How important is the thumb to the ‘Thumb Generation’?

If you are wondering what the ‘Thumb Generation’ is – the answer is simple. We are the ‘Thumb Generation’! This term refers to the popularity of various electronic devices (like cellphones) which we operate using our thumbs. These devices have become an important part of our lives. Thus we are the ‘Thumb Generation’.

Obviously the thumb is VERY important (if not critical) to the ‘Thumb Generation’. How important it really is I discovered only recently.

Some time ago I managed to cut my thumb. The cut required a band-aid. This meant that the top half of my thumb was covered in a plastic band-aid for two-three days.

Now this is a fairly common thing to happen to anyone. But being a part of the ‘Thumb Generation’ it made things bit weird for me. Here is how:

 – Tried to use my touchscreen phone… the screen wouldn’t work because my thumb was covered by the band-aid!

– Tried to use the keypad on the mobile… thumb kept slipping because of the band-aid.

– Tried to play a video game but my thumb started hurting.

– I couldn’t even scratch my head!

The Fact of Indian Elections

Every conflict has three sides. The side which won, the side which lost and the side which sits on the side to watch the conflict to take all possible advantage.

During the current election period we find parties in power taking fire from parties which lost the last election. The loosers blaming the winners for the almost continuous sorry state of affairs in India. The winners in turn blaming the losers who were in power previously. This blame game has no end unfortunately.

In all this one critical fact never gets highlighted: the amount of time a government gets to plan and implement development work.

Is it right for Congress to blame BJP which was previously in power? Is it right for the BJP to blame the Congress? Is four/five years enough time for the party in power to prove itself?

Given the slow speed of the Indian state machinary any project typically takes a long time to be planned and completed. Especially if the project spans multiple states (like the National Highway Project).

Take the Delhi Metro Project for example: The plan for the metro was passed, guess when? Maybe you thought 1980s or 1990s? No way! The concept of the metro was finalised in the 1960 Delhi Master Plan. The legal framework was setup in 1978 (the Metro Railways (Construction of Works) Act) (see this). When did the construction start? 1998. I guess that is why the Metro project is considered to be a miracle.

In my view each Government should be given at least a 6-8 years period to plan and implement projects before cursing them. We have seen how bad governments are when it comes to handing over and giving credit.

The situation is even worse when it comes to State-level projects. Uttar Pradesh is famous for this. Key infrastructure projects stop and start based on which Government is in power.

Then what is the fight and posturing about? Can any Government claim that they are the masterminds behind development projects when each major project has its roots in history? I don’t think so.

I think we should be honest with ourselves and evaluate the parties based on what NEW things they did. What new initiatives were put in place? We should never go by the chest-thumping and shouting as politicians try and take credit.






Hulla of Indian Elections!

The movie Hulla (2008) talks about how noise leads to a man loosing his peace and stability.

Indian politicians seem to be trying to do the same to the masses. Trying to confuse the people with noise so that they loose their capacity to think and vote. This ensures that the real issues get clouded in the noise.

Which ever channel you turn to, whatever election issue may it be (from Terrorism to Economic Slowdown) the discussion starts out quite calmly with the various people from different parties (the standard on NDTV being BJP, Congress and the Left) looking all cool and calm.

The anchor introduces the people and the topic.

Then the anchor puts the first question to one of the representatives. That is when the whole group of ‘politicians’ starts shouting at one another like a couple of sulking teenagers.

Usually it is the party in power vs party wanting to be in power which, sometimes, is almost the same as party in power vs party which WAS in power 5 years ago!

What we see is discussions on all issues, big or small, reduce to a shouting match with the anchor trying to guide the discussion. The attempt to guide is as affective trying to divert a flood with a straw!

All the noise, all the fighting, all the personal and political battles being fought on air while the real issues are being ignored. No one is going to admit failing and no one is going to give an inch.

What happens then? A stalemate. No discussion and no one party either gets questioned by the public or needs to defend itself.

I wonder if this is something that all sides have implicitly agreed on. To create a noise screen to drown out the REAL questions.




Dealing with Job Consultants in UK (Part 3: Remaining Stages)

Part 1: Here
Part 2: Here
Part 3: Here


There are several stages (as mentioned before):

1) The Initial Call

2) Pre-interview Phase

3) Post-interview Phase

4) Finalization Phase

5) Bye-bye!

 The Pre-interview Phase

If the client likes your CV the consultant will contact you to arrange an interview date. Most companies reimburse rail ticket costs especially if the interview is in London. Make sure, before you select a date and time, you confirm whether your travel expenses will be reimbursed. Also find out the duration of the interview so that you can plan your return journey. This is especially important if you are working.

