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I’m sexist and I (don’t) know it

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(Office meeting room, everyone’s discussing who to take along for some pre-placement talks)

Dude: “So it’s final then, it will be us eight men going to the campus tomorrow?”
HR Lady1: “Sorry, this group of people doesn’t demonstrate diversity at our workplace.”
Dude: “What do you mean? We can’t invite Chinese and American guys if they don’t work here”
HR Lady1: (clearly, she’s done this before) “I meant gender diversity” (you muppet, she leaves out)
Dude: “Why, but you and HR Lady2 will be there, no?”
HR Lady1: “So you want to send the message that women are welcome here but only in HR? Should we take the secretaries as well?”
Dude: (still struggling but mercifully giving up) “Ok fine, then who do we take?”
Me: “Well, Lady3 is a good choice, would have been a good choice anyway. I wouldn’t recommend we tell her to come for diversity purposes though … ”
Dude: “Ok we will ask her to come then. But I have to say that this is fine for this campus since it is a local one. It will be tough to go to Campus2 because that involves having to fly out and then stay over the whole weekend.”
Me: “Why is that a problem?”
Dude: “See, usually we take senior people. If we take a senior female employee, then invariably she will be married, most likely with kids. So she only will prefer to stay at home than spend the weekend away from family.”
Me: Too stunned to speak
HR Lady1: No response. But her eyes are saying “Don’t bother”

To come for an interview or not.
To wear ‘revealing’clothes or not.
To have sex or not.
To marry or not.
To have an abortion or not.

How about we let the women decide what they want rather than us imposing our ‘best intentions’?


Written by sujaybedekar

July 31, 2017 at 3:03 pm

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I must have been around 14 then. I was at a BTS (Bombay Talent Search!) class I used to enjoy a lot- they used to teach us ‘advanced’ biology and physics and maths which I could geek out on. I enjoyed it so much, that I used to willingly sacrifice 3/4 hours of each Sunday for it.

So yes, it was one of those days, we’re sitting in class, learning about Pauli’s exclusion principle, but none of us could concentrate for a change. We were all focused on things happening in Chennai. The Indian cricket team, especially back then, was very fond of self-destruction.  Snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. In those days, they would consistently get outplayed by Pakistan – I know it’s just a game, but that was still considered unpatriotic treachery.

So there we were, but this time the team looked like it actually wanted to win and was playing ok. Our professor told us that there was no point in continuing with the class since everyone (including him, I’m sure) clearly had other things on his/her mind. Besides, someone really special was playing really well. So, we all ran home to watch the match.

Everyone knows what happened next. That player’s back acted up. He continued playing through the pain with a red band around his lower back which I remember vividly. He took us so close, then got out. Then the whole team crumbled, and they lost.

He cried for two days after that, they say. It must have hurt, to be surrounded by such mediocrity. To have had to suffer such disappointment over and over again. But he picked himself up and didn’t lose his passion. He continued with the same love and excitement for 14 glorious more years. Yes, he got selfish for the records and for the occasional glory. Yes, he got way too much time than anyone else would have just because he was going for a 100th hundred. Big deal, I say.

He gave us a lot of moments to cherish – the mauling of the ozzies in 98. That series in Sharjah. WC2003, especially that match at the Centurion. The Hero Cup. That double hundred in Australia without a single run on the off side. That double against safa.The WC2011 victory parade where Virat echoed the feelings of so many others. But for some reason, his performance in that loss against Pakistan in Chennai is the one I remember the most.

It’s sinking in only now that the Indian cricket team will no longer have that guy walk in at #4. Never again, after November.
To quote umpteen commentators and players- What. A. Player.

Thanks for all those memories Sachin, my life would had been infinitely duller without you. Thank you and best of luck. You will be sorely missed, but at least I can watch football guilt free now.

Written by sujaybedekar

October 13, 2013 at 12:21 pm

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What’s in a name

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I’ve been called a lot of things, but Sujay ain’t one of those.

No seriously, people often ask me ‘Are you sure?’ when I spell my name out. Off the top of my head, here’s a list of all the names people have called me so far –

Sanjay – Sanjay is the most common mistake. I had a credit card with Sanjaykumar on it. My wife initially assumed that my name was Sanjaykumar and she was quite unimpressed. She and her dad were so confident, that when my folks and I met her folks and her, they told us that we had mistyped the name.

Sugary – A bank rep called me that, least I could do was to thank him for being so informal and affectionate.

Suagy – I do not know how this is even pronounced

Suja / ujay / Bebekar – I assume these are typos

Saja – Tough to assume that this is a typo

Sujoy – I’m not Bengali.

Kumar is my middle name – No it isn’t

Sujjay – That’s the only mispronunciation I don’t mind

Written by sujaybedekar

January 25, 2013 at 2:57 pm

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Abhi jao chhodkar (although) dil abhi bharaa nahi

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When Viru had a bad phase he was dropped. Same was the case with Gauti and dada. Dhoni’s the captain, else he should (would?) had been dropped ages ago. The same rules however do not seem to apply to Sachin despite his fairly average form in the last 20 odd months. The only reason I don’t complain about this preferential treatment of Sachin is because …  well, it’s Sachin! I am (like a million others) his biggest fan. He’s the sole reason I still follow cricket. My biggest fear these days is that Sachin will one day get dropped – the boy man deserves to go out on his own terms. 

When Lata Mangeshkar continued to sing into the 2000s, I really wished she would stop. There were only so many songs you could listen to by accounting for the fact that the was into her seventh / eighth decade of professional singing. I wasn’t disrespecting her abilities or belittling what she had achieved. I only feared that she was sullying her own legacy. 

