Tuesday, 25 November 2008

Puneet enters ANZ... ANZ asks him to leave...

Failures have begun. But then, failure is the first step to success. I had been to Australia New Zealand Bank for an interview. Though the name is bank, the operations are back end BPO works only. I got a surprise call from the HR of this organization and I was instructed to attend the interview at 9 am in morning at their office in Embassy Golf Links near Domlur flyover. I had plans of going to Firstsource. However, I changed them and headed towards ANZ. It was the first time I was going to Embassy Golf Links, an IT Business Park just behind Dell Bengaluru Office. And I must say that it was awesome. What a beautiful and large business park it is! It caught my attention and I felt like I must join any of the companies here. Further, the number of people who work here is very high. And all of these are having a fat pay cheques. Hmmm... The mind had got business in mind. As I entered into the ICICI Bank ATM in the premises, a lady came out. She had not completed her transaction in a hurry and I could see that the ATM still had the final screen. Guess what, I could see that she had a pre approved loan from the bank for Rs 5 lacs and the EMI would be just over Rs 16000. Well, I just wish I had this option. Anyways, I just pressed the cancel button to end the transaction and then continued my transaction

Coming back to the park, it had biggies like Microsoft, Yahoo!, ANZ, Siemens, IBM and many more. There is a large canteen which looked great. Fountains all over alongwith grass at every place added to its beauty. Soon, I was at ANZ. I was 30 minutes late for the interview. However, that was not considered. I was immediately asked to give an accountancy test of 20 minutes. Oh... Gossshhh... I have forgotten a lot of it. I dont remember all that financial analysis, ratios, concepts, etc. Though the framework is still there in the mind, a brush up is definitely required. I was able to score 9 out of 10 marks and proceed to the next test. There were about 30 people writing this and about 6-7 people were out in this test. The second test was an email writing test where we were suppossed to respond to a customer complaint. The third test was an aptitude test. At the end of all this, only one person got selected and he was asked to go to the final round, ie, the HR round. And I knew, it will be a big shot round. I had to go the other building that was about 500 meters away. I met the security officials at the ground floor and the message was passed to the HR that I had come for the HR round. And I was in a great surprise. The HR herself came down to the ground floor to escort me to the office. It really spoke great values about the organization. I was delighted. I was after all yet another candidate for the interview applying for the juniormost position in the organization

The interview began. And went on, on, on, on, on, on and on in such a way that I was totally exhausted. What a brain storming session it was... mind boggling... whatever you call it. It was like a debate with a large corporate. Questions on every area of finance from accountancy to banking to investment to debt management to balance sheet to ratio analysis to corporate banking and many more were shooted at me. As always, I tried to act smart in case of unknown answers and take the HR for a tour. But his maam, God, what should I say, she was much much much smart than me. Guess what, I took for a tour and phat came the reply

OK Puneet. All that is fine. Now, can I get the answer to my question which was ...

I tried every possible way but I got the same response each time. And soon, I knew that I am off. The minds clashed and the debate went on on various issues

And at the end of it, I was told that the feedback will be passed to me later. It just meant that I was not selected. I thanked and left ANZ

I knew that I would not be joining if selected. However, I was definitely saddened for my failure. It would be a delight if I had cleared it

Soon, I moved from there and reached home and quickly went to sleep

A shot at Infosys BPO...

As I had been thinking of alternatives for life, I found that a commerce student can afford to either do a sales job or join a BPO. There is no other option that is available to us. So, my search for the job, in fact, the right job, has been on. And today, the search took me to Infosys BPO. I began the interview search in the morning reaching Opus Dei Consultancy in Residency Road. There was some ad on the net in regards to the same. I found that the interviews were going for Firstsource. The usual couple of rounds of introduction, etc went on and I wa through them. I was asked to go to the company which is situated near Mount Carmel college. As I got out, I changed my mind. I decided to go to another consultancy by name Whitehorse Manpower near KFC at Indiranagar. Interviews were going on for Accenture, Transworks, Mphasis and Infosys BPOs. I was eligible for Infosys BPO at the moment. The first round began soon in which the usual introduction and screeing process happened. A HR representative of Infy took the interview. Nextly, I was asked to write an essay on 'Crime and Criminals'. After evaluating both these, I was told that I have been shortlisted for the next round. It was a telephonic interview with the main HR. I had to wait for some time till early evening. The round went on for over 40 minutes. All the details about life, career, objectives, thoughts, opinions, achievements, failures, interests, hobbies, loves, hates, irritations, etc were interviewed in details. There was a lot of fun. As usual, a lot exciting answers to the questions came out and it was a great fun. I have forgotten things. Let me try recollecting

