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Archive for September, 2006

If you have seen the movie “Finding Nemo”, there is a scene in the aquarium (at the dentists) in which the aquarium fish put Nemo through a test of courage – at the great Volcano (or something) before they induct him into their group …

Maybe what I am talking about here is not exactly the same thing, but the above example is the closest reference I could find.
I again don’t know whether this happens between different cultures, age groups, genders (with respect to groups of friends) or maybe we are just a plain weird bunch of people, but here is something I have noticed that happens in my group of friends …

I shall hence call it the acid test and this phenomenon is very peculiar because it performs a function completely different to what it would seem to many (in fact most) of the people witnessing the events …
I must admit, I realized the significance of it just sometime ago, and so have decided to put it in writing …

Here goes …

When we are with our own groups of friends, we put on a show for everybody.
We don’t behave in the same way when we are all alone, or are with our families (or a different group of friends) …
Everybody, has a persona which he or she tries to maintain – something which gives the person substance and more importantly, (probably) a reason why the person was admitted to the group in the first place.

We start relating to each person in our friends circle by their default behaviour.
For example, one of my good friends plays the part of a completely indifferent, ‘couldn’t care less’, ‘don’t give a rat’s ass about anything’ non conformist very well.
To someone meeting him for the first few times, he will come across as a person who couldn’t care less about anything or anybody – and you could not for the life of you extract any sympathy or help from the individual no matter what you try …
Over a period of years that we have gotten to know him well, we have learnt what a nice guy he is and no matter how much he will abuse you and make fun of you and act all haughty when somebody asks for help, he will eventually help the person – sometimes even going way out of his way to help them.

So, here is the acid test then.
When someone from a group, actually tries to do something good for a change – basically try to change an age old bad habit into something radically different, he is made fun off – by his good friends.
They will go to the extent of bugging you for days about it –

For e.g: “What happened to the I don’t care, I will not wake up before 11:00 am attitude?”
Or
“Weren’t you the one who said, reading is for nerds?”

Anyways, basically what happens is that when you are trying to do something good to yourself for your own sake (or possibly someone else’s), its your friends who come in your way and try to dissuade you from it – making fun of you and basically embarrassing you till you’ve had enough.

Now, if you are thinking that this is a really sorry thing to happen, and that the person with such friends has something wrong with his taste … you won’t be very wrong …

But then again, if you look closer, you will realize, that even though it is happening sub consciously, what your friends are achieving here is that they are making sure that whatever you are really doing, is something that you really want to do.
Going ahead and changing your character (or habits) is a difficult thing to do – not to mention majorly huge.

With all the nagging and laughing, you tend to think about the situation a bit more – and then you make up your mind.
Once you realize that this is exactly what you want to do, your friends automatically seem to shut up and nobody else’s opinion matters much anyways – so you go ahead and do it. And more often than not, you are successful.

If on the other hand, you succumb to your friends’ taunts and fun insults, you were not going to do the thing anyways (cause you were not enough mentally prepared) – and in the process save a lot of time by not going ahead with this …

So there !

However, the downside of this is that if you have a really bad group of friends, and either they always get the better of you or vice versa, the probability of you succeeding in changing a habit or yourself reduces drastically …

So basically, the moral of the story here is that it is always good to have good friends.
And no matter how much your friends taunt you, make fun of you or use your self consciousness to their advantage, its always a good thing to have friends who do all this :)

—————–
As an end note would like to mention that this is just something that I thought about …
Don’t know how much of it is psychologically correct, but would love to hear other opinions on the issue…

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I received this story via email recently and would like to share my musings on it …
Please excuse the english, because it has been a percolating forward ….

Anyways, here goes

A good story for all of us to follow in our careers and social life………… very true
Once upon a time a Washerman was bringing up two donkeys.Let us say Donkey-A and Donkey-B.

Donkey-A felt it was very energetic and could do better than the other. It always tried to pull the washerman’s attraction over it by taking more load and walking fast in front of him.

Innocent Donkey-B is normal, so it will walk normal, irrespective of the washerman’s presence. After a period of time, Washerman started pressurising Donkey-B to be like Donkey-A. But Donkey-B unable to walk fast, got continuous punishment from washerman. It was crying and told personally to Donkey-A “Dear friend, only we two are here, why to compete with each other?
We can carry equal load at normal speed “.

That made Donkey-A all the more energetic and next day it told to washerman that it can carry more load and even it can run fast also.

