Friday, April 14, 2006

Leaving for Bangalore amidst the Rajkumar chaos

The news headline went on and on about the end of an era with the sad demise of Dr.Rajkumar in my lovely hometown, Bangalore.And the flip side of the death manifested itself into violence in this erstwhile pensioners'paradise.I felt sad that my city had transformed into such a violent city.It wasn't ever like that before.Sad.

Anyway,I had go board my train back home to Bangalore.And the train was choc-a-bloc.Not death of Rajkumar or any other factor was going to dissuade Bangaloreans from going home for a nice three-day break - away from the simmering heat and humidity of Chennai.Not to mention, folks like me are not going to miss the opportunity to enjoy some sumptous home food!:)

There were a few people who boarded our bogie without tickets.All of them looked like ruffians to me.The ticket collector warned them right after the train left Chennai Central that the police and the railway authorities will come at night and as these unauthorized travellers to disembark from the train.That threat went on deaf ears,with a couple of the unauthorized travellers exchanging a quiet word or two on bribing the officials to get past them,when they much for corruption seeping into the system.

But I was awoken when I heard animated conversation in the dead of the night, as the train sped home!The railway authorities had arrived and so had the cops.They were in a long dialogue with these unauthorized travellers for the best part of 30 minutes.Nobody could sleep in the bogie, as decibel levels were high.But I was pleasantly surprised and glad that the authorities had their way.They managed to get these unauthorized travellers to alight at the next station, and asked them to board the unreserved bogies,where one doesn't need a ticket.And all this without any corruption but purely on the merits of the case, with was a lost case as far as the unauthorized travellers were concerned.Even bribing was not talked of eventually!

I guess some things are changing.Am glad!

Catching up with my greatest boss ever!

Wow! What an evening that was!I went to visit my old boss at his office a couple of evenings back.I was meeting him after a good 3 years or so.Felt so,so good and meeting him convinced me that there are indeed some fascinating professionals in the corporate world. The poise,the charm,the professionalism,the scale of achievement and his overall persona had always impacted me in the most positive manner possible i.e.inspirational.While I have never been the type who has wanted to by like somebody else, this boss has always been so inspiring to me, that a lot of my professional standards have manifested themselves from the grounding that I received from this amazing man.

There are three of them actually,out of which this guy is the tallest.All three of them are scintillating exponents of professional excellence which any average Joe or motivated gradudate can look up to and pick up a pointer or two.These three guys have weathered many a storm for a long,long time and have established their credentials very firmly in their clients' eyes.Its amazing how they discover newer and newer ways to deliver client satisfaction by maintaining the highest standards of excellence fathomable by a human being.

Anyway,to sit down with them, in their swanky new office,in the big boss' cabin, sharing a nice,long conversation,interspersed with some munchies and tea, was an exhilirating experience for me.I mean,clients value these guys a lot and their time is or paramount importance to the outcome of any of their engagements.And to have sat down with me,after a long,hard day at the office,and spent the best part of two hours made me feel on top of the world. Not because I was sitting with these big ticket people or something, but just the sheer manner in which they gave me their time as friends,catching up on old times, checking with me on the current state of my career and my plans, some of the recent experiences abroad etc,just made me feel so,so,so good.It didn't feel like a boss-subordinate talk at all, but was more like that of a bunch of senior and juniors engaged in some quality time with each other as friends.Just made me feel very good to be recognised on the merits of my own case by them as well.They were very happy to see me after a while and to observe the moves I have made since I started off with them in my first job.

I am glad that I had these three wonderful men as my mentors when I started off my career five years back!Just seems like yesterday that I was there!:)

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Davis Cup & Leander Peas - the romance continues..

I had one of the best Sundays in 2006 yesterday.Sitting back in my living room and enjoying every second of the mesmerising passion for tennis and an Indian victory,sure had its lessons embedded in it.The passion,romance and thrill of watching Leander Paes guts it out against the toughest of opposition and under the most extenuating circumstances was an abject lesson on how a human being can really overcome every obstacle that comes his way.

The pundits would call it strategy i.e. losing the fourth set miserably(6-0),just so as to regain momentum and time for the medicines to bite, and eventually going for the kill on the back of sheer passion,adrenalin and crowd support,not to mention ability.Yes,that is what happened at the Brabourne Stadium in Mumbai yesterday,as India beat Pakistan in the Asia-Oceania group,Davis Cup finale.

Hats off to Leander.Few professional sportsmen can boast of integrity and passion while going about their work.To add such passion,energy and a never-say-die attitude with one's back against the wall, was nothing short of inspiring!The reverbating stadium,and the congregation of the Indian team around Leander was proof enough that he is indeed the solitary torch-bearer for Indian tennis.And the tears that poured from his deepest corners showed what passion and will to win actually means.And it was not one of those artificially,glycerine-initiated tears whatsoever.Those were tears of doing anything for the country,with a sound mix of ethics,passion and sheer grit.

Hats off to a great champion!Proud of being an Indian,indeed,Leander!Very,very proud!

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Why I think the ISB crorepati is hogwash

It is amazing how the traditionally most secretive element of a human being's professional life is being publicised to this degree.Media pundits have hailed the Indian School of Business today for creating the first ever crorepati from the ramparts of its hallowed turf.But hang on,let us not fool ourselves anymore about this "big-ticket" placement.

While there may be merits in the case of such recruits, we must remember that these are more the exception than the norm(possibly a fractional percentage of the entire workforce or employable workforce).That said, mere receipt of such placements is no index of a human being's capabilities,as there are scores of professionals who have done and are doing yeoman service in their respective streams.

If there is talk of a balanced media, I would be happy to see features and lead stories of people who have done exceptionally well without any of these overly glorified degrees. Having graduated from a business school myself and having been part of the consulting world, I can safely say that there is more to life than a fast-paced, jet-setting job with a skyrocketing salary.

The question to be raised is, have we reduced these business schools to assembly lines of hype? Or are we still a race who values the teeming millions who have done wonderfully well in life, despite stints at such schools?Get real...