Tuesday, January 30, 2007
Sunday, January 28, 2007
I was in 12th grade when Wonder Years was aired. I was juggling time between Balsu IIT coaching class (which I promptly dropped) and Lakshmi coaching center for Math Phy, Chem. My 12th std class had 3 girls. At the end of the year, my math teacher gave us all a lecture on how doing badly that year would ruin our lives irrepairably. We were given a valedictory function, which scared us even more. Then we were sent on our way for a arduous 3-month preparation towards board exams, TNPCEE and engineering counselling. No prom, no winter jackets and no slow dancing. Looking at a 'The Wonder Years' made me feel, I lived in a different galaxy altogether (Of course things are very different today).
So, when I heard about a prom at the end of 2nd year, I thought "wow! a prom for old farts" - Well it was a prom for old farts. This wasn't really a prom prom. It was just a big fancy Ball. But at least my childhood aching to be part of this prom extravaganza was getting fulfilled. $130 was a fat ass bill to pay. I pity the parents who send kids to prom. A formal gown for women is freakin expensive. A bus was supposed to take us to the Henry Ford Musuem, the huge huge place where the ball was to be held. Milli-seconds before starting, after 700 times of asking each other "is this okay?, is the tie allright, is this too much" - my wife announced that she couldn't find our tickets. Usually its my fault. But I have adapted to marriage. It is simple evolution of man over time. I gave the ticket to my wife as soon as I got it. So I had this sudden upper-hand for the first time in my marriage. She lost the ticket. Imagine my good fortune! I could trade this for eating-potato-chips-on-the-couch-watching-cricket for the rest of my life. Nano seconds before the bus was set to leave, my good fortune got better and I found the tickets myself with no help from my wife. I still have that superior condescending smirk on my face.
Friday, January 26, 2007
Wednesday, January 24, 2007
"Kedaikarthu kedaikaama irukaathu. Kedaikaama irupathu kedaikka've kedai'kaathu "
(If you are meant to get it, you'll never not get it. If you aren't mean't to get it, you will never get it) - The charm/pithyness of the original language is lost in transalation - but its still 'ok'.
Although the meaning was partly obvious the first time I read it, I can truly see what he means now. Especially since I got to see both halves of the sentence come true for me. There has to be a term called 'Rajinikanth moment' to rival 'Kodak moment'. I am not kidding.
Monday, January 22, 2007
Sunday, January 21, 2007
Applicants who require visas must either reach their nearest office or mail their passports along with $100 and join a long waiting list.
"This is the worst public-relations nightmare that the Caribbean has ever created for itself," said Josef Forstmayr, managing director of Round Hill Hotel and Villas in Montego Bay, Jamaica.
George Goodwin, chief executive officer of the local organizing committee in Antigua and Barbudam, added: "Ticket sales are not going as robust as people had originally hoped."
Saturday, January 20, 2007
Friday, January 19, 2007
Thursday, January 18, 2007
Some of Buchwald's observations:
During the Watergate scandal, Buchwald explained that the sound in the 18 1/2-minute gap in the White House tapes actually was Nixon humming.
"Just when you think there's nothing to write about, Nixon says, 'I am not a crook.' Jimmy Carter says, 'I have lusted after women in my heart.' President Reagan says, 'I have just taken a urinalysis test, and I am not on dope.'"
"Have you ever seen a candidate talking to a rich person on television?"
According to Standring, Buchwald had a parade of celebrity visitors, including several members of the Kennedy family, and he still loved to joke with people. Standring visited Buchwald to present him with the 2006 Ernie Pyle Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Society of Newspaper Columnists, calling him the "patron saint of political satire."
"Every time you think television has hit its lowest ebb, a new program comes along to make you wonder where you thought the ebb was."
