Sunday, November 22, 2009

The Newspaper times.

I have a habit of reading newspapers everyday. I started reading it from the days my father used to read “The Statesman" when we used to live in Calcutta before it became Kolkata. Moving to a small village called Pallassana, in Palakkad, Kerala, where the newspaper agent could not provide us with English newspapers as he could not get one for us everyday, i started reading the Malayalam newspaper “Malayala Manorama” and then the “Mathrubumi”. This opened up a different world to me. A world seen by Malayalees and written in Malayalam – This was alien to me but gave me a window to a new world and helped me learn to read, write and speak Malayalam well. Looks like I was meant to learn Malayalam and see the world that a Malayalee sees through the Malayalam newspapers.

I went back to reading English papers when the agent started to get “Indian Express” everyday in my village after many years. I then moved on to read “The Hindu” when I went back to Kolkata for a brief period because my father used to subscribe that instead of “The Statesman” as he believed that “The Statesman” had stopped reporting good content and that “The Hindu” was by far the best daily journalism in the country. I benefited from this decision as well. The Hindu had many eminent journalists who wrote about various matters of great national and regional importance with great insights and honesty. They also had great command over the English language and I was at the receiving end of both good journalism and good English everyday.

I moved to Bangalore to pursue (I always wondered why does a career need to be pursued? Isn’t there a better word/usage for it? ) and then moved on to reading the Deccan herald and then the Times of India, in Bangalore. Few years later , I was introduced to color newspapers by the Times of India and that certainly made my news more colorful. The language and the content were substandard as compared to the Hindu and the Statesman but made up for it through liveliness and diverse content(that’s my justification for not reading better papers!). Moreover it was cheaper and ‘cool’ to be reading The Times Of india (TOI) than when ones claims to be reading the Hindu! (Yes!! Reading newspapers, and that too TOI was cool! Unlike now when reading anything on a paper form is so un-cool!!)

I am now in China and I read many more papers and magazines on the net everyday. This includes the before mentioned ones and some new ones like the Economic Times, Economist, The South China Morning post, the Xinhua Daily and The Strait Times . One reason i read it on the net is because i get i free and can read it anytime I have feel like reading by just connecting to the internet. A newspaper paper in China costs 7 RMB to 10 RMB here daily, which translates to 50 to 70 rupees per paper per day. I have been habituated on spending in the range of 2-3 rupees a day for a paper all my life and find it appalling to have to pay 70 rupees for one paper. Moreover I don’t understand why a newspaper would cost 70 bucks a day in China where they invented the paper and the printing press and mass production and mass consumption (read as 1.3 billion potential readers) should make things much cheaper as it has done it for all other Chinese goods!

There is one more reason why I read many papers (yes it is still called news ‘paper’!!) even though it is the bites and bytes version! , that is due to the law of averages. I feel and have proven right in many instances that, the more options one has, the wider variety of views one has on same and different subjects. This is better than just one view. Interestingly news papers here all show politicians smiling, great government programs for social & economic development health care and public welfare, and infrastructure and general development in big bold columns with smiling politicians endorsing them. Achievements in the field of technology, science, healthcare, business etc are always the headlights - owing all this to the great Government of the country.( now you must be getting the drift I suppose?).

I have also realized that there is more news available on blog sites on the net where Chinese share their views freely and the newspapers rarely report what one could find on the various blogsites. Lets just say that News will find its way to interested readers, one way or the other.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Demo-crazy vs auto-crazy?

Talking about democracy, examine this. If the family is the basic pillar of society on which a nation is built on, shouldn’t democracy and its tools be integral parts of the family establishment according to Indian conditions? The Chinese would disagree though!!.Why does the grandfather or father have to be called the head of the family when they are retired and need help to manage their daily lives themselves? Why cant anyone be the head of the family by popular vote! Why not the youngest daughter in the family or even the maid – they are the most popular and powerful ones one amongst us anyways and will win most votes if they stood for election to the ‘head of the family’. Isn’t that how we Indians select our politicians and leaders to run our country – sheer popularity and power. Need not necessarily have the skills and knowledge for governance! isn’t it?!

Shouldn’t we draw a ballot and elect the head of the family every year or every 3 or 5 years as needed to propel the family towards its goals. These need to be defined clearly or else there will be groupism and more candidature for elections and thus reducing single majority for creating the ruling body. This will then result in an unstable leadership as seen in the past cases of our governance in our country.

