Thursday, September 6, 2012

Do you pay attention to how you sign off emails?

For long I have observed the way people sign off their corporate emails. I have come across all sorts - the silos (Regards, Thanks, Best, Cheers, Sincerely), the extra polite ones (Warm Regards, Many thanks, Warmest Regards, Kind Regards, Best Regards et al) and then the falling-on-your-knees ones (Thanks and Regards, Thanks and Warm Regards, Many Thanks and Warm Regards etc.). The one that I particularly like are the abbreviated ones - thks, rgds, thks and rgds etc. How much effort is it to type "regards" instead of rgds?  And that too when you have an auto sign off so you are not even typing it every time. And why write both "thanks and regards"? Isn't one enough? Thanks/Sam or Regards/Sam works just fine, I think. Either way, I feel no one really cares as long as you write something - thanks/regards/warm regards. Someone I knew very well used to write 'many thanks'. This I used to find particularly funny because I don't understand what is 'many' thanks. Are  you standing there and singing thank you? Or are you going on saying thanks till the other person asks you to stop. Can you imagine how confusing it is, how much is many? 2 or 4 or more than 10!
And I once came across "Many thanks and Kind Regards". I felt the person was literally on his knees thanking me at the end of the email, all the while giving me a status update of some project. I mean, why many thanks when I haven't done anything for you that needs thanking. 

So what is the ideal sign off? I feel "Best/Sam or Regards/Sam" is quite professional and to the point. Doesn't say more than what is necessary and is not rude too. Depending on whether you actually want to thank the person you are writing to, you may use Thanks/X. And remember, if you have put an auto-sign off, then it looks quite unprofessional to have Regards/Sam and then right below, Thanks and Regards/Sam Manohar. So how do you sign-off? 

Many Thanks and Warmest Regards


Thursday, February 4, 2010

Does anyone care about our fundamental rights??

I have not written in a while and I thought what better time to write than now, especially about a topic that I feel very strongly for.

I think in one of my previous blog entries I had written about how the logic of states being divided based on the language that they speak is so flawed; And how Mumbai is now being ruled by two political parties striving to make political ground - one is an ailing horse and the other is a new party floated by the estranged brother.

This entire row over Shahrukh’s remarks that he would have liked Pakistani players in his team has got Shiv sena to go bonkers. What is the big deal in the statement I say! He owns a cricket team and he is well within his rights to say what he said. Suddenly he is being termed a Pakistani and threats are being issued that either he apologise or they (shiv sena) will not let his movie release in Mumbai. So much melodrama over what?? This is insane. And this is against the very basic rights guaranteed to us in our constitution. The freedom of speech and expression is our fundamental right. And what sena is doing is hooliganism. For want of better issues, they are picking on everything that they can. And I haven’t heard even one govt. official saying that they will ensure that Shahrukh’s movie releases peacefully and people are able to watch it. This is not about shahrukh. It is about you and me. Our fundamental right. If the state doesn’t protect us, who will?

Today, more than ever, we need a politician who will stand up. Who will say that he will uphold our basic fundamental right and come what may, he will not let Shiv Sena or the Mental sena (MNS) to crush our most basics of rights. Today India is looked upon across the world as a country which is progressing by leaps and bounds. And this situation in Mumbai is so regressive!! Why are we giving in to the threats by these guys. Who are they? There are a handful of them and all it will take is one good lesson to get them to shut up.

But I fear after all, politics will rule. And no one will stand up for our fundamental right. Because frankly they don’t care. All they care about is alliances and vote banks. And as long as they get that, let the fundamental rights be dammed. I eagerly await tomorrow, and I hope I am proved wrong.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Maoist insurgency and the apathy of the government

Yesterday some Maoists had taken a Delhi-bound train hostage. The full train!! They took only the drivers as hostages and demanded that one of their top leaders be released. However, as it turns out, they let go the drivers unhurt after sometime.

Going by the current policy that the UPA has been advocating that in case of a hostage situation, they will not meet the demands of the terrorists/maoists etc., the future for a lot of citizens look bleak. UPA criticized what the Vajpayye govt did at Kandahar. Released dreaded criminals in lieu of the passengers. My point here is, if you have a policy like that, what are you doing about the safety of your citizens? You will not release terrorists or meet the demands of their captors, even if they kill people. And you have done absolutely nothing to do to protect those citizens. So basically the value of the citizen's life is zero in the eyes of the government. No, I am not advocating that prisoners should be let free or their inane demands be met. However, it is the responsibility of the state to look after its citizens. To put together a machinery so that nothing untowardly happens. If the state fails so miserably, who does the citizen go to?
That is precisely the reason why we have these 'goondas' becoming so powerful. They settle disputes which the state takes ages to. Thats why we have these tribals turning into foot soldiers/maoists because they had no taste of the development that the country is experiencing elsewhere. Its very easy to get people to get on the wrong side of the law when they are gullible. I do not believe that it is so difficult to weed out these maoists. Given our military strength, and intelligence support, they are a very small problem. But I do not see an approach from the government that would directly address this problem and aim to solve it, whatever decisions need to be taken notwithstanding. And if this problem lurks long, I see that more such groups will crop up. So its time the government takes a firm decision and makes a plan as to how they plan to end this maoist menace. Otherwise, who knows, next time you or I are traveling, we are the hostages!

