Monthly Archives: July 2015

Let go, did you say ?

Corporates come up with abracadabra that is quite difficult to decipher. ‘Let go’ is one such. ‘Let go’ essentially means ‘to get rid of’ in a rather camouflaged manner.

Look at it this way. You are the head of a department and have to retrench but don’t have the wherewithal to say so explicitly. Then you deploy such jargon and say ‘Let go’.

‘Let go’ is the same as ‘cut-down’ but made to sound as though the person left on his own will. It could also be to reduce the ‘guilt consciousness’ of retrenching.

Call it by any other word but you have to go. Period.

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Posted by on July 31, 2015 in English Posts


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Status meeting – anybody ?

If you want to kill time, kill productivity but still fill time and pretend to work, then attend a status meeting.

Ask any corporate executive or IT services worker, he would say on oath that the one event that does not have a specific start and end time but is held regularly to know the status of an activity, is called Status Meeting.

This meeting’s only agenda is to discuss the status of an activity – a project, a task and the like. But everything else other than status gets discussed.

What happens in a status meeting ? Generally a group of ten people gather to discuss on something that never happened all the while pretending that the thing has happened. And that is what happens.

But you had gathered to know the status, right ? So, as you didn’t discuss status, you didn’t know the status. So what do you do to know the status ?

Call for a follow-up status meeting.

And what happens in a follow-up status meeting ?

Go to line 1.

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Posted by on July 30, 2015 in English Posts


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Big picture, any body ?

Don’t get me wrong. Have you been asked to ‘see the big picture’ by your boss ?

If you have been asked to see the big picture, chances are, your boss has got a promotion recently. Once people are promoted to a position much beyond their caliber, they start asking the direct reports to ‘see the big picture’.

You might wonder, ‘Where has this big picture been so far ? if the picture is so  big why didn’t I see it? Better, why didn’t my boss see it?’ There are no specific answers to these. ‘Big picture’ and similar such catch words are signals that the person uttering them ‘has arrived’. 

‘Big picture’ literally means a picture that is big, conveys a whole story rather than piece meal stuff. The boss says ‘big picture’ because he has gone up in the hierarchy and is able to see the whole field while you are still not so advanced in your hierarchy that your vision stays with what your eyes see. And there is nothing much to see from where you are.

‘Big picture’ figuratively means the following :

  1. I am too high in the hierarchy that I can’t see smaller things. I can only see distant stuff as I have grown in the hierarchy and am concerned about the ‘long term vision’.
  2. I have gone higher in the ladder and hence cannot afford to look at smaller issues and concerns, You better look at those mundane stuff as you are still lower in the hierarchy.
  3. Understand that ‘I have arrived’ and better suck up to me.

Now, do you get the ‘big picture’ ? 

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Posted by on July 27, 2015 in English Posts


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Hit the ground running, anybody ?

Have you ever been interviewed for a job where they have said,’You have got to hit the ground running ?’ If yes, you better read this.

Look out for other adjectives like ‘dynamic’ and ‘agile’ as well. If these are added, then better stay away or be prepared for the the following:

What the interviewer essentially means is the job that you are being hired for has been recently vacated midway by somebody who has left in a huff. What is also left unsaid is that the environment you would soon be in, is one where none knows what needs to be done but every one keeps doing things anyway.

When ‘Agile’ and ‘Dynamic’ are mentioned, the situation is very clear. It is a catastrophe. It means expectations will change every one hour and they would keep moving the goal posts every now and then with the result that you will end up doing the job without knowing whether you have achieved your targets or not.

And if ‘Agile’ is stressed again and again, time to say an emphatic ‘No’ because ‘agile’ is the next best word of ‘I don’t know what I want and I don’t know what to do or how to do it. So you come over and do’.

Be ware of ‘agile’ and ‘dynamic’ or you would have to ‘hit the ground running’ and thereafter ‘hit against the wall’.


Posted by on July 26, 2015 in English Posts


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Why my eyes blurred..

The pictures that you see have long held my imagination and thought for at least the last three decades for I was not born when the book was gifted by an aged Tamil scholar to another both of whom were eighty years old then. The book was first released ten years before that, in 1956.

