Aug 29, 2006

NOT Love Actually...

Heres a very logical, scientific and very unromantic look at the attraction between opposite sexes. All this talk of love and all is bullshit I say.

As usual, this is not simply what I feel. Im no expert on anything and never claim to know something y'all dont. I just read some stuff u may have missed, and write it here!

Men and women get attracted to each other for different reasons. Men, by nature, are promiscuous and territorial. They look at a hot/smart girl as territory they'd like to 'conquer'. Thats why they show off. That's why they are protective and jealous. And that is why they stray. Its like - ok, i own this piece of territory now. What more can i have? And obviously, they dont expect 'existing territory' to leave them if they try to conquer more. Territory once conquered is to be taken for granted.

Women, on the other hand, are genetically programmed to seek the best 'seed'. They want their man to be smart, intelligent and capable of cutting it in the big bad world. The assumption is, the child who has his genes, will also do well for itself. Which is why a girl is more likely to date a rich geek, than a guy is to date a smart-but-not-hot girl. Also, why do women like their man to have an emotional quotient? Simple. They feel such a person would protect them and their child, and can be relied on.

Learnings: Love is a load of crap. There are deep, sub-conscious but very real 'needs' that drive the attraction between couples.

If you are a guy - you should look manly enough to produce a healthy child, be smart enough to earn enough (and produce a smart kid who can earn enough), and sensitive enough for your woman to trust you with her all.

If you are a gal, you just have to look hot. Advice to hot women: He IS a territorial animal. Read above what all a guy has to be, to be perfect. Its a lot. You were probably born hot and didnt have to do anything until now to be perfect. Now is ur turn - let him be, and make him feel good about himself.

Considering that the expectations are so different, its amazing relationships work out at all! If you are in one, cherish it.

Aug 27, 2006


Have not written much recently. Ppl take offense when i write personal stuff, and i didnt really find any issue to write abt lately. Came across this post by Shreyas and got thinking. Heres my take

Nationalism is a sense of belonging to a community - taking pride in its achievments and worrying about its problems. I agree with some of the things Shreyas said, but disagree completely with his dismissal of nationalism altogether. I think its a good thing. We've all heard the cliche about man being a social animal a million times. And i feel nationalism, national pride and suchlike are manifestations of our social needs.

There are issues that affect all of us - the poor state of the infrastructure affects the time i take to reach my office/mall/whatever and the mood i reach there in, bomb blasts in Mumbai could have killed people i know - or even me if i was workin in mumbai like mosta my batchmates and happened to be traveling in one of the doomed locals, my best friend from school lost his father to Naga insurgency, i cant go out late with my girlfried in delhi coz its unsafe, my home state (Punjab) will be the first to be affected if India was to ever lose Kashmir. To me, these are common problems of most Indians. And nationalism is a defense mechanism and an aid like the 'teamwork' at our workplaces. I may not care too deeply for some of the work, and may not particularly love the people i work with - but we have to work as a team for all to succeed. Nationalism is the same thing on a much larger scale.

Also I often hear people lamenting on the lack of 'freedoms' today. They want to be free to have their opinions and express them - and not care about religion or regional sentiments, government policy or the Indian cricket team. I agree that would be nice. But if everyone were to live in their own little silo and not care about the country - it would only worsen our lives. we'll have even more reckless politicians coming to power and making more laws like 47% reservation. we'd probably be hit by increasinly audacious and frequent terrorist attacks.

Exercising your right to vote, staging protests against bad government, supporting the Indian cricket - these are all our social responsibilities. We have the opportunity to live freely today because previous generation have toiled to ensure we have freedom. Now if we take it all for granted and shirk our responsibilities, we would certainly be inviting disaster!

On a different note though, I agree with Shreyas about delinking individual achievements with national pride. If Mittal has made it big, none of us did anything to help him do so, and therefore have no right to share pride. Pseudo-nationalism also leads people to extoll immature under-achievers like Karthikeyan and Sania Mirza, which makes me balk

And i also dont like it when a 'sense of community' assumes political and quarrelsome overtones. People fighting over religion, language, regional heritage miss the big picture and their actions become counter-productive and self-destructive. Which probably suits their power-lusting leaders just fine. More on this in Un-jihad below.

Aug 21, 2006


This is on a sensitive subject. So if you aren't prepared to consider a radical view, just skip it. I dont want any1 telling me later that my view is unacceptable and they are offended by what i wrote.

