Sunday, 9 July 2017

Oh, puh-lease

               Policing seems to be all the rage now, what with the self-appointed protectors of <insert anything of perceived cultural value> and all their gallantry. Though the following lynch-at-sight aggressors differ in their expression, they have a unifying spirit - one of oppression.




Gestapo - Gestures:
               The Gestapo have applied themselves to defining, adopting and forcefully imposing on fellow humans, gestures they deem appropriate to express <insert anything of perceived cultural value>. (Think standing up when the national anthem is played and the like.) While the Gestapo is free to define and adopt arbitrary gestures, is it not presumptuous to impose those gestures on those with differing sentiments? Anyone who is tempted to exclaim 'What will you lose by standing up for a bit?' is missing the point.
My pet peeve: the Gestapo's laughable claim that the gestures they hold so dear somehow translate to love or respect for <insert anything of perceived cultural value>.




Pork Mince Police - Food:
                 The Pork Mince police go about butchering anyone who is seen consuming or is suspected to have consumed food items that have failed their 'allowable for ingestion' test. I might be okay with such imposition if the test didn't have such dubious parameters - animals with perceived cultural value disallowed. (Sorry, I lied; any form/degree of dictation is anathema to me).
My pet peeve: mobs asking dissenters - who reply with 'No, thanks. I'll have <redacted item>' when the 'allowable for ingestion'  menu is shoved at them - to leave the country.


Climax Police - Pleasure:
                  The climax police take policing to unthought of heights - dictating sexuality, shaming non-conformists and even deciding which gender deserves more coital pleasure. To think that genital mutilation was carried out under the pretext of curing lesbianism!
'But there are women who choose to undergo clitoridectomy.'
'For fear of ostracism? Hardly counts as free choice.'
'What about cosmetic clitoridectomy?'
'You mean elective surgery? Elective being the key word?'


                   Forced veneration is like canned laughter - it kills the spirit.


                   I plead guilty to thoughtcrime.

Sunday, 23 April 2017

I'm not done obsessing yet




(When you lack Photoshop skills, you need internet research+MS Word+document conversion+screen capture skills.)

Sunday, 16 April 2017

Two tales

               Nothing can occasion a comparison of Pride and prejudice and A thousand splendid suns other than my having read them one after the other. Also how long it's been since I obsessed over/felt depressed by a book this much. So, there.


               Spoilers abound.


              As for the titles, like Elizabeth Bennet says, 'One has got all the goodness and the other all the appearance of it'. As it turns out, one book is like an uplifting song, and the other, a fresh wound.


               The former is replete with literary merit, the latter a heavy plot.


               The former so exhilarating it takes a lot to keep still, the latter so saddening it takes anti-depressants to go on reading. Interestingly, one Tamil (yeah, I'm dropping the 'zh'; it seems like an affectation) word captures both these sensations: கிளர்ச்சி.


               With one, you wish it were true; with the other, you know it's too real to shirk off.


               While it is almost effortless to break out of the former's charm with the realisation that it is fiction, it is not as easy to shrug off Mariam and Laila as mere fictional characters. Maybe it's just negativity bias, or my pessimism, but forced marriage, domestic abuse, preference for male offspring and the pervasiveness of political unrest on everyday life seem so familiar that even the hope-filled end does very little to help with the feel-good.


              Elizabeth's eloquent rejection of the tedious Mr. Collins, Mr. Darcy's curt gems to Miss Bingley and Elizabeth's incredible verbal duel with Lady Catherine - all, in effect, Jane Austen's brilliance - make one gush with admiration. Gutless Jalil, the failed escape of the women, resignation to cruel fate (all of which remind me of Sivagami from Sivagamiyin Sabadham), stoic Aziza and the cowardice of rebels who demolish historical artifacts, on the other hand, make one tremble with outrage.


               In the gradual metamorphosis - from hatred to embarrassment to love and matrimony in one, and from a progressive father to a bad marriage, to love, matrimony and hope in the other - they are similar.


