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Archive for February, 2006

A chain of thoughts

Saw Rang de basanti finally..Dont want to write a review of it..enough movie critics to do it.Its a Good MOVIE…I think i highlighted what i mean…MOVIE.

The post though is a disjointed chain of thoughts.
Its a very good movie…thats it….one of those rare ones in indian cinema where there is hardly any melodrama.

But is the movie so pathbreaking …awakening to the new generation i am not sure…its a movie.If someone wants to make it a beacon to reality it kind of is hard.Probably the one truest line of the movie is when Aamirs character says
“par bahar ki life me na jaane kitne DJ haar gaye” or something to that effect…my dialogue memory is poor.
I see this in the shadow of reading about S.Manjunath a IIM graduate killed by the corrupted oil mafia.I have all strange thoughts about this jingoism of patriotism so may be i dont get inspired too much.Dont know….

But i look back and think has India ever been defeated in by any kind of army or armed conflict.They have always been defeated by some traitor for greed, internal hatred,other differences…..(take the case of british sneaking in or prithviraj , Tipu sultan, Azad all betrayed by one of their own).Then why so much a bugle of “We the great indians”…i dont get it.

First they start with patriotism which they link with culture and culture is then imposedby honor and the whole brunt of this is borne by women.To protect the culture its always women who have to do this ,that, not be like this, follow this……and all the patriotism, inspiration, culture all ends up rotting….being the perfect families in ekta kapoor serials.
People suddenly become relegious after their forties a bit too much and think the young have degenerated.

Why do we always look to history…what was good then is it necessary it will be good now.We all hate it …including me but isn’t life in the end …….adaptability.

If we had remained in prehistoric time saying this is our culture…would there be any progress in any way at all.History somehow is a bane for a country in todays times as History culture and relegion are the foremost things usedto organize a mob….a mob can be manipulated because a mob cannot think……. its led in the way the manipulator wants shrewdly…….

If history was only used to learn from past mistakes it’d be some good else its simply a potent tool….which is the reason the manipulation of history texts is a big issue.
Yeah i think of mobs of how individuals get lost…mobs consist of the greatest individual cowards in general which actually are the majority of this world.One of the classic examples of mob is from history…..Julius caesar(yeah i know ive posted on it earlier)
A mob within hours starts thinking in two diametrically different directions(baying for the blood of the same person they put up on a pedestal) ….. all manipulated by the power of speech………and what a speech it is…..Classic Absolutely.

A conversation i heard….Walking back home i hear two old grandmas speaking.

A1: My blood was boiling…i packed my bags …after all for that little food do i have too hear all that
A2: Yeah true
A1: (some desciption i dont hear) Then she said sorry, apologised…. it was her mistake only …. huh who cares for sorry
A2: yeah do what you wish then say sorry…They will suffer the same from their children one day.
A1: What one day …They are doing it now only.Our upbringing only was different …we used to beat them and they listened ….Now they get asked upfront by their children”Why are you beating me”…..We are being questioned now at this age…they are being questioned now only..huh huh ha….our culture only was different, special..they dare not speak out then.

Its amusing or something to wonder i dont exactly know…………

An afterthought in general
This may seem horrible but its just a pattern of thinking so i am keeping a note….
The movie began with “if your blood still does not boil then your blood is water”
Ahem i just think may be water is better…you can see things clearer……blood clots…..blood differs, divides…….. water doesn’t.(well till it becomes a river i guess and if its Kaveri…o my God)This chain of thoughts better end here.

All the while i am lost in another story that i guess better be the next post.

