Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Are Indians habitually late?

I was reminded of this when I wrote about the book “Made in Japan; Sony” by Akio Morito in my previous post. One line in that book really shook me and made me feel very low. Akio Morito was speaking about the Japanese discipline and he gave this example: The day after the Hiroshima/Nagasaki nuclear bombs were dropped on Japan, things, as one might expect, were in total shambles. Just imagine what it would be like to be in the country where nuclear bombs were being dropped! But Morita wanted to travel back his home place somewhere far. Since the whole country was in mayhem, he was unsure about the travel possibilities per se, but just went to the train station to check out if there was any activity. There, he says, the train came bang on time - exactly on the scheduled time. That, he proudly says, is the classic example of Japanese discipline.

That was one of the very few instances when I got goose flesh while reading a book. For once, I really felt ashamed of myself. We Indians have been used to trains coming late, reaching late, airplanes getting delayed, programs starting late, meetings starting late etc that we don’t even expect a perfect service. We’d probably be happy if say a train starts within 15 minutes from the original departure time. We are just not used to this ‘late coming’ phenomenon; we are nurtured, cultured and spoilt in such an environment. Infact, I don’t think I was ever pissed off with something starting late until I graduated out of school, probably because our whole system used to work that way.

Ditto in the company where I worked. Our team was divided between India and the US, and we used to have conference calls almost everyday; even twice everyday during heydays. Although the company was very informal, professional and open, I kind of noticed that folks our side started to get a reputation of joining the meeting after it starts. Once I was conscious of this, I realized that it was almost habitual. Folks on the other side – both Americans and Indians – made it a point to join on time, with very infrequent aberrations. At worst, they used to inform us a-priori that they wouldn’t make it. There was a professional air around the way they worked. But our side was sloppy in comparison, and as far as I noticed, only 50% of us joined on time, and then there were periodic reminders and running-after to catch up with all the folks who either forgot or missed. Agreed that this is entirely my perception and observation, but the thing that stood out was that Indians who were overseas joined on time but we didn’t. It was a different thing that this sometime went too far and we were forced to be on time. Once I was conscious of all this, I made a sincere effort to join on time, and I guess I did a fairly decent job. But then, we all were miserable.

The point I’m trying to make is: we are so used to things (transportation, commitments, meetings) being late that we sometimes stand out when placed in our own color before the developed world. I would ideally hate to believe that we – even the educated folks amongst us - are not as professional as the western world, but as far as my limited exposure and experience tells me, this is what I think is the reality. I'm sure the western world is not perfect and there are a lot of Indians out there who are as professional as it can get, but this is what I noted - and I might be terribly wrong. The good thing about the whole phenomenon is that once we are conscious, it’s impossible to ignore it. And that’s one point behind this post. Having had written about this, I’d like to make a sincere effort to make sure I’m on time, and make sure others are on time. Would also like to hear if anyone has thought about this...

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Quiz tag-mania

This thing is like one chance to offload all your wish-list. Someone out there probably thought no one’s speaking to him and hence came up with such an idea. Either way, we are all caught. Here goes.

Three Names You Go By:

Three Screen Names You Have Had:
Desert Fox

Three Physical Things You Like About Yourself:
The Schwarzeneggar type biceps I’ve got
The Schwarzeneggar type triceps I’ve got
My left index finger

Ok, I'm kidding, but I guess you get the point.

Three Physical Things You Don't Like About Yourself:
I don’t like the fact that I’m not seven feet
I don’t like the fact that I’m not 68 kg as per perfect BMI ratio but two Kgs more
I don’t like the fact that I’ve got a -0.25 eye power

Three Parts Of Your Heritage:

And, none of the above.

Three Things That Scare You:
Dogs (Yeah, I lived in Bangalore for sometime)
Snakes, specifically those slimy ones
The flying frog, kind of the one that entered my home when I was ten years old

Three Of Your Everyday Essentials:

Three Things You Are Wearing Right Now:
1940 style Spectacles
2001 style detachable trousers
2003 style Nike shoes

Three Things You Want In A Relationship:
Common sense
Mutual respect

Two Truths and A Lie (in no particular order):
I’m a good guy
I’m a good guy
I’m a good guy

Three Physical Things About the Opposite Sex That Appeal To You:
Left ring finger
Right index finger
That specific follicle of hair that sprouts from the center point in head

What did you expect?