Wednesday, January 17, 2007
40 minutes later, I realized why I hadn't gone near the printer so much in the last decade. I had long given up any hope of being able to take print outs (I can't book tickets to India also - but thats a story for a different blog post). The IT support staff were poking around my laptop and one kept saying ' its funny maan! there is no reason why the printouts should not appear'. Familiar story - only I knew the answer. I couldn't really tell them that it not a s/w-h/w problem and that it was just me. I paid lip service and asked them to check if the laptop was connected/online. I finally gave up and moved the HW file to a temp drive and gave the drive to the IT guy and told him "can you take it far away from my - zone of presence - and try a print out. I'll be as far away from the printer as I can possibly be". I literally left the library and cameback after 2 minutes. He had the printout waiting for me.
Monday, January 15, 2007
May your 'punnaku' be tasty, your tail straight, and horns colorful. May you mate/shit in private and provide Vitamin D milk with minimum water. May you not kill each other in the 'jalli kattu' of life but limit yourself to traffic jams.
Saturday, January 13, 2007
Guru is a biopic of an ambitious 'bijinez' man called Gurukanth Desai from a village called 'idhar' Gujarat. As it progresses, the movie morhps his name to Guru-Bhai and suggests enough allusion to Dhirubhai Ambani, the founder of Reliance Group of Companies. This probably fuels the pre-relese rumor surrounding the same issue. This is obviously a high-quality movie. As expected from Mani, its technically slick and raises the visual experience. Nobody tells us stories like these. Movies, are mostly about 'a different/violent/rational/indigestion love story' and I hate love stories. So after the first 30 minutes, I was already glad that any semblance of romance in this movie was limited to something as un-romantic as Guru marrying a woman for a Rs 25,000 dowry. She is a capital investment to his ambition and for that he is prepared to marry her (even if she is tad older than him). He doesn't even ask her permission. He gets her because he can convince her father that he is loony enough to marry the 'mad' daughter - thereby making this the best romantic Hindi movie, I have ever seen. This movie then takes us through his struggle, his opposition, his ups, downs and his questionable ethics.
All the details in Guru's life have a strong parallel to Ambani's life. From debentures, fake export-import, Shell-station-boy(ambani was in Yemen), bribing of ministers, newspaper rivalry to paralytic brain stroke-leaving right hand paralyzed. The key similarity is the shareholder meetings in stadiums, which was really Ambani's unqiue feature. He was among the first to utilize the public share issue concept in a big way. There is inescapable evidence that this movie is a fitting tribute to Ambani. However, there is a conceptual choice that Manirathnam seems to have made in this movie. It is not a detail-oriented movie but a more big-picture kind of a movie. He wouldn't tell you exactly why Guru was so successful in business but just focus on the top-level fact that he persevered and was successful. He wouldn't tell you exactly what the case/enquiry/commission against him is, he would limit it to a superficial chatter, where words like debentures and shares come up very often. He focuses on breadth and not depth. Consequently, you wouldn't know why Guru wins but you know that he wins. Contrast this to a cliched but excellent example like Godfather, where you are told details of 1 event and you know exactly what needs to happen for the hero to suceed a mafia coup or win a enquiry commision probe. 1 event is told in clear detail, while a biography is narrated. Guru does not describe any single event in great detail. It skims over a lot of things but you get the larger point.
So its a design choice that Manirathnam makes - to focus on the larger picture of ambition, never-say-die and the archiacness of Indian legal system. There are pros and cons to this. The pro part is obvious so let me focus on the con part. A logical argument/ a joke/ a persuasive speech is like a bridge. You have a starting point, from where you hope to reach an end state. An argument, a joke (with its punch lines) gets you from this starting point to the end state. The end state being victory or a humorous situation. The audience should be convinced that the argument was strong enough (in other words the bridge was long enough) to connect the start and the end state. Here, it is not. Mainly because you aren't told much details of whats going on, you struggle to connect. You aren't very sure why his fiery speech produced a certain result. Or why some of the things he said resulted in a business contract. You are just told that it did and you have to run with that. Citizen Kane or Godfather II connected with the audience because you are clearly aware of the causality. Here, especially in the last scene you aren't sure. The adrenalin popping crescendo that Mani builds so well does not lead to a big enough payload in the end. You are not sure if it left you with a good taste in the mouth (it doesn't leave a bad taste either). A more judgemental director than Manirathnam might've delivered. Mani just hovers in the key moment of the movie and takes a familiar ambiguous and righteous stance. You wish that he hadn't done that. You wanted a better payload after all the build-up and you don't get it. But Manirathnam has been poor with endings all along. If Bombay was ridiculous, Kannathil was wierd, Yuva and Guru superimposes utopia over real world.
