1
Sep

Hard Work vs Smart Work !!!

“Don’t work hard, work smart!”
“Smart work is more important than hard work”

Every person gets this message from his superior, colleague, friend, teacher.  The idea is to kill inefficiency, do things in a quicker and effective way, add intelligence to tasks, avoid silly errors etc. Noble intentions and nice management jargon! But is it real?

However, I think hard work leads to smart work. Hard work is essential pre-requisite to smart work. Only when a person gets his / her hands dirty and spends time on understanding the entire process cycle, he will get identify the bottlenecks and add intelligent ideas to make life simpler.

As they say, no elevators to success.

1
Sep

SeM Special : Rules of Happy Married Life

Sunday eMahefil and Gujaratilexicon Team have recently released ‘The Collected Works of Sunday eMahefil’. The idea is to meet the popular demand for the concept and spread the SeM magic to maximum people.

Please find the complete SeM here:

I was browsing the old issues of SeM. I found the following note on marriage by Shri Manibahen Dharamvir Bhakta from USA. It is really cool and practical advice on tension-free marriage.

Please find the wonderful article in English. For Gujarati version, check SeM

RULES FOR A HAPPY MARRIAGE:

1. Never both be angry at the same time.

2. Never yell at each other unless the house is on fire.

3. If one of you has to win an argument, let it be your mate.

4. If you have to criticise, do it lovingly.

5.Never bring up mistakes of the past.

6. Neglect the whole world rather than each other.

7. Never go to sleep with an argument unsettled.

8. At least once everyday try to say one kind or complimentary thing to your life partner.

9. When you have done something wrong, be ready to admit it and ask for forgiveness.

10. It takes two to make a quarrel, and the one in the wrong is the one who does the most talking.

25
Aug

The Rise Of Nordic Noir

Nordic Noir is definitely a ‘Tour De Force’ and a genre to reckon with! It is exotic, visually stunning and very refreshing content.

Nordic Noir is the popular term for the Scandinavian / North European crime fiction. It has certain common characteristics – gripping reality, thrilling plots, memorable characters, morally complex themes, dark mood and overall strong impact. People love the distinct and appealing style – often bereft of unnecessary words and actions. It is simple and realistic in its own way. Most popular are the protagonists – often detectives who have own issues and real people and definitely not superheroes.

My own initiation to the cult happened, ironically, via Hollywood. I was fascinated by “The Girl With Dragon Tattoo”. It was long time since Fountainhead that something completely swept me – I researched and watched the original Swedish Series. It took one night to watch all the three movies and after this moviethon, I was hooked to Nordic Noir.

The next stop in my Nordic Noir journey was my favourite Hollywood Director Christopher Nolan’s Insomnia. Another classic movie. And a few more Nordic Noir movies later, I was the latest convert. The most recent stop in Nordic Noir journey was Hypnotist.

“The Girl With Dragon Tattoo” remains the flagship Nordic Noir movie and it led to the rise of Nordic Noir cult. The movie and its sequel by Stieg Larsson are gripping tales of covering up dark secrets. The Millennium Triology consists of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played with Fire and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest. The protagonist is Lisbeth Salander – anti-social, technically slick and brilliant character. The original adaption of the international best-selling novels were telecast on Swedish Television. Based on the mind-blowing success, it was converted to Swedish Movies. The English version of the first part of the trilogy included Noomi Rapace and Daniel Craig. It was also a runaway success. (Only Dan Brown has outsold Stieg Larsson in the past decade). There was only one criticism against Larsson regarding the portrayal of sex but it was part of the plot. However, the other Nordic Noir movies continued to enjoy the success without being controversial.

Some of the top Nordic Noir movies include:
The Millennium Triology
Insomnia
Headhunters
The Hypnotist
The Keeper Of Lost Causes
Pioneer
ID:A
The Hunters
The False Trail
The Hunt
The Accused
The Hour Of The Lynx
Easy Money Triology
The Pusher Triology
In Order Of Disappearance
Detective Kurt Wallander Movie Series – Faceless Killer, The Fifth Woman, The Man Who Smiled etc.

The Brits fell to the charm of Nordic Noir when The Bridge and Borgen swept the British TV Landscape. Nordic Noir was a different canvas and a different shade to the usual fare. Brits responded to the growing popularity of Nordic Noir with their own creative response – adapt the style ! It resulted in works like The Killing and The Tunnel and recently The Fortitude.

The Killing has been one of the most adored British shows! The show, the protagonist Sarah Lund (Sophie Grabol) and her sweater have swept entire Europe. The Bridge is another thriller about the cross-cultural conflict between the Danish and Swedish police forces who must work together to stop a maniacal killer who poses a woman’s body on a bridge between the two countries.

Nordic Noir has truly created a special genre of its own. Now Nordic Noir style movie originate from Belgium, Spain and even France ! Like Iranian movies and Far Eastern horror stories, it has created a new audience.

The ironic thing to note is that Nordic Noir and its themes come from the most advanced, social and happy countries of the world !

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5
Aug

The Bollywood Watchlist – 2015 Version

During The Course Of My Professional And Personal Interactions, The Topic Of Personal Interests Often Crops Up! As Soon As People Know That I Am Passionate About Movies And Have Professionalized My Passion Through PhD In Management Of Movies, The Next Question Is : Which Are The Best Bollywood Movies? Which Are Your Best Bollywood Movies? Can You Give Your Recommendations? As Everyone Knows, It Is A Really Difficult Question…

Everyone’s Idea Of Favorite Movie Is Unique. It Depends On Individual Preferences & Taste. And Every Indian Has Their Favorites In Bollywood, Cricket And Politics. But This Is The List For My Friends, Film-Buffs, Non-Indians & Everyone Who Like Movies – We Can Match Our Favorites ! And I Have Created A Shortlist And A Long-List.

The Beginner’s Definitive Bollywood – The Beginner’s Guide To Eleven Movies That Give A Taste Of Classical Bollywood:

Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam
Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham
Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jaayenge
Hum Aapke Hai Kaun
3 Idiots
Mughal E Azam
Sholay
Amar Akbar Anthony
Dabangg
Chennai Express
Ram Leela

The World Cinema Bollywood – The Eleven Movies That Give A Global Taste Of Indian Hindi Cinema:

The Ship Of Theseus
The Lunchbox
Guide
3 Idiots
Udaan
Taare Zameen Par
Lootera
Kahaani
Haider
Piku
Dor

Ash’s Favorite Movie List – My All Time Top 25 List:

Anand

Guide

Mughal E Azam

Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron
Dor
Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jaayenge
Kabhi Haa Kabhi Naa
Manorama Six Feet Under

Hazaaron Khwaishein Aisi
3 Idiots
The Ship Of Theseus

Mother India
Ek Ruka Hua Faisla
Andaz Apna Apna
Chandni Bar
Dev D

Zakhm
Lagaan
Dil Chahta Hai

Munnabhai MBBS

Swades
Taare Zameen Par

Maachis
The LunchBox
Queen

Ash’s Favorite Movie List – The Long List Of Additional 15 Movies:

Bhoomika
Do Aankhen Barah Haath
Uski Roti
Amar Prem

Abhimaan

Silsila

Ek Duje Ke Liye
Deewar

Saaransh

Khamoshi
Satya
Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam
No Smoking
Page 3
Pyaar Ka Punchnaama

Ash’s Favorites – The Recent 25 Favorites:

Kahaani

No One Killed Jessica

Udaan

Ab Tak Chappan

Ek Haseena Thi

Company

Gulaal

Tanu Weds Manu

Rang De Basanti
Saathiya

Chak De India
Hum Tum

Omkaara
Gangs of Wasseypur

Paan Singh Tomar

Vicky Donor

English Vinglish
Raanjhaana
Bheja Fry
Lootera
Haider
Highway
Maqbool
Shahid
Piku

Ash’s Favorite Hollywood Movies – The Eleven All Time Favorites:

Gandhi

Citizen Cane

Life Is Beautiful

The Bridge On River Kwai

The Dark Knight

The God Father Series

12 Angry Men
The Pursuit Of Happyness
The Fault In Our Stars
To Kill A Mocking Bird
The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo

Ash’s Favorite Hollywood Movies – The Long List:

The Bicycle Thieves
As Good As Is Gets
The Help
Vertigo
The Ring
Psycho
The Bourne Series

Far From The Madding Crowd
Before Series: Before Sunrise, Before Sunset, Before Midnight
Dead Poets Society
Cast Away
The Theory Of Everything

Ash’s Favorite Hollywood Movies – The Recent Favorites:

The Descendants

Avatar

Hugo

The Da Vinci Code

Midnight In Paris

The Contagion

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
The Grand Budapest Hospital
Asylum
Oprhanage
Sliver Lining Brookings
Argo
The Artist
12 Years A Slave

Ash’s Children Favorites – Bringing Out The Child In Us!

