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Test July 8, 2009

Posted by monish in General.
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So I’m hereat this little pan era bread typing away my adventures. I kind of like this. Can’t beat the free wifi and the Geary cheddar broccoli soup. Love the auto correct feature as well and my typing speed on this has gone through thereof as well .

Late September Sunday September 29, 2008

Posted by monish in General.
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I volunteered at The New Albany Classic today. Showed up early and got my assignment and everthing and turns out the vendor I was assigned to showed up really late and wasn’t sure she was going to be provided a volunteer so she wasn’t even expecting me. On anycase, I had a good time working with the guys on the rise, watching parts of Jordan Pruitt’s concert and meeting so many interesting kids an people. The day was really for the kids, they would’ve enjoyed it the most.

I came home and just crashed. Fell asleep for almost 4 hours and woke up 8ish. Turned on the TV to realise that the 13th season of The Amazing Race premieres tonight. Looks like it’s going to be pretty good season and it’s definitely part of my weekend TV watching schedule. Right after TAR, ‘Cold Case’ was on and I’m actually watching it right now. There’s something about the show, the nostalgia in the soundtrack, the sadness of the cases, the sweetness of justice…just makes it a really really beautiful show and I hope to catch many more cool episodes through the rest of the season.

2007 Round Up December 25, 2007

Posted by monish in General.
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2007 is coming to an end. Thought it’s time I looked back at this most interesting year, note it’s highlights and low points.

While I’ll remember 2006 as the year I got the MBA, 2007 will be the year I put the degree to use.  The year started with me moving to Cleveland to start work.  I remember making the drive over from Bowling Green in the rented chrysler with my friend Mohan, who dropped me off at the apartment on a cold Cleveland winter evening. All alone, in the cold,  in the basement apartment, only work to look forward to the next day. So January was a testing month for me. Work started off with me sitting in at various board meetings and getting a feel for what banking was all about. Overwhelmed at times, but I was upto the challenge all long.  The transition from student life to working life was taking place and I wasn’t sure I was likin it all that much.  Ofcourse I’ll remember January for the month I got my first paycheck and also the heart attack that is federal taxes.

February showed up soon enough and it was a nasty month. I remember well the Valentine’s day snow storm, being snowed in and not being able to get to work that day.  3 days later it was my birthday, and although the snowfall had ceased, I was in no position to make the drive over to BG to celebrate my birthday. This was one of the lowest points during the year, being snowed in all alone on my birthday.

March, April and May saw changes in the weather. With the slight improvement in weather I remember heading off to Pennsylvania with my buddy Stefan to go fetch the Subaru.  It was an interesting trip, the car got fixed and I was happy about that. Ofcourse it got warmer, the sun showed up after weeks and I couldn’t remember when I was happier to see the sun! In April, my friend Simmo moved in with me here in Cleveland after getting himself a job.  Didn’t contemplate having  roommate till this point but was glad it worked out with Simmo.

June, July and August were probably the best months of the year. The sun was shining, the weather was warm and Cleveland actually looked beautiful. I played Tennis, visited BG many times with Simo, had many of my friends visit and stay over with me, so life was looking good. Ofcourse in July, Simmo moved to Dallas and then on to Los Angeles and we stopped being roommates at that point.  June, I will especially remember for moving out of the hole in the ground that was my basement apartment. I was glad to move upto the 1 bedroom on the 2nd floor that month. I was glad to wake up to the sunshine and feel the summer breeze through the windows! I will remember my many visits to Lakewood park for running, watching the 4th of July fireworks and watching random bands play on Saturday evenings.

In September I visited my friend Blair in Texarkana.  My first trip south of Ohio. I got to see parts of Texas and arkansas I never thought I would visit so I was glad I made the trip. Ofcourse it was good to see Blair too, he’s been a friend for a long time and I felt like I owed him a visit.  Over halloween time, I made my first trip out west to Los Angeles. I met with Simmo, Dustin and the Gellers. Meeting with friends made me happy. Ofcourse I will remember the trip for being on the sets of ‘Phenomenon’ and meeting with Criss Angel and seeing other famous people.  Words can’t express how much I was impressed with LA as a city. During the trip, I took a flight, a bus, a train ride and took cabs across LA. If anything, the trip reminded me how much I love to travel and how I should be doing more of it.

As we headed towards the end of the year, I started doing more interesting stuff at work. Headed off to BG on the weekends more often, knowing this will be the last time I’ll see many of the people there.  November saw my co-worker getting fired. My boss being moved to a different department and me getting a new boss. Needless to say the change has been very unsettling.  The office party was a fun affair. And to think I was thinking of giving it a miss! And ofcourse in October, I bought my first car, a 2001 Toyota Corolla.  After much head scratching on how to go about financing it etc. etc. I finally took the dive and bought myself the car and I’m glad I did.