This movie does well to recreate the 1960-1980 ambience. The details to create a period movie effect, the Gujarat customs, et all have been appropriately researched and executed. I was hoping he would capture Bombay the way he did in Nayagan but then Rajiv Menon, inspite of being really good, is no P.C Sreeram. The Bombay trading floors, the 'english babu' personalities, the 'khadi clad' people remind you that India was a much different place a few decades ago. This movie neither has a fight sequence nor serious violence. There is rivalry ofcourse, a very curious one between a newspaper reporter and Guru. I am assuming that there were many reporters who were against Guru and Mani just focusses on one such reporter. Otherwise the rivalry is dispropotionate. Another interesting aspect is that the whole world of Guru is condensed to 4-5 people. His arch rival (MithunDa), the owner of 'Swatantra' newspaper, is also his father figure. MithunDa's daughter is Guru's god-child who marries Madhavan, another arch-rival of Guru. All key characters, conveniently, also have a deep emotional connection, when typically none would exist. Yet another Nayagan parallel (Naser Vs Kamal). The scene where he sees the wedding photo of Vidya Balan and Madhavan is so similar to the Nayagan scene except this one has a lesser impact. The world of Guru is condensed. It is condensed so to potray a greyer relationship status of 'I like you personally but its a different story profesisonally'. It showcases the conflicting emotions that many characters have to go thorugh to ensure professional success while being aware of the personal harm it can cause to those near to them.
On performances, Abhishek Bachan has probably done the best role of his career. His role constantly reminded me of the DeCapiro's role in The Aviator. If the Manirathnam effect stays true this is the best ever role he will get to perform ever. Kamal Hasan, in the 20 years following Nayagan, has done some splendid performances but he still can't do a movie that convinces everybody that he has left Nayagan behind. This is the 3rd biography that Manirathnam has come out with. Kamal Hasan and Mohan Lal have played Varadaraja Mudaliar and M.G.Ramachandran in the previous two biogrpahies that Mani has made. Abhishek has stepped on to an elite list. He reminds us so much of his father. Especially when he faces Roshan Seth and casually talks about his invalid right hand. When he ended the sentence with 'saala' - I almost thought it was a cut and paste of an Agnipath dialog. The rest of the cast, even if it includes MithnDa and Maddy have a negligible role to play. Aishwarya Rai can't act. If she can't act in a mani movie, she is pretty much done. She looks very beautiful though. This movie is out-and-out an Abhishek Bachan movie. Mani has a curious way of making a character grow old in a movie. Its not black-hair to all-grey hair. There is the paunch, the thick glasses, the semi-greyness. Iruvar and Nayagan had all these. Very believable. Abhishek's role is so parallel to both those roles. He comes across as a fine actor. He plays the ever positive 'bijinez' man, who will not take 'no' for an answer. A person who believes everybody else around him (including his father) is a fool. The scene where he is travelling to meet a 'honest' minister for a favor is my best scene of the movie. He sits nervously in the helicopter worried that he has only been granted a 10 minutes audience with the minister. His lackey reminds him that the minister is 'honest'. "Do some magic gurubhai" he implores, reconciled to the fact that Guru's success is because of his 'magic'. Guru is all smiles when he greets the minister, but it doesn't begin well and the minister begins to insult him. The smile never dissapears, but you know its hurting him inside. Then the way he turns around the situation - simply brilliant from conception to execution. A classic scene where an awesome director meets an excellent actor. Roshan Seth is one of those charming actors, I like so much. The amused smile that he gives to Guru, which sort of indicates 'Kid! i like you. you've got spunk', his presense is so wonderful. It is sad that such actors figure so less in this movie.
