Thursday, March 19, 2009

Trying out graph jam....

The Impossible Trinity, also known as the Inconsistent Trinity, Triangle of Inconsistency or the Unholy trinity is a theory in international economics saying its not ordinarily possible to have all the three of the following at the same time...

A Fixed Exchange Rate regime

An independent monetary policy and

Total Convertibility (both capital and current)

In the original model proposed by Robert Mundell and Marcus Flemming, no country could aim to achieve all the three of the above simultaneously and it would have to necessarily focus on two of them and leave out the third to the mercies of the powers that be....

In the current recessionary madness the same could be said of the placements in B-Schools.
And this analogy was thought out by me and me alone... (too many people are claiming for this, I hear. I should write a paper on this maybe.

Saturday, October 25, 2008


I had a craving this morning, to watch a full-masala, no holds barred, dumb than dumber movie, in a theater. And KayKay was around as well. My immediate idea was to watch Karzzzzzzz.... I knew it could easily become torturous, given the kind of people they have as protagonists. I mean, I'm not racist and all, but how can you have a gujju hero? that too one with a punctured vocal chord that forces him to speak, nay sing with his mouth? So to my mind, it was a sure fire candidate to laugh my head off all the pressures at work over the last week. But KayKay was dead against it. He gave me a look which confirmed that he believed such movies could lead to parietal brain damage, and untwisting of the chiasmata of neural nerves in there.
And I chanced upon this ad of Aegan, playing at Arora. It's been ages since I went to Arora and a Thala movie sounded very promising... given the last few of his movies, including varalaru etc...
My immediate reaction was to call Kums, given that he's a walking movie encyclopedia and also big time Ajith fan. He was thrilled to pieces and agreed to come over with Krishna who was equally thrilled, despite the innumerable threats and conditions of not abusing us half way through the movie.
So off we went to Matunga, after gobbling up lunch. Now Arora is a one of its kind-remnant, a standalone theater, in this age of ultra-luxe suits and super clear surround sound multiplexes. A wave of nostalgia overcame me... with the smell of burnt cigarette butts and cutting tea around. I was transported to another time, some 6-8 years back... watching Speed, on the first row,with Shank in the stall, in PerinbaVilas theater in Tirunelveli. Those were the days of 10 rupee tickets, special queues for women, black tickets...
Well the movie turned out to be alright... not as bad as I expected it to be... It's a remake of Main Hoon Na.. but given my hatred for SRK and the Yashraj types in general, I didn't watch that one. So this one was pretty ok. But it carried the same thread of arbitrariness that was seen in Pachai Kili... and in Dasavatharam (to a very a large extent..) I'm kinda tired of parallel story lines now.

Well as for the movie itself, a bad villain, the heroine, 9-star, who just keeps jumping out of one bikini top- chiffon saree combo, some good actors wasted in bad roles (Suhasini, Jayaram, Haneef) all typical potboiler stuff... what I was really thirsting for actually. Ajit doesn't overact thankfully, but the two other characters (Navdeep and some hazel-eyed noodle haired guy) do very badly. Nayan is very good eye candy, better than Vallavan even, and no I'm not complaining. The music though jarring, is interesting. It's got a coupla RnB beats, a jazz song (thats the flavour for the season btw, ever since Sillenru Oru Kaadhal), a rock one (with Thala trying to do a Michael Jackson...and failing). Yuvan proves again, that he can consistently surprise us with his variety.
The direction is third rate, dialogues are bad too... and the villain is downright irritating (too much over-acting actually). Thankfully, the end is super crisp like a Dharani movie... one fight and thats the end. No preachy stuff etc...
The best part of the movie is when everyone keeps teasing Thala as a student... and he retorts... adhaan thoppai irukkunnu otthunden la... aala vidungalen

By the way, I was stunned to see a huge group of Ajit fans wearing a Red T-shirt (a reference to his movie 'Red') and hooting for every punch dialog. Well there were actually pretty few :(
I enjoyed the hooting though.. and I joined those guys some times... felt like being back in movie-mad TN again.
Apparently Aegan means unique and is another name of Lord Shiva. The movie doesn't suggest either of that in any way though.
I came back home feeling satisfied that I didn't waste a 200 buck on some brain-hurting movie.
Amen to that.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Sampoorna Kranti!

