Returned NRI’s observations.

My young friend Anil has returned to India from the USA after having had a successful career as a Professional as well as an entrepreneur.

Since his return however, he has been having problems adjusting to the Indian way of living and has decided to use his blog to let off some steam. I have offered to debate him on the list of woes that he has posted on.

There are a couple of very nice posts there and I recommend them to my regular visitors with a request to leave your comments on them as well. Anil needs some TLC from us veterans!!

Do you agree with him?

Tata Indicom India – Horrible Customer Service.

I use Tata Indicom India’s broad band connection for accessing the Internet. I have been using their service for more than a couple of years and have finally come to the conclusion that I shall not renew my current contract with them when it comes up for renewal in three months’ time.

It has been my experience that at least once, and often twice a month, their service gets disconnected for some reason or the other and I have to go through the agonizing process of first talking to their call center, who give guarantees that are never fulfilled. Let me illustrate my latest experience.

On August 21, 2008 when I tried to access them, I was unable to. I rang up their local engineer who looks after the area where we are located. He said that he would come around and attend to the problem and never did. I lodged a telephone complaint with the company at 8.30 pm and I was assured that the problem will be solved within 24 hours. The next day, the 22nd inst, I tried to contact the engineer without success as either he was switching off his phone or not answering. Much later, in the evening, he finally came on line and assured me that if I called him up after some time, he will be able to guide me to re-set my computer to get access to the Internet. When I called again, he was once again not available. This was after I had once again spoken to the call center where I was assured that my problem would be resolved in just a few hours!

Late at night on the 22nd, I finally got him on the telephone and he said that he was in Sholapur and would return the next day and attend to my problem.

The engineer finally landed up on the 23rd morning and discovered that everything was working alright and suggested that perhaps the router was to blame. He offered to procure a new router and disappeared. Late in the afternoon, he rang me up and asked me to switch on the router and presto, it started working. The problem was with the local distribution center and not with my router. It took them three days to find out this problem and solve it. In the meanwhile, the service center, just acted as post offices do and kept assuring me that my problem will be solved “soon”!

This is not the kind of customer service that I expect from the house of Tatas. I was among those that welcomed Tatas taking over VSNL and expected improvement in their services. I am sad to say that I was wrong.

Losers can get lucky! A tested guide to change your luck!

I was complaining to a friend that I am not very lucky with raffles, lotteries, lucky-dips etc to get away from a persistent attempt by him to get me to buy a raffle ticket. His persistence paid off but, although I did not win, I got reflecting, and did some research on being unlucky. Here is what I found, an old email from another friend. I quote it in its entirety.

The loser’s guide to getting lucky
By Professor Richard Wiseman
University of Hertfordshire

Why do some people get all the luck while others never get the breaks they
deserve? A psychologist says he has discovered the answer. Ten years ago, I
set out to examine luck.
I wanted to know why some people are always in the right place at the right
time, while others consistently experience ill fortune.
I placed advertisements in national newspapers asking for people who felt
consistently lucky or unlucky to contact me.
Hundreds of extraordinary men and women volunteered for my research and,
over the years, I have interviewed them, monitored their lives and had them
take part in experiments.

Professor Wiseman’s top tips

The results reveal that although these people have almost no insight into
the causes of their luck, their thoughts and behaviour are responsible for
much of their good and bad fortune.
Those who have succeeded at anything and don’t mention luck are kidding

Larry King
Take the case of seemingly chance opportunities. Lucky people consistently
encounter such opportunities, whereas unlucky people do not.
I carried out a simple experiment to discover whether this was due to
differences in their ability to spot such opportunities.
I gave both lucky and unlucky people a newspaper, and asked them to look
through it and tell me how many photographs were inside.

Professor Wiseman’s formula came too late for some…
I had secretly placed a large message halfway through the newspaper saying:
“Tell the experimenter you have seen this and win £250.”
This message took up half of the page and was written in type that was more
than two inches high.
It was staring everyone straight in the face, but the unlucky people tended
to miss it and the lucky people tended to spot it.
Everything in life is luck

Donald Trump
Unlucky people are generally more tense than lucky people, and this anxiety
disrupts their ability to notice the unexpected.
As a result, they miss opportunities because they are too focused on looking
for something else.
They go to parties intent on finding their perfect partner and so miss
opportunities to make good friends.
They look through newspapers determined to find certain types of job
advertisements and miss other types of jobs.
Self-fulfilling prophecies
Lucky people are more relaxed and open, and therefore see what is there
rather than just what they are looking for.
Luck is believing you’re lucky

