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Saala Khadoos – Paisa Wasool February 8, 2016

Posted by simarp in : Bollywood , add a comment

Hello! Saw Saala Khadoos today, complete paisa wasool/ money’s worth. It is a tight movie, has reality, practicality, humor, challenge, desire, love, envy, hatred, cheating, conspiracy, values and lack of values all in one single package deal. Watch it on big screen, worth every minute of enjoyment.

There is no money free flowing and that is apparent from first screen onward, what is free flowing is the story. It flows without any friction, it is not just a sports movie about a coach and a student, it is a story about India on how politics tries to run and ruin everything, sacrificing meritocracy  is the easiest option for most. Of course, it doesn’t matter whether India wins or not, it is important that someones someone was part of the Indian team.

Madhavan’s performance is top class, probably Aamir only could’ve given a better performance than him. M.K. Raina  knows how to shine and deliver even in a 4th supporting actor sort of a role, I wonder why we don’t see more of him. Mumtaz Sorcar played her moves well, she did get her screen time and made best use of it. I was not aware of Ritika Singh before watching this movie, I must say she is to Saala Khadoos what Anushka Sharma was to Band Baaja Baarat or Parineeti Chopra was to Ladies Vs. Ricky Behl. In Ritika Singh Bollywood has a new natural actor and we would see a lot more of her in coming years.

Now, go watch, I am not going to tell you the whole story here :)

 

RIP Twitter February 7, 2016

Posted by simarp in : Twitter , add a comment

Twitter got a taste of its own #tag #RIPTwitter took over Twitter world by storm. Of course any suggestion of Twitter becoming more like Facebook was expected to get this kind of result. Twitter is Twitter let it tweet and keep tweeting and attempts to tweak tweets is gonna result in a complete disaster. It is the Twitter people love and if Twitter becomes Tweaker, it would be yet another attempt to emulate Facebook, which would bring its own set of users and with it would exit Twitter’s own committed users.

Here’s what people are talking about.

Wheels Of My Life February 7, 2016

Posted by simarp in : Is anyone listening , add a comment

Q: What do you do, Simar?

A: Hmm…

Q: No, seriously?

A: I walk around cities and events?

Q: No, no, tell me, don’t ask me.

A: Err… I help running a trust in memory of a dear friend.

Q: That we know, but what do you do?

A: You mean for living?

Q: Yes.

A: I walk, I listen, I see, I observe, I write…

Q: So you write for a living, right?

A: No, let me think, hmm… I think mentor.

Q: You mentor whom and on what?

A: Anybody on anything…

Q: You are not being cooperative.

A: OK, I will try… I take photographs.

Q: So you are a photographer?

A: No, not exactly.

Q: This is frustrating, you are running in circles.

A: Yes, you got the answer, I run in circles, circles called life.

A: These are wheels of my life, they keep moving, they keep finding new roads.

A: At times I am writing, at times I am reading.

A: At times I am learning, at times I am mentoring.

A: At times I am evolving strategy, at times I am taking coaching.

A: At times I am earning, at times I am giving.

A: At times I am a father, at times I am a colleague.

A: At times I am a cook, at times I am a gourmet.

A: Wheels of my life, they keep moving, they keep finding new roads.

A: At times I am discovering new roads, at times I am living old roads.

A: At times I am a solider, at times I am a farmer.

A: At times I am a saint, at times I am a sinner.

A: At times I am powerful, at times I am weak.

A: At times I trust, at times I love, at times I do both.

A: I live, I live what is called life.

A: I do work to pay for my living, but I don’t live to work.

Q: So, do I know what you do Simar?

A: I live :)

How We Became Friends February 2, 2016

Posted by simarp in : Relationships , add a comment

An FB comment/post kinda stirred me into asking: How does a 30 to 5o year old make a friend? I started going back and tracking a few friendships developed over last 20 years and looking at how we met. Interesting anecdotes started bringing smile to me.

