Monday, August 23, 2010

I used to love rains....!!

I, like any small kid loved to go out and play in rain pours. Those days I prayed to god, not to stop rains. Then I started going to my school and the ordeal started. I wished the showers to come down only during nights, so that I don't need to get messed up while going to school. This continued for years and I landed up in my college. At that time I was never bothered about rains. Who cares even if it was raining like hell. I could still sleep peacefully in my room at college hostel.

Then I moved to my job and the worst part started. Whenever it rained, the life became hell. I can't take leave and since I didn't had a vehicle, by the time I managed to reach office, I was completely drenched. I moved from that city to another with shift in my job. Again that city used to get converted into river in rainy times. Even the cab guys refused to take me to office. The pain continued. Somehow I managed since during that period the rain god was too moody to oblige.

One more shift in job and I landed at my current city. This was something unbearable. Although I managed to get my "Nomad" partner vehicle, but the roads were worst ever. You cannot guess, if you are driving or sailing through the roads. If it was potholes on the roads or as if I was driving through craters leveled with the help of water. Every time it rained, the traffic on the road goes for a toss, I really wonder why ? Although our members of parliament managed to get a hike in their salary, which none of poor guy ( irrespective of where he/she may be working ) can expect in their life, I don't see any better future prospects. I am clueless why am I required to return a file, when I get my salary post tax deduction. Anyways, I know how it feels to drive on such roads with your brand new car cursing myself for putting my car through all this and cursing every other errant, rash driver around me.

So. now where I see it raining, I feel shivers down my spine and now sadly I don't love to see rains pouring or for that sake ever drizzling....!!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

A to Z of Kolkata..!!

Pl. note: This is just a funny observation, with no intention to hurt anyone....
A is for Awpheesh (as in Office). This is where the average Kolkatan goes and spends a day hard at work. And if he works for the 'Vest Bengal Gawrment' he will arrive at 10, wipe his forehead till 11, have a tea break at 12, throw around a few files at 12.30 , break for lunch at 1, smoke an unfiltered cigarette at 2, break for tea at 3, sleep sitting down at 4 and go home at 4:30. It's a hard life!

B is for Bhision. For some reason many Bengalis don't have good bhision. In fact in Kolkata most people are wearing spectacles all the time.

C is for Chappell. Currently, this is the Bengali word for the Devil, for the worst form of evil. In the night mothers put their kids to sleep saying, 'Na ghumaley Chappell eshey dhorey niye jabe.'

D is for Debashish or any other name starting with Deb. By an ancient law every fourth Bengali Child has to be named Debashish. So you have a Debashish everywhere and trying to get creative they are also called Deb, Debu, Deba with variations like Debopriyo, Deboprotim, Debojyoti, etc. thrown in at times.

E is for Eeesh. This is a very common Bengali exclamation made famous by Aishwarya Rai in the movie Devdas. It is estimated that on an average a Bengali, especially Bengali women, use eeesh 10,089 times every year. 'Ei Morechhey' is a close second to Eeesh.

F is for Feeesh. These are creatures that swim in rivers and seas and are a favourite food of the Bengalis. Despite the fact that a fish market has such strong smells, with one sniff a Bengali knows if a fish is all right. If not, he will say 'eeesh what feeesh is theesh!'

G is for Good name. Every Bengali boy will have a good name like Debashish or Deboprotim and a pet name like Motka, Bhombol, Thobla, etc. While every Bengali girls will have pet names like Tia, Tuktuki, Mishti, Khuku, et cetera.

H is for Harmonium. This the Bengali equivalent of a rock guitar. Take four Bengalis and a Harmonium and you have the successors to The Bheatles!

I is for lleesh. This is a feeesh with 10,000 bones which would kill any ordinary person, but which the Bengalis eat with releeesh!

J is for Jhola. No selfrespecting Bengali is complete without his Jhola. It is a shapeless cloth bag where he keeps all his belongings and he fits an amazing number of things in. Even as you read this there are two million jholas bobbling around Kolkata, and they all look exactly the same! Note that 'Jhol' as in Maachher Jhol is a close second.

K is for Kee Kaando !. It used to be the favourite Bengali exclamation till eeesh took over because of Aishwarya Rai (now Kee Kando's agent is trying to hire Bipasha Basu).

L is for Lungi, the dress for all occasions. People in Kolkata manage to play football and cricket wearing it not to mention the daily trip in the morning to the local bajaar. Now there is talk of a lungi expedition to Mt Everest.

M is for Minibus. These are dangerous half buses whose antics would effortlessly frighten the living daylights out of all James Bond stuntmen as well as Formula1 race car drivers.

