Archive for June, 2006

Where is the Safety?

June 30, 06 by Bharani

Today early morning, around 3-4 a.m., there was an attempt of theft in the flat just opposite to where we live. Apparently, the house owner has gone to US for 3-4 months I guess. The thief has managed to break the big lock that was put up and even the main lock inbuilt in the door! We were actually awake till 2:30 in the morning. But we all were in to deep sleep by 2:45 a.m. Luckily, the flat owner who was living beneath us had heard some sound and went down and took Security person along to check out what’s happening. By the time they both reached the flat, the thief became alert and ran away. Now, none of us know what has been stolen…Now the people who live in the house have to spend the rest of their days in US with loads of tension…

Since hearing the news, I am disturbed a lot. I mean, what’s the point of all those ‘more security in apartments’ argument. Thiefs do notice the empty houses and attack it. Safety is in our hands…But, no matter how much external security we have, if our time is not good, we can become a victim.

I think we should seriously consider shifting the apartment. There were rumours that this particular locality is prone to thefts. Now, it is not rumours anymore. There should be peace of mind as far as safety is concerned. Once that is disturbed/threatened, then it is very difficult to convince myself from not shifting the house. And we have invested bit heavily..that gives us extra concern…! OK, we all are bachelors and are awake late in the night..but what if all 3 leave for the weekend…I think we should deploy traps like the kid in ‘Home alone’ does!!!

Safety…is a deception.

Episodes from Parlour!

June 29, 06 by Bharani

It is almost 2 months since I cut my hair. I have to attend my cousin sister’s marriage this weekend. So decided to trim my hair to look neat and not shabby…Who likes the guy with shabby, ratty hair anyway? and that too in the marriage…it is a SIN ;)

Since two of my flat mates went to a nearby Men’s Beauty Parlour for dressing their hair, I decided to check out the parlour myself too…I was just entering the parlour and the door automatically opened itself from inside…I thought somebody is coming out and so stood away from the path..After some time, a local guy with 20 days old beard and colgate palmolive smile came out and said..”Come in sir!”. Gosh…then it struck..”it’s the damn customer service”.

I entered inside the parlour. The shop is fully air-conditioned. Not many customers. There were just two gentlemen utilizing the services of the parlour. One was middle-aged. He was reading his newspaper and one person was grinding his heels with a finely crafted saw like tool…and another one was polishing his fingernails..The other customer was just having a shampoo bath…A hair-dresser came to me and asked..”Sir..what do you want?”. I said..”Just haircut…medium..but short on the side and the back”…He understood and started his work..I was observing myself in the mirror and realized how much hair I have lost over the years…hmm…i think the supply will last only for few more years…I sincerely wish that a shining bald-head becomes a fashion by then…Just when I woke back from my good old memories, he disturbed me and said..”Sir..it’s done”!..I checked and said..”Ok”..I thought, I will have a massage..”How much for massage?”..”60 Rupees sir”..After few more conversations decided to have the massage.

He said..”Sir..use navaratna oil..it is good.” As I did not have any preference, i said..”ok”. He then began his massaging operation. He used my head as Drums, Mirudangam, washing stone, and what not…But I closed my eyes and enjoyed my massage…I have tried to do the same techniques myself but somehow don’t get the same relief, when a seasoned masseur does it..He then proceeded to massage my neck, shoulders, back till lower back. I got that tickling feeling when he massaged my back. I started reacting just like a person who is being tickled does. The masseur started smiling and continued his massage in the same place… it tickled more…more…and then I leaned forward….forward and fell in to splits of laughter…Even the masseur started laughing…I felt weird and awkward!! I signalled him to stop…he understood and proceeded back towards the head region and finished his job. By now my hair was a holy mess…So, I asked him..”How much for shampoo?”..He said, “Rs.60/=”..”So, that includes drying also?”..”No sir, Rs.60 for drying…”…What a way to extract money…”Ikkada anni aravai rupaila?” (Everything is Rs.60 here?) ..Paid for the hair-cut and massage. I then had to walk back the distance to my home and had to bear the strange looks of people who were wondering what happened to my hair…:) But the massage left me energized for the whole day…

Courtesy: Lack of ideas to blog about…! will enjoy free-wheeling for some days….

