Saturday, November 26, 2005

Nice test

Yesterday had data modeling test. Well, have been working in dwh for long, but havent taken any certification exam so far. Actually the test is meant mainly for employees undertaking data modeling training (7 day) at Bangalore, but it is open for anyone interested. Since I had nothing better to do, I gave it for a lark.

The good part is that it is open book, open web test. They email you the question sheet, you write the answers, and submit through email as attachment. You are ofcourse not allowed to copy from fellow examinees or discuss. You are allowed to use data modeling tools like ERWin. The test duration is 1.30PM GMT to 8.30PM GMT.

The questions are extremely subjective and you need to prepare elaborate ER diagrams to answer them. The first quesion itself took me 2 hours to answer. All the books I has were no use, coz you can just answer it based on your previous knowledge and experience. There isnt one right answer, but whatever you answer, you need to be able to justify it easily.

Anyway, I made my submission on the dot at 8.30PM GMT. I don't want to hazard a guess as to how I did on the test. Lets keep our fingers crossed.

However, the whole experience was extremely satisfying. No pressure first to take the exam. You allowed to choice to answer whichever way you want (handwritten, ppt based, word doc). Access to all possible info (through web). So, you don't need to know everything about data modeling. You just need to know where everything about data modeling is. Also, since it was so long and exhausting, there was a sense of achievement at the end.

I just hope I don't fail!

Thursday, November 24, 2005


Someone emailed Mitrauk group, about whether should speak to our kids in Marathi and whether it is really important.

My emotional rambling argument is here. I don't think I answered his question in any significant way, but my opinion is all there in full-force

I think it is not important just to speak the language. I converse with family and friends in Marathi, but when it comes to expressing ideas, or thoughts or arguing an opinion (to differentiate from normal or daily chit chat), most of us fall back on English. If not completely, atleast, the most important/operating words are in English. (Picture kaay superb hota, Mi tyalaa etiquettes cha study karaylaa sangat hota, Language var control naahi)

What we have of Marathi is just basic grasp of the language. And I wont say, this basic grasp of language is enough to keep us bounded to Marathi identity. May be we are just hanging on to the last vestiges of Marathi-banaa.

When we lose a language, we lose everything associated with it progressively. How does one appreciate bhondla, bhaktisangeet, santanche bol. How does one understand Mahonar's poetry. But it would be difficult for us to do that, when the meaning is lost. When meaning is lost, the interest is lost. The quest for knowledge continues, but the we turn to things foreign. There is no one to blame, just coz the setting we are in. There is no incentive for knowing your roots.

Humour is the most delicate manifestation of mastery over the language. So, quality of humour is marred if you dont know the language inside out. In India, most of the Bollywood writers are non-Hindi speaking (most would be Punjabi now speaking English off-work). So subtle sense of humour has never been the mainstay on Indian celluloid or idiot box (we are just masters of farce and pjs). Humour or not, the current output in popular media (tv, films, books) is sub-standard and we are more pushed towards far superior English alternative.

I am not arguing against English or anything. I just think, we are too well versed in it. We are too well prepared to take on the world. This command has come at a cost of local language and identity and I resent that, we don't do anything about it.

It could be helped. Read more Marathi stuff. Make sure you get Marathi books from back home. Atleast identity your vegetables, food, masale, in proper Marathi.
Use askhalit (I hope thats right) Marathi as much as possible (avoid calling mobile Dhawnibhramanika or some such).

Only Indians mock other Indians who speak shudh bhasha. We should be ashamed to do otherwise.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Another one bites the dust - A Satyendra Dubey

Samples fail test, pump owners kill fuel inspector


Posted online: Tuesday, November 22, 2005 at 0146 hours IST

NEW DELHI, NOVEMBER 21: An Indian Oil Corporation sales manager was shot dead last Saturday by the owners of an Uttar Pradesh petrol pump whose operations were suspended for a month in September after its fuel samples failed quality tests.

S Manjunath, 27, a computer engineer and an MBA from IIM, Lucknow, was shot six times by the son of the owner of the Mittal Automobiles pump when he went there to inspect fuel quality. The petrol pump had reopened only last month.

