Tuesday, December 7, 2010
I do not want to comment too much on the controversial women reservation thing (across all walks of life), but here is the thing. Almost 60% of the seats are reserved for women in buses. The instructions clearly give women the right to their seats and men have to get up when they see a woman standing, and if he is blocking her seat. But where does it say that a lady is allowed to cut lines? Where is it mentioned that she can enter from the front door? Front doors are meant strictly for senior citizens and pregnant women.
I know I haven’t gotten to anything so far, and you will probably not read beyond this. But I have a few concerns on this thing. I totally support the concept of women’s reservation, because I think that is the biggest way to ensure their participation and convenience to them. No two ways about it. But then I have to ask a fundamental question here. How can we talk about women development and reservation in the same line? How can women ask men to “TREAT THEM EQUALLY” and at the same time ask for reservations? How can we as a society stress on the fact that women are doing equally well (which they are) and probably better than men are, but at the same time, continue to lay focus on reservations and make a bone out of it? Most women HEROES we know today- Saina Nehwal, Chanda Kochhar, Kalpana Chawla, Sunita Williams, and almost every other, have come out of systems where reservations are not even applicable! This is pure merit ! Then how do we go about resolving this disparity? Why are we seeing most success stories in cases, where there are in fact, no reservations?
Please do not get me wrong. Am in no mood to rake this controversy further by denying or supporting it. I am just trying to look at something that we are fundamentally missing. I still haven’t got the answer yet. As far as I go, therefore, this question remains.
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
1) CWG- The players, the work staff and the Indian audience, gave their heart and soul for this. The players had only India’s pride in their mind, and winning, their only motto. And win they did!! The support staff had just one goal in their mind- to help the players achieve their goals. The Indian audience took these 2 to their heart, and enjoyed every moment. But what went wrong was the administration. The bad top guys and their corruption cost India 70,000 crores of rupees!! They completely rot these games, cost India big, and gave a big dent to brand India.
2) Adarsh- real estate and housing have always been at the centre of corruption and power. Adarsh, quite contrary to its name, is probably the biggest real estate related scam. Who knows how this will end, and who will LAND up where. But for now, this is a very big, very big blot on the business and commercial capital of India.
3) 2G- Not many will even understand what this is all about, barring what they have read in the media, and barring a few names. But it suffices to know that in money and impact terms, this is probably much much bigger than the previous two put together.
4) IPL: Yes, it is a big money scam. Ok, it has REVOLUTIONISED the concept of 20- 20, and even generally, cricket. It has given India, what it claims, a cricket version of EPL. But at the end , and probably at the centre of it all, is CORRUPTION.
5) CVC- Not a scam as much as a moral issue, but issue it sure is.
6) Inflation- naah, this one doesn’t help. This just doesn’t help. The problem may not be under control, but the steps to solutions are.
7) Big Boss- The WORST thing to happen to India, the television, and to its people. Period.
Saturday, November 27, 2010
See that’s the thing with mobiles. I mean , its kinda become an offence to forget your mobile if you own one. There is just this fundamental assumption that one WILL attend to calls if they have a mobile phone. But that is where the problem is. Such situations have happened even when mobiles weren’t around. And normally, I would have said to myself, “well, mom is out somewhere and so she is not attending landline call.”
Lets not even talk about the increase in number of accidents due to talking when driving! Yesterday, I saw a woman actually texting when she was driving!! I mean good ol woman, are you going to die if you do not send that SMS? But you certainly will die if you do indeed send that sms when driving!!
Kids these days prefer playing video games to actually physical games! They have started owning cell phones and laptops at such young ages, when we couldn’t even SPELL the word T-E-C-H-N-O-L-O-G-Y. Life’s become unlivable without a laptop or a computer. But these same tasks have been done very very well by our parents and elders with calculators, letters, landline phones, cars and so on! A freaky recent survey has suggested that the use of wi-fi actually harms our trees!!
People are F****ng their meaningful and quality conversations by being hooked on to their smart fones and other things, and friendships are increasingly becoming long distance. These are all side effects of technological ADDICTION.
True, technology brings far away based people closer, but it is also increasing the gap between those who live close to each other.
