Sunday, February 28, 2010

Roads; Carlton Towers; Budget

I just wanted to highlight the sad state of Roads in Bangalore. The photos above are not the roads in Rural area / Villages in India but at the heart of Bangalore at Malleswaram; outside our home. Repeated request to do something has fallen on deaf ears. What more can you say on governance! To add insult to Injury this road soon be a path to school and 1000s of apartment homes in the next 4 months. Tragedy waiting I guess. 

I am saddened to see the loss of NINE lives in the fire, due to lack of safety norms/ greed at the "CARLTON TOWERS" in Bangalore. This was the building right opposite Diamond District where I lived for 8 years till July 09; always wondered about the mushrooming bill boards and extensions and wondered where it would all lead to. The closure / disappearence of fire passage; the locking of fire exits; rooftop entrance locked for fearing people would use for partying(alchol) were flimsy reasons. Wonder where is the discipline/ governance and compliance to fire safety norms and rules. More so it was the lack of awareness on the employees part on emergency drills; rescue etc was lead to more panic and jumping down. As a safety professional I can only hope that this is a big lesson for companies big and small to learn and put in better fire safety programs in place.They owe it to their people. But would that happen; knowing Indian mentality of cut everything to get profits and business at any cost; I doubt more so with no straight forward legal aspects to enforce. We have one of the weakest/ opaque regulations; so nothing can be expected.

So, the budget is out and looks over ambitious; contrary to what many have showered praise;I stand by Mr Gurumurthy's article on Hindu in which he questions the discipline and brings out more of what the budget evades!!.. Well written...... Yes, the personal tax is ok for middle class; again it misses out the education, medical aspects which are also required to build the future of the country.
Ok; Till next week; take it easy and take care; Live Consciously.

Thursday, February 18, 2010


Exact Narration by Suvendu Roy of Titan Industries, who shares his inspirational encounter with a rickshaw driver in Mumbai:

Last Sunday, my wife, kid, and I had to travel to Andheri from Bandra.
When I waved at a passing auto rickshaw, little did I expect that this ride would be any different...

As we set off, my eyes fell on a few magazines (kept in an aircraft style pouch) behind the driver's back rest.

I looked in front and there was a small TV. The driver had put on the Doordarshan channel.

My wife and I looked at each other with disbelief and amusement. In front of me was a small first-aid box with cotton, dettol and some medicines.
This was enough for me to realise that I was in a special vehicle.
Then I looked round again, and discovered more - there was a radio, fire extinguisher, wall clock, calendar, and pictures and symbols of all faiths
- from Islam and Christianity to  Buddhism, Hinduism and Sikhism.
There were also pictures of the heroes of 26/11- Kamte, Salaskar, Karkare and Unnikrishnan.
I realised that not only my vehicle, but also my driver was special.

I started chatting with him and the initial sense of ridicule and disbelief gradually diminished.
I gathered that he had been driving an auto rickshaw for the past 8-9 years; he had lost his job when his employer's plastic company was shut down.
He had two school-going children, and he drove from 8 in the morning till 10 at night.
No break unless he was unwell.  "Sahab, ghar mein baith ke T.V dekh kar kya faida? Do paisa income karega toh future mein kaam aayega."

We realised that we had come across a man who represents Mumbai – the spirit of work, the spirit of travel and the spirit of excelling in life.
I asked him whether he does anything else as I figured that he did not have too much spare time.
He said that he goes to an old age home for women in Andheri once a week or whenever he has some extra income, where he donates tooth  brushes, toothpastes, soap,  hair oil, and other items of daily use.
He pointed out to a painted message below the meter that read: "25 per cent discount on metered fare for the handicapped.
Free rides for blind passengers up to Rs. 50.

My wife and I were struck with awe. The man was a HERO!
A hero who deserves all our respect!!!

Our journey came to an end;

45 minutes of a lesson in humility, selflessness, and of a hero-worshipping Mumbai, my temporary home.

We disembarked, and all I could do was
to pay him a tip that would hardly cover a
free ride for a blind man.

