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..So this is why they are God

Friday, March 23, 2007 |

This blog is about the biggest concert of my life and I’m sure the feeling was shared by more than 25k people watching the God’s live act. Bangalore was going bonkers for the sight of Eddie. Pop was long out, and heavy metal was the new sound of music. Almost all the modes of transport converging towards bangy were packed with eager fans, dying to see the unimaginable and gasping in utter disbelief “Oh my fucking GOD, I still can’t believe that I’m going to see Iron Maiden live and that too in India.” And let’s not talk about the fans of bangy. Maiden performing live only in Bangalore, was official stamp on the unofficial-n-invisible-n-debatable document which reads Bangalore is the rock/metal capital of the country.

*I was trying to think of a scientific explanation for it and this is the best I was able to come up with. Bangy is the silicon valley of India and silicon is a metal, so it has to be metal capital. I know its crap, but 5 hours of brutally savage head banging without dope kinda makes your brain do rock n roll*

I had friends coming from all over the country for the concert and for the past few days I was busy arranging tickets and accommodation for them. I was so thrilled that philanthropy had taken over my sanity. And on the D day we were a bunch of 7 mean guys, most of them were drunk (at 1 o’clock in afti) and doped, and for being the sober one, I was given the responsibility to arrange for taxi and take care of the tickets. We reached the venue at 4 and managed to get few packets of “sutta” inside, hiding them near our holiest of the holy, in our undies (idea no. 53 in the bestselling “101 advantages of large undies and chubby ass”)

The moment I entered, my eyes popped out of the socket and as my friends say I was shouting “Holy Fuckkkk!!” All that I could see was people in black shirt and dirty jeans without any exceptions, well almost without any exceptions. It was a different world altogether. It was mean, it was dark, and it was crazy. Age no bar, color no bar, caste no bar, and sex no bar. It was a world where tattoos and piercing were no more a taboo. It was a world where “fuck” was the most frequently used common noun. It was a world where weed and spirit were staple diet. It was a world where Maiden was the only God and no one was atheist.

There was still time for concert to start and we thought what better way to waste some money and time on merchandise. I was in my maiden shirt, but could not resist the temptation for another one. Here goes “the greens”. Next pit stop was sandwich shop and the Pepsi stall. Sandwich sucked, by the way. And so did the sound. They said, maiden got 20 tons of instruments with them. Tell me, speakers were not in them. Sound was pathetic, by any standard. But whatever!!(I possibly could not have sounded more indifferent).

The concert started at 5 o’clock with the stage being occupied by FTN (winner of campus rock idols ’07). Who cares about the genre, they sucked major. We were busy hooting them shouting “suck my dick”, “fuck off bitch” and our very own kgp special “ek do teen char, band karo ye atyachar”. Our unison and undying hatred to that crap was source of inspiration for people standing next to us, and our rhyming masterpieces proved contagious for our neighbors as well. Finally, we got relief from that junk in around half an hour.*I guess they were done with the performance but I won’t mind taking credit*

Then came Parikrama. It was their 3rd live performance that I was attending in last 5 years, and every time they were getting better and better. Their chick guitarist had added layers on his waist. But the best part was their recent addition of a violinist in the group. He was a surprise addition in an essentially rock band. Crowd was going berserk on the performance when they played hits like “but it rained”, “rhythm and blues” and “whiskey in the bottle”. I was especially impressed by the violin instrumental.

Then came the most boring part of the day. Before this let’s define loser. Loser is someone who thinks genetic advantages always pay. Laura Harris’s (daughter of founder and lead guitarist of iron maiden, Steve Harris) performance proved the definition. Enough said.

All minnows were done with their efforts. Some good and some not so good. But my clock of patience was ticking and heart was pounding higher than ever. Even the anticipation of the thought of seeing maiden was giving me jitters. Stage preparation was going on. Mob was turned to frenzy mode. It was in this time, I saw a kid (no more than 10, mind you) wearing a maiden tee-shirt, which could have fit two like him was shouting “maiden maiden!!” sitting on his father’s shoulders. And I was like “man!! And I call myself fan.”