Pedal…Pedal…

June 27, 06 by Bharani

Cycling…

Whenever I go to fitness centre (I have visited fitness centre only 30-40 times totally in my life), my legs take me automatically to the cycling equipment. I just love pedalling…After seeing lance armstrong and the way he beautifully pedals in a rocking motion, I have developed a liking to cycling…rather pedalling…

I normally set a target. Say 10 kms. Every time, I will try to beat my previous performance. The latest is 10 kms in 17.3 minutes at difficulty level 4. It’s always easy to reach 2-3 kilometers. It is the middle portion which is tough to sustain. You will feel like giving up…That’s when, my prestige takes over…”What the F#@*, be a man…”!!! Then, I pedal…pedal…look sideways…look up…look at my own image in the mirror…murmur to myself..”I can..I can..” After some time, I will stablize..Then, legs will begin to hurt… feel a sense of bulging on thighs…on the calf muscles…sweat pouring like heavens from your head…Finally, when I reach the target, automatically the smile emerges on the face…the victorious smile…! A sense of achievement…:) For that short duration of time, I am Lance Armstrong…no one can take that perception away from me…!

Only when I plant my foot on the ground will I realize that taking even a single step is going to be a herculean task…Not ready to show the tiredness, I just stylishly lean on to the nearby support (wall, equipment or some god damn thing!) as if I am posing to a photographer……and wait until I sense that I can walk normally…man, I am weak yet I am strong…it’s all in the mind…

But there are all kinds of people who come to fitness centre…6 feet vertically or 5 feet horizontally or 7 feet circumferentially! People with huge biceps roughly the size of my thighs! (Well that’s an exaggeration..Let me correct it…actually the biceps are bigger than my thighs!) Fat-burners…muscle-builders…People who lift all the weights in one stretch and people who lift just the bar…diversity at its best…

I always use to wonder, everyone wants to spend calories when they come to gym…basically give away the excess calories..why not convert those calories to something useful…say electricity! Say, you pedal…so connect the wheel to a generator through a conveyor belt and efficiently convert the energy to electricity…the more electricity i generate, the more I feel like Shah-rukh-khan of Swadesh! Same applies to all the equipments…Anyone interested in a good business plan? please feel free to implement it..no royalties please :)

Man, I am so happy today…because after 15 months…I spent the complete 8 hours in work only for work!!! so, just letting my fingers type whatever it wants…

Paradisoooo….

June 25, 06 by Bharani

http://www.cinemaparadisoshop.com/images/index_11.jpg

At ISB, we have this benefit of renting top-quality DVDs anytime, the luxury of recommending a good DVD to be purchased. In the outside world, renting DVD is a costly affair. Even if you manage to rent a DVD for 50 rupees, there are chances that the DVD is pirated and that the DVD player might get damaged.

There is this shop called “Cinema Paradiso”, India’s first licenced DVD rental shop. They have few branches in India. This is a high-end rental shop and targeted towards the affluent society. The membership fees is Rs.3000 and the cost of renting a single DVD is Rs.75 or Rs.100 depending on the movie. That is costly in Indian standards. But the shop has an awesome collection of movies, some of which you might never get in a normal shop. This is a great benefit for movie aficionados. Moreover almost all the DVD’s are collector’s edition (which will have lot of features in addition to the movie). They have also neatly classified the movies to different genres. I believe, having a membership here will soon become a symbol of status!

The special feature of the shop is the mini theatre. This is what Hindu has to say about this

“..The 11-seater is equipped with a 52-inch plasma television. With the acoustics okayed by A.R. Rahman’s sound engineers, the theatre will give you the complete theatre experience tempered with a happy cosy feel thanks to snug rugs and comfy sofas. And while you could bring in eats from the many fast food joints in and around the place, popcorn is on the house. ..”

