Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The indecision

There are a couple of ways of looking at money.

From a perspective of what your peers are earning. And from another perspective of how much do you need. Provided that you are not hung up about your pedigrees. A lot of friends of mine, keep discussing investing in stocks, because they have a lot of money and do not do what to do with it. I always advice them value investing. But, for myself wouldn't it be a bloody vicarious form of earning a livelihood.

I have a couple of options here. Completely dissolve this firm. Or make it into a dormant one with a solitary client and move on. Enjoy the cash flows while the client lasts.

This is an easier option, because it might solve my cash flow concern in the short term. The flip side being that I may need to be involved with people I don't want to be involved with. In an ideal world I would like to dissolve this for the primary reason that I need to move on. There is also this feeling of being taken for granted, accepted that he married the wrong woman, still.

And the heart calls out for blood. Put a knife in your body, and remove this part forever. Yes, I can be melodramatic at times.

A lot of us are idealists when we are growing up. We write essays in exams against dowry, believe that love is above everything else in adolescence, have ambitions, and generally believe that we will just do what we love/want doing.

Over time, we come to wither. Come to accept a word from the lexicon, adjustment. Another, compromise. We come to fear uncertainty and failure.

I have finally discovered an answer to all my challenges in life. Join a gym.

Somebody asked me a few questions from my previous post. As has been my outlook, when in doubt ask questions. I skip a lot of things here, because I am talking about myself, and I take many things for granted, supposedly, since I know myself.

So if you have a question please raise them. No, this is not my attempt to play to the galleries or attempt to convert content to copy.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

The collapse

Came and went.

There was no unnecessary emotion. No bickering. I was asked to give a fair feedback. I banked heavily on Costolo's article from here( ). Costolo espouses the concept of an open workplace, I extrapolated it to the benefits of an open channel of communication. As I had judged earlier the problem was his wife. A woman with all the wrong ideas of the world is the most dangerous person whom I cannot handle.

She did not like me.
She may not have liked the fact that I stayed in a duplex house, while having refused her earlier request on another apartment ( Duplex et all) where we move in together. I just did not have enough patience to share accommodation with a married couple. To me there still is no difference between my previous single room apartment and my current big house. Not so to the world.
I interfered in her life on his father's request.
I did not ingratiate myself to her mother. I openly disagreed with her mother.

Effectively a woman ( I ) scorned.

I sometimes come across as a rude person, especially to women, and am fine with it. But this also was responsible for my undoing.

She may have given a choice/ warning to him to listen to her and not me.

I am not sure; I might be getting personal here and blaming everything on her. The entire fault might just be mine.

One of the traits which has been forced a development within me, of late is decisioning under uncertainty. I do not know the facts, but I deduce them based on the limited amount of information I have and building up on the other parts. A posteriori.

A physics teacher taught me to assume everything in world when I wanted to solve a difficult problem and did not know where in hell to begin from. The only sum I attempted from Irodovo is it's fist sum. Early failure teaches us to cut the losses early.

Numerical methods taught me the beauty of iterations. With each iteration leading me one more step closer to the final solution.

Sometimes, my first judgement is wrong, but I have started the process by making an assumption. The game then shifts to iterating on the problem, till a sufficiently good solution for a problem is reached at.

So the above is my judgement at this point of time. My judgement is also a special case of an assumption. A fact might be a special case of an assumption. So might an opinion.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Hill Climbing

So which hill is this Phaedrus. and least it be confused, more clarification is here,

Sometime today I was waiting on the pond side, having thrown(or is it cast?) a net. None of the fishes turned up
So I stood outside the room, contemplating and somewhere near the horizon I saw the rains.

It was fun standing outside that room on a 9 story building, watching the rain approach and
diminishing the horizon, with its approach.


Saturday, September 19, 2009

Five years of graduation - A reflection, part 2( On Public demand)

Ok, first the facts. The reflection part happened the usual old fashioned way, where a pen and a paper were involved intimately. It got a trifle too personal and too long so I had debunked the idea of putting it here. Nevertheless, the gist or the output is this.

It is about time I settle down in life, and before that get a life. Break the rut that I have become struck in.

Take a long call, in terms of duration and stand by it through thin and thick times.

