सप्टेंबर 5, 2011

Life at Indian Statistical Institute

Filed under: english — sakhya-hari @ 4:03 म.उ.
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I spent 3 wonderful years in ISI from August 2002 to May 2005 doing a maths degree, and have made some fantastic friends for life there.

The degree prepared us extremely well for preoblem solving, not necessarily mathematical. The course work was very flexible, and teachers were teaching as much as the class could take. This meant the course almost always ended at a higher note than what the teacher was expecting when the course started. Writing exams was very exciting; mainly because of the uncertaintly involved. There was no fixed exam pattern and hence solving past papers meant close to nothing because of the flexible coursework and the flexible exam. Plus the exams were never designed to test the memory. So we really had to solve unseen problems during exams. They actually tested our understanding, not our memory. In the final year, we even had a couple of open book exams and a couple of take home exams. There was no way one could have hoped to pass those exams by picking up some text book and mugging up from the front cover to the back cover. In hindsight, it sounds scary to face an exam without any prior knowledge about the exam pattern (as in lots of short questions or just 2-3 really testing questions or a combination of the two and etc.), but it was an absolute fun while we were at it.

What made exams even more exciting was the way we prepared for them. We, the whole batch, mostly prepared together, and had so much fun at it that an outsider looking would get confused if we were preparing for an exam or celebrating India’s win in cricket. There was never any competition between us. The main reason being we were motivated to understand maths and there was almost zero motivation coming from the future high-salary jobs. The togetherness was developed through the years via the loads of time spent together in sports, reading books, watching movies and afternoon walks. We played TT, badminton, cricket, football, volley-ball, carrom and had a very good collection of books and movie discs in the library.  

ISI to me was a perfect combination of a joyful extra-curricular big bash and building mathematical knowledge.


डिसेंबर 10, 2010

India’s world cup team…

Filed under: english — sakhya-hari @ 4:29 म.उ.
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I want Indian team to win the world cup.  Since I started following Tendulkar, I have seen some very fatal strategic mistakes Indian cricket has made. They shouldnt make those mistakes again. The most irrevocable mistake they did was axing of Sehwag, Harbhajan, Kaif along with Gangully. Its the biggest blow Indian cricket has received in past 5 years. Sehwag and Harbhajan survived, Kaif didnt. Another is when they decided not to open with Tendulkar in world cup 2007. Thats just atrocious. And then later, tehy decided to open with Dravid in tests in Australia in 2008-09 tour. Thats just ridiculous. On all the above occasions, the single most important performer in the side was left to rot in the hell. And these are just a few. The list is endless.

I dont want anything such this time round. Here is the team that I want.

1. Sehwag: It has become a tradition in India that among the two openers, the junior faces the first ball.

2. Tendulkar: By default. The two times he played world cup as an opener, he ended up as highest scorer in the tournament. And those are the occasions when India was closest to actually winning the tournament.

3. Gambhir: Has replaced Gangully the batsman. Very valuable addition to the side.

4. Y. Singh: Contender for man of the series, irrespective of what his waistline maybe. Yuvraj, even at his 70% best, is better than most.

5: Dhoni: Weakest link in Indian side. He’s behaving like a greedy boss, who keeps the job with highest rewards for himself even though he knows he is better of doing something else. Things go terrible when he pretends to be a finisher. He is not, he’s slogger. Every single time he’s pretended to be a finisher, he’s left to much to do at the end. Then either someone else (Y. Singh, Raina or Pathan) rescues India  heroically or India looses.

Worst example came during t20 world cup 2009, against England. India needed 9 to win or 8 to tie of 2 balls with Pathan on strike and Dhoni as a non-striker. India needed to win the match to stay in the competition. Pathan mistimed his heave and ball went to long on. What happens next? Any sane person would imagine Dhoni ran like hare and completed the double and gave a chance to Pathan to hit a six. NO. Dhoni walked a single. As simple as that, India were out of the tournament without giving their best player a chance to hit a six. He resigned before loosing.

6: Raina: The best player to have come out in the post-Kaif era. Is getting over his well-known weakness for short balls.

7. Pathan: Indian team badly needs him as a cover up for Dhoni. Another contender to win man-of-the series.

8. H. Singh: Best spinner in India, in a batting form of his life. A lot depends on his success.

9. Khan: Spearhead of the bowling attack. Arguably the best medium pacer in the world. He thrives on indian pitches and is far improved bowler than what the world saw in 2003 final. He must be desperate to erase those memories.

