Thursday, April 28, 2005

The Real Offender

There's been a lot of hue and cry lately about Mumbai cops and their "worthiness". Now that I have broached the subject, these are two interesting posts from Amit Varma's blog - Supporting taliban and Fondling of memory.

It is indeed a worry that there are so many people who support Shiv Sena's views on women wearing "revealing clothes". And it is very surprising how they actually end up blaming the victim for "provocating" the offender. I do not give a damn to any such lecture or speech by all these so-called "protagonists" of Indian Culture.

The second piece is quite an entertaining read (more for the way it's written than the actual incident).. Amit Varma says:
"The bit that interests me here is how the memory of that event will shape itself in Mrs Sharma's mind. "
True, it is interesting.. But I guess it ain't in my place to dwell on such thoughts..

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Right to Freedom of Speech..

There has been a lot of talk about media and yellow journalism, etc in our country. There are so many news channels in our country right now. However, I am not sure how popular all these news channels are. My source of news is mostly the print media and the Internet. I am not too fond of Television.

Lets hope we don't reach this state. At least competition would keep all these channels honest. And most importantly, they will ensure that the media isn't a puppet in the hands of the government.

Is it really surprising to know that US news channels resorted to biased reporting on Iraq under pressure from the government? So much for the talk about "Free Press".

Perfect date..

Ever wondered about your perfect date!! Well, here's an online date personality quiz. I would say it is reasonably accurate, though I am not much of a "dater" personally. Got the link from Subtle blues, which in turn was accessed from Bala's blog. Here are my results:

Your dating personality profile:

Liberal - Politics matters to you, and you aren't afraid to share your left-leaning views. You would never be caught voting for a conservative candidate.
Practical - You are a down-to-earth individual who is not impressed with material excess. You care about the stuff of like that really matters.
Athletic - Physical fitness is one of your priorities. You find the time to work athletic pursuits into your schedule. You enjoy being active.
Your date match profile:

Intellectual - You seek out intelligence. Idle chit-chat is not what you are after. You prefer your date who can stimulate your mind.
Adventurous - You are looking for someone who is willing to try new things and experience life to its fullest. You need a companion who encourages you to take risks and do exciting things.
Athletic - You aren't looking for a couch potato. You seek someone who is active and who keeps her body in top shape.
Your Top Ten Traits

1. Liberal
2. Practical
3. Athletic
4. Adventurous
5. Outgoing
6. Intellectual
7. Wealthy/Ambitious
8. Big-Hearted
9. Romantic
10. Traditional
Your Top Ten Match Traits

1. Intellectual
2. Adventurous
3. Athletic
4. Practical
5. Conservative
6. Traditional
7. Shy
8. Funny
9. Wealthy/Ambitious
10. Big-Hearted

Take the Online Dating Profile Quiz at Dating Diversions

Anyone interested?? :-)

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Entrepreneurship v/s Management

Two traits considered to be very important in any management graduate.. In fact, most people would join a B-school expecting to "learn" these two traits.. Here's an eye-opener for all such aspirants.. It's a pretty good account of what you should not expect from a B-School(at least in India)..

Interesting reading about the fact that HR and Sales areas are not given enough attention.. I thought Sales would be an extremely important area that one would be interested in.. Same with HR.. I guess it may not be easy to simulate a real-time scenario for these issues though.. Its always easier to handle such situations in theory than in practical life.. And it ain't surprising that most management graduates come out wanting to save their arses more than helping the company in the long run.. One of my colleagues who's a management grad himself has been saying this thing for quite a while now..

Personally, I think I am more of a manager than an entrepreneur, but hey, let me get into a B-School first.. Maybe I shall be able to talk about this more if and when I get there..

Monday, April 25, 2005

Romeo and Juliet.

A very different post this time... One may need a lot of patience to go through this one..

A LOVE STORY.. The names* are made up.. The story is not..

Alok* happens to be a normal guy from a middle class background. After a normal schooling life with all its fun-filled moments, he ends up in an engineering college without really planning for it. Now, Alok is not the sort of person who makes friends very easily being slightly shy and reserved. It so happens that he ends up spending some time with one of his classmates Nidhi* more by chance than wish.

Predictably enough, they start liking each other's company. They end up being best friends during their college stay. He helps her out with her studies whenever possible. She helps him by being there whenever he felt alone and depressed staying so far away from home. Now, as you would guess, Mr. Alok is by now hopelessly in love with his best friend. But he's also afraid of telling her about his "feelings" as the last thing he wants is for her to walk out of his life..

