Sunday, April 25, 2010


five o'clock in the morning....

woke up at 5 am today. it's a rare occassion that i go to sleep early. early for me means around 12 mid night. and last night i went to bed early and so woke up early which is also not my usual habit. i usually sleep around 2 or even 3 am. not that i do anything useful. mostly watching animals on national geographic or animal planet or news on aljazeera or one of those late night shows with jay leno or letterman or conan o'brian (not anymore now that he's gone from nbc) or reading light stuff or surfing rubbish on the net. no i don't mean porn either. if you're living in any asian countries you'd be an idiot to surf porn. apart from all the hassle with unwanted pop ups, spywares and add wares and viruses that create havoc with your PC it is likely to happen that you'll find your better half suddenly standing behind you unnoticed while you're deep in concentration on close-ups of er...a russian lolita's beaver for example. not a good situation to be in. and as i say if you're in any big asian city, for a few dollars you can buy a cd-rom of all the downloads you want. and that is not counting all the normal dvds of all sort of porns that a perverted mind can think of. the world is getting really crazy and i quite like it.

but as i was saying, i woke up at 5 am this morning and feeling rather alert and so i picked up max brod's Franz Kafka's A Biography which i just started a few days back after i finally completed Ahmad Ali's sombre "Twillight in Delhi" a novel about old delhi's moghul life in decline . but at five in the morning reading a 'serious' book about a surreal person didn't do it for me. so i scanned the rows of books at the foot of my bed and picked Robert D. Kaplan's "The Ends of The Earth" A journey to the frontier of anarchy. It's the kind of travel book that you can start anywhere as each chapter is a neat article by itself and so i read the chapter Laos, or Greater Siam? lately Laos facinates me more than most south east asian countries may be because i've traveled quite a bit in the rest of SEA but not laos apart from a day visit to vientiene a few years back. but Kaplan's chapter on Laos is rather dissapointing. it's a bigger picture kind of story and did not really get under the skin of common laotian psyche. this is not to say that the writing isn't good but it's not 'personal' enough. and about four pages into the next chapter "Cambodia, back to Sierra Leone?" i fell back to sleep....

Thursday, April 15, 2010


company meetings

i know i've arrived at a certain state and level in the organization when i can have this kind of company meeting with seniour collegues. consider this meeting that i had recently with asia pacific supply R&D head.

'hi Pxxxx. how's things with you? are we on netmeeting? should i call you?'
'hey, how's my good friend today? yes, here's my IP address....'
'are you sharing something? the bloody line is awfully slow today. well, while this thing is coming up, just a personal question. you've been to south africa so many times. i'm thinking of taking a day to visit a game park...'
'you can't go to SA without going to a game park'...
'yes, but kruger is out...too expensive and i don't have enough time, is a one day visit to pilanesberg worthwhile?...'
'that's the one near sun city . yes that is good. one of the best in SA...'
'ok then. what about soweto? do you think it's ok for me to visit soweto?'
'it's a dangerous place . you must be very careful...'
'well, fuck Pxxx . i'm not white. i guess i can just blend in??...ok , i can see your excel now. ok i can update you on xxxx (here i name our company new product). it's due to get approval in indonesia in 2nd quarter this year. and may be 3rd or 1q next year here.'
'what about Thailand?'
'you know thailand Pxxxx. it's always giving me pain. the place is so unpredictable...but even if we get approval, the commercial folks may ask, you know...what about supply?'
and Pxxx our asia pacific Supply leader replied. ' here's my answer to their question. that's none of their fucking business right?...'
'ahaha..i guess you're right'...

and last week my 'functional boss' who is based in london sent me a short e-mail. it simply said this. "FLATTERY WILL GET YOU EVERYWHERE"
and i sent back a reply.
"i always believe trickery is more effective!!!"

Sunday, April 04, 2010



read a funny short story in an old the new yorker issue several days back. it's called 'love story with secondaries' . nothing extraordinary , not exactly one of those great masterpiece of literature centered on people bonking other people's wives and vice versa like emile zola's tharese raquin or anna karenina or madame bovary or effi briest and the rest. just a garden variety short story about adultery.but unlike all these great literature which in this sms and tweeter era seems decidedly overly ponderous plodding too dark and finally boring this little short story is crisp and funny.just right for our current era of short attention span and quick gratification.

here's one thing i note about adultery. it is almost always messy and in all cases , without exception it is always sad but the interesting thing is there is always elements of dark comedy in all of them. in the above story the adulteress was whacked on the face with an umbrella handle by the wife of the adulterer. and that's the beginning.

a measure of a good writer is to make you believe that he had expert knowledge of what he writes about and in this case i think the writer must have probably written about or based on his own experience. i know this because the ending is so typical of what so many guys that i know have done all along.

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