               In the ultimate reward - Jane-Bingley, Elizabeth-Darcy; dead (brutally slain) Rasheed, Laila-Tariq, a recovering Afghanistan, (can't think of a convincing one for Mariam) - they are similar.


               Guess I can no longer criticize people who discuss TV soaps with unrelenting passion, without feeling a little hypocritical.

Friday, 24 March 2017

Forgive me, this one's a filler





“Watch me;


Don’t touch me.


I will buffer;


You will suffer.


You will do it my way”,


Film websites say.


 


 


“You can’t toggle,


You can’t pause,


Do it, you’ll struggle,


Not without cause.


“Adverts,


Pop-ups,


With me, you will bear,


Although you swear.


 


 


“Ten minutes in,


You’ll be asked to log in.


Curse, you may, (but)


You’ll do it my way”,


Film websites say.


 





Sunday, 12 February 2017

The Gita by Swami Cloy Ant



That very ridiculous science of the relationship with the Client is today told by Me to you because you are My consultant as well as My slave; therefore you can understand the horrific aspects of this science.

That worker who is attached to the fruits of his labour and who passionately wants to enjoy them, who is greedy for peace of mind, envious of those with healthy personal relationships, impure owing to lack of time for daily ablutions and is moved by happiness and distress, is a normal human being, and hence unfit for consulting. (Refer our policy on hiring, exploiting and dealing with hapless consultants)

The whole of your time is under Me. By my will it is wasted again and again, and by My will it is annihilated in the end.

What is night for all beings is the time of overseas client calls for the consultant; and the time of awakening for all beings is indeed the time of awakening for the consultant as well, come on, obviously.

Consultant said: O Client! First of all, You ask me to go ahead with the current document, and then again You recommend frivolous changes, wording the request as if I failed to do my job. Now will You kindly tell me definitely that this document is good to go (where no one will read it)?

You have a right to perform your prescribed duty (and the duty delegated to you by my boss from the US), but you are not entitled to a personal life or weekends. Never consider yourself to be beyond my capacity for torture-by-iterations, and never be attached to my non-nitpicky side, as you will discover that it exists only in your dreams.

But those who worship Me with servility, indulging my every whim without question, to them I carry what they need - money and future business opportunities - and preserve what they have - My contact.

When your mind is no longer tempted by the flowery language of the corporate slogans, and when it remains fixed in the trance of repetitive, mundane, meaningless routine, then you will have attained Ultimate Indifference.

nirasir nirmamo bhutva yudhyasva vigata-jvarah
Therefore, O consultant, surrendering yourself to My service, with mind intent on Me, without desire for acknowledgement or praise, free from self-respect and urge to smash the laptop on my face, slog.

(Inspired by https://krishashok.me/2013/04/30/th3-g1t4/)

Saturday, 19 November 2016

Ape town


               About eight months ago, I moved to the ape capital (Location coordinates: 13°5'N 80°16'E). For a while, it appeared to be the TB capital. Close observation cleared it up: the city has more apes speaking the TB tongue than the TB population itself. I encounter grown-up, non-TB, intelligent city-breds, Muslims, even Malayalis speaking the tongue as if it's the most natural thing to do. I don't understand, is it the popular culprit again - cinema? Can't be; I've watched several movies set in the rest of Tamilnadu, with characters speaking dialects that aren't TB. Is it the Crazy Mohan/S.V.Sekhar dramas (whose characters speak only one Holy Thamizh Dialect)? But there aren't enough of them to start a fad. What is it then? Ah. Absurd superciliousness. [Update (2/7/2017): I'm starting to think it might be circumstantial influence more than superciliousness.]
               
               And then, there are the 'yaar's. I'm all for polyglotism. But flaunting one's knowledge of the not-actually-national language while addressing 'anpadh gawaar's, and giggling? That's ugly. Boasting, actually boasting that you cannot read/write in your mother tongue? That's absurd. 