Monday, September 27, 2010
Appraisals, however complicated, are simple. Both, the manager and the subordinate, know a set of parameters, or more fancily, goals and objectives, on which the subordinate will be evaluated. There is a discussion and it is basically a game. Both of them have their view points and try to enforce these on to the other. Someone either prevails, or there is an intermediate area that is found, which keeps both happy till the next appraisal. It’s quite simple actually.
Appraisal is good in a way. Salary invariably increases, promotions mostly happen, some constructive feedback happens, and in the end, all iz well. Otherwise, there is attrition
Anyway, for all its merits (or compulsions), appraisals, or simply, feedback, generally lack one very basic but fundamental element of EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION. This element is the REVERSE FEEDBACK, a word often treated with undue disrespect. Appraisals are mostly one way. Reverse feedback gives a manager tremendous opportunity to REALLY gauge the gap between the expectations of his subordinates and what he actually delivers. This is really very important because a manager cannot be effective if this gap is not 0. A manager knows what to expect from his subordinates, by way of a checklist handed to him by his HR.
But a subordinate expects the world of his manager. He does not know what to expect since he has no checklist. A subordinate literally grows and develops under his manager’s guidance, and therefore, the manager has a very important role to play in how his subordinate’s career sets. A lot of times, due to the mistakes or shortcomings of the manager, his subordinate has to take the beating. And the manager’s manager will not completely know the details of what has REALLY transpired. His only way to know is through the manager, his own subordinate. Reverse feedback, therefore becomes very important. And while no manager will admit or like being feedbacked by his subordinate, it really is very important. I would also go to the extent of saying that the manager’s true management lessons have to come, not from the text book, but from the ground level- the way his subordinate thinks about him.
It’s simple- Reverse feedback is more important to a manager than feedback is important to his subordinate.
However, on one small corner of page 5 or 7 these days is a prominent piece of news- the issue of increasing the retirement ages of docs. Basically, for a long time, there has been pressure on authorities to increase the retirement ages of doctors. This has a two fold purpose- doctors can continue to guide upcoming doctors and young students by way of teaching and mentoring; and two, and more importantly, they can continue to fill up for the shortage of doctors that has been plaguing our country for decades.
Like any other such issue, this matter has been caught trapped in the typical proposal-evaluation-objections- delays loop that we have now come to know of. What happens to this issue, only time will tell. However, this does bring to mind a very important issue, due to which, page -5 for this coloumn ain’t sufficient. In our country, lakhs of students appear for Medical exams. At even a mere 10% rate, thousands graduate every year. Then why are we still SHORT of doctors?
In fact, we know of so many many many students who keep reappearing since they didn’t do too well in their previous exam. Medicine is a really tough and dedicated profession, and takes tremendous patience and hard work. From personal experience of close friends, I know this. But once you graduate and transition the initial struggle, you are ready! Medicine is a constantly learning profession, but the initial stage is the most important. Even then, with thousands becoming doctors every year, why this shortage?
One very common reason that most will cite is the population growth. The other reason that we often hear is the very commonly heard, brain drain. But that still leaves some questions to be answered. Shouldn’t the rate at which doctors grow mirror the population growth rate? I mean, it’s not as if new doctors REPLACE existing ones? So, shouldn’t the POOL of docs continue to grow? If we know that there is a shortage, why are more new doctors released into the system? This does not necessarily need to lower the bar in exams, but just modify the system so that more students graduate in.
The other question which very strongly needs an answer to is why does this brain drain continue to happen? Why is the best talent leaving the country? And probably, most importantly, we need to compare the BENFITS of retirement extension as an SOS tool with all of the options above. Increasing OPTIONAL retirement age should certainly be encouraged, but only because a doctor or a prof wants to contribute to the profession, not because we NEED him to.
Thursday, September 16, 2010
Yet, there was something markedly different this time. And that was the discipline one could see in the way it was organized. The long queues were controlled well. The noise levels were kept in check. Wild celebrations seem well subdued this time. Security is super awesome everywhere. And yet, people are having the same amount of fun. Most importantly though, the traffic on the road has been well managed. Every year, it becomes a night mare to travel on the road, on the 2nd, 5th, 7th and 10th day of this festival due to the visarjan. But not this time.
