Transition of Thoughts

Weaving thoughts into words

Month: March 2010

My idea of a perfect date!

I am sure all of you must be wondering how come I am writing about this today! Right? Just felt like expressing my opinions on something which I dream of having in my life :). I always keep listening to many of my friends experiences about their perfect dates with their girlfriends/special ones or their idea of a perfect date. So what does a perfect date mean? On a so called “perfect” date some like to just go to a movie, some like to go to a pub, drink, party and chill out, some like it to be plain and simple like a candle light dinner and sitting and just talking while many others may not like going anywhere except a quite and peaceful place where one can just sit and talk without any disturbance.

First of all I never believe in calling a date “perfect” because if one labels one of the days as perfect, then he/she ends up degrading the other days as not being perfect or not that good as the so called “perfect day”. Going for a loooong drive, a candle light dinner with someone playing some beautiful slow songs or just sitting in a quiet and peaceful place and talking to that special person is my idea of a perfect date. This shouldn’t be a one off thing. If I had the opportunity I would make sure this happens everyday of my life I meet her. Obviously now that’s not always possible.

I have always felt that sitting and talking about each others likes/dislikes, emotions, life, families, career and many other things is the easiest way to reach a persons heart rather than just drink, sing and dance. This helps one person to get to know the other in a much more beautiful and simple way and connect strongly with them – mentally and emotionally. Going for a loooong drive together to a place where no one would disturb physically or through phone is one of the most beautiful ways of spending one’s day with their loved one.

I am sure a number of people may disagree with me, but I truly believe that the perfect date should be more about connecting emotionally and mentally with a person and less about connecting physically.

Here’s hoping all you readers get your “perfect” dates! 😛 😉

Isnt 3,235 crore a huge amount compared to 36 crores? Then why the hypocrisy?

Two interestingly famous or unfamous as one may put it happened recently. For one, the Behenji of the nation, Mayawati who has created a large number of records in having the biggest rallies, spending the greatest amounts to make her birthdays the biggest tamashas ever, installing her statues at every nook and corner of UP went one step further – She was presented a garland of 21 and 15 crores on two separate occasions in a space of a few days. Yes guys! She was given a garland of just currency notes at one of the by now infamous BSP rallies. Interestingly in that rally she was affected by a group of bees which she thought was the handiwork of the opposition (hahahahaha…Our country and our politicians! My god!). There was a big hue and cry about this by people and other politicians alike with people even asking for a CBI enquiry.

The other big event was the bagging of two new IPL teams – Kochi and Pune by Rendezvous Sports World and Sahara Group for 3,235 crores!!! Yes guys that totals more than the costs of all the other IPL teams combined. And this is without the player costs, promotions, ground etc etc etc. There are a lot of factors here other than cricket which dictated this decision. First is the money and then is politics. The Kochi bid was “blessed” by Shashi Tharoor and the Pune bid was supported by Sharad Pawar. The worst part of all this is that Kochi doesn’t have a stadium yet. But in all this no one other than a few sane voices here and there said anything against the kind of money being shown, thrown and showered.

So why this hypocrisy? Because whether we accept it or not we are a really hypocritical society. When one leader does something, everyone goes behind her like a dog running behind a cat. But when someone spends a fortune in cricket (which is reportedly our national game), everyone is so happy that they would get to see more matches and more cricket. I am not saying that Mayawati or the IPL team owners are right. Both are very wrong. But the point is why treat both of them differently in the public eye? Aren’t both of them guilty of a brazen show of wealth? But then its all about contacts. Who would dare to say anything against Lalit Modi. At this moment he feels that he has been able to buy anything and everything in this world – the people, the game, the players, the celebs and everything and rightly so because we are treating him this way. In Mayawati’s case she is not stranger to controversies and would surely manage to get through this one.

This surely proves one thing that all of us Indians are pathetically hypocritical. At one end we criticise Mayawati saying that she should have spent this money for public welfare, helping the poor, in various schemes etc and at the other end we feel so happy and proud that two new IPL teams have been sold for such astronomical amounts.