Shouldn’t we have five year plans, economic policy, law and order, justice and punishment, defence, education policy, environment policy, revenue plan, expense plan, retirement plan, development plan and the myriad number of controls that are used by any governing establishments for running its daily chores.

Shouldn’t we have 'A Mission Statement', 'A Vision Statement’ ‘family etiquette rulebook’, a constitution, a penal code, a judiciary, a ministry for each matter of importance to the establishment etc, and also an opposition! I can be the opposition anytime!

Shouldn’t marriages in the family literally be marriages of convenience arising out of diplomatic need and to further the family’s social, financial and personal standing rather than be matters of the heart or of the stars (read astrology).

Shouldn’t defence policies be towards building defence mechanisms like the Nuclear warhead type secret and lethal WoMD. For example secrets about the neighbors secret liaisons, and other secrets that can damage permanently and heavily.

Shouldn’t families maintain appropriate diplomatic relations within the extended family and society in general and pass arbitrary aggressive comments in the media (read social functions and apartment association meetings) against ones enemies/neighbors (aka Pakistan and China) from time to time to keep the relationship or the lack of it simmering on the boil.

Shouldn’t family members have dharna’s in front of the kitchen (read food and beverages ministry) if the food cooked is not what is expected by most members, dharnas in front of the master bedroom (central ministry) for all matters of larger concerns, wife’s cupboard (finance ministry) for reforms and spending, wife’s side of the bed (read home ministry) for general law and order as rightful means of protest and demonstration of demands.

Shouldn’t matters regarding career and social life be according to professional and social ‘norms’ (read as considered to be correct by the large public) as against the widely used and abused current form of ‘according to one’s will’.

As seen in many cases normally, we are democratic at will – that is truly democratic isn’t it. But is it? By virtue of this democracy, don’t we become autocratic and impose our will on lesser beings and on situations where we can and hence cease to be democratic. So how can we claim to be democratic? Is this choosing of ‘I’ll do what I feel’ democratic (free spirited will deciding for oneself and not controlled by other factors) or is it an autocratic one that means that I will not follow ‘norms’ and ‘status quo’as I don’t believe in democracy, I believe in autocracy and hence my behavior reflects independent will.

Food for thought? – Maybe!

Free will or free wont!

Free will or free wont!

Advice from elders go like this - Raviley ezhunnette, nerathey kalathey kuliche karyangal cheythukoodey! Now that means why don’t you get up in the morning, and do something early! I never understood why they wanted me to get up early in the morning to do ‘something’. I felt that I could do the same ‘something’ noon, midnight or pre dawn and still accomplish lots or more than what I would by doing it early morning. And I get to sleep through the morning too!

Nerthey kaalathey kedannorangi nerathey eneetuoodey – I like that part of the statement. It means nerthey (early), kaalathey (morning) kedannorangeettu (sleep) and get up and early is the part that I don’t like! Ha Ha!Talk about bending stated facts or stating bent facts huh!

Another one goes like this - Choododey kazhichoodey? Thanupichu pacha vellam poley aaki endhina kazhikkaney! Some foods are tasty when cold, and I think I like some stuff cold! They can eat food piping hot if they like!

Not that I don’t like getting up early or eating hot food. I just don’t feel like doing it then. Remember the days when I used to wake up at 5.30 Am and leave home by 6.00 to play shuttle with many of my comrades in arms, or when I used to eat hot beef chilli and parotta at 3.00 PM everyday for lunch at Kollengode Shakunthala hotel? Well what do they know about choosing convenience over so called their own version of ‘wisdom’!!?? So where did democracy go in the scheme of things in a family. Why does democracy have to be only part of nations/states governance.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Mind It!

If Quick Gun Murugun was anything like the real quick gun murugun that Channel V created a decade ago , a sarcastic take on South Indian movie culture + cowboy culture + generally south Indian culture then I must say that it is in bad taste. The hidden but loud racist divide between the North Indian and South Indian cultures will just get widened with this fanning of the fire with such targeted , disguised pot shots .

‘Saala Madrasi’’ as all South Indians are known North of the 4 South Indian states is a clear misnomer. It is hilariously out of mark and is a clear indicator of North Indian judgementalism and casteism and superiority assumptions that are so ‘un cool’ and unnecessary in todays times. Someone disguising sarcasm to make a movie and releasing it across the nation is blasphemy. India is a free country so I take offence to bigots generalizing and associating Sambar and oiled hair and loud fluorescent dressing with all South Indians is very caricaturish and targeted. This is the new wave of unnecessary sectionism that someone is recreating and bringing into the open. I find it objectionable as if we don’t have enough in our country to deal with already.

