Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Shadow

Tuesday, October 5, 2010 3
"I dont want you to help me. I want to be independent". Dhiresh looked up quizzically while I was talking to Dad. Later he asked me if everything was alright. I replied "Yes, just that I want to handle everything on my own". It didnt turn out that way.
Dad did come to Pune to help me find a house.
Ever since he came to know about my shifting, he was on the net searching for places for me. He was a man on a mission.
"These are brokers A,B,C.....in places 1,2,3 with rent X,Y,Z...", he explained.There is a running joke in our house that if there is any problem just log on to Papa.com. So while I had wanted to go about settling down by myself, I was relieved that he had planned out everything.
We'd assumed that it would not be difficult since there were flats available in the localities I was looking at.
However, over 100kms of driving and failed attempts later, we were exhausted. Dad, though, insisted that we keep looking. I put my arms up and refused. I had not anticipated that it would take so much effort and was keen to call it quits. In frustration I called up mom and said- Its not working finding a house with Dad. I knew it was a bad idea. There are localities which are good but the houses are terribly old. Other places rent is high. To add to that some societies attach the stigma of "Bachelor not allowed".
Dad and me were at a stalemate. We usually are. For simple reasons that we are identical in our nature.. So it is often that even while discussing issues we usually end up in heated discussions.
Dad was keen to finalise on a place before he left. I was keen, well, to just sit on the pavement and for a while do nothing.
My mobile rang for the umpteenth time. Even before I saw the number I knew it had to be a broker. It was and he was calling from the other end of the town in Yerwada with a fully furnished flat at a brilliant rent. My legs were screaming but for the first time in the day I smiled. We did check out the place and it was fitting. I loved it. I took it. It was the last place we could have managed to look at for it was already late evening by then. Ironically, we had come to the same locality in the morning to find that a house was already taken up. The one I got was better furnished and at the same rent. We were meant to come back to see this place, I said to Dad.

I remember a time when I was small. At that time, our definition of a family vehicle was the Bajaj Chetak. I had an orange candy in my hand as I stood near the steering while Dad drove and mom sat pillion. In that small space I had my whole world around me. Dad was the center of my world and mom my best friend. I had only to demand and my wish was fulfilled.

As I grew up, I sought my own space and my demands became limited or should I say less defined. Like now when I needed Dad's help but did not want it. I know I can forever say in the times to come that I will manage everything on my own. In his own secret way, my father will keep a watch out for me.

He held my hand and walked ahead as I learned my first steps. Now, I walk ahead-strong and confident. Dad is still there though, walking as my shadow. I only need to turn around to see him.

So, yes, we did find the ideal place.
I think we make a great team.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Thought Spindle

Tuesday, June 29, 2010 0
Stuff of acclaimed poetry
Thoughts of a celebrated story
Little understood, yet,
Widely quoted and spoken

Once, it keeps your soul awaken
Twice, it leaves your heart broken

Plays a broker
To bring together
Yearning hearts
Of new born believers

Desired when deprived
Question it and divides
Short is the life of
A living that thrives
On what the other opines

Keep it or leave it
Don’t deny that
You need it
Lonely you come
Lonely you go
In between though
A companion you must know

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Two faced coin

Wednesday, June 2, 2010 12
It may be the late hour, but I feel like penning down, a thought buzzing in my head for sometime.

It is in the nature of friendship to seek advice. More so as we grow up and increasingly draw influence from our peer group. I have sought advice from friends in troubled times. They always worked. I found them to be honest and true.

When it comes to me giving advice, I have always used one and only thumb rule- not involving emotions, not mine and certainly not of the person concerned. Being cold. For it always makes me think clearly.

However, when faced in an identical situation, I hesitate to use my own advice.

Yes, it is well known that advice when given for free is never welcome.

With people you are close to, though, it is different. The person has come seeking a viewpoint. It has been well thought. I have answered what I find most suitable. I also believe it is sure to work.

Over many instances, it has proven to work.

Logically, then, I consider myself a rational person with a sound approach to problem solving. I'd expect people to rely on me.

But, do I rely on myself?

Let me explain with an example. A friend was having trouble mending ways with a collegemate after he'd behaved rudely,rather, pathetically. He was expected to apologise profusely to revive their friendship. I opined that he should do whatever was expected of him, even belittle himself somewhat, if need be. Be friend again at the end of the day. You ensure that.
It worked.

In a similar situation, few weeks later and equally at fault, my reasoning floundered. I decided to choose my ego over apology. Fortunately, events unfolded undramatically and normalcy was restored.

It brings me to think if all the while when other people's suggestions worked for me, were they willing to use it themselves? Did it work because they too advised with an unemotional point of view?

