The Man with no Acting Skills

I had some high hopes from The Man with the Iron Fists.

I mean, with trailers like this, wouldn't you?

I finally caught it yesterday. The movie is horrifyingly disappointing. The lead 'actor' RZA is so bad that he makes Batista look Oscar-worthy. And Russell Crowe is so fat he looks like Mohanlal. Lucy Liu is plain irritating barring one good fight scene at the end. A perfect waste of time. Watch the trailer, it has ALL the good things the movie contains, packaged much better and save yourselves an hour-and-a-half.

I guess that's all I have to say about that.


How many shots do you get?

First shot, I gave it my all, although it wasn't what I wanted. They wrote my name and then cut it. I didn't mind (that much).

Second shot, I knew I wasn't what they wanted, but I gave it a shot anyway. They wanted me, but I refused. They didn't mind. I didn't mind either because I knew, after two, the third was coming. It would just be a matter of time. And I would be ready.

I didn't expect it to come so soon. And I sure as hell didn't expect to turn down the offer at the shot barely seconds into being offered it. It was disconcerting, but again, what they offered wasn't what I wanted.

And so I wait, for the next one to come along...

The Map of the Internet

This be brilliant.

The Internet Map

Click, and enjoy.

A comprehensive Batman Infographic

Like there was ever a chance I wasn't going to post this. Via Newsarama


I finished reading The Hunger Games trilogy at a break-neck pace last week. I'd have liked it even more than I did if not for the fact that it followed my reading of A Song of Ice and Fire. Its good, but its just not that good. But I can definitely see its appeal for a 'young adult' audience, although my main complaint with Katniss is that most of the time, she simply doesn't do anything! Read the book and tell me I'm wrong. But yeah, she's a super-woman compared to Bella, so I guess its not all that bad. 

My major take-away from the book is this: Katniss Everdeen is a female Vijay Deenanath Chauhan. 

Don't believe me? Here:

President Snow on Katniss (Book Two): Katniss Everdeen, the girl who was on fireyou have provided a spark that, left unattendedmay grow to an inferno that destroys Panem.

Any questions? 

GoT - Buddy Movie?


(Brilliant, though..)

GoT - The RomCom

Tell me someone did not do this. (They did.)

People, people, people...

You're already outdated, Muthu...

Just as Muthuball comes into the picture, here's the latest: 

Moneyball 2.0: How Missile Tracking Cameras Are Remaking The NBA

Go read. Oh, and the creators would like it if you referred to it as Moneyball Plus, thank you very much. 

I think these two taken together have a lot of potential. Muthuball could help determine the draft picks for various teams and Moneyball+ would then get to work on improving their game. 

Now can someone tell Kobe and the Buss family there's something out there that they can spend money and get their hands on to win another title? 


Check it out, let me know.


I came across this sometime in the last year, I think. 

Its a theory put forward by a Stanford guy, Muthu Alagappan, on how there are actually 13 positions in basketball, not the traditional 5.

I liked it then, and now its getting picked up in wider circles as well.

These are his 13 positions:

If you want to check out his entire talk as well as the presentation, go here From 5 to 13: Redefining the positions in Basketball

Ray B.

I haven't read anything of Ray Bradbury (yet), but I will soon. Lots of his books are on my wishlist and with the news of his death, his books just leaped a little ahead. So I'm not the best guy to comment on his life, works etc. etc...

What I do know, is that he has one of the greatest tribute songs I have ever heard. Take it away, Rachel Bloom...

She did meet him before he died. What happened, however, is unknown (I think).

Rest in peace, Ray...

The United States of Westeros?

Whoever made this is a freakin' genius.

Just bloody brilliant...

Open Letters

Been the Season of Open Letters eh?

Started off with Madrasan babe and now to India's Graduating Classes.

Quick thoughts on its points/wishes the author had:

1.You speak and write English fluently - This is just crap. Not everyone studies in an English medium school in India. That takes nothing away from their ability; most of them catch up.

2. You are good at problem solving, thinking outside the box, seeking new ways of doing things - Methinks this is a systemic problem. That's just how students are taught here. A few escape education with their 'out of the box' thinking ability barely intact, and they're the lucky ones. 

