Process vs Result

•June 2, 2008 • 6 Comments

I was going through 2D’s blog one of these days and came across a pretty interesting post as to what is more important, process or result. The views were pretty interesting, favoring result and many people are expected to have this kind of a view in this cut-throat professional age (my previous post gives a pretty good example). However, according to me, the whole thinking should be situation dependant.

Let’s compare the following cases

Case 1: You haven’t tried as much and not really put in the necessary amount of efforts. The results obtained are dismal

Case 2: You obtain the necessary results without going through the right process and doing the necessary hard work. In short, you succeed by fluke.

Case 3: You work hard and smart, plan things well and still fall short of your targets, possibly due to some small flaw in your course of action.

Case 4: You follow the right process and get the right results.

From the above, Case 1 and 4 seem to be fair outcomes. Case 2 and 3 seem to defy conventional correlations. Given a choice between the two cases, a result oriented guy would go for the 2nd and a process oriented for the 3rd. What would I go for? Well, it depends upon the gravity of the result desired. If it’s something on which one’s life depends on, then I don’t think any practical person would opt for Case 3. However, the possibility of such situations arising are rare (except when may be you are a terrorist). Hence considering a normal situation, I would opt for Case 3. This is because even if you don’t succeed, the learning experience you gather while working hard towards your goal can be immense. Hence, you can still learn from your mistakes and make sure you don’t repeat them again. And these things would help in various other areas of one’s life as well, paving the way for eventual all-round success. Focusing on process may not give the desired results initially, but when they start paying, they do so big-time.

P.S: I am open to more thoughts regarding this.

Indian Paisa League

•June 2, 2008 • 6 Comments

After 44 days of action and 59 matches, one may safely say IPL has been a success. Not since the Packer revolution, which fast-tracked cricket into the professional age, has an event challenged the status quo as much the IPL has. However, unlike the Packer one, it has ICC’s (grudging) blessings too. Be it entertainment, globalization of the game or unearthing a new set of star players, it seems to be have achieved most of objectives. But the real revelation has been the amount of money that has been splashed around.

The 1st edition has already been placed in the top 5 leagues around the world (behind a couple of European football leagues and the NBA). This may increase the next year given the talks of removing the 5 million USD cap. The BCCI has already made a staggering US$ 1.75 billion solely from the sale of TV rights ($908 million), promotion ($108 million) and franchises (approximately $700 million). The costliest franchise is that of Mumbai Indians brought by Mukesh Ambani (no surprise there eh..) for 111.9 million USD and the costliest player being MSD for an astronomical 1.5 million USD, making him on par with some of the costliest footballers in the world. And the infamous slap-gate affair cost bhajji a whopping INR 3 crore, making it easily the costliest slap in the history of sports.

But is the money wisely spent? Many people have been wondering this, especially the owners of losing franchise. The franchise owners operate under market conditions. Unlike the BCCI, which is answerable to no one (and doesn’t answer even when it is required to), the men who own the eight teams are accountable. One of them, N Srinivasan – vice-chairman and CEO of India Cements – had to explain in detail to the company’s investors why he spent $91 million buying the Chennai franchise, in far greater detail than he has been known to at press conferences of the BCCI, of which he is treasurer. Involvement of such huge amounts also implies that defeat is something that isn’t taken kindly. This multi-million dollar world is ruled by the bottom-line “winning is everything”. The sacking of Charu Sharma as CEO of the Bangalore franchise less than halfway into the first season, after a string of poor results more due to cricketing issues than those under an administrator’s care, is nothing but a move to protect that bottom-line. Is all this money really worth it? For six weeks of IPL work, Dhoni has earned $1.5 million, marginally more than Gerrard makes in the same period. Now compare this. Gerrard plays more than 60 matches in a season that lasts ten months, pitting his skills against Arsenal and Manchester United in games of the greatest possible intensity. And all Dhoni has to do is play 16 games of this hit and miss format. Doesn’t sound good enough eh?

However, from a viewer’s perspective, it certainly has been a Paisa vasool experience. The audiences flocking to the stadiums to watch their favorite cricketers have certainly not been disappointed. The team spirit and commitment shown by the players gathering from different parts of the world has been amazing, especially considering the last such endeavor (Super series cricket in Australia) was a complete failure from a team building perspective. Money not only talks, it bonds too. Waiting in anticipation for the next edition.

