Sunset Marmalade

Sunset Marmalade Why are some brands killing the obvious in packaging design? If anything is better than the taste of orange marmalade in the morning, it is the sight of it in the jar. Like a beautiful sunset. With strands of peel as if in suspended animation. However, some leading Indian brands, and probably many others too in India and […]

Rate Wisely

Rate Wisely Imagine the simple process of rating a book you’ve just read. Let’s say it is a non-fiction. Perhaps a business or even a self-help kind of book. The normal tendency would be that if it has even an average amount of useful stuff, you’d give it a good rating. Especially if it contained one or more things you […]

The Illusion of Ratings and Feedback

The Illusion of Ratings and Feedback Life in present times has become an increasingly rapid process of experiences and feedback. Businesses are always asking us to rate the services or experiences they offer. And often, they feel inclined to “reward” us for it. While no one’s complaining about the free stuff or great discounts, are we losing perspective of what’s […]

A Pad Idea!

A Pad Idea! Once upon a time, there was is a man named Arunachalam Muruganantham from Coimbatore in India, who could not bear to see the discomfort and embarrassment that his wife had to go through, just to buy/ wear a sanitary pad / napkin. Risking even his very marriage, Arunachalam’s empathy and resolve lead him to research everything from material […]

Number Fifty-Four…The Bike with a Bamboo Core

Number Fifty-Four… …The bike with a bamboo core! What does it take for innovation to be possible? Simply, just the intention. You need to want it badly enough to make it possible. I happened to see this online a long time ago. I am still in awe of it though. People in Ghana find themselves in unfavourable temperatures, with long […]

Design Thinking – Shelters for the Homeless

Design Thinking – Shelters for the Homeless [3.5 minute read] Here’s the next post, towards sharing stories and incidents around design thinking in daily lives, towards a better collective understanding. My earlier post was about taps at home, and why house helps might be wasting water. If you missed that, here’s the link. Now, in developing India, as the nouveau riche […]

Design Thinking – Water Taps at Home

Design Thinking – Water Taps at Home [7 minute read] I’ve had the habit of applying aspects of Design Thinking to my work and personal life for some time now. In fact, off late it is literally a ‘permanently on’ app running in my head. I use it to review products or services, or to wonder why some startup is […]

Does Your Fire Escape Plan Work?

Does Your Fire Escape Plan Work? Early hours of 29th December saw a horrific fire at a rooftop restaurant in Mumbai. I could hear a continuous stream of distant sirens just before going to sleep. I couldn’t have imagined the extent of death and destruction. The restaurant is a breezy rooftop one, with plenty of bamboo and plastic on the […]

Do Some of the Pillars of Democracy need a Shake-Up?

Democracy has rested on four pillars. The legislature, executive, the judiciary, and arguably the most important, the press. All the pillars need improvement, some far more than others. The world press, for instance, has really become dirty. When in reality, it should be a transparent communication channel between the citizen, the country, and the world. In an increasingly connected globe, […]

Vulnerability of Tech Processes and Human Decisions

Vulnerability of Tech Processes and Human Decisions Here are two interesting incidents I came across online in the last week. One, about a seemingly harmless vulnerability in an online service’s process. The other, a possible vulnerability in human decisions in a human-dependent, traditional business. First of, a French literary buff, conducted an interesting experiment. It was to check his hypothesis, […]

SUV Drivers – Look Out

India has seen an almost meteoric rise in the number of SUVs and compact-SUVs in the last few years. Perhaps the size fits in well with our gradually growing economy, disposable incomes, and egos. Among things that haven’t grown, is our sense of driving and responsible presence on the road. India’s roads are getting more dangerous. And the higher seated […]

How Well is Tata Motors Connecting Aspirations?

Earlier this year, Tata Motors announced a new brand identity. ‘Connecting Aspirations’. Sounds good, but how well is the company truly connecting aspirations? For many years now, I have wondered why Tata Motors isn’t among the top 2 selling passenger cars in India. Despite being, what I believe, is a company and group that represents an image of the ideal […]

What Inspires Your Startup?

