Friday, October 9, 2015

Hey there, WhatsApp is using me!

“An apple a day keeps the doctor away!” 

Any guess who said these words?

No one said these words! It was a golden saying on health. But this is what I got in WhatsApp!

Dei! When did Steve Jobs say all these? Just because, WhatsApp is there you cannot circulate whatever you want!  

Contest Master and Fellow Toastmasters!

Today WhatsApp is the most abused media! Anyone having a mobile number and a smart phone is able to open a WhatsApp account and also create a group in minute. They can post whatever they want and whenever they  want.

For some people, they have to forward something or the other, every day. They just get excited on seeing the word “Forward”. One day, I was showing my priceless old cassette player to my friend Basker. Immediately he started pressing the Forward button 20 times in a second. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder to Forward!

The other day, I went for SSTUV College for a campus-recruitment. I saw an impressive resume of a student. It revealed that he spends more than one hour on social service, every morning.

“My God! Today a student getting up in the early morning itself is a big service to the parents. Doing social service at that odd hour should be really, really impressive! I was curious to know more!

“What kind of social services you do Krishna?”

“Sir, I am a member of 34 WhatsApp groups sir! Every day morning I forward all the inspirational stories to all my groups sir.”


“Sir, nothing like doing social service, sir! The other day I forwarded a message on blood donation to more than 400 people sir, in just 20 minutes sir!

“Ok. Btw, have you ever donated blood Krishna?”

“No Sir. I am really scared of it sir. That’s why I am doing this kind of social service in WhatsApp. Sir, shall I include you in my WhatsApp Group Sir?”

“No. Thanks Krishna! I am already a member of so many WhatsApp groups”.

I was reminded of those dreadful days, when I was a member of 69 WhatsApp groups. Medley Members group, Past Presidents group, Mentors group, Advanced Communicators group, Tamilnadu Toastmasters group, Ammani Patti family group, Gundakkal patti group, Adult Male Cousins group. That last group was to discuss on subjects like Politics, Religion etc. Believe me. Nothing more!

While you go to sleep, that “Ting, Ting” sound would not allow you to sleep peacefully. Someone suggested me to use the mute button. After that, no interruptions! But I was missing some important messages! So I had to still keep checking.

WhatsApp is like a diaper! You need to keep checking, even if nothing is there.

Toastmasters, please don’t underestimate the power of WhatsApp. It is not just a media to share anecdotes and stories. People use it for a variety of purposes. Some users just send Good Morning message to all in their groups. That would be their first job before brushing their teeth. They are the Rooster category. They would come back only after 24 hours to post another Good Morning message. 

Then comes the Booster category. Whatever you post, they would respond saying Wow, Awesome, Kool etc. Many a times they use these kind of signs. ....(gesture)

Finally the third category Toasters.  They will identify old friends, form a group and host parties. It is their full-time job.

The other day my wife was saying.

“Sundar, I am going to Mahabs on coming Sunday. Are you joining with me? Even spouses are also allowed.”

“What group? How much it costs?”

“It is our PSPT-81 WhatsApp Group. It costs just Rs.3000”

“What is PSPT-81? You never told me about such a group.”

“No. My friend Durga only found this group very recently. PSPT is nothing but Prathmic Students of Padma Teacher. We all took tuition under Padma Teacher in 1981 for three weeks. Thanks to WhatsApp, Durga identified all 15 of us. Ramesh is flying from Australia for this get together. Malini is all the way coming from US. I am longing to meet them”

“Longing to meet? Jayanthi, if I remember right, you bunked this Hindi class for almost two weeks out of 3 weeks”

After quitting from WhatsApp groups, I was curious to know what was going on. I sneaked into my wife’s smart phone. That’s when I saw that interesting message. 

‘If any objectionable content is found then the admin could be arrested’.  

Yes! This is what I wanted. I thought that now people would keep quiet or downplay. But do you know what happened? The admins made aaaall the members of the group as admins. No one was scared! They started another thread of discussions.

