Anir's News Service

Random News and trivia about me. Just as a random shoutbox. I/O- Impressions/Opinion (On relevant/irrelevant issues) UP-Update -General life update. LC-Life chronicle. Probably random trivia about my life from the past. I do hope I'm not lazy in updating it.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Driving Towards Tomorrow

And here it is - my new website. And my first blog in over a year. Every time I think of writing, laziness invariably takes over.

So what's new? Well, in short...

I've moved to Nigeria and working in Lagos now. While it's no bed of roses, it is quite a nice place - not at all as terrible as the media and popular culture makes it out to be.

Working with Sumeru Software, and I've moved from that guy who makes powerpoint slideshows, to the guy who makes powerpoint slideshows, and helps with sales pitches and manages web development projects and leads the social media department and handles admin and finance and takes care of drivers. Phew. Pretty cool though.

I've also gone all out on pursuing one of my passions - Helping people create awesome looking, result oriented resumes. I occationally give out some gyan on twitter on creating great resumes. This has been greatly satisfying... but nowhere near satisfying as...

Taking Art Of Living courses - the smile on people's faces when they finish the course is  simply priceless. I'm just so honoured and lucky to be a part of this global revolution.

Till next time - Happy Shivratri!

Monday, November 21, 2011

[I/O] Its YOUR Fault.

The cool thing today is to blame India. Oh look at our poor unfortunate country - its full of useless politicians. Yeh kabhi change nahi hoga yaar. yeh India hai - iska koi kuch nahi kar sakta.

Traffic police khata hai

Doodh ka booth mein khata hai

Post office mein khate hai

Station master khata hai

It's so easy to give up hope when everything and everyone around does not seem to care at all. When the entire society has become so desensitized to corruption that it has become borderline acceptable. And when all this happens, we go back to the most Indian of traits - Indignation. Heck, even the word sounds like India Nation.

In the midst of all this indignation, lemme remind you that these people have not spontaneously manifested on planet Earth.

Heck, I'm gonna be in your face and say its YOUR damned fault.

I'm pretty sure that there is a 90% chance that  you are actively concerned about the state of things here in India. And I'm pretty sure that 99% of you have not done a damned thing about it.

We moan and groan about politicians, but refuse to vote.

We complain and make jokes about the police, but prefer a Rs 100 bribe to a 200 buck fine.

We are indignant that people seem to be getting richer but unhappier, and at the same time encourage our children to become nothing more than walking, talking hard disks to be swallowed up by the IT industry.

We run behind salaries instead of our dreams.

The rot in Indian society starts at home. Parents encouraging children, just as their parents encouraged them, to "beat" the system. To use every trick in the book to get ahead in life and be "comfortable".

It was amazing to even see an ad for an Indian motorcycle that nicknamed the bike "Traffiic cutter" and showed a handsome hunk confidently weaving in and out of traffic while the traffic policeman looks on in awe, instead of throwing the smug hunk in jail!

It is just an indication that we as a society choose more to be a part of the problem instead of the solution. Today I was caught for driving without a helmet (It was stolen an hour before I got caught) and fined 100 bucks. I did not have a single rupee on me and faced the prospect of sparring with Mr Uncompromising, grumpy policeman named T K Puttaswamy. After a while, he took pity on me and told me to go home and bring him the fine. I reached home, picked up my ATM card, withdrew some cash and headed straight back to him.

When I stopped my bike, his eyes grew as big as ping pong balls and he gave me a huge grin. Mr Grumpy grinning? Whats wrong with the world?

"Y Y You came back!" he stammered.
"Yeah, so?"

That big grin flashed again and he told me he never expected to see me again. He then asked about my career and upon finding out what I do, offered to withdraw the fine. I refused - I'm accountable to my conscience as much as I am to the law of the land. He then reluctantly gave me my receipt and waved goodbye, saying "Sir, In hundreds of people, You're the only one I've seen this honest". I did not feel proud of myself - I felt ashamed of my countrymen.

The point is, we underestimate the impact of a single good decision/action. All too often we choose the easy option instead of the right one.

Leaders, officials, and everyone corrupt that society loves to point fingers at are born from that very same society. They are more a reflection of society than an exception of it. That is why the average Norwegian politician is less corrupt than the average Indian one. Its because the average Norwegian society is less corrupt than its Indian counterpart.

Cleaning up India is as easy as cleaning ourselves up.

Jai Gurudev!

Sunday, September 11, 2011


College glorious college - the one that movies promise are the best days of your life. The days that you'll remember forever. Promises of bikes, mini-skirts, brotherhood, craziness and, if there's time, education.  I too, had great expectations from college life and today, 4 years after passing out of my UG college, fondly look back at those days. Learnt a lot, forgot even more but ultimately emerged a stronger, better human being. I have been exceptionally fortunate that life has consistently favoured me and made things go my way,

I have always had a fondness for youth and over the years have decided to dedicate my life to the full blossoming of human potential in youth today.

