Friday, February 29, 2008

An Autopsy of Chidambaram's Briefcase - Budget 2008


For many a farmer, the FM has proven to be more than just a Finance Minister, he has been the Santa Claus in the white robes. Within hours of the Budget-08 being announced celebrations ensued outside 10, Janpath street. While it surely is the farmer's time to heave a sigh of relief over the 60,000 crore loan waiver, here's my take on what this budget might mean to the common man.


Proposal: Five year tax holiday for setting up hospitals in tier II and tier III regions for providing healthcare in rural areas from April 1, 2008.

Dont be surprised if many very good hospitals run by some of the most efficient corporates shift house to TIER II and III. My take : Coimbatore, Ahmedabad, Chandigargh, Mysore , Madurai, Jalandhar, Patna, Baroda and similar places will breed new medical conglomerates, making healthcare easily accessible to the common man. International medical companies,will eye theone billion population, majority of who are outside the Metros and provide for better facilities , in the countryside.

Proposal: Five year tax holiday for promoting cultural tourism.
I should expect more phone calls from the Country Club or Golden Palms telemarketing agency, offering a dirt cheap package for 2 ppl for 3 nights at Hampi or Thanjavur instead of the regular Goa or Shimla package. Interesting to know whether cab drivers dropping people from thier hotels to Meenakshi temple at Madurai can be classified as promoting cultural tourism.
My take: I think this is a loop hole for brats in the business to make some quick money. So much for cultural tourism.

Proposal: For women, the income tax limit goes up from Rs 1.45 lakh to Rs 1.80 lakh. In case of senior women citizens, it increases from Rs 1.95 lakh to Rs 2.25 lakh.

The annual after tax income of many wives will soon exceed their husbands' in the urban areas.
With cities like Bangalore , Pune and Noida clamouring female employees into their IT folds just as much as men, this could mean that it could be cheaper for the urban family to have the wife go to work and let the husband do the household chores. In rural India though, it might actually prompt an increase in the working population of women. My take: Unmarried guys in metros fill find it more difficult to impress their prospective brides with the paycheck!!

Proposal: New tax slabs will be: 10 per cent for Rs 1,50,000 to Rs 3,00,000, 20 per cent for Rs 3,00,000 to Rs 5,00,000 and 30 per cent above Rs 5,00,000.

The Income tax payer can now invest more and will have a considerable savings in the kitty after each year. My take: A good move for the regular guy who hasn't read "Rich Dad Poor Dad."

Proposal: Excise duty on small cars reduced to 12 per cent from 16 per cent and hybrid cars to 14 per cent.

Ok, now you can have that imported small car that you always dreamed of. And the Japanese hybrid cars will be more affordable. My take: Lesser traffic congestions and a clean environment!

Proposal: Cigarettes to be taxed more.

With the ever increasing rate of taxes on cigarettes, one might hope that active smokers will have to be content with passive smoking alone. My take: Will have no effect on smokers.Since when has the tax been able to change habits?

With debates ranging far and wide as to whether this was an "Aam Admi's Budget" or a Communally driven one (LK Advani actually thinks so!), this budget has surely created a sufficient stir. Whether this is merely a play of vote bank politics or not, will depend on whether Chidambaram can continue to stage a consistent GDP growth even in 2008, even after having made the common man, the "Aam Admi" happy!

Its LEAP year Again!!

Its February 29th again!! You get to see it only once in four years. One of those million things that seemed to puzzle me as a kid!It is interesting how as kids, certain things otherwise accepted (by adults) as obvious can seem utterly incomprehensible, and uselessly confusing!

I am sure anybody's childhood will have been strewn with several of these doubts, which remain still unanswered, but remain locked up in some compartment inside the brain and is prevented from surfacing itself in an adult world!
Here are some glimpses:
1. Why should the Febraury of a Leap year have 29 days?

If you thought that was a stupid question, think again (chances are that you are too old to admit it!) . Yes! the year is not exactly 365 days , but approximately 365.25 days and we compensate for the 0.25 days accumulated over 4 years, and gift the leap year one extra day! Fine so far. However that only poses furthur questions. Like

2. Why does a year have 365.25 days and not 365?,

I mean , is it not purely because each day is 24 hours and not 27 hours , or even better, cant we call 75 minutes as 1 hour instead of 60? thereby offsetting the 0.25 days error accumulating over four years period of time, in every hour. Interesting eh?

3. Why cant all months have equal number of days?

6th standard science would teach , that the Earth performs an elliptical motion around the sun, and not a perfectly circular motion. The velocity of motion being slower around the corners and faster when the distance to the sun is the closest. If that were true, the months that should be longer when the velocity of the earth were the slowest. But since that is not the case, and since convinience supercedes accuracy in all such cases (Probably in every single case!) , why cant we make it perfectly convinient and make a year having 12 months of 30 days each a total of 360 days, and furthur accomodate another 5 days by making each hour equal to 90 minutes instead of 75!

Just picture this , 1 hour = 90 minutes, 1 day =24 hours!,1 month = 30 days and 1 year =12 months. No leap years and no trouble with forgetting whether March has 31 days or 30!!

4. Why does the rainbow have 7 colors?

I mean , the rainbow has (with scientific certainity) all colors of the visible spectrum. Why then do we chose the 7 previliged colors alone? There is a color between Violet and Indigo and between Indigo and Green, why omit them and chose only 7 colors, more inconvinient with 7 being a prime number and our forefathers choosing 7 as the number of days in a week.Why cant we say the rainbow has 10 colors, Violet , VIndigo, Indigo, Ireen, Green ,blue, Blellow, Yellow , Orange and Red?That way our forefathers would have made 10 days a week and 3 weeks a month.

Wouldnt that be lovely? We could still have weekends 3 days long!! and still work for 21 days, as against the current 20!! 1 extra day of work and 1 extra day on a week end!!

Well! that wasn't to be!! we still live in a world with Leap years, 2 day week ends, and 20 days of work. Besides some months like February we get lesser weekends and lesser days to work. Funny Isn't it?



Thursday, February 28, 2008

Fallen Face on floor- still no dust on the chin!!

Amusingly, Harbajan reacting to the Hayden Radio controversy, concludes that the Australians are sledging a lot more because of Indian Cricket team's performance on feild. The Australians are now beginning to feel the heat!!

What is interesting is that , the pride of the Indian is restored by this remark that sounds too good to be true!! What on earth are we claiming to be proud about??

India Lost the Test series to Australia
India was shattered to defeat in the 20-20 series
India is way behind Australia, in the One day series

And still, we think we are doing too well!! So well that we have provoked Australia to resort to mind games and sledging to get back their lost glory!!

Lets take a different perspective. We all know that Harbhajan did actually abuse Symonds (or rather his mother!) in the infamous Sydney test. Thanks to the support of his team and BCCIs intervening, he got scot free!! Take 2: take a look at what Cricket Australia did to Hayden for having called Harbajan "an obnoxious weed" in an external radio interveiw. He was reprimanded and has been fined for it. Surprisingly Harbajan is already a hero back home! Instead of strongly punishing him for having behaved in a denigrating fashion BCCI has made him the crusader of Indian value system. Surely leaves a bad taste!

