have you been dreaming lately?

me? well, read on 2 know...btw welcome!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Calorie Glow :)

I've been on a good and healthy diet for a while now....but there are always those weak moments that break you. Not that I do not stick to resolutions, but I feel I'm being subconciously teased and my mind juggled with ( by mother nature I hope....and nothing more) everytime I hit that 7:00 O'Clock curfew time.

It's surreal, it's peaceful....in the company of your family. I picture my Mom browsing the channels, a staunch believer in good living. Nothing, almost nothing can melt her mood as far as food is concerned,....she's in absolute control of her surroundings and herself.

Dad's on an intellectual high every evening; he loves winding up with a good book. But I also assume he makes good disguise of his cravings, what with a major sweet tooth that he has. (He'd rather argue those were sweet thoughts!).

My sister has got accustomed to this new found military routine overnight, and almost nothing can break her too. Taken after Mom I guess, ...military time, military workouts,...food ofcourse,.. if there is a thing as military food, that too. Basically military everything!

Well, I'm good until 21:00, miltary time, and then there is the thought,... well just a thought,...no harm in that right?
So I'm thinking junk, easily the most comforting thought, almost therapeutic. So it's either molten cheese on everything,..... fondue, aesthetically put,... or fries. Cheese,..well I'll give it a rest, for I need a cooler climate for that kind of warmth.
Fries are your best bet,... actually it's potatoes that should be mentioned frequently...it's still a vegetable right?
Here's a little diversion, did you know most American food junkies don't know that fries are actually potatoes, and have a hard time when it comes to knowing vegetables?

Anyway, back to my situation. Spicy food is also comforting,...spicy snacks are a good pick, and they seem harmless everytime, what with their fluffiness or light weight, and almost no signs of oil too! I still heavily doubt whether spicy snacks are that harmful,...but I've had numerous discussions,.... well arguments really. So no more ifs and buts there,..... just listen to what you need to listen to.

Actually, here's the contradiction, a major one. They say listen to your heart always, and things will be just fine. Ofcourse, I admit it's the mind that has taken a detour, but what say, the mind may have been listening to the heart!  I'd go a bit further and claim it to be a cognitive meltdown, more that an emotional one! So here I go....just upto the cupboard, not even the kitchen. Snacking would be a good way to express what I'd do next.

I'd give Dad another half hour or so,...before he follows suit. Yeah, he needs to get into the kitchen,.... sweet tooth remember? But who's to say what guilt might offer? Guilty on the outside, and glowing inside! That's what I call Calorie Glow. Comfort food it is indeed!

Nandini Rao.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

'Your Namesake, Their Trust'

Just a thought. New businesses are cropping up in all parts of the country rapidly. There is an ever growing optimism among techno nerds, a phenomenon that's well reflected in the numerous startups that have been commissioned in recent years.
It's only a matter of time when the world would sit up and take notice of the Indian bred-Indian fed  corporations. Already, management schools around the world are incorporating into their teachings the administrative and managerial techniques adopted by  medium and small scale businesses in India.

It would suffice to say that the traditional and modern business houses would have had their surnames etched neatly on the stock market panels and billboards around the world.  But that's just not the case.
Apart from the Birlas and the Godrej's, and a few other traditional businesses, there seems to be a lack of commitment to promote a very Indian nomenclature on a world stage. I know of an Ericsson, a Honda, and a Johnson as friends from my days in grad school, and thought it nice to have your surname up there projecting not only the work that you do, but also the breeding grounds that made such businesses blossom.

Well, we did have a Satyam that went bonkers with it's abrasive strategies, and then taken over by a Mahindra. But the fine examples of corporate refinement  set by the numerous other companies like Infosys, Wipro, Reliance and the likes pass off as struggling law firms than be projected as Indian bred institutions. With the immense positive changes that Indians are bringing to the workplace, it would be nice to accustom the world customer with our kind of nomenclature, not to prove a point, but to ensure that the buyer builds trust with something that is as positive as is Indian, and the seller(that's us) ensures that the positivity is synonymous with  being Indian. 

