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Archive for May, 2007

Essentially i am not much of a fan of rediff’s articles and its discussion

boards are really gross most times. But i came across this article.(Nothing new in the article really)

What struck me was a comment by a manjula pathy there which i somehow noticed

Why cry? there are number of people who are very well experienced sitting at home bcoz they are middle aged. companies who hire want very young people.In some of the countries employers see only capability and experience and not the age ,caste and sex like they do in India!!!”

Its not like very greatly put may be but its a very essential truth. I am a part of this industry and have been an going through it and here are a few of my cynical observations .

Like say about young people here’s what it is,
Beleive me all companies want this—
A Engineering graduate with 70 or at least 60% + at 21yrs of age and then by 24 or 25 they should have a  3or 4 year experience.
That is perfect and thats what they want.

Now some years ago there was a IT slowdown. Nobody hired where would you get such perfect resumes. Many that are would go to US by now.So what is a clear …whenever there is something that perfect there’s a great chance its a fake and yet it is welcomed.No harm in that if you stand by it .

Then one fine day Integrity and Honesty touches these corporates and they fire off people.  Initially i thought it was quite fine and right when people who get in with fake are not upto the expected standard they must be penalised.

But I was shocked to read of a leading company’s statement.They say why did these employees fake it especially when they were competent enough to get it on merit. Well i guess it is they themselves and not the candidates who need to answer that.

And the answer simply would be that to even be considered for your interview you need fake.
What industry is expecting is perfect employees to use for their benefit but they are not mass produced. In fact in no industry do they exist these perfect employees.

Integrity is still available but i guess Integrity does not really equal smartness and what the companies need are smart workers isn’t it?

Its one heck of an amusing thing simply put.

Many times we discuss and wonder how cool it is in the US to work when you want , if you want to or work part time . Esentially people work and take vacations have a life and come back. Is it feasible in India really.

Can you walk in to a interview and say well i passed out of college did a great job for 3 yrs took a break for 2 years had fun ,travelled and now i want a job again. Is it possible.
There may be exceptions(esp women who get married or had kids but even they get in with hubby or friends help even though they are quite good by  themselves) but however competent you still may be after the break there is an assumption that you’ve lost it, your ability somehow at least in India.

HR people have these theories.
If you leave companies you are not stable. Well if all are stable how would you hire?

If you take a break and work or are not sure of your one great FAKE AIM in life(honestly how may have a real one in IT except earning money  which is unspoken )…you cant be reliable.(Assumption:for all you may leave the job any day to have another vacation- Ok confession – this aint an assumption I was asked this question once upon a time )

Can someone at 30 wanting to start a job really compete with a fresher though both are at the same stage of learning.
Its a absolute fact that youngster have more zeal will learn more and every company and country wants a young workforce but when you dont have the youth for it instead of cribbing about shortage cant we even look beyond.

I definitely am not for hiring  people who are sub standard for a given job but i wonder how many companies know what they are hiring for. Half of them stock employees on bench.Its sad to see freshers on bench. I would rather like a nice tired veteran on bench who can use the bench time to learn amd update slowly rather than the restless and raring to go fresher on bench. But yeah they hire the best in campus at times and put them on bench or make them do absolute useles work(some companies provide great recreation facilities though) and disillusion them till they fit into your regular job hopping IT employee type.

Another amazing aspect that HR people and companies keep gushing on is Employee referrals.
In fact I think that is the root cause of all substandard stuff.
You just have to observe with you eyes open when you wait in queue at inteviews. very interesting scenarios proceed. Actually some companies dont even advertise jobs all jobs are through employee referrals.

 Well what most companies don’t get is Indians love their own and their own does not start with their company(Unlike say in USA). It starts with family , cousins , all other relatives and friends and then the company .
 So the first good they think for when they refer for the company is in the same order….family……

But then may be one good employee and they think its ok relatives means same genes so it will anyways be good is it…(hmm well i get ideas when i write).
Also that quote ” Birds of a feather flock together”
But if that one employee is bad. Ah the theories.

