Thursday, June 25, 2009

A Cat Crossed My Path Today

A Cat- Crossed My Path today
and - Nothing happened
I stopped a moment
and continued to walk
Thinking about
The innumerable days
That had gone bad
when the Cat had'nt crossed
And the many wonderful days
when it had....
But the very fact
I spent so much time
thinking about
A harmless feline
Running across a 50 feet wide
road, with cars zipping by
At stake its lives, all 9
Speaks volumes on the effect of
inane beliefs ....on our thinking ....

Monday, June 22, 2009

Inviting Danger

Today morning while on my usual walk/jog I saw a watchman sitting on a ledge - not more than a foot deep around 6 feet above ground level. It was a dangerous pose - if he slept even a wink he would have lost his balance and fallen as there was no support - just a plain wall without any grip.

I wondered if it was his way of keeping himself entertained.Nothing compares to the monotony of a watchman's job. As I thought about it some more - I felt that by inviting a little danger upon himself he was actually doing his job better. Afterall who would want to fall half asleep from 6 feet up - but this way he was keeping himself awake. Not exactly a "Eureka" moment but - insight neveretheless.

So often we find ourselves to be more alert and awake to our surroundings when we perceive danger. In my own case it happens when I take up clients in entirely different businesses from my core areas.

But, In our pursuit of security we enclose ourselves in a cocoon - of known pathways - eschewing any event or path that may lead us into unknown territory. In the process we never get to test our instincts - there is no real need for us to develop the kind of alertness which kicks in when we are thrown into peril.

Staying away from danger is good. It helps us to stay alive.

But, zero danger ?

Would it not be better for things to go wrong when you are fully alert and aware - rather than when you are in your comfort zone - relaxed - and at peace and all of a sudden something goes wrong out of the blue.

It would be better to get into situations which involve risk - much like - jumping into the unknown with your senses on alert you would land on your feet or perhaps you might even latch on to something as yet unknown for support and make a safe landing.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Car towed

Yesterday I went to a Client meeting. I parked the car in an area where already a few cars were parked and went off.

Came back after an hour to find the Santro missing. And so were all the other cars.

For a brief moment my mouth went dry. Just a week ago I had deactivated the center locking ( pulled out all the wires leading to the siren) and the thought of increased chances of theft was in the back of my mind.

Just then I looked up to see the No Parkig sign at a distance of 40-50 feet.That raised my hopes. :) . I checked with a couple of guys - they did'nt seem to be aware of any police towing. A third guy, sitting in a triwheeler for handicaps, correctly informed that a Santro got towed and would be available at so and so location.

So off I marched to this place. Got greeted by a Traffic sub-inspector gleefully sipping tea. In fact he offered a cuppa to me , which I politely refused. The bill 400 bucks.

As the transaction progressed he took my details and on knowing my Profession he revealed that his son-in-law who had finished Masters in SW in London was back in India in search of a Job.I gave my usual dope on doing whatever best I could to help his SIL.

As it turned out his son and Daughter In Law were both in well known Software firms.
I was quite surpised. My views of the Traffic Police moved several notches in the positive direction.

In future when I have an opportunity to interact with a member of this tribe I might give a genuine smile.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Attacks on Indian Students in Australia

Is this a straight forward case of Racial Attacks or is it something deeper.

I am not condoning the attacks but have the Students brought it upon themselves.

While speaking to a relative who is currently settled in Australia - a different picture emerged. The students who go to Australia are a moneyed lot, who enjoy flaunting their Latest Laptops and Ipods.

Hardly surprising that they have been targeted for these attacks.

The Indian Media as usual in its hunger for sensationalism has queered the pitch , without going deeper into the story.

A straight forward question is why Only Students.If it was racial attacks it should have affected everyone right from the start.

This question deserves an answer.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

On Bigness

Does Larger size mean being more competetive. I was reading Bank Mergers an article that talks about the Formation of Super Banks and the resultant concentration of Risk - when the above thought occurred.

A line that stands out in the post is - " why it is in the country’s interest that 65% of the depository assets are held by only a handful of banks " . You can name these Banks - CITI , BOA , Wachovia ... handful and all have to be bailed out by the US govt.

These giant Banks did not all grow organically - their Giant size is the result of multiple M&A's along the way.

There seems to be a pattern here - You grow a bit too fast taking advantage of the overall favourable climate and then you are too huge to manage to be able to respond to the environment.

My question is does this apply to other industries. In so many cases we come across firms buying out the competition or merging in name of building efficiencies and economies of scale.How do these Mergers Pan out.

Are there instances where in companies have merged to form resulting firms that became even more competitive. Perhaps there are such instances - but a nagging thought remains - can large organizations retain their efficiencies by mixing diverse Corporate Cultures.Not just cultures it would be different ways of doing things, different procedures , different mindsets.

Buyouts are different - there one company just rides roughshod over the other.

But, in a coming together of equals - which till some while ago would have been at each others throats -can they become one and still retain the competence.