10 superficial(yet necessary) things to do before I turn 23..

1.)Learn the multiplication table for 12 (I know them thoroughly only upto 11)

2.)Learn once and for all to correctly spell 'recieve' and 'definate'.Have I spelled them wrong here??

3.)Wash my bike.Has been ages since I last did that.

4.)Try and inculcate the habit of bending down to tie the open shoe laces.There have been times when I have ignored them and tripped.

5.)Try and ignore Mother's cribbing about my hair and grow them long.

6.)Once and for all, know how many days every month has got(30 or 31) so that everytime I dont have to use my knuckles to find that out.

7.)Know exactly where the states of southern and eastern India are located with respect to Maharashtra and w.r.t each other.

8.)Learn to recite at least one English rap song.Any suggestions??

9.)Tweet more often

and lastly
10.)De-activate Facebook account for a while.

30 minutes and the free pizza [short story]

[Read ETA as estimated time of arrival]

    He had been lying like a log staring at the T.V since he woke up 20 minutes ago. This is how his sunday afternoons used to be . A pizza ad reminded him that he was hungry.He had skipped lunch while watching a rom-com on his laptop and had fallen asleep.He decided to order a pizza. He started moving his limbs in hope of his digits grappling his cell phone.But that was futile.He realised that he will have to let go of the inactivity , arise and search for his phone.He rose and found his cell phone on the study table.Yawning with his jaws wide open than they would be for usual yawn,he looked up for Dominos number and dialled it.
After 2 rings , a sweet female voice answered,"Hello ,Dominos Pizza."

He: Maam,I would like to place an order for 1 medium Mexican Green wave pizza , garlic bread with cheese dip and one chicken kickers and one coke.
She: 1 Mexican green wave,garlic bread with Cheese dip and .....
He: One chicken Kickers and one coke.
She: Is there anything else you would like to order,Sir??
He: No Maam,that would be enough.
She:Sir, your address..??

   He told her the address and asked whether he would get the order he placed for free if the Pizza is not delivered before 30 minutes.The voice on the other side reassured.After he had hung up,he realized he had missed something."Oh gosh..how could I forget chocolava?",he said to himself as he re-dialed the number.After ordering the chocolava he once again made sure about the "delivery-before-30-minutes-or-pizza-free" thing before hanging up.He had gathered all of his senses back by this time.

   He kept on changing the channels before he finally settled on Star Movies that was playing "The Ugly Truth".It is going to be one good afternoon
with the movie and the pizza,he thought.Won't it be even better,if the delivery guy gets late and he gets the pizza for free,he extended his imagination sincerely hoping that the delivery guy does not arrive before 30 minutes . He looked at the clock to learn that it had been 15 minutes since he placed the order.He washed his face and got rid of the apathy.He checked his wallet to ensure he had the required change.He once again checked the time.ETA - 5 minutes.

   His previous experiences with Dominos reminded him that the last 5 minute window of the 30 minutes bracket was the time when the pizza usually arrived.He started becoming restless.ETA 1 minute.His excitement grew with every second.He waited for a few more minutes.When the clock struck 5 minutes past ETA , he rose with a start and walked up to the window.While dialing dominos he saw through the window a mob at the nearby square.His excitement of the free pizza made him ingnore that.

   As soon as the same sweet voice on the other side,this time,abeit adulterated, answered the call,he set off with such excitement that every word he
spoke demanded the free pizza . After he was done,the sweet yet adulterated voice said , " Sir, I was about to call you to inform that the guy who had been dispatched to deliver your order met an accident on the way.We would be sending.......".
He did not even let her complete the sentence and hung up.He searched for his bike keys to rush to the spot.On the way it dawned on him what the mob was about.On reaching the square , he saw the delivery guy being carried into an auto.He felt worried.He learnt from the people that the accident wasnt a severe one.That consoled him a bit.Before leaving the place ,he shot one final look at the scattered pizza and coke spilled all over the road.He did not have the heart to eat pizza that day.

A few days later,on another such sunday afternoon,

"Maam,I'd like to order 1 mexican Green wave........",He spoke slowly.
"Sir,is there anything else........??",she asked.
"Thank you Maam,that would be enough.....My address is....",he clearly uttered each word so that he need not have to repeat.
"Thanks for calling Sir....Have a nice day!".It was a routine for her.

"And Maam,one more thing",he paused for a while before he signed off saying,
"Maam,It's perfectly fine if it takes more than 30 minutes.Its perfectly fine."

A few lessons from 2011

* Expectations , that you have from people , are like an item girl's clothes , the lesser the better.

* Expectations , that people have from you, are like a company's sales targets ,you achieve one and there is a bigger one lying ahead.

* You feel great as a person when you are pursuing something (except a girl,you actually feel helpless then).

* Solitude is a blessing in disguise.

* At some point of time in life , you have to stop chasing fantasies and start pursuing what is more materialistic.

* There is nothing in life called "selfishness" , its just striving for own good which we all do at one or the other time in life.

* Money can't buy happiness.But it certainly helps you do things that bring in happiness.

