Saturday, December 20, 2008

Another day...another time...

Mumbai stint comes to an end. Next week I will be in Chennai. New place, new people. Spent the last entire week at various farewell lunches and dinners.

It is difficult to say good bye. Always...and I am an emotional fool for that.....but then this time I am looking forward to it...

Saturday, December 13, 2008

no title.....

कुछ सपने टूटने के लिए ही देखे जातें हैं
कुछ अरमान कभी पुरे नही होतें
कहीं दूर गंगन में उभरा इन्द्रधनुस,
अपना कभी नहीं होता.

सपने टूट गए तो कया गम है,
फिर से नए देख लेंगे,
आख़िर एक ही तो तजुर्बा है हम में
सपने देखते ही रह जायेंगे..........

pathetic spellings....but then, my Hindi spellings were always a pain for my teachers

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Dear Neta Log and Arm Chair Generals

1) Raj Thackerey Saheb: Maj. Sandeep was a MALLU from the BIHAR regiment who died so that you could rest your stinky ass in peace at Shivaji Park. Where was your brave sena when this attack was taking place? Maybe he should have refused to come down here, as you want only Marathi Manoos to be in Mumbai

2) Amar Singhji: Were the terrorists killed in this attack also your beta? Or maybe vote bank politics dictates that all the brave officers killed where killed by their own men? Don't you want a Judicial enquiry?

3) Lalooji: Do you still want the ban on SIMI lifted? Or maybe, yeah aapke bacche the, jo rasta bhatak gaye?

4) Madam President: On the face of this tragedy, your holiday in Indonesia is uncalled for. And cancelling appointments because V.P Singh died and forgetting about the 200+ in Mumbai, just goes to show that you are fit for the kitchen of an ex and future PM not as a President

5) V.P Singh: You should have died earlier. But then remembering the violence that you unleashed on the students, you deserved to die now, and remain confined to one column. Glad to forget you

6) Manmohan Singhji: Speak like a damned Prime Minister. Not like some Goddamned economist. Soft speak is not the need of the hour. Heard of fists of thunder?

7) Signora Sonia: "Hum is ghatana ki kari neenda karte hain" is a mother hood statement. Please refer point 6 above

8) Shivraj Patil: Time you committed suicide dude. Resignation is for people responsible for a Fuck Up, not for a carnage

9) L.K. Advani: From when did Hemant Karkare become your Hero?

10) Narendra Modi: We know, Gujrat is a rich state. Please keep your charity for those commandoes killed in Akshardham. Anyone remembers Surjan Singh Bhandari?

11) All Arm Chair Generals: The NSG, MARCOS, Army, ATF, Police and Fire Brigade know their job. They have been trained much better than you, and have experienced much more than you. Please keep your gob shut and applaud them. And next time there is a pay revision, kindly think of increasing their pay.

Foot Note: This Country of mine, declared a 7 day mourning for a random PM, who was anyway going to die. For the 200+ killed in the attacks, well life goes on. Next week, you shall return to being dead and becoming a statistic. The famed resilience of the Maximum City will take over. But, there will not be a question, there will not be answers. Nothing will change. For we have brought this upon us. If, we the People of India, do not forget our differences and stand united, we will be targetted again, and again and again; from land, sea and air. And all we can do is stand by and watch.

Friday, November 28, 2008

with media like these, who needs spies and informers???

Long long time ago, in a certain age of innocence, I was a fan of 24X7 news reporting. I used to be awed by the courage showed by these men and women as they reported from the front line. But then some where down the line, that awe started to vanish. And over the last two days, as Bombay faces its worst invasion, that awe has given way to disgust.

I mean how stupid can you get? If NSG commandos are carrying out an operation, you are showing the helicopters coming in with the commandos? The terrorists sitting inside need not even look out of the damned window. He just has to switch on the TV and watch a damned news channel. He will know approximately how many commandos are coming, which way are they coming, what is happening much better than if he had an informer in the crowd below.

Get a life, 24X7 news channels. In your quest for TRP, you are blurring the line between honest reporting and actual playing into the hands of the enemy.

And as for the questions....I used to adore Barkha Dutt.....but sorry lady....your lame questions have really put me fan less for you....

Thursday, November 27, 2008

In memoriam.... Mumbai 26/11

Cry my country!! Cry!!!

rambling post.....

An invasion from the sea. And a President who is only fit to cook for an ex-Prime Minister says, "hum ghatna ki ninda karten hain" Madam, how about coming back to India? A Prime Minister who stays in bed. A Home Minister who shouldn't resign....rather should commit suicide..
.....body count mounting.....and terror hits home

Police Officers are corrupt, police officers take bribes, their salaries shouldnt be increased....350 police officers should protect one corrupt Chief Minister.....police officers should be used to keep roads clear in peak hour traffic so that neta log can travel in speed......then the same police officers are asked to fight well armed terrorists with vintage equipment, and lay down their lives.......... where does my tax money go? When I am paying taxes why cant you furnish proper equipments for those who are responsible for protecting me?

Army Officers are grudged their canteen facilities, they are grudged their orderlies, they are grudged their salaries.....and today when you need them to fight these invaders, you ask them to step in. They step in, a collective sigh of relief goes up.....we are safe......but when they ask for an increase in pay.....Ohh no!! we cant do that......the Maj. Gen. should go inside the Oberoi only when there are terrorists inside, other wise he is better confined to his Mess.......

Cry my country.....Cry for the leaders you elect are spineless scums of the worst kind....Cry my country for you could never recognise a hero even if he came in front of you.....cry my country for all you can think of is you and your immediate family........the rest are just statistics......cry my country for anyone can come to rape you and your sons can only stand by saying intelligenc failure and your daughters stand around with questions "How does it feel that your dad is a hostage?" .......cry my country.......for you dont deserve to be a nation at all.......

How about the citizens asking for a general election? How about dismissing this government? How about military rule? How about removing this concept of universal adult franchise? I think that concept has been raped beyond recognition......we need a new system to give voice to the poor and rich alike......democracy just doesnt work here.....

On a sad note......the entire XL family grieves today as they have lost a son-in-law a week before the the Lord give strength and forbearance to the Bride and both the families as they cope with this loss......

On a sad note......the country weeps for 14 of her sons who lost their lives defending her honor......

And a note to Madam President and the Congress (I).......rubber stamp president is a word....spine less is another word.....but when there is an attack on the Country, the Country expects its leaders to be there.....if they want to be called leaders.....

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Obama's speech

Obama has finally been elected as the next President of United States of America. If there is any country that has come to terms with its past it is the USA. And coming to real terms. Not the fraud coming to terms by electing a Dalit President or Sikh Prime Minister and still bickering about caste and region. Here is the transcript of his victory speech. Brilliant piece if ever there was.

If there is anyone out there who still doubts that America is a place where all things are possible; who still wonders if the dream of our founders is alive in our time; who still questions the power of our democracy, tonight is your answer.

