Laziness has no cure!

I found out, yet again that laziness has got absolutely no cure! See, I am writing again after almost 10 months. Not that I was swamped with work, but lethargy and combination of passion for other things conspired against letting me write! Anyways, as they say in Hindi – “देर आये दुरुस्त आये!”
 
I will definitely be more regular from today onwards. Promise. No, really, honest.
 
So here are a few things for today. 
 
 
  1. http://humorbeings.in is one of the bravest, most honest and most original things I have seen in my life. All respect to the CEO (Chief Entertainment Officer) Rivaldo, also known in another life as Nitin Gupta.
    For the uninitiated, Rivaldo is one of the most original standup comedy actors in India. He usually also comments on social issues and speaks a language that is very close to all IITians. That’s because Rivaldo’s an IITian himself. It takes you back to those days of PJs. But he takes PJs and injects them with raw energy to make them stupendous standup acts.
    The above act is one of his most acerbic attacks on the leaders of the country. Definitely worth a look and many a laugh!
    Few more links to Rivaldo’s humor, in case you like it.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8EDxYnj7MdA
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4xCCh88xBlM
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=fvwp&NR=1&v=4VfP02Bx7lQ
  2. One of the things that caught my attention was regarding our ex-finance minister, Shri P Chidambaram. Rivaldo mentions that he has brought in participatory notes, but of course we don’t know about it. and of course I didn’t know about it. Because the participatory notes were not brought in by our man  Chidambaram.
    It is a fairly unknown scam and it baffles me why. Some time in 2007 the SEBI said that Participatory Notes were no longer going to work. Which led to a huge crash at the stock exchange. As you know most of these crashes and subsequent revival means a lot of wealth was destroyed….and created. Retail investors lost heavily and it is rumored that Sir Chidambaram and co. made a windfall.
  3. Sustainable Architecture is something the missus is really interested in these days. What I really liked was the portable classroom given on the same wikipedia page. Now I have long term plans of developing a portable school module that can be scaled up to ensure affordable, quality education in remote places, where acquiring land might be a problem or cost-intensive. A lot of work needs to happen on this front. 
  4. For more on sustainable and green architecture, please head over to http://www.greenexamacademy.com/, a wonderful site by a guy who was appearing for LEED certification and subsequently out there to help other people seeking the same.
  5. While writing this blog Zee Studio was playing Stick it. Stick it is a 2006 movie starring Jeff Bridges with the storyline on gymnastics and how it is a nasty sport. Likeable movie but they way competitive spirit is undermined in the movie might not sit well with a lot of people. 

OK. That’s it for today.

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Anna and the Circus

My wife went to express support for Anna Hazare and the Jan Lokpal Bill today. She protested empty stomach for close to 3 hours in Bhubaneswar and also gave a speech to a gathering of few hundreds – all supporters. I will be joining the candle light vigil in the evening for the support.

 

I have been following Anna and the Jan Lokpal cause for some time now and have been into many arguments and agreements with friends, acquaintances, family, strangers. There have been people I regard as intelligent and incompetent. Some are people who can barely be regarded as people. Strangely the agreement and arguments are normally distributed. What seemed to make perfect sense to me is suddenly seeming debatable. So I thought let me summarize thoughts here.

 

Another Partition

The people of India have been divided into 4 clear groups due to the recent events

  1. People who support Anna and his call for Jan Lokpal Bill
  2. People who support Anna but think Jan Lokpal Bill is counter-productive or trivial
  3. People who don’t support Anna or the Jan Lokpal Bill but think suppression of protest is wrong.
  4. People who neither support Anna nor the Jan Lokpal cause and think the govt. was right in arresting Anna and Anna is creating nuisance in fact Anna is stopping India’s march towards development
  5. People who think Anna is fraud. The Govt. is Fraud. No Lokpal is worth anything. If you are Indian your only hope is to migrate to some other country (aside from Libya, Egypt Kenya, Ghana, Ivory Coast…heck all of Africa maybe)

In summary:

 

Support Anna

Support Jan Lokpal Bill

Support Govt.

Group 1

Yes

Yes

No

Group 2

Yes

No

No

Group 3

No

No

No

Group 4

No

No

Yes

Group 5

No

No

No

 

 

 

There are several arguments given by Leading Media personalities, self-styled Intelligentsia, self-styled patriots and other miscellaneous breeds.

