Moslem or Muslim

All the old books on crusades talk about Moslem, while modern world seem to be stuck on Muslim. So I did a bit of etymology on it (googled in actual sense)
Derived from the urdu word Zalem (the oppresser), Christians coined the word Moslem which was later on modified to Muslim. What is strange that I never heard of this theory of Zalem being the root word for Muslim in any of the RSS propoganda.

Similarly, Hindustan, India etc got their name derived from Sindh and means the inhabitants of the banks of Indus. Indus river is miles away from the borders of India, but the name is stuck. Similarly Zalem has no bearing on the nature of Modern muslims.


Plot, house or apartment?

A new DLF township is being constructed, and I was asked if I am interested in which of the three categories.

I could choose between any of the three options, because this is a pure investment. I do not intend to go and live there for the next 16 years. (After which I intend to retire and go to a recluse in the hills or a private beach.)

Apartment looked attractive in the sense that Bank pays not only the entire cost of the property, but also the move-in costs. Then one could lend it out and the EMI takes care of most of the purchase cost.

Plot of land on the other hand looks attractive in the sense that it appreciates the most. But it is an idle asset. It will do nothing productive; generate no rental income for me; and I will have to pay for its fencing and ensure that my plot does not get encroached.

So I decided to adopt the middle path and go for the house. Unfortunately, for the same budget, the independent house looked like a pigeon hole (because of the combined cost of land and construction). Rental income from that is also equal to the pigeon-hole apartment of a fraction of its cost. In fact people prefer the apartment over the tiny shack because of security and amenities it offers.

On doing ROI analysis, I came to the same popular wisdom. If the property is outside the town and it might take a couple of years before the movers and shakers will inhabit it, then it makes lot sense to buy land. A house might end up unoccupied, and won’t give much return. However if you intend to buy something inside the city where the prices are not expect to shoot up so much, apartment with its steady cash-flow is attractive.

Unfortunately, instead of solving problems it opens up a new one. Should I buy inside the city or outside? All this study and research opened more questions then it answered. Looks like I will have to flip the coin. (simplest, easiest and the fastest way to take a decision)


small changes-big impact

The Japanese introduced some really wonderful concepts in manufacturing, and supply chain. Some of them even revolutionized the industry making them the world leaders in steel, automobile, electronics etc.

Everybody would know about JIT (just in time) manufacturing, quality control measures, lot manufacturing etc. I was reading through their unique shift management techniques.

“Every worker at the end of the day, will clean his work-bench and prepare tools and for the next shift.”

Trivial isn’t it. But look at the impact.

Physically a worker is working from the moment he enters the building to the time he leaves his office, but mentally he is working from the moment he decided to get ready for work to the time he decides to pack up for the day. By this change in policy, the shop floor managers were able to move 15 minutes of starting rituals (Cleaning the mess from the previous shift, getting the tools etc.) to packing rituals. Thus mentally reducing the time and stress of working in shifts at zero cost to the employer.

I wonder if ITES and call centers are actually devising some innovative skills.

Humor Photography

being with God

Humor Photography

beware of dogs

I always fear people who have an habit of understating

I do not know if the parents are oversating or understating, but I do know that I have no temptation to find that out


performance evaluation ideas

Some employee performance evaluations.
“Since my last report, this employee has reached rock-bottom
& has started to dig.”
“Works well when under constant supervision
& when cornered like a rat in a trap.”
“This young lady has delusions of adequacy.”
“He sets low personal standards & then
consistently fails to achieve them.”
“This employee should go far,
& the sooner he starts, the better.”
“He would argue with a signpost.”
“He brings a lot of joy whenever he leaves the room.”
“A photographic memory but with the lens cover glued on.”
“If he were any more stupid,
he’d have to be watered twice a week.”
“If you give him a penny for his thoughts,
you’d get change.”
“Some drink from the fountain of knowledge;
he only gargled.”


hostile takeover

It is a type of acquisition in which the acquirer takes over controlling power of another company despite the objections of the target company.  The following terms are types of defenses that target companies may deploy in order to protect themselves against a hostile takeover:

·         Poison Pills – A redeemable legal right granted to a targets’ shareholders that allows them to buy more stock cheaper.  It makes a takeover too expensive for a hostile party.

