Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Quote of the day

Most of the luxuries and many of the so-called comforts of life are not only not indispensable, but positive hindrances to the elevation of mankind.

by Henry David Thoreau

Monday, April 27, 2009

Quote of the day

It’s very simple to be happy, but difficult to be simple!

Quote of the day

‘Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go’

by T S Elliot

Did you know?

If the earth had no atmosphere, the sky wouldnt be blue at all but a pitch-black sea and the sun a big bright star in the dark.

Excerpt from A thousand splendid suns by Khaled Hosseini

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Outplaced Vs Ousted

Large companies, thanks to recession, are resorting to 'Outplacing' as compared to 'Ousting' their bench employees, provided they clear the interview and have the right skill set and are agreeable to work in shifts. 'Outplacing' - a new word coined due to recession - means placing an employee, who is on bench, into a sister concern which is less attractive because of the menial tasks involved and comparitively lower pay.

Now, it is not easy getting into the sister concern either. It needs its own particular set of skills and the employee should be fine working odd hours on tight schedules with lower pay. But, any day, 'Outplaced' is better than 'Ousted'.

Now, there are two types of people who get on bench. (For the uninitiated, 'bench' refers to people with no work but on pay roll of a company, waiting for a project to which they will get allocated.) Either an employee is a poor performer due to which he has been ousted from his project or the project in which he was working closed down and hence he has nothing to work on.

Now, projects generally do not close down in one go. Work associated in a project gradually reduce and subsequently, employees working in a project too get gradually reduced. And when that happens, obviously, the manager chooses to get rid of less efficient / poor performers first to retain the cream of the team till the end, in the hope of a renewal of the project contract or to at least ensure the brainer of the lot do not get on to the bench strength. So, logically thinking, the first-comers to the bench strength are less efficent and poor performers of the company.

Now, a company cannot keep lots of people on bench for a long period of time. Hence, they start placing them in their sister concerns which does neither has attractive work nor has a decent pay. But, since outplaced is better than ousted, bench folks are more than glad to accept the offer.

Of course, sister concerns also have a limit on how many people they can take, for they too have fixed amount of work and, in all probability, work that is reducing by the day too. So, just as the lot of poor performers and lesser efficient trickle down from bench to sister concerns, the brainer lot and efficent people start filling up the bench as the projects get closed down and renewals do not come through. At the same time, sister concerns are full too and they do not need any more people. So, now, there is not even an avenue called 'Outplaced.'

So, does this mean that its better to get onto bench as quickly as possible so as to keep hopes of being outplaced than ousted?!

Election Day

Stupid, stupid, stupid!!!


Tuesday, April 21, 2009

15th March 2009 to 2nd May 2009

March 15th-21st:
6 day week.
21st working day.

March 22nd-28th:
3 day week.
On Duty travel on 23rd and holiday on 27th.

March 29th-April 4th:
4 day week.
April 3rd holiday.

April 5th-11th:
4 day week.
Took leave on 8th.

April 12th-18th:
5 day week.
Normal week but 16th was birthday and hence could hardly work.

April 19th-25th:
4 day week.
23rd holiday.

April 26th-May 2nd:
4 day week.
1st holiday.

Cant get better than that, eh?!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Birthday 2009

Happy Birthday to Us!!

Romantic dinner on top of Bangalore!!


Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Policy Vs Humanity

“When things start going wrong, every company starts cutting corners.”

That’s one of the beautiful lines that one of my managers quoted regarding the company making stricter and stricter policies day by day.

So, there I was, sitting in the company bus one day, minding my own business, when I overheard a row between fellow colleagues. Apparently, one guy had kept a note book on a seat and a lady had sat on the seat ignoring the note book’s significance (read ‘reservation’). So when the guy came back to his seat, he was given his note book but not the seat because the lady steadfastly refused to move from the seat as she justified that the seat rightly belonged to her and not to the guy who had just kept a note book. But the guy argued that he had come first and since he had a pressing job, he had to go out for a few minutes but he didn’t want to relinquish his seat and so he had kept the note book so that others wouldn’t occupy it. Then, the girl informed him that as per the company policy, nobody is supposed to reserve seats in the company bus. Now, the guy cant talk back on her because she quoted the policy, so he just said that what she had done was not right and finally got down the bus as there were no empty seats for him to occupy.