I am writing this on the 6th day of the festival- the day of the Gauri-Ganpati visarjan. This is the 2nd most crowded day of this festival, and it is safe to say that all these years, it was a wise idea to stay home on this day. However, today, I went to my office as usual. My office is in Thane, which sees some very big Ganpati celebrations and visarjans today. I currently stay in Juhu, which is one of the 4 or 5 beaches in the whole of Mumbai where visarjans take place. On a normal, non-Ganpati day, it takes me about 1 hour 45 minutes to commute between Thane and Juhu, either ways. Today, I would have expected the same journey to go to about 3 hours each time, since both areas see huge huge crowds and traffic.
Surprisingly, it took me exactly 2 hours in the evening on my way back home- just 15 mins more than usual! No big traffic jams, no frustrated honking, all smooth..
All of this is due only to 1 entity—The cops and the traffic police…The way they have managed all of this is simply superb and cannot be appreciated enough….In the hindsight, they keep doing so much for us- manage traffic situations, deal with the bad guys, travel in the worst of places, face so many physical hardships..and yet, they get so little of what they actually deserve!!! This is not to even mention the kind of bad spotlight our cops get a lot of times..i mean, there are bad people in every sector damn it!!
I think it s just time we sit up and take notice,,,,rather, we stand up and salute them for their job…so the next time you are walking on the road, feeling safe, go up to the first cop you see and thank him…you owe it to him….I just did that today, and I feel tremendously happy..we all like our share of praises and thanks, don’t we? Then why not the cops? lets realize we need them more than they need us…
Sunday, August 8, 2010
26th bday in 2008 went by pretty ok, i was still doing my MBA..but between that and the 27th bday last year, i must say that was emotionally the WORST and the heaviest time for me!! I didnt have a job for 6 months post MBA, I was quarelling with family, friends, and all these came with a lot of other personal and professional problems..Life was hell..Lets say I was GOING THROUGH a huge turmoil...
the year between the 27th and now the 28th bday, which is the last year- 2009..I had just begun a job, was settling in and life had just started moving back on track after such heavy years...I had started meeting with frnds, people, had started saving money and started gaining experience..lets just say I had started RECOVERING out of the previous problems...big, huge, cliche, but TRUE words..
Today, as I reflect, I guess life is much better..lots things have happened in the last 2 years, some fun, some miserable, but as they say-alls well that ends well...Today, I have a nice job in Mumbai, something that I have been longing for years...the house is being renovated, and hopefully, the past is really, well, past :)
Being 28 is really going to be tricky,,its LATE 20s and indeed some deal :) Here is cheers to the future, and prayers for a happier life :)
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
Lots of stuff was being served on every table. Starting with spring rolls, to dosas, to veg garlic to what not, dinner consisted of an equally big variety. Right from the regular chole bhature, to ofcourse, the favorite- Pav bhaji, right down to a pizza, food was being ordered and enjoyed. Now that’s a perfect end to a weekend, for a slightly upper middle class family aint it?
Come Monday morning and I had to travel all the way to Thane taking that damn dreaded train. The 1st class people offers only the luxury of about 10 people less as compared to the general class, in a normal population of about 200 people. The crowded train itself speaks a story- rather, it poses a question. These very same people, who were enjoying a lovely LUXURIOUS, PREMIUM dinner yesterday, who probably spent 500 bucks watching Inception as well over the weekend, what are they doing yelling, sweating, quarelling, irritating in a very very crowded, (filthy if I may call) train?
Come out of the station, and you see many of the same people waiting in long queues for the B.E.S.T bus! Its raining, they are wet (half due to the sweat and half due to the rains), their clothes are messed up, and they still wanna wait for the bus? Many of them also share rickshaws.
All in all, when it comes to transport and other daily MANDATORY activities, this same middle class Indian seems to be very very price sensitive. He is ready to be late, ready to be dirty, ready to wait on crowded trains. But this same Rs 50 K per month earning man is not ready to trade money for comfort. And yet, his weekend expense, borne out of STRICTLY OPTIONAL activities, almost always exceeds that of the entire week!
What is this irony about the Indian middle class? Is this man so tired of saving and fighting over the entire week that he indulges expensively over the weekend? Or is he a careless and over spender, but makes up for the guilt by cutting expenses over the week? I guess it would be difficult to really know why this irony exists, but exist it does.
