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business india businessman of the year award 2009 goes toooooooo aditya puri

we were invited to the above awards function organized by business india, a leading monthly, at royal western turf club, mahalakshmi race course.

i joined anand in his office in bkc and we took the bandra worli sea link to reach the venue. the cool breeze and the lights on this latest sealine of mumbai already felt like it was going to be a pleasant evening. and it was.

as we entered all the guests had a red carpet welcome with the magazine hosts lined up on both sides of the red carpet till the cocktail arena. lightly fragrant white and peach flowers, tinkling of wine glasses, welcome hugs and hushed conversations amongst the who’s who of the finance and banking industry, pretty much summed up this hour.

then there was an announcement that the chief guest for the event – dr shashi tharoor – our minister of state for external affairs, had arrived and people started taking their seats.

early birds

there were honest and interesting addresses by mr oberoi – last year’s businessman of the year, pheroza bilimoria – managing director business india and most important – aditya puri, the award winner and CEO of HDFC bank, who was announced in the previous edition of the magazine itself. they showed a small movie clip about what his friends and family had to say about him. the ceo of state bank of india had something nice to say about him “there is so much work to be done on the indian banking scene that there is no time and space for any destructive competition. aditya thinks like me and hence i like him.” 🙂

u can see more the event here.

shashi tharoor as usual enthralled the guests with his witty sense of humour. he opened his speech saying “foreign affairs ministry in india was previously like two elephants making love. it was at a very high level, it made a lot of noise and it took two years to see any result”. but he also assured that things were changing fast and indian politics was getting more modern.

dinner was good continental fare. desserts were nice.

it was time to go back home and we remembered two longingly waiting eyes of our baby as we drove back.


of restaurant tipping and behaviour quotients

how much do people tip in restaurants ?

75% of people tip 10% of the bill.
11% of people leave 20% of the bill.
10% of people leave no tip!
4% of people tip more than 20% of the bill.

these results have some more insights.

in a section of society, if we assume 10% of bill amount is a good tipping practice, a majority 75% follows it honestly. this section of people are prompt and honest. they are bound by dutifulness. they are also the same ones who use their own pens while writing out a slip in the bank, plan grocery shopping two days before a lunch party, if a friend pays for something -immediately calculate the bill division and pay up, find it embarrassing and non dutiful to leave dues pending – dues of any sort, monetory or favour wise.

the second 11% section tips some more. its found that these are more travelled people, seen better tipping practices in different places, are earning more than average, or have been to the particular restaurant often and kind of know the familiar faces etc.

the third 10% section leaves no tip! these are the most disrespected people. these are people who have had stingy family backgrounds in the past, lower income families, have grown up seeing how to never let go of their own things, never gift anyone richly, never offer to share money, be happy if colleagues are continually paying dinner n drink bills and never ever offer on their own, hunt for free offers etc. with time they are in good economic and educational backgrounds, visit restaurants as in our above main point, and are aware of tipping practices, are surrounded by quality broad minded crowd. however their baggage is so heavy that they cannot let go of their habits and fall prey to criticism from peers. its not about the money they have saved, its about the reputation they have lost and are called names behind their back – ‘oh so middle class’ or ‘downmarket’

the fourth section which is the thinnest 4%, took some time to differentiate and analyse. these people are bound by compulsive flamboyance, maybe while taking a prospective client on a business lunch or the ultra rich who book entire lounges for privacy etc etc. all i can say about them is, wish i had that kind of money… hahahaha

so much so for the (un) cool tipping…

club obama

so we all know since the 44th president of usa has been sworn in this week, his biography and photographs etc have been all over us. most of us would have read/heard his speeches and no denying that this guy who has created history in the politics of usa is real charismatic with the crowds too..

however here is some bunch of information from a very womanly point of view.

chicago designer maria pinto helped mrs obama dress up during the campaign. michelle11 

also michelle obama has inspired a new phrase in the fashion industry – ‘recessionista chic’ as she is known to dress up in a classic way albeit inexpensive. her suits and kitten heels are in vogue suddenly in mumbai fashion’s page 3 circuit too.

her economical off the rack purchases from stores and kitten heels for footwear are bak in vogue too.. instead of the traditional black, brown or beige pump, she is know to wear jimmy choo’s “glacier” kitten heel in a deep green to complement her cheerful yellow isabel toledo ensemble.michelle2 

also the interior designer chosen for the white house private quarters is la based michael smith. he is known to understand mrs obama’s vision to create a family friendly home alongwith some of the chic ideas from different parts of america. heres a pic of the private bedroom of the kennedys designed by the same designer –  kennedy 

to see pics of mrs obama’s dance at the inaugural ball, her future plans etc.. click here



one of the peculiar things to my organization, or maybe useful is an email group exclusively for the ladies, one such mailing list in every location.

often there are vibrant mails during festive seasons like – colour code for each f the nine days of navratri… and lo! the ladies transform the office overnight..

sometimes there are distraught mails like – hi, i need a room mate, house is very close to office, blah..blah..

almost every second day theres a mail saying, i found a nokia n73 mobile in workstation-4 dressing room. owner pls call me on xxxx… probably too many ladies, forget about their phone calls when in front of the mirrors.. genuine, oh cowmaun…

today’s one was a bit more creative.. hi all, car keys with pink diamond shaped radium keychain found in workstation-2 dressing room. looks like ford ikon. owner pls call me on extn xxxx. wow! how did she know it was which car? now that’s some bit of impressive knowledge for a girl i must admit.. i called her up to inquire/congratulate abt this feat which men often underestimate women about and the detail turned out to be – the guy sitting next to her on the other extn had suggested the same… hmm that’s ok.. lets concentrate on the help extended by her on mail.

