Wednesday, December 16, 2009

A tryst with the face of aggression!

How would you feel when you are driving inside your office campus and three people follow you and make you stop and say "This road has been cleaned and you cant drive here!"

Strange na? This is what happened to me this morning. What my instinct told me in reaction to this was : "What are roads for if you cant drive on them?" But I obviously did not make that statement. For the simple reason, I Know why they did that. They were doing their job, the task that was assigned to them!

There is a man, who is a perfectionist. He was visiting my campus today. Which was why, such a pandemonium was happening. Yes, I am talking about none other than the Member of the Board who heads HR in my company.

This was the first time I was getting to meet him face to face. More than anything else, I was overwhelmed with curiosity to know what this man was like! I hear so much about him everyday! Yes, that tryst happened in the form of a meeting with the entire HRD in my location over High Tea.

This guy was incredible. After an hour of talk with him, I understood as to why the entire organization would pee their pants the moment his name it mentioned.

He is aggressive. He is Smart. He is Sharp. He is well-read. He is very very well informed. Number crunching was forte. He can prove you wrong even if you are right.

One thing which caught my attention while he spoke: "I am always clear. Never confused. I may be wrong in my view point but I am not confused. If there is an idea which is so strong that will sell, it will sell!"

In conclusion, he quoted Victor Hugo "All the forces in the world are not so powerful as an idea whose time has come!"

Very true!

Over All: I admire him!

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Good Life and Pure Magic!

Was talking to a friend who happened to be in a shop when I had called. He told the Shop keeper, "Give me one Good Life and one Pure Magic!" Coming to think of it, that is all what all of us want: A Good life and Pure Magic!

For those of you who are still wondering: Good Life is a brand of milk and Pure magic a brand of biscuits!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Zehreeli Hawa!

Yes, we are on this new production now. Bhopal, an English play written Rahul Verma. There was also an adaptation in Hindi by the Late. Habib Tanvir. We Read through the script and it was really really powerful and I was so touched!

The Bhopal gas tragedy was one of the worst industrial disasters in the world. The 3rd of Dec, 1984 witnessed the most tragic Chemical Accidents that happened in the Indian Subcontinent. Union Carbide Pesticide in Bhopal Manufactures the Pesticide Carbaryl under the brand name Sevin. Sevin is a pesticide which kills the insects by attacking their central nervous system. Methyl Isothiocyanide is one of the intermediate products in the manufacturing process. On 3-Dec-2009, explosion occured in one of the tanks which stored 42 Tonnes of MIC due to excessive Temperature and pressure.

The most important question is that why is MIC used when there are other chemicals which are less toxic in nature. Even if it is used, Why should it be stored in such large containers? It is expected that MIC is to be maintained at a temperature of 4 Degree Celsius whereas it was stored at 20 degree Celsius. The company had compromised refrigeration an attempt to cut costs. Ridiculous! None of the Safety measures were in place!

The immediate death toll due to the Gas expulsion is 2000 plus. the next day it was around 3500. Finally, 25000 causalities are reported after the gas leak on the whole. It was a disaster comparable to the Hiroshima-Nagasaki. The victims of the disaster did not only bear the ill effects of the accident but also the after effects, which they, and their progeny are still suffering.

The story of Bhopal revolves around a few imaginary characters of the plot.

Izzat - a slum dweller as a represntative sample from the hundreds of affected villagers.

Soniya Labonte - A Canadian NGO doctor whose research brought to the light, the ill-effects Carbide International was injecting into the environment.

Devraj Sarthi - The CEO of Carbide in Bhopal.

Madiha Akram - The Personal Secretary of Sarthi

Jaganlal - The Cheif Minister

a very powerfully woven plot it is, touching in its own way, let me not divulge any more information, see for yourself!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Serendipity!

I accidentally discovered that Blogger is opening from office! I can effectively utilize the non-productive time I have in office blogging! Wow!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

The Incredible Me!

Incredible I am! Sometimes its hard to believe!

Well, today I got up early in the morning wanting to land up at office at 8. Not because of anything else but wanted to leave work early. Of late with the clocking of minimum of 6.5 hours, I cant get my butt out unless I butt in with my work early.

Actually, my office had done a huge restructuring exercise and the entire organization comprising of Tens of Thousands of employees witnessed a re-designation exercise. The first cut of letters went out today. Naturally, there was a lot of angst in the ground. Some were happy with the new roles they are given, some were not very happy due to multiple reasons. Well, getting a fancy title which you can flaunt around or not so fancy title and be unhappy. Thats it!

