Friday, December 11, 2015


I have never been overwhelmed by the feeling of filth around. Contrary to what is being popularized as a mass upraising of humanity, I sense the froth of filth is surfacing. It is true that people jumped into help strangers and known alike. Well, rescue of life cannot be discriminate but when the question for relief comes in, there is substantial discrimination that needs to be though through.
A lot have been said about the source of the disaster. Most news have managed to claim that it is manmade lethargy if not complete apathy of a needlessly centralized system. Unquestioned illegal construction and complete disregard to terrain and nature’s tendencies.
The disaster valued upwards of 15000 crores is getting substantial pittance from corners, some willingly and many seemed pressurized. All channeled through government route with skepticism on its reach and intentions. International aid agencies are nowhere to be seen. May be they have a good reason to keep out or were kept out through influence is up for a guess. 
Lots of heros have emerged in this process, some sung and many unsung. Help came from beyond which localities for sure regarded as aliens. We kept players out of IPL, they contributed. We don’t see Bangalore as a twin city but help flooded form there. For the voluntary isolation that the city was proud of, somehow the pride didn’t uphold while collecting relief. I still just see “we rose” which seems without any fair share of acknowledgement to Bangalore or Kochi that extended immediate and timely help. But we did man handle many of them though.
The disgusting political mileage gained through labeling of relief is height of grief, though there is no saying who did it. Though they have stooped to a new low, this is expected of this disgusting political situation that is norm of the state.
A genuine surprise though is the behavior of the people themselves. The so called affected ones in particular. Freebies and freeloading is so entrenched in the system that is effortless, shameless and thankless bordering on entitlement. While one may expect the starving to gulp the first ounce of food, one will be surprised that a tasty menu is requested. When you ferry relief materials you kind of get a welcome that you are carrying their online grocery orders and that it is your job to give it ti them, The youth and the attitude of the “area” the most disgusting of the lot. “I dare you to come to my area” is more often spelled by our beloved brothers than by a peeing dog that marks its territory. Only difference is that a talking dog will more polished in its language and doesn’t think of liquor all the time. We cannot expect anything more from a place where government runs the liquor shop and while the private run the educational institutions, both purely on monetary concerns. 
Now that the tide is behind us, volunteers have done their bit,  Politicians claim to be doing their bit, police just watched all this, while public still cries nothing has come their way, there is much clarity in what lies ahead. Nothing is going to change except the slogans for next year elections. There will be more freebies, there will be rehabilitation buildings on places that are not supposed to be built on. These will go to vote bank who will rent these places out. The beneficiaries will rail back to their pretentious “yezhaingo / janango” (the eternally needy) status and keep asking for more. The few earnest losers aka tax payers will bail out these undeserving for life. They will receive more than what they got last time for a vote and will be happy with their share of bribe, the source of all evil. Not all shall be forgotten, because there is nothing to remember to begin with. This is a time to rake in the moolah. Freebies now and freebies later and continue claiming to be needy for life.

The washout hasn’t cleaned us enough, it has just cleared the veneer to expose a deeply entrench degeneration that is all set to continue like a cancer affecting the genuine human minority. Why are we still here? 

