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Corporate performance management – Mantra effect!

Corporate performance management – Mantra effect!

Mantra – that which liberates the mind.

Some of the statements that I have heard (and not all of them were said to me) over the past couple of years literally makes my mind go Brrrffttzztt! How liberating!

You are a good performer, you really are. You did meet your goals and went the extra mile in many situations. But we just cannot give a 4 or 5 because we need to follow a distribution. Only 10% of the team size can be at a 4 or 5 rating. But you did get the highest % hike!

Guess what the team size was.

You did a good job last couple of months, but I give you a rating of 2 because your ex-boss, my predecessor, did not give me a summary of what you have accomplished.

How unique? Totally responsible and accountable!

There will be no raise for anyone in the company given the dismal market and our bad cash situation. But in appreciation of your hard work, we will still hand out the bonuses… as per your contracts.

And the CEO and his cronies gets a couple of hundred thousand dollars as performance bonus. Performance? What performance?

Soooo… another year has passed. It was just wonderful, really wonderful. Your performance has been fantastic… and I am giving you a rating of 4. I would like to give you a 5, but hey no one is perfect and there is always room for improvement. So, 4 it is.

So, 5 is basically the carrot. The stick is another year long!

And so it goes on.

What would you do?

What would you do?

I have recently become a fan of a TV series called “What would you do”… only, I didn’t watch it on TV but on Youtube! For those who are not aware of this program, google it up!

The reason I like it is because the scenarios of the “social experiments” (well, most of them, if that) are pretty close to what we might face in reality at any public place. And the reactions from people who unknowingly become part of the scenario are sometimes absolutely heart touching.

Some youngsters in India have also tried such “social experiments” in India and uploaded their recordings to Youtube. Although the videos lack the technology and finesse of the American show, the reactions (or lack of it) from our dear Indians are horrifying. After watching some of the videos, I am unable to decide whether I should be happy that there were a few Indians who had guts to do anything about a situation… or should I be really, really sad that most of our friends are absolutely apathetic to the problems of their fellow citizens in public.

So, here are some ‘common’ scenes that we might come across in our lives.

What would you do if you are taking a stroll on your neighborhood streets, park or a beach and you see a young girl crying and trying to evade an overzealous ‘boyfriend’? Would your reaction be different based on the dress the girl is wearing?

What if you see a woman being hit by her husband in the street in a slum like area? And what would be your reaction if the wife and husband look like well to do people and the hitting incident happens in a restaurant or in a park or at the beach?

What would you do if you small kids swarm you at a traffic signal trying to sell some cartoon or painting books claiming they were hungry? What if it was just a lone, shabby woman, with a kid asleep in her arms, asking for money?

What would you do if you overhear 2 foreigners bashing your religion on a flight?

What would you do if you see school kids no more than 10 years old swearing and cussing like fishermen?

What would you do if someone cuts the queue in front of you?

Narayana means Tripurasundari Devi! OMG, I never knew!

Narayana means Tripurasundari Devi! OMG, I never knew!

We all know people might go to any lengths to actually prove a point of their beliefs (including me, I am only human after all)… but one article I came across today seems to the pinnacle of that effort. The gentleman who wrote that article has spent so much time and effort in trying to prove that the sacred hymn of Narayana Suktam is actually meant for Tripurasundari Devi and not Lord Narayana.

The gentleman keeps referring to his “detailed analysis” as to why Narayana in Narayana Suktam cannot refer to Lord Narayana… but the detailed analysis that he refers to is just a jugglery of root words… concluding with the ONLY MEANING of the word Narayana is “That being / entity whose direction is towards nara (purusha)” or “That being / entity whose goal is to move towards nara (and reach him as final destination)”. And boom… out of the blue, the Nara/Purusha is Shiva, the being/entity whose goal is to move towards Nara is Tripurasundari Devi.

Declaring that Bhagavad Gita was not spoken by Lord Krishna (seems like he was in a trance and Lord Shiva spoke through him), that Sita Devi is actually Parvati Devi and Lord Rama is actually Lord Shiva, Srimad Bhagavatam as a fake purana are the crown jewels of this twisty twist effort.

I did not spend too much time on any of the pages in the site (obviously), but it looks to me that people like these keep running their conclusions between Lord Shiva is supreme, or/and Shakti is supreme and then all of a sudden Lord Shiva becomes this formless, nameless, qualityless Parabrahman and Tripurasundari Devi becomes the cliched mystic kundalini in everyone’s body.


I have no problem if someone wants to worship only Lord Shiva, consider him as the Supreme Being, spread the goodness around… may his devotion grow forever and may his life be blessed. But I am clearly annoyed when people keep jumping between personalism and impersonalism like intoxicated monkeys when it comes to professing their devotion to Lord Shiva. In doing that, while thinking they are glorifying his mystic potency and showcasing their own intellectual prowess of understanding 2 irreconcilable positions as the same, they actually insult him in to nothingness.

Edit: I came across a site that rips apart this particular fancy theory of Narayana means Tripurasundari devi. Anyone interested can visit and enjoy the carnage.

Amusing news for me!

