Friday, March 06, 2009

Hailing the blue collar

From the window near my seat, i could see the train changing tracks without a fuss ....i sat thinking about how much effort went into laying the rail tracks for the entire country....the train then just slowed down to a small station with a group of workers still cementing the pavements with jalli (pebbles) and using the mortar to get the smooth look of cement on the platform.
i started to think about the many changes that have happened..about how civilization evolved over time (and still evolving).....the poshy office buildings of these software companies....those highways where vehicles freak out over 120 kmph, these rail tracks all over the country..the towering flyovers and underpasses that mitigate bangalore traffic, the postal system that carries millions of letters across states and cities, the million electric and telephone cables that we cant live without....the list ends where?
How did the wonders of the world get to where they are now....
We are all so used to these..and so used are we to only admire at those glitzy intelligent and intellectual crowd who drive economy and business and technology..true they have been remarkable in their own sense..
But everytime i look up at these so common and taken for granted things around me in a travel or just a moment of reflection....the blue collar is a forgotten those days, it were the workers who moved structures with ropes and hands and on their shoulders....slaves as they were....even now these are the 'hands on' people getting my Puttenahalli underpass going....

is it unfair for us to be involved in sheer intellectual gossip of Whos Who in the world of business and money before realising someone had to do the so called 'getting hands dirty' dirty to be covered and buried under the intellectual masses?
The next time you get on top gear on that hosur road flyover, stop to think who made it happen - not just the brilliant engineers who designed and put the plan on paper - but those converted those glamorous pictures into glorifying structures....our nation builders - the less intelligent?

Saturday, August 30, 2008

When Auto-mation did not exist in US

Definitely the US of A is one of the most developed nations in the world. Automated Procedures, crossings, payments, blah..blah..

But Chennai and Bangalore beat the US on a different level of Automation. I was trying to get to the Hotel from Walmart. I did not have a cell phone. Unmindful of the transportation scene, I proceeded to walk towards a Signal at around 7.35 PM in East Peoria, hoping to stop a cab and get in comfortably.

As i observed impatiently that none of the cabs that passed me seemed to heed me, I placed my 4 KG bags on the pavement and waved my hands high up in the air, as though in a cricket stadium, trying to get some attention ( and sympathy )

Atlast, One van that passed me stopped 200 M further and reversed towards me. A Kind Gentleman and his Wife saw that i was stranded and let me in. That was when i realised that unless i could ring a cab, I would be staying wherever i was or worst case to walk all the way back which was around 4-5 Km (but not so safe). These people then dropped me right at the hotel and advised me not to walk alone particularly after Dark.

Though I could rant about the traffic system and the road infrastructure in US, the fact that I could not halt a cab at will, threw me out of gear that, this was all the freedom that i would have while moving around. Unlike Bangalore (with metered Autos) or even Chennai ( with extra ordinary meters), I could still make it from anywhere should i see an auto passing by.

To me, this is the highest level of Auto-Mation and Sophistication in Life. and the freedom to move. Are you moved?

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Trying to project..

The title is about a verb and a noun. a noun that assists the verb than is the case usually.

i have been in it for last eight months. it is meant to be read in caps.

after spending some 2 months into this, i realise you have a problem introducing yourself..strangely enough..

hello, what is your name....what is your level..seemed insufficient.

so when this guy meets another one in the lift..a known one ofcourse..the first question..which project..? anything less than a client name seemed untouchablish....

so if you want to avoid strange glances, you would rather start..i am actually shadowing blah blah ...(with a shadow of doubt)

so when one would not be willing to work really in some other govt searches for work in IT..and deeply enough..networking for working..

so one would attain moksha only if one gets into a seemed.

and lot of times, one would feel uncomfortable stating that one is on bench.

i have been on bench for the most part of stay until now..and the only thing i realise is noone wants to look at the bench as a learning period. a period where one would sharpen his skills and be ready for the still to come work.

its a catch 22 situation. they say. u need exp for work and vice versa.

and while thats true to some extent, it cannot be agreed fully. when one has all the resources, and all the time..its probably the best time to do what you like and do it well. there is no limit and no scope. you define the scope of your learning. and you decide what you would be in next 5 years, which is a cliched mba Q. but well and truly, once having entered an organisation that realisation takes over and preparing for 5 years ahead becomes a reality.

while we may not be so lucky should get the resuts of true work some day and successful people always defined things by themselves rather than let someone else draw it for them.