Sadly though, instead of trying to put things into order, the Indian is proud of his new found energy to fall out of line and defend himself by calling it the meek standing up against agression.
Symonds was bidded for 1.35MUSD in the IPL bidding, Bhajji himself raked up a lot of Cash. Anil Kumble the leading spinner for India barely manages to get half the amount of a bid! The message , however is extremely distrubing. " Controversy is Cash". The sad truth is that the common Indian kid watching all this , is bound to idolise Bhajji's fight , Srisanth's agression and Ishant's retort to Symonds and fail to admire Kumble's 500 wickets.

The new India must m need to learn to get mature, and know what to feel proud about! We desperately need to make sure that our phony pride will not bring us to a nasty fall! Whether it is a distaste to yellow journalism, or media sensationalisation we need to develop an outlook that is closer to the truth.

After all, falling face on the ground is not bad . As long as we can get up and dust the chin off. Surely far better than walking with dust on the chin, and pretending we didn't fall at all!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Inside the Cubicle but Outside the box

Cubicles in my opinion are the biggest deterants to constructive innovation in a company. Cubicles represent boxes and as long as one is to stay in his box, i guess there is very little chance that he can go out and think outside the box, go out and innovate!
The challenge however is to stick within the confines of ones cubicle (read as framework) and still manage to innovate. To be able to innovate has been,is now and will be absolutely necessary to remain on top. If one does not innovate, one needs to remember that the competition, trying to get on top all the time is sure to learn to do right things the new way!
The big question is how to strike a right balance to foster an environment that allows both pure innovation and experienced execution. While experience of the past teaches us how to do things rightly it becomes equally important to change things of experience regularly and consistently simply because the environment is ever changing consistently!
Some ideas one may use while inside his cubicle to allow innovation to co-exist within the framework.
1. Promote an environment of questioning.
Allow questions to lash out freely. Give peers and juniors the freedom to question seniors. Invent schemes to reward the questioning attitude. Promote a methodology of monthly feedback questionaires to circulate in the team. Questioning existing practices, will either help in reinforcing the confidence anybody might have on the practice, or discover new unanswered questions that can only be answered by a new innovation.
2. Reward Success and Failure equally, penalise inaction
Success is sometimes so sweet that it can easily blind the merits of a failure that may be an outcome of an innovative experiment. All good actions need not succeed. But not rewarding the failures will result in killing good ideas all together. Inaction on the other front needs to be penalised for it is not only highly unproductive , but is also moves you one step backward.
3. Avoid democracy in decision making
Not all "Good Ideas" are necessarily "most popular" . Allowing too much of democratic decision making can result in chipping off the odd but out of the way idea. Having a board room voting in making decisions may keep the voters happy, but innovation would just have been crushed.
Finally, " Innovation and art are not like boiled eggs. You can't have them made to order". One cannot fix a framework and system to mechanise and manufacture innovation. One cannot fix a target for the amount of innovation one can have in a company. The only thing that can be targetted is to allow to fix up an environment that can foster innovation. The rest shall still have to stick within the cubicle.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Bangalore on Cloud Nine.

The first flight from the much much awaited Bengaluru International Airport - Devanahalli will take off at 01:00 hrs on March 29th 2008. Probably one of the most busiest cities in South Asia, Bangalore- The Silicon Valley of India, will now have an airport, befitting its largely cosmopolitan status and status as a business hub of emerging India.
The Airport has drawn big names and carries a long history, envisaged in 1991, this airport will finally be a reality and has cost a whopping 19 Billion Indian Rupees as against an estimated 13 Billion Indian Rupees.
Finally passengers to or from Bangalore can heave a sigh of releif after having to go through a nearly tortuorous ordeal at the current airport at the HAL premises. While the current airport has been serving the ever growing number of passengers and aircrafts, it has by all means reached a brink of a serious collapse. Just about the right time the new airport at Devanahalli will cater to the largely corporate tinge of flyers.
With 2 runways, a fully airconditioned terminal, with seperate levels for arrivals and departure spread over a sprawling 4000 odd acres of land, the passengers will have little to complain.
The big question that however remains to be answered is whether Bangalore can hasten to attend to the infrastructure demand that will emerge to cater to passengers to travel 30kms from the city centre, whether by the much spoken about High speed trains to the airport,or better road facilities .

Monday, February 25, 2008

The Dusk of the "Fidel Castro" Era

'At the eve of the stepping down of a leader ,most revered and most hated, most idolised and most controversial, a leader of strong words and powerful actions, a leader immersed in a myriad marmalede of mystery and enigma, a leader of hearts and swords, after having led the minds of Cubans and other Latin Americans for 49 long years, the cubans are still wondering "after Castro what next"'.

Fidel Castro , President of Cuba from 1959 to 2008 ,49 long years of unquestioned leadership ,deciding to step down this Febraury 19th , will leave behind an era of powerful socialistic politics. The era of the Cold War has come to an end!
Fidel will be remembered for his agression. This excerpt of his letter to US president Roosevelt while he was barely 12 years of age will point to this fact.

"If you like, give me a ten dollar bill green American, because never, I have not seen a ten dollar bill," signing the letter, "Thank you very much. Good by . Your friend, Fidel Castro."

Undoubtedly being the strongest perpetuator of the Cuban revolution, and being the mastermind who crafted the fall of President Batista through a political coup , speaks from a prison a little before the actual coup, he doesn't mince words addressing Batista

"I warn you, I am just beginning! If there is in your hearts a vestige of love for your country, love for humanity, love for justice, listen carefully... I know that the regime will try to suppress the truth by all possible means; I know that there will be a conspiracy to bury me in oblivion. But my voice will not be stifled – it will rise from my breast even when I feel most alone, and my heart will give it all the fire that callous cowards deny it... Condemn me. It does not matter. History will absolve me."

Fidel has been internationally been a headline grabber, whether be his dictaorial figure or his intense distaste for capitalism as shown in this speech he makes to the Cubans in 1961.

"The revolution has no time for elections. There is no more democratic government in Latin America than the revolutionary government. ... If Mr. Kennedy does not like Socialism, we do not like imperialism. We do not like capitalism."

Castro has also been internationally the most targetted figure for assasination. The CIA in particularly has made several schemes to terminate the most popular figure of Latin America. Most of these have been documented in the book "638 ways to kill Castro" . Castro in him inimitable style once quips,


"If surviving assassination attempts were an Olympic event, I would win the gold medal."

Cuba ,however now needs a leader, (after Castro's stepping down) a leader who can cleverly steer Cuba through a planned economic reformation process. By all indications this leader will be his younger brother Raul Castro. Being the Latin American country with the strongest Communist ideology, this will be a real challenge for Raul.

But for as of now, a sigh of releif for the US and the CIA, and a goodbye to Fidel Castro.











