Thursday, June 30, 2005

News of the day

Well, it is that Vivek Paul has quit Wipro. Where he is going no one knows, but his post has still not be filled up. Anyway, there were some rumours going around when he joined the board of directors of Electronic Arts. But that is just an ornamental post compared to what he did and managed at Wipro. He might as well be playing FIFA 2006 Beta version at EA.
Vivek Paul was almost as synonymous with Wipro as Azim Premji and played a crucial part in taking it to the next level. He will be sorely missed, I guess. Of course, some of his trusted lieutenants will also exit with him. So, it's going to a big upheaval at the top. Hope everything settled soon (my stake is only some shares, you see :-).

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

IT Pheels Good

Cnet is covering India's tech renaissance through a special report
Day 1 is here.
Day 2 is here

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Accenture, India - No one's job

I was promised that my concerns will be addressed by 24th June. That's 12 days to look at the issues I raised and confirm if my hue and cry is really valid.

Well, no response reaffirms my allegations. That's typical of Accenture.

Am searching for a way to make my complaint mails public

PS. Here is the official mail that I sent.

Here is the spleen.doc

Friday, June 24, 2005

Unleashing mayhem

Its raining heavily in Mumbai. Just yesterday, I was discussing a revitalisation plan for Mumbai with a friend (I could prepare a proposal, if you want). You know, evacuate all the citizens (Citizens of Mumbai! You have to leave. NOW!). Arrange for a nuclear explosion at the bottom of the sea some 10 kms from Mumbai, ensuring no nuclear fallout and deaths due to radiation. The subsequent Tsunami waves should cause total obliteration of Mumbai and its suburbs- a slate wiped clean.The water should wash all over Mumbai and drain out from the eastern side along the creeks. All the monstrous skyscrapes gone, all the slums vanished. All the temples caved in. All the mosques flattened. All the church bells all the bottom of the sea or silt. The tetrapods of Marine drive will be found at Vashi. The spindly railway tracks looking like earthworms slashed and quartered by devilish kids. The city would be a heap of crumpled metal, debris and brackish sea silt. But for a city floating on 10 meters of land-mass, it's welcome addition. Burying the past right beneath, stamping out the excesses, the barbarity and acts of inhumanity. Starting afresh - with a clean slate. A, B, C...M for Mumbai. Somebody should cover the disaster live. Destruction of the city.
It is anyway a ghost town, a megalomanic city whose soul is long dead. In the quest for lucre, people were trampling on others, fighting for space, being inhumane or indifferent, just barely surviving. The city had itself taken a form of a uncontrollable monster, with its own mind, surreptiously enslaving its people - making them think that its alright to slog, suffer, scour, bear, beg, grovel now, because there will be a better tomorrow when they will be free from all this. Of course, there is no tomorrow for Mumbai. There never was. Those who realise what there were trapped in, work harder, just so that they can get out of it. And those who can't, romanticize the misery.
Anyway, so when the destroying is done, then build the city from its ashes. Brick by brick. Need by specific need. Invite people on case by case basis. Isolate the island. Allow along specific port of entries for people who want to start their lives again. Monitor who and what goes in. For that will decide, what becomes of the city. A more diabolical version of the earlier monster or a living, pulsating space, which is a tribute to the human spirit. One we claimed Mumbai embodied, but never did.
All this will require planning on a massive scale and will take a period of almost 10 years for the city to resurrect. It needs to be well-thought out, the nuclear explosion has to be just right and needs to be simulated using some advanced computer programs Biztact  and BARC could help), else the waves will rise as high as Pune (Nnnnnnnnnooo!!!!).
The idea I propose is presposterous. Its partly is derived from this character Ra's Al Ghul, who I first came across in Batman - The Animated Series and have been fascinated ever since. I had long forgotten the name, but I didn't know even after watching Batman Begins that he was responsible for partly shaping the character of Batman himself.
The point is that the idea is far fetched and may sound batty. But if we don't act now, then nature is going embark on its own balance-restoring mechanism and destruction will happen anyway. Unfortunately, we won't be prepared then.
Probably the rains will never stop.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005


People always say that I go ga-ga over Pune. Well, all's not swell. People crib about the traffic. Yes, it is awful, but it hardly affects me. Anyway, the worst part about Pune is surely the power supply. Its not like some random problem which keeps recurring. As a part of load-shedding, every day, there is no power between 3 to 7 pm. And then also alternate nights, no power till I leave. Which means bathing with cold water (brrr...). This mandated load-shedding apart, there are many occasions, where electricity keeps going. Now, Pune is no longer a small town to afford that kind of supply shortage. Surely, Maharashtra Govt. has been napping big time all this while.

