Saturday, October 29, 2005

Politics Again II

This is the second article in the series "Politics Again". This time something really serious unlike the act of Mr. Devegowda in case of BIAL. We all know very well the stand of communist party in India (Marxist) in case of Unionism and labor laws. Very recently the CPI (M) top leaders came out with a statement saying that dilution of labor laws will not be entertained under any circumstances in the IT industry.

Now I was wondering suddenly how come such a thought has come into minds of these people. Without any base and any logic or reasoning, the CPI (M) leaders Sitaram Yechury and West bengal chief minister Budhadheb Bhattaharya are now raising the issue that IT services and IT Industry in total be included in the essential services category. They are saying that labor laws must be upheld in the IT sector.

If we look at the way the labor rights have been structured in India its basically for the services which are essential. The essential services are the ones like water, power, milk and hospitals. Now the major question which comes into the picture is that whether we can categories IT services as a essential service or a money making service.

But a few days before, CPI(M) said that the Business Process Outsourcing and information technology sectors could be exempted from disruption by strike activity, if these are linked to essential or vital services. At the same time, it has defended the right of employees in the IT and IT-enabled sectors to form unions and carry out collective bargaining.

This all actually began with a report prepared by the V V Giri National Institute of Labor which describes the condition as follows :"The degree of surveillance required at work is even comparable with situations of nineteenth century prisons or Roman slave ships'' and the human resource (HR) managers' task is "camouflaging work as fun''. This report was sent to Kiran Karnik, the NASSCOM president.

Seeing the present condition in the IT and the BPO industry it is clearly evident that such a resolution is of absolutely no need and is a way to implement the useless and oldie ideas of Marxism which are of no value in the knowledge industry. Being from the IT Industry, I know the kind of work conditions which the companies provide whether they are Indian or an MNC. Airconditioned environment, flexible workhours, best salaries among all the counterparts are some of the features of IT Industry. The number of jobs created by the industry itself over the past few years is the best example of its HR Policies. Take any campus, take any institute the student's first choice is a IT company only. IT industry has put India on the worldmap with Indian companies becoming truly global and signing deals which companies like IBM or Accenture used to sign. Why the people from IT industry would be interested in doing strikes or forming unions is a major question ? As Mr. Bhasin of GENPACT says "Unions were unnecessary because each grievance was given a hearing but maintained that strict work discipline was required."

Infosys is now Sarbanes Oxley Compliant

On October 24, 2005, Infosys Technologies announced that its Sarbanes Oxley Section 404 compliant. This is yet another feather in the cap of Infosys Technologies which is growing leaps and bounds in the area of IT services and outsourcing. With this compliance, Infosys becomes one of the earliest foreign filers to have achieved this milestone. Infosys reached this milestone well ahead of 31st March 2007 deadline for the foreign filers.

The unique thing about this news is the attention that Infosys Technologies had drawn among the media. I have seen for the first time an Indian company to comply with the SOX act. I searched for the info on more Indian companies but could not get any.

In its quarterly report on Form 6-K filed with the United States' Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on October 21, 2005, the company management has assessed internal control over financial reporting with effect from September 30, 2005. The independent auditors, KPMG, evaluated and independently verified management's assessment and issued an unqualified opinion. The assessment was performed voluntarily under the SOX Act, which requires company management to assess and report on company's internal controls over financial reporting.

Infosys known for its corporate governance and financial reporting standards has proved yet again that when it comes to transparency and ethics in the business, It will stand out as the leader and set an example for others to follow. Infosys has won numerous awards in the area of financial reporting notably the ICAI award for the best annual report for 10 consecutive years.
For the people who have no clue of what Sarbanes Oxley is and the related sections. Here is a quick review.

