I, Professional

We all pride ourselves on being professionals.


And, we claim, we’ve rights to. After all, we wear crisply pressed formals and polished shoes to work everyday; a suit and tie on occasions; speak flawlessly accented languages; not to mention extensive etiquettes at the dinner table and rules on handling the fork.


Then we step out on to the streets of Chennai, and it’s another world altogether. From cursing the auto-rickshaw driver who just overtook you to jumping red lights because ‘there was no one there’ and traveling on the wrong side of the road to cut a turn, we the ‘professionals’ do it all. And it doesn’t end in the streets. We jump queues (provided there is one, to begin with), rush into moving buses or trains, arrive 15-20 minutes late for just about anything And it doesn’t end with us.


We do it because everyone around us does it, and besides, you can’t expect to survive in the big city unless you join in and yell with rest of the crowd.

And crowd is right. How many of us have actually seen a polite traffic policeman?

Or how about courteous bus conductors?

Maybe a smiling face behind a counter?

And don’t even think about auto rickshaw drivers; I think it can be safe to declare auto drivers as the most despicable, loathsome and hated people in all of Chennai.


But skip all that. That’s on the street. Even on the job when was the last time a professional, any professional for that matter, acted such?

The other day I saw a hospital receptionist yak endlessly on the phone about some new sari she bought, blissfully unaware of the people waiting…

A banker behind the counter not sure of how to boot his computer or check the customer’s request…

Customer Care executives who don’t know what facilities their bank/telephone company/credit card company offers…

Software people engaged in a 3 hr call with their spouse/fiancé/boyfriend in spite of the pending work to be done…

Sales people in showrooms who don’t know about the discount coupon the customer is holding…



Sounds familiar? It should; after all, we are that face in the crowd. And from the looks of it, not a very professional face. Time we cleaned up our act and professionalize our professions.

Iron Maiden - Live in Concert!

Calling all Heavy Metal Fans! Iron Maiden is performing live in Bangalore.


Palace Grounds, - 17th March 2007. Where will you be?


iPod madness

To begin with, lemme say I’m not against the cute white devil from Apple. Nor am I a fan of Microsoft Zune or Creative Vision:M or anything else for that matter. But what I really can’t understand is why the apple iPod, though remarkable an invention it may be, is such a flare all over the world.

To fully understand this madness, we must first understand the underlying technologies and market base which led to this. The market is fairly simple to understand, people wanted something to carry around and play their music. Okay, so people wanted something to carry and play ALL their music. And then photos. And videos.
Apple seized this opportunity to make the all in one device that everyone loved.But wait, wasn’t Sony already doing this? As was Creative, Panasonic, Samsung and virtually every other electronics giant worth its salt? And after Sony failed flat on its face with its Network Walkman® (which, incidentally, was the first portable music player which held tracks in a Sony proprietary ATARC format) you’d think no one else would try.

Here’s where the technology part came in: Apple made not just proprietary formats for storage, it also made the equally famous iTunes software to go with it, and the online store to purchase legal music…and it was a huge hit. So the customers were happy, record companies were happy, anti-piracy guys were happy and the anti-peer-to-peer-sharing guys from the state department were happy. But that’s were the happiness ends.

I personally hate it not because of its shortcomings; there are lots of them starting with the fact that they don’t even provide a charger – leaving you to charge with your pc USB. And the fact that I can’t transfer my music from one pc to another or need purchase music online (come on, how many of us in India would do that?)

I hate it because of its over-hyped-up status.
Something like a class act, where many advertisements featuring a cool dude wears an iPod.

Levi jeans for launching the “iPod Jeans” to carry an iPod with all its accessories.

All those stupid car audio systems like Pioneer which boast to be “iPod Ready”.

Data comparisons which used to claim that something was so large that it would fit on a such and such stack of books, it now said to fit on so many iPods!

Even NASDAQ launched a nonsensical new index called the “iPod Index” which, like the Big-Mac® index, compares the growth rate of a currency based on the price of the player there.

Even an I-have-too-much-money builder in Dubai who’s constructing an iPod shaped apartment building called The iPad.

My point is, isn’t there any other music player in the world? Or is the Pod the only thing people see?

It’s not about a great music player. It’s about something bigger called mass marketing.
And one thing’s for sure: iPod will rule as long as it is hyped up. Remember, sheep only follow the herd.

Happy Women’s Day!

No offense to the ladies, but can someone tell me er…why exactly are we celebrating this?

Now relax, there’s no need to get all worked up about this one guy who can’t even appreciate the wonders of womanhood or whatever, but seriously, I fail to see the point.

True, women are now doctors, teachers, engineers (not to mention software architects ;-), even nuclear scientists and astronauts.

But when it comes to the glamorous world of entertainment, women today are more than ever, being projected as worth nothing more than an object. Check out the fashion industry (watch FTV with your family, for instance), check out the music industry, how about advertisement, or a steamy movie…
I really will not agree that Britney Spears or Shakira are famous because they can sing.
Not will I agree that Mallika Sharawat or Pamela Anderson is a brilliant actor

The fact is that freedom can be brainwashing, everyone thinks that liberation means to be someone else’s plaything.

If this is the real liberation of women, then I guess the feminists still have a long way to go

Tax this!

Yes, it’s that time of the year again when the budget is out and as usual, we are disappointed. “We” is the middle class, the working section, those morons in the IT industry, the scapegoats of the economy, whatever you choose to call it.

I don’t know when it came about but historically, its always been like this. Poor people don’t have much to worry about; the only problem is that they are poor, and there are lots of government schemes to help out farmers, the ‘backward castes’ (I’m ashamed to even write the word), poor students, poor widows and poor everyone else. Rations give the privileged poor provisions; reservation gives the privileged poor positions. And if there’s no better income, Professional begging is also a big hit. And by the way, there’s no tax on begging.

On the other hand, very rich people don’t have much to worry about either: There’re lots of loop-holes to jump into to evade taxation if you’re really big in business (we’re talking big as in over hundreds of crores). You can always leave the country to get NRI status, or like many rich folks, ‘blacken’ your money. And if you have a few friends in high places here and push a few bank notes there, you’re still rocking no matter you how much income you have.

So who’s the real idiot? We the people, those pathetic, job-dependent, salary-based, dimwits who slog long hours of the day and night in front of a computer to make an ‘enviable’ salary and end up paying a third of it to taxes.

Scapegoat or concerned citizen? You decide.