Desi Back to Desh

Between airports, airplanes and transit lounges

The original Blue Screen of Death Launch post

A walk down memory lane, old backup drives and fossilized emails produced this mail shot from early 2006. How’s that for perspective?

At the business school orientation for new arrivals, a fellow student asked me why I was at Columbia. My response drew a look of confusion – “I always wanted to write a book, run the New York Marathon and do a play on Broadway, the MBA is just for cheap subsidized housing.”

This of course was January 1999. As of 22 April 2006, I am proud to report that I am too fat to run and that though there were multiple attempts to produce Harvey, a Mary Allen Chase Play about a six foot tall invisible rabbit, all were sabotaged by a six foot tall invisible rabbit.

On the book front there is good and bad news. The good news is that no trees were cut down or killed in the final production run of the ebook “Blue Screen of Death – A desi’s misadventure in the land of opportunity”. Initial reviews are promising (read: not as bad as I expected), encouraging (no multi million dollar advance offers, but there is always hope for that call from Oprah or Ellen) and detailed enough to provide material for my next book “The Blue Screen – Reloaded”

The bad news is that you now have to buy a copy (more on that later) and read it (not at all mandatory if you pick a few hundred e-books online.) The book runs at 250 odd pages and is a schizophrenic mix of an email diary /memoir and a do it yourself guide to failure. For the non desi’s among my friends, the word “Desi” refers to some one from the Indo Pakistan subcontinent – the wedge of land squished between the Himalayas (on top), the Indian ocean (bottom), Oil (left) and the rest of Asia (right). It is home to the Indus Civilization, 1.5 billion souls, balti, chicken tikka, great music, really bad movies and me.

Written during five years of soul searching the book has a simple premise. To succeed as an entrepreneur, you must fail. Avicena the e-education venture I started in New York, while at school, and buried in California two years later, provides context and back drop. The last chapters summarize questions and answers I am asked on a daily basis by other entrepreneurs, friends, peers, students, wannabees and the friendly local neighborhood alien:

a. Was it worth it?

b. Will you do it again?

c. Did you learn anything from the stupid mistakes that cost you US$ 880,000?

d. Were you out of your #$@*(&! Mind?

Unfortunately till this note and the book went to press, I still hadn’t figured out the answer to the really important questions in life (What’s for dinner, What are we watching, Why me, Where did all the money go and Why am I up at this ungodly hour.) So if you are looking for universal truths, don’t buy this book. On the off chance that you do, and in the equally improbable event that you actually like it (you have to read it first,) send me a note. As an unappreciated and till recently unpublished author, it will make my day. Oh and I promise to stop returning your phone calls as soon as I become rich and famous. Till then.

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