List of Top Twitter Indian Celebrities

Lately there has been a flurry of Indian Celebrities on twitter!
First it was Shashi Tharoor who caught everybody’s attention by being “different” net-savvy kind of Indian politician, who garnered too much attention initially, but then probably fell in controversy trap by his holy cow comments and then finally some more controversy for being open and candid – as they say “going against party lines” – which finally did cost him his cabinet seat too.
Then there was a flurry of Bollywood and Media personalities – Konkona Sen, Gul Panag, Barkha Dutt, Rajdeep Sardesai – so on and so on. I myself used to follow most of the Indian celebrities earlier, but then I felt that they were creating too much “noise” on my twitter page! … lately I created twitter lists for them and then burnt those list on RSS and I read it on my feed reader (probably deserve a separate post to explain). However I got luxury to “unfollow” those celebrities on twitter because of above trick. (actually felt good to unfollow a celebrity lol 😉 )
Now, lately we are seeing the gods themselves joining the twitter – likes of Shahrukh Khan, Sachin Tendulkar, Amitabh Bachchan, Hrithik, Salman etc … “celebrity” is actually a very small word for these people, they enjoy nothing less than God stature in India. I think this will cause chain reaction for Indian twitter scene, causing more and more celebrities to join twitter – and hence more and more (usual) people (the aam aadmi) to join twitter too!
Anyways, I wanted to find out which Indian celebrities have most number of followers … where they stand compared to their global counterparts etc etc. I searched a little on internet but didn’t found any satisfactory result – so I knew will need to make my own list :(
So, here is a compilation – an excel sheet – of top twitter accounts from India. It took me a while to create this excel, but I guess it was totally worth it. (I guess I will keep updating it from time to time too.)
Note – Currently it has mostly bollywood entries only – I plan to add popular bloggers, media personalities, Indian journalists etc to make this list more complete, so do watch out this space. (if you find anyone missing, please mention on comments and I’ll add). Also, the 2nd last column in this sheet gives you the twitter link – in case you want to follow them individually. And the last columns gives you my twitter LIST link – in case you want to follow them thru LIST.
Again, this was manually created -so it doesn’t update automatically as #followers will increase/decrease in future. Here is a direct link to the sheet.
I used twitaholic to find out “Global Twit rank”, although I guess there are few more sites which provide similar service of ranking twitter users based on number of followers. The first thing I notice – American celebrities have most number of followers, Ashton Kutcher, Britney Spears, Lady Gaga … you have them all with more than 1 million followers. This mainly reflects the internet penetration of America. India, as we know, has the worst internet penetration of the worlds, so it is not surprising that all the celebrities of India has less than 1 million followers.
I looked up twitaholic to find what is needed to be on Top and I found –
To reach Global Top 100 – more than 1,548,258 followers are needed
To reach Global Top 200 – more than 1,126,051 followers are needed
To reach Global Top 300 – more than 570,537 followers are needed
Shashi Tharoor is the only Indian personality who is in to Top 300, I guess soon he will be joined by the gods (Sachin, Shahrukh etc) and together they will rise to Top 200, and then probably to Top 100.
However, it may take some time for this to happen – a county of billion people, growing at 8% GDP – we are moving inch by inch, slow and steady as they say! It needs more than one thing to happen – good level of Internet penetration, then a good number of people should be on social networking sites, and hence on twitter. Probably a good number of mobile based internet users helps twitter too, as I have read and heard that most twitter users like to use twitter via mobile.
Finally, a good number of celebrities should also be on twitter and they should be active too (which is already happening)… so let’s see how it all goes!!
Final Postscript – there may be other PIOs (person of indian origin) and NRIs types, whom I have not included in this list. Eg – Padmasree , an IIT Delhi Alumnus has more than 1 million followers!
Updated Later-
I created a mashup page too –

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Sapnon Se Bhare Naina (eyes full of dreams!)

So I watched “Luck by Chance” today … and it was definitely a good movie.

