Dec 23, 2007

HR goes to war!

The Hell Raisers (HR) group was tired of gaalis hurled at it by all and sundry... in fact, people had made it a habit to dial HR from anonymous numbers, and mouth the foulest words they can manage, whenever they felt bored of the mind numbing work...

"We can't let this go on", thundered Head of HR, who called himself Great Wise Brain (GWB)...
"We will show them our true might"... agreed VP of HR, who headed the War Against Tirade-ism... he also heads the COmpensation LImiting Network (COLIN)...
"People can be with us or against us... since nobody wants to be with us, inspite of the pretty faces in our department, they must be against us", the Chief announced, steam coming out of his ears...
"We will accuse them of WMDs (Workers Mocking Discipline) and bomb the hell out of them", agreed VP-HR, fantasizing about stripping the workers and dragging them around on a leash, in a prison called ABUse the Gharibs...

And so it was decided... HR will go to war against... against... er, they had as much idea about the enemy as any GWB ever will...

HR is very meticulous... So, before they announced their war, they went about planning religiously...

They first organized a seminar on "How to go to war", and invited GWB's father to lecture on how to telecast the same on Cartoon Network Nextgen (CNN)... but the troops fell asleep... live on camera

Then, they had a motivational lecture series for their troops, in which they simulated war games... after all, playing games together builds team spirit and enhances morale... but there was much infighting over the points sytem used for appraisal... with the troops accusing their bosses of favoritism... some men even accused their bosses of giving extra points to pretty faces...

Once they returned from the all expenses paid vacation called 'Training Workshop for War', they printed a long form, with questions like "What was your most significant learning?" and "Feedback for the next training program"... but the troops were too tired to write those answers down... they simply ticked "yes" under all questions, including the one on "Is the mess food the most delicious you have ever tasted?"... which is when GWB realized that the troops are not even reading the questions...

They also designed a psychometric test to verify whether the troops has the Emotional Quotient to go to War... but most of the troops flunked the test big time, even when there are no correct answers...

Finally, one bright young HR manager (yes, they do exist!) saw the 'big picture' and told GWB, "If our troops get so frustrated doing all this, why not inflict the same on those who give us gaalis? So much more effective than bombing the hell out of them, plus we won't even lose a single soldier from our side..."

GWB, having read Sun Tzu and realizing that the greatest victory is in defeating the enemy before he swipes his access card, smiled an evil smile, and said "So be it"

And, thus, my dear friends, HR waged a war and won it without us even realizing it...

Dec 19, 2007

Dear Santa...

Dear Santa,

How is the weather in North Pole? My mom tells me it will be very cold there. Snow all around. I like snow, but I hate cold weather. Makes my nose run, you see. I like reindeer too.

I have been a good kid all year. Not just for the X'mas present. I am generally a good kid. Ask my mom, she thinks I am the best in the world.

There have been times when I have felt like bashing up some people, but I did not. Like this one time, a fat guy (fatter than me, maybe not as much as you) stood on my feet on a local train and nearly crushed my toes. I politely asked him to not behave like Waqar Younis. He threatened to throw me off the train. But, I did not hit him. Did not even use a cuss word. Of course, the fact that he was fat and huge and strong did not frighten me.

Then, this other time, one strange guy called me and started abusing me. I was very polite with him too. Of course, I did call him chu**** in the end, but you see, his friend calls him that, and so he does not mind. And, Santa, this is Mumbai. Even brothers call each other chu****. So, kindly overlook that.

Of course, I did make fun of some friends in my college at the farewell party. But, it was a harmless leg pulling session, and even though some of them may have felt bad about it, I am not sorry about it. I would do it again, given a chance, even if it makes you cross my name out from your list of 'people who deserve gifts'.

I did dance at the same event. I apologize to all those who were tortured to see that sight. Thankfully, the camera guy was intelligent enough to cut me out from the recording. Saved me from embarrasment for posterity.

I also made silly rhymes about some people. But, even you would agree, they deserved it. In fact, they deserved only that and nothing else. One guy called my favorite cricketer a buffalo, another wants to kidnap my favorite politician, and the third tortures me by singing. Even if I apologize to my college friends, I wouldn't apologize to these... should I call them people?

Ok, I did not buy my mom or dad a gift for their birthdays. It is ok, I thought since they have been even more well behaved than me all year, you would give them a nice gift at the end of the year. Next year, I will try to get them something.