This is our chance to answer that call. This is our moment. This is our time - to put our people back to work and open doors of opportunity for our kids; to restore prosperity and promote the cause of peace; to reclaim the American Dream and reaffirm that fundamental truth - that out of many, we are one; that while we breathe, we hope, and where we are met with cynicism, and doubt, and those who tell us that we can’t, we will respond with that timeless creed that sums up the spirit of a people:

But there is so much more to do. So tonight, let us ask ourselves - if our children should live to see the next century; if my daughters should be so lucky to live as long as Ann Nixon Cooper, what change will they see? What progress will we have made?

America, we have come so far. We have seen so much.

It’s the answer told by lines that stretched around schools and churches in numbers this nation has never seen; by people who waited three hours and four hours, many for the very first time in their lives, because they believed that this time must be different; that their voice could be that difference.

It’s the answer spoken by young and old, rich and poor, Democrat and Republican, black, white, Latino, Asian, Native American, gay, straight, disabled and not disabled - Americans who sent a message to the world that we have never been a collection of Red States and Blue States: we are, and always will be, the United States of America.

It’s the answer that led those who have been told for so long by so many to be cynical, and fearful, and doubtful of what we can achieve to put their hands on the arc of history and bend it once more toward the hope of a better day.

It’s been a long time coming, but tonight, because of what we did on this day, in this election, at this defining moment, change has come to America.

I just received a very gracious call from Senator McCain. He fought long and hard in this campaign, and he’s fought even longer and harder for the country he loves. He has endured sacrifices for America that most of us cannot begin to imagine, and we are better off for the service rendered by this brave and selfless leader.

I congratulate him and Governor Palin for all they have achieved, and I look forward to working with them to renew this nation’s promise in the months ahead.

I want to thank my partner in this journey, a man who campaigned from his heart and spoke for the men and women he grew up with on the streets of Scranton and rode with on that train home to Delaware, the Vice President-elect of the United States, Joe Biden.

I would not be standing here tonight without the unyielding support of my best friend for the last sixteen years, the rock of our family and the love of my life, our nation’s next First Lady, Michelle Obama.

Sasha and Malia, I love you both so much, and you have earned the new puppy that’s coming with us to the White House. And while she’s no longer with us, I know my grandmother is watching, along with the family that made me who I am. I miss them tonight, and know that my debt to them is beyond measure.

To my campaign manager David Plouffe, my chief strategist David Axelrod, and the best campaign team ever assembled in the history of politics - you made this happen, and I am forever grateful for what you’ve sacrificed to get it done.

But above all, I will never forget who this victory truly belongs to - it belongs to you.

I was never the likeliest candidate for this office.

We didn’t start with much money or many endorsements. Our campaign was not hatched in the halls of Washington - it began in the backyards of Des Moines and the living rooms of Concord and the front porches of Charleston.

It was built by working men and women who dug into what little savings they had to give five dollars and ten dollars and twenty dollars to this cause.

It grew strength from the young people who rejected the myth of their generation’s apathy; who left their homes and their families for jobs that offered little pay and less sleep; from the not-so-young people who braved the bitter cold and scorching heat to knock on the doors of perfect strangers; from the millions of Americans who volunteered, and organized, and proved that more than two centuries later, a government of the people, by the people and for the people has not perished from this Earth. This is your victory.

I know you didn’t do this just to win an election and I know you didn’t do it for me. You did it because you understand the enormity of the task that lies ahead.

For even as we celebrate tonight, we know the challenges that tomorrow will bring are the greatest of our lifetime - two wars, a planet in peril, the worst financial crisis in a century. Even as we stand here tonight, we know there are brave Americans waking up in the deserts of Iraq and the mountains of Afghanistan to risk their lives for us.

There are mothers and fathers who will lie awake after their children fall asleep and wonder how they’ll make the mortgage, or pay their doctor’s bills, or save enough for college. There is new energy to harness and new jobs to be created; new schools to build and threats to meet and alliances to repair.

The road ahead will be long. Our climb will be steep.

We may not get there in one year or even one term, but America - I have never been more hopeful than I am tonight that we will get there. I promise you - we as a people will get there.

There will be setbacks and false starts. There are many who won’t agree with every decision or policy I make as President, and we know that government can’t solve every problem. But I will always be honest with you about the challenges we face. I will listen to you, especially when we disagree.

And above all, I will ask you join in the work of remaking this nation the only way it’s been done in America for two-hundred and twenty-one years - block by block, brick by brick, calloused hand by calloused hand.

What began twenty-one months ago in the depths of winter must not end on this autumn night. This victory alone is not the change we seek - it is only the chance for us to make that change. And that cannot happen if we go back to the way things were. It cannot happen without you.

So let us summon a new spirit of patriotism; of service and responsibility where each of us resolves to pitch in and work harder and look after not only ourselves, but each other. Let us remember that if this financial crisis taught us anything, it’s that we cannot have a thriving Wall Street while Main Street suffers - in this country, we rise or fall as one nation; as one people.

Let us resist the temptation to fall back on the same partisanship and pettiness and immaturity that has poisoned our politics for so long.

Let us remember that it was a man from this state who first carried the banner of the Republican Party to the White House - a party founded on the values of self-reliance, individual liberty, and national unity.

Those are values we all share, and while the Democratic Party has won a great victory tonight, we do so with a measure of humility and determination to heal the divides that have held back our progress.

As Lincoln said to a nation far more divided than ours, “We are not enemies, but friends…Though passion may have strained it must not break our bonds of affection.” And to those Americans whose support I have yet to earn - I may not have won your vote, but I hear your voices, I need your help, and I will be your President too.

And to all those watching tonight from beyond our shores, from parliaments and palaces to those who are huddled around radios in the forgotten corners of our world - our stories are singular, but our destiny is shared, and a new dawn of American leadership is at hand.

To those who would tear this world down - we will defeat you. To those who seek peace and security - we support you. And to all those who have wondered if America’s beacon still burns as bright - tonight we proved once more that the true strength of our nation comes not from our the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals: democracy, liberty, opportunity, and unyielding hope.

For that is the true genius of America - that America can change. Our union can be perfected. And what we have already achieved gives us hope for what we can and must achieve tomorrow.

This election had many firsts and many stories that will be told for generations. But one that’s on my mind tonight is about a woman who cast her ballot in Atlanta. She’s a lot like the millions of others who stood in line to make their voice heard in this election except for one thing - Ann Nixon Cooper is 106 years old.

She was born just a generation past slavery; a time when there were no cars on the road or planes in the sky; when someone like her couldn’t vote for two reasons - because she was a woman and because of the color of her skin.

And tonight, I think about all that she’s seen throughout her century in America - the heartache and the hope; the struggle and the progress; the times we were told that we can’t, and the people who pressed on with that American creed: Yes we can.

At a time when women’s voices were silenced and their hopes dismissed, she lived to see them stand up and speak out and reach for the ballot. Yes we can.

