Thursday, 29 September 2011

Hide and Seek. Where is the catcher?

The game of hide and seek has pretty simple rules. One person stays out at large while the others look for shrubs, shelves and staircases for a hiding. But the basic tenet will be defeated if the catcher himself goes hiding. This, if you come to think of it is like of of those infinite loops that you find in our code at work.

for( int i=0;i>-1:i++{
    till computer crashes.....

If you get my drift, the game extends to infinite time if the catcher goes hiding. This is the way out for an inept catcher to get off the hook and insult the players and that strategy is more often than not employed by street smart catchers who play this version of hide and seek. Now, that particular act is detrimental to the welfare of the game and the people playing it. One cannot keep breathing once every two minutes and hold his sneeze for decades together when under a bush full of mosquitoes. Sooner or later, he has to sneeze and the sound would awaken somebody else in the surroundings who would spot him in a very embarrassing position.

This, to be precise is what is happening with our government's quest for India's most wanted man. To draw the lines and complete my analogy. Our government is more like this catcher who inexplicably goes behind the screen and takes the rest of the country by surprise. Chota Shakeel and Anees Ibrahim are more like this random person who finds the hiding individual in a grotesque corner and blows the horn.

In fact Chota has similarities to my dad and this particular game is much like one I have played before. The sequence of events unfold thus:

1. I tell my dad that my brother is the catcher and that he wouldn't blow my horn as I hide behind his retreating chair.
2. I hide behind the chair and do breathing exercises with less or no sound.
3. My brother finishes counting 100 and opens his eyes (not that he was closing it till then, one corner saw the light after counting 27 actually)
4. He comes straight to dad who is reading the newspaper and signals to him. Of course the signal is understood by all. And like all, my dad understands it. He rolls his eyes to see I am watching and then turns his attention back to his paper.
5. His left finger is inadvertently pointing towards the rear part of his chair and my brother who can more or less put two and two together walks towards me and catches my shirt collar.
6. I resign to defeat, curse my dad and breathe a heavy sigh. Remember, I have been doing breathing exercises all this while. Ironically those exercises involve more of holding breath rather than letting the air go. So it is inevitable that I breathe like a gaping dog as soon as I get caught.

The Dawood story, as I try to meander back to the topic of this writing is strikingly similar to the aforementioned one from my diary until step 5. As with many bollywood movies these days, only the climax is different from the English version which was used as a reference. Chota plays my dad in this scintillating affair and does a favor to TRP hunter Rahul Kanwal of Headlines Today fame. He didn't point his finger in this particular instance but he dialed the number and said it all openly. There is so much talk about death of free speech in Pakistan these days but what is interesting to note is that there is no death of free speech about Pakistan. The don's palatial white house in Karachi hosted a high profile marriage and Chota was unexpectedly the spokesperson for this grand event as he spoke to Headlines Today with all candor.

Excerpts:Headlines Today: Several rumours regarding the wedding have been doing the rounds since April, May...
Chhota Shakeel: That is not correct, the wedding date was fixed and the wedding took place on that date.
Headlines Today: When did the nikaah take place and when was the reception?
Chhota Shakeel: 23rd September, Friday...
Headlines Today: What was the date of the nikaah?
Chhota Shakeel: 25th September, Sunday...
Headlines Today: Sunday was the dawat-e-walima?
Chhota Shakeel: Yes.
Even as the wedding and the reception got over, Dawood now plans to throw a gala reception.
Headlines Today: There are reports that you are planning a big reception?
Chhota Shakeel: We have not decided yet. If we do have one, we will let you know. In fact, we will send you an invitation.
Headlines Today: Will there be a reception or has the reception already taken place?
Anees Ibrahim: Reception is yet to take place.
Headlines Today: Will you hold the reception in London or in Dubai?
Anees Ibrahim: Delhi, Dubai or Nepal.

