Category Miscellaneous

On Big Game Hunting and What Africa Can Learn From India

The recent cold blooded murder of Cecil, the lion, by an American big game hunter has sparked outrage across the world and has taken the social media by storm. The hunter (I prefer to call him murderous coward) has also stated that big game hunting is an activity that he loves and practises “responsibly”.This statement brings to the fore the mindset of a culture that has eradicated most of its wildlife and biodiversity in its quest to pursue “development” and material benefits.

While the social media outrage does show that this mindset is abhorred by the majority even in the west now, it is too little too late. The forests of North America and Europe may once have had a dazzling array of wildlife but  many of the erstwhile  residents of those habitats are now gone forever...

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More Indian Than You Think

When one talks about a civilization’s ability to influence and attract other cultures,one name is a constant through out all recorded history . That name is India. I refer to India as a civilization as the soft power (Soft power is a concept developed by Joseph Nye of Harvard University to describe the ability to attract and co-opt rather than coerce, use force or give money as a means of persuasion) exerted by our culture and traditions predates the concept of the Indian nation state.

In this era of globalization and instant connectivity, few aspects of the Indian story come rushing to the mind.

Cinema and Television

The glitzy song and dance sequences of Indian cinema have enthralled audiences all over the world...

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Of AAP and Hum!

So the Aam Aadmi Party is at it again. The only difference being, now, they are in power! Aam Aadmi Party was born out of Anna’s anti corruption movement with the promise that they were taking the plunge to cleanse the system from within. It seems, however, that their singular agenda is to turn governance and administration into agitation and gimmicks. When they should be looking at ways to reform the delivery of public services to the people of Delhi, they are using the media glare on them to launch a shadow campaign for the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections.

Soon after assuming power, they took steps to fulfill their electoral promises and garnered well deserved praise for not forgetting their promises to the people of Delhi after the elections...

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Looking Back At 2013

It’s that time of the year again. Winter chill has set in and the infamous North Indian fog has already started delaying flights and trains. Christmas festivities have just concluded and I am sitting in my office cube trying to pen this post before it becomes pointless to do so. The spirits are high and most of my colleagues are on vacation. Somehow, sitting in a sparsely populated office doesn’t seem so bad. I am experiencing a sense of freedom and privacy, that I have seldom felt at work. For some magical reason, I am not feeling disappointed at coming to work on the last day of the year. I am sure, I will be home in time to ring in 2014 with my folks at home.

2013, like most years and life itself, was a mix of both good and bad for me...

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Motivation At Work Place

Working professionals seem to be a disenchanted lot when it comes to motivation at their work places. Some sectors like the software industry have very high attrition rates and recession and market saturation do not seem to be able to put a stop to the exodus. In my six years as a professional , I have realized that the following are the most pervasive causes of dissatisfaction with their employers:

  • Lack of growth opportunities
  • Job insecurity
  • Inadequate financial rewards ( read poor or no hikes and bonuses)
  • Mundane work environment

I must admit I have experienced frustration caused by all the factors listed above at one time or another. The situation gets aggravated when switching jobs is not a very convenient option...

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In Conversation With Nokia

A few days back I shot  an email off to Nokia CEO Stephen Elop trying to explain how I, a long time, loyal and mostly happy customer, feel about the seeming lack of support for those of us who chose Nokia when it launched devices on the Windows Phone 7.x platform. I am a happy owner of a Nokia Lumia 800, but off late it has seemed that Nokia’s enthusiasm for the older platform has been on the wane especially when it comes to app support. New apps have been consistently coming to the Nokia collection but few of them target the older platform. Some of these are apps which can easily be supported on the older platform. An example is the Nokia Video Upload app...

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Republic Day Musings

This morning when I woke up and switched on the television to catch the Republic Day parade live, I was filled with a feeling of soaring pride that I have come to associate with Republic Day celebrations. That feeling however was short-lived.It was quickly dampened by the barrage of cynical and even melodramatic posts on social media. It seemed as if the celebration of nationhood that Republic Day stands for had turned into a platform for publicity of everything that ails our country. Yes our problems are huge but so are our accomplishments.
It made me wonder if this seething discontentment and pessimism is a national phenomenon or something that afflicts our middle-class. Our middle class is the most vocal critic of our democracy...
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Amul–What It Means To Me

Before you start thinking that I have gone bonkers by looking at the title of the post, let me furnish some background information. I just saw an Amul advertisement on tv. It somehow managed to connect with me to such an extent that it made me think about Amul means to me.

The advert that triggered this post

At the end of the ad, there is some scrolling text that says something about how crores of Indian use Amul products everyday and more importantly how it has led to financial independence for 30 lakh women across 15000 villages. It ends with “Thanks to a cooperative movement called Amul”. This is the phrase that really got my attention. Amul is not just a company or a brand. Its a movement and that too a home grown one. Instinctively I was tripping down the memory lane...

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My HP Mini

Very recently I bought a brand new netbook. For the uninitiated , a netbook is class of low cost utility laptops that do much of the work that we use our high end laptops for. Tasks like browsing, watching movies and playing music. To be very frank , I was a bit skeptical about how productive I would be on my netbook given its small screen size , cramped keyboard(not so cramped actually- 93% of standard size) and low powered processor. But the device has been a pleasant surprise.
I was able to install Visual Studio 2008, Office 2010 and linux VM on it and everything works fine. It battery runs for an amazing 7 hours, is ultra portable has 2GB DDR3 RAM and a 320 GB 7200 rpm HDD and Windows 7 comes preinstalled. And it cost me just 22K. Now that’s value for money...
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Moving On From CSC To Oracle

It was sometime in December when I received a call from the Human Resources Department of Oracle Corporation regarding a position at their organization in Noida. Frankly speaking I was not looking for a change then and was looking forward to an onsite opportunity that was coming my way. But the pull of the Oracle brand was too strong to resist. 
I went for the interview totally unprepared (so much so that I did not carry a copy of my CV and pen for the interview) and did not expect to be selected. The interview lasted about 2 hours with two separate rounds and I was told on the spot that I was selected. Now this was a dilemma I had not expected to be in. However, I had wanted to make a move to a software product company for sometime now...
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