Friday, January 24, 2014

Idiosyncrasies of 2014: Politics & Football in the same sentence!

2014 has gotten off to a rather eventful beginning, good or bad there's been something that's called for a crazy reaction in varied aspects.

The Political Drama (an Indian Feature Film)
Arvind Kejriwal - AAP - Political Supandi
All the Drama in 2014 was (is/going to be) courtesy one person, whom Uddhav Thackeray called an 'Item Girl', the same man who wasn't sure of his JD before taking up a Job (as Delhi CM) and now is behaving like a Finance Graduate (assumed he'll be an Investment Banker) and is being asked to sell Insurance, the one and only Arvind Kejriwal, aka AK!

This reminds me of my Business Strategy class, where a market which currently follows an Oligopoly, the barriers for entry are very high (pardon me for only taking excerpts and not actuals), so it isn't ideal to enter this market. Now drawing parallels to India Politics, Congress & BJP are the two largest parties with umpteen other regional parties helping each of them by forming a coalition. When AK had to enter politics, he either had to take the Donkey's Route of starting with one of these parties and then going up the ladder to eventually be in a position to impose his ideas on them OR think out of the box. That was the exact moment when he suddenly noticed himself on crossroads of Anna Hazare (and his routine hunger strikes) & the power of social media. He used this opportune moment to propel himself as a Third Front (an option which India's always going to 'soon' have for the last 69 years).

I don't have an issue with any of that, as that's him thinking out of the box. But where I disagree is:
1) Going on a Strike, being the Chief Minister (CM) of Delhi
2) Getting Delhi to a literal standstill and trying to strike another chord by calling himself an Anarchist
3) Half the social media population trying first doing the 'cool/in' thing by voicing their support for his party AAP, only to later start wondering what went wrong?
4) Another bunch who call this a 'Revolution'. I'm guessing the word revolution is preferred as it isn't yet Mainstream (pun intended)
5) Trying to undermine the blunder of the racist & sexist remark by a couple of the party members
6) Lastly, a few ppl proclaiming that "at least he's doing something and not sitting in an office like the other politicians". I mean seriously, that is his 'freaking job' to sit in an office and govern Delhi (statement credit: Swathi)!

The Football Hullabaloo 
Juan Mata - Chelsea FC - CFC - MUFC - Miss you Mata - Jai Mata DiIt's obvious that being an avid football follower (and a True Blue, Chelsea fan for all of 14 years) this month usually is eventful for the January transfer window. Eventful yes, but this time around it was something to be sad about (as a Chelsea Fan). A player who had been a star for the last 2 season (a fan favourite) for Chelsea in the form of Juan Mata was sold to a rival club (Manchester United).

For all those who don't know/follow football, now you know what all that Twitter/FB buzz about 'Mata Mata Mata Something Mata Mata Mata' was all about. However this surely did shake things up quite a bit.

Rossell, Barcelona, FCB, Neymar, ControversyIf all that wasn't enough, one of the biggest clubs on the planet (in the form of Barcelona) suddenly plunged into controversies (legal turmoil) over the transfer of one player, Neymar. The President of the club stepped down and all kinds of questions are now being asked. This club that once stood for it's integrity, boasted about being transparent, always believed that they were more than just a football club when they tied up with UNICEF, are now in Murky Waters!

So much for football buzz.

Others Titbits
There was however a silent silver lining for Bangaloreans. In a good first small step forward, the heart of the CBD of Bangalore (Bengaluru) (6 major roads including Brigade Rd, MG Road, CMH Road etc) will have Free Wifi from today (24th Jan). This isn't a change in a paradigm, but at least it's a positive step forward (however the infrastructure still needs a cartload to be worked on)!

If you're wondering why I wrote this post, then you weren't the intended target audience (and that's the safest statement I've made in over a 1000 words ;))!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

"The Indian Herd Mentality", a big thanks to FB!

I wonder how people would react when they realize that anti-incumbency and induced cynicism is the reason for a good number of the netizens going gaga over Modi or NaMo (the so-called cooler way to refer to to him)?

I always tried to refrain from commenting/writing about the India Politics, as every Tom Dick and Harry nowadays has a view of how NaMo is biggest savior of mankind. 

But something I recently read earlier today in one of the social media websites, has absolutely taken away any chances of me continuing to refrain. I will not divulge into the exact contents of that post, however the gist of that post meant "1USD = 80 INR will happen if Manmohan Singh continues to remain the PM of India".

