Sunday, December 23, 2007

Stung My...

I consider myself an extremely warm person, but when you go to a compact place like Shillong where everybody knows everybody and you are never a nobody, I realised how cold I have become. Visit to Shillong was my first to north eastern part of India and the agenda was to sink in the culture and lives of people tucked in a corner of our country and experience the mountain's clean air (there isn't any inside the city).

Catching SCORPIONS live on Dec 12, drove the whole agenda. What a show. Klaus Meine still stings and stings hard with his high octave vocals at a ripe young age of 60. A banner read "SCORPIONS : Sting Our Ass". Very creative! Sting they did - and how? I have always respected Germany for their precision tools, automobiles & Scorpions. Post my visit to Shillong I have started liking all musical expressions from Germany. I just can't get enough of Rammstein's brand of industrial rock. Rock bands perform, Rammstein just burns. And their vocalist, he does not sing, I call it some kind of 'subsonic booming growl'. And yes if there is anything called the 'ideal' language for rock music, it has got to be German.

Going back to being *warmth* bit, I guess it is possible only in small cities. If I start spreading warmth here, I have serious doubts whether I will succeed in doing it for a long time to make an impact. Further, do people have time to appreciate it? Everybody is busy chasing something. Some chase money, some chase power, some chase happiness, some chase anything that moves on two legs and some don't have to chase anything as they are born with a silver spoon right up their rear and they are busy enjoying it.

In a nutshell..listen to good music, travel whenever one gets an opportunity and enjoy life. Winter chill is here and please don't tax your brain with warm thoughts.

Friday, December 07, 2007


Customer is always right : That is probably the only thing I learnt in my hotel school. It spills over and it holds true for all businesses.

Lets take this case: A customer wants to buy an aircraft but goes to a sanitary ware shop. Going by the rule of "customer is always right", can the sanitary ware shop owner do anything about getting the customer an aircraft? What if the shopkeeper directs the customer to the appropriate location than wasting each others time by sticking to "customer is always right" philosophy.

Help is just a blog away.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Aging Gracefully?

"Taut, Toned and Non-Botoxed" - I read this as a headline somewhere for a news item. I meet my friends after a gap of 2,3 or 4 years...they say "Oh you have a receding hairline!" I wonder whether it is for real or its just a conversation starter. Anyway, my nonchalant attitude towards it helps me to sidestep it completely.


About five summers ago, I was walking along a neighbourhood park, the ball with which kids were playing was out of the playing area as a result of a budding Sachin Tendulkar hitting out. Others in the game gave me a shout "bhaiyya, ball dena" (brother, just get the ball back to us). I threw it back in.

Fast forward to today

Same situation, same shot, I threw the ball back in. *Shout* this time was, "uncle, ball dena" (uncle, just get the ball back to us). First I looked around, there was no one but me. Then the new Pepsi commercial that is doing the rounds dawned on me. And I realised, I am aging....gracefully I hope!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

While Sun God Looks Over

The debate about global warming rages on. How can the earthlings do the right things so that we do not accelerate this warming? Answer lies within and like always, it is pretty basic.

Real estate companies (particularly DLF) have maximum buildings in the NCR region and because of that they are in a unique position to make the maximum contribution. That said, I have serious doubts whether they have even thought about something like Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), global warming and the like. For sure their buildings don't convey a strong commitment to the cause.

The other day on my way to work, I noticed most buildings in Gurgaon have a glass exterior. Question remains, what are glass buildings doing here which is hot for eight out of twelve months? As far as I know glass building were conceptualised for places which were cold for most part of the year. 'Glass' as a building material was particularly useful for its ability to trap heat inside. For any building, the highest bill is the energy bill and the lion's share is cornered by air-conditioning system. When real estate companies build glass buildings from a vanity standpoint, all they are effectively doing is increasing the power consumption of the building for its lifetime. is only skin deep. What a blunder in a country which experiences shortage of power everyday.

Think about this : What if, the real estate companies chose to put solar panels on the terrace of all the buildings that they are constructing (minus the glass exterior, of course)? I concede, the cost of setting it up initially would be high but it will pay back within 4-5 years in terms of the saves on the energy bill.