What do you do in your free time?
I like to spend my time in reading books, singing songs, watching movies, speaking to friends, complete pending works, etc

Which is the most recent book that you have read?
Anything for you maam

What?
* I thought she did not hear the name
Anything for you maam
* There was silence. And I said again
Maam, the name of the book itself is 'Anything for you maam'

Oh, I see. So, Puneet, can you tell more about the book
Sure maam, its a book written by... (*Oops, I had forgotten the name of the author)... by, by the author. Maam, I forgot the author's name

Its OK Puneet, you can go ahead
* What shall I go ahead? I had read just a few pages of the book and did not say what to tell. I was feeling that I did I mistake by taking the name of this book. I would have told about One Night at the Call Center by Chetan Bhagat. I had read the book and watch the movie, Hello, as well. But, I had to continue. So, I went on
Maam, the book narrates a story of a guy and a gal. Its the love story of the author. He is a student at IIT, Delhi and he falls in love with a girl from Chennai. There are many problems that they face to get together. There are same family issues that do not permit them to get along each other. Moreover, the distances keep them apart. They face a lot of problems and a lot of exciting situations have been described in the book. Finally, they resolve all the issues and get together

So, what did you learn from the book
The book teaches us that love is a very strong force of life. Love can make you do anything in life. It can help you achieve all the success in life. It is a motivation everything
* I went on and on and slowly, I realised that I was lecturing on love rather than the book. And I had to come back to the topic. Else, I would be thrown out. So, I continued
Maam. This is what the book mentions directly. However, the learning from all the situations and stories mentioned in the book is that, in this journey of life, we come across a lot of problems. Now, 2 things can happen. The first one is what everyone does. Feel upset, cry, brood, try to escape and make an effort to skip it, which doesnt get possible, and in the process, add some more problems and pull along the same. However, the second option is to treat this problem as an adventure or a challenge and happily go about solving it. Now, 2 things can happen. Either we succeed or we fail. If we succeed, we win. And if not, we dont lose. Because, had we not made an effort also, we would fail

A lot dicsussions went on in the same way. It was obviously a psychology testing round, attitude testing round, language testing round, etc. For that matter, it was an all-in-one process. I knew that all depends on this round. I would be in if I can impress here. Else, I would be out. And in the process of conversation, at one particular stage, I could hear the words

I am impressed
from the HR. And I knew for sure, I was in

I was asked to go to the next round for voice testing and accent testing. This would be held at the Infy BPO office at JP Nagar. So, I moved on to JP Nagar. It was a 2 hour journey amidst all the traffic. It was about 8 pm that the test began. It was an automated telephonic interview. I was told that we need to repeat the sentences that will be told in US/UK accent in different styles. There would be YES/NO type of questions. Questions like

Where do you park your brand new sports car? Parking lot or Sports Showroom?

If you withdrew money from ATM, your cash balances increases or decreases?Similar questions were rapidly fired

Further, jumbled phrases were given and we had to rearrange them to frame sentences. That was such a brainy task to do over the phone. For example, the machine would say

Loved his - The King - Kingdom

Very sweet - In the river - The water

And so on. I had to frame the appropriate sentence and respond in a couple of seconds

Further, there were also open ended questions like

Should the parents choose the course of study for the children? Give reasonsI was baffled by the test. It went on for 20 minutes. It was very well executed. I could get to know that the test is done through a website www.versanttest.com

I am yet to go through the site to find out some information about the same

After all this, I had to wait for about 30 minutes for the results. The HR came with the result. And I was very happy to listen that I had performed in a very brilliant manner. The scoring in the accent and voice is beyond normal grading. That delighted me

Of course, I did some bluffing on the phone. I knew that it was a machine which was testing me. So, the modulation and frequency would be the factors that would count. There were cases where I would not get a word. However, I would smartly match the frequency and the machine could not distinguish due to the exactness in frequency. For example, if a word is

Temptations
It would be pronunced as tyemp tye shunns
And suppose I did not hear the word clearly. I would just repeat in the exact frequency and modulation asyemm shyee shunns

Well, after all, I also had to attend an aptitude test. However, it was postponed to the next day due to shortage of time

