Search This Blog


Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Ganapathi Homam Pooja Item Checklist

Lots of folks perform Ganapthi Homam for removing obstacles and heralding progress. We performed the same at our place. The sastrigal(s) came in at about 4.30 AM and performed the event , they completed the homam by about 7.00 AM and left the place.

It was done very well and rendered  a lot of lingering satisfaction. Here is a list of items -homa dravyams for your ready reference.

You could paste it on a word document and be done with your shopping in a jiffy. The shops opposite Vallabha Ganapathi temple in Arya Gowder road will have all the pooja items readily.

 Please feel free to add if I have indeed missed any key item out. God Bless

Friday, June 18, 2010

Storm in my Kaapi cup ! Vivekananda coffee stall sucks

I was enthralled when I passed by Siva Vishnu  TNagar as I got very good filter coffee from Vivekananda Coffee shop for Rs 10/-. I introduced  several of my friends and it became my wont to regularly have a cuppa when I passed that side.

Recently I ordered a cuppa and instructed the person preparing the coffee to give a strong one without sugar.The coffee was rank bad as the quality has come down several notches. I talked to the person at the counter - a dark chap who was heftily built. He acted like a bully and tried his posturing. I left with a bad taste lingering in my mouth.

I really pity the owner of this joint which I have decided not to visit  ever again. If you want good coffee and good service, forget this shop.
Thoughts on LGAT and Transformational trainings

My recent run-in with a training session happened last Tuesday when a friend had called over the weekend to invite me over to a life-changing program. He had requested couple of others also to attend the session. We arrived at IMAGE auditorium (Raja Annamalaipuram) on a Tuesday evening to be welcomed by about 20 to 25”smiley “volunteers, this turned me off completely.

However, we moved into an elaborate nametag preparation session and the reception staff made/forced us to put on the nametag. The session commenced at 7.45 pm and it was supposed to last till 10.45 pm.

The person on the podium was called Gurmeet .With his accented English, he was trying to extol the virtues of attending the program, and how people had benefitted. This was followed by people who climbed on the dais and started blabbing how they had “transformed” and become a major achiever. In fact, the first “transformer” mentioned he had a major financial investment from venture capitalists (some USD 1.5 million) just by talking to the people. This he claimed was post the program – it had not worked out during the last six months when he had tried. Not sure whether there is such a company at all.

This was followed by even more “zanier” accounts of people who claimed that this was possibly the best thing that happened in life to them. Most of them were very shallow and not based on anything serious.

This lasted until about 9.00 pm and the trainer/facilitator was scribbling on his green board with a white chalk. Half the while audio system was acting up and air con was conking off. At 9.00 pm, the man on stage announced dramatically how the introducer had gotten the guests along as he/she cared for them. I was neck deep in BS by then and I was feeling suffocated. Then he said that guests could share with their host some blah blah. This was essentially a “HARD-SELL”/”SHOVE IT UP THEIR THROATS” BREAK. An army of “graduates” – suckers who had been conned earlier had to sit with each of the guest and ask them when they could enroll. I was approached by a person who had not known me for more than three minutes who claimed he was very keen on my best interests. He was asking me when I could join; I declined mentioning that I did not se any value in this BS.

One by one, the “transformers” droned on me the virtues and the benefits. It was very strange to see a notorious TV newsreader and an also ran actor who were part of the circus trying to wear down my defenses.

I defiantly said no repeatedly until the badgering stopped. I was almost mentally “drilled” by the morons. In fact the irony is this ex TV News reader mentioned that she had a perfect life when she joined this training and it has improved ever since. All of us know her personal life is as nice as an unclean public toilet. So you can imagine the revulsion when she was the “celebrity endorsement “ for this  program.

Folks! Imagine if some one is made to sit in a stupidly abusive pseudo science/spirituality mix (all unproven methods which has been founded by a tax evader and family deserter who ran away from his native country .He has no educational background). The complete course is based on this man’s demented visions. The company is currently run by his brother and they are very wealthy people.

The trainer started again with a catalogue and tried harassing us further for enrolments and down payment information. He then started giving “ instant therapies” to guests with problems, hey I almost forgot , the people had to clap and cheer when each one of the “ transformed air heads” told their story – wild clapping. If you even said, I farted well after undergoing this program – Whoopee; thunderous applause ….it was getting worse by the minute.

The trainer was recounting how successful he was before he became a trainer for this #$$# training or whatever crap you call it. I want him to improve his English at least. This is a topic which I researched for a few days and it gave me a lot of insight into the world of LGAT. Google it and you will find immense wealth of information on Large Group Awareness Training which in short can mean a shortcut to warp your thinking into some one else’s script ( mostly the air head founder of the stream of thinking – most if not all LGATs are not proven and have no scientific or psychological basis). Believe me the Americans have enriched the coffers of many charlatans who have played with minds. There have been several deaths mostly by suicides and people whose entire lives have been changed for worse by these stupid programs.

Bottom line : It does not allow you to rest in peace after this one stupid level where they fleece about INR 8000/- but also make you attend 2 or 3 levels by which your bank account would have been considerably bled.

