Friday, December 26, 2008

Favourite quotes

Fighting for peace is like screwing for virginity!!! 

I was thinking about how people seem to read the Bible a whole lot more as they get older; then it dawned on me - they're cramming for their final exam. 

Some people see things that are and ask, Why? Some people dream of things that never were and ask, Why notSome people have to go to work and don't have time for all that. (ROFL)

And the best one:-
The main reason Santa is so jolly is because he knows where all the bad girls live. 

 - George Carlin

A few more, 

What's the use of happiness? It can't buy you money. 

 - Henry Youngman

'Peak blogging year'

And just as I posted the previous entry, I realised that this year has been the peak blogging year of my very young blogging career and this month with 15 posts has been peak blogging month. However I wish to clarify that the use of the word 'peak' in no way suggests that my blogging will go into a terminal decline. I will keep blogging from wherever I am, whatever the circumstances might be!!!

Analysis of the attacks

This interview of Mr. Bernard Haykel appeared on Rediff on December 26, 2008. Mr. Haykel is professor of Near Eastern Studies at the Princeton University.
This is his blog which I find to be interesting.
This is another site - MiddleEastDesk where you can find articles by him.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

The Legend that is K. Subrahmanyam

This post appeared on rediff in honour of this brilliant strategist and bureaucrat.

These are two of his interviews which I believe were very enlightening to me

Monday, December 22, 2008

How India avoided the crisis

Although India is still feeling the heat of the economic slowdown, it hasnt been as badly affected as the US and other western countries have - points out American business journalist and author Mr. Joseph Nocera or Joe Nocera as he is popularly known in his collumn 'Talking Business' in The New York Times dated December 19, 2008.
This is his blog.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Myths from Mumbai

This article by Mr. Arvind Panagariya appeared in The Indian Express on December 16, 2008. I totally agree with what he has argued in the article and recommend it as a must read.

News, Views and Analysis

Lead by Mr. Rajdeep Sardesai, IBN is one of the rare responsible news agencies in India. Mr Sardesai's blog is an interesting read too.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Barkha Dutt at her best

I am a huge fan of this lady Barkha Dutt. This program was aired on December 15, 2008 on NDTV India.

Sunday, December 14, 2008


Saw 2 movies today.
  1. The Kingdom - Jamie Foxx, Jennifer Garner. Awesome movie. About how innocent American ARAMCO employees living in Saudi Arabia are killed in a terrorist attack and how a team of FBI agents led by Jamie Foxx goes about the investigations in Saudi along with help from a local Saudi cop. They face everything; political red-tape, anti-Americanism, combat and kidnapping and an attempt to beheading of a colleague. In the end, they bring the old wily mastermind of the attacks to justice. Foxx is awesome as always. 
  2. Blood Diamond - The touching story of how war is fuelled in the interior parts of Africa so that Diamonds can be made cheaply. Story of a father Djimon Hounsou who attempts to rescue his son who is being used as a rebel soldier. Story of a journalist Jennifer Connelly who wants to show the world the bloody trail of the diamond that sits crowned on their fingers. And the story of a diamond smuggler Di Capriowho has to save his life admist all the civil war.
Made my day!!!!


I am a huge fan of Mr. M J Akbar ever since I had started reading the Asian Age, which was in the year 2003. This one's headed by him. Hope to have a great time reading it.

Thursday, December 11, 2008


Bombay is beautiful, not for its buildings for most of them hide squalor, poverty and dirt; not for its wealth for most of it is derived from the blood of the masses; but for its world-renowned generosity. Bombay’s charity has covered a multitude of her sins. She has enabled India to keep her promises. Mahatma Gandhi

Monday, December 08, 2008

Monday, December 01, 2008

The New York Times Opinion of the Mumbai Attacks

The Editorial - dated November 30, 2008.

The Op-Ed page - William Kristol - dated December 1, 2008.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Cats in the Cradle

Was watching How I met your mother. Me a big fan of the series. Came across this song by Harry Chapin which I liked.

Cats in the Cradle

A child arrived just the other day,
He came to the world in the usual way.
But there were planes to catch, and bills to pay.
He learned to walk while I was away. 
And he was talking 'fore I knew it, and as he grew,
He'd say, "I'm gonna be like you, dad.
You know I'm gonna be like you."