Songs shouldn't have been part of this movie. This album was the most dissapointing and poorest of Mani-ARR combos that I have ever seen. I didn't like most songs. I am pretty sure they would be horrible in Tamil and so I never bothered to listen to the Tamil version (Anybody reading this! Please dont watch the Tamil movie). I hate movies that have songs. It never fits. The sooner we get rid of this culture the better for us. Given that - nobody picturises songs better than Mani. He has reinvented the art of picturizing songs. Sadly here its all absent. There were points where I thought Mani was guessing 'maybe this is how songs are picturized in hindi'. Maybe he has no clue. The dances are awkward, the picturization isn't all that great and the songs look more out of place than it usually does in movies. In interviews, he keeps talking ever so often about losing interest in songs and mentioned that it is incredibly boring to picturize them. So maybe he has lost interest.
Overall Guru is an excellent movie. It is a typical 'elistist' movie from MR and you just have to sit down and wonder if the layman would understand a movie of this quality. In Guru, Bollywood would get to see a real 'hatke' movie put into a commercial bottle. No rich sets, no houses with 7400 bedrooms, nobody wears an expensivee dress, and there is minimal make up. The usage of English is negligible. Pure Hindi words are used. You could count a handful for 2-3 English words in this movie. It is as un-bollywood as it can get. Why is it good? Mainly, because this is an inspiring story. It gives us a historical perspective. It critisizes those archiac and stupid laws, the businessmen of the earlier era had to break, to modernize India. It is a no-nonsense and a very serious movie that keeps you interested and entertained till the end. In an interview MR mentioned that he has finally learnt Hindi enough to find out if the dialogs and the the way they are said meets with his expectations. With that learning curve accomplished, hopefully, in his next movie with Aamir Khan, he would deliver something close to his best. The incredible expectations surrouding every movie Manirathnam makes it is almost impossible for him to exceed even the least of those expectations. It is a curse he has to live with. In this case most of the audience do not know him or have no real expectations from him, which should help the cause of the movie. I wouldn't put this anywhere close to his best - 'Iruvar'. I would probably rank Guru 3rd among his 3 biographies.
Tuesday, January 09, 2007
R.Mohan was a decent sportswriter. Typical of the cricket writers who worked for 'The Hindu' he would never express a real opinion. He would always play it safe and make sure that he was on the good side of most players. I am positive all writers for this newspaper do this so that they can get those 'exclusive' interviews from the players. ('The Hindu' was the only paper to praise Azhar and Kumble when even they didnt have any clue as to why the 5 people who matter thought that these 2 could play this game called cricket). Between 1997 - 2003 Kumble bowled at least 2 out of 6 balls down the leg-side, could never bowl to left handers, was De Silva's whore until he retired, and batted like an idiot (Sachin's first ODI game as captain in SL comes to mind). But R.Mohan would insist on calling Kumble as 'accurate' or use words like 'laser precision' etc. Whenever this Kumble took 5-wicket hauls on a rank turner at Kanpur or something - R.Mohan would be quick to call Kumble a 'gentle giant' or something as nonsensical as 'he hit back at the critics with his performance'. But I still liked R.Mohan mainly because he wrote well inspite of having to be politically correct.
I used to read R.Mohan's Tour Diary without fail during India's tour of WI in 1997. This diary appeared in the SportsStar. It was a very interesting diary where he logged his experiences,observations, adventures of the past week (SS was a weekly magazine). The only act of courage that Mohan ever did in his journalistic career was call West Indies unfit for hosting a World Cup. India by then had hosted 2 World Cups. Although the convenience, scheduling, arrangements, and operations in the 87 and 96 WC were poor and much critisized, India did a creditable job. Mohan compared the manner in which World Cup was conducted in India and Australia and concluded that the facilities, hotels, transportation, lodging and communication systems were too horrible in WI to even imagine hosting a World Cup. He claimed that even if they dramatically improved in the next 10 years WI would still do a horrendous job with the World Cup. The analysis on different venues and hotels were really detailed and a reader could easily see why WI was unfit to hold a world cup. WI had just applied for/or had just been given permission to host WC 2007 at that time. The news of this article reached people in WI and it soon spread to taxi drivers Bell Boys and everybody's uncle. So the next week's tour diary was very interesting. Mohan narrated as to how he was ill-treated by 'all and sundry'. Co-journalists were rude to him, Taxi Drivers began to pick up arguments with him. So even the small motivation for him to be not so politically correct would have dissappeared.