However, his heart prevailed and during one of those weak moments, he blurts out his feelings to her. Nidhi happens to be from a family strongly against the idea of love marriages. Her father is one of those "disciplinarian" types who doesn't want any of his daughters going "astray".One of her sisters has already received a lot of flak for "daring" to love someone. And apparently, her sister's story was tragic as she finally married some buffoon that her parents chose for her. Having seen all this, Nidhi is not very enthusiastic about the idea of falling in love and all. She tells Alok that there is no point in keeping false hopes as it can never materialize into anything concrete. She wants them to remain "just good friends". Alok is mature enough to face this fact and accepts it as he is not losing out on her friendship.

Just when things looked to be sorted out, Nidhi realizes that she is actually in love with Alok and he has become an extremely important figure in her life. And she confesses the truth to Alok. One can imagine how happy Alok would have been when he heard this. This was what he had been hoping and praying for all this while. So far so good.

However, life ain't so easy, is it? They still have Nidhi's family(especially her father, the Bull-dog) to consider. Before we come to that, college life draws to an end. Alok gets a decent job in a nearby city with which he can sustain himself for the time being. Nidhi stays at the same place and is undecided about what to do. Basically looking out for a job. Now, Alok decides that he can't handle "Bull-Dog" on his own, he definitely needs his parents' support. So he tells them about his future plans and how he intends Nidhi to be an integral part in any such plan. This is where the trouble starts.

Now, who says that all educated people are tolerant and open-minded! Well, maybe many are, but as it happens, Alok's parents don't fall in that category. Their first question to Alok - "Is she from the same caste?" Well - She isn't! Then there is a marathon argument about this issue and try as he might, Alok realizes that his parents ain't budging from their stand. Their principal concern - whatever status they have left in the society goes for a toss if their son goes ahead and marries a girl from some other caste. Hmm.. How do you counter that? Alok tries - but all in vain.. He doesn't stand a chance. So much so that his parents insist on meeting the girl and when they get the opportunity, they tell her bluntly that they don't want her to divide their family. And our hero Alok faces the ultimate dilemma - His parents tell him "U decide - Its either US or HER! Don't tell us later that we didn't warn you...."

You'd think that Alok is in a bad enough situation, when he starts facing problems at work and isn't very sure about continuing there. Another complication in life! He really is thinking about sustaining himself right now, which means there is no way he can give Nidhi a guarantee regarding a safe future. However, to her credit, she stands by him and assures him that she'd leave her family for him if need arises.

So, with renewed vigour and hope, he starts looking out for a new job and gets a few decent offers. Before he is able to convert any of those offers into a job, the bomb finally explodes. Nidhi's parents have been looking for a suitable for quite a while now and finally it comes to a stage where everyone is happy with the arrangement, except our Romeo and Juliet of course. Now, it is Nidhi's turn to face the dilemma - should she accede to her parents' wish or run away with our dear friend, Alok? But run away to what? Where could they go? He doesn't have stable job and she is not even earning.. On the other hand, her "would-be" has a steady income and is reasonably well settled in life.

After tussling with her heart, she finally decides to take the "safer" option and gives in to her parents' pressure. Poor guy Alok is left with next to nothing. What can he do? He sees all his dreams crashing in front of him.. What'd he want to do now? He tries his best to ask Nidhi to reconsider her decision. However, she stands firm in her resolve to put this behind her and "move on" in life.. And so our friend is back where it all began.. Left with only memories and a broken heart..

It is tough to know what to tell a guy like Alok at this stage.. Easy for people like us to ask him to forget about it and move on.. But all he's thinking about is -
"This is the End, Dutiful friend!
This is the End, my only friend, the end!!"

I don't think Alok is the only person to be caught in a situation like this.. He says he's ready to take on the world and he would for his "gal", but he can't fight her.. She took the decision and that's that..

This made me think about whether things have changed nowadays and whether all our parents would have a problem with us marrying people from other caste/community/religion or even nationality.. I think I can say I won't face this issue at home.. But yeah, don't think I can take that for granted.. No point in discussing hypothetical situations..

Many Thanks to those who read this patiently.. I know it may sound like a SRK movie story-line, but believe it or not, its true.. And for all the curious cats, I have no intention of elaborating on that.. All I can say is that this wasn't an autobiography!!

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Left, Right and Neutral..

If anybody asks me about my political view, I usually wonder what I should answer. The main reason for this is the fact that although I am working for an organization which is the epitome of capitalism in our country, I do not think I believe that capitalism is the answer to all the problems in our country.

In fact, I would probably say it is not helping our country any bit at the ground level. Sure, the markets are doing great. Most of the companies register huge profits every quarter. All's well for the business class. And with globalization, things couldn't be better. You have a government, though backed by the left, is pressing for reforms.. What more can we ask for?

