Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Khushboo was the all too familiar smell; It was after months that I was in proximity of this all too familiar loving smell...

I could no longer resist myself. I moved closer, and more closer and then literally dived in; digged into the deepest of recesses, and finally came up with something -
a Haldi powder packet, and a packet of Lijjat Papad.

It was about a month of having landed in Japan, that I had managed to find out an Indian store - a kirana ka dukaan, with all too familiar sights - like the posters of Dalda Ghee, of the smiling Lijjat Papad mascot, and of course the all too familiar smell.

They say,
You can take a man out of India, but you cant take India out of a man

This was one of the first times, that I really understood this saying.

Then, there was another occasion when I experienced something similar;

It was a cloudy Saturday morning, and it had just about started drizzling; I rushed to the balcony of my apartment, not to see the raindrops falling; but to smell the sweet smell of first wettening of the soil. Again, I was disappointed.

Where can you smell the मिट्टी की ख़ूशबू (Smell of the Land) - but only in your homeland.

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India - A Melting Pot....?

Up until yesterday, I always considered India to be a melting point, where you could add virtually anything; and it would be stirred to get an identity called India.

I couldn't have been more wrong on this.
A Melting Pot, is by definition; a place or thing in which one can mix innumerable ingredients, and come out with a unique flavor.

In India, one can definitely mix innumerable ingredients, but the resultant item contains traces of each of these distinct ingredients. Rather than a Melting Pot, India can be considered a Canvas stretching infinity, where each Pixel has its own distinct hue and color, and all this adds to the uniqueness of the canvas. Every Pixel has the right to change its color, or its location at any point in time, and new Pixels are always welcomed.

Applying this analogy to the Languages of India, we already have around 25+ registered scripts, and more than 1000+ recognized dialects.

The new Pixel to join the Indian Language Canvas is my very own mother tongue, Kutchi.

Kutchi till date has been a Dialect (a language which is only spoken, it has no script). It is passed from one generation to another only verbally.

But, this may not be true going forward. Kutchi has found a new script:

Kutchi will have a Pictorial language.

Vry soon, I shall then get an opportunity to post some stuff out here in my own language!

Till then,
अलविदा, फिर मिलेंगे,


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Sunday, September 13, 2009

Be Prepared

There is a nice article posted on Cricinfo about how teams go about their preparation before every tournament, every match by former India Test player Aakash Chopra.

Preparation is in essence knowing what your strengths are as a team, the strength of the competition at hand, and how you would go about maximizing your strengths and at the same time minimizing your weaknesses such that you emerge victorious.
It is about gauging an action plan for the event you are about to compete in.

Every team, rather every individual has a different method, a different style in which they prepare for any major event.

Some teams like to be very vociferous before any major event; they come out with strong statements in pre-match press conferences, belittling their opponents; while other teams follow a strict ritualistic preparation schedule and go about the task at hand without any fuss.

Preparation at the individual level is very different from preparing together as a team.

Some individuals like to build some pre-event tempo by connecting with the audience, doing some chest thumping, getting the adrenaline flowing (good example: Champion Sprinter Usain Bolt); while others like to remain with themselves, engrossed in capturing over their own minds before they compete with the others (good example: Champion Pole Vaulter Yelena Isinbayeva).

Be it a sport event, or any other kind of an event like an examination, an interview etc; being prepared helps. Being prepared basically means that one has worked out in their heads how that particular event would pan out, and more importantly, what would their response be to any query/ incident that would come across during the event.

It is said,
Visualize yourself as being victorious, and that itself will contribute to half your victory

Being Prepared is definitely the other half which shall contribute to your victory.

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Monday, September 07, 2009

My Code Will Talk

Whenever great sportspersons are faced with (undue) criticism, they generally maintain their poise and dignity and do not come out making fussy statements; rather they do the talking via their performances;

So, when a great batsman has had a miserable series and the critics are asking for his head; what does he do?
He generally comes out with a memorable match saving or match winning (next)innings to lay down all doubts of the critics to rest...he lets his BAT do all the talking.

So, what does a Software Engineer do when he faces criticism?
Simple: He lets his CODE do all the talking...!


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Sunday, September 06, 2009

Joy Of Giving

Here is a story that was narrated at one of the Teach India volunteer sessions:

As per one of our ancient scriptures, "The Puranas" there used to be a mythical two headed bird which had a single body.

One of its head was really very beautiful, while the other head was rather ugly looking.
People really appreciated the beauty of the beautiful head and fed the bird fresh fruits and nuts through that head; while no one really cared to look at the ugly head.
The bird could survive since it had a single body.

The beautiful head aware of its so called brand value never cared o share a bite offered to it with the other head.

All the while, the ugly looking head grew restless, and wanted to prove to the world and more so to the other head that it too had the same qualities as the other head; only in appearance was the other head different.

One time this ugly head came across a really shiny red fruit, and thought that even the other head might never have come across such a fresh fruit. It showed off its catch to the beautiful head.

The beautiful head more aware of worldly matters, recognized at once that the shiny red fruit was poisonous; and once consumed the bird would die.