The cost of renting the mini theatre for 11 people is Rs.1000/=. Now, that’s a nice way to celebrate an occasion for a small group!

I will wait for some more time before getting a membership. May be my firm comes up with a corporate plan…

blame…worthiness!

June 25, 06 by Bharani

10:15 p.m. Not much traffic on the road. I was walking back to my room after purchasing some food stuff. An autorickshaw fled past me. I felt a sensation of something being sprayed on my body. Since it was dark, I could not realize what it was. When I closely observed, I saw dark droplets spread all over my right hand and pants. They were ink drops. I looked around and saw a plastic ink bottle lying on the ground, completely deformed in shape, literally road-rolled. Those ink drops are not something that goes away. The ink is meant for ballpoint pens. I was so enraged…that I shouted…”S..H…I..T..”! on the empty road and it echoed in the empty roads…By this time, the autorickshaw had already transformed into a mini-dot in the distant…

I was so pissed off by the thought that my pants have become useless…I blamed my friend for bringing me along with him to the shop inspite of my resistance…I blamed the autorickshaw for driving on the bottle…I blamed the person who threw the bottle on the road…I blamed the corporation worker for not doing the clean-up job properly…Blame, Blame, Blame was all I did…The more the parties I tried to blame, the more I was enraged…I was atleast lucky that I was wearing an old T-shirt…

Only when I came to my room did I realize that I did not kick the bottle away from the road..Now, I am responsible for someother good pant getting spoilt…and I will be part of somebody else’s blame…! Next time, I will try to maintain calm and see how I can control the damage…and when will all our citizens co-operate to maintain the cleanliness in public places is a question that needs to be answered…and thought upon…

PS: I bought the pants only 20 days ago…I tried to clean the pants..but to no avail.

Tale of Online search…

June 23, 06 by Bharani

1. Post my profile in TeluguMatrimony.com [With a very short-and-sweet description, no photos uploaded, no horoscopes uploaded]

2. Explain the Online matrimonial facility to my parents and the benefits associated with it. Impressed with such a facility available in net, they pursue me to add more details. I even ended up paying Rs.1750/= to acquire the paid-benefits of the matrimonial site [Like sending personalized message, password-protecting the photograph etc.,]. Can’t believe it!

3. Go through the profiles matching my preferences. The most important filtering being “Search profiles who has put up photographs”!! Later, I realized that most of the people who put up photographs have published a well-crafted, studio-quality photographs. The bright-white teeth, the angel-like glow behind the hair and extremely fair face (a closer analysis will reveal the huge contrast between the hand color and the face color!) makes you wonder “How come everyone is so beautiful”??

4. Wait for someone to contact me. You know, the typical Why-should-I-make-the-first-move thought. Fed up with the dismal response rate, I begin to analyze the reasons…

5. Decide to search for profiles without photographs. I learn to patiently read the description written by the parents/friends/siblings. It turns out that genuinely interested people do not publish the photographs (or atleast password-protect the photographs).

6. Decide to make the first move. Express the interest to the newly found profiles and wait for response.

7. Decide to publish my photograph and put up my salary figure. Within 24 hours, the response rate improves dramatically. Agency problems??

8. All the while, I forgot about the Horoscope compatibility. I cannot seek the service of a Purohit each time to match the horoscopes nor can I learn the astrology overnight. Think…Think…Finally, I find an online Horoscope matching service which does a good job of matching.

9. Match the horoscopes of profiles to decide whether to proceed further or not. The service gives a score on a 36 scale. Minimum of 18 points is needed for horoscope to be compatible. If the points is 30+, then the match is excellent! But the score is not just enough..There are more checks like Manglik dosha, Nadi dosha, Masala dosha, Paper dosha etc.,!!! If there is any one dosha, then even if you have a score of 36 out of 36, the horoscopes are certified as incompatible! [A small fact, 46%-53% of people in the world are Mangliks]. Manglik dosha is the result of Mars positioning himself/herself in some specific squares in horoscope. Now is this what is meant when someone say “Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus”…Juz Kidding ;)

10. It turns out that 5 out of 8 profiles that were up for matching are incompatible.

11. I get more responses [both response to my responses and fresh proposals]. The horoscope funneling eliminates the responses!

