Thursday, December 17, 2009

1 day personal work...

One of my team members told me he would be on leave for a day for some personal work. I said ok. Today we got an email from him saying he is the father of a baby boy. At lunch we all discussed how we never knew his wife was expecting. And that made me think – “How god damn easy, simple and uncomplicated it is to be a father”. It just took me back in time 2 yrs when I got to know I was carrying.

The first three months were crazy. I did not want anyone in the office to know about it. I would need to throw up at least thrice a day so I would go to the restroom on the third floor of my office and do the needful. Thinking of it makes me feel like puking again. By the time that phase was over, it was time to reveal it because it was showing anyways. I had to miss an amazing summit in the US where all my colleagues got a chance to go. I could have gone but there was a chance my child would have been born somewhere over Saudi Arabia, so I dropped the plan. I worked hard till the last week so I could get most of the 3 month maternity leave. After the 3 month leave I had to go to my manager to ask for an extension. After that I had to go to him again to ask if I could work from home for some more months.

The new dad is in office today.

Monday, August 3, 2009

The HRC experience

We had promised a party to my sister and her hubby, so obviously they had finalized on one of the most expensive restaurants in Pune – Hard Rock CafĂ©.

The place was quite far (Near ABC farms, Koregaon Park) and I had never been to this side of Pune. In fact during the drive I often thought, “Is this really Pune? Looks more like B’lore” As we entered the parking area of the restaurant I started wondering “Is this India? Looks more like the US.”

There was a cover charge of 400Rs per couple and looking at the huge crowd I could understand why. We had reserved a table so that turned out to be a very good idea. The ambience inside was great; the music was a bit too loud (or maybe it’s just my age). (Warning: Not the place to go with kids. Unfortunately we didn’t know that before). Jeans and t-shirt, one kid on my waist and the other holding daddy’s hand while daddy pushed the empty stroller, we looked like complete misfits in the world of stilettos and cleavages. But who cares? We were there for the food. And guess what, we weren’t disappointed. The food was nothing short of awesome.
The Margaritas were pretty good. Ok, it was my first time so I don’t have anything to compare them too, but my husband swore they were the best in Pune. The Non Veg. Jumbo Combo platter for starters was amazing. It had little bit of everything – from potato skins to wings. The Santa Fe spring rolls in the platter were the best. In the other appetizers the Nachos were decent. The burgers were big and nice with perfectly salted French fries. The portions were huge – absolutely American style. My sister and I could only finish through the starters so we jumped directly onto the desert – a chocolate cake that was worth every paisa. It was huge. We just couldn’t finish it. The staff was very efficient and though there might have been very few occasions when they might have got to talk to small children they seemed perfectly kid friendly.

The HRC experience cost us 4K. That's pretty expensive! But considering the drinks and food portions I think that was ok for a once-in-a-while indulgence. I would definitely recommend it to anyone craving for American food.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Made in china

There have been so many occasions where someone has said “No guarantee of this stuff. See it is made in china.” And I just don’t get it. How can a product’s quality be measured by the country it is manufactured in. Quality depends on how it is manufactured and not where it is manufactured. Quality is directly proportional to the cost. If you want cheaper products you get cheaper quality. It’s that simple.

How can I be so ignorant to ‘Made in china’ when the flat screen Dell monitor I am looking at, the keyboard I am typing on, the mouse and the coffee mug too have a ‘Made in China’ tag on them. My daughter’s Fisher Price toys (considered the best brand in toys) are made in China. My Levi’s jeans are made in China. I have a 200Rs unbranded wrist watch and a 5000Rs branded wrist watch – both made in china. I can’t blame if the cheaper watch falls slow in two years. I can’t say “hey this thing does not work cause it’s made in china”.

As Indians in general I think we have always been envious of China. We are proud of our democracy (something we ought too) but that’s it. We are envious of the fact that china has made far more progress than we have in the last couple of years. We know it’s our enemy, we know it’s progressing like a bullet train; we know we can’t catch up and so we want it to fail. China-bashing thus becomes our favorite pass time.

A better approach would be to learn from them. How is it that after manufacturing to the whole world, their markets are still full? The year we decided to export mangoes to the US, there is a shortage of mangoes in the local market. Chintachen a small town in china has every household manufacturing just porcelain ware – cups, saucers, soup bowls, vases – you name it. Wuxi another small town has everyone manufacturing toys. I am not envious but in awe of how they have made effective use of their mass population for mass production (not reproduction ;-)).
It’s like the entire country is determined to make their country number 1. And they are aware of their weaknesses too. They know we are far ahead of them in one main area – language – that we can speak English, while they can’t, and beware they are catching up on that too.

Wake up Indians before even the air we breathe is ‘Made in china’.