Thursday, January 8, 2009

Somethings off tangent !!

Just putting aside the 'Dombivli Slow' posts for the time being and expressing something off tangent. I will of course be continuing with the Dombivli Slow posts from the next posting.

Today morning as I was driving to my workplace in Bangalore, I was taking a left turn at the T-junction. At the same time another car from the opposite side of the road at the same place was taking a right turn, which meant that we would have arrived at the turn at the same time. Meanwhile at Zebra crossing on the junction across the breadth of the road where we were turning a man was crossing the road rather running to the opposite side. All it took for both me and the car driver was a split second to analyze what the situation was and react accordingly. I braked and slowed down my turn, so did the car driver and the man crossed safely.

My question is if our normal brains can process information so fast and can act accordingly to take take us to safety how come all the brains in a big corporation like Satyam muck up the finances over a 4-5 year period without anybody realising what was happening?

I find it absolutely incredible that the whole host of jokers from the directors (independent or otherwise), COO, Finance guys and PWC were unaware of a massive scam being perpetrated.

What I feel sorry for in this whole episode is the lakhs of rupees lost by the small investors and the jobs of the 53,000 employees at stake. These investors and employees have families and extended families dependent on their salaries. This one scam has put a lot of livelihoods at stake.


Also as I was driving to the office I was thinking about the IT employees and their lifestyle in general. Today the younger generation with skills have started earning big salaries and leading a lifestyle befitting the salary. You can see them having 1-2 cars same goes for the houses. Of course all this is on loan and when the recession hits or something like the above-mentioned scam happens these guys are left in lurch with nowhere to turn. All these things happen because they have not initiated any saving measures when the going was good.

Now coming to my situation, I’m close to 40 years. All my life I have been an average middle class person. I have worked in some of the top-notch companies of India and also spent around 5 years in Dubai. I have never been too ambitious, always contented with the current situation. I have of course changed jobs when opportunities presented themselves for a hike in salary. I have been steady, concentrating more on investments like buying a house, saving for the future (read old age) all the while leading a very average life. Leading a average life means shunning too much expenditure on luxuries, not going on costly vacations, postponing the purchase of a car, etc..

My question is whether I’m wrong? The rest of world around me seems to zip past like a Ferrari overtaking a moped and attaining goals which seem like unachievable dreams. Am I wrong somewhere for being contented and peace with my situation or is the rest of the world wrong? Of course I do realize the cost borne by these young guns for leading such a life.

Also please note this is not a case of sour grapes, jealousy or envy. This is just a honest question for which I can’t find any correct answer, from the depth of my heart, which I hope you will shed some light on.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Dombivli Slow - Part I

Well this post is about my childhood in Dombivli. It has been inspired by Ugich Konitari suggesting me to write about it.

To the uninitiated Dombivli is a suburb of Mumbai, 49 kms away from CST ( Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus) or what was previously known as VT ( Victoria Terminus). Though is not technically a part of Mumbai ( It is a part of Thane district) Dombivli has always been considered as an integral part of Mumbai, because most of the workforce which works in the factories and staffs of companies in Mumbai come from Dombivli.

Coming to the title of the post, Local trains or the Subarban Service has been the lifeline of Mumbai since ages. Trains start at CST and proceed in various directions on the Central Line of the Subarban Service. There also happens to be Western Line which is from Churchgate to Virar and a Harbour Line which runs from CST to Vashi and beyond. Most of the important ( read as towns with big populations) stations have four Platforms for four lines. Two of those lines are slow lines on which trains stop at all stations and the rest of the two are for fast trains on which trains skip certain stations and stop at only important ones. Therefore the title of the post Dombivli Slow which means a train originating at CST and stopping at all stations before arriving at my home town. Like the trains which stops and picks up and drops passengers at all stations. My post will be about memories gathered over a period of time.

The Dombivli which I will be talking about in my post will be period from 1969-1995.

