Thursday, December 2, 2010

Analytics is in the air these days

A well known Walmart retail case study - the story of beer and diaper. 55% of people who buy diapers also buy beer; dig a little deeper - the buyers are mostly working males in the age group of 30 to 45, and they mostly buy the two items together on Fridays and Saturdays. Clean story - as working fathers babysit (read made to) during the weekends, they need some fuel. What do we do with it? To start off, we keep them together; those fathers who are not so much into spiritual upliftment, would pick up the beer if they don't have to look for it. Bingo: Beer sale goes up by 60%.

This was 2004. Six years later when a certain someone moved out of town for a couple of months, I hit upon a more interesting correlation between these two items. When I return home after work, a unused diaper on the side table in my bedroom catches attention without fail.... and? Same story: beer consumption significantly goes up.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Monday, April 19, 2010

The omniscient

She always does it to me... always! If anything ever has got anything to do with me, she would know it.
  • Every time I would point to an actor, "Ah, that guy, what's his name?? The one who played the classmate of the hero in that thriller... what was that movie?" She would invariably tell me the name of the actor I am thinking about and the movie; and then rather matter-of-factly add, "Kayla (bengali for Dumb), this is not him!"
  • Or, at the dinner table in a restaurant when I have apparently burried myself in the menu, she goes "Suvomoy, stop scanning what everyone else is having."
  • Or, on a Sunday when she is in the kitchen trying something new, and I take a bottle of beer out from the fridge, walk upto her and complain, "There's only four bottles left, we'll have to get more for the evening." And she would politely go, "Amount of salt and other spices are all adequate and as discussed. So stop bothering and go back to whatever you were doing." :O
  • Or, when I am spellbound in appreciation of the mannerism of Mr. Melvin Udall telling the manager, "I am not a prick; you are, not judging". She would warn me, "This time, please wait for an opportune moment before you use it on someone."
The list is never ending; and so is the realization, even after seven years of knowing her:

If there is one thing in this world that I can't do without, its her.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Finite set

Trivial observation - when it comes to education/career choices, we Indians are encouraged to choose from a finite and rather small set of options. No/much attention is given to whether the choice coincides with one's interest. To me the one line answer to this why is something like: filling up your stomach, six inches below or above your belly button takes priority over realization of truth of any kind.

My friend here has spit it out straighter:

Why in India everybody wanna go for MBA, IIT, IIM, Finance, Marketing, IT etc? Are there no other career than these sort of things, which will give reasonable package, career progress and work environment?

I think a key driver of such career choices is inherent conservatism of the Indians when it comes to making a living. Some of the many key drivers are
  • Lack of organised social security system reduces risk taking ability. In USA, if you are unemployed, the government will take care of you. In India, if you are unemployed, either relatives take care of you, or you starve
  • Marriage system controlled by family and community requires potential grooms to reach a certain level of prosperity by a certain age. Otherwise, the quality of bride drops off drastically
  • In a country which suffers from acute material and welfare shortages on per capita level, those who have it, hold a place of honor in the society. The sooner you get it, more honorable it is
  • Parents are the key decision making factors. Indian society gives them extraordinary influence and they don't hesitate from deploying emotional, financial and social levers in any dispute with their children. Usually they don't have the intellect to look beyond the obvious - making money now is better than hoping for more money later
  • General lack of awareness. People in metros experiment more, people in villages less

Poor Newton

Here's to my friend with a heart of the size of a coconut-carrying-spider:

4th law
No moving body can have a continuous acceleration, with or without the application of an external force; furthermore, external forces, consequently energy can be created/destroyed out of nothing at all

5th law
For any natural number n, there does not exist a system of n moving bodies the accelerations of which are independent of one another. In other words, in any set of moving bodies, change in acceleration of one results in a change in acceleration of all other bodies belonging to the system

6th law
For any moving body, traversing long distances results in an increase in acceleration; furthermore, the increase in acceleration is directly proportional to square of the force applied opposite to the direction of velocity

Friday, March 12, 2010


over a dog.... ha ha ha... over an ugly dog :(

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Niti & Sarthak

- A batchmate whom I have met after 5 years
- Beer, ice tea, cooking vegetable pilaf and mutton
- Two hours of cricket in the sun
- Konkona in Amu
- 200 odd bogus text messages on the festival of colors
- and the icing on the cake, these two smart arses; something about Abu and me told them that they could just walk into my house and throw colors on us; I succeeded in convincing them that chatting over ice tea after bath was a better idea :)

told you that's ice tea, I am not insane

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Apples are best left as apples

The strength of a relationship is inversely proportional to the number of modifications required to maintain it.

If you want an apple, don't settle for something that looks like an apple; and your dick makes you ignore the difference between the apple and its lookalike. Some people do figure out the truth over time, and then commit a bigger mistake: they assume they can change the lookalike to a genuine apple. I mean, what do they think of themselves? The fact that they like apples is a matter of choice, and they have no authority to try and change a lookalike to an apple.

The price you pay if you settle for something that tastes like an apple, but doesn't look like one, is lesser in my opinion. However, if you want apples, in long term nothing else works but apples :) Trivial, I know... but then the world is full of assholes that fail to see this trivial truth.

What if you don't get an apple? Well, I think your best bet is to have short term plans with multiple proxies, proxies in terms of taste or appearance. Date proxies, sleep with proxies, love proxies, but don't marry them. The problem of a long-term plan with proxies is that with time, your dick will lose its power to make you blind and you shall ultimately figure out the truth: it was a proxy and not an apple. And then, you would waste more time trying to figure out the possible modifications to convert it to an apple; the point is there are no possible steps. Apples remain apples.

Saturday, January 9, 2010


The crack ass that Rowan Atkinson is, he names places by the number of steps it takes to reach that place from his studio. So on the way to Tiffany's cafe', at Tesco, he would shout to Julia: 'Yuhu, 10 more steps and we have 69'. The smarty pant, Julia would interpret that in her own way, "Go fish!", blissfully oblivious of the fact that Tesco is 59 steps away from Rowan's studio; that there is absolutely no room for the motel across the street to even cross his mind. Nescience and peace are, at most times synonymous; but then there is this eternal urge of facing everything on its face; the need to prove to one's own self that he/she can consume anything and be cheerful and productive; the need to live upto the reputation of being a sea shell.

The number 59, though has its own specialties - to start with, its a prime ... and the list just goes on

- a safe prime (A safe prime is a prime number of the form 2p + 1, where p is also a prime)
- a Pillai prime (it divides 15! + 1, but is not of the form 15k + 1)
- 59 divides the smallest composite Euclid number (2 * 3 * 5 * 7 * 11 * 13 + 1 = 59 * 509)
- approximately the number of days in two lunar months
- Beethoven's Opus 59 consists of the three so-called Razumovsky Quartets
- The 1960s song "The 59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin' Groovy)" was popularized by Simon & Garfunkel
- 59 is a magical golf score achieved on the PGA Tour
- Satchel Paige became the oldest major league baseball player at age 59
- Praseodymium has an atomic number of 59
- Cobalt has one Stable Isotope. It has 59 neutrons

And far more importantly, the reason for all this crap: 59 is exactly the number of days falling between my official birthday and doom's day