go and vote

September 22, 2008

Flashback- While chairing the school’s election committee, I came up with some ads urging people to vote-

  • Vote- it is not your duty, it is your right
  • Everytime you skip voting, everyone gets a spam email.
  • Vote, and make yourself heard
  • If you can spend 2 mins trying to choose between BigMac and Whooper, you can spend a few more mins and vote for someone who stands for you.
  • If you can spend 2 mins to decide on HotOrNot.com, you can spend a few more mins and vote for someone who stands for you.
  • Research has proven that women find men who recently voted more attractive
  • Vote, or be prepared for the butterfly effect
  • Voting is a product of evolution, dont be left behind with the primates.
  • “Voting- so easy, even a caveman can do it” Just go to ..(url)..

No time? or Not a priority?

September 10, 2008

“I was busy, hence I couldnt do that”

“I didnt have time to check my email/voicemail”

“I was too busy to call/meet/come”

The above reasons can be tagged as “bullshit“.

We all agree with your highness that a day is limited to 24 hours, and there is only so much a human can achieve in that span, and that your resources and energy are limited as well. We also appreciate the fact that your highness has his hands full keping him busy.

But when something is not possible in your time domain, please do not attribute it to you being busy- it just makes you sound like a snob (I could as well say sob).

The actual reason(s) are one or all of the following-

  • I am bad at time management and I couldnt allocate enought time for that, and hence missed it.
  • It just isnt/wasnt my priority and I had more important thing(s) to do at that moment, hence I chose to ignore or procastinate on that.

Putting up a veil of helplessness (I am too busy, blah) doesnt help anyone, on the contrary, it makes the other person sound inconsequential, as if that person didnt have anything better, who had loads of time and hence made the guffaw of contacting your highness. If I can make an effort to take out a few mins to contact you, you have the minimum courtesy to reciprocate, or worst, atleast acknowledge the fact that you are incompetent and didnt feel like prioritizing it over watching the rerun of Seinfeld.

BTW, I had the time to make this post. My not-so-frequent posting (or responding to comments) here never means that I have no time, it just means- I have nothing worthwhile to say.

I rest my case. I am now back to room temperature.

links in a chain

April 8, 2008

Various links in a chain exist for strength (or information) to be passed on from one end to the other. The elements in between are not mere transporters, i.e., they should not just blindly pass on the packets but “attempt” to process them. Why? So that a) junk gets filtered and b) the next person (most probably an expert and more experienced) needs to process less to find the solution to the problem quickly.

In an organization, when a hierarchy exists, not every small issue gets escalated to the topmost.. they get processed, chopped, distributed so that the overall efficiency of the group as a whole increases.

Same is with chain forwards: one should not blindly forward emails just because it is easier to hit the forward button, but if he/she takes a mere 2 seconds to see if it makes sense (or is genuine), a lot of headache is reduced. Now why would I spend that time to process when I could just pass it on, what do I gain? The goodwill is reciprocated.

This rambling stemmed from the way I sometimes see issues getting escalated (say in a corporate scenario or library) without proper inputs from the various hands it passes: since when was the issue existing, what might have triggered it, who else has seen this etc etc.

When a patient goes to a doctor, he gives various hints (symptoms, etc) for the doc to analyze. He doesnt just lie on the examination table expecting miracles to happen. The more the info, the better the results. And that makes us humans rather than just iron links in a chain.


September 26, 2007


Inspired by Rads’ fables, this is my 2nd shot at writing fiction. I have a
special prize for survivors.

PS: My first exptl foray can be found in the creative section here (no one can read just one!).


He is sitting there with a dim bulb shining over his bald head. He is writing
something into his notebook. He reads it out loudly.

“Dear God,

I have sinned, badly.

Ever since I was a baby, I found a magnetic attraction for lies. It was my first
love and it meant more than anything or anybody.

Babies are supposed to be inherently pure, with no adulteration from the dirty
world outside. But that is about others. This is me. I started feigning bruises
and pain to get more love from my mom, I faked hunger to get attention, I faked
results to get respect. What role did society have in shaping me like this? They
were nothing more than cheering spectators. They joined in my celebrations,
showered accolades, but never evaluated if what I did was right or wrong.
Ofcourse, who has so much time. This is a need-based society, and in the end
everybody was happy.. except me.

During my adoloscent years, I worked my way up and mastered this art. I was
impressed by my own powers. I was feeding a monster.

Initially, lies were more in number, though they were innocent lies which got me
through situations that were demanding. Then as I grew, I took larger bets and
took upon big lies (and less in number). Now that I have graduated having mastered
this sinfully addictive art, I have numbed myself.

I speak lies without giving a second thought. I lie as smoothly as I would blink,
breathe or walk. I have lost the ability to distinguish a lie from truth, I can’t stop myself from lying
because it is residing within me at the genetic levels.

I have lost touch with myself. Myself.. who am I? no idea, what do I like? no
idea, what are my likes and dislikes? no idea, I have lost my personality. I have lost myself. I know more about others than about me. I do not exist. Others see me, but I cant see myself.

