Friday, November 27, 2015

Review time

Rommmmba seriousa poitrukara postsku nadula, main purposea maranthida koodathu sollitu, kadamai ganniyam kattupaadoada here are the reviews for the deepavali block busters

Vedhalam - This movie and Puli before this one, introduced me to the world of troll memes on the lead actors. OMG!!! Shudders at the amount of venom spewed forth on those pages. I am not entirely convinced that its the blind fanatical support of the fans or just their hatred towards the other actor, but its definitely beyond any of these. Every single act of the actors are defamed in derogatory terms and are rejoiced madly!!! Hope their creative ire can be directed better.

Now to the movie. Even before i could watch it, as like for any major release, social media is abuzz with reviews and majority of them had written off the movie. So my expectation levels were sub zero when i started watching it. I felt it to be a typical masala entertainer which could have been better cooked for a bigger result. Ajith is one of those lucky actor blessed with a larger than life charisma and an army of fans to ensure bonanza of a box office opening. He was the front runner in choosing different scripts from new comer directors and never hesitated to take up challenging roles in the past. But in his last half a dozen movies he alternates between being a don or a policeman with almost same mannerisms and style which has become an overkill several movies back itself. High time he starts to choose his scripts wisely. He looks bloated in the movie and a good workout wouldnt go waste before his next attempt. In this movie, he shows glimpses of what a wicked villain he could be and he is there in almost every single scene. Lakshmi menon, for a sister role, surprisingly has a meaty presence and has gelled well. For a lead actress, she appears to have no inhibitions in taking up this role which could be a potential career changer for her. Shruthi hasan can boast of having been paired with both Vijay and Ajith back to back. But her screen presence is a sum total of ten minutes, both movies put together, doesnt augur well for her. Soori achieves new level of mediocrity in comic timing with each passing movie. Anirudhku Ajith mela enna kovam therila. Marana mokka songs. Uyir nadhi kalanguthay was ok. Aaluma doluma is the worst he has composed ever, considering he has just started his career.

Storywise, its outdated even for MGR era movies. Rowdy has a change of heart, being sentimentally mobbed by Lakshmi menon's family and avenges for the death of her parents. Ashtey story.

Gils verdict: Passable watch for Ajith fans sollalam. Aana ithey thaan last pathu padathukum sollitrukarathala, relegated to mokkai this time.

Thoongavanam - Usuala Kamal copy adichifies english padams and passes them by as his own brilliance. Inthavaati copy adicha kathaiya rights vaangirukomnu he announced before hand. Yet pazhakka doshathula he has put his name as incharge for storyline. Poguthu. Story has a strong base as it revolves around what happens in one night at a single place. Usually, movies made from books, especially fantasises survive solely on the creative inputs of the director and art department, good examples being the Potter series and LOTR. They made full use of their liberty to create a world from words. Probably the only cases where the movies were one up on the books. Thoongavanam, to me, sounds more like a movie that craves to be a novel. The theatrical version seems to be bound by constraints on characterisation and like many other previous Kamal movies like Hey Ram, Mumbai Express, Anbe Sivam and Uthama villain being the latest addition, which would've made excellent paper backs, this movie could well have been that. Not sure if the original French version was adapted from any book though.

Now to the story. An undercover narcotic cop, tries to steal a drug delivery, to trap his colleague, only to end up having his son kidnapped by the supposedly recipient of that drug delivery. How he saves his kid, brings to book the wrong doers on both sides of the law, overnight forms the story. Kamal has one fight, one song (in the end), screen share throughout the movie run time and two lip lock scenes with a lady lead brought in for that purpose alone. Trisha beats Kamal, gets beaten by Kamal, chases Kamal, gets chased by villain and finally becomes his partner in solving crime. Prakash Raj dons both the comic hat on top of being villain and excels in both. Sampath, supposedly the main villain has a sum total of ten seconds of screen space. Yugi sethu dies before he could count the number of scenes involving him in one hand. Papanasam villi inspector comes as Kamal's wife and stakes claim for having the shortest scene space. The boy who acts as Kamal's kid has the second biggest scene space and reminds of Nayagan junior Kamal. Connexion's Jegan's pure unadulterated villain character is the only role without multiple shades.