And the cat's in the cradle and the silver spoon,
Little boy blue and the man in the moon.
"When you coming home, dad?" "I don't know when,
But we'll get together then.
You know we'll have a good time then."

My son turned ten just the other day.
He said, "Thanks for the ball, dad, come on let's play.
Can you teach me to throw?" I said, "Not today,
I got a lot to do." He said, "That's ok."
And he walked away, but his smile never dimmed,
Said, "I'm gonna be like him, yeah.
You know I'm gonna be like him."

And the cat's in the cradle and the silver spoon,
Little boy blue and the man in the moon. 
"When you coming home, dad?" "I don't know when,
But we'll get together then.
You know we'll have a good time then."

Well, he came from college just the other day,
So much like a man I just had to say,
"Son, I'm proud of you. Can you sit for a while?"
He shook his head, and he said with a smile,
"What I'd really like, dad, is to borrow the car keys.
See you later. Can I have them please?"

And the cat's in the cradle and the silver spoon,
Little boy blue and the man in the moon.
"When you coming home, son?" "I don't know when,
But we'll get together then, dad.
You know we'll have a good time then."

I've long since retired and my son's moved away.
I called him up just the other day.
I said, "I'd like to see you if you don't mind."
He said, "I'd love to, dad, if I could find the time.
You see, my new job's a hassle, and the kid's got the flu,
But it's sure nice talking to you, dad.
It's been sure nice talking to you."
And as I hung up the phone, it occurred to me,
He'd grown up just like me.
My boy was just like me.

And the cat's in the cradle and the silver spoon,
Little boy blue and the man in the moon.
"When you coming home, son?" "I don't know when,
But we'll get together then, dad.
You know we'll have a good time then."

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Lucky 13 for Fed-Ex

Federer beat Murray for a 5th consecutive US Open and 13th career major.

This man is not finished. Nor has he supposedly 'risen from the ashes'. He is just where he was all these days. Right where he is supposed to be - admists legends. I was just dying to see him like this. He made me spend the entire night awake even when I had to take an early morning train next day. Due to that hangover I was exhausted throughout the journey and the entire day. But the effort was worth it, no?

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Strong-Arm Lance

Lance Armstrong has decided to return back to professional cycling. This may not be a big thing for cricket crazy public but if someone knows even a little about professional cycling or Lance Armstrong, he is going to get a surprise for sure. For the rest, let me tell you about them. Cycling is one of the most difficult of endurance sports and the Tour de France is considered widely as the pinnacle of it. The Tour de France or more famously 'The Tour' is a cycling competetion that takes place in France in the months of July and covers up to 3500-4000 kms of road through mountainous territory, flat highways and all sorts of difficult terrain. The tour goes on for 23 days in which the rider is expected to cycle for 21 days on a trot for about 150-180 kms a day. The schedule and the season make sure that no one is spared the rigorousness of riding the icy Alps through hailstorms, heavy rain and what not. You might have got an idea what the Tour de France supposed to be - The Holy Grail of professional cycling. 
Lance Armstrong is widely regarded as a legend in the cycling world. Any person who wins the Tour de France 7 times on the trot is surely nothing short of a legend but when the person has recovered from the terminal stage of cancer, I do not know if there is any word that can describe him. Yes. Armstrong had been diagonised with terminal stage cancer at the prime age of 24. The news that 'you have cancer' is enough to break down even the strongest of minds but not this one. Armstrong fought cancer and defeated it just like he defeated some of the world's best riders 7 years on the trot. I suggest everyone to read his autobiography 'Its not about the bike'. It is truly inspirational stuff. There are moments when you mutter to yourself that 'is this fiction?' or 'this is a real good script for a movie' or even 'this guy has cooked up a great story' when you are reading the book. After all it is impossible to believe how can a terminal cancer patient recover so nicely in the first place let alone sit on a bicycle? Even if he manages to sit on one, how can he ever go professional and compete in 'The Tour'? But you pinch yourself for the fact is that this man has done that all. He recovered, rode a bicycle, returned to pro-cycling, took part in The Tour and went on to win it for 7 years on the trot. Hard to believe but true.
So when this 37 year old says that he wants to return to professional cycling after a gap of 4 years and wants to take part in 'The greatest cycle race on the earth', I have no doubts that he will do so and even in fact go on to win it. For this man nothong seems impossible!!

