Friday, November 2, 2007

In search

I sleep very well , but tonight is different I am restless ,staring out of the third floor of my modest home at the dark sky , i wonder what I am searching ...maybe


Zest for life

This search continues , I thought I knew the answers to be reminded of my folly ......

Saturday, October 27, 2007

The Search.....

The Search continues...

For life
For peace
For joy
For love
For meaning

At times I wonder , is it worth it at all , or its just that I complicate matters for myself , or is it a deep hurt....a feeling of being used by one and all ..........

Kashi Khanda

The Trinity -Ganges , Shiva and Kashi stand mute spectators to a tradition forgotten by many , but not by the following people who are doing their bit to protect the traditions of the great Hindu faith and an amazing city :

  • The Young priests who every evening unfailingly do the Ganga Arti at Rajendra Prasad Ghat

  • The poor Bramhin who has devoted his life to the service of Shiva

  • The sentry in front of Vizzy's once palatial mansion , whose wrinkles tell us that he continues to fight the failed attempts of urbanization of the city

  • The gallis that are home to the Sastry's who came years ago from Andhra and lead by one Gopinath Sastry still run institutions which evangelise the scriptures

  • The beggar who dresses up like Shiva and chants "Bom Bhole" to attract the foreigners for alms

  • The generations of waiters at Baba Thandai who has been serving thandai and bhang for more than a century now

  • The children of the gallis , who have no place to play , so they make the ghats their playground and swim in the Ganges for entertainment

  • The sadhus at Dasasamedh , Ashi , Manikarnika et al , who smoke the ganja ......

Go visit Benares and experience your roots , I have done it , why dont you !!

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Radical Islam now reflected in Sports

I am a bit late writing this post , but nevertheless thought that the topic was too important to let it pass . All of us are well aware of the ridiculous comments that the losing Pakistani captain Shoaib Malik made in the post match press conference of the T20 finals at South Africa . His comments attracted some attention of the media , who in no uncertain terms denounced Malik's comments of support to the Pakistani side by all the Muslims of the world . His comments had some responses of sections of Indian Muslims who felt offended by Malik's remarks and for once seem to reject the concept of universal Islamic brotherhood . However Malik's comments need to be understood in a wider context . Today people like Malik unfortunately represent a larger radicalization of civic society in the sub-continent .

Pakistani society has undergone rapid Islamisation in recent years. Malik's comments were well thought through and was intended to assuage feelings of the ultra conservative galleries back home and telling them that though they had lost the finals, they were still good believing Muslims. The need for such public affirmation of faith is a trend which links to the rapid increase in the ranks of "24-hour Muslims" in Pakistan. I have been watching Pakistani cricket from the late seventees and never before has there been a need of players like Imran,Zaheer , Rameez etc to reiterate their religiosity because that constituency wasn't big enough then. Ultra conservative Muslims were still a insignificant portion of the civic society . Malik's comments prove that things have changed and changed very rapidly ......I am sure there has been a deep radicalization of Pakistani society for Malik to make the kind of comment that he did

The Islamization of the Pakistani team was lead by Inzamam ul Haque . Inzy made it a point to thank Allah after every match and his poor command of English was masqueraded by a few common sentences which he parroted out and which invariably used words like "Bismillah" , 'Insallah" and phrases like "By the grace of Almighty Allah..." and so on . Inzy was seen lead his men to great success (not on the playing field ..) to prayer meetings , ...this could have lead to the conversion of Yosuf Yohanna to Islam and the new look Mohd Yusuf sported a Maluvi beard to show his allegience to his newly adopted relegion. In Inzamam's team, where the captain was seen as a religious talisman, Shoaib Malik was part of the group which had joined the Tablighi Jamaat, a sect that preaches a bare-boned, conservative version of global Islam.

