Archive for the ‘Rant’ Category

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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Getting fired and the US financial crisis!

Last week, one of my colleague got fired. He got fired due to non-performance rather than the huge financial turmoil that has been happening lately in the US. He was a very good friend of mine and we spent a lot of time talking about soccer (he was from Europe) and in general were on very good terms professionally too. He came down early in the morning, like he usually does but was promptly walked out of the door by his manager. It was a shock to him, as it was for everyone else, including me. This was the first time I saw anyone getting fired, and it shook me for that day. I called up one of my good friends and my conversation went on the lines of ‘I might not see him ever again, he is as good as, if not exactly, dead to me’ – not exactly sentimental or sympathetic but close to it but that was that. Life continued on the same enthusiastic tone from next day onwards.

Over the last week, however, hundreds have been fired. Over the next 6 months or so, many more will be. Lehmann, AIG, Washington Mutual, Wachovia – its almost like the who’s who of US financial services. Quite a few of my friends work in many of these companies and many of them and their colleagues have got fired. Other than the usual friend bonding-sympathy, I felt no particular remorse that these giants were going down nor that people in these companies were getting fired. Was it the feeling that these companies deserved to be punished that made me feel non-remorseful/not shocking? Maybe so. But there was another reason.

I believe in Capitalism (more libertarian than capitalist, but for simplicity purposes, let’s stick to capitalism). Whether I like the Darwinian capitalism of the West, state-sponsored capitalism of Europe or the neo-Confucian capitalism of the East is anybody’s guess. Capitalism drives efficiency, promotes markets, promotes level-playing field and in general, is an accepted form of generating value for a long time, for the greatest number of people.

I think that’s the precise reason why the United States is the hotbed of capitalism, entrepreneurship, innovation and in general, the destination market for almost every company in the world. Resources get allocated to the highest bidder or the brightest idea. Money is not a consideration as long as your idea can work, or you have the right skill sets. Markets (and by extension, Wisdom of the Crowds) determine whether you/your idea are successful or not. Markets determine your profits and in an ideal, capitalistic society, Markets should indeed determine your losses.

The last point precisely pissed me off during the last week. Failure of the basic tenet of capitalism. All the who’s who of US financial service companies made truckloads of money over the past few years, over seemingly intricate financial products, only understood by a few. These companies were champions of the market, proclaiming how good the Wisdom of the Crowds was. However, when it was time to recoup the losses, they criticized the market for short-selling (which simply means that the market has lost confidence in these companies and hence will eventually lead to a downturn in their share prices) and shamelessly begged the Government to bail them out. And, the stupid Government did.

Communism is another concept, wherein the resources are taken from the rich and are given to the poor, thereby creating a sense of equality. What has happened in the US over the last week, is Reverse Communism – taking from the poor (in the form of taxes which inevitably have to be raised over the next few years, in the form of less development due to resources deployed to bail these companies out, increased cost of borrowing due to a screwed up financial economy etc etc). Heard of double standards? Capitalism on the way up and Reverse Communism on the way down – thereby making hay whether the sun shines or not. Well, I would love to be on such a party, if I was not paying for it. But, the tragic part is, that I will – atleast in the form of increased taxes. When the shit hit the fan in Wallstreet, all the walls in US homes got colored.

It is not the huge profits that these companies raked that pissed me off, it is not that the Government has bailed them out that has pissed me off, but the very concept of privatizing wealth and socializing debt is what that has made me angry, frustrated and when I hear such things as AIG getting sold at $1.5 a share and Lehmann close to zero, I experience immense schadenfreude – and if that makes me a sadist – so I am.

P.S – On my other blog Framework for Increased Profits – An Understanding

Save the Planet – Eff you guys!

There, I said it – All you guys who claim/market to ‘Save the Planet’ – you can go eff yourselves (Eff (read it as a single letter ‘f’), of course, certainly doesn’t mean Fraternity, but means a four letter word whose usage would block my blog at the workplace!)

Isn’t it fashionable nowadays to be a part of this ridiculous movement called ‘Save the Planet’ or some such? Everyone wants to save something – Save the Trees, Save the Tigers, Save the Polar bears, Save the Icecaps. Everyone wants to be a part of this green movement which seemingly will save the planet. To tell you the truth, I have never ever, ever seen such self-importance, self-conceit and self-righteousness in any issue till date except for this jazz of ‘Save the Planet’.

