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Letter to Tendulkar

October 18, 2013 Leave a comment

Probably every child in our country, when starts exploring outdoor games, picks up bat and ball as first toy. And I was certainly not an exception. No wonder why people say cricket runs through Indians’ in their blood and veins. I can’t recall, but I guess I started watching cricket matches sometime after 1992 world cup and before your first one day international century in September 1994 against Australia. Now when I hear about your retirement from all format of game, it strikes me how old have I been. I grew up watching your piercing shots leaving the field standing; I grew up watching your stature growing; I grew up seeing world’s best attackers getting indolent in front of you; I grew up hearing balling legends confessing how you scare them in their dreams; and I grew up seeing things changing around me, while you being a constant in Team India. I witnessed you scaling a peak after the other. I saw you obliging your team against the greats like Ambrose, Walsh, Saqlain, Shoaib, Akram, Warne, Lee and McGrath. I could not even realize when did you percolate into my subconscious, all I know, soon after I started following cricket, I associated my happiness and sorrow with you being on the ground. I know many have written much about you, and there is no adjective left that has never been used for you, but still wanted to speak my heart out, representing those who were born in 80’s, what you meant to us. I am sure, no one can discern what you were to this countrymen more than the generation born in 80’s. Seeing you growing from a teenager to a cult was in itself a satiating spiritual journey for someone who believes in a religion called “cricket”.

How can I forget the 90’s, an epoch when people started considering you above team India. Your game would bring joy to millions of us even if the entire team India was ragged by the opponents. We would turn our television sets on to watch your game and would turn it off if you got out cheaply. Seeing you losing your wicket was no less than a fear of an impending doom. I still remember those anxious sleepless childhood nights following my good school results but your dismal performances.

Can’t recall how many times you were the reason to bring smile on my face, no matter how sad I would have been. One good innings of yours, would reduce tensions and animosity between hundreds of people. I can’t count number of instances when friends and foes would unite to discuss about your game, each time your scored well, during my school and college days. Every century you scored would become the hottest topic of discussion next day. We would discuss about each run scored and shot you hit. You gave this diverse country one religion to unite. You thrilled the entire nation, every time you walked onto the pitch.

As I walk down the memory lane, wondrous scenes open up before my eyes; be it winning Titan Cup in 1996, 1998 Sharjah cup triumph, 1999 world cup century immediately after your father’s death, match winning 98 against Pakistan in 2003 world cup, surpassing Gavaskar’s 35 test tons record, receiving a bow from Gavaskar after scoring one-day international double ton and the list goes endless. It is hard to imagine something that you have never experienced and so is your retirement. Having seen you around for the last two decades, never flashed in head that what starts, ends, and you were not a constant of life. Any memory of yours is a priceless treasure for people of this country.

India shining

May 2, 2013 1 comment

Another feather in cap. It was indeed a heartwarming moment to hear that Asian Development Bank warned their delegates visiting India not to show bare legs or wear short dresses when in India as this could hurt Indian sensibilities and may lead to sexual harassment. So far, I had only heard our politicians suggesting women to be appropriately dressed to avoid inciting the incidents by dressing, in their definition, vulgarly. I was really moved seeing so much concern for our feelings by any foreign agency. My heart fills with joy with a mere thought of how well we have created awareness about our sentiments and outlook towards our women in the world.

The advisory posted on ADB website further elaborates on their anxiety about our sentiments. Note mentions that trousers are acceptable, but shorts and short skirts are offensive to many. What a word of wisdom! Isn’t it? If not offensive to others, such clothes can definitely cause accidents on Indian roads. Considering the fact that Indians have an immaculate eye to appreciate beauty, it is impossible to avoid turning head while driving if a girl showcases her tall, lanky, long legs. And if an accident happens, you would not waste a moment accusing the driver, escaping the root cause analysis to identify the main culprit. Such a step by ADB will not only save hundreds on the       road but help our police and judicial system to have some peace of mind.

