Archive for November, 2008|Monthly archive page

Mumbai Terror Attack – Opinions galore!

1. Our dear President, Her Excellency Pratibha Patil Thursday strongly condemned the deadly terror attacks in Mumbai and asked people to maintain calm and cooperate with authorities. Why, even Shivraj Patil strongly condemned the terror attacks and let us know the all-important information that the terrorists chose a time and place where they could cause maximum damage to human life and property.

I salute both of them. Firstly, I thought terrorists create terror only in deserted lands and on the Moon. Secondly, Lashkar, Pakistan and the ISI would be frantically discussing among themselves as to how to deal with this strong condemnation, leading to eternal damnation.

2. Our beloved PM, Sri Sri Sri Un+Man+mohan Singh declared in his rabble-rousing, deeply inspiring that would have put the terrorists inside the Taj to sleep “The well-planned and well-orchestrated attacks, probably with external linkages, were intended to create a sense of panic, by choosing high profile targets and indiscriminately killing foreigners”. That was very insightful, wasn’t it? I mean ‘high profile targets’ (who would care about the common folk), ‘indiscriminately killing foreigners’ (I think you should teach them the ‘Theory of Discrimination’ from your Economics 101).

3. And then, R R Patil comes in and says “small incidents like this do happen in big cities”. Well, firstly, Karan Johar should sue him for stealing his line (bade bade sheroh mein aisi choti choti baatein hoti rehti hai). Secondly, the NSG should have shot him and called it ‘terrorist fire’…no, wait. That would have resulted in Bharat Ratna for R R Patil. They should have just shot him and said ‘Oops!!’

4. I wonder where the Thackerays were in all this drama. I mean, this was their moment to sweep the polls. Hold a rally near the Taj and call the terrorists ‘Marathi Manoos’, which would have probably scared them away (calling the NSG commandos Marathi Manooses would have resulted in ‘Oops!!’ again). Raj, Udhav and the Big Bal (no pun intended) didn’t even come out with as much as a courageous statement as our ‘respected’ President like ‘strongly condemning the attacks’. I wonder why?!

5. The media was sharp, wasn’t it? I mean, 24×7 updates for 3 days. TRP ratings of all news channels would have gone through the roof. I think these guys would pay the terrorists to perform such activities once in a while – you know, just to push up TRP ratings and bring you ‘exclusive coverage’ from all 234 news channels. Then there was Barkha Dutt – flailing her arms more than a circus clown telling the whole world about her fantastic investigation skills which included how many NSG commandos had come in, where were they taking their positions etc. The terrorists wouldn’t dare watch the television, right? And then, there was our man of the moment, Rajdeep Sardesai asking some of the rescued hostages questions like ‘did you in your wildest dreams think you would face a terrorist?’ and ‘will you ever forget this experience, how does it feel?’. Well, insightful questions demand deeply philosophical answers. The answer to both the questions is ‘eff you’ (and show him the middle finger of both hands please!, just for clarity purposes).

6. The worst of the lot were the NSG commandos and the police. I mean what were they doing – they were  doing their mundane job of rescuing hostages and killing those terrorists without any gas masks, nor night-vision goggles nor proper intelligence, which somehow, somehow in all the political melee and fund distribution, the politicians forgot to buy. Heard of a term called ‘shopping disaster’. Could you guys be more moronic?

Now, for some straight talk.

Politicians – You either deliver on some measures or don’t give us trash talk. Tell the citizens that you are not capable of doing it. We will try out another bunch of jokers who we think they can.

Media – Ethics and Morality are out of the window for you guys, for no fault of yours really. I mean, with numerous 24×7 channels, some time back, you sensationalized two monkeys getting married in a remote village of Bihar. This attack was ‘your moment’.  The only way, I think is for the Government to draft some policy to limit the coverage in case of such events. Please, for god’s sake, don’t then cry for ‘Freedom of Press’.

NSG and Police – The nation salutes you for your brave and fantastic efforts. We only heard of the brave deeds you guys do in Kashmir and other insurgent places. Last week, we watched them live. There is nothing we can give that would justify your supreme sacrifice. I hope you guys do get gas masks and night-vision goggles to kick ass – in a better fashion and without loss of lives on our side.

Terrorists – Get the eff out of my country and keep off my favorite city. We will not break come what may. You guys can go to hell where there are 72 aliens looking to rape you guys in the worst way possible.

My earlier post when similar terrorist activity occurred in Hyderabad and Jaipur – little more analytical.

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Know-brainer : No-brainer – Series Part 2

…was busy preparing a quiz for my b-school. And hence the delay. 100th post. Yay!