Let’s look at certain facts which will ascertain whether we can claim to ‘Save ‘something” – The planet has been here for the past 4 billion years, humans have been part of it for maybe 50,000 years, if not 100,000. We have had Industrial revolution and all this pollution for about 100, maybe 150 years. The Planet has gone through more trouble than our greatest fear of increased greenhouse effect – hundreds of volcanoes spewing ash in the air, earthquakes, floods, comet and asteroid hits, plate tectonics, magnetic flares from the sun, pole reversals – and we have the guts (and the balls, unfortunately!) to even talk about ‘Saving the Planet’ from us, human beings. A passing species, in the entire timeline of the planet. More than 95% of the species that existed on this planet are non-existent today, they just disappeared. Did we kill them all? Why don’t we understand that it is a Nature that decides which species lives and which doesn’t. Are you guys telling me that we should interfere with Nature, a concept which we can’t even comprehend in an abstract fashion, let alone understand it. The planet is fine, perfectly fine – the people are effed.

Let’s not talk about ‘Save the Planet’ – let’s just talk for what it is – we are currently peeing in our pants that our species might get eliminated, the all-knowing, self-important, arrogant species like us, in the near future and we don’t want it to happen. You know, the changing Nature thing. Then, let’s just effing call it ‘Saving our asses’ (let’s be parliamentary and call it ‘Save your future generations’ or ‘Save the Humanbeing species’ or some such – the green marketing folks can certainly come up with a better catchy phrase than me!) That would be better and more self-directed. Let’s save ourselves rather than talking all this mumbo-jumbo about saving the planet. Most people on the planet, including the poor and uneducated will understand this concept rather than the theoretical ‘Save the planet’ concept, where they don’t understand what the eff is all the fuzz about.

[Kindly do not give me the explanation of “‘Save the Planet’ is an abstract concept, it’s a metaphor – in fact, we meant saving ourselves”. What the eff are you talking about, eh? I mean, do you think the majority of the population gives a damn or has time to think about abstract concepts and metaphors? Majority are still trying to come to terms with their abstract lives, do you think they would give a shit about other abstract concepts which they don’t understand?]

That brings us to the actual situation – saving ourselves. Certainly, this clear concept throws up difficulties which we humans almost always fail to handle. The concept of ‘Saving ourselves’ has given rise to NIMBY concept – NIMBY is short form for ‘Not in my Backyard’. For example, Kyoto Protocol – a noble agreement where all the nations in the world agree to certain emission standards has not been signed since its inception in 1994. We have actually been negotiating over an agreement for 14 years while the world was emitting more and more greenhouse gases. The developed world wants the developing world to conform to the standards while they themselves wouldn’t want to get binded by ‘harsh’ emission limits. Why talk about governments, let’s talk about us. Isn’t it fashionable to talk about not using plastics and aluminium cans (non bio-degradable stuff seemingly) and yet use it almost every day in retail stores? [Don’t talk about, do we have a choice? Oh yes, we can buy paper or cloth bags you know. But guess what, those cost more and hence, what the hell, let me continue with plastic bags attitude] Or drink cold drinks from aluminium cans by the dozen? Why hasn’t all this green-stuff been made an electoral mandate, atleast in India? Simply because, beyond our mean, self-centered, petty lives, we could care less about others. The same is true for majority of the people from the stupid effing ‘Save the Planet’ movement.

Please guys – let’s learn to care about each other first, let’s learn to live to-gether in harmony – the planet will live on, inspite of us – don’t worry about the planet, worry about yourself.

For all others who still want to ‘Save the Planet’, I hereby humbly show you the finger!

P.S: One of the better articles I have read recently on the fallacy of Go-Green concepts – http://www.newsweek.com/id/143701/output/print

On my Other Blog – The Three Foundational Rules of Business

Inflation – it’s such a mess

A man explained inflation to his wife thus:
‘When we married, you measured 36-24-36. Now you’re 42-42-42. There’s more of you, but you are not worth as much.’
– Lord Barnett

That my dear friends, is the essence of the devil called inflation. In more complex terms, and hence economically speaking, Inflation is a rise in general level of prices of goods and services over time. There are many measures of inflation – the Consumer Price Index (CPI), the Wholesale Price Index (WPI) and then there is the GDP deflator and then there is Excess of money supply – in short, economic and finance newspapers make every effort to confuse the common man using such jargon, thereby making money, instead of explaining it through a simple Lord Barnett’s joke which everyone would have understood. [Feminists who can’t see the joke in it can go take a hike, and probably buy The Economic Times or The Wallstreet journal]

