Thursday, April 21, 2011

Whistling in the Wind!

This is something I had written which I feel should definitely be up here:-

When I saw the video of Joanna Gualtieri addressing high school students about her experience as a whistleblower, their reactions and comments reminded me of my own beliefs when I was in high school. I, like most of us, had grown up believing that telling the truth is the right thing to do – whatever the cost. Bryce Courtenay’s book, The Power of One (1989), had shaped my understanding of human judgment. In his book he writes, “The power of one was the courage to remain separate, to think through the truth and not be beguiled by convention or the plausible arguments of those who expect to maintain power, whatever the cost.” A small part of me still believes this philosophy.

In today’s politically charged environment, the only agenda of those at the top is to maintain power, and money is power. Those who stand up to the abuse of this power, usually get crushed. No doubt we hear about the Enrons and WorldComs of this world which were brought to their knees by whistleblowers but then again, what about the hundreds if not thousands of efforts which go unreported?

Through this paper, I would like to discuss the cost that whistleblowers pay for telling the truth. I would like to analyze the incentives that we as a society should provide to these individuals who have the courage to stand up against the wrongs that we see in our lives every day but still choose to ignore, due to various reasons - personal or otherwise. Our case discussion is about Joanna Gualtieri, an Ottawa lawyer who took on the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT) in a decade-long battle which revolved around government misspending and later on about the harassment she faced when her superiors retaliated to her blowing the whistle on them.

During our discussions in class, a point was raised that given the bureaucratic nature of an organization like DFAIT, our whistle blower, Joanna Gualtieri, should have tried to bring about a slow and steady change, that she should not have given up so soon should have tried to work things out with her superiors slowly. It was suggested that she should have been more patient while dealing with such an organization. But does being big and bureaucratic gives such an organization the right to squander taxpayers dollars?

Another piece of information which I found hard to digest was that unlike the United States, Canada has no policy of whistleblower protection. Successive governments have raised this issue as a matter of pre-election promises but once they come to power, it seems like the memory of ever having made these promises is lost. The harassment of Joanna as the hands of her immediate boss and even the callous attitude of her own union is shameful. In the end she paid the price of standing up for all of us.

We hear about all kinds of harassments that whistleblowers face. It is claimed that around 75% of the allegations that come forth via whistleblowers are found to be either incorrect or baseless. But the 25% that do turn out to be true have consequences attached. Harassment at workplace, character assassination, loss of job, disruptions in family life, deterioration of health etc. are common treatments met out to the whistleblowers. But some of them end up paying the ultimate price for standing up for the truth – death.

Satyendra K. Dubey was a project director at National Highways Authority of India. He was a civil engineer from IIT Kanpur and at the tender age of 31, was shot dead in Gaya district in Bihar state of India. He had exposed corruption in construction projects being undertaken by the government and had written a letter to the Prime Ministers’ Office requesting anonymity. But the callous attitude of the government cost him his life after he was exposed to be the whistleblower. Numerous such cases go unreported and even the ones that are reported become old news within a matter of days and are forgotten.

If we as a society expect the truth to be told, then we should be ready to offer our support and protection to those facing such harassments and dangers at the hands of the perpetrators. Laws should be enacted to protect the whistleblowers. Many times we hear the arguments that people might report wrongdoings incorrectly or due to some personal vengeance, but I believe that even if we are able to protect 5% of the whistleblowers who are indeed truthful and right, it is worth the effort and trouble. I believe that many a times it is a difficult decision to figure out what is right and what is wrong, that sometimes it is tough to pass a judgment on ethical issues, but in some cases such as this, when you know something is wrong, it is unethical to delay or deny justice citing the archaic laws of the country as a basis.

In the end I would like to reiterate the fact that if we do not wake up and take a stance, then next time someone sees corruption or mismanagement at any level of governance, public or private, they will think twice about reporting it. It is high time that we enact laws to protect those who wish to bring the truth to light or we may forever be lost in the darkness of power, politics and corruption.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Pinnacle Uprising - Episode II - Finding the Seed

It took me almost a year to come back to this story. With the desire to further my career prospects and the zeal to move to Canada taking up most of my time, the truth about the events of 2006 / 2007 lay rumbling, ready to explode like an ancient volcano. Now, once again the Truth shall set me free, I Hope!!

Merlin was an interesting character. He was both, an insider as well as an outsider. He had once been an integral part of the Western Frontier but had left the kingdom to seek greener pastures. But once the fall of the empire was inevitable, Lord Chandelier foresaw the future and knew that Merlin was the one who could hold it all together and once again put the kingdom on the path to success and help his subjects achieve the pinnacle.

Lured with money, booze but most importantly the respect that he commanded, Merlin reluctantly agreed to take on the task of building the core group he could rely upon. He spent six arduous months, waiting and watching. He knew he would find him one day for it had been prophesized eons ago, and find him he did, in the dark bowels of earth.

