Thursday, July 25, 2013

It has been almost a year

And here is what the president has done. He has done it without much pomp. Whether that is good or bad, we may revisit later.
Picture from:

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

What we want from you, President Pranab Mukherjee

Dear Mr. Mukherjee,

  Congratulations on finally being stacked up in the highest ornamental spot available probably in the entire world. I do not see any Harry in your family to go to Vegas or any Middleton like Daughter-in-law. So the chances of making headlines are even less.

 As a trouble-shooter for the party, you were a key resource however I really think you might be one of the root causes of the policy paralysis India is going through right now. However, let's not get boggled down by the past and let's concentrate on what you can do now.

 Dr. Kalam was a champion president, the people's president. In such ornamental posts, it is crucial to take up some causes. Dr. Kalam did, he gave people the hope of India 2020 and he worked a lot towards spreading his idea to Indian citizen especially the children. Other ornamental people like Michelle Obama has taken up obesity as the cause and Kate Middleton is all for
The Prince William & Miss Catherine Middleton Charitable Gift Fund.

 On the other hand, if you do not do much, you will be criticized even for anything right you do like Pratibha Patil. Poor lady, in her age, travelled so many countries to spread the Indian goodwill, but for some strange reason, the press chose to ignore that and concentrate on the taxpayers money being wasted. These media people are crazy. Tap tap tap!!

 After looking into your key strengths and weaknesses, this is my thought: You should take up a peacefully architected "Anti-corruption begins within" campaign. We all know that even though you are clean, you are definitely aware of the internals of the big corruptions rocking the nation today. So you really cannot go after those. Also, teh country is kind of upset now with the Arvind Kejriwal circus by now. We need a peaceful movement, with 2 purposes in mind: Keep you in good books and if successful, let there be some real good.

 As in my previous post, I strongly believe that the real root cause of corruption is within each of us. Earlier I thought a law like "both sides of a corrupt act are to be punished" should be helpful, but now I think it will encourage people to not report corruption issues. On the other hand, an education or awareness campaign, though slow, will actually go towards making better human beings. Corruption is not only about money, it is about character also.

 Let us teach the young minds about anti-corruption. Let's try to make anti corruption a cool thing (like say the doodh doodh ad) and make it a problem statement of a common man and not restricted to politicians. Let's have ad campaigns like "Did you just watch Jism 2 on DVD, the DVD is not released yet" or something like "Say no to the driving school which assures you a license".

 Taking up a cause is very important Mr. Mukherjee, and you should do the right thing , just like we do, here in Kendall Crossing :P

Sunday, June 03, 2012

Review: Is Minerva Indian Cuisine, Natick just bad or the worst?

Minerva Indian Cuisine located in Sherwood Plaza in Natick on Route 9 (Boston suburbs, Metrowest) is one of the worst restaurants ever and it is so bad that it deserves a blog post of it's own.

Agreed that mostly in Indian and Chinese places, you really don't expect good service. But there is so much between good and bad that it is really difficult to be consistently bad. And Minerva manages to do that. The other point is, unlike snack places like Hot Breads or Dosa temple, they are not cheap and pretty upscale. To their defense however, the food is probably the best if you like South Indian main course meals (non idli vada sambhaar kinds).

So I had on principle, stopped going to Minerva. Last time when I went, they made us sit in a corner table which is meant for waiting people in-spite of being no wait. On asking, they said this is what you get. Then I heard some other horror stories most horrific of them being 2 people went there, but only one ordered food and other one just had some from the other person. The waiter comes and says, Sir, we will charge you 18% gratuity as you are not eating. Now, how stupid is that, because people anyway give an 18% tip. They just lost two customers again.

Ok, so even after all this, I decide to go there with three more friends as they really like the food there. We go, they at least seat us in decent places. So far so good. The glass tubler looks heavily used. Even at peak time, the crowd is very less. The menu card is also torn in places.  In addition, there is a board that weekend buffet is only 10.49$ instead of some $15ish earlier. All this makes me secretly happy  that the place has really taken a backseat and people are smart enough to hate a place based on service inspite of the food being good.

The waiter's non bad behavior of giving us a decent seat was already improvement for me. Alas, not for long. So one of my friends orders Rava Masala Dosa. The waiter says, sir fine, however, just to let you know, it takes around 30-35 minutes for Rava masala. This is still ok, at least he let us know that it takes time though Rava masala should not take that long even if starting from scratch. But what he says next is the best:

"So please don't bug me every 10 minutes asking where is the food, where is the food"

Now, who uses a language like that? Agreed may be they didn't mean it that way, but they are service sector and atleast 5 years into business. They should know this much etiquette. Anyway, we keep making fun of the place and their waiters and their bad service but they don't seem to care even though the manager desk was pretty close. But this is not the end.