I had to attend a conference today organized by eWIT which stands for Empowering Women in IT at 4 PM at the Madras Boat Club. I sneaked out of the office by 3 in the afternoon with a sigh of relief that I do not have to face unrest on the ground due to the new restructuring exercise. Well, I cant evade it but can procrastinate.

I took all the necessary approvals from my both the bosses (yes, yes as though one was not enough, I do this "dual reporting"). eWIT had sent me an invite for a Networking session which would have a brief coffee meet at 4 followed by Guest Lecture from someone from American Consulate on "Current Scenario on H1/L1 Visas". I thought I would reach in time for the Lecture and landed up at the Madras Boat Club at 4.30 sharp after going one full round around the Turn-bulls Road and Boat Club Road.

I told the security that I am here to attend a meeting and asked him where the Conference Room is. He told me to contact the Reception. Laughing at his ignorance, I walked to the Reception and asked they guy about the eWIT meet. He was completely unaware that such a thing is happening there. I got even more pissed off.

I called up the organizer. This was how exactly the conversation went.

Me: Hello, this is So and So from Infosys.
Receiver: Hi.
Me: Is this guest lecture on Visas happening?
Receiver : Of course, yes.
Me: Is it happening at the Boat Club or has the venue changed or soemthing?
Receiver : No, its pretty much there!
Me : How come this guy in the reception doesnt know about it?
Receiver : May be they have not informed him yet.
Me : (Grumbling)I am already here to attend the meeting and nobody is guiding me to the venue.
Receiver : But the session was organized for next thursday, the 23rd!
Me : What?

Well, at that point I felt like a fool? How can I miss such an important detail? I came all the way from Shollinganallur to bulb this way?

I am just Incredible. That s all I can say!

P.S : My latest twitter update says "Back Home early coz I am extremely smart and organized!"

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Adieu Nandan!

Today is a day marked in History! Nandan's last working day at Infosys! One of the strongest pillars which laid the foundation of the solid establishment of Infosys will not longer belong to it! It was a very difficult decision for him to leave Infy. And to all of us to let go of him.

Today, he was given a farewell, which all of the Hundred Thousand plus employees witnessed. The entire Board and the Founders were there to propose a toast to him, bidding him Adieu. It was a hard fact, for all of us, to digest. Needless to say, for me too!

Three years ago, when I joined Infy, I so excited to be a part of workforce which had such a Board in place! Nandan was one of my biggest inspirations, a role model, and a great visionary who we all look upto!


This is one of the pictures I had taken along with the Board when I was a trainee; in the sprawling Mysore Campus. It was the 25th year Infosys celebrated. Infy went public and the remote ringing of the bell for the listing at NASDAQ happened at Mysore. The media people were thronging to capture the best shot of the proceedings. The campus witness all the empowered and proud Infoscians, singing the Infy song. The Infy quotient was running high everywhere. I was highly elated to witness such a thing happen in front of my eyes!
That was when I saw the entire board together in person. That was when the realized the empowered Infoscian in me. I met Nandan for the first time. I stood besides him and took a picture. It was like a dream!

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Daughter s Day!

Couple of days ago, I called my Dad and cribbed. "You dint wish me for Daughter's day. Boo Hoo" I was throwing tantrums. But honestly, it dint warrant one.

July 1st was celebrated as Daughter's day in India. We would have by now heard of a Mother's day, Father's day and now Daughter's day. Sadly, there is no Son's day as yet. Well, if any of you who are reading this post is aware of one, please do let me know.

Decades ago, the second Sunday in May was declared as Mother's day in the US. To balance out, there was this third Sunday in June which was declared as Father's day. Now, 1st July which happens to be Kalpana Chawla's is declared as Daughter's day. All this days involves gift-giving, Special dinners and family oriented Activities.

But honestly, do we need a separate day to be declared in the system technically as Mother's day to tell your Mama "I love you"? A Father's day to tell him "Daddy you are the best"? A Daughter's day to tell her "Honey, we love you"? Anything that has to come naturally, why are defining a "process" for it? Why are we formalizing relationships?

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Nandan!

Someone who made Thomas Friedman write how flat the world is! Someone who is a true visionary and built Infosys with his ideas! Someone who penetrated national boundaries to build business with his network! Someone who is a role model to the youth of India! Someone who will cite figures and facts from mind without referring to sheets of pages! An extra-ordinary individual!

Yes, we are talking about our very own Nandan!