Monday, September 01, 2008

Grand Slam fever

The year's last Grand Slam began a few days ago and I caught the tennis fever immediately. The US Open is a difficult tournament as there is a long hard court series before it and all the players are well into their groove and on top of their game, and there is nothing more exciting than watching these players slam forehands across the court. The late night matches (in India it is early morning :-D) are so fun to watch. You wake up in the morning, check the internet for latest up-coming matches, wash yourself and are off to the TV room to catch some gripping tennis. The rest of the day is spent in discussing about the next day's play.
Apart from Roger Federer whom I adore so much there are few other players whose game I enjoy very much. They are Nadal, Blake and Nalbandian. Although the latter 2 have been removed from the race to the elusive title, the presence of Nadal still gives me goosebumps as I expect another Fed-Rafa final. Also players like Del Potro, Gulbis and Cillic have risen on the horizon and it would be in a year or little more that they will officially herald their arrival on the secne. These are the signs on exciting times to come for tennis fans as the game will get even more interesting. Federer is just refusing to lessen his tempo. He and Rafa are hot on each other's heals. Guys like Djokovic and Murray are running close behind. Blake, Nalbandian, Ferrer are world class players in their own right and they always add some world class spice to the draw. With all this stuff happening the entry of these newbies, Potro, Gulbis and Cillic will just make the game................ ~!@#$%^&*()_
Forget it!!!!!! I am at loss of words to describe my excitement as a Tennis fan ;-D

PS : Just check the Nishikori vs Del Potro match tomorrow. It is going to be fun

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Final Draft

Today I had the pleasure of seeing one of the very few and very good plays in Marathi theatre. An aunt and my Mom came up with the plan of going and I was all for it. As it is I consider theatre artists to be far more talented than film artists. Attribute it to the overdose of senseless stuff in the Marathi film line.
Watching a play in a theatre is a grand experience in all by itself. The glowing lights, the excitement of seeing the set in the first scene when the curtains open, the make up of the artists and the first dialogue, all make your breath stop and get you excited in anticipation. It was even more exciting for me as I was seeing it after a very long long time.
As for the play is concerned, it is named 'Final Draft'. I found it pretty interesting and refreshingly new. Again attribute it to the endless list of slapstick comedies at theatres near you. There are some funny moments though but they are very well in the flow of the story and do not look conjured up. The actors are nevertheless superb. Most important was that the play struck a chord somewhere deep within. I spent a lot of time after the show introspecting. As the show ended, there werent the usual comments of 'sahi hai', 'mast hai' or 'theek tha'. People were all praise for it but deep down they were thinking about it. This play left me a little bit perturbed and made an attempt at starting a thought process. Summing it up, I found this one to be a must see. You can get the synopsis here. The producers have wittily made a blog for fans like me to post comments. So read the synopsis and make up your mind to see this one quickly.

Tennis in the Olympics

Federer has won the gold in Olympic Tennis in the Men's doubles event. Good to see that. A player of his calibre did not deserve to go empty handed at the Olympics. As it is I do not see Olympic Tennis to be as competetive as the ATP Tour events. Most of the players come with a laid back attitude. There are occaisional flashes of brilliance like we saw in the Blake vs Fedex match or the Rafa vs Djoker. But in all the event in which a 'well past his prime' Fernando Gonzalez is a silver medallist, cannot be regarded as the epitome of ultimate sporting achievement.
In this case, I see the Grand Slams in a better light. (I was never a fan of Olympic Tennis and do not bother to check it unless dear old Fedro or the warring Indian Express are playing!) Everyone comes well prepared. The matches are 5 setters with a rule that the fifth set will not end till a clear 2 game lead is established. This makes the sport more competetive as the player has to break the opponents serve atleast once in the match. And some of the matches continue for well more that 3-31/2 hours. This tests the stamina of the players as nothing can. Thus I consider the Grand Slams to be the pinnacle of success in tennis world. Far more than the Olympics.
And lastly as a fan of fedex I hope, he reaches this pinnacle many more times in the years to follow! :-D lol

Thursday, August 14, 2008

My Dear old Fedro!!

