Monday, February 23, 2009

My heart is so small
it's almost invisible.
How can You place
such big sorrows in it?

"Look," He answered,
"your eyes are even smaller,
yet they behold the world."

~ Rumi ~

The recession seems to have spawned off the comic industry...laugh while you can (still afford to)...

Ali Baba and the forty thieves are now Ali Baba and the thirty thieves. Ten were laid off (only 10??)

Batman and Robin are now Batman and Pedro. Batman fired Robin and hired Pedro because Pedro was willing to work twice the hours at the same rate

Iron man now "air-pooling" with Superman to save fuel costs.

Women finally marrying for love, and not money

Q: With the current market turmoil, what's the easiest way to make a small fortune?
A: Start off with a large one.

The credit crunch is getting bad isn't it? I mean, I let my brother borrow $10 a couple of weeks back, it turns out I'm now America's third biggest lender.

Q: Why have Dubai real estate agents stopped looking out of the window in the morning?
A: Because otherwise they'd have nothing to do in the afternoon.

Q: What's the difference between an American and a Zimbabwean ?
A: In a few weeks, nothing really.

Dow Jones is re-branded as "Down Jones".

Friday, February 20, 2009

Feel the Force of Labeling someone

(From my archives:an article from The Sunday Times, CAT)

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, Luke Skywalker gained the ultimate form of compliance: he persuaded Darth Vader to turn against the evil emperor, saving his own life and restoring hope and peace to the galaxy. What social-influence principle did he use to secure this compliance, and how can that principle be used to help your attempts to be a major Force in your industry?

The movie Return of the Jedi, the final part of the Star Wars series, includes a scene in which Luke Skywalker turns to Darth Vader and says, "I know there's still good in you. There's good in you, I can sense it". Is it possible that these simple words could have persuaded Vader to come over to the Light Side? If we look at social psychological research, the answer appears to be yes.

The strategy demonstrated in these words, known as the labeling technique, involves assigning a trait, attitude, belief or other label to a person, then making a request of that person that is consistent with the label.

In an effective demonstration of this strategy, two researchers, Alice Tybout and Richard Yelch, showed how the labeling technique could be used to increase the likelihood that people would vote on an election day. They interviewed a large number of potential voters and randomly told half of them that, based on their responses, they could be characterised as "above-average citizens likely to vote and participate in political events". The other half of the interviewees were informed that they could be characterised as "about average" in terms of these interests, beliefs and behaviours. Those respondents labeled as good citizens and having a high likelihood of voting not only came to see themselves as better citizens than those labeled as average, but were also 15 per cent more likely to vote in an election held a week later.

Of course, the labeling technique isn't limited to political domains. There are a number of ways in which you can use this technique in your business dealings and other interactions. For example, let's say that someone in your work team is struggling with a particular project that you have asked him to manage. Perhaps this team member is losing confidence in his ability to provide what the project requires.

A useful approach, assuming that you still believe him to be capable of the task, would be to remind him how hard-working and persevering he is. You should even point out examples of previous times when he has triumphed over similar challenges and delivered successfully.

Teachers, trainers and parents can apply this labelling strategy to sculpt desired behaviours by pointing out to their audience that they regard them as just the type of person who would thrive when given this sort of challenge.

Random Thoughts

The trouble about trying to make yourself stupider than you really are is that you very often succeed.

There's no such thing as a stupid question, just the idiot that asked it.

History often repeats itself, just to rub it in.

Life may not be the party we hoped for, but while we are here we might as well dance.

The truth will set you free, but first it will piss you off.

Studies show that married men live longer than unmarried men. Most married men say it just feels longer.

Moses wandered in the desert for 40 years. Because he did not ask for directions.

Adam and Eve were the luckiest and happiest couple in the world because neither of them had a mother-in-law.

Women use silence to punish men. But men love silence.

There are two theories to arguing with women. Neither one works.

A sociological study has verified that a woman's ultimate fantasy is having two men at once. In this fantasy, one man is cooking, the other is cleaning.

Men love the Renaissance period of art - and it has nothing to do with all those statues and paintings of naked women. Honest.

A woman wants a man who is soft, caring, understanding and will communicate, but is also strong, rugged and married. But she can't have him. He's already got a boyfriend.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

The Key to Buzzwords.

At the End of the Day: Can be taken literally; suggests that the speaker is stalling for time so that he or she can come up with a better answer.