“Hey. I thought that Satheesh would be arrested yar.”

“No way ya! He is so smart. That’s why he made all of us admin. By the way, I never had been to Jail! How about you?”

“No, yar! I only went to Kaithi restaurant.”

“I heard Puzhal is better than Vellore”     

Oh My God! People can ramble on any topics.

Occasionally discussions happen on the technical features of WhatsApp. The other day Sunil had a doubt.

“Sundar, what are those two tick marks in WhatsApp?”

“They are “read messages”

“No Sundar. I am talking about those blue tick marks. Not the red message”

“Sunil…., when I said “Read” it is R…E…A….D… Read Messages. Got it?”

Toastmasters, with WhatsApp, there are some hidden benefits too. Nowadays family quarrels have come down drastically. Yes. People are busy in WhatsApp and they don’t have time to quarrel. In many apartments, they have done away with the watchman.  In every apartment, someone is checking WhatsApp throughout the night.

Toastamasters! I am not sure if I am using WhatsApp, but I am sure WhatsApp is using me! Contest Master!

Monday, February 9, 2015

Request to issue State Commemorative Coins

 Cehnnai – 600018

Tel: 9840923764

Shri Arun Jaitley
Finance Minister
Government of India
New Delhi


Sub: Request to issue State Commemorative Coins

I understand that Commemorative coins of India are usually issued to celebrate some special occasion or to mark a special event. They also have been issued as a mark of respect towards some distinguished individuals or monument. How about issuing commemorative coins to represent the 29 states and 7 union territories? This program can be similar to the 50 State Quarters program of USA.

Each of these 36 coins can have designs, representing the unique feature of the respective States and Union Territory. The designs can be anything special, except individuals, or religious symbols. For example, the coin representing Tamilnadu can bear the design of Bharatha Natyam or Palm Tree, Coin representing Kerala can bear the design of Mohiniyattam or Coconut tree etc.

Following are the envisaged benefits of the above initiative.

  • The initiative would honor 29 states and 7 union territories and hence bring the National Integration among Indian citizens.
  • This would promote the knowledge about the states, their history and culture and national heritage among the youth. 
  • This would also encourage a new generation of Numismatists or Coin Collectors.
  •   By selling the commemorative coins, GOI can also generate revenue.

I request the GOI to make an official announcement on the above at the earliest and request public to enthusiastically participate in the above program. I can share more thoughts if the officials concerned contact me.

Thanks and Best Regards,


Saturday, December 28, 2013

Big Crew Change and the Carnatic Music World

I work for the Oil and Gas customers and observed that their universal pain area is “Big Crew Change”. What is Big Crew Change all about? In simple words, it is nothing but a wave of retirements that is bound to happen over the next few years in the Oil and Gas industry. The industry is trying several ways and means to retain the talent base of the retiring workforce and also planning to recruit and train the young force in large scale. I could find an analogy of the big crew change phenomena in the carnatic music world, by observing the carnatic music concerts for the last few decades. Here the rasikas are analogous to the retiring workforce of the industry.

Of late, many youngsters have shown great passion towards carnatic music and really worked hard to give their best. Many of them come and perform on stage with great confidence. It shows a good positive trend. But how about the evolving trends of the rasikas? Are we able to spot out any teenager among the audience of the academies and sabhas.  Though the concerts of the popular singers and artists go houseful, if you see the profile of the audience, the average age of the rasikas of carnatic music concerts would be closer to fifty or sixty. It looks like that the same old rasikas keep attending all the concerts for the past few decades.

What will happen tomorrow, if the scarf clad mamas and mamis with the walking sticks refrain attending the concerts? The picture looks gloomy. The mamas and mamis are so passionate about music, that they talk music, walk music and eat music. In that process, the Gen Y lost complete interest in fine arts, unless they want to perform. If at all, the next generation shows interest in music, they want to be performers on the stage rather than a rasika among the audience.

