Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Movies Roundup 2011

Once again it's the list making time of the year, and just like in 2009 and 2010 I have made meticulous notes of the movies (that released during the year/I watched in theatres during the year) of 2011 and am keen on sharing the information overload with you. However, unlike in the previous years where I provided a synopsis of my top 5 Hindi & English movies I have decided to take the tedious way of sharing my 140 character review of all 22 movies I watched this year. Okay. Lazy way. These are my tweet-reviews of the movies soon after watching them and documented here for posterity. For the rest of stats lovers in you, as usual we will do the number summary like in the previous years. 


Year        # Seen    H:E       Top Rating   Avg Rating

2007         32          22:10       9.0                  5.78
2008         30          23:7         8.5                  6.35
2009         24          18:6         9.0                  6.85
2010         25          16:9         8.5                  6.62
2011         22          16:6         8.5                  6.77

Before we go into the entire list of movies and their scores, here are the Top 5 of the year for me, in rank order.

Rank 1

Rank 2

Rank 3

Rank 4

Rank 5




And the complete details follow.

The Tourist- Swift, thrilling, somewhat predictable. Beautiful locales and absolutely stunning lead pair. 0.5 extra for Jolie & Depp. 6.5/10


Dhobi Ghat - Vibrant, fresh and visually appealing. True to it's style leaves the story open at the end. Captivating 95 minutes. 8/10.


No One Killed JessicaCinematically left a lot to be desired, but made up for it with the spirit & positivity. Vidya - A+, Rani - B-. 7/10


Yeh Saali Zindagi - a dark, crime comedy that teases you with equal doses of scares and laughs all through. Superb performances by all. 8/10.


7 Khoon Maaf - beautifully picturised dark comedy, haunting & thrilling almost throughout. Could have been 20 minutes shorter. 7/10.


Rio (3D) - Typical witty, funny & entertaining Hollywood animation movie keeping you engaged for 2 hours. 3D adds to the fun. 7/10.


Shor In The City - What a movie! For the 1st time you will not only use Tusshar Kapoor & 'good movie' together but also 'very'. 8/10.


Source Code - Reminds you a lot of Inception and a bit of Vantage Point. Typicall sci-fi thriller, edge-of-seat etc. Recommended. 7/10.


I Am - a stunningly sensitive depiction of four heavy subjects without getting preachy or overtly dramatic. Brilliant portrayals. 8.5/10


Chalo Dilli - a genuinely humorous story with endearing performances by Lara & Vinay Pathak. Resembles Bheja Fry in places. Worth it. 7.5/10


Hangover 2 - perhaps the best example of reproducing something that worked in the past, with minimal tampering. My guilty pleasure. 6/10.


Kung Fu Panda 2 - Delightful story about Po & and his bumbling antics, endearing characters, holds your attention. Good, expected. 6.5/10

Delhi Belly - Crass, toilet humour ridden and wannabe. Still had me in splits in parts. Bold. Tries too hard. Usual senseless climax. 6/10.

Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows (Part 2) - And with that my childhood is officially over. 8.5/10 [Rating is emotionally inflated]

Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara - Fresh & engaging. Beautifully shot. Reminiscent of DCH & Rock On in tone and content. Strong performances. 7.5/10

That Girl In Yellow Boots - Gritty and gripping throughout with an ending that can leave many repulsed. Brilliant performance by Kalki. 7/10

Bodyguard - Will take immense efforts to come up with a worse movie. Glad that we sneaked into the next screen w/out paying for it. 2/10

Ra.One - A visual extravaganza. Shoddy start. Outstanding visual effects, at par with the best. Wafer thin plot. Unpretentious. 6.5/10.

Rockstar - Imtiaz Ali leaves no stone unturned in dishing out a mega disappointment. Contrived & hackneyed. With plastic for a heroine. 5/10.

The Dirty Picture - Predictable and over-the-top in most parts. Points to Vidya for her earnest efforts, Emraan a joke. Disappointed. 5/10.

Royal Bengal Rohoshyo - a pleasant surprise from Sandip Ray after the previous Feluda disappointments. Relived those childhood moments. 7/10

Don 2 - Very (Slick. Classy. Gripping. Pacy) SRK is charm, wit, elegance & stardom personified, and that could be unabashed fanspeak! 8/10.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

World's Best, #1, Fantastic, Mind Blowing!

