Thursday, January 29, 2009

Gaffe in Resumes

Came across this in one of the resumes:

  • Awarded the Certificate of Excellency in November 2007 & July 2008 for the outstanding work.

I guess this could be a great motivational tool. Instead of awarding 'Certificate of Excellence', give them royal treatment and make them king/queens by awarding Certificates of Excellency and then start addressing them as 'Your Highness'. Truly, out of the box.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Worst Predictions in 2008

Just about everybody got wrong-footed by 2008, but some people's mistakes were truly spectacular
By Peter Coy - Coy is Business Week's Economics editor.
Here are some of the worst predictions that were made about 2008. Savor them—a crop like this doesn't come along every year.
1. "A very powerful and durable rally is in the works. But it may need another couple of days to lift off. Hold the fort and keep the faith!" —Richard Band, editor, Profitable Investing Letter, Mar. 27, 2008
At the time of the prediction, the Dow Jones industrial average was at 12,300. By late December it was at 8,500.
2. AIG (AIG) "could have huge gains in the second quarter." —Bijan Moazami, analyst, Friedman, Billings, Ramsey, May 9, 2008
AIG wound up losing $5 billion in that quarter and $25 billion in the next. It was taken over in September by the U.S. government, which will spend or lend $150 billion to keep it afloat.
3. "I think this is a case where Freddie Mac (FRE) and Fannie Mae (FNM) are fundamentally sound. They're not in danger of going under…I think they are in good shape going forward." —Barney Frank (D-Mass.), House Financial Services Committee chairman, July 14, 2008
Two months later, the government forced the mortgage giants into conservatorships and pledged to invest up to $100 billion in each.
4. "The market is in the process of correcting itself." —President George W. Bush, in a Mar. 14, 2008 speech
For the rest of the year, the market kept correcting…and correcting…and correcting.
5. "No! No! No! Bear Stearns is not in trouble." —Jim Cramer, CNBC commentator, Mar. 11, 2008
Five days later, JPMorgan Chase (JPM) took over Bear Stearns with government help, nearly wiping out shareholders.
6. "Existing-Home Sales to Trend Up in 2008" —Headline of a National Association of Realtors press release, Dec. 9, 2007
On Dec. 23, 2008, the group said November sales were running at an annual rate of 4.5 million—down 11% from a year earlier—in the worst housing slump since the Depression.
7. "I think you'll see [oil prices at] $150 a barrel by the end of the year" —T. Boone Pickens, June 20, 2008
Oil was then around $135 a barrel. By late December it was below $40.
8. "I expect there will be some failures. … I don't anticipate any serious problems of that sort among the large internationally active banks that make up a very substantial part of our banking system." —Ben Bernanke, Federal Reserve chairman, Feb. 28, 2008
In September, Washington Mutual became the largest financial institution in U.S. history to fail. Citigroup (C) needed an even bigger rescue in November.
9. "In today's regulatory environment, it's virtually impossible to violate rules." —Bernard Madoff, money manager, Oct. 20, 2007
About a year later, Madoff—who once headed the Nasdaq Stock Market—told investigators he had cost his investors $50 billion in an alleged Ponzi scheme.
10. A Bound Man: Why We Are Excited About Obama and Why He Can't Win, the title of a book by conservative commentator Shelby Steele, published on Dec. 4, 2007.
When a girl marries, she exchanges the attentions of many men for the inattention of one.


Her Diary (Jan 26, 2009) - He seemed very quiet today. I asked him if it was my fault. He said no but he was very upset. I told him that I love him. He smiled but was still a little aloof. I am sure he has lost interest in me and is thinking of breaking up. I cried all night.

His Diary (Jan 26, 2009) - India lost to Bangladesh by 10 wickets. DAMN IT!!!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

RahMAN - Again

Slumdog did it again, this time at Oscars. Getting nominated for 10 categories is no small achievement. Getting two of the three nominations in best original score is even bigger. Feb 22 will be eagerly awaited.
Jai Ho!!!!!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Life is easy come, easy go. If you make the best of the time in between the come and go, you can call it a good life.

