Saturday, October 24, 2009

Why I changed my mind...

I do not do this often! This must really be an exception. It’s hard to believe I did this, but the fact is I did it. This time I know I have taken the right choice. The feeling is all positive about it. I have finally decided to join the IT industry after many brainstorming sessions. The decision was obviously not easy. I took a lot of time and advice from a whole lot of people from various professions and spanning across the country. Thanks to everyone who supported me all the while and helped me come to a conclusion. What I finally gathered was that work itself takes a major part of our lives. I will be involved in it for half the day for the next few decades. Thus it just can’t be something which I don’t enjoy doing. If I don’t enjoy doing my work, my life as a whole will suffer, including my personal life. So it’s a decision which I should take judiciously, not be influenced by anyone or material gains like the salary amount for example. Its tempting no doubt, and thats why I had initially decided to join ICICI. But I understood over time that its not worth it after a while. I must enjoy my work, and I love IT. Its been my childhood dream to work in the IT industry. I don’t think I should have deviated from that dream in the first place. Its good that I took the right decision at the right time.

So guys wish me luck as I join the IT bandwagon. Hope to find some juice out of it.

The next F1 season will be exciting. Can’t wait to watch it. Also would love to watch the movie “Ajab prem ki gajab kahani”. Will review if its good J

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

BIGGEST Decision of my Life...

By the end of this post, I will be taking the BIGGEST decision in my life. I would like to share this with my extended family in the real and virtual world. There comes time in your life when you are almost literally struck by lightning and you go out your wits thinking how this happened! You don’t know what to do, whom to go for advice! You are literally torn apart by your own mind, thinking and thinking, and finding no solution. People giving you their own free opinion, but you are never satisfied. I’m today in a crossroad. One road leads to the path which I always liked, and I always saw my cousins and brother getting into, i.e. the IT industry, and then the other one leads to a completely uncharted territory, the Banking Sector, about which I’m yet to gain knowledge.

I was never seriously interested in pursuing the Banking Sector, but then things changed after I passed out in June 2008. Recession had set in by then. Like the Russian winter, this recession stopped and grazed to the ground that came in its path. One among them was my morale and will to get into the IT industry. I started giving BANK PO exams. Among these was ICICI PO. I had once applied last year, but they never called me for the apti exam, no idea why. I applied again this year. This time I was called and appeared for the apti quite casually, as always. It was the only PO exam which I cracked and got into GD/PI rounds. May be it was the easiest (and I’m pretty sure everyone will agree). But then when the final results came, my name wasn’t in the list. I wasn’t surprised or unhappy at all. By then CTS had given the much awaited joining date. I wouldn’t say I was entirely happy, but I was moderately satisfied. I was gearing up for joining into the IT band wagon. I even got myself enrolled into an Oracle course from CMC.

Now all of a sudden, as a Bengali saying goes “bina meghe bojropaat” (thunderbolt in a clear sky), suddenly the HR dept of ICICI calls and asks whether I want to join! I was out of my wits from that day onwards, spent some nights when I would wake up more than once in the middle of the night, wondering what to do! This is by far the most difficult decision of my life. I consulted lots of friends and “well wishers”, everyone had their own opinion. I was never satisfied with any of them. But while asking each and every individual made me compile everyone’s view and made me analyze myself the whole situation. If I get into CTS, I would never be satisfied with the salary but the job would satisfy me and I get to stay in Kolkata. Going to office from home is a big plus point in this regard. But, after some days, the weight of the salary would surely make my sick! I will have to do an MBA. My plan is to crack SNAP and go for SCIT. But this is a very very dicey thing. Cracking an MBA exam is tough and then finally converting it is another deal! Now in this regard ICICI will provide me with a PG Diploma in Banking. After I complete a few yrs in the banking sector, I can also do an exec MBA from a top college either in India, or outside. Some of you might say I should go for the tried and tested path, the path that I know of. But then if everyone would have thought like that, Colombus wouldn’t have discovered America, Vasco da Gama wouldn’t have come to India nor would Sindbad have so many adventures. Sometimes, you have to take the wheel in one hand, clutch your heart in the other and go for the unknown. From what I have gathered from discussions with different people, even strangers from different parts of the country, is that ICICI is a tough company to survive in. If I manage to survive well in the company, I’ll be treated as a champion of sorts! Some people might think “surviving” here must be VERY difficult but from what I have gathered it isn’t really that tough. Of course I’ll have to struggle initially, sacrifice a lot, but then if I don’t struggle at this age, when will I? I might say Farhan Akhtar’r dialogue in Rock On, “compromise kaun nahi karta, akhir compromise to sabko karna padta hain”. Another dialogue from the film Kaminey (Vishal Bharadwaj has been my favourite director in the Hindi film industry) which goes on like this “waatt aise nahi lagti ki tum kaunsa raasta chunte ho, waatt aise lagti hain ki tum kaunsa raasta chodhte ho”.

