Monday, January 25, 2010

Letting go

The other day one of my bosses retired from service in the company. He had served the company for 40 years. 40 years of effort, of hard work, of building the company and seeing it grow - coming to end in 1 day. He had a smile on his face, but it was smile as if he was hiding something. He tried to look at everything. Every place in the office, in the plant, in the township had some memory associated with it. Every place had a story associated with it. I was with him for only 3 months. But in those 3 months he made every effort to pass on his knowledge to us new recruits, so that we carry on the legacy. He really cared about the company. And that is the thing that hurt him the most. One day it all ends. You work for something, giving all your life and effort for it and then one day you get a nice party and a thank you for your services.

It is the norm, the way world operates. But then I thought about it. What would I feel or what does anybody feel about letting go? About working for something and one day leaving it all and going? At first I thought it must be heart wrenching. It must crush you. You would be devastated. Looking up at everything and feeling cheated of not getting you due. But then after sometime I thought about it. Its always important to move on. To a new thing, to a new project, a new idea. Working on the same thing makes you obsessed with it and at some point you come to think of it as the owner. Your view and thoughts become stifled and that's what leads to the death of the project. The leader who did not know when to move on. Leaving what you did at its high point is what matters the most.

Even in life, it is important to move on. To move to a new place, a new project meet new people and well leave your circle of comfort behind. It important not to get too close or too attached to people because then like the project the expectation match never happens. Go to a new place, meet new people, have fun with them and move on and then repeat.

Finally as I wrote before it is important to leave at the right moment. Before the disintegration begins. Before you rip everything which you loved apart. Finally it is the memories which you cherish. The stories that you tell and the pride which you take in the thing with which you were once associated with. Today I saw "Quark 2010" advertisement in Business standard. It was a half page ad in one of the highest circulating and most reputed dailies in the country. And I felt a sense of pride while looking at that page. I sense of jubilation. Something which even I personally could not have achieved. I wanted to go out and tell people - I was associated with this once ( I did not, they won't understand :) ).

And that's when I realized why it is important to let go and to move on.

Best of Luck Quark Team - Make me proud !!!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Telangana trouble

Today Hyderabad again came to a grinding halt because of the call for bandh by the students of Joint action committee (JAC) for separate statehood for Telangana. Most of us, who have followed the news even remotely have our own opinions about the news. And most of the time the opinion for most of the people who do not belong to this region is - Why do they want a separate state suddenly? Even I had this opinion, but well there is no smoke without fire. So I decide to research the topic a bit. Living in the city and interacting with the rank and file in the company also gave me a lot of views. I would first present certain facts:

What is Telangana?
Telangana is a region comprising 10 of Andhra Pradesh’s 23 districts. Originally, it was a part of the erstwhile Nizam’s princely state of Hyderabad. The region accounts for 119 seats of 294 in the assembly. In 1948, India put an end to the rule of the Nizams and a Hyderabad state was formed. In 1956, the Telangana part of Hyderabad was merged with then Andhra state (carved out of Madras Presidency in October, 1953). The remaining parts of the Nizam’s empire merged with Karnataka and Maharashtra. Andhra Pradesh became the first linguistically carved state in the country after Gandhian revolutionary Potti Sreeramulu, on a hunger strike over the issue, died on December 16, 1952.

Reasons for creation of Telangana
1.Telangana was not always a part of Hyderabad. Indian army entered the erstwhile Nizam's territory in 1948 and the region was a part of the Indian Union. It even had it first elections in 1953 before formation of Andhra in 1956.

2.Telangana was made a part of Andhra saying Telugu unites both regions. But people of this region were educated in Urdu under Nizam while people of Andhra were educated in English and Telugu under Britishers, this gave them preference in jobs. This led to heavy influx of people from Andhra into Telangana thereby giving less opportunities to people of the region ( a plank being used by regionalists even today in other states).

3.To prevent large scale protests in Telangana many "gentleman promises" were made to people of Telangana. Incidentally under Nizam there was such a system called "mulki" under which jobs in certain regions were reserved for people of that region.Unfortunately all of these gentleman agreements were flouted and no reservation was given to people of Telangana.

