Elections in the air or is it a battlefield?

LOK_SABHA_ELECTIONS_2014
India, the largest democracy in the world is in the midst of the General Elections so naturally it is the largest election ever being conducted. The 2014 elections are being conducted in 9 phases right from April 7 to May 12, 2014 and the results will be out on May the 16th.

What is so special about these elections? For a change, the current Prime Minister has opted out of the race (Phew!!!). The anti incumbency factor is showing up loud and clear with the nation clamouring for change or so it seems to me. This time it looks like a clear battle between an individual who surely had no silver spoon in his mouth and a scion, though I have my serious reservations on the capabilities of the scion. I have always believed that dynastic politics must end and I am hoping that these elections banish this nonsense from the face of India. Of course there is a third angle but unlike a show spoiler some months ago, he can do little this time as people have seen through his game plan.

So many personal attacks on each other, whether veiled or open who cares? Paid news, paid coverage in the media, you name it and we are witnessing it all here. Technology being used to the hilt with Google+, Facebook and Twitter agog with posts and counter posts. TV interviews resemble a mud slinging match on a tennis court with the mud ball being sloshed from one end as the other end already is sending out one. No serve and volley only blindly serve.

In Mumbai the voting day is 6 days from today and as we approach the last weekend before the voting day the campaigns are reaching a crescendo (read more cacophony, more traffic snarls, more junk being delivered to homes, more trash in the newspapers, suddenly unknown people smiling at you, you name it and it is all there). Thursday morning voting starts at 0700 and I plan to beat the rush and be amongst the first few to get in and vote. Save the bother of long queues as there are more number of people expected than before.

All in all, I am clear that I am backing the winning horse and I just want him to win handsomely so that the other jokers are completely banished. We have had enough and want to live at least the next five years if not more in peace.

Disclaimer: I am not exhorting anyone to vote for any particular party or person. I just want people to go out and vote. Every vote counts as this is the only time we can teach all these !@#$%^s a lesson. PLEASE GO OUT AND VOTE ON THURSDAY MORNING.

Tally Team to Task

This is so true for entrepreneurs. The original post appears here and has been pasted from there.

Does your team match the job at hand? - Thanos Papadimitriou

Every start-up thinks the activity of an organization as the process of sourcing, securing, allocating, assembling, managing, and scaling human and material resources into business capabilities.

Smart entrepreneurs are like accountants, they match the duration of their assets and liabilities, both financial and human.

No one can do it alone. Sooner or later entrepreneurs have to enlist additional team members to execute existing tasks so that they can focus on new, higher value initiatives.

Four things to think about when you are building your team are as follows:

1. Fill in the gaps

A complementary partner is the most important asset available to an entrepreneur. A partner is an additional set of eyes, a sounding board and a reality check-the person whom you trust to tell you when you are wrong. Finding the right candidates begins with honest self-examination. Compare your capabilities to those needed to succeed to find the gaps. Entrepreneurs would be wise to apply the same analysis to every addition they make to the team.

2. Get started with what you have, but upgrade relentlessly

Most entrepreneurs lack the resources or track record needed to attract qualified candidates, and thus rarely have the pick of the litter when hiring. That’s ok. Part of being an entrepreneur is learning to make it work with what you have. That said, remember that difference between “A” and “B” players is not one notch, it’s 100x fold. Covering an empty position for a few weeks sounds horrendous but keeping an inept person in a critical position is crippling. The ambiguity and lag time makes it all the more important to act decisively. Immediately saddling new team members with actionable and measurable tasks can help to uncover subpar hires sooner.

3. Plan for roles to change

This means making it clear to early hires they are filling temporary needs. Make short (six month) commitments, which include flexibility for role changes as needed.

4. Hire for the job at hand

Many start-ups mistakenly hire a professional VP of Sales before finishing the product, much less validating demand for it. Not only is it expensive to have a VP of Sales sitting around before there are customers to sell to (you, the founder, are in charge of evangelical sales, remember?), anyone worth their salt wouldn’t come to work in your basement anyway. It’s just not worth their time yet.

12 Ways To Turn Your Life Around In 12 Months Or Less

Worth reading….

http://addicted2success.com/life/12-ways-to-change-your-life-in-12-months-or-less/

7 Cardinal Rules In Life Everyone Should Know About

Thanks to Kiran Rao for sharing this link.

http://www.lifehack.org/articles/lifestyle/7-cardinal-rules-life-everyone-should-know-about.html

New ways with cycling

2014-04-10 06.51.14Last week I had a chance to discover new roads and new eateries too so in a way, I learnt how I could gain back the weight I may just have lost thanks to cycling.