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Its been such a busy past few months that i feel so tired .Its good i kept a day off with no work and no one at home.I feel so much better.I tried to write down all those strange things troubled me.None of them i can do or would do anything i guess.but as much as id love to write all my thoughts its hard.These are actually a memory of those thoughts.
Well what was i doing on the Republic day …hmm well what else shopping.Did i feel guilty no not at all….i worked hard enough to earn that money but the sick part is this marketing….I dont get why they do this but it helps no one i feel and it sucks.You walk into a big store offering end of season discounts all decked up for the republic day welll upto thats its ok.Why do they play the music from the patriotic songs inside.I mean its sick when you are checking out earring and dresses and all they plan …all that set of our standard hindi patriotic songs.I find it sickening.Worst was when they played Ae mere watan ke logon……its too sweet a song and too touching to be played like this and it will make no shopper feel any good….so why play it like that.I almost felt like grabbing the idiot who was playing it and smacking some sense…..but i guess my understanding of marketing is bad.
Then there was a day when while going to office in a an auto there was some drainage problem and the whole road was filed withh drainage.It was sickening. i litterally shrunk inside the auto and even the autowallah was dead careful that he not be stained by a drop of that filth.But then i think i saw something so very sickening.There were officials gathered to clear it out and it was being cleared by a tall man neck deep in this drainage.I really felt sick.There simply are no solutions .I know its useless because my thoughts are nothing …I really admire peoplewho do something about it…but honestly i think ….this world is in such a sick state….beyond repair.One of my very fav songs for such thoughts is always….i mean i think god has messed it up completely …and he has moved on to some other project…..unable to bear his failure.


“Aasman pe hai khuda ur zameen pe hum
Aaj kal vo is taraf dekhta hai kam”

In this horrible mood with my office making me feel miserable at heart…….even with my tight schedule i am trying to read ……(Stories have a way of taking care of you).The only trouble is the book i have started reading is borrowed from a library to be returned and its a voluminous book and it is not making you feel any better but only more hopeless about this world.This is not to say its a bad book.
Its a very classic book and i think the writer has done an excellent job.I did write about it earlier…“Maximum City” by Suketu Mehta is said to be non fiction.He actually met all those underworld gangsters, hitmen, police its said.I ve only managed to finish half of it.His writing is brilliant but the whole descriptions leave you with a deja vu feeling.
Not that we all dont know it …its just that we walk around in suspended animation as though its not us.The whole descriptions of common people as gangsters…(no its not the movies…a movie is 3 hours …it seems fine…bearable…. but when you read such a voluminous book on it)…their decsriptions and thoughts about god and killing.He tells how in his knowledge he says the cheapest rate of life was 50 rs when a rag picker chopped a man he helped kill to buy a plastic sheet.
One part in the book goes like this.He speaks with shakeel on phone and then he gets a favor

“Any trouble you have in bombay.One work free.Bhai said so”
“later when i repeat this story to close friends in bombay, in new york a wistful look comes into their eyes, they start making lists of people they would eliminate if granted such favor.They are half joking…and i am genuinely shocked by the list of names they give–ex-lovers, colleagues…………….Most of the names they have in mind are those of people they once loved greatly and now hate with equal pasion.Each one of us , I am begining to discover, has a circle of people close to us whose deaths we fantasize about”
Among many other lines as you read and identify is

” The notion of what is luxury and what is a basic need is upended in Bombay.Every slum in jogeshwari has a TV…The real luxuxries are running water, clean bathrooms, transport and housing fit for humans…………””The greatest luxury of all is solitude.”—-This line even when i dont think of bombay i feel in general…….its such a good feeling to have your room….to just be.Somehow its so hard to get it …people crowd in so much.

The book would be very special to any bombayite i guess but even for a non-bombayite the book is classic…because somewhere bombay is really the amalgam of india…Its just that in Bombay everything is in extremes.there is no judgement of rights, wrongs…its just the truth of life and the inevitable truth that there is no real escape.You hate so much in this country and so run away abroad and then those abroad will tell how they cannot escape the charm of this hated country and start loving it even more once they go abroad.
I have managed to finish Part-I Power and hopefully Part II -Pleasure would be better….but i have to make time to read it.I have to make time….for everything these days it seems.

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A sick Haggle

Ive never haggled as such in my life and its felt a bit sick doing it.I’m not comfortable asking. I like to get what i deserve without asking but that doesn’t happen in this world and with my discomfort in asking for things even from my own parents has not helped me much. But life takes you down every lane and hence what happened this week was too much for me.

I hate this whole concepts propagated in organizations taken from abroad and never tailored to our own people here.

They start doing appraisals, individual growth plans and all such things which are quite good on paper but in reality we all know how they are followed up in India by managers.Firstly they dont understand it…its for a person not an organization but they do the reverse.