3. You ask questions, engage deeply and question hierarchy - Heh. Bullshit. Would love to see a new joinee to ask questions around the company, challenge people and walk away with their bonus/incentives intact.

4. You take responsibility for your career and for your learning and invest in new skills - MNCs hold trainings, people go. I doubt many Indian companies do (not talking about the marquee names, but run-of-the-mill companies). If you find about some training and want to go, how many companies would sponsor you? 

5. You are professional and ethical: Everyone loves to be considered a professional. - Yeah, this I agree with. And although company culture does come into play, this is something that is completely within our control. 

Where I'm having trouble is in deciding whether the NYT column was linkbait or not...

Move from the former to the latter...

“There is a great difference between knowing and understanding: you can know a lot about something and not really understand it.”--Charles F. Kettering

Buy from Flipkart!

Heh, just found out that Flipkart also has an affiliate program like Amazon and other online stores.

So gives me an opportunity to peddle stuff that I like and have read, The Tiny Wife for instance.

Go buy!

Dear Valued Taxpayer

Got an interesting mail today.

Dear Valued Taxpayer,

We regret to inform you that your tax refund request was NOT processed successfully. This is beleived to have been caused by the submittion of incorrect/inacurate account information.

However, after the last account audition, the total refund payable to you is now 42,320.00 INR. Please follow the link below to re-submit a refund request and this time, endeavor to fill in your Information accurately to avoid further delay in the remittance of your tax refunds into your account


Note: Your request will be processed within a period of ten (10) working days

We appreciate taking the time to learn about our tax refund. It's one more way Income tax department can make your tax payment experience better.
Tax Refund Department
Department 0f revenue,
Ministry 0f finance,

Now the mail is obviously a scam, but for a second I was almost taken in because of the email ID: 

That's almost official sounding. But if you go through the trouble of making this website or email ID, why don't the spammers also redirect me to a more official sounding link when I click on the 'CLICK HERE' link which instead led to a completely unofficial sounding (Please don't click that)

Also, the 'Of' in the signature is spelt with 0 (zero) instead of O. And silly spelling mistakes. Oh, and also, there's no way I can qualify for that much refund, but I see the appeal. Its a nice, middle-of-the-ballpark figure for a mass mailer.

Surely you can do better guys? 

Facebook, Divorces

With all the brouhaha about FB's IPO and the dud that followed, here's something else for us married folks to chew on: Does Facebook Wreck Marriages?

More than a third of divorce filings last year contained the word Facebook, according to a U.K. survey by Divorce Online, a  legal services firm. And over 80% of U.S. divorce attorneys say they’ve seen a rise in the number of cases using social networking, according to the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. “I see Facebook issues breaking up marriages all the time,” says Gary Traystman, a divorce attorney in New London, Conn. Of the 15 cases he handles per year where computer history, texts and emails are admitted as evidence, 60% exclusively involve Facebook.

I'm feeling better about not being an avid FB user already... 

How to buy Happiness

Money can, in fact, make you happy, but not quite in the way you think it will. Spending on others makes you far happier than spending on yourself.

Here's an interesting TED talk on this...

Short Review: The Corporation that Changed the World

The Corporation that Changed the World: How the East India Company Shaped the Modern MultiThe Corporation that Changed the World: How the East India Company Shaped the Modern Multi by Nick Robins
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The book is a good read; unfortunately, I found the first half too confusing. The timeline would often jump 30-40 years forward and backward which made following the narrative a bit difficult. Reading becomes easier in the second half. Nevertheless, an interesting read, especially to understand about how the company was looked at (and operated) from a British point of view. Although it runs under 200 pages, its not a quick read, there's a lot of information packed within those pages.

View all my reviews

'The Tiny Wife'

The Tiny WifeThe Tiny Wife by Andrew Kaufman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A fantastic little book, fantastic as in a tale of wondrous fantasy. Wonderfully imagined and written, the book is a perfect little meal in itself. As Goldilocks would say, 'The book is just right.'

View all my reviews

A Wall. The Wall.

Consider for a second, a wall.  

When you see a wall, you know it to be a wall. You have a general idea of what a wall looks like, indeed, even of what it should look like. I suppose the first thoughts that passed through your mind on reading this question included the stereotypical characterization of a red brick wall. But that is not what I ask. I ask you to consider the basic nature of a wall. Why do walls exist? Why do we need walls? What do walls do? 

