Monday, January 28, 2008

if they can name it, they can claim it, get your kicks on route 66

so after blowing off a lecture on stat arb profits in the market today due to lot of work at work, i went straight to the gym. the culture in new york is such that pple work out. its like having lunch. nearly everyone i know belongs to some sportif establishment. and theres hardly anyone overweight at these gyms, its all fit pple who want to become err..fitter. and believe you me, theres nothign more embarassing than having 60 year olds run faster than you and that too for longer periods on the treadmill. and while they jump over hurdle after hurdle, you being 34 years younger, are redfaced, breathless and about to collapse with the pain, all thanks to the lactic acid buildup in your muscles. i do believe its really the culture to be on top of things. everyone, ok i rephrase, mostly everyone are dressed well, look good, eat healthy etc.
agreed that i never watched that much tv when i was in school, both undergrad and grad but i can bet on the fact that there are far more companies that are willing to deliver ready to eat packaged heathly meals every day. and they are doing immensly well. pple are eating right. sometimes, this whole thin thinner thinnest culture albeit wrong, is even expected. a friend of mine who is super thin, goes in and tests her trainer by saying something absurd that she wants to be 100 pounds. the trainer doesnt argue. it doesnt register that its grossly underweight. she says ok, and pens the target weight down and starts advising my friend on what to eat and what not to eat. (ill reiterate, my friend is not even the slightest bit fat).
so along with the gym membership, i get 3 training sessions with my trainer. after my trainer blowed me off two weeks ago, and after observing (i.e gawking) of how embarassing and painful the training session has potential to be, i kind of kept a low profile, thinking that i will buy time and perhaps i wont have to undergo these sessions and will claim a refund. however at the gym i got cornered by my trainer, and he forced me to make an appointment at the ungodly hour of 6 oclock am. wahhhhhhhhhh.
just shoot me already, or rather just suck out all the lactic acid production.


Monday, January 21, 2008

all who wander, are not lost. - JRR Tolkien

so every once in a while you will read something, or hear something, or watch something or dream about something, that will truly inspire you do something. anything. and for that moment of inspiration, you think big despite all the restrictions one may have, and you tell yourself you will do it. but as the next distraction, or the drudgery of day to day life sets in, you forget about it, until the inspiration strikes again in some form or the other.

i started my guitar lessons, this week. part of the always wanted to do things. we were probably the most diverse group that can ever be. a white red haired guy, just graduated (i believe) from college, a hispanic man who aspires to be the guy who plays awesome music at the train station, an african american grandma kinds, whose cousins play awesomely and she wants to play as well. and then there was my friend, a canadian-taiwanese trader and lastly, me.

at first, my impressions were this place looks shady. and my friend pointed out most muscians are poor, and it probably wont be an upscale place for sure. but barring first impressions, it was pretty great, the teacher was good and encouraging and no matter how much my fingers wouldnt curl, she didnt lose patience, until i sort of got it right.

It is a lot of hardwork and practice and at the end of the day your finger tips do hurt, but apparently it gets better and the pain does go away. leaving you with a skill that makes you and possibly others feel a lot better.

heres a dekko at someone whose given me another dose of inspiration.


Saturday, January 19, 2008

im sending out an sos.

so this week's movie is 27 dresses. for a die hard fan of "chick flick" (romantic comedies), this would be the movie of the month. but sadly its far far from that. it could have been great. so the story is pretty simple, a girl who is so into marriages, has been a bridesmaid for 27 of her other friends. and she truly cant wait to get married.

so all the typical cliches are there, the girl who is a complete idealist. her best friend a cynic. the guy she falls for the "perfect" guy and her irritating and annoying sister who eventually ends up with the "perfect" guy. the guy who irritates you but who you secretly crush on and eventually end up marrying. and then in the end, the best friend falling for the best man.


the movie is not unique in any way, not even those little scenes in the middle of the movie that spring up and make u go aww. theres none of that. the lead pair have zero chemistry and all the while ure hoping its going to get funnier its going to get better. but the movie gets over, and your like damn we should have watched a movie where aliens capture new york. as my friend puts it, yet again.

weirdly enough, there were lot of guys watching this movie. and no they were not being forced to by their girlfriends or wives or friends.

but some things hold true. like when you get the morning paper, everyone has their favourite section. there are some pple, who dont feel like they have read a paper until they read the cover page, others the entertainment section first (ie me), then others the business pages, others the matrimonials section, then there are others who prefer the TV guide.