I am not asking for a Ferrari. It would be nice, but I can't drive. I am not asking for a bungalow at Malabar Hill. May be next year...
I am not asking for all those freaky gadgets like iPods, digicams, Nokias and what not. Can't understand why people go crazy about things like that.
I am not asking for a date with Asin. It would be fantastic, but my mom tells me that many screen icons look disappointing in real life. So, let me live with an image.
I am not even asking for a kiss under a mistletoe from my dream girl. That (and more) happens all the time in my dreams, and I don't even have to stand under the mistletoe.

All I am asking for is a nice weekend of rest. Good sleep, no work, no deadlines, no excel sheets, no powerpoint or word docs...

Is that too unreasonable a gift? Especially since I have been so good all year long.

Good kid.

P.S.: If you can't give this gift, please put 'kiss from dream girl in real life' as the dream shot.

Dec 15, 2007


A short post for a change...

Date: 15 Dec 2007
Time: 10.54 a.m.

Me on chat: "haven't worked a weekend till now. touch wood..."

Date: 15 Dec 2007
Time: 3.36 p.m.

Me (woken up from a dream by a call, number recognizable but too sleepy to note such things): Hello
Voice: Hello Siva
Me (drowsiest voice possible): haan bol
Voice: main XYZ baat kar raha hoon... kal office aa jaana...
Me: oh ok, boss!!!!...

Somewhere in the back of head, I hear a loud evil buhahahahaha laugh.

Dec 14, 2007

Is it me?

I like to think I am a rational human being. Not just in the economic sense (“maximize returns with minimum efforts”), but in a general sense too. I have always questioned superstitious beliefs and meaningless-to-me rituals around the house. Overall, if someone were to design a psychometric test to test rationality, I’d be rated ‘Highly superstitious’… thus proving that I am indeed not…
Why, at one point of time, I even believed in the man-is-the-maker-of-his-own-destiny kinda gyaan. That is why it seems strange that I seem to have acquired an un-Midas touch, or the very fact that I am thinking on those terms.

Once, I told a friend that he will miss his train and meet me for chai at night. He ended up having a picnic at Andheri station. I don't know if he did, but I did not hold myself responsible for that mishap.

Then, this other time, I told a friend at midnight (who had a flight to catch early next morning), “soja beta, pata chala ki kal flight miss ho gaya.” An entirely harmless remark, with no malice in it. He ended up missing his flight, and he did not blame me. Neither did I blame myself.

Then, at Delhi, at the fag end of a wonderful trip, a very bad thing happened. We had deposited our luggage at the cloak room, and went out of the New Delhi Railway station, to see the Delhi Metro. Caught a rick (to some Metro station, memory not what it used to be), and 4 guys squeezed in. One of my friends was carrying a bag, which he handed it to me. I had no idea what it contained. I kept it at the back of the rick (the ‘luggage rack’ they have), and my friend said “yaad se lena yaar bag”, and I shot back, “tera bag hai, tu yaad rakh”… I know, rude thing to say, but politeness was never my strong point. Well, by now you know it, we alighted from that rick, and forgot all about the bag. And with the bag went my friend’s digicam, our return tickets from Delhi to Mumbai and god knows what else. Felt very bad, and my friend (nice guy) didn’t blame me. I partly blamed myself, but never thought about luck or those kinda things.

My mom asks me "Nine years in Mumbai, and not a single girlfriend?". I jokingly tease my mom by asking, "yeah, how will you react if I marry a gal and then bring her home and ask you to say-hi-to-your-bahu?". My mom (you can NEVER fool moms, NEVER EVER), retorts, "go ahead by all means. One headache less for me". Secure in the knowledge that her son is not capable of patao-ing any. Even then, I blamed the girls for being so dumb that they can't recognize real talent. But I never blamed myself. After all, my teacher wrote 'stud-ious' in my report card, year after year.

And, now in my company, every deal that i have touched till date has been stalled... every single one of them... (I hope HR or my bosses don’t come across this before my appraisal).
The reasons have been manifold... client data delayed, deal stolen by competitors, deal shot down by credit dept etc...
The deals were led by different bosses... successful ones who have achieved their targets, not so successful ones who are fighting to meet their targets, and everyone in between...
The deals have been in different sectors... power, oil and gas, real estate...
When I think about it, the only common factor that all those deals had was that one stupid fool who calls himself SRK worked on it... and while the six-pack star keeps making hit after hit, this pot bellied SRK keeps belting out one flop show after another. Not that I did not work hard on them deals, I did… yes, I truly did (even if HR is not reading. I did, promise!). But, somehow, they all ended up down the drain.

None of those bosses have blamed me yet. Thankfully.

