Thursday, December 31, 2009

Ask Questions...

Freedom of speech is something that has been endowed upon us by the constitution. Now, to what extent we use it or allowed to use it is matter that is quite debatable. Even the government that rules us, curbs that freedom to a greater extent and refrains us from speaking our mind or saying what is correct. The other angle to this thought is what is to be spoken on a public domain and what not. Who decides this? The speaker or law-makers? We have laws that states we cannot make inflammatory speeches, talks that violates the integrity of the country, anti-national remarks and comments on any community that can cause instability in the peace. What about somebody’s opinion about another individual? Can anyone say he/she feels about another person in a public platform in a civilized way, let me repeat ‘civilized way’? Or is it just not allowed?

Is an individual free to express his opinions on the current corporate culture being a part of a corporate himself? Is a journo allowed to discuss the loopholes in the present journalism system? Is a politician can have common public forum/platform where he can also have a direct interaction with the public and start analyzing the government policies and procedures? Many such intriguing questions baffle me for a simple reason because I live in the largest democracy of the world and we take huge pride in it. We started our journey of independence from a phase where we had to build everything, from public infrastructure to media to industries. When we almost reached the top of all these things we started thinking business out of everything. And business lands us in big trouble. It makes us materialistic.

That’s why today we find we have got some top news channels doing some of the best reporting & coverage, yet not joining hands for any common cause to build a better mode of communication of information. Why a Rajdeep can’t talk to a Pranoy for any joint initiative, it’s going to work wonders. There was a time when we had almost zero facilities for our national level players in sports, yet we were a top team in hockey, with each passing year not only our ranking is falling but today we find ourselves nowhere in the world scene. This has not happened because we have run out of talents, this mainly is the result of our lack of interest in the upliftment of such a sports. Neither the government nor the hockey federation is worried about this down-slide. But we call it our national sports. Why our sports academies are not getting the grants in time, and whenever they are getting they are not able to use it or misuse it quite well. Why do we need to host Commonwealth Games with the worst possible preparation and spend more than 1600 crores and forget about some of our traditional games like kho-kho or kabaddi, which are on the verge of extinction. Think over it. We face droughts and floods almost every year in some or the other part of our country. And after so much discussion we have even set up a ‘so-called’ Crisis Management Team. But what is that team doing exactly? Waiting for another such natural calamity to hit us and then rush to the site for some photogenic visits. Then some monetary aids and ‘renewed promises’ for ‘next time’. And the poor public waits for their turn to death. Time moves on and things. When it happened to you that you were quite excited about attending a lecture during your school or even college days? Why? Haven’t we studied to learn, or have studied to get those grades and then to forget and go ahead. Why can’t we have an education system aimed at making the curriculum more professional & exciting at the same place? Even in our B-schools we talk about CGPA. We talk about percentage and campus placements. Universities in the west have methodologies that take the students beyond mugging up concepts and rather apply it, why can’t we? In UK you will find specialization in soccer! And finally our politics and politicians. We have seen our politicians for last 60-odd years running our country in their own ways and we have seen some good ones too! How many of them made it possible to bring the common man as close as possible to the government and have a different say? When we have introduced the Right To Information Act, opposition opposed to death not to make it happen. They were not successful and I felt that the public won. Actually that was just the beginning, yet our have not disclosed what the people wants. They have disclosed what they want to and how much they want to. With every changing government, this Act is modified to suit their taste. Now when all some Shashi Tharoor did, made the democracy little more accessible from a social networking site, everybody who is not getting their share of popularity is having some serious problem. For God’s sake, can’t we start accepting differences, changes and truth? He has maintained his individuality, his say & his stand for all the policies that the government has made and his take on them. He kept his 5.5 lacs of followers updated about his everyday work (sometimes every minute as well!). Did I say more than half a million in my last sentence, oh freaking ‘yes’. That’s a number which is more than the viewership of some of today’s news channels. Now that’s going to a big problem in today’s news hungry media industry. As long as Mr. Tharoor speaks to the journos, they are happy or he is being so transparent. If he speaks on a social networking site, then he is accused of speaking on a public domain and it becomes a crime. I understand how many minutes of breaking news the channels are losing! Shame on those hypocrites and for God’s sake let such politicians live in peace. 550000 people who are following Mr. Tharoor can’t be wrong then; the site even has an option for the followers to un-follow! Even today we have parties like ‘Left front’, who has the outstanding track record of opposing all the new proposal/policy/initiatives taken by any government. Today, the country from where they have brought in their ideology is one of the super-powers of the world and they are still limited to their own small ground in the eastern parts of India. It’s only a matter of time Mamta & co will finish them off or they come out with some revamped ideologies and progressive thinking to appeal to today’s population.

I am not a narcissist who has a problem with all the systems that we have. The problem is I just can’t say all is well when I find loopholes in my own daily life, things I do, systems I myself am involved with. We can’t say all is well till we question everything. Corruption can only be eradicated if start questioning from the very grassroots level. Or else we can continue living our life with some false promises made to ourselves and some unachievable ambitions. I wish the public takes the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan seriously and get educated faster to start asking questions. They can start asking about the adulteration in their free mid-day meals. Is not that simple to start with? Or is it? Somebody, somewhere has to start. Those who have questioned have got two things: boot or recognition. In India getting the boot is easy than recognition, so the level of encouragement is less, that’s where we need to bring a change. Can we recognize those who raise their voice and questioning things happening around them? There are many such groups unlike Prince Dance Group of Odisha who go unnoticed for years together, and then they dissipate in the darkness forever. Can we have a platform to recognize these talents? Like this, questions are many. We need to ask them. We may not get an answer, may not get it most of the times. But we need to keep on asking them. Everybody makes mistakes, some big mistakes. But you can't hide in your room forever feeling sorry for yourself. At some point, you've got to get back out there, face up to things, and confront your fears. Some people are born to families where they do not need to ask questions in their lives, some don’t care. But we have to work our way to the top, put in the effort, and if we mess it up, we'll learn from it. Besides, sometimes it's not about knowing the right answer. Sometimes it's about asking the right questions.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Here Comes Christmas...

Sometimes nothing but a road-side, greasy, floppy, bread-slice-overwhelming, onion-infused, whipped-to-death omelette will do. This was more or less my type of schedule during Christmas celebrations. This year is different, thanks to my office and my colleagues. All the buzz, hype and preparations are making it one of the best so far. I have been doing shopping since 21st. And it really is exciting. I hope I enjoy it to the maximum. We have few competitions chalked out for tomorrow. After long the employees are kind of charged up for these events. I hope we make a great day tomorrow at work and somehow define ‘fun at workplace’. This concept rarely comes in the dictionary of small organizations as they do not have the liberty of spending time and workforce behind all these. Yet, we have managed to try our best whenever we got an opportunity and we always kept our spirits high. There were not one but many occasions where the employees didn’t show that much of interest in the celebrations. That never let us down…actually it did. But I don’t know why, I & my ex-boss always felt that we can see that one day when we can bring them all together on the common platform and enjoy the occasion together. And my current boss not only shares the same vision but has tried her best at making this Christmas special. If tomorrow turns out be a dampener, no regrets, we tried our best as usual. If it clicks well, everybody should be proud. And the little hopeful inside me who always looked upto organizations like Google, IBM and many more where ‘fun at workplace’ is a practical concept rather than just a term on the management books, is feeling greattt (sorry, I have to add those extra ‘t’s).

Those who wish to sing always find a song. So our team HR is upto the task and hey… is unsure, so ideally one should always eat the dessert first. I want to be happy as I have not seen tomorrow. Merry Christmas to you all and wish you all the possible happiness in this world. Wherever you are and whatever you do, just be happy. P E A C E…

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

My Village...

I was just trying few things in Google, and I don’t know why, I typed the name of our village, Dad’s birthplace. It’s been 7 years that I have been there. And in last 12 years I have been there just twice. Coming back to the Google thing, I found few results from Wikimapia. And I clicked it to see that place where I stayed for few years and started my education. Mom was never happy as I had to study in vernacular medium, so did my maternal side. She was born and raised in the best city of Odisa, and had to come to this raw and secluded village and so was the reaction. This village along with another 3 villages was actually cut off from other localities by 2 rivers. I exactly could not locate my school on the virtual map, but found one next to it. Found the two rivers, and few houses.

