Thursday, April 14, 2011

And then God created China....

One day last week I took my daughter to a Hobby shop here in Doha. It was a visit that happened rather by chance than by design. Once inside I was scanning through the displays while the little one was running around shouting occasionally “give me this” and “Give me that”. Nothing much interested me till two boxes filled with sconces and shells caught my attention. I have been looking forward to own a nice sconce for some time and was delighted to have a bounty with endless selection. I picked up one in my hand to have a closer look. I was very thrilled and my mind started to race to finalize the place that it would occupy in the living room and the accessories that it would require.  Then my eyes caught the sticker that said “made in China”.  But we no longer get surprised to find this sticker as majority of the merchandise originate from China these days. I quite got used to seeing a “made in” or an “Expiry date” stamped on every imaginable product but today it made me curious.
Was it made by God in China or was it made by some Chinese hands? After scrutinizing it a little bit more I found out that my suspicion was justified. It was never a living and breathing creature that moved around in this planet. Going back to the aquariums on display I discovered that alongside the underwater bridges and wreckages the sconces and shells were artificial too. Imitating the life that never existed!
A few forgotten bytes came back to my mind. I remembered someone had once sent me an email about artificial chicken eggs being made in China. On another occasion there was a big scam of making artificial milk powder. I dropped the idea of buying those anyways and returned home a bit puzzled. Have the Gods started to relax now that they have created China…….

Back at home I noticed a banana, artificial though, lying among other toys. Once again it is very easy to get deceived. But to find a replica of a banana was not shocking for my eyes. … and no credit for guessing where it originated from!!!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Cost Of Change

While studying for project management I came across the concept of “Sunk Cost”. It went on to explain that if there was some cost incurred for a certain wrong step, we should not consider that cost as a parameter in deciding the change of course. We need to book the loss and move on to restart our books. I think that this principle is also applicable to our life. Often we continue in a particular way because we think that we have already invested a plenty of time and energy into it and we will lose all of that. But this should not be the part of the equation.
 At times there is a strong temptation to continue to in a particular way only because we have always done it that way. Things have not gone unmanageably wrong so far and it is easy to cruise along in this known path within a cozy and comfort zone. It is easier and less expensive to correct our course now rather than wait till some major crisis descends on us. But then the course and process corrections come at a very high cost. I hope the nuclear energy agencies around the world take a lesson or two from the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant in Japan after the Tsunami.
The message is simple: proactive change can be painful but it is the key to our success and survival in this fast changing world.

I leave you with some random pictures taken from the city I reside.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Anything Worth Doing is Worth Doing Well

April 02 of the year 2011 will go down in the history of India as one of the most memorable days. India is a large nation of 1.2 billion people but we are not known to be a great sporting nation. But there is one sport which is a complete exception. Indians both inside and outside the country are so passionate about this sport that it is almost treat it as a Religion… they literally worship this game.  This madness started after India won the ICC (International Cricket Council) World Cup for the first time When Kapil Dev and his boys lifted the cup at Lord's, England in 1983. No one expected India to win then but ever since all Cricket lovers of the country has been hoping to get it back but this has been eluding us.
Finally history was written again in the Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai on 2nd April 2011 after a long wait of 28 years. India became the World Champions for the second time defeating the Sri Lankan National team convincingly in the final match (India won by 6 wickets with 10 balls remaining). This time around India was the favorite to win and they did it in front of the home crowd which is a record in itself. The pictures below captures a few golden moments…..

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Lets Work From Our Homes

An Honest Answer

How important is it for the managers to keep an eye on their subordinates to make sure that there was no loss in productivity. I can relate to this kind of classroom setup where one is under the constant probing eyes of the supervisors. With the advent of CC TV cameras matters further worsened for the vulnerable. However crude it might sound, such things did exist and it would be naïve to think that such work environment has ceased to exist.
But for many around the world work culture and system have come a long way. Today the IT sector provides the option to “work from home” for a pre decided number of days every week. What one delivers is the “performance indicator” and not how many hours he put in or how he spent those hours while at work. Hope more and more sectors will join in and the ultimate focus will be on quality rather than quantity. Today the world has become a small place particularly with the advancement of internet and wireless communication. We almost have a world without boundaries and people sitting in different corners of the world work together in the same project. Mostly “face to face” meeting and group discussion takes place through video conferencing with a very occasional physical handshake.
I am delighted to imagine we would not have to allocate space for offices as we already have a space booked for all of us at our own homes. We shall leave the roads uncluttered as unnecessary trips to work place will be avoided and leave the environment a much cleaner one. This most definitely will have a huge saving on the energy bills too.
For our construction industry this is quite a distance away as one has to be physically present to build a structure, though the design can be done remotely from home.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Think about it

I came across a few photographs taken during a visit to an exhibition in Abu Dhabi a year back. The exhibition was to showcase the current and future developments planned for the real estate sector in UAE in general and Abu Dhabi in particular. 
They also showcased something they are passionate about. The mighty bird of prey and the fastest machine in the track. Focusing on the objects of desires I got drifted away into reflecting into LIFE.
We put a great deal of emphasis on our desires and chase designers' clothes, branded watches, exotic jewellery, other expensive hobbies. At times we get very selective about  our likings and disliking. We seem to forget that we got this opportunity to lead a healthy and peaceful life which is a priceless present in todays world when we look around and compare us with the less fortunates!! Are we doing justice to this gift!
Think about it ......

If you look at what you do not have in life, you don't have anything,   
If you look at what you have in life, you have everything.

Life is like having a cup of coffee. You sit by the window, lift the cup, take a careless sip and find no sugar. Too lazy to go for the sugar, you somehow manage with that sugarless cup. On finishing you discover undissolved sugar crystals settled at the bottom. That is how life is.... We do not make any effort to value what is around us. So look around, may be the sweetness you are looking is closer than you think....