Jun 30, 2010

Hair Straightening !

It was probably the April of 1974. Bangalore was getting warm and gulmohars were blooming at the IISc campus. I was the only girl in my postgraduate department and was staying at the ladies' hostel. Other girls were pursuing research in different departments of Science.

I was looking forward to going abroad to complete a doctorate in computer science. I had been offered scholarships from Universities in the US... I had not thought of taking up a job in India.

One day, while on the way to my hostel from our lecture-hall complex, I saw an advertisement on the notice board. It was a standard job-requirement notice from the famous automobile company Telco (now Tata Motors)... It stated that the company required young, bright engineers, hardworking and with an excellent academic background, etc.

At the bottom was a small line: 'Lady Candidates need not apply.'

I read it and was very upset. For the first time in my life I was up against gender discrimination.

Though I was not keen on taking up the job, I saw it as a challenge. I had done extremely well in academics, better than most of my male peers...
Little did I know then that in real life academic excellence is not enough to be successful?

After reading the notice I went fuming to my room. I decided to inform the topmost person in Telco's management about the injustice the company was perpetrating. I got a postcard and started to write, but there was a problem: I did not know who headed Telco

I thought it must be one of the Tatas. I knew JRD Tata was the head of the Tata Group; I had seen his pictures in newspapers (actually, Sumant Moolgaokar was the company's chairman then) I took the card, addressed it to JRD and started writing. To this day I remember clearly what I wrote.

'The great Tatas have always been pioneers. They are the people who started the basic infrastructure industries in India, such as iron and steel, chemicals, textiles and locomotives they have cared for higher education in India since 1900 and they were responsible for the establishment of the Indian Institute of Science. Fortunately, I study there. But I am surprised how a company such as Telco is discriminating on the basis of gender.'

I posted the letter and forgot about it. Less than 10 days later, I received a telegram stating that I had to appear for an interview at Telco's Pune facility at the company's expense. I was taken aback by the telegram. My hostel mate told me I should use the opportunity to go to Pune free of cost and buy them the famous Pune saris for cheap! I collected Rs30 each from everyone who wanted a sari when I look back, I feel like laughing at the reasons for my going, but back then they seemed good enough to make the trip.

It was my first visit to Pune and I immediately fell in love with the city.

To this day it remains dear to me. I feel as much at home in Pune as I do in Hubli, my hometown. The place changed my life in so many ways. As directed, I went to Telco's Pimpri office for the interview.

There were six people on the panel and I realized then that this was serious business.

'This is the girl who wrote to JRD,' I heard somebody whisper as soon as I entered the room. By then I knew for sure that I would not get the job. The realization abolished all fear from my mind, so I was rather cool while the interview was being conducted.

Even before the interview started, I reckoned the panel was biased, so I told them, rather impolitely, 'I hope this is only a technical interview.'

They were taken aback by my rudeness, and even today I am ashamed about my attitude.
The panel asked me technical questions and I answered all of them.

Then an elderly gentleman with an affectionate voice told me, 'Do you know why we said lady candidates need not apply? The reason is that we have never employed any ladies on the shop floor. This is not a co-ed college; this is a factory. When it comes to academics, you are a first ranker throughout. We appreciate that, but people like you should work in research laboratories.

I was a young girl from small-town Hubli. My world had been a limited place.

I did not know the ways of large corporate houses and their difficulties, so I answered, 'But you must start somewhere, otherwise no woman will ever be able to work in your factories.'

Finally, after a long interview, I was told I had been successful. So this was what the future had in store for me. Never had I thought I would take up a job in Pune. I met a shy young man from Karnataka there, we became good friends and we got married.

It was only after joining Telco that I realized who JRD was: the uncrowned king of Indian industry. Now I was scared, but I did not get to meet him till I was transferred to Bombay. One day I had to show some reports to Mr Moolgaokar, our chairman, who we all knew as SM. I was in his office on the first floor of Bombay House (the Tata headquarters) when, suddenly JRD walked in. That was the first time I saw 'appro JRD'. Appro means 'our' in Gujarati. This was the affectionate term by which people at Bombay House called him.

I was feeling very nervous, remembering my postcard episode. SM introduced me nicely, 'Jeh (that's what his close associates called him), this young woman is an engineer and that too a postgraduate.

She is the first woman to work on the Telco shop floor.' JRD looked at me. I was praying he would not ask me any questions about my interview (or the postcard that preceded it).