Possible Reactions

P.Chidambaram : I condemn the marriage. Such marriages are an insult to our relationship with Pakistan. They should have done it in Mumbai.
Pranab:This is a disgrace to Pakistani government's tactics. We told them not to float pictures on the internet.
Renuka Choudhary : Now we have a clue about his whereabouts that have eluded our intelligence bureau hitherto.
Sonia : UPA is determined to arrest the Dawood from Karachi in Gujarat (huh? at least she didn't say italy) in the next twenty four hours. But Mr. Modi is plotting against it and we will do the needful.
Manmohan : ............



Still waiting for a response?

Poda, I won't repeat the rules once again!
He is the catcher. He will go hiding!

Thursday, 8 September 2011

I have a business idea

It has been a boring Thursday afternoon for all of us. Now don't act like a busy bee. You are reading this from your office laptop on a weekday evening and I very well know how you felt when you clicked the link to this page. I saw the smile on your face. Now, for my turn here comes one on mine. Because I have successfully chaffed you, my faithful reader. I don't have any idea actually. I was just fooling around. This is not something like an April prank that we used to play when we wore cotton trousers and canvas shoes. The fact of the matter is that what I call a business idea is an idea in reality but it doesn't have ingredients for a business.

I was skimming through the pages of a decently popular magazine here and one sentence in one of those numerous posts triggered a thought process which I intend to popularize under the banner named "idea". Ok, I see the seething emotion and the urge to hand me a tight slap. No, no haste. I will get to the matter NOW!

Experience and Wisdom suggest that any business idea is worthwhile only when the right combination of people/skill comes together to address an existing social/societal problem in a creative manner. So sticking to those kind of basics, I formulate three different sets of people who form the core of my proposition.

1. Your father and your mother, My father and my mother, All fathers and mothers.
2. HR teams focusing on background checks and those other allied back office chores.
3. Those matrimonial sites with pictures of chicks on their home page such as Rina, 23, MBA and Archana, 25, Software Professional

In the present Indian economic scenario with youth driving growth and average age of working population floating around 25 and 26 (or whatever number it is..I know it's in the 20s) and these young people doing wonders but lacking real experience and what not, I propose to introduce our very experienced fathers and mothers into the equation. Those silky smooth females at the HR front desk and back office of numerous multinational firms in our tier 1 cities are finding it really tough to do background checks on prospective males in the age group of 20-30 during their hiring processes. If the guy is from a state like Andhra for instance, the probability of his degree/experience/both being fake is 1 and if the guy is from Tamil Nadu with an acquired and fake accent, the probability of the person who took the telephonic round and the person who appeared for the face to face meeting being one and the same is closer to the other statistical touchstone - 0. With so many engineers littering Mother Earth as part of modern civilization, the task of verifying identities is becoming a monumental one for those poor HR ladies.

So having described the problem in detail, here is my solution. Consider my neighbour Priya here. She knows her future husband Bharathan’s salary and bank account details down to the last zero, his smoking or drinking habits if any, his past record with girls from school and college, his credit card balance, the amount of petrol in his car's tank at present, whether there is any trace of diabetes or schizophrenia in his family for 6 generations and how much property she is due to inherit in the event of his death and how much property they(as an entity together) will inherit in the event of his father's death. So my point is, there is an information overload with Priya, her father, her mother, her grandmother, her aunty and her sister (the people who did the groundwork to gather the information). Now, here is the proposal.

HR departments should outsource the job of gathering and presenting information about prospective candidates to these well informed set of people. Please don't miss the point. There are two types of jobs created here. 1. Work-from-home contract jobs for retired fathers and mothers and 2. Full-time data entry jobs for their beautiful daughters. Bring in the marriage portals into the picture. They hold the databases for such valuable information. Give them a cutting (say 1% or something for every profile download). These MNCs can happily delegate a part of their work to the aforementioned experts and sit back. Speeds up the process of verification and related activities and streamlines the hiring process with a focus on quality.

P.S : As the idea originated from me, I get royalty on a monthly/yearly basis and readers who seem to like the idea can think of themselves as the next generation Warren Buffets. They turn investors and get a dividend when the company goes public. Anyone with the money can contact me. Others (whose purses are just as light as mine) can like this post and be contented with the dividend they are to receive over time). Works like a charm for all concerned. Doesn't it?