Saturday, October 03, 2009

Aik Alif

English Translation and Lyrics originally in Punjabi:

Parh parh ilm te faazil hoya
(You read to become all knowledgable)

Te kaday apnay aap nu parhya ee na
(But you never read yourself)

Bhaj bhaj warna ay mandir maseeti
(You run to enter your mosques and temples)

Te kaday mann apnay wich warya ee na
(But you never entered your own heart)

Larna ay roz shaitaan de naal
(Everyday you fight Satan)

Te kadi nafs apnay naal larya ee na
(But you never fight your own Ego)

Bulleh Shah asmaani ud-deya pharonda ay
(Bulleh Shah you try grabbing that which is in the sky)

Te jera ghar betha unoon pharya ee na
(But you never get hold of what sits inside yourself)

Bas kareen o yaar
(Stop it all my friend)

Ilm-oun bas kareen o yaar
(stop seeking all this knowledge my friend)

Ik Alif teray darkaar
(Only an Alif is what you need)

Bas kareen o yaar
(stop it all my friend)

Ilm-oun bas kareen o yaar…
(Stop seeking all this knowledge my friend)

Allah Sayyaan Allah Sayyaan
(God is Greatness, God is All)

Nee main jaanaa Jogi de naal
(I shall follow the Jogi {ascetic/Sufi})

Jo naa jaane, Haqq ki taaqat
(those who deny the strength of Truth)

Rab naa devey us ko Himmat
(God does not give them courage)

Hum Mann ke darya mein doobey
(We have drowned in the river of Self)

Kaisi nayya? Kya manjhdhaar…
(the boat and the flowing waters do not matter)

Bas kareen o yaar
(stop it all my friend)

Ilm-oun bas kareen o yaar
(stop seeking all this knowledge my friend)

Allah Sayyaan Allah Sayyaan
(God is Greatness, God is All)

(thanks to the Lyrics from a co -blogger)

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Telecommuting-From the Queen of Hills

Continuing with the odesk article and the aggression it brought forward, I thought I 'd pen down some thoughts on the way the remaining year has passed and what it has brought as the crests and troughs of being on your own-work wise.

Started with a big bang when recession hit and the fear of being sent home looked plausible. My company was thoughtful enough to keep everyone employed, but sent everybody home with a five hundred rupee laptop and a salary which was now paid directly to them. Thus came Telecommunication to India, and if The Flat World told us how bandwidth availability and Worldcom helped India get on the IT Map, then efficiencies and the search for cutting down operational expenditure brought to us the real remote work situation.

With it came power cuts, bandwidth blackouts, barking dogs and a till now unknown fear of joblessness. But its also brought the sweet tasting Remote work-the company has been open minded and has embraced it in spite of the known risks to allow resources to work from home in India. Its a maverick move and I am not in a position to say if it paid dividends, but sadly unlike as it should have stayed-consultants hired to work on their own at home-people quit and moved on to regular jobs, and their jobs were taken up by smaller companies with regular employees posing as 'contractors'.

The current model isn’t exactly a hit but its survived. I want to focus on the title of the post-telecommunicating and highlight the upsides of freedom with the downsides of responsibility.

Telecommuting Yay!

  • Freedom to travel anywhere, log in from anywhere and work any time as long you attend the calls
  • The basic groundwork on being an entrepreneur and the freedom of self employment-the ability to see the value -for example an MBA 2 year stint v.s. an Entrepreneurial 2 year adventure
  • The ability to question your role as an independent worker viz-a-viz a corporate employee, and to determine life's priorities which get lost in the daily humdrum/rat-race
  • No More petrol Bills, Traffic Cribs or protocols of commuting, free time better spent
  • Concentrate on real work, and have time for the distractions that have been ignored making you dumber every year
  • Office politics seems like a thing in the distance-m sure it’s alive but seems like its virtual
  • Shut off work when you leave office if it given you hypertension-no more. More like shut off work when you log out
  • The value of communication
  • Time and its real value -and an ability to optimize
  • Music at your volume -freedom of choice
  • The ability to voice your concerns and opinions since unlike corporate HIPPO* rules-every opinion counts
  • Going to the GYM is no more an excuse and the timings are up to you
  • You realize water boils at much lower temperature in the mountains :)

Telecommuting Nay!

