<![CDATA[Akshiva's web address - Blog]]>Thu, 12 Apr 2018 10:10:46 +0000Weebly<![CDATA[CT2017 - Ind v/s Pak - Pak wins match, loses respect]]>Mon, 19 Jun 2017 06:36:16 GMThttp://akshaykakkar.com/blog/ct2017-ind-vs-pak-pak-wins-match-loses-respectA snapshot from my Facebook post :

Last night the hype got better of me & I ended up paying a very large amount (by my standards) for a ticket to watch today's match.
Needless to say, I am heartbroken after the result.
To feel better, I had to look forward to more than India's play today & I went back to my first love - photography. Had some great photo sessions today. I'll leave you with those in a bit.
But before that, an important aspect of life we all need to take lessons on.

India, take heart - you played brilliantly till today. You (&your captain) were gracious in their defeat. 
Even after winning, not once did the Pakistan captain acknowledge the effort of the opposition.
Pakistan have a long way to go on this front. 
Add to it, the crowds were third grade & heartless. Not once would they clap for a good cricket shot or a great ball if it was from India. 
4 incidents of aggression happened in my line of sight within 50 metres of what I could see. 
Small good for nothing teenagers got abusive with white haired elderly men just because they wore blue.
After coming out from the stadium, a few Pak supporters in cars gesticulated with their middle fingers & mouthed expletives on women who wore blue. 
At one point I even went behind one of those monkeys & asked them - "How does it feel to be on the winning side when you know you have fixers in your team?" 
Man, you have no morals.
Crowd behaviour is one place where Pakistan has not evolved since the 1970s. 
You can be noisy & say good things about yourself or bad things about the opposition cheekily.
But abuse is something that this part of humanity has to get over.
They hate us & they beat us today. I get that.
Probably they needed this sort of display to satisfy a country who has failed in ALL aspects of life on the global stage.
Good for them, but they have to evolve.
Not once would you see an Indian showing a middle finger to a woman who is Pakistani just because she is Pakistani or abuse an elderly 70 year old man because he wears green.
This really pains me. 
They have the same genes as us, but something has gone wrong in the last 70 years which needs serious correction.
For now, I need sleep. I wish to thank the Indian team & pat myself for getting some close ups of the people I admire.
Shab-ba Khair.

<![CDATA[EU referendum - really that bad? Or something structurally wrong in the UK democratic methodolog´╗┐y]]>Sun, 26 Jun 2016 21:01:37 GMThttp://akshaykakkar.com/blog/eu-referendum-really-that-bad-or-something-structurally-wrong-in-the-uk-democratic-methodologyMuch has been said in the last couple of days about this topic.
So my remit in this post is not to justify whether the events unfolding in the UK (It is still united today - 26/6/2016) are correct/wrong.
I am deeply appalled by the reaction of the two partners in question :

1. UK - 
The kind of negative hysteria in the country after a referendum is beyond commonly available intelligence. What did they think? That there is only one possibility in a game/election/referendum? 
Did they never think that one side CAN lose? Were they too high on pot after the Scottish referendum that they thought they could just steamroll any opposition?
And then probably have a referendum to leave the earth & win that one too?
2. EU - 
Badly behaved mother-in-law. Someone today in the EU commissionerate said - "We want the UK to leave as soon as possible. We never asked them for a written confirmation. Cameron can even say that he officially wants to leave".
Come on guys. Don't be a sissy.
Someone has given a verdict which needs to be respected. At least the UK isn't like you - a cheap but modern Soviet conglomerate copy.

Now the real stuff :
1. David Cameron high on success of the Scottish referendum called for the EU referendum - political harakiri after the stellar performance in the last election.
As much politically correct he may want to sound by resigning, he knows that he will never get another shot like this where he could have served as PM for 4 more years & taken Britain to greater heights.
Calling the referendum itself showed that they did not gauge the pulse of the people.
2. Does UK really lose? 
Yes & No.
Yes - because nobody in the UK or the EU even knows how the situation is going to play out.
No - because UK won't die. The people won't come on the streets. Yes, taxes may go up while trading with the EU. Yes, border control will have to be stricter (for your own good). Yes, some groceries may get expensive. Yes, homes will be slightly cheaper.
But hey, you save £18250000000 every year in membership & doling out benefits to EU folks. 
Intelligent folks - convert the figure above into billions & get astonished.
These do not include the financially non-tangible benefits like putting a lid on low skill immigration & legalizing & channelizing it through a visa program like the US which will give you further revenue.

