Friday, December 15, 2006

Chanakya and Me

My friend sent me Chanakya's Quotes. I immediately thoguht of responses to them. I wrote back and thought i would post the responses here...
Neethi in Tamil means Judgement. So you will see, a Neethi for every Quote of Chanakya.

"A person should not be too honest. Straight trees are cut first and Honest people are screwed first. - Chanakya

My Neethi : To maintain a log of the consecutive lies you said is difficult. You need to be smarter than SMART can mean.

"Even if a snake is not poisonous, it should pretend to be venemous **- Chanakya

My Neethi : One day, your pretence comes out to the limelight and your true color will show up.

"The biggest guru-mantra is: Never share your secrets with anybody. ! It will destroy you." - Chanakya

My Neethi : If you don’t share your secrets, you will never know anyone else’s secret and you will never have opinions of people. Opinions of people do matter, coz you never know which opinion will spark an idea in you. A good idea can make a lot of difference anyplace, anytime.

"There is some self-interest behind every friendship. There is no Friendship without self-interests. This is a bitter truth."- Chanakya

My Neethi : Simple logic. You don’t go around making friends with everyone in the globe. If there are friends, then there is a duty that friends have towards each other. This is not a planned self – interest. Even if it is, it doesn’t matter as long as there is love binding the friendship. There is no bitter truth about it. This is the fact of Life.

"Before you start some work, always ask yourself three questions - Why am I doing it, What the results might be and Will I be successful. Only when you think deeply and find satisfactory answers to these questions, go ahead." - Chanakya

My Neethi : Not always you will have answers to these questions, leave alone satisfactory answers. Just go ahead and do it as long as a second thought on it does not give you qualms. It is your duty to work your best and forget about it. The rewards will come when they have to.

As soon as the fear approaches near, attack and destroy it." - Chanakya

My Neethi : Fear for valid points needs to be there.. You cannot fall off a cliff unless you want to commit a suicide…

"Treat your kid like a darling for the first five years. For the next five years, scold them. By the time they turn sixteen, treat them like a friend. Your grown up children are your best friends." - Chanakya

My Neethi : Mere Scolding does not help. Half the time the kid is baffled about the very idea that the parent is yelling for nothing at all. You can never become a kid again and so you will not understand what it feels to be a kid, unless you care for a little bit of child psychology.

Books are as useful to a stupid person as a mirror is useful to a blind person. - Chanakya

My Neethi : That means only intelligent person can read books.. Which again means there would not be any best seller books, coz I bet all readers are not intelligent.

Well, these are just opinions.... You are free to post yours..

Thursday, December 14, 2006

If God were to appear in front of you.....


I asked this question to my friends yesterday during lunch at a restaurant.

Here are the answers i got...

I want to become a child again. Need not bother about finance, responsibilies, the right and the wrong.

I want to become a child again, to lead a life with child-like qualities.... the money comes from the ATM machine and I dont have to think more about it....

I want to be a child who is grown up enough but not to the extent of taking responsibilities for anything other than examinations and tests at school....

Others i could think of....

I will ask for a long walk with God enjoying the scenic beauty around, in a beautiful country side...or forest....

I will ask for his/her autograph....

I will ask for his/her photograph.... No one has seen him/her till date....


I may not be able to speak at all... It will take sometime for me to recover from the pleasant suprise of seeing God..

May be the last point is what might ultimately happen.... :)


Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Forgive for Good

I know this topic seems too much of a strain on your mind.. and very different from my usual writing pieces.

Over the last week, I happened to meet some one online and believe me.... Those 30 minutes of chat on Yahoo messenger with her changed my way of looking at things in life..

It is not what she said that made me think about forgiving people.. it is what I felt made me change my way of looking at things....

Since that day, I am relaxed much more than ever before when it comes to people and their attitudes.. coz, I have learnt to say " These things happen in life " and " It is okay to Forgive..."

Now why do I say 'Forgive for Good' and not just 'FORGIVE'?? That is because, when you forgive, you not only learn that you are No God to Forgive people but also learn that your blood pressure and tension come to a quick control.

This way you no longer brood about why some one did/said something unplesant to you.

In most cases, the same person would be shocked to note that you have actually not taken it as serious as it was supposed to be taken.