Maybe to synch with the theme, the entire setup is shot in dark and it starts to pain the eye towards closure. There is no edge of seat thrill scenes to hook the viewer to the story. There are no twists or turns to engage the audience as the story moves on expected lines. Considering that the trailer was so interestingly edited, sad that the movie doesnt do justice to the expectation.

Gils verdict : My bet is this movie may not work out for tv watch. One ad break is all it takes to shift attention. A very ordinary work from a man who used to have a penchant for picking the right scripts from Hollywood. Maybe the lack of effort in tweaking the storyline with thrills shows and has taken its toll.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

From Third world's war to World war III - final part

Any or all of these questions can form a nice movie script for conspiracy buffs. But this is the very sad fact that is going to lead us to war.This apathy towards whatever that happens in Kashmir, stays in Kashmir is what, that has the potential to severe the very thread that unites this great country. Else news channels wouldnt be covering Sheena Bora's death when millions are stranded on the southern end due to never before seen floods. Its this apathy towards major happenings on anything remotely south or north east that is going to bring down the concept of one nation. Its this seriousness with which they enquire every single sneeze or fart of a person sitting on parliament and the callousness towards farmers committing suicide, without bothering to understand how come so many kill themselves despite the world's biggest write off on farmer's loans is going to bring the downfall. Its this silly attitude of asking for the caste and religion of a victim before deciding on the amount of coverage that is going to divide the nation. Its this sheer criminalization of news media, that completely ignores corporations covertly exploiting natural resources from coal to water, just for the sake of patronage while appreciating the same as a movie scene is what is going to lead this country into dark ages.

Replace India and respective places with any country or place across the globe under going war on terror, you will have your answer. End of the day, there is only one agenda for terrorists. Its to spread terror. Whether to promote their religion or propagate their culture or to conquer more areas or towards global supremacy and be it via bombing holy places, shooting innocent civilians, building artificial islands or cultural inquisition via media, whatever the classification may be, whatever their mode and means may be, its all one and the same. Maybe some countries and localities are ill suited for democracy. Democracy is not the one solution that fits all, China being a glorified example for that. (It might be proven even more forcibly when communism makes way for democracy in China and when it splits the nation into numerous factions.) Growth and development are those changes that spares none. No country can remain in isolation in the globalization era. The pain or joy suffered by one will obviously be felt across and it would be that one domino which would be having never ending effect on us all.

What is chronologically going to be the third is going to be the first war of the worlds. But unlike the previous two, this one would fought over nothing. There wouldn't be any justification, for that matter no war is justifiable, as to the exact trigger for it, for the root cause of it lies in the silent minds and grey hearts of all of us, who despite having the power, chose to remain silent to the sufferings of fellow beings. For we are those who fail to understand our next door neighbour, leave alone sparing effort to understand fellow human being suffering on a far off country.

Can it be avoided? YES. A resounding YES.
How to avoid it? Very simple. The answer has been revealed ages before. Do unto others as others would do unto you. Love thy neighbour. Lets rejoice the happiness of every human as ourselves. Lets rejoice the records of every human as ourselves. Lets shed tears for the sadness of every human as ourselves. We get thrilled watching a Jamaican blast off the track, we celebrate an Australian rule the pool, we adore a South African master the bowlers world over, we applaud an American movie for their craft, we are avowed by the scientific acumen of an European, we get awestruck by the tenacity of Indian. Never doing any of these occasions do we query about their religion or color or caste or nationality. The pride of them being a fellow human who have achieved a bit more of their potential in their field is the single uniting reason that binds all. If we can take part in their happiness, why not their sorrow. Lets condole, condemn and cry for every single human life. Bullets are mere balls of lead which doesn't differentiate. But the finger that presses the trigger is tied to a human heart which surely can.

From a newbie dad who is scared for the world his son going to face.


Tuesday, November 24, 2015

From Third world's war to World war III - part 2

It all traces back to the myth that having scrapped the rest of the world off their resources and pride, the western world has created an image of a safe haven about themselves where roads are paved with gold and peace and prosperity is birth right of its citizens. That they care so much about their citizens that every single loss of life is condoled world wide, raises goosebumps and becomes symbol of something to follow world over is something that restores faith in humanity time and again. But why such price tag of protection applies only to its own citizens and not to humans in general? why is that every single life of a being born on their land is much superior than one born else where? Its the answers to these questions that are growing in to the Hydra of terrorism which is raising its wicked heads back at its creators spewing venom. Again the victims are no one else but common men who have no say over the policy decision on their law makers. Surprisingly neither the elected governments that declare war nor the terrorists swipe at each other. They are united in their approach of targeting civilians who have to bore the brunt of the misdeeds of their makers.