10. Kumar: India’s one-day specialist opening bowler. His job is to bowl a spell of 5 overs at the start and move the ball around. Thats all. But his 5 overs are much more worth than any other bowler full quota of 10. Kumar having to bowl more than 7 overs in an innings is a definite sign that things havent gone to the plan.

11. Nehra: India’s go to bowler in crisis situations. Has cool head over his shoulders and has pulled off some stunning performances under pressure in the past.


12. Ashwin

13. R. Sharma 

14. S. Tiwary

15. Sreesanth

जानेवारी 21, 2010

another phone call

Filed under: english — sakhya-hari @ 11:58 म.पू.
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Ketan: I really like her. This time I am serious.

Hari: You have met her only once.

Ketan: Yes, but…

Hari: That too in a party.

Ketan: Yes, but I was a star of the show. I have got to call her.

Ketan calls her.

Ketan: Hello!!! Its Ketan here.

She: Hey!

blah blah

She: Yeah, that is impressive. I never thought anyone could do that.

blah blah

She: … and later Urmila told me you are good at cricket too.

Ketan: really!…  ya ya. that is sort of true. i like sports. i can not live without it.

blah blah

(Hari can not stand this conversation and calls someone)

Ketan: … discipline is for losers. Im still in my bed. So we are meeting at 6, right?

She: Sure.

Ketan: byeeeeeeee, see you soon.

She: See ya!

click. end of call.

A noise comes from somewhere in a very low volume ‘Please leave your message after the tone. BEEP.’

Ketan: Did you hear that?

Hari: That you have a date?

Ketan: Well, she was too easy. But Urmila told her about me. Urmila!

Hari: hmm?

Ketan: Urmila is so much better looking. Its a much better option.


Ketan: what was that? what are you doing with your phone?

Hari: nothing… you can forget about 6 o’clock today. i called her up when you were lying to her about your credentials. of course the call got directed to the answering machine. So now she has a message telling her that you are not in your bed and Urmila looks better than her.

Ketan: aww!!… what have you…

Hari: dont worry, try for Urmila next time.

जानेवारी 20, 2010

The Dream

Filed under: english — sakhya-hari @ 3:35 म.उ.
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Final over of the inter-college cricket match. Hari’s team needs 6 runs to win and is already 9 wickets down.


“I almost never see myself in my dreams, all the dreams I have seen are as first person, I’ve always seen things happening around me in the dream.”, Hari said to his friends. The topic of discussion was ‘dreams’, and venue the ‘Murudeshwar’.

“My mom says early morning dreams always come out true”, said Ketan.

Hari came back home. He had an exciting dream that night. He saw a part of cricket match. He was a spectator in the crowd. The batting team was chasing an impossible target, and had already lost 5-6 wickets. Most of the specialist batsmen were out except for a one single man. This batsman then goes ballistic at the bowlers and comes very close to the victory. At this very point, Hari woke up. He felt his heart beating fast from the adrenaline and excitement of the dream. Thoughts rushed in Hari’s mind. Who was the batsman? Was he Tendulkar? but was that Indian team? or was he Mark Waugh? Wasn’t that our school ground? The dream was too vague to recollect the precise details. Hari just thought of it as an outcome of his passion for cricket. But Hari was not able to ignore that there will be a one-day match between India and Australia today, and they had all the discussions on visions and early morning dreams just a night before. Hari thought he might as well check the time, and it was 5:30 am!

Gosh! A bell ringed in Hari’s mind, perhaps this is the vision for today’s match after all. He got ready early, called up Ketan and told him everything. They decided to watch the match at Hari’s home. For the first time in their life, they were very excited even though Australia piled up 370 in 50 overs, a target close to impossible for the Indian team to chase. And then 40-45 minutes into the the Indian innings and Indians were 5 down for 48 with Tendulkar still not out. Everything went according to the dream. Hari and Ketan were totally excited. Hari could feel he had seen everything in the dream. He felt the same adrenaline rush that he felt when he had woke up in the morning. But to their disappointment, Tendulkar got out. India was defeated by more than 100 runs. There was no fightback from Tendulkar and there were no fireworks. Australia cruised to the victory. Hari decided not to believe in the visions and dreams ever again in his life.


Hari’s college was chasing 135 runs from 20 overs. The opposing college scored 134, a highest of the inter-college  tournament so far. The inter-college tournament has been using the 20-20 format way before it came to an existence in international cricket, mainly because the game ends faster. Hari’s team was down in dungeons as the scoreline said 33 for 4 in 7 overs. The mood in the dressing room was clear from the faces of the players. Hari was the next man in, and everyone knew what the end result would be, just another loss.