Sarbanes Oxley or SOX as it is called in short is a landmark legislation passed by the Securities and Exchange Commission of the USA for the companies listed on the US Stock exchanges. SOX has numerous sections in it but the section which has got the most attention is the 404. In the first phase of SOX the listed companies have to comply with Sec 404 which Infosys Technologies has achieved. Sec 404 says that Management should assess its Internal controls strictly and ensure that the controls which affect the financial reporting are taken care. Also it says that Top Management like the CEO of the company should sign the annual financial statements of the company and hence be liable for any discrepancy in the same. The reason why Sarbanes Oxley has come into light is because of the increasing amount of corporate scandals and accounting frauds happening in the US and European markets. The best ones are the Enron and Parmalat. Enron lead to the collapse of one of the Big Accounting firm Arthur and Anderson. Parmalat is termed as the European version of Enron.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

RBI Midterm Review of Annual Policy

On 25 October 2005, RBI announced its mid term review of annual policy 2005-2006. With a raised forecast for the GDP growth rate this year coupled with some other forward looking statements, the announcement by Y V Reddy turned out to be a boon for the stock market with the markets performing bullishly. Sensex ended close to 1 % up after the announcement.
Usually I keep the PDF of the policy statement but this time I thought that will post some of the highlights of the policy here on the blog. Here they are
  1. Upward Revision in the Gross Domestic Product growth for 2005-06 to 7.0-7.5 from 7.0 %
  2. The Bank rate was kept unchanged at 6.0 %.
  3. The reverse repo rate was hiked by quarter percentage point to 5.25 per cent. This was necessary to keep the year-end inflation within the 5.0-5.5 per cent projection made in April. The repo rate was changed from 6.0 tp 6.25 %
  4. The banks' exposure to capital market raised to 20 % of their net worth from the 10 % earlier on a consolidated basis.
  5. Annual inflation receded from 6.0 % in April 2005 to 4.6 % in October 2005.
  6. Inflation will continue to be in the projected range of 5.0 -5.5 %.
  7. Foreign exchange reserves stood at US$ 143.4 billion as on October 14, 2005, increasing from US$ 141.5 billion as at end-March 2005.
  8. CRR remains unchanged at 5.0 %.
  9. The Reserve Bank has constituted a new department named as Financial Markets Department (FMD) in July 2005 with a view to moving towards functional separation between debt management and monetary operations.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Ben Bernanke - New Fed Chairman

After a gap of 18 years, the Federal Reserve Bank is going to have a new chairman. U.S. President George W. Bush nominated top White House economic adviser Ben Bernanke as chairman of the Federal Reserve Board on Monday to succeed the near-legendary Alan Greenspan.

It was the third time in as many years the president had turned to the 51-year-old Bernanke for a sensitive post. Bush named him to the Fed board in 2002, then made him chairman of the president's Council of Economic Advisers earlier this year.

The appointment is subject to Senate confirmation, and Bush called for swift action.
Greenspan, who became chairman in 1987, completes his term as chairman on Jan. 31. By naming a successor more than three months in advance, Bush appeared to be trying to clear the path for a smooth transition.

Whatever the Senate's reaction, U.S. investors liked what they heard. Stocks rose as word of Bernanke's appointment circulated in advance of the presidential announcement.
Ben has done path-breaking work in the field of monetary policy, taught advanced economics at some of our top universities, and served with distinction on the Fed's Board of Governors.
For nearly two decades, Chairman Greenspan shepherded the US economy through its highs and its lows. Under his steady chairmanship, the United States economy has come through a stock market crash, financial crises, from Mexico to Asia, two recessions, corporate scandals, and shocks ranging from devastating natural disasters to a terrorist attack in the heart of America's financial center.
Bernanke has a reputation as a straight-talking economist and a Republican who avoids telegraphing any ideology. At the Fed, Bernanke has pushed for the central bank to be more specific in its inflation objectives; Greenspan has opposed setting a numerical target.

A summa cum laude graduate of Harvard University in 1975, Bernanke received his doctorate from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1979. During his years in Boston, he focused on the economic underpinnings of the Great Depression and the losing track record of the city's beloved baseball team, the Red Sox.

"Economics is a very difficult subject," Bernanke once said. "I've compared it to trying to learn how to repair a car when the engine is running."

"The content of this post has been modified and reproduced from the Moscow Times"