The next day, I was supposed to reach there by 10 am. However, due to various reasons, I could only reach at 1 pm, as per my watch (cellphone). However, it was only after reaching there that I got to know that my cell was 1 hour slow. It was already 2 pm. Luckily, there was no issue. I gave the test quickly. It was just like any other aptitude test. The results were declared and I was asked to give the documents for joining. I had to also submit the original marks for the purpose of verification. It would be only after this that I would get the offer letter. But then, who wanted to join? I wanted the offer letter. And yet again, that did not get possible

But as I reached home, I thought on certain points
  1. I have been sitting idle from quite a long time. I do not know when will my ICICI Bank joining dates come. Is it time for me to join somewhere else rather than wait for this?
  2. If I join and then the joining dates come, what should do then?
  3. The conditions for joining were that I had to sign a 1 year bond and also keep a deposit of Rs 10000 (Rupees Ten thousand only). This money is taken so that the employee doesn't violate the contract of minimum working period of 1 year. And I clearly know that I will not be here for 1 year. So, I will definitely lose this Rs 10000. So, it will take one month of work for me to recover my investment. Moreover, I dont even know whether I can stay for 1 complete month
  4. I would be sent to Mysore for 1 month training. This is yet another problem. Though they provide food and accommodation, its not workable for me as I am not going to commit to this work
  5. After considering all this, I also considered another point. Should I forget the ICICI Bank offer and begin a new career here in this field? After all, the salary will be the same. The biggest advantage of this would be that I will be in Bengaluru and there would be no question of being transferred elsewhere

The thought is yet going on. Lets see where the thoughts take me

Sunday, 16 November 2008

Going gaga over the weekend...

A weekend is a big thing for everyone. More so if you live in a metro. And much more so if you are a corporate employee. These are two big days for almost everyone. A lot of shopping, fun, meetings, gatherings, get togethers, etc happen on these days. Well, there are some people who make the best use of these days for business reasons are these are the only two days people can devote time to their personal lives. One such person, in fact, is me. However, off late, even I have been using these days for relaxation rather than work. In fact, when I was working, I used to work for all the 5 days and also these days. It was a total work stunt. And these days, I do not have any work. So, all my week goes in loafing around. And even the weekends go for the same. This something to be sad as well as happy about. Sad because the time is not utilized properly and happy because I am giving 100% to life. Yeah. When I work, I work on a 24x7 basis. And now, when I am idle, I am idle on a 24x7 basis. Is that not 100%? There is not much that I regret for, for I know that once I am back on track, I will pick up for all this vaccations

There is one serious thing that I need to worry about. Its that my Symbi 1st sem exams are running faster to catch me and I am not prepared for the race. I need to equip myself for this and get prepared for the race. This is going to be one very important race. I have been always resistant to academics. Amidst all the resistance, I understand that life will not progress without it. So, I have to make it at any cost. I remember the effort that went in coming back to life during my BCom days. And I believe, a similar kind of effort is now needed for this too. I have almost forgotten the word called study and its such a word that everyone tends to forget at the earliest. There are about 30-40 days to go and a lot to learn

Well, the whole of the week was like a weekend for me. Saturday morning was a another lazy doom morning. I got up by the mid noon and went out to have lunch with my roommate. And then, I was back to my room. Further, in the afternoon, I had been for coffee and I for a call from my friends who suggested an idea of a movie. Even they were getting bored and this was a good option for everyone. But then, I was given the responsibility of managing the show tickets. Hmmm... Getting a ticket for a movie on a saturday, that too a movie like Dosatana produced by Dharma productions starring Abhi, John and Fashion Chopra was an almost impossible task. Yet, I took it up. I had 3 guests, one flying in from Domlur, one coming from RT Nagar and the other busy with work at office on a weekend too. I knew these guys would never reach here by at least 2-3 hours. I ran to the Swagat Garuda Mall near my home and inquired the movie schedule. We had a show at 7 pm and 10 pm for Dostana. Other movies that were on were Fashion and Quantum of Solace. I did not have immediate cash to book the tickets. So, I grabbed the credit card numbers of my guests instantly (and shamelessly) and went for an online booking. Hmmm... it was sold out. However, it indicated that we need to contact the theatre authorities for possibilities. The moment I see a possibility, my mind always starts getting limitless thoughts. I immediately ran back to the Inox Movies and find out if the possibilities turn practical. Unfortunately, things did not get practical. There were just two tickets available for Quantum of Solace and we were four. There were some vacancies for Fashion but we did not want to go for it. So, the movie paln was dropped. But I do not drop so soon. I got back to internet and found out if we can get something at PVR, Fame, Urvashi or somewhere. But it was too late by then. Finally, everything was cancelled and we all met at Total Mall, Madivala. A small tour around the plaza and then a snack at McDeee and a big big big laughter challenge type of a punting was the highlight of the evening. We had, in fact, played a prank with Siddu to get him ot of the office. I was confused about what I had told him. Doctor, Jayanagar, 6 pm was the scheduling given to him while we were at Total at 8 pm. And finally, as expected by MP and me, his entrance with the usual dialogue,"Bloody people, you say you are not well and enjoying eating burgers at McDonalds?" We laughed, laughed, laughed and just laughed along

