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10th-Apr-2009 10:06 am - Case for the fenced in

The name of the American corporate game is consolidation. Each retail behemoth was an erstwhile tiny regional player which later made it big.

If the American centre really wanted to walk into a dinghy ill lit mom n pop store they would have done so.

We're asked to lament the death of local flavour. Local flavour defined by hard of hearing grandpas and out of date inventory is quite difficult to truly miss. In fact I would hold that local flavour even merits the smallest iota of consideration because the big boys have actually set the bar so high that we now want to feel some discomfort to truly appreciate the joy of then walking into a plush store with well presented merchandise and snappy customer service.

What small businesses should be doing is getting big or cashing out when the going is good. There's no point running aground during an economic down cycle and then having to sell out at a depressed price.

I don't consider myself a capitalist pig. I just feel that if you as a businessperson cannot figure out your niche and also figure out a way to stay put in it, then you have failed as a business person.

To expect a certain amount of charity/sympathy based on a notion of entitlement based on being 'local' is self serving. Were you being charitable when your store ran out of light bulbs and you didn't know when the next shipment was coming ?

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19th-Mar-2009 09:11 am - Advent
I don't know when it happened but I'm growing more and more sceptical and not a little intimidated by expressions of piety. Does piety imply narrow mindedness and moral certitude that I find unbelievable ?

I find expressions of Hindu piety like a tika or a tabeez faintly amusing. I find the Jewish skullcap sweet, innocent. Islamic skullcaps seem to suggest a avuncularity among older men and friendliness among younger men. I tend to be wary of people wearing a small cross or a crucifix. Wearers of blingy crosses seem to be fun. The black cross that Catholics wear on their foreheads during Lent seems forbidding.

Individually, I'm not truly afraid of any religous symbols. Yet, when I feel at a loss when confronted by wearers of religous symbols. Its like I'm aware of an aspect of their life but cannot acknowledge it openly. Almost like knowing that they have a crumb stuck in their teeth but not being able to tell them.

How do i react to these symbols ? I'd like to say that they are transparent to me but clearly they are not. I think I avoid having to interact with people with overt religous beliefs. I guess after racism and sexism and sexualism, societies will try to overcome differenceism.
23rd-Feb-2009 10:41 pm - el gigantico
In not even bothering to talk about the down spiral of the Dow and Nasdaq, Barack Obama is basically giving Wall Street a gigantic middle finger and some serious adult man to man talk. For far too long, public policy was driven by how much the market moved in response to one's decisions.

Way to go, BO.
21st-Feb-2009 08:32 pm - Watching, watching

At any point in time, you can classify yourself as a watcher or a doer. The classification is fluid but everyone believes that one can, if the need arises, become a doer. This is not to say being a doer is better. It is just the other mode of existence away from the default mode. When we say that X is a born leader, we're actually saying X's default mode is doer and not watcher.

When X is called a leader, it means X does things more often than be watches things.

Many watchers imagine themselves to be doers waiting for the stars to align but that is just so much bull. They're squeamish about not being able to watch themselves in action. They are being asked to step outside their normal function. Watching confers anonymity and an "innocent bystander" conscience free of fear.

So the gazillion dollar question when faced with a situation is - am I going to be a watcher or a doer ? - and therein lies the nub of your life.

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19th-Feb-2009 11:45 pm - Train of thought
Some train journeys begin with trepidation, others with hope, yet others with an intense implacable desire to reach the other end.

Mine began with trepidation.

This journey took me to Howrah. Howrah is not a city, it is a cesspot. How its denizens manage not to all die in a mass orgy of the plague, dengue and malaria is unfathomable. Till we cross into Calcutta, I never feel that my train journey has ended.

Trains are like the gaps between songs in the tape of life. They dont add anything to the song before or to the song after. They act as placeholders. Before we re-discovered globalization after our socialist experiment under Nehru and his dynasty, train journeys were leisurely affairs. They still are - just that we've moved on, so we dont have the opportunity to indulge ourselves. Back in the day, we used to keep track of life with the help of train rides we took.

I particularly remember two train journeys. The first one is memorable for two reasons - this was the first time i made goo goo eyes at a girl and got a response too and this was also the first time I masturbated on a train. If you haven't masturbated on the top berth of a S class compartment of an Indian Railways train with sleeping bodies all around you, you haven't lived yet. The second train journey I remember for its rustic charm. I was traveling General class without reserved seating from Chennai to Bangalore. We were 12 people crammed onto two benches designed to hold 8. The 12 included a little baby nonchalantly deposited on my lap as price for having a seat.

Time stands still on a train.
14th-Feb-2009 06:41 am - Breakdown

I feel

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17th-Jan-2009 04:30 am - The bar crawl

Today is a bar crawl. West village to east village. Sounds like fun. Plenty of new faces to meet. Plenty of love and laughs - the absurdity of a weekend spent being too busy to relax :)

It's being organized by the most self assured person I know. Comes with being a lawyer I guess. She seems tough as nails. Gorgeous too. I appreciate her.

Btw, when you fly, remember your sunscreen. Icarus didn't.

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17th-Jan-2009 04:17 am - If you stab it, it will die

Bill Murray's character in 'broken flowers' is on a mission to atone for his sins. He's been in numerous relationships - none long enough to last the distance.

In my introspective moments, I've often thought about Murray in this movie. More so than the broken flowers strewn behind him - he is a broken flower. He looks shabby. His thoughts are of the past. He yearns for companionship.

As a young man, he probably told himself that there was plenty of time to find love. His friends probably egged him on and told him they envied his prowess with women. Eventually, he started believing the hype - that he was onto a good thing by being this Romeo.

Being a Romeo involves killing the capacity to empathize. If you can sense the pain other people are feeling, then you can sense your own pain and loneliness.

Murray stabbed and stabbed and stabbed his heart and finally it was dead.

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15th-Jan-2009 09:01 pm - Insensitive kaun tha ?

After that brief interlude where I ranted abt the Progressive ad, let's go back to my social life.

P wants to move apartments. She is very very kicked about the SoHo apartment she's moving into. This Sunday, I, along with 4 other friends, will be helping her move. It's expected to be a cold weekend.

So I suggested to P that instead of us 6 people handling the move ourselves, we should hire movers. Movers will cost about 400$. I'd rather split that cost 6 ways than do the work. IMHO it's a better use of my time than carrying someone's futon.

When I suggested this to her, she was quite upset and said a) I did not have to come b) I was being insensitive.

First, I do want to help her move. It would be better if we did it my way but if we can't agree on it, I'll still go to help her move.

Second, I feel she's being insulting by not considering my comfort and caring only about her feelings relative to being offered money instead of elbow grease.

If she were have a wedding and I gifted her a shabby gift made with own two hands ( and elbow grease), she defnly care less about it than if I gave a 500$ gift card. How come elbow grease is accepted in one situation and not the other ?

Not cool only !!

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11th-Jan-2009 09:49 am - Sales rep in the Progressive ad
the annoying sales rep in the Progressive ad for car insurance has GOT TO GO - annoying, ridiculous, not remotely funny.

Maybe the ad agency should be dropped.
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