In most other cases, if you forgive, you will note that what happened was purely circumstantial and if you were the opponent you would have acted worse or atleast pretty much the same way.

In few other cases , for all you know the other person would not even have realised that you are hurt because of him/her.

Forgiveness makes you realise that you have wasted so much of your energy or tears on something that could have been solved this quickly. Just forgive... You are not God the almighty who is all powerful... So, if you just take off that heavy burden of the past unplesantries from your mind through a simple ' Forgive you' concept, Life would be Beautiful .....every day, every moment.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Lift Operator

Ever wondered what it is like to be a life operator?

On a late rainy morning in my office lobby, I was seated with a 'Shatabdi' of thoughts within my head. The Shatabdi express of thoughts was fuelled by the steaming hot tea in my hands.

I was facing the door to one of the forever loaded lifts. As usual the door opened and people stormed out.. People who were seated with me in the lobby wriggled their way in. In the two minute load and unload interval, I caught a glimpse of the Lift Operator seated in the corner of the lift with his finger on the operator's panel.

Many a time I had wondered what it would be like to operate the lift for 12 hours continuously. That was the shift timing, he once told me, when i asked. He comes in at 6:00 in the morning and works till 6:00 in the evening. I recalled this fact and could not help wondering aloud about his plight and profession.

My friend's insights :

If he is the type who likes to read and analyse people's minds he will know a lot of information from the conversations that most often happen inside the lift.

If he is the lazy type who likes to sit idle, then he would most probably enjoy the job.

If he is the friendly type who likes to make new friends and meet new people, he will have friends in all floors of the building.

Still, I am wondering if it is actually possible to handle the lift just the same way, with the same temperament, day-in and day-out...

Not sure if i would make a good lift operator... with the kind of speed and change that i like to be revolving with...

Hats off to the lift operator... Next time around, when I meet a lift operator, I am going to try and remember to flash a smile.. if not a smile, I would surely not put on a serious face and a ' I-dont-know-you' face.. ..That is the least I can do to brighten his day and job...

Some day, I would ask him what is his life as a lift operator like...

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Birthday Party

What are all the questions that pop up in your mind when you think of a Birthday party?

I'll tell you what all popped up into mine...

What outfit should I wear for the day?
What time should I reach?
Will I be able to make it to the party on time?
Will many children be there?
Will I get to eat cake?
Will I manage to talk to people and move around in the crowd?
Will I miss the important call that I have been expecting all day, just precisely when the kid is cutting the cake?
Will the kid play with me?
Will I get home before it gets really late?

So many questions just for a Birthday party evening...

I'll tell u, all these were not required at all...

Went in with a bouquet to greet my hosts.. ( I've always felt that in a child's birthday party, it is the parents who have to be appreciated...for all that they are to the kid and to the guests...) Flowers are a way of saying,' I know you are just wonderful'.... :)

I just enjoyed being myself, coz the kids had so much fun in the party that at a point I forgot all my questions...

There was the Birthday Baby - The "Center of Attraction" in party dress.. She was so scared sometimes of every pair of eyes looking at her... So happy sometimes that there are too many people around... The cakes, the people, the music, the baloons, the kids, the gifts,the camera, everything seemed to amuse her....

Then there was a kid messing up with the cake...I am not too sure if i ever enjoyed cakes to that extent in my life till date.. (given that I am very fond of cakes)

Another was busy trying to get into a fight with a Jeans walah...

Another smart kid was trying to teach me how to wear the face mask...I learnt it somehow but could not manage to get the names of all the characters on the different masks...

A NorthIndian Dollie was wearing a Sharara, or whatever you call that Long Skirt and a complicated Top and Dupattah...She was trying to walk so fast that I almost tripped when I tried to catch hold of her....

One five year old danced like no body was around.... Spontaneous dance comes out so well, I tell you.... All of us had fun watching him dance....Honestly, I missed dancing with him, he refused to take me in as a dance partner.... :(

Then there was this Snowfall fun.... One of the party poppers had some stuff that when popped out, looked like snow fall.... You should have seen all the kids dance in the Snow Fall....

Then came the dinner time....

My God.. what effort was it for the parents, to make the kids have a bite...!!!! It was fun watching them eat... :)

Then there was photo Shoot.. People shot snaps to their heart's content...

It was very late when I actually looked at my watch...

