Selective Amnesia There was a point to this. But I forgot.


On usages

Need to save Tirupati from the gults.
Need to save bharatanatyam from the tam-brams
Need to save ideology from the philosopher
Need to save Selective Amnesia from me

I now realise the whole attraction Tirupati has for people. It’s like sex, only a little less fulfilling. You wait and wait for 5 hours, for two seconds of movement. There’s wet skin brushing against wet skin. There’s pushing through tight openings. And then, there’s a 5 second window in which you (try to) achieve the whole objective. And by now, you are spent. And sweaty.—Middle class (in Madras, that’s predominantly Tam-bram) values and bharatanatyam don’t mix. For fuck’s sake, where is the sensuousness? Where’s the erotic? Where’s the whole sexual tension when Radha is seeking Krishna? Or when Bhaarathi says “Ninnaye Rathiyendru ninaikindren”? Please, if you do insist on dancing the Bharatanatyam, learn to be a little more evocative. Praying to Ganapati is only fun the first 15,967 times.

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Staffing, the easy-as-email way

So, you are a headhunting/staffing company. You manage to find and win a client, and have been asked to source a certain number of people for a certain job role.

Now, how would you go about that? If you were a good boringly old fashioned HR company, you would understand your client’s needs, you would understand the requirements for the position on hand, understand what the skillsets and experience required are, and having done that, find people (either online, or through newspaper and tv advertising) who have similar credentials.

How so boring. How so time-consumingly old fashioned! Especially when, you can do it the brilliantly inefficient, incompetent simple, clever way of trawling through Monster India and finding a whole bunch of Indians who will just jump at the offer. So who cares the candidates you’ve shortlisted through Monster don’t even work in the same industry as your client’s?

Filed under: Rant, Work Continue reading

Alternative to flickr

First, that move to merge ‘Old Skool’ with Yahoo. Bad as it was, what followed is even worse.
1) Limits on contacts. WTF? I mean to say, who the fuck is Flickr/Yahoo to tell me how many people I can call contacts? And then, the sugar coating. Make Flickr Better, with a TM. Serious case of paranoia, flickeroonies

2) Email notifications. I hate it, and fear that soon, they’ll insist only a Y! id will be used to send emails, and what’s more, you need to reply via comments only through Y! mail. (Yes, I know, extrapolating. But…)

3) Content filtering.
That’s how this stupidity begins.

One of the best things about Flickr is that our membership is made up of people from so many places and diverse backgrounds. It’s important to us that everyone feel comfortable, despite vastly different cultural and personal comfort levels. What I like, you might not, and it’s up to the entire community to make this work.

In other words, censorship.

Listen, flickr-oonies, I don’t want some staff tell me my photos are safe or not. How is one person the judge of what’s acceptable and what’s not? The flickr community is vastly capable of judging what it likes and what it does not, and needs no hand-holding from you. Seriously. If my photos offend some people, they will either tell me, or move to a stream they like.

What next? I can only post photos of cute babies in pink clothing next to a cat? Oh, wait, that may be pedophilia. And bestiality. And flickr doesn’t have that, right?

Besides, some parts of these worry me greatly. When I signed up, I didn’t see so many Don’t-s.—

Can somebody tell me if there’s a very close alternative to flickr? Zoomr doesn’t interest me much. I have loads of photos on flickr now, and quite a bit of time, effort and relationships invested in that place. Would be a pity to lose them all, but this Content filtering thing worries me.

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Don’t fuck with my comic

You know the feeling, don’t you? You’ve grown up seeing something in a certain way, and like it, warts and all. Your own securities and insecurities are based on how those things in your childhood looked and behaved.

Especially your comics.

And then, you grow up. A new generation comes in, starts fucking with your comfort zone. Today, I learnt that the Archie comics were getting a facelift. Apparently, some big-shit artist decided the new gen wanted ‘dynamic art style’ comics, and have fucked up the way Archie, Betty and Veronica look like. Woe, fucking woe.

And just as I was trying to cope with a new-look Betty, I read that Ganesh is organising the next Chennai blogger’s meet. Damn! When I began blogging, organising blog meets was my fiefdom. I was important, and people looked to me for everything about the Chennai blogger. Now, another generation of bloggers walks in, upstages me, steals my thunder and what not. Double fucking woe.

Just for this, I am not going to attend the blog meet.

[Archie link via Madman. Blogger meet link via Chenthil. Woe via me.]