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

The 4X4 Indian

It was on one fine day, like every other fine day in Bangalore that it started pouring the very moment the thought of leaving office crept stealthily into my subconscious mind. The rain gods always read my thoughts before I do. A colleague of mine, Mr. Varun (oh, the irony!) offered to drop me home. Earlier that week, he had distributed sweets to celebrate having bought a SUV. The only ‘sport’ he ever played though, was foosball. He bought one of those seemingly muscular off roaders which don’t hold up very well on the potholes dotting the landscape of the city.
Having climbed in, he detailed the fully loaded features of his big boot 5 seater; its high end music and GPS navigation system. One could barely squeeze 5 people on the seats but the boot could easily take in 2 corpses. We sped through stagnant water, slush and over flowing sewers alike, not without a morbid fascination for the corrupting influence of the 500hp engine. We overtook cycles, bikes and buses. We left behind those mortals who rode vehicles too small to pay a hefty road tax.
Mr. Varun, from Finance, fluently worked his story around the technical details of automotive engineering. He drifted slowly on to automotive industry and eventually onto his infallible theories on all that government had done wrong. He hinted subtly that the real causes behind a falling rupee were the equatorial Indians who spent too much on gold and the politically motivated farm subsidies. Given that he had majored in macro-economics, he was able to substantiate all his statements with a lot of unverifiable data. He was a genuine authority on that subject.
Barely had we gone a kilometer when we approached the beginning of a long traffic queue. We weren’t alone. There were several bloated egos on the 4x4 drive. From a bird’s eye view, the traffic on the road must have look like a python that had swallowed a deer whole.
Above the incessant honking, sounded the feeble siren of an ambulance. It was a puny Omni converted into an ambulance, the top of which was barely visible from the rear window. I could only see the reflections of its sirens on the film tinted glasses of vehicles that sandwiched the Omni. The presence of an ambulance gave people a reason to breach the red signal. Every one of the unstoppable Indians stamped the pedal hard, honked and mouthed obscenities that could’ve passed off as polite conversation in New Delhi. It looked like they were stuck in a morning queue to enter the shared toilet at a bachelor mansion. Everyone wanted to rush in but none were willing to come out in time.
None of these able gentlemen - not one - pulled over to the left. The parking assist screamed that the ambulance was at close proximity. I formed a mental image of the Omni prostrating at the bumper feet of the SUV, pleading to be allowed to proceed.  Mr. Varun remained cool, as if that was his only option. He honked at the guy in front, accelerated faster and successfully ceded some 10 meters to the needy. An ephemeral smirk of patriotic satisfaction suffused his cheeks.

The half a minute of a beseeching siren felt like an eon. I leapt out and goaded the car on my left to move a couple of feet and requested Varun to pull over. Varun guessed my intentions and said, “No use man, don’t get soaked. See, the ambulance crossed us but is stuck behind the next car anyways. The traffic and road condition of this useless country is such.” “Petrol or diesel?” I inquired, through the window. “What??” he asked, bewildered at the question. “Diesel of course”, he stuttered. “How much did you say the fuel subsidy is robbing this country of?” I asked him. There was no answer and none was expected. “Tail the ambulance. You will reach home faster”. By then the ambulance managed to reach the crack near the median, leapt to the wrong side and scurried away. The rain, I felt, cleansed me of some ineffable filth. I walked home feeling better. 

Friday, June 26, 2009

Why did the chicken cross the road?

News Clippings:

Suicide attack on Taj MaHOLE.
A suicide bomber used a car bomb to launch an attack on one of the world's oldest and well preserved pot hole. Taj MaHOLE is an UNESCO world heritage site dating back to Pallava dynasty. There are inscription on Tanjore temple that hint at people of Thirumailai (Now Mylapore) submitting a petition to the then ruler Pallava the 666th to initiate the work on road construction and repair. However the petition was discarded as per the governance policies(now a code of conduct for any TN government agency). The inscription alludes to what could have been a man hole sized pothole on the ground. Over the year, through several dynasties & colonial / post colonial rule, the monument has grown to the size of 2500 color tv sets (Unit of measurement for current ruling dynasty - MKs).
In the late 90s the MKs forced the UNESCO to grant the site a World heritage tag following a series of self immolation by the party workers.
The motive of the attack remains unknown and government suspects the hands of LeT aka Pakistan in collaboration with opposition party. Meanwhile at the other end of this hole, Obama has condemned the attack saying "who ever carried out this attack is an ***hole". No one knows what lies at the bottom of the pothole some say Osama is hiding there. The mystery remains.
Surveillance cameras for monitoring city traffic.

The traffic cops have added another ammunition to their "maamool" arsenal - Surveillance cameras. The cameras have been fitted in remote places and hidden from public view. "The objective is not to scare ppl or deter crime, it is to let those happen and let the collection agencies take on from there on.. oops.. have i revealed a bit too much?" asks the inspector general traffic police.
"Awesome.. see see we can take pics at night .. night vision" said the CM who unveiled the first working piece, which also happens to be the 100th piece to be unveiled. "Look at the pic, its exactly how it appears to naked eye.. crystal clear" said a constable whoz stationed next to high traffic junction - Tasmac.
Couple of concerned citizens said '.. we think.. may be.. we donno ..not so sure ... but the number plate .. is not visible.. isnt it?".. "velinaatu sadhi" is apparently a reason for this. Yet the cops claim that it is not an issue as they still used such pic to nail down offenders and have collected about 3 lakhs in penalty!!
The ultimate weapon in cracking down "crack / narcotic trade", humping down street prostitutes, and blowing off illicit romance on street is here. In fact, videos of couples on street, uploaded onto website is fetching an alternate income for the state.