Am the creator and destroyer of my own thoughts. Created for others, destroyed for self. In a sordid way, it makes me a feel a hypocrite.

Perhaps Ralph Emerson felt the same way when he said- Go put your creed into your deed.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Love Sex Paisa aur Dhoka(LSPD)

Wednesday, April 28, 2010 3
IPL was finally replaced on the front cover of Indian newspapers! You'd wish it was by some scientist who'd won us laurels abroad or the more possibility of some obscure Swami turning sex guru. The new box office hit is a bureaucrat who's name was unheard of until she indulged in LSPD. Madhuri Gupta has gone the way where no Indian civil servant has tread before - treason. All for a bit of love, more of sex, lots of money and tonnes of dhoka.

Yes,she may have been disgusted with a B grade job of translating urdu newspapers at the fag end of her career.
Yes,the Indian Foreign Service had promised her a brilliant career.
Yes,none of that had come true.
No,that does not justify any of the dastardly acts she has committed.

Indian Foreign Service or for that matter any foreign service is battered with cases of diplomats indulging in romanticism with locals. It is an accepted norm. One IFS aspirant in his interview was asked his motivation to join IFS. The prompt, proper but unconvincing reply- I want to represent India abroad. To which he was told in no uncertain words that it was in fact the lure of it being a wine and women service.

Madhuri Gupta is a weak woman. Her first name belies her.
So she may have been tempted for L and S. But, why P and D?.

A weak character.
In the strongest of service.

May my nation pray.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Philanthropists: The Sultans of Change

Friday, April 23, 2010 11
My father used to say, “You can spend a lot of time making money. The tough time comes when you have to give it away properly.” How to give something back, that’s the tough part in life:
Lee Iacocca

If you have read Fountainhead, you might remember Peter Keating, the ambitious but corrupt architect, asking his mentor,Guy Francon, if he felt contentment at the end of his career. Francon replies in the negative which leaves Keating disillusioned for Francon had everything that he aspired for- fame, money, power..but not contentment.

While Ayn Rand dealt with contentment from the perspective of how much a man really strives to do what he wants and not what people want of him, my view on contentment is more on how we have managed to influence the people around us, the people who need us- four billion of the six billion people on this earth who are deprived of the material comforts that you and me enjoy and take for granted.

I dont know where my discussion with a friend started but eventually we were talking about why it is necessary to build yourself first, professionally and personally, before you try and change the world. Who would listen to us if we stood up and started talking about women's rights, child abuse..blah blah.If Bill Gates makes even a statement on any social issue in passing, people all over the world start discussing it- in the papers, newsrooms, magazines..everywhere.
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The gist being that you can have more influence on changing the world being a philanthropist than a social worker. Quite obviously, the two are different roles and cannot exist without the other. Philanthropists have the finances and vision while social workers have the passion and resources. However, philanthropy, has a power that social work does not have- Dictating the change. Money talks, even in the noblest of causes.

For example, name three prominent philantrhopists and you'd rattle of Bill Gates, Warren Buffet and Henry Ford.

Name three prominent social workers known all over the world...try going beyond Mother Teressa!

That's also to say that philanthropists get more publicity than social workers. But, I'd rather not dwell on the morality of it.
In the video on youtube, Severn Suzuki the 12 yr old girl "who silenced the world for five minutes", talks of a poor boy in her locality who said- "I want to be rich. Rich so that I can give a home and food to eat to all the poor kids in the world" He realised he would have to be rich to make that change.

People who build careers and strive to make money are often scoffed at.
Dont. For one reason, that it his choice and effort.
Second, at the end of the day, if either of you chooses to make the world a better place-you would be the one talking, he would be the one dictating.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Some people I remember...

Wednesday, March 24, 2010 7
I was reading a disucssion on the Nature vs Nurture debate in Freakonomics. "Nature" supporters say that our lives are determined by factors existent at birth, like our race, parents IQ,background, community etc. Nurture supporters say that our lives are moulded by our parents in the way they bring us up.
A third category which rejects both these viewpoints says that our personality depends not on where we born or who brings us up, rather it is dependent on the people we grow up with, more specifically, our peer group.
This third category is at first glance blasphemous. But, as I started rewinding and trying to understand what factors influenced my moulding, it was my experience with people in my life..my peer group. For every facet there might not be just one person but more who would have influenced me. I am not taking names so you can guess which facet is yours.

Be happy. Stay Happy. Laugh Happy
A friend who I have always seen with a big smile on his face..and I mean it's a big smile with glint in his eyes. Be it while talking with his friends, parents or girlfriend(by this inclusion have ruled out 90% of my friends :) )..perpetually happy. If I could replace a smiley, it would be with his grinning like a pig face.