Pretty sad story of our lives REALLY!

Misconceptions about social media in India!

Web 2.0 has gripped the world like never before and even India has slowly but surely welcomed it. It includes social networking sites like Orkut, Facebook, Twitter etc, blogs, podcasts, wikis like Wikipedia and other such new age media which are making it really easy for people to share, interact and converse online.

India has about 55 million Internet users at this moment. Undoubtedly most of them are in the urban areas. Orkut has about 16 million Indian users, Facebook has some 8 million Indian users, Twitter has about 1.8 million Indians on it, more and more Indians are moving onto YouTube to watch podcasts and also taking to blogging – basically a lot of exciting stuff is happening in the Indian Internet industry. Recently YouTube signed a deal with IPL to show the matches of IPL 3.0 live online. Even though it has received mixed reviews, this initiative is indicative of YouTube’s huge and growing popularity in India. There are also a large number of blogging communities in India including Blogadda, IndiBlogger etc.

Even though this field is developing at a good pace in this country, a lot of people still don’t take this too seriously. Many misconceptions regarding social media and Web 2.0 in general exist in this country. Some people think that its just a pastime, some think that it decreases work hours, some think that it only makes people inactive in all the other work in life while most of the people still don’t think that this media can be used for some useful purposes like by companies and above all, all of them feel that this is another means of decreasing the productivity of people in their work life and their daily chores.

Clearing all the misconceptions, I would like to first state one fact – every new technology or invention has good and bad qualities about itself. The onus is on us to use it for a good enough purpose. Eg : When dynamite was invented, no one thought of the bad effects of it. A lot of Indian organizations like Jet Airways, Spice Jet, Kingfisher, Indigo, Paramount Airways, Tata Docomo, Indian Premier League, Airtel, Pepsi India, Idea etc are using this media to reach out to their customers, prospective customers and also their rival customers. The strategy which they normally follow is to listen to the conversations between people on blogs, social networking sites and other media about their products / services. They then engage the interested customers by contests, promotions, schemes, discounts etc and finally converse with them. Many of these companies have started separate social media divisions to handle the complete online media space. These companies also make videos which are meant to be viral that is they could be spread from one person to two, two to four and so on. Examples of use of social media in our country include the Tata Jaago Re campaign, 26th July 2005 floods in Mumbai, 26/11 attacks in Mumbai, campaigns by different NGOs like GiveIndia etc.

A large number of celebrities like movie stars and other public figures like Harsha Bhogle, Shashi Tharoor, Barkha Dutt, Rajdeep Sardesai have joined Twitter. The best part about Twitter is the fact that it is like an Online SMS service with 140 characters. Unlike Facebook or Orkut where one has to become a friend of a person to know what he / she is talking about, on Twitter one can just follow a person and read his tweets (conversations). This encourages more of a general conversation on different issues when compared to FB or Orkut which are more towards what’s happening in our friend’s lives, our lives etc. This tool has helped me network with so many different types of individuals. Even LinkedIn which is a professional business networking site has a high number of users in our country. This site is being increasingly used by companies to search for the right people for the right jobs.

But as with any kind of new technology, a large number of people do misuse this media in different ways like having false accounts on different networking sites, fooling people by acting as a guy / gal, luring people into prostitution, sex etc, presence of pedophiles’, causing security issues, wasting time on such websites while at work, spoiling one’s personal and social life due to addiction and other such kind of problems. It’s up to the person to know where to draw the line in such a scenario.

This sector is still at a nascent stage in India and is expected to be the sunshine sector in the coming years as it will require more content writers, social media strategists, executives, social media marketers, web marketers, online marketers etc. Social Media Marketing and Online Marketing are expected to be the next big marketing concepts in our country! Do keep watching this space!!

For more details on Social media and social media in India check out –
(This list is not exhaustive but just indicative)

PS – With this social media revolution, a number of indigenous social media websites have also come up like Ibibo, BigAdda etc!

