Friday, October 13, 2017

What is the connection between firecrackers and Diwali?

What is the connection between firecrackers and Diwali?
The association of firecrackers and Deepavali is an act of marketing success that rivals De Beers’ successful association of diamonds and love. This marketing miracle was the result of two business geniuses from Sivakasi: Ayya Nadar and his brother Shanmuga Nadar.
There is no description of using fireworks to celebrate Deepavali anytime before the Mughal period. During the Mughal era, Deepavali was celebrated primarily using lamps; and, to a very limited extent restricted to the Gujarat area, illuminative fireworks. (On a side note, Aurangzeb banned the public exhibition of both lamps and fireworks for Diwali in 1667.[1]) After the Mughals, for much of the British rule, the stringent Explosives Act restricted the manufacture and sale of the raw materials used to create fireworks.
In 1923, Ayya Nadar and Shanmuga Nadar planted the seed that would grow to become the phenomenon that is Diwali fireworks today. Having migrated to Calcutta in search of their fortunes, and having found their fortunes working in a match factory there, they returned to their native Sivakasi and established a match factory. In 1940, the Explosives Act was amended, making the manufacture of a certain class of fireworks legal. The Nadar brothers seized the opportunity and in 1940, created the first fireworks factory in Sivakasi.
The Nadar brothers worked hard to associate Deepavali with fireworks, and their nationwide presence from the match industry gave them a platform to do so. The fireworks industry in Sivakasi grew by leaps and bounds, and by 1980, there were 189 factories in Sivakasi alone, manufacturing fireworks and supplying them all over the country.
Today, for many people, Deepavali and fireworks are synonymous with each other - but this connection is no more ancient than 1940.
No fad can grow exponentially without leaving a bloody trail behind it. When De Beers made diamond rings de rigueur for engagement and marriage ceremonies, they lit the spark of ravenous consumerism that is today responsible for ecological destruction and political devastation in countries like Congo, Angola, Liberia and Ivory Coast, which shows no sign of stopping. Likewise, the fireworks industry in Sivakasi was responsible for child labor, occupational death and disability, and fueling caste tensions in its hometown; and it leaves a legacy of noise, smoke, pollution, and a terrifying day for babies and animals all over the country.
Deepavali is the festival of lights; and lighting a few lamps is all the celebration that is needed for this amazing festival. When you buy and burst crackers on this day, all you are doing is proclaiming to the world that you, too, have been successfully conned by the scam orchestrated in 1940 by the Nadar brothers. There is no pride, honor or spiritual reward in that.😈

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Meat eating

Our ancestors climbed out of the trees because a new fast spreading plant was separating the trees. Grass. As the distance between the trees grew further and further, our ancestors spent more time on the ground. Began to walk on two legs. Had to seek out other sources of food. In addition to vegetation, they began to eat insects and small mammals. This protein packed meat, combined with the cunning needed to hunt prey, resulted in our ancestors brains evolving. Becoming more and more intelligent. Till they became the Homo Sapiens we are today. Scientific study even proves we crave the fat in meat. Our own brains will suffer a shrinkage when deprived of it. We owe everything we are, from once being tree dwelling primates to becoming highly intelligent industrial Homo Sapiens, to the consumption of meat. That's why I will remain true to my species as an Omnivore. I find it hilarious that a homo sapien owing it's current evolution to the consumption of meat arguing against it's consumption.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

standard talking points of a bhakt - even those who are quick to say they are not BJP or Modi supporter

1) Did you say the same when Congress was in power? [without knowing what I was saying]

2) Modi is respected worldwide, the whole world was laughing at Manmohan Singh [without providing any proof of that]

3) the economy is doing well only now [while facts say otherwise]

4) how do you expect 60  years of damage done to be fixed in 3 years? [discounts the fact of having world-class institutes, huge power projects, dams, etc, winning 3 wars with a belligerent neighbour, being the IT department of the whole world, how much percapita income increased between 1998 and 2013, how much the GDP grew at the same period; a decent economy has been run down the drain in just 3 years, need more? OMG!]

5) Lots of masterstrokes/masterstrikes [believing talks that come from photoshopped whatsapp forwards, and being blind to the reality]

6) you are talking like this because you are a congress supporter [as if Congress is the only alternative, and using congress supporter as an insult]

7) aadhaar should be treated like SSN in US, why are you worried only about aadhaar? [countries like the US have an independent judiciary and rule of law is still prevelant over there]

8) if you are worried about privacy, you should stop using mobile phone, facebook, google [don't they have rules about what data they can collect and how they can use it? they won't release data to anyone without a court order. with this regime, they are the police, judge, jury, and executioner]

9) people should be controlled [oh wow, that came out of nowhere, right]

10) aadhaar is needed to prevent abuse of benefits [without providing proof of validity of this claim or without offering any numbers]

11) aadhaar is needed to track terrorists [again, not knowing how]

12) India is being the frontrunner in this aadhaar, why do we always have to consider the west as a benchmark? [the benchmark seems to be other authoritarian countries]

13) all developed countries already have GST [US doesn't; other developed countries have no tax on produce & essential commodities; wait, should we look at the west as a benchmark or not?]

