Let the early bird get the worm, I don’ wanna

I am sure I am not the only person in this world who has a perpetual problem waking up in the morning...every morning! Eternally having to goad myself to wake up is not really a nice feeling. This mixed with self motivation can be a stressful combination in the wee hours (8 AM and later) of the morning. I am a self confessed "late perker-up". I just can’t keep my mind focused in the mornings. I wake up everyday with my energy levels are at an all time low and without any will power to do anything. As the day progresses I get sharper and become a better thinker. Maybe I am like this particular alien in a movie which needs to absorb sun light to "get alive". Only, in my case it’s more of tube light doing the needful. Since I belong to the world of softwaring, forty five minutes after waking up I find myself at my office with the CPU coming to life with a grudging grunt and the monitor blinking through its sleep :). Lots of people tell me lots of stories about sunrise and the sights and sounds of it. To every such person I counter with a vivid description of beautiful sunsets. Truly, one must pass in front of ITPL during twilight to appreciate God. Its an awesome sight with the multi hued sky in the backdrop and ITPL all lit up in the front. I have somehow managed to convince myself and folks that matter to me that the time you start your day matters less than the productivity irrespective of the time. (I know they don’t really buy it but the protests and the advices have become a bare minimum). So far so good. If the early bird wants the worm I won’t hinder it but puhleese let me be....


Back to school...

Its a very strange feeling one gets when one goes back to school after passing out of it years ago. Your teachers treat you as grown ups (something you are totally unused to being the star brat of the pack). The PT masters (once the reason for all your nightmares) treat you like buddies, laughing with you at the nervous jokes you crack (while there is a stain being formed around the armpit part of your dress). The classrooms feel too small (how did we manage to fit our legs into these tiny benches?). You wonder how you had the patience to sit through 7 hours of school everyday for so many years when now you cant imagine sitting in one place for 17 minutes at a stretch. The black board on which you would write the names of all the people who dared to talk in a quiet "teacher-absent" period and you were the monitor. It sounds almost a silly way of threatening now. But it all worked back then and like a charm.Your heart still thuds dangerously as you climb upto your classroom. The anxieties, the li'l world tensions all come washing back in your mind. You had the need to prove yourself back then. Has anything changed now? I dont think so. I still have to prove myself everyday of my life.


Who made the fat chapatis?!!!

Have you noticed how people get curious about the cook only when the food is bad? This is just a metaphorical statement which holds true for a whole lot of situations outside the kitchen as well. People tend to forget about you unless you do something “not meeting requirements” :)

Food is great, family takes you for granted

Work is great, manager thinks you are talented

Create an issue in case you want to be spotted

Solve it to feel the most wanted!


Blogs - boon or bane for literature?

Blogging gives me the freedom to rant about anything under the sun and above it. It doesn’t have to adhere to the typical start,build up, climax aspects of story telling. I can write as if I am talking with someone.

Is this a boon or a bane??

Does it make more and more people lose the classic charm of story telling?

Does it make more and more people confident enough to tell their stories and not bother about whether it will sell?


Trespassers will be persecuted!

Actually I like most dogs but Pomeranian is one breed I fail to understand. There is a saying in Kannada which aptly fits this breed to the T: “Moorthi chikkadadaru keerthi doddadu” which roughly translated into English means “Even if size is small the fame is large”.

These dogs don’t like anybody apart from the inner circle of their family. They loathe visitors and hate being petted by frequent visitors also. They don’t try to flatter anyone. Stand their own ground in front of any big dog. They don’t wait around to be petted even by family. A very egoistic dog aye? They bark at all and sundry who approach their house. They even bark at passers by and go to the extent of a loud long cacophony if the passerby so much as looks at them in order to find out what offended them. They will establish territory with any passing dog. Don’t lose a chance to show who the boss is.

And don’t forget their bite is as big as their bark. They are not forgiving creatures. They have no moral issues about biting at the least provocation.

