Monday, December 1, 2008


This is hard for me to write about, because I wasn't there. I was in the area two-hours before they struck, but I wasn't there when it happened.

I was just one among the millions of mute spectators, who witnessed every bit of it on the TV news channels. Never there.

Many call it a "slap" on the face of Indian intelligence / security services, or "attack on the economy and democracy", or use the usual words: "heinous", "disgraceful", and of course, "shocking".

Politicians fly down with their Z-Security bandobast and declare relief packages for the victims' families. Blame the ruling party. Politicians fly in and fly out, alone, not together. Politics.

I choose to say nothing. I cannot say anything now. Except that we've failed, as a nation, as individuals, as humans.

I commute to work via the Mumbai Western Line local to Churchgate 6 days a week (just started this process 10 days back). I see thousands of people (aam-aadmi) risking their lives, hanging out of train carriages, jumping rail tracks to catch the arriving train, rushing in and out of stations to catch the next local, and even climbing onto the top of the train carriage (Virar Fast Local, especially) to avoid the crowd below.

Risking their lives, for trivialities.

Imagine, everyday, millions of us risk our lives in some way or the other. Break rules. Defy someone. Just to get what we want: reach work/school/college/movie theater early, not to keep our better half waiting, to catch the stock market's opening bell, etc etc etc.

But never do we ever stop and take the risk of speaking up, standing up, shouting, staying mute in defiance. It is hardly any risk compared to what we do subconsciously everyday! When will we ever learn?

Its sad to say, that the terrorists are/were more motivated than anyone (aam-aadmi again) else (barring the NSG and Army, to whom my heart goes out).

I would be going to the Gateway of India, at Colaba--just opposite the Taj on 3-Dec-2008 (evening most probably). I don't know what's going to take place there, I was just inspired by an SMS sent to me by a friend. Whatever happens, it would not be an one-off thing this time around.

I hope to see you there.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Random Events

Ok... this is going to be totally random. I will be doling out nonsense this point forward--I have nothing to do, nothing to write about... just rant about random nothings (my blog now suddenly feels very useful).

Its funny when we REALLY want to write about something--it hardly materializes. For the last few weeks/months I wanted to write about: Movies such as You Don't Mess With The Zohan, eat outs (All Stir Fry, Firangi Paani, etc), office experiences (oh yea, I've quit from my current job and moving on to another job. Yay.) ... You see, all these can be just mentioned--not written about in great length.

So, what does an avid blogger such as moi (ahem ahem) blog about?

Nonsensical Rubbish. (one of these two words is redundant, but what the hell... its futile... I've gone too far to press the backspace and type again--and I am lazy to move the cursor using my mouse).

Yes... pure, unadulterated, grade A; Crap. (My blog's initial promise, just scroll up and read the tagline).

I know of a few bloggers who write crap--in various formats. Poetry, movie reviews, cricket matches, daily life, pet peeves, money markets, stock markets, job markets, politics, etc etc... they have a method to their madness. I don't.

One day, I could be writing about the global economic crisis (whatever that means), and the next day I could be writing about the advantages of having nasal hair.

Today, is not the day for discussing the global economic crisis (why do I keep bringing this up?) or nasal hair.

Today, I restructure my blogging strategies towards attaining crapvana and general crapdom.

I have also restructured a Chinese curse to convey a message to my dear discerning readers--May you live in crappy times

Soon, McDonalds is gonna sue me for stealing the tagline of their future product offering... "Crappy Meal Special"... I believe that they'd be offering free Mortgage Back securities with the purchase of two Crappy Meal specials. Neat.

Enough crap for today, my blog's clogged with rubbish. (Hey, new PJ... what do you call a Blogger facing a Writer's Block? Blog Clog!™)

So until I get over my next Blog Clog™ (I really love the ™ sign don't I? Keyboard Shortcut: Alt+0153. Try it.), please do not bother to come back and check this space. My average Blog Clog™ span is anywhere between 6 months to a year.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Take a minute...

First off, let me apologize for blatantly copying and pasting a forward--but I really wanted to share this with you all. I know these are not my thoughts, so if this write-up offends or causes irreconcilable mental trauma to poets, miners, exorcists, mediums, bakers or even Santa's lil helpers; please don't sue me.

  • A bicycle can't stand alone; it is two tired.

  • A will is a dead giveaway.

  • Time flies like an arrow; fruit flies like a banana.