The moment Hari entered the ground with the bat in hands he felt something familiar. He just went into the middle and started hitting the ball as hard as he could. Hari realised his vision. He had seen himself batting in his dream. He never saw the face of the batsman in the dream, neither did he remember the outfit nor the scoreline. But he definitely remembered the school ground. It was him! His confidence shot up high into the sky. He never felt so good ever before in his life. All those brilliant shots, he used against his team-mates in the nets, were coming out ever so smoothly on the ground, perhaps for the first time in Hari’s life. When he came out of his trance, he already was a half centurian and the team needed 6 runs to win in the last over. He felt the exact same emotion as to when he woke up after that dream.


Final over of the inter-college cricket match. Hari’s team needs 6 runs to win and is already 9 wickets down. Unfortunately he is not on strike. His best mate, Ketan, a bowler and the worst no.11 batsman of their college is a non-striker. For the first time since he walked out to bat, Hari is unsure of the victory. He had seen everything in his dream, but not the end.

The first ball of the over – is as expected a short-pitched and Ketan surprises everyone by pulling it over the ropes for a six. Hari’s team has the victory. Ketan steals the show.


Your thoughts lead to your dreams. The dreams which wake you up leave an impression in your mind. The dreams which remain stuck in your thoughts come out true.

जानेवारी 19, 2010


Filed under: english,review — sakhya-hari @ 6:54 म.उ.
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Anybody who lives in Maharashtra and has friends or relatives who watch Zee-Marathi/Star-Majha, and that practically includes the whole of Marathi speaking community, could not have missed the word Natrang. “If you are a Maharashtrian, then you have to watch this movie”, that is what these channels are bombarding 24/7. So I had to watch it. I saw it, first liked the music, then was mesmerised by Atul Kulkarni’s efforts and then was stunned by the storyline.

At the end, it is easy to imagine the hours of hard work the whole team has put in making Natrang. But when the movie is over, you end up with many more thoughts than just a satisfaction of finally watching an epic in Marathi.

Natrang gives you a clear message. If you have a family, forget about joining ‘Tamasha Group’. You can be successful, only if you dont have a family or if you dont care about it.

Its a story of Guna Kagalkar. Guna has a family about whom he doesnt give damn. For the sake of his art, he becomes a feminine dancer. He acquires good fame and a small fortune. But by the time he wants to come back to his family, his father is dead, he has lost his fame and dignity in an unfortunate accident and his wife declares she has had enough pain already and doesnt want to come back to him. So now he is left with nothing to lose. At this very moment, he sees a golden light from above, surrenders to his art and ends up being the best artist his art has ever seen. When a genius needs a social recognition, he doesnt get any and when he gets one, he is already in a different society. Its a classic irony.

Perhaps the director wanted to convey the never give up spirit that Guna had. But the tragic part is portrayed in high lenghths and leaves a dark impression even though the movie is happy ending. Looking at Guna’s life, you can not help yourself to ask the question, ‘Is this why the Tamasha culture and marathi movies died a few years ago’? The answer, i’m afraid is yes. Just imagine what happened to the lives of people who were with Guna at the time of accident. Their lives were also literally burned down in the accident along with Guna’s life. And none of them had a courage to join Guna in his resurrection of the art. Which simply means they  were over and out at the very moment when they failed to see the golden light that Guna saw. So if 24 out 25 lives are unsatisfactory, the art is not going to survive. The art should create lives, it should not take them away.

That’s that for the storyline. Ajay-Atul’s music is fantastic. Their expertise in folk music is already well-known and Natrang is a tailor-made for them. But besides the songs, they have also given a catchy theme tune. Im sure just like good old Don, Titan and current Airtel tune, this Natrang tune will be heard for years to come. Atul Kulkarni’s efforts and acting are beyond praise. The guy looks ripe for any gym/protien-diet advertisement at the start of the movie and is as thin as cucumber at the end. He nonchalantly fits in as a stubborn bulldog at the start and as a genius loser towards the end. Credit to Guru Thakur for wonderful, precise and perfect lyrics. Credit to director for making such a big movie. Marathi cinema needs more like this. It must have taken years to come up with the final product the way he wanted. In terms of visual and sound effects, the movie is perfect for 21st century.

So where to from Natrang? Marathi cinema needs more varied stories. Natrang was a great break from a series baseless comedy. If the artist starts presenting his own life as a glorious art, then thats typically a journey towards the end. So like Guna, lets not dwell in the past, it is time to keep our spirits up.

मार्च 4, 2009

In between two phone calls

Filed under: english — sakhya-hari @ 12:26 म.उ.
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Ketan : !@@*%$$£@!

Hari: What is it?