The subject line pales in comparison to the protagonist of this piece, Dr. Engg. Real Estate Agent, Vaccuum Cleaner Salesman and Inventor Punit Sethi.

There are social media experts and then there is "World's Most Popular Social Media Expert as declared by Google" And as his Google+ profile says, in a Bond, James Bond way, "Google my name...Dr Punit Sethi is an"

Where do we start with Dr. Engg. Real Estate Agent, Vaccuum Cleaner Salesman and Inventor Punit Sethi. Let's take the easier route and refer to his introduction. Following are the excerpts:

1. Engineer cum Author.. with MTech, MSc, MBA & PhD. Infra, Power, Highways, Real Estate, TQM, Six SIGMA Expert. Google declared World's Most Popular Social Media, Corporate Communication & FB Expert. Author. Messenger of Peace for World Harmony.

2.Google declared Dr Punit Sethi an Indian Engineer cum Author as facebook expert and his book “Luv U Mate” on facebook as most popular in the World‏.

And at this point you are beginning to doubt the claims of Dr. Engg. Real Estate Agent, Vaccuum Cleaner Salesman and Inventor Punit Sethi, aren't you? Before you sin any further let me share the bona fide Yahoo India news article which confirms that Google did indeed Dr. Engg....Sethi as the most popular expert on Facebook.

Ha! Read that Pope & Rajinikanth joke? No? Good time to do so.

Anyway, moving on to the more concrete accomplishments of BTech (Civil), MTech (Infra/Environment), MSc, MBA, PhD, Member American Society of Civil Engineers, Fellow of Institute of Valuers, Fellow of Institute of Engineers, Member of Indian Roads Congress, Member of Indian Buildings Congress, Chartered Engineer...Lead Auditor QMS, ISO, IMS, OHSAS, EMS, NDT Punit Sethi.

He's penned the first book to win not only the Nobel Prize for Literature and the Booker of Bookers but also the Oscar & the Filmfare Awards - SPREAD LOVE NOT HATE; LUV U MATE!! And once again I notice the strains of disbelief in your eyes oh ye naive readers of this blog.


For you cynical netizens nothing will work unless the 'Wall Street Journal' itself confirms the facts in any blog post, isn't it? Fair enough, here's the revered WSJ itself informing you how the respected Indian minister Kapil Sibal launched the greatest book on earth. And sales have been moderately swift, promptly pushing the Bible to the 2nd spot within a few hours of its launch. Oh, soon after the WSJ article, our own Economic Times followed suit with a post about the greatest book of all time.

Okay, so now that the skeptic in you has been taken care off, the curiosity to know more about the man must be killing you from inside. Fret not, Lord Sethi has once again out-thought you and left enough footprints on popular social networking sites to sing his paens. You can find his illustrious career on LinkedIn, engage in some intellectually stimulating conversations on Facebook and follow his 140 characters of wisdom on Twitter.



And yes, even this cutout of the Indian cricket skipper couldn't escape Dr. Sethi's charisma and decided to take part in the book launch.

We're honoured to be living in the same day and age as Engineer + Doctor (PhD) = Doctor ♥♥ Engineer & a humanitarian. (Engr with MTech, MBA & PhD. Infra, Power, Highways, Real Estate, TQM, Six SIGMA Expert. Google declared FB Expert. Author. Messenger of Peace for World Harmony) Dr. Sethi.


P.S: If anyone has any information on this giant among men please do not hesitate to share in the comments below.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

And It Snowed!

November 10th, 2011 will remain a special day as I could finally get "watching snowfall" off from my list of 'Things To Do Before I Die' list. In fact, technically the moment arrived earlier this morning around 8:00 AM when I was walking to school and it was the exact opposite of what I had always expected it to be. Forget about snowfall, it was more like 'spit-fall' and that too by someone who wouldn't do too well in a spitting game. My friend could just not be convinced that those little white things floating around were snow flakes and not pollen grains.