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Job interview 101

Once in a while, there comes an interviewer who knows who and what and how good I am. This post is not about that person. Your agency, even if young, is something I am interested in. Thank you sir.

This whole ‘Good cop, bad cop’ routine is fucked to death. Especially the ones that are done badly, you can smell it a mile away. You realise the futility of it, you see the illogic in it. Yet, you decide to play along, for, hey, it’s a job. Which pays money.

Just for once, dear givers of jobs and conductors of interviews, give the guy sitting in front of you some credit. He’s not stupid, you know. If he were, you wouldn’t be asking him in for an ‘open discussion’, now, would you? Unless your organisation wanted stupid people, that is. In which case, sorry, I didn’t see the obvious.

What the heck is with ‘Tell me about yourself’? Everything relevant and worthwhile about me is on the thing called CV I mailed you. Questions on my drinking habit, whether I am a goody-good tam-bram, my girlfriend and more don’t reflect on my ability to do the job. Well, yes, the drinking habit thing does, in a way. But…

And, dear other givers of jobs, what is the point about ‘You need to have an objective!’ all about? My objective is to screw your organisation, swindle your clients and become the world’s worst writer.

Suffice it to say, I have an objective I am working towards. How does it matter I put it on my CV or not?

Of course, I will inflate my current salary. Like, DOH!

Can I do the job, even if it involves late hours? Yes.
Will I make an issue about it tomorrow? You betcha.
But this is an advertising agency! Oh, Master of my soul! Please do forgive my digression. I assumed ad-agency employees are people too, who like their beauty sleep. I see now, how wrong I was.

Why advertising, why not journalism or why not is rather stale, don’t you think? And no, not all copywriters are frustrated writers or wannabe film-makers. Some just like the bloody job.

Referring to the point on the ‘good cop, bad cop’ routine, would it be too much to ask for consistency when you two play your roles? I mistake it for the first signs of intelligence.

And, ‘What is the one ad you really like?’ is as stale, if not staler, than the one about why advertising. Seriously. For the record, I hate all the ads currently on TV. I do.

Listen, for the last effing time. I am in advertising, copywriting, above all for the fun. And because I like the job. I don’t do something, or stick around, if I don’t like it.

Yes. I’ve jumped too many jobs in my 4 years of advertising. I don’t regret it.

Notice to potential job-givers: No, no. I am not at all like this. I am a very good, non-drinking, non-smoking, curd-rice-eating tam-bram. I really am. I would LOVE to work for your company and I can tell you with a clear conscience that your company is the best in its field.

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Dance when I ask you to.

A bit of ‘what the fuck’ is this piece of news – from the Target Market news – that says ad agencies in New York have been given a directive to hire more black managers. What the fuck? Seriously? Do they next come up with a study that says obese people are underrepresented in ad agencies and pass a directive to hire more fat asses? (YAY, then, for I)
Listen, I have nothing against the blacks. (African americans, whatever.) But enforcing that private entities report certain numbers on hiring, is fucking stupid. I am fucking entitled to hire who I want, how I want, where I want. Racism be damned.

[via Words and Pictures]

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Whither Indian-ness?

Posted by CGK

(written by C Gopalakrishnan SENIOR- a part contribution from family blog)

There is a differentiating edge of the love exhibited by people of my age towards our parents or our country and that shown by the modern youth to their parents, or to their country. The modern youth is moving towards a small circle of self and unitary family, and their interest in National affairs, or in the big family including parents and co-born are on the decline.

As an youngster, (during 40s-50s) we were all made to believe that the quintessence or the core culture of an Indian was hospitality encompassing all the attitudes like Courtesy, civility, respecting the elders and social grace. We all have learned to live with poverty, and we also learned to enjoy poverty, as the public at large were generally poor, with a few having a little more than many. That is, the gap between the haves and have-nots was small. Or to be more specific, as the Material (wealth) available was small, the individual thought was less materialistic, and was driven more by compassion, love, personal sacrifice and national interest.