So finally, the Rava dosa guy had ordered paper masala, but he was given Mysore masala. We ddi not notice and he had started eating that. Like others, his food was good too and our conversation veered towards whatever it is, the food in Minerva is good.

But just then, the waiter comes with Paper masala in his hand and says sorry sir, we got you the wrong Dosa. And then they literally took the plate away from him forcefully even as he was breaking a morsel out of it. He was half breaking the dosa and the waiter snatched the plate away and put the paper plain dosa in there. What were they going to do with the Mysore masala? reuse it? They just took it away midway.

So, Minerva still lived up to it's reputation of being the worst Indian restaurant around.

My purpose of writing this article is to highlight the fact that they are bad. Somehow in Yelp, you have to be a regular reviewer to have your reviews stay, so no point writing there. Also, I have tried some search indexing here and there to pull this post up. Let us see how my keyword placements work.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Misunderstood movies

I feel very strongly about two movies which people keep criticizing about but I feel for the wrong reasons. I would not mind if people don't like the story or acting or direction in particular but most of the people comment about a certain fact in the story line which they think ruined the movie. Here is a defense.

1. Dilli 6: I loved the movie. It has good songs, decent delhi-ism and good looking people as well. Also, for some reason, the kala bandar reminded me of the monkey man incident. It reminded me of college days when  for a week, we had discussed about the monkey man scare in Delhi. This brought back those memories.

However, the thing people comment about Abhishek coming back from death. Comeon, it's not a big issue at all. It is symbolic. People should not see any logic to it. And if Harry Potter can, so can Abhishek.

2. Rab ne baba di Jodi: This is  another wonderful movie with a simple story, decent songs, an excellently pictured song and of course THE superstar. But people say how come Anushka cannot differentiate between the 2 Shahrukhs. The answer is simple: If you see the movie carefully, you will see that it has been answered. Because Rab wanted it that way. See, it is a simple explanation. If you accept this fact, the movie is actually very nice especially the love story between Suri and Anushka.

So, don't be picky about little things in the movie. Look at the big picture.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Tech blogs

Just to be "cool" and may be to an extent actually stay up to date with technology, I started following the popular tech blogs like or But they are so utterly boring. There is hardly any talk about some good technology in them nor any good spicy news.

It is the same old apple, facebook, google, MS and these stories repeated again and again. To their credit, they will have blogs about getting repeated over and over again also but will never get out of it.

It gets tiring after a point. Og the retina display of iPad is awesome and some 20000 articles on it. OK I get it. It's just a feature enhancement. It need not be talked into detail so much.

Another such example is social websites. It's crazy. So there's this new thing called pinterest. And even before it really kicks off, it is already termed as a success. And then I think ok, lemme see what it looks like and so I google it. And all the top articles suggest that it is a women's social website. Women like to pin things to their walls. Weirdness.

Then there are pages and pages on layout stuff. Or twitter changed it's layout today. The new top right corner has this white space (made up story) which shows promise. And they will go on and on about it.

But yet, I still read them, and talk about them and worse, now even blogging about them. New promises: the draw something app and kinda cute social book-keeping website Goodreads.

Sunday, March 25, 2012


Thanks for tagging - Anupama of Volatile Spirits.

Here are the rules of the Tag-a-thon

Rule#1: Put the rules on your blog.

Rule#2: Every person tagged should answer the 11 questions asked by the one that tagged you, tag 11 other people and ask them 11 different questions.

Rule#3: Let the people whom you tagged know you've done so.

Rule#4: Don't tag anyone who's been tagged before.

Rule#5: Really do tag 11 others; don't go all ''if you want to take this tag''. [Yikes!!]

Here are Anupama's questions:

1. What does blogging mean to you?
A: For me, it is an avenue to compose and channelize my thoughts. It's like a scratchpad, but because it is public, I tend to be focused and thus focus my own thoughts.

2. Name the person who influenced you most.
A: My brother.

3. Which is the last book you read?
A: Inheritance, Christopher Paolini

4. Which are the subjects you hated most in school and college?
A: The ones that fetched me the lowest marks. Usually Hindi or Social Studies. BUt it could have been Physics, Maths as well.

5. If you were to become a sports celebrity overnight, who would you choose and why?
A: Tom Brady. He is passionate and 6/50 states in the US are passionate about him + Giselle is his wife.