Pump employees who were nabbed by police while trying to dispose of Manjunath’s body admitted that Monu, son of pump owner Sulakshan Mittal, had killed the sales manager.

The employees were passing through Mohali in Uttar Pradesh’s Sitapur district around 1.30 am when police stopped them.

The driver of their vehicle sped away instead and it was only when police caught up with the car that they found Manjunath’s blood-splattered body on the backseat.

Driver Vivek Sharma confessed that Monu had directed him and pump attendant Rakesh Anand “to put the corpse in the dead man’s Maruti and dump it at a desolate area on GT Road”, the FIR filed by Mohali police says.

Police say seven people have been named in the conspiracy to murder Manjunath. ‘‘Four people have been arrested, but prime accused Monu and his father are absconding,’’ said a police official

IOC chairman Sarthak Behuria said Manjunath’s body was flown today to his relatives in his hometown Bangalore. He added that Mittal Automobiles’ dealership has been terminated and IOC officials in Uttar Pradesh had asked for more protection for its sales officers.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Writing movies

Saw The Constant Gardener. With time, the memories fade. I thought I had read the book, by John Le Carre (I thought it was to do with espoinage). Haven't. The movie is a fabulous understated and a moving love story executed with verve, panache and depth.

You can see the glimpses of restlesness and portentousness (my word) that you caught in City of God. Same director- Fernando Meirelles. It's the hints and the foreboding that is scary than actual images and the movie constantly leaves you guessing as to what's to come next. The character of Tess (Rachel Weisz) is extremely well etched.

But inspite of the fabulous red herrings and intrigue, ultimately, it is a fine love story with a message - how the world uses Africa as a Guinea Pig.

Two more movies to catch - Rebecca and Rashoman. It's 5.56 pm and pitch dark already.

There are few things that you can do in the English winter.

For a better review go here

P.S. Dialogue of the day

Justin - "How can I take you to Kenya? We hardly know each other"

Tessa - “You can learn me”

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

PM Horribilis

This post is continuation of the negatively perceptive post.

The mumbler - I know the reason why the manager such a bizarre breed. I know, with your peers, you can blast or put them down if they talk non-sense. Managers, they are paid to talk non-sense and as a self-worth preserving defence mechanism, have deceived themselves into believing that the non-sense is actually Uber-sense.
Anyway, meet Exhibit A - As most Indian IT managers, not good at expressing and putting coherent English sentences together. This precludes him from driving an argument/making a point in a meeting or conversation. So, in an effort to make people aware of his holy existence and Understanding, he will make mumbling noises throughout a meeting/conversation. He will go "Yeah, Yeah" "Rigggght", "Nooooo", just above his breath. In the same manner, he, the gecko will play an echo

Someone - "The impact on design will be negative"

Gecko - "...Will be negative"

Someone - "The scope creep will invariably throw our schedule haywire. This is a serious matter."

Gecko - "Riggght...serious matter".

The lost summer - Nothing to do with English weather. A manager who can't express himself coherently is extremely dangerous. He has his authority constantly trampled upon (others fill in, when he is literally searching for words), is not confident at decision making, will always lose his arguments and that makes him a highly insecure, sorry figure. Anyway, our word-starved guy is further handicapped by his short attention span. So, when you ask him what's his take on the whole thing, he says "I don't know what to say". This, in his case, is the ultimate truth.

Like Exhibit A, he has invented a way to convey that he is on top of his game. He is our ultimate summer. Once a important point is made, he will pop in trying to sum the idea, using the few jargon that he clings on to (because he can't remember anything else) but getting it all wrong.

Someone - "The document will be used to raise issues with the business users"

Summer (addressing the group, pompously) - "This is some sort of a tracebility matrix"

(actually it's a query tracker)

Friday, November 04, 2005

Lonely, I am

I can't say I have been busy, just travelling and lazy. Work is on the up, which is just as well. Was off to York for 3 days and fortunately am back with a pain in the neck, unlike last time, wherein it lasted for a week and had me looking like a robot.

It's getting colder now and it no longer feels autumnal, though there was something about October 27 big the hottest since ages. Bones start creaking in the morning and you already feel old.

Unlike some lucky people back in India, I celebrated my Diwali in a hotel.