At about 10.30 pm, we managd to get a DVD to watch Fashion and Heroes. We reached home with some great ready to eat kind of food. Oh my goodness, all that fun that happened in the name of ready to eat food, just cant be expressed. I thought even Gulab Jamoons would be ready to eat if dipped in boiled water

It was almost 12 that we came home, got fresh and sat to watch the movie. In fact, the food was prepared at first. And then, we watched the movie Fashion after having food. Food was good. The movie went on late night till 3 am. Tired and exhausted, I was off to sleep soon. I got up at about 8.30 am. I had some work on the net while the connection was unavailable. So, I continued watching Jannat from where I had left it last time. After that, I again got back to sleep. Everyone woke up by 11 am and our busy bee Siddu had to surrender even his Sunday at the service of TCS. So, he was off immediately. Then, we got milk and had a lot of coffee. The chatting session continued for a couple of hours more and then we decided to move out for the day. This time, we chose the Oasis Mall for our day. How lucky? Our feets would fall on this Mall today. Welcome to Oasis

Pehli nazar mein, I liked this place. It was quite large and looked awesome. We went in and had a look. Almost the entire mall space was occupied by Lifestyle Retail. I liked the gallery containg the household fancy collections. It looked great. We did not go to have a deeper look and ran to Polynation foodcourt. A lot of food was taken and the eaters occupied the seats. It was too much and none of could complete it even in 2 hours. We were there for quite some time and then started roaming around the stores. As I had a closer look at the collections, I realised that the awesome things were awesome to look at. It was too costly. More importantly, it was not worth paying what was quoted as the MRP. Another point to note was that we would get a Rs 3000 gift voucher on a purchase of Rs 10000 worth items. This clearly showed that the minimum profit margin is 30%. Further, when we add a 20% profit margin and a 20% cost margin, its a clear indication that everything is inflated by at least 50-60%

I liked another jacket here. I have been liking one jacket at each mall. Only God knows when the buying times will come

Further, we went to a exhibition where some wood exhibits were being sold. Tables, chairs, idols, almirahs, boxes and many more. Our shopping list kept growing. Hmmm... I must say, VIRTUAL shopping list. And finally, MP found a great one to add to the wishlist. It was a beautiful idol of Goddess which was carved out of a single wood. It was quite large and had a lot of characters alongwith the Goddess. When asked for the price, the answer was Rs 21 lacs. Yes, Rs 21 lacs. And then, we had seen an idol of Lord Krishna (I wish I am right in this guess). And upon asking the price, the response (a lazy response knowing that we will never buy this. In fact, he was even hesitant to tell the price) came as Rs 4.25 lacs. We packed our bags and reached a restaurant for a coffee and soon, we were on the bus to reach back home

That was all the weekend that has just come to an end. A great fun was on for these 2 days. It appeared as though we have been watching a laughter challenge for 2 months

I have been seeing all the speeches in SSBJ. We used to speak on any topic or any personality and always gave the same conclusion to every speech. For example, you speak about a personality and conclude saying, May more and more such people be born in this nation and make India prosperous. Your speak about an experiment or event and conclude with the words, May more and more such events happen and make our country prosperoud. On the same spirits, let me conclude this weekend

Thus to conclude, I would like to say that, may more and more such weekends come in our life and make our life prosperous

Thursday, 13 November 2008

An interview at Zenith BPO...

