Wednesday, January 30, 2008

The Racial Abuse!!!

Ever since Justice John Hansen has ruled the decision against the occurrence of racial abuse by Indian off spinner to Australian saints, Peter Roebuck’s business sense has come to fore. Before Sidney test, I had always liked his writing. Now I appreciate his business sense as well. The very same writer who was singing in favor of India, against the injustice done has and was asking for Australian captain’s dismissal on moral grounds, has shifted the tip of his pen against BCCI. If he was saying "Harbhajan Singh can be an irritating young man but he is head of a family and responsible for raising nine people. And all the Australian elders want to do is to hunt him from the game. Australian fieldsmen fire insults from the corners of their mouths, an intemperate Sikh warrior overreacts and his rudeness is seized upon. It might impress barrack room lawyers." Before, now is worried for BCCI’s ever growing power in world cricket to an extent it can force a hearing and make an absolute murdered look innocent (here).

First of all, no matter Harbhajan Singh used that word or not, no one is guilty unless a crime his proved. Lack of sufficient evidences meant that Indian off spinner was not guilty of any racial abuse (here). If a charge is not proved, you cannot be hanged. Hence, there should not be so much of hue & cry which is there in Australian media. Harbhajan Singh has been charged and fined for using abusive language which he pleaded to guilty.

Now comes a point which most of us are missing, ICC always using different yardsticks for different countries. Calling someone Monkey doesn’t raise any eyebrows in India but it’s a racial word in Australia. They are happy to call or to be call Bastard but try doing the same in India and you run the risk of your balls being chopped off. These are cultural differences bound to exist. But if you charge someone because he has failed to understand this, do that for everyone. India dropped the charges against Brad Hogg and ICC also did not bother to take up the case after that. If I go kill someone, his family members report and take it back later, will I go scot-free? NO. But ICC turned deaf ears.

Harbhajan Singh is fined and rightly so. But why let Australian get a breather? After all it was Andrew Symonds who provoked him and accepted it although Michal Clarke said Andrew Symonds said nothing. Doesn’t it cast aspersions on Clarke’s credibility which was anyhow exposed in the same test match? And if Andrew Symonds provoked Harbhajan, he would definitely not have sung a birthday song for him, no way. If you have to provoke some one, you know the extent and severity of means. For that matter, Symonds has accepted to use F word which is again an abuse, at least for Indians.

But still, Symonds preferred to be a cry baby on the background of famous Australian saying “What ever happens on the field, remains on the field” which they have used over the years after their mental disintegration of opposition. But when something happens to them, they run off to ICC to hang the opposition.

I do not have any problem with ICC punishing Harbhajan Singh for abusive language, but do Australians have any legal right to use the same language? There is a popular saying in hindi “Taali dono hathon se hi bajti hai”. So why chop off one hand and let the other one go.

Even Justice John Hansen says in his verdict “It is apparent that the heated exchange arose because Mr Symonds took exception to the appellant patting the bowler Mr Lee on the backside. I have reviewed the television evidence of what occurred. It is clear that Mr Lee bowled an excellent yorker to Mr Singh who was fortunate to play the ball to fine leg. As he passed Mr Lee while completing a single Mr Singh patted Mr Lee on the backside. Anyone observing this incident would take it to be a clear acknowledgement of ‘well bowled’.” But Symonds pretended Harbhajan’s act as if he had deprived Lee of his genital rights. Whatever happened after wards is history. But later it was found that he him self was not sure if the word was used? Here are his own words as reported in Henson’s report

“MR MANOHAR: I put it to you that apart from the other Indian abuses he said to you the words “teri maki”?

MY SYMONDS: Possibly, I don’t recall, I don’t speak that language.

MR MANOHAR: Thank you.

HIS HONOUR: But you accept that as a possibility, My Symonds?

MR SYMONDS: As a possibility I accept that, yes.”

On Harbhajan’s patting back Lee, Symonds says

“MR MANOHAR: You had any objection to that patting on the back?

MR SYMONDS: Did I have an objection to it – my objection was that a test match is no place to be friendly with an opposition player, is my objection.”

