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Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Yechuri displays simliar understanding

From ET:

Notwithstanding the constitutional limitations of an interim budget and a vote on account, the UPA government appears to remain in a state of total denial about the gravity of the impact of the global recession on India. An interim budget can be an expression of the government’s declaration of intent and a balance sheet of its achievements during the last five years — an election pamphlet.

It can also give expression to the government’s reasoning on how to tackle this impact of the global crisis through increased public expenditures. This is particularly true when it is universally acknowledged that the way out of the present crisis is through a massive fiscal stimulus. The future government can well decide on how to account for these expenditures, either through monetisation of the deficit or through tax proposals for additional revenue mobilisation. Remember, the Bush administration had left behind a budgetary deficit of over a trillion dollars for Obama, who has now gone further for greater fiscal expenditures.

Unfortunately, the UPA government has chosen the first of these two options. Thus, by not rising to the occasion, it will only contribute to compounding the misery on the people. Much of the tom-tomed fiscal stimulus packages, like the Rs 70,000-crore infrastructure projects, come from allocations previously made in the last budget. The fine-print of the budget figures tells us that over the allocations made last year, close to Rs 40,000 crore extra, has been spent.

This is less than 1% of India’s GDP. What is worse is that for the next fiscal, the capital plan expenditure is slated to decline by Rs 4,500 crore. Clearly, the government is relying on private investment through PPP projects for infrastructural development, which, in the context of a recession, is a dangerously erroneous strategy. The burdens will eventually fall on the people, further depressing their purchasing power like it is happening with the private airports today where user development charges are being levied to meet the revenue shortfalls.

Much is being made of the resurrection of Indian agriculture. The fact remains that less was spent than what was allocated. So is the case with the social services sector. Not only have allocations been not fully spent, but the allocations for the coming fiscal in crucial areas is lower than what is being spent this year. Rural employment sees a reduction of Rs 6,650 crore, rural development Rs 5,176.59 crore, urban development (notwithstanding the JNNURM) Rs 1,734.95 crore.

So, far from envisaging any quantum leap in public expenditure, we see the government continue to remain trapped in the neo-liberal framework of fiscal fundamentalism. It needs to be repeated that the only way to meet the disastrous impact of the global recession is to enlarge domestic demand through employment generated by public investments in a big way. Already the impact of the recession has seen large-scale job cuts. Insecurity stalks millions of workers in export sectors like textiles, garments, etc. And 71 diamond polishers have already committed suicide in Gujarat. Other areas like construction, commercial crops like cotton, rubber, coffee, etc., are seeing an alarming drop in activity.

Under these circumstances, no amount of bailout packages can redeem the situation. These may improve corporate balance sheets but they cannot generate greater domestic demand. This can be done only through a massive dose of public investment. Only the naïve would feel satisfied with the fact that we are the second fastest growing economy in the world. The projected 7.1% GDP growth is bound to be significantly scaled down once the actual figures come in.

With the fiscal deficit rising to 6% of the GDP as against the projected 2.5%, many neo-liberals would argue as to how the government can spend any more. It makes neither economic sense nor common sense to be pre-occupied with fiscal deficit concerns under recessionary conditions. After a five-year run of over 20% growth of revenue surpluses, this year has seen a shortfall of an alarming Rs 60,000 crore tax revenue. This is precisely because of the global recession.

Further, despite a record foodgrain output of 230 million, the government has reduced the allocation of foodgrains to the states, in some cases to the tune of a massive 73%. This means, the government is stocking these foodgrains in its godowns paying a very heavy carrying cost which contributes to the burgeoning fiscal deficit. What is worse is the fact that the projected fiscal deficit for the next year is 5.5%, i.e., instead of expanding public investments, the government is planning a contraction of public expenditure.

It is this neo-liberal mindset of fiscal fundamentalism that needs to be jettisoned and a courageous ‘new deal’ of massive public investments must be undertaken. These are times for Keynesian fundamentalism.

In the long run we are all dead

Keynes quipped... no doubt that RBI's fiscal policies will lend a hand, but this article may offer a deeper meaning (published in NY Times).

If you were going to turn to only one economist to understand the problems facing the economy, there is little doubt that the economist would be John Maynard Keynes. Although Keynes died more than a half-century ago, his diagnosis of recessions and depressions remains the foundation of modern macroeconomics. His insights go a long way toward explaining the challenges we now confront.

According to Keynes, the root cause of economic downturns is insufficient aggregate demand. When the total demand for goods and services declines, businesses throughout the economy see their sales fall off. Lower sales induce firms to cut back production and to lay off workers. Rising unemployment and declining profits further depress demand, leading to a feedback loop with a very unhappy ending.

The situation reverses, Keynesian theory says, only when some event or policy increases aggregate demand. The problem right now is that it is hard to see where that demand might come from.

The economy's output of goods and services is traditionally divided into four components: consumption, investment, net exports and government purchases. Any expansion in demand has to come from one of these four. But in each case, strong forces are working to keep spending down.

Consumption. The Conference Board reports that consumer confidence is near its record low. It is easy to understand why consumers are so scared. House values have declined, 401(k) balances have shrunk and unemployment is up. For many people, the sense of economic uncertainty is greater than they've ever experienced. When it comes to discretionary purchases, like a new home, a car, or a washing machine, wait-and-see is the most rational course.

A bit more saving is not entirely unwelcome. Many economists have long lamented the United States saving rate, which is low by international and historical standards.

For the overall economy, however, a recession is not the best time for households to start saving. Keynesian theory suggests a "paradox of thrift." If all households try to save more, a short-run result could be lower aggregate demand and thus lower national income. Reduced incomes, in turn, could prevent households from reaching their new saving goals.

Investment. In normal times, a fall in consumption could be met by an increase in investment, which includes spending by businesses on plant and equipment and by households on new homes. But several factors are keeping investment spending at bay.

The most obvious is the state of the housing market. Over the past three years, residential investment has fallen 42 percent. With house prices continuing to decline, increased building of new homes is not likely to be a source of robust demand over the next few years.

Business investment has lately been stronger than residential investment, but it is unlikely to pick up the slack in the near future. With the stock market down, interest rates on corporate bonds up and the banking system teetering on the edge, financing new business projects will not be easy.

Net Exports. Not long ago, it looked as if the rest of the world would save the United States economy from a deep downturn. From March 2004 to March 2008, the dollar fell 19 percent against an average of other major currencies. By increasing the price of foreign goods in the United States and reducing the price of American goods abroad, this depreciation discouraged imports and bolstered exports. Over the last three years, real net exports have increased by about $250 billion.

In the coming months, however, the situation may well go into reverse. As the United States financial crisis has spread to the rest of the world, fast-moving international capital has been looking for a safe haven. Ironically, that haven is the United States. Since March, the dollar has appreciated 19 percent, a move that will put a crimp in the export boom.

Government Purchases. That leaves the government as the demander of last resort. Calls for increased infrastructure spending fit well with Keynesian theory. In principle, every dollar spent by the government could cause national income to increase by more than a dollar if it leads to a more vibrant economy and stimulates spending by consumers and companies. By all reports, that is precisely the plan that the incoming Obama administration has in mind.

The fly in the ointment -- or perhaps it is more an elephant -- is the long-term fiscal picture. Increased government spending may be a good short-run fix, but it would add to the budget deficit. The baby boomers are now starting to retire and claim Social Security and Medicare benefits. Any increase in the national debt will make fulfilling those unfunded promises harder in coming years.

Keynesian economists often dismiss these long-run concerns when the economy has short-run problems. "In the long run we are all dead," Keynes famously quipped.

The longer-term problem we now face, however, may be more serious than any that Keynes ever envisioned. Passing a larger national debt to the next generation may look attractive to those without children. (Keynes himself was childless.) But the rest of us cannot feel much comfort knowing that, in the long run, when we are dead, our children and grandchildren will be dealing with our fiscal legacy.

So what is to be done? Many economists still hope the Federal Reserve will save the day.

In normal times, the Fed can bolster aggregate demand by reducing interest rates. Lower interest rates encourage households and companies to borrow and spend. They also bolster equity values and, by encouraging international capital to look elsewhere, reduce the value of the dollar in foreign-exchange markets. Spending on consumption, investment and net exports all increase.

But these are not normal times. The Fed has already cut the federal funds rate to 1 percent, close to its lower bound of zero. Some fear that our central bank is almost out of ammunition.

Fortunately, the Fed has a few secret weapons. It can set a target for longer-term interest rates. It can commit itself to keeping interest rates low for a sustained period. Most important, it can try to manage expectations and assure markets that it will do whatever it takes to avoid prolonged deflation. The Fed's decision last week to start buying mortgage debt shows its willingness to act creatively.