I like Zimbabwe. No, not the cricket team – they suck big time. I love their penchant for huge numbers. Nowadays, they only talk in millions, billions and trillions. Rich country perhaps. For example, their inflation is just 2 million percent according to the latest figures. Look at that number, isn’t that music for any Finance minister of the country? Or for instance, look at this bill for one dinner – isn’t this fantastic? How rich must the people be to write a 1.2 billion Z$ cheque? And how much would you tip the waiter on this bill? Wow, the calculation in itself is mind-boggling. Wonder how the Zimbabweans do this day in and day out? They certainly love huge numbers – the bill and the inflation are living proof of it. We should all seriously consider moving to Zimbabwe if we ever want to grow rich…or atleast feel rich.

And what is the inflation in India as per latest figures? A paltry 11.42%. How much does this 11 and some change percentage measure up against 2 million percent? Our inflation pales in comparison. No wonder that still 40% of our population is below poverty line. Tchah! And can we even dream of writing a million rupee cheque for one dinner, forget a 1.2 billion rupee cheque? Nope, not in my lifetime atleast. Such sad state of affairs. On top of that, the media goes gung-ho about inflation over-shooting, food prices rising beyond our means and all that crap – ah, the media is so dumb! Why doesn’t someone direct them towards the map of Zimbabwe I say! [And not to speak of the country I currently live in – USA – inflation is a trivial 4% and the whole country is almost in tears and tatters! Uh!]

The government proves my assumption time and again – they are just a bunch of jokers. I sincerely wish for some meritocracy instead of this bizarre bureaucracy.

Let me not even start speaking of the effects of inflation on Zimbabwe. If everything was set right today, the country would take atleast 10-15 years to recover – and I don’t see that happening in the near future atleast. 2 million percent of inflation is something like – the robber asking the passenger in the train: “Hurry, give me the money, before it loses more value” or the realistic situation of giving two gunny bags of money to buy one loaf of bread.

But what is wrong with the Indian and US media? Isn’t the increase or decrease of inflation a normal part of every country’s economic cycle? Shouldn’t the media analyse what are the causes of inflation? Is the artificial price of Oil (currently at $142 a barrel – inspite of major supplies being held up in Persian Gulf due to political reasons) a cause for worry? Isn’t the sudden increase of food prices a direct effect on some of the insane economic policies undertaken (like the one to produce Ethanol through corn, a staple food) or due to large-scale hoarding by merchants in India? And seriously, any inflation above 6-8% is not worth reporting. Unless a country is in deep economic problems, the rate of inflation is always going to come down very soon from these double-digit percentages – sensationalizing issues when there are none has become a habit, leading to dire consequences.

I suggest the media take a chill pill, rest for a month or so and then comment on inflation. Experts say this inflation is a bubble and there is only a requirement for a prick for the bubble to burst. I sincerely hope this prick, whoever he/she is arrives soon enough and douses this mindless fear and fire for good.

Two weeks later…

The past two weeks were hectic, to say the least.

The most awaited movie of the year – Tashan got released. The metaphor in itself is probably the biggest awaited joke of the year. With the movie poster of Tashan looking eerily similar to Covenant, Yash Raj films indicated that this movie was not original even with the initial advertising. However, with the sole aim of watching Kareena Kapoor making a fool of herself, I watched the movie much to my bemusement and embarrassment. Terming the movie as a joke is an insult to the word ‘joke’. Attempting a Kill Bill+Ursula Andress in a bikini show, Kareena failed miserably and so did all the other co-stars (although some credit needs to go to Akshay Kumar). A shaven-bare-chested Anil Kapoor was probably the most shocking surprise of the movie – but his acting prowess (if I might call it that) has sunk from bad to worse with movies like ‘Race’ and ‘Tashan’. Spinning a yarn convincingly requires talent – and although I would accept that movies are no theorem-proof and are a mode of pure escapist entertainment, Tashan is exactly the sort of entertainment you want to escape from oh-so-desperately! A done-to-death childhood-friends-meeting-later concept and the seemingly meaningless run-around made ‘Race’ look much better in terms of quality and delivery. The prosperity of Yash Raj Films was due to their originality and dare – not cheap imitation, mimicry and mediocrity. Statutory Warning: Watching Tashan is injurious to health.

