I am obsessed with tech and social networking, an avid Googler, a chronic thinker, UX and UI enthusiast, passionate about almost anything, minesweeper addict, can always be found on GTalk and yes gentle at heart.Read more about me on my about page. You can also read my Vellapanti. Google Plus.

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A detailed book review of The Bankster by Ravi Subramanian

A detailed book review of The Bankter by Ravi Subramanian
The Bankster by Ravi Subramanian

Syncopy, er Synopsis :P

The book begins with three parallel stories and then in the mid-way is left with two stories. The parallel stories are that of Joseph Braganza in Angola, Greater Boston Global Bank (GB2) in Mumbai, and Krishna Memon in Devikulam, Kerala. Braganza, a CIA agent, is trading Blood Diamonds in Angola. Corporate Politics are in action in GB2. Menon is against a Nuclear Power Plant in his region because of a promise he promised to his son who died as the aftermath of the Chernobyl Accident.
In the book, Braganza is not talked much about and gets lost somewhere in the mid-way, but that is for a reason.

GB2 is where most of the plot unfolds. Vikram, Tanuja, Zinaida, Harshita and Raymond are the characters that I think should be noteworthy. Vikram is the head of Retail Banking, Tanuja – the head of HR, Zinaida (a bombshell!) and Harshita are the Relationship Managers in Bandra Branch, Raymond works in compliance department, the one that keeps in check the ethics or the wrong doings in the banks. The plot unfolds after most of the characters are introduced. The problem begins with an alleged accident of a cashier by the name of Pranesh. But then things come back to normal, it’s an accident after all, no? The plot or rather the problem begins when Zinaida opens an account (with Vikram’s indirect reference) of Asia Logistics. As it draws in huge amounts of money from abroad and withdraws money within different branches across India, the compliance officer, Raymond finds it fishy but he is asked to keep quiet as the account is from someone who knows Vikram. Initially he keeps quiet but he does not give up on it. Harshita along with her husband gets murdered in Vienna, Austria. Raymond finds out something the very next day and hence wants to contact Indrani, CEO of GB2 but as she is busy it does not happen. And, next, he is found dead with a suicide note.
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Who is our Gandhi?

I was researching something and ‘page jumping’ I landed to the Wikipedia entry of Gandhiji’s Assassination. I was shocked by some of the mentioned facts, do read the Wiki Entry. On that page I read that a certain incident was modified a bit in the Gandhi – the movie. So out of curiosity I opened the movie and started fast forwarding the movie and I landed on the Dharasana Satyagraha. I saw the entire incident and it literally brought tears to my eyes. How can you take a blow that can potentially kill you? Forget about avenging for the blow, you don't even think about avenging. Patriotism at its proudest moment.

That scene made me wonder at my existence in my country. Am I a blot? Am I a burden? Am I someone who has done nothing for my country? The politicians come up with Jinnah inspired conspiracies and create vote banks for their own needs. I don’t want to talk about the scams done by our government in the recent years; the government and the opposition are not different, they are the same side of a coin. One is striving to be a government and the other wants to form a government. Its not the scams that is talking us down. It’s our hatred for scams, our thinking that is taking us down.

A friend commented, of my Facebook profile, to my last post saying that Gandhian principles are not relevant today. Seeing that Dharasana protest I have realised that Gandhian principles are not ineffective or obsolete they are, just, not implemented properly. As Gandhi said that Satyagraha is very difficult to observe. Satyagraha is non violence, patience, loving our enemy, perseverance and much more.
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The Greatest Indian ever

N. B. This is an emotional post that you may not find emotional. You have been warned! Okay now proceed.

History Channel came up with the results of the, "Greatest Indian after Gandhi" survey (its Gandhi and not Ghandi.) But why was Gandhi excluded from the survey? Gandhi always travelled third class then why was he given a special treatment here? In fact, he is given a special treatment everywhere. All of that started, tragically, after his tragical death. And is he truly the Greatest Indian ever?

What about Aryabhatta? Aryabhatta invented the zero. Zero, a magical number that when added or subtracted takes you to nowhere; when multiplied, it takes away all that you have; when divided by it, gives you everything that you ever wanted. A number that, while you are reading this piece of mastery, is being ripped apart by your processor a million times in a second, and by the time you finish reading this, it would have been tickled a stunning 1000,000,000,000 times. Processors are everywhere today, imagine a world without zeros. You'd have imagined a world without zero only when you’d have got a big zero in your test. Bhaskaracharya's work on calculus predicates Newton and Leibtniz by over half a millennium. If I go on writing, this post would never finish.
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Women should adhere to our culture and wear sarees

We came up with notices asking women to shed jeans. Read on.
Acid Attack Poster

I believe a woman should wear a saree.
It does not matter,
Whether you agree or disagree.
And I do not want you yo take this as a chatter.
But before it is made a decree,
We men need to solve our matter.

