooter to the plastic seduction of the bike in baby steps.

The bike today speaks of the emerging India that is driven more by outward appearances and is not afraid of the motive force of change. It is an eloquent symbol, but it cannot sum up who we are in quite the same way as a scooter could.
- santoshdesai1963 AT


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.
6. Bacchhhaaaaaooooo.....
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........
- 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)


Found: Neverland!

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 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,
When I had failed to distinguish between a friend and a foe,
When they had invited me ,holding open the pack,
When I lost to curiosity, instead of being taken aback,
When on that fateful day , for the first time,
I held a cigarette in my hand.

It was, I felt a part of being in the teens,
And what had started with a puff or two became a routine.
The smoke's illusion blinded me for as it arose,
Arose my spirits too, and I muttered to myself, "I can" because,
With a cigarette in my hand ,
I felt like a man.

Soon it came out in the open, for it had become a habit I could not hide,
I was helpless, for I could not help but continue,
Even when I knew, it was eating me up from inside,
I was body and my soul and I realized,
With the cigarette in my hand,
I was a dying man.

Soon I was just a lifeless form, a hollow,
People shunned me everywhere, I wished,
If only had I done something which others could follow,
But it was too late, I had taken the wrong path, and I was ignored, because
With a cigarette in my hand,
I was a hated man.

All the time, tears filled my eyes,
For people had bid me their good byes,
I wept because my cells , my body was choking ,
If only on that first day,my friends had been joking,
And then one day, the cigarette dropped from my hand,
I was a dead man.

Sunday, February 13, 2005

Oh, Nostalgia!

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

Pending Reading

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.

Sample 1
-----Original Message-----
From: XYZ
Sent: Sunday, February 06, 2005 1:36 AM
To: webmaster
Subject: mystery Indian CD

Thank you for your excellent webpage! I was watching International Channel in L.A. and they played a top CD single - the video was an amazing collection/collage of images of everyday India, the people, places, many of which I saw when I travelled there in 1970 - the music was one man in a turban playing an electric guitar while standing in traffic - lyrics were superimposed on the film - I would say an inspirational retro western sounding song

I must get this video - I think the artists name was Runi or similar - it is supposed to be selling in the top ten CD albums.

-----Original Message-----
From: Anurag Jain
Sent: Monday, February 07, 2005 6:47 AM
Subject: RE: mystery Indian CD

Dear XYZ:

Its nice to hear from you, and to know that you liked an Indian video.

The song you are talking about is Bulla ki Jana by a new artist called Rabbi Shergill. It's been a super-duper hit. I myself have been listening to it non-stop. Originally a Sufi song, this Sikh (Turban!) artist has sung it in a Punjabi style. The lyrics have deep philosophical undertones (see meaning here ).

I dont have access to the video, but I have sent you the mp3 (audio) file from my yahoo account.

Best wishes,


-----Original Message-----
From: XYZ
Sent: Monday, February 07, 2005 7:44 AM
To: Anurag Jain
Subject: Re: Rabbi Shergill - Bulla Ki Jana

Dear Anurag Jain,

Yes! This is the song, thanks. I have to get the video because it's so beautiful. I also saw another overseas Indian artist from Toronto (I think his name was Rahjeev) and his hit single was a reggae groove complete with hip-hop references also - what a groove! For me, this kind of fusion music is the future, I am getting so sick of American rap down in the gutter. Off your site, I listened to Sameera, and her songs were nice also.

It's great to make contact with you - I am a civil engineer in the USA, who makes comparisons of our Secretary of State and the Indian goddess Kali !


Sample 2
-----Original Message-----
From: ABC
Sent: Saturday, January 29, 2005 1:12 AM
To: webmaster
Subject: I would like to hear "Raghupati Raghav Raja Ram." Can you help me?

Mr. Jain,

I found your website through a Google search. I hope you can help me.

