G C Lichtenberg: “It is as if our languages were confounded: when we want a thought, they bring us a word; when we ask for a word, they give us a dash; and when we expect a dash, there comes a piece of bawdy.”

H. P. Lovecraft: "What a man does for pay is of little significance. What he is, as a sensitive instrument responsive to the world's beauty, is everything!"

Martin Amis: “Gogol is funny, Tolstoy in his merciless clarity is funny, and Dostoyevsky, funnily enough, is very funny indeed; moreover, the final generation of Russian literature, before it was destroyed by Lenin and Stalin, remained emphatically comic — Bunin, Bely, Bulgakov, Zamyatin. The novel is comic because life is comic (until the inevitable tragedy of the fifth act);...”

Werner Herzog: “We are surrounded by worn-out, banal, useless and exhausted images, limping and dragging themselves behind the rest of our cultural evolution.”

John Gray: "Unlike Schopenhauer, who lamented the human lot, Leopardi believed that the best response to life is laughter. What fascinated Schopenhauer, along with many later writers, was Leopardi’s insistence that illusion is necessary to human happiness."

Justin E.H. Smith: “One should of course take seriously serious efforts to improve society. But when these efforts fail, in whole or in part, it is only humor that offers redemption. So far, human expectations have always been strained, and have always come, give or take a bit, to nothing. In this respect reality itself has the form of a joke, and humor the force of truth.”

विलास सारंग: "… . . 1000 नंतर ज्या प्रकारची संस्कृती रुढ झाली , त्यामध्ये साधारणत्व विश्वात्मकता हे गुण प्राय: लुप्त झाले...आपली संस्कृती अकाली विश्वात्मक साधारणतेला मुकली आहे."

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

The Office [Indian]

Over last several months, I have been following TV serial “The Office [American]” on Star World. The dominant theme there is – Sex.

India is no different. See a related earlier post here.

At a multinational IT company where I worked in India, there always was gossip in the air about who was sleeping with whom. Almost always male concerned was higher ranked than female.

I hope things have changed and they now have Michael Scott- Jan Levinson kind of pairs.

Times of India reported on January 30, 2008:

“…If a new survey by staffing company TeamLease Services is to be believed, India Inc has made a brazen admission about being more open to office romances.

The ‘Romance at Workplace' survey, which covered 402 respondents across seven cities, reveals that what was a taboo earlier is now acceptable. Nearly 34% of working executives feel that it is alright to have an affair with a married colleague. Shocking as it may sound, 44% believe that an office romance is a legitimate means of climbing up corporate ladder. Another 20% believe that an office romance is fair way of getting “sex for fun”. Yet others feel that it is a good way to escape from miserable marital lives.

If you feel this is a new economy-young-employee profile phenomenon, think again. The survey looked at employees of all age groups in companies in BPO, retail, pharma, and manufacturing. Says Surabhi Mathur, GM, TeamLease, “The forces at play here are enhanced intimacy in work environment, longer hours, extensive team play and a shift from individual to group tasks.”

Nearly 56% of the respondents in the survey felt that “romantic liaisons at workplaces impact the quality and speed of work”. But in the same breath, 56% also said that the organization shouldn't interfere in such affairs.

So, what should companies do because, after all, they ought not to be probing into the private lives of employees? But at the same time, there is an ethical issue at play here: when the romance affects efficiency and breeds discrimination. Most companies that TOI contacted, refused to talk about it deeming it as a sensitive issue…”


Artist: Peter Arno The New Yorker 29 March 1947