Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Vishy is the world champion

Vishwanathan Anand is the world chess champion for the third time. He comprehensively defeated Vladimir Kramnik of Russia.

vishwanathan  anand wins world chess championship Vishy Anand is an icon in India and one of the most popular sports person outside of cricket. He inspired millions of kids to play chess. I used to play chess 1-2 hours daily when I was in grade 4-8 and I considered myself to be ‘good’ in this game. In fact, it was the last game that I played with my father before his death in 1991. As expected, I ‘almost’ lost that game but my father allowed me to win in the end!! I still remember that day – Feb 6th 1991.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Who is Joe the Plumber?

I am very eager to meet Joe the Plumber. He is the favorite plumber of John McCain and Barack Obama. Who is this guy? Come out in the open and address the nation.

The next presidential debate will be between Joe the Plumber and Joe the Cook!

Do you think he is Joe the Plumber?


 Barack Obama and John McCain:

barack-obama who-is-john-mccain

Google Blocked Us!

It seems that Google has blocked my office from using Google search. Perfect timing – I bought Google stock yesterday and it is down by 10% and still going south! I really wanted to click on Google ads so that it’s revenue can go up and hence my stock price. Darn! I can’t do that now :)


Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Prince of Kolkata never quit, he walks away with his head held high

Sourav Ganguly Sourav Ganguly decided to walk away from International Test Cricket with his head held high. After the upcoming series with Australia, the cricket lovers all over the world will see the “God of off-side” only on TV.

I am definitely going to miss him. I still remember his bowling spells in Toronto Cricket Ground in 1998, his fighting 124 in Dhaka, and 183 against Sri Lanka. He is the most successful captain of Indian cricket team. He won 21 out of 49 tests as captain – 42% win rate. His opening partnerships with Sachin in one day matches won many matches for India and in my opinion, this opening pair was way better than the famous duo of Desmond Haynes and Gordon Greenidge.

Sourav Ganguly takes off shirt at Lords Cricket GroundAnd who can ever forget the Natwest Final at Lords in 2002. He shocked the world by taking off his shirt (ala football) after India won the finals. In fact, this was the first thought that came to my mind when I visited Lords in December 2006. Look at the photograph below – he was on the balcony on the right side.


Video of that famous match:

Thursday, October 02, 2008

It’s the customer, Stupid!

warren buffetI am trying to find the reason(s) behind the current economic crisis for the last two weeks. I couldn’t understand even the ABCs after reading lot of analysis by all the smart people in the world. However, things became clearer when I read the insightful analysis of Warren Buffet:

“People should always know better. … I mean people — people don’t get — they don’t get smarter about things that get as basic as greed and you can’t stand to see your neighbor getting rich. You know you’re smarter than he is, and he’s doing these things, you know, and he’s getting rich, and your spouse is getting unhappy with you because you aren’t doing — pretty soon you start doing it. And so you get what I call the natural progression, the three I’s: the innovators, the imitators, and the idiots. And that’s what happens. Everybody just kind of goes along. And you look kind of silly if you disagree.”

Basically, it’s the customer, Stupid!

You can read the full interview here.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Do you believe that your future is pre-ordained?

Narayan Murthy

Narayan Murthy asked few questions during his commencement speech at NYU:

  • Do you believe that your future is pre-ordained, and is already set?
  • Or, do you believe that your future is yet to be written and that it will depend upon the sometimes fortuitous events?
  • Do you believe that these events can provide turning points to which you will respond with your energy and enthusiasm?
  • Do you believe that you will learn from these events and that you will reflect on your setbacks ?
  • Do you believe that you will examine your successes with even greater care?

To be honest, I don’t have answers to any of these questions. These questions are food-for-thought for this long weekend! I am hoping that I will able to answer some of these questions in the next few days :)

Friday, July 25, 2008

Goodbye Randy!


A man who inspired me with his Last Lecture closed his eyes forever today. A man who inspired millions with his pushups is no more. A man who gave a short but touching speech in front of graduating students of Carnegie Mellon University is gone forever.

Randy Pausch died at his home in Virginia surrounded by his wife Jai and their three children: Dylan 6, Logan 4, and Chloe 22 months.

He is always going to live in our hearts.


Related Links:

Video of his Last Lecture: Randy Pausch Video

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Entrepreneurship = Defiance of Conventional Wisdom

Just came across a wonderful video of one of my favorites business man – Sunil Bharti Mittal.He brought digital telephones to India in early 1980s and then he started mobile revolution in 1990s. In this video, he shares his experiences as an entrepreneur and how he started his first company with $1500.

According to him, entrepreneurship is defiance of conventional wisdom. Small companies can take on big companies if they go for speed as compared to perfection. I truly agree with him on this point. Nobody can reach perfection on day 1. One has to get launch a ‘decent’ version of the production as soon as possible and then customize the product based on the feedback of the users. I am going through this experience currently. I release an ‘imperfect version’ (in my opinion) of the product yesterday and I hope to improve the product daily for the next few months till it reach perfection!