The consultant will also send you a detailed interview description and call you up to find out if you are all set for the interview. Make sure you know the location of the company and other logistic details.

Make sure you cover all the points and if you are at all confused by anything related to the interview (from the nature of the interview to what kinds of clothes you should wear), don’t feel shy and ask the consultant!

The consultant might want to meet with you before the interview. Try and meet as this may allow the consultant to give you some important tips before the interview.

The Post-interview Phase

The consultant will surely call you after the interview is over to discuss with you how it went and what you thought of the company. Make sure you are honest. Sometimes a consultant might be able to get you through to the next round if they have some influence with the company.

This is the second most important phase. Here most consultants change sides. Now they will push you hard to accept the job, provided obviously that you clear all the interviews (especially if there are mutliple rounds of interviews). Make sure that you are comfortable with the job and the company.

Most probably you would have visited the offices of the prospective employer and seen the work environment during the interview. By now you should have a good idea of whether this is the way ahead for your career or not.

Be very clear and honest with the consultant. Don’t come under pressure and remember your consultant will show you the positive side of taking up the job. You have to find out the negatives and balance it out with the positives to ensure it is the right move for you!


Every consultant will give you time to think but just remember that most consultants will expect a definitive yes or no afterwards.


Finalization Phase and Bye-bye!

If you accept the offer the consultant will keep you updated as to what is required next. There might be some paperwork or a meeting with the employer and consultant. This is usually the shortest phase and the consultant’s work is almost done.

Most consultants remain in touch at least till you start at the new place. They might get in touch later if there are any issues or just to take feedback from you about the job and to find out if all is going well.

Dealing with Job Consultants in UK (Part 2 – The Inital Call)

Part 1: Here
Part 2: Here
Part 3: Here


There are several stages (as mentioned before):

1) The Initial Call

2) Pre-interview Phase

3) Post-interview Phase

4) Finalization Phase

5) Bye-bye!

Lets start at the beginning (always the best place to start!)

The Initial Call

This is the most critical phase of your interaction with any consultant or recruiter. The first question they ask you is the MOST important one (as I have learnt from experience). After introducing themselves they will ask you if it is a good time to talk or not. I would suggest you be truthful and if you are in the middle of something do not get into the call with a distracted mind. If you want things to work out it is best you listen to whatever the consultant has to say carefully. Most consultants will call you back if you request them to call later. Remember they called you because they are interested in your skills!

Usually consultants call to figure out your skill set and to generally get your profile (which includes things like salary requirement, willingness to relocate etc.) for:

– an opening that they have for which they wish to send your CV

– future openings they might be expecting or just to store your details on their systems (I call it a Fishing Call)

They will ask you questions about salary expectations, current employment status, work experience, career path desired, willingness to relocate, whether you can drive or not and if you have just completed a degree about the degree itself. You should answer all these questions truthfully to allow the consultant to judge whether you are suitable for the offered job.

Remember not all jobs are suitable for you and you are not suitable for all jobs. So try and be as clear as possible with the consultant as to what you are looking for and try and not get desperate for a job. Desperation is the worst thing to guide you in your job hunt.

Also remember consultants usually know what they are talking about in UK. While they are not experts they are aware of the general profile required for a job. If you feel that you would suit a particular opening you can try and convince the consultant but as I said before DO NOT GET DESPERATE.

The consultants also ask two – three other questions especially if it is a Fishing Call.

The first and most damaging question they can ask is if you have any other interviews lined up (with other consultants or direct through company HR). The reason they give for asking this is so that they can avoid duplicate submissions of your CV (i.e. your CV going for same job through different consultants). There is a sinister side to this question as well. If you give them the info the next call the consultant is going to make is to the company where you have your interview lined up and offer some more CVs to them which would increase the competition for you! That is why many consultants, if they have a specific opening in mind for you, will ask you not to discuss the details with anyone else and keep the client name a secret.

The second question which can harm you is when they are talking about your current employment they ask you in a very casual tone the name of your manager and what part of the organisation they work for.  They will usually say that they have done a lot of work with your current company and might give you two three names to gain your confidence. Do not answer this question under any circumstance! It can harm you in many ways:

– If you are on a contract and your contract is about to expire the consultant can send some other candidate’s CV to your manager and your contract may not be extended if the candidates are better suited or work for a lower rate.

– they will call your manager to find out if they are recruiting and may let slip the fact that you are talking to consultants.

Remember these are desperate times for the consultants as well! There are not many job openings out there so consultants have to work twice as hard for leads!