3. Short term pain v/s long term gain :
Keep the Scotts happy. They need to be with the UK. Today they don't think they are one of you even though they uncomfortably voted to remain in your property.
Every country worth it's salt across the globe has a visa program to control immigration.
Every top 10 non EU country in the world does business with EU without any problem.
Why is it so difficult for the UK to be like the rest of the world.
This will be procedurally painful for the next year or two, but will be a long term gain where you will have a sovereign land of your own + an economy which is not constrained to bail out a sick economy.

4. Doomed mechanism - unions
Large doubts remain over the efficacy of unions, whether within a company or a group of countries.
The western world openly decried the existence of Soviet Union 50 years ago & played every trick in the book of treachery to break that through.
Putin must be laughing his guts out now that he did not have to do anything to even effect this change & make the EU toothless now with only Germany + France combine remaining to bail out the other 25 average to poor countries.
The EU's intelligence is in severe question too - with countries like Turkey applying for membership.

5. Intellectual decisions cannot be left to referendums
The last & the most important point.
All the western world need to get out of this fake cloak of equality & political correctness that they wear to show that they are holier than thou.
Humans are racist, selfish & very very treacherous.
The people of UK hate that there are millions of black & brown people. Immigration is an emotional issue.
People can deny or scoff, but it is true. This referendum is the most yellow egg on the face of the elites who keep on extolling virtues of equality.

In my own opinion - 
If Cameron wanted this to play out better, he ought to have played his political cards better.
You can't leave emotional decisions to public referendums.
Try holding another referendum to check :
1. Government gives a free home to everyone in London + free meals + free car & an annual membership to a local pub. Everything else is free anyway.
2. Government will give you education & you will need to fight your way to a job.

See what the result will be.
Public opinion can be swayed very easily. 
In India Arvind Kejriwal swayed public opinion 2 years ago & people thought he was the Batman.
He is now a joker.
You need parliamentary democracy to deal with such topics. Not public referendums.

At the end of it, I am very emotional about this topic as well since I have been in this country for some time now & I will try to be rational but will never think bad for this country.
I am hearing talks of a second referendum. 
A voice somewhere on the back of my mind tells me - " Don't go there, the egg will be yellower than before. You might get a 70-30 vote this time".
<![CDATA[The tale of the 56 inch chest.]]>Tue, 28 Jul 2015 18:28:49 GMThttp://akshaykakkar.com/blog/the-tale-of-the-56-inch-chest56 inch ki chhaati.

The ruling party leaders - with all good intentions have a motor-mouth disease which has no lesser than the prime minister worried.

Whether it's Sakshi Maharaj on the religious topics or more recently Rajyavardhan Rathore on the Myanmar operation.
I personally am very pleased that India carried out that military operation in Myanmar & followed the "pursue & destroy" policy in that particular instance.
Very laudable.
With the Myanmar experience I was positive that "achche din" have indeed arrived.
Last year, I was terribly aghast whenever the Congress meekly responded to the Chinese sitting 15 kilometers inside India's boundary.

That said, I also think there is a real problem with us & it lies in the over-zealousness of the ministers from this government to speak out of turn.
This fellow Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore (an eminent sports medalist & MoS in the current government) went beyond his remit & announced to the world how India has found a spring in it's step under Modi & how we will respond in similar fashion to any country playing with our integrity..how the 56 inch chest is for everyone to see & how it was Modi who asked for this to be an overt operation (& not covert).

Doing more & speaking less should be our virtue.
The moment you speak something before doing, an expectation is set. If you don't reach it, you become the laughing stock of the world (read Pakistan).

Yesterday, there was a terror attack in Punjab & I had hoped for India to give a befitting reply to Pakistan.
But this topic is currently under the clouds because of the untimely & unfortunate death of Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam. (and rightly so - all respect to the noble soul).

I am interested in seeing the response of India 7 days from now.
Will the 56 inch chest show up now? Or was it just for Myanmar.
I am waiting with bated breath & I believe, so is Rahul Gandhi :)
<![CDATA[Narendra Modi - a champion with a deadline!]]>Sat, 17 May 2014 15:50:04 GMThttp://akshaykakkar.com/blog/narendra-modi-a-champion-with-a-deadlineFirst up, I wish India the sincerest, heart-felt congratulations on choosing a new government to lead the country for the next five years.

It was a sweeping mandate across geographies, across religions & castes which have for long been India's bane.

Term after term coalitions made India's economic progress slow-down because of partisan politics, but all that is left behind now with BJP sweeping areas of India, nobody would've imagined.
Now, I am not drawn too much into the hullabaloo created by the media and the chanting & sloganeering.