Neverthless a gist of what i think was a sick conversation called negotiation

TL:I understand you are doing pretty well but feel paid less so i will ask for a raise for you

Me: ok (my thoughts: good you yourself brought it up …but then that means i’m obliged to continue in this organization if i have a conscience which i sadly do)

I enter for the general review

PL to Tl :Lets finish hers first…i dont think this lady is critical(whatever he meant by that surely ended up differently)

Pl: you understand this is a general review not a pay review

Me : yeah

We hash out some nonsense about short term …growth plans and long term goals this that…prove it , grab oppportunity

PL:Ok any concerns

Me: yeah I think you must consider a raise, I started off on a less scale due to my lack of experience in this domain but its time i get my due

TL:yeah i agree she needs one

PL: But you have to wait for six months for your yearly appraisal.Thats policy.

What do you do you think is special deserving a raise?

Me: blah blah some stuff

PL: So there are 7 ppl in a team of 25 doing the same how do you ADD Value(my thoughts:this is a fav word round our place with managers, the work we do seems to have no value i guess).

Me: again some stuff …..

Pl:Ok agreed you have performed well now but do we decrease your pay when you do not perform as well they how can you say increase it

Me: Speeechless( Kya negotiation hai…This is what you gain by 15 yrs exp in industry)

Me yeah but you see i got less last time too and 6 months more wait for a raise is not fair.I as it is started at less

PL: why do you think you are underpaid.There are people who work for less(Yeah Yeah Yeah aur overpaid ka kya)

TL: OK see i think she has done well and she’s not getting her due and is underpaid a bit.

Pl:what do you mean by that ..you cannot think individually like that

TL Well i have to think individually for my team (Thoughts:Learning from past mistakes is good..with attrition they try to learn a bit, but i also remeber this support comes with a price…i.e:.stop thinking of a move…grow here….well what doesnt)

PL: then its 25 for you and for me a 100 and for the company a 1000 .How do we go about it

Me: (Feeeling like a watching those tennis matches head turning left to right.)

PL: See you tell me whats outstanding that i forward this raise as policy is 1 yr.

All big companies follow the same .

You tell me a growth plan…make sure you match upto it and take a good raise when your appraisal comes in next six months.

Me:If such was the case why was it not done previous time itself

PL: We did not have a growth plan policy for employees then

Me:Then whats the guarantee it will not be removed next time

PL: Policies are never removed.They are added on but never removed

Me: (Kya baat hai)Well i guess the correct word is changed

PL: yeah right they may (Quick change of topic)

See the thing is think of a Goal..pen your goals try to acheive them dont always think of money.Think of growth in Role.

Me(Superb ab yehi baaki hai sunne ko) see goals are there but on the way you need money

PL: yes just wait for 6 months more.Do something beyond your work and then get it.

Me: there should be an opportunity and scope too

PL:(This is a fav pure managerial jargon)Opportunities dont come you have to take them..Dont always think of the brighter things ..there’s work everywhere back office to technical stuff …all have their place…Go learn a foreign language ..come and tell me and as soon i get a onsite chance overseas i’ll pick you.You have to come to me.

(Another chap had got a lecture when he asked about something similar that” am i your counselor why should i tell you what to do”…you do it and show it to me..moot point —- humility does not pay here)

(My instant thought oh yeah oppportunities hmm so i have to find them)

PL:(he too knows its a common instant thought)By that i dont mean stand out and scream i available for hire…..i mean within the organization prove yourself.

and there was more…i just cant type an hour of sick conversation

Pl: In the end i cant promise anything but i will try to make ppl look at it but remember this means no more appraisal for next 1 yr.

Me:well if its not upto my expectation

Pl:thats why i say take it when its due after 6 months

Me:Well if its not what i asked for then better nothing now as i cant live for a year on

some minimum you will raise.

PL:K lets see

——————————————————————————

releived to be out of the place….Really wishing iIdont get a raise….I want to somehow leave this place.The moment that thought came i knew i woudl get it and be trapped ………………thats the pattern of my life.