Suddenly lights went off. And when they come back, I could see masses of blood and flesh on stage. Then I thought I know who they are. It was Dave, Steve, Adrian, Janik and Nicko. All the hands were up in the air making that typical head banger’s \\m// . Ear deafening sound of “maiden” was thundering the sky. But I was still looking for the king of the gods. And then he arrived, in a black blazer and a mic in his hand. Bruce was here.

Then he started singing. Song list was

The reincarnation of Benjamin Breeg
For the greater good of God
Wrathchild
Trooper (yes! he had Union Jack in his hand)
Fear of the dark
Run to the hills
The evil that man do
Iron Maiden
Brighter than a thousand suns
These colors don’t run

The voice was magical. It was more perfect than the body of any Greek god. It had velvet touch, irrespective of the pitch. He was everywhere. At one moment he is up on the steel bars, and next moment, just on the face of crowd and in a split second he is on tier 2 of the stage. After that I lost my senses. I was higher than any amount of booze can take me to. They had that scintillating presence that people talk of. Bruce’s energy, Adrian’s jugglery with guitar and Nicko’s smile made that entire wait worthy. It was like a living one of the most beautiful dream ever, when you wish if you could sleep forever.

And then Bruce said “bye bye Bangalore”. Nicko threw his stick in the crowd and Janik threw his picks and some bastards just got lucky. My heart sank. Just one hour! We were spellbound and were hoping that the curse would never be lifted. We started to move back trying to go out. But then he came back with “2 minutes to midnight” and we were like “whoa!!” there is still more to come and this time Bruce came out with Eddie. A giant Eddie. And finally came “Hallowed be thy name”. Crowd was getting mundane and I was one step ahead of them.

I was busy head banging, jumping and throwing my hands around. I was dancing insanely. By the end of an hour my neck, back, legs and hands were telling me to chill out. And then I jumped some more. I have lost the count of number of feet I had crushed and how many times I faced the same. My head was blessed with gift of perpetual motion. Back and spine witnessed the fury like never before. My voice had gone down two octaves. But fatigue was something unheard of, and pain was sweeter than ever.

And then they bid the final good bye. Such a crowd was not what they would have expected in this part of the world. Demography has always deceived them and a lot of other bands. But let’s hope not anymore.

Maiden concert is over and now only must watch concert in my list is of Opeth. But I’m an optimist. I’ll watch it someday, if not in India then maybe in Sweden.

And to Maiden, all I could say is “adios amigos”. :)

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IIM C interview

Tuesday, March 13, 2007 |

GD was an interesting topic. It was about attrition in software companies. We were supposed to identify the reasons and come up with the probable solutions. We were a group of 9 people and 3 panelists, one of whom was IIM C alumnus. And after conclusion of the GD, every one of us was suppose to summarize the discussion in one minute.

Interesting thing happened during my summary. For the first time in my life I was very organized, and was putting forward the problem, causes and solution categorically. But in between one of the panelist said “Anshul your one minute is over, but continue continue, carry on with your points, finish it.” J