When Merlin first heard of the Creator, he – The Creator, was not called the creator at all. He was a simple boy who could create magic with his thoughts. He was not aware of his potential, just that he was meant to work for the Eastern colony of the Empire. Merlin ordered the Out-Lord of the Colony to let The Creator work for him. The Out-Lord, humbled by Merlin’s request, complied and the little unknown boy set to work, creating magical wands for Merlin. Soon the little boy was teaching others the intricacies of creating these wands and gained quite a fan following.

Impressed by the quality of wands, and realizing that the boy could lead his fellow wand makers, Merlin knew he had found his One. He christened the unknown boy ‘The Creator’ and once again ordered the Out-Lord – “The empire needs The Creator. Send him to us immediately.” The Out-Lord could only comply.

And thus began the journey we all know as the “Pinnacle Uprising”.

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Friday, August 14, 2009

Pinnacle Uprising – Episode I – Planting the Seed

For the past 3 years, this story has been struggling to take shape. Though the seeds were sown way back in 2006 / 2007, I have finally found the courage to write again and with the guidance of my Mentor, Merlin – The Magician / The Court Jester, I believe the truth shall see the light of dawn.

It all began when The Creator was tricked into leading his team, along with several others, under the watchful eye of Merlin to the very summit of success. He had no Idea about the hurdles he would face and the knowledge he would gain on this journey to the peak. That he would rise and fall, that he would be remembered forever and forgotten as well, that he would change forever as a person for this was no ordinary journey.

After a long and arduous ordeal of flying on a low cost Broom Stick, The creator landed at the village of the Western Frontier. He was greeted by the Unicorn and shown his way around the village where he met Blazer – The Entertainer, Palin – The Damsel in Distress and Yoda – Who was “Like No Other”.

Having seen the usual, The Creator settled down for a glass of free, cheap wine. One followed the other and he started to wander around the wilderness with a feather in his cap, a bowl of wine in one hand and the bottle in the other. It was not long before he bumped into the Village Elder – Lord Hilton. Lord Hilton was pretty amused meeting the Creator. He looked nothing like what Merlin had told he was capable of achieving, but none the less, Lord Hilton did not care much for he knew that as long as his commands were followed, the Uprising would be achieved.

Content, the Lord Moved on while The Creator, humbled by the Lords’ presence, continued to seek out the others he had so often heard of and never met. He Met Vidhata – The Creator of everything, The Siren – who could lure anyone with his fatal song and not the Least, Sunshine – The Queen of Dark Arts without whose permission no creation could take life and whole brilliant smile could dazzle you and render you blind.

This was the Situation which The Creator found himself in when he moved to the Western Frontier to carry out the task that was bestowed upon him as his destiny. Unaware of the brewing political storm he had landed himself into, The Creator was determined to make it thru.

NOTE: Please do provide your feedback and suggestions for the development of this story.

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Sunday, October 12, 2008

An Unchargable BlackBerry?

A Broken BlackBerry:-

What could be worse? Now I have seldom if ever posted such entries but then again, this DOES warrant a mention here. I have had this BlackBerry Curve for over 6 months but I have still stuck around with my Sony Ericsson W810i for the better part of these 6 months. A couple of days ago, I decided that I ought to start using the BB for it was meant to be, especially with all the people around the office showing off Pearls :D. So I take out my BB from the back of the drawer which has been it's heavenly abode for the last 4 months since I came to Uruguay and try to charge it, but guess what? The BB will not charge.

Now I have had this problem earlier as well where in the BB would not charge from the wall charger but would do if connected to the USB in my LapTop. After some research I found that the pins used to charge using the Wall Charger as compared to those used by the USB Charger are different, thus when the battery is fully drained, you first need to recharge for a minute or so using the USB and then you can go ahead and use the Wall Charger.

But to charge using the USB, you need to have the BB Desktop Software installed. So I spent a couple of hours downloading 300 MB of BB Desktop Software version 4.6 and this one was a pain in the arse considering the Net speeds over here. When I was done with it, I went ahead and installed and the moment of truth was there. I plug in my USB and I plug in the BB and Voila, The BB Does not charge at all. Darn IT. What to do next?

Dejected but Determined, I went ahead and searched hundreds of BB Forums looking for any description related to the problem I was having but there was every other solution from "Make Sure The Switch is Turned On" to the "Have you paid your Electricity Bill?" Some even suggested to have BB Replaced. Stupid People. My quest to finding the reason to this problem led me to a post by Peter.

Further reading surprised me as I found that the reason for all my woes is that the battery has been discharged to more than what it should have been. Now this was a revelation. A Batter would not charge because it has been discharged. Is that not what a battery is for? To be able to recharge it after it has been used up. Apparently it is a design flaw in BB which does not monitor the battery level well.

