Monday, December 21, 2009

Coastal Andhra and poverty

It is normally believed that people of Coastal Andhra in Andhra Pradesh are better off than those in Telangana. I lived in Vishakhapatnam for four years and I know the condition. May be ten percent are rich and forty percent lead an average life. But the bulk of the people are landless labourers and those ill paid working for contractors. Adivasis have particularly tough life. People from Srikakulam and Vizayanagaram are poor. All industries are in Vishakhapatnam but those employed there are from East and West Godavari districts.

I stay near Income tax towers, which is quite close to shantinagar colony. There are more than hundred five story buildings—all residential—each building having ten to twenty-five flats and most of them occupied by IT workers, who are very well paid.

Every building has just one watchman, who is paid about Rs.3000/-per month and is on duty round the clock. The watchmen live with their families in a single small room provided by the building societies. Watchman’s wife works as maidservant and earns some money to meet both ends meet. The residents give left over food to them. Ninety percent of these watchmen are from Srikakulam and Vishakhapatnam. Who says coastal Andhra is developed?
It is very common to see girls below the age of ten are employed to look after babies of these buildings as most of the women are also employed. The girls employed are either the children of watchmen or are brought from the native towns of the residents.
Where is the labour department?

INDIANOIL-My last day

I am sharing with you the text of what I spoke during my farewell meet on the last working day in May 2003.

I joined IOC in Feb 1970 and after training worked in several locations, including Imphal, which was a difficult location.

Those were the days when many facilities were non-existent. Imphal Depot was road fed. But there was no TLF bay. 10 to 15 trucks were received every day. I was the only officer and had to climb each truck twice – once to see the levels on arrival – second time to check after the topping up. Though work was tough, there was a great social standing. Being a small state, I was in the list of invitees for Independence Day and Republic Day functions at CM’s residence. While in Warangal also there was good social standing. IOC officer had unrestricted access to Collector and SP.

I was always bad in boss management. I did not realise that, that was the most important factor.

I consider myself far ahead of my time. Many times the ideas that I give are rejected and even laughed at. But the same ideas get implemented after 5 to 6 years. For instance when the State Offices were formed I suggested that the depots should report to SOM instead of to DOs. I was rather ridiculed for such a suggestion. The then DGM and SOM said reporting of Depots to DMs was in the best interest of sales. This was implemented after 4 years. I am sure even now the best interests are served.

I worked with some good people. Among them, I can name Rath, V.K. Chowdary, Supriya Basu, Ghoshal. They were my reporting officers. I enjoyed working with them. Unfortunately, they happened to be in those posts for very short time. I also happened to work with some who were psychic. Among them were Ramdas, S. Ramamurthy and Appa Rao. However, these people atleast thought what they did was right. There are always two concepts of right. I must share with you what it was to work with someone like B.C. Rai. He was DM, B’lore and I was SO, Devanagere. In meetings he used to show his photograph and ask us “Do you know this handsome man?” If he rang up Region, he would tell the PA to BSM “your future BSM is speaking”.

Then there was Urs, who would take a knap and immediately on waking up target an officer and shout at him. This was management by terror.

We have come a long way. Today we have infrastructure in all locations, excellent facilities, Innumerable welfare measures and by & large well-meaning and highly qualified management. I am glad that I have seen this growth during my tenure before superannuation.

The only thing that I like to emphasise is that many more developments have to take place. As I see the main weakness today is in the field of time management. Excellent reports are prepared, excellent proposals are generated but unfortunately not within the time frame. All Oil Cos. have all facilities on par. We must steal a march over them by practicing good time management. I think I have a right to say these things because I am your elder. Senior most among you have more than two years to superannuate.

I would like to say a few more things. My personal interests are social history, literature, but not novel & fiction. I like poetry, drama & critical essays.

I find canvas of fiction/novel is too large and I tend to lose interest. However, before reading I check whether it is third person or first person narrative. I read only if the work is in the form of dialogues – interaction among the characters.

I love reading poetry – both Urdu & English. I love paintings and music though I do not understand both much. I cannot differentiate one raga from the other. All the same I enjoy listening.

I study religion, for me religion is not rituals. Religion is all about morals or dharma that is to say being good.

I must say people in IOC have all been good to me. I have enjoyed love & respect of all, particularly in this posting. This office has a large number of excellent officers & staff. They are also good human beings.

I must mention a few people I worked with directly--Prasad, Madhavi while I was in Operations for two years and Vijayasree & Ramesh in LPG.I thank them for their cooperation during the period. I have not worked with, but known all other youngsters like Prasannas, Vaheda, Satyanarayanas, Swamy, Laxmi, Sirisha, etc. We also had (I am saying “had” because it has not functioned for long) LMG with members Vasanth, Venkat, Rajkumar, Shankar Rao & Janaki. We met occasionally over drinks. I spent memorable time with them
I have known all in Operations group very closely. I have known Girish, Anand Rao, Sharif, Paul, and Brahmam for over 10 to 15 years. I now want to say a few words about a great man, who has been too good to me. He loves me, accepts me as I am and fights for me. He is the one who is responsible for my E Grade. He is Mr. Vasanth Kumar.

Read poetry take interest in fine arts. These provide relaxations leading to rejuvenation. Create or appreciate beautiful things. Think freely and independently. Live rightly and do not differentiate between man and man. Real happiness comes from making others happy.

It is said mankind are happy for having been happy. If you make a man happy today, you will make him happy 20 years hence by remembrance of it.

INDIANOIL-Vigilance in management

In the year 2003, before I retired, I wrote this article when vigilance week was being celebrated.

What do I understand by vigilance and corporate growth? The subject confused me. With a little knowledge of Internet that I had, to my surprise I found a number of sites on the subject. Every site talked about vigilant management. Not the vigilance as it is commonly understood. And the address of Mr.Vittal to IOC is also a site on the net, which tallies with common understanding of vigilance in management.

The correct understanding of vigilance in management is being vigilant, be it the management of finance, raw material, human resource, machinery and most importantly time. If this concept is accepted, vigilance is one important component of a manager. A manager without this component is no manager. If function of a manager were compared to human anatomy, which organ would you think would be vigilance? I leave this question unanswered.

Managers, who strictly observe vigilance in the commonly understood sense of the word, tend to violate the same, which the non-discerning eye does not notice. To give a commonplace example, touring. It is commonplace to see managers touring where touring is not really needed. We have examples of managers visiting each and every distributor, dealer all over the state, which is primarily a function of a field officer. To top it they complain they have no time for their family. This is where the vigilant time management is lacking. No one can manage time; one has to manage oneself within the time frame. Vigilance in time management (misnomer) requires one to audit one's time spent. Making a time chart can do this exercise. One has to keep an account of time spent against the time scheduled. This done for a week or so will give an insight into one's time management. The next step is to budget one's time. Please remember time is as important as finance. We all have seen how a schedule is observed more in breach. Call to mind any programme that you attended. There is always an agenda, earmarking time. To begin with the programme does not begin on time. Every one of us knows all rest. I go back in time to my college days. Sociology was one of my subjects of study and conflict of roles was an important topic. That was the time when a film by name Anuradha, with Balraj Sahni and Leela Naidu in the cast was released. This film dealt with the same subject of conflict of roles. A Doctor engrossed in his medical practice totally forgets his role as a husband. Of course as it happens in films the Doctor realizes his mismanagement of time which resulted in his wife's frustrations. We have several roles to play. A successful man is one who budgets his time for each role and keeps auditing it. Think of a man who rises to the top of the ladder of one role and is on the lowest rung in rest of the roles. That is lop-sided.

Talking of time it is not out of place to discuss how top level enjoy performing lower level functions. I have known a GM of our region personally allocating flats for officers. The function of manager administration was just to give the GM details of availability of vacant flats and the applications of the officers. GM had time to do this job! This type of management is considered involved management by the beneficiaries of the system. Innumerable examples of this type can be cited. These are the things that occupy the precious time of our top level.

Let us take finance. There are so many areas to be vigilant in finance. Vigilant does not mean maneuvering to bypass commonly understood vigilance. It is all about controllable expenditure. Many are telephone happy. There was a manager in Vizag Terminal who was very rarely found not on telephone. If you wanted to talk to him you would be just sitting before him, he being continuously on phone, making one call after another. We found it easier to communicate with him if we contacted him on intercom. What can be communicated in 2 minutes is explained in 10 minutes. Brevity results from clarity of thought. Communication is a skill every manager should possess. It is indirectly linked to management of finance. Travel is another most controllable aspect. I have already dealt with this. I also wonder how finance concurs expenditure on various parties, which are internal.

