Lessons from the Madras Club – Lesson 2: India and X-efficiency

Lessons from the Madras Club – Lesson 2: India and X-efficiency
India and X-efficency

In the late 1990s I studied at University in Japan when the world was fascinated by Toyota’s low car defect rates compared to every other brand on the market. It was driving the proud American, car hungry consumer insane! Their efficiency and reliability was so inexplicable, intoxicating, and seemingly unobtainably magical, they termed it ‘X-Efficiency’ and people came from the world over to study this new manufacturing witchcraft. What does this have to do with India?

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Lessons from the Madras Club – Lesson 1: Customer service is an oxymoron

Lessons from the Madras Club – Lesson 1: Customer service is an oxymoron
The Madras Club

Surprisingly but most definitely, this innate gift of hospitality does not translate into a culture of customer service. At all. Something happens to the Indian the moment they step out of their front gate. All of that generosity and ‘mi casa sou casa’ mentality switches off, and in that instant, the instinct to screw over anyone and everything in their path moves into overdrive. The same person who just offered you (read pressured you into) your third plate of mangos and icecream while pouring you a glass of their finest brandy, will now be screaming at a poor street vendor to reduce the price of an item by the equivalent of a few cents. They will ruthlessly cut off other people in traffic and push people out of the way in queues. There is a very real understanding that life outside the home is every man for themselves, so take what you can from whoever is stupid enough to let you get away with it.

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US 2020 Election Series: Supporting Trump from abroad – Part 2

US 2020 Election Series: Supporting Trump from abroad – Part 2
Donald and Melania Trump at the Taj Mahal

“There is something called Trump derangement syndrome, ‘TDS,’ Jevaan informed me. “That's the name they have given it in America. And they say it's a threat to democracy, but he was democratically elected, you have to accept it. The problem is you were not able to accept what the other person sees; the other person's perspective is not being digested. And if the person who doesn't have your perspective, has an opposite perspective, he is a bigot. So how can it be a danger to democracy if somebody has been democratic elected? So that's a problem. That's the way that people exaggerate it.”

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US 2020 Election Series: Supporting Trump from abroad – Part 1

US 2020 Election Series: Supporting Trump from abroad – Part 1
Trump standing at a lecturn with the Indian and American flags

Gautham is a very proud Trump supporter and a staunch conservative, although he is anti-guns and pro-choice. And like Trump, Gautham is not known to filter the thoughts flying through his brain before they come out of his mouth. You will not die wondering what Gautham thinks about things. Jeevan is another US citizen born in India who migrated to Chicago, Illinois in the 1990s to study, and has been back in India since 2001. Like Gautham, Jeevan is anti-gun and pro-choice, but unlike him, Jeevan was traditionally a lefty who was devastated when Trump became president. He has since changed his mind after deciding to try and understand why people voted for Trump, and his subsequent performance. He is keenly interested in politics and has researched and thought a lot about this.

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US 2020 Election Series: Trump trauma

US 2020 Election Series: Trump trauma
Donald Trump assuming the position

“It wasn’t about the lying (about the size of the crowd), it was that he was so upset about it,” Dan explained. “Even then I could see that he was ignoring facts. I could see very clearly in that first event that this man was not in touch with reality, and I got really scared on Inauguration Day. Within a week of his inauguration I was thinking he was unstable. “Also, that was when I started to notice the other disturbing pattern, that his supporters will accept the most outrageous red herrings. They will take anything that they would never have accepted from another politician, for the most thin and ridiculous explanations for his behaviours. They will take those and latch onto them like they have believed in them their whole lives.

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The isolation poem

The isolation poem
Isolation Photo by Sasha Freemind on Unsplash

When you are bored and want to cry Remember, you’ve got WIFI! Isolation Isolation When your wardrobe gets a glance But you end up in sweat pants Isolation Isolation

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Ode to the coronavirus

Ode to the coronavirus
Coronavirus in action

But shit really started to get serious; Now there isn’t a place it hasn’t been; They even gave it a shiny new name; Introducing… COVID19. While for many, the symptoms are mild; Their immune systems taking care of the rest; For an increasing and alarming number of people; This awful disease will result in death.

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