Tuesday, 29 December 2009

2009- A Round Up

That's another fabulous year coming to an end. It has been a roller coaster ride for most of us with the world-wide recession, job turmoils, RIP MJ, Obamotopia, Tendulkar's 20, Woodsaga and a lot more. Some good and some bad. My year wasn't too different. The "one last time" visit to Pilani as a student was a wholesome experience. 15 days of ecstasy filled with assorted "highs". One last shot at The Age of Empires and Fifa, Movies, Sitcoms, Series and more. January and February went by looking forward to and reminiscing from the trip to Pilani respectively.

2009 was the year of Journalism with Digital media coming to the fore with all the might and power. One of those things what we could have done without was the hype that media created for Kareena's saree act or the Woods' bedroom act. Social networking took a new shape with the prominence of Facebook and Twitter. 09 was the year of linking and networking of course. Blogging became popular all the more and personally i was part of that Blogger revolution. The months of March and April indicated some respite after a dull ending to 2008 on the economic front.

I became a graduate in June and the eventual melancholy for missing college days ruled over me for about a month since then. First Job, Heavy work, Coding miseries, Corporate tamasha, Late nights, Team outings and other common buzzwords did buzz past me in the months of July and August. 2009 has been a 'year of reading' for me and I managed to cover a wide variety from Wodehouse, Orwell, Mohammed Hanif, Khaled Hosseini, Forsyth, Ken Follett to Gurcharan Das, Tharoor, Jhumpa and Naipaul. Later parts of the year witnessed a first order ruckus revolving around CAT and the mouse. A 'colossal failure' would more or less capture the essence of the CAT 09 saga. So after calling it 'RIP CAT09' after November, the footballing world caused surprises with the Big Four in England taking a beating. Now, the stage is set for a competitive season overall. An obsession for writing and journalism began to evolve and i started devoting a lot of time on political, economic and social writing in the month of December.

Overall, Not a great year. It did have the good's like the first job, great football, good movies and awesome books. The bad's were there too with RIP MJ, Religion and Politics, Dirty Media, Swayamvars, Hype on Climate change, Costly movies, Costly food, CAT meltdown and more......

Looking forward to a better year in 2010 with better health, better wealth and better knowledge. A Very Happy New Year to all !!

Monday, 14 December 2009

Interview Special

It is the era of "starting-up" and young, first generation entrepreneurs are a celebrated lot these days. As part of an interview contribution to The Viewspaper, I barged into the office of a young entrepreneur from Hyderabad. I felt like one of those modern-day journalists who hold the mic as if it were a scabbard and speak about all and sundry as critically as possible. They call it blade under the tongue approach. I mean, one feels empowered at such an opportunity(of being the journalist). The plight of Tiger Woods, I bet, would give an idea of what journalists can do

So that is that. Coming back to the interview under discussion, it was by and large a smooth affair. However, the parley did stand to offer an episode fraught with surprises. When asked, how he mustered the courage to quit a well paying job to start up on his own, the entrepreneur said it was slightly complicated.
He said: 'the motivation to start' came from the last discussion he had with his ex boss when the latter said "You're Fired". So the advice basically was,
  • Begin the groundwork for the start-up when you still hold the high paying job. But make sure you work well enough to avoid the pink slip.
  • Exploit the famous "Work From Home" option that most employers provide these days. It is a wise idea to "Work For Home" on such occasions.
I smiled at that, thinking it to be a nice gesture at such revelations. He didn't acknowledge though. From then on, he used the interview as an opportunity to lecture a juvenile sitting in front of him. I did ask a few witty questions to highlight the journalist at work but to no great avail. During that awfully long story, I kept doing the 'ucch ucch' and 'ummm' 'umm' regularly and said "it was tough to convince venture capitalists these days", trying to notch an opinion as a display of wit. He grabbed that chance to tell me they were looking for donations and bravely asked me if I could help him by "donating" whatever I could. To say I was shocked at this would be to cheat the reader grossly. I was flabbergasted would be a better way of describing the state of affairs. I was breathing hard (understandably) after the recent turn of events when his wife timed the "filter coffee" perfectly. I thought the wisest thing to do at that point was to cut loose and run. He tried delaying tactics on me by passing on the coffee mug to me and I acted smart by asking the wife if it was filter coffee to change topic and she replied saying it was not filter coffee but Bru. Then, I said it was really nice meeting him to close things down. I could have said I am not affluent enough to contribute by way of any donation at that moment or some such thing to that effect. But like the 'Wooster's pride' that Wodehouse talks of, there is this Sekhars' pride that emerge victorious on these occasions.

At the end of the day, I did manage to hold my purse intact by thoughtfully shooting questions like 'how much would the town bus cost me for my return journey' and 'how costly was the Hyderabad lifestyle in general' and all that sort of a thing, to prove my penury.

To say I had a tough time overall and that it was one of the weirdest conversations in life would be to grossly understate the affair. God Save these People.!