Wonder if the classification of Asian and African continent as third world had anything to do with these wars. Western world being so  self centred, no wonder they considered these two continents as "third" world, for these were the very people who once thought sun revolved round the earth, when the so called third world-ers were busy calculating the weight of earth to speed of light. If one has to explain the two world wars in 7 words it would be Lust, Gluttony, Greed, Sloth, Wrath, Envy, Pride. Lust for new lands, Envy over other sects prosperity, Pride over one's superiority, Greed for more wealth and Wrath of regional fiefdoms were major contributors for both the wars combined. If at all the 3rd one happens, which many have been predicting for lot many years in all "earnest", it could be due to the 8th deadly and deadliest of sins - Apathy.

The biggest weapon Americans and Europeans hold are not the sum total of all their nukes and cruise missiles, but their vice like grip on international media. Whether one has to know what happens in their nation or any country on the planet, we have to depend on them as the only source. I fail to imagine how in the world they convince social media, which i believe will be the true representative of facts based on merciless dissection of the very same facts, to dance to their tunes!! While any attacks on the western world are protested with memes and toons and comments ranging from caustic to sarcastic to outright hyper being posted to discoloring of profiles in support, several times severe atrocities elsewhere are received without even a bate of an eyelid. What have all those sanctions achieved that the very government has decided to enter into a new deal with the same people who were painted villains. Have those people who were stoned to death for wearing modern clothes stopped complaining or the pelter's have run short of stones? Have those who are hanged without trial been given their justice or has the laws changed? Have all those hatred spewing venomous group that pour rockets on their neighours been clamped tight or have they turned a new leaf? NEITHER is the answer. No one actually understands why so many refugees are staking their life in scrambling towards an unknown nation while some of their own countrymen are up in arms against their very government.

So whom do you support in this case - the tyrant who gives his ascent towards killing his own citizens or the stray groups who take up arms against him? Surprisingly both have their backers. For every bullet fired, every bomb that burst, every mask that they wear, where do those militants get the money to buy them? Its so simple a strategy that if you stop the hand that feeds the devil and you need not worry about prayer. Yet its not as simple as it sounds. I, for one, feel home sick, if i stay long in office in my own city!! Imagine the plight of those millions who have to leave behind their life's possessions and scramble for safety in unknown lands only to be branded as refugees and treated like stray animals. Why are they there in first place? why the major nations are falling over themselves in accepting more of the displaced people? is it to wash away the very sin that they were responsible for the plight?

When i read the above para again, i myself realize that my mind has been polarized into trivializing such activities on the other side of the hemisphere, which is the very reason i want to protest in this post. When will the all encompassing media start to project their ire against perpetrators of terror without assigning any tag - be it in the form of religion or region. Again i revert to India for example as this great country can be that sample set for any situation for the entire world to observe and follow. If i consider Kashmir as the case point from media perspective, unless they have no other news to cover which can either trivialize the government or be a blatant violation of privacy of any public individual or any sports related controversy, very rarely does the real picture of the happenings on the valley are shared to the general public. Not a day passes where our jawans loose their limbs or life and the occurrences are so regular that they don't even merit a sidebar along side the numerous ads that cover the tv news screen. Why are they getting killed? for whom are they dying? who are they fighting? what are those guys against whom they fight, fight for? what is their real struggle? are they seditionists as portrayed by government after government? are they invaders in proxy from across the border? are they disgruntled civilian vigilantes who over grew their role? are they part of some devious design to contain our country? from where do they get funds? who is the sponsor? why can't those accounts be frozen? why no one paints their profile for every single life that is lost there? why no one bombs any hideouts or targets and flush out the killers? why do those killers are given glorified coverage and all legal rights reserved for civilians even after capture? why does the media project them as heroes in the name of alternate view point ? is it because they are part of a mother organization/nation that strives to see us down?


Rants still more to come..