You are expected to work as a volunteer for the stupids , so they do not spend a penny on marketing and no compensation of any kind for volunteers .In fact you “help” your friends get better …something like MLM. The chain never breaks. It is a 16-hour day for the training which wears down your thinking and alertness. You are expected to share “ your dark side” which evidently is the transformation – imagine a lady mentioning that she had been abused by her close relative in front of 300 + unknown people and the trainer freak questioning like a cross examination lawyer ,This makes the “confessor” break down and weep. Immediately the audience cheers and claps raucously… Does this mean any transformation ? No Never . It will further wound the mental make up of the person in distress. It is called attack therapy...never to be used by novices.


Last but not least , here are a number of programs offered by Gurus...thanks to some one who has ordered them nicely for our analysis

Here are the links:……………

Wednesday, May 26, 2010



This was narrated at a Seminar recently on Human Relations : A web gem

Venkatesh Balasubramaniam (who works for IIT) describes how his gesture of booking an air ticket for his father, his maiden flight, brought forth a rush of emotions and made him (Venkatesh) realize that how much we all take for granted when it comes to our parents.

My parents left for our native place on Thursday and we went to the airport to see them off. In fact, my father had never traveled by air before, so I just took this opportunity to make him experience the same. In spite of being asked to book tickets by train, I got them tickets on Jet Airways. The moment I handed over the tickets

to him, he was surprised to see that I had booked them by air. The excitement was very apparent on his face, waiting for the time of travel. Just like a school boy, he was preparing himself on that day and we all went to the airport, right from using the trolley for his luggage, the baggage check-in and asking for a window seat and waiting restlessly for the security check-in to happen. He was thoroughly enjoying himself and I, too, was overcome with joy watching him experience all these things.

As they were about to go in for the security check-in, he walked up to me with tears in his eyes and thanked me. He became very emotional and it was not as if I had done something great but the fact that this meant a great deal to him. When he said thanks, I told him there was no need to thank me. But later, thinking about the entire incident, I looked back at my life. As a child, how many dreams our parents have made come true. Without understanding the financial situation, we ask for cricket bats, dresses, toys, outings, etc. Irrespective of their affordability, they have catered to all our needs. Did we ever think about the sacrifices they had to make to accommodate many of our wishes? Did we ever say thanks for all that they have done for us? Same way, today when it comes to our children, we always think that we should put them in a good school. Regardless of the amount of donation, we will ensure that we will have t give the child the best, theme parks, toys, etc. But we tend to forget that our parents have sacrificed a lot for our sake to see us happy, so it is our responsibility to ensure that their dreams are realized and what they failed to see when they were young. It is our responsibility to ensure that they experience all those and their life is complete.

Many times, when my parents had asked me some questions, I have actually answered back without patience. When my daughter asks me something, I have been very polite in answering. Now I realize how they would have felt at those moments. Let us realize that old age is a second childhood and just as we take care of our children, the same attention and same care needs to be given to our parents and elders.Quality time and politely answering them with out making them wait is important. Now I realize that I must look at their eyes and answer them pleasantly and pretend to be reading papers and answer in mono syllables. Rather than my dad saying thank you to me, I would want to say sorry for making him wait so long for this small dream. I do realize how much he has sacrificed for my sake and I will do my best to give the best possible attention to all their wishes.

Just because they are old does not mean that they will have to give up everything and keep sacrificing for their grandchildren also. They have wishes, too.

Take care of your parents. THEY ARE PRECIOUS.

Amazing Trivia

Amazing Trivia

1. Q: Why are many coin banks shaped like pigs?

A: Long ago, dishes and cookware in Europe were made of a dense orange clay called 'pygg'. When people saved coins in jars made of this clay, the jars became known as 'pygg banks.'When an English potter misunderstood the word, he made a bank that resembled a pig. And it caught on.

2. Q: Did you ever wonder why dimes, quarters and half dollars have notches, while pennies and nickels do not?

A: The US Mint began putting notches on the edges of coins containing gold and silver to discourage holders from shaving off small quantities of the precious metals. Dimes, quarters and half dollars are notched because they used to contain silver. Pennies and nickels aren't notched because the metals they contain are not valuable enough to shave.

3. Q: Why do men's clothes have buttons on the right while women's clothes have buttons on the left?

A: When buttons were invented, they were very expensive and worn primarily by the rich.Because wealthy women were dressed by maids, dressmakers put the buttons on the maid's right!Since most people are right-handed, it is easier to push buttons on the right through holes on the left.And that's where women's buttons have remained since.

4. Q. Why do X's at the end of a letter signify kisses?

A: In the Middle Ages, when many people were unable to read or write,documents were often signed using an X. Kissing the X represented an oath to fulfil obligations specified in the document.The X and the kiss eventually became synonymous.

5. Q: Why is shifting responsibility to someone else called 'passing the buck'?

A: In card games, it was once customary to pass an item, called a buck, from player to player to indicate whose turn it was to deal.If a player did not wish to assume the responsibility, he would 'pass the buck' to the next player.