Plus I have been part of a state which underwent clean, good & effective governance model before Gujarat. So the feeling of over-awe & halo around the superman is invisible to me.
But this said, I admire him as an able administrator who has the industry's trust.
This is what matters the most to India right now & that's why he is the best candidate to be the prime minister.

Without making a God of him, but also crediting him for running a supreme campaign which has given India's strongest election result, I would want to list down my agenda which I want to see Mr. Modi work on :

1. Power - 
Nothing troubles the Indians more than the power situation. Like Gujarat, where he proclaims power self-sufficiency, he should implement 24*7*365 power in at least the top 25 cities of India.
This is non-negotiable. 
The pre-poll noises, need to now become a decisive voice of the government. BJP is no longer the opposition.

2. Agriculture - 
The prices of food have touched the roof. Partly because of bad agricultural policies, partly because of over-dependence on rainfall & to a large extent because of trader backed hoarding of food grains & pulses.
These noose around the hoarders needs to be tightened & I would expect a strong BJP government to do this.

3. Infrastructure upgrade
Road length to be increased by 50,000 kms as promised, introduction of at least 3 corridors of hi-speed bullet trains. This is very necessary for nation branding, every developing country in the BRIC has it except India.

4. Internal safety overhaul
Police reforms – By far, the worst police force is found in India. Unhealthy, incapable & public-fleecing. People are scared of approaching them.
Reforms are a must for them both in criminal & traffic fields.
This will also help our womenfolk feel more secure.

5. External posturing
I would be very interested in seeing the foreign policy of BJP.
Being assertive is very necessary. Without being the aggressor, the Indian boundaries need to be protected. 
No more sleeping when the Chinese pitch tents 25 kms inside Indian territory.
Pakistan, in no uncertain terms needs to be told that India is symbolic of peace, but you mess with us & we push you to stone-age.
65 years back you decided to part ways, now stay there & don't flirt with us.

If Modi & the rest of the BJP even shows an inclination to work on the above agenda, I am sure, people will reward them with another 5 years.
I am awed by the energy Mr. Modi has shown for his age & salute him for single-handedly rescuing BJP & getting a sweeping mandate which has reduced the inept Congress government to less than 50 seats across the country.

BUT - 
Irrespective of the poll results for AAP, there was one thing Kejriwal said rightly - “Janta jagruk ho chuki hai, pakk chuki hai.. ab inko ullu nahi banaya ja sakta”
Time to deliver on all the promises you made, else you'll face the same consequences that the electorate subjected Kejriwal to.

Do well for 5 years & we'll make you our king, else we'll make you sing...
“No ullu banawing, no ullu banawing”

All the best Modi!! You did wonderfully well for now.
<![CDATA[[AAP ka vote]:The face of Delhi changing? I suppose yes!]]>Sun, 02 Feb 2014 17:49:01 GMThttp://akshaykakkar.com/blog/aap-ka-votethe-face-of-delhi-changing-i-suppose-yesWell, I have been thinking of writing for a very long time now, but the pressures of my workplace have been far too troublesome off late.
Sundays generally are my recharge days & today was one such day. Thanks to AAP.
How? Read on...

My brother landed in New Delhi today for an assignment.
As an elder brother, I, out of good faith handed him generous doses of advice on dos & dont's, so did my mother.
One of the very eerie feelings that my mother had  this morning was that he would lose his wallet & she kept on telling him that he should always keep it secured in the front pockets of his jeans or trousers.

Bored & disillusioned with all that banter, he just wanted to break free & so there he went.
Boarded the flight & landed in New Delhi. Took a taxi to reach my relatives' place.

Now as luck would have it and as all mummies around the world would say - "See, I told you, but you don't listen" - he dropped his wallet in the taxi!!
The moment he got down, he was happy to meet the family.
Happy & free - hugged all his people & rejoiced!
An hour later, he started looking for his ID card & there - BAM!! Reality struck.
"Mummy dearest's face was ballooning over his head saying to him - See, I told you, but you never listen"
He was mighty worried - his PAN Card, ATM card, Identity card & 3000 rupees cash were in that missing wallet. Quite a lot for a student!! :)

His living daylights had already been knocked many times over by now.
Picking up some courage - he decided to ask the Police!! Brave step I must say, because not just the police in Delhi, but police departments across India are considered lazy, inept & incompetent.
The moment you go to them - the first thing they do is shamelessly ask you for money.
Even if you are there asking which side the toilet is - you would probably have to pay them for it.

