Friday, May 14, 2010


Power Point

There was a time when a CEO or G.M. production would walk in briskly into the conference room of an ornate building and address the gathering. Sometimes a microphone/whiteboard or slide would be used to build up the excitement. The senior executives would be suited while technical personnel would always be in shirtsleeves. They would then talk about producing a product or service that would transform the society and discuss pros and cons or the launch, publicity and pricing while the vanguard would nod or clap at appropriate pauses. Sometimes hand outs were distributed sometimes not, there would be a lot of introspection during lunch or dinner and everyone would be enthusiastic.
Well the actual business life for most people hasn’t changed much since then, yet there has been a violent change in the way presentations are made.
At the epicenter of this cataclysm is the ubiquitous laptop and projector which is the holy grail of modern MBA executives. The high drama type of conference replete with Kodak slides (moments) have been relegated to the dinosaur Jurassic park graveyard and now enters the new “PowerPoint” presentation which is statutory even for sales calls.
All those who work in factories,offices,banks, defence or sales no longer carry files or documents, shirt sleeves have given way to gray twill suits, ties, or slacks/T-shirts on weekends but everyone must carry laptops loaded with multimedia power point, excel spreadsheets for presentations. Anybody who cannot make a PowerPoint presentation will be punished and cannot remain employed after such a failure and ignominy, sometimes investments in a laptop and projector are more than the compensation meted out annually to the poor soul, terrific isn’t it? This is good for Companies who want to retrench /downsize people and cut the flab, spreadsheets and laptops is what keeps you tethered to your jobs. To hell with talent and creativity, or skilled electrical, mechanical engineers that’s a distorted idea of capability, in some small enterprises acquisition of these gadgets have wiped out every penny of profit, but the slide show must go on.

Now with a Powerpoint presentation you don’t require a great personality or persuasive powers and can climb the top slot in any Corporation. You are a digital executive with access to all the information in the world including porn sites. Finance professionals can now invent whole new creative ways to hide or express debt legally; boost Company’s and shareholders value and hope some big Corporation will eventually acquire the company.
All the old style executives who worked hard day and night to reach senior positions should be issued pink slips to improve the bottom line , and only adolescents who spend every waking hour on internet and face book should be hired. Only soft skilled/software skilled generation can save the Industry/Nation, no one needs any profound knowledge as the average interest span is only 2 minutes, so you need killer applications to shoehorn the old business into software models or modules. Content need not be king, if it’s a new online version everyone can co-generate it and stand on their own two feet and display genuine infantile ego when the laptop hangs “and therein hangs a tale” as all the memory and artificial intelligence is in the laptop memory and the presenter has no clue. After all this hard work he has earned a well deserved holiday in Bangkok as he believes that is where the “Big Bang” theory began.
I think my liver is finally packing up after years of entertaining clients and conducting business in the old way, as there is a temptation to hold onto the old business model where periods of low inflation and stable growth were the norms. It’s a shame I missed the internet wave and a whole new business opportunity, though I tried to study the reams of data spewing forth from the net to figure out how the software world works in market oriented economies like ours, but then the recession hit the ceiling.
I am 60 years old now and I don’t want to die surfing the internet with a host of new fangled toys like
I-Pod, Tablets, Droid or Kindle or take a last bite of the Apple as the killer application called browser weaves its web on my tomb site.
End of slide show

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


As I may have written ad-nauseum to you SMS, E-Mails and now Twitter are the disembodied forms of modern communication. Texting, Tweets and its ilk are reducing communications to zero, but at the same time increasing the speed of messaging and like nuclear energy may one day consume us homo-sapiens!! A small tweet created a din and consumed IPL Modi and now many of our garden variety of bureaucrats and actors who have ascended with a lot of luck and toxic narcissism have also joined the band wagon.

Is the Internet turning us into a nation of imbeciles? There is an elegant elusiveness to these inane messages strewn all over cyberspace like some pithy notes from outer space, floating like a cloud of volcanic ash from the Iceland’s erupting volcano. In the past our exchange of letters were vivid, lithely drawn narratives pulsating with insights and intuitive reasoning, that brought to our mind vivacious vignettes of images and glimpses reflected in the writings.