Today when I am looking at these locales through Wikimapia sitting in Mumbai where I am living for last 4 years, I just realized how far I am from all those quiet places I stayed. I really miss them. This is the place that made me fearless in those dark nights when there was a power cut. This is the village that I liked so much because I always found my relatives nearby, the ones I love, and the ones’ I hate too! This tiny village has taught me to carry the inherent qualities that my ancestors had in them. More importantly, I will always be grateful to my father to have given me a chance to live in the place where he was born and raised upon. I know what & how much it means to him. I know the amount of importance each small landmark of this village carries for him. This is the place that made me aware of the fact that I belong to the red soil and is going to be mixed with it one day.

I got a little bit nostalgic, then I asked myself: can I stay there? Do I want to stay there? The answer to both the questions came as ‘NO’. Because I have been given a completely different lifestyle while being raised. We stayed at more than 4 places before moving to Mom’s hometown where we have built our own homes. Just like I love our home, Dad loves his, but he knows we don’t feel the same somehow towards his village. I know it feels bad to him, but can anybody answer me, why can’t we live without leaving behind all these glitz & glamour. And all these materialistic things. Sometimes when I feel sad, shattered and low; I just want to leave everything and go back to that room where I used to sleep at our village home and wink through that tiny little window to the huge garden we had in the back. And forget everything. Blank.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Living On...

It's been 25 years now. The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. For me, it has more effect than facts. My own attitude towards life has changed a lot and is still on a changing cycle. I know being a 25-year-'old' gives me the leeway to call my mistakes as experiences. No matter what I do from now on is going to represent me as well as give me my own identity.

Talking of identity, I have not been able to carve one for myself so far. I know it for sure that it's not late, but surely I have to start working towards it right away. My father is someone I always looked up to. And even if I achieve 50% of what he has got in his life, then my life would be worth living for. While I will be working to establish my identity, I will make sure that I am happy and content in what I will be doing. I hope I can keep on writing, atleast for next 50 years (somebody predicted I would be bidding adieu to the world @ 73, so that leaves me with 48 years exactly). I hope my closed ones would be there while achieving my small goals of life.

As I look back today, I find uncountable memories full of uncountable people. And, when I look at the future, it is full of opportunities, hope I will be able to convert few of them into success to make all those proud one day who believed in me.

Good Thoughts,
@ My desk, ValueProcess.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Whatever...Kuchh Bhi...

When I look back and read my post, I feel... this is me, so me. I want my closed ones to care for me, I don't want them to be overly caring; I want them to be always near me, I also do not want their too much of presence; I want someone who calls up at night to ask me whether I had my dinner or not, yet I don't want it everyday.... so on & on & on. Exactly what do I want? Do I even want anything, any damn thing? May be not. May be I do not deserve. I don't know. I am going mad. Whatever...

I have this commitment-psychosis, thanks to my ever changing mood. And marriage. To fuel this thought in mind, not 1 but 3 of my cousins bros are getting married in next 3 months, while 1 got married last month. The entire family is happy as the boys are into the marriage-thing after a hiatus of close to 7 years. Even I was tired being a part from the bride's side for last 7 years. But being a part of baarati and being in the hot seat on mandap are largely different things. I hate when people around me even talk about marriage, coz our discussions about marriage concludes at a dead-end. A point of no return. Whatever! And again, I ask the same old question: why do people get married? To have children, or for their parent's sake. One of my aunt was so concerned about my eating habits in Mumbai that she is always after me to get married, so that my wife will take care of the food. I mean, now I have to get married coz I'll have someone who can cook. Do I need to marry for that? I am paying my bai 1500 bucks to cook, and I am happy with the food. Whatever! I don't bother. Secondly, finding "the one" is pretty tough, as of now I think it's impossible. My friends say I am thinking too much and getting too much critical in my choice, but dear how can I just close my eyes if I have to take the biggest decision of my life? It's too damn hard. And the result: marriage plans are dropped indefinitely. Whatever!

I just had a self-analysis, and not surprisingly I found out that if I have to stay happy 'from inside' more than 15 days a month, then I better stay single. That sounds weird, but for me, as of now, this holds true. May be my theories suck, may be I am sounding stupid, but I am confused. May be tired. I know it sounds ridiculous, but I am already over-using the term 'whatever' today... thanks to my blank mind...Whatever mind... Kuchh bhi mind...

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

November Blues!!! What's that?

Oh it's raining! Raining since almost 2 days. Rain in November... is there something wrong! Dhoni & Ponting's men are staying at 'Four Points' and looking at the weather. It seems they will end up in spending majority of their time inside the hotel and the rest in shopping at Inorbit. Their wives have already started shopping and eating some real oily stuff at the Inorbit food-court. Dhoni would be happy not to face the Aussie heat (that to in wet conditions ;-) ). Raj baba's men went nuts as usual inside Maharashtra's assembly for some weird reasons taking MNS's image to another low. The MET department has given a cyclone (they have given it some alien name also) warning for today, thus making sure that it is not going to happen.

Today, also marks 2 years of my first post in this blog, which actually was an excerpt from one of my e-mails. It was written for my ex and then I thought of putting it here. That is how I started writing on a blog, for the first time. From then , till now, one thing has remained constant; no one reads my blog ;-). Today also marks the completion of my two successful years as an eligible (atleast my ex-boss says so) bachelor after 7 odd years of hook-up with my ex. Life has moved on, not very far but things have changed a lot. By the way, I am having a break-up party this evening at my place. It would be low-key... only vodka ;-). And you never know I might end up spending my weekend with a proper break-up party with a candle-lit dinner with a new girl (this candle light idea is given by my friend Rishal!). I have this long list of female acquaintances which sometimes entices me to recreate a story for my child-ren: "How I Met Your Mother- Indian Version" ;-) I can only see myself playing Uncle Barney...hehe...

Well, I need to present a business plan that got shortlisted in top 8 in an event organised by UTVi at KJ Somaiya this Friday. I literally have no idea what I am gonna speak thanks to my work schedule. Let's see, how it goes. Until next time, it's bye folks.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Not Anymore...

What do you understand by cold war? How are you going to define it? Is it because the relationship has become cold? And why do we always have a cold war with a person who is close to you? Is it because you want to fight with them or is it something. What I found in most of the cases, it is the clashes of ego, or may be clashes of the way we think. Every individual is different from each other, but we don’t accept this fact easily. We want the person in front of us to think the way we are thinking. But to what extent?

I am not writing this post of because I am having one such thanda war with anybody, but mainly because I am tired of losing people close to me in my life. I am too tired even to think about that. So each time I feel that I am having such kind of a tiff with someone close to me, I can’t take it easily. It’s really tough on my part, even though it’s not a new thing, anymore. If that someone thinks the same way or everything goes ‘perfect’ (may be an overstatement) for a long time, and when you start thinking that he is the one you can call a ‘buddy’ any given day in your life, things start changing. I have learned to give myself sometime, but these phases are really tough to survive. Because all the time I live under the insecurity of losing that someone. Can’t live with this feeling.

I just hope, this is not a war, forget about being cold. I hope this is not a fight, as in my dictionaries buddies don’t fight, they just agree to disagree. I hope this friendship is not going to lose its charm, as I have not thought of such a good friend since last few years. I hope this just a small bad dream which I am seeing and is going to get over soon. Because all I can do, is ‘hope’.

Hope, we would remain as such ever. Hope…

Friday, November 6, 2009

The Pain of the Master

[You may find certain words in this post which may not be appreciated in a public forum, but I am/shall NOT be apologetic about it, as I am just expressing my thoughts as a normal frustrated and disgusted crcket fanatic]

A banner in SCG ground on 4th January 2008 read, "Commit all your crimes when Sachin is batting. They will go unnoticed because even the Lord is watching."