——————————————————————————

Me to my friend outside the team….all this story the ask what do i do if they give me less

She: So what take it and if you get a better offer later leave…your pay slip will show higher amount so a better hike at a newer place

Me: but when someone make a exception for you you have to give them, their trust some due

She: oho come on dont think like that…think when you go shopping at the mall what will pay the bill for that lovely top you got dear.Be practical.

Me:yeah but i dont know i dont feel good …it’ll be better if he rejects it.I can hate him and i can move on.

She: arrre yaar tu bhi na

————————————————————————————–

Two days of calm and the you realise more terrible stuffs waiting.

Tl: ok what did you feel about the conversation that day

Me: i dont think he was keen about it

TL: yeah thats the impression you mightve got it its not right (dont know whether PL was playing out the part or TL was covering up for PL..the themselves have no love lost between them we all know)… but ive spoken to him and while what youve asked is not feasible at all as that needs outstanding explanation which will make it hard but a trifle less i can manage but thats what it will be for a year.

So tell me what you prefer wait 6 months or take this now

Me: (i know once i take this special favor i have to stick on for a year unless i sudddenly lose my conscience its a very bad thing to have here in this industry) Ah well see (this was difficult)…i will not ask but a year is too long for a individual may be not for an organisation at least consider depending on performance.

TL: I cant promise …I may not be around as your Tl then isnt it.

Me:(News…. this is news)hmmm

Tl: Think about it by End of day

Me: Ok i agree

———————————————————————–

Well the worst has yet to come

Tl:Ah i spoke to him ..its good you agreed he feels for a trifle less.

But see the thing is did you speak about this to ppl(knows jolly well i’ll do it with friends in team)

Me: well yeah i told them i asked for it

TL:You see this will cause trouble….there are others who’d ask for review now because of this and a crowd will be to much.

Me:(Hell this is sick…this they think now)Well what you expect of me

TL: Can you not let anyone know…i know one likes to tell that they are appreciated by a raise but you should understand.

Me:(Good ness me i hate myself…that PL set this up) See i cant say blunt lies….and people will anyway find out and we both will lose credibility. This is why i said no to a big raise in next 6 months also as what would you then justify my 100% raise

compared to a 50% hike for others without making them feel bad.(it is their problem and they put that too on my head)

TL: with whom have you discussed this…have you specified the amount

Me; Well they know what i asked for.Anyway tell me what you want

TL:a morose face(i can see face reflecting …hopeless girl … too many friends around) See i know you deserve this its a special case but i might cause trouble.Ok is it possible you can say less tha what you get.

Me: Ok i will do that(I know its hard in a place where pay slips lie about all over the HR and to lie to friends also bcoz i know friends have good friends and so on)

———————————————————————————–

I feel sick about it.I know by the time its formalised and things slowly come out people will swarm over with questions and repeatedly i have to lie lie and lose my credibilty as such lies never stick.Then there will be that slow emergence of a general opposition and non cooperation….ah organization politics.

What you end up as all over money…..

If only there was no conscience….id have fulfilled what was that my TL said was my potential.

I should have shut up at the start i think and just left the company whenever i got a better chance but how to say no when i knew i should get it and when my TL started it i didnt know(that was a master stroke on the TL’s part).

It all leaves such a bad taste….and may be a bad post.

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Isnt time the most precious thing in today’s world.
Its the most valuable thing you have and should be given to what we love or we care for and not what we are supposed to care for and love.How rarely we manage to do it in reality.
I’ve always thought the same but now i am feeling the pinch of it a bit too much.

People try to take so much of it…
in the name of responsibilty
in the name of dutyin the name of work
and you fail to give it to what you love
what deserves the time of your life does not get it.
From birth to death you are given roles to play….
you may say you are irresponsible and
try to escape them…live for yourself but no one leaves you….
and the whole process of evading those responsibilities thrust on you
takes up the same time.
Why we cannot own our own time….
Why cant i use it for what i love
Why do people claim my time as theirs
by blood by money by coercion by fortune.
I feel so horrible…sometimes i feel i am so evil

so self centered….but i try to be just the same as i guess
i better be that than the nice one i once was whom everyone thought is doing a favor by acknowledging…i have come a long way since those days.
What a nice Obedient(nothing ever pleases people be it home or office more) girl i was known as those days and what a hopeless self-centered uncaring girl i have become as per people who’ve seen me through life.