Saturday, November 21, 2015

From Third world's war to World war III - part 1

My prediction is, WW III will be more like a rehash of WW I.

Imperialists brought in mirrors and Bible in exchange for gold and land and that triggered the dog fight of WW I. Replace that with Democracy and we've the recipe for WW III ready. The sequence of any recent war goes like this - There will be a corrupt democratic government, ruling over a land flush with oil, with the people of those countries who couldn't care less for who ruled them as long as they don't get into their rulers blacklist. The government would soon be over thrown by a military coup or an army strongman with western backing. He would get all support to let leash his tyranny on his own folks with the blessings of the biggies.  By the time the people of the country come to terms with the new order, one fine day, the tyrant would wake up to mess up with the business leaders from the biggies which would cause them to suddenly realize the absence of the very same democracy that they over threw. Since the puppet tries to do its own choreo they would want to cut strings and stitch a new doll. And more importantly their defence sector would be itching for a real time scenario to show case their new weaponry. Mix it all and presto.. you got your own custom made invasion. Once their mission of doll replacement is accomplished, the biggies unanimously confer that the livelihood of those very people whom they bombed to death have been liberated and would claim victory for democracy and more self pats and hi-fi's. All the while the poor country men, who would've been royally pissed off would decide to avenge and would fall into the trap of the second set of tyrants awaiting to overthrow the new puppet government. Replace with appropriate country name at the right places, you would cover all the wars fought in last 8 decades.

Wonder if the classification of Asian and African continent as third world had anything to do with these wars. Western world being so  self centred, no wonder they considered these two continents as "third" world, for these were the very people who once thought sun revolved round the earth, when the so called third world-ers were busy calculating the weight of earth to speed of light. If one has to explain the two world wars in 7 words it would be Lust, Gluttony, Greed, Sloth, Wrath, Envy, Pride. Lust for new lands, Envy over other sects prosperity, Pride over one's superiority, Greed for more wealth and Wrath of regional fiefdoms were major contributors for both the wars combined. If at all the 3rd one happens, which many have been predicting for lot many years in all "earnest", it could be due to the 8th deadly and deadliest of sins - Apathy.

The biggest weapon Americans and Europeans hold are not the sum total of all their nukes and cruise missiles, but their vice like grip on international media. Whether one has to know what happens in their nation or any country on the planet, we have to depend on them as the only source. I fail to imagine how in the world they convince social media, which i believe will be the true representative of facts based on merciless dissection of the very same facts, to dance to their tunes!! While any attacks on the western world are protested with memes and toons and comments ranging from caustic to sarcastic to outright hyper being posted to discoloring of profiles in support, several times severe atrocities elsewhere are received without even a bate of an eyelid. What have all those sanctions achieved that the very government has decided to enter into a new deal with the same people who were painted villains. Have those people who were stoned to death for wearing modern clothes stopped complaining or the pelter's have run short of stones? Have those who are hanged without trial been given their justice or has the laws changed? Have all those hatred spewing venomous group that pour rockets on their neighours been clamped tight or have they turned a new leaf? NEITHER is the answer. No one actually understands why so many refugees are staking their life in scrambling towards an unknown nation while some of their own countrymen are up in arms against their very government.

So whom do you support in this case - the tyrant who gives his ascent towards killing his own citizens or the stray groups who take up arms against him? Surprisingly both have their backers. For every bullet fired, every bomb that burst, every mask that they wear, where do those militants get the money to buy them? Its so simple a strategy that if you stop the hand that feeds the devil and you need not worry about prayer. Yet its not as simple as it sounds. I, for one, feel home sick, if i stay long in office in my own city!! Imagine the plight of those millions who have to leave behind their life's possessions and scramble for safety in unknown lands only to be branded as refugees and treated like stray animals. Why are they there in first place? why the major nations are falling over themselves in accepting more of the displaced people? is it to wash away the very sin that they were responsible for the plight? Is it to cover the fact that the very evil that they vow to defeat are funded and armed by them? Are the very explosives that they threw and grew which led to citizens becoming refugees any way saintly than the very same that the terrorists threw back at them? Why the disparity in killings? why the partiality towards human life? Why don't people world over condemn any and every single death that is due to needless causes like these?

Rants to be continued..


