Monday, July 23, 2012

English - Hinglish - TaHiEnglish

Recently I travelled around south India and during the journeys went to Tamil spoken regions - Kanyakumari, Rameshwaram and travancore.

During my journey, I found some interesting posters here are a few.

If you did not still understand, the shop keeper meant Flour mill.The next one is miserable and infact punishable.
Now this one is - I do not know which language.(zoom in)
But beyond all this is the clincher. The super hero.

East or west India is the best.(Zoom in)

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Why does everyone hate IT and IT people in Bangalore?

First the History of what factors caused Bangalore to be the IT hub

Bangalore was a place which was known for its weather. The ideal weather rather with not too much of heat during summer and not too cold in winter.
People not to mention were and are not aggressive. When you roam around to different parts of India, one would always consider Bangalore a comparitively peaceful place for one to live.
People usually have - "mind your own business policy" - unless you go and poke , there is no concern. For example when BDA started falling trees in Bangalore, people's societies started protests only when the plan showed deforestation in their areas - when they fell trees in Basavanagudi, the people's association in Malleshwaram did not bother and vice versa.
The biggest factor also were the local governament policies - this boomed the industry both in Bangalore and Hyderabad.
Also the first and the largest IT companies were setup here.

So what went wrong?
When the initial companies were setup by the two big wiggies - NRN and Premji, a lot of our local folks got in. The field boomed. There were a group of VCs in Silicon Valley, who supported and setup firms in Bangalore. Gradually there were a lot of IT folks travelling to western countries at a very young age - to USA, UK. Suddenly they had travelled and roamed more than the sum total of three generations of their forefathers.

Stay in Foreign countries
There  is saying in Kannada - "Kosha Odhu Desha Suttu". It means roam around the world , read knowledgeable books. Our IT guys did the earlier one and forgot the later.

The oppurtunity to see a new country and an advanced country and additional money is a very lucrative offer. Some just fell for it and were swept in it, never to come back. Some took a dip and started realizing that with all the luxury and comfort in other country, they are still a secondary citizen in  these countries. They still need to get permission for fireworks for Deepavali.There was a lack of identity. Now for a considerable percentage of people, although they would love to stay back in a foreign country, their terms were over and they had to return back. In simple words, they were not needed in the guest house anymore.

We are happy for the first group, which is now not in India, they helped reduce the population burden and also spread the Indian roots elsewhere. Its a pleasure to get the second group back, which might get us some intellectual thoughts which will steer the city and the country in the right direction - or atleast put some effort into it. They are the rational thinkers. The last segment which still dreams about staying abroad is the detrimental one. All of these folks, are proud they went abroad and want to realize the comfort and luxury here , in India. They need their USA here.

To start off, they need to match money, now if you have to get the kind of income you would have earned in USA, you will need to take on some competitive work - work under pressure, touch the niche areas. This has made IT work more than a 9-5 job.The work is not something where you go in and come out, you own stuff there. There is tension. These are the first set of people who want to stay close to office within the radius of 10kms. They caused the rise of apartment culture.

Rise of Apartments
Frankly I still dont like apartments, they seem to me like a glorified version of "Vatara's of old bangalore".  No offense to anyone, after staying in single houses for long time, it is a little difficult to be accustomed to apartments.You can smell neighbours kitchen, you can hear shouting next door and most of all, there is no identity of the place you live in.
Apartments are a problem in other ways as well , because of their creators which is the real estate business. Just like any other natural resource has been exploited, the real estate owners exploit the water , air and the land itself to make quick bucks. The massive pressure on water these apartments have put with no proper foresighted planning is already evident with Bangalore seething under its garbage and never satisfying thirst for water.

All the people in Apartments are busy lot , they need shopping malls to finish shopping and get some food and get recreated with movie - the bare minimum luxuries of USA. So we have now shopping malls at every end of the street. Our people have sufficient money to get an apartment , shop at malls, every week and now buy a car . This is the mini-USA they had hoped for.

While you think all of this is not just IT employee problem, a lot of it like the Regulating real estate is Government business, we all understand, how democratic our governments are. So we are still quite far from getting the right regulations and following them to make sure our progress does not hinder our environment.

All of these have now wiped out trees because they need space to drive cars, build malls , Emptied the water in the lakes and underground to fulfill the needs of apartments.
The development in Bangalore is like the thin Ice crust formed on a lake due to the lower temperature. It looks like a flat and strong plateau,You can walk on it , but only one at a time, too many of us go in, the layer will break and we will be drowned in cold water. The Garden city is now Concrete city.

The surrounding of people have suddenly changed.The inside of the house is also changed.Every house has a person in IT  Industry. He can afford the mini - USA. Their lifestyle lures others to imitate them.There is pressure on other businesses and professions to generate sufficient income. Everywhere the price is rised, the doctor from bangalore starts charging more than the doctor in Udupi, the vegetable vendor starts hiking prices.The housemaid expects double the salary she would get in some other place. The cost of living increases and now this becomes a place with reckless development at the cost of killing nature and actual and original culture of people which facilitated the business in the first place.
Lately its not just the IT folks, almost every profession is providing lucrative money. A person with an MBA from any local university will be paid 60-70k per month in retail, automobile, travel companies.

The lucrative jobs and the mini-USA in Bangalore has encouraged a huge migration of people from the populous states like Bihar , Uttar Pradesh, Delhi. Due to the conducive environment, a lot of these folks are not going back and are settling here in Bangalore. this and lack of proper planning has become detrimental for the city.

The common man and the old people who have been here in bangalore for more than 20 years, start hating the community which started or rooted the culture of money and hence everybody blames IT for city's detriment.

In my opinion, the problem is with the IT companies rather than the IT employees. The companies like Wipro, Infosys, TCS, CTS are taking away the best of our engineering colleges and putting them in a lowely job of maintaining some existing software and getting them used to mundane tasks of software. IF these companies could setup an equivalent research centers, encourage labs and innovation, worked with universities and help us get more patents, we would have still continued to consider IT as lucrative. Ayn Rand , they say , did not believe in charity. The IT companies are doing megre charity and believe they have fulfilled their responsibility for the society, but unless they dont teach our folks how to fish, no matter how many fish they get it will not solve our problems.

The other problem wiht IT is they have not setup enough shops in the northern India, this area requires a boost from governaments  in supporting more IT . This will let a lot of the crowd go back and stay closer to home. This will also help in an overall development in India rather than development in pockets. Unfortunately although we are the biggest democracy we are very poor in planning and with the huge corruption , this seems like a far off dream.

The IT employees are no different from somebody getting good money - all they spend on is - Food, drinks and the luxuries. If they start using what they have judiciously especially the natural resources, we will be far better  than today.Everyday when I am in my cab, I pass by numerous cars with just one person in the driver seat, i know they are IT by the bags they have and by the tags they wear.Although educated, we lack wisdom. This year, during May we had the driest stint and one of my collegues had a jacuzzi at their home and there was no water in their borewell. If she had probably been judicious in using water and infact invested on Rainwater harvesting, she might have probably still had a working borewell.We will soon not have water for drinking if we do not use the resources judiciously. The attitude of  IT employees is that - Money can buy anything , there is very less social responsibility, they own.

Anything which is lucrative just because of the money wont stand for long, it needs to go further into the intellectual aspects of the life. It needs support in our value system and if possible needs to relate to the spiritual layers of the society in the right way .