Showing posts from April, 2010

Character Sketches 2

Continuing with the thoughts in the last posting, here are some more, this time in the form of job profiles.

The IPL Commissioner- A Job Profile

You are expected to 'modi'fy the existing game format, the rules, the timings, in short, everything about cricket. The EQ, or the entertainment quotient, has to be as close to 100% with glitz, glamour, cheerful behavior (particularly of the leaders), whiff on controversies ensuring continuous media limelight. Unexpected winners and losers are a must in as many matches as possible, to keep bookies on their toes. A twitter account is the minimum qualification, as in the case of certain ministries of state.

A Management Guru

You have to spawn a new vocabulary, and a new 'paradigm' which is expected to change the business world forever. A best-seller outlining 10 ways to achieve the largest market share in any business in 1 year, is mandatory. You must wear a three-piece suit even in peak summer, so that your brand value is not eroded…

Character Sketches

This is inspired by the Marathi humourist P.L. Deshpande, who wrote some immortal character sketches. Of course, these may be nowhere near his in quality. But that doesn't stop me from attempting some.

The Man Who Knows Too Much

This is the watchman at any residential complex gate. He knows exactly what is happening inside, and who is coming or going. In case there is a murder in the residential complex, his testimony is crucial. Has to keep tabs on parking of sundry vehicles, and tries to fob off guests trying to park inside. Also a useful chap when the housewife has small errands like calling the dhobi, or the raddiwala, or the absconding maid needs a stern reminder. At other times, his sphinx-like appearance belies his alert mind, at least in the daytime. He may be occasionally found snoring at night, but never goofs off more than the average office-goer.

The Indian Student in 12th

This is a person who has to answer 3 times a day, for 1 year, the same dreaded question- "So, W…


It was April last year that I published my autobiography through, an online self-publishing outfit. As an anniversary reminder to myself, here are snippets from one of the chapters-

Chapter 17: My Students over the Years

If thou art a teacher, thou shalt have students- Book of Socrates, XVIIII, page 2345.

I run into them everywhere, from South Indian joints in Kolkata to alumni meets in Hyderabad, to the malls in Bangalore. Sometimes it appears as if I know half the management grads in India, and sometimes it’s a good feeling, except it makes me feel very old. Here is a brief intro to some of them.

Padmapriya: Now a heroine of repute in Mallu movies, was a great classical dancer, and teamed very well with Jimmy, her batchmate at Kirloskar Institute, for some great dance performances.

Joy: Was one of the really mature students, with a zest for life who did well for himself after the PGDM at Kirloskar Institute. Was from the City of Joy, too. Worked for UB, Himalaya and then, Cok…

Goal oriented Socializing

I am on a round of socializing with friends- my mom's! She is visiting Nagpur, and many of her friends from work days in Andhra Pradesh are settled here. So we made a list of 5 families to visit in a week. Managed to do 2, and will complete the rest before she moves out of Nagpur. It sure makes the heat bearable, meeting someone after 10 or 15 years, and remembering old times. Once one reaches 50, which I will soon, life is a series of many Rewinds interspersed with Forwards (not fast forwards)and of course, the Play button being on continuously at all other times.

The above families of course have offspring, and some were my friends too, so I am getting back in touch with a few in this process. One of my daughters is here too, and it's a great feeling to have one. I have two, so it's a Double dose. No idea if a mom feels the same way about a son- probably does for a while, at least.

Met a friend's son recently who was struck down by a car in his sheltered Delhi campus, …

Media Scams

In the good old days, there were some scoops- Dharam-Hema, Amitabh-Rekha, and other varieties, slashed across Stardust. Now there are scams- Harshad Mehta (stock-market scam), Lalit Modi-Shashi Tharoor-investors, blah, blah blah (IPL scam), Abdul Karim Telgi (stamp paper scam), and Nityananda (the holy smoke scam). What our scam-thirsty public can endure, or even cherish, we don't yet know. The boundaries of common decency and privacy have already been breached, and the paparazzi rule our lives- sometimes, a la episode Diana, causing deaths too.

Scams can get boring too, but then you have the IPL (not the scam, the game), the child bride shows, the dance beta dance (or some similar titled one). The nice comedy serials are somehow missing, and any serials with an intelligent story are even more missing.

Summer thoughts can be scorching!

Ingrid Bergman

I think Ingrid was the Madhubala of western movies- lovely in black and white! But I came across a book written by her PR agent in Hollywood, and her early years were spent motherless, fatherless, and thinking she was no good- at least socially, and in many other ways. Nobody wanted to date her, and she still survived-and how! She also came across as a very normal, unstarry person after she became famous, which is almost impossible to imagine these days- maybe even those days. At the height of her career in Hollywood she did a long stint on Broadway, because she wanted to play Joan of Arc.-it was her dream.

Though I have seen only two movies of hers- Casablanca and one of Ingmar Bergman's, I think..I am a big fan..plan to see some more of her films if I can get hold of them.

Bliss et al

The pursuit of bliss has driven mankind into a variety of activities- from praying to making money, and several others. But a journalist has actually gone to various countries to study how happy people there are. The result is a book, The Geography of Bliss. Written in a very engaging style, it starts with Netherlands, where happiness is a subject of university researchers, to Bhutan, which measures Gross National Happiness rather than Gross National Product, to Switzerland, Qatar, India, and a few other countries in between.

What happens everywhere is quite educational. The Himalayan country of Bhutan itself is a calming influence on visitors and residents alike. They look at life differently, not only materialistically. The residents want monarchy to continue, whereas the king wants to bring in democracy.

Happiness is linked to living in the present, paying attention to what we do, being nice to people, having some money (though not as much as we think), having unpredictability in lif…

Dubai pics

An update with Dubai pics from my recent visit along with colleagues. This is my first time using images here, and I hope these turn out.Ok, I mean. If not, please go to for the album. That at least should work.