Sun God is looking over us. We just need to learn how to seek his blessings - I am Vinayakan Aiyer and I call for a real estate + corporate suryanamaskar!

Friday, October 26, 2007

Mine Is Bigger Than Yours

Did you measure jobless you could get? Is that what competitive spirit all about? Lets see how a middle class stock like me grows up. Wishlist of parents - get good grades in school > keep yourself active in sports but don't you dare think of making it your career. Go to a good business school > work with a blue chip company > ride on shit load of greenbacks, buy a house and then find a nice girl > settle down. What is the definition of a nice girl here? It so reeks of Indian societal stereotype...I have not done all of the above but some of it > HELL yeah. Did I ever have an option? In doing all or probably even 60% of these, a non-descript guy like me plays the game, gets fairly good at it (or so I belive it to be!) and then brushes everything under the carpet by saying "Oh, how I love competing".

Along came alcohol > some extrenmely beautiful women, wherever you all are > I love you all. We have fought but no problem lets just kiss it away. Work came along, where you say, I created this idea before him. I am faster than him/her. I am the youngest to have done this. I conceptualised it! The only idea of going up is to pull others down.

Along came mobile phones and we started saying for the first time "mine is smaller than yours" (not in so many clear words). Technology development killed this urban mega trend, but the competitive spirit never died. Then came reservations, where for the first time there is a mad race to the bottom - WOW what an idea to build a progressive knowledge economy!

Keep moonlighting, because we want a society mired in "mine is bigger than yours" syndrome.

OK I quit. I am unhappy about something that I am not able to put my finger on.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

More on Branding

When I read the above title in one go, it reads like "Moron Branding". That is not how I want it to sound, but my crippled vocabulary can't conjure up anything better. I truly believe in the power of brands, for the uninitiated my understanding of the word 'brand' is not limited to the label I sport or the ones those are brandished on the sidewalk. Brand to me is an *intangible psychological undercurrent* it just lives in people's mind. I am yet to meet someone who knows the 'whys' and the 'hows' of this equation.

When I was 13-14 months old in my career, I was meeting one of my very close friend after a long time. During the conversation my passion for brand brimmed over and I remarked "it is so important to be associated with a positive brand in all walks of life". Corollary of which is, your personal brand should always have a positive ring to it. Considering she was a student of MBA in Brand Management, I expected her to echo my thoughts but I should have known better. BOOM comes the retort "see Vinna, I know you are passionate about certain things but you got to explain". Ha ha.. vivid examples are my forte :

Example #1 : You walk into a store to buy a loaf of bread. On the shelf there is a nameless (read un-branded) loaf and then there is Britannia...which loaf will you pick up? Britannia is the answer.

I ran into a similar situation sometime ago where one of my colleague exhibited a nonchalant attitude towards the word "brand". Now, I had to come out with a really solid example because she has got a really thick skin (Kaziranga Rhino anyone?..).

Example #2 : Your parents are looking to get you married off to a nice guy. Parents always wish good things for their kids...right? After passing all the gruelling tests of their daughter's likes and dislikes, they have two potential matches for their lovely daughter. One works for Microsoft and the other works for 'Notsosoft' making lot of hard money. I asked her, "do you want to take a guess whom your parents would choose?"

Just four alphabets, that is all it takes! Rest assured I can give more extreme examples.

Blog number 50 UP! The regulars - Please leave a note and enlarge this wannabe writer's ego.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Missing the Woods for the Trees?

Hutch bought over by Vodafone > Vodafone engages itself in a high profile nationwide branding excercise. Fair, any business worth its existence should care a lot about its brand, end of the day it is their image! Lot of money spent but the exercise is worth its while.

Call their customer service, visit their website, check them out on mass media, billboards in the city you name it > all re-branded. But, the name of the network/service provider that is being displayed on my phone still reads 'Hutch'. Someone, somewhere in Vodafone has not done his/her homework right.

Find Mr. Fixit..sooner the better especially when you are entering a new market as big as India. I concede we don't live in a perfect world. But then one should stick to the basics and do the basics right.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Opinionated Rules

What I like about rules : *Rules* bring in discipline, *Rules* reinforce a structure, *Rules* are like the guiding light and *Rules* are needed.