I am a 55-year old man in Ohio, U.S.A. I have a memory of learning an Indian song as a child about 45 years ago. And yet the melody persists in my mind! I remember that it was a song exhorting brotherhood, and trying to broach the gap between Hindus and Moslems in India. Now, as an adult, I believe that the song was "Raghupati Raghav Raja Ram." Looking at the lyrics now, I suspect that the song is offensive to many Hindus and many Moslems. I take no position on the meaning or truth of the lyrics, since I am neither a Hindu nor a Moslem, and see no need to meddle in other peoples' quarrels. My only interest is to hear the music again.

That's why I am writing. Could you guide me to, or perhaps email me, an MP3 recording of that song? I believe that sharing a file with a single individual is not a copyright violation.

I thank you in advance for any help you can give me. Please "reply to all" so that I can receive your reply both at my home and my office email addresses.

Yours truly,

-----Original Message-----
From: Anurag Jain
Sent: Saturday, January 29, 2005 7:43 AM
Subject: RE: I would like to hear "Raghupati Raghav Raja Ram." Can you help me?

Dear Dr ABC:

Nice to hear from you, and to know that long time back you learnt this Indian song about the idea of fraternity.

Raghupata Raghav is what we call a Bhajan in India. Bhajan means a devotional song. I am not sure who penned it, but Raghupati Raghav is a bhajan associated with Mahatama Gandhi. And it is pretty much a part of Indian national consciousness. One can hear it at a lot of (Hindu) religious functions, or at nationalistic meetings (such as on Independence Day(15th Aug), Republic Day (26th Jan) etc).

About the meaning, I understand your concern, but I don't think it is offensive to anyone. Yes, it is a hindu prayer song, but I haven't heard of any Muslim getting offended by it :)

On a personal note, I love this bhajan. I find it pretty soothing and calming. Sending various versions to you from my yahoo account.

Do lemme know if this is the song/bhajan you wanted or was it something else you were nostalgic about :)

Best wishes,

-----Original Message-----
From: ABC
Sent: Monday, January 31, 2005 1:45 AM
To: 'Anurag Jain'
Subject: Raghupati Raghav


Yes! That's it! That's the song whose melody has been in my head all these years.

I'm still amazed by it. Here is a song I heard (and sang, perhaps) for a few days over 40 years ago, a song in a language I don't speak-and yet it sticks in my memory. That tells us something about the brain and memory and music-but I don't know what.

Thank you for your kindness in sharing this song with me.


Sample 3
-----Original Message-----
From: PQR
Sent: Friday, January 14, 2005 5:14 AM
To: webmaster
Subject: Tsunami Benefit

I am desperately searching for a musical performance group that is culturally influenced by India and/or East Africa, and/or Asia (preferably all three) for a Tsunami Benefit to be held in Charlotte NC on February 4th. Do you have any ideas or suggestions of groups that may be interested? It is a thousand person venue and we expect to sell out. The evening themes are reflecting the diversity of the people affected by the tragedy and honoring their cultures in art, dance, music, and song. Your help would be greatly appreciated.


Sunday, February 06, 2005

Aero India 2005

Here's the schedule of AeroIndia 2005 show.


Saturday, February 05, 2005

Comment Spam

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.

Damned spammers.


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.


We are pleased to inform you that your blog has been featured as "Blog of The Day" in BlogStreet India

BlogStreet India is a pioneering service for Indian blogs offering analytics and utilities such as BlogRank, BlogProfile, RSS Search Engine, Blog Directory and more.

You can check the BlogRank and BlogProfile of your blog here:

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

Annie Hall

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:
Alvy Singer: There's an old joke. Uh, two elderly women are at a Catskills mountain resort, and one of 'em says, "Boy, the food at this place is really terrible." The other one says, "Yeah, I know, and such small portions." Well, that's essentially how I feel about life. Full of loneliness and misery and suffering and unhappiness, and it's all over much too quickly.

Closing lines:
Alvy Singer: I though of that old joke, y'know, the, this, this guy goes to a psychiatrist and says, "Doc, uh, my brother's crazy. He thinks he's a chicken." And, uh, the doctor says, "Well, why don't you turn him in?" And the guy says, "I would, but I need the eggs." Well, I guess that's pretty much how I feel about relationships. Y'know, they're totally irrational and crazy and absurd and, but, uh, I guess we keep going through it because, uh, most of us need the eggs.
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.
Alvy Singer: You? You kiddin'? If the Gestapo would take away your Bloomingdale's charge card, you'd tell 'em everything.