However, with all this, what is the change at the ground level in our country? Are we trying to drive out everyone who still survives on agriculture? What happens to all the people still below the poverty line? How much are things changing for them with all the new reforms and god knows what not? What does it mean to them whether the stock markets touch the 6500 mark or 7000 mark?

And it seems there are people in the US who aren't happy with their government and its policies either. These are some of the prominent "leftist" blogs from the US:

Turning the Tide

Words from the Wise

The Killing Train

Thought Dreams

Goodbye Maggie

Empire and Inequality


All these are blogs in ZNet. I would recommend these to people who are/were especially interested in the build up to the previous US election. I am not sure why none of these blogs have been updated since July 2004. Nevertheless, they make very interesting reading.

Friday, April 22, 2005

Queen of my dreamz..

This is a question I am sure every guy would have faced in life - what kind of girl do u like? A very harmless and genuine question I suppose.. And it makes me think why people would want to know my dream girl and all. Ok, I admit I have thought about it.. I wouldn't mention it in my blog otherwise, would I..

To be honest, when I was in high school, I had this image of that one perfect girl.. The one who would complete me and all that sort of crap.. Maybe it was just the effect of all the movies/songs I used to watch at that point of time.. One more factor may have been my limited(almost nil) interactions with members of the opposite sex outside home.. Coming to think of it, I'd say the number of times I would have spoken to a girl in my class from IX to XII standards would be less than ten..
Now, I must say that definitely changed in college.. In fact, when I mention this fact to my college friends, all of them "pooh-paah" it and say it is impossible.. :) .. I guess one changes with time..

Coming back to where I started this post, I am not sure I believe in this phenomenon of "soulmate" and all any longer.. Maybe I haven't met the right person (even if I have, I haven't realized it!!)..

Now, how do people decide whether they are in "love" with someone.. This is a question I feel is almost impossible to answer.. When I ask someone how do you know you love this gal/guy, the most common answer I get is that you just "feel" it, it can't be explained.. I have seen many of my friends who are happily "courting" their girl-friends and seen many more with broken hearts.. I really don't know how they'd have decided that "This IS the person I love!".. Can't help wondering why it is so important in most people's lives? Yeah, I know I shouldn't be analyzing this.. What's my bloody problem if two people actually think they are "made for each other"!! I guess I am just rambling on to find the "queen of my dreamz"..

I just thought of these lines while writing this post:

Love to some is like a cloud
To some as strong as steel
For some a way of living
For some a way to feel

And some say love is holding on
And some say letting go
And some say love is everything
And some say they don`t know

Personally, I think I believe in "letting go"!! And any John Denver fan would know I didn't write those lines myself!!

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Stars and eccentricities..

Marat Safin is one of the most unpredictable players in the world of tennis today.. On his day, he is simply unbeatable.. Who can forget the marathon duel between him and Federer in the Australian open semi-final earlier this year..

One would have expected him to carry on after his victory in the first grand slam this year.. However, as he himself admits, he is in the middle of a crisis.. A player like him provides a change from the normal champion one sees.. Given the talent he has, only he can be so unpredictable.. But I'd rather watch him than someone like Hewitt(with all due respects to Hewitt and his abilities).. In fact, I personally think Federer v Safin is perhaps the most exciting match-up in men's tennis right now..

One hopes for tennis' sake that Safin re-discovers his form and we can watch their duels at least in the grand slams..


This one is for all those people who like to enjoy a chilled mug of beer/a glass of wine after a hectic week.. Yeah, the frequency and amount do matter - inspite of all the "startling" facts in this particular piece..

CHEERS to one and all!!

The "W"right thing..

With the end of John Wright's tenure as the Coach of the Indian Cricket team, it is but natural that there is a lot of speculation about his successor. With four months to go for the next series, the BCCI has more than enough time to haggle and bargain with all the candidates for the job..

Ashish Magotra writes in Rediff about the "Coach Selection" policy that BCCI believes in.. One thing you have to grant all the BCCI "honorary" members, they have always been following this policy.. Atleast they are consistent with it.. And of course, isn't this what the press wants!! Guaranteed headlines on top of the sports page as long as the coach is not officially appointed. The only people who stand to lose in the process is unfortunately the players!!

Lets hope whoever is appointed as Wright's successor is able to gel with our players well.. If he (don't think we'd have a lady coach for our men's cricket team!!) can emulate the kiwi's achievements, if not do better, I think all of us should be really happy..
But he's got a real task in his hand, judging by the current performances of the national team.. Only time will tell what happens.. Till then, all of us can keep enjoying the circus show..

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

I love my India..