Three Things You Want To Do Really Badly Right Now:
Hey, I’m already late to gym
Ask my DJ neighbor (Rajesh) to stop competing with me. ;-)
Close this 'quiz' and take a hike to the mountains

Three Careers You Are Considering:
Management executive

…in no specific order

Three Places You Want To Go On Vacation:
Yep, Swiss Alps
Jammu and Kashmir (plans to make it this vacation)

Eagle's nest, if I can have one more.

Three Kids Name You Like:
I’m out of work, but not that out of work!

Three Things You Want To Do Before You Die:
Own a Harley Davidson
Ride a Ferrari in Autobahns
Do something for my city

People Who Have To Take The Quiz Now:
All people in Bhasky's list. :)

Oooff, that was one of the toughest things I've ever did.

Tag mania

Ok guys, tagging, yes, here I go.

Subbu, Chandoo and Ram get to equally share the blame for book-tagging me. Then Bhaskar and Manoj share the blame for quiz-tagging me. So here I’m, taking this book tag mania forward. Quiz tag mania has to wait somemore though. All this looks like some blog spamming going on, but heck, I don’t care, and it's fun. All I can say is: the guy who started this is intelligent.

But then, the folks who tagged me must’ve known that I’d take some time to follow on, being a lazy bum that I’m. With due apologies, here I go…

Books I tagged along…

I used to a voracious reader – I mean, a really mad one at that, but it was sometime ago. Thanks to my trespassing into this mysterious land affectionately called Planet-I, I’ve pretty much stopped trespassing into the book-dom. But hang on; I did get my vigor back during the summer break.

Five books that mean a lot to me:

An autobiography – Lee Iacocca; for teaching me what success really means.
Talking straight - Lee Iacocca; for inspiring to make me talk straight.
Sony, Made in Japan – Akio Morita; for teaching me the values of discipline.
Walmart, Made in America – Sam Walton; for teaching me frugality.
Malgudi days – R. K. Narayanan; for showing the adventurous side of life.

The last five books I’ve read:

Timeline, Michael Crichton – I haven’t completed it yet, but then, as mentioned in the hardcover, it has more screams per page than most other books.
Catcher in the Rye, J.D. Salinger – Just pick one and read it. It's a truckload of fun.
Why men don’t listen and women can’t read maps – Take this if you want to know more about yourself and the other half of the world. Trust me, it’s a lot of fun.
Walmart, Made in America – It really taught me the values of simplicity and small town ethics. If Sam Walton can be simple, hell, anyone can.
Diaries of a young girl – It’s about how life as a small young Jewish girl is when genocide is waiting right out of your house.

Here's the best part. I get to pull in people to tag. Trouble though; most of them have already been tagged but I did find some scapegoats. Arvind (welcome him back to blogdom), Venkat, Amit, Kidakaka, Ashwin and John get the axe.

Saturday, June 25, 2005

The futile fight against piracy

I was under the impression that only legitimate stuff has an open and quantified market value until I read this [Thanks to Indiauncut for the link]. According to this article, the piracy market is worth Rs 100 crore in India. If anything, that could only be an understatement because there are simply too many pirated movies around.

Just why do these piracy markets exist? I guess it’s because of the reason that original CDs and DVDs are unaffordable even to relatively well-off movie buffs. What do you expect when an original CD costs Rs. 300 or 200 depending on whether the movie fits in 3 or 2 CDs? DVD rates are worse. The prices hover around Rs. 500 for a single movie. But take the manufacturing cost price. The CDs in itself wouldn’t cost more than 10 a piece, and packaging etc would cost peanuts. Even if the price of making, packaging and distributing a 3 CD movie pack is 50 Rs, what justifies 300 bucks to the customer? Agreed that it has to be priced a little above the theatre prices, and agreed that the distributors have to pay the movie producers and all, but what is the justification behind such a huge difference? And when such a thing exists, is it a surprise that piracy market is flourishing?