If you have not seen it yet, I will highly recommend to watch it first before reading this post any further… I have few spoilers ahead (but not too many).
Since you are still reading, I will assume that you have either seen the movie already or want to take the “risk” of consuming whatever spoiler I have, so here you go-
This movie revolves around two struggling actors in Bombay – Vikram Jaisingh (Farhan Akhtar) and Sona Mishra (Konkona Sen Sharma) – who are from “humble background” but trying to make it big in Bollywood.
As any other good movie, this movie has multitude of other interesting characters very well played by some of the best actors in Bollywood.
Incidentally, one thing which I really like about this movie is how all the actors are perfectly chosen for the role they are playing – they have either gone through similar experience in real life, or being close to film industry they know it very well “how it feels”.
For example – the two main leads Farhan and Konkona are perfect fit for the role they are playing. Konkona, I believe, has struggled a lot in real life to reach a position in film industry she is in today. I mean I don’t know her biography but we all have seen the zeal for her acting in each character she has played. Farhan too, although success as Director/Producer in real life, is struggling to make his place an actor. I am always a fan of Konkona. And though I liked many movies Farhan has been involved with … but now I have started to like Farhan too after seeing him in Karthik calling Karthik and Luck by Chance.
Then, apart from the main cast, we have Rishi Kapoor brilliantly playing a longtime successful bollywood producer “Romy Rolly” and Juhi Chawla as his wife “Minty Rolly” – both doing complete justice to their roles. Lastly, Dimple Kapadia as “Neena Walia” – a superhit star of 70s, Hrithik Roshan as a superhit star “Zaffar Khan” – are just few other samples from the movie!
Second thing which makes a movie special is “moments” which leave you deeply touched – like the way Farhan and Konkona keep encouraging each other, even if ridiculed by everyone else. or the one specific scene, which is title of this post too!
The “sapnon se bhare naina” scene ….!!!
So, it happens that Farhan distributes his photographs (portfolio as they call it) and then gets a call from a very big bollywood production house to meet next day. His happiness has no bounds, he tells everyone that he got the break he was waiting for … and then next day he goes to the place with great anticipation and confidence – he opens the door and then finds that there are like 100 more people called for the audition! … This is a shock both to him and audience (like me) as we assumed that he had got the break. But, as they say, truth is never simple! … the reality hits Vikram Jaisingh that nothing comes easy. A very aptly song is placed to capture the emotions “sapnon se bhare naina” – (brilliant song placement is the one thing that I like about bollywood movies, seriously :) ) – with that song playing – and in those 5 minutes – we see all emotions on Farhan’s face – him entering the scene with full of confidence, getting heartbroken to see the competition, look on his face trying to restore his confidence, looking around to weigh the competition he is about to face, helping out few people who are probably not as deserving as him? (somebody who cannot write in english?) … noticing new entrants to the scene who can pose significant challenge to him?
In short … it is not just about him alone, it is about the competition. You can watch that scene here embedded –
The movie then unfolds in a way that we see why it is called “Luck By Chance” – we get to see that it is not just about the talent, but right things happening at right place at right time which makes “success”. There are at least 5-6 events that happen which gets Vikram Jaisingh a lead role in the movie by a big production house. (I will let you watch the movie to find out what those events are) However, I can probably mention a chit-chat in the movie between Karan Johar (as Karan Johar) and Hrithik Roshan (as Zaffar Khan) – KJ says that most of the top bollywood actors are made because of sheer luck – Amitabh got Zanjeer only because 6-7 top actors rejected that movie. Shahrukh got Darr and Baazigar only because noone else at that time wanted to play such negative roles.
Still, the movie tells us that it is not luck alone which makes “success”. Farhan tells Konkona (before he becomes star) that it is upto us to choose success and failures – at every point in life! It is like we have both the options open to us – and what we choose is what we get! And he is right, we all know it, it sounds too good to be true, but it is… we need to take the first step towards success, it will not come to us on its own … right?
It reminds me of a doha by Kabirdas too –
“Jin Dhoondha Tin Paiyan, Gahire Pani Paith,
Main Bapura Boodan Dara, Raha Kinare Baith….”
Those who fear drowning cannot jump into the ocean and can’t get pearls and gems. But only those who are courageous enough to dive in the depth of ocean gets pearls and gems. One who is fearful of drowning simply sits near the bank, can not get anything and remains empty handed.
Anyways, LBC has interesting tidbits too … like loads of other stars playing themself – Abhishek, Akshaye, Diya Mirza etc. – and their interesting reactions as events unfold. There is Shahrukh’s special appearance too at almost the end of the movie – when Farhan has already become a big hit in Bollywood and then he meets SRK at a restaurant. SRK congratulates him and they sit together for light chit-chat. The conversation is interesting, As we know, SRK himself has come from very humble background – he is not any star son, but still the biggest bollywood actor currently – if I may say so. He gives simple tip to Vikram Jaisingh – “When success hits you, it’s hard to have balance and control over it – but still – one thing is make sure that you dont forget your old friends and family, who in someway are part of your success, and still they are the only ones who will give you fair criticism without any bias”
Vikram Jaisingh realizes his mistake – because he too alienated love of his life “Sona”, while trying to become a star. He then tries to fix it, but a very realistic and warm conversation happens between the two. The result is that they don’t reconcile (final spoiler, but I think gone are the days when we wanted hero-heroine to have “happy ending”, it feels good to have more realistic ending! And in final scene we see Konkona Sen happy and satisfied … she is in a taxi going to do “what she likes most” to work in Filmcity, Bombay…. and closing titles start, leaving me thinking about what all that happened.
So, as you can see, I really liked the movie. I mean there are very few movies that leaves me thinking while credits are rolling :-D. And there are very few movies from Bollywood which may not be be big hits, but I genuinely like and remember for long time. like “Tum Bin” and “Swades” – LBC (Luck by chance) probably is not in that top league, but it leaves similar experience.
PS – It will leave this post incomplete if I don’t mention the brilliant music by Shankar, Ehsaan, Loy. I feel ashamed to admit that it took me so much time to find this gem. You can listen here.

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Indian Idol Season 5

In a world of reality shows, there are few TV shows which have been my favorite all these years. One of them is the “Indian Idol”.