When there was despair in the dust bowl and depression across the land, she saw a nation conquer fear itself with a New Deal, new jobs and a new sense of common purpose. Yes we can.

When the bombs fell on our harbor and tyranny threatened the world, she was there to witness a generation rise to greatness and a democracy was saved. Yes we can.

She was there for the buses in Montgomery, the hoses in Birmingham, a bridge in Selma, and a preacher from Atlanta who told a people that “We Shall Overcome.” Yes we can.

A man touched down on the moon, a wall came down in Berlin, a world was connected by our own science and imagination. And this year, in this election, she touched her finger to a screen, and cast her vote, because after 106 years in America, through the best of times and the darkest of hours, she knows how America can change. Yes we can.

America, we have come so far. We have seen so much.

But there is so much more to do. So tonight, let us ask ourselves - if our children should live to see the next century; if my daughters should be so lucky to live as long as Ann Nixon Cooper, what change will they see? What progress will we have made?

This is our chance to answer that call. This is our moment. This is our time - to put our people back to work and open doors of opportunity for our kids; to restore prosperity and promote the cause of peace; to reclaim the American Dream and reaffirm that fundamental truth - that out of many, we are one; that while we breathe, we hope, and where we are met with cynicism, and doubt, and those who tell us that we can’t, we will respond with that timeless creed that sums up the spirit of a people:

Yes We Can. Thank you, God bless you, and may God Bless the United States of America.

Saturday, November 08, 2008


Was watching the frenzied support that Obama has in India. And the applause when he won. Wonder whether his so called supporters in India have any clue on his policies, views, background or track record???

Wouldn't it be better if these supporters decided to vote in India instead of worrying about the election in US??

Saturday, November 01, 2008


Campus Dreams, Dream Company, Dream Job, Dream Location, Dream is based on dreams.....and then one day....Dream company after dream company don't give you an offer, dream job after dream job don't actually work out the way it is supposed to......Dream Girl vanishes from your life......

Crashed dreams, shattered dreams, dreams lying broken under the harsh arc light of an unforgiving world....some steps when taken burn boats and bridges leaving not a charred remain for you to step back......and then from amongst the a phoenix doesn't rise....that happens only in Dreams.....from amongst the ruins.....a tear falls.........

Watching your dreams crash around you.......watching your dream walk off with someone else......watching your dream being rejected by the person who got it........

Life.....goes on.....

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Nice one

Found this article on the web. Brilliant article. Worth a read.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

The Jet saga....

Lay Off: (Sec 2(kkk) Industrial Disputes Act 1947) "lay-off" (with its grammatical variations and cognate expressions) means the failure, refusal or inability of an employer on account of shortage of coal, power or raw materials or the accumulation of stocks or the break-down of machinery or natural calamity or for any other connected reason to give employment to a workman whose name is borne on the muster-rolls of his industrial establishment and who has not been retrenched

Retrench: (Sec 2(oo) Industrial Disputes Act 1947) "retrenchment" means the termination by the employer of the service of a workman for any reason whatsoever, otherwise than as a punishment inflicted by way of disciplinary action, but does not include - (a) voluntary retirement of the workman; or

(b) retirement of the workman on reaching the age of superannuating if the contract of employment between the employer and the workman concerned contains a stipulation in that behalf; or

(bb) termination of the service of the workman as a result of the non-removal of the contract of employment between the employer and the workman concerned on its expiry or of such contract being terminated under a stipulation in that behalf contained therein; or

(c) termination of the service of a workman on the ground of continued ill-health;

Today the airlines industry are unable to give employment to the workmen due to shortage of passengers, who are the one of the raw materials for the aviation/services industry. But they have not laid off their workers. They have retrenched them.

Till a few months back, employees never had it so good. They could jump ship at the slightest provocation, sometimes for as much as a INR 2000/- ($41) increase in salary. HR managers at high attrition companies worried their hair out, about whether they critical resource walking out of the door every evening would be back the next day. The Gen-X did not know what it was to be without a job.

The bad news is out. Jet laid off close to 850 people and are planning to lay-off more. AI has announced that 1500 people will be asked to go on leave without pay for 3-5 years. While laying off people is not illegal, nor is it a subject matter of political debate, there are ways of doing this without unnecessary heart ache. Nor is it true, that the PYT who just jumped abroad from Kingfisher without waiting to complete her due notice period just because the going was good, has got what she deserved. Here we are talking about lives. Young lives who for better or worse have no other training. They followed their dreams and their dreams led them to this.

Very soon we might see the same thing repeated across IT/ITES sector, given the fact that Obama is leading in the popularity poll. The BPO worker is specially vulnerable. They hardly have any other training or experience to do any other work. At that juncture is it proper to ask the Government to bail out the sick companies? Even if the Govt. pumps in cash into the ailing companies, how long will the company survive on crutches? But then, we are used to giving crutches to all and sundry instead of trying to involve them in the mainstream. Now the question is how do we cope in these times? Increase spending? Increase the Gross National Debt? That is just pushing today's problem to tomorrow. Anyway here I am dergressing from the topic.

CITU and MNS are waiting in the wing to jump into the fray to be seen as the saviour of the poor. They are asking for a bail out of the aviation industry. If the government bails out the aviation industry today, is it prepared to bail out the IT/ITES industry tomorrow? There are dharnas and morchas asking Jet to take back the employees. Is it fair to ask the industry to keep excess workers on roll while they are bleeding? Have we forgotten the Bombay Mills so soon? Aren't we ever going to learn from history? I don't have the answer. I don't know who has the answer. But I have a question for Mr. Naresh Goyal.

Mr. Goyal, you knew your company was bleeding. You knew that you might go in for a code sharing agreement with Kingfisher. You knew that when the going got tough, you would have to let go a significant number of your people. You are a businessman and not a social activist. I respect all that. But Sir, would you please stand up, look at those young faces you axed, look them in the eye and tell them that you did this to save the company? Could you cross your heart and do that? I have only one problem with this retrenchment. Why have you done this in such a shady manner? You could have gone ahead and fired everyone, no one would have said a thing. It is your company after all. But why in a way that makes it appear so shady, so cheap? And when you did this where was your HR manager Mr. Goyal?

To the HR manager of Jet Airways, You are a scum and people like you bring the entire profession of HR into disrepute. You know your numbers. You know which way the wind is blowing. You know who you need to retain and who to let go. And you know the law. More importantly you know your employees. You have been trained in soft skills. If you don't you don't deserve to call yourself a HR manager. You deserve to bloody shoot yourself. Where was your training when you needed it? If you had to go ahead and nuke people, you din't need your degree in HR. Do you Mr. HR Manager of Jet Airways, suppose that though this retrenchment is legally justified, it is morally justified? What were you thinking when you pulled off the cowardly act and sent retrenchment letters to the employees by courier? Remember Mr. HR Manager of Jet Airways, you wouldn't have lost a fortune if you had spent some more time on framing your plan of action before shooting off those letters.