And Hansen writes, “If that is his view I hope it is not one shared by all international cricketers. It would be a sad day for cricket if it is.

Now, why Symonds should not be punished?

  1. For provoking Harbhajan singh and using abusive language which he has accepted.
  2. For charging someone with a serious offence which he was not sure of.

But ICC has continued its tradition of being biased against a certain set of countries. In my earlier post Racism, I had accused ICC of racism and this incident proves the same. If using a certain word is racism, then what do you say of what Mike Proctor did, what ICC is doing by using different yardsticks for different players with one being blindly accepted as saints and the other thrown in deep water to prove its not a devil.

For details on the hearing of justice Hansen, click here.

All said and done, Peter Roebuck is a good writer with great business acumen.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Bloodbath

This is my third post about stock market and by this time I seem to have controlled my greed for quick and fast money. Not because of my self control but the tiny portfolio itself is about to be wiped out. Same is the case with most of my friends. One of my friends has taken the carnage very sportingly.

During the upswing, he had planned a rich trip to Goa because of hefty profits he had earned. Slowly it started going down. At an overall loss of 2,000 he said, “Yaar ek cycle aa jati itne mein”. Slowly as it started increasing and reached the overall loss of 25,000, he said “I have just lost a scooter”. Next day at a loss of 80,000 he was saying “Yaar, I would have bought a Bajaj Pulsar”. Today, with the market hitting the 10% circuit, the bike had turned into a Tata Nano and once a rich guy is eying a 1 bhk flat in Delhi now. He had planned his honeymoon to Mauritius which might well be turned to Haridwar.

Its been so fast that even T20 seems to be boring. Few instances of rediff market commentary -

11:15 AM - One cannot say that the final bottom for the market has been seen yet, says Sushil Kedia, of K&A Securities, on CNBC-TV18. But if the market has fallen like a rock, it can go up like a rocket, he adds.

Fantastic, but that everyone knows. And if making this phenomenal statement makes some one a market expert, Bishan Singh Bedi would long have replaced Anil Kumble.

11:52 AM - If one cannot buy now, then at least hold on to your investments in equities, as fundamentals are still pretty strong, says Deven Choksey of KR Choksey Securities, on NDTV Profit. Most of the poison is out of the market now, he says. If you are invested in the debt market, you can switch to equities, as this is a good time to buy in this market now, he suggests.

As soon as the comment came, read below what happens.

11:55 AM - And the fall keeps getting worse! Margins calls have triggered again. Sensex is at 15,374, down 2,230 points from the previous close. It is the biggest intra-day fall for the Sensex ever. Nifty is at 4470, down 738. CNX Madcap index is down 16%, while the BSE Small cap index is down over 9%. NSE advance-decline ratio is at 1:75.

It kept fluctuating at alarming frequency with unimaginable lows being breached every time and the claimed “Support” at different levels touching lower nadirs.

People talk about technical analysis and fundamental strengths but in a market which is highly volatile, immature to some extent (not sure how you define maturity, I picked it from one of the expert’s comments) and driven by lots of inefficient factors, do they hold?

Such volatility could only be explained by behavioral finance to some extent where retailers are butchered in the hands of big bulls. Although analysis does reap you a few benefits but more often that does not match the expectations built during a ‘death or glory’ bull run. Key lies in doing all you can do and then pray for your tryst with lady luck.

Today, I bought a stock at 660 with quantity being 5 and as soon as I saw it 750, decided to sell. By the time I was discussing it with my same old friend it was down to 730 and I sold it. It got sold at 705 and I earned a profit of 225. Now my friend is asking me a loan of 100, logic – “Abey, honeymoon pe cold drink peene ka to paisa ho”.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Sixteen is sweet, seventeen is bitter

I could not think of a better headline to this post. Steve Waugh realized it in 2001 but Ricky Ponting must be thinking him as a looser to have lost the chance to carry on the sweetness from one number to another. Although India was 274 behind in Kolkata but still it was their home ground which was termed as final frontier. Here, India was 2-0 down after all the fiascos in Sidney, they were playing in the Perth. But they did the unthinkable when everyone had written them out.