Time for me to grab my dinner I got to go early for work tomorrow. And oh yeah, I go to take the train
Sunday, July 25, 2010
Sachin’s batting and sport are truly inspiring examples of how academic brilliance is not the only single requirement in life. Sheer determination, passion, and the will to win and nothing else, helped, ofcourse, by talent (which can be nurtured, by the way over time), only and only, are important in succeeding in life.
Each of these, and many other moments, stories and events make us feel HOT from within, isn’t it? You get firing on all cylinders when you are watching the scene. You feel if DJ from RDB can do so much, if Kabir Khan in chak de can make this huge comeback, I too can change the world. I too can go back, finish up all my work, and do something brilliant additionally. Big B’s performance in Black represents PERFECTION, that can be achieved.
We all have a rebel inside. We all have a hidden dream inside. We all want to do this ONE GREAT THING, that will make the world talk about and remember us. We all want to set examples, trends, and want to be able to answer the question our kid is going to ask us- “which is one that one great thing you have done in life? Apart from paying taxes, how have you contributed to your country?” We all think about it. We want to be in the news, on the news paper, receive awards and be spoken about. Everyone does that. Everyone thinks like that. There is no exception to it.
But what happens when we walk out of the cinema hall? What happens when you drive back home, tired, and in anticipation of the following Monday? You FORGET about all of this, isn’t it? The FIRE within, simply gets extinguished under the thousand pressures we already face. Life goes back to normal and that’s it. All the feeling, the determination, the craziness, the INSPIRATION, all of these, simply DIE their natural eventual death. And this is why we continue to be NORMAL. Never SUPER normal. We are all afraid, may be lazy, may be just INCAPABLE , to take that rebellious step. We are just, too NORMAL.
But that’s not all true. We are NOT incapable. Everyone is capable. Everyone is! There is nothing rocket science about any of this! All these are normal human beings that just too that one step and followed their heart! The mind is rational but the heart is correct! The heart is brave. All of these above people are examples of UNDYING INSPIRATION. Life gives everyone the opportunity, and more importantly, the ability to do something great in life for themselves. Just take that step boss!! Let this inspiration not die down this time.
Sunday, July 11, 2010
Kahaa ped ne panchi se “Tumne apni baton se, sthirtaa mein bhi mujhe duniya se milayaa”
Kahaa leher ne saahil se “tumse milkar mann ko badaa chain paati hoon”
Kahaa saahil ne leher “usi tarah jaise tu mujhe sukh dekar mera dukh apne saath le jaati ho”
Kahaa koyal ne kouwe se “Tumhaaree ghosle mein mera aashiaana hain, tumhe taklif kyun nahi hoti”
Kahaa kouwe ne koyal se “ Tumhaara aashianaa nahi hota, toh mere ghosle ko pehchaan nahi hoti”
Kahaa kichad ne kamal se “ Tum mujh mein khilte ho, tumhe kyun badbu naahi aati”
Kahaa kamal ne kichad se “tum meri rakshaa na karte, toh meri zindagi chali jaati”
manushya prakriti ki in khoobiyon ko kyun na seekh payaa
Har pita ne apne bete ko, is boori duniya mein khudgarz bannaa sikhayaa
Kahaa ek manushya ne doosre se, “tumhaari zameen meri hai, aur tumhaara paisa bhi mera ho jaayegaa”
Naa samajh hai woh,, boore kaam karke aakhir kab tak bach paayega.
Badh raha hai jhooth, aur kadvi ho rahi hai zabaan,
Sirf teen hi toh cheezein hain “Roti kapda aur makaan”
Poocha manushya ne Bhagwaan se “Hey Prabhu, yeh dukh bhari zindagi kyun nahi badalti”
Kahaa Prabhu ne manushya se “Tujhe banaakar ki hai maine sab se badi galati.”
Sunday, July 4, 2010
I ask my government, why is there so much Negligence towards important issues? Why do high profile and powerful people get away with doing unlawful activities? Why are those responsible for deaths of hundreds of people not punished severely? Why are those who involve in money laundering and illegal activities not behind bars? Why has so much inefficiency crept into our system? I ask the government why are we so negligent on doing things correctly and fast? Why are we opposed to opposing the bad and favoring the good? Why is justice always a case of too much too little? Are you aware that people have almost lost faith in justice? Why are the most valuable communities- the police, armed forces, the laborer, the farmer, and ofcourse, the common man- always neglected? Why do they never get their due importance, worth and peace? Does the government realize that so many other great sports, including our national sport have been neglected behind the fame, money and power of one game? Does it remember that in 100 years since football came in, our country of a billion people can still not find 11 players to compete with the world?