We, Indians, grew up watching Cricket. You can smell its flavor in every nook & corner of our homes. We eat cricket, sleep with it & wake up thinking about it only. Obsession is not wrong, even for a passion like this over-obsession can also be understandable. But turning blind or analyzing the reasons behind our failure should not be avoided as well.

And today, we are also debating about being a top class team and reaching the number one position in world cricket. Have we ever asked ourselves, that whether do we even deserve it or do we have the skills, temperament and the attitude to be in that position???

Just a brief glance over last couple of month’s developments (though we find such things since time immemorial)

-> We bring in Rahul Dravid to Champions Trophy saying he is the need of the hour. Then we dump him in the next series saying he is not fitting into the scheme of things. Now here, no one knows how our selectors and BCCI defines “need of the hour” and “the scheme of things”.

-> We field players like Harbhajan, who himself does not know what he is doing in the team for last 3 years. And players like Amit Mishra are picked to provide water and snacks for players. Gambhir has gone to hibernation post last year’s IPL and cricket season. But he is on seventh heaven winning ICC player of year award.
-> Yuvraj’s tummy is crossing all the limits and he is our best fielder. We are a young side (or so they say) and we do the maximum errors in the field, most of them are of school-level standards. To place on record, Bangladeshi guys are 2.5 times better fielders than us.
-> People like Rohit Sharma and few others still does not know why they are not in the team when people like Ravindra Jadeja and Virat Kohli are warming the bench inside the team pavilion.
-> Ishant Sharma has become Irfaan Pathan, part-2. The other seamers are saying they are missing Zaheer bhai! Do they even know where to deliver a good-length ball?
-> After all this, Yuvraj & Viru has time to speak “jab tak balla chal raha hai, thaat hai” on a TV commercial. Do they even understand what they are saying!

And then, there is this man, called some Tendulkar who is playing for just 20 years. Two decades, 435 matches and still scoring more than the above mentioned morons. Still having that hunger. Still having the thinking to win & only win. To hang in there till he can to get that extra run, to save that extra run & to run that extra yard to take a catch. Some sons of guns ask him again & again what is his motivation, to which he simply answers that for him cricket is his life and playing for India is a privilege throughout. Everyday, when he wakes up he feels honored to wear that helmet and that blue shirt. How many youngsters care the same way, he cared playing for India not for 1, 2 or 5, but for 20 years. And if you watch him playing even today, you can see he still cares!

We are bigger chokers than South Africans. May be the biggest. But we are also most hopeful people on the planet earth. Even Obama must have thought, I could fool these people 100 times easier than Americans. Yes, we love to stay in a negative mindset being hypocrites. People blame the same Tendulkar, stating that when he scores a ton we lose. Those b******s don’t understand that there are 10 other players who also need to deliver. Also, these d***heads watch each time Sachin comes to bat and they celebrate each time India wins. Hypocrisy at its best.

I was expecting Ponting to say in the post match presentation after yesterday’s match that: Sachin is unfortunate to play with such a team. Because the team neither has passion, determination nor the will to win, and this is where teams like Aussies and South Africans are differentiated. Sixty one years ago, at the end of a tour of England by Don Bradman's famous pack, John Arlott put it thus: "Australianism" wrote Arlott, "means single-minded determination to win - to win within the laws but, if necessary, to the last limit within them. It means where the 'impossible' is within the realm of what the human body can do, there are Australians who believe that they can do it - and who have succeeded often enough to make us wonder if anything is impossible to them. It means they have never lost a match - particularly a Test match - until the last run is scored or their last wicket down."

How many times this tiny man, the master, is going to save us? How many times are we going to lean upon his shoulders? For God’s sake, he is just a human and just another player. Just a week back, the great Yuvraaj said in a press meet that they all are calling Sachin ‘grandpa’, because of the amount of cricket he played. Yuvraj still behaves as casually as he said that statement with absolute zero learning. These f**ing idiots need to be tamed sooner.

Till the day, the other 10 morons in the team won’t think like 10% of what Sachin thinks, we should stop discussing crap things like becoming numero uno or being a world-class team. Deserve before you desire.

Saluting tiny Tendlya of Sharadashram Vidyamandir, the shy Sachin practicing at Shivaji Park, the little champion, India’s run machine and Master Sachin Tendulkar. We still love you, and I can say with more than 100% assurance that India won’t watch cricket the same way if you won’t be there. You define cricket to your fans, to India.

The stupid ‘hopeful’ in me want to say: “Just don’t go Sachin”

Monday, October 26, 2009

Life's Like That...

It has been an eventful October, a month I would remember. Today, while writing this, is the last day of my home trip. I came home after 10 months, the longest so far. I stayed for 11 days, including 3 unpaid leaves, man that’s some money. I have spent maximum time at home in this trip, which I missed in the earlier ones. But missed out on meeting all of my near & dear ones. It’s bound to happen if you are going to visit your hometown as a guest for 10 odd days. Don’t know, but sometimes I feel I should take off for a couple of months or so and spend time here. It’s so calm & relaxing. You don’t have to think anything else apart from comfort. All I seriously did here was two things: eat & sleep. I made up for all those lost sleep in last 9-10 months and had best of the cuisines. If my bosses permit, I would be coming down in four months time to attend two of my cousins’ marriage. Fingers crossed.

This October, as I posted in my previous post, Nipun left us to go back to his hometown. He’s been a great buddy, flat-mate and overall a good human being. Will miss him for sure, his antics and his style. His sense of humor has been the best of all. Girls loved him for reasons more than humor though! I hope we will be in touch. Yup, I can only hope.

I will be resuming work day after tomorrow and that would be the last of Shweta, my immediate reporting manager, a thorough professional and a good friend in the process. I feel it will take few more years for me to be that professional. She has been a great guide too after her tough sessions specially designed for me. It helped to a great extent. I know how much different it would be to go to the same workplace where I won’t be able to ping her through our office messenger and share Chicken Pudina Kabab in lunch. Celebrating all those weird days dedicatedly and the humor on the fellow employees. All these will be terribly missed. Don’t know, what future holds for me from now onwards. All I can do, is to wish her all the very best as she is going to start a new innings in her life and moving to New Delhi. Delhi guys have already started calling her Butter Chicken!!!

Also, one of our old & good friends is going to join us in our flat in place of Nipun. With him, the flat would become an all-Odia (not Oriya) flat. Likewise, someone also joined in place of Shweta as well. She has been doing really well so far. But sometimes I ask life, why is it that we always have to accept changes and live with it? Why can’t people/situations/things be constant? I get so many answers; so many times it remains unanswered as well.

But when I conclude all the answers, I discover the same old thing: “Life’s Like That”.

Monday, October 12, 2009

The Saturday That Was...


10th October, 2009

Life is a great leveler. Today was one of those days, I realized it, again. My day started with those thoughts in mind where I feel like going back to home and do nothing. The sun was shining, a bit too much and was humid as usual. But there was something in the air, could not recognize, may I be did not want to. Went to have a vegetarian lunch, thanks my Saturday thing. Then lots of shopping and a good dinner. All through this, someone was there with me, and helped me do shopping, as I stay in my confused state of mind during buying anything. That someone is there for some time now, just that now I can count upon her. A great person and a great companion to be with. Time literally flies, when she is around. Well, please do not read between/beyond these lines.

But the day also contained the separation of one my flat mates who was leaving Mumbai permanently to join their family business. I never interacted with him during my MBA days so much apart from the formal gestures. But we became good friends in the last 18 months of his stay here. Now I am the last person surviving in this flat who has signed the initial contract with the landlord in December 2007. Life moves on, but will miss him.

I spent some great moments with a new person in my life and got to know her better and someone close to us went far away. But I know they won’t forget me that easily. I won’t brag, but that’s the effect I have ;-) Enough self-appraisal for the day. Chao.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

I Wanna Go Back...

