The Dying Pen

•March 23, 2012 • Leave a Comment

Today at work,  i was scrambling for a pen to make a note of something i had to refer to..later…The only reason why i thought of writing it down was that there was nothing close to an electronic device near my vicinity that could absorb the content,except for my smartphone which was already glued to my ear and i am not a gadget geek,who could toggle between the phone and an app on the phone to store the content.  I realised that i havnt been in such a situation for a long time. I started pondering when was the last time i held a pen in my hand.  The only instance i could remember was when i painfully signed (Pain purely in the conext of having to part with the money and not the physical  stress of signing)the $1300 cheque to my leasing office.  Where did the pen which was such an integral part of our every day lives disappear??  Has the role of this friend,which always appeared stuffed in the shirt pockets, who was so close to our hearts literally, been confined to occasional signs on cheques.

Its another of those small little, cute things thats been wiped out by the technological strides we have made over the years..The pen which used to be the sign of knowledge,education,authority and discipline has almost disappeared.. I am wondering what has happened to Reynolds which used to be such a common name during our school days.  I still rememeber the joy  i had,as a little school boy, when my father had presented me with a “Hero” pen..I am still wondering why they called it a “hero” pen..Perhaps for a school going kid who just upgraded  from the lead pencil, to the pen,”Hero” was a name he could easily relate to,the feeling of having grown up to use something which was at that time restricted among the priveleged ones.The pen had the sign of an arrow on the shining body personfying perfection and class.

Now i wonder even if Government offices use it for their attendance registers..  With Akash tab availble for Rs 3000 i dont see the pen surviving even in the hands of school children studying in the remotest villages of  India.   I will not be surprised, if in the near future  kids comment saying ” whats that crazy thing in that box” looking at our dear pen,placed next to a Cassete or a sharpener,at perhaps a museum showcasing antique stuff.

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A Tale of two nations

•November 11, 2011 • Leave a Comment

Its been quite sime time since i penned my thoughts.. Unexpectadly and Unusually work has kept me busy and also havn’t found anything exciting about LA except for the beaches here.

Last week  when Shreya came to me with her Barbie doll without a leg,something ran through my mind.  I had bought her the doll two days back and was quite surprised with the fact that the leg had only two days of life and the beautiful barbie without the leg looked uglier than the ugliest thing in the world. The imperfection always stands out.

Shreyas strong indian roots did not allow her to overreact to this situation. An american girl of her age would have had to be consoled for a whole week,because barbie for them is just not an iconic toy,its a dream, its the way girls grow here. Shreya gave me the detached beautiful leg and the barbie and moved on with her next toy.

I started exploring why this could have happened. I gazed through her and realised how beautiful she was. I almost slipped in to dream land when suddenly something pulled me down ,hard. MADE IN CHINA.

This was the last thing i expected the americans to source from China, a nation totally insensitive to human emotions and creativity. An Iconic Product like this should every point in the entire supply chain sensitive to the end consumers emotions attached to it. The struggling middle aged guy in Dafen assembling 1000 Barbie legs in a week for a mere 10$ a day will never be able to appreciate it.  Not his fault at all..Its the nations fault,compromising human rights and creating economic disparity for ambitious growth.

Thats exactly where these two nations,though being so close to each other in terms of economic strenght  are fundamentally so far apart.American economy is bulid on a strong foundation involving human creativity,innovation and intellectual growth and not on state enforced policies insensitive to human emotions. A nations strength is always in the minds of people.

So next time when you hear China is going to overtake USA, just ignore it.

and  for shreya iam planning to get  Transformers!!!

 

 

 

 

Live the Moment

•June 19, 2011 • Leave a Comment

When was the last time you were in Bliss..??

When i was a Schoolgoing Kid,My family used to go out to eat once every month.A week before that auspicious day,i used to dream about the wonderful cuisines which i could have.I would make my choices ready from the menu ,days before we actually ate..I used to be so happy the day my father used to take us out.Now with all the small comforts i have i dont feel happy.I feel iam missing something,so is everyone.In the last few years i remember very few happy moments..The day i proposed to my wife and the day the doctor handed my 7 pound baby girl to me.

We all are in search of happiness,that looks far far away.We are so much preoccupied with thoughts about the future that we forget to live the present.We are always either thinking about the past or speculating about the future.Cant blame the poor mind here,everything around you follows the same,@ work you are trying to Forecast,Hedge, or Plan for the future,trying to get a sneak peak in to the future and at home you are planning your kids  higher education,who is at present struglling with  his/her milk bottle..Society pushes you to think ahead of time and in this mad run,you often tend to miss the wonderful moments and opportunities life throws at you..Those moments that are worth living and make you happy.

