October 10, 2005

A Mockery Of Journalism

JAM Magazine was my first job and how I loved it! It was not about the money, not about the 'job', but more about the religion of free journalism where we could express our views, design the pages, work on the website. So when the Editor of the magazine, Rashmi Bansal is being maligned on her blog by (seemingly) IIPM 'students' and 'alumni', naturally I should talk about it. So here goes.

JAM is known for its brash, irreverent attitude and brutal honesty. So JAM decided to do what it does best - talk to people associated with the institute (students, ex-students, prospects who considered joining it, management, etc.) and then analyze and publish the findings. So far, so good.

This is the article that was published in JAM

Now comes the interesting part! Some supertechie folks (no prizes for guessing who they could be) decided to flame Rashmi's blog with fake comments and atrocious profanities, which even Harry Potter could tell that they have been 'seeded'. (Yeah, OK even Ron).

Take a look at her blog and the comments.
If you're a blogger, please add in your thoughts on the issue as well.


Here's what essentially happened. JAM published the article a couple of months back. On August 5, Gaurav Sabnis, blogged:
"A few weeks back, I linked to a story carried by JAM magazine which examined the tall claims made by IIPM in its newspaper ads. Some days later I linked to the blog of someone claiming to be an ex-IIPM-ite. The main purpose behind these posts on my blog was to make a few people aware of how these massively embellished ads may be painting an exaggerated picture of their institute's worth."

That's where it all began. The Blog Wars!

Gaurav Sabnis has now quit his job at IBM so that his employer is not maligned by IIPM's legal threats to the tune of Rs. 125 Crores and pressure tactics. Kudos to you, Gaurav. For having the balls to stand for yourself and not allowing your company to be disturbed by threats. I agree with Gaurav that he's not trying to malign IIPM or it's genuine students, but simply asking people to educate themselves about the institution they are about to join or getting their kids to join. Is your prospective university/institution really worth what it claims? That, ladies and gentlemen, is the question.

The entire issue with on the dot updates is being covered brilliantly by Desipundit

August 25, 2005

Indian Idol with idle Indian

Well, OK. That's Sachin Tendulkar with Sagar Karkhanis - the brother, again. Looks like I'm going to have to change my blog theme to his (bro) fansite - the guy seems to be in the news right now! First it was the Mega Bull, now Ace Cricketer, or as he calls him 'Sach-incredible player'. Posted by Picasa

August 09, 2005

Leela Palace, Bangalore

Leela Palace2 Bangalore
Originally uploaded by jackfrench.

My favorite hotel here. Fabulous picture taken by Jack French on Flickr. What I like here is the overall ambience, 3 sprwaling floors of shopping which includes Amoeba, an entertainment center and Oxford Bookstore. The spa here 'Espa' is out of the world. Leela Palace was not a palace originally, but it is built to look like one. The courtyard and pool inside are oblivious to the main road traffic. You couldn't possibly believe you're in Bangalore once there. Most of my 'good' weekends are spent here! :)

August 04, 2005

Birthday lunch

Superboss strangle
Originally uploaded by Kaushal Karkhanis.

Sheila is the superboss. This is the pre-cakesmash pic. Now you know why I'm freaking out! In the next 2 minutes I had cake on my face, mouth, neck and uck - hair!

Taken at one of my fave places, Desmond's Restaurant. Highly recommended! Great food, great ambience, super service & special attention from the gentleman owner!

Quarter Life Innings Completed

Just turned 25!

Thanks to everyone who wished me, calls, SMS & emails galore. :)

Got a lunch treat from the team and lots of chocolate in my hair.

August 01, 2005

Mumbai Help Blog

The SWAT team of Dina Mehta, Harini Calamur, Sunil Nair, Peter Griffin, Atanu Dey and others does it again - a relevant resource for all your Mumbai calamity questions and concerns. Check out the Mumbai Help Blog. This is the same team which initiated the Tsunami Help Blog, which inspired me, among so many others to aid tsunami affected.

July 29, 2005

Mumbai Floods - Friends & Family accounts

Nishant sent some pics from his cam (shown on the left here) while Martin blogged a few. His brand new Nokia camera phone, with which he took some more pics, was eventuall stolen in the chaos. Carlton, Sudi and Amanda were stuck in traffic for more than 30 hours! Eshani reached home last noon, Neha at night. Both were stranded for the night. Divya stayed at a friend's place. Here's her story. Kashyap walked in neck length filthy water near Santacruz... "I saw dead people floating in water...trust that scene...it just doesn't go outta my sight".

