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Friday, August 31, 2007

BS ON THE AIRPORT

Once again...one of my favorite topics in today’s BS…

http://www.business-standard.com/common/storypage_c.php?leftnm=10&bKeyFlag=BO&autono=296408&chkFlg=

I think I am completely obsessed with the New Mumbai Airport.... and when I think about New Mumbai, I think about the Ambanis.... They are indeed the "real visionaries"....

Thursday, August 30, 2007

NEW EXPERIENCES...NEW THOUGHTS

Lately, lots of issues are creeping into my mind…in association with professional life…. Being attached to the corporate head office of an organization opens up the complete organization culture so easily. Certain things, which I was never bothered earlier, have started bothering me now….

Let me mention some of them.

(1) The cabins of the senior people …I think it really creates a difference…. Are they closed cabins or glass cabins?
(2) Is the culture MBA-friendly…. are the big guys in the company MBAs….
(3) The support staff…if the support staff is sick, then life can be really harsh…
(4) HR…and its policies
(5) How suave are the senior people…
(6) What is the average age of the office crowd…
(7) How is the sex ratio within the office…
(8) Are the people nice/good or are they ruthless…

I think these things are as important as the salary you are earning…. important in the sense that they play a big role in shaping our personality and business acumen…But unfortunately, we tend to get an idea of all these things only after we join a job…

SUN SHINING

When it rains, I feel so irritated wishing badly for the sun to shine. And when the sun shines, I feel it is better during the rains…at least the scorching heat is absent….

Life is complex…. when something is close to us…we seldom realize how much it matters to us or how important a role it plays in our life. We always feel grass is always greener the other side. And once we reach the other side, we get a good measure of the positive aspects of our old situation or position.

When I was in ISB, I used to miss my professional career a lot. And when I am back into professional life, I miss the sweet package that an academic life offers.

During my earlier job, I always used to feel that I was limiting myself only to technical issues and so had decided for an MBA tag. Now, after MBA, there are so many things to look into that I have developed special longing for anything technical.

At every stage and juncture of life I feel it’s always true. We always desire for things we don’t have…. crave for moments we don’t live…long for people who are not close to us…

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

FRENCH

An insatiable desire to upgrade my French had once tempted me to start a blog on languages…. but the timing was not the best…and I was not successful in maintaining that blog.

Feel like starting the process once again…

http://sweetlanguages.blogspot.com/

Monday, August 27, 2007

MY NEW LOVE

In spite of the showers and in spite of the slightly more than usual temperature running within my veins, I could not resist the temptation to visit my new love. I love visiting her whenever I get a chance. She looks so cute and fresh…. with the typical fragrance…I have always loved the smell of fresh paint… that adorn her walls…

She is surrounded by the lush green hills all around…though the visibility is fast getting dimmed due to the rising skyscrapers, whose numbers seem to multiply every passing day. In the rainy season, the view of the waterfalls, streaming down these hills looks so enchanting. The landscape that is reserved for one of the biggest parks of Asia (Central Park) is also visible from the balcony. The sea is close…. but not that close….

Roads are huge and wide in this area…. six lane superhighways…where it is possible to drive at a speed which will easily remind me of some of the fastest moments of my life…. Roads are one thing I have always looked with a reasonably high level of seriousness before I decide on a location.

I hope my new love will treat me well enough….

Friday, August 24, 2007

THE DB EFFECT

Finally…. done with ‘Angels and Demons”…. the Dan Brown classic that had evaded me for quite some time. I loved it…even more than DVC.

Reading DVC was an amazing experience. I had never read anything like that, which could so effectively mould spirituality, science and even sensuality into a breathtaking story. But “Digital Fortress” is not amongst my favorites, the reason could be attributed to the fact that I had read DF just after DVC…. and the hangover effect of DVC was so effective that it took me some time to get out of it.

The element of spirituality, religion and science is even more pronounced in A&D. It was as if Spirituality and Science are two paths to the same destination…. each one answering the mythical questions in such a way that they seem to converge at some distant mental horizon. Extra-ordinary faith in the eternal soul (as is evident by the character of Chamarlengo) is well presented as against the logical explanation and extraordinary scientific research as is done in CERN. The speech delivered by Charmalengo was indeed my favorite section.

One thing I like in each of the Dan Brown classics is the unfathomable level of passion that defines each of the characters. It’s not about good or evil…nor about winning and losing…it’s about passion, belief, faith and brilliance of the characters…all wrapped in layers of mystery.

And the typical vivid narration can never be missed. You feel as if you are strolling on the ancient streets of Rome…or closely feeling the enigmatic creations of ancient Europe. You feel as if you are directly listening to the lectures on Symbology and Religion by Langdon. And characters like Vettoria and Sophie with all their beauty and elegance can easily create imaginary fantasies within any man’s heart.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

HOW TRUE

"Markets are like women -- always commanding, mysterious, unpredictable and volatile" .....Rakesh Jhunjhunwala

Thursday, August 16, 2007

MAGICAL REALISM

The painting was just a wild mix of a hungry man, a lone hand, and a mule like animal. And it adorned the cabin of one of the most important persons in my workplace. Whenever I walked through that cabin, I used to wonder about the pricelessness of such paintings. One fine day, when I was standing at a place which was at an angle to this painting, I was so glad to realize that this painting had been replaced with something that looked more elegant. This is the normal trend. These rare masterpieces normally keep on rotating within the various offices, cabins and staircase walls.