I still remember the first few seasons when it was a new concept in India – reality show! – it was a fresh experience seeing “real” reactions of “real” contestants – watching them cry, watching them jump with joy – watching their journey from being an “aam aadmi” to become “celebrity”!
Actually at that time I didn’t even know that it’s a copy of “phoren shows” like the “American Idol” :) – and now once I know and even have seen few seasons of the American counterpart – I have felt that although there are uncanny resemblances but still the Indian version differs a lot from its American counterpart – I guess mainly because of the difference in Music. (American Music vs Indian Music)
Now, I am not an expert in Music, so I will not go dissecting the similarities and differences here … rather, I will jump straightaway to the reason that triggered this post.
So – Sunday evening – they were showing Indian Idol on my american TV :) , and its been a while since I have seen it – so I said why not?
Looks like it was the round just after the “audition round” where there were around 21-25 contestants and judges had to select 12-15 out of them. It must not be a hard task for the judges as most of the contestants seemed mediocre to me – some of them sounded better than the others, but we’ll see how it goes … there was one thing I’ll like to mention which irritated me was … many contestants when asked “why do you want to become Indian Idol” – were saying it will make “mummy papa” happy :) … literally, that was the answer! (lol :), nothing wrong with it, I mean it is good thing to be thankful to your parents, but still it felt like if they were lacking the confidence needed or probably just not have a good reason to mutter … anyways, whatever!)
And there was nervousness! (which is understandable, but still) … like there was one girl who tried to leave the show just because she didn’t get time to prepare songs overnight … like it happens the usual drama in a reality show, judges called Abhijeet Sawant (winner of first Indian Idol, and who is also hosting the current season) who gave an emotional speech of how much difficult was it at his time to win a show like that… so any contestant who really wants to win has go through all the challenges… there is no shortcut!
Anyways, next came a fat girl on stage with someone (his dad?) holding her hand and who looked more nervous than anyone on the show so far! … wtf! … just watch this video first before reading any further
First see video#1 roughly starting from 4 minutes 15 seconds … and then go on to video#2 )
So, you have seen the video? right? if not, I will recommend first see the video then read the rest of the post.
Anyways … so I really thought she is too nervous, that is why someone is holding her hand. But then Smita told me probably she is blind, so probably someone from Indian Idol team just helped her to reach till stage.
Then before I could think any further, judges asked her to sing a song “Namak Ishq Ka” which I have never heard of…. and she started singing ….
Now … I really had a “Susan Boyle Moment” when she started singing … her voice has such an amazing folk touch … plus Indian folk music is something which I am personally very fond of, probably everyone is … I think she did an amazing performance … all the judges were visibly impressed … Anu Malik commented that sounded like she had the most “pakad” on the “surs” among all the contestants they had that day. Another thing he mentioned, which I felt too, was that she emphasized very correctly on correct words in a correct manner – woh kehte hain na ki dil ki awaaz dil se aa rahi thi – I was really impressed.
So, like any “front pankti darshak” I immediately told Smita – she is going to be the winner of this season.
The only thing which both me and Smita didn’t like about her (just a little) is the way she dissed at small towns … lol :) … “chote shahar ke log … ek doosre ko kaatne mein lage rahte hain” … but that is all right I guess, the frustration comes in if you have talent and you don’t get chance.
Anyways, I see lot of potential in Meghna, so wish her best of luck … All the best to other contestants too which I have probably not heard too much, and who will give good challenge to Meghna.
That’s all I wanted to say in this post too :) … all “Indian Idol” fans out there – fasten your seat belts and get ready for another exciting season of Indian Idol.
May the best contestant win!:)
Added later-
I’ll just like to mention another contestant – a boy called Sattar Khan – whom I first heard on facebook/youtube.
That boy looked like he just came out of the street … or rather (as he told) his village having no electricity or any other connection to “outside world”. I mean he even looked like he had no formal training for singing, no guidance .. probably even never been to so called “civilized world” – but he did sounded like he had lots of potential!
So, it was painful to see him going out today .. without any mention (there was no drama … yeah, first I complain about drama and when there is none I ask why?).
There are much more boys like him on streets of India who have so much potential on so many things – they all just need proper grooming and opportunity – I blogged about it once before too.
So I just hope Sattar Khan gets a good teacher who grooms his talent – and Sattar makes a comeback someday.

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Din Hai Suhana Aaj Pehli Taarikh hai ..!! (It’s a beautiful/lovely day as it’s first day of the month!)