The bloody problem is, while the concept of colleges is great, the reality does not live up to the promise of what colleges can truly aspire to be. A place where minds are set free and encouraged towards a higher ideal  (And having a heck of a lot of fun on the way) is ideally the role of a college.

And what do we see today?

A mindless hankering for marks (Which anyway the world outside does not care about- when was the last time someone asked you about your marks?), lecturers who dont identify with youth and care only about finishing their syllabus and running away, management which does not look students as human beings but as walking ATMs waiting to be squeezed, and parents driven by societal obligations instead of a sense of well-being of the wards.

Never has this situation been more starkly displayed than at the most prestigious of Indian institutions- the so called crown jewel of the education system - IIT.

I have had the oppourtunity to interact with many, many IITians and while there are many who are very inspiring, its startling how little care the greater majority of students, who suffer from a lack of confidence, social skills, any real goal in life (besides the next batch of exams) are given.

Its now become so bad, that this year has seen seven suicides in IIT Madras alone. 7 of the brightest minds in India decided to extinguish themselves. And what was most appalling was the response of the dean of students. This gentleman remarked that 'IIT has over a thousand students - 7 deaths are statistically insignificant". I'm sure he would think differently if it were someone related to him.

The real problem, as I see it, is twofold. One is stress - only a stressed out person can commit suicide and only a stressful individual would make  an irresponsible, uncaring statement like the one above.

The other problem is a lack of belongingness - and this is a side effect of stress. When an individual does feel oneness with other people can such things happen.

The ridiculous emphasis on marks and academic excellence is partly responsible for the unfortunate state of affairs. And this has been taken to extremes in IIT Madras. I was surprised to learn that for the sake of encouraging competition, fostering concentration and one-minded focus in the minds of the students, each student has his/her own room. This nips social interaction in the bud and makes students mechanical, lonely, more prone to homesickness and leads to a melancholy atmosphere. Human beings by nature are social creaturesand our so called modern society seems to have very proudly turned their back on nature. My visit to the IIT hostel was punctuated not by youthful laughter, but a deafening silence.

The need of the hour is a holistic education  - of not just youth but of society at large. Parents need to realize that marks dont make a man. Lecturers need to be the bigger men and take an interest in wards, educational institutions need to be more interested in fostering the student community towards growth instead of monetizing everything. And Students need to realise the extent of their responsibility.

And I'm glad I'm doing something about it.


Wednesday, October 08, 2008


Hey Guys!

I have a very sweet and innocent cousin called Ramya, who recently married Arnold Schwarzenegger and went off to US with him. ANd I thought I'd pull her leg a bit in Gmail chat. Enjoy the transcript!

rammuhari: oi hi
  how r u

35 minutes
8:19 PM rammuhari: oi hi da
  busy ya
 me: ramm!
8:20 PM rammuhari: hmm n u
  where r u
 me: In boston
  came for meeting
 rammuhari: :D
  in chennai
  or blore
8:21 PM me: Boston
  Kingston Ave
  Hotel Hyatt
 rammuhari: come on
 me: where are you BTW?
  I forgot
8:22 PM rammuhari: in boston quincy
  quincy is the place
  n in appt
 me: You're in Boston!
 rammuhari: hey u know hat i drew ur hero
 me: OMG
  I thought you were in Santa Clara
 rammuhari: a pencil sketch
 me: Can we meet today evening?
8:23 PM rammuhari: no no
  hey come on
  po da
 me: dai
  this is too much
  Or tomorrow? I'm a lil jet lagged
8:24 PM rammuhari: hey swear
  i cant belive this
 me: Feeling sleepy now, even though its morning
8:25 PM Told ma not to tell you, wanted to give a surprise
 rammuhari: ok what s the time now in boston
 me: 1055
 rammuhari: hey po da
 me: AM
8:26 PM rammuhari: is coudy or sunny
 me: :-)
 rammuhari: out side
  whats ur room no
  dai i m ur sis
  u r making me bakara
 me: one second, let me check
 rammuhari: :)
8:27 PM me: these curtains are very thick
 rammuhari: po da
 me: its partly cloudy
 rammuhari: hahahhahahahhahahahahhahahahahhahaha
 me: pretty cold tpo
 rammuhari: then u surely u r chennai
 me: Go outside and open your eyes
8:28 PM rammuhari: u do
  windowsn doors r open
 me: anyways, can we meet tomorrow?
  Going to sleep now
 rammuhari: yup sure
 me: arrived at midnight
 rammuhari: :)
  oh ok
  good nite
8:29 PM me: Room number 505, Level 5
  Hyatt Residency
 rammuhari: ok
 me: gimme your address
  I'll take a cab and come
 rammuhari: ok sure
  i dont belive u
  but still i give u my address
8:30 PM hahahahhahahahaahahaha
 me: the cabs here are pretty expensive
 rammuhari: give me ur name of reservation
  i m going to call
8:31 PM me: Anirvachan S Vasan, C/O CMO Axis Outsourcing solutions, To meet Cisco Marketing Office
8:32 PM rammuhari:
 me: the hotel is near the airport
  Hyatt Harborside at Boston's Logan International Airport
101 Harborside Drive,
Boston, Massachusetts, USA 02128 
Tel: +1 617 568 1234 Fax: +1 617 567 8856
  call and ask for room 505
8:33 PM rammuhari: ok
 me: one sec, going to bathrrom
 rammuhari: ok
  hope i m not becoming bakara