We have given precious space for ATM booths for ICICI bank in several ROs in Hyderabad at very nominal rent ranging between Rs.6000/- to Rs.10000/-. I am aware of the concept of allied selling, which is one of the major retail factors. My query in an SMC was how these ATMs are helpful to us. But, unfortunately our GM did not want any debate on the subject. I was almost made to feel my query was stupid. I had similar experience again during SMC on an earlier occasion. That time when the discussion was about handing over of Renigunta depot site back to Rlys, I suggested we do not pay the rental as the delay in handing over was because Rlys requested for infrastructure free of cost. This is where vigilant finance comes into picture.

We have today quite a few products of management schools. Good. We need them. But all that they are used for is statistics. Statistics is a base for any decision-making. It is not an end in itself. So much of statistical analysis is churned out. Various permutations and combinations are used. Looked at from all available angles. It remains a monument. The products of management schools should be used for achievements and not just for super power point presentations before dignitaries whose visits are quite common. I covered it in the earlier portion. Path is important but the function of the path is to lead to destination.

We Indians are very receptive to new ideas. We accept all modern management principles as long as we are in classrooms. Away from classrooms, in real work situations we do exactly opposite of what we appreciate in classrooms. If at least 10% of what is so laboriously learnt in management schools is put to practice it will make a difference.

In order to accept and practice modern concepts unlearning is the first step. And unlearning has to be at the top as well as the bottom levels of management hierarchy. Faster the top unlearns lesser is the need for lower levels to unlearn.

Let us wish ourselves good luck. I do not really believe in luck. I quote from the Quran -
“ Allah does not alter the state of a people until they themselves make a move to change it.” (13:11)

Saturday, December 19, 2009


According to PTI online news of 18.12.2009, “The Government is considering taxing most of the perquisites, including housing and conveyance at the hands of the employees during this fiscal.

According to official sources, the salaried class may have to bear an additional tax burden on their perquisites in the form of housing, conveyance, or monetary compensations in lieu of them, among other benefits”.
Whenever I go for some purchases at ‘more’ or ‘food world’, I find quite a few buyers make their payment through coupons. Both the malls are near Shantinagar colony where many residents are IT employees. I always wondered what kind of coupons they were. They carry a big ‘book’ of coupons and tear out some for purchases worth over thousand rupees. One day I asked a buyer with coupons and his reply was that the companies they were employed by gave them coupons as part of certain portion of their salary. He agreed when I said it was one way of avoiding Income Tax. What does the Government intend to do in such cases?

The other huge area is dividends. Shareholders do not pay tax on income from dividends. Just imagine the amount of money large shareholders make through dividends. If the government is serious about revenue collection they should make dividends taxable beyond a reasonable amount.

Friday, December 18, 2009

INDIANOIL-Servo Towers

Servo Towers

Family retention in Hyderabad was agreed to by management when I was transferred to Chennai in 1995. I had requested for the facility because my daughter got admission in an Engineering college in Hyderabad. So my wife and daughter shifted to Servo Towers, Indian Oil’s own residential building for officers, situated in Ameerpet, a locality of Hyderabad. On two sides of the building clearance between the structure and compound wall was about ten feet and on the other two sides it was still less. The flat given to my family was on first floor that is just above the car parking.

Boys and girls of the building started playing shuttle right below my flat. Cock would land in one of our balconies and the door bell would ring and one of the players would ask for the cock landed in one of our balconies. Initially my wife obliged. Some times she would leave her work, watching something interesting on TV, leaving stitching half way through or leaving half done ‘phulka’ to attend to the players’ demand. They almost turned her into their at-your-service person. She could take it no longer. She told them to keep a dozen shuttle cocks ( that was almost the number of times she was at their service each day) and collect them at the end of the day or the next morning. They did not like it nor did their parents.

They all complained to DGM. During one of my visits on leave, Somashekhar ( his two daughters, one an employee of Jet Airways and the other a college student were two of the many players) told me that DGM had decided to close my balconies with wire mesh.
I told him that it should be done for all the flats, and incase my flat was singled out for netting, DGM would face trouble. I told him to convey it to DGM.
Thus the trouble for my wife was over.

There were two other families staying on ‘retention’. Not the wives and children of the officers but their sisters. One flat was occupied by two sisters (they were operating a telephone booth and were self employed) of an officer, who was posted at Vijayawada and was there with his wife. An officer’s sister and brother-in-law occupied another flat, while the officer was in Vijayawada with his wife. His sister was a physician and brother in law a businessman. DGM bade dilwala tha ji!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

SC wants caste system abolished

“Unfortunately, the centuries-old Indian Caste System still takes its toll from time to time. This case unfolds the worst kind of atrocities committed by the so-called upper caste (Kshatriya or Thakur) against the so-called lower caste — Harijan caste in a civilised country,” the top court observed.
“It is absolutely imperative to abolish the caste system as expeditiously as possible for the smooth functioning of rule of law and democracy in our country,” a Bench of Justices Dalveer Bhandari and A.K. Patnaik said expressing anguish over occurrence of such crimes. While restoring the life sentence to six members of the Thakur community — Mathura Singh, Udai Bhan Singh, Dhirendra Singh, Munna, Ram Niwas Singh and Vijay Karan Singh — for the heinous crime, the Bench directed that the four surviving accused should surrender to the authorities immediately while cancelling their bail bonds.
“The accused belonging to Thakur caste butchered seven innocent persons belonging to the Harijan caste and to wipe out the evidence of their atrocities, after shooting they were thrown in the Ganges,” the court stated.
The above text is from Deccan Chronicle report on 6.12.2009.
I studied caste system as a student of Sociology. There are only four castes—brahmin, kshtrya, vaishya and shudra. Dalits are outside the fourfold hindu society. I do not use the term harijan. I agree with what Mayawatiji said about it. Dalits do not belong to any caste.
It is a very noble thought that caste system should be abolished. It would have been most welcome had the judges suggested ways of abolition.
What were the judgements of lower courts?

Another notable judgement.
Recognising the right of Muslim women beyond the iddat period under the Family Court Act of 1984 and other relevant legal provisions, the Supreme Court has held that a divorced Muslim wife would continue to get maintenance from her ex-husband if she doesn’t remarry. This was reported in the same news paper on 5.12.2009. As expected muslim clerics have raised concerns and I am also sure that a Rajiv will undo the judgement.
In one judgement SC asks for abolition of caste system but in this case does not even suggest enactment and implementation of uniform civil code, which to my knowledge is part of ‘directive principles of state policy’.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

national song

In his Autobiography of an Unknown Indian, Nirad C. Chaudhuri has aptly described the atmosphere of the times in which the song was written. "The historical romances of Bankim Chatterjee and Ramesh Chandra Dutt glorified Hindu rebellion against Muslim rule and showed the Muslims in a correspondingly poor light. Chatterjee was positively and fiercely anti-Muslim. We were eager readers of these romances and we readily absorbed their spirit."
R.C. Majumdar, the historian, writes "During the long and arduous struggle for freedom from 1905 to 1947 'Bande Mataram' was the rallying cry of the patriotic sons of India, and thousands of them succumbed to the lathi blow of the British police or mounted the scaffold with 'Bande Mataram' on their lips. The central plot moves round a band of sanyasis, called santanas or children, who left their hearth and home and dedicated their lives to the cause of their motherland. They worshipped their motherland as the Goddess Kali;... This aspect of the Ananda Math and the imagery of Goddess Kali leave no doubt that Bankimchandra's nationalism was Hindu rather than Indian. This is made crystal clear from his other writings which contain passionate outbursts against the subjugation of India by the Muslims. From that day set the sun of our glory - that is the refrain of his essays and novels which not unoften contain adverse, and sometimes even irreverent, remarks against the Muslims". As Majumdar puts it, "Bankimchandra converted patriotism into religion and religion into patriotism."

Full song from Anand Math a Bengali novel is:

vande maataraM 
sujalaaM suphalaaM malayaja shiitalaaM 
sasyashyaamalaaM maataraM || 
shubhrajyotsnaa pulakitayaaminiiM 
pullakusumita drumadala shobhiniiM 
suhaasiniiM sumadhura bhaashhiNiiM 
sukhadaaM varadaaM maataraM || 
 koTi koTi kaNTha kalakalaninaada karaale 
koTi koTi bhujai.rdhR^itakharakaravaale 
abalaa keno maa eto bale 
bahubaladhaariNiiM namaami taariNiiM 
ripudalavaariNiiM maataraM || 
 tumi vidyaa tumi dharma 
tumi hR^idi tumi marma  
tvaM hi praaNaaH shariire 
baahute tumi maa shakti 
hR^idaye tumi maa bhakti 
tomaara i pratimaa gaDi 
mandire mandire || 
tvaM hi durgaa dashapraharaNadhaariNii 
kamalaa kamaladala vihaariNii 
vaaNii vidyaadaayinii namaami tvaaM 
namaami kamalaaM amalaaM atulaaM 
sujalaaM suphalaaM maataraM || 
shyaamalaaM saralaaM susmitaaM bhuushhitaaM 
dharaNiiM bharaNiiM maataraM ||  

 The following English translation is by Shree Aurobindo.