· India will not last even 4 days in Perth – Chris Rogers, with a test average of 127.89 over a career of 102 test matches, predicted after the game in Canberra. Logical statement after analyzing the history but from the man who hasn’t even played in international cricket? Eat my shit. It smells terrible but you never know, might well taste well for an Australian. After all, it’s all about attitude mate.

· India won’t be able to face Shaun Tait who bowls at a speed for 170 kmph with swing covering a meter – True. Indians could not face him because he wasn’t good enough to bowl. Ponting had to prefer part timers over his could have been light striker. How ironical, the man who was supposed to bundle Indian batting lineup in 3 days or so handicapped Ponting so much that he had must have been thinking of playing with 3 pacers, 7 batsmen and a bogey. I loved his pads as well because ball sped off his pads faster than Roger’s bat.

· India would be white washed 4-0 – Score line says 2-1 and it could well be 3-1 by the next test match ends. But, it could well still have been 2-1 in India's favor at this point of time had it not been for Benson & Bucknor couple in Sidney. Geoff Marsh might have been good friends with B&B.

· It all evens out in the long run – That is what the man who carries the biggest resemblance with human history, Andrew Symonds said when given not out to an edge which was so clear that even I heard while travelling in Mumbai Local while fighting for my breath. It hasn’t yet evened out because to do so, he needs to be given out wrongly in the next two innings as well.

· There was something in the pitch for the bowlers and it was always doing something – That is what Ricky Ponting said after the match. What he might well have meant, give me a batting wicket in Adelaide. We all know he cannot play the Indian Racist. But Ishant Sharma refreshed his memories about famous Andrew Flintoff spell in Ashes 2005 when he was praying to God to send him to the other end. One thing noticeable about his more than impressive test career. He has been at his prime past 2001 when there were no Walsh & Ambrose in West Indies, two W’s of Pakistan were past their prime, Shane Bond was making his rare appearance in the international scenario, England could never play same set of bowlers in two consecutive series, they did not play much against SL not before trying their best to get Muralidharan banned. Australians have had the best bowling attack ahead of SA. SRT and Lara played in 90s and against Australia as well.

We lost badly in Melbourne which was effectively the first practice match for us. We improved after some practice to such an extent that B&B had to come for Australian rescue. We won in Perth with some margin and were better than Australians. Isn’t it BCCI’s fault to devise such a stupid time table for such a tough tour? They should have given them at least a couple of practice matches.

For ACB, they should definitely make sure that next time Australians have to cross the hurdle of 16 straight wins, they do not play against India.

Hope we make it two all in Adelaide.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Bharat Ratna!!!

Advertising is the biggest revenue earner for TV channels – during the break, right hand corner of your TV screen, left hand corner of your TV screen, in the last few inches of your TV screen and at other possible spaces. Sometimes you are utilizing just the 30% of the area of the screen. Rest is advertisements. Seems like it wasn’t enough, SMS your opinion has started and catching up fast. There is a SMS poll for virtually everything – from “Who should be you prime minister” to “Should sex education be allowed in schools” to “Should Afzal Guru be hanged” to “Should Mika have kissed Rakhi Sawant”. With Bharat Ratna being in the news for the first time for its competitors, NDTV is cashing on in it. It has launched its SMS poll with few contenders.

Ratant Tata – Tata group has been the most prestigious business group in the country. With the rate of acquisitions, they are fast gaining a global fame. They might soon become one the biggest business powerhouse in UK with foothold in tea, steel, auto and talk of buying a bank. They have launched a cheap car making it affordable for common man, TCS for long has been entertaining domestic software market which other companies have started now because of falling USD and overall Tata group has been adding some real value to the country. Ratan Tata, as a head of the business group, deserves all the accolades. But is this enough to garland him with Bharat Ratna? Bharat Ratna is India's highest civilian award, awarded for the highest degrees of national service. Tata group has done a lot for the country to move forward. But, Ratan Tata is a business man with personal motives to drive his business, like any other businessman, which is perfectly right. His efforts are commendable but do not fall in the category of national service which defines Bharat Ratna is debatable. Still, he is a strong candidate.

