Wednesday, October 12, 2005

ART - My second play in Delhi

Mumbai introduced me to the play culture. Saw a few of them during my summers. Once you come back from Mumbai its everyone's pet peeve that Delhi does not offer similar avenues for an evening out as Mumbai does.

Anyways yesterday went for my second play in Delhi. 'Art' a French play translated into English with lead performances by Sumeet Tandon and Suhel Seth

Found this while googling for a review. It must consider my self lucky :P . It did manage it cheap considering it must have cost me a fortune to watch it at Illinios Theatre Center where it is being staged in January 2006

This brilliant Tony Award winning comedy examines the questions of “What is friendship?” and “What is art?” Three men, longtime friends, clash over the artistic and monetary value of a large white-on-white painting one of them has purchased. An internationally acclaimed hit, “ART” is intelligent, thought provoking, and wildly funny at the same time.

But funny it was and teh show made for a great evening. In the process got introducted to 'Kamani Centre' The have next week's schedule on theire website so you can plan ahead.

What I missed - I really want to go and see a Durga Pooja. Thought about going today but, missed it this year. Would definitely won't want to miss it next year. My bong friends are you listening.....

Monday, September 19, 2005

Life After B-School

The difference in life in a b-school and life after that
a) In a bschool you pay to get educated, after b-school you are paid real world experience.

b) In a bschool you stay up late in the midlle of night to watch movies. After b-school people go out and watch movies in office time or better still spend those normal hours the office cafeteria; and spend late nights working on that presentation because that is the only way your boss will believe you work hard.

c) In a b-school you pay to take a flight and travel. After b-school the company pays for your flight and sometimes even boarding & loading. This happens as long as you get up at groggy ungodly hours of the morning to catch that the flight for some good-for-nothing-meeting & then catch a flight back at the time when should actually be hitting the club to finally reach back home in wee hours of the morning.

This is series one. Will post some more as reflections on my years of work experience.

Life Outside Office

I look at my social accomplishments chart for this month. Two movies & two books. Pretty decent. I have been making good use of my time outside office. Have met my old college friends too.

The two months that I saw this month have both been ok. In fact Iqbal was a really good one. A simple yet powerful tale. Highly recommended. Nasserudin Shah's performance is amazing

The other one Salaam Namaste was a typical Hindi movie. The fast half is good, fast and thrilling. The second half was a shouting competition between Saif and Preity. And lots of tear-shedding

Watched Skeleton too a few days later. I love scary movies but this one was ordinary. Yes, there is a suspense and a twist in the end which the director tried to do it the Shamalayan way but my rating - Ordinary stuff.

On October 2, I saw the - "Maine Gandhi Ko Nahi Maara". - Urmila and Anupam Kher. If one thing you can watch the movie for is Anupam's acting. Classic , simply amazing. Reminds me of Saaransh (tale of a old father and the anguish he goes through in getting his dead son's remains released from Customs). In MGKNM, Anupam's portrayal of man who is guilt ridden because he killed Gandhi is touching. Urmila too has really come of age since her Rangeela days.

In all I have done a lot of work, beyond office
Books that I read last month - Tipping Point & The Alchemist.
I am far from competing with some fellows who claim to be reading two or three books in parallel but I try to console myself - after all I am working hard in office too :)

Sunday, July 24, 2005

The Grind - Getting into the corporate groove

Finished B-School and joined corporate life. Just realized that 'the grind' I was waiting for is right here. Its hectic, its tense and there is a lot of pressure. Pressure to meet targets & perform. Its amazing because there is so much excitement in the air. I love the place where I work and the people with whom I do my job, I don't recall anyone telling me anything other than taking things as a learning opportunity. But the place is so charged and people are running so fast that there is a natural instinct to run, to beat, to achieve. Everybody talks in terms of over achievement of targets.

Now I know what all those talks meant. A growing sector, liberalization affect, changing perspectives and all those things. I discover something new and different everyday. But is comforting to talk with my fellow management trainees. It just helps to know that there are people going through the same 'teething problems' as I call it.

As compared to this business school was a cake walk. As a friend of mine in Bombay said, " A sales job or sales stint develops a new respect for people in your eyes."

And for another friend of mine.. THE GRIND is right here and.., I am loving it

For others I work in the financial services sector & and apart from my primary job do Investment consultation/Tax Planning for free. Do contact me.

Till I am this free again, adios... and wish me luck
Book that I am reading these days - 'The Tipping Point'

Monday, May 30, 2005

The knowledge economy/software boom

This will be an eye opening reading for many. That Indian IT story is big no doubt and we often get carried but this ET article carries the point home. The Indian IT story is still minisicule as compared to the old economy. For a starter, one old economy company and a PSU at that, has higher net profit than our top 5/6 IT companies combined. Today when new age IT companies celebrate their topline touching billion dollars , its bottom line is touching a billion.

This is not a stock recommendation for SAIL but the point is Indian old economy has carried this nation this far and is still going equally strong. Not to deny the Indian service sector its due, it is high time we realize the contribution of old economy sectors and the PSUs.The ET article by the way is here.

I am still here

This seems more like an outcry. Checked my own blog to find out that laziness has got the better of me . My last post was almost three months back. Looks like ages.

Here I gear for another phase of life. Xl is over and those two years have become a unerasable part of my life. When I got in a busines school I never realized the impact it will have on me as a person and the opportunity it beheld.

