The War From Where I Stand

after many year of peace ( relative peace i.e. notwithstanding the intifada... the occasional suicide bombing or attacks in sinai ) the Middle East is on the boil again.. the immediate provocation being the seizure of 3 israeli soldiers by hamas and Hezbollah.. but what followed these seizes was unwarranted.. it was as if isreal wanted to play the part that these militant group (and its backers ) had decided for it.. a highly disproportionate use of its overwhelming strike force advantage.. and even carpet-bombing areas south of beruit and Gaza Strip.. this doesn't make sense.. isreal has previously released palestine/lebanese prisoners in exchange for captured soldiers/civilians.. so what was different this time.. i think geo-political situation outside of isreal decided the course of action this time.. i believe having a conservative George Bush at capitol hill.. and with the pro-jewish lobby in full force it has emboldened the Zionists to act in this way.. and there appears to be some sort of tacit approval in Bush administration on the heavy-handed tactics of isreal.. and maybe there is some wanton thoughts in washington to use this war as a excuse to target syria and iran ( the fabled 'axis-of-evil' ) but iran is not some banana republic under the sun that can be subdued easily... its a full fledged islamic state that has been rabidly anti-US for the quarter of century now.. it has been espousing the case for nuclear weapons for some time now.. and nobody knows the extent of its advancement there.. ( but with north korea also in picture you can never be sure that iran doesn't have them.. ) besides anarchy in iraq and afghanistan have given it a kind'of strategic depth that this shiite state hadn't had in centuries.. and this $70 a barrel oil has made it flush with funds that will help it buy weapons,men and even support.. so any covert or overt action on iran will be hugely disastrous for the whole world.. and its aftermath will result in a crescent of resurgent shitte areas from kabul to beruit ,more mujhaids and anger on the street.. unstable saudi arabia.. , forget Oil , forget GWOT ( another fabled acronym for 'Global War On Terror...) well you cannot fully comprehend the dangers of where this could go... i guess Al-Queda will be the only one smiling...

~Rock Around The Clock~

2000 Light Years Away From Sanity

so the blogs are back in town... well almost.. the guess the blogs had no reason to be banned in the first place.. even the discriminating ones.. nobody.. i mean NOBODY can stop this advance of technology.. the moment the blogs were banned.. site proxies (one even from pakistan.. ) were widely quoted as alternate ways to access those banned sites.. so the whole purpose ( even if we believe there was genuine one.. was lost in this maze of technology..) neither this banning was morally and ethically correct.. how different are then we from China which is even censuring the Google Search ( i can't imagine how Google/Yahoo agreed to this *bullshit*.. ) and this banning was the unlikelist of the goverment response's in lieu Mumbai blasts.. I think the blogs and bloggers played positive role in all the cases in the aftermath of the horrific bomb blasts in Mumbai

In my post Running With The Devil i had written about the current dismal state of affairs..

i guess the country's establishment priorities lies in which movie to ban,in
mindless quota politics,on iran.. et.al.. whereas the real issues lie somewhere
else.. somewhat sinister..


The goverment's decision made no sense.. in banning free,independent and
highly personal media like blogs ( agreed that there may be some sites that need to be singled out.. but then does this goverment has the means to enforce such censure.. ) and in any case banning these won't in any way improve the security situation and decrease the threat perception that this country faces.. this thinking of the establishment is a mere fallacy.. why doesn't the goverment shows such proactive approach towards closing down SIMI.. busting terror sleeper cells.. on curbing the bangladesh border.. but no.. the goverment could just muster enough strength to ban hapeless blogs..

.. for a change this time the goverment realised its mistake... and lifted the ban..

~Gimme Your Money Please~

"Post Mortem" :: Episode 3 (Revised)

i started writing the concluding part of my trilogy ( on my two years in IT ) on friday but couldn't finish it off.. so i saved it to finish it later.. i had written on my state of mind.. which is not very great these days.. ( i think i had already written on it before.. ) but by sunday when i sat down again to finish this post.. the revised salary letters were out.. and my mood had changed.. it was not that bad as when i started writing it.. so i had to re-write the whole post.. but why should i be complaining... the new salary slips are above what i expected ( i think 'expected' is not the right word.. maybe 'feared' sounds better.. ) and much more what most in my team got ( they say money is a great 'leveller'.. i could not agree more.. ) now all my grouses against this company.. against this industry.. against the work.. seems to have all vanished.. ( for now.. ) i love this company ;-) lets see how long this supposed self-satisfaction lasts.. but i 'm always bewildered as to what self-satisfaction is.. or if there is such a thing called 'satisfaction'.. and how to make this all-important trade-off between monetary satisfaction and job/work satisfaction in these impressionable times... chalo i will be short.. i need to uncork the bottle to celebrate the occasion.. :) :)

~Down By The River~

"Post Mortem" :: Episode 2

this is the second installment in my continued trilogy on IT and my completing two years in IT ( two years.. OMG, in a single concern.. but we will take about it later.. ) this part mostly deals with 'How To Survive IT'...
In these initial moulding years in IT i have realised thats it not very difficult to do great in IT.. you don't need to be bright or genius to succeed.. all you need is to play your cards well.. really well .. and Boy i assure , and you will places..
These are some of the tenets for working and succeding in IT..