 

  1. Lokpal will be another layer of bureaucracy over the already all-pervading red-tape
    It might become that. Whatever be the bill that is presented and whatever be the bill that is made a law. This is a real danger.
    Excessive legislation is a bad thing, like anything else (in excess that is)
  2. Jan Lokpal

 

What Pains me

  1. The so-called intelligentsia question your intelligence if you support
  2. Anna
  3. The so-called intelligentsia question your intelligence if you have hope in anything are not cynical

Edit note – This was written a long time ago and not published till today.

 

Turns out Anna is a fool being played by another group of fools looking to change the lives of a billion fools. 

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Architectural Opulence in Today’s World : Is it necessary?

***************************************************************************************

This one is on demand…thought very late. Sorry kid.
***************************************************************************************
Okay. I don’t like Hafeez, and it’s got nothing to do with his beauty or hairline(or the lack of it). For the uninitiated Hafeez Contractor is one of India’s highest paid Architects. Ever.

Hafeez has done a lot of work in Mumbai and everywhere else. The thing with Hafeez is that regardless of the setting and the functionality of the building he builds opulent edifices. I guess that has got something to do with brand image and the fact that architects charge their fees as a percent of the project cost. Now the bigger the cost of the project, that is the more expensive material that he uses, the bigger is the pay packet that our dear architect gets to take back home. This is classically known as one of the facets of the agency problem.
Let’s leave it for another time. Let us concern ourselves solely with Ar. Contractor for the moment. I will try to take up three of his well known projects. First up is the seawoods project. This one is a residential project, for the NRIs. So that would expla
in the obscene amount of money that has gone into the buildings.

PROJECT DETAILS
SEAWOODS ESTATE (NRI HOUSING)
Location, Nerul, Navi Mumbai
client, C.I.D.C.O.
cost and area, a. Phase-I 20 Lacs Sq.Ft. Rs.120 Crores
b. Phase-II 12 Lacs Sq.Ft. Rs.85 Crores
c. Club House 15000 Sft Rs.2.5 Crores
completed, Phase I & club house Jan. 98’

(source: http://www.indiabuildnet.com/arch/ahc_10.htm)
“One important planning feature is the complete vertical and horizontal segregation of movement. Vertically, the residents will have direct access to their apartments by passing the main lobbies and avoiding the need to cross driveways or other traffic routes. Horizontally, traffic segregation is achieved by the separation of residential and service routes so that these will not conflict. there also a marked difference between the vehicular and pedestrian traffic routes. Two approaches to the complex have been provided with a view to avoid traffic congestion. Each individual building will have its own parking facility under the stilt portion-avoiding the congregation of large number of parking in one area. This also avoids the residents of one block, parking cars in areas allocated to residents of another. The complex is proposed to have features of man-made water bodies, grassy mounds, downs and meadows so as to avoid any monotony in its landscape. There is also an extensive recreation ground for children and the aged-part of it located in the open, while part in the shade. The scheme also provides for a convenient and modern shopping arcade in the heart of the layout. Also planned is a school, super markets, cinema halls and medical facilities all located in close proximity.”

The major problem with the place, is that functional issues, though taken care of in the planning, are not dealt with at the building level.
The project as such has been plagued with controversies all alon
g. I am not sure whether the project has come free of all legal and social issues or not.
Ref: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/cms.dll/html/uncomp/articleshow?msid=744375
http://www.hdfcrealty.com/general/news120.htm

“Palm Beach Marg weaves across the outer reaches of Mumbai’s (erstwhile Bombay) satellite city, Navi Mumbai as it touches upon the supposedly upscale but largely empty high-rise apartments popularly known as NRI Seawoods Estate and terminates at the core of the Central Business District at Belapur…The remaining vacant apartments at NRI Seawoods complex were bought over by Reliance en masse supposedly to house their DAKC (Dhirubhai Ambani Knowledge City) employees few kilometers away. In fact, construction of the second stage of the NRI complex was to begin soon.

The thing with the complex is that…it lacks on attention to functional details at the building level. Though very expensive material has been used throughout, (to give it an international or world-class look) the buildings aesthetics are not that pleasing. I am a very inexperienced architect, and do not know the intricacies of the trade. But the sheer obscenity of the huge masses, without any attention to personal spaces or need of light and ventilation to individual apartments, does not appeal to me.