Monday, October 24, 2005

My New Mobile - Nokia 7610

This post is about my new mobile which I got after a gap of nearly 2 year. Actually I never purchased mobile specifically for my use. At home, we had two instruments one with dad and other with my brother, which sometimes I also used. This time I decided that I am going to buy the mobile which I wanted right from the time it first came into the market. The mobile is now in my hands. Nokia 7610.
Nokia 7610 is the 76 series of mobile phones which have a peculiar shape with smooth corners. The best thing about this mobile is the design which I like the most. The camera in this mobile is 1 Megapixel and takes good clarity photos. I took close to 20 photographs yesterday in the NTR Garden and Birla Temple and they are equivalent to the digital camera photos in terms of quality and resolution. The phone has a 64 MB memory card which is actually customized to the Nokia 76 family. The phone has all the features which one can find in the phones available in the market.
The phone has a Symbian 7.0 Operating system which is the open Standard operating system licensed by the world's leading mobile phone manufacturers. It's specifically designed for phones by providing a robust multitasking kernel, integrated telephony support, communications protocols, data management, and advanced graphics support. The phone in terms of accessories provides a USB cable, a 64 MB card, Adobe Photoalbum CD, Hands free and other stuff which we get in normal mobile phones.
Nokia 7610 comes with number of bundled software's like Java, Movie Director, RealOne Player, LifeBlog, Opera 7.0 browser, Snapshot and Ulead Photoexpress. With the Bluetooth connectivity Nokia 7610 allows to communicate with devices like computers, printers and scanners within 10 m of distance.
Encased in fashionable dual-tone ruby and onyx-colored covers, the slim and stylish Nokia 7610 offers quick and convenient capturing, printing, storing and sending of photo-quality images and videos. Digital imaging has developed in ways that were unimaginable when digital cameras first entered the mainstream only five years ago. With the introduction of the 7610, Nokia's first megapixel imaging device, capturing spontaneous print-quality images no longer requires a separate camera.
Nokia 7610 is like a wish come true for me. My Nokia 7610, My Life.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Email Turns 34

It's difficult to pin down the exact origin of email, but in October 1971, an engineer named Ray Tomlinson chose the '@' symbol for email addresses and wrote software to send the first network email.At the time, it must not have seemed very important – nobody bothered to save that first message or even record the exact date. I've always thought that it would be fun to witness a little bit of history like that – to be there when something important happened. That's part of what drove me to join a little no-name startup named Google, and it's why I was excited when I was given a chance to create a new email product, now called Gmail.
Of course that wasn't the only reason why I wanted to build Gmail. I rely on email, a lot, but it just wasn't working for me. My email was a mess. Important messages were hopelessly buried, and conversations were a jumble; sometimes four different people would all reply to the same message with the same answer because they didn't notice the earlier replies. I couldn't always get to my email because it was stuck on one computer, and web interfaces were unbearably clunky. And I had spam. A lot of it.
With Gmail I got the opportunity to change email – to build something that would work for me, not against me.We had a lot of ideas, but first we spent a lot of time talking to all kinds of people about their email. They let us watch over their shoulders and helped us really understand how they use email and what they need from it. We didn't want to simply bolt new features onto old interfaces. We needed to rethink email, but at the same time we needed to respect that email already had over 30 years of history, thousands of existing programs, and nearly a billion users.
So we started by learning which features were most important, and which problems were most aggravating. We also realized that solving everyone's problems was too big of a challenge for the first release. It would be better to build a product that a lot of people love, than one that everyone tolerates, and so that was our goal.On April 1, 2004, we rolled out the first release of Gmail. It immediately became known for giving away 1000 MB of storage, while the others only offered 4 MB, as they had for many years. We didn't do that just for the attention (although we certainly got our share). It's just part of our philosophy. We always want to do as much as we can for our users, and so if we can make something free, we will.But storage was only the most obvious difference, and our other improvements were just as important. Gmail included a quick and accurate search. It introduced powerful new concepts to organize email, such as the conversation view (so now I can finally see all those replies at once). It provided a fast and dynamic interface from web browsers everywhere, popularizing the techniques that have since become known as AJAX.This interface included many important features not commonly found on the web at that time, such as email address auto-completion, a slick spell-checker, keyboard shortcuts, and pages that update instantly. It included a smart spam filter to get rid of junk mail.
Finally, we made an important new promise: you can keep your Gmail address and all of your email, even if you someday decide that Gmail is not for you. Cell phone owners already have the right to keep their old phone number when switching to a new provider, and you should have that same freedom with email. To ensure this freedom, Gmail provides, for free, both email forwarding and POP download of all your mail. Many services are now beginning to include other Gmail innovations; we hope that some day they will also be willing to include this one.Of course, the launch was just the beginning, and we're still busy improving Gmail. We keep increasing free storage (2656 MB and counting), we offer the interface in 38 languages, and we now have features such as auto-save drafts, so that you don't accidentally lose that half-written message. We know that Gmail isn’t quite right for everyone yet. We’re working on that too – there’s still more we can do for the folder-lovers and devout-deleters out there.
But wait, there’s more! :) We also have a new batch of exciting innovations on the way that we hope will shake things up again and make Gmail even better for even more people.I'm proud of what we've done so far, and am excited about our future plans for Gmail. So celebrate how far email has come by joining its fun future.
"This Article is reproduced from the Google Blog written by Paul Buchheit, Gmail Engineer. I felt the article to be very good and hence re-posted here"

