Thursday, August 22, 2013

Is buying when not on 'sale' any good?

I just happened to visit the Alpha One mall this afternoon. Some students were sitting in the atrium on benches doing nothing and breathing in the cool air. Shops, all looked empty.

Of course, it's a Thursday, and one won't expect much anyway. Besides, everyone's blaming the economy. And lastly the discount sales are largely over. Or have they? So it looked.

The last point has become the reason for people to move out shopping. They know that if they don't buy when there's no discount sale, they won't have to wait too long.

Now that 'shopping when there's discount sale' has become the norm, I am wondering what exactly is a person who's shopping when there's no 'sale' thinking? For surely, asked directly if he would prefer to save money on buying the same thing when there's a discount, every single buyer would reply in affirmative.

One grand excuse that people might give to themselves when they do 'unsale' shopping is that they buy when it's new, fresh, just in. They buy when very few others have the same thing. But that's only internally satisfying until it is publicly recognized that very few others have the same thing.

We all know public recognition of new things isn't necessarily uniform and up to date. In fact, majority don't bother to keep track of majority of the things. And therefore, recognition from others is difficult when someone goes 'unsale' shopping.

I think that's so terrible. 'Unsale' should be added as a tag alongside the brand name so that such shopping gives shopper some good credit for having taken the risk.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Where should a big hospital be run from?

Hospital is a contingency business. I mean, the consumer of a hospital is always in trouble. And 'what's the need' is a forgone question, though of course needs careful consideration.

How do we behave when in immediate trouble, emergency or dire need?

Unfortunately, a lot of hospitals took a leaf from the general assembly line management system and got it all wrong. (When I say that, I am aware of certain hospital which used assembly line management to great effect.) Yes, the ones who got it wrong are the ones who made secluded chambers for managers responsible to take care of the operations. They made nodes which would be far from where the consumer(patient) would typically rush in. They made the team wait at these nodes where the consumer(patient) would typically find it difficult to reach.

Unlike a grand monumental atrium-like central empty space available at different places to make the visitor feel good, a hospital has to have the pilot and his entire team right where the consumer first walks in. Yes, right at the first touch-point. Empty spaces help the movement but slowly kill the guy in pain.

Egos would not let the above happen. Perhaps then, the most responsible person who's supposedly called the COO and his entire team meant to deliver care, has to be right where this patient walks in. Mind you, not just that one person. His entire care-team.

And then see if a hospital is any less enjoyable and any more difficult to manage than other places.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Why 'staying fit' doesn't make sense?

Yes, there was a time when without moving the body and toiling it was difficult to earn one's bread. And most time was consumed by such moving and toiling. This moving, it seemed, made one hungry and this moving consumed all the energy one got from eating the food one earned by moving. The human will, it seemed, was one with the basic human need. Fitness (or perhaps if I can put it better, non-obese body) was a default condition.

But that's no longer the case. Food is available fairly conveniently. Moving the body and toiling for food doesn't apply to majority of human beings. Enduring the inconvenience of moving one's body to earn for food sounds preposterous for so many of us. Unfit bodies, especially the obese kinds, resulting out of minimal movement is common.

So we have a special problem. For a lot of us, the will (to move the body, for that's what is needed to exercise one's body and keep fit) has divorced from the basic need of obtaining food by moving and toiling. If I can say, moving one's body has lost the deep essential meaning it had once upon a time.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

The story (oops, sorry the horror) of story-telling

When we watch these movies with insane twists and turns, heart-tearing agony and mind-numbing gore, in spite of the the happy endings, if we ask a question: what if we have to go through stuff like this? Phrase it differently: given any chance, would we have our own stories unfold like this?

Not that we have any more chance of controlling our life than that rock falling off from a cliff one fine day...

Come back to the questions. What if? Would we?

Difficult to nod in the 'yes', no? Mighty difficult. And yet we continue to hear and watch such stories like crazy, making these movies claim 'record breaking collections' in every other ad.

Perhaps thousands of years back, to watch someone else die, to watch someone else brutally torn to pieces meant that you were the one alive. The lucky one. You were the one to whom those things didn't happen. And you were the one wishing for those things never to happen to you.

And indeed, if you witnessed such events, you had to tell them to your village as a precautionary measure. The only way to tell was to act them out in full horror. But even in your wildest of dreams, in spite of the rampant possibility of such events unfolding, you wouldn't wish them to happen to you. Nor would anyone in the village would wish those things to happen to them.