14) GST is not really too high, the overall rates have been reduced [doesn't matter that rate is still too high for essential commodities]

15) demonetization prevented corruption and reduced terrorist attacks [actual situation seems to offer no validation of that claim]

16) think about the soldiers, they are in the border sacrificing everything for you [what do they say, patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel, eh?]

17) what if BJP opposed these, it is not wrong to make a u-turn and implement these [without answering the question why it was opposed in the first place]

18) if these were all congress plans, why didn't you oppose them? [see point #1]

19) it is a trend now to oppose everything the government does [why oppose something which is good, and why shouldn't bad ideas be opposed?]

20) you have to support the government no matter what [as if that logic stopped BJP before 2013]

21) you're not in India, you shouldn't complain [yes, citizens lose their voice once they go outside the country]

22) you should go to India and say this and see what happens [ah, the hallmark of authoritarian regimes world over, veiled threats of violence]

23) you're anti-national [if opposing an authoritarian is being anti-national, decent human beings should be proud to wear that badge]

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

I have slipped through the cracks at my company and have not done anything for the past month

https://www.reddit.com/r/jobs/comments/3dfnuq/i_have_slipped_through_the_cracks_at_my_company/

As the title implies I have been going into work for the past month, sitting at my desk and surfing the web (mostly reddit) or playing computer games silently, and then going home.
Some backstory, I used to work in a department that was quite autonomous within the company and was actually created by my boss who was an associate VP in the company. I was hired directly (circumventing the usual HR procedures) by my boss as an executive assistant because he was a family friend. It was a pretty decent paying job for a recent grad and I was kept moderately busy answering calls, scheduling, preparing presentations/reports, etc.
However, my boss was fired last month and the department was shutdown (my company leases office buildings and my boss wanted to start leasing industrial properties as well and failed) so all the coworkers in my department were either let go or reassigned. The problem is that when HR was going through this process and interviewing my coworkers, I was never called to meet with them (probably due to the way I was hired).
While my department was being dismantled I kept coming into the office and going to my original desk. The peculiar thing is that when new employees were being moved into my department's area of the building no one was assigned to the executive's office so therefore no one was assigned to the executive assistant desk. The new employees that moved in were mostly overflow from different departments so no one really works together or has the same manager. It's been a month and no one has really questioned what I do or what department I'm a part of (I can easily deflect any work related small talk), and I'm still getting paid.
I'm pretty certain if I bring attention to my situation I will be immediately fired because I was the specially hired executive assistant to a VP who lost the company a fair bit of money. I have been looking for alternative jobs but all the jobs that I'm qualified for don't pay nearly as much as what I currently make. Also, I would have to actually do work if I got a new job. The only reason I still come into work is that I don't want to throw up any red flags because each employee is recorded entering and leaving the building by scanning their badge.
I'm thinking about riding this gravy train as long as I can before I eventually get found out and fired. Any comments or suggestions are welcome.


Thank you to everyone who commented on my previous post, your comments gave me some more motivation to look for another job before I inevitably get discovered and fired. That being said, I have not been able find another real job as of yet but I have gone for several interviews so that's promising.
Anyways on to the good bit. Its been almost 3 weeks since my last post and I have still gone completely unnoticed by everyone which is simultaneously a relief and really depressing. It's the lack responsibility and purpose that's becoming increasingly maddening. Similar to u/notdoingshit, I have discovered that not doing anything all day is worse than actually doing some work. Playing video games and surfing the web all day don't make the days go by faster anymore. Therefore, in the past week I have started working under the table for my aunt when I'm in the office instead of sitting there and doing nothing. I know this is a very ethically dubious thing to do but the money's good and it's helping me pay off my debts.
Some background, my aunt runs a small specialty store by herself and receives a lot of email inquiries that she can barely keep up with. She knew about my situation and asked me to help her respond to these emails. Basically all her emails are forwarded to a gmail account I setup and I spend probably 3-4 hours everyday responding to inquiries and forwarding relevant ones to my aunt. Doing this is helping me to stay sane as well as padding my wallet ($400 a week). I have asked her and she can't afford to pay me full time and I can't afford to work part time, so I can't leave my job unless I find another decent full time job, which I'm still looking for. I know that I will most likely be discovered at the end September during the quarterly review, but if I have to I'm gonna hold on to the very end.
I just wanted to share how I have descended deeper into the rabbit hole. I will welcome any comments or suggestions that you guys have about my situation.


Things have been pretty quiet at my work for the past 3 weeks. I still come into work everyday, spend the mornings answering my aunt's emails and my afternoons looking for other jobs and aimlessly surfing the web. However, I may be facing a huge problem this Friday.
There is a mandatory picnic/corporate team building thing this Friday that involves each employee being separated into departmental teams, which is problematic because the department that I was previously a part of no longer exists. It's the most important event of the year for our company and attendance is absolutely mandatory. Of course you can miss it if you're sick or have a personal matter, but due to a fair number of people calling in sick at last year's event all employee absences will be reviewed and verified by HR, and they will conduct in-person interviews if necessary. I cannot attract even the smallest amount of attention from HR without risking being discovered as a corporate leech so I don't think calling in sick is an option. However, I can't participate in the team building exercises without it being discovered that I'm not currently assigned to any department and I'm in a state of perpetually paid limbo.
The best idea that I've come up with so far is to come the picnic with crutches and pretend that I've sprained my ankle or something, so I can fulfill the attendance requirement and just watch the team building exercises and not take part of them (based on the itinerary most of the events are active and involve being on your feet), but then again doing this will attract attention to myself which is a very bad thing when management and HR are around. I welcome any suggestions on the best way to get out of this predicament.