  1. I went as a part of an IT delegation to Pakistan. The team out their literally spread a red carpet for us and one of the persons coordinating and making it all happen, clicked. 11 years have gone, we remain in active contact. Brother of the friend visited India, he was family to us. And I know we are family to them.
  2. I met two  doctors, both were friends of a friend. Common interests were food, writing, poetry and same broader age group. Clicked. How three years have passed one doesn’t know. And yes daughter of one of them sent me an FB friend request recently, which I lovingly accepted.
  3. I met a classmates classmate. Clicked, we became friends, I met the spouse, clicked, so now family friends.
  4. I was flying from Delhi to San Francisco, my fellow passenger was traveling to LA. 20 years younger. Clicked. Kept talking, spent 2-3 hours waiting for our flights. Three years, remained in touch.
  5. 2007, landed in San Francisco, checked in a hotel in Santa Clara. The first person who picked us from hotel to drop us to the venue, clicked. 9 years, i know I have a friend in Santa Clara.
  6. 2006, a person came from Lahore as part of an IT delegation, enjoyed his company. Clicked. 10 years and a two generation friendship firmly in place.
  7. 2008, tweeted about an event, a person not known before came for the event. 2016, 8 years of Hi, Hello, Chai, Coffee and breaking bread together.
  8. 2008, attended a conference in LA, made a friend, clicked. 2016, we are aligned and make each other grow.

In above list I have not included colleagues and business associates working together for a time who became friends. That is a different thing altogether. Colleagues who became friends are many colleagues who became friends after being ex-colleagues are many. :)

I can go on and on… essentially when I make friends, I connect with the person. Age, gender, education, profession, religion, region, sexual preferences, political preferences, marital status and financial status doesn’t count. If that matters, I am sure they would never be friends. So, if any of my friend opts for gender change or converts to another religion or moves to another country or becomes “poor” or “rich” it is not going to bother me on that account. It may bother me on rationality or need but never on packaging.

Make friends with people, not packaging.   And smiles would cover millions of miles.

Anupam Kher Ko Gussa Kyon Aata Hai? February 2, 2016

Posted by simarp in : India , add a comment

Anupam Kher Ko Gussa Kyon Aata Hai when translated in English reads – What makes Anupam Kher Angry. Here is my guess, of course based on facts :)

  1. It is his panache, stupid.
  2. Anger keeps him going, remember Saaransh? What a career he made, amazing. Remember “India is tolerant” march? A Padma Bhushan followed.
  3. He has a keen eye to identify legitimate grounds to be angry, he suddenly discovered a couple of years ago that he is a Kashmiri Pandit and this became the main reason for his being denied Visa to Pakistan and led to his anger.
  4. He would never like to see Indian team losing to Pakistan on Indian soil, because of this he protested against Pakistan playing cricket in India and got angry.
  5. Because his cry to boycott Republic Day Parade was not heard by people in 2013,
  6. Because he is scared to say openly today that he is a Hindu.
  7.  Yes, also because one Kader Khan  didn’t request him to get him a Padma Shree and opposed his Padma Bhushan
  8. Why was his speech on Kashmiri Pandits, made as an answer to a question asked on Kashmir floods not aired, angers him a lot.
  9. Because he believes that he is not an angry person and even a scene to be enacted depicting anger can faint him.
  10. He gets angry because no one buys his book as a life coach and takes him as a life coach seriously. “The Best Thing About You is You” must become a curriculum book, it is a real motivational reason for him to get angry.

I can go on and on, but can’t say that having done that my next post wouldn’t be -  Simar Ko Gussa Kyon Aata Hai.

 

Pragati Maidan Makeover Plan Looks Amateurish January 30, 2016

Posted by simarp in : Delhi , add a comment

My first recall of Pragati Maidan is of Asia 72, I was barely 7 years old and I remember there was space pavilion and something about Man on moon. My creativity and story telling made me tell numerous stories about how I saw soil from moon and thus formed a relationship which kept on getting renewed year after year.

We have been hearing about a makeover of Pragati Maidan since ever, but now it looks like things are firming up. Am I loving it, no. And this is why?

A makeover of 126 acre Pragati Maidan would have an underground parking provision of 5,000 cars, something is wrong. Either someone doesn’t know Delhi, or Parking Issues or footfall in Pragati Maidan – maybe all the three. Planning anything less than an underground parking facility of over 50.000 cars would simply be too myopic a plan to execute. One hall absorbs more than 10,000 cars, someone is absolutely out of sync with what happens every year during trade fair (IITF)  and why Autoexpo had to be moved to Greater Noida.

Coming to space created, it would have only 1.2 Million Square feet of space, which translates to FAR of 1:.25, on such a large project it is a gross wastage of space. The project must plan over 5 Million Square Feet instead of 1.2 Million Square Feet being planned. They are planning one convention center to accommodate 7,000, why not three more for 5,000, 3,000 and 2,000 respectively. Very few international capitals have this huge exhibition space in the heart of the city, using it to its fullest has to be a priority with the government.