There have been several clamp downs on the piracy operators. Everyone who’s a bit into computers and related stuff would know that you get such pirated version at prominent places – like Ritchie Street in Chennai and Palika Bazaar in Delhi. I love movies, and when I look at the options before me, an original movie CD packet costs me 300 bucks, and a pirated DVD containing 4 or even 5 movies, with very good prints, costs me just around 100 bucks. The equation is pretty much like: 1 movie if you want to be honest, truthful [and all positive attributes] vs. 15 movies if you think its ok to buy pirated stuff. Honestly, it’s very tempting to go for the second option, considering that movie is entertainment stuff and one really doesn’t want to spend a fortune on it. I’m not saying its right to go for pirated stuff, but it’s very, very tempting.

But then, it is not that people won’t buy original CDs or DVDs unless the price falls to the levels of their pirated counterparts. There are a lot of inherent advantages in going for original versions. I bought the Patton VCD despite the fact that it dented 300 bucks in my pocket, only because of the fact that I found it difficult to find. Yes, I really had to convince myself, and even had to wait for an ‘occasion’ - ending of summer project - to make up my mind. In another instance, I didn’t even wink twice before picking up All quiet on the western front, another rare one, after noting that it costed just 100 bucks. In simple terms, original CDs provide much more variety. That’s the advantage-point. I really don’t mind shelling upto say 150 bucks – the cost of a multiplex movie experience – for a CD packet. But anything more just seals my chances of buying it. It’s exactly the same case with a lot of my friends, most of them either B-school students or software engineers, whom I would call potential customers.

Net-net, I’d say there’s a chance to atleast partly eradicate piracy by pricing the CDs and DVDs close to the theatre rates. I think profits can definitely be reaped due to the increased scale of operations - the increase in volumes. But just placing a clamp, conducting an occasional raid-drive etc doesn’t help anything. Infact, as long as the pricing is not going to be brought down, the situation can only escalate, what with the increase in network bandwith, compression technology improvements, and increase in storage capacity.

Friday, June 24, 2005

The thankless jobs

We had a guest lecture one of these days, and the IIT-IIM branded chief guest ended his lecture with a very poignant note: "There seems to be no connection between college grades and corporate success but integrity and trust are things that'd take you far in the corporate world, and you achieve that when you refuse to accept an unfair favor when you know for sure that there wouldn't be negative repercussions". Kind of like refusing to accept a bribe when you know there would be no implications. That note really caught a lot of attention. I'm starting with this note coz what I'm trying to say is close to this.

Many of "us" are suckers for publicity and fame. I would've said 'most of us', but I don’t want to pass judgments from void, and additionally, that really doesn’t matter. I myself am a terrible example. I *try* to be honest, but most of my activities are directed towards self development or self-gratification. I really haven’t done much in terms of public service, but I do have esoteric experiences – like I’ve taken few classes for blind children etc, apart from the forced public service I was made to do in school. The reason I couldn’t pursue any of those with vigor was because I didn’t and still don’t have a passion towards public service, and I couldn’t relate to them. This is exactly what makes me very guilty whenever I see someone working for the benefit of others. They kind of get a God-like reverence from me because I simply could not do such service. One such person whose posts have profoundly inspired, and made me feel guilty all the same, is Vikrum. As far as I remember, he was brought up in Brazil, but he’s learning more about India by traveling and doing public service. I don’t know much about him as a person, but he somehow manages to awe me.

Coming to the original point, many of the well-off and relatively better positioned friends of mine are very similar to me. Having had a good, subsidized education, we aspire for a job in some Multinational company, and all other material comforts peppered with. Although we have a lot of chances to get into NGOs or even journalism, which I would call a public service too, most of us aren’t planning to take it, simply because those opportunities don’t provide the softer comforts. I personally don’t have the passion into that kind of work, and although I admire those, I couldn’t convince myself to take up those - probably because those are thankless for the most part; probably because I have a tunnel vision; or probably because I’m a sucker for money and fame. Nevertheless, I do sincerely hope that I get the inspiration to get into a work that gives me some opportunity for service, may be later in life - could be NGO (but I doubt it), the education or the Government sector. But then, it all depends on the outcome of the mid-life crisis :) ... and I hope to take the road less traveled by.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

When the going gets tough...