The task is to focus and work towards that 5 year goal and God will ensure everything falls into place.

To realise bench is a blessing is not rocket science but common sense. it only requires shedding inertia and showing initiative.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

The Man is Back..

Last two years has been the most exciting of times in terms of the blog world for me. I got to know new people. read different styles of writing. absorbed new ideas. and ofcourse a whole lot of things i could still keep wondering..

and after getting into corporate circles, its not easy to keep in touch. as blog is the first in the firing line ( ofcourse orkut remains all time fav).

and So it happens that i did not post for a long time....but yes now i hv access to blogger in office even. so that i can write a para or two as and when i feel to break the monotony of work life. and with broadband hoping to be set up in a weeks time....the blogspot will come back into my life.

and i also request my other friends who hv not been blogging to get started so that we can relive the earlier days..and have a great time here..

tata and see you again soon.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Intelligent Promises

I remember a famous joke that is often written.

The shop owner teaches the new joinee about two business mantras:

1. fulfill any promise made to customers
2. refrain from making promises

I have never seen a starker example of how a business house can make intelligent promises based on pure mathematical probability and make huge profits.

The E-Zone is a popular consumer durables and electronics retail outlet. The outlet is large spacious well maintained and attracts affluent crowds very easily.

Their Promise :

" If you find a better bargain, we pay you double the difference in price"

Sounds very reassuring. I bet not many will then take to determining the true market price of a good. since it is a format of the big bazaar and other stores, customers are completely sure it has to be the cheapest. is it so really?

i went for a refrigerator purchase recently. i decided to scan the market and searched in around 7 well known outlets. and the ezone. the price difference? Rs 800 higher in ezone. while they did promise to fetch the lowest price.

now that its not the lowest price, customers can take the invoice of teh lowest price in market and claim double the difference from ezone and purchase the refrigerator.

Now The beauty of the strategy:

1. having such a scheme eliminates the need for market research for determining competition prices in market. if there are huge price variance, intelligent customers will try to make ezone pay double the difference. so that can correct the skewed price levels in a more dynamic manner. and they don need to spend good money for determining market info which they can very eficiently gather from customers and that too more faster!!!!

2. now the catch is : will ezone really correct the prices? they don need to! for the crowd coming into ezone, they will not spend a whole day in retail outlets searching for a refrigerator. they wd rather spend it in a holiday outing or a hotel or a movie! so there would be no need to correct prices. if very less customers are claiming double the difference, they wd do well to keep the prices as usual and pocket the huge margin they can get from less intelligent or lazy customers who wd rather pay than slog. that way, the probability of somebody trying to claim from ezone is very less. when the claim s are high indeed, they can correct prices.

So they have not only eliminated effortts for researching into market prices but also use probabilities to make good profits.

and thats the most smartest business model i hv ever seen.

if there can be any oversight from my part, it could only be that i researched the market when a price promotion was might also be the case..but the above hypothesis could also be true. and that is for you consumers to check!

Wonder how efficient our markets are in adjusting to such variances....

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Bangalore Blues

Long time since i m writing a post. even as i am writing this post the trainer has just entered the room n is setting up his laptop ready for the next (possible) dry session on Team Lead solutions ( well team lead illusions would hv been more apt perhaps..reasons for which will be explained subsequently)

i always wanted to write on the new experience of living in bangalore even though i have been on and off here on vacations all my school and college life.

so will try to round up on some specific observations in the one month i have spent here.

1. IT hit me on the face really. from the huge spacious lifts that they have. no wonder for 5000 people working form a single complex, nothing is more simple. its almost like landing into an airport everyday. one will get lost in the crowd easily.

