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Sunday, February 26, 2012

New beginnings

A tie-dye Ganesha wishing you luck for new endeavors

And a Saraswati composite

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Learning curves

I have a certain belief that a man is a function of what he has learned or chooses to learn in his life. As children, our minds are like clean slates on which our family and teachers write upon. As we grow up, we come across several people in life and walk through new experiences, and our personality molds accordingly. It is very difficult for even the most reclusive person to say that he is a 'self-made' man because the environment around him will leave its impact in some way. It is like two energy fields approaching each other, the patterns of each will be affected by close proximity of the other.

Now, think of these energy fields as something you can have control on- at least some factors of it. Would you choose to be with a field that drains your vitality and makes you weak in body and soul or would you rather be with a field that nourishes your mind and strengthens your goodness?

Virtue and vice are relative terms, but a palpable measure of your positive energy is the vitality you feel emanating from yourself. Some days, you wake up all groggy - not feeling up to anything. At others, you wake up with the sense of being alive, believing that you will do your best at every task at hand. It is as simple as that. What would you rather be? Of course, the purpose of a human life is not to be an efficient machine, but if you think that happiness is your ultimate objective, then tell me- how many of you have not felt the joy that comes with doing a job well?

We need to condition ourselves to accept only positive energy fields into our systems. In an idealist scenario, we would have transcendental or meteoric learning curves and we would know right from our births what is right for us or wake up one morning and feel that all the knowledge of the universe has been injected into us overnight. But we are humans, and we err. And we live in fears of being let down by ourselves, and we feel scared of learning the unpleasant truth. With time, however, all the insignificant lies begin to matter less, and we want to know ourselves as we truly are. Not how our dear ones address us, or our haters wish us to become, but as we are in the realm of things; in peace with our purpose, which only we can discover for ourselves.

Man-hour vs productivity

This is a response to another of my brother's post. See if you agree.

We should be careful about equating man-hours with productivity. I hope you took into account the time spent in front of the water-fountain or coffee machine, at lunch or at sutta breaks and the likes. What we need to develop is a stronger work ethic. That every hour we put in should be useful- this will also help us learn more efficient ways of doing things.

I have seen employees spending 14 hrs in front of their workstations- logged in with their cards, getting paid overtime for chatting with their neighbors at work. And I have seen employees who concentrate on their work, finishing more than required for the day, spending hardly 8 hrs at work and yet, getting ' Employee of the Month' month after month after month.

The philosophy should be different, the focus shouldn't be an easily measurable ' man-hour', but more important productivity factors like effectiveness and efficiency. What are we doing? Is it productive? In alignment with the firm's strategy? More than satisfactory for the customers?

If I had a mother who asked me 'How many hours have you studied today?' instead of 'Did you finish your homework and are you prepared for tomorrow's class?', I'd be worried.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Ready for love

The meaning of love changes with age. An extra cookie as a kid meant my mom loved me; I don’t think I have loved anyone like I loved my first pet; guys asking me out meant a precursor to love or I hoped it was. I have felt love for inanimate objects- a favorite book gifted by Dad or a teddy bear that I had the habit of sleeping with.

Now, every day I wake up to the kisses of a wonderful person, and believe that I would not have known love if I had not known him. I had to make a conscious choice to be with him, to decide that I am going to spend the rest of my life with this person. It was not easy. But with every passing day, I feel glad that I did take the plunge.

Life is an adventure with him. We explore the world around us together- a little shop in the corner or a wild flower by the bush. We giggle at silly jokes at 3 in the morning. We can drive for 10 hours together and still not feel a thing. We sing to each other and he plays the keyboard. We dress up and dance when we want to. I read poetry to him. Recommend good books and movies to each other and discuss better ways of doing things. We cook for each other, work-out together, and I love to watch him shave in the morning. We watch the rain pour on the pool and drink tea from the same cup. Sometimes we fight, and then we make-up.

He is the most amazing friend I have. He makes me feel alive, makes me feel things I never thought I would. I have learned that you don’t need to speak to understand or be understood. I have learned that the trust someone puts in you protects you like a talisman. And that I have a lot to learn about love. But I am ready now.

 Accepting only promises today 

Monday, February 06, 2012

Interactive TV ads

This is a comment I made on my brother's blog post:

TiVo and other recording devices have made Marketing executives rethink their TV advertising strategies. Fewer people watch commercials and the number of impacts per ad will decrease in the coming years. Personally, I prefer watching my favorite shows online or on Video-on-demand where ads are relatively low. Most TV ads generate negative ROI, then why won’t advertisers spend on relatively more cost-effective advertising channels like Magazines? Because the audio and visual stimulus facilitates better brand recall in consumers and can influence brand perceptions.

I have  come across Interactive TV advertising, where I was asked if I wanted to view the trailer of an upcoming film- all I had to do was click a button on my remote, and I’d be directed to it. Instead of making a directive, they were giving me an option, which as a consumer means respect. And as a marketeer means more accurate calculation of ROI ,I will know more precisely how many viewers actually saw the ad.

Primetime and World cups sell a 30-sec slot for millions of dollars, and yet there is ad clutter. The TV ads have a primary objective: to drive demand, and the intent of purchase is best stirred in the target market. Think: an ad for an online design course is wasted on a regular PhD student, almost as much as the ad for life insurance would be for a dead man. Interactive tv ads will make lives easier for all.

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Bhindeshi tara

Original song by Chandrabindoo. Slow version

Click on the label 'podcast' or 'mp3' for more audio clips and 'video' for videos.