To all industry leaders and head honchos out there. You might have to lay off people, you might have to retrench them; I don't say Don't do it, rather I say, GO Ahead!! Do It now. But do it in a humane way.

This is my request to all you HR managers and CEOs out there, when you retrench or lay people off do it, but follow these guidelines:

1) Retrenchment as a last resort: Sometimes, it is a better solution to propose a across the board pay cut to save jobs than to retrench multitudes. First cut off the fancy office, give up the company car, stop those small expenses everyday. Send a message to the workers that you are serious about cost cutting

2) Lead from the front: Not in the Shady way that Jet has done it. Look at the employees in the face. Tell them that we are facing a problem. We need to let people go. And tell them they will be welcome back when things improve. Then lay-off, retrench people fast. Within a few hours of making your announcement. Don't let people find out when they are ready to go to work and the cab doesn't turn up

3) Provide support: What prevents you from providing support to the retreched employees to obtain another employment? They deserve it from you

4) Don't hide behind closed doors: Walk around. Be available to the employees. They have doubts. They have questions. They are shocked. Now is not the time to retire to your castle. Be with them

5) Once and for all: Don't retrench 50 people today, then another 100 tomorrow and so on. This creates tremendous insecurity among people who survive. Once you are done with removing your excess employees, assure the rest that you are not going to fire them. They will be forming your core group on which you will build your future.

Well, one long post. But then this is the time when we all do a reality check. And ensure that we are ready to go back to school and pick up more skills that would be valuable in this market.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Sharod Subheccha....

One more Pujo goes by. And this time it was a dull one. Dull by even my standards. My mother and the kid sister left on shosti. And I went back to what I do best. Rest my tired body in the air conditioned comfort of the office. Din't have much to do this week with half the office out for navratri. And today felt too lazy too go out.

Well, anyways, even though this year I did not
celebrate Pujo the way it is supposed to be, the last day always leaves you a bit gloomy, a bit nostalgic. It is almost like having to get on with the dullness of life. But then you know, that "Aasche bochor aabar hobe". And aasche bochor hopefully it will be a different celebration than this.

Wishing you all the warmest greetings for
Dussehra. Subho Bijoya....aasche bochor mongolmoye hok

Picture courtesy this wonderful site that has enabled millions of Probashi Bangalee to keep in touch with Pujo.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Adieu Prince......

"I have a secret weapon", Azhar told the press on that beautiful autumn day as India vanquished a far superior Pakistan. The secret weapon had other feathers on his cap. A straight bat six against Murlidharan. Charging into Pollock as he ran in to bowl. A brilliant 144 that ensured that India won a test after having been asked to follow on. And last but not the least, the bare-chested shirt wave at the Mecca of Cricket....Lords.

The Captain who forged the Indian Team, who popularized the huddle and for whose backing we discovered the gems who are a part of the team today, Saurav Ganguly has annou
nced his retirement.

There have been finger pointing at the fab four, there have been media spats, ugly politics that have taken place behind the scenes, but the fact remains, if any of the fab four have always got the short stick and has always managed to bounce back he is the man. And today as he decides to walk into the sunset, it will not be an easy walk. He will not be under pressure to perform, but yes he will be under pressure. To cap off a brilliant career with a flourish. The last hunt. The final bugle call. It will not be easy to walk off. But then it will be the brilliant end of an era if he does let his bat do the talking once again.

What was his contribution to Indian cricket? He forged a team. A team who dint win by chance. But a team who won because they believed they could. A team who did not snatch defeat from the jaws of victory but who even if they lost went down fighting. This team reflected what the new India was all about. It was the resurgent India that faced the world.

And if sometime soon we eventually win the World Cup, and not the 20-twenty version, we would have one person to thank for that.

Goodbye Prince, we shall miss you.

The Good, the bad....the M

Well, Gujarat it is. West Bengal's loss is Gujarat's gain. Don't know if Nano will still remain the 1 lac car, or if the price will escalate. The fact remains that again the ordinary bespectacled, fish eating bong will have to step out of West Bengal in order to earn a living. And what will remain back would be the shadows of a golden past. Hats off to Momotadidi and co...

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

A Pyrrhic victory

Late and long post.....

Well, RNT has decided to pull out of Singur. Momota Banerjee is celebrating Durga Pujo at Kalighat and has proclaimed that she will start an agitation after the Pujo to return the land to the farmers. Nice thought. But Ms. Banerjee or her advisors, in their infinite wisdom, haven't given a thought on the state of the land. Agriculture flourishes on land which is fertile. Not land which has been levelled and graded. Dug up and concrete poured into it. The Singur area was a marsh land, so quantities of fly ash have been dumped on it to make it fit for construction. Have these intellectually superior people given a thought on how are those unwilling land losers going to start farming again?

My guess is, as part of her election ploy, now that she knows she has rocked her best boat for an election victory, she would ask the Tata's and the the govt to return the land in the condition that it was taken. Meaning, that all the clean up operation etc would have to be done. She has to try this plank now for her election. And public memory being as short as it is, Momota didi will be the Messiah for those whose land was forcefully acquired and then forcefully returned.

Land acquisition has another dimension. How will you return the land of those people who willingly parted with their land? They got their compensation cheques, which they encashed and spent the money. Will they again have to forcefully buy back their land? Or will they see their land going to someone else. If the latter, then it is nothing but a ploy by the Tirnamul to grab land. Good land. And vast areas of it. Which they will later deem to be unfit for agriculture and sell at a much higher rate for industrialization. Do I smell a rat somewhere? Or is it only me who thinks that this is a ploy?

As for the buy back policy, how will a poor farmer who suddenly got a windfall amount and spent it on a new house, a daughters marriage or a new bike, gather that amount required for him to get his land back? And if the Tirnamul pressurizes the government to give the land back gratis, it is the tax payer's money which is being used. Why should you and I pay for a folly that is entirely Momotadidi's? Will the govt. have the guts to bill the Tirnamul Congress and Momotadidi for the land and then return it? Or even better, ask Momota didi to come up with the money and then transfer the land to her. She can then return it or keep it as she chooses. If she is such a champion of the poor she would return it gratis. The same way she expects the govt. to do so now, difference it would be her money, not yours or mine.

And for the people of Singur, and West Bengal, when was the last time any politician did anything that was good for the people?

Friday, September 19, 2008

Why it makes sense for Tata's to shift out of Singur...

The impasse over Singur continues and there seems to be no headway. In this scenario the best option for Tata's seems to be to close shop and move out. Contrary to the sentiments in West Bengal, this would actually be a very good move. Here is why:

1) The project is getting delayed due to Momotadidi suddenly realizing that a lot of the farm lands that were acquired for the project was acquired from unwilling farmers. The story here is a bit different. In a previous post I had talked about the compensation that was being offered, a whopping 30 rs a sq ft. But then the story in West Bengal is unlike any that in any other state. Not all the farmers actually own the land that they farm. They are share croppers, and even when the original owners have willingly given the land to Tata Motors, the share croppers are with Trinamul. An increased package is not going to offer them any benefit. Their best bet would have been if the Nano plant came up and they got work there. But, no....they are too used to the life that they have been leading. If they had been employed at the plant, at the first disciplinary action for not reporting to work or some other misconduct, they would have declared a strike and anyway work would have come to a halt. You see, the average Bengali is very aware of his rights but not his duties.

