Monday, July 31, 2006

I met this Sales guy the other day. It was raining pretty hard, my quadie had to run some last minute errand, and I was DYING to get out of campus to enjoy the rains. On our way out we met this guy. Now when I say I have met a lot of people and sales people in particular, believe me I have. But this guy was special. He was a born-sales person. And I mean every word I just said.

I had experienced how salesman, just to make that wicked sale, would smile, flatter and sometimes (with opposite gender) even flirt. Once their work was done, they really don't care if you were worthy of all that. But this guy was different. He had a perpetual smile which said, "I am really happy with all that going around me, and BTW here is my card, so if you need to etch graphics on your glass window you know whom to call" (Yah that big a statement from that smile). I dropped him at Madhapur, and he'd the typical salesman smile. We shook hands and all, and I observed that as he got out, the smile won't leave him.. 1...2...3...4... My God, he had that smile forever!! Now that was interesting. Hence the word "Born Salesman".

How I wanted to be born-something!! anything... even a salesman would have done man!!

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Old Post: Law and order

I have been watching 'Law and Order' quite a lot lately. I have been pretty fascinated by the opening lines -
"In the criminal justice system, the People are represented by two separate yet equally important groups: the police, who investigate crime, and the district attorneys, who prosecute offenders"

The reason for my fascination being -
1. This is a pretty reasonable, straightforward and understandable-to-layman type of definition of the roles played by crime watchers of the society
2. Because of reason 1, we all know pretty easily what is whose responsibility, and whether or not he or she is playing the role properly.
3. In addition, it reflects a lot about the justice system in democracies, and how they ideally should work.

Being an Indian, and watching this American series, I thought how law is being made effective in US. Leaving aside all the dramatization in the series that would provoke anyone's emotions, the main thing to note is that ultimately the offender is punished by the district attorneys. Then this thought came to my mind, why are we not able to stop criminals like this. Why do we have to use extreme measures like Encounters to stop crimes from happening? Aren't we moved enough by how unsafe we make a place if we keep a criminal looming on large?

I think the answers lies in ourselves. Isn't it ultimately us who have to take a step forward and do something? Or is it that we doubt our own self to take that step? Or are we just too fond of minding our own when others are getting hurt out there?

I think there are too many questions that need some answer. And then I ask myself this question. Would I take that step? Yes. And then probably, someone would tell me that I should not, that court takes a lot of time to settle, that police is corrupt and that the whole society does not care a damn.

Ask yourself, isn't it true that all we care about is ourselves? All we think is how we would be? Some people call it being worldly wise, but in this case, I would call it cowardice. To understand the fact that no matter how friendly a snake is to you if its poisonous it's got to hurt someone, does not take an IQ of 200. So why do we still think that we are different from our society? And isn't police supposed to investigate crimes? Or isn't court supposed to give justice fast? Aren't we supposed to go out and make sure we perform our duties, so that we make others aware that they have to do theirs too? That law is not something which is forced, but something we ourselves devise to make our lives easier? How long will it take for the largest democracy on the planet to understand that "In the criminal justice system, the People are represented by two separate yet equally important groups: the police, who investigate crime, and the district attorneys, who prosecute offenders"....

Old Post: Last monsoons

As I start writing this blog, I am filled with the grim picture of Mumbai rain and the havoc it has wreaked across the country. Mumbai, the industrial and commercial heart of our nation was paralyzed for 2 days. As it was coming back to normalcy, yet another spell has come to the great misfortune of all the mumbaiites and us Indians.

We are trying to cope with the situation, and I am pretty sure we will. Though, there is one thing that will be forever engraved in my memory. The almost no-role played by Indian media that touches the heart of almost 60% of population. In fact, all they did was spread panic by various means like showing ghastly pictures of floods, of people crying and the disaster that Mumbai was. The question that arose in my mind was, is the media to be blamed or are we such people that panic and ONLY panic can take our attention to matters of national interest?

