Monday, August 20, 2012

Mixed Bag Updates, Views & Reviews...

Last one and half months have brought in quite a change in our country. Not because it has rained less than the normal, but we, as a country obsessed with just one sport, are thinking, talking and fighting over new sports. Sports, which were pretty alien to us few months back. They existed since long, but we never thought of giving them the due they deserved. So they never got the attention, exposure and funding. In any sports, in any country you look upto people who has gone for glory in the past, you need to emulate people who has created history. In wrestling and shooting, we are now creating a tradition, and that helps in the 'know-how' for the generations to follow. It's amazing to see when a game of Badminton is termed as 'Saina v/s China' over the built up to main event. We also cheered for the humble and unassuming Gopichand who shared the medal as a part the dream he once saw for himself. Now all of a sudden, every state government, parliament, activists, celebrities & corporate, all of them woken up. Prizes are pouring in, so are sponsorships. How hypocritical it may sound, but I am at least relieved at the fact that thanks to these 6 medals and stories like Mary Kom, money is coming from all ends. And believe me, it certainly motivates. The moment India began asking "how many" rather than "will we", it was evident that there was a change in mindset.

We have a Prime Minister who never speaks, and now we have a President who speaks which no one understands. Mr. Kalam withdrew his candidature at the right time realizing that he also has to reach low levels of ethics if he chooses to contest the Presidential polls. Then we had Mr. Sangma who made courageous statements like 'I never lost an election', 'I represent the lesser-known community', 'I am people's choice', but none of these worked in his favour and he was beaten hands down. And then Mr. President delivered his first speech which just proved my notion that how big a blunder he is in this role. But we are now playing the role of puppets with flesh and blood in the hands of some people elected by us only. So, not much of a choice left. In between, someone asked me on Independence Day: What'd have happened if there was no partition? I could answer only this much: 1. We would've been keeping our remote controls of new devices inside original plastic covers. 2. IRCTC website would crash every two minutes instead of current seven.

Now on to something which is in the blood of every Indian. India kick-started its new Cricket season by visiting Lankans. And they won 5 out of their 6 fixtures quite comprehensively. This series happened after a much-needed break for the players and happened in between the Olympics. It helped in two ways: fresh legs & less expectations. Both of these two factors are so critical in making a winning formula. But we always end of sparing none of these two attributes. A cramped schedule the whole year with expectations rising as high as a Eid-release of a Salman starer.

In the never-ending and ever-going Mobile OS battle, Windows certainly have taken a bigger market in last year or so, thanks to its Mango. Nokia & Samsung helped it along with their handsets as HTC was riding more onto the Android family. With Apple giving no clarity on it's new phone & Android making minor upgrades in its ICS update (though those minute upgrades are awesome enough), Microsoft should cash in on with its new Apollo (Windows 8 & 7.8 to existing 7.5) update on a priority. Because, looking at Apple's loyal user-base and Android's grip on the market, Microsoft should not delay the new OS launch. Sooner, the better for them. (More on technology will follow in this forum from now on)

I experienced the power of social networking sites and usage such mediums by brands for engaging, promoting & addressing issues. Two of my sour experiences have immediately been addressed, though I can not guarantee whether everyone had/will have the same experience. These platforms have not been streamlined yet, but it is only becoming a stronger medium day by day with its reach, transparency & accountability.

Talking about Salman, we saw the release and expected hysteria surrounding "Ek Tha Tiger". Another mindless masala potboiler after a series of Houseful-Rowdy Rathore-Bol Bachchan. Now mind you, I am not at all making fun of such movies (though I have not seen them), how can I, when they are collecting 100-crores each!!! I salute our 'taste' for movies in the year 2012. But how can I complain, when the same audience also appreciated 'Vicky Donor' & 'Gangs of Wasseypur' (though a little more appreciation would have been great!). Have written a full-fledged piece on it earlier, so will not delve much into it.

It has also been a monsoon with lesser rainfall across India (apart from regular floods in certain parts, as usual). for a person like me, travelling became quite easier in a city like Mumbai as compared past monsoons. But by the time I realized how comfortably I am thinking just about myself, drought was on the verge in many critical states responsible for major harvesting. The rain was not less, but it was uneven, adding to the woes of farmers. 