Sachin’s legacy is not just his runs – it’s the awe and respect he inspired in both teammates and opposition, and the joy he gave to his countless admirers. He might still have the ability to play on and accumulate runs and records, but it will be a sorry end to a glorious career if he stopped being the ‘Sachin’ I’ve loved and adored. With Ponting retiring, I doubt anyone (other than Kallis, maybe) will now be able to even come close to his stats. To put it In geek terms, the marginal benefit of him playing on is near zero.

He probably missed a golden chance to retire on 2nd April 2011. The most memorable moment of the World Cup for me was not Dhoni’s winning six over long-on – it was when Sachin was hoisted by his teammates on their shoulders in appreciation of him bearing the burden of the nation’s expectations for a good part of 2 decades. He again had an opportunity to do so when he reached that (fairly arbitrary) landmark of 100 international 100’s. He probably wants to go out with a bang – maybe if he wins us the final match at Nagpur with a fabulous hundred (or better, a double or a triple!), maybe he will retire. 

At the risk of sounding overtly dramatic and repeating myself, I will quote Harvey Dent here – “You either die a hero or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain.”

And that’s why I want him to retire.

(Posted in response to this post on this excellent blog by one of the most sports-enthusiastic people I’ve known)

Written by sujaybedekar

December 10, 2012 at 9:47 pm

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Judge a fish …

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Albert Einstein, the father of the colon-p and a part-time quote generator once said –Image

“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”

Some might say it is profoundly insightful, a very nice advice to give to the teaching community or to society in general. Some might say it is a longer version of square pegs, round holes. Some might say that it is a convenient excuse for under-performers. Some might even go and dispute whether he said it all.


Some people might give this example and ask you to zip


A picture says a thousand words. A sentence says the number of words it contains. A nice sentence lies somewhere between the two. The better the sentence, the more the words-said-to-words-contained ratio.

Unfortunately, before all these thoughts come to my mind, the first thing I think of when I read this sentence is how ‘similar’ it is to Emraan Hashmi’s profoundness in the loquaciously superb Bollywood movie ‘Once Upon a Time in Mumbai’ –

Agar sher se hal chalaoge, to kisaan to marega hi! (If you make a tiger pull a yoke, then farmer will die only na!)

Such is life.

Written by sujaybedekar

October 16, 2012 at 1:00 am

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Intentionally Incomplete

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I worked for a long time at an office complex in Mumbai which was quite swanky tip-top techy shiny. It was the worst possible location to set up shop  – it was next to one of the busiest junctions in Mumbai – it often took half an hour for a car to come from one side of the road to the other. It was ‘equally close’ to both railway lines, which meant that it was inconvenient to reach either.

The office was in this huge building complex which had a ‘nice’ canteen; fancy waterfalls and stone arrangements which had some aesthetic value (I assume); eternally suspicious watchmen who were either too fat to chase after anyone or too thin to hit anyone; and a ‘smoking room’ so that people could smoke in both voices (active and passive).

Given the state-of-the-art facilities, it was always a mystery to see in the office complex this swimming pool with refreshingly blue  tiles which was empty. I remember going to the office as part of an orientation when still a grad in early 2007. We were told that that pool was going to be completed ‘any day now’. The possibility of seeing colleagues go for a swim in full view of the entire office was intriguing, to say the least. Just another reason for all of us to be super psyched about starting our jobs.

I joined full-time in July 2007, and the pool was still empty. As the days went by, I  could never see any visible effort to help the pool fulfill its destiny. I’d seen these things happen in the past – something was constructed with the assumption that you’ll get clearance to build it but the permission was delayed / revoked, so the construction had  to be halted. The pool was often used to host small events with red plastic Neelkamal chairs and a podium with a mic which screeched at regular intervals. I heard rumours that someone threw a bucket of water into the pool (on a dare) but the water didn’t drain out, it stayed there until it evaporated but not before fostering a thriving ecosystem of its own – maybe that was the problem, they messed up the plumbing and were too bored to fix it. Whatever it was, it was a symbol of hope. Of possibility. Of red tape bureaucracy stifling people’s dreams. But mainly, it was a symbol of empty swimming pools.

I left the place in 2010, and the pool was still the way it was the first time I saw it. You could always depend on the pool to stay unchanged. Just the way it was, eternally un(ful)filled.

You can imagine my crushing disappointment, or at least as sense of anti-climax, when I recently found out that the pool had been left incomplete intentionally – one small tile had not been laid or one pipe had not been fitted, due to which the pool (and as a consequence, the whole complex) continued to be ‘under construction’. That apparently helped the owners save tons of tax.

There’s a lesson to be learnt here somewhere – The impact that one pipe/tile can have (Ek machchar …). OR, How an unfinished object can inspire in the unlikeliest way. OR, how ridiculous the whole thing now seems.

I feel cheated, but in a nice way.

Written by sujaybedekar

September 26, 2012 at 12:52 am

To kill or not to kill

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The only occassion when it is ok to kill another person is when you’re at war. Doesn’t matter whether you know him. The reason you need to kill him is because if you didn’t kill him, he’ll kill you. You kill enough people and you’ll be hailed as being very brave and will be given a medal.
The rules are the same for the killer and the ‘killee’ – if he doesn’t kill you first, you’ll kill him.

The circularity of the whole situation is a bit tough to understand. Seems a bit like Prisoner’s Dilemma, just with a lot more killing. You don’t want to be the person who goes “You know what, how about I don’t kill you, and you don’t kill …” Bang, you’re dead.

Written by sujaybedekar

July 19, 2012 at 10:26 pm

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