When we went to the complex, we met up with the maintenance engineer and a few residents. Everyone we met was unhappy with the design. The maintenance engineer gave vent to his frustrations over the whole breed of architects. The residents were unhappy with leaks in the expansion joints and inadequate shading design. Another major concern was the ground level parking. The opening for the parking was at a very low height. Even a sumo or a scorpio could barely pass through it.

I mean, expensive material is alright by me. But you got to provide what the residents need. The end user should get what they require to live happily.

The second project is the IL&FS building, at Mumbai.

I. L. & F. S.
Bandra Kurla Complex, Mumbai


Client :
Infrastructure Leasing and Finance Services
Design team : Hafeez Contractor, Arshed Ankolkar
Consultants : Parekh and Associates (RCC), HDFC Developers Ltd
(management), T H Chandrashekar, ESKAYEM (MEP)
Contractors :
Shapoorji Pallonji, (structural) Larsen and Toubro Ltd
Build-up area : 4.5 lakhs square feet
Year of completion : 1998


This one is huge building. Oval in plan, it really stands out from the rest of the buildings. You cannot question about the aesthetic beauty of the project. It is a beauty undoubtedly.

Rest tomorrow…

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Filed under Architecture, Bad architecture, Hafeez Contractor, Hiranandani Gardens, ILFS, Mumbai, Powai, Seawoods estate

The results of a political compass test i underwen…

The results of a political compass test i underwent recently

You are a
Social Liberal
(75% permissive)

and an…

Economic Liberal
(35% permissive)

You are best described as a:

Democrat

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a poem in your name

to write a poem in your name
i need verbosity beyond my name
for words too few
can never express you

whom do i compare you to?
can it be the morning dew?
oh no! beautiful though it seems
it lives by the day only in my dreams
lovely and precious like you
clear and true not more than you
but it is only morning dew.

do i liken you to the spring breeze?
for how it kisses my face with ease?
but it only flows in the spring
while every breath does your love bring
and it has but only one scent
and i know not still in how many ways
your heart towards me is bent

can the flowers be of any more help?
for they appear to be the work of an elf.
teasing me with thier fragrance and beauty
like you to me, as if duty.
but, oh, they wither with time.
though innocent and sublime
they are not what your heart is to mine.

do i then equate you to the moon?
for your voice, in the night, is a boon.
it shines in the darkness
throwing upon me the diving light.
But, no, the moon doesnt reflect all the light
but your voice it shines forth
and turns on me all the sparkles bright.

The sky is not blue enough for you innocence,
nor the sea deep for your passion,
nor no blossom quite your beauty.
No sun is brighter than your light,
nor no tree as kind.
So how do i write a poem in your name?
and to these lines, i give what name?

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The PCOM returns!

So the PCOM returns.

It’s a dark day at IIM Lucknow. All the students are terrified. What will happen to their future? Will they actually get placed? Without a placement, what will they do? Their entire life and indeed their very existence and future has come under question.

Amidst lightning and thunderclaps, a secret group meets, hidden somewhere in the labyrinths of the bureaucracy, they decide, they are not letting this happen. They won’t let the future of the students be a question mark. They will ensure that every student will get a job. They will ensure that they themselves get a job.

They decided not to have any rules. They can anyways make one when they need. They decide to be anonymous. Their true identity might never be revealed. They can only be known as the PCOM. They would fight all evil at IIM L and swear themselves to the betterment of “all students” at IIM L. Speaking faster English than any other student at IIM it becomes their duty to talk to all company officials and restrain other students from doing so and destroying the reputation of the institution. The evil corporate becomes their greatest ally and the uncooperative student, their sworn enemy.

They have very sophisticated and advanced weapons, called fines and ‘mandatory’ rules to fight the uncooperative students. They also have a hoard of willing officials at their disposal in their quest to ‘place the whole batch’. From that day onwards, the PCOM has been fighting a solitary battle. Outnumbered hugely, but braving all odds, they have till now always succeeded against the uncooperative students.

————————————————————————————————-
It seems that my little blog has generated much interest. Though the huge majority of reactions has been in support of the views expressed in my blog, I don’t think there were many who agreed with each word of the blog.

