Friday, December 15, 2006

Why Tirunelveli is "The City" of the world!!!

"In life, we meet a lot of people, but make friends with few... In those few, some touch our life in such a way, that their presence is felt in their absence too..."

Ya! You guessed it right. A regular SMS message from one of the umpteen number of friends of mine...

This message was different.....

Reason:- It was from one of my very close friends who has been with me right from my school. He for some reason saw it fit to send this message. (He has never forwarded me a SMS before). To cut the story short, this message made me thinking. Made me to understand why wherever i go, Tirunelveli will always be my city of the world!!! It made me to think of the awesome friends that God has gifted me in my childhood.

Those of us who had seen the Microsoft Ad would accept that it is the people who differentiates the organizations and gives it the competitive edge. In the same way, it is my friends who differentiates Tirunelveli from the rest of the world. It is because of them, Tirunelveli will be The City of the World (at least for me). Each person was unique; Each person was different; And Each person was great;

Jerry, the creative
Thirumalaiappan, the interrogator
Dalton, the born leader
Karthick, the passionate(i.e. short tempered)
Veera, the helper
Raffic, the joker
Nishanth, the *** Doctor
Arun, the religious
Krishna, the mimicker
Balaji, the silent(to the extent of being dumb)
Sabeela, the match maker
Vivek, the nerd
Chock, the handsome(Always be our envy whenever we walk near a girls school)
And the list goes on....................................................

And importantly, the 'n' number of beautiful girls whom we never noticed!!!!

Figure - Aerial view of my school campus
[Rose Mary Matriculation Higher Secondary School, the Abode of State Toppers]

Ya! I know every school has its own Tom, Dick and Harry. But they did not have a Dalton, they did not have a Thiru, they did not have a Jerry, a Karthick, a Veera, etc.. Most importantly, they did not have a ROBIN!!!

Tirunelveli Zindhabad! Tirunelveli Vazhga!


Thursday, December 14, 2006

Think About the Newspaper U Read

Right from my childhood, "The Hindu" has provided my life with a staple diet of current affairs (for knowledge and thought). "The Hindu" has been and always will be synonymous with the word "Newspapers" in my life. You never understand one's importance unless it goes off from your hands. Now living in a land, where i can receive my beloved Newspaper only a day late.. that too in the afternoon made me to realize how i have grown up on the newspaper.

NO! This post is not about Hindu. But about Indian newspapers in general. Indian newspapers have a rich and unique past. A Set of newspapers not formed for profit, not formed to provide people with news of what is going on in sports or business but to aid the nation's struggle for freedom. The history of Indian newspapers are dotted with such great personalities! But what had happened to the Indian newspapers now is a matter of great shame and sorrow. The Newspaper industry too like other industries has become so engrossed with profits. Nothing wrong in it. But changing newspapers into tabloids!!! God! How can I Accept that!

Why posting it here rather than writing letters to the editor?. Simply because the editors and reporters of a newspaper provide the news and other things we want, not the news they would like to see on the newspaper. If we want scantily clad and semi nude models staring at us every morning, they have no other choice but to provide them.


Wrote this post a month back but did not post it.. Since i thought, i have to add some more stuff... On reading the recent Supreme Court verdict "Not Imposing a blanket ban on publishing obscene photographs and material in newspapers citing the right to freedom of speech and expression enjoyed by the press".. (Read the news here. Obviously a link to Hindu's Online version)
I thought i would post the things i wrote long before(without any additions or deletions)..
The crux of the post..

"Never forget - IT is because of Us the obscene materials are(will be) there today(tomorrow) on the newspapers"..

Thursday, November 30, 2006

In Service for Sight

This post is on the request of one of my friends who asked me to write/post on any interesting material that we, the management guys(:-)) would come across. As someone who blindly loves his home town, it is natural that I post on the case which made my home town to appear in the map of one of the management books I study. If you are thinking about what I am talking about, just answer this connect question…



Connect Harvard Business Case Studies, A Small Temple Town in Southern Part of India and Cataracts…



It is none other than Aravind Eye Care Hospital.

Ø A role model for many hospitals and subject of study in many business schools

Ø A Hospital to which the Google co-founder and president (Products), Larry Page, flew down to look at the overall view of its functions.

Ø The only examination centre of the Royal College of Ophthalmology, United Kingdom, in the country

Ø Designated by the World Health Organisation as a collaborating centre for prevention of blindness

Its laurels are many.. But..

Until I was there in Tirunelveli, if somebody has talked about the Aravind Eye Care Hospital as an extraordinary and an exceptional organization, I would have probably laughed at him or her. For me then, it was just another hospital. I never knew its vision; I never knew its unique model; I never knew its achievements and Most of all I Never knew people in IIMs would know about it.