Consider this - the violence post-Ayodhya in '91 was terrible, but it was an unusual incident. Then we had blasts in mumbai. There was a gap of two years. While I was in school, i used to hear about small terrorist attacks carried out by Pakistani operatives once in a while. Such incidents were not very frequent, and always blamed on a foreign enemy. And mostly they used to happen in faraway, war-like Kashmir.

What we have now is violent, disturbing acts being carried out shockingly close to 'home' - the Lal Qila, the Parliament, famous temples, the locals of Mumbai... its happening more and more often and gets getting closer to you and I each time. And its not foreign intruders anymore. Its now terrorists recruited from our own country.

This is a summary of stuff I recently read - which i have no way to prove or any justification for believing - but i think its true. The terror establishment in Pakistan - due to international pressure or whatever - is no longer directly involved in what is happening here. On the face of it, they are supporting the 'war on terror' and trying to be helpful neighbors. But they have some extremist elements there who plan, fund and supply arms and ideology to idiots in our country who execute the plans. That way, we cant blame any outsiders - and they can label it a 'freedom struggle' and make us look like authoritarian assholes who cant keep our house in order. Very meticulous and alarmingly efficient if recent history is anything to go by.

Now I dont care much for the fact that Im a Hindu. Nor do I have anything against the Muslims or Christians in my country. But I do have a problem with someone who is willing to die and kill me and my people because we are not of the same faith.

This is a time India is trying to develop into an economic power of the world. We have people working hard - improving their lives and trying to build a globally competitive economy. We dont need an asshole screaming 'Jihad' and striking terror at the heart of Mumbai. I have friends in Mumbai - who have toiled hard to obtain a world-class education and are toiling hard to make careers for themselves, and to contribute to the building of a nation we can all be genuinely proud of. Some of them are Catholics, some of them are Muslim - i dont care. I respect them and would like them to achieve something. I hate the assholes who plant bombs in the trains these guys travel in. And if religion is what drives them, I say remove the root cause.

Screw secularism. You are either an Indian - and loyal to India and its people. Or you get the fuck out of our country. I know this would sound harsh, but I suggest that the freedom of religion be revoked. Convert to Hindusim (or Christianity for all I care - thats not the point). And if you'd rather be a Muslim than be an Indian - get out of here. We dont need you fighting with us and holding us all back. Its not that i am agsinst giving people complete freedom. But if freedom is going to be abused, people dont deserve it. I'd love it if the entire Muslim community lived in harmony with us. But if the freedom to practice Islam leads to riots and blasts and trains being burnt and Pakistani cricket victories being celebrated by bursting crackers, I dont think its worthwhile.

Of course, our polity - who see the aggrieved and en-blocked Muslims as a vote-bank and a source of their obscene power - would never take any step of the kind Im suggesting. But I wonder how long the majority will just sit back and take so much shit. It was their frustration that created a Bal Thackeray. And it was bottled and oppressed passion that brought to power in UP - a BJP govt that promised a Ram Mandir. I hope the problem is not solved in such a violent manner in the future. But if the leaders keep trying to appease their votebanks, something will give soon.

I'm not a religious hardliner who has anything personal against Islam. But I think the whole 'Jihad' funda and trying to establish supremacy of one faith or one God - whose very existence no one has any evidence for- is a load of crap. I'd like to believe the process of 'civilization' has moved on to a place, where people stop fighting over territory or religion, and compete economically.

If a Chinese person can manufacture better than me, or a Pakistani can sing or bowl better than me, I'd accept defeat with dignity and give them the respect that is due. But is someone's idea of 'establishing superiority' is striking fear of bomb blasts in my heart, or forcing me to queue up at the security check at Forum mall and get my bag checked, I dont think they even deserve to be a human being in the 21st century.

Aug 15, 2006

Kotler Update

Philip Kotler was recently in India. He did an interview with Economic Times and Im noting some points I found interesting.

4Ps was updated to include People in the 21st century. This includes your own back office and frontline people, infact anyone involved in the entire sales and support process (CCDV - elaborated below). 'Our strength is our people' is probably the greatest corporate cliche of all time!

He chose the 4 'P's because his own name begins with a 'P'. He said it jokingly but I wont be surprised if it were true. This would support my hypothesis that great people have a 'me first' thought process!

The new Marketing framework is CCDV - Creating, Communicating and Delivering Value. Lets take Tata Indicom Broadband in Bangalore as a case here. The opinions hereon have nothing to do with Kotler, they are mine!

Tata Indicom Created value by ofering a broadband service at a competitive price with freebies like Static IP, Router, No hidden charges. So far so good.

