Wednesday, November 17, 2010

CDS

Can someone explain

  1. How is Credit Default Swap different than gambling?
  2. How is Credit Default Swap different than insurance?

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Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Kashmir's freedom fighter's are India's terrorists?

शाहीदों की मज़ारों पर लगेंगे हर बरस मेले,
वतन पे मिटने वालों का बाकी निशान होगा.
Carnivals will be held on our graves every year,
That's all that will be left of us, when we die for our land.

Kashmir's problem cannot be solved with guns and talks. The Indians, Pakistanis and the whole world knows about it.
India says, "The problem is created by terrorists who have come over the border". But when we see photos of Srinagar, Anantnag, Baramulla & Kupwara on the internet; why do we always see boys between the age of 15 and 25, fighting on the streets with stones in their hands against the Indian Army with guns in their hands? I can hardly believe that it is just a cross border issue. We need to understand "what does a Kashmiri want?"
A Kashmiri doesn't want freedom from India or Pakistan, all he wants is the security to live peacefully in his land and the right to earn his bread. He doesn't want to live in the fear of a terrorist or an army. Kasmhir doesnt want to be with India or Pakistan, Kashmir wants land for all Kashmiris where everyone can live with pride. Where is the pride today?
The Indian army has special rights in Kashmir and can call in anyone for questioning, then interrogate without any report and the special rights to the army allows it to get inside anyone's house without any warrant. How different is the Indian army in Kashmir when compared to the American Army in Iraq and Afghanistan?
How can we have different law for one state in India and a different law for the other state? If Kashmir is part of India shouldn't we have a single law everywhere? Why can't other state origin people buy land in Kashmir? Now when someone protests either they are taken in to custody or are killed or are labeled "terrorists". Terrorists or Freedom Fighters?
I am not against the Indian army, they are just doing their duty. I am against the Indian Government's policies of having different law for Kashmiris and different law for rest of India. I am totally against the law which helps / protects / terrorizes / threatens one specific set of people. The government creates a divide and when a Kashmiri youth, mother or father protests about it, they are labeled Terrorists or Vandals or Anti India Violent Actors.
In the last 2 weeks 75 people have died in the Kashmir valley and if India wants to blame Pakistan for it then shame on India, Indian Government, Kashmir Government and the Indian Army. And calling the kids as terrorists because they were throwing stones at you is disgrace!!!
May be only a revolution in Kashmir can change the way we look at the Kashmiris.

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Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Book Review - Between the Assassinations

This is Arvind Adiga's 2nd book and it is as dark, sorrowful, true & full of imagination as his first book. It is a collection of short stories based in a small town in South West of India; starting in 1984 & with the the last story ending in 1990. Hence the name of the book "Between the Assassinations of Indira Gandhi & Rajiv Gandhi".
The stories have nothing at which someone can smile or laugh at but yes very imaginative. (I like reading happy books). If you come from a very small town in India (which is in one of the "beemaru" (sick) states of India) then you can relate to the plights of the people shown in the book. Few of the things shown with great imaginative power of Adiga are
  • How the people of this town struggle to buy a piece of bread everyday but still want to live with pride
  • How people from villages come here, sleep on streets, work as bus conductors and pray to become big one day
  • How a teacher wishes his student can win a medal from the president of India which he missed
  • How a political party worker remains loyal to his party's work for many years and falls in love when he is in his middle age
Few things which Adiga missed and as an Indian reader I would have liked to see in the book are
  • The impact of Indira Gandhi's death to the small town
  • Impact of the congress victory in 1984 elections
  • Impact of The Bofors scandal
  • Impact of the rise of terrorism in Punjab & Kashmir
  • Impact of the civil war between LTTE and Sri Lankan government. Failure of IPKF.
  • Impact of Janta Party's victory in 1989 elections
Yes Adiga does mention few of these in the book, but I was thinking if this book is between 1984 & 1991, then a terrorist would come and hide in this town and would become a driver or gardener of a landlord. Or the political leader of this town would get caught in the Bofors Scandal and that would bring immense pressure on his family.
I mean it lacked that punch but then that is me. You can buy it from Amazon where 2nd hand copies are being sold for as less as £1. (And that is also me!)

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Wednesday, July 14, 2010

10 rules England must follow to win the 2018 world cup !!!

