Thursday, October 18, 2012

Arvind Kejriwal’s disservice to the nation


Arvind Kejriwal has done a huge disservice to the nation by attacking Robert Vadra. For what he has basically done, it to give Robert Vadra a red carpet welcome into the political stage. That may not what have been Kejriwal’s intention, but that may very well be the consequences of his action. Vadra was attacked not because the scale of corruption seem to be earth shattering, but because of his relationship with the first family. Irrespective of whether a case of quid pro quo is proven or not, the charges are hardly likely to land him behind bars like that for the 2 G accused. Even in the 2G case all the accused are out on bail, although still fighting the court cases. However the fact that they are still active politicians and the cases have hardly dented their popularity or their vote catching abilities means that these do not have much bearing on the longevity of a person’s political life. (Isn’t current TN CM itself still having pending court cases).

The point is that Vadra is hardly likely to be punished or even made to part with any gains made through the deals. However there is a trial by the media going on, for which he needs to defend himself. The fact that the Gandhi family is not willing to come out at least directly to support him means he will have to do it himself. And in the process bring himself into the main political arena. Vadra is of course not shy to enter politics. He only seems to be held back by the first family. But with the increasing flak he is getting, the more he comes into the mainstream of political life, part of which is played out in the media itself. How much of a jump will it be next to be able to get the support of a few MP’s and MLA’s to push the party to give him a seat in the next election. Also the fact that the heir in waiting is not rising to be the pillar for the party to rally around, may splinter the party to form separate groups, some of which could rally around this guy. I am of course not saying that they should come out and support him. That would probably amount to political hara kiri. But the end result seems inevitable anyhow.

Monday, August 22, 2011

De-Stressing (Logically)

Stress is supposed to be one of the major cause of most ailments across the world. I didn't check up the stats for this for the blog, but I am sure there are quite a few interesting articles on this. Personally I dont think I need to look up those figures as I am already facing a few health problems due to stress. I might be jumping the gun here on the cause and effect relationship, but for the past 6-8 months I have been facing a lot of pressure at work and I have been falling sick almost every other week. The ailments are all different, but usually hit me just prior to after the peak stress periods. Hence the conclusion relating the two. So two cut down on this stress, which I think is a mental phenomenon and hence can be controlled by self control, I have thought up a few steps which  am putting down here just for sake for reference-


1. Sorting out stress- Stress comes out of distressing situations we land in and as such could be possibly differentiated into Physical Stress (arising out of actual physical distress) and Logical Stress (to borrow some IT terminologies) that arise more out of our perception of the situation as distressing.(I am not calling it mental as all stress is related to the mind anyway). To give an example, a vehicle speeding towards you will probably be distressing situation for almost all and can be termed as physical. But the 6.00 pm deadline is distressing only if achieving that deadline is of paramount importance to you. Physical stress is a good thing. It keeps you alive. But Logical Stress I believe kills you. Some might disagree with this. The 6.00 pm deadline could probably be so important for your career that it as good as a truck hitting you if you dont meet it. But if that 6.00 pm deadline come every other week or even more frequently then I think you are probably standing in the wrong lane. Logical Stress has a way of slowly taking over our lives and choking it. Deadlines dont stop and emergencies become part of daily life. Its important to stop this Logical Stress, but to do that first it has to be identified. So the first thing i am planning to do is calculate the stress situation i face daily and check how many i can put into the Logical bucket. i should probably do it with a paper and pen, but right the plan is for a mental check (read: laziness). Anyway I think almost all would be logical.