Annie Hall: "Darling, I've been killing spiders since I was 30."

" I have a pessimistic view about life. I feel that life is divided up into horrible and the miserable. Those are the two categories. Horrible would be like terminal cases and blind people, cripples I don't know how they get through life. It's amazing to me. The miserable is everyone else. So when you go through life, be thankful that your're miserable. "

Alvy Singer: Oh stop it, you're having an affair with your college professor, that jerk that teaches that incredible crap course, Contemporary Crisis in Western Man...
Annie Hall: Existential Motifs in Russian Literature. You're really close.
Alvy Singer: What's the difference? It's all mental masturbation.
Annie Hall: Oh, well, now we're finally getting to a subject you know something about.
Alvy Singer: Hey, don't knock masturbation. It's sex with someone I love.

Annie Hall: So I told her about, about the family and about my feelings towards men and about my relationship with my brother. And then she mentioned penis envy. Do you know about that?
Alvy Singer: Me? I'm, I'm one of the few males who suffers from that.

Pam: Sex with you is really a Kafka-esque experience.
Alvy Singer: Oh. Thank you.
Pam: I mean that as a compliment.

Alvy Singer: I think, I think there's too much burden placed on the orgasm, you know, to make up for empty areas in life.
Pam: Who said that?
Alvy Singer: It may have been Leopold and Loeb.

[Alvy sees Rolling Stone and The National Review in Annie's apartment]
Alvy Singer: Are you going with a right-wing rock 'n roll star?

Alvy Singer: They did not take me in the Army. I was, um, interestingly enough, I was, I was 4-P. Yes. In the, in the event of war, I'm a hostage.

Alvy Singer: In 1942 I had already discovered women.
[Young Alvy kisses girl in school]
Alvy's Classmate: Yecch. He kissed me, he kissed me. Yecch.
Miss Reed: That's the second time this month. Step up here.
Alvy at 9: What'd I do?
Miss Reed: Step up here.
Alvy at 9: What did I do?
Miss Reed: You should be ashamed of yourself.
Alvy Singer: Why? I was just expressing a healthy sexual curiosity.
Miss Reed: Six year old boys don't have girls on their minds.
Alvy Singer: I did.
Alvy's Classmate: For God's sake, Alvy, even Freud speaks of a latency period.
Alvy Singer: Well, I never had a latency period. I can't help it.

Alvy Singer: I'm so tired of spending evenings making fake insights with people who work for "Dysentery."
Robin: "Commentary."
Alvy Singer: Oh really? I had heard that "Commentary" and "Dissent" had merged and formed "Dysentery."

[Alvy and Annie are seeing their therapists at the same time on a split screen]
Alvy Singer's Therapist: How often do you sleep together?
Annie Hall's Therapist: Do you have sex often?
Alvy Singer: [lamenting] Hardly ever. Maybe three times a week.
Annie Hall: [annoyed] Constantly. I'd say three times a week

Alvy Singer: Oh my God, she's right. Why did I turn off Allison Portchnik? She was beautiful, she was willing. She was real intelligent. Is it the old Groucho Marx joke that I'm - I just don't want to belong to any club that would have someone like me for a member?

Alvy Singer: Hey, Harvard makes mistakes too! Kissinger taught there!

[Rob has bailed Alvy out of jail]
Rob: Imagine my surprise when I got your call, Max.
Alvy: Yeah. I had the feeling that I got you at a bad moment. You know, I heard high-pitched squealing.
Rob: Twins, Max! 16 years-old. Can you imagine the mathematical possibilities?
Alvy: [glum] You're an actor, Max. You should be doing Shakespeare in the Park.
Rob: Oh, I did Shakespeare in the Park, Max. I got mugged. I was playing Richard the Second and two guys with leather jackets stole my leotard.