The transition phase between monsoon and winter is pleasant. Especially the late afternoons and the evenings. I stayed at 6 places in last 25 years of my life. Each place has its own memories and I keep on connecting myself to each of them. Today, as I am sitting idle at my window gazing at the sky through the branches of the coconut tree next to my flat, I am thinking about all those afternoons and evenings I have spent. I still feel nostalgic as I used to feel while leaving each one them. But now, all I want is just one thing: I want to go back in time, and live all those moments all over again. I have no regrets about what I have done so far in my life, just that I found that I was more happy while growing up. Happiness without any conditions. Running to home back from school was the biggest journey for me. Seeing off Dad going to office was the saddest moment of the day. Hitting a boundary off my brother’s bowling was the biggest achievment. And stealing cashew nuts from kitchen was my deepest secret. Can I turn the time back?

I will be at home exactly in a month from now. But it’s getting tough now. Been close to 10 months. Missing it more as I am down with tonsillitis, flu and some usual fever thing. Somebody suggested me yesterday to have a glass of whisky with warm water, but then I was telling myself: you are late dear.


Sunday, September 13, 2009

This Is It...

We sometimes think thousand times in taking a decision, sometimes it can be a real small one. But we take time. To do or not to. To be or not to be. Whether you are right or wrong. Whether the decision is morally correct or immoral. Logical or illogical. Justified or unjustified. Do I need to prove anybody with my decisions? May be no. It hardly matters to the world. All I need to prove is to myself. May be in my life, the number of correct decisions taken to the number of wrong ones tells me to take a call instinctively more often. At the end of it, your life is the sum of the choices that you take.

Me being a teetotaler… sounds freaking scary. Don’t you worry guys. I still love world music and still die for Tom Hanks and Monica Belucci. I still hate travelling and taking calls in the morning. I still am nervous in presentations and still hate Mondays. You can’t take Subhajit out of me. Life’s the same minus some liquids. Will have to find a suitable replacement for that L J

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Wake Up...

Sometimes I think why I did MBA! I actually pondered over this thought many times post my MBA. Last 18 months in corporate life has been full of ups and downs. If I only analyze it with up and downs, it’s all right. Then I ask myself how many days I woke up in the morning and really felt like going to office, with a mind full of new ideas and plans? How many days have I thought of executing my thoughts into action in the office? How many days have I thought of going to office without thinking about my boss’s temper? How many evenings have I returned home with a smile of satisfaction on my face after work? You may ask the same questions to any professional working somewhere or the other and may add some more questions. The answer to more than 90% of them would come “very few”. But why? We are supposed to work at capabilities equivalent to the kind of study that we have done in our MBA days and a level where managerial expertise comes into play. But all we do is to just wake up, run and find a way out till we finish saying "yes sir" and achieving our daily "targets". It's a mad race and we come back all exhausted thinking we managed one more day at the workplace.

You may counter attack the last two lines in the above paragraph by saying that all who pass an MBA are not employable. Agreed. But then those who are not employable are they also not trainable? Have we ever thought in bringing those people who are lagging behind due to the lack of training upwards? No. In today’s time, no one invests in training like Tata Steel, L&T or Mahindra & Mahindra used to do. Even these pioneers have cut their costs on their inductions as well. Marketing pass outs are still selling credit cards with all the pride, thanks to the pay cheque and the flowery designation. Finance guys are still busy in credit recovery with zero learning. And HR hopefuls are still aspiring to work in profiles like PMS or OD while doing recruitment day in and day out. Life is moving, so are they. But till what extent one go like this without any specific target in his/her career. I was happy the starting salary in my last organization offered me right after my MBA, as it also was at par with the industry then. Profile was into generalist HR and after a month I realized generalist means everything that falls under the purview of HR. You also have to send birthday cards to the employees and take office stationary requisition from the employees as well. I look at the daily routine of a friend who stays with me, and I find I am better off. He wakes up at 6:55 in the morning and comes back at 11 PM. He does “hardcore” sales and gets paid well by the private bank for which he works with all the devotion. I remember a line by Rashmi Bansal in her book “Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish” foreword: “if you are paid well to sell soaps after your MBA, will you do that?” This line always fascinates me. Have we studied and dreamt of selling anything for money. Or there was something called as ‘ideas’ turning into ‘reality’? It’s confusing for me, it baffles me every day. But this friend of mine gave all of us a great news when he announced that he is going back to his hometown where he is planning to join his family business and have some great plans to expand it. Sounds so cool, independent, worthy and something that you can take pride for what you doing. I can write another 10 pages on the corporate lives of the young MBAs and may prove that it was not worth studying. But again, it helped me as an individual widen my horizon of knowledge into many domains which I never even heard of.

Things always look better when you are on the other side. My current organization offered me a great profile, I passionately accepted it. Things are going well and fine. I wake up every morning and come back at 9, doing my job. Dad still works in the same bank where he started working 25 years back, satisfied and calls me up to ask how my work is going on. I tell him everything going great. He feels good. I call up Mom once I reach my flat and tell her that her son is doing some great things here in the city of dreams. She feels better than Dad. Sometime I talk to my younger brother and give him some serious advice as if I have really cared for him after I left home 4 years back. I go back to sleep thinking everybody is happy. And then I realize, all I have is just few more hours left to wake up again.

Monday, August 31, 2009

The Third Page of Mumbai...

Page 3. Sounds so glamorous. But just go back 10 years and you will find almost nothing. I wont talk about any gray side of this new and ever growing culture but rather I will write on we have become a part of it and it has become a part of our lives.

We can start from fashion. Today atleast a guy doing engineering or MBA knows who is Manish Malhotra or a Neeta Lulla. They know them thanks to the coverage by media in both its formats, thanks to the Page 3 gatherings. Their curiosity and interest to know these also matters. Page 3 has become a platform where socialites from different walks & corners of life are meeting to discuss and exchange many ideas than just having some good time with a glass of Château de Villeneuve in their hand. The days are gone when only stars from movie industry were found on the guest list of a page 3 party. Now things are changed, for the venue to the menu and most importantly the kind of people on the guest list. Now one finds a party by Tarun Tahiliani or Vikram Phadnis celebrating the success of their fall winter collection at a gathering. At the end of the day it makes a person like me & many others to know what fashion is and what exactly is the time when a fall winter collection comes out.

Theatre personality and Ad gurus like Alyque Padamsee or Prasoon Joshi are regulars at Page 3 nights. They do not drop in a party because they will get some limelight as they do not need it anymore but they can share ideas, thoughts and meet new people from the same and different fields. Still we do not find the biggies (from the Ad world) like Piyush or Prahlad very often. They still are engrossed in their world of Ads so much. Even many ad campaigns do start off  from such page 3 parties.

People like Vijay Mallya, A.D. Singh or Gautam Singhania among many others who has been organising these gatherings from a time when this culture was even existing there. They were labeled as casanovas or debonairs, but they simply gave a damn. Now each electronic and print media house are running around these places for news/sound bytes, among other nice bytes! These parties at places like Olives, Enigmas, Mochas, DV8s, H2Os or Bohemias gave birth to a new gastronomic and spirit revolution. These are the youth's favourite destinations apart from politicians, industrialists, personalities from entertainment industry, media and some only-page 3 regulars. If you go to Delhi and you won't find Suhel Seth there or for that matter Queenie Dhody in Mumbai then the party is surely missing their regular guests.

I always felt Madhur's Page 3 is not a complete picture or even a correct depiction of the Page 3 arena, but just a small part of it. Though it was well-reviewed and appreciated, I thought it's a poor movie where editing was terrible and screenplay was at its worst. Let's not get into the movie. Let's talk about Mumbai where this culture has evolved and bloomed over the years inspite in the auspicious presence of Balasaheb now Raj baba.

This culture is evolving & evolving quite fast. If we can just subtract the illegal part from this, we will have a complete different society altogether where you can find yourself with a completely different set of people.

It's an addiction. Specially when you experience it in Mumbai. It really gets into my imagination all the time. It's insane. But it's too damn exciting to stop thinking about it. Glamour has it's attractions.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

My Next Script...