We had a daily dose of stories of Dhurva, Rama, Baghiratha, Harischandra, Viswamitra, Bheeshma, Ekalvya or Kamadhenu, and Ever Green God Krishna, and Greener in colour God Rama, whose ultimate was obedience to Father. We were tireless in hearing the escapedes of Bheem crushing Bagasura or Idumban or the exploits of his son Kadothgaja in the Gurukshetra war. Hence, making sacrifices for the Family, protecting the name and reputation of the country ( we used to justify the acts of Dhrona or Bheeshma as they held the interest of their kingdom paramount as compared to their own desires. Naturally, these stories made us to keep family as the utmost duty than harbouring ideas like “my personal desire- my wish list, or what I want to do”. Apart from these, the regular doses of community discourses on Ramayana and Mahabharata or devotional concerts by Pithukuli, were doled out for at least 50 days in a year with the jack-pot of hot sundal or Puliyodrai.

I was a proud Tamilian taking pride in Sangam Literature, Tholkappium, Thirukural and the greatness of Chera, Chola, Pandya kings, and an admirer of Pari, Ori, Adiyaman Kumanan, or Avvai, Pughaendhi, Ottakuthar, Thruvalluvar or Kuravanchi or Nedunalvadai. My role model hero was Vandhyadevan, while Sivakami, Nandhi-adigal could never leave my dream. Parthiban’s dreams were interpreted while I sailed on Kadalpura. I was breathing in and Breathing out Tamil. That was my life. But my dream was shattered as I was told that being a Brahmin I am an Aryan and that I can not claim being a Tamil.

Gone are those days, when all of us -cousins and nephew/nieces sitting together around Grandma deftly distributing palmful of curd rice ( degree of dilution was never noticed), with tender mango, or salted lime in our left hands. The best of the best international cuisine could match the taste, as what was served was not mere rice, but love emotion and care.

I was a proud NCC cadet and had a child hood dream of donning the Indian Green, and charging into enemy territory to save Indian Honour and Pride. The Motherland was supreme, and we all had the streaks of Thiruppur Kumaran or VOC.

After doing Physics, I harboured personal desire of joining BARC or TIFR as a Physicist.

However, all these roles- playing Vandhyadevan or Honouring the flag like Kumaran or doing Swadessi Business like VOC, or becoming a deputy to Homi Baba were all wilfully given up with one look at our family finance.
I ended up as a Salesman, as my family required my immediate employment. I enjoyed the bliss of sacrifice, that I was a dutiful son. My mother lived happily for 35 years under my care, while I could be proud of my father’s association for 20 years , on my assuming the family reins.

The economy grew, from 1960s to 2000, that is, if we had paid Rs.1 for one measure of rice, we are now capable of paying Rs.30/- for the same quantity. The purchasing power of an average Indian has increased multi fold. There are atleast 10 time more number of cars on the Indian Roads now, than the Past, while more number of people fly than the number of people who walk. These are the growing economic power of the Indian. But the biggest negative factor is the corresponding increase in the divide between the Rich and the common man.

Present- National affairs

The greatest achievement of the Parliamentary mechanism is to make the politicians, not the Industrialists and not the original IPR holders as the richest clan in the country. That is, earning money has become more important than the means of earning money. Corruption is more abhorred in verbal expressions as it has become the rule of the society. What is practiced by society is generally accepted as the rule of the land, and thus corruption in high places is not a subject matter to be discussed, hiding conveniently behind the edict, that unless proved everybody is innocent. So issues like fodder, political murder, phone tapping, Volker, article 365, KGB/CIA pay-offs, Bofors, Quodroci are of no concern but India must grow. One Ariyalur saw the exit of OV Alagesan, while no single politicians talk about 2005, year of Maximum Train accidents in free India. This was the country when King Purus , even in captivity did not want to lose his pride. Now, national pride is thrown to winds and we have become mercenaries in making money.

It is a vicious cycle. You can hold on to power only if you have wealth, while to make money you have to be in power. Thus making money, and ruling the country has become a perpetual push-pull engine. Interestingly most politicians wear whites, and this they believe will hide their black acts of corruption. It is a different matter that Colour media is now exposing both the Black-and-white aspects of the politicians. The left, guardians of Public enterprise and labour interests make their customary bark. However, reduced PF rate, Privatisation, and vote against Iran had been enacted with them holding on to their power firmly.

What is more powerful than the claim of”secularism”, in holding on to power? Before the Mogul or The English invaders, it was Hindus who ruled India. Hence a study of Indian history, understanding Indian culture, its tradition or the legacy is Indian ness- whether the Indian is a Hindu or Muslim or a Christian ( should I also add Jain, Boudh or Sikh). No! according to our parliament. A study of Indian culture of pre-mogul invasion is Safronisation. And not secular. Wither Indian ness?

