Archive | October, 2008

M(a)X-doms

29 Oct

I had the honor and the privilege of working with MX. MX, a born leader, prince among men, a teacher, an institution, who in his inimitable demeanor; shared the wisdom beyond comprehension. To this day I grapple with the profundity of his genius.

I miss MX.

There are many that I can share with you, the little nuggets of wisdom that MX would dispense more easily than we breathe, but there are two which particularly stand out.

M(a)X-dom 1: Never let technology get you down.

And man did he stand up against the technology. He was the rock of Gibraltar, unflinching, steadfast in his abhorrence towards technology. E-mails, mobiles, IMs, were meaningless for him, the bane of human emotions and in his counter-offensive against technology he never let a tree stand in his way. He and his printouts – like brothers in arms. And he rubbed technology’s face in the mud, humiliated it to the core, wounded its soul by asking for three sets for everything –one for him, one for me and the third for just in case.

And in case you have made a any itsy bitsy error, no offense taken, he would calmly ask to simply cut some more trees.

And such meetings were never just about work, they went beyond business and delved in the realms of art. MX – you connoisseur of fine art – so subtle was his understanding that a neophyte, the philistine would never get the nuances at one glance. Every job needed to color coded, not just any green, that green or that red or that blue, never this always that.
But did the patient man ever take offense. No, never. He was almost a saint.

Got it wrong.

No problem, here’s the MX Axe, go chop.

Wrong again.

Chop chop and chop chop and……

Bring back, bring back, oh bring back my printouts to me.

M(a)X-dom 2: Nothing can stop me from meeting you, you and you.

MX was a great believer that social decline of our values, culture was due to lack of human interactions. He tried to stymie this degeneration by creating opportunities for interaction where logically none existed. But then such limitations were nothing in front of MX’s will and genius.

Let me give a simple specimen of his effort. I used to sit about three meters from him but whenever he had to ask me anything – inane to absurd to abstract – he would never ever call me, he always desired my physical presence in his room.

But the process was always open for innovation so that more can come in the fold of his benevolence.

He would call his secy and ask her to come to his room and then ask her to ask me to meet him, then the secy who had crossed my desk on the way to his room, would walk back to my desk and ask me to meet him and then lead me to his room and then inform him that what he had asked has been achieved and I am present in his room as he can see himself, then walk out and then MX would ask what he had to ask.

Do you see the brilliance of his maneuvers?

Where any ordinary person would have sufficed with a simple phone call, MX created four unique human face to face interactions – one MX with his secy, second secy and I, three, MX, secy and Iand four, MX and I.

In the deep jungles of Africa, legends say that MX is so busy in spreading happiness that he eats his breakfast at lunch time, lunch at dinner time and dinner only next day at breakfast time.

I wish everyone either has the privilege of working with him once in his/her lifetime or get a
boss who is at least equal to the shadow of MX.

Long live the master.

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Reasonless post – Just trying to copy a writing style

23 Oct
Hello sir, good morning, yes you sir I am taking to you , don’t look here and there, why the confused look, now don’t panic, no I am not trying to sell you credit card or insurance. No not even toilet paper. No I am not from any NGO or religious institution. What did you say, political party? I will not even answer that.

But you got one thing right. I am here to sell something. I am trying to sell you a concept; a concept that, hopefully, would break a myth.

No sir, you look a decent person, ordinary to the core, a good representative of the masses, if I see you tomorrow somewhere else I am sure I will not even recognize forget remember you, chances are I will probably mistake anyone else for you. That is the uniqueness of us common people, that there is nothing unique about us, we are one huge homogeneous mass of ordinariness – all are one and one is all.

Now see you made me veer away from the topic. Before I sell my product, I mean the concept, again you have the same look on your, no you will not have to pay anything but it might cost you a lot, can I ask you couple of questions.

Are you an honest person? Yes, hmmm…

Are you a law abiding citizen? Yes

Are you ethical? Yes

Do you have all the right principles, values, you know what I mean, the right thing stuff? Yes, ok
And I am sure you do not believe in violence, cheating, crime, amoral behavior etc etc. The way you are vigorously lolling your neck, as an Indian I know you mean yes, westerner would have been mightily confused.

Good, good, you are doing really well so far, actually exactly what I expected, I could have saved some time by not asking these questions, then I have all the time in the world and sir, don’t fidget I know you are in no hurry either.

Now why are you all that you said? Do you want to be that or are you expected to be that or has someone told you to be like that or since everyone like us is like that you are like that?
And I am sure you are all the above because you want to be like that.

Whatever the reason, it really doesn’t matter except that you are like that and would have stayed like that had I not walked in your house and disturbed your afternoon siesta. Ah I see you don’t like that.