Kishore Kumar, as we know, has many gems to his credit, his movies and songs are funny as hell, like this one “pehli taarikh hai” … :)
For those who dont know him, he is one of the most famous bollywood actors from 50s – one thing about him which fascinated me as a child was that he was master of many trades, he used to do many things in bollywood – eg Direct/Act/Sing etc etc. His singing abilities actually deserve many separate posts. One of the most melodious singers from Bollywood – his songs are like wine which are getting better by age … I guess those songs are more popular in my generation than our parents generation, even if Kishore da belongs to our parents generation.
Btw, today is 1st May, and I saw this song (Din hai suhana) on facebook as somebody’s status – it brought back smiles and memories! :)
I could not find any translation for this, so thought to translate it myself – so that other (non hindi) people can enjoy it. Plus it is one of the songs where I thought I can do justice in the translation … without loosing the meaning in translation. (eg- once I tried translating “aaj mousam bada beimaan hai” on facebook, it was quite a disaster!). Still, if anyone has any suggestions/improvements, feel free to leave it in comments.
So, anyways, Here it goes …. first the song, then the translation done by me. (I found a youtube karaoke video as well, karaoke is not done by me)
Din hai suhaana, aaj pehli tarikh hai :)
din hai suhaana, aaj pehli tarikh hai
khush hai zamaana, aaj pehli tarikh hai
pehli tarikh aji pehli tarikh hai
biwi boli ghar zara jaldi se aana jaldi se aana
shaam ko piya ji hamein cinema dikhana hamein cinema dikhana
karo na bahaana haan bahaana bahaana
karo na bahaana aaj pheli tareekh hai
khush hai zamaana aaj pehli tarikh hai
pehli tarikh aji pehli tarikh hai
kis ne pukara ruk gaya baabu
lala ji ki jaan aaj aaya hai kaabu aaya hai kaabu
o paisa zara laana o paisa zara laana .. laana laana
o paisa zara laana aaj pheli tareekh hai
khush hai zamaana aaj pehli tarikh hai
pehli tarikh aji pehli tarikh hai
banda bekaar hai kismat ki maar hai
sab din ek hain roz e aitbaar hai
mujhe na sunana haan sunana sunana
mujhe na sunana aaj pheli tareekh hai
khush hai zamaana aaj pehli tarikh hai
pehli tarikh aji pehli tarikh hai
dar ke saamne aaye mehmaan hain bade hi sharif hain
puraane meharbaan hain bade hi sharif hain puraane meharbaan hain
are jeb ko bachaana bachaana bachaana
jeb ko bachaana aaj pheli tareekh hai
khush hai zamaana aaj pehli tarikh hai
pehli tarikh aji pehli tarikh hai
dil beqaraar hai soye nahi raat se
seth ji ko gham hai ki paiso chalo haath se
are lootega khazaana khazaana khazaana
lootega khazaana aaj pheli tareekh hai
khush hai zamaana aaj pehli tarikh hai
pehli tarikh aji pehli tarikh hai
aye cinema waalon aao aao khel mazedaar hai
ho khel mazedaar hai ji khel mazedaar hai
agha hai bhagwan hai kishore kumar hai
nimmi geeta bali hai ashok kumar hai
nargis raj kapoor hai dilip kumar hai
geeton ka toofan hai naach ki bahaar hai naach ki bahaar hai
paanch aane ka das aana
paanch aane ka das aana
paanch aane ka das aana
are waapas nahi jaana jaana jaana
waapas nahi jaana aaj pheli tareekh hai
khush hai zamaana aaj pehli tarikh hai
pehli tarikh aji pehli tarikh hai
mil jul ke bachchon ne baapu ko gherabaapu ko ghera
kehte hain saare ki baapu hai mera baapu hai mera
khilone zara laana khilone zara laana aaj pheli tareekh hai
khush hai zamaana aaj pehli tarikh hai
pehli tarikh aji pehli tarikh hai
din hai suhaana aaj pehli tarikh hai
khush hai zamaana aaj pehli tarikh hai
pehli tarikh aji pehli tarikh hai
Translation (I tried my best not to loose the style, even if had to compromise a little on meaning)
It’s a beautiful/lovely day as it’s first day of the month :)
It’s a beautiful/lovely day as it’s first day of the month :)
The world is happy as it’s first day of the month
It’s first day of the month … hey … it’s first day of the month
Wife said – today come back home early – hey – come back home early
In evening – my darling – take me to the cinema – take me to the cinema
Don’t make excuses – Don’t make excuses
Don’t make excuses – it’s first day of the month !
It’s first day of the month … hey … it’s first day of the month
“who called me” – the gentleman stopped
lalajee (community famous for lending) has finally caught him today at right time
Oh! .. give me my money …. give me my money … give me give me ..
Give me my money – it’s first day of the month!
The world is happy – it’s first day of the month
It’s first day of the month … hey … it’s first day of the month
This dude is unemployed – it’s bad luck for him!
Everyday is same for him – everyday is Sunday for him!
Don’t tell me – Don’t tell me – Don’t tell me …
The world is happy – it’s first day of the month
It’s first day of the month … hey … it’s first day of the month
There are guests in front of my door … they are very gentleman
They have done favours for me long time back – they are very gentleman
Hey … save your pocket (money) – save save save
Save your pocket (money) – it’s first day of the month
The world is happy – it’s first day of the month
It’s first day of the month … hey … it’s first day of the month
The heart is restless, have not slept since the night!
Seth ji (famous as misers) is saddened by the fact that money is going out of hand!
Oh! … the treasure will be looted … the treasure – treasure – treasure
The treasure will be looted – it’s first day of the month
The world is happy – it’s first day of the month
It’s first day of the month … hey … it’s first day of the month
Hey Cinema goers – come – come, the game is fun!
The game is fun, hey, the game is fun
There is Aagha, Bhagwaan, Kishore Kumar
Nimmi, Geeta Bali and Ashok Kumar are there (Ashok Kumar is another very famous bollywood actor, and incidentally Kishore’s brother)
Nargis, Raj Kapoor, Dilip Kumar are there
There is storm of Songs … the dance is like springtime … the dance is like springtime
Five Aana for TEN aana
Five Aana for TEN aana
Five Aana for TEN aana (referring to black ticketing, I hear was very popular in India earlier :) )
Oh! don’t go back, don’t go back
Don’t go back – it’s first day of the month
The world is happy – it’s first day of the month
It’s first day of the month … hey … it’s first day of the month
The kids got together and encircled their father! .. encircled their father
Everyone is saying – it’s his father, it’s his father
Please bring me some toys, bring me some toys – it’s first day of the month
The world is happy – it’s first day of the month
It’s first day of the month … hey … it’s first day of the month
Once again, my apologies for any errors.
PS – in 2nd last para there is reference to famous bollywood actors from 50s era – interestingly Kishore Kumar referred himself too as third person …. I thought to end this post by a slide of those people being referred to, who once ruled the silver screen-

