Warrier's Collage on Sunday December 10, 2023
Welcome To Warrier's COLLAGE On Sunday, December 10, 2023 Ralph Waldo Emerson* https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poets/ralph-waldo-emerson *Searched for this link, inspired by a quote shared by Kiran Warrier Good Morning This is a turning point for Collage. Without any conscious effort, content and responses are becoming more and more personal. Thank you, readers. Happy Birthday to all readers having Birthday during the week ending Saturday December 17, 2023. Ayurarogyasoukhyam 🙏 and Best Wishes. After Collage became a Sunday edition, some readers felt some contents are becoming stale due to delayed release. My response is, "Noted". I'll be more careful in content management. M G Warrier A Collage Nostalgia E Madhavan Thrissur shares a memory Do you know him? The Grand Trunk Express carrying me in one of its six-foot wooden berths chugged up New Delhi railway station on a nice September morning in 1971. My brother was there to receive me, a pathetic graduate job-hunter. I engaged myself in a couple of nondescript jobs till September 1973 when I joined the Bank. I am indebted to two persons for my job in the Reserve Bank. One is Shri M Mukundan who had by then earned his rightful place in Malayalam literature as an avant-garde writer while working in the Cultural Wing of the French Embassy in Delhi. He was a friend of my brother Harikumar, also a writer. The advice to deposit Rs 500 as security deposit arrived from the Bank when my brother was away in Kerala. I went to Mukundan Mash (he used to gently address all his friends as ‘Mash', a style of addressing in Malayalam meaning ‘Teacher’ and we reciprocated by calling him Mash). Mr Mukundan promptly handed over the amount with a few words of encouragement. But my entry to the grand portal of the RBI building in Parliament Street faced another obstacle. The two imposing Yaksha-Yakshi statues created by great sculptor Ramkinker Baij still looked through me. Yes, they stood there as a fitting prologue to the strange experiences that awaited me inside the building. Here came in the second person who was totally strange to me and proved to be my guardian angel. ... Continued at H B Collage Profile : M Mukundan M Mukundan (82) is a renowned Malayalam author. In à recent media interaction, he said "I've not stopped writing". The bold statement impressed me. So introducing the writer to GenNext. The Bells Are Ringing In Haridwar : Three Novellas (Ratna Translation Series) https://amzn.eu/d/1keV43p Amazon description of this book reads : "Reading books is a kind of enjoyment. Reading books is a good habit. We bring you a different kinds of books. You can carry this book where ever you want. It is easy to carry. It can be an ideal gift to yourself and to your loved ones. Care instruction keep away from fire." Perhaps this is contributed by the publisher of the translation. Mukundan was a regular presence in Malayalam publications when I used to read books and magazines. C Media Response : Letters to the editor 1) Economic Times I have all sympathies for the editorial staff at Times for editing and making my letter acceptable to their bosses. Here's the unedited version : December 7, 2023 Chat Room Right Payers Get Right Players* This refers to the story "Readying Golden Handcuffs to Arrest CXO Attrition" (December 7). Good to know that the high attrition rate at high levels has become a subject matter in board room discussions. Many individual corporates have already taken measures by creating long term relationships by making appropriate changes in remuneration package and career growth plans. This report signals a corporate level awareness on the subject. The same ailment has been showing adverse symptoms in the public sector and governments. If left untreated, governance and the country's image will be damaged irrecoverably. The reference is to the low remuneration packages offered at highest levels in government and PSUs. Base level recruitment for civil services and for management cadres in banks etc also need a relook to ensure that the remuneration packages and the career growth opportunities available are attracting toppers from universities and institutions. M G WARRIER Mumbai (Published on December 8, 2023) 2) The Hindu Business Line* December 6, 2023 Task before 16th Finance Commission This refers to your editorial "Fair and square" about the task before the 16th Finance panel. Till the 14th Finance Commission, the work before the Commission used to be more or less routine to complete the formalities for arriving at a formula for appropriation of revenues to be shared between the Centre and the states. The Commission had the benefit of advice from the Planning Commission on matters of mutual interest. Now, though the Niti Aayog is still there, its scope of work is different. As the Centre-states relationship is not at its best, the task of the Finance Commission becomes more onerous. The balancing act of doing justice to income generating states and meeting the demands of the less privileged states or the 'states in need' has to be performed skillfully. GST and improvements in tax collection systems across the country have helped in higher income generation. It is for the Finance panel to ensure the flow of accumulated revenue to the deserving within the statutory constraints. M G Warrier Mumbai *Published on December 7, 