The Dombivli which I will be talking about was a hick town in late 60's which was a small town occupied by middle class working community and the Agri's ( early settlers who were predominantly in the fishing business). The middle class were driven into this town by rising real estate prices in the city. They were hard working people who at the end of the day wanted a roof above their heads and also wanted to be near to the city. It was a town which was predominantly Maharashtrian until the expats arrived ( I'm a tamilian by birth). Today the same town has a equal population of Maharashtrians, Gujratis, Tamils, Malayalis, Bohris, Bengalis, etc.............. It has become a cosmopolitan town with a huge population of around 15 lakhs ( 1.5 million). It has also the unique record of never being affected by any of the riots and religous disturbances which have torn apart Mumbai from time to time.

The Dombivli which I will be talking about was a hick town where I could see a place around 2 kms away from the terrace of my 1 floor building. Today the same town has buildings cheek by jowl and in some cases where you can jump into the balcony of the house in the opposite building from yours and the only thing which you can see from the fourth floor nowadays is the person in the opposite building 2-3 metres away going about his lawful ( and also unmentionable) activites in the peace of his home.

The Dombivli which I will be talking about was a hick town where there was a lot of open spaces before the concrete jungle took shape. There was a lot of flora and fauna to be explored though not of the rain forest variety.

The Dombivli which I will be talking about was a hick town where my mother used to send me to buy Masala ( a combination of a coconut piece, green chillies, ginger, curry leaves and kothimir) or assorted grocery items to the shop which was 1/2 a km away without worrying whether I would be molested or get run over by a speeding vehicle.

The Dombivli which I will be talking about was a hick town which consisted of Chawls with open door policy where you spent more time at other peoples home than yours.

The Dombivli which I will be talking about was a hick town which consisted of 4-5 schools out which only two were English medium and going to a English Medium school was considered as something great.

The Dombivli which I will be talking about was a hick town which consisted of 2-3 private hospitals with minimal facilities. If you had any major medical problem you had to rush to Mumbai for the treatment.

The Dombivli which I will be talking about was a hick town with 4-5 temples and where most of the population was concentrated around 3 square kms from the station.

I will be writing in more detail about my childhood days and experiences from the next post. Hope all of you find it enjoyable.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Nothing in particular

After starting the blog and posting some memories and other posts, I seem to have developed a writers block. More to do with what topic to pick up and write about. Once I think up something and some one else has already written about it. It will then seem that I'm plagiarizing others ideas.

Like for example I thought of writing about something about the alumni group of my batch of 1984 of my school in Dombivli. Kavi has already beat me to the post by writing a very beautiful article about his school days. Therefore I shall defer this time and write about it later. I will also keep posts about my memories to some day later.

I have discovered one thing after the initial euphoria of starting a blog, that I do not have the natural flair which either Kavi or Ugich Konitari have. I simply do not have that bent of mind where I can convert ordinary day to day happenings into stories with morals and ethics.

Now, now, do not get happy that I'm closing down my blog. I do intend to bore all of you in the coming days by posting more unintelligible wanderings of my mind and these wanderings might end up looking like they have been expressed during a LSD trip. Not that I have ever experienced one, on the contrary I have read so much about it that I do not wish to experience one.

I also do not have the insightful way of looking into things in the way which Vivek-Uvach and iyer-n-higher do with their long expereince of human psychology.

Therefore I forge ahead bravely ( do not know if foolishly) thinking that you all will keep coming back to read my postings.

I had been browsing through an interesting blog by Prem Panicker called smoke signals where he writes about cricket, politics and generally the current affairs situation. He had given a link to the ten best short stories selected by Tehelka magazine for the year gone by. I read one of them by Manjula Padmanabhan. It is lovely story where she metaphorically uses a vampire from Europe to replace the terrorism and terrorists coming to country to create chaos. It is a great story in the context of the recent terror attacks in Mumbai. Have a read and do comment on how you liked it.

Happy reading!!!