April 30, 2008

Let’s be humane first...

We aspire to become doctors, scientists, lawyers and what not. We desire to become millionaires, billionaires, and may be more. I am amazed when I think how many hours I spend to think of my dreams and things I want to achieve in this life time. I guess it’s the case with most of us. Yet, we forget that there is a set hierarchy of evolution, growth, development – not just for buildings and countries, but more importantly for human beings also. A building will last for eternity if and only if its foundations are robust. Surely, the same must hold good for us.

I remember a dialogue from the popular Bollywood movie Lage Raho Munnabhai. There is this scene where a girl calls up the Gandhigiri helpline wondering how she would be able to judge the guy she is about to meet for the first time. Sanjay Dutt tells her that the true character of a person is known by the way he/she behaves with people below him in the ‘social cadre’ (something we create to suit our egos).

How true indeed! Who does not behave well with people they know? Every sane person does. Also, we behave well even with people we do not know, but that is mostly in cases where the other person is either above or almost in our ‘level’. But how many of us behave well with people who are supposedly below us - the rickshaw drivers, the waiters, the servants? How about the behavior with the call centre/customer care people who call us up and most of the times we bang the phone down abruptly. Do we not lose our cool sometimes and give them a piece of our mind? For what? Do they enjoy calling us up? They think it’s some kind of a cool job? The fact is (and we all now this) they have to do it to make a living for themselves and their families. Can you imagine how frustrating calling 200-250 people each day and hearing rude replies/abuses in most cases could be! One of my psychologist friends happened to tell me that these people inevitably end up losing their self-confidence in many cases and some of them get suicidal tendencies too. All because we choose to behave rudely, let’s face it.

This blog-piece got triggered earlier today when I was filling my tummy at the Pizza Hut. 3 middle-aged guys were seated in a table and had placed some order. I thought there was some shortage of staff and as a result, the two people who were serving were extremely tied up with many orders. Obviously, there was bound to be some delay. One of the 3 guys called for something and nobody attended to him for some time. He took an offence in it and started shouting, yes real yelling, at the waitress. Things like ‘kya mera paise ka bhaav nahi hai?’ It went on for about 5 long minutes, with all illogical points being raised about the service. Fine, he had a point, but is that a way of making it? The waitress was in tears by the time it was over. She was still supposed to keep saying ‘sorry sir’ to this ‘man’. This is not a one-off incident. It happens each day with many. In most cases, this ‘looking down’ happens in a more subtle manner.

Aren’t these people who serve us emotional human beings? They have emotions and do expect some respect for whatever they are doing. If not anything else, respect as a human being. When is it that we will stop profiling people based on their jobs and social status? What right did the guy have to shout like that on someone? Just because he is earning more than her! That too, not necessarily because of his extra special skills in something, but just because he had better opportunities in life.

People do not become cabbies, waiters, milkmen, delivery boys, salesmen by choice. In most cases, it is the only choice that they are left with after spending a childhood and youth with minimal or no education at all. They are not a result of lack of their skills, but only a lack of opportunities. If we got these opportunities, we should only be feeling lucky and not bossy & rude. If we cannot give them the proper chance to exploit their skills and aptitudes, let us not at least make them feel more humiliated.

Let’s be humane please. That’s the least we can do...

That's what I call smart thinking!

In the banking space, there's this thing called Do Not Call register (akin to a do-not-disturb board put outside the hotel rooms) that each bank has to maintain, as regulated by Reserve Bank of India. Any one who wishes not to receive those marketing cold calls from a particular bank has to enrol his/her name in this register. After doing this, the cold calls are not supposed to bother you again (though it has not worked in case of a couple of banks I tried with). One can complain to the regulator if he/she continues to receive these calls after getting them enrolled (yet to try this).

Today's Economic Times reports that this service is being mis-used by customers (borrowers) who get calls from the bank asking them to repay the loan!

Now, isn't that smart! :)

April 25, 2008

Sex education...! Hay ram.. tauba tauba

This seems to be the reaction to the long proposed inclusion of sex education in standard 9th and 10th school syllabus. Now, the interesting point here is that the reaction comes from politicians, people who want to create ruckus for most of the things. The parents, on the other hand, apparently want that to be included at the earliest – going by a newspaper poll.

The point of protest is that sex education will spoil the minds of youngsters! Whoa... hear that. I have not heard of a more lame excuse than that. It is like saying, knowing what a world war was all about would encourage students to try and do a war. Or, that knowing about Niagara falls would make all students to go there and see it for live. Whom are we trying to fool? It is surprising that most of us learn about the birds and the bees from some not-so-reliable sources like movies, books, friends who could be novices themselves or these days from the internet. Being aware of anything, including something like sex, can only make youngsters more matured and responsible rather than assuming that they will be spoilt! This in a country where population growth is the highest, where sex is the most favorite activity among the poorer section to relieve their daily life stress, where sex is sold at every nook and corner… Hypocrisy at its peak! Incidentally, few youngsters I know have told me at different occasions that they come to know of these things when they are in school and often what they hear and know are things all over the place with nothing really from a genuine adult who understands these things. So if these things are all around us anyways at our school days, why not formalize it so that what youngsters know are not some rubbish and ridiculous concepts.