2) A strong message gets sent out to all such aimless politicians who take up people's issues when they find that the going has just gotten tough. This will also discourage the so called leaders who take up the cudgels on behalf of the minority for those projects that benefit the vast majority. This is nothing new in this country. Under the grab of socialist, secular, democratic republic, we believe in throttling the majority opinion to pamper the minority opinion.

3) Ms. Banerjee's Chief Ministerial hopes are effectively dashed. Can you imagine the rot that would have happened to Bengal if Ms. Banerjee becomes the CM ever? If the Tata's continue now, it would have just added to her armoury. She would have become the messiah for the poor. Now hopefully she will be wiped off once and for all.

The only flip side:

Tata's lose out on a source of educated cheap labour. Well, that has to be taken in while calculating the cost of the nano.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Another Blast....

Yet another blast in Delhi.....what is the world coming to? Are we actually a weak state? These blasts demonstrate that terrorists are able to strike anywhere at will and all our political and governance machinery have failed. There has to be a solution to this....maybe a "Never Again" campaign.....Its the citizens who have to stand up and say "Never Again". It doesn't take much. If all of us pledge to not take things lying down. If the death of even one of our fellow country men causes outrage and a demand for justice, if we don't try to get away from our mistakes but accept them and try to overcome them, if instead of always having an external locus of control we look at ourselves we may be able to stop this.

These blasts are not the handiwork of Pakistani terrorists, these blasts have been done by us, The Common Man of India. Yes, each of us, you who are reading this blog, the man on the street, the cop sitting idle at the police station, the so called government, the I-banker, the Dalal Street share broker, the media covering these blasts, the PYT partying away to glory and also me writing this blog is responsible for these blasts.

Do the Self appointed critics of the failed governance machinery every wonder where do these quantities of explosives come from? Every time you encourage the sale of goods and services without a bill, you are creating a loop hole that these guys can exploit; every time, you walk away when you notice something suspicious, you are creating a loop hole; every time you bribe to get ahead of the Q or to cover up a broken rule you create a loop hole.

Gandhiji started the Civil Disobedience movement, but unfortunately failed to stop it. It is still going strong. And till the time this keeps on going strong, there will be blasts, and terror attacks. Will it really need one person of every family to die in this country before this country wakes up? We are in a slumber since we woke up for a few minutes on the midnight of 15th August 1947 to hoist a flag. Damn it people, you are the damned government, the damned police, the damned everything of this long will you keep depending on external agencies for help? If we are to become a superpower ever, we need to set the trend. Can we have a "Never Again" campaign? Will each of you who is reading this stand up for the law as it is instead of trying to evade it?

Do we have the balls for it? Or are we a bunch of losers who deserve to die? Who will die anyway? and the survivors will carry on as if nothing happened? What is needed to shake these bunch of people awake?

Monday, September 08, 2008

Can he be tried for treason?

Enough is enough.....this guy makes arbit statements against every non-maharastrian and gets away with it.
He writes to the cops asking them not to discharge their duty
And we dont have a law to charge him with treason against the Indian Union? How is he any different form the moderate terrorists who are asking for freedom in J&K?

How is MNS different from the ULFA? Just because ULFA uses bombs and bullets and this guy uses speeches? Some one tell me please.

A Wednesday

This is a movie which just deserves to be watched if for nothing else but the brilliant acting by Anupam Kher and Naseeruddin Shah. The jingoistic theme aside, this movie is watchable only for the acting.

After a long time finally a movie, in which I wasn't waiting eagerly for the intermission. The fast paced thriller had me glued to the seat throughout.

All in all, a sunday afternoon well spent.

My Rating: 4.5/5

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Rock on

Watched Rock On yesterday. Everything said and done, and after getting 4.5 stars somehow the movie disappointed me. Well most of it anyway. I thought Mumbai Meri Jaan was much better.

And yes....on another note, the music is if you could actually buy the CD and not watch the movie...

My rating would be 2.5 stars for Rock On.

Monday, September 01, 2008

What is the relation between.....

Both are pictures of popular leaders who refuse to acknowledge the birth of a new era that has come.

One did not recognize that the Manchester of the East was looking at a bleaker picture and proceeded to call an 18-month long strike that hastened the demise of an already sick industry. Datta Samant, a massive strike, at the beginning of which an estimated 200,000–300,000 mill workers walked out, forcing the entire industry of the city to be shut down for over a year. As the strike progressed through the months, Samant's militancy in the face of government obstinacy led to the failure of any attempts at negotiation and resolution. Disunity and dissatisfaction over the strike soon became apparent, and many textile millowners began moving their plants outside the city. After a prolonged and destabilizing confrontation, the strike collapsed with Samant and his allies not having obtained any concessions. The closure of textile mills across the city left tens of thousands of mill workers unemployed, and in the succeeding years the most of the industry moved away from Mumbai, after decades of being plagued by rising costs and union militancy. The just have to walk around the mill areas of Parel and Worli. The mills stand there like ghosts from another era. And those that have been redeveloped are now housing posh offices and malls.

and the other.....Didi as she is called by all, refuses to let industrialization come to West Bengal. Somehow she thinks that returning the land that the Tata's acquired from unwilling farmers is a solution. Does she really think that the unwilling farmers would be able to return to agriculture in the then fertile now barren land? Surrounded by paint shops, forging shops and assembly line? May be Tata Motors will have to create a new designation, Farmer, Farm Labourer for those who will be farming in those areas that are within the gates of the factory.

And what makes the farmer unwilling. Well to look at it one way, the Govt. acquired the land paying a price of about 13-17 lacs an acre. ($32500-$42500 an acre) thats about Rs. 321/sq m ($8 a sq m) or 29.8 a sq feet. The price paid to the farmers for a plot of land in the middle of nowhere the size of a tile in your room is about 30 rs. That is huge amount by any logic. Now the unwilling farmer contents that in any case if the factory comes up, the land has to be acquired. The price of land will shoot up. So the farmer has the opportunity to sell the land at 3 times the present price. No wonder such large numbers are supporting didi's protests and her intelligent argument that Tata's need only about 600 acres, return 400 acres to the farmers. Left to her, the factory will have a paint shop, then a rice farm, then the body shop, and forge, then maybe another farm.

What if Tata's move out of Singur? West Bengal gets tagged with an industry unfriendly status. The only thing left for educated, unemployed youths is roke bose adda maraa aar prem kora....after all who needs industrialization....we are happy, lazy beings.