No, I didn't go to the IIT, not any of them... except for giving the entrance exam.
Here comes their WTF moment!!
And if you don't find them sexist enough, read this, this and this.

the news was sent by an IITan friend no less ;)

So all those who wanna learn Kili Josiyam from the best parrot brains in the country, you know whom to marry (thanks, but no thanks). In the process, you might become sampoorna as well, for it says, while your better half "chooses to inspire, innovate and transform, here is an exclusive track designed to keep Spouses and Families completely informed and entertained". Consider this one of the million small mercies the IITians continue throwing down upon us.

Saturday, October 04, 2008


Another one of those pondering that afflicted me at work...
Will the ongoing Wall St. crisis be a precursor for another baby boom? And if there is one, will the children born in this boom send the average IQ levels of America shooting?
Historically, a baby boom has followed every documented state of general national distress... yeah, we've never bothered to check it in India since the common man in urban India here leads nothing short of a war-like existence on a daily basis, but in the US of A, be it a World War-II, the Viet or even the recent 9/11 strikes, they have always managed to overcome the realities through their enhanced productivity. Talk of more bang for the buck! That's possibly their way of handling stress (why should our's be any different? Possibly there is no reason, but since our fledgling National Statistic Commission has far more important lists to manage (see Inflation, CPI, WPI, GDP, OBC population, creamy layer, the works), I shall restrict myself to verifiable sources of information.)
Hence, given that jobless claims are at an all time high, and Wall Street is now underwater, there should be another spike in the US and UK census statistic. At the surface of it though, it seems highly irrational that when people don't know the whereabouts of their next few months' meals, they would want to bring in another mouth to feed.
Assuming rational investor behaviour then, (pun intended) the latex companies should be looking to ramp up scale and ad-spends, which would be a stroke of sunshine in an otherwise gloomy economy.Yeah, literally making out in the hay while the sun shines!! Would this crisis give a fillip to the prostitution and adult porn industry? Hey, but when did that industry go out of business anyway? Isn't Hugh Hefner the one who's been holding the US out along with Berkshire Hathaway and Henry Paulson?
Anyways, the ramblings gave rise to two questions... the answers to which I don't have a clue about.
1) Why do crises lead to increased sexual activity in a nation? This is what the researchers in the US have to say.
Is it because of the pervading sense of insecurity which the bedsheets cover up pretty well? Or is it because sex is possibly the cheapest (at the face of it at least, if you are willing to consider the begging / pleading costs sunk) and most assured form of entertainment for the public at large?

2) Will the average IQ of the populace increase, given that the people afflicted most are investor bankers and the allied financial types who are typically a Wharton, a MIT-Sloan, a Kellogg or an IIT-IIM, or will the law of averages hold good here as well?

And while pondering, pray about our placements as well!

overheard in the pantry when LB failed...

N: thank god! I didn' t join them despite their offering me XYZ
A: and thanks again! they didn't take me despite my most desperate efforts!

Talk of black swans ; one man's incompetence could be another man's doom!

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Here I go!

"Agar aapko mera kaam accha lagta hai... aur woh gora bhi yehi samajhta hai... toh us gorey ke liye kaam kyu karoon?
Khud ke liye karoonga!!"

- Guru Bhai

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Suggest a book...

