Wednesday, January 25, 2006

A bunch of Retards

One wonders if the men at the 'commanding heights' of our political establishment are mentally challenged....
Nandan Nilekani has been awarded the Padma Bhushan for his contribution to 'Science and Engineering'...To the best of my knowledge, Nandan is not a Scientist, nor is he an Engineer (at least no longer). He is a businessman, and a very good one at that.
I'm sure the list would've been perused by a number of top bureaucrats, and the incongruity of it has apparently struck no one...



Saturday, January 21, 2006

Here's an Incredible anecdote


Friday, January 20, 2006

Learnings on the Job

- Being Smart definitely helps.
This might sound cliched, but it's true.
No amount of sweat can compensate for lack of smarts.

- Being Smart has got little to do with your IQ.
It is a virtue that can be imbibed over a period of time.
How ? --- By observing smart people.

- 'Experience' is no big deal. It's just the name we give our mistakes.
Moreover Experience can be a harsh mistress. It makes you learn from
your mistakes the hard way by reaping the consequences. Lack of
Experience can most definitely be made up for by exercising the most
underrated human faculty, the possession of which separates men from
beasts - Foresight.

A person endowed with Foresight will be able to anticipate
problems and take corrective measures before the problems
manifest themselves. It happens so often that a solution
seems very favourable at the outset, but is disastrous in
the long term...Any Software engineer who has faced scalability
issues with his code would vouch for this.
Sceptics who are still not convinced about the primacy of Foresight
over Experience would do well to read this timeless classic essay by Frederic Bastiat
penned over 150 years ago.

So Guys, the next time you do a night-out in your office to
meet a deadline..Don't brag about your 'commitment' and
'professionalism'... It's just that you probably weren't smart
enough. If you were, the need for a 'night-out' would never
have arisen.


Sunday, January 15, 2006

Don't know what to make out of this

I read this in one of Naipaul's essays....
In 1957, there was a survey of high-school students of an unsegregated school in Trinidad. The school comprised of adolescents from all races - Black, Indian and White, as one would expect in a multi-racial society like Trinidad. The students were asked about their "expectations and hopes for the future".
Here are a few typical responses from the students.

Black - I would like to be a great man not only in music but also in sociology and economics. In the USA I would like to marry a beautiful actress with plenty of money. I would also like to be famed abroad as one of the world's foremost millionaires.

East-Indian - I will write a book called the Romance of Music and Literature. I will make this book as great as any Shakespeare play; then I'll return to India to endeavour to become a genius in the film industry.

White - I want to live a moderate life, earning a moderate pay, slowly but surely working my way in the law firm, but I don't want to be the Chief-Justice of the Federation or anything like that....Look around. All the other boys must be writing about their ambitions to be famous. They all cannot be, for hope is an elusive thing.


The Black kid is irrational, imprecise and bordering on the insane.

The East Indian is pretty much the same, full of fantasy, and, dare I say, lunacy.

The White Kid is calm, rational and by far, the most pragmatic.

The point to be noted here, is that all these kids grew up in the same society, studied in the same school, and yet the responses seem to suggest that the White Kid inhabited a different planet.
The Essay made me wonder if there is some credence after all to hackneyed colonial stereotypes like the 'phlegmatic Anglo-Saxon' and the 'excitable Asiatic'

Now, Please don't jump to the conclusion that I'm a racist....



Tuesday, January 10, 2006


It happens so often that a stroke of good fortune proves to be a catalyst for serious introspection. At the end of which you begin to wonder whether you deserved the slice of luck after all!

A week ago, I received an interview call from IIM Kozhikode(probably the most mispronounced city name in the country). Given the disastrous show i put up on the day of the entrance exam, a solitary call from one of the 'less sought-after' IIMs is the best result I could have hoped for. The immediate reaction was unmixedly one of elation and relief soon tempered by the realisation that converting it is going to be bloody tough.

What prompted the bout of introspection which led me to my present 'depressed' state was the questionnaire in the IIMK interview form. Questions like-
Why MBA?
What's your most significant accomplishment so far?
What alternative careers are you contemplating?
et al.

After looking inward to find answers to the aforementioned questions, I realised the truth. The fact that I'm an incompetent engineer, a weak-willed person who always shied away from following the callings of the heart, a guy possessed with an inexorable instinct to conform to the zeitgiest, obsessed with self, seeking to define myself in a world that emphasises on achievement by means of associating myself with an educational brand....

The Probing of the heart has also led me to question the efficacy of the Market in fulfilling the pursuit of happiness - which is the supposed goal of a society organised along capitalist lines. Let me clarify that I'm no market-baiter. I have faith in the efficiency of the market when it comes to allocating resources, spreading risk et al. But one of the failings of the Market is that it renders certain vocations/walks of life more attractive than others.
The craze for the so-called 'professional degrees' for instance can be attributed to the market. The craze is good for society. But for it, there shall be no economic growth. But it is not necessarily desirable from a sociological point of view. It results in people ending up pursuing professions for which they are ill-suited. This is dangerous as it can lead to the ruination of talents that are not needed by the market.... It can also lead to the damnation of the soul.


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