I am a big movie buff. But this year has been a big disaster. Thanks to some worst possible movies made by the biggest possible producers and the great multiplex-producers fight over revenue sharing. The second half of the year looks brighter with some more directors getting ready to deliver their products and I am all ready to experience some long awaited unforgettable moments inside Fame. Asutosh & Rajkumar Hirani are two of those awaited movie makers in my list for this year as Karan delayed “My Name is Khan”  to next year. As far as Hollywood is concerned I am still awaiting a movie even closer to the likes of “The Pursuit of Happiness”.  “Milk” & “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”  were good but not outstanding. Missed “Revolutionary Road”,  “The Reader” & “Changeling”, will catch it up soon on DVD.

My blog’s profile clearly states that I am not into fiction. Actually it puts me off, but don’t know why, today thinking to write a small little story. But as the post suggests so far, it would be completely filmy, so no questions on logic. Though I’ll keep it as real as possible (sounds big time clichéd na!). Ok, let’s start, my first story. My story. Well, kind of. 

As of now, have kept the deadline of 13th September. So that I can post it on 14th (for obvious reasons, hehe). Let's see if I can meet that. I hope it would be exciting...and as we call it... Paisa Vasool...

Friday, August 28, 2009

Renewing Identities...

Two men went fishing. One was an experienced fisherman, the other wasn't. Every time the experienced fisherman caught a big fish, he put it in his ice chest to keep it fresh.

Whenever the inexperienced fisherman caught a big fish, he threw it back. The experienced fisherman watched this go on all day and finally got tired of seeing the man waste good fish. 'Why do you keep throwing back all the big fish you catch?' he asked. The inexperienced fisherman replied, 'I only have a small frying pan...'

Sometimes, like that fisherman, we throwback the big plans, big dreams, big jobs, big opportunities that God gives us. Our faith is too small. We laugh at that fisherman who didn't figure out that all he needed was a bigger frying pan, yet how ready are we to increase the size of our faith? Whether it's a problem or a possibility, God will never give you anything bigger than you can handle. That means we can confidently walk into anything God brings our way.

Nothing is too big for God. REMEMBER: Stop telling God've got big problems. Tell your problems've got a BIG GOD!

Well, guys I am not getting spiritual. I shall now therefore humbly propose my own more-real-thoughts, which I hope will not be liable to the least objection.

My boss in my last organization once asked me what do I understand by NLP. NLP or Neuro-linguistic programming in simple terms means how we identify somebody with some object. Say, if I find my co-worker look like a banana leaf, then in future after 10 years if I see a banana leaf at some place, I can recollect him/her. It’s like giving an unique identification to each & every individual you know. It helps to recollect them, and recollect in a unique way (banana leaf just for an example, no offences meant ;-) hehe). Here I am not proposing any alternative to our great UIN mission headed by Mr. Nilekeni. Just imagine a world where we can resemble somebody with a bird, with an object, with what not; depending upon their nature, the way we know them. I still remember a visiting card of one my friend’s friend who’s great swimmer. She left her so-called high profile job only to pursue her passion further, swimming. Her new visiting card has her name & other details in one side and the other side has water & a picture of dolphin in it. This is what I call is real identity.

I wish in today’s world, if we will have such unique identities that will help us identify each other beyond caste, nationality & religion, we can eliminate few words like: hate, fear, terrorism and so on.

That is the kind of world I would like to see, I know we all would like to see.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

We Have Changed :(

Sometime during last month I had a visit to Inorbit, Vashi and was sitting in the food court with 2 of my friends. There was an artificial children playground there. The number was increasing inside it as it was a weekend. In front me many new cute little angels went inside it and got lost with each other. It really is surprising to know that how in this world, and in today’s time there are still some moments which you see live and wish it would be the exact scenario in the entire world. None of them knew each other; they never even met each other before. But mixed and played as if they know each other for years and as if this is the one last time they are meeting. These days our siblings don’t believe in each other! Friends deceit, our relatives don’t trust us. Our parents don’t believe on us. May be we ourselves don’t believe on our own capabilities. Where is that trust which one can see in those tiny eyes, where is the blind faith which sparkles in those eyes? For those 15 minutes they forget the world and be with each other. How many moments are we spending like that today in our lives? One can give an excuse that time does not allow him/her, but is it that difficult to switch off your mind for 10 minutes. May be we can’t, we can’t live without our cell phones for 5 minutes, switching off mind is too much to ask for.

Now the second and most disturbing thought. I found a mother who came with her daughter (around 6 years old) and sent her to that playground after her repeated request. She was quite sophisticated and well mannered. But the lady is one of a kind guys, she did not even have the interest to go the counter to pay for her daughter. She gave her a 50 rupee note and asked her to go alone and pay, the cutie was apprehensive but went ahead. She paid herself and went inside. Her busy mother went to get some Chinese stuff to eat. While the cutipie lost herself with other children, she didn’t forget her Mumma, kept on calling her to watch how much she was enjoying. To my utter disappointment, she was too damn busy in eating and not even listening her daughter once, for God’s sake, once. She was sitting just 7 feet away from her. The little finally realised it is of no use to call her as she and found her mates inside more close to her heart. I could not understand why do we earn so much, why do we have children & why do we even commit to responsibilities which we can’t complete??? If we can’t be with our own children for 10 minutes when they really need us or want us to be with them, then it is a shame. It really is. I hope we all understand the importance of these delicate relationships one day. Some day...

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

You Mean Tennis To Me...

When I see my write up on this blog which I penned on Sunday, February 1, 2009; I wonder how fast things can change, and have changed. It was only Roger’s tears which made me write that piece. Today, while writing this I feel this world is a great leveler. For a split of a second on Feb 1st I thought whether Roger still has it in him. But no one knew that Australian Open final on that day was just the beginning of a new surge in him that is here to stay. French open followed and before that he defeated the Nadal in Madrid Open. Nadal was shocked by Soderling in the French Open 4th round. Nadal is yet to come back to play tennis after that and Federer is yet to lose a match after Madrid Open. Fates turn, they do turn fast. Come Wimbledon, Roger’s home for last 7 years and Britain’s child. But this year Britain was behind Andy (Murray) and he did not disappoint as well. He went till the Semis only to get defeated by the other Andy. This year actually saw the resurgent Roddick in his full flow, regaining what he lost in last 6-7 years. He still cherishes the sweetness of the lone US Open title to his credit. Wimbledon arena is neither new to him nor did he fail here. But the problem for this 2-time finalist here is that he has faced the same man in the two finals he played here and is going to face him again this year.

The man waiting for him in the final was down but surely not out. The Fedex was running each corner of the 19 courts at The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club to clinch that title that eluded him last year. The stage was set. So were the players and their game plans. This match was supposed to be a match to create, break and cherish many records. So the lists of celebrity audience also were present with equal numbers. Pete Sampras, Bjorn Borg, Ivan Lendl, Sachin Tendulkar, Russell Crowe, Sir Alex Fergusson were just to name a few. And they did watch a spectacular match. Roddick took the 1st and 4th Set. Federer clinched the 2nd set from 6-2 down in the tie-breaker and reigned in the 3rd. 5th set was going nowhere. Nobody was able to guess who is winning. And there is a reason behind this, the score read 16-14 (as 5th set do not have a tie-breaker). Many legends reminisced classic battle of Borg, Sampras, Connors. Such was the patience of Federer. Such was the determination of Federer.

He was never out of anybody’s mind. People loved to hate him for his consistency. He was hungry. He was up for it. He waited till God said, ‘this one’s is yours chap’.

Now the only thing that is left for him to in this world: to beat Nadal in a slam final. Otherwise he has beaten him on clay before.

Hail King Roger. As Pistol Pete himself conceded, “you are ‘the’ greatest now”. This is your moment, seize it, and cherish it forever.

Monday, June 29, 2009

This Day, Three Years Back...