2. Project management trainings are a big pain when Bschoolers r joined with technical ppl. the trainer keeps asking Qs to tech ppl. tech ppl know it n they dont need the training. Bschoolers don understand whats happening anyway n hence don need the training. why the training?

3. House hunt was an unforgettable experience. seeing bottled up houses costing over 10k a month for a 2 bhk was not sth i looked forward to. i bet i have gained enough expertise to pore over the finer points in building a house! its a classic real time optimisation problem!

4. There is a strong correlation between sleep and classrooms rather than sleep and time of the day. i never get sleep at my desk but the moment i m in a training, yawning becomes inescapable be it 10 am or 1 pm. there is also a very strong correlation between power point presentations and sleep with a R-Square value = 0.999999......

5. Bangalore buses, gone nuts ( see latest post of anu), cant even name bus routes in english....that too for a city having huge non-karnataka population..and supposedly cosmopolitan!

6. Given the obscene traffic, If you wanna make it soon to office, do NOT take an auto over a bus..both are same and useless for all practical purposes at 8 am!

7. Automen return a change of 1 re also honestly while the govt bus conductors will not return a change of Rs. 41 also unless being constantly bugged abt it n look at u askance when u ask for a return of Re 1 !

8. I have never seen a PSU more productive ever before. i applied for a bsnl landline on saturday and the line was fixed on wednesday. that is 3 working days for you.

9. Few people wd hv dared to think someone would steal my mobile. a mobile with no other function than sms n talk at Rs. 1200 with no particular eye stealing appearance. i reckon it was the bext handset i had. i hv a colour one now ( ofcourse that too at Rs. 1300 with a lot of facilities) but i miss my old mobile which was easy to navigate n simple in appearance.

10. Bangalore has one of the worst electricity service at one of the most costliest rates ( a bill wd be typicaly 4 times the amount i wd hv paid in madras!) . power cuts are perennial. on hindsight, the electricity board is doing a favour by shutting down power frequently and thus reducing our E-Bill. Post May there is no need for fan helping us more with our power bill.

11. Even newly built flats do not have proper arrangements with carpenters, plumbers and technicians. Suman may hv to consider this seriously.

12. The best lunch u can ever have is thayir sadam in office. a dozen food courts in the cafeteria will not beat curd rice. Guess what my northie colleagues ( who gen don take curd) taste my curd rice everytime in lunch. Thayir Sadam truimphs!

13. For those ppl in office where orkut is blocked, power scrap works. the pitfall is u cant post a scrap but can view ur scraps as well do detailed analysis of orkut profiles as always at home. nice getaway.

14. Bengalooru should be better called Ben-kulooru with the kind of cold i experience at night and early mornings

15. Thats all for now..i don remember much as i din expect to blog today as blogger was also blocked. i m in a different office where this site opened. I hope to get my broadband connection in place soon so that i can live back my IIT days of blog n chats atleast in weekends.

Madras Rocks any day better than Bangalore. Perumal thaan vazhi kaatanum!

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Friday, The 13th

We dont believe in some superstitions..( ofcourse we do in some others)

yet it all seemed like the perfect design....even the date of the event.

a brief prelude..i m a person who has always been the last moment man having a time of life with fate....the list includes the last free seat in engg college, last one to enter mba batch in my college, last day of summer placement, last company, last guy to get placed..and ofcourse so many other last minute happenings in every other walk of life like last minute appearance at major competitive examinations..and i believe i hv devloped a skill ( and more importantly a liking) for such adventures....and i wd hv been really pained if i had not the fortune to get the perfect end to a project life fraught with incorigible planning and hapless execution.

and so it was the fateful friday the 13th which was to be the last of my list of last min happenings..

the scene :

manish, suman and ph to share pain with me. we were given over 3 months to complete a business plan and we ended up finally with just 3 days to successfully submit the same. ofcourse the most of the 3 months was spent rather constructively in making dvd prints of all possible movies and documentaries avaliable on earth. then there was the dozen odd rajni movies and scores of vivek comedies to catch up with notwithstanding the time spent in uncovering telegu movies remade in to tamil, dialogue by dialogue.