Nandan Nilekani, the Co-Chairman and the Co-founder of one of India's prestigious IT Giants has been offered with the position of the Chairperson of Unique Identification Authority of India! He was bestowed with this honor by the Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh.

On one hand, where the image of the IT Corporates Shattered due to the Satyam Scandal, this gesture on the other hand, which emancipated Nandan to the Rank of a Cabinet Minister has definitely reassured the fact, that the faith in the very same Corporates has not failed! Though, there are disappointments in the past in the way Corporate Governance works (thanks to Ramalinga Raju’s cooked up balance Sheets and fake employee database), there are leaders in the very same Industry who have lived up to the ideals and are looked up to with trust!

Some are born great; Some acheive greatness; Some have greatness thrust upon them!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

When you miss someone!

It happens to me sometimes. It suddenly hits me like a brick on the head. I realize that I miss someone. Or it may just be a feeling that I am really going to be missing someone. I am happy all day long and suddenly get into these really bad mood swings.

Today, is one of those sudden transitions. I am going to be missing someone really soon!

The Four Phone calls!

Call Number 1

Of late, I do not pick up calls on my personal mobile at work. I really do not see the need for it. But sometimes, a few phone calls, from few numbers, compel me not to think but to pick. This was one such phone call.

"I really need a change. And, at this moment, I cant think of any better change than to get married!"

"What?!?!?!?!" that was the instantaneous reaction from my end. I could not think of anything else.

This was one of my best buddies in college. She really needed a change - yes, 3 years of work life forced to think that way. Some of the pointers to her next few years in life - H1 Visa, Onsite options etc etc., were not really making progress. Okay, after careful examination of the case, it was decided, may be marriage, is not, a bad option for her.

Call Number 2
2 months later..

A similar phone call, a much more frantic call from the other end, when I was enjoying my Head massage blissfully at one of my favorite parlors. It was her again. This time with a name and employee number.

"Horoscopes perfectly matched. I want some help with the Info about this guy. He works in our Chennai office."

The Name and the employee ID - Oh My God! This guy sits diagnally across my cubicle at work, an employee in my Unit! The information exchanges happen, and, the call, hung up!

Call Number 3

I am in a wedding reception in Madurai. Tring Tring on my mobile.

"I am very worried. Lot of tension at home. This guy is coming tomorrow to meet me. I met his family already. I liked them. But my dad is not very interested in it. Talk to amma." and lo she hands the phone over.

A little bit of information exchange. Some promises to have a open mind and meet this guy. Call hung up.

Call Number 4:

At office again. Yet another phone call, I could not resist picking up. Dont get me wrong! It was not because of the person making the call but the information I thought it carried.

"Hello?"
"Wedding is fixed. We would get married in December"

Inference :
1. Three hours of talk, life is decided!
2. It happens only in India and in arranged marriages!
3. The world is a very small Place!
4. Appearences do not matter!
5. It is the wedding season!

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Relationships!

Something I heard and saw.. provoked me to scribble this here!
Relationships - this is the most simple yet most complicated word I have learnt. Simple - because it is there everywhere. Complicated - because it is the most difficult thing to fathom. May be this post will sound paranoid. But actually, it aint! This is the outcome of many observations compiled together. May be a warning to those who have not gotten into this bottomless chasm which sucks you in!

It is interesting to watch people fall into this trap. Actually, when you think of it, it is like addiction - smoke, dope.. Initially its temptation, its fun. Slowly it sucks you in - like a black hole. It saps you out of your energy, loss of energy, effort, money, time and what not! In the it leaves you exhausted. You are sick, tired, upset, dejected, depressed. It takes ages for you to recover. And then another enters your life and the viscious cycle continues..

Saturday, June 06, 2009

World Environment Day!

Yday was World Environment Day.
World Environment day, WED as it is called was established by the UN Genral assembly in 1972. It is hosted by a different country each year and commemorated with an international exposition through the week of June 5. The UN Enviroment Programme (UNEP), also created in 1972, uses WED to stimulate awareness of the environment and enhance political attention and public action.

As obvious as it could get, this year, there was an increasing awareness amidst the people or atleast the educated masses who cared for our very own one and only Earth!

There were n number of campaigns. Don’t do this.. Don’t do that... so this.. Do that.. etc., etc.,
The lingo people started throwing around 1 week before the day on every television channel, newspaper, FM radio stations and many more were - Carbon footprint, Global Warming, Making different campuses Plastic-free etc etc..