There’s another amazing aspect i have discovered from my experience in IT and ITES world.There is so much importance laid on English speaking and all that – so candidates and evaluators take communication as equivalent to speaking good english.
So candidates rattle of words and words of english some with a great accent but ask them to write a stanza, or even something like reading comprehension.

Half of the wonderful IT people do not understand simple IT requirements definition documents. …forget the strange one authored by the Americans.

They code great , i mean i envy their command over coding and memorizing mnemonics and keywords , I poor me who relies heavily on intellisense of IDE’s….but do they really know what they are coding for.

Hell just ask some people to read a newspaper and some cant get it straight.Lets face the fact these crash courses in English will get you to speak good English may be but not speak what you wnat to convey and it will not develop your english. The best way to learn English or any language will be its constant use and reading something and assimilating it.

Thats why there’s no point in saying “It’s raining jobs! But whom to hire”.
Its more like Its raining jobs and no one knows what and why to hire let alone how.
P.S:Well thank god i have a nice job – if not good job-else this post may

seem like the greatest crib…but heck thats why I blog.

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I somehow recommend the book Alchemist to people . I wont say its a great book but its a book worth a read or some reads esp when you really start doubting  yourself, when you need to beleive in  yourself again against all commom sense.

People say its about love but i actully did not enjoy the love story in it all that much. The last part was too magical and over the top. Its the earlier parts which i admired a lot and liked the different perceptions like those of the crystal seller and the boy.

Whenever someone thanks me for recommending it i quickly glance through the book again and its refreshing.

Some of the best passages in Alchemist i felt are below
===================================================

The old man pointed to a baker standing in his shop window at one corner of the plaza. “When he was a child, that man wanted to travel, too. But he decided first to buy his bakery and put some money aside. When he’s an old man, he’s going to spend a month in Africa. He never realized that people are capable, at any time in their lives, of doing what they dream of.”
“He should have decided to become a shepherd,” the boy said.
“Well, he thought about that,” the old man said. “But bakers are more important people than shepherds. Bakers have homes, while shepherds sleep out in the open. Parents would rather see their children marry bakers than shepherds.”
The boy felt a pang in his heart, thinking about the merchant’s daughter. There was surely a baker in her town.
The old man continued,

“In the long run, what people think about shepherds and bakers becomes more important for them than their own destinies.”
==========================================================
“Well, why don’t you go to Mecca now?” asked the boy.
“Because it’s the thought of Mecca that keeps me alive. That’s what helps me face these days that are all the same, these mute crystals on the shelves, and lunch and dinner at that same horrible café. I’m afraid that if my dream is realized, I’ll have no reason to go on living.

“You dream about your sheep and the Pyramids, but you’re different from me, because you want to realize your dreams. I just want to dream about Mecca. I’ve already imagined a thousand times crossing the desert, arriving at the Plaza of the Sacred Stone, the seven times I walk around it before allowing myself to touch it. I’ve already imagined the people who would be at my side, and those in front of me, and the conversations and prayers we would share. But I’m afraid that it would all be a disappointment, so I prefer just to dream about it.”

That day, the merchant gave the boy permission to build the display. Not everyone can see his dreams come true in the same way.
==================================================
“I’ve had this shop for thirty years. I know good crystal from bad, and everything else there is to know about crystal. I know its dimensions and how it behaves. If we serve tea in crystal, the shop is going to expand. And then I’ll have to change my way of life.”
“Well, isn’t that good?”
“I’m already used to the way things are. Before you came, I was thinking about how much time I had wasted in the same place, while my friends had moved on, and either went bankrupt or did better than they had before. It made me very depressed. Now, I can see that it hasn’t been too bad. The shop is exactly the size I always wanted it to be. I don’t want to change anything, because I don’t know how to deal with change. I’m used to the way I am.”
The boy didn’t know what to say. The old man continued, “You have been a real blessing to me. Today, I understand something I didn’t see before: every blessing ignored becomes a curse. I don’t want anything else in life. But you are forcing me to look at wealth and at horizons I have never known. Now that I have seen them, and now that I see how immense my possibilities are, I’m going to feel worse than I did before you arrived. Because I know the things I should be able to accomplish, and I don’t want to do so.”
It’s good I refrained from saying anything to the baker in Tarifa, thought the boy to himself
.

