Coucou! Ca va?
A simple 2D vector space to echo my N-dimenisonal thoughts about M-different things in P-different ways.

By Murali


So many things around us seem to be successful because of hype, ain't it?
And these things continue to happen.

Take facebook, twitter, the iphone, iPad, Dhoni, the IPL, the Old spice commercial - are these products really successful because they delivered. Partially yes, without a doubt. But for these entities to revolve around your life everyday is something we ourselves have caused, I suppose.

Let's take facebook. I did not even have an account on Facebook(FB) a few months back. I used to use other social networking sites to occasionally get in touch with my friends. Now, everyone talks only of FB. So, I was forced to login to FB and I see that as the only way to connect with my friends and near ones. So, would I be able to stay away from FB even I wanted to - I doubt it. Just the hype around the product is possibly causing everyone to create an account as if no other social networking site ever existed. Even worse, there was a movie made on it - luckily it did not shine at the Oscars. Products like Orkut, Ibibo, mySpace, etc are not even respected(most of us do not even know about these sites) - well because they are not too hyped. I still do not have a twitter account, but wondering how long I can stay away from that. Social media is a big thing, no doubt - but still most of the companies are only embracing FB due to the number of registered users.

Ditto with IPL. The months of April and May are really horrendous. IPL is simply the business interest of 10 people(read as owners) plus BCCI and Lalit Modi( luckily this bureaucrat(or autocrat?) is no longer in control). Every lunch or coffee discussion revolves around IPL for no good reason. In fact, I see that no one really cares about who wins - there is no bangalore/chennai loyalist in most of the cases. It's just the hype around the whole product that has generated so much buzz. So much of buzz that is has actually killed other forms of cricket. Why? - All becoz' the BCCI wanted to make more money.

Is the iPad the best thing that happened in the world. We all know the answer. But why was it so successful - all becoz' of the hype/buzz.

The Old spice commercial(The Man Your Man Could Smell Like) was possibly the dumbest ad I have ever seen. At least, I do not find the commericial any bit funny. Just check the number of YouTube hits and the increase in Old Spice sales that it caused.

So, is this the new marketing paradigm - remains to be seen!


By Murali

What's with the resignation?

2010 was the year of resignations, wasn't it ?
Theorem : I do not accept blame even if I am caught red-handed.
Corollary : I resign!
This was the norm starting for most of our 'beloved' politicians in 2010.

Shashi Tharoor was caught in the IPL web and paid the price for being too candid in Twitter. He resigned!

N.D Tiwari was caught doing the act. He resigned!

Ashok Chavan was blamed for the Adarsh scam. He resigned!

Suresh Kalmadi was caught for the CWG corruption. He resigned!

Raja - the '2G king' and I say no more!. He too resigned!!!

What I fail to understand is the rationale behind these decisions. I would assume that resigning means accepting culpability and if that is the case, why is the law not taking its course against these 'gentlemen'. May be the definition of democracy has fundamentally changed to absolve such individuals of crime since they have 'resigned' :p :p.

Sounds like an easy ticket out of hell while we confused denizens are in limbo not knowing whom to vote for. Do we 'resign' to this fact?


By Murali

11 Months Later

Realized my last post was in Apr 09. So, what was I upto ?

Well, was busy at work. Know that this is equivalent to saying that 'it snowed heavily in bangalore'. I leave you to interpret the first statement while I stand 'strongly' by what it means :-)

Also, I went on a 'paid vacation' to Austin / Seattle (read as business trip). After finishing off my 'business' in Austin, I headed to Seattle to catch up with my wingies. Was lot of fun as we caught up with everlasting memories of good-old BITSian days.

In a way, the US trip was a 'strange' experience for me. People understood the language I spoke. Having spent a good amount of time in Europe, I had to often use sign language(except in France) to make people understand what I was trying to convey to them either in a restaurant, or a mall, etc etc. Brings to memory a unique incident when I went to Andorra ( a small country between France and Spain) a few years ago - my friend wanted to buy a camera, he tells me in English as to what he wants; I then speak to someone in French as to what my friend wants; she finally speaks to the sales lady in Catalan( or some equivalent) and tells her what we want. My friend eventually did purchase the camera - so, such 4-way communications do work, ain't it ? :-)

Purchased the 'Wii' for my friend and have been a fan of this ever since. My friend and I fight it out in tennis - note that he always wins though I call it a 'fight' :-). I've never been any sort of an avid gamer, but with Wii, I guess I've changed!