Though some of them sound like jargons, here are a few very very simple things which each of us can do. After all, small things make a big difference. Dont they?

1. Carry your won shopping bag. Use a cloth bag instead of a getting a plastic bag every time.
2. Do not use your car/bike unless and until absolutely necessary. You can - walk, take public transport, carpool or telecommute as far as possible.
3. As far as possible, avoid disposable materials - use reusable materials instead. Examples : use food containers instead of aluminum wraps/foils, Coffee mugs instead of disposable cups, reusable blades for razors instead of disposable ones, towels instead of tissue papers.
4. Golden Rule : Do not waste water! One effective technique is to fill water as much as you need it in a container and use it than to directly open down from the tap - while bathing, brushing, washing your face, shaving, washing vessels, washing clothes et al. I am sure you can add a lot many things like this. Use water only as much as you can. Water, is precious!!
5. Papurus - one of the greatest inventions by mankind! Today, though many offices/establishments are working towards the concept of paperless office, it only can be minimized to an extent. In the sense, it cannot be completely eliminated. It is needless to say how many trees are cut for the cellulose which is required fo rmaking paper. A few things tried and tested - circulate documents as soft copy instead of hard copies. If you buy news paper, please sell it off a garage wala so that it is recycled. Reuse paper!
6. Turn Vegetarian! Reduces your carbon foot print.
7. Turn off fans, lights and other electrical/electronic gadgets when not in use. Best still, dont turn them on unless necessary. As far as possible, leverage on natural lighting, ventilation etc.
8. Plant a tree. Do not cut trees. If you cannot do the former, at least do that latter!
9. Ok, this one - I am definitely not kidding! Do not hesitate to wear your jeans/corduroys at least a couple of times more than to dump it for washing immediately. Saves - water, detergent and also reduces the amount of domestic effluent!
10. If the infrastructure in your house allows - do vermi composting for the Kitchen/garden waste.
11. Turn off your engine at long traffic signals.
12. Donate the things which are no longer useful to you instead of merely throwing them away!
13. Sleep with windows open with lots of cross ventilation instead of closing yourself shut with AC on!
14. Avoid buying items with plastic containers. Buy stuff that comes in tetra packs/glass containers. Buy them in Bulk instead of small quantities.
15. Segregate wet waste and dry waste from your house and dispose accordingly. The wet waste like kitchen waste and garden waste is composted/vermi composted. The Dry waste like paper, bottles etc should be given to a vendor and recycled. The toxic wastes like batteries, soiled bandages, E-waste – CDs, floppies etc should be landfilled.
Remember the 3 Rs – Reduce, Reuse and Recycle! If you consciously try this, that by itself is a great contribution and will definitely make our world a better place to live in!

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Shmelessness is not the word!

Converstation with Nassh
Where : On call
Time : 10 PM, today
Me: Where is my HRD Book?
Nassh : You will get it tomorrow night at 8.45 PM.
Me : Does that mean that we are going out for dinner?
Nassh: hmmm.. We can. Lets go!
Me : Does that mean you are going to pay the bill?
Nassh: haan?
Me : In penalty for keeping my book for 4 months and not reading a single page from it?
Nassh : Ok OK. I will. I dont mind taking you out for Dinner.
Me : Good Boy. BTW, Benjie might also join us for dinner.
Nassh : Oh My God. Anything more?
Me : Are you not bringing me a bunch of roses?
Nassh : So far I ve not bought them for anyone other than...... But now that you ve asked for it, I will.
Me : Oh you fell for it? Goodie!
Nassh : Is that all? Anything more?
Me : That will do for the moment!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Berry Unwell

Today Berry fell sick. It had a punctured tire and I noticed it only post Dinner.

It was a feeling as though your baby would fall sick and you run to a hospital. Finally got the tire changed after opening a shop which was closed.

This is Berry's first Puncture. Berry is fine now- up and running again!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

The Balancing Act!

Proud of being a Libran, I must talk about this - The Balancing Act!

We all know and acknowledge the fact that the Librans are naturally good at the balncing act. This story is also about a Libran and also about the balancing act - Benjie learning to ride a bike. And who is the instructor? Me, the great - another Libran!

One fine day, I and Benjie were going on our usual rounds around the Historic campus of Anna University and suddenly Benjie got soemthing like that of a pregnancy craving - She wanted to ride my Scooty!

Being a good pal, I thought I should fulfil this desire of hers. Trust me, I let her do so only after She convincing me that she actually knows how to balance - she knows to ride a cycle. Initially Benju baby underwent a short briefing about the nuances of riding a bike. Then comes the real test. I let her drive it, me sitting behind.

