Friday, February 11, 2005

Lost and Found

This happened a few days back but the story goes back almost 2 months back. About 8 weeks before, I left a text-book in the classroom. I could not find who took it and was searching high and low for it. Silly me, I did not mark the book as mine. I sent a lost&found email to the whole class. No one responded, and I subsisted on a borrowed book during that period. About a week back, one guy sends a mail saying he has someone's copy of that book and since it is unmarked, he will give it away on an FCFS basis. Now the juicy part comes. It seems someone else took his marked book and he was also searching for it. Mistakenly or not, my book went to stay with him. After that course ended, it was returned back to him and hence was left with two copies of the same book and so sent out a lost&found email. He says he didn't remember whether he marked the book or not. I wonder if he knew my book was not his, and still kept it with himself?

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Employer or Feudal Lord?

My grandfather used to say that before Independence, there used to be big zamindars in his village who used to dictate even the personal lives of people who used to work in his farm. You can't do anything without the 'blessings' or 'approval' of the landlord.

I frequently read newspaper articles from USA about how personal liberty is so valued there that any form of collectivism is frowned upon. The 'land of the free', they say! Apparently not, according to this New York Times article.

If I have to believe all the articles I read, Fort Capitalism gives a rat's arse about workers. After all, forming unions and worker's rights and personal rights goes against everything the great country stands for - corporate profits. You can say it all started with Henry Ford and his commitment to money and union-busting at his Dearborn factory.

Now, it has come to prohibiting smoking even outside of work, in your personal time. Howard Weyers, 'the soft-spoken, silver-haired president of Weyco', hereby referred to as the dope, says 'it is for the good of the employees' and smoking in your privacy is not a worker's right. What next? No pizza at home because it uses cheese? No wearing moustaches/beards or turbans because it leads to lice? No religion other than Christianity because only it has morality as specified in the ten commandments? Apparently, employment is not a right either, nor is health insurance.
It's not about what people do at home. It's about the acceptance of personal responsibility by people we choose to employ.

"You work for me, this is what I expect. You don't like it? Go someplace
else," Mr. Weyers explained in an interview.
An extension of this was seen during the USA Elections (2004) when one lady was fired because she had a Democratic bumper sticker and the employer did not like it. Going ahead with anti-union stand, Walmart would rather close a store in Canada than capitulate to the commies with a employees' union.
After 14 years at Weyco, Anita Epolito decided she would go someplace else
rather than be forced to give up smoking.
We have seen for over the last century that whatever is done in the 'God's own country' is forced upon the rest of the world - 'American Culture' (popular culture, food habits), work culture, work timings, esp. due to outsourcing, standards, food habits (Maharaja Mac, what the hell is that?), technology (RFID and walmart), name it you got it, 'democracy' (Vietnam, Iraq - accept it or we will be bombed back to stone age). The time won't be far when the honchos in India ape whatever the big bossman in the company headquarters in USA says what employees can/cannot do.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

waterfight 2

Fort St. George in the 'Lost World' was breached today, twice! The first attack started fifteen minutes back, when two members of the playboy committee launched a devious strike against garrison commander the Brave Sir Robin. He quickly joined the invading forces to attack the Shah of Mumbai, in another devious attack.

The second attack started with a large posse of junior hillbillies armed heavily with water buckets invaded the 'The Lost World' and started knocking down the doors of the senior hillbillies amidst chantings of 'PGP2 HAI HAI'. Sir Robin, commando in a warm pair of shorts, quickly went down in a brave fight.

The war shows no signs of letting up as the overcharged mob is hunting for every man left out in 'The Lost World'. Hysterical cries, much like of hyenas laughing, could be heared outside. The place resembles a war zone, with water flowing out of every pipe and outlet.


What is a better way to start spring than starting an all-out waterfight? It is going on outside right now.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Beginning of the End

I am just back from the farewell party the junior hillbillies are giving the outgoing batch. It was all sombre at first, they called out each of the students, gave mementos along with a small intro about them. They put on a funny skit about some notable students here and also a couple of dances. At the end they put a slideshow - the photos from the first year, BG some sobby music. It made us all very sentimental, I almost cried there. The last one and three-quarters of a year passed through me, early morning bus rides, 'bakra' week, celebrating birthdays, sharing movies, latenight parties, table tennis after lunch, the ride back to the hostel, waiting at the railway gate and eating 'butta', the first vacation trip to my father's house in Bombay, trekking to the classes, group discussions, sleeping in the class, summer placements, my first very cold winters, summer internship, fresher's party, juniors coming in, forming groups, high speed internet, downloading movies, starting this blog, etc etc. It is all like a pleasant dream, and I am gonna wake up to rude reality. Now I have less than 11 days left here and I have to start looking for jobs now. No more 24x7 internet, no more night canteens, no more afternoon naps, no more hostel life, no more late night chatting with New York dude, and the list goes on. Hey, what is this salty thing in my eyes? Pass the tissues.