(Published in Star of Mysore, June 24, 2014)
Mysore will be Mysooru / Mysuru and Bangalore will be named Bengaluru soon and so will some of the other cities in Karnataka.
So what? What’s the big deal about it? Will this twist of the tongue make Bengaluru less polluted, less congested; will it bring relief from stray dog menace or yes, will it become Singapore( BTW do you remember once upon a time S.M. Krishna wanted to make Bangalore …sorry Bengaluru like Singapore?) How it is going to change life for any one of us. Don’t understand why such a hullabaloo on name changing ceremony except the twisting of tongue to pronounce it. Are there not more important things craving for attention than a mere change of name? If only name change could improve things…
The proposal for the name change first came in Dec 2005, it is only July 2007. In a country where everything from Buses to proposals thro decisions move at a snail’s speed, it is pleasantly amazing to note that the decisions can be taken so quickly and things come to conclusion in 18 months. What if our politicians start demonstrating such exuberance and elation in other matters too like stray dog menace, efficient public transport, depleting greenery, traffic snarls ….I will have to write an essay if I start mentioning everything.
Knowing Etiquettes Matters
We should be thankful to the wonderful diversity that exists in human behaviors and etiquette. Otherwise ours would have been monotonously boring world. But this diversity can create some problems. When it comes to etiquette, ignorance is certainly not bliss. Innocent actions may cause confusion or, worse still, may be construed as offensive.
Following examples, courtesy Economist.com, show some of the complexities arising from diverse etiquette. Germans prefer formal mode of address such as doctor or professor, stressing their educational credentials, so you shouldn’t make the mistake of using first-names in Germany. In England you are expected to be punctual to meetings, whereas in Italy being 5-10 minutes late is the norm. Attending a meeting in Dubai wearing a dish-dasha (a white ankle-length gown) and gutra (head cloth) is likely to draw criticism, as foreigners are not supposed to wear traditional Muslim clothing. At times, etiquette can be very subtle. In Japan, business cards should ideally be produced from the pocket of your jacket, and not from trouser pockets. Also, the business-card presented to you should be left in front of you, because putting it away is a signal that the meeting is over. Sometimes, ignorance of etiquettes can cause much more serious problems than mere confusion – it may offend your host and damage the relationship beyond repair. For example, in Hong Kong, gifting clocks to acquaintances is a strict no-no because it is thought to signify death.
First-time visitors to India who are ignorant of Indian behaviors may be bewildered to find their hosts shaking head side-to-side to indicate agreement or approval, because most of the rest of the world understands a sideways shake of the head to mean disagreement or disapproval. In our own Mysore, it is improper etiquette to say “naanu hogu thini” (“I am going”) while bidding good-bye – the correct expression is “naanu hogiddu baruthini” (“I am going & shall return”).
Do spend some time and effort learning local behaviors and etiquette before visiting a new place, as it will help you to some extent in becoming good brand ambassadors. It is not without reason that employers spend small fortunes educating their staff in behaviors and etiquette of the locals, before packing them off to foreign shores.
How I Fought Programmer’s Disease
In the year 1999 — about ten years into my programming life — I started experiencing acute pain in my right hand (I’m right handed). I didn’t know about RSI then, and sought physical therapy, which provided temporary help. I had some colleagues who underwent surgery, but the pain returned very quickly. I would use ice-packs, which tremendously helped during the treatment. But the pain was not curable.
In year 2000, a fellow programmer suggested that I switch my mouse-clicking hand.
I tried it, and it was difficult initially, but the body learns sooner than you think. The pain subsided, and over the period of last seven years, I have become ambidextrous, and best part is that the pain is gone!Switching the Clicking Hand Cures RSI
Tips to Prevent RSI
Personally, I am waiting for the two technical breakthroughs – one is a foot-operated mouse. As automobile driving technology has shown us, the foot can be very sensitive and can respond very rapidly. The other thing I’m waiting for is a digital glove so I can keep my hands in the pocket of my pants and still operate the PC.
‘Give lift to your heart, use stairs and not lift’ …says a bright yellow poster adorned on the wall just outside the elevator as we enter our office in the morning. I often find employees in their 20’s and 30’s lovingly admire creatives on this poster while they wait for the elevator to descend. Perhaps ‘your’ heart’ in this poster literally means ‘your’ heart and the message is for others and not the reader. It is natural that our health seems valuable to us only after we lose it.
The most unfortunate fallout of the unprecedented economic progress that world has witnessed in the past decade is the radical change in the life styles of most employees. The project dates, deadlines, work sheets, number of billable hours take the lead in running the biological clock. Time being the most precious commodity; the employees are working more, exercising less, eating wrong and taking stress thus grossly affecting their overall health. Studies show that almost 1 billion people worldwide suffer from high blood pressure and more than half a billion will harbor this silent killer by 2025. High blood pressure is a leading cause of stroke and kidney failure. Hyper tension and heart diseases are no longer privileged domains of people in their 50s. These can strike even as young as twenties and thirties. Right diet and adequate exercise are instrumental in keeping one fit and healthy. Ironically as per the reports, the bird flu killed only 2000 people worldwide but it created a panic that even the hard core non – vegetarians turned vegetarians overnight.
The age old proverb “you should visit a doctor only when you fall sick” is passé in modern day environment. “Visit your doctor regularly so that you don’t fall sick” is the modified proverb. Good health means more than treating illnesses when they occur. It also means achieving and maintaining a healthy weight, getting optimal nutrition, exercising and staying fit to prevent disease.
Getting started is always the hardest part. It is entirely your choice as what you want to do – exercise, swim, jog, yoga or simply walk but do something as good health like most good things in life is irreversible.