Benjie picked it quite well. I was very happy at someone following my instructions so meticulously. She was driving quite well on the straight road. Now I teach her how to turn. In the turnings, you must slow down the vehicle; you decelarate by appying brakes. Once you turn, you accelarate. She picked that up also quite well. Now, she becomes proud of her balancing act. She wants to show off and we turn the bike towards SAP - School of Architecture and Planning, our very own Benjie 's Dept. Now as soon as she takes the turn there, right in front of SAP, and lo, she went straight to hit onto the pavement.

This definitely drew the attention of all the people there, which was apparently her aim, but not this way! Benjie fell - Thud. I jumped out, luckily escape without any injuries! All of Benjie's juniors who were hanging around there came running to pick the bike up (Yes, yes, to pick up Benjie also!)

She and I gave oily grins to them saying thanks! I start the bike and silently drove it. Thus ended up the great balancing act of two librans - one performing and one directing!

Monday, May 25, 2009

The Institution of Marriage!

The supreme court of India gave a revolutionary Verdict a few days ago : Live-In relationships are legal in India. Anybody in India, above 18 years of age is free to live with anyone else without the mandatory clause of marriage. It is acceptable.


This has created a stir amidst the Great Indian soceity - the clash between conflicting school of thoughts. Obviously, any relationship - married or a commitment-free live-in has its own pros and cons. Just give it a thought : Is Marriage an essestial requirement in life? Is it that important? What would life be if you dont get married? The more I think about it, the more interesting it becomes!

Ladies and Gentlemen, here are the Top ten reasons as to why one should not get married. The assumption is that whatever I am going to discuss here is predominantly applicable to the Indian context to a large extent. The reasons given below may not be in the order of severity or equally applicable to all of us but each of them would definitely leave you with a Deja Vu feeling if you are married.

Statutory Warning : This post may carry a number of negative connotations. If you decide not to get married after reading through this one, the author may not be held responsible!

1. The first and the foremost - the loss of freedom and liberty. This is more relavant to the women folk than the men folk. Things get worse when your in-laws are with you. When there is someone around you, being with you, it is not that it is always possible to do whatever you want to in conjunction with you and your instinct. You cant sleep when you want, wake up when you feel like, go on a drive in the middle of the night like crazy, wear your favorite shorts at home, so on and so forth..

2. The expenses incurred - HUGE. This is applicable to both men and women equally alike. The thing is that when you are a Bachelor/Spinster, you really dont spend on your house - in buying/ renting a beautiful house, spending fortunes on it - interiors, furniture, kitchen, electronic gadgets etc etc. The things which where considered to be a luxury in your bachelorhood is considered to be an absolute necessity in married life.

3. Like it or not, you will have to develop this virtue - Tolerenace; and also Patience. Most of the things which happen to you are beyond the sphere of your control. You will have absolutely no control over it. It will all happen to you but you will have no role to play in it except for being a silent spectator. For instance, Spouse going onsite and you might have to leave you job/ take a sabbatical and go along with a dependant visa. Your career takes a back seat!

4. Develop a new unwelcome skill - getting into your family/spouse's family with your married status. Those who have married would definitely agree with me. Though your equation with your spouse may be amazing, positioning yourself amidst your spouse's family, even for that matter back to your own, needs a special skill. There a few techniques like carrying a plastic smile, attending almost every insignificant family functions like ear piercing ceremonies, upanayanams, anna prasanams etc may help.

5. Things you have never done before : Learn them. This may include a range of things - from bargaining with the vegetable vendor to cleaning the attic, washing vessels to changing baby nappies.

6. The art of so called reciprocating even without receiving/knowing anything in the first place. Now you will have to play this trick quite tactfully. Each one of your in-laws and their relatives are important. You will have no clue as to which relative will jump from where and when and how, but it will happen. He/She might claim to be the most important person in the entire household. If you had not realised this or reacted a little indifferent to this person, believe me, you are dead!

7. This one you cant miss - the silly, stupid, senseless fights! If you say that a couple got married and they lived happily ever after, then there are only two possibilities : One - they are lying. Two - they are abnormal. It is too much of an idealistic scenario if an husband and wife say there are no fights and they are in perfect harmony. The fights can spring up from any damn thing - misplaced bathroom slippers, an empty toothpaste tube, unpaid electricity bill, neighbour buying a vacuum cleaner, et al, just anything. There is absolutely no basis for these kind of fights.
8. This one is deadly and can chew your brains - Tu Tu Main Main. The male ego is the culprit behind it, further accentuated by the female ego. In today's context, where both the Husband and the Wife are equally educated and working at equally placed job values, the probablity is even higher!