Create Bigger Impact : Try to create a bigger impact or impression than the thing actually deserves or warrants.. this will help you sell yourself better and create tremendous brand recall.. besides you get the much maligned 'Visibility' ...

Keep Everybody In Loop : Keep everybody that's remotely associated with the project in the 'to' and 'cc' list on mails.. and you will make sure you will rise fast.. after all everybody loves to be given importance.. and hundreds of mails in his mailbox.. besides marking a copy also acts as a safety valve if things go wrong..

Work Smart : Always work smarter and not harder.. if working harder could have achieved anything then the rickshaw-walla would have been earning more then these stressed out souls in IT.. try to keep the expectation low.. and try out performing those expectations.. i always believe in 'under-expectation and over-performance'...

The Boss is Always Right :Argue.. Fight.. Debate with your boss.. but in the end make sure that his swolled nerves have been mollified.. remember that 'The Boss is Always Right'... ALWAYS...

Love Metrics.. Love Processess.. Love Documentation : Love and follow your processes even if they all just mean bullshit.. love your excelsheets.. those ppt slides.. those endless meetings.. those mail-mail games.. those reviews stuff.. and document everything that you learn or google.. these documentation helps a LOT !! really... i mean it.. also keep everything in writing..

Always appear enthusiastic.. proactive.. initiative driven.. : this is where i fail and fail miserably :( Another one.. this may sound dirty.. but then it's a dirty world out here.. engage in regular sound-bites.. i 'm not saying flattery but well something like flattery.. just tell people things that they want to hear.. and you become a very close confidant..

Have An Exit Route :Always have an exit plan ready.. you never know when your boss.. or your boss's boss or the endless bosses we have could give a nice kick on your already out-of-shape bottom..

Use 'Right' words at 'Right' time : when you need to protect your turf.. be assertive.. when you need help.. be polite.. be good friends with the whole team.. you never know when you need somebody.. when not sure.. sound unsure.. when confident.. sound confident...

Never Sound Idiotic : Tell it frankly if you don't know something instead of shooting your mouth off.. it takes great pains to make an impression on these firangi client and one bad day can set you back by ages...

enough of preaching.. had i myself followed what i preach i guess things would have been different.. *sigh*...

something again on the lighter side.. got a link of wikimapia which is like Google Earth except that dehradun and small towns are pretty much detailed out in it... so using wikimapia me and my roomie found out our appartment in Noida and tagged it as jahan boss log rahete hai... :) :) OMG.. not content with this we found out the nearest bar where we frequent and tagged it as jahan boss log peete hai... :) :)

~A Horse With A Name~

"Post Mortem" :: Episode 1

today i completed two full years in this company as an employee.. and this being my first company.. and my first experiences with the pulls and pressures of IT.. therefore my reasoning may be skewed and tending to decieve general reasoning.. ( i love this company ;-) ) to mark these two years i 'm writing an introspective trilogy on my experiences within this IT.. this part dedicated to IT and outsourcing in general...

in these initial learning years in IT i have realised that all this buzz around outsourcing is deceiving.. its nothing else except plain 'labour arbitrage'.. its just not about Indian IT expertise.. nor about huge workforce.. it's just that work is being done at the costs that is fraction to what it could have been done in US and the cost of telecom and the ease of technology has made multi-locational facilities feasible for even mid-sized corporates.. but i 'm sceptic as to how long can indian engineer hold on to this cost advantage vis-a-vis US engineer.. the cost of an Indian Engineer rises 15%-20% average Y-O-Y whereas salaries there (US) rises measly.. besides there is this perpetual grouse over efficency.. so does outsourcing really help... i have my doubts.. i believe that the reason why corporations took to outsourcing in such a big way is that post tech-bust no company is willing to deploy huge funds to just write new piece of worthless software or implement new technologies ( that may or may suceed ).. much of the spending is just being done to maintain legacy systems ( Maintenance ).. or automate processess ( ERP Packages ) or move processes on to the Web ( application development ).. and this is where indian IT makes a killing just by the virtue that work is being shipped to india where salary is paltry.. but i think outsourcing doesn't save much.. atleast in fields like application development ( not talking about things like VLSI where savings is huge and India expertise is par excellence ) the efficency of indian workforce is way way less then US based engineer.. then this time-difference ( between India and U.S ) becomes a great bottleneck.. i also find great differences in the working attitudes of a US versus Indian Engineer for things like ownership ,creativity, efficency, resposibility and commitment.. (not to say that we don't have these.. but still the difference is there.. ) and finally the value that is being added is still being added by engineers sitting in silicon valley or san jose... its there that fine products ( killer-apps.. like iPod, Google, Ebay ) are being created..

