Sunday, September 4, 2011

The best ever verdict on Whiskey!

In 1952, Armon M. Sweat, Jr., a member of the Texas House of Representatives, was asked about his position on whiskey. What follows is his exact answer (taken from the Political Archives of Texas ):

"If you mean whiskey, the devil’s brew, the poison scourge, the bloody monster that defiles innocence, dethrones reason, destroys the home, creates misery and poverty, yea, literally takes the bread from the mouths of little children; if you mean that evil drink that topples Christian men and women from the pinnacles of righteous and gracious living into the bottomless pit of degradation, shame, despair, helplessness, and hopelessness, then, my friend, I am opposed to it with every fiber of my being.

However, if by whiskey you mean the oil of conversation, the philosophic wine, the elixir of life, the ale that is consumed when good fellows get together, that puts a song in their hearts and the warm glow of contentment in their eyes; if you mean Christmas cheer, the stimulating sip that puts a little spring in the step of an elderly gentleman on a frosty morning; if you mean that drink that enables man to magnify his joy, and to forget life’s great tragedies and heartbreaks and sorrow; if you mean that drink the sale of which pours into Texas treasuries untold millions of dollars each year, that provides tender care for our little crippled children, our blind, our deaf, our dumb, our pitifully aged and infirm, to build the finest highways, hospitals, universities, and community colleges in this nation, then my friend, I am absolutely, unequivocally in favor of it.

This is my position, and as always, I refuse to compromise on matters of principle."

Thursday, July 22, 2010

“Maintaining relationships is at the core of our business”

Enter MICA and you can't miss Chhota, the eating joint in MICA, which is the most celebrated spot in the campus. Standing like a rustic shack amidst the green lush campus, it has its own old world charm and an air of calmness where you can chitchat with your friends over a cup of coffee, gossip around or even hold a book while sipping away your favorite masala tea.

So we get down to interview Amit Bhai, the Incharge of Chhota and get him talking about what makes Chhota a brand, which was started 13 years ago and still going strong.
Here are the excerpts from the interview:

When was Chhota started and what was the concept behind its inception?

“Chhota was started in 1997 with an idea to help students unwind in a rustic setting after the class or during free hours and to provide them with snacks and beverages they would love to gorge on apart from the mess food.”

What makes Chhota so special and endearing to the students?

“Well, we give the students leverage to prepare their own dishes and even let them try their creativity at experimenting with dishes. And sometimes if the experiment results in a nice tasty dish, we christen it after the student name, eg. Imran sandwich, Gunjan paratha, Divish sandwich.
Besides, it’s open 24*7 throughout the year. Come hell or high waters, Chhota is always there serving students. Maintaining relationships is at the core of the business here.”

What are the most popular dishes here?

“The most popular dishes are Tadka Maggi, vada paav, egg bhurji, samosa. Even the Imran sandwich sells like hotcakes.”

What about your share of gossip/happening around the campus?

“Hahaha..Yeah, we know for sure who is dating who, which professor is a tough nut, what new snacks students want and what are the next set of changes to be implemented in the campus.”

Well, That would be all. Thank you Amit Bhai. We wish you and Chhota a very prosperous future.
“Thank you.”

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Diplomacy in the time of war !!

Diplomacy is the currency in which nations trade when it comes to foreign policy. With all the political tussle between India and Pakistan over 26/11 attack and the ongoing drama over Amir Ajmal Kasab, David Headley and the useless bilateral dossiers exchange, no solution is in sight at all, not atleast till Headley dies a peaceful death at 80 or Kasab gets his grandchildren married in a special cell in India. Anyways, lets hope, let us think of a hypothetical situation; India goes to war with Pakistan today. How will it alter the power equations in the world, which strategic relationships will work and which wont, how will the allies and daddies is my own perspective on it, countrywise:

Unites States: Obama addresses a gargantuan crowd at White House in a Hollywood movie style and declare to help its ally, Pakistan since no mission against the 'bad' taliban and Al-Queda can be successful in Afghan-Pak border without Pak's land and assistance. 'But we can't attack India, it's one of our biggest markets' says one among the litterati. Obama says 'YES..WE CAN' !!

Iran: Stuck in between hostility to U.S. and a soft corner for Pakistan, issues two statements: 'U.S. should mind its own business, bloody killers!'
'India should not have attacked Pakistan, all bollywood movies off the screens now'.