================================================

It’s the possibility of having a dream come true that makes life interesting, he thought
When someone sees the same people every day, as had happened with him at the seminary, they wind up becoming a part of that person’s life. And then they want the person to change. If someone isn’t what others want them to be, the others become angry. Everyone seems to have a clear idea of how other people should lead their lives, but none about his or her own.

People learn, early in their lives, what is their reason for being,” said the old man, with a certain bitterness. “Maybe that’s why they give up on it so early, too. But that’s the way it is.”
. “In any case, it’s good that you’ve learned that everything in life has its price
Sometimes it’s better to leave things as they are, he thought to himself, and decided to say nothing. If he were to say anything, the baker would spend three days thinking about giving it all up, even though he had gotten used to the way things were

“The secret of happiness is to see all the marvels of the world, and never to forget the drops of oil on the spoon.”
This candy merchant isn’t making candy so that later he can travel or marry a shopkeeper’s daughter. He’s doing it because it’s what he wants to do,

Who knows . . . maybe it’s better to be like the crystal merchant: never go to Mecca, and just go through life wanting to do so, he thought, again trying to convince himself.
Making a decision was only the beginning of things. When someone makes a decision, he is really diving into a strong current that will carry him to places he had never dreamed of when he first made the decision.
 

There are more but i guess its a small book and it makes no sense to put it all on the blog.

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With power cuts on weekends you really get some time to

wonder about the everyday chit chat we go through some by

necessity and some just by chance.

Last week sometime in tea break with the lead away ,the only 3 girls now in the team of three diff age groups (each 4 yrs older than one)sit together and try to chat up.We dont have much in common though in the worldly perspective pretty much the same.
Its  a boring chat sort of but when i look back on it with no power and from a dark balcony i am amused.

A electronics company had put up some television at our office for employees for the day and Baghbaan was playing we noticed.

Me: oh god now in office they play this
Su: Salman overacts a lot in this
Me: When does he not
B: yeah its like for granted

Su: Only in HAHK he was good
Me: No he was good in MPK too

Su : As movies increase they get this way
Me: yeah acting to overacting

B: But then Shahrukh too overacts frankly yeah
Su: Yeah but he’s great in romantic movies
Me: True and it depends on the director to control, i

liked him in Swades.
Su: yeah but i did not like him in Don(plain obvious she

loved his romantic lines…ah but then dont we all)

Me; But i liked him in Don …i mean i guess i cant think

of anyone better
B: No no one than Amitabh
ME; yeah Amitabh is just him but other. Sharukh looked

most stupid in khaike paan banaras song.

Su:I even like KBC with Shahrukh
Me: yeah me too
B: No i dont, dont u think he’s sarcastic

Me: Oh well that he has become even in interviews.

Thing was to me at least it seemed we all knew Shahrukh hams and has become sarcastic but we all remember our memories …the Sharukh Khan for whom first day first show was worth it(those days when you stood in lines of  theaters no multiplexes). ….for whose movies bunking college was cool.Now we dont care if we watch in theater – forget first day.

We were open to critisize him but we still love his flattering romantic lines ( forget kkkk kiran )and soulful eyes in Kuch Kuch Hota hai.(I avoid that movies these days like hell coz i simply keep finding flaws as i see more…that simple charm is gone with all this repeat telecast).

And then at home someday had watched koffee with karan and my sis and i laughed at how wonderfully both Hema and Jaya said Shahrukh with such certainity given different choices.
My sis was like how much women of that era love that flattering fellow. Well sure they do and so do we .
Some people may be good or bad  but you like to have such people about you.They have a charm about them – the people we call the life of a party ,a house , an office a generation or whatever.

And then i was happened to watch the last hour of Kabhie Kabhie somehow and yeah i love earlier part of that movie especially.
Amitabh looks so very charming….and well its a lovely movie.I just tell my sister kya angry youmg man ka tag laga diye usko. what a romantic young man he was in this movie.(I absolutely love to hear amitabh reciting poetry.)

