Counting Life By Moments..

9 10 2008

People don’t last forever, sometimes neither relationships do. Yet, its just memories and moments that make us truly alive are those that last forever, or atleast till we do.

Why?

I guess we all know the answer at the subconscious level, yet it does take a conscious effort to acknowledge, understand and give our life and every living moment to the moment.

Can we design our destiny or rule our fate?

I doubt it very much. Yet, we do hold a control of the passing moments and have the power in our hand to transform them into magical memories for the life time. Just a small thought in this direction really showed me things in a new light and hence it became a resolution for this festival period.





Something Amiss..

13 07 2008

As a sheer wave of nostalgia hits me in this sunny Sunday afternoon, I couldn’t help but muse on all those lovely moments of my life.. Yes, Indeed I miss

  • Those Hasty Bicycle rides to School
  • Climbing Guava and Mango trees in search of sweet temptations
  • Those Hide and Seek Games that filled lazy afternoons
  • Summer Time.. Umm.. Mango eating competitions in the village backyards.. Yummy!
  • Hosting Bicycle Championships around the village roads
  • Inventing creative reasons for missing classes
  • Those innocent dreams of Ramayan, Snakes and Shaktiman
  • Those days of ‘Chitrahaar’ and ”Doordarshan’ sans remote control
  • Bending rules with childhood pals, my partners in crime
  • Those summer rains and the lighthearted frolic on the terrace
  • The sheer joy of growing up, and the academic rigmarole

Umm.. How I long for a little drizzle of joy or a time machine… Suddenly this whole business of playing the adult isn’t that appealing any more.





A Piece of Rant Club…

15 05 2008

X: I Am Good At Management…

Me: Why Do You Think So?

X: Umm… I am good at coffee table conversations. I am good at talking to people. My communication skills are super. Top of the world actually. And, finally, I think I am good at coordination (really, any one can schedule meetings and handle logistics! ) and I enjoy doing it.

And finally as the discussion proceeds, I realize that its either the lure of flexible time, or the seemingly easy work that acts as a persistent motivator than the idea of career.

There is a lot of misconception about the so called management roles, at least in the field that I work in. Thought most of the senior people in those roles seem to be doing only talking, preparing pretty presentations, or spending most of their time in meetings, there is lot more under the hood than that meets the eye. One doesn’t account for the years of experience or the knowledge that they are equipped with to handle client demands on the feet, or the experiential insight that they bring in while addressing specific issues. Even bad communicators may have sound understanding or a strategic approach to the problem at hand. We can’t ignore the skills that they bring to the table because someone has bad presentation skills, just the way we can’t give weight for garrulous mouthing of words with little essence.

For those who are contemplating management career or decision making roles, a little bit of soul searching is crucial. List out all the reasons and hidden factors that propel you to consider this option. You can give a load of convincing answers to the world, yet please don’t deceive thyself.

Do you have it in you to face tremendous odds and come out trumps? Can you handle tremendous pressure or do you get fizzled out at the drop of a hat? Do you have the never-say-die spirit or do you give up easily and are driven by the principle of fatalism, i.e. the belief that you don’t have control over your deeds and some external force like God determines that.

After going through these discussions umpteen number of times, and talking to aspiring MBAs my mood turned nostalgic as I leafed through those memories of college days. I am blessed with a great mentor during my engineering days, and I am sharing a piece of those exchanges. These are times when I feel that the basics of these questions hasn’t changed over 5 years.

Why you want to do MBA?
1. Is it for money?
2. Is it for fame?
3. Is it for getting power?
4. Is it for getting a good job?
5. Is it for getting social recognition?
6. Is it because you want to make a career in Management?
7. Is it because you like to take challenges?
8. Is it because you want to broaden your horizons?
9. Is it because you have an academic bent of mind?
10. Is it for the sense of achievement?
11. Is it to get yourself equipped with an additional degree so that you can have an edge in this dog-eat-dog world?
12. Is it because you get turned ON by business and economy like nothing else?
13. Is it because you have nothing else to do?
14. Is it because of peer pressure?
15. Is it just for the sake of it and enjoyment?
16. Is it for making yourself more eligible in the marriage market?

It doesn’t require a great deal of analysis to figure out the secret motivator behind picking brain about management roles. For most of us in corporate field, its unavoidable. As we add on experience to the work life, most of our work or output depends on the deliverables of others. Thats when people management, communication, planning and organization skills come into play. For some, a management degree is a way to break free from the technical roles or a launchpad into different industries. For students, MBA is either a lucrative career option or a way to extend unemployment. ( Pun intended 🙂 )

But for those with mammoth goals and lofty aspirations, I am sharing this piece of advice that I received years ago from my mentor.

“A person doesn’t become a CEO just by doing MBA or just having the desire. The culmination is only due to untiring efforts and careful grooming over many years. Do bear that in mind. Although, having lofty ambitions is laudable, being nervous even before the battle has begun doesn’t behoove you. You need to have the emotional poise to handle things at ease. “

And finally, chill. We are all good at management in one way or the other. We all are managing our lives without much catastrophes. Acquiring management skills isn’t rocket science if we put our mind and heart to it. They say, vision without action is a dream and action without vision is a nightmare. Be true to the choices of life and be true to your dreams and longings. Life will sail on much more easily and happily.





Blind Men And The Elephant..