Exams, Exams, Exams – The buzzword these days!

Exams are the most important event in a student’s life. They decide one’s future if the person is in 10th or 12th like the college he / she would join and the career he / she would choose. When one is in college they decide a person’s future in terms of final placements, jobs etc. Not to forget all along especially in our country they help “differentiate” the best of the students from the rest. Though it’s always said that mugging and vomiting in the exam papers isn’t good and marks are not the be all and end all, it’s always remained like that and will remain. Ok I now I am boring you guys with a lot of such stuff.

My basic point here is to talk about how life is lived around exam days. When I was at school it was all so different. Parents were there to make sure I slept on time, ate on time, there was no disturbance like TV and computers, no one came into my room, no phone calls and what not. Though they always wanted me to sleep early in the night so that I would be fresh for the next day, me the person I am 😛 used to be awake till late studying in the street light and screwing up my eyesight.

At the undergrad and postgrad level it’s a completely different ballgame altogether. There are 101 ways of getting distracted and even if one can’t find ways to get distracted, some or the other way comes about by itself! There maybe friends who want to disturb a person whose studying, people may watch movies and play music at the highest decibels, the most intense discussions on the weirdest of topics happen during these times, the best and most delicious Maggi is made during the exam season and the most interesting of all things like IPL, the World Cup and a plethora of other events happen during this time which are sure to make one say “SAALA AISE TIME PE HI EXAM KYON HOTA HAI!

And as you can all see here, even though I have my Organizational Behaviour exam tomorrow, I planned so well that I studied in the morning, watched the match (though which CSK sadly lost ), tweeted quite a bit and also blogged.
That’s what we-to-be MBA Grads call “TIME MANAGEMENT”! 😛 😉

I P L – Three letters that have changed the face of cricket!

Cheergirls, Bollywood, Hot Shot sponsors, top corporates, players from across the world, the T20 game and much more glitz and glamour. This is what the IPL (Indian Premier League) is all about. The IPL has revolutionized the way cricket has been played, marketed, seen and popularized in this country and across the world. It has given the city – based loyalty dimension an altogether new meaning with catchy team names, big big sponsors and above all brand ambassadors that have the special connect to the respective cities. The IPL, now into its third season has just got bigger with announcement of two new teams – Ahmedabad and Pune for the 4th season, new sponsors like the option of watching matches live on YouTube and also in Big Cinemas along with many other big ticket deals.

In some ways, the IPL does resemble the Kerry Packer’s breakway World Series Cricket in 1977 which had players from different countries playing in it but they were subsequently banned by their respective boards. But in the case of IPL, such a thing couldn’t have happened at considering the financial muscle of BCCI (Board of Control for Cricket in India). Though they came up with this concept after the ICL (Indian Cricket League – which was a rebel league started by Zee), they were able to get the top international players to sign on because of its official nature and bigger prize money.

The first three IPL seasons consists of 8 teams – Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), Chennai Super Kings, Delhi Daredevils, Rajasthan Royals, Deccan Chargers, Mumbai Indians, Royal Challengers Bangalore and Kings XI Punjab. The teams are owned by as diverse people as Sharukh Khan, Preity Zinta, Shilpa Shetty and the Ambanis, the Deccan Chronicle Group, Vijay Mallya and GMR Group. Each team has at least a minimum of about 8 – 10 sponsors (obviously they would require sooooooo many sponsors to recover their costs which they have spent over a particular period). The most interesting aspect in this the bidding and valuation of the players. For the first time in the history of cricket, an auction was done for the owners to chose the players they would like to have in their teams. So you could hear Gilchrist say “It feels really odd to be AUCTIONED!”. Players such as Dhoni, Symonds, Pietersen, Pollard have been valued in millions.