Kambar Book 1This book was released to mark the annual literary event held to remember the legendary Tamil poet Kambar (AD 1180 – 1250). He had written the great Indian epic Ramayana in Tamil. So, the book was a compilation of articles and speeches by the then eminent scholars of 1956.

I have never met them or seen them. Nor have I interacted with them.

This book was in the attic of my late uncle who was himself a Tamil scholar. I was cleaning his old house in rural southern Indian town of Mayiladuthurai when I came across this book.

Kampar Book 2The moment I held the book in my hand, I was transported back many years in history. I had then thought about the poet Kambar, then about his book, and about the different people if yore who would have had researched and written about the poet. Then my thoughts had drifted to the year 1956, the way the annual function would have been held and the manner in which the book would have been released on the day of the function. Travelling forward from 1956, I had thought about 1966 when another scholar, who had read and enjoyed the book, had gifted his copy to another scholar.

Kambar book 3
I didn’t know how the book had come to be in my uncle’s custody. Having been a scholar himself, the 1966 recipient should have given it to my late uncle. And I was having the piece of history in hand and trying to re-live history. I had felt my vision blurred when I realized that was due to tears.

Now, thirty years later, when I hold the much weathered book in my hand, my vision is still blurred, again due to tears.

Thanks Damayanthi for this fantastic opportunity to relive my past.


Posted by on July 26, 2015 in English Posts


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Why I banged the phone

Phone : Welcome to ABC bank. Please dial 1 if you are a customer. If you are not a customer yet, please dial 2.

Me : 2

Phone : Please enter the card number for your account and press #

Me : ??

Phone : You have exceeded the maximum time. Would you like a survey of this call ? If yes, please dial 1.

Me : 1

Phone : Please enter the card number for your account and press #

Me : Bang bang

Phone : Thank you for calling ABC bank. Have a great day.

Me : ??

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Posted by on July 25, 2015 in English Posts


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[PERSPECTIVE] Racism and Taxi Drivers

[PERSPECTIVE] Racism and Taxi Drivers

A great feel good piece. Does Racism exist in Singapore ? Yes. Is Singapore Racist ? No. I have had fantastic experiences with taxi drivers. Here is one such from a fellow Sing blogger.

The Guru Project

Singapore is multi-religious & multi-racial country. FACT
There is racism in Singapore. TRUE
Singapore is a racist country. FALSE
All of the above is simply my OPINION


Singaporeans love to complain.  Singaporean Indians  love to attribute our unhappiness to one popular phenomena: Racism. I did not get the job (The Interviewer was racist) I did not get my promotion (My boss is racist) The Taxi did not stop for me (The Taxi driver is racist). Hearing the above far too many times so I decided to write about it. Taxi drivers are probably the most hated people in Singapore. Apparently, the insurance agents are better than them (at least , you get a free meal or drink when you meet them). There are so many types of drivers in Singapore; from private transport to bus to train to monorails to Uber and Grab Car. Why is the dislike limited…

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Posted by on July 21, 2015 in English Posts, Writers


The book launch

The front office opulence floored me so much so that I didn’t realize I was glaring at the receptionist who had apparently asked my name for the third time. ‘Err, I am Ranga,’ I stammered, trying to hide my south indian accent in front of the suave north indian receptionist.

Looking at the office and the lady, I was determined to clinch the publishing deal. I didn’t dare to speak to her for fear of appearing coquettish. She ushered me to a lounge looking waiting room where I was given a cup of tea. Why did the tea taste so out of the world?

‘Finally I have made it,’ I said to myself not knowing that the lady had overheard what I had said. I had toiled for this day all through my life. How many rejections? I wondered what the publishing houses would do with rejected manuscripts. Would they bin them? I checked myself so that the inauspicious thoughts don’t creep in.

The meeting with the editor lasted 2 hours and ended in an envelope that contained a $100 cheque as an advance payment – whatever that meant.  I was moved and realized that I was moved when things started to look blurred.