the story:

2 pm : we were supposed to be at the presentation hall ready with our reports, ppts and what not.

ph n me still in room. we were not ready with both. i was documenting some changes in the report while he was at the ppt. our life in any yardstick was most miserable.we had done all the report making stuff in our lab and on a system which was nourishing a virus. the pen drive which had the ppt downloaded from one of the biologically challenged computers blew my system seconds after insertion. it looked like some witch craft. we resorted to orther means n tried makingh the ppt again. suman's lappy had drained off. manish had to give his comp. we had no laptops to carry for the presentation. suman n ph had almost competed a brilliant ppt

it was 2 pm as we were still fighting with the report n missed out on our lunch. manish n suman were at the presentation hall n were waiting for us. they called me up n i say we'll be there in an hr and hang up. suman goes crazy n lands up at my room in the next 10 mins. he was to leave for hyderabad by 4 pm and we just cud not delay our presentation any longer..

the other grps had started off their presentations. it was 3.10 when we thought we r done. we leave for the presentation complete the same, masterminded by ph who is famous for his blisterinng ppts with his inimitable style of delivery.

i take a hard look at the report we had made n found there were fatal errors..sorry blunders..and we leave for the lab again to make the changes. and we choose the same virus driven pc and copy the modified file to the drive n to my mail. 3.30 pm it is.

i get the bike key of sudhanshu as me n ph leave for getting the printout. now the bike just does not start..10 mins of non stop kicking n i give i felt like kicking myself.

we take an auto.

if u wd watch the beauty, we r from hostel 13. it was the farthest from som. all of a sudden i begin to hate 13 like anything ( and yeah i happen to be born on 13th in one of these months)

we stop at hostel 8. crowded. hostel 7? we switch on the comp..the comp gets hanged..theguy says we cant do it. so we head to hostel 12. hostel 13 had a crappy xerox guy whom we cud never depend on.

now hostel 12 is packed. it was the btp ( btech project) submission day at 5 pm. n we are there at 4 pm. no wonder we wonder what next. the printer just then goes down. some time is spent in repair. and then finally it is up again. we ask, how long will this take..i get a rude answer....the guy has 150 pages..after that 3-4 guys still wait before the machine like jackals sticking out thier tongue....and getting despo.

we decide to retreat. we go back to hostel 13. yeah we made it. 10 mins of wqait n we got the sysetem. i download the doc from my mail..well not blinks..file corrupted....i decide this hostel 13 is always crazy..n run for hostel 9..without a bike it had to be foot on hot dog day afternoon.

i grab a system there in propel my pendrive n it says file the whole cycle is jeering at me. a file modifed n saved in teh virus loaded system will not open anywhere on eartjh. i hv now way now. the last option is to get back to room. remake the cnages all over. n then print it.

i run back to my room. me n ph run thro the doc once again n make all changes. it is well over 5 pm. 5.30 to be exact. the prof ios a visiting prof, n we cant meet him after was the last presentation of the course at the classroom. ph rushed n made a print. as i set arranging them the xerox guy says no scampers to hostel 12 again n gets a folder. now i arrange a bike n dash off to som. 5.45 pm..the last of the presentations finishes now....we made it. we submitted the report finally all changes duly made. manish was our time keeper who constantly kept us abreast as to how much time we hv n what best is possible out of the given circumstances..

me and ph then leave for the canteen at close to close time. as i much one of those cutlets we discuss abt the pendrive phenomenon n i jump out..i missed my be sure it was sujay's....u rush to hostel 9 again..GOD'S GRACE it was kept carefully the shop guy..and i heaved a sigh of relief..

i dont know what it felt was not about a submission or a nice grade for whcih we had to slog....

just that the report atleast needed to be okay if not grt....professional if not perfect....

i think we cut a fair deal.

corporate life is not going to be a place for such hanky panky work with all the recklessness we hv sincerley submitted ouself in the course of this course....

only time can tell....anyhow memories r momeories....


friday the 13th is the best of them!!!!