Along their entrepreneurial journey, some entrepreneurs constantly think of better and simpler ways to describe their business. This is an evolutionary process, as their business model undergoes refinement. So, when they meet new people or investors, they can often quickly describe what their startup exactly does. Then of course, there are others, who build their business identical to another already-successful […]

What the Customer Wants

What the Customer Wants There has been the occasional debate between two schools of thought: You need to ask the customer what he/she wants; and, The customer doesn’t know what he/she wants until we show them (remember ol Steve Jobs?) A bulk of the views I’ve come across so far lie on the side of ‘ask the customer’. However, it […]

A Design Question: Turn Indicators on Cars

Image: source A Design Question: Turn Indicators on Cars As cars get sleeker, so do its lights. But I’ve noticed that the entire rear light cluster has been shrinking in size on some cars. And in some, the turn indicators are designed or placed in a way that possibly defeats its purpose. A car’s rear lights cluster includes reversing lights […]

Ryan International school – Are CCTVs the Best Solution?

Ryan International school – Are CCTVs the Best Solution? 5 min. read. When faced with a problem, ideally, we should get to the source of the problem first. Only then can we attempt to solve it. But of course, we all know that! And yet, almost always, we will first react to a problem by attempting to solve it with […]

Fierce Competition

Fierce Competition A lot of companies face problems from time to time. Let’s focus on problems that are controllable, i.e., outside of those to do with a declining economy, financial meltdowns, etc. In such situations, many business leaders have had to address shareholder concerns. And many of them justify the situation as ‘witnessing fierce competition’, or something to that effect. […]

Design Thinking: What a Patient Wants

Design Thinking: What a Patient Wants Design Thinking is a relatively new concept in many countries including India. It is, however, already some decades old now. And having been practicing it for a few years now, I often get asked what it is about. And for examples of its applications. For starters, design thinking is a mindset. One that uses […]

The Earning of Trust

The Earning of Trust. I recently subscribed to NewsLaundry. It is a very young but self-proclaimed “media critique, news and current affairs portal”. It claims to operate on the obvious but often forgotten premise that news should be for the masses. And not for advertisers, or to distort reality for the masses. Current times are seeing increasingly low times for the […]

Choose Your Mistakes

Choose your mistakes. Life has made a lot of things extremely easy to start. Even the seemingly most impossible of tasks. The knowledge and resources available to us increase our confidence multi-fold, and daunting initiatives don’t look so big anymore. So yes, starting anything is damn easy. What’s the tough part? The toughest bit of it all, is to continue. But sure you already […]

Form or Function?

Form or Function? How about Form and Function? The eternal fight between form and function. Between show and effectiveness. Between being followed by a herd with questionable loyalty, and walking with a small group with unwavering conviction in your vision. Here’s a fancy looking video by HBX, Harvard‘s online programs platform. Professor Christensen undoubtedly sounds like someone I wouldn’t miss an […]

Dr. David Lagrew – Saving Mothers with Empathy & Innovation

More women in labour and new mothers die in the US than in any other high-income country. And the CDC Foundation estimates that 60% of these deaths are preventable! 60%!! In one of the most developed countries in the world. And since 1990, only 13 countries in the world have seen a rise in maternal death rates. The US is […]

India’s Roads and Bottlenecks

India’s Roads and Bottlenecks Bottlenecks and traffic jams on the streets. Are they an unavoidable phenomenon, or something we caused or created? Same with the lack of lane discipline in Indian drivers. Are drivers always to blame? Or could it be, that some part of the problem is because of how our roads are designed? Living in Bombay, I notice […]

Microwave Idea – Return the Turntable to Original Position

Image (only used the LG image because I use one of their models at home): source I’m not exactly on top of the latest microwave oven features. Don’t think I even know most of the old ones. But if this feature doesn’t already exist, it would be great to have. I’m assuming this is how it works with most models, […]

A Lego Stealth Fighter/ Drone

Just built a Lego stealth fighter/ drone. It does need a little imagination to smoothen the edges, etc., bear with me on that… But that said, have a look and let me know what you think. Image above: Side-view. Completely collapsed for hangar/storage  Image above: Wings fully extended (it folds at two points, one, the grey section mid-wing, and the […]

Now You Fool Me

Now You Fool Me “You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time.” Whoever said that, must’ve really known conmen. Political parties disagree with the opposition, and vice versa. They even react to current events, whether domestic or foreign. But ever […]

Sewage Popsicles

Sewage Popsicles Some Taiwanese art students recently created ice popsicles made purely out of sewage water. And the 100 varieties they showcased, reflects exactly how clean we’ve made our water bodies. With all due credit for their noble effort to send a strong message across, globally, here’s what I don’t understand. While humans stay dangerously stupid when it comes to […]