Guess it’s natural to look back at a year and have maybe some regrets. My regrets about the year are maybe I should’ve looked for a car earlier in the year, sometime in the summer. I’m not really sure what held me back but it would have been fun to travel to different places in the summer, I kinda feel I missed out on that but we always have next year.  A bigger regret is ofcourse the situation with my brother.  2007 didn’t see any improvement at the end of it. I feel worse this year because sometime in the latter part of the year my brother mentioned having to break up with his GF and moving to the US and turning his life around. A decision I did not influence but it seemed like he was finally making some sense and things were going to look better going forward. Only for the relapse to occur weeks later.  We’ve interacted the least in our lives this year, I can actually just recall one phonecall and a few e-mails. I’ll remember this year as the one we’ve grown apart the most.

So that kind of sums up the year for me. The past 3 years have all been landmark years for me. I’ve grown so much as a person during the years, I’m not sure I’d even recognise the kid I was back in 2004! It’s been a testing sort of years in many ways, and a year of many firsts. This year felt a lot like 1999 in many ways, minus the unbridled joy and exuberance you experience as an 18 year old!

Drifting November 27, 2007

Posted by monish in General.
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I sometimes find I’m drifting
Through this life without effect;
I often wonder if I’m truly
Worth what I’ve been blessed.

I search through days that have been hard,
To try to understand,
The many trials that I have known,
The life that I have had.

You see me in my daily grind,
So confident and strong;
Yet when I am alone, I question
Just where I belong.

I often try too hard I find,
To analyze and guess,
To scrutinize, investigate
My life I will confess.

For somewhere deeper, there must be
Some meaning to this life,
Some way to make a difference,
Give a reason for this strife.

Is there some hidden meaning?
Some agenda to be found?
A greater purpose waiting
If I care to hang around?

It teases and it taunts me,
Always slightly out of sight;
A hazy vision out of reach,
Where darkness hides the light.

I struggle to bring clarity
To what awaits me there,
And yet this weak illusion
Always fades before my stare.

It seems the harder that I try,
To focus through the haze,
Just serves to add more questions,
Through my endless, tired gaze.

Perhaps I’m trying just too hard,
To understand it all,
For can we ever truly know
Just what we have in store?

Each incident, each moment passed,
Just adds upon the next,
But in the end, will I find truth …
Or will I be perplexed?

Perhaps I make it harder
Than it has to be sometimes,
But will my searching bring to me
My meaning over time?

Or will it leave me broken,
And confused as I feel now,
While questions bring no solitude,
To this, my wrinkled brow.

LA Trip Summary November 7, 2007

Posted by monish in Cleveland, General, Hollywood, LAX, Los Angeles, NBC Phenomenon.
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Here’s a day-by-day summary of my trip to LA

Tue Oct 30: Reached LAX at 10.45 PM by a Southwest Airlines flight. Made mental note of trying never to fly Southwest again. you only know what your missing in terms of service, quality of flight etc, when those are taken away from you.

My friend Simo picks me up at the airport and we make our way to his house in Palmdale, about an hours drive away.  The drive is an interesting one, everyone’s speeding at 80 mph, no cops in sight, lotsa traffic.  We reach my friends place at around midnight and stay up and chat for a bit. 

Wed, Oct 31: The big day is here! I getup early, setup my laptop etc. Check my e-mail, get directions to Tribune studios in Hollywood and directions for VIP Parking.  My friend and his roommates head off to work and in the meanwhile I e-mail a bunch of my friends reminding them to try to watch ‘Phenomenon’ tonight.

Simo’s roommates pick me up around noon and we head off to a Sri Lankan buffet place. Lunch was pretty awesome.  Simo takes half a day off work and after a quick change of clothes etc. we’re off to Hollywood around 1.30 PM!

We reach Sunset blvd. in Hollywood around 3.00 PM and I begin to get the feeling that we’re hopelessly lost. The map wasn’t too much of a help.  However, we pull into a side road to take a minute to nail the directions and miraculously we find out that we pulled into one of the parking lots for Tribune studios. Turns out it was the wrong one. However, we got directions to the lot we needed to park at and it was just across the street.

It’s a gorgeous day in Hollywood!  I imagine everyday to be like this here. We leave the  car with the valet and march off to the studio where we head straight to the top of the line and told the dude with the clipboard that we were on the VIP list, he checks for our names and lets us in.