It was also a week where Sreesanth competed for ‘Award for the Biggest Sissie Drama of the Year’ and won it convincingly. A well-known dramatist-cum-patchy bowler to say the least (no, he still can’t compete with Ajit Agarkar for the Worst Bowler Award!! Ajit is miles ahead of him!) had a tete-a-tete with a bowler whose brains had been lent-on-lease indefinitely, with the result of a sweet punch on the jaw which resulted in Sreesanth bawling like…(no, let’s not insult kids like this!). With the way Indian cricket is played, don’t be surprised if you suddenly watch a soap called ‘Kyunki Sreesanth bhi kabhi Cricketer tha’! Sreesanth is the new gamma-male (alpha and beta are taken presumably!) representing India, a male who can cry on screen effortlessly and for no reason at all. He has probably opened up a whole new market for male actors who would also like to cry on screen. Soaps would be abound with the entire 138 members in a family which stays in one bungalow, dressed up in heavy bindis and kurtas sobbing and howling for 3 years straight. Sreesanth – you are just awesome; there will definitely be a role for you in each of these soaps where you can weep to your heart’s content and get paid for it.

And to round the two weeks off, this piece of news ticked me real bad. The summary of the article is that Singh has called for cut in corporate pay packets to eradicate poverty. Is this the same Singh that our economic textbooks extol of being the spearhead for liberalization in 1993? Is this the same Singh that called for extensive all inclusive-growth to eradicate poverty a while back? His call for “self-imposed ceiling on salaries and expenditure as a means to drive down demand and so ease pressure on supplies” is pure gibberish. Article after article in Markets/Economics/Finance demand that there be ‘incentives’ to growth, and here is our Prime Minister calling for a cut in incentives, thereby stunting growth inevitably. With rising prices of commodities every day across the world, a cut in incentives should have been least on Dr. Singh’s radar. Probably the functioning of Congress has got into the head of Dr. Singh – sadly, for a man I respected utmost, he has disappointed me terribly. Wretched is the situation for a man who was held in high-esteem for his forward-looking policies and global attitude to go on a pseudo-communist path – ah! It is such a shame!

The Depravity of Orkut

I was shocked the other day when my 14 year old cousin scrapped me – ‘Wassup?’ on Orkut. Firstly, I didn’t have a clue that he was on Orkut. Secondly, what was this ‘wassup?’ language? Have school kids forgotten the good old English language? An age where we lamented the death of letter–writing with the advent of email seems to have passed us by long ago. We probably have to start lamenting about the death of email and advent of scraps in our life! When did I last receive a personal email from one of my friends or relatives? (Oh no! I am not talking about mass mailing). It was quite a while, actually. What I receive in plenty nowadays are scraps. I reply to their scrap by email and they scrap me back with a reply – what do I call such people – pea-brained cretins??

Orkut, I am told, is only a tiny fraction of the social networking market (MySpace and Facebook being the leading monsters in this space). With every passing day, I get numerous requests to join hundred other social networking websites. LinkedIn, Jaxtr etc etc. Mass marketing + Social networking seems to be a great idea, oh yes! Brilliant idea – but stop SPAMMING me with your wretched and pitiable mass mailing ideas.

My intentions might be mistaken here. I am all for social networking sites – the logical output of what Internet was meant to be. All that ‘old friends’ meet’, ‘accidentally met long-lost teachers’, ‘met my soulmate’, ‘made great friends of friends’ friends’ – I completely agree with all that. There are some times when such good talk has to be said and there are others when all this crap has to be shunted out into a black hole! Being politically correct might demand saying ‘Orkut has its own advantages and disadvantages – sifting out the good from bad is what is required’, ‘There are so many communities on Orkut that would help improve the quality of life’ – but being politically correct is not correct at all, it is just a farce. And community improving quality of life? – are we talking of ‘I love Himesh Reshammiya’ community here?

We live in times where opening a browser entails two simultaneous things – opening up a social networking site in one tab and email in another. ‘Addiction’ is a strong word to use – but I would go a step further – being active on Orkut seems more like a religion nowadays – I guess actual religion gets lesser amount of attention and time than Orkut. Status on the Internet is not about money nowadays – it is more to do with the most number of scraps, most number of communities, videos, number of friends and testimonials. Gathering these have become close-to-maniac activity (and with these testimonials – even more funny – I scratch your back, you scratch mine) – A sense of pure play exhibitionism constipating delusional grandeur!!! As Orkut progresses further, we have hacks (which let anyone with a certain script scrap everyone in their friend list – and yes, customized with the friends’ name too) – script in itself being very simple (simple because a non-computer buff like me could understand it – and could have customized it if I wanted to) – I wonder what advanced hacks would do in a few months!!