[Figure: Aravind Eye Hospital, Tirunelveli ...Cannot resist the temptation :-) ]

So what is special about Aravind Eye Care Hospital that it was published as a Harvard Business Case Study?

“With vision to remove needless eye blindness in India, Dr. Govindappa Venkataswamy started Aravind in 1976 as an 11-bed eye clinic in an old temple-city. Today it is the largest and most productive eye care facility in the world. Taking its compassionate services to the doorstep of rural India, Aravind's stunningly effective strategies vaulted barriers of distance, poverty and ignorance to create a self-sustaining system that now treats over 1.7 million patients each year, two-thirds of them, for free. “

Dr. Govindappa Venkataswamy fondly called as 'Dr. V'

USP of Aravind Eye Care Hospital:

Self-Sustaining Model:

The revenue generated from the "paying" patients offsets the cost of caring for the "free" patients. This type of cost shifting is nothing new. Then you realize that only about 30% to 40% of the patients are paying, and that paying is optional (i.e., a wealthy person can stay in the "free" hospital if he or she chooses). Aravind prides itself on being self-sustaining, i.e., no VIP donors, no government grants, and no bank loans. The technology is cutting-edge (all the newest phaco machines—the same models found in the United States, including the Alcon Infiniti).

Social Marketing:

“If Coco-colas can sell billions of soda and McDonalds can sell billions of hamburgers, why can’t Aravind sell millions of sight-restoring operations and eventually in the belief in the human perfection?” Ya! Aravind Eye care took the concept of social marketing to new heights.

To solve the problems in rural India, Aravind organizes camps to attract patients in rural India. If it finds someone for whom the operations are necessary, the hospital van picks them up and after three days are over when the surgery is completed, the patients return back to their home.


Aravind Hospital is a very good example of a well-conceived strategy platform. From 20 beds in 1976, it is now more than 2,500 in a four-hospital network.

Eye care is the motto, and patient's ability to pay is not focussed on. Cataract is concentrated on because "cataracts cause roughly 75 per cent of the 30 million cases of blindness in India". In 2002, it screened nearly 8 lakh patients free of charge and another 6 lakh for a fee.

The HBR mentions that the average ophthalmologist in India performs about 200 cataract surgeries a year, while "an Aravind doctor performs about 1,500 - an efficiency multiple of 7.5." How are they able to keep costs low? "In 1992, it decided to produce intraocular lenses in its own facility, Auro-Lab. It cut the cost of each lens to just $7, so by 2002, all patients were able to receive it."

There is also "the paying segment" which is important to nonprofits. In the case of Aravind, this segment subsidises the cost of free care, and also helps set the benchmark. "Paying clients set high demands on quality care, and those standards are used as a benchmark for non-paying clients as well."

It is not enough to have good intentions, because they say the path to hell is paved with only them. What is required is the application of the best of management tools and economic models to the delivery of service.

Dr. V by his single-minded focus and vision has shown us what is possible for a single person to achieve individually in the land where we live in. Is it not possible the same way for us also, to do something that the world would take note of?



“Are you in earnest? Seize this very minute;
What you can do, or dream, you begin it;
Boldness hath genius, power, and magic in it,
Only engage, and then the mind grows heated.
Begin; and then the work will be completed. “

- Johann Wolfgang Goethe

Friday, November 10, 2006

Harry Potter & Me

After the post where i rambled about Mr. Hyde & me. This time the post is about "What that little boy from Hogwarts has done in my life?"

One of the advantages living in a small town is that when the world around you is filled with rage of that little boy with a lightening scar in his head, you are blissfully unaware of his fame, his courage, his love.. Blissfully unaware of tanking(!), unaware of muggles, unaware of quidditch, unaware of Hogwarts, unaware of Dumbledore, unaware of He who must not be named. Until my schooling, Harry Potter was just a name that used to appear as the last question in the weekly Young World quiz. I never even worried and cared about him until i entered the oldest technical institute of India.

In its portals, one of my friends introduced me to the magic world. First time i read it, i know i wanted to be in that world. I wanted to be "Harry Potter".. Then i realized that the book is written with the aim of touching that underlying wishes of every boy and girl who goes to school.

Hmmm.. Then every time something happens in my life i compared it to that life in Hogwarts.
So what are the things in Harry Potter that i would have loved to be part of my life too?

1. Gryffindor common room which brought different people together by the unique bond. the secret password, the door only a set of people can enter. For some one living in India who has never lived in a hostel that is separated to different houses, this was my major attraction of Hogwarts life. A place where everybody knows everybody. A place where people are bonded by nothing other than the house they belong to. A place where people become enemies just because of the house they belong to are different.