... the tough gets going.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Brand building, the IIPM way

I'm withdrawing this post since it's created unnecessary problems. It just isn't worth the fuckin effort.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Devastated. Shattered. Totally.

I’ve been tossing over in sleep thinking about the recent move to ban smoking in films. I was planning to watch a lot of movies and start smoking in exactly 1 year, 234 days from now but the news has devastated me. All my further plans stand spoiled. Like, I was planning to be a hoodlum in 3 years, and then a serial killer in a year. Because I’m impressed with all those movies. Software engineers are seldom showed in big screen. Now, because of the smoking ban, nothing is going to happen.

Emptiness seems to surround me. How many times have such devastating things happened? How many times has one event changed your life, making it meaningless? Agreed that we are all dumb and you are most likely dumber than me (as proved below), but then, that’s no reason for such a lot of injustice.

Now, with movies about to be banned, I’ve no chance to get inspired. Why do I say movies are about to be banned. For two reasons. Like I said, I’m a lot smarter than you and can predict things. Second, the logic follows below. The inherent assumption is that we are all dumb. That’s true, simply because it can’t be otherwise.

Precisely ten days from now, liquor usage in movies would be banned. A social message such as “Honesty is the right policy” will appear in all movies. After 10 more days, using vehicles would be banned, coz it creates a lot of pollution. But remember: it’s good for us, coz we are dumb. All foreign movies will have vehicles blurred in the image and instead a message such as “Keep environment clean” will appear. Isn’t that great? It must be exciting going back to Stone Age. Or even to the age of Neanderthals, when life was so simple. Then all sorts of sex, rape, bad language scenes would be blurred out. By that time, it’s an easy guess that Hollywood flicks would stop showing in Indian screens – unless you love seeing electronic blurs for movies. Then movies would all be silent. Coz VHP would start complaining about use of languages other than Hindi, and DMK would start fretting about usage of languages other than Tamil. Ditto in Andhra land. Then some asshole-in-power will find a reason for banning all crying and laughter.

Then, for a period of about one year, movies will just have people running all over the place. [I’m kind of unsure about this part, coz even for my genius, prediction isn’t a cakewalk. You wouldn’t understand it anyway.] Then slowly, directors would all be in the temples. Outside the temples, I mean. Asking for alms. Isn’t that great? Thanks to all movie-banning, we’ll all be good people. And all those celebrities will crash down to earth, or even further below. You could be a hero. I love life.

By the way, here’s proof of the claim that I made earlier. I was a born genius. The only reason I’m dumb now is because a dog bit me at the age of ten and I didn’t take injections because I was shit scared of them. Plus the doctor was a dumb one. But then, you were born dumb. That makes all the difference.

P.S: I’m actually dead scared that I’ve openly used the word “serial killer” in my post. I might delete this post before someone catches me. Or bans me. For influencing my readers.

Monday, June 20, 2005

One in People's fifty

An American blogger has been named by People's magazine as one of the 50 hottest bachelors around.

Here's his space:

Go through the whole thing. I bet ten thousand bucks you'd enjoy it like hell. Ok, I'm kidding about the bucks part, but its as funny as it can ever get.

Mozilla - feels home!

Perseverence takes you a long way, and you'd come out a winner in the end if you persevere. If I sound father-like (or mother-like, for those whose fathers are too busy to give homilies) , I have ample reasons.

For some reasons, I wasn't ablt to configure Mozilla Thunderbird 1.0. I gave the same entries as my Netscape client but it didn't work. I tried numerous other combinations, but it still didn't work. Having been in the IT industry, I've gotten used to these weird things, and pretty much know that I was helpless. So I just downloaded and installed the latest version 1.0.2 and it works like a breeze. I use the Mozilla Firefox web browser, and Mozilla Thunderbird both as an e-mail client and a news/blog reader. These are amaaazingly fast, and have a sweet and very pleasant interface, and heck, provides tabbed browsing. So, good bye to Netscape and Feedreader.