Present – the family issues
The exhibition of attitudes like “my personal desire- my wish list, or what I want to do”, are hallmarks of the modern youth, under the guise of personal space, personal freedom, generation gap, generation divide and so on.

Goodness, present day youngsters love their parents to the hilt. However, they also exhibit excellent attitude like Universal/ Global thinking ( Patriotism is restricting you to only one country ), boundary-less approach, focussed attention, determination to achieve their objectives (the actual meaning being core selfishness, personal greed and no value systems) etc.

The end results have become more important than the means of achieving the end results.

But their interpretation of love is different. Not that they don’t love, but the meaning and expressions of love are different. “Parents object to the modern dress of my wife, and hence to avoid any displeasure we are living separate’, could be an excuse of living independently ; the millenium school, Krishnamurthy foundation or the Chettinadu is far away for my 3 year old, hence we will have get togethers every week ends. Why not think, that I will sacrifice my personal space for a few years till they have peaceful end, and then I will have my total freedom. Or as a product of next door school, I have achieved so much, and can my 3 year old can get the attention and the stiories of valour, Bhakthi and Moral from the baby sitter. Can the personally fed food from the hands of Grandma can match the sterilised and filtered (mineral water) and untouched spoon feeding. The sppon is the main culprit of losing the personal touch.

How many Tamil movies have shown, Father driving a youngster to do something wortwhile, where in the hero is portrayed as an idealist waiting for achieving his dream job; while the family is suffering in abject poverty, the hero as a saviour picks up fist fights with the villain. We appreciate and write rave reviews and the movie is a box-office success. Why, it reflects the modern clamour for idealism at any cost- including the welfare of my own family. I as a father, would like to question the director, whether the Hero is not duty bound to provide food and shelter to his aged parents by accepting any job that pays him a minimal amount now, while waiting for the Lady Luck to knock his doors?. This is what I call sacrifice from an off-spring to their parents, to look after them, keep their interests above their personal desires.

I have been analysing, and the reality was shockingly pointing fingers at me, and people of my Generation, for the transition and for the General degradation of life principles and moving towards selfishness, or greediness. Expediency or the end-result has become more important than the means.

The first generation middle class of post Independence people like me (55 ~ 60 years old) had seen very high unemployment ratio; had seen the value of studying material sciences like Physics, Chemistry with IIT or U.S.A, as the ultimate in mind. May be reservation, and lack of opportunities for forward classes also made us to believe that escape from Tamilnadu, escape from India were the only way of prosperity of our Children. So opt for CBSE- (Escape from Tamilnadu, entry to IIT and Visa to USA), and then drive them relentlessly to the “winning edge of marks like 98.789 or 99.345”, and Alas 98.0 being a failure. Our concern was not Tamil ( as we were told), Not literature, not Indian History not mythology filled with Indian valour and Indian Grace.

We have failed to teach them what was the objectives of Dhurva or Bhagiratha, Bheeshma or that of Rama, Krishna or Arjun. Our children learnt more about Casablanca and not Rama. The valour of Indian kings like Bharatha or Dhushyanta or Dasarata were not known but Queen Victoria or Crusade or Genghis Khan. If Warran ,or Bhatias sell out their IPRs to US, don’t blame them as they are obliged to their “Alma maters.” That is what the current generation of Grand Parents desired.

The political scenario keep the academics and intellegentia of the country away from politics. Lack of knowledge in Indian culture, its rich past, and the value systems have made our youngsters to be apathetic to Indian ness. The schools becoming like factories churning out people with 98+ marks without NCC, Moral Studies, Civics or on mythology have made our youngsters as aliens in our country.

Failure of the first generation Post Independent parents (like me) to impart legends and stories like what we received from our parents and grand parents. And more importantly, the political divide on expressing who is a tamilian and who is not on the one hand, and who should study what and who should not study based on reservations all have caused havoc in our youth losing Indianness.

The migrant Indians are re-discovering India. I have seen NRI Carnatic music exponents performing recitals during the Music Festival in Chennai, more number of Utsavams like Cleveland Aradhana in Us, number of Temples in USA, brisk business for Divinity than before, more number of Indian migrants like Kalavai Venkat and Dr Kalyanaraman fighting for Indian cause, and as the Infrastructure of India is improving many youngsters desiring to stay in India. However, it is a big question mark whether our modern youth would go to the extent of selfless sacrifice for the Nation or towards their Language or their families?.