2. The bond of friendship that Ron, Harry & Hermione shared. Hey i am a believer in that statement by Dumbledore that "love transcends all magic". We all want someone to whom we can share all your secrets however bad they are. Someone who understands you completely.

3. The aura of "being special" and "being different". Being a wizard makes you different where you have no need to differentiate you among the rest.

4. Being famous and known by anybody. But still hating that fame, willing to give any price to remain unknown. We all put all our efforts to become famous and then are ready to give any money to remain unknown.

5. Harry potter penchant for breaking rules and still escaping without punishment.

6. Adventures that Harry Potter is able to have in each year.

7. Being a friend of a slogger like Hermione, so that assignments and home works become so easy.

Stopped with 7, since 7 is a complete number in Harry Potter books... In short, i love Harry Potter not because the book is good but because it takes me to a dream world which i still cherish to be a part of.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Mr. Hyde & Me

Again got an inspiration to write a post after reading about Mr. Hyde in some other blog. For the unintiated, Mr. Hyde is a famous character from the novel
Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr.Hyde
in which Hyde is the split personality of Gentleman Jekyll and an exact opposite of him.. Book available in the following site e-book.. I remember a funny incident from my school when i wrote in one of my classmates autograph books that i want to become Mr. Hyde.. She in his reply in my autograph wished me to become one...[I also dont understand what is funny in it but it still makes me to smile when i think about it].. On that day found to my surprise that there a lot of people who really do not know who Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde are.

Now coming to the debate "Is there a Hyde in all of us?". That wants to come out if we give it a chance? That will go out of control if we let it out more frequently?

[Never thought this post would go in a serious direction. Started writing the blog thinking it would be a confession of things when Mr. Hyde personality of me has taken over. Did not have the guts to write them in a public forum so coming to the boring discussion of the question. Anyway the question makes me to think.]

According to me, I believe that if we let Mr. Hyde out of us once, his strength would be increased and will start coming out of our gentleman mask more frequently. Our first lie is the hardest and afterwards it has become more frequent. Our first sleeping experience in the class and how afterwards it has become more frequent. Our first jump in the traffic signal and how frequent it has become after that. Our first bunking of class and how frequent it has become after that. Also stopping the Mr. Hyde[i dont want to call it Mr. Evil]personality of ours, after it has started showing off is tough and hard. But it also raises a question

Is there a terroist/murderer inside all of us which we have never let out?..
If it is true, why should we punish the terroists and murders since there is no big difference between them and us?
Does we all have personality like Mr. Hyde inside each one of us that is waiting to be explode when we let it out?..
Or we all are born good?..

Expecting your comments..

Monday, October 16, 2006

Life at Planet-i

Planet-i, an IIM Student.. Now in the campus which is a dream for thousands of students around the country. Have been here for around 4 months. So i think it is the time to take a look back and analyse how the campus has been to me. If you are expecting some stuff about the professors/placements, sh sh sh sh sh.. i am not allowed to talk about them outside. So Ground rules decided. Here Goes my experience in Planet-i.

After getting the admit, there were a lot of mails flying from the seniors to the students giving 'gyan'[hehe.. i know a few Hindi words.] to juniors. Now thinking back i dont remember any of those question.. Except this one. "Is there milk in the canteen?".. And the one page reply to that mail.. Good old days.. Having nothing to do.. Spending the whole day reading mails that used to clock atleast 100 per day..

Then came the time to pack your bags and to move to Indore. After spending more than 2 days in travel, reached the campus with fear, expectations and questions. Lots of them.. Whether i will be able to survive in this campus?.... Whether a person from a place which most of the people do not know will be accepted?.. Whether i will be able to make friends in the campus?.. Whether i will be able to find a church nearby?.. Whether i, a person who does not even 1-10 numbers in Hindi would be able to live in the Hindi heartland?.. And whether i can survive only with chappatis?......

[Note: The story will continue in the next post.. Found out finally that post it immediately when you feel like posting.. If you wait that you will sit one day and fine tune the whole thing. It will be never be posted.. ]

Friday, September 08, 2006

I am in IIM - Indore

For the people who do not know me, i am now studying in IIM - Indore. After reading the blogs of lots of people i know, i decided that i would again start writing the blog. [Earlier taken the decision that the blogs are just a waste of time]. But now with no other major work to do, i have decided to start blogging. Now time to say good bye...