Just to think of all the financial loss that happens. And it cannot be small. Small industrial units, which do not have backup generator have their work stalled. No output and workers still to pay! People don't venture out during powerless nights. Meaning, lesser business for traders, shop owners, businessmen. Economy grinding to halt (and then we keep complaining why our GDP doesn't cross 7).

Now, the government has created a high level committee headed by Dr. Mashelkar to look into the alternate power sources. Now, just a few months back, there was a malicious attempt to halt a wind-power project somewhere in Maharashtra. The reason being given that, it has led to fall in rain-fall. Now, surely, you must be joking. Rainfall is dependent on the atmospheric conditions atleast 500 meters above the ground . To say that some scattered windmills can check the advancement of rain clouds is preposterous. Anyway, the point is that, any new implementation is stymie by these pea-brained people. The power shortage is going to give the government to revive the Enron project, whose power is still going to be unafforable for the government to purchase. All in the name of the lucre.

Good thing here, due to power shortage, people have moved to solar water heaters in a big way. Still space is still affordable and many people own row houses/bungalows, you can find many such heaters installed on the terrace. Solar power is something that we need to pursue fanatically, if we want to move away from the traditional (and environment damaging) energy sources.

Sunday, June 19, 2005

The city goes with you

The City
                                                        -Constantine Cavafy

You said, "I will go to another land, I will go to another sea.
Another city will be found, better than this.
Every effort of mine is condemned by fate;
and my heart is -- like a corpse -- buried.
How long in this wasteland will my mind remain.
Wherever I turn my eyes, wherever I may look
I see the black ruins of my life here,
where I spent so many years, and ruined and wasted."

New lands you will not find, you will not find other seas.
The city will follow you. You will roam the same
streets. And you will age in the same neighborhoods;
in these same houses you will grow gray.
Always you will arrive in this city. To another land -- do not hope --
there is no ship for you, there is no road.
As you have ruined your life here
in this little corner, you have destroyed it in the whole world.
Thanks Middle Stage for the link.

Monday, June 13, 2005

Cellular Gel (no reason :)

Saturday caught Parineeta. It basically took the end of the movie to register the fact that the female lead's (Vidya Balan) name was Lolita and not Parineeta. I realized then Parineeta signifies what she is (married).
I went with very high hopes - what with news about IIFA accolades and 4 star reviews. Well, the movie is certainly above average, good overall, but still it left me disappointed. It's just a love triangle and there's only so much you can do with a love triangle. The acting by Saif Ali Khan and Vidya Balan is great. The newcomer is a great addition to the set of Bollywood actresses who emote in a typical Indian way. Yet, hardly over the top.
The fact remains Bollywood patios is threatened in trying to cater to global audience and yet present stories rooted in the traditional ethos. I am pretty sure, even the hip generation of 60's didn't use English as shown in the movie (I need to watch the movie again to highlight the bits that sounded anachronistic). There is a strong predisposition to make the characters say the most crucial dialogue (usually emotionally charged ones) in English. It's just done so that the hip generation of the 60's appears cooler to today's hip generation (I am so hip that I can't look above my shoulders. Did he say?). And in doing that, I don't think the movie is true to that period anymore. Indian Express review also points out the incorrect use of Salwar Kameez (though it looks cooler than Bengali Sari).
Good things about the movie - generally devoid of histrionics (except the climax), great cinematography, great acting, generally good song picturisations (why not use a baby doll instead of senior citizen Rekha for the awesomely sung "Kaise Paheli" ).
One of the reasons I possibly didn't like the movie was that, the cellphones kept constantly ringing in the moviehall. Now, still, just like the honking on the road, it's just not registered with the Indian audience that its extremely uncivilized to not keep your cell on silent. Well, we continue to plumb the depths and discover new vilestones by not only brazenly disturbing others with loud ringtones, but then going on to chatting into the phones, as if everyone around were dead. The cells just kept on ringing, and most people found nothing wrong about it to complain to the errer. Possibly, people don't watch movies with total surrender that one should and don't seem to mind a distraction. But that can't be true when people seem to adore the escapism in our films, which requires surrender of belief and almost serves as emotional catharsis for the aam-junta. Whatever, it is, it is exasperating to plod all the way to the theatre, buy expensive tickets and then have the whole experience shattered by some cultural ignoramuses.
But I am going to come back to the theory about total surrender. I believe we are not capable of it - allowing oneself to let go - to allow for a considerably heightened sense of enjoyment of the art/activity at hand - except when the activity is of religious nature. Possibly, will try arguing the case some day - some day when words are at mercy of my thought.

Friday, June 10, 2005

Outside, inside out

Am linking to a fascinating blog Mis Vislumbres de la India

Read it to know more about you.

Verse than ever

Our intranet portal has a poetry competition. We had to make use of 4 lines

Only in fairy tales I had seen

The ending that went –

Happily ever after;

But who am I kidding!