I waved bye and jumped into an auto that day..... After my Thanks message to the Hosts, I sat back relaxed.... Was tired of the recurring thought that you can never be a child again.......

My auto stopped at a signal.. One sweet little kid waved 'Hi' from the car that screeched to halt at the same signal. In the Ninety seconds that we got, he was all smiles.... I wondered how and why.. we don't even know each other.. Made me smile and I kept Smiling....


Btw, I wore my favorite dress with no make-up, reached the venue very late due to traffic, ate the cake, spoke to all I knew and made new friends too. The call I expected came the next day, the kid played for minutes with me, and I reached home well in time to sleep well... :)

So afterall, Nothing is as important as being a part of the celebration and having a good time... Everything else will fall in place sooner or later... :)

Friday, October 13, 2006

Lage Raho Munna Bhai...

Thanks to the movie crew of Lage Raho Munna Bhai..

I got very good review comments of this movie. So decided to watch the movie. The show was screened at Six Degrees, Satyam Complex, Chennai.

It was a very different attempt to teach Ahimsa and other values to all of us. The story, screenplay, dialogues, and direction were all tightly bound to the idea of conveying heavy meaning in feather-light scripting.

There was lots to take home from the Movie theatre, not sure if all of us did....

Some of the points that I can coin from the story after about a week's time are:

1. A very small act or favor of yours can make a big difference to some one else.

2. Respect Old age and the experience that comes along with it.

3. Remember that you will grow old too.

4. Remember everyone has a dream, wish, aim, and hope.

5. Never underestimate the power of the others.

6. Be sincere and fully focused on what you are doing to win.

7. Express anger in an assertive manner.

8. Understand that actions speak louder than words.

9. Appreciate whole-heartedly.

10. You never know how capable you are.

11.Remember that you mean the world to people who care for you. Never forget to acknowledge and reciprocate.

12.The Sea of life is never calm. You have to swim in the sea, fight the tides and keep fighting.

13.Be ready to say Sorry and mean it.

14.Be quick to Forgive.

15.Refuse unplesantries both in give and take.

I know there are lots more... But these are some of the points that I could trace.

Nice movie.. And a wonderful way of teaching values to people than most other means.

A fair mix of fact and Fiction, Lage Raho Munna Bhai is a super hit among the Chennaiites. Wonder if we will further get to watch such good movies ... :)

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Are you a good Customer?

Customer Support is the key point of focus in all successful business ventures. Almost all top organizations and business groups give a thought to customer satisfaction.

I could see this point was well taken in one of the best jewelry Shops in Chennai.I had stepped into this shop to get a farewell gift for a friend. I wanted to get a nice gift, a gift that she could make good use of.

To me, the ground floor of the shop was more of a well-lit airport, the central bus stand, or railway station to say the least. I was hoping that the second floor which housed the gifts would have some space for me to stand, leave alone select the gift.

The Supervisor was very friendly.( I am not sure of his designation actually... He wore a grey suit and looked different from the rest of the staff) . I thought that it was one of those 'Customer Satisfaction' moves that the Manager had chalked out.

I elbowed my way to the second floor which had a lot of silver articles and gifts.
After visiting every counter and doing the Silver Math in my mind, I confirmed that Silver and Gold are costly. If I liked the Gift, the Bill was high.. If the bill was just about right, the gift was not very pleasing.

I glanced at the watch. I had already spent about 1 hour and 15 minutes and could not manage to find anything worth the amount I had in mind. :) Not my fault... Silver was costly...

Deciding on a gift voucher which my friend could always redeem at a later date,I asked for directions to the counter which issued gift vouchers. The Sales Clerk directed me to the ground floor.

With a number of 'Excuse Me's and sorries and stares from people who were visibly hurt because I stepped on to their feet, I managed to reach the ground floor. I was already exhausted and was mentally complaining why I chose this place for the gift.

The same supervisor directed me to the counter that sold the gift vouchers. He said something to the uniformed guy next to the counter and walked away. I thought this uniformed guy would get me the voucher, but he asked me to be seated for a while.. I didn't want a seat then, but a voucher. I told him just that. I don't think I was impolite, but was not exactly pleasingly polite. After about one a half hours, here I was, waiting at a counter for a gift voucher and these people were taking their own sweet time...

The counter clerk was a very busy lady who didn't even look up till then, in response to the disturbance that my conversation was creating...