Having said this, there is a funny side to Orkut too – funny because the very people who were the lifeline of Orkut have made this possible and the variations in this category border on infinity. The testosterone pumping males – absolute strangers – scrapping females (irrespective of whether the female’s profile pic is visible or not – when guys pump something, all they need – is a name) of the strangest scraps possible with the worst spellings even the illiterate would be ashamed of. Some samples –

Hi…I am lukin for good fraanship with you. Will you be frands with me?

(What did they expect? A wholehearted yes of being frands…err..friends?)

Hello! I am Amit Sharma.

(What response does this guy expect from the girl? Oh..you had me at Hello!??? (a.k.a Jerry Maguire??)

u r so butiful. I wanna make freindship with you.

(You have already made your intentions clear, you fool! And what’s with that subtle misspelling of friendship? Orkut provides you with a online spell-checker nowadays, you know!)

Hi!

(I like this guy. Very succinct and to the point. Intentions very clear – simplicity is the best policy. The girl is most likely to ask ‘Who in the world taught you communication skills?’ rather than doubting his intentions)

One interesting answer I heard from one of my friends (very logical indeed on hindsight!) with regards to communities he had signed up for on Orkut (he had signed up for I love Linkin Park, Bertrand Russell’s fans, Online Chess forums, Business Quiz forum, Hindi Melodies from the ‘70s, etc., etc., counting to around 20). On questioning him with respect to a newfound interest in absolutely alien topics like these, he replied ‘Dude, nowadays, girls search on Orkut first before they talk to you. So better get the profile straight – scraps, videos, rigged testimonials and fake communities. That way, you have made a perfect first impression – needless to say, first impression is always the best impression’!! I couldn’t agree more and I sadly gape at the power Orkut wields over the population aged 6-60!!

P.S –

1) Thankfully, Orkut has brought in certain security features very recently where you can lock scrapbooks, photographs and videos to be visible only to a few select friends. Previously, your online life was out in the open to the entire world (barring a few, who religiously deleted all their scraps regularly)

2) And people –  I believe scrapping gives you different varieties of vicarious pleasure, but please – for Internet’s sake – Email me!!!

Update: This article was published in Desicritics.org. Link here

The World of ‘Jargon’ia!

What can you bring to the table?

That sounded like a bolt from the blue for a greenhorn like me couple of years ago – which was when I first stepped into the corporate world. Especially, if this question is asked early in the morning, I almost replied ‘Why, How about Samosas and Tea’ – but refrained.

Just then, my boss popped into the meeting. He said ‘Kiran, just make sure you jot down all the points, keep me in the loop and let’s discuss about this product by close of play today’. I immediately had two questions for him ‘Will the noose made of barbed wire the size of your neck makeup for a loop’ and ‘Close of Play…dammnn…I seemed to have missed some communication…so… Are we playing some game today?’ – again I somehow felt I had missed a point and refrained from questioning him.

Bosses have a strange way of dealing with their sub-ordinates. Meetings for me are time well-spent – sleeping! The other day, during one such meeting involving lot of technical details, where I was heavily into my afternoon siesta – hearing terms like WSDL, integration, interface communication, RTM, ODS etc etc of which I had no clue of, my boss interrupts the meeting and asks me ‘So, Kiran, what do you think about the game-changer here? Do you think we can win the game with this alternative?!’ For a moment, I wondered if I missed most part of a India-Pakistan cricket match. However, auto-control took over and I replied ‘Honestly, unless this WSDL works with RTM and ODS efficiently and we are able to provide more bang-for-the-buck for the business – I think we are merely wasting time discussing alternatives’. My boss said ‘That’s an interesting point’. Ah! My moral teacher always used to teach ‘Honesty is the best policy’ – and following it today has lead to fruitful results….muahahahhaha!!!

Jargons fly during office hours and it is frustrating if you are continuously barraged with it. The other day – after a long presentation which involved me scribbling a lot on the whiteboard, my boss asks me ‘So, say we start on a clean slate – What then would be the implications of this change?’ Whatttt??? What did he think I was doing on the whiteboard? Doodling!! I guess after the clean slate is filled to every inch – he might ask ‘How about trying the blue sky approach?!’  He goes on to say ‘So are we on the same page now?’ – I mean what?!! No dude, we are not – actually, we are just on different planets!

