Archive for May, 2006

"The reservation bill that promises to set aside 27 per cent of seats in educational institutes for the Other Backward Castes"
The earliest recollection of 'Reservation Controversy' was when I was in fourth division, the year going by reverse engineering would be 1990,  studying in what was arguably the most elite school of New Delhi. It was sometime in March and the unforgiving annual examinations were just around the corner. Something like ‘Mandal Commission’ could be heard on AIR almost all the time. And along with it loud opinions, violent disagreements and of course loathable turncoat statements of politicos thronged the idiot box, almost invariably cutting on my daily appetite of Cartoon shows.

 

Suddenly one fine morning news came over that some Rajiv Goswami had self-immolated in Deshbandhu College. This college was just around the corner of my house and had the rare distinction of being both ‘Laila-Majnu’ college and ‘Stud Bhai ka’ college of Delhi University.

(Till now this had been the talk of the town only for the ‘Staff Power’ that its I-Cards yielded. For the lesser mortals who are unaware of this divine truth, an explanation follows. I-Card of Deshbandhu college was enough for any one to board any private bus be it the vanilla Blue-Line or the Deluxe White-Line ones and get a free ride to just about any destination.)

As the news of the attempt to self-immolate spread like wild-fire, panic gripped the city. The union government immediately ordered a curfew in most of the high-risk areas in the posh suburbs of south Delhi. My school came bang in the middle of that locale and a result the exams got postponed indefinitely. When classes finally resumed after about a fortnight later, the exams had to be replaced by a miniaturized caricature of its original self, referred in the school circles as Unit Tests.

It must be ironical that just about the time Rajiv Goswami died an unknown death , the controversy seems to have resurfaced. This time thanks to the spineless congress led coalition, a party which can almost hold the patent for Vote-Bank politics. I had always believed that being a good individual os no excuse for being ineffective or inefficient. Manmohan Singh as honest as a credential he may sport has been thoroughly ineffective in all measures after the initial bold move of ending the License Raj. That too was undoubtedly the credit of P.V Narsimharao, one of the most effective leaders this country has ever produced. No wonder hence that Manmohan suffered a humiliating defeat in our parliamentary constituency of Outer Delhi when he stood against an unheard of Delhi University Professor, V.K.Malhotra. He paid the price of being incapable of leadership and being on the wrong side. The same side which was ornamented with goons and thugs like Jagdish Tytler and H.K.L.Bhagat.

This once, the honor is done by another one of unique congress sample’, Arjun Singh. A person who is doubtful of being able to recite even the alphabet list in any language of his choice without stumbling-fumbling and gaping for air! A person who is as capable of dispensing his duties as is the idea of solving complex algebraic equations by chewing bubble-gums!

Coming to the bill as such; for the fist time this kind of positive discrimination bill is conspicuously missing the ‘creamy layer’ condition. This would make the reservation legally applicable to even the wealthy ‘backward cast’ citizens. (It is another matter that these people have probably always used such reservations using extra-legal methods, even when they were legally exempted from such provisions). This does gross injustice to an average ciizen who toils his life out in order to make way into educational institutions of his choice. The fact theta the IITs and the IIMs are any different from Amity Engineering College and ITM School of Management is because of the rigor of its admission process which sieves only the most dedicated and disciplined of students. (Note here that intelligence is not a criteria. Most students who actually compete neck to neck for such entrances have about similar intelligence levels)

The unfortunate thing is that the reservations are not into making them at par in the competitive entrance process but to take them through that even if they are sub-standard. This process does profane injustice to those students in the backarward communities who would have made it through the selection process even if there were no reservation. He will be subjected to the same contempt in the student community of looked down upon at similar levels to those of his peers who made their way by the sole blessing of their birth in the ‘scheduled caste/communities’.