Recycling ideas

•May 28, 2008 • 3 Comments

Creativity and originality are in short supply it seems. The land which has given the world wonderful treatises on mathematics and medicine and love making (euphemism for sex) seems to be harboring pretty unimaginative people. And nothing epitomizes this copy-paste attitude more than our own Bollywood.

Watching Bollywood movies nowadays invariably gives you sense of déjà-vu, only that the experience this time around is worse. I mean, just compare Usual suspects and its Hindi remake Chocolate. You can’t help notice the difference in quality, it’s almost as if they are an oxymoron! The movies of yesteryears were endearing as they either drew from the issues around them or were an adaptation of novels. However, down the years, Bollywood has become notorious for its human photocopying machines. Our composers and directors are borrowing not merely from Hollywood, but from European cinema, Korean movies and Turkish and Latino bands. And when these sources for intercontinental copying are exhausted, they borrow from one another on the pretext of getting “inspired” to do so (à la Farhan Akhtar). And amazingly, quite a few of them turn out to be hits. Exceptions are there though. Ram Gopal Verma Ki Aag-the very title reflecting the predicament of a director running short of ideas- was booed down by an audience that couldn’t bear the sacrilege of their beloved Sholay.

Perhaps one can argue that we live in a society strictly adhering to conformism, and given the rate at which film-makers are required to spin out one, it’s not exactly a bad idea. As Einstein said, “The secret to creativity is knowing how to hide your sources.” Recycling is here to stay.

Laws of Luck

•May 20, 2008 • 8 Comments

Um I think it, I was just unlucky that whenever I tried to do something, something bad would come up to stop it. I thought finally I was in the best job I ever had, met a girl, who was absolutely fantastic, and then three whammies come. She dumped me on new year’s day, I got an eviction notice a few days before new years day and my job, a week previous, it went out the window. Ultimately I became homeless and had to live in my car. And it was as if I was cursed.

Luck. It’s that most fickle of ancient forces … feared … revered … courted and thwarted. Consistently controlling luck is like asking Rao to stop bragging about himself; next to impossible. Some say its faith, some say its superstition, wiki says its probability. Going by wiki’s definition and some of my personal experiences, I have put forth these two basic laws of luck:

1. 1. The integration of luck over any being’s lifetime is zero.

2. 2. The cumulative integration of all luck of all living beings over the entire timescale is zero.

I have taken Earth as the superset but there’s no reason why the Universe (and their parallel counterparts of course) can’t be taken into account as well. Taking the possibility of re-birth (OSO sucks big-time though) into account, the two laws can be extended into that period as well. The value of interest here is taken to be zero for the purpose of convenience and reference.

In basic layman’s terms, the gist of all these rumbles-mumbles-dumbles is that if someone is lucky over a period of time, he has to be unlucky over some other period(sounds similar to the law of averages doesn’t it?). He/She/whoever may be lucky in a particular field but has to face the brunt of bad luck in other areas. So, going by these laws, no one in this world is lucky. It is merely a human construct used by people when they see only one’s “lucky” phase. It may also be used as an excuse for other people’s successes and one’s own failures. So the next time you describe a person lucky, think again. As the great Einstein said, “God doesn’t play dice”.

P.S: All the above thoughts are strictly mine.

P.S*: Please someone save me from Rao :-S

A beautiful mind

•May 13, 2008 • 7 Comments

This is my third post in four days, a testimony of my level of boredom and the complete lack of nightlife in Gurgaon, which was well, completely unanticipated from my side. The roads start getting sparse even before the clock strikes 9, a phenomenon I never observed even back in Bhubaneswar. Apparently the reason seems to be the high crime rates here, which deters most people from stepping out at night.