Have you seen the Pretender? I am something like that. I adapt myself to a
particular profession or personality to get my work done. What is that thing I am
working for or what am I aiming for? no idea, I just need a reason to lie. Just a
reason. I am addicted to it. It is a spiral vacuuum that has sucked me in.

Well, now I have paid my price. And I am here.

But seriously God, I have sinned, and I feel guilty and sorry for that…. And this
is my last lie.

-Rob Squire


Lights gradually brighten, revealing his orange jumpsuits and prison cell. He stands
up, bows and gets a standing ovation from the audience.

While driving back home, he thinks “atleast Rob got a chance to say it out loud.
Will I?” just when he gets a call regarding the role for a psych-thriller movie
project. He shrugs his shoulders and moves on saying “All part of an actor’s
life.. ya right..”

Are you happy?

February 17, 2007

Before going about answering the question, like a good philosopher-with-nothing-much-to-do-on-friday-afternoon, let us disect and define “happiness”.Happiness could be event-specific, like graduating makes me happy, getting a high paying job makes me happy, running behind women makes me unhappy, but making them run behind me makes me happy, and so on..

Hence, by asking this simple question, what the questioner meant to ask was the sum of all these.. happiness of an event is “+1” state (or 1 haps, haps being the unit of happiness), unhappiness a “-1” state (-1 haps), and not having any feeling is “0” state (0 haps, for someone like me who has lost sensitivity). Point to note: max points for any given single event is +/-1.

This question was asked to several individuals all around the world, and the results are pretty interesting. The study can be found here and the results are here(pdf), and links were found via this. Now that I have cleared myself regarding the references, let us proceed. (This sounds like a cookery show, right? Now let us add some salt and heat it for 5 mins..)

The ranking of the twenty happiest countries is:

1) Denmark 2) Switzerland 3) Austria 4) Iceland 5) The Bahamas 6) Finland 7) Sweden 8. Bhutan 9) Brunei 10) Canada

Next 10 are: Ireland, Luxembourg, Costa Rica, Malta, The Netherlands, Antigua and Barbuda, Malaysia, New Zealand, Norway, The Seychelles.

Other notable players: USA (23), France (62), China (82) Japan (90), India (125) and Russia (167)

  • If we notice, this has nothing particular to do with money. Though they are pretty rich (by they, I mean the toppers) but the richest havent taken the top spots.
  • A country’s size seems to matter a bit (size does matter? though Canada is an exception here). We can conclude that it is easier to keep a smaller group happy than trying to get the 1billion+ poplulation happy (pretty obvious). With regards to India and Russia, this quote from the article sums it up: “..it is interesting to note that larger populations are not associated with happy countries..

So, money isnt THAT important, inspite of the fact that all of our lives seem to be driven by, revolving around and pre-occupied with money? The article says this about UK (ranked 41): “A recent BBC survey found that 81% of the (UK) population think the Government should focus on making us happier rather than wealthier“.

Japan is 3rd largest economy in the world (after USA and China, based on PPP) yet nose-dived to 90th posiiton in terms of happiness. Bhutan is much much happier with its minuscle economy yet strong Budhist+hinduism roots.. Peace loving countries like Switzerland and Canada are much happier, again, no surprise.. As the article goes on to say “Further analysis showed that a nation’s level of happiness was most closely associated with health levels, followed by wealth, and then provision of education.”

BTW, The three least happy countries were:

176. Democratic Republic of the Congo
177. Zimbabwe
178. Burundi

Now, keeping your nationality apart, how happy are you? An Indian living in US does not get a rank of (125+23)/2 (maybe is should be 125+23, hmmn and if you are/were stung by grad life, you might be too naive to even comprehend the concept of happiness, leave alone participating in the poll.. may we suggest Hell?)

ads: the ‘human touch’

October 22, 2006

The original ad:

The desi adapted version of the ad, though done equally well (for a diff. product):


September 21, 2006


Now that we started on a comic note (thanks to a comment at Slashdot and Yahoo comics), let us get to the serious picture: Cheating.

Reuters has this story today, where about 5300 grads in US and Canada were polled about cheating behaviour (in academic side, not spousal cheating) and the stats were highly inclined with Business grads being the most notorious!! Surprise! (as if..) with a staggering 56% people admitting to have done that. And compare that to Engineering grads with 54% (ahem, could we move on, please?)

[Edited on Ravi’s request, not that my views have changed, but still..]. The thoughts and comments resonate VERY much with what the study says towards the end (refer the ending of Reuters article):

“The typical comment is that what’s important is getting the job done. How you get it done is less important,” McCabe said. “You’ll have business students saying all I’m doing is emulating the behavior I’ll need when I get out in the real world.”

Hmmn, food for thought? or thought for food? (got the pun?) And these are our future bosses management peers. Beware, is the keyword. Adjust or perish.

Points to note: how many lied or were honest; lawyers lied less compared to engineers (huh?!!?); could this be generalised?