9 02 2008

This is a story from my Granny’s collections. One of those fond memories of childhood and yet such a lifetime lesson to practice. A little googling helped me locate this story and saved me from recreating its fondness from memory. For the trading with memories involves dealing with interpretations and perceptions which may not let you remain true to the original. 🙂

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Once upon a time there were six blind men. They lived in a town in India. They thought they were very clever. One day an elephant came into the town. The blind men did not know what an elephant looked like but they could smell it and they could hear it. ‘What is this animal like?’ they said. Each man touched a different part of the elephant.

The first man touched the elephant’s body. It felt hard, big and wide. ‘An elephant is like a wall’ he said. The second man touched one of the elephant’s tusks. It felt smooth and hard and sharp. ‘An elephant is like a spear’ he said.

The third man touched the elephant’s trunk. It felt long and thin and wiggly. ‘An elephant is like a snake’ he said. The fourth man touched on of the legs. It felt thick and rough and hard and round. ‘An elephant is like a tree’ he said.

The fifth man touched one of the elephant’s ears. It felt thin and it moved. ‘An elephant is like a fan’ he said.

The sixth man touched the elephant’s tail. It felt long and thin and strong. ‘An elephant is like a rope’ he said.

The men argued. It’s like a wall! No, it isn’t! It’s like a spear! No it isn’t! It’s like a snake! They did not agree. The king had been watching and listening to the men. ‘You are not very clever. You only touched part of the elephant. You did not feel the whole animal. An elephant is not like a wall or a spear or a snake, or a tree or a fan of a rope’.

The men left the town still arguing. A little girl heard them and said ‘Each of you is right but you are all wrong … but I know what you are talking about.’

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A nice illustration of this story in poem is available here. This story leaves me with a lingering echo that sounds like this.
“O how they cling and wrangle, some who claim
For preacher and monk the honored name!
For, quarreling, each to his view they cling.
Such folk see only one side of a thing”

Well, thats the thought that stayed with me since carefree days.





Skeletons in The Cupboard..

8 10 2007

This is one of those persistent echoes from one of those intellectually stimulating conversations that I relished and indulged in grandeur. How do we deal with broken dreams, unrequited love, and breach of trust? How do we handle with that muted voice of the Maverick that lies with in us? We all have our own little skeletons in our cupboards from past. Everyone emerges different from similar experiences depending on how they chose to deal with them.

One of friends’ shared with me his perspective one day. Since I know he wouldn’t mind, am quoting him verbatim.. “Heard “Ekla chalo re?” All of us are individuals, responsible for the fruits and pitfalls of our individual actions. Ever since I was a young, I hardly remember a time when I didn’t suffer from crush pangs. Grew up like that, got ditched a couple of times, but picked up the remnants and carried on. Anyway, you never know who is trustworthy and who is not. I trust everyone and no one. Even if I get ditched, I’m not affected, and if I am not, I’ll have won over someone. Life doesn’t play safe. You’d either be endangered or as safe as in Fort Knox.“

Some choose to live in profound confusion and conflict quagmire, finding it hard to let go of past and some are able to pick up the pieces and move on savoring life moment by moment. Whatever that we choose to do and how would we deal with the skeletons in the cupboard in the end is our personal choice. It’s about being comfortable with our thoughts, value systems and ourselves. What’s life if it’s not spiced with joy, mirth, sorrows, complexities, love, fun and friends? We all have our own wars to fight, storms to rage, dreams to conquer and dragons to slay. Sometimes we may end up with terrible wounds, raw pain, and shattered dreams. I heard someone saying Pain is Gain. How true! Life is a learning process for sure. Hold on to that inner spirit and enjoy the ride.





Weekend Musings..

23 09 2007

The word for the weekend is Nostalgic! It is filled with recollecting memoirs and reliving memories from old letters, mails, chats and catching up on long pending reflections. I have had a pensive Saturday and a homely Sunday. This is my first weekend at Bangalore where I had time entirely for myself and guess this is much needed to flush some pensive musings. At times it is tough to enjoy the company that I keep when am alone. My mood closely rhymed with this expression.. ‘Looking back on the tears would always make us laugh, but little did I know that the moments we laughed together will make us cry one day!’





Happy Ganesha Chaturdhi..

17 09 2007

This is a very special festival in both family and cultural aspects as never a year rolled by when I haven’t prayed Ganesha in this occasion. Ganesha is one of my favorite Gods, as he is so much malleable to creativity. He get the first prayers as he is the one who guides opportunities by eradicating the obstacles. (So as the mythology goes).

This is an old forward, yet it was so current in my memory that I hunted it down to share it with you all.
ganesha.gif
I celebrated this year with my family friends and as I was enjoying the puja it struck me how much these rituals create the bonding of being together with the family. Whenever this festival arrives and wraps me in a humdrum of activity, I cant help but take a trip down the memory lane.. Reliving all those days of hectic shopping for the idol and flowers, Troubling Mamma for new books, Drawing Om on the book covers, Setting up the Mandapa, Dressing up in new clothes, The humdrum in the kitchen, Chanting of the sloka, Ardent avoiding of the moon and so on.. All those moments flash live they are still alive and are happening now.

Sometimes somethings sound plain stupid to the naked eye, yet they have a lot of depth behind it. The entire personification of God and treating him with flowers, dressing him up, and offering food in a particular process may sound tiring and ridiculous, yet I love the effect of peace it creates in the mind, the feeling of unity in entire family helping each other in getting things done, and the visits of the relatives and friends and the community bonding.. Sometimes I feel as if there is a meaning behind everything and everything has a meaning.. It may be hazy to figure it out in an instance yet, it doesn’t stop me from believing.

These rituals are just not about religious beliefs, they are about uniting everyone under simple purpose and activity, and sharing common memories through procedures and protocols. How much I love them!