Its official - 1 paisa coins withdrawn from circulation

Chennai 2009:
The traffic police have finally stopped accepting 1 paisa coins as "Penalty". Unofficial confirmation arrived yesterday from an offender. "i was returning home when i jumped a signal. I was stopped by the cop who demanded that i pay the fine. All i had was a 20 Rs note in my pocket, which I handed over. But the observant officer heard a lil jingle in my pocket. So i had to hand the 2 Re coin. I don’t have words to describe the brilliance of the cop for what he said immediately "kannna..... orey kai la oosai varaadhu.. orey coin la satham varaadhu" (One coin alone cant make the sound) Brillaint .. then i handed over the 1 paise coin i was hoping to add to my numismatic / antique collection. He took that too and said "we still take it till midnight. Only from tomorrow will we stop accepting 1 paisa coins. 5 paisa coins will still hold good"
Today the official confirmation is expected to coincide with the launch of 10 re coins. RBI uses’ traffic cop's non acceptance' as official trigger to announce withdrawal of a coin from circulation, though the minting was stopped was back in the 60s.
Ambush warfare tactics originated on Chennai streets

The recent disclosures by the captured terrorist has pressed ASI to unearth what is perhaps one of the most startling discoveries of this decade. In his statement the terrorist had said "we learnt the ambush tactics from traffic cops on Chennai streets".
ASI then studied the tactics used by our friendly neighborhood cops to find out that they are never at the spot where one might expect them to be; at the junction. Instead they are perfectly camouflaged among the customers of briyani shop around the corner, where they usually have a running account. Once an offender passes close by, cops pounce on them faster than a cheetah would ! With a six sigma precision they turn off your bike and take the key in a flash. How they manage to all these within a blink of the eye, despite their signature belly remains beyond the realm of science.
Seems like this has been happening even before automobile was invented !!, which only deepens the mystery. Harvard, which wrote a case on dubbawallas of Mumbai plans to write a case on our friendly cops too.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

The Banana trick

I type this as I sip my coffee… nice & exhilarating. But for some reason I want to say that I drink coffee because it is healthy. Oops… nutritious… no damn it for wellness… no not wellness… lifestyle. I lie muddled with my inability to classify what kinds drink coffee is. What is the big difference between those you may ask. If you do, then you supposedly are not even as educated as the C segment customer group according to expert’s opinion. The C segment of the market, as against any numbers that you may crunch with your marketing research, is apparently well verse with the nuances that underlay diminutive distinctions between the above mentioned adjective!
Now I take a look at what I was drinking. Nescafe Relax! Essentially the name suggests it is under the life style category. However, the product sub-grouping comes under Nescafe “Wellness” theme. And the theme tag line says “Choose a Healthy option – Nescafe Wellness”. It contains anti-oxidants for health benefits…
I am laughing out here. If this was to be done as a term project in my college… the product will get a failing grade. Catering to segment A & B, they apparently don’t even know the difference between the adjective which the C segment is conversant with. This is either a marketing anomaly, never ever witnessed in the history of man kind or is a simple farce.
The product how ever is doing well. Can any one explain why? The industry is supposedly damn too dynamic. What was 100% bang on target marketing strategy on Nov 2007 is a complete failure by February 2008. Incredible isn’t it? Back then in Nov probably the customers were illiterate and didn’t perceive any difference what so ever, but suddenly someone taught them all English!; within a span of 3 months… Revolutionary!
The emerging trends in marketing strategy… is to sit together as a group, decide on a brilliant idea or rather just an idea. And then follow this sequence. I call this the “banana trick”. For no reason obviously.
1. Pricing strategy: Fix a price. Bid for it… take a pick… draw straws… ask the competitors :P… we don’t cares a damn about demand curve and price elasticity? Such things are blasphemous.
2. Product: mix and match something… for example, if hot dog is the favorite of many a people… a blub should glow atop your head... eureka… chicken hot dog flavored condom.!! “take a dig” wow tag line done too.. The same justification holds; most preferred flavor, most people feel hungry after the act… come on dudes, if you can visualize a product so shitty, you can definitely come up with shittier arguments to support it. Did I hear someone shout product testing??! What the! We don’t do such things here… instead we conduct an FGD and ask people to imagine flavor!! It like imagining a new color. Humanly, psychologically, biologically.. or however one may put it…“impossible”…. I know, but what the hell, you get the grades.
3. Promotion: any thing will do, as long as you fix 10% of a fake, cooked up revenue figure. Why 10%? it’s the finger rule… I mean the thumb rule.
4. Place: How about a pipeline??! Like the gas, a coffee pipeline. If you want, you can project it as a blue ocean strategy. Come on… we like creative minds here, anything sells as long as you can just put some fake figures along with it.
5. There was a 5th P.. I forgot.. it isn’t exposing itself! Let us forget it for the time being.
So.. yeah that pretty much it. You are now officially a marketing expert. Celebrate!! I shall get back to more blue oceans ideas… curd flavored coffee…. Hmm… sherbet flavored coffee… …. ….. ….

