Thursday, June 19, 2008


The world never lets you be good. I am certain about it. While at one side, your parents bring you up or atleast try to bring you up as a model citizen and drum into your head about the good & the bad, the scriptures talk about the battle between good and evil, there is also something called reality. Or should we call it as research?

I don’t know how these research results reach me ( actually I know, in fact I hunt for them, but a disclaimer is always safe ). But they do! Now tell me, what do you chase in life? While we keep harping about peace of mind and stuff like that, major part of our life we chase money, power and pleasure to ensure that at the end we find peace of mind. All the wars that had been fought are either for Wealth or for Women. Somehow, all of us manage to attain some wealthy position whatever that could be. But this women thing is different. We get, what, one woman? It is a different thing altogether to get into a moral debate of whether polygamy is evil and things like that. One needs to be respectful to what elders have said and not get into any such debate. You should simply do what you want. Arguing is wrong! It is a greater sin.

But look at this research. It says bad guys get more sex. Apparently men with antisocial traits have a prolific sex life. And what do you do? Listen to elders and be a good boy. And get what? Yeah you are right! One woman! On the contrary look what our friend David has got to say. "It is universal across cultures for high dark triad scorers to be more active in short-term mating,'' quoted David Schmitt, of Bradley University in the US, as saying.

Now really what pays? Be a good guy and chase hopefully all your life or simply take a leaf out of the new learning and become a bad guy. Of course also get the perk of a prolific sex life.

Not a tough choice. As Fido Dido says ‘Normal is boring’

God’s own survey

One more study and one more confusion! These studies are conducted with an express purpose of creating confusion in one’s mind is what I feel. Now this one is even a bit blasphemous. All along we dabble with harmless subjects like Sex and now suddenly there is God.

Apparently University academics are less likely to believe in God. So it is like this. Intellect can get you good grades, job, and boost your attractiveness but God? Sorry! Only 3.3 of the royal society believe in them as opposed to 68% of the general populace. So God in reality gives you better brains to have a pop at Him.

This survey wasn’t that confusing or it didn’t put me in a dilemma and all. I know I am religious!

While speaking about surveys, I want to add a few more titles atleast

  • High Heels putting 20000 women a year in hospital ( A tall claim I would say! )
  • Having a fling could save your marriage ( Marriages have got to be saved )
  • Men's armpit odour biggest turn-on for women! ( What about foul breath ? )
  • Sexual appetite leads men to seek immediate rewards ( One should have a good appetite always )
  • Pretty girls more likely to be bullied: ( What a beauty! )

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Sex & Shopping

Back to my favorite topic again! Of course which part is my favorite is something I would let you folks ponder about. Read a survey result recently! Apparently young men think about sex every 52 seconds as against young women who think about shopping every 60 seconds. It also says that ‘Assuming eight hours of sleep a night means shopping trips consume women’s thoughts an astonishing 960 times a day and 6,720 times a week’. Well mercifully such calculations were not made about men thinking of sex.

What is disturbing is that the survey says that 50% of women ( young that too! ) prefer to spend time shopping as against sex. Now this is an issue! The converse if it is true, how can a man have sex without a partner? Just as women simply indulge in what is called as ‘retail therapy’, how can a man indulge in ‘sex therapy’? If you are a woman, you simply walk out of the house, go to the nearest shop and buy something irrespective of whether it is 10.00 pm at Chennai and you are only shopping for haldi. A similar thing can’t happen for a man though. Just imagine you going out in Chennai and walk into a supermarket at 10 pm and look for sex. And if you are a heterosexual, the only one that can probably help you in that therapy is already shopping there for haldi.

What a cruel injustice to men? And on top of it, shopping something is perfectly legal and what men would want to shop becomes illegal. The survey also says that credit crunch doesn’t come in their way of shopping. 62% swipe their credit cards and indulge in what they want to do? And sex is a pure cash transaction and that too advance payment. I don’t think you can swipe cards there atleast here in India. And that is assuming that you only need to pay for it, because normal women prefer shopping to sex anyway.

And it also says that 40% of them are shoe addicts, which means that they keep buying different ones and try them out. Do you have that luxury as a man? World is simply unfair to men. Maybe that is why it makes perfect sense for someone to go shopping along with women thinking that the favor will be repaid immediately. Or just buy shoes and go home everyday. Even that won’t work really! They need to pick it up from the rack, they need to choose. So, when did you get such a luxury? Do you ever pick sex from the rack?

For all the talk about how brains are wired, this is some skew that cannot be accepted. How can you compete with shoes for attention? Unless your face is shaped like that! And that too knowing pretty well that it is a one time passion, because they will buy a different shoe next time! Now I understand why men sometimes have this fetish about shoes Maybe it is not fetish really! It is a well though out strategy or survival instinct. You love shoes and I love sex, better I make love to shoes could be an argument that can pass muster.

So guys, life is tough on us. Pretty tough! If you think you will ever get to indulge in your passion, better go to Shopper’s Stop and sit on a rack. And change to some other place the next day. Otherwise your life is doomed!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Car, Carrier & Career

Took the car after a long gap to drive myself! There are sick jokes about how about men love their cars more than their women. I was never one of these men at any time. For me a car was something that takes you from place A to place B. In fact I don’t even remember the numbers of the previous cars that I owned. I have never got attached to the machines so much. But, all said and done, since it is something you drive on your own and when circumstances force someone else to drive it that creates a lot of trouble.

First is when I take the position at the seat! I feel like someone has shrunk me in size, or I am traveling in a space shuttle seated in an embryonic position. That’s because the drivers adjust the seats and while driving suddenly look at the rear view mirror, all I see is the back seat. And the back seat is full with no one being there. That’s because in my absence the kids use the car for their classes. We will come back to that story later.

Another huge irritation is the odor in the car. I think drivers as a breed are hydrophobic. They probably take bath once in a lifetime when events like Y2K happen. And they spend their rest of their lifetime inside cars sweating to glory. Any amount of deodorant can’t kill that and I always wish that the office is closer than what it is, because I want to jump out of the car at the first possible opportunity. And the amount of newspapers that is tuck in all gaps that are available in the car! Between seats, in the doors, you name it and you find a newspaper. And drivers in general also come with a handicap of lacking a major apparatus in their body. That is called as brain!

Coming back to the kids, because of them one day I am going to become a millionaire. Sweet ones! Why I am saying this is because, they are heavily investing in a commodity that will become the rarest in future in a place like Chennai. Every time they venture out of the house, each one carries a water bottle I don’t know for what. And when they return they don’t bring it back into the house. Currently I have some 27594 gallons stored in my car and obviously it is greater than the quantity of petrol which is stored. One day I will sell this water to the masses and become the millionaire I dreamt becoming.

And currently apart from this investment, I have some 10 kg of snacks strewn around, 2 kg of books and notebooks, 2 bags and a 1000 audio CD’s. My suspicion is that the elder one lives in the car only. I obviously can’t find that out because she will be hidden by these treasures. The second one strongly believes that the car is a place where one sleeps. Guess she will become a driver by profession in future. But one promise I will extract from her is about daily bathing. The moment she gets in the car, she sleeps. I have planned to gift a caravan to her when she gets married, because then if there is a fight between her and her husband, all he has to do is offer a drive around the colony and she will fall asleep. And he can escape.

I am seriously considering renting my house and moving into the car completely. Anyway all our possessions are always in the car, the first one already lives there and the second one would not mind sleeping her life through. That way I earn some money by rent, keep off the drivers and keep my car mine in all respect.

After all I am a man and I love my machines!!!!

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Real Life Heroes

Whenever I feel bitchy about life, there is one story I go back to read. And it is not fiction! I have always theorized that I have no need for books about positive thinking. They keep beating about the same thing again and again. And in fact there are many who had read Stephen Covey after I used a few quotes from his books, but somehow I have never felt charged up in finding effective ways in doing anything, as I felt that I anyway do it myself. Many books stand in my rack which has the collective brain of people who had made billions of dollars, but only few really enthuse me. And they are invariably first person accounts of how one built an empire. Books like ‘Made in America’ and ‘Winning’ have more impact on me than books like ‘Beneath the Arches’ or ‘Execution’. And of course some gems like the ‘The Go-Getter’ which charges me up tremendously. And movies like Lagaan which I see whenever I feel down.

But this story I talk is about the one whom I will qualify as a real hero. There are many rags to riches to story. Some of them on the business side and some of them from the tinsel town! The second one about the movie stars is still readable; somewhere I feel luck plays a part in those stories. The Superstar once slept for 3 nights straight in the platform near LIC and from where he has reached where is definitely mind boggling, but beyond all the blind fanaticism I have for him, I can’t fool myself that there was no luck involved at all. Yes, he is sharp, he had talent, he had the humility when he became successful and he is honest, but there could be a few other souls who possessed all these qualities too. But in the business side, there is surely a lot of planning, foresight and execution skills that creates a rags to riches story. Agreed that there are a few who made use of the loopholes in the system and made it big, but more often than not, it has been honest work and zeal that takes them somewhere.

Out of all that, I admire this person. He is E.Sarathbabu, the founder of FoodKing. His is a story that should be a text book lesson. And he according to be deserves Bharat Ratna. Sarath lived in a hut in a slum with his mom and 4 siblings. 2 older to him and 2 younger: His mom had a job in the Govt midday meal scheme at a salary of Rs 30/- per month ( and this was not long back where 30 buck could mean something, this is so very recent ). She supplemented the income by taking two other earning opportunities by making & selling idlies in the morning and teaching in an adult education program in the evening. And she educated all her kids. Sarath was a topper in school, but he confesses that when one does not know where the next square meal would come from, one does not think about career. All he was interested is to get a job and help mom. That he did even while he was in school by binding books and other odds & ends jobs. And then he got admission in BITS Pilani. He obviously had to borrow heavily for studying there and from there he got into IIM-A. Here is where he showed tremendous character and vision. He spurned down offers that paid 8 Lacs and decided to become an entrepreneur. He started FoodKing catering services and after initial months of losses now he makes 32 Lacs per month which is almost 4 crore turnover and he employs 200 people and that’s what he claims as his inspiration. To touch the lives of 1000 people indirectly. He has his dreams high and for a person like him, dreams wait to come true.

And he still lives in the same hut because he feels that’s where he gets the energy from and the money is anyway needed for the business. What a man he is. And he is all of 29 years old now. These people never cease to amaze me. My own CEO is a similar story and the way they practice humility is an abject lesson to everyone. After reading the book on Rajni, I thought I could have done a better job at that and was wondering who I can write about. And now I realize there is no lack of Superstars, real life ones.

I would want a book to be written about these home grown heroes and let more people read about them, particularly the kids who are in rich families but their parents were never so rich. At 67K an year, I now worry what my daughter learns. And Sarath studied with the help of kerosene lamp.

But it’s always the first generation people who go through the difficulties. After all it is only to ensure that the others don’t have to go through the same difficulties, isn’t it?

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Petrol, Oh no it burns!!

There we go again. Petrol cost is up by 10% or Rs 5/- per litre. While I was at Dubai, on academic interest, I asked my colleague how much petrol costs there. And to my surprise he said, he doesn’t know and he drives one behemoth of a SUV. He nonchalantly said ‘I just fill the tank every time; I really don’t see how much a litre costs’. That would probably rank as a statement of highest order ever made that had made by stomach burn out of jealousy. Then I found out that it costs the equivalent of about Rs 16/-. And today’s news fuels the fire and some smartass has also made a slideshow in one of the portals on how much petrol costs where. And in Venezuela, it is apparently the equivalent of Rs 2.25/- per liter. Who said Petrol is highly combustible? Should only garland that person; so much is my irritation!

I can recall that when I first had some form of a fuel driven vehicle with me, the petrol cost was around Rs 6/- per litre and by the time the moped was delivered to me, it went up by a couple of bucks. Folks were teasing me about my luck even then. And in just another 3 years, the first Gulf war happened and the government in all earnestness introduced a ‘gulf component’ in the price and promised to roll it back after the war ended. The war actually brought down the International Oil Prices down, but the Indian Govt that had a administered price mechanism, retained the cost going back on its promise. After all the noise is only when the price goes up and when the people get used to it, there are no big repercussions for the government.

From there till today, the price in India has gone up 7 times and so are the international crude oil prices. In fact they have gone up even higher, so there is no use in really blaming the government now. There is only so much a Govt can subsidize. And as we keep drawing more & more of the natural reserves, we will only find the going tougher and tougher. I used to have a pet theory that there is always a balance that will be created by God at all times, so as the fuel costs go up and travel happens only on necessity, the cost of bandwidth will keep coming down and all of us have videoconferencing and other such communication facilities, without having to venture out of home. But, it is just a fantasy. Maybe in another 50 years we may be forced to eke out a living like that.

I made a quick calculation on seeing whether the standard of life has improved for me and should I qualify myself as a successful person if lifestyle is any yardstick for that. In 1990 when petrol cost 8 bucks, I had a bike that gave me 62 kmpl, so the cost of my travel per km was 12 paisa. Now at 56 bucks and a big car, I spend 7 bucks on traveling per km. 54 times more than what it used to cost me then. Has the salary gone up by 54 times? Sorry, post tax it is less than 54 times. So, in a way my salary increases have managed to beat inflation and keep me at the same level as 1990. This comparison can be made most of the commodities, though not in the same scale. It is a kind of treadmill effect that one has to keep running to remain at the same place!

Now, we will see a domino’s effect everywhere. This evening when I have to pick the rickshaw, the cost would have already gone up, so would the essentials because of transportation and mercifully it is the start of the FY when a hike is due to meet these costs. And the dreams that you wanted to pursue last year, get a long lease of life as they would still remain a dream.

So what has civilization and advancement done to us? Nano is now going to flood the streets taking a toll on the infrastructure and the fuel demand. The city officials keep introducing more one way streets, more traffic jams and thus more fuel burning. And we bring down the ozone layer along with this. And we will wage billion dollar wars for oil !

Sometimes, we look like barbarians. But if cavemen could read, they will kill me for this comparison!