This is as close to life;


‘Tis but natural’ said he,

‘The heir apparent is me’;

Never did anyone see

His face with such glee!

My attempt is below


The Gujju baron breathed his last

So big the name, flag at half-mast,

The sons would carry forward the legacy

thought all... what a fallacy

Soon things turned extremly sour

Both the brothers were obstinate and dour

Each claimed all wealth belonged to self

The country was aghast for fight over pelf

The older more serious, younger flamboyant

Warring wives and stooges abundant

On the negotiation table they sat

The older brother said it flat

‘Tis but natural’ said he,

‘The heir apparent is me’;

Never did anyone see

His face with such glee!

The chotte said, with Amar in tow,

"Do you think I will say "Right Ho!"?

Won't accept your absurd claims

But'll expose all your dirty games"

The mother and family all deeply sad

That the bros has not learnt from their dad.

An empire built with such hardwork

Ground to dust, by siblings gone berserk.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Humour insured

Just reading through a functional (Insurance) definitions document prepared by someone from client team. Now, such documents tend to be written in impersonal, formal, and obviously business like manner. Not this one. Obviously British. Analyze this.

Advice - Another person’s opinion of what you should do. In financial terms, this is usually taken to mean the considered opinion of a professional consultant who has looked at all your circumstances (and is therefore likely to give better advice than a bloke in the pub).

Bankers’ draft - A cheque written by the bank itself (and which therefore cannot bounce).

Corporation tax- A tax paid by a limited company on the money it has made. Somehow, some large successful companies never seem to pay any Corporation Tax. Best not to ask why.

Decreasing term - The later into the term you die, the less you get. Watch out for signs of growing frustration on the faces of the beneficiaries!

Fund manager
- Someone who has the satisfying job of investing other people’s money, usually through a unit trust or investment trust. Fund managers need to combine the wisdom of Solomon with nerves of steel. They are usually well paid.

Instant access - An account where the financial institution allows you to withdraw some of your own money at any time without paying them for the privilege of doing so.

That's just till I...

Sunday, June 05, 2005

Brush with Police

I filed my first police complaint on Sunday 5th June, 2005 at approx. 00.00 am at Dindoshi Police Station. No, it was not against Accenture :-).
A Tavera DN-09-D-9146 is what I am tracking.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Quitters always win!

Switching companies is a great option if you are looking for time-out. No one put in long hours continuously and then, your productivity starts diminishing. I have found that work in I.T. quite challenging and satisfying, in its own ways. You deal with weird, wonderful, smart and adamant clients. Its fun to try to rack your brains sometimes and put your problem-solving skills to test. Sometimes, you go wrong and learn. Sometimes, you come up some brilliant solution, and it gives you a high. So far, it has been a learning experience  with some glorious moments thrown in. How much ever the top management says that programmers need to pick up skills on the go, undergo continuous training and adapt to any technology, nothing beats the wisdome that experience alone brings. Only your previous work teaches you to avoid the customary pit-falls and come up with robust design or write elegant code. There may be many of knowledge-sharing sessions and papers published about learnings from other projects, but only when your fingers are burnt do you internalize the lessons learnt.

Anyway, the point is, it is a stressful job and you need relief now and then. Time between projects helps. Else, bench. But, once you are a key resource, bench is a luxury, not easily bestowed on you. So, what do you do? Quit your company!

Change of scene, new people, new challenges, not to forget, better pay. Add to that, you surely don't need to be productive for the first two weeks. So, you can soak in the new place, do some bird-watching, leisurely look at the mouth-watering menu and generally feel as if you are on vacation.

So, feeling the heat? Quit!
Disclaimer - I didn't quit to escape the heat. But I welcome the side-effect.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

New beginning

It's the first day now at the new place. The induction isn't going as per schedule. We are now awaiting the admin related presentaion for the last one hour. But I am willing to be less hostile to anyone other than my earlier company. I still haven't got the relieving letter.

Anyway, Pune is literally a breath of fresh air. Immediately, you notice the lack of marauding and in-your-face crowd. It rained here yesterday (monsoons have done a 180 degrees I think) and is raining intermittently. I needed to even turn down the fan to 2.

The coolness stands in stark contrast to the mugginess of Mumbai( which is so close). The travel to work is again a breeze. Out of Kothrud and on Bangalore-Mumbai Highway in 5 min. and then the bus thunders into the Software Park within 20. Kandivli-Vikhroli distance might be the same, but better roads and lesser traffic, make it a joy-ride.

From here, I can look wistfully at my old campus and get all nostalgic about the good-old days ( I feel so old).

But compared to Infosys, this pace of development is really slow here. I wonder why? Infosys, already has Phase 2 running and we are still dealing with scaffolding and rubble and wed mud. Not good. But, the opportunity for growth is huge and hope, things turn around quickly.

Fingers crossed.