Calcutta Chronicles

Thank God. And thank Chetan Bhagat. In the last three years, I have traveled quite a bit and fair bit involving air travel. And I have never had so many air-hostesses talk to me so much before, in one single journey. But today was different, thanks to Chetan Bhagat.

I was carrying a copy of “2 States”, Bhagat’s latest offering. As soon as I stepped inside the aircraft, the lady welcoming me said “That’s a nice book” and that was the start of it. She kept walking past me, nudging me and telling, “oh you are so engrossed”, “I hope you are enjoying it” and such. The head of the herd, the one who makes all the announcements, was the attention seeking types, with tonnes of make up on her face. While announcing the name of the captains, instead of saying anil gupta and rahul kapoor, she said Anil Kapoor and believe me, she made such a huge fuss about it that every passenger noticed her. She hung up the phone mid-way, acted very embarrassed, walked out to the stairs leading up, walked in, covered her face, went inside the cockpit (wonder why they call it cockpit), went to the other hostess, and what not. Then finally when she did start her announcement again, she hung up once again as if to convey her embarrassment from the previous misfortune. Anyways, like I said, she was the attention seeking types. So when she walked past me, she chatted me up. Once again, thanks to the book. And it was a long conversation by any standards. Seems she doesn’t like to read Chetan Bhagat, his English is not great. Ahem. Miss Bagchi, my English teacher in school would have been proud of her reason I must say!

Anyways, so then the flight started its descent and I saw the city of Calcutta. It is so strikingly different from any other city that I have seen. There are old buildings and older buildings. Many of them look like ruins from some architectural times. And this time when I came outside the airport, I saw what I have never seen in Calcutta before. A special AC bus service from the airport. Man, I tell you. That was some sight. Something other than the old yellow and black ambassadors, or those rickety buses. And the sight inside the bus was so Calcutta! The songs, the people clicking pictures, the conversations and all of that. It was so much fun. I love this city.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Advertising Pundits

Advertising seems to be a lucrative business. That is why we probably have tons of sundry agencies opening up everyday each promising to re-energize/restructure/rejuvenate the brand that they go pitching for. And that is why we have companies with taglines like "electronics and more", "luxury/fine dining/fun/enetrtainement/etc redefined", "the blah/blah/blah/ people" and so on. I wonder when they would stop doing it!!! Feel free to add to this list of overused taglines.

Next is what?

I read a story in TOI today which said Anil Kumble has been appointed Vice-chairman of the Karnataka state wildlife board with minister of state rank. Which means kumble will be entitled to a car, salary, assistants, office and residence. Apparently, he is crazy about wildlife and ventures into a forest whenever he can. So do half the tribal population of the jungle. To defecate.
I have two issues with this kind of ad-hoc decisions made by any government, be it local or national. One, on what basis has he been selected the VC of the board? Just because he is a celebrity and he supposedly loves wildlife. Isn't there a qualification, an understanding of the functioning of the board required to become such an integral part of it? Second, do these celebrities even have time to perform their duties as VC's of the numerous boards that they are serving? If there argument for it is that there is not so much work attached to it then I want to understand why are there so many perks attached to it. And if there is work to be done, when do these guys find the time? Look at kumble itself. He is now a commentator, a player in IPL, a player in the Champions league and a would be indian bowling/mental strength/spin/gow-knows-what coach. Plus he has his brands that he endorses. And he might have a business or something to take care of... So amidst all these, he is also a VC now.
This is sheer wastage of public resources. This is similar to actors still very much pursuing their careers also being in active politics. Some of these actors have the lowest attendance in the parliament. Govinda for one has hardly attended the parliament. So why are these guys even there in the ministry. Eye-candy?
Next is what? SRK for PM?

Thursday, October 1, 2009

scary flyovers

Is it just me or has anyone else also experienced that whenever you stop atop any of the flyovers in Bangalore, the car keeps shaking. Haven't noticed? Next time you are on a flyover, specially the richmond road flyover, make sure you notice. Bizarre. I feel as if someone is slowly pushing the car. Anyone has a clue why does this happen?