Tuesday, May 13, 2008

An Exercise in vain

After reading this I decided I WONT let this stupid laptop be the end of my precious life.

I started to get up once every fifteen minutes to "relax" my muscles and did some stretches. I did some "hoo haa" pumping in the air and that cross legged (oh no you don't), exercise which you do for warm up.

My boss took notice. Thought I had no work to do.

Its been 8 hours since I did my last excercise or went for a cup of coffee :(

Vegetarianism for the growing world

Was waiting for an article like this one which says "The Chinese are getting richer and, like their western counterparts, eating more meat, which in turn is spurring a surge in demand for foodstuffs to feed a growing population of pigs and other livestock. "

Pure economics would tell you that to create 1 KG of meat you need 10 KG of grain. Hence either the meat is priced 10 times that of grain or it is bound to happen in the near future. Prices of food have been on the "rice" :), and down the lane I guess it makes more sense to directly consume the rice yourself intead of feeding it to a pig and then eating the pig instead.

So all you tandoori chicken connoiseurs might just have to shell out more money or switch to panneer tikka masala instead :)

The Indian Government instead of inflation control tactics such as banning exports, giving out import licences, banning futures trading, sending the police to unearth `hoarding', hiking interest rates etc. , would do well to encourage vegetarianism :D hehehe....

I can almost hear P. Chidambu saying "All Saravana Bhavans and Pure Veg restaurants get a VAT waiver. Pure Veg restaurants to have a VAT of only 1% :D..."

Anyways, this is not in any way to hurt the sentiments of non-vegetarians...but just an economic point of view of mine in relation to being a non-veggie. If prices of chicken are going to continue to rise as given in this article, does it not make more sense to consume maize directly instead of feeding it to the chicken and then eating the chicken instead?

Anyways, I am predicting that down the lane the markets would decide for themselves the prices in such a way that vegetarianism is the way of life of the common man. Go free markets...

Jokes apart , as one of the comments below point out...the equation between veg food and non veg food is not going to be exactly 1:10...there are so many other parameters...

Just thought I could get away with a "pro veg" argument....but no....someone had to come and spoil it everytime :(

Monday, May 12, 2008

That thing they call IIM - Part one

The last one year at an IIM has been one hell of a journey and cannot simply be covered in a blog article. So, what I am gonna do is make this a series and spread my life @ IIM over a set of articles.

Do I hear some groans? (Oh no not one of those stupid IIM/IIT stories again...)

Unfortunately it is. But you are a good person no? You won’t close this blog without reading it fully right. So stop complaining and start reading...

After four years of work experience, I must admit entering an IIM was scaring me a teensy weensy bit. My greatest fears came true when a few of the students ended up calling me "old"

:(... Hey come on, I am just 18 (I mean at heart)

Ok back to the story.

There are primarily 2 kinds of students at the IIMs. I will call them BF and SF (no no, its not what you think...)

BF stands for Big Fish and SF stands for Small Fish. (ya, I don’t want to use bad words in front of family audience see)

Ok, so what’s with the fish?

Big Fish
Before entering the IIM campus, the word "Derivative" vaguely reminded them of something that their math teacher was trying hard to push through their skull...

Was that dy/dx? arre chodo yar....
Small Fish

Derivatives are financial instruments whose value changes in response to the changes in underlying variables. The main types of derivatives are futures, forwards, options, and swaps.....ok enough there...

Big Fish
The third price they won in a fancy dress competition in their 8th class is one of their
resume bullet points

Small Fish
They are unable to find space in their one page resume for the international quiz competition
which they won last year

Big Fish
They attend classes to gain attendance

Small Fish
They attend classes to gain knowledge

Big Fish
They are serious when they say they haven’t prepared for the exam

Small Fish
They are serious when they haven’t prepared for the exam

Big Fish
Day zero of placements : They are probably sleeping till 1 o clock in the afternoon
and go in the evening to check out if their small fish friends have been placed

Small Fish
Day one and two of placements : They don’t know what to do and try to give moral support
to their Big Fish friends

So there you have it.

