Thursday, 26 June 2008

India being a democracy - a hinderance???

India - the largest democracy, a country that leads by example to other states, is today seemingly suffering by the very fact that it is a democracy.

What prompted me was the series of Bandhs that took place in the past week. Guess this was the second in this week and third in this month!!! What is saddening to see, is parties calling for bandh, forcing the cause on various educational institutions and business establishments. On two occasions, the so called volunteers forced educational institutions to shut down. What more, I heard someone saying it is great to have such bandhs happening often!!!Though it might have been said in a lighter sense, I guess it is genral feeling among us Indians. We take comfort in the fact that we dont need to go to office/school on such day, dont we? Pity, is it not? When shall we learn to respect others opinion and stop enforcing it on others? When shall the time come, when someone stands up and says, I disagree and still run his or her own shop/school/office?

I agree strikes are a very powerful weapon to win a cause, but I question the basic cause of doing so. May be, banning them all together is not a solution considering their effectiveness. But certainly there should be some absolute authority that monitors and approves such calls. Only after the party approaches the monitoring body and post-approval alone, should they be allowed to go ahead. Otherwise, it must be considered illegal and on certain occasions, when they turn violent, I guess they must be appropriately punished...

Courtesy Foundation - Caring for children...

At the busy JNTU junction or the Hitech City junction, we find many typical salesmen. Yet, there is an all together different group of people, belonging to Courtesy Foundation, marketing their way into convincing, not forcing anyone to pay a little towards a noble cause, for needy children.

My first encounter with one of their volunteers was at the a busy junction. A young girl, who I mistook for the typical salesman, asked me for a few seconds. When I refused, she was absolutely quick to inform me that she was not trying to propose a loan or a silly product. She had amazing convincing skills that I was thoroughly convinced to pay 500 rupees. I complemented her for her skill at marketing the cause.

Today again, I met yet another person at Hitech City junction. Again, I mistook him for a typical salesman, and quick came the explanation disclosing his intention. When I told him about my previous encounter, and wanted to get away, he convinced me into paying another 50 rupees. As I was waiting for my friend to arrive, I observed that there were 3 of them and believe me none of them was free for a minute. They kept speaking to people and they almost got everybody to shell out a little. Believe me, they were amazing...

So, the next time you come across such a person, just give a second to listen to what they have to say. May be you can contribute to their cause; or should I say you will, considering that they are too good at what they do!!!

To view their website, click Here

Tuesday, 24 June 2008

Goodbye Infy!!!

Yesterday was the last day of my short but sweet stay @ Infosys.
Exactly a year ago, I was putting up with the training at Mysore. Now, Mysore strikes a very pleasant chord, even though the training was hectic. The 4.5 month stay there was sheer fun, plus a little stress due the endless stream of classes and tests; and indeed lack of sleep. We lacked sleep not only because we were training(rated to be very tough, which it is indeed), also because of the endless hrs of TT, Shuttle, volleyball, and what not!!!
If I were asked to rate my stay @ Mysore, I would place it pretty high in the list.

Post training, life was a little different, but better as a result of the fact that I was posted to Hyderabad. Having worked on a project, which I never found interesting(coz, it was all about filling up excels & Word docs), I was very much let down as I had very high expectations. Though professionally it was not so challenging, I had time to enjoy. Being in the IT industry(training excluded) for almost 8 months, I never stayed late at office. Then came the call from IFMR, Chennai for GD/PI, which I managed to convert. By now, I was already on bench for about a month. It was curtains on my dreams of another project, when I informed I would be leaving in june. The next three months, it was about going late to office and coming back home early. The 7-8 hrs @ office, were quite hard to while away; indeed I even ran out of ideas to search google or wiki!!!

Then came appraisal time. Filling up PPT slides, scanning and uploading documents, taking up the boring ILI sessions. Finally, I got an overall A for my performance during the last six months, thanks to the remarkable feedback from my managers.;)

As we entered june, i was getting to think that, just a few more days and it's all done. The last few days before the DU party were the most tiring. From being a part of the skit team the first day, I was a part of overall coordination forthe party. The party went on pretty well till something wierd called "Vineel" happened. It just took a few minutes for him to make us feel like dying. As a die hard fan of music, and also being a respectable singer, even on stage, I felt singing couldnot get worse than that. I personally took rehearsals of every event and made sure they were all good. For some reason, I couldnot take a rehearsal of this freak. I was kicking myself for having commited the sin of taking a chance with him. He literally set the stage and my a##, both on fire simultaneously. But, I still admire him for his courage. Managers, please dont let his appraisal ratings be effected by his on-stage performance. ;)
The icing on the cake about this guy, is that,he also lost one of the pen drives which was not his. :(

Vineel,if you are reading this,please dont mind me saying all this!!!