Sometimes, I think, “Is it me? Does the fact that I was born during rahu-kalam have anything to do with this?”

shit, where is Bejan when you need him? Since I don't have a wife to love me sweetly or gently, nor do I have a Ferrari, and I hate taking baths (terrific or otherwise), I just want to know, "Should I eat cheese burger with mutton or chicken?"

Dec 11, 2007

Of Poultry Farmers and more...

This is a bit late in the day, as many famous bloggers have written wonderful posts on the said topic.

The reason for this post is because I came across this:
Now, you might be thinking... "we see this every other day. What so special about this one?"

Well, my dear friends, what caught my attention was this:
The very revolutionary idea tugged at my mind for long, and I couldn't resist my stupid limericks... inspite of the very real fear of being sued or being forced to resign from my job... (btw, I salute the guy for being brave... let not the content of this post dilute his actions)...
so, here goes...
I believe in counting my chickens before they hatch
So, please pay your fees before you join my batch
Please don’t misunderstand me, honey
But passion to teach cannot substitute money
Forget the IIMs, to us, they are no match…

Have you come across any b-school,
which has a roof top swimming pool…
Oh, u cracked CAT and have offer from BLACKI?
But do those colleges offer you free laptops and Wi-fi?
You still want to go to IIMs, you fool?

Who wants to work for Goldman & Lehman?
When you can do consulting with P-l-a-n-m-a-n,
Unlike IIMs, we have no OBC Quota
Our USPs are GOP and GOTA,
And making movies like "Stop me if you can"

We have faculty from Harvard, Columbia and Yale
See, so many firang profs on a discount sale
Who cares about the All India Council for Technical Education?
Success is about slick marketing and communication,
Believe me guys, over here, life’s a fairy tale!

All it takes to get a magazine’s top rank
Are a few dollars discreetly put in a Swiss Bank
Think beyond the IIMs, do you dare?
If you have some ready dough to spare
Who cares whether you CAT scorecard shows a blank…

My latest plan is to kidnap
The guy who beats me in talking crap
His going to war for oil
Makes my democratic blood boil
Any suggestions on how to lay a trap?
PS: Please please don't sue me... I can't afford a lawyer

Dec 7, 2007

Phone calls and more...

Two interesting telephone calls made up for the dull week...

One was from a MNC bank which is recently trying to gain greater foothold in India. The bank’s ‘telemarketing executive’ was trying to convince me to take their credit card. Now, I know of busy people who get irritated by such cold calls made at odd hours, and bark unmentionable obscenities till the caller hangs up. Thankfully (for the callers), I am not such a busy person yet, and 4 years of teaching experience has given me some patience.

So, the conversation goes:
(CC: Credit Card lady; Me: the author)

CC: Good Morning Sir, I am calling from MNC bank. Is this Mr. Siva… Mr. Sri… Mr. Sivarak… Mr. Siva (pause) Raa (er) ma.. Kris… Mr. Sivaraka…
Me: (pretty used to my name being murdered by sundry people; not their fault) yes, this is Mr. Sivaramakrishnan.
CC: Sir, which company are you working with?
Me: IDFC… Infrastructure Development Finance Company
CC: (with a tone which conveys never-heard-of-it) ok sir, but this company is not on our list.
Me: ok, then I guess you can’t give me a credit card. Thank you.
CC: (realizing that it is one cross mark on her list of thousand people to be called) sir, it is alright. We will add this company to the list. What is your monthly take home?
Me: blah blah

Now, if you didn’t realize it yet, these marketing executives are trained by their slave master (HR training) that addressing the customer by name every time makes the customer happy. Or even euphoric.
Under normal circumstances, I'll tell people "Call me Siva, call me SRK" etc... but I was enjoying the fun... plus, my mom used to say that PIs throw in as many Gods as possible in a name because every time one utters the name, one gets punya (or adds to the 'good deeds' in plain english)... so, I let her earn some brownie points with God, if not her slave master...

CC: (guy-seems-well-paid-enough tone) Mr. Sivaraka… Mr. Siva… Mr. Sivaramakrishnan, we are glad to offer you this exclusive gold credit card. This card comes with blah blah blah…

(somehow, I never listen to what the ‘benefits’ are… they make me want to sign up; so I hold the receiver away till the noise ceases and I know for sure she has exhausted her pitch)

Me: Oh, but these benefits are offered by every company today. What is it that is special about your card?
CC: Sir, as I said, blah blah blah…
Me: ok, assuming I sign up for this card, what all documents do I have to submit?
CC: (slight one-more-bakra-ticked-in-the-monthly-target note of happiness in voice… ) Sir, we would require your identity proof, your salary slip, and an address proof. I can send my representative over to collect these whenever it suits you.

