Saturday, April 25, 2009

Hare Krishna ..Hare Rama

This is very different!. These songs are supposed to be enjoyed by Hippies. They have dope and then it goes on..

Om Namah Shivaya!

I feel his voice has some magic. I am spellbound by the song.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Happy Birthday :)

This one is a special post for my blog.Not only it is it's 4th Birthday also it's the 100th post :D. Finally off the nervous nineties and writer's block :))
On the new year day,I made a resolution that I would write 8 posts every month this year. With this am breaking that. Can't help ya it's after all my alter-ego's birthday.

Previous Birthdays!
Just Born......It's a brief intro about me..

First Birthday...... This is something special for me.. read the comments :D

Second Birthday......Was at Riyadh,Saudi Arabia

Third Birthday.....Blog reached its adolescence :D

..Now it got old.....soon a day will come when it becomes history!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Who Should Paint You

Who Should Paint You: Salvador Dali

You're a complex, intense creature who displays many layers.

There's no way a traditional portrait could ever capture you!

I'm so depressed that no artist can paint me...:(( sulk sulk

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Outsourcing - Good or Bad

I found this blog which goes by the title "Venture Level - Entrepreneur" created by Romil Patel. I should say that this blog is a must read for all those who are interested in starting their own firm and for all MBA students. This blog discusses anything involved with being an entrepreneur, running a business, or any personal success strategies

Romil Patel is a serial entrepreneur. Romil is currently involved with a few different online ventures as well as many ventures off the internet. He is very experienced with running businesses in retail with investments in well known franchise quick service restaurants, convenience stores & gas stations, and in the hospitality industry. Romil enjoys discussing how to better business "game" and strategies for entrepreneurial success.

There is a post on outsourcing ("Is Outsourcing Viable?") in which Romil has put out a few interesting observations. That kept me thinking over sometime and even I came out with my comments. You can find both of them below. It will be great if anyone throws some more light into the issue.
Outsourcing Good Bad

A lot of businesses do it these days and there is usually one major benefit to the company, if not more, which is cost effectiveness. Outsourcing has its ups and downs, but in my opinion, I would rarely, if ever, outsource any of my business work. Now that doesn't go to say- you shouldn't hire companies to handle "one time" work, but you should consider the following when you outsource your work.

There are too many loose ends. Any new entrepreneur that is starting out a company, probably doesn't have much start-up capital, so they look to outsource some work, instead of hiring help to work under them. This is usually okay, but sometimes when starting out a new venture, you are really worried that your project will be exposed or even worse- stolen. can probably sue someone or a company if they steal your ideas and make them their own, but honestly- if you didn't have the capital to hire someone to work under you- what say's that you have the capital to hire a lawyer and destroy the opposing party. So the bottom line is- hiring in house, can keep loose ends limited.

Time is wasted. Just like when you purchase a custom product from a company and then you want to make changes to the order, it sometimes cannot be done or it will just take a longer time. When you outsource, every change, be it minor, will take time to implement. If you are doing something in-house, changes are followed through on much faster and easier to work with.

You don't know what's going on. What does that mean?...Exactly what it looks like. When you outsource, you rarely know who is working on your project and beyond that- you just don't have the power to know what is going on at all times. Whenever we're working on a big project at any of my businesses, I always check in on the progress and anything else that has came to be a possible road block. I'm pretty sure most successful entrepreneurs I know, always like to have that power.

Quality is unknown. Whether you are outsourcing a small project or a long term part of your business, you don't know how the daily operations are actually being handled. For example, a lot of companies outsource their customer service call in centers, outside the U.S. I'm not saying that it is a bad thing, but a lot of customers are often dissatisfied, from what I hear, by the inefficiency to communicate clearly. If you are outsourcing some of your business, how do you know that the company will uphold the quality behind your company in the same way?

Employee talents are YOUR asset. As previously stated, outsourcing can mean various people working on your project. It could be a team of all stars or a team of people who know very little about what they are doing. Whatever it is, you just have access to their talents (or lack thereof), for the time being. When an employee is working for you, in-house, you have access to their talents, until the remain your employee.

There is a lot to digest when thinking about outsourcing, in which some cases it can be a great opportunity, but sometimes turn into a disaster. Entrepreneurs who are looking to outsource should always map out two scenarios. One of the possible outcomes if they do outsource and one where they don't. After everything is mapped out, it gives a better prospective on what route should be pursued.

I am a supporter of Outsourcing and my comment to the above post goes like this.
Outsourcing is a tactic to reduce cost but that itself is not the sole intention. It is actually trying to improve efficiency by concentrating on our core area and outsourcing the not so critical activities to someone for whom that part is a core competency.