Came across this topic in Dog Journals. It is a topic very close to my heart. Makes me wonder whether there is any solution to this problem. Is there anything people like me can do to change the situation in our country(don't think we can start talking about the rest of the 3rd world countries without looking at ourselves first)?

When all my friends, colleagues (in general, people I interact with on a daily basis) keep talking about jobs, opportunities, relationships, career, goals, etc, I can't help but think what a man who can't afford two square meals a day would want in his life. What would all those poor farmers in Andhra commiting suicide really want with their lives? How would the road-side beggar look at his future?

Which brings another question to my mind - Will people be satisfied with all that they get? Most of my colleagues are discontent with the salary they get here. I admit even I might have agreed with them at times. I think people will find issues and problems no matter what happens or who they are.. I wonder what I'd have to say if I had a family and I wasn't able to feed them two times a day..

I don't really pretend to have answers to many of these questions and hundreds of others running on my mind right now.. Does my thinking really change anything at the ground level?
Maybe I should just go home and sleep..

The Indian Spirit..

It seems Sir Don Bradman really appreciated the number of fans he had from India during his time.. Here's his friend telling us about this fact.

It just made me wonder whether the same would happen today.. If there were another Don, would the Indians appreciate him that much? One would have to say no I guess..

And anyway, I do not think Sachin Tendulkar has that sort of following in Australia. Now he's someone who the great Don liked to compare himself with. I guess the likes and appreciations of people nowadays are governed a lot more by patriotic fervor than pure appreciation of cricketing talent, which is absolutely fine I think as long as it doesn't show its ugly face as it did during the last ODI in Delhi against Pakistan.

And crowd mis-behaviour is becoming an alarming frequent problem in our country.. The BCCI has to come up with up a solution to this problem to ensure that play doesn't get affected because of such interruptions..

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Ramble On..

A fitting post title for this blog, ain't it!

Well, thought of it as I was listening to the song named "Ramble On" by good ol' Led Zeppelin..
Here's a small piece from the song:

Ramble On,
And now's the time, the time is now
To sing my song.
I'm goin' 'round the world,
I got to find my girl, on my way.
I've been this way ten years to the day,
Ramble On,Gotta find the queen of all my dreams.

You can get the entire lyrics of this song here.

The final four..

So its down to the semis in the Champions League.. And I am certainly not thrilled about the fact that atleast one English club is going through to the finals.. On current form, one would have to say Chelsea are favourites to beat Liverpool in the semis. However, stranger things have happened..

Milan v/s PSV in the second semi is a tricky one.. Although one would expect Milan to go through, PSV are a very resilient side.. It remains to be seen whether they can handle the pressure.. Makes for interesting semis though, and don't think anyone would have thought Liverpool or PSV will come this far..

Sunday, April 10, 2005

We don't need no education ..

A very interesting column I came across in rediff. I wouldn't like to say much about the education system and all that again.. You can read what I have to say about that in my prev. post.. However, I think this article gets one thinking all over again about what is the purpose behind all that you are doing and what do you want to do with life..

It's a question I have avoided for ages now. Maybe right from childhood. I never really made too many decisions till 12th std, after which I had to decide "where" to go for further study, not what to do.. After that again, never gave too much thought to this in college. Final Year came, managed to get placed in Infosys, and here I am in Bangalore still asking myself what to do next...

However, must say I am very content with life right now. Things couldn't really be better as far as I am concerned. Maybe I'll decide to move on to "better" things, but I believe in enjoying life to the fullest all along the way. "Live for the present"! This is what I have been telling my friends all along..
After all, as the song goes "Zindagi ek safar hai suhana, yahan kal kya ho kisne jaana"...

Friday, April 08, 2005

Wisden and Cricket!

I was reading about the five "best" cricketers of the year chosen by the cricket magazine Wisden. In a year when Australia further established themselves as the No. 1 team in Test Cricket, isn't it surprising that 5 of England's cricketers are supposed to be better than anyone in the Australian team. But then, why I am I surprised! This ain't the first time Wisden has come up with names of English cricketers ahead of much more worthy performers.

One has to admit this year they have a better case with England doing so well in most of their matches. However, Robert Key being named ahead of any other non-English cricketer, well, that's hard to digest. And the Englishmen are actually hoping they'll win the Ashes this year! Only time will tell whether they are capable of running the Aussies close or not.

On the football front, two of the quarter-final matches are very nicely poised - Juve/Liverpool and Lyon/PSV. Chelsea and AC Milan seem to be clearly heading towards the semis unless something dramatic happens in the 2nd leg.

Been quite busy lately at work. I seem to be slightly out of sync with the rest of the world right now. Got to get back to blogging mode...