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The waves

As the Wind Blows

Location: Chennai, Tamilnadu, India

31 May 2003

At last I could make a breakthro' to Tamil Blogging. Checkout my poem ( I guess so :-) in my Tamil blog thanks maalan for the tips :-)

29 May 2003

Check out HR Talk for the latest piece.

28 May 2003

Sense of bonding?

Have you ever wondered what makes us Indians unique as workforce? I think it is the way we stick to our sense of loyalty to an employer. We take time to take to new things, but once we decide we “belong”, we can go out of the way to support “our” people. Well, how else do you explain a case of an old maid who fell very sick – but didn’t want to quit the household because she has been part of it for years? Not having the heart to leave the household in lurch looking for a new maid etc..etc… this lady alternatively decided that she will hand over the baton to her daughter who actually is not jobless either. This daughter was working in a garment unit for Rs.1000 bucks and when her mother requested her to quit that job and work in the household for Rs.600, this daughter complied the request without a murmur. I am still working at the cost - benefit ratio. These women under discussion don’t seem to give a damn to such analysis though!! :-) or am i missing somehting here? :-)

let me go back to the starting line - looking at the high employee turn over, I guess I can't generalise this trait to the entire lot of us. Yet I have often witnessed such great dispaly of loyalty among the older generation of employees in many firms. now, how far the loyalty to an employer really matter?

24 May 2003

Edu Loans

I always repose great faith in today’s younger generations’ sense of honesty and straightforwardness. My faith was reinforced once again this week. In an interesting conversation during a wedding in the family ( that, incidently, explains the break in my blogging :-) ) a bank official informed that big fishes in the business may contribute for the burgeoning NPA ( Non performing Assets). But there was one area where there is absolutely no default and loans get repaid promptly as per schedule. “ An increasing number of students avail educational loans from our banks for their studies abroad. And what is heartening is that they start the repayment the moment they land a job.” Well, don’t you think India has a promising future if we go by this standard of integrity? – I mean - provided these guys choose to come back and work here !!!

Another journo site.

Meanwhile, it is interesting to note that more Indian journos are launching individual websites and blogs. Latest to join the bandwagon is Sucheta Dalal. Checkout her site.

15 May 2003

Kiruba had mentioned about postman, a rare sight theres days in villages. In the e-world, we would thnk the post offcie is almost under endangered species list. But check out HR Talk - Oct 15 & Nov1 issues from archives to get more insight on this :-)

12 May 2003

Googleable Tamil :-)

Mahesh's blog had mentioned about google search in Tamil. Muthu Nedumaran did a google search for Thisaigal and other few words and he got several results in Tamil. Checkout this e-zine's May issue for his article on the issue. Muthu has also brought out a new tool for Tamil SMS.

In those days you know... :-)

I guess suddenly I’m caught up in a nostalgic wave. There is this cousin of mine whose passion for old songs seems to have hit him again with a bang, and he is happily digging for yahoo groups for all Hindi old numbers. Exchanging notes with other collectors. He also has a theory about why most Bombay Tamils enjoy old Tamil songs. “When we migrate to new place, we tend to preserve the old memories left behind in our native places. Most Bombay Tamils left their native TN in the forties and fifties. Naturally the songs of that period are etched immortally in their memories.”

Actually, it is true for any diaspora living anywhere. Not only old songs, even the lifestyle and everything that belongs to certain period often stay frozen in their memories. I have witnessed this during my 4 years of living in Singapore.

Another nostalgic bout was from a friend who said she misses her college days. And those small chit- chat we used to have before the assembly ( topics invariably hovered on the cinema songs played on the morning “vividhbharathi” ) “hey, - did -you – hear – that - this –or- that” kind of talk.

Now that the radio is back with a thunder (or should I say, melody?) I don’t know if such conversations are back on the college campus.

Not only songs. Another friend misses her neighbourhood postman, and the reems of letters ( remember that blue envelope which is almost extinct now? ) we used to exchange. “Oh, post office was temple to us, the postman god and his cycle bell was the most melodious music to our ears.” Well, Time has its own way of touching us.

10 May 2003

An English Haiku: well, sort of :-)

Yet another peak,
Just one more milestone,
And I'd have “arrived”
But hey…..!

When do I begin living ? :-)

09 May 2003

Thought for Today.

A lot of conflict can be resolved if you have the ability to “let go”. I Was trying to fix up an appointment with Malgudi Subha, the singer, and during a minute conversation, she encapsulated the Art of living in this one word :-) Looking forward to an interesting session of interview with her later in the month.


