Monday, January 28, 2013

The Hypersensitive Bharatiya

Last week Kamal Hassan’s 100 crore mega project Vishwaroopam was banned from theatres in Tamil Nadu and subsequently in Karnataka. It was cleared by the censor board, but then the government decided to ban it because it thought it insulted the Muslim community by portraying it in a manner unacceptable to some unknown Muslim organization.

Its woes does stop here, earlier Kamal Hassan was criticized for the name Vishwaroopam. The reason? it’s a Sanskrit word and it’s a Tamil movie. So Kamal Hassan has not shown respect to the Tamil culture by using a Sanskrit word to name his Tamil movie.

A friend on Facebook had recently put on a status about how rude and unpatriotic a guy was as he refused to stand during the national anthem played before screening a movie. He didn’t stop here, he also mentioned that he gave the guy a verbal thrashing about how he should be grateful to be born in India and is indebted forever to the motherland.

Recently Amitabh Bachchan was in trouble because he used the word ‘racha gaya’ for Quran, while someone claimed it was revealed by God himself and not composed.

These are just some instances that I saw or read about in the recent time. We are so insecure about our religion, motherland, and language or so called culture that we b urst into anger even at the slightest remark. Or we are just looking for an opportunity to get angry over anybody saying anything. It’s like we have just lost it. There is no tolerance for art and no tolerance for humor at all. Anyways the only humor we like is cheap takes at our women or perverted jokes.

Mindless things are imposed upon us and then an organization comes up to uphold them and we still call ourselves a democracy. Take for example the national anthem before a movie screening. Do I need to prove my allegiance to my country by standing up every time before a movie? By this viewpoint every day before going to work couples should read their marriage vows to each other.

We have become so occupied with such small things that it literally made up puppets in the hands of political parties. It is so easy for a political outfit to disrupt something and call itself the messiah of a particular religion, state or even the whole country. They know they never need to talk about development, better healthcare or law and order because our sensibilities have been killed by our hypersensitive nature to these mindless and irrational things. And to keep us occupied with that, let the drama of banning things, protesting against art continue.

It’s a shame that we a developing nation, a democracy are so easily swayed by such behavior. Just the reason I couldn’t help using the word Bhartiya and not Indian, in case I too might land myself a PIL.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Our obsession with quick fixes

I remember the time Fevi Quick first came out. It was such an exciting product that most of us would just want to play with it. We would usually get our fingers stuck together in an instant because if that. I grew up a little and I saw pain killers were the next quick fixers. Got a headache take a painkiller and get on with life.

But the last couple of weeks I've observed that quick fix has gotten into our attitude where we just want to quick fix things rather than fixing them right.

A girl gets gang raped in Delhi. Everywhere people discuss it and give opinions. Even on Facebook everybody gets busy putting status updates. But things that came out pretty strongly and hit me was what people suggested should be done. It mostly circled around chemical castration for the rapists or capital punishment. Someone even suggested send them to Saudi for better punishment. And let's not talk about our brain dead political class.

And I sitting here thinking how would this reduce rape cases? How will this deter rapists? How would this make my beloved Delhi safer for all my friends?

All these questions were left unanswered. But it told me most just wanted a quick fix and get on with life. Nobody bothered to think of making places safer (obviously which would require more thinking).

Take for instance bank robberies. Did making a harder punishment reduce bank robberies or making them hard to rob did? CCTV cameras, security guards, electronically guarded vaults made them a difficult target. I'm not denying bank robberies can't happen, but its difficult to rob a bank nowadays and it happens rarely.

So shouldn't we focus on making places safer for women. Like for instance making sure places like that munerika bus stand are less in number. Or deserted places are watched by CCTV cameras or frequently patrolled by police. Reducing police response time, making sure there is safe transport possible for women at night.

Why don't rapists choose a place metro station. Because of the fear of getting caught easily or not enough deserted a place to carry out the crime.

Coming back to punishment. It's purely my opinion that a society's role is to reform and not to discard. Throwing away a dirty shirt is an easy job than to clean it. They might have committed the most heinous crime possible, but can we use this as an opportunity? Can we reform them and perhaps use them to give messages to people. I still do agree a long sentence like a life sentence is a must.

If our parents, teachers, society discarded us every time we did something bad, this world be a very difficult place to live.

We really need to get rid of our obsession with quick fixes and start thinking of real solutions.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Would the economy be better off without MBA students?

Disclaimer: I am an MBA and I love my MBA. I am also proud of both these facts.

Now let’s answer some thought provoking questions.

Q. Are MBAs the best managers in the world?
A. No. But they are also not the worst and if you pick data, they are more likely to be in the better half. And managerial skills have a lot of do with personality, something not many MBA courses take in account.

Q. Are MBA better equipped than their non-MBA counterparts?
A. Yes. Numerous case studies, live projects do help. But again they don’t give a ready to use manual.

Q. But MBAs take wrong decisions, make mistakes. What about that?
A.  So do Doctors, Lawyers, and Economists. They are all human beings after all.

I am writing this article as I keep on getting constantly appalled by some people who look at MBA or perceive them in a certain manner and offer opinions. My knowledge’s sources range from anecdotes with friends, Social media and random article here and there. I used to ignore them mostly because I knew I had earned my MBA, worked hard during it, had a hell of a time, forged best relationships and was lucky enough to get a job also.

But then I saw this debate going on The Economist with the same heading and it made me think. And it was enough fodder to pour out something for my dying blog.