Tennessee Williams
My research eventually revealed that lucky people generate good fortune via
four principles.
They are skilled at creating and noticing chance opportunities, make lucky
decisions by listening to their intuition, create self-fulfilling prophesies
via positive expectations, and adopt a resilient attitude that transforms
bad luck into good.
Towards the end of the work, I wondered whether these principles could be
used to create good luck.
I asked a group of volunteers to spend a month carrying out exercises
designed to help them think and behave like a lucky person.
Dramatic results
These exercises helped them spot chance opportunities, listen to their
intuition, expect to be lucky, and be more resilient to bad luck.
I am a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work, the more I have
of it

Thomas Jefferson
One month later, the volunteers returned and described what had happened.
The results were dramatic: 80% of people were now happier, more satisfied
with their lives and, perhaps most important of all, luckier.
The lucky people had become even luckier and the unlucky had become lucky.
Finally, I had found the elusive “luck factor” .

Here are Professor Wiseman’s four top tips for becoming lucky:

Listen to your gut instincts – they are normally right.

Be open to new experiences and breaking your normal routine.

Spend a few moments each day remembering things that went well.

Visualize yourself being lucky before an important meeting or telephone
call. Luck is very often a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Shabby treatment of Field Marshal Manekshaw at the hands of Babus.

You have got to give it to our Babus. They burn with so much jealousy and malice that they are capable of causing harm to a genuine hero of our country. A man revered by thousands of people both in the armed forces and civilians. The hero himself was such a gentleman that this is the first time that the story has come out. He himself never made a fuss about it! What a man!

It was the First Field Marshal SHFJ Manekshaw Memorial Lecture on National Security: J&K Perspective on 16 Aug 2008, at the India International Centre, New Delhi, organised by the Conclave of Defence Services Veterans.

Lt. General (Retd) S. K. Sinha, till recently, the Governor of Jammu & Kashmir, in his keynote address, mentioned that he met Field Marshal Manekshaw in 2007 when he was critically ill and on life support system in Wellington Military Hospital. A little earlier at the intervention of the then President, he had received over Rs. one crore, as arrears of pay of a Field Marshal for the past 35 years. At last the bureaucracy had relented and given him his dues, which had been denied to him for all these years!

The army had taken up the case in 1972 when he was promoted Field Marshal. When Lt Gen Sinha congratulated him for this, he smiled and said “A Babu came from Delhi to give me the cheque which I have sent to my bank. I am not sure if the cheque will be honoured!”

Shame on our Babus.

National Problem !

This poem has been forwarded to me by Brig. (Retd) Gangadharan. It was composed by Col. (Retd) J J Smith, who is from the Bihar Regiment. He is a Sena Medal decorated officer who lost a leg in IPKF operations.

Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs and Christians!

You are the proud, citizens of this nation,

Don’t get entangled, in all these agitations,

As, they serve no person, or any religion.

The so called disputes, with heated discussions,

Only Leads to, further agitation, death and destruction.

Of all those persons, who have no connections.

They are the creation of, irresponsible persons,

Who only think, of their personal fiefdom.

And blame each other, by creating problems.

There by causing, further complications.

This is no way, of solving problems,

It only leads to, further divisions.

Which, strengthens the hands of, all those ruffians,

Wanting to further, divide the nation.

So, let’s sit together, and find a solution,

By coming together, through healthy discussions,

It’s the only way, to resolve our problem

For, finding a solution, through use of wisdom!!

Kashmir in Game Theory – Article in BS.

I give below a link to an outstanding article written by TCA Srinivasa Raghavan in the Business Standard. In private, many of us talk about this. Publicly, this has now been stated.

Perhaps this should have been said two decades ago. Anyway, at least now it is being said. For the first time that I can think of, a responsible columnist in a responsible news paper has suggested a course of action that makes eminent sense. Even if the figures are off the mark, the thrust of the arguement can not be faulted.

It is our tax money that keeps this farce going with bizarre happenings. The political class with its own vested interests (read commission on every expense incurred in the valley) is not likely to accept this. A beginning however has to be made to at least think about this course of action and I request all of you to spread this message as widely as possible.

I look forward to hearing any other points of view on this subject as well.