I started watching TV in the night of 31st July, when almost every Indian was shocked by the news of yet another spell on Mumbai. Every channel (I can name them but don't want to) were showing people coping with the floods. In my mind I was searching for something that the news failed to provide. With all the scientific breakthroughs, these news channels failed to provide any scientific information that the layman could use.

--> What EXACTLY happened that caused the 94 cm rain (a graphical analysis probably)?
--> Will the situation get worse or better and when?
--> Can this happen again and what seems the best solution to this?

I was waiting for at least one channel to bring a IMD meteorologist to get into a discussion, so people could ask questions. We know govt failed to understand the warning given by met dept. But with the power that media carries, should it just sit there and blame govt? Does it not have a responsibility to spread the warning to ordinary people?

With 50 years of free press behind us, and all this new age information revolution in India, if this is the state of media, I think part of the blame lies in us. People who can make change anyway form an opinion and people who cannot do anything are attracted by the panic-driven media.

The height of this panic-creation was another "breaking news" that some airline is routed to Delhi for emergency landing (London-Mumbai AI111). I was wondering what fun do this people get by creating such extremely sadistic moods in Indian people.

All in all a hopelessly dim condition arises because of this. And I believe we, the people with knowledge and information have a onus on us to change this!!

From my last post about Indian media, I started getting uneasy. I had made an argument there where I sought to find if Indians themselves were responsible to give rise to such pathetic media in the first place. This set me thinking in a very different direction. To make my argument, this time I will start with an example.

When I return home from office in the evening, I come across one junction that is forever jammed by the traffic. Reason is clear – no one follows the rule. As far as a police constable is doing his job everything is fine. As soon as he is off, things start getting worse and become worst at some stage, before becoming normal. This happens DAILY!
When I got stuck the last time, I did a different thing than I usually do, and which we all do easily – swearing at the guy in front and honking. I got down from my bike, went to the junction, and started to regulate the traffic. Some people came out from their cars too and we managed to straighten things out. I called up the traffic police control and told him about this, to which he sheepishly informed that he’d sent someone immediately at this place.

I asked myself, “Why are we like this?” Almost 50% of people driving on Indian urban roads today are people with decent enough education and decent enough living that are essential to have a rational mind. I am making an exception for auto and taxi drivers. So why do we just sit in our cars and swear our way to glory thinking that some miracle will smoothen the traffic. I am sure most of us would agree that this is true not just for traffic but for everything. We swear at the government officials for slowing down the work, we swear at the govt. that our infrastructure sucks, we swear at our neighbors because they play loud music in the night, and that’s what we do – we swear. Sum total of the swearing – nothing. We achieve nothing but more frustration in our lives.

What if today each of us went on the roads, maintained lanes (wherever possible)? What if, we really told the police officer standing there eating supari that it’d be great if he can help the jam with you? What if we pushed that babu for our work and don’t give him any money? What if today when we enter a junction on road, we stop for sometime to see the traffic, show some patience and then start again? We are a country known for our virtue of restrain, so why are we so eager to get everything done NOW?

A lot of questions and the answer I want to give is that it all lies with us. The chunk of educated and learned mass that can make a difference not by just thinking and discussing in their cozy living rooms, but getting out there and making it happen.

- Old post of mine..

Village of innocence

If anyone has seen the movie 'The Village', we can understand the apparent paradox of the category the movie was put into - Horror. I was horrified to see that. But then some sane person in the Ratings department corrected it to Drama. I really liked this movie. It was different from most movies and provided a very good insight of how societies of today funtion.

Fear, is the central theme of the movie. It was so insightful to see how people are united and bound by fear. I was so moved by the apparent analogy to today's world I could not stop admiring Shyamalan. Isn't it really the fear that is the single most uniting factor of any kind of society? If a nation fears an enemy, and worst of all the enemy keeps attacking, the people forget their differences and fight against that enemy. If there is no enemy, there is no purpose. In fact world exists on a purpose and what better purpose than to kill the enemy and make peace for the society.