Finally for chrissake join a gym, it is increasingly becoming my lifetime ambition. Btw my guiding principles for the future/rues of life are below, a derivative of the reflections, lessons, mistakes etc.
  1. Anything can go wrong. There is never only one way to go forward. Each way has its risks, be aware of the potential pitfalls and take calculated risks. Never carry bitterness with yourself.( Dedicated to arundhati roy a) anything can go wrong. b) It is best to be prepared. Right Estha/ Rahel?
  2. Regularize work timings, 9 to 6
  3. Do multiple things, play sport, go outdoors on weekends, join a gym, join some club, make new friends etc.
  4. Create a structure/process for working
  5. Have a soul mate to discuss problems/scenarios at workplace
  6. I am not a great people handler.
  7. Understand that standing alone you will not achieve anything and even if you do, you will be left alone
  8. Regularize cash flows by getting involved in risk free steady cash flow generating jobs, like weekend teaching etc. Easy said than done, but still.
  9. Have two way reporting where you report to the other person and the other person reports in to you.
  10. Be clear on priorities and your idea on the importance and utility of money and make sure everybody is aware of it, family, friends etc.
  11. As the protagonist in Into the wild discovers in the end, Happiness only real when shared. You need someone with whom you can share the workspace, someone with whom you may share your hobbies to travel, drink, and read and some woman with whom you will share your life. I don’t expect to succeed to find soul mates in all spheres of life but at least I am clear as to where the road can lead, if everything goes right. And with Murphy always on my side, I know what to expect, at all times.
  12. The means are many, take angel funding, reroute cash flows etc. Understand the model first and then choose to adopt it, modify it or completely reject it.
There was a time in my engineering college when we were in a party and the DJ played a good track, we use to shout once moooore, once more( aka public demand). I am not sure, but I guess I tried extrapolating that to a classroom, when somebody went to the board and did a really horrible job of attempting to solve a problem. This or some other way, I did try to apply my knowledge, but don't recall exactly where. This came to my mind courtesy the public demand in the header.

The End.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


My electrical engineering teacher called up today morning. They are having an alumni meet in college sometime this month. She wanted to know, if I can make it. Unfortunately I cannot.

Actually I can, but mostly I won't as I anyways need to go back to home for diwali next month. And my home and college are in the same city.

Be that as it may, she started again, so what are you doing with your life, when are you coming back to electrical . There are very few students who read as much as you did during your engineering about electrical. And on for some time.

I gave her my shaky replies, I have moved on. It is difficult for me to come back to engineering and if I do I will need to start over again. It is not that I have reached somewhere in life, which I might have to forsake, but still.

My other problem; a lot of awe I inspire sometime frightens me. I just took life my way and did some things, that's all. I haven't achieved anything yet, neither do I know what I need to aspire for, but still, I am a bit content, as I am not struck anywhere and am generally free.


Wednesday, September 09, 2009

I have become lost to the world (16 August 1901)

I am lost to the world
with which I used to waste so much time,
It has heard nothing from me for so long
that it may very well believe that I am dead!

It is of no consequence to me
Whether it thinks me dead;
I cannot deny it,
for I really am dead to the world.

I am dead to the world's tumult,
And I rest in a quiet realm!
I live alone in my heaven,
In my love and in my song!

Friday, September 04, 2009

Five years of graduation - A reflection part 1

It is more than five years , since I graduated. Though this may not call for anything, but I will still spend some time on my reflections, learnings and failures. Also experiences. In terms of statistics,

Jobs worked in, ( Including for the self) - 6

Sectors worked in - 5
Engineering, Banking, Outsourcing(KPO) , Education, Entertainment

Net Worth: Assets-Liabilities: not much, say the average amount my peers who are doing well earn in a month


May 2004-Kanyakumari, Rameshwaram, Madurai, Kodaikanal - with family

July 5th 2004- First job , SL, Mumbai

Aug 2004- Nashik for one month, on shop floor during first job. Come back for a meeting in the middle of monsoons in a cab in inclement weather, a very dangerous drive I have had ever, from Nashik to Mumbai. Few railway tracks have been swept off to god knows where in that very terrain. Miss a landslide by a whisker, see the biggest traffic jam of my life. And it does not stop raining.