4. GO 36 of 1969 that promised to position Telangana people in 25,000 that were illegally occupied by Andhra people remains unfulfilled even today. During 1973 and 1985 nearly 60,000 illegal positions were awarded to Andhra people in Telangana region. To rectify this, a new GO 610 was introduced in 1985 with a promise to enforce it within a year, but continues to be unimplemented in spite of repeated demands.

7. Nagarjuna sagar dam lies in Telangana region. While initially it was envisioned to have 2 lines one to dry and arid telangana and other to fertile Andhra, only one was constructed towards Andhra. Due to the construction of the dam several hectares of Lime stone mines vanished as part of the dam back waters. Everyone know that lime stone is used for producing cement. Coal mines and Power plant of Srilengi region lie in Telangana but backward parts of the same region Telangana get no power.

8. Of 10 Government medical colleges in AP. 1 Lies in Telangana, other 7 lie in Andhra - Rayalseema region.

9.Congress government had in its 2004 manifesto promised people of Telangana about a separate state. The promise remains unfulfilled even though the central government is in power for second time.

10. 45% of the state income comes from Telangana region. When it comes to utilization of funds, the share of Telangana is only 28%.

11. Two major rivers Krishna and Tungabhadra enter the state of AP in the district of Mahaboobnagar(the biggest district in Telangana) but the district always remains the worst draught hit areas along with Anantapur because there is no project and process with which the water can be utilized. The plans for utilization has been pending for decades.

12. Potti Sriramulu didnot fight for Telangana to be included in Andhra. He fasted In madras so that Madras becomes a part of new state of Andhra. His agitation of the differences in opportunities for telugu speaking people and Tamil in Madras.

Reasons against the creation of Telangana:

1. Most of the Indian states were formed on linguistic bases. telangana and Andhra would be two states with same language.

2. Hyderabad , which would mostly become the capital of Telangana was made by not just people from Telangana. It has investments from Andhra and other regions. People worry that these projects might be stopped as a sign of revenge.

3. Creation of smaller states, doesnot mean problems of people of Telangana will be solved. Try solving water problem between 2 states. Ask TN and Karnatka, they have been trying for decades.

4. Creation of two states would provide the Naxals of the region a safe place to play hide and seek with 2 forces.

5. If 2009 Lok Sabha elections are any indicator, there is not much demand for Telangana. TRS won only 1 seat in Telangana region on the promise for a new state.

6. In 1500's the whole Andhra region was under 1 ruler [Link].

Considering the above arguments. The points are definitely in favour of new state of Telangana. Even the 3 new states which were created namely Uttranchal, Jharkhand and chattisgargh had better growth rates than the states from which they were carved out of. Smaller states can be governed better. But what is not right the ways people have adopted to demand the new state. Calling for a bandh at the drop of a hat. Vandalizing public property. Making life of an ordinary citizen difficult. This would only lead alienation of more people for the cause than winning them sympathy.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

The Test

Isn't there a rush every time you see an oppurtunity to pull someone's leg. The thrill of spotting the moment and striking at the particular moment with that one line is nothing short of pure bliss. So well I am known for being sarcastic ( guilty as charged). Yesterday while I was waiting to load the washing machine- there walks in Jatin and presents the perfect opportunity to strike. Soon he was joined by others and well it was nothing less than a massacre :P. It is then, in that moment while I was on a killing spree ( metaphorical ) I was presented with a challenge - TO SPEND 24 HOURS WITHOUT PASSING A SINGLE SARCASTIC COMMENT!!!

And I accepted it. Why is it, whenever you take an oath, the world conspires against you to break it. As soon as I took the oath, Jayant invited us to view his pics of Chennai- Tirupathi trip. Well he, Pushpendra and Dhiraj had gone to see monuments and temples ( common you are 22, I didnot even go to these places on school trips). The places were surely Nice!. But well the 3 matched the statues on the monuments with their poses. Some looked directly out the great Indian epic ( Nope not Ramayana, not Mahabharata .... yeah you perverts thats right!), in some pics they looked as if being asked to pose on the gun point. But thats not it, with so many people standing, not a single one commented. Nope not one comment, no jeers, no smirks. I had to shout while looking at one especially artisitc pic - " Somebody... Somebody ... Anybody !!!common ". Yes there were smiles on their faces. Not because of the pic, but because of the situation they had put me into.