Dilip Kumar – Give me a break. The same person denied returning Nishan-e-Pakistan when we were fighting a war in Kargil. What has he done as “highest degrees of national service”? Acted in a few movies as his employment? Good actor, give him Film Awards but not Bharat Ratna. It would be same as comparing Sanjay Dutt with Mahatma Gandhi because he practiced Gandhigiri in his movie for a few crores.

Amitabh Bacchan – Give me another break. Yes, he has given India some name in global entertainment circuit. Yes, he has his statue in Madam Tussad’s gallery. Yes, he is a great actor and his movies and shows get us some foreign currency. But for the nation? Remember how IT department troubled for him for unpaid taxes worth few hundred millions when he was in hospital? Or the events were reported to us in reverse order.

M.F. Hussain – I love my breaks. First, let’s give the devil its due. The painter loves the art to be in the news. How? India is a free country giving freedom of expression and speech and he enjoys this freedom by painting Hindu Gods in all sorts of objectionable poses. He gets away all the time because in our country, freedom of expression and speech is appreciated but only selectively and in a biased manner. I wish I could sue NDTV for even naming this shameless creature for the award as it’s an insult to the award.

Sachin Tendulkar – Probably the best Indian cricketer in 76 years of Indian cricket. He has loads of world record and done the country proud many a times. But same has been done by Major Dhyanchand, Anand Vishwanathan, Leander Paes and other lesser known and forgotten sports personalities. Why not name them first? In addition to that, sports have a separate category to award the achievements.

With the country’s freedom being over a generation old, most of the greats who had seen and participated in the freedom fight are watching us from heavens. The quality of politicians is fast becoming rotten and each opportunity is seen as golden one to woo voters be it caste or religion, SEZ or defense deals, death sentences or awards. In such a scenario, wont it be a good idea to scrap the award or have at least a more trust worthy and respected body to decide the recipient. Look at the current race which no one would have imagined. Right now each party is fighting for its candidate. Next time you might hear caste or religion based nominations. Bharat Ratna is an award which has had great respect in but has often been insulted and fought over. For example, I could never understand how Rajiv Gandhi became worthy of it? Or, what is the logic behind recent nominations. Both have been politicians and torch bearers for their respective parties for ages but their contributions for the nation don’t seem to ring a bell. Give the award if you find someone worthy else don’t. After all, won’t make Guddy Maruti wear your designer bikini because you can’t get Bipasha Basu.

Perth

Cricket is like life. It will always give you chances, sometimes surprisingly, which is up to you to grab. That is what we are witnessing in this series. I am writing this post after third day’s play is over in Perth. Australia still need to score 348 to win and India still need to knock off 8 more wickets. But for weather, draw is not possible.

An average Indian supporter would say, from his safe bunker of conservative optimism of pessimism to be precise, that Australian batting line up has started now with both the in experienced openers being dismissed. A neutral person would say their middle order has been exposed to some good bowling and pressure situation after ages. I would pray to God to give me a long and deep sleep tonight and when I get up, they are at least 5 down at lunch so that I have less of nervy moments.

In the recent past, only West Indies have successfully chased a target over 400 to win a test. WI had Lara, it was in their home ground and Australia had the most hostile attack. Australia has batsmen who stand quite close to Lara in quality, it’s their fort that has hardly been conquered and India doesn’t have that hostility in their bowling attack or agility in fielding. But, it’s an unfamiliar territory for both the teams. Australians have rarely been scuffed by their choler in the last decade and Indians wouldn’t have dreamt of being in driver’s seat till the second day of this test match was over.

But, to this date, Team Indian has played really good cricket but for Melbourne. Melbourne defeat should be attributed more to BCCI than the team for organizing useless ODIs at home at the cost of practice matches in Australia. Rain denied us the precious practice before Melbourne making the test match itself as our first practice match. We surrendered meekly. But the practice at Melbourne improved it to such an extent that Steve Bucknor and Mark Benson had to come for Australian rescue. Perth, the graveyard for Indians who can’t play a ball above waist height, has witnessed Indians showcasing superior skills than Australians in two departments – batting and bowling. I agree that Australians were handicapped – by absence of Matthew Hayden and presence of Shaun Tait.