Sunday, November 15, 2015

Tracking a leader

A recent hot topic of a debate that raged in one of the FB pages that i follow is the seed for this post.
There were serious arguments supporting and opposing our first prime minister, who to me has always been a riddle wrapped in a mystery incensed with enigma. Majority of his political decisions are baffling at best with obvious help of hindsight. His decision on Kashmir and dealing with China are still haunting the nation and are Yet, that he was accepted as one of the leading statesman of the world at his prime and time was unquestionable. The NAM movement pioneered by him resulted in dictatorship in almost every major country that participated. Even he for one never relinquished his post till his death bed and sowed the seeds of dynastic politics in Post Independence Indian politics. The fore mentioned deed probably attributed to his own heritage having been connected to the throne of Delhi that stretches back to his grandfather's time. Him along with Gandhi muddled the concept of secularism to such extent that its claiming thousands of life every passing year. His scandalous affairs were an open secret and his efforts to get his son-in-law's name changed to reflect the popular surname of the nation have all been well documented. His efforts to sideline Patel and Netaji are known by heart by the right wing parties and all those spy files would've added much more fuel to this conspiracy in two months time.

Nehru has been truly revered by many as the one who laid the foundation for infrastructure in India. Arguably the forefather of "Make in India" initiatives with foreign collaborations on major dams, steel plants and many other industries. How much ever one argues against the vile definition of it, the much refined template of Indian secularism is here to stay and would probably set the tone for a representative democracy to the entire world in coming years. More than anything, an appreciative and co-operative media where his biggest strengths. A country just coming to terms with its independence, having already suffered numerous bloodshed, needed positivity and probably that may be the core reason why people were blind sided. He also enjoyed immense popularity as the designated second in command to Gandhi and had a charisma to die for. Being a superb orator he held his sway over the masses who weren't yet be polluted by the information bombardment of the current era.

Was Nehru a leader - without a doubt. Was he a good leader? That has been the raging debate off late. How do you define a person as good when he was an alleged womaniser, chain smoker, alcoholic, self centred, greedy for power yet successfully lead a new born nation in its tumultuous times through its troubled teens to his extent possible and carved a name for himself in the world arena as a leader and statesman. Where would had we been had we had Patel instead of Nehru? or Netaji for that matter? Why should the personal life and preferences of a person cause a hindrance to him being a leader? If Kennedy and Clinton can lead America to a new era despite their personal flaws why can't Nehru be given that slack? Again if one had to really opt for a personally flawless person as a replacement for Nehru then Vinoba Bhave would've been the only other choice. Personally and spiritually he would've worked wonders. But would he have had the political acumen to represent India?

We've this long standing habit of assuming super human powers for whoever we choose as our icons. We expect Sachin to become a superstar politician just because he is good in cricker. We expect Rajini to save the state just like how he does in his movies just because his movies are blockbusters.

We expect our politicos to be expert on everything under the sky and wish for interesting (read controversial) sound bites every time a mike is thrown in front of them. There is no harm or foul in the design to become a leader. The fault is in our expectations.

Friday, November 13, 2015

From Imperfect past to I'm perfect present

Not a day passes by without any uproar over some or other controversy stirred by the right wingers and the far left. The latest fad being "Tipu sultan". People who cry foul over the state government's patronage towards pushing Tipu centenary to the very day when he massacred an entire village over suspected attempts to overthrow his government must voice out the reason why they were silent all this while? Or had they been regularly vociferous but the media is selectively highlighting the issue now to stir the country against the elected government? In either case, its a blatant abuse of playing with people's emotions.

Coming back to the Tipu issue.

Not just Tipu, any Indian king for that matter, have always been painted as a picture of benevolence. As much as their arts and cultural deeds were glossed over and their victories cherished, their war acts were mere one liners which never spoke of the cruelties inflicted on the opposing forces and the struggles faced by the losers. Especially when it comes to Mughals, our historians or custodians of school syllabus, conveniently hide the atrocities committed by them on Hindus and skip the acts of forcible conversions and genocides committed in the name of religion. I would definitely not want to scar the minds of kids with gore and barbaric deeds of erstwhile kingdoms. At the same time, the current crop of politicos, who cunningly choose to give a secular paint to such despots in the name of appeasing minorities, are those who scare me and the future of this country. Tipu might've really killed all those people on the day of Deepavali which those villagers, even after so many generations are still observing as a day of immense sadness. (Someone had interestingly linked the current CM as one amongst the descendants at the hope of pouring more fuel to the raging fire. It's definitely not the best of times for CM's and other leaders belonging to majority class for every single step of their life is under immense scrutiny) If i am not wrong, so did he kill a church full of christians in Mangalore (?) including so many women that it finally led to his defeat at the hands of British.