Sunday, February 24, 2008

Every "NRI" has his day

Febraury 23rd will be celebrated by every NRI, in the US , for it having been the day , Senator Barack Obama lashed out a very PRO-INDIAN (read PRO- NRI) message in an interview by rediff for the "India Abroad".
read the complete message at:
His message however needs to be closely examined to understand the dynamics that undercurrent it. While a large school of thought presumes that this may be a tactical move by Obama to woo the "Indian" sentiment, one cannot also help observing that this move stands contradictory to his otherwise ' not-so-pro' attitude ,especially with issues like that of outsourcing to India and the VISA Retrogression issues.
Going through http://www.nrilinks.com/usa/indians/default.htm might reveal certain statistical inputs worth a thought in the given context .(I agree the statistics is slightly old, but I hope is sufficiently representative).
1. A whopping 1% of the population of Ilinois is of Indian Origin
Barack apparently knows his state well! Being a native of Hawai himself , he seems to appreciate the sentiments of an immigrant in USA , He says"As President, I will reach out to encourage the active engagement and partnership of the vibrant Indian American community in making the change we seek" A sure moral booster to the NRI.
2. Only 40% of the Indians in America have a US citizenship
This points out that less than 4 out of 10 Indians in USA will actually be able to vote, or have a say. Considering this one could regard Obama's statements a little misplaced if we were to go by the school which might assume the interveiw as a tactical move.
3. The Average Annual household income of an Average American: 51000 USD.
The Average Annual household income of an Average NRI in the USA: 88000 USD.
The Indian in USA is atleast 72% more affluent than the American in USA. Barack is talking to people with the money. The people who should keep spending (off savings- and not credit!) to keep the economy ticking, wise ploy I must say!
So, although the Indian back home is sulking with the rising popularity of democrats in the US presidential polls, (due to plans like withdrawal of tax subsidies to companies outsourcing to India etc..) the average NRI has reasons to cheer and stick to the US,even when recession is looming close.
Cheer Up NRI's ! its your day!

Friday, February 22, 2008

Can we privatise Law and Order?


The rediff headline on 21st February reads as:

"BPO rape case: Onus on Som Mittal, says SC"
read the complete story at
http://www.rediff.com/money/2008/feb/21som.htm

Crime, as a direct result of a lapse in the Law and order can be viewed as a failure of the Police System of any state entrusted with the safety and orderly well being of the citizens. If we were to analyse the cause of crimes in a society, more often than not, crimes are a direct result of social inequality, or economic failure (Steven Levitt of the"Freakonomics" fame might disagree!). This atleast seems statistically correct. For instance robbery records might run high in a state with high degree of unemployement, or murder for revenge (or other similar reasons) might run high in societies with high degree of social inequality. That makes common sense.

What does not however make sense, is the prevalence of Crimes in societies like that of Bangalore and by all means, surely this particular stray Crime incident being tagged as a pattern rather than that as an event. Such being the case,it might seem unnecessary or even unjust to claim any one system or one individual to be responsible for a crime that might have occurred right under his nose!

Given that the cause is multidimensional and even complex,which even a complex Police system like that of Karnataka seems inequipped to handle, how correct or wrong can we be by holding Mittal at ransom? Certainly food for thought.

For a moment even if we do assume, Mittal is to be held responsible, can we extend the theory that responsibility cannot come without authority? Can we confer on the same individual from whom we claim responsibility for this crime, the authority to exercise Police power in the city where his employees live?

If we can blame Mittal, I am sure we can privatise the Police system and give Mittal the authority to reinforce the executive to defend his responsibility

Thursday, February 21, 2008

A Fat Man's Song


You can take me this way or just leave me out,

Not much I can do about it anyways

I tried everything that I possibly could

But I am still growing sideways


And When I was young,and handsome and slim

I thought, forever I would stay that way

So I laughed at the fat,the wobbly and round

I realise how wrong I was that day


Now I just have a tummy as big as a baloon

and I look like a nice teddy doll!

So nice to cuddle and so nice to hug

and feels nice to laugh at me , when I fall!


I tried out the skip rope,and I tried the gym

I tried out jogging every dawn

But nothing did change,and I wore out my shoes

and destroyed every grass on the Lawn!!


When I sit in a car , the tyres just go flat

and the elevators just wont move up!

And the chairs that I sit on, crumble like cookies

I think its about time, that I gave up!


I'm just a fat fat man now

and as fat as a pink pumpkin

and mothers of kids keep telling their children

keep fit, or you'll grow like him.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

For the LOVE of LYING

I know , It can start better than this . ---I mean this Blog post. It surely can start better than a "It can start better than this". Well to tell you the truth (if you are still clinging on) I dont intend to be honest at all with you, for four reasons:

1. Yeah Honesty pays, but you wont pay me anyway for what I tell you, unless I am a Lawyer(We all know how honest lawyers are)

2. Honesty is the best policy, only if you have been honest all along.

3. You know , you dont want to know the truth about what I think of you.

Thats it! Yeah , I know I said four reasons, but who told you I was honest?

In my opinion (This blog is the only place where that counts) honesty , truthfulness and pain are three sides of the same coin. (Since when did coins start having three sides?) , what i mean is being truthful is fine as long as you dont pain anybody. This is very close to the old adage that says 'Lying is fine as long as it doesn't hurt anybody' , but what I am saying is that its OK to say the truth as long as you dont hurt anybody,but between hurting somebody and lying to keep that person happy, I think the latter pays! (More handsomely than honesty , trust me!)

If you have a conscience, and you don't use it enough you might end up without one after sometime. But if you have an imagination and you dont use it enough you are wasting a resource which God has made available to make others happy! Between the Domains of Truth and lie, there is the vast and ambigious domain of the White lie. White lies are useful tools for imaginative individuals who still haven't sold off their consciences.

Cliched lies are lies which you hear everwhere, you know they are lies and still cant do anything about it. Imaginative lies are colorful peices of intelligence, that the listener is confused on whether it is a lie at all.

Please find out below how a cliched lie differs from an imaginative one. The imaginative ones are colored blue while the cliched ones are not.

Boss to his Employees "Sorry I am late, My tyres went Flat"

Boss to his Employees "I think we have to reschedule this meeting to afternoon as the customer who is with me since morning might finalise an important order"

Husband to Wife "Wow, you've reduced weight"

Husband to Wife "Have you been dieting? your clothes we bought last month might not fit you anymore"

3. Primary school Student to teacher " Stomach ache"

Primary school Student to teacher " The Cat ate my homework and I was trying to make him shit"

4. High school student to teacher " Cousin's marriage"

High school student to teacher " My cousin eloped with the taxi driver and I was at the detective's office explaining evidence"

5 College student to teacher " Grandfather Died"

College student to teacher "Grandfather was making his WILL, and he demanded my presence if I had to inherit his coffee estate"

6 Patient to doctor " I smoke occasionally"

Patient to doctor " I dont smoke,but I have a split peronality and I dont know if my alter ego smokes"

Sadly enough the number of Imaginative liars are dying in this ever increasing competitive world. Nobody has time to cook up lies. So dear pals I request you to proactively pursue lying for the sake of lying. For the pure LOVE of LYING. For LYING is the only thing that'll last till the end of the world. Or may be beyond!!!