Friday, July 21, 2006

Will never vote for Flies

Fly - This insect until now in my life has been just a two-winged insect... Not to be worried about much or even cared about.. But in these days, these insects have now made me to change my decision.
Here goes my story. As i start spotting a lot of flies near the mess, i thought this is something that is restricted to areas near to the mess.. Also they are attracted by the leftovers of the eggs and other things that are used to bathe the birthday baby.
Yesterday, after coming from the class, saw 10 0r 15 flies inside my closed room.. Thought o.k. it is not a problem. They can be easily driven away. But to be my surprise, these insects are good at dodging away from the well-aimed shots taken by me. If i keep my room open, there are more number of flies eagerly awaiting for their chance to have a darishan of my room.. Just coming to the conclusion that i can do nothing about them, even if they come and sit in my face, i slept.
Next morning, went eagerly to our QT professor's class.. Expecting a good sleep.. But alas, there were more than five flies eagerly awaiting for the students to come. Don't know why they have this attraction[atleast i look attractive in their eye!!!!...] to me, started their time of rest in my body.. Auch! The whole class was wasted to dodging of them... And missed a good sleep.. Would have loved to continue "The Adventures of Robin and Flies".. But have to catch the sleep missed in the QT class.........

Monday, May 15, 2006

My Take on Tamil Nadu Elections

As someone who has keen interest in politics right from my childhood days, if I did not have a post on the recent state elections in TamilNadu it would be so wrong on me. So here are my analysis and opinion:

First of all, hats off to the people who for the first time elected a minority government to the state. Also a strong opposition in the assembly means that whenever the opposition wants to talk something, they won’t be removed (i.e. thrown out) from the assembly. Also it will be interesting to note what strategy that Jayalalithaa follows whether she is going to follow Karunanidhi’s footsteps of zero attendance in the assembly or she is going to be a constructive opposition leader. Let us wait and see.

Since there was no visible wave this time around, small factors in each and every district played a major role. Vijayakanth was a major factor who reduced the victory margin in lots of constituencies with his 8% vote share. Except for the vote from his fans, other votes are from people, who are angry with the inability of both the Dravidian to think constructively and long-term future of the State. What that means is the votes are not transferable to any of the Dravidian parties if his party aligns with them next time around. But his victory in Viruthalacham is commendable since he contested in one of the bastions of the PMK. His party would have got more votes if they had been able to get good people (i.e. people who can and will spend lots of money in elections) to stand for elections. Especially in my constituency, Palayamkottai just looking at the face of the contestant, I changed my decision from voting DMDK to DMK.

Another factor for the strong showing of the DMK in the southern districts is the Karthick factor. The Tamil actor who recently took leadership of the State unit of All India Forward Block (AIFB) stole a lot of votes from the traditional ADMK vote bank (Thevar community) especially from the rural villages. On the other side, the other Tamil actor Sarath Kumar who jumped at the last hour from DMK to ADMK for purely personal reasons, made sure that traditional DMK stronghold Tuticorn district shifted hands to the ADMK fold. He too was able to swing young people from the rural villages of the Nadar community to ADMK.

Voters voting on the basis of caste are causing a lot of shame to Tamil Nadu politics. Is there any way to counter this in our Indian politics? Added to this, Cine actors and actresses who are not even educated holding sway over the Tamilnadu politics is a curse to the State. But the Lok Parithan the party started by IITians polling more than 34,000 votes in 7 constituencies offers hope to me that someday educated people of the next generation won’t shy away from the politics. They have taken the bull by its horns. Hope that they don't allow this hope to die in people’s hearts. If they have contested in my constituency whether I will vote is totally different matter (We will keep that explanation for some other post).

The factor which worked largely in the favor of the DMK was its coalition arithmetic. It benefited largely from the Congress strong pockets as seen in KanyaKumari District. The myth that the PMK commands the Vanniyar community in the northern districts was broken this time around as seen by the poor showing by the PMK whose conversion ratio of the seats contested to seats won was poor compared to its alliance partners. Also the most of the seats for the opposition party, ADMK came from these areas.

The biggest surprise was the fact that Chennai which was a DMK stronghold whichever side the wave may be favored Jayalalithaa to Karunanidhi. Her changed action in the last two years was a major factor in the reversals. If this has been done in the whole of the five years, she would have been invincible in the elections. The factors that lead to her downfall was the fact that 80.000 government employee families voted against her. Their happiness can be seen from the heroic welcome they gave to Karunanidhi while he entered the Secretariat, a thing unheard in the history of TamilNadu.

Will this government last the whole five years?. Mostly ‘yes’ according to my opinion. But let us wait and see. Just remember, “In politics there are no permanent friends or foes”.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

My First Post

This is my first blog. If you asking why this blog, the reason is i just got motivated on reading other's blog.. Still don't know why i am doing this. But hoping that like all the other new things i attempeted this does not end in ditch after a few posts.

[Deleted a few things from this blog...]