Few things about all these issues stump me.

- As much as Mughals are tagged as muslims, i've never heard anyone tagging Britishers as Christians!! May be its just brewing steady and is awaiting an outbreak or since the vast majority of Americas and Europe, who control what the world needs to trade, fight,read and understand follow Christianity, its under wraps to prevent their wrath?

- If Tipu can be vilified for  his act of violence, how about the Chalukyas who destroyed Pallava monuments? Cholas who killed Cheras and Pandyas who lead proxy war against Cholas? So each descendant of every clan can claim apology from other?

- Forget about the religions that entered India via invasions. What about the scores of people who were killed over war between our own gods. Those numerous battles fought in the name of spreading Saiva, Vaishnava and converting-re converting emperors from Baudhdham and Jainism, if we track back every single instance in history favouring one king, there is always a case of extremist action by the very same against our very own.

This phenomena of tracing back historical events and claiming refuge over foul play to our ancestors by someone's forefathers is not restricted to India alone. Imagine the poor native Americans who once were spread all over the continent and are now relegated to few square miles of confined settlements. Imagine the response from current creed of Americans over any outcry by the natives over atrocities committed during Trail of tears and other cruel acts which are not just well documented but are the very definition of genocide, going by the standards of any era. Imagine the outcry by the natives over Universities decision to swap mascots that represent their heritage. The situation is still the same. Can the present be held accountable for the deeds/misdeeds of their fore fathers? Logic might favour in concurrence for if they can enjoy the benefits from the past why not the burden of their sins?

World over, the concept of policing has taken a huge beating and has come under such immense scrutiny like never before. Even drug lords and murderous Mafia are spared and are some time even deified by the media, but not the law enforcers. If in India, a cop has to decide on the news of arrest based on the religion of the suspect and at times on the locality, its the colour and race, for an American cop that forms the crucial determinant. In its TRP frenzy, the media has created an environ where cops are afraid to arrest, criminals are not afraid of committing crimes, while the general public are afraid of both the police and the rowdies, with media holding sway over everyone.
History has always and will continue to remain the version of the victors with good media clout. Those kings who had talented artisans who can write good literature had the benefit of their valour spread across eras as against those whoever bereft of such talents. Replace those poets and sculptors with present day media the situation remains the same. But the winners change and keep changing. If there is one thing that is forever prone to change that would be history, as no winner survive forever. But the via media survives. Its that snake which keeps pushing the forbidden fruit to people, tricking them into make believes.

The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn't exist. The greatest evil that we would let upon us would be convincing ourselves that our version of history will stand the test of time and its worth to spill innocent blood over it.

Tuesday, November 03, 2015

To meet and part - the "HP" way of life

They've done it again. The high lords of HP have decided to split the company in two and the divorce has reached an amicable(??) situation. I've most of my fondest memories of my career and personal life in HP, a place where I've spent more than half of my small career. From what I've observed the company as an employee and also as an eager follower, the management, irrespective of the so many chopping and changing at the top level, always favour the "7 stones" games approach, when it comes to structuring the company. They go on a shopping spree of purchasing every company in their sight only to de-cluster based on the whims and fancy of the Lordship (wo)manning the board.

When i joined, they were on the cusp of completing probably the most controversial and criticized deal of the industry - the ill famed HP-COMPAQ merger. Co-incidentally my first project was around the AGILENT spin off from HP. I've no inputs to offer on debate of whether it was a success are not. But what was fascinating was that, at the time of merger, COMPAQ was already pregnant with so many other buy-outs. They had acquired Digital Corp.. and were a sizeable population to say the least. Since our (HP) applications had to be overhauled to accommodate erstwhile COMPAQians, all those projects that swarmed over us where the corporate equivalent of the happenings post the fall of Berlin wall. Such was the appetite for acquisition that they went on to buy 3COM, Palm and 3PAR all three in a relatively short span. The running joke was except for IBM, everything else would be @HP (@HP being the name of the HP intranet). While the hullabaloo over the merger was subsiding, came the next big thing - EDS acquisition. Needless to say, EDS had its harem full at the time of merger with Mphasis (who will go on to have a forever on-off relation with the parent company) which had already acquired TATA AIG for a princely deal. Within matter of two mergers the employee population swelled to an all time high of 300 K people!!!