Anyway, coming back - he was at the police station writing down a complaint.
A written letter that received an astonishingly quick reply.
They swooped down at the taxi bay from where he had boarded the taxi. Got all the drivers assembled & got him identified.
The driver sensing that there is no way out - promptly returned the wallet.
All the documents were in it except that instead of 3000 rupees, it contained 1000.
That I still thought was a smaller price to pay. Yaayy! The wallet was now back with my brother with the documents that he had kept in it.

Delhi police still has a long way to go, but looking at today's incident & the speed with which they acted, I can easily say that things are changing for good.

And who is driving them with a stick - err broom stick in his hand??

Well, like Aloknath says - "Shayad ye hamara KEJRU hai".
Yes, the government departments in Delhi today are scared of taking bribes because anyone can record it on their mobile phones & initiate legal action against them.
The anti-corruption helpline number seems to have lit a fire under the government departments' heavy & lazy backsides.

I very much & in totality agree that the means & methods that the AAP is employing to prove it's point are not correct, but the intentions are very sacred.
They are young, give them a chance. They have a good heart & it's showing.

Today was just a small example, but no political party has taken on Reliance Communications headed by Anil Ambani  like KEJRU did today.
We need to give them time & I am sure they will ripen & mature with time.

Politics is at a very interesting juncture today in India - AAP may never get to
lead the country, but if they get a sizeable number of seats - who knows they
could act like a watchdog & a vigilante!
This vigilante will  be our very own batman who will protect the Gotham city against the political wolves.

It's high time the Aam Aadmi returns & rises.
<![CDATA[Independence - Really?]]>Thu, 15 Aug 2013 18:17:58 GMThttp://akshaykakkar.com/blog/independence-reallySo I just waited for the entire hullabaloo to end – the Independence Day frenzy.
It is good to be patriotic, but not selectively patriotic on one out of 365 days.

Plus who says we are independent?
Are we really?
If you say, we are independent of someone ruling us, then yes – but only independent of external rule.
How many maladies are we battling today?

1. Problematic neighbours who keep firing without reason. Their only problem is their lust for our territory.

2. Internal problems of naxalism.

3. Pseudo nationalism. This is more pronounced now – because of which you see demands for separate states like Telangana, Bodoland, Gorkhaland, Harit Pradesh, Poorvanchal, Paschimanchal, Vidarbha. Everyone just wants their piece of the cake. Nobody is bothered about the nation. Each new state would mean new money, new seats, new chief minister – so grab your pie mister minister!

4. Mediocre public sentiment management – Every government should have a direction in which they should sway the electorate. Electorate is like a mould without a brain of it’s own. People still dance to the tunes of a packet of Biryani & a bottle of beer.
The government has to give it a direction, not free funds through MNREGA.
Giving someone free funds makes them lame, tame & toothless in the long run.

5.  Flagging economy – Burgeoning current account deficit, lack of clear roadmap for manufacturing & agricultural sectors, falling to jingoism of the opposition & not opening up the economy for FDI are just some of the biggest concerns.

6. Law & order – This is in tatters. Naxalism & internal security are too big to even put forth & I agree that there are no clear cut solutions for them, but not able to curb rapes across the country, open goondaism by politicians & big ticket scams by the biggest names in the political circles are just some areas which show how inept the law & order apparatus of the country is.

7. Judicial reforms & police reforms – Long pending, but never taken up just like cases in our courts.

8. Infrastructure – The government had earmarked 5 billion USD for 5 years in 2009. 
  4 years later 
  Railways : 
  • Are still woefully short on track length, 
  • Are woefully short on facilities & quality for a country which boasts to be the third largest economy by purchasing     power parity & woefully short on safety.
  Highways & roads
  • The most neglected area of infrastructure development.
  City infrastructure :
  • The top 10 cities are crumbling over their own weights. Water is an issue, roads are an issue, power is an issue,       space management is an issue.

Wonder where the 5 billion USD went!

9.  Education – For a country our size, we should be spending 30 times what we currently spend on education. 
Education is the panacea for all problems. 
An educated Indian : 
• Does not spit on the road
• Does not defecate in public
• Tries to look for a dustbin to throw garbage
• Does not fire in road rage
• Most importantly does not rape.

I just realized that I could go on & on, but that’s not the point.
The point is –
Despite the macro challenges like above – Can things be rectified?
My heart definitely believes YES.

In the 3+ decades of my existence, I have seen India evolve from nothingness to what it is now.
So I assume that the next 3 decades will be when we come into our own.

But is it easy?
Definitely not with our current political class.
Every single party is corrupt. There are exceptions in a few leaders, but yes, each of their outfit is corrupt.
Just look at them scurrying & uniting across board to exempt themselves from the ambit of RTI & you will know what kind of fabric they are made of.