So far in this series, Australians have not been allowed to juggernaut Indian bowling in the same way they are so used to by getting 600 and plus. Ponting’s batting average has been lesser than his nemesis, Harbhajan Singh. Michael Clarke comes close. But, the Symonds factor is the biggest danger as it has been over last couple of months.

The pitch didn’t turn out the way it was talked about. It’s been a good surface with a little assistance to bowlers and when Anil Kumble would have seen Australian part timers getting some purchase, he would surely be expecting better rewards.

If we loose from here, it would be more disheartening than Sidney. I hope Indian bowlers keep their mind and body in control, fielders latch on to whatever they get and Billy-Rauf pair compensates us for the justice denied at Sidney.

Indians have made at least one thing sure – if they break the record of 16 straight test wins, they will have to break a few more records along with this.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Happy Birthday “BahinJi”

Today is BahinJi Sushree Mayavati’s 52nd birthday. It’s celebrated across the state of Uttar Pradesh as “Mayavati-BSP” day as it should be. As a big admirer of her persona, I salute her and dedicate this post to her as her birthday gift. I know she doesn’t accept anything but cash on this auspicious occasion, I would request all the readers of this post to donate some money to me so that I can do the honors.

The lady is definitely the most powerful female of the country in all but literal sense. Only Jayalalitha comes close to beating her but you never know. After all, sometimes Goliath falls to the David. In addition to that, the South Indian goddess has for long followed the tradition of being at the relaying and receiving ends for s stipulated period of time on a consistent basis as prevalent in bipolar politics. Mayavati, she only rules for five years at a stretch. And if it’s not her reign, she has always been wise enough to make sure that the otherwise don’t last their life.

Life is a school and one should learn even from its worst of enemies. That is what she has always believed. So, if the entire nation can celebrate Mahatma Gandhi’s birthday why can’s a state celebrate its most powerful women’s birthday. Even though she has always been critical of Mahatma Gandhi (click here), she has decided to celebrate her own birthday. More you celebrate and remember the greats, more you learn from them. She has added a new dimension to it. All of us, openly or secretly, expect gifts on our birthdays. Most of you do get them – some useful, most not. So why not ask for cash and use it the way you want? To make life useful, BSP has issued coupons worth 500 or 1000 with a message containing thanks from the beneficiary. Use it the way you like. The house is all black, go paint it white.

Mayavati was blamed for following the Mughal dynasty traditions – kill the king who has brought you up to the floor. Kanshiram allegedly died in her custody. But I beg to differ. Look, how desperately she is demanding “Bharat Ratna” for the BSP founder. Not to wash off the bad name she got because of the allegations, but she really understood and knew the contribution Kanshiram for the country and society. In fact it’s only her who has understood and knows it till date; all others have failed to do so including Kanshiram’s own soul.

She has a nemesis in Mulayam Singh Yadav. Their story has been like a bollywood movie. The hero Mayavati tried to woo, save and capture the heroine (UP CM’s seat) from the villain Mulayam Singh Yadav. The comedian BJP keeps entering and disappearing here and there. SP-BSP heads share a love hate relationship. Whatever one loves, the other one hates it and vice versa. They don’t believe in long term debt and pay it off as soon as possible. We can find an analogy to this somewhere in down south as well. So if its Ambedkar Parks are the flavor of UP under the rule of one CM, the other one makes sure that all of them full with cows, buffalos and their holy shit. Life is less confusing for IAS officers, Policemen, Criminals and the rest as they know there are no shades of grey in life. If they have been making hay, they are ready to go to hell as soon as the rule changes.

All said and done, Mayavati does possess excellent political acumen and she is eying big. When all the parties were trying tried and tested stunts to attract their voters, she came up with different approaches. After ages of mud slinging and hate-painting against upper caste, she understood the demographics, got them under her umbrella and did the unthinkable in UP. It was almost two decades since the party winning the most seats had the biggest smile on its face as well because it was a clear majority. I don’t see any chance of this government not lasting five years. And I don’t see any relief for the mice who were making hay when the cat was away. In case you have not understood the phrase, read this.

