Thursday, March 27, 2008

What I saw in Chennai 1

You just cant miss these hoardings that dominate the roadsides in Chennai. I will save my comments on them till I read yours.

(In case you are scratching your head, this IS for a newspaper)

VIRGIN??!! After this??

Note: Before you start dialing the number, remember that this is NOT an ad for an escort service

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

God be with you.

Disclaimer: This post like an earlier one is not a religious commentary, nor is it aimed at hurting the religious sentiments of anyone. They are just the thoughts and observations of another faithful like you.

I was driving to my client’s office yesterday and was in Thiruvallikeni High Road (Triplicane High Road). I was observing the communal harmony that seemingly existed in that area where the entrance arch to the Parthasarathy Temple opens into a church. The area has temples, mosques, churches spread out among the homes and believers of their faithful. It gave me a sense of pride to be a part of this city considering that religious discord is prevalent in many places across our country.

I happened to notice a hoarding that proudly invited people to participate in a ceremony where the deity will be washed (worshipped if you please) by 108 pots of milk. Considering the fact that these pots are much bigger than your mini-coffee cups and may in fact contain enough milk for at least a 100 mini coffees I was a little disturbed. I just thought it was a good thing that the images of the Gods are made of harder stuff else they would have drowned in the deluge.

I was disturbed right through the Holy week when the preacher mentioned on two occasions that even today in India many people live on 20 rupees a month. Considering the fact that I tipped a waiter the same (@ 5% of the bill amount) for a meal in a restaurant, it left a slightly bitter taste in the mouth (no it was not because I was fasting that day). Also many people go to sleep hungry every night. Statistics remain a mere number unless it involves us and somehow the statistics the preacher gave, disturbed me.

On the topic of fasting, fasting is common to many faiths and people tend to fast for various reasons. A very common reason is when the faithful want to make their God feel obliged to them – like “Hey God I gave up my lunch today for you so why don’t you do XXXX for me” or simply “I have fasted so give me XXXX”. People have given various definitions for fasting but D showed me once a beautiful version of fasting. Every time D fasts or gives up a meal, generally her breakfast (Note: Skipping breakfast is a very unhealthy practice and should be avoided) she packs the meal and carries it with her. She gives her food to some hungry person on the road. She explained that her fast becomes meaningful only when that food which she had given up reaches a needy person.

Monday, March 24, 2008

A beautiful story

A friend sent me this yesterday, something about it struck a chord in my heart. Blame it on the fact that Melissa has been with us for over 6 years now or maybe I have been blessed with a few friends who have stayed the course of time. I just thought I should share it with all of you......


A man and his dog were walking along a road. The man was enjoying the scenery, when it suddenly occurred to him that he was dead.He remembered dying, and that the dog walking beside him had been dead for years. He wondered where the road was leading them.

After a while, they came to a high, white stone wall along one side of the road. It looked like fine marble. At the top of a long hill, it was broken by a tall arch that glowed in the sunlight. When he was standing before it he saw a magnificent gate in the arch that looked like mother-of-pearl, and the street that led to the gate looked like pure gold. He and the dog walked toward the gate, and as he got closer, he saw a man at a desk to one side.

When he was close enough, he called out, "Excuse me, where are we?"
"This is Heaven, sir," the man answered.

"Wow! Would you happen to have some water?" the man asked.

"Of course, sir. Come right in, and I'll have some ice water brought right up."

The man gestured, and the gate began to open.

"Can my friend," gesturing toward his dog, "come in, too?" the traveler asked.

"I'm sorry, sir, but we don't accept pets."

The man thought a moment and then turned back toward the road and continued the way he had been going with his dog. After another long walk, and at the top of another long hill, he came to a dirt road leading through a farm gate that looked as if it had never been closed. There was no fence As he approached the gate, he saw a man inside, leaning against a tree and reading a book.

"Excuse me!" he called to the man. "Do you have any water?"

"Yeah, sure, there's a pump over there, come on in."

"How about my friend here?" the traveler gestured to the dog.

"There should be a bowl by the pump."

They went through the gate, and sure enough, there was an old-fashioned hand pump with a bowl beside it.