You are probably wondering why I decided to call them big fish and Small fish.
The logic is quite simple.

The Small fish are ones who are going to be "small fish in a big pond" (the pond being Mckinseys, BCGs and Goldmans and Lehmans where an IIM grad is perhaps just another guy among thousands of Wharton/Harvard and other IIM grads) while the big fish are going to be "big fish in a small pond" (the pond being some IT company or some other day 2 company which is more than glad to have them working for them)

Ok no judgment calls here. This is just a simple truth. Take a moment to digest it.

The ocean (IIM) is not just made of the small and big fishes, it consists of all kinds of sea creatures that swim and enjoy in the ocean, before taking a jump into a pond.

I for one am a dolphin and am a big fish (not the biggest though :( ).

Do I hear some protest?I am the author no? So I get to choose what I am. So don’t complain now. You pick some nice fish which you want to be called as.

So I guess, that should do with the intro. I would continue with this post later. Next time, I would be obviously talking about fishes, but would assume that you know what I mean when I say someone is small fish or a big fish? Ok? Now run along, go do that thing your boss asked you to do and stop wasting time reading blogs....

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Mumbai's Autowalla Harikrishna Misra rocks

My first encounter with him did not set off so well.

During my internship here at Mumbai, I have been going from Powai to Santa Cruz airport everyday for my work. I take an auto everyday and the rates usually are between Rs. 65-70. On one of the days, I took an auto and the meter read Rs.80, waaay before we even reached our place. There was a heavy traffic jam. I was quite irritated that the autowalla was using a wrong meter and hence I gave him the money, told him that the meter was way too high and I got down and angrily walked to my office.

Then the autowalla followed me and kept asking me to get onto the auto and told me that he would drop me off free of charge for the remaining distance. I thought his guilt was pricking him (as he used a wrong meter) and so he tried to pacify his guilt by dropping me.

I decided he is not getting away with his folly that easily and did not get on to the auto and kept walking.

A few weeks passed.

Today, I got onto an auto and after reaching the office, the meter read Rs. 75. I gave him the cash, and the

autowalla said "Sir, please tell me exactly how much it takes to reach here as you travel everyday in this route."

I said "It takes about Rs. 65-70"

Autowalla : "In that case please take back this Rs.5. You travel here often so you know better than the meter. The other day I brought you here and you got down and walked all the way as you felt the meter showed a very high value. That auto was not mine. It was a hired auto, neither is the auto I am driving today mine. I have informed the owner of that auto to check the meter the other day"!!!!


2 important lessons learnt
1) Anger never yields a good result.
2) Never accuse without full information

Indias Response to Bush's remark

US President Bush's remarks on rising food prices did not surprise me too much.
He is a dumbo who does not know half the time what he is speaking.
However, what surprised or rather annoyed me was that Indians (most of them atleast), were "denying" or atleast trying to "refute" what he was saying.
Why should we bloody deny what he says.

Our response should just be "Oh ya, so what? We are eating more food today. Is there a problem? If you have a problem go shove it up your ***. We dont care. Moreover, thanks for acknowledging the fact that we are finally on your mental map as a country that is not just about snake charmers."

Monday, March 10, 2008

Arranged Marriage

I am back after a very long time. I am not sure if I would continue to blog. However, in light of some of my recent experiences I have been thinking a little about the concept of arranged marriage and as to why it is so successful.

Disclaimers as usual include,
1) This is not a debate of a love marriage vs. arranged marriage. Both have their own merits and demerits.
2) If after reading this you somehow feel that I have argued in "favor" of the arranged marriage concept then you are wrong. I have only highlighted the positives of arranged marriage.
3) I do not want drab comments that are similar to "you have to experience love so as to appreciate it".
4) There are exceptions to every compromise below. Exceptions do not make examples.
5) If you feel like tearing your hair and saying "no" to any of these compromises below, read point 4 again. Calm down. Drink some water. These are just my points of view. Take it or leave it.


