Journey to…

You see the seeds of this thing were planted as far back as July of 2006 (almost two months before I started this blog). We, my post-grad group, wanted to relive the days of the yore and have fun together again. There were many trips that were planned but died a natural death due to non-feasibility. The trip that we finally were able to manage was a flying visit to Coorg in 2008 year end. After that trip we had decided that we were a bearable company for each other even after four years and wanted to do an encore. … Continue reading Journey to…

Next Time!

Something that happened recently reminded me of my school days. Some of you may have read my flash fiction stories. These were written as a part of contest submission and around 5 days back the results were announced… I did not win. Don’t be smug that you second-guessed; ofcourse I did not win or else this post would have been titled I Rule All… or something to that effect. Not the first prize, neither second, nor even the third. I was shocked. Grudgingly I went and had a look at the winning entries (more to find fault than anything else, … Continue reading Next Time!

Stressed? Pray or Act…

Prayer Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, The courage and strength to change the things I can, And the wisdom to hide the bodies of those people I had to kill because they just had to go and push me too damned far! And also, help me to be careful of the toes I step on today, as they may be connected to the ass I may have to kiss tomorrow. Help me to always give 100% at work … 12% on Monday, 23% on Tuesday, 40% on Wednesday, 20% on Thursday and 5% on … Continue reading Stressed? Pray or Act…

The Cubicle Thing…

Within the past several years, a great majority of businesses have moved their people into a cubicle environment. Unfortunately, the trend continued and has transcended to formation of bulk cubicles and while it may be more cost-effective than offices or individual cubicles, it can also cause interpersonal squabbles and a lack of productivity. Employees complain that cubicles are noisy, lack privacy and are even offensively smelly when coworkers choose odiferous lunches or skip morning showers. This also includes irritatingly loud colleagues, they have little or no respect for other people and end up disturbing and reducing overall productivity.

People use speaker phones that cause everyone to lose their concentration. Coworkers congregate in cubicles and disturb everyone around them. Many people are offended and upset at the lack of privacy and fellow employees’ disrespect for the necessity of a quiet place to work.

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Ethics – A ‘feel good’ Word?

Recently an acquaintance of mine spoke to me about ethics. It has become something of a style-statement for the pop culture.

But where do ethics come from? Is there a clear demarcation? Well I don’t know. I am no expert and incase you landed here looking for some professional advice you should probably pick up a heavy tome by one of the ‘industry expert’.

Anyway, although I am not against codes of ethics, I am not impressed with “codes of ethics” either. It basically means that we don’t need to actually understand ethics because someone will tell us what to think.

What would be great is to have “philosopher kings”. I am not talking about a dictator. I am merely saying that the more powerful a person is, the more ethical we want them to be. We want those in power to truly be ethical, not just have a code of ethics, which probably will have loopholes. CEOs/CXOs seem to have no ethical requirements whatsoever. In fact, corporations might actually be promoting those with few or no scruples in bending borders by what has been happening around.

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Me & The Dog

Walking affords one of the greatest pleasures. Meeting new people. And animals. Really.

I started having conversation with one of the dogs that I came across yesterday. On being asked what his name was he said I could call him ‘Anything But Tommy’. I said “Great,  so ABT so what’s up?”

ABT said  “Nothing much. What’s the latest on Slumdog Millionaire”. “This is great, even you have started to follow the news about Slumdog…” I said.

“What do you mean?” answered ABT, “I was the first one to have an objection even before Big B made his views open on his blog. Too bad I cannot blog or I would have beat Big B to it.”

“Okay, so what is your stand on it and why are you piqued with Slumdog Millioniare?” I asked.

“H.H…I take offense to the title itself , what do they mean by “slumdog”, its an offense to the dog fraternity….you know.”

“Now, come on ABT, don’t be so square…it is just a phrase…like the dark horse or the underdog…know what I mean”.

“Ok, Ok, if that’s what you say it is…. again, I do not know why so much noise has been made out of this movie internationally.”

“Well, ABT, you will have to watch the movie to decide for yourself but I can tell you one thing… there must have been something in it for the international fraternity to have taken a fancy to it.”

“Oh, don’t tell me master, the international crowd is very weird. They must have liked the poverty and the miserable living conditions shown in the film. They are known for doing that, lapping up stuff like that… have you forgotten Ray’s “Pather Panchali”, Mira Nair’s “Salaam Bombay” ooops I must say Mumbai here, that Raj Thackeray guy is a force to reckon with nowadays. Also, don’t you think, A.R.Rehman has done tremendous stuff on sound and music earlier.”