We all tend to postpone happiness.As a Kid when your friends plan for a  tour,you decide to spent that useful time studying for the exams and scoring high to get in to a premium college so that you get a decent job once you pass out and then you feel you could be happy.Once you get a job,you postpone having fun thinking you could work hard get promoted,get a hike and then be happy..The thread goes on..You are never ready to be happy,you like to postpone it,may be you think its too precious for you to feel.You are in the crazy race for owning all those material things which you think could make you happy.A great job,a beautiful wife,a decent car,a lavish house the list goes on..

Its a challenge to live each moment,such small moments make a life..Enjoy each moment in your life even if it is having a rich sundae,or a shot of your favourate whiskey overlooking a harbour town from your balcony,playing with your kid.You never get those moments back!!

After penning these thought iam going to live the moment of enjoying my mom’s fish curry and rice..

The Virtual World

•February 18, 2011 • Leave a Comment

Time magazine came up with 100 greatest events in History last month.World wide Web was the last entry in it..I would rate it perhaps the most tranformational invention mankind has ever made.Just look at where we stand now from where we were twenty years back.

I remember my father reaching home commuting a good 10-15 km from office with a briefcase filled with engineering drawings of huge size which amazed me as a child.I was proud that he could decipher sense out of such huge sheets of paper.He used to work with them at home and make notes on papers and send reports through office mails,which woud reach the head office after 7-10 days.

Look at how things have changed from then.In the new world an engineer can  create designs on his smart phone sitting in a bar and send his comments via phone for a team member to make corrections sitting in a faraway country See how the ability to connect people across the globe has changed the way we live,work,love,marry, eat,travel,study the list is endless..See how life has changed..its just not normal people see how corporates have changed..See how the world has converged  from a Huge mass to something as small as a golf ball,opening enormous amount of opportunities for any one in anypart of the world .A Virtual world with no physical barriers.

You work in a Flat world,you do your online shopping,you date online,you watch movies online,You transact online.I have not touched currency for the last two months,the most idealistic situation in e-commerce.The number of people who buy things online have grown exponentially,making physical stores more or less redundant.The future is not going to see lavishly decorated retail stores but huge warehouses to ship products across the globe.

We are not realising how entrenched we are in this Virtual world.It has gone so deep that we have started loosing sense of the physical world.Its just because of the sheer scale and popularity spanning the entire world  that people are pulled in to it.People like to be someone else or show the entire world how they would like the world to see them ,without revealing their physical identity.Skinny guys become macho men.Shy girls become tomboyish.Old men become hunks.Anyone coud become anybody which otherwise woudn’t be possible in the real world..

The Concept of Social Networking is where the next transformation lies.Analysts have valued Facebook at 25 Billion dollar .The potential it has is much much higher than that.I see it as a  different world,just like another planet,where people live,play,love,sell,buy.An enormous aggregation of thinking minds ,potential clients.An economy in itself.Corporates can sell products,services,anything on facebook.In fact every company is on the facebook,because you can never ever have such a huge cluster or group of people together at one place.Businesses who fail to understand this trend is surely going to doom.

What if some one were to place a Virtual bomb in this Virtual world.. Its obvious that to instill maximum damage you always choose a place where you have maximum number of people clustered..You can’t have any other place other than facebook for this.The bomb could be anything, a campaign,a negative thought which could spread like wild fire.In fact this is what has happened in Egypt,Libya where authoritarian governments ruling for decades have been overthrown with campaigns on social networks.

Opportunities for growth and Destruction are in plenty in this Virtual World.

The Real world has come to an end,the fight is on the Virtual world!!!

We dont need the Nano

•December 29, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Nano is perhaps the most hyped product from India Inc stack as of today..It bought the country to the global arena to such an extent that when Mr.Obama visited india he said to Ratan tata “i have seen your car”.When ever i engage in casual talk with people overe here they ask me about this car:the $2500 car.India drew interest from the outside world for Kamasutra,Outsourcing and Now the NANO..

My point of view here is that NANO as a product is not needed at this point of time atleast in India..It is late to the market may be by 10 years..It is indeed a case study for  operational excellence for having manufactured such a car at such a price when the commodity prices were skyrocketing..But when it come to understanding the market i see it as a total failure.

Lets start with the economics here:

India has been growing consistantly at 7-8% over the last 5-8 years with the new Middle class emerging with high purchasing power and disposable income.This is primarily the reason why mulinational companies are flooding the market with their products to grab a share of this class.The elite class still exists but much bigger in number(The number of millionares in india have gone up high in India over the last 10 years).Lets forget them right now,because nano was never meant for them..they are for the BMW’s,Audi’s.The good thing that has happened with the India shining story is the emergence of this new middle class and percentage of population that has been alleviated from poverty..(they still are poor enough not to afford/maintain a car).Now we are left with just this new middle class,which the NANO is supposedly targeting..