*I have no idea, if it is good or bad, can anyone help me interpreting it*

Anyways, excerpts of interview are as follows

P1: please give me your certificates.
A *hands them to him*
P2: so anshul, tell me something about yourself.
A: blah blah...
*in between this P3 told me to relax and sit comfortably*
P2: oh so you are a chemical engg. And you work for which company?
A: sir, TCS
P3: so was this transformation tough?
A: not exactly sir. It was a long thought process. Blah blah…
P1: so what is the attrition rate in TCS?
A: sir, something around 10%
P1: so what is TCS doing about it? Tell me from the points discussed in the GD.
A: They are trying to make their paycheck more competitive and have made a lot of changes in their HR policies. They have tried to improve the onsite opportunities for everyone, and they try to make sure that any employee, who has worked more than 2 years, should be given a fair chance to get an onsite opportunity. They are also trying to shuffle projects of an employee, so that he should not feel stagnated.
P2: what do you think are the key reasons of people to quit TCS?
A: sir, as we discusses, people usually quit for mainly two reasons, firstly lack of competitive salary and secondly, not satisfied with the quality of work. In TCS, most of the projects are of maintenance and support, so people do leave company for that reason. And also a lot of them feel, that package is not sufficient.
P1: so are you in development?
A: yes sir
P3: and are you satisfied?
A: very much sir.
P3: what technology are you working with?
A: sir, I’m working with pl/sql and oracle applications.
P2: we talked about incentives and team outings. So what do you think people prefer monthly team outings or may be cash 2000 rs?
A: sir, it depends. I feel bachelors prefer hard cash, while families prefer picnics and outings.
P3: so how long have you been in Bangalore?
A: sir around one and a half years
P3: so you must know quite a lot about the city, eh?
A: yes sir, I think so.
P3: so what is the recent thing about Bangalore that is in news?
A: sir, these days the news about stray dogs in Bangalore is hot. A lot of people have been their victims and eventually two kids died because of dog bites. So state government has issued an order to capture something around 1000 dogs a day.
P2: why don’t you think they kill them?
A: sir, they were planning to, but PETA and other animal activists didn’t let them.
P1: what do you think is a solution for this problem? Are you satisfied with the initiatives of the govt.?
A: yes sir. I think that the govt. is doing a good job. I too feel killing is not option. The dogs should be sterilized and left in a jungle far from the city.
P2: what about the people living in nearby villages?
A: sir, it has to be made sure that the place where the dogs are left should not have any human population in its vicinity. Otherwise they can crate havoc there.
P1: but when you leave them in jungle, they will die their eventually. So why not kill them?
A: sir, but in jungle they have an opportunity to live. If they have will and caliber to sustain, they can survive. But if we kill them, they won’t even have a choice but to get killed. In jungle they always have an option. And after that they have to live by the laws of the jungle. As Darwin said it “survival of the fittest”.
P1: so anshul, do u eat non-veg?
A: yes sir.
P1: chicken, mutton everything?
A: yes sir.
P1: so when you eat them, that time you don’t think of taking an animal life? Why are you thinking about these dogs?
A: sir, I don’t dig canines.
*rofl*
*I know it was very bad of me to make such an informal smartass comment, but it just slipped off my mouth, and the mood of the room made me little too relaxed. Even they were laughing on it.*
P2: anshul, tell me about your hobbies?
A: blah blah
P3: so you like movies, who is your favorite director?
A: Quentin Tarantino
P1: so do you read newspapers?
A: yes sir, I do.
P2: so have you read about the financial budget?
A: yes sir, I have.
P2: what do you think about it?
A: blah blah
P3: I guess that is it anshul
A: thank you sir!! J

*there were a lot more questions, but I don’t remember them now.*


Finally I’m done with my interviews. Now I’m keeping my finger crossed and waiting for the results. But now life is more miserable than ever. Now that I know, I know that I have screwed up at many points, now I do not have a chance to correct any mistake I made. No more interviews left. And even this thought is giving me jitters. I hope I can hold on my sane self by the time these results are out.

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Beware of Iron Maiden !! :D

Friday, March 09, 2007 |

came across this hilarious mail sent all over...go thru it, the info in the mail is incorrect in the first place...the lengths that ppl go to to promote religion!!!

Iron Maiden [the band is named after an instrument of torture] are slated to perform live in Bangalore on March 17th, 2007. This explains why it is suggested for Christians to stay away and to inform their friends too. "Unleash the Beast Within" is the caption of a full-page advertisement released in the New Indian Express and other newspapers of March 2, 2007, welcoming to India the rock band, Iron Maiden, which "ranks fourth on MTV's 'Top 10 Greatest Heavy Metal Bands of all time'.It also states that their 1982 album "The Number of the Beast" was a Top Ten hit in 1982, and their single, "Bring Your Daughter to the Slaughter " was the fastest ever to hit number one.

We are informed that the band's mascot, Eddie- that looks like a partially-decomposed corpse- "is a perennial fixture in the band's horror-influenced album cover art, as well as in live shows ."
I submit 'The Number of the Beast' as evidence that a deadly serious Satan is right now bargaining for the very souls and minds of our children. Billboard magazine's full page ads proclaimed the record as being 'Forged in the fires of Hell' which it undoubtedly was. The album can only be described as satanic.

Some of the album's song titles are equally revealing: 'Children of the Damned', 'The Number of the Beast', 'Hallowed be Thy Name', 'Run to the Hills'.

