22 February 2007

Man mummified watching TV -- The Indian perspective

There was this story of an elderly gentleman having died of natural causes.
Nothing of much importance except the fact that the world came to know of his
death after almost 12 months. He still was watching the TV in full volume as he
was in moments before he died. Amazingly nobody noticed it. The main culprit was
the weather. The environment was just right to not allow the body to decompose
It seems that the electricity people too were at fault for it and an
investigation has been promptly launched in the matter. You must be wondering
why. Well the reason is that how can someone continue to get electricity when he
has not paid his bills for a long time. In this case for over a year. Well this
is not what I am writing this post.

Actually I was wondering that if this incident would have had happen in
India. While my grey cells worked over it. It came up with some interesting

  1. Say instead of watching TV he would be trying to call someone - Now
    picture this, the police enter his room. They see that he is looking down at
    his cell phone. He was trying to call someone. But the call is not going. The
    cell is set to auto-redial. The persons cell was a lifetime prepaid one. And service
    provider is Hutch. The network is following, not the cell but the user

  2. Option two would be holding his first pension letter. The persons age is
    70 and he just expired the day he got his first pension letter. Right after 10
    years of retirement. The excitement took his life. Though the police would
    recover the pension cheques for the next 12 months in his mails.

  3. Ditto can be the case for Income tax refund. Poor guys could not even get
    it, I think this is what is meant by 'Haath to aaye, mooh na laga'.

  4. May be he would be infront of his comp and would had been posting some
    useless scraps. When he dies, his body lies in a manner such that the keyboard
    continues to generate some useless scraps. It would be like really too much

I know this post is gross. And I have reasons to believe that it will never
happen in India. The only thing India has is its close knit culture. Its not
dead. The popularity of orkut is enough to justify my statement.

15 February 2007

The Real Story Behind Baglihar Verdict and Pakistani Reactions

The world awaited the verdict for the Baglihar Dam. Finally it was out. Andas soon as it was out, we had Pakistani reactions. They termed this their victory. Three of their proposals were considered valid by the Neutral Committee. Here was the twist,. a day later we have Indian government officials were shouting on top of their lungs that it was a WIN-WIN for all (Straight from Stefen Covey's Bad Habits). Now how is that possible. This was supposed to be a war. In a war either its Win-Lose or Lose-Lose. Not the other way round as the Indians were claiming. So said the Pak Media. Next what you heard was this. Pakistan government backs out.. Now how is that possible. Still wondering.

Heres the real story. What happened was that the Indian claims were absolutely correct in all respects. But Indians doing something good did not go down well with the Pakistan government. So you has this new problem coming up. The World Bank's Neutral Committee was formed. It was evaluating the Indian proposal and the Pakistani objects. Pakistanis having lost most of the cricket matches to India did not want defeat for one more time. So they tried to influence the people in the Committee. They almost got through this. Just in time the RAW got the wind of this operation. Indian government promptly took counter measures. They made sure that influence was ruled out. Instead of using the Paki afeem or ganja they took the Cobra Post way. They had all the scandals of the gentlemen in video. Now the only option left for those poor neutral people was to give in to India. So they did. They informed the Pakis that 3 of their important proposals were being upheld. For the rest they did not have sufficient cause. As soon as the report was out the Minister just could not control his victorious emotions and gave the press conference hailing the report as Paki victory. Probably right that was what was meant by Paki victory, defeat in the hands of Indian. Just like Mahishasura and other demons like death at the hands of some great Gods. And the Indian counterpart were laughing all the way. They carefully gave the reaction later after laughing and studying the report carefully.

All of above is the creation of my imagination. There is no similarity to people or place, living or dead. If there is any, it be considered a coincidence.

09 February 2007

The Art and Culture of Salesmanship

I wonder if salesmanship has anything to do with the genes or the environment we are brought up in. But my belief in this becomes more and more stronger as I travel across India. I would to particularly mention that the best salesmanship that I have encountered was in Calcutta and Bombay. Both places had one thing in common, most of the shops (at least those which I visited were owned by a Marwari). Of course Marwari shops are a legend of sort, consider at almost all the places and the people I have met as the most intelligent sellers.

Its just the way the sales psychology works. I had never thought about it ever. But the trip to Gopinatham(details of that I will be giving you soon) made me think in this direction. There was an old man(He said he was 75). He spoke fluent English. I was initially shocked by his fluency. Not that it was a BPO style English but none the less good enough. He told me that he had learnt English from a variety of places and people. He understood the psychology of all that. I wondered psychology talking as a guide!!!

He was good. He tried his best to flatter everyone in my group in a variety of ways. But then I am a Marwari.

I began to wonder what the relation between salesmanship and psychology. Not late that I realized that its just the way you talk and make the customer feel good. Its generally not just by the words but the body language and the tone. I have somehow never seen any Kannadiga have a tone which makes me feel warm when it comes to buying from a shop. Ditto for Bengalis. The worst shopkeepers that I have met are Muslims(No offense meant but this is what I have experienced).Other cultures, I am not sure. The supermarkets do go on the safe side by not having anyone at all in sight. But once you get into a shop owned by a Marwari he will, before selling you anything will make you feel comfortable in his shop. You will always feel welcome. What’s more interesting is the way he interacts with his employees in the presence of a customer. Whatever be the case with the employee, he will never sound ugly in front of a customer. He might not sell you the cheapest but he will sell in a manner that seems to be more acceptable to you. All that I am telling you is not from some bigshot’s book but my own experience as a customer that is.

It might be something that you have also experienced, you must have been to some shop and you have seen all the wares in there but like none. If its some shop in Bangalore, you are not going to get out without hearing something utterly rubbish. You would never ever go to that shop again. Would you? Now picture this that you go and that person tell you that newer stocks would come in a couple of days. Wouldn’t you visit that shop again sooner or later. In India atleast, none of these are super knowledgeable MBA’s in Sales. But they know the real psychology. This generally comes out of the environment you are in. This is my hypothesis.

To add to that this is something I had heard from my grand father. He told me that there used to be caravans going from Peshawar and Karachi to Calcutta, Delhi etc. The people of Rajasthan had a tough life at that time with little food and endless draughts. They were used to this tough life. Some people used to join these caravans and move all over India. Wherever they went they used to get going with their salesmanship. They knew how to sell and make a relation with the customer. They had no other choice at that time. Either you flourish or perish. No doubt Darwins Laws kept only the better Marwari salesman in business. And when one of them succeeded he made it a point to get his known people in that place. Obviously the successful shop was their training ground. And the ‘MaruNet’, as I call it, expanded. No doubt wherever in India you go, you will always find a Marwari. It was something they had to do if they were to have a better life than the draughts of Rajasthan.

But that was centuries ago. Now things have changed dramatically. But your shopping experience has not. The geniuses at supermarkets came up with a brilliant plan. Let there be no people, so people would simply buy. This was a safe bet. Rather than having an employee spoiling the sales, its better to have none. But I must tell u that a shop with a really warm person in charge sells more than supermarket of similar size. And finally I think I would soon start a super market with the right mix. Is Big Bazaar doing that???