However, on my way back this afternoon, it happened. Complete with the intrigue and romance associated with the phenomenon. I was waiting at the traffic lights when suddenly, out of nowhere, the sunny Evanston skies turned a dull shade of grey and the entire place got covered with the tiny little cold specks that magically appeared. And then things became more aggressive! The specks became little spheres, almost like micro hail stones, and the temperature dipped to freezing levels. The roads, sidewalks and lawns started to be painted white. What a moment!

In case you're as excited about the first snow as Veni & I were, here's a photo captured by her from our house and a video below that I took while braving the sudden attack of the icy globules.

Check out the snow covered roof of our adjoining house!


Sunday, October 30, 2011

Ra.One - Review

Disclaimer - I am a rabid SRK fan. I have made my fanaticism clear and public many, many times in the past. I am also a a lover of cinema, and when I review movies I keep my personal biases aside, unless I mention otherwise. I am not wearing my fan hat to write this review. Will appreciate if this respected in the comments.

Okay, let's get started.

Is Ra.One SRK's best movie till date? The answer is a definite no, not even close. Is it even worth spending the time (2:45 hours) and money to go and watch it? Absolutely yes.

The best part about Ra.One is that it does not make any claims of propagating deep messages through a layered storyline, changing the way you look at movies or life forever, or even making you chew over the story after you've left the theatre. It's in your face, visually spectacular and unpretentious. Yes, there is the overall theme of good presiding over evil, but that's more of a side effect of a simple superhero versus super villain story. For it to even avoid that one needed to film leaves fluttering in the air and maybe some critics would have still found that to be too pseudo-deep.

Story in a nutshell (which is pretty much the story itself) - video game developer dad, cool son, create video game with super villain to gain son's approval, supervillain gains AI (artificial intelligence), takes human form and goes rogue, superhero follows suit, in the end superhero vanquishes supervillain and everything is fine with the world.

As SRK and team have been claiming all through their hyper-charged promotions this is an Indian fantasy movie which will appeal to the kids with its world class special effects and simple storyline. And for the many of us who are not kids if the mind-blowing VFX is not enough to hold us to our seats the constant reminders of this being a film that is not taking itself seriously and often poking fun at itself and other popular references (like the initial dream sequence with Priyanka Chopra, Sanjay Dutt and SRK) should be decent value for money. The pace of the movie restrains you from giving in to the urge of checking mails on your phone and most of the gags, yes sometimes racial and stereotypical, will cause some of the people to chuckle some of the times.




The screenplay is fraught with anomalies (such as Karwa Chauth happening before Dusshera) and a curd and spaghetti (!) eating south Indian father suddenly turning out in a Michael Jackson outfit (and driving his son to school in the same) and many more. But the point is we aren't going to watch a superhero movie to dissect the deviations from the realms of reality, are we? In terms of performances I wasn't very impressed with the young Armaan Verma (playing SRK's son Prateek) but that's perhaps because I found his hair to be too long and he portrayed the typical 'smarter than alec' kid which irritates me. Most of the supporting characters such as Sahana Goswami, Dalip Tahil, Satish Shah etc. were caricatures of different stereotypes and were mostly bearable and sometimes funny. Arjun Rampal in the Title role of Ra.One was his usual plastic but good looking self and given that he needed to play a robot he passed off fine, even if not making a lasting, sinister impact as one could've hoped for. Kareena Kapoor looked stunning throughout and climbed many a rungs in my favourite actresses ladder with a seamless performance of a neo-modern wife and mother with the light, naughty side. And did I mention she looked stunning with the few extra kilos? Yes, she did. Finally, SRK. The Subramaniam character came across as a bit forced with no real identity as it was a caricature of the 'average 'South Indian'' (yes, I know there are no South Indians) but he can sleepwalk through these roles, and since he's invested more money in it than ever before the performance remains quite endearing, a bit like Suri from 'Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi' (which remains one of my least favourite SRK film). And as Ra.One he was a mix between himself in My Name Is Khan incorporating a lot of Rizwan and many of the superhero movies such as Terminator, Ironman and even Robot. The fact that he always seemed to underline that he's not taking himself seriously and doesn't expect you to either helped in making it a fun watch which could have easily become a preachy bore.

Bottomline - far from SRK's greatest movie but a fun watch with outstanding special effects, action and moments of humour. A definite one time watch in the theatres. Goes with the usual Indian masala movie warning of leaving your brains behind.