What we can’t see here is ADB’s hidden concern about India being branded as a country of diseases like dengue and malaria. While visiting India, mosquitoes always come up as a big concern. How could mosquitoes grip their intense desire to feast on exposed and swanky legs? Trousers and pants can actually keep doctors away from these delegates on their trip to India. Shouldn’t we be grateful to ADB’s thoughtfulness that is doing an impeccable work at India’s brand management?

The advisory note on the website has something more that can actually make you sobbing with a thought that can somebody on the earth be so caring and compassionate. Note says “You would be better off avoiding public displays of affection such as cuddling and kissing each other in public (not just for gays). Kissing and embracing are regarded in India as part of sex: do not do them in public. It is not even a good idea for couples to hold hands”. In a country like India, where women are worshiped in the form Goddess Durga, Saraswati, Parvati and many more, how can we tolerate someone cuddling and kissing them in public? Do you think the great keepers of our culture and ideology, Shiv Sainiks, RSS and Bajrang Dal would sit on one’s hand? Not to be surprised if these organizations later want ADB to contest in next general election with their unconditional support.

ADB might as well receive support from a certain sect of sadhus from India who have a fundamental right to strip and shed their clothes anywhere and anytime as part of their holy path. They would really appreciate if someone curbs their competitors.

Respect comes from the bottom of heart for ADB and kudos to people for making India shining.

 

Build your career, build nation

March 25, 2012 2 comments

Spurt of statues and parks, majorly dedicated to puny alive politicians, and using government to satiate lust of power of a fistful of politicians left Uttar Pradesh on the brink of being called as a doomed state. Past more than a decade has put the state’s progress graph far down in the negative zone than one can imagine. In the name of development, government did go miles ahead when it accounted for raining money on statues and parks but forgot to understand the Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. Much stress was given on the beautification of state’s capital to the extent that few parts of the city would outclass some of the cities around the world known for their classy aesthetic architectural beauty, but the basic needs of the population went in oblivion. I was reading an article somewhere that government of India had released a fund of Rs.24, 000 Crore to Uttar Pradesh for building highways and roads, which I am sure was well utilized to strengthen the elephants carrying flag of Sarvajan Samaj. This was quite evident during my last visit to the state when I took a road journey from Varanasi to Lucknow. Such was the condition of road that I had to send my car service station immediately after reaching Lucknow, then learnt that the road hadn’t seen any maintenance work in the last 5 years. If highways are like overturned plate of spaghetti then you can guess the infrastructural situation in rest of the state.

Then came elections and Samajwadi Party posted a rumbling victory. It started being considered that this would bring some relief from Mayawati’s insane useless extravagant expenditures. Expectations grew to a new scale when young Akhilesh Yadav was declared as the youngest ever Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh. People started talking high about him and his promises about criminal and corruption Free State. This fairy dream did not last long when more than 25 with criminal background found berth in a flock of close to 50 ministers in Akhilesh’s council. Commanding this shady lot is Raghuraj Pratap Singh (“Raja Bhaiya”) who has been given jail ministry. Probably this selection makes a sense to many that, who else could be a better candidate for this ministry than someone being frequent visitor to jail and booked under POTA once. A common man had started associating his dream of a progressing state when a young educated blood took command of the state but the dream took a nosedive at the very onset of the highly anticipated journey.

People started looking Akhilesh Yadav as a future beacon of developing India, but the thought of his long innings would cut short if doesn’t fix growing dissatisfaction early. It hasn’t been a month since the inception of this new government; the signs of discontent are obvious. We can only hope that things would start getting better from this point and new government would start cleaning the dirt of several decades. Government must try to understand that their thumping victory is not a matter of mere celebration and jubilation, it is a responsibility given by the people and trust shown by them. For longer innings, Akhilesh Yadav must understand that for next time he will have to win the trust. For mentally battered people in the state, it would be unwise to expect utopia out of the governance but what least can be done is to convert short term greed into long term greed. Eat little along with nurturing the state each time when you come to power than trying to finish everything in one go and then losing trust and next chance to return.