1. Win the bid

We are bidding for the 2018 world cup & after all the controversies, FA should go ahead and bid for the world cup. Our best chance to win the world cup is when we play at home, that’s what the statistics say. We have the richest league on the planet and some of the players too, we should use all these resources to become the host country. Good Luck!

2. Enjoy your football

English footballers need to play football without any pressure. Media or personal pressure should be zero when they walk on the field. They should go out there and enjoy the sport. Forget about winning or losing; just play because you love the game.

And Wayne Bridge, get over it, Terry was having an affair with your ex girl friend not your girlfriend. It all comes down to the lady, is it not? The WAGs will spoil the party even if they are not invited! That’s how powerful the WAGs are…

3. Learn to dive at the slightest touch

If Andrés Iniesta had not dived, Heitinga would not have been sent off, Netherlands would have been 11 men and Iniesta might not have scored the goal. But he dived at the slight touch on the shoulder….

Sometimes it is SMART and not CHEAP when you dive and get a penalty and win matches. The world will not remember what you did but your fans will remember that you got the penalty. Drogba, Ronaldo & Rivaldo can be our coaches.

4. FA must abolish the crappy league tournaments

Carling Cup? Who cares about Carling Cup these days? FA must understand that there is no need of increasing the number of games these players play. Football Clubs should also try and save the player’s legs. Asking players like Lampard, Rooney, Gerrard to play around 60 games in a year is just too much. And if a player like Rooney is carrying an injury you give him injections and send him on the field. That’s just ridiculous. Don’t kill the players please.

5. Do not touch the ball when you are not 100% fit

The players & managers should decide if that player is needed for just 1 match or for the rest of the season? If a player is injured he should take rest & nurture his injury, so that he can come back. Rooney broke his foot and was back playing for United against Byren Munich in a week. Too much pressure on the body will make it crack. Don't kill players, make them play when they can.

6. Increase the number of English players playing in English clubs

There are too many foreign players playing in the top English clubs. Arsenal, United, Chelsea & Liverpool have around 80% of the players from foreign countries. (AC Milan didn’t have a single Italian in the 11 when they won the This doesn’t help the English players. The English players will learn from the best players from the world when they play against them and not sit on the benches when the foreign players fight out for the English Premier League. There should be a rule to have a maximum of 4 foreign players on the pitch from a club.

The Spanish team had 7 players from Barcelona & 4 from Real Madrid in the starting line up of the finals. Now we have players from teams as low as 17th in the league (Green & Upson from West Ham United) & our best goalie is from the team placed 20th in the league.
Cant we have more players from the top 3-4 teams? We cannot because the top 3-4 teams have foreign players. :-(

7. FA must ask the players to relax from 15th December to 15th January.

No football. Stay with your family. Well its Christmas & new years’ time; so stay home with your kids. Relax, take time off from football. Go on a vacation to some hot place for a week and then come back early January and start training again. This will recharge the batteries and small injuries will get some rest. But with players playing 38 matches in Premiership, FA cup & Carling Cup, where is the bloody rest?

8. The top two leagues Premiership & Championship to be broken down into three leagues

The top two leagues Premiership & Championship have around 44 teams in total. Make it 3 leagues with 15 teams each. The new leagues - 1, 2, 3 will become more competitive teams. The standard of game between the best & the worst teams will not be miles apart.
It also means that the players will have to play 28 matches in the league and that gives them more time to rest between games, a longer summer break & a 1 month winter break. I really think that is the need of the hour.

9. Ask Capello to remain as the coach

Yes please. He has done wonders with the players, team discipline, WAGS, media personnel & helped England qualify easily for the 2010 world cup. I would also say this easy qualification added to the pressure on the players. May be he wont be able to do wonders in 2018, but if he stays for another 2 years, he might bring good culture in the dressing room which will help character building of the English players. So FA stick around with the Italian.

10. Pray on the night before the match

Well it might not help the performance of the players on the field but you never know. I guess there was some divine intervention when someone flashed the camera light in the referee's & linesman's eyes and Lampard's goal was disallowed. May be the German's did pray.

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Saturday, June 12, 2010

BP, Oil, America & Other blah issues

BP's been spilling out oil since past few weeks and we have a village festival all across the shores of Mexican Gulf. According to data on Wikipedia there have been bigger oil related accidents in history.

Why is it that this oil spill has been made as if we have the third world war has broken out and we have all the multinational companies on one side and the rest of the world on the other side?

