Black Dussehra!

Hi Friends

Happy Dussehra!!

However you must have observed it is going to be a black Dussehra for some families in Mumbai.

Apart from receiving forwards on WhatsApp about the tragedy, today morning onwards I received a barrage of forwards of how the current Modi government is better than the years of corrupted rule by the Congress. The political call centres are in full force !

All such forwards ended with nauseous questions of our patriotism or nationalism for questioning the administration in charge.

While I too voted wholeheartedly for Modi, I definitely did not surrender my rights to question the authorities, it is every citizen’s birthright.

What is more disturbing, is that there is a very visible divide among friends and families – who have set aside their logical reasoning and indulge in forwarding hateful or demeaning political messages.

How many of you walk the overbridge daily on your commute to work ? Why only Mumbai – I had been to Ahmedabad 2-3 years back and came back impressed with is civic infrastructure and recently when I visited Ahmedabad, it was like a war ravaged city, which I recently was informed done up overnight at the expense of 1200 Crores on account of visit by the Japanese PM – who does not have to travel daily in Mumbai or Ahmedabad !

A young life, who just six months ago became a chartered accountant, lost her life in this tragedy before she could form her wings – look at your child and give a thought to such dividing messages.

I already know the solution that will be offered to the victims –
1. Ex-gratia payment
2. Promise of an inquiry

At the cost of 3000+ crores we will be erecting a Shivaji memorial in the middle of the ocean or the worlds largest statue / tribute to Sardar Patel. They are considered as the greatest heroes in Indian history, do you think they would have been happy to see the current state of infrastructure ??

Remember it could have been your family member to on one of the many bridges in Mumbai !

* No I do not have a call centre appointing official trolls to type this post.

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The PROMISE – 2016

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Though being a history buff, I had no clue of the Armenian genocide by the Ottoman Turkish Empire. But this movie compelled me to read some material on the same, and perhaps will do so for sometime.

Terry George, director of Hotel Rwanda, has delivered a fantastic semi-fictional tale of Love, Friendship, Patriotism woven around the Armenian Genocide by the turks, which they continue to deny till date.

This is a period movie set in the 1915, when the sun was setting on the Ottoman Empire. The detailing of the period is bound to leave you speechless. The Cinematography is first rate.

Oscar Isaac outdoes all the brilliant actors in the movie as Mikael Boghosian, a medical student who aspires to study and serve his village but for which he has no money. He agrees to his father’s idea of getting engaged to a girl from his village and for which he will get dowry of 400 gold coins that will support his travel to Constantinopole, present day Istanbul, to study medicine. He promises his wife to be, that he will be back soon.

Mikael’s Uncle in Constantinopole, supports him. His Turkish friend Emre Ogan, son a Turkish General and a rich man, looks up to him as a mentor and classmate in medicine school and always helps him out. Christian Bale, as Chris the american journalist is in the city too, meticulously reporting on the political movements of the turkish empire. His girlfriend, Ana, is the dance teacher to the kids of Mikael’s uncle. And thereby begins a story of a love triangle, familial duties, unrequited love, friendship and loyalty irrespective of religion or nation.

Each and every supporting actor is brilliant, but it is Mikael and Ana’s love story and more than the same, the Armenian Genocide which will haunt you and the so called Superpowers of the world who turned a blind eye towards the same.

Don’t miss it at any cost !

The Lost City of Z

large_large_ik3ebv7J18fs6cHkmu91oxz7EGtJames Gray’s 2016 release turned out to be a pleasant surprise.

This is not a adventure movie, but a movie of youth’s unrealized aspirations, which at a later age turn into obsession with the desire to achieve the same as fast as possible. Along with achieving the same, there are dual responsibilities of managing a family, maintaining a career to provide for the upkeep of the family and tackling the politics at workplace that come along with it. Sounds familiar doesn’t it ?

The movie is based on the awesome true story of British explorer Percy Fawcett, who along with his young son went missing in the amazon jungles during early 20th century, trying to search for a lost city which he named as Zed [Z].