Bangladesh: Starts setting Pak military bases on its land, assured by Pak to get back Ms. Taslima Nasreen as a reward.

China: adopts a new slogan 'Paki-Chini bhai-bhai'. Busy hacking Indian govt and defense sites and buying markers to redraw The McMahon Line. Arunachal Pradesh is in and Dalai Lama is incarcerated at some unknown location, untraceable even by the pulled-out-of-china Google Earth :P

Afghanistan: Hamid Karzai sends all 'bad' Taliban to fight for Pakistan and engages the 'good' Taliban in capturing voting booths to help him win his third straight term landslide victory.

Russia: An old ally of India, does its bit by selling more and more military warfare to India at double the price and promises to help India in its rebuilding and peace restoration efforts after the war.

Maldives: Achieves one more feat with another under-sea water cabinet meeting and signs one more Declaration stating, 'Terminating all trade(??) with Pakistan and lending our full support to Indian state'.

France: Nicholas Sarkozy, on his 6th Honeymoon, not with Carla but with his new mistress, sipping champagne and sunbathing at Miami, assures India to send its forces by sea, to reach Indian shores in 5 months time.

United Kingdom: makes hay while the sun shines: tightens its immigration policy and stops issuing visas to all Pakistanis, and issues a statement in public interest, 'Please refrain from visiting India, East London has anyways turned a miniature one now'.

Sri Lanka: Mahinda Rajapakse is a jaded tiger after quelling the LTTE tigers, and has no money-making body except tea-plantation and a cricket board. Still assures to rehabilitate all Tamilians from Tamil Nadu.

Cuba: sends its elephantine team of doctors and nurses to South-Asian region, whomsoever it may attend to.

United Nations: maintains wait and watch policy, readies peace-keeping forces, half of which are always Indians, to be deployed after the war.

Australia: calls back all its cricket players from IPL with immediate effect, and warns its citizens, 'No more racist attacks 'required' on Indians, we are 'extraditing' them back..They will anyway perish' !!

Friday, February 26, 2010

Jeetey Raho Sachin !!

Every time the maestro notches up a new record or clinches a spectacular win for India, I can't wait to read every article on his feat I can find online, rush to get a copy of every newspaper/magazine raving about his achievement, and even try to catch up with the disdainfully spiced Aaj tak, NDTV, Star News coverage on the legend. The celebration of 20 years of Sachin in Cricket had not even shown any signs of abating when the most worshipped man in India came up with a phenomenal display of class, strength and supremacy; 200 not out in an ODI against one of the finest attacks in the world..What a blistering knock, what a majestic spell !! The day will go down in history as the day when time stopped to witness the finest batathon in the world of cricket where a new milestone was achieved by a genius in every sense of the word !! Superlatives are really not enough to describe the greatness of Little master we all know as Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar. Television, Newspapers, magazines, cafes, Social networking sites, corporate offices, schools, colleges, the Sachin fever has swept the whole nation and everyone's speaking volumes about the man and his formidable records. As usual, I read a lot of articles on his latest tour de force in One Day International and thought of doing a compilation of some of the best quotes and phrases showered on the batting ace:

There should be a wine named after SRT; gettin better with age. - Cricinfo

The Little Master, as his fans know him, is as bright at twilight as he was at noon. - Time

Sachin Tendulkar: A tiger who is never in the woods. - The Economic Times

He was a child prodigy, greatness was plainly his destiny. So there are literally millions of cricket fans who can honestly respond to every new Tendulkar record by saying, "I told you so." - Time

Every slogan...all standing ovations... each chant.... all news.. they just looked so small to complement god's feat.... - Sourabh Goyal, Aditi Tech.

I thought the way he celebrated when he reached his 200 epitomised the man's persona. There was no running laps around the field, no aggressive gestures, nothing over-the-top. He did what he always does, raised both his arms, closed his eyes for a moment and quietly acknowledged that it had been done. - Anil Kumble

Aaj sabka status Sachin ke hi baare me hai...lagta hai Facebook nahi, SachinBook kholker baithe hain... - Shayan Anwer, CGI India

It won't be long before other batsmen reach and exceed the 200-run mark; there are at least a half-dozen in the modern game who have both the power and stamina to pull it off any day of the week. But history will never forget the Bannisters and Tendulkars for proving that the only barriers are in our minds. - Time

He has got so much class. His greatest strength is the longevity, to be able to be so successful at a young age and to still be doing the same thing 20 years on. We're blessed to still have such a great player playing this game. - Michael Clarke