P.S:


And if you really want to know the flaws in the screenplay and why it's not believable then here's a comic strip review by the fantastic Sahil Rizwan.

Thursday, October 06, 2011

1955-2011, Steve Jobs

God blessed us with you. May God bless you.

Apple.com Oct-5-2011

Google.com Oct-5-2011



XKCD 

BoingBoing.net



Microsoft London's Flag Flying At Half-Mast

The iCon


The end of Jobs-Gates meme





Never Before aired ad of Steve Jobs from 1997








 Also tributes by the following people:

Steve Wozniak, Co-Founder Apple

Tim Cook, CEO Apple (letter sent to all Apple employees)

Barack Obama, President of the United States

Larry Page, CEO Google

Sergey Brin, Co-Founder Google

Eric Schmidt, Chairman Google

Bill Gates, Founder Microsoft

Jeff Bezos, Founder Amazon

A very moving tribute to Steve Jobs by Parminder Singh, my friend and Apple's 1st employee in India.

Scott Adam's (creator of Dilbert) ode to Jobs (thanks Manan for the link)

Stephen Fry at it as well.

Write-ups by Tech Writers who worked closely with Jobs.

Walt Mossberg (AllThingsD)

Brian Lam (Gizmodo)

Michael Arrington (Uncrucnhed, founder TechCrunch)

Stephen Fry, Writer (thanks Abhishek for the link)

[Will keep adding more articles to the list]


Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Rebel With A Focus!

Disclaimer: A personal post on cameras and photography.

Thrilled to welcome the newest member to my photography family - the Canon 500D (also known as the Rebel T1i) with the 18-55 mm kit lens, 55-250 mm telephoto lens and the 50mm f/1.8 II Prime lens!

Had been checking the mailbox at least five times a day over the past week since I placed the order and have not spent much time away from the device since the package arrived this afternoon! I have a feeling it's going to keep me very busy during my next 2 weeks of break before classes resume for the Fall quarter. Here's a closer look at the beauty.
Canon 500D with 18-55 mm lens mounted
Canon 55-250 mm Lens



Canon 50mm F/1.8 II Lens


Here's the latest family members, clicked by the Nexus S phone camera.



This follows my previous loyal Canon companion, the Canon S3 IS purchased during my first visit to the US more than four years back. That was the time I was beginning to develop a knack for photography, and generally doing a lousy job by clicking anything in sight. I must say the S3 IS has been one of the best purchases till date and I would like to believe I learnt almost everything about light, apertures, shutter speed, macro etc. from it. Given it's portability compared to the Rebel I think I will continue to carry it with me for a long time.

The Canon S3 IS

And here's a look at my very first camera, bought in August of 2005, my second month of starting on my first job. I guess most of my colleagues from Google, Hyderabad still have nightmares of me creeping up on them and going trigger happy with my Kodak Easyshare CX 7310!

Kodak Easyshare CX 7310
This post will be incomplete without mentioning the following people whose inputs where highly valuable in going for the DSLR along with the lenses, and ones I will keep pestering for some time for tips, tricks and sudden panic attacks. Also, a good idea to check their albums/blogs/sites as they all do a darn neat job of capturing moments. Thank you (in alphabetical order)








Sumodh Tharien (he's a good but lazy boy)

And finally here's the first shot taken with the 500D (Focal Length 51 mm, Shutter Speed 1/60 seconds, Aperture f/5.6, ISO:400).


Rest of my photos (all with the Canon S3 IS) available here.

P.S: Amazon has become one of my 5 most visited sites since moving to the US and especially during the camera hunt. Highly recommended.

Thursday, September 01, 2011

KWEST - Around The World In 7 Days

The following article, capturing my first couple of months at Kellogg, was published in my Financial Times blog today. Reproducing without any edits.