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HCL India Walk-ins on 24th & 25th April

Email me for my “employee number” if you are interested-

HCL India Walk-ins on 24th & 25th April
· Please find below the Walk-in events for April 24 & 25, 2010 (between 10 am and 4 pm). Share the Walk-in details with your referral and ask them to participate in any of these events by quoting your employee number.
Date, SPOC & Walk-in Venue Skill-set Details Yrs of Exp. Role Work Location
April 24, 2010 Kingsly Stephen Baldwin Boys’ High School, No. 14, Hosur Road, Richmond Town, Bangalore BIS / Data warehousing Cognos, Informatica, MSBI, Datastage, Microstrategy 4-12 SSE / Lead / PM / Architect Bangalore / Chennai / Noida
Middleware TIBCO, Oracle Fusion, Architect / PM any Integration 4-12 SSE / Lead / PM / Architect Bangalore / Chennai / Noida
Legacy Systems Mainframe, AS400, Assembler 4-6 SSE / Lead Chennai
Testing Performance / Automation Testing, Siebel Testing, SAP Testing 4-12 SSE / Lead / Test Manager / Architect Bangalore / Chennai / Noida
Content Management Filenet, Documentum, Sharepoint, Interwoven 4-12 SSE / Lead / PM / Architect Chennai / Noida
April 24 & 25, 2010 Vandana Nayar, Bangalore Priya D, Chennai HCL Technologies Ltd. The Senate, #33A Ulsoor, Bangalore

HCL Technologies Ltd. No. 34 & 35 Haddows Road, Chennai

Java Framework : Spring / Hibernate, Design Concepts, Preferred Domain: Banking 6-12 Lead / PM Bangalore / Chennai
C++ Knowledge of corresponding language features, STL, Pointers 4-12 SSE / Lead / PM Bangalore / Chennai
Oracle Database Oracle Database Concepts PL/ SQL, Performance tuning preferably in UNIX environment 6-12 Lead / PM Bangalore / Chennai
SQL Server SQL Database concepts, SQL queries, DTS 6-12 Lead / PM Bangalore / Chennai
Scripting UNIX Scripting, Shell Scripting, Perl 4-12 SSE / Lead / PM Bangalore / Chennai
Sybase Sybase Database Concepts, Queries, Performance Tuning 4-12 SSE / Lead / PM Bangalore / Chennai
Business Analyst Risk & Compliance, Portfolio Management, Performance & Attribution, Clearing & Settlement, Corporate Action, Data Management, Custody, Asset & Wealth Management, commodities, Equities, Fixed Income, FOREX, Derivatives, Core Banking, Payment & Cards, Life Insurance & Pensions 6+ Associate BA / BA / Lead BA Bangalore / Chennai
Project Managers / Program Managers PMP/ ITIL certification, with working experience on development and support project environment in the BFSI space 10+ PM Bangalore / Chennai
April 24, 2010 Srinivasa Rao HCL Technologies Ltd. No. 184-188, Arcot Road, Vadapalani, Chennai C++ C++ on Linux / Unix 3-12 LE / TL / TM Chennai
Embedded Embedded C, CAN, RS232, Matlab, UML, Rhapsody, Embedded XP 4-10 LE / TL / TM Chennai
L2/L3 L2 / L3 Protocol Testing and Development 4-12 LE / TL / TM Chennai
April 24, 2010 Kallol Chakraborty HCL Technologies Ltd. A-8&9, Sec-60, Noida C / C++ GSM / GPRS / 2G / 3G / PBX / SIP –DECT / IP Phone Development 5-9 LE / TL / TM Noida
Device Drivers Linux Drivers 5-9 LE / TL / TM Noida
Value Added Services(VAS) MMSC / SMSC / VMS 5-9 LE / TL / TM Noida
ATG ATG E-commerce 5-12 LE / TL / TM Noida
BI SQL BI (SSRS / SSIS / SSAS) 5-9 LE / TL / TM Noida
Mobile Technologies J2ME / Andriod / iPhone / Symbian / Blackberry 5-8 LE / TL / TM Noida
Automation Testing Perl / Shell Scripting 5-8 LE / TL / TM Noida
April 24, 2010 Girish Chandra VM HCL Technologies Ltd. Surya Sapphire, Plot no 3, 1st phase, Electronics City, Bangalore Device Drivers C programming with UNIX / Linux internals 5-10 LE / TL / TM Bangalore / Chennai
Device Drivers, Storage / network drivers, TCP / IP
iSCSI, IPC mechanisms and multi-threading
SAN SAN Testing and SAN Development 5-10 LE / TL / TM Bangalore

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The Train Sequence from “Chronicles of Narnia”