Due to heavy problems faced by the financial sector, there are a lot of jobs that are being cut. Further, the fresh recruitments too are on a hold. Under these cicumstances, things are getting difficult. And I just thought, let me go ahead with another job for the time being. And the moment I thought this, a long dreamt desire of working in a call centre came on to my mind. I dont know what interests me but I like this job. As always, the moment I decided this, everyone scolded me and stopped me. I stopped for a couple of days. But today, this wait period came to an end and I decided to go ahead with it. Firstly, I also needed to know if I can get a job at least. So, at least to confirm this and to ensure that there is something for me in case of loss of job, I had to jump on. After a small web search, I found that there are openings at Zenith BPO for the position of a content writer. There are also openings for E4E call center

I went to e4e and sat there for the interview. I waited for some time. The HR did not come. And I left the place. I thought I would return later and went on to Zenith which is very near to e4e. Our resumes were taken. And after some waiting period, I was called in for the interview. When asked what job I was looking for, I told that I am fine with any job that is offered to me. And immediately, I was the superhit. It always happens in my life. I keep giving such great answers and get caught very badly in the situation. Well, the next that was told to me was there is only one position, namely, content writer. I said I am OK with it. But sooner, after a small introduction, etc, I dont know from which heaven the changes happened, I was asked if I am interested in working in a voice process, ie, call center. Well, that was exactly what I wanted and I immediately said yes. Later, I got to know that this was exclusively offered to me

I had to take a mock call with the concerned HR. It was a basic introduction round. And fun unlimited... Golmaal... kept happening. The HR told me that he wants to test my english skills and I said, please go ahead (as if I was the HR)

But how can I test it

You must be knowing that sir

We usually see experience and decide on all this. You do not have experience

I do not have experience of a job like this. But ifTrus you are looking for english communication skills, I have requisite experience to make your job easy

He immediately said that he will make other arrangements and I should wait till then

I was waiting at the lounge thinking about various career options available. I thought I would join DRDO. I had been to DRDO yesterday to meet Manu. He has already been allotted quarters to stay. A single bedroom home. Wow, I was pretty impressed by it. But then, they want scientists, not financial analysts

I have been finding jobs at various other places like Northern Trust Bank, ANZ, etc. There are some good career programs over these places. There are some good internship programs coming up from Ernst & Young, Deutsche, Goldman Sachs, Merill Lynch, etc

I was called in again and told that the project is in relation to booking of hotel rooms on behalf of the clients. So, I had to give a mock call now booking a party hall for my client at some hotel for 30 persons of who 12 are children and they want a set menu and I must phoenetics and get the deal at the cheapest rate possible. And Puneet the dummy CSR was on

Hello. Can I speak to the manager of Hotel ABC

Speaking

Good morning sir. I am Jack calling on behalf of Jill to inquire if we can get a reservation for 30 guests on the 24th evening this month, ie, on thursday

Oh sure

The timing is at 6 pm and the cuisine is set menu

OK

Can I get discounts for the children below age of 12? There are 9 of them

No sorry

OK. Can you see the availability and confirm the reservations?

In whose name should it be done

* And then the usual conversations like the customer name, phone number, EMail ID was done. I believe, the HR was looking for clarity of speech. And I was pretty much good in that. I could feel it. I did not use phoentics as I am used to the Alpha Beta Charlie Delta Echo type of a standard which might not be acceptable here. However, later, I got to know that this is the accepted standard

And now came the catch, I knew that this call would be to test my communication as well as my smartness. So, I was thinking when will the smartness test come. Many a times, the smartness test is already over before you know. In my case too, it was almost the same case. The HR questioned me

What is the menu you are looking out for

Set Menu

What kind of set menu???

* Gossshhh... I never knew what it was. In fact, I was asked before the call by the other HR if I had an idea of menus and I had clearly said NO. And now, the same question, even after knowing that I did not know the answer. But I answered

There are about 30 of us. 9 children below 12 years of age, 4 children between 12 and 18 years and the remaining are adults. So, we would like to have a set menu that contains

all the kinds of food for
all the kinds of people with
all the kinds of tastes for
all the age groups

And HR burst into laughter. And said

OK Puneet. I am done with it. You can carry on

Then I continued, so, can you confirm the reservations? And the HR says, everthing is over, I mean, the call, or, your interveiw is over

I believe, even he got confused. Hmmm... It keeps happening with me always

And then, I waited out till 3 pm. And then I was told that I am through with all this and I should come back at 4 after my lunch. I finished lunch by 3.30 and went to Vodafone store for some work of my friend. And then, I went to Axis Bank, ICICI Bank and HDFC Bank to inquire about personal loans. What a branch these banks have got in Koramangala! I just loved them. It was such a serene bliss to sit in the HDFC Bank branch for sometime. It was awesome. I decided immediately that I am not going to do any other job. I will wait till my posting dates come