I have finally made my decision of going to Bangalore. I will get trained at ICICI Manipal Academy for 9 months, then 3-5 months of internship, and then finally get posted somewhere/anywhere in the country. BIG decision, I know, and there will be LOTS of people who will scream out and say NO to this! I’m ready to face the challenge. I’m not afraid of anything which comes in the way of the thing which I have determined to get. I will struggle and I will survive! Wish me luck my friends. Hope your good wishes will be with me.

“tanha rahi apni raha chalta jayega, ab to job hi hoga bas dekha jayega”

~Lots n lots of love~

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

The way of Force Fisi...

As VJM says “It’s the best day of my F1 life”. So much was at stake for him. There were too many criticisms regarding his investment into the risky venture of F1. He hold on to his passion and truly achieved what many have failed before him. He even took a big risk in changing the whole management of Force India and also the VJM02 car with Mercedes engine and McLaren gearbox. The difference was visible from the 1st GP of the 2009 season. Still a point or a podium seemed distant every time they raced. Finally it was Giancarlo Fisichella who did the impossible for Force India at Belgium GP, a pole position and then a podium finish! This surely will give Force India the much needed psychological boost and a big satisfaction of achievement. The car was really good throughout the race. Although Kimi Raikkonen went past Fisi powered by his KERS after the safety car in the first lap, Fisi chased Kimi all the way to the chequered flag. The car seemed really fast and competitive enough. It could have even beaten Kimi if not for the unfortunate pile up in the first lap and the safety car.

As for the reaction in India, it is all over the papers and news channels. Suddenly everyone is taking notice of a sport called Formula 1. In spite of all the attention, the govt. remains apathetic towards F1. The comments by Sports Minister MS Gill says it all. He doesn’t even consider F1 to be a sport. Even after the podium finish, he remains adamant. He considers F1 to be an “expensive entertainment” in the west! VJM’s and millions of Indian F1 fans’ hopes of seeing an Indian GP in 2011 trashed brutally! In a country where Cricket is considered the only sport playable, this is not surprising. Shashi Tharoor’s tweet confirm’s govt’s point of view - “So an Italian driver in a German car wins pole position for team calld Force India & we're all ecstatic. Triumph 4the Agglomerative Indian!?”. Disgusting to say the least. I must laud VJM’s effort and his determination which triumphed against all odds. Cheers from an ardent follower/fan of Formula 1 and Force India.

Pics courtesy and

~Lots of Love~

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Harry Potter Half Blood Prince movie - A brief review

I can’t wait for the last line to give my verdict. Instead of reading this, you better get behind the queue of the box office. Yes, it is the best Harry Potter film of the series, till now. I was fortunate enough to watch the 1st day 1st show at Fame.