What I think this disaster is different than one of the other recent disasters (say in last 20 — 30 years) is that those disasters were not close to the American Borders; America wasn't directly profiting directly through it?

Also I feel that the media today hypes up everything. News is made and sold these days. Create a controversy, run behind it for days, then when the person retaliates you say "how dare he!" that's where you bring in all the cameras and journalists. Who killed Lady Diana? Accident?

I also think that the Environmental groups have too many rights and they act as if the environment is run by them. GreenPeace might say this tomorrow, “This is how much the earth's temperature must be”, “This is the amount of CO2”, “There must be these many number of trees” and “the oceans must have these many gallons of water and this many kilos of fish”. The Green people decide everything. Not the sun or moon. It was the coldest winter in Britain, blame China, North Korea, Iran & yes now add BP to that list.

Why is OPEC telling the world how much oil must be pumped out of earth every day? I say pump out as much oil as you can, when the oil gets over we will have new source of energy to run our cars and bikes. They said that “the world’s electricity will get over if coal gets over”, we found Hydro & Nuclear power to generate electricity. Why ration oil? That has made the world thirsty for more oil. Every news and war is now fought over, “I want more oil”. The sooner we get over with all the oil in the world the better!

Coming back to the BP & media issue. Today, we have so much information in our hands that it is very easy to make you feel bad; so feel bad o humans.

Accidents happen. Don't beat your chest about it. Don't blame the British Government & American Government for it. First things first the American Government should

1. Ask BP to stop the oil
2. Save the shores.
3. US Government should support BP in all ways to stop the oil flow
4. Once the oil flow has been stopped
a. Tell them to compensate the fishermen
b. Tell them to follow rules. If needed make new ones for companies which have broken the rules before.
What about the people who died? Will the insurance company pay them? Or does BP have obligation towards them? What about people who were injured? What about people who were just shocked? They might have nightmares every day for next 10 years. They might never want to work on an oil rig, what about their jobs? Do you still tell them, "no work, no pay"?

These are more difficult questions to be answered than just shout slogans against BP.

BP might just say "with every project there is an insurance company involved don't blame me. I want to pump oil, for any compensation go talk to the insurance people", but instead it is now trying to stop oil flow and avert a disaster. I think this kind of accident never happened before and BP is learning a lot of things by going through this.

Does standing with banners outside every BP petrol station help the cause of the worker on the oil rig? That won't help the moral of the poor guy who works 12 hour shifts at the petrol station.

Just fed up with how countries and organisations fight with each other. The world has now become like a school playground and every kid loves fighting with the other.

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Thursday, May 20, 2010

Why my love?

  • Why does my wife spend half an hour brushing teeth & putting cream before going to bed? You are going to sleep darling and not going out.
  • Why does my wife ask me every night "which shirt are you going to wear tomorrow"? The one I see first in the wardrobe, it's really doesn't matter as long as it is ironed and has all buttons my love. And if I don't wear the shirt of her choice she doesn't like it. Well from tomorrow, you can choose my shirt & iron it!
  • Why does my wife have 14 pairs of shoes and needs a new pair every time she buys a dress? "Ah a new dress and now I need just a nice pair of shoes to match the dress." I have never seen a man buy a pair of shoes which match his blue striped shirt!
  • Why does my wife have a clutch bag? It's so small that it can't hold more than 3 things, eyeliner, lipstick & lipgloss. And then, "darling can you please keep my cellphone, keys & hairbrush with you?" Why should I? They don't fit in your bag doesn't mean I have to carry it. Well after buying a clutch bag, the next visit to the high street means "I need to buy a big bag, that is fashion". Can you please decide if you need a small bag or a large bag? :P
  • Why does my wife do the not so necessary cleaning and keep the stuff in places that we cannot find? Wife: "Let me clean up and organise the stuff in your wardrobe" Me: "ok" Next morning, "where are all my socks gone? Why do I have my ironed shirts folded? Where are my ties?" is she trying to hide my stuff or help me organise stuff? Sometimes I cant even leave the stapler on the study table because the table must be free when someone needs it. Me: "Well no one is using it now", She: " I might use it any time", Me : "Do you want to do something on the table?". She: "NO!". Me : "Then why do you want it clean?". She "Because I might use the table. he he he he he... "
  • Why does my wife need my pillow cover to match her pillow cover? Me: "I am going to keep my head on it and sleep my love not "wear" it. Also, you don't see the pillow cover after the lights are out, what's the point?" She: "What is the point of watching football?" She has a point here!
  • Why does she say that I must cut my nails on Tuesday and Friday only? What if I chew my nails? What if the match is a nail biting finish? When England won the 20-20 world cup, I didn't have nail then! What a waste of nails!