Friday, October 21, 2005

Politics Again

Well politics in India can make its mark almost everywhere. No sector, No industry leave alone people can escape the horror called as politics. The recent news regarding the Bangalore International Airport Limited is the best example of how shabby politics can become at some times.

On 20th of October 2005, N R Narayanmurthy, Chairman and Chief Mentor, Infosys Technologies resigned as the chairman of the Bangalore International Airport Limited. N R Narayanmurthy took this step after being deeply hurt by Deve Gowda who questioned the work done by him in the airport project. Former Prime minister Mr. H D Devegowda who is one of the leaders in the coalition government was one of the main reasons for the ongoing tussle between IT Industry and the Karnataka government.

Deve gowda made several allegations over the working of Narayanmurthy. He went on to say that Murthy being a world traveler took so much of time for the project to start. Murthy had said in one of the meetings for the shift of focus from rural governance to urban governance. Devegowda ridiculed this word of Murthy and said that the views of elite did not tally with reality and questioned the latter's knowledge about rural life.

Devegowda went to the extent of saying that the Karnataka government should look into the issue of giving land to the IT companies and cautioned Singh regarding the recent allotment of 845 acres to Infosys. Murthy's resignation has again revived the love-hate relationship between the IT sector and the state government over the city's infrastructure.

This example is a clear indication of how much politics can ruin the normal working process of our country. We all know how much important are the international airports for our country. The congestion of the airports is a very serious problem right now for our country. The flights get delayed frequently and the poor infrastructure makes the flight departure and arrival still bad. The project had started because of the extensive efforts of Murthy only. He spent enormous amount of time and energy in interacting with the Government in New Delhi and the Government here to make this work. The records prove themselves. But at the end of day even the Karnataka Government did not come to his side. This is really a shameful act.

Meanwhile at home in Hyderabad the International Airport (HIAL), which is coming up at Shamshabad, is doing well and its financial closure has also happened recently. GMR group and the Malayasia Airport Holdings are promoting it. I think this is the best example of Project Finance, because the risk in the venture is very high. By 2008 the capacity of the airport would be close to 70 lakh people per year. It’s expected by 2018 the airport would be able to handle close to 40-50 million people.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Landmark Deal for TCS

Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) has won a $ 847 million landmark deal from the UK based insurance company, Pearl Group. The deal will be executed in 12 years of time and revenues from the deal will start flowing from the last quarter of this fiscal.

This deal is a momentous occasion for TCS as well as for the Indian IT industry in terms of the structuring of the deal. In the ABN Amro bank deal also TCS had its share to the tune of $ 250 million. But the new thing that figured in these deals was the movement of people. In the ABN Amro bank deal about 2000 people from bank’s IT division had moved to the five IT companies to which deal was awarded. TCS also absorbed a few people as part of the deal.

In this deal of Pearl Group, TCS is going to take over the entire business processes of Pearl and also 950 employees in UK. This will lead to the creation of a new company in UK. It will be a BPO that will handle all the life and pension businesses beginning with Pearl Group’s closed books portfolio.

S Ramadorai, MD and CEO of TCS said that this deal validates our strategy of pioneering the next generation of BPO. The biggest advantage of this deal is that TCS gets an entry into the European life insurance market. The Pearl Group has a base of 25 billion pounds and has 2.5 million subscribers. Also the Pearl Group has said that they have no objection in the new company doing business for other firms in Europe.

Indian IT companies have not been very strong in the European region. Lately the deals like ABN AMRO and the latest one of Pearl Group can give the IT companies a foot hold even in this emerging market which is considered to be the second biggest after North America.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Star “Sensational” News

The title of the post says it all. For quite sometime I was thinking about writing about this and finally today I got the time to put down my thoughts.