It is hard to say how successful monetary and fiscal policy will be in avoiding a deep downturn. But as events unfold, you can be sure that policymakers in the Fed and Treasury will be looking at them through a Keynesian lens.

In 1936, Keynes wrote, "Practical men, who believe themselves to be quite exempt from any intellectual influence, are usually the slave of some defunct economist." In 2008, no defunct economist is more prominent than Keynes himself.

Friday, December 26, 2008

S.P. Teas & the Art of Job Selection

In the absence of appropriate information the best course forward is risk diversification to maximize profits. Consumer behavior can be aptly described by their act of ‘not putting all the eggs in one basket’.

Having known the fact that buying 3 S.P. teas at tapri will cost you Rs. 15 when a half liter milk packet that costs Rs. 12 would have catered you with 8 S.P. teas at home, you still vote tapri. Reason for this behavior can be explained by Cost-Benefit analysis that consumers do and by the perceived and economical value of the product or service. Lack of information in how to take the best use of available resources (making tea) may lead to these kinds of decisions. Thus, seeking the benefits and not venturing into an unknown domain, consumer will settle for less economical, but risk free S.P. teas at tapri.

This micro analysis of the situation can be applied to how students choose to apply for jobs during the placements season. Lack of information (about number of companies and economic situations) from the administration leads students to apply for what is available at the moment, even if the particular company is not a company-of-choice for her. Thus the best way out for students is to try and minimize the risks.

Had you been aware of the company you wanted to join, the one that is showing up for placements, the one that has shown interest in your profile and has shortlisted you for the interview, the one that you know would be meeting all your expectations, the one that you know how to get in (by any means), you mightn’t have applied to “Value Fund”, which according to your calculations is a risk diversification strategy having a lower priority. A prudent economical choice made in this case suggests that decisions made on limited information are to diversify risks.

It can be looked from the perspective of Trade-off between Risk and Return. You may settle for a lesser paying and mundane job, if you subsidize the risk and may end up with a perfect match defying all the economic downturn and negative sentiments. But it’s the choice that consumer makes. Looking at the graph, we can understand that a risk-averse consumer would settle for less by ‘keeping both options’ and a risk-taker might gain higher by choosing to stay by one job option.

What I understood after getting a little deeper into the Microeconomics’ fundamentals is that quite often ‘Correlation is not causation’. There may be other economical or behavioral factors that could be guiding certain actions. But the key is that these interlinks help understand complicated theories in simpler ways.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

India, again? Should we just write and hope that we performed our duties?

Everyone in India has reacted to what has been going on in Bombay, and everyone feels the same way towards what has happened. But will anything chance just because we are showing solidarity in the testing moments? The most that will happen, what I see, is that the politicians will be made scapegoats to rest our anger and that we will move with our indifferent views toward life. Everyone, including myself, who is hiding behind the walls of one’s safe home doesn’t have any right to criticize anyone, but ourselves. After being under attack for 48 hours, have we woken up to what the reality is like and what have been living against? Thank God it is over at this point, but will this ever stop? Will we ever wake up? Can we blame Pakistan for this and shed away all the responsibility? When will we stop reacting to the major threat that this country faces?

While acting a lot cynical, I must say that the terrorists performed there act well and had planned there moves well in advance when so-called saviors of this country bicker over the pity political issues. The blame game has started, but should we just listen to these filthy talks when we know what BJP and Congress vouches for? How difficult is it for these intelligent heads to understand that we are in war with Pakistan since 1971 – terrorism of one kind or another? But you can stay assured that not much will come out of their power talks. Well! The matter of the fact is that they are least bothered to what to feel; when they sit for two days discussing what actions they should take, and against what. It is easy to say that we, citizens, will take the control in our hands and act in best interest of this country. But will that ever happen? And, should that actually happen?

I felt disgusted when I heard NRN (first time since I had known him), Deshmukh, Modi, our very PM and many more when they went rhetoric that Bombay is resilient and it will bounce back. I ask them, and myself, just one thing: does it have any choice? With 70% of population living on a daily wage, do they have any choice to sit at home and not venture out for food? It easy for these politicians and others to talk sham while sitting in their safe offices. It is rather easy to shell out money and throw it onto the dead ones to silence the cries. Why don’t these Thakreys and HVPs of the world venture out and help the commandos and the citizens fight out terror that is no way far, but brewing in the heart of their own LOVED MUMBAI?

MARCOS, NSG, Reporters and the hotel staff who have been fighting and reporting to us since the moment this has all begun are the real heroes of the hour. Unikrishnan, Karkare, Kamte, Salaskar and many more are the real heroes who will into the pages of history with a smile on their faces.

I feel sorry for a few, many from my own institute, who are feeling relieved among the disgust that they have gotten a day off and are feeling sorry for others who were to attend classes in crisis. Do we really know what we actually care for and what we actually believe? Or are we just living from meal-to-meal and pretending to be humans while the nation sheds blood to survive the terror? But the problem of the matter is that we all, excluding a few, cry out loud when there is an emergency, but go along with the safe, unambiguous life not much is evident. You and I are no different; you are able to stay indifferent to what’s going around; I get perturbed, but do nothing to feel any better. Dead fish is a Dead fish; and we are on the verge of becoming one.

While the ash settles down, I echoes Harsha Bhogle’s words “everyone calls us resilient, but should we?”

Friday, November 28, 2008

Don't hammer them down.

Non-conformance to the accepted norms has been the law of the entrepreneurial society. I believe that raising your voice for the right reasons should not conform to the traversed path. Every society needs a non-conformist that can revolutionize an idea to lead the path of innovation. From Henry Ford to Mahatma Gandhi, from Galileo to Pt. Nehru, non-conformists treaded the road less travelled to change the face of the society. Furthermore, it is the need of the hour that guides the general belief. That is, norms that fit the society today may not fit it best tomorrow.

I believe that society would rather think rationally given a choice whether to follow the herd or to be critical about generally accepted beliefs. It is rather encouraged in the open societies and corporate cultures to be critical to ideas that may not suit the industry. IT industry, for example, in India changed the perception of the government towards its export oriented outlook. Today, face of modern India portrays a global outlook, which would not have been possible if we had followed the closed policy mindset. It is better to stick out and fail rather than staying put and be ignorant.

What would you choose?

Success comes to those who dare to challenge the storm. You don’t capture the mast sitting in the comfort of glass cabin ruing about the ethos that faltered along the way, rather you take the plunge clinging to your will and ethics. People unaware of the consequences may seek the right path to success, but the one who is conscious takes everyone towards the course. The given case reflects an interesting scenario that depicts clash of the integral values and mystified thoughts. The world is on a brink of imminent disaster and one wrong move could lead to irrevocable consequences.

Who doesn’t care for a hero in life? It is our natural disposition to seek qualities in others to what we lack and what we aim for. Superman is an immortal idol that humanity looks after to justify the means of the mere existence. It is with unfortunate turn of events that adversity has taken the front row, and has blocked the “free will” to take course. But the belief has not shaken; it has just subsided into the temporal views. Metropolis needs its hero, but the call to the hero has lost its mean in the oblivion of the material life. But as true savior, Superman can’t leave his disciples in the midst of confusion. Tyrant, that Lex Luthor is, can’t lead the fortune of the community into disarray.

Lex is justified in his explanation to himself only. He overreached a state where his decisions matter to no one but himself. With a socially dominant nature, human-beings will suffocate if they were to live away from society’s boundaries. As rules governed by the society fit best to the survival of the human race, vying away from the accepted norms will attract nothing but discomfort. The situation poses a scenario, which may prove fitting in the short term, but the consequences may be dire as the base of human existence is in danger. The social principles are formulated to aid the individuals and not to alienate them from their thought process.

Herd follows a herd. But the most difficult course is to break the herd mentality and make them realize of individual’s potential. Superman will face numerous obstacles and setbacks before he would incite the positive frame of mind, but before that he needs to stand to his conviction and follow what he thinks is well. Everyone loves to see the hero fall, but he is the one who bounces again and regains his mettle. It won’t be easy to bring back the reality to people’s lives, but Superman must be resolute to think in best interest of humanity and drive himself to achieving the right path.

The easiest way for him would be to join the hands with the oppressor and live undifferentiated life of the unknown. Standing there, Superman raised his head following the slow movement of his hand. He is looking directly into Lex’s eyes, but his mind is with the thousands who lost the meaning of life. Umbra of conflicting thoughts is clogging his head, stretching him between unyielding means. He reflects for a moment and picture of his past appears before him. Will he desert everyone who put their faith in him? Won’t he bring the ignorant to light? He looks at Lex again and with a sigh of certitude and says ‘we stand at separated ends of humanity, while you destroy it, I redeem it’.