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Tuesday, April 27, 2010

You have to work...

The worst thing about working is going to work & the best thing is the day they pay your salary. :-)
Well actually I hate my journey these days and so I am quite peed-off that I have to go to work.

This is my morning schedule:
  • Get up at 6:15
  • Come out of the bathroom at 6:35
  • Get ready by 6:40
  • Throw breakfast down my throat in 5 minutes
  • Get out of the house at 6:50.
  • I always keep few extra minutes in my hand, just in case.
  • Bike to the station & reach at 7:05.
  • Train leaves Cambridge station at 7:15.
  • Reach King's Cross at 8:05.
  • Take Northern Line from King's Cross to London Bridge & then the jubilee line to canary wharf.
  • Reach office at 8:35-8:40. To do all this in time I need to iron my clothes in the night & keep them ready.
If anything is not in place, I am sure to reach office late and the rush in the London underground is worse than the Bombay Locals.
If I reach late it also means that I might have to leave office late. And then the whole day is a mess.
Many a times the modern Jubilee Line doesn't work and I just hate it! To get in the Jubilee Line train there are 2 doors and each has to work perfectly. What if anyone doesn't operate? PROPER MESS! Canary Wharf station at 8.30 AM and 5.00 PM is like India. No one is polite and everyone is in a hurry!
The travel time these days to the client office is around 1hour 45 minutes, one way ,door to door and I don't mind the time, the problem is changing trains. I just hate it. I feel so tired when I reach office that I don't feel like starting work.
And if I work at my office on Liverpool Street then it's 1:30 door to door, with no changes and I can study or work on the train for an hour.
As one of my club-mates pointed out few days back. It's becoming mechanical now; wake up, eat, journey from Cambridge to Canary Wharf, work, journey back home, eat, sleep, wake up, eat...
But I do look forward to Trupti's cooking every evening. :-)
Right now I am very eager for the 3 day weekend and looking forward to having fun with Sehaj & Pavit. :-)
Had a great vacation in Morocco but I need more rest. ;-)
On the train again going back home! Such is life, when you are unemployed, you want to work 8 hrs a day. And when you start working you look forward to vacations. But if you want to have your vacations and spend money, then you have to work...

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Monday, April 12, 2010

Survived the Winters

Flowers at Cherry Hinton Road
My neighbour's Cherry Blossom tree
My neighbour's Cherry Blossom tree
These were the harshest winters in England since the invention of V8 engines and I survived them. Being here and going through the pain of winter weather for 3 whole months was an amazing feeling, thank you very much; I don't want that feeling any more. I mean ever in my life!
So when I went to my local super market on Saturday morning, I could stop admiring the spring flowers.
The temperatures touched 15 deg C this weekend and guess what did the Brits do? Removed their clothes, got sun burnt & fired up coal for their barbecues. Not a bad sight at all. :-)
Look forward to the summer weather and some bank holidays. ;-)

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Sunday, March 14, 2010

State of hockey in Pakistan & India

I live in England now and have realised why dont India & Pakistan do well in hockey anymore. Asian teams haven't done great in this Hockey World Cup, Pakistan finished 12th, India finished 8th & Korea Finished 6th...