Mother, I bow to thee!   
Rich with thy hurrying streams,   
bright with orchard gleams,   
Cool with thy winds of delight,   
Dark fields waving Mother of might,   
Mother free.   
Glory of moonlight dreams,   
Over thy branches and lordly streams,   
 Clad in thy blossoming trees,   
Mother, giver of ease   
Laughing low and sweet!   
Mother I kiss thy feet,   
Speaker sweet and low!   
Mother, to thee I bow.   
Who hath said thou art weak in thy lands   
When the sword flesh out in the seventy million hands   
And seventy million voices roar   
Thy dreadful name from shore to shore?   
With many strengths who art mighty and stored,   
To thee I call Mother and Lord!   
Though who savest, arise and save!   
To her I cry who ever her foeman drove   
Back from plain and Sea   
And shook herself free.   
Thou art wisdom, thou art law,  
Thou art heart, our soul, our breath  
Though art love divine, the awe  
In our hearts that conquers death.  
Thine the strength that nervs the arm,  
Thine the beauty, thine the charm.  
Every image made divine  
In our temples is but thine.  
Thou art Durga, Lady and Queen,  
With her hands that strike and her  
swords of sheen,  
Thou art Lakshmi lotus-throned,  
And the Muse a hundred-toned,  
Pure and perfect without peer,  
Mother lend thine ear,  
Rich with thy hurrying streams,  
Bright with thy orchard gleems,  
Dark of hue O candid-fair  
In thy soul, with jewelled hair  
And thy glorious smile divine,  
Lovilest of all earthly lands,  
Showering wealth from well-stored hands!  
Mother, mother  mine!  
Mother sweet, I bow to thee,  
Mother great and free!  

Bankim, as we will see in the translation done by Aurobindo, referred to “seven crores” of people worshipping motherland. This was the population of the then Bengal Province.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Tax free

Salman Khursheed talked about 'vulgar' salaries. Pranob Mukharjee should say some thing about dividents.
In 2006-2007 share holders of 1100 companies pocketed Rs 40,000 crores.

There is no tax on dividents paid to share holders.
Imagine the money (tax free) received by owners of companies.

I do not have the figures for
2007-08, 2008-09.

Sunday, September 27, 2009


click to enlarge.
This is from Times of India of 16.9.09

I thought Azharuddin was remembered for match fixing.

Picture of the year

I do not know what to say. I invite comments.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009


In 1966-67 I was a student of Bombay University, studying English and American literature. Under exchange programme Mr. Chritopher Knap; a fresh graduate from Leeds was a faculty to teach us Phonetics. He stayed in the same hostel, university hostel on 'B' Road, Chrchgate, where I stayed. He was almost my age. He insisted we called him Chris. Mr. Green, British Cousel Librarian, visited once a week to talk about intonation.
We had Prof. Ropollo from Massechussets for American literature. Prof. Ropollo stayed in Taj Mahal hotel. It was quite an experience interacting with them.
I still have some handouts given by Chris, which I wish to share.

click to enlarge images

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Classical dances of India

Classical dances in India have their origin in temples. They began as a form of worship.

Kathakali is a Kerala dance. It is a pantomime depicting a scene from Mahabharat, an epic, whch Hindus consider as 'smriti'(tradition). It is only performed by men.

Bharat Natyam is of Tamil Nadu origin. It was also originally performed in temples as a form of worship. This form of dance is sensuous and has foot work facial expressions (bhava), delicate body movements(mudra)and acting (abhinaya).

Kuchipudi originated in a village called Kuchipudi, in Guntur district of Andhra Pradesh. Originally it was performed by boys. When boys impersonate girls, they tend to exagerate the feminine gestures. That is how this dance has exagerated faminine gestures. This dance was patronised by Quli Qutub Shah, the founder king of Qutubshahi dynasty.

Orissi originated in Orissa. This dance was formed on the basis of scupted temple figures of Orissa. Since the movements in sculptures were restrited, in this dance foot and hand movements are closer to the dancers' body. In Bharatnatyam there is no restriction of movements.

Manipuri dance is Krishna Lila. This is a costume dance. Since the costume is very elaborate, the vibrancy is affected. However costumes, bhava and mudra are a treat to watch.

Kathak also originated in temples. Because of the patronage of Wajid Ali Shah of Avadh, it has become a secular dance. It has beautiful foot work, bhava, abhinaya and mudra. Most of the Hindi film dances are based on this form.

Friday, August 14, 2009


Cover drive: A drive that is hit away from the batsman's body.

Drive: A hit executed by the batsman in which he swings the bat in a long arc and sends the ball in one of several possible directions.

Glide: A hit, which is executed like a drive but is angled to go behind the batsman on his off side.

Hook: A hit that is executed by the batsman swinging his bat around his body, and following up with a complete body turn, usually pivoting on one best on a pitch that is moving away from the batsman on his "leg" side.

Late cut: A hit that is executed by a batsman by deflecting the pitch in a slicing motion, just before it reaches the wicket keeper or catcher.

Leg glance A hit consisiting of a deflection around the batsman's legs, of a pitch past the wicket keeper and behind him.

Lofted drive: A drive where the ball is lofted (hit in the air) to clear infield or midfield positions.

Off drive: A drive, which is executed at about a 45-degree angle to the line of the wickets, on the batsman's off side

On drive: A drive, which is executed at about a 45-degree angle to the line of the wickets, on the batsman's on or leg side.

Pull: A hit executed by a batsman "pulling" an offside pitch around his body towards his other (i.e.on, or leg) side.

Square cut: A hit that looks like a slash across the body, used by batsman to hit the ball "square" to his batting position.

Sweep: A hit executed towards his leg or on side, by "sweeping" his bat around his body.

Yorker: An "overpitch" delivery which is thrown so far forward as to bounce right under the batsman's bat, and beat him.

Spin: A kind of pitch, usually delivered at slow speed, where fingers or/and wrist are used to impart spin to the ball to achieve "breaks"; so, spin bowler = a pitcher who uses spin.

Seamer: A faster pitch delivered with the seam straight, and which can "slide" in the air or "break" unexpectedly.

Overpitched delivery: A pitch, which is pitched so far forward that the batsman can reach the point where it bounced by a forward step.

Outswing: A pitch, which moves down and away from the batsman in the air.

Long hop or short pitch: A pitch that is bounced far away from the batsman ( at least 7 to 10 yards away) , so it reaches the batsman after a long hop, or bounce.

Off-break: A pitch, which, after bouncing, "breaks" into the batsman's body from his off side.

Leg break :a pitch that is thrown and breaks into a batsman's body off the bounce, from the batsman's "leg" side.

Inswing: A pitch that moves into a batsman in the air.

Googly: A pitch which is thrown with grip but reverse finger spin to look like a leg-break that should move across and away from the batsman, but actually moves in the opposite direction, i.e. into the batsman, like an off-break, after it bounces.

Good length, or good-length delivery: A pitch which bounces just outside the batsman's maximum forward reach (i.e. 3 to 5 yards from the wickets, depending upon batsman's height).... these pitches are the hardest for a batsman to hit, because he cannot decide whether to step forward anyway, or if he should step back and give himself the maximum distance from the "bounce", to see what the ball might be doing.

Full toss: A pitch that reaches the batsman without a bounce.

Cutter, leg- or off- A fast pitch where a slashing arm action rather than wrist or finger spin is used to get a slight break off the bounce.... depending on the direction of the break, it can be called a leg-cutter or off-cutter.

Chinaman: A left-hander's googly.i.e. A pitch that looks as if it could break into a right-handed batsman on the bounce but breaks away instead.

Bumper: A ball that is bounced high enough to hit a batsman's head or shoulders.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Field positions in CRICKET

Click on the image to enlarge.
There are only eleven men in addition to Umpires and batsmen on the field, but they can be placed in any of the positions.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Usage of verbs in English

These days it is very common to come accross expressions such as "he passes away', 'he dies' in news papers and on TV news channels. Does he pass away or die regularly? The expression 'he dies every day' has a different meaning. Simple present denotes continuity--he goes to school, he goes for a walk.

Another verb that is used in progessive tense is 'continue'.words like continue, hate, love contain in themselves the notion of continuity.

