Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Change of Heart

Australia beat India 4-2, here in front of our home crowd. But thats not necessarily bad, as I gather from various discussion boards. I think we have tacitly accepted their superiority over us. Maybe it was the amazing twenty20 which softened our hearts and diluted the bitterness.

Sachin, has been been on the receiving end of things for the last couple of years. I've never seen so much anger against a single individual when the game is played with 11. It appeared as though he was THE reason for the failure of India team to perform. The loss in ODI worldcup only made things worse. Inspite of decent performances in B'desh and England the critics were flapping their touges calling on Sachin to give it all up.

But of-late things have changed a little. Its as if people have had a change of heart. With more than 1000 runs in the calendar year, it appears little master has atoned and redeemed himself.

In a nation of 1 billion people, a nation of worshippers, hungry for idols life is tough for those who stand on that pedestal.

I pray we offer our heroes a graceful exit into the sunset when they finally decide to hang their gloves.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Last Ten Years

Last I listened to Kenny Rogers, I remember, was during growing up years. I was a wiry adolescent youth with sprouting beard when I first heard the story of the "Coward of the County". I loved Kenny's country stories and his gravelly rustic voice and often imagined how life would be in the country side.

Two decades have passed since. Last week, while browsing yahoo music library I came across this name again. While playing my old favorite numbers, I chanced upon one of his new numbers. This was a brand new story. A different one. Story of the last 10 years. Story of our lives.

I've heard stories of old times, of kings and warriors, of places I've never been and times I never lived . But this story was different. This is a story I've lived. Well we've all lived through the last 10 years. We've all experienced the phenomena that shaped the last decade. We have lived through the .com boom and bust, pre and post 9/11 world and I guess we all loved superman(Christopher Reeve) in his red caper and tortoise glasses to whom this song is dedicated.

The narrative takes us through the age of Y2K scare, the free world of Internet, the "new" war and all those changes that defiend the last decade.

This post is a tribute to the master of story telling Kenny Rogers.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Sub Prime Country

Greed is good, said Ayn Rand. Greed is a national epidemic in the capitalist's capital of the world. Housing meltdown in the US highlights the dark side of it. But its also an important lesson on personal accountability for one's actions. I would not say people did not see it coming. The soothsayers have been predicting it for years. I've read articles about it for the last 3 years, but then no body knew when and how bad.

Analysts and experts have a field day projecting the future. They have no concept of middle ground. They love stay on either ends of the spectrum. They would either lead you on saying there is scope for further profits or tell you that worst is yet to come.

Through financial wizardry they have made housing as leveraged and dangerous as margin trading only with higher stakes (for common man). They lure you with teaser rates, allow you take possession of a house with no down payment and sell you dreams of quick profits before the high interest rates kick in. Surprisingly, they then palm off your mortgage to other investors by secutitizing it and de-risk themselves in case you should find yourself at the short end of the life.

I think the next logical thing to do is to start an insurance company that would cover people against foreclosures in case of adverse price movement. In fact I wonder if there already are such companies out there doing business. I tell you, there is money in playing on people's fears.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Obsession with Blue

Odyssey in Blue

After the Bluest Waters of Crater Lake and the Live performance by the Blue Angles its time to drench in the Pacific blue at Monterey. Loved the shades of blue as they merge with the skies to paint your world with the bluest of palettes.

17 miles drive in Monterey is best of the green and blue worlds as we know them. Just about 2 hrs SFO you could cover it on a bright sunny weekend even after a lazy start in the day, just as we did.

Also, if you wanted to spend time on the beach you could extend your drive to Carmel beach, just a few miles from there.

Here you can find the beauty of Pebble Beach Golf courses captured in strokes of blue and green

Blue Angles

Never before have I watched an Air Show. So when the Blue Angles (US Navy) came calling I was game.

No movie, Top Gun or otherwise can prepare you for the sound and fury of watching these angles live. I guarantee you. When the roar a jet flying just 500 meters away pounds your senses, its like lightening striking in front of your eyes. Your adrenalin level spikes like a giant Hawaii wave and perks up every hair pore on your body. Imagine when 6 of the kind flock together searing the skies right in front of your eyes.


I guess I'm lucky to see world's bluest birds unfurling their bright wings proudly in the azure.

Here are some very mediocre pics of the great spectacle I witnessed today.

Widespread Abuse on discussion boards

I've been part of some discussion boards and have had a few give and take with other contributors. However, we never crossed the line and ventured into exchanging explitives and personal abuse.

As it is, its always difficult to argue with a point of view. If you do not agree, just state so and put across your alternative. Its not like disputing facts and statistics. Facts can be disputed and corrected, but the interpretation is always gray. Same statistics can be used/ abused by different people based on their leanings.

In any case its sad to see people calling each other names and generally flouting the norms of civilized discussion. Especially on rediff its ever so blatant. I do not blame rediff for its just a reflection of our cultural maturity and all rediff is doing showing us the mirror. I do not like what I see and I guess its my problem...