So its 2007 and World Cup in WI is nearing. Looking at news items where WI is making a fool of itself during WC preparations makes me believe Mohan predicted correctly. They aren't just screwing up within the West Indies but also screwing up as far as visas for touring spectators are concerned. All these are indicators of an organizational disaster of epic proportions. Don't be surprised if there are schedule disruptions, game disruptions or tourist inconvenices in WI during Mar/April. The arguments (selection/otherwise) between different countries that comprise the WI haven't stopped also. They maybe one of the richest boards in the world, but I personally don't think they have the facilities or the organizational unity/discpline to conduct a tournament of this magnitude.
Monday, January 08, 2007
Why are we so obsessed with the vagina, the hymen, virginity? People are obsessed with talking about it. It comes masked as feminism, honor, valor, dignity and before you know you would have had your first vagina conversation. Have we run out of things to talk about. So many thousand years of existence and human beings have become bored? I mean - it is not even logical. Lets suppose this girl's mom slept with the entire population of Bombay. Among all the sperm cells that was ever deposited in her vagina, only one little sperm cell is gonna crawly-crawl-crawl up her fallopian tube and mate with her egg. So it is a biological impossibility that her daughter be born of multiple fathers. Even if sperms of 70,000 men were mashed in a blender and sent up via a fire hose into the fallopian tube - only one man's sperm will eventually mate. But our country apparently does not know this and makes a big deal out this. It attaches virtue to vagina and a whole lot of emotions, which simply a puny little vagina cannot handle. Little do all these dialog writers know that some N generations ago most of their ancestors were either raped by moghuls or some 2000 years ago they lived in tribal systems where mating with multiple partners was not so uncommon. Given all I am still not able to figure a direct relation ship between that girl's mom's sex life and her ability to win the property dispute.
Sunday, January 07, 2007
In anycase, as I have mentioned ad nauseum, I am sure Da Jilako, ozdude and myself are happy that our classmate went on to do it. Regardless of the eventual outcome or the 'result' - I personally think the experience of making a movie is a huge learning experience in itself. Here are some promos for the movies. I thought the title credits were innovative and I look forward to seeing the movie. Sudhish's website and the movies website constantly advertise the (free) screenings of the movie. Do see it when you get a chance.
Friday, January 05, 2007
I hereby resign from the post of your 'greatest fan in the world'. I think you are full of nonsense. This is your last tour to South Africa and you have failed to deliver any impact. I have run out of patience. I have snapped. You have done nothing in test matches in the last four years. A person who sucks for 3-4 years in a row does not deserve a place among the best batsman of this era. You are not the Tendulkar of the 90s. You are some pussilanimous, ambitionless, gutless imposter in Tendulkar's clothes. When India was a 1-man team in the 90s, I thought that given a good team, you would take India to greatness. A good team is here but you have sucked beyond belief. I don't hate you. Unlike many people who don't understand cricket, I don't think you are a selfish guy. You just dont have the ability (or have forgotten it and need to be dropped from the team to remember it). However, I don't think you are anywhere close to being called 'great'. Your wretchedness in the second innings is irrelevant, but your dismissal in the first innings of each of the three tests was the last straw. You could have closed the game in each of those innings. But you sucked.