I myself have had the misfortune of being bitten by one for no fault of mine. This was way back during my middle school days. I was playing cricket with a group of cousins at one of my cousin’s home. His dog just like Snoopy believed he was part of the game. He basically thought his role was to run with the bowler for every ball. He would sit and wait with the umpire as the bowler would take the run up, then run along with him till he bowled and then move aside as the ball made contact with the bat. A very clever dog. Well, it so happened that I was the umpire for one of the games and the dog was waiting in front of me for the bowler to run astride. The bowler happened to stamp the dog’s tail while running ahead. Immediately the dog spun around saw me standing behind it and bit me on my leg!! No major brainer you would say but I admired the defense mechanism. Of course the admiration came much later. What came first was a huge howl from me which took a long time (and a huge amount of ice cream) to be quelled :)

Meanie in a hotel

The following is the conversation which ensued between me and the “meanie”, actually the receptionist of a well known hotel in Chennai.

Tring tring

Clearing my throat

Tring tring

Ready to speak any minute the receiver is lifted at the other end

The meanie: (In a voice sweeter than honey) Hello X hotel. How may I help you?

Me: Uh-hello….please connect me to the room of Mr.Y

The meanie: Just a minute

Lounge music plays on as I am put on hold for what seems more like five minutes

The meanie: Hello?

Me: Yes hello?

The meanie: There is no Mr.Y in this hotel am afraid.

Me: (worried) Oh it will be the person who checked in after midnight yesterday. Could you please check again?

The meanie: Just a minute

Lounge music….what happened to little courtesies?

The meanie: Hello, I can’t find any Mr.Y who checked in after midnight.

Me: Oh. Oh ok wait I think he would have registered in the name of Mr. Z. Could you please check for that?

The meanie: (A very curt) Just a minute

Tring tring tring tring tring tr..

Line goes dead

I try again

Tring tring

The meanie: (In a voice sweeter than honey) Hello X hotel. How may I help you?

Me: (Temper rising) Hi it’s me again. The last time the call got cut

The meanie: Will connect you again hold on

Rude rude rude

Tring tring

This time it goes to another receptionist

Me: Hello?

Another receptionist: Hello X hotel. How may I help you?

Me: Hi, could you please connect me to the room of Mr.Z?

Another receptionist: Just a minute madam

Lounge music and I am raging

Another receptionist: Hello?

Me: Yes hello?

Another receptionist: Madam I think Mr.Z is not in his room.

Me: Oh in that case could you please take down a message from me for him?

Another receptionist: Just a minute madam while I connect you to the receptionist


In vain the connection had already been made

The meanie: (In a voice sweeter than honey) Hello X hotel. How may I help you?

Me: (Pretty sure she is going to bang the phone down) Ummm hi it’s me again. I just wanted to leave a message for Mr. Z. Could you take it down and pass it on to him when he comes back.

The meanie: (In an angry voice) Just a minute while I connect you

Me: NOOO he’s not in…

Does anyone LISTEN around here?????

Tring tring tring tring tring tr…

Line goes dead

I curse my luck and start all over again

Tring tring

The meanie: (In a voice sweeter than honey) Hello X hotel. How may I help you?

Me: (Trying to put on a nice sweet voice) Hi could you please take down a message for Mr.Z and pass it to him when he returns? I tried telling you he is not in

The meanie: (OMG voice!!) Just a minute

The meanie: (Resigned) You can give your message

Me: “Call me back as soon as you are in”

The meanie: Ok

Me: Right thank…

The meanie: (Express speed) Thank you for calling X hotel.

Line goes dead leaving me wondering if it’s the job or me or her own personal turmoil.


ERP in governance

Dr. A.P.J.Abdul Kalam addressed the people of Karnataka this Sunday on his visit to Bangalore. I was one of the many citizens enthralled by his speech. What captured my heart was the level of detail that was presented to the assembled legislature. Details down to the last GB of fibre optic connections across major cities of Karnataka! I mean, he is a visionary not just the President. There was a variety of topics that he advised the government on ranging from agriculture to IT infrastructure, from decongestion of tier one cities to futuristic town planning. I wondered if making him the head of the government would help our nation and then again that position would not really offer him so much independence to think of next generation governance tactics. Lead kindly light Dr. Kalam!