2023 3) NRN on working hours and productivity Working hours and productivity This refers to the observations about the relationship between working hours and productivity made by Infosys founder and septagenarian celibrity N R Narayana Murthy (ET Interview, December 9). Elders' anxiety for fast forwarding economic development is understandable. Impatience and a temptation to oversee and guide GenNext on the part of Ex-Executives should be welcomed because they are sharing the wealth of wisdom they have pooled by a lifetime of hard work for the society's benefit. We should avoid hurting them. However, when comparisons are off the mark, they should be open to debate. In the instant case, Shri Murthy is trying to compare working hours in developed countries with the position in India. Add the time spent in commuting to and from workplace to the punched hours of work by staff in government offices and private sector organisations in India. Down to Tier 3 cities, the weekly average will be much higher than the 70 plus hours mentioned by NRN. This is not for raising any argument against the case for improving work ethics or raising quality of work. M G WARRIER Mumbai D Collage Cover Story My cousin Mohan from Thane shared the following link which gives some idea about water scarcity in Indian villages : https://youtube.com/shorts/QZCRxYLfehI?feature=shared Many share such videos and write ups with a detached mind, similar to my attitude while writing this note. My mind becomes chaotically restless when I view such things. Not out of empathy or anything that can be called a helpful attitude to the deprived people. My mindset rewinds back to 1960's when I thought we could do something fantastic to help the society. After wasting 10 years toying with different ideas, I too settled down for an ordinary safe and secure life. After retirement in 2003, I thought some changes can be brought about using media. I was wrong. Today at 79, I am sitting here helpless. I'm aware India has enough resources to provide minimum lifestyle needs for the entire population of the country. But our priorities need to be recast. That's not happening. What's wrong with us? Why can't we map the nation's domestic resources and force them to be used productively? What is the wrong these families have done to the rest of India for being denied access to quality drinking water, shelter and minimum healthcare and reasonable opportunities for education? E Memory is outdated : Speaking Tree https://m.economictimes.com/opinion/speaking-tree/memory-is-outdated/amp_articleshow/105735240.cms Synopsis : "You can buy a computer that knows everything about medical science. You need not go to a medical college; you simply ask the computer and immediately get the answer. Your memory is not so reliable. And the computer can always be fed with new memory, because new discoveries are being made every day. The computer can be plugged into the main computer of the university, so without your even bothering, every new discovery concerning your subject is immediately fed into your computer. It waits there, you inquire, and the computer tells you." F Open Book of Happy Memories (And Other Stories) By M G Warrier Hopefully this book will be published soon. As the title says the book is a compilation of happy memories which were recorded during the pandemic days when I was idling. Some of the stories like https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/readersblog/warriersviews/mango-season-9044/ were posted at freelance blog spaces and majority were shared with friends and contacts. G Collage Obit : Dr M Kunjaman Dr M Kunjaman( December 3, 1949-December 3, 2023) https://keralakaumudi.com/en/news/mobile/news.php?id=1201709&u=eminent-economist-dalit-thinker-dr-m-kunjaman-passes-away-thiruvananthapuram One of the newspapers started the report about Dr Kunjaman's passing away on December 3, 2023 thus : "Renowned Dalit thinker, teacher and economist Dr. M. Kunjaman (74) passed away. The body was found in the kitchen of his house at House No. 3, Venchavod, Srinagar, Srikariyam Chembazhanti Road, where he lived. He was alone at home as his wife Rohini was in Malappuram for treatment...." Police ruled the death as a case of suicide. He belongs to my generation. I'm 79. Supersessions in promotions didn't hurt me while in service. Sometimes I could even fix it on the inefficient system, not accepting my inefficiency. But when younger people, especially in the family and in the friends circle, or outside as in this case, overtake and leave the scene, a lump on the chest remains for days. My generation had the advantage of living through pre-industrial, industrial and post-industrial worlds (concepts borrowed from Prof Anil Gupta, IIM Ahmedabad when I met him during 1990's). Our generation had the advantage of getting opportunity to live many lives in one life. Some of us have experienced abject poverty at some stage, seen many suffering near and dear ones and were lucky to experience the affluence of modern world. It's not just about economic well-being or literacy or health alone. I don't mind living longer for the benefit of society, so long as I am allowed to remain active like this. Let Kunjaman who left in a hurry wait there. Prayers 🙏 Tail piece : Why do I pray? https://www.speakingtree.in/blog/the-true-purpose-of-prayer-714796 Yes... You get some idea about the enquiry... "The true purpose of