During an initial exploration, he finds ancient pottery and signs of an civilization which was more advanced than the western civilization, which is of course scoffed upon by the colonial British of the times. His struggle [Note this was early 20th Century], and desire to reach the lost city despite the dangers of the Amazon, is what the movie is about.

Charlie Hunnam immerses himself in the role of Percy Fawcett and you cannot imagine anyone else as Percy. He carries the 2 hour and 20 minute long movie on his shoulders along with a very competent ensemble of supporting actors, especially Robert Pattinson in a surprise character role. The camera work is excellent and Amazon Jungles are the star of the film, the dangers, the excitement of what lurks in those jungles and the so called savages that reside in it.

The movie is not a thrill ride or a adventure movie, and the pace may be slow for some however it is definitely a one time watch, and the story is sure to linger around you for quite some time. I was impressed enough to do more research on Percy Fawcett on the web post watching this movie. Intend to purchase the below book on which the movie is based.

9781471164910

Tubelight – A cinegoer’s review

Do not understand why Tubelight is being panned by one and sundry… In fact I dreaded that hope it’s not another Bodyguard, Ready kinda film, where Salman the star takes over each and every department.. and surprisingly it was different, at least Salman made an effort.

It’s definitely painful to watch him put such ernest efforts to act, but with due credit to the director, Salman pulled it off well. It is of course and out and out Salman show, though Zeeshan Ayyub irritates even though he is a fine actor. It is an official adaptation of LITTLE BOY, so it’s not as if it’s lifted and copied.

I have seen Little Boy, Jakob Salvati the boy is made of different mettle, but this is not about Little Boy but about our Sultan. And I feel he is in fine form.

Yes, Sultan was notches above this one, and so was the silly, funny Dabbang. Salman “acted” in Sultan too, and was awesome else his larger than life characters like Chulbul were getting on the nerves.

For his fans, who expect “Dhisoom” “Dhisoom” male machoism, they will be disappointed, but it’s not a bad fare, watchable once. However Kabir Khan could have done better and he is capable of the same.

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Indian IT – Emperor with new clothes !

Infosys 50% hike to top execs

As a child one of my favorite stories and still is, Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Emperor’s New Clothes”.

A vain emperor, who obsesses about fine clothes and jewellery, is told by a few con-men that they would prepare for him clothes, that would be visible to only the intelligent, competent people and will be invisible to the stupid, incompetent and un-intelligent people.

After acting it out or miming that they are dressing up the emperor, even the emperor ignores his own reflection in the mirror fearing that he may be exposed as incompetent and goes along the false flattery by the con-men. He not only ignores that he is butt-naked, but also arranges to parade himself showing of his newly acquired clothes among his subjects.

All of his subjects, continue to praise the emperor, despite being shocked that the emperor is naked! It is only when a small child, who expected to see the finery on his king, is disappointed and shouts out that the emperor has no clothes at all on him, that some of the subjects start laughing and say the some. While the emperor himself and those who fear of being outcasts, keep up the facade.

Now if you replace the emperor with Indian IT, the con-men with the balance sheet manipulators, and the subjects with IT employees, it completes the story.

Just a few months back, there was a huge public fallout about the lack of transparency in Infosys Governance, with some strong statements by the usually reticent Narayana Murthy. The senior stakeholders chose media to converse with each other and share their opinions. Cut to post Brexit and Trump scenario, Infosys was one of the first to layoff employees, citing “performance appraisal” review process, which is usually used in IT industry as part of cost cutting process when the pressure on margins increase. Many of such employees have evidence of their credible performances through emails and citations achieved during their tenure, but had reached higher cost or pay packets.

#NarayanaMurthy sad over layoffs

What changed in the last six months, that that a renowned IT giant goes from accusations of poor governance, to layoffs (cost cutting) and then rewards as high as 50% to the top bosses. Did the cost cutting, made the balance sheets so attractive?

Why is the revered #NarayanaMurthy who came out guns blazing on the governance issue, so muted over the layoffs. ?