To me, the most interesting ones have been the anonymous comments and the ones sent over messenger rather than on the comments section. Many were afraid of the reprisal they might receive from the mighty PCOM if they publicly endorse my views. The others were simply pissed off with my blog. And wanted to piss me off by being anonymous. I do not generally believe in stupid clarifications. They give the stupid comments a stupid dignity that they don’t deserve. But for the benefit of some uninitiated people and a few troubled souls, here goes –

  • I was never in PCOM. I guess I never could be. My English is not that good. And I do not possess the sincerity levels that the committee demands. But above all is my desire to live. Hell, they kill people in there.
  • Yes, we are educated. I mean the IIM Lucknovites. And whatever we might have lacked before coming here, we are trying to fill in on that as well.
  • I agree absolutely with Anonymous(1) that
    “its to easy to crib from outside instead of adding some value to the system…..every system has some negatives…..and its very easy to highlight them”

    I also agree that I never

    “tried to think of any possible ways by which these negatives can be done away with”

    For the simple reason that I would like to consider myself a rational person. And knowing how the PCOM and the institute operates, I don’t see the ways that I think up being possible.

  • Let me make it make it very clear – to the anonymous PCOM member, especially- DO NOT be under the impression that the PCOM places anybody. They are just a tiny part of a huge system that facilitates the process. They couldn’t place themselves, if it came to that, leave alone the ‘whole batch’. Without the system they are nothing. So, don’t take undue credit. Yes you people do work your asses off. But who asked you to join? Don’t give me the shit, that you are in there for my benefit, or for that matter anyone else’s except yours. It is not exactly a secret why you joined the PCOM, right?
  • Anonymous(5):
    “Dude. Just one suggestion. If u get a chance do try and find out what Pcom actuall does and why.”

    (actuall is a real word?) I had my chance. Sorry dude. Couldn’t find out the why part. You are in PCOM, can you tell me the why? Oh, of course you would have given me the why part if you knew. With so much spite you hardly hold back anything.

  • I think by the time my placements come, the PCOM will think up a rule to disallow me. Maybe blogging isn’t allowed or something. But yes, if I can, then I won’t sit in the placement process.
  • A special note to my anonymous PCOM friend an Open challenge can be Anonymous? Of course, we are talking about the PCOM here. They can do anything. (and yes I really do love my lollipop)
  • I thank you dear PCOM member for having so elegantly shown me the way the way to start off with “respected”, and end up with “you moron”. That was quite skillfully executed. Only PCOM.
  • Anonymous(5)
    “As for the controls team.. forget it. Its beyond your retarded brain.”

    See that’s what I am talking about. Only the PCOM have able enough brains for all things which require more intelligence than reading the paper.

I am only an aam aadmi, pained with the system. The ways I can think up of by which my pain can be relieved are not accepted by the mighty PCOM. So I give vent to my ire through this blog.

But I am no revolutionary, bent on improving the standards of PCOM. No, I will suffer and pass out, hopefully with a job in hand. But I will not do that silently. I will tell them they are not good. And I will remind them of my pain, for I am the uncooperative student, their nemesis. I am not cowardly enough to be anonymous, but nor do I have enough bank balance or courage to fight the PCOM head on. I will put my name to whatever I have to say and do, and I will say and do it without fear or guilt.

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Filed under B-School, IIM Lucknow, Lucknow, management, PCom, placement

a poem in your name

to write a poem in your name
i need verbosity beyond my name
for words too few
can never express you

whom do i compare you to?
can it be the morning dew?
oh no! beautiful though it seems
it lives by the day only in my dreams
lovely and precious like you
clear and true not more than you
but it is only morning dew.

do i liken you to the spring breeze?
for how it kisses my face with ease?
but it only flows in the spring
while every breath does your love bring
and it has but only one scent
and i know not still in how many ways
your heart towards me is bent

can the flowers be of any more help?
for they appear to be the work of an elf.
teasing me with thier fragrance and beauty
like you to me, as if duty.
but, oh, they wither with time.
though innocent and sublime
they are not what your heart is to mine.

do i then equate you to the moon?
for your voice, in the night, is a boon.
it shines in the darkness
throwing upon me the diving light.
But, no, the moon doesnt reflect all the light
but your voice it shines forth
and turns on me all the sparkles bright.

The sky is not blue enough for you innocence,
nor the sea deep for your passion,
nor no blossom quite your beauty.
No sun is brighter than your light,
nor no tree as kind.
So how do i write a poem in your name?
and to these lines, i give what name?

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