Today I reached Mumbai. Today I faced the monsoon in Mumbai for the first time. I could not sleep last night. As I left my home, left it long long way back. By rail it is 1932 kilometers. Dad is with me. But I can feel the time is running fast, running out. Boarded on the local train for the first time. Landed at Belapur station, not realizing that Kharghar is a different place altogether. Then one great auto driver decided to do his job as it was raining heavily every two minutes. We went to college directly, then to the hostel warden’s place. My first glance of the college was its name on the front and two big trees surrounding it. It still remains in my mind when I think of ITM. I was not happy for a moment, as time was running out. I got my hostel registration done and the college bus took me to my hostel. I got the fifth floor which also happens to be the top floor. Dad came with me, saw the flat, was impressed, but was not happy with the fact that 6 of has to share it. The day was normal, I came back in a flash with my Dad and stayed put in his room at ITM guest house. Nobody won’t believe that I was sharing a single bed with him for 3 days, just because I do not have to go to a place called ‘hostel’. Actually when I analyse, I find that I never had a problem staying in a hostel, just that I never stayed in a place where I did not find either Mom or Dad. Mumbai was just too far for me to reach them if I miss them, or if I am sick or if I just want to be with them. Back to 29th June. Time was running out. Too fast. Day ended. I went to the college, saw the crowd, canteen and the office. Left the classrooms ;) Came back to the guest house with Dad, roamed a bit in Kharghar with Dad. I just could not leave him for a second. Yes, time was running out. Time was running out for me as I could stay only 2 more days with him. It was not tough for me. It was simply impossible. I mean how could I leave him? I broke down uncountable times at uncountable places. But dad was rock solid. I know he can not afford to be weak in front of me. But so strong!!! Take a bow Dad.

And three years passed. I am looking out of my window from my office to the same station complex where I got down from train. Now I am working on the first floor of the same station, but with few more features added to me. Emotionally more stronger, better prepared for monsoon, a better understanding of Mumbai and a polished sense of humor! But I still remember this day. And the next two days. The day dad left me here and went. First day in college. Mumbai darshan. Lonavala trip. Yoga classes. Boring lectures. Canteen food. Chatting on the LP. Hiranandani market. Friends. Memories.

And Dad, I miss you.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Here Comes the Rain...

What's going on? I mean wherever I see, I can see people getting married. I have lost count how many people are got married this year and how many are slated!! I mean something is seriously wrong with them or with me! I can not even think of getting married now or in near future, though Mom has set a deadline of 2011 for me. Oh God!!! Help Me....

Monsoon started from today in Mumbai.... This is my 4th meet with monsoon in Mumbai. I hate going out in rain but love spending the quiet afternoons with pakodas or a cup o' coffee gazing through the window pane to those uncountable rain drops all over. The best thing I like about the first drizzle of the monsoon is the smell of the soil. It smells heaven and takes me back many years into my life.

What else!!! Paki boys and Lanka are fighting it out for the world cup T20. All the Indians will be rooting for Srilanka, for obvious reasons. Saina won a Super Series at Indonesia (first by an Indian). Still waiting to see Indians featuring in the top 20 in Tennis & Badminton.

Spending these days with atleast 10 meeting per day in the office with the production team, ops team and then with the bosses. Now I realize why they have printed 'strategic HR' on my offer letter while joining! On a serious note, it is helping me learn, and that's what matters.

Seems Pak is packing up Srilankan players back home and clinching the cup. Wishes to them :(

Sorry for not able to write regularly and thus coming up with these f***ing pieces.

Strictly not missing anybody....


Wednesday, May 27, 2009

I want some time "OFF"

I really do not know what’s the reason behind blogging less these days. Yes, T&D is taking a big chunk of my time & energy, but I could still manage with my long weekend offs. I feel sad as I am not even able to read Shobhaa’s blog. The only people I am keeping a track are Nainy & Sharad. And I must mention two posts of these guys which I found outstanding. Sharad’s views and analysis on the book ‘India: A Wounded Civilization” by V.S. Naipaul. It is not exhaustive, yet it is quite narrative and the 13 pointers he has given are really thought provoking. It shows how much he has gone into the root of the book and his own perspective which represents a lot of our thoughts. And Nainy’s take on her parents and the upbringing. It so beautifully written & narrated that I recommended atleast 4 of my friends to have a look at it. She talks about the way her parents have changed themselves in course of time and the outlook they share with their children. One line that really moved is, when she says that she is the same person inside the house which she is outside. This sounds so simple but I can bet only less than 5% of the children are able to do that in Indian society. I wish all parents could share such perspective towards life & their children. 

No movies since 2 months. It is getting tough for a movie freak like me. Waiting for Angels & Demons releasing on 29th (was supposed to release on 15th). Hope this one would be less complicated from Da Vinci Code. Going to watch Tom uncle after some time. Also waiting for Vishal Bhardwaj’s Kaminey (only for Vishal). IPL got over, so is the fever, but just for the time being as the T20 World Cup is around the corner. What an IPL it has been this year, where the bottom 2 of last year banged in to the finals and fittingly the lowest one clinched the title. Gilly showed his leadership skills just like Shane last year. Ironically, they both never got a chance to lead their national side even after serving it for so long! One of my colleagues in office said prior to the match that she wants Bangalore to win, for the only reason its captain is an Indian! I did not think much into that as she does not follow cricket, but was shocked to see my roomie feeling so bad when Gilly ended up in the winning side. He said and I quote “These Aussies take all the credit, they behave as if they have done everything; last year Warne did it, this year Gilly, we should praise our Indian players”. I preferred to keep quite as I feel this is just the outburst as the team he was supporting (RCB) came as the second best.

And finally, Mr. Singh is back, but most importantly with a bang. No more the cloud of Mrs. Gandhi and even the bachcha Gandhi has cleared the way from the cabinet and is on his way to become another Mahatma. I can smell an outside chance of Mr. Singh falling ill or citing the same reason for vacating the office in next 2-3 years to give the chhote nawab some warm up period as Mr. PM. The funniest moment for me was when Prannoy asked Jyotiradiya about Rahul’s chances as PM, and he replied Rahul’ji’. Everybody saw the amount of sycophancy (he said Manmohan without the ‘Ji’). Chalne do bhai, number toh mila Sonia aur Rahul ji ke party ko, aur kya chahiye?

What a happening May, and we all knew what happened this summer!!!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Where Is Your Kundli?

Things are going well & fine. I mean sometimes it’s going so fast that I want to have a pause; sometimes it’s too slow. I have got reasons for both. Details some other time. IPL fever is on rise and the fever is getting on the nerve for sure. Who all were saying shifting the tourney to South Africa will lose its charm; had to eat their words. Man, it’s India and you don’t need to play only in Eden Gardens to make it a hit. Wake up guys, this is a different age altogether. Taking a look at the political scenario, it’s getting dirtier everyday and the level is also decreasing. Even Mr. Advani is looking clueless. No need to talk about others. I am getting mad hearing same kinda news everyday. Let Mr. Singh come to rein us again, even if he says “Soniya ji se puchna padega” for everything. We all so-called intellects will talk about BJP but won’t vote, so let Congress take us forward to Gandhian age again! Oh, look at the democratic me! Sorry, politics is only on my other blog. This space is for some straight talk. I’ll stick to that.

While I was coming from office in the evening, I crossed a big automobile dealer which is also rumored to be the highest seller of a big automobile brand in Maharashtra. Two of my colleagues were accompanying me and suddenly someone said ‘tere ko pata hai, yahan pe kundli system chalta hai’. I could not get anything. When probed further, the other colleague said that ‘in logon ka final round kundli system hai’. I curiously asked them, are you guys talking about hiring policy here. To my utter amazement they said yes. I was pretty interested to know the details. They simply said that if you want to apply here for a job, then you have to clear their interview rounds and after the final round of interview, they will ask you for your kundli. Expectedly I asked them ‘why’? They said that’s their policy. I asked what if somebody’s kundli does not match!! Answer was ‘rejection’. I said is it some kind of a joke? For God’s sake, this 2009 and HR has travelled so long to reach a stage where it can call itself a strategic function than a support function. And still such practices are followed in organizations. It’s not a small firm; it has strength of more than 500 employees. This is disgustingly disturbing, regressive and simply a joke on the organizational practices in today’s time. I went blank after all these thoughts and thought what I am doing by talking so big to my employees about ‘employee branding’, ‘change management’….

