Archive for January, 2008

Top 10 Movies of 2007: Part II

Bheja Fry poster This post is in continuation of the my list of best movies of 2007 . The first part of the post listing my top 5 movies can be read here.

6. Bheja Fry: A tickling movie made on a shoestring budget of 50 lakhs. (50 lakhs is, by no means, shoestring to me though). I watched this movie in my most overworked, stressed period at work. It was the only free day I had, and I had laughed away my mounting hill of stress by simply watching this movie. 🙂 Full marks to Vinay Pathak for playing such an endearing, funny fool.

7. Gandhi, My Father: A story about Father of Nation’s personal life that most Indians must be unaware of. Story is from the point of view of Harilal, who has to live up to the expectations of a great man, Gandhi.

Continue reading ‘Top 10 Movies of 2007: Part II’

Top 10 Movies of 2007: Part I

Here is long-pending personal list of my favorite movies of the year. This list strictly comprises of the movies I had the opportunity to watch.

Chak De

1. Chak De India: Country spirit goes first. This movie made a hero out of an unheard man whose story it told: Mir Ranjan Negi. To think of, this actually happens in modern India. We badly belittle players when they lose. We easily brand them as traitors, uncaring of truth. This movie questioned our idea of patriotism, gender biases we have and our fixation of cricket.

We were gently reminded that Hockey is our National sport. The movie not only defined team spirit for us, it gave us wonderful actors as Chitrashi Rawat (Komal), Tanya Arbol (angry Punjabi girl Balbir) and Shilpa (Bindya Nayak).

I went to watch Chak De India without any expectations. It turned out to be wonderful. Here was a movie that shunned all rules of Bollywood: no melodramatic tear-jerkers, no song-dance drama, no romance. Simply told a good story of triumph in face of failure.

Continue reading ‘Top 10 Movies of 2007: Part I’

Interview of a Cartoonist at BaB

I finally managed to post interview of Anshul Maheshwari of Brainstuck.com on my long forgotten-now revived Being a Blogger (BaB) blog.

BAB logo

Anshul talks in this interview how the idea of brainstuck.com merchandise came into his mind out of his blogging experience. And how he seeks inspiration for his daily cartoons on his blog. He reiterates something important in his interview that most of my previous interviewees have stated. This is a statement that instills fear in me. 😛 And that scary quote is:

“I delete only those blogs from my reader that are not regularly updated.”

I know, I know I have updated my blog less frequently past few days. But that is because I am tied up and do not want to publish posts that do not have quality content. I have a commitment (my new year resolutions) to get my blogging act together, give me time. I should soon be out with a solution.

Meanwhile, I would appreciate your comments on Anshul’s interview here on BaB.

Happy Republic Day!

Republic day 2008

 Republic Day Parade at New Delhi

Happy Republic Day!

Like us, Australians also celebrated Australia Day today. Happy Australia Day to Aussies too!

It was interesting and bafflingly to read in newspaper how some youngsters did not know basic facts about Republic Day. I searched Republic Day quizzes to test my knowledge. This was a sub-par quiz I found that gave me this result message:

Republic day quiz result

Given, for such an easy quiz, this message is little too gracious. But this Infosys HR chief seems to have a cracked a really good republic quiz conducted by CNN-IBN. Also, I do not equate having knowledge of republic day to patriotism. Having said that, it is kinda blasphemous to not to know about National landmark days in history.

What do you say?

My Personal Resolutions For 2008

This is the first time I have ever taken a New Year resolution. I read somewhere that to commit oneself to own resolutions, it is important to make your resolutions public. This helps you to track your progress and dedication on completing your resolution. Here are my 6 simple resolutions:

1. Work on my physical fitness. TrekkingNot in terms of slimming, I am slim. I need to increase my physical stamina. Even small physical activity exhausts me. With my current lifestyle, where I sit through my work and during travel, I need to consciously take out time for some physical exercise. I will then go for trekking this year. 🙂
How to do this
• Have a walk everyday.
• Join a gym or weekend dance classes for regular physical activity.

