Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The year is coming to a close

2008 is gonna end. Bye bye.
2008 a year it was. Was it not? Well it has not yet ended I agree… but a few more hours only left in it. Did it not have more incidents packed into this 1 year?
Well there was the global melt down. You know it started with the sub-prime crisis last year. Did you have the faint idea that it had set its after effects last 31st December? Well I did not.
Well last 31st I was promising a friend of mine that we would celebrate the next 31st some-where outside India. Likely place Thailand. My friend well in time launched a plan to land up there. But I feel guilty to say I was the first person to turn it down. I had my reasons. At that point I was strong not to succumb. Not that I didn’t want to lose out & book the tickets but with strong mettle I subdued my strongest desire & watch the whole plan to go to blazes. I had not been able to call him up ask forgiveness or to even ask what is his final plans for the new-years eve. The reason is totally different though. [:-P] I am confident that he has made his plans deleting all the irrelevant stuff & heading somewhere grandiose. I simply would not like to be jealous. BTW I am already jealous by thinking that he had something better to do. AND am also jealous of all those friends / acquaintances of mine & also those who have no relation with me & having a blast at NEW YEARS EVE. Have fun folks.
I would now take the opportunity to share with you the year it has been.
I would let my mind ramble. I would give you snippets of my minds thoughts as & when in random they come to prominence.
The first one is about my brother. My maternal cousin in his blog has added my blog link. He has for his own reasons (which I have been dying to know) has named me as Shuvojit [The future is scary!]. I have 2 maternal brothers & I like both of them extremely & I would go on record that I expect great things from both of them. I would in the forth coming year like to have the opportunity ask him why he really things that my blogs (if I am not) is scary. Because letting my hyper-active wild mind alive over the internet exposed is a scary thought for myself. It is scary what else of my dark soul has he seen?
My other thought still in continuation is a question to my other maternal brother. What trick has he up in his sleeve? Does he have the gut feeling that he needs to bring out a spectacular show in the next year to survive the image he has. The image he has created himself even if he apparently may claim that he had no intention of creating but just happened.
Sorry to have completely deviated from the regular methodology of talking about a year. History is always told chronologically. I remember from my academic years. We should try to bring in some chronology in this post.
Like I had started last 31st I was with a very close friend of mine promising ….. Yes last 31st night those who remember/know I was at my HOMETOWN. We parted ways right before the stroke of midnight. Well right after that I spoke to the person who at that point of time was at-least far above my friends but just below the 2 persons of my life who would hold the top spot. My MOTHER & MY SISTER. Well it is the truth. I would give my right hand for those two persons. For my friends I would give my head away. For that person I had already given away…
I got back home. Had a talk with Ma, before going to sleep in a bed which gives me more comfort than any other bed. In the first moments of the Year 2008 I felt I was with the most important people in my life & the most secure place.
Woke up next morning to catch a flight to Hyderabad. There was a stoppage in my flat in between the arrival at Howrah station & departure from Netaji Shubhas Airport. Sadly for the taxi taking the route through Rajar-haat I missed the flight. A fine start to the year that was to come!
Well had I known that this incident would underline the year that was to come I would have refused to believe. I was perhaps living in a fool’s paradise. Or I might be compared to the ostrich
Anyway I caught the next day early morning flight to come back to Hyderabad. I get the news that Dean is planning me as the SPOC for the team. Who is Dean? Well Dean Charette is a guy from Canada. He completed his academics in US & joined UBS in perhaps Quantitive Research. He moved into the European Power & Gas Research Desk in mid 2007 as the lead structurer & was the person who had recruited me for UBS to help him in his work. He had been the person who was not only managing me & the rest of the team in Hyd but also setting up work for us which would enhance our career along with knowledge. Dean was the perfect gentleman who I would like to thank. He had in the brief time that he was with us had set high standards for us & explained if not proven to us why & how we can achieve them. It was very unfortunate that the month of January was filled with turmoil & when I was placed as the SPOC I had on the very 1st day on my new role had spoken crap without having any idea of what has been going around. It was sheer good fortune or the fact that Dean was too busy with his own life that I was not sacked then & there. The European Power & Gas desk got scrapped soon after with Dean moving back to US. Dean also got engaged. Congratulations to him & may he have a great life ahead. Also thank you Dean, for heaping so much praise on me that I got promoted.
In the 1st quarter of the year I was extremely busy. Traveling to & fro Kolkata. 3 of my close friends got married. 2 to each other. The frequent travels took a heavy toll on my credit card which I had to finally payoff later, but then I was on a roll. I had the world with me. The second quarter blew in the changes which I had refused to look in till then. Well actually I tried to fight the changes & had to surrender at the end of the 3rd quarter. Not that I relished it.
In-between the whole world watched in awe the effects of exceptional high inflation with setting recession with effects of financial meltdown. My country on the other hand was going totally crazy. There was flood. There was anarchy. There were fanatics creating mayhem everywhere. Maharashtra, Kashmir, Orissa, Karnataka… the list is endless. I was numbed with the utter chaos I was seeing everywhere. I had my own personal demons to kill aggravated with all that I was observing around. Not being able to tell it anyone led me to finally start writing this blog.
The Olympics came & went away. India got a few medals. The gold medal winner got tons of money for accomplishing to shoot straight. Not that I deny him a ounce of accolades but it hit me hard when it was announced that the martyrs of the Operation Tornado are to be given only a pittance.
I have to give kudos to those strategists in Pakistan. By a series of blasts & finally by the attack in Mumbai they have been able to shift all the pressure from them. The Taliban’s are now friends of the Pakistan army & the hogwash war can end. The great uniting factor SEIGH by India is on tracks again. When has India ever attacked a foreign land? We have failed to protect our own land again & again over centuries now. The latest show of navel-power near the shores of Sudan was a dud.
Barrack Obama got elected the 44th President of America. The country that many hates. Maybe because they can & others can-not. Maybe because they are apparent show-offs & the rest of the world must pay for it. Or maybe because it is still the land of opportunity & someplace where you can still dream to make it big. Whatever the reason you can’t but help it. What is bit confusing to me is why is someone elected on November 4th have to wait till January 20 to actually start getting his act together. I hope he actually does something significant & is remembered as a great world leader & not just the 1st non-white President of USA. Although I have little hopes that he would be able to solve the India-Pakistan issue. But I really hope he does a better job at more critical issues. The climatic changes & destruction of the world needs to be properly & correctly answered. The growing food problem needs to be sorted out. The Energy Crisis which is looming just on the horizon needs to be tackled correctly.
Coming back to the more personal front I had plans to go & “chill” in my hometown during the “Puja’s”. But as luck would have it I got to know on the 3rd day of the trip that UBS has exited the Commodities Business & hence our team has been scrapped. My then manager asked me to complete my holidays. I did spend the out the holidays but you can guess what state I was in. I couldn’t let my Ma know what was up nor most of my friends. Anyways I got back & after over a month of pure agony I finally landed up with a role in a team in the same company. What role what actions? Let’s scrap that part. In this complete freeze in the job-market I have had to take whatever came my way.
My Didi came down to India after 4 years. Met her after 2 years. It was great.

Things I have learnt this year. Many. Primarily it is only on yourself you can depend on at any point. There is a saying in bangla. “Jibone eshchi eka jete hobe eka”. You have to go through everything on your own. If you are lucky you will have the money power to drag you out. Also it is only the closest of the family from whom you can expect help. Another learning which has been hammered into me is that it does not matter what you think or what you intend. It is only what the other person perceives.
I have changed a lot. I have become more cynical. I have become angrier than before. I have become ruder. I have lost the romanticism I used to have. I have totally un-learnt to be carefree. I have lost the eye to see happiness. I have become a cribber. I don’t like what I have become. Unlike before I have got short-sighted & not being able to look beyond “I”. But above all I have given up caring

Goodbye 2008. Hello 2009
Wishing everyone Happy New Year.

Monday, December 22, 2008

And Megha gets married

In a not so far city there was a finance off-shoring company. What is the name of the company? Would the name make any difference? The finance world is in a meltdown. Let us not go into the gritty details please. The company as in most out-sourcing companies in today’s world was filled with young men & women.
Imagine a fresh college pass-out, a twenty three year old lad. What is his name? What difference would it make? Let say his name is Wang. Didn’t like the name? Ok let his name be Abhi henceforth. Happy now? What now? You really want the name of the company. Ok then the company would be called ABC. Seriously dont know what would you do with that name. Planning to apply there? Ooh. Well most companies have a freeze on hiring.
Where was I? Oh yes I was introducing you to the lead female character Megha. Megha was another employee of ABC. Another twenty something fresh graduate who, unlike Abhi, had joined ABC just a couple of months back.

Abhi like millions of other males had not been able to get himself a girlfriend till then. What??!!!! Getting a GF is not difficult!!!! Man you must have been extremely lucky. Well for your information as per statistics there are only 913 females for every 1000 males (it is high time some thing is done about female infanticide). Hence 73 males must go single. And if you add those females who have not any contact with males other than immediate family or those who are not so eager to mingle freely with males & make a boyfriend you can realize the number wont be very small. But we are deviating from the main topic.