Thankfully, he didn't. Instead, he remarked. 'It is nice that girls are getting into engineering in our country. By the way, what is your name?'

'When I joined Telco I was Sudha Kulkarni, Sir,' I replied. 'Now I am Sudha Murthy.' He smiled and kindly smile and started a discussion with SM. As for me, I almost ran out of the room.

After that I used to see JRD on and off. He was the Tata Group chairman and I was merely an engineer. There was nothing that we had in common. I was in awe of him.

One day I was waiting for Murthy, my husband, to pick me up after office hours. To my surprise I saw JRD standing next to me. I did not know how to react. Yet again I started worrying about that postcard. Looking back, I realize JRD had forgotten about it. It must have been a small incident for him, but not so for me.

'Young lady, why are you here?' he asked. 'Office time is over.' I said, 'Sir, I'm waiting for my husband to come and pick me up.' JRD said, 'It is getting dark and there's no one in the corridor.

I'll wait with you till your husband comes.'

I was quite used to waiting for Murthy, but having JRD waiting alongside made me extremely uncomfortable.

I was nervous. Out of the corner of my eye I looked at him. He wore a simple white pant and shirt. He was old, yet his face was glowing. There wasn't any air of superiority about him. I was thinking, 'Look at this person. He is a chairman, a well-respected man in our country and he is waiting for the sake of an ordinary employee.'

Then I saw Murthy and I rushed out. JRD called and said, 'Young lady, tell your husband never to make his wife wait again.' In 1982 I had to resign from my job at Telco. I was reluctant to go, but I really did not have a choice. I was coming down the steps of Bombay House after wrapping up my final settlement when I saw JRD coming up. He was absorbed in thought. I wanted to say goodbye to him, so I stopped. He saw me and paused.

Gently, he said, 'So what are you doing, Mrs. Kulkarni?' (That was the way he always addressed me.) 'Sir, I am leaving Telco.'

'Where are you going?' he asked. 'Pune, Sir. My husband is starting a company called Infosys and I'm shifting to Pune.'

'Oh! And what will you do when you are successful.'

'Sir, I don't know whether we will be successful.' 'Never start with diffidence,' he advised me 'Always start with confidence. When you are successful you must give back to society. Society gives us so much; we must reciprocate. Wish you all the best.'

Then JRD continued walking up the stairs. I stood there for what seemed like a millennium. That was the last time I saw him alive.

Many years later I met Ratan Tata in the same Bombay House, occupying the chair JRD once did. I told him of my many sweet memories of working with Telco. Later, he wrote to me, 'It was nice hearing about Jeh from you.
The sad part is that he's not alive to see you today.'

I consider JRD a great man because, despite being an extremely busy person, he valued one postcard written by a young girl seeking justice. He must have received thousands of letters everyday. He could have thrown mine away, but he didn't do that. He respected the intentions of that unknown girl, who had neither influence nor money, and gave her an opportunity in his company. He did not merely give her a job; he changed her life and mindset forever.

Close to 50 per cent of the students in today's engineering colleges are girls. And there are women on the shop floor in many industry segments. I see these changes and I think of JRD. If at all time stops and asks me what I want from life, I would say I wish JRD were alive today to see how the company we started has grown. He would have enjoyed it wholeheartedly.

My love and respect for the House of Tata remains undiminished by the passage of time. I always looked up to JRD. I saw him as a role model for his simplicity, his generosity, his kindness and the care he took of his employees. Those blue eyes always reminded me of the sky; they had the same vastness and magnificence.

(Sudha Murthy is a widely published writer and chairperson of the Infosys Foundation involved in a number of social development initiatives. Infosys chairman Narayana Murthy is her husband.)

Article sourced from: Lasting Legacies (Tata Review- Special Commemorative Issue 2004), brought out by the house of Tatas to commemorate the 100th birth anniversary of JRD Tata on July 29, 2004 .

Loved it ? There is one more love story wrote by Sudha aunty

Jun 26, 2010

Life is calling. Where are you ?

It's half past 8 in the office but the lights are still on...
PCs still running, coffee machines still buzzing...
And who's at work? Most of them ??? Take a closer look....

All or most specimens are ??
Some male species of the human race...

Look closer... again all or most of them are bachelors....

And why are they sitting late? Working hard? No way!!!
Any guesses???
Let's ask one of them...
Here's what he says... 'What's there 2 do after going home...Here we get to surf, AC, phone, food, coffee that is why I am working late...Importantly no bossssssss!!!!!!!!!!!'

