Monday, November 23, 2009

Singular Times

Someone told me the other day I was popular,
Which made me sit down and wonder,
Why then was everything i did,
Always in the singular?

I see my friends,
All doing stuff in groups,
And I query myself,
Where is my troupe?

Standards 5th to 10th were nice,
Groups I was in by choice,
School was a good time,
I was always in a circle rather than a line.

Then came the time of the boards,
People studied tons to get on the board,
Me being my own lazy self,
Messed up in the final test.

That act separated me from my peers of long time,
And put me in a new place ,
The only saving grace of mine,
Was that I got the stream of my taste.

As time went on,
I grew fond of this place,
Science and beyond,
I was taking to it with good grace.

As the two years closed their lid,
No group was I in particular,
Why was everything i did,
Always in the singular?

The 12th boards were history,
Engineering dished out more mates,
Some on a completely different trajectory,
Some with similar tastes.

As these four years closed their lid,
No synergy did I achieve in particular,
Why was everything i did,
Always in the singular?

Graduation brought me a new world,
A world of an office, a salary and a cellphone,
Lucky Me, I was told,
That my office was my second home.

As these three years closed their lid,
I had not achieved anything spectacular,
Why, i say, was everything i did,
Always in the singular?

And so started my MBA reform,
The business suits, the case studies and the works,
New bonds i managed to form,
With all those aspiring to be young turks.

I learned my way through,
And had my fun on the way,
All the effort paid off,
When i got anchored on the first placement day.

As these two years closed their lid,
Made me realise that maybe my thinking was in error,
Why did I say everything i did,
Was always in the singular?

Its been 18 months since I reset my time,
And my network is on the incline,
Definitely back are the good times,
I am again in a circle, rather than a line.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Hill Station-ed

"It's only work if somebody makes you do it" ~ Calvin.

I agree! But sometimes when someone makes you do something, it turns out to be refreshingly... well... refreshing! Something similar happened to me one week in October. We had a representative from reputed US Automobile major visiting us in that week. The major agenda included showcasing our capabilities in the Automotive space. A regular in any of our regular client visits. However there was a twist in this tale. The agenda this time around included taking the client to a hydro power generating station en route to Mumbai. The site zeroed in was Tata Power dam at Walwan, Lonavala.

Now to anyone who is from in and around Maharashta knows of Lonavla. Known more for its
Chikki and Bhushi dam than anything else. Ideal weekend getaway for all Mumbaikars and Punekars. Not really for its power generation capabilities.

My job in this visit was like that of a foot soldier in an army of the middle ages . It invloved going to the site of the battle (so to speak) in advance and analysing the situation to ensure smooth passage once the real army (so to speak) arrives. Interesting eh?

Nevertheless, after significant arguments with my co-creators (read Father and Mother), i decided to set off to Lonavala on my trusted steed.. My 5 years young, Flame red, Pulsar 150. Now Ive always loved road trips on 2 wheels (haven't had many to speak of though). So i packed in my Sony Cybershot in my bag, switched on some music and headed out.

The old Pune-Mumbai highway, till a few years ago, used to be a single lane, slow poke of a road which articulated graphically the "progress" India had made in road infrastructure. However, this time round, I was pleasantly surprised to find the road converted into a two lane (each way), even spread of concrete. The fact that i went in October also made for the entire ride to be very picturesque.

On the way. i stopped to shoot the lovely waters of the Indrayani river and also some egrets having a mid morning snack in the placid river waters.

After reaching Lonavala, I headed to Fariyas hotel for some work. After having a particularly expensive potion of noodles there, I headed off to the Tata Power dam (Walwan dam) for the piece-de-resistance of this trip. The backwaters of the dam were SPECTACULAR! I had gone to the directors bunglow and the view from the patio there was simply breathtaking. I was in a good mood to settle down on a deck chair and take a nap. Sadly, photography is not permitted there and i couldnt capture some quick shots.

Walwan dam has been closed to public citing security concerns since the 26/11 atacks on the Taj. However, since i was from a group company and spoke nicely to the caretaker there, i was let in without too much of a fuss. Another little cheap thrill for me. To boldly go where no non-Tata mortal is allowed to go.

Once i was done dealing witht he people at the Walwan, i set off for some photo ops to the hills behind INS Shivajji on he way to Aamby Valley. The climb upto Aamby valley and the scenery around there is something anyone who loves nature must experience once their limetimes atleast. It somehow tends to bring the calm back into your stressed bodies even though you are hundreds and thousands of feet above the inhabited valley below.

I manged to click some interesting sights while i was there along with testing the self timer on my Sony to the fullest [:-D]. Talk about Narcissism!

On my way home i came across a HUGE statue of Ganpati bappa on Dehu road. Which really made me spontaneously cry out.."GOD Almighty!"..[:-)]

Friday, April 24, 2009

The Trumps

I was cleaning out my closet today (figuratively and actually) and i came across something i didnt even remember i still possessed. Something i used to be crazy about when i was a kid. Something that kept me and my friends occupied for hours on end. Something very simple and innocuous... Trump cards!

Now back in the very early 90s, electronic entertainment had not yet caught he fancy of us kids. We preferred to be outdoors getting our hands dirty. Now one of the sedate activities was to play Trump cards. For those who dont know what trump cards are, ill explain. They are basically a stack of cards about one particular class of items. For eg. Cars, WWF wrestlers (favorite!), fighter jets etc etc. The cards were dealt out to a number of players. The objective was to get back all cards to yourself by calling out the highest line item in your card. It was great fun!

Now ofcourse, being oversmart kids, we used to have a lot of variation of our own. The most common for us was something calleda "choosy". Now this involved selecting the 5 best cards from your pack and keeping them away as the ultimate trump weapon.

