Friday, December 23, 2005

The whole arranged marriage thing

In school, if there was ever one thing that could get me all riled up, it was the concept of an arranged marriage. Phew!! I simply could not stand the thought of it during school. What kind of weird society, i thought, would set up two strangers to spend the rest of their lives together!!!! Indian society - it turns out, is the weirdest of societies!!! In fact, i think, the words 'love marriage' or 'arranged marriage' have a meaning only in an Indian world and would make almost no sense to a Westerner!!!!

As i moved through from school to college, my thoughts grew more mature. Maybe love is not all that it takes to get married and indeed to stay married. Look at the number of couples who break up, my friends said. They are all from the so-called love marriages. Couples from arranged marriages stick it out. They give the relationship more committment. Was it indeed that way??? I couldn't decide. But by this time, i'd come to realise that both marriages were accepted in this world and that's the way it would be. I would not be the harbringer of a revolution that would remove arranged marriages from this world!!!

Then another thought struck me - definitely, it's the love marriages which are more romantic. People who are in love want each other (in every sense of the word :) ) so atleast these marriages should be more fun than arranged weddings???? NOOOOOOOOO, said my cousin, in love marriages, the man and woman come into the relationship knowing each other well. There is no excitement in such a relationship, nothing left to learn. It's the arranged marriage which is more exciting. Hmmmm, i thought... Maybe she had a point.. But then another thought struck me.. Was she talking this way only because she had an arranged marriage?? As far as i know, she had liked a guy from college. But she hadn't dreamt of saying anythign to him because she knew her father would never agree to this kind of a marriage!!! My confusion continued..

Another 2 years passed. Another cousin was getting married. This time, it was a love marriage. Her dad had initially posed a lot of objections to her wedding too but love triumphed and she won him around. It seemed to me that this was the way to be. Two persons being brought together in wedlock should want to spend the rest of their lives together. Shouldn't they?????

And then finally, one day... My mother talks to me.. I think we should start looking out for an alliance for you, Harini. After all, you're 23 now.

Bang. There it is - 'The End'. Although my confusion still continues, it looks as though i will end up with an arranged marriage after all!!!

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

India Inc - CMM Level 4

Maybe this is going to sound stupid to some of you people...

I've recently been reading and hearing too much about CMM levels in software. Any Indian software company that has the CMM level 5 certification makes sure that this is mentioned all over it's website or recruitment portals. What makes a capability maturity model... What is the difference between CMM 4 and CMM 5. My PM would probably tell you that CMM 4 means that you have effective review practices such that you can control your defects after you make them. But CMM 5 is a process that makes sure you don't make those defects in the first place. Hmmm... I'm not sure if i got that right :-) Well, anyways, that's not the point.

I was thinking of these maturity level measuring models while listening to the news. And the major headline on the news was the rain. This has been the case for so many days now in Tamil Nadu. It just struck me that we could probably have a capability maturity model for governments, administrations and countries with respect to how they react to natural disasters. A country that could predict the occurance of natural disasters and put measures in place to handle such situations would fit into CMM level 5... A country that could not predict but could take good measures (such as evacuation of people, distribution of relief) after the disaster would fit into CMM Level 4.. Just a thought. India has only now got into the CMM Level 4 category. Miles to go before we sleep...

There are probably hundreds of situations into which such maturity models could be fitted into. It is a pity that their measurement is only used as a benchmark in profit oriented and highly competitive industries such as the software industry. Not just maturity models there are dozens of processes in software that could be applied to governments and administration. Processes that help in tracking progress, tagging accountability and superior management of resources. But wait, I am talking only of the software industry here. There are numerous other industries, older ones, which have great processes and management practices. But all of these industries have one thing in common with software. They are all profit oriented industries. Only industries and institutions that are profit oriented work. Only these have what it takes to succeed. The triumph of capitalism in the world today is proof of this fact.

