Wednesday, December 30, 2009

A Day When God Spoke

Hard to believe why I’m so far away , Surely be a reason for this delay.

Have a lot of questions which make me feel humble,

In you I trust, as you help the one’s who tremble.

Life never comes easy, gives hardships in plenty,

Makes one look feeble and laughs out its disparity.

You are in everything that ones eye can ever see,

In limitless sky, in spiritual tree, in man’s benevolence and in flights of the free.

But when can I experience your presence?

When can I bow down at your feet?

Please tell me father, have a heavy heart to weep.

One day I got the perfect news, had done the unthinkable,

I had scaled the mountain of knowledge, till then unfathomable.

Then I felt his presence, whispering through the wind he said,

“I am in your courage; I am in your undying dream,

I am your mom’s scolding, and even in your pen’s stream.

“I am the spark that lights your rationality,

I am embedded in your thoughts and morality.”

That’s the day I intend never to forget,

For he had spoken in the language of fervor and intent.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Can Our Politicians Be Rated?

In India listed companies are rated by various agencies like CRISIL,ICRA, CARE etc. These agencies scrutinize the firms on various aspects, like their management, their style of work or their capital base.The firms naturally are expected to perform well in these parameters failing which they attract negative publicity which may drive away investments and ultimately lead to their downfall. So frims are made accountable for the business decisions and have to perform well inorder to maintain or raise their ratings.
I was wondering whether such a system of accountability can be applied to our poilitical system.I agree that citizens are the ones who must appoint the politicians.But sometimes citizens can err in choosing a right candidate.Most people have a preference for a particular party beacuse they feel its ideologies are matching their own and that there have been many politicians in that party who have really worked for the people's betterment. This can be termed as ignorant quite simply because the person whom you are voting might not have the calibre or the intellect to carry forward the baton which his former party workers had carried.
Why can't we have an autonomous body which can ensure that the political parties are kept on their toes by constantly updating their popularity charts.Rating them on different parameters namely economics, poverty alleviation, price stability, crime rates etc. Such an initiative should be backed by an act of parliament which will give the agency an autonomy to carry out its research and analysis. To make the agency transparent, distinguished personalities as well as the common man should be appointed in its core committe.To keep it stain free politicians and their clan must not be allowed to participate in its proceedings.Being an agency of the people,by the people and for the people it should be well supported by the political parties by voluntarily disclosing their achievements and their shortfalls.
All this will ensure that whenever a person visits the polling booth to exercse his/her franchise they are aware of the background of the candidate,his qualification and experience.Media has a great role to play in this, by updating people about the performance of politicians and parties on a weekly basis it can truely be it's worth.Debates can be arranged among party heads based on the findings of this agency and this will definitley ensure that the wheels of democracy are moving in the right direction.
Hope my idea materialises and if not,atleast makes the people reading this article aware of their duty to do their homework before they caste their vote.

Friday, December 11, 2009


(Hello friends! This post relates to my first brief stint with Kotak Mahindra Bank as a sales executive and how it compares with the latest installation of Yashraj Banner) After graduating the first thing I did was to search for a job.The hype created in my class coupled with a desire to gain some experience was too much of a temptation. So here is a comparison between Rocket Singh and my first job. I got a call from a placement agency which gave me the license to enter a full fledged Bank (Guys reading Vipul Prakashan text books get such distorted thinking) . Went through 2 rounds of interview and encountered two women who would play key roles in this passage.Cleared both the rounds with ease so was hoping for a positive response from them.Rocket Singh- Shimit Amin's take on sales field is very descriptive and well written and gives you an idea of sales and how it's the number that matters there. Ranbir Kapoor plays a sardar who has only sales as his career option. So he gives an interview to a very gothic looking boss who grills him in all possible ways .His boss takes him, though very reluctantly. This situation was very different from mine as my boss was showing a uncanny eagerness to have me. I was put through a training period of one and a half months wherein I had to learn how to call up account holders and make them aware about the kinda unique facilities offered by our bank.But Mr Singh is pushed into action from day one and has to meet up with clients and seal the order before others do. Training the most important part is neglected and Ranbir desperately tries to crack his first deal. Only to be let down by his conscience which withholds him from bribing a Co. official. I am sitting in my office and waiting for my boss to make us learn some new things. Her cell keeps ringing and I keep waiting. This continues for about a week. Patience is a pre-requisite for sales. Still the hype of first job continues.
So after having spent my training period virtually doing nothing it was time for me to start my tele calling job. After some days of calling I did come across the fact that this job is not for the faint hearted.
Convincing a customer by following the rule book is one thing and getting the job done is another. I did come across a feeling that the company is selling its product without any customer knowledge and research. Mumbaikars are not really known for their patience and it became more evident when they would interrupt me and ask “is this for a credit card facility?” So in order to survive I would have to bend some rules and shorten my pitch. Mr. Singh realizes that being honest is definitely not for salesman like him but this realisation comes only after he screws up a contract with a big firm. This gets his bosses pissed off and they are ready to nail the final coffin to his amateur career. He is reduced to a tele- caller and all that he does is to dodge rockets being thrown at him by his work colleagues who are burden with double sales targets due to Mr. Singh’s misadventures.
My boss was really having a torrid time handling the system failure and of relationship managers not achieving their targets. Having no phone lines working and with a poorly integrated banking software frustration was creeping in. In the mean time my targets were getting overachieved and I was subsequently rewarded with a lot of encouraging words from my boss. No monetary rewards as incentives are not given in Kotak Bank. Much to the dismay of other employees -all women .No disrespect to the fairer sex but ladies don’t like competition and definitely not in their home ground of tele calling. Mr. Singh’s colleagues were more expressive and action oriented and openly displayed their dislike to this new fellow. My colleagues were more subdued because of constant rocket attacks targeted at them from my boss. Though they were in true sense devils I sometimes felt bad for them, especially when our super boss used to hurl abuses at them. This was the movement when I realized that we are only mere mortals and that if were to reply than it would have to be from our deeds. Sense of authority was overcooked by my super boss and she used to cross her lines too often. Such incidents were not covered in Rocket Singh. With Ranbir Kapoor as the salesman how can a super boss with a fake mustache take over?
The problem with systems persisted and I along with my friend was suddenly sent to our corporate office .So after a torrid commute and after scaling to the top floor of that office building we got a big shock. The systems there would not support our data .So it was like all the efforts gone down the drain. So instead of coming back to my office I just came back home. Truly pissed off and greatly disturbed the bull inside me was banking the ground with anger. This was the start of a new cold war which had me and my boss at loggerheads. Next day my boss was at my back and she wanted an explanation. I had more than that in store for her as I took out my frustration on her. Pinpointing her undoing’s I refused to accept her explanation on work procedures and rules. Mr Singh was more humble in his approach and decided to stay mum even after his super boss calls him a zero. Any self respecting person would argue at that point but not Mr. Singh. Come on! Youngsters don’t take abuses quietly at least not in our generation.