At this point, I saw the main difference in the movie and real world. Well, the enemy in the movie was this mythical, devilish creature. Our enemies on the contrary are humans. Real people who look like us, walk like us, speak, eat, read, write. So why are they our enemies? In the animal kingdom, no same species kill each other like the way humans do. So being the most intelligent animal in the world has taught us this? To 'create' enemies, guard 'created' boundaries and to kill each other for that? I don't seem to get this.

For a moment there I had forgotten the law that nature has outlined. Survival of the fittest. I think the most basic law rules, and all people live by that. We have to accept the fact that there is a limit to which the earth can support all these creatures on its own. So it puts this law, if you are fit, you survive. If you can live in any environment, defend yourself in any condition, you survive, you live and you rule your life. For if you cannot survive, you are dead, and lost your chance to enjoy this world. THAT is the drive, THAT is the motivation and when people fail to see THAT, their 'created' leaders create FEAR!!!

Saturday, July 29, 2006


Had an amazing dinner, there is a party going on but (as usual) I am not in a party mood, partly because of this amazing nature of mine which goes out to all those fighter souls in my family taking it with their fates to shape their destinies. But as I sit down to write this blog and yawn my day off, there are a bunch out their arguing about a whole lot of issues in the world.

So what really constitutes an argument and why do we Indians love to do it? No I really mean it, Indians just looooove it.

Place: The office I use to work in US
Time: Nearly evening snack, say, 6-ish
Characters: An american colleague and I

I just asked her what kind of food she liked. She liked Thai and chinese. Like a typical not-seen-the-world types, I asked her if there was anything like American cuisine. She thought for a while, and said she never cared. I thought, what a loser!

Yah those were the thoughts I had and now I think if really every Indian is born with that kind of mentality. Really, what does it really matter what food you eat until you are having something good and attributing it to the person who made it. Does it really matter for any nation to have their cuisine so that one knows the culture? After staying for 2 years in US, a strong negation would be my answer. And yet we argue.

So now you would ask whats argument got to do with it. I think argument is a result of a lot of ample time, or a lot of information or sometimes both. We, Indians, rarely argue to find solutions. More than half of the time it is to prove a point with little consideration as to what the other person is thinking or where he/she is coming from to counter-argue.

People who have something or the other to do to keep their minds occupied rarely argue. That is also proven by the fact that such people often have their actions speak for them. Rare quality, but learnable.

While I am listening to the argument thats going on outside, I feel "What a mess!" And I don't care a damn 'coz I am yawning my day off with this blog. For a developing economy, we definitely don't need argumentation. Be it religion, philosophy, my neighbour or otherwise!!

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Customer centric approach and MBA

This is a slightly MBA-ish blog, but then the reflection my current education can have some effect. Its about being customer centric, i.e. if you are in a business ask yourself what needs of the customers are you satisfying by running the business.

A slightly tangential thought - all top B-schools generally have people who have a healthy no of achievements in their quiver. The way MBA curriculum is designed, it strengthens one's believes, shatters some and generally refine to take up a leadership role in the corporate world.

The motivation - A customer centric approach requires one to be empathic of the needs of the customer. The more understanding means a larger profitability or recognition or both.

The question - So all these confident managers being churned out in leading B-schools nurture their power of empathy, or do they internalize more to understand the concepts? To put it in perspective, coming in a B-school one tends to network NOT to show himself off, but to understand other people to develop this empathizing technique. But does the course actually teach us to do so?

Another tangent - Am I asking this because I am in a 1-year programme? I don't think so. I think a B-school, more than anything else, should focus on building just this one competency. If anyone school comes up with a curriculum to do so, it will be a hit!

