April 25, 2006

A Century - Zipped in a song !

I spent my most part of today's sedentary work schedule listening to this one song which as the title aptly puts has compressed almost all of the major 'should-know-about' events/legends/wars/inventions and from anything to everything that ever came in news headlines during the last century. And if your guesses are in place it shouldn't be hard ( atleast for those who take the lyrics of 'angrezi' songs a bit seriously and not try to chew the undecipherable ascent of the english singers at times) to hit the bull's eye.

Yes its one of the Billy Joels' selfcomposed (both lyrics and music)song from the 1989 album Storm Front. - We didn't Start the Fire. The song is composed of names and phrases which made history of the 20th century as we know it today. It can be so intriguing to see that each and every single word (except ofcourse the chorus part) hides in itself a news-making story of its time and I am not exaggerating this fact. Take a look here and see for yourself. So much so that one of the sites promotes the song as an excellent education tool for teachers and students and I cannot agree more to that although history has never been my cup of tea at school.

Still I feel that this song is indeed a one stop shop for many of us like me to know and learn those wrapped in time realities, which are so completely different from each other in all aspects, yet have been cornered down at one place and called upon one by one like the siblings of a large family. How much great, fullfilled and accomplished it may seem in its purpose, the song I feel misses that one name from the Songwriter's hall of fame, of that one legend who introduced Piano rock - that of Billy Joel himself.

April 18, 2006

Success is relative.

Nearly a decade back a quite popular advertisement took rounds on TV, which sought an answer to this question - "Hum kamate kyon hain (Why do we earn?) " And then precariously assuming that nobody could answer that question, the lead in the ad , with a mouth full of delicacies presented the obvious answer - "Khane ke liye ( To eat )". I bought that answer easily ten years back like any other high-school student for whom working and earning are two big words in themselves. But ten years down the line that answer seems to have lost its convincing touch.

I have never not even once I guess given a thought to why and what for am I working. Definitely my work pays for my bread and butter but unlike the prominence it had in that advertisement, earning my livelihood is not the prime and sole objective of working for me and likewise for others. Because today we don't work and earn only to eat, today we work and earn - to earn more than others, to get an edge over others in terms of financial security. For us pay packages now weigh more than the kind and quality of work they associate to. One has to work hard enough to maintain what s/he continues to earn and strive to look for better opportunities which pay more so that others are behind them in that rat race of eating more than what they can chew.

So, What amount should qualify as a limiting, respectable, good and complacent earning for anyone? Well the answer to this correlates somewhat to the definition of limit of functions and might look something like this with very slight modifications :

For every δ > 0 there should exist ε > 0 such that f (x) − L > ε
whenever x E D and 0 < |x − c| < δ.

Where ε and δ are as always real numbers, x defines your skill set, f(x) defines your expectant salary (which evidently is a function of your skill set). However very interesting are the numbers defined by L and c. L is the salary which others are getting and c represents their skill set. So what I've written above can be rephrased in simpler words as - The difference between the expectant package or cash one thinks one should get and what others are getting should always remain positive even though the difference between one's skill set and that of others can be negative at times.( If you remember the exact defintion of limits you can notice that the modulus has been removed from the first inequality in view of that.)

I guess what Eliot meant in his quote 'Success is relative' - that you are not successful unless you are more successful than others is a much simpler version of exactly the same idea what I am trying to put across here. But should that not be seen as a perptual and eternal effort on one's part. Because there's always someone ahead of you and someone behind you, which although projects a linear view instigating one to incessantly invest their efforts to reach the front end of it , only to realize that it is essentially behaving as a vicious circle.

~ Untill next time happy circular running !!

April 7, 2006

Obituary: Death of development

If at all I created an unrest amongst those money worshippers through my last post which proclaimed 500 bucks as not a torrential sum, I would like to present them with this and vindicate myself. I read this article today morning as I picked up TOI with due reluctance after a substantial time gap, only to find a budding parallelism between us (me and TOI) along with a surprise (ahh not again !!) of seeing others who think like me. But unlike me, their thinking has a very mammoth structure( kahan 500 aur kahan 1Cr !! ). Big difference isn't it.