Wish you all the best BehanJI and also to your enemies because they need it more than you now. Best of luck to UP as well – although you cannot do much even with all the luck.

Going Back To School

Rahul is a fourteen year old kid and has changed his school thrice in last year. First was too expensive to handle for his father, second boasted of high society kids and last one wasn’t proving to be a satisfactory education provider as per his father. He pays hefty fees for his son’s education along with other donations – mind you, its convent education. Rahul is over burdened with his studies, extra curricular activities, peer pressure, family pressure and the rest.

May be I am not able to explain what I want to. All I want to say is, isn’t it too expensive price for an overly hyped product – the convent education claiming to provide an all round development of the child.

If I look back at my schooling, it’s been all in schools sponsored by RSS. And the education has been cheap and good.

RSS is an organization which has its roots deep in the society. Most claim the roots to be limited to the upper caste but I beg to differ. Its is one of the best, committed to the society and country, cultured and intellectual bunch of students, teachers, businessmen, politicians, policemen, servicemen, unemployed and whatever you can think of. I agree that RSS might have lost some of its good name thanks to its political affiliations but it still stands tall. After all, if an organization after continuous black painting on its name by media which was backed by a family of prime ministers for so long, its has to have its worth in gold.

The schools run by RSS, especially Sharaswati Shishu Mandir, provide quality education which comes at an affordable price for most. The education keeps you informed about your own culture, history and instills pride & values. A critical eye points out their lesser focus on English as a language but that is an operational issue. The real problem is that sometime they get carried away by their religious commitments and over do things.

I am not saying at all that other means of education are any inferior but I am just highlighting and praising a system of education providers built by a very respectable organization RSS. This system is loosing its sheen to the convent education system, at least in the cities I have seen over the last few years. I have interacted some of the products of this convent education system over the last few years and have been stunned by them. Every time you say a number higher than ten in Hindi say chaubees (24), you invariably get the same reply – “How much is chaubees?”. For most of them, Christmas is The Festival when they run around as if they were born in Vatican City and imported to India on a special order from Mother Teresa. I don’t say don’t celebrate a festival because it’s not in your religion but why can’t you remember when does Indian new year start? They would have heard about Premchandra but would know all about Othello andMacbeth. And they speak at the rate of four “F” every sentence.

Common, I am sounding like a preacher out to purify the society. But I see this most of this modern convent education as a tool to misdirect and westernize and RSS schools otherwise. Only if they can modernize a little bit and do away with extreme fundamentalism. One of my friends has actually met a class 12th student speaking in a complete US accent and asking him, “Oh, you are from Jharkhand? Which state is it in?” or I have met a convent educated girl who didn’t have the slightest of clues about Jaliyanwala Bagh. I cannot believe one can forget or miss these things. Only possibility is that you were never taught about them.

Post 1947, RSS sponsored schools were a good base to build a generation which was proud of what it is. It worked quite well for decades but now has started loosing to Macaulay’s dream, at least in that is what my perception is.

Just before I sign off, I switched on “Aaj Tak” and stopped by because they have breaking news. Sherlyn Chopra, some item girl, is banned from her gym because they found her clothes to be too short. Aaj Tak helped the aggrieved lady by giving its ears to her on prime time. As I swapped the channels, “Headlines Today” was also interviewing her and they actually made her stand and turn around to prove that her cloths were actually not very small. Aaah….I love these news channels.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

The week that was/wasn't /would have been

The news that started last week, continued this week as well. BCCI declared that the tour would continue eradicating any hopes of converting a 4-0 defeat to 2-0. Steve Bucknor was dropped from the Perth test where as Mark Benson went scot-free. England captain Nasser Hussain criticised BCCI for showing its financial muscle and being racist by affecting Bucknor’s shacking, Bhajji’s saving and not considering Hussain for IPL. Rakhi Sawant, adopted a monkey as a gesture against racism in an auction conducted by Malcom Speed. Later, she blamed the Speed for rigging the auction. Abhishek Awasthi told “Aaj Tak” that he would break Mika’s nose for this.