Governments and administrations should have an incentive to succeed. Imagine a State Government in India working all round the clock because an audit from a professional CMM audit team was due. Whew!! I'll stop here. That was beyond my imagination.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Being in love ??!!

I found this online... This is a nice piece of writing... The song mentioned is a song by Micheal Learns to Rock... And it is beautiful. The guy who wrote this must have been interesting!!! Hmm... sigh....

"It's a crazy dream. When you're in love, all around you is a crazy dream. They call it seeing the world through rose-tinted glasses. :-) It's like you see all round you in bright colours. The grass looks greener, the sky looks bluer and everybody looks prettier and more beautiful. All because your lover has just given you a smile.

The bards and the poets were not lying when they said love was both pain and pleasure!! It's like a constant ache... cos you're always thinking of the person you love, in work and in play.. and even, in your sleep... It's true: It's better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all...

This is a beautiful song... Dedicated to...

"More Than A Friend"

You got me counting the seconds
It happens every time
I'm waiting for the moment
We can sit down and talk for awhile

And every time that you're near me
My heart is running away
How can I tell you
When words don't come easy
And there is so much I'm trying to say
I wanna know that love will surround us
And you'll share it with me every day
Tell me you'll care for me now and forever
I'll give anything to hear you say
That I'm more than a friend

I'm gonna try in the future
Not to live in the past
I guess that I was a dreamer
If I thought it could ever last

But every time that I see you
you bring me out in the sun
How can I hide it when we are together
I just know that you're the only one
I wanna know...

I wanna make you see everything you are to me
Try to understand
I wonder if you can
The love I have for you will always be true "

Friday, November 18, 2005

Those car people...

A rather sad thing to see...
I was riding to work today on my scooty. As usual i had to cross the crowded kathipara junction to get to my work place. All of a sudden, i noticed an argument going on in front of me. One guy was shouting at another who was on a cycle. The cyclist, i noticed, held a rearview mirror in his hand. He appeared repentant of whatever he had done. The other man kept pointing to a car and then the rearview mirror. It was only then that i saw the car.

In the back seat of the car, there were two men. Business executives, it looked like. They appeared rather prosperous and were reading the Economic Times. They did not appear to be bothered by the altercation that was going on between the driver (by then i had deduced that the man who has shouting at the cyclist had to be the driver) . The driver gestured to the car and asked the cyclist to apologise. The cyclist went hesitantly to the back door and said something. The driver meanwhile got into his seat. And then it seemed to me, that the driver asked the cyclist to pay up for the rearview mirror damaged. ( i had by then realised taht the cyclist in his haste to get to wherever he was going to.. had knocked off the rearview mirror from the car. It was for this that he was being given the punishment by the driver.) I was shocked when one of the business executives at the back of the car reached and hand out and took something from the driver. It looked like a hundred rupee note.

I don't know why this incident disturbs me so much. All said and done, the cyclist was definitely in the wrong. He had flouted traffic rules, damaged the car and endangered his own life in the process. At the least he would need to pay up for the damanges he had caused. But it was the attitude of the guys at the back which bothered me so much. Why were they so ready and willing to accept the money from the man? Did a rearview mirror matter so much? Would it not have been enough to just give the man a telling-off to and then forgetting the matter? After all, the man had not done anything that the car driver would not have done. And these executives, to whom a hundred rupees was not even going to cover the expense of a day.... Surely these people of all did not need the money???? Why did they take it from a hapless man who already looked like he had no money at all????? And the driver, surely he should have realised the poverty-stricken situation of the cyclist? Was he not in a better position compared to the executives to appreciate the cruelties of poverty????

The whole drama seemed to me like a scene from a communist movie.. demonstrating the insensitivity of the bourgeois class and the haplessness of the impoverished... Like one of those moscow dachaus (isn't that the russian word for bungalows) when most of the other russians were living in match box like flats...

I am not very sure if indeed the cyclist gave money to the car people. But it certainly seemed like he did. And i lost a little of the firm belief i have in the goodness of humans today.