This verse is repeated as a spoken introduction just before the song 'The Number of the Beast' begins. Here are some of the lyrics to that particular song: 'In the night the fires are burning bright / The ritual has begun / Satan's work is done…/ I'm coming back / I will return / And I'll posses your body / And I'll make you burn

Iron Maiden are slated to perform live in Bangalore on March 17th, 2007.
Plz stay off this concert !

p.s. its a copy paste from orkut iron maiden india community.

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IIM A interview

Thursday, March 08, 2007 |

so 8th march was my d day.

there were 3 profs in panel and batch size per panel was 8. but one guy in my batch didnt appear (yeah yeah, ppl do miss iim a interviews). there were few friends of his and they were telling me that this guy got full waiver in MS from a decent university, so he dropped the plan for MBA. *thank God for small mercies*

Lets start with GD. it was a case study and it blew. pathetic would be an understatement and i was completly dejected by the time it ended. but may be it was good for me. i knew i have nothing to loose, as i'm already out of contention for the seat, and this subconcious thought help me do better in interview. but i still cant believe that GD could have been this pathetic.

lets switch to interview now, which i feel was ok. but i could not have done better than this, actually i didnt know anything more than this :P

P2: hello anshul, please hand me your certificates.
A*gives them his folder*
P2: so anshul, did you have tea? :)
A: thank you, I don’t drink tea.
A1: you don’t?
A*smiles*: no sir, i don’t like it.
P2: oh, that is strange.
A: yes sir, I’m not against it hardcore, but prefer not to have it.
P3: so do you drink whiskey?
A: no sir, I don’t take alcohol as well.
P3*devilishly*: oh you said hardcore, so i thought u drink hard.
A*what a pathetic pj*
P2: so what do you drink?
A: I drink milk, lassi and fresh lime, and occasionally cold drink.
P2: hmm, you are a good boy. But you know tea is good for health. it very good for blood and removes laziness.
A: yes sir, i have heard it purifies blood and act as detoxifying agent. And with regular lemon tea, skin glows.
P2: yes, but as soon as u add milk to it, all of it is gone. Tea is good only without milk.
A*whatever**smiles*
P2: yeah, you are a chemical engineer na. So can you tell me two things which are good, but if you mix them product is harmful?
A*hmmmm*: I guess hydrogen and chlorine. But hydrochloric acid is not good. Not that its bad, but it can be harmful.
P2: chlorine in itself is harmful.
A: oh, then may be hydrogen, oxygen and sulfur combine to make sulfuric acid*grins*
P2: *laughs*
P1: take biscuits please, or you don’t eat biscuits as well.
A*grins*: no sir, I eat biscuits.
*takes one good day*

