smokerings of my mind..

Sarkar Raj – awesome movie / words of wisdom

Saw Sarkar Raj last night. Pretty powerful story, awesome acting by Amitabh Bachchan (he was too good), and Abhishek seemed damn comfortable as Shankar Nagre.. Aish too did well. I do not want to get into the subject of the story, rather let me share some really wise thoughts from the movie –

1. Living life on your own terms is not something that’s easily available or an easy-to-do thing, so who ever gets to do that or chooses to do that has to pay a price for this luxury.

How very freakishly true!!!

2. Everything is personal.

I used to believe that the key decision-driver for business partnerships is professional, merit-based kind of stuff. Over the years, I have come to realize that most of the times, it is all personal – given that your offering is nothing insanely revolutionary or changing-the-paradigm types, the clincher for partnership is the personal connect, the rapport you share / build with the potential partner. From the partner’s perspective also, even if you know the other vendor/partner has a slight edge, you would still prefer to go with the partner with whom you share a connect and you are more comfortable with. You would be more willing to work with the latter to ensure success. We like to work with people we connect with.

3. Do what you feel is right, people will anyways perceive the way they want to.

I am a strong believer of doing what your heart/mind/conscience feels right… doesn’t really matter what others say… and besides, at the time of making the decision, you have no way of knowing whether it is right or wrong, it’s only in hindsight that you can make that call. Further, people will perceive the way they want to based on their thoughts, experiences, beliefs, predispositions, personal agenda. You have to live with the decision, so it might as well be yours.

4. Decisions/Solutions come out of situations.

On a perfectly nice relaxed sunny day, our clarity of thinking, ability of analyzing and coming up with a balanced decision or a solution is at it’s prime. However, we do not have similar luxury of a perfect background scene when we have to make most of our decisions… most of the times when we have to make crucial decisions, we are not at the peak of our mental engergies, rather we might be under pressure, stressed, feeling not so great… Moreover, all decisions that are to be made have to made keeping the context, the prevailing situation in mind… it’s not one solution fits all similar problems. So, before we pass a judgement on how good or bad a decision is, it is important to consider that decisions are made under differing states of mind, and the situations are different, the context is different and the people making those decisions are different..

5. When you do something, people do not react to you, they do not hate/love you, it’s your thinking that they react to.

And yeah the tag line of the movie is quite something too – Power can not be given, it has to be taken.


June 8, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Japanese animation movies

I recently got introduced to Japanese animation movies, by beatzo. Fun, light humor is where beatzo’s and my tastes intersect, and most of his recommendations are awesome, so I decided to try out Japanese animation. So far, I’ve seen – My Neighbor Totoro, Whisper of the Heart, Kiki’s delivery service, Castle in the sky… all of them are so very beautiful movies.. the characters are so sweet.. the settings remind you of words like simplicity / country-side / pure / pristine.. the stories are easy-paced (I won’t say slow) and they’re really really wonderful stories.

I watched the dubbed english version of these movies. Though my friend recommends that I watch the Japanese version with subtitles, as the emotions come out much better in the latter.

I’m not much of a cartoon, animation buff… but these movies have the power to make your feel that ‘life is wonderful’ and they get that kid-like smile on your face. 🙂

June 5, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | 1 Comment

Dash – a potential ‘wow’ device

Few weeks back, I came across a post on Dash. I have been reading about Dash for over an year now – that they are building the next-gen GPS… they are trying to make the GPS interactive… attempting to be the iPhone of the PND industry (portable navigation industry).

Few really cool Dash innovations that I like (theoretically.. haven’t played with the unit yet) –

– Real time traffic flow: Dash takes data from the Dash Express units (installed in customers cars) and calculates traffic flows in real time.. and they say, it needs only about 100 units in a medium size city for this to work effectively.

– Send to car feature: Dash units have a built in GPRS. You can send addresses / search results to your car unit from your PC.

– Live search: It has built in Yahoo search engine.

And, now that Dash has opened up its platform for third party developers, there will be more of web-based content available to us in the car… and soon, we will be able to locate which of our friends are available and are in nearby area, look up for movie shows running in nearby theaters, buy movie tickets, make dinner (restaurant) reservations.. all with Dash… on the road.. while we’re stuck in traffic. Time well spent. Life made simpler. 🙂

May 17, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Why FriendFeed is worth considering

I love FriendFeed.