If I were to align the animated thoughts to real world’s corporate ethos, I would adjudge that every corporate needs a Superman to challenge the inadequacies and repressors of the system. Pillars of success of an organization are supported by a few who believe in empowerment of others and live by the organizational ethics. Organizations often get infected by few greedy individuals who propel an ineffective culture. Organizations without a clear direction lead to unsatisfied employees. Superman of the Will Power, if succumbed to ineffectiveness, would certainly collapse the organization. Unwittingly, the onus comes on to the leaders to guide the best way out.

I believe that the leader is one who introspects clearly to what is desired by others and what is socially acceptable. He is the one who takes the right course even in unfavorable conditions. Organizations may not always know the right path to take and need a leader to drive them past the unknown. Those who dare to confront the inadequacies and unfavorable conditions, lead from the front, and finally, come out winning. Every one of us has a savior within; the key resides in realizing the potential and organizing the positive thoughts. A leader understands that well and believes in making future leaders and not followers.

To conclude, my Superman will stand strong with me and will fight for the values that he committed his life to. A leader stands tall whatever may be consequence and has to courage to take the uncharted course. For one Superman to vanish, many need to rise to take charge for without a leader this world will be a chaotic race. Ethics have prevailed in this society and will stand their ground for the ages to come. A few unsettling thoughts will not shake the very foundation of the society and organizational culture. The future lies in raising more leaders who have the sense of vision and who dare to challenge the storm.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

SWIM 2008

If human life can be ruled by reasons, then possibility of life is destroyed. But there has been no greater reason than liberation of women that has ruled the history. With Clara Barton founding the American Red Cross, the era of women leading from the forefront had arrived. From occident to occult, women have made their presence felt to the core of societies. We have come a long way from women suppressed society to an equal opportunity culture where women are no longer dream chasers, but are the dream creators. They are the fuel to the intelligent society. A stark shift from a fairer sex to a smarter sex image, the society has finally let dominion give way to the smarter thought.

Pursuing the thought, SWIM 2008 commenced with Lamp Lighting by our distinguished guests and felicitation by our beloved Uncle Bala. Uncle Bala delivered the inaugural note on contribution of women to the Indian economy and inception of SWIM as a forum to acknowledge successful women in business. Since the inauguration, SWIM has seen eminent personalities from all walks of life. Personalities such as Ms. Kiran Bedi, Ms. Mallika Srinivasan and Ms. Indra Subramanyam have shared the stage at SWIM. This year’s event was no different in attracting eminent personalities from successful businesses and corporate houses. SWIM 2008 revolved around the theme “Women as Trailblazers”, which explored the path followed by successful women and challenges faced by them along the journey.

The keynote speakers took the center stage and delivered some inspiring thoughts. Ms. Anu Aga gave a powerful speech on transformation of Thermax into a successful enterprise. She shared that entrepreneurial mindset and people focus made Thermax an enterprise of dreams for many and a place to worship for the employees. The ‘Thermax Factor’ made it a sought after enterprise for students from Harvard and other esteemed engineering colleges. Ms. Aga talked about Thermax’s innovative reach and bold steps that pushed it ahead of the competition. She shared her experience and thoughts on transforming Thermax to a globally respect and high performance enterprise.

Operational excellence brought in by McKinsey and Company was incorporated by Thermax to stay ahead of the competition. Thermax transcended Lean to the roots of the company to achieve excellence across operational and production areas. The hard fought battle has bore fruit. Thermax has recently seen 285 Cr. in Profit and was adjudged best sub-billion dollar company in Forbes Asia list. As she steps down as a chairperson, she wants her heirs to take rein of the company and understand the functioning well. After retirement, she would stay with the company, but wants to contribute more to the society. She mesmerized the audience with some deep thoughts.

A few thoughts that she shared:
‘Learning is a continuous process and there is no stop’.
‘People are great assets. Good people are our greatest assets’.
‘Making profit is a must, but is not sufficient’.
‘We will grow strong each year, but not only in financial terms’.
Women should not be submissive, but aggressive and assertive’.

There after Padamshri Sudha Raghunathan reckoned her life’s journey through music. She said that spreading the message of melody, message of bliss, ascertained the fact that the arduous journey was fruitful. She mesmerized the audience with her powerful and thought provoking speech. She contemplated that audience response was the most influencing factor that kept her spirits high through the journey. And appropriately, she concluded her note with a Carnatic song dedicated to Ms. Aga, wishing her good health and success.

A few thoughts that she shared:
‘If you can rise up to the expectations, there is no dearth of global recognition’.
‘What can I leave for posterity sake and what I can innovate to give back to music’?

Ms. Hemu Ramaiah of Landmark talked about makeover of a book store into a lifestyle space. She shared Landmark’s story of making landmark decisions in making it the most revered book store in India. No challenge or failure impeded her pursuit towards making Landmark an eponym for books. She shared that Landmark’s strength lies in meeting customer’s need, but providing enriching experience to the buyers. And at it reaches crossroad, Landmark has collaborated with Trent (a Tata company) to expand aggressively and to continue the Landmark culture.

Ms. Mridula Bharat Ram then took the center stage and delivered inspiring story of her life. She took the road less travelled and sought her way up through the man dominated corporate world. Coming from a South Indian conservative family, she fought her way to the corporate world dominated by men. But the call of the family brought her back to India and she took the reins of the family business.

The power talks were followed by enthralling, but enriching panel discussion on “Educated, intelligent, energetic and just in her 40’s – can she still pursue her career dreams?” The esteemed panel, comprised of Ms. Lalitha Maheshwaran, Ms. Pushpa Kandaswamy, Ms. Indra Subramanayam and Ms. Sharada, was moderated by none other than Mr. T.N. Seshan. Mr. Seshan’s presence in the panel was enough to glue the audience to their seats. The contribution of women towards country’s success was put forward in a subtle way of elegance. The idea that women are driven not by financial gains, but by inner passion was acknowledged very well with the audience.

Finally, Mr. Vinod Ganesh gripped the audience with a lively display as a quiz master. Mr. Ganesh has mastered numerous quizzes across the country including QFI Open and Infosys Corporate Quiz. With huge prize money at offing, Les Quizarables attracted participants from various colleges and corporate such as Infosys, iFlex etc. Personally, it was one of the finest quizzes I attended in the past few years. Preliminary round was easy to start with, but the final was a real teaser. With cerebral hemisphere walking an extra mile, the participants and the audience put up a nice display of erudite and scholarly genre.

SWIMming in the lake of desire, we met the fortunate end. SWIM 2008 concluded with a positive note fortifying the role of women in the new era. Great Lakes Institute of Management’s stride towards making a difference in the society and strengthening the role of women successfully emanated a positive vibe across. Powerful speeches, thought provoking discussions and inspiring personalities all echoed only one sentiment and that is ‘the era of successful women has arrived’. Personally, I feel that women are yet to reach the peak and gain reverence among masses, but I am certain that the climb has started.

So, be prepared. Stand up and thank the woman next to you. Thank her for the meaning that she has given to your life. Thank her for the way she has supported the society. You may not find time to thank her enough.

Venue: Sesh Mahal at Hotel Green Park

Sunday, August 03, 2008

they might get it right, eventually

hope is a dangerous thing, but when the next best thing is travesty, i would rather take a step back.

there might be a very bleak chance that turn out in our favor, after all, there is no better way to sit back and see chillax; instead of thrusting the head through the wall of bureaucracy. weak! may be! but there is one thing that they do best at the Guest Lectures Inst of Mgmt and that is its 'namesake'. there would be different perceptions and disparate understanding of the thoughts that go behind formulating a formidable advantage theory. and may be my perceptions lie in resorting shreds of negativity. i swear to my nine year old towel, which embraced the color of my skin, that i pushed myself to limits to comprehend the complex mental process behind the gestation.

but i must congratulate to a few folks whose KPIs would show inflated numbers at the end of the year, but i pity to the thought whose real intent died on the very first day of incubation. a beautiful thought that died on the footpath of a sweltering street. i do commend the efforts that go behind making this happen, but the i believe that thoughts sanity has lost its significance. it seems like it is the only that we are vouching upon and as if things will fall in shambles lest we think logically. on top of that when the herd is flocked into SH, there is only one thing that raises the attention, and that is not the personality with the bouquet in hand.

but in the midst of all the cribbing, there are a few who come to the GL forum and make their mark. i was blessed enough to sit in a few that painted a silver lining on a darkened canvas. somebody should really take a call on what's worth, but i guess many strings go behind the public face of the GLc. i feel that there have been desperate attempts of try out numerous strategies without contemplating on what the institute demands. "a blooming rose can do much better than a bunch of rotten flowers", but, may be, there is more than a management thought that is required to make its way through the smoked glass.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Women as trailblazers

Well! I started writing about it, but didn't find enough patience to complete in time for SWIM. here it goes...a failed attempt.