Why is it important? Because there is nothing like a multicultural Indian society, ....something that also sets the benchmark for how the businesses are run here, unlike in the west where the workplace is pretty much homogenous,... barring the US. This also proves why Indians are your best bet for a global employee. The tolerance and camaraderie we bring to the workplace is unique only to us. For someone as unique as an Indian who brings a massive PR boost to businesses around the world, we are not doing enough to promote our own factories as positively,.... and have, well, resorted to the very vanilla nomenclatures like'solutions', 'info', 'infra', 'tech', 'securities' , and so on and so forth.

Sadly, the very bollywood variety of  'So and So... and Sons' has also gone for a toss! I miss those names. I miss the fantasy. Bring on the Chopras and the Godboles and their SONS... and the world will once again take notice.

Nandini Rao.

THE 'Social Network'

The tragedy that has hit Norway and the Murdoch Menace are two similar yet conflicting outcomes that once again force us to question the role of social media today.
I feel a sense of liberation everytime I pen down my thoughts, or in this case hit the keyboard, and I assume that would be the case with most of us.

The comforting fact about blogging is that I am not being made to stand on a pedestal and being questioned the legitimacy of my writings. The scary observation however would be the extent to which one would pen down their thoughts while being shielded within the four walls.

While it was completely disgraceful that someone with the greater authority to investigate the truth by the charge of the pen would eventually misuse that sort of weaponry to target the innocent, it becomes doubly frustrating to excercise caution at the pretext of upholding the right to privacy. The underlying observation in any written activity should be the extent to which human emotions are being exploited. Again, this alone cannot be a cause for concern. I however believe there is a pattern to everything that is carved out of the ordinary as there is to everything that is dull and mundane.

The necessity is to identify this pattern. Was the Norway tragedy a slow death well feigned by the lonely blogger or was it a one-off tragedy that cannot be explained? If the law allowed monitoring seemingly exploitive tendencies exhibited by any blogger/writer, it would once again compromise the notion of free speech, and free expression by one and all.
It becomes all the more important then, to decide whether a seasoned/paid writer should  have a different law from, say, the ones sitting in the comfort of their homes, venting their frustration with an ulterior motive to legitimise their thoughts and actions.

Still, in everything that has been said and done, coercive broadcasting of the truth must be differentiated and  monitored for breach of human rights laws from the seemingly harmless but equally dangerous ideologies that tend to gather considerable support. 

Nandini Rao.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

The Logistics of Hiring...

The fact that the global financial downswing had started to jolt salaried individuals & small businesses in India, two years ago, couldn't have been demonstrated more convincingly than it did in the aviation sector. Alarming as it was, both emotionally & professionally, the crisis still fails to trigger an affirmative among corporate honchos to change the  recruitment process that's doing the rounds in the private sector today. With due respect to the caliber exhibited by our work force, the hire & fire policy illustrates a poor effort at building human capital for a company. It proves that in an ideal situation, we may not have needed those numbers after-all. An economic boom in most developing countries invites false, make-believe opportunities that encourages happy singing as long as the sun shines. With democracy at our advantage, it's only  natural that we fall for all the trappings of a lucrative job. It becomes very important for any management then to realize that, what the country & its people need is a strong work foundation that will justify  any employee's presence in the company.  Creating jobs on the spur of the moment to accommodate for temporary manpower needs will only aggravate the hollowness that eventually creeps in once the  demand ceases. Encouraging a  career juggernaut like this could prove more malicious than any recession that's gonna affect us in the long run.   

Nandini Rao.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Amma...your best case study for Management!

Amma to me is happiness! Of course, it is  not the only attribute that I could decorate her with, but it's the easiest that comes to my mind,... sort of an evergreen phenomenon.

I've been taking early morning walks around the neighbourhood, ...a new year resolution that has seen the light of day only recently....
....and the nosy person that I am, couldn't help but  eavesdrop on two mothers discussing not grocery prices(which have sky rocketed by the way!), but the ability to get their kids to sit down to eat.

Fondness for their own is nevertheless an art that takes different forms, ..in this case manifesting into a concern only a mother would understand.