I'm so impressed... its feels like home.

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Cane 'em, hang 'em!

It's that time of the year again. The time when a 'celebrity' does a thing out of the ordinary. Like drunken driving, hurting girlfriends and killing black bucks. This time, our most revered Pataudi has shot into the limelight... only the lime has turned out to be very sour.

I was thinking what must've went into the minds of these guys. Must be something like: "Hey, lets catch a trip to X. You see that black buck there? It seems to be enjoying its freedom. Wanna hunt it for dinner? In all chances, those forest guards are whining about their wages. And police? Well, as long as we don't disturb their slumber, they wouldn't care. Even if they do, we'll share half of our booty with 'em."

Actually, I wonder if these guys even think about the guards or police. Just imagine India without media. Heck, let's not even speak about it. All sensationalization apart, media is a serious deterrent. With all other proper deterrents - law, punishment - sleeping, media seems to be the only hope.

Where really are those punishments? A guy who kills a family just because he's from a different religion smiles happily before the camera five years later. A guy who rapes a foreigner gets all the time in the world as bureaucracy churns on. If this is the signal we send to all those sick guys out there, is Marine Drive rape case really a shock? Getting away with such crimes seem so easy, and worst, even if they are caught, all they'd be made is to serve in some prison for a couple of years.

There are certainly times when I hate the Arabic world, but the way they handle the crime isn't one of them. We all know that they cut hands for burglery, and hang for murder or rape. Heck, it's violent, barbaric, but the best thing about it is the SIGNAL it sends to all the sick guys. They really got to think ten times before embarking on an 'adventure'. Right in contrast to what happens in India. So why not severe punishments? We really don't have to bother about innocent guys getting caught and punished because there are enough criminals to catch.

All these apply equally to even small mistakes. We all know people who copy. Now if just one guy sometime is sent out of the institute for copying, I bet such a news would set a totally different tradition. The article speaks about criminals too having a heart and emotion et all. Load of shit, I say. And then, there are people who argue that the larger problem of the existence of these criminals is poverty and unemployment, but that doesn't explain the crimes done by loads of richer guys.

So, I say, cut 'em, hang 'em... Singaporeish style. Do that frequently for a year or two and set a precedent. Fear does work!

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Links to lander

Thanks to IT and emerging fields like BPO and Biotech, India is on the global map. Atleast when it comes to service sector and anything that's remotely close to dealing with English. For once, thanks to Britishers. Do we 'have it in us' to continue being on the top of the countries to do low cost business? Are countries like China a competition to us, or do they pull us with them?

I've always wanted to know what foreigners and foreign companies really think about India. Do we really matter to them? I've been following and newsweek for online news, probably because their stuff is free to read, but I've always been intrigued by the number of articles about China compared to articles about India. Everytime I visit, I stumble upon atleast a couple of articles about China - about the rising sales of Nike or McDs or some such article that admires the might of emerging new China, while articles about India have always been far and few, and mostly speak about AIDS or infrastructural problems. Ofcourse there are exceptions, but the general tone about India has mostly been of sympathy and pseudo-admiration instead of the awe that China inspires. As always, Bihar does gets its share. Wonder if these are really cues to what the world thinks about us? Articles such as these always adds oil to fire. If you thought doomsayers rule the roost, there's no paucity of positive soothsayers either. But then, surveys being as they are, I, for one, wouldn't bet on them.

On a lighter side, Laloo doesn't stop to rock. Even if he does, his family never fails him - even if it comes to beauty contests!

When competition 'Swift'ens, this is what happens. When you make a car at 4 L that supposedly contains many features of its Class C cousins, this is no news. That apart, if you are car maker, India is the place to be. Even if you are manufacturing gas-guzzling Hummers and roads are simply non-extant to handle such a drift.

The mega budget Anniyan has been released. Here's teakada views. Vikram does look good, and very different. A yet another award winning performance? Remains to be seen. Ever wondered why Tamil film industry is the healthiest in India? Here's why.