It’s a short wait before we’re actually IN the studio.  We’re seated very close to the judges seats. I see Criss Angel come and take his seat soon. Natalie comes and says hello followed by Uri who’s shouting Monish! and then Hanna and Shipi. Felt real good seeing everyone after such a long time.  I feel the people around me are impressed or envious or both. 

The show begins sharp at 5. About 15 minutes before that, the audience cheerer upper shows up and makes a bunch of corny jokes and tries to get the audience all warmed up and ready to cheer and make noice during the show. I think he did a good job of putting the audience to ease, considering this was going to be a live show.  The show’s host Tim Vincent shows up and starts doing his thing. Which is basically putting on a fake smile and reading off a prompter. I tell Simo, I feel I can do his job very well.

The show begins. It’s all very interesting, seeing the production assistants, the producer, the lights, the contestants, the magic acts.  This IS showbusiness, it’s in the heart of Hollywood and I’m witnessing it first hand.  I feel a weird sense of calm around the place. The professionals really know their job well, the cameramen, sound technicians etc.  I feel like I could do well in a place like this.  If only.

The show goes on. It’s a 2 hour halloween special. I begin to wonder if people are actually watching this at home? on Halloween night? To be honest some of the acts weren’t very impressive.   Criss Angel has a “tiff” with Jim Callaghan, one of the contestants in the middle of the show.  I’m slightly taken aback at what was just happening. But by the end of it all, it became very apparent, it was an orchestrated act. No egos hurt or bruised.  The show goes on.

The 2 hr show comes to an end at 7 PM.  I make my way to the dressing room and I spend some time with the Geller family, Criss Angel etc. The studio security people didnt let Simo in.  It was pretty chaotic backstage.  I promise to meet with Uri and family at their home the next day. Simo drives me to the La Quinta inn at LAX, where I check in, but decide to head up to Palmdale to hang out with the guys one last time.

Simo’s roommates saw us on TV and make funny jokes about that. They seem impressed, confused, freaked out by the experience too. 

Thu, Nov 1: Around 8 A, just before Simo leaves for work, he drops me off at the train station in Palmdale which is about a 5 minute drive away. Simo’s a moron for not knowing Palmdale had such a cool train service. It has a train leaving Palmdale almost every 30 minutes to downtown LA’s Union Station via San Fernando, Burbank etc.  A lot of the ride is through the scenic Antelope Valley. The terrain is interesting and you’d think you were in Mexico for a duration of the ride. Anyways, the ride to Union station is about 2 hours and at 10 AM I find myself at Union Station.

Union station is a pretty impressive train station. The architecture is a mix of modern and Mexican.  I make my way to the exit when I notice a movie set within the train station. Turns out there’s an episode of “Cold Case” being filmed there that day. They were pretending the station was in Philadelphia. Yeah right.

I call Shipi to ask him for the address to where they’re staying so I could come over.  He texts me the address and I pick out one of the many LA maps available at the station to figure out this place. It’s located in an area bordering Beverly Hills called La Brea. They’re staying at a penthouse in a swanky apartment complex called the Pallazzo. The orange low buildings look very inviting and south american with terra cotta roofs.

I team up with the family and head off to the American Film Market being held at the Toewnes hotel on Santa Monica pier in Santa Monica.  It’s a cloudy sort of day, not the type of weather I was hoping for but it’s hard not to be impressed by Santa Monica. It’s a beautiful place, the promenade by the sea is gorgeous and the 3rd street promenade with it’s glittering stores, restaurants and cafe’s is beautifully laid out and you could spend hours there.  We spend the day in Santa Monica, trying to sell some documentaries of Uri’s to potential buyers who were visiting the room turned exhibition booths at the hotel.  At night we went out to dinner with the owner of the production company, his wife and family to a swanky italian place by the sea called i Cugini. 

Fri, Nov2:  Today, I planned to be a real tourist in LA. Walk the famous boulevards and streets and take in all the sights and sounds and snap away a million pictures.  I take the hotel bus service to LAX in the morning and reach there in 10 minutes. I hope to take one of the Blue shuttle busses that take people downtown. Unfortunately, if the bus isn’t filled with people, you have to pay the entire fare of $16 yourself. I chose to take the “Flyaway” service to union station instead.  We take the freeway into LA which takes about 30 minutes and I find myself at Union station again like I did the day before. My initial route study paid off, I  bought myself a $5 day pass and took the metro to Hollywood. It was a 10 minute trip over.   I amke my way out and find myself outside in Hollywood in no time. Before long I come across the Hollywood walk of fame. I ask around how far the Kodak Theatre is, some people tell me to take a bus over but I love to walk and was determined to walk it. Fortunately for me, the walk to the Kodak theatre was only about 20 minutes.