Tuesday, February 19, 2008

The Great Wave


How many people die of hunger every minute?
How many don’t own the cloth on their backs?
How many live here with the fear of death?
Do those waves know who has what, or what who lacks?

What was the joy that you laughed for?
What is the grief that brought tears to your eyes?
What was so great that you gave up your life for?
How many waves stopped by to listen to your cries?

Who was the great man whose statues adorn your streets?
Who was the despot whom we needed to capture and kill?
Who is a friend and who is your bitter enemy?
How many waves cared for all these or ever will?

What is your Goal what is your ambition?
Where are we all running to in such a hasty pace?
How much have you achieved how much have you lost?
How many waves will bow down to your race?

How many beautiful birds chirp your mornings?
How many ugly drains run through your town?
How many lofty trees have you cut down to the soil?
To how many such sights will the waves smile or frown?

How many wars have you fought or not?
How many games have you played or won?
How many people have you freed or slaved?
Have those ocean waves noticed even a single one?

How many governments have ruled this land?
How many scriptures have framed your mind?
How many brothers have died for a piece of earth?
Have the waves been changed by any of that kind?

But,
Through the day and into the night
Relentless waves reach the shore
Never more fast, never too slow
centuries in tandem on only this chore

Leaders- Agents of change

I remember atleast a dozen distinct instances , where fellow employees have complained and cribbed to themselves about the poor state of safety for employees going back home from my office, and about lack of good transportation facilities for them to do so.
People have wailed cried and cribbed. People have given up, people think nothing will change.
After what I should call a long struggle, sailing against many odds, today for the first time, a cab took off at 18:30 hrs with 8 fellow ABBians, from their office to home. A new era had heralded. As the cab waived off on its first trip ,a self motivated leader, the cause behind this end ,Sita from PS-SA smiled . She had just made a message to several thousand employees before her who had given up. The message was "Time has come for a change"
This is just a miniscule representation of the state of affairs and the world that we live in, its filled with leaders desiring to bring about a change in the way of life, and not complaining about poor state of affairs. After all you complain only when you are a victim, as a leader you get things to your control!
They are everywhere, in the bus, at your office, on the street, by the wall, just about anywhere. Leaders, the creators of tomorrow, in one form or the other,-they are the present, they decide the future.
They are the catalysts the world has seen before and will see in future. They are the agents of change!!!

Monday, February 18, 2008

Brain Damage -Part 3 (Fiction)


I liked the mail FoXX Pai sent the other day. The one that carried the old issues of NWagon. I always liked Foxx Pai and may be because it was always FoXX and not just Fox.There were always two 'X'.

I never asked him why! And so he never told me why!

I like most mails that most people send me anyway. Except the long "Fwd" mails I dont even read them anymore.I dont read much these days anyway.Not that I ever did.I was always a poor reader. I just read books that interested me! But I would'nt know if they'd interest me at all because I never read them in the first place.

So I never read my books well, back in college! Ask summit ! He'll probably tell you if he remembers...I doubt if he does...He always had a poor memory! Just like D.
D never remebered anything at all.!D was hardly a dog I guess. D was just D. D was rather ambitious i should think. D wanted to rule the world i suppose.

FLOYD did that I'm sure. I mean i think they still rule the world. FOXX Pai wont say that though.For he didnt like WATERS. or GILMOUR for that matter. He didnt think anybody did rule the world.

I saw GILMOUR again some 6 days later.But I was asleep on my mat and I think thats ok.Because I generally see GILMOUR when I am asleep on the mat which I do most of the time anyway.

But what seemed out of the way was that GILMOUR was singing when I met him."TWO SUNS BY THE SUNSET". and the sky did show two suns.Although I know thats not what WATERS meant.but then you never know what WATERS means anyway.

I met the doc about the pain in my chest. Which ws growing worse by the day.He says its a lung infection. I know what he means. He means I dont BREATHE well.Which is true because i dont like monotony.And I think breathing is monotonous.

I sometimes stop breathing to relax myself. Once i did not breathe for 2 days and i wanted to go on. But D didnt let me. He was worried that I was dead .I had to play him THE SOUTHAMTON DOCK to cheer him up. He likes it when I play either that or the FINAL CUT.To tell you frankly I like PARANOID EYES better.

My girl friend does not talk to me anymore.Which is very funny because i have started to like listening to hear her talk. I dont know if it is very funny. I think it is though. Its funny because she gets angry with me whenever i call her FATTY.And I call her FATTY whenever I can. She says I should be more sensitive than that.Which is true maybe..But then maybe not true afterall.
I dont think I'll live for more than 20 hours.BEcause my brain says so. I fell better about it. FOr I will be rid of a monotony ,the mediocrity of being alive.

I'm sure D does not like this at all. But I'm not worried.All that I'm worried is when I'm Gone there'll be " NOBODY HOME"

Brain Damage -Part 2(Fiction)

I saw GILMOUR again 10 days later. I think it was the same bus again... 252 or something.This time I made it a point that I talk to him no matter what. So I followed the bus..
I think it was crazy..at the end.Because finally he was'nt in the bus afterall.I personally checked every commuter in the bus. He was missing. Just gone...Vanished into thin air. D was at home when I returned. D was quiet, small, furry and frightened of everything. Even mosquitoes. D was hardly a dog. D was just D.

So when I played "LOST FOR WORDS" D was listening too. D knew all about FLOYD and GILMOUR. I had already told him that I had seen GILMOUR. I dont know if he beleives me.I think he does.

D likes "HIGH HOPES". D likes me play the lead to "....The Grass was Greener.." So I play the lead to "...The Grass was greener." I had told Summit something once about making a rock band. Ask him if you want to .But he must have forgotten. I'm sure he has. He always forgets.
The insane man at VaZ guitaring classes did'nt turn up for classes anymore. I heard his folks had found him under a train or something.He had crushed his brain....So much for knowing GILMOUR.Like he says..."AND THE WORMS EAT INTO HIS BRAIN"

D hated women. He thought them all as bitches. He hated bitches. D hated my Girl friend.I like D in many ways. For one thing he never complains about being bored. My Girl friend does. She thinks I'm boring. Well I even tried singing songs for her. Songs that I wrote myself. D never approved of this .But I did it all the same. I wrote some 12 or 13 songs all about the "pin that burst red baloons".

She told me it was all too abstract for her to understand. Even Dods had told this to me once. Back in college. Out on the sea shore. The relentless waves drowned my greif as dods declared "I CANT FATHOM YOU" . I felt as if someone said "......YOU ARE ONLY COMING THROUGH IN WAVES.."I really dont know what it meant.But I knew I had lost a good friend in dods. Ask Summit. He knows about it all.Unless he has forgotten.