2. Stop carrying work around- Primary reason I believe Logical Stress is harmful is that it doesn't stop at work. On my way to office, while coming back, then while I am watching TV, eating food, before sleeping, and probably 30 mins into waking up in the morning (my brain takes that much time to fully wake up) to again till reaching office, some part of the brain is always on the job at hand. This is not so bad, when I am thinking up some business or technical challenges. But most of the times nowadays its less to do with the job and more to do with mails and calls. What is the next escalation, where is the next round of firing coming from, what additional work comes up on you when you are already neck deep and who's going to call you up next on your mobile/ office phone. Probably after finishing the first exercise i think there would be atleast 10 such situations everyday. My next plan is to limit them to the workplace. Once out of office, be out of office. Exceptions will be made for mails to be sent, which i couldnt do in time. or some small amounts. but the time limit for such extra work is going to be limited to 30 mins at most. Doing it physically I guess would be the easier part, but how do i stop thinking about it. Today after coming from office, i have tried to switch off mentally, but caught myself going back to it atleast 3-4 times. Half the time on the way back was spent on framing and reframing mails, action items and prioritizing deliverables. And now when i conciously think about what I am thinking, i have this eery feeling that some part of my brain in auto mode is still at work. This will probably take lot of time and effort. The itch to check the last mail, is not just for blackberry addicts (although I guess their plight must be much worse). I'll probably need to work the steps for this part more concretely later, but for now the intent is to stop carrying work home- mentally and physically.

3. Be a Superperformer- Ok. That was just a joke. I am no superman who can finish work in 8 hours and keep everyone happy. When i shut my machine for the day with the intention of not carrying it home, there is certainly going to be lot of unfinished work. And lot of unhappy people. So how do i deal with those. Smart guys (read: Stephen Covey Method Training Instructors) would say priortize work. I dont have a grudge with them for sayng it, they are paid for that. But I dont get most of my work by choice. And most often work I would like to do or what I consider important would be lower down the order than some mundane work which is super urgent. So basically my work is already priortized. If I do another priortizing on it, I'll end up spending lot of time on both and still get flaked. Besides the choice is not like between caviar and khichdi. Its usually choice between Alu Matar vs Dal tadka. Either one will be good depending on the mood!.. Right now I dont have any plans for this. Step 2 will certainly lead to more unsatisfied stakeholders. Can i live with that and not have guilt of underperforming is something I'll know only later on.
(To be continued...maybe)     

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Have Muscle, Will flex…

George Bush Jr. once famously said “Every nation in every region now has a decision to make. Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists.” George Bush could be faulted for many things, but certainly not for double speak. Obama seems to be the master of that art. The noble peace prize winner is saying a lot of things on the uprisings in the Middle East. But if actions speak louder than words, then they are saying only one thing…”’We decide what’s best for you’ and if won’t listen to us, well we’ll just tomahawk you out of your own country”. For good or bad, Obama seems to have decided that Gaddafi has to go out, and that is the end of it. And for that purpose, if sanctions and bank account freezing’s don’t work out, then he’s quite ready to do it the rough way without even waiting for a consensus by his own congressmen on it.

Obama must feel that his actions are in the larger interest of humanity, democracy and all the other ideals which seem to be missing in these regimes. But self righteousness can be a bigger evil than all of these and some of the greatest tyrants have risen from their blind belief in the rights of their own thoughts and actions. To end it a George Bush Jr quote again “I know what I believe. I will continue to articulate what I believe and what I believe - I believe what I believe is right.”
P.S.-Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign was based on ‘Change’. He certainly has lived up to his promise, atleast as far as other countries are concerned.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Ring-a-ring-a-roses

 Ring-a-ring-a-roses,
A pocket full of posies;
Hush! hush! hush! hush!
We’re all tumbled down...

This nursery rhyme somehow fits whats happening around Raj Rajaratnam and his friends. The players are all falling down one by one with 19 pleading guilty in the case. The lynchpin, Rajaratnam still stands defiant though. The question however is not if he'll give in, but when he'll give in. And when he does that who else will fall with him. Rajat Gupta already seems to be part of the ring, but when the Gallean top man opens his mouth, he might not be the only top shot Indian in the chain. 

Monday, March 07, 2011

Needle in a Haystack!

In a blogging wilderness, where there are millions of blogs (126 Million as per blogpulse) and billions of posts, its hard to find this blog which is already emancipated by lack of nourishing posts. So its surprising to see a google search returning this blog as top ranking for a search term, any search terms in fact, especially so when searching for the term “truly paranoid blog” does not return this address even in the top 50 results.