Blamestorming: Similar to brainstorming, comes only after things have gone wrong rather than before. Mostly an a***-covering tool.

Blue-sky Thinking: You've heard of thinking outside the box? Well, this is thinking even further outside an even bigger box.

Boiling the Ocean: Attempting an overly ambitious task. Related to reinventing the wheel, only without the unfortunate Stone-Age connotations.

Buzzword-compliant: any document containing enough buzzwords to get corporate approval.

Bozo Explosion: "The large number of inept employees that a company ends up with when it hires an incompetent executive, who in turn hires incompetent managers, who then hire incompetent workers," says

Cactus Job: "A bad, degrading, perhaps dull assignment, especially one perceived to be beneath perceived skillset," says Martin Kihn in House of Lies .

Circling the Drain: what a bad idea does before it ends up in the sewer where it belongs.

Cockroach Problem: "A problem that is bigger than it initially appears." (wordspy)

Cook: Kihn insists that this means finish rather than falsify. Should be used with care; telling a client you're off to cook the figures could create overly high expectations.

Core Competences: "A thing you can do," Kihn says. See, sounds much more valuable in jargon.

Drink the Kool-Aid: "To accept an argument or philosophy wholeheartedly or blindly." (wordspy)

Intellectual Capital: Things that people know. Not to be confused with, say, Sartre-era Paris.

Learning Opportunity: A mistake.

MBWA: Management by walking around. It may look as if your boss is aimlessly wandering through the halls, but give it an acronym and it becomes a management technique.

Mushroom Management: Keeping people in the dark and feeding them manure.

Opening the Kimono: Flashing your accounts (or other hidden thing) around for inspection.

Professional Development Opportunity: A nightmare project that no one else wants.

Proactive: Even better than active; getting your oar in first. Helpful when blamestorming.

Put some Pants on it: "To fill in the missing details on an idea or concept." (wordspy)

Think outside the Box: I can't think of a new bit of jargon but that doesn't let you off the hook.

Throw it over the Wall: Ditching a problem by passing it on without asking or co-ordinating the transfer (wordspy).

Wheelbarrow Culture: One where people will work only when they are pushed.

New Math,Nostalgia and Uncyclopedia

(Click Picture to see more of New Math)

The Good ol' Times for Technology ;-)

Are you a Fan of Wikipedia? ;-),

Then a visit to UNCYCLOPEDIA is essential "pilgrimage"!


Oh Mom!

"Postcards From Yo Momma is one of those Web sites that makes you slap your forehead and say, "Why didn't I think of that?" It's such a simple idea: invite people to submit unintentionally funny, and sometimes sweet, e-mails from their mothers. You know the ones--the naggy notes, the worried pleas, the guilt-grams, the ALL CAPS missives, the technologically panicked cries for help and the e-mails from moms who compulsively forward dire health warnings to their kids. (Munchausen's by Internet anyone?)

"Call me. I suffer," writes one mom.

And another: "tell me about face book. do you have a page on it? can anyone look at your page? I am worried about this type of thing."

Then there's the short, but direct variety: "std's are on the rise. love, mom."

These are the kinds of e-mails that a lot of us already forward to our friends for their amusement. In fact, that's how the two women who started the blog came up with the project. Doree Shafrir and Jessica Grose, both young journalists and bloggers in New York City, had been exchanging their own mom mail when, at the end of March, they decided to solicit material from the public in a blog. "We put up the site in five minutes," says Shafrir."

(For the rest of their story go here.)

"Here are excerpts of some of our favorite e-mails and IMs submitted to the site:

Mom: hi kid. on the way to jumble java, i started crying. the kids are moving in to the dorms today and i saw a dad hugging his daughter goodbye and i lost it. that feeling never goes away.
Me: don't be lame, mom
Mom: i hope i live long enough to see you experience the same feeling. and i'm not lame.
Me: well at the rate i'm going, i doubt you'll be around to see my kids go to college. even if i do have some, they'll have three heads because i won't have them until i'm 50.
Mom: well then it will be three times as hard to say goodbye
me: mother?
mom: Hey Jenname: Look at you on Gmail! How did this happen?
me: How did what happen?
mom: How did you know I was on Gmail?
me: I am something of a genius, mom.
Me: Do you read my blog? I can track who is reading it and I think you may be. Me no likey mother.
Mom: What's a blag?
Me: It is a sin to lie. Don't play coy with me!! Are you reading my "online journal"?
Mom: I barely have time to call you! I don't know how to do my space or whatever it is. You may recall that when I asked you about how it worked, you never showed me."