So while you would feel the horror (empathize) judging from the enactment of horror, and feel it necessary to make use of every single chance to watch the horror (information for self-defense), you would never want the story-with-the-happy-ending to unfold in your life.

The security of a job has a similar explanation.

Monday, August 5, 2013

A story of wealth-making and classroom

I think wealth and wealth-making concerns all of us, in spite of the fact that we forever debate its meaning and never ever come to a great conclusion.

But all of us, at least majority of us, buy the point that we should have wealth and we should make wealth.

Now that 'we should make wealth' is such an overwhelming agreement among the people of the world, doesn't it sound obvious that every kid must learn 'how to make wealth'.

And the isn't it obvious that there should be schools explicitly meant for the purpose of the teaching 'wealth-making' and awarding degrees like 'Master of Wealth Creation'.

I am talking rubbish! I don't understand that wealth creation is a result of doing something.

Mark those last two words 'doing something'. Now question, how is a classroom defining 'doing something'. How is a classroom teaching the class about 'doing something'?

Imagine such ill-defined words as 'wealth' and 'doing something', and every classroom filled for those two ill-defined words. Degrees and yet more degrees awarded in pursuit of the ill-defined meaning of such words.

If you look up the Oxford dictionary (or deploy any other trick) to prove me wrong that these words are ill-defined, don't crib about your salary.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

A Bedroom Story

That innocuous looking expression, bedroom, sometimes wreaks havoc in my evolving way of daily working.

Bed and room. Room is space. Bed is the object that occupies that space. I have a problem with occupation of space.

If space is the currency, then the best returns are obtained when it facilitates a range of movements. Putting a bed permanently in that space means now you can move through the space only in certain ways. To the extent of limitation in movements, returns diminish.

When I observe the birds make nests, I realize that they do so, not for their living, but for making sure that their young ones survive a certain amount of time after birth. After that phase, the nest might get destroyed. But birds fly and survive nonetheless.

It isn't a stretch of imagination to understand that houses must have been just a way of defense at one point. We have read about that some time in our life.

To raise a question like where do we sleep if we don't have bed, is to confuse the action of sleeping with the object, (a permanently space-occupying) bed. And that is a mighty confusion.

We will indulge in sleeping regardless of the fact there's a bed or not. When the per capita space is so limited anyway, and when we find ourselves in this weird state of working out like mannequins behind glass-windows of a showroom-like gym, I think it's time rethink the permanence of occupation of space by this thing called bed.

If bed were equal to sleeping, everyone should fall asleep as soon as one lies on the bed, no?

That last rhetorical question leads me to this inference. I sense since bed mightily limits the range of movements you can do in a given space, a lot of us find it difficult to sleep, in spite of the best of beds available to us.

You'll sleep, rest, relax only when the body moves. Body will move only when there's enough space to indulge in movement of all kinds. And in the same breath, body stays fit only when it undergoes a range of movements day after day.

So while moving and sleeping are important for fitness, a permanently space occupying bed might actually be working against both the actions.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

I love Kareena Kapoor!

Actually, I like this look.

No, actually I like this white dress.

Ummm, no, I like the style at the neck.

Or, do I like the way her hand rests on the side?

In fact, I like that lone ring. See, how beautifully it matches with her dress.

It looks to me, she's been made up. I like the make-up then.

Oh, they are the lips! Full and glossy!

No no no! I think I like this non-earrings look!

I think it isn't the make-up really. It's photoshop!

Forget the make-up I think I am not able to make up my mind.

Whatever words I choose, I can convince you and yet not be able to tell you exactly what it is. And therefore, perhaps after the initial convincing, leave you unconvinced about what I say.

If I am a ring collector, I'll talk about the ring. If I'm a heroine-obsessed movie buff, I'll talk about Kareena. If I'm a white color fanatic, I'll express my appreciation for the dress. If I'm a hair-style experimenter, I'll start appreciating that. Being a graphics designer, I'll appreciate the graphics guy who isn't visible out here.

Truth is, when a band plays, every note has to be played 'right', every instrument has to jam with the other, every guy has to use his senses to stay in tune.

This Kareena Kapoor pic looks great. And I call it 'Kareena Kapoor pic' coz we recognize her and she fills most of the frame. It could just be a 'white dress pic'. But if Kareena didn't have the body, that white dress wouldn't be noticeable. Or if this white dress weren't this stylishly created, I wouldn't have noticed Kareena Kapoor so intently this morning.

It never is one thing. It's always a composition. You gotta make things jam.