Tuesday, December 25, 2018


I have been blogging here for more than 11 years now. So if you know the routine, every year I write a short post to wish you for the next year and give some ideas for a resolution. Half the time I don't keep any resolutions, and the ones that I do are so generic that nothing really happens and another year goes by.

2018 was a bit different for me! Just like 2017, I had a crazy professional year. But somewhere in the beginning of the year I resolved to read at least 1 book per month (12 in a year!). For a change, I managed to finish my 12th book just in time for Christmas. So, I think I finally managed to stick to a resolution. Now I know 12 books ain't a lot. But that's where I guess, resolutions (for me) are best when they are small and achievable. If I get too ambitious, I procrastinate and never make it!

So as we head into 2019, I hope you all have a happy and healthy 2019. Hope you can set S.M.A.R.T resolutions and stick to them. And in the week of 25-31 remember to do these 5 things.

Sunday, December 23, 2018

Live Aid 1985

I managed to see Bohemian Rhapsody (movie) in the theater a few weeks ago. I loved it. I know they have taken some artistic freedom to re-interpret Freddie's life story and make it more dramatic. Well, it's not a documentary, so I guess I am fine with it.

Highlight of the movie (for me) was the Live Aid concert that they did in 1985. The actor's performance is amazing at impersonating Freddie. Live Aid happened when I was very young (toddler+) and though I have occasionally seen songs here and there from the concert, this is the first time I made an effort to watch most of Live Aid (Thank you YouTube).

If you are from my generation, you will love (understatement) the Live Aid concert. It features some of the biggest names in music that we grew up with. If you have a year end break and have nothing to do, stop surfing the internet and go see the Live Aid concert now. It's well worth the watch.

Being a big fan of U2, Dire Straits, Eric Clapton and Queen I would like to share some videos here if you are too lazy to click and go to YouTube.

U2 - Bad (Live Aid)

Dire Straits/ Sting - Money for Nothing (Live Aid)

Eric Clapton - Layla (Live Aid)

And the ultimate ....


Sunday, December 16, 2018

Bearded Men

I am on a multi-city tour of India this time around. It's amazing how fast India is growing. The youth seems to have adopted to mobile technology just like any other youth world wide. Everyone is stuck to the phone, surfing social media, online shopping and generally not conscious of their surrounding. But well, this post ain't about that. I guess I have already spent a lot of time in my blog posts before about social media addiction and stuff.

One distinct trend that old uncle Girish noticed amongst the youth of the day is - beard. Yup, I noticed that a significant proportion of the young male population now grows a beard. My generation liked the clean shaven look, but the Indian youth this time has decided to sport their manliness with pride.

Anyway, this brings me to a generic (not scientific/ not statistical) observation of youth in Singapore (or maybe I can further generalize it to East Asia). East Asian women seem to dig the "chocolate boy", "oh-so-clean-shaven", "can't distinguish boy from girl look". The men celebrities that I see on billboards on that side of the world never seem to have any facial hair. They also seem to be very much in touch with their feminine side.

This also means that most east Asian men around me try to look like that. (Do you notice that celebrities set the trends and we unconsciously follow them?). So me looking out of place over there is an understatement. I distinctly stand out. And that's even after trying to sport a clean shaven look.

Saturday, December 1, 2018

G for Gold!

After years of traveling around on random airlines to random places around Asia, I finally managed to accumulate enough frequent-flier miles on a certain airline to make it to their "Gold tier" (or whatever that means!). Well, this may sound as a bragging post, but well, the intention is not to.

Throughout my working life I have traveled with other people of similar statuses. These people made me aware of my commoner status every time I traveled with them and it always intrigued me about what the benefit actually was. Now that I have experienced it a few times let me summarize:

1) I get priority boarding and priority check-in if I travel that airline - I believe this is the biggest benefit so far that I have noticed. But this only helps if you are traveling at peak hours, are running late for your flight and have not already online checked-in and have a bag to deposit. 99% of my business travel, I check-in online and I don't have a bag to deposit.

2) I get access to lounges at most airports - This was a nice surprise in the beginning. I mean, I could go to most big airports around the world, and as long as I am traveling on that airline they give me free access to their lounges where I can relax and unwind.  However, I can also relax and unwind anywhere in any airport and in most cases I enjoy walking around airports while I am waiting to board, cause I can get some steps, see some random people and gaze at some shops. The added disadvantage of the lounge is - there is free food. However hard I try, I end up eating something and it adds to whatever food I would later have on the aircraft anyway

3) My bags come out first on the carousel at the other end - Again, this benefit is great if you have checked-in baggage and hate to wait. But the nominal waiting for baggage collection these days isn't that annoying for me.

So to summarize, I don't get the fuss. Anyway, now I can pretend to be the snobbish, frequent flying businessman who can look-down upon commoners only till he boards the plane and tucks himself into his economy class seat.