Gem from the 'Guide'

My capacity for mental activity of all kinds is as boundless as the infinite reaches of space itself - The Hitchhiker's Guide to Galaxy

Monday, January 19, 2009


Saw Chandni Chowk (CC2C) and Slumdog this weekend.
Suggestion for CC2C - Don't "C".
No wonder piracy is so rampant in the country. If a movie is not able to give you entertainment worth the cost of the ticket, why waste time and money on something which is truly horrendous. Get a dvd and then watch the movie in fast forward mode.
Slumdog - Brilliant movie. A little retro in terms that the portrayal of Mumbai is classic 90s than current times. It might not be applicable so much now as it was then. But the movie connects at a deeper level. Most of us have grown up seeing the 90s unfold so it is easy to relate to every scene in the film. Some scenes are quite gory and might make you close your eyes but you cannot escape the reality in them.
Rahman's music especially for "ringa ringa" and "jai ho" is amazing. Gives the dark side of the movie a completely sunny shine.
The main character is such a wonderful actor and Anil Kapoor with his shades of gray is marvellous.
Amitabh wrote a scathing post on the movie and the main character idolizes him, goes through shit, literally, for his autograph in the movie. Quite ironic.
The movie is a true portrayal of one side of Mumbai and only Indians could have brought that out so convincingly unlike the way the western press is lauding Danny for bringing out the true character of Mumbai. Someone commented that only a westerner can bring out the true nature of Mumbai. Really???
Writer of the book "Q&A" on which the movie is based - Vikas Swarup (Indian)
Casting and co director - Loveleen Tandon (Indian)
Music Director - A R Rahman (Indian)
Director - Danny Boyle (not Indian)
I think the stats speak for themselves. I am not taking away the directorial brilliance Boyle brought to the movie but without the remaining team members Danny might not have captured the true spirit of Mumbai and for that he and the world should thank his team and not just him.
I read in ET that Slumdog put Mumbai on the world map. If that is what everyone feels then either Mumbai needs a good PR agency or the world needs to educate itself better. In my view, latter will work more effectively. Now, back to the movie.
Slumdog is gritty, gripping and gory.
Slumdog is a tale of hope, friendship, family and love.
Slumdog is a must watch. Save the money by avoiding CC2C and watch Slumdog instead.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Saw this key chain which says - I love my job, it's the work that I hate.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Bye Bye Bush!!!

Bush is spending his last week in the white house. We will miss him sorely. Not for his foreign policies or his war on 'terror', read I don't know nothing so I will bomb Iraq or his brilliant understanding of industrial sector but we will miss him for his Bushisms. He was probably one of the most entertaining presidents ever and second only to Bill Clinton.
His farewell speech might say - I am 'bushed'

Monday, January 12, 2009


Music really transcends age, sex, race and geographical borders. Rahman got the Golden Globe for his music in Slumdog. Finally, a world wide recognition, not that he needed one. He truly came out as the top 'dog' in music. The song for which he won the award goes "jai ho" and is totally apt for him too. Jai Ho (means praise be to) Rahman for achieving this honor for self and India. For decades he made us hum, sing and dance to his music be it Roja, Dil Se, Yuuvraj, Minsara Kanavu, Rang De Basanti, theme music of Airtel or the national anthem and still continues to do so with Delhi 6. Now, he is making the 'globe' dance. I know a one year old baby boy whose eyes and face lights up when he listens to Rahman's music. Now, that is Music.
The history of music will be re-written as before Rahman and after Rahman.
Oscar - here comes the Man. Rah'man'.

Sunday, January 11, 2009


Satyamite to Raju - Tumne mere career se khela

Investor to Raju - Tumne mere paise se khela

Regulator - Tumne mere law se khela

Raju's brother - Well played, well played.

Friday, January 9, 2009

World class built on fraud

Satyam is a company which employs 53,000 people. It was one of the top 5 IT companies in India. It was voted as one of the best companies for training and development. It was voted as one of the best in terms of service delivery and quality. It boasted of more than 185 companies from fortune 500 as its clients. A world class organization but built on the foundation of fraud. 
One man or few men committed the fraud. If you take these men out of the equation Satyam will still remain a world class company. If given to a management like Infosys, it will continue to service its clients to their satisfaction. It will continue to employ its 53,000 staff. It will continue to be one of the best in terms of training and development. Should the employees, clients and investors pay for a crime committed by few men. Prosecute these men but save the organization. Satyam is one of the best company in its space and if given a chance to survive might come out as one of the top IT companies in India and world. 