Atlast, thanks to Sambhar Mafia for being as an inspiration to spread the links to good articles. It seems to be a great way to know and to let other know where the goody articles are.

Friday, June 17, 2005


Just watched Chandramukhi... err, for the first time. Didn't find company to make it to the theatre before.

Kind of thoroughly enjoyed the flick... more so since expectations were pretty low after 'Baba'. A decently thought about and executed storyline, if you let that initial Jet-Li inspired, purely commercial minded stunts pass. Even the humour and pretty scary eye-ball rolls turned out well. All in all, enjoyed it well. Kudos to the makeup team as well. :)

Looks like Rajni is here to stay for more.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Faith in luck restored

Grades are something I've never really discussed in my blogs, probably because I think it's just an inevitable and sultry addition to the campus life. But the news I received on the first day of the second year was funny, if nothing else. Term 1 started as a disaster. I scored 2.75 out of 4.33. Not that it was real bad, but the fact that I was not even in the top 30 or 40%, let alone other frontrunners, wasn't like me. I crossed 3.oo only in one subject, which incidentally was the only subject I liked in the term - microeconomics.

Term II was surprising. I put in the same effort and still managed to score 2.95. I thought I didn't deserve bad scores in a couple of subjects, but unexpected good scores in a couple of other subjects 'even'ed my mind out. I was glad, nonetheless, that I crossed 3.00 in two subjects I really loved - Macroeconomics and Operations mgmt.

Luck had its way in term III. I scored a surprising overall of 3.13, with the first and only 'A' in the whole year in Marketing management II. I really couldn't believe the news, simply because I wasn't expecting it, but who's complaining. :) Faith in luck restored!

The overall isn't anything to flaunt about, but I'm satisfied coz ROI seems to be pretty decent. And I didn't lose my 'integrity' (for whatever it is worth!) in a single test. And I crossed 3.00 in all the variants in all terms of the subjects that 'mattered' to me - economics and operations.

On the lighter side, I've never been able to convince some of my friends that there is nothing weird in lights blinking when one crosses them. But the link tries to provide some scientific explanations. Miranda tries to hook onto Batman as a part of its marketing. Wonder if any drink took to such a thing when Star Wars hit theatres?

Surf's famous save-water-campaign bags an award. The ad worked magic in TN. I read somewhere that it resulted in a 20% sales increase. The first time I saw the ad, I realized it'll strike some chord, but the only thing amiss was Shabaana Azmi endorsing the brand all over India. I thought it'd've been better to have someone local to endorse. Kind of what Pepsi does - Saif Ali Khan among Hindi speaking states and Surya down south. The whole point of stars endorsing brands is to relate to the audience, which is impossible if the local populace doesn't recognize the face of the 'star'.

Edit I: I remembered seeing Azmi in the TN ad, but thanks to the information from Arun , looks like there has been a change. Revathi seems to be endorsing it instead of Azmi.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

World record placement?

Back at the campus. It hasn't started raining yet, and weather is so-so, but it feels great to be in the second year.

That aside, while I was cozing back at home, I was discussing about the current placement scenario in the engineering colleges. I knew that three years is a long time, especially in India, but I just couldn't believe what I heard. I came to know that CTS (or TCS?) went to the Anna University Chennai campus, allowed 1000 students to take the entry test, shortlisted 800, and wanted all of them. It apparently settled with 500 odd candidates. I'm not sure about the authenticity of this piece of info - and I personally doubt it - but I've heard it from multiple sources. Isn't this a world record or something? 500 candidates in a single batch from a single institute into a single company? Did anyone say there are unemployment problems in India? On the surface, yes there are problems, but I've always believed that candidates are really not so good for everyone to be employed. I repeatedly hear reports about long queues for employment interviews and companies going in for a 50:1 selection ratio et all, but I've always felt it was ok. I was involved in the interviewing process for sometime in Oracle. Its true that thousands apply for a single job, but when you start digging deeper and look into the skills, you could throw 900 out of the window in a jiffy. The real selection would be among the 20 or 30 candidates.