My Mantra for the Day,Month,Year,Life......

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Bangalore Shining????

I cannot believe that this is the city that I lived in (and not particularly loved) just some 4 years back!

What/Who will "arrest" the proliferation of these social retards? A rhetorical question!

As an aside,I have on several occasions outside of blogosphere, expressed that the Police force be considered as an entity worthy of being treated somewhat on the lines of the Indian Armed forces.....the benefits would translate in reduction in corruption , greater work ethics by the policeman on the street and an image face lift which is sorely required!

Monday, February 16, 2009

A talk with T2 (not to be confused with R2-D2 :-))

A friend persuaded me to attend a book reading session by Tarun Tejpal, editor-in-chief and publisher of Tehelka, post the launch of his latest tale "The Story of my Assassins".

So Friday the 13th (:-), not as ominous as it may seem) late evening saw me at Landmark, Pune wondering what would be the tenor of this session but braced myself with enticing option of going on a book buying spree just in case….. so…. Here goes what little I can regurgitate and apologies as the narrative is not all chronological and not comprehensive.

After the customary welcome (gushing by the host) and a few warm up questions about his earlier opus, Tarun Tejpal launched on the incident which inspired him to forge the story…borne out of internal inquisition that perhaps the life of the assassin was of more value than that of the person he was hired to extinguish?!

(I have not yet gone through the book nor have I read any reviews so I will desist commenting on the intricacies of the book.)

Following this was a short reading from his book, which seemed to exhibit a brutal candor while etching out his characters and their chronicle.

There was the
expected Q&A spanning from his writing modus to Indian politics/politicians to who his target audience were to how he disentangles his role as a “hard facts” journalist from that of a creative fiction writer to Mayawati epitomizing the dalit aspiration - a potential P.M. no less (I object on the basis of a "label" and not qualification being the criterion!) to how the media should review what should be the focus of their reportage to what was ailing our society to how we as ordinary citizens can bring out the change we seek to see .

Throughout the Q&A, the motif of his response was “empathy”; the masses become cognizant of and sensitive to their environment only then will our polity, our society transmute into a more conscientious entity.

The tail piece was the book signing….I waited in line for my turn. Finally face to face, while the flourish of his pen inscribed his best wishes on my copy, I went on to say. “A group of us have ventured beyond the stage of empathy. We have launched an online initiative.”…a brief pause from my end and he looked up at me and asked me what the website featured. A one liner response from me described what aimed to achieve. He ended this 1-1 with a, “send me a mail about this website”,hopefully suitably piqued (am I being too optimistic!) and off I went.

While making the payment at the cash counter, there comes this mid aged lady who was apparently at the book reading . She said that she had overhead me speak to Tarun Tejpal about Never Forget and said ever since she read the piece in Pune Mirror, she was very keen to make contact with the team. She very enthusiastically commended our work , declared that this was the need of the hour and went off with my telephone number.

Not a bad day after all,eh!!


Dancing cheek-to-cheek is really a form of floor play.

A man's home is his castle, in a manor of speaking.

Once you've seen one shopping centre, you've seen a mall.

He often broke into song because he couldn't find the key.

Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana.

Dijon vu - the same mustard as before.

Practice safe eating--always use condiments.

Shotgun wedding: A case of wife or death.

A hangover is the wrath of grapes.

Those who jump off a bridge in Paris are in Seine.

Santa's helpers are subordinate clauses.

Does the name Pavlov ring a bell?

Condoms should be used on every conceivable occasion.

Reading while sunbathing makes you well red.

When two egotists meet, it's an I for an I.

A bicycle can't stand on its own because it is two tired.

What's the definition of a will? It's a dead giveaway.

In democracy your vote counts. In feudalism your count votes.

She was engaged to a boyfriend with a wooden leg but broke it off.

A chicken crossing the road is poultry in motion.

If you don't pay your exorcist, you get repossessed.

With her marriage, she got a new name and a dress.

When a clock is hungry, it goes back four seconds.

The man who fell into an upholstery machine is fully recovered.

You feel stuck with your debt if you can't budge it.

Local Area Network in Australia: the LAN down under.

Every calendar's days are numbered.

A lot of money is tainted--It taint yours, and it taint mine.