  • A backward poet writes inverse.

  • In a democracy it's your vote that counts; in feudalism, it's your Count that votes.

  • A chicken crossing the road: poultry in motion.

  • If you don't pay your exorcist you can get repossessed.

  • With her marriage she got a new name and a dress.

  • Show me a piano falling down a mine shaft and I'll show you A-flat miner.

  • When a clock is hungry it goes back four seconds.

  • The guy who fell onto an upholstery machine was fully recovered.

  • You are stuck with your debt if you can't budge it.

  • Local Area Network in Australia: The LAN down under.

  • He broke into song because he couldn't find the key.

  • A calendar's days are numbered.

  • A lot of money is tainted: 'Taint yours, and 'taint mine.

  • A boiled egg is hard to beat.

  • He had a photographic memory which was never developed.

  • A plateau is a high form of flattery.

  • The short fortuneteller who escaped from prison: a small medium at large.

  • Those who get too big for their britches will be exposed in the end.

  • When you've seen one shopping center you've seen a mall.

  • When she saw her first strands of gray hair, she thought she'd dye.

  • Bakers trade bread recipes on a knead to know basis.

  • Santa's helpers are subordinate clauses.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Name calling.....

I was going through Wikipedia's entry on one of Kollywood's "greatest" comedians: Goundamani

Here are some names of the characters he's portrayed (Note: The ones in bold are my favorites):

1. Pick Pocket Periyasamy

2. Pannikutti Ramasamy

3. All-in-All Azhagu raja

4. Silverspoon Silpakumar

5. Govindo

6. Paavada Kanth

7. Esakki Muthu

8. Naaik Kal Naaik

9. Everything Yegambaram

10. Dharmaadi Dharmalingam

11. Mechanic Manikam

12. Yaetu Yegambaram

13. Kaaling

14. Aaru Kolai Arumugam

15. Vaasu.. The great Vaasu

16. Idea mani

Only in Kollywood would you find something like this.

Does anyone have any other typical filmy names (which are strictly south)? (Polyester Padmini, Disco Shanti, Aruvaal Somasekaran--probably a play on Arnold Schwarzenegger, etc...)

Monday, March 10, 2008

Elite Geeks

I was reading an article on economist recently and realized that there are around 10 million civil servants in India.


No offence against our distinguished Babus and Collector Aiyyas, but somehow Civil Servants remind me of the Vogon race from The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. And man, are they grumpy!

Few other images that come to my mind w.r.t. Civil Servants: An old fashioned wooden desk, filled with papers gathering dust. A white shirt and pant (Safari suit if possible). And finally, a white Ambassador Nova with all the extra-fittings to make it look all the more bureaucratic. (Have I missed something else out here?)

Back to our 10 Million civil servants--thats almost as big as Hungary (or 0.15% of world's population). Wow!

I wonder what would happen if we were to conquer an island (hypothetically) and then drop our distinguished Babus on it (again, hypothetically and figuratively). First of all, we would need to name this island.

Here are a few of my suggestions:

(1) Babuland ( I really love that 4 letter word, don't I?!) ;o)
(2) Ambassadoria
(3) Safari (Suit) Island
(4) Democratic Republic of Bureaucrats

Just imagine, an island full of Ambassador cars with flashing lights and sirens blaring. Sounds chaotic already!

I wonder what would happen if Civil Servants themselves faced problems similar to the ones faced by the general public. Who would they pressurise/please/bribe to get the job done??? The hunter would become the hunted.

Well, lets get back to setting up of our hypothetical island. The major industries would be Textile (for making nice safari suits), Automobiles (only Hindustan Motors--for manufacturing Ambassadors only), Furniture industry (the more antique-ish furniture you manufacture, the better), and finally the marriage industry.

Apparently, according to another Economist article: "Male (IAS) recruits are among India's most marriageable: more suitable, it is said, than the elite geeks of the country's booming computer-services industry."

Elite Geeks??? Ok, now I am an Economist-Certified Elite Geek. My marital future seems doomed, thanks to these highly-eligible bachelor IAS Babus.

Now, I feel like blowing up this island and calling it a day. How convenient, don't you think? Well, I don't think it's worth all the dynamite.

I find solace in this quote from author Sanjoy Bagchi: “Overwhelmed by the constant feed of adulatory ambrosia, the maturing entrant tends to lose his head and balance. The diffident youngster of early idealistic years, in course of time, is transformed into an arrogant senior fond of throwing his weight around; he becomes a conceited prig.”

