Saturday, August 19, 2006

Just another day at work!

Four years back, i decided to make a small deviation in my career. I moved my brown bag full of things from a desk in a 100 member company to a then 6000 ( and now around 4-5 times that no. ) member organization.

While those exit discussions were on, my then-director told me that i was making a wrong move. That it was better to be a big fish in a small pond, rather than a big fish in a small pond.

I responded that the best of all these would be to be a big fish in a big pond. He laughed at that. Four years later i have a chance to retrospect.

Star Performer in my department.
Amongst the "Associate of the year" across the organization.
Nominated Trainer par excellence
2 rungs of corporate growth in designation.
Much more than that in role.

And more than anything else, i value the recognition that i have earned. When people call asking for advice, and when you know you can provide it - there is no bigger satisfaction.

I keep praying that i never lose my humility.

Grateful. And still working at IT.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Just Another Day, not Judgement Day!

I prayed today that my faith would be justified.
I wanted today that my belief would continue to exist.

I wanted our judicial to reach some verdict today. ( On the 93 Mumbai blasts)

I came back today evening only to realize that as usual, another date was given. Millions of us watched couple of suited high profile defence lawyers smilingly tell us that it is impossible to give verdict even on the new date.

What is left of our system ? What is left of me ? TOmorrow morning, i would pack my bags and leave to my office as usual. Why tomorrow, today, here, now - i am sitting in front of my system and blogging, as usual. I see what is happening around me. To my lay eyes, i think i can understand what is happeneing around me. I know it is wrong. And yet, i chose to stay silent and away.

I kept hearing on the channel that justice has been delayed. I think, within this 13 years, justice was denied long time ago. It is only the verdict that is getting delayed now. Could we at least get that?

And a prominent news channel keep saying mumbaikars are affected; are frustrated; are angry. I have one humble request to the eminent new anchor whose "hair has gone gray over the 13 years" - that the rest of us outside Mumbai are as affected, as involved as the mumbaikars. Could we all, for fleeting fraction of second, be called Indians, please?

Monday, July 10, 2006


Was listening to the soulful rendering of this by JAgjit Singh today morning and could not stop myself from blogging this..

Ths is sheer poetry - With due apologies to those who read without knowledge of Hindi - This is a song from Arth.

Tum Itna Jo Muskura Rahe Ho
Kya Gham Hai Jisko Chhupa Rahe Ho

Aankhon Mein Nami, Hansi Labon Par
Kya Haal Hai Kya Dikha Rahe Ho

Ban Jayenge Zehar Peete Peete
Yeh Ashq Jo Piye Ja Rahe Ho

Jin Zakhmon Ko Waqt Bhar Chala Hai
Tum Kyon Unhe Chhedhe Ja Rahe Ho

Rekhaon Ka Khel Hai Muqaddar
Rekhaon Se Maat Kha Rahe Ho

You could listen to the songs here

Tuesday, July 04, 2006


There is something i keep realizing over and over again.

When u hurt some one you love, you hurt yourself.

And forgiveness is just not from them, but from your own self.

Then why do i keep doing it again and again?

Monday, July 03, 2006


"No, you're not listening!"

These words are the most repeated words by a very respcted professor in his classes. With a flowing set of credentials and a with a sense of humor to match his wits, his classes are the most crowded amongst all. His methodology of taking classes inlcudes using the case model - implying we discuss a case study inthe class and through the discussion, learn a lot more than what we would have, had it been lectured upon.

And among the chatoic "participation" from the class, he would continuously embarrass you. With a very verbose and a jargon filled answer, you would think you have scored a brownie point. This would be responded by a sharp look from the prof and a resounding "So?"

So? yeah right, So what? Everyone would look at you smiling telling you in unsaid words that you have were better off closing your mouth and let others suspect you were a fool, than open it and confirm it! Another smartie would then start off who would be waived to silence by the prof still looking at you..

"So?" "What are you trying to tell me?"

You realize that he is actually wanting to listen to you. Understand you. And that adds suddenly adds so much to the whole perspective You would then be forced to describe waht you wanted to say. After that, with a dawn of realization the prof would conclude "Oh, so u r saying that....." and you nod in amazement in the clarity he brought into your argument ( you nod nevertheless, coz u dont wanna be in the hot seat any more :) ). Then he counters you by quoting form the case with a question. When you answer it, he says " No, you are not listening"

There were times when i wanted to stand and tell him, "listen dude, i am listening".. Fear of grades ( or potential lack of it ) kept me quiet! :) But after so many hours with him, i understand what he means.. I was hearing him, but not listening!

When we listen, we need to :
1. Hear what the other person says,
2. think about the same in our mind
3. Identify and dig out the relevant message from the words
4. Confirm with the user if that is the right message.

I wonder how many of life's lessions, i have only heard and not listened to!

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Cause and Effect

Cause - Late night study
Effect - Wake up late

Cause - Wonderfully drizzling weather
Effect - Wake up really late

Cause - Wake up really late
Effect - Deviate from routine and get late to office.

It is ironical that right after the day i wrote about routinely meeting people, i should be late to office and miss all the "milestones" previously mentioned :)

Yeah - today, i missed the lady, the blind man and the software geeks. And My life has not changed a bit. No upsetting, no odd feeling. No change in life.

As unmovable as a rock!

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Close encounters of the third kind

I have read in various espionage novels that a man with predictable routines are the ones that are the easiest marks. Considering the fact that my impact on the political, economical or the zoological scene is as minimal as anyways possible, i find no hardship in coming to a simple routine of my long trip to office.