What we need to do is punch a hole in their racial memories so deep that they are scared of the electorate to death.
For example, something like what Anna Hazare did.
He played with the psyche of Indian national congress to the extent that they were bewildered, to the extent that they were blinded & did not know what to do & how to react. Mind you, I am talking about the government of the third largest economy & the largest democracy in the world.

Now, how is it possible?
This is where I fail as a citizen. :(
We need a concerted move to boycott either one of INC or BJP so badly that they go to the extent of being scared of the electorate.
Right now, they think that they can get away with anything.

Just imagine a scenario - If such a concerted effort indeed takes place & say INC gets under 10 seats in the whole country, it will scare the shit out of their fragile backsides.
In such a scenario, the other big one, the BJP will also behave itself knowing very well that if it doesn’t perform, then it’s head could be next on the block.

All this starts with a VOTE.

Each year, I as a humble citizen encourage, provoke & if that doesn’t work, threaten or even abuse people whom I know – to VOTE.
Please use your brains & vote for the right people.
Every constituency has honest leaders – the problem is they don’t have the money to distribute a biryani & a beer.
But again, use your brains, take the biryani, take the beer & vote for the honest guy.

This is exactly what an intelligent auto rickshaw driver did last elections, he told me this grinning ear to ear & I couldn’t stop admiring him.
If a simple auto rickshaw driver can do it, then why can't we?

I often quote Sharukh Khan for this memorable line that he once said –
“You are never stuck in a traffic jam. You are the traffic jam”

2014 is near.
VOTE sensibly & VOTE for sure.

We could relax after a couple of decades & say “Happy Independence Day” because by then we would’ve earned it.
Till then, it's a lot of work to do.
<![CDATA[The parent returns..]]>Sat, 08 Jun 2013 18:07:22 GMThttp://akshaykakkar.com/blog/the-parent-returns"Dear NRN,

I have seen you many times, but never talked to you, yet from what I know of you, I am a fan. 
A fan of you & of your value system which you have permeated through the company you built.
Happy birthday, may this year bring out the best in you & in Infosys.


This mail was written 7 years back by me to the father, the patriarch of the Indian IT industry.
14 minutes later, I received a response.
"Thanks a lot Akshay for your kind words.

With best regards,
Narayana N. R. Murthy"

Now sample this :
Last year, for an initiative, I wrote an e-mail to a person barely 2 levels above me hierarchically requesting him for his inputs.
- No response.

I was flabbergasted at his indifference & the lack of response.
Negative or positive, everyone is duty bound to acknowledge a conversation.
Such people, would never be able to have the crowd on their side.
They have neither the wherewithal nor the mojo.

So, what magic does Mr. Murthy hold? 
Why is there this buzz of excitement on everyone's lips when he hasn't practically even started his work yet?
Why did the scrip jump 9% on a single day increasing the market capitalization by 6,500 crores?

To his credit, he very surely & easily :
1. Inspires confidence
2. Keeps the crowd motivated
3. Is a leader


1. You inspire confidence when you lead by example. 
Much like Sachin Tendulkar inspired confidence in any cricketer, Mr. Murthy does the same. 
Always on time, hates excuses, works very hard & accepts weaknesses. Always works towards a culture of superlativeness, but never compromises on values.
That's enough to inspire ordinary people like me.

2. How do you keep people motivated?
Give them an ear & pat them if they do well.
Most people would forget awards and rewards, but a small chat with Mr. Murthy or a small photo-op would remain close to their hearts all through their lives.
He is famous for standing in long-winding queues with the employees for lunch or grabbing a chair & having a chat with a young engineer during coffee breaks.
This aspect, is what makes him popular with the masses. People sit up & take notice when he talks.

3. Being a leader
Well frankly speaking, if you do the first 2 points correctly, you don't need to do this one.
You already are a leader.
I like going through the numbers, I like data to prove a point & I know, based on numbers, there would be many people who would say - "It's not gonna work this time".
But, I would like to leave it for another day..
There are some things which the heart tells you are right.
Some things which you want to believe are right.
Mr. Murthy is one of those things, one of those factors which make you feel good, feel right.

With all his immense repertoire of qualities of leadership & expertise put aside, what strikes everyone is his ability to inspire people from the ground to the board rooms.

I am sure, he will inspire again, nourish his 'middle-child' & do justice to his own legacy.