so desis dont really have that bridesmaid culture, but there is the married girl - sometimes a relative who you barely know - even if it someone you really know, who is supposed to accompany you on stage and be by your side and explain "things". (coz you are soooo comfortable listening about it from them or coz you cant just read about it by ureself). but a bridesmaid/best man in the western world, is quite different, its usually being dressedup and honored as being one of the best friends of the bride or even groom. secretly (not so much as a secret now since im blogging about it) i ve always wanted to be a bridesmaid or at least see one of these white gown weddings, but sadly lot of my friends are cynics and dont see the point to a grand wedding just a registered marriage thing is sufficient. which again i dont think is wrong since one shouldnt be sucked into doing exactly what this multi billion dollar wedding industry makes everyone think they should do. its just a whole lot of stress and a negative balance for a long long long time for a day that isnt even fun. i dont know a single person who have really enjoyed on their wedding day. im not saying they dont consider it important, or the most significant day of their life, but i dont know a single person who really was chilled out and thoroughly enjoyed the whole day and not the bits and pieces in between.


Thursday, January 10, 2008

chalti ka naam tata nano

ok, so obviously my post today is about tata's, newest car on the block. ie the tata nano. Im not particularly impressed with this moniker, its very ipodish. Ok, i know many pple will argue with this statement considering the word nano isnt really an ipod copyright.

So the good.

obviously the Rs 100,000 price. It makes me so happy that I can now afford a car. sadly only in India. but on the bright side yay, im moving up the accomplished ladder, next goal - a house. Ok honestly i think the Tata nano is on first glance a pretty compact, no frills car that does the job (ie transport you from point A to point B). It doesnt have airconditioning, it is atleast four doors (yay, probably the only requirement to be a car), its cute and has that wannabe celebrity thing going for it (celebrities occasionally like to drive cutesy cars, so im guessing the popularity of this car will hit the roof when it actually starts selling) . And I hear the construction is pretty top quality and is not something thats going to fall apart when you are driving. Then again, theres no real guarantee, I have driven supposedly "expensive brand" cars and they literally have fallen apart and no im not kidding.

The Bad

Congestion, congestion and congestion. Not to mention, pollution, pollution and pollution. Hopefully Tata would have thought of investing in ways to come up with solar energy or making this a hybrid kind of car.

I was watching a segment on NBC (i think thats what it was) about the nano. some pple called it a glorified rickshaw, others saw it as a cheap alternate to the motorbike (which is precisely what Tata says he was aiming for) and then there were others who landed with 100,000 rs hard cash and others went plastic. however, the cars actually hit the market a year later.

enough time for competition to catch up?


Saturday, January 05, 2008

udnei ko tu azaad hai - you are free to fly.

so last year was quite an eye opener for me, it was quite monumental so to say with my graduation and finally getting a job. which im thankful to God for. Thank you so much for listening to my hopes and making them come true.

This year I plan to live life to the fullest, I plan to do things which I have never done. Many a times you decide, in your head you will do so and so but you dont coz u arent motivated enough or coz you just dont have the time or the money. I decided this year i will do something creative so i have enrolled myself to a guitar school. this year i will do something healthy, so i enrolled myself to a health club. this year i will do something less selfish, so i signed up for volunteering at schools and hospitals. this year i will influence others for good things, so i convinced my mom to sign up for yoga classes. this year i will do the one thing i regret not doing as a kid, riding a bicycle. i will not only ride a bicycle but enter a bicycle tour around the city. this year i will try to do something intellectual, i will try to publish something. this year i will continue to believe in kistmet . most importantly, this year i will try to do something good in life. for myself and for others. and to give thanks be grateful for everything.

Thank you God.