Sportsmen and cricket teams are resonable microcausms of the larger civic society and public affirmation of faith by the Pakistani team shows that ultra conservatives have taken over Pakistan . While this is indeed an internal issue , the implications on India which has more Muslims than Pakistan and also coupled by the fact that educated Indian Muslims are now participating in international terrorism (ex-Bangalore doctors case) is non trivial . Its high time that the UPA stop designing sop schemes to woo the Muslims anticipating a mid term poll and do some concerete work in defanging the threat of radical Islam in our own doorstep

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Talent Management -Bollywood Style

The HR guru's amongst my readers would agree that Talent Identification and Assessment are two critical pillars of Talent management . Simply put Talent Management facilities a process and culture which ensures that the best and brightest automatically bubble to the top . If we were to believe that an organization is a microcosm of a larger society then what we are witnessing today in most Indian organizations is also indeed true for Bollywood .

Many years ago Anu Kapoor ran a show called "Meri Awaaz Suno" - to me it was a Talent Management intervention .A little girl from Bhilai won the hearts and imagination of India. That little girl was Sunidhi Chauhan , the program was a process and a platform which allowed a top talent like her to get pan India exposure . Programs such as Meri Awaaz Suno heralded the beginning of Talent Management revolution in playback singing @ Bollywood . Along the journey were many such shows , and the latest one is the Sangeet Ka Vishwa Yudh . We are now in the final stages of the program with Amanat , Raja and Aneek . These three singing sensations have come a long way displacing people like Poonam Yadav, Sumdeha and my heartthrob Mouli. While all the singers were undoubtedly brilliant , but without a process like the Vishwa Yudh , these people would not have got an opportunity or an exposure that they well deserve . To put this in context , in the good old days at Bollywood incumbency was a big factor , Lata Mangeshkar remained the playback Queen for decades without any noticeable threat to her position . Was there a talent shortage in the country...???? , were there no Mouli's, Poonam's or Sumedha's during her time ....I don't think so , what was probably lacking was platforms like the ones that we are discussing . The power of these platforms are immense and the outcomes that they can create for an industry is what we are experiencing first hand now.

I would like to highlight two key learning's from Bollywood which could be of use to HR professionals who engage in the process of Talent Management .

Let the Soul of the Process Flourish

What happens in the name of Talent Management are generally elaborate paper exercises and assessments which kill the soul of the process . By killing the soul of the process I am hinting at the complex psychometric tools often used to identify talent (however valid the consultants who peddle them claim to be ) are fraught with errors and to put undue emphasis on the tools only is disastrous .

Use Professional Talent Spotters and Talent Managers

Spotting Talent is not necessarily a function of competency frameworks or psycometry . The Aussie Cricket Board has talent scouts who scan the country and select young players with promise. A similar process happens thought he regional and city rounds of these Bollywood programs . In India however I have not heard of Talent Scouts in organizations . An individuals potential is often assessed in the context of his current and future roles . While I do not have a conceptual quarrel with this process , however happens that the potential assessment is left a bit too late for any meaningful development to happen , which leads to a situation wherein either the top talent is frustrated and leaves the organization or even worse stays back and becomes a cynic. While timing of assessment is important , the other critical issues is that potential assessment happens in the context of a set of Role Based Competencies and rarely on well grounded Generic Competencies . The challenge is of course to maintain a balance between the competencies required to deliver the current role and or future roles as also the ability to manage organizations and add stakeholder value . Often the second objective take a backseat

To conclude , I believe that Indian organizations and HR processes should be capable of identifying the Poonam Yadav's , Sunidhi Chauhan's , Shreya Ghosal's and Mouli's of the world so that there is some real competition to incumbements like Lata or Asha . "Lata tai , Asha tai no disrespect meant probably had it a bit easy , but Sunidhi will face far more competition as the Talent Processes of Bollywood and getting stronger and stronger ..."