6. Name your dream travel destinations- India and Abroad.
A: India: All Indian Lighthouses (bonus: Kutch to Sunderbans)
Abroad: Mauritius, Hawaii, Caribbean and Harry Potter Theme Park in Orlando.

7. Describe your job briefly.
A: An engineer trying to make life easier for fellow engineers.

8. What is your alternative career option?
A: Goss columnist who writes off twitter feeds and google searches. No actual travelling journalism.

9. Do you really think the world will come to an end after December 2012?
A: No way!

10. What are the things you would like to do before you die?
A: Go to HP Theme park, Orlando. Put whatever money I have in some good cause.

11. Your views on television soaps?
A: A society gets what it deserves.

Now here are my 11 questions:

1. Five years from now, who will still be in news: Rakhi Sawant or Rahul Dravid, and why?

2. If you are given a chance, which year of your life would you want back (eg, my 21st year, or final year undergraduate etc).

3. Fill in the blanks: I am a -----------. ( An adjective which starts with a consonant)

4. Favorite movie theater?

5. Next in the sequence: Hu Jintao, Kate Middleton, Mark Zuckerberg, Nelson Mandela, ...

6. Favorite sports/game as a kid?

7. If you want to kill a celebrity, who would it be?

8. Who should retire first: Madhuri from movies, Sachin from Cricket, Anna from his fasts, HM Queen Elizabeth -II, Chetan Bhagat from writing

9. Your last meal should have ..... (Only 1 item, please dont say some Thali or something as vague as ice-cream (name the flavor) )

10. What is a must for iPhone 5?

11. If I unleash an boggart in front of you, what would you see. (You can cheat a bit here, we really don't want to open our private lives in public).

I am tagging the following people:

1. Advay of Advay's world
2. Deepak of From the Capital
3. Esha of Esha Trueself
4. Mahesh of l'ineffabile
5. Mukesh of My Expresso
6. Nikhil of Reflections!!!
7. Nirmal of Howdy
8. Sambaran of Oshantomon
9. Sandeep of Random Rumblings
10.Sidvish of Mostly Harmless
11.Sayantan of Sayan with wings

And if you like to answer these questions, and I could not include you here; consider yourself tagged and take it on!!! If you don't blog, write as comment. If you do, blog it, get back into habit, and leave a comment.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Bollywood's biggest mysteries

There seem to be so many unnatural pairings and gossips happening around in Bollywood which gets me thinking what went wrong. Here are a few of them:

1) Shirish Kunder: Why on earth will someone like Farah Khan marry a person like him? Well there might be many reasons but I just hope that she did a good prenup before the marriage.

2) Ranveer Singh: How did this guy get a debut with a Yash Raj movie inspite of no movie family background, no modeling career and a face that can put even Sunil Shetty to shame. If he is really a hard working guy who made it the right way, hats off to him. But if there is something more going on, then double hats off to him to keep it out of the prying eyes.

3) Kamal R Khan (KRK): He was hilarious in Bigg Boss. I wonder how a person in public life doesn't realize that he is so damn irritating and unnecessary? Even Rakhi Sawant knows that and she does an awesome job to keep herself in the news by caluculatively doing the wrong (or right) things at the right time. But this guy has an airy attitude about nothing.

4) Bakhtiyar Irani: Husband of somewhat famous Tanaaz who acted in superhits like Kaho na Pyaar hai and RHTDM, this guy has done nothing in life to be called a celebrity. But it is funny when he comes out with Statements like this: " Non celebrities like Siddharth should not be allowed in Bigg Boss". (Unfortunately, I am not getting the news link to claim this statement). What does he think? Siddharth is if not a fledgeling celebrity, atleast has more camera time than this dude in Splitsvilla and other MTV VJ-ing.

5) Jay Mehta: Well no complaints against him, must be a really rich and nice guy too to let his wife still do and rock the movies after marriage, but simply put, their pictures together are always funny.

Sunday, February 05, 2012

Marks for Sports

After reading Nikhil's post about "Marks for Sports" campaign by NDTV, I am totally confused.

I am not able to decide if it is good or bad for the country. The simple justification says that it must be good as it will bring all those people to be more confident and forthcoming who were the so called "bad boys" in the school. But then, didn't everybody look up to those bad boys anyways?

The other problem with Marks for Sports is that Sports is not a subject like Math, it is like saying marks for "Language". Which sports to play? And of course, we cannot afford multiple sports in the same class. With 2-3 languages, 3 science subjects, 4 social studies subjects, it is already a burden. Add Cricket, Football, Hockey and a game of your choice to that, and the poor kid will be dead.