I know you must be wondering about Megha. Well not that she has not been with guys in college, but she never had a serious fling. Well she did nothing more than hang around with a very close circle of friends where males were nearly non-existent. Also she knew that her parents had a conservative view & would not accept her marrying someone outside their community. She took the safe way. Not getting involved with anyone & enjoy life as it is.
One fine morning Abhi & Megha found themselves in training together. They had seen each other a few times in the bay as well as the cafeteria. Ok there is a correction here. Abhi had noticed her in the 1st week she had joined. Megha was good looking & like all straight males Abhi was always on the lookout for good looking girls. Thank you Bird-watching is the word. Abhi had in couple of days figured out the best times to be in the cafeteria to watch the densest collection of “babes” (as he calls them).
Nothing special or significant happened during the training. Well Megha & Abhi got to know each others names. Megha realized that Abhi was a good speaker when he had something to say. Abhi realized that Megha had a really cute face with a good figure.
After the day long training got over Abhi & Megha both found themselves in the cafeteria. Neither of their regular colleagues was in the cafeteria at that moment. So they sat down together with a cup of coffee. The talk started with the training & as the cup emptied they realized that they had a lot in common. Both were new to the city. They did not have any friends at that place. Found it hard to spend spare time. Both were lonely. Etc etc etc…..
Over the next few days they would have their evening snacks together. They even plan to meet up outside office.

In the meantime Abhi’s childhood friends came to know about this. Like all guy friends they started advising him not to miss out on this chance. In a popular online site in their community they post stuff like “Megha is the one”, “Megha is clouding Abhi’s mind”. Why is it as soon as a male & a female start coming close people around would like them to take it beyond friendship or end it? Why can’t friends or families or acquaintances not just let them be?
Megha had a friend from college. Who was as workless as any other guy sitting on the “bench”. He one fine morning started googling with the names of his friends. Especially the females he had come across. When he typed the name “Megha” he came across the posts that Abhi’s friends had posted. He instantly called up Megha & asked “What is going on? You have a BF now & don’t let friends know” Megha was shocked. She checked out the posts herself. She was obviously unhappy/disappointed with the whole turn of events. She was hurt that Abhi has discussed her with his friends & his friends had made such posts. She immediately calls up Abhi & tells him to delete all the posts. Abhi asks his friends to delete them.

Next day they come face to face in the cafeteria. Abhi has Hi but Megha doesn’t respond. Megha just takes her coffee & sits in a table which is way off where she usually sits. Abhi is egoistic enough not to try & go talk with her. He also starts ignoring her. Few days pass & life moves on. Abhi makes new friends & Megha starts taking guitar lessons.
Few more months pass by & Abhi all of a sudden comes face to face to Megha. Megha is all dressed up. She has “mehendi” on her hands with lots of bangles. She has got married. Abhi says “Hi”. Megha smiles back & says “Hi” too. Abhi’s next statement is a question actually. “You got married?” Megha just gives a grin. Abhi then asks “Where are the sweets yaar?” Megha responds “Come to my desk”.

This post was inspired from the incidents which took place & I happen to know. I was wondering why a relation between a male & a female so complicated. Why is it that any friendship can’t begin & end as just a friendship? What really does a guy want from a female acquaintance & vice-versa? What does he/she want when the other person becomes a friend? What expectations are justified & what are fantasies?
I would also like to apologize on behalf of those friends. Friends who are far apart & can keep in touch only through some calls & through online desperately want to go back to those days when they had boundless fun together? Any reason to have harmless banter among them is not to be missed. It is a separate point that some banter among friends turn to harm someone else. But it is not intentional.
Finally I would like to congratulate Megha. May you have a fantastic married life & all the happiness.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

The Good Doctor

Today evening I went to a play. The name of the play was The Good Doctor. It was presented by Dramanon. Dramanon is a drama-troup which originated with young people from Manipal. The 2 act play containg 3 sets each, was set in Russia during the 19th century, written in Chekhovian style.
The independent acts were connected by an writer enacted by the director R K Shenoy. A multi-talented guy R K Shenoy had made a fan in the 1st 5 mins when he was introducing the audience to the concept of the play.
The 1st set was about a junior clerk who sneezes on the Minister during a play. How he makes a fool of himself trying to ask for forgiveness by being obsessed in making an apology was hilariously presented. And being true to Russian plays also in a set of dialogues displayed the socialism/communism divide.
The 2nd set was how an over-zealous father wanted to educate his 19 year old son to be a man. Actually he wanted his son to learn the intricacies of love making from a prostitute. The father literally forces the kid to almost go after he has bargained with the prostitute for a fair price. & then as a twist when he calls him back stating we can educate you next year & have an umbrella as a gift this year. The turning point was when the kid says “father I would go now your small son & come back a man”. Parents sometimes really would not like their kids to grow up. Or as many have said to a parent the child is always a child.
The final set of the act was about a Casanova. The Casanova shows us his tricks in hooking wives of people he knows. No I wont be sharing his technique. No I wont be trying to emulate them either. The ending was lovely. The wife is totally smitten in love with him & comes to meet him. But at the last moment reveals that she is intelligent enough to realize her status. She says she would not oppose any of his actions but she also points out that she is in a happy MEDIOCRE love life & would regret all her life to have made a has of the total love her husband has for her. She requests the Casanova to do the right thing. And if he leaves her she would be eternally grateful. The Casanova has a momentary urge to complete what he has started but finally succumbs to his self-righteousness & leaves. Ratika the female protagonist had awesome expressions.
The 2nd act started with a banker who is harassed by a lady. The lady demands that the bank pay some dues of her husband who is mentally ill. The bank is no way connected to the man but the lady by creating mayhem achieves what she had set out for. This set had the audience nearly rolling in laughter due to Madhu who was playing the very loud lady
The next set was completely different from what was being shown before. The mood suddenly became serious. The story was about a gent who was pushed into paying for an entertainment. The entertainment was in the form of a person who cant swim enacting a drowning man. The fact that pain is not welcome, as long as it is not inflicted on us, was well depicted. We don’t mind in getting enjoyment or more specifically get interested in watching people in pain. Does Reality Shows & TRPS ring a bell?
The final set of the evening was actually a question. An old widower meets an elderly widow in the park. They are lonely & welcome the company. They ask would it be wrong if they seek solace or company or whatever they miss out from life then. This is mainly expressed by a song sung by R K Shenoy & Sarah. Finally the male protagonist asks her out for a cup of tea on a chilly autumn evening. She says tomorrow.
I had a lovely evening. I must thank my apartment-mate in dragging me out tonight.

In the return trip we took an auto. The auto driver played two songs for us.
The 1st was
Jeeyen to jeeyen kaise bin aapke
Jeeyen to jeeyen kaise bin aapke
Lagta nahin dil kahin bin aapke
Jeeyen to jeeyen kaise bin aapke
Jeeyen to jeeyen kaise bin aapke

Kaise kahoon bina tere zindagi ye kya hogi
Kaise kahoon bina tere zindagi ye kya hogi
Jaise koi saza koi badd-dua hogi
Jaise koi saza koi badd-dua hogi
Maine kiya hai ye faisla
Jeena nahin hai tere bina
Jeeyen to jeeyen kaise bin aapke
Jeeyen to jeeyen kaise bin aapke
Lagta nahin dil kahin bin aapke
Jeeyen to jeeyen kaise bin aapke
Jeeyen to jeeyen kaise bin aapke

The second was
Why did you break my heart?
Why did we fall in love?
Why did you go away, away, away, away?
(Dil mera churaaya kyoon
Jab yeh dil todna hi tha
Humse dil lagaaya kyoon
Humse munh modna hi tha) - 2
Why did you break my heart?
Why did we fall in love?
Why did you go away, away, away, away?

Ho, dil ko dhadakna tune sikhaaya
Dil ko tadapna tune sikhaaya
Aankhon mein aansu chhupe the kahin
Inko chhalakna tune sikhaaya
Seene mein basaaya kyoon
Dil se jab khelna hi tha
Humse dil lagaaya kyoon
Humse munh modna hi tha
Dil mera churaaya kyoon
Why did you break my heart?
Why did we fall in love?
Why did you go away, away, away, away?

Ho, milti thi nazrein jab bhi nazar se
Uthte the shole jaise jigar se
Saanson se nikla jaise dhuaan sa
Banta tha mujhse jeete na marte
Aag kyoon lagaayi jab
Bujhaaye dil chhodna hi tha
Humse dil lagaaya kyoon
Humse munh modna hi tha
Dil mera churaaya kyoon
Jab yeh dil todna hi tha
Humse dil lagaaya kyoon
Humse munh modna hi tha
Why did you break my heart?
Why did we fall in love?
Why did you go away, away, away, away?

The record had been played at-least a million times & the sound quality was truthfully pathetic. Yet I enjoyed those 2 songs. IRONIC? I guess few would understand. Also I don’t have a very definite choice in music or entertainment. I would listen to anything as long as it appeals to me. I was concentrating in the lyrics (for a change) & the tune than what was being played at that moment.