________________________________________________________



In late August around 750 Kellogg students and their joint ventures (more commonly known as partners in the rest of the world) left on 35 trips to countries from Australia to Zanzibar and everywhere in between. This was a part of the annual Kellogg tradition of Kwest (Kellogg Worldwide Experiences & Service Trips). These trips are voluntary and although they not a part of the curriculum an overwhelming majority of students take part.
Each trip is led by about 5 second year students, following their summer internship. The idea being to help the incoming batch of students to get to know each other in an informal environment. Students have non-stop fun for a week, while at the same time helping the local community, – cleaning the streets of Florence, painting a swing in a school in Punta Cana or building homes in Nicaragua. During this period participants are not allowed to mention the country/state they are from, or their education and professional background until the ‘big reveal’ during the trip! It’s absolutely amazing seeing everyone trying their best to second guess each other’s stories and mostly failing miserably!
My wife and I were a part of the trip to the Dominican Republic and I am at a loss to know where to start and what to include in this post about one of the most memorable weeks of our lives. From the moment the 26 of us, groggy eyed at 3am boarded the bus from Evanston to Chicago Midway airport until we returned home a week later it was a blur of activities, food, parties, beaches, buggy rides, playing with school kids and what not. It was quite literally a bunch of strangers getting on a flight and going to an exotic island to come back with some friends made for life.
We stayed in Punta Cana, an eastern beach town of the Dominican Republic. The trip leaders did a fabulous job of ensuring everything was taken care of down to the minutest details. Unfortunately they couldn’t account for Hurricane Irene which decided to pass over the Dominican Republic in the middle of our trip. But we were not a bunch to be easily deterred, so when we couldn’t hit the beaches or the pools we ended up conducting a hotly contested quiz competition and a highly animated game of charades!
The week included a mini-golf tournament and of course was peppered with some of the most delicious meals available on the island of Hispaniola.
The highlight of our trip has to be the Xtreme buggy tour where we drove six, stripped to the bone Volkswagen Beetles, through the rough, wet, interiors of the island into its rural pockets and mines and quarries.

The weather was on our side and pumped up the adventure level by opening up the skies while we were in the middle of nowhere. The drive through the heart of Punta Cana in the blinding rain and the water splashing all over us was an experience of a lifetime!
We visited a small public school, run by a local, not-for-profit body and spent a day with pupils painting a newly installed swing. 
Although most of the children spoke only Spanish and most of us English, it was remarkable how quickly and effortlessly we bonded.


We all returned from our various trips and our social networking streams are brimming with updates and photos of Finland, Belize, Ecuador, Croatia and dozens of other place. There are also frequent notifications of ‘…is now friends with ….and 10 others’.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Of Added Value, Lakeside BBQs And More

The following article, capturing my first couple of months at Kellogg, was published in my Financial Times blog today. Reproducing without any edits.

__________________________________________________________________________________


Before I reached this pleasant university town of Evanston I had heard a lot about the ‘global exposure’ that a Kellogg MBA provides. However it wasn’t until the 86 of us, from 26 different countries, were put in a room that the word ‘diversity’ assumed a real form. We have an ophthalmologist, an Olympic participant, a few that have served their national armies, some entrepreneurs, a fruit marketer and a fruit exporter (they had a lot of notes to exchange), a Jeopardy champion and a crazy, funny Belgian, as well as a host of equally fascinating people among us.

Suhel Banerjee in class
Classes started where our undergrad ones had finished, conveniently forgetting the fact that most of us had lost all touch with books for at least five years! The first few weeks were spent in trying to keep terms such as “added value” and “value added” at arm’s length from each other.
We learnt how a fat boy in a hike is actually a bottleneck in a manufacturing operations process and spent time in malls taking notes of how different brands organise their clothes in stores, as well as paying attention to the distinct sounds and smell in every store. The one woman in our team of three was of the opinion that we spend a few days instead of hours in the store for best observations. She was overruled.
Personally the highlight has been that I now have friends from all over the world, including countries such as Venezuela, Slovakia and Peru, places which I mostly associated with the soccer world cup and Miss World pageants. Oh, and of course the food! How could I forget the lakeside barbecues.
This past weekend we organised a ‘Global Food Festival’ where we had food stalls from India, Korea, Israel, France, Brazil, Chile, Holland and many other countries. All the food was prepared by the students and their partners and what an evening it was! Takeaway from the evening, the Brazilians get quite mad if you call their mojitos anything but caipirinhas!

The August 2011 global cuisine festival
It’s almost surreal that we’ve already completed two months of our one-year programme, and with the end of the first quarter coming up this week we are almost quarter MBAs!
Looking forward to the coming months, and am shocked to find out that what is described as summer here in Chicago, is what is described as a mild winter in most places of India.