The funny thing is next time I go to a doctor, ik will forst ask him to prove that he is not one who made his way in due to reservations before I let him examine me. Next time I hire a software engineer in my firm, I will discard the IIT Kanpur grad in the HR round due to ineffective communication skills after one brief look at his caste certificate. Rest assured without the cruches of another round of reservations (one that Kamal Nath is threatening to impose) these people will find it almost impossible ot make way into any respectable job.

What the IIT & IIMs can do so as to negate the detrimental effect of sub standard people coming in due to such reservations is to mention the category under which the student has got admission in his passing certificate. This will make the job a lot easier for the corporates to screen out the defunct ones.

The country seems to be moving into an era in which a person’s origin of birth is assuming greater importance than the person himself. An unfortunate scenario, which will almost inevitably breed such birth-cert spoofers and fakers, and they could actually scarcely be blamed for that !

Hitech Span

The Above image is taken from the Roof top Cafeteria of Kanbay. It shows from the left to right the office of VSNL,Edges of the mamothian Cyber Pearl, TCS Deccan Park, A Building under construction, Jayabheri Apts., Accenture andOther Residential Areas

HYD Span

The Above Spanned Image shows the whole view of hyderabad City taken from Golconda Fort

Jogging Area

The Road to Perdition. The Road leading from Cyber Towers to KPHB. Sometimes the gateway to hell !

On Friday, I witnessed another departure from my company, of a person having a lot of unused potential as a manager. Its some time now that lots of people are leaving shores from our company, almost all of them very high on the ability quotient. The unfortunate fact remains that the people coming on board are generally conspicuous by the lack of persona and of leadership skills or even potential.

The person who left yesterday, had been the manager second in command of my project in my organization. The project was by far the most important one running in my company, and he was a manager in it. But, he was only SECOND in command, a very distant second. Almost always overshadowed by a more dominating and a far less able individual whose sole claim to fame was his adeptness at keeping himself in the good books of the people who matter even in the best of times. This person who left, had been infamous in the project for being inefficient and ineffective. But my detailed analysis revealed the Ctach-22 of his state, He had almost all the responsibilities and no power. All the power was vested in the hands of the ‘Big One’. I once had a long and candid discussion with him, in which I had expressed my disarray at the red-tape and the almost sarkari bureaucracy; as the discussion went along he too started to open up and I got an insight in to his own level of frustration. The known fact was that he had started looking for ‘greener pastures’ for around a year now. This first came into light when one of the junior members of the team found him at a competing organization’s referral recruitment drive as a prospective candidate.

What really annoyed me was my discussions from a smart and cute lady who had newly come on board as an HR Personnel, in charge with checking the sky rocketing attrition rates. The lady kept harping about the sound management and the great environment our company had; and in the process drawing constant comparisons with her ex-employers who form among two of the biggest companies in the world. What I wanted to tell her, is that if nothing such big organizations have a penchant to sniff out potential for managerial acumen and go to great pains in protecting and incubating it to generate leaders who are much more than mere managers and are often in invigorating new life into an otherwise decadent system.

I also realized that in a big sinking ship in the corporate ones, often the first ones to run clean are the top brass. The past few months has seen many of the top management out of the blue leave the company, when outwardly everything seemed to be working in perfect shape. But over a period of time, the excessive co-incidence of such high profile departures started to stick out like sore thumbs to the discerning minds. I for one could see a definite pattern in the ‘stray’ departures. In fact after careful analysis and a bit of extrapolation, I have formed a theory, according to which I would be really surprised if some others from the top-brass do not soon follow suit in deserting the company. After all, uneasy lies the head that wears the crown, and particularly so when the crown is one of thorns!!

Meanwhile I have spent some of my time the past few days very constructively with my friend Dip, trying to capture the beauty and essence of Hitech city on my camera. Should be posting some of those snaps sometime soon.

A thought to end this post with, "Everytime I found the key to success, someone switched the locks"  ~ Anonymous

After the news came in that I made into IIM, Life has almost taken a somersault. I have become complacent and different to work. Days are spend touring the last of the unknown corners of the city.

