Sunday, October 12, 2008


Welcome to the witch's castle, Amit from South India. I like meeting people who have read my articles. Felt good too, to hear from Priya and Rahul, and Bhavesh's trademark caustic comments. I have to confess I am in a horrible muddle. Just can 't seem to get any pictures to upload here. The instructions are very clear, but in my hands they become mumble-jumble-mumbo-jumbo. I need help. I shall surely learn how to do it, but until then no pictures for you. So sad!!

The Week That Was:
The monsoons are thundering their way out of Pune. In order to better enjoy their final glory, decided yesterday to run on the State Police grounds nearby, rather than bike, as I usually do.
Lesson learned: Jogging in wet tees in testosterone loaded areas is- A Bad Idea.

The Witch Endorses: A visit to the Albert Edward Institute (that's a library established in the early 19th century and it has some wonderful early editions) was far more pleasant. Discovered new author- Marie Phillips' first-born, "Gods Behaving Badly". A sexual satire based on Greek mythology, it treads the tightrope between vulgarity and intelligent wit with cool insouciance, emerging wildly hilarious. Haven't laughed aloud like that for a long time. I am going to add it to my private library. A must-read, but prunes-and-prisms and vestal virgins, read with caution.

The Witch's Brew: I am not a connoisseur of wines. But I can come up with strange concoctions. This brew could make a terrific nightcap or a wicked dessert.
In a small wine glass, add one inch of cappuccino ice cream, top it with an inch of cream liqueur, (if you don’t have that then substitute with a whisked teaspoon each of brandy or whisky, honey, and cream), stir lightly without melting the ice cream. Sip-slurp-sip. Del-hic-licious!!.

MAKING A FIST: I knew the word “contract” in terms of contract killers only. These days however, it is being used in terms of attorneys as well. “Contract attorneys” is the new bye word amongst legal process outsourcers. (LPOs) Most LPOs seem to be offering employment to legal professionals on contract only basis. While the object of a contract killer is obviously illegal, I find a number of similarities between the two. Both come in, do their job, pick up the cash and stride out into the sunset. Both build up a reputation by doing the job cleanly, quickly, quietly, and with no backlash to the employer. Both also need not expect any further perks from their job. Unmake that wry face, my legal brothers and sisters. Like it or not, this is the new face of the practice of law.

Moreover, with supply being greater than demand, and tough competition from young lawyers who graduate with greater and better specializations each year, the pay package offered in Pune at least, may not, right now, be very attractive either. That position will change. But not right away.

If you are going to be a contract attorney, then at this point in time, to achieve success in the face of cutthroat competition you will have to prove yourself better than the teeming multitudes. For that you will need to hone the skills you have, acquire skills that you do not have, highlight those skills unique to you, and learn to project yourself. Perhaps you are technologically sound, or exceptional with figures, or maybe an expert at handling people. Let your light shine! There are hundreds of legal professionals graduating each year, with those same qualities and you are bound to get lost in the crowd unless you make yourself distinctive.

So just what exactly is needed? Law degrees? Computer knowledge? Management skills? Or is there more to it than that? It would be good if legal professionals whether already into outsourcing or not, teachers, and management professionals, write back relating what are YOUR special qualities. What do you think was the reason you landed your job? Or lost it? What do you think is the reason you find yourself leading in the profession? Or lagging? Your inputs could be helping someone find his or feet and maybe you would get feedback on something you need to know too. Make a fist guys and let’s see how it goes!

THE LAST WORD: Some of what is written here might set mouths agape of those who thought I was full of goodness and light. Guys, I am like this only. Long ago, (or what seems like long ago), I was told to stay out of trouble, walk in the squares, and not to step on the lines. I obeyed to the letter. Unfortunately, it's trouble that's been troubling me; my preacher has stopped caring; and I am tired of being good. Besides what's a witch without some wickedness, right? So even if being bad might not make things better, at least the bad will make the trouble not seem so bitter. Get what I mean? Never mind. YOU come back next week to make a fist, and to hear of some of the evil deeds of-

The Witch

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