2. Save few bucks. I need to judiciously invest my money and generate wealth. I have some buying objectives such as I want to buy a house and buy a scooty for my sister, have a new laptop. I also want to have sufficient money to donate to my favorite charities and NGOs. Save money
How to do this
• Meet a financial planner and chalk out the best investment plan.
• Keep track of all personal expenses. Currently, I can not tell you how much I need to sustain myself for a month. Restrict my expenditure to minimum essential.
• Learn and dabble in stocks, funds and IPOs.

3. Blog regularly. I write at four blogs, and am irregular on all four these days.
How to do this
• Create a weekly plan for blogging. A designated day for each of the blogs including team blogs. Write more
• Write more this year. Whenever I have an idea in mind, I should get to writing rather than stacking the thought away in notepad and WordPress drafts.
• Burn regular summary feeds on subsequent blogs as well as my blogger Blog portfolio.

4. Add more pages to my blog. It has been long time that I wanted to add two pages on my blog: Links that will list useful links in various genres and We Need a Big Change, a page that lists all my articles in the series.
How to do thisBday Cake
• Simply add pages by end of February. Why February? Because it is month of my birthday as well as my blog’s birthday.

5. Complete Saturday to-do tasks. These are the personal tasks that have to be done on Saturday when I have chutti and also a day various other offices are open. These tasks include like collect my graduation degree, withdraw PF from my last employer. You can imagine how lazy I am if I have not collected my graduation degree yet.
How to do this
• Paste a Post-it on mirror in my room listing the tasks to be done. Post-it
• Plan and create reminders each Friday to determine what task to finish on Saturday.
• Scour all relevant offices for first two months on priority to get all my work done.
• Delegate tasks to friends who can manage these with ease.

6. Take stock of my life. Clearly think my personal objectives in every sphere: finance, family, work, health, social responsibility.
How to do this
• Introspect and create an action plan.
• Implement the action plan.

What are your new year resolutions?

Interview with Consumer Rights Activist-Amit: Part 2

In the last part of the interview, Amit recounted his experience of fighting a consumer court case on MRP overcharging. In this part of the interview, Amit talks about being vigilant when signing a contract and other common issues such as overcharging by autorickshaws:

You have several times written in frustration on lack of awareness about rights. How do you think awareness could help the cause of consumer rights?

First, people might not understand this, but we are agreeing to contracts everyday, throughput our lives, as “consumers”. People think that contracts are fancy legal documents, written by lawyers, prepared on matters of grave importance. But that’s not true. Contract law deals with every transaction that we make in the marketplace, and as consumers we enter into what is called implied contracts. Which by the way, have the same legal sanctity as express contracts. Whether we buy goods or services, as consumers we are using contract law all the time. Therefore, it is imperative that we have knowledge and awareness of what each contract implies or expressly states.

Continue reading ‘Interview with Consumer Rights Activist-Amit: Part 2’

Interview with Consumer Rights Champion-Amit: Part 1

jaago grahak jaago logo

Today’s guest on Visceral Observations is Amit, a hardware engineer by profession. He is like us, yet more special. Because he is a concerned citizen who recently took cudgels for a consumer rights issue and won a case. Lets hear in first person about his experience at the consumer courts.

Hi Amit, Welcome to Visceral Observations!

Congratulations for winning the battle against MRP overcharging! 🙂 What was the problem you faced with vendor that led you to file a case in the consumer court?

I am a frequent flyer and fly through various domestic and international airports. It gets my gall to see the rampant overcharging that snack bars/small food outlets indulge in, with flagrant disregard to laws and rules.

Continue reading ‘Interview with Consumer Rights Champion-Amit: Part 1’

Happy New Year!

I have not been able blog for a while now. I was on a trip to Goa and Mumbai. Candolim beach goa

It was fun. I will write about it soon. 🙂 Hope all you guys there celebrated new year eve with gusto.

Before I move on to write new posts of the year, I need to thank Ashish again for two (actually three) deeds.

Continue reading ‘Happy New Year!’


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