This is the difference...
  • My Town
I live in Cambridge & hockey is quite popular here. Cambridge being a university town supports lots of competitive matches amongst colleges. There are kids from the age of 5 to the age of 50 year old veterans who play hockey. Mixed hockey, men’s hockey & women’s hockey are all equally popular.
  • Number of Turfs
The town has around 10-12 turfs. All these turfs are sand filled turfs and not water filled turfs. They are cheaper to install & maintenance of the turf is cheaper.
  • Who provides the turf?
Some turfs are installed by the local council and some by private schools. The turfs installed in most private schools are of great quality (but not world class level). So clubs hire them after school hours.
  • How many clubs in my town?
There are around 3 big clubs in Cambridge town and 10 small clubs outside the Cambridge city area (in villages). Each club has around 3-4 men’s teams and 2-3 women’s teams. Big clubs like Cambridge City Hockey Club have more teams. Cambridge University also has around 5 (men’s & women’s) teams and they play in the English Hockey league as well.
  • How many Teams in my club
There are 4 men’s teams & 2 women’s teams. The best team plays in the 3rd league & 2nd best team in the 4th league and so on. There are 12 teams in each league.
  • When does the season start?
The season starts in the last weekend of September & end in the last weekend of March. 6 months of proper competitive hockey. We played 11 home matches & 11 away matches. The teams in the league are chosen in such a way that any team doesn’t have to travel 100 miles on a given day.
  • How many leagues? How many teams in each league?
England hockey leagues are segmented in 4 zones. NORTH, SOUTH, EAST, WEST. Each zone is then segregated into sub zones.
I play in the South Zone. And in the south zone my league is in North West division. I play in the 4th division of South Zone (NW Division). There are 12 teams in my league.
So if you can imagine there around 60 leagues running at the same time in England. The number of people playing hockey every weekend is around 8500. (60 leagues X 12 teams X 12 members of each team).
So there is an enormous pool of players from which the best 15 players can be chosen to represent England in the world level tournaments. Imagine this thing happening in Pakistan or India?
  • What does the club do during off season?
In off season; that is from April to September, we play evening mixed hockey & friendly matches with local teams. This keeps the team fit & also helps ourselves play some amount of competitive (& fun filled ) hockey.
  • How does England deliver a good team every year?
Look at the number of people who play regular competitive hockey every year. Getting 11 best players who can represent from that pool isn’t difficult.
  • And why can't India deliver that kind of team?
There are not many Astros. The state governments don’t have any plans to set up Astros. The city commissioners don’t have any budget for sports. Not enough tournaments (forget about the leagues). No proper training has been given to coaches. No proper training to umpires.
There are not enough players from where you can choose the best 11. A pool of 100 players is needed, from where the world level 11 players can be chosen.
Aussies use GPRS to see how each player’s movement was when the game started from the 16 yard line. Pakistani or Indian coaches haven’t even imagined about the existence of such a thing!
There is no motivation for Indian players to do well. There is no fun in hockey any more. You need to enjoy hockey to keep yourself motivated.
Also no one knows the quality of players selected to represent India, there is no formal process. How do you decide these players are good enough to represent India if there aren't any competitive competitions?
1000 different reasons of recent failure.
Fingers must be pointed at the Government of India, Sports Ministry, Sport Authority of India, Hockey federation of India and Hockey Federations of each state for the abysmal performance.
Very frustrated and sad about the state of hockey in Pakistan & India.

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Thursday, February 18, 2010

Organisations take care of "their own people" only...

We all know how "Apple" brings the best products to the market and how they have changed the MP3 players market and the smartphone market. You can now watch live sports on you phone. I watched the Manchester United VS Inter Milan match on my phone in HQ.


I had an iPod shuffle and it stopped working few weeks back. I had been using it for around 2 years now.
So when I went to the Apple store in Cambridge and asked if they can repair it or I need to buy a new one? They looked into the problem and said "Why don't you buy a new one? New one will cost you £60 with 2 year warranty and repairing the old one will cost you £45 with 1 year warranty."
I thought it was not a bad deal and I bought a new one.
So these guys at the Apple store insisted that I should give them the old one and they can recycle it for me. Save the planet. Brilliant idea! They also said that they won't give me a paper receipt but would email me the receipt. Apple wants to save the planet & paper is made from trees. They want to save the planet,etc etc. Very very impressive.
But when you cross the apple store in the night, you find all the 15", 20", 30", computers switched on.


Photo 1 - All the iPods and iPhones are running a screen saver.
Well isn't that using power? Isn't that adding to the carbon foot print?

video

What I feel is that all the corporates act in the same way. Make rules, policies, guidelines which suit yourself & forget the customer. Promote what you want to and ask your customer to get involved in it, make him sign up for some promotion activity & then take a totally different stand when the customer is not there. Absolutely hypocrisy! No one actually cares about the planet.
Another incident with my colleague.
He's got an American Express card and gathered tons of points on it. He thought of converting it into British Airways miles and book tickets on BA for his family. Conversion of points done, booking of flight tickets done, booking of holiday done & everyone is happy.
But BA lost 4 tickets which someone else would have booked. It looked like BA made a loss of £2000 on this deal with American Express. My colleague gets a call the next day and BA said "We cannot honour your points, please talk to Amex".
Now he has a holiday booked but without any flights. All he wanted to do is have a nice relaxed holiday, and all he gets is pain in the wrong place. He has been calling Amex & BA everyday trying to sort the issue.
My question is "do the big organizations really care about "their people" (read customers) or are they bothered only about "their own people" (read share holders)?
We all know the answer don't we?