I wish him only the best for his newest adventure.
Aye-aye captain, sail ahead.
<![CDATA[5.5 months of bachelorhood]]>Thu, 04 Apr 2013 21:38:05 GMThttp://akshaykakkar.com/blog/55-months-of-bachelorhoodThey say, you start liking a place because you live there.
10% yes, but 90% because of the people around you.
I have been in and out of Moscow for the last 6 and a half years, but this is the longest I have been here on the trot.
5.5 months.
This time, I lived like a bachelor & died like one.
This was my 5.5 months of bachelorhood, the second innings.

I leave Moscow with sweet memories, not just because of the place, not just because of the people I met or knew, but also because I rediscovered a past phase of my life.
They say, you never forget how to swim even if you haven’t in twenty years.
Likewise, you never forget to live your life, like a bachelor.

While I am extremely happy & excited that I get to go back and meet my family & stay together and be back to my cozy old days, that should not take away the credit from the people who made me feel special here at a place where I was alone.

So here goes, for all you people :
Just like Jake Sully had a video log of every single day of his life on the Pandora, I would also like to chronicle & log my time here, so that I don’t forget the good times, good people & the bad ones as well.

Day 1, apart from a couple of people, I knew nobody at my workplace.
The team was new & so it took a while to get going.
I made a few choices, which I wouldn’t be proud of now.
Realized, corrected it & felt better.
Slowly, I found my roots, became part of a gang… like college kids do.

In a way, I felt happy because that’s what I did when I was 21.
A little over a decade later, I did the same again.
Talk of nostalgia!

I made new friends from people who were just acquaintances & realized that a few people who I disliked were some of the best people I would ever meet.
Made food together, partied with them & then slept over at their places just because I was lazy to head back home, shared their happiness & pain.

Their enemies became my enemies, well, not literally, but figuratively, yes.
We hunted like hyenas & laughed like them too!
Just like college kids.

We had late night talks about everything under the sun, about who likes whom, who should be with whom & why someone is with someone... :) just like college kids.

After a long time, I was happy to do the “guy” thing.
Not that I don’t enjoy the “other” things :) , but having fun like guys is different.
Real guys, real lions would understand what I am saying.
Metrosexuals, please excuse, this isn't your stuff anyway.

There were occasions when some close ones needed advice.
Advice about the good, bad & the ugly, advice about relationships.
Well, I am no expert, but like bachelors, I had all the free time once I returned from work.
So, we all huddled and discussed, just like college kids.

Bitched about people, made code names for people we hated.
Invented and patented dance steps, holidayed together, just like college kids.

These people know who they are & do not need a mention.
When they read this, they would figure, I am talking about them.

Thanks for making my stay wonderful.
Thanks for being there standing smiling, when the doors closed.
Thanks for wishing me good for my next stop.
Thanks for making me see a part of my life which I left behind.

You guys are true gems.

Let's also have a "blood brothers" oath - 
Once all of you are married, let's regroup & remind ourselves of the good times & do the same stuff we did this time - but like married men!
Let's not miss out on the remaining items in our list...
Because I never want anyone to say to us - Ты пожалеешь Егоров!!

-   Akshay.
<![CDATA[Samsung Galaxy S IV - the journey to the top is now almost complete.]]>Sat, 16 Mar 2013 10:58:27 GMThttp://akshaykakkar.com/blog/samsung-galaxy-s-iv-the-journey-to-the-top-is-now-almost-completeApple, the pioneer, for long the leader, always dismissed competition with disdain.
There were ruffles when an Asian company came up with a Galaxy brand 3 years back.
They were dismissed as copycats then & ignored.
The competition grew more stronger, Apple no longer wanted to ignore them.

-->S was a dipstick test for Samsung.
-->S2 was when they believed they had arrived.. just a year and a half back, it was the biggest badass of it's time. Sold 40 million units.
-->S3 sold another 40 million units & by now you could see that Samsung had that swagger, that confidence of a lion when it walked out.

Apple was clearly rattled by now, filing a slew of lawsuits against the copycats.
A court ordered Samsung to pay $1 billion in damages. 
Samsung appealed & it won to quite an extent. The liability came down to $490 MUSD.
A good chance that it may be down to 0 by the time the case is settled.
But what Apple lost in return was much more than $490 MUSD.
Samsung cut off the screen panel supply & a slew of other parts Apple ordered from them.
And so the murky rivalry continued.