"Time is wasted". This would happen even if there is an inhouse IT team with a typical hierarchial structure. I think by having a proper service level agreement and contract specifications this could be avoided.

"You dont know what exactly is going on". I would agree to this to some extent but again a lot companies offer enough transparency on what's going on who is working and his competencies etc. A regular check on status of project and by having prototyping etc. also could do away with this. I somehow feel you posed a problem but not what the industry is doing to workaround for the same.

When you said 'quality is unknown'. It seems you are very pessimistic on the idea of outsourcing. The trust on the 3rd party should come from his testimonials and past track record. We have to select someone who is considered to be good in the industry. Every respectable company would like to deliver a quality product/service.

I would like to end the comment with one very important advantage of going for outsourcing. The company to which the work is outsourced would be having multiple clients in multiple geographical locations. With this there will be an exhaustive knowledge repository being created. This knowledge which typically consists of the industry best practices can be used across it's customers. This will eventually help in improving the quality. There is enough scope for geographical level,product level and customer level spillover

The 2 scenes I love to watch even a zillion times

I don't think anyone other than Will Smith can do this better.

If you want something. Go get it. Period!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Please help baby Ayush!!

It is very sad that Ayush will lose his hearing ability if not treated soon.
Please pray for him and contribute to the cause.

Note:- Click the photo to reach the blog where you can find the details about his health and the medical reports.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

25 random things about me...

I was tagged by many to write 25 random things about me...well to get rid of my writer's block..I will give it a try
In this one I'm going to reveal the darker side of me as read it with a broad mind..and don’t jump into any conclusions.......cos I'm good :)

1)I'm an Aquarian

2)I am an egoist, but I try to be as modest as possible. I don't expect to be treated as special one..and be a cynosure ... but if some one acts smart in front of me taking advantage of my modesty I get really bad.

3)I am a GOD fearing person. Every day I get up, the first thing I do is look at the photo of GOD. I do pray whenever I visit some temple. My prayer is very short. I do it in my mother tongue, " Swamy ma amma nannu nu eppudu santhosha pettali" and thats it there ends the prayer. If I have to wait longer I repeat the same thing.

5)I believe am a strong willed person. I don't like to give up on anything. I will fail but not give up. That is one reason that made me discover the long distance athlete in me. Readers, I was the 2nd best long distance runner of my college.

6)I involve myself in many activities. I play football & hockey, and did play both in my under grad and even now. I'm part of the cultural events organizing teams. I'm part of many interest groups like trading,networking,adventuring etc.

7) I'm very well connected with people over net. I use orkut, linkedin, facebook, twitter, blip,youtube, blogger, digg, interscope and bloglog.

8)I'm very shy when it comes to talking to girls. I was never lucky in having a girl friend

9)In all the testimonials I got... ppl say that I have a good sense of humor, so I believe that..

10)Currently I'm in Bangalore and I miss my bike, speakers....

11)I have this hidden desire of becoming an actor..don't mind even if it's a villain or a supporting actor..:)

12)By the time I turn 40 I would like to set up an empire...a conglomerate of companies..yes obviously not alone..with some of my bestest friends...will drag them in.. :)

13)I lost 6 lakhs in one trade last year...took sometime to recover from the shock...from then I hardly did any trading. A big lesson learnt the harder way.

14)If all went well I would have made 12 lakhs out of it. I had a plan to set up a water bottling plant along with my friend with an initial investment of 50 lakhs.

15)I can speak Telugu, Hindi, English very fluently. Understand Tamil and speak a little. Can speak a little of Arabic and French. Currently learning Kannada and Bengali.I did a course in Japanese

16)I'm always ready to give free fundaes to anyone. I know there are a lot of people out there who have been victimised by my unsolicited tips/suggestions/ideas/advice

17)I once said that I'm secular by heart. Let me tell this. I used to love the Namaz(Salath) read out when I was there in Saudi. And many times I used to recite along with it.

18)I have this weakness, which is getting worse. I can't explain things in crisp. I'm so used to writing the long globe answers that I end up writing too much for even the silliest of the questions.

19)Don't even dare to ask me the story of the movie I watched. I will narrate the whole screenplay for u giving u the actual feel of the movie. I can't help it. I can't even cut it short.

20)I don't like to drink tea, coffee, milk and any fizz.

21)My academic interests are Mathematics, Statistics, Economics(lately discovered) and Finance.

22)My other interests are traveling, social networking, blogging, playing computer games and sketching.

23)In Hollywood I find Kiera Knightley and Scarlett Johansson very beautiful, In Tollywood I like Charmy :D..just recently..