Two things should be introduced at the earliest among youngsters - sex education and learning about one’s spiritual self – the purpose of our being on this earth as a human being.

April 24, 2008

Sob sob.. :-(

3 matches, 3 losses – that’s what Hyderabad’s team has managed in the IPL. I really liked the look of that team and hence rooted for the team in one of my earlier posts. Am surprised, no stunned, about the results. I am wondering something that Laxman too might be – what is required to win now!

Someone told me that the team that loses 4 straight matches will go on to win the IPL! Seriously I was told this.. not joking! Hope the think-tank of the Hyderabad team is reading this. Guys, one more loss and we are home!!!! Literally.. back home :-)))

Phew.. these marriage receptions

Let me put this straight - I hate social functions and the crowd that they come with. I cannot make myself sit in a visibly happy and pleasant mode for hours when deep down I want to run away to a lonely place. Still, there are few receptions that I cannot avoid going to, since I am still supposed to be the social animal and share somebody's moment of joy.. momentary joy!

It all starts with a couple getting married. Now, that is another aspect that is close to my heart, in a sense that I have extremely radical thoughts on that concept of marriage. More on that later. So ya, after marriage the couple and their think-tank (read family) want to officially invite those whom they could not for the original marriage function. So they host a reception. So when they are home to invite someone, they are all humble-courteous types.. jaroor aana, please grace the occasion, koi bahana nahi chalega, aap shaadi par bhi nahi aaye, we will wait for you that day.. all these rhetorics. And when the D-day arrives, suddenly all the promises are forgotten! The couples turn to politicians.. They take pride in arriving easily an hour or two after guests arrive the venue. And they do that without a tinge of guilt.. as if that is the way it is supposed to go. These days, it is fashionable to have lunch/dinner first, have the dessert, then meet and wish the couple and then again have dessert [that is what I love to do ;)]. For going to the stage to meet the couple, one has to wait in a queue.. quite a long one in most cases. Then go up there and get a photograph taken (the official record of your presence is registered). Then meet people and gossip around. Then go back home and crib about how pathetic the food was, how the dress of the bride was looking odd, how much jewellery was on display, how the air conditioning in the hall was not optimum, blah blah blah...

I find this so disgusting. Ain't guests supposed to have been invited? What for? To be shown how important the couple is! Now I wonder, the couple's parents' might have this wicked look when they come to invite us for reception.. sort of telling us, ab hum dikhate hai tum logon ko.. :)

Ok, now how about working this entire concept this way! The couple and their think-tank reach the venue first. They wait at the entrance for the guests to arrive. They greet them as the guests go in. No no.. no gifts and photographs at this stage. Will get cramped up. There will be a separate box kept inside where you can drop the gifts/presentation covers, etc. There will be a separate photograph section where a live-sized photo of the couple would be kept. You stand around the snap and get your customized snap clicked. Lunch/dinner arrangements can continue the way they are now. This will exemplify the real treatment to be given to guests, right?

I know I know.. you're saying let's see whether I adapt this in my reception. Well two things, A - I may not have a reception and B - I may choose not to invite you! ;)


April 17, 2008

Happily unemployed!

Yes, that is what I am these days. Enjoying most of the moments, can't say all. Sans few phases of 'what-am-I-doing-sitting-at-home' syndromes from parents and within, things are very exciting. I need to constantly plan and work for the next source of revenues and that is extremely exciting, must say. The pipeline is looking decent and hopefully I might not need to knock on the corporate doors again for a 9-to-5 job (what a clichéd term this has become). By the way, you are reading the blog of the Executive Director of H-Zone Capital Management Services - my independent outfit :). The world around us is more helpful and co-operative than I ever imagined.

Life takes interesting twists when you least expect it to. April 14th was our New Year and life has become a tinge more wonderful for me since that day.

The much hyped IPL's DLF cup will start from today. And so is the Oly flame reaching Delhi. Along with these two issues, inflation would make up the top three hot topics in this country today.

Among other things, I am particularly curious to see how Harsha Bhogle fares as the consultant to Mumbai Indians in the IPL league. I am a great admirer of this man for his enthusiasm, energy and passion for what he does. Not withstanding all the unpredictability associated with a Twenty20 match, teams from Mumbai, Hyderabad and Chennai look comfortably placed to be in the final four of the tournament. Let's see how good an observer I am of the game.

Some people in this world seem to get more matured as each day passes. I am extremely privileged and fortunate to have 3 of them in my life today. They do make life look extremely simple. GOD bless them.

Take care friends and keep smiling :)

April 6, 2008

Very much here..

Am very much here and too many things to write about too.. but! Plate is too full these days, will find out the time and mindspace to write something soon.

Happened to see Shaurya last week. Very good movie. If you are a Kay Kay Menon fan, then definitely go and see his performance, albeit in a small role. Amazing guy.. Ironically there were just eleven people in the cinema hall to see the movie on the second day of its release! It is sad that the masses prefer to see Race over a movie like this. The success of a movie, unfortunately, is just a function of how it is marketed!

If you get time, try and catch this movie. I personally know of people who have shades of the ideology and thinking of the characters shown in the movie. They should definitely not miss this flick.