  • The value in office humdrum and camaraderie-although I don’t know how many would agree
  • The ability to communicate better in less time/energy when you know direct communication is better than aided
  • No direct career path since being a contractor means you are on your own
  • More time to travel means more adventure and more ability to crash :)
  • Managing finances and Tax Returns is now up to you-since effectively it’s a small self owned business
  • Need to mention here-Health Insurance since no one is taking care of you
  • Retirement planning-your parents were insured by the Government through Pension Schemes which are inflation proof but you are on your own
  • The biggest lesson is self discipline which the lack of freedom never imposed on anyone


*HIPPO-Highest Paid Person's Opinion

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Slavery 2.0-My Experiments with Nuconomy

Recession-[ri-sesh-uh n] –noun
1. the act of receding or withdrawing.
2. a receding part of a wall, building, etc.
3. a withdrawing procession, as at the end of a religious service.
4. Economics. a period of an economic contraction, sometimes limited in scope or duration. Compare depression (def. 7).

Greed got us. Good.


I think the entire conversation around the 7 year cycle of the economy's birth and death is largely true. WHatever goes up comes down and so on and so forth ad infinitum nauseum.

The Gecko
Pre-empt anything that threatens 70% profitability. That includes refusing obvious bonus payouts, changing statements, not publishing anything in writing quoting legal implications-and passive aggressive employee treatment.

The Simple Truth
OK-Most porobably the reader by now is baffled by the mismatch of the title and the content. Well, the above will make sense once the following is absorbed.

My Employer -a $160M 70% profitable privately held IT provider decides one day that the entire workforce out of India is expendable. The decision is made to give employees the option to either stay(they will be replaced) or sign up as independant contractors on ODESK.


Ahaa! I dont trust people I represent -So pay me 10% of what you pay them for work they do and I will help you click a picture of their Desktop ever 15 minutes.

Bonus!!! If you'd like We can monitor their Web Cam. Lets get the Indians and The Russians. They don't mind working at $5 or $10 an hour doing extreme programming, while they get monitored.

We also Guarantee that the slaves working harder will be better rated as we will be monitoring their mouse activity/key strokes and processor utimization. Better Slaves =better productivity

IT & Panopticism
Hampered productivity Via deterred multitasking,low morale, constant fear of monitoring-welcome to new age commoditized outsourcing.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Hello! This is bad for us!

Monday, May 07, 2007

Raid De Himalaya 2007

The Raid is back this year in it's 8th run.

-Looks like we are going to Srinagar
-Reliability is now called Adventure Trail
-Registratiom is on, Early Birds get to pay only 25,000 if register before 30th may
-This year will definitely see stronger participation
-Adventure trail gets 6/10 for diffilculty, Xtreme get a 9!

Itenerary looks like this
6th October 2007

Leg 1 Shimla – Manali

7th October 2007

Leg 2 Manali – Kaza - Tabo

8th October 2007

Leg 3 Tabo - Darcha - Pang

9th October 2007

Leg 4 Pang - Leh

10th October 2007

Leg 5 Leh - Keylong

11th October 2007

Leg 6 Keylong - Patni Top

12th October 2007

Leg 7 Patni Top - Srinagar

13th October 2007

Prize Distribution after the final Scrutineering and the conclusion of the Raid.

So Buckle your seatbelt Dorothy, Cuz Kansas is goin bye bye!

Friday, March 30, 2007

Calm Under the Waves

Not that this blog enjoys much readership , but I realized I sent some 79 new and 27 returning Visitors back disappointed since I posted last.

I have just been traveling, and had some other things on my mind, so didn't find the time to post. And then I read this article on a website that said that most blogs today are dying(ghost blogs)and I have decided not to join that list.

The mid twenties seem to be the toughest age for youngsters in India as the support system that existed back in College/Home runs out and the move into a so called next stage is finally taking shape. This can be a life changing event for this when the word responsible finally starts making sense, and the wait for life to begin is revealed as a hoax! All I can say is that its a crazy experience and can be humbling at times, yet fun throughout. Although this blog tends to stay away from being autobiographical, we do see the entire world through our own eyes and to call everything completely fiction or descriptive is again subjective.

Coming back to the main reason why I wanted to post this ramble, I wanted to share a few things I read some time back:

From Zorba the Greek:

Throughout my life my greatest benefactors have been my dreams and my travels.
I hope for nothing. I fear nothing. I am free.