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Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Valentine's Day Gift

Well aaj kal Internet ka zamaana hai so I thought why not dedicate a Valentine's Day post as gift for my wife ;)

1. Random Item relocation
When I wanted to shift some stuff from my wardrobe to the suitcase it was done as she wanted. It looks very organised but if I want to find something I need to ask her. "where is my blue check shirt and the tie?" she " it is in the grey suitcase and in the left side, below your sweater" now is she hiding things from me or she is organising them so that I can find it easily?

2. She’s Late for Everything
Well not everything but she is sometimes late. If being on time is what I like then being relaxed, then taking it easy is what she likes. She isn't late for movies but late for my hockey matches, parties, grocery shopping, clothes shopping, & other normal stuff.
These days she asks me 24 hours before, "What time are we leaving home? Tell me the exact time, I dont want you to put pressure on myself in the last moment" & the new strategy is "you get ready 2 hrs before schedule and that adds pressure, so get ready on time & not early !!" can't argue to this!

3. The Amount of Stuff She Has In Her Bag
Face wash, hand wash, cream for face, cream for lips, cream for hands, etc.... Then hair brush, make up touch up kit (no it's not a make up kit), perfume, Keys (millions of them), office entrance card..
Me "hey can you please keep my wallet in your bag?"
She "sorry I have space only to keep my hair straightener, cant keep your wallet!"

4. She’s Always Attached to Her iPhone
I have no comments please see the video.

video

Having 30 games on an iPhone may be addictive but she might have very strong wrists very soon.

5. Perfect Memory (Selective)
  • I still remember what you did in the summer of 2004.
  • You were not nice to me when we were living in that house.
  • Think of how you treated me in 2006.
  • Remember how you treated me in front of my friends?

6. All Things Technical Are Unimportant

INSTANCE1
  • She "so this is your new hockey bat?"
  • Me "it's not a bat but a hockey stick"
  • She "OK Mr. Perfect whatever, hockey stick, how much did it cost?"
  • Me "£150"
  • She "WHAT??? to hit the ball with a stick on the ground you spent £150?"
  • Me "it's a grays 6000 stick, one of the best in the world, got a nice bow, helps me in putting in aerial balls"
  • She "don't give me technical terms! I can't believe it cost that much"
  • Me "GULP!!!"

INSTANCE 2
  • She "the brakes on my bike don't work"
  • Me "they r disc brakes and they need to be replaced with normal brakes"
  • She "no need to get too technical, please make my brakes work"
  • Me "need to find what is the size of your wheels, then remove your old brakes, find if there is some space to attach the new brakes and then I can say that your bike's brakes are fixed"
  • she "I can never rely on you to do my stuff. you wont even make my bike's brakes work"
  • me "forget the brakes, buy a new bike !"
  • she "disc brakes one or a normal brakes one?"
  • me "GULP !!! GULP !!!"

Well all said and done. she makes my heart beat (and sometimes even skip a beat), she is the best cook, she cracks the best jokes, she is a good athlete, she is good swimmer & she is my wife.

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Sunday, January 10, 2010

Burj Khalifa - do we need it?


The world's tallest building, 7 star hotel, world in the sea, palm hotel, etcetera. Do we really need these infrastructure projects in Dubai? In fact does Dubai need it?
There was this spectacular ceremony for the opening of a 900 meter tall building (I call it a purposeless monument) and the opening ceremony was attended by special guests from the Western world & royals of middle east Asia but don't they understand that other than them, no one else can afford to live in that building.