It's common knowledge now, that Samsung is out in the market with the next of it's super series 'Galaxy S'.
-->S4 launch - no hint of hesitancy, no browbeating only on hardware specs, nice and balanced.. they are now in the frame that a winner is in & their latest offering shows why.
Apple, it's only other big ticket competitor is not too amused by this launch.
From what shows in the media, it looks like they are a little ruffled.
3 days before the unveiling of the Galaxy S4, Apple's marketing head - Phil Schiller comes out in the public and attacks Google's andriod and Samsung's 'yet to be launched' phone.
He said that the new flagship S4 would be shipped with a year old Android OS.
Why on earth would anyone of that stature do that?
That too, when there is a good 50% chance that you might be beaten to pulp by the media if what you say turns out to be false.

Well, logic is the nirvana that you cannot achieve when you are uneasy, perturbed & ruffled.
And 3 days later, the exact opposite happened.
Phil would be cursing himself.
Galaxy S4 ships out with the latest Android Jelly bean - the newest kid on the block.
And there went our Phil... well, sinking.

I have basic problems with a few other Apple philosophies
- Of acting holier-than-thou and self righteously taking the moral high ground by not allowing people to share files through through standard file transfer methods.
- Of having the gall to block a few applications because they 'supposedly' violate their virtues.
-Of removing competition using the dirty way - Google maps did not make it to iOS6 & then putting it back when they couldn't pull it off with Apple maps. A public apology from Apple followed.

Well, while the two big giants slug it out... all I would like to say is that the customer, the 'me' in this war was never happier.
This brinkmanship between them is giving us absolute gems one after the other.

This lowdown is for people who already know the advantages of Galaxy S series & are fairly conversant with the Andriod eco-system.

Unlike the past, Samsung did not dwell on it's hardware superiority.
But they did silently make a mention of it's processor which is well, wait for it :
An oh-my-God 'OctaCORE' processor!

Let's check out the 'WOW' things about this phone :

1. It's slimmer than the Galaxy S3 :

Well, if you were one of them who thought S3 was ridiculously slim, think again.
Your S3 might want to do some treadmill routines now.
At 0.31 inches, it's the slimmest Galaxy ever & much slimmer than any iPhone ever.
Dimensions are : 5.38 x 2.75 x 0.31 in
And while the screen is a jumbo 5 incher, it is ridiculously light as well.
It weighs 130 gms.

2. Bigger screen demands more juice - and they've heard you.
A jumbo display of 5 inches requires commensurate juice.

So they've bumped the battery up to 2600 mAH from the previous 2100 mAH on the S3.
This should provide the much needed relief to the harried smartphone users.

The display specs  are quite brilliant :
1080 x 1920 pixels, 5.0 inches (~441 ppi pixel density)
Super AMOLED capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors.

3. Now, the biggie - an OctaCORE processor

Yes, you heard it right.
What the hell is wrong with these guys?
Quadcores were the flavor of the season.. but not anymore.
The S4 sports a  Exynos 5410 processor with 8 cores.
4 of these cores are high performance - 1.8Ghz & the remaining 4 at 1.2 GHz.
Mighty, I must say.

4. Air touch - let your fingers do the talking

The S4 senses your finger hovering on the screen without the need to touch.
It would work for a few applications like the mail client.
The hovering of your finger without touching would display the first few lines of the mail content.
Similarly you could change songs in your media gallery by just hovering your finger without touching the screen.
You could hover your finger over images in the gallery and it would pop up the images you are hovering on.
This is extremely useful for times when your finger feels sweaty or when you are having your meals & don't feel like touching.

5. Segregation of personal & official stuff 
Now this is one feature, I first saw on the Nokia E series phones. But the implementation was primitive.
Not much is known, but it would be able to keep your official stuff and emails separate from your personal movies and pictures.

6. Video play lock with eye contact - an absolute ripper!
How many times have you started watching a 5 minute video and had 15 distractions in between with your mom or friends calling out for you?
Well, this feature locks your eyes, and if you look away - the video pauses
Look back and it starts.
Can it get cooler?
Well yes, look for the next one.

7. Auto scroller 
You are reading a book or a news article. You would typically read through a cell phone's screen in 10 seconds and then you scroll.
So here the S4 again locks your eyes & scrolls down if you just tilt your phone upwards mildly.
Tilt downwards and the screen scrolls up.
Quite neat right?
Wait for more.

8. Rear and front camera recording together
This is a new absurd concept, but might be worth trying.
In both video and picture modes, both cameras can operate simultaneously. 
Capturing the expressions of the one clicking the photograph might be interesting.

9. S-Translate & Infra red remote
The S4 promises instant translation between 10 different languages which is neat.
But the bigger one is the infra red feature which allows the phone to behave like a remote control for TVs, home theatres, DVD players and audio stations.