Although, I feel, he should've said "Conceited Pig".... Pig's look more like Vogons

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Technology dilemma

Of late, I have been facing a strange dilemma with regard to technology.

The dilemma is as follows:

Do I go in for a nice digi-cam (to bring out any hidden talents in photography) or should I invest in upgrading my desktop computer (which would require me to go back to Madras and bring back the working parts).

So, more than the choice... it is the utility of either choice which is bothering me the most.

Till date, the only pictures that I have ever clicked are from my old Kodak KB10 camera. I now recollect that I never took out the film after clicking the 36 pictures of birthday parties, school events, picnics, etc. (I reckon the film must have become powdered by now) .

Yup.. I am THAT lazy. So, don't expect me to keep updating my blog--which takes precious minutes out of my painfully busy schedule **for my busy schedule--scroll down till the end of this writeup**

Anyhoo... getting back to the topic--you must've guessed by now that I would make a horrible photographer, rather a horrible post-photography photographer.

But dear reader... please be honest with yourself--how often did you feel lethargic to take out the film, after rewinding it properly so that it doesn't get exposed to light, and deliver it to the studio so that you can get them developed in 4 days time?

I know that you are not as lazy as I am, but wasn't it kinda tedious and boring, especially if the studio was quite far and required a certain amount of travel?

But with a Digi-cam.... and flickr©... and blogspot© .... I could showcase my creativity to the whole world!

I guess not.

Of all you know, I would find a new excuse with regard to low battery charge and how costly it might prove to be if I were to expose such an expensive equipment to the Bombay dust and grime.

I am already postulating such excuses! I am incorrigible!

That leaves me with upgrading my computer.

This would require enormous planning and expenditure. First, devote a few days to fly down to madras--I know, bringing an equipment from one city to another should not require more than a day or two... but things don't work that way once you stay away from your home city.

I would have to devote a week, meeting relatives, eating good food, buying gifts, driving around town to meet friends, etc... you get the flow.

Booking plane tickets--another hassle with renewed taxes and so-called fuel surcharges and all. I think this is one service, where the taxes are higher than the actual price, and the aviation authority have no say in this (even though they should be having one).

Well, back to madras, I enjoy the week, the beaches, the shops, the traffic jams, the idly-sambaar and medu vada, home food, Tiramisu and Brimstone (orange drink) with my good friend and a lot other things which I feel I can experience only in Madras and not anywhere else.

The week is ending, and I have to get back to the same humdrum life--Bombay.

I land, and I rush to office.... and guess what... I've forgotten all about the computer equipment! AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHH!!!!!

But, what the heck... the whole trip back home sure beats anything! :)

So... thank you blogspot... for solving my dilemma... I'm gonna go home soon and enjoy life for a week... and no, I better not forget the equipment (in real life)! ;)


**As promised--my "busy" schedule is as follows:**
  • Wake up - 0830 hrs
  • Laze around - 0830-0900hrs
  • Wake up (final) - 0900 hrs
  • Get read for work - 0900-0945hrs
  • Reach office - 1030hrs
  • Breakfast - 1030-1100hrs
  • Check mails - 1100hrs-1130hrs
  • Read the news (Indian) - 1130-1230hrs (I am a slow reader)
  • Read the news (American and other International) - 1230-1330hrs
  • Lunch - 1330-1400hrs
  • START work (finally--i bet you were wondering when I would start working) - 1400hrs
  • Realize that I do not have much work to do - 1401hrs
  • Get bored - 1401-1600hrs
  • Get depressed by the fact that I am getting bored at such an early age - 1600-1700hrs
  • Contemplate about charting my "experiences on my blog" - 1700-1800hrs
  • Ditching that idea - 1801hrs
  • Trying to dig out some work which I haven't completed yet - 1802-1830hrs
  • Fail in that attempt - 1831hrs
  • Wait till its dinner time (do nothing constructive) - 1832-2045hrs
  • Journey back home - 2115-2145hrs
  • Sleep - 2230hrs



Saturday, February 9, 2008

Out of touch, out of shape...

Well, first let me apologize to my audience for being so lax with regard to keeping my unnecessary blog updated--but i had to, thanks to body ache. Yes, body ache, muscle pain, whatever u may call it... the kinda pain caused due to playing cricket after 1 million years.