Build you career Akhilesh else like you rose, you will dissipate just as fast.

Anna Hazare and Lokpal Bill

Taking even a shallow dive into Indian bureaucracy and politics would make you feel that this country is being run by god. From top to bottom it is a thoroughly corrupt system in India. Every now and then people and media have kept on raising their voices against corruption but nothing much could be achieved. Despite of prevention of corruption act and many other acts, hardly there had been instances when we were able to check corruption.

Anna Hazare’s crusade against corruption has revived the 42 year old ongoing Lokpal Bill discussion and brought common people together to think of a better and efficient way to fight against corruption. I do not possess great knowledge on judiciary and politics, but I feel the current skeleton of Lok Pal bill cannot go much ahead on the curve as other anti corruption acts in India. Lokpal bill revolves around the public grievances and hence there should be greater role of public in this anti-corruption bill. After being presented in Lok-Sabha for more than 10 times in last 42 years, this is the high time to get go signal for Lokpal Bill when we are witnessing a pinnacle of corruption.

Considering the procedural complexities involve in Indian judiciary system, this bill is being seen as a quicker and easier mean of delivering justice by addressing public grievances. One of the most controversial times in independence India, emergency imposed by Indira Gandhi, necessitated the inclusion of Prime Minister within the purview of the Lokpal. Keeping out government officers from the bill, will dilute its core purpose. Remember, politics drills down to bureaucracy and politicians and bureaucrats are always (or often) partners in crime. But this comes with an inherent flaw as well. You can never assume the judgment as impartial especially if the complaint is against a government officer because that officer may enjoy departmental advantage and alliance.

When all is said and done, we cannot deny the fact how corruption is threatening the growth momentum of India. We do need a strong mechanism in place to deal with corruption. If not more, we all can at least support Anna Hazare’s struggle by whatever means.

Women and religion

August 20, 2010 4 comments

I do not intend to hurt the emotions of any person or any community. In addition, I would restrict my views to a religion I belong, as I am not aware of rites and rituals specific to others.

Next major festival for Hindus is Teej on the calendar, which out of nothing made me to churn my thoughts that why only wives fast for husbands or in general, I should say why only females fast for males (will discuss later why I said so). I sincerely apologise to bug you with this dollish post. But life has been a ride of roller-coaster for the past few weeks for me, had a few laps of nervous breakdown as well, because of which I guess I developed this poor habit of thinking preposterous stuffs, but this one I really found suitable to place on my blog.

Now taking you down the lanes of my thoughts, I virtually feel that the evolution of fasts like Karwa Chauth, Vat Savitri or Teej clearly endorse we have had a strong male driven society which still influences 21st century India. A married woman fasts for her husband on Vat Savitri poojan, Karwa Chauth and Teej day. Moreover, the practice is not restricted to only wives fasting for husbands, but it is again assumed, that mothers (only) are responsible to offer prayers to God for the longevity of their “Son” and not daughter (which is why I asked in early part of this post why only females fast for males). I am sure most of you do not know how rigorous these fasts are. Just for your information, almost all types of fast I mentioned earlier involve zero consumption of water or any other edible item for 24 hours and in any traditional family, a woman is ought to take on these fasts. I fail to understand that how and when did these all started and why only females were made to take the pains and males to reap rewards (long life) for pains born by females.