When you live about 15 km from where you work-live, and you have been living there for couple of semi-decades, then you get so used to driving that your automatic sub-conscience takes over driving. You just observe life around you as it controls your legs at the pedals, your hands at the steering and generally steer clear of pits, speed bumpers, cows, goats, humans, spits and traffic lights.

The long winding road is full of human milestones, which i have come to notice while my alter-ego drives ( oh i do wear the seat belts :) ) the car. As days go by, we get used to seeing people in certain places, in certain ways that you start expecting them every day. They become part of the journey for you. When any of them are not there, suddenly there is a pang of emotion.

I meet a lady at about 15 minutes distance from home, on the pathway of a crowded junction. I have never even so much as paused my car when i see her, but both of us acknowledge the visibility of each other. Also, over the tidings of time, i think i know pretty much about her. She's married ( happily or otherwise is not knows ) as her sindur proclaims. Apparently she does not work for an IT company, or else there would be the "rope" that hangs from her neck to proclaim that she is a money earner from software.. We pass each other almost every day of the five days that i drive to work and we still don't even as much as acknowledge. But an absence is upsetting. It kinds of makes u a little uneasy... Are you late for work ? Or is she not well ? Or has she shifted her residence ? And so on until i jam my brakes at the signal that has turned red in front of your eyes.

Turn the curve of the road and there is an interesting spectacle. The next stretch of the road is lined by the imposing wall of a very prestigious college. And it is pretty much straight. Right in the middle of the stretch, on the siode of the road, a hero honda bike remains parked with the hero standing next to it. The heroine is various poses, some days standing next to the bike, some days sitting on the seat. They talk. shot by Cupid, every morning, i dont know how much time they spend talking about... about what, i wonder? Wi the the smile on my lips of been there, done that - i can think of thousnds of things - about future ( i mean the evening, and how soon can we reach there ) about very critical things in life ( the new hair style does not suit you ) or psychological advice session with the confident of a person who own the other.. Sigh - somethings, can never change

Farther down the road, couple of turns later, on a further turning, an old man exists. I see him sitting on the pavement, clad only in a dirty dhoti, reading the day's newspaper, not skimming it, not looking at the pictures, serious reading- and not just the movies or the sports section - the hardcore news section. As the car turns, it brings into my view, his truly humble adobe, a section of the pavement, covered by a tarpaulin, to possible ward sun and rain away, very neatly folded bedding and few personal belongings. I wonder who is , who he was. With his confident expression, he is definitely not a beggar or a mad-man. What in essence could have brought such a man to living in the pavments ? Or is it that he has found his nirvana with his simple life? With an air conditioned car and a concrete home to back me up, i still spend so much of time carefully building creases of worries on my forehead. He also reads about the same hike in fuel prices, he also finds out in as much surprise as me about the reservation bill - and yet, he has the ability to take it in as much easier gulps than me.

The non-stop rotating air inside the rubber tyres of my vehicle take me away from this visual question mark quite easily as the car lurches forward through well known avenues and side-lanes. The all familiar rush of school children to a near by school, the honks of incoming cars in a small a road, all that rush past me with a whiff of wind ( i wonder if this is the same whiff that i get when deadlines whizz past me in office :) )

Couple of minutes down the lane, a traffic signals endear life to me. That junction is also signified by an existance of a ladies college, but my eyes always move away from the beautiful samples of female existance. It zooms into one man, walking slowly. Dressed in common attire, most often a striped shirt, and a dark trouser, he walks slowly, a stick prodding the way in front of him. Smiling, mostly. Blind, completely. While my tyres squeel in protest of rushing traffic as the signal opens up, i always wonder where his destination would be. Stuck in a jam one day, i found out that he runs a small PCO booth in the corner. He probably has the "i" taken out of his life, but he braves it with a smile. I wonder if i would be even half as brave as him. Most of us would get into the rut of self sympathy - "Why me ?" I hope i am at least half as brave as him when life faces me with diabolical questions.

As the office draws nearer, there is one more set of people i meet on the road. Dressed fashinably, tupperware carrying, neckbands in place and id cards proudly proclaiming the software company, hands in pockets of trousers ( or in the sides of salwars ) that try to contain a bulging part of anatomy called a tummy, these are the sample of the majority of this city population. Sleepy eyes looking hopefully at the road for the company buses, they stand with dreams of a bigger houses, bigger cars, longer and farther vacations and with nightmares of deadlines, creaky architectures, flowing code and scarier appraisals.

I identify, i smile and i move on.

I wonder, one day, the continuity would break - my routes might change, or their routines might.

The old man might turn to ashes, the blind man taken into another location, the software-s move to another company, would my life still continue un-hitched?

Probably it would.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Untie one knot to tie another

I leave to Kerala on Sunday to get married. For Me to become Us. I would out of office for the next three weeks. And i have to get my Mail clients switched off, my computer logged off and get the desk clean.

And as a part of these activities, i had to remove my name from a particular Distribution List in Office. Just so that my mailbox does not get clogged with Mails.

I had to remove myself from the DL named "Prolite Team". This is my team. For the first time in almost 4 years, i remove myself from all communications that span my team. And surprisingly for a very professional part of me, i felt a little wierd. I wouldnt want to over dramatize by talking about a pang of grief that stabs through my heart and all that jack, but it does really feel wierd.

I pride myself in the way i can keep my professional part of me safe and separated from the intensely personal part, but somewhere there is definitely a convergence. I guess thats what makes me - I, Me and not I, Robot!