It was February 2007, I was on my flight from US to India – on a journey to start another journey (to get married :) )
Anyways, I was browsing through in flight movies, just killing time, and thought to watch one of the movies about “lions” and “witches” – which sounded quit boring as a concept!! :)
The movie started with what looked like a world war scene – “another world war movie” I thought.
So I was contemplating changing the movie, but then suddenly the tone of the movie changed.
In place of fighter aircrafts bombing European towns, now the scene was of a train going through green fields and hills – with four brothers and sisters on that train, leaving their home behind and going to a place unfamiliar to them!
The music being played on background was one of the most beautiful music I have ever heard (later I came to know it’s “Evacuating London”) – I think that scene/song combination had that dreamy effect when “everything else disappears and you feel all alone” – although I was surrounded by hundreds of tired, cranky flight passengers!
In short, I dont know why but that train sequence immediately touched me, even now when few years have passed by, and I have seen that scene multiple times – but still when I see that scene I feel something which is hard to explain. Even that song is always on “Top Played” song list in my itunes! :)
That movie itself is one of my favorites, there are other scenes in movie which I like too – eg. the one where Lucy takes away the big drape of clothe from the “wardrobe” or the one where she goes again followed by her brother Edmund – so dreamy… still my fav part of the movie is undoubtedly that train sequence.
Come to think of it … this fascination with trains could be because of the train journeys I have gone through with my family (papa, mom & bhaiya) in my earlier years – like every summer vacation going to meet relatives, cousins when I was very young … I think I used to wait whole year for those train journeys … I think I loved to watch the landscape from the train (still do)
I can even recommend two of my most frequented and favorite train routes –
Chandrapura to Patna on “Superfast” train :) [Map] –
This journey starts from an Industrial / coal mine belt of Bihar – the chota nagpur area – then it goes to more green places in Bihar, I think it passes some of the greenest parts and probably deepest “ghati’s” of Bihar. The Ghatis (valley) are so deep that one would have goose bumps just looking down the window. Lastly, I think my favourite part was those three tunnels it used to cross on that route, I think it was of favorite of almost everyone on that train (when train used to come out of tunnel – I think 80% of passengers used to have smiles on their faces . rest 20% looked indifferent, like it was just a short blip to whatever they were doing – like reading, chatting etc)
Delhi to Gaya on Neelanchal/Puri express [Map]-
These trips were taken later part of my years (age 10-16 I guess) … most of these trips were accompanied by Mom. Chatting with Mom and watching landscape was the usual pass time, but not enough to cover whole journey, so I started adding more ideas on those journeys – like carrying a diary and noting down things. Like, one wierd idea was to note down each and every station that comes en route. (there are 10-15 “big stations” on that route, they come on interval of 1-2 hours each. However every 3-4 minute the train passes “small stations”, which are small enough for the “express” train to not stop there.)
Now, this was a good passtime, as I was able to enjoy landscape and do something “productive” :) …. the problem was I was not able to jot down the complete list in one journey – because a) I used to be asleep half of the time and b) the train runs at high speed, so it is easy to miss if you are not attentive enough.
You can imagine that I had to get prepared/attentive before the station is coming (usual signs were field will start disappearing, the train tracks will start increasing – like one track is giving birth to two tracks etc 😀 … and you can guess how “big” the station is by observing the number of track increase)
Finally I had the complete list after 3-4 tours of the same route (means 3-4 years, since we used to go each summer vacation) – that list later became one of my proud possession :). In later journeys I will still carry that diary with me … just to predict exactly how many minutes it will take to reach next “big station”, and amuse my mom & brother and fellow passengers. Note – the usual “train time tables” only used to have “big station names” but my database had both big & small train stations! … see! :)
Looks like I am getting carried away on this topic :) … but that will explain my passion for this topic :)
So, anyways, there are still many more journeys which I have not taken yet, which I plan to do some point of my life – India is such a big country, the most of which I have not seen. Places where I feel I am suppose to go, but have not been yet. People I feel I am suppose to meet, but have not met.
for now, I can just dream on … thinking that someday I will! … probably someday I will have complete database of all small stations all across India!! 😀
Found the image here – with a caption of – “A rare photo of Darjeeling Himalayan Railway and bullock carts” — ca. 1930, Darjeeling, India — A steam driven passenger train negotiates a bend on a narrow track which descends towards Darjeeling. Two “brake men” ride at the rear of the end carriage. — Image by © Hulton-Deutsch Collection/CORBIS

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Ken, Caravan, Swades, Planes ….