10. Cool accessories like the S-Health band
The S health ecosystem debuted with S3, but has been taken further with the S4.
Wear the band to monitor your workouts, how much you've burned, your heart rate, ambient temperature & humidity.
But this is an accessory though.

Well, these 'Wow' features would definitely come for a price & that hasn't been revealed yet.
But I expect it to be around the 42 thousand Indian rupees mark. Take or give 5%.

Samsung has shown resolute intent in getting to the top.
They beat Apple iPhone 4s with S3 sales, so they have been there, done that in the past.
Let's wait it out to see if Samsung emerges winner again.

I'll wrap it up with a funny tweet I read from Rajeev Makhni, resident Tech-guru from NDTV.
"The only thing Apple can sue Samsung now for is - spelling their phone name in reverse :)
S4 - 4S".

<![CDATA[To sir, with love]]>Sun, 23 Dec 2012 10:08:11 GMThttp://akshaykakkar.com/blog/to-sir-with-loveA reserved kid barely 7 years old, I struggled to make a place for myself in my peer group.
I did not have the courage to go out there and announce to the 'cool confident' people, that this is me.. I also want to play with you.
I was too reserved and gawky to do that.

Each day, I would think I'll join my neighbours the next day and each day would pass.
Looking outside the window every night, a jambul tree swayed and the air made shrill noises. 
I looked outside each night and prayed for a day when I play the game that I loved the most, with 'them'.
But it just did not seem to happen.
Like every kid looking for a super hero, I finally saw mine 

His frail face, unassuming talk made him an instant friend who I never saw, but could connect to easily.
He looked like someone who was amongst us, very unlike a hero.

Back then, we had just one TV channel in India.
Although it could be touted as the shining beacon of monotony and tiresomeness, that channel aired this interview which is now freely available on youtube.
You would instantly know why he was so easy to connect to for the kids of my generation.

Like every starry eyed kid, I watched his antics on the cricket field.
The enthusiasm gave way to adoration.
He just seemed to capture the imagination of a nation.

For a nation used to working hard to earn their living, he provided the relief and the cheer when they switched on their television sets for a game of cricket.
When he hit Abdul Qadir for 3 sixes in one over, he announced to the cricketing world that this, ladies and gentlemen, is an Indian.
An Indian named Sachin R. Tendulkar.
From the big bullies of West Indies to the spin quartets of Pakistan
From the wily australians to the regal Englishmen, everyone sat up and took notice of this 16 year old guy.
Over the years, the continents that he travelled and the surfaces that he played on, he conquered everything that came in the way.
With 35,000 international cricket runs, he was now towering above the world of cricket like an emperor who had earned his masses. 
His facebook page, now all of 6 months has 8.8 million followers.
When 'Toruk Makto' played, everyone watched.

In doing so, he unwittingly, realized the dream of a small boy struggling at his level in a city, south of India.
I had got selected in my school team.
That streak is long gone now.
But a recent incident rekindled the old times.
I met a school friend settled in USA early this year, when he came home. His name is Vikram & I thought of him as the best fast bowler in our school.
He told me : 
"I still remember that six you hit off me, which went on top of the building next to the ground".
And this coming from a guy who I considered the best fast bowler of our school.. I could only think of one guy to thank.
Sachin R. Tendulkar.
He was the one who taught me to believe.
I was and am an average cricketer, but it was only inspiration which turned a gawky school kid to a presentable player on the field.
I will be ever-indebted to him for that.

Like every letter I post on my blog about Sachin, I prove the critics wrong with data and statistics.I am not going to do that today because this is not about 'them'.
I have achieved the confidence to go out in the open and question his critics, give them a nice little punch on their nose, but today, I won't.
I have got the courage to ask them what their achievements have been all their life? But, I'll leave that for another day.
I have had numerous fights in person debating with people on Sachin-data and they've woefully lost. But today is not that day.

Today, for me, is the saddest day in my life.
It's like an emotional shutdown which I knew was coming, but now that it has come, I don't know how to react.

Ladies & gentleman, I am proud to say and believe that he may not be God, but he isn't any lesser...
for me at least.

I know I am sounding like an emotional fool, but I'll let my guard down for today.
With very moist eyes and a gut-wrenchingly choking feeling, I write & I know that for me : This is truly the end of an era.

And like all my posts about HIM, I would again sign off with the same words :
I won't bow specially this time, for I have been in that position since 1989."

All respect Sir. Life will always miss you.
- A true Sachin Tendulkar fan.
PS : Seeing HIM in flesh & blood 13 times in my life on this planet & getting his 'real' autograph have been the foremost achievements in my life.