I looked at her desk top with a computer perched among the paper hill. She was noting some number in a book from one of the papers while another pile was brought in by another senior clerk( seemigly from a different department). She said, that is all she can handle at the moment as there were some customers waiting for the gift vouchers and that this new pile of papers had to wait.... I was silently praising her for the presence of mind to have understood that my time was important to me.

As it happened, the senior explained that the customer was waiting for the papers and that the information had to be fed into the machine before they sent the papers off with the guy.. Now, I am sure you can visualize my temper.. I was careful not to lose it.. Still, the face, I tell u......... is the index of mind... I think it showed pretty clearly that I was beginning to get irritated...

The clerk looked up at me, and the senior clerk and took the money from me.. She wanted me off the place. The uniformed guy managed to find a seat in the crowded room which happened to be next to another counter which took credit cards and checked the vouchers.

During my fifteen minutes of wait there, I noticed that the uniformed guy had to escort a lot of people to different departments, the supervisor had to explain a lot of things to people, the sales clerks were trying to handle 15 people all at once, the packing section's clerk was also busy trying to work in lightening speed... Every one was serving a customer who is as hurried as I am to finish the purchase and get out.. and who is not bothered about what it takes to be on the other end...

Here in the credit card counter next to me, there were two people who did not even have time to sip their coffee which was waiting for them on the table. There were people with card -related issues, exchange related issues and signature issues.... I was staring straight at the sales clerk and instinct must have told the her I guess.. She looked up to ask what I wanted... I told her about the gift voucher and she called another uniform and asked him to get the voucher..

I followed this guy to the gift voucher counter, only to see that my voucher was not written yet... I was going to ask her what was the problem and why it took her that long to write a voucher... I was close to 'Fuming'. I noticed few lakh rupees of purchase was what she was working on..and she looked puzzled and confused and tensed and still managed a smile when she looked up...

This was what customer support meant I thought... She had her own tension at work which I tried hard to but could not understand.... I had my own priorities which she visibly understood and tried hard to work it out the way I wanted.... It didn't work out, so she managed a smile which seemed to say.. " Do understand my plight and stay calm "... I did and waited for her to finish what she was doing... It took her about five to ten minutes to finish her work but I am sure she was relieved about the fact that I did not make life hell for her.. For , if I had yelled, then she would have had to answer her manager for 'Customer Satisfaction' issues.

I would have contributed to her messing up with the numbers(all virtual cash with lots of value) and for all you know her manager would have fired her that very day.

As I came out of the shop finally, I asked myself, if I was a good customer. I did not know the answer for sure, but then I resolved to be a good customer with control on my temper when things do not go my way in a Sales Counter in future....

Monday, September 11, 2006

High priced........

I have been spending lots of money for the last two months. Not that I wanted to waste money, but situations demand that money be spent. Never really given it a thought until my friend and me stepped inside a restaurant yesterday for her treat.

We chose the place because she was impressed its ambience , the last time she had dined there.

It was 2:00 o' clock in the afternoon. The ambience was impressive and place looked crowded. We managed to find seats and settled down to place orders for lunch. There was an old man in a typical rich South Indian attire( Silk Dhoti, Shirt and Shawl) having his lunch in the same bay as ours. There was a mineral water bottle on his table from which he took occassional sips.We ordered a bottle of mineral water too.. "Thanks to the Old Man" I said to myself... else I would not have cared to ask for Mineral water, given that the restaurant was popular and good and I am all flat for the paintings there.

The food was tasty, but I noticed in the menu card that a lime juice in the restaurant costed 35 rupees... a little too high I felt.. Still, never bothered to tell it out, as I was intent on finishing my meal and getting home for a quick nap before the next programme on the cards for the day.

We were enjoying the food and generally discussing the shopping we did in the morning when we heard the old man picking on an argument with the waiter.

The entire hall stopped eating and talking. The old man was demanding an explanation for the mineral water charges in his bill. He felt that charging 25 rupees for a water bottle is too high when the nominal rate is 12 rupees. Any kind of explanation from the waiter did not seem to satisfy him. He asked to speak to the manager. When the waiter hesitated, he stormed into the Manager's room to fight for the extra 13 rupees.

The waiters smiled... That is all they could do...