What I loathe about rules : Oh man, I am going straight for the jugular. Human beings are far too resourceful and they will find a loophole in any *rule*. We are error prone and we can never write a 100% loophole proof *rule*. Loopholes are important as well, as they form the basis for refinement of the existing *rules*. More than anything, I would just want to see if I can get away with finding loopholes in all the *rules* that I have to follow. The sketch that you see on top right of this page is my attempt at finding a loophole in one of the many *rules* I have to follow.

------------------ ----------------------

I work for this brand conscious company - Freeze moment : 'V' for Vain, 'V' for Vinayakan. This company is just hyper sensitive about its brand value getting tarnished. Something like, if you fart in public - do whatever - we don't care, but don't tell anyone that you work with us! Sorry fellows, I have to make this *rule* up as I can not let out one of your original *rules* because I have to comply with your other set of *rules*. All employees are bound by *rules* to not write the company name, use its logo in any of their personal blogs. What if, one fine day this company decides to let loose all of its passionate employees on cyberspace. Aren't they are off to a flying start, 50,000+ brand ambassadors straight away. If the company isn't sure whether its employees are passionate or not , it is a different story altogether.

In a globalised world (we have just scratched the surface) two things have to move with complete disregard to the boundaries that are created by *rules*. Those are People & Thoughts.

*Rules* are important so are policies but don't be paranoid about the whole damn thing. Ironically, the spanking new state of the art building that I have moved into couple of months ago is not branded yet! So much for managing the brand image on cyberspace with some *rules*.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

One Up On Twenty20

Last time India won the World Cup I was 11 months old. Hell yes it has been a long wait, so what if it is in the newest format of the game?
Days of Fifty50 cricket are numbered. Twenty20 is the way to the future and if ICC is looking to globalise the game then they have got their formula right. India has a head start in this format and that makes me feel pretty damn good.
Is MSD a good captain? Is this side fielding like hungry tigers? Perhaps too soon to call.

Friday, August 10, 2007


What a moment it was when Anil Kumble completed his first test hundred today at the Brit Oval. I have been following cricket very closely since 1989 and it was easily the most romantic moment on the cricket field that I have witnessed.
Here is a gentleman cricketer who never had the talent. All he had was his "never say die" attitude and his willingness to work hard. Somehow we human beings always get romanced by talent very easily. But talent in most cases flatters to deceive. Talent is a gift as well as a curse. Blessed are those who are able to make it work.
Anil Kumble's batting may not be very pleasing to the eye of a purist..but it proved to be pretty damn effective. Keep on batting in this free world, you smiling assassin and please pass on your grit and determination to the next generation of Indian cricketers, we need it badly.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

And it happened...I mean Divine Intervention

Alright, I know there are plenty of atheists out there.

Roughly 10 days ago my dad was down with viral fever. The usual stuff (read high fever, body ache, weakness, congestion and the like). As it is highly contagious, my mom went down with viral fever 6 days ago. 3 days ago on a sunny Tuesday morning, I wake up with severe cold, congestion, body ache and all the typical viral fever symptoms.

This cocky mind of mine is just not ready to give into the thought of lying on the bed for a week with fever and do nothing, so I go to work wearing my exuberant hat. Just an hour before the end of the day I am running a pretty high fever and my colleagues are like "Vinayakan, you need a break...let this damn viral fever be the excuse". I say to myself "OK you arrogant idiot, party is over, time is up, rest it is". I come home and slip into Rapid eye movement (REM) sleep....'Dreamlessness' is something I have not experienced, whether I am sleeping or not is extremely irrelevant.

I am fascinated by rivers since the day I was born, right from Colorado to Kavery to Ganga, same with dams - Hoover to Mettur to Tehri. In my dream I take a holy dip in the mythical Brahmaputra River. Viola..when I wake up, I am fresh as a daisy!

Ah my darling science, can you explain someone recovering from viral fever overnight by taking a holy dip and that too while dreaming? Forget it, it is a rhetorical question, don't even try answering it.