I spent the next two weeks in informing Facebook friends on the impending launch of my book under the famed ‘Anshul Publishing House’ tag. My chest swelled to 56’ (Modi forgive me).

His Excellency the Governor is launching the book tomorrow at 4 PM in ‘The Ritz’ hotel. Please do come over. The book is titled ‘The Madrasi’. Author: Anshul Sharma. Publishers : Anshul Publishing House.

No, I won’t be in the function. Why? Didn’t you see yesterday’s obituary page?

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Posted by on July 21, 2015 in English Posts


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The old box and its tubes

The feeble, frail and old diamond merchants’ gaze was fixed on the old and rusted iron box in the attic as he lay dying on the bed surrounded by remorseful sons, crying daughters and surprised grand children.

‘Grandpa wants his old box’ said the five year old.

‘Shut up’ his father said, ‘grandpa is not well. Don’t talk about anything else’.
‘There is nothing in the box now except for some rusted iron tubes from his old bicycle’ he said with the appearance of a know all.

The old man opened his mouth twice and then lay still.

Three days after the funeral, the attic and its contents were dumped into the yard for ragpickers to collect. The son was right. The box had all worn out tubes. But he didn’t know the full truth though.

The tubes had diamonds worth 3 million that the old man had hidden from the authorities.

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Posted by on July 19, 2015 in English Posts



சாத்துமுது தெரியுமா ?

வைஷ்ணவத் தமிழ் என்று ஒன்று உண்டு. ‘பரிபாஷை’ என்றும் சொல்வர். வேறு மொழி கலப்பில்லாத சுத்தமான தமிழ். அன்றாட வாழ்வில் இன்னும் பயன்பாட்டில் உள்ளது.

‘ரஸம்’ என்பது ‘சாத்துமுது’ ( தக்காளி, புளி முதலியவற்றின் சாறுகளின் அமுது, சாற்றமுது). ‘பாயசம்’ என்பது ‘திருக்கண்ணமுது’ ( திரு+கண்ணன்+அமுது). ‘பொரியல்’ என்பது ‘கறமுது’ ( கறி + அமுது ). ‘கூட்டு’ என்பது ‘நெகிழ்கறமுது’ ( நெகிழ் + கறி + அமுது ). அதுபோல ‘அக்கார அடிசில்’ தற்கால சர்க்கரைப் பொங்கலின் ஒரிஜினல் உருவம். பாலும், அரிசியும் நெய்யும் வெல்லமும் சேர்த்து செய்வது. ஆண்டாள் நூறு தடா அக்கார அடிசில் செய்து கண்ணனுக்குப அளிப்பேன் என்று சொல்கிறாள். தடா என்பதும் அளவு முறை. பெரிய படி என்று சொல்லலாம்.

பெருமாள் உண்ட மீதம் என்பதால் எந்த உணவையும் ‘அமுது’ சேர்த்துச் சொல்வது மரபு.

‘படைத்தல்’ என்று சொல்வது கிடையாது. படைப்பது இறைவன் செயல். எனவே ‘அம்சே பண்ணுதல்’ என்பது பயன்பாட்டில் உள்ளது. இறைவனுக்கு அமுது செய்யப் பண்ணுவது என்பது ‘அம்சே’ பண்ணுவது என்று டுவிட்டர் பாஷையில் வருகிறது. அது போல ‘ஏள்ளப்பண்ணுதல்’ ( எழுந்தருளப் பண்ணுதல் ), ‘திருமேனி பாங்கா ?’ ( உடல் நலம் எப்படி இருக்கிறது ?), ‘தளீப்பண்ற உள்’ ( தளிகை பண்ணுகின்ற உள் அதாவது சமையல் அறை ) என்று இன்னும் பல.

அது போல் ‘சாம்பார்’ என்பதும் கிடையாது. ‘குழம்பு’ தான்.

சில வைஷ்ணவர்கள் ‘இன்னிக்கி கிச்சன்ல என்ன சமையல்? பாயசம் வாசனை வறதே’ என்று கேட்டால் தடா சட்டத்தில் பிடித்துப் போடலாம். .

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Posted by on July 12, 2015 in Writers


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