Baby’s Day Out
Tin Tin
Finding Nemo
Cars
The Lion King
Paddington Bear
Inside Out

Ash’s Favorite Marathi Movies:

Shwaas
Deool
Shyamchi Aai

Anand

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2
Aug

The Rise Of India’s Independent Cinema

The 12th Phalke Memorial Lecture was ‘Multiplicity in Motion: The Rise of India’s New Independent Cinema’ by Dr. Ashwin Immanuel Devasundaram. The lecture series organised by South Asian Cinema Foundation has featured eminent speakers like Shyam Benegal, Saeed Akhbar Mirza, P K Nair amongst others.

Noted film-maker had spoken about India’s independent cinema at the same forum and hence the second lecture on the topic proves the importance of the new wave of Indian cinema. Dr. Ashvin has been passionate about new independent Indian cinema and his thesis has explored the socio-ideological impact of the new independent Indian cinema. Dr. Ashvin is currently working on a book that promises to be the first dedicated and comprehensive analysis of new Indian Independent Cinema and hence he was the apt person to speak on the subject.

Dr. Ashvin has been a fan of ‘The Ship Of Theseus” and he creatively and aptly presented the “Ship Of Indian Cinema”. There are different parts to the Superstructure Ship:
- Post 1947 Art Films of Satyajit Ray, Ritwik Ghatak, Bimal Roy
- The Parallel & Popular Cinema of 1960s
- The Parallel Cinema of 1970s-80s – The Cinema of Shyam Benegal, Mani Kaul, Gulzar etc.
- The Hinglish Cinema of 1990s-2000s
- The Regional Cinema
- The 1990s Rupture – Bollywood Beyond Liberalization
- The New Indies – Post 2010

According to him, the new Indies in India has been “inspired” by these various parts like Parallel / Art cinema movement, Regional Cinema and World Cinema in ample proportions. Thus it can be compared to a mutant hybrid ninja. It is very Glocal – Global in ambition and and local in content and cultural nuances.

The new Indies are more ambitious than the earlier parallel cinema movies. They seek wider audience, open to alternative source of funding and address the ‘state of the nation’. They liberally experiment with language, technology and narrative. The Indies seek creative funding and are open for new channels of distribution. Q showed the movie on Internet only. Film Festivals and Online are some of the preferred avenues for distribution. Indies are open for crowdfunding and cross-country deals. In fact, the collaboration with foreign entities goes beyond the funding requirement.

The session also raised important questions about the Censorship. The Audience was treated to the wonderful clips from movies like The Lunchbox, Peepli Live, Gandu and The Ship of Theseus. These clips were enhanced by Ashwin’s wonderful perspectives and socio-economic inferences.

The season concluded rather early and we were still waiting for more from Dr. Ashvin. The event concluded with wonderful interactions with Dr. Aswhin, Farrukh Dhody Saheb and Nasreen Munni Kabir. The even was chaired by none other than Professor Rosie Thomas, Director of CREAM: Centre for Research and Education in Arts and Media, University of Westminster. Rosie Thomas is a renowned expert and pioneer in academic study of Indian Cinema.

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8
Jun

The 90 Second Summary Of Apple WWDC 2015

Apple WWDC 2015 – The beginning of generalization of Apple?

Apple Music: Apple Music is the most anticipated and biggest announcement. The New App combines Music and iTunes App and is Apple’s aim to take on Spotify and other services. It has the following interesting features:
Beats1: A Live 24X7 Worldwide Radio Station.
Connect: Connecting music makers and fans
For You: Curated content and recommendation engine

ApplePay: Passport App is upgraded to Wallet and will include loyalty and other cards apart from debit and credit cards. Apple Pay will also come to UK and will work with all major brands. Square is releasing a new card reader for Apple Pay.

Carplay: The new Carplay will be able to wireless connect to your iPhone. The automakers will now have access to Carplay system and will be able to create apps for Carplay.

iOS9: The new upgrade promises better battery life, multi-tasking capabilities for iPad users, QuickType facility, better search and a Flipboard inspired App – News.

OS X El Capitan: The new upgrades includes Spotlight enhancements, new apps and Window management features and Metal API for Games performance.

AppleWWDC2015

5
Jun

The First Timer’s Guide To Barcelona

Barcelona Is One Of The Top 10 Cities For Travel. It Has Everything for Everyone !

If you are visiting Barcelona for the first time, you might the following information helpful. It is an outsider’s guide, not a local Barcelona person view – so there will be a different perspective!