B-schools, MBA grads & Their Priorities

Many b-schools in India are tilting less toward business, management, and ethics; more toward finishing skills. With a strong (and often desperate) focus on placements, they go an extra mile to add superficiality to students. From a scary importance on cracking interviews, having a cocky attitude, and the ability to fib-on-the-fly. Unknowingly, they’re doing the students a great disservice. Students who enroll with […]

B2B and B2C Customers

Image: source B2B and B2C Customers For the longest time, Retail, or Business-to-Consumer (B2C) ‘customers’ have been accustomed to, and driven by, fads, hype, distorted facts and price wars, to influence their buying choices. Busines-to-Business (B2B) customers on the other hand, used to (and hopefully still do) represent the more rational side of decision-making. They use, what Nobel prize-winning Israeli-American psychologist, […]

Is A Bot After Your Job?

Image: Robin Williams in the Bicentennial Man Yuval Noah Harari paints an interesting and arguably grim picture of the future, in his book Homo Deus. He runs through possible ways in which the world and we humans might evolve. To give you a glimpse, think of computer programs evolving at the blistering pace they are. From predicting our needs to seamlessly trying […]

Points of View – Life, Work and Religion

Benjamin Franklin | Image: source How open or rigid, would you say your views and beliefs are? Here’s an excerpt from Benjamin Franklin’s autobiography, in which he mentions the following interaction with someone: I was acquainted with one of its founders, Michael Welfare, soon after it appear’d. He complain’d to me that they were grievously calumniated by the zealots of other […]

Do Laptops Need to be a Pain in the Neck?

  Image: source Irrespective of where we place a laptop when we use them, they’re usually well aligned with our arms and hands. This helps make typing relatively effortless. However, have you noticed how the screen is almost never aligned with our head and neck? Depending on the time you spend on the laptop, this causes a sustained strain on the […]

Sharpen your Business Focus

Image: source When starting one’s business, a set of people will advice you to keep a sharp focus when it comes to offerings or purpose. Another group might suggest offering as many products or services as possible, to minimize risk. And both groups could defend their views till the cows come home. However, in most cases, it is most prudent for you […]

Peace, War, or Chekh-mate

In his book Homo Deus, Yuval Noah Harari mentions Russia’s greatest short story writers Anton Chekhov having once said that a gun appearing in the first act of a play will inevitably be fired in the third. Yuval says that since 1945, humans have learned to resist the urge to use weapons of war. Hopefully meaning we have become more mature as humans. However, we […]

Work to be Hired

One of the early screening processes to make it to the defense forces, is that of physical fitness. It is one of the more fundamental requirements of the job. Of course, subsequently, those who make the cut are broken down and rebuilt to be stronger, both mentally and physically. In the corporate battlefield, potential candidates are put through interview boot camps which are […]

Function, Form, and Overripe Apples

Image: source Over the decades, we have been seeing Apple grow at a blistering pace. Built on thinking different while staying hungry and foolish, it certainly created new sectors while killing redundant ones. With unwavering customer-focus, Apple maintained child-like curiosity, unbelievable innovation, and startup agility. The brand continues to enjoy a stronger following than even some religious cults. The iPhone surely leaves little to be desired […]

Do Traffic Light Colours Need a Re-look?

We are all familiar with the three colours on traffic lights. They remain a classic example of universally recognizable design. But are the colours effective and safe, or do they need a re-look? Colour blindness has been known to affect about 1 in 12 men and 1 in 200 women the world over. That translates to 8% of world population dealing […]

Primum Non Nocere

Image: source It is believed that either Hippocrates, considered as the father of medicine, or one of his pupils wrote what is popularly known as the Hippocratic Oath, a solemn oath known to be taken by people in the medical profession, doctors in particular at least. The medical profession was long considered the noblest, with doctors often compared to gods and angels. […]

We’re Ready. So Why Not Be Bold and Aim High?

Two decades ago, it used to take quite a while before global technology and content was even commonly talked about in India. Much longer before it was accessible or affordable to us. Today, India is home to numerous foreign manufacturing plants that cater to global demand. It is also home to several global R&D facilities. And we as consumers, are […]

Do You Like Your News Well Done, or Rare?

Image: source A few years ago, my dad had pointed out how refreshing it was to hear All India Radio. All India Radio is India’s national, public news radio station. He said it was a welcome change to listen to just the raw news, especially after years of private news channels on TV. It made sense too. Paid media often tends […]

Why Are Americans consistently more Innovative and Entrepreneurial?