VaZ from VaZ guitaring classes told me, he wont let me play his guitar anymore if I dont follow his instructions. Like practice the chords before playing songs. And that FLOYD stuff destoys pure guitaring skills. I needed to practice some songs that sounded more like church choirs than songs.

So I quit VaZ guitaring classes. I decided to give up guitaring for ever.
D didnt approve of that at all. But who cares for D? ...

Brain Damage -Part 1 (Fiction)

I got a good idea the other day. Which is funny because I dont generally get good ideas.And the funniest part is I have been savouring this thing for so long in my otherwise kinky head, that I almost have begun to beleive its true.

It just occured to me, one early morning, when I was driving my way back home after work..that I should become a guitarist. I was sleepy and almost dozing after a long grilling session of a technical debate and I thought that the idea of becoming a guitarist seemed like a haze of paint on blotting paper.

It was 10 in the morning when I woke up after what contemporary novelists refer to as "FITFUL SPASMS OF SLEEP" . And I felt anything far from feeling great. I dont know what this means but I generally start my day listening to FLOYD. And so I switched on my laptop and started playing "IS THERE ANYBODY OUT THERE?" followed by "COMFORTABLY NUMB" and the "STAY".

Any child from the kindergarten that has listened to FLOYD ever since it was born will tell you that there is no better order than the above to play these three FLOYD pieces.And so I did play them in that order. After the 20 minutes of listening I put on the GEYSER and let the water warm up listening to "ECHOES."

A hot shower listening to "TIME" is just as refreshing as a cup of hot coffee listening to "WISH YOU WERE HERE". And then I did the thing I never suspected I would. I called up VaZ Guitaring classes and signed up for a course in guitaring.

I saw GILMOUR one day in a BMTC bus. He was carrying a bag which seemed to accomodate a dozen apples and a lone shoe. I immediately stopped my car. I rushed to the bus. The bus was gone. The board on the bus showed 252.

Nobody beleived me when I told them I had seen GILMOUR. Some of them suggested I had gone insane..as if insane people keep seeing GILMOUR carrying apples around...Some of them thought I was joking. I was not joking and I am clear that I did see GILMOUR in the bus.
I met an insane man in VaZ guitaring classes. He was insane because he beleived me when I told him I saw GILMOUR the other day in the bus. He was insane because he spoke to GILMOUR even if nobody saw GILMOUR anywhere around him.

I have a Girl Freind now. Which is funny because its not even a week since i went insane. I met this Girl out side VaZ guitaring classes.She is a pretty girl to say the truth. But she's rather huge for me. Being very frank with you guys she resembles "VERA" of the yesteryears. But she lets me kiss her every now and then, and she calls me KRISH... "KRISH"
It sounds almost like FIZZ.... or HISS... or even PISS..... and everytime she calls me KRISH... It sounds like she says KISS....

And So we Kiss.

I have learned to play quite well with the guitar.But my tutor disagrees. He says I'm too fast. I dont quite get him...(too fast..?). I can play "COMING BACK TO LIFE " and "HEY YOU" (..Quite fast...uh?)

I stopped by ulsoor lake the other day . The sun was setting.The golden rays heat the grass up and shine them to polish. I sat on the GRASS and watched the sun....I knew what WATERS had meant by BRAIN DAMAGE...........
"THE LUNATIC IS ON THE GRASS"
They still laugh by on the other side of the moon,....THE DARK SIDE OF THE MOON.
KP

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Faith

“Faith is in believing what you don’t yet see. The reward for faith is in seeing what you believe.”

Faith is a conviction that defies common reason, general science and the strength of a majority. Faith is preserved by the perception of certainty as against ambition, which is powered by the magnanimity of hope. Faith does not expect to meet its reward, nor is faith augmented by evidence. Faith needs no facts to substantiate it. Faith stands with no need of support.

Faith is very similar to the power of love. Love is ignited initially by attraction, fuelled by recognition, nurtured by acceptance and sustained by trust. Perpetual love can be blind to scientific reason and the strength of majority. Similarly, faith is ignited initially by curiosity, fuelled by mystification, nurtured by independent opinion and sustained by certainty. Faith cannot be changed by force for it’s the creation of heart. Faith cannot be created by dialogue , for it’s the characteristic of independent thought.

History has shown that faith may even be created by the randomness of an accident or the occurrence of pain. The induction of Lord Buddha to the Buddhist faith and the orientation of King A┼Ťoka to the faith of non-violence are striking examples of this. Swami Vivekananda, perplexed by the power of pain embraced a faith that he failed to realize before. The Disciples of Christ or the followers of Mohammedan were ushered into their respective faiths due to the charm and the sacrifice of their gracious leaders. Convinced by the socio-economic power of the US of A several nations expressed faith in their system and whole-heartedly accepted democracy as a way of life.

The human mind detests change. It cannot tolerate infliction of ideologies contrary to its faith. History is replete with examples where conversion of faiths is met with the greatest of discomfort. Such attempts are often termed as evil and in many cases even led to disruption of peace and harmony in the society. Galileo and Copernicus had to pay with their lives when they tried to use science to contradict the power of Faith. Socrates was dubbed a social villain when he tried to question the fundamentals of the common faith. Gory scenes of the murder of the Australian missionary accused of attempting conversion of faith among rural Indians are an unfortunate evidence for the same.

A society will comprise of individuals with multiple faiths dreaming of a common goal. The faiths can never be the same between any two individuals for their diversity is just as varied as the individuals themselves. The targets the individuals need to achieve however are very often the same. Good leadership should allow varying and perhaps even conflicting faiths to grow in their capacities without compromising the growth of the society at large. This is probably the true essence of secularism. Variant faiths keep the society dynamic. The society should promote multiple faiths to avoid social dormancy and consequentially the death of the society.


Marathis and Indians later- Are we humans yet?

In response to
http://www.rediff.com/news/2008/feb/15guest.htm

I couldn't help observing

Deeply moved by the happenings of Mumbai , and shrugging in disbelief over the power of muscle over reason, and the power of cacophony over debate, I found myself asking if We were being humans at all yet.

What is this stuff about pride of being an Indian or a Kannadiga or an Italian or an american? Have we even evolved yet,if we cant resort to meaningful, but dignified debate to resolve differences we have with our neighbour who hails from a different region of our country?
Pride of being an Indian? This sounds like the deaf man who was proud of the way he sings!!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

India-An economic Superpower of the Cricketing World

With due respect to all the lovers of the Spirit of the Game,and to all those who believe cricket should be played for the sake of cricket, and with due reverence to India's long and enchanting history for this wonderful sport, I wish to present a prospect that seems imminent and surprisingly tempting .