The area outside the Kodak Theatre and next to Grummans chinese theatres is a fascinating place. There are street performers, magicians, extras in super hero outfits and it’s a very festive place.  There’s a super mall with absolutely gorgeous views of the Hollywood sign next to the Kodak theatre. I enjoyed spending time in there.

Around noon I take one of the “Topless sightseeing” busses that depart from the Kodak Theatre. It takes me through the Sunset strip, through Beverly hills, Rodeo dr, La Brea, Universal studios etc. and brings you back to the Kodak theatre. Ofcourse I got off at a couple of places and walked around, every part of this city was fascinating.  After I got back I killed some more time time at the mall and in the area outside the Kodak theatre.  Simo drives down from Palmdale later that night and my buddy from school Dustin drives up from the OC as well. We meet at the Citywalk at Universal studios and we have a blast. Great seeing old friends after a while. We down some beer at the Howl at the moon and have dinner at Bubba gump.  Dustin drives me back to my hotel later that night.

Sat, Nov 3:  I have breakfast at the hotel and head out to LAX on the hotel shuttle soon. I have a flight that leaves at 1045. LAX is a huge airport and things can get crazy there. I have a most amazing flight, we fly over the rockies where we experience some terrible turbulence, then a while later we’re flying over the grand canyon. I sit on the wrong side of the aircraft so wasn’t able to take any pics. I felt like an idiot.  When we landed in Chicago, we did so at Chicago’s Midway airport which is just 10 miles  from downtown, so it offers wonderful views of Sears towers and the Hancock observatory. Chicago looks like a beautiful town.  Hopefully I will visit it someday soon.  I’m back in Cleveland around 7.45PM, my cabbie friend Alberto picks me up and drops me off home. I’m back at my cold apartment and I take a seat and a moment to ponder over the craziness of the past 3 days, and then the withdrawals begin.

Sickening day October 24, 2007

Posted by monish in General.
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It’s one of those god awful days when the weather is crappy and my head feels heavy and I feel like I’m coming down with something.  Also, I had one of those mornings where I woke up and was like where the hell am I?

I bought my tickets to LA this week. Still figuring out where I’m gonna spend my three nights there. I’m sure I’ll come up with something eventually. Somehow I don’t have as much confidence in the hostels over there as I did with one’s in NY. People seem crazier in LA. Either that or I’ve been in Ohio too long and been influenced by people who should never be allowed to leave their farms and speak their minds to other people.

What’s so great about America? September 11, 2007

Posted by monish in 9/11 Anniversary, Conservative, Conservative commentator, Dinesh D'Souza, Immigrant, Letters to a young conservative, Liberal hate, Republican, Whats so great about America.
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Before you begin to think this post is going to be one full of glorious praise for the greatest nation on earth, let me tell you it’s not. “What’s so great about America?” is the name of the book I’m currently reading, authored by Dinesh D’Souza. I picked it up at the library last week. It’s a book I’ve heard about for many years, It was published in the year 2002 and made it to the New York Times Best Sellers list that year.  

Few reasons why I chose the book, it’s in keeping with my recent trend of reading material by authors whose idealogies I don’t completely agree with (Rudy Giuliani’s book, The Bible etc.). Dinesh D’Souza is of Indian origin, born in the city where I come from, Mumbai.  He was appointed senior domestic policy advisor in the Raegan administration 20 years ago at the age of 26. I thought the background of the author was pretty extraordinary.  I knew I could relate to many oh his observances of the US as an immigrant. But really what I was curious about is how does a guy from a multicultural city in a very diverse country such as India, become the darling social commentator for neocons in the United States? What he should be standing for and what he does defies logic. Finally, I hoped D’Souza did answer the question his book poses. I have my own ideas and opinions on what makes the US “Great” (and what doesn’t), I wanted to see what D’Souza thought and so far I’d have to say he’s made a decent assesment. 

While I haven’t completed reading the book quite yet, I figured I might post in some thoughts on the author himself and follow it up with a book review  at some later point.  

I had the opportunity to sit through a D’Souza talk at BGSU last year. He was invited over by the college republicans group and I was as curious back then to find out more about this conservative writer and his views.  While I wasn’t surprised at his ultra conservative, pro Republican, rightist political views, I was pretty dissapointed at the crowd which showed up at the talk. These were fellow university students who cheered D’Souza’s arrival and applauded his statements on the necessity of the War on Iraq, why Bush is the right president of the US, re-inforcing the US versus them theory etc. etc. Virtually every statment D’Souza made was in tune with extreme right wing sentiments. Ofcourse the talk being held by the college republicans, this was music to their ears.  Maybe I shouldn’t have been that surprised at the students reaction, not only because they were possibly all Republicans but also because this was in the middle-of- nowhere, a hellhole of a conservative town in Ohio.