N is for Nangto. This is the Bengali word for Naked. It is the most interesting naked word in any language!

O is for Oil. The Bengalis believe that a touch of mustard oil will cure anything from cold (oil in the nose), to earache (oil in the ear), to cough (oil on the throat) to piles (oil you know where!).

P is for Phootball. This is always a phavourite phassion of the Kolkattan. Every Bengali is born an expert in this game. The two biggest clubs there are Mohunbagan and East Bengal and when they play the city comes to a stop.

Q is for Queen. This really has nothing to do with the Bengalis or Kolkata, but it's the only Q word I could think of at this moment. There's also Quilt but they never use them in Kolkata.

R is for Robi Thakur. Many many years ago Rabindranath got the Nobel Prize. This has given the right to all Bengalis no matter where they are to frame their acceptance speeches as if they were directly related to the great poet and walk with their head held high. This also gives Bengalis the birthright to look down at Delhi and Mumbai and of course 'all non-Bengawlees'! Note that 'Rawshogolla' comes a close second !

S is for Shourav. Now that they finally produced a genuine cricketer and a captain, Bengalis think that he should be allowed to play until he is 70 years old. Of course they will see to it that he stays in good form by doing a little bit of 'jawggo' and 'maanot'.

T is for Trams. Hundred years later there are still trams in Kolkata. Of course if you are in a hurry it's faster to walk. There are no fast trains from Kolkata.

U is for Aambrela. When a Bengali baby is born he is handed one.

V is for Bhaayolence. Bengalis are the most non-violent violent people around. When an accident happens they will fold up their sleeves, shout and scream and curse and abuse, "Chherey De Bolchhi" but the last time someone actually hit someone was in 1979.

W is for Water. For three months of the year the city is underwater and every year for the last 200 years the authorities are taken by surprise by this!

X is for X'mas. It's very big in Kolkata, with Park Street fully lit up and all Bengalis agreeing that they must eat cake that day.

is for Yesshtaarday. Which is always better than today for a Bengali (see R for Robi Thakur).

Z is for Jebra, Joo, Jipper and Jylophone.

Sunday, August 15, 2010


Migrants as per definition means "including anyone working outside of their home country. The term can also be used to describe someone who migrates within a country, possibly their own, in order to pursue work such as seasonal work"

That makes everyone who doesn't belongs to the city he or she is working in, a migrant. That puts me in line with daily workers who are here working for many factories in this city, the only difference may be the pay cheque. Also that puts few very senior guys at par with them as migrant. Looks funny, isn't it ?

Their living condition, socio-ecomonic status may differ from me but I am no different from them all. I am also staying in a city unknown to me, a place who may not like me, people who may not appreciate my presence between their gang and am always considered as an outsider. Though few migrant people might have created their own comfort zone, but from the core of their heart they all know and feel the pain if being an migrant.

We migrants may always be considered as outsiders for these cities, but one should never forget that we play a major role in development of these cities. These migrants survive in absolutely unhygienic place but their contribution enable the entrepreneurs to have their pics on covers of business magazines. Remember none of the famous city in history was build by locals, it was build by migrant slaves.

So if can't give the migrants their share, at least please don't hate them..!!

Independence celeberated...!!

The nation is celebrating its Independence Day today. India’s struggle for it, is a story of hundreds and thousands of men, women and even children who laid down their lives for attaining this. Many of them never got a chance to see this Independent country. Many of them went unsung and no one knows or remembers them. But as years passed, the sentiments attached with this day are gone. Its now just a holiday which combined with weekend gives a chance to visit home and take rest. Even if its on weekend, its being considered as one holiday wasted.

What is independence for this generation ?
  •  is it freedom to work anywhere in country (which again is becoming a problem due to political influence)
  • freedom to express one’s view (that again is getting restricted to few celebrity news personals only)
  • freedom to wear whatever one likes, eat whatever one wants, study whatever he or she wants or anything like that. 
  • stocking enough supply of liquor (as it is a dry day)
Every one grabs the first chance they get to migrate outside India. I will not blame them also, not everyone is ready to give away the quality of life which is being offered by countries outside India. See what we who opted to stay here are getting.
  • heavy tax being levied (only to know later on that all was utilised properly for corruption) 
  • poor infrastructure in terms of pathetic roads, poor electric supply and  non existing or very poor public transport. 
  • after so may years of Independence a bill for free primary education is accepted in parliament whereas people who migrate abroad are enjoying all these for so many years. 
  • still we are debating on how to negotiate to use medical insurance provided by our employers
  • our players are not allowed participate in events abroad but we are offering free ride to every athlete participating in commonwealth
APJ Abdul Kalam has mentioned in his book ’Wings of Fire’ that “never think of the scope, work hard to create that scope.” Kalam rejected several offers from abroad and stayed in this country and contributed to making India a super power. He stayed in just one room of Rastrapati Bhavan when he was serving the nation as President. Do we really think alike ??