I can unabashedly state that I do not use most of the things taught to me by my professors during MBA. And neither do I use most of the things taught by my teachers since Nursery. So just to set the tone straight I don’t use most of the things I have been taught in the classroom. Although I am still trying to figure out a way where I can use log tables or at least apply differentiation in a day to day life.

But then what do I use. I use most of the things I learnt during the time I was not in the classroom. While playing football, captaining a chess team, finishing an assignment just in time, leading a group for a successful task and many more such activities. Quite frankly in my 8 months of work experience, it is hard to count the number of times my profile has changed, probably more like the opening pair for the Pakistan cricket team. But the work remains constant and so do the learning and hence the application.

MBA as a programme is still evolving and will perhaps always keep on evolving. The teaching methodology, the curriculum will keep on changing. The process will not remain the same. What will not change, is the outcome, of course we will have deviations and some errors also.

I need not take names, there are so many companies started by MBA in India, let alone the world, who are doing great. And so many more are led by them also. And here is where the problem has started.

I have noticed many companies tend to have strong institutional relationships and tend to form an elite circle where outsiders are not allowed. We might see some companies only hiring Harvard guys, some only IIM and not below. This eventually gives way to entitlement mindset. I am an MBA from so and so college and I will get job in such and such company with X package. And I will directly formulate strategy after finishing the management training. Companies need to break this mindset. Meritocracy should prevail at all costs and old boys club should be clamped down.

MBAs need to earn everything after MBA also. They should not think they did an MBA, hence they should get management positions, should be the strategy guy, need not get hands dirty, need not to sell and so on.

And finally I have met enough MBA who can’t even write a mail properly but so is the case with non-MBAs also.

Many things like risk appetite, leadership style and other facets of one’s personality determine what kind of decision he or she will take and not the degree one holds. We can always focus on the right cause rather than finding an easy scapegoat.   

As far as this question is concerned, I leave the answer to you, my reader.  

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Flipkart is cool, Snapdeal not so…………

The last two month have brought a lot of things for me including the salary (twice :p). New job and salary has made me a kind of an online shopping freak.

First the good things and where else to start but Flipkart, so ordered Speakers from Flipkart and guess what got them in less than 48 hours. When it comes to books it got even better, ordered Jeffrey Archer’s False Impressions in the evening and got them in the afternoon next day. So obviously I’m in love with Flipkart for their delivery. And best part is yet to come, it’s called PACKAGING. I mean it took me at least 20 minutes and I finally had to rip it open. I think when the nuclear war happens; I’m going to hide in Flipkart packaging. It is actually that good.

Then came Myntra, I was totally taken aback by the 24 hour dispatch. I’ve no idea how they do it, but it’s awesome to see their delivery speed.

Now comes the worst part. Ordered an iPod dock from snapdeal on 1st of this month, snapdeal promised to deliver it by 8th (estimated delivery date). Ok, after through the two awesome experiences mentioned above, this seemed like eternity. And to top it, they send me a message on 7th that they can’t deliver it on 8th and conveniently changed the estimated delivery date to 11th without giving any proper reason or mentioning any kind of compensation for that.

There goes the awesome online shopping experience for a toss. You see a product, you fall in love with it, wait for an eternity and then you’re told to wait more. I hope if someone from snapdeal is reading this, he really do look at what is wrong with their logistics, because so much of waiting period is simply unacceptable in today’s online shopping. As for other, happy shopping (online)

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Welcome to the world of Social media where PEOPLE ACTUALLY HOLD THE POWER!

Last one week has been not the kind what I’ve been used to. That can be attributed to the transition to work from college. The initial euphoria did not last or to better put it never came. What has been going on is the hangover from college and Delhi.

But that has once again given me time to write and read stuff I used to miss because of lack of time, and even find new avenues. Of course one of the biggest thing making headlines has been Abhishek Manu Singhvi’s so called Sex Tape (Gone are the good old days when we had Paris Hilton sex tapes). He did went pillar to pillar trying to protect it and protect he did from the electronic media, Youtube. But suddenly it popped up all over the Internet and links were spreading like wildfire on Social Media webistes. And like one of my friends once said this is the best time for Brand Manager as because of the social media the brand has totally gone out of control and you can’t do anything now, Abhishek Manu Singhvi could do nothing.

He started using the clich├ęs like its doctored, fabricated to tarnish my image and more. And then I happened to land on a podcast called All India Bakchod by two good upcoming standup comedians Gursimran Khamba and Tanmay Bhat. It had everything that can and will make people Abhishek Manu Singhvi call online freedom obscene, they frequently talked about taboo stuff like sex, gay love and much more. In one of their interviews on the net and they said the reason they picked up podcast over all other forms to reach their audience was because of the freedom it provides in terms of content.

So there you go we’ve Kapil Sibal all charged up to limit our freedom or in order words to safeguard their (the few powerful ones) backs. India is no doubt increasingly becoming an oligarchy, but Social Media has suddenly sprung up and made ordinary people powerful. We have unknowns worshipped as Gods on Twitter, who defiantly hold more influence than a cabinet minister on the Youngistan.

One might feel it’s a matter of time before one force gets heavier, but social media might just become like crowsourced media, remain the 4th pillar of our democracy and do what the media is supposed to, or cannot do. Powerful men are feeling helpless against its might, but finally power has arrived in the hands of people as it should have been.