Saturday, July 02, 2011

Restaurant Reviews: Flat Top Grill & Adis Abeba & A Dutch Barbeque

My complete absence from this social media world of ours can be attributed to the comeback of things like professors, classrooms, home assignments, all nighters and the like, and for that I apologize. Also, a piece of unsolicited advice, if you ever plan to return to books after half a dozen years, be prepared for a rough start! And with a heartfelt tribute to Jimmy Amarnath & Dada, I start this post.

Postor Shobji
Despite what's described in the previous paragraph I continue to be a believer of "Good food will keep us alive" and the past 10 days or so have been quite enriching in the culinary quotient. Our move to Chi-town started with my school friend Boudhayan picking us up from O'Hare and not just giving us shelter on day 0 at his place, but also whipping up a most memorable lunch of Bhaat (steamed rice), Doi Maachh (Catfish prepared in a yoghurt gravy) and postor sabzi (A very typical Bengali poppy seed dish).



Doi Maachh


Flat Top Grill
The 1st of the 2 places I wanted to talk about is the very unique concept restaurant - Flat Top Grill. Located right next to our university accommodation in Evanston, this cosy little eatery works on the "pick and choose your own food" idea. Quite simple really - pick up a plate and fill it up with rice/noodles of your choice, then proceed to the extensive vegetables section (most of it is boiled/half cooked), followed by the meats (chicken/beef/pork/calamari/octopus - you name it, they have it) and finally the array of sauces. And you're just one step away from your final dish. Give your collection of items to the chefs at the large open kitchen at the front of the restaurant and they will stir fry your food and it is sent to your table. I got some mushroom-asparagus-pork-octopus-rice combination in a hot & sour soup, while Veni went for her chicken-noodles variety. And all this very reasonably priced at $9/person and you can go for unlimited helpings for only $1 extra/person. The whole concept, decor, food and service was top class and highly recommended if you're in one of the places where they are located. If any budding food entrepreneurs in India is reading this then you have a business plan on your hands.

Select Rice/Noodles & Vegetables

Select your sauces & meat

Leave your bowls with at the table, to be stir fried

And see your hand picked ingredients getting freshly cooked in front of you
That's it! Enjoy your meal!


Adis Abeba
The other place was an a little Ethopian restaurant, again not too far from from McManus Apartments. I had heard a lot about Ethipian restaurants from Veni as she had visited one last year in California, and the 'No Cutlery' policy at such places obviously was an added attraction for someone like me who has used his hands for a majority of his meals. Also, was very curious to see the reactions of the cutlery bred westerners at using their hands for eating their food, and must say their enthusiasm and adeptness at the new practice left me impressed. The restaurant is somewhat unimaginatively named Adis Abeba (which is the Ethiopian capital for the uninitiated). Besides the no cutlery rule, they other intriguing custom at the place is that at every table there's only one really large plate of food that's brought and everyone eats from the same plate. Much like the communal dining tradition of the Kashmiri Wazwan. There's a large wheat & millet based fluffy bread on which a variety of meat & vegetables is served along with some Ethiopian salads. Along with this additional breads are provided in a side dish. We ordered one combination of a spicy lentil based thick paste, some minced well done steak and chicken drumstick in a spicy sauce. The bread and the accompaniments were lapped up in no time, leaving no space for the traditional Ethiopian coffee which was being eyed at since we entered the place. Again, at $20 for a meal for 2 this is a great option for good North African meals in the area.

The bread is a hybrid between rotis & appams

And that's the communal plate with the meat & vegetables
Hungry! About to dive in

And on Friday we had a Dutch Barbeque Thank-God-It's-Friday party at a fellow student's place where almost the whole of Kellogg descended. With plenty of freshly grilled meat for the burgers and hot dogs, it was an evening which is definitely going to be repeated quite frequently in the coming weeks.

The dutch party in full flow, with the flag et al
Meat being grilled by Francis from France who doesn't think much of American food
Party's complete with plastic tulips!
And that's the meat of it!

Thursday, June 02, 2011

And One Last Thing

Sent this email to my colleagues earlier this week.