Pooja's points (after I ask her for an update on the scene in Mumbai)...

  • we lost a neighbor - he suffocated in his car while his wife n driver became unconcious
  • cousin was stuck under a flyowver all nite
  • friends day took 25 hours to reach bandra from ghatkopar
  • the deaths in cars....almost 25 known cases
  • water entered my friends bunglow right above the bed, furniture was floating
  • i saw a dead bosy outside my friend's gate. man must have drowned
  • police didnt do a thing for over aday
  • electricity was gobe for over a day, still not restored in juhu
  • candles that cost 1 buck were selling for 50 rupees
  • no drinking water - ppl were selling in black
  • linking road had over 10000 cars stranded all through out
  • pitch dark - no place to move
  • ppl who cud abandoned the cars and left. some died in the cars
  • some lived n reached home a day later
  • water snakes on the rds
  • ppl i know have walked home ading thru water for 10 hrs
  • there was chin deep water in juhu and andheri
  • a bus was submerged in kalina
  • over a 1000 buffaloes have died
  • school kids were stranded in buses
  • massive trees fallen, poles fallen, roads are broken
  • the walls at carter road have holes - i think they must have broken deliberately
  • coz the water from the high tide n rain had made the thing like a pool
  • ppl were slipping in their houses in the dark cos they cusnt see the water
  • pitch blackness for over a day
  • i believe even in bandra where g7 is, they used navy boats to rescue ppl
  • ppl began mobbing my friend's merc for a ride whey didnt offer, they sat on their bonnets n boots
  • car locks and windows got jammed...thats how pl died
  • just imagine this man we know, he drowned in his own bldg compound and his body lay there for over a day
  • my neighbor cudnt even take his dad's body to delhi for the funeral coz of the flights
  • cooper hosp in juhu....the icus are tsill without water
  • there was a school kids and drivers body found outside utpal sanghvi...the famous school in juhu
  • my masi's ceiling thats below the terrace leaked n she kept slipping in the dark
  • her daughet was out with her college friend the entire nite. no ifo abt her. cells were dead, few mtnl lines wrkd
  • landslides in andheri at saki naka - over a 100 have died
  • lights flickering even now
Finally, Rashmi's take on a matter like this cannot be missed! To add my own take, my worry is the worst may seem to be over, but with all the filthy water everywhere and deaths, some of which may not even be discovered for a while, it could become a breeding ground for epidemics. God bless Mumbai.

July 11, 2005

Everyone's a director!

I had never tried the Windows Movie Maker earlier, but while I was touring across the country for Microsoft Tech.Ed 2005, it was my best and most easily available option for editing video clips we took from the event.

Surprisingly, it was so easy and cool to use it, and gave me all the features I need - text on video, credits, transitions - everything! I landed up finishing the edit job in 20 minutes flat :) The end result was lots of fun and people loved the video I finally inserted in the credits roll. Will try and upload it for all to see.

June 24, 2005

Tricolor Chutney!

Tricolor Chutney!
Originally uploaded by Kaushal Karkhanis.

I asked for these 3 'chutneys' for taste. Incidentally they form India's flag colors!

June 08, 2005

Something to ogle... er, ogre at!

Originally uploaded by dream_boy_1811.

If Shrek made it to the movies before Mena Suvari did, damn we'd get to see this poster for sure.

June 07, 2005

Unlimited Dhoklas

Eat All You Can! Last week I was in my hometown, Mumbai. So I decided to drop by the one place I've been wanting to try for Gujarati food (thali) - Golden Thali.

The ambience was relaxed, well lit and the waiters were dressed in traditional clothing: pagadi, dhoti et al. The fare was medium-spicy and a feast to say the least. There were some 4 types of 'shaak' (vegetables), the typical yum dal, chaas (butter milk), dal dhokri, dhoklas, dahi bati, scumptious alphonso mango 'aam ras' and finally some dal khichdi. I couldn't possibly describe in words how awesome the food here tastes. But one word of caution - do NOT eat anything for at least 5-6 hours before landing here. You'll not have any more room for even a 'paan' - the absolute must which usually follows a typical Gujarati dinner.

My favorites here - The dal and khichdi. I could live on that diet.

The damages? Rs.170 for an unlimited thali. Well worth it, take my word! Location: Bang opposite Grant Road station. 2 mins. walk from Opera House by road.

