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Archive for November, 2008

Mumbai Attacks: United we stand divided we fall

Posted by Neeraj Kumar on November 30, 2008

24 hour round the clock live coverage of devastating Mumbai attacks has made sure that the pain is felt by each and everyone throughout the world. And rightly so. It was attack on anyone who believes in the central theme of life. There can be no motivation good enough for such callous indiscriminate killing. But, let there be no bias in our condemnation of acts of violence. Every Indian has right to feel Indian in each and every part of this country. Raj Thackeray’s of this country should not be allowed to prosper. Incidents like that of Orissa should never be allowed to happen. There should be one true spirit. And that should be Indian spirit. That will prove to be the biggest deterrent for those who believe that they can puncture the social fabric of India by launching such gruesome attacks. Politicians will continue to be politicians and time will take its toll on the intensity or anger that everyone feels right now. Let that not be the case. Violence, any kind of violence, should be condemned in strongest possible terms. There are probably things that shouldn’t be said aloud but, this is the lowest I could keep my voice.

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You are fired!

Posted by Neeraj Kumar on November 21, 2008

Is it as brutal as they make it out to be? I found out on Thursday. “As you all know these are unprecedented times. We are having to take some very tough decisions...” It was coming from the speakerphone as we were rushed in to an audio conference to be attended by all our global teams. You could sense his tone. You could sense the mood in the room. Everyone knew what will follow. But, no one knew the number. Two, three, entire team? Logically, this was one of the strongest team in one of the best performing businesses so, something like that was unlikely to happen. Huh! If everything followed the course of logic, I should have been on a holiday. Everyone was going through the same feeling. “Come on, it can’t be that. Can it? What if it is? No one thought Lehman was going to collapse. No one thought blah blah blah.” Events with lowest probability of happening were capturing most people’s imagination because that was likely to have maximum shock-value. It was about to get unbearble and then he said. “We are having to let two people from the department go.” Just when we thought it was time to breathe a sigh of relief, we started wondering, “Who are they?”. And the heart started racing again. All the feelings were back. The desire to bang your head on to the hard fancy wooden table had never been so strong because you knew you won’t feel the pain. No pain was strong enough to beat the one that everyone on the conference call was experiencing. “Those two people have been notified...” There it was. It was not me. But, lets take a moment. I along with other members of my team had held weekly video conference with this team about 30mins ago. These guys were part of the meeting where we had discussed roadmap for next few months and these guys had active roles to play. Their next meeting turned out to be their last. Even though Citigroup stole the limelight with its shares plunging below $5, I had all sorts of emotions going through my head for the rest of the evening.

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