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Foot Tapping…

My favorite kind of music doesn’t fit into one category or genre, but it does have one commonality. A good beat. No, scratch that, an awesome, ass shaking, make you want to leave your seat, beat is more like it.

Techno, Hip Hop, and some rock usually fill the bill, although Techno can get old fast in its monotonousstructure. Just to make sure we’re clear, when I say Techno, I mean all that crap like house, club, street, grind or whatever other nonsense label they throw on it. I like Techno because it’s rarely vocal driven. So when I’m in the mood to groove, but don’t want to listen to singing, I turn to Techno. Rock is a difficult one for me. There’s just so much garbage out under the “rock” designation. It always has been that way, since its creation. For every decent rock band, there are fifty lame ones and for every great rock band, there are five hundred terrible ones. Most of the rock bands I like have incredible drummers. Without a solid, driving beat, I just can’t get into it. Hip Hop is the leader in groove beat deliverance. Again, to clarify, when I say Hip Hop I’m referring to funk, rap, gangsta rap, soul, or what have you. I’m sure there are a lot of music theorists out there that would love to tell me how wrong I am, but I can’t take the time to break them into separate categories man!

The only problem I have with Hip Hop, (most of the time) is the lyrical content, no, not the vulgarity or degradation of women, just the lack of substance. Don’t get me wrong, there’s a lot of bad poetry, (song lyrics) out there. I’m not trying to exclude the other offenders out there, but Hip Hop seems to have a very small window of subject matter in its popular titles.

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Calculations…

India and Pakistan may go for it and I have been thinking so much about it lately that I thought I’d pen down what I think may happen…

During the Cold War, if USA launched a nuke-loaded missile, Soviet satellites would inform the  Soviet army in 3 seconds and in less than 5 seconds Soviet counter-missiles would be on their way.

This was their scenario…

But if there is a nuclear war between India and Pakistan… The Pakistan army decides to launch a nuke-missile towards India. They don’t need any permission from their government and promptly order the countdown.

Indian technology is highly advanced. In less than 8 seconds, Indian army detects the Pak Countdown and decides to launch a missile in retribution. But they need permission from the Government of India. They submit their request to the Indian President. The President forwards it to the Cabinet. The Prime Minister calls an emergency Lok Sabha session. The LS meets, however due to several walkouts and severe protests by the opposition, it gets adjourned and adjourned indefinitely. The President asks for a quick decision.

In the mean time, the Pak missile failed to take off due to technical failure. Their attempts for a re-launch are still on.

Just then the Indian ruling party is reduced to a minority because a party that was giving outside support withdraws it. The President asks the PM to prove his majority within a week. As the ruling party fails to win the confidence vote, a caretaker government is installed. The caretaker PM decides to permit the armed forces to launch a nuclear missile. But the Election Commission says that a caretaker government can not take such a decision because elections are at hand. A Public Interest Litigation is filed in the Supreme Court alleging misuse of power by the Election Commission. The Supreme Court comes to the rescue of the PM, and says the acting PM is authorized to take this decision in view of the emergency facing the nation.

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The Solvable Ones…

There are some problems that can be solved. For example let me describe a a typical incident focusing on the differences between Male perceptions and Female perceptions. Both these creatures belong to same species, but their thought processes are entirely different.

Take a case into consideration where a guy named Bablu is attracted to a girl named Babli. He asks her out to a movie; she accepts; they have a pretty good time. A few days later he asks her out to dinner, and again they enjoy themselves. They continue to see each other regularly, and after a while neither one of them is seeing anybody else.

And then, one evening when they’re driving home, a thought occurs to Babli, and, without really thinking, she says it aloud: “Do you realize that, as of tonight, we’ve been seeing each other for exactly six months?”

And then there is a silence. To Babli, it seems like a very loud silence. She thinks to herself: Jeez, I wonder if it bothers him that I said that. Maybe he’s been feeling confined by our relationship; maybe he thinks I’m trying to push him into some kind of obligation that he doesn’t want, or isn’t sure of.

And Bablu is thinking: Gosh. Six months.

Babli is thinking: But, hey, I’m not so sure I want this kind of relationship, either. Sometimes I wish I had a little more space, so I’d have time to think about whether I really want us to keep going the way we are, moving steadily towards . . . I mean, where are we going? Are we just going to keep seeing each other at this level of intimacy? Are we heading towards marriage? Towards having children? Towards being together for lifetime? Am I ready for that level of commitment? Do I really even know this person?