Obviously happier washerman looked at Donkey-B.., his BP raised and he started kicking Donkey-B. Next day with smile, Donkey-A carried more load and started running fast. But it was breathtaking for Donkey-B and it couldn’t act that way….But the washerman was frustrated, so he harassed Donkey-B terribly, and finally it fell down hopelessly.

Then Donkey-A felt itself as a supremo and happily started carrying more load with great speed. But now the Load of the Donkey-B is also being carried by Donkey-A., and still it has to run fast. For some period it did, finally due to fatigue it got tired and started feeling the pain. But washerman expected more from Donkey-A. It also
tried best, but couldn’t cope up with his owners demand. The Washerman got angry with Donkey-A also and started harassing to take more load… Donkey-A was crying for long time and then tried its best…

But it couldn’t meet the owner’s satisfaction.

Finally the day came when due to frustration the washerman killed Donkey-A and went for searching some other Donkeys.

Its an endless story……….

But the moral of the Story in Corporate and social life is……

“Think all colleagues are same and that everyone is capable…. Always Share the Load equally….. Don’t ever act smart in front of your Boss and never try for getting over-credit. ..

Don’t feel happy when ur colleague is under pressure.. ”

It doesn’t matter if u r A or B, for the Boss u shall be always DONKEY

I don’t know who really started this email – I have heard this kind of story before – something that encourages you to be average (or even below average) so as to not get killed by your boss – or more importantly, give your weaker colleagues at work, a chance to survive.

Somehow, I have never been able to relate this story to actual human beings.
The first impression that you’d get after finishing the story is … “how true” … and … “yeah ! this is what happens to people who act smart … ”

But if I’d permit myself to be a little cynical, I’d say – that what we are talking about here – are donkeys – and not humans.
Donkey’s don’t get paid by the amount of work that they do – nor do they ever get promoted for doing better or efficient work.

I guess what I am trying to say here is that – if you are doing the work of a donkey, then:
1. You are a fool to be doing it anyways
2. You should probably not try to show off – coz its basically not worth it

However, if you are working in a ‘REAL’ company – where your intelligence, talent, ethics and determination (and dedication) are merit to success, the earlier story is just pointless and baseless and I for one, cannot try to get into the mind of the person who must have created it.

Trying to be average – and just flow with the crowd is probably the most dangerous thought that one can get – and yet people do it – day in and day out – diminishing the difference between people and sheep.

This is in short, how a similar situation would go with ‘REAL’ people – and not donkeys

There are two employees – Employee A and Employee B
Employee A is always energetic while Employee B is just another average guy who is happy to get on with his work.

Employee A being the more enthusiastic and energetic of the two, finishes his work much before time and hence has time to take up some other initiatives.
He does his work to the best of his abilities.

Now, after a period of time, two things could happen.

1. The boss is extremely happy with Employee A.
He gives him a promotion and a big fat raise.
Both the employees A and B work the same hours, however, employee A makes 1.5 times the same amount as Employee B – even though they both started at the same time with the same qualifications.

2. The boss thinks he can take advantage of Employee A and starts loading him with extra work.
Now because Employee A is human (and not a donkey) and because he is not tied to a rope around his neck – and also because he very well knows his worth …
He tells his boss to kiss his ass, quits the job and gets a better one (because he is good and can get another job)

Either way, the better employee wins.
In the end, I guess, its the attitude which makes all the difference – no matter how talented you are or whether you were born with an IQ of 220. Unless you have the attitude and actually want to go ahead and do something, nothing is gonna get done.

This might be only slightly related to the original story, but I’d like to end with some very powerful lines that I came across in “Atlas Shrugged”

It goes something like this …

“I swear by my life and the love of it that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine”

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Comments …

I am very fortunate to have a very good set of readers who contribute a lot to my blogs by way of comments and discussions … so much so, that it ends up adding more value to the blog than the blog itself …

Of late, I have been receiving some really good comments which throw more light on the topic and just prove how you can never analyse a situation or a particular event from all angles and how it is so important to do so …

I have been so happily made to eat my own words on my blog by people who look at things from an entirely different (and better) point of view …

Thank you all so much for teaching me something new everytime …

As blogger lacks a feature by which a person cannot choose to receive an email indication after someone last left comments after his, and just because many people do not generally read the comments, I have decided to put down a list of my previous posts in which the comments have really added a lot of value to the blog.
Thank you once again …

The links are as follows (in reverse chronological order)

1. Indian Movies …
In which Rishi and Shantesh gave more dimension to my view of why Indian movies suck in some respect compared to Hollywood flicks.