12. A close friend suggests to remove the salary figure and put the photograph (password-protected). Also, a few modifications in the description. I follow the same.

13. Two prospects have been contacting me since then. Also, they received a score of 33 out of 36 in horoscope compatibility test! One prospect asked me to meet the brother of the girl in hyderabad! Scared by the thought of being interviewed mercilessly by a stranger and by the speed at which events were taking place, I decided not to respond. I will let my parents do the initial talking.

14. One profile caught my attention, but for one thing. The HEIGHT! She was 170 cms. I remember my height as 169 cms. I wanted to confirm my height badly…I even bugged my flat mates to help me in measuring my height!! At that moment, I was complaining to god for being vertically challenged :) Anyway, I don’t want to end up as the shorter one after the marriage! So, with heavy heart had to let go that profile…and updated my preferences to reflect the height…

15. After few cycles, the preferences have evolved and many confusions are cleared. I have even come up with a bank of questions to ask whenever I get a chance to meet a prospect! There is also a document of “things that I would like to do for my life-partner” so that I can impress her in the future…you see, the problem of seeing too many Tam/Hindi love movies :)

16. Now comes the anti-climax. It turns out that my preferences have narrowed my choices way too much. Caste, Place, Education, Career, Height, Looks…etc.,

17. Totally confused and frustrated by the futility of the online search with such a preference, I finally decide to not log into matrimony site anymore. Atleast not for the next 1 month. As I was not lucky enough to find a life-partner on my own so far, I will leave the job to my parents…provided my preferences are satisfied. It’s going to be a long-drawn process…that’s for sure and it better take time, as it is a question of life…!

Only take-away: I got to meet/interact with 2-3 new people. It was great to know about their interests and ambitions in life.

For a brief period, there was a great interest to get married and settle in life fast..Now, the interest has died down (is gradually dying down..)…With the excitement and fun away, it’s time to kick-some-mighty-a** in work :) The momentum is finally picking up at work front…

PS: There was a big dilemma whether to publish this or not…Question of excitement vs consequence…finally, excitement prevailed…hope I am not wrong….

So Refreshing…..

June 19, 06 by Bharani

Normally I don’t give much attention to forwards…but these Images are so refreshing to ignore…

http://img445.imageshack.us/img445/7635/noname31zn.gif

The other 2 images (part of trilogy!) that I cannot fit in the page…

Dhadkhan…

June 19, 06 by Bharani

I have a feeling that, for past few months, I am leading a very cushy cushy life, without facing any major struggles to fight with or any major obstacles to overcome. May be this is due to the positive attitude that is growing day-by-day or May be because life has been really been kind on me….

Deep down, I want to struggle…I want to face difficulties…In the past, when I faced difficulties and when I had major challenges to face with, and I overcame those, I felt COMPLETE. Each time I overcome the obstacles, I felt the growth within me…

I thought I got a small set of wings out…but not quite so…God, I want to struggle more….and get the wings out of my cocoon….and finally fly high…May be it’s time that I start working towards my long term goal…earlier than I planned to start…

My heartbeat…instead of “LUB DUB….LUB DUB” is “TAKE RISK… TAKE RISK”

Power of Association…

June 16, 06 by Bharani

Guest House: (May 8th)

3 Wipro guys in front of me..all freshers…introduce themselves to me…I introduce myself…and theres comes the word “ISB”…the looks on their faces change…a mark of respect emerges….from then on whatever I say, they listen with silence….with attention…They want to know more about ISB…a lot…they have already started GMAT Preparation…!!!

Guest House: (May 11th)

New set of people come to Guest house (Google guys). This time, I don’t do anything…The Wipro guys convey that I am from ISB…”He is from I..S..B..”!!