After two decades of basking in the glory of his sporting pre-eminence on the world stage, India is now privileged to witness the second coming of the most complete and prolific batsman of this age. - The Money Times

Beneath the helmet, under that unruly curly hair, inside the cranium, there is something we don't know, something beyond scientific measure. Something that allows him to soar, to roam a territory of sport that, forget us, even those who are gifted enough to play alongside him cannot even fathom. When he goes out to bat, people switch on their TV sets and switch off their lives. - BBC

I have seen god, he bats at no. 4 for India !! - Mathew Hayden

There is nothing more benumbing than watching history being made. The mind is awash with cliché’s floating through it, but by and large it is a Tendulkar creates history; scores double ton sense of helplessness coupled with an inability to describe when words should flow to record that moment for posterity. - TOI

The joy he brings to the millions of his countrymen, the grace with which he handles all the adulation and the expectations and his innate humility - all make for a one-in-a-billion individual. - Glen McGrath

'I Will See God When I Die But Till Then I Will See Sachin' - A banner in Sharjah

On a train from Shimla to Delhi, there was a halt in one of the stations. The train stopped by for few minutes as usual. Sachin was nearing century, batting on 98. The passengers, railway officials, everyone on the train waited for Sachin to complete the century. This Genius can stop time in India!! - Peter Rebouck, Aussie journalist

And the last one from the man himself:

I don't think any record is unbreakable. Records are made to be broken. I hope that if this record is broken, it's done by an Indian. - Sachin

All said and done, records will be made and broken, but the man will always be remembered for breaking the barriers, raising the bars, and making us believe that greatness lies not in records, but in knowing that the country and the game is bigger than the man and nothing is impossible if the endeavor is backed by passion and a strong belief in oneself !!
Long live SRT !!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Obama and the Nobel Prize...The fallibility underneath !!

Obama wins Nobel peace prize!!” I was going through my FaceBook homepage last week when a friend’s post took me by surprise. Obama ? Nobel ? For peace? I mean wtf? Isn’t it too early? The news itself has elicited a gamut of reactions from different sections of the society and different corners of the world. Some welcomed the decision citing his initiatives for global peace and nuclear disarmament while some chastised the Nobel committee’s sloth and favoritism towards a president who hasn’t yet achieved anything substantial. The Nobel committee seems to be going the U.N. way!!

The awarding of the prize to Obama raises serious questions and impels the common man to think of the Nobel committee’s decision as only politically driven. How could otherwise one explain the irony that Gandhi, the vanguard of non-violence and Satyagraha, was never awarded this prize but many other prominent figures (including Obama) who themselves followed Gandhi’s ideals were awarded the peace prize. What a bunch of hypocrites!!

The committee, trying to justify its choice, stated that sometimes the peace prize is given to encourage and motivate the awardees in their endeavors but it should have realized that writing books like Dreams From My Father and The Audacity of Hope, working with some rural communities, making eloquent and mass-appealing speeches, and using diplomatic ways with other nations on the conference table neither suffice nor promise that Obama will actually help bring the much-hyped ‘Change’ the U.S. and the world has been looking forward to, and vindicate the committee’s decision.

What is far more evident in case of Obama is that the war in Iraq continues to fester; and the assault on Afghanistan mires in a dangerously endless killing spree. The Zionists in Israel remain unmoved. The American Congress will not say ‘yes’ to climate change obligations. Pakistan, the weakest of weak states, succeeds in sucking the world’s most powerful man into a deep hole of deceit and chicanery.

So basically the problem with the Nobel committee awarding Obama the peace prize is that it sends out an entirely negative signal: that it is all right for a U.S. president to ignore global concerns on the environment, take the side of a regime like Israel that is accused of serious war crimes or to consider coercive or even military means for the resolution of the Iranian nuclear issue.

Among the front-runners for the prize this year were Hu Jia of China, a social activist and Muammar Qadhafi of Libya, who actually dismantled his country’s nuclear wherewithal. If actions speak louder than words, both of them have done far more than what Obama has and choosing one of them would have actually been a sagacious decision.

Coming back to Obama, the urge to live up to the international recognition he has already received might be an incentive. But with the Nobel peace prize already under his belt and the weight of well-entrenched lobbies, interests and policies bearing down on his worthy shoulders, the chances of him actually doing so have probably just got narrower. I can only ‘hope’ that the ‘hope’ he had professed will resonate with the ‘hope’ of a peaceful world!!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Classification of fitness freaks in the gym !