May 18, 2005

The psychology of good and evil

Just yesterday I was discussing with a friend, what is it that makes people Good or Bad. Good or Evil. Selfish or Selfless. The main criteria we were debating on was whether it is upbringing, circumstances and experiences or life decisions the individual makes. And hey presto! Here come the answers today. I just happened to chance upon this article with current interest for all things Episode III... Lucas Talks About Anakin's Good Side - Yahoo! News

May 05, 2005

w00t! Fella just gifted me a 1 week Subscription to deviantART, my favourite artist community. Happy 05.05.05 indeed :) Posted by Hello

May 04, 2005

My buddy Nick Gray just gifted me a obscenely cool Flickr! Pro account - 2Gigs of monthly photo uploads and unlimited storage. THANKS A MILLION NICK!! Posted by Hello

May 01, 2005


In class 1
Originally uploaded by brood_mode.

Super cool picture :)

April 20, 2005

Flickr & Frolic

Via FlickrBlog, Flickr! account size limits will be doubled for uploads and archiving, i.e. 20 MB a month in uploads, 200 photos will be archived and available through the site. Wooooohoooo!

April 16, 2005

Since I'm talking about video...

Moviefone Hi-Resolution Downloads is a cool new way to share and downloads the latest movie trailers - legally! :) Posted by Hello

April 14, 2005

The Video Web has arrived!

Google Video is opening up video uploads to the public! So you could create your own video and sign up as a content provider to host your videos. You may even charge users for downloading! Sounds pretty interesting, and I've queued up a little home video taken an year back or so. Talking of videos and sharing, Nick's buddies Zach and Jakob run Vimeo - a video sharing community, much like the Flickr! of videos. Go on, give it a shot!

March 30, 2005

Follow your dreams

Been wanting to read Paulo Coelho's book 'The Alchemist' for a long time, so when I saw it lying around on my roommate's desk for a couple of weeks, I finally decided to give it a shot. Once I picked it up, I couldn't keep it down, literally. Started reading it at 12:30 am and finished a little before 4 am. Wonderful read... don't miss it.

March 24, 2005

Yahoo! preps up to do a Gig

Yahoo! is getting all aggressive to take on the Google guys. Triggered response mechanism? Well, looks it! Let's see what we have... Google becomes search leader ; Yahoo! wakes up, shakes up it's search Google acquires Picasa ; Yahoo! acquires Flickr! Google launches Gmail with 1 Gig; Yahoo! ups their storage to 250 Megs, and now readying to do the Gig Google acquires Pyra Labs' Blogger ; Yahoo! braces up Yahoo! 360° The one thing I love about Yahoo! which Google *still* doesn't have? My Yahoo!

March 23, 2005

Collaborative app development

Microsoft's Software GreenHouse for mobile development and Google Code are 2 awesome collaborative application development/developer communities which seem really interesting. Hop across and you'll know why!

March 18, 2005

Carpe Diem like there's no tomorrow!

The last 2 days have been some of the most busiest and most rewarding days for me!
  • Organising my first event - the launch of VTU-Microsoft Technology Center
  • Attending the Macromedia MAX 2005 Conference

The event was a smooth one, so all of the planning and anxiety finally, well, translated into some productive output!

The Macromedia MAX 2005 Conference was also an amazing experience, being a Dreamweaver and Flash user for years and finally getting to attend one of its events itself was rewarding. But in quality terms, I truly gained a lot of extremely useful knowledge here! This was perhaps my first conference also (exluding one I attended on JAVA some 10 years back which flew over the cuckoo's nest. And my head. Yeah, maybe I'm just dumb!).

What did I learn here? The exciting opportunities Macromedia Dreamweaver MX 2004 offers, which were sitting right under my nose. Using Templates, working with databases, using pure CSS and eliminating tables altogether - wow! And I thought I knew Dreamweaver! Macromedia has recently also launched Flex, another cool software which is an excellent tool for building simple solutions to complex websites, or more so - Rich Internet Applications (RIAs). Flickr is one of the most fantastic examples of RIAs I can think of. Lets not even consider second best.

The sessions I loved best were the one on Flex and the one on CSS & Dreamweaver templates by Greg Rewis of Macromedia.

The fun part of the conference - I got to catch up with buddies Mandar and Martin from Hungama. And Chak of Macromedia using Microsoft Powerpoint to present Macromedia Breeze (the web presentation tool from the Macromedia stable) - some folks from the audience pointed this out! I kept quite, but at the end of his session, I went up to him to commend him for appreciating the fact that Powerpoint is indeed the defacto presentation tool, while Breeze has its own space as an 'online, collaborative whiteboard + presentation environment'. And hey, I love Dreamweaver & Flash! :) Software choices are all about productivity at the end of the day - as my colleague Gaurav Khanna points out.