There was Jatin with his snide comments and provocations to which I couldnot respond. Rohit with his humour about our office , Harshal with his talks on mobile with his boyfriends, DU with his fundas and I couldnot utter a single word. Just had to stand there and smile.It was not over yet.

I got to office and after a meeting people ( ET's) ran after free food and I could not pass a single comment. People came early to the mess for all sorts of weird reasons. And well.

So somehow I got through all this. To make matters easier I came back and slept till I completed my 24 hours. And well they were finally up. SO :-

Jatin: Kam kha mote, dharti ka bhoj kam hoga, phat jayega kisi din kha kha ke ( eat less you ______, there will be less weight for earth to bear, one day you will burst eating.)

Jayant: The person who may even swipe for entry into the plant at 5:45 am so that he becomes CMD one day ( good good). But his love and affection for Pushpa is questionable. One only has to look at Dhiraj for what envy of this " relationship" does to him. Perfect case of Mia Biwi and Woh!

Guru: If he has his way, he would even make chicken run on a treadmill before consuming him. The guy who has a penchant for Tennis, fitness, nutrition and well touching other men ( ghar mein baap bhai nahi hai kya)

Rohit : Well can't write much about him, he has my sympathies for what he goes through everyday and I once every week. Hang in tight ..... just hope one day you don't get a nasal tone and for god sake stop glorifying staring blankly at the screen and making horizontal and vertical lines as designing.

Harshal : DOCOMO gets money for their TV ads through the phone bill this guy foots. EK din boyfriends bhi bhaag jayenge, itna mat chaat unko ( one day even your friends will run, stop stalking them.)

Pushpa ( Pushpendra) : There will be one day when you won't be ragged by colleagues, bosses and Jayant ( normally all 3 happen at once). And for god sake smile in the pics, looks like Jayant took advantage of you in the night and forcibly told you to pose in the pics!.

Vishal: Stop starting the line outside the mess after punching in. It would open only at 11:30. And eat fast! eat fast!

Sravan : One day you will get rid of the over used mop which you pass off as your hair.

and for the rest of the people from the esteemed 37th ET Batch ... G**********************nd M***********************rao!

Disclaimer: all the people mentioned in the above post are fictional, any resembelance to any person living or soon to be dead ( ala yours truly) is purely intentional.

PS: Ok Jatin .... I cheated ... Invariably made 2 comments one to Jayant and one to Harshal ... DAMN! Look at you, all smug!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Demistifying Copenhagen

Disclaimer: This post and a few future posts will be drab boring factual posts, basically posted so that I understand somethings which I have wanted to understand for a long time but well get confused. Anyways My Blog! My Keyboard :P

So well last month while I was battling a cold and an extremely high temperature ( Yeah I have lived in places like Delhi and Ludhiana and still it was in Hyderabad that I caught cold ... I get that smirk!) there was some climate conference in Copenhagen. It generated so much chatter that I wanted to know " Bhai funda ke hai " ( Whats the deal).

So from I have gathered I will post here, so that next time I don't have to scrounge the net for info.
What is Copenhagen Summit?
The 2009 United Nations Climate Change Conference, commonly known as the Copenhagen Summit. It was held at Bella convention center ( a hall powered by a wind mill) from December 7-18th. Connie Haggard was the president of the summit and handed over the presidency to Danish Prime Minister Lars L√łkke Rasmussen in the final days of summit.

What was it about?
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has predicted an average global rise in temperature of 1.4°C (2.5°F) to 5.8°C (10.4°F) between 1990 and 2100. This would lead to changes in the rain patterns, lead to melting of polar Ice caps and rise in sea level. A 2°C rise in temperature of earth ( average temperature) would be catstrophic and would be irreversible. The summit if it has to be said in 1 line was aimed at to keep the average rise in temperature below 2 °C. Although a 1.5 °C rise in temperature would lead to the drowning of island nations of Tavalu and Maldives. The Copenhagen summit was important because Kyoto Protocol was to tell Annexe 1 ( 37 developd countries) to reduce emiisions below 1990 level from 2008-2012. A framwork is needed for after 2012.