My thoughts on this interchange: I agree with the guy. What she did was not right. All policies do not make sense and some of them have to be taken with a pinch of salt. Of course, it depends from person to person. If I were in that girl’s position, I would have seen that note book and dutifully left that seat alone instead of occupying it. After all, there is policy, and then, above all, there is humanity.

Multi cultured India

As I was heading to Chennai recently, I thought, in India, if you travel for about 10-12 hours on road or train, you are most likely to encounter a place with different language. [I thought about this specifically because I do not know Tamil and Chennai being in Tamil Nadu is renowned for its legendary Tamil signboards everywhere]

But with language comes so much more, such as different art forms, like poetry, novels, movies, songs, etc. A language has a culture associated with it. A culture that exists for centuries together, and has enriched the literature and made man achieve more in each form of art. It has sustained all these years and there is so much depth in each language, so much thought that has gone into it and people have been part of such cultures for ages.

And hence, India with its umpteen hetero-lingual states has so many such rich cultures associated with it, unlike popular countries like US, UK, Australia who have the same language but with different accents spoken in different states. Its truly fascinating.

PS: Just as I was departing Chennai, I saw a bank’s advertisement on the train: “In India, there is a different language every 400 kms.” The ad continued something like “Bank on us for banking” or some such thing, but it was quite a coincidence that my exact thought was out there on the train as an advertisement!


I keep traveling a lot. In this year itself, I have traveled to Udupi, Dandeli, Chennai, Ooty, to name a few. In each place I go, I feel the serenity of life. Of peacefulness and tranquility. How nice it is when there is peace all around, isn’t it? I tried to imagine places like Afghanistan, Pakistan, where every other day, there is terror. Terror while walking on the streets, terror at hotels, terror everywhere.

Why cant people live in peace and harmony? It is so nice and good and easy!!



“Whats the time?” she asked.
“9:30,” I replied
She saw the time on the car dash board.
“No. It is just 9:17,” she replied.
“While the whole country is still at 9:17, I am already at 9:30. I am living my future!”
And we both laughed.
Now, that’s what I call “Fundu Funda.”
But she prefers to call it “Fundu’s Funda.”



My wife, my 3 year-old cousin and I were walking on a road full of pot-holes.
My cousin had her one hand held by my wife and one hand held by me.
As we walked on the road, my cousin used to guide us happily to the pot-holes.
The idea was for her to use the pot-holes as jumping grounds, supported by my wife and me, as we air-lifted her.
So, as each pot-hole arrived, she used to jump in joy, and look forward for another.
Each pot-hole in the road gave her so much joy and gaiety that for the first time in my life I realized pot-holes on the road too have a usefulness!


Boarding School

I recently had been to Ooty. I was told that that my aunt had studied in Lawrence School, Lovedale which is about 6 kms away from Ooty. Needless to say, it was a boarding school and it is nothing like those that we see in urban areas. It is a school afforded only by NRIs and those who are extremely affluent. Not that my aunt got into the school because of either of those reasons but she got into the school because of merit.

Anyways, we asked for directions to the school and finally reached it. But to our surprise, we weren’t allowed inside, nor were we allowed to take a snap of the school. No visitors are allowed inside unless prior intimation is provided and permission obtained or if any of the ‘wards’ (that’s the word used by the security guard) belongs to us. Now what does this resemble?

Exactly. A prison. True, a boarding school, especially in the mountains, makes students into great human beings, and all that, but stuck inside the walls of the school for an entire term, year after year, with school’s own strict rules, doesn’t it make the student unaware of the true life outside? Doesn’t it seem too harsh to enforce upon a child a prison-like environment? Doesn’t it remind us of The Truman Show?

I rather felt a child learns more out in the wide vast world during the formative years - and there is more scope of becoming even greater human beings - rather than being confined within the premises of the school.