Pics of my Seattle trip :
Seattle - Dec 09


By Murali

Day out in Moscow

Tried exploring Moscow over the weekend and to my own suprise - I was successful. Took inputs from my colleagues about the Moscow metro and though, I didn't understand the cyrillic characters, I still managed to find my way through.

For the intial few mins, was having agarophobia. Was unable to decipher the cyrillic names. However, with the help of the locals, I got into the correct trains. Put myself on two tours

- Kremlin tour - takes you inside Kremlin and

- The City tour - bus ride which takes you around the city.

Both tours were very good. Moscow center is gorgeous and full of rich history. Apparently, the wedding season in Moscow starts after the 40 days fast for Lent (which is now - also Russians celebrate Easter(orthodox Easter) one week after the 'regular' easter), so, saw brides/grooms in weddding costumes all over Moscow - be it the Red Square, Victory Park, Moscow University, wherever! Weddings, I am told, happens only on weekends and sometimes, around 1500 newly wed come to the Red Square over the weekend. Apparently, the first Sunday after Easter is called 'Krasnaya Gorka' in Russia - a day that promises, according to the Russians, an eternal bond of matrimony.

Photo links :

Moscow - Apr '09


By Murali

Well, that is how Moscow is written in Russian and pronounced 'Moskva'. That's the learning in my first week here at Moscow. Thanks to cyrillic/english character comparison in Moscow guides. Yet to explore the place - would be doing so this weekend.

Sometimes, I can't help but feel that it's a 'Truman show' happening here for me at Moscow. Wake up at the same time, have the same breakfast ( not too many veg options) - infact, when I call 'Room service' the lady says ' Oh yes sir, I know what you'll have for breakfast', have a pick up taxi at 11 (most of the times its the same taxi driver), pass by the hotel receptionist who says the customary "Good morning", try to engage in some conversation with the taxi driver, keep looking out of the taxi window trying to identify the way(though we always take the same route, I always tend to find it new everyday), say hi to the russian colleagues, go for lunch at 15h00 sharp and have the same dish (again very few veggie options), try to engage in conversations with the russians colleagues, have a taxi back at 8, hot shower in the evening, have the same dinner(no more mentioning about the kinda food I get) , watch CNN and eurosport(watch the Sheffield Snooker championship) on TV ( only english channels) till about 12 in the night and hit the bed - AND this over and again for 5 consecutive days. Woah - the story of my life in the past week.

Nevertheless, with the weather getting better - from 2deg C few days back, it has gone up to 12 deg C today. Expected to go to 20 on Monday. Can I ask for anythign better?Also, I've booked myself on a Kremlin tour for the weekend. So, looking forward to it. Will have to see how many times I miss my way in the Metros. My cyrillic learning has still not been that quick. Though I've taken a lot of guidance and tips from my colleagues, it remains to be seen as to how I put them all into action and execute them :-)

Some interesting facts about Russia :
- The country has 9 timezones
- There is a train from Moscow to Biejing that has a 6-day journey time.
- There is another train which goes all over Russia and takes 7 days.


By Murali

On a 'business' jaunt to Moscow for 2 weeks. Remains to be seen how the next two weeks pass by.
Have the following weeks to see the place. Luckily the weather is not bad 10 deg in the morning and around 0 deg C in the nights. Apparently, my hotel is in the middle of the city and so, all the good locations are nearby. Normally, I plan out what to do in such trips. Having come alone, am yet to look up even a Moscow map.


By Murali

More travel..
After moving to B'lore, I've been hitting the roads pretty often. Karnataka is a good place for tourism, especially after I've been hunting for good spots in zero-tourist-locations-in-AP. December - had been to Chikmagallur and in Jan - to Coorg/Nagerhole.
Chikmagallur, a small town overlooking the western ghats, is a calm and serene place and good for a weekend trip. We climbed up mountain peaks, drove through coffee plantations (ofcourse had lovely coffee) and basked in the lakes. First ever time I actually got to see a coffee plant and also got to know a little bit about the coffee history. The best part of the trip was the homestay we stayed in ( - again a first time experience for me(in an Indian homestay). Food was great as was the hospitality of the hosts.

Coorg - most of us would consider this name synonymous to coffee - lives up true to its name. You see coffee plantations all over. We stayed in a 'jungle resort' ( in the thick Nagerhole jungles. No lights in the night - evenings, the lights would be turned on for a couple of hours using the generator. We slept in tents and nights were pitch-dark with only the stars emanating some light. Ofcourse, we did hear the scary noises of who-knows-which-creature in the nights. Food - we were pampered with too many sinful-starters and great food. Add bonfire to this - was a fantabulous experience. After a couple of days in the jungle, we got in touch with mankind again. Drove to Talacauvery - was very disappointing. This place is supposed to be origin of river Cauvery - ironically though, there is no river/fall or source. Apparently, there is a small pond, which is considered to be the source. History has it that a natural spring here feeds water to Cauvery constantly. Drive from there towards B'lore and you'll hit KushalNagar. This place has a 'Golden Buddisht Temple' - lovely temple. Everyone who goes to Coorg does visit this place.