Today I gear to embrace another phase of life as a working professional with a lot of anticipation and excitement. Its another few days to my joining and I plan to be back to blogging regularly..
Till then adios..

Monday, February 07, 2005

Those compensation packages - HR proposes; FM disposes

The B-School placement season is on. Its a mutual selection process. Companies make a sales pitch in their presentation to attract 'the right kind of people' while candidates put in a fight for the companies they want to get in. One parameter that every company which makes a presentation on campus gets evaluated on is compensation package. It would definitely figure into Top 5 (I am more tempted to right 3) for every individual. The Buzz this year (or maybe every year for all I know) is flexible compensation packages or cafeteria benifits. Most companies seem to provide compensation packages where in you can structure the package (apart from certain specified components) so as to suit your life style. The idea you can minimize your tax liabilities the way you want. Companies also offer perks, which if paid in terms of cash would be subject to IT deductions.

But for all you know - The company HR/salaried executive proposes - FM disposes.

Just read this article. The gist is this. It seems the Fin Min is planning to bring all those perks (specifically credit cards, club memberships, tranport - company owned car & chaffueurs, Health clubs etc) under the tax scanner. So a friend of mine who works in this world's most dominant software company whose products run more tha 90% of PCs and claims he enjoys perks above 50% of his salary, might be in for a shock after the budget.

So could we. Most of will be getting our first salaries in June/July. The rule sof the game might have changed by then.
The article is here

Friday, January 28, 2005

Did New York Orchestrate The Asian Tsunami?

Controversy theory is not one of my favourite themes for a blog post but this article was really an interesting read.

Did the thought ever cross your mind that Tsunami that killed around 60,000 people could have been engineered by a nation. The article that I read claims that Tsunami was a result of an under water explosion by America somewhere close to Sumatra. It goes on to explain how US military and Naval activity post the disaster shows a high degree of planning, which was not have been possible if the tragedy was unanticipated.

It further goes on to explain how America is the biggest beneficiary of the event.

I am not a great supporter of America and neither am a great at America bashing but the article is still a great read for you to be aware of the possibilities in this case.
Disclaimer: I do not know of the credibility of the source.

Saturday, January 22, 2005

The memories of a city: Mumbai

I am a born and bred North Indian. So much that I often describe Delhi as the place I belong to, to cut short the details. The first time I visited Bombay ( The old name symbolises some things & I prefer it to the new one) was ten years back. The first impressions of the city have been such that I rank it above any other. One of the few cities (in India) where people queued for buses, where a female could safely take a taxi at 11 pm , place where people have much more civic sense then our national capital, where taxi drivers would not cheat you if you did not know the way (unlike delhi or chennai). A city that was untouched by the fundamentalism & culture police and, had a night life.

For those used to bus travel in Delhi, let me recall an incident which happened 10 years ago.
I was boarding a BEST bus with my travel group (5 people), when the buses conductor said he could take more than two of us on borad. Reason, the standing capacity of the bus was X (I don't remember the number) and he could accomodate only two of us. So either we split or wait for the next bus (15 minutes or something). For us, used to passengers hanging out of Delhi buses and the scant regard of traffic rules generally around the country, this was a welcome surprise.

That was Bombay ten years ago. Things have changed since then. With the mounting population pressures , Mumbai's infrastructure seems to be creaking. But, what has not changed is the spirit of a Mumbaikar (the new term for Bombayites).

Salaam Bombay

In spite of being a born & brought up in North India and having spent the last eight years of my life in NCR(National Capital Region) I have always been a great fan of Bombay. My recent visit to Bombay reinforced my faith in the commercial capital of India.

I was in Mumbai on Dec 20, to receive the CRISIL Young Thought Leader award.. Tired due to the train and the flight journeys which did not let me get my required sleep, I ended up taking a little nap in the cab which transported me from the office of CRISIL to the venue of the award ceremony. I was woken up by the cab driver at the destination where I walked into this multistory building with groggy eyes. Once inside the building, I realized my wallet was missing. The fare was paid by a colleague so I had not noticed this earlier. Desperately hoping that I had forgotten it in the office, I called up only to be told that it wasn't there. Then it hit me - I had left my wallet in the cab. That's it, my wallet was gone. Neither me nor any of my fellow travelers had the cab number. It was a cab we hired from the roadside so no way to reach/find out. I tried to think positive. Maybe the taxi was still standing outside for some reason. Highly unlikely, I told myself. The taxi driver would have left the place as soon as he discovered the wallet. Anyways I did try and have a look at the taxis outside the building. That I did not recognize the driver did not help matters at all. I came back resigned to fate - My wallet was lost.

About an hour later, the HR person from CRISIL came with a slightly fat middle aged man who had come searching for me. He didn't look like one of the audience members or the participants of the presentation ceremony. The guy was the cab driver who had driven back and was searching for me. Strange indeed, considering locating anyone in that multi-storied building would not have been easy task. He found my identity card and tried calling only to realize that those were Jamshedpur numbers. He refused to hand over the wallet to anyone except me. The wallet had everything intact - cash, ATM cards, credit card and some bills.
... The spirit of Bopmbay (Mumbai).

Another salute to the city which I have always held in high regard. There is something about this place which makes people the way they are - professional , stretching to their limits , honest and efficient. Why I rave about Bombay so much? That question requires another huge post. Maybe my next one. Till then, Salaam Bombay.