Soon, I was back to Zenith and I was taken to the other Zenith office in Adugodi. Its there where the call centre process happens. I had to meet the operations manager. It was the same person who had taken my mock call. So, there was nothing much to speak. He gave me a paper and asked me to read it. By the time I would read a couple of lines, he said

Thanks Puneet. Its green to you from the operations. Carry on with your next processes

I came down and evening snacks had arrived. I had a couple of honey cakes. It was very good. I thought everything is over. But then, I was told that there is another round with the General Manager. But then, this usually never happens

I just gave a thought on this. I dont know if I am right or not. As far as what I asked in the beginning, it was clearly told that there are no openings for voice process. But, I was told to go for it. And now, my interview too happening in a individual slot. I think, there might be some people who have left the job and may be, they are planning to put me there directly

Well, be it whatever, I waited and finally I found me in the GM cabin. He was an old man with a lot of experience. He asked me very sensible questions regarding my career, etc. He clearly stated that this is not something meant for you. Your resume speaks very high of you and you are not the people who must join call centers. I am totally OK with having you on board but you do give a thought before you join. Because, you have to stay here without cab facility and work for 6 days a week and you have to sign a 1 year contract with us. He told me some more importants about career and finally said that he has cleared me and told me that I must reconsider my decision. I knew that he was very impressed with my BCom percentage

Hmmm... All these exciting things keep happening in my life always

Soon, I went to the other office where, after some time, it was told to me that I am selected. I must submit my original 10th, 12th and degree marks cards immediately and join the job from Friday. I was surprised. Then I asked if I can get the offer letter. But I was told that it will be given only after getting the original marks cards. Now, all that is in Hubli. I was suggested to leave tonight and get back tomorrow morning. Well, I knew by now that the day was a waste. All I was looking was an offer letter, not a job. An offer leter to be in a position to shift as and when he need arises. And this never happened

A century and a half century... Is that a centurogoldie jubilee...

It was way back in September 2007 that an idea came into my mind of writing a blog. In fact, the idea existed for more than years. However, it did not get the time and effort it required. I wrote numerous blogs on numerous issues. Some on social issues, some on fun, some on news, some on stocks, some on finances, etc. And finally, I decided to go ahead with this venture of putting up my life story on the blog. I never knew and neither do I know, even today, why I am doing this. There are hardly any persons who might be interested in reading this. But then, my principle has always been

Whatever I do is to express myself and not to impress others

And today, on the 13th day of November 2008, I am posting the 150th blog entry. So, what do we call it. Centurogoldie??? Whatever, this is yet another special post for me like any any other. I remember that my 100th post was on my birthday. Such a coincidence. And today, its not such a occassional day. However, its definitely special

The week has been a difficult one for me to digest with 2 great Indian cricketers saying good bye to the test cricket life. Anil Kumble, the man with the 10 wicket haul in a single innings, will now not be seen on the international arena. I still remember that day when India was struggling at Ferozshah Kotla maidaan in Delhi where the Pakistan team had put up a 100 run partnership for the 1st wicket. No bowler, neither Prasad nor Srinath, was able to get them out. Even Kumble was trying his best but nothing happened in his first and second spell. The runs on the board were on a rise. And if my memory doesnt cheat me, the first wicket was off at 114. And then begun the hunt of the tiger. The wickets started tumbling one after another and before the next 80 runs were scored, the Pakistanis had already lost 8 wickets. And all these were off to the crown of Anil Kumble. Conscious efforts to get out on Srinath's bowling were on for the 9th wicket. However, God's grace, the 9th too was a prey to Kumble. And then, a new page in the history of cricket was written when this personality got the 10th person too. 10 for 74 was the figures, I believe. This day will never be forgotten. A great test victory with such a brilliant achievement by an Indian bowler. In an interview with Harsha Bhogle, Kumble mentioned that all the ten wickets that came to him were all thought and planned by him except the one wicket of Inzamam which was a matter of luck. This shows his honesty in admitting to facts. I had a dream for Kumble that he must take a hat-trick before he retires. Though he was at it several times, it did not happen. Kumble also has a test century to his credit which is a great achievement in itself for a bowler. There have been great occassions where he has been a major man for the Indian triumph

I even remember those days when he had got a bad hit on his jaw and yet, he came on the ground with all the plaster on his face to get the dangerous Lara out. India will miss this great leg spinner who surprised everyone with his googly. It might be unbelievable to know that Kumble entered International cricket as a medium pacer. And later, he was suggested by his brother, Sunil, who also is a cricketer, to switch on to leg spin. And at such a point of time, experimenting with career, it was an impossible task. But today, when we look back and see, he is the greatest example of willpower and determination. The amount of energy he exhibits on ground is something which we all need to learn and apply in our work too