Overall, both these trip were rejevunating and coffee-licious :-) Attaching a few snaps .....
Buddhist temple - Kushal Nagar

Lovely tea estates - the only one is 'coffee' Coorg

Our jungle resort

Muliyangiri peak - Chikmagalur

Coffee - raw and ripe - unlike the usual hot and cold ;)

Lake placid in Chikmagalur


By Murali

Adios 2008!
Whoa! We finally did bid 'good'(or was it?) bye to 2008. 2008 was as bad as it was good. So much for the news channels to increase their TRPs - 'BREAKING NEWS' was the default marquee on most of the news channel all thru' 2009.

Not looking at the worst(we've had enough of that), let me pen down what I thought were the best sporting moments of 2008 :
- Topping the list was UNDOUBTEDLY the riveting five-setter between Federer and Nadal at Wimbeldon '08. Phew! What a match. I guess my blood pressure would have varied the most during this 5 hour period. For those of you who had seen this, 'THAT BACKHAND WINNER'(from Federer) to save a matchpoint in the fourth set will be etched in memory for ever.
- Bindra winning the olympic gold - no doubts there
- India riding on Sachin's ton to chase at Chennai
- SA halting the Australian juggernaut at Perth

For me personally, I moved from Hyd to Bangalore and that was, by far, the 'best' thing that happened to me in 2008 :-)

After all, life moves on and let's see what 2009 has in store for us. Hopefully, we hear a lot lesser of 'crisis', 'layoffs', 'bailouts' and 'downturns'.


By Murali

Quoi de neuf?
Well.. whats new? Few months into b'lore and am already having more fun than I thought I
would. Couple of road trips to Mysore, one to Nandi Hills, one to Chennai and a couple of mountain drives in the near future. What more could I ask for ?

Also learnt poker - now, I am looking for a Casino Royale DVD :p - didn't understand anything when I first watched the movie.(Ill)Luck is always with me and my bets are always bad, but atleast, I understand the game now.

Bought a new guitar finally - apparently I am getting better at it - and who said this?- my instructor (he is really being nice to me, isn't he ?). My wife is using more impenetrable ear blocks now, while I play.

Baddy - oh yes.. how did I forget this? I am a frequent visitor to a badminton club nearby. Really good work out this. Let me see how long this continues :p :p

Went to this place called 'Infinitea'(the menu here had more teas than I could ever imagine) - oh wow, the teas here are 'tealicious'. Should have another go at this one shortly.


By Murali

Bored to B'lored

Just when I was settling down in Hyd, I realised it wasn't to be. Moved to b'lore recently.And why not? Yet another new city. Yet another new place to explore. Boon in one way, bane in another way. The question that I frequented most was - Why Bangalore??????????? Well aware of the traffic situation(read as chaos and pollution on streets), I did take the bold decision of relocating to b'lore.

To my suprise, I guess the city is NOT as horrendous as I had expected. No wonder the traffic situation is bad. But then, the 'quality' of life is certain better. Hyd does get boring after sometime.. But I guess theres a lot more to explore here. Oh well.. No more telugu movies, music and radio.. Well, atleast for that, I am glad I am outta Hyd :-)

So, as I convince myself of the positives(read as overlooking the obvious painpoints) of B'lore, let me hope that this stint in b'lore would be pleasurable ;-)


By Murali

After 6 months of 'thoughtless' deliberation, I managed to go on a road trip. Srisailam was the destination. The route was reasonably picturesque and I enjoyed my first 'long car drive' in India. Was a good experience. We were a group of 10 and that added to the fun. The weather was the 'sad' part as the Sun was relentless on us. After visiting the Shiva temple, we took a rope way to descend down to the Krishna to hitch a boat ride. We repentedthe decision soon after as we roasted 'high and dry' in this process.

If that was not all with the driving, a couple of days later, we drove down to Chennai from Hyd. That was ONE lonnnnnnnnnng journey. The 730 km route took us about 13 hours (on a SANTRO) to complete. Went thru' the 'mango towns' in AP. So, had a chance to stop for some fresh-out-of-tree-mangoes - indeed was the most 'relishing' part of the journey :-)