I was reading through this post in rediff dated 13th February 2008, under the title

"Aussies May Retire to Play the IPL"
I will present an extract from the same, that says
"Sending a strong signal to Cricket Australia, Indian Premier League's agent Neil Maxwell has warned that players (Aussie)may take premature retirement or simply walk away if they are not allowed to take part in the BCCI-backed lucrative Twenty20 venture.Maxwell, who manages Brett Lee and Mike Hussey, said if the conflicting issues are not resolved, the lure of money may persuade players to opt for the IPL instead of their national teams."
The Sydney test will be remembered for reasons that will probably not be termed as "The true spirit of the game". But I must admit entertainment was never in the lacking. Surprising elements of national pride were evoked which one never associated with the harmless game of cricket. Like for example the theory on how Indians could never be racists, to how Indians must fight fire with fire ,even how Sachin Tendulkar could never lie etc.
Another element that was widely discussed (Especially by the Aussie media) on India being able to exercise "Muscle Power" or even "Money Power" to influence decisions of the ICC. Interestingly Money and Muscle were never in the jargon of anyone discussing India in any other context in the past. So if one were to await the day India would emerge a superpower, I should say we have already done so, in the world of cricket.
Both these two events (The IPL case and the Sydney Test) puts me into thinking , what exactly is "The Spirit of Cricket"? Or whether the true spirit has changed over the years into assuming its current form. Where Advertising, Money and Muscle have redifined the rules, the passions, and rendered India in its domain an economic superpower.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Hypodermic Hysteria

I know you think I'm strong
But don't you know there's something wrong.
Tell you the truth ,I don't know why
beyond the hills I'm flying high
And down below the valleys seem
small and feeble like a distant dream.
but up above I'm all alone
fleeting breath and a face of stone.

Dark circles all round my eyes
I'm gone all cold,as cold as ice.
And through the window the light comes in
To cure me of this deadly sin
But you can never see what I've done
out in this place I'm the only one.
I'm dripping down into the drain
please dont bring me out again.

LEAD 2008- A glimmer in a bottleneck



Its been 5 long years , I have been working for ABB now. 4 years and 6 months to be precise. I was at a Campus recruitment drive today, and I was at the end recruiting young souls, wary of the decision I might take regarding their suitability in my organisation. I must admit that I have a feeling of having gone through one whole chapter in my career, from the recruitment desk back to there, a point at which I want to share a few moments, that highlight this feeling and maybe endorse it.
The first of the feelings that cross my mind as I stare at this young to-be -graduate, with a flashing tie(probably borrowed) and a clean white shirt , asking me if he could sit down, - as if my entire decision on his possibility of joining this company depended on his courteousness in not sitting sown if I didnt like it, is the feeling that I have grown old. Old is a word despised by most mortals, "Oldage" a fearful proposition in one form or the other , especially in terms of growing old enough to not be able to create excitement on the on looker who is always an imaginary counterpart who wanted the most exciting thing to look at.
The next feeling is a feeling of overwhelming resentment of the fact, on how values and priorities in career change with time. A feeling where the once so called value of having to present oneself to a prospective employer as a presentable, charming, efficient, humble individual is replaced by the value of self respect , a value that demands that one gets from his career what he desires.
The commonplace techniques seem to appear faked and unruly. For example: A typical answer for a cliched question like "What are your hobbies?" is an equally cliched " Reading scientific manuals, and watching cricket". Fortunately, the world moves on.
Several times in my career in ABB, I have been offended if not set at unrest by a question that came from relatives and friends alike "Are you still in ABB?" . I hated the word "Still". It is not as if people thought that i was probably making a wrong career decision by sticking on to my company for so long. It was just that people could not accept that sticking on to a company was an option at all, and only the mosses stuck to one place for too long. Fortunately, I have stopped getting offended anymore.
One day a couple of years back, a fellow colleague who was on the verge of putting down his papers made a very disturbing statement. He says " I think KP, you are one of those things in ABB I should term as a NMA, a Non Moving Asset." At the face of it , there was nothing to feel bad about. He called me an Asset at least. Even if it were non moving. But what I failed in explaining to him was that Non Moving Assets could be great assets, useful assets that any organisation would need, and hence by that argument I was here because I was needed. I furthur fail to convince people that inspite of however non exciting or non rewarding it might be, I liked being needed. Isn't life all about being where you are needed?
Another very close friend, who happens to share my plight of having been a lump of moss(or a NMA) and who also happens to be a fellow colleague in ABB, says something very philosophical and thought provoking. He says " There are four modes you can be in your company.
1. I love my Work, I love my Pay
2. I hate my Work, I love my Pay
3. I love my Work, I hate my Pay
4. I hate my Work, I hate my pay".
He goes on to say " If you are in Mode 1, you dont want to quit and you stick. If you are in Mode 4 you want to quit, and you do so. But if you are in Mode 2 or Mode 3, you are neither happy , nor can you quit. ...You are in a bottleneck."
I guess many of us are in the bottleneck, confused, perplexed and unsure of where do we go next. Its as if we are on a train, and we like the journey but dont know which station to get down at. Ok , here is my point. As long as you are in your bottleneck , you might as well do what you love to do, live your life to your fullest. Because there is nothing better left to do, than to keep yourself as happy as you can.
I launched a program in my company yesterday its called LEAD 2008, ABB Drives. People asked me why all this action and excitement, they wonder if I cant go about my job as the rest of them do. I am afraid I reply. I probably need the excitement. When you are trapped in a barrel and thrown into the sea, you might as well drink the rum inside!

AC Drive and the Harmony

Variable Frequency Drives are increasingly becoming the necessary element of most industrial processes of the day. While machineries use drives as more of an automation rendering device delivering benifits as productivity rise through increased production, industrial processes use drives as energy saving devices, allowing their machines to run only as demanded by the process and slowing them down otherwise.

Drives are a simple construction, an AC to DC rectifier, a DC bus and a DC to AC invertor. The rectifiers are circuits made of semiconductor devices that are controlled through electronic circuits that can regulate the voltage or the current through switching or other such similar methods.
The matter of concern is that the annual sales of Drives in India is growing steadily at a rate of more than 11% consistently for the last 3 years. Now it turns out that 80% of these drives are with six pulse rectifiers . Six pulse rectifiers introduce 30-40% current harmonics into the AC networks from which they draw power.
This means that the percentage increase in the Harmonic content of current in networks is growing at such a vast pace that one will very soon encounter a situation that the huge pollution in networks will call for a costly oversizing , resulting a countereffect of the savings done on energy front.
A unique condition, where saving energy can get costlier than not saving it.
Worth a thought eh?

Sunday, February 10, 2008

A Small Truth I forgot to say (Fiction)

Hello,
Let me first apologise for having kept you in the dark for so long.I wanted to say it before but i didnt really feel like. This is no big secret trust me.But its very personal and if you may say i think most personal things are a big secret.

I dont know why i want you to keep this a secret .And I dont even know why do I trust that you will.

I am sure you are not aware I have a sister. THis is not much of a thing to hide actually. And I didnt want to hide it in the first place. But I wonder if you'd want to meet my sister.