Should I ramble now? [:-)]
No I would not. I let you folks to come up with questions & I would be more than happy to answer them.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Point of Change

Another friday arrived 2 days ago. Nothing was special about it. 6:10 in the evening the fire-alarm of our office goes off. I jump up to realize it was yet another drill. I lock my computer & join the whole office crowd piling through the stairways to the assembly point outside. At the exit of the stairwell there was an extra crowd. Actually it was drizzling outside & many people were refusing to get wet just for a drill. But the matrons insisted or rather demanded we assemble at the assembly point. Every time at the assembly point I get reminded of school. Well after 7 mins of drenching we were allowed to get back to our workstations. Drenched & the AC on I started feeling cold. It was irritating to be hauled out in the rain. Not that I mind getting drenched but....

Like every friday in the recent past, I came directly back to home from office. My apartment-mate would be returning late since he has 'B-Shift'. First time in my life I had brought back work. I needed to map a data. Obviously I had no intention of doing it on friday night but I ended up not doing much with it.

Saturday whizzed by. & it was Sunday morning. I & my apartment-mate woke up late at around 9:30. It was 10:30 when we realized we were hungry & not in a mood to cook. So we went out to eat. The eateries were either closed or not serving food which we were in a mood to have. We ended up in "More" the closest departmental store. This is the place where we shop for our groceries. Mostly Maggie & other ready to eat stuff. They used to stock Frozen Parathas & we decided we would buy that & have it. Sadly Parathas were out of stock. We picked up maggie & were heading towards the check-out-counter when we both decided we should check out the Reliance Fresh. We walked out empty handed & landed up in Reliance. Did our shopping & yes we did get Frozen-Alu-Paratha.
We landed up home & were having Parathas when the point of discussion was the necessity of a TV. My room-mate has been demanding a TV for a long time. I had not been able to support him for I believe TV would reduce the time I get to spend reading. I still harbour a desire for further studies in some dark corner of my heart. We were also discussing the necessity of a fridge in our life. I ended up commenting you buy the TV & I would buy the fridge that very day. It's not that we can’t afford to buy these electronic necessities but we had other priorities.
By the end of the brunch my room-mate had decided to buy the TV. He asked me to enquire for the satellite TV connection. By 2 o' clock we had done our research & we were ordering Tata-Sky connection. The conversation went like this
Rep: Thank You for calling Tata-Sky. This is Mohan. How may I help you
Me: I would like to purchase a Tata-Sky connection. But I need to get the connection today
Rep: Eh... Certainly sir. Which plan would you like to have.
Me: Which-ever. I just need sports, news, english movies & music
Rep: Sir sports is a separate basket. I suggest you go for the Gold Pack
Me: Ok fine whichever you say. Just get the installation done today. Also I want to avail the Festive offer.
Rep: That would be getting over today
Me: I know that is the reason why I am asking you to get the installation done today. Also there would not be any person at home in the weekdays
Rep: Not a problem sir. It takes 4 hours after ordering for the installation to get completed
Me: Great

The telephonic conversation continued for some more time where a good INR3999 got debited from my credit card (sigh) As the conversation was coming to a close....
Rep: Is there any other help I can be of sir
Me: Well we are planning to buy a TV. Can you suggest an electronics store close-by where we can get hold of a TV costing less than 7000
Rep: What.... Sorry sir I cannot give you this information
Me: Ok fine

My apartment-mate was giving me admonishing looks. "Why did you have to tell him that we still don’t have a TV" he asked. I responded "The guy coming for installation would be shocked it there is no TV"
We went out immediately landed up at a popular electronics store. They did not have a collection from which we were confident of choosing. Landed up in another. There we didn't like the TV but got full range of Godrej fridges. I have a soft corner for Godrej fridges simply because my family has used 2 Godrej fridges in the last 26+ years & we had never had any complaints. I refused to take the red coloured 5 star rated fridge & bought a steel coloured, single door, 4 star rated, 183 lts Godrej Pentacool. Btw single door fridges are the cheapest variety.
Next stop Sony World. The conversation went thus:
Sales Guy: Hello sir. What are you looking for
Us: 21 inch TV
Sales: Please follow me..... These are the 2 models we have
Us: The right one
It took us less time to decide which TV to buy than the sales guy to comprehend that he had made a sale. Actually the cost decided for us.
A call comes in my apartment-mate from Tata-sky asking when to send the installation. He said 30 mins later please. We looked at the sales-guy & asked him to get the TV to our house in 1 hour.
The TV came 1:30 later. The fridge 5 hrs later. As of now the Tata-Sky installation guy is yet to come

Have you been wondering what does change got to do with all this? Or which was the point?
Fact is I changed to not object to the TV.
The arrival of the fridge would be just the first step for more changes & to a lesser extent the TV would too

Saturday, November 29, 2008

The Phone Call

Our young protagonist is found at the best of his moods when he is eating. Who is our protagonist? Well he is young man. An extremely rich single male usually referred as 'Khoka'. It was of-course not the name that his father had given him. His father had the lion share of the diamond mine 'Khoni'. Khoka was just 21 years old when he became an orphan. His father's best friend venture capitalist 'Boro-Babu' took Khoka under his wings. Well he actually cut a deal with him. Khoka can stay at home. Surf the net as much as he wants. Play as many new versions of GTA as he wants. Order as many Pizzas as his hearts desire. All he needed to do for this was to give 50% of the cash he inherited to Boro-Babu. Khoni shares & some fixed investments would be his security. , while the returns from Boro-Babu would be credited in his expense account. Boro-Babu sweetened the deal by promising to transfer Khoka to a fully maintained furnished apartment right in the heart of the city. The icing was an official role for Khoka where he would be shifting through possible ventures. Khoka was dim-witted as per his late father but he was not a fool to miss-out this opportunity.
So one sunny afternoon we find Khoka munching on the last slice of the cheese burst pizza watching the MTV GPL, when he gets a phone call on his N85 mobile phone.
"Hello" he said gruffly bit astonished that he cannot recognize the number
"Good afternoon sir" responded a cute voice” I am ruby calling on behalf of XYZ Bank"
"Yes tell me"
"Sir, we really appreciate that you have maintained a fantastic balance in your account for the last few months. We would like to send a privilege credit card to you."
"Sir there is a lot of benefits for using our privilege card. You shall get 1 point for every 100 rupee you spend. & these points can be exchanged for special gifts at the end of the year. As a welcome gift to you, we would put up your name in the privilege lottery for this month. The winner of this lottery would get to go any domestic destination of his choose free of cost. We have partnership with a range of restaurants where you would a minimum of 10% discount on the bill. We have special fare for people buying tickets using this privilege card......"
Khoka wanted the phone conversation to end. His final piece of the pizza was getting cold & the cheese was on the verge of dropping off. & 10% discount in restaurants. That can not be bad.
"Ok send me the card"
The card arrives in less than a week. The courier guy actually arrived with the delivery boy from Dominos & hence had no problem in reaching the flat.
Slowly Khoka realized that he would get phone-calls at all possible times of the day, especially when he was eating.
He found really innovative methods while searching online at

He had great fun taking to task all the telemarketers who had unknowingly called him up

But this lasted for only a few days. Over-indulgence in junk food led to obesity & indigestion. The latter led to minor heart-burn which led to a minor heart-attack. Unfortunately he was alone (as he was at most points of time) & collapsed on the kitchen floor. He was found dead next day by the cleaner. Only his face bore any mark of the painful death.
BoroBabu took care of all the final rites. He had a deep pang of guilt & cursed himself for not taking sufficient care. But he was also busy with his life. He lamented to his friends "A sad family. Had everything... But none lived long enough to enjoy it to the full"

I have mentioned the inspiration of the story. Sadly I realized that I can-not write as good as "wannabe".
I had got reminded of a telemarketing phone call that an ex-colleague of mine had.
He had taken a lifetime pre-paid connection from Airtel. Vodafone calls him up to get him to take a new-connection. My ex-colleague responds that he is fully happy with his present connection (not sure now) & is not likely to change his plan till his current plan lasts.
Telemarketer: How long would you be in this plan Sir
Ex-Colleague: 20 years
Telemarketer: Ok Sir. I would call you after that

Monday, November 24, 2008

From Flurys to SouthCity

Is Life a journey? With many stops. Some beautiful & some ghastly.
Well i have come to believe that Life is actually a collection of journeys.
Some start with great plans & lofty views. Some just happen to begin.
The journey may pass through the desired places or it might take a turn to a destination which was not imagined in the wildest nightmares. But again some journeys takes you through such points where u r left gasping for breadth
Do the journeys follow one after another? No. They start at random points of time & end after running the course. At any given point of time one may be traveling in different journeys.
I would have loved to say that they are not co-related but the truth is contrary to that
The reason why i say that multiple journeys take place simultaneously is because the origin of the journey is so varied.
The end is often sweet. Sometimes it does not make any difference. Sometimes it leaves one with sorrow.

Monday, November 10, 2008

The Princess & the pauper

This is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to any person alive or dead is purely coincidental.