Star News came into being when NDTV finished its contract with STAR. Subsequent to the expiry of contract NDTV came out with two channels NDTV India and NDTV 24 x 7. Both the channels still retain the quality of original NDTV. Star News on the other hand got popularity because of other reasons.

I do not know how many readers of this blog actually watch Star News, but I do watch it quite often. For quite sometime I have been observing this channel in terms of the news content it carries. Everyday the channel comes out with sensational news which no other channel has a clue even. But the news is sensational only for a day and after that everyone forgets about it, even the channel itself. The best example is the recent news about Google Earth.

The channel in its ticker carries the name of the story which it’s going to unveil later in the night usually at about 10:30 or later. This is because the story will have content which can be unsuitable for young audience. The program by name SANSANI has gained lot of popularity because of its highly energetic host Shrivardhan Trivedi. The program shows the real life crime happening around us. It will be news based on some kind of killing, robbery, or other anti human activities. The channel will give it so much of focus that for a moment people forget the current affairs and other news happening in the country. At the end of the day the channel is trying to gain popularity in the way western channel do – the reality TV.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Homecoming 2005 - Part 2

The next day the morning happened for us at about 9:30 AM. We got up and went for the breakfast in Shri Krishna leela restaurant. It was bad. Anyways we got ready and then started for college. I sat in canteen for sometime and then went to my old home – SysLab. After reaching there I met the junies and the sub junies out there and did a little bit of gyaan baazi here and there. After having interaction with them for about half an hour I left the syslab and then could not meet up with Bombay guys at all since they had left by then. Venki left for chennai by the bus and then all of us came back to college. Six of us were left finally – Raj, Nair, CP, Uncle, Krishna and myself. We all then took the bus and left for Udupi temple. Went to temple it was a nice feeling after a long time. After the temple visit we all landed up at our old destination for all parties, the Pisces restaurant. Started off with the Veg Minnestrone soup and then had a host of dishes. It was nice lunch.
After the lunch we booked a taxi and went to Kaup beach. The last time I went to Kaup beach was on Atharva Quiz on the beach. The weather was good and rain god had shown some mercy on us. Moreover the beach was not crowded. We stayed there for about 2 hours watching the sunset. We started back from there at about 6:30 PM and roamed in KMC Greens for sometime. It was a nice remembrance of the night we had spent out there. Thereafter went back to hotel packed the entire luggage and then went to guzzlers for the final retreat. Only nair and myself were there since raj cp and uncle were involved in the placecom dinner and krish had left by then to Mangalore. Nair and myself had the banarasi paan outside guzzlers, which was one of a kind in Manipal.
We left Manipal at 10 and the bus we boarded had some problem on the seats. I developed rashes on my hands and legs. We reached Bangalore at about 8:30 AM. Then went to CP and Raj’s house. The house is pretty good. Few hours later I left for airport. While traveling saw the big structures of Accenture and Oracle. Anyways reached Airport at 12:30 and got into 1:15 flight somehow and saved three hours. Reached Hyderabad at 2:30 and back to home at 3:00. This way my journey to homecoming ended.

Homecoming 2005 - Part 1

The title of the post should not be new for most of the people who belong to TAPMI. Every year the Alumni Affair Committee takes the mantle of organizing Alumni Homecoming which is a 2 day affair where in the Alumni of the institute come back to the institute, enjoy and remember their spent times here.

Last time we were the organizers of this event. This time we were the participants of this event. I started from Hyderabad on 7th of October by Kingfisher Airlines incidentally, which was my first airline journey. The flight journey was cool and we landed on Bangalore at 8:15, which is 40 minutes later when compared to the actual arrival time. By the time I came out of the Airport I took a taxi that took a whopping amount (I will not like to disclose that here) and dropped me at the bus travels place after a bit of struggle. The bus arrived at 10:00 PM and I met all the people there. Raj, CP, Uncle, Venky and Nair. Chappar could not come due to some last minute changes. As always myself and nair started in Bus itself and took a break and slept in the night at about 2 or so.

The next day morning the bus reached manipal at 8:00 AM. It was a pleasure to come back to Manipal unlike other times when I did not feel like coming back to Manipal at all. We took an auto and reached the hotel Royal. We met rest of the gang from Bombay. If we look at the major chunk of people they were from IT companies only thanks to the 5-day week. Anyways we got allocated ourselves into rooms and myself and Nair landed up in one room. We all got ready somehow thanks to no power and no water in the hotel. A bus was arranged for our transportation from place to place. We reached TAPMI at about 10:30 PM and then started the day with registration and some honors. After that it was the turn of the event of the day – The Director’s Address. It was good. Some of the recent developments happening in TAPMI also came into light.