Now comes the fun part… I hate people talking to me from a script. No reason, just that it puts me off. So, I decide to tear up the lady’s script, burn it up and piss on the ashes.

Me: But I don’t have an identity proof.
CC: Sir, any id proof will do. PAN card, Voter’s Id, Passport, Driving License…
Me: I don’t have any of those. All I have is my company id. Plus, I don’t get my salary slip since I haven’t submitted my PAN card in the office. They just issue me a cheque.
CC: (thoroughly confused now) ok sir, Can I call you back in 2 minutes?
Me: yeah sure.

Two minutes in their clock is a wee bit longer. But sure as hell, the phone rings again…

CC: Hello Mr. Sivara… Mr. Sivaramkr… Mr. Sivaramakrishnan, I am pretty-sounding-lady’s-name from MNC Bank.
Me: yes, tell me…
CC: Sir, it is ok if you can’t submit the id proof. We will take the Company id. But can you please submit your PAN card as soon as you get it?
Me: Sure, and what about the salary slip?
CC: Sir, can you give us the salary slip of any of your colleagues, who are working in the same designation as you.
Me: But why would a third person want to give his salary details to you?
CC: ok sir, in that case, can you give us a visiting card? That would do, till you get your salary slip…
Me: Sure, send your person over… I want to see the terms and conditions too… so, send a detailed form which gives all the details…

And that set me thinking… after such a bloodbath in the sub prime crisis in the US, the same mistakes keep getting repeated. It is possible for a person to get a credit card without a proper id proof and a proper salary proof. God help the economy…

Anyways, the second call sounds funny now, but it was mighty irritating at that time.
(Anonymous Caller: AC; Me: Me)
Time: 8.30 pm

AC: Hello
Me: Yes
AC: kya yes yes bol raha hai be, angrez ke kutte..
Me: hello, aapko kaun sa number chahiye?
AC: abbey Vijay, mere saat aisa naatak nahi chalega… awaaz nahi pehchaana kya?
Me: bhaisaab, lagta hai aap galat number laga diye… idhar koi Vijay nahi hai
AC: abey, masti mat kar saale… baat nahi karneka toh seedha seedha bol… yeh wrong number ka bahaana kyon bana raha hai?
Me: (slightly irritated, only just slightly) excuse me boss, yahan koi Vijay nahi hai, yeh wrong number hai…
AC: abe harami madar*****, kya naatak kar rahela re? theek hai theek hai, Rajesh ko phone de…
Me: (a little more irritated, just a little) Hello bhaisaab, phone pe aise gaali dene se pehle number kaun sa dial kiya check karo… [Cuts the line]

Time: 11.30 pm
AC (same number): Hello Vijay, mera jacket tere ghar per eh gaya… main aa raha hoon lene…
Me: bhaisaab, yeh waapas aap galat number pe phone kiye ho. Yahan koi Vijay nahi hai…
AC: abbe kitna masti karega harami… main aa raha hoon, tab baat karte hain…
Me: (very very irritated) abey chu****, hindi samajh mein nahi aata… TAB SE BOL RAHA HOON WRONG NUMBER HAI…
AC: dekha pehchaan liya… sirf tu hi mereko hamesha chu**** bulata tha…
Me: ????
[cuts the line]

And so, I resolved never to use that term on the phone...

Dec 1, 2007

Illegal Dreams II - The Proposal

Pls make sure u read part I, before you read this:


So, I was going to propose to her. But then, I don't have enough courage to say it. (ah, a coward, even in my dreams!)

So, I write out a love letter:

“I, son of Mr. ___, residing at ___, (hereinafter referred to as the “first party”), seek to enter into a contract with Ms. ___, daughter of Mr. ___, residing at ___, (hereinafter referred to as the “Second party”), to offer certain services (as enumerated in Annex I) and avail of certain benefits (as enumerated in Annex II). The contract will be for an indefinite period, terminable at the option of either party, or in case of death/incapacitation/insolvency of either party. The contract will be subject to Indian laws, and in addition, will also be subject to in-laws.

Annex I:

The First Party agrees to the following set of positive and negative covenants:
1. The First Party shall not partake of any substance which contains alcohol/tobacco/non-living animal, without the explicit permission of the Second Party.

2. The First Party shall not observe/look/stare/whistle at or otherwise misbehave with any member of the species of the Second Party. Seeking of permission shall lead to termination of contract, and payment of damages to Second Party.

3. The First Party shall restrict contacts with other members of the same gender to one evening per month, subject to the provision that the Second Party has been given due notice thereof and express permission has been obtained. Permission granted under this clause does not imply permission for any act specified in the previous clauses.