Needless to say, I’m not a big fan of D’Souza’s conservative views. However, D’Souza is unique in that he is not your typical neocon commentator. He’s not your White Anglo Saxon Protestant, born n bred midwestern or Southern conservative, ignorant, republican. Rather he’s your brown, Indian, Dartmouth educated, highly intelligent, immigrant republican. Not many of those around from what I’ve seen.  Yet, he seems to seemlessly adjust within the greater demographics of the Neocons. Regardless of D’Souza’s brownness and obvious physical differences, the conservatives have accepted him as one of their own.  D’Souza uses this strongly as an argument for acceptance and the “greatness” of America he so cherishes. 

As great as the welcoming nature of the conservatives in this country is,  it’s slightly disturbing and raises many questions in my mind.  I believe D’Souza has leveraged his unique position to his utmost advantage. Not only can he tell the conservative base what they want to hear but he backs up his points by pointing to his immigrant background and basically telling his supporters, look I’m not from this country but I’ve bought into everything the US has to offer and because I’ve seen otherwise I can tell you this IS the greatest country ever. On the otherhand the republicans use D’Souza as a symbol of US multiculturalism and opportunity. Now that I think of it, I see a unique opportunity for someone from a unique background to kiss some serious republican ass, tell them what they want to hear and eventually make the most of the opportunity. Michelle Malkin is another name that comes to mind who’s leveraged her minority status to a big advantage.

D’Souza’s book reads more like an assessment of the peculiar behavior of Americans,  the subtle message behind these asessment hinting towards the greatness he seeks to explain.  Along the way he goes on to explain events in US history which have shaped the country as it is today. And it’s these events that I’ve enjoyed thus far.

What I haven’t enjoyed is D’Souza’s blatant conservative ass kissing. The man is shrewed enough to know he can make controversial points and back it up with his own experiences. Points almost every conservative wishes he could make but would not dare for fear of the repercussions. This is where D’Souza steps in and does the dirty work for them.

His explanantions for why colonialism is a wonderful thing and how he’s benefitted from it, look at me, I was born in India and now I’m an English writer in America. Thanks colonialists, without you guys D’Souza would’ve never learnt English.

His arguments for why we should just accept it that Black people are inferior to Whites and Asians? Well,  no invention or significant contribution to the arts or science have ever emenated from the dark continent.  Further, impoverished whites and Asians perform better in tests such as the SAT, LSAT and GRE than even rich Black kids in America today so this must be a genetic fault.

I doubt there is any Republican in the US today who could write an article or deliver a speech telling people that there is no such thing as racism in the US today and that black people are genetically stupid. Although I don’t doubt there are scores of people who actually believe that. Amazing how D’Souza gets away with it. D’Souza’s core competence seems to be in delivering skewed, biased and even racist messages to a group of people who’re unable to deliver these messages themselves, yet they so dearly wish to hear these because it validates they’re beliefs, and this is why this man is still in demand.

As much as I disagree with the man’s personal belief’s, I find his book intriguing and maybe by the time I’m done with it, I’ll have an answer to the question, “What’s so great about America?”

I eat cannibals… August 31, 2007

Posted by monish in Bible, Little Rock, Namesake.
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Some people say short blog posts are pointless and not a good idea. Well, you know what, f*** them!

I was witness to some ugly boardroom scenes today at work. All part of the learning experience I guess. I learnt that there’s no such thing as a true “friend” in the corporate world.  There’s just too much politics in the business world, people not saying what they mean and not meaning what they say.  I guess it’s dealing with situations that arise from these politics is a huge part of “man management” and a very important tool in the business managers armory today.

I’m pretty close to finishing off “The Namesake”. I’ve already started reading my next book, the #1 International Bestseller of all time, The “Holy” Bible. Yes, I’m reading the bible. Before people go crazy on me and start saying I’ve been in Ohio too long, I just wanna say I’m reading this book like any other, with an open mind and with the intention to critique it at the end of it.  From what I’ve read so far, I’m not too impressed. I can tell someone’s put in shitloads of hardwork into  compiling this but it’s not very engaging, the verses seem very cryptic and in Homer Simpsons words “This book has no answers”. So far the only thought it’s vindicated is that all the asshole over the years who’ve told me they’ve read the bible are liars. No way those dumb shits read through a book of this complexity or comprehended anything this book has to say. I want to read through (atleast some of)  it so I’m not as big a hypocrite when it comes to challenging people who have the audacity to quote the bible for sake of an argument.

I’m off to Little Rock, AR tomorrow for a short trip over the labor day weekend.  Be back soon.