My sister was like “kar raha na re ab romantic man movies amitabh “.I was like hmm demented romantic  is it…and we laugh.

At the end i just remarked such bold and charming touching movies yash chopra made then….and now he’s gone reverse gear.Culture overload or absolute mass choice stuff.

Then the power went off in the eve and i had nothing to do but wonder at all these things and laugh at my own self.

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The Light Of the Day

Last month i happened to read The Sea by Banville .Is that book a tough read? Oh god yes!!!. Firstly he uses off the world language then he uses long sentences with them and you find it actually tiring. I wont say i dislike the book. Parts of it had very beautifully expressed dilemmas and thoughts but in the end i still say its a very tough read and not to my taste or rather i am not upto its standard yet. It needs some higher powers to get across what’s being said i thought and yeah it drags. 

I almost would have felt that these arty booker prize books were a bit too much for my simple feel it kind of reading if only i had not earlier read “The Light Of the Day” by Graham Swift.Its a book of some sublime beauty. I read it nearly a year ago but could not write about it.Anyways This is a book i find hard to write about. Its simply because its so touchingly expressed, and there are not many quotations kind of stuff or any wonderful thrilling happenings or the huge battles of emotions.  

The first time one reads it it has that mystery to it so you never really catch the much subtle parts of it too much. But its a beautiful read. Very Simple and yet so very moving.I like it style of writing and also the way he uses repeat sequences of lines in a rhyming way.

Like

“She Bloomed”……………………………..

“But then She had bloomed”. 

When you start off reading fiction and you read famous authors in college Sheldon , Archer and all those and the way they write about women, you simply look at it as a story.Its rarely the same when men write about women and women write about women. Some thoughts make you look at it…really do people observe so much. 

Like he observes Someone Someday should write about handbags, shoulder bags. May be they have. About how women cling to them, as if they’re their closest friend when all else fails. The things that you find inside them (I’ve lost count of how many I’ve rifled through”) 

The book is a treat to read. It is written in back and forth format and u move seamlessly through them. Though as I said ,for the first time curiosity really can be a spoiler. Rarely do you have any suspense in books of this kind (based more on individual psychologies and how each persons behavior gets shaped inexplicably at times)but this one has just that little bit of criminal suspense in a way that really charms you. 

One can read an excerpt here

 

Something happens. We cross a line, we open a door we never knew was there. It might never have happened, we might never have known. Most of life, maybe, is only time served. 

 

A Rebound: you were robbed and now you take. And are the young so easily damaged anyway, ……you’re young only once and there is a kind of savagery in it.” 

The truth is we meet we part we go our way. There aren’t any laws, there aren’t any rules. We ‘ re not here to follow each other, to guard each others lives 

 

One of the finest writings i’ve read and i also read “Ever After” and have sort of taken to his style, though i am yet to read his famous book “The Last Orders” 

 

Some nice reviews here.

Reviews themselves have  their own charm i feel. You love sometimes to see some one love what you love or hate what you hate and best is when you suddenly see something when you read a  review, something so very obvious but you just did not have that perspective. 

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Ah….Yet to get over that wonderful line by karla in Shantaram

“i take everything personally….thats what being a person is all about”
That book seems to be the only nice thing i can think since quite some time.

But i found some lines of mine from a few days back fair enough to post.

Why i love the storm in the air
I don’t see the huts it demolishes
i don’t see the homeless shivering
I don’t see the trees uprooted
I don’t see the devastated look it leaves on civilization

What i see is what i feel
a rage against this very world
So i love the lashing rain on my window,
the gales hell bent on smashing the glass around,

and when its had its say
i see the fresh green emerging
the peace sought all around echoing
So i love the storm in the air

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shantaram

 Some books are all about hype…and Some books are those hidden treasure that few savor. Then there are books that actually live up or rather deserve the hype.

Shantaram is one….Only other i thought so was Harry Potter.I know some wonderful chaps who never read the book and just saw the movie would call Potter a childrens fantasy hangover for adults.
Ask someone who has read the book and not seen the movie.
Some say there are other better writers and books….oh sure there would be , but would that mean Potter ain’t good.