7 minutes
8:41 PM rammuhari: hey u ther
  hey i m really going to call
8:43 PM ani u there
  i m going to call u

9 minutes
8:53 PM me: I'm back!
  man these bathrooms are fantastivc
 rammuhari: ok
  shall i call u now
 me: sure
  man, awesome towels
 rammuhari: ok
8:54 PM i m not able to prounce the name of the hotel
 me: How can you live in such a cold place
  hi ya tt
 rammuhari: its not that cold da
 me: Dai, I'm from chennai, its too cold for me
8:55 PM rammuhari: oh ok
  wait i ll call u
8:56 PM hey i m not able to reach u
  u only cal me
8:57 PM it says not a vaild no
8:58 PM me: Hello
 rammuhari: yup
  whats ur last name
8:59 PM me: Vasan
 rammuhari: hey i tried
  its not there
  hey tell me the truth
 me: these americans cannot pronounce my name
  spell it
  V A S A N
9:00 PM V for Victor
  A for Alpha
  S for Sera
 rammuhari: i did
  u call me
 me: A for Alpha
  N for November
 rammuhari: callllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll me
 me: dai
  I'm half asleep
  will call you in evening
 rammuhari: call me to say hi
 me: cant even type properly
9:01 PM rammuhari: no
  hey po
  i called
9:02 PM me: one sec, its not going through
 rammuhari: @ what time u checked into hotel
 me: gimme your number na
 rammuhari: XXX_XXX_XXX_XXX
9:03 PM call me
 me: not working da
  Will try again
  its not going through
9:04 PM your cell is busy?
  or engaged?
  dai, stop talking to hari
 rammuhari: talking to ur appa
 me: and talk to me
9:05 PM Oh, tell him I said hi
 rammuhari: u call now
 me: Tried da
9:06 PM rammuhari: hey hey
 me: I'll call room service and tell them to fix thios
  stupid phone
 rammuhari: come i m stil not beliving
 me: and now I cant call even room service
 rammuhari: ok
 me: forget it, I'll too sleepy
 rammuhari: ok did u get my no
 me: see you later Rammu
 rammuhari: y dont u come n stay here
 me: Say hi to Hari
 rammuhari: yup
9:07 PM me: I will, but the Office is paying for now
 rammuhari: oh ok
 me: I'll come and stay over the weekend. Meeting will be done by then
  theek hai?
 rammuhari: ok cool
  last name of reservation
  vasan is it
  when did u come
9:08 PM to hotel
 me: midnight
 rammuhari: ok
9:09 PM me: bye rammu
  too sleepy
 rammuhari: bbye
9:12 PM me: Hehehehehe
 rammuhari: pavi
 me: BAKRA!
 rammuhari: po da
 me: :-D
9:13 PM rammuhari: hey po da
  i told it to athe aslo
 me: hehehe
 rammuhari: i mean hari also
9:14 PM me: I'm tempted to put this up on my blog
 rammuhari: shit
 me: should I?
 rammuhari: noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo way
9:15 PM hey is athe there ask me the recepie for eggles cake
9:16 PM po da hari triedto that hotel too

Friday, July 04, 2008

[I/O] What will you regret?

I found this very profound article on life. Its beautiful. A wake up call for most of us.

In your experience, what are the biggest regrets people have at the end of their careers? What do people wish they had learned sooner?

Marshall responds “


My friend John Izzo is the author of a great new book-The Five Secrets You Must Discover before You Die. The book is based on 250 interviews he conducted with people from age 59-106 asking them to reflect back on their lives and careers. Though the people he interviewed ranged from a town barber to successful CEOs, the themes that emerged were clear. Here is some of what he learned about regrets and the things we wished we had learned sooner.

The first thing he learned is that people don’t regret their failures and that most people wished they had risked more. Most of us go through our careers fearing failure, but Izzo discovered that trying and failing is something we can deal with. The happiest people felt they had pursued their dreams and stretched themselves in their lives and careers. So we are more likely to regret having not tried for a dream than to have failed at it. This is particularly interesting because most of us think failure is about the worst thing that can happen to us but it turns out that not trying or playing it safe in our careers is what we should actually be worrying about.

