Sunday, June 11, 2006

Laughter, perhaps the only medicine

At the outset, I would like to apologise for the rather long delay. You see, I was down with a little bout of fever. During that time your mind wanders, as mine did. I decided to wander through all that, that had made me laugh or even smile through the years.

The first thing that came to mind was a cartoon by Ponnappa in the Times of India (which other than that is what some might term a sleaze rag). It was on the day Jayalalitha(a) got re-elected as Tamil Nadu chief minister. On that very day, the sequel to the movie The Mummy, The Mummy Returns had been released. The cartoon depicted a figure of Jayalalitha(a) with the caption "The Mummy Returns".

Time flies with funny forwards. Some are hilarious and you appreciate the genius behind them. Some are just wrong. But time flies none the less. In a recent flood of such forwards, I found our beloved Arjun Singh to be the butt of many a joke. For those of you not familiar with Arjun Singh, he is the one partially responsible for the upcoming quota raj. Though this is not one of the many forwards recieved, one picture of Arjun Singh in the Indian Express is still fresh in my memory. He is seated in the VIP section and above his chair is a large signboard that reads "Reserved".

Here I show just a glimpse of my wanderings hoping you enjoyed what you saw.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Of Laloo and the Railways

Any Business and Economics publication worth its salt has carried at one time or another, the story of the resurrection of the Indian Railways. And as they say, its all thanks to one man at the helm of the affairs. The one and only Laloo Prasad Yadav.

The man perhaps single handedly responsible for bringing Bihar to the brink of disaster is perhaps single handedly responsible for injecting new life into the railways. For the first time since I can recall, railway passenger fares have fallen. With increasing revenues, falling fares and global CEOs wanting to "walk the Laloo track", this is indeeed a turnaround for the railways so far mismanaged by various specimens.

One of the latest stories on Laloo and the Railways was in the Indian Express. It said, " Laloo has brought about this change without using any heavy weight management concepts or using the services of global consultants like E & Y. But, by using simple and down to Earth management fundamentals.". Perhaps there is a lesson in this for all. The IIMs seemed to have realised this and are making it the subject of a case-study. Why stop there? How about a case-study in Sociology or Political Science. To come from the interior cow-belts of Bihar to the subject of an IIM case-study is a long journey.


Sunday, June 04, 2006

The "O, to B or not to B, C" fiasco

I thought I would say my few words while this issue was still fresh in our minds and before all dissent was drowned in the name of political correctness.

I was reading the Indian Express a few days back and as we can all recall, the paper was replete with stories on the upcoming Quota Raj. I always found the concept of carrying a piece of paper issued by a figure of authority saying that the person was "backward", repulsive. I mean, how humiliating is that!
As I continued to read the paper, I stumbled upon a large ad on the front page itself whose first few lines read:


"OBC
Increasing interest rates on deposits by 1%"


This was followed by a complicated table listing out the various new rates for deposits of different time periods. I thought to myself that the OBC catagory are netting quite a windfall here. Not only are they getting a quota to themselves, but also getting an increase in interest rates on bank deposits. Not bad.

As I continued to the end of the ad, I saw the last line which read:


"Oriental Bank of Commerce"

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Intro

Hello.

After answering about a hundred questions on my so far non-existant blog, I finally decided to get a space for my thoughts, my views and my words in edgewise on this World Wide Web. I'm sure a lot of people out there couldn't care less about my thoughts, my views and my words in edgewise. But the urge to make myself heard, or in this case viewed, was, simply put, irresistable.

Disclaimer:
The views expressed in this weblog reflect the views of the author.
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