Life is pleasant. Death is peaceful. It's the transition that's troublesomeIsaac Asimov

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Hard Times...Harder Truths

Oh Dear... I am posting after a month... Do not know what's keeping me busy off late; my job or my laziness...or both!!! 

I always believed that HR is like a doctor. When a doctor saves somebody’s life, the patient terms him as a God. He becomes the biggest hero of that patient’s life. Just like when an HR offers a job to a needy guy. Neither the doctor nor the HR classifies what is the background of a patient or a candidate before they start their job. Neither they do any favors nor do they take the place of the God. They just do their job. When we see the other side of the coin, it makes the scenario real tough. When a patient dies, then apart from his/her family, the entire mass blames the doctor. As if he deliberately let the patient die. Just like an employee blaming HR and making him/her the biggest villain when they are sacked/laid off. This is just a part of their profile. But a normal person or an employee does not understand this. For them their life or job means everything, rightly so. But why the person sitting other side always has to face the fire? Just because they are doing their duty? What an irony! Tough to understand, tougher to convince. Bu this is life. All the time you cannot keep people happy. That’s why somebody has quite rightly pointed out, if you have kept people around you always happy, then you must sacrificed a lot in your life. It holds true a large extent. Actually, one cannot.

The prime catalyst in igniting this thought in me is the layoff process which I was a part of. Fortunately or thankfully, whatever you say, I was on the other side the fence. But when I put myself in the shoes of employees to whom we break the news that today will be your last day, it feels shocking and it really hurts. The worst part is the after-effects of this. Once you break the news, then you have to face questions to which you do not have an answer. What is the answer, when somebody asks on what basis she/he is laid off, when somebody says I have 3 year old daughter, when somebody breaks down completely, somebody simply says ‘I do not want to go, I love this company’. I did not have the answer to one of these.

But I am doing it, with all the conviction, as a part of my profile, my job & for my organization. Because, when I think from my organization’s standpoint I see a bigger picture. I find that that in order to save 200 employees we need to get rid of those 20 and we made sure that they are the bottom 20 and we also kept other attributes in mind as well. At the same one can also see a larger perspective if he/she goes through the record of layoffs in last 6 months alone in bigger brands. Be it IBM, Jet Airways, Wipro or many others. Their layoff process and pattern is tougher and sometimes humiliating, but they can say that they can afford it. Because they have a big brand name attached to it.

It’s just that, I am just an average guy overloaded with organizational goals and preloaded with emotions. So it becomes tough to find a perfect equilibrium. You know what, I was wrong to think that recruitment was monotonous, it is too far better than saying ‘goodbye’. We all are a part of this corporate culture, sooner we realize & accept it, better for us. This culture has got two sides, but one should take all in the right spirit and come out of it as a winner.

 Just another day at office!!!

[the above views are my personal take on a particular issue, my organization does not represent these opinions]

Saturday, March 28, 2009

One Fine Friday

Yesterday was a great day. I got some time off and I think I made the most of it. My usual Saturday night outs are now becoming monotonous after exploring all the places in this central suburb. Yesterday was Friday and I had my lunch at Inorbit, Vashi followed by a ‘Choco Mint’ at Costa Coffee. I love coffee, but was bored by going to CCD every time. So Costa Coffee was the result, the concept is same including the menu (they literally ripped of some names from CCD as well). The only differentiating factor was the music. And, here you have to place the order yourself at the counter and then they will serve you. In this case I prefer the traditional waiter-approach at CCD. After getting my order my table, my friend asked for extra sugar to a coffee-waiter. But he just nodded his head and went away; he did the same while I was placing the order. So I was almost ready to fire him next time. My friend called him again, I was ready, and so was my friend. He came and politely directed with a nice smile that another waiter will attend us as he can not hear! Oops… I felt bad, guilty and ashamed of my thoughts and anger. I mean he never showed any dissent at us but we assumed whatever we could. Then my usual self went into analytical mode. I asked myself is it correct to employ somebody who is deaf at such a place where the target crowd is intolerant of these human failings. Or have they taken a right decision and have sent a right message to others. He was a young, decent looking, energetic and chilled-out guy. He was serving with utmost ease. He was keeping himself as busy as others and you really can not make out that he just can’t hear. But the problem arises when the customer asks him anything, he has to rush back to his colleagues and send them to that particular table. It is going to happen not once but many a times that somebody will shout for his behavior and things might go wrong due to his communication. Or may be one day the management thinks they can’t be anymore tolerant and release him. What next for him? In India how many places like this and how many organizations come forward for people like him who are just like us minus one thing?

I can write on & on. But do not want to. Feeling bad for him but I do not sympathize. Coz he does not need that, he needs equal right and opportunity. Can remember his face now as well. And his expressions. And this world. Full of sounds, music, noises.



My evening was equally engaging as I went to Colaba after so long. I always felt places like Colaba and few others give you the reason why Mumbai is called city that never sleeps and the level of the crowd is completely different. I strolled the bylines from Kalaghoda to Café Leopold and for the first time found it so quiet and traffic-free (as yesterday was a state holiday). I shopped and then was in a real mood to visit either Leopold or Mondegar. Then thought of my resolution of only keeping these visits limited to Saturdays only. ;) 

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Where is Gandhi?

I was not convinced with all the principles of ‘Gandhism’, also questioned many of his decisions in the later part of his life. Keeping these things aside, I respect the father of our nation immensely just because of his ability to influence billions of people without adhering to any easy way or short cut. He did whatever he could to send back the Britishers, and we did whatever we could to put him in our everyday life. Monuments, currency, roads, museums, movies and what not. He is everywhere. He is everywhere in this materialistic world and we worship him in our constitution, at our college entrance and in uncountable songs. So much so that he and his ideas has now become a hot selling property. Westerners have emulated two things from us with utmost passion: Yoga & Gandhism. Deepak Chopra has become a billionaire doing something I never understood and numerous others are following him.

As I have pointed out the commercial value (don’t say commercialization) of Mr. Gandhi in today’s context, I meant to say what he & his ideas worth, where they stand and what we exactly are doing. This thought came to my mind when a so-called gentleman (he does not deserve to be named) from US has put 5-6 belongings Mr. Gandhi on auction early this month. He has announced this decision of his long way back, but neither our government has responded to it nor the public. When the date of auction came closer the media, the great great (I am not sure if I have to put one more ‘great’) grandsons of Gandhi family, our caring politicians and the public woke up and so is the patriotism in our hearts. Wow…what a feeling. I believe we have discussed, analyzed and recalled the life and works of Mr. Gandhi more on March 5th (the date of auction) this year more than October 2nd. What an irony! That to we get a national holiday on October 2nd, but still we don’t have time to think about the great man once, instead we plan out whether we can club that ‘holiday’ with weekends to go out for a relaxed time at Matheran. Let’s understand the different perspective, the media: every channel flashed that we must bring back the belongings which are our national heritage!!! Our today’s leaders said: the govt. must act in time to save our national pride (the opposition) and we will ensure that we will stop the auction at any cost (the govt.)!!! Mr. Gandhi’s family cried in anger over the govt.’s slow response and started talking of “Gandhism” which even I never heard of!!! Finally, when asked, the public gave a different verdict, a mixed one though. Some said we must bring them back and some were of a view that rather than stopping the auction, we must participate in it and bid the highest (for sometime I thought the same as well). And most surprisingly, a fair amount of people has had the opinion that we do not need to spend so much for Bapu’s items as we already are reeling under economic turmoil.

