Sunday, June 29, 2008

Im a bookie

I must admit I was really lucky to be exposed to a lot of books very early in my childhood. I picked up my first Hardy Boys novel when I was in 3rd standard (pretty early by standards in those days) and I haven’t looked back since. In school a few friends and I would finish our library books within in a few days of getting them issued and then swap them and finish those as well and then confidently head to the library the following week and take a new set.

My stint in TAPMI reintroduced me to books after a very long hiatus and its been a welcome return. Stepping into a book store in Bangalore with a pick up all you can read for free offer will ensure that I will empty the entire store. However until that day I still have to pay for anything I pick up but my meager bank balance has been a bummer. Until I stumbled upon this book sale near my place where second hand books were being sold dirt cheap. The first time I went I picked up 4 books and was immensely satisfied. The next day I went there with my friend who wanted to pick up a couple of books and I ended up picking another 4 books…. Did I mention the fact that they were really cheap?

Now to find enough time to finish all these books before the next sale begins. One thing is for sure I’m not going to let circumstances decide that I have to take a break from books (non academic of course). I’d sacrifice a weekend movie and instead settle down with a good book anytime. If only kids these days weren’t so much into everything except a good old fashioned novel (no Harry Potter isn’t included). Parents out there stop gifting your kids remote controlled toys and PlayStation games and Barbie dolls. These are going to be discarded in a few months time. Gift them a good book and get them hooked. Turn them into bookies (of the good kind). For life.

A Mans Bestest Friend

I have a suggestion to make to all recruiters heading out to B-schools this year. Admittedly getting the best of India's MBA certificate toting, ready-to-become-the-next-Bill Gates youngsters is becoming harder and harder with each passing year. One group discussion followed by a 15 minute interview is scarcely time enough to gauge a candidates caliber & ability to work in a team (all too important these days). So I propose that all the HR people embarking on their whirlwind round the country hiring spree later on this year make the selection process more transparent and use the following criterion while shortlisting prospective employees – check whether he/she has had a dog while growing up.

I can hear your chuckles and laughs already. Hold on to your horses, let me explain. Having a dog (and I will deliberately refrain from the term owning a dog) brings such a truckload of experiences with it that a non dog lover somehow just may not get the wonder of it. Having a dog doesn’t mean feeding him/her Pedigree (a brand of ready made dog food available here in India) everyday or buying the most expensive dog tag or boasting about the bloodline of the dog. Having a dog means falling in love when you see it as a puppy and taking it home to parents who will undoubtedly have concerned looks on their faces when they hear the typical – Don’t worry daddy ill take care of it. The initial honeymoon period will of course be broken by the now exasperated parents who have to clean the dog poo which you conveniently haven’t seen and therefore not removed. Potty training for the pooch ensures that you will have to try and try and try and keep trying until eventually the dog goes out on its own and attends to natures call. And then the next day you will find poo on the carpet and the drama starts again ….. With each puppy comes great responsibility.

And then before you know it, the puppy has gone and grown up and you start adjusting your life to suit the dog. For example my Dalmatian – Bret, refuses to get into his kennel if its after 6:30 AM so my dad has to make sure the alarm is set for 6 every day. And before you know it the dog is an integral part of your family. Fifi (who is woofing down on us from doggie heaven right now) truly was the lady of our house bossing over everybody including the much larger Bret. The postman was terrified of her and would run to his cycle if he realized the front door was open. All we had to do was ask Fifi “Wheres Bubbles (our resident squirrel who used to eat up all the mangoes from the tree)?” and away she would go barking up the trees looking for Bubbles. Knowing that we would put her in the kennel in the evenings she somehow managed to disappear right when it started getting dark and we would have to search the entire house to find her. I’ve seen B-school grads who aren’t as smart as her, I swear. Our house is empty without Fifi and I can’t help but smile each time I think of that lovely lady. Wish I could somehow drop her her favourite bread crumb while I read the newspaper with while having breakfast just like the old days .....