After spending some five years of my life working out in gym wherein I managed more attendance than in college lectures :D, I learned a lot about fitness, diet, suppliments and above all, observed an amusing mix of creatures at the gym who actually inspired me to sit down and segregate them into different categories. I'm sure nobody would like to fall into any of these categories, but the sad fact is, many of us, sometimes inadvertently, act as THAT GUY in the gym !!

Which guy, you ask? The one who does something cheesy, and knows it (or should), yet keeps on doing it.

We've all seen them, worked out next to them, and complained to our buddies about them - those guys who do things in the gym that are dangerous, worthless, annoying, or just plain stupid. For all the talk about gym etiquette and all the information available on exercise form, these guys somehow still don't get it and are constantly annoying or amusing us.

You've probably seen one, know one, or hell - you may even be one! Don't think that just because you're not a newbie, you're immune... most of the people I see committing these sins have been at it for a while, some even have decent builds. Take a look below and see if you recognize anyone.


The most common gym lurker. As the name implies, this guy works on muscles to show off at the bar, with purpose of impressing chicks or intimidating pencil necks. Usually, it's a young guy between 15-25 years old, who's at the gym working on every upper body muscle he can see from the front. Working more on the bulk, this guy easily qualifies as a bouncer, if not anything else.
The routine consists of endless curls, bench presses, pushdowns and seated presses. Once in a while, you see him throw in a few lat pulldowns and crunches just for fun.

Chat Boy

This type of guy is rare, but you don't want to run into him. Chat boy wants to discuss lifting, eating, or life in general with you, often in great detail. Now, I have nothing against conversation, especially workout talk, but chat boy doesn't know when to stop and turns a one-hour workout into two.

The Sharp Dressed Man

Believe me, not every girl is going crazy for this guy. I've seen him many times, and I still don't get it. His lifting attire consists of a T-shirt, dress pants, and loafers. I mean frigging loafers? One workout I could understand, but nobody forgets their gym bag everyday.


Stanky, for lack of a better term, stank. It wasn't a natural, "I just busted my ass and sweated a fountain" type of odour - it was more of a festering pile of sewage smell that assaulted the nose. I'm pretty sure that he didn't wash himself, his gym clothes, his underwear - or most likely all three. I could smell him coming and it was so bad that if he worked next to me, I would finish what I was doing quickly and run for oxygen.


I'm all for boxing, I think it's a great way to stay fit and relieve tension. What I don't get is the guy shadowboxing in front of the dumbbells. My gym has no boxing equipment, not even a place to jump rope, yet Rocky comes here three times a week to get ready for Apollo. Here's a hint: it's not that kind of gym.


This guy loads the bar up with way too much weight, eekes out 3 reps with bad form and then mutters "shit", loudly, after his set prematurely ends. He's under the impression that everyone cares how much he's lifting, and wants us to know that any other day he could have made the lift. If you see this, make sure to avoid eye contact, otherwise you'll end up hearing a lengthy, bullshit explanation for the travesty you have just witnessed.


This is self-explanatory. If you even think this might apply to you, buy some new pants. Now!

Mr. Scream

No matter what weight this guy is using, or what rep he's on, he feels the need to share his pain with us. A certain amount of noise is understandable, and even expected on certain movements (i.e., squats), but nobody wants to hear you yell through 4 sets of pushdowns.

The Hurler

Unfortunately, this has nothing to do with puking. This guy feels the need to launch any weight he's just finished using, especially dumbbells, onto the floor. Not only is this a hazard for anyone near him, it breaks down the dumbbells. Losing control when lowering weights might happen once in awhile, but launching the weights so everyone can look and see how much you used is pathetic.

The Tag Team

I thought this one was overstated by everyone, until I joined my latest gym. The team, as the name implies, is actually two guys working together to lift the same weight. This is almost always on the bench press, where one guy loads the bar up and his friend helps him pull every rep after the second one. I've even seen instances where a guy was helped on all of his reps. Rhetorical question time: If you need help to bench 150 kg, do you really bench 150?

The Entourage

Another one that borders on cliché: You've seen the group of guys - usually high school to early 20's - lifting together. They almost always congregate at the bench or preacher station. They hog up this area without seeming to do any work. They're more interested in what party they're going to or which chick they're trying to score with. Lord help you if you want to bench when they're around.