No ..its not that I'm saying you are not straight or something. I know you like to meet girls and even take them on a date sometimes. I even know about the pastry party you had been to with Mike's sister and that you enjoyed it a lot.
No...Its not that I'm saying my sister isn't pretty or anything. She's kind of tall if you'd see her from a distance but then I'm sure shes an inch shorter than you. She's got brown eyes and she laughs rather sweetly.She's slender and appears rather frail at the first sight But i know her very well and I know that she is very strong.
No...Its not that she's very difficult or anything.She's very sweet and all.. and the best thing is that if you are in trouble she understands. She's been in the girl scouts movement or something and they taught her to do one good thing everyday and she kind of does one too many. She's kind and caring.She loves animals and kids says both are alike. Boy ! her goodness kills me.
I am sure you are not understanding everything that i am saying.Thats probably because I am talking too fast and partly because you are confused.

My sister dropped from school last week. The teachers were sad or something when she quit.It seemed rather puky and all with teachers and kids all crying that they would not see my sister again.

Mom passed away when sister was born and just days before she did relatives and friends hugged cried and kissed me till I puked from the smell of their sweat.I hate the smell and I smell it at my sister's school sometimes.

Sister herself was sad when I walked her back from school in what she knew was her last walk back from school. She looked tired in that frail smile of hers, and we walked the streets of Bristorln right from south Madisson's avenue right through Mayflower into Santorini where I have my flat.(Last spring you had come there with Mike!)

The walk was rather long but we made it watching the migrating pelicans flying the south sky .It was'nt any kind of game or something but we liked staring at these wonderful creatures visiting Bristorln every year but flying southwards just before winter . Many die in the process but their children come here everytime.

Sister was at the Intensive care three days later. Seeing her smile through the hospital door, I knew that the Intensive Care was too very harsh on her frail body,but nothing for her strong mind.The nurses were supposed to be caring and all ..well they were as caring as a pack of wolves. But then they were nurses and wore clean clothes and all.

Well theres nothing bull about what I'm saying and most of it is twisted and all..and makes no sense to me atleast. I know i should have told this earlier but was busy and all and I forgot. I am saying it all now cos its true and i got to speak the truth sometime.

Early next dawn sister was wide awake on her Intensive Care bedding and all and the nurses were'nt inside the place . So I opened the curtians to let the sunrays fall in. The sun looked beautiful and all. Bristorln looked very majestic and all with the red ball of fire in the backdrop.
Theres something dry and missing about the buildings of a city that I always loved. Bristorln , a city with a million people fighting all the time, fighting for life or fighting for death ,but none I know caring to live the life or die the death that they have .Its funny and all but straight pukish. Trust me it feels so twisted.

I should have told this earlier I know and I did'nt mean to keep it a secret or anything.But somehow I forgot. Sister is damn good at painting. I mean she has painted a lot of people and places. And painted them damn well. Its funny how something so still can have so much of life within it. She painted crowds and trust me , you really feel the crowd when you see it in a painting. Tens of faces, sometimes a hundred sometimes more but each face so distinct and meaningful especially those eyes and all .She painted the Floyd market place,the hospital, Mayflower church, Metro Stop, Tressa avenue, Madisson avenue, Bishop Chokker's girl's scool and a lot of park and garden stuff.She could add so much of life to a bland lookin paper....Its funny but damn well true.

I asked her if the nurses told her anything about eating chocolates and all.I had bought her a slab of dairy milk but didnt know whether the nurses would let her eat it.She was living on drips if you know what I mean ...I mean she didnt eat much and that killed me! Somebody or the other was always coming to meet her crying and all that getting her a bunch of flowers and some fruits and all.It was pretty stupid to get fruits for someone who's in the intensive care cos the nurses never let you meet the person inside.You had to see her through this small window or something in the porch. It feels funny and all looking at someone through a window,crying all the while handing over all your fruits to the nurses.

She smiled weakly as I put back the slab of chocolate back into my pocket. That killed me . She was always smiling or something.And that was always killing me or something. I saw her staring through the open curtains. I followed her sight and found a lone pelican perched on a grey building. The pelican was very old and had a broken wing or something. I dont know nothing about pelicans except that this one was frightened .

The birds were flying the south sky or something. Hundreds of them were leaving the city, in undeniable haste. Nobody waited anymore,not for the winds,the daylight,not for the sounds of the city,nothing...The pelicans flew in a gigantic V. Several of the clan broke flight for rest for a minute or two..Migration was a necessity,that defied age...and the strongest ones flew.The old pelican with a wing damaged in some city accident lay stuck in horror watching all his sisters fly away in haste.They loved him ...true but nobody can escape migration nobody ...except if you were hurt and were one of the very few of an endangered kind.

I turned to look at my sister. I was shocked as the greatest of my horrors struck me across my face.Her eyes were closed and calm.She had a quiet smile in her undisturbing sleep. I felt alone, felt hurt and felt one of the very few of an endangered kind.

I left the place leaving a blank cheque at the hospital reception. I dont know what happened of her anymore ,But I dont care anymore cos I know she'll be fine . Cos she knows to fly the V. So I dont speak of her anymore. Not that its a great secret or anything.I just dont.

YoursSincerely.

Service is GOD

If SERVICE is GODLINESS, common wisdom may extrapolate that to say,
"SERVICE ENGINEER is GOD"
There are several things in common between the two, including that both are sought after fervently in times of distress and pain but remain forgotten otherwise.

Two years as a SERVICE engineer is all that is needed to realize this truth. This is a BIBLE that I have concocted for people in the noble profession of being a SERVICE ENGINEER.


10 commandments:.
1. Use the word Flux several times in your sentence.
2. If you don’t know whom to blame. Blame Electromagnetic Interference (EMI)
3. Start complaining about bad network conditions as soon as you enter customer site.
4. If you don’t know what to say...Say SYSTEM INERTIA
5. Every SERVICE call is the most urgent call.
6. Always keep your return tickets OPEN.
7. Nobody reads Minutes of Meetings.
8. Always make sure to land at home on a Friday evening.
9. If nothing else works restart the system.
10.Always complain that the system environment is the most dusty that you have seen.

1. Use the word Flux several times in your sentence.

FLUX is a word invented by spiritually motivated scientists for the benefit of clueless SERVICE engineers who could not clear their GRE due to poor vocabulary. FLUX can be used with anything that you see at site. FLUX with motors, with TRANSFORMER, the INDUCTOR and so on ..Never fall into explaining to anybody what this golden word means. If you ever were to meet somebody villainous enough to ask you what it means, just wince your eyes and give him a look that says "YOU DONT KNOW WHAT FLUX MEANS?"..."GOD SAVE HIM”.
You can use FLUX as many times that you want. And make sure you hold your face straight when you use FLUX in your sentences. Any technical wizard at the customer's place will fall at your feet when you start using FLUX. FLUX is a single key for customers who are snobbish, stubborn, confused or intelligent.