I hope, one day, you too have a chance to meet Mr Sandeep Bachhe in his auto rickshaw: MH-02-Z-8508.


Sunday, February 14, 2010

Blizzard,Buzz; Toyota; Driving License; Gossip.

So it appears that summer is fully in Bangalore; last 3 days are getting warm that venturing out 20 min walk at 2pm is a difficult task. One side there is a huge debate between global freezing and global warming in view of the continuous blizzard in the East coast of USA. The debate is on, and will go on forever. Things were not helped by the so called doctoring of data in favor of global warming.

So, the Google BUZZ is out, unlike the WAVE this just came unannounced (without much of the hype of wave;rather than waiting for the invitation anxiously, As I do for any Google product, just love them) this was sitting in the in box sort. 4 days in to Buzz, I kind of like it. Yes, there are many questions about privacy settings, I am sure that all will blow off over time. I am more in to ERIC SCHMIDT's school of thought, if you don't want something not to be in public domain and has concern over that it will be known, may be you should not be doing it in the first place. 
On the funny side, It was hilarious to see the Driving license application in Bihar. On a serious side, I am glad to see that the state is making progress. It has been backward for long and things have to change. The challenge is to meet expectations and sustain. On the political side on a different note, it was sad to see the bombing in Pune which took lives. But reading international journals, this was not a kind of not unexpected, it was only a question of when rather than whether as this article explains.

The other surprise turn of events is the Toyota Recalls. Some lessons. There have been articles in the recent past about how the company is slipping and this has come as a huge blow. I guess this recall even goes to question the effectiveness of lean manufacturing. I hope for the sake of world class manufacturing the order is restored.
There was an interesting article I came across "How to keep your executives". Practical aspects. On the organization side,Mike and Mark have come out with a gem on "Gossip handling". Again it is all down to behaviours.
Till next week; take it easy and take care; Stay Healthy and live consciously.

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Back; Computer Engineer; Listorious;Carly.

Good to be back to Blogging; I think this is the best way to put thoughts in to a platform. So off to 167th Post. 4 years have just flashed past.
On the personal side; after ages it was feeling good to fast / starve for some 6Hrs in connection with15th Anniversary ceremonies for my late grandfather to whom I was very much attached. So fasting cant do much damage it seems. 
This post on how to cover the basics how to be a good computer engineer gives a good practical 101. Abhisek Desai has covered all the practical aspects. I am still surprised that people have not harvested the potential of RSS feeds;and asking why, why, why. As a Safety professional, I will be on streets If I dont ask that question to get in to the root cause of the issue, so it has become second nature. 
As the year is well on; it is a good time to take stock on the goals, objectives, targets as well as career etc; This article gives guidance as what should be the right way to plan a career covering transitions, job search, networking, etc all the essentials for a smart career. On the other side, I have been tracking the fabulous realities of Performance appraisal, incentives; no better expressed than in this blog column with good link to grandmother stories by Arun Vemuri. 

On the leadership side; came across from my Twitter following on the best 10 leadership Blogs for 2010. No Surprises are most names are well known. Some of them yes to follow; One twitter application I came across is Listorious which gives a good list of twitters in to follow.

Came across this multiple search engine;Autopedia allows search about 9 search engines and spits out results from 4 of them simultaneously. Good for spread search.
On the political side; Here is an interview with Carly Fiorina; who is likely to run for the Cal Senate seat. The interview "The nation with the best brain power wins, echoes Drucker's ideas of knowledge worker. There is also a great question on Why women should be involved with Technology. Carly is one of the few Business Leaders inspire me; in fact her summary of Leadership" Courage; Capability; Collaboration; Character" I have displayed at my work table to refer. 

Got a copy of SIDIN VADUKUT's DORK' Exciting book; planning delibarately to go through slow; but the first 46 pages makes me that task is difficult. I will give my review when completed.

Until next week; take it easy and take care; Live consciously.

John McCain.

#329 Very sad to wake up to the news of passing away of Senator John McCain aged 81 (4 days short of his 82nd Birthday).  He was a true ...