Monthly Archives: February 2010

What Can we learn from the West? A speech by Narayan Murthy

Picked up a book….A Better India…A Better world….by NR Narayan Murthy….it is a collection of his speeches he had given in different occasions…..This was a speech he gave at Lal Bahadur Shastri Memorial Lecture in New Delhi…just writing a quick synopsis…..for each point….we can debate both ways…but his perspective was quite interesting…you views on what you think of these points are welcome!

1)      Indians always put self and family interest before that of the community

It is easier to give bribe to a police officer in India than in western countries. People litter the street but keep their house clean

2)      We have an apathy in addressing community matters

We as individuals see a problem but don’t do anything about it..cause it is someone else’s problem…eg Milan Subway gets flooded evey year….but it is the politician’s problem to solve the issue….Westerners are more proactive in solving societal problems

3)      Indians have an intellectual arrogance

We boast and gloat over our past..and think we are a superior race

4)      There is an overall lack of accountability….

 In the west..whatever your position you are accountable for what you do..In India the more important you are, the less answerable you are …our politicians are a good example for this!

5)      There is no dignity of labor

We look down on people doing menial jobs…whereas unlike in the west even the most menial job is looked at as important

6)      Indians become intimate without becoming friendly:

Westerner can be friendly but yet not be intimate…..they will not ask you personal questions…..and yet be friendly… Ask for favors from strangers without hesitation

7)      Let personal relations interfere with professional dealings

Relations are given higher priority that merit in our country..

8)      We are the most thin skinned society in the world…get offended by nothing

We see insults where none are meant….

9)      Punctuality is not a virtue

Indian standard time…we all follow that don’t we…

10)   Independent thinking is normally not encouraged; Y

You are not suppose to think differently from your elders and bosses..This is by and large true…..things are changing slowly…

11)   Contractual agreements are often dishonored

Highest number for students default on their loan contracts…time contract for customer are not met…

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The Day Out with the Incoming Swiss Team!

Ah what a day…..I have not blogged for a few months now….. and preferred micro blogging on twitter to this traditional long form of blogging but the day today warrants a blog post….more as a diary entry least I forget the day that was….

We started with a visit to King George Memorial Institute…..somewhere close to Mahalaxmi Station…..huge campus with little buildings…lots of trees and various NGO’s doing some very good work….i reached late as usual ….so I only got to visit The Vatsalya Foundation (www.thevatsalyafoundation.org) and met some street children, spoke to them, the swiss team gave them some autographed postcards and posters of Switzerland, the kids did a little dance on “All izz well’ for us and we moved to our next destination!

100 meters away in the same campus was a little structure where cancer patients and their relatives made beautiful hand made items….books…diya’s candles…..shoe covers..bags etc…..belive you me…the stuff was really beautiful……(people in the group did take some snaps…if and when I get them I shall share!) The stuff they make is sold in major shops like West-Side Tressorie etc. The Taj group of hotel also outsources a lot of things like making shoe covers, lime strainers etc to this group….

I did not know that in the heart of the city…..this place exsisted tucked away amidst the few trees that are still in the city!

Now time to move for lunch at the Yatch Club Colaba……the two Swiss girls…Andrea…and Evelyn decided to get adventurous with us…..and we took a safe calculated gamble and decided to take them by local train from Mahalaxmi Station to Churchgate station…Dhobi Ghat (first time I saw the place) was a stopover near Mahalaxmi Station to take some quick pictures… before we got into a not so crowded train @ 1 in the afternoon….I got to show the girls how we women in Mumbai hold our back-packs in front instead of the back while entering the train…had some interesting conversation on boyfriends and marriages….India and Switerland…the forth seat  concept with place for just half bum…..and we reached churchgate station safely in no time……J

Lunch at Yatch club was good food and very interesting conversation with Christo… his adventures in Mumbai… his escapades in trying to find his way back home alone at 2 in the night after parting in some swanky radio club (incidentally I have never heard of this place)…..his observations and views on how girls look cheap when they show too much both from the top and bottom….apparently the unwritten dress code rule in Switzerland for club wear is that if u are showing skin from the top…..hide skin from the bottom….(wear a low neck ..off shoulder…backless etc dress but it should be long!) and if you want to wear something short….let the neck and the sleeves be long…showing skin from both ends is considered non classy and cheap! Interesting eh….! So all those sexy chicks at the night club showing skin from both ends…sorry to break your heart….but you looked cheap to our tall fair and handsome Christo! Conversations continued over the soup…main course with pictures of his sister and friends on his I-phone ( I am thinking I need to upgrade my phone and keep a lot of pictures on them before my trip to Switzerland….pictures make good conversation points!) The video of the dogs having sex and getting stuck was super duper funny…I should remember to take it from him and uploading it…it is worth a watch!!

And then it was time for Mumbai Darshan…..saw a Jewish Synagogue  which was painted blue and white (apparently because they are the colors of the flag of Isarel)…..seen a synagogue for the first time in my life…I did not know something like this existed in my city….walked into Jahangir Art Gallery….again for the first time…went to Mani Bhavan Gandhi Museum…..(was too tired to enjoy it though )…I always though Gandhi museums were only in Gujarat!

Tired…exhausted……thinking…just want this day to get over…..soooo tired……and then we had some good old Chai in our alternate team leaders Shekar’s house ……were rejuvenated to start our journey back again!

Back in the bus….(which btw was a 60 seater AC Volvo bus for 10 of us….) decided to rejuvenate all us tired folks by PLAYING something! The Indians contemplated…what should we play..…Antakshai….nah…20 questions…..nah…First Impressions….nah…Dumb Sharades….ah..ha! So Dumb Sharades it was….apparently…the Swiss had never played Dumb Sharades…..:-) now they will…cultural exchange was successful!!  For the first time to objective of Dum Sharades was…give easy names so we can guess!! Titanic….Pretty Women….Wrestlers….Lord of the Rings… golden eye….:-) some simple English movies took us through the game!

Then time for some snaps and poses at Worli Sea face….:-) I love the water…it is sooo soothing…. and play Rin- Tin- Tin on the promenade…..!

Mumbai Darshan over…..time to leave the bus and go for our dinner party….to a sexy pent house terrace flat behind four seasons hotel…..!What a beautiful place……what a terrace….what view…what breeze…..some singing…some tabla….some German songs…some Hindi songs…some English songs…….some wine…..some food……ah…. Beautiful…..what a day……J!

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