I also had some heated discussions over it. Then we concluded with certain facts that made us realize what exactly Gandhism stands for (Rajkumar Hirani’s thoughts also helped us!!!). At the end of the day whose belongings were these? So, if we ask Mr. Gandhi about this activity what would have been his reply today? It would have been as simple as this: “I do not need all this, I only gifted it to people I liked & admired.” For him, what matters is the way people think. He always said, "If you want to follow something, then follow the ideas not me." He could not even imagine people auctioning his belongings for such prices that would suffice 50 BPL families in India for a lifetime!!! And tell me why we need these things at all? To show that we respect this great man? We spit on his statues, we have used his last name to make money in every possible way, political parties have got votes and won elections using him as a brand, we do all the possible corruption in all possible government offices in front of his huge pictures and with currencies where Mr. Gandhi is there in each one of the notes!!! And finally, when we will get back those belongings where are we going to keep them? Have we ever seen the condition of our museums where his personal items are kept? We do not have place to keep them safely and there is nobody to take care of them. I am not feeling bad, I only feel like laughing on ourselves. We have crossed such limits of hypocrisy that we simply are in a state of denial to the real meaning of Gandhism. And somewhere down the line, I am a part of it as well.

And the end result to all this drama: A liquor baron (the same guy who also brought back the sword of Tipu Sultan from UK few years back) has got these items where one of his representatives was present. He got it for 1.8million US dollars (a cool 9 crore rupees). Now some more drama, the govt. said that they were in talks with Dr. Vijay Mallya who bid the highest. Dr. Mallya denied any such talk, hehehe. What a farce! Is this the kind of govt. that serves us and talks of national pride and attach themselves to Gandhi’s legacy!!! Finally, some more irony or rather should I say some more food for thought…The govt. may now charge the import duty on these belongings!!! And you guys must be aware how much we charge on import duties. Remember Sachin’s Ferrari? It was exempted from any duty!!! But Mr. Gandhi’s things can not!!! He is no more a Mahatma, because we have made sure all the ways to humiliate him in our everyday life.

Long live Mahatma. Long live Gandhism.

Or should I say……..Hail Democracy. Hail our leaders!!!

Monday, March 9, 2009

The World Of Angels

I wanted to post this on Sunday, but all my desperate attempts went in vain thanks to the long Saturday night out and Sunday engagements. I really made it a point to post this in time which I rarely do for other posts. Apologies to my good self.
A small baby…a cute little girl…an obedient daughter…a supporting sister…an well-behaved and faithful wife…a never-complaining and ever-sacrificing mother…and somebody’s aunt and somebody’s in-law and so on.

Hmm…Well, a boy also goes through many different phases in his life. But, as a 25-year old guy in this male-dominated society (yes, we still are); I would have to admit the fact that a girl spends her life with more contentment than her counterpart. This has been a norm, a fact & such a truth that I often wonder but agree. We got to accept it, realize it & acknowledge it, sooner…the better. Life starts and it moves on, so fast that we forget to ask our closed ones few simple yet important questions. We ask them "are you okay" instead of "are you really happy"…we say them the dinner was good instead of has she ate at all...We have always been indifferent towards her. We say we care for her, but there are moments when she needs us and we must be there with her in those moments.
What makes me worried more is that after so many years of talking woman emancipation, upliftment, education and blah blah blah, we are still having one of the highest rape cases registered everyday. We still misbehave whenever we get a chance, we still love to pass a comment irrespective of age, location or situation. I mean when all these are going to stop? We talk so big about being cosmopolitan, gen next, youngistan and the result is in Delhi girls are not able to go outside after 7 in the evening alone!!! Is this our meaning of a metropolitan city! We are inhumanly hitting girls in the pub, we are molesting them in the New Year eve in front of 5-star hotels and we stalk whenever we find them alone. I know all men are not doing this, but still there is big section and we are simply keeping a blind eye on this.

I don't have a sister and I am yet to get married. But I have experienced and gone through the feelings of my mother closely. And only staying away from her made me realize her place & importance in my life, my heart. Let’s just put my observations of many mothers I have seen in last 24 years. They remain tensed more than 24 hours a day, and all the time for their children and their husband. Even if the children are married or their spouses are just too busy to even call back to say hello. You know what; they love shopping, they love going out to have dinner, they love travelling just like a teenage girl; but they hardly get to do these things in their life as once they step into another home, they get stuck taking the responsibility for everybody else, they start (sometimes they have to) loving everybody unconditionally, they simply forget the word ‘priority’ as they gift this to people around. I mean how can be someone so selfless!!! It takes a hell lot out of somebody not to think about herself every morning she wakes up from her bed. But these women spend their lifetime without asking themselves "Am I happy". Such an irony.

No. Just don't assume. She is NOT okay. Ask her. What she really wants. She is endowed with nature's creative power. Let us empower her with right to live respectfully & choose independently. As Shobhaa De, in one of her recent columns, rightly said, for every Hillary/Sonia/Oprah there are millions who live and die in grief & negligence. This grief falls on them like steady rain that never lets the sun shine through those dark clouds. Another dimension of a woman's life is the relationships she nurtures. She plays so many roles as I have written earlier that she needs space to nurture them.

In my experience, the men or women, actually seeks you out if he or she really cares. It is important to let yourself be missed or to miss. Men are nobody to give women opportunity or options. What they can give is respect, freedom and space to help them grow in their best way possible.

Saluting the spirit of womanhood.

Happy Women's Day.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

HOPE......What next Oh!BAMA ?

When ‘hopes’ linger on, dreams continue to flow.

I wrote this line 3 years back when I was in the 2nd trimester of my MBA. For many reasons, I could not write much on ‘hope’, rather I started writing on dreams. And now I got more than just one reason to write on ‘hopes’, or rather on somebody who is the most ‘hope’ful person in this world.

"I'm talking about something more substantial. It's the hope of slaves sitting around a fire singing freedom songs; the hope of immigrants setting out for distant shores; the hope of a young naval lieutenant bravely patrolling the Mekong Delta; the hope of a millworker's son who dares to defy the odds; the hope of a skinny kid with a funny name who believes that America has a place for him, too. Hope in the face of difficulty. Hope in the face of uncertainty. The audacity of hope!"

These are just one of the many quotes by Mr. President, Barack Obama. Right from the beginning if his campaign till today he believes in giving hope to each American and the world. Actually we must also understand the fact that he took over the charge from somebody who has run USA in the most artificial way possible in the last decade. Secondly, he comes into power when the global economic turmoil is at its worst possible scenario and his own country is badly hit. What he did so far may not be the indicator of his future plans but the best part is his image still gives a feeling of positivity in American citizens. Unless Americans would not have shown much admiration for a black after so many years of their independence (though many other major factors were involved as well). I was happy to see Denzel Washington on the pre-sworn in address with Tom Hanks. Finally, something happened that was fitting to the occasion.

If we assess the accountability factor of Mr. Obama since he has entered the White House from an Indian perspective, it really has shown us little hope, but only so far. We can always hope for more and better from Mr. Obama, especially when Mrs. Clinton is on the board. I won’t count the other members in his cabinet whose names has some Indian connection as it would be an act of fooling ourselves. Senator Clinton still has strong relation with Chatwals and the other big NRIs. And the NRIs has always been supported Clinton & Co. When it comes to expectations from India's point of view, I believe there few issues but complex ones. To start with the economic downturn, the ever rising terrorism, bilateral relationship on diplomatic front and an alliance with long term mutual goals. Though these are vast issues having different dynamics attached to it, but so far Obama has assured his co-operation on all these fronts. But he has not been able to control one thing which everybody has predicted well before he was elected, that he might nor support the outsourcing issue. And now he has taken a decision that indirectly, but surely affects the huge outsourcing sector that has been the bread & butter for lacs of Indians now. He has made the tax options more stringent for those firms which are outsourcing, ending the previous tax benefits allowed to them. These actions will result in vast cost cutting in this economic condition.

One last thing that I believe Obama should also focus on this time is the long awaited topic of issue of Visas to foreign students. UK has always been attracting foreign students more than any other country due to its easier entry. Now Australia is emerging as the next best destination for studies amongst the students. US, which have some of the finest universities, is lagging behind. They got to make the process less complicated by modifying the regulations.

I am as 'hope'ful as ever, this time there's somebody to show them more...In such a time, hope is a very powerful attribute to hold specially when most people have lost theirs. It is something that has positivism attached to it and is a quick healer to myriad woes. 

P.S :- Well, I would like Jinu, the political expert, to add his comments on this post as his insights would make this this post complete.