Stay Cool. Nothing is alarming.
Be it exams, games or girlfriend..let your mind be cool. Dont lose your head.

Dont say yes when you want to say no.
Be clear with what you expect of friends. Even if it it gets them riled with your "rules" and what not! They will cuss on your face but secretly accept your space and in time respect it.

Slow and steady wins the race.
If not today, I will win tomorrow. My work will remain in progress till then.

Whats on your mind is on your tongue.
Speak your mind..and respect the other when he/she does. It means they trust you. Value it.

Talk stupid. Act stupid. Its okay at times.
At your emotional worst, let go to a person close to you. It helps. It often becomes a beautiful memory.

Nothing is serious. If it is, just maa chudaa.
With a wave of your hand and the bful cuss word on your lips, walk out of any situation. I am the king of my life. Even if it takes a bit of going "green" to reassure yourself that at times.

Be Balanced.
Whatever be the situation, always see both sides of the coin.

Sorry is not a sorry word.
If it makes things better, dont hesitate to say sorry. At times, that is all people need to hear from you. Say it , move on.

Show emotions to friends.
Keep saying it. At times, friends more than girl/boyfriend need to hear you say "I love you". And no its not gay to say that.

Write and tell "I love you"
Its special. Its forever. Do it often.

Help a friend.
Have the faith of your friends that they can call you and seek your help whenever and about whatever.

Ambition-Never let it die
Do the right things in life at the right time and you are guaranteed success. But, remain humble.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Married!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010 6
Blogging after ages.
So, what compelled me to start blogging again?. The need to express. As Airtel says, "Express Yourself".
College ended in Dec. I thought I had a six month break before joining with Exxon/Michelin in July.
Six months I did have but it hasnt exactly been a break.
I interned for a month with Thermax in February. While applying to Thermax, I was keen to work in their upcoming solar energy department. They denied saying it was in the research and development stage and so were reluctant to expose it to interns. However, I was told, that I would get exciting work in the "Innovation" department in the most successful product of Thermax, the S and M Boiler . How far behind times this dept was became evident when their understanding of innovation was making databases on MS Excel. Admittedly, I was not familiar with MS Excel( and it still finds way on my CV "Proficient in MS Office 2007" ), so whatever I was doing was a learning experience. A week into my intern, I had done all the learning there was to do. I quit Thermax.
A family friend once changed his job three times in two years..he finally ended up joining the company he'd quit the first time. Of course, he joined at a better post and salary. For a person whose world started and ended with defence forces, changing jobs..that too so frequently, seemed anathema.
However, now that I am myself working, I can understand the reason behind his changes.
At the time of joining an organization, work seems challenging, simply because its new and untried. A good job is able to sustain that challenging nature. A bad job isnt.
That's the difference between organizations that give careers and the ones that give jobs.
The former are good coys and the latter bad.
I couldnt quite understand why the interviewers would ask questions like- Do you like challenges? Where do you see yourself five years from now? How have you dealt with a difficult situation?...HR questions. I'd answered them diligently.
In retrospection, I believe that for the interviewers the answers mattered immensely. For, while the technical rounds indicate the aptitude for work, the HR rounds indicate the "longevity" of your stay with the company.
For a good org, if you answer saying yes, I love challenges, not just saying, but it also being indicated through your co curriculars, you appeal to them. Its a good match.
However, to a bad org, inspite of saying they have challenging work, they search for that nature only to determine if you dont have it. For they dont have the work to offer to suit your expectations. Instead, they select meidocres. Average expectation- easy to fulfill, employee stays, company profits.
If you consider yourself competitive and yet get rejected, dont lose heart. A job interview is like an arrange marriage. The interviewers of bad coys just found you too beautiful and succesful to marry. You are good as a girl friend but not as a wife. But then, they are not looking for flings...just someone to settle down with. Keep looking beautiful and your prince charming(a good coy) will find you soon.
Its not philosophy that I am throwing around but from my experience. I got rejected by coys, the numer of which I dont care to even mention now, partly out of embarassment and partly coz its inconsequential. Three months and so many heartaches..but I kept my faith..I am just too "beautiful" for these suckers, let my prince charming come.
It did come, in the form of Exxon Mobil..in fact if you follow Fortune 500, it's the King Charming.
Michelin Tires, loaded with gifts and hotel stays also extended an offer for marriage.
Whom will I marry?..
Not answering that yet, but married I will be and by accepting one I will be rejecting the other. Sadist I may sound, but "rejecting" a company, when I'd been at the receiving end, will be very sweet.
Best of luck to you if are looking to get married and also if you already are.
Cheers.
 
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