Anyways this post is all about Shantaram – the book by Gregory Roberts i spent April 07 with.
If this books been hailed as a wonderful adventure and masterpiece it is every bit of it.Seems like i am having a  voluminous book year. March was all about re reading that voluptous ” A Suitable boy” by Seth and now this.But well i  am hardly complaining.

The books a treasure trove of quotes. In fact i so loved half of the lines in the book that id wanted to return the book to the library and buy it but i wish i could afford the prime space it would occupy in my meagre shelves.

Ok well they are clever lines, sad lines and touching lines but the best part for me is a whole part of it is in bantering talk between people, a genre that i love rather than a brooding or thoughtful narration by an author.

Be it movies or books where there smart clever wordplay i like it. Oh yeah its a weakness but yeah i enjoy it and thus if for nothing else just that makes the book special.

And if i was loving it soo much and wondering that only i thought so about it well nah i just looked up on orkut a community out there for it has put up many of the quotes(http://www.orkut.com/CommMsgs.aspx?cmm=627868&tid=9029383&start=1
I  painstakingly wrote into my notebook so i can reread when i return the book. Funny but well great discovery.
I’m glad cause i just cannot afford to put up all the quotes i copied or page numbers i marked. Its one heck quote of a book. Its better bought than borrowed .
The book is set in Bombay and throughout it the author speaks of his love for the city. Amazing that at the same time so many books set in Bombay have come out. I’ve read Maximum city and while that in itself is a lovely book i blogged on, this one’s quite different. The perspectives and the eyes who talk you through are different.

In maximum city what the author talks of in real time we understand and feel cause its the city life and India’s own special madness but his thoughts , feelings and perspectives may not be as similar ….cause he speaks based on his opportune research and meeting with the set of people he weaved into stories.Maximum city is a very good book and marvellous insightful book but yeah Shantaram is much much more.

There’s enough about its story on the internet, how its based on a true story and why add my bit to it. All i can say is whether its fact or fiction it hardly matters. They are so interchangeable in there and its beautiful. Its not only a wonderful read , if one takes just the story its quite thrillingly told and yeah even those who only read detective and thrillers will sort of like it i guess, unless they are like those people who like things absolutely like pure action movies where nothing matters but the punch.

The characters have a charm about them…everyone i guess, its hard to take sides if you really have a heart.
Karla is well, quite some character thats  fleshed out and what i liked about the book was the way it simply withstood when all had changed. As its said some people bounce back like say Lisa in it and some harden and its never the same.
The way karla puts it

I’m cold inside Lin. I like people and I like  things but i dont love any of them- not even myself – and i dont really care about them. and you know the strange thing is , I don’t really wish that i did care
It reminds of a cold heartless feel that sometimes overtakes one, though unlike Karla most people usually get over it.

But i think one of my favorite for the sheer practicality of it is the following .

People haven’t stopped beleiving in love. They have stopped wanting to be in love. They just dont beleive in happy endings anymore. They still beleive in love, and falling in love but now they know that romances almost never end as well as they begin

 Shantaram is what most can never understand in real time, no one imagines or can really imagine that fear and all that prison torture and gun running etc, but everyone has their own hells and  fears and prisons and when faced with them the philosophies we take to ,the arguments we put against ,and for ourselves are what one relates to and catches your attention.

Karla’s a very specially sketched character and of course for anyone who loves sharp lines its great but then i liked the way all her clever lines are waved away by Lin at a point in the book.
In facts the main character is the person whose character is kept most subtle. All others kind of are so very sharp. Even the parts on the mafia are dealt as they are not like putting a glamorized look onto them. I liked the part where Lin’s poor friends refuse to take up job in the counterfeit passport making business, and its true such people exist. Some refuse for fear some,for principle .
As i read it i wondered Who can be the judge of who’s braver, the ones who  keep fighting every day for their causes or the one who give up and accept their fate.After all  to accept the fate one needs to fight one’s own self or may be some people just hide from their own selves.

Another of those words that i’ve often thought of myself was this– because, there are always a small set of people i’ve known who are stupid or mean and even callous and yet i manage to feel sorry for them and cant hurt them at times in ways beyond me.