Now that the Good Meg is steering the ship, HP is trying to rewind the clock with its recent split into HP enterprises and HP inc. The 100 billion dollar behemoth is "mitosis"ing into two entities and should hopefully stop at that. In all probability, they are setting the deck up for grabs by some money bags who are out to reset the corporate monopoly (if you read Larry in between the words your Oracle couldn't be far from truth).

What does all this buying and selling does for an end customer? Does his printer still works decently? does the tech support and post sales support fix all the product glitches on time? does the news of new product features and benefits of any discount reach them early? does the pre-sales team of the combined erstwhile competitors work well in unison? Will they manage synergy, having been at each others throat for better part of their careers, shouting hoarse about how one product is better over the other? End of it all, as a customer do they really have a choice? Do companies innovate more when independent ? Can a really good merger be that one balm that soothes all by incorporating the best of both features and still be a reliable product? Almost no merger starts green on the balance sheet and takes time to shed red. After scrapping all those hundreds and thousands of man hours spent on data conversions and business process re-engineering's and corporate system make overs and implementing zillions of solutions, to think that its all nothing more than a mere change in number on the share value, can't help but wonder if its all really worth moving the company out from the garage at all.

From "Management by Objectives" to "Management by wandering around" the HP way has seen it all. It may not have been an express way to super profitdom. But sure has won the hearts of many an employee who are still proud to have been associated with that great company.

Monday, November 02, 2015

Destiny's child

As the phone kept ringing again, without any answer, i was praying for two things - firstly for someone to pick the phone and second for that person to be her.

As i was about to cut the call, it got picked and to my joy it was her.

"Heyyy..finally you lazy bones managed to attend the call"

"Lazy bones who? one who hasn't called for months or the one who have to eat extra course of medicines just to boost up her energy for this useless phone talk"

"Ok..i am hanging up. bye"

"Stop your nautanki...ok. whats up..how are things your end"

"Nothing much..but for...yeah..we had a baby boy"

"Aahaa..ok mister modest..just because i can't kill you dont take that as an advantage. I am halfway through to the process of ghosthood and you are right on top of the "to be haunted list"..hahaha"

After listening to my troubled silence..she continued "you are still so dumb when it comes to celebrations, arent you?  Better take a course on how to celebrate happiness. Congratulations by the way. When was he born. Whom does he resemble? Should i word out the questions or will your royal highness answer on your own?"

I quickly filled her with the details amidst her constant interruptions and giggling at the antics of the new born and at the troubles faced by us, the new parents. She then started her version of  "parenthood 101" for beginners.

"Ok..enough gyan for me..tell me how is you" i asked.

"What about me..i am fine..can't you make out from my voice. For a person who underwent chemo last week, my voice is still stronger than you...hahaha"

"Right..we should nominate you for Miss Loud mouth contest. Chemo is no match for all those kheemas you have devoured. I guess after Mohanjodaro and Harappa..your head must've been the most dugged up site in the sub continent. What are those docs saying? where they able to unearth anything at all?"

"Nope..guess the tumour is stuck with FeviQuick. Its not budging for all their cutting and chopping"

"Probably you should be shifted from hospital to Archaeology. Those guys are good at excavating age old stuff and considering that dinosaurs where your classmates, to them you would be golden"

"Shut up..you are several millennia elder to me. I consider my treatment as my contribution to medicine field"

"To me it looks more like contribution to that hospital. Apparently they opened a new block after you started going there"

"Nonsense. Every time they operate, the chief doctor brings in a room full of interns and teach them. Unlike some worthless people who but blade over phone, i am even valuable while being sick"

"Probably its your pea sized brain that they are thinking as tumour? Maybe that's why its not budging out i guess"

"Very funny. Tell me, when i didn't pick the call last time, what were you thinking. Where you thinking i was dead? I wish i could see your face then..hahaha. Don't worry..before dying i would definitely inform you or at least update my status in Face Book. But i should appreciate you for one thing. Despite that lingering question..you still call. Pretty brave i should say. Almost all of my friends have stopped calling me. Probably they too, like my doctors, dint expect me to survive this long. Or maybe they simply forgot. When i fail to recognize people at least i've a reason. With so much digging around at times these idiots cut off some memory cables. Wonder what would their reasons be?"