It is not appropriate to say, 'I am hating him' or ' I am loving him'.

Sunday, July 19, 2009


Click on the images to enlarge.

Friday, June 5, 2009

INDIANOIL-contract labour

In 1970, when I joined Indianoil, there was one DGM, one GM, one Executive Director and one chairman. Branch managers were in E grade, while departmental heads were in D grade and all product managers and District managers were in C grade. These positions have multiplied geometrically. Now there are hundreds of GMs, DGMs and EDs doing the same work that C to F grade officers did in seventies.

On the other hand, each location had a corporation owned car, a driver, who was a regular employee, peons, sweepers and watchmen were also regular employees. In addition there were ALCPs who did most of the hard work in locations and were paid daily wages and were officially engaged only for twenty days a month. Their daily wages were 1/30th of minimum salary of a lowest grade workman. Guesthouses also had regular employees as cooks and attendents.

Sometime in eightys most of the peons, drivers, and watchmen were redesignated and sent to terminals or depots as Jr operators or operaters depending on their scale of pay, age and health profile. The old continued and retired subsequently. Cars were sold off. Cars were hired from travel agencies on tender basis. Contractors, who were ex army officers, provided watchmen. Most of the watchmen were ex army jawans.
Similarly, housekeeping contract took care of sweeper, attendant requirements. Official estimates were prepared based on number of persons a contractor would engage and pay wages based on minimum wages act. These measures drastically reduced the expenses of the corporation.

The contractor’s work force is not in the organised sector. They are paid according to the minimum wages act of respective state. No family of even three members can manage food, shelter, clothing and schooling within the amount paid under minimum wages act. This is one part. The second part is exploitation of these workers by regular emploees of the corporation. These ill paid workers work for more than twelve hours a day. The unionised regular workers exploit them the most. They make these workers do some work of their’s as well.
This has happened in all PSUs, MNCs and high profit earning IT companies. While regular employees get high salaries, these workmen of the contractors are ill paid and overworked.
This is the present day slavery—economic slavery.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Being Idle is not doing nothing

The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), in its Society at a Glance survey, reports ’the business of leisure is an art that the French seem to have perfected. They don't earmark time over the weekend and indulge in leisure with the religious zeal of, say, the Americans. Rather, they weave leisure into their everyday lives, enhancing its quality. Well, if they sleep a lot and take time off during the workday for long lunches, the French must have a poor work ethic. Right? Wrong. They are a hardworking bunch and a very productive one at that too. An International Labour Organisation (ILO) report puts them on par with Americans in terms of productivity’.
And further says, ‘It's a myth that people who devote more time to leisure than others are slackers. But reality is different. For instance, the OECD report reveals that Norwegians spend the maximum time on leisure. And guess what? The ILO report pegs them at the very top on the productivity chart. Clearly, there is truth in the wisdom that a healthy work-life balance boosts productivity and makes for better quality of life.’

It was R L Stevenson who wrote ‘an apology for idlers.’ He says ‘ idleness does not consist in doing nothing.’ For a civilization to advance idleness or leisure is necessary.

Bertrand Russell in his article, ‘in praise of idleness’ says, ‘I want to say, in all seriousness, that a great deal of harm is being done in the modern world by belief in the virtuousness Of WORK, and that the road to happiness and prosperity lies in an organized diminution of work.’
Bonnie Ulman and Robert Simmerman, PhD, who run the Haystack Group in Atlanta, tell WebMD that super or hyper exhaustion is a phenomenon of the last 10 years. "What we've found is that unlike burnout and stress of the '70s and early '80s, super exhaustion has several qualities that resemble a virus. First it does seem to be 'catching,' psychologically," says Simmerman.
He says, for example, that a super-exhausted husband who is physically and mentally depleted will 'spread' the 'virus' to his wife, who will then become 'depleted.' Mom and Dad will both spread it to children. "When that happens, there is really no place for these people to go to become replenished," he says.
Our own Narayan Murthy has this to say, ‘Being in the office long hours, over long periods of time, makes way for potential errors. My colleagues who are in the office long hours frequently make mistakes caused by fatigue. Correcting these mistakes requires their time as well as the time and energy of others. I have seen people work Tuesday through Friday to correct mistakes made after 5 PM on Monday.

Another problem is that people who are in the office long hours are not pleasant company. They often complain about other people (who aren't working as hard); they are irritable, or cranky, or even angry. Other people avoid them. Such behaviour poses problems, where work goes much better when people work together instead of avoiding one another. As Managers, there are things we can do to help people leave the office.’

It is during the idle time that you think freely and independently. It is during the idle time that new ideas are born. I think that is what Stevenson means when he says ‘ idleness does not consist in doing nothing.’
According to CEM Joad being civilised means:

1)Creating and or appreciating things beautiful
2)Thinking freely and living rightly
3)Maintaining justice and equality

One can hardly meet the requirements of Joad if there is no time from work. Entire life should not be spent in bread-earning activity.
I have come across many people who feel proud saying ‘ I am workoholic’. They think it is a virtue to be workoholic. There are many who say, ‘ time in the office is not enough, so I carry files home’. There are still others who make lives of subordinates miserable telephoning regularly late evenings.
An efficient manager is one who finishes his work within the time frame. Time is also an essential input. What is stress? Stress is the result of doing something beyond one’s capabilities.
Advice by the seniors is, work hard to fulfill your ambition. What a turn! In the classical age ambition was a tragic flaw. Macbeth’s tragic flaw was his ambition.

Many have read this poem while at school.
W. H. Davies
WHAT is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare?
No time to stand beneath the boughs,
And stare as long as sheep and cows:
No time to see, when woods we pass,
Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass:
No time to see, in broad daylight,
Streams full of stars, like skies at night:
No time to turn at Beauty's glance,
And watch her feet, how they can dance:
No time to wait till her mouth can
Enrich that smile her eyes began?
A poor life this if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Elections 2009

Majority of people in India are intelligent and can ‘read between the lines’. To be educated and intelligent one need not be literate. Ofcourse literacy is a source of education, if the education is only through the print. Today audiovisual media is a great source of education.

Majority of Hindus are secular. And that is how India has remained secular.

Urban literate (I am deliberately not using the word educated) middle class is not really secular. You can visit ‘Rediff’ discussion boards if you do not believe me.

BJP managed to exploit religious gullibility of the masses once. There after they have failed.
BJP’s agenda for 2009 elections was, uniform civil code (I want uniform civil code, but not imposition of some code in the name of uniformity), construction of Ram mandir, Rama rajya, abrogation of article that provides special status to Kashmir and doing away with ‘pseudo secularism’. BJP also made it clear that these promises could not be implemented in a coalition government.

Why did they get into coalition? They should have fought the election on their own if they really wanted to implement all that they stood for. One possibility is they do not really believe in what they say. May be they thought all Hindus were like those urban literate middle class. Thanks to audiovisual media Indians can ‘read between the lines’.

There has been a social change. Members of the caste, who are at the bottom rung of Hindu social ladder within the fourfold Hindu society, have acquired wealth and power.
They resist being labelled number four. They have made their presecne noticeable in every political party. This has resulted in top three rungs showing uneasiness. While other parties have accepted social change, BJP remains upper caste at the top. BJP could unite all the castes just once. It remains to be seen whether they can do it again. The bottom rung is a very complex caste. There are innumerable groups within this caste, which makes it difficult to bring them together. Each group is a vote bank. Strangely the expression ‘vote bank’ is used only where Muslims are concerned.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Jeevan Das of 'green ply' plywood

Click on the image to enlarge.

Jeevan das is young, Jeevan Das is middle aged and Jeevan Das is old and similarly prosecuter also advances in age. The ad is about greenply plywood, which during this lengthy period has withstood the hammerings by the judge. This small ad has given tremendous insight into the judicial process in our country.
Jeevan Das was a young upright man working as a junior executive in a PSU. He was required to sign invoices both for sale and stock transfers by rail, and trucks against cash receipts issued by different locations. Contractors for stock transfers were appointed by different office. Supplies were made against delivery orders and cash receipts issued by different offices of the same PSU.
Cash receipts and delivery orders were checked and the current delivery and balances of delivery order quantity and cash receipts were noted in the columns provided on the reverse of the documents by an assistant. The assistant after these checks and balances issued a blank but serially numbered invoice to a typist clerk. The typist clerk typed the challan giving the details of cash receipt, reference of delivery order and then passed on the entire bunch to Jeevanl Das for his signature. In the course of time it became a routine for Jeevan Das to sign the invoices. Signing the invoices was one small part of his job. As a unit head he had many other functions.
Some stock transfers did not reach their location. But the stock transfers were effected through authorised trasporters appointed by another office. He signed an invoice for sales, which was put up to him after completing the formalities by the assistant and the typist clerk. After a year it was found that the cash receipt was counterfeit. Matter was reported to police.
Management of JeevanDas did not find any fault with him and filed FIR for recovery of goods from the contractor. He continued in his job.
After five years of investigation police filed a criminal case against Jeevan Das.
He received court summons and appeared before the court with a lawyer arranged by one of his colleagues.
once he reported, he was told he was under arrest and had to obtain bail of Rs. 30000/- Jeevan Das had never seen thirty thousand at any time in his life and was in a state of shock. But 'peshkar'( court clerk) came to his rescue. there was a wonderful system of obtaining bail. There were some registered 'bailers', who charged ten percent of bail amount to stand surety. JeevanDas managed RS.3000/- pooled and given to him by some of his colleagues. Peshkar's fees were additional.