Sorry for the delay in my update I've actually been going for interviews (two interviews so far) this week at an unnamed multinational insurance company, so I've been busy preparing and generally stressing out.
Anyways, on to the events of last Friday's company picnic. I did think about not showing up like many of you suggested but I was sure there was an attendance sheet so I thought of another way to go about things. I arrived at the picnic about 15 mins early when everyone was still busy setting up things, found the attendance sheet (or rather booklet) at the sign in table which was thankfully unattended, and discretely rifled through it until I found my name and signed next to it. I then shuffled away to the parking lot, and drove home to spend the rest of the day drinking beer and watching an ungodly number of Narcos episodes.
The interesting thing is that when I found my name on the attendance sheet I saw that I was listed as belonging to my former, now defunct, department. If the names had been sorted by department it would have raised some red flags but thankfully they were sorted alphabetically so all the departments were jumbled together and I was lost in fray. I'm just one misplaced entry in some spreadsheet or database that someone like me has been too lazy to double-check.
Hopefully I get called back for the third and final interview for the insurance company so I can finally leave this job.


I apologize for the two month delay after my last post but there have been some very big developments in my employment/living situation and I've been very busy (also I forgot). I was eventually able to find another job for which I had to relocate to another city (not a big deal it's only an hour from where I originally lived).
Anyways onto the good stuff. About two weeks after my previous post, I interviewed for my current job and was offered a position so I had to find a way to quit without drawing any attention to myself. I waited all week until Friday at 3pm, which is when all the pay cheques are sent out, and then I waited another hour and a half before I went to HR to submit my resignation. As I expected the HR person I was directed to speak to about ending my employment was barely functioning (it was 4:30 on a Friday). She barely acknowledged me and just gave me a form to fill out and told me she would enter all the information into the system on Monday morning and then follow up with me. After that I walked out of the building and decided to treat myself to some ice cream before I went home to finish packing up my things for my move the next day. I did receive a call from the HR lady Monday morning and she asked why I was listed as being a part of a defunct department and who my supervisor was. I kinda panicked and told her I didn't know what she was talking about and that all of my information should be in the system before telling her I had to go and hanging up. I guess that worked because I have not received any other calls or emails from that company for the last two months.
This is will probably be my last post about the situation I was in unless something similar happens to me at my new job which I hope doesn't happen. Thanks for reading and commenting on all my posts.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Put an End to NASSCOM 'Black List' - NDLF I.T. Employees Wing

http://new-democrats.com/put-and-end-to-nasscom-black-list/

This is an email received from a group of Cognizant employees about the company’s practice of using National Skills Registry to threaten employees. HR of other companies also routinely threaten employees that they will be given negative reference, will be added to black list and so on.
Any such activity by any organization is illegal. In our planned representation to the Tamil Nadu labour secretary and Labour Commissioner  we plan to take up this issue strongly. We will demand labour department to conduct an enquiry into such practices. We will demand the companies to be transparent about the information they maintain and share the same with the concerned employee. These kind of unfair labour practices should be firmly opposed and stopped.
We invite all IT employees to join the delegation tomorrow (“Representation to the Labour Secretary, Government of Tamil Nadu at 11 am on May 16, 2017 demanding intervention by the state”). Please contact 9003198576 or send email to combatlayoff@gmail.com for details.
Hi Sir,
I like to bring this incident to you.
One of our CTS colleague has been given 4th rating and called for a HR meeting. In the meeting he is asked to resign immediately. HR told him that if he is not resigning then company will do auto-resignation or termination and they told he will NOT get a job anywhere outside in other IT companies.
Why he shouldn’t get a job in other IT companies?
[We think] this is because CTS will enter bad or wrong comments about that person in National Skills Registry. Every person when they are joining CTS were asked to sign up in National Skills Registry and provide the ID to HR. [The implied threat is that] CTS HR will use the ID to enter black remark about the person if he is not resigning or does take up the matter to labour commission. [Many fear that] This registry is being verified by other IT companies when the person is interviewed and if they find a the black remark from CTS then that person will not be selected in their company.
All these are being done under the umbrella of NASSCOM. National Skills Registry was formed for a good intent but the IT companies are using for killing the career of employees incase if they do anything against those companies [their illegal practices].
We request you to inform this issue to TN labour commissioner and make sure that the employees career are not affected [for standing up for their rights, approaching labour department or joining union all of which are legal rights of an employee]. Also the truth behind the national skills registry should be brought to light to public and the provisions given to IT companies to make the remark against the employees should be removed. This has to be done by the Central Govt.
Regards.