This project envisages bringing iconic architectural marvel like Hall of Nations down, what is the point. It has been a Pragati Maidan identifier and it has seen progress happen and enabled progress to happen. It is a great design and there is no need to raze it now. There is enough free space and you can always add, why destroy to add and build anew when space is not a constraint.

I hope better senses prevail and heritage is not destroyed just for the heck of it and a new form and shape is added for it to stand apart as one of the great exhibition grounds in the world.

 

 

 

What makes me love a Pizza? January 30, 2016

Posted by simarp in : Food , 1 comment so far
Making of a great Pizza

What makes me Love a Pizza

  1. Crust: It has to be thin crust. I don’t want to eat a bread or a piece of cake, just because it is called a Pizza.
  2. Fresh: Everything has to be fresh, except the dough. Nothing canned or processed, even the cheese.
  3. Hand Tossed: Just roll it and toss it.
  4. Base: No burnt base please, I don’t eat charcoal, brown is good.
  5. Dough: At least 72 hours before it goes into oven. Made today, served today dough doesn’t bring in the natural tang, which I love.
  6. Cheese: Fresh mozzarella.
  7. Chicken: Marinated with herbs and grilled.
  8. Tomatoes: Flavorful Husky Cherry Red Tomatoes or any other flavorful tomatoes.
  9. Basil: At least an inch long fresh basil leaves
  10. Sauce: No canned or processed. Fresh sauce made with tomatoes, herbs and crushed red chili in Olive oil.
  11. Red Chili: No flakes, just smoked & baked with the Pizza red chili cuts

Two, three, four 6″ pizzas please, 8″ would also do, but nothing more than 8″ in size.

 

An Indian’s Choice of First 20 Smart Cities January 29, 2016

Posted by simarp in : India , add a comment

Just being Indian, I would’ve loved to see these twenty cities as the first 20 smart cities in India. No religious, no political, only an understanding of what may work best for India has guided me to put this list on my blog.   These cities can act as counter magnets and also would cover and develop skills for all kind of cities.

  1. Srinagar – This city has least grown in last 30 years, need to bring it up to speed and take it ahead of others.
  2. Tirupati – Look at amount of people who go there every year. Exposure to people from all over India on how a smart city works would encourage others to take initiative in their cities too.
  3. Chandigarh – Fairly smart, serves as a hub to three states.
  4. Delhi East (NO, I stay in Delhi west :) – This is the worst Delhi among 4 broad zones, barts of it are probably among the worst in India. Bringing it up as a role model is needed and would be a huge learning curve for concept of smart cities.
  5. Gurgaon – Among all new cities. this one is most broken and most inspirational. Making Gurgaon work would mean giving India a global image.
  6. Ajmer – Again it is people and people from all walks of life and all religions, lot of transit population and a historic city to boot.
  7. Gwalior – Small city, great opportunity, can be a counter magnet to Delhi in its own small way.
  8. Varanasi -  oldest living city in the world and the city which has given us a Prime Minister.
  9. Agra – If Agra works smartly, it can pull 20+ million global tourists on its own.
  10. Gaya – Let the Japanese come, let the Chinese come, let Buddhists from all over the world see this city as their spiritual capital.
  11. Darjeeling – Tea tourism can bring wealth and lift up this whole region, specifically Sikkim and north Bengal.
  12. Shillong – Beauty of this city and the opportunities to make it happen are immense, the Cherry Blossoms need to be seen.
  13. Naya Raipur – A brand new city, a brand new capital – if it made smart now, it will grow very fast.
  14. Vishakapatnam – How do we manage our coasts, this can be the show window.
  15. Mangalore – What is Karnataka without Bangalore? Let Managlore develop as a food hub and recreation hub not only for the messed up Bangalore but also act as a counter magnet to it.
  16. South Goa – Preserve pristine beaches and make it an elite tourism destination and a big money earner for the state.
  17. Gandhi Nagar – A city which refuses to happen and is always playing a second fiddle to Ahmadabad.
  18. Kochi – Did I hear somebody say PPP, this is where it will come and grow.
  19. Portblair – Not many know it is India’s outpost in the Indian Ocean. Let us get Singaporeans, Malaysians, Indonesians make it their favourite destination to explore the Andamans.
  20. Madurai – Has potential to develop around the whole of south south of India.