My childhood, blissful as it was, .... was also a very active one. My twin and I were introduced to all kinds of extra-curricular activities like swimming, classical music, cycling, hockey, painting classes, and regular trips to the library so as to get us started on our reading habit.
We started to learn swimming at the age of five in Pune. Well, the challenge was not so much as to get us going, which we did, picking up the sport very quickly indeed, ....but to make sure that we weren't relegated to the pool side because of bronchitis. My mother made sure we got over the inhibition by attacking the problem head on!

This, she accomplished after having returned from her own school, teaching bratty fifteen and sixteen year olds, Biology and Chemistry. Our pleasure ride back home from the pool was not without a generous feasting on samosa and kachoris.

Those were epic days. And it didn't stop there. Our fondness and enthusiasm for sports was also shared by my mother, so much so that she used to gather all her correction papers and accompany us to the cricket stadium, where we cheered on insanely while my mum managed to catch up with her work.

There is nothing that we, as kids, were not introduced to. My concern is that, it just wasn't a topic of discussion then. Things were done in a very smooth and efficient manner.
I'm all for feminism and the notion of sharing tasks equally between a man and a woman.
The nagging thought however is  the magnitude with which management skills are being discussed!

This has got me thinking. Today, basic amenities and logistics have improved immensely. Multitasking should have been a no-brainer. But it's just not the case. There is this sudden thrust of an emergency meet for everything ordinary under the sun!

Is it the social media, or the blind objective of effective communication( also, a part of the curriculum these days), that has prompted such a trend?

Or maybe women just love to chat....or maybe people have too much time on their hands....or maybe, just maybe, it is viral without reason,...like everything on Youtube these days!

But somethings won't change for sure....when in doubt, ask your mummy! I gather there is no stronger, more effective a manager than your mom, and whats more...she is not your boss but your friend for life!

Nandini Rao.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

My Dainty nostalgia gone Dull !!

I live in one of those new townships that have cropped up in the happening places in Hyderabad...,
the new trend that is fast catching up with the corporate conglomerate here in India.
It may seem like a treat to be able to gaze at the vast greenery from outside your window,  the gardens and the golf course,... the typical checklist that comes with this new lifestyle trend;...

...and then to provide a kindlier setting for the overwhelmed working class techies, the planning committee for this sort of real estate development  has managed to provide you with basic day to day amenities and shopping facilities within the county.

One must think it worth  the stay, and while I appreciate extravagance of any kind up until the point when style starts to give way to monetary exhibits, as is the case with most economically upgraded classes, I have lost the art of holding onto the surreal trappings that one would look back fondly upon and be comforted.

I remember our weekend trips with my father to Sambhaji Park in Pune, back in those growing up days. Even today, I recollect the simple settings of the park with a great deal of nostalgia and happiness in my heart, the happiness at being able to encounter the simple pleasures of life with zero vagueness. We always ordered BHEL PURI, yum! The very Khatta variety!  They always came packed in a local newspapers with a randomly chipped cardboard or thick paper spoon. The experience would always be one of immense beauty, ie. beauty in the simplicity of it all and beauty in the prospect of getting together with family and friends.

We have a 'CHAT BHANDAR' here within the township- explicit detail to the architecture of the shop, neat management skills of the owner and convenience of every kind for the potential customer, right from the polished benches to the very customary brown paper packages!( ...it's more of a fashion statement than an obligation towards catering to the green techno solutions, which is the trending topic today. They still forget or rather, not bother to turn off the lights when not in use!)

In all of these fabulous offerings, I'm still not able to capture the beauty of it all, and have not bothered to understand why. There is immense truth in the notion that childhood days are the best days of one's life and can never be brought back.

But if nostalgia is all about the beauty of reliving and relishing the past, what have we left to discover a few years down the line?

I'm pretty unsure as to whether I will look back in time on my trips to the 'CHAT BHANDAR' with fondness,...NOT because it didn't taste good or the environment wasn't a friendly one, but because I just couldn't fall in love with the whole adventure,.. as would have been the case years ago.

Nandini Rao.