Wednesday, January 03, 2007
The Length of the Resume
India and U.S have markedly different resume styles. The constant thing, I heard from my peers and seniors in the U.S was that "if you cant say your story in 1 page, then you don't deserve a job". I believed it when I first heard it, now I am not so sure. So my resume as a campus fresher at the undergrad or graduate level was limited to 1 page. It was 1 page when I was searching for a job with a couple of years of work experience. Now during this MBA campus job search with over N years of work experience it is strictly one page (school rule). The years of work experience has been condensed to 1 page of telegram sounding sentences. Most resumes that I have seen emanating out of the U.S has been one page (of course exceptions exist).
India has been a completely a different case overall. Resumes run long. Seriously, while there have been exceptions of concise resumes, most resume I have seen are 3-4 pages long. Even for people with less than 5 years experience. The emphasis was on providing as much data as possible. And what's more some resumes have things like Date of Birth, father's name, mother's name, number of siblings, and passport number in the last page. It looked like a sheet that you would send to Doordarshan's 'Missing People' program ("kaanamal Ponavargal arivippu") Some are most of these questions could be illegal to ask in this U.S. When I was asked to interview people in India, I found most of these irrelevant and never bothered to look beyond the first two pages. I always assumed that this resume was a consolidated data sheet for the HR (HR interviews in India involved questions about father/mother/sibling occupation etc - so candidates preemptively put stuff in their resume).
It is hard to pass a judgment on what's an appropriate length for a resume. I would assume that the shorter it is the better. If you edit poorly and keep it long, it might hurt you regardless of whether searching for a job in the U.S or India. However, one thing is certain no interviewer scans a resume for more than 30 seconds to 1 minute. Anything beyond that only means that he has seen something ( a project perhaps) in your resume that he has done before or is very interested in. Otherwise beyond certain keywords the scanner of your resume is not interested in seeing every detail in your resume let alone spot your spelling/formatting/punctuating mistakes and hold it against you (But that does not give you a license to goof off in your English). So it would suffice if the resume is sort of a trailer or a highlights package of your experience than a thesis of it. I understand that at some point your work experience would grow sufficiently large for you to move beyond 1 page regardless of where you are. I can't imagine anybody compressing 10 years of experience in 1 page. So there ought to be a tipping point where resumes would begin to span multiple pages. It is up to the individual to decide if (s)he has hit that tipping point. Even in these cases, your more recent experiences would typically be more relevant and so the emphasis and space spent on things beyond 5 years in the past would bee negligible.
The structure of the resume
Unlike the case with 'length' - you will not see a resume that is 4 or 5 standard deviations away from the mean as far as style/structure is concerned. In India, I have sometimes seen the resume with some data sheet on the first page. I usually assumed that the resume came through the head hunter and the headhunter prefixed their own data sheet to the resume.
The 'objective' part of the resume was something, I struggled with for a while before I dropped it eventually because it was perceived as superfluous. Data sheets, job application form, pre interview formalities usually take care of this part. Campus freshers who clearly want design, development over testing or vice versa write this preference (until they become desperate for a job :-) ). Otherwise it is the context of resume content + the job you are applying to - that takes care of your 'objective'. For more experienced people, who are laser precise about the job they want this section could be used to indicate the HR on what they want.
In most resumes I have seen a 'summary of skills' section. It sums up the key skills the person knows in different domains. Sometimes its technical skills and sometimes it is domain related skills. It potentially is a useful section. However, it has been abused to a large extent that it has become of little use to the resume scanner. Most people who have this section, have filled this up every possible skill that exists out there. For example 'programming skills summary' has 'C, C++, Java, C#, VB, ..." and the same person knows all the OS skills from 'BSD UNIX ....Windows .. Mac'. This has reduced the credibility of this section. I wonder if people still make judgement calls based on this section.