The popular artists and sabhas may be happy with house-full concerts, but they need to remember that big crew change would be an imminent threat. Day is not far off, to look for the audience in each concert hall. The artists need to be mentally prepared for the wave of the retiring rasikas. They shall not only teach the Gen Y, but also find ways and means to create a new set of rasikas.  Sabhas need to organize more workshops on “Appreciating carnatic music”, facilitate more “raga identifying discussions” and conduct more quiz programs. Mama and mamis shall encourage their sons and daughters and grandchildren to attend such events, rather they participate in such events.  Again the whole purpose of the initiatives shall be not to produce more artists on stage, but to nurture more rasikas for the floor.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Music Lovers or Mischief Mongers

Following is my rejoinder for the articles “A Navroz by any other name…” by Baradwaj Rangan dated 23rd Dec and “Give Carnatic music a chance” by Swaroop Mamidipudi dated 30th Dec.

During music season, it is overwhelming to see the number of musicians and number of concerts, so is the number of writers and critics. I feel that people with good writing skills think they can write anything under the sky, including carnatic music without having a sense for this genre.

In this kind of articles, it has become customary to compare the carnatic music viz western music or hindusthani music as well as compare carnatic music rasikas viz western music lovers. First of all, why should carnatic music to be compared with western music, when apples and oranges are not to be compared? In this comparison exercise, the writers try to brand the carnatic music rasikas as if they are the trouble makers in any concert. May be film directors like Balachandar can exaggerate by portraying a rasika checking the diamond ear-ring of another rasikas during a concert, just for the sake of exaggeration. But in reality no such things happen. If rasikas are portrayed as trouble makers then it is nothing but a cliché.

It is often written that most of the rasikas hinder the concert by their activities like identifying the ragas through hand books and by discussing with the neighbors. In what way a concert is obstructed if a rasikas refers to a raga identification guide silently? What is wrong in identifying the raga, when the rasikas hears for the first time as long as they don’t make noise? Don’t we try to identify and appreciate when a new sweet is served in the meal? When a rasika is able to identify a new raga, he/she tries to put in his/her memory and appreciate the same when it is sung for the next time. Also they would like to discuss about the new raga with their friends and families. What is wrong in it? If we stipulate that a rasika has to keep quiet whatever is sung during the concert, the concerts would become mechanical and the artists will lose motivation.

It is also often complained that carnatic music rasikas interrupt the concert by their intermittent applause, whereas the audience in a western concert give a standing ovation only at the end of the concert. It has to be remembered that Carnatic music unlike western music is full of mano-dharma and the sangathis come spontaneously from the artists and they need to be acknowledged and appreciated then and there by a ‘bale’ or ‘sabash’. No carnatic musician has made a complaint about this so far. In fact, most of them would like to see nodding heads among the audience and expect some kind of ‘bale’ and ‘besh’ at appropriate time to get motivated. If the rasikas keep quiet with a robotic look, the entire event will become prosaic.

The next thing being discussed is the tonal quality and other aspects of sound engineering. True, if it is recorded music. One would expect a flawless music with absolute tonal quality in his/her collection of DVDs and Blue-ray discs. But we need to remember that the carnatic rasikas come for a live concert to enjoy the mano-dharma aspect of the live concert and is not bothered about some lapses in the tonal aesthetics.

It is mentioned that people all over the world instantly connect with and recognize the Ninth Symphony or the Turkish March, but that hardly true for the Pancharathna Krithis for instance. Need not be true. I may not get connected with Ninth Symphony as I don’t have any sense towards western classical. 

Also mentioned that a good Dhanyasi or Ahiri can melt even the most non-musical of souls. Very true, but It is not possible for the listener to appreciate the intricacies of the Dhanyasi or Ahiri unless he/she has a sense of appreciation for that this genre of art. When it is said that Carnatic music facing stiff competition, it is a sweeping statement. Carnatic music is growing and will be eternal, since many young artists take this as full-time profession. 