Thursday, April 10, 2014 left early at 0530 with my cyclist friend, Nitin and we pedalled to B Merwan at Grant Road East. This is a quaint Irani joint and amongst the last few such joints left in Mumbai. It was in the news as it is over a 100 years old and shutting down they said. Famous for its mawa cakes which got sold out by 0615 hence we had planned to leave so early. They weren’t wrong as mawa cakes were the ones for which people thronged in hordes. We ourselves bought a dozen each to take home. We then decided to have breakfast on those antique marble top tables, sitting on those typical chairs you saw only at Irani joints. The menu was on the columns and had displayed stuff like Rimzim, ice cream soda which are now history. The display units were also the typical ones we saw in the days gone by. We had brun maska (thick crust bread with butter) along with egg bhurji. We clicked pictures which can be viewed here. Also spoke to the man behind the cash counter who said they WEREN’T closing down just that the place needed massive repairs so they would be closed for some time. So much for the reports in the press. We left at 0645 and Nitin led me out straight past the erstwhile Novelty Cinema and we continued down there. In all of my 46+ years, I never had a chance to discover this road. We cut across JJ hospital, Sales Tax office in Mazagon and ended up then turning left on the BPT toll road in Byculla or such and came home. Did 30+ kms in the process and also had some yummy food.

2014-04-11 07.25.49Friday morning Nitin and me cycled to Amar Mahal not really knowing where to go. We went to Kurla Station and chanced upon the unopened SCLR – Santacruz Chembur Link Road. Enticing slopes so we decided to take a chance. Wow amazing wide roads, well carpeted and up and down we went. We also went over the double-decker flyover on both levels so that was thrilling. Thoroughly enjoyed ourselves exploring the new-found roads like Alice in Wonderland. That day I ended up doing just over 30 kms which for me was a big thing. Fellow cyclists, make a beeline and use this road now as it is scheduled to open up sometime this week and they may ban us like they have done on the Eastern Freeway.

 

Sunday, April 13, 2014, a red-letter day in my cycling graph so far as I decided to ride with C3 Cycling Club. They were cycling to Airoli and were leaving from Amar Mahal at 0615 so I was up at 0430 (on a Sunday morning) and left home at 0550 to be there at 0615. We started at 0640 and I was kind of skeptical if I could make it but pushed the envelope and made it to Airoli. Having made it there (and having polished off a vada pav), there was no choice but to pedal back so came back too. On the return leg used the service road which was brilliant as it was freshly carpeted. Unfortunately didn’t have the phone so no statistics but nonetheless had a great time and a tremendous feeling of accomplishment.

To sum up, cycling let me discover new roads and new food joints too:-) Hope I don’t add to my bloated weight but then I am pedaling too to wash it down. Only time will tell on which side of the weighing scale, I have progressed but then hope for the best.

Cycling in a group

Banganga

 

Banganga Cycles

I have been cycling for the past one year and have been doing it all by myself. Was too shy to go and learn from people maybe or maybe my girth. Enough excuses. Sunday March 30, I had my first group ride to Sewree mudflats about which I blogged already. Last Sunday ie April 6, 2014 was my second group ride. It was with the Bandra cycling club who start from lucky restaurant and pedal down to different places.

This time they were going to in Walkeshwar. Left at 0605 from home and decided to catch up with them at Barista at Shivaji park. Waited for a few minutes and then I could see the lights glowing and knew cyclists were coming. Banganga asked the first one and I nodded so he said join in. There started my first ride actually with BCC. Pedalling away was talking to some people who are pros at it. Learnt a trick or two and honestly when in a group, you don’t somehow feel exhausted maybe as we don’t even have the time to think of any such thing. Each one is busy pushing the pedal and talking. We stopped at Haji Ali just so that everyone could catch up and be together. Rode to the venue and on the way I did trip and fall but it was nothing much. Just that the chain came off. Requested someone in the group to help me and he most willingly did. Thanks dude. You made my day.

Climbed down the steps of Banganga with the bicycles in hand and parked them. The customary group photograph was taken as will be seen alongside with an announcement on the return leg. They were going to halt at City Bakery at Worli. I decided not to take that break.

Cycled back and again chatted along with someone or the other who were not halting at City Bakery. Returned home in under 2 hours after doing 34.5 kms which was damn good.

Had a great time. Thanks BCC. You made my day.

Kavya’s entry into the next grade

4th gradeToday Kavya entered Grade 4. A new chapter in her life even if her school friends, the class teacher all remain the same. She has a new classroom on a floor above the previous one which means some more physical exercise (for her:-)

What was new about today? For starters, no cars allowed for drops at the school gate and they enforced it very well too. Their former principal and now executive director of the school was standing there on the road and ensured the rules weren’t broken.

This was a good opportunity for me as I have always enjoyed walking with Kavya and talking along the way. Today I told her how I was cycling up on a particular bridge and found the going tough. How it could hear her say “Come on papa you can do it” mentally and that helped me get over the hurdle. In a way this is good for us as Kavya gets ready early and reaches on time. I have a set time to return home from cycling which means I must leave on time too. All in all talk of the domino effect and we are experiencing it.

Thank you Shishuvan. Thanks to this simple rule, Kavya and me get to spend quality time together.

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