But Anyways, I followed the instructions there, which included removing the battery, and using cables connected to the USB Port to Manually give a small charge to the battery by connecting naked wires to the battery terminals and quickly placing it back in the phone. And I was really happy this time. The trick worked. And Now I ave this pretty BB of Mine sitting on that Desk and recharging itself.

Thanks a Lot Peter. and well any of you guys who needs to know more about how to troubleshoot a $700 BB, Look me Up.


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Monday, August 11, 2008

Su Amor Para Mí No Es Una Fantasía

Your Love for me is not a Fantasy.

Spanish ... A Beautiful Language. One I have been learning for the past 2 months since I came to Uruguay. But that is not what I want to write about today. I want to understand the passions that run amok in this world.

I have seen a lot in these past few months. Traveled 4 countries, seen people and the way they feel for each other, and most importantly my dream. I wonder when I grew up or was I always like this. I turn 25 in another 8 days. My 8th Birthday Spent away from home, away from the ones I love.

I had a dream, a Trance I could not get out of, I did not wish to get out of. Those eyes which captivated me, that glance that ebbed me on and still held me at bay. Which beckoned me to let myself go, to set free the love I have held inside and yet cautioned me that I Might burn, burn with such light that I might go blind. That Smile which enchanted me, which made me want to smile with her. That flick of her hair, entwining around her fingers, made me so unsure. Did I want to be the finger or the hair, I do not know But what I do know is, I did not want the dream to end.

But end it did, and I woke up scared that I might not see my dream again. What if I did not, could not conjure her up once more? I opened my eyes only to realize it was not a dream. There she was, right in front of me. The same face, the same eyes, beckoning yet holding me at bay. One part of me so willing and another so unsure. What If I woke up again?

I sometimes wonder when does one mature? Is it the age or is it the experiences one gains in life. My beliefs stand with the experiences but some believe in Ages. How important is it for us to grow up and do we need to grow up? But hey, I do not want to think much right now. All I want to do is, Dream. And Dream on. I wish it is not just a dream ...

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Saturday, March 29, 2008

The Winds of Change - Yet Again.

This is how Sam felt when he realized that he was not alone ...

I Had once vowed never to come back to the world of reality, and to wither away, a petal at a time till all that was left was a stem with thorns. Pretty Imaginative ain’t I? But Alas, wishes are not fulfilled so easily, and just like I had been pulled away from life, I got pulled back once again into the whirlwind called life and the realization hit me full in the face … I don’t Have a Choice, My Destiny is not Just Mine, Someone else is tied to me through an invisible thread.

With the temperature dropping, The harsh gale howling and lifting columns of dust and dirt in the air, The night seemed like a partner in crime, one which wanted to cloak all the doings of nature under the cover of darkness. Just like I desired to cloak the fire within and not let it out. I wished for the day not to dawn, I wished for the birds not to chirp, I wished for the hustle bustle of human life to stay asleep a little longer, I longed for the night to stay on…

And Stay on it did, for I wanted it to, I willed it to. With a plethora of emotions running thru me, I watched the red night sky lit up with flashes of lightning, break into a slow Jazz. A drop of rain splashed my forehead as I looked up, waiting ... Waiting for the outburst, both in the sky and within me. It started slowly as if it did not wish to but I knew, it did.

The Red in the Sky,
The Red in my Eye.
A Storm up there,
A Storm in here.
The Water in the Sky,
The Water in my Eye.
Broken Wings, Broken Heart;
A Dream within, tears me Apart.
A Will to Conquer, A Will to Be;
A Will I know, Might not Be.
The Night is Young,
But I am Not.
The Day Will Come,
But She may Not.

I Wish the Passion in the elements, becomes a passion in me ... But a passion so far away, might not be. I wonder when the life would reach out to me, once again. I wonder when they will blow, The Winds of Change - Yet Again.

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Sunday, March 23, 2008

InSomNiAc & DeLiRiOuS

A Comment Remains UnPublished, Till the one who left it feels strong enough to acknowledge that she can face it! :P But then again, a few words that came upon me so strong that they seem to have a mind of their own, A Passion to be expressed so strong that I had no control over what was being typed out. I don't regret it but I hope the world does not! Read on ...

When The Day Melds With The Night
When The Stars And Moon Alight
When Ghosts Whispr In The Trees
When The Fire Burns With A Glee
When The Soul Stirs An Emotion
When The God Becomes Thee
When World Seems To Shrink
When My Words Bring You To The Brink
When You Stay Up And Think Of Me

.................... Remember ....................

I Stand Atop The Cliff
And Wonder If The Winds
Will Ever Bring a Fragrance
A Fragrance That Reminds Me Of Thee
For All That Is Pure
Can Not Just Be Thee
As All That is ImPure
Is Not Just Me

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Thursday, February 07, 2008

A Walk Back to Reality!