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Let Me Go

Me was carved uncouth but its no fault of mine,
No way near those action figures yet I seldom did whine,
Not to be picked from oblivion- the original cosmic design
But she did, polished me fine, attached a simple lovely twine

Please let me go, please let me go, here is not where me belong
Its the oblivion, unknown, unheard, unseen and beyond

Scary was this new retention, a shackled daunting detention
Me is tugged under the spotlight and into unwanted attention
Forced to dance to mob’s mirth and my master’s intention
Petrified with fear, me could curtail tear, all in a staged pretention

Please let me go, please let me go, here is not where me belong
Its the oblivion, unknown, unheard, unseen and beyond

A new “leash” of life? Oh no, oh no, me made a fool of myself
Seeing me strapped and stripped of my pride, strangers amuse themself
Show got over and I was set aside, its over its over me thought
Wanted to crawl away from the site and return never not

Please let me go, please let me go, here is not where me belong
Its the oblivion, unknown, unheard, unseen and beyond

But here it goes again, still to be stripped threadbare until nothing left
No more, no more please, in your deft hands, this is a soul theft
It is fate now, it will stop never not matter how much I cry, how much I try
Me hung myself on this string, such irony, me fails and fails again to die

Please let me go, please let me go, here is not where me belong
Its the oblivion, unknown, unheard, unseen and beyond

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

To say it or not to !

If anyone understands this.. please leave a comment on what u understood ... Thanks :)

These words, had they been my last ones spelt

In your arms, while my final moments melt,

Will hold ineffable emotions that a pounding heart pelt;

A final daring stand against time, to cry all that it ever felt.

A fragment of heaven, figment of my dreamy visions

Perfect, with it, all my imagination’s imperfections

You, exemplify everything in your slender cherubic radiance

divine grace, goddess’ arrogance, all in one aesthetic alliance

No such bliss, such as this, merely to watch thee from afar

So chaste an angel you are, even my adulation might leave on you a scar

Marry contrary emotions into an insanely recurring blend

The result is what I sense every second, until each other we befriend

To make you laugh and to watch you smile make merry my living

Life is short, I owe you a lot, yet I won’t get enough of this giving

Me is a cipher, not witty to spell even the first word of those three

But here is my call and I spill it all, submit the truth humbly to thee.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

On Maslow's Pyramid and Mosquitoes.