Intelegance :Beyond Elegance

If human life can be ruled by reasons, then possibility of life is destroyed. But there has been no greater reason than liberation of women that has ruled the history. With Clara Barton founding the American Red Cross, the era of women leading from the forefront had arrived. From occident to occult, women have made their presence felt to the core of societies. We have come a long way from women suppressed society to an equal opportunity culture wherein women are no longer dream chasers, but are the dream creators. They are the fuel to the intelligent society. A stark shift from a fairer sex to a smarter sex image, the society has finally let dominion give way to the smarter thought.

From the lesser known individuals such as Rashmi Bansal of JAM magazine to the transformational leader such as Aung San Suu Kyi, women have given a new direction to the oppressed society. Society at large has realized the contributions that women have made to the world. The transformation in the thinking of the society and the government is evident from the fact that women participation is encouraged in the bureaucratic setups, businesses and every walk of life. Human mind thinks in a single direction and is resistant to change, but women have given a critical direction to the thoughts and have transformed the thought processes.

i didn't like this one: (One might ask why we don’t see many women forerunners then. I feel that this we would need to come out of our shells for find the answer. Until a few years back, women only provided a conducive environment for society to facilitate innovation, but, now, are increasingly becoming the heart of innovation. From eBay to Lizzat Papad, from Pepsico to Biocon, women have led the transformation strategies and fortified their stance.)

Stand up and thank the woman next to you. Thank her for the meaning that she has given to your life. Thank her for the way she has supported the society. You may not find time to thank her enough.

Friday, July 18, 2008

I am Sudio

it feels like that i have got a majors in attending the guest lectures already. it seems to be an oxymoron here; guests are, actually, more than guests here; and, if you take my take on this, are no longer welcome here. they seem more prevalent than the real profs - which sometimes seems funny. and if you just go by the sheer quantity (not quality, mind you) of the information and hours thrown upon us, we must have completed three term courses in guest lectures. i am sure, no one bothers to bother about that.

and in the midst of shooting from all GL directions, there comes a running commentary that swayed from corner to corner and faded in the layers of dismay before anyone could understand why something happened that happened. i, for one, was scratching my head since morning as to what Studio presentation was planned for the day. with no cue of what was on the other side of microphone, i head to the lecture room and realized that i had come to the wrong room; for no reason why there should be a number of photographers and cameramen in the room; there was no press conference planned; are the BPR folks working overtime to get some under the table publicity?

well! it didn't turn out to be that way; i was forced to find my way to the dark corner of the room, but there was no escape, any how. the stage was set and the show was on. with all possible means of telecommunication equipments showing their might and being put to full use, the voice seemed transformed into binary codes and made its way to dormant eardrums. it was no less than an elementary Studio setup (which was solidifying my theory of some Studio presentation), but the question was still hanging loose. i was still unsure of why such a show was put up, when a voice rose from the imaginary dais of the Seminar Hall - "I AM SUDIO".

huh? what, what... what's that? did i hear that correctly? who did he say he is? my reynolds pen made its way to clear the wax, but that didn't help. is there a confusion here? is he so nervous that he forgot to put an alphabet at the right place? or, is it a new version of French? i was contemplating and fighting with my head when it came resounding - I am Sudio - without a 'T'. MY! i couldn't say no more...

Friday, June 27, 2008

Get up, stand-up

stand-up for your rights; getup, stand-up, don't give up the fight.

Marley had it; i may have it; there are a few more in the world who dare to have it. ain't there a scale to measure the steps that you walked towards achieving it? you achieve it or not is a separate discussion to have, but what's important is that you set the priorities straight and have straight means to achieve the goal - however much the world tries to pull you and whisk you through Jane Austen's classic (S&S - ?). you hold your ground well and pretend that you didn't feel the weight of 161 feet treading past you.

all what matters in this world is a self-made man, with a 'Made in India' tag on the collar. when everyone around the world is getting fidgety and trying to understand breeding of the Indian thought; when GMR is pulling all the blocks in getting India ready for the world; there comes a thought and rises to the level of godhood. when all (mortal beings) were lost in the silver ledges of Himalayas and trying to find the fickle Musk Deer along the shore of Lake Mansarovar, a mighty blow came from the gorges: what do you say is the probability that an Indian can go to China?

may be that's the reason why there is a cent percent presence in E2. there is only one way to love; and i may be getting to understand it...

Did you notice that too?

Discussion on advertisement is in the air, so here is the tribute:

These hoardings send a very deep message across the general public. Some may appreciate them, many would just shrug at them and cross untouched. A few of them have really hit the cord with me.

Consider these:

Wow! This is just amazing. We are giving you our cars for free and you are showing such an attitude towards picking our cars for free. So much for the Goodwill sake.

2. Bare minimum coverage:
I forgot whose ad is this, but the gist of it lies in the eyes of the beholder. A bare white statue of a lady, with eyes shut, shown with a BLACK patch across the breasts. Thoughtful, huh!

3. Yoga Classes:
A Diet Coke poster in the downtown area that shows a flipped Coke Can (flipped upside down). Coke sending a healthful message, huh!

4. Western Union:
Money Transfers made easy with Western Union. A hoarding on I-55N showing the ARCH on the left side with a message “Other ways to send money”, and a straight line on the right side with a message “Get money faster – Western Union”.

They just pulled it off with this AD. This may have pissed off a few in the St. Louis area, but that just made my day.

5. QT:
Quick Trip has a hoarding on I-55S that shows an image of a Gas filling nozzle with a message “CARBURETORS HAVE FANTASIES TOO”. You get it?

6. Some Realtor:
Hoarding #1: You know what we did with your neighbor last night?
Drive a little…
Hoarding #2: We sold their home.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

if you don't see me tomorrow...

...then goodbye, and good-luck.

i don't bitch that often but the open ware has started to transcend the virus through the porous veins of superficiality and finding it's way to the left side of the world. today, sitting here, in the filth of austerity, i am finding no way to dig my karma out. but i can see, for sure, the reason why contempt flashed over the serenity of the flustered face. and more i see middle-class idiosyncrasies trying get past another and spiral into a mighty burp, i see myself getting more detached with the personality of the generation.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

and i rest my soul bare...

...may be she attained Moksha and left the cruel world in search of 'the One'.

i feel that she had been waiting for that very moment from the time we entered the dungeon of Mr. F. - our landlord. it's been a hide and seek between the crawlers and nocturnal (my roomie and i). may be we invaded their asylum and threatened their very existence in the age of the worthy - to be MBAs. each day of learning at the school and following night-outs must have invested discomforting thoughts into their ancient, underdeveloped minds that we were The Threat to their very existence. but then they didn't make a move; and didn't even try to shoo out the encroacher. huh! may be they had become the talking-managers and couldn't fight their way out to a conclusion.

shit may be the case, she had to face it eventually, and she paid it dearly. the chirps have died in the dark of the ages and have subsided under the sound of incompetence (or incongruence for the worthy souls). i had it enough of them eating my crump out and creeping me out in the middle of night, and i finally took the gun to shoot them to glory. there dared their way in the line of fire and rested their lives for the One, for her. may be they all ventured to save her (that's how Iris refers it) - the only female cockroach in our washroom. they died one after the other, but they successfully managed to give her an escape route. but the fate had it sounded - she couldn't bear the burden of three dead cockroach souls on her head and, in the morning, we saw her body floating in the bucket, and we penned down the suicide case. may she (they) rest in peace - or piece. Amen!

is there a lesson we can learn out of this, or incubate a business model? i am going nuts!

oh! oh! 'Is it worthy to be a cockroach?' Analyze, criticize...

Monday, June 16, 2008

VJ’s Classics

It’s ringing in my head, with every alphabet taking the string and striking it with the blow of dissonance. Had it been Robben Ford, my amygdala would have channelized the safe passage and had ‘Let the Baby in’, but a discordant set of curious thoughts doesn’t get a free ride. ‘Is there anybody out there’ that could translate the universally accepted Floyd’s classics in accordance with VJ’s?

I don’t have anything evil in mind when I write this, but I just find it interesting to translate someone else’s thoughts and in conformance with mine. What’s more interesting is that my thoughts don’t differ much with the imaginary consensus that balances the strengths. I never had realized the sheer imagination that can rise through the slumbering monotone of a marketing lecture, but there are a selected few who are potent enough to break the orthodoxy of the nation and become the quintessential example of the rising generation. By the way, I love to rest my ass on the old sofa.