prayer has been expressed by saints of all religions. They did not pray to God for things of this world. They did not pray in order to gain merit to enter heaven. The greatest saints and mystics were lovers of God and prayed only for the divine vision and ultimate union with God." Now, you can rephrase or recast this idea consistent with the level of your understanding. No one else is going to judge your perceptions. God or no God, prayer or no prayer, do whatever you feel will keep you healthy and peaceful. But avoid announcing "I do what I do!" because others care less, so long as you don't breathe over their shoulders 🙏-Warrier H 1) Continued from A Once the issue of deposit was resolved, I had to meet the tough demand from the Bank to produce a surety from an employee of the Bank. Oh God, how can I, as I was not familiar with anyone or anything connected with the Reserve Bank other than the rare currency notes! I almost gave up when a colleague of my brother Shri N K Karunakaran casually enquired about my deposit issue. I replied unenthusiastically that it was no longer necessary as I knew none in the Bank to stand surety for me. Seeing my desperation, he told me to wait for a day or two for him to make enquiries. Next day morning itself he knocked at my door. His wife Smt Thangamani who was also aware of my under-employed status had made enquiries in their area and discovered that one RBI employee was residing a few buildings away from their flat in Janakpuri, a developing outskirt of the city those days. Mr Karunakaran asked me to come to his house in the evening so that we could visit that RBI employee's flat and make a request. We reached her flat by 7 p. m. that day. I was worried that she might not stand surety to a total stranger. Her name was Smt Thangam Doraiswamy, a frail woman who is still residing in my heart with her kind and intelligent eyes. When I explained my predicament and revealed that I knew none in the Bank, she promptly asked me to come back to her next day. She would take me along with her in the Chartered bus to the Bank and help me complete the necessary procedure of signing the surety bond. Next day morning before nine o’ clock I was present at her door. Chartered bus was a new experience for me. The bus carried many well-dressed ladies, most of them to me resembled Hindi film stars! (I was to be pleasantly surprised five years thence, as I saw them, in their younger days and looking still more beautiful, acting in a documentary film that the Bank had produced on Cash Department as training material for Staff Training College- present RBSC). Amidst the neat affluence I felt an inferiority complex creeping through me as unemployed people feel during such situations. At the RBI, I was taken by the Staff Officer of the Manager's Section to the cabin of the Deputy Manager for the Surety Bond procedure. But before that itself he had chided me for my ‘reckless’ act of self- attesting the testimonials while I had applied for the post. He said to me “Hey, hero, thoo apne aap bada gajetted affzer samjthe ho?( You think you are a big gazetted officer?)” I had kept quiet, but mentally thanked the ‘aphzer’ who would have decided to overlook this aspect while calling me for interview. Thanks to my stars, he did not disqualify me on that count! Deputy Manager's cabin was imposingly large as the physique of the respected senior officer himself… Deputy Manager asked Smt Doraiswamy, as if he was presiding over a court, “Do you know him?”. Her reply still rings in my heart as a model sentence reflecting humanism deep-rooted in one. “If I do not know this boy sir, why should I stand surety for him? There is no job in Kerala and that is why this boy travelled thousands of miles and reached Delhi.” Deputy Manager did not say anything. He was a bit taken aback and that perhaps quickened the further proceedings. Later I came to know that this lady was considered a ‘firebrand’ in the office for her bold approach and her sense of righteousness. With this experience I was introduced surely to the Delhi office fraternity of enlightened humanism. Also my encounter with this lady set the tone for my subsequent interactions as a disciplined member of the Association with stalwarts like J.C. Roy (affectionately called Dada), H.R. Bharadwaj, Harish Sharma, M.L. Malkotia, K.J. Abraham etc. There are many lovable memories I keep of them and other friends of Delhi office. I suddenly became conscious of the heart-warming fragrance of breakfast wafting in the air. I felt hungry after all these excitements. Smt Thangam said to me, “Now don't worry Madhavan, go and try our canteen breakfast. You will like it. Let me go back to the department.” I stood there for a moment looking at her as she made haste. Silently I called after her, “Thangam Mamy"! E Madhavan 2) Brahma By Ralph Waldo Emerson Brahma BY RALPH WALDO EMERSON If the red slayer think he slays, Or if the slain think he is slain, They know not well the subtle ways I keep, and pass, and turn again. Far or forgot to me is near; Shadow and sunlight are the same; The vanished gods to me appear; And one to me are shame and fame. They reckon ill who leave me out; When me they fly, I am the wings; I am the doubter and the doubt, I am the hymn the Brahmin sings. The strong gods pine for my abode, And pine in vain the sacred Seven; But thou, meek lover of the good! Find me, and turn thy back on heaven.