If you dig deep in to this targeted consumer:He/she is educated..Is brand conscious,Aspiring,Likes to be noted..Now the NANO even before it was conceived came with a “cheap car ” tag,which is not going to go well with this consumer..He already has so many options with him from top class automakers across the world in the small/mid car segment couple with flexible financing options..Why would he want to own a cheap car??In fact why would a growing country like India want a chep car?

NANO also does not boast of a great fuel economy which would have made it easier for some to atleast maintain it assuming they somehow bought it just for the sake of buying a car…Also the Indian Infrastructure does not support the  Tata’s dream of everyone driving a car..

Nano could have been a prototype or should have come up 10 years back when owninng a car was still not afforable to a lot of people..India surely does not need the NANO.Lets closely follow what happens to it..Iam sure NANO will soon spring up in some country in Latin america or Africa to justify the amount spend on developing this product.

Malluland…

•November 12, 2010 • Leave a Comment

I have always been fascinated with this part of the world.Malluland(Kerala),not just because of it being my homeland,but even otherwise for numerous reasons..The state is a casestudy for economic independence..It does not produce any damn thing (i thought we atleast produce coconuts),but just consumes everything ranging from Mackarel coming from the neighbouring state of karnataka to the most expensive collection of De beers Diamonds..Its sole dependence on Foreign remittances has earned it the dubious name of a “DD economy”.It boasts of Healthcare systems comparable to the developed nations,Literate and Politically conscious society,rich culture and people with high intellect.

My recent visit back home threw a few insights in to this wonderful society.Mallu’s have historically remained competitive compared  to other people,thanks to the steps taken by a generation before me ,who wisely invested their time and money in giving their childeren good education and exposure.This was primarily the salaried class:Government/Gulf/US Employed Parents.This particular generation has made huge sacrifices in terms of their comforts.This was the time when there was nothing to be earned in Gods own country.They had to migrate somewhere to run the show.The state starting growing slowly but steadily with this class of people,but primarily being a consumer state.The whole state starting living on someone elses hard earned money.Every household in kerala had some one or the other outside the state/Country to support them.Even while they stayed away they carried their values and love for the state through out the globe,not restricting to an Onam/X-mas celebration,they developed a mallu community every where they went..They were patrons of  good literature and Movies.Art thrived during this period creating some of the best masterpeices.

Things Started changing a few years back when the India Shining story started dawning on this tiny state.Money started flowing in from no where ,this time not just through foreign remitances.Real estate prices skyrocketed,every unemployed guy in the state became a  real estate agent..Speculation had reached the zenith..A bubble was created.There was demand created for everything.People spent a fortune without a second thought from everything ranging from land,Car’s,higher education for Kids,Gold,all this mostly on  credit..A good lot in the state are submerged in heavy debt.The inherent malayalee psyche of outsmarting his neighbour just fuelled this mad run..

This whole race is having a  terrilble impact on the society.The nuclear families broken down from larger ones  dont get together ever..the grandmas and gandpas are tucked in small rooms of huge mansions  under mortgages, occasionaly flocking around the main room for a TV show or  having   dinner.The mothers are happy sitting on Couches watching  never ending  Serials and reality shows…The fathers are escaping the reality of paying mortages and downplaying the financial mess they are in by drinking day and night….The children are the ones that are greatly effected,,trying to find love,warmth in some one on a mobile phone/net to share his/her concerns and most of them end up with the wrong ones who are on the Prowl to lure the young hearts and use them to their advanatage..

Some where down the line we mallus are not able to decide if we want to stay the way we are or to move forward with the world…The Mallu is either Boozing or he is on the mobile Phone..Iam not surprised with the astonishing revenue numbers of Beverage corp and mobile companies in this state..There is an underlying social problem underneath these flashy numbers..

Wishing my Daughter a Very very Happy Second birthday..

Love,

Sanil

Thoughts.

•June 25, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Why dont i try changing the brand for my daughters diapers??What could be the best Financial Planning tool which i could learn??Who could possibly win the FIFA worldcup?How much could the rupee depreciate against the dollar for me to transfer some funds??Which Location should i possibly look at for buying a house???

These are just some of the thoughts which occur in my mind in a span of  just 10 minutes, on any day.I have noticed that they are eating up my energy and i get mentally tired at the end of the day.I have been consciously trying to avoid this by trying to concentrate on just one thing at a time.

I have not been able to find a solution yet for this..Iam trying to avoid negative thoughts..detaching from any such events which could create them..Trying to think postive always and generate postive energy within.Thoughts consume energy(The energy in your brain and mind),if you dont use them well it is tough to succeed.The energy within you has great power,so spent them wisely!!

Even while i pen these thoughts..iam thinking of the movie tickets which iam going to buy in the evening..Its really tough to live in the present..You are either living in your past or thinking about your future..