Sunday, March 4, 2012

India, Hierarchy, and the North Pole!

It's quite evident that India is rowing through a host of social, economic, political and what not issues today. There are differences with neighboring countries (Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh), non-neighboring countries(Italy, Iran, Israel), or for that sake, even within the country. The GDP is diminishing, poverty rates increasing, illiteracy left manhandled and political fiasco. Cricketers are criticized, Cricketing events are criticized, ministers are screwing up. We can pretty well say that we are, if not approaching, surely headed toward the doomsday scheduled at the end of the year. But trust me, all this is absolutely NOT what I am going to put up in this post :D (which you would have been guessing by the title) I think that is better left for the experts and the tabloids.

In fact, it's entirely abstract - based on general observation. Let me start with a line - "It all slows down at the top !" Let's see how I can relate India, hierarchy, and the North Pole to justify it. What makes up for a complete cycle of night and day? I think we can roughly say it's Dawn, Day, Dusk and Night (ignoring other phases if there are , any). Dawn spans usually for 3-4 hours, similar for Dusk and the rest of the time divided between day and night. Thus making up for the complete 24 hr cycle. But all this is where we are, where we live. Have we ever wondered if this cycle is the same everywhere? Or Not? Let's say, perhaps, at the North Pole too?? It will be really interesting to note that a whole day at north pole is actually one calendar year. Which means we have 3 odd months of Dusk, similar for dawn, and roughly 4 months each of daylight and no-light ! All this has something to do with Earth, Sun and Geography. But the point here is, if we start living somewhere at the North Pole , a normal 24 hr day would get extended to 365 days. Would that mean going by the normal standards, we would brush our teeth once a year, probably bathe once in 2 years, or going further, eat just once in 3 months?? I think it would be convenient now to say that life has considerably slowed down as we moved toward the top!

Let's talk about Hierarchy now. Something which most of us would readily associate to would be a corporate one. We join as Trainees, become Technical Analysts (or TAs), move on to become Team Leads (TLs) and then finally Project Managers, Senior Project Managers, Group Project Managers (PMs, SPMs, GPMs etc etc). I think all of us would agree that the ones who ploughing the fields are the Graduate Trainees - fresh into the organization (with little salary), and doing most of the laborer's work. They can be made to sit for long hours and do most of the technical stuff. As they become TAs and TLs, life becomes easy - there is more pay, less work, usually involving supervision of the fresh entrants and allotting work to them. Climbing further still, the PMs have to do most of the tracking work, maintaining files, reports etc. The SPMs hold occasional meetings and discuss general agendas. The ones who leave office earliest are the GPMs and other seniors. I think here too we can say that life slows down as we move to the top? In this case, the corporate ladder.

Now let's take another example - concerning India ( as that is what's left now :] ) . This one is solely based on experience and is absolutely open to criticism. Let's talk about Mumbai and Delhi. The latter being above (to the north ) the former. Try going at any important local station in Mumbai on a Sunday even as early as 5 am in the morning, and you will see people flooding from everywhere - in short, the place being completely crowded and everyone in a hurry - to go to god-knows-where ! Now compare this to Delhi, step out at 9am (obviously again on a Sunday ) even at the heart of the city, the Cannaught Place, and you will see it almost deserted. People just don't care to get up. And it's also a well observed fact that people in North take life slowly - they are more of the relaxing type. And this does not in any sense mean that I am condemning the Mumbai lifestyle - in this case its just a comparison between two different ways of life. Coming back to the topic, I think this would also somehow justify the statement that things slow down as we move to the top !

Three different examples, from three completely different spheres, still all coming down to the same conclusion. Makes me feel if everything is somehow bound by a set of universal laws that govern everything. We can see their applications in all subjects related to the Universe. Let me leave you with a commonly known phrase and leave it to you whether you can somehow relate it to what we have already discussed.

"The ladder of success is never crowded at the top!"