* A person's reticence doesn't by any mean always imply dumbness or snobbish behavior.

* There is no greater enigma in the world than a woman.

Sherlock Holmes-The Game of shadows :Movie Review

    If Sir Arthur Conan Doyle were alive today , he definately would have marvelled at Guy Ritchie's reinvention of his amazingly intellectual sleuth character that he had etched into the minds of his readers .He too would have agreed that there could have been no better man than Robert Downey Jr to play Sherly. Whether he would be contented or not ,at Guy Ritchie's treatment to his work,remains a debatable question.

   The second outing of Sherlock Holmes picks shortly after where the first ended.France and Germany are at each other's throats over a series of bombings that Sherlock's arch-rival,Professor Moriarty, has engineered with the help of anarchists.His ulterior motive is to annoy both countries so much as to wage a war amongst themselves and create a demand for arms and ammunition which would be supplied by Professor James Moriarty who is an arms manufacturer.Meanwhile, Holmes most trusted yokefellow Dr.Watson(Jude Law)is going to quit his association with Holmes and leave crime-solving behind.But after Sherlock's interference in Moriarty's evil machinations,he decides to strike those closest to Holmes .Thus Holmes manages to drag Watson into helping him outwit his fiercest adversary with the help of gypsy named Sim(Noomi Rapace).

What's in there??
   Like the last installment,Guy Ritchie resorts to use of flashbacks that reveal that the previous moments were not as we saw them.The flashbacks aren't forced but are an integral part of the film.Action sequences have been used at large to create a fast-paced,spectacular and a visually stunning motion picture.The train fight ,Holmes predetermined act to shove Watson's newly wed off the train and thus ensure her safety with the help of his brother Mycroft, the pub brawl,the forest escape are all too engaging for you to even breathe.The slow-motion sequences showing Holmes puts his science of deduction to use are mesmerizing.The slow-mo sequence at final showdown wherein both Holmes and Moriarty both plan blows and moves to ward them off to downsize each other is exceptional and deserves an applause.The dialogue about chess rivalry between the two at the climax is a treat to watch.Also one cannot forget to mention Holmes unfeasible and overtly conspicous camouflage and disguises that add to the comic element.

   Apart fromt these,the bromance between Holmes and Watson is witty ,humorous and makes you want more of it. And,there is this unconventional chemistry between Holmes and his intellectual equal,Moriarty that stands out. They respect each other's intellect as much as they hate the way the other uses it. The complexity of their relationship can be drawn from the scene where Sherlock tries to negotiate with Moriarty to keep Watson out of the war between the two and later Moriarty making it clear to Holmes that the reason Holmes is alive is because of the respect that he has for Holmes's intellect.This all happens amidst the 19th century setting which is completely plausible.Overall,its the sleek and well-shot action sequences by director Guy Ritchie that set the adrenaline gushing and make the film more than just watchable.

What's missing?
   Did I say there is a lot of action? Well,that's strange of Sherlock Holmes who rather resorts to suave ways of subduing the opponents.The science of deduction which Sherlock is famous for is hardly used.We hardly get to see how Holmes reached the conclusions.Also,the moment you feel that you would be able to dive a little deeper into Holmes mysterious,eccentric character and get to explore his vulnerabilities,another action sequence shatters your expectations.The character development is a little dissatisying. Moriarty's character lacks the fiendish touch.In the stories,he is this one criminal figure who even though is intellectually equal to Sherlock has an advantage over him because of his moral insanity.This fact isnt evident from Moriarty's character in the film. Inspector Lestrade's character has just an iota of work to do unlike the short stories .The film's background score (by Hans Zimmerman) hardly gets noticed.

The performances:
   Robert Downey Jr is definately a show stealer.His diction is flawless.From being caught in a drug abuse few years ago to being one of the most bankable stars in Hollywood ,Downey Jr has come a long way.He effortlessly plays the kick ass,extremely genius ,methodical,bare-knuckle fighter,Sherlock yet at times you see his character reminding you of Johnny Depp's Captain Jack Sparrow.Jude Law stealthily plays his part as the side-kick yet his portrayal stands out.Jared Harris does justice to Professor Moriarty.If only his character had the satanic touch,he would be the one walking away with the accolades.Rachel McAdams as Irene Adler could have been done away with.Noomi Rapace as Sim ,the gypsy,probably wonders what is she doing in this entirely male-oriented film yet she manages to drag along.

  A must watch movie to ensure a good start to the 2012.A perfect blend of action,engrossing dialogues,unavoidable characters and sharply exact amount of comedy make it an ideal holiday entertainment.

I just realized that review writing is one hell of a task.And this being my first attempt at writing a movie review I must admit I had to refer to other reviews of this film .Don't contempt me ,if you find phrases used here similar to some other reviews you read. I also believe that to err is human and to tell him that he has erred and what he should do to rectify it is nothing short of divine.And your divinity is sincerely solicited.

I wanna be a .....

    I wanted to be an Air force officer.I wanted to fly in the skies,son the pilotwear,put on the aviator,hold the helmet in the cusp of my arm and salute from the cockpit while the jet takes off.I had even started asking people about how to get there.Yeah,but,this was when I was in the fifth grade.