Monday was the day that mattered. I was busy settling my last minute formalties for my relieving. All these days, I never felt emotional about leaving the job. But when the entire Cisco team met in the pantry,somewhere down in me, I was feeling low.From a corner of my eye, a drop rolled down my cheek. It was the first & best farewell I was given individually. Thanks a lot guys!!! It couldnot have been better.
Coming out of the ODC, & after spending some time with my friends, it was time for me to leave the campus, one last time as an employee of Infosys. I could have walked to the parking lot, but I preferred to take a ride on the cycle. Interestingly, I started & ended my stay @ infosys with a ride on the bicycle...

Wednesday, 18 June 2008

B'lore airport = 4000 acres of advertising space up for the taking!

The greenfield airports are proving to be a promising place for the up-market segment advaertising. In India, where flying is still a luxury that a few can enjoy, this is an idea that works. What more, the new Bangalore airport, run by BIAL(Bangalore International Airpot Ltd) is notching up additional non-aero revenues by tying up with a leading International advertising agency, to use the 4000 acres of airport space, thats up for the grabs. BIAL aimsat a target audience of about 12-13 million travellers every year, a significant fraction of whom are affluent.Almost 70% of that space has already been blocked!

What an idea, Sirjeee!!!!;)

Tuesday, 17 June 2008

Political stability (v) National energy secutiry

It is an easy guess that, I am talking about the Nuke deal. With crude prices going up everyday, there are calls for lesser dependency on oil for national energy requirements. With the Congress intends to go ahead with the deal, the Left parties are playing a spoilsport yet again. Is it not high time they leave their conservatism at bay and give the national issue it's due significance? With the imminent change of power in the US, time is running out before this landmark deal is finalised. Also in a mess is the Iran gas pipeline project, over which progress has been very slow. It need not be mentioned that reliable, scalable energy infrastructure is a requisite for India's growth.

It would be interesting to watch out, who wins this contest between political and national interests!

Wednesday, 11 June 2008

IPL Franchises - Going public - The way to go!!!

For about 40 days, the focus has purely been on cricket. Now, it is money matters that are hogging the limelight.
While a recent article spoke about IPL franchises having bigger margins than football clubs like ManU and Arsenal; another speaks about the details of how the finances work.
More surprisingly, the franchises may also opt to go public(it seems many football clubs have already gone public!!!), after the third edition of IPL in 2010.

These external articles will provide a greater insight:
IPL Franchises have better margins than ManU and Arsenal
Understanding IPL's Finances

Sunday, 8 June 2008

Grass (v) Clay

Yesterdays French Open final has been and will remain to be a very huge disappointment for all Federer fans. Especially for the reason that he lost without giving a fight. Was it Nadal's exceptional technique on clay or was it just a bad day on the court for Federer?

I felt something was totally wrong with Federer. He was not moving; his drop shots did not workout well & for that matter nothing.

In the spirit of the game, it was good to see Nadal not celebrating his win(despite the fact that he equalled Borg's record of four French Open titles), considering the fact that Fed has not been at his best.

Wednesday, 4 June 2008

Political response to recent fuel price hike - absolute nonsense

I think this is something that everyone agrees with, that politics in India are nothing more than absolute nonsense.
The entire political scenario is about a few parties fighting amongst themselves, with nobody heeding to the people. The Left parties, especially , are proving to be a hinderance in the government policy. In this context, I remember one of my friends (selected for M.Tech at IIT KGP), say that they cannot expect multi-nationals to visit their campus (IIT KGP campus!!!), and that he would have to settle for employment in a Indian company. Why? Just because it is in a state ruled by the Left. The furore caused by the TATA Motors Singur plant is well known for the obvious reasons.

With regard to the latest Fuel price hike, the BJP and the allied parties have strongly condemned it by terming it as "Economic terrorism"(May be they forgot what Modi had done to Gujarat). The BJP that now demands a complete rollback of the recent hike, must have forgotten that in it's tenure, it has raised the prices too (from about Rs. 2.50 to 9 a litre of kerosene over six years; from about Rs. 24 to just over Rs. 35 a litre of petrol; and of over Rs.100 on a cooking gas cylinder) [facts and figures courtesy - The Hindu]— when the price of international crude was less than $40 a barrel in 2004 as against around $130 now. While the Industry has accepted the hike from a practical viewpoint, the parties have made a mess. All this aside, the OMCs(Oil Mktg Companies) are still losing Rs. 20 per litre of petrol!!!