Checkout the opening ceremony video done on money borrowed from cousins.
Dubai is all desert & some oil. I really don't understand why do they keep building these 7 star hotels, huge malls, huge buildings & ice skating arenas in the desert? These things attract only the rich, but the middle class junta want jobs & decent food.
Dubai today is based on the perception that "what could ever go wrong here?" but my question to the royals of Dubai is "What are the assumptions or perceptions under which Dubai might or might not fall down?" No I don't want Dubai to fall, but "do the rulers of Dubai know if their planning about the future of Dubai is correct or wrong?".
It is a city giving employment to many Indians & Pakistanis who send a lot of money back home. If Dubai falls their dreams fall and may be in some cases even families back home might have to take severe actions.
Another issue I want to bring forward is that the Sheikhs & rulers of Dubai need to see that for the survival of Dubai they need more capital everyday & they need source of constant revenue generation. But where will they get the money from? No one is buying any property in Dubai. Dubai doesn't have any oil. There are no new investors (except cousins Abu Dhabi). And on top of all there is no real asset being created which will help in the growth of the nation. In simple words a long term vision is missing for a stable economic survival of a nation.
What about setting up industry there? Why haven't the royals of UAE thought about that? It's totally their view & idea what they want Dubai to become "a tourist destination", "a hotel", "a financial capital of middle east Asia" or "a developed and stable economy". Israel sends fruits and vegetables to Europe and is in the same climate as UAE, can't the government of UAE develop its agriculture industry like that? Can't they develop some date fruit farms for some other industry other than tourism & construction?
It is time that they start thinking differently before they world start taking them differently....

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Wednesday, January 06, 2010

How to stay motivated while job hunting

Many people have said “If you are unemployed then getting a job is a job in itself”, so very true. In 2005 – 2006 (ah those were the times!), for an IT professional shifting from one job to another was very easy and opportunities were standing at your door step (if you were good enough!). But today being just good doesn’t help getting a new job.
Keep looking for the right job
People need to understand that getting the job which you love and have passion for is very important, so do not get tired of searching for it. If you were a programmer or Business Analyst in the Healthcare sector then getting a job in Healthcare would be much easier than getting a job in the Travel & Tourism industry. But currently there are far less new projects being started by companies and it means that if you are an IT worker & out of job, then getting a new job is difficult.
Please don’t apply to a job because it is advertised, you saw it in your inbox. Ask yourself, “If by chance I do get an interview call, how will I answer the questions from a sector in which I have zero experience?” If you have the answer for that, go ahead and apply, otherwise it is probably best to move on and keep looking.
Keep working on your skills
Don’t just Google & apply for jobs, use this precious time as an opportunity to sharpen your skills or work on those skills which you were planning to learn when you were employed. IT skills can be given a boost by doing a certification course or a project management course or even a soft skills course like time management or public speaking. Or even something completely different like wind surfing or learning the guitar! If you are in the finance sector look at the FSA website everyday & try to find out, “What would I, as a Business Analyst in a financial institution, do with this new FSA Consulting Paper?”. Finance consultants can also use this time to learn statistical tools like MATLAB or SAS. Once you are in a job you would have to do the work your boss asks you to do and then work pressure never allows you to enhance your skills. And never forget that the ultimate goal is to get the right job, which you can make a career out of.
Quickly make yourself busy after you hear a bad news
With so many people being unemployed, the competition for the same job has gone up & the employer has a choice of choosing from a much larger pool of candidates. Attending a 3rd or 4th round of interview is becoming common now. Also, there are more rejections for a single post. So after hearing application rejection news you can:
  1. go to YouTube and see a kid laughing or a kid’s funny dance
  2. watch the news
  3. watch Slumdog Millionaire or Shawshank Redemption (or similar uplifting movie)
  4. watch the football match
The idea is to divert your mind from the bad news & just move ahead. Ask yourself “Do I have any choice other than looking ahead?”
Make personal contacts
Recruitment consultants always try to place those candidates whom they find would get placed pretty quickly. After all everyone’s got a mortgage to pay!
You can look at those companies whom you think might require your expertise, contact the HR directly and pitch yourself; maybe they might like your ideas and skill strengths. Ask your club mates if they know someone who can help you find a job. Meet new people and discuss your CV with them, you never know someone might say “Hey you know what I have a friend who owns/works in XYZ company, would you be interested to meet him?” There is no harm in telling someone “I am not employed and I need your help”. Most people understand the current economic climate & are ready to help.
The most important thing is that you must have faith in yourself. If you were good enough earlier, it means you are good enough now; it’s just the time that is bad. Maybe 6 months after getting a job you would laugh at those unemployed days and say “Blimey! I caught up on a lot of movies; as many as I have seen in all my life!”

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