As you might have read by now and even if not, the article says that its not surprising since
after all the Indian economy is booming. Most definitely. Because I can very proudly boast myself being somewhere at the center of the testimony to this statement. Who else if not for India's youth(and that too in IT industry) can be a proper witness to this boom. And for those who still disapprove of this - I would tell them that a Crore is now a middle class term, that even the service class people can now think of buying Mercedes, that luxury cars have kicked off Maruti 800 to the sub-urban roads, that people are prosperous even without worshipping Laxmi and yes that the sensex is moving under the pull of anti-gravity.

But does this all even make sense to those who will disapprove, to those who are completely untouched by this rapidly changing face of urban India, to those who are committing suicide
because of lack of money in a 'booming economy' - because for them a crore is something like a room full of currency notes, for them Mercedes is a car from another planet and Maruti 800 still qualifies as a 'Car' - some thing that runs on four wheels, for them money is just another manifestation of 'Laxmi' and sensex for them is maybe an abbreviation of sensual-sex.

I might be sounding pessimist, in trying to paste this all-groovy face of new India with an ugly and scraped one. But it remains an equally important yet ignored facet which we cannot override or run away from. Not disparaging the overall growth and development that India has achieved in a sudden burst of industrialization over a short period of time, but this evolution has segregated the population in a concerning manner. Rich have become more richer, poor more poorer that too to an extent of ending their lives because of poverty.

This disjoint set of people who have not been benefitted but rather infact exploited for the sake of development of another set is the one which actually needs to see the daylight of the enthusiastic achievements of India. 'Incomplete knowledge is dangerous' goes a popular saying, but I would say an incomplete and broken development which is not all round and that does not benefits all is perhaps more dangerous instead 'fatal'.

April 4, 2006

500+ and counting....

I could only imagine. Until I saw the page views of my blog crossing the 500 mark, today. Not as if I was waiting for it to write this post but the complacent feeling it has brought along is definitely no less than that of Kumble cracking his 500th Test wicket or that brokers watching the BSE index cutting-across the five-figure mark. Although unlike the hard earned joy of Kumble, mine has been earned relatively easier and sweat free.
And that kills my exultation.
It took him 16 long and patient years to achieve it. For me it took less than 90 days.
And that inhibits my triumph.
He earned millions on his way towards his 500th wicket. I earned zilch.
Someone I know, would be thinking at this point about this absurd analogy here.... so fine no more comparison of oranges and apples. I rest my case.

But, looking in depth to this crossing of 500 mark revealed no such great achievement on my part. Since a very significant percentage of total views came from the nano-audience of my blog which comprises of very specific two or three or maybe four regular visitors ( including me !). However, the diversity of people from about ten politically separated geographical boundaries who contributed in whatever way to take this count where it is today, is something truly pacifying for me. Sadly, though none of them were regular.

Out of these 500 hits on my blog, I guess even half of them cannot qualify as proper visits because people came looking for the new posts day after day while I wasn't even near to any thought of updating my blog, resulting in an uncalled increase in the hit count of my page. For the very same reason in fact I personally avoid hustling around on the blogs and in the process invoke the site meter attached to them. Instead I subscribe to the XML/RSS feeds from the blog sites which I like to visit again for the new updates. This way I stave off from visiting the site unnecessarily and also remain informed about any new posts on them automatically.

In the very first place when I started writing, there was no intention of mine to trace my visitors and keep count of how many of them walked through my blog page. Slowly yet quite fast I realized that most of the blog owners have used one or the other way to do so, compelling me to abide by that unsaid and unwritten code of conduct. But seriously it goes beyond my comprehension to visualize those bloggers as neo-narcissists who on one hand try to convince themselves of their popularity by looking at their visitor stats and on the other - talk altruism. Quintessential Hypocrites !.

Whatever it be, as a no-earner, 500 bucks used to be a big figure not long back - it still is but has lost its grandeur. I think its just a matter of clock hands before I make myself more accustomed once and for all to this hit count business and not be intrigued by any such 'breaking-news'.