The lead characters played by Daniel Radcliffe (as Harry), Rupert Grint (as Ron), Emma Watson (as Hermione), Michael Gambon (as Dumbledore), Jim Broadbent (as Slughorn), Alan Rickman (as Snape), and others are really good. Daniel, Rupert and Emma have simply grown as actors. Their acting has matured a lot (probably with all the acting stints besides harry potter series, helped a lot). The characters themselves have matured a lot, so it does make sense to have seasoned actors. The whole film is dark, in the sense that a lot of mean, evil and bloody battles are going on, both mentally and on the ground with or without wands. Harry, Ron and Hermione provide a bit of comic relief in between with their cute love affair and their emotional in-fights revolving around their attraction for their respective partner. The romantic angles have been beautifully cinematized and provide a lot of depth to their characters. The most vivid and beautifully cinematized part of the film is where Dumbledore and Harry go to collect the Horcrux. The scene with Dumbledore’s wand and fire comes out of the cover of the book. Marvelous and chilling at the same time. Few unmentionable scenes seemed to have been shoddily shot whereas most have been really good, with awesome camera movements. There are a lot of stunning visual effects in this film with obvious reasons but all have been beautifully done. Just to make sure you are not under any wrong impression, there aren’t much Quidditch in this film. Just enough to make sure you don’t miss it. The climax of the film has been changed a bit, possibly taking in mind about kids as viewers. But it seems Harry didn’t even try to do anything in that scene where Snape kills Dumbledore. If a person hasn’t read the book, the film would seem really really amazing to him/her. Since I have read the book, I had to critically analyze the film in all respects. But I must say this film has impressed me a lot. A must see for everyone.

~Lots of Love~

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Terminator Salvation - A brief review

I want to start with a confession. I have never seen Terminator 1 although Terminator 2 has been my all time favorite movie. It is only rare that such cases occur where a sequel is more popular than its prequel. Terminator is possibly the biggest example. Anyone who has seen Terminator would soon recognize Arnold Schwarzenegger and his robotic T800 act. Terminator 1,2 & 3 all saw Arnold in his prime. Terminator Salvation however is different, the difference being the absence (almost) of Arnold. Fans of Arnold would be really sad by this. After all Terminator movie and Arnold go hand in hand.

John Connor has grown up to be mankind’s savior (or some believe it to be). Thus the whole story out here is of surviving the menace of machines after the Judgement Day. Christian Bale as John Connor does a pretty good job as does Sam Worthington as Marcus Wright. It is primarily a very fast and predictive storyline primarily meant for kids, I guess. But I believe the storyline should have been more strong and they should have got in bigger actors. Arnold gets a blink and miss role which should not have been. The graphics and effects are good but expected better of such a highly anticipated sequel. I was hoping they would show how John sends the T800 into his past to save himself. I was disappointed. Sound effects and lighting should have been better. Overall a highly anticipated film with pretty average of everything you see. Sometimes you wouldn’t even believe it’s a Terminator film. To be honest I went expecting a lot more out of this especially after a good sequel of Terminator 3. At the end they even left some areas which can be explored (read another sequel). I would rather watch Terminator 2 yet again instead of watching a sequel of this quality. But yes terminator fans should go and watch this movie.

~Lots of Love~

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Force India Formula One - Brilliant Start

The start of another season of the fastest racing event in the world! Australian GP is always to look forward to mainly because we can really have a brief idea of which team has done their home work in the winter! Force India surely has done well with their new VJM02 which has tied up with McLaren Mercedes for their engine. The results show how it made the difference. I really missed watching the race today, but nevertheless kept myself updated and lo and behold... Force India did exceed all expectations! Adrian Sutil got himself into the 10th position and Giancarlo Fisichella into the 12th. This after Fisichella was in the 4th position but then made a crucial mistake while entering pit. Meanwhile Jarno Trulli (Toyota) was given a 25sec penalty for overtaking while under the final safety car period and his position came down to 12th. Fisichella thus graduated to 11th and Sutil to 9th! Really great performance from what seemed a boring and disheartening season last year for all Force India fans. Not only did they made a double finish but got themselves into the top 11. This at the starting of the season! Really looking forward to a double top 5 position from both the drivers. Of course expecting this would be a little too much, but then they have got a good engine now and F1 is always unpredictable. Next weekend's Malaysian GP would be a treat to watch.