That is when it struck me, that we have also been paying exhorbitant rates for a nominal meal in restaurants all these days, but never bothered to question any one on anything, simply because we thought that it was not very 'NICE' to question the prices in some restaurants.

No body told us, but we all seemed to already know the reason for the high prices.... I see that we are paying for the A/C, the lights, the decorum, the wall papers, the drapes, the cushions, and the service along with the food. The cost of everything else is included in the Price of the dishes we eat.

Who is to explain this point to the Old man ?

I knew we had spent more for the food than its worth..

We paid through Debit Card.. May be that is why we never realised the High Prices.. It is the card that takes care of the Bill, not the rupee notes that we used to count out to pay bills usually.

The beautiful Tanjore painting which costed over a lakh rupees smiled cheerfully when we walked out... It seemed to say, 'That is Life, Deeps'..

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Small Wonders

Everyday is beautiful.. I agree. There are some days when you feel you cannot express your happiness... Yesterday was one such day....

I have always been fond of children, like most other girls. I took an instant liking to my friend's daughter the moment he showed me her photograph taken on the day she was born. I could not stop wondering, (I still have not...) about the little Xerox copy of my friend. She is a 'Small Wonder' to me.

This was the same feeling I had when I myself mistook my Mom's childhood photo for mine. After that point, this kid's photo amazed me... So she and I became friends, really connected and close.

Between the talks with my friend's family members, I spoke to this darling little friend of mine... She seemed to understand some of my takes at things and I seemed to not understand a lot of her points... So you see, she won.

She chose her toy, She knew when to go out for the evening walks with her parents and grandma, She knew to turn to her parents when things were just not right with her, she knew her grandpa is a great friend of hers, she knew there was a guest in the house, she knew when she had to keep quiet, She understood a 'No', She knew that ' A smile is a gentle curve that sets things straight'.. ( If you are the observant kind, U will notice that a child smiles most of the times...and there is no equivalent to that innocence and the 'Joy' that it brings...), She knew to differentiate appreciation, She knew to have fun, She knew to say 'No',She knew to get surprised....

She seemed to know all of these....and a lot more...

What all did I learn yesterday? I learnt to Smile most of the times, Forget things that are supposed to be forgotten, Remember what I had to remember, Know what I wanted, Be a friend, Love unconditonally, Enjoy simple things, Observe unlimitedly, Reach out for the best always...

U will not believe that this little kid reminded me of all these qualities... I guess all of us had these when we were children, but we unlearnt it over the years... Presumably after the introduction of History, Geography and Physics and Chemisty subjects. or after TV,and Internet.... I can't say why..

I enjoyed my evening immensely with the child... Her circle at home is great, I agree....I wish her nice circle outside too, so she gets to maintain all her qualities..Let's hope the introduction of Physics and History has positive influence on this chintu mintu. :)

Some one once told me.. It is important to be child-like... I didn't really understand it then, Now I think I am realzing the meaning of the word 'Child -like' and the joy of making friends with 'Small Wonders'.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Child's mind - WYSIWYG Editor

A child' s mind is more like a WYSIWYG ( What you See is What You Get) editor. What the child sees is what gets into the mind.
Such a WYSIWYG editor in a child's mind carefully edited and saved all that happened in AVM Studio, Chennai about 20 years ago .

AVM Studio was bustling with activity. Superstar Rajinikanth,the famous movie star of the tamil filmdom was busy starring in the shooting of a 'to-be-a-definite-superhit'-movie.
It was not very uncommon for the children of the producers, directors, artists to land up at the shooting spots to just have fun with the movie crew. The Producer's son who had developed a major liking to his father's profession, was also there at the spot. The heros, the stunts, the cameras, the sounds, the lights, the dances, the dialogues, the crowd and the tension, translated into one word - 'Fun', to this six-year-old.

As he stood watching Super star in action that day, he got noticed by the hero. So after the scene was shot, Rajini came over to play with the boy. As the star and the child started talking, the child became friends with the Star very easily. So, after every shot, he started waiting for his friend, the Actor, to join him.

As the most popular artist, Rajini always had thousands of onlookers who wait outside the shooting zone to catch a glimpse of him, to have a picture taken with him, to talk to him, and to get his autograph. On this particular day, there were a number of college students waiting outside the studio.The morning session was over and people were dispersing for lunch.

