January 2009

The Cheap Selfish Ploy of Chennaiites
At least in Chennai, you can witness the following foray of cheap ploy deployed a handful of them to derive sadistic pleasures and to gain at the expense of others. A few of them are here under:
  1. Making a crowd to gather. When there is enough crowd, then instead of providing diligent service, to show excuse of the crowd and to escape from the moral and ethical responsibilities. The following places can be quoted as salient examples for this observation:
    1. Almost all government departments. I have particularly witnessed them in Office of Revenue Department, Cash Officer Desk of State Bank of India
  2. Delaying the normal service by lame excuses. When the issue crops up again, put a new excuse and a novel schedule for the same old task and repeat the same process.  HSBC India is the finest example for this ploy.
  3. Ensuring that their near and dear are only benefitted at the expense of others. Flatter others and in the process, to suck their blood for the benefit of thier near and dear. Our recent discussion on ‘Son Stroke’ demonstrates as a salient example for the same.
  4. Creating an unwarranted, tense and turbulent situation for others and thus reducing their overall productivity.

Would such skunks ever learn of their folly and the amount of sins they are accruing with the account book of Chitragupta.

Fading Name(board)s …
Real Estates in Chennai construct gigantic residential townships everywhere in the suburban. They put good attractive archs to attract attention. But do they really maintain it? This is one big question that hits every one of us. I have a few instances of leading house construction firms in Chennai who are erring in little to big problems in Chennai.
  1. Right near Velachery on the Velachery – Tambaram Road, you can find a huge housing colony constructed by Doshi Housing. For the past one week, the I in doshi has fallen off and it now reads as Dosh Housing. I informed the security over there but he just brushed it out. The email on the website is eliciting a bounce like ‘Over Quota’.
  2. On the Velachery – Taramani road, you can find Vasanth Apartments. The name board has dropped the ‘h’ in apartments and hence it now reads ‘Vasanth Aparments’. Again, at least till now no response to the phone call to them. They don’t seem to have a website/email anyway.
  3. Poorly maintained lifts causing accidents in Jains Abhishek, Selayur
  4. I also recieved a message from one of my program manager working in a leading health care company in Kodambakkam High Road and put up in Jains Eiffel Gardens. He strongly discourages Jains telling that at least his experience is bad.
  5. My friend (Santosh Kumar Sinha) who recently got a flat in Jains Green Acres (Pallavaram) also has a bad experience of unwarranted delays in completion of construction and handover of flat keys to him.
  6. Around 2004, when I was looking out for flat purchase, I was trying to see Jains Abhinavan in Murugu Nagar (Velachery). Some of the promises made by them like water drainage service made feel suspicious. Hence I didn’t purchase from them. Now every year, I read from the newspapers that Murugu Nagar is one of the worst-effected during monsoons because of heavy inundations.
I just thought of sharing these with other readers so that we need to be extra careful with the builders in not being carried over the honey-coated words but only rely on the existing facts on what we see.
Interesting Paradoxical Names by some commercial establishments in Chennai
Today whilst waiting for a bus in Adyar to go to Guindy, I saw one security guy who had the uniform with the badge like ‘Trojan Securities’. I was quite surprised by this interesting name for the following reasons:
Security agencies are designed with a mission like protecting the assets of an organization or home from any pilferage.
In English, Trojan is defined as follows: “a program that appears desirable but actually contains something harmful;”
Isn’t it little interesting and conflicting? Similarly sometime back, there used to be a tailor shop in Pallikaranai which had the board like “மூதேவி தையலகம்”. In Tamil, மூதேவி (Moodhevi) is considered as Lordess of Poverty whereas Lordess Lakshmi is considered as Lordess of Wealth. There is a saying like this too:
மூதேவி செல்வது அழகு
லக்ஷ்மி வருவது அழகு
The way Moodhevi is departing is beautiful and the way Lakshmi comes in is beautiful. When there are such beliefs, some people naming the establishments on Moodhevi seems to be very surprising.
Another incident: I got a text message from some Boom Technologies some three days back — “An excellent position for the post of Senior Software Engineer in Chennai. We have sent the details to your email address. Please check and send your resume to us”. Again the name is like cute and curious one.
I am just wondering whether they are naming the business establishments in such a way to attract people’s attention?
What the cities/towns need immediately?
Each political party is promising and delivering different things now to gain vote banks. In Tamil Nadu, at least currently, the ruling DMK Party seems to be carried over by the thought that promising and giving away freebies can strengthen the vote bank and its administration fortress. But a deeper introspection of our city/town/country needs, what exactly we need. This post is a start of brainstorming session and I would invite readers to share thoughts on what they are looking out for in their city. Let us compile the thoughts and represent to the administrators at least for the betterment of our posterity.
  1. When you look at the various cities in US, each city has a defined committe which looks into the amenities and ensures that the city excels in the basic standard of living against other cities in the country. Take for example, ‘Irving City of Administration‘.Their most recent innovation is Citizen Patrol to help Irving City Police patrol to ensure crimes are redunced and people can breathe freely in the city. Besides this, the City Administration ensures good landscaping throughout the city to make it look lush green and pleasing.
  2. Radical renaissance required in our Police System. Currently, in India, the trust in the police system amongst all quarters of the people has reduced very much. A few instances of this observation are:
    1. Organizations hire private security people to guard their property
    2. When something is lost and you need to get a ‘Non-Traceable Certificate’, you just need to tender anything between 50 INR to 100 INR (depending upon the mood of the police station staff and the location of the police station in Chennai) and get the same. There is no effort made by the cops to search for your lost belonging.
    3. Once upon a time, they used to say that when you lock the door and go out of station, you should inform the nearest police station so that they can boost additional night patrol in your area. But the current situation is that when you inform the police station, it means you are setting up a red carpet welcome to the burglar.
    4. Last week, I went to the passport office to apply for a passport for my friend. When we inquired about the procedures and police verification stuff, one of the statements that the passport office staff immediately told me that police verification is just an eye-wash. Give them two hundred rupees and the thing gets sorted out immediately.