“What makes America so much more entrepreneurial and innovative than India?” That question has been in my head for many years now. Obvious recent contributions including Facebook, Tesla, and the immortal giants, Google, Amazon and Apple come first to mind. But the world we live in stands witness to enduring American inventions – the airplane, credit card, transistor, laser, the computer and internet; with hundreds of inventions […]

Tejas: A Fighter Plane 33 Years In the Making

In the early 1980s, there was a plan to build India’s first fighter aircraft, under the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) program. After innumerous technological and process roadblocks, and possibly governmental delays, the LCA,  named Tejas (‘radiant’), was inducted into the Indian Air Force a few days ago. Being in love with fighter planes since I was a toddler, I couldn’t resist […]

Step Up – Escalators Are Dangerous

Escalators at the Copenhagen Metro Most of us have used escalators at malls, in office buildings and at airports. And we have surely seen that nervous person standing at one end of it, caught in a mental conflict of whether to step on it or not. While some of us have been mildly amused by that person, their fear is, in fact, more […]

The Clock of Life is Wound but Once

The Clock of Life is Wound but Once Here’s an evergreen classic that makes its rounds about once a year or so, by way of email forwards or social media posts. But unlike many others, this one never ceases to inspire. ——————————– Two Stories BOTH TRUE!! STORY NUMBER ONE Many years ago, Al Capone virtually owned Chicago . Capone  wasn’t famous […]

Think A-Team: The Latest Services Menu for Startups

Think A-Team: The Latest Services Menu for Startups Hi Entrepreneurs! Late last year, I started a service called ‘Think A-Team’, to bring human-centered design strategy & other relevant services in a transparent manner to aspiring entrepreneurs & enterprising startups in India and abroad, to help them grow faster and better. One of the key This has been possible by using […]

Job Quotas or Meritocratic Politics?

Job Quotas or Meritocratic Politics? Image: source Developed countries continue to struggle to identify industries, areas of business, skillsets and employment opportunities that will make their workforce, abilities and manufacturing resources relevant again in a world of cheap labor and low cost manufacturing from developing countries. At such times, instead of leveraging the inherent potentials we in India have, to […]

Startup Service Aggregators

Startup Service Aggregators Image: source Startups with business models revolving around aggregating services might have their days numbered. Unless they offer a significant additional benefit (than the underlying services they aggregate) to end consumers. Because without it, they’re just tech-backed middlemen looking for their share of the pie for connecting parties. This might be a steadily tough ask in an […]

The Determining Fire

Image: source The Determining Fire Late on 15th night, I read a news piece about 500 trained women personnel of the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) being the first women contingent to be deployed in high-altitude posts along the India-China border. I was thrilled. However, I’m also sure many may have asked, ‘would they be able to handle it’; or, ‘can they meet […]

A Rural Electric Ride

A Rural Electric Ride While a lot of us are busy in our world of self-indulgence, it’s reassuring to know there are Indians like Ratan Tata, who’d go the distance with regard to businesses that positively impact to one or more segments of the population. I’m speaking about the Nano in particular here, the world’s cheapest car that was inspired by […]

Think A-Team: For the Design & Strategy needs of Young Businesses

Think A-Team: For the Design & Strategy needs of Young Businesses Image: link Hi, all you enterprising entrepreneurs, I am pleased to give to you, ‘Think A-Team’, a growth partnering service for all your business strategy needs. The intention behind it, is to help you make your business challenges a little less challenging. And to work with you on growing […]

Women Drivers

Women Drivers “You said a bad driver was only safe until she met another bad driver? Well, I met another bad driver, didn’t I?” – Jordan, in The Great Gatsby The hype around Women’s Day is finally done for this year. And speaking of women, their driving skills has often triggered many an animated debate. Driving slow, cutting dangerously, not indicating, playing […]

And Then It Hits You..