In this new painting, I could see the bearded face of a man laughing, a pair of sad mystique eyes of a woman and a bath-tub. I came close trying to discover something more about the new painting. But only when I reached the cabin, I realized that it was the same painting depicting the hungry man, the lone hand and the mule. From there on, it didn’t take me much time to realize the reason behind the value of this piece. Lately, I have discovered so many things out of this painting…so many things which my eyes could not discover earlier.

I lived through a similar experience through my association with the experience of reading this book “One Hundred Years of Solitude” by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. I did not even enjoy the first hundred pages of this book and felt like cursing PG, on whose recommendation, I had collected this from the basement library. By the time I had completed the first half, there was a mild excitement creeping into the theme. I read the complete book without enjoying it much. I took the book as a satirical and ironical approach depicting the solitude of each of the Aurelianos, Jose Arcadios and Amarantas who once inhabited the village of Macondo.

The real excitement started when I read some reviews of this book. I was amazed at the fact that what I had interpreted out of the book was perhaps the simplest anyone could have. After reading some of these reviews, I could link every situation of the book with something very serious and intense. The metaphorical approach extended deep into the heart of the book and even seemingly comical expressions appeared quite significant.

This story of a family through six generations which starts and ends in a village-town is good enough to present the reader with extreme political and economic connotations. Growth of nationality, the origin of communism, colonialism, the right and the left political wings, the notion of creativity and progress….and many more such stuff can be discovered within the outer fa├žade.

The fantasies which were too unreal for me (like direct ascension to heaven, talking with spirits, human born with a tail of a pig, and the numerous magical themes associated with the gypsies) looked quite appealing in their secondary meaning. The cyclical nature of time along with the theme of eternity is magnificently presented.

And now when I tried to decipher the inner depths of the novel, I could perceive it with a new found clarity. The solitude which the characters lived with, the solitude with which Macondo was born and the solitude with which it died….and all these under the context of a changing political face in Latin America, is an amazing saga presented in a style which the literal circles like to call “magical realism” (the literary counterpart of surrealism).

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY

As I read the first half of “One hundred years of solitude”, I got exposed to a concept which is as real as it is ironic. But today’s post is not about this classic composition of Gabriel Marquez.

Something on professional life…The new-look HR had hosted an Independence day celebration within the Group head office territories. The intent of such a celebration was of course to remember ourselves that we are living in a much better world, free from the shackles of the colonial era. But behind the obvious intention, there was an ulterior motive which called for the celebration. The idea was to inject some freshness into the otherwise traditional environment of the head-office.

Mostly organizations related to the old economy sectors (like oil/energy/heavy engineering construction/ shipping etc.) carry a more traditional culture while those into relatively new sectors like media, advertising, retail or software are associated with an informal work atmosphere. Respective industry veterans say that the nature of the industry is responsible for the kind of work place culture it is associated with and things might go berserk if cultures interchange. But I still doubt if this is true or just imbibed in the mindset of the people.

Anyway, lets get back into Independence day. On the eve of our 60th Independence day, let me wish the readers of this post a very happy Independence Day.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

SLEEPY SUNDAY

An unusually busy week, a tumultuous Saturday and a silent Sunday….this summarizes my experience over the last seven odd days. Waking up at noon is definitely not the best way to start a Sunday, but when the eyes are tired, they seldom listen to will.

Thus, I continued to sleep, mistaking the calls from H for the week day mobile alarm settings, neglecting them until I reflexively picked it up and responded back. Only when I heard her voice that I recollected that she had invited the Mumbai chapter of F-6 (that’s A and myself) to a very special lunch to celebrate the upcoming series of events which are likely to make her happy…very happy. But then, I was still lost within my Sunday morning dreams and H advised me to get back into my sleep again.

Now I am awake…back into my senses and finding it tough to realize that the weekend is left to a few hours before the dreaded Monday starts again. A copy of “One Hundred Years of Solitude”, which I had promised myself to complete this weekend is still lying on my desk…untouched.

Monday, August 06, 2007

WEEKEND READINGS

Weekend was nice and sweet and nostalgic for two lovely reasons…one, I got to meet my quad mates and second I read “Kane & Abel” again. I had fallen in love with this book when I read it for the first time…long back. Brushed myself with the evergreen excitement of this book…. felt like it was not enough…wanted to continue with a copy of Prodigal Daughter, which was not with me then…

The other book which I read was “Disgrace” by J.M.Coetzee…not exactly my kind of book…. but the number of awards this book has won, guarantees a massive fan following.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

QUAD REUNION

It was a sweet little re-union of good old ISB days – for the four people who were quadies in the top floor of L-Block SV-1. NA, SC, NM and I happened to be in the same city at the same time….a rare moment in itself.

It was at my place…had a lavish dinner with all our favorite formalities in the nearby restaurant…discussed all the big and small changes happening in our lives…came back home and relived a typical ISB full-night session in my appartment except the fact that there was no late night noodles session....and no ladies quad as our neighbours.

It so happens that the biggest changes have taken place in SC’s life – both professional and personal. He decided to quit his investment banking job and to start something of his own…he will be moving to Dubai to start his project. Amazing guts… this guy has got…and he is only 23. And the personal change is that his official engagement date is out.

NA maintains his reputation as a workaholic…and he loves being one. He is enjoying his work. One of his colleagues, who was incidentally my wing mate in IIT, and later spent two years in IIM has something to say for NA – “This guy, in spite of being a CA, knows more engineering stuff than I do”….now who knows this better than me.

The only change associated with NM’s life is that his love for potatoes is now stretched to all varieties of vegetables…and his love for countryside is well taken care by his job…he is into retail…so he keeps on traveling hundreds of miles everyday.