               And then, we have the hypocrite. This song mocks women who mispronounce Thamizh. The woman who sang this song, certainly deserved a special mention in the previous song. Interestingly, both the songs were penned and directed by the same guy. Pick a side - you either get to practise poor diction or preach against it, not both. Good news: you're not alone. Bad news: non-native singers have better diction. Good news: your fans are too oblivious to see any of this.

               I have a theory: we ape what we think is superior or attractive. So, what is it that makes TB superior to other dialects? What makes the not-actually-national language superior to other languages? Why is not knowing one's mother tongue cool? Why is mispronounced Thamizh attractive? (Yeah, rhetorical.)

               Ape capital, it sure is.


Glossary: TB - TamBaram. (Go figure.)

Sunday, 2 October 2016

Risk and control matrix

               Commuting.
               Pre - 'potential client time' training sessions.
               Minuting training sessions.
               Drafting and sharing minutes of training sessions.
               Responding to surveys on office timings and on - boarding experience and destinations for the off - site.
               Completing e - learning sessions spanning 5 hours 2 seconds before the deadline.
               Being brought up to date on current affairs during lunch at the client's.
               Town halls. (And lunching afterwards.)
               Team meetings.
               Minuting team meetings.
               Drafting and sharing minutes of team meetings.
               Deciding on a restaurant in which to dine with the team.
               Checking availability of team members for the team dinner.
               Team dinner.
               Brooding on why this job (internship, yeah, all right) at all?
               Swearing to do all it takes to not end up as an uninspired, robotic Excel expert.
             
Betweentimes, this is what we do for businesses:

Risk event (usually a 'lift and shift' from previously prepared documents), (oh, the following piece is an exception)
Control objective (the ideal)
Control(s) in place (the actual)
Mitigating control(s) (not the ideal, yet the something that is supposedly better than nothing; the saving grace, perhaps)
Control gap(s) noted (self - explanatory, I suppose)
Recommendation(s) (the part I have most difficulty with - coming up with solutions)
Cooped up in a routine and losing oneself
Pursuing hobbies despite the inevitable routine
None
Wee bits like reading, bathroom singing and exercise
Blaming the routine for not finding time to keep the blog going / watch that movie / visit that relative / practise singing
Afterthought: Growing too comfortable with routine
Shed insouciance. Find time.
Not travelling enough
Quenching the wanderlust, one step at a time
None
None
1. Not enough money
2. Reluctance to get the rear off the chair
Shed insouciance. Find time.
Not reading enough (non - business)
Reading as much as possible
Reading (more than is advisable) every day
-
None
-
Missing out on the literary treasures around the world
Learning as many languages as possible (assuming languages can be learnt with the aid of the omnipotent Internet)
None
None
Simply not giving it enough thought
Shed insouciance. Find time.
Absolute disconnect from current happenings
Not missing out on bloggable material
None
1. The most talked - about affairs (of the non - romantic kind) seeping into (an otherwise sensation - driven) social media
2. Ramesh Srivats
1. No news app owing to insufficient storage space
2. Ten minute - old newspapers making it to the front and back of the borrowed novel
Shed insouciance. Find time. Flip through the newspaper. Your blog will thank you.
Reading (non - business) with utter disregard to routine work
Trying to strike a balance between both. Trying. Thinking of trying. (All right, I quit.)
NONE (Intentional upper case)
None at all
Manic obsession with reading
Think of it as a forgivable vice.
Being poorly groomed
Looking reasonably well - groomed
None
The fringe in place of middle parting
Insouciance
Shed insouciance. Find time. Indulge.
Growing a paunch (on account of being seated all day among other evils)
Staying fit
1. 15 minutes of exercise each morning*
2. Running club meet every Sunday (if I wake up, that is.)
-
*and the rest of the day seated (not to mention the Sub in the afternoon)
Shed insouciance. Find time. Quit oversleeping.
Dawdling, procrastination
Promptness
NONE AT ALL
None
"The deadline is five hours away".
Shed insouciance. Quit daydreaming. Quit dawdling.
Buckling under pressure from toxic people
Growing strong
None
None
Being provoked easily
Practise insouciance, perhaps.
Losing track of time, glued to smart machines
Judicious use of smart machines
None
None
1. Finding inane browsing compelling
2. Lack of self-restraint
Abstain. (You heard me.)
Lacking technical / business acumen
Mastering technical skills
None
Weekly technical training sessions
Insouciance
Shed insouciance. Find time. Open those e-mails from Investopedia to start with.
Fading into oblivion
Doing something remarkable
Search me
John Green's suggestion that eternal glory isn't really attainable
?!
?!?!
This post amounting to giving away on social media, what our deliverables look like
Escaping disciplinary and financial sanctions
Not attracting too much attention to the blog at the workplace, perhaps.
-
None
-