And Then It Hits You When interacting (read playing) with infants, objectives are very clear in our head. We must make them laugh, even at the cost of looking foolish. And we must, at all possible cost, avoid them from crying. Yet somehow, we manage to forget those objectives when dealing with adults. Strive to delight people. Be it family […]


Attention! Allan Massie said, “Do you know what a soldier is, young man? He’s the chap who makes it possible for civilized folk to despise war.” Last night I watched a movie called ‘Holiday‘. An action thriller about a soldier on vacation who uncovers a dangerous plot. I noticed something rather shameful with the crowd at the theatre during the last 3 […]

The Up Side of Consulting

The Up Side of Consulting Here’s a post I had drafted for submitting as a resource to MosaicHub, in response to their call to members for ‘the Top 5 things businesses need to know about your area of expertise’. Here are five top thoughts that we at the A-Team, believe would be beneficial for businesses who engage consultants, for those wanting to […]

Ghost Rider

Ghost Rider India has seen a meteoric rise in the number of vehicles on its roads. And with it, driving sense and etiquette have disappeared into oblivion. I’ll agree I’m not too great a driver myself. But few things anger me as much as bikers riding on the wrong side of the road. And it’s still ok if a rider only risks his own life. But many of […]

Rolling Gear

Rolling Gear Last May, Indian airline companies reduced the permissible weight limit on checked-in bags [domestic sector] to 15 kgs. The international limit ranges from 23 kgs (or lower?) to the more generous likes of Emirates that allows up to 30 kgs (Economy) and 50 kgs (First Class). The average suitcase weighs between 3-6 kilos. What remains is what you get to fill. […]

Carry This

Carry This Last afternoon, I was lucky to chance upon some great customer service. I was at a station in Karnataka, heading back to Bombay with my mom. The indifferent railway staff hadn’t been clear about which platform the train would arrive on. After a long wait, the platform was announced. The person at the info desk said that coach and seat […]

Hope you don’t have a Rolled Model?

Hope you don’t have a Rolled Model? We all have role models? Well, at least most of us do. And can we ever admire them enough? While it’s great if you have idols or role models, something I suggest to friends and acquaintances is that you should not be amazed by your role models. Instead, find out what it is about them that amazes you and earns […]

Your Time Will Come

Your Time Will Come Three days ago, I was rushing to office after a meeting. The day somehow seemed very different. Special, in an inexplicable way. The meeting had gone well too. While waiting at a signal light, lost in the magical voice of the very beautiful Amy MacDonald singing ‘Your time will come’, when I suddenly noticed a teacher […]


The Tata Nano, cheapest car in the world today, is arguably one of the biggest milestones in the auto industry in recent times, the world over. A close friend of mine, Sheshank Reddy shared an article which talked about how Mr. Ratan Tata, in hindsight, felt the Nano should not have been positioned as ‘the cheapest car’. Another close friend, Pradeep Shetty, Sheshank and I have, over […]

Chip Off the Old Block

Chip Off the Old Block Renaissance artist Michelangelo claimed that his job was to free the human form trapped inside the block. His words, apparently were: “In every block of marble I see a statue as plain as though it stood before me, shaped and perfect in attitude and in action.  I have only to hew away the rough walls […]

Seasons Greetings Y’all.!

Seasons Greetings Y’all.! Compared to businesses abroad, companies in India have been notorious for having too many public/festival holidays. And employees, of course, have always been grumbling about not having enough. There are numerous and diverse religions and cultures here. And its our collectively celebrating festivals is what makes Indian culture unique and rich in itself. Now since most Indians would give priority to celebrating […]

I Wonder If You Can

I Wonder If You Can Think about any random man-made problem that the world faces; financial meltdowns, corruption, greed, poverty. Also, inequalities, ethnic violence, crimes against women and children, “man-made” natural disasters, and so on. Wouldn’t it be easy even to just grasp the magnitude of these problems if they all had just one or a few common causes? And simple causes too? Then just preventing those […]

Sell Blankets to Eskimos

Sell Blankets to Eskimos This post requires you to think a bit. Might be difficult on a Friday night, but do give it a thought over the weekend. We all know how challenging the life of a salesperson can be. Unrealistic sales targets, unwelcoming prospective customers, unending follow-up calls and meetings. And then demoralizing posters outside offices and the crushing pressure of time as end of the […]

Dark Knight Rising, Batpod Skidding

Dark Knight Rising, Batpod Skidding You know how we sometimes have a tendency to give our ‘expert’ views on something that already seems perfect, and how, according to us, it could have still been better? Experts will agree that in areas of personal strengths and weaknesses, it is always better to focus on our strengths rather than our weaknesses. But in some other areas, the attitude can sometimes seem […]