JeevanDas’s journey to court begins at the age of thirty-six.
‘Jeevan Das ko kadi se kadi saza milni chahiye’ says police prosecutor. Jeevan Das was charged for conspiracy and cheating along with the contractor. In the court he was almost treated like a criminal and not accused. The lawyer would demand his fees in advance and some times would not even turn up resulting in adjournments. Lawyers would order tea and snacks for their colleagues as well and would ask Jeevan Das to pay. Afterall lawyers say “We do not render any service to the litigant-----it would be harsh to make lawyers pay for alleged deficiency in service under the consumer law”.

Prosecution took four years to present twenty witnesses; Jeevan Das had never seen them before except four from his office, who narrated the procedure of despatches. All other witnesses told the court how the contractor sold the goods to them. Even then the judge took cognisance and proceeded with the trial of JeevanDas. Years rolled by but cross-examination of witnesses was not even half way through. Twenty years after the case began just fifteen witnesses were examined. JeevanDas was fiftysix and the case continued.

I am grateful to ‘greenply’ plywood advertisement for providing inspiration. Green ply’s strength is symbolic of our judicial process. ‘Chalata Rahe Chalta Rahe!’

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Nehru and his great grand son

Varun Gandhi thus spoke in Pilibhit as reported by PTI on their web site.

"This is not not a 'Hand' (Congress symbol), it is the power of the 'Lotus' (BJP symbol). It will cut the head of ....... Jai Shri Ram,"

, "All the Hindus stay on this side and send the others to Pakistan. This is the Lotus (BJP symbol) hand, it will cut their throats after elections. They have names such as Karimullah, Mazurullah. If you see them in the night you would get scared."

"If anyone raises a finger towards Hindus or if someone thinks that Hindus are weak and leaderless, if someone thinks that these leaders lick our boots for votes, if anyone raises a finger towards Hindus, then I swear on Gita that I will cut that hand."

It is interestig that only Naqvi and Shah Nawaz Husain of BJP said that what Varun said was not the view of BJP. But no comments came from any other leader of BJP. If you see the discussion board of rediff, you find majority have appreciated Varun’s stand. But alas! Varun has denied having said anything to that effect. Subsequently 'important' leaders supported him. He said it was doctored. Varun lacks courage of conviction.
The latest is:
New Delhi, April 18: Defending the action taken against Mr Varun Gandhi, the Chief Election Comm-
issioner, Mr N. Gopala-swami, on Saturday said his controversial speeches in Pilibhit were virulent and “much more than” what was shown on TV.
Ahead of his demitting office on Monday, he said in interviews that the fact of the matter was a stronger message must go.
“We said file a case and all cases have been filed. So the virulence of the particular incident is such that we had to go beyond what normally we keep as our limit. I think is perfectly valid as far as I am concerned,” he said.
Asked if the commission studied the tapes, Mt Gopalaswami said, “yes, we did see. It was much more than what was seen on television. We never felt the tapes which we got were doctored.”
And Gopalswamy is considered sincere even by BJP except, perhaps, in this case.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Dalits and Tribals

‘Caste bias can't be equated with racism: India’ (18 Apr 2009, 0428 hrs IST, Indrani Bagchi, TNN) has two issues:
1) Caste discrimination is equated with racial discrimination.
2) Of giving tribals the status of "indigenous people".
In both the cases there is hypocracy. It is a fact that discrimination does take place and it is also a fact that Aryans, Kushans, Hans, Pershians, Turks, Arabs and Afghans were all invaders, who made India their home. Aryans called "indigenous people" ‘rakshasas’ and ‘nagas’. It is high time we apologise to tribals and dalits for the atrocities committed against them.

The news in NDTV web site should make us look within. The Govenment of India should accept the reality with dignity and come clean.

Employment bias mars private sector – Study (NDTV)

Adhana Sharma
Saturday, October 27, 2007 (New Delhi)
The private sectors' refrain that affirmative action is good enough may not stand now. Fresh studies have proved that there is discrimination in employment.

It was subject of much dispute - many had been saying it, others contesting it. On Friday, a study was released by the Indian Institute of Dalit Studies in collaboration with Princeton University.

The study was conducted against 548 job advertisements with 4808 applicants over 66 weeks, across five metros.

It reveals that in fact a person's caste and religion could be a hindrance in getting a job, despite equal qualification.

Inequality in private sector

The study says that a dalit had 60 per cent less chances of being called for an interview, and a Muslim had 30 per cent less, as against their higher caste peers.

The wage earnings too were found to five to 20 per cent lower, between SC as compared to upper castes.

And that is not all, one may also carry the baggage of family background, when being interviewed for a job.

''Here in India, it is a routine practice for employers to enquire about family background and use it as a means for screening. This is an anti-thesis to what one expects in a merit based system,'' Professor Katherine S Newman, Princeton University.

The survey contradicts what employers have been claiming all this while that jobs are given purely on merit, a contradiction that needs to be addressed urgently.

''The result of the studies need to be taken seriously and we need an equal opportunities policy in the form of reservation in addition to what everyone is already doing,'' Professor Sukhdev Thorat, report author and UGC chairperson.

Affirmative action, like skill and enterprise development, taken up by the private sector so far, may just not be enough, if employment opportinities in the country are to become inclusive.

Friday, April 3, 2009


In February or early March 1995 I received my first promotion order after putting in 25 years of service. I said first promotion because it was in five years. Grade ‘A’ to ‘B’ it took 12 years and ‘B’ to ‘C’ 8 years and they were really not promotions but just considerations based on management’s understanding with the officers’ association.
Unfortunately, a few days after my orders I suffered MI (heart attack) and was hospitalised and there after I was on leave as advised by doctor to take rest. When I joined duty some time in May, I was told by Manimuthu that Ram Mohan, then GM, had asked to verify whether I faked an attack to avoid tranfer.

My requests for change of tranfer order to Regional office instead of Lube Blending Plant were not considered. I never asked for retention.

I joined Lube Plant. I got accommodation in guesthouse from where the plant was about 8 kilometers. But half the distance was through a very crowdwd road. From underbridge leading to Kurrukupet the road was along the railway tracks. One could not see the tracks because on either side of the road for a stretch of 2 kilometers there were huts. Women were seen washing clothes and utensils and children easing themselves sitting on the edge of footpath. There were two level crossings and invariably gate would be closed for some train to pass resulting in traffic chaos.

I just wish to share the suggestion that I gave under the ‘suggestion scheme’, which will explain the atmosphere in the plant. Here are the scanned copies.

I did not receive any communication to say my suggestion was rejected. I followed up with Satish but got evasive replies.

My purpose in submitting my suggestion was to express to the management my views on the chaotic working conditions in the plant.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009


It was in the middle of December 1976 that I went to Imphal, the capital of Manipur, on posting as Depot Superintendent. With me was my wife and three and a half year old son, Monis. We reached Imphal at about 10 O’clock in the morning. Weather was very cold.
We straightaway went to our house, which was kept for us by Mr.Ujwal, the outgoing DS. Our neighbour Mr.Datta and his wife came and gave us a helping hand. Our belongings, which we sent from Calcutta two days earlier, were yet to reach. We could not manage the climate with what we had carried with us. We shifted to a hotel. Our belongings that we had sent from Calcutta arrived almost after ten days.

Imphal is a beautiful town surrounded by hills and is capital of Manipur state. I worked in Imphal from December 1976 till June 1980. Majority of Manipuris are Vaishnavites (a sect among Hindus). Tribals such as Kukis and Tankhuls inhabit surrounding hills. All of them are Christians. Chritian missionary work is appreciable, particularly in the field of education, in Manipur. All well managed schools are missionary schools. Kukis inhabit the hills of Churachandpur and Tankhuls the hills of Ukharul.