The two friends were together when the Actor signed the Autograph books and took photos with the students. The little boy noticed an old, poor, and lame man sitting on a wooden plank with wheels. He wheeled his way along the opposite side of the road and tried to use his hands as support to get the wooden plank and thereby himself onto the pavement. With great difficulty he managed to get on to the pavement and positioned himself at the right place so he can see Superstar's face. As the little boy's stare at the scene was intense and as he was too quiet, Rajini also followed his gaze and noticed the admirer.

He immediately walked over to the old man, sat beside him on the pavement and started talking. It seemed that the old man and the Actor were good old friends, for they had so much to exchange. Rajini ordered Non-vegetarian food according to the old man's taste. He called the camera man over to take a snap of the two of them. The old man's face glowed for a minute, the boy noticed.

Later that evening, when Rajini was leaving the Studio, his little friend stood waving 'bye' to him. He watched as the Star stepped out of his car, gave few new sets of clothes to the Old man. He handed over a paper cover with the photograph of the old man and himself taken early that afternoon.
The smile of gratitude on the oldman's face and the sense of contentment on the Actor's face got etched on the little boy's mind.

The little boy grew up to be a software engineer and happens to be my friend. He adores the Actor. When I chanced to talk to him about his 'Hero' one day, he told me this unforgettable incident. I can clearly see the impact this incident has made on him and his attitude towards people and life at large.

Mind is definitely a WYSIWYG editor..........I think it is important to remember the WYSIWYG editor every time we deal with children. A child's mind is a clean slate and it records anything that happens around. Let's contribute to the niceties that a child learns in life by carefully choosing what we talk and what we do in front of a child. Next time a kid is around, handle your words and deeds with care.

Rajini, Madhav,and Me - Part 6

The crux came the last: Do you have a perfect balance between work and home? In a perfect balance, your work does not disturb your home life and your home does not come in between your work life. Do you think his possible?

Rajini says: It is not possible as most of the waking hours is spent in the office and definitely some of the thoughts are carried back home whether or not he wants it. But the best part is he makes it a point not to vent out at home, so it does not really disturb the tranquil in his home. I hoped that there was a friend he confided in. Everyone needs a vent out.

Madhav says: Experience reminds that it has to be possible. Except when the situation is very bad.... He realizes that there is no point in carrying work tension home and home tension to work. He shares concerns and opinions with his folks at home and that seems to relieve him of his constant tension, but the temper related to office tension is always under control at home.
He agrees that the phone calls and mails from office are unavoidable. He ensures it does not disturb his sweet home.

I could very well see that the responses were not made up to please the listener. Still, I had just learnt a management principle:Never Assume.So with great hesitation I managed to ask: Is your response to all these questions honest?

'Yes' came the response. :) I knew it, still asked.

It was 7:40 P.M. The sky was cloudy and dark as we walked out of the eighth floor. I was reminded of the line from Robert Frost's poem: :The Woods are lovely dark and deep... And miles to go before I sleep.... (In the context of Lots to learn in Life.)
Frost is Great, books say...........Yes, and so are Rajini and Madhav, but in a very different and special way.

I think the three of us had a great evening.

Every body should take time to talk, you never know what all you will learn. People are really nice, we rarely take time to understand them.

I had taken this session on 12th July 2006, a Wednesday. Today is 3rd August 2006, Thursday. I wrote this series in scattered concentration but had the hints on paper, the day after the interview.

I have tried my level best to convey what I learnt from my friends in the simplest possible language. I am running this through them to ensure that I have not written anything that they have not told.

I have marked my comments on and off in between the posts, which is purely my interpretation. This series of posts is open to your comments and interpretations.

A gentle reminder to all of you who read this: I really respect the friendship me, Madhav and Rajini share. This interview has been given only based on my questions. Please do not be judgmental about Rajini or Madhav .

I welcome any comment on this article . Just ensure that your comment does not hurt the stars of my interview. I value their time, insights, patience, and friendship always. Thanks Madhav, Thanks Rajini.

Rajini, Madhav, and Me - Part 5

Friends.... Everyone has a friend. Proverb says 'Every enemy has a friend'. What do these people feel about their friends.?

Madhav has a lot of good friends at work. Considering that he spends most of his time at work, he is happy about the friends circle he has. He says he will miss them for sure, if he steps out of the company some day.

