Saturday, November 24, 2007

The Devil wears Prada

Caught part of the flick on the telly today. As far as I remember the reviews had pretty much panned it when it came, but two of my friends had recommended it some time back, so I decided to watch it. I found it watchable enough. Nothing to write home about, but then it didn't instigate an urge to switch off the TV either.

It had a dialog about "tell me when your world goes crashing down, it means you're in line for a promotion". It got me thinking about a sentence I've heard from at least 3 colleagues at work in the past 4 years. Colleagues whom I admire tremendously who I feel could have gone much further "professionally" speaking than they did.

"I now prefer to devote that time and energy to my family".

Sour grapes?
Simple matter of personal choice? After all some people just have different priorities?
The womens' inevitable job? ( yes incidentally? all 3 were women)


The first time I heard it, couple of years back, I didn't understand professional life enough to understand what goes on behind the scenes, what is really meant by time and energy and what it means to rise up in the ranks, or even what it takes, to really make a difference at the workplace.

Heard a variation of it again an year back , in a situation which was pretty stark. By then I understood a lot more of what was meant , what was implied and what were the costs.

And finally heard it again a month back from someone in a different organisation. However it came close on the heels of seeing a lot of politicking and scrambling and power struggles at closer quarters and I could see quite clearly what it meant.

I'm not sure how people strike a balance , but I guess a lucky few can juggle the glass and rubber balls with ease, the rest of us end up chucking one.

Friday, November 23, 2007

FUBAR

That is the status of my internet connection at home.

Its next to impossible to get a decent internet broadband connection in the so called high tech city's "posh" area I'm supposed to be living in , a stone's throw from a whole slew of IT companies offices.

Airtel won't provide it, at least to me.
Our friendly neighbourhood cable, after promising to get back, ignored 6 straight calls from me.
Sify was fine while it worked, but once it stopped, it was a 10 day harrowing experiance of chasing phone numbers which were never picked up, and the "kal ho jayega" promises which were never kept.
Reliance was obtained after much running around for proof of address, half the time it didn't work. The average time you were kept waiting on hold on the call center was 20 minutes. And now finally the last straw- disconnection for non payment of bill, when the bill is not due to be generated for the next 7 days!

And of course it doesn't help that most call center employees seem to be selected for their jobs only after they prove that they have only a quarter of a normal human brain. Sure it looks like I have only half as well, but I think the half has the ability to recognise that its missing a half, while their quarter gives them the illusion that they are "not dumb" as the gentleman I called today told me.

I think the bottom line is that I should stick to reading books, and watching movies at home, and leave the net to work at office :)

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Empathy.

Is it a good thing to empathise? To be able to see easily what a person is feeling, and maybe not sympathise but at least empathise?

Would it really be a boon if we could read each others thoughts? I think not.

I think its bad enough that we can often see what someone else is feeling. I'd love to turn on some sensor blockers , and ignore things I don't want to see. Its not a big deal I know, but wouldn't it be nice now?

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

RSS

no not the lunatic organisation, the feeds :)

Recently discovered how simple it is to add them to google homepage, and now I'm busy doing just that!

So much for waking up early to do work - hah.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

To Marguerite - Matthew Arnold

Yes! in the sea of life enisled,
With echoing straits between us thrown,
Dotting the shoreless watery wild,
We mortal millions live alone.
The islands feel the enclasping flow,
And then their endless bounds they know.

But when the moon their hollows lights,
And they are swept by balms of spring,
And in their glens, on starry nights,
The nightingales divinely sing;
And lovely notes, from shore to shore,
Across the sounds and channels pour--

Oh! then a longing like despair
Is to their farthest caverns sent;
For surely once, they feel, we were
Parts of a single continent!
Now round us spreads the watery plain--
Oh, might our marges meet again!

Who ordered, that their longing's fire
Should be, as soon as kindled, cooled?
Who renders vain their deep desire?--
A god, a god their severance ruled!
And bade betwixt their shores to be
The unplumbed, salt, estranging sea

- Matthew Arnold

Friday, November 09, 2007

Life in a Metro

Good first half - even if built on a rather shaky foundation of too much sex and money. Tight , funny, good, and well intersperced music, characters beginning to take shape, like real people not cardboard figures.

God AWWWful second half, perhaps seems much worse than it actually is becuase of the promise the first half shows..

but eveything gives, from
  • editing - was it even done? Do we have to see Nafisa linger? and what is it with stupid ending where everyone is running after everyone else?
  • story - umm was there one except "everyone lives happily ever after" no matter how ill that fits?
  • characterisation - err whats that?
  • humour - ditto.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Another season change

And another cough and another fever.

At least I took sick leave with a clear conscience.

Mostly clear :)

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Water

Was a pleasant surprise, had picked it up fully expecting to give it up mid way. Wasn't too impressed with the previous Earth, and what I had heard of Fire.

But found it surprisingly well made. The story of the widows in Benaras is told gently, without much too much fuss. Yes it has most of the predictable things happening but its the lack of melo drama which made all the difference. No endless long drawn out weepy scenes with loud ding ding music in the background. And I really liked the fact that it did not end tritely with the remarriage. Things don't change overnight, and such is life..

Missed Nandita Das and couldn't help imagining what may have been instead of the terrible Lisa Ray. If only those stupid kachcha clads hadn't gone crazy. But then it was lovely to see Seema Biswas again. I think she's an exceptional actor, but.. The scene where she asks "Main kaisi dikhti hun" pretty much sums it up.

So if Water is anything to go by, there's hope yet for Air!

Monday, November 05, 2007

The flip side of growing up or rising in the ranks.

You get to see a lot more shit being created - no not just the end product but the actual evolution of the bull shit. And realise you're powerless and uinterested to do much about it.

I really want a demotion back to the ranks of foot soldiers- ignorant of what went on behind the scenes. I want to go back to cribbing without a thought of the reasons behind the results.

I want to be able to throw the greens and my egg into the dustbin, knowing that the only challenge is to escape mom's eye. Not having to know that having them will in the end make me the big loser or protein and iron.

And of course I want to be able to again believe that its logic and competence which determines staffing and its only the EvilManager who does otherwise. And not because the answer is 42.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Life of Pi - Yann Martel

Liked the book I just finished.

On the surface, a book about a boy lost at sea? But then the waters run deep in this one I guess. I'm not sure I've fully pondered over what is being said, but I've enjoyed what I've read. Taken at face value, I found the tale a page turner, if only to find out what happens next and how Yann describes it in his amusing turns of phrase. Scratching the surface a little, it does makes you ponder and consider rereading it again.

In some ways it reminded me of the Paulo Coelho style stories, with one major difference - Paulo's stories have just one level- the super deep one, which at least I find totally impossible to dive into. I'm assuming it exits because people keep telling me how amazing the books are and I've found them badly written, and the prose plodding along.

On now to an Amitav Ghosh :)