The traveler filled the water bowl and took a long drink himself, then he gave some to the dog.

When they were full, he and the dog walked back toward the man who was standing by the tree.

"What do you call this place?" the traveler asked.

"This is Heaven," he answered.

"We ll, that's confusing," the traveler said. "The man down the road said that was Heaven, too."

"Oh, you mean the place with the gold street and pearly gates? Nope. That's hell."

"Doesn't it make you mad for them to use your name like that?"

"No, we're just happy that they screen out the folks who would leave their best friends behind."

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Happy Easter!

Best wishes for a Happy and grace filled Easter to you and your family and compliments of the season to my brethren who celebrate other festivals over the weekend.

The Exultet (also known as the Exsultet or sometimes the Easter Proclamation[1]) is the traditional Western Rite hymn of praise intoned by the deacon during the Easter Vigil. In the absence of a deacon, it may be intoned by the priest, or by the cantor. It is intoned after the procession with the Paschal Candle before the beginning of the Liturgy of the Word. It is used in the Latin rite of the Roman Catholic Church, the Anglican Churches, and the Nordic and Baltic Lutheran Churches, as well as other Western Christian denominations. - Wikipedia

Rejoice, heavenly powers!
Sing, choirs of angels!

Exult, all creation around God's throne!

Jesus Christ, our King, is risen!
Sound the trumpet of salvation!

Rejoice, O earth, in shining splendor,
radiant in the brightness of your King!

Christ has conquered! Glory fills you!
Darkness vanishes for ever!

Rejoice, O Mother Church!
Exult in glory!

The risen Savior shines upon you!

Let this place resound with joy,
echoing the mighty song of all God's people!

My dearest friends, standing with me in this holy light,
join me in asking God for mercy,

that he may give his unworthy minister
grace to sing his Easter praises.

Deacon: The Lord be with you.
People: And also with you.
Deacon: Lift up your hearts.
We lift them up to the Lord.
Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
People: It is right to give him thanks and praise.

It is truly right that with full hearts and minds and voices we should praise the unseen God, the all-powerful Father, and his only Son, our Lord Jesus Christ.
For Christ has ransomed us with his blood,
and paid for us the price of Adam's sin to our eternal Father!

This is our passover feast,
when Christ, the true Lamb, is slain,
whose blood consecrates the homes of all believers.

This is the night
when first you saved our fathers:
you freed the people of Israel from their slavery
and led them dry-shod through the sea.

This is the night
when the pillar of fire destroyed the darkness of sin!

This is the night when Christians everywhere,
washed clean of sin and freed from all defilement,
are restored to grace and grow together in holiness.

This is the night when Jesus Christ broke the chains of death and rose triumphant from the grave.
What good would life have been to us, had Christ not come as our Redeemer?
Father, how wonderful your care for us!
How boundless your merciful love!
To ransom a slave you gave away your Son.

O happy fault, O necessary sin of Adam, which gained for us so great a Redeemer!
Most blessed of all nights, chosen by God to see Christ rising from the dead!

Of this night scripture says:
"The night will be as clear as day: it will become my light, my joy."
The power of this holy night dispels all evil, washes guilt away, restores lost innocence, brings mourners joy;
it casts out hatred, brings us peace,
and humbles earthly pride.

Night truly blessed when heaven is wedded to earth
and man is reconciled with God! Therefore, heavenly Father, in the joy of this night,
receive our evening sacrifice of praise,
your Church's solemn offering.

Accept this Easter candle, a flame divided but undimmed, a pillar of fire that glows to the honor of God.
Let it mingle with the lights of heaven and continue bravely burning to dispel the darkness of this night!
May the Morning Star which never sets find this flame still burning: Christ, that Morning Star, who came back from the dead, and shed his peaceful light on all mankind, your Son, who lives and reigns for ever and ever. Amen.

I have been given the privilege to sing this for the first time in church and for the first time I am a little bit nervous. Watch the video, it make give an idea why.

What should your career be?

Have 70 odd invitations in my Facebook account( Thought I might as well get rid of them. The problem with these apps is that you have to send them out to another set of people and throroughly irritate them (in some cases) just to figure out something about oneself.

