29 July, 2011

Nikhilesh Murthy sort of jams with Ehsaan Noorani & Jayanta Dasgupta.....

Yes! You read that right…it is the very same Ehsaan from the ‘Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy’ trio. Fender guitars are launching their new Ehsaan signature series guitars in India. I was fortunate enough to be there for the launch. After playing for a bit on stage, Ehsaan’s blues band asked people if they wanted to come up on stage and play the new guitars.

As always, me with my’ be the first horse out of the stable’ mentality when it comes to such things ran up. I may have trampled some other people on the way…happens! Never seen National Geographic? Never stand in the way of a charging Rhino. Anyway, I get on stage and one of his band mates gives me his guitar to mess around with. It’s a good thing I go for the classes because I knew some very basic almost laughable blues pentatonic scales. Played a little by myself. And that’s when he and Jayanta start pointing out how different tones on the guitar work with the different pick-ups and how different styles come across. So he plays this little riff and I try to follow in vain. Your truly got a solid ten minutes on stage getting lessons from Ehsaan on how to play the blues and how to use the new guitar.

While the entire evening was a promo for the new guitars, which are okayish (pics to the left).
Good sound, but I’m not exactly kicked about the work on the scratch board. I still don’t believe that the whammy bar will not de-tune the guitars without a lock. Anyway, enough about the guitars. Some of my band mates also got to play with Ehsaan onstage. Post the launch, we got a good 30 minutes where Ehsaan & Jayanta were kind enough to actually squat down and show us some nice licks and techniques on the guitar which would help play the blues better.

Overall, totally nice chaps. Very humble and very open to having a conversation with people. So that’s my 5 minutes of fame this weekend. Someday, I’ll be in a full time blues band. I tell you, all this are signs for me to just stop working and play guitar all day long.

PS: Willing to write songs like ‘Sheela ki jawani’ for a living if I can play guitar otherwise. Here’s a pic of me with Ehsaan and my band mates.

28 July, 2011

They did not teach 'that' at B-school....

Alright, if there is a blog entry that is possibly going to get me fired, it is this one. I am feeling rather suicidal so here I go. I am going to reveal some of the really plain things people tell one another in meetings which when heard through the very straight and decent ear of Nikhilesh Murthy just sound plain dirty.

i) Get on top

I can’t remember the number of times people have asked me to get on top of someone else. It’s ok if they refer to some technology or a problem, but when they take people’s names, there is no way I can keep a straight face. If it were the babe in the other department (not mentioning which babe or which department….HR may be tuned in), I can somewhat keep a straight face. It does get weird when they ask you to ‘get on top’ of really old men…who are soooo not my type. It’s even worse if they tell the women in the room to get on top. Come on now, there is no way you cannot not picture Penelope Cruz from that unforgettable movie ‘Woman on Top’.

ii) You can’t be on the surface, you must go deeper

This is a no brainer. When you’ve spent a fair part of your graduation watching religious movies (defined as movies where people seem to say ‘oh my god’ a lot more than what is considered appropriate), there is no chance you can keep a straight face and nod politely to this one. It gets better when they say ,” If you can’t handle this alone, we’ll give you a resource.” ‘A resource’…is that what they’re called these days? They refer to it as 'A tricycle' in HIMYM.

iii) Touch Base

So now you want me to touch base and go deeper? Weird. I do believe I will get slapped if I go around touching base with everyone here. I know we’re all told to build intimate relationships with our co-workers, but isn’t this PDA a little too much. After all, we’re supposed to be a professional firm. It’s not like I’m one of the account managers in ‘Mad Men’ who can literally go around ‘touching base’ without being fired or thrown out by his wife.

iv) Sitting on our hands

Why would I sit on someone else’s hand? No really?!?!? This always manages to put in a lot of laptop jokes. You know stuff like, “ My secretary wanted a laptop….” No?!?!? Never heard this one. Sheesh!

v) Best in breed

Hehehehe…. Horses? Ducks? Fighter fish? What do you want to breed? And more importantly, how are you going to do it. “We must provide the ‘best in breed’ service”. I don’t know about you, but I really don’t want any job that involves breeding of any sort. Speaking of breeding, did you hear about the Beckham’s fourth child?

vi) Blow by blow

While this does mean to cover all the details in the real world….oh darn. This is way too simple guys.

vii) Dead wood

Normally used in the context, “The organization has a lot of dead wood that is weighing us down. We must get rid of the dead wood”. While I’m all pro-cost cutting (even if it means my appraisal….yes HR, I love what you’ve done with it)….don’t you think we should council the dead wood. I am sure there are pills for such a thing…or maybe they’re just nervous. No need for the neutering.

