Monday, November 17, 2008

English - A Colorful Language!

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The Talk of the Town - Nana Chudasama's message at Churchgate, Mumbai reads:
"Congratulations from us to US for a colorful victory"

It is believed that Obama's colorful victory was not a bolt from the blue but a carefully planned strategic one.

Some of my friends, who had passed their exams with flying colors, tried for a white-collared jobs, some took up a blue-collared job , while some others migrated to the US to earn greenbacks , but are now facing the prospect of pink slips . One such acquaintance cited an incident in his blog, about his colleague, who saw red , when another colleague mentioned that there was a black hole in their office! Though reference was to the frequent missing documents in office, an Afro-Asian colleague, took offence to being referred to as ‘black’. Elementary Physics has taught us that white is a combination of all colors and black is in fact the absence of colors. But one does not understand why “whites” call “blacks”, “colored”?

Indeed it is a grey area that sets my grey cells into action!

Back home, newspapers report several instances of red tape in offices, with the obvious intent to amass black money. Several such black deeds of greedy members of society, brings wealth and often impresses neighbors, who turn green with envy . But soon enough the illgotten money is wasted away in vices like drinking after which one sees pink elephants . This meteoric rise invites the attention of investigation agencies and income tax authorities. These officials then try to catch the culprits red-handed . Often suspects tell a white lie to get away. Blackmailers then try to exploit the situation, if they have access to some dark secrets of such individuals. The Police who is beckoned to get hold of the blackmailer, beat him black and blue , to get the truth out. Some television channels then beam the story of Police brutality repeatedly, blowing the story out of proportion. Talk shows on competitor’s channels then call this kind of sensational reporting yellow journalism and condemn such news agencies and want them blacklisted. Politicians get away with setting up projects, arrive to a red carpet welcome to inaugurate them.

These projects later prove to be white elephants .
Controversy erupts and the parliament then demands a white paper

Media does interview colorful personalities such as cricketers who have hit a purple patch and newspapers feature articles of wellness, which guide readers how to keep in the pink of health and how to drive away your blues . English is indeed a colorful language! I just wanted to put my thoughts in black and white. I hope it will be red all over ... all over. After all, such posts appear only once in a blue moon! .

Tuesday, August 12, 2008


Published in the Times of India dated November 11, 1999 as a “Middle” on the Edit Page


By Gopinath M. Mavinkurve

Gone are the days when you could boast of a Malabar Hill or a Proctor Road address. The test of today is: “What’s your email address?” You better have one. “Geography is now history’, as one ad says.

The other day, my neighbours came over and mentioned that they no longer get any regular greetings from their grand children - they get e-greetings. The regular mail, now called ‘Snail-mail’, is becoming exceptional and rare, just to remind us of the way things used to be in those days gone by. E-mails are handy to keep in touch with children who have settled in various parts of the world.

The elderly coulple did wonder why a copied email is called a ‘cc’ (a carbon copy). “Why don’t they call a copy of an email ‘ec’ – electronic copy of the mail", they ask. In the electronic age, where does carbon fit in?

Some lucky grandparents have received photographs, video films, digital sounds of infants or songs sung or poems recited by their grandchildren on e-mail. One day, they may even have their grandchildren come down for a vacation as an attachment file, you never know!

Their investments, they say, have become e-shares. They expect their bonds and Fixed Deposits to become e-bonds and e-FDs. May be they will. Soon, cash (be in paper or plastic) might be replaced with e-cash.

The common man today accepts change in his stride. A long-distance call would mean a call to your near and dear ones in another city or country. But now, it could mean talking to your near and dear ones in space. The politicians wouldn’t be left behind – they would be sitting and plotting how they go about their e-scams (leaving the e-frauds for the smaller players as before).

Corporate citizens, of course, would be busy setting up their e-commerce in place. But some people at work continue to print out their emails on paper, for reasons best known to themselves. We hope our e-statesmen continue to address our e-social and e-conomic problems. Legal matters may now be e-legal matters. Doctors may prescribe e-medicine or perform e-surgeries over the net. That does not mean you will be safe from being e-infected (virus protection software will get a boost in the arm besides getting a new dimension).

This is the electronic age, where gadgets and now the Internet, have revolutionaised our lives by cutting communication time, to a matter of seconds. From e-school to e-commerce the e-word has conquered the art of connecting – bringing the world to our finger tips.

Monday, July 18, 2005

Choices, Choices, Choices!

My name: Gopinath Mavinkurve. Writing is my hobby.
My Place on this Planet: I live in Mumbai, India.
My Plan: To put up my articles and thoughts for my friends.
My request: Do read my articles and post your feedback.

Latest Published Article is reproduced below:

Web Link of the Article

MIDDLE: Choices, Choices, Choices by GOPINATH MAVINKURVE
[WEDNESDAY, MARCH 23, 2005 12:00:01 AM] Published in the Times of India dated 23rd March 2005 on the Edit Page

My schooldays were spent in an era of few choices. A couple of models of cars, a single TV channel, only Indian cuisine in restaurants, to cite a few examples. More choice was always welcome. With the ushering in of consumerism and competitive trade environment over the years, I have found myself in the midst of a plethora of choices.

These thoughts came to my mind when I was catching up with an old school friend in a restaurant. The first section of the menu handed to me was titled "Your choice of poison". We settled for the slow, mild kind of poison — who’s in a hurry anyway? Our evening had just begun and as I turned the pages of the menu, I found that the restaurant offered all sorts of cuisine: Chinese, Continental, Lebanese, Italian, Thai, Malaysian and Indian and in Indian food every region of India was represented. My good friend, now a management expert and a believer in well-informed, well-researched decision making, sought a whole lot of details of each exotic dish, before finally settling for the usual tandoori chicken. But, making a choice at times can get tougher than that, my friend explained.

There are times when he thought that only an established software package could help him take a decision. He had been having trouble lately in making a choice from an ever-expanding list of options now available in every walk of life, I sensed. Probably he was heading towards some kind of choiceophobia.

I mentioned to him that he could draw some inspiration from the way my wife dealt with the problem of excessive choice. When she finds it difficult to select an outfit for herself in a store, she resorts to the "When-in-doubt-choose-both" approach. To which, I hasten to suggest, "There may be a better (read more affordable) option in the next mall."

My friend had been grappling with assignments to advise his clients on whether to make or buy; merge, acquire or be acquired; to outsource or not; to expand or diversify and so on and so forth. According to those in the know of these things, the more choices there are, in reality it leaves one with almost no choice. So maybe those choice-less days weren’t so bad after all.