Usually 'Education' comes before work experience when you are applying via campus. I have heard that some people put education in the end when they are trying to switch jobs (i.e applying when you are working as opposed to when you are a student). However, I have seen education appearing before Work Experience of lateral hire resumes. My theory on this is that if a person had an education that he wanted to highlight then putting it at the beginning started the resume on a strong note. As much as people like to believe the opposite, I am pretty much convinced that strong brand names of educational institutions, distinctions, academic achievements GPA give an impression of the strength of the person candidacy. It impresses everybody who matters. However, the lack of all the above attributes does not significantly diminish your chances of an interview call. Its a good to show-off kind of a thing. In resumes the education section has the name of the university, place, graduation date (almost all recruiters guess your age based on this), in the next line is your specialization, GPA etc. Underneath each University/degree people highlight their achievements, awards, thesis topics etc. Each item occupying 1 bullet point. Resume's of non-campus freshers tend to drop their GPA etc and don't have any bullet points under academic achievements unless it is really really spectacular. GPAs and other academic achievements are typically forgotten after you graduate and become irrelevant.
Work Experience Resumes in India vastly differ from that in the U.S in this regard. In both places work experience is listed in reverse chronological order (most recent experience first). There are subsections to the work experience section. Each subsection is typically a job/designation you held in a company/across companies. Each change in designation, job either within the company or by moving to a new company results in a new section under work experience. The resumes I have seen in the U.S people have such sections demarcated by company-designation names in bold font. The header of these sections has one line bearing the company name, second line has their designation, business division. After this a series of bullet points follow written in sharp telegram sounding sentences (CAR - context Action Result - format). Each designation a person occupies in a company has a separate section and a set of bullet points. The CAR format is really effective. More effective if each bullet point is limited to 2-3 sentences. A quick glance would tell the recruiter succintly what this person has done. It is clear and less ambiguous. I would highly recommend the bullet point - CAR format to anybody.
In India many resume that I saw were radically different. This work experience section runs upto pages and the following format is extremely common and popular. For each company, the person lists the projects he/she has done for the company. The projects are explained in a descriptive format. First there is a descriptive paragraph containing a semi-detailed explanation of what the project is all about. It is not described in bullet points, it does not (yet) describe what the person did in the project. It describes the big picture of project in some detail. Then follows some bullet points of what the person did for the project. I have never understood this format but I was forced to build such a resume by my employer when they wanted to send my resume to clients. Most IT services companies have a specific format in which they require employees to build their resumes. This resume is used by managers to either pull a person to their group or send it to potential clients. I unnecessarily wrote 3 pages of thesis like resume content, knowing fully well that the client would never read much of it. From personal experience of being a 'client' I know that at least most US/UK based clients are perplexed to see volumnious resumes from IT services companies. I was very curious to find out the research these IT services companies had done to come to a conclusion on what the most 'client preferred' resume formats were. It is my opinion that no such research was done and maybe it was somebody's bright idea. The clients upon receiving such resumes, ofcourse, don't go through every word of it. They just scan pages to see if the skills they are looking for is mentioned. This trait of 'lets see if he got this' is true both in the U.S and India
For example if I were scanning resumes for a position that pertained to Linux driver development, I'd quickly look for projects that had such an experience. If such a project was mentioned, I'd look where this person did this project (Sometimes when your company sends you to scan resumes during career fairs, you have watch out good projects from dubious companies. I'd see an excellent device driver project done by the person when he was working for 'Shanthi Technology Solutions'. No mention of a client name. This means that chances are high that the project would be right out of a George Pajari book). If I am convinced that the project, its content and the person is legitimate on primafacie scan, I'd recommend that he/she be called for an interview. From talking to colleagues this is how shortlisting for interviews typically work. Projects that are not relevant to the job positions are usually overlooked until the interview stage.
The bottomline is such projects, which decide a call for an interview become very crucial. The more clear and powerful your experience is, the higher your chances of being called for an interview is. For example if your generic description of the project is impressive but your personal contribution is vague - you kill your chances of getting an interview call.
I have listed my opinions and my experiences with building resumes or scanning resumes. It is possible that I may have over generalized or incorrectly stated certain assumptions. This is the reason for writing such a blog post. I want myself and many others like me to be disabused of certain resume-related notions and benefit from public contributions on this topic. So if you have a different opinion on resume content/style and you have different experiences regarding shortlisting scanning resumes, please share them either in your blog post or in the comments section.