Hey atheists, there is divine intervention out there too!

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Chronicles of Vinayakan - I

I will be 25 this July 18. I thought I am headed for a quarter life crisis, but things just seem to be getting better. Really keen to recap some of the Highlights, lowlights, defining moments, shocking moments of my life till date.

Ladies and Gentlemen, here I roll :

Addition to the millennial clan - July 1982.

Thread ceremony - Didn't have a clue with what was happening. Those Vedic mantras were flying thick and fast - 1989.

Paatshaala - Seven year old Spartan sent away from family for 10 months to learn Yajur Veda - - 1989 to 1990.

Placed a rupee coin, stones on the railway track in my village backyard (my brother an able and willing accomplice) - I still have the flattened rupee coin in my wallet - 1991, my first crime.

Learnt five chapters of Bhagavat Gita - 1992 to 1993.

Hooked to an average of two newspapers a day, took to reading with a vengeance - 1993 till date.

Cricket years - It was all about timing and deception. Some match winning knocks, great saves and catches in there - 1995 to 1999, but very poor captaincy record. Too aggressive to inspire the best out of the team. Tendulkar is always there, but I always aspired to have Mark Waugh's silken grace and timing.

First letter published in the newspaper - May 1998. Some more follow over the years but guilty of not doing justice to this innate ability.

Chose hotel school over business economics and journalism and then got beaten up by seniors in college - All in the name of ragging/personality development program - August 1999, real low point of my life.

My good friends succumbed to peer pressure and meted out the same treatment to my juniors. I took a stand and did not repeat what my seniors did to me - Am I sounding boastful, yes you read it right. Stood up for something that I believed in, showed character for the first time in my life, when nobody was watching. In the process influenced couple of other guys to take a stand - August 2000.

Met Ankur Chopra & Saurabh Desai - 1999 - Close pals

My first bottle of beer - September 1999

Peeing from Hostel terrace after getting drunk - October 1999 - April 2002

Left ear pierced - March 2000

Suspended from college for 9 days - August 2001 - All hell broke loose. Caught in the hostel terrace for drinking Old Monk - Sounds absurd but it happened, maybe the person who suspended me never had Old Monkies.

WTC 9/11 - It affected all of us in some way or the other...Right?

Graduation from hotel school, no job in hand - April 2002 - What a shame.

Faced Vikram Oberoi for my first job's interview and cleared it - May 2002 - What a highlight.

Worked with some incredibly passionate professionals at The Oberoi Amarvilas and learnt first hand what world class service is all about : 2002 - 2004.

Indian - American girl grabbed me at the hotel, she was hot and she had a piercing eye contact - But me too naive, uptight and professional to make the next move - July 2002 - What a miss.

Met Kumarmangalam Birla - Fantastic human being - March 2003.

Met Raju Panjwani - I got inspired, ask me how and why? - August 2003.

Met Bob Willumstud - Politely refused a big tip - Do not remember the month and year.

Met David Cote, put the Mughal cap on his head - Do not remember the month and year.

Met Chris Tucker - Funny guy - I think it was November 2003.

Caught and jailed for 3 hours by railway flying squad for ticket less travel between Delhi & Agra - November 2003.

Change of Job - I am a taxpayer - January 2004.

Bike accident - got seven stitches and a scar for lifetime - July 2004.

My first credit card, American Express it is - September 2004.

Close, trusted friend makes a move on me - Wanted to save our friendship but at the same time did not want to get ass fucked. What a predicament, but achieved both - March 2004.

My first car - November 2004.

Scratched the blogosphere - November 2005.

Interviewer calls me 'cocky', ironically still chooses me for the job. I say 'no' and move on - December 2005.

Nailed a credit card fraudster - when there is a will there is a way - January 2006.

Sleep paralytic attack - April 2006, suffered it for 5 months without knowing the scientific explanation.

Beat a Mercedes CLS 350 with my humble hatchback - Automobile history created! Well alright, this guy was a lousy driver and I knew the road and my car better. At the same time I realise one can't win Tour de France with Tobu cycle.

Right ear pierced - Wannabe Me - May 2007.