9. The sweet poison - Possesiveness. Or rather Obsessiveness to call it right. It is a nice feeling to know that someone is possesive about you. But at times, it gets on too much that it suffocates you. Badly.

10. The most important of all - Sacrifice. You pretty much leave most of it behind you - your Career, your home, your city, your family with the intent of starting it all afresh. It is a huge sacrifice w r to the past and a huge investment(!) w r to the future. But really dont know if it is worth to take this big a leap ahead!

Someone's recommendation to me when I mentioned that I am bogging on this "Sensitive issue": This book is a must read - Shoba De's "Spouse"

Friday, May 22, 2009

The Generation Next!

It is really an interesting fact - The current generation of kids : The Generation Next!

Sometimes I really look at them with awe! Mutiple factors - The acumen, Smartness, Glib talking, shrewdness and the rationale they provide at times, the farsightedness that belies their age! But at times you also feel like bashing them up for all the big talk they do!

Sometimes it is also dreadful to imagine getting into an arguement, or, for that matter, even to strike a casual conversation with these wizards! The statements they throw at you, simply make you shut up and blink! Read on, and you will know why I say so..

I have a little cousin who was 5 years old when this happened:

I casually asked her "Who are your friends?"
She gave me a long list of names - Sushmitha, Neetha, Priya, Anamika, and the list went on and on with a long list of names of girls of her class.
"Oh, you dont have any boyfriends?" I causually threw this question thinking I was pulling her leg.
In turn it only made me realise that I was making a bulb of myself. "Ah! Boys are so boring" was her reply.

I really dint know what was in her head when she said this. What made her "feel" that boys are boring! I really dont know how many boys did she know and understand which made her categorize them as "boring"! Absolutely No comments!

Another incident which Benjie narrated:

She had been to her cousin's home for Vishu. It is general practice on Vishu, for elders in the family to give small sums of money to the children in the household, which is termed as "Vishukaineetam"! Being a responsible adult, she gives Vishukaineetam to her naughty niece.
Question to her "You have lots of money?" when she saw the Bill, which, obviously, appeared big to her, was extended to her to as a gift! Now Benjie is Dumbstruck - Should she say YES? Should she say NO? she pretty much understands, quite clearly, the complications behind giving either of the answers! It would only result in yet another bulb. As a result, her gaping mouth - zip sealed!

Our little sweetheart was then asked to touch Benjie's feet by her mother. Keeping up the tradition alive through times was the idea!

Reaction - She touched Benjie's feet with her feet. Smartness! Ah! Then the instructions were given to her with some more clarity - "Touch her feet with your hand". She puts her hand up in the air and instantaneously instructs Benjie - "You touch my hand with your feet" Oh my Gawd! These Kids have a way out of anything and everything I say.

I am sure each of you would have, definitely, come across similar encounters with the smart next Gen which would have made to wonder: Where the world is heading to? This generation is too fast to catch up with! Seriously!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Recession, Slowdown and the Downturn!

The whole world speaks about it! The working professionals talk about it! The college kids talk about it! School Kids talk about it! Housewives to Retired uncles, cab drivers to Truck owners! Its on the TV! Its on the radio! On the Web! On the press! It is perhaps there - everywhere!

What is this ubiquitous talk of the town about? The great economic Recession. Some call it Slowdown. Others refer to it as the Downturn. These terms are used interchangeably by all of us. But, in reality, are they the same things? What are they? How did they enter each of our frquently used words in our Vocab?

Recession - A recession is a decline in a country's gross domestic product (GDP) growth for two or more consecutive quarters of a year. US is clearly hit by Recession today!
Slowdown - A market slowdown doesn't necessarily mean loss. It simply means less people are trading. India, as it stands today experiences a slowdown! It still, has not reached the levels of Recession.
Downturn - An economic downturn is when you start to leave the boom phase and start moving down the cycle to a recession. The current recession in a few countries and a slowdown in few others are all a phase in the Economy Downturn!

So, how did it all start?
It all started with the Sub-Prime crisis in the US, the housing market bubble burst. Lending money against homes to borrowers leading to debt defaults. Property prices fall. Home loans precolosed. Property on sale. This led to a chain reaction - Lehman brothers turned bankrupt. Stock prices fell. Companies lost money. Cost control and Cost cutting. Job losses. Obviously, when US catches a cold, the whole world sneezes! Fall from a state of Hyper growth to complete state of lull!

