Friday, July 17, 2009

Say What

It’s been a while since I have posted something original. It was actually a combination of inertia on my part and some great writing from others that I admired and hence put up for the benefit of my friends. Anyway, with that out of the way, here I am to resume my take on the world around me.
There have been a few things that have perturbed me of late:
1. Bangla Bandh! The Budda sleeps while Bengal burns. Didi rises… “Tata Tata Nano No No” (Courtesy: Star Ananda). Salim Lal Salaam. Gorkhaland Hartaal. Largarh, Singur, Nandigraam bloodbath. Buddhijivis take to the streets. Jeet and Dev rule the silver screen (Bhojo Gourango!) Oh! Think twice, it’s just another day with you and me in paradise. Wonder what will happen to my Kolkata?

2. Mumbai is submerged again. People wade pack in neck deep muck. The BMC had ambitious plans laid out to ensure a “dry” monsoon for the Mumbaikars, but I guess now their plans are just washed away. Don’t look back in anger. Asche bochor abar hobey. (Sorry bhau, I can’t say that in Marathi. Mi Bangla boltoi.)

3. They say the Indian cricketers were suffering from exhaustion and their workload is responsible for our poor performance in the T20 World Cup. YA RIGHT! When you get paid obscene amounts of money to “perform”, then stop complaining you losers! Your salaries and payouts would be the GDP of districts (and some states). Get a life and retire. ( And someone please dismantle the BCCI and fire Lalit Modi.)

4. Pronob Babu presented his budget speech last week. Markets crashed. Same shit, different day. The great Indian middle class languishes day in and day out – trying to eke out an honest living, make ends meet and we are the people who fill the coffers of the exchequer. For what? Where is the improvement in governance and our quality of life? Could the government assure that our jobs will be saved? Can they assure that we will get decent healthcare and low cost housing? With token benefits meted out to us in tax savings, I think it’s time we demand reservation and sops for the “middle class”. Alternatively a few statues of our “middle class” leaders in the heart of the main metros wouldn’t hurt. Atleast the supreme court thinks so. Just ask Behenji.

5. A couple of weeks back Sec 377 was revoked / amended bringing a lot of cheer amongst people of alternate sexuality. They painted the cities in rainbow hues. But will it change the mindset of the larger population. India doesn’t live in the cities, my MBA professors said. Renowned personalities have commented on how we are a tale of India and Bharat. Will this really affect Bharat? No matter what Celina or Baba Ramdev say, I think it will remain status quo at the grassroot level – atleast for the foreseeable future…

6. Can someone really get away with murder in broad daylight – a heinous act witnessed by atleast 50 people? In our country, it seems, one can. The Professor Sabhrawal case (as did the Jessica Lal case) proves it. Really sad state of affairs.

7. My father retires from the corporate world in just over a year. He will be 58 when he retires. What is retirement - A judgment /assumption that you are no longer good enough to work in the corporate world? Fair Enough. But if that is so, then why are the majority of the country’s and corporate decision makers above this age? The less said of the geriatric politicians said the better. This was supposed to be the “youngest” parliament, wasn’t it? Really? With the buddhas at the helm, they really hold the reins of our country’s destiny… scary thought. Like Didi said: “Poriborton Chai!”

8. My “hero” died last week. He was the bizarre Peter Pan (pun intended) of our generation (Whacko Jacko?), musical genius (undoubtedly), a man with no bones (just ask the millions who tried to copy his signature dance moves), a gazillion plastic surgeries and someone who it seems, was more valuable in death than in his sorry existence just prior to it. The King is Dead. Love live Mai-ka-lal Jai-Kishen! It is despicable how people won’t let the even dead rest in peace.

9. They say the recession has hit us hard. Ask us MBA students who have passed out this year. We are the shudras of the corporate world… the untouchables. We are all left singing Akon’s sad lyrics “I’m so lonely” in the absence of decent jobs. But the more sinister side to corporates has reared its ugly head in this turmoil – commoditizing people. Now that the IIMs are selling their students at a rebate, the A/B category MBAs are dispensable? The myopic companies don’t realize that in business, like in life, nothing is permanent. The markets will turn. Their golden IIM grads will bail at the 1st turn. Then what will you have achieved? Moreover, the recession hasn’t hit industries like the telecom as bad… 33% CAGR isn’t doing too badly. Then why use it as an excuse to stop increments and bonuses of the very people that have worked their butts off to get you corporate machinery rolling.

10. I read the “3 biggest mistakes of my life”. IT WAS THE BIGGEST MISTAKE. But then again, I have decided to give up my job and become a writer. Maybe my bad prose will earn me the moolah too. Chetan bhai, main aa raha hoon!

11. Finally, we come to the end of this bulletin with Football (anyone who calls it “soccer”, kindly go fly a kite). Ronaldo sold his soul. Kaka sold his soul. Benzema sold his soul. What slowdown is the world talking about REALly? A cautionary note to all clubs: We Devils still have Sir Alex. So mess with the best and get burned like the rest… just ask Benitez, Mourinho, Wenger & co.