The valley population is Hindu vaishnavite. Roughly two hundred years ago Shanti Das, a desciple of Chatanya Maha Prabhu with missionary zeal, visited Imphal and under his influence the tribal king of Manipur valley converted to Vaishnavism. The ‘praja’ followed the king and accepted vaishnavism. Their earlier dieties are worshipped even now. In fact there was a movement for revival of the past.

Imphal was the only Depot where a full CRPF section was posted. They lived at one end of depot with their tents almost touching tankform of two vertical tanks.

Imphal was a road fed depot and the supplies were from Khatkhati, a town in Naga Land. Road between Imphal and Khatkhati war hilly and some stretches were as high as 7000 feet. During the rainy season there used to be landslides resulting in blockage of roads. We had the storage capacity of a month’s requirement. The depot had hardly any facilities. There was no TLF bay, which meant I had to climb each Tank truck twice-once on arrival and second time after product was decanted or topped up for despatch. Topping up was necessary because there was at least 5 to 6 degree teperature variation between loading temperature and temperature on arrival at Imphal.We received about 15 to 20 trucks each day. This had its effect on my health. I developed lower back pain. Even to this day I suffer.
My junior in Bombay University and hostel mate, Dinamani Singh, was an officer of State Government. Through Dinamani I got to know Sattar, who was his colleague. Both were in state public service. They included my name in the state VIP list. I got invitation for Republic and Independence day parades in the VIP enclosures. I along with my family enjoyed State government hospitality. I also received invitations for tea party at Chief Ministers residence on both the occasions every year.

It was in 1977 that during the rainy season our stocks depleted to about a week’s requirement. The other oil company was Assam Oil looked after by Mannalal, a dealer of AOC. Under secretary in the ministry of civil supplies called for a meeting, which was attended by all our dealers and AOC representative. Mr.Sharma, under secretary, told me that IOC was given licence to operate the depot on a clear cut condition that a month’s stocks would be available at any given time. He threanened that he would cancel our licence sinca we did not keep the promise. All my explanations were not accepted. I excused myself and came out of the meeting and booked a lightening call to our DGM Mr. Datta, who was at Calcutta. He told me to go back and ask Mr. Sharma if he could cancel immediately and that we were ready to pack up.
I went in and told him what I was told by my DGM. There was a stunned silence. Mr. Sharma had nothing to say. Meeting was abruptly concluded. By the time I reached the depot there was a message from the secretarit that Additional Chief Secretary wanted me to meet him immediately. I rushed back to the secretariat and went to Mr. Mathur, who was the additional CS. He received me with warmth and told me to forget what happened with Sharma. He said Sharma was a fool and did not know IOC and the implications of cancelling the licence.

There was a theft of lubricating oilcans from the depot. I sent a letter to the police station. The DSP called me but I could not go. He came to our depot and was very harsh and said that without my complicity theft could not have taken place. He left asking me to see him in his office. I rang up IG Mr.Lal and told him what had happened. He assured me that he would talk to the DSP and that I was not to go to DSP’s office. Never heard from the DSP again.

Once I was getting back from my depot and a few yards from my house a cow rushed out of a bush and hit my scooter. I was thrown off the scooter. My thumb was crushed; nail was almost out and was profusely bleeding. There were many people watching but none came to my help. I managed to get up and lift my scooter and reach home.

Manipuris always considered people from other parts of India as foreigners. They always said that we had usurped their land.

From 1979 onwards Peoples’ Liberation Army, a cecessionist organisation of Maitis (manipuri hindus call themselves maitis), was very active. Their leader was Bhishan Singh, a legendary figure for manipuris. Ambushes of army convoys harassment of non-manipuris particularly Bengalis was very common. They believed that the root cause of their problems was Bengali domination. In their private conversations after a few pegs they would talk of how their culture was eroded by the bangalis who brought vaishnavism to the valley. Since I had business relations, I was respected. Manipuris refer to non-manipuris as ‘mayang’, which means a foreigner.
During this period they revived their old and forgotten deities and celebrated their old festivals with gusto. Many talked about abandoning vaishnavism. They are vegetarians and fish for them is a vegetarian item. They cannot think of a meal without fish. They make a number of dishes with fish and each tastes different from the other.

Serous trouble started in early 1980.The CRPF posted in the depot were withdrawn. When I met IGP he said they could be easy target for the extremists. There after the depot and the depot staff was feeling unsafe. There were curfews and flag marches. Army and paramilitary people used to come to my house and take me to depot and after their requirements were given they used to drop me back home. For civilian requirement I operated from my house. Loaded tank trucks were safe in Assam rifles. I issued sales documents from my house. With escort I used to go to SBI and deposit Demand Drafts. This continued for almost a month. We were confined to the house. The anti ‘outsider’ feeling among the people was very venomous. Many Bihari labourers left Imphal. Many non-manipuris were beaten up and told to leave. A large majority took shelter in schools.
Amrita Bazar Patrika’s staff correspondent wrote an article’ Behind The Manipur Violence’, which appeared in their May 14,1980 edition (the paper called it a communal violence. It was violence for independence and deportation of all non-manipuris from Manipur.) and an editorial in the same paper on 19th May 1980. Statesman of May 20, 1980 carried a small news item ‘ banks reopen in Imphal’it says the clearing house of banks was closed for 22nd day today’ it was a very significant news item and I am sharing a scanned copy along with some more scanned news reports with the readers.

The 'foreign Nationals' is infact what Manipuris called Indians 'mayang'.

Click on images to enlarge.

The amount of tension and insecurity felt by the non-manipuris cannot be described. It was very unfortunate that my office in Calcutta, despite my day-to-day reporting on the situation, remained silent. One – a sardar in Gauhati, I do not remember his name and come to think of it it is not worth remembering, and the other, head of the region in Calcutta, who was a mean character but thought very high of himself, were callous on what was happening.
Many army and para military vehicles used to come to my house to escort me to depot for their requirements and I think I must have been a noted person among the extremists. One morning three boys forced themselves into my house, closed the door from within and pulled out their revolvers from under the shawls they had wrapped around their body. They thought I owned the depot and demanded Rs 20000/-. My wife and childeren were frightened. They rummeged all my belongings and found just Rs 500/-. They warned me and left. My landlord was watching from outside. DIG of police was staying next door but no one came to my help. We decided to quit Imphal come what may.
Here are my letters to Gauhati and Calcutta:
There was no response.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

IOC-Waragal days

'Creeds and schools in abeyance,
Retiring back a while sufficed at what they are, but never forgotten,
I harbor for good or bad, I permit to speak at every hazard,
Nature without check with original energy'. From Whitman's 'song of myself'

From Davanagere I landed in Warangal, a disrtict head quarter of Andhra Pradesh. I enjoyed my stay at Warangal. I got married immediately after going to Warangal. And my son Monis was born on 21st December 1972. Pratap Singh, who was additional SP, was very friendly. He was staying alone because his wife, Indira was working in Hyderabad and used to visit Warangal almost every weekend. I became a member of officers’ club, where I regularly met Bhaskar rao, SP; MadhavRao, Collector and Krishnamacharlu, DIG.  I  was a part of this group of officers  for picnics.We visited Ramappa, Pakal etc.

This photo was taken during a picnic.
Mr. T V Swamy was Depot Superintendent and became a good friend. He retired in 1990. I last met him about two years ago. Sudarshanam, DM apsrtc was another good friend and he too was member of officers' club and part of the exclusive group.

R M Sodhi was District manager and Chandramouleshwaran was ADM. Sodhi's wife had (fake) upper class demeanour. (Sinha sahib once told me that Sodhi’s good position was because of his wife).
Sodhi wanted me to send proposals for retail outlets in Hanamkonda and Bhongir. In Hanamkonda I finalised a site of Vijaypal Reddy right opposite Subedari, where collector office was located.
I also finalised a site at Bhongir very next to circuit house on the national highway. For both submitted operating analysis and financial justification. Both the proposals were economically viable. Later I realised he just wanted proposals for the reasons one can infer.
Interesting part was he once called me to Bhongir and asked me to wait for him at around 10 am. He arrived by his car, got into dealer’s car and went for darshan to Yadagiri gutta and returned after four hours. After spending about 15 minutes got into his car and left for Secunderabad.
He returned my TA claim on filmsy grounds. I was not the one to keep quiet. In my reply I narrated the purpose of his journey to Bhongir at official cost, as he did nothing official. My TA claim was promptly approved.

