Can one photo break your heart to pieces?

September 4, 2015 Leave a comment

Yes… it can. Twice, actually.

My first experience of such a photo was of a famished, little girl somewhere in Africa… too tired to move, with a vulture waiting nearby for the passing. To say it was shocking is an understatement. That was the day I made a point to never waste food. That was before I got married and had children.

But the latest photo of little Aylan Kurdi, washed up on a beach…a child, who is a little younger than my eldest son… a photo no doubt that is now haunting millions of parents’ thoughts. And it will haunt me for a long, long time to come!

I don’t have it in me to put that photo up here myself… may he find peace in a better place.

But there are no words in languages of men or heaven or hell to curse the evil that has laid the road for this little boy’s departure from this world. May those demons burn for a thousand millenia and experience every death they caused a million times over!

“The young perish and the old linger, withering”: J.R.R. Tolkien. Very apt!

Things I would like to see banned in India… a wishlist

July 17, 2015 Leave a comment

  1. Pictures, busts, statues of political leaders in government offices. They belong in museums or memorials… may be separate rooms. This is a huge culture issue, I acknowledge that. Nevertheless… the point stays.
  2. Political party flags – Ban them without exception, especially those that get put on a flagpole or on the car bonnets or held in rallies (which come later in the list)
  3. Vehicle Horns – no further explanation required. May be once these sonic triggers are removed, people would be forced to drive more carefully (would be a disaster, you say? may be for a starting period)
  4. Wall posters – High time we rid this country of this disease… putting up wall posters for everything ranging from puberty functions (yes you read that right… or in a more subtle wording… “coming of age” functions), sexual disease cures, job offers to the ever present menace of political posters.
  5. Flex boards (at least those on the side of roads, low height) – some are ads, many are just mega sized wall posters.
  6. Rallies (religious, political, strikes, protests, support… anything) which disrupt public transport and general movement of vehicles and pedestrians.
  7. Paid queues in temples – especially, do away with VVIP/VIP darshan.
  8. Loudspeakers in any religious organization or institution that is used on a regular basis and in events- temples, mosques, churches, prayer gatherings… whatever. Ban them or at least let them spend on some acoustics and limit the sound within their premises. Festivals might be an exception, but again within volume limits.
  9. Subsidies for pilgrimages – again, without exception.
  10. Printing pictures or paintings of Deities (no matter what the religion is) on plastic covers, paper bags, cloth bags, invitation covers, shirts, shawls etc. No exceptions. (I would have added the whole gamut of plastic, or plaster cast fancy mini idols and the millions of photo frames too, but let’s go with baby steps here.)
  11. Open air, unlicensed slaughterhouses
  12. Big shopping establishments without sufficient car parks (or licenses in the first place!)
  13. Release of more than one love story based film in a year, per language – we have an overflow of idiots flooding the cinema halls with obscenity and low grade songs/ dialogues, all in the name of contributing to “art”.
  14. Plastic or foam plates or cups, plastic packaging for hot items in food outlets
  15. Roadside eateries without clean water storage tanks or proper sinks (Oh how many times have I seen the same water in a bucket be used to clean utensils over and over again… not to mention the mess our people leave by washing hands on the pavement sides?)
  16. Marriages which cost beyond Rs. 20 lakhs (hmm… now why did I mention that here?)
  17. Hotels with rooms having toilets without a health faucet… bidet shower… bum gun… whatever. (seriously!)

I do have one last point… which may not be possible to ban, but should be made illegal. You want to know what that is?

I would like to make it illegal for people to marry unless they have a proper job and a place to stay (owned, rented… whatever… but certainly not a fish cart for a home). It is almost everyday that I see small children living in horrible, decrepit conditions because their parents don’t have the intelligence nor the sense control to keep their pants and skirts up, in the absence of proper living quarters and sustenance. No fundamental right to breed if you cannot provide for your family! There. I said it.

I will keep adding more as and when.(yeah I am just bored out!)

What are your thoughts?

Corporate performance management – Mantra effect!

July 17, 2015 Leave a comment

Mantra – that which liberates the mind.

Some of the statements that I have heard (and not all of them were said to me) over the past couple of years literally makes my mind go Brrrffttzztt! How liberating!

You are a good performer, you really are. You did meet your goals and went the extra mile in many situations. But we just cannot give a 4 or 5 because we need to follow a distribution. Only 10% of the team size can be at a 4 or 5 rating. But you did get the highest % hike!

Guess what the team size was.

You did a good job last couple of months, but I give you a rating of 2 because your ex-boss, my predecessor, did not give me a summary of what you have accomplished.

How unique? Totally responsible and accountable!

There will be no raise for anyone in the company given the dismal market and our bad cash situation. But in appreciation of your hard work, we will still hand out the bonuses… as per your contracts.

And the CEO and his cronies gets a couple of hundred thousand dollars as performance bonus. Performance? What performance?

Soooo… another year has passed. It was just wonderful, really wonderful. Your performance has been fantastic… and I am giving you a rating of 4. I would like to give you a 5, but hey no one is perfect and there is always room for improvement. So, 4 it is.

So, 5 is basically the carrot. The stick is another year long!

And so it goes on.

Chennai road rage – being almost stupid

July 6, 2015 2 comments

I came pretty darn close to getting in to a street fight today.

I was returning from office and was almost near my home, which is in a street that is not too wide… when I saw that the road was half blocked by a construction lorry, with another car parked on the opposite side of the road.