A million salutes to this great man and all the best wishes for the future ventures, esp, his cricket coaching academy

Every legend does a symbolic contribution. And the Prince of Kolkata is the most symbolic figure in the making Indian cricket what it is today. Seriously speaking, after winning the 1983 world cup, there was hardly anything happening for India in cricket. Moreover, with the pockets full, none had the zeal of running in the ground

And then, this guy entered

An undomitable character who is the king of off side cricket. He began his career at the Lords stadium and guess what, he had a century in the very first test match. The next day, the newspapers read
A hero is born at Lords

And this was going to be the greatest cricketing hero of all times. Saurav Ganguly is someone who I admire the most in Indian cricket

In fact, seeing all the tough times that he has gone through in his career, I feel ashamed that the Indian cricket board did all that with him. It was an insult to the nation when he was kept away from cricket for some time. But every hero is a hero forever. The way made a comeback recently speaks great volumes about him.

I would like a make a point here. It was this man who nurtured players like Harbhajan, Yuvraj, Zaheer, Kaif, etc and made them real stars

Those Natwest series days, those untiring efforts made by him along with the coach from England (I am not getting the name)* John Wright, those great tricks applied on the ground, the level of energy, commitment, zeal, all this alongwith discipline, the t shirt show off, the way he guided bowlers like Zaheer Khan to score 70 runs in a test match, the way he guided the field and everything is something great.

There is a nice proverb that I came across recently
There are 2 things that happen everytime
Either history repeats itself
Or new history gets written

And this man has re-re-re-re-... n times... - written the history of Indian cricket. And as he has mentioned, we will definitely remember Dada as someone who took the Indian cricket to a higher level

We will miss this great cricketer who was an excellent bowler too. Even today, I remember the way the field was being set when Ganguly comes to bat. 1 wicket keeper, 3 slips, 1 gully, 1 deep gully, 1 mid off, 2 off, 1 on on side and 1 bowler. And even amidst 7 people standing in a queue, this master would ensure that the ball would penetrate to the boundary. And the sixers that he scores on the front foot taking one step on... Oh God... Its just so great

Hats off to you Saurav

India will miss you, not for a long time to come, but forever

No one can ever even come near to what you have added amidst all the problems that you have faced

Well, I would love to dedicate this centurogoldie post to these 2 jewels of the Indian cricket crown

We will miss you

Saturday, 8 November 2008

Golmaal Returns... I never asked it to...

Golmaal... The world knows is my favorite movie. I keep saying it to everyone that there was never a movie like it and there never will be. However, with the same people coming up with the new edition, there was some hope of going beyond. But then, sadly, it did not happen

The first and foremost point is that a comedy movie with love, circus, romance, fun, seriousness and all aspects can happen only in a college. So, if its not a college story, 50% of its charm is off. Further, for a comedy movie, things always go the comedy way between guys. However, when the gal enters, things get serious. Getting 4 heroines into the movie was the biggest mistake. Things would have been great if only one actress would play (like in Golmaal) and greater if none of the actress would have played. Further, the story revolved around a boring saas-bahu concept which is a joke in itself. The roles assigned were totally inappropriate

And a very important jewel of the crown, Sharman Joshi, was missing. A lot of scenes were played without any meaning. A foolish effort to show the face of all the previous edition actors was on. Trying to repeat the similar scenes like Black acting by Arsad Warsi, etc was totally baseless. There was an effort to give too much in too less time. But dear director, if you try to give so much, will it be a comedy movie. It will become a serious comedy. The songs too have no taste

Let me not write more on this. In a nutshell, something has returned and it would be better if it had not returned. Its like Sachin Tendulkar taking retirement and making a comeback and falling for ducks

So, my statement holds good universally forever

Golmaal
There was never a movie like this
And there never will be
Golmaal rocks even today and will do so forever

A day all night... Long long and long...