(Part 1 of this series here)

1) Guruji, I thank you for giving me yet another opportunity to ask questions today, inspite of your busy schedule around Thanksgiving. The first question I have today is with respect to the US Auto industry. Every pundit and his grandfather, every politician and his respected chamchas seem to have an opinion. What is your view on this Guruji? Should the auto industry be bailed out with $25 billion?

ANSWER: Shishya, first, let’s understand the basics before moving on to conclusions. Auto industry is very cyclical. It entirely depends on the cost of steel and aluminium which form the major part of their costs. Inherently, both the steel and aluminium industries are also cyclical. Couple this with a weak economy, it is no wonder that every automotive company in the world is going through one of the worst slumps it has ever known. However, the problem with the US Auto industry is not one of cycles but of gargantuan stupidity. Neither can these companies sustain themselves in face of outside competition like Toyota, Hyundai etc., but cannot reconcile themselves with internal tussles with UAW (United Auto Workers) with respect to pensions and other benefits which are bogging these companies tremendously. All said, there is no hope – whether it is $25 billion or $250 billion. If they are sustained today with $25 billion, there are going to go bankrupt 2 years down the line. That is a much worse investment than producing a Himesh Reshammiya movie. The only hope is for them to declare a Chapter 11 bankruptcy (not Chapter 7, which is liquidation) and allow themselves to restructure it.

2) But Guruji, what would happen to millions of workers, ancillary suppliers and other vendors? Wouldn’t it send the US economy in a tailspin?

ANSWER: Shishya, listening properly is the key to knowledge. Else, you would end up like Manmohan singh who just nods but doesn’t listen. I said, declare a Chapter 11 bankruptcy and not a Chapter 7 bankruptcy – which essentially means that all the vendors, ancillary suppliers would still be functioning. The companies would not shutdown but would restructure. Yes, there certainly would be retrenchment and a lot of pain but isn’t efficiency a good thing in the long run. Doesn’t the US propound itself to be the champion of free markets? (although all evidence when it comes to free markets within the US is close to zero). It is time for a ‘Change’ as the President-elect put it. Else, we would have the Airline industry, then the Steel industry and then the Cement industry and so on begging for alms like this and if fulfilled, we would have another USSR in the making. [On a side note, the difference between Treasury bonds and GM bonds is 7000 basis points – 7000 basis points?? That’s like double bankruptcy and then some]

3) Guruji, focusing on India, our real leader Sonia Gandhi made a very important statement the other day, which I think made a lot of sense. She lauded her mother-in-law (which is probably the first of its kind in the world) for nationalizing the banks 40 years ago since we haven’t really been affected by the slump in world economy, atleast in the financial sector. She praised her mother-in-law’s foresight  (again, first of its kind) and indicated to the western powers to go eff themselves if they ever comment on India’s financial strength again. Did she finally speak sense Guruji?

A) Shishya, first up, Sonia and Sense are parallel lines – they never meet. Such dreams are best forgotten. Foresight of 40 years…hmm. The total asset size of India banking sector is US$270 billion. Heck, it is just close to one-third of the bailout package of the US (which was US$750 billion). As we all know, growth in financial sector correlates with growth in the economy. So, effectively by nationalizing those banks, the ‘foresight’ had killed our growth to a large extent (an estimate which is beyond the scope of this discourse). Recessions are a part of every economy. They are necessary to reduce the flab in the system and not necessarily a bad thing. Only when there is growth, there is a possibility of a recession. I don’t know how far this ‘foresight’ has helped but Indira’s foresight had almost driven us bankrupt in 1992 (where we pledged gold for some money) before we opened up our economy under the aegis of then-brilliant Manmohan Singh and the results are there for all of us to see. Shishya, always cut through the clutter and trash of these politicians – else, you would be led to think that driving an Ambassador and waiting for a Bajaj Chetak to be delivered after 7 years is Utopian.

4) One final question Guruji. With the Indian colts winning against England today in Cricket, they have achieved an unassailable 4-0 lead in the series. Do you think this is the resurgent India that we are seeing?

A) Shishya, Winning is important. Performing, even more important. Our role models should be someone like Sachin Tendulkar, Anil Kumble and Vishwanathan Anand who perform and win but with dignity and discipline. Not someone like Gautam Gambhir or Harbhajan singh who abuse at every chance and get docked for either fees or matches. Resurgence in winning is important. Not reaction, not over-confidence. I hope India wins all the matches, but with the right intent. With that final message, I will leave you with one final message (heard on radio) that has been on my Gtalk for this week –  ‘The financial meltdown is so bad that women are now marrying for love’.

Have a great week ahead!