Let the critics and bloggers write articles on Carnatic music after making an effort to understand this great elite and classical art. Let them not make sweeping statements and false judgments.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Complex Addresses of Indian IT companies

Why do Indian IT companies make their contact addresses really complex?  Cant they make it simple?

Infosys Limited
Plot No: TP 1/1,
Central Avenue,
Techno Park SEZ,
Mahindra world city,
Natham sub post,
Chengalput - 603 002

Infosys Limited
Special Economic Zone,
Survey Nos. 50 (part), 51, 54, 49, 48, 44 & 45 (part), 41 (part), 36 (part),
Pocharam Village,
Singapore Township Post Office,
Ghatkesar Mandal, Ranga Reddy (Dist)
Hyderabad - 500 088

Tata Consultancy Services
Unit No. 801, 901 & 1001
Kensington Building IT/TES/SEZ
Hiranandani Business Park
Powai, Mumbai 400076

Tata Consultancy Services
Deccan Park, 
Plot No.1, 
Software Units Layout 
Hyderabad 500 081

Tata Consultancy Services
Yantra Park Unit No 6 , 
Voltas Compound 
Opp Voltas HRD Centre 
Subhash Nagar , Pokhran Road 2 
Thane (W) 400601

Tata Consultancy Services
Empire Plaza
Empire Industrial Estate
101, LBS Marg
Vikhroli West
Mumbai 400 083

Cognizant Technology Solutions
Global Delivery Center
 Plot GN-34/3, Sector-V
 Saltlake Electronic Complex
 Kolkata 700 091

HCL Technologies Ltd
ETA- Techno Park” Block I
33, Rajiv Gandhi Salai,
Navallur Village and Panchayat,
Thiruporur Panchayat Union,
Chengalpet Taluk,
Kanchipuram dist, Chennai – 603 103

HCL Technologies Ltd
Special Economic Zone
602/3, 138, Shollinganallur Village,
Shollinganallur - Medavakkam High Road,
Tambaram Taluk
Kancheepuram (Dist),
Chennai- 600 119. Tamilnadu, India

HCL Technologies BPO Services Ltd(C-5)
Module 1, Tower 1,
Floor Nos. 1 & 6,
“Chennai One” SEZ Unit
ETL Infrastructure Services Ltd.,
200 Ft, Thoraipakkam,
Pallavaram Ring Road,
Thoraipakkam, Chennai – 600 096 

HCL Technologies Ltd. - SEZ Unit
M/s. Unitech Hi-Tech Structures Limited
Special Economic Zone – IT/ITES
Plot No.1, Block No. A2, 3rd & 4th Floors.
DH Street, 316 New Town
Rajarhat, Dist. North 24 Parganas
Kolkata – 700 156, India

Satyam Computer Services Limited
Chennai Satyam Center
Survey No. 478/1A, Door No. 11A and 13
Old Mahabalipuram Road,
Tambaram Taluk 
Kancheepuram District

Satyam Computer Services Limited
Registered Office
Info City
Unit-12, Plot No.35 & 36
Hitech City Layout, Sy No.64
Madhapur, Hyderabad-500081

Satyam Computer Services Limited
Satyam Gateway
Block 1 & 2,S.No. 79(P) & 64 ( P)
Madhapur Village
Serilingampally Mandal and Municipality
R R Dist., Hyderabad 500 081

Satyam Computer Services Limited
Special Economic Zone - Unit
DLF Commercial Developers Ltd.,
Special Economic Zone
S.Nos. 129 (P), 130, 131 (P) and 132
Gachibowli Village
Shirlingampalli Mandal,Ranga Reddy District

L&T Infotech
2nd & 3rd floor, IT-6 Building,
Flagship Infrastructure Pvt. Ltd.,
IT & ITES, SEZ, Survey No.154/6,
Rajiv Gandhi Infotech Park,
Hinjewadi, Phase-1,
Pune 41105

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