Many Indian and foreign players are heard of only in the IPL. But this can be considered as a good thing and a bad thing. The good part is that it has helped them rub shoulders with the stars of international cricket as without this opportunity they may have still been in the wilderness. But the bad part is that their careers may be restricted to T20s completely which should not be the be all and end all of any cricketer. There is also the concept of icon players such as Sachin Tendulkar, Saurav Ganguly, Laxman and Dravid who have a fixed higher earning. They don’t take part in the auction.

The presence of scantily clad cheergirls was a new concept for our country when the IPL began. So it was sure to ruffle a few feathers among the Shiv Senas and Ram Senas of our country with these so called moral police calling for their removal or wearing more clothes. But as usual as they say “We are a HUNGRY country”, as the tournament went along, the leaders preferred to keep mum than risk the people’s wrath.

The greatest thing or the worst thing which the IPL has accomplished as one may call it is the mix of commerce with cricket. The costs involved in marketing, promotions, players, brand ambassadors, stadiums, tickets, merchandises and what not are magnanimous. That’s why everyone agrees that even though KKR may have played pathetically till now, they have the highest valuation and brand equity and have are also the first team to reach break even. Now that’s what you call a business mind!

All in all IPL does provide glitz, glamour, fun, entertainment, a chance to watch the top cricketers at one stage and good cricket in ample doses. Who cares a damn about the purists when ENTERTAINMENT is the buzz word? Do you?

Online censorship – Is it right?

Internet has conquered most of the nooks and corners of the world. It is the ultimate storehouse of information for anyone from a 10 year old student to a 70 year old man. The net has become so popular that it has even been nominated for the Peace Prize for 2010 (though I disagree with it:P). As for any other medium of information, the net also has a lot of problems to contend with like piracy, identity theft, viewing unobjectionable content like porn or ban of certain articles, videos, sites etc in certain countries.

One of the most important questions nowadays is the censoring of this medium. With increasing popularity of any medium be it TV, movies, radio, print media like newspapers, magazines etc censoring of unobjectionable content does come into the picture. But the biggest question is who decides what to censor, when to censor and how much to censor? For countries like Iran, the Middle Eastern countries, China etc, the government has complete control over this issue. In India, this is handled by individual organizations or institutions.

So what kind of content is normally censored? In the Islamic countries and China, it mostly includes porn or any kind of sites or articles which are talking bad about their governments, bad stuff about Islam,terrorism, many social networking sites, inciting unrest and things like that. Their governments are mostly dictatorial or have a monarchy in place. In India many educational institutions and companies ban certain social networking sites and other content to prevent the people from “wasting” their time and concentrate more on the work at hand.

Censoring the content to an extent is possible. Obviously there has to be a proper body which decides the “extent”. I am stressing on the phrase “to an extent” because even with all these blocks at the moment, people do find ways to access the so – called unobjectionable content with ease. The control should be put in a proper manner For eg: During the time of the Tibetan movement as well as the violence after the Iranian elections, since the government blocked all the communication with the outside world, people started using Twitter to inform the world about the real truth unfolding there. But, in these countries the blocking software’s are probably the strongest in the world. In India, organizations and institutions have banned social networking sites like Orkut, Facebook and many other porn and video sites. But somehow or the other people are able to find out proxy sites and access the banned sites with total ease. – an Indian soft porn site was the first one to be banned from India officially by the government. But what happened? The person who runs that site, started it again as with the server running from outside the country!.

The world of internet is run “by the people, for the people and off the people”. Therefore even if there is something which the people want to access and aren’t able to, they make sure that they get it by hook or by crook

The net is a world in itself. No one answers that they are NOT adults when they go to a porn site and are asked to confirm their age. The controls to be put in place for the different sites have to be chosen based on a set of parameters like the kind of content, the effect on the people, the ability to influence people etc. Rather than just banning everything like a dictator, a more conventional and orthodox approach would help.

The biggest problem in the world of online censoring is about the different rules applied in different countries based on the location of the country, its values, its customs, the kind of people everything. Until this problem is taken care off, online censoring will always be a subject of contention in every debate on the “Power of the Internet”.


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