This is the scene in most research centers and software companies and other off-shore offices.

Bachelors 'Passing-Time' during late hours in the office just bcoz they say they've nothing else to do...
Now what r the consequences...

'Working' (for the record only) late hours soon becomes part of the institute or company culture.

With bosses more than eager to provide support to those 'working' late in the form of taxi vouchers, food vouchers and of course good feedback, (oh, he's a hard worker... goes home only to change..!!).
They aren't helping things too...

To hell with bosses who don't understand the difference between 'sitting' late and 'working' late!!!

Very soon, the boss start expecting all employees to put in extra working hours.

So, My dear Bachelors let me tell you, life changes when u get married and start having a family.... office is no longer a priority, family is... and
That's when the problem starts... b'coz u start having commitments at home too.

For your boss, the earlier 'hardworking' guy suddenly seems to become a 'early leaver' even if u leave an hour after regular time... after doing the same amount of work.

People leaving on time after doing their tasks for the day are labelled as work-shirkers...

Girls who thankfully always (its changing nowadays... though) leave on time are labelled as 'not up to it'. All the while, the bachelors pat their own backs and carry on 'working' not realizing that they r spoiling the work culture at their own place and never realize that they would have to regret at one point of time.

So what's the moral of the story??
* Very clear, LEAVE ON TIME!!!
* Never put in extra time ' unless really needed '
* Don't stay back unnecessarily and spoil your company work culture which will in turn cause inconvenience to you and your colleagues.

There are hundred other things to do in the evening..

Learn music...

Learn a foreign language...

Try a sport... TT, cricket.........

Importantly,get a girl friend or boy friend, take him/her around town...

* And for heaven's sake, net cafe rates have dropped to an all-time low (plus, no fire-walls) and try cooking for a change.

Take a tip from the Smirnoff ad: *'Life's calling, where are you??'*

Please pass on this message to all those colleagues and please do it before leaving time, don't stay back till midnight to forward this!!!




(Above is an e-mail compiled my Mr.Narayana Murthy)

Jun 24, 2010

Two Earth's on August 2010 !

Did we ever know that a star can be as big as a planet ? You are soon going to see one on a sunday night this August. Under the terra firma of our Mother Earth, a star is going to SMASH us when it will cross the orbit from an approximately 34.5 Million miles on 7:29 PM (GMT), the 15th of Aug, 2010....

Alrite, i will stop here....First, there is nothing going to happen....Cool down...Relax....Don't wait in the patio  for something to show up. You will get nothing but cold. I have been receiving mails about an once-in-a-lifetime opportunity in witnessing  Two suns.... or Two moons....or Two Whatever EVERY year since 2003. 
These are all F A K E. Some trickster from some other country is trying to fool us all by putting such catchy news along with convincing images. Before everyone starts believing, i thought someone should end it !

Jun 20, 2010

ராவணன்: Movie Review

Mani is the master of magnificence. There are people who watch movies especially for DIRECTORS. I am one. Ofcourse, I do revere Rajinikant like any other Tamilian. I do admire Kamal & Vikram. I like Surya very very much but  beyond all  of that, i am more of a director's fan than a die-hard male lead supporter. Mani tops the list of my favorite directors. Why does people show me a sorry face when asked about Raavanan ? I don't feel this most-expected-movie-of-2010 is unwatchable. Maniratnam is back after 3 years. Guru (2007) is his last flick i guess.

I enjoyed watching this movie frame by frame. Yeah, you read it right. FRAME by FRAME. It's the impressive, impeccable Cinematography that definitely deserves a National award. Or even something beyond that. Can give one to the director or any other crew member but the DOP definitely deserves it. Awesome, astonishing camera work. Breath taking locations. Hats off to Santosh Sivan. I presume his SIXTH national award is near. Art direction and editing is sure to receive the same round of applause. Now that i typed the will-be-talked-about part, let me get into the movie.

The plot:

The first scene makes it all clear. You are going to see something different that you haven't seen before. Vikram is a Tamilnadu Tarzan who fights for the good of his forest folks. He is one of the toughest, strongest, bravest, and all the superlative -est's emerged from Oxford. The city cops resents his heroics.  Decides to hunt him down somehow. An encounter specialist, S.P - Prithvi raj is hired to do the job. During his sister's wedding, Vikram was shot on the neck by a decisive move from the encounter specialist. He survives the shot. Evades. Everyone escapes including the groom but the bride. She was taken into police custody for inquiry. Like it happen in all tamil films, the fat folks molest her. She commits suicide. Vikram decides to take revenge. Kidnaps Aiswarya, Prithvi's wife. The cop comes back for her girl as well as to destroy Vikram. The chase constitutes 80% of the movie. Prithvi succeeds after a scintillating climax.