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Google vs. Microsoft: A Rivalry Is Created

Microsoft must really hate Google. This has become an online rivalry…almost officially. Even though Google is ahead of the market in search and many other aspects of the world online (by far the worlds largest online company), well Microsoft is well…Microsoft…Windows…Bill Gates…

read more digg story

Friday, September 21, 2007

Google Wants You To Share Stuff

Google has entered the social bookmarking market with a new product called Shared Stuff.Shared Stuff is simple enough; users drag a “email/ share” button into their browser, and click it when they want to add pages to their Shared Stuff profile. Links can include an image, text extract, and/ or a user comment.

read more digg story

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Monday, September 10, 2007

Coaching ......Child's play ...Isnt it

Well the latest buzz word in the Indian HR scene is Executive Coaching . As far as Indian managers are concerned executive coaching is not a new concept . I have heard of managers who have had coaches at least five years ago . However , the concept of coaching as a business proposition is gaining rapid currency amongst us in the last year or so. I know of friends and colleagues who are already or aspire to be Executive Coaches . There are some who call themselves Performance coaches and some who just coach ...(performance or otherwise) . When I first heard of real coaches , I was much younger and I dismissed them as personal shrinks to some CEO or wannabe CEO...., but the trend is rapidly changing , almost everybody either wants to be a coach or be coached , which has created this demand for "Your Friendly Neighbourhood Coach" and their USP is ...I don't need to know anything about your business ,or your pressures , I can just coach ....fantastic isn't it . I witnessed a similar phenomena in the US in 2001 . I was looking for a Training Manager , and I had shortlisted some 40 people for a face to face discussion . At least 7 of them (who had no training experience before) told me , that " Of course I can train...., whats the big deal...." . Drawing parallels from the training example , of course any human being can coach anybody else , bring to bear life's perspectives and add value....does it not sound simple enough.

I am sure Marshal Goldsmith (the God of Executive Coaching ) would dismiss me as a cynic and a non believer of people process ...but my disconnect is for the following reasons :

a) To be able to coach others , the coach should not be insecure .....unfortunately most of the coaches that I know are really insecure ( my data is based on a minuscule set of the world of coaches and hence I am aware that I make a sweeping generalization here , but my world view is limited to my experiences ...sorry about that ) and for all the good reasons want to prove to their coachee how smart they are .....and their notion of adding value is to leave you with a feeling that I am actually better than you

b) Coaching as a service will be potent only when the coach is truly interested in the development of the coachee . The kind of money that a good coach commands in the US market ( I am told that a certain Indian CEO Coach charges USD 20K ) for a day' s session makes me feel that it is a very very good business , so to be honest , I also want to be a coach and start making that kind of money ,who cares if I am really interested in the development of my coachee. I can fake it , and if I am Indian , I can add some spiritual masala to a Westerner and help him in his self isn't it ....I like this guy Dr Deepak Chopra , heard him once he was a good speaker ....did he add value ....certainly not !!!

c) I am fundamentally against this notion that a coach can be a person who has no clue of the context of the coachee . Most of my coach pals tell me that you have to be able to ask the right questions ...this paradigm beats the hell out of me do I even ask reasonable questions (forget right ones) if I dont know business and its intricacies . Well a lot of our Indian coaches are probably not the best business managers who graduate into this profession for motives best known to them

I was talking to a friend about enabling people a couple of hrs before I penned down this post . And in my discussion with this person , I told her that the ability to enable people comes only when one is deeply connected at all levels with the individual and has mastered an unknown equation wherein he can reach the individual at the cognitive and affective level . By this notion , I cannot be and should not be a coach, I cannot engage with all and sundry at a level which is required to unlock people's potential . As I sign off , with deep regret , let me confess that I am very simple human being and can't be a Coach

Sunday, September 9, 2007

The Journey

The Journey has

break away from my dogma's
trust and embrace love
get in touch with myself
experience my anger and anguish and deal with it
unlocking my potential
come closer with people who value me
be in peace with the inherent contradictions of life

This journey is to change my life , and make a difference......

Friday, September 7, 2007


I have heard a very gripping tale of an individual who has been abandoned .....not abandoned in the physical sense of the term , but abandoned emotionally from the time he can remember

  • Abandoned by people whom he considered his loved ones
  • Abandoned by society , cheated and used (for as long as he can remember)

He is at a very critical phase of his life , he believes that being abandoned and remaining in the state is a permanent phenomena of his life , he has killed the child within him , the little things that would give him pleasure , over time he has learnt to cope with the feeling (of being abandoned), and build a wall around him , a wall which drives away true well wishers , ....he is incapable to deal with emotions like love and caring ......