Why cannot our leaders be real leaders, and take a 1 Re., pay check for a year, when they already have millions in the banks ? Is any thought given to those employees, who may have home loans, medical issues and children’s education to pay for ?

Why were we not prepared to face global changes, and protect our working environment proactively? Did we just found out that Digital and Automation are going to be the key players – it has been around since ages now. Why our workforce is not deemed to be ready, whose responsibility was it to train and make sure that our workforce is skilled to suit the customer requirements. ?

Questions there are, and perhaps not easy to answer. But the leaders need to look within, and while rewards do need to be given to those who deserve and philanthropy is good for society at large, please remember your working class, the people who bring the moolah on the table and are part of the very same society.

Let’s hope the emperor soon realizes, that it is skills, efforts and acknowledgement of it’s true subjects, which can help him put up with some brand new clothes.

#Layoffs #IndianIT #Infosys #ToI #ITindustry #CNN-IBM

  • Disclaimer – The above is a personal opinion and viewpoint of the blogger.

 

 

The alienation of Kashmir

#PareshRawal‘s tweet has created a furore on twitter.
#Kashmir is story written in blood, unfortunately it has been the blood of the common kashmiri, whether a muslim or a pandit. It’s so called leaders, both within the state and outside of it are oblivious to the pain and the helplessness of such kashmiris.
Article 370 has done irreparable damage to Kashmir and the process to integrate it with India. No wonder Dr Ambedkar had refused to draft it. Today for any government, including the current one, it will be impossible to revoke article 370. Though the rhetoric to do so, has been on since at least my lifetime.
During my college years, I had read about Governor Jagmohan’s strong headed approach towards law and order, which was applauded then, but today seems like one of the major reasons for a Kashmiri to lose faith in Indian governance. A sensitive approach by politicos, would have perhaps helped India. The Abdullahs have been ineffective, and are no match compared to Sheikh Abdullah. they are just thriving in politics as part of inheritance.
1984 ant-sikh riots, 1992 babri riots led to further alienation of the kashmiri youth, misled by the separatists like Geelani, Lone and Yasin Malik.
Only if our leaders, both Indian and Pakistanis, look forward to the future and work jointly, can instill some peace in this wonderful state..
As for twitter wars, they are just that, five minutes of fame or eyeballs for participants. #ArundhatiRoy #PareshRawal #SwaraBhaskar
naye kirdaar aate jaa rahe hai..
magar naatak purana chal raha hai..
As for Kashmir, the apt verse is …
dekhonge to har mod pe mil jayengi lashe,
dhoondoge to is shahr main qatil na milega..
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Education and Parenting..

My son cleared his JEE Mains. He is disappointed. Achieved a rank of 30000 out of lakhs of students [12]. But I was over the moon, not because he cleared the JEE Mains but because I being a parent had a first hand experience of watching his preparation for the exams.

I have had a tug of war relation with education since childhood, ended up changing six schools in ten years of school education due to transfers within country or outside the country. Naturally it had an impact on myself. So as a self imposed rule, I was very clear, no pressure on the education front, to our child, which in India is hugely overestimated and needs a complete overhaul.

His preparation included watching a marathon Netflix season, which kinda worried me, not to mention the ever at hand cellphone.

What was more worrying was some of the responses that I had from a few friends and colleagues, who have a clear misconception of education. IIT is not the end of the world and neither is engineering. Damn, I have been asked to interview CAs and IIM grads during the span of my career, and while many impressed me, believe me I was shocked by quite a few too and wondered how they managed to get such high degrees, so pathetic was their general knowledge.

Within the next 5 years, you will look at the current decade as an medieval period, the world will evolve at such a scorching pace. It will not be your degrees, but your skill to adapt, evolve and present yourself, which will help you survive in a dog eat dog world. Hence more than the degrees, just pray our children are streetsmart, practical and have enough fight in them to survive. Degrees are just additional tools to facilitate your movement in an hierarchical society, but it will take nerves of steel to survive in a highly competitive world and that is the attitude we need to groom in our children.

#JEEMains #Parenting #Netflix #Education