Wednesday, January 02, 2008

We belong to Him and to Him is our return.

last weeks breaking news about benazir bhuttos assasination dumbfounded a lot of us. i was going with my mom to the clinic when a relative called up to tell us this breaking news. when we reached the clinic, a pakistani patient sat there shell shocked exasperately trying to get the tv to work in the waiting room. we flipped over couple of channels and finally saw that was not just a mere rumor but a fact. benazir bhutto was dead. i cant say that i know much about politics, let a lone politics in pakistan. and i cant comment about it. and i dont know too many things about her. there are lot of pple who applaud her for her courage. there are those that berate her for her corrupt ways. maybe she was corrupt, maybe she was a patriot. it doesnt matter at the end of the day. its a horrible way to die. and no matter what the reason the person had to do this it doesnt make it correct. two wrongs have never made a right.i feel really sad for her kids. its horrible to watch your mom die like that. i seriously dont know why the bhuttos continue in politics.

my dad used to be the doctor at the school where the kids studied and he told us about it on how shy the kids were and well behaved and didnt behave as kids of someone famous.
when i landed at jfk airport, while standing in immigration i read the breaking news that bilalwal will now succeed Benazir Bhutto, I was really disappointed. sometimes the ridiculousness of pple appall me, why would your pressurize (im assuming its pressure) a teenager to contest elections. with all due respect, why do you think he has the mental ability and the emotional capacity to do so. hes still a kid! hes barely finishing undergrad, why do you think he would know how to handle a party or if he was voted in, what would he know about economic affairs. despite coming from a doctors family that doesnt make me ready to conduct a bypass surgery tommorow.
its the same thing i believe.

and i dont understand why the world is so gung ho about this whole nepotism thing. keeping it in the family. this is the case everywhere. in india, the whole obsession with the gandhi clan. and in pakistan the bhuttos. in the US the clintons or the bushes. i cant understand why. my weak answer to this is we are comfortable with the known and it may or may not be good for you. but since we know it, we keep going back to it.



much ado about absolutely nothing.

so this year i decided (well, my friends decided) that i would witness my first new years eve party ever. barring one year ive always been at home in dubai. and besides that ive always spent it with my family at home. when we were little, we were never allowed to go out with friends on new years eve, we would always spend it at home and even if we were out for dinner we would make sure we were back by 12. and would swtich to channel33 and wait for the clock to tick 12 and then we would wish each other. and read out our resolutions. most of which our parents had written for us. which we made and broke instantly.
so this year we decided to go to a new year eve party, it was a totally desi party, so i was quite prepared for the wannabees. so we reach there and the line is really long, which is considered an ok sign since it shows the club is popular or something like that. so we are waiting in line when a guy comes up to us and is like do you have an eticket coz if you do we arent letting you into the club. at this point i have a super shocked expression about to faint, coz it was just a process getting there and forcing everyone to come and it would be really disapointing not having witnessed it. well then the guy goes look at your face im just messing with you and then proceeds to ask for the ticket. im quite hesitant now to give it to him, since it might just be someone who wants a free ticket and he didnt even have a badge to show that he works for the event managment company.
well anyway, so he turns around tears up the ticket, thrashes it and walks away and starts talking to his friends. at this point we are shocked and giving him super angry looks. my brother in law yells out to him and they start having an argument. and then he tells us he went to get our hard copy tickets. why didnt he tell us before tearing up our ticket? so they start arguing and then he tells the bouncer to not let us in. at this point im fretting coz its super embarassing. and im having visuals on how they show in movies where they "dakhei maar" kei remove you. and there lot of pple behind us that can witness that. so the guy above apologizes, but my brother in law is still pissed and finally my sister intervenes and explains the situation and everything is alrite. however that guy keeps coming back to us and trying to instigate a fight and ask us "why we got so angry". hmm, lets see why.
anyway its so not what i imagined it to be. from the flyers, i imagined it would be in a loft on the top of a high rise building where the skyline is visible and since its a masquerade party pple would be wearing fancy masks. and there would be lot of places to sit and hang out. once we enter its like an underground dump or a factory that is going to be demolished soon. you cant see anything, its smoky and pple are dancing inthe crowd, there is an upper level with pple on top overlooking the dance floor. there is an uncle aunty gang wearing salwar suits and dancing bindass. which is funny and weird at the same time. absolutely no place to sit and lot of shady people. and music was pretty crappy too. and having been told there would be screens which show the ball drop, it was a big disappointment no screen and no ball drop. so after a lot of head bobbing and moving sideways to and fro we decided we had enough and left and went home. and then went to our neighbourhood diner for a late night meal. needless to say the highlight of the day was our lunch and dinner. lunch (afghani kebabs) and dinner (chicken strips and mozarella sticks).
everything in life (alrite most things) should be experienced at least once in life. this is not one of those things.
happy new year everyone. May your year ahead be filled with lot of joy, happiness and good memories.


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