And that’s how life goes… August 29, 2007

Posted by monish in crush, heaven.
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Just got off the phone with a girl I had the hugest crush on last year.  I’ve since gotten over her and didn’t think very much about her at all.  I thought the world of this person, but she had a boyfriend and being the nice guy that I am, I never made the attempt to be the other guy and breakup what seemed to be a good thing.

We had a long talk this evening. She told me how she’s sick of her boyfriend and his drinking ways. And how she wishes he’d be more focussed on her, on life, on everything. If ever there was someone who was reaching out to me, this was it.   I’m apparently a very good person to reach out to at times of distress. Numerous people have and this was no different.  Listening to her unsually nasal voice, I could tell she’d been crying.  She tells me the boyfriends changed and has said some mean and hurtful things recently. This made her cry and I don’t like to hear people say they’ve been crying.  It pulls at my heartstrings.  I was torn between sympathizing  with her and telling her to grow up and suck it up.  Ofcourse I chose the former.  I’d like to think my words to her were wise and soothing, atleast she said so.

I didn’t have the heart to tell her that her loser boyfriend will amount to nothing at the rate at which he’s going.  That she’s setting herself up for a life of failure with being with this guy. That she should just wake up, smell the coffee and kick the dirtbag to the sidewalk and move on.  I told her she deserves to be appreciated and the guy she’s with should think she’s the best thing since sliced bread.  She goes on to say some very nice stuff about me. I’m flattered. I have the strangest hunch where this conversation is headed but my heads not spinning, my heart isn’t palpitating with anticipation. I know this boat has long sailed.

That’s how the world works though. We don’t always get what we want, when we want it. How do we even know if what we want is actually what we need? Maybe the eternal mismatches of the universe are the way things should be.

Blast from the past August 16, 2007

Posted by monish in DirectI, Mumbai, Venture, Web Hosting.
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I was browsing through the electronic version of the Times of India yesterday when I reached the jobs section and what I saw there blew me away. I saw a recruitment ad for a company called “DirectI” requiring  several positions in accounting and some technical positions. They claimed to be a $30 Million dollar company and there was no reason to suspect that. I only wondrede if it was the same DirectI I knew of back home. A little research revealed that it was the same company!

The same company that was started by a bunch of kids in a Bombay suburb in the late nineties. The same company that we used to host several of the websites we designed back in the day and the same company that blew us away with their professionalism, service and enthusiasm for their work. I would never have in my wildest dreams imagined they would have scaled the heights to which they have today.  I still remember visting their offices in 4 bungalows and seeing how DirectI was setup.  It was an office within a residential building, and if I remember correctly the owner, Bhavin. actually lived in the floor below his office. 

Talk about reaping the rewards of foresight, enthusiasm, passion and a quest for excellence. These guys are successful today because they loved what they did and they made sure they did a damn good job of it. Their CEO in particular, Bhavin Turakhia, only a couple of years older than I am is a true visionary. In a way, I’m really proud of these guys and I hope to hear more succes stories from DirectI and other small scale ventures making it big.

What to do? August 10, 2007

Posted by monish in General.
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I’ve been running regularly for the past 10 days.  Been trying to take advantage of the warm weather, making the most of it while it lasts. God only knows what I’m gonna do when November gets here. There’s something about running outside, that you just can’t recreate on a treadmill, so that sucks. 

Work has been going well, no complains there. Well I guess I could complain but living on your own teaches you some stearn lessons, one of them being, nobody gives a shit about your problems because everyone’s got their own so just suck up and deal with it. Which is what I’m doing.  

Still struggling a bit with goal setting. I don’t really know what I want from my life. Somethings gotta give eventually, I can’t keep living life the way I am right now. But what? If anything, I have to narrow down my options to a few and chose from those. Right now I’m torn between retiring and settling down at the foothills of the Himalayas and turning things up to become a successfull entrepreneur in Silicon valley. Honestly, they both sound good to me at this point.

Sicko review July 16, 2007

Posted by monish in Michael Moore's Sicko, Michal Moore Sicko, review, sicko review.
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I saw Michael Moore’s latest documentary last night. Thought I’d add my own views on the movie

Michael Moore’s (MM) latest Documentary Sicko left me with mixed feelings. I can easily say this was the least persuasive or convincing of his documentaries.  Not to say that MM projected lies and half truths in the documentary but you couldn’t help but feel that there were undertones of propoganda in the film. At the risk of sounding like a right wing, neo conservative commentator blasting MM for pushing the ultra liberal agenda, I have to say MM has focussed so much on one side of the argument that it’s a little hard to digest anything else he has to say.

