Wednesday, April 18, 2007

To quit or not to ?

There are some decisions which are thrust on us and some which are inevitable consequences. Retirement, no doubt, gains primacy in the list of these dichotomous decisions. After the indian team debacle at the recent world cup(dont frown, this is not "yet another" post mortem of that disaster), knives have been unsheathed and the Damocles sword is hanging on the head of sachin ramesh tendulkar. Ian chappell says that tendulkar is past his prime and so he has to retire. Sidhu, in his own inimitable style, pulls off a sidhuism saying that "why not" rather than "why now" which is very much insinuating that Tendulkar is better off coaching those kids of Shardashram Vidyamandir. But i guess that we are missing the cog of the wheel- the man himself. He is one batsman who has never dived for those second and third runs yet makes it to the crease. This means that if he is so adept at taking important decisions on the field, then am sure that he must be knowing what the future beckons. Tendulkar has atleast been lucky enough who can harbour hopes of playing in the further matches for his coutnry unlike verghese kurien- the father of white revolution- who, despite his unblemished record, had to step down(read as an unceremonious sack) from the amul's chairman post. Reason: He is 85 years old and the company needs the nfusion of fresh talent.

Does age really matter in any field of work ? Are old people susceptible to slothfulness ? Does the maturity which they gained throughout the years does not apply to the neo liberal market ? Are they rigid enough to stall the progress ? Might be might not be. I do not have any AC NIELSEN survey to buttress one view or the other. But i can surely point out some trends which have happened in the recent past. Life is not cinema that you can switch roles seamlessly from an angry young man to the patriarch of a family which resides in scottish castles. Thus, 58 has been the upper limit on whose completion a person in any govermment office of india bids adieu. Fair enough. Not so much either, three days back, a retirement bill has been passed in the parliament according to which all workers of the profit making PSU's can work until they are 60. I sense an ulterior motive. Since the pay scales of the elder persons in these PSU's is archaic and this UPA government is going to stay in power for another two years. The money saved by these older pay scales will only increase the profit of these already profit making PSU's. Doesnt it sound like a good election campaigning stuff after five years ? Surely, it does.

However, there is something hunky and dory to this otherwise murky picture. The overseeing committee-headed by veerappa moily-has increased the retirement age for all teachers to 70. Yes, 70. This is the brighter side of 27% reservation to OBC's and phased increasing of seats. Lets shift our focus to the corporate world.Every one was singing paeans for mr.narayana murthy last year for stepping down from the ne plus ultra of any company- the chairman post. Reason- he turned 60. Even lots of wheedling could not make him change his mind. Hats off sir. In the same year 2006, ratan tata drew lots of flak. Reason: he twisted the company's rules and increased the retirement age to 63. Due to the obvious reasons that he wanted to herald the reign of tata limited. Still, hats off sir. Narayana murthy had nandan nilekani and gopalkrishnan as a backup team who knew what they had to. But a muthuraman and ramadorai have still only been a part of the tata company which diversifies into various fields. So, ratan tata is surely justified when he "flouted" the rules with "impunity".

Rudyard Kipling once said that "East is east and west is west and these two shall never meet". In recent past, two distinct examples prove that the world is very much unkiplingesque on rare occasions. Punjab da puttar akshay kumar becomes a p.g.wodehouse character once he lands on the mitti of london albeit in namaste london. Another more serious example is of jack welch,bill gates and narayana murthy. All the three have not exactly been magnanimous but they did "relinquish" their enviable posts. They do realise that if your subordinates are capable enough then its better to hand over the reins to them. The BJP certainly is not game to this theory. Even though rajnath singh is the president, everyone knows that the grand old men of the party- advani and vajpayee- call the shots. Speculations are rife that advani harbours hopes to be the prime minister of india in 2009 if at all the UPA government fails- which, at current status it is destined to- to enthuse the "aam aadmi". Certainly, this is a diconcerting situation.

It seems Kipling has a point to say when i negated him and so jacques chirac proves to be an anti thesis of advani because he recently retired from politics(does that really happen ? ) after forty years of distinguished career. At a time when he could, still, be the president it needs lots of gumption to step down- dint jyoti basu do the same ? Coming to cricket, yes again, justin langer and damian martyn have bade farewell to the international cricket arena in a graceful manner. They knew that their positions are ready to be usurped by better-on basis of recent average-players like michael clarke and mike hussey. Should tendulkar be following suit ? Whose going to fit into his tiny gigantic boots- venugopal rao, suresh raina ? Every cricket crazy fan who loves waving a placard which says(or rather shouts) "SEXY SHOT" would want sachin to stay. However, the decision is purely his.

I do acknowledge the fact that this write up does not come up with a substantial conclusion. Having said that, when to retire surely falls into a grey area.

Recommendations of the fortnight:

Beneath clouds: Australian cinema does not start and end with memento. This well made low budget movie bears testimony that australian cinema does have talent.
Sample this, the hero- who is an atheist- enters into a dilapidated church and tears off the pages of Bible to provide fire and warmth to his body. The verdant fields flanking the highway are so picturesque and beautiful that i wonder, if at all the fields had a vagina, i would have held no compunction to indulge in coitus.

Bound: Before the wachowski brothers ventured into making the egregiously made execrable Matrix series they did churn out a masterpiece. Since bara no soretsu Lesbian noir thriller has never been such a guilty pleasure.

Nitin sawhney and susheela raman have teamed up to deliver Yeh mera divanapan hai from "the namesake",which is easily THE most soothing song of the year 2007