Monday, July 17, 2006

From Good Will Hunting.. Courtesy

I got reminded of Macroeconomics with a spice of politics after I heard this dialog from Good Will Hunting.. or was it opposite?? :)

"Say I'm working at N.S.A. Somebody puts a code on my desk, something nobody else can break. So I take a shot at it and maybe I break it. And I'm real happy with myself, 'cause I did my job well. But maybe that code was the location of some rebel army in North Africa or the Middle East. Once they have that location, they bomb the village where the rebels were hiding and fifteen hundred people I never had a problem with get killed. (rapid fire) Now the politicians are sayin' "send in the Marines to secure the area" 'cause they don't give a shit. It won't be their kid over there, gettin' shot. Just like it wasn't them when their number got called, 'cause they were pullin' a tour in the National Guard. It'll be some guy from Southie takin' shrapnel in the ass. And he comes home to find that the plant he used to work at got exported to the country he just got back from. And the guy who put the shrapnel in his ass got his old job, 'cause he'll work for fifteen cents a day and no bathroom breaks. Meanwhile my buddy from Southie realizes the only reason he was over there was so we could install a government tht would sell us oil at a good price. And of course the oil companies used the skirmish to scare up oil prices so they could turn a quick buck. A cute, little ancillary benefit for them but it ain't helping my buddy at two-fifty a gallon. And naturally they're takin' their sweet time bringin' the oil back and maybe even took the liberty of hiring an alcoholic skipper who likes to drink seven and sevens and play slalom with the icebergs and it ain't too long 'til he hits one, spills the oil, and kills all the sea-life in the North Atlantic. So my buddy's out of work and he can't afford to drive so he's got to walk to the job interviews which sucks 'cause the shrapnel in his ass is givin' him chronic hemorrhoids. And meanwhile he's starvin' 'cause every time he tries to get a bite to eat the only blue-plate special they're servin' is North Atlantic scrod with Quaker State."
"So what'd I think? I'm holdin' out for somethin' better. I figure I'll eliminate the middle man. Why not just shoot my buddy, take his job and give it to his sworn enemy, hike up gas prices, bomb a village, club a baby seal, hit the hash pipe and join the National Guard? Christ, I could be elected President."

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Big yellow taxi.. only part I like..

They paved paradise and put up a parkin' lot
With a pink hotel, a boutique, and a swingin' hot spot
Don't it always seem to go
That you don't know what you got till it's gone
They paved paradise and put up a parkin' lot

They took all the trees, and put em in a tree museum
And they charged the people a dollar and a half to see them
No, no, no, don't it always seem to go
That you don't know what you've got till it's gone
They paved paradise, and put up a parkin' lot

Hey farmer, farmer, put away your DDT
I don't care about spots on my apples,
Leave me the birds and the bees - please
Don't it always seem to go
That you don't know what you got till it's gone
They paved paradise and put up a parking lot

From -

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Kitni baatein....

Kitni baatein yaad aati hain
Tasveer aisi ban jaati hai
Main kaise inhe bhoolun
Dil ko kya samjhaun

Kitni baatein kehne ki hain
Hothon par jo sehmi si hain
Ek roz inhe sun lo
Kyon aise gumsum ho

Kyon poori ho na paayi daastan
Kaise aayi hain aisi duuriyan

Dono ke dilon mein chhupa hai jo ek anjaana sa gham
Kya ho payega wo kam
Koi kya kahe
Dono ne jo kabhi zindagi ki ek mod pe thee jo paayi
Hai kaisi wo tanhayee
Koi kya kahe

Kitna veeran hai ye sama

Saanson mein jaise ghulta hai dhuan
Kaise aayi hain aisi duuriyan
Kitni baatein....