A few days ago I had a chat with a few of my friends on this topic and these are guys/gals who have seen quite a bit in their lives and have had their share of experiences on relationships. As the discussion went on, I began to wonder, what is it, that makes this concept of arranged marriage tick?

Before I go on, for those in the West who do not know anything about arranged marriages, please read this

This is what I could gather at the end of it the many discussions I had,

Before I go on to Arranged marriage, I would make an assumption. The assumption is that to make a marriage work, one has to make compromises. The lesser the number of compromises the easier it is to keep the marriage together. I may be entirely wrong in this assumption (i.e people may exist who keep making compromises to save their marriage, but I do not belong to this category and neither do most of the friends with whom I have talked to). By compromise, I do not mean silly ones like sleeping on the right side of the bed or eating in a restaurant of the other persons choice. I mean compromises which make you go against the way you have lived thus far in your life or are against your value system and make something in your stomach go uvack#@$@#.

That said, Arranged marriages work simply because there are very minimal compromises made in an arranged marriage. In an arranged marriage,

1) No compromise is made on the way of life - this includes your daily habits
2) No compromise need be made on food habits - Typically parents look for a match who is a vegetarian if you are a vegetarian and a non vegetarian if you are one
3) No compromise is made in religion/caste/community - whichever you have strong feelings for, pick that one
4) No compromise is made on regional traits - Mother tongue (which is important when you want to have a comfortable conversation with the other party). Try experimenting with some other language everyday and it is going to be one big compromise you make in your life
5) No compromise is made on Age - this is highly arguable, I do agree, but I believe that it is great to have a younger girl and an elder boy as a couple, with a gap of at least a couple or more years. The reasons are two fold. First of all men last longer physically in terms of sexual life than women do. Second reason is that the emotional reach of a woman is higher than a man of same age (arguable, but there are many scientific studies that say this, and I too kind of go with this)
6) No compromise made on physical appearance - You always can say "no" in an arranged marriage if you think the guy/gal is not up to your expectations
7) No compromise made on economic angle - Salaries of the people getting married are looked at, and the basic economic background is looked at. It is rare that you see in an arranged marriage that a pauper is wedded to a millionaire.
8) No compromise made on talent/intellectual capability - Typically men prefer to marry women who are less or at most as educated as they are. I.e, you don't see a bachelor degree holder get married to a masters degree holder that often (in Arranged marriage). I can hear all "non MCPs" shouting at me now. I don't care. However much men scream, they have this ego which would blow up at some point in time. Even women prefer men who are more/at least as educated as they are for precisely the same reason. There are exceptions to this rule. Exceptions do not make examples
9) No compromise made on geography - These days I see a very common trend. In case the boy or girl has decided to stay in a particular city, say Bangalore, they make it very clear before the marriage so that later there are no qualms about the same. Also they make it very clear if they are going to work post marriage and also about what they feel about going and settling abroad. I think it is best these issues get sorted before marriage than after.
10) No compromise is made as far as other habits go - This would hold true for guys/gals who look for partners who do not have habits such as smoking/drinking and are very particular about it. However, this would hold true only if the other person does not lie about his/her drinking/smoking habits. But in case they are truthful about these, then there would hardly be any issues post marriage.

So, there go the 10 major compromises I "DONT" see in an arranged marriage. Once these major compromises are taken care, almost 90% of your life is made easy. All that is left is for you to just understand the other persons basic nature better, and the rest of the things just fall in place.

I do agree that in-spite of all these advantages of arranged marriages, there simply will be pairs which cannot stay together. But think for a moment...are all love marriages successful? In UK, where there is no concept of arranged marriage, 50+% of women over the age of 40 are unmarried (says a bbc survey).

Maybe something to think about.

P.S. : I hate the contribution Indian cinema has done to screw up the arranged marriage system. They have eulogized love marriages to such an extent that, just like you pick a random chinese movie and there is a high chance it is some kung-fu shit, so is the case with an Indian movie, you pick one, and there is a high chance it is some boy-meets-girl bull shit.