Top Places To Visit In Barcelona

1. Sagrada Familia
The Famous Church – Still Work In Progress
Go To Top Tower And Walk Steps Down

2. Barcelonata Beach
Wonderful Mediterranean Sea
Cool Fun @ Beach
Walk – Run – Sleep – Sit – Relax
W Hotel

3. Picasso
Master’s Best Work
Art & Art & Art – Get Inspired
Small Romantic Cobblestone Streets

4. Park Guell – Gaudi
Gaudi’s Wonderful Work
Must See Place

5. Pablo Espanyol
Showcase of Different Spanish Regions
Cultural Snapshot of Spain In Once Place – Food, Architecture, History, Shopping

6. Columbus Square – Barcelona Aquarium
Famous Square
Barcelona Port
Mare Magnum
Sit @ Port And Watch Life
Cinema, Aquarium

7. Mont Juic Castle
Wonderful Castle
Amazing Views From Top
Nice & Elegant Place

8. Mont Juic – Olympic Area

9. La Rambla
Walk The Famous Street
Lot Of Fun
Watch Our For People Dressed In Colorful Attire
Visit Fruit Market
Visit Liceu Theatre
Beware Of Pick Pockets

10. Mont Juic Musical Fountains
Visit fountains At Plaza Espanya
Overnight Musical Light Fountains

Top Restaurants

1. Eat Churros In Local Small Shops

2. Organics – The Best Burger Ever – Totally Vegetarian

http://organicsbcn.com/

3. Rangoli & Bambi – The High End Indian Restaurant

http://www.rangoli-barcelona.com/en/noticias.html

http://www.bembi-barcelona.com/en/novedades.html

4. Bollywood Restaurant – Near La Rambla

5. Veg World India – Another good Restaurant

http://www.vegworldindiabarcelona.es/

6. Michelin Star Restaurant
Barcelona has great collection of Michelin Star Restaurants – If you are gonna spend !

7. Tapas Is A Must Eat !
Veg Tapas Are There As Well
Note – People Eat Dinner – Late @ Night – 10 pm onwards

Other Things To Do

1. Watch Flamenco – Best Los Tarantos

http://www.flamencotickets.com/los-tarantos-barcelona

2. Shop @ Desigual
www.desigual.com

3. Buy Travel Card for Three-Five Days

http://www.tmb.cat/en/barcelona-travel-card

4. Places Near Barcelona To Explore – Osona, Penedes

http://www.timeout.com/barcelona/trips-near-barcelona

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25
May

The Difficult Employee Dilemma – The Kevin Pietersen Case Study!

Trust Kevin Pietersen to remain in limelight ! He has the power to move the needle – on the ground and off the ground ! He is a genius and a great talent – no two doubts on that. He can single-handedly change the course of matches and win series. His records, statistics and victories endorse him as the cricket’s most complete batsman. But he has been in middle of controversies as well – and pretty strong and public controversies!

Recently Pietersen’s England cricketing career came to an end after he was denied a place in the English side. He was told that he is no longer part of the team’s plans. This was a very controversial and bold move by English Cricket Board (ECB). Because England Team has not been performing well and even exited the recent World Cup very early. Only a miracle can help English team to win the upcoming Ashes against mighty Australia. On the other hand, Pietersen has been performing extremely well. He even scored a exemplary 355 not out recently in first class cricket. He has a good track record against Australia. So it made perfect sense for Pietersen to be in the English squad. But he was not included in the squad due to his past vitriolic against his team mates. Apparently, there exists a trust deficit. So was this is the right move by ECB?

Should ECB look at the past and deny Pietersen a chance? Especially when English team is already down and needs all the help it can get. Is the job of ECB and captain to pick the best players to win the match or ensure happiness of few team members? Is winning more important or team ethic more important?

Some people feel that winning is the most important thing. Even if you do not like a person, you still work with that person for winning and achieving organizational objectives. Personal issues cannot be brought to professional arena. The contrarian school of thought says that sports is about teaching life values. So it is the right message to everyone that team is above everything and everyone. If team ethic is not respected, no victory is worth it.

Thus the Kevin Pietersen Saga brings out the classical people management dilemma – individual brilliance vs team ethic.

Quite often in corporate world, we come across individual champions and star performers that challenge the organizational culture and team spirit. The star performers feel that they can get away with anything as they are ahead of the pack. They can have huge egos and less respect for hierarchies, systems and shared values. The sales person who is achieving targets or achieving better targets than others thinks that he can get away with anything. He can break the policies, ignore shared culture, outgrow superiors and challenge other departments. The super talented programmer thinks that HR policies are for others, QA reports are work of fiction and corporate security and compliance policies are anti-open source and freedom movement. The situation becomes more tricky when the said person has less competition within the organization. The situation becomes really explosive when the said person starts pulling down others in the organization. How do you deal with this situation?