Hindi proverb when translated reads like this:

"To appreciate the brilliance of a diamond, one needs special set of eyes and not everyone is blessed with those set"

So am I a diamond? Not just yet...

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Future lens

A conversation between a Jat and a Brahmin

Jat : What will you do in your retired life?
Brahmin : Hmmm...have not decided yet.
Jat : Let me suggest you, you have earned a lot of wealth, fame etc. You may want to buy a plot in a village in Haryana. And if you do that I will gift you three buffaloes. You can wash them, clean them, feed them, milk them and just disconnect yourself from this world. This should probably keep you busy for the most part of the day. It will also be a good exercise for you in your old age.
Brahmin : Oh my...he could not control his laughter. He neither agrees or disagrees but just laughs it away.

Point of reference or point of view can make such a difference!
In the conversation above, for a Jat, taking care of buffaloes is the greatest thing he can do on earth and he takes immense pride in the entire process. But whereas for a Brahmin, I am so sure he would have been taunted by his parents in his childhood that if he does not study well, he will be herding the buffaloes later on in life. Trust me, I have heard it and I surely will not mind milking buffaloes in a village in Haryana in my retired life. That is 35+ years from now..and that sure is long range planning! Moot point here is, what is wrong with herding buffaloes? It just needs a shift in point of view.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Heightened Sense of Being!

People resist the unusual..*I* included.
I have people asking me why I use '*' instead of " in my written communication. Here is why: " was used when only hand written communication was possible, whereas we guys, the *Millennials* are more of a keyboard generation than hand written. Don't get me started on how many times the fountain pen created fountains on my school uniform and in the semi-automatic washing machine(besides my mom's temper). She is on her way to Bangalore right now to be with her elder son. Aaah..the word *Bangalore* does not score a home run with my American friends..because it is unusual for them, I love them for their business acumen though. *Strategy* does not score a six with my Indian friends, because it is unusual for them, I love them for their compassion though. *Jack Welch* is a grumpy old man for incompetent people world over because the name is unusual for them. Umm...Do I love them at all?
*Heightened sense of being* is the state; when I see it all....see it so clearly, give me excess of it. Guess what, my friends call me drunk because it is unusual for them to see a control freak loosing control!

Saturday, May 05, 2007


Fringe benefits of having your friend working as a Bar Manager in a five star hotel.
  • Different types of beer from different parts of the world.
  • Endless tasting sessions of fine wines, single malts and scotch whiskey.
  • Bartender doing pyrotechnics exclusively for you even when there are 150 other people in the bar.
Among other things, I was able to use the Wi-Fi network and it rocks. Think about it, no clumsy LAN cables, no broken clips, endless mobility.
I am so tempted to imagine a world where even electricity can be supplied without any wires. No dug up roads, no damage after natural disasters(cyclones, earthquake etc.), no transmission costs/wastage, no power thefts.

Yielding Enough?

Not in the high rollers club yet so I travel economy class. On my way to Bangalore there were twelve business class seats that were vacant. And on my way back from Chennai, business class was doing no-business..again. Interestingly none of the 180 economy class seats were vacant. I think the airlines can spend some thought and make these vacant seats earn some revenue, customer loyalty and the like for them.

What if, when the airline staff is issuing boarding passes to economy travelers, they pitch for upgrading them to business class at a nominal charge. If there are frequent flyers in economy class they should be given preference. They just need to hit a fairly easy success rate of 6.6% to fill up all the business class seats.(12/180*100). Once business class is taken care of, offer the 12 now-vacant economy class seats to last minute travelers at a premium. Of course, there can be million other combinations that airlines can work upon to ensure that all the seats in a plane does and means business.

These days when all the airlines are crying about high fuel prices, low margins etc. they need to first understand that a little bit of homework on their part will go a long way in helping their cause.

Opportunity missed is opportunity lost...right?

Starry Eeared

I run into this question often, I hate answering it and Burj al-Arab is responsible for my hatred. Yes, the luxury hotel in United Arab Emirates(we get to see its photographs in the newspaper often). When the construction of the hotel was completed, it was an architectural wonder(it still is) and it was a white elephant in many respects. To make the hotel a profitable business proposition, stakeholders needed an aggressive, never-heard-in-the-industry marketing plan. In order to deliver that, they marketed it as "the world's first seven-star hotel".