Anyway without further digressing from the topic in hand, the person I am referring to here is Richard Phillips Feynman, one of the great physicists the world has ever known. He was the prime reason for my increased interest in physics (which promptly came back to normally low levels after PH 102). I remember my 12th class physics teacher recommending “Lectures on Physics” and how I immediately fell in love with the way Feynman explained the basic principles of Physics in it. Although that didn’t increase my JEE physics marks significantly, it did help me appreciate those basic laws from a very intuitive perspective (to score well in JEE, you require a good analytical viewpoint). That wasn’t the end of it though. The impact the man has had on my life has been much more far reaching than explaining JEE physics.

I got hold of this book called” Surely you are not joking Mr. Feynman” sometime in 3rd semester. The book chronicles his unusually interesting and eventful life, the kind you would never relate to a Nobel prize winning theoretical physicist (interesting and eventful would be an understatement). The way Feynman has been portrayed in this book is truly inspirational. He has a combination of learnedness, directness, simplicity and honesty which are infectious. As is his humour. However, the quality that I have found most remarkable about Feynman is his humility. This humility went a long way in sustaining his respect for others and his curiosity as well. He also had an immense inner strength that never made him give up on something. He was not merely theoretical (despite his life’s work coming from theoretical physics, an area he derived great pleasure from working in) and had his feet on the ground the whole time.

I have always yearned for a teacher like him, someone who could help me appreciate a subject better through a deeper understanding rather than feeding all those bookish crap, as is the case with most Profs here.


•May 12, 2008 • 3 Comments

I cant remember anything
Cant tell if this is true or dream
Deep down inside I feel to scream
This terrible silence stops me

Now that the war is through with me
I’m waking up I can not see
That there is not much left of me
Nothing is real but pain now.

This is how One starts, my favourite song. For starters, this is from Metallica’s fourth studio album “And Justice for all”, supposedly the last album before the band changed its musical direction to appeal to the mainstream audience. This song narrates the life of a soldier whose body is severely damaged during World War I. His arms, legs, eyes, nose and ears are gone and he can neither see, speak nor hear — but his mind functions perfectly, leaving him a prisoner in his own body. He reminisces his life, how his father tells him the true meaning of democracy, of how he had to leave his near and dear ones for war and finally how he uses Morse code to persuade a nurse to end his miserable life.

Most of the songs I have heard don’t even reach close to it. It starts of slowly and the drums and guitar get heavier as the song progresses, reaching a high towards the finish (à la Stairway to Heaven), a trademark of most good songs. I remember the first time I heard it during my 1st sem in Ghoda’s room. At that time, it appeared to me to be just another metal song (may be because I hadn’t developed a taste for metal at that time). However, the more I listened, the more I liked it. Considering the fact that I am a pretty restless guy and get bored pretty easily, the way this song grips me everytime I hear it is amazing. I can listen to this song hundred times a day, in any mood and still not get weary. No wonder it’s an all-time classic!!

What’s in the name?

•May 9, 2008 • 4 Comments

Welcome to my blogspace and to my first blog. With all the people around me starting to blog, I surely had it in my mind for quite sometime now. According to a certain two dimensional organism (read Zubin), 74.8% of all bloggers had started blogging during their first internship. Well, so I decided to shed my laziness and join the bandwagon. However as I had suspected, it did prove to be hard work.

Choosing a username isn’t easy you see.

I started of as simply as I could, choosing tilak. Immediately the next page comes up and flashes “This username already exists”. I started trying out various combinations. Tilak? No. tilakpattnaik? Sorry. Tilakp? Better luck next time. Fine. I decided to go for something different. The first name that clicked was gourmet. “Ghadre”, soni and me call each other by this name for our penchant for food, chicken to be specific. I entered this name and again saw the familiar pink strip to my utter dismay. It immediately struck me, why not try out ghorme. This is how the great “Ghadre” pronounces gourmet. I completed the required info and clicked on the submit button, cock-sure this name would be finally accepted. This username already exists. My jaws dropped in utter surprise. Who else could keep such a username, especially when it isn’t a normal English word and is too weird to be somebody’s name? I was reaching the end of my patience. Suddenly I saw a picture of Tintin, one of my favourite cartoon characters, on the cover of a notebook. Lets try out Rastapopulus (one of the villainous characters in Tintin series) . I repeated the procedure, wishing all the time that this would be my last. And by God’s grace, it was. Finally, after all the hard work, I had my own blogspace!!!!