Monday, July 07, 2008

Is this end of Federer era?

2008 Wimbledon Winner: Rafael Nadal


2007 Wimbledon Winner: Roger Federer


Yesterday, I witnessed one of the best ever Wimbledon finals I have ever seen. The commitment of both Nadal and Federer was amazing.

Nadal was fighting hard to get into history books of being the first player after Bjorn Borg (1980) to win Wimbledon and French open in the same year. Federer wanted to become the first person in Wimbledon history to win six consecutive finals.

In the end, Nadal overcame the spirited fight back from Federer who extended the match to five sets after two sets down and two championship points down in the fourth set.

Is this the end of Federer reign at the top of tennis? Who will win 2009 Wimbledon? We have to wait for another 349 days, 10 hours, 48 mins and 56 seconds to see if Federer will be top seeded or not.

Friday, June 27, 2008

End of an era – Sam Bahadur


June 27, 2008 will always be remembered in Indian history. India’s greatest army chief till date passed away. Field Marshal Sam Hormusji Framji Jamshedji Manekshaw passed away yesterday. He was 94.

When I was in primary school, Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw was my source of inspiration. I was fascinated with his title - “Field Marshal”. I didn’t know the significance of the title. I thought I sounded cool! I always wanted to be Field Marshal. When I reached secondary school, I started liking the title of “Air Chief Marshal” because I wanted to be a pilot. Hindon Air Base was 30 kms from my home and I used to see pilots doing acrobats in their Migs every day.

My tributes to Sam Bahadur! I will always remember him as a person who shaped my formative years! I bow my head.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

‘Game, Set, Match, Championship Nadal’


The five words - ‘Game, Set, Match, Championship Nadal’ said it all. Roger Federer’s (one of my favorite tennis players) was unsuccessful in his another attempt to conquer Roland Garros. On Sunday, Rafael Nadal showed why he is considered as the best tennis player in this era on clay. He decimated Roger in straight sets at 2008 French Open - 6-1, 6-3, 6-0. (Match Summary) I am glad that I didn’t wake up early in the morning to see this lopsided final!! It is the most one sided result in any men’s Grand Slam final since John McEnroe lost to Jimmy Connors in 1984 at Wimbeldon.

Rafa (as people lovingly call Nadal) was too quick, very sharp at the net and Federer couldn’t match the # 2 player in the world. I wonder if this is going to start the fall of Federer's rein at the top of the world's ranking. We will find out in few weeks at Wimbeldon. My best wishes are with Federer.

“We the people”

I was on “We the people” show by NDTV on Thursday. Lot of big names came to the show – Sabeer Bhatia, NK Singh, Kanwal Rekhi, Forbes, Godrejs, Suhel Seth and lot of other high profile people. Here is a picture with celebrated journalist and host of the show – Barkha Dutt.


Tuesday, May 27, 2008

King Kahn bids adieu

May 27, 2008 will be marked as a special day in soccer history. Oliver 'King' Kahn, famous goal keeper of Bayern Munich and Germany played his last game at Salt Lake stadium in Kolkatta, India (Link-1, Link-2, Link-3).

I have played soccer at competitive level - both in high school and in college. Although I used to play at all positions (forward, mid field, defense etc.), my favorite location was goal keeping. I picked goal keeping because of my 'better' anticipation skills and it required least movement (good for lazy people like me)!!. When I picked a knee injury while playing 'tennis ball' soccer game in a skating rink (!!!), I became a full time goal keeper.

Whenever I think of goal keeping, I remember Oliver Kahn. He was easily the best goal keeper of my times. I remember my days when I used to take goal keeping tips from him by keenly watching his moves on the field during world cup matches! As my tribute to Oliver Kahn, here are two videos of him showing his skills on the ground:

Oliver Kahn in Action:

Oliver Kahn -The Perfectionist:

Sunday, May 18, 2008

What will I do if I discover that I am dying tomorrow?

I met a very interesting person yesterday at TiECon 2008 - Harold Katzenschlager. He is a from a small town near Vienna, Austria and he is a "Mental Coach" as per his business card. I met him while putting sugar in my coffee in one of the break sessions at TiECon. There was an aura of calmness around him and I think this forced me to initiate the conversation with him.

I talked to him for 30 mins and he shared his experiences of his travels all over the world, how he escaped Dec 2004 Tsunami by a whisker, his experiences with people all over the world etc.

As a part of his coaching, he asks lot of open ended questions. When  we were towards the end of our conversation, he asked me -

"What will I do if I discover that I am dying tomorrow?".