‘The Angrez’ on IM :)

Of all the multiple conversations on IM that I was a part of in the office till date, this conversation takes the cake. One of my very good friend, Harish was working from California on this particular day. The background essentially is that we both love the movie ‘The Angrez’ – a movie based on hyderabadi-hindi-urdu dialect. The following conversation is based on one of the scenes in the movie – it was spontaneous and hence even more hilarious. [Conversation copied verbatim]

Jayagopal, Harish [11:39 AM]:
Kal kya hua maloom..
Dhanwada, Kiran [11:39 AM]:
kya hua re?
Jayagopal, Harish [11:39 AM]:
Homestead main party thi
Jayagopal, Harish [11:39 AM]:
Andar jaate hee Manejaraan wanejaraan Hello Hai bole,

I didn’t get the drift yet…
Dhanwada, Kiran [11:39 AM]:
kyaa??

Jayagopal, Harish [11:39 AM]:
Party mein jaake, ab main naach ra toh saare pottiyaan mereko lipat jaati,..
Jayagopal, Harish [11:39 AM]:
Toh main aisa hallu se table baita,
Jayagopal, Harish [11:39 AM]:
table pe baithe he Jolie aayi..
Jayagopal, Harish [11:40 AM]:
ab pooch Jolie kaun !!

My manager called me for some reason…so I had stepped out for about 5 minutes at this point…

Jayagopal, Harish [11:40 AM]:
kidhar mar gaya rey Iflaaz..

Ilflazz…I was LOL…and immediately got hooked up…

Dhanwada, Kiran [11:45 AM]:
kyaaaa baat kar raha hai be?

Jayagopal, Harish [11:45 AM]:
pooch Jolie kaun
Dhanwada, Kiran [11:45 AM]:
kaun Jolie re Harish?
Jayagopal, Harish [11:46 AM]:
Tomb Raider yaaroon
Dhanwada, Kiran [11:46 AM]:
LOL

Jayagopal, Harish [11:46 AM]:
aake.. Hi Harish.. where are you…how do u do.. now u do boli..
Jayagopal, Harish [11:46 AM]:
do teen peg kya pee vee lee une “Harish, mereko long drive main jaana” boli
Jayagopal, Harish [11:46 AM]:
Abhi LA main kahan leke jaaton..
Jayagopal, Harish [11:47 AM]:
Santa Monika se Sunset Blvd,
Jayagopal, Harish [11:47 AM]:
Sunset blvd se Hollywood st.,
Jayagopal, Harish [11:47 AM]:
Aisa Broadway ke bajoo se nikal rahe the toh
Jayagopal, Harish [11:47 AM]:
“Harish mereko Shrimp hona..” boli,
Dhanwada, Kiran [11:47 AM]:
LOLLL…shrimp.?!
Jayagopal, Harish [11:47 AM]:
Shrimp ke liye kidhar leke jaaton,..
Jayagopal, Harish [11:47 AM]:
pooch kidhar…
Dhanwada, Kiran  [11:47 AM]:
kidhar re Harish?
Jayagopal, Harish [11:48 AM]:
Bubba Gump yaaron
Dhanwada, Kiran [11:48 AM]:
abaa…
Jayagopal, Harish [11:48 AM]:
Bair filhaal hum log baithe to 5 5 plate khaayi
Dhanwada, Kiran [11:48 AM]:
paanch paanch?
Jayagopal, Harish [11:48 AM]:
itte itte toh plateaan they yaaron
Dhanwada, Kiran [11:48 AM]:
LOLL
Dhanwada, Kiran [11:49 AM]:
ah..uske baad?
Jayagopal, Harish [11:49 AM]:
kaafi der ho gayi… tum ghar jaao Jolie bola toh…
Jayagopal, Harish [11:49 AM]:
unho boli…Harish…Aisa kaise hota… uppar aao kuch baat karna boli
Dhanwada, Kiran [11:50 AM]:
abaa…gaye tum?
Jayagopal, Harish [11:50 AM]:
ab uppar jaa ke raat bhar kya kua poocho nakko..
Dhanwada, Kiran [11:50 AM]:
neend kab khuli yaaron?
Jayagopal, Harish [11:50 AM]:
subeh…
Dhanwada, Kiran [11:50 AM]:
LOLL!!
Jayagopal, Harish [11:50 AM]:
hahahhhaaa
Dhanwada, Kiran [11:50 AM]:
perfect!!
Dhanwada, Kiran [11:51 AM]:
you’ve mastered the art of Urdu-Hindi dialect.

For those who haven’t watched this movie, do watch it. It’s falling-off-the-chair-hilarious. The original scene relating to the IM conversation can be found at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5gM6QrKkMtk

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