His speech set me thinking and I strongly believe that what India needs right now is a good ERP system. Running governments of a country is big business. Currently the disjoint sets are too many in number within the same governmental machinery. It is a very simple tree structure with the central government at the node and 28 state governments and 6 union territories (hopefullyIi am right with the numbers) under it at the same level, if you think of it.

  • Unifying all the departments of the states and center under one umbrella system would mean better accountability which I feel is the first thing lacking in our government today.
  • Information retrieval, usage and dissemination would be highly efficient.
  • Limited access would make it more tamper proof.
  • Information keyed in once is available in minutes across the organization.
  • The ROI for the government is very high and long lasting.
  • Finance and operation reports could be generated out of the system.
  • More transparency in governance.
A lot more advantages that is currently not occuring to me but might to you all!


Self respect is the most Elementary Education

I was checking out Azim Premji Foundation's website regarding Universal Elementary Education.
I do have some opinions and beliefs about it and I have written them down as below. It is in no way complete. Will add on to it as and when i can get time out from my work!

When we talk about elementary education, one of my earliest memories in this regard, is of Saroja’s kids. Saroja was our domestic help for sometime at Hyderabad. On Sundays she used to come along with her two kids to help with the cleaning at home. This was the morning prime time slot when a lot of kid programs would be aired on DD1. Both her kids, hardly over 7-8 years old would be glued to the television along with my brother and me who were in the same age group. It used to rather depress me that they would sit on the floor and watch while my brother and I would sit on the comfortable cane chairs. I would invariably ask them to sit up on the other chairs. The kids needed a lot of goading to share even a single chair between themselves for the simple reason that they did not want my charity. I respected this self respect in them and many a times would simply sit on the floors my self. As I knew those kids had not yet started going to school. So it must mean that they had learnt this at home.

For any kind of education to be a success I believe that it should start with inculcating self respect in one self. There are a lot of initiatives being started for elementary education of the urban and rural poor children. But what the initiatives need to emphasise on could be to drive home the point of self importance. The children need to understand that this is not a charity drive for them. They should not start taking for granted the efforts of the innumerable volunteers who are trying to make their lives different. And the volunteers also should not vent their frustrations on the unsuspecting children.

Educating children really begins at home. It is the parents who should start instilling such traits in their children. Today, more and more people are realizing the necessity and outcome of education. This force should be garnered.

I believe it is very difficult to achieve success from any huge effort made on primary education unless it is supplemented by another group working towards issues of the parents as well. A child is a mere pawn in the hands of his/her parents/guardians till such an age where he/she can take his own decisions. Education is a major decision in life which needs to be taken early and hence by the parents.

Children coming from poor families would not have access to knowledge that an urban middle class or rich kid would have with just the click of a mouse. Outdoor programs and educational tours should be made part of the elementary education. Group activities and sports activities would help in inculcating self confidence in children and would also bring out their versatile talents. These are the formative years in one’s character and hence it should abound with a very healthy, competitive and humanitarian atmosphere. The children should learn to look beyond the four walls of their house and imagine beyond the boundaries of their school. Education should not be an endless effort at getting the multiplication tables correctly memorized but should be more of an effort in application of mind with an abacus kind of approach.

Coming back to children not taking the education program for granted. There are a number of schemes through which the basic needs of a child is taken care of by the institution if he/she is willing to come to school. There is a huge drawback that I can see of this. The children get so used to their basic needs being taken care of that there is a fear of stepping out into the world independent. The ‘earn while you learn’ approach would prove very beneficial. The children would learn to be independent at a very early stage. Providing them with a lot of well thought of options apart from just the pot making, doll making, weaving etc would help them in recognizing their interests as well in the long run.