Cut right to the chase: I meet people in personal and professional life & I love talking about my days spent in the hotel. I have learnt so much in my stint there that I simply can write an EPIC(read Evolving Personal Information Construct). Once we converse about the luxe lifestyle and the like, *they* pop the burning question. "Did you work in a seven star hotel?". Hell 'No', I did not, it was just a marketing gimmick which worked way better than it was expected to work. Sometime ago The Grand Maratha Sheraton in Mumbai ran a ripped-off version of the same marketing gimmick to launch the hotel.

As far as I know, there are no hotel rating governing body, nowhere in the world which gives a seven-star rating to any hotel, anywhere. But these days with *we* blaming aliens for even our pet's digestive problems, the truth might just be 'out there' - tongue firmly in cheek!

P.S : (1) I did not work with Burj al-Arab (2) Aliens did not abduct and sodomize me. Ha ha ha...

Sunday, April 15, 2007

I got César-ed

"Never say no when a client asks for something, even if it is the moon. You can always try, and anyhow there is plenty of time afterwards to explain that it was not possible"
- César Ritz

Not too long ago I used to live and die by the name above. I still believe there will never be a hotelier like him ever again, yes César Ritz nick named, "King of Hoteliers, and Hotelier to the Kings'.

Cut right to the chase, we are having a beer party on a Friday evening at a friends place. My friend yells 'César', 'César'..I am like "What the!?"..and there emerges a handsome cross breed between an Alsatian and a Pomeranian.


On and Off I keep reading in newspapers about scientist in NASA to have found traces(or they suspect it to be traces) of water vapour in atmosphere of some celestial object 200 light years way. Hmm...great news but what is the relevance? Water is absolutely necessary for our(read Earth's) survival, but that may not true for all the other life forms which I am sure, exists somewhere, out there. Then, why focus space exploration only in search of water alone? Isn't it like putting blinders on when you are in an expedition?

There could be a 'life' form which is superior/inferior to us and has a different set of requirements for its survival. What if it survives on breathing Nitrogen, Carbon-di-oxide or some element which we are not even aware of?

I am no scientist and I want to keep things rank basic. Educated opinion says that Universe is so huge that even Sun is a tiny dot in it. Think about Mother Earth which is even smaller. It will be so naïve for us to believe that life can survive only if there is water, oxygen, optimum solar energy, photosynthesis and the like.
Added on April 29, 2010
Search for water has definitely got to do with 'colonising' the celestial body so that its livable for earthlings. This is seriously bad intent.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Call for Overhaul

"Success has many godfathers, failure is an orphan!"
-J.F. Kennedy
Clobbered in the Caribbean, another one bites the dust. I heard some soundbites from my friends..."screw Rahul", "sack Greg Chappell", "play kabaddi now", "no hope", "its fixed". Is anybody listening?

For consistency, it is essential that we get 11 clinical men on the field. As things are right now we have a billion plus emotional people outside the field. Well...results are there for everyone to see, our World Cup campaign started on March 17 and it sank to abysmal depths on March 23. Media men, ex-cricketers all are calling for 11 new players and let me assure you, even if we do that the results are not going to be magical. A Tendulkar here, a Dravid & Ganguly there can only bring you moments of magic and not sustained brilliance/dominance in the sporting arena. Sporting glory(or for that matter any kind of 'glory') and discipline walk hand in hand. Poster *boys* are not the *men* for the job.

We have to plan fearlessly and execute remorselessly.. Form a National Sports Academy(NSA), I am fully aware it sounds dangerously close to National Defence Academy(NDA), but that is what we need. We need a regimental approach. I repeat regimental approach. For all this, the money has to come initially from BCCI(yes even for other sports), because it has to pay the price for marketing cricket to the billions without any results. And NSA should go on irrespective of which government is in power. At the outset we need to pick handful of sports that has the maximum fan following globally..Football, Lawn Tennis, Golf, Tour De France, Hockey, Chess, Formula 1 and Cricket for the obsessed billions.