The Cast:

Vikram did a neat job. He is a hard working talent who puts exhausting effort for what his fans respect him. Mani utilized every bit of excatly that. I want to see the hindi version especially for him. I am curious to see how he played the role of the exact opposite there. Aish aunty eyes is still amazing. 16 years after the pageant , the Miss world is still so beautiful. Some said she looks old but it's the least possible you can see in a 36yr old. She did a fantastic job of a fearless wife. Prithivi Raj, after Mozhi, no director would dare to give him a cop outfit. He shined spectacularly. Worked out and improved his physique  for the job and played to perfection - the role of a courageous, hell-i-care, bring'em-on cop. Was Karthik the Hanuman ? Nice to see him on screen after a long time. His role is limited but he did well. And for Heaven sake, dear directors, please don't sign Priyamani for portraying poignancy anymore. Was she a rape-victim specialist or what ? Atleast Mani did not make it as demolishing and devastating as Paruthiveeran. Mani conveyed the point in a decent fashion avoiding Yuck's in the crowd. And no wonder, Ranjitha received more roar and response than Aish :P

The Crew:

A.R.Rahman did give a greater deal of impact in the BGM but not at his best in the Songs as far as i feel.  I am still listening to Vinnai thaandi Varuvaaya everyday. These songs aren't as mellifluous as  i expected. May be because Mani gave foremost priority to the story rather than emphasizing on sizzling songs. Enough lauds for Camera, Art and Editing is already given. Now, the director. Who will dare to enter a dangerous forest like this ? Who will dare to depart from the storyline of the country's greatest Epics ? Mani is an Individual. He gives his view point using his creative brilliance. He clearly conveyed what he wanted to. Like it or not, it's up to you. Mani doesn't direct movies for just MONEY alone. If that is what he intends to, he can also join the bandwagon to remake  those Kutti'z and Jetty'z and all other crap. It's not every time you like what a person conveys !
Suhasini Maniratnam is a movie critique herself and now that she is out there contributing to a Ace director's  movie,  the world is all eyes. Her DIALOGUES lacked punch and strength. The screenplay isn't engaging either. Slow movie. Most of us felt like the chase is happening for a very long time.

Watch out for:

  • The first scene where Aish was abducted.
  • The scene where Aish falls down in the falls. The camera-editing-CG must be appreciated. Even if you closely notice, there will be scratches in Aish hands which makes it look R E A L !
  • The climax scene in the hanging bridge. I have never seen such a 'cliff hanging' moment in any Indian cinema !
  • The camera work when Prithvi burns a news paper with a Cigar. There are lot of interesting such CLOSE SHOTS all over the movie.
  • The scenic beauty from scene #1 of the misty mountains throughout the movie. I can watch it again and again. I will never care who kills whom. I will just wow at the scenery :P
  • The last scene in which Vikram slowly fall over the steep. Too touching.


Theme ?

Well, as far i saw, the message in one line is - ஆவதும் பெண்ணாலே, அழிவதும் பெண்ணாலே :P
But Mani has a deep insight. This is his message to you all.
Did such a man ever exist..? Was he just a myth or a metaphor ?
Is Raavan the line that divides Good from Evil ?
Does our understanding change when we look from the Opponent's Perspective ?
The bond between the Hunter and the Hunted - Between the Captor and the Captive seems to be a bond of do or die.
The tension between opposites often seems so electric, that it isolates them from the rest of the world, leaving just the two - All alone...
Are Ten heads better than One ?
Is there a Ram inside Raavan ? And a Raavan inside each of us ?!

The Deal

There are lot of aspects that make up a movie. If you find the story or screenplay defective, then don't claim the  entire movie is poor. There are always good things you should cheer about. Like the dedication and hard-work of the entire crew, staying in a forest and shooting gregariously in spite of  a grueling shift. See the brighter side. See the better side. Appreciate it. Life will become more beautiful.

Yahoo! Smileys for Blogger

Was there an option to insert smileys into blogger ?