P1: so anshul, what do you want me to ask from you, chemical engg or software?
A*grins*: sir, I’ll prefer software.
P1*laughs*: then I’m going to start with chemical engineering.
A*laughs with him*: as you wish sir.
P1: so what is market risk?
A: sir, I have worked on market risk software solution, but I don’t have much idea about it. But I can try it.
A: blah blah
P1: now you don’t want me to go in details of portfolio management?*grins*
A*smiles*: no sir.
P1*smiles*: ok, so this project MR-STAR of DB with which you were working, what was it about?
A: blah blah
P1: so you were into development?
A: yes sir.
P1: hmm, so you are chemical engineer. Let’s see, you are given a job in Pharma Company to design a database for them, for their various products, specifying contents, moisture content, assay.*he gave me whole funda of pharmacy, which I have never heard of. My god, I can’t believe how anyone can know so much. I started smiling* so what all tables will you define tables?
A:*I cracked this question, made a brilliant architecture*
P1*smiles*: so what is a relational database?
A: blah blah
P1: so tell me name of few databases?
A: oracle, my sql, ms sql, Sybase
P1: you missed access.
A: oh yes sir, access of course.
P1: which one have you worked with?
A: only oracle.
P1: ok. So tell me difference between mass transfer and mechanical operations?
A: blah blah
P1: let’s take one beaker of water, and add salt to it. It will dissolve, right? Can u draw me the curve of rate of solution vs. time?
A: hmm, sir I’m not very sure but it should be a reverse exponential curve, taking time on x axis.
P1: and why so?
A: sir, initially the conc. of salt will be zero in water, so conc. diff will be high and so higher mass transfer. But slowly as concentration of salt in water will increase, driving force that is conc. Difference will reduce and so will the rate.
P1: hmm, ok. So will this curve ever meet x axis?
A: I guess not sir.
P2: now consider a case, when I’m continuously adding more and more salt. Now what will happen?
A: sir, I don’t think it will make any difference.
P1: so what will happen at time infinity? Will it meet?
A*ponders*: hmmm no sir.
P1: have you heard of super-saturated solution?
A*oh my god*: sorry sir, it will meet x axis and not on time infinity but long before that. It will depend upon solubility of solute in solvent, temperature and many other factors.
P1*smiles*: and what about in other case?
A: it will depend upon amount added, after a particular amount, solute will stop dissolving and rest all will settle down as precipitate.
P1: so have you heard of super-saturated solution?
A: yes sir. Blah blah
P1: what will happen if its sugar in place of salt?
A: nothing will change sir, just solubility is different for sugar and salt, so only shape of curve will change but not its nature*smiles*
P3: in your weaknesses you have written that sometimes you get so engrossed in work of your liking that you tend to forget your other responsibilities
A: yes sir
P3: so while playing computer games, you ignored your studies?
A: not exactly sir
P3: but you get so involved that you don’t know what is going on around you?
A: yes sir, sometimes I won’t even realize that my friend came into my room.
P3: can you tell me some other incident when you get so involved where you compromised your studies?
A*since cgpa is not good, no point arguing that I never compromised*: sir, during illumination competition, I was involved in huge magnitude. It the kind of work I like to do and in sync with my skills.*please ask me question on illu*. I was heavily involved for about a month during all four years of my stay and at that time I fell I have compromised with my studies. But I feel that helped me in many other fronts. I learnt various other intangible skills like how to work in team, how to take decisions, how to manage resources, how to motivate people and I feel I’m a much better person now.
P3: now you said your hobby is analyzing movies
A*yo baby !!*: yes sir!! *smiles*
P3: ok, latest movie I saw was "GURU". Can you analyze that movie for me?
P3*turn to other panelists*: have you seen that movie?
P1: yes, I have *smiles*
P2:*nodded*
P3: anshul please go ahead.
A: sir, I feel the strongest point of the movie was its story. It was written brilliantly and was well executed too. Its amazing how one can portray almost lifespan of a person in such a short time and still able to tell what he wants. It helped maniratnam to direct a movie for which he himself has written the script and screenplay. This way he can execute his vision properly without any conflict of interests and opinions. He directed it brilliantly, and the movie was very gripping. Pace was good, but still I feel the length of the movie was not acceptable. It was way too long. And camera work I didn’t like much. For a director of maniratnam’s caliber I was expecting a better job with more close-ups.
Movie could have been shorten by not picturising few songs. I can’t see rationale behind that twins songs.
P3: as a matter of fact, do you think any song is necessary?
A: no sir, I’m not in a favor of songs in movie. At least not in favor of increment the length of movie half an hour that way.
P3: why do they out songs?
A: sir, mostly because it appeal to the masses here.
P3: what do you think?
A: sir I feel many a times lyrics of the song add to intensity of the shot. Let’s say a romantic song will help people understand song the deep feeling of love of couples for each other. Like the song “tere bina” portrayed exactly that.
P3: but don’t you think directors anyways do that in the scenes. And also they are providing visual aid to a story.
A: sir, I agree but songs are more appealing. They have rhythm and they can shape up the mood in a much better way than any shot. But I personally feel for that running around the tree and dancing is not the only way. I feel they should play the song in the background and vary the volume accordingly. If there are some dialogues then the volume should come down to almost mute level, while it can be raised again later. It will reduce the length of the movie significantly.
P3: ok. Anything else you wish to say about the movie.
A: sir I was moved by the acting of abhishek bachchan. He was superb.
P3: can you elaborate
A: sir, the intensity in his eyes was brilliant. I feel this was his best roles till date and this was his best performance till date. He delivered exactly what was expected out of him. He had that sign of passion and confidence in his body language. In particular I like the scene in which he encounters the businessman in the market. He was superb. I liked the way he picked up gujrati accent.
P3: you speak gujrati?
A: no sir.
P3: then how do you know that his accent was good?
A: sir, I don’t know if it was authentic or not, but he felt comfortable with it. I have seen many movies in which people pick up accent but perform below par. I feel that he had done a great deal of homework.
P3: what about aishwarya?
A: sir, I feel she was ok. She was looking very graceful. I should appreciate makeup artist for that.
P3: hmmm.
P3* turns to other panelists*: you want to ask something else?
P1: it’s ok.
P2: it’s ok
P3: thanks you anshul
A: thank you sir
P2: please collect your certificates and yeah*smiles* please have some toffees.
A*takes on melody :D*: thank you sir !! :)