7 Months, and thats what it took for me to recover from a setback! Well, to be Candid, not fully recovered though. Another year added to my life and I hardly noticed. The move back to India was not something to look forward to but then again, Maybe I was required. Home Sweet home lasted 3 weeks, The longest time I spent at home since 1999. And now it is back to the life in Bangalore, A City which is almost coming apart at it's seams with the influx of migrant technical labor!

Found some old old friends from School times and made some new ones. Learnt tons of new stuff about life! After all The World is not round. Been reading a Lot more and having loads of inspiring moments with my manager at work :P Read something really inspiring, which made me come Back to the world of Blogging! Thanks a Ton Miss New Jersey. :)

Well Enough Ravings and Rantings, I sign off with a Promise to return with much more, been having some fun times so it is apt that I write about them!



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Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Why Am I Still Alive

I knew I had died, I Wish I Had. Cannot live like this, it hurts too much. But hey, death is too choosey, just like Life. So I woke up after 3 days of being in and out of an haze and realized I still breathe, still breathe for her. I have no one to turn to ... All I am left with is my words which I do not use judiciously anymore. And the Music -- I am gonna get my music back. I wonder how many of you really love music, and I mean love like crazy, who love to sing, to compose, to play. I do. And when she said Good Bye - It felt like my music of all these years turned her back to me sayin "You do not belong to me". But I decided, to get my music back, and I found Fabienne. When I touch her, I feel love. My fingers seem to move on her in a trance as they find the right chord everytime. Fabienne promised she would help me find my love again and that she would play while I sing. Here is the first song we both learnt to play together.

You could have a change of heart, if you would only change your mind
Instead of slamming down the phone girl, for the hundredth time
I got your number on my wall, but I aint gonna make that call
When divided we stand baby, united we fall
Got the time got a chance gonna make it
Got my hands on your heart gonna take it
All I know I cant fight this flame
You could have a change of heart, if you would only change your mind
Cause Im crazy bout you baby, time after time

Without you
One night alone
Is like a year without you baby
Do you have a heart of stone
Without you
Cant stop the hurt inside
When love and hate collide

I dont wanna fight no more, I dont know what were fighting for
When we treat each other baby, like an act of war
I could tell a million lies and it would come as no surprise
When the truth is like a stranger, hits you right between the eyes
Theres a time and a place and a reason
And I know I got a love to believe in
All I know got to win this time

You could have a change of heart, if you would only change your mind
Cause Im crazy bout you baby...crazy...crazy
Without you
One night alone
Is like a year without you baby
Do you have a heart of stone
Without you
One night alone
Is like a year without you baby
If you have a heart at all
Without you
Cant stop the hurt inside
When love and hate collide

Love You!

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Tuesday, July 24, 2007

The End

I have always wondered how the end would be. How it would feel when you die. And now I know it. I know how it feels when you die, every second that you live - You Die. It feels like you are suffocating, the air does not wish to come to your lungs as every ounce of life is squeezed out of you. Like every part of you dies it's own death. It seems so absurd how I am ranting away over here but I had to Document my own death somewhere, hadn't I? So here I am with a final goodbye to the world as I have known till the last breath with the beautiful taste of the poisoned wine still on my lips. I wonder if I would be buried or would I be burnt to ashes, or even If would see the motherland once again! but I know that the poison of the love would still be running thru my veins when I take my last breath which approaches near. My Farewell with the last words on my lips - Love You!

This romeo is bleeding, but you can't see his blood
It's nothing but some feelings
That this old dog kicked up
It's been raining since you left me
Now I'm drowning in the flood
You see I've always been a fighter
But without you I give up

Now I can't sing a love song
Like the way it's meant to be
Well,I guess I'm not that good anymore
But baby, that's just me

Yeah I, will love you, baby
Always and i'll be there
Forever and a day, always

I'll be there, till the stars don't shine
Till the heavens burst and the words don't rhyme
I know when i die you'll be on my mind
and I'll love you, always

Now your pictures that you left behind
Are just memories of a different life
Some that made us laugh
Some that made us cry
One that made you have to say goodbye

What I'd give to run my fingers thru your hair
Touch your lips, to hold you near,
When you say your prayers, try to understand
I've made mistakes, I'm just a man

When he holds you close, when he pulls you near
When he says the words
You've been needing to hear, I'll wish I was him
'Cause these words are mine, to say to you
'Til the end of time

If you told me to cry for you, I could
If you told me to die for you, I would
Take a look at my face
There's no price I won't pay
To say these words to you

Well, there ain't no luck in these loaded dice
But baby, if you give me just one more try
We can pack up our old dreams, and our old lives,
We'll find a place, where the sun still shines