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Tears that are not tears [Fiction]

"O! Lord, King of the Kings..." began the poet.
"O learned poet," the king said after he finished. "What is your name?"
"Ravidas, My Lord."
"Ravidas be given fifty gold coins."
The King was so much pepped up, had Ravidas recited his poem again, he would have attacked the nearest King.
Two men and a woman stood before him.
"Please begin," requested the King.
"My Annadata, (अन्नदाता and not Anna-data,) I am Righu and this is Suhasini, we both love each other and want to get married but her father is against it."
"Why is it so?" the King looked at the old man.
"The worshipped, I bow to thee. I have my concerns for my daughter," began the old man. "He is a blacksmith, a caste lower than ours, a caste that our society forbids to get our children married to. Over and above, he does not earn much then how would he keep my daughter happy? How would he satisfy her needs?"
"But isn't love above everything else, My King? Isn't love enough to satisfy one's needs and desires, My King?" countered the young man.

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You are destined to dream [Fiction]

You are destined to dream
Mohan was sitting on the roof-top of his friend's house, reading The Alchemist. It was his first vacation in years. The sky was cloudy, the clouds as dark as they could be at that time of the year; the cool Atlantic breeze brought with it the smell of the salt contained in the sweat of the fishermen. He read, "... the most important is that you have succeeded in discovering your destiny..." Pause. "What is destiny? What are dreams?" he quizzed and stopped.

As a kid, Mohan always loved gazing at the stars, the power-cuts had made it easier. Then one day he came across a word called 'Astronaut.' "I would become an astronaut. What better than reaching the stars." He used to say. This happened even before Kalpana Chawla happened. Then one day a new girl came to his class. Her name was Vibha. For him (and many others) she was more beautiful than a Super Nova, her eyes as dark as a black hole. Whenever he saw them he used to get drawn into them only to get lost forever. As fate would have it, she sucked at Maths and Computers and he was a sucker for the same. Teaching those subjects made him a student of those subjects. By the time he completed his schooling he became an ace programmer and had gotten a scholarship to Stanford. He promised that he would propose Vibha after he graduated. At Stanford he spent all of his time coding applications and websites. He won many Hackathons. He never got out of his dorm except to attend classes and to eat. In fact, he had not even explored his hostel completely. The only place that he had ever explored was the sky.
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My first love letter

Raj was sitting in his cubicle, his office was under chaos. It was a month-end and targets were to be met. Raj was not in panic but he was nervous. He had his own reasons for that. He pulled out a letter that was lying in his drawer, for over a week now. As he read it, droplets of sweat surfaced on his forehead. He had some unfinished work to do.

Dear Menaka,

I can not forget that day,
I saw you first.
You made me go astray,
My heart got filled with lust...

The wind brought with it, a scent.
It was not any perfume but an odour.
I turned to see its owner.
Only to fine an angel.

Raj lifted his head over his cubicle. She was on the phone. She had been laughing and chatting for the last twenty minutes. "Who would that be?", thought Raj, anoyed.
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Aamir Khan to make an episode on SRK fiasco on Satyameva Jayate [Satire]

Mumbai: On Sunday, the Khan of ‘truth came out with a statement that has shocked the entire Bollywood. Aamir Khan in a press conference said, “I would like to make an episode on the Shahrukh incident that happened in Wankhede that night.” When a reporter asked if it wasn’t a bit bizarre to make an episode on Security Men getting abused by a star as stars are known for slapping, drinking, slapping, driving recklessly, slapping, exposing their valuable assets, slapping and organizing Swayamvars [Swayamvars? Seriously?] To this Aamir replied, “My sympathies are with all the people who get abused by our community [Does he belong to the community? :P] but the episode would not be on the security men getting abused but it would be on a Star getting abused. Shahrukh, a star, was assaulted by them, now that is a rarity.” This spread uneasiness in the entire room.
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Finally MCA says sorry to SRK

Mumbai: MCA in a press statement on Saturday said that it is sorry for what happened with SRK. “We apologize to SRK for the events that have developed over the last couple of days. The treatment wasn’t meant for him and we lift the ban that we imposed on SRK with immediate effect. He can come with anyone, even Aamir Khan and Salman Khan, and watch a match in Wankhede.” It further said, “All of the treatment that SRK received was in reality intended for KRK. KRK has been the culprit for the fiasco. The way he tweets about BCCI, our parent body, with all the C***** and M***** we thought of teaching him a lesson. And as far as SRK is concerned, SRK, for his affinity towards controversies got in the middle of all of this. We are extremely sorry for this. As far has KRK is concerned we ban him from entering Wankhede for his entire “life-term”. [! (?)] We might even be forced to take legal actions if he does not stop tweeting abusively.”
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Mortal Kombat-Submission [Sarcassm]

Mortal Kombat was a ‘lovely’ game wasn’t it? I don’t know as I never played it. Whether you played it or not should not concern you as this post is about anything but that game. Well, this post is about the dreaded ritual (ah! I love this word 'ritual', say it loudly R-I-T-U-A-L) that every engineering student has to go through. Yes I am talking about the Term End Submissions. Yes most of you who are reading this would have cringed at a mere thought of it. That is the charisma of submissions.

