Monday, September 22, 2008

Try not to judge me...

I've never blogged about my sub-conscious before; but last night I had the most ridiculous dream ever. It was so monumentally over-the-top, I had to post it. So here's how it goes:

The dream started off somewhere in the near future when the banking industry had collapsed & there were only about 100 jobs left in the industry globally. Everyone else was fired. So we moved back to India, rented a small place in Dharavi(!!) & lived through some very difficult times.

Then, one day, a head hunter called: "There's an opening. Mithun is making a movie & wants to cast a new actress opposite him. You had mentioned in your resume that you would do any kind of work except act in a Mithun movie. But these are desperate times. What do you say?" I weighed my options. We hadn't eaten in days & I thought that H deserved a better life. It was a difficult decision, but I said yes.

On my first day of shooting, I met Mithun. He looked at me for a few seconds & said, "You do know that I sleep with all the actresses I work with?". What the --??? Did he just come on to me? I was shaking with rage: "How dare you, Mithun-da? Have you noticed how old you are? What do you take me for? I need the money; but I need my dignity more!". I tore the cheque to pieces & stormed out of the studio.

Now, there was another man on the sets watching this whole scene. It was Sanjay Leela Bhansali (I'm not making this up!!!) And he was thinking to himself, "Thats the kind of woman I want to make my next movie about". So SLB walked up to me and offered me 50 million to make a movie based on my life. I was over-the-moon elated. He wanted to cast Ash to play my character, but I told him about how she had ruined all his previous movies for me & that I would prefer Sushmita Sen to play my character. He saw my point :)

With our 50 million, H & I started a small micro-finance company in Mumbai to help the rural poor. It was a satisfying life.

No, its not over yet....Finally, Barrack Obhama in the presidential debate, cited me as an example of exemplary resilience needed in these tough economic times!!!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

How bankers get paid

Watched this on BBC - HSBC Chairman Stephen Green talking on how bankers' compensation structure is one of the reasons of the recent meltdown & something that needs to change: "I think it is important and will become much more the focus of attention to ensure that remuneration schemes operate in a way that is lined up with the long term interests of the owners of the business. There has been far too much focus on payments that are very short term focused, people who pick up the tab for short term profits, without having to bear the costs of long term impairments."

While I agree whole heartedly with Green -- (in all banks, performance-bonuses are based on how much revenue you generate in the previous year/ quarter/ month) -- I also realise that this "reform" is attractive only in theory. For the simple reason that banking, like any other business, is a matter of demand & supply. When the going is good, the shareholders & owners of the business want to see quick growth; they don't want to see their money sit idle in a risk-averse but slow-growing bank; they want to see quarter-over-quarter returns. And there will be demand for professionals who can deliver exactly that.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Flight attendants

I've heard so many Air India travellers complain about how the flight attendants in Air India are not young enough, or pretty enough, or slim enough. I wonder how this expectation came about that flight attendants are required to be young & pretty. I've rarely known of anyone who would judge the quality of a restaurant, for example, by how pretty the waitress is. Why then are airlines judged by the beauty of their air crew?

PS: The service quality in Air India is another topic all together; completely unrelated to the physical appeal of its air hostesses.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

India Shining -Gandhi and the Laptop

I saw this sculpture made by a Kolkata artist named Debanjan Roy; I found it amusing (not sure if that was the intended effect the artist meant to have). I don't know why Gandhiji is all red-- (thats more of Chairman Mao's colour, yes?); but the laptop that's replaced the charkha & the title "India Shining" makes the piece very tongue-in-cheek.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

ERP Woes in Singapore

A friend sent this YouTube video to me the other day; a parady on the recently-hiked ERP (Electronic Road Pricing) in Singapore. This video is likely to be funny only if you know how Singaporeans who drive to work everyday plan their travel schedules for the WHOLE day around when & where the peak-hour surcharges & congested-roads surcharges could hit's almost a national obsession :))

Monday, September 01, 2008

I've been MIA!!!

The past month has been a roller-coaster ride (which thankfully ended on a high); so I've logged into my blog after really long today & realised I need to start blogging again; it's my daily dose of therapy which I've been missing lately :)

I used the time to do other constructive things though -- watched a lot of the Beijing Olympics; learnt how to make delicious biryani; did some quiet reading on weekends (H has been travelling a lot); sorted out some nagging loose ends at work.

Missed out on two weddings though which I would've loved to attend -- one in France, the other in Delhi; and skipped almost all my mandarin lessons last month; haven't watched a new movie in ages; haven't had a minute of exercise for as long as I can remember.

It's time to get back on the schedule now... :)