4. The First Party shall promise to remember all the anniversaries that the Second party may require him to remember, either through express communication or through implied conduct. These dates may include, but are not restricted to, the date of first meeting, the date of first communication, the date of first arm contact, the date of first lip contact, the date of Second Party’s third cousin’s birthday, the date of Second Party’s fourth pet dog’s vaccination day and such other dates that may be added to this list from time to time. No notice need be given to the First party as regards addition of dates to the said list, and the First Party cannot claim ignorance to the facts.

5. The First Party agrees to provide certain articles to the Second Party periodically, which may include but are not restricted to a pair of diamond earrings, bunch of flowers, perfumes, scented candles, stuffed toys and such other items that may be added to the list from time to time. No notice need be given to the First party as regards addition of dates to the said list, and the First Party cannot claim ignorance to the facts.

6. The First Party also agrees to remove the Asin Wallpaper from his desktop, and put up a picture of the Second Party in place thereof. The First Party also agrees to delete/cut or by other means remove all the pictures/videos/wallpapers/screensavers which may be deemed objectionable by the Second Party.

7. The First Party agrees by express consent, to grant all decision making powers as regards place of accommodation, decoration of said accommodation, spending of monies, timing of physical intimacy, name and place of education of children and any other contingency not covered herein, to the Second Party.

8. The First Party also assign the right to the Second Party, by express consent, to alter, add or otherwise modify the above clauses.

9. The First Party agrees to have read and understood all the above clauses, and his obligations thereof, and claims to have been in full possession of his mental faculties, except for the legally unrecognizable factor called ‘blind love’, and hereby signs the document as an attestation of his agreement.

Annex II:
This space has been intentionally left blank.



And then I woke up...

and how do I know I was awake, and not just dreaming I was awake?

b'coz when I turned over, there was no dream girl to kiss :((

Illegal Dreams

I had this horrible nightmare yesterday night. A dream so bad I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy.

The dream starts with me in deep sleep, dreaming…

First, the alarm spoke to me, “This is the alarm clock (“the alarm”), hereby discharging the obligation of waking the owner (hereinafter referred to “you”) up, at a time which was mutually agreed upon at 2100 hrs, 30th of November, 2007. You are hereby requested to wake up. Use of the snooze feature may not be in your best interests.”

I perform the usual tasks that people do when they wake up (of course, since it is my dream, I also turn over and kiss my dream girl who is sleeping beside me).

Then, I open the door, only to have the milkman say:
“I (“the milkman”), acting on behalf of Sai Kripa Milk Centre (“SKMC”), hereby deliver half a litre of pasteurized homogenized toned milk, with an agreed fat content of 3% and SNF content of 8.5%. In consideration of the same, I humbly request the client (“you”) to hand over one coupon from the specified booklet, which you had purchased from SKMC.”

Soon, the doorbell rings again, and I am greeted with:
“I (“the garbage collector”), acting on behalf of the Clean the Building, Dump Rubbish on the Road Brigade (“CBDRRB”), kindly request you to hand over your garbage, and assign me the right to use, sell, recycle or otherwise dispose of the same, in a manner that CBDRRB may deem fit. No consideration is deliverable for the said assignment of rights over garbage, except that the garbage collector may request for a bonus (hereinafter referred to as “Baksheesh”), every year at the time of Diwali, the date of which would be determined by the Hindu Calendar.

Well, I get ready and leave for office. On the way, I hail a cab and tell him:
“I (“the passenger”) hereby propose to avail of the services of your vehicle (“the cab”), and in consideration thereof, I promise to pay you the sum as would be determined by the distance recording and fare calculating instrument (“the meter”), subject to the following conditions:
The passenger should be in one single piece at the end of the journey.
The passenger should be alive and breathing.”

The passenger does reach in one piece and is alive.

I proceed to my office, and the day passes off uneventfully. Probably because no one in my office bothers whether I am in or not, alive in one piece or not, and thus don’t come and speak to me.

Anyways, I login to gmail, and there is a chat window which pops up:
“I (hereinafter referred to as “the friend”), would like to enquire about state of well being in general, and state of your job in particular. I would also like information on what your waist size is, so that I may advise you on your dietary plans. It is common knowledge to both parties that the friend does not have the requisite qualification to advise another on dietary and nutritional plans, but both parties have an implied agreement not to raise the said argument.”

I leave office, but do not head home. I am going to meet my dream girl and today is going to be a big day. I am going to propose to her!!!

(to be continued)

PS: This is what happens when you read legalese late into the night, and then fall asleep :((