Wednesday, November 10, 2010


If you thought this was about "Maayajal", the one stop entertainment destination in Chennai, you got it wrong. ( I should be dumb to think that everyone knows about Mayajal in Chennai, including non-Chennaites.)

This is about the Maaya cast by the TV channels about the psychlone "Jal". Yes, this cyclone cast a spell like no other on the psyche of the people. Nobody wanted to move ot of their houses.
Imagine what would have been the coverage they would have had given if there was a Tsunami brewing up. 'Jal - Em Maaya Chesaave' (translates to 'You weaved magic' in English, 'Kya Kamaal Kiya' in Hindi). We should seriously think about adding captions to cyclone names too.

I am still not sure as to who I should blame for the amount of negative propaganda that was given to this cyclone. Did the meteorology department guys get it all wrong or was it an order from the government to the news channels to create as much panic as possible or was it
just that the media went overboard as always?

It was a great job by the government to evacuate as many vulnerable people as possible to safer areas. The sea levels had risen and it was only wise to move people to higher grounds. At the same time, giving false reports that the sea had eaten into the land by 100 feet or more
was plain ridiculous. They would have a villager stand in front of the camera and ask him to admit the same. Why wouldn't he do it? He would want the world to know his plight. Afterall, whether the sea advanced by 30 feet or 100 feet, he was the one who was affected. And
these guys were busy 'making' news.

"Winds at 120-140 km/hour. Rain up to 25 cm. How worse can this get? Lets have a look at the history of the biggest cyclones in AP so far.
November is the month of cyclones. " - These were the headlines that were dished up.

The most shocking part was the complete lack of information on what routes were functioning and what were not? In this day, in this age, it is just not enough to say that a canal was breached or that a river was overflowing its banks. The highway numbers, the places between
which the roads/railways are pliable/non-pliable, alternative routes, safe zones- this is the kind of information we expect. Moreover, it is the job of the government to furnish this information to the media houses and have this information scrolled or displayed regularly with
frequent updates. We need to create hope not panic. The government should also take to task those media houses which indulge in fear mongering, especially during crises and disasters.

I had to undertake a bus journey from Vizag to Chennai. According to all possible reports, I was heading right into the center of the cyclone when it was supposed to cross the coast between Ongole and Chennai. I called up the bus operator quite a few times to make sure if
there was any change in the bus schedule. Every time I called him, he replied in the negative. I understood why when I reached Chennai in the usual 13 hours from Vizag. The roads were wet, but there wasn't the kind of downpour and havoc that was predicted by everyone. More
importantly, the bus operator had the first hand information of how the highway was doing. They don't tell you this in the news channels.

The bus operator was surprised to see that there were empty seats in a bus to Chennai, that too after the Diwali weekend. He spent about 15-20 minutes cursing all the news channels for the kind of hype they created for a cyclone. People canceled their tickets because they were
misinformed, not because there was any apparent danger. And, I guess the bus driver really wanted to prove the media wrong. He covered the 400km odd stretch from Vijayawada to Chennai in less than 6 hours. This never happened in any of the umpteen number of times I traveled from Vizag to Chennai.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Finally! One for Tendulkar's critics.

As far as Tendulkar's critics are concerned, the team needs him only when he is playing in the 4th innings and/or the team is in deep trouble. One thing is they don't understand the definition of "team". A team needs every player every time.

A failure is a failure. If the pass mark is 45, anything less than that is a failure. The problem with critics is , if you get 30 , they would say u could have at least got 44. If you get 44, they would say "you still didn't pass". You pass and they say "u need to get 100". You get a 100 and they say "nothing great".

It's true that he hasn't done well enough in the third/fourth innings, but there have been enough matches where he has been involved in important partnerships that won us the games. And then, no one has done better than him for India when it comes to setting up a total in the first innings. It is simply ignored. All these people want is a tough situation for India.

They want to see India in trouble so that they can see if Tendulkar will succeed/fail. This is not criticism. It is sadism. And being in the SW services industry I can guarantee that one Tendulkar(or for that matter anyone) can never ever achieve excellence in delivery. All he can do is guarantee a delivery. Excellence goes for a toss. This applies to all teams.

Saturday, October 09, 2010

A van in my way.

What is convenience?

A van gets blocked by a herd of cows. The driver of the van is restless.So what does he do? Stop his vehicle bang in the middle of the road even when he has quite a space left between him and the herd. Why does he stop? Since he wants to take the lane in which the vehicles are coming in the opposite direction and thus get out of the jam.

What is anger?

The feeling that i get when I am the one driving behind the van and avoid an accident as the van stopped abruptly right in the middle of the road, only to realize later that the van driver wanted to take the other lane.