Tumse aaj yun milke dil ko yaad aaye lamhe kal ke
Ye aansun kyon hai chhalke
Koi Kya kahe

Tumne humko dekha jo aise to ek ummeed hai jaagi
Phir tumse pyaar paane ki
Ab kya kahein

Aa gaye hum kahan se kahan
Dekhe mood ke ye dil ka kaarwaan
Kaise aayi hain aisi duuriyan

Kitni baatein

Community service

Today's blog is totally inspired by what happened in the school today. Very specfically our student village. Now this guy in a good-natured spirit took an initiative of keeping cold drinks in the common area. This was a no-profit-no-loss initiative, meaning the guy (say, A) would get the soda cans and keep them. Whoever takes the can has to write his/her name in the register so the cost is appropriately charged. As fate would have it a total 5 cans were taken without registering, so A stopped the initiative. But then he started this again, and within days same story happened again. As a result he sent a mail across to the SV junta expressing his dejection and anger/frust.

There are 2 ways to see this incident -
1. The "Social" way - All the SV is a community in itself. Therefore, if someone comes forward to do community's good, he should be backed by the community since its for communitys benefit in the end. Therefore, in the interest of the common good, junta should try to make sure there are no such incidents happen.

2. The "Individual" way - All the SV is a residence of people from different background, and though it is a community it is a forced one. So if someone takes an initiative, he/she runs a risk since he cannot guarantee the behaviour of a diverse crowd. Appealing to such a crowd is foolish since people only see whats good to them in a short term and it really does not matter what long term hold since as Keynes said "In long term, we are all dead".

I go with the second option. Everything including charity is ultimately a business where the owner should be benefitted. The incentives can vary and need not be financial alone but the cause should serve the purpose. While this was a noble cause and was going to benefit all, the market was not ready for this (obviously) and the unintended happened. A better alternative could have been to wait, and build a network so that there is a critical mass which upholds this venture. With that support I think there would have been less incentive to go "unregistered".

Monday, July 10, 2006

Now you know...

There used to be 2 columns in my science text book (NCERT) till 10th. Every lesson used to start with "Do you know?" with a few questions whose answers could be found in the lesson and at the end "Now you know" to summarize answers to the earlier column's question. ISB to me is sort of like this. Every term opens up a new vista, and then you get the A-ha experience...

Back to perspectives, I was telling my sis that the most effective way to stay on track in life is (a) believe in GOD and believe that he/she is watching every move you make OR (b) remember "What goes around, comes around". I am a strong believer in latter, i.e. Karma theory. So far so moderate... Actually haven't really done really good to anyone. hmm, now that sets me thinking. Ok noted..

A thousand things that I am passionate about.. movies, biryani, books, tennis... I wonder if some day I will get enough time to do all these... I mean I start my day with tennis, come back to a hot biryani lunch, post-nap movie , tea with books and yah it should then start raining like hell. Now that I am imagining, a house of glass, and the rain drops falling on the glass and going down (Pls see ICICI retirement plan ad for visualizing)... I'd probably need a wife but thats add on.. this is heaven man!!

Back to life... Back to studies..

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Good luck ma friend..

How difficult can it get to say "Goodbye" to someone? If you do that to a close friend on an airport, it becomes harder than climbing Mt Everest.

"why did she say this to me yaar... Is it because.. " "Abbe kal bat kar lete hain!!"...
"F*** man, why am I not getting Visa??" "Ask S na... "
"Life needs change every year man" "...."
"Look maan take that tonnol" "OK".. "WHAT??"... :-))

You suddenly realize that you will have to part ways with thinking that he is always around to listen you out. And then you also have to part with all those spur of the moment comments. You realize it was all those small feelings that built something as strong as a fort, and now your ship is leaving the island containing that fort. Though the fort stays, I have to feel good that I will enjoy only its photos, the real thing might be a rare occassion!

Here is one to A... All the best buddy!!

Thursday, July 06, 2006


Lets accept the fact - I am taking way too much time to warm up. Can I blame something? Probbly my health... With all those nauseating, and sleep-inducing pills I am not sure how am I gonna survive this term!! :(

Hopefully next end terms will be better...