What does he do ....

My advise to him is to give life another chance ,despite his experiences , try it out and get in touch with yourself my friend .....the way you lead your life is not worth it...I say this because I care

Tribute to Saurav Ganguly (DADA)

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

My Id and My Super Ego

This is my century post, had intended to make it special , but this is not one , it's more of ramblings of a wandering mind......

I have a few friends who majored on Psychology and from them , I have always tried to find the meaning and the differences of Id, Ego and the Super-Ego . A colleague of mine recently help me gain clarity on the same, I will not attempt to risk trying to define it in a blog post , however as I am evolving as a person ( we all do with passage of time .....nothing special about it ) , there are times where my Id takes over me , and the Ego facilitates the struggle between the Super-Ego and the Id , the interplay is fantastic and tumultuous.Today was a day of such a struggle , and have been torn in the process ......felt low and dejected by the world and the complex human processes that I have to deal with. What does it do to me does it impact me ....I reckon it does not impact my beliefs about the world that I hold close to my heart and some that are close to my chest , however it does impact when relationships I value are confronted with the struggle .....unreasonable as it maybe ,it seems to be the truth at least for now...but not the only truth I suppose

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Iraqi Women turning to Prostitution to feed their children

Arwa Damon -CNN reports about Iraqi women turning to prostitution to save their children

Also go throught he interview of an Iraqi lady who describes the complusions that forced her to be a prostitiute

Noam Chomsky Talks about Democracy’s Invisible Line

Chomsky: "The system of control in democratic societies is extremely effective. We do not notice the line any more than we notice the air we breathe. We sometimes even imagine we are seeing a lively debate. The system of control is much more powerful than in totalitarian systems."

read more | digg story

Friday, August 17, 2007

Gandhi-My Father -Film Review and More

This is not a mere film review . I would like to forewarn the readers that this post of mine contains content which can potential hurt the sensitivities of large number of Indian's who worship Mohandas Gandhi . If you are a Gandhian , this post is beware
I would like to begin by an interesting comment made by a representative of the South African Government on the occasion of Gandhi's farewell from South Africa , he said " Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi would like to believe that he is a saint who has wandered into politics , ...on the contrary he is a politician who belives that he is a saint..." . This quote in many ways epitomises the diabolical side of Gandhi which has rarely been touched upon by historians and the media . I would like to share some of my perspectives on Gandhi , in the context of Indian independence and also share my thoughts on the movie. Since the trigger of this post was the movie, I would like to start with the movie first ........ The movie is ordinary in terms of cinematography and content , it did explore the tumultuous relationship between Hiralal (his son) and Gandhi , and the struggle that Hiralal had to go through being the son of a famous father ....."To people he was a father, To his son he was a father he never had".....Hiralal rebelled against his father principles , embraced Islam in protest , was a compulsive drinker and a cheat. Some of the scenes in the movie catch your attention , particularly Hiralal's relationship with Kasturba . From the perspective of content , the movie disappoints .
However what the movie brings to fore is the darker side of the man Gandhi , he is no saint.... , he is dogmatic about his views of what India should be or should not be . He aims for a secular , inclusive Indian society but in his own way responsible for the riots that happened in the Eastern part of this country . His need to pussyfoot Islamic fundamentalists , lead to abandoning the Hindu's of the country ....... his dogma did not let him recognize a simple fact that partition of India was inevitable and it would only be fair that India be partitioned on the grounds of religion so that a reasonable transfer of population and property would have possibly happened without the extent of bloodshed that the country witnessed . While Muslims could chose to stay back in Bengal , the Hindus of erstwhile East Bengal were thrown out of the country . I come from a family who has been a victim of the politics of religion of Mohandas and so were many other families who lived in refugee camps in Kolkata and Delhi . Mr Gandhi's ridiculous obsession for misplaced secularism ensured that Hindus like us were murdered and looted in East Bengal and Punjab and left our land and lived in penury for many decades in the shanties in West Bengal and Delhi. My grandmother would often narrate the stories of woe that she had faced when she had virtually walked barefoot with her children in the cover of darkness from Pabna to Kolkata . I am sure this is true for many Muslim families , but the point is ,if Gandhi had clarity like Jinnah , the transfer of population would have be far better than it was and the loss of property could have been minimised by enforcing a Transfer of Property legislation . Mr Gandhi , the apostle of peace am sure was too preoccupied in Sabarmati (in God knows what..) to be able to think about the sufferings of millions of families ...........surely the father had left his children to fend from themselves .......
The politics of Mohandas ensured that he sidelined people like Subhas Bose , Sadar Patel and propped Nehru . Nehru and his party contributed brilliantly to ensure that the politics of division be played subtly in public life and judiciary continues even today unabated . It is Gandhi's legacy that promotes disruptive politics in the form of reservations in almost all walks of life ....and here we are as a nation still celebrating "Bapu" and condemning Nathuram Ghodse...