If we are to summarize MM’s Sicko, it would be as follows : The healthcare system in the USA is broken. The money hungry insurance companies have completely taken over leading to the commercialization of every aspect of healthcare.  So much so that the emphasis is pure bottomline profit as opposed to better health for customers.  The system in the US was never a particularly good one to begin with because it involved private entities who focussed on bottomline profits and despite efforts by noble individuals such as Hillary Clinton to fix the system, it still remians broken till today.  Across the atlantic however, people are healthier, living longer and not shelling out a dime for their healthcare. In other words, healthcare in Europe is everything it is not in the USA.  Corporations, governments, everyone in the US should be ashamed of their greedy, uncaring and inhospitable ways. It’s time the US started appreciating and learning from the Europeans instead of mocking them for their un-American, peculiar and socialistic way of life.

At some point the movie ceases to be about just the state of healthcare in the United States but instead gathers a greater political tone with insinuations that a more socialistic attitude towards healthcare would have been more beneficial.

Seriously, does Michael Moore of all people, have the answer to the healthcare woes in the country? Should anyone take anything he has to say seriously at all? Problem now is with one sided arguments and ruthless attacks on the government in every one his movies, Michael Moore is getting to the point where people are getting sick of his rants. People will react to his movies in a very yeah yeah I get it, its all the governments fault kind of attitude.
MM because of his ultra-liberal, anti-bush, anti-republican stance is turning into the poster boy of republican ridicule.  By putting forth one sided arguments and glorifying systems in other nations (again, a one sided view) MM is providing the conservatives in the country with just the fodder they need to ridicule not just MM but every liberal in the country. MM makes the thinking, insightful, opiniated yet balanced liberals in the country look bad.  To me, it seems the conservatives in this country like nothing better than to paint a certain group of people with the same brush and in this case it would be painting all liberals with the MM brush. In this way MM could’ve caused more harm than good with this movie by walking in straight into the republican trap.In MM defense however, he is a movie maker with a social agenda and not a politician.  I truly believe his agenda is to a greater degree a social one rather than a political one.  Even with all the anti government rhetoric stirred up in this documentary,  the truth is even if half of what MM shows in Sicko is true, then America has a huge problem on its hand.  Heck, the system is broken and someone had to speak up or make a documentary about it right? Unfortunately for a lot of people, that person had to be MM.

I guess the best way to approach MM’s Sicko is to focus on the message itself rather than the medium. For all the lop sided arguments and European ass kissing, the truth remains sorely visible and undeniable.  Watch the movie but take a lot of what MM has to say with large doses of salt. And for God’s sake buy some life isnurance, thought it might not do you any good. If you believe MM. :)

Just one look….thats all it took yeah! July 6, 2007

Posted by monish in General.
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So anyone who’s known me in the past 18 months would have heard the story of how I interviewed with one of the “Big 4″ Accounting firms last year by a guy who was eerily similar to me. We shared the same last name, went to the same school back home in India and even lived in the same area of Bombay. I guess thats where the similarity ends because this guy was a complete douchebag and needless to say, I didn’t end up getting the job.  Not getting the job didn’t hurt as much as not getting it because I was interviewed by this guy who hated my guts.  Not qualified enough…OK…Not enough experience…OK…..Not a good fit…OK….All these would be valid reasons for not getting the job. But I couldn’t help but feel this Indian douchebag had it in for me the moment he saw me.  Was it because I was younger, slimmer, better looking and had the cutie recruiter eating out of my hands practically all night before the interview? I don’t know. All I know is this guy did his bestest to deny me an entry into this firm and succeeded.  Fine.  You can’t win em all in life.

But why do I mention Fatty McBongo today? Well, ever since I started work here in the Cleve I’ve seen him around during lunchtime, sometimes at the Subway or elsewhere, pigging his fat, evil, rotten heart out. But I don’t think he ever saw me or we never made eye contact. Till today. Oh yea. Today I looked into the eyes of the fattest, brownest, meanest, Bengali, Big 4 consultant in the universe and his eyes had just this to say : “WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU DOING HERE?”.

I’ll admit it.  Every now and then my eyes will meet with some other random Indian person around here and more often than not you’ll get a disgusting look back, basically saying “What’re you doing here?”, “Go away” or “There’s just room for one brown person in this town, so fuck off”.  Something to that effect.  But ‘ol Fatso’s look took the cake. It really, REALLY did.  The moment he saw me the pathetic gulab jamun had a kind of epileptic fit, threw up his lunch all over the sidewalk and his group of fellow Big 4 cronies held him from falling to the ground. It didn’t help that I charged towards him and delivered a roundhouse kick to throat just before that moment.