   I also remembered me wanting to be an astronaut(courtesy:Captain Vyom).I thought being an astronaut meant kicking asses of ugly looking ,creepy creatures,getting to drive a spacecraft and use the laser gun.

    Later ,when I grew up a little ,I heard stories about the S.P of my hometown beating the daylights out of criminals,I realized that I wanted to do the same and decided to join the IPS.Yeah , but this was before Hrithik made his debut and Sachin was enthroned the status of God.

   Right from a bus conductor to an actor,a truck driver to a cricketer,as a teen ,I have dreamed of being everything.And now ,when I am 22 with a bachelors in I.T, things havent pretty changed much except that now my "I-wanna-be-a" desires are quite plausible.They say one should do what one likes to do.But what if one is not sure what exactly one likes?what if one likes to do one thing as much as he likes to do another?

   Sometimes,I feel lost amongst a myriad of desires.I wish that when the genuine "what-I-want-to-be" strikes me ,it strikes as a lightning bolt.Because,it has struck me before and then the feeling has faded away.To all those people ,if at all there are any,who haven't yet figured out what are you inclined to do,I just wanna say,you are not alone!!

FDI in Indian retail :The pros and cons

    One thing that has been doing the rounds the past few days on the news is about Government allowing Foreign Direct Investment in retailing sector and the political storm it has sparked in the opposition parties.So what is the hoopla all about?

The decision:
   After a decade long debate , the Govt has allowed the foreign retailers to hold upto 51% stakes in multibrand retail and has raised the investment in single-brand from 51% to 100%

What does that mean??
   Lets put is this way. 10 years ago a wealthy foreigner saw India as a booming market for investment in retail shop for his brand "X". But he was allowed to hold only 51% stake in the retail shop.He had to partner up with an Indian for the remaining.5 years after that ,he thought that now that his retail shop for brand X is doing well,why not team up with his other friends with brands "Y" and "Z" and open a multi-brand retail store.But the Indian FDI policy didn't allow him to do that.
    But now,after the govt's move to encourage FDI in retail , he can hold 100% stake in his retail shop for brand "X". Not only that he can also go ahead with his idea of a multi-brand store with at max 51% stakes.

The restrictive clauses:
1.)Companies can open up the stores only in towns with population more than 1 milion.
2.)At least 50% investment has to be in back-end infrastructure like storages and warehouses.

What do these clauses mean?
- By means of the first clause , the companies will be allowed to target only those consumers who are already into "mall shopping culture" in urban cities . The small retailers in the towns with population less than a million will be kept
at bay from suffering.

- India is the second largest producer of fruits and vegetables . But lack of storage facilities , lack of adequate post harvest steps and cold chain infrastructure causes heavy losses to farmers . By the second restrictive clause,the government aims at trying to bring a world class back-end infrastructure which would reduce the losses.

The pros:

  1. Consumers can get quality goods at a cheaper price.

  2. Inflow of foriegn investment and hence growth opportunities.

  3. It would fuel competition in local retail markets to survive . Healthy competition would mean improved quality and is in customer's benefit.

  4. Increased labour force in back-end infrastructure services.

  5. Increased employment in the front-end services

  6. Prosperity of the small and medium scale enterprises as the retailers have been told to source 30 % of their requirement from small and medium enterprises.

  7. Increased export as the retailers would want to export local goods to their outlets outside country

  8. The retailers can resort to contract farming programmes along with measures like direct buying from the farmers which will dilute the role of profit siphoning intermediaries.This can enhance the income of the farmers and give them direct access to markets.

The cons:

  1. Huge losses to unorganized retailing in the urban areas

  2. In order to create monopoly ,the markets would resort to selling the goods at a very low price.
    This would continue till the competition is eliminated.(predatory pricing)

  3. Increase in real estate prices

  4. Add to the already increasing muddle in the urban areas


  1. article by Hemant Batra
  2. Article at mbaknol
  3. An article in TOI

Reviews and opinions, please??


   "3 balls to go,3 runs to win and 2 wickets remaining!!" Does it not seem like the perfect script for a climax of a one-day or a 20-20 match.But the cricketing world witnessed this plot today on the final day of the final test match between W.I and India. The match which at one point seemed to close in India's favour went on to become a thriller of a game finally ending in a draw . Given the comfortable position that India was once at while chasing a total of 242,we must say,the windies snatched a draw from the Indians.

     This match, on the 3rd day was predicted to end in a draw.Darren Bravo even went on to say that if this match has a result he would tattoo Dhoni's face on his back.This has probably been only the second time that a Test has been drawn with scores level.( Bulawayo-test between Zimbabwe and England being the first one).The last 30 minutes of the game were a spectacular display of the batsmen and the bowlers outwitting each other every alternate ball.

  The windies seemed contented having deprived India a whitewash and the Indians had to sing their victory song with a choked voice.Whatever,like Ravi Shastri put it, the final session of the match was a great Advert for the game!!