After the director’s address we all gathered for an informal Tea session with the faculty and the students. It was the time to interact with faculty and I had a talk with Prof. Mohan Kumar in detail about our job and profiles etc. We had a plan to talk later on some issues but time did not permit. After the Tea session it was the time for the Photo session. Pretty decent crowd it was and as always it was very hot standing out there. By the time we completed the photo session it was 1:00 PM. Then we came back to Institute had some photo sessions therein and left for the mess to have lunch by walk.

We reached the TAPMI mess at about 1:20 or so and then had lunch out there. It was awesome. Although the taste did not change a bit, it was good in terms of variety. After having a sumptuous meal at the mess, I went upstairs with Vora to see the condition of our room. The room was in a very bad state. I will not like to comment on that. Thereafter we came down and I was chatting with my TSG junies and other people. Some how we got two bikes. I drove pulsar for the first time and CP drove Enfield. It was a great experience and we went to endpoint. By now the weather in Manipal had become great with cool breeze and cloudy skies with little of rain just like Kerala. We went to end point and sat there for an hour or so. Then we started back, I dropped Tejas to college and then CP and myself came to Thalloor’s for the party. It was a warm welcome by Souveer. After finishing from there we had Goli Bajji in the same shop where we used to have while I was in Manipal. The evening came to an end there. We went back to hotel room and slept there till 7:30 PM.

For the night party I had my special PROVOGUE shirt, which was pretty well received by all. The Nike shoes almost went for a toss because of the mud and dirt clinging to them. Our Night party was in Hotel Kediyoor. It is the same venue where we had the Farewell party. It was a nice experience. Anyways I need not mention about what happened out there. We came back to hotel room at about 1:00 AM and then the bakar session started in our room itself. CP too joined us.

Amitabh Bachchan Turns 64

The living legend of Indian Cinema, the angry young man of 70s, voted as the star of the millennium by BBC and voted as the best anchor ever in the history of Indian television Amitabh Bachchan has turned 64 on Tuesday 11th of October 2005.

Almost all the stars of his age group have gone into shells but this man continues to cast his spell over the millions of people globally and not just in India. Some people say it’s the charisma of Amitabh Bachchan, which actually takes the screen by fire. Whether it’s the martinet principal in Mohabatein or the role of a drunkard police officer in Bunty aur Babli, He does every role to the perfection and gets into any role with ease.

Whether it’s the ads of Emami or the pappu of Cadbury or the Red Man of Eveready, He is superb in every role. There is not a single minute when on any channel one cannot find an ad featuring Amitabh Bachchan.

While the entire nation and nook and corners of each and every part of the country was going gaga over the birthday of Amitabh Bachchan, the man himself decided to stay away from all kinds of celebrations.

AB decided to keep his birthday low profile this year in wake of the earthquake that hit India and Pakistan. He had planned a birthday bash with close friends and relatives at his residence. But finally he just had breakfast with members of AB Corp and his personal staff at his office in Juhu. Well unlike many of us AB did not take a holiday even on his birthday and shoot for KBC. Later he flew to New York to shoot for the latest movie of Karan Johar.

There is no doubt the actor remains a superstar till date, given the fact that most of his 2005 releases have done well. Take Black, Waqt: Race Against Time, Sarkar and Bunty Aur Babli. I wish him a very happy birthday and hope to see more of Amitabh in every sphere of Indian cinema.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Relative humor