Examine some of the loud representatives of North Indian Culture Dal roti, makhan(cholesterol), lassi(more cholesterol), turban(unwashed and smelly), bhangda (dance? nah!!) , Hinglish!!! and ghutka chewing, paan eating, truckers!!. I recently started wearing masks and a bullet proof shirt after a certain Rajasthani neighbour spat ‘ghutka’ on my pristine white shirt when he asked me if I work in ‘Shanghaayi!!’ I doubted if he was a tad high on ‘Bhisky’ because I had told him just before that outburst that I work in Guangzhou . I remembered that he always addressed my ilk(read Mallu Menons from Malabar) as ‘Tum Madhrasi log!!’ . How literate he must have been..! Madras was never Madhraas!And imagine Malabar as part of Madras. He was certainly a dated piece. A relic!! I thanked the stars that no Chennaite was around to hear this man say that or he would have know how a ‘sambar’ and Thaiyir saadam fed Mad-rasi can become Mad even without the need of any ‘rasi’!!! I also learnt that Punjab was ‘Punjaabe’ and dal was actually ‘Daale!’ Delhi was Dilli and all Dillites feel they are Gods Gift To India! Every Dillite claims a connection to some one at the High commission, the parliament or the central ministry! It beats me what they are doing in South India when they have such connections up north… blah blah!!

I was once witness to a party of North Indians. I learned quickly that ‘Bhisky’ was a rare commodity and was always to be consumed by the bottle in minutes and then one was supposed to raise his left hand and right leg while swirling the end of the right hand and push the air back and forth while raising one’s head and lowering it every now and then to match the raising and lowering of the right feet. This was to be accompanied by the loud bang of tables when drums are not around and followed by the war cry.. hurrrrrrrrrrrrre! And Balle Balle!! every 30 seconds. Dance I suppose!! Hah! I thought civilization had evolved. But Ahem..

A movie recently showed Delhi as Dilli and dirty side lanes and unclean slums as great places to be and enjoy! I don’t want to be anywhere near such places to invoke nostalgia!!
Throwing colourful but toxic chemical powders , drinking gallons of cheap marijuana laced liquor in the name of festival celeberation and doing all unsayable things to girls who choose to lower their morales(read the necessary pieces of clothings that cover their dignity) under the ‘influence’ and pretending all this is passable in the name of religion and celeberation!! come on give me a break!
Eating tons of cheddar cheese and ‘makhkhan’ loaded sweets that pile on to arteries and kill.
Glorifying ‘Shudh ghee’ as healthy and unloading gallons of it in all things that one needs to eat!! Puh!!Healthy life style I say!!
Ghee and cheese loaded ‘Mithai’ that straight away find its way towards ones waist and some unmentionable parts of women eaters are the North Indian way of ‘Mooh mithai!!’ sweetening ones mouth!! And examine this ‘Tumhare Mooh me ghee shakkar’,I can understand jealousy but can never understand why one should wish some one else’s mouth to filled up with ghee( cholesterol & fat) and shakkar(read Diabetes)!! People!!!

Assuming superiority of race and shooting, torturing and raping people to assert superiority!! . Isn’t this very ‘Nazi’. Isn’t this what the Fuhrer did and the world condemned as the Holocaust!! And the perpetrators of such crimes in India assume Superiority! Booh!

Ask Anyone –

Where do all the software Engineers, scientists, technocrats and intelligentsia of India come from
Where does Vegetarianism come from in India
Where is the highest literacy in India
Where is the Lowest Crime in India
Where is the best health care in India
Where is the best Education India
Where are the most developing cities in India
Where is the most expanding Industries in India
Where is the hub of culture and tradition of ethnic India


where did Islam and terror come to India from
where did ‘partition’ come from in India
Where did corruption and bad politics come from in India
Where did Phoolan Devi and Lalu Yadav come from
Where did Mayavati and RSS come from in India
Where did Jyoti Basu and Yechuri come from in India
Where did Singur and Nandigram come from in India
Where did ‘Babri Masjid’ and ‘Ayodhya’ Issue come from in India
Where did ‘Blue Star Operation’ come from in India

And they say Quick Gun Murugun!! Well South India is doing the Balle Balley on all things that matter while the others watch cheap spoofs trying to pass off as movies! Dil Boley hadippa!! Ha ha!!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

The Vice Versa!