That brings me to the subject of my topic. Yes, i recently discovered that i am horribily out of touch and out of shape. I thought indians of any age, shape and size could just wake up, take a bat/ball (in my case, ball) and go out and play cricket with ease and finesse. But sorry folks, thats not the case--sorry for bursting your bubble (you would thank me here, as i am saving you from a hell lotta pain).

Well, it was the nice chilly saturday morning of Feb 2nd 2008. I was the 2nd person to arrive on the field for the inter-team cricket event. Due to a stroke of good/bad luck my team (the "Mavericks") had been directly promoted to the Quarterfinals (as we had 11 teams participating, we could not have group matches, so we had to draw lots).

Imagine, no practice since college, and on to the QFs already. We were headed for doom. But, still our Captain (Percy) kept the team spirits high and we scored 74 from our alloted 6 overs--which was amazing. That is, until i was handed the ball to bowl the first over (surprise! surprise!).

The damn tennis ball seemed to weigh like SS Titanic filled with elephants (african--cos their bigger ears contribute significantly to their weight--so i assume). 24 hours back i was trying to figure out why my MS Word spell check was not working---and here i am bowling my first over after like 15 gazillion years.

Well, the first ball was bang on target... it amazed me more than the batsman (who was touted to be the most dangerous batsment in their team). Then what followed was this Wd (wide), 4, 6, 4... Then i took his wicket. Joy to the world the Lord has come! I didn't know how to celebrate... should i pull a Harbhajan or a Sreesanth or even a Symonds?! I just walked back to my bowling run up.

Then after the wicket.... 4, Wd, Wd, 0. Totally my over had leaked 21 Runs! Now they needed jus 54 off 5 overs!!

I was wrong with the ball being the heaviest thing i've experienced... i realized that the heaviest thing i've ever had to deal with were my feet. Man! Life sucked... i thought... rather prayed ... "Dear Mother Earth, I know i haven't kept in touch... but please ask Mr. Ground to open up and have his breakfast!"

Dropped an easy catch... still no response from Mr. Ground.

Finally we won the match, thanks to some really tight bowling by my teammates.

Phew... i had nearly thrown the match away!

The next match (Semifinals) were with an extremely competitive lot from our office's 4th floor... dunno what they had named their team... but i guess "Australia" would've fitted the bill.

In my view, they looked like a bunch of henpecked 30-40 year olds... who were really good players, but low in sporting spirit and stamina. They wanted to win. Period.

This match, i only fielded--was not asked to bowl, neither did i ask for the ball. They scored 63 off 7 overs. Competitive.

Our batting lineup collapsed to their superior bowling skills (these guys had been practising for 3 weeks). I scored 5 or 4. Who remembers. Who cares!?

We lost, and they won. Period.

So that summed up my dismal performance and a dismal saturday. But, I had fun. We all did. Mainly coz the extremely competitive guys lost to the team that sits next to my team. Sportmanship prevailed! So, did better stamina.

So, my dear friends... cricket is a fun game. Enjoy it, just look beyond all those endorsement deals and scandals and don't give 21 runs in an over--you would be fine. :)

Now I have to confess.....

The pains were there jus for 1 day--thought it would be a plausible reason to get me out of jail for not keeping my blog updated. :D

I am facing a huge writer's block. Something, which I predicted i would face when I started out this blog.

Hope I am more motivated in the future to keep this thing alive.. Kinda liking this blog thingy. :)

So, till next birth... er ... i mean, next time. B'bye!

Oh, Btw, I saw Taare Zameen Par. Excellent movie... and yes, I cried too. :')

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Humpty Dumpty

The recent performance of equity markets worldwide brings back memories of the nursery rhyme--Humpty Dumpty Sat on a Wall.

It goes something like this

Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall,
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall,
All the King's horses and all the King's men,
Couldn't put Humpty back together again.

Now just substitute select words with the following:

Humpty Dumpty = Capital Markets
King = Fed
His Horses = CEOs, CIOs, CxO's
His Men = Bernanke
Wall = Wall Street

How much ever our CEOs, CIOs and CxO's try... I cannot see them putting back this Humpty Dumpty (capital markets) back together again in the next 3-4 years (which is a lifetime in the financial arena).

Today the Indian Humpty Dumpty fell around 875 points. Yesterday it fell by 1408 or so. Mr. Chidambaram called a protocol meeting (finally) and told the retail investors not to worry.