Everyone from the TV i watched ,to books i read, to friends i have had have been blamed for my transformation though it was i who chose each one of the above.No one ever thinks may be i was the same …. just tried to live upto them but now am fed up and dont care.
where i am supposed to belong i am a thorn

where id like to belong i am a stranger
its some other world “my world”
again the same I …My
I do wish i was such large hearted as some pretend to be and some may be really
why do i always think of My
My books…My friends..My flowers…My garden..
My room My world….My Time….My Life
All people have a flaw
A flaw which takes them to great heights or their Doom
No i dont think perfect people matter or are visible as anything success or failure
Its the flaw in your mind..soul that you try to correct ….perfect

that makes people become what they end up as.
Mine is this My….I beleive in nothing worldly as much as i appear in harmony with this worlds ways.
Whatever good i do i relate to some My I think i’ll be of any good in this world only when i think”My world”…As long as i think this is God’s world..what a hell he has created……i will be the same.

(All this i thought up because after a miserable tiring week my mom lays a claim to my weekend and i protest and i am considered the most hopeless useless hard hearted person.I guess i am really terrible )

“What you have become is the price you paid to get what you used to want. ~Mignon McLaughlin, The Neurotic’s Notebook, 1960

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Sit…..

too tired to read anything new…
too off mood to think anything good
too worried to fall asleep as much as i ‘d love to
but needed a break and hence pulled out my collections notebook
and reread this poem by Vikram Seth and thought of just posting it.
———————————————————
I saw him turn
With worried haste
And the world’s fear
From me.

I shallThrough
month and year
will unlearn
The evident way.

The pain-dense tracks
Dark in the mist
Will see snow fall.

I will retaste
The tang of day,

The ceased belief
That paths exist
Outside this grief.

Vikram Seth
———————————————————–

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“My one particular ex-boss.My life when i worked for him was living hell and was probably the worst phase of my life.I used to wonder why this was happening to me.Now i know without that experience i could not have done this book.Thank you mr ex-bos for making me suffer”
even before i could read the book i was kind of rolling in laughter and enjoying it ..yes i knew one day i am going to use these exact lines somewhere if i ever write any kinda book.
Yeah Mr Chetan Bhagat has created a wonderful Mr Bakshi in One Night at The Call Center and while many people may think this is just a case of excessiveness in Fiction it is not so..for if Mr Bakshi ever competed with my Ex Boss he would come out in Flying Colors.He was not a manager in my view anyway, with his Horrendous insecurity, Self Centeredness and pathetic acting ability which he continually used to show his sincerity when it was absolutely visible he was his immediate boss’s stooge a perfect YES Boss kind .In fact that was his Punchline “Yes Boss.”

But yeah like Mr Bhagat i too owe him..all my team mates do…the fun we had the friendships we made were partly because of the adversity because of him.
Truly it is in adversity that you make the best friends.

I though owe him a little more.Before working under him i never knew someone could be so scared of me, that i had such a power to influence people.
He had a kind of phobia with me that i was trouble for him and hence created trouble for me…..which well took too long for him to work out and fine tune and by the time it did he himself landed flat on his face….i was out for good by then.

In fact he had the verve to tell a new recruit in our team who was quite friendly with me to keep off certain negative people..but then again as ever he misjudged the person he said that too…not one to back down he got a stern lashing from the girl…”it is you who are being negative by such talk” was what she flung in his face.