Every economy is sure to go through repetitive cycles of boom, slowdown and recession. Maybe its just time for all of us to redo some Economics lessons!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Namma IIT Madras!

I visited the IIT Madras today. I really prefer to call namma ooru as Madras than Chennai. That is probably one of the reasons as to why I really like our IIT Madras. The pressure from different sources did not seem to matter and it is still called IIT Madras. :)

I paid a visit to this scenic campus today for some reason. It is an humungous campus touching three different areas in Chennai. Yes, it has a Main gate which touches Adyar, two side gates - one at Velachery and one at Taramani. I drove until the Taramani gate and I spotted a Blackbuck, which is tagged as endangered! Apparently, I learnt, that this happens to be the area where the Blackbuck seem to have inhabited themselves.


The Picture you find here is a picture of a Blackbuck on campus. Overall, there are only around 15 Blackbuck in the IITM campus. I found 5 of them at one shot. Perhaps, the male Blackbuck is one of the most elegant antelope I have seen.


Besides, Blackbuck I also found an Owl and sad that I could not click a pic of it!
There are huge number of Spotted deer which are common to all the Science institutes in and around Guindy - IITM, Anna Univ, Birla Planetarium, Guindy national Park and also the Raj Bhavan! If you go back to history, this is one of the non-native species which was introduced to these establishements int he 1940s.

When I got back home, I discovered that IITM houses a huge number of Fauna. There is a huge variety - Bats, Jackal, Anteater, Satrred Tortoise, varitey of snakes, Open billed storks, Water hen, Pond heron, kite, Teal, Egret, a variety of butterflies etc., Wow! Such rich Bio-diversity!

There is a foundation called Prakiti, a wild life club at IITM and you can find more information about the wide-variety of plants and animals found here.
http://hsb.iitm.ac.in/~prakriti/florafauna.html
P.S. I had read this book sometime ago - "Catch Me a Colobus" where the author Durrel speaks of his experiences of maintaining the zoo and allso about his expeditions to the forests of Africa to gather some species to add in his zoo.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Pappu couldnt vote saala!

Finally, the final phase of elections in India, got over. The much ado about the extrvaganza for electing the government for the world largest Democrazy has come to a standstill for the moment!

I had big plans for the election day. My Voter's ID is registered for at my Place Tirupur and was planning to go there cast the vote. The polling day fell on the 13th of May 2009 which is a Wednesday. I decided to take off on Monday and Tuesday(11th and 12th May) so that I could have 5 days for myself at a place which held my childhood memoirs! More so, I decided I will drive my little Berry along with a school time pal of mine. A looong Drive!

Everything was set - leave approvals taken, back up support in my absence arranged, route maps taken, all the important people were notified about my visit there etc., etc.,

Just a day before I could fasten my seatbelt and get, set, go.. I get a call from my buddy. There was some kind of a Labour Union problem which resulted in him being stuck up inside the factory premises unable to get out. :(

In such a scenario, what is one expected to do? My beloved dad told me not to drive home alone. No tickets available in train/bus in the last minute. Sad scenario! Plans dissoved! Leave revoked! Long face!

I could not vote! I could not exercise my right! I did not perform the smallest expected duty of a citizen!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

An Ode to Mr.Nerd!

Today was a reason to celebrate. Wanna know why? Read on..

Scene 1:
Date - 12th May 2009
Time - 3:00 PM
Place - My office

My phone rings - a call from Nerd. He says he is passing by my office and he said he wanted to meet me for 5 mins. I jumped out of my seat. I thought - this poor charater is travelling all the way from the city in the scorching sun and let me get him a chiller(yes, its nice once in a way to pamper people!) Met him just outside my office gates and I handed over it to him saying "Enjoy!" And you know what? He hands over to me, a dabba full of my favorite laddus and says - "This is for you. I converted the IIM-S call!" I was pleasantly surprized and was brimming with excitement! Wow!!

I know this character in life for almost 7 years now. No matter what, we have been sticking around each other like the Siamese twins! A Samaritan, Philosopher, Guide, Soulmate, a shoulder to cry on, I can call him anything! Trust me, you can count on him for any damn thing! Honestly, I look upto this great personality in adoration for the sincerity, Hard work and commitment he puts in a lot of things he ventures in. And yes, these are the virtues that made him progress in life to the summit of glory inspite of a strong felt influence of mine in his life!