Another meeting – and as interested I am in such meetings (heavy slumber that is), I ask a harmless question ‘Don’t you think we need an audittrail for such an application?’ and my technical colleague shoots back ‘Why don’t I touchbase with you offline on this?’. I shot back to him on Gtalk (yes, we were chatting parallely too!) Dudeee…you are not touching my base ONLINE or OFFLINE.’ Last heard, he was heavily reprimanded by his boss for laughter in a very serious meeting 😉

But this one takes the cake. Happened quite a while ago when one of the Vice-Presidents in my previous company heard my presentation – At the end of the presentation he asked me ‘So, kiran – are we maximizing synergies here? I want you to run up some numbers on this because as an organization we are switching gears which might result in a paradigm shift in the way we work. Also, we might create some payroll orphans due to this. After you send me the results of the analysis, let me bounce off this idea with my superior – we’ll just raise the flag up the flagpole to see which way the wind blows it! What do you think?’

I just mumbled Sure, will do. But to understand the fuzzy language of this above statement took me two full days – breaking every phrase, every word in the phrase, analyzing it, losing sleep over it and in the end understanding it as ‘Can we generate profit out of this idea? We run a risk of firing some people due to this. Let me check with my superior about the validity’ Ufff…what a way with jargon!!

Next time I met him, I told him ‘Anil, I feel we need to think out of the box for such a problem – keeping other things on radar along with this. Currently, my plate is full but given sufficient time I can ramp up and will have sufficient bandwidth to deal with the proposed solution’. He smiled smugly (a satisfaction of seeing your own reflection in others) and said ‘Good job. I appreciate your thought process and way of communication – Keep it up’. Saying this, he tapped me on my shoulder. I was anointed into the ‘Jargonian’ league.

Keep ‘Marriageable’ off your radar!!

40000. Yes, 40000. No, I am not mentioning any salary figure – those were the number of marriages conducted on a single day around a week back in one particular state in India. 40000!! I mean whatttt!! Mind-boggling is not the word. However, number of marriages on a particular day is not the subject matter of this blog.

The statements made pre-marriage (just before and after engagement but before marriage) and post-marriage (till 6 months after marriage) is!!
Over the years, I have learnt quite a few pearls of wisdom dealing with ‘marriageable’ (pre and post) people – and I felt it would make immense sense to share these with my dearest blog readers.

1) I met this friend of mine (a girl) at a multiplex. She came along with some guy I didn’t recognise (a first-time meet). After exchanging the usual pleasantries of ‘Hi’s and ‘How are you’s, she moved in for the kill.

She: So, this is my fiancée Amit.
Me: Hey Amit! Nice to meet you!
She: So….
Me: So… (still didn’t get the clue, I was waiting for her to start/end some topic)
She: So….(desperately rolling her eyes, screaming silently)
Ah…I pick the clue, albeit a trifle too late!
Me: Hey!! Both of you look lovely to-gether. You make a great pair.
She: Ah!! (smiling with vanity) That’s nothing. But anyways Thank you Thank you.

That was it. I had to push off before the next ‘So…’ 🙂

2) I still can’t fathom why people getting married (and immediately after marriage) state the obvious ever so often. Am still amazed. Few examples to substantiate.

a) He/She: We are both so happy being to-gether. He/She makes me so happy, we are perennially on a laugh riot. So comfy with each other you know.
Me: Oh..that’s great!! (To myself: if you weren’t happy/comfy to-gether then you would have got divorced or not got engaged at all – you silly!!)

b) He/She: So many things change post marriage you know. I thought that I would never change for that one person coming into my life. I am glad I was proved wrong.
Me: Ha ha ha! (To myself: Why the laugh, I have no idea! They just expect this reaction. Probably I was just laughing at his/her foolishness of feeling vain in proving themselves wrong. How stupid! Ha ha ha!)

c) He/She: It is like we were made for each other. Both of us were like ‘Why didn’t we meet each other before?’ types. It’s so much fun you know!
Me: Ha ha ha! That’s very interesting! (To myself: What’s interesting…Don’t ask! And No, I don’t know. And why didn’t you meet each other before – that is because you had to hammer(bore) me with this statement and many more statements to come. That’s why!)