2. If you don’t know whom to blame..Blame Electromagnetic Interference (EMI)
If you cant blame the customer, the system environment, or anything concrete for your system failure. Step back, take a deep breath and look around for the nearest electronic device capable of emitting radiations. Let me clarify that the device need not actually emit any radiations. It should only be capable of doing so. And voila...you have the culprit ready ....E M I ..Electromagnetic Interference. You can get away with anything ..Just about anything with EMI, erroneous values read, poor feedback systems, bad output, blowing fuses, blowing PCBs, burning resistors ..just anything...Blame it on the EMI.
Make sure to find a remote evidence however before you blame. If you cannot find any electromagnetic emitting device , you can still rely on unscreened cables . If your screen cables are grounded ask the customer to get it ungrounded, and if it is not grounded, make sure the customer gets it grounded. "Poor earthing" is the only close competitor to EMI. Both these can be used at times of crisis. But trust me nothing can beat the EMI..Nothing at all.

3. Start complaining about bad network conditions as soon as you enter customer site.
This is a very safe and very important thing to do as you enter a customer site. This will come to your help later in the day when you are stuck with a problem that you cannot solve.
Just wince, shake your head and say the network here is real bad. No customer in his right senses will ask you to justify your statement, for he was always suspecting that his network was very bad. Besides he will be glad that somebody as knowledgeable as yourself feels the same about his network. Just speak a couple of lines on how poor the distribution system is in his particular state. Trust me nobody on earth likes his state distribution network.

4. If you dont know what to say...Say SYSTEM INERTIA
When you are stuck dumb by a customer query, and when you have lost all words of wisdom that you have to pour out...Just smile and say.."The answer is simple.. SYSTEM INERTIA".
This has two advantages.Firstly it gives you a lot of time to cook up some reserves of wisdom from inside..because the moment you say SYSTEM INERTIA, the customer loses focus and tries to regain himself from a quiverfull of arrows of wisdom. Secondly SYSTEM INERTIA by itself does not mean anything at all. It is the context that gives this phrase any meaning. That gives you ample freedom to eventually build up a context around your argument to suit your victory over the customer.

5. Every SERVICE call is the most urgent call.
If you ever receive a SERVICE call don’t commit the mistake of asking the customer whether you are needed urgently. Such a question does not serve any purpose because; there is no call, which is not the most urgent one. This applies to all calls including smelly resistors, oily surface of controllers, noisy inductors, chattering contactors, broken pen cases, missing parameters...and every other GOD forbidden event. They are all most urgent, and need your immediate attention. If you were hit by a comet, burned in a furnace and were struggling out of a deep state of COMA, the customer would still want you at his site to figure out why his white shoelaces were all turning brown. Don’t be beguiled by the most sorrowful voices requesting you to the site that very evening. Just go there if his guesthouse has a good swimming pool, 24 hours bar and a hundred topless female waitresses.

6. Always keep your return tickets OPEN.
The golden rule is "Never book a waitlisted forward flight ticket, and always keep your return tickets OPEN". Every visit that should take 2 days will at least last 20 days long. This doesn’t necessarily mean you need to work for all the 20 days at site. You may need to work for 3 minutes and 20 seconds in total. But the customer loves the smell of your socks and wants you to stay with him for the rest of the time. The customer calls these waiting periods by several names like "Observation time”, "Performance test”, "Load trials" etc.
Waiting may also be caused by several unforeseen events that may have been perfectly foreseen by you. This may include "Waiting for components from factory", "Waiting for engineers from a different company", "Waiting for erection completion”,”Waiting for cabling completion”,” Waiting for meggering", "Waiting for cable testing", "Waiting for earthing" "Waiting for clearance from the other department" "Waiting for invention of the transformer”,” Waiting for Alexander Graham Bell". If your return tickets are not OPEN you had better cancel them immediately or you stand losing all your money for a no show. If your tickets are OPEN, the day you reach the check-in counter to fly back home, you will find that your position will be waitlisted at 22. But then that’s ok, just propose to the lady in the counter and promise to take her to HAWAI for a honeymoon, and ...presto...you have seats in the business class available for you to fly back home.

7. Nobody reads Minutes of Meetings.
The MOM is the only document next to the "VEDAS" that is to be written with the utmost care, but will never be read. Several precious tiring hours of your life will go in coining the 2 page MOM that will later remain in some unnoticed file in the dusty archives. Emotion, valour, Guts and a lot of debating will go into this document that you will prepare till late in the night before the day you will leave the site. Remember to include "WE WILL REVERT BACK" in almost every point in the MOM. Never imagine that signing a Minutes that says "System found satisfactorily working" will ensure that you bid goodbye to that site. Something will fail in the next 10 hours and you will find yourself at the same place wondering what happened to all that in the MOM. Make sure that your return flight is not more than 2 hours of signing the minutes. If it is any longer ...chances are that you will remain there for the next 4 weekends.


8. Always make sure to land at home on a Friday evening.
Make sure that you land home on a Friday night. This way you can switch off your phone and stay away from office for 2 whole days. Never inform your boss about your return till Monday morning. This will ensure that your weekends will not be spent listening to the dull droning of failed machinery. If possible go to office on Monday morning, at least two hours late. This will give your colleagues the impression that you have come down to office directly from site and that you are committed enough to put in a day's hard work right away. If you are unfortunate enough to be at office on a Friday afternoon, i suggest you remain unnoticed by any human in the office. Stay hidden at the library or the canteen. If you are near a ringing telephone, never pick it up. Remember it could be another customer, with just another most urgent call!

9. If nothing else works restart the system.
This applies to all electrical or electronic gadgets that you are expected to fix or commission .All computers, drives, PLCs, MMIs, Display systems, Control systems and other gadgets are designed to not function as per their description in the manual. The normal behavior can be resumed only after you have restarted the system at least 4 -5 times in succession. Systems that behave funny need a restart. If you have complicated matters so much that your system wont even restart, don’t panic. Just go upstream and switch of the nearest mains power supply, and restart after 10 seconds. Systems have a memory powered by electricity, so when you switch them off they lose their memory. When restarted they wont remember to misbehave.

10.Always complain that the system environment is the most dusty that you have seen.
If it smells. Say, "This smells dangerous". If it looks colored ...Say, "This looks burnt”. Use carbon dust, metal dust, fiber dust, and cotton dust, all to your advantage. Anything small enough to be called as dust can damage your system. If your system has exploded blame it on moisture. If the room where you have to work is warm ask the customer to install an air conditioner immediately, as warmth can damage your system. If it already has an air conditioner ask for a humidity controller system. Moisture can lead to failure. If he has everything and the place looks spick and span, just climb up to the top of your panel, and wipe the top with your fingers and show the customer the black stuff on your skin. Most people don’t clean the top of their panels, as this is very difficult to do. Explain to the customer how important cleanliness is for your system. Give him examples of imaginary customers who keep their systems clean. This will hurt his conscience and hence he will prefer to not talk much to you afterwards. All the better...What more can a SERVICE engineer ask for, than some workplace privacy..Ha!


Enjoy SERVICE