so this was it. remember all this i faced when i have slept only for 10 hours in last 72 hours. yeah yeah champions league and office were taking its toll on me. and the fact that i was going to face A's interview was giving me nightmares and i had spent a lots of sleepless-rolling-on-the-bed nights.

please keep your fingers crossed :D

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My new Liverpool tee-shirt

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i luv it..
photo quality is not tht good though :( but whatever.
aint it sexy ??

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You'll Never Walk Alone !!

Tuesday, March 06, 2007 |

They have done it.


"The Reds" have done it yet another time. They have kicked out tournament favourites and last year's winner, the spanish giants barcelona. Barca was outperformed in every aspect of the game. Though Barca was a star studded team, with almost all the players constantly performing on international standards and playing for thr country, Liverpool have shown them what a good team-game is.

Line-ups for the team were

Liverpool:
Reina
Steve Finnan
Jamie Carragher
John Arne Riise
Alvaro Arbeloa
Daniel Agger
Xabi Alonso
Mohammaed Sissoko
Steven Gerrard
Dirk Kuyt
Craig Bellamy


Barcelona
Victor Valdes
Carlos Puyol
Marquez
Lillian Thuram
Oleguer
Deco
Ineista
Xavi
Ronaldinho
Eto'o
Messi


More than anything it was a tactical win for Rafa Benitez. He had answer and a very solid and fatal reply to every move by Rijkaard. Rijkaard was outwitted in every strategy. And Rafa's players gave him tremendous support as well. They were spot on. Every one was aware of his duty. Every one knew the importance of this match, and everyone performed according to the need. Rijkaard was going bonkers. He tried each and everything he could have and shuffled his team formation majorly, but Rafa was unmoved, and so was scorecard.


Best move according to me was making Gerrard a left winger. He is a class act, and i guess one of the few person who can contain Ronadinho, alone !! he was well supported by Riise.Riise also had few good chaces, which unfortunately he was not able to capitalise. Both of them were too good for the brazilian and kept in under control almost entire first half. And Arbeloa though very inexperienced, did a marvelous job in checking Messi. His job was to keep a check on Messi's pace, and he worked like a charm.


Defense was the key for the Merseyside. They had no big names in thr, but collectively they were like an untrespassable wall. Carragher and Finnan were spot on. They made so many crucial tackels and with great perfection, both inside and outside the box. Reina also showed great spirit and hardly made any mistake throughout the game. One of the rare times when he impressed me.


And putting Sissoko in place of Mascherano was expected, as "The Reds" wanted more stability in defense and they were counting on counter-attacks only. And they knew Valdes was the weak link in barca defense and they have almost exploited in many a times, but woodwork came up as an unexpected friend for spaniards. Barca defense was very vulnerable and they were extremly weak in air. This is one thing tht recently came up with them and they are suffering major for it.

"the Reds" started with a bang. During first half, Riise got few great chances, but was denied somehow. Valdes made on super-humanly, i call it fluke though, save to deny both Bellamy and Kuyt. Condition was so much with english side that by the time they had like 12 shots at goal, spanish side had ZILCH !! :D. They were aggresive in every aspect of the game. They didnt have much possession, but managed to keep ball in the safe zone almost throughout the match.


But they came back strongly in second half, and made few good attempt, one of which payed off. Godjohnson scored. But then chanting of the anthem "you'll never walk alone" started. and then barca was no more in the game.



Finally liverpool lost 1-0.But due to more away goals, "the Reds" advanced to the next rounds. :)
My wishes with them and yeah, i want to say "You'll Nevere Walk Alone".

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