Risk event (usually a 'lift and shift' from previously prepared documents), (oh, the following piece is an exception)
Control objective (the ideal)
Control(s) in place (the actual)
Mitigating control(s) (not the ideal, yet the something that is supposedly better than nothing; the saving grace, perhaps)
Control gap(s) noted (self - explanatory, I suppose)
Recommendation(s) (the part I have most difficulty with - coming up with solutions)
Cooped up in a routine and losing oneself
Pursuing hobbies despite the inevitable routine
None
Wee bits like reading, bathroom singing and exercise
Blaming the routine for not finding time to keep the damn blog going / watch that movie / visit that relative / practise singing
Afterthought: Growing too comfortable with routine
Shed insouciance. Find time.
Not travelling enough
Quenching the wanderlust, one step at a time
None
None
Not enough money
Reluctance to get the rear off the chair
Shed insouciance. Find time.
Not reading enough (non - business)
Reading as much as possible
Reading (more than is advisable) every day
-
None
-
Missing out on the literary treasures around the world
Learning as many languages as possible (assuming languages can be learnt with the aid of the omnipotent Internet)
None
None
Simply not giving it enough thought
Shed insouciance. Find time.
Absolute disconnect from current happenings
Not missing out on bloggable material
None
1. The most talked - about affairs (of the non - romantic kind) seeping into (an otherwise sensation - driven) social media
2. Ramesh Srivats
1. No news app owing to insufficient storage space
2. Ten minute - old newspapers making it to the front and back of the borrowed novel
Shed insouciance. Find time. Flip through the damn newspaper. Your blog will thank you.
Reading (non - business) with utter disregard to routine work
Trying to strike a balance between both. Trying. Thinking of trying. (All right, I quit.)
NONE (Intentional upper case)
None at all
Manic obsession with reading
Think of it as a forgivable vice.
Being poorly groomed
Looking reasonably well - groomed
None
The fringe in place of middle parting
Insouciance
Shed insouciance. Find time. Indulge.
Growing a paunch (on account of being seated all day among other evils)
Staying fit
1. 15 minutes of exercise each morning*
2. Running club meet every Sunday (if I wake up, that is.)
-
*and the rest of the day seated (not to mention the Sub in the afternoon)
Shed insouciance. Find time. Quit oversleeping.
Dawdling, procrastination
Promptness
NONE AT ALL
None
"The deadline is five hours away".
Shed insouciance. Quit daydreaming. Quit dawdling.
Buckling under pressure from toxic people
Growing strong
None
None
Being provoked easily
Practise insouciance, perhaps.
Losing track of time, glued to smart machines
Judicious use of smart machines
None
None
1. Finding inane browsing compelling
2. Lack of self-restraint
Abstain. (You heard me.)
Lacking technical / business acumen
Mastering technical skills
None
Weekly technical training sessions
Insouciance
Shed insouciance. Find time. Open those e-mails from Investopedia to start with.
Fading into oblivion
Doing something remarkable
Search me
John Green's suggestion that eternal glory isn't really attainable
?!
?!?!
This post amounting to giving away on social media, what our deliverables look like
Escaping disciplinary and financial sanctions
Not attracting too much attention to the blog at the workplace, perhaps.
-
None
-







































































































Exaggeration? Clearly. Not.