Feels good reminescing about old times. Especially those when life wasnt as complicated. Simpler times, simpler lives.

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

9...with a 200 behind it...

9..with a 200 behind it..

That's how you tend to look at things when you are down 4 scotchs, 2 tequilas and 2 neat vokdas. But viewing 2009 in this intoxicated state got me thinking. Maybe it isn't such a weird perspective after all.

This morning I read A's blog just before i sat to "pen" this one down. One line quoted by her on her latest post I absolutely loved "We need to change our set of problems". Perfect! Problems persist. Solve them and move on.

Thats what every changing digit after the 200 signifies. The 200 represents problems that will ALWAYS persist. The units digit signifies the changing set of problems.

For everyone, 200-8 had its set of problems and setbacks. Leave them behind and ready yourself to face 200-9. And everything the 9 signifies. Happy New Year!:-)

P.S.: Considering my recent state of mind, this blog gives me a new year resolution i need to act on. Leave 200-8 behind me. And enjoy 200-9..:-)

Sunday, December 14, 2008

The Cosine Line....

We started of at one,
When I thought we could be one,
And just when i thought you were mine,
The cosine line started to decline.

The times just got rough,
And the line soon hit the trough,
I was lying down in the dump,
I was taken to be a chump.

Then came the time of the rise,
And strong became our ties,
I was convinced were an angel from above,
I knew I was in love.

Our love blossomed,
My life just seemed awesome,
I had stopped looking at all the rest,
The cosine line had just hit the crest.

All that goes up must come down,
Soon my smile turned to a frown,
As the distance between us increased,
I could feel your love for me start to cease.

You became secretive,
And the talk times lessened,
The decline continued,
As the cosine line lengthened.

Soon the calls stopped,
And so did the sweet nothings,
My significance in your life,
Had ground to a nothing.

For you, meeting me had become a formality,
The last month had brought me back to reality,
I had no idea what your problem was all about,
I turns out for you,
I was nothing but an insignificant lout.

So ended the 18 months of romance,
I had been given my chance,
I think i had done alright,
But obviously i wasn't too bright.

We separated cause you thought i was pushing,
And things we were into rushing,
I initially agreed to that line of thought,
Until 8 months later....

You tied the nuptial knot.

More convinced I couldn't be,
You were completely out of line,
The cosine line,
Had completed its final decline.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

The "Nice Guy" Continuum

I was taught in Services Marketing about the Goods-Services continuum and how goods and services are intertwined as shown below.

Now this is not a marketing lesson. Just establishing a base for a concept that i think draws a perfect parallel to this.

We have all heard the term "Nice guys finish last" tons of times. Why do you think that is so? If our hindi movies are to be believed, Acchai ki burai par hamesha jeet hoti hai(Being nice always wins over being bad). But still nice guys do finish last right? Ive got reasons for that.

Now the picture above shows the "Nice Guy Continuum". Being nice and being bad involves a very thin line. The only similarity with both of them is that they are at the bottom of the heap in their respective classes.

The Nice guy always has a Nicer guy above him. And the both of them have the Nicest guy above them at the top of the pile. He is the one who gets all the spoils. The best job, the best girl, the best car, the best popularity rankings etc etc. Ofcourse, to climb up this contimuum requires certain peculiar qualities. Intelligence, humlity, respect of other humans are trivial virtues present only in the "Nice" guy. These hold no value. The "Nicest" guy has money, good looks, kick ass attitude, shark - eat - shark instinct, suave mannerisms, ability to handle inflated egos of pretty women, not too much of a conscience etc etc. To move up the continuum these qualities are absolutely necessary and are savagely sought after.

The "Nice" guy is always only nice enough to be a "friend". He always gets lines like.."You are a great friend" or "I respect you (only) as a friend". There is always an only hidden somewhere. Since he is at the bottom of the heap, friend is the only way he can go. Hence he also gets lines like "I dont look at you in that way" etc etc. The "Nice" guy is the one you say you are with when you dont want to get into trouble with your parents for being out late.... He is also the guy with whom the girl's boyfriend trusts her to go out for a cup of coffee with... The "Nice" guy is always "safe" to be with! The nice the guy is the one whom you know you can stand up and still be sure he wont mind or get mad. Hes also the guy who you know wont mind if you forget to invite him for a party. The fact is that he is the guy who is, as John Rambo (In First Blood II) put it, expendable. It doesnt really make a difference whether hes there or not.

Now the Bad guy is also the worse of the lot. He sucks at being bad. He is the one who always get caught, busted, made the fall guy etc etc. He cant even be good at being bad! The Baddest are the ones who are pure evil, but without getting caught. They are the best at being bad! Dawood, Osama - Bin - Laden, Carlos etc etc. Being bad just aint as good as being the Worse!

So as you can see, the Nice guy is actually the loser of the pack. The phrase "Nice guy" is actually an euphemism meant to make the "Nice" guys feel good about themselves.

I think i know where in I lie in that continuum. To be honest, I'd love to be at the top of the pile atleast once. But some of those "qualities" needed to move "up" in life i just dont have! And some i think iam better off without.

"Nice guys finish last".... Ofcourse they do..The are ALREADY last!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


Something struck me the other day when I was heading out to do one of my bosses a favour... Here I was working for TCS, sitting in a car made by Tata Motors, wearing Fasttrack shades and a Titan watch, having just had a scrumptious omlette seasoned by Tata salt, heading to a man's house who also works for TCS to move his car which also turned out to be made by Tata Motors...

Being TOO loyal am I?:-P...Or as Paulo Cohelo very succinctly put it: Is the whole universe conspiring to make me loyal?

New Avenue

I have decided to start a blog on a different track as well.. The views of the people who matter...The Common Man..Do check it out..