Amusing news for me!

I just happened to come across the news that Prof. Periyardasan, a well known ‘Periyarist’ atheist and TV personality, had embraced Islam. I was late in catching this news since I was very busy in moving back to my hometown and starting at a new job.

I personally have no sympathy towards the ideals of Periyar and his followers in the D.K (Dravidar Kazhagam). While doing my bahcelor’s degree, I had unfortunately been forced to be in the audio vicinity of these fools spewing their anti-brahmin and anti-hindu vitriol in the guise of atheism (Seriously, your ears will bleed at the words these people used. Curiously enough, nothing was said (mocked?) about Islam or Christianity! Probably because the speakers feared losing their lives?)

Now, it is amusing how a person such as Periyardasan would have had the change of heart now, steeped in so called rationalism all these years, to embrace Islam. The more amusing news is that this latest conversion comes AFTER he became and stayed a Buddhist for sometime. That’s a confused mind there, I say. A LOT of confusion.

I wonder how he will face all those people with whom he would have debated for his belief over all these years.



Okhil Chandra Sen wrote this letter to the Sahibganj divisional railway office in 1909. It is on display at the Railway Museum in New Delhi.

Oi... wait for mee!!

Now we know why the British Raj introduced the loo on trains!

45% of the world’s wealth destroyed

45% of the world’s wealth destroyed

Or so this article quotes the CEO of Blackstone

Wealth? What wealth? Minted paper and psychologically enhanced ‘value’ is now being called wealth!!!

Who can say what is the actual WORTH of a square feet of land?

What use is ‘paper’ money, if you can keep printing ‘$2,000,000’ notes and you need just one to buy a loaf of bread? (don’t know what I am talking about? Check on Zimbabwe’s economic condition in Google).

Who does care or even know about actual wealth these days?

Its funny and sad that we churn out a zillion MBAs and PhDs every year and yet we cannot answer the simplest of questions without using some hi-fi jargon.

Readme? Duh!!

Readme? Duh!!

This is something I posted on another blog… a while ago.

You spend a good half of your week in getting everything ready for your client release. Picture perfect is what you would expect the quality guys to say. You sit through the audit, get a pat on the back and finally let the guys at the customer site have a go at the product by sending it in a nice package.
A day later you get a call.

“Hey Bob! This is Rob, from customer inc. You know… the software ‘X’ you sent yesterday? It doesn’t seem to work. I can hardly figure out what menu ‘Y’ is for! I have been at this from morning and I keep getting this error during installation! What do you think is the problem? Should I change…”. Blah… blah… blah.

“Whoa! Whoa… hold on. Take a deep breath! There… that’s better. Now, did you do go through the Readme file that I sent along with the installation package?

A couple of seconds of silence.

“Oh. One sec. Ahh! Here it is. Umm… err… Am I supposed to read that? I mean… this is…”

Head Bash!

The Great Hunt has begun. Any hope?

The Great Hunt has begun. Any hope?

Oookey… its official then. The great hunt has begun.

I am not talking about the Robert Jordan book. Me talks about the hunt for the person who will have to suffer me for the rest of her life. (Take a joke, ok?) But guess what the trouble is!!!? There are hardly any girls who fall within an acceptable height compared to mine (about 183cms) and even those that do come close, seem to be always from the same, dreaded “Bharadwaja Gothram”. Sucks. And if somehow I manage to find some to my liking, the great Gods (read ‘parents’) throw thunderbolts of flimsy (IMO) reasons to reject it.

Oh well, s***t happens.

But I must confess that I have had quite an amusing time browsing through profiles at you-know-where and am surprised to see that almost every Jane Doe is “God fearing, respects elders, respects tradition, soft-spoken” and would like their partner to be “tall, fair, handsome, well settled, well read, respecting elders and traditions”. Almost 75% of the crowd I have looked at seem to work in either Infosys, CTS, TCS or Wipro. And to boot, many of them prefer only an ‘Amarickaa Mapillai’… and have a fine print saying “would like to pursue higher studies”. (I got nothing against such arrangements but just feeling sorry for unfortunate males, like me, who have to shell out parents money and drag our asses across to USA and get a degree. )

All in all, People, the future looks bleak for me.

Few things I would like to do…

Few things I would like to do…

  1. Enforce a rule saying all new bore-wells should be dug bottom-up… not top down. Too many children make it to the news because of such things!!
  2. Decree that any school that does not enough space to park at least 500 cars in their grounds should be shifted out of city limits.
  3. Convince the city corporation to gather all able-bodied beggars in the city and give them the job of keep Marina beach clean… and make sure they clean it to earn their living. Of course, they will also be covered under the provident fund and are entitled for promotion and salary hikes.
  4. Put a blanket ban on use of all types of vehicle horns within the city.
  5. In order to reduce the chaos due to the previous rule, introduce a new rule saying that all vehicles should move only at 20Kmph within city limits.
  6. Ban all wall-poster printing and posting within the city. The unemployed from that industry can be employed in scratching out, cleaning and re-painting the scarred walls of thousands of buildings in the city.

Yep. Thats about it for now.