In addition to criminally prosecuting the promoters of Satyam, law should also attach Maytas and other companies owned by them, liquidate and use the cash to pay off Satyam's investors and employees.  Wouldn't that be a fitting penalty? And a great message to all other current and would be fraudsters to clean up their act. 

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Cell (jail) to Chair (govt)

Will truth set you free? In Raju's case, I don't think so. Truth might get him a cell room in a high security prison. But the big question is - Why would he confess now?

I have a theory. I guess Raju was tired of running the company and decided that he was made for bigger things. So he confessed to the fraud, might probably get a jail term of 5-10 years, do half or less than that, come out and then run for government. Maybe he felt that he was meant to become the chief minister of Andhra Pradesh and what better and easier way to get there than doing a jail stint (history and current parties are ample proofs).

US:- Mere paas Madoff hain.
India:- Mere paas Raju hain.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Corporate Terrorism

Ramalinga Raju admitted to a corporate fraud at Satyam and confessed to cooking up balance sheet and income statements to show inflated revenues, imaginary expenses and non existent cash reserves. First Sub-Prime, then Madoff and now Satyam. Where is the much spoken corporate governance? What are the regulatory bodies like SEBI & SEC, independent board of directors and external auditors doing?

Satyam lost more than 60% of its stock value on one trading session after the news broke. A lot of people including common man would have lost a lot of money, in some cases maybe their life savings. With the erosion would have gone the dreams of a good retirement, marriage of daughters, sons education, buying that house, taking a vacation and so much more. The erosion is not because of market forces or a bad economy but because of greed of one man hand in glove with few others who thought resorting to any means justifies the end. The end being making more money for self. Raju's stake in the company came down from 25% in 2004 to a mere 3% in 2008. So he was steadily selling his stake and amassing cash knowing fully well about the screwed up balance sheet and the fear that the fraud might come out and he might lose money in stock erosion. He converted his paper money into real money and left others hanging dry.

This is one form of terrorism. "Corporate terrorism" where promoters, insiders, directors make a mockery of rules, bend them to satiate their greed and in teh bargain massacre dreams of many innocent civilians who believe in these leaders and entrust them with their life savings. This should be treated at par with murder, rape and terrorism and the punishment should be equally stringent. Otherwise, there will always be a Raju or a Madoff ready to make money at some innocent person's expense.

No 'Truth' in 'Satyam' anymore!! Satyam is not Sundaram.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Song of the decade!!!

There are a lot of great songs out there. From emotional to romantic to cheerful to funny to sad to downright sappy. Never thought will feature a song here as there are so many to choose. But then came "emotional atyachar" and all rules had to be re-written. The song is brilliant in lyrics and its portrayal. The tacky video with Elvis look alike singing this song with a mix of Hindi and English makes it amusing yet at the same time the depth of the lyrics makes u think. Words fail to give justice to this song. Just read and feel!!!!

Ek do teen char heeeyyy
Yeh dil pighla ke saaz bana loon,
Dhadkan ko awaaz bana loon,
Smoking Smoking nikle re dhuaan.
mein jalti hai
armanon ki arthi,
Arrey what to tell you darling kya hua.
Arrey sapne dekhe jannat ke,
par mitti mein mil jayen,
phooken re ghar baar ki duniya
ko bole good-bye

Chad jaye
hai Allah,
jisko bhi yeh bukhaaaaaarrrrr

Tauba Tera Jalwa, Tauba tera pyar,
Tera emosanal atyachaar!

The song is from the movie Dev D which will release on Jan 9, 2009.

Friday, January 2, 2009

New Year Resolutions

Hobbes: Are you making any resolutions for the new year?
Calvin: Resolutions? ME?? Just what are you implying? That I need to change?? Well, Buddy, as far as I'm concerned, I'm perfect the way I am! For your information, I'm staying like this, and everyone else can just get used to it! If people don't like me the way I am, well, tough beans! It's a free country! I don't need anyone's permission to be the way I want! This is how I am - take it or leave it! By golly, life's too darn short to waste time trying to please every meddlesome moron who's got an idea how I ought to be!