Ketan: hmm…

Hari: Don’t tell me its her again.

Ketan: No. Its just that I hate anyone who strongly opposes someone even before understanding the complete situation…

Hari: Ah, do you hate yourself then?

Ketan: … me?… what?… no!!! of course not. I hate being confused and anything that causes the confusion.

Hari: and I thought you like girls

Ketan: Yes, I do. But its this hypocrisy… I am against people changing their mind as per their convenience.

Hari: What? you surely are not against people falling in love?

Ketan: No no! I am not a hypocrite. I am never calling her again. She always thinks I am never correct.

Hari: Well, you have got it correct this time, so that definitely can not be correct.

Ketan: hmm… oh, right! see, I have been telling her that. Why do some people never care about what they are talking and always keep on making making statements contradicting themselves?

hari: you are getting incredible. that is settled then. This time you are surely

‘kya karoon haaye, kuchh kuchh hota hai…( a phone rings, interrupting the conversation)

Ketan: Hi sweeetie! (putting a hand on the phone receiver and to Hari) I will always remember never to use the words ‘always’ and ‘never’ in my speech.

Hari: ever again!

फेब्रुवारी 14, 2009

हॉटेलचा मेनू

Filed under: marathi — sakhya-hari @ 8:29 म.पू.
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केतन : अरे तू अवधूत गुप्तेचे कांदेपोहे ऐकलयस का?
हरी : कसलं सही गाणं आहे ना?
केतन : हे पण खरेनीच लिहिलाय का?
हरी : हट! त्यानी लिहिलं असतं तर आपल्याला कधईतल्या कांदे-पोह्यान ऐवजी वाडग्यातले दडपे-पोहे ऐकावे लागले असते.
केतन : काहीही…
हरी : काही माणसे वयानी मोठी झाली तरी मनानी  तरुण असतात. पण वयानी तरुण असूनही मनानी म्हातारी असलेली माणसे म्हणजे खरे-कुलकर्णी…

केतन : ‘राणी माझ्या मळ्यामन्दी’ तर जात असतोस की सारखा.
हरी : ते अवधूत नि गायलय म्हणून इतका चांगल झलय. भाजीच्या मन्डी ऐवजी हॉटेल चा मेनू, मासळी बाजार, अशा कशावरही
गाणं असता तरी अवधूत गातोय म्हणजे चांगलच झाले असतं. उदा…

वडापाव, मिसळपुरीभाजी
स्प्रिंगरोल किंवा कांदाभजी
डोसा, उत्तपा आणि इडली ताजी
बघा ही न्याहारीची चोफेर फलंदाजी||

शेव बटाटा दही पुरी
डाल फ्राय अन् व्हेज कोल्हापुरी
सोबत नान नी दमआलु काश्मिरी
होटेलच्या मेनू ची गंमतच भारी||

कोल्ड्रीन्क, ज्युस, कॉफी, चहा
आईसक्रीमचे ही प्रकार दहा
कुल्फी, मस्तानीची लज्जत पहा
गोडाचा शेवट हवाच हवा||

सगळ्यात चांगली व्हेज थाळी
होटेलच्या जेवणाची मजाच निराळी
आळी मिळी गुप चिळी
दे टाळी आणि घे टाळी||

फेब्रुवारी 10, 2009


Filed under: marathi — sakhya-hari @ 12:02 म.उ.
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बघ किती आहे मी भोळा
एकटा जीव आगळावेगळा
चल घालुनी गळ्यात गळा
दोघे आपण खेळू झोपाळा!

तू जशी चिमणीमी जणू कावळा
तू लवंगी मिरची, मी गोल भोपळा
राधा तू गोरी, कृष्ण मी निळा
दोघे आपण खेळू झोपाळा!

वाया तुझे वर्षे सोळा
हात तुझा जणू लोण्याचा गोळा
पटकन म्हण हो अन् कर मला मोकळा
दोघे आपण खेळू झोपाळा!

फेब्रुवारी 6, 2009

And she turned!

Filed under: english — sakhya-hari @ 12:52 म.उ.
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Hari was on his way back from the college cricket practise. He felt someone is following him. But his thoughts quickly turned to cricket. India was playing twenty-twenty against Sri-lanka. A bunch of his friends were waiting for him at ‘Murudeshwar’; their favourite place to meet. He was very excited about the bets he had against Amruta and her friends. As usual he was depending upon Sehwag to win him all those bets.

How Hari mostly profited from the bets was a big mystery to his friends. Even if Hari would loose a bet, he would most certainly know some weakness of the person against who he had lost or some other bet against same person or some other way to pay for his lost bet. The truth was that a thought of what will happen after loosing a bet never even touched Hari’s mind. And the fact was that even Hari was unaware of it!