Another HR personnel killed in an incident involving Workers union & management. It high time, the management to wake up and start empowering the Human Resource function. HRs can no more act on behalf of the management as a messenger. They have a 'bigger role' to play, a 'bigger profile' to handle (MNCs & progressive organizations have already enabled it). Specially, the manufacturing set ups needs to take such matters more seriously than terming these as 'freak incidents'.

The greatest achivement of our government is the slow & steady erosion of the common man's ambitions & aspirations. And the opposition is helping them. Brothers in arms. Citizens still urinate on the streets in our privileged metros and we are now planning to give away cell phones to poor. Disturbing. CAG reports are shocking with scams ranging to figures I never read during my school days. I fail to count the zeros in it.

I have also decided to give my writing a 'special window' like IPL in ICC's Cricket Calendar. Else, I'll keep on missing stars in action and end up writing HR policies & draft-mails for bosses till eternity. I also deserve writing 'final prints' and come out of 'drafting phase' of my life ;)

And before I close this one, I see some important people leaving a void in their respective fields after an illustrious career. With Mr. Rajesh Khanna passing away, Hindi film industry will continue to miss its first romantic superstar. And when we will think of 'wrist play' in Cricket, we will surely miss Mr. VVS Laxman. He was, for sure, fed up of constant criticism. He carried on the legacy which Azhar left. But alas, who will carry it on from him! With such news coming in every month, I have decided to thank everyone everyday because I don't see any point in thanking people on Blog/Facebook/Twitter after they have left the world/their arena...

Sunday, August 5, 2012

That Thing Called 'Friendship'

Friends, family, forever. Eternal words. We keep everyone in our heart. Though we admit or not, accept or not. People whom we hate also have their share of space in the heart too. That's why we remember them. Sustaining 'friendship' is a full time job. Everyone is neither equipped with the skill to maintain a friendship devoid of anger, deceit, jealousy, hatred & so on. You keep on piling up friends right from the days you know who you are and the people around. You start categorizing them, in your words & in your own world. They all fit into a category in your list.

There are those who you know will come and ask you for things which will put you off, and yet you bear them. There are also those who will tell you things on your face and remain unmoved. There are those ones, who meet you less often, speak even lesser, but bring out a smile inside you with just a thought. There are those who will never wear a mask in front you. The moment you start realizing that there is only good people around, and then you find the ones who come to you with their own agenda. There are those who will pretend with those ‘everything-will-be-fine’ gyan. There will also be the ones who will use you to step up in the ladder of their career.

But whatever category they fall into, they give you reason to live on. The positive ones (though there’s not any definition to ‘positive’ or ‘negative’) will always act as your strength & support system irrespective of the distance, number of calls/texts shared or Facebook/Twitter communications. The negative ones are only going to make you stronger, better & more prepared for the ones like them to come in your life.

The last but surely the best friends who feature in the list are the ones whom we identify a bit late in our lives (some do find them early ;). They are the parents, brothers, sisters, teachers and bosses. The luckiest ones have all of them as their friends. And we do maintain these relationships day in & day out. It is an everyday process without any terms & conditions attached to it. But with time, we have started putting a ‘tag’ in each of this ‘friendship’ thing! Today, the amount of ‘money’ spent on someone is a decisive factor for a relationship, the ‘scale of a gift’ is defining affection & the number of ‘likes’ for a post or picture in a social networking site is a real achievement.

Because for me, and for all of us, much before Facebook/Twitter/Social media, there were ‘only friends’, with real ‘friend requests’, ‘pokes’, ‘messages’, ‘life events’, ‘likes’, ‘dislikes’, ‘fights’, ‘updates’. Back then, we never used to celebrate 'Friendship Day', for us everyday was a day to cherish & remember. Nostalgia comes out of things that you have 'done' & long for it. That feeling is surreal. Inexpressible. 

And for God’s sake there were friends who used to ask me ‘what is on your mind’, not a machine!!!