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Journal & Skates…

“I swear she is going to do that… It’s not that she’s just tired… I know she really meant it because I am still wet from the stamps of her feelings… She is hurting, I know it”

“But what are you going to do about it?”

“I don’t know but if I do nothing I won’t be able to forgive myself for the rest of my life…”

“I am thinking about interfering with the events unfolding… Somehow if I can get someone to read what she has written… Someone who can tell her that grades are not the only thing in life… Someone who can convince her that missing the top grade one semester does not make her a failure…”

“Don’t even think about breaking the cardinal rule… You know you will be banished from our kind to the inanimate hell… You might even lose His grace…”
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Publicity not Patches…

Do you own a Microsoft Vista powered PC/Laptop? Do you hate it? This is a rhetorical question… Of course, you do… Lot of people worldwide are ready to give an arm and a leg to get back to Windows XP if not anything else… Lot of them gasp every time they see an update from Vista thinking that Redmond has finally started paying attention to the crap-bag that Vista is… Some people just look at the sky and the only question they ask is “Why, How bad can I have wronged you?” IT departments worldwide have been trying to find ways to switch back to the “last good one” (Windows XP)…

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Smaller heads, Bigger Mouths…

This has been the week of people having bigger mouths than heads; if you are harboring any doubts I don’t mean it in a good way either…

It started off with Shabana Azmi proclaiming that ‘Indian democracy unfair to Muslims’… Let’s come back to this later… This was followed in surprising follow up done by Arundhati Roy who said ‘Kashmir needs freedom from India’…

Shabana Azmi said “I think there is not enough understanding of the fact that in a democracy how you treat the security of the minority must be a very important part for the success of a democracy. You can’t only make token gestures and actually let them be in the state that they are as the Rajinder Sachar Committee report shows. So what happened is token gestures are made but real issues are never addressed.” Shabana Azmi said Indian politics has been unfair to Muslims and despite Indian secularism Muslims are discriminated against. “I wanted to buy a flat in Bombay and it wasn’t given to me because I was a Muslim and I read the same about Saif (Ali Khan). Now, I mean, if Javed Akhtar and Shabana Azmi cannot get a flat in Bombay because they are Muslims, then what are we talking about?”

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Day No. 10284…

So let’s see… what did I get done today? 8AM – Wake up to a light drizzle 8.30AM – Wake up to the alarm buzz; in mid-sleep weigh reasons for and against going to office… Light drizzle continues… 8.40AM – Quit playing mind-games and finally wake up to the reality that you HAVE TO GO to office… and you are LATE already… Steady drizzle… 9.15AM – Cursing under breath for getting late… Start thinking about excuses… Oh right… It’s raining! (Thank GOD for small favors!) 9:35AM – Ready to go but still drizzling… Weighing pros and cons of several modes of … Continue reading Day No. 10284…

Gold & Brass…

… And the gold medal for 10m air rifle goes to… Abhinav Bindra from India. It’s party time. Gold.abhinav-bindra Individual Gold. India wins it’s first Individual Gold in 28 years. It is definitely something to rejoice and this time it’s not about celebrating some PIO’s (People of Indian Origin) success or victory but one of our own…

Bindra had been fourth after qualifying but had a brilliant final round and the Indian, the epitome of tranquility, hit a near perfect 10.8 on his last shot to pull in front of Henri Hakkinen of Finland, who fell to bronze with a poor final shot. That late stumble by the Finn allowed China’s Zhu Qinan, the defending Olympic champion and heavy favorite, to salvage a bitter day with silver.

Responding to my question of what has he done for his country my friend cooly said: “I paid 2 Lacs. in Income tax last year… You can buy a lot of gold with that…” It’s hard to argue to that…

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11 ways: …Of the worst boss

TV’s Your-boss, Michael Scott of The Office, is a paradigm of what not to do as a leader—likebad-boss imprisoning your staff in a conference room to prove that work is better than jail. But while there is the ring of truth in his incompetence, the actual truth is always more interesting than fiction.

Attached herewith are 11 de-motivational lessons inspired by an actual Michael Scott I worked for. I hope they provide a manifesto of poor leadership you can post, like Manmohan’s leadership of India. Or at least that you can slide into his/her inbox when no one is looking.

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