Once upon a time in a not so far away kingdom there lived a Beautiful Princess.
She was the youngest child of the King & was the most pampered person of the family. Not that she did not deserve it. She was the sweetest, cutest, fun-loving girl you can imagine. A smile on her face was what everyone loved to see since it lighted up the whole room. And none allowed even a drop of tear to fall from her eyes.
The Princess was becoming an adult from the wild-eyed adolescent & wanted to see the world. The Queen allowed her to roam around the palace & in the market place. The Princess would wear simple clothes & try & meet people from different spheres of life hiding her true identity. She wished to really know the whole world. She also enjoyed meeting new people & having simple fun.
One evening while returning from a friends place on the other side of the river she realized she was totally alone on the road. The woods were on one side & the river on the other side. Strange & ferocious animals are said to be in the forest. All of a sudden a bloodcurdling sound came from the forest. The Princess horse panicked & throwing The Princess from its back it raced away in the twilight. The Princess was completely frozen in fear & had no idea what to do. She suddenly notices a young lad trotting from the direction her horse had run away. He was also leading her horse back. When the young man comes nearby The Princess notices that he is from the Guard of the Roads. The young lad politely helps the The Princess on her horse & offers to accompany her to her house. The Princess is obviously shaken from the incident & the young man tries to divert her mind from it. He starts pointing out the stars which had just started blinking & showing her the patterns they form. He points out the far-off hillocks & describes them as sleeping giants. Slowly The Princess forgets her ordeal & smiles. She is at the young mans cordiality & the ease with which he was talking. She tries to find out more about him. He tells her that he is the son of a poor ironmonger. His mother had died at child-birth & his father had tried to raise him. As his father was not a very healthy man, the young man had started helping his father early on. Working at the shop had made him strong & a local noble had taken him under his care when he had turned 16. His father still ran his shop but the young man augments with his earnings by guarding the roads. Since he is not afraid of the forest & the infamous animals he is usually posted on this part of the road.
By this time they were entering the residential area just before the palace & The Royal Guards ran up to them. They said that her mother was anxious because she was late. The Princess & the young man parted there especially since the young man realized that the she must be some-one special or else Royal Guards would not know her. Just as they were parting The Princess said "I would be traveling by that road again next week. I hope you would be there to protect me if necessary".
The week went by in a flurry. There was an attempted robbery & the young lad had fought valiantly with three robbers to thwart it. The traveling party had praised the young man at every inn they stopped. The Guard of the Roads gave him a stronger horse to patrol & the noble who had first spotted him got him better arms & protection. He was looking good when he was spotted on the road or at the edge of the bridge. People were comforted seeing him on the road & the those who had heard his story were glad to meet him. Often kids would run behind his horse. Ladies would offer him a sip of water or food. Men would talk with him as man. The young lad was humble enough to not let any of this to get to his head. Not that he was not enjoying the attention he was getting.
In all this he was looking forward to meet the beautiful lady he had met once. He could not believe that he would actually come across her again or that she would recognize him. One evening while standing near the bridge he notices The Princess crossing the bridge. His heart missed a beat because she was looking even more beautiful than before. But he is also frightened that she would not recognize him. As The Princess nears the his end of the bridge she exclaims "Aah my valiant rescuer. I hope you are going to accompany me till the town". The young man is exhilarated & replies "I have been waiting all week to do so". They ride side by side in silence for sometime & then The Princess stared asking him more of his life. He was overjoyed with the attention from her. He started opening up to her as he had never opened to anyone before.
Over time The Princess & the young man started meeting regularly. The Princess would invite him for her rides through the country-side. They would talk on varied stuff. More they started having good time together the more they started coming closer. They even started sharing their innermost secrets. It was only then did the young man know that his new friend was The Princess & wished to rule the country after her father.
Full 6 months passed before either were sure of their feelings for the other. They enjoyed the friendship & the ease with which they could be with each other. Neither accepted the fact that they have grown from acquaintances to friends to perhaps something even more.
The Queen was bit concerned with The Princess spending so much time with a Guard of the Roads alone though he was a "good boy" as per the reports. When she asked The Princess, she replied that they are good friends. Also since he is a good guy when she thinks of marriage she might give him a thought. Later The Princess shared this with the young man as she shared every thing with him. The young man was thrilled. He had never hoped that The Princess would consider him more than a mere friend. He resolved that he must grow in stature to be in a position to ask her hand. He knew that no-one would oppose if The Princess decided to marry him, but he wanted to rise on his own caliber. He wanted to proof that he was worth more than just a simple Guard of the Road
One morning the young man noticed an announcement at the village inn. The Royal Army was planning an expedition. They were looking for some able young men. He jumped on his horse & cantered to the Royal Army Office. He was inducted in the mission because the officers of the Royal Army had heard of his heroics. He went back home to tell his father that he would be leaving the country soon. His father was bit disheartened to know that his son would be away & a bit frightened for what might happen to the young man. But he hid all his emotions & supported him because he had not seen his son so enthusiastic in any thing before.
The young man next went to The Princess. The Princess was sad because she would no longer have a trusted friend. She asked softly "Must you go?" The young man was burning with desire to prove his mettle & replied "I need to complete this". They parted promising to write to each other regularly.
The 1st letter was from the young man. He described how they were training hard. The reply from The Princess was giving him courage & confidence. He described the beautiful lands they were traveling through. The lush green fields, the starry night sky. She described her life. Slowly they realized how much they missed each others company.
Couple of months after the brigade of Royal Army started training they went out of their kingdom. They were attacking some kingdoms on the south. The southern kingdoms had always been a problem for their kingdom & they wanted to deal a fast & furious blow to them. They did not know that the southern kingdom already knew of their plans & were ready. What should have been a fast & short attack ended being a long drawn war. The young man was too busy fighting just to stay alive. He had fought in his childhood & also against robbers. But her was not mentally ready to to fight in the war. He just could not align himself with the concept of killing to just stay alive. When he had some free time he would try & comfort some of his comrades. He could not sit down to write about all these to The Princess. The Princess complained in her letters that he was not writing enough. The young man wrote back that he was not articulate enough to express what he was going through. But he insisted that The Princess keep writing. The letters which he carried right over his heart was the only thing that kept him going.
The Princess met the son of a noble in the annual archery competition. He was in the top 5 & definitely the best among the gentry. This Guy had studied under the best teachers in the kingdom. He was smart as well a good orator. The Princess found him interesting & a great person to be with. When The Guy invited invited her to a fox-hunt she was not sure if she should go. She in her letters asked what should she do. The young man suggested that since she is getting bored she should go.
The Princess had a very good time in the fox-hunt. She started looking forward to spend further time with The Guy. The letters from The Princess were filled with excited writings on what they had done. The young man could not but help feel pangs of jealousy & sorrow. Jealousy because he was not in a position where he could be with The Princess. Sorrow because he can never achieve what The Guy has already achieved.
The war entered a very terrible phase. For every inch of land to proceed or retreat there would be scores of rotten bodies. The young man was totally deranged at seeing the blood-bath around. His sporadic letters were the only place where he could vent out his emotions. But they were as dark & unhappy as the environment he was in. The Princess did not like those letters & made it a point to state that in hers. Her frequency of writing also got reduced. She was too busy to reply to the young mans letters

Here I would stop.
I would not end this story. Simple reason it is up to the reader to decide what ending he/she wants.
You are welcome to have a romantic ending or a dark gory one. You can also have Ulysses-Penelope ending or a practical ending. The choice is yours.

REQUEST: I would be really overjoyed if you could post your version of the ending as a comment

Friday, September 26, 2008

An Inconsequential Evening

It has been 1 long year since I left my 2nd home Kolkata (or Calcutta which ever you prefer) to work in Hyderabad. 1 year filled with incidents which as my room-mate says by quantity equals to the previous 20 some years in my life. I could have argued with him but truly the last 12 months have had so many incidents that I cant refute his claim easily.
But this post is not about the one year that just zipped by.
That summation was done by Marc Evans, my current "On-Shore Contact". Marc being typically the administrative guy that he is, summed up all the major incidents in my work sphere today evening, at a video conference set-up on my insistence. He was clearly at a loss of what to say. But again that is something else.
To celebrate I had planned to have an evening out. Sadly yesterday (the actual anniversary) morning was not among the best mornings & as an after-effect the evening was spent doing nothing important. Actually doing nothing atall
Today right after the conference I escaped from the modern day prison & landed up home. I did not enter & called up my flat-mate to join me in the restaurant right on the main-road. We planned the best for next week & had some delicious food. It tasted better because it is cheap. & considering it is the fag end of the month.....

Next we pushed off to the closest movie hall to watch the latest Shyam Benegal movie Welcome to Sajjanpur. A nice movie. The basic plot was fresh & the cemetography was great. But lately I have been expecting a lot from every-one & I left the hall thinking about what would have made it WOW.
I would have actually expected Munni-Bai to be dead in the end like the Compounder Ramkumar & his love. I would have expected a much stronger message from the movie. But I must give accolades & be happy with some other points.
The very concept of a letter-writer prespective was lovely. & very well enacted by Shreyas Talpade.
I must give kudos of presenting a transvite as a politician. They are pushed away from society & we must start accepting them as humans & our equals.
The fact that often someone helps us & we never end up saying thank-you to him/her was also shown.
And often people forget for their own petty narrow gains that they may be harming some-one else
The song "Desh Bhi Azad Hain" has fantastic lyrics & though I had visualized it some-what differently had pretty good picture-i-zation
The song "Abh Munni ki aayi bari" was perfect.