Of Mumbai Meri Jaan, Bihar Floods, and others

Watched मुम्बई मेरी जान this weekend....thanks to AM who tagged me along. Well whatever the reviews said, this was a movie worth watching if you are a part of Mumbai. For those who haven't watched the movie yet this is what the synopsis is, "On July 11, 2006 the local train service, known as Mumbai's lifeline, was struck by a series of bomb blasts. Bombay Meri Jaan explores the impact of this devastating incident on the lives of the people of Mumbai. From a brilliant broadcast journalist to a patriotic corporate man; from a retiring policeman at the twilight of his life to a rookie cop at the dawn of his career; from an angry and xenophobic unemployed young man to a coffee-vendor struggling to survive and belong: Mumbai Meri Jaan follows the lives of people from all strata of Mumbai's bustling society as they tackle the aftermath of a fatal incident that brings out the best and sometimes the worst in them." (courtesy UTV site)

The movie laced out well and the acting was good. Madhavan was brilliant, so was Irfaan Khan. Paresh Rawal portrayed the retiring cop so well that today morning when I saw a constable with grey hair at the naka I really wondered if he was the inspiration behind the role. On the other hand
Vijay Maurya got too much into the skin of the character......or was he not given enough lines?? A new cop, who chooses to ask his senior what his achievement was, questions the system that exists does not pull the trigger on himself without enough reason. Also, Kay Kay Menon I felt overdid his part of being a Hindu Fanatic....and Soha Ali was not genuine enough.....

Maybe because you connect with the places and the people you connect with the movie. I doubt how much a person from lucknow or chandigarh would connect with this movie.
The personal drama did not look to personal for anyone other than Soha and Madhavan. And the usual Hindu-Muslim bashing and then bhai-bhai preaching. It is a tribute to a city, a tribute to the people, but it could have been handled better. Maybe it was not possible to compress this in cinematic time, but a tragedy that 7/11 was, deserves something more than this.

At the same time, one is forced to ask some serious questions. We talk about the Spirit of Mumbai but is it something more than spirit? I think it is desperation that forces people into the Spirit of Mumbai thinggi. Truthfully, who would want to travel in overcrowded trains? Except for the fact that the only other option is at least 2-3 times the train journey time. The most chilling scene in the movie, when Madhavan's friend from the US tells that maybe the next generation will become used to terrorism. To me that is a stark reminder about what life is going to be all about. Survival. And like MM says in her post, that how much longer can we create gated communities and pretend that we are safer just because we chose not to look at the world around us? Isn't it time that we decided that it is important for us to be responsible for our own security. That we cannot keep blaming the police and the government for everything? This brings me to another recent event, the calamity in Bihar. One recent TV report, said that policemen where saving all they could and moving to higher ground and another showed an interview with a villager that prasasan kuch nahi kar rahi.

I know it is the easiest thing to find a scapegoat, but then do we realise, that we are the prasasan, the administrators? The IAS officer is just a representation of the society we live in. He is no superman to save the people. He wants his cut like everyone else. Everyone in this country is out to get his pound of flesh. And by everyone, I mean everyone. We are all cheats and thieves in private and saints outside. Sarkaar kuch nahi karti is our favourite statement. But, the same statement makers will bribe a govt official who pulls you up for breaking a law, will cross the road at anyplace, will spit and dirty the city, you see for us, as long as it doesn't affect us, we are fine. We will rave and rant at the unfairness of it all and then go back to being the way they are.

Where are all these related? Bomb blasts, terrorist attacks and bihar flood.....they are all the product of our apathy.....apathy born out of not trying to be a country.....we are not Indians.....we are hindus, muslims, brahmins, dalits, maharastrian, bihari, everything but not Indians......when we start bribing the cops to let us go for small offences a precedence is created that says that the more money you pay the bigger offence you can get away with......when you pay to get your work done without standing in a que, you start a trend which says it is easy to ignore the rights of people who have been waiting before you......and that is the tragedy from which all the bigger tragedies flow......question is can we say "Never Again" or will it just be another movie being made on another tragedy?

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Classics all the way

I picked up this tag from Altoid. Found it interesting enough to make it the first tag on my blog....and I pass it on to Daffodils...lets see if she beats me on this....

"Following is a list of books that decorate most people's bookshelves but not always read. In this tag we are supposed to reveal how ill read we are by showing the ones read in bold, by underlining the ones read at school, and by italicising the ones started but never finished. "

1. Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell
2. Anna Karenina
3. Crime and Punishment
4. Catch-22
5. One Hundred Years of Solitude
6. Wuthering Heights
7. The Silmarillion
8. Life of Pi : a novel
9. The Name of the Rose
10. Don Quixote
11. Moby Dick
12. Ulysses
13. Madame Bovary
14. The Odyssey
15. Pride and Prejudice
16. Jane Eyre
17. The Tale of Two Cities
18. The Brothers Karamazov
19. Guns, Germs, and Steel
20. War and Peace
21. Vanity Fair
22. The Time Traveler’s Wife
23. The Iliad
24. Emma
25. The Blind Assassin.
26. The Kite Runner
27. Mrs. Dalloway
28. Great Expectations
29. American Gods
30. A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius
31. Atlas Shrugged
32. Reading Lolita in Tehran : a memoir in books
33. Memoirs of a Geisha
34. Middlesex
35. Quicksilver
36. Wicked : the life and times of the wicked witch of the West
37. The Canterbury Tales
38. The Historian : a novel
39. A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
40. Love in the Time of Cholera
41. Brave New World
42. The Fountainhead
43. Foucault’s Pendulum
44. Middlemarch
45. Frankenstein
46. The Count of Monte Cristo
47. Dracula
48. A Clockwork Orange
49. Anansi Boys
50. The Once and Future King
51. The Grapes of Wrath
52. The Poisonwood Bible
53. 1984
54. Angels and Demons
55. Inferno
56. The Satanic Verses
57. Sense and Sensibility
58. The Picture of Dorian Gray
59. Mansfield Park
60. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
61. To the Lighthouse
62. Tess of the D’Urbervilles
63. Oliver Twist
64. Gulliver’s Travels
65. Les Misérables
66. The Correction
67. The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay
68. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
69. Dune
70. The Prince
71. The Sound and the Fury
72. Angela’s Ashes : a memoir
73. The God of Small Things
74. A People’s History of the United States : 1492-present
75. Cryptonomicon
76. Neverwhere
77. A Confederacy of Dunces
78. A Short History of Nearly Everything
79. Dubliners
80. The Unbearable Lightness of Being
81. Beloved
82. Slaughterhouse-five
83. The Scarlet Letter
84. Eats, Shoots and Leaves
85. The Mists of Avalon
86. Oryx and Crake
87. Collapse : how societies choose to fail or succeed
88. Cloud Atlas
89. The Confusion
90. Lolita
91. Persuasion
92. Northanger Abbey
93. The Catcher in the Rye
94. On the Road
95. The Hunchback of Notre Dame
96. Freakonomics : a rogue economist explores the hidden side of everything
97. Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance : an inquiry into values
98. The Aeneid
99. Watership Down
100. Gravity’s Rainbow
101. The Hobbit
102. In Cold Blood : a true account of a multiple murder and its consequences
103. White Teeth
104. Treasure Island
105. David Copperfield
106. The Three Musketeers

There, these are my dismal stats : 33/106.