Rajini says he had a very good circle of friends back in college. Ofcourse, his work place has earned him a good set of friends too. With less time to have fun and confide, he seems to miss them often these days. Over the years, he has lost touch with most of them. He plans to take steps to renew the friendship and get in touch with his circle of friends. He has signed up on, the latest friendzone.

Your Goals : It was a little difficult for me to take it when Rajini said that he did not have any major goal. Now this is one answer, I cannot take from any youngster. Everyone has a goal, mostly hidden. Till it happens it stays as a dream and when it works out, it becomes an achieved goal. I was determined to get the answer out of him. I promised that I would not laugh.

You will be surprised to know that Rajini wants to Produce movies and act in guest roles in some of them.I was surprised in the beginning, later it dawned on me that work is different from what one's passion is. I wished him every success to reach his goal and have asked tickets for the premiere show of his movie. He should definitely venture out on movie making someday, so the Tamil film-lovers can watch movies with a tint of ethical touch.

One of Madhav's dreams and target goal is to start his own company some day. He concentrates on people-skills to reach his goal post. He says ' The company does not necessarily have to be a software company. A HR consultancy is what he wants to own.

A bill board of the news paper 'Business Line', put up in one of Chennai's main roads says: Cubicles are assigned... Corner Offices are earned.... I am sure he will earn a number of corner offices all over the world.

After all, we know, that Hard work pays.. For both these Gurus, hardwork is a built-in factor. So reward is assured, sooner or later.

The next thought that came up immediately was if the experience in the software industry is going to help my friends meet their goal. Clearly the HR consultancy and production company do not have even the remote links to software programming.They hope that the people skills and situation-handling that they learn in the industry will definitely come in handy somewhere.

'Experience makes a man perfect' a proverb from my chemistry professor's long physical chemistry sessions popped in to say 'hi' to me.:)

Another straight forward question- Are you practical?

Madhav says 'Yes I am mostly practical, when it comes to work.... Personally all situations cannot have practical answers. Emotions creep in and practicality fades especially when it comes to my loved ones.'. It looked like Rajini had the same points to share.

I liked the idea of emotions not getting into workplace. When disagreements happen at work, it is the practicality that helps handle the situation and in turn your temper.

Rajini, Madhav and Me - Part 4

Patience: I have always admired Rajini's patience. It is said that programmers require patience. I asked if these Gurus also thought so.

Rajini says that he tends to get angry and Madhav knows better.There have been times when anger has got the better of him, but since his principle of commitment comes in between often, he appears to be patient enough to handle it.

Madhav says that every walk of life actually requires a certain amount of patience. At work, this is not a major requirement when things are organized. You may not have to get hyper about anything at all if work is process-oriented and if you have certain level of sincerity at work. He admits that there are times when things do not work out ( as it is in most situations, if Murphy's law chooses to trigger off ) and patience becomes a mandate.

To Madhav, the problems with the parking facility and lift breakdowns and other such out-of-context problems cause as much, if not more tension, than the mails, calls, issues, meetings, and the thoughts of all these piling up in the work desk every morning. To cut the long story short, office and environment do matter for a peaceful work life in his opinion.

I have always wanted to know if people felt they are appreciated for what they are or have done at work. So I asked : It is a very important occasion in your office. You are on the dais because the success of a particular project is being attributed to you. Can you imagine this situation?

Yes came the answer.( Felt glad.) Both of them could imagine the situation. The office has not staged a show, but then these people have been appreciated for what they have done. They knew to acknowledge appreciations.

The session shifted out of office topics for sometime. The next question was about their interests. There are times when I have seen them working when I came in at 8.30 in the morning and when I left work place at 8.00 in the evening. The next morning when you come in, you will see these people in the same posture playing with the keys on the keyboard as if they were composing music for the International Music festival or some hi-fi award function. I can't even manage a smile if I were in such a situation. I have wondered if they ever had something called interests in life after college. If they had, did they have time for it?

This question brought instant cheers to the already cheerful guys.Madhav is a great fan of English movies, mostly mysteries and action. Of late, he has got interested in business news and the tips and tricks to handle business.He loves spending time all by himself. He takes time to do whatever he feels like once in a while without any restrictions that he himself or others tend to impose on him. These days getting in touch with people and being a part of friends network interests him. He is a new entrant to recalls that he was into Scouts team as a school boy. Basket ball and Table Tennis are his favorite sports. These days he does not get to play as much as he wants to, partly because he does not have time to, and partly because his brother who is his TT companion is not in Chennai.