Okay, none of that really happened.  But it could have. I think we both realised that. Especially when I looked at him with a squinted eye, sending the message, “Yea, thats right. It’s me. You didn’t get rid off me like you thought you did, you poor, ugly bastard.”

So we exchanged glances. And we moved on.  In short, thats what life is all about.  In life you will meet ugly, soulless, heartless beasts who will try to beat you, kick you and deny you everything that you think you’re worthy of. It’s upto YOU to kick and scream and deliver roundhouse kicks and soccer punches to fight the forces nature delivers and get what you deserve. And then you move on to the next disgusting creature you have to fight. I guess, the tougher the battle the sweeter the victory. 

2 Years June 14, 2007

Posted by monish in General.
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Yesterday was my 2 year anniversary here in the states.  Really had no expectations when I left home on the morning of June 13 2005. All I knew was that circumstances  had compelled me to leave home and go far away.  A new start if you will. While I had known and wanted to leave for a while before that, I wasn’t prepared for the circumstances under which I left. 

I think 2 years have changed me as a person a lot.  Guess you’re bound to when you’ve been tested the way I have been. I’ve tested the limits of my sanity, been battered, brought to my knees, overwhelmed, overjoyed, underwhelmed, screwed over, depressed and numb during these 2 years.  But most of the change has been very positive. I think I have a more mature perspective on life than earlier.  Its a struggle, but I’d like to think I’m zeroing in on my goals in life as well.  Yeah, I have goals and aspirations. But do I know where I will be 2 years from now? Or what I’ll be doing then? I don’t have a clue honestly. Its been a good ride these past 2 years. I think I’m going to keep it going, I don’t have any expectations or set goals for the future. I just do what I have to do and let the forces that be surprise, delight and humble me as they have so many times during the past 24 months.

Looking back, some of the questions I ask myself are: How did I ever muster the courage to do the things that I have done? How did I finally learn what discipline means? How did I ever resist the urge to fight fire with fire? 

Resolve, don’t fail me now…

What do I wanna be when I grow up? June 11, 2007

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I just read in an article on MSN.com that the average person in the US changes his/her career three times in a lifetime.   It got me thinking what potential careers I might be interested in. Since I’m not thinking of a switch anytime soon I wondered why not go crazy and list as many career options I would love to pursue at some point in my life.

1.  Cricket Writer/Administrator: This wouldn’t have been a choice of mine a few years ago.  Playing the game is all I cared about. But now at the ripe old age of 26, I’ve relegated myself to the brutal fact that I won’t be playing the game at any respectable standard ever, certainly not here in the US.  However, I’m still passionate about the game, maybe not the current state of cricket (I haven’t watched a live game in 2 years) but rather about the cricket of yore, how so much has changed in the game and yet so much has remained the same.  I’d like to be able to write about the things I’ve learned from the game, how lessons learnt in cricket have reflected in my own life and why I think I am better off for it.

Having studied business management, I have begun to appreciate the art of managing. Be it people, money, egos etc. etc. managers bring about a sense of calm by streamlining activities  and getting things done around a place.  I think marrying my passion for the game with a management background actually gives me a decent background to be able to manage a cricket club anywhere in the world.  

2.  Newsreader:  Think this choice has deep narcissistic undertones to it.  I don’t know.  I  am fascinated by mass media and the explosion of TV news channels in India in the late 90′s lead to a lot of new newsreaders on TV, many of which I would look at and imagine I could do a better job than them.  Back when I was 18-19 years old, I imagine if we had decent options for mass media studies back home (which we didn’t at the time) I could have well opted for it. 

3. Business Writer:  I’d be lying if I said an appreciation for business came to me naturally.  If anything being a Bengali, I was genetically predespositioned NOT to acquire any appreciation for business and if I chose to pursue it, fail at it miserably by making stupid choices. Circumstances however were to provide me with a very different perspective on business.  Growing up in Mumbai, which is a very “money minded” city, children talk about and dream of making money and lots of it.  There is an almost perverse admiration for wealthy people, a sort of worship of wealthy individuals as though they were somehow closer to God or God themselves because there must’ve been something divine which lead them to be this wealthy.  Can’t say I ever bought into this worship entirely, but it is something that growing up you cannot avoid.  The notion that being wealthy is a sureshot route to happiness is something that seeps into the subconscience of every kid growing up in Mumbai. And the quickest way to get rich was to run a business.

Having been brought up in such an atmosphere, studying business at collge for a number of years and even getting an MBA at the end has given me an immense appreciation for the world of business.  I would love to be a business writer.

A couple of other options would have to be a life coach, kinda like Dr. Phil, only not so harsh, and a travel writer!

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