You are given something to write, you find what you have, then there some worms who solve and write them and thus become the need of everyone, you copy what you understand, the rest is written or rather drawn the same way as it was written by them. By the time the submissions finish, the original ‘manuscript’ reduces by 3% “file on file copy,” making the total reduction to 42% in all and at times it is 57%. (the numbers have been obtained after analyzing and processing a set of data into Wolfram Alpha!) Then the issue arises whether you got your file signed in time or not. If not, then I am sorry for you, you will be executed in front of everyone and your last wish, even, will not be fulfilled! If yes, then you are the envy of the ones who will never see the end of the tunnel with you. And you are subject to abuse – verbally, mentally and … no not physically but monetarily. You will be tortured to such an extent that you’d think of getting rid of your file (but no one has the guts to do so) and falling into the line. Thus the entire ritual is one lot (actually many lots as they resurface every semester.) of a torture that we innocent students are subjected or injected (you choose or suggest) to.
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Times have changed

Remember about the fan pages on facebook “I grew up in the 90s” and “80s?” Yeah this is 2010s and time is one of the many things that keep ‘constantly changing’ – whether for good or for good of bad, no body knows. What is certain is that it keeps changing. Enough of philosophy now to point. I just returned from one of my childhood friends’ house. We watched “Step Up 3” and then I returned as he had pack as he had to go to Gandhinagar where he works. All well, isn’t it? Well, it wasn’t like this always.

Rewind to year 1998

When I first met him. He and his brother were playing cricket and I was waiting for papa to come and pick me up. I went to them and asked if I could join them, they said yes and the only thing I remember after that is that his brother and I were busy chasing for the ball hit by him. It was not a pleasant experience back then but today I do cherish it. I was never a good batsman, never scored more than 40; never a fielder, saved a four but by that time the batsman had run four runs; never a blower, was easy to hit but yes I did take “crucial” wickets as I could turn the ball. Keyword: Cricket
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The Most Corrupt Man of India Commits Suicide

New Delhi: In not so strange circumstances, LOLu Kaput, 64, a resident of Karol Baug was found dead in his own villa. The post mortem report confirms that it was a suicide and Kaput died of drug overdose. Its not the suicide that has caught everyone’s attention in the Maximum Crime Capital but its the letter that was found with Kaput. It said, as reported by Bikhra Butt, that Kaput claimed himself to be the most corrupted man ever on the planet.

The exact copy of the letter is quoted below:
Not so Dear World, 
I am committing a suicide because I am sick of all these ‘India Against Corruption’ movement taken up by Anna Hazare. And I blame Anna Hazare and his Team Anna entirely but up to  a greater extent. I had hopes and trust in the government (that’s why I voted for them) but the agitation had shaken the hopes and trust. I had trust in the opposition but as always the opposition has been useless, for both Anna and me.

What will happen if corruption gets uprooted? Will there be roads everywhere? Will everyone be treated equally? Will reservation be abolished? Will the Patels ever get women (girls) to marry? Will scams like Satyam stop? No, na? Then why the hell is everyone after this bloody Lokpal? 
Why does everyone ought to have problem if I travel without tickets every single time and never get caught. I even pity the fools who get caught. Pretty dumb. Why do I have to pay 5 rupees for a ticket from Karol Baug to Shastri Nagar, I don’t even know what the exact fare is! India is a free nation, then why can’t the ticket and and everything else be free? I am sick of all their things and principles. 
I very well know that this Lokpal “will not finish” corruption but its the agitation that's driving me crazy. I am in the same situation like Anna – he knows that HIS Lokpal will never get passed but is still fighting. 
My final message for the world: people – get back to work, Anna – someone please give him McD’s or Sodexho’s free meal pass, he gravely needs them. Kiran Bedi and your ghunghat act – You acted like a buffoon and called your act as a game changer. Pity. Pity. Pity. You not only insulted the politicians but our entire corrupt clan. We don’t work under the table or behind the screens to save our faces as you meant, it is our style, we like the way it is and has been. Why don’t blame Batman even though he comes out in… (not underwear you dirty mind!) … night? No? Because it is his style and we all love him. 
Finally I leave behind my autobiography for the world to learn something from it. Yamraj be ready here I come!! 
Your corruptly, 
LOLu Kaput
Regarding his autobiography,  our sources have said that the government is planning to include it in the curriculum of high school students so that the people, especially the GenNext can realise that the government is not as corrupt as it seems. And shockingly even the opposition has agreed to this ‘initiative.’

Meanwhile some people whom “we” would not like to name had submitted his name to the Guinness Book of World Records. But they rejected it citing that he is dead. UN has decided to change World Anti-Corruption Day to his death day! (Soniaji can now have peaceful nights.) What are your views regarding this? Send them in the comments and they’ll be published here.

P. S. For the sitting ducks: Soniaji's birthday is on World Anti Corruption Day
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