Today it seems we are all “denied old age” as our expiry dates are shortened and everything has shorter life cycles (except debt and EMI’s) jobs, love, family, belongings, loyalty and relationships. It reminds me of the days when miniskirts first appeared on the horizon like the blogs, then it gave way to micro minis and now microblogs or twitter, both hiding more than it revealed. The length of relationships or commitment to an organization or family has reduced along with other spans for everything. These new fangled tools like E-reader, Kindle etc are infantilizing the minds of generation next, who are finding it difficult to empathize and are facing an identity crisis half boy half man and each phase is a transaction including career, marriage, family,etc are treated like a cab ride, short is the key and in thing. Yeow the cat got their tongue and the twitter generation is not old enough to understand long stretches of prose; its speed dating and multitasking all the way to leave a carbon footprint on cyberspace. How can you expect this generation who have no time to sleep (24/7) to smell the flowers greet the zeitgeist? You need a minimal amount of time to be creative/productive and accumulate knowledge.

Internet tweets are not long enough to size up a woman let alone have a quickie at best it’s a brief boob gazing job before twittering away (adobe acrobat) and with the virtual reality situation even the Bangkok syndrome is disappearing. Great discussions cannot be held on Face book chat as they are seldom linear, they don’t progress logically like your embedded software, as they digress meander all over your mindscape. You cannot put complex thoughts into one-liners - good conversations are like having a drink with a cigar, it takes time to percolate and you have to relax savor the seconds like listening to music (Bach/Beethoven) only then can you come away rejuvenated. I used to be charming in my youth even the dogs would follow me around, and proximity without intimacy was like Dante’s inferno (hell) but now if I don’t acquire some internet skills neither the girls nor company wants me, and since my last published book is an endangered species on Amazon I will end up in “jobless anonymous” very soon. I have perfected the art of parental non-interference that my kids now treat me like a pet and have long divorced me from the list of parents. Oh! My Blackberry is vibrating welcome to the 21st century, let me log off now.

Friday, May 7, 2010


The Day after
Dear Babu,

Yes I took off to the mountains to spend time with snoopy Colonel and his clan, incidentally it was his Birthday and he has also become a proud grandfather. All relatives and some friends congregated to celebrate. Non stop drinking from dawn to dusk, we had a ball. Relationships are the most important experience of our lives, without this life will have no meaning and watching the sunset will be just another farce. Relationships with friends, family, work, colleagues and our environment are the truly sacred salve for the soul. That is why we yearn for them and have trouble with them too; it is a double edged
edged scythe as you can cut off or reap and this indeed causes problems for the human species. Pain, tragedy, suffering, anger, jealousy and joy are all part of this kinship-it is a vessel that can override turbulent times if we learn to respect and love each other.
Sam has jettisoned all his friends and relatives to embrace the new “born again Christianity” he has become fanatical, views degenerating into dogmas creating a lot of suffering as collateral damage in the process. There aren’t many joys in life, but we must grab the simple pleasures of meeting old friends cogitate, ruminate, and be seduced by the powerful emotional resonance of the idyllic days of our youth. Life is fragile, fraught with problems yet to obstinately struggle against the odds is but natural to all of us. As my erotic nett worth is eroded by time I have to hurry before my expiry date sets in to complete the myriad dreams and fantasies that are circulating in my minds landscape.
As we all retire from this treadmill of work and our glory days some unable to face the nonstop InfoTech revolution we are all united by a shared sense of intellectual isolation.
We must search for a place somewhere between our heart and head far away from this 24/7 race for money to reboot ourselves and savour the greatest luxury of life that we have but don’t appreciate (time) and enjoy every second because that is one asset class the generation next will never have despite a plethora of time saving gizmos like mobile phones, I pads, laptops, email and internet. So let’s eat our mutton and drink our stout because we are from a fading era and our existence is in doubt.
Open Personal folder.
Natasha plans to pursue her masters in International Finance—so be it, every child has his/her race to run and they have to excel on their own. They have to be comfortable with their heritage and develop their own social conscience, values, and confidence in this connected world and yet have the freedom to be themselves. I’ve had to walk the razors edge between indulgence and denial in bringing them up and in my old age I do not want to be an Albatross round their neck. I’ve taught them the things that mattered instead of wasting time espoused and inculcated some of my values and habits like philanthropy, reading to give them a quantum leap of knowledge and humanity.

So what else is new in Cannanore except for the Hartal /Bandh and oppressive heat? Hang on in there and do communicate.

Let me sign off now.
As ever