I ask my government, do you know Democracy? Do you know that it is not about the ballot, but about the power of the ballot? That the elected representatives have to exercise duties along with authority? Do you know the education levels of most politicians? Are you aware of the many incorrect activities they have carried out, and yet remain in power? Do you take into consideration the opinion of people when taking decesions that affect them? Be it reservations, quotas, infrastructure issues, raising prices, dealing with terror- has the voice of the common man who suffers the impact of these decisions, ever been heard? Have you ever considered investigating where most of the tax payer money or development fund money finds its way?
I ask my government, do you know how much Inflation we have today? Have you purchased foodgrains, cereals or other essential commodities lately? Rs 50 today are barely sufficient to buy a couple of vegetables, that’s it. Have you ever traveled by the cabs or local auto rickshaws? Public transport is costing a bomb today and the common man has no choice. Costs have increased but incomes haven’t. Do you know that despite the 8 PC GDP growth, the ground realities continue to depict a completely different and miserable picture? Would you mind explaining what you plan to do with the enormous foreign exchange you plan to save on, by increasing prices? Will any infrastructure or educational investments be made as a result of your so called LONG TERM ANTI POPULIST measures? Isn’t it a little ironic that we increase prices to reduce deficit (which means we increase the foreign exchange reserve with us), and yet we approach the world bank for a loan for our railways? At a time when crores of rupees are given to celebrities for stupid endorsements and 10 minute appearances at events or photo shoots, isn’t it too much to take when the common man (70%) of the population, continues to live hand to mouth?
I ask my government, why is there no Awareness of the many other issues plaguing our country? Even if there is, why has no action been taken to avoid the continuity of these actions? Why are people still being killed for reasons that continue to puzzle the rational mind? Do you know that food grains worth 2 years of stock have simply gotten waste due to lack of storage space? Why does it not occur to you that the real problem in agriculture is not production, but timely and efficient distribution? How do you plan to resolve the issues of the many many indebted farmers who do great service to our country, but get so little in return? Why do the police and forces not get enough expenditure and support to fight crime? Why are they simply sent to fight without support and expected to tackle the enemy and emerge victorious? What are their salary levels are you aware? I ask my government, do you know many people die or suffer as a result of brattish, drunken or stupid driving, and how many rash drivers are actually caught? What steps have you taken to reduce the every minute growing traffic on EVERY SINGLE road in the country? Issues like child marriage, child abuse, casteism continue to plague our society for the past 300 years.
I ask my government, do you know the I (Infrastructure), N (Negligence), D (Democracy), I (Inflation) and A (awareness) related issues that plague India.
I ask my government, do you know INDIA?
Friday, July 2, 2010
August 2006. 11 am on a sunday. I am standing at the Durdle sea- a beautiful beautiful country side in the
The time after my return from
Going further in 2007 and into the dusk of 2008, MBA at
My work life ever since 2006 till today has been defined by the many many songs that I have heard in these 4 years! Songs from movies like Lagaan, Saathiyaa, Yuva, RDB, Wake Up Sid, and so many more! When the chips are down, listen to the theme track from Forrest Gump, and you will realize why I mention it here.
In all these 4 years, at various places, in various times and events, amongst all those many gazillion songs that have chalked my memory database, there was only one thing common- my iPod. This sweet little device invented by Apple has single handedly helped my memory capture all events, and provided it with a means to recollect those memories- songs! I always used to think I am such a memory oriented person, and how easily I go back to related things when I hear a particular song. Trust me, as I realize today, songs have been the only single source of my recollection of past! And I realized it far too late that I owe my ipod a lot for it! Music is simply songs- words and tunes- if context is not added to it. This context, to me, was provided by my lovely ipod. At every single location that I went, and for every single moment since I bought it 4 years ago, the ipod has given me the priviledge to listen to songs of my choice- songs that fit the situation or songs that I want to listen to, if ever I think of something or someone. I even have a song each for most girls I know in life! Hahaha..
My ipod is my most favourite possession, and for now, companion! A lot of my life has been captured via it, and that is why I really love my ipod!