My issues with the above are:
  1. I'm not an expert to comment on financial/economic matters of the nation, but if a statement as lame as this can be made sounding like an expert, then I'm Batman and I'm not going to refrain any further
  2. Not everyone against NaMo is anti-nationalist. In fact from when did India become a binary nation of either Modi or Congress? Moreover the last I knew we as a nation were accommodating to China to tell us they had issues with what we did within our own country
  3. You surely can have your own opinion, however those who strong advocate for any political party in India should be a resident Indian Citizen (Indian "living" in India through it's nuances)
  4. If you still vouch that Manmohan Singh is the sole cause of the high dollar value, then I'd really want to see your credentials (educational/professional) which give you the authority to do so?
With that said, my annoyance is not just with that one post but with umpteen other such jingoist behavioral tendencies that have been popping up over the last 1 year, hence:
  • If you feel strongly for NaMo then that's your opinion, others too, have the very similar right. So STFU (and yes, it is what you think it is), and stop trying to vouch against/protest against/make judgements of people who think otherwise. With every going minute you only sound like megalomaniacs
  • A national leader is someone who is accommodating to everyone's interests and makes a decision that is closest to win-win and not someone who changes the meaning of the word 'secular' for his own personal vendetta
  • There was a discussion I came across in a forum about an American Firm being hired to do the PR for NaMo, I don't know the truth behind this (and I'm more interested in knowing how many cactus's grow in the Sahara Desert than this) however my issue is not with the firm being hired, but with the fact that there are so many Indians who've blindly fallen for every claim without verifying it's merit
  • There is another cartload of people who consider NaMo the messiah of god-knows-what and may even chant Modilleluja (Praise Modi, in modern day Hebrew). They actually believed a news item that NaMo's US VISA was rejected due to the Indian Govt. asking them to do so? Again, when (if ever) was the last time the US acted on something the Indian Govt asked it to do? 5th Century BC? or was it before the Big Bang Theory?
  • There are umpteen other liberal views to NaMo:
    • One of the most notable views which I've absolutely loved reading is by a Consultant Economist with Research and Information Systems (RIS) for Developing Countries called Shipra Nigam
    • A friend's (Vibhor Mathur) liberal view of feeling the brunt of not being a NaMo fan, but not being a Congressman either
    • A funny one by a fellow blogger MJ:
      "Soooo..I was just thinking...
      If Rahul Gandhi wins..its highly unlikely he will marry his foreign girlfriend, so he will not have any son or daughter to pass on the baton..effectively ending the political reign of the Gandhi Family..I mean Nehru's family..
      If Modi wins, Rahul might DDLJ and come back with 2 cute kids and then win the next term to carry on the family legacy (assuming we have eradicated NaMonia by then)
      Disclosure: I never went to any Political Party.. I dont know what happens there.. I went only to my Freshers' party.... It was fun
      PS: Laughter is the right response..everything else is just wrong"
This is a simple view from a humble India.
I don't vouch for/endorse any political party.
and on a cheesy note, I don't subscribe to Modi and I'm not a terrorist!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

I have worked myself into a frenzy of Lethargy!

This is pretty much the story of 90% of the working population, in India at least. We want to do so much, but somehow in the midst of all the nuances related to work that keep us busy; we end up tired/exhausted and by the end of our working day, we consider sleep as the only other part of our black and white (work and sleep) life. In this process of always enhance lethargy we end up missing out on a lot of small, yet important parts of our life (which we only regret in retrospect).

It was earlier today that during a conversation (nicer way to refer to an argument) with my Mom, she happened to tell me that “Anyways you’ll only be working or sleeping”. However sarcastic that may sound, it sure got me thinking.

For a while now, I have my to-do list on a multitude of subjects set, but somehow I end up only sticking to/attempting the bare minimum (work, food, sleep and bare essentials of a Saturday night out). One of the biggies I’ve slacked on, and nearly paid the price was renewing this domain. I lost the domain and had to wait for over 2 months for it to be displayed for sale again, before buying it for 5 years this time around and enabling auto-renew (considering my forgetful memory).

But then, that was not just the list of things I’d promised to start doing since moving back to Bangalore, over a year ago and ended up completely missing on. The list was endless, and a couple of high priority ones missed out and worth mentioning is:
  • Some form of exercise - I know how hitting the gym ends up being a fad unless you have a routine-freak for company. Hence I considered options like dance classes, yes dance you did read that correctly, yoga at home (dad’s insistence rather) and going for a jog work every morning. But alas, none of these even came close to completion 
  • Toastmasters – This was something that I enjoyed to the fullest when I was in Mumbai. I always thought I was going to get going the minute I land here and find a new club. On this however, I did begin with searching for a club and even attended a couple of meetings in a couple of clubs. But after not finding a suitable club in the initial search, the look up suddenly stopped for some unknown reason
That list as I mentioned earlier only kept on growing. Hence it is no point cribbing over spilt milk; I knew I had to do something to change the trend, however small that change is doesn’t usually matter. It’s just that kick in your backside that you need to get things going again. :) 

To begin with I’m getting a Table Tennis Table, which will compensate for the exercising need and, I’ve registered/will be giving my Toastmasters ACB (Advanced Communicator Bronze) - Project 2 speech in a corporate club in Bangalore next week (thanks to a friend, Suman), which will reinvigorate my love for Toastmasters.