6. Q: Why do people clink their glasses before drinking a toast?

A: It used to be common for someone to try to kill an enemy by offering him a poisoned drink.

To prove to a guest that a drink was safe, it became customary for a guest to pour a small amount of his drink into the glass of the host.Both men would drink it simultaneously.When a guest trusted his host, he would then just touch or clink the host's glass with his own.

7. Q: Why are people in the public eye said to be 'in the limelight'?

A: Invented in 1825, limelight was used in lighthouses and stage lighting by burning a cylinder of lime which produced a brilliant light.In the theatre, performers on stage 'in the limelight' were seen by the audience to be the centre of attention.

8. Q: Why do ships and aircraft in trouble use 'mayday' as their call for help?

A: This comes from the French word m'aidez - meaning 'help me' – and is pronounced 'mayday.'

9. Q: Why is someone who is feeling great 'on cloud nine'?

A: Types of clouds are numbered according to the altitudes they attain, with nine being the highest cloud.

If someone is said to be on cloud nine, that person is floating well above worldly cares.

10. Q: Why are zero scores in tennis called 'love'?

A: In France, where tennis first became popular, a big, round zero on the scoreboard looked like an egg and was called 'l'oeuf,' which is French for 'egg.'When tennis was introduced in the US, Americans pronounced it 'love.'

11. Q: In golf, where did the term 'Caddie' come from?

A. When Mary, later Queen of Scots, went to France as a young girl (for education & survival), Louis, King of France, learned that she loved the Scot game 'golf.'So he had the first golf course outside of Scotland built for her enjoyment. To make sure she was properly chaperoned (and guarded) while she played, Louis hired cadets from a military school to accompany her. Mary liked this a lot and when she returned to Scotland (not a very good idea in the long run), she took the practice with her. In French, the word cadet is pronounced 'ca-day' and the Scots changed it into 'caddie.'

A child's prayer to God - I want to be a TV !!

A child's prayer to God

A teacher from Primary School asks her students to write a essay about what they would like to be and what God had to do for them...

At the end of the day, while marking the essays, she read one that made her very emotional.

Her husband, who had just walked in, saw her crying and asked her:- 'What happened?'

She answered- 'Read this. It's one of my students essays.'

'Oh God, tonight I ask you something very special: Make me into a television. I want to take its place:

Live like the TV in my house. Have my own special place, And have my family around ME. To be taken seriously when I talk....

I want to be the centre of attention and be heard without interruptions or questions.

I want to receive the same special care that the TV receives when it is not working.

Have the company of my dad when he arrives home from work, even when he is tired.

And I want my mom to want me when she is sad and upset, instead of ignoring me...

And... I want my brothers to fight to be with me... I want to feel that family just leaves everything aside,

Every now and then, just to spend some time with me. And last but not least make it that I can make them all happy and entertain them...

Lord I don't ask you for much... I just want to live like every TV.'

At that moment the husband said:- 'My God, poor kid. What horrible parents!'






The wife looked up at him and said:- 'That essay is our son's!!!

Sad but TRUE state of affairs - parents glued to TV.I sincerely hope and pray that the younger generation should NEVER have a reason to write this letter ...SWITCH OFF YOUR TV .

Adapted from internet

Building Employees Vs Billing Employees

Well let's face it, the Indian IT industry has started maturing considerably, the SI vendors were content to "bill" employees. It was something like this 0-3 years - engineer ....3 to 5 years - tech lead ....5 years onwards manager...senior manager. The titles were grand as the billing rates increased with fancy sounding titles.

The global recession hit the IT industry in full flow - when most companies evaluated the so-called managers i.e., the ones who had been baked a bit too early. Imagine a bakery which takes 6 hours to bake a particular pastry, the bakery becomes very popular as they sell good items at a cost effective price. As the demand goes higher and higher , more baking machines are installed ...still demand is peaking the management decides to give a slip to the baking process ---let's do only 5 hours for the pastry batches....the result is customers are unhappy ...demand is sluggish , customers are not able to digest the " products"

Imagine this simile in a software scenario, without adequate experience and competence,the person has been elevated to a higher role which creates a lot of stress for the individual. But part of the blame also has to be shifted to employee aspiration (greed?) when they view professionals beyond  five years of work experience lepers if they do not have the manager "tag".

Coming to the point , I saw a person's profile  on linkedin site ....manager in company 1 , senior manager company 2 ( within 9 months) manager 3 ( within 1 year) development center head  in company 4 experience in 4 companies about 4 years.

Now there could be a genius whizkid who is totally capable, but everyone in the market cannot be a whizkid.
Indian employers (read SI) have to groom talent which rests squarely on the following:

1.Setting expectations
2. Hiring based on meritocracy
3. No skipping  "baking" processes
4. Evaluating current enablement
5. Empowering employees

Well that's a long list and will take a long time ...Psst could we bill this 1 year experienced person as a PM ( Just for now :)!!!)

Mentality and Paradigm change ...also required
Keep smiling and keep learning.