The title of this post may look very eccentric to most of the reader, but according to me there is something called as relative humor. Over a period of time interacting with different type of people, I realized that every one has a different sense of humor and how one perceives things is quite different from other.
humor can be defined as a message whose ingenuity or verbal skill or incongruity has the power to evoke laughter. Here the different words which constitute the definition have different meaning for different people. The simple reason for this is that we all are different. We believe in different things, we do things differently and what is fun for us may be yawn for the other.
There are no defined standards for humor. That is why humor for Tamilians or Malayalies may not be appreciated by people from let us say Andhra or Karnataka.
Usually humor in southern states is largely influenced by the movies. In telugu movies Brahmanandam plays the key role of comedian mostly. So the situations or jokes said by him become the benchmark for discussion in almost all places. I think it all lies in the way we take the situation into consideration. Sometimes even the most dreaded situations can be made comic with a single dialogue. Similar is the case for tamil or malayalam movies.
The sense of humor in school is different from college. In colleges its different among groups of people. In MBA the sense of humor touches new heights when things which will bring laughter to any person will be discussed.
In a corporate environment, one needs to be very careful while cracking any kind of nasty stuff because of several rules and regulations undergoing. What is humor between PM and BA may not be really humorous for the developers. What is humorous for the developers may sound stupid to the PM or any other senior management. I think the key lies in adaptation.
Well the idea of this post is to bring out the concept of relative humor. Relative in a sense that with respect to whom or what. We need to respect humor from all corners. We really cannot comment that his sense of humor is really bad. Exceptions are always there like Ariel or Champu. They can be really bad. But its all in us. If we cannot laugh lets make someone laugh.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Corporate Team Outing

This post is dedicated to my first corporate team outing. Usually in IT companies the management allows all the project teams to go for team outing once in a quarter. The allocated budget depends on the size of the team but usually its sufficient for the team keeping in mind the place its going to visit and associated activities.
Last Saturday that is on 1st of October 2005, I went for my first Corporate Team outing with my CDS team. We were a group of 15 people together with a kid. The kid was a 1st standard son of my Project Manager. The team outing was planned, designed and undertaken end to end by Sai Pavan Kumar, one of the members of our team.
The time decided was 8:45 and we all were supposed to meet in Lulla Center building. But as per Hyderabadi standards 8:45 would mean 9:15 or later only. So by the time all the people arrived it was 9:40 and the bus left from Lulla center at 9:45 or so. It was a long journey close to about 50 KM from Begumpet and about 21 KM from the Chilkur Temple. There was some confusion created by Sai Pavan Kumar but was somehow overcome later.
We reached the venue at 11:00. Meanwhile in the bus we had a great time cracking all kinds of nasty jokes about several people. We reached the venue and there were private parties of 5 more companies. The photo session had begun already in the Lulla Center, thanks to the digital camera courtesy Mahender. We started the day there with a Welcome drink. Of course not to be mistaken for the other kind of drink, it was orange juice. I like the way they welcomed us into the resort. For all the companies they made a private space ensuring that each party had its own privacy. After finishing the welcome drink we moved to the Games space since this was the next destination before we go for lunch.
In the gaming zone, I started with TT but due to bad practice and very hot conditions, I just could not play well. Hence moved out of TT and went to play Snooker. Anyways I do not know the game well and could only manage to play a few shots. KHV, my, in fact our Project Manager arrived at this moment. He had a tough time driving keeping in mind the directions given by one and only Mr. Sai Pavan Kumar. We had a good session playing Snooker and Billiards. KHV and myself played for some time and then few more people joined us. The games session ended at 1:00 PM. Now was the time for the event of the day.
We all came down to the lunchroom at about 1:30 and then KHV made the announcement for the drinks. Who are the takers?
Without any hesitation and delay I raised my hand. Some more people joined us and we had a good time enjoying the drinks. It was hot but I was also thirsty. Since last two months I did not touch it and I thought this is the best time before homecoming begins and there will be numerous issues if optimum performance is not delivered. Anyways after that we had lunch and it was good and wholesome. We were tired after that and took rest for some time sitting and chatting.
After the lunch, the real show began. We took the swimwear from the authorities concerned and then entered the swimming pool. Believe me it was real great fun. I never had so much of fun before in water. The pool was clean and the sun was shining bright. All of us jumped into the pool and then started the next series of game, which included handball, volleyball and what not. It was superb. Except for KHV almost everyone was into the water. A few more incidents happened. Needless to say they are not mentionable here. The experience of swimming pool cannot be expressed here in words. It was perhaps one experience of a lifetime and will be there in my memory forever.
Thereafter we all were very tired. It was long two hours in the water, so tiredness will be there. We had Tea and thereafter a photo session. Sanjeev and myself ended up discussing about the company and other issues. We went to see the rose garden and a few other spots within the resorts. Had Mirchi Bajji and then started our journey back to home.
All in all my first team outing was superb. I just loved it.