28 May 2008

ROOTS - about Indian Born Confused Desi's

When anyone asks me "where do you belong to ?" I just reply .. oh I’m from a lot of places .My dad having a transferable job .. we have to move lock, stock and barrel every 3 years!! Though the good part was that I got to see a major part of India including its major travel destinations … I got to meet different kinds of people .Though I had to leave my old friends behind .. I made new ones every now n then …
In my travels around the country .. I was one day wondering: where do I actually belong to ?
If around the country , there evolve xenophobic idiots like Raj Thackeray ...Then which is the one place I would run to .. and I was trying to remember the places I stayed at :

I went back to Agra where I learnt that the North Indians feel that
1 > Entire south India is made up of a single city : MADRAS .. and all the south Indians are madrasi’s ..
2> There is only one language in south and that too is called madrasi.. few enlightened ones knew the name of Tamil .
3> All south Indians wear only lungis and eat only idly sambar .
It was fine considering the fact the ppl down south thought that all north Indians are thugs n cheaters.
Then I went to Vizag for a period of 5 years … where I had some identity considering the fact that I was born there.. But since I hardly knew anything about the place, I felt like a stranger in that city too ..

For my engineering I went to BIT- Ranchi and I was scared by the Domicile policy of Jharkhand .. that anyone who is not from Jharkhand, including bihari’s are foreigners.
The fact that as soon I first landed in Ranchi there was a curfew and I had to reach my college with police protection had scared my parents back in Vizag … ;) . I had stayed in Ranchi for 4 years .. then I slowly realized that people there were the most friendly ones I met across India … and the situation in Jharkhand-Bihar is not as bad as people in rest of India feel and.. though it is quite bad actually .. my parents loved the climate of Ranchi and were happy to stay there for 3 yrs .. ;)
I was happy when after 2 months of training in Noida , my posting was given as Hyderabad .. "Back home !" .. I thought- after 4 years … But the real surprise came when the Telengana movement claimed that I was not supposed to stay in Hyderabad .. and that they were demanding for a new state and wanted all its resources to be available to them only – Hyderabad included.

My dreams of a better career inspired me to take part in the Indian graduates' annual event – CAT … after narrowly missing some big names I finally managed to sneak into SPJIMR which meant that I was now supposed to travel to BOMBAY ..oops MUMBAI .. (I hope shiv sainiks forgive me. ) Though it is a megapolis with a population rivaling that of a small nation , notwithstanding an exotic mix of people from all over the country … I am doomed to be an outsider yet again ! ...Thanks to a politician trying to revive his flailing career- Raj Thackarey n his MNS hooligans.

They reserved 80 % of the govt jobs for Marathas .. that’s fine becoz local people should reap benefits of their area’s abundance and opportunities ..
But his outrageous threats to kill the north Indians and call to drive out the outsiders, remind us of the Holocaust .. I hope history will not repeat itself atleast this time ..
The socialist sovereign democratic republic that India is .. Don’t we have the freedom or more rightly - Is it not our fundamental right to work or live freely anywhere within the territorial limits of my country ?
Till now we have heard of ABCD’s – Indian origin people born in the US ,who are confused about their loyalties , culture etc … now it’s the beginning of a new generation of Indian born confused desi’s ..
Mr Thackeray : Do we Indians , need a visa to live/work in MUMBAI now ???

14 May 2008


Leadership : what's it about ....

I sometime back read a quote that :
The world is run by top 2-3 % ..
and it is pulled down by the bottom 2-3 % ..
the rest contribute to global warming !!
Though i do not believe in that exaggerated nonsense .. its an interesting perspective to understand why the success and failure of an event depends so much on the leaders. I first time came to appreciate that while watching the movie Gladiator ( one of favorites of almost everyone i met)... and while reading the war stories .. it s quite evident .
Similarly .. even in the corporate scenario and even in the case of country's leadership . One book i read which is entirely about leadership is ART OF WAR - by Sun Tzu . a 1000 Yrs old booko but an interesting read.
I'm no Sun Tzu .. but here are what i feel are Telltale signs of a leader.. or how a leader should be .. I personally belive that though some people are born leaders .. one can always train himself to be one ..

1> The leader has to be assertive. It is not enough to issue clear orders .. you have to be assertive in doing them .. and for the first few times … if u can crosscheck if it’s been done well .. nothing like it .

2> The Leader should have something extra – it can be a quality , a talent or even something tangible which rest of the pack doesn’t have. Unless this is there it is difficult to invoke respect from rest of the pack . Or the leader must have the ability to do something which others do not have. EG: the US had the BOMB and more or less it was one of the reasons why post world war it emerged as an undisputed leader. To be admired or hated .. there has to be this extra thing.

3> People respect Authority – in one form or the other .. the leader should exert his authority.

4> He should lead by example . The leader should never back off from doing things which he expects others to do or follow . Eg : Its very easy for a brave general to inspire his soldiers to risk their life for the country than it is for a weakling who isssues orders from the security of a fortress. So be there.. right in the frontlines of battlefield and lead by example.

5> Compassion: If the people you are leading do not connect with you on a personal level , it is difficult to inspire them to give their best for you , sacrificing their personal space . Though it is not feasible some of the times .. it should be done whenever possible. The guy should never have a feeling that he is simply being –used.

6> It is easy to lead them if you happen to invoke the pride in themselves. If ppl feel they are doing something really useful / important then people can be made to work real hard.

The list is by no means comprehensive not exhaustive .. i'll keep updating them as and when i come across more situations.. ppl are free to add few as well ... in COMMENTS !!

This space is for the question i asked below .. im still trying to comprehend why .. till then ..