” Some people always manage to make us feel sorry for them, no matter how stupid or angry we feel about it later. They’re the canaries kind of , in the coalmines of our hearts. If we stop feeling  for them when they let us down , we are in deep trouble”

Of course my own obsession with the book can also be attributed to another thing, the book uplifts the importance of freedom and how much of it can be rooted in the mind.”Freedom to say no”

There’s cynicism and an counteracting hope filled in every next line and you wander between them feeling and knowing the sheer truth of being a cynic and still wandering over to hope as thats what keeps one going on.

Not that i did not find flaws .Most unpalatable to me was his idealizing Prabaker’s village. Now anyone who’s been to a real village will know it ain’t all that pretty and filled with such wonderful sweet large hearted people. They have their own share of  jealousies, killings and mean heartless criminals.Also some parts especially like the kano bear story and some stuff in Afghanistan  seemed like could have been happily trimmed off.

But such things are so easily overlooked in such a gem.

Mira Nair’s making a movie on it i heard and like most , i do beleive movies however well made usually never live up to a good book.I’ve left out a whole bunch of quotes and yet such a voluminous post.
Well its a really fine book….fact or fictions not my bother.

Some gems i typed but honestly there are much better ones on most pages.I need to re read the book. Reading it with an intention to finish it in 40 days was a bit too much. I read it only 10 days may be but i intend to enjoy it on some slow days of life again…sometime.
 For now though it was an exhilarating read.
when we fall in love with someone our greatest fear is that they wont love us back,what we should fear instead is that we wont stop loving them.. “

” Personality and person identity are in some ways like co-ordinates on the street map drawn by intersecting relationships. We know who we are and we define what we are by references to the people we love and our reasons for loving them”

“Truth is a bully we all pretend to like “

“Only the anarchists trust human beings enough to ;et them work it out themselves”

“Some feelings sink so deep into the heart
that only loneliness can help u find them again.”

“sometimes we love with nothing more than hope.
 Sometimes we cry with everything except tears”

Its not more like you agree with most of whats in there but as Lin comments somewhere in there you like how its said.Thats a different charm altogether.

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Some banter

I have been like too busy worrying about too many possibilities of worry in life and did not know what to pen down. So thought on penning some very strange non worrying discussions recently .

My dear sister has a way of sudden out of the world ideas and her memories of Hindi movies old and new are like superb.

So as we banter on about films here are a few for collection’s sake.I go to flower seller ask how much gerberas are he says each 20 rs. I quietly walk away .. At the bus stop my sis starts laughing to herself.
I ask why and i get this…

you know there was a movie called rajnigandha where the heroine wonders see i have two guys in my life…one brings ONLY flowers (they were thought of as cheap those days)and one guy brings such expensive gifts.Think sis in todays time what could heroine think like that …everyday flowers the  bunch would cost the guy how much 12*20= 240 bucks everyday……how dare she rate him stingy  or poor.”

I was left perplexed at her range of thoughts.

One day during KBC there was a question
what is ‘zalzala, in english. Usually i am right or rather expected to be right so no one even challenges but this day sis was like

What do you say …i say earthquake” she says

I thought of the other option but rarely ever in academic questions she

is so sure. She insisted Earthquake. when she was proved right i got my dose of gyaan.
You see thats why i say watch movies…..it improves knowledge…there was old movie of kimi katkar called zalzala and in the end earthquake happens and swallows up all the loot..”
Gosh she is amazing

Then on  a serious note one day this was our discussion.

Hmm i dont like Ash and Abhishek” she says
Preity and Abhishek would make a great pair. She would bring so much life and bubbliness and add to them.”

I counter….
“No Aishwarya is right for that khandaan. quiet head bowed …..just what they want..and she gets what she wants security and name…. Preity is too lively and strong and these people would only ruin her spirit.They cannot add anything to her as a person…..”

I liked Amitabh but this whole fiasco ruined much of the personal admiration i had for the chap.

And so we banter about the people and things not affecting our lives cause there’s nothing much we can do about whats affecting it direct.

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