      Compare these with police departments in US. Each one have a good website and respond to complaints almost instantly.

Readers: I have initiated the discussion on security and landscaping of cities. Let me know what more thoughts you would like to be added here.

Son-stroke sabotaging India Inc.

At least in the recent times a very number of incidents are happening in India demonstrating the effects of Son-Stroke crippling the organization/entity and in the overall bird’s eye view sabotaging the image of the nation in the global arena. I just thought let me discuss here a few of the son-stroke incidents here:
The exact dictionary definition of Son-Stroke would be nepotism or favoritism benefiting one’s male child. [Source: http://www.doubletongued.org/index.php/dictionary/son_stroke/]
  1. Is Ramalinga Raju’s son the cause of his undoing? The fall of Satyam Computer Services is now attributed to the avaricious greed of Byrraju Teja Raju who was trying to amass fast bucks in his real estate business through Maytas Infra. Forcing his father through his mother, Nandini to squeeze Satyam’s resources into Maytas seemed to be the more compelling straw that broke the camel’s back.
  2. Karunanidhi hints at son rise in DMK. The leading South Indian political party (DMK) which had rising sun as the election (party) symbol seems to be having a transition. Instead of sun rising, the patriarch of the party seems to be busy in son rising. With his advancing age and failing health, his greed for power and getting his posterity in key positions all across the nation’s administration seems to be ever increasing and unceasing.
  3. Besides these I can share a story about son-rising in one of my previous organizations. One of the middle managers, who was suffering some sort of mental hysteria because of his impotency to get a son for many years after marriage was unwarrantedly trying to disturb the functioning of the organization by unethical means. Since it was a smaller organization and the CEO was very maganimous, me and a couple of guys including another manager was instructed to advise him and ensure the following objectives were met:
    1. His sinister goals didn’t disturb others
    2. His technical, managerial and delivery skills on the professional side are not wasted because of his personal problem.