I think the problem comes in when there is a sense of possession - relationship or material. When there is Spontaneity of warmth and creativity there won't be room for conflict.

06 May 2003

Where do you draw the line between the individual and the public figure?

How far the seat of power should overshadow the true individual that you are?

When does a person cease to be the individual and becomes the symbol of the seat he/ she occupies?

Two news stories yesterday triggered off this reflection in me. One was Hasan Suroor’s dispatch from London in Hindu May 6th.

Tony Blair comes under flak for expressing his faith in God – for his frequant reference to God, (he would rather be judged by his “Maker” rather than by his people;”; he appeared at the launch of his party’s general elections clutching a hymnbook; - something like our own VIPs displaying all kinds of symbols of their individual faiths? ) His critics say that he has no business to mix up his personal beliefs and political decisions. He is accused of his justification of his decision to join the invasion on Iraq, saying, he was ready to “Meet my Maker” and answer before God.

OK. If Tony Blair might wonder if he should discard his beliefs because of his high powered seat, closer home a Chief Minister whines that due respect was not given to her during Prime Minister’s visit to the state. According to a newspaper report, she is reported to have said that she didn’t demand respect as an individual, but as a Chief Minister.

Well, where does the individual end and the symbol of power begin?

Post Script:

In my opinion, I think a VIP individual can have his own believes and faiths and desires. But the difference between him and the ordinary folk like you and me is that, since he is the symbol of the post he holds, he has to restrain himself from “displaying” or “exhibiting” his believes etc. So Tony Blair can jolly good look forward to “face his Maker” or hold a book of hymn. - in his private chambers, not on public forums, where he speaks on behalf of his country.

Trying my hand at blogrolling - tech support from Kingsley and Kiruba - thank you :-) hope I am able to pass test number 1. :-)

05 May 2003

There has been a volley of responses on the discussion on URLs in print media in Kingsley's blog. Thanks Kingsley for kicking off the discussion.

Tamil Computing.

If you are interested in readng Tamil on the web, check out the new e-zine Thisaigal

Launched by Maalan editor, Sun News, the e-zine is different - a mix of current affairs and good literature. Particulalry the variety provided by Tamils across the globe ( the first issue - March 2003 - even had one story from a writer from Alaska) makes the e-zine an interesting read. Check out May issue for interesting collection of Tamil Haikus.

Now for the Works with BSNL :-)

To cut down on my telephone bill as per BSNL's new tariff plans, I have been mounting the electricity bill - I mean burning the proverbial midnight oil - to work out a cost effective plan as per the new tariff package.

Well for the benefit of other telephone users I roughly culled the following information from the mumbo -jumbo of the Chart provided by BSNL on the newspapers. It also had a fine print that if we don't choose an option we would fall into General catagory. You can study this table of mine and find out what it means for you. :-)

Telephone charges as per BSNL’s new tariff plans. Note that as the usage increases, it is cost effective to choose a higher value plan.

Usage Per Month General Economy Special
1200 calls Rs.1654 Rs.1610 Rs.1410
1000 Calls Rs.1414 Rs.1370 Rs.1190
800 Calls Rs.1174 Rs.1130 Rs. 970
700 Calls Rs.1054 Rs.1010 Rs. 860
600 Calls Rs. 934 Rs. 890 Rs. 750
500 Calls Rs. 814 Rs. 770 Rs. 750
300 Calls Rs. 574 Rs. 530 Rs. 750
250 Calls Rs. 470 Rs. 450 Rs. 750
150 Calls Rs. 370 Rs. 350 Rs. 750

04 May 2003

Despite Chennai being a highly tech savvy city, getting a good broadband is uphill task.

I hv been looking for a broadband service provider in my area for quite sometime now, and it has not been easy. Broadband through cable should have been the easiest network, but strangely the cable operators in chennai have been that tech. accomadative as those in Bombay or delhi? I have been requesting my operator why not go in for cable internet - and he has been telling his Mulit System provider is not going in for one and so he can't. And whenn friends fom bombay ask you "why can't you ask yr cable operator for internet cable, ours gives us just for Rs. 500 pm?" I hv to sheepishly say say somehting which doesn't convince myself :-)

so, till I find a good broadband service, hmm... keep puting up with dial-up service - and to think of the latest BSNL tariff... net surfing going to be highly prohibitive :-) :-)

More clarifications on "Links" :-)

Kingsley is not convinced with my defense about lack of URLs in the ET story. First let me clarify one thing. Like I said I was merely following a trend and I don’t think it is such an offence J However his suggestions are appreciated and who knows changes may take place sooner than he expects :-)

Now for the details:

No dice. What happens when you cover emerging technologies? You give names of companies, which are pushing the envelope, right?