There were a couple of vehicles which were working their way through the gap… so being the ‘courteous’ driver I was (my father loves to remind me I am not born and grown in USA), I sided up just a bit behind the lorry and made way for the vehicles in the opposite direction. Then I hear this (very irritating) blare of a car horn behind me… which even after being able to see what was going on, kept honking. I ignored it the first 2-3 times… but then it really got to me. Guess I was having a road rage moment. So, once the path cleared, I maneuvered my car through the gap, and parked it couple of houses down the street and when the honking man passed me, I looked to see who was in it… and found him glaring at me. Eyes met… he kept rolling, so then the connection broke, I decided to drop it there.

I got out, opened the gate, and then parked my car inside. When I went near the gate to close it, I noticed that this guy was parking his car right opposite to my gate. That moment, something snapped… my mistake #1. I should have just ignored and gone upstairs, but I walked over to the guy… with a small smile, asked him to roll down the window, and asked him “I would have given way if I had it in front of me in the first place, so you needn’t have honked…”. That’s it… he started foulmouthing me, got down from his car, making threatening advances… (and amusingly), even started looking for a stone to throw at me! He was a well-dressed man, an office goer, probably well educated… but the way he exploded was a bit shocking to me. Here is my mistake #2… I was being horribly and most insanely naïve… was I expecting this guy to just say “Oh so sorry”? A super dumb moment, for sure.

I had my hackles up now and got to a defensive posture (I am taller by half a finger and outweighed him as well), but he didn’t relent and still kept coming at me. Realizing that things might get out of hand, and now that he might know where I live, I started walking back with this moron taunting me. I shouted something back, don’t even remember what as I was in a haze of anger myself. I just got back in to my home, still with the haze, but the moment I looked at my little 1 yr old son who came running to me, babbling in his sweet infant language , I then realized I had actually done the best thing possible at that time… I walked away and defused a potentially dangerous situation. Should I have dug my heels in and thrown my fists, things might have gotten very ugly real fast but I am now thankful they didn’t… for the sake of my family and his too (he was picking up his kid from school I think), at the very least.

As for the other guy…I got reinforcement on the fact that looks are deceiving. Well dressed and educated guys driving fancy cars make bigger morons and a**holes than the poor taxi guys trying to make their ends meet. This jerk is bound to get in to trouble sometime or other. He will learn his lesson another day… with a bloody, broken mouth instead of just a foul one. (yes, I am being nasty now. Too bad!)

I learned my lesson… give up on trying to be reasonable with drivers on the road. May be it is all the stress from the driving that causes people to blow up… but I think I will just keep my expectation down and be more aware of situations on the road going forward.

Joke of the day

April 9, 2015 Leave a comment

“As a Shaivite, I feel offended as Lord Krishna is considered one of the great exponents of Shaivism and godfather within Shaiva sect.”

This really made my laugh of the day. But….seriously… Can any true shaivite validate this statement? Godfather? Really?

P.S. I don’t some sentimental overload from people who are confused between Advaita and Shaivism.

Categories: General

Blogger killed by terrorists, again

February 27, 2015 Leave a comment

Avijit Roy was murdered yesterday.

‘Unidentified assailants’… I think pretty much everyone can guess who the murderers might be. Murdering a man for just speaking his mind is atrocious. Him being an atheist or that he spoke against religion is no reason for murdering him.

These terrorist murderers are deranged fanatic misfits, their mind lingering on the fringes of insanity driven by misplaced and misguided faith, their zeal born out of ignorance and lack of self analysis, their actions driven by sheer arrogance and sense of being right in murdering innocents that can only arise from intense bigotry that has been watered for years in their cold, black and Godless hearts.

May their deaths, when it happens, be a thousand times more painful and thousand times more prolonged than the ones they cause.

What would you do?

February 26, 2015 Leave a comment

I have recently become a fan of a TV series called “What would you do”… only, I didn’t watch it on TV but on Youtube! For those who are not aware of this program, google it up!

The reason I like it is because the scenarios of the “social experiments” (well, most of them, if that) are pretty close to what we might face in reality at any public place. And the reactions from people who unknowingly become part of the scenario are sometimes absolutely heart touching.

Some youngsters in India have also tried such “social experiments” in India and uploaded their recordings to Youtube. Although the videos lack the technology and finesse of the American show, the reactions (or lack of it) from our dear Indians are horrifying. After watching some of the videos, I am unable to decide whether I should be happy that there were a few Indians who had guts to do anything about a situation… or should I be really, really sad that most of our friends are absolutely apathetic to the problems of their fellow citizens in public.

So, here are some ‘common’ scenes that we might come across in our lives.

What would you do if you are taking a stroll on your neighborhood streets, park or a beach and you see a young girl crying and trying to evade an overzealous ‘boyfriend’? Would your reaction be different based on the dress the girl is wearing?

What if you see a woman being hit by her husband in the street in a slum like area? And what would be your reaction if the wife and husband look like well to do people and the hitting incident happens in a restaurant or in a park or at the beach?

What would you do if you small kids swarm you at a traffic signal trying to sell some cartoon or painting books claiming they were hungry? What if it was just a lone, shabby woman, with a kid asleep in her arms, asking for money?

What would you do if you overhear 2 foreigners bashing your religion on a flight?

What would you do if you see school kids no more than 10 years old swearing and cussing like fishermen?

What would you do if someone cuts the queue in front of you?