Pick just few kids from orphanages from across the country. Ideal age should be less than five years. Hire the best trainers, coaches from anywhere in the world where they are available and blood new talent right from childhood for all the above mentioned sports. Give them the best, intense training. Manufacture lean, mean sporting machines on an assembly line. Have a 'rank' and 'yank' approach where there is no room for emotions. Cut out all the regional politics that goes behind team selections (Not too long ago a disgruntled individual in Orissa had hit Greg Chappell for not selecting Debashish Mohanty and Shiv Sundar Das! Educated opinion says, even these two do not possess any magic wand) Remember I am hinting at kids from orphanages who have no regional identity, no family background..Their only purpose of existence should be to bring sporting glory home. Also if the 'orphans' do not do well, angry fans have no homes to attack back home, which at best is a big distraction and nothing else.

With the current set up we have for sports in India do not expect anything spectacular for at least another 15-20 years. Mismatch between the public expectation and the competence of the people in the middle is ubiquitous. Olympics come and go, world cups come and go, reams and reams of newsprint is wasted but there are no medals/cups in the cabinet. I guess I am wasting a lot of cyberspace now. Passing thought..There is only one road to become a champion. Performance, performance...every time.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Rocking Posers!

What an oxymoronic title this one. Cut 'oxy' and you have 'Posers' who are absolutely 'moronic'!

In life we come across 'Rockers' & 'Posers'. I define 'Rocker' as someone who gets things done, makes *it* happen and does not make a big deal about it. I mean getting *it* done is his/her second skin. 'Rockers' by nature care less about brownie points. Aaah brownie points they call for a separate essay...As for 'Posers' - well less said the better.

Alright I funnel it down to our work life. The 3 types that we meet in workplace

Type 1: Absolutely sure of what they want, absolutely sure of their self worth. Before they start anything they have a clear picture of the outcome in their mind. They usually are ahead of their time and because of this very reason they make a lot of unwanted and unknown enemies - 'Rocker' is the breed. I aspire to be a 'Rocker', I know the road is long and hard but I will give my all to get there. If not anything, I will be satisfied that I at least tried...

Type 2: Slow of the blocks, unsure of what they want, do not understand the meaning of self worth, have a vague picture of the outcome. It is actually not their fault as these attributes are not in place because of the limited exposure they have had. All the right qualities can be inculcated in their DNA, what they need is the right coach, right mentor, right godfather! If they get timely attention/help they become 'Rockers'.

Type 3: Oh my God! they are basically 'Posers'. They pretend as if they are the blue eyed boys of the company, who make the needle move. They use office equipments, stationery, time and telephone for personal use with least bit of shame for all unofficial purposes. I consider it unethical. Try questioning them on these and their line of defence would be, "Oh this is a benefit/perk of the job"(Isn't it like an icing on a stale cake with a nice red cherry on top? Cynical, rhetoric me). For them coming to work is a mundane chore that they have to do in their life to get by. In an unfortunate/unlikely situation where they become bosses, a 'Poser' usually sucks up and kicks down. If you have a 'Poser' boss do not worry, the day he/she gets a 'Rocker' as their boss, they will be sorted out.

All said and done this is my opinion(I have an opinion everything, mind you). It is an opinion of a grungy, wannabe 'Rocker', so does anyone really care?

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Indianised.. Punctuality

I am extremely particular about respecting others time and I expect the same in return. With no intention of blowing my own trumpet I would say the number of times I get disappointed are not few. Time is money, time is precious & time is not a renewable resource...In a 24 hour day every small delay here and there adds up. I am quite sure Indians as a demographic group can be singled out for absolute contempt for time. Why? for the life of me..Why? As if that is not enough one should see us beaming with pride whenever the acronym IST is thrown about..Indian Stretchable Time..Shouldn't we all take a hard look in the mirror and be ashamed of ourselves? Scheduled meetings never start on time, files do not move, construction of bridges/roads are delayed, implementation of plans never happen on time, court cases get postponed time after time. The are numerous examples and it is not humanly possible to count them all. Let me stop this tirade....and lets Indianise punctuality....
Way back in 1996 a prominent German firm's manager took control of its India operations. He was one of the best the company had and failure was not an option. In the beginning he would turn up for all social get together with the trademark German precision. For example if the party was at 2100 hrs, he will be there smack on the dot, only to find the embarrassed host still in the shower! Times changed he got a a little 'Indianised'. Fast forward to 2006....the firm is performing really well. He decides to host a party and the party starts at, well you guessed it, 2100 hrs. His Indian guest turn up at 2125-2130 hrs only to find him still in the shower!
I am baffled...instead of learning good habits from others we are teaching bad habits to others