Many people would advise this is the right time to buy, hence the market shall rise again. I feel the market might dip more based on more US recession news/data. Who knows--I may be wrong, I am not a Warren Buffet or a Harry Potter.

When I had landed in B'bay in mid-april '07, Sensex was trading at a "paltry" 13,000 pts. Didn't pay much attention to the news ticker which runs at the bottom of the TV screen as I was more interested in the Abhi-Aish wedding bash. How time flies.... My ex-VP has been investing in the markets ever since it was in its mid-2,000's way back in the early 1990's.

The main question here is... can our markets sustain the 20k+ limit? Are our stocks overvalued? Is Reliance the culprit? Is our market still immature? Can I turn back time to when my ex-VP had invested his first salary in the markets?

I throw the floor open to you.

Still trying...

As you would have noticed--I am still trying to perfect Accidental Economist's layout, template and formatting. So, don't be surprised to see something totally new every now and then. :)

Btw, this picture ... i got it from google images.. I think it was from an Economist Ad (that would explain all the red) seeking fresh hires. Wish I got that job.

Here are a few jobs which I am interested in:

(1) Economist World Bank
(2) Economist IMF
(3) Economist ADB
(4) Toothbrush Salesman

In case you are in knowledge of openings in Jobs (1), (2) and (3)--do let me know. Job (4) can wait as its not toothbrush season, and the attrition rates among toothbrush salesmen is not high at the moment.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Je suis Légende

Dear reader, by now you probably must've guessed what this post is about. Yes, its about Mr. Will Smith's new movie "I am Legend." I saw this movie yesterday and it got me thinking--what it would be like if tomorrow I wake up and discover that everything living has been turned into a zombie and I am the only survivor in Kottivakkam? (Obviously, as I am not fortunate enough to live in New York--yet).

Back to the eerie topic--I figured that I would be shit scared for one and secondly it wouldn't make much of a difference as Kottivakkam is quite a dead place anyway. Yeah, I know it is famous for the Tidel Park, IT Parks, etc but aren't we BPO/KPO/IT/ITES employees walking zombies anyway? The graveyard shifts, dog tags (which they have heartlessly rechristined as ID tags), half dead colleagues, etc. all these translate to zombie-ville.

Anyways, I have strayed away from the topic (again). Mr. Smith had the good fortune of having several guns by his side (always). The only weapon I have access to is a rubberband and few pieces of chalk and crumpled paper.

So, with all the guns that he had, he embarked everyday to hunt for wild animals (mostly deer)--was wondering if the filmmakers ever thought of renaming the film as "Good Will Hunting." Sorry PJ.

I like the scene where Good Will enters a zombie "hive" and the floor is scattered with 100 dollar bills. The sheer uselessness of money at that point of time--shown very well.

Well, the whole virus outbreak theory--is quite scary according to me. There's this other movie you can watch if you are interested-- its called "28 Days Later" -- same story but much more well made. No fancy weapons or animals. Just humans who have gotten affected by a Rage virus. Now that's scary.

I have two more scary DVD's to devour--"30 Days of Nights" and "1408". Will let you know what I think of them.

Till then...


Sunday, January 20, 2008

Blogman Begins

Well, here I am... I have finally jumped on to the blogging bandwagon after much delay (thanks to my pal Baidik who coaxed me into it). 

I have absolutely no idea as to what i would be filling up here and if it would be a regular practice at all. This blog has no rhyme or reason for its survival. It should be shot buried and forgotten about. This is a "blog without a cause".

Now the very reason I chose the heading "Accidental Economist", is becoz thats what I am. By pure accident, I ended up graduating with a Masters degree in Economics. How disgusting. It has its plus points though.... I like it when people look all wide eyed and say "Economics?!? No way! Man, its such a boring subject. You must be really smart... yada yada yada." Then comes the tough part: "Hey my cousin/distant relative is planning to study economics. Any tips? What would his/her career path be like? etc etc etc." Now u know why its such a big accident. Poor souls. Like the joke goes -- 

Q: "What do u call an economist with a prediction?"
A: "Wrong."

Anyhoo... talking about all things wrong... welcome to my blog. Hope u enjoy it and don't crib about it's imperfections / shortcomings; and just pray that I come up with something worth reading (by my standards) to keep it updated every now and then.