I remember a statement given by one of our visiting lecturer “Indian is not a poor country, its just a poorly managed country” . So its we all who are responsible for making this a perfectly managed country. We as an individual should contribute to the betterment of our country by helping in keeping it clean, by paying taxes in time and in full (although I wish I could have an option to refuse it as I am not getting anything out of that), keep a watch on how is our money being spent by authorities and cross question them if required (we have RTI act, isn’t it), utilising resources responsibly, pooling cars while commuting to office everyday, treating everyone same irrespective of their caste and creed, through improved work ethics and environmental behaviour.

Let us love our country for what it is and let us work together to make it the best so that the coming generations will thank us for preserving our India as “Incredible India”

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

How to be a good "People Manager"....!!

Becoming a manager is easy but achieving a tag of People Manager is equally difficult. Be always ready to accept and face challenges to succeed.To experiment and innovate with cautions is something which has to be used effectively under different circumstances. Be always ready to learn even from your subordinates and believe me, you will cherish it in your life.

Be customer centric:

Every user in your company, regardless of the level, is your customer and has to be treated accordingly. Treat every user in the organisation as if he had the ability to contribute to your development. Believing in this attitude works wonder and that is the most important step (and perhaps the least cared IT management aspect) in shaping yourself as a prospective senior executive, simply because this is scarcely available in IT professionals.

Let your customers have a choice:
Understanding the problem well and offering alternative solutions brings the best result to get your customers agree to one of your solutions.Having patience and the power to convince them is the key here to make your user agreeable to a single but effective solution proposed by you. Not only you must have this attitude but you must also demand the same from your subordinates, with near zero-tolerance principle for bad customer service. Your involvement with your internal customer brings their involvement, thus leading to a high-value based culture. Never forget that you are there not only to manage IT but also to create ethics and values which ultimately form the foundation for you to blossom as a good manager among the managers.

Your accent does matter:
Avoid too heavy technical jargons during your interactions with people in other functions. Not every one can understand your jargons as you can also not understand all their marketing tricks. Any simple communication with not IT people will help them understand the process better. Enjoy a good long discussion with other functions, without discussing much of the technology. Try to understand their problems,functional interests and their expectations from IT solutions. Speak clearly so that they can understand what you want you communicate to them.

Know weak links in your team:
Respect for your subordinates will help reduce turnover and show management that you are a leader (another rarity among IT people). Use your anger wisely to handle difficult people, if the need be. Converting a weak link into a strong one is the ideal approach. Your success depends on your ability to identify three wrongs--intention, person and situation--at an early stage.

Calling up your customers on a regular basis brings a sense of satisfaction among them. Ask them how you and your team are doing and if there is anything you can help them with. Then taste the magic happening for you in the form of songs of praises from your customers as they get floored by your proactive approach. As a technocrat one tends to create hype about the IT solutions, which may generate over expectations from end users, function heads and top managements. Be genuine to generate high expectations rather than over expectations, which otherwise leads you to be a victim to the classic IT pitfall of over committing and under delivering.

A word of caution:
When you under deliver, you not only ensure a frustrating customer experience, but you send a feeler that you are a panic planner. Call a spade a spade when a solution is elusive. If necessary, explaining the facts well might help you to overcome anxiety at the other end. If job is your priority, then never be a part of petty infighting in your company. There are times when nothing works. Learn to adopt new strategies quickly and take calculated risks. Have firm plans to avert the risks expected to come your way. Accept failures as part of your life but only to learn and succeed next time.The success you achieve must be shared with your colleagues, right from top to the bottom of the technology and functional team. Humility in giving credit of your success to the team involved gives a facelift to your attitude towards people. Empowering them with knowledge and delegation makes your team more motivated and work towards organisational goals.

Networking keeps you updated:
“It’s not always what you know but who you know.” Everyone should learn to establish and sustain the relationship with former colleagues, bosses and even vendor representatives. Be active in professional associations, attend good technical/skill enhancement events and workshops which are opportunities to build a great circle of contacts.Functional and individual conflicts are bound to come in your way and you must handle each one differently but effectively. You may fail in your first attempt but to keep attempting is the key to success. And last but not the least, everyone makes a lot of errors in this process but to learn from these to move ahead and not to feel bogged down is equally important. Always keep a well balance between work and life.

Learn to say ‘no’ skilfully when required, instead of over committing and under delivering "