It tried to convince the ugly head against eating this fruit; but the ugly head thought that beautiful head was just plain jealous of its catch.

The ugly head consumed the fruit, and within moments the bird died.
The fruit indeed was poisonous.

This story has a very significant meaning in the times we live in.
We have been fortunate enough to have access to good education, and opportunities which have allowed us to blossom to where we are currently.
At the same time, we must not forget about our ugly heads .

We have to provide in whatever means we can an opportunity for the underprivileged sections of society to have the same kind of environment and opportunities that we ourselves aspire for.
Only this would then make any growth meaningful.

The Joy of Giving Week - to be held between 27th September - 3rd October, conceptualized and co-ordinated by GiveIndia provides an opportunity for all of us (individuals, corporates, NGOs) to share whatever we can to make a small positive difference in someones life.

They say
Uparwaala jab deta hai, chappar phaad ke deta hai
This is your oppurtunity to play Uparwaala.

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Saturday, September 05, 2009

Happy Teachers Day

A tree owes its existence not to the seed from where it germinated; but to the gentle gardener who took the pain of sowing it, nourishing it daily, and seeing it grow to reach great heights.

Same is the role played by teachers in our lives; their only goal is to see their students germinate into confident individuals who can carve their own niche in their chosen fields.

I distinctly remember some my teachers from school days whose lessons I have learnt for life...

I remember my English teacher of Std. 4, Mrs Celine Ishwar who taught about the virtues of kindness, and being gentle with all things; she once saw one of us tearing apart a sheet from a book for scribbling a note; and she had commented
Do you feel pain when someone twists over your hand? Now imaging the level of pain you would feel if someone were to break your hand into two...

I remember my Maths teacher of Std. 5, Mrs Premila Ravi; she was also the Quizzing incharge for the school; From her I learnt what Competetive spirit is and what hunger for knowledge meant; she used to coach students representing the school in Quizzing events, and such was her dedication and devotion to her job that she used to sometimes skip meals to spend quality time with the students.

I have been fortunate to have met a number of such great individuals during my schooling days, and also in my professional career.
In the professional field, they are no longer called Teachers; they are Mentors; who essentially play a similar role of nurturing the talent within the company, grooming the next generation of leaders, inculcating the value system of the organization:: all this essentially to ensure that the Organization makes the transition to the next higher level in a fair and square way.

One of Corporate Indias great leaders; Mr Subroto Bagchi (Gardener to MindTree) has identified a similar role for himself to nurture talent within the organization, and take it to Stratospheric heights;

On this Teachers Day, I sincerely thank from the bottom of my heart all the great beings that I have got a chance to learn from...

Thank You,

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Be Destructive

I had the opportunity of listening to Mr Mahesh Murthy on the subject of Pricing Models for a startup, at the event held in Pune sometime back.

He was of the opinion that if you are a Startup having a product/ service which is not exactly new to the world; but provides a certain level of differentiation from the existing products; there is no point in being competitively priced with a price band of +- 10% wrt existing products/ service; you need to be DESTRUCTIVE in your pricing model; either offer the product at a 100% premium of the existing product or at 10% of the existing product price..then only you shall be able to carve a space for yourself in the already saturated market...

Recent product (pricing models) launches by the TATA group in the GSM and CDMA spaces seem to have gotten the point...

First, for the GSM service TATA alongwith DoCoMo launched the "Pay Per Second" tariff plan where consumers actually only pay for the number of seconds they talk.
This is specifically (I think) targeted for consumers who need mobile connectivity; but are usually only going to use it for receiving calls rather than calling themselves; and even if they do call, their call lasts hardly lasts a few seconds...

Then, TATA TeleServices came out with a plan "Pay Per Call" wherein a consumer has to pay a fixed amount for a single call irrespective of the amount of time the call lasts.
This (I think) is specifically targeted for consumers who use their cell phones to make calls lasting long durations...

In both of these above plans, the point to be noted is that both of these are examples of DISRUPTIVE pricing models; never thought of or heard of before in the market; by these two plans I am sure they have managed to attract a lot of consumer attention; though it remains to be seen whether it will result in converts...

So, be it a Startup or not; being DESTRUCTIVE surely helps in grabbing the eyeballs...

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9:58::BOLT the Door

We had a professor in college during our final year of Engineering; Prof. Shere who used to teach the subject Power Electronics.

He used to be very punctual about time, and attendance; his used to be the first class of the day @ 10am;

Prof. Shere had a habit of coming to the class atleast 5 mins before the scheduled lecture time, and with about a couple of minutes to go to the start, he used to close the door to the class...

One of his instructions has been ringing in my ears for sometime now;
The instruction was:
"Its 9:58 now; BOLT the door!"

How ironic that the World 100m record was broken sometime back in precisely 9.58 seconds by a guy named Usain Bolt!

People sometimes have the knack of predicting the future (unknowingly) I guess....

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Thursday, September 03, 2009

I am Back...

After a brief hiatus of about a couple of years, I am back to the Blogging world with a resolve to not take such a big break again...

Lots has happened in these couple of years, lots of things to share; so expect an avalanche of blog posts...