Saturday, January 31, 2009

RIP - Nagesh

If there was one actor whom I knew to watch out for in the movies since my 3-4 years, it was Nagesh. Every time that actor came on screen, it was time for fun and comedy! His acting, his mannerisms, his dialogue delivery and lots more endeared him to thousands of fans in and outside Tamil Nadu. My first(remembered) impression of him was from "Ethir Neechal". His "Maadhu vandhuruken" still brings a smile and sadness with it. Then came "Thiruvilaiyaadal". Nobody could've done the Dharumi role better. Even among the present actors, there is none who can essay that role with the same ease and confidence. He was so talented and was able to do any role with ease. Right from Kaadhalikka Neramillai to Sarvar Sundaram to Thillana Mohanambal, his acting has seen many genres. From Magalir Mattum, I understood that you need talent to act like even a dead body!! Some of my other favorites are pattinathil bootham, bama vijayam(I totally love this one!) and Nawab Naarkali. Though his recent films(Kaadhal konden, Dasavatharam, Rhythm) were less based on comedy, he was able to act them with finesse.
May his soul rest in peace!

Friday, January 30, 2009

What the hell?

What the hell is NDTV thinking it is doing? By asking for withdrawals for having opinions against the media's actions, NDTV has gained the wrath of a hundred others. And, isn't this against the so-called freedom-of-speech that Ms.Dutt and NDTV stand by? Or is there a separate Constitution of India that states that media and general public are to have different degrees of freedom of speech?
Can anyone clarify it for me, please?

Lessons learned today.....

Been hit by a slew of incidents.... can't really talk much about it for it is about a dear friend of mine. All I'm doing is praying for her and keeping my eyes open.
1) Be clear in what you say - the words you use might mean something different to the other person. For, everyone's upbringing is different.
2) Clarify what you understand - doesn't do harm to make sure that you understood something right. And try to think about something from all viewpoints.
3) Keep your mouth shut when not needed.
4) Not everyone who helps you are doing it only for you.
5) People who bring you into a fix might be showing you the world in a different light...... and that might be good for you.
Good Luck, A!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Layoff watchout!

There has been a spike in the graph of layoff numbers this Monday(aka Miserable Monday). So I've added a layoff watch out gadget on the side of this blog. Just an attempt to keep me from running to my Google reader and trying to extract the layoff news from the 1000+ posts that I get every day. I know that most of you are also deeply concerned about mass layoffs. Lets watch out together! Do give me your feedback(like/dislike/no use) about this gadget as well.

Hulla Bulla H1-B

Back to the US and back to student life.
Missing India all the more now that I got a taste of it for 3 weeks. All said and done, C is the best place on earth! I even decided on the place where I want to spend my last days :) Though the time is far, far away!
Student life is fun, all said and done. Also, I'm yet to "really" start working (I hear,A, your voice asks me "when have you really worked?" So true!) but now I have lesser time to finish what I started and I better concentrate on trying to chip off the big block of cheese before me.
Enough of rambling updates about me.... on to the topic.

H1-B visa is a type of visa that allows foreign qualified employees to work in the USA for specific companies. Almost always, the company sponsors the visas. In earlier times, the number of people coming to USA from other countries was lesser and the visa restrictions were lighter. So, many people came in the immigrant visa directly. As competition around the world increased and with better and improved education in countries like India and China (not to mention the global village that our world has become, all thanks to Internet), the immigrant visa restrictions became tighter and people started looking for other visa types. H1-B was a good one in that it let you come to US and work(after all, man goes from one place to another in search of wealth aka money for most of the time. Since work directly translates to money, some visa that lets you work immediately was an attractive option). So, the competition for H1-B visas also increased. Last year's results are given here.

Now comes the interesting argument that has been waging since 2001. It has resurfaced now(in times of recession, people are ready to listen to any argument - a case of "ethai thindraal pitham theliyum?") and I wish to reason it out. Some people in US argue that companies should first employ US citizens and only then look for H1-B visa holders. Believe it or not, this argument is totally pointless simply because it is already being followed. Think from the company's perspective. They aim to increase profits. For that, one of the major requirements is to have a good team of employees. Also, they try to reduce the cost/employee thereby increasing profits. An American employee costs lesser compared to a H1-B visa holder. Lets run the numbers for it.

American H1-B visa holder
Salary Same Same
Other benefits Same Same
Visa cost 0 3000

---------- ------------
Total X X+$3000

---------- -----------

So, why would a company looking for increasing profits be willing to spend $3000+ more? The answer to it lies in the simple fact that the return from the H1-B visa holder is worth the extra cost. There were reports of a Senator asking Microsoft and other companies to first send out the H1-B workers during the layoffs. All companies would keep people that they feel are necessary for their growth and lay off others that they feel do not contribute to the growth of the company. Here, the discrimination of H1-B and non-H1-B workers does not come into picture. No company would be a fool to send off a more talented worker for such a petty reason that they have a particular visa. If a company does something like it, then that company is acting against the basic principles of "doing activities to improve the net worth of the shareholders of the company" which is the basis for the corporate world. In the long run, it would spell doom to the company.

It would be great if the people understand this fact and realize that only talent and hard work will stand the test of recession. No amount of unrealistic lobbying would help. Give your 100% to your current job, do better than the guy next to you and you would be fine. Best case, you would have your job even in times of recession. Worst case, you would know the work better --> have more knowledge about something than anyone else in your past team --> better job prospects when you lose your job. So, both cases, it is a win situation for you. So, instead of listening to all the politics surrounding the H1-B visa issue, it is time to roll up your sleeves and start working better than anyone else.

What is your stand on the H1-B visa issue? Do you think it is a welcome part of global village scenario or a visa that should be abolished or a "necessary evil" for a growing economy?

Monday, January 05, 2009

Happy New Year!

Wish you all a great and fantabulous new year :) 
I'm currently in India enjoying life to the hilt with my family and friends. Some pointers:
1) Life@home never changes, whether you are a school student or a college student or a grad student. And I love it for that! Gives me a feeling of security and constancy in this ever-changing world.
2) Its fun to meet college and school friends after a long time. Glad to have shared all the stories of the past 1.5 years!
3) Everyone said that I hadn't changed much. It put my worry that I had become chubbier (aka fatter) to rest. :) One of the best gifts of this new year ;)
4) My family was happy to see that I was finally getting some sense(aka adult ways - not getting very excited for small things, not shouting with joy, etc.) into me :D. Even I was amazed at the transformation.
5) I found that some people are the same, despite all that life throws at them. Some, I love them for it and some, I hate them for it. But that is life!
6) Been away from my thesis work for more than a week now. I loved the break and got some new perspective because of it.
7) Been doing the usual rounds to friends' places, favorite hangouts, doctors' checkups, etc. Going on some big trips soon! Yay! I can't wait for them to start.
8) Great to celebrate everything with cousins. One more reason to remind me why my cousins and family are among the best in the world. Waiting for my last cousin to join the gang!
9) Growing up has its advantages and disadvantages. Every time I learn something about the world, the equation changes and I have to relearn it all. But its loads of fun!
10) My reader shows 1000+ posts in each category. I've been starring like crazy but that doesn't seem to help. My advisor would definitely not like it if I go on a reading spree again! But all that can wait once I get back to grad school. Right now, I'm enjoying every moment of my holidays.

Hope you all had a great break too! The posts would come in regularly once I get back. But for now, its intermittent posting period! :) Take care!