2. Choice, the problem is choice …
In which Rishi and Ashwin point out that everything to do with choice is connected to your Karma in some way or the other (sorry, my knowledge about this is very poor) and then Id tops it off with one of his brilliant poems …

3. Being Prejudiced …
I feel, all the comments added a lot of value to this post – and especially the brilliant one by eshuneutics which hit the nail, right on the head …

4. Remember Remember …
This post had some really nice comments from Rishi, Id and Yuvi with totally different points of view …

This may have sounded somewhat like a “Comments” Oscar award, but it really isn’t.
I guess what I am trying to say here is – that its always good to know someone else’s point of view (We all have only 1 brain .. right?)
And reading a comment always feels nice, you know that people are reading the stuff that you are writing and always encouranges you to write more …
Not to mention the richness it adds to a particular post.

So, if you do have anything to say on anything written here, please feel free to do so …
A small investment of time ends up serving a lot of purposes …
As a matter of fact, lot of people’s blog that I check out often, have been the result of comment following …
So more the reason … eheheh ;)

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Voices in my head …

I really don’t know whether this happens to a lot of people, but I have been noticing that there is a constant monologue running through my head …
Either I have flipped the lid, or have been watching lots of Scrubs lately, actually a bit of both, coz only a crazy person would watch 5 seasons of scrubs within the span of a month !

Anyways, getting back to the voices in my head …
Actually, for all you know, the voices are typing this blog out …
As a matter of fact, they are …

I am not complaining though, most of the wise cracks that come out of my mouth, are via these voices and they keep me amused (and sane??) for most parts of the day.
My co-workers would beg to differ though …

Nothing much to write now, I guess the voices have stopped !
OMG … I’ve lost it :p

(PS: Sorry for making you read this … I thought I’d go crazy for once … If you want to use explicit words in the comments, I’d rather you email me your comments.
This is a family blog and rated PG-13)

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Indian Movies …

Today being Saturday, I sat and watched a movie in the afternoon – Silent Hill – which is a game inspired movie. And me having played (and loved) the game earlier and having seen brilliant promos of the movie, I was pretty excited to watch this.
However, expectations were not that high – considering how other games related movie turn up (Tomb Raider, Resident Evil)

However, when I started watching the movie, I was shocked and astonished at the level of details which the director had taken care of very painstakingly.
The sets and creatures were right out of the video game and even the shops on the streets of Silent Hill had names from the game.

It felt like playing the game itself.

The two hours that I spent watching the movie, made me feel squirmish, eerie, sad, confused, grossed out and lots of other things which you generally don’t go through during your normal life (and thank God for that!)

Anyways, that made me wonder, why no such movies EVER get made here in India.
Mind you, India makes the maximum number of movies in a year (compared to any other country), but if you ponder over the number of gold medals a country of a billion produce at the olympics, the fate of most of the movies is very cliche’d.

Here, most of the directors rarely give any attention to details and if you were to start writing goof ups on movies made here, you could end up writing books on a single movie.
Basically the order of priority of Bollywood movies is:

1. Have good songs
2. Dress all women in such short clothes that they qualify as belts (almost anyways ;))
3. Raise a lot of hype
4. Get the best stars
5.
6.
.
.
.
.
1354. Write a good story
1355. Make sure everything is technically and logically correct.

Very few people here, make movies out of passion – most of the movies are made to just make money and they dont care what crap they put into it as long as the general populous buys it.
The ‘chalta hai’ attitude of most of the people is highly annoying …
This fact can be affirmed by a statement which a popular producer of commercial (gaudy) films made.

He said, “If you make movies for Rickshawalas (people who drive Rickshaws), you will travel in cars, but if you make movies for people who drive (and hence can afford) cars, you will have to travel by rickshaws”

The general quality of production and acting of the movies is so pathetic that most of the times, I would not even consider spending that much time watching the movie.
Actually buying tickets and spending money on it is out of the question!

I have never seen any ‘out of track‘ movie ever become hugely successful.
There have been a recent spurt of movies which have swayed a wee bit off track and become hits, but they too have lots of content which is downright impossible.

This entire revolution may still take a million years to come, until more and more of the masses get educated (and stop buying crap) or we get more passionate and talented film makers inside …

However, till that happens, it is three cheers for Hollywood :)
The biggest plus point of a hollywood flick (a carefully chosen one) is that at the end of it all, you don’t regret the time you spent watching it.

*Update – My review of Silent Hill is up and can be read here.

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