Let’s Go Back to the Future

Last night, on the occasion of Mahatma Gandhi‘s birth anniversary, I came across an article titled ‘Where was Gandhiji born? Only 4 out of 10 gave the correct answer.’ [link] What was the big deal anyway? While my outlook is not even half as non-violent as the Mahatma’s,  I have utmost respect for him. But for questions like when was someone born, or where? History? I always […]

Just Like That

I have always disliked the idea of businesses buying, and friends forcing ‘Likes’ on Facebook. The number of likes really skews the picture, and it becomes difficult to differentiate between a business that has bought 300 likes from one that has earned 200 likes with quality business and customer delight. Surely, Twitter, feedback, and public reviews help maintain some transparency in the quality of services […]

Question the Question

Here’s a thought.. And I welcome your thoughts in return.. Back when I was in the ninth standard/grade in school, while I wasn’t too bright in studies. With the exception of Math and Physics. In those two, I was competing for between the 6th and 9th position in class. They weren’t subjects I had to study or know. It just somehow came logically. Feeling comfortably […]

The Future Indian PM

Technology played a crucial role in winning Barack Obama his first, and securing his second term as US President. With that, I think it was evident that a capable leader and change maker must have the power of new age technology and media on his or her side, to connect with the constantly changing and eternally curious new-age citizen. Back home, while most political […]

Attention! Is this the Police?

Last evening I went to pick up some things for home from the department store. Visits to that store isn’t exactly something I look forward to. Considering the place is a little dusty, the staff is slow and clueless, and for some reason, they keep moving some sections around every other time. Anyway, while parking outside, I noticed two police constables standing beside a car […]

Two Sides of The Same…Country

Little over a decade ago, I had just learnt how to drive a car, and, sorry; I must learn to be specific. I had learnt to drive a car in India. Yes, here, it takes more effort, selfless commitment, definitely more skill, and sheer bravery to even just want to learn to drive a vehicle here, let alone actually drive. Not even attempting […]

The Race Against..You.!

In this post, I am sharing my experiences while preparing for a cycling event held in Bombay last December. While it’s a little overdue, but whether you’re a cyclist or not, I am sure you’ll have some takeaways from this one. I was working in Pune till last July, and had just returned to Bombay. While figuring out ‘what next’ on the life […]

Hindi Chini Vie Vie

The world knows China for all the cheap products that it has captured the world market with. But while the average Chinese is a decent hard-working person, I think all the years of exporting cheap goods to the world has led ‘cheapness’ to have become a character trait with the top ministers in China. Perhaps that is why they have Chinese troops infiltrating into […]

Chain Reaction

A lot of you might have watched this video at least once in the last 2 years that it seems to have been on Youtube. In case you haven’t, hit play. I’ve been lucky to witness one such incident way back in junior college. I was in a bus heading for class, when this man got on, and suddenly realized he had left […]

We can be Heroes

Industry bigwigs, public figures, influential people, media celebrities among others, carry with their success, power and fame, certain unspoken responsibilities towards others, especially those not as fortunate. Those responsibilities include always acting in a fair and just manner, and avoiding any form of oppression, directly or by way of others. This post is for all you salman khan fans; a glimpse into the ugly, and a heavy […]

See Ma, No Hands – Reviewing the Dettol No-Touch Soap Dispenser

See Ma, No Hands – Reviewing the Dettol No-Touch Soap Dispenser Here’s a product review. You wouldn’t be reading this if you were fortunate enough to live a secluded life in the hills, which means you’ve most likely visited a reasonably-priced restaurant around. And you have probably noticed how the wash basins usually have water all around the tap/ faucet. […]

Social Media, What Next?

Hybrids come naturally in most businesses. Hybrid products/ services. The easiest example that comes to mind, is the BMW X6 (something between an SUV and a sedan). I don’t think that particular line has been very popular, though it does look massive, and reasonably cool. A more common hybrid is a mutual fund or similar investment program. Another recent hybrid is the Connected […]

Learn To Be Still

Today’s news had an article on how a Chinese mother had caged and shackled her mentally ill son in a homemade cage for 11 years. In 2001, the son, Wu, beat to death a 13-year-old boy in his village (Ruichang, Jiangxi Province), while reportedly suffering an episode of ‘psychosis’. He was released home a year later since he suffered from mental […]

Can You Handle This? Dangers of Bad Design

Can You Handle This? Dangers of Bad Design When making products, or even installing one, more often than not, haste does make waste. Some calmness and a little imagination goes a long way in avoiding the following…                 Above, is the inside of a rear door of a Maruti Eeco. I wonder how […]