Least this way I’ll slowly get back to doing what I feel I do the best, call it doing multiple different things to keep myself (brain & body) busy (positive outlook) OR ‘Jack of all trades’ (negative outlook) *pun intended*

Do you find a similar trend in your life? Then I sincerely hope (wearing shoes, woodland to be specific), reading this article is a kick to your backside! :)

PS: I have to give credit to Justin partially, for making sure I write on my blog after over a year!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

The Fad Nation

“Photography is my passion, I love going on photowalks and clicking my DSLR”
“BBM me”
“I love wearing these loafers, they are so awfully comfortable” (Oxymoronic is the in thing)
“I need a new phone that works on Angry Birds” (Pun Intended)

Well these were some of the umpteen expressions that have become so very characteristic of our very own dearest Fad Nation. Today everything you do, see, wear, talk, thankfully not breath has to be so-called “trending”. Oh, coming to trending. Twitter started it for tweets, and we’ve ended up using that word trending for anything we can get our devil's workshop to think off.

Before I say anything else, let me make it clear that I have no qualms about anyone’s hobbies, interests, and skills (if you actually possess it). In fact it is our right to do things we wish too! Moreover I’m not even making any judgments here, as that is something I personally never do. But what my issue here is the fact that the lately nice thought of people wanting to express themselves, follow their dreams is going/has gone (so truly Indian) a little too far.

If you’re good at photography, then I’ll be more than happy to appreciate your different view of the world but please, for heaven’s sake don’t borrow interests. Today having a camera is just so cool (not kewl, credit to Swathi for making sure that I correct this slang which I was hooked too :)). Everyone ends up buying a DSLR, better they don’t even know what it means and what exactly they want out of a camera so 8 out of 10 people put up a status on FB saying “Planning to buy a DSLR. Suggestions please!” I mean come on! Get a life people! That’s not where it ends, as these brilliant people go on photowalks (only for the first 2months since getting a camera) and they make sure they aren’t dressed very well, thanks to the stupid never-existent stereotype that creative people are seldom decked up. Wow! and I always thought one would never have to make an attempt to be original or yourself.
Sadly, this entire hullabaloo about photography (with only the camera manufacturer’s are blissful about) has made us/will make the remaining of us repulsive to anyone who buys a camera and we’ll stereotype him/her to be a ‘wannabe’! Photographers, Empathy!

Not so long ago, Blackberry was the best business phone in the market. Today it’s the best BBM phone available. There are these wonderful soul’s who even go to that extent of ignorance by saying ‘Dude! I just bought a BBM phone’. Will somebody please, for the love of god, tell them that BBM is just a service offered by a Blackberry phone? But I have to say; Blackberry users are not the only one to be blamed here. Every smartphone user (which is over 70% of the mobile phone users, thanks to Karbonn mobile doing an Ambani with the Smartphone market) wants to do a check-in (I’m know one person who’ll be grinning the most after reading this paragraph ripping a Blackberry).
In fact, just the other day I remember seeing this person do 3 check-in’s in less than 10 hours and all of them were airports. Not one check-in spoke about some special place/landmark at all. I mean, what was the idea of that? Did he/she just want to show that they only fly and consider other means of transport inferior? Again the Indian ideology, of yearning for acceptance, identity and publicity seems like a bottomless pit (again all of us, including me are a part of this. Just that a few of us are considerate enough to accept our shortcomings and try to do better).

I can go on and talk about a zillion such instances. But I think I’ll save that for later. For now, if you’re wondering where the idea of writing this article came from, well credit has to go to a friend of mine, Rishabh. Just the other day, we were driving down to get some food and suddenly he proclaimed (unknowingly though) “Dude! Look at those poor people walking in a line. They seem so amused with this half constructed flyover. Maybe they’re from a remote village or something”. For those who didn’t get it, well he was referring to a bunch of so-called photographers going on a photowalk. They were gazing at a half made flyover, as though they’d just discovered a Pablo masterpiece (Ay, Carumba!).

Like I always say, everyone deserves to have an opinion. So you are free to infer what you want from these little thoughts that I’ve penned/typed down? But do let me know, as it’s always nice to listen to a different perspective.

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