1 day to go. Feeling yet to sink in.

______________________________________________________________________________________________



Hello Googlers,


I know I am not particularly well known for the brevity of my emails. I have a hunch that this one won't go a long way towards changing that opinion:)

This Friday will be my last working day at Google. And I don't have a clear idea about what that feels like. Somewhat unreal and not nice is all I can confirm at the moment.

6 years can be termed as a decent amount of time in most people's careers, more so when it's your first job. When you add one of the fastest growing companies in history, a dynamic industry that reinvents itself every week and a billion plus market just starting to adopt the Internet, it becomes a heady mix of learning, development - both personal and professional and forming of exceptional strong ties and bonds. I have read many of these farewell emails where people attribute a lot of their learning and experiences to Google, I attribute all of mine. When a company has that kind of a role to play in your life, it's not easy to express your gratitude in a few words. I could say my time here far, far exceeded my expectations and I would still be off the truth by a fair margin. Overwhelmed.

Watching the Indian Internet landscape emerge from nothing to the blossoming stage it is in now, from very close quarters, has been awe-inspiring.  Moving from our '6 chairs and a table' excuse for an office in Vatika Atrium (Gurgaon) to the robust teams that we have now set up across Gurgaon, Mumbai, Bangalore and Hyderabad has been a fulfilling journey. I take immense pleasure in the fact that I will be able to say "I was a part of that story" in years to come.

Revenue graphs going up and to the right is great. Internet users exploding is music to the ears. However now when I look back at the journey from RMZ, Hyderabad till today what really stands out are faces, of colleagues, turned friends. I have way more friends in Google than outside and the bonds that we share are among the strongest. Well, I guess the fact that one of my colleagues became my wife a few years back says it all!

If I were to make a tag-cloud of the fun times I had I guess the ones in the biggest, boldest characters would be - Dogfooding products yet to be launched to the public, Food, Offsites, Inquizzitive, Misc-India/Gur, TGIFs, Sales Conferences, Food, Holiday Gifts and the countless lunches which covered every topic conceivable and were by far the best brainstorming sessions ever. 

All this still leaves one question unanswered - what am I up to? I am moving to the US for my MBA from Kellogg School of Management, Chicago. Goes without saying, if you're in that part of the world please do make it a point to catch up! 

But of course that doesn't mean you've seen the end of me:) You can still reach me at suhel.banerjee@gmail.com and I will be happy to connect with you on social networking sites like Facebook or LinkedIn. If that's not enough you can find me quite active on Twitter and my blog as well. And if you find me too active at these places, please do remind me to go back to my books! 

Google is a world class hub of technology, a brilliant business, a caring organisation, a social revolution and most importantly Google is family.

Thanks for everything.

--
Suhel Banerjee | Manager, DCS | suhel@google.com | +91XXXXXXXX

Monday, May 16, 2011

6oo6le

Dear Google,

Looks like it's been a year since we corresponded. How time flies!

Since I poured my heart out last year, I will keep it simple this time. Just wanted to let you know I am still as fond of you as I was 6 years back. You never fail to win me over, and the occasional gestures of gifting the Nexus 1 and Nexus S didn't go unnoticed. You pamper me spoilt and I never cease to indulge in public display of affection.

Also, always remember, whether we are physically together or not, we will always be in each other's thoughts. Will talk more about this in a few days. Anyway, let's leave such sombre thoughts for later, as of now let's recount some of the happy moments from the past!

Love,
Suhel

Google Hyderabad reception. September 2005


Lights out in Google Hyderabad. February 2006


My desk, Google Gurgaon. June 2006


Halloween, Google Gurgaon. October 2006


Team Google, San Francisco. March 2007


Google Gurgaon. April 2007


Google Mountainview. July 2007




Google India offsite, Goa. October 2007


Team Google India, a Karaoke bar in Sydney. March 2008


Google India offsite, Westin Resorts, Sohna. November 2008


Google India OSG team, Gurgaon office reception. April 2009


Google Singapore. November 2009



Google India offsite, Bentota, Sri Lanka. November 2009


Google APAC offsite, Tokyo. June 2010


Google Sales offsite, Singapore. October 2010


Veni & I, Google India Conference, Hyderabad. November 2010