"hmmm..honestly i don't think you are going to liberate us that easily. I am waiting for that day when you come up in all white to office, stand before our Boss, with one hand extended and asking in gravelly voice "give me my job back..give me my job back"..probably your normal voice and attire would do..that would be as deadly.. no special effects needed. I am sure he would faint"

"hahaha..shut up. my voice is not that bad ok"

"Sure..second only to clawing on glasses"

"I am hanging up now"

"hahaha..how do you kill time otherwise?"

"I read classic novels and watch drama series....i mean..if i am not puking or falling unconscious or not getting operated or under chemo..yadda yadda yadda"

"So Seinfeld is there in the list is it..niceeee"

"Of all the things that i said..you heard only that Yadda part..talk of selective hearing..duh.."

"hehehe....see if one gets operated for first time..it would be scary and second time people might fret ..but for you its as frequent as India Srilanka ODI's. By now those docs must be knowing the terrain of your head blindfolded. Hey..send me pics of your head..Head shots literally..i want to compare it with the contours of the moon"

"Seriously..you just moved to the top slot on haunted list"

"Who were there before me?"

"Those idiots who are trying to cure me of course. They are learning medicine on my money and on me.."

There was a strained silence for some seconds.

"You know..i often want to thank you for calling and for all your stupid jokes. Though they are not funny at all..considering the alternatives in an-ever-crying mom out-crying mega serial heroines and never speaking dad with a forever sad looking face.. and for the main fact that to encourage you to try harder and do better i do manage a laugh..hehehe"

"Great..with your sense of humour..you should probably audition to replace comedy nights show"

"Thank you"

"Shut up"

"Aaha..now i've a found a way to irritate you. Thank you..Thank you..Thank you.."

"...you are a pest ..you know"

"Of course i know..and thank you once again for managing to try to keep up with me"

"So when are you sending me the pics"

"What pics"

"Your head shots"

"Forget it..send me your baby's snaps na..please"

"I already Whatsapped you lazybones. Check it"

"hmm...ok..time for meds..been such a long time since i spoke..to anyone for that matter..."

"why..why dont u come online"

"Well..my dad cut the internet connection after he found me googling about tumours and getting depressed"

"Dont ever try that..even for me who is fit as a bull..if i read about any disease and its symptoms..everything seems to fit ..all the time for all the diseases!!"

"They may actually be true..hehee"

"Verryy funny"

"Ok..before people pluck the phone from me i better hang up. Got another round of interesting chemo sessions coming up next week" Suddenly in a serious tone she asked "You will pray for me..right"

"What nons..of course. You know"

"Hahaha..got you"

"grrrr..."

"...now dont get all senti on me..hey..whether u like it or not do call once in a while..its something that i feel worth looking forward too, at times when i feel like giving up..now dont start your baashan and screw up my mood. Go do some work now..bye bye"

"Bye".

For one who wanted to bring smile to her, i hung up the phone with a smile. That was her speciality. As always.

"BEEP" cried the phone highlighting "1 Message" received as status.

It was from her. "Check your mail"

On my Inbox was a mail carrying a surprise gift from
Stylori , the latest fad on designer jewellery. While we were talking she had silently selected a gift for my child. It was a beautiful  Flaming Flower pendant. She had signed off with a caption " From one Flaming flower to another".

Whenever the call to her goes unanswered, an unwelcome dread makes a repeat visit all over me. Even when she musters strength to answer the call, i feel sorry for troubling her, yet with that being the only source to communicate, i have no other option. Sometime, when i muster enough courage, i do hope i can meet her in person. And as much as i procrastinate on the journey, i just pray that there is still more time available with her, for her.

Dedicated to that brave little girl who has been fighting it out against all odds and prophecies by the learned medical masters of Neurology. The iron willed girl she is, I know for sure that someday she would be back on her feet and at her sprightly ambitious best. Pretty soon, if not any early. And my prayers for that.