Sunday, May 20, 2007

The numbers……………

I came to my bus stop today fully dressed up in Monday dress code. I was a lil earlier than usual, there was a kid standing next to me waiting for his school bus. Honestly I could not find but a few differences between him and me. He was wearing his school tie and I was wearing mine, he was in his uniform, I was wearing something pertaining to our dress code, he was carrying his lunch and books bag, I was carrying mine, he was waiting for his bus early in the morning and so was I.

The only notable difference was that he was happy to go to school, he was enjoying his wait for his school bus with his dad whereas ……………………………..

A few meters this side and few meters that side two more such groups similar to mine were also eyeing the small kid with a lot of envy…...After all India has more than one software biggie….

If one can step out of the circle and start looking at the whole process of the s/w industry then it baffles one and all. The growth of the industry has been so alarming that one shudders to think on what would be the result if some thing like the US economic slump of 2001 repeats itself what with the US economy on a steady decline. The four biggies of the Indian market between themselves employ more than about 3 lakh personnel all aspiring to make it big, all aspiring to fly to onsite one day, get a full cycle of SDLC experience, come back to offshore to settle down with a flat inside the city and a lead position in the company.

Only thing is that all of us, me inclusive, think about it only in one perspective. Thinking about it from another angle, for every employee that the biggies had in 2001 there are more than 5 employees now. If 1000 people went onsite every year in 2001 is it possible to sustain the same growth and send 5000 people onsite every year now? If 1000 people were promoted per cycle in a business unit in 2001 is it possible to promote 5000 people now in 2007 for every cycle. And what would the people who are already at onsite do if one has to keep sending more and more, what would the current people as leads do if more and more people become leads just by the virtue of experience and there are no projects to work on? No wonder the US consulate received twice as many Visa applications as is the maximum cap set by the US govt.

And all this when the industry is in its fantastic best, what if the industry faces a slump? Companies were not able to manage the lesser number of people that they employed in 2001 and had to take refuge in layoffs, terminations etc. How can one expect these to manage 5 times the same number now? What are we staring at then? Mass terminations? One gets diplomatic answers in town hall meetings and NDTV profit interviews that “We don’t want to be left answerable to about 1 lakh families, so we know what we are doing”. At least I cant think of similar paying circumstances if market focus shifts to elsewhere.

I was standing at the Guindy bus stop waiting for my bus with a few others of my company when a big family with two moms dragging their kids getting lil help from their hubbies came along and asked us “Is this the MTC bus stand? Do Madipakkam busses stop here?” This may sound hilarious but there is more to it than just the lighter side.

If any of the new aspirants read this then "Set ur expectations accordingly guys, U don’t wanna end up depressed later, do ya ?"

God’s Own Country………………….

The smallest of the southern states of the Indian peninsula
has been aptly named God’s own country for more reasons than just a few. The splendour that this place presents in every way makes one go “No wonder GOD lived here….”

I have been traveling to this wonderful place as frequently in the past couple of years that my dad suspects if I have a girlfriend there and I make excuses to travel to this place. When one travels to this place (the entry is mostly near selam or coimbatore) the difference is very very evident. The train or the bus passes only thru country side on both borders but suddenly one finds all surroundings splashed with so much greenery and vegetation and very very very less polluted environment. One would suddenly go “Ohh boy wait a minute where is this place that we are passing through now……” and then realize “Ohh Ok we have entered Kerala…..”

The whole state of Kerala predominantly has only two geographical classifications, mountains 90% and beaches 10%. That I would say is the mark of a perfect tourist destination. There are no many industries but for a few like the ship building industry in Cochin. One would get a feel that the population there is totally oblivious of the outside world surrounding them, if one goes by their lazy mannerisms, but it is the only state in India that boats of 100% literacy. These people are well informed of the country’s politics and the US election mandate better than most people in the country.

Looking at their lifestyles and their living surroundings one wonders when the civic facilities would reach the levels found in other states. Probably one would get a feeling that they are about a decade backward but on close analysis we would realize that they are actually a decade ahead of us. Their way of life consists of coconut trees, boat rides, small houses with thatched roofs in big compounds, cattle in the house and a nair chaya shop in possibly every street corner and they definitely are an example for most of us who in search of greener pastures and more riches leave out on blissfully enjoying what nature has to offer to us.

Alleppey, one can easily say, is the Venice of India. One of the main modes of transport inside the mainland is water and the city has a canal flowing though it which is used for commuting purposes. The Kerala tourism board has created a garden like environment on the banks of this canal all though the town such that tourists can spend time apart from the boat houses. The main attraction of this place is the boathouse. They are definitely a bit costlier but again are worth the ride. The boathouses contain all required amenities and are a complete source of relaxation for anyone who wants to just laze around doing just about nothing.

This place actually consists of a mainland and a lot of small islands sprayed nearby. These islands are inhabited and all supplies including basic necessities like groceries and LPG commutes through water.
The whole set up is like a maze of streets, only that the streets here are streams of water. It is nature at her unpolluted best that you just hope for the boat ride to never end. One passes through a lot of people in those islands going about their daily chores during that boat ride and one can only envy them. Groups of kids somersaulting into the water from bridges and banks, the elder sons of each family fishing for the day’s menu, women folk washing clothes in the house’s backyard, children going to a school which will be submerged should there be a big downpour later in the day, salesmen and delivery men carrying on with their business like at most 10 LPG cylinders in one boat, groceries in the next shuttle, man life is just a completely different dimension, a different approach at an unimaginable pace out there.

The sunny day gives way to a cool afternoon as clouds start hovering over the horizon blocking the sun and cool breeze starts blowing from the Arabian sea. A slight drizzle to complete the perfect relaxing schedule for the day what with nice melodies resounding from the music system in the house boat and you just completely forget this dreadful world with busy schedules to keep, deadlines to meet and responsibilities to fulfill. A nice still camera with a nice zoom is perhaps the only thing you would want in your hands to go on clicking endlessly at long rows of ducks swimming in a perfect straight line, cute colourful birds that we people have probably even never come across in NGC or in any environmental magazine, swans and storks blissfully searching for their food in their eco habitat with no one to disturb them……..

One is forced to wonder “If this is life and if this is the way to live it then what is it that we are doing everyday………??????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

We actually went to attend the wedding of a friend who had met the girl on a trip to Tirupati when he walked the steps from Tirupathi to Tirumala. Now howz that a location and a start for a love story……..

So shortly am going to Tirupathi too……. :))