This morning I came across an article that explains – why you should use FriendFeed. While I don’t subscribe to the notion of any ‘shoulds’ in life 😉 , the article gives few good logical reasons why you may want to look at FF.

May 15, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment

I’m loving Adium

I had been looking for a decent interoperable IM client that would work well on my Mac. Few weeks back I bumped upon Adium. It served my purpose. The things I love about it –

– it is so very simple to use!!

– single IM client for all my IM accounts (Y!, G talk, MSN)

– cool sound settings and options

– it gives you ‘text to speech’ option for every event.. example, you can have it speak the name of your contact (or any other text you want) when s/he comes online

– besides, it has a very cute looking Duck icon

Now, if only the Skype integration was good and there was a mobile client too. Skype has the best voice chat. Currently you can get your Skype contacts in the Adium window, but you need to be logged in to Skype for that – which in my opinion beats the purpose. I’m sure the smart guys at Adium will do something about it soon.

May 11, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , | Leave a comment

Office Space

This is such a fundu comedy. It hits on the real life office-life. Every person who has an office job will relate to this movie in some way, and also to the characters and how each one represents some one you’ve worked with or is still working with. 🙂

May 10, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | 1 Comment

Our views, our wants, our life

Sirf: It’s a movie about four couples from different strata of society and how each couple feels that the other couple’s life is better than theirs. Some interesting observations come to mind as I watch this

– we believe what we want to believe

– we entertain the misunderstandings (good/bad) we want to

– we live in the version and with the view of life we feel most comfortable with

– grass is (and will continue to be) greener on the other side

– anything can be mended if we want to

– any problem can be solved if we want to

– in the final analysis, it is our willingness (the “want“)

– all’s fair and fine as it is eventually our life and it is shaped by our views and our wants..

May 10, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment

Sending Gifts/Flowers to f-n-f in India

Through Global Flower Delivery you can send flowers and gifts to family and friends in India. What is impressive about them is on-time delivery. I have been using them for 3 years now, and I have just had 2 instances when they did not deliver on time, but guess what – they offered (on their own) to refund!!

Adding to this is the fact that they send you an email as soon as the order is delivered. Now many us here in US are pretty accustomed to this level of service, however e-commerce services in India have still not at that level yet.. though it is now on a fast path of being there.

And, their rates are pretty reasonable.

All the right ingredients to keep the customer hooked. 🙂

May 9, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | Leave a comment

Jaman sucks!!

I have been a Jaman user for over an year. When they first launched in 2006, I liked their UI and the ease of watching movies thru their platform.

When I signed up – it was more from the point of experimenting with this new service. Over a period of time, I noticed that their user settings wasn’t friendly – as in, I could not find any link to prevent non-friends from commenting on the ‘wall’ on my user page, and when I tried deleting comments, it didn’t delete… so I had all kinds of these weird comments lying on my user page’s wall. I wrote to them, no response!!! — now I hate it when they keep on sending me all these unsolicited newsletters and group-emails from one of their directors, and when I ask them a question, they don’t respond!! Come on that’s not fair..

Anyways, I decided to have my account deleted and I got a mail from their customer support confirming they deleted my account… when till date, it hasn’t been deleted!! Just as you have a ‘sign in’ button that is easy to use and which works (!), why not have a ‘delete account’ button also that works equally well?? If the service is good, users won’t leave, whereas if it sucks, at least make it easy for them to leave.

May 8, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | 7 Comments

Business networking at conferences

I recently used two platforms that offer networking tools for conference attendees – Crowdvine and Eventful. Awesome concept! Using their technology, we can see who are the attendees, read about them (who are they, why are they attending, etc — of course, this info. is available only if the attendee has shared it), and connect with them (schedule meetings at the conference, send messages).

I found Crowdvine to be a really cool and useful tool. I used it at the recent Web2.0 expo at SF. It made the conference extremely productive for me – in the sense that I could meet with relevant business partners/customers and in an organized manner, making effective use of my time. What they could do to add an additional layer of convenience is – provide a way to access my network/contacts/meeting data for that conference offline as well… the wi-fi at many events sucks, and so if they have a tool that offers contacts data offline, that will be useful. They could also do with a mobile client.

EventMingle sucked big time. User experience was bad! While Crowdvine has neat tagging and search features to find relevant folks to meet, EventMingle’s search engine seemed rather rudimentary.

May 7, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | 3 Comments