Sep-Nov 2004: Preparation for CAT, made a set of rules for the self, will not call any friend and speak, will not go to movies, will not waste any time. My schedule during these four months was something like below, with some exaggeration:

4:30 AM : wake up and study till 6
6:45 AM: Buy three newspapers everyday and catch the bus in Dombivili
5:15 PM: Leave office, complete reading the three papers in the bus.
6:45 PM : Reach home, take some rest
7:30 to 9 : Study
9 to 10 : tv and dinner
10 to 11:30 - 12 : study and then sleep.

Weekends: Mock test and more study, we worked for six days a week, i think.

I could think this up because five years back i had done something similar for IIT preparation, I did that for around a year. There were times when I did doze off in bus due to exhaustion, the only phase in my life when I have slept while in a sitting position.

March 2004: Got confirmation from B school A of final offer.
Happily went into PI for B school B, was very jovial and careless in this PI, since already had an offer, told that to the panel also.
Few days later school A said, there was a technical problem, actually I haven't made it
School B made me a final offer. I joined school B. Later I had other 2 confirmations from two other B schools for final offer, and I did not attend PI of two more. I did not get through one other.

I have had difficulties with PI all my life. Why do people ask rhetoric and stupid questions?

March 2005: quit my job with 3 day notice period.

July 2005 : Join School B, for two roller coaster years

During these two years

Go to a fort near pune for a 7 KM one side trek
Visit Mulshi, Kanheri caves neat lonavala as part of rotaract picnic
visit sibm and mica in cultural fests, don't win anything
visit mahabaleshwar, and nearby town, forgetting its name
go to goa with b.e. college friends new year 2005/6
go to goa again after placements with mba friends jan 2007
do a summers spread over mumbai, pune, wapi, surat,baroda and Ahmedabad. Baroda is the best city.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Rules of the game

1. If you are not enjoying a game, cut your loss and move on.

2. When you have chosen to be part of a game, giving up is not a option

3. Do not take a decision till you take a decision

4. be aware of the risks, this way or that, just be aware of what all can go wrong. Also right.

5. Enjoy the ride

6. Commitment to a cause is difficult, but I need to learn to play games with longer commitment time

We believe various things at various points in our life, the above are my beliefs at this point.

Manufacturing Enthusiasm

Japan elected a new head of state recently, so did Pakistan some time back when Mussharaf was ousted. Though I abstain from the TV media, but I do follow news here and there on the web, mostly world news.

A friend asked me long time back, what movies do I watch, I gave a snob of a reply, mostly english,I said. He smirked and told me, what's the difference between english and hindi. I just shrugged my shoulders, below my tastes.

Similarly, I follow world politics and have no idea of local politics. Apparently deshmukh may not be the chief minister of Maharastra, these days. How would I know, neither does economist nor the guardian cover that kind of news.

Snob is the word.

So, when one looks at the governments changing and nations being swept by waves of enthusiasm, one wonders, for what are they so happy, don't they know that in two years time all of them would be cursing the new elect. But the rest of the world is not as smart and nihilistic as I may be. So they celebrate, dance, rejoice. Hope, for a better tomorrow. And convert their hope into dreams and a pseudo reality.

And their dreams first crackle, then crack and finally are crushed.

Similar is the case with start ups, when one is founding one or becoming a part of one in the initial days, there is a lot of joy, hope and dreams. Mostly, the same fate awaits them as the vox- populi in a government change.

Chomsky talks about manufacturing consent, I wonder what are his views on Murdoch jr.'s tirade against BBC. Free economy and free speech are something chomsky seems to have debunked long time back, but I am unaware about his views on private media, other than them being used as a medium to construct public opinion, something he calls manufacturing consent.

There was this book, which was helping me stay inside shopper's stop the other day, bless crossword for opening a store there, it compared Mckinsey to jesuits. The founding principle of firm which was on client confidentiality, just like law firms, how four in five McKinsey joiners would leave in 5 years time only to occupy the top posts in some of the biggest companies etc. And other day I was browsing through the newly launched harley davidson, another snob product, india website, and bingo the head of india was a McKinsey veteran.