Saturday, February 10, 2007

De rigueur

Reading books is de rigueur...
Education for all is de rigueur...
Embracing 'change' is de rigueur...
Better Infrastructure is de rigueur...
Chilling out on weekends is de rigueur...
This season, wearing woolens is de rigueur...
Better tax regime in India today is de rigueur...
Sadly, a mobile phone these days is de rigueur...
In organizations, being politically correct is de rigueur...
Commanding respect more than demanding it is de rigueur...
Investing time in a relationship more than money is de rigueur...
Being ruthlessly passionate about attaining your dreams is de rigueur...
Elimination of the 'RED Brigade' from India's political theatre is de rigueur...
Contributing to the "India Wave" for the larger good of the world is de rigueur...
Saying personal things and loading it with "do not take it personally" is de rigueur...

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Action Packed

Things that capture imagination...they happen un-announced and that precisely is the beauty of it. Monday, I was thinking I will exclusively make a blog post for the words that I have learnt new but not got an opportunity to use. Time Warp, Psychobabble, Brand Slut, Laundry Virgin, Past Master, Vertigo to list a few.

Tendulkar scores his 41st hundred, his knock pretty much sealed the match in the first 50 overs itself. His baiters will remain quiet for two more matches and then their tongues will wag again. Let me predict, it will be "he is not making enough runs, he should manage his restaurant business or do some advertisements in between". Tongues are meant to wag and Tendulkar's bat is meant to talk. I am glad it talks to the cricket ball alone.

100 years ago another tongue wagged. "Do you mean to say that Tatas propose to make steel rails to British specifications? Why, I will undertake to eat every pound of steel rail they succeed in making" - Sir Frederick Upcott (Chairman, Board of Indian Railways, in 1907 when Tatas proposed to make steel). Post Tata's takeover of Corus(ex-largest British steelmaker) I am sure Sir Upcott will be turning in his grave. He need not eat steel rails, he can eat his own words for the time being. He may upgrade to steel rails once he succeeds in digesting his own words...tough ask that one!

Between wagging tongues and learning new words I sneaked in some time to learn+play sudoku. I prefer playing it online at, try it you will like it too! If not anything it lets the logical juices flow freely.

Last but not the least, I learnt water boils at 212 degree Farenheit. I knew it along it was 100 degree in Celcius. Checkout this 212 degree inspiring video. Go on get inspired!

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Boss Tales

Annual performance review time and I really should not be writing this posting unless I want to commit a career limiting move. Let's call my boss Sabu(Diamond comics, Chacha Choudhary anyone..?) I am calling him Sabu with a reason. He has the same hairstyle, pretty much the same built and he is quite disciplined about getting things done. Put Chacha Choudhary's intelligence and Sabus's frame together you have a clear picture in front of your eyes of my boss. The fact that he does not roam around in black underwear like Sabu does is a different story altogether.
Here is a conversation, just when he is getting ready to go home on a foggy winter evening
Vinayakan : Sabu, what is happening with my annual rating?
Sabu : Do you fancy a good rating?
Vinayakan : Oh sure I fancy(under my breath, like I have always fancied Bo Derek)
Sabu : Not in so many clear words "we will discuss this later"
Vinayakan : Threatening tone "Boss you better tell me what it is now, or you will be risking a broken window pane, before you get home"

Jokes apart and ignore the word Sabu. This a real conversation that happened between me and my boss. How many bosses have spine enough to create this kind of an atmosphere? or how many even try to sincerely create one? Rare breed indeed. I am lucky and yes I am going to make the most of it.