A boiled egg in the morning is hard to beat.

He had a photographic memory that was never developed.

A plateau is a high form of flattery.

A midget fortune-teller who escapes from prison is a small medium at large.

Those who get too big for their britches will be exposed in The end.

Bakers trade bread recipes on a knead-to-know basis.

Acupuncture is a jab well done.

And finally the winner:Jonathan was a whiz with puns and wanted to
participate in a 'Pun Recital' contest. He delved into his mammoth collection of puns and picked out the ten best from there, hoping that at least one of them would grab the prize, but unfortunately, no pun in ten did.

Why Indians cannot be Terrorists! A Goofy Spoof!!

1: Are invariably late and would have missed all the flights to blow up or get anywhere.
2: Talk too loudly and draw attention to themselves
3: Enjoy far too much the free flow of drinks & food on airlines to remember why they got on the plane in the first place
4: Would put down their weapons to gesticulate when talking
5: Are over eager — everyone would want to fly the plane they took over
6: Would argue with each other and start a fight on the plane
7: Can't keep anything secret — would have told everyone about it a week before the event
8: Would either carry a national flag to wave or stick on the windshield if driving
9: Would re-schedule the mission if it coincided with Indians playing cricket with anyone
10: Would fall over one another to take photos with any hostages taken

Sunday, February 15, 2009


He does not have a BEER GUT; he has developed a LIQUID GRAIN STORAGE FACILITY.






He does not act like a TOTAL ASS; he develops a case of RECTAL-CRANIAL INVERSION.








He does not EAT LIKE A PIG; he suffers from REVERSE BULIMIA.



Saturday, February 14, 2009

On that Rainbow Trail!

As a child I had often read about the Irish folk lore of leprechaun hiding his pot of gold at the end of the rainbow !
Franklin Institute, resource for Science Learning on its Rainbow page says..."You can never actually reach the end of a rainbow, where a pot of gold supposedly awaits. As you move, the rainbow that your eyes see moves as well, because the raindrops are at different spots in the atmosphere. The rainbow, then, will always "move away" at the same rate that you are moving."
Interpretations in the realm of the abstruse suggest it is our (most of us indulge in) rather elusive search,by following the illusive rainbow to its end,for that chimerical “fortune”…a parallel between nature and the web of Maya?????

And then

And how does one interpret this?!! :-)))
Should one quit demystifying the conundrums of nature, our existence, the universe and just EXULT...the despondency which engulfs the real world makes that almost inconceivable! But in the interests of sanity, perhaps we should continue to traverse on that Rainbow Trail, which is nothing but a spur to move onwards in this ,our corporeal, ephemeral forms, dunno???

Saturday, February 7, 2009


Life Lesson# 45893 = Always check your child's homework before it gets to school!
When asked to draw a picture of what they wanted to be when they grew up, second-grader "Sarah" turned in the lovely drawing shown below. Needless to say, the teacher was a bit surprised -- Mrs. Smith had always seemed like such a conservative woman. So she sent a note home to the girl's mother asking for clarification as to the picture's meaning. (read Mom's reply below the picture)

(Here's the reply the teacher received the following day)
Dear Mrs. Jones,I wish to clarify that I am not now, nor have I ever been, an exotic dancer. I work at Home Depot and I told my daughter how hectic it was last week before the blizzard hit. I told her we sold out every single shovel we had, and then I found one more in the back room, and that several people were fighting over who would get it. Her picture doesn't show me dancing around a pole. It's supposed to depict me selling the last snow shovel we had at Home Depot.From now on I will remember to check her homework more thoroughly before she turns it in.

Sincerely,Mrs. Smith

Friday, February 6, 2009

Viva la India and God save the World!

The Answers are the Actual Responses by the Indian Tourism Website Officials.
(edit: Viva la India (plagiarism)...the rest of the title holds. These were off an Aussie Tourism Website doctored for the Indian subcontinent by an "inspired" Indian!!)

Q : Does it ever get windy in India ? I have never seen it rain on TV, how do the plants grow? ( UK ).
A: We import all plants fully grown and then just sit around watching them die.

Q : Will I be able to see elephants in the street? ( USA )
A: Depends how much you've been drinking.

Q: I want to walk from Delhi to Goa - can I follow the railroad tracks? ( Sweden )
A: Sure, it's only three thousand kms, take lots of water..