Convergys: (May 16th)

Some of my colleagues come to me (freshers)…talk with me…want to know more about ISB…”Bharani, We would like to sit with you and want to listen to your experiences about ISB someday..”. “How much score should I get in GMAT?”…and the list goes on..They see me with respect…talk to me with regard…I would definitely help them out in whatever way possible…of course nothing is official…

Convergys: (June 8th)

A new person joins our team. We kind of introduce ourselves. This time, I don’t say that I am from ISB…After quite some time, he comes to know that I am from ISB..”Oh…you are a product of ISB…? great!”. The look on his face changed to some kind of respect….

Convergys: (June 15th)

Induction program…I introduce myself…mention that I am from Indian School of Business….The looks on the faces of people changes….they pay more attention to what I say…I infered from couple of coffee chats with some of those people that they wanted to work with the team which has grads from ISB! Some people already are planning to prepare GMAT!! They say, “Who better than you to give gyaan about MBA courses…we would like to hear from you about that sometime..?”…

Man, this kind of respect triggers a kind of ‘nashaa’…It’s a good feeling..but should not fall for it…it is very tricky…the expectation on me is higher…They would like to see some magic from me…that kind of pressure is too much…I sometimes think, “Oh man, they think I am a superman…what if i screw up this?”…May be I am disillusioned…but there are more evidences to support that it is not disillusion, but a genuine expectation dilemma…

The last 2 years of impressive placement performance and the incredible media coverage executed by ISB this year has made sure that ISB is known as a big brand…reputed brand…ISB brand is growing…at a rapid pace…

Similar to “Burden of command”, this is called “Burden of ISB”!!! People judge the quality of ISB based on quality of you…if you are really good, then perception about ISB goes up…but if you are not that good, perception about ISB goes down…atleast among the people who observe you daily…

Now I know why some IIT guys and IIM guys move around with a shield around them….and don’t even talk to some people from tier 2 colleges…it’s because of this ‘Nashaa’…it’s because of this “Power of association with a great institution”….I am hoping that my humility will not let me down and help me to walk with a level-head. This ‘realization’ should keep me on my toes and help me to perform well…

Welcome aboard!

June 15, 06 by Bharani

It is hardly 45 days since I joined the firm and I am taking session in the induction program for freshers…Well, had to cover for a person who was supposed to take the session…

It’s very refreshing to see fresh graduates straight out of the college, with a great amount of enthusiasm and interest gleaming in their eyes. They don’t have any idea about how the organization works and how the teams function. But they want to do some geeky things. Develop great software. Make big bucks. Buy gadgets. Do lot of things….When they join the organization they are like babies. At this stage, their learning curve is very steep and they absorb concepts/ideas/techniques in large amounts. They are clean from organizational politics. I liked interacting with them…REFRESHING….

My colleague who accompanied me explained to the freshers about lot of fun things that happens in our BU. Overall, we projected our Business Unit as THE PLACE to work in the organization…That’s a big deal given the fact that we did not even had any PPT’s to present!

Another incentive for taking sessions for freshers is that you can check out some smart girls….and if you want, do a little bit of fun ragging as well :) (But we didn’t!). A funny incident. Since we were the 5th Business unit to present, we did not want the freshers to go through another round of boring introductions! But at the same time, the curious harmones in us wanted to know the name of some girls….So I began asking, “Is there a person in this room who knows every person by name?”. Not even a single hand raised! Luckily, a person from the last bench raised his hand. I said, “Give him a big hand, it’s a commendable thing.” After a brief applause and making sure that he felt happy about the achievement (no sarcasm here, it’s very tough to remember the names of many strangers at once), my colleague interrupted, “Wait, I don’t believe you..Tell me the name of the person here” (Pointing to the girl)!…The cycle continued until we knew what we wanted to know!

Fun apart, I proposed to my superior that myself and my two colleagues will be taking all the induction sessions in future (about our Business unit). With the rate of expansion that is happening, I guess there will be induction sessions every fortnight or even week! Nice exercise to spend the time….until we hit the 100% utilisation rate…