Though my reading has gone for a toss thanks to endless streams of assignments and projects, the following are a few books I've managed to read in the following months. They are strictly unrelated to business, strategy, management, finance and the works... (those don't count anyway)

Shadow of the wind
Catch 22
The alchemy of desire
vertigo (uggh...)
Joker in the pack (uggh... uggh...)
The hitchiker's guide to the galaxy (and the three other books that follow)
Sea of Poppies
Fight Club
Vernon God Little

(books in the pipeline... a brave new world, 1984 (reread), Choke, the curious incident of the dog in the night time

I am thirsting for a good book which is not dark, sinister, nihilistic, fatalistic, slap-stick, chick/cock-lit, preachy (please not the paulo coelho / robin sharma types) etc...
can i have a simple and light book (an equivalent of 'Little miss sunshine') which is not trash??

Help Help!

Saturday, September 13, 2008


I've been through the motions of the infamous placement procedure in an Indian B-School, for the internship - which is a farce in more than 90% of the cases. Most companies come to campuses to either trap prospective employees by giving them a PPO etc. and a few come to outsource work which they deem unworthy of their employees (a case in point: one of the world’s largest software companies). Anyway, yours truly had a fairly unmemorable internship placement routine what with no companies wanting to shortlist a mechanical engineer who hasn’t taken Investment Banking as an elective and I took up the first one which came my way. But that opened the gates to another psychologically draining experience called tanking.

tank -
1. a large receptacle, container, or structure for holding a liquid or gas: tanks for storing oil.
2. Military. an armored, self-propelled combat vehicle, armed with cannon and machine guns and moving on a caterpillar tread
3. go in the tank, Boxing Slang. to go through the motions of a match but deliberately lose because of an illicit prearrangement or fix; throw a fight.

In the interest of all those who had not been placed, the others were to go in to an interview and convince the panel that the best candidates were the others. Early morning, on the D-Day, the first company was an Ing-Bank, a rarity nowadays, given the way Lehmann is sinking and threatening to take Merrill along. The fact that I am the first candidate makes the work doubly troublesome, as I can’t fuck up badly, which would damage the whole process. So in I go, and speak for half an hour, weaving stories about my life, the city of Mumbai, the Indian Power Sector, NTPC: the guy is visibly impressed till I drop the bomb: Sir, I want to work in a ‘proper’ company, learn the ropes in corporate finance and then join an I- Bank. The guy’s face shrank a few inches... But he was cordial and all and wished me well (I was sure he must be cursing my intelligence or the lack of it thereof under his breath)… but nevertheless

Next in line was a young consulting company, who wanted to meet me, despite the fact that my name was not in the shortlist. And in there I met one of the most enlightened souls, who knew about my previous work experience and he grilled me on the whole thing… actually which was a piece of cake. And then the same stuff about Mumbai and what you’ve been doing (heavens! If I knew that, what would I be doing in this muck?)… till it was time to drop the bomb… The guy asks me: so where would you like to join us? (gawd… did I really speak that long?) and then I go into a drawl… why I would like to join a bank and learn finance before joining consulting blah blah and more blah…

There were a few more over the course of the day, and then came the GD, in a world famous indemnity company. There was me, Amu and ambiga seated next to one other, and a few more guys: to push 4 out of 12 into the interview. The topic was “will twenty-20 replace one day cricket?” ; another reason for hating the shorter format of the game. In the end, it was the most focused GD that could be seen on earth, with each one of us (the tankers) avoiding eye contact with the rest of the world, speaking the same thing time and again, and overacting, (remember the scene in Munnabhai when Sunil Dutt comes visiting his son in the hospital?).

Opening Statement: One day cricket didn’t replace Test cricket and same will be the case with T20. I repeat the same three more times in the GD. The panelist asked me to summarize: Kerry Packer couldn’t end Test cricket and neither will Lalit Modi. It’s a different issue that I don’t care a hair what happens to Modi or his sycophantic tranche.

So drained I was by the whole thing that I refused to participate the next day, for two more I banks who wanted to see me… to hell with them, there’s only so much I can lie.

(This writer’s block is racking my nerves for a few months now and hence the dullness)