And I have been enthusiastically pursuing my ‘wanderlust’. Places I have visited after the results are Goa, Pune, Matheran, Kolkata, Burdwan & Sikkim(Gangtok). The most picturesque of them has undoubtedly been Sikkim. After an overnight bus journey from Kolkata to Siliguri followed by a five hour back breaking ‘sumo ride’, we finally reached Gangtok for a three day stay program. The views and the experience it presented was truly worth the pains.

The detailed experience would tale some time to pen down so I would briefly put in some of the things we did in those three days

· Day 1: Visit the downtown shopping complex, enjoy the food there. Look and observe the people and try and get a feel of their lives.

· Day 2: Take a tourist vehicle and visit Changhu Lake, Babaji’s Mandir , Nathula & View point. From view point get a pristine view of the Kanchenjunga and take some snaps.

· Day 3: Check out the ropeway which gives a beautiful arial view of the city, go to Rumtek Monastery

All this while we took some wonderful snaps, whether it was snow covered peaks, or lush green tea gardens spanning the whole view, sikkimese children trudging along the slopes on their way to/from the school, monks of all ages adolescents, youth, middle aged and elderly in their various times as they go through their refreshingly simple and piously puritan lifestyle.

Green hillsAt Changhu Lake

Snow Capped Mts.Kanchenjunga

Babaji's MandirAt Babaji's Mandir

Sometime it made me feel that the ‘concrete jungle’ and the ‘rat race’ that goes init has truly made us oblivious to happiness and peace of mind. Mind has indeed been numbed by the comforts it so desires to an extent such that it is no longer able to experience and appreciate the little joys of life.

Sleeping Monk boy Dharma Chakra

One of my most prized snaps is the one in which a small monk of about the age of 12 years is comfortable napping on the table of their co-operative cafeteria which serves surprisingly tasty Maggi at the very reasonable rate of Rs. 12 and plays popular hindi movie numbers. When he realize he wasa being shot he gave such a mesmerizing smile which I thought is probably extinct in cities like New Delhi, Mumbai or for that matter any metropolis. More of its snaps are present here.

Monks in MeetingRumtek interiors

Wat to Rumtek CompundRumtek Monastery

Buddha's Golden Statue

While in Kolkata, checked out the now wonderfully working Salt Lake City Center. Met with buddies, met my relations and gave a last long look at the city which some time had been my home for a fairly kingfish span.

Salt Lake City Center Salt Lake City Center

The past few days, lots of developments have taken place. I have put in my papers in my company and the travel plan has been finalized. So days are spent socializing with the friends with this rather lengthy two and a half years of involvement, cementing relationships, reinforcing bridges built of the days. Made some new friends during this span too. Took many friends out for a treat that they extorted me to give!

Been spending the last couple of days going to the handful of locales that I missed in Hyderabad. Went to Golconda fort with two friends, had a great time watching the sound and light show. Took some wonderful snaps of bats hanging upside down from the fort walls too! The past few mornings I keep wondering at the beauty of Hitch City, one place which has literally been my domain for quite some time now. I have walked in an out of this place ten times a day and yet remained oblivious to its inherent beauty. Now when time is near to bid adieu, I realize it was indeed one of the very few places of work of international standards; organized, maintained and commanding by its presence.

Last night, after doing a round of window shopping at Hyderabad Central, I capped my experience by watching an otherwise thoroughly avoidable movie “Darna Zaroori Hai” with a friend, just to bring back the experience the numerous weekends and some weekday evening that we spent lavishly wasting on the most ridiculous of movies!

Never really thought this would happen, although when I think in retrospect it was inevitable. As the day nears for me to bid adieu to this place, a bitter sweet feeling seems to engulf me. I have grown sort of attached to this place and the people with whom my life had been so closely entangled the past few years. Its as if a bondage which has grown, much to the lack of my knowledge!