24)Of the books I read some books which I really liked were Iacocca and Wings of Fire

25)Some movies which I can watch again and again without getting bored are Life is beautiful, Shawshank Redemption, Pursuit of Happyness, Sarfarosh…

Huh!.. 25 is too small a number to write about me. I wrote them randomly and there is no logical flow of the points.

Note:- I've no intentions to steal the images, infact I've used the links giving credit to the owners of the images. If any of the creators have any issue please let me know I'll remove the image.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

The party at Darjeeling

All of us were high :)..yea at 6900ft above sea level

The Trip to North East - Part II

After the long 1st part now comes the 2nd part, I've no idea how long this one would be.

So after the adventurous trip from darjeeling we finally reached Gangtok. We checked into this hotel called Shonali international. A 3 bedroom suite costed us around 450 bucks..Now the 3 bedroom is not a room with 3 beds..But a bed which is large enough to accommodate 3 normal sized our soham was obvious left over. He got a special bed. The worst part was there was water problem all over Gangtok. It was the 3rd day they were facing that problem. The hotel service people were kind enough to get water in buckets for us whenever we asked for. Another strange thing about Gangtok is that the city sleeps early. By 8:30pm all shops and hotels close down. We went out at 9pm and there were hardly any hotels. There was one hotel called Bayul which was open at that time with no customers in it. We were happy to find it open and went in and sat there. The lone server gave us a menu and asked what we would like to order. Whatever we asked for he said it wasn’t available..finally we asked him to get whatever he has.. for that he said he just had 2plate chicken and no rotis... we got pissed and left that hotel...and then went further..finally we found a hotel called Tashi Delek restaurant. This one is big and has an open air restro also. We got something there but it was not upto our satisfaction levels. By the way Tashi Delek is "Namaste" in Sikkimese.

While coming back to our hotel we took a taxi, thats when we met this person Dhava(Dhaba). He is a very active person. He told he would arrange for our Nathula and Lachung trip, initially we were a little sceptical about the guy so we didn’t pay him any money but later we realised that this guy is a gentle soul. Infact most of the Sikkimese people are very cordial. They respect the tourists because tourism is their daily bread and butter. So you can trust any Sikkimese person. The next day we left to Lachung which is around 150kms from Gangtok. The trip costed us 800 per head. This is because it's off peak season else it could go up till 2000.

The way to Lachung is one of the worst ghat roads I've ever seen. There were even quite a few of breathtaking moments while going. You see warnings about shooting stones and landslides. The road is narrow and it is a 2 way road. The driver of our cab was Mr. Dhrubha. He is one arrogant rash driver. He doesnt like following any vehicle..He will do anything to overtake that vehicle. So just imagine with all this it was one hell of a ride to Lachung.

The first stop was at “Seven sister falls”. Its called so cos the waterfall before touching the ground hits seven rocks and changes its course. We stayed for sometime and took some pics.

The waterfalls in background

Then we moved on to a place called Rang Rang, where we had our lunch in a hotel. We got nice dal and fish curry there. This food was also included in the package.

The next stop was some waterfalls I don’t remember the name, If some one knows the name of this waterfalls please to update me. We took some pics there, I almost broke my bones. I slipped on a rock but was lucky to get away with just some scratches. Then we moved on.

We were getting closer to the mountains covered with ice. It was getting colder and dark. We stopped at another water falls. This one is the scariest waterfall I've ever seen in whole of life time. It falls from a great height. The height of which is not mentioned anywhere. This waterfall is called Amitabh falls for the obvious reasons. The water there was so cold that I was shivering inspite of wearing 2 shirts and a jacket over that.

You can see me in the pic..

A full size photo of Amitabh falls

At around 6pm we finally reached Lachung where we checked into a small hotel. By then it was pitch dark over there and there were no street lights but still we decided to check out the village. We walked for quite a long distance, The following pic shows the wooden houses in the village.

Can you see a kid posing for the photo

The next day morning we left to the place called Yumthang, where you get to do skiing but to our disappointment the way to Yumthang was blocked because of an avalanche. So we stopped 7kms before Yumthang and played with ice over there. We were disappointed with the trip because we couldnt do the skiing which was the main reason for coming to the place.


We left to Gangtok that afternoon around 2pm. In the mid way there was some landslide and all the vehicles were stuck up on either side of the road. It took around 4hrs for the whole thing to clear up. The BRO came and cleared it using bull dozers and dynamites. We explored the hilly village in mean time.

The Landslide

Finally we reached Gangtok at around 9pm. By then our hero Dhava was ready with all processing for Nathula. Dear readers for Nathula you need to get permits done a day before and it’s better you get it from some travel agent. We checked into another hotel called Viewpoint hotel. This hotel costed us 550 per day and even in this theres one large bed and an extra bed. I chose the extra bed :). We then planned to go to casino but the hotel wala was very strict he told that he would close the gate of the hotel at 10:30 and after that even if some one bangs the gate no one would open, he even told us to check out if we want to go out. So we gave up the idea of Casino. That night me and Soham tried weed :) I dint get high with it may be cos of the quality of the weed. This is the first time I tried and probably the last time also.