For that matter,Indonesia faces a 30% hike; there are views in US that price of gas would increase from $2.50 to $3.0 per gallon, which is 20%[Facts courtesy - Google,].

All this set aside, poverty is at large,even as the country has more billionaires every coming year. The question that comes to my mind - Is the political establishment hindering a better growth for India...???

Tuesday, 3 June 2008 - Saving energy one search at a time

Today I got a mail forward mentioning this site called Blackle.
The tag line - Saving energy one search at a time, reminds me of the Howard Schultz's book Pour Your Heart Into It: How Starbucks Built a Company One Cup at a Time.

Similarities apart,this site created by Heap Media, is powered by Google, so be assured of the quality of the search results ;). Going by the popularity of the Google search engine, a black version is estimated to save 750 MW-Hours a year. Using Blackle saves energy because the screen is predominantly black. A monitor displaying white consumes gretaer amount of energy than that displaying black. What more, the homepage also mentions the amount of energy saved because of using Blackle.

Do take a look at this site, especially, click on About Blackle link at the bottom to know more. Please appreciate the initiative and the motto behind it.

I realize now that I too am going green by selecting a black blog template...;D

Funny Rodney Dangerfield

Rodney Dangerfield - "What a dog I got, his favorite bone is in my arm."

My i Started..

Today was a bit different at office,as compared to the three weeks that had passed. It was just that I had nothing to do(which is often the case).
I got my hands on to The Times of India. As usual, news was boring.Then, I got my hands on to Hyderabad Times(a Times of India supplement), more out of attraction to a pic of Aamir Khan. The article spoke about blogs maintained by the bollywood bigwigs(BigB included). It spoke about how Aamir wrote about 'Shahrukh', his dog. (Though I am such a big fan of him, I felt that he was intentionally poking at KingKhan). I browsed through his blog for quite sometime. The blog made me feel that Aamir, who generally avoids any limelight, shares a lot with his fans through this blog. For that matter, he has been blogging for more than a year now...

All this apart, my instinct told me that I would need such a blog once I became famous. So, here I am blogging. This blog, unlike my other blog(on finance), I intend to keep updating...So, wish me good luck...

Anti-Plastics campaign - China sets an example...yet again

I recently saw an article on the Hindu that mentioned about Chinese retail giants(Walmart included) launching a nationwide campaign against issue of free plastic bags to all shoppers. The shoppers can however be able to buy them at a a marginal cost. The shoppers would be encouraged to bring their own bags to carry their buy. I am not sure of the numbers, but about 1300 tonnes of oil is being consumed to cater only to the needs of China's shoppers. I guess thats a lot of plastic that just goes into trash once the buyer reaches home. Though waste management & recycling are catching up, I guess this initiative is a lot advantageous coz, people avoid using plastic.(Prevetion is better than cure, if the adage is appropriate..)

I somehow remember(my memory sucks, so if I remember,it hardly turns out to be false), usage of polythene bags of certain thickness was banned in India too, but in a typical Indian manner, rules and laws are never meant to be followed.

Through this blog, I appeal to you to take the initiative in avoiding or atleast saying No when offered a polythene bag at your favourite supermarket. Please do carry your own jute bags or something made out of natural fibre, the next time you go out to shop.

Anti-plastics campaign losing momentum in Ooty!

Road manners...

Every morning, I travel to office, just about 14 kms away from home. I guess, more than the stress due to work @ office(forgot what it is coz i've been jobless for abt 3 god damn months), the kind of uneasy feeling caused by this travel is much worse. Especially, if it is early in the morning and you want to start off ur day fresh, this is not the kind of headstart that one would like.

Today was no different. There was a freaking a## (driving a ford ikon) who kind of almost hit me. He really pissed me off. I just cant understand what these ppl in cars(with due respects to all those traffic rule followers),but my instinct says that they feel the road is all theirs and everybody else has to give way or help enhance his god damn superiority. I killed my engine(Poor Honda Activa), I bloody honked him from the rear. I accelerated even more to catch up with him and show him my middle finger, but I missed out on that.

The other day, I was watching "Namesake". There is a scene where Tabu drives pretty slow and the guy behind him keeps honking, but doesnot overtake. It is hard to imagine such an instance here in Hyderabad(or for that matter, anywhere in India).

My early days at Hyderabad, I was pretty adamnant on following rules. Now, just a few months sine then, I've changed beyond cognizance.

With the situation getting worse by the day, I guess the only option would be to enforce traffic laws in the lines of martial law...