Keeping up with the latest fad of saying completely random stuff in some conversation I would shift to the brisk walk that me & my room-mate took post the movie.
Right near our home we came across a drunk. He was walking all across the road. He must have tripped some-where & was bleeding from his arm. My room-mate & I crossed him discussing what help we could have done to him. Whether we have medicines at home for him or could we take him to his home? What is the difference between a poor drunk labourer & a rich drunk brat? Sadly(!!!????) Shockingly(?????!!!!!!!) we just passed him & got back home.
He might still be roaming around at the dead of the night now. He might not have a home to go. He actually might not be drunk but have escaped an accident. Who knows? Who cares?
I once proudly claimed to some Londoners that Indians are perhaps the best host & the most helpful people. People would rush at a blast site to help those affected & take them to hospitals.
Today I feel ashamed to say that I behaved as a hypocrite. I would rather take side of a car-driver when he has crashed into an cyclist & argue with the crowed that has gathered than actually try & learn the local language to try & understand what my maid wants to tell me.

Where am I going wrong? Do you have an answer?

Friday, September 5, 2008

A Long Journey

From someone who can do nothing wrong to someone who can do nothing right... the journey is long... extremely long

Have you ever wondered how much long the journey life is?
Well the thing in your mind that is going i guess is "well nothing new in that. everyone knows life is a long journey"

Let us now relate the changes that one goes through.

A forward i received once. (yes i do take pains to read forwards. I am typically work-less to give even forwards importance)
A baby says "My Daddy Strongest" (yes horlicks did catch this mood very correctly). He is also the most intelligent man. All probs are so easily solved when he is around.
A teenager say "%#!$!& cant understand simple stuff". well not every teenager would say so i agree but all have atleast been frustrated enough to question the intelligence of his father.
A young man says "Old Man". A 30 something says "I know you need not give unsolicited advice on some thing you dont understand". A 40 something says "I think he may not be totally wrong". A 50 something says "How did he......"

Okiez you have either remembered the forward or have got the drift.
Now i guess you are wondering where does journey come into this & this blog.
No i am not an teenager any more to complain about my Dad. I am in my 20 something & i cant complain any more. He died some time ago.
Well i made that journey some time back.

Sorry i wont be able to tell that story. It is personal & i am not yet ready to put it on a blog for public reading.

Incidentally i have made quite a few journeys along with that.
1. I had said i would not advertise my blog. I have changed moved from that stance to 1 where i shamelessly put it up in my status message
2. Once i wanted not to post personal views. I realized that i post stuff whch are actually my views. I cannot but help make personal comments or put in stuff for which i have a personal bias
3. Once upon a time i had wished i would stop cribing & be happy with all that i have. I realized i cannot be happy come what may.

I have serious no idea why i posted this blog.
I started writing at i time when i was at least in the position to post a blog. I guess i needed to vent out my feelings somehow>

I have come to a position where i would start writing on something i have least idea on (contary what i would like people to belive). Please bear with me. I have nothing more to contribute at this moment

Take care

Have Fun

Monday, September 1, 2008

1 Particular Statistic

In a country not so far away, there used to be 1 Prime Minister named Mahamantri.

The parliament had started only 5 weeks in the summer & he was already in a position where he wished that the post of Prime Minister had bit more glory than the gory that he had to face.

15 minutes into the Question Hour today, he was asked why healthy lifestock were being smuggled across the border. And the question was raised by none other than the leader of the opposition Gyanpapi himself. The issue that Gyanpapi wanted to be discussed was how the government could allow the sacred alligator to be smuggled across to be slaughtered along with sick or dieing livestock.

He was furious when he returned to his office half an hour before lunch on a Tuesday. The blistering heat outside his fully climate regulated office was adding up his anger for sure. He after all, would have to lunch with some rich international business-man. The eccentric businessman was the owner of the Kalo Koila. He had sales all over the world & was listed in the Fortune 10 list of richest people. But he remembered his roots & had a farmhouse just outside the capital. The Prime-Minister needed to visit him there to request sponsorship of a new power plant. But that is a separate story.

The Prime Minister called his Head of Animal Department Janoar & asked him to come to his office. The conversation was short & as follows.

Janoar: Good Morning Sir

Mahamantri: How many alligators are smuggled out of the country?

Janoar: emmm I……. think Sir not many. Cant be many

Mahamantri: Who would know? You obviously never know anything.

Janoar: Sir I do know something….

Mahamantri: Ok tell me the exact count of living livestock in the country?

Janoar: emmmmm…..errrrrr….

Mahamantri: I give you 7 days time. By next Wednesday Morning Hour I must know the exact figure. Now go & send me Jagroto

Janoar: yes Sir

& Janoar fled the office.

He stopped by the department of Foreign Trade previously part of Department of Trade to tell Jagroto of the Big Boss call. Jagroto practically scampered from his couch almost toppling the new secretary.

Janoar was too distressed with his own problem at hand that he gave the cute girl a pass-by-glance & headed towards the Department of Plants, headed by Bhuson. The Daily had recently run a story where they meticulously proved that Bhuson & Janoar were young dynamic bureaucrats along with being partners in crime for quite a few recent political turmoil’s. They were after-all childhood friends. Langotia Yaar literally.

Janoar: I am doomed

Bhuson: What did you do this time?

Janoar: Big Boss wants to know the exact count of livestock in the country.

Bhuson: ooh…. You are doomed. Let me think.

Bhuson lighted an imported cigarette. He has been smoking these ever since he started traveling abroad & frequenting the foreign bureaucrats club.

Bhuson: Let us just form a committee for Livestock Count. And actually we two are enough. & let us ask all the State Head's to report to us how many livestock they have at their states. We would add up the numbers & that should suffice.

Janoar: Ok. Let us send a circular right now. Time they have is till next Tuesday afternoon.

The State Heads received a simple circular almost as the same time Mahamantri sat down for lunch on the ground in the blistering heat. Well not directly in the sun but in a shade created by hay. The eccentric owner of Kalo Koila loves to be in sync with Mother Nature. But that is a separate story altogether. The circular stated in the grandiose bureaucratic language to send over the count of total livestock along with count of alligators.

The State Head of East didn’t waste time & by the time Mahamantri was getting up from lunch they were in a meeting with his most trusted workers trying to figure out the exact count of livestock. What they did figure out after a good amount of time spent deciding what to eat in that impromptu meeting, which was just after lunch for most, was to take a stand similar to the centre was the best route. A circular went out to all Heads of District in the state that they had time till Monday lunch to report in the count of livestock in their district.

Champak was the Junior State TT Champion when he was only 11 yrs old. He had always been the sportsman. His admission to every sphere of his life was through sports. Well the Sports Quota was above all quotas. And he had used it well. He never studied but scraped through college before he got into the bureaucracy & was the Head of District of Aampara. Today afternoon he was playing TT with Kanu, his counterpart in Exchequer. He had won the 1st set. Lost the 2nd and at lead with 19-17 in the 3rd. They usually played 5 sets every Tuesday afternoon before hitting the bar. Since both were through sports quota they needed to keep their practice up. After all this was the only thing to do.

Bamu the secretary of Champak walked into the sports floor with the circular. It was marked urgent. Champak had no interest in the circular especially when he felt he had got his form finally. He told Bamu to put it in his dispatch box. He would read it sometime. Anyways no work can be done once it was afternoon. When he reached home that night he had to listen to his wife’s day & plan for their week-end trip to the outing at Murguma. He had to promise to take her shopping tomorrow before they could retire for the night. He read the circular in the car ride next morning but didn’t find time to think on it. Wednesday’s were always busy days. And he had to leave early. The shopping trip is obviously accompanied with a movie in a multiplex dinner at some swanky restaurant. He was fuming the next day when he realized the total amount he had to shell out for the Murguma trip. But he could not back out since many of the state’s bureaucrats were going. Friday went by planning & getting ready for the weekend. Saturday morning they left.

As it happens in all of these trips or parties, the bureaucrats got together in the bar & the females got together in the spa. Saturday zoomed by & it was the last round of drinks on Sunday late afternoon when Champak was in a group where Sidhu the District head from Jaampara was entertaining them with a story of a silly circular from the State Head. Sidhu trying to showcase his brilliance declared that he had applied statistics to find the number. He didn’t want to waste time to find the number through census but had taken two sample areas of 10 cubic fins & then calculated for the whole state. He of course didn’t mention that he was sure of the area of the two plots because he was the owner of both. The second one was behind his office & he had counted the number of livestock in it during Thursday afternoon siesta & just because he could not sleep. The brilliant stroke of using statistic had come since he was musing about Sheetal his college crush. She was in the same class & he distinctly remembers the first time she had smiled at him. The professor was talking something about sampling. For statistic of the whole population sampling allows one to to do something. A small sample would give the values of the population. He had sent the report on Friday.

Champak realized that he had to send his report too. While returning he asked the driver to stop at a plot. He knew that this plot was of 10 cubic fins. He had received a packet from the owner of it. While counting in the fading light of twilight he could not decipher whether the last animal on the field was an alligator or a crocodile. So he marked 5.5 alligators & 16 livestock. He knew the plot was of 10 cubic fins & he had total of 65780 cubic fins in his district. So he should have 36179 alligators & 1052480 livestock. He sent his report 1st thing on Monday morning. The State Head’s personal secretary Sheetal, added all the numbers & submitted a report to the State Head on Monday evening. She did not mention that not all districts had sent the figures yet. She averaged out the received values & multiplied it with number of states. She had a major in Statistics though she would agree that through college she was more interested in counting the number of hearts she broke. She got a tongue lashing for being late. She had been waiting for it since Monday can't end without one. The report was immediately dispatched for the centre.