He certainly made life hell for quite a whole bunch of us……. but fortunately we were a bunch of quite spirited people and since it was never a career we rebelled and life had its worst and best moments there.I too wondered why me…why have i to be here….. but yeah after that experience i learnt a lot about how not to handle people.I wish i had started my blog then instead of being lazy…it was a more interesting phase of life even though it was horrible…you had something or some one to fight.
Whenever we chat up …us old friends we can never end a conversation without referrring to him…he was such a focal point then and among us unconsciously he is i guess. He ensured that everyone in the team hated him…only difference was some were brave enough to be open and some too tepid to say it out.
I remember how he sulked to his friend why the heck does my team have the maximum no of engineers and not just normal graduates.
He had once asked me define creativity…i was hardly in any mood to talk to him leave alone define …i just said its something new ….he explained it to me…it means the “same things done in a different new way”….wow i thought …how well he learnt the definition by heart.(That was the day i decided for sure i was resigning (though that was the aim since the day i joined but that was different) asap —- enough money or not for job search……learning creativity from him…God save me)
That guy had some crack…even when i gave him my resignation letter he asked me to sit and was trying to explain what was not fine(it was a near copy of the exact letter i wrote most part of for my friend and he had no problems with when he signed it for my friend) in it…It was way too much and i remember the last line i spoke to him
“ What difference does it make now. Get to the Point” and he said ok and dissapeared into HR and that was last i saw his sordid face.

Nevertheless getting back to the book it shows what is the difference between a story teller and a writer. My friend asked which was better “Five Point Someone” or “One Night at The call Center” and while i tried to explain stuff about how Five Point was racy and hilarious but the end choice for me was “One Night…” because i felt it explore human nature , emotions and was more realistic even with the most unrealistic unending (perfect filmi) than Five Point which was very well written esp by someone who’s not an author…lots of great humor.May be i also liked it because i could imagine it better than people who have never been in a BPO…though again here i think its too unrealistic because in real time there is no chance of having that much time as is portrayed in the story(he conveniently puts them in section for special calls and bypasses the issue).

I neither think he gave a very true acccount neither was he way off the mark. It was good but it left so much more out you feel.How well a good writer could have written you feel.But Neverthless he’s the one who dared to tell the story and great credit for that unlike writers who still write ancient stories which are hard to relate.The book’s good and a damn easy read even the slowest readers should finish it in 5 hrs maximum.
The book though had me laughing….so much….it served as a reminder to many many jokes that are a part of life there.
That Microsoft word funda in it seems so stupid to us but i can bet that 70% of the Americans will fall for it.
And there a line in it where the character Shyam says something like “yeah Americans are clever say like 1 in 10 is brilliant and the rest of them call us here at night”….How many time i ve said it heard it its unbeleivable.

I also started off on Suketu Mehta’s Maximum City sometime ago and just 50 pages in that voluminous book and you feel What a writer is. Taking a simple situation and putting such life into it.
Here the describes his feeling when he came back to Bombay which he left when in school and now has come back with his family from New York with happy nostalgia for his city but finds the hardships of life and frustration.
“This fucking city.The sea should rush in over these islands in one great tidal wave and obliterate it, cover it under water.It should be bomber from the air.
Every morning i get angry.It is the only way to get anything done;people here respond to anger, are afraid of it. In the absence of money or connections, anger will do.I begin to understand the uses of anger as theatre – with taxi drivers, doormen , plumbers, government bureaucrats. Even my CD player in India responds to anger , physical violence; when a gentle press of PLAY buton fails to arouse it from slumber, a hard smack across the side propels it into sound.”

That CD player thing had me …i mean how many times i ve smacked my television and got it straight only i know. i especially related so much to that frustration and anger feeling.
Its a fortnight since i started the book and have had no time to continue it sadly.

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I am the sorrow in everyone’s world
all who are unfortunate to be named as mine without their choice
I am the pain in everyone’s lifethe pain that ruins their happiness
I never did belongI never could belongto you O World
There’s this deep flaw in me which sees through your flaws
So i can never belong to you or to your own
Those who live by you blindly— the ways of you O mighty world.
You who denied me Happiness i never complained
but you who want to rob me of my right to live by myself in my pain
and not belong to your farce
the right to be me and not you….
You may win , you may win despite my fight
because you go onbecause you have the numbers
and i am a human unlike you which consists of a collective humanity
a sea where the an individual means nothing
you may win because you conspire with fate
you may win because i fight with handicaps
but you’ll never win in my mind
this life and any other life ever
I may lose one day may be pretty soon in your sphere
but that day is the day you fear O world
For i will destroy all who conspired with my fate
being just that the sorrow the hurt
I who will have nothing to lose
I who will be the pain in all your own
I who will be the hated in all labelled my own
Will make you lose O world…
will live on to make you and your ilk lose.

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