The Jackass

I couldn't think of more appropriate name for the guy who loads up a bar or machine, does his reps and leaves it. The next person is then stuck with the task of unloading the 200 kg his friend just helped him bench.

The Wanderer

This guy combines his love of walking with weightlifting. His routine: load the bar up, do a set, walk around the gym for 10 minutes and repeat 4 or 5 times. My favorite is when they load up a bar, leave it in the squat rack and come back and curl it. Same amount of time - twice the jackass.

The Orthopedist's Dream

Let's see: he squats onto a chair and bounces back up, deadlifts like he's waiting to be mounted and benches with an arch you could drive a Tata Safari through. Hey buddy, hear that crackling noise? It's your spine mate !

Dance Fever

Every time I see Dance in my gym he's either on his way to, or coming out of an aerobic class. Sometimes I think he does it to meet chicks, but then I remember his stylin' headband and Richard Simmons-like build. I'm all for cardiovascular fitness, but I believe that unless it involves hittin' something, men do not belong in aerobic classes. I myself have a very close friend who spends 3 hours in aerobics session daily and doesn't miss out on flirting with the pretty aerobics instructor !

Soccer Body

20 years ago, Soccer Body dominated the field on his high school football team. I know this because I've heard him tell his story at least 50 times. It's either right before or right after he looks in your direction and says: "I used to lift more than this." Every time a young guy with a decent build comes near him he asks, "You play football?" This inevitably leads to a retelling of SB's past glories. Hey buddy, leave the kids alone - it's over.

The Scholar

I see guys carry bodybuilding mags around the gym all the time. Usually they're trying to follow some bullshit 30-set routine; I feel bad for them but it doesn't really bother me. What irritates me is the guy reading a book in between sets. You shouldn't be able to talk between sets, much less have the ability to read a book. I mean, if you're not going to put real effort in, then why bother in the first place? Last time I checked, there were no studies showing that reading Men's Health is anabolic.

Mr. Naturale

The biggest "natural" guy in the gym. I have no problems with gear, but watching shitface talk about the virtues of being natural and how it was training "balls to the wall" that got him big really gets to me. Nobody's asking for a confession, but if you're juicing, don't try to present yourself as something you're not.


Okay, I know I said this would be about guys, but I'm sure at least one woman will read this. Anyway, Dumbellina is the epitome of what women shouldn't be doing in the gym. Her entire workout revolves around those tiny cast iron dumbbells that wouldn't give a toddler a good workout. I'm not sure what's she's doing with them, but it looks like her goal is to one day flap her arms and take to the sky.


Every gym has at least one of these guys, whose sole purpose at the gym is to search for someone to rub up against. His habits of constantly leering at, hitting on, or "accidentally" bumping into the female members make him a nuisance. One of these days he's going to bump the wrong girl and end up with a 20 kg plate sticking in the side of his head.

Baby Humpty

Here's one for the younger guys. Humpty's claim to fame is that he mocks all of his scrawny classmates at my gym for the weights they use. Being a skinny teenager is hard enough and I'm sure getting to the gym takes some balls for these guys. What they don't need is verbal abuse from some doofus who just happened to be born big, fat and strong. He's another one that will eventually screw with wrong person and have his ass handed to him.


Coach has somehow managed his girlfriend into going to the gym and letting him train her. Unfortunately, he thinks she needs to follow his "hardcore" training methods. It's almost comical listening to him tell her that leg pressing is for sissies. It's even funnier to listen to him correct her out loud for wanting to "tone up." Hey pal, she doesn't care if "getting toned" is a misnomer -- she just wants to look good. She squats with better form than you anyway...and yeah, she's HOT !! ;)

I could actually list another 20 of these dopes, but I think you get the drift by now. Maybe you didn't know or maybe you did and made excuses for yourself. Either way, do us all a favor and don't be that guy!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

When a Roadie cogitates..!!

Many a thought strikes against my psyche when I take the road to my office on my bike every morning; whether it's a cause-celebre, introspection or just a retrospection, this hour long cogitation seems to satiate my quest for excellence and I can understand what transformed Ernesto Che Guevara from a juvenile delinquent into the Communist Icon that he is today. Had he not taken that motorcycle ride to those destitute nations of South America, struck with poverty, oppression and disenfranchisement, he wdnt have discovered his purpose in life and the world wdnt have discovered the greatest Marxist revolutionary ever !!