Rajini's interests are mostly Research and Development on new technologies that spring up in the software industry. He loves watching Actor Rajinikanth's movies. He adores this actor so much that I chose Rajini as his alias name for this interview post. He did not have much to say about his interests because he does not have time to spend for any of his interests right now.

Hopefully Rajini will change to his own self after a few years, because his work life is just 5 years old. It is said, over the years, people realize that 'Life is afterall more than just Work'.

My weekends are usually packed with lot of things to attend to, things that I never had time to work on during weekdays. I always thought what the weekends of these software industry-worshippers were like. Rajini catches up on his sleep that he had lost all week. For the amount of work he does six days a week , I am not surprised if sleep is his priority over the Sunday.

Madhav seems to manage with less sleep, but votes for a Sunday afternoon nap to start a bright week. His weekends are for his loving family and English movies. Theatre is a strict 'No-No' says Madhav.
Work is always there. It is upto you to cheer up and pep up yourself doing all that you want to do and gear up for the tough week ahead. That is our lesson from this question.

Rajini, Madhav, and Me - Part 3

The conversation was proceeding very cool. I had this clock ticking inside my head saying:"Deeps, you are taking a little too much of their time". Still, I just went on, after confirming if the Gurus were having something to attend to immediately. I am sure they would have had something to take care of immediately, but then the conversation went on .

When asked about the time each of them spent for themselves each day, Madhav said "about three hours roughly". He was surprised when I said I had about an hour and a half only for myself, considering I was less busy than he was. Rajini said, he did not have much time for himself. He had about 10 minutes all by and for himself.

He says he would improve on that when Madhav explained : It is important to take time for yourself, to do what you want to , the way you want to do it. Basically 'Live for yourself atleast once in a while' would be the principle for a healthy, happy life.

Madhav spends time for himself almost every day doing what he likes, movies mostly.These days spending time with his eight-month old daughter tops the list of his likes.

Extended Work Hours: Rajini is sandwiched between work demands and time lines. For him extended work hours is all that he has been going through from the day I joined this office( which is about two years from now). He says the commitment to adhere to the time line, however unreasonable it may sound, becomes important sometimes. Madhav explains that better processes and organized way of planning might reduce this kind of pressure at work. Lot of times there is very less one is able to do on management decisions is what he feels.

I gave them a fancy situtation - Given a choice to swap roles in your organization, whose role would you take up and why?

Madhav quickly and calmly said that he is happy the way he is. Once in a while, it is important to pat yourself and appreciate yourself for what you are is what Madhav believes. As for Rajini, he is happy about the person he is.They clearly do not seem to like imitations.

A thought from my Moral Science sessions back in school came into my mind without knocking:'Understand that everyone is unique'.

Rajini happily puts in if atall there is one swap in life he would even consider, it is to become Actor Superstar Rajinikanth, a role model and most widely hero-worshipped person among the Tamilians..

Given a choice to change your career what would that be?
Rajini wants to become an actor. He says he does not want a hero role. The guest appearances in the last 5 minutes of the movies, or the most unforgettable co-artist roles fascinate him. He says, the movie is good if the guest appearance gets fixed on your mind frame, which I think is true.

Madhav wants to start his own business. His interest inclines towards teaching also. He says, that might be because he admires the teacher in his mother. He recalls that he was lucky to have had a good set of teachers throughout his school and college life.Everyone remembers atleast one teacher who has made a difference. The three of us drifted off to our own worlds for a minute, thinking of some of the teachers who have a hand in our professional and personal life.

When I heard Madhav mention his mother, the next spontaneous question I asked was 'How long do you get to talk to her each day?'.
I find that all software geeks have more time for their computer, their internet connection, their mail boxes ( these days people don't spend much time on personal mails I guess), Research and Development work related to software and references on money-making than spending time to talk to their loved ones.
So just wanted to take a chance to ask these friends of mine if they had time to spend with their 'Amma'.
Madhav spends about half an hour with Amma if she is around and about one hour on the phone talking to her if she is out of town. Rajini spends about ten minutes every day.

I am glad all the same, because I know of people who do not take