      In India, this is a common issue. People tend to mix up personal and professional issues. The need of the hour is to keep them seperate and have a distinct line of demarcation running between them so that the development in each sphere is not disturbed whatsoever.

      At least with respect to this hysteric middle manager, the following were some of the events. The organization is currently no more in Chennai and with the recent Satyam issue, I just wrote the CEO on his personal email to know whether I can write a small analysis of the same. He was telling me that I can go ahead with the same and since there is no organizational binding on that guy or whomever. But he was again reminding me that the person is little hysteric and hence need to be little careful with him.

      At least three times, I remember, this guy was suspended for a period of two week to one month in the period of 2002 to 2003 for unduly involving in son-rising and trying to get others as his son by lavishing gifts or promising undue growth prospects. One of my colleague (Santosh Kumar Sinha) still bears a strong hatred for him.

I think, people should start cultivating the following habits:
  1. Try to distinguish between personal and professional work.
  2. Avoid involving in unethical son-rising at the cost of others.

Say ‘No’ to Smoking in any form. Start Reporting Incidents to Ministry of Health and Family Welfare

For a while, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare had been actively working hard towards bringing a blanket ban on abuse and misuse of tobocco products which is predominantly observed in the country as cigaratte smoking. As part of this noble life-saving mission and ensuring clean oxygen for everyone, today’s ‘The Hindu’ carried almost full page public advisory entitled “Smoking in ‘Public Places’ is banned’ and the referencing Gazette Notification for the same is GSR 417 (E) dated 30th May, 2008. The blanket ban has come into effect from 2nd October 2008.

Some of the keypoints of the ban are:

  1. Smoking is strictly prohibited in all public places. “Public Place” includes auditorium ,
    hospital buildings, health institutions, amusement centres, restaurants, public offices,
    court buildings, educational institutions, libraries, public conveyances, stadium,
    railway stations, bus stops, workplaces, shopping malls, cinema halls, refreshment
    rooms, discotheques, coffee house, pubs, bars, airport lounge etc.
  2. Any violation of this act is a punishable offence with fine upto Rs. 200.
  3. However, a Hotel having thirty or more rooms or restaurant having seating capacity of
    thirty persons or more & airports may provide / have a separate smoking area or
    space, as required by the rules.
  4. The owner, proprietor, manager, supervisor or in charge of the affairs of a public
    placeshall ensure that:

    1. No person smokes in the public place(under his jurisdiction/ implied)
    2. The board as specified in schedule –II of the rules; is displayed prominently at the
      entrance(s) of the Public place and conspicuous place(s) inside.
    3. No ashtrays, matches, lighters or other things designed to facilitate smoking are
      provided in the public place.
  5. The owner, proprietor, manager, supervisor or in charge of the affairs of a public place
    shall notify and display prominently the name of the person to whom a complaint of any
    violation may be made.
  6. If the owner, proprietor, manager, supervisor or the authorized officer of a public place
    fails to act on report of such violation, the owner, proprietor, manager, supervisor or the
    authorized officer shall be liable to pay fine equivalent to the number of individual

The Ministry has also setup a National Toll-Free Helpline which can be reachable on 1800110456 to report violations. So, next time you spot an active smoker disturbing you with all those funny air bubbles or witnessing unauthorised and illegitimate tobacco products sale, you need not mentally drown in a sense of haplessness. Pull out the telephone and report the incident. Let us bring the offenders to book and make India and the world smile in a complete no-smoke spring-fresh oxygen atmosphere.

Note:  The contact number is currently not reachable on non-BSNL or non-MTNL numbers. I have just written to Airtel to see if there is any issue on the same. However, the contact center confirmed that the number is configured with support from BSNL or MTNL numbers only.  I just felt that I would share this also and if we can request Airtel and/or private telephone operators to include support for this noble cause.