There used to be competition for the Indian movie to be sent for Oscar, National awards, Indian Idols, Voices of India, Youth Idol, Rodies etc. Bharat Ratna joined in though only with three runners. BJP claimed Atal Bihari Bajpayee possesses the best credentials for having provided one of the most important tools for a successful democracy – the opposition. He sat in the opposition for all his political life. Jyoti Basu was nominated for having provided the forte of a West Bengal for most number of times – Strikes. BSP nominated Late Kanshiram as the better of all the candidates because he was dead.

Tata launched its 1 lakh car named “Nano” promised by JRD Tata in 1972. Mamta Banejee went on hunger strike because “Nano” would lure the poor in debt trap and blamed Tata – ICICI nexus for the same. Megha Patkar launched a nationwide campaign against “Nano” because with more number of cars on street, it would leave lesser space of stray dogs and other animals on the roads. An emotional Ratan Tata said that he was in a lonely phase of his life. Mid-Day claimed that their news (on 29th February, 2006) about the breakup between Milind Soman and Tata was true.

Tamil Nadu rejected the plea of upper caste for reservation on income basis as constitution does not allow this. The state has 22% reservation for Lower Caste SCs, 5.7% reservation for Upper Caste SCs, 21% reservation for STs, 35% is reserved for OBCs, 24% is for Christians, 32% is reserved for Muslims and12% is reserved for contingencies which might arise. Rakhi Sawant filed a case on Tamil Nadu government for rigging the % of reservations. Abhishek Awasthi told “IBN7” that he would break Mika’s nose for this.

Madhu Koda, the Jharkhand CM, declared Koena Mitra as the state’s brand ambassador to lure NRI to invest in the state. She was selected ahead of state-born Dhoni or Tanushree Dutta because of her extra glamour quotient. May be she was a cheap product offering better ROI. Rakhi Sawant blamed Koda to be biased towards Koena Mitra although Rakhi’s bid was lower. Mika kissed Abhishek Awasthi in his birthday party and broke his nose in the process.

Scotland Yard was invited to Pakistan and hander over the “Bhutto Murder Case”. Although people doubted ISI or PPP for Bhutto’s murder, Scotland Yard showed its true professional color and expertise when they caught the real guilty with in a week of being appointed – Al-Quaida. Al-quaida’s denial of the murder was clear evidence.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Running around for your to-be-paid money

Employee referral schemes are one of the most lucrative tools used by organizations to get cheaper and of supposedly trusted credentials new joiners. Cheaper because the amount paid to you as referral bonus is lesser than what they pay to a placement agent and of supposedly trusted credentials because if your referral’s background check report is negative, you also fall into the firing line.

So when I referred someone to my previous employer and just in the nick of time fulfilled the covenant of both of us being on payroll for the required period of time after the new recruit joining, I was eligible for a decent bundle of green papers. I met the concerned recruitment person before my name was deleted from the payroll and I was promised to get this with my money with my ‘full and final’ settlement. Since then, I have learned the word bureaucratic circle quite well.

For the people who think I am a millionaire having a money machine printing notes, the story has a different shade. It’s like our economy growing at phenomenal rates and inflation pushing the poor to the darker side. Over the last six and half years since I started earning to three years back, two starts of my earning-life, my in hand salary has increased 4 times. But ‘starting-to-wait-desperately-for-the-salary’ period has dropped down from 25th of the month to 15th. In last three years, my in gross has almost doubled but the same period has dropped from 15th to 5th. Not sure if I should pray for a hike or reduction to push the calendar back.

Coming back to the end of penultimate paragraph, the circle doesn’t seem to end. Recruitment team forwards my mail to HR, which in turn sends it to administrative department. The admin guy tells me to wait for next fortnight when the payout is scheduled. When the payout is not made, I again send a mail to the recruitment guy and for the rest of the process, please go to the start of this paragraph. Finally I dropped a mail to some senior guy and for what-happened-next, please go to the start of this paragraph.