Q: Is it safe to run around in the bushes in India ? ( Sweden )
A: So it's true what they say about Swedes

Q: Are there any ATMs (cash machines) in India ? Can you send me a list of them in Delhi , Chennai, Calcutta and Bangalore ? ( UK )
A: What did your last slave die of?

Q: Can you give me some information about hippo racing in India ? ( USA )
A: A-fri-ca is the big triangle shaped continent south of Europe . In-di-a is that big triangle in the middle of the Pacific & Indian Ocean which does not.. oh forget it. ...... Sure, the hippo racing is every Tuesday night in Goa . Come naked.

Q: Can I bring cutlery into India ? ( UK )
A: Why? Just use your fingers like we do.

Q: Can you send me the Indiana Pacers matches schedule? ( France )
A: Indiana is a state in the Unites States of....oh forget it. Sure, the Indiana Pacers matches are played every Tuesday night in Goa , straight after the hippo races. Come naked.

Q: Can I wear high heels in India ? ( UK )
A: You're a British politician, right?

Q: Are there supermarkets in Bangalore , and is milk available all year round? ( Germany )
A: No, we are a peaceful civilization of vegan hunter/gatherers. Milk is illegal.

Q: Which direction is North in India ? ( USA ) A: Face south and then turn 180 degrees. Contact us when you get here and we'll send the rest of the directions.

Q: Please send a list of all doctors in India who can dispense rattlesnake serum. ( USA )
A: Rattlesnakes live in A-meri-ca which is where YOU come from. All Indian snakes are perfectly harmless, can be safely handled and make good pets.

Q: Do you have perfume in India ? ( France )
A: No, WE don't stink.

Q: I have developed a new product that is the fountain of youth. Can you tell me where I can sell it in India ? ( USA )
A: Any place where significant numbers of Americans gather.

Q: Do you celebrate Christmas in India ? ( France )
A: Only at Christmas.

Q: Will I be able to speak English most places I go? ( USA )
A: Yes, but you'll have to learn it first

Q: Can I see Taj Mahal anytime? ( Italy )
A: As long as you are not blind, you can see it anytime.

Q: Do you have Toilet paper? ( USA )
A: No, we use sand paper. (we have different grades)

Monday, February 2, 2009

Explains a Lot of Things,hmmm!!

A little piece of my Day

As is the ritual every Monday late afternoon, I was on chauffeur and chaperone duty for my 5.5 year old angel for her drawing lessons. The up down commute time and lesson time ratio is 1:2 on a good day (else 3:4) so I either wait in my vehicle or run a few errands. Well today was a no errands day so there I was multitasking ...reading ,gchatting on my berry, listening to music, roasting in the sultry "green house environment" of my car.

At one point I was particularly absorbed in reading a section of the book, which happened to be Romila Thapar's History of India (sigh! yeah have yet not completed the book ) and suddenly from the corner of my eye I noticed one grimy faced boy dressed in untattered bright clothes,looking in through the rolled up window!

I would have ignored him and gone back to my book, had I not noticed his intensely focused eyes with line of sight somewhere in the vicinity of the text I was reading. I unrolled the windows and asked him what he was trying to do. He said, “Mai pad raha tha.” I queried about his age and whether he attended school. He was 10 years old and studied in class V and enjoyed going to school. I asked him to read the title of the book pointing out to the boldest .. “INDIA”. He read all the letters but could not link them together to form the word and he looked on blankly when I pronounced “INDIA”. To make it simpler I asked him which locality he lived in…answer :Kalyani Nagar, which city he lived in…answer: Pune, which country he lived in……answer: Bharat. Then I gave him a little gyaan that in English we called her by another name, INDIA and then it dawned on him. He gave me a little speech ,“Hamare desh ka naam Bharat bhi hai, Hindustan bhi hai, India bhi hai.” And during this time when his eyes and mind were focused on this chit chat, his hands were busy fiddling with the door lock…he must have pressed it open 7-8 times. Hyperactive?

He then declared that said he had to go and meet his mother who was a professional beggar. My heart sank! I asked him what he did in his spare time, he said he did odd jobs and then he walked away.

This little encounter has impelled me on my semi hesitant (priorities at this point of time) desire to work with Akanksha . I was asked to attend their interview and orientation program but the time slots available for teaching did not suit my current situation.

So anybody reading this, PLEASE do check out what Akanksha is all about and volunteer to teach as a part time or as a full time commitment. I am sure it would be a fulfilling experience!