“pushing-envelope-kind –of – story” is a worrying trend much discussed in various media forums. I am not defending that trend. My defense was simple. In the print media, giving the contact address was seen as promo. Writing about product launch is different. News reports are meant for that. But features are different. And we have brief not to give contact info in the story itself. But I had also emphasized that it is not a complete ban on contact info. I have said clearly, “. URL is given only in such stories, which are seen as reader friendly – like any info tips - or exclusive column on web sites."Also, the magazine sections and metro supplements regularly carry contact info.in most stories. But that is a different category altogether. I said it is not done in main paper feature articles, and I was following a trend. Every story carries quotes from several people for opinions. They don’t carry the contact info alongside. And my story on blog is no different. A story on realtors for example, don’t carry the contact info of all the realtors spoken to. If the readers want, they usually ask the publication for details. Like I said, the trend may change :-)

I'd also like you to quantify your "normal ET newspaper reader" - I'm sure that you'll find your readership is fast getting Internet savvy. Are you saying that not even 25% of your readership knows about the web? I know atleast 10 people who've switched to reading the ET online and are frustrated by their refusal to hyperlink or provide related reading even between their own articles! It appears that you might have had nothing against providing phone numbers, but links are somehow not ok. Suppose you where doing a piece on a turn of the century phenomenon called "telephones" - would you provide street addresses and refuse to provide phone numbers? How short-sighted would that be?

The readers might be tech savvy – no dispute - but the fact remains that the reader asked for phone numbers and not URLs.

And the answers to Aruna's arguments:

1)The tradition has to be evaluated against the benefits of making the change, especially when reading habits are changing

Evolutions world over, happens automatically on its own - necessity is the catalyst for change. Print media may reach the “linking” phase in its own pace depending on the demands of necessity.

2)URLs are not ad space - they are contact information, atleast in the case of blogs

Precisely. Refer to the realtors story example I gave. Blogs are not commercial sites. I agree. But the norm for all the stories was followed.

3)Maybe if you had provided URLs in your article, some of your readers who were interested might have read some blogs, liked what they saw and started a blog of their own.

I agree. But my article should have prompted them enough to search Google”. It is a question of few minutes difference – between direct link and the Google link :-)

I doubt if you would have started a blog if you hadn't visited some yourself :)

Very True :-) But I did my own search and research before I got an idea. I guess anyone who is seriously interested in a subject will take the pains of doing a research and not look for an easy link :-)

I can think of only one reason to not have links in print - long URLs interrupt the flow of reading.

Perhaps. I don’t rule out the reason.

Print media could adopt the standard used in academic publications to provide references, like I have used in this article.

Suggestions are well taken. I’ll pass on the whole idea of “links” to my fellow journos.

03 May 2003

Have you ever fumed about poor service rendered at banks? Well, let’s get a glimpse into the other side:-)

A banker friend, Uma Bhaskaran ( sorry, no links. she is yet to open a blog) shared with me an interesting experience. On a rainy, thunderstorm day recently (Oh! How did I miss it? when WAS that in this parched Chennai? :-) ) all telephone network connections in her branch collapsed due to a major breakdown in the concerned exchange. She narrated how, for two days at a stretch, she and her colloegues managed the entire banking activity through cell phone and through a extension counter located close by.

“Since CHENNAI was not used to raindrops for a long time, may be the transformer could not withstand.” She began jokingly, “ Cutomer one troops in and demands, ‘ I don’t how you will do Uma. I need my draft immediately. Your technical problems are not my problem.’ I began engaing him in conversation while my staff rushed to the nearby extension counter to get the DD for him. And then customer 2 walked in with a helpful suggestion ‘oh, telephone lines down? Why not have another service provider – these days you have them dime a dozen?’ I totally endorsed her suggestion and said I’m forwarding her excellent idea to our CO – (Why should I waste my energy and time explaining to her why we can’t actually switch over to another provider or have a stand –by provider?)

well, howz that ? :-)

01 May 2003

Looks like I have to get things in perspective again :-) this time round it is that bit I wrote on 30th "You Too Hindu?".

well media experts tell me that it not unsual for Newspapers to carry, verbatim, survey reports of other media agencies. They don't see newspapers publication of NDTV's Iraq poll and highlighting the agency as promo. So perhaps my perception of the story was wrong :-)