If anyone else is interested, please do take up the tag.

Why Tata Sky and others should start worrying...

Two new news items have generated world wide attention. This and this . In addition by the year end Reliance ADAG is going to launch its Big TV. RCom has also reportedly placed orders for 5-million Set top boxes (STB).

Till now the cable tv scene in India has been that people were at the mercy of their cable operators. The cable scene in India is unruly at best and a gangster's paradise at worst. The introduction of set top boxes and the entry of big players like the Hindujas (Incable), Subhas Chandra's Zee (Siticable) and Rahejas (Hathway belongs to Rajan Raheja Group) has cleaned up the scene a bit. But the last mile connectivity is still provided by the local cablewaala. That is where DTH comes in. You dont have to deal with the local cable operator. You deal with a reputed company. Either Government (Doordarshan), or Zee (Dish TV), or Tata (Tata Sky). Now with the entry of Reliance the customer has one more choice.

This is precisely why the existing operators should be worried. RCom has the pockets to survive the initial years till it breaks even. It with its deals with Steven Spielberg and Bachchan ADAG has in its kitty the power to give the viewers the choice to view just released and yet to be released movies. The average viewer will get to watch the latest movies without having to shell out huge amount for the multiplex experience. That is big bang for the buck.

Lets us face it, most of the viewers have a few chosen channels and that is what they watch. The operators on the other hand have to ensure that they offer something different from the run of the mill to get more people on to their network. The cable TV market is growing at 8-10% in India. With many state governments taking a cue from Karunanidhi, free color TVs will be distributed amongst a lot of people. With just two channels on terrestrial broadcast, these people will increasingly turn towards cable. That is where value packaging comes in. The distributor who can offer maximum value for money will rule the roost. And reliance with its deep pockets can afford to take a hit on the price of its equipments to lure customers. This is what was done when RCom launched its mobile service.

It is time to be worried for the other players. The big hulk is coming. Either adapt or perish. Let us now see which way the wind blows.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Mumbai Nagari

Well I am back.................

Exactly a month has passed since I joined one of the most happening general management group companies that came to campus.....move over TAS, ABG, I am joining a dynamic group which is investing billions, which has got some of the top people who retired from one or the other of the Nav Ratnas.

Life has basically been good...nothing much happening....a small tweak here, a small tweak there that is called one of colleagues puts it "Dude, there is no work life balance here. The damned work is missing".

So long we have been left to our own devices....left to search for acco in the unsympathetic city....Ten other poor souls who joined with me have been shunted out of civilization to one of the most alien cities in this country, where it doesn't matter what or who you are, if you don't know the language you are finished...for reasons best known to me and to my extended circle of friends, it was my dream city. I have been promised that on my next stint, so will probable wait out the monsoons, watching the seas around Haji Ali.

Here is where the great Mumbai Dream begins and goes on....but somewhere, just somewhere there is that small voice in my head which seems to be telling me..."Dude, this isn't the end"....Here I come big bad world....

Saturday, May 03, 2008

.....another begining.....

All my bags are packed and am ready to go.....there is no taxi waiting yet.....but here it is to a new leaving for Mumbai once again......dear old city.....the place from where it all began......will join one of the corporate houses which has a finger in multiple pies....the HR journey begins....

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

An alternative perspective on Reservation

I know its been long since my last post....and with that my resolution to post regularly goes out of the window.....lot has been happening around...convocation (Pappu pass ho gaya :))- will have a detailed post on that later- sitting at home, lazing around, nothing too the meanwhile the reservation debate continues to make headlines....was planning a post on that, when I came across, this. Brilliantly put by none other than Mad gotta love that man.....enjoy this till I come up with something to blog about....

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Peter principle and definition of success.....

"In a hierarchy every employee tends to rise to his level of incompetence."

This is the Peter Principle which was formulated by Dr. Laurence J. Peter and Raymond Hull in their 1968 book The Peter Principle.

It was a wet evening today, just the kind of evening when you would wish that you had a steaming mug of coffee, a roaring fire and friends to chat with. Well it was just a wee bit different, it was a wet evening, but it was just two friends over hot burgers and coke meeting up at Indiana's, Bangalore. Oh yes, we had a copy of The Ten-Day MBA by Steven A. Silbiger with us.

Here we were, the three year work ex, tobacco salesman, and the fresh, yet to cut his teeth, IR manager; talking about everything, catching up with what common acquaintances are up to, what life is all about, what are the prospects of a jump etc etc, when the discussion turned towards success. What does success mean? Who is a successful person? Are CEO's the only successful people? What about the 179 odd people out of a batch of 180 who dont become the real famous hot shot CEOs. The aam junta might not know who a B. Muthuraman or a J.J. Irani is. But does that make them less successful than a Vijay Mallya?

Or is the guy who passed out of a B-school, decided to take life easy, has found time for his family and for his passion of painting, earns enough to stay in one of the upmarket locales of the city, drive a reasonably decent car, kids go to a good school and are good performers, is he successful. He may not have achieved the kind of life his batch mate did. But can we brand him as not being successful? The question comes down to the alumni meets that B-schools have every year. Who are the people who attend? The top honchos are there but are few in numbers, the majority are the run of the mill people. These are the people you would meet in your daily life and yet not turn and stare.

Success, is a self actuated process. It is that which brings me joy. If I am happy, if I have no regrets for the life I led, if there is no it could have been like this if I had done that thing syndrome, I feel that one is successful. Material wealth, doesn't matter in the long run, position, power, prestige, nothing matters. It is that feeling in the autumn of your life, when you can look back and say, this was a life well lived, that is a measure of success. What could have been, what could be done, what I dint do, those are immaterial. What matters is what I did, how many people did I make a difference to.

This brings me back to the Peter Principle. The principle says man rises to the level of his incompetence, and if you actually sit back and analyze the lives of people you know, take a third party independent view, and look at their lives, their career paths, their life paths follows the equation

y=m ln(x) -b

In the long run, it plateaus out. And initial thrust depends on how good you are. An academic topper will perform better than the last guy who will perform better than the guy who never made it. It is just one of the ways of the world. And thats when Peter principle kicks in, when you thrust a donkey into the world of race horses, the donkey performs, but to his potential, and which might be better than the performance of the average donkey, but is no where near the performance of the race horse.

But, if the donkey decides to sniff the grass, and observe the crowd, if he decides that he is here for the fun of the run and not necessarily to be the winner, it will be a much more enjoyable race for him as well as for the guy riding him. And at the end, when the race is over, everyone is led to a common stable, where they get the same oat to eat. So maybe it is time, that we decided to look around and sniff the air, look at the grass, the meadow and the bright blue sky, for often in our quest for achieving the top of the pyramid, we let life pass us by and then, in the end, it is always, "I was the topper of my batch and could have done such and such, but....". Life is calling, it is up to us to take the plunge.