Take a look at this pic first-

So … at work today, my next cubicle neighbour “Ken” – who is the one of the most knowledgeable and helpful person at work – said to me “do you want to see my car pics?
At first I was like “what?” … and then thought “ah ok!” … and then thought “did he said what i think he said” …
But I said “sure! why not!? … you bought a car lately? show me the pics”
And then he showed me these pics of the new van he bought and I was totally blown away! :)
I was like – Woowwwww!
I was like – Awesomeeeeeee!
I was like – Mind blowing!
In fact, I felt so happy and maybe somewhat proud also that now I know someone who actually owns a Caravan … ! :) … just kidding :)
Ken promised he will bring the van someday to office :) … I am now sincerely waiting for that day :)
I showed these pics to Smita also and she said the same thing that came to my mind too – it reminded us of the BOLLYWOOD movie Swades where Shahrukh takes a Caravan in India to visit his “Kaveri Amma” at an Indian village “Charanpur” … and when his friend asked why does he need a Caravan – Mohan Bhargav (the NRI returned) said – are yaar! gaon mein rehne ka kya intezam hoga kya pata? (oh my friend! who knows what lodging arrangements will be there at the village)
… Swades has simple incidents like this in the movie, which make it my fav movie, but that deserves a separate post.
Anyways, while later Ken showed me another awesome thing that I didnt know. He showed me some of this bookmarks for “Buying Planes” :)
Again when he first said “buying planes” I was first like “what?” … and then thought “ah ok!” … and then thought “did he said what i think he said”
I mean I sincerely thought he is saying “buying plane tickets” and I told that to Ken too … Ken said no he really means “buying planes” :) … He (and one other colleague Morgan) then explained me how buying plane is another usual thing in America. (maybe not so usual, but still, its a concept which I dont think I have heard ever in India)
So just now I searched on google and I did find some websites to buy and sell planes-
Awesome! … Buying and selling planes online like we do for Cars – an industry which I was totally unaware till today! (and I consider myself an ecommerce expert!!)
While I was talking to them, I remembered I have actually seen it in many HOLLYWOOD movies – so I thought probably rich American farmers have it – cuz I remember something similar from the “Pearl Harbor” movie .
I asked Ken and Morgan too – “so who buys these planes? is it farmers?”
Ken said – “No … it is usual people like you and me. Say someone is staying in Pennsylvania and need to travel to Florida frequently. Think about how much time he saves if he buys a plane”
I thought ok fine, but what about the cost to buy a plane!… So Me and morgan glanced over pricetag of one plane too – it was around $500K … which actually didnt sound that bad as I thought. I mean it is still half a million, but whatever, nothing beats owning a plane… right? :)
Ken and Morgan further educated me that it is actually the maintenance that costs more (reminds me of an Indian saying we have – one must be rich if he owns an elephant … or one saying I read one time advising that hiring a carpenter sometimes is so costly that it is like getting elephant sitting at your home) …
In short … owning an Elephant in India is similar to owning a plane in America … funny but true!! :)
Ken said you need to get your plane recertified after certain hours (1000 / 2000 hours) – Morgan added that is “flying hours”. (ok- sounded like the annual car registration thing that we need to do … lol, itz hard for me to leave my “car mentality” :) )
Ken added that you cannot add any accessory to your plane or try doing any modification yourself to the plane. You need to get a certified professional to help you. Say you want to add a bag on the sideway of your plane, you cannot do, you need a certified professional.
It made sense to me … because aerodynamics is a field you dont want to mess with … unless you are a bumblebee lol :) (quoting Shiv Khera)-
According to scientists, the bumblebee’s body is too heavy and its wingspan too small for it to be able to fly. But the bumblebee doesnt know that and it keeps flying.
When you don’t know your limitations, you go out and surprise yourself!
So I further asked them – where do they keep those planes? I mean is it possible to keep it at your home in pennsylvania and then fly from there to your other home at Florida? … Morgan said there are some communities in America – yes – which have things like that. Ken added usually it is at/nearby airport – at/nearby hangers.
Lastly, Morgan told me something more that I didn’t know – John Travolta is one of those guys who owns planes – he actually owns a Boeing 707!!! … haha, awesome!! – so he keeps them at home. He is also a pilot, and probably has affiliation with some airline company … and flies for them. (Ken added – big money!) … Morgan didnt remember which airline company, but just now I found it on wiki (it is Qantas)-
Travolta is a certified pilot and owns five aircraft, including an ex-Australian Boeing 707-138 airliner. The plane bears the name Jett Clipper Ella in honor of his children. Pan American World Airways was a large operator of the Boeing 707 and used Clipper in its names. The 707 aircraft bears the marks of Qantas, as Travolta acts as an official goodwill ambassador for the airline wherever he flies. His $4.9 million estate in the Jumbolair subdivision in Ocala, Florida, is situated on Greystone Airport with its own runway and taxiway right to his front door

More about John Travlota piloting career is here.
So … that is enough knowledge for ONE day! :) .. like they say you learn something new everyday!

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Budget 2010: Income Tax Comparison between 2010 and 2009