….. each of us has an inner voice that is speaking to us. Those people whose inner voice was telling that they were sacrificing too much or not being true to themselves had deep regrets.


The most important thing Izzo learned about the things we regret was the importance of being true to self. Many of those, I’ve interviewed looked back and felt they were too influenced by others’ opinions. They told me how absolutely critical it is to follow your own definition of success. Don’t take that promotion or job because someone tells you it’s the natural next step. Make to ask yourself if that is the step you want to take.

A final lesson from these people is that status and power aren’t what you will remember as you look back. Rather, most people said it was the things they gave and the people they mentored that give them satisfaction. The town barber put it plainly: “The money in your wallet is not the definition of your success but how many lives you touched.” Turns out that is one thing the barbers and the CEO’s agreed on.


This is what life is all about. Having the courage to take the path less taken and risking. Heck, whats the fun in life without risk? Cheers!

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

[O/I] Slighting Sam

Sam Manekshaw, One of India's greatest soldiers, has finally hung up his boots. There has been many books written about this amazing soldier, who exemplifies the old saying "A soldier is an officer and a Gentleman" But guess our babus, as reliable as ever, have other plans. Here is the Editorial of the Daily Pioneer.

Adding insult to injury, the Government has now put forward the dubious claim that the Prime Minister, the Defence Minister and three services chiefs missed the funeral of Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw because he did not figure in the warrant of precedence. Apparently the Field Marshal -- a five-star General rank that has its equivalents in the Navy and the Air Force -- does not figure in the warrant of precedence. Hence, the Government argues, there was no automatic declaration of a state funeral; this was granted, almost as if it were charity, by the Prime Minister upon the request of the Defence Minister. Hence also no lowering of the national flag, no travel plans for senior officials to give Sam Bahadur, as India's best-known modern warrior was known, the last salute. What this facile reasoning fails to explain is how a Union Minister, the then Chief Minister of Karnataka and the three service chiefs made it to Field Marshal KM Cariappa's funeral in 1993. Not every well-known Indian figures in the warrant of precedence. There are many private citizens -- business barons, civil society leaders, scholars and cultural artistes -- whose death merits national mourning and tribute from the Indian state. This comes not from a narrow, legalistic interpretation of the person's official designation -- and place, if any, in the warrant of precedence -- but from sensitivity of the Government and the political class. Perhaps it is a question of priorities. When Baba Amte, great man as he was, died earlier this year, he was given a state funeral, with two Union Cabinet Ministers in attendance. Did he find mention in the warrant of precedence?

A political establishment is, in the end, a reflection of the cherished hopes and beliefs of its people. In insulting Sam Manekshaw and deciding he did not merit a suitable farewell -- never mind what the silly rule-books may have said -- the Government and the political leadership have let down India. The warrant of precedence is a bureaucratic roster, to decide who should sit or be introduced before whom at public functions where two or more VIPs are present. It cannot become the arbiter of how the nation must treat its heroes. It defies reason why, instead of taking resort to monumentally silly excuses, the Government cannot simply admit it messed up, and apologise to the memory of Sam Manekshaw, to his family and to the people. There is no divine injunction that holds that the Government must never say sorry.
While the UPA Government must shoulder responsibility for this colossal act of boorishness, the Opposition cannot escape censure. The BJP prides itself for being a nationalist party, alive to the security challenges and the strategic concerns of India. Yet, it did not deem it fit to depute even one senior functionary to Sam Manekshaw's funeral. At a time when the Indian Army is facing a serious scarcity of officers, when its pay and remuneration regime is being perceived as appallingly poor in comparison to competitive white collar professions, the manner in which politicians have treated Sam Manekshaw will not help win new recruits. Mid-ranking or even potential officers cannot be blamed for wondering, 'If they can do this to India's most celebrated General, what can't they do to me?'

Saturday, May 17, 2008

[LC] Awesome Foursome

The other day me and my gang of close pals went out (After a long time), and saw Iron Man. Had a great time and later, for the heck of it, went to Landmark. Here we saw this hideously expensive little shack which offered portraits for a ridiculous 150 bucks each. Man, the profits the guy must be making would make him the next Ambani... he offered B&W portraits, Watercolour theme, oilcolour, sepia ad infinatum. The photo came off very, very well too, check it out!

From Left, Sam, Arun, Mouli and Me. All Hail the Awesome Foursome!

Hehe, a lil bit of trivia..All of us were wearing something that reflected our passion. Sam had a Black Sabbath T shirt, Arun had a Linux Bag with the caption " The Geek shall inherit the earth", I wore a Sivaji Tee (All Hail THALAIVA) and Mouli wore a maroon Tee.. figure out that one on your own!