Now let me tell you a secret, secret I heard from the mouth of the one who knows the real thing, this whole thing is a lie. A grand lie. A myth. An illusion. An alternate reality.
It is like that movie, Matrix, have you seen it. I did not particularly like Part 2 & 3 but the first one, had what do you say, depth.

This honesty, ethics, principles have been created just for the benefit of the few. It is like one those Ludlum “world is in danger” stories, except here it is real.

Now don’t give me that look, and no you cannot take a relief break. I know you think I am some lunatic and you right now want to run inside, lock the door and call the cops.

No sir, you have to sit here and listen to me. Look around yourself, politicians, industrialists, businessmen, criminals, crooks, dons, and again do you see any commonality. Yes they are rich, they live a luxurious life, they wear the best clothes, sleep with the epitome of human beauty, dine at the best places, rule us, scare us, guide us, decide for us. Overall are probably astronomically better off than us.

But look again, there is something else, look closely and you will find a mirror image of yourself. Now I see a frown on your head and you are concentrating, those little cells running here and there, connecting, forming, chemicals frothing, churning more neurons, old memories, logic, emotions going haywire, words coming and stopping on the tongue, yes sir, they are what you are not, they are dishonest, unethical, unprincipled, law breaking bunch of goons.

All this everyone knows, I assume you also now, and you know what you are because of them. The crooks, the goons, these goondas ensure that we tread the path which we think is the right path. Nah sir, it is not the right path it is a blind alley without an end.

Let me bring to your notice another aspect of their personality, have you seen how brutally system deals with the petty crime and how easily these gang lords escape the law. Now if you and I, no sir, I am not staying you do it, I am saying assume, you do a big heist, crime that makes you either rich or powerful I say you will go free without a hitch because you would not be you but them.

Now the question is why they want us to be us and not them.

Sir economics comes very handy here or you can look at jungle it is the same thing.

In the jungle everyone cannot be a tiger, there has to be deer too. More deer means tiger has more food. As in jungle as in economics our resources are limited now if everyone desires them and wants them the competition is so much higher. Assume everyone is a tiger, which we all are; after all human desires are the same, but then someone wants us to be deer and has transmuted us into deer. Only when there are more deer there is more food. Now when you revert back to the tiger, jungle rule applies again, feline family does not feed on each other. They just do not enter your territory, they might kill you but will never feed on you.

Now sir, it is not a question of right or wrong, you can choose to be a tiger or deer but you always have a third choice, to be an elephant, live life by your rules, and not by the tenet of someone else. You know deer and elephants both have almost the same needs the difference is they are not anyone else food. Unfortunately today in the human society we do not have elephants today we either eat or get eaten.

I can see a question trembling on your lips, what you should do. There sir I do not have an answer. My role ended here itself; I wanted you to know that you are what you are not by your individual choice but by the will of someone else. Your destiny is decided by greed, someone else pulls the strings of your life.

The question I leave you with is this; how can we be a society of elephants?

Sir, you can enjoy your sleep whatever time is left, no you would rather stay up, your choice sir, though must say it makes me happy. Now you are surely kidding. I can tell you some more secrets but then someone is waiting for me. Next time, I promise I will see you again shortly and in the meanwhile if you can keep your answer ready.

Foot Note: The last 2 books I read were “The Reluctant Fundamentalist” and “The White Tiger”.

Random thought

14 Oct

Remember when you read or hear a great line, in it is hidden not just a great thought/idea but also a beautiful conversation.

New mind or old hand

14 Oct

It is amazing the kind of delusions that corporate world believes in and the shit they dispense to a new employee.

I have changed quite a number of jobs and have heard it everywhere i have gone. But the saddest part is despite repeated disappointments i still believed them every time.

Oh yes, give it to me baby, the orgasmic words – “you will enthuse the team with fresh thinking”, “fresh mind will give us new insights” – or some similar bull shit.

You hear these magic words and you have this surge of enthusiasm, maybe a suggestion or two pour out from your mouth under a misguided presumption that the utterer actually meant what he said. But even before you can finish your earth shattering, brand shaping and market shaking insight, the boss man says, hold on, hold on, I’m sure you have a wonderful thought which has lots of potential, why don’t you first see how we do things.

Then the grind starts, this is the brand architecture, this is the brand soul and that is the essence, this is how we slice mangoes and that is how we peel oranges and this has to be there and that is a no-no. You cannot say this, this is not how the brand speaks and here is our language and there is brand palette. Guard books, scrap books, design books, brand manuals, zillion years research data, data mining, data processing and the works land in your lap.

Lo and behold, before you can blink, mind rebels and takes the next train home and there we have a old model of robot, ready to follow every command and tread the path where grass will never grow again.

So next time you hear those golden words kindly let these words echo in your old mind and raise your fresh hands to slap the fucking old face that says it.