Lord Shiva, according to Hindus is the destroyer of the universe. It is said that the supreme power, Lord Shiva is incomplete without Shakti, while Shiva being the male form and Shakti, the feminine aspects. That is why probably Lord Shiva is also known as “Ardhnarishwar” (literal meaning: God in form of Half Male & Half Female) and is worshiped in same eidolon at various pilgrimages. At one side, we give so much respect to female and say Shiv-Shakti is an awesome chord of perfect and even lord is incomplete without a female and the other side all are our customs and rituals expect women only to go an extra mile. Starting from when a girl is minor, she fasts for 16 Mondays (blah, blah..) to get a good husband, when gets a husband, she fasts for his long life, then fasts to get a baby boy and when gets a baby boy, starts fasting for his long life (in addition to husband’s long life). And in between all this, she is lost. Nobody bothers to think how she would manage to spend 4-5 such occasions per year without food and water for a day. Why do we not have any such instance when a husband spends a day on air for his wife’s long life or why do we not have a provision to fast for long life of a daughter? Does not a woman deserve a long life, considering she is the one who takes all the pain to bring a life on to the planet? That means a woman should go through all that require creating a life (okay, I understand, there is no escape for women because of Mother Nature’s rule) and try to appease gods and goddesses also asking their favour to raise a sapling into a tree. Together all this sounds like an end-to-end engagement for a woman (being in IT Industry, I could not resist using this cliché).

I am not trying to say what is wrong and what is right. The practices prevailing within and in the periphery of a religion are result of centuries of evolution, which I certainly cannot question, as I am not that qualified enough. However, I was surely trying to outline logic to answer my doubts, which I failed to, sadly. Evolution teaches to shed off such things, which have become redundant or do not bring any value to the core purpose of existence. But when we talk about religion, who would dare to decide on what has become superfluous and needs to be part off.

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Are you a Generalist Business Analyst

June 15, 2010 13 comments

A Generalist Business Analyst or a Domain Specific – Choice is yours

I restate what I just mentioned in excerpt, that this content is purely my opinion and does not reflect a viewpoint of any organization or group I am associated with. This post is a result of my observation within the IT Industry and tales of my Business Analyst friends in various organizations working in a specific domain and non-domain (generalist)  projects. Being a Business Analyst in financial sector (and also having worked in multiple domains like Oil and Gas, Automobile, US Taxation, Credit Risk etc), I am always attracted to understand the shortcomings and benefits of working as a domain or non-domain specific business analyst. I am not advocating than one is better and the other is bad, but today I will try to pen down the pitfalls that a generalist Business Analyst may be required to take a heed of  and later talk on same lines for domain specific business analyst in another post:

1. If a Business Analyst is not carrying a domain knowledge, then while having requirement discussions with business, he would merely act as postman without contributing much to the analysis of the requirements given by business (as he does not have the required business understanding). A good business analyst is considered to be bridge who stands between the technical and business communities, but in this scenario the bridge may get converted into a communication barrier.

2. If you are a generalist Business Analyst, business people will never accept you as you cannot talk to them in their language while gathering requirements. If you do not know that particular domain, you can never ask desired questions to carryout a constructive requirement gathering.

3. I have seen a few instances when a generalist Business Analyst is shun off by the technical team and being a generalist Business Analyst is considered to be a demotion. What causes this problem to roar for a generalist Business Analyst is that he can neither take the technical queries raised by business nor the business/domain related queries raised by technical team.

4. In words of a close friend of mine, the biggest hurdle for him being a generalist Business Analyst is that every time he starts a new project, he starts as a fresher in terms of domain. None of his previous project’s domain knowledge is carried forward to help him in the next assignment which forces him to burn midnight oil each time during a project change to get used to the new domain.

5. Many people have complaints that they find themselves difficult to sell without being affiliated to a domain and they are not saying anything wrong. Take a case, if a part of your body is ailing, you prefer to go to a specialist doctor and specialist doctor’s career always (or mostly) flies better than a general physician. Likewise, it is true in all professions and Business Analysts are no exception to it.

6. Again from the experiences of a friend, the task of a generalist Business Analyst is very vague. Most of the time he does not understand what deliverables are expected out of him because of unfamiliarity with the domain and this problem also causes inaccurate effort estimation that is required to carryout the complete task.