Tuesday morning Janoar’s most trusted aide summed up the numbers after calling secretary of State Head of North to send their figure immediately.

Janoar was very please when he got the neatly typed perfectly worded report was placed on his desk. He appreciated his aide for his consistent good work & set him the task of getting the name & details of the secretary of Jagroto. Good juicy gossip material should always be investigated. Janoar went to Bhuson to discuss the number. They decided to go to Mahamantri just before lunch. If he was pleased then maybe he would have lunch with them today. Every morning all Head of Department check if Mahamantri had any lunch plans. If none then they would try to have their lunch fixed with him. It is a great prestige if you are seen having lunch with the Mahamantri.

Janoar & Bhuson: Sir we have the figures

Mahamantri: What figures?

Janoar: Sir the livestock of the country.

Mahamantri: For what?

Janoar: Livestock sir. Alligators, crocodiles,….

Mahamantri: I know aht livestock means but why the earth would I want that?

Bhuson: Sir you would wanted to know that last Tuesday after Gyanpapi asked about smuggling...

Mahamantri: ooh yes. & what is it?

Janoar: Sir the value is 855739274 livestock of which 99246357 are alligators.

Mahamantri: Please add yourself & all Heads of State & all Heads of District to that. My daughter told me how his husband calculated the total for his district. We have achieved the mental intelligence of sea-donkeys.

the above is my first attempt at writing fiction. The plot is sadly not mine.

Monday, June 23, 2008

I paid for Abdallah Salem el-Badri's business lunch with Ali al-Naimi

Few key points about the world oil market:
  • Worlds Crude Oil production is nearly 85 million barrels a day
  • Worlds Crude Oil Consumption is nearly 87 million barrels a day
  • India consumption is 2,450,000 barrels a day
  • 70% of this is imported
  • When last reported Oil Bonds for Indian Oil-Companies were touching 200,000 crores rupees. (ie Rs 200000000000000)
  • The debt of the India government was over Rs 2,45,000 crores due to explicit & implicit subsidies
  • This subsidies are actually comprised by the taxes that many Indians (myself included) have grudgingly paid from their salaries & other forms of indirect taxation
  • Indian Oil companies buy oil at the high rates & the Oil-Exporting countries make the windfall
  • Abdallah Salem el-Badri is the current General Secratary of OPEC the world's oil-producers cartel
  • Ali al-Naimi is the Saudi Arabian Minister of Petroleum & Mineral Resources. He was the previous GS of OPEC

Ok i guess you have got the drift.
Few points about this post.
  • The topic was my frugal attempt to sensationalize
  • I would not go into the controversy that the fuel prices in India are already high from the taxation
  • I really wish public transport is immensely bettered (time, comfort, regularity, frequency)

Thursday, June 12, 2008

"Sab kuch chalta hain, yaar!!!!"

That does it

Don't worry this is not about me. This post is about my country. Its politicians to be more precise.
I had been seething with anger & despair or quite some-time. & todays news just cracked open the path to this post.

2 news from the Times of India online (the place where i catch up on the daily news)

Health ministry to conduct nationwide survey on colas

Arjun's office staff all from general category

I had high hopes from the current government. A truely democratic party(??!!!?) with weight of past with a few other regional & the largest leftist is in coalition. Big things should be expected from them. Or "yeh hain India meri jaan"

This blog is on the worst 2 performer(for lack of better word) Minister in charge of Health & Family Welfare 'Anbumani Ramadoss' & the Minister in charge of Education Arjun Singh.

The Minister as per the news is concerned about the amount of aerated drinks in India. He in the last few years now been hogging the media bytes for chasing the big-shots of Bollywood for smoking on screen. Recently he imposed a ban on it. He has also banned drinking on screen. His reasoning is that people & especially kids duplicate what their idols do.
I do-not deny that underage smoking should be stopped immediately & at all cost. But the main cause of under-age smoking is availability of cigarettes right across schools. With the dense population in India a stall dealing in cigarettes is found right across any school, in-spite of a Supreme Court order.
How many small shopkeepers would refuse to sell cigarettes to youngsters when he knows that these are the people who would later get addicted & ensure his steady business however much the price is jacked up. Also show me which bar in India asks for proof of age & not serve alcohol to under-ages. Actually i would like to know if these people even care. In US if you cant show proof you would not be served drinks or smoke no-matter how old you look.

The point is simple.It has to be the people who needs to change. & we have built up a srong affinity to not be moral any-more. "Sab kuch chalta hain, yaar!!!!"

How else with India abysmally bad statistics in health-care can the Minister chase about some ridiculous & far more complicated issue while neglecting his basic duties. The status of health-care in India is known to all. (If you want further exact values then check out this link

& then there was the Education Minister Arjun Singh. I have a feeling that his life ambition is to completely wreck the education system by ensuring that the intelligent & students of India are squeezed out of governmental education system ensuring enough mulla for the private institutes.
First i simply fail to realize how can his main agenda be getting more quota's & money in higher education while India have the world largest population of illiterates.
What use is having quota in higher education if the people who should actually be availing those are dropping out of school & never completing their basic education. Especially when it has been proven comprehensibly that the quota's are more mis-used.
Even if i can forgive the quota system for the sake of the logic that if even 1 person is benefited then it is worth having in place, how can i not get worked up on the issue of setting up more IIT's with-out even campuses. There are intelligent students who study at the Tax-payers money & have the sole ambition of settling out-side India.
Indian government has been spending a huge sum of money on research & yet I don't remember any mentionable research which got recognised anywhere. & how can it be if the researches are on the acidity of pigeon shit in Dadar (paper presented in 2006. Incidentally a similar research was conducted by another student in 1989. But in that case it was on pigeons in Bandra).
How much more of the tax-payers money will the Government waste? Why are the people in positions not made responsible for their acts? Why are the people in places of responsibility not responsible them-selves? I am not super-educated nor do i spend hours thinking on these issues then why cant these people come up with something worth-wile.
The ans is "Sab kuch chalta hain, yaar!!!!"
It took USA & USSR 10years to build, develop & incorporate the F14's & Su27's into their air-force. The HAL Tejas' under development since the 1980's is yet to get into production phase!

India is going places is perhaps the worst statement any-one can make. A small & over hyped part of India is going places & a HUGE part is being left behind. Farther & farther away are the poor & the needy being left behind by the glorification & scamper for getting on the bandwagon. & none are having any moral qualms for this. "Sab kuch chalta hain, yaar!!!!"

After-all this notion has been branded deeply into over a billion people. We today don't think twice in haggling with an Auto-driver for asking for 1 rupee extra but leave a 100 rupees as tip at a Barista.
Where have we gone wrong? Where have our morality gone to? Why cant we be compassionate anymore? Why does it have to be Me-1st at every stage?

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Thats life, sad but true

Do we all say, "That's life, sad but true" and continue living it the way we are? Will things get better or worse - what do you think? Will our children's moralities be different from ours?

That is what Suvro asks in his last blog.

An attempted answer to that.
If you have not read the blog let me try & give you an idea what it is all about.
On the day of the recent earth-quake in China the people at Suvro's office were more concerned about the changes of dynamics in the market (due to the earthquake) & make a profit from it. Suvro feels that the lust for money/power has actually killed of the basic humane feelings.
I am compelled to agree with him.
I as sorry to say but i think i have joined the bandwagon.
In my daily task currently i have to track news & report the most likely one's which affect the price movement of Oil. When i first saw the news "100 Dead in Nigerian Oil-Pipeline Burst" my first reaction was "supply disruption.... Oil is going to go up. Chris should make sure to keep the ask high." I am ashamed to say that i have become hard enough to think about my work even when i am staring at death.
The military trains the cadets daily by shooting at dummies. This ensures in an actual battle the person at whom the cadet is shooting is perceived as a object & not a flesh & blood alive person. A person with a family, with emotions, desires, believes etc.
We are slowly being ground to work. No emotions involved. What difference does it make if a 100 dies or a 150. There are billions of people in this world. Those 100-150 would not make a dent. All that matters is making money. For money you need to work. If that work requires you to stamp on other people then do it. If it requires you to push some-one off the bus do it. If you are not ready to do so then move aside there are millions to take your place & don't expect us to look at you with a scorn.
The society today looks up at those people who are as it is commonly said "successful". Today success is defined by how high u are in the corporate ladder. How much money you have in your pocket. The more ruthless you are the more followers you would get (got reminded of the AIM matchboxes). The more followers the more admired would you be.
Money the revolving point. What does money give us? Everything as per some. They are not entirely untrue actually. Whatever the average bloke desires is got only through exchange of money. If you want a good pasta pay for it. If you want a good drink pay for it. If you want a breadth of clean air pay for it. If you want a good-looking wife then pay. (I know quite a few (females) would jump up to oppose this statement but i honestly believe that the money(possible) in the pocket of the prospective groom is one of the criteria. & why should it not be. Evolution has changed the criteria but the female must hunt down the best male it comes across to breed.)
We need money for everything. We are made to believe so & there are no situation that we come across which would even make us stop for a moment to think in the contrary. & if we do stop, society would instantly start rebuking us.
A team-mate of mine went for a Sunday NGO work. I was amazed by the smirks on the faces of the rest of the team. Most believed that there is either a good looking girl in the NGO or the guy is fattening up his CV to apply to some college.
A clean intent is mostly mis-interpreted.

