Friday, November 28, 2008

Prannoy Roy cornering Pakistan's Foreign Minister

The video shows a telephonic interview by NDTV Chief Prannoy Roy with Pakistan's Foreign Minister Shah Mohammed Qureshi, who my friend calls The king of Digression. Check out the video here to know why..

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Social Networking: Desi Style

Since the time I came to US in 2005, I have noticed that there are 2 types of Desis here (or 10 types for the binary inclined) you meet . Of course, there are different justifications for the 2 types.

- The 1st one is the "Desi" Desi v/s the "ABC" Desi for which I dont have to offer an explanation (there are exceptions, of course).
- The 2nd one which I categorized after doing my MS is the geeky type of Desi, who is only interested to know who is doing his/her thesis and their research interests while he/she worries about their own, v/s the more Social Desi who likes to party and not discuss next week's assignment questions during the party..
I will not discuss about the 1st two types as it is very general and everyone knows the difference.

- The 3rd and the one which encouraged me to write this post is the type most of us can experience after we start working full time (again, there are exceptions I know of). This happens when you are new to a place and like to meet new people there/establish some social network. If you haven't guessed already, there are the Desis who like to talk to you as they have the same objective as you (this no. is few) v/s Desis who like to talk to you and get your contact information to make you join Quixtar. (This has subsequently created a small group of a 3rd kind, those who stay away from you assuming you are from Quixtar)

Those who haven't heard about Quixtar (formerly Amway), here is a wiki link for it. My advice: just skim through it, dont get interested and start digging your own pit.

Anyway, after I graduated from my MS last year, I moved to Atlanta after getting a job in December. Since then, I've met about 15 desis who I bumped into mostly in Walmart/Malls etc... The 1st one I met was on the 1st day I moved in to my apartment and the most recent one, about 2 weeks back in a Mall. All these people had some things in similar.
They seem very interested to talk to you and try to connect with you somehow. For e.g. they will ask where are you from, and if you say that, they'll say something like, "Oh, you know my brother/ some other close relative is also from there" (3 people have said it), or "I studied there" and in 1 case, "I am also from there". That way, some connection is established.
They are all doing their own business in Logistics/Supply Chain or somehow connected to Logistics.
After some nice probing talk (they'll ask so much about you as if they are writing a book about you), they will all pull out their visiting cards and tell we have to meet sometime and also ask for your phone no.
The call comes a few days later. (In one case, it came 1 month later as the guy met me in a train on the way to the airport. He was heading to India!! And Faithfully he had kept my no. till then and called me 1st thing upon coming back). They call to tell that they have an excellent business opportunity where we can work from home apart from our regular job and would like to meet sometime to give a presentation about it. Me and Naveed attended one such presentation just for the fun of it, only to tell that fool at the end that we wont fall into the BS trap. Anyway, once you tell them you don't want to do Quixtar, that's about the last time you will be speaking to them. You are Blacklisted, and they are no longer interested in meeting you.

Infact, I saw this guy who was sending friend requests in Orkut with a message that he has a business opportunity for us. What I think of that guy? He is a loser among losers.

What really grinds my gears is that aren't there people whom you meet who are genuinely interested in only developing a new social network? So far, I have been courteous to all these people who have approached me with Quixtar intent. I speak to them well, exchange numbers, and give a polite "No" when they start the business opportunity shit. But I've had enough and will use alternate ways to handle these people next time onwards. One of my friends gave a good suggestion and it worked for him. When the person called, my friend started asking him if he is interested in Quixtar, that guy was taken aback, and told him he didn't know my friend was already a Quixtar member, and I'd be interested to have a look at his face at that time!

Anyways, many people would have seen this already but here are some links about Quixtar scams:
Youtube video: Part 1, Part 2
some facts and figures can be found here

The interesting thing is, for some reason, I haven't met any non-desi who's a Quixtar member, I'm sure there are thousands but I dont know their approach methods.. but one thing I know, if a Desi stranger approaches me and starts talking, I now get to hear only the sounds of an Alarm bell ringing in my head.. "Quixtar Alert!!! Quixtar Alert!!"

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