7. Being a generalist Business Analyst, always gives a sense of acting as a facilitator (struggled hard to find this respectable word). You can never move up to the ladder of strategy builders or core consultants.

8. During hard times, like one of the 85 financial crisis we just passed through, when you do not have much options but to work on whatever comes your way, a domain specific Business Analyst can easily get into the shoes of a generalist Busines Analyst (and can sell himself as a generalist as well if requried), but the reverse is not so easy.

Your suggestions are most welcome if my understanding needs to be improved on any of the above mentioned points.

Regards

Anupam

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Life Becoming a Mess

I try to make it a point to add some or the other article to my blog every week and at the same time I wait for something to inspire me to pen down my thoughts. In principle, this post is an outcome of a noetic stir  created by a friend’s blog.

He started his post mentioning his career interest, then how it was influenced by his near and dear ones (as it might have happened with most of us) and had to pick up one of the various options put infront of him by his parents. Today he finds himself caught in materialistic cuffs and surrounded by phantasm of a beautiful life bringing no real juice of happiness. Immediately after reading his post, I realized that it was a memoir of millions of professionals like us, lettered by him so meticulously. He has well said that we have become a programmed machine and operate the way we receive keyboard commands.

He feels that this kind of life has become an integral part of IT world, however I think this is the story any corporate. With the little knowledge of economy and globalization that I have, I attribute this growing phenomenon to increasing consumerism and cut-throat competition in a dynamic business environment. Every businessman wants to make more and more money by being aggressive in his modus operandi, develops immense pressure on his employees to deliver and in the process screws their personal life. I am sure that we will not be able to withstand the stressful professional life until the age of 58 or 60, the normal retirement age. Even if we are able to continue, this trepidation would take its toll and it would be evident on our health and personal front. I have seen a few successful people in IT industry (probably you would have also), look far older at the age of 45. Ain’t this a testimony to my previous statement.

We all are running and running in a never ending race. We remember when and from where we had started, but none of us know where and how long this racing track would lead us to. When you clear your higher secondary, you are advised to go for a professional course. Then you crack an elite competition and complete your graduation from a reputed institute and land into a “good” job. From there you see something else and aspire to go for post graduation or super-specialization. You do that as well and get something better than you had earlier. Time passes by, and you realize that you are looking for something else and you start chasing that. It could be anything, more money, better position or anything else. Thus, we keep on running with our goals and destinations changing very often. There is nothing wrong in that, we get only one life and aiming to achieve as much in that is not a stupidity.

But do we ever realize that life does not revolve only around this cat race, and there are many more things in the periphery. Life is not only about piling up money and collecting luxury and comforts. When a person leaves this world, he is remembered for his money and property until it is distributed to his children, then everybody forgets him. But a person, who has earned “People” is remembered for ages. When Profit and Loss statement of life is written, it is only the people we have earned, comes into the asset’s side. Rest all is liability. In my small life till date, I have learnt that it is always wise to visit your Profit and Loss Statement often so that you can consistently evaluate the “health of your life”.

I am not suggesting to withdraw from this cat race as it is also required to climb up the ladder with time, however we need to introspect at every logical break in this race to understand that what are we losing and what are we gaining in long run and how much the stuffs that we are losing and gaining, are important to us and which one should be given higher priority. Our parents did not enjoy the life of metro cities and other materialistic things, but during the journey of their life they successfully raised and nurtured us and infused us with ethics and values which would always be a weapon for us to fight against the odds of life. This is what they gained while compromising with the standards of life. Like I enjoy driving a mid segment car and sleeping in an AC on my own potential, my father (being a class 1 officer) could have also bought a Car and afford an AC during the early years of his career, but he abstained. He had set his priority for his long term vision and apparently this made me to reach where I am.

Probably we also need to identify our priorities and before that we will have to have a clear vision of our long term goals not only with regards to professional life but with personal life as well.