The classics turned out to be the essence of Gen-X’s way of looking at life, and it may just be my gray hair that resists transcending any contemporary thoughts. May be I should just try to be a little flexible and understand the deep rooted philosophy behind the classics, may be I should just stop thinking. Or may be you can decide better.

Take them with a pinch of salt (or rasam, if you insist):

Class –in the cusp of accounting; Surya S. straddling the slides and bleeding the projector...
VJ - Sir, Why do companies work on credit?

Class - especially, the bunch hiding behind the wall, agape...WHAT THE FUCK?
SS - hidden smitten on the face; who on earth can answer that? may be, i will try...
okay, we gave him the benefit of doubt; we didn't know what was in the store and what we will endure for the days to come.

class getting back to the sliding sine wave; a voice erupted...
i don't see anyone,
what's going on...
why did we stop,
why 's Surya s smiling again?

VJ rises from abyss: Sir, why do companies need to re-state their earning (to correct, if they stated it incorrectly)? why can't companies hide it from the investors?

SS, clutching on the mic, trying not to look perturbed. yes, yes, i can answer that...
travail continues... discussion drifted towards invoicing and invoices;
VJ - Sir, what if you loose the invoice of your order?
SS - get a duplicate. are you afraid of calling your vendor to send you a duplicate? oh! reliance connection might not be working.

and the travesty continued...

one more day, one more chance to raise yourself to God-hood. Shareholders seem to be happy that the company is gonna announce huge dividends...

VJ - Sir, who will track and make sure that you receive the dividends?
Excuse me...
where is the leash; snoopy, help me, i need to borrow something today...
SS - own the shares first, you ******; i am not your bloody assistant, who will track your portfolio, if you have one.

then, came a not the usual one...
VJ - Sir, how many companies in the US use LIFO system?
SS - this is not a GK class, remember? FA - getting a cue? in any case, here is the number...
we smirked.

SS showed an example wherein there was no fund impairment in a particular year, but other years had impairment.
Class - deep into the sea of FA and trying to grasp the rooted philosophy.
VJ - sir, why 2006 shows no impairment?
SS - common-sense; heard of it?

on the verge of finishing FA sessions,

Class - happy to be getting away from the distress...
VJ - Sir, if i sign a contract with a customer, do i show it on my revenue account...
guys, close the Ramayana, we gotta get back home; Ravana is not coming back to the home-town.

No negative thoughts; no bad feeling. Chill is the way of life – rock for a blessed few. May be a leash is a better option. Oh! For me.

The final frontier; the first step

You like it or not, the circuitous turn of events will take you back to the same hour of life. The scene is not quite different; smell of ink seeping through the pages; ticking of the piece rising through the head; targeted thoughts run by the minute and stay focused on the dried, dead thoughts of the orator. It’s like coming back to the same life, with listed thoughts setting guide to the unknown. And the link goes back to the over congested nights; overwhelmed with the striking images of the recent past. How would I cope up with the settled unsettling thoughts?

It took a lot more than courage to ride my way to the 24th SM Street; nothing but the mind is at stake; a way to behave and way to think. Notice not the ashes, but a diminishing sliver lining, which decided to rest for a while to stay alive with the optimistic thoughts. A few lively souls do traverse the path and brighten the hope to the dangerous degrees, but helping to keep standing and realizing the cushy spots along the bumpy ride. Jerry Macquire said it right “roll with the punches, tomorrow is another day”. If fight is the only way of life, then it’s prudent not to rest the armor, but to make it lethal with every grind.

But, then, there are so many dark spots that color at the horizon has decided to disguise the identity of the virgin soul. And the institution is making sure that disguised images go deep into the gallows of incompetence. The sheer lethargy of vibrant words let the message dwindle before it reaches the vestiges of the past in the wisdom tooth. What we hear and what we see is the thought of inability that tries to shape the future. With the crumbling foundation of an ignoble thought, there stands a man, with a dream to realize, a point to prove and a life to fulfill. Will it all rest on the dilapidating shoulders of the past; may be not; but on the strength to follow the trails of ages and making it glide past the demeaning thoughts of a noble institution.

It may have got a lot peripheral than I thought, but what good is the writing that doesn’t give way to the free will and the flow of unanchored thoughts? But the truth stays encumbered and squeezes through the life blood of the rising institution. What good do we do when we sprint with the zestful, but imaginary, thoughts not knowing that the relay has turned to a hurdle? A favorable, self fulfilling, prophecy would be to listen to the rooted sounds and strengthen the future for, an unbiased, good of all. That’s where the generations clash for the virtue of disguise, than for the eye of the bird. May all rest in peace, which, for sure, I won’t allow.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Au Revoir Infy

last mail from my Infy id...

Some reach the destination; some leave the quest in the middle. I will know what it turns out to be for me, but I will certainly cherish the 7.5 yrs that I trod towards the destination. Tomorrow (April 11th) is my last day with Infosys, and I want to thank you all who made the journey memorable. It’s been a great learning experience for me, and I hope that I was able to contribute my fair share to your learning. Be it at professional level, or be it at personal, I enjoyed every bit of my stay with you and Infosys. Personally, I feel that there is something common b/w my first and the last day – I am excited; there is lot more to learn and achieve and I am all ready to go round the same cycle again.

As I take a step forward and look back at the days that I spent here, I see all of you who helped me transform into a professional – to which a few might disagreeJ – I could say nothing else but ‘Thank you’. I genuinely wish that you do well in life and in your professional careers – to everyone who I met during the course ‘Good luck and Good bye’. I am certain that we will cross our paths again at some turn in life, but until then let’s rely on impregnable Google and stay connected – my personal id: batra.dheeraj@gmail.com – telecom folks: let’s not rely much on telecom – it will keep changing; jus’ kiddin’. To the unyielding: my number, till it rings – 22222 22222

If Megadeth were to say at this moment, it would have been:

A tout le monde,
A tous mes amis,
Je vous aime,
Je dois partir.

Signing off,

Saturday, May 24, 2008


Sparkle in the eye
She is trying to hide
Walking with the shadow
A picture to find
Watch her lips
Smiling with the words
She is drifting away
Leaving a feeling inside

I can love her good
More than what I should
I can see her face
Will I know her name?

A thought in the air
Blushing with what’s fair
Waiting for the ages to pass
Many rains to stop
To see her again
Falling with my love
Beckoning a happy start
Holding the time to stay

I will love her good
More than what I should
I see her face
Will I know her name?

I see the sparkle again
Waiting for me to say
And when she holds my hand
With the smiling way
I go down my heart
Shaking the feeling to stay
Then she cries
Asking to walk in the rain

I love her good
More than what I should
I see her face
I know her name.

what do i do with this?

there couldn't be a better start of the weekend after a few grueling weeks at the bureaucratic layers of the unbureaucratic institution. it's not with the usual sore eyes trying to find the meaning between the mythical lines of superficial world, but something with relief and content. one level above the forehead knocked down all unyielding barriers and resisted successfully till this moment when the creaks sounded and 'let go' was the wisest call. with Rocky putting me back into the real world where in the hidden hierarchal professional system leveled with the dust and reality bit hard.

with so much happening around the dark corners of time, it's getting difficult to give sufficient to what requires the most. with the unraveled enthusiasm running the veins of the newly formed committee members, with numerous e-mails that require shi(f)t+delete, with my last post hanging high accompanying the sword of Damocles, i pick the phone and call the obvious. murphy's law again proved prudent; your restful moment will always be shaken by the uncalled for event. iris is getting fidgety about the relationship that has settled in the dust of time; i am not opposed to her questioning the causes and reasons, but to the meaning what she is giving to it. i really don't have much to ponder about what's right and i don't have much strength to run it along with testing hours at the institute. who will succumb and to what?

what makes a good manager and what makes a good 'my man'? i am to the agreement that if you run through the defined course, then you know what they want you to know, but if you jump the rail and ride the aligning discourse, you know what you want to know and what is required to be known. personally, i don't want to lead the superficial course, and don't want that tag that along. infosys had been successful in making me a practical manager and i won't like to shed the practicality in favor of superficiality. delve deeper, but don't dig into pages of the past. live in the present, think about the future, shoot at the past and smile to life. it seems easier to do than it actually is; well! may be a lot difficult for the X-chromosomes. so, what makes it good - be it in management, or be it being 'man'? a superficial behavior or a deep love?

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

In the dark of night...

...it is always 3 in the morning.

and this night is no different. The day started with a set goal of accomplishing the set targets, of which going to bed on time was on priority. But fate has something else scribbled, hidden behind the monotone of the day. Most of it happened as planned, until we set out to shape the KarmaYoga project. After not so much effort, we found a registered organization, near Saidapet, that works towards welfare of the needy. And as fate had it, they were on the brink of calling in help to support the effort in Atma Nagar Village (a slum area near Saidapet bus-stand) that charred down into scrap after the blazing fire yesterday.