The next day we got up around 8, and got ready for the Nathula trip.
The driver of this cab was Sunil. Along with us there were 2 families. A couple sat in the front seat. The second family was a Rajasthani family consisting of mom, dad and 2 sons. They were so excited that we were from IIM Calcutta :). They asked us to guide their son, Most of the time I was silent but my friends Soham and Swadheen were active in giving free fundaes :). Somehow the discussion went on about girls. Thats when the lady told that girls in Darjeeling are so beautiful for which 3 of us concurred but our ultra pseud Kalyan refuted saying girls in Europe are beautiful. There was a pin drop silence after that then I again broke the silence saying I am a desi and I like only desi stuff ;)

We reached Nathula at around 11pm. It is at 14000 feet above sea level and cold and windy. My hands shivered even after wearing gloves. I couldnt click the camera properly, It was that bad. We went close to the gate,which was electrified, and took pics. The Chinese rang a siren and warned us. Our Accountant was shouted by Chinese military people personally when he stepped on the barbed wire.

That's where we were warned by Chinese

Look at the Chinese army man looking at my friend's feet.

After this we left to another point called Baba Harbhajan Singh Mandir. It was constructed in memory of a person named Harbhajan singh who was in army and died during his service. It seems after his death he appeared in dreams of people in army and warned them of all impending dangers like avalanches, attacks etc. The army people are staunch believers of him and whoever passes by that route stop in front of it and leave only after offering prayers.

Baba Harbhajan Singh Mandir

We bought some souvenirs there. Then we left to Tsomgo lake a video of which I already uploaded. In simple words it's heaven on earth. For a beautiful description do check the video. We took a yak ride there. The Yak on which I sat was called Jack.

Tsomgo Lake

Then we went to Sherbathang market where we bought some more souvenirs and had our lunch( wai wai and chowmin).

Hot Hot Wai Wai

We then left to Gangtok and reached there around 8pm. We requested the hotel wala to keep the gate open atleast for that one time for us. He was very strict over that but after repeated request he told he will keep it open till 11:30pm and will close the very next minute. We thought something was better than nothing and left to the Casino. It was a nice experience there. We initially lost our money in roulette but later with some strategy made up for all the loss, We then left the place and while coming out we met 2 of our friends who were coming to the Casino, we again went back to Casino accompanying them. This time we made losses again but were not confident enough so left. Finally it was not worth it :(

We went back to hotel at around 10:30pm itself. We talked to Dhava about our plan for the last day. We wanted to cover the Rumtek monastery, Lingdum monastery and Teestha water rafting.

The next day we checked out the hotel at around 9am and got into the taxi. The driver of the taxi was Subash who was again very cooperative; He drove really fast for us so that we could cover all those places. We were running out of time cos we had the Calcutta train to catch on that day evening at Siliguri. We first went to this place called Banjhakhri falls, this is the worst place and I dont suggest anyone to visit this place. I think may be kids in KG may enjoy that place else it’s not worth it.

After that we went to Lingdum monastery. It was big and very peaceful.

You are supposed to roll that and chant this mantra "Om Mani Padme Hung"

Then we left for Rumtek monastery. This monastery is one of the most visited monsateries in Asia. A lot of Bhutanese visit this place. Theres a small book shop cum canteen to the right side in the monastery owned by one cute lady. She told she is from Kharaghpur. We bought the Buddhist incense sticks over there. Then we visited a Tibet curio, you get all antique stuff there, outside the monastery. The owner of the shop is Ms. Siring an old lady. We bought a lot of goodies there.

Rumtek Monastery

We skipped our lunch to do the rafting as we running out of time. The place where we do rafting is Millie. The rafting thing costed us 1400 Rs and a 100 more for photography. It was a nice experience rafting. We did for almost 8kms. The wind was very strong and it was difficult rowing there. We even got into the river and swimming for sometime. Then after rowing for 8kms we finally reached our destination. We were shameless to change our dress on the main road though there was changing room just to save 15 bucks ;)

After we were done with the rowing

We then left to New Jalpai Guri by our taxi. Thats it.. This is how our trip to North East ended. It was an awesome experience and I would like to suggest all my readers to try visiting North East atleast once in your lifetime :)

Things to keep in mind
1) Keep winter clothing when you are visiting North-East
2) Vaseline, Boroplus are must
3) Sikkimese people are very courteous
4) Kolkata mobiles are not roaming in Sikkim