The Saint is dead and thank god for that , but his shadow remains ....... I would like to know if India would be better off without its father ...what do u think
Jai Hind

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Cash-Movie Review

I went to see "Cash" with my family yesterday . Over the last 6 months , thanks to my wife , I had developed some respect for Bollywood films ,........ but my experience with Cash has disillusioned me once again on the quality of content that Bollywood dishes out on the a not so discerning audience .
To me Cash is an example of great editing , cinematography and music , but lacks the most important criteria for a good film....a gripping story and an engrossing script .
Anubhav Sinha's caste includes a bunch of thieves like Karan ( Ajay Devgan) , Danny ( Zayed Khan ), Lucky (Ritesh Deshmukh), Pooja (Esha Deol) , who are aligned to a common motive of stealing priceless diamonds in South Africa. As one could imagine each of these thieves have their own speciality , like Danny can walk on water , Lucky is an ace skate border etc etc .
The movie has great music and some exotic women , I particularly liked the dances of Samita Shetty (playing Shanaya from the Indian High Commission), but beyond that there is nothing to write about .....
An entertainer if you can leave your brains at home , if you cant , its better you stay far away from the movie

Monday, August 6, 2007

The Royal Palace bangkok

Here are some of the interesting stuff that my colleague clicked on the same visit

Streets Signs in Bangkok

Some of my readers wanted a commentory on the nightlife of Bangkok , but I guess what I can offer to you are some interesting street signs of the city . Look at them carefully

Monday, July 23, 2007

The Suvarnbhumi Airport -Bangkok

Do these pictures look familiar ? . These are pictures taken from the departure terminal of the Suvarnabhumi International Airport Bangkok . For my international readers , these pictures depict the mythological tug-of war (Samudra Manthan-or the Great Churn ) between the Devas (gods) and the Asura's (demon's) . It was really heartening to see Thailand take great pains to protect their Hindu roots where a Hindu majority country like India has forgotten its culture ???

Amazing thailand -5 -Other Gorgeous Structures of the Palace Compound

Amazing Thailand -4 -The Upper Terrace

In the palace complex are four main monuments a reliquary in the shape of the golden chedi ;the Mondop , a repository for Buddhist sacred scriptures inscribed of palm leaves , contained within a beautiful mother of pearl inlaid cabinet . Scattered around the terrace are statues of elephants and mythical beings

Amazing Thailand - 3-The Royal Monastery of the Emerald Buddha

The Royal Monastery of the Emerald Buddha is situated at the north of the royal residence , it si one of the most venerated sites in Thailand . The Emerald Buddha is enshirned on a golden traditional Thai-style throne made of gilded carved wood knows as a Busabok , in the ordination hall of the royal monastery . The Emerald Buddha is carved from a block of green jade and was first discoverd in 1434 in a stupa in Chang Rai .