The talks commenced amidst chirps of mynas, but ended with the wrenching cries of the few who endured the pain and were scavenging through the scraps in hope to get a glimpse of their belongings, which will never be their's again. It was heartening to see such a disaster; almost 200 people were left without food, clothes, shelter and the necessities, and with pain, anger, desolation and uncertainty. The Hindu ran an article on the disaster and comfortably pointed that everyone was provided with food, clothes and basic necessities. But the truth on the ground didn't agree with the beliefs of the common. Most of the inhabitants complained about not getting the proper attention from the municipality and the police.

What came out: people who owned the land in the village and whose houses were damaged were compensated with Rs. 2000, 1 saree and a few pounds of rice. Authorities seemed to be detached from the reality. I don't say that they wouldn't have tried to serve the cause, but that they didn't assess the situation completely and made the first judgmental verdict. We met a family who showed us a burnt down cup-board, which they used to store clothes and books. Everything else conceded, the family was heart-broken by the loss that its kids suffered - gift of knowledge. Mind you, it seemed an ordinary village, which provides maids and sweepers to the surrounding community, but the kids conversed in English. There were a few more issues that surfaced, which the authorities may never encounter, that is: families that were staying on rent and have lost everything that they possessed, but the government would be giving the compensation to the land-owners, who might not have visited the place in years.

At this stage, priority is to provide food and shelter, but the precursor to that, which we decided, is to arrange for plates (for food) and tumblers. There will be many other issues that need to be sorted out for village's rehabilitation, and I hope that we would be able to help them some way. It's quarter to 3 and I can't see nothing, but my pillow. And at this point, after digging the entrepreneurial roots and dissecting P/E variables, I got nothing but a drained soul. Gotta rush back to my house.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Partial night-outs et al.

no real work has started yet; none of the self-defacing perceptions have skipped through the pages of Empirical studies, but the eyes are sore already and the cerebrum is getting cues to search the way towards the comforting bed. time has rolled back a few years and after mid-night deliberations on unwarranted topics have started to regenerate. it's been an interesting turn of events till date; from many dignitaries face-a-face to individuals' ability to put everyone to sleep, last few days have given a good insight into what the falling year will paint.

JCs walked out and Champions have taken the stage, but not without the blood that spilled in the process. perspectives are going wild and clash of cracked heads is leading to an uncompromising fight between the resting and the unyielding. but one thing is for sure, and that is ones own ability to walk the missing line and lead the way - not for anyone else, but oneself. the institution is on her way to standing tall, but inbred bureaucracy of the Indian institution tries to shake the unstable foundation. at this stage, all one can do is to stay focused and be confident about making a mark while shooting in the dark - well! not quite that way; okay, let's discount it with a 60W florescent bulb.

it's time to introspect, to coordinate, to network and to learn the basics with righteous self-respect. i may fall short on meeting all of these, but won't loose the focus - life is at stake. remember! more than that the push to prove myself again is hardest to shake hands with. but am i left with a choice? not really; and to a fledgling extent, i don't want a choice. in all the positive ways, it will be an interesting 1 year away from work and from the soporific turn of the days. it's time to reinvent and reconfigure the mind and the state. the need of the hours is not only learn, but also cast the days to come. good that Veeranam is keeping the heads cool, otherwise the scorching heat would have drained juices out of our veins. i hope to keep the tempo high and keep Veeranam alive for the next 50 weeks. Amen!

Friday, April 25, 2008

Change is the essence...

... and hopefully, this time, it is happening for good. If not, I will make it that way. I am back to where I started. Literally. Chennai has an invisible charm (!) that has made its way into my blood stream. I am back on the sweltering roads of Chennai with a faith of starting it all over again - start of a career and a mid-start of the career. It's gonna be one interesting year ahead and I hope to make it a turning point of my career. And with a few distinguished names taking the lead, I am sure that the missing pieces will fall in place.

What's at stake? I guess everything. My professional career won't be the same once I return; my personal life clings to the edge with a ray of hope. But now, as the pages have turned, I must shed the apprehensions and strengthen the feeling of fulfillment; many promising thoughts help build the faith, but only the time (or relentlessness) will tell what takes charge - we study the past to predict the future. Let's hope some one gets lucky this time.

I know you won't gather much out of this post, but, I assure you that things will get clear as I re-commence on my writing habit over the blog.

what was i thinking?

Splitting images rest in the past,
Fading pages drift in the dark,
Leading the hope I turn it clear…


You loved me nice,
Embraced me good,
Gave me breath, gave me truth,
Walked besides holding my hand,
Were the light where darkness prays.

You took me high, many ages beyond,
Standing ahead of an impending thought,
Pulled me out when I dug the hole,
You were shining and a ray of hope.

Gave me friends, gave me foes,
Learning is what you never closed,
Losing the sight of the grown ambition,
Something doesn’t fit with the creation.

Time I take a deviant turn,
You stay with me is what I yearn,
Many years you loved me close,
Time we sing a nascent prose,
I look at you and take a sigh,
Taking it forward I bid you goodbye.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Come Be My Light

It ain't the phrase what the Renaissance protagonist would have said to a rosy face, smiley eyes effervescent beauty. For that matter, it ain't the catchy phrase that I am saving for my lover. And for heavens sake, it is not what Ameren UE is leaving on my voice mail. What is it then? Is that something potent enough to make somebody 'a saint' a sinner? This is what Mother Teresa has 'supposedly' written in her confession to Father 'i don't remember who' (that Jesus called her to be His light to the pitied and the ones in need); the gist of which is that Mother Teresa had doubt in her faith towards eternal existence (which I tend to agree, but that's not the point), and that she lived with it for more than 50 years of her servitude - the writer may call it.

I heard about all the talk a few weeks back, but didn't find enough push towards forcing myself to Google it and read it through, until Time's latest edition showed up at my doorstep and I nothing, but wondered, what could this possibly be. So the first thing that after I finished my daily after-work chores was to pick the copy and read it till the last word. Without blinking, mind you. And what changes after all the reading? Just that a minuscule 'wow' became a "WOW". But did that really change the image of "The Saint", "The Mother Teresa", the one who served an alien country all her life, without shedding a drop of sweat? I see many raising hands in affirmation, but I beg to disagree with the crowd, or the ever-naysayers.

The letters that the Mother wrote in her confession clearly shows that she had doubts in the existence of Jesus and that her inner darkness raised her nothing beyond an average human-being. An average human being, who we all admired for her selfless acts, for her being true follower of Him. Did we call her saint because she was a true follower, or because she worked on something beyond just putting in posters inviting 'the claded' for Sunday Mass or morning prayers? We know all that, deep in our hearts. Can we go really rise over our heads and strip someone with something that the whole world has given with love and faith? Can we divest our beliefs on a fractiously written, hoping to make millions, deprecating pages of Brian
Kolodiejchuk's book? I know you would love to see the hero fall, but won't that fall with the belief in humanity?

But for that matter, who has designed the system of calling an average human 'A saint'? An average person, who walked ages to serve the un-served, to help the ones who the country of a billion has always ignored, and still doing so. Walk the line that you haven't seen before, you will know how difficult it is to believe. Cross the borders and extend your hand, you will know what you get in return. Suppress your beliefs and believe in the faith of other, and you will understand what it's like to feel a saint from within.

Want to feel the saint within? Don't wander around miles above the sea-level, don't substitute your external self with the rags, don't sit in prayers at 6 in the morning, don't close your eyes before the family meal, and, please, don't sit 15 feet high at the platform and see the beleaguered chant to your nursery rhymes. Stand in the middle of crowd and extend your hand to help the one in need (may not be your wife here); shed the non-existent shackles of society and walk with the under-privileged (not the ones that arjun singh talks about); share your meal with the one who haven't eaten for 4 days; you would feel nothing, but a saint. 'A Saint for the Day'.

'A Saint a Day' is what we need to rise above the unfortunate talks to proclaiming somebody a sinner, or a saint. Would you stop believing in Hendrix, raise your voice to SRV, shy away from Marley, if I tell you that they had 'Dark Light' hidden somewhere in the dungeons of their outer self? C'mon get back to real work - you have four billion waiting for you to come and extend your hand.

"I want to love Him as He has never been loved before."