3) Also, I still can’t understand why they don’t get literal and state the obvious in certain situations – say like what happened during honeymoon? Why? No clue. Probably it was too boring, and that is why they don’t want to share it. However, I am all ears to hear this OBVIOUS part, although it’s boring – all my time, all my ears to it…No, Seriously :)!!

4) Never ever enter these ‘marriageable’ people home(whether they be friends/relatives, anyone for that matter). They will either kill you by

– Showing you different types of dresses/jewellery/why they chose one wedding card over another/food items for marriage (in pre-marriage scenario) or
– Submerge you with reams and reams of wedding photographs with ‘So…how is this photograph? The lighting was not proper, no?’, ‘So…how are we looking in this photograph?’(post-marriage scenario)

You get what I mean. So…AVOID by all means.

5) One common, most common statement I have heard (and got terribly bored over the years)

He/She: You know why there are so many rituals, functions during marriage…mannn, it’s so tiring.
Me: Ya! (And before I finish my short yet sweet syllable)
He/She: And that is why I guess divorce rates are much lower in India. Who in their right mind would want to go through all the trouble (all functions/rituals) all over again. Ha, Ha, Ha, Ha (If I don’t cut him/her off, they would continue the saddd joke and their laughter to infinity)
Me: Yes, Yes..completely agree…the customary laugh…Ha, ha and a ha…So, when you knew that there were so many rituals/functions, why didn’t you opt for a register marriage…so easy and simple, you know…and by your logic, you can get married again and again (A wisecrack indeed…or so I thought)
He/She: A wry smile (didn’t know what to say; they somehow seem to change the entire marriage topic after that statement…still wondering why! ;))

Those were a few of my encounters with ‘marriageable’ people. I know it is a never-ending topic, but then I am not yet in the ‘marriageable’ category (if you get the drift ;)). Not just yet. And if you thought that knowing all the above, I would not be making such stupid/foolish statements and not state the obvious when my time comes – you are very wrong. I am a firm believer in compound interest and I shall have my REVENGE (if you know what I mean, Beware!!) :))

Rant!!!

– Why does everyone nowadays think that he/she is a born photographer? Everybody’s hobby/passion/expertise seems to be photography. Is it because of the pervasiveness and cost-effectiveness of the digital camera or something else? I am tired of looking through hordes of poor digital photographs – seemingly thought of by my photographer friends/acquaintances as ‘some of their better pics’!!! Is it because people force themselves to be recognised/appreciated through this skill (did I say skill??) – something they can showcase to the world because they cannot/don’t have the courage to showcase themselves?? Why doesn’t someone ban these digital cameras to avoid all this trouble?? [Probability says that if you have clicked a 1000 pics, then atleast 5 pics would be ‘better pics’. So please people, don’t get under the impression that you are the next big thing in photography. And yes, if you have done courses in photography, please keep them to yourselves – DO NOT try to impress them or your
photographs upon me]

– Why does every tamilian’s sentence have to end with a ‘da’ or ‘ye’ or a ‘macchii’?? Tamil is such a beautiful language, kindly use its vocabulary people!!

– Why do some people always live in the past? Is it because they are too scared to face/live in the present or do they take pride/pleasure living in the past?

– People nowadays take extreme pleasure in exhibiting self-centric/egotist behavior and they are proud of it. Never can understand why – to quote Albert Einstein ‘A life directed chiefly toward the fulfillment of personal desires will sooner or later always lead to bitter disappointment’. The same population exhibiting such behavior know about this and yet continue to do the same – ????

– What is this fascination for Rajni’s style or Hritik’s biceps, Vidya Balan’s eyes or Katrina’s smile?? Appreciating perfection – I do not think so! Idolism – No way. Why??

– Expecting people to talk to you and shower affection when you want it and not returning the favor when people are in need of it – what should I call this behavior? Nonsensical, to say the least.

– Can someone convince of the necessity for daylight savings time? No one seems to be able give me a logical answer.

– The whole world cannot laugh/cry with you when you want to laugh/cry. Blaming the world being insensitive because it doesn’t empathise with you/understand you is stupidity if not foolish.

– Last but not the least, kindly do not expect me to comment on how smart/pretty/handsome/beautiful you are looking whenever you change the orkut profile pic!! Please don’t – if the pic can be commented on, I will – good, bad or the ugly!!!

Ladies, Women, Girls!! Uffff!!!