one listladies mail in chennai office – ladies, kindly refrain from wearing sleeveless outfits as they disturb sanctity of the workplace (!!??..) but as far as i had seen there was never overt dressing… everyone was too traditional according to my mumbai standards anyways! then it struck to me… they were talking about a few seniors who regularly wore sarees with sleeveless blouse, arms of huge dimensions and a dozen gajras with offcourse the mandatory gold jewelry… was only the sleeveless part offending though?

in the manhattan office, the pantry stocked a refrigerator and people left their food boxes in there.. for pickup during lunch. it was slowly observed that the fridge was getting crowded and then a couple of times some box was replaced for someone else’s etc… then there was a mail to the listladies, the last two compartments are reserved for food brought by the ladies in the office and everyone is expected to abide by it. and as very much expected the chaos in the upper part continued… however everything below the “ladies” sticker was forever neatly arranged and smelling nice too…

the sun and the smile

he was a genuine person, had a very honest sense of humour.

a combination that’s makes for an indispensible friend in the work team.

she was vivacious, full of life, more eventful and creative than most,

and always had some interesting conversation to come up with..

she lived up to her name by smiling often.

he worked in my project and that’s how i knew them both.


life moves on, and so we all did.. we drifted away…

unfortunately we aren’t in touch regularly..but i still admire their company and tell people that i loved to be with some friends like these whenever anything related comes up..


they have a li’ll sunflower now.. and i am sure they must have just fit in perfectly

in their new role in givin her the best parents can ever give..


there are some people you always feel nice about, when you remember,

and for that you really remember them…

MTV roadies… the show

MTV roadies is a reality show where the road jouney started with a group of about 15 people and at the end of every round, the group votes out each other and one member has to leave the show.  

the group which keeps reducing in size goes to different locations across india sometimes abroad, and engage in water sports, camping, few other sporty tasks besides of course long drives from place to place.

there are some who perform better than the others, there are some who backstab, sometimes good ones lose out due to the same, some are goodlooking, some have other vested interests in those, some are simply laid back, some are seen as helpful and harmless, some are an average figure everywhere – performance, strategy, charm, whatever else but still sail through as they don’t have many enemies due to not doing anything noticeable. some are real masterminds in plotting people against each other and creating groups take automatic leader roles, but withdraw when it comes to performance. some make more friends, get involved and uninvolved at the right times, some are too intricately involved to unweave and then have no choice but to do anything it takes, some are without pleasing manners/language which can get irritable to others, some simply are hatable and are the first preys.

this show kind of teaches me or rather reminds me of how people are, which kind of  attitude is rewarded in which way etc though still cannot comment till i know who is the real ‘roadie’ who manages to survive till the end. it also depends on various situations, interpersonal relationships, strength and some bit of luck too… 

finally it takes the spirit to win – perform and do much more, not only on roadies but in real corporate life too. 

learnings added after watching more episodes :

so far it really took more than performance to survive. but when too many incompetent people remain in a team, and tasks get tougher, good old ones are called back and this time they have the spirit of revenge which is stronger than physical strength. in corporate scene i think, when management realises there are too many incompetent people left in a team, they bring in new ones too with some old ones.

my work neighbourhood

i have been working longer days, this week which explains the frequency of posts here.. now, its 6 pm, the ‘dependancy’ phrase in our project has come to life and here i write about something that’s been amusing me, as i wait for a colleague to mail some docs. 

there are three new neighbours in the each of the adjacent cubicles in our bay.. each of them amuses me more than the other… 

one is a bespectacled girl with an eternal frown, whose shoulders carry the weight of all stress n worries of mother earth. she says she doesnt like her name, she doesn’t like the kind of work she is doing, she didn’t like her earlier organisation as it was too far away from home so she headed for a change (but also that this organisation is further away from home), she doesn’t want to travel out of the city for work as she doesn’t like to… however once she did travel for a month so that – its interesting – so that her parents can tell everyone (read prospective grooms’s parents) that our daughter has travelled, but she didn’t like anything about it, she doesn’t like air conditioners, she doesn’t like cheese. 

the diagonally opposite inhabitant is a ‘typical madrasi software programmer’, formal full sleeved shirt with a tie on mondays, denims and sport shoes and a tiny backpack.i have never managed to understand what he he tries to communicate in his heavily accented multilinguals so far, and i think he knows that by now, as he seems to have given up and only smiles when i pass by – sweetly though. 

the final star performer is… i dont know how to describe her, its this young girl just back from her wedding leave… tall and equally wide, you cannot miss her sight with atleast a dozen of gajras(flowers) in her head, a centimeter-waterpipe-thick gold chain in her neck, heavy duty kaajal and bindi… but in spite of all the ‘shringaar’ there is li’ll trace of any feminine newly wed’s symptoms. when wished about her wedding, with a somewhat angry look (i thought weddings were a happy affair) and a shrill voice she said, “i dooonnn’t lika chhainnayee… i am leaving aivrything in bangalore and coming here, told my husband fusstta day itself, that we are going to settle down in bangalore.. seemble. “ well doesn’t look like her better half would dare to say a no… that’s if he is really the ‘better’ half. 

day in day out all around me everyone rambles on and on in tamil (maybe malayali but who knows the difference) in workplaces, pantries, meeting rooms, lifts… so i  socialize little in office (which is surprising for a person like me but i have few options) and introspect and observe more.. this post is the result. 

well, there comes my mail, i am back to work….