In continuation with my interest in the importance of brevity in communication (to a greater extent in  written communication, and to some extent for verbal),  this post is made up of some interesting quotes on brevity that I came across. The quotes are in blue. Now after you’ve read each quote, I urge you spend a moment to reflect upon […]

Ironman: Heroes Aren’t Born, They’re Built

“I’ve been called many things. Nostalgic is not one of them.” -Tony Stark Many of us have been anxiously awaiting Ironman 3 [not sure if my connection was slow, or if the official movie site expected me to wait for Ironman 4 while it loaded]. Anyway, I saw the Audi commercial a few days ago. It showed the electric sports car from […]

Spread A Message

The Delhi gang rape incident is still fresh in the minds of many. An intolerable mix of anger and helplessness is how I remember the incident. A few days after that angel from the Delhi gang rape succumbed to her injuries, a friend informed me about a peace protest that was taking place here in Bombay. I was caught up […]

Like Endorsing, Endorse Liking?

We all remember the notorious financial meltdown of 2007-08 that washed away a lot of dreams. We all know why it happened. Some wise (read greedy) people built a huge structure on an extremely very weak foundation (sub-prime mortgage). And then went ahead and added floor over floor to their fantasy at the cost of the masses, till the foundation and […]

Beery Bad

Here’s a first. A product review. Several weeks ago I was at a Raymond’s store picking up a suit I had given for altering. On one of the display sections, a number of beer bottles caught my eye. Looking closer, they read “Beer Shampoo”. Hmmm.! Now I’ve heard that beer’s really good for the hair, softens it and all that. […]

So what’s your Point?

Back in Engineering, a bunch of us close friends had the habit of asking ‘so what’s your point?‘, usually when one of us was sharing details about some important or serious incident with the rest. For instance, say a relatively shy friend was explaining about how he struck a conversation with a girl he had a crush on. So he’d explain […]

The King of Traumatic Times

How Vijay and Siddharth Mallya are handling the whole Kingfisher Airline fiasco is appalling. In a similar situation, way back, Richard Branson sold his first and extremely-close-to-his-heart business, Virgin Records at the insistence of financial institutions, so that the resulting funds could be infused into Virgin Atlantic. He supposedly cried the day the company was sold to EMI. Employees at Kingfisher (KF) Airlines […]

To Adopt or Not to Adopt

State Home Minister R R Patil came up with a brainwave idea to curb crimes against the elderly in the city. His idea is, that every policeman must ‘adopt’ (take responsibility) of a senior citizen. What do some people have for breakfast? Policemen in our city, and across the country are underpaid, overworked, and hardly find time to even spend […]

Ferraris and Moral Sawaaris

This post is long overdue. And it is inspired by a dialog from the Hindi movie ‘Ferrari ki Sawaari‘. I had wanted to post about it soon after watching the movie when it had released several months ago. However, it’s screening on tv a few days ago reminded me to complete this post soon. Ferrari Ki Sawaari (Hindi) translates to […]

Big Bizarre

I dropped into the Big Bazaar store for a bit last night (not out of choice, if you must know). But I must say, they’ve really re-done the place, in a good way. Impressive, must say. The section as soon as I entered, was for clothes, and it  looked like a section at the more popular multi-brand stores around. If […]

Cartoons Against Cartoons

A 27-year-old Amit Katarnaware does not seem to have a problem with corrupt politicians and bureaucrats eating the nation alive, drinking the nation dry. But he does have a problem with a few cartoons that just attempt to depict the sorry state those corrupt people in power have brought this nation to. . . How convenient is that? Amit, if you […]

It Could Have Rained Nanos

Sure the Tatas have had their share of tough n’ rough times with the Nano, and they buggered up with the advertising as well. That means there was extremely insufficient advertising, and never at the right time. It just struck me, what stopped them from making a kick-ass tv commercial for the monsoon season. Am sure for bikers riding through […]

Serves you Right

“Quality in a service or product is not what you put into it. It is what the client or customer gets out of it.” – Peter Drucker We recently bought a cordless telephone from Croma (for the uninitiated, Croma comes under the Tata umbrella). Took it back home and it was not working. Late next evening mom and I made […]