From Pic courtesy: Web 2.0



Now lets start thinking vice versa.Only Pun intended.In the world of today where equality of genders is unequal and polarization of societies are of stratospherical proportions, in spite of all the hoo haa about equal opportunity..let's examine some hypothetical examples of our unidirectional world that is prevalent today against its vice versa.

The woman opens the door for the man and steps aside with a bow and a directional wave of the hand for the man to pass - chivalry.

The offering of a chair to a man by a woman.
Of course! the woman goes down on her knees and 'ahem'.... proposes( ha ha!)
A speech starting with Good Morning Lads and GentleWomen.
A lady Ronaldo instead of Christiano is acquired by Real Madrid for 80 Million Pounds

Lets move on..

A Marilyn Monroe does a "GodMother' with Mrs Puzo and Mrs Coppola.
Ms Hillary summitts the Everest.
Ms.Swarzenegger is Terminator.
The Taj mahal was built by Begum Noorjehan for the Shahenshah Shahjahan.

Come on..!

Men wear Bras and Garters while Women dont!!
Men have PMS and women dont.
Men get pregnant and Deliver during Paternity leaves.
Women pay Alimony.

Move on..

Red means GO, green means STOP!
White means dirty and black means clean
Nigger means cool and white means freak!
Indian & Chinese means stupid and expensive while American means intelligent and cheap(ROFLAD!!! - Rolled on the floor laughing and Died!!)
French are liberal and Chinese are Democratic

Move it..

BJP means secular and Congress means stable!
Laloo means honesty and Basu means efficiency
Mamta doesnt mean Singur and Tata doesnt mean Nano!
Rajnikanth is Nadigar Thilakam and Kamal is Thalaivar!
Shahrukh is Vijay Dinannat Chauhan and Amitji is Rahul!

We could go on ..couldnt we. And we could stop. Please let me continue.


Sunday, March 8, 2009

An Internal referral.

Internal referals in an organizations are a common thing in most companies. Staff engage in it to get the referal bonus or to 'help' someone in their family or friends circle to get a job in the same company , often reluctantly and many times due to incessant followups which become unavoidable after a certain point of time. Some refer others to companies to get in their own clique of friends or ex colleagues hoping that they will form a coterie of like minded poeple who in turn can do great things for the company and also mutually benifit from it. Some do it for purely placing their own sources in strategic positions to wield power/influence.

Most of the times this action serves counterproductive to the reason why the person did the referal. Many a times, once the refered person gets on board, he/she starts to pursue their own agenda which in most cases are diferent from the reason why the person who refered him actually did. It is also seen that many a times, the person who has been referred goes on to build great credibility in the organization and becomes larger that the person who refered or is a very bad performer and takes down the credibility that the referer had built over many years of had work, PR and other commendable as well as unmentionable things.

After years of working in large corporations and refering some persons into the same organizations, I have now a fair understanding of the dynamics of the same and have arrived at some observations around referals that I find is amusing and common. This might be of help as pointers to follow or avoid when refering others to your organization;

Set your expectations and align agendas accordingly right at the start lest agendas clash or never meet.

Refer high performers from other companies, who are significantly junior to you and wait until the person comes on board and builds goodwill and then go to town with posters screaming , you refered the person and thus sucking away that persons hard earned goodwill and adding it to yours .

Refer successful and knowledgable persons to key positions that will never be a threat to your own line of work or reputation and you can still benifit from the success of the persons own capabilities and successes by passing on the word that you refered him in.

Refer and ensure that when the person becomes successful, the person himself goes tom tom that you refered him and helped him achieve what he did and thus transfering all of his success and credibility over to you.

Never refer intelligent and efficient people in your own area of work who can compete with you and even win - they might be a threat for your survival iteslf. Do so only if you know for sure that you are better than him and can ward off any such actions with stellar performances yourselves!

I recently refered a person into my company to a senior position than mine purely based on the need of my organization and the skills of the individual matching the same.Even though I am not paid any referal bonus for this noble act as we do not have a referal reward policy , I am happy that the organization seems to have chosen to hire the person and the person has been working at building his success story in line with the conpany's expectations. I hope I did the right thing and this will not boomerang some day. I also realise that I have just added on another dimension to the whole referal thing by refering a person to such a position. It has now partly become my resposnibility personally to ensure that he succeeds in this role so that the company, himself and I benefit from it. Well dint I have enough on my plate earlier?