They advertised like crazy and managed to contract with big residential complexes. They have Shankar Mahadevan doing a breathles jingle and billboards all over the place. Value Communicated!

But when it came to delivery - they fell flat on their face. People who applied for broadband connections - who would be impatient by default - were made to wait more than two months without any communication about the application status from the company, let alone actual installation and activation. Most people get frustrated and cancel. Those who get the connection are annoyed by the delay and then appaled by the poor service standard.

Therefore, they lose out to Airtel in this market and Reliance in CDMA telephony.

This is quite typical of companies in India. Nice ideas, lot of bureacracy and talk, little action. Nobody wants to put in the real effort and get their hands dirty. Thats why China kicks our ass in manufacturing. I hope im part of the generation that changes that!

Aug 13, 2006


Finally! Broadband at home. These Airtel guys r gr8. Die Tata Indicom!

Sweet... will be more action on this blog now!

Aug 12, 2006

Sad, but it had to..

... end this way.

Ever seen a hero and a villain make peace at the end of a movie, and carry on with their good and bad lives as if nothing ever happened between them? I haven't. And I suppose its the same in real life.

Specifically, once you exchange a certain three-word-phrase with someone, and both of you really mean it, there simply is no going back to being friends or acquaintances. The story either ends in marriage or estrangement.

This kind of estrangement is weird - it does not have plain hatred or dislike at its root, cause u cant hate someone u once loved. U know they are still basically the same person, and there is always a soft corner - however small. But a few mistakes or deeds or acts can be unforgivable and unforgettable - leading to complete cutoff.

But this cutoff is still better than the 'gray area' where u love someone and know that it cannot work out in the long term. The way it ended is quite sad, but i guess i should be glad it IS over.

Aug 2, 2006

Gini index

An interesting after-note to the previous post on Indian Economy.

Another load of bull we've heard recently is that Indian growth is very lop-sided. Some cities are growing with the force of IT, ITES, Finance etc, while 'the real India' that lives in villages isnt getting any better. This argument becomes most important during election time with Opposition parties championing the cause of the 'aam aadmi' and 'rural India'.

The rich-poor disparity is measured using an economic index called the Gini index which essentially measures the difference between a perfectly uniform income distribution and the actual distribution.

India has a Gini index of 33%, compared to 41% for the United States, 45% for China, and 59% for Brazil. This means the distribution of wealth in India is more even than any of these countries. So, the 'aam aadmi' and the 'gawar' in India are better off, compared to their counterparts in US, China and Brazil.

Im sure the parties in Opposition wouldnt agree :)

Of Indian Economy...

Beautiful piece here by Gurcharan Das, the former CEO of P&G India, whose celebrity-like status I havent quite been able to understand. But he does write well.

This piece expalins clearly what many of us suspect or believe - that India is growing inspite of the State rather than because of the State and its policies. That also explains the unique anti-incumbency trend in India. In most other fast-developing countries, parties do some good work and get voted back to power because people are generally happy with economic growth. Here, parties in power just get in the way of development, and then try to claim credit with campaigns like 'India Shining', only to be duly booted out by a frustrated public.

I've never understood why Jawaharlal Nehru is always voted as the best PM India has had, in any survey. The facts suggest quite the opposite. His 'socialist' philosophy for India wasnt in sync with the age of globalization. He's the one who nationalized everything and created incompetent PSU behemoths, that sapped the adrenaline out of India. But of course, in school we are all taught how great he was and what a wonderful thing it is to be a 'socialist, secular, democratic republic . Im sure the 'socialist' was a bad idea, and have some reservations about the secular and democratic parts also.

I also doubt the so-called 'Non-aligned movement' that we are taught as if it were gospel. Did it really make sense to go it alone and become irrelevant, rather than take a side and stay in the mainstream of world politics and trade?

India is now on the right track. But I am worried about the indoctrination of school education. We are forced to align our thinking with principles that are clearly irrelevant in this day and age, if not altogether wrong. Our past is glorified, and not critiqued till you get to late-college, and even then traditional thinking is challenged only in a few good colleges, with thinkers like Dr Veeraraghavan.

Ive heard many people voicing the opinion that Indians are too risk-averse. We lack the killer instinct, we dont have enough entrepreneurs, our best brains defect to the West. Well, you want all that to change, start with encouraging free thinking at school! How realistic is to expect children - who are taught a load of bull and pressurized to get higher grades with little freedom given to develop social, artistic, or athletic interests - to develop into risk-taking torchbearers of a new Indian economy later in life?