Maripeda was a small place near Mahabubabad, where Surendra Reddy had our RO. Those days he was a member of parliament. Laxma Reddy looked after RO. Once I went to see Surendra Reddy to his house near Maripeda. It was a huge house surrounded by huts and small houses. Even now his photographs can be seen in Ceccan Chronicle as an owner of racehorses, proudly escorting one of his winning horses.
During one of my visits I found the outlet closed. I reported to my office, which in turn wrote to Surendra Reddy. Laxma Reddy replied making allegations that I demanded money, drinks and woman. I told my office that my visit was clubbed with Sudarshanam and Pratap Sing and that all three stayed in the circuit house. And my visit to outlet was with them. Ofcourse no one could take action against Surendra Reddy. Years later I heard from Dwijendra Reddy, a nephew of Surendra Reddy, who was my colleague, that Laxma Reddy was killed by Naxalites.

Sodhi was a comfort loving man. Once he planned a visit to Warangal for just a few hours and asked me to book a guest huose for him. His wife and kids were going to Delhi and were travelling by train from Secunderabad and he planned to board the train at Kazipet. Those days my relationship with Sodhi was sour,infact it was never good. I booked him in railwat retiring room just to put him in his place. He was very upset. After entering the room and looking around he started shouting at me. I just turned back, walked to the door, closed it turned, and went a few steps ahead and just stared at him. His anger gave way to fear. After a couple of minutes I walked out. He never visited Warangal till I was transferred.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

INDIANOIL-Paharpur Kolkata

I was working in Paharpur Installation in Kolkata. Some time in the last quarter of 1974 Mr Rath discovered Mr Goshal. Mr Rath was good at discovering talent. Ghoshal was posted as Sr. Accounts Officer in Regional office. Mr. Rath prevailed upon the management and had Ghoshal posted as Installation Manager at Paharpur. That was the turning point for Ghoshal. I knew Ghoshal when he was a magagement trainee when I was Sales Officer trainee. We met in Kochi and again in Chennai in 1970. We spent some memorable time. In Chennai we stayed in the same hotel in flower bazar.

He pulled me out of shift duty and made me in-charge of Supply and Distribution cell in IOBL at Ramnagar. Within a year he was tranferred to Divisional office.

Ghoshal was a gold medalist in Physics from ST. Stephens, Delhi. He was brilliant, very analytical and sharp. He was man in a hurry. The last I met him was in 1983 in Chennai, when he was not with Indianoil anymore. Mr Rath took me to Coromandal hotel where we met him.

Mr. Rath was Terminal Manager of three Installations- Paharpur, Mourigram and Budge Budge.
One day he visited my work place in IOBL. Though I was in ‘A’ grade I had a small cabin.
He just sat before me in a corner chair and kept smoking and sipping tea. He asked me to continue with my work. While I was attending to phone calls, talking to visitors and passing instructions to subordinates, he was just there. After about three hours he said he wanted to go and left.
After a couple of days he called me to his office and reviewed my work, which he had observed during those three hours. His commets, analysis showed, how keen an observer he was and I found it a unique way of assessment. I never heard him raise his voice. He would tell a man his weaknesses without making him feel small.
When I was posted in Chennai in 1982, he was heading HR. He was always free to receive people. He had down delegated work but had his system of perfect feed back. He was a great manager.

Monday, March 9, 2009

INDIANOIL- Good and Bad

India is a secular democracy. But, do not go by dictionary meaning or western concept of secularism in Indian context. Here, broadly speaking, secularism has a different connotation. In India, one is free to practice one’s own religion. But in practice it is more of patronising secularism. Something like majority saying, look we are broad minded even after creation of Pakistan. But Pakistan is not the only issue. The majority syndrome is that the Muslims were invaders and forcibly occupied India. They forget that except, perhaps, adivasis, all others settled after invasion. Aryans invaded and destroyed our city civilizations and settled down in India. Then came Kushans, who called themselves suryavanshis and chandravanshis. They were accommodated as kshartiyas. Then came Hans. Turks, Mongols, who also made India their home, followed them. All were invaders. Infact my argument is that a vast majority of Muslims in India are the original inhabitants. They were outside the fourfold Hindu society. They converted to Islam for various reasons including monetary. The main reason was social upgradation.
The case with invasion of Portugese, French and English was different. They made India their colony. They carried our wealth to their lands.

Right from my childhood to this day I have heard majority members calling me names. I have taken it as part of life. In educated circles it is sophisticated and subtle. It does exist.

I cannot forget what happened in 1992. I was at Sanatnagar depot. Mr Kutty from S&D SR visited the depot. We were sitting in Mr Krishnamachary’s cabin. Mr Kutty was talking about indian problems and very forcefully and with all the venom said all the Muslims should be thrown out of India as because of them India faced problems. Mr Chary very politely suggested to Mr Kutty that it would also include Mr Bangi. Kutty’s embarrassment was worth seeing. He kept apologising to me and said he had many Muslim Frieds. I did not take both of his stands seriously. It strengthened my faith in our constitution. Here was a man who was ashamed of his own remarks and apologising, realising that what he said was not his conviction. We became good friends. Sense of shame makes you a better person.

Thursday, March 5, 2009


It was sometime in 1971. Divisional manager was B.C.Rai. It was my fist posting at Davanagere as Sales Officer (UT). Vinay kumar, who joined a couple of months after our batch, was at Bangalore for training. Saturdays were half working days. I was summoned to Bangalore for a review, which those days meant dressing down sessions. No opinions were sought, no solutions given, it was just a municipal school class room ( I studied in a municipal school) with a teacher who never smiled and used his cane liberally. Only thing missing was cane. But the verbal onslaughts made up for the cane. No one came forward with suggestions, not even the assitant District managers.
Vinay was married and his wife had come from Hyderabad to spend a weekend with her husband. At 1230 Vinay saught his leave from office from an ADM, who disapproved. When Vinay wanted to see the DM he was told that he would be torn apart. Nonethe less Vinay entered DM’s cabin and saught permission. DM came down heavily on him. Vinay told him his wife was waiting for him and that it was necessary for him to go. DM told him he too had a wife. Vinay just said may be your wife does not wait for you but my wife does and left.

B C Rai was a sick person, I mean mentally. On one occasion, in a meeting, he pulled out a photograph from his pocket, showing it to us asked, do you know this handsome man? At times he would ring up Branch sales Manager and tell his PA, “your future BSM is speaking”. I thought he needed psychiatric treatment. But the fact remains that many officers had to suffer him.
He managed my transfer to Warangal. Before my relieving letter was given to me, I had to attend a review meet. B C Rai had worked for about ten years in Burmah Shell before joining IOC. I was on tranfer and had nothing to lose, so I decided to ‘give’ him. I very politely asked him in the presence of all officers, “Sir, how long did you work for Shell and what was your position”. He very proudly said,” For ten years as DSR (District Sales Representative)” I again very politely asked him,” Sir, you must have done great work.” He nodded. My last question was, “ how come you did not get a single promotion in ten years?” There was stunned silence.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

INDIANOIL-Travesty of truth

During my farewell, a very senior manager, spoke a lot of good things about me. Though at a farewell party it is customary to speak good words, I knew he was right. He made one reference to my having “blasted” an ED for mispronouncing my name. He had obviously heard it by word of mouth. We all know what happens when narration of an event goes from one person to another. He may have heard exacty what he said. But it was a single fact of the entire incidence.

Unintentional misrepresentation is one thing. Though damages the truth, it may be considered innocent. Travesty of truth is quite another matter. An incidence has many facts. If you pick up only one fact and keep highlighting it, it amounts to travesty of truth.
A particular fact picked up on intention from a group of facts distorts the real incidence.

In 1996 I was in Chennai as a Manager Marine. New GM was posted from OCC just then. From the day he saw me he let it be known he did not like me. He behaved like a senior student bully in a secondary school. He accorded me non-person treatment. He would ask me something and even before I said a thing he would say, “ I know you don’t know it”. I am basically very courteous, but if insulted I give back come what may.

Many of the senior officers who knew me advised me to ignore, as it was GM who was involved and he could damage my already damaged career. I took their advice. But GM continued to target me. When I narrated this to my friends in the guesthouse, I was staying in transit guesthouse; they could not believe that I was swallowing the insults without a murmur.
He was very arrogant. Whenever I went for his signature he never permitted me to sit and ordered coffee for himself. He was like a schoolboy bully.
One day he called for a meeting of all section heads. Since my section head was not in the office I was summoned. There were about ten of us attending the meeting. He asked me if I called on the PhoomPuhar office for collection of outstandings. Even before I could say anything he said, “ I should know you cant even talk leave alone convince”. This remark infuriated me and I said, “this kind of bullshitting has to stop”. He shouted saying I should mind my language. I told him “ you are lowering the prestige of the chair you are occuopying. You have been insulting me for no fault of mine. What is it that you don’t like in me—my name, my face, or my identity. You deliberately mispronounce my name knowing fully well what it means”.
( bangi in persian means one who calls for prayers and bhangi in Hindi means a scavenger. And all those who have lived in the north know it, and this man lived in the north India for a long time.). A functionary of officers’ association, who was present in the capacity of a section head tried to interrupt me and I told him to shut up as he never bothered to protect his officers from being humiliated. GM was dumb founded and did not utter a word and proceeded with the meeting.