 

 

 

 

Open Letter to Arvind Kejriwal Ji and Aam Aadmi Party January 27, 2016

Posted by simarp in : Uncategorized , add a comment

Dear Arvind Kejriwal Ji, & functionaries of Aam Aadmi Party,

I am an “open vote” AAP voter and have been called an Aaptard and all other sundry names, hundreds of times on Twitter. Some people consider me an AAP active member, which I am not. I am definitely a 3 time AAP voter and a disillusioned citizen of Delhi who was fed up with corruption and deterioration of his city under State Government run by Congress and MCDs run by BJP. I saw a huge opportunity to make my Delhi rise and shine again. Today, here are a few observations which I would like to share. There were some tweets done  which other AAP supporters were kind enough to RT and forward to you. Here are some of those tweets and some more thought through challenges altogether in a hope that it can be professionally looked at.

I can’t say about all of Delhi, but for two constituencies of Vikaspuri & Janakpuri things are getting from bad to worse. Vikaspuri MLA is Shri Mahender Yadav and Janakpuri MLA is Shri Rajesh Rishi.

1. Unauthorized commercialization is on rise.
2. Encroachment over public land is on rise.
3. Slum clusters in Vikaspuri are becoming multistory
4. Number of hawkers on footpaths have increased considerably & most footpaths are 150% encroached – 50% of road and 100% of footpath.
5. No new infrastructure development has been rolled out or announced.
6. Congestion and unrecognized/ illegal markets are expanding, worsening traffic situation.
7. Delhi is hardly a Swach Delhi and safai karamcharis are still missing.
8. Parking contractors still harass drivers and car owners.
9. Street food hygiene remains an issue and is still unlicensed and opening a business in a minute even today. I am told, nobody comes for “hafta” anymore, now “hafta” goes to them.
10. Not even one person has been arrested for any of the above. Corruption still work?

I am confident that between the three parties, you guys are still the best bet we have, but the gap between you and Congress BJP on all fronts is narrowing. I am sure, you would say, this is with center and that is with center, but then that always was and even if it has been added now, negotiating with center and making it work for Delhi is your job too.

Get some results on ground, let our hope and vote work.

Thank you

Simarprit Singh
Resident of Vikaspuri & an entrepreneur operating from Janakpuri, Delhi

Why People Commit Suicide? January 19, 2016

Posted by simarp in : Health , add a comment

Why People Commit Suicide? This is a question which crosses my mind often. It keeps on running all around me when any news of a suicide grabs media’s attention and lives around me for a couple of days. These days two suicides are big time tragedies being talked about in integrated media – TVs, Newspapers, Magazines, Apps, Websites and instant media like WhatsApp and debated across Social media platforms with almost everyone taking a pole position. One is of a Uttar Pradesh girl who committed suicide in UP over blackmailing post gang-rape and the second news is about the Dalit (SC/ST/OBC?) doctorate scholar committing suicide. Unfortunately both tragedies have taken political hue. Political parties, those in power and those in opposition are trying their best to use it to their advantage.

Disclosure: I am not a Doctor, I am not a psychologist and I am also not a student of psychology or an anti-suicide activist. What I am sharing here is what is known as “loud thinking” or using my blog as a sounding board. I am also writing with my being an Indian, a Punjabi, a Sikh and a 50+ global traveler with hundreds of flights and millions of miles of exposure.

Here are some random thoughts.

  1. People who fail to identify that they have challenges of mental health, and if they do identify, they live in denial of there consequences are more susceptible. Acceptance and treatment works wonders and works magically and quickly.
  2. People who have very few true friends, or they may have true friends but don’t trust them to the core find themselves internally broken with no Plan B. So end of the story becomes their plan B. Trust friends, be fair and it is never too late to make great friends, life is best lived when friends are by your side. If it is a friend who is a reason, changing the friend, works.
  3. If one gets into building a web of lies and feels too weak to be confronted and pay for the same, pressing escape to exit looks easier, which it definitely is not. Confessions and counseling are twin tracks and they are the way to rebuilding, prospering and moving on.
  4. People at times feel that their purpose would be better met by their “sacrifice”, really? Battles are won by winning, battles can’t be won by losing and that also losing life.
  5. A lack of achievement also pushes people to consider taking their life, but how can taking something be an achievement? It is always a myth that you are giving your life to a cause. Reality is that one has to live ones life for a cause, it will be experiential and incremental. If there is no cause to live, you haven’t started living yet, so get up and discover and adopt a cause.
  6. Health? Point of no return? No way, science is moving at a a faster pace and at multiple locations simultaneously. Medical solutions are almost always around the corner and if in a peculiar case they are not, see how you can bring them to this world quickly.  Join those who are working on that and joining means joining just in any way, even identifying them and re-tweeting them is joining.

I will add more as more random thoughts come knocking.