"Will we see this Federer again?"

Last few months have been very tough for me as an avid tennis fan. Beloved Fedex is not winning as I want him to win. Ever since his loss to Rafa in the historic five-setter at Wimby-2008, Fed is not looking the same anymore. It is very disheartening to read about dear old Fedex loosing to yet unheralded players. Today also Federer lost to James Blake in the Olympics Q/F. Though Blake deserves the credit for coming up with a very good performance, Federer was clearly not in his elements today. Looks like his dream of winning the elusive medal will remain a dream for ever. I just hope that he comes back hard at his opponents and does true fans like us proud. Infact I am more desperate for him to win this year's last Grand Slam than even he is. Now we have the US Open, Paris and Madrid Masters and the year ending Masters Cup. Lets hope he wraps this not so inspiring year with style, playing the kind of tennis we all know only our Beloved Fedro can!!!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

The Rains

Ever since I started blogging, I have always welcomed rain through my posts. This year isnt going to be any different. This is the first time I am experiencing monsoon freely in some city other than Mumbai. Every city has a special character which is revealed only during the monsoons. Surat is no different. Surtis welcome rain with much caution. There is always the danger of the Tapi unleashing its horror on the diamond city everytime a downpour occurs. Instead as a boon, the Surtis view the rain as a spoiler. Naturally so as the Surtis are fond of moving out of their houses and enjoying some delicious food. Everytime it rains in a sunday, the newspapers cast a sorry headline.
Opposite is the case in Mumbai. I think a Mumbaikar is the only Indian after the poor farmer who is overjoyed on the prospect of rain. Even after the heavy floods of 2005, famously known as 26/7, which killed nearly thousand and affected even more, Mumbaikars still welcome rain with the same zeal. This year when the rains got delayed, whole of Mumbai went into some sort of mourning as if a disaster was impending. And when it finally rained, that also so furiously that it threatened to fill the streets with water, Mumbai still enjoyed every bit of it. And thats what makes me love Mumbai all the way more even though I am hundreds of kilometres away from it!!!!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Some interesting blogs!

Here are they

  • Seth Godin - He always mesmerises me with his marvellous speaking skills.
  • The Steve Jobs Secret Blog - Steve Jobs is a big name in itself. Probably the only man in the world who can stand upto Bill Gates and maybe come out better!
And last but not the least, here is India's very own Bridget Jones - Meenakshi Reddy Madhavan aka eM aka The Compulsive Confessor. This isnt a business or marketing blog but a fun/freak out kind of. I came across this when I read about a recently released book, 'you are here' by the blogger. See here. The headline is catchy as it is always the case with desi portals but going by the article, I feel that the substance is actually way more than what we think it to me.
I think that I may get hooked to the blog. Which male isnt interested in knowing what a young woman thinks??? lol ;-)

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Promise to be back

Have been keeping busy these days. Kinda neglected my blog. New post coming up soon.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

New Lignite Gasification project in Surat

This is an old article but it gives an idea of the fast happening industrial development in Gujarat. I found this on The Financial Express :

Public Sector oil exploration behemoth Oil and Natural Gas Corp Ltd (ONGC) is expected to start its pilot project for underground gasification of lignite near Vasthan area 20 kms away from Surat in Gujarat within a year. Not only that, the company has also identified three other sites in Bhavnagar district of Saurashtra for similar projects.
ONGC had entered into a MoU with the Gujarat government owned Gujarat Mineral Development Corp (GMDC) for underground gasification of lignite near Surat. ONGC has also identified three sites in Bhavnagar for studying the possibility for undertaking similar projects. Bhavnagar has a sizeable amount of lignite reserves and after the pilot project, the company will look at the three sites in Bhavnagar district for undertaking commercial production of natural gas through the gasification of lignite.
Lignite is a type of coal, and ONGC has identified around 20 odd coal mines for underground gasification of coal.
The project is expected to start by April 2008.

To know more about recent Coal Gasification projects around the world, I suggest this :
Underground Coal Gasification