Now come to think of it. If I was made the payment on the very original scheduled date and I had invested it in stocks, I would have gained anywhere close to 20% to 150%. SBI magnum would have given me an annualized return of 50% plus and even my bank would have swelled the amount by 3-4%. Instead, I have paid close to 1-2% of the total amount in making phone calls and time-converted-money.

I have always wondered, when I quit a job my salary is stopped during the notice period and paid as full and final settlement. I agree with the operational side of it. But the organization is still depriving me off my money and time value of it for a good 30-45 days. They don’t pay a penny as interest for it. Isn’t it one of the most neglected crimes done at organizational level?

Being intellectually challenged, my mind fails to think beyond the world I have seen. So let’s take an example referring to any of the IT giants. For an organization populated with 20,000 heads, it is safe to assume that real attrition rate is 20%. Which means around 4000 leave the organization every year or 300 every month. Assuming an average monthly salary of 25,000, the amount comes to be 75, 00,000 which is delayed by at least 60 days in the name of operational issues – 30 days of notice period and 30 days after which the payout is made. In the current market scenario, one can easily find out a venue to give 10-12% of returns. Assuming 10% of return, it comes to be 750,000 per annum means at least 2 employee for free that too with extremely conservative outlook. I am sure this is tax free as well. Is there any lawyer out there with some personal vendetta against the corporate world dying to do some social service?

The post is an innocent attempt to vent out my frustration. Please pardon my inability with mathematics, disability with finance and lack of ability with English which is a must.

In case you belong are a part of bureaucratic circle I am running around, please make sure the payout is made this time.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

A day with blurred vision

In Mumbai, you are always fighting, right from a seat in local train to for your life, from a penny in stock market to a shelter, from a piece of bread to an auto to reach your destination. I had realized all before this morning. Today I realized the fight for life part when I fell down while catching the train. As I stood up I could not read the signboard displaying the time of the next train only to realize that I had lost the equipment which used to compliment my lack of vision – my spectacles.

Although the power I use is just -1 but life does become uncomfortable when you are so much with your specs that some times you forget to take them off while sleeping. I somehow managed to get the next train and reached office.

But the day you are without your scientific eyes, you are most prone to get the charges of sexual harassment thrown towards you. Obviously you cannot see an object clearly even at 5 meters distance from you and try to look harder at it. If it’s a female, the process becomes a mix of a habit developed over the years and vision robbed by a loss. Your target thinks as if you are treating her as an alien, scrutinizing her figure or lack of it and want to eat her alive. For any man, he would have recognized her any how (don’t ask me how ;) just that he would be trying to see if the recognization of different chapters match with the cover of the book.

Females, as always, are a complex lot. If you neglect their presence, it’s an insult. If you let them know that you are not even close to neglecting them then it’s ogling, staring shamelessly and being a frustrated sex maniac. A so called modern Indian female would roam around in minis to flaunt their u know what. But when you appreciate the act of flaunting by a reciprocating action of your eyes, you are termed as a monster. But if you are an advocate of this philosophy, stop there. Else the famous Mumbai tradition of 31st December night would become a daily routine.

One benefit of a blurred vision is, it gives you an excuse of you lack of intelligence. Keep making faces as if you can’t even read your palm and sympathies will start pouring. Keep cribbing – “Man, its impossible to concentrate with half of your eyes”. And it’s even more useful in classrooms. But alas, my classes were over some three years back. Knowing my grit, determination and dedication towards my work, my desk is always a lost cause where sympathies go to my boss even on normal days for an NPA.

Any how, my eyes are still as good as without specs just with a little bit of extra effort and I didn’t have to face any of the consequences. The biggest hit of a blurred vision was taken by my portfolio which still remains a sorry tale of lost opportunities which never arrive.

The incident or accident mentioned in first paragraph is quite an exaggerated version. Hence please don’t bore me with you lectures, pamper me with your sympathies or hurt me with your indifference. Because for those who know this city, its always about that extra second generating rush, chaos and disgust.