Its been after quite a long time that I have been awake for the entire day as well as night. I havent updated my blog since a very long time. And so, speaking something directly would be a little meaningless. So, let me have a quick recap. After completing my banking training process on 24th of October, I moved to Hubli on 26th for celebrating Deepawali. In fact, I was not much interested in going over as things are a little messy and I have no answers for the questioned that would be posed over me. Further, I could not even avoid going to Hubli. I must thank the Goddess of luck for getting me a reservation while going to Hubli. This, being festival season, is a horrible time to travel. I had plans of moving at night. However, the tickets were so oversold that the railway authorities refused to issue anymore tickets. And it was an order by my mom that I should be there in Hubli by the next morning. I thought of bus and the very thought made me faint. Over all this, the Bam Bam Bigleow type bag that I had purchased was another real pain to carry. I forgot to mention that I have exchanged the previous trolley bag for a new one paying some extra, in fact much extra, amount. And this time, I have taken an awesome bag which is large and tight. Coming back to the train ticket issue, it so happened that I decided to leave immediately by the next train. It was 10 am then and the next train was around 2 pm. Reservation was something I had forgotten by now. I just prayed to get a ticket. Luckily, the person at the counter advised me to book under Tatkaal. It would cost me a little extra but the chances of getting seat shall be high. There would be some additional fee for that. I blindly said yes for anything that would get me a seat. I packed up everything and caught an auto to the railway station and to my surprise, my seat was confirmed. A million thanks to the God

Further, in Hubli, I stayed on for about a week. Some festival celebration, some friend meetings, etc happened. And one fine day, due to issues rising up, I decided to get back to Bengaluru. This time, I decided to get on much seriously with my LIC work. Thats the only option for life till all these financial turmoils get a solution and things stabalize. I got a reservation done. However, it was under waiting list. And on 5th November at night 10.50 pm, I was off from Hubli. As my seat was not confirmed, I had to undergo some problems. In fact, a big circus went on in the train with the TC. I was continuously pestering him to somehow give me some space to sit or sleep. It went on to such an extent that he offered me his seat. Finally, at about 2 am, I decided to sleep on the ground. I just took out the blanket and had a nap, though not so comfortable

It was 8 am and I was back to this city. As usual, the song ran in me

Aankhoan mein sapne liye, Ghar se hum chal tho diye
Jaane yeh raahein ab le jaayengi kahaan
And so on and on and on and on


I have decided that the time that is remaining for me till I get the joining dates will be dedicated in total to LIC work. With this commitment flowing in my veins and arteries or wherever, the first thing I did was to go to the BMTC office and get a monthly pass. It costed Rs 100 for the ID Card and Rs 600 for the pass. And with this Rs 700, I have the freedom of roaming anytime anywhere in the city limits of Bengaluru

Soon, I went on to my PG, had a bath and off to sleep. I met a couple of my friends in the evening and had some gupshup. In the meantime, I planned out my tasks for the next day

Today, the plan was to meet a very senior person who wanted to discuss about some things with me. And due to some miscommunications, we were not able to meet. I had also arranged for another meet in the afternoon. And for me, luckily, the afternoon meet got preponed to noon. So, there was nothing to feel sad for missing the morning meet. I went to my friend's home. It was after a long time that we were meeting. And a package of surprises awaited me. Firstly, chappattis. It was great to have chappattis. In fact, I just came back from home and at such a juncture, usually, we miss out these things. And then, we had a discussion about the LIC plans, investment options, etc. And then, in the evening, the biggest surprise was the beautiful Shiva Mandir in Domlur. This was the first time I was going there and I just loved it

It was about 8.30 pm that I left this place. In fact, I was not in a mood to leave. Another very pretty thing is that I ate 5 chapattis. Yes, FIVE. Shameless person. I was saying no and my plate always went moving further. I have been in the habit of eating outside from more than 5 years. In fact, if I include SSBJ life food also as outside food, then, I have been eating outside from more than 12 years. So, home food, not many times, but definitely sometimes, makes a great deal for me

I got back to Madivala and met Raghuram. We had dinner and went to Siddu's flat. He was interested in going ahead with some investments for tax savings. We went on with the same discussions almost upto 1 am. And then, we began some discussions about RMP and that went on upto about 4.30 or 5 am

It was great time all together. And further, we went on to discuss about some things at college, etc. He has directed a movie. Seriously. The name of the movie is 'Mera Number Kab Aayega'. One can watch it at http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=6789655766979580707

I have been in the task of updating my address book on GMail from more than a week and today, the 1st stage of that task, ie, backing up all the cellphone data on to Address Book has got completed. Now, I need to take next steps. Its 8.30 am now and after many months, I have been stayed awake for the entire night. I had received a call from my SSBJ sir who I missed meeting yesterday that we shall be meeting today at 12.30 pm. So, I need to move on to my room, get ready and go on. I have another pending task relating to Raghu which I need to complete before I leave

Well, the craziest part is that I am not getting sleep. The run has begun