chalo.. i better finish it off.. i wanted to write more .. and write better.. but feeling sleepy.. i guess the booze is getting the better of me ;-)

~Love Me Two Times~

Reality Really Bites..

another pretty normal day at the workplace... and yes the appraisal rating came out today ( no suprises though... ) the actual salary figures will come later next week hopefully ;) and while working n thinking as to what i will do this weekend.. the product installation got corrupted.. :( hard luck.. it took me more than an hour to uninstall.. re-install and then apply service pack over it.. and as the installer ran in the background i browsed through Google Video Top Pick's... there was a presentation delievered by former US Vice-President Al Gore at the TED Conference.. on Climate Change.. he talked out what green-houses gases could do if emission is left uncontrolled.. on what we could do the cut on carbon-usage.. and the best part what the US and US Goverment needs to do so that it's in sync with the general world consensus on Climate Change.. after all US is the biggest contributor to greenhouse gases just by the sheer volume of carbon it burns.. so any forward movement without taking along US won't add into much.. and i think post-Katrina there has been a sense of urgency on the part of American public ( 'm not taking about Bush Jr. he is still the same good old oilman from TX.. cutting forests.. opening Alaska for Big Oil.. and saying NO to oil conservation.. ) but even with US participation.. i guess the problems with tackling climate change are umpteen.. any estimates to cut back emissions are difficult to calculate and monitor and at best hazy.. and we are taking of time-frames that strech 20-25 years from now.. besides there is scepticism in some quaters if climate change is exactly the result of human intervention.. instead they blame it on the periodic heating and cooling of the planet..( human just being minor contributors ) also there is a great debate over efficency ( US based coal-fired stations ) v/s inefficency ( China based coal-fired stations ) ...over who should take the onus.. developed ( US/Japan ) v/s developing ( China/India ).. over who should do it.. Goverment v/s Corporations/Public.. on if Global warming can actally be controlled ( some even argue that we are past the point of no return.. the Global Warming can now sustain itself.. even if all emissions of green house gases stops today.. something like a 'perpetual machine'.. ) not believing these doomsday scenario.. but frankly you will never know when you have crossed the rubicon... and after that day.. its all over.. melting all the permafrost ( releasing trapped carbon ).. when the atlantic conveyor belt stops.. when all polar ice melts.. when the climate as we know today will never be same and sane...

~No More Mister Nice Guy~

Of Men And Sheep

last week to watch the much-hyped germany v/s argentina clash we went to this famous chinese bar that is pretty near to our office and is among the 'watering hole' thats usually frequented by the software-wallas.. we reached early.. so as not to miss the comfortable seats.. much early before the match.. and sitting there with our usual 'who-said-this-&-who-did-that' office bullshit.. and on the table infront of each of us was a rectanglar piece of paper giving which year belong to which animal of the 'Chinese Calendar' ( this being a chinese restaurant...) and the brief description of significance of each animal.. i guess it made an interesting read.. Btw, i dont believe in astrology and sun-signs predictions.. but somehow and surprisingly the Chinese Zodiac was not way off the mark.. atleast in my case..

This is what is said in case of 'The Sheep' ( i being born in the year of sheep.. other luminaries to be born with sheep sign are muhammad ali & billie jean king... )
"This is most feminine sign of Chinese Zodiac. A person of sheep year is called good samaritan of the cycle.He is righteous,sincere and easily taken in by sob stories. known for his gentle and compassionate ways. he can easily forgive and be understanding about other faults. dislikes strick schedules and can not take too much discipline of criticism. "

hmmm... 'dislike strict schedules' that takes the cake... all my life i have never allowed deadlines to get the better of me.. even in IT.. i hate these timelines stuff.. righteous... somewhat true.. but telling you frankly morality hardly pays.. this week being the last to submit yearly medical bills & i haven't yet ( and i know everybody submits counterfeit bills.. but then the heart has reason that reason don't know.. ) 'good samaritan' hmmm.... i think yes.. atleast monetarily.. i have large amount of money loaned out.. :) gentle.. yes... sincere.. lemme think..hmmmm i guess this can be argued upon.. forgivingly... yet to forgive anybody.. i think nobody asks forgiveness these days.. but i 'm sure that chinese have got this one wrong 'easily taken in by sob stories'.. i am waiting to be fooled by somebody ( bandi-log only.. ) by telling me sobbing stories :) :)

~Blinded By The Light~