What is eagerness?

The feeling that I get when I figure out that the van would join my lane just a few meters in front.

What is satisfaction?

The feeling that I get when I get right beside this driver and let him know what I thought about what he did by hurling all possible expletives.

What is this?
Incredible India. Incidents like these make me think what would have happened if I had a loaded gun with a silencer.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010


Laxman and Roger. Yeah. I want to put them in the same category. Simply because their grace is unparalleled. They are a joy to watch. They are legends. Legends , not just because of what they have achieved, but because of the number of genuinely jaw-dropping moments they have manufactured. When these two atheletes are playing, it is so difficult to take the
eyes off from the happenings.

What they see is a canvas. A canvas that by itself paints a background and asks these artists to provide the details. More often than not, they succeed in creating masterpieces.

What is not visible to the naked eye is the sketch they create; for often in
sport, the end result overshadows the amount/quality of effort. Because they are such good artists, so gifted, they so effortlessly abstract the sketch they design. Sometimes they don't really need a sketch to finish things off, but more often than not , they try to make one. Where
most see strategies, they see patterns. And when they lose, that is to say, when the painting isn't completed, they are just not sure whether they needed a sketch or it was better to be totally abstract. It is a struggle within.

If we forget the fact that there is a contest to be won, how much more can we
enjoy the offerings of these extraordinary men. At the same time, the results they have produced with the crafts they own, which are a rarity and considered antiquated in most sports these days, are astonishing.

No artist in this world has/had finished all the paintings that he started.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Touch? no no no

Well, looks like my definition of touch is a little different. I am talking about touch phones here or touch devices.

I classify touch as anything that requires me to just touch and do nothing else. I dont want to use any other sense organ. Hence, according to my definition, most of the so called touch phones, touch players dont belong to that category at all, as most of the times I have to see things to do things. And as I keep writing this article, I think about touch phones for the blind and here are a few sites I stumbled upon.

The last one in the list above has this line - "They hope the technology will also be useful to anyone who needs to operate a phone without looking at the screen, like drivers.". I love this one as I feel the need for touch the most while I am driving. With the current phone/player I have, I can change the volume, change the song without looking at the phone. I would like to do a lot more but, like being able to select different playlists, change the equaliser settings - all this without a look. No wonder that normal people would flock to use such applications/technologies.

Warning - It is not safe to have our hands do something other than driving when on the road and music in our ears makes it even more unsafe.

Neither are the warnings going to stop nor are the number of 'touch' devices that are going to be manufactured.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Wimledon!!! A poem...errr an attempt at a poem

dawn of a new wimbledon,
forever federer's burden,
where roddick's been thrice undone,
nadal's and hewitt's lost den,
with british hopes is the air laden,
rain ridden but the court hidden,
who will have the run so golden,
at the world's greatest grass trodden!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Wait lists @ b-schools.

I am not a fan of the b-school admission process that is widely followed across India. In this post though, I want to talk about one particular aspect of the admission process : Waitlisting.

I am not sure whether the concept of "waitlisting" someone for admission is an age old practice or something that has come up in the recent times. What I am sure about though, is that I am not at all amused by it. I agree that the institutes, in their own right, should be given the opportunity to waitlist a certain number of students so that all the seats get filled up incase some people dropout. But there should be a reasonable limit to the number of candidates that can be waitlisted.

What is the point in waitlisting 100 candidates, if there could only be 20 seats which these candidates would need to fight for in the order of their waitlist? One could argue that there could be 80 seats available to the 100 wait listers. As far as I know, that would be the case in case of a pretty badly managed b-school.

The candidates struggle for months together to put up a decent showing in the exam. After they attend the interviews, only two options should be infront of them: either in or out. Waitlisting(the third option) creates more confusion, more speculation and more pressure to deal with. The process can be improved. Institutes should publish the number of waitlisted candidates who were cleared for admission in the previous years. A mean should be taken for all those years, then the standard deviation should be factored in. All these details must be made public. This will make things far clearer for the aspirants, as they can right away know whether there are patterns they can find in the waitlist process. If there are consistent patterns that have developed over the years, the individual will able to find out what situation he is in. Instead of being totally dependent on the institutes or wading through scores of posts to find information in various forums, this will make life much easier for the aspirants.

For all this to happen, the b-schools must know that they need to serve their customers(in this case students) well. Just because they are the gateway to 6 figure salaries and a royal life, they should not think that students will flock to them. Add to this the fees they are changing and one will know why they need to improve their standards on this front. Amazing how the guys managing these schools view the applicants.

"We care about you only if you are in". Wouldn't that be a valid statement about our b-schools? If it is indeed valid, then they are doing plain business.

I have one more point to make. When there are candidates who have already been waitlisted but not offered admission the previous year, do these institutes need to have an admission process for all the seats again? Why dont the waitlisted people get a look in? What has changed in one year that these people need to take the test again and go through the entire selection process? Why do they need to prepare for months to get a decent score in a test in which they have already done well(unless anyone personally feels the need to improve)? If they have got through the interview process, got waitlisted but not offered an admission, they could be called up to the interview process directly next year(provided they are available) .

I dont think waitlisted people are treated with respect. They are plain "bakras", exposed to the vagaries of the wills of a few hundred people before them in a list. If they dont make it through, they are exposed to the vagaries of a probably entirely new system. I am okay with being rejected in an interview. Something was wrong and they did not want me in.
The problem is education, top class education. When it comes to good institutions-good education, one is ready to risk everything. We accept everything to be a part and parcel of the game. We simply forget that there are a few rules that can be changed to make the game better, more fair to everyone.

"If you are so busy running a race for so long, it is time you take a break and find out if the race is really worth running. The problem could be you or the race itself."

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The world that is Hyderabad.

Are you from Andhra Pradesh? If so, it should not be a surprise if Hyderabad is supposed to be the center of your world. Am a Telugu guy working in Chennai and whenever I tell my non telugu friends that I am going home, most of them quip if I am going to Hyderabad. I am from Vizag, a place with a population of more than 20 lakhs(census 2001) and hell a lot of public sector industries. I am quite comfortable working in Chennai and I dont like people telling me to look for opportunities in Hyderabad(If there are opportunities, so be it...but why just Hyderabad, why cant someone talk about Bangalore to me?). Why should I be in Hyderabad? I am as much at home in Chennai as anywhere else . Most of my telugu friends who go to the US for higher studies tell me that they are generally asked if they are from Hyderabad. So bad. Andhra Pradesh is the fifth largest state in India, the rice bowl of India(Hyderabad doesn't produce one bit of it-no fields there) and there should be something more than just Hyderabad to it.
The point is just not about Hyderabad. It is about the state of Andhra Pradesh and the state of things there. Hyderabad has been and is being projected as the biggest thing in the State, the place to be, the happening one and what not. I think every sane mind in the country knows that the reason why politicians want a separate Telangana or do not want a separate Telangana is because of the amount of money that is present in Hyderabad. Guntur, Krishna, the Godavari districts, Visakhapatnam are all big places. Why weren't these places ever seen as fit for the kind of development that Hyderabad has been witness to. Its been a total policy failure of successive governments and finally we see people holding the state to ransom for just one place.
The question is not who it belongs to or who it should belong to. The question actually is : "Why did we need to think about belonging at all?". Why weren't nodal centers for business and service sectors developed in other parts of the state, when there is a constant supply of skilled labour in most parts of the state. Also, the ground conditions in Hyderabad are generally more turbulent when compared to other regions in the country and the reasons for it, we know, are obvious. In such a situation, instead of projecting the "thriving in the turbulence" as a quality of the city(which is undoubtedly true), things must be done to mitigate the level of problems that could arise out of the possible turbulences. It would have been common sense not to invest so much in one single such place and that too when the region that plays host to this city itself is relatively very underdeveloped.

Look at Maharashtra. Mumbai without doubt is its shining jewel. But hasn't Pune built up a reputation of its own? Look at Karnataka. Bangalore is where the big daddies are, still; dont the IT companies have a sizeable presence in Mysore and Mangalore? Come to Andhra Pradesh and for ages we have been hearing of Tier 2 centers being developed. There are a few in Vizag, but that I have been hearing since my college days. And these days, I find most of the tier-1, heavily staffed companies(TCS,Wipro,Infy and CTS) building bigger and bigger facilities in Chennai. Things are not that rosy anymore. What came to the fore more than anything during the recent Telangana crisis, is the lopsided development that Andhra Pradesh has seen in the areas of infrastructure and business creation. Different parties have been party to it in different ways. It is time we saw the bigger picture and made equitable development a serious concern. And afterall, the center of the world is where it is. Not in Hyderabad or Vizag.

Jai Hind!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

CAT??? what is that???

Take your pick

Comprehensively Abandoned Test(no one wants to take its scores now)
Corroded Aptitude Test(its time to rest or suffer the rust)
Computerized Anarchy Test( the less said the better)
Convener's Ambition Test(coz the CAT convener was hell bent on getting it computerized)
Court's Adda mein Test( now that a PIL has been filed)
Colossally Aberrant Test( it wasnt a test really, more an aberration)

Feel free to add more!
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