So I chucked one garden invitation and came upon the captioned application, after answering some typically Yankee rubbish questions, Voila I have received the best news in some days.......


You will become a hitman. You don't feel like doing any other work except helping others.

You like to be secretive and kill those that are hated enemies.

Now let me see a good resignation letter format.......

Just a little later Gayatri sent me this invitation and guess what:

Which illegal profession are you most suited for?

Similar dumb and dumber Yankee questions later, enlightenment ....

Corporate Embezzler

Congratulations, you are a corporate embezzler! Your social instincts, smooth moves, and uncanny ability to justify any immoral act makes you the ideal corporate embezzler. You've got what it takes to make it to the top of the corporate food chain, and you know how to take advantage of the system. Remember that subtlety is key in achieving success in your field. Now, don your suit and aim for that corner office!

Thanks Gayatri, still thinking about the text of my resignation letter.....

PS: Was unable to copy the image from facebook, so this pic is substituting

Friday, March 14, 2008

Memories of the workplace!

Sitting at home during my sick leave, I was reminiscing about a phone call from work. Somehow I came upon these...

Why do I get this feeling of deja vu?

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Management fundas!!


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Benchmarking (also "best practice benchmarking" or "process benchmarking") is a process used in management and particularly strategic management, in which organizations evaluate various aspects of their processes in relation to best practice, usually within their own sector. This then allows organizations to develop plans on how to adopt such best practice, usually with the aim of increasing some aspect of performance. Benchmarking may be a one-off event, but is often treated as a continuous process in which organizations continually seek to challenge their practices.

Best practice

Best Practice asserts that there is a technique, method, process, activity, incentive or reward that is more effective at delivering a particular outcome than any other technique, method, process, etc. The idea is that with proper processes, checks, and testing, a desired outcome can be delivered with fewer problems and unforeseen complications. Best practices can also be defined as the most efficient (least amount of effort) and effective (best results) way of accomplishing a task, based on repeatable procedures that have proven themselves over time for large numbers of people.

In real-world application, Best Practice is a very useful concept. Despite the need to improve on processes as times change and things evolve, Best Practice is considered by some as a business buzzword used to describe the process of developing and following a standard way of doing things that multiple organizations can use for management, policy, and especially software systems.

Any questions???

PS: Try benchmarking your neighbour's best practice in an exam and you will get debarred from exams. Who said life is fair?

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Why should you blog??

Regular blogging

could improve

your social life

SOCIAL WEB: After two months of blogging, people felt they had better social support, said the study.

Sydney: A new Australian study has found that blogging can boost people’s social life, by making them feel less isolated, more connected to a community and more satisfied with their friendships, both online and personally.

This evidence is the result of two related studies, conducted by the Swinburne University Technology in Melbourne, Australia, which found that after two months of regular blogging, people felt they had better social support and friendship networks than those who didn't blog.

In the first study, researchers Susan Moore and James Baker compared the mental health of people intending to blog with that of people not planning to blog.

The study, published in the latest issue of the journal CyberPsychology and Behaviour, involved messaging 600 MySpace users a survey link; of which 134 completed the survey, 84 intended to blog and 50 didn't.

"We found potential bloggers were less satisfied with their friendships and they felt less socially integrated, they didn't feel as much part of a community as the people who weren't interested in blogging ... they were also more likely to use venting or expressing your emotions as a way of coping," News in Science quoted Moore, as saying.

"It was as if they were saying 'I'm going to do this blogging and it's going to help me," she added.

The follow-up study, which is yet to be published, was conducted after two months and was sent to the same group of users; only 59 individuals responded.

Those that originally intended to blog reported feeling more satisfied socially as a result of being a part of a group of like-minded individuals. Those same individuals expressed a feeling that they could rely on others for help as well.

On the whole, all MySpace users contacted felt more at ease and less stressed after spending two months of steady social networking on the popular site.

"So going onto MySpace had lifted the mood of all participants in some way. Maybe they'd just made more social connections," Moore said.

After 100 odd posts, I have got a new reason to go for the next 100!