Friday, February 22, 2008

The curtains fall.....

More than 820 classes, more than 1230 hours, 33 professors, innumerable guest lectures, presentations, assignments, project reports. Sweat, toil, blood and tears. Euphoria of A+s and the disappointment of Cs. Summers, ensemble, elections, public production, juniors nite, parties, placement processes, treats. Myriad of non academic activities, both value adding and non value adding. Finally today XLRI dream run ends. Today at 6 pm, the class of 2008 will move on to a new beginning. A new beginning as alumnus. As managers. For a lot many of us it is the last academic class we shall be having. As one of my close friend has put it, some one press the pause button and rewind...

Friday, February 15, 2008

I need a home

In the wake of the recent controversy unleashed by Mr. Raj Thackeray, here is my take. I am leaving this post open for comments. Help me find an answer.

I was born in Ranchi in erstwhile Bihar, now the capital of Jharkhand. My schooling was in Ranchi and in Bangalore. My parents have settled in Bangalore for close to 18 years now. I studied and learnt Kannada while in Bangalore at the same time out of my own initiative I learnt my mother tongue, which is Bengali. I learnt Hindi as I loved to read the literature in it. I did my engineering in Jamshedpur in Jharkhand. I met my dream girl there who is Oriya settled in Pondicherry. Then I went to work in Pune and subsequently that company transferred me to Mumbai. I got through one of the top B-Schools in the country located at Jamshedpur. The offers from various companies are mostly based out of Mumbai, with a rider that I should be mobile. I am a gourmet and love to eat food from various parts of the world. I love life. I love celebrations. I love to gorge on sweets and burst crackers during Diwali, but come December I eagerly wait to decorate the crib and eat plum cake and pudding. I wait for sewai during Id. I bow down before a temple, a church, a mosque, a gurdwara. My passion is stirred when I see the tri-color. I lustily sing Jana-gana-mana. My best friends are a Punjabi from UP, a Hyderabadi from Orissa, a Malyalee working in Jamshedpur, and a Malyalee from Delhi. I give my identity as an Indian. I love the vastness of this land. Unity in diversity. That is my country to me. It is my country. It is where I was born.

Till date I was never afraid of being an Indian. I dint know my caste till a few years back. I dint care. I was an Indian. I was a son of the soil. Does it mean that to be a son of the soil, I need to be born in the village? Is there any group that I belong to? What if I dont want to be part of any region? What if I say I am an Indian. This is my country. Mumbai blasts shocked me as much as the Nandigram issues. I volunteered to serve my people when the Tsunami hit Tamil Nadu. One of my best friends who is a TamBram started a drive for educating and enriching the lives of orphans in Pune. Should he not do this and stick to his work in TN? Why are you taking my country away from me? I dont want a state. I want the country. It is MY country. India is my Mother land. Should I stop being an Indian and stick to being a Bengali? Or perhaps even that is not acceptable as I was not born there.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

My last bow

One of the few people in XL who were jobless enough to go volunteer, organize, hang around any event that happened on campus, yesterday I took my last bow. Retirement from all social activities in XL. They were immense learning experience. Lots of fun. Got to see that side of people which is normally not seen. Met some very talented people. Some very creative people.

Saraswati Puja was celebrated here. Some of the pics from that.

Public Production

Public Production at XL is that one evening when the students gang up and inflict a play on the citizens of Jamshedpur. This year was no different. The only difference was the play, it was completely done by XLers. From the writing to the casting to the sets to the costumes to the lights and sounds.

The theme of this year's play, The Shadows Within was Godhra Riots and its affect on individuals who are unconnected and meet on the train. Staged in an innovative split stage method, this play relied on lights and sounds to create the atmosphere needed for the play. My part in the play was behind the scenes, with the props and stage. Here is the stagecomm pic. The Group who rocked the stage, backstage.

Friday, February 08, 2008

Testimonial time

It is that time of the year again when you write testimonials for your friends and your friends write one for you. Then there are the year book photos etc etc. Each passing day reminds you how close you are to leaving the campus.

Some wonderful people, some people who you have grown close to. People who you look up to and who look up to you.

To part is the lot of all mankind. The world is a scene of constant leave-taking, and the hands that grasp in cordial greeting to-day, are doomed ere long to unite for the last time, when the quivering lips pronounce the word - "Farewell." It is a sad thought, but should we on that account exclude it from our minds? May not a lesson worth learning be gathered in the contemplation of it? May it not, perchance, teach us to devote our thoughts more frequently and attentively to that land where we meet, but part no more?

How many do we part from in this world with a light "Good-bye," whom we never see again! Often do I think, in my meditations on this subject, that if we realized more fully the shortness of the fleeting intercourse that we have in this world with many of our fellow-men, we would try more earnestly to do them good, to give them a friendly smile, as it were, in passing (for the longest intercourse on earth is little more than a passing word and glance), and show that we have sympathy with them in the short quick struggle of life, by our kindly words and looks and action.
- Coral Island, R. M. Ballantyne

Thursday, January 31, 2008

on letting go.....

We, as humans, are strange creatures. We forget that we cannot protect and shelter those people we care for most, always. We cannot be there for them forever. We cannot decide for them. Play God for them. It is best to let go when the one you care about is ready to take the leap. That maybe you kid, your younger sibling, anyone....Let go is the buzz word. Stop trying to be the destiny maker. Let them follow their dream. Just be there for them if they stumble and need your help to steady themselves.

Leaving you with a poster of the amazing Walt Disney movie, "Finding Nemo"...

Now playing: Antaragni - i still ove you

Monday, January 28, 2008

.....on growing up

Was talking to Daffodils today....yes the same Daffodils with whom I keep fighting....we do have our shared sibling moments also [:p]...anyway...and that got me thinking....why do we always dread change?...why do we want to cling to the existing present? we were just a little over 18 months ago introduced to this place and we longed to go back....and now when we shall actually go back....some part is looking forward to going back...but then there is that little part which doesn't want to let go....wants to remain a child....but I think that aging gracefully is more important...

30 days

Well Ensemble'08 ended in a grand note. The last college fest that I shall be involved in. It also marks the beginning of the end of XL life. Some 30 odd days to go. Nothing happening in the campus. Lateral offers that were pouring in at the beginning of the year are now down to a trickle again. The usual gyaan giving sessions are on. Surprising how two years in a B school makes you so knowledgeable about life. XL in many ways is a microcosm of the entire world. You meet many different kinds of people here, from different walks of life, specialized in different fields of education....and then it hits you...that education is not the only thing that makes the people on the top calls for something else....and that something is found in the corridors of XL, in the mess, in the hostels in JLT....If RIT made a man out of a boy, XL added the finishing touches and in more than one way made me ready to go out and take on the is to the last few days in this wonderful place, to some of the most wonderful people I met here, to the long lost younger sibling I found here.....