I was surprised to find all officers congratulating me on my “courage” after the meeting was over.

An hour after the meeting was over GM called me to his office and asked me why I chose to say all I did in the oresence of all the officers. I told him I had to do it since he insulted in the oresence of all. He offered me a cup of coffee.

Thereafter he was very courteous to me, pronounced my name properly. At times when he saw me in Sarvana Bhavan, he insisted on paying for my coffee.

It is another matter that he did take revange. That is another story.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Just a thought

Truth half spoken is truth not spoken. Truth, normally, is a group of facts. If one picks up one or two facts from a group of facts, one is not speaking the truth. This happens often. It cannot be called a lie, as the facts chosen and given are facts. This is an art; every journalist is required to master.

In any organisation the wrong decisions, when they come to light, are viewed seriously and if necessary the wrong decision maker is reprimanded, if grave, punished. But Judiciary is different. A lower court passes a judgement based on the investigated facts by the police presented by the prosecutor with evidence to prove the charges, which the defence fails to defend. If the aggrieved has means he appeals in high court. High court reexamines and passes its judgement. If the aggrieved is acquitted, the high court condemns police for failing in its investigation, but spares the lower court whch passed judgment based on the same investigation. If the high court judgement acquits, the police go to Supreme Court. The highest judiciary passes a judgement, which is different from judgements of both lower court and high court. The apex court also passes strictures against police, but spares both the lower courts. If there were to be still higher courts!
Judges can pass wrong (is this word in this context contempt of court?) judgements without fear. What happens to a person who cannot afford to appeal to a higher court?
NGOs are very selective in rendering help.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Naxal Terror

Why have we not been able to destroy terrorist training camps of Naxalites?

“The most significant indicator of the rot is that 150 of India's 600 districts are now affected by Naxalite violence. The rot is worsening, not improving. Can such a country really become an economic superpower?”
Swaminathan S Anklesaria Aiyar, Saturday, June 24, 2006 09:23:14 pm TIMES NEWS NETWORK.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Afterall Raju is 'manavadu'

Today is Sunday the 8th Feb 2009 and Sunday Times carries three headlines on satyam:
1)Satyam fudging well planned. Dozens of Managers attended Scores of fudge meetings. (First page top headline)
2)Rajus get comfy in jail (second page)
3)Rajus in ‘proactive’ custody: Ex-Sebi chief. (third page prominent headline).

Contrast this with reporting in Deccan Chronicle of the same day.
A small column on front page, 'Raju gets jail till Feb.21' continued on page two summerising all that TOI did, in just a small report and in a very light vein. Is DC sympethatic to Rajus? Is it ‘manavadu’ feeling or is there something more?
I thought everyone was equel before law but police and judiciary possibly think otherwise.

The following is reported in the Statesman,which also shares my doubts.
Raju in ‘protective custody’, says Damodaran
Press Trust of India
AHMEDABAD, Feb. 7: In a biting criticism of Andhra Pradesh police's handling of the Satyam case, former Securities and Exchange Board of India chief, Mr M Damodaran today said the firm's founder Mr B Ramalinga Raju and other officials were in fact in “protective custody.”
Mr Damodaran, who demitted office as chairman of Sebi last year, suggested that there was no other way of looking at it given the weak resistance the police put up when the court remanded Mr Raju to judicial custody.
“Instead, the police happily handed over them (Raju brothers) in judicial custody, so that Sebi needs to get the court's permission first (to quiz them),” he said during a seminar at the IIM-A here.
When a Sebi probe team approached a magistrate court for permission to interrogate the Raju brothers, the petition was dismissed on technical grounds. As AP High Court too did not give early relief, the regulator had to finally move the Supreme Court.
The Sebi team yesterday finished questioning the Raju brothers on the accounting fraud in Satyam Computer.
“This is what I call protective custody of the Raju brothers and (former) Satyam chief financial officer, Mr Srinivas Vadlamani,” Mr Damodaran said.
“I don't know how the law will help when the state decides to provide protective custody,” he asked.
“This is a peculiar case in which the police produced a person before the court and (he) was granted judicial custody, not police custody,” Mr Damodaran noted, adding that normally policemen insist on securing custody of the accused in order to talk to them first and extract vital details. That is why they arrest people.”
On reports that Mr Raju was seeking special status and also mosquito nets in jail, he said sarcastically: “I don't know how brave the mosquitoes are to go near him.”
The matter of special status is still pending before the court.
On the rejection of Sebi's plea on technical grounds, Mr Damodaran said: “The lower court took a preposterous position that it was not a court that handles cases related to securities law. The Sebi application did not say that a case of securities law needed to be judged by that court.”
I have taken this Statesman report online because TOI online did not carry this report whereas their print edition did.

Thursday, February 5, 2009


Terrorism is bad. And terrorism in the name of religion is worse. There are innumerable terrorist organisations world over. Only Muslim terrorists call their outfits with names, which are obvious of religious affiliations. These terrorist Muslims have given bad name to their own religion. Come to think of it, are we right in calling them Muslims? Ireland has terrorists who are chritians, Shri Lanka has terrorists who are Hindus, India has terrorists who are Hindus (Naxalites), Manipur has terrorists who are Hindus and in India itself we have terrorists in Nagaland who are chritians.

Religion has always played a significant role in pulling crowds. It was Bal Gangadhar Tilak who brought Ganesh to street corners. He knew that only in ganesh pendals could he address the masses about India’s dream of independence from the British. Bapu began and ended his speeches with bhajans.

Though the terrorist plans have failed because of good inteligence network, the fact remains that Britain, US, India and Israel are victims of psychological terror. The amount of tension that they are subjected to is worse than after effects of terror. Air passengers are afraid, security personnel are tense and on a slight suspision flights are held up. This is also a kind of success for terrorists. Or, as MJ asks, was there at all a liquid bomb?

Why is there so much of terrorism?

I worked in Imphal for nearly four years, which, I think, gives me enough credibility to rationalise. Manipuris felt, and quite correctly, that they were being exploited. This place has a strategic border with Burma. Manipuris, like Bangalis, consider manual labour below their dignity; it is quite another matter that their concept of dignity is misplaced one. So you have a large number of Bihari working as coolies. Manipuris are a relaxed people, and hence the business community is Marawaris.

They know that India needs Manipur. Bengalis have for long ill treated people from almost all the states bordering West Bengal. They were the first to embrace English and the English. If you don’t believe me read Ananda Math by Bankin Babu. British were the saviors from the demon called Muslims.

This was a right atmosphere for China to exploit the situation. Exploitation of an opportunity takes place when an opportunity is provided.

Sikh community was frustrated because they worked hard to bring green revolution and the fruits of their labour went to Lalas, Hindu traders. It all began as an agrarian problem. One has to pay the price of exploitation sometime or the other, but pay they must.

Kashmiri Pundits never treated Muslims as equels. A Brahmin is perhaps superior within the Hindu society not globally. They must keep their concept of superiority within the boundaries of Hinduism. Indian secularism is a wonderful concept. In practice it is set-aside in a very sophisticated and subtle manner.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Raju the genius

Ramaling Raju was an important person during Clinton’s visit to Hyderabad. While rahul Bajaj was in the back row, Raju was at the mike. He is undoubtedly a genius. Only a genius can play a fraud of such magnitude, as did Raju. What a brilliant brain!

He is now in prison. May be he will get bail and then exemption from personal appearance in the courts of law. There after he will lead a normal affluent life.

Our own government is very serious on bailing out Satyam. Afterall they work for five or ten percent of the population. What percentage of employees and their families exercise their franchise? Are they part of our democratic process? Why should the government squander taxpayers’ money on these people?

I personally think that the government should hand over the management of the company to its employees and let them manage it as a cooperative enterprise.
Or recover or seize all the assets of Raju and all his family, including their land holdings, agricultural and non agricultural, and auction all that and take over as a public sector on par with any other PSU and give the employees the same benefits that BHEL employees get.

No political party should worry about the votes because none these employees exercise their franchise any way. Government has an opportunity to show now that they do not work only for ten percent of population.

Friday, January 2, 2009


Click to enlarge.

Not even a 'sorry' from The Times of India.