I could go on and on (oh damn…there’s another phrase) but I think I’d better hold off more content until next time.

BTW: Here’s a game you corporate types can play. It’s called B.S Bingo. Create a 4x4 matrix and fill it up with jargon words or phrases used in meetings. Some examples are “in my mind”,”strategic direction”,”Synergy of strategy”,”push the envelope”,”call to action”, etc and hand them out to the non-participating members (yeah right, I’m sure HR have told you that you are all very important to them in every meeting) and cross out words as the participating members say them. The first one to get all the words struck out wins a free coffee from the vending machine.

13 July, 2011

And good things to all those who wait for it

It’s been over a fortnight since I’ve put anything up, my apologies, I have my reasons…some of which I will explain. Soooo…. What has been keeping me away from finding the time to write? I can group the reasons into 3 broad buckets for you. ( This ‘grouping into buckets’ is one of these things you tend to do post an MBA degree. MBAs love grouping things into buckets….pointless, but necessary) Anyway, here they are…
(a) Work
(b) Music
(c) A ‘surprise’ that you will have to read about at the end.

Soooo….work. Yes! It’s been happening….or not. It will happen….or not. Let’s not waste time on this.

Next….music. Yours truly seems to have found some momentum once again as a performer. However, it does have a certain Jack Black ‘School of Rock’ twist to it. As part of a band from the music school where I go to learn guitar, I recently performed in a 30 minute slot at a weekend-long music festival at the ‘Alliance Francaise’ in Bangalore. This is the first music festival I’ve ever played at……and it was awesome.

Why the Jack Black twist? Well, the band has got people from the age of 7 right up to the age of 35. One of the lead guitar players is 11 yrs old (But don’t tell him that….he corrected me saying that he is almost 12 years old….it’s THAT big a deal). A drummer who is 13, keyboard player who is 17….and the cutest 7 year old violin player you will ever see. And I’m almost exactly like Jack Black during the jam sessions; overly enthusiastic about everything and very “into it”. I’ve even got the shorts bit narrowed down. (Gorgeous legs….hubba hubba hubba). The show went off really well and we seem to be getting more places to play at. We recently played at one of the Barista’s too. While this may not be a long term thing and I do need a band with more people my age, this avatar is fun too…..even if it means I play bass.

Now to the big surprise we have all be waiting for. No, I don’t have a girlfriend and no, my parents have not found a bride for me. (These were the top two entries when I excitedly asked people ‘guess what?’ after ‘the big surprise’) Followers of this blog will know I’m one of those ‘focus on what you don’t have’ types. But for once, I am going to be very grateful and acknowledge and appreciate the new love of my life.

Ladies and gentlemen…..drumroll *burra burra burra burrrra burrrrrra badda bish*…. I am now the proud owner of a PS3. Yes, you heard me right…. I now finally own a PS3. A dream that began almost 8 years ago has now been realized. Phew!!!
I bought myself a PS3, along with the ‘Move’ controller a couple of weeks ago. Why all of a sudden? I’ve finally decided to start living a little and start having fun for once. I’ve wasted many years in the pursuit of ‘education’ and quite frankly, I fail to see the point of it all….so I bought myself a PS3. While this purchase will more or less bring an end to any semblance of a social life that I may have, but who cares…. I have a PS3. To all the women whose heart I’ve broken with this news, I say “You had your chance…..now you don’t. I’m now plugged in to the PS Network. We can probably meet over a friendly game of COD Black Ops or Fifa. ” To those who feel jealous that I can afford to buy a PS3 because I stay at home, and am not married and do not have any real responsibilities in life, I say “That’s my fault????” I also believe that I no longer have to leave home on the weekends and socialize with the human race. This should also take care of the boredom and spending part of things. Global surveys show that the average age of gamers world-wide is now 34, so don’t think it’s silly to be as excited as I am at 27 to own a PS3.

Well, that’s about it from my side. I will now have to find a new ‘not-have’ to perpetually whine about and benchmark everything in my life to. I’ve got the car, the band (some what) and the PS3. Any suggestions on what is the next big thing I ought to aim for? All possible entries are more than welcome. I was planning on an Ibanez guitar…or a nice expensive holiday in Europe. Until I can find something else, I’ll get back to my PS3…yes MY PS3….muhahahaha!!!

PS: Life should more or less follow the path shown in the video below. Geek Gamer Rules!!!