Monday, April 02, 2007

some things are just meant to happen,

so does getting to read something extraordinary just for the fact that you didn't find anything else to read. and a feeling to surrender to someone else's philosophy to take you deep into the process of assessing your own life. this is what happened when i surrendered my thoughts to keep up with a goonda. a gangster. no, i didn't join a cult group or a faction. i just finished reading Shantaram - a story of a gangster, told by a gangster.

i must accept that it took me more than two-and-a-half months to finish this book, but i must also confess that it was worth it. the great part is that it never occurred to me that i have had enough of this guy and it's time to move onto something more subtle. this book did nothing less than an extraordinary job to make a real-life-hero out of a gangster. every minuscule narration in this brings out the literary genius of GDR. and at this point, i think i have enough of his wisdom that i can distinctly delineate each character from the book. hmm, i see them often :o)

GDR must have added lots of twists and turns to the real story, but the way it's been told is what holds the line. the philosophy did the just thing to keep it real and to relate to difficult details of life. did i find myself crying while turning the weight to one side? possibly. do i respect the courage and vision with which goondas lead their lives? certainly. it's not for what they do, or how they do it, but for the confidence and organization with which they do it.

what i wonder is, what made him positive in all his dealings. the book portrayed him as someone who you would walk to any point in time and he would be ready to help you out. i think that is the soul of this book and which is what kept it alive till the last written word, any beyond. keep yourself open to all that happens to you and you will see wonders. may be, you will pay dearly to experience that, but, certainly, a million will be enlightened with your experience.

for what it's worth, thanks for making a literary genius out of a runaway. i am not sure whether Shantaram's sequels could be as invigorating, but i would wait for them. life goes on... (fuck, i thought i would write a review, i just ended with a cryptic note.)

Thursday, March 29, 2007

disbelief or discontent?

you stand infront of the mirror, you dig into your soul, ponder over the things that you can't understand and, finally, give up the spirit that keeps you from losing. is it the belief that you can't hold upon, or is it that you are not content with the status you have achieved? is one leading to another and running in circles? or, am i losing a good frame of mind? this is sick... when you start to loose confidence, cringe on any thought of jumping ahead, shed any possibility of standing for your ethos, you know you are fucked.

gotta get more into dream theater...

Saturday, March 24, 2007

hoo haa India. Aaya India

so the wait is over now; no more sleepless nights; no more baseless discussions during office hours; no more throwing blame on 'The Fantastic 11'. The Indian team is coming home and that 's the truth. It's the time when the saints think that everything stands against them, and they are left stranded in the middle to face the apocalypse. But is it just that? The saints are standing against their own beliefs and diggin them down.

started with a happy note,
glanced sideways with some hope,
turned into a sloppy boat,
come down home, have some dope.

Aaya India:

waiting for the hour to click,
sitting down with an empty wish,
uneasiness that passed the jitters,
nothing but the weary prayer.

rushed down along the road,
many wishing to knock the floor,
zipped passed many in wait,
mind moving with an uneven gait.

ticked down after a minute,
shifting sides to gather the wait,
ecstatic feeling shouting the fear,
and, we started with a formidable spear.

blood rushed through the head,
conflicts rose equate the fear,
prophecy is showing the face,
it's time to end the race.

came down hard on us,
jaded eyes soothe the ire,
impeded the flow of thoughts,
got nothing but the naughts.

turned into a disastrous fillip,
shed tears and take the sip,
you can't do more wrong,
guys, it's time that you come home.

hands down!

Is it just me or is it the 1/6th of the world? hooooo haaaaa Indiaaaaaaa... aayaaaaa Indiaaaaaa... you get it.

& here it goes...
you Made Me Cry, You Told Me Lies
but I Can't Stand To Say Goodbye
mama, I'm Coming Home
i Could Be Right, I Could Be Wrong
hurts So Bad, It's Been So Long
mama, I'm Coming Home...

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

the queue will always be there

monday morning, steering to the corner,
tapping windows, following the grind,
twenty cars, a thought brushed my mind,
the queue will always be there.

screeching buses, rushed to the gates,
checking the bags, passing them clear,
we carrying a gun, what they fear,
hey! the queue will always be there.

walked a mile, ran to the loo,
strangling bodies, urging to clear,
heard the voice, coming my way,
the queue will always be there.

climbing the walls of a disgruntled spaceship,
knocking heads, rushing for the food,
bowel movement, doing no good,
you say, the queue will always be there.

arduous journey to complete the year,
thought of promotion, grappling in fear,
fate subsided, your peer got it there,
they say, the queue will always be there.

crossed my fingers, drowning in the blue,
wish i walk by without a queue,
no matter what is your fear,
i say, i say, the queue will always be there.

Monday, December 04, 2006

will I call it quits - a travelogue

...you must be kiddin'

This is the time when the core reality knocks the door of the farce world. The imminent is what that holds the truth. It is not what you think is right, but it is what the life makes you realize on every turn.

nayy, I am not upto writing some philosophical finding that I dug over the weekend, but to try putting down my first-hand experience with death. I'm just kiddin'. I went to the waterfall rappelling trip last weekend to Malshez (in Thane distt.) with a bunch of over-zealot guys. It was one of the best (adventurous) experiences I have ever had. It's something that 's difficult to put in words, but even more difficult to experience first-hand.

We started-off from Pune on late Friday evening; it's a drive of around 3 hours from Pune. With no idea what to expect for next two days, we were shouting our lungs out to the music that no one had a particular interest in. With the parody to one and dumb-charade to other, the moment put us all in high spirit. An extra tinge was added by a late night drinking spree at Malshet. With all the high energy and a nice sleep under the moon lit sky, we were all set to take on the next day.

The day started earlier than usual with the Dhumketu (a professional group that organizes adventure sports and outings) guys shouting over our heads to get-up and get ready for early excitement. Alright, it was time for some earl morning lecture and we were told not to smoke, litter plastic and drink - what! didn't see that coming. Hell!! what will happen to the SmirnOff that's waiting from quite some time for me to twist its neck? Well, that's left to be seen. After a small trek and a handshake with the rising sun, we reached the place where we would make our first decent. Fuck! a 400 feet drop.

Well! I guess, just because so many guys were waiting to take the plunge make others (and me) feel that everything is gonna be just fine. Furthermore, a little of excitement was making sure that I don't run away ;o) I'm sure, in any case, I wouldn't have. So, here I'm, standing on the edge of the cliff, hanging with a bare 1/2 inch rope, and nothing else to support. I took a quick look down-fuck! it's gonna be a long-long journey. It started off pretty well, with me bouncing off the wall, making sure I don't break the rope. For a moment it felt good, and then there was an overhang - nothing to support me, but air. Was it my head that was spinning, or me? I have no clue, as I was trying my level hard to reach to the bottom of the cliff. A brush of water from the fall shook my senses, and I somehow reached the bottom. Hell! that was some experience.

Was I afraid, No! But there was nothing much I could do to convince myself that I wasn't. I guess, it was just the heart and head fighting over some trivial issue. Yeah! right.The fact that no one was doing any better, gave me confidence and the new motto that "everyone falls the first time".

Now, it was time for the Flying-Fox (or firefox). It was to cross the trench across, hanging down the rope. By this time I was a little confident that I can do it and I just jumped over cliff and crossed it in time. Some hope for life. This was the end of the adventure for Day-1 and how can it culminate without getting drenched under a waterfall? So, here we were, without giving a second thought to people around, jumped into the pool. The night came in quite early, and again, we were all sitting across the fire and singing our lungs out. It was quite an experience sleeping next to the waterfall, with nothing but stars looking down on us.

The next day had 3 descents in the bag. Two 250 feet drops and a 90 feet drop. Those went pretty well and the whole show culminated with a plunge in the pool. And, here, we got a chance to celebrate it fully with the Vodka shots in the middle of the pool. Can't just let that go. A 5KM trek and we reached the place where we had to end our journey. Smiles, stories, jokes, and, yes, songs took the front seat again. 3 hours of the music show ended at Pune with nice memories and goodbyes.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

When I couldn't think it over anymore...

Slap! Slap! it's globalization stupid!

Today, it's everywhere; it's the most potent force that is sweeping Indian streets and minds. From the moment you wake-up to the moment you lie down. It's hitting us every moment in ever different forms you can even imagine. We have started to take it as a part of our daily life and culture that we don't assume that it is not our's. Yes, we have adopted it, and adopted it well. But can we ever deny that it doesn't belong to us? I couldn't.

The moment I cut the engine of my American branded, European styled, Indian assembled Ford Ikon and switching off car's Japanese branded, China made Pioneer car stereo with Korean speakers, I am deep into the waters of Globalization. When I unlock the UK made Yale lock I started to feel the affect of the Globalization. When I take off my European-Indian-made Lee Coopers and Amerian-Indian-made Samsonite back-pack and put them in an Indian made rack I am started to shiver with the affects of Globalization.