Why have we become so mentally deranged? Why have we stopped looking at things which are around us & only focus at an piece of paper(or should i say plastic) which gives material stuff. How many of us would stop from biting into a slice of Pizza & give a thought for the farmer who has waded in the rains through his field to ensure that it was the wheat which was growing properly & not the weed. Or for the person who has stood in front of the hot oven to create the perfectly done pizza. Or even for the delivery boy who has ridden a contraption on 2 wheels at a breakneck speed to ensure that you get the pizza in time.
We sadly have learn't not to look beyond 'I'. Family & close friends belong to the 1st ring around 'I'. Acquaintances, distant relatives or friends who don't have prospects of returns are just people 'I' know. Anyone beyond this is just a faceless person. 'I' would primarily ensure 'I''s happiness. Which according to 'Every-one' is got from money. So 'I' would do anything for to ensure there is a steady stream of money. 'I' would do some thing so the 1st ring stays closer insulating 'I' from any form of disruption of his happiness. & to show off his success 'I' must have a big gas-guzzling car to drive from his home to the market which is actually less than 2 minutes walk. So that he can justify the gym at his AC home which his coveted friends would admire when they visit. Who cares about the mason who was forced to work late because the rich contractor promised extra 100 if the job gets completed in 1 day instead of the 2.
It is a chain effect actually. The Rich ignores the middle class & cant even see that the poor. The middle class aspires to be climb up to be with the rich. In doing so it ignores the poor too. The poor in its clamber to escape the confines of being poor cant afford to look beyond himself. In between everyone suddenly has just mission in life. Make money. Become richer even more. & the end justifies the means. A mad dash for an end which never existed.

I have been going round & round for quite some-time now. Sadly this keeps going round & round in my mind. I am sorry to be rambling on something which we all know. So what is the solution. Be the lone person who stops working? Not earn & die from lack of food, proper sanitation & friends around?
I am sorry to say i am coward & i would not be able to do so. I would hide behind my responsibilities & liabilities & keep running after money which gives happiness at most 1ce a month. But my conscious also needs to be assuaged a bit too. So i would try not to waste. Not to under-cut someone else to ensure my own rise. & give respect to all person i come across. This is perhaps the least that i believe everyone of us do. Smile. Makes the world slightly less gloomy to live in.

& about the future generation? Sorry Suvro i am not yet in a position to think about my own kids. The very idea of being responsible & trying to bring up someone gives me shivers.
We have not yet been able to take responsibility of our own actions. This would cost us. I fear that the future generation would be much more ruthless than us. They would actually not look beyond 'I'. The 1st ring would be for showing-off all other just faceless entities who are actually enemies trying to upsurge the position they currently are in.
I wish some miracle would proof me wrong but with the way we are diving full-steam it is not long before nature & natural instincts takes over fully & makes a premature end to the world that we are currently used to

Monday, June 2, 2008

Evolution The Root Cause of All Problems

A line plagiarized from some-where & noticed at a friends blog.
A line how much is true perhaps.

Let me start with an example.
The cars were an evolution in transport. People in London the then capital of the world were overjoyed. They believed that the horses are a nuisance & it is a pollution when they shit.
A bigger shit-pile we are in. I would not go into the controversy if the cars can be blamed for all the pollution in cities or if they can be made the scape-goat for all the Green-house effect. For the reason is that it is. (Please don't ask me if there was a controversy ever.)
Next there came a few years where we said "Ok! We agree cars pollute & harm. The actual reason is the fossil fuel we burn called Petrol/Gas (depending where you are from). Lets shift to more organic form of fuel."
Ethanol seemed to be the solution. Well thanks to the usage of ETHANOL the world food prices shot up (less area to cultivate food). Also the great Amazon Rain-Forest, one of the lungs of the EARTH is being slowly(??!!), ruthlessly & surely being chopped down, to get more land area to cultivate Sugar-cane the primary source of Ethanol.

Another example?
Ok this is one example that many would contest. & i am not an biologist or nutritionist to proof my point. But i have convinced myself & not getting comprehensive proof against it i would not change my view-point.
Think Sugar & Salt. Had it not been evolution we humans would have been perfectly happy with all the natural salt & sugar got from the normal food they would had. But no we had to evolve & get a taste of salt & sugar.
How many of us can watch a movie in a multiplex (sorry i dont seem to get any movie hall or theater around any-more) without a COLA (Sugar) & Popcorn(Salt). Salt in pop-corn makes the body lose its water-balance & dehydrate. So we have to take a cola which has sugar increasing the metabolism in the body & in tandem they create chaos. No animal in this Earth takes in Salt/Sugar in their diet separately. But we must.
& I think many would agree to the fact that most Doctors restrict the in-take of these 2. Because the new life-style diseases with the traditional ones are aggravated with intakes of Salt/Sugar.
But we have evolved so much that we can-not live without. & i sympathize with all those who have failed to follow the wise advice of the Doctors. Primarily because i belong to that crowd. However much the Doctor's remind me not to take in Salt for fear of having a higher than allowed BloodPressure i cannot stop taking in food which are by definition salty. What we call in Bengali "Nonta" or "Namkeen" in Hindi.

I believe that evolution has made us into the mindless literate idiots who can only be in herds.
Notice that in all the images of the ancient cave-man are imagined of a lazy life. Waking up at dawn & sleep at dusk. & all modern images are of people who are running.
Why can we not stop running once to ask why are we running. We can't for the simple reason we are stuck in the herd mentality from the cave-age. We must do what all other's are doing. Get a good degree from a esteemed establishment. Get a good paying job at a well recognized company. Get a big car, a big house, a pretty wife..... the list goes on.
Does it give us happiness???
How many of us would not fondly remember the time when summer holiday was meant that i can be in the field with my buddies from 4 till 7 in the evening. And miraculously this period would be for over a month every-year. Today we would go years saving the Earn-Leaves to sell at the end of the year/job for a couple of extra bucks. Silly is it not? What use would it be if at the age of 45 (or earlier as it is becoming a norm) i land up with holidays at a hospital (nursing home to get the added care)
We would keep on working our-self to death (24X7X52) for some illusion called money. Then use the money to get our-self saved. Why go into all the pain at the beginning? Saves a lot of time, energy & effort at all sides.
& the best part is in doing so you (I) can be happy doing what i wanted to do.

Would i be???? Do i really know what makes me happy???
Well i don't have the answer to it in this blog at-least but i firmly believe that had mankind not been so evolved than there would have been no Green-house controversy & i could have been a simple illiterate fool who would have been un-questioningly accept what-ever the elders ordered me to do, as the right thing to do. & gladly actually do it.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Ooh Power

Before i start writing on Power let me remind those people who know about me a bit, that this post if has positive correlation with my work then it should be considered spurious.
For those who dont, I joined UBS Service Center-India (ISC) last year as a off-shore support team for the European Power & Gas Desk of UBS located at London.
It is a separate story that the desk got scrapped thanks to the "Sub-Prime".
Well itz strange but i was almost losing my job in India, for "Sub-Prime" in USA, because the notional-losses from it of UBS till date is approx 50B USD.
But this story deserves a post of it own.

Power now, is one of the necessity's of life.
Like Water or Air we can-not live with-out it.
We definitely have a come a long way from the methods of cooking developed by the cave-women (i am not being feminist) over a fire kept burning for days to the latest MICROWAVE Oven.
The effort definitely has diminished but i would add the complication has been more.
It summer months now & my flat-mate & myself complain every-weekend afternoon that we should have a air-cooler if not a air-conditioner.
& today who can live with-out a refrigerator.
ooh i missed out the TV, WashingMachine, Computer,......... the list goes on.
I think i have made my-self clear that we have shifted to a life where we can-not live without power.