I thought it will make the reading lively !

So, a smiley is just an image. Wherever you can find an image, it can be pushed into the blog post. It's that simple. Below is a big list of all the latest Yahoo! Messenger icons. They are available in the below location.

You can use the insert image icon to add a smiley or directly play with the HTML using the IMG tag.If you want the first smiley on this list, add the below line to your HTML code section.
For the second smiley, just replace the number (1.gif with 2.gif) at the end of the link.Doing so, you can insert smileys in your blogs and entertain your readers.

More smileys can be found here. If you move the mouse over any of the smiley, a link will appear in the status bar. You can see the smiley number at the end of the link. Happy blogging

PS: Manually adding the smileys with HTML code is a painful, mundane task. I will try and write a script which will easily help insert the smileys. Like a simple :) will be automatically replaced with

Jun 17, 2010

HCL invites 2010 Freshers

HCL is inviting applications from the campus batch of 2010, with a minimum score of 65% from ECE, EEE, IS, CSE, IT, E&I and MCA disciplines for openings across Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad and NCR. Take this opportunity to introduce your friends to HCL!

If your friends’ applications get shortlisted, they will be required to take the Computer Based Test (CBT), about which they will be informed individually. Those who clear the test will then appear for an interview in Bangalore / Chennai / NCR. Candidates who have received offers from other Tier 1 IT companies, will have an edge over the others!

Selected candidates can look forward to working at their preferred locations and an attractive compensation of INR 18,000/- per month for the initial three months. After completion of three months, their compensation would be increased to INR 3 lakhs per annum.

Know someone who fits the bill? Request them to apply by logging on to: http://hcl.aspiringminds.in/

Jun 8, 2010

சிங்கம் - Movie Review

Big pictures begins with a BANG., A StudioGreen stunner. Those who have very less expectations (like me) after seeing the promotional posters have an AWE awaiting in Theatres. Hari, after a long time has delivered a family entertainer. A real ACTION dish spiced with equal mix of comedy and love. Typical tamil masala movie.

Surya, my favourite have once again exemplified his insatiable passion of bettering himself every movie. After Kaka Kaka, He once again inspired police officers !

Vivek, without a speculation, with a striking spontaneity in humor has set out so well for the sidekick spot.

Devi sri prasad, though couldn't pull out the quid pro quo of Harris Jayaraj's Kaka Kaka but have done extremely well. Magnificent and mellifluent. Songs are a sure-shot hit. Or else Sun TV will make it so. Look for his rocking & rollicking theme song when surya gets appointed as A.C.

After the Trishaz and Tamannaahaz, it's good too see someone else sharing the lead. Her job is less and she did o.k. Anushka dances dull. Just stands still and slews her side. Even she seem to have forgot few dresses. Either she was throwed into the set half the way while dressing or she forget to wear some of the wearables !

There is nothing new in the plot. One police offers hates rowdies as usual. One rowdy hates such cops. They meet. They fight. They fight again. They keep fighting. Time lapses a limit. The following fight will be fostered as a  'Climax'. The Hero win in the end.

These are evident as well as en elementary essence for any action movie. But the Hero is the enthralling script & Screenplay. Another Hero is the Director. Vivek chipped in to increment the count. And undoubtedly Surya did so well :D

Singam is Fast & Furious. Whizzzzzzzzz goes the movie. Ends in no time at all. There is not even one single sentiment scene that slackens the screnplay and depresses us. For example, take the starting scence. Movie begins with a boring intro action sequence and makes me feel like i made a mistake by coming to the theatre. But in the end of that sequence, you can witness a brilliant CG (Computer Graphics) work if you closely notice. Two cars and 6 villan associates will fly in the air slowly. That's what you call 'improvization'. If it was a typical tamil movie, one old, useless doll & dumb car will thrice turn out in the air and blast.

Don't miss out

  • The best scene of the movie in which Surya and Prakash Raj meet for the first time. Evidence of ebullience is all over !
  • The scene in which Surya counters the commissioner outta the station.
  • The scene in which Anushka drives her dad with his driving license. Claps for you all !
  • All the Vivek scenes.
  • All the Surya-Anushka sequences. Simple yet elegant. Lovely and lively. No single sign of cinematization.
  • Surya's Dazzling Dance.  
Below is an Interview i found in IndiaGlitz. 

Surya debuts in Bollywood in his next flick for a Ram Gopal Varma's Hindi film - Ratha Charithra.

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