I struggled to find the answer. I thought about it for a while and tried to remember what I wrote in my graduate school essays (!!!).  But, I couldn't come with an impressive answer. I gave some random answer and the smile on his face said it all. He knew that I was not giving the answer from my heart.

I kept on thinking about this for the rest of the day - during all panel sessions, lunch, dinner etc. My 'bulb' lit up when I was driving back from Shruti's house.

Earlier in the day, I heard Mike Malone moderating the discussion with Elon Musk (founder of Tesla Motors and SpaceX). He closed the discussion by saying:

'Ladies and Gentleman, Elon Musk, Entrepreneur Extraordinaire"

While driving back, I started thinking about how people should remember me after I am gone from this world. And the voice came from somewhere:

"Entrepreneur Extraordinaire"

I will become an entrepreneur if I discover that I am dying tomorrow!

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Job Satisfaction vs Time

Job satisfaction is a function of how many times you check the clock on the bottom right of your computer screen.


For more index cards like the one above, please check an amazing blog by Jessica Hagy.

Friday, May 02, 2008

Didn't expect this to happen so soon!

Yesterday, I learned the biggest lesson of my life - people with authority will not appreciate your efforts if the results are not positive. Instead of providing room for innovation, they will blame you for not performing. There is only one way to avoid the blame game - produce positive results irrespective of the environment. That's it. It's so simple!

I was always under the impression that honest efforts are more important than the final results. During my two years at Stanford, I worked with three amazing teachers – Prof. William Perry (former US Defense Secretary), Prof Tina Seelig and Prof. Tom Byers. All three of them always encouraged me to put it my best efforts and to forget about the results. They believed that I would learn something from failure also.

I can not forget the first group meeting of my research group held three years ago on the fourth floor of Terman Engineering building. Tom gave me a standing ovation because I pushed my first piece of software to production. Here is a person who is a very senior faculty at Stanford and head of the research group standing and clapping for me because I wrote a small piece of code (20 lines of code).

Sadly, in corporate life, people care only about results. I wanted to innovate without worrying about the results. I wanted to build products which would delight the users. I wanted to work in an environment where merit of the idea is more important than who presents it. 

I guess life has a funny habit of teaching relevant lessons at the most opportune moment. Yesterday was that moment for me. I just didn't expect this to happen so soon!

I am glad that I learned this lesson.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

What is Knowledge?

I just read a wonderful speech that Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam (ex-President of India) gave at Wharton India Economic Forum a couple of days ago. At WIEF, he asked a very simple question - what is Knowledge?

I struggled for few mins. to answer this question. However, he gave a very simple yet effective definition of knowledge. According to him,

Knowledge = creativity + righteousness + courage + indomitable spirit

And he defines each component like this:


“Learning gives creativity
Creativity leads to thinking
Thinking provides knowledge
Knowledge makes you great”


"Where there is righteousness in the heart
There is beauty in the character.
When there is beauty in the character,
There is harmony in the home.
When there is harmony in the home.
There is an order in the nation.
When there is order in the nation,
There is peace in the world."


"Courage to think different,
Courage to invent,
Courage to travel into an unexplored path,
Courage to discover the impossible,
Courage to combat the problems
And Succeed, Are the unique qualities of the youth.
As a youth of my nation, I will work and work with courage to achieve success in all the missions."

Indomitable Spirit

Full of courage, driving force  and a spirit of victory

He finished his speech with another wonderful short poem:

What is mission in life?

"I am great in thinking and in action.
I firmly believe that I can do any mission.
I will dream to live even in Mars.
It doesn’t matter who I am,
I will work, work and work,
All the forces of the universe will also assist me,
I will achieve what I dream."

To read the full text of his speech, please click here. I will try to get access to the video of this speech also.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Wish you a very Happy Holi

I wish you all a very happy holi!

At Stanford, there is an old tradition of playing holi with hundreds of  people from all over the world. Here are some pictures of Holi from the last three years:

Holi 2007 (L-R: Nikhil, Ankur, Vividh, Aman, Anand)


Holi - 2006 (L-R: Janhavi, Nihir, Vividh, Anand, Vaibhav)


Holi 2005 (L-R: Aditya, Jon, ?, Anand, Vaibhav, Ankur, Sameer)


We are going to celebrate Holi 2008 on April 6th.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

I am a video jockey!!

I created these awesome videos yesterday. Please check out:

Diwali Party at my home (Nov 07):

With friends in San Francisco (Sept 05) and San Diego (Dec 05):

Friday, February 29, 2008

Connaught Place - what a transformation!!!

I visited Connaught Place in Jan 2008 during my recent trip to India. I went to CP after two and a half years! It has changed so much that I couldn't believe. The central Park and the brand new metro station are amazing. Here are few pictures of the central park. When I tried to take the picture of Metro Station from inside, one cop caught me and forced me to delete the pictures from my camera :-)

Central Park:


Central Park in the night (With Hitesh):