Henry James:
Be someone on whom nothing is lost.

These three have left a deep impression on me. I think on order to find your Nirvana ( or your own Nirvana) or whatever we seek as a manifestation of N: Money, Power, travel, Respect, love, blaah.. The answer to finding them lies in among other things, traveling. I think in order to get comfortable you need to get uncomfortable.
And also what I always preached and now seek to practice, the action is the Juice!

Ramblings on a Friday after a slightly scarce week, work wise that is.

So this marks the beginning of a hopefully enriching journey, which as much as possible will actively live through and hopefully blog about!

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Reproduced from ET

Mobility has an aspirational swing in India : Partha Sinha

AT THE early stage of my working career I used to work with a foreign bank that had a very pronounced recruitment hierarchy. Fresh MBAs were clearly divided between a brahminical and non-brahminical order based on which management institutes they came from. But the most fascinating aspect of that caste system was that these two categories were popularly known inside the bank as the 'mobile' and the 'non-mobile' category. Needless to say the mobile people were from the brahminical institutes. Mobility in India had traditionally been bestowed with a coveted status and was intrinsically linked to material well-being. Contrary to popular belief that Indians are a 'rooted' lot; higher esteem has always been accorded to mobility. From the recurring Bollywood theme of the village boy moving to big town and changing his life almost as a rule, to the entire phenomenon called 'brain-drain' or the obsessions of certain communities to migrate to the UK or Canada the potent power of mobility can be witnessed in many aspects of the Indian life. If we try to understand the codes of mobility in more details, we will find that it's intrinsically linked to the social structure of India. Our society is marked by a linear hierarchy and that invariably produces a desire to move up the hierarchy ladder. This desire is the driving force of mobility. In India, there's nothing called spatial mobility our mobility is fundamentally social mobility. Nobody wants to move from North Delhi to South Delhi for geographical reasons. The dream movement of most starry-eyed management trainees from Malad to Malabar Hill in Mumbai is not rooted in travelling conven ience. One may argue that geographies have represented social strata in almost all societies across the globe, but in India the act of mobility itself ends up determining social order. One of the primary examples of the triumph of social mobility over physical mobility is the way cars are seen in India. Cars are definitely not a mode of travelling between two points. In most cases, in urban India, walking will possibly be a faster and better method to reach a destination than a car. Cars in India represent social destinations. Even if it is difficult to drive a larger vehicle in the congested roads of Mumbai, Bangalore or Delhi everyone invariably wants a bigger car. It's almost a sacrilege for the junior to have a bigger car than his boss. Even if car marketers try to segment the market accord ing to different need types it invariably falls into this social laddering. 4X4 off-roaders and sedans may appeal to different needs and mindsets, according to car marketing convention, but here they are compared and clubbed to form different strata of social destinations. Another interesting phenomenon around mobility is the ever-growing popularity of mobile phones and it's impact on the society. Like most modern societies, Indians are also forced to lead lives characterised by discrepancies between spatial and social distances. On one hand they have to tolerate spatial proximity with people very distant from them thanks to living in crowded cities, moving in crowded areas or using public transport. On the other hand, they have to accept spatial distance from the people who they feel close to. The significance of mobile phone lies in empowering them to engage in communication that frees them from the constraint of physical proximity and spatial mobility at the same time. When an anglicised executive starts using a mobile phone to connect with his buddies while waiting at a doctor's chamber, he is not only moving closer to the people he relates to, but most importantly moving away from the 'non-corporate types' who are waiting along with him in the same chamber. Mobile phones in India have helped create social proximity and distances. Another glaring example of that is the way mobile phones are being embraced by a class that has never heard a dial tone before. The mobile phone is giving them the freedom to get included. A plumber today doesn't need to give the address of his hutment. He uses his mobile number as his address. This allows him to transcend the psychological barriers that would have come with his address. Mobility itself allows the plumber to deny social exclusion. A stable dwelling place was the pre-requisite for creating social organizations. And that's why people had an emotional attachment to their 'own' house. It created the anchor point that started defining who they are. But in the life of the urban nomads today, this stability comes from social standings rather than the stability of the dwelling places. They buy a house today with the definitive plan to move out of it in a few years. The center of social organisation today is a moving point and thus mobility is a coveted virtue. But is this mobility akin to running fast to stay at the same place? Maybe true, may be not but one thing is true for sure: The nation is on the move.