What else should I see to realize that it is there? I decided to give myself a tour of my measly furnished house. I got into the room where I keep my clothes; with American Levi's, UK's Pepe's and Lee Cooper's, Reebok, Nike, Louis Philippe, Van Heusen, Gap, Tommy Hilfiger, Polo Ralph Lauren, Nautica, Dockers, BlackBerry lining the rack, I noticed a Canon SLR eyeing from a Samsonite handbag. Boy! I am in midst of something big. Did I ever realize this. No, not even in distant dreams. Then I walked a little more and was hit by the Korean Samsung Refrigerator, which is the only possesion I have in my kitchen.

I was flabbergasted, but I decided to walk a little more in my small 2 bed apartment. I walked into my entertainment-cum-bedroom and noticed a Korean-Indian-made Samsung TV set on the top of the stand that is made keeping American style in mind. Attached to it is a Satellite radio tuner imported from Taiwan and my one nice possesion - A Japanese branded, China made, US bought, Indian import Onkyo music system. I turned and noticed a side table, which is lined with books comprising Teach yourself French, Bono on Bono, omnibus Saki and others, along with the Sony headphones and a Sony digicam, which is cased snugly into a China made camera case. Man! I was thinking, what does this all means? And I really didn't get any answer.

And while sipping a Diet Coke with a Nokia in my hand and leafing through Friedman's 'The World is Flat' I realized that the guy is actually right. We are passing through a zone where the world is turning upside down, in silence, and no one is noticing. May be a few do. It's all about competing in the leveled world and putting in place the best in class and taking advantage of it. The ones who do are on the top of the world and ones who had just realized are sitting on the floor typing on a Japanese branded, well Japanese made, US bought, India imported Sony Vaio notebook while listening to Led Zep on a California designed, China made iPod. It's Globalization at its best.

Friday, July 14, 2006

We Indians come cheap

Despite that fact that The India Factor has terrorized the world over, we Indians come cheap. In real terms. The ideas that affect the generation, the relationship that kills the nation and the need that exploits the beliefs are all make we Indians cheap. From government policies that languish the freedom of speeh (ah! blocked my 'c' already) by blocking the blog contents, to the ever scorned neighbours killing the innocent, to the herd running behind low-end jobs are making Indian context cheap in the India Shining regime.

Whatever resentment the bloggers had against the government inadequacy to control the situation in Bombay, the government didn't have (ethical) authority to block their way out to shout their opinions. It's the India that English would have envisioned, but we have come a long way to rise above these petty ideas and can behave as a reasoned country. However much a government try, the history is a witness, free will and acts come out in open and make their way to the mass of the understanding few. Chinese governement can dictate what people should think, but it can't still hold the free will. Taliban tried, and is trying, the same for years, but still the free will makes its way out; well, not quite often though. We Indians can't think on those lines and surely can't walk in the restricted boundary. The freedom will be misused for sure, but you will always have more on the positive side to make it better.

pakistan for one is really making us believe that we do come cheap. We have tried for decades to calm the situation down, but with no substantial outcome to the process. I firmly believe that deep down our hearts we know that there is no solution to the Kashmir issue because neither side will relent to the want of other. We try just because we need to, to show that we are a peace loving country. For how long will be succumb to uncalled for expectations and live under the shadow of terror? I am certain that till India and pakistan are attached by geographical boundaries, we won't find the resolution to the issue. There could be another aspect of this issue: may be we don't want this issue to be resolved. What else will we have to fight for; it's the inherent aggression that we have to subside one way or the other.

And when we have had swallowed enough of cheapness, there comes "Indians are Cheap" cry from all over the world that I had to throw up to see it myself. Indian IT did make a mark all over the world and made real the Globlization 2.0 (per Tom Friedman) a reality and India did rise above the neutrality to stand on the higher ground, India didn't save herself from the scorns of millions. It's just not the world who is saying that Indians are special (special cheaps?), we (Indians) do feel that we are special (not cheap), but we have taken a long circuitous way to heaven. And, I guess, we expected some (many) raised eyebrows. Probably that was the only one in sight. It surely will take a lot of hard work to shed the global belief that it's cheapness "anywhere you see". Early signs have started to surface. It's just the matter of time now.

So what makes us unique? One thing that I can think of is our ability to rise above the petty politics and government policies and terror and external pressure and present our best to the world and ourselves.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Adieu F1

Finally, he got it straight and decided to move under the shadow of his previous boss 'Ganassi'. He has been a phenomenon on the F1 circuit and would certainly leave a void in the line-up. After his debut in 2001, he rose to the ranks where the likes of Shumi were apprehensive about getting past this guy; the perfect attitude towards the game and spirit to fight till the end made this guy the likeble to all. You like it or not, everyone had a corner that always praised this guy one way or the other.
The sudden exit might have been hastened by the team McLaren pile-up along with other 3 at the Indianapolis this season. But I think he has been feeling the heat from quite some time - from his era with Shumi jr. Long gone the days - I am sure he will find his way up to the elites of the NASCAR where Earnhardt(s) have made home. Well, he can't expect the kind if salary ($12M) that he got as McLaren driver, but would surely find NASCAR more fun and exiting. Finally, that what actually matters. (How big a difference would it be if you get a million less - not a lot to you and me :o)

Good luck to the good guy (Juan Pablo Montoya)! Now, he is free to drive the Ferrari(s).

...and the legend lives on

ZZ will remain ZZ in the eyes and hearts of his fans and admirers. No matter what a 30% of French says that he led them to defeat, he will stay a legend and a wonderful player to most of the French and others around the world. A lot has been talked and judged on what happend on the pitch on that fateful day, but the truth may never come out fully. Would he be repeating the same hall-of-shame infront of the media who will make fun out of no reason? I don't believe so, but we would know that in some time.

ZZ was caught in a little bustle in this not so ideal world and that too on his last formal appearance as a French mid-fielder. Marco Meterazzi puked the Italian dirt and got a butt in return. However much he try to come clean out of it, the shadow will follow him; and that's not just for Meterazzi, ZZ too can't come out clean out of what he did on the most watched and admired competition under the sun. Yes, giving the benefit-of-doubt in favor of ZZ will appease a part of the commotion out of the scene, but will never let him hold the Godly status. Well, he can stay demi-god and lead the crowd. And given the fact that Chiraq and the Coach and the team and the host of politicians have given him a clean chit and re-assured that Zidane will remain Zidane because, well, he is Zidane, ZZ will remain a legend for millions.

Zidane has been in the news since 1998's French triumph over the coveted gilded trophy. His two headers against Croatia led the French to the finals; we know the rest. That wasn't just being the French factor, but his adaptability to lead and perform when it was needed the most. We may forgive him of what he did this summer, but who can forget what ZZ is to football? That great control over the ball, that killing of ball after each pass, that finesse in the last minute hit, that coolness over the pitch (well!!), that unnerving presence in the ground can never be forgotten and will be remebered and talked for the decades to come.

What I heard is that he will be setting his career as a coach to the young/emerging teams in France and will help them learn the best from the best. I hope he is able to impart the best of ZZ into the new generation, minus the worst of it. I hope we see more of him in shape of the next generation. I would love if he could bestow the ability to find that extra moment before delivering the ball to his students, but that may just be the innate talent and may just go to bed with him.

ZZ has created an aura over the football world and which will oversee the grace and glory for centuries to come.

Monday, June 19, 2006

I give a damn...

It's funny that whenever I see this logo (of Deccan airlines) I get into a mode of criticizing the advert that made it public. What was the promotion manager thinking when he/she designed this logo? Oh! I got it. In any case, Deccan is not going to pay me much, so why bother. I give a Damn! And that's where this all started and made into the books of cheapest logo of all times.

Alright, I up my hands and I give a Damn to what you say. I think this was the strategy since the inception of the airlines. I mean, whatever the customer feels, any way they suffer, I will just throw my hands up and say hey! I give a Damn. And what else is the best to make your point clear than having your logo sends the message? I see it everywhere, all over the non-existant air and ground crew. My flight is late; Sir, I give a Damn. There is no information about the flights; Sir, I give a Damn. I see that the toilets are not clean; Sir, I give a Damn. I am choking, get me water; give me 10 bucks, or choke to death; Sir, I give a Damn. Someone just puked next to my seat; Sir, I give a Damn, when people give a Damn.

I don't have anything against the airlines, just that it is never on time, the hostess comes and ask 'whether you want to pay 10 bucks for water now, or later?', or you never get to find out whether you are in a wrong flight until you fly over Pune instead of Ahemdabad. And when you find a courage and talk to the just-out-of-sleep airlines professional, you will get a message 'Sir, didn't you notice our logo - it's all over, should I turn around? Sir, you are too stupid to understand. Sir, we throw our hands up and we just give a Damn! (to what you say, what you feel).

And than I thought, at least, they called me Sir. Hell yeah! I give a Damn.