February 24, 2005

One coincidence too many!

Continuing from my previous post, the short trip to Mumbai was too interesting for one blog post. Landed up meeting 3 people I didn't plan to meet, and thought I'd not meet in a long long time. Ritu Tripathi, a college pal I bumped into at Phoenix; Vivek Bhargava, a friend who runs a new media firm in India and Dubai whom I met at Bangalore airport; and then Alpa, my bhutta-lovin' friend whom I met in Bangalore upon returning. She was here for a grand total of 2 days, en route from Chennai to Mumbai, where she'll be settling for now. Hmm, me and my coincidences. Now I refuse to be amazed. They happen to often.

February 21, 2005

Three Day Adventure

So I went back home this weekend to Mumbai, for taking care of a couple of things and closing some stuff. Both matters taken care of, but boy was the ride back home something. One could actually say I was taken for a ride. My Air India flight was scheduled for a 0130hrs departure, but horror of horrors, the minions managed to do oversales. So some 15 of us were left there stranded, and (leaving the boring and teeth-gnawingly annoying details behind) we were forced to accept the next option - transfer to domestic Indian Airlines and fly the IC 105, at 0630hrs. Hardly caught a wink, but should thank my stars for getting to work on time! The interesting part about this post is it's part of my work - testing the deployment of MSN Messenger alerts :)

February 16, 2005

An open-shut case of happiness

This just dawned upon me, in the middle of a work day, while I was walking up the stairs of my new workplace. Ever noticed that blind people are almost always smiling? Aren't they supposed to be unhappy? Without vision? Or are we blinded by our own vision, making us sad, when we should actually be happy - for what we have. Think about it. Close your eyes, count your blessings and wish you a Happy Wednesday! :)

February 14, 2005

A Hard Kick Goodbye!

A Hard Kick Goodbye!
Originally uploaded by GAWDzilla.

On the 9th of Feb, I decided I had done enough Hungama and took up a new job at Microsoft, Bangalore. So my ex-colleagues gave me this wonderful farewell, Hungama style.

January 30, 2005

Page 3 and dinner at 3

Last night my friends and I decided to catch the movie 'Page 3', the much talked about film about life of the glitterati of Mumbai. Pretty well made film, I dare say. More than the plot, what appealed to me was the interweaving of characters and the realistic depiction of celebrity life... all through a Page 3 journalist's perspective. Yes, naturally I could relate this to N, an ex-Page 3 journalist. Overall, good movie. Watch it.

What followed after the movie is the more interesting part. Manish insisted on driving through the town and before I knew it, we landed up in Juhu. I just happened to suggest dropping in at JW Marriott, I had to check it out before I left the city. No sooner did we land there than we realised - we were in the midst of uncountable Page 3 folks! It was close to 2 o'clock in the night but this place was totally happening, abuzz with folks from tinsel town. Sitting right next to us was Gaurang Doshi.

We spotted some television artists, I didn't know any. There was a gorgeous looking Mahek Chehel and a blonde-avatar Shefali Zariwala. Suddenly while I was busy munching into my pasta, Kapil almost jumped up asking me to check out the person standing next to me - Madhur Bhandarkar, Director of the movie Page 3! The world does indeed come full circle!  Posted by Hello

January 12, 2005

Googly from a Google guy

Who doesn't love those Google Doodles? I have the entire collection as a keepsake - it's amazing. and now, via Google Blog, Michael Krantz replies to a sweet flame mail they receive. And how!

January 10, 2005

A high-five to 2005!

This is the year I've been waiting for. The one which I have pre-christened as my personal best year. A lot of innocent people in South East Asia who may have nursed similar dreams were mercilessly tucked away to bed, put forever to sleep by a ghastly blanket of the sea on Dec 26, 2004. So this year instead of going out and partying wild with friends, I decided to form a team of volunteers to visit affected areas in India and do what we could do best. We came back with lingering memories, a renewed zest for life, a passion to do something bigger than the short-term assistance we could offer there and spiritually unified. What better way to start off the new year?! While I continue to work on that, I'm realigning myself as an individual with an improved psycho-spirituo-somatic self to truly make this the best year for myself and touch as many lives and enrich each other. 2005 to me is about amelioration, redux, new frontiers. Cheers!