Dr Pranab Mukherjee presented the budget today for this year. And, like all years, the one thing that Aam Aadmi like me looks in the budget is Income Tax related changes.
This year also Pranab da changed few things in Income tax which actually looks good to me so far.
  • One of my favourite finance bloggers Deepak put a very basic tax calculator / comparison tool where you can compare how much benefit or tax saving you will have this year viz-a-viz last year.
I took lead from him and put my own excel to chart out the differences for INDIAN MAN having annual taxable income between 2.5L to 10L . (emphasis is on “MAN” as women and senior citizens have slightly different income tax rates)
The results of this excel may not be rocket science, but to the excel fanatic I am – it provides a easy to understand representation of how this budget benefits different income slabs in India. (like they say – I am the “visual” kind of person)
Here is Income Tax Slab for last year [Source:wiki]
  • No income tax is applicable on all income up to Rs. 1,60,000 per year. (Rs. 1,90,000 for women and Rs. 2,40,000 for senior citizens)
  • From 1,60,001 to 3,00,000 : 10% of amount greater than Rs. 1,60,000 (Lower limit changes appropriately for women and senior citizens)
  • From 3,00,001 to 5,00,000 : 20% of amount greater than Rs. 3,00,000 + 14,000 (slightly less for women and further less for senior citizens)
  • Above 5,00,000 : 30% of amount greater than Rs. 5,00,000 + 54,000 (slightly less for women and further less for senior citizens)
And the new announced tax slabs for 2010-11 are as follows:
  • No income tax is applicable on all income up to Rs. 1,60,000 per year.
  • From 1,60,001 to 5,00,000 : 10% of amount greater than Rs. 1,60,000
  • From 5,00,001 to 8,00,000 : 20% of amount greater than Rs. 5,00,000 + 34,000
  • Above 8,00,000 : 30% of amount greater than Rs. 8,00,000 + 94,000
Note – there is one interesting thing I noticed this time that there is no “women” or “senior citizen” specific announcements this year. No comments on that for now.
Before we proceed any further, the usual Disclaimer: This is NOT tax advice. This is educational material only. Use your own mind before you make any decisions. I am anything but not a tax expert :)
Few other things to note-
1. This excel is based on Taxable Income – so it is not your Gross Salary or CTC.
To explain this, say you are getting a salary of 5 Lakhs per annum, but you have invested 1 Lakh in Section 80c and 1 Lakh as Home Loan Interest. That means your taxable income is 3 Lakhs per annum (not 5 Lakhs).
2. In my excel I have not factored in the additional Rs 20,000 tax deduction announced today related to Infrastructure bonds. That will surely put additional tax benefits on your hand, in my opinion lots of people will utilize that to lower their taxable income by additional Rs 20K.
So, whatever … the thing we all love about excel is you can printout charts to visualize things – so the first chart I pulled out was to show how much additional income people will get per month in their paychecks.
As you can see, anyone earning below 3 Lakhs will NOT get any additional money on their hand this year compared to last year. (on a sidenote that means this budget should NOT be nicknamed “Aam Aadmi Budget”, because that will infer that “Aam Aadmi = people having taxable income more than 3 Lakhs” – which I think is far from the reality… isnt it :-))
The good news – everyone above 3 Lakhs per annum will get some benefit on his take home salary, which will keep increasing till 8 Lakhs per annum and then will go constant at Annual benefit of Rs 51,500
Other thing I calculated was “Effective Tax%age” which is by dividing “Annual Tax” to that of “Annual taxable income”.
On that I noticed that people having taxable income 3L will get 0.33% benefit this year – last year they were paying 5.32% tax (effectively) and this year they will be paying 4.98% (effectively)
That will keep growing till 8L income when people will have 6.44% benefit!! – last year they were paying 18.54% tax (effectively) and this year they will be paying 12.10% (effectively)
After that since the tax amount remains constant, but the base increases … so the “Effective Tax %age Difference” comes down, but still it means everyone above 8L taxable income will get Annual benefit of Rs 51,500
I think there are other parts of the Budget which I will blog about in coming days… but that’s it for a Friday evening.

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The iPad Hulla Bol!

There was too much hype about the tablet from Apple to be released in January 2010 – and release they did – The iPad.

Well … I didnt like it in the first impression itself.
I still remember the iphone presentation by Steve Jobs which I saw 3 years ago. Jobs presentation skills deserve a separate post, but let’s focus on the product in this post.
At that time, just looking at the product/presentation, I knew this is going to be a superhit with consumers and will grab a good share of the smartphone market (taking marketshare from smartphones like BB, palm treo etc) … and it did. When I saw that presentation iphone was not released and there was not too much mention of it in mainstream media (geek blogs were full of it though) … but my geeky sense told me it’s gonna be something.
But my geeky sense is not that sure about the iPad. 😐
It is still a month away till iPad will be released and only then we’ll be able to know how it performs. Still, in last month, there were too many interesting reviews on iPad (mostly negative) and related tablet market . I will use this post mostly to aggregate those links.
The first one is review of iPad by none other than Hitler. (i have seen so many versions of this Hitler video, but the iPad one is best)
Next comes what I really felt about iPad – it is nothing but a bigger iPhone. [Source]
Can’t wait to get your hands on an iPad? Miffed that took down the iPad preorder page? Generally at the end of your rope?Fortunately, there’s an app a peripheral for that: the iPhad. “Turn your iPhone into a full-fledged iPad with this easy to install add-on.”Unfortunately, the “add to cart” button for the iPhad appears to be broken at Seven’s Heaven,the home of illustrator Metin Seven.Some might say that tacking a magnifying glass onto an iPhone to turn it into an iPad is unwieldy — even satirical! — but we’re holding out hope.
The reviews on Lifehacker were the best one I read –
There was another thing which I read about iPad is it doesnt support flash (means will not play youtube videos, just for example). Moreover I read about Steve Jobs supporting that decision – rather than fixing it – saying HTML5 will have the functionalities that flash has.
But I dont buy that argument. I think Jobs is overdoing his future-looking-thing, it might take a while for HTML5 to replace flash – and even if it does say in 5 years. Till that time Tablet market will be claimed.
Then there was one of the most comical comparison I saw – iPad vs Stone Tablet
There is hardly any difference between the two – except stone can do multitasking … LOL :)
Lastly there was a youtube video summarizing it best – iPad Keynote in less than 180 Seconds: Incredible, Beautiful, Amazing!
This might be usual part of any presentation where you praise your product, but it definitely felt like Jobs and his team is pushing hard this product. They are doing it the INFOMERCIAL-way … not doing the apple way – where you just create a good product and capture consumers imagination.
Anyways, let’s now look at the competition, because almost every company is jumping on Bandwagon. First one I saw was Google’s own tablet (still in concept stage)
Next one I read was “Made in India” Adam … and I have read good reviews about this tablet so far, still I am keeping my fingers crossed.
Hmm – long story short, the tablet market is just starting now, and I think it will create a marketplace of its own. But I dont think it will cannibalize notebook or netbook market, (umm maybe it will a little), but I think these all products will co-exist, your notebook/netbook will not be rendered useless.

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