·         Golden Parachute – The method by which executives of the target company write themselves severance packages so large that it would negatively impact the financials of the company if they were acquired and the executives were dismissed.

·         Recap – The method by which the target company strives to increase its debt by taking on loans and issuing bonds, making themselves financially unappealing

·         Scorched Earth – The method by which the target company sells off its most profitable assets, taking away the acquirer’s incentive.

·         White Knight – The method by which the target company locates and secures a friendly company to acquire them, eliminating the threat of being taken over by a hostile party.

Mittal-Arcelor deal gave me a rare opportunity to explore how these methods can be applied to prevent the takeover. Poison pills and golden parachutes are very common. Most companies issue Preferencial stocks to its promoters. These stocks when redeemed prematurely (as in case of takeover) can prove to be very expensive. Similarly most of the options granted to the employees have a takeover clause which makes them redeemable the moment takeover happens. These phenomeons are so common that most bidders always factor them in before venturing.

Recap and Scorched Earth are sucidal tactics. Means if I cannot have it, then you also cannot have it. Only in a battle of ego will such activities be seen.

White Knight (Severstal) was however called for service, but a minority shareholder mutiny and the high price payed by Mittal overpowered him. However thanks to the emergency treaties signed with the older management, Russian Tycoon should be laughing his way to the bank.




Three statisticians went hunting and soon spotted a rabbit. The first statistician aimed, fired, but overshot it. The second statistician aimed, fired, but undershot it. The third statistician shouted, “We got him!”


more quotes

No one should negotiate their dreams. Dreams must be free to fly high. No government, no legislature, has a right to limit your dreams. You should never agree to surrender your dreams.
Jesse Jackson


“Just because your voice reaches halfway around the world doesn’t mean you are wiser than when it reached only to the end of the bar.”
– Edward R. Murrow

Even if you’re on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there.

Will Rogers

education Thoughts

Some of the best things in life are free.

well not free exactly, but definately most economical. Look at education:
1) Pre-school education: the best education of 2-4years kids is under the supervision of the mother or relatives (free nanies). But people spend 40 thousand a year to get their schools in all the fancy playschools. I often wonder is it for the kids, or for the pride and ego of the parents. I even heard of a theory which said that parents are so much pissed of from changing diapers and constant nagging that they are more than happy to dump their kids. One thing is true these playschools always charge more fees than any decent highschool or college. Probably because 3 year old are being taught about future technologies and being imparted skills which no college graduate can even dream of!

2) School education: If you look at school with best board results, theie fees are always affordable. While the school which is the most expensive always has below average results ( and many of them do not even impart education beyond 5th class) These expensive private schools will take admission interviews of a 3year old and their parents. What is it for, what purpose does it serve? I have no idea. But I have never met a person who aced in the primary school as well as in life.(discounting people from places where there was no compitition)

3) College education. The most wonderful thing I discovered recently was that ISB school of business charges more tution fee per month than any of the ivory business school. Comparing 2.4lakh charged by IIM for a 2 year course with 17lakhs charged by ISB for a 1 year course make the whole structure ridiculous, but ISB charges more fees than Stanford, California, Berkley and MIT. Also the school is only 4-5 years old and is still establishing itself, I shouldnot comment on the quality. But probably who can pay so high fees, already have big offices and father’s businesses to run. So they already might be at the top positions.

Even in graduation, I found fees at IIT were 16thousand per semester, while most of the private engineering colleges were safely charging upto 80 thousand per semester (with much less faculty, and facilities). Then for those who could not afford even this 16thousand, there were more scholarships than applicants. So if you fell in the merit cum means criteria, you will get a full tution fee waiver and a monthly stipend. For the rest there were affordable student loans, which banks were more than happy to lend. So good schools and college always ensure that you do not pay through the nose for education, and no bright student is denied education because of economic reasons.

Inspired by this, I thought of checking US schools, before generalizing. The top 20 schools(engineering and comerce) always have many times more scholarships, research assistanceship, tution fee waivers then the rest of the schools. Also the highest fees is always getting charged by the mediocre colleges. Call it a price of mediocricity, but next time if someone cribs about the expensive education, you might be safe to assume that he is not very bright.