Yesterday was a very special day to him. Something, which this Soulmate of mine has been trying to attain had just come to him, into his very reach. After a long wait and sleepless nights in anticipation, Yesterday was the Red lettered Day in his life, when he got his admit letter. I was more excited than him, in fact much more excited than ever!

At this juncture, let me pen down how much I owe to him in my life. I was no lesser than a street urchin in my days at Anna Univ until I met this guy. It was him, who had instilled some sense of seriousness deep inside my head. It is him, who sat besides before every examination hitting on my head and make me look into my books. It was him, who tolerated me with patience and smile everytime I got into those terrible bad moods. And the list goes on and on..

All I want tell you is - you deserve a lot of good things in life and this is one of them! I sure I will see you accomplish much more and win a lot of accolades in the days to come! All the very best! Take Care!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Pondy!

Guess this blog comes a little late.
Had been to Pondicherry last weekend. It was a long weekend. 3 day vistit to Pondy with my Mysore training batchmates. Hence a little about the place which I heard and read!

Pondicherry was once a sleepy small port along the Coromental Coast, was a French colony until 1954. It is in this place did Sri Aurobindo and the "Mother" together evloved the "Intergral Yoga" for the purpose of transforming the earth making it a better place to live in.

Sri Aurobindo who was originally called Aravinda was a revolutionary Freedom fighter from Bengal, a vetaran leader also a great yogi moved to Pondicherry from Calcutta to an adesh of Lord Sri Krishna.

Mirra Alfassa was born in France - a mystic, artist and musician who had visited several countries and had lived in Japan for brief period of time. It is when she moved to Pondicherry did she realise the purpose of the occult messages she receive from the cosmos.

Mirra found the image of Krishna in the form of Sri Aurobindo and He recognised the Mother who is above all self in the form of Mirra. They together constituted the Aurobindo Ashram in the City of Pondicherry. It is there they discourced the art of "Integral Yoga" which is a synthethis of the existing yogas. The power of the Intregral Yogi was belived to have continuous interventions during the Second World War with a spiritual force saving many soldiers in the war. It is though Integral Yoga did a Special protection for Paris was provided. It is through these spiritual interventions did the mankind was saved in the Japanese attacks on Imphal. These are some of the influences of Sri Aurobindo and the mother which were known to the world. Most of the occult actions and interventions of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother are still not revealed to the world.

Many people whether or not they were Sadhaks or Sadhikas, or their relatives, they came to to take shelter to the Ashram to take shelter as it was a haven for them, especially at times of war. There was also a school run in the Ashram which was personally taken care of by The Mother. She became the first teacher in the school. Some of the sessions were recorded and transcribed in different languages. These ones are still preserved at the Ashram collected in seven volumes.

In 1950, it was a voluntary yogic descent of Aurobindo's body that made him leave this physical world and there were no signs of death. His body showed no signs of decay even when it was kept for 111 hours before the burial was performed. While, the Mother made attempts to attain the supermental state where she transformed her body to a more spiritual and elevated state through her Integral yoga. Once she received this state, she left her physical body in 1973.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Those were the days!

Received an email forward today - a few audio clippings of the programmes that were once featured in the Doordarshan, the official TV channel of India. Ducktales, Jungle Book, Surabhi, Malgudi Days.. How can I even forget them? I listened to them after almost their extinction!


Those were the days when the Television sets were an affair of the elite ones in the Inidan context. The Doordarshan was the only channel which was telecasted. There were quality programmes which attracted everyone in the household. I remember all of us at home waiting for Chitrhaar on wednesdays in totality. Ramayan was another such favorite of the entire family. I used to be so crazy about sundays not because I had off from school but for the reaosn that I get to watch my favorite Ducktales and Jungle Book. I used to consider Huey, Dewey and Luey to be my best pals and our little Mougli to be my super Hero. I used to even secretly fantasize wandering in the jungle with him. What craziness!


There were no reality shows which give huge sums of cash and kind to a few and make the rest cry in disappointment. No public mockery in the name of There were no teleserials with housewives as the target audience and apparently with all the rona and dhona, which run everyday promoting the sale of tissues and handkercheifs.

Life, definitely was much better! It was less materialistic! Very nostaligic! Those were the days!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Back!!

Been ages since I posted. Back afresh from Dormancy. Life kept me busy in various modes with its own hues and colors. Whatever may be it, I am back in Style. Stay connected anticipating for some super interesting blogging action! Au Revoir!