Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The Blogging Affair, a book review

 
Till today, I refrained from reading Indian authors. For one reason that like Indian television which have been jinxed by daily soaps, contemporary Indian books are jinxed by relationship themes. But nevertheless, how right it would be, to stereotype every Indian book? Every book should be given equal chance.
 
When I read the summary of the blogging affair, it sounded like an Indian television crime detective version. The story goes like this.
A young woman’s body found murdered in a suburban flat…evidence reveals that she had been having an affair with a married man…to the seasoned police force it is like just another one of those routine love triangle affairs…or so it seems…till they are stumped by an piece of evidence in a form they’ve never even heard of…some newfangled notion called…a blog.
 
An anonymous blog confesses to the crime…...it’s ramblings capturing the ebb and flow of a criminal’s mind taking shape…and challenges the conventional wisdom of the police…who would just as well pin the crime on their favorite suspect…the man at the center of the affair.
 
A hapless husband and a lost lover…struck by the loss of his loved one…is busy reconstructing the fond memories of his extra marital affair as he carries on with his daily life…and completely unaware that the law is tightening its noose around his neck.
 
The inspector in charge is sure he has his man… to him it’s just a matter of tying a few loose threads…and the blog is but a distraction from the investigation of the real clues. But his deputy…an unconventional thinker...dares to think otherwise. Who is right and who is wrong? All depends on the answer to one simple question.
Whose blog is it anyway?
The story is mixture of marital relationship, infidelity and crime investigation. The story moves forward in three parallel course. One is the protagonist's narration taking us through his regular life. The second is the blog which with it’s every posts, takes us back to past through his adventurous life events . The third is the investigation of his girlfriend’s murder. Of the three, the first two facets are handled very well by the author, kudos for the effort. Whereas I think the investigation part is not given enough justice. The emphasis is more on the stressful relationship between the bully and the other manipulative inspector, who are assigned the murder investigation. Unfortunately, the investigation  part remained a bit simple and predictable.
About the author, its his first book and I think he has handled the plot very well. Specially a difficult theme with husband who is completely immoral with his lustful wandering, the writer has done a wonderful job of leading us through his thoughts and understand the character. The author has a very good hand at punning. I am impressed with the way he has put simple things in a very subtle way. Here’s an excerpt from the book -
“Unfortunately they never told us that the ones who really make it big are the college dropouts.Or they did but we never got it. Why? Because becoming big means betting big. Makes sense, doesn’t it? I mean if a guy cannot even risk dropping out of college, the guy does not have it in him to risk everything he has to run a business.
I would tag the book with Relationship more than Mystery. However I would flag here that due to plot’s demand, there are lot of sections in the book which are in intimate and which needs readers discretion. I don't want to add any spoilers to the review so I leave the book for the readers to enjoy and asses.
Overall the book is a good read. I wish the author all the best for his future works. I can see a very good writer in him with huge potential. I think he is very creative and he can do much better than this. By saying this I mean that the best of him is yet to come.
 
My 3 stars to the book and 4 stars to the writing.

Saturday, November 05, 2011

Teamwork

What's the word when we work in group or team? I think it is Trust. When trust, which is often taken for granted, is missing, it leaves a wide gap for misunderstanding and disinterest to creep in the team. Now that all of the team is working together towards a common goal, what is it that creates distrust?
 
- Aren't the members doing their job efficiently?
- Aren’t they qualified?
- Do they need training
- Are the expectations superficial?
- Is the distrust viable?
- Are the members given fair chance? etc
 
 
 
These are just few, there could be numerous and unfathomable reasons. Many of them may seem completely childish or unprofessional, nevertheless you see them happening in this corporate world of qualified experienced professionals.
 
Based on my more than six years of experience I can say that for many of the existing problems, it all boils down to some common reasons
A few to mention –
- People not aware of their role and responsibility
- Individual nature / Individual way of working
- Work scope not clear
- Training to handle people missing
 
For whatever reasons, we are not comfortable with some people, by the end of the day we have to work with them. We are a team and we have to adjust. That’s what all of us instruct our minds and also to others, thereby allowing the issues unattended to soar. We ignore (or that we are asked to ignore) but gradually the seed of bitterness gradually grows and affects the rest of the team and thereby affects efficiency and ultimately the work.
 
How much do companies try to do a root cause analysis and to find the real reasons of employee discontent or inefficiency? And if they do, when do they listen to the employee’s heart out, shouldn’t be at the end of the story, in exit interviews, isn’t it?
 
In such circumstances, what would the right thing to do? Keep aside the discontent, grudges and personal issues aside for the benefit of work? To give the other person, another chance? To escalate? Does anybody know the answer or is there any fixed answer?
 
To be contd…
 
P.S. This post is about my personal views. I am not trying to target any specific company nor do they relate to any company I have worked with. These views are purely based on my observations in the IT industry over years. Fortunately I have been happy in IT all these years and lucky to work with some good people on good assignments.