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Showing posts from September, 2005

Get Ready To Be Bangalored, in Bombay

Opportunity..or Threat ?



Some 500 km due south-east from Hyderabad is the tiny village of Jallikakinada (population: 3,000). Aquaculture and paddy farming are the principal sources of livelihood in this Andhra village.

Like other villages in the region, Jallikakinada has its share of young men and women who migrate to the cities, typically Hyderabad, looking for jobs. Educated or not, they are often forced to migrate because thanks to technology and mechanization, both aquaculture and farming don't really need more labour.

In the last few months, some of Jallikakinada's youngsters have been staying back to work in a small 50-seater `rural' BPO centre. They've been joined by others who've actually returned from cities like Hyderabad. The tasks they carry out could be termed simple and routine, from `populating' databases and payroll processing to some simple human resource and accounting functions - all real-time.

Your Job Could Go

While the tasks may be simple, …

The Art of (Media) Mismanagement

General Musharraf, make that Pakistan, did it again. While the talks in New York between the General and Manmohan Singh appear not to have reached anywhere, Pakistan’s media management did. At least as reflected in the writings of Indian journalists who were present at a briefing following a disastrous late evening media briefing which was notable for one fact, nothing was said.

While the PMO clammed up that evening and went to sleep, the Pakistanis were at work, on our journalists. The result; it sounded like Pakistan was the nice guy trying to get the peace process moving and all that. Whatever the facts, it was a victory for media management. And guess what, this ain’t the first time. Pakistan has mastered the Art of waging a image battle and they seem to do it with such consummate ease, it isn't even funny.

London, 1998

The year was 1998. For want of a more productive word, I was `hanging around’ at BBC’s broadcast centre at White City, a London suburb. Deciphering the entrance…

More People Died in New Orleans, So What ?

Rejoice, it took them longer to get assistance


An interesting bundle of statistics is floating around the internet. A bundle which somehow contrives to prove that we in India and Mumbai were actually better off on Terrible Tuesday compared to what New Orleans went and is still going through after Hurricane Katrina lashed the city.

There is no argument on fact, since the US government did react late, flood control mechanisms did fail and the administration did sleep through several warnings on the dangers of the levees collapsing or the water overflowing into the low lying New Orleans.

Some of the figures are terribly out of context as a Class III student will tell you but that’s not the issue here, it’s the genesis of such garbage that needs to be addressed. Okay, America took greater losses in Katrina compared to Mumbai. Possibly true, but do we know for a fact what we lost in Mumbai on Terrible Tuesday. I am yet to meet someone who says he has a clear economic fix, collective or indivi…

Katrina vs Terrible Tuesday

Chances are, he stayed back

Biloxi, Mississipi, a city on the Gulf Coast, has often been brought to life by novelist John Grisham; his readers would recall a series of courtroom dramas set in the district courts around there. In Grisham’s world of big litigation, `wild-eyed locals’ would typically make the trip from New Orleans (Louisiana), Jackson & Mobile to watch the proceedings.

All these streets and neighbourhoods came to life over the weekend, somewhat graphically but not quite in the idyllic and quaint fashion that Grisham has often described them. They came alive on CNN, as localities wrecked beyond recognition, with homes and cars lying atop each other and snapped power lines. Cataloguing the destruction would have been a challenge, even for Grisham.

More people have died in the demure sounding Hurricane Katrina that hit the states of Louisiana, Alabama & Mississipi than the menacing Al-Qaeeda triggered 9/11 attacks. In contrast, Mumbai’s Terrible Tuesday was tame.

Mithi …