Sweltering summer is here and so are the mosquitoes and the erratic power cuts. I was alone on a Sunday evening and I though I would not go far to have dinner. I went to the friendly neighborhood dosa shop (I love this place for their sambar). It was around closing time and ironically it was spruced up to perfection. Not coincidentally a new young guy had been put to work.
He was lanky, dark, and strong enough to hold his own structure from collapsing inwards. He wore a short, some how held in position by a black thread. His hair was long, soiled by sweat that dangled in front of his face proudly depicting the money he had saved on haircuts. He might barely be 17.
It started raining and at the sight of the first drizzle the authorities promptly switched the power off. Lightning gave a disco hall ambience to the rickety shop. I then thought I heard a thunder, but it turned out to be Yamaha Rx 100. It was a modified one, whose owner is convinced that silencer is no more than a dead weight on the vehicle. Three people scurried inside, 2 boys and a girl, straight from some disco or pub. The girl wore a see through top, gaudy and shimmering. She made the hall bright as her dress reflected a million candle flames on to the wall; a perfectly 8 shaped disco ball. One of the guys could well be a bouncer. He resembled a bull without horns, that managed to squeeze itself into a ‘iron maiden’ t-shirt. The third one was someone I could not avoid noticing.
He was lanky, dark and strong enough to hold his own structure from collapsing inwards. He wore a short, some how stayed below position – a low hip jean denim short. His hair was long, soiled by set wet hair gel; it dangles in front of his face proudly exhibiting the amount of money he spent on it!!!
“Are you sure CCD is not open” asked the girl. He voice was sweet I thought as they sat on the first of the three tables. “we may get fully wet” said the bouncer. “Oh shit da macha! Do you think it is F**ing water proof da?” ask out hero whilst he pulled out an ipod shuffle and gold flake small cigarette pack out of his pocket. Ha! Caught him. His language n attire doesn’t corroborate well with his brand of cigarettes. I could read his background with his brand loyalty. If I were to take a guess, he must have been the traditional back bencher in school who unwillingly managed a Bcom or BA degree. All three of them work for BPO. It was needless for me to eavesdrop as they were audible
The air got saturated with attitude, talks on ash-abhi’s wedding, day trading, youth’s burden to edify the nation, bigotry and some girl named Amritha who apparently is too conservative to go out with our hero. There were millions of complaints on the state of affairs, which I am very sure had nothing to do with them. The meaningful conversation was frequently interrupted by the girl who kept complaining about the mosquitoes. I couldn’t comprehend how complaining could help the situation. She also repeatedly raised concern on food hygiene. All her concerns received reassurance from our hero. “Macha.. I recently been to iron –maiden concert da macha.. awesome macha crowduu.. girls were super and lotta people potted (he means doped).. you should listen to this band for the ‘base’ gat da.. better than metallica. I know the difference.. I am a player myself’. The other two we awe stuck as he spewed his fake stories along side the smoke. May be the bull’s brain was disproportionate to his physic and the girl was anyways coming all over him.
During this drama, his clone came to me to take last order “anna, closing avvudhu” said he, scratching the bottom of the bucket to pour the last drops of sambhar. There were 3 candles in all, one each on the counter, my table and on our hero’s. The then took one dosa for himself, and sat on the third table. Either he was afraid to share table with me or wanted to get a better view into the girl’s completely revealed back, I thought. But he was more engrossed in his food. He relished ever piece of his hard earned labor. The owner called him in between slapped him once for having sat for dinner early and sent him back. It is then that I noticed his left hand was dysfunctional. But it doesn’t seem to bother him. May be he is used to it. I dint pity him because I thought he disliked it. He returned to the nook, continued eating as if nothing ever happened. t. Every piece was relished, savored as if that was his last meal ever in his life. He didn’t look at the girl; he didn’t need a candle; he wasn’t observing anyone; he wasn’t crapping about musical talents. The mosquitoes didn’t bother him; he just ate and; satisfied with the most basic needs, simply happy and contented.
It had taken me 10 – 12 minutes to finish one single dosa. Half the time I sat cursing my boss and worrying about a hike that never was. I thought my whole life went into a tail spin if this were to continue. Impending doom worried me. The remaining time I was watching the drama and observing people. But the one thing I didn’t do was I didn’t do what I came there for. I dint enjoy my sambhar.
The drama was still continuing as I was preparing to leave. They still were cribbing about Amritha, freedom, society and what not. They essentially were unhappy only because they didn’t have anything to be unhappy about. From what they had been and what they are now, BPO has brought an enormous unimaginable change. They have just been blessed more than what they had dreamt for. And now, they have essentially lost an identity which they are trying to create.
Shouldn’t they be thankful to fortunes? Shouldn’t I be doing the same? More the fulfilled needs, more the cribbing? Is it right to compare myself with the waiter at dosa shop and persuade myself to be happy? Will it lead to happiness or stagnation? But if always look up Maslow’s Pyramid, when will I ever get satisfied at all?
It took me back to simple question. Can happiness and growth co exist? What is happiness? The more I introspected the more I got confused. I realized Maslow’s pyramid is more a representation of happiness (leaving the 5th level) than needs. The more fundamental your needs are the happier you are. But the needs in them selves are an inverted pyramid. Such is human greed. After the 5 basic needs the security needs are some 10 in number and the number increases upwards to make an inverted pyramid. Satisfaction is such a myth. One just looses it as it one gets closer to ones goal. This is an age old wisdom that resurrects it self time and again, which is worth noticing one in a while to grade ourselves, to express gratitude to have what we have been given, and that your happiness had nothing to do with materialistic needs. My German colleague once told me, that he is intrigued by a Billion Indians subtly teaching the world on how to be happy without money. Quite true.
“Good thought” I told myself as another mosquito bit me to shake me off. So which level am I to sit and think about this? An unsatisfied L4 person may be, just like you who had patience to read this.