Fuel Hike

It’s brilliant how a fuel hike causes such chaos the night before the hike. Kilometre-long lines of people waiting to pack in as much fuel as they possibly can before it gets dearer. And while it’s illegal to fill cans with fuel, does it actually make so much sense to burn fuel for well over half an hour for a […]

The Seat Next To The Lady

The Seat Next To The Lady Recently, the latest player in the online travel business, brought in the option of “block your seat next to a lady” on your next bus journey. Yeah, I know. My eyes lit up too for a moment there. But no, buddies, your lifelong dream of getting a seat next to a pretty gal, […]

Far From Perfect

Far From Perfect We recently ordered a table for home. A small and fairly simple design, with a Rosewood coloured Melamine polish coating. However, to make the base stable, the people from the store turned it upside down to chisel a little bit. And this is how the underside looked. To save a few bucks, the underside was conveniently left […]

See Yourself Become The Villain

In the Dark Knight, there’s a scene where Harvey Dent says “You either die a hero, or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain”. When you first hear it, it sounds like one of those brainless lines from some low-budget movie, right? Like a random dialog from the movie ‘Torque‘ (oh yeah, not low-budget, but definitely sad […]

Forward Pass

Forward Pass Try this. Say instead of zipping past a car on the opposite side of the road waiting to make a u-turn, slow down (of course, look back first, to make sure you don’t cause a pileup) to ’em make the turn. The driver will be pleasantly surprised. They don’t expect it. Nobody does. And that’s what makes it even […]

The Fire to Hire

Start-ups and many small to medium sized companies often think that costs can be saved by hiring poor to average quality candidates, thereby being able to get the adequate “number” of manpower and be able to scale up while keeping salary expenses down. However, what many of them fail to realize is, that for every average, lower salaried hire, either […]

Layers of BS

Ever realized how much time we spend each day either building a thick layer of ‘unnecessary’, and/ or scraping a thick layer of it. Rather than build quality products and services, we tend to build our own imaginary features, declare our products/ services to be the absolute best without the real stuff to prove it. Facts are covered up, hyped, or […]

Multiple Copy Paste

Multiple Copy Paste Ever felt the need for a double or second ‘Copy-Paste’ option on your computer, tablet or even mobile phone? That is, when you could copy 2 different things one after the other, and then paste them back in sequence. As opposed to doing a copy-paste and copy-paste. I’ve seriously felt a desperate need for it on several […]

Work Smarter, or Work Longer?

I guess the longer working hours became more and more common only in the last decade or slightly more, but it’s quite surprising that it seems to be going strong even to this day in many companies. And not only do companies demand more of the employee’s time, employees surprisingly take pride in claiming they work anywhere for those 15 […]

Google, Search Better

Google, Search Better You know how you sometimes Google something, but the results are random or irrelevant. And you know how Google has the +1 recommendation option on search results. Now, here’s a suggestion that should be considered for Google, shopping sites, and those offering search directly via Google. How about an option similar to the FB ‘Like’ button? Individuals […]

We Deliver.!

We Deliver.! Several years back, I used to work in the ever so famous BPO (Business Process Outsourcing) Industry in one of India’s IT hotbeds, Bangalore. My job involved providing technical assistance to North American customers of our pretty impressive all-in-one printer range. There was a time I wondered if the monotony could leave me permanently depressed. Or worse, brain-damaged. […]

Drivin’ me Nuts.!

you are driving one morning to work. nice weather, relatively low traffic. ‘i’m finally going to reach well before time’, you think to yourself. just at that moment, a speeding cab whizzes to your left, suddenly cuts you without a signal or warning. you snarl, and then immediately think that it feels like a really great day, full of positives, so you wouldnt want to ruin it by getting into a foul mood over a crazy driver. you near a signal, nearing a car in the next lane, who appears to be somehow drifting towards your lane. you honk lightly. you think he’s getting back into his lane but just as you’re real close to his car, he honks back and swerves in your direction. your brakes screech the car to a halt, and your still wondering if that actually happened.
Grrrr..!! that does it. that driver’s going down, you tell yourself, as you floor the accelerator and veer into the last lane and align yourself in perfect striking position.

Ease up…On the Throttle

Ever been late to get somewhere, and you got stuck behind a car driven by an old woman or man, or maybe even a learner who’s instructor managed to pick the same road on the same day when you were late and crossing it. Or even the one who’s so busy chatting with their co-passenger, that driving becomes almost an external, disconnected event for them.