The ever-reliable Wikipedia tells us that "wall is a vertical structure, usually solid, that defines and sometimes protects an area. Most commonly, a wall delineates a building and supports its superstructure, separates space in buildings into rooms, or protects or delineates a space in the open air." Simply put, for any entity, a wall defines, supports and nurtures. Take a space, take a creation and the wall is its Brahma and Vishnu. It creates, it protects. A bad wall destroys. A bad wall is Mahesh

Walls are reliable. Walls are solid. Walls support us. Walls protect us.

Now think of a cricket team, specifically the Indian Test team. Think of our opening batsmen. An attacker and a berserker. Think of when they make a century opening stand at nearly a run-a-ball and then one departs. Think of the man who used to come in after them, and how you groaned. "Abey yaar, yeh toh out bhi nahin hoga." Think of a green pitch, a seaming pitch, a bouncy pitch when one of them invariably departed almost as soon as he had come in. Think of the relief you felt at the sight of the man coming in after them. "Abey yaar, yeh toh out nahin hoga." 

Writing the Textbook

Rahul Dravid. The Wall. 

There seems to be a general consensus that somehow, 'The Wall' isn't an appropriate enough nickname for the greatest No. 3 batsman of our time. That perhaps it needs a 'Great' as an appendage. That perhaps it needs to reflect his roots as "The Great Wall of India" or even "The Great Wall of Indore". The general consensus is wrong. 

A good wall defines. More than perhaps any other cricketer, Rahul Dravid has defined the structure of the Indian cricket team. A team of stroke-makers built around a man who was as gifted as any one of his peers and who had the added skill of simply not getting out. The longer you stayed at the crease, the more you scored. Rahul Dravid stayed. This is not to say he was not as talented as his peers; indeed, I think he was rather more talented than we usually give him credit for. Rahul Dravid defined. In Adelaide, in Jamaica and so many more... 

Pick any of your favorite memories of the last decade (and more) involving this Indian team, and there is a very good chance that you will find some involvement of his in it. Propping up an end for hours and hours and then some more? Done that. Kept wickets? Done that. Even bowled a few overs? Yup, done that too. Caught well-nigh everything that's come his way? Of course. Opponents came in droves, and The Wall kept them all out. He gave them a target to attack at and unrelentingly blunted them. Imagine for a second, as a bowler, you've given it your all, rushed in, attacked the stumps, bowled short, bowled yorkers and then some and the man at the other end simply refused to leave. Politely, but firmly rebuffed. How would you feel? 


A good wall supports. When others crafted masterpieces, he supported them. Gave them the space, the freedom to create. He supplied the materials, kept out the sounds, made sure they were well-fed, absorbed their tantrums, massaged their egos, took away their worries and let them express. In the process, he created mini-masterpieces of his own, but someone else took away the limelight. It didn't matter. He did it all over again with someone else. Rahul Dravid supported. In Kolkata, in Headingley and so many more...

A good wall protects. Cast your mind to the future, to the next test which India will play. Imagine an early wicket falling. That chill that passed through your spine? That was the realization that Rahul Dravid will no longer be walking out to the pitch, no longer be bloody-mindedly occupying the crease. With Rahul, there was peace, now there will be insecurity. 

A bad wall destroys. When The Wall was bad, the whole structure crumbled. When The Wall had a crack, not even the Gods could save us. 

That is why The Wall is the perfect, and the only required sobriquet for Rahul Dravid. It is not meant to belittle him or his achievements. Rahul Dravid was not the Wall at which something stopped, he was the Wall at which everything began. Knowingly or unknowingly, we have given him our ultimate respect. We have chosen Rahul Dravid to embody everything that is good about the basic foundation of any structure created by any man. We have chosen to be surrounded, to be protected by Dravid all our life. What higher honour can we bestow? 

P.S.: If I were ever asked to come up with an alternate nickname for Rahul Dravid, it would be Gandalf. More often than not, if Rahul decided you would not pass, then you would not pass. Thank you Rahul, for deciding in our favour so many times. 
P.P.S.: Tried to send this to SportsKeeda, but apparently they can't publish it because "it's too late to do so". Oh well.