Statutory Warning: Feminists, please stop reading this blog right here. Further reading might cause feelings of extreme hatred leading to various forms of obnoxious behavior – especially breaking off into Dharmendra’s dialogue “Main tera khoon pee jayoonga, haddi pasli ek kar doonga”; please spare the effort and close the window right away.

First things first, I am not a MCP – kindly take that thought out. In fact, I respect and adore the fairer sex to the extent possible and firmly demand that they should be treated as equals and blah and blah. This blog is just an observation on their wonderful and graceful demeanor and antics – in fact, I am so overwhelmed writing this blog that right now if a lady was in front of me, I would shoot her (obviously with my camera, silly ;))!!

The rough estimate of different types of antics by women is infinity. However, to save blogspot and hence google, I shall restrict them to a measly number. Read on and you would know how LOGICAL their antics are –

Shopping: Another synonym for Ladies; invented by man for his basic needs and utilities, abused by women for everything else!
One of my cousins is a shop-freak (and by corollary, deduction being she is a girl). She shops for everything and anything. She has a huge wardrobe – with different types and varieties of clothes. Last heard, her Excel ran out of the standard number of rows and columns to handle her wardrobe – she was migrating to SAS. Just can’t understand – shop for x (x generally > 3) hrs and buy one dress; shop for x hrs and buy something you already have; shop for x hrs and buy
something you would never need; last but not the least, shop for something because it would be useful in the future – approximation of future being tomorrow or 10 years later!!

Statements: Slowly entering the dangerous arena!!

‘You won’t understand!’ Boyyyy! One of the most dangerous statements and when this one comes out of a woman’s mouth, you better shut down your work and plead her to make you understand (you would never understand anyway, but atleast put up an act!! if you don’t, well…the less said the better!!) An ominous utterance – ignorance to the same is fatal. Implore her and find out what is wrong, else hmmmm!!

‘Never mind, It’s Ok!’ – It is NOT OK and you bloody well get down on your knees and explain why and how things went wrong with her. Ranks high up on the list of menacing expressions which essentially means that you (you as in you and me, the guys) have to cajole her, take her out for dinner, probably discuss some women-oriented movie and how women should be empowered – then, then maybe just maybe she would become normal again.

Questions: THE MOST dangerous area of all!!

‘Ms. Y was looking beautiful in that black gown, no?’ – Now the answer should entirely depend on the age of Ms. Y. Little toddler/teenager or a woman over the age of 40 – rattle all the best and positive statements you ever knew. Start off with ‘Completely agree with you. She was looking so graceful and pretty etc etc’. If she is in her mid 20s, YOU DO NOT HAVE a correct answer for that question. Try faking a panic attack in your right ear – ear-splitting pain and
you are not in a situation to hear what she was saying. Try asking her whether she can just let you cool off till the ear comes back to normal state. If the question is asked again, Repeat the procedure prescribed above, probably with a different organ.

‘How is my dress?’ – She is actually asking you whether you went weak in your knees after you saw her in that dress; That is not a question, IT is a statement and you better answer it in one of these ways ‘The dress is very nice, suits you very well’ or ‘You suited the dress than the other way round’ etc etc. NEVER EVER answer in a negative tone – it will only be answered by a shrug, a demeaning look and a ‘You won’t understand’!! 🙂

‘Do I look fat?’ – The dreaded statement of all, dreaded by men all over the world, scarier than Darth Vader or Veerappan – nothing can go right when this question is asked, just resign to yourself that it is a bad day. Don’t even try a wacko ‘Where?’ – she would write you off as the dumbest human being on planet Earth. Try diverting her attention to something else and avoid answering the question. A ‘Yes’ would lead to a certain murder and a ‘No’ would make her wonder whether you were blind. I have worked out different ways of answering this question (Warning: Does not work 95% of the time, I just utter a few words under my breath and take it as a bad day) ‘You look beautiful anyway’, ‘The dress is sooo pretty, you have a wonderful taste’ with very very limited success results.

See, it is sooo simple to understand women – wonder what all my wisdom personified ancestors were thinking when they said ‘You can never understand women!’

Uh! ‘They won’t understand!!’ 🙂

P.S – With all due respects to the fairer sex who have read till this line (which essentially is the end of this blog) – a big thank you. This blog was not meant to disparage or make fun of your antics. It was just an appreciation of your wonderful, yet profound thought process. We just can’t live without you (under my breath, neither can we live with you!!)

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