The shortlisting process was one of the worst things I've ever did. 90% of the candidates applying would've a skill-set running into two pages. It would ideally take ten years to know them all. Don't even start questioning them. All resumes would be alike. End of the day, its only the college name and the school-college percentile that differentiates candidates. And we were always disappointed with the quality of candidates even after going through thousands of resumes. Well, all I'm saying is: the reports about thousands attending is only 25% of the story. The number of worthwhile (subject to debate) candidates would be 10% of that figure.

Now, getting back to the original issue, although I'm glad that job market is good, this information sounds crazy. Agreed that students from Anna are good et all, but 500 in a single massive shot? Would be interesting to see the development in the coming years, what with all companies expanding like crazy. For one thing, India seems to be the place to be, and 'now' seems to be the time to be.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Chilling out

A cool weather, no sweat, mama's food, occasional car rides (after so long), mornings and evenings filled with movies and music and sleep, truckloads of sweet, occasional browsing and frequent prayers for extension of holidays...that explains my days. The only glitch is in visiting relatives. I hate it. Totally. The usual "you've grown up a lot... u were a kid 10 years back" etc talk bores me to death. Is there a single youngster who loves those old relatives?

Guess I'll get back to all active online stuff once I'm back in the institute. Ciao until then.

Saturday, June 04, 2005

Summers over!

Summer presentation just got over. Gave 32 process improvements suggestions in all. Got very good feedback.

Time to put hot-hot Delhi behind and go to cool-cool Coimbatore.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Did you know? Metrose*uality is out!

The other day I picked up Hindustan Times for a change. The paper looked really bulky compared to other papers – with some 70 odd pages. It sounded like a real cool deal for two bucks. I picked it up without winking or thinking twice.

“Metrosexualilty is out” screamed the paper. I thought “what’s this new thing and when was it ‘in’ in the first place? What was I doing then? Was I alive?”

Apparently, it’s the name associated with a specific ‘category’ of men - of the likes of Jude Law, Beckam and Hugh Grant who concentrate more on the ‘soft side’ and on the ‘looks’. Damn, I was thinking they were ‘normal’ men. What’s metrosexual about them? The paper had answers. It’s easy to find such men, it claimed. Any guy who spends as much time as women to get ready is a metrosexual. Hey! This is straight from the paper. Don’t rip me apart. So what else? This category of men indulges in purchases of products like hair smootheners, hair strengtheners and a lot of creams that I didn’t know exist. They don’t stop there. These men don’t come out with just a shave and a cut from the barber shop. They ask for bleaching and face massaging and God-knows-what. That’s depressing. All along, I was thinking that bleaching can only be done on clothes! Shucks! It is news to me that the cosmetics industry has evolved so much. Guess I missed out all the action. I'd love to read more such articles. It’s much more fun than all the joke books put together.

Now, why is this seemingly ‘cool’ thing (cool only for cosmetic companies, mind you!) out? The newspaper apparently surveyed a lot of girls with whom these guys are moving together and found startling new details. They’ve found out that these girls are scared to hell that such guys spend more time getting ready and are more inquisitive about new beauty products than themselves. One woman apparently fears that her ‘boy’friend (that metrosexual one) will become prettier than her. I thought “And all because of those cosmetics? You mean those cosmetics advertisements do work? Long live dumb people!” One article I read sometime back said that it would take about 10,000 years for the skin color to change from one to another – like when blacks move to cooler western countries or when whites move to hotter places. I’m not sure about the authenticity of this report, but I’m sure that “Fair and Lovely” and other cosmetics can’t work miracles. The only thing “Fair and lovely” does, as our Marketing professor said, is it gives ‘hope’. Whatever that means!

So, this metrosexual-wala article concludes, women have fallen back to ‘typical’ men… the ones who get ready fast and don’t fuss about beauty products. The good ol’ regular men are again in vogue. Great to know. Thank you. That was one hell of information.

And yes, this is from the same paper that screams “let there be light”. Only the light seems to be really blinding.

P.S: Tomorrow is the last day of my summer project and I got a marathon presentation to work on. Then it would be home after eight long months. So don’t be surprised if there are no updates for long. I might be basking in the glory of a new house that we’ve built. :)