If some minor policies are not followed or small rules broken, it can be overlooked. But core values and critical ethical issues cannot be ignored. The short terms costs will be there when action is taken against that player, but the long term results will be rewarding. Corporate cultures thrive on shared values and examples / anecdotes like these do wonders for defining and cementing corporate values.

The true genius and true great understands the importance of respecting others, respecting organizational policies and contribution of other team members. True greatness comes from being a positive contributor rather than a terrible irritant. If you have a problem with policies, sit with HR and management – you will be listened better than others because of star performance. The real great will work with the laggards and help them. One may not agree with everything, but it is a corporate dharma to follow the organizational stand and present a unified face.

Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, Ricky Pointing, Brian Lara, Viv Richards – All Greats have worked within the defined frameworks and showcased maturity. Thus Kevin Pietersen failed this true genius test.

Every team, club or organization is bigger than the individual and overall best interests take precedence. It is in the interest of a star performer to be follow the corporate dharma. It converts the star performer into a great professional.

11
May

Piku – The Perfect Digestive Of 2015

Piku is the triumph of the Indian Film Industry. A very interesting subject powered with perfectly written screenplay, extremely strong performances, sensitive treatment and awesome direction.

Piku is a must watch ! It is one of the best movies of 2015 !

Shoojit Sircar and Juhi Chaturvedi move from the front to back this time – from Vicky Donor’s sperm to shit.

Piku

An ageing father Bhaskhor (Amitabh) has challenges his with daily motions. A caring, determined and independent daugther Piku (Deepika) lives with her had and has a daily question – Hua? She is a strong-headed architect and has frequent run-ins with the car agency cab drivers. The car agency owner Rana (Irrfan) becomes their unlikely companion when they drive from Delhi to Calcutta on a road journey with the portable potty (Sinhasan)

Watch out for the Bhaskar’s open declaration of her daughter’s sexual independence to potential suitor, Rana’s theory on Indian toilet styles and Bhaskar’s brutal comments on Rana’s dad’s death. Rana says that “Death and potty can strike anytime, anywhere”.

The constant dad-daughter fights, the car agency owner’s direct rebuttals, the aunt’s remarks, dad’s tantrums, the highway journey, the traditional house sale question, the undercurrents of different relations, the unlikely romance, the visuals, wonderful songs – all register a strong mark – they make you smile, they make you think.

Piku (Deepika) and Bhaskar (Amitabh) steal the show. They own the movie and give a stupendous performance. Deepika is independent and kick-ass yet deeply devoted and caring for her father. Amitabh selfish irritating person but pleasingly brutal and honest. Irrfan completes the trio and creates his own space in an effortless universe of dad-daughter. Moushumi Chatterjee, Raghubir Yadav give a credible support.

At the end of the movie, you want more !

The real winner of course is Shoojit Sircar. Take a bow ! The movie seems like a slice of life – a conversation happening somewhere. Yet very observant. Very simple yet touching and enduring ! And Juhu Chaturvedi. Her writing is amazing and very observant. Brings out the special touch to everyday conversations of life.

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24
Apr

How To Get Your Dream Job? Nina Mufleh Inspires!

All of us have a dream job !

All of us have a dream customer !

All of us have a dream date !

All of us have a dream project !

But as the nature of things go, not all dream assignments land up in our lap. Some times we are lucky, but some times we have to work of it. How many times we really work for it? How many times we just give up?

How many times we can persevere? How many times can we think innovatively?

Here is a great example. I saw this post on NextShark and could not resist writing a post on it.

Nina Mufleh wanted to work for Airbnb. She moved to San Francisco and applied for a job multiple times. She was not successful. 

She worked on an innovative way to get the attention and get her dream job. She created a website called Nina4Airbnb. She posted this on social media and got the attention of Airbnb. Of course, she also got a job.

Nina inspires us in many ways:

1. Perseverance – Never take NO for an answer

2. Innovation – Think Innovatively and get attention

3. Ideas To Action – Instead of giving up, she found a new way. She put lot of hard and efforts to push her innovative resume / website.

4. Value – The value proposition was clear. Read each and every word. Including conclusion and humor. She also gave possible ideas. Seeing the website was the proof of all the values she brought to the table. It also showed her creativity, zeal, energy.

5. Top-Down Approach – She pitched the idea to the top – Airbnb CEO.

6. Leverage Social Media – She used Social Media to get her message delivered.  Thus she got support of millions of Airbnb fans as well. It would be really difficult for Airbnb to ignore her.

Nina’s ideas can be used by every sales person trying to get that important meeting with the dream prospect.

Image Credits: NextShark / Nin4airbnb.

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