However, I think if it were me at that time, things would have been quite different. I would have been a totally different person by now. I have been thinking about that too. And now I think I would have been a master in at least one sport. After all, my skill was never good knowledge but smart knowledge. Do the basic minimum to get maximum output out of least effort. I could have applied the same things to sports class too. A little known fact: We did have games as grades in my school and I managed mostly A's in that too. If sports had marks, I would have got them from real work.

In cricket, it would definitely be a bowler for me. The batsman has more chances at getting hit and so does the wicketkeeper.

American Football would have had more choices, though my friends here joke that I would be a holder, but I think I would be a good center as well.

The other thing I could have bettered is swimming. I guess it is because the chance of hurting oneself is less.

Just trying to get back into blogging mode here. The post is abrupt and ill constructed.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Corruption eradication should be bottom up and not top down

Right now, India is reeling from an overdose of corruption/anti-corruption drives. I do not understand how or why people always tend to judge things and black and white. Whether Lokpal or Jan-lokpal bill is good or bad is a totally grey question.

Personally, my thoughts are that the version of Anna Hazare etcs Jan Lokpal is too aggressive. Corruption is a big problem but not the biggest problem for India. So, Lokpal should NOT be the most powerful person in the country. But Anna's bill suggests something different.

The other thing is what people mean by Corruption. says it is perversion of integrity or dishonest proceedings. So anything dishonest is corruption. And so, unlike popular belief, watching pirated movies, downloading songs illegally, photocopying books, acquiring illegal version of Windows, MS Office, MATLAB and other such s/w are all acts of corruption. I have specifically mentioned these 3 points because I believe that most of the facebook and twitter noise is created by the people who have done these in the past and not even feel guilty about it. When I talk to them, they say, "Oh that is nothing, look at the politicians. They are collecting crores."

It is never the question of crores. I bet if all the social media noisemakers give 100$ per corruption they did (not even say for every movie watched but like 100 for all pirated movies watched, 100 for all s/w download, 100 for photocopying pages of books, 100 for music, 100 for the Indian Driving license you got, 100 for using the Indian Motorbike license to decrease your 4 wheeler license in US etc.) and donate that money to the government, it will be much bigger amount than even what A Raja has got.

Secondly, why is there corruption in the society? Well, Indians in general have a mindset that if a thing is available for cheap, why spend and more often than not it crosses the moral boundaries. Now, how to eradicate this mindset? Education, education and education. How education? Population Control, Poverty Control etc etc. So you see, how corruption is not the biggest problem in the country? And even if it is, the right way of correcting it is a bottom up approach and not a top down.

People might argue that catching the big people have a quick and bigger impact and will deter small time corrupts but that is not true. And again, implicit in that argument is the word quick which is the root cause of all corruption (getting things done QUICKLY.)

Continuing on the same example, BIG time money laundering will be caught anyways. You really don't need a Lokpal for that. A Raja and Kalmadi were caught without a Lokpal.

So in conclusion, yes probably we need a revolution/uprising to curb corruption, but that revolution should be a self realization rather than a blame game. I think this is what true Gandhianism is.

Image Courtesy:

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Views on Skins (The UK TV Series)

Time flies fast, and really fast. I remember reading about a controversial show called Skins not so long ago and wanted to watch it too? Why? Just because of the controversial aspect. And it felt like yesterday that I had read this news. Suddenly, some 2-3 weeks back, I see that the series is available on Netflix. Old (rather not so old, because it felt like yesterday) memories rekindled and I wanted to give it a shot. And "bollocks", what do I see? The series is already 5 seasons old and 3 are on Netflix.

Anyhow, I start watching the show and I continued. And I finished the entire series in 3 weeks. Now, initially I thought it is just the way TV series are made, that it is very difficult to not follow. But then, I could not follow the hugely popular "Lost" though they always ended the episode in such a shape that you had to watch the next. I did not even continue Naruto, though I really want to revisit that series.

What all did I like about the series? Well first of all the fact that it is British and their funny accent. Secondly, the characters are all very fresh and good looking for most part and have more variety in terms of clothes and style than boring courtroom/detective series. As for the story line, it is pretty good and the way they arrange the episodes is awesome. Each series has a bunch of interesting characters and they dedicate one episode to one such character. But this is not done at the cost of compromising and deviating from the main story line. The subtlety in which they highlight one person but still let the main story continue is a first time for me and I liked it immensely.

As for the drug, smoke and sex content, yes, it does feel unrealistic but certainly not boring or obnoxious enough to stop seeing it.

My suggestion, go on, try the pilot episode.