Al-Avalathi's Life (Al-Avalathi is the last Mallu to go to the Gelf)
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Posts from — October 2007

Inconvenience on wheels

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Like hundreds of other commuters, a journey on the side berth of a train is something that I hate.It is only when I am option less,choice less, mind less, I settle for the side berths.

One it is inconvenient for almost everyone, unless you are a character straight out of Gulliver’s Travels. The length of the berth is far from anything that can fit any average guy.And even worse, we need to shell out as much as for the normal berth as for a side berth?
Hello Railways!!! Some incentive for the inconvenience that you provide commuters with???

The guy who designed the side berths must have been really insane to place 16 side berths into every (sleeper) compartment. I am sure he would have had a mandate from his boss to squeeze in 72 berths,and was on the verge of losing his job.

Now our respected fodder eating , ruminating, Lalu who has managed to get his name printed on some case studies as a maverick minister, is thinking one step forward, I mean above. There he comes with one more side berth!Yes, 3 side berths instead of 2! So the extra side seater gets to sit and let his back go for a toss being supported by hard mica(?) sheets.
Welcome to the world of differential comforts.The moving example of early bird gets the worm.If you are lucky,you get the comfortable(?) berths else, settle for the additional side berths!

Aren’t more coaches an option Sri. Lalu? I heard, you are ,oops.. I mean your organization(Indian Railways)is making profits.Any thoughts?

Why do u make the commuter suffer more than ever before?

You, me , the commuter as always remains the scapegoat.
Next time, you may be lucky to sitting on a SM(Side Middle) seat.
Bon Voyage! Hats off to Lalunomics : D

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October 15, 2007   13 Comments

What is CSR?

Corporate social responsibility isn’t about planting trees in some vague corner of the world, but about how you do your business and how ethical you are as a corporation! Said Hurstel

It is not about “motivating” employees to contribute towards a social cause.

It should not be another way of creating customer loyalty, here based on noble activities.

It is not wearing the Green mask in whichever, whenever, wherever, whatever possible style to portray an ecofriendly(thereby socially responsible) image.

It is not about doing absolutely nothing to the community or society at large, but be good to employees.

It is not about finding a way to get into the good books of the tax man and manage some exemption.

It is not about starting an activity be it planting trees, or educating street children, but focusing on results and continuing the activity.

It is not jus’ about setting a recycling plant after realizing the irreparable damage already done.

It is not about doing an Enron and feed street children at the same time.

It is not about engaging sweat shops and cheap labor(oops Cost Arbitrage) and cost cutting, and being tight lipped on the bonded laborers (Think Adidas, Nike etc)

It is not about making the end customer pay unwillingly for an “activity” which is known for siphoning of public money and embezzlement.

It is not about roping in celebrities and hogging the media space with “We do this, this and this” statements. Celebrity endorsement, even for CSR?.

Then, what is CSR? Even I am trying to get an answer.

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October 10, 2007   13 Comments

Great Indian Middle class?

The emerging middle class,the big spenders,the ones who have arrived,the rising middle class….
STOP!!! Have heard enough, have had enough media attention on the 250 million people who would fall into this category!

The trend now is to try an associate oneself as much close to middle class, if unable to unearth middle class upbringings(media stereotyped!),the way they went to school in an rickshaw,how their parents tried to make both the ends meet,how a teacher who punished him now is showering praises(what is the middle class connection?) …typical stories, nothing short of being called cliches…..

Indian cricketers have joined the gang of middle class wannabes,(or wannabes from middle class). Be it a Dhoni, Harbhajan, or a Sreesanth and a lot of others, the story they try weaving and selling is similar. The media is hand in glove with them, by dishing out trash on the telly. (Was fortunate to dwell into the lives, oops MIDDLE class roots of our cricketers, courtesey CNN IBN) and print (No points for guessing who does the worst show, Malayala Manorama!! which has become a window for the Malayalees across the globe in telling what is Sreesanth’s mom making for dinner, when did she buy her new silk saree to bring in good luck to her “Gopu Mon” and how her son used to go to temples and churches as a kid).

The media keeps telling us that these guys did not have Shivaji Park to play cricket when they were young. So?? And please stop showing me the ground they practiced cricket as a kid! the neighborhood windows that gave way to their sixers……all signs of small town middle class life, sigh!!!

A sign of nation developing? Yes, I would say…

Like the movies of yesteryears where the protagonists enacted a rags to riches story, its no longer the rags to riches that sells. Its the Indian Middle class that is selling like hot cakes.Everybody wants to be part of it,somehow. Thats were the support comes from ,even though they form jus a quarter of the population….

Final question, is Dhoni going to enter politics? Seemingly possible, I would say. The way he addressed the Mumbai crowd recently, had all the ingredients of a future politician.Who knows, this ‘small town” guy could be the next to address UN on How Cricket can usher in peace or be an MLA from Jharkhand atleast…

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October 4, 2007   4 Comments