The generation of Power or Electricity takes place at the Power Plants using Coal. Though not popular in India but some plants use Heavy Oil, Natural Gas, Bio-Fuels as inputs. Hydro-Power-Plants is another source. Nuclear, Wind are the 2 undependable sources.
There are some more innovative Power generation techniques of which i will tell you one. I dont know who came up with this idea but i must say this was brilliant.
In UK the Power is a free-market commodity. Hence the cost of per unit electricity varies over the day. The demand & the price rises steadily from early 7:00 till 9:00. stays steady for the rest of the morning & early afternoon. Then from late afternoon around 17:00 it climbs again till 19:30-20:00 & drops off till 23:00. where from it remains steady till early morning.
This extraordinary Power Generation unit buys electricity in the Off-Peak Hours & uses the electricity to pump up water from the base of a hillock to a reservoir at the top of it. & when the price climbs to a certain high he lets the water flow down & generates electricity which he sells off right then.
This method though innovative, shows the opportunity-capture by some intelligent & street-wise individual, who could see that there is a arbitrage & how to generate profit from it. But this technique only transfers the generation from 1 time-point to another. It does not create.
The wind power plants are considered to be the most un-reliable source of electricity. There has to be an steady wind-force of minimum 10KMPH. & if there isn't then there is no supply. No-one would like to be dependent on such a source.
The nuclear power plants come with its unique difficulties. One of which is if there is some disruption in 1 then all the similar plants have to be switched off until the cause is found & rectified in all if necessary. The other is even more interesting. The nuclear plants produce electricity at a steady rate. So at off-peak times the generation might supersede the amount required. France is a country with such situation. But Europe now has one common grid. Hence it can sell off the electricity to other neighbouring countries.
The cost of Crude-Oil (though mainly driven by speculation than by supply shortages) is significantly high to not think of Heavy-Oil as a source.
Natural-Gas power plants is yet to be popular. Mainly because of the huge volume that needs to be transported. Though LNG tankers have made things easier.
Coal Power Plants are the most abundantly found. The technology has been near-perfected (though there may be many avenues to track). But these plants are one of the major source of industrial pollution. & the alarming way the world-temperature is increasing we need to be bit more concerned.
Hydro-electricity is at the first look the best. But again huge dams & are a major source of controversy with major ecological change (& ignoring the villages). Also a dam creates water-supply disruption further down-stream. And perennial rivers is not very commonly seen.

Indian standpoint: Coal-Pollution a constrain though most abundant. Oil-Too Pricey, Gas-Supply limited currently. & Iran-Pakistan-India LNG Pipeline still seems a dream, Nuclear-Risky & demand problem(we are not yet in a position to distribute to huge distances) ignoring the current Left issue, Hydro- Perennial river are limited & amount of rain-fall not consistent.

This brings us to the standard question what should we do.
What i believe is that like most necessary things in life this is also something which every-one of us would have to make a effort.
Saving electricity in every small ways possible. Switching off monitor when not in use. Switching off power-plug-points when not in use. There are more small simple ways which all of us have heard of.
Personally i would suggest that we install Power-inverters & if possible solar-panels on the roof-top. A Solar-Panel on the roof would augment the supply of electricity & coupled with inverters would ensure a significant reduction is demand for electricity.
The government can also try to incorporate solar-power as much as it can. A suitable study & execution of the whole thing would reduce the power demand. & for India to keep growing as dramatically as we have been doing with keeping our power bills within justified levels SOLAR ENERGY is perhaps a direction we would have to look into. We definitely need more persuasive practical & meaningful research in this.

I would like to end this extra-long blog with a wish
May the people of India & the world in total see the folly of the ways we are steaming ahead & rectify our-self to save the world & make life easy & more enriching than it currently is.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Why blogging

i expect someday i would have to answer why did i take to writing blogs.
& especially the question would be more regarding the sudden-ness of the start.

Truthfully speaking there is no reason.
Was bored to my bones. Didn't want to do anything specific. Thought why dont i join the bandwagon of blog writers.
Pour out some of the random thoughts that i have. It would be a good exercise in typing & attempted writing while compiling what i want to write.

Believe me when i promise in-numerable spelling mistakes & the most dreaded grammatical ones.
I just hope that the views/thoughts/nothing at times get conveyed.
I do intend to put in a effort. But those who know me would have already realized what effort it would be.
I dont promise anything. No quantity. No quality. & definitely no regularity.

This place is going to be as random as my life is.

& to those who still are thinking why blogs..... buddy believe me i have too many thoughts in my mind. I am not in a position to share them with my
friends directly. I would not be marketing this blog. I have put only one hint in my orkut account. If people notice they would read else........
I just wanted to save some of the feelings that i have.

Hope i have answered your queries.
If you have more feel free to put them up. There is a section called comments.
But please dont expect immediate ans. I am not good at answering questions.

Anyways happy reading randomness.


Sunday, May 18, 2008

A bit about Me

here goes some points which are very close to my heart...
love is...whn some1 breaks ur heart...n the most amazing part is tat u still love the person wth every broken piece

plz dont ask the reason of this. Just a quote which i feel captures the essence of LOVE very well
1 Chinese proverb

if a man knows not that he knows not, then he is a FOOL. SHUN him
if a man knows that he knows not, then he is MODEST. ENLIGHTEN him
if a man knows not that he knows, then he is ASLEEP. AWAKEN him
if a man knows that he knows, then he is WISE. FOLLOW him
Friendship is a priceless giftthat cannot be bought or sold,But its value is far greaterthan a mountain made of gold.
For gold is cold and lifeless,it can neither see nor hearAnd in the time of troubleit is powerless to cheer...
It has no ears to listenNor heart to understand,It cannot bring you comfortor reach out a helping hand.
So when you ask for a giftbe thankful if i sendnot diamonds, pearls or richesbut the love as a real true friendcoz tatz all i hav 2 offer

Typically i would say about myself that i am a happy go lucky guy with out a care in this world But has far 2 many responsibilities to shoulder than what he can bear.... but would complete all jobs he has in hand at all costs

About friends i firmly beleive that
Your friends will know you better in the first minute you meet than your acquaintances will know you in a thousand years.

And i also request

Dont walk in front of me, I may not follow.Dont walk behind me, I may not lead.Walk beside me and be my friend. ....


If i were allowed to change my name..... (not that i have any desire for it. Mine is a good enough though i often wonder if i can live up to it) i would love to take LUCIFER INCARNATE

And for those who have been a bit of confusion abt the name Lucifer.... Lucifer in latin means bearer of light. i hope to bring a bit of light in any form (preferably as a smile) to all those ppl i come across.i also consider Lucifer as a character made famous by Milton & the Bible not as the synonym of evil, but some1 who asked questions against the rules & is ready 2 think out for himself than accept watevr he is order 2 do....

Monday, May 5, 2008

The Auto Ride

The Indian "Auto-Rickshaw" is unique in it's many ways.
For those who have no idea what an "Auto-Rickshaw" is.... It is actually a mechanized contraption on 3 wheels. Used primarily for transporting people. & here lies it's uniqueness.
A small-sized car in India wold comfortably seat 4 people (including the driver) & 5 uncomfortably.
A "Auto-Rickshaw" on the other-hand would seat at-least 4. Yes i am using the word at-least. It has been designed to seat 3 people in the back seat & 1 driver. But typically a auto-rickshaw on the Indian roads would have 2-3 extra people in the front along with the driver. The person on the either extreme would hanging on for dear life while screaming at the driver to get going faster.
Ok Ok..... I know every-one reading this knows what i am talking about. Or would be computer-literate enough to do a Google.

What i have sat down to pen(type) is a auto-ride i took last saturday.
It was over-overwhelmingly hot at Hyderabad (where i am working currently) & me & my flat-mate was in no mood to cook. So we took-off to try out the Mexican joint which we have been eying for a couple of months.
After a near-perfect meal (we were too stuffed to actually walk out but had to leave) we were standing at the cross-road with the hope to get a auto-rickshaw to get back home.
We did get lucky to get on the back-seat of one. 3 possible back seats taken by myself, my flatmate & another middle-aged guy. The burly Auto-driver had another passenger on his right.
When we got to the next cross-road a well-dressed guy showed his hand for the Auto-driver to stop. We come to an halt. It is not normal till there is a 5th "Passenger" on the driver's left. This guy walks over & gives all the people seated at the back a hard stare & looks at the driver.
"Hum 3 log hain" (We are 3 people). His tone was saying "I don't care who else is seating I have 2 more friends & we are going to honour you by allowing you to takes us where we want to go. Hence get your other passengers out of our way"
Thankfully the Auto-driver commented "Kaise!!!". It was more sarcastic than questioning.
The guy gives a frustrated look & we continue our journey.

A little ahead the person sitting on the right of the driver gets down, pulls out a Rs100 note for a Rs5 trip.
It's nearly 10:30 in the night. The Auto-driver is making his last trip of the day.
And this bugger who looks as though he has never had any-less/more money than Rs100 notes waits patiently. Obviously the Auto-Driver looks at us & we dutifully shrug our shoulders, indicating we too dont have so much change.
The Auto-Driver pushes off. He can do with-out a Rs5. Calling the passenger a thousand names in his mind he must have been trying to figure out how he could have confronted the passenger. The man looked as though he had at-least 5 Rs10 notes along with Rs10 worth of loose change on him. He simply took a free ride home.

A couple of km ahead we stop to pick up 2 people. but they are actually a group of 4 people. Typically the Auto-Driver would accommodate 2 passengers on his left & one on his right. But how to get the 4th person in. The group pointed out that the lightest of the lot can sit on the lap of some-one at the back-seat. & with-out waiting for some1 to respond he actually climbs over.
Here with 8 people on a contraption on 3 wheels we were traveling which was supposed to carry only 4.
& the Auto-Driver was actually racing with the snazzy cars.

And as luck would have it, there was a police check on the route.
The Hawildars rounded the auto. The Sergant demanded to see papers. & the Auto-Driver took his money-bag along with his papers. And we were on our way again.

The trip was pretty interesting. Damn funny at times.
But it also got me thinking.

next posts would hopefully be on the thoughts