~Lots of Love~

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Chaiwala Crorepati ... A Brief Review (Might not be so brief)

Slumdog Millionaire by Danny Boyle, based on Q and A by Vikas Swaroop has been receiving rave reviews and coveted awards ever since its premiere. Directed by Danny Boyle of Trainspotting fame, Slumdog Milliomaire is a rags-to-riches story, dwelling for the greater part on the rags period of the protagonist's life. I would like to term it a “hollywoodish masala” flick! First of all, I would like to tell everyone who thinks the term “masala” is derogatory, it surely is not! I can easily name a few renowned Hollywood films right now which are typical masala films. A masala film is technically a film with all kinds of cinematical aspects like drama, romance, comedy, suspense etc… SM has all of these and more. More? Yes lots of garbage and shit! Literally…

The film basically is the story of how a “chaiwala” becomes a “crorepati”. The chaiwala named Jamal and his brother Salim who grow up in the world’s largest slum, dharavi, go through various “real life” situations. Between these situations they also meet “Latika”. The situations are very much real, the Mumbai riots, a beggar racket, child tour guides (but to the Taj Mahal??), Pila Street, an underworld gang surviving on the ever increasing ever costlier growth of urban jungle, and of course “Who wants to be a millionaire”! Jamal wants to be a millionaire but not because he wants the money but because Latika will see her! Phew! So there you go I told u the story. Of course there is more. There is Anil Kapoor who plays the host in the highly popular gameshow “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire”. He is shown to be a really mean guy who doesn’t want his contestant to become a millionaire, the exact reason for which is unknown. I might sound too critical while analyzing the film, but its all true.

Leaving aside gaping holes of flaws in the film, it’s a complete entertainer, I assure you. You’ll sit back and enjoy the various dimensions of Mumbai as city, as a spirit in itself! There are some moments in the film which will get embossed on your brain if you get into the magnanimity of them. Take for instance the scene where Jamal gets locked into a “bathroom” by his elder brother. And then comes Amitabh Bachchan in a helicopter just nearby. All he could do is take a look into a pic of Amitabh, cover his nose and jump into a pile of shit! He screams “Amitabh Bachchan” and then runs into the crowd jostling to have a glimpse of their favourite star, and towards Amitabh. The star doesn’t seem to be surprised by a shit covered boy who wants his autograph and coolly gives it! Jamal couldn’t ask for more… The scene might seem too filthy for some but to be honest if you look at the cinematic aspect, its amazing! Its amazing how Bollywood influences so many millions of us, Indians. An ardent fan wouldn’t think twice to jump into a pile of shit to take an autograph of the biggest star he can imagine! Outstanding! There is another scene in the film where the grown up brothers are talking about their lives in an under construction building. Salim played by Madhur Mittal says “India is at the center of the world now bhai, and I am at the center, of the center!” So much power in that dialogue. Then there’s yet another scene in the climax of the film where on one hand Jamal answers the last question and wins the show, while Salim makes sure Latika escapes from the grasp of Javed bhai, the gangster and locks himself in the bathroom. There he is shown in a bathtub full of 1000 rupee notes. Javed bhai storms in and Salim shoots him and then some of Javed’s goons shoot at Salim. Excellent scenes these and lots more…

Dev Patel (as Jamal), Frieda Pinto (as Latika), Madhur Mittal (as Salim), Irfan Khan (as the police inspector) and Anil Kapoor (as the game show host) are all brilliant but for me, the stars of the film are the two young brothers played by Ayush Mahesh Khedekar and Azharuddin Mohammed Ismail. Amazing performance from the lead actors, most of whom are debutants. The music by A R Rahman is awesome as usual. Not his best work but it surely is winning awards for him and recognition. O Saya, Paper Planes and Jai Ho are the best songs in the album.

I would suggest watching this film, not because it has been nominated for the Academy Awards (Oscars) but because it is a cinematically brilliant film. The story might not be so attractive but the treatment surely is. Think about shooting amongst few thousand Dharavi dwellers and you’ll know what I mean! Enjoyable film and it surely win a few Academy Awards. Jai Ho! :)

~Lots of Love~