Hari was so much lost in the Cricket that he did not realise the clouds overhead. Soon the clouds declared their presence by roaring loudly and raindrops found their way to the mother earth. Clouds blew away the Cricket thoughts from Hari’s mind. He became cautious about his kit. And the sense of being followed was again there. He turned back. It was none other than ‘Radha’, walking just behind him, that too with an umbrella.

If it was any other girl from their class, Hari would have asked her for company  under an umbrella till Murudeshwar without any hesitation. But Radha was a special case. She was the most studious girl in the class, she would always top in all the exams, would never take part in any debate in the class, had earned herself a lot of respect from her classmates and not even Hari had ever flirted with her. Deep in his heart, Hari knew he was attracted by her. That is why he was unable to talk to her normally the way he was famous for, by being confident!

The same happened today. The change of his facial expressions was prominent when he realised it was Radha. The usual cunning smile was now accompanied with confused wrinkles over eyebrows indicating the hesitation. “Oh, hi!” he mumbled. There was a silence for a split second and Radha said “I’m going straight ahead, do you want to come along?”. “Who is dumb enough to refuse you?” would have been Hari’s reply but these words were lost somewhere in his conscious and he grunted something under his breath meaning yes.

They started walking together. “Were you playing cricket?” she asked and Hari replied with smile”no no, I just like carrying this heavy kit bag around”. Hari was almost back to normal. He was enjoying her company. But a dangerous thought struck his mind. ‘What will happen if his friends see him with her?’. He had been teasing everyone about their weak-links and so called love-life. He had not spare anyone on any occasion. And now the tables were turned.

He was no more himself after this thought. He couldn’t even hear what Radha was talking. It was a completely new experience for Hari, not to have the control of a situation. His mind was running fast, ‘five more minutes, and we will reach Murudeshwar corner; everyone will spot me; if they ask me now, I have to confess I like Radha; how I am going to face this?; what will happen?’. All the miseries and embarrassment that he caused to others were haunting him back.

And suddenly Radha stopped and asked “I have to turn left here, are you going straight?”.  Hari felt a shock! He did not believe what he was hearing. With a bolt his mind became as clear as the water deep in the middle of a sea. “Yes, I am watching cricket match. Do you want to join us?”.

“I havent told at ho…” but even before Radha could complete her sentence, Hari interrupted, “Oh come on, I gave you a company in such a weather”.

“he he, you are smart. But please, I have to go home today”. “And read some good old book” Hari added.

“hmm… okay then, Bye!”. “See ya!” and she turned away.

Hari knew whatever he says, she wouldn’t come. Hari went straight ahead to Murudeshwar. He didn’t even bother if his face revealed what was going on in his mind or not. He was himself again.

जानेवारी 28, 2009

तो आणि ती!

Filed under: marathi — sakhya-hari @ 7:09 म.उ.
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तो आणि ती!
पहाटेची रम्य वेळ. बाहेर सूर्योदयापूर्वीचा पुसटसा उजेड, मंद वहाणारा वारा, आणि गुलाबी गारवा.

ती भेटणार ह्या कल्पनेने त्याची झोप तशी उडालीच होतीत्यामुळे गजर होण्यापूर्वीच तो जागा झाला होता. ती ही उठली.

तो त्याच्या घरी होता. ती तिच्या घरी होती.

त्याने स्वच्छ आवरले. मस्त भांग पाडुन त्याने डेओड्रन्ट चा फवारा मारलाती मुळतच देखणीत्यातून सकाळच्या शुभ्र वेळी तर ती एखाद्या कळीमधुन उमललेल्या टवटवीत फुलासारखी सुंदर दिसत होती!

तीने बरोबर आणायला सांगितलेले पुस्तक घेऊन तो तीला भेटण्यासाठी निघालाती ही घराबाहेर पडली.

ठरलेल्या ठिकणी तो आधी जाउन पोचला आणि बरोबर आणलेले पुस्तक उघडून एका बाकावर जाउन बसला.

ती आली. तो तीच्यकडे बघतच राहीला.

ती त्याच्याकडे बघून हसलीत्याने लाजून पुस्तकात डोकावले.

तिने बोलायला सुरवात केलीकाही ना बोलता तो एकटक तीच्याकडे बघतच बसला.

ती सतत बोलत होती. तो नुसताच ऐकत होता.

ती चाटे क्लासेस मधे केमिस्ट्रीची स्पेशल ट्युशन घेत होती. तो तीचा विद्यार्थी होता.

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