What was Kyoto protocol?
The Kyoto protocol was adopted on December 1997 and entered into force on February 2006. Under it Annexe1 countries ( 37 developed countries) commit to reduce their green house gases ( Carbon di oxide, methane, nitrous oxide, sulfur Hexafluoride ) and 2 Hydro carbon gases 5.2% below 1990 levels by 2008-2012. The Non Annexe 1 countries have to give general commitments. Main Points:
  • United states of America has not ratified the treaty till date.
  • It has no numerical commitments on India and China, the 2 top 5 producers of green house gases today.
  • The Annexe 1 countries can reduce their effective green house contributions by Trading or buying Carbon credits - EU trading schemes.
What are commitments from various countries?

  1. US: to cut green house gases emission by 17% below 2005 level by 2020 and 83% by 2050.
  2. China : To cut emission intensity by 40 - 45% below 2005 levels by 2020.
  3. India: To cut emission intensity by 20-25% below 2005 levels by 2020.
  4. European Union : To cut emission by 20% below 1990 levels unconditionally.
What were the roadblocks?

  1. Danish Text: On 8th December 2008, Gaudian Newspaper of UK leaked out what was known as the Danish text. It was a secret draft agreement worked on by a group of individuals known as the circle of encirclement, but in reality included a handful of countries - US, UK and Denmark. The draft disregarded the Kyoto Protocol ( only legally binding climate change protocol in the world) which said that rich countries responsible for most of CO2 emissions in the world should lead the climate change initiative. Some main points of Danish Text.
-Force developing countries to agree to specific emission cuts and measures that were not part of the original UN agreement;
-Divide poor countries further by creating a new category of developing countries called "the most vulnerable";
-Weaken the UN's role in handling climate finance.
-Not allow poor countries to emit more than 1.44 tonnes of carbon per person by 2050, while allowing rich countries to emit 2.67 tonnes

The Developing countries were furious and shot down the draft. G77 ( amisnomer consists of 130 countries) rejected it.

2. Major emerging markets like India and China who had voluntarily agreed to cut emissions were asked to have international monitoring for the same. This was not agreed by the developing countries.

3. While emerging economies ( BRIC) were not a part of original annexe1 countries of kyoto protocol and hence had no legally binding commitment to reduce their carbon emissions, they were now one of the highest polluters. The Developed countries wanted more assurances from these economies to reduce their carbon emissions. The Developing economies saw it as a plot to stop their growth.

4. Peaking year - The year by which the carbon emmisions should reach it peak and then reduce was not agreed upon by developing economies. They believed in the concept of Common but differentiated responsibility.

So finally what Happened?
On December 18th Barack Obama ( who couldnot walk away from a conference without having any form of agreement) had a meeting with Heads of Brasil, South Africa, India and China ( BASIC) and they came out with what is being referred to as the Copenhagen Accord. The document recognised that climate change is one of the greatest challenges of the present and that actions should be taken to keep any temperature increases to below 2°C. The document is not legally binding and does not contain any legally binding commitments for reducing Co2 emissions.

The Draft was refused by majority of the developing countries and was not agreed by consensus.

So finally what we have now is a half baked document, showing how the powerful and mighty can be shortsighted. In the anarchy of greed and power the real loser will be earth ( with islands like Tavalu coming first). The combined might of Obama, Hu, Singh, Zuma and Lula could not save the earth. We await Rio with mockery of a document, though after this even from Rio I won't have much hopes. The developed countries saw this as an approach to hold the growth juggernaut of Developing countries at ransom and the developing countries on their part were so paranoid and presented a picture of being victimized that they refused to listen to any suggestion.

We in India are celebrating that Prime Minister Singh was one of the Dignitaries who drafted the Copenhagen accord, but here is my question - FOR HOW LONG?

image courtesy: