Tuesday, September 28, 2010

And the World is Watching

Everyone is looking at India and that's because of 2 main reasons:
1. Of course, CWG
2. The Ayodhya verdict on 30th September.

While the first one has already got much publicity, its the 2nd one that will change every thing as we know, at least for a short period of time. First of all, I think its ridiculous to give out the verdict at this point of time. From 3rd October we have CWG and the whole world media is here. There will be so many foreigners in country during this period. Under such circumstances can't the court wait for 15 more days! Because I know for sure that there are insane frantic fanatics on both sides and what ever will the verdict be, they will create a havoc. Because thats what they want... an opportunity to create havoc. So, why to put life of people from other nations in danger? And then how will you conduct CWG under such circumstances?

I still remember the night when Babri Masjid was demolished. I was a kid at that time, 8 yrs old. I along with my parents and brother returned at night from market when our land lady called us out as soon as we entered the main gate of the house. The television was ON and on it was P.V. Narashima Rao with his sorry face saying something. It was 1992 with no present news networks or cable TV for that matter, hence news was slow to travel. I couldn't understand what was happening or what Narashima Rao was saying. But I could feel that tension in air. There was a fear in air... a peculiar unrest. As a child you tend to feel such things more than others. Well, I am afraid that same fear might again be created by anti-social elements after the verdict because who ever loses, they will not accept it as gentlemen.

Interestingly, I have been to Ayodhya once. Yes, I have seen this place from my own eyes. Its like any other Hindu religious center. But by God, what security! There were multiple security rings and if you had to go anywhere near the disputed site, where presently there is a idol of Ramji, then there were multiple body frisking. Near the site you could see huge, literally huge, size of a bus, bricks.... in pinkish color (if I remember the color correctly). These were brought to build the magnificent temple here. No where you could see any sign which would suggest you that there was once a mosque here. Somehow I feel, whatever may the verdict be, there will not be any effect on Ayodhya. It will still be the same, even if the whole country will burn, there might not even a scratch on Ayodhya. You might not understand why I am saying this, but if would have been to this place you would understand.

I wish, we could use this verdict before CWG as a display of our maturity and national integrity to the whole world. If everything remains normal after the verdict, with no violence... no bloodshed... it would be the strongest message we will be sending out to rest of the world - The true display of our Power. But I sincerely doubt that. Its not that I doubt the people of this nation. Its the gondas of this nation that I doubt, and you know who are the biggest gondas of our country? Our politicians. They will not miss any chance to take advantage of any slightest opportunity to create rift among people for their own benefit. And this would be a golden chance for many of them. But I still have hope. I hope that when the whole world will be watching us, we will be our best....

Monday, September 27, 2010

Waiting... Waiting... Waiting...

If you live in a country like India, where there are significantly more people than the resources to support them, then 'waiting' must have become a part of your socio-culture-economic life. It has got so much into my blood that I am confident you can find a 'waiting' component in my blood sample. I have waited in every possible place you can think of. Waiting for trains and buses is not being considered as waiting any more in my beloved country. I am sure all of you would have done that. But I have waited even for those services that market themselves as 'no waiting time'. Once I waited for 1 hrs at airport for my radio cab to arrive even though I booked it 3 hrs earlier. I have waited for 1 hrs for my order to be served in a restaurant when there was a huge queue outside and the restaurant required a quick turn around time for its own economic benefit. And what to say about couriers!!! They are moving into the trains and buses category, at least for me as now I expect them to be delivered after 10 working days. Waiting for your call to be serviced at helpdesk is also becoming commonly acceptable, but to wait for your own organization's helpdesk to service your call is still not that common. I waited 1 and a half hours over here too. Waiting outside toilets and bathrooms won't be new to those who have ever lived in a hostel. But how about waiting inside a toilet or a bathroom! Well, have some experience over there too...

In my opinion, if you don't have patience in a country like ours then you simply can't survive. It is a place where even patients at their deathbeds are kept in waiting. It is a place where Indian Standard Time signifies a totally different meaning. The present mess at CWG is also because of this little misunderstanding between us and rest of the world. We are on track, and I am ready to swear by anything, according to our Indian Standard Time deadlines, but I think the world didn't get our deadlines. They will come to terms in future (atleast after CWG). Interesting thing is that now some of my foreign clients have also started mentioning this on calls, "Guys, this work has to be done by 5 pm and please don't take it as your Indian Standard Time".

But leave all this. There is one kind of waiting which I hate the most and that is, when somebody gives you an appointment or schedules a call with you and then keeps you waiting. I have been waiting for past 1 hr 33 minutes now for one such scheduled call. And my wait is still on... on... on....

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The After Effect

Wise always say, What goes around comes around.... Ok ok, I know, its no great saying but a song of Justin Timberlake. But the meaning lingers. It runs quite in parallel to sayings like, what you sow, you reap.... or... you have to settle your accounts in this life... blah blah... crazy stuff huh!Whatever it might be but something like that happened to me today.

I once did some work as a part of my B.Tech project. Frankly speaking, I simply love security protocols and how you can break some codes and make some unbreakable ones of yours. Thanks to Prof. Anish Mathuria for making this subject so extremely exciting. So, my B.Tech project was in that particular field. I did it under Prof. Manik Lal Das way back in my last semester in 2007. Now, as you might already know, engineers are a lazy breed. We avoid as much as we can till we can't. I remember the final semester when all of us enjoyed to the fullest... No lectures.. no exams... just a project with just 2 evaluations. So as expected everyone explored his/her hobby to the fullest and the project work was done only in the last week. Those who were little more careful did it in last 15 days :p There were always few exceptions like Pradeep Dhadda.

Now it happened that I was under pressure with little time left to cook something for my project. I had already broken 2 published security protocols as a part of my project but that was not enough for the panel. I needed to come out with something of mine own. I was having dinner with PD and he was going all ga ga on his project... Boy, he actually did work a lot. But in the background my mind was thinking of any unbreakable code which could atleast last for 1 week till my presentation... then suddenly I saw it. Just like in movies, although not that much clear but I did saw it. And when I went back to my room, after few hours I had my masterpiece. Wow!!! I had devised a protocol which I believe couldn't be broken for 1 week atleast. But I still had few doubts about its validity because no one ever had used the concept I was using in devising a protocol. It was the first of its kind. So, I took extra care of talking to Prof. Chatterji to get my concept verified. Ofcourse, I didn't talked about the code with him but about the mathematical concept involved in that. And there I had a credible alibi... If something would have gone wrong in my presentation I would have taken recluse in that. Well, thankfully my presentation went fine. Got A in my project. My work even got published in IEEE journal and then there was even a chapter in a book with my name as one of the authors which was published by Springer.... wooooo.... great stuff.... a feast which only a handful experience.

Now, its been 3 and a half years to that.... when today as I opened my mailbox I found a mail from the editor of IEEE inviting me to be a reviewer of their manuscript. He referred to me as an expert of the field of wireless communication, on which my project was based, and I don't know how but he was under the impression that I am a doctorate!!!! Dr. Aakash Joshi!!! Of course, I declined the invitation as I am no expert of the field. If this would have come after my B.Tech, I would have happily reviewed anything thrown at me then. But its too late now. MBA has spoiled me. Couldn't remember any of that thing now.... But it made my day in any case.... The work which I did 3 and a half years back is still, I believe, the most significant contribution that I have made so far..... And I am still basking in its after effect :)

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Who can/can't drive

There was one very interesting news in today's newspaper. "Panic Drive: Woman hits 7 vehicles, injures 6". Well, when there is a headline like that, then how can you not read the complete article! For the interested ones following is the link to the article:
Though this can happen to anybody, but somehow I have seen more females involved in such heroic acts... I don't claim to be right... but its just my personal observation. I also remember a very interesting and hilarious video on YouTube.

To be honest, I am always a bit nervous when there is a female driver. I also remember the golden rule of driving... one of the very first that any newbie is taught... "Don't drive behind a car driven by a lady... if in case you must then be extra careful and watch for abrupt braking and turns". Forget car, even if there is a lady riding a bicycle, people, be extra careful. Those who know Lakshmi, would agree that ladies are quite capable of producing unthoughfully unimaginable impossible havoc even with bicycle :p

There is another interesting fact about girls riding which was recently brought to my attention. Whts the deal with stretching both the legs flying out from either side of your 2 wheeler whenever you apply the brakes or slow down! Guys, if you have not noticed this so far, then pay attention next time. You would be surprised how many girls do that. My personal stats reads more than 90%! And it looks like either they are doing skiing or are on the runway ready to take off.

Well, so much for girls. Some of the guys are also quite drivers. Have you ever noticed that dude flying on the streets... even amidst heavy traffic. Don't get angry on the poor fellow friends. He is only trying to live his dream.... Actually such guys always wanted to be pilots... but some how they couldn't. So, they took road as their runways... Poor fellows. Oh! another interesting fact about guys. Beautiful attractive girls in near vicinity helps tremendously in improving a guys driving/riding speed and style (definitely not in a positive sense). And some guys have that habit of cuts. Doesn't matter whether they are on 4 wheeler or 2 wheeler. I have a friend who has that "cut passion". The first time I sat behind him in his bike.... God, I remember that experience.... my heart was in my throat....but yes...it was fun ;) And the guy is a lucky son of god... he was doing the same stunt with another friend of ours on back seat when the bike slide and they both were in front of a bus. Luckily the driver acted on time... and then showered them with the general courtesies of MC, BC etc etc... Fun huh!!!

Its a very controversial topic as who can and who can't drive. But you have to agree on one fact.... the driving styles of girls and guys are quite distinctly different and both are capable of killing you.... so just be careful on roads.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Take a Deep Breath

"Its gonna be alright... Take a deep breath", I told myself. Took one deep breath... then second and by the time I took third one in... I was feeling better. With each exhaled breath, I was letting the -ve feeling go.... "Let it go.... let everything go...", I was telling myself. Its amazing how it works but it does really work! Whenever you are under pressure... or on the either end of your emotional side, just take deep breath. It restores the balance. But the ability to let everything go or as my brother would say "Way to Peace", is actually the underlining solution of everything. "Let everything go", isn't this also mentioned in Gita? I once attended a week long session of Art of Living in DA-IICT. There they talked about the "Prana" levels. "Pran" or "Prana" means life. Each one of us has Prana level which is associated with positive energy. There are several factors that affect the Prana level in some one. I remember 2 of them: air and water. So when we take deep breath, it increases our Prana level. Scientifically also, deep breath increases the O2 content in our body leading to "peace of mind". The other part related to let everything go, is a bit difficult. It requires a lot of deliberation and practice but its worth it.

Well, I am sure you all must already be knowing all this stuff. Even I know this since a long time. But its something which we rarely practice, if at all, even when we need it the most. The best place to hide a secret is in plain sight. This is one of those secrets. We all talk about suffering and pains and blah blah.... People start worshiping.... there is multi billion dollar industry of spiritual education based on this.... but what we seek everywhere is something which we already know. In plain sight. I am not a spiritual guru nor I intent to impart any spiritual thoughts through this blog. I just want to remind my friends of this open secret of ours, so that when in need you can put it in use.... Just take a deep breath.... give it a shot.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

The Art of Making Money

Money - the requirement of life. One is always short of this critical entity in one's life, isn't it? Well, at least I am. So, I was wondering what are the options available to me to bridge this fiscal deficit. In fact what are the available options with anyone. So, here goes the list:

  1. Start printing money yourself - Although the most logical option, but there are practical roadblocks.
  2. Rob a bank - This option is available for the adventurous soles around. Best of Luck!
  3. Have a richie rich relative? Start networking ;)
  4. Choose your friends judiciously. Please ask the bank statement before making friends.
  5. Ask your parents - you must be really needy.
  6. Ask (Beg) for raise - We all have tried this one... never works.
  7. Starting begging from anyone and everyone - Require really low self esteem for this one.
  8. Invest - Do it on your own risk.... u never know.... u can b a millionaire or a beggar in a night.
  9. Choose a wealthy single child as your spouse - I know Amit, what you are thinking :p
  10. Join politics - your white money would be more than enough for bridging the deficit. Black money would be surplus.
  11. Be a member of CWG Organizing Committee - Not everyone is so lucky.
  12. Start extortion business - There is already a huge competition here from underworld, Maoist etc... bleak chance of success.
  13. Make an application like YouTube and then sell it to Google - ha ha ha... what are the odds of that happening.
  14. Join some terrorist organization - Who requires money after that!!! If you want something after that, just take it.
  15. Work and work hard - then what... you will still be a beggar, but will not have any energy left to think about it.
 Well, I can only think of these many right now.... Please help me to find more options.... And also, m confused.... which one should I choose?

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

What is the shape of Earth?

'World is Flat', most of you must have heard this phrase and if you have been to any of the business schools then you ought to know what it means. Btw, I have religiously bought that book in my MBA days and with the same religious zeal I have kept it on my shelf (never been able to go beyond the first few pages). Coming back to this blog, the term globalization has been used and abused so extensively that few actually understand the depth of this term. Fewer still, actually know that there are 2 aspects of globalization: globalization of market and globalization of industry. Both of these, although related, are quite different. Globalization of market is concerned with the homogeneity of the customers of a particular market with respect to customers in some other market. By this I mean that the customer demands and needs in one market are same/similar to the that in the other market. Globalization of industry is concerned with how the industry align its value chain to take advantage of global opportunities which might exists beyond and across national boundaries. There are many driving factors for each of these forms of globalization, but I will not be going into that. What I will be talking here is today's headline - "Ohio bans outsourcing of IT projects by government departments".

Talking from globalization point of view, this is an anti-globalization move. US has been a big bully of globalization where in past it has threatened smaller economies to open their markets for US Corporations. In those days US corporations have been behind such moves. It was in their economic interest. But what is happening now is very interesting. Not only US is going against WTO norms but is also going against its own industry. Corporations are not really supportive of this and other related moves by the democrat government like hike in Visa fee etc. But leave all this apart. What is your opinion on this subject?

First of all let me clarify, its not necessary to hold a opinion on a issue. You might or might not have one. Fine. Nothing to be embarrassed about. But even if you don't have a opinion till now, and if you are from Indian IT industry, I guess your first reaction would be - its outrageous... how can they do it.... what will be the impact on us... etc etc... right? If you didn't reacted like that then believe me, you would be in the precious few. But hold on, lets ponder over this topic a bit more. Let us first discuss why do governments exists. Any government is quite similar to a very large corporation. As any corporation's objective is to create value for its stakeholders, every government has to create value for its stakeholders. The majority of stakeholders consists of the citizens of the country to whom the government is answerable to. So, in short, governments exists to create value for its citizens, to ensure their welfare. Going by this, what Ohio government has done is totally fine. Their people are out of jobs, so its justified that they find ways to get them employed. But is it not against globalization and the norms which US has set for others? Well yes, but so what? I will follow the rules which are beneficial for me and my people. So, what if you brand me hypocrite. Thats not my priority. And my friends, THATS the truth. If the same thing would be happening in India, would you not have expected the government to take similar steps? We talk much about globalization and Thomas Friedman call it a flat world, but the truth is, the world will never be flat. Not until you have the concept of country. As far as the implications of such move on Indian IT industry is concerned, well there will not be any significant impact. Why? Well, its an open market... you can't hold such policies for long else you will be India pre 1991. Its my opinions, you are free to hold your views and are welcomed to share in the comment section. BTW, there is also a poll on this topic on this blog. Feel free to vote if you want.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Success, Failure and Opinions

How do you measure your success or failure? Yeah, I am asking you. So think rather than just reading... Are these 2 sides of the same coin or are these 2 entirely different coins? Are these absolute concepts? Well, I don't know what are your answers to these, but as I am sitting here pouring whatever is coming to my mind.... I think.... I just can't define success or failure! I feel that my perception of success or failure is not my own, strangely, but its how others perceive my state as success or failure. But then I also believe that this is half truth. On the second thought I also feel that there is something inside me detrimental of my state. Targets!!! yes Targets.... I don't know about you, but I have always been driven by targets and if I achieve those then I got that feeling of success else otherwise. From my childhood to my present it has always been chasing something... in school - marks... on sports ground - the score.... in college - grades... on job - targets... But now comes the interesting fact. At the end of each of those targets there has been a rosy picture projected which, at least I, have been chasing. Good marks at school will help you to get in good college. Good score in college will help you to land with good job. Achieving targets at jobs will help to to get promotion. Well, as far as sports ground is concerned, it was about satisfying one's own ego... But above all, it was about social acceptance. So, here comes back my initial argument. Even the targets are about others perception of your success and failure.

The problem comes when there is a mismatch... mismatch in your targets... mismatch in motivational cherries at the end of targets.... mismatch in others acceptance and expectancy... I didn't give it a thought in past but something is happening around me which is forcing me to think.... think that its opinions that are weighing heavy... opinions, which, if you think calmly are worthless but still they are driving everyone around. Strange but that how we humans are... Social Animals... and no matter how much we try to cut ourselves off this crap, we will still be a part of it and there will always be a gravitational force existing between us and the rest (which considering the combined mass of 'others' would be infinite)... Does anyone know the way to break free of this? I don't know any, do you?

Success.... Failure.... and Opinions
Are figments of mind....
Like the figments of our imaginations...
Like the image of dreams....
Like the dreams of others....
Like the others perceptions...
Like the perceptions of success...
Like the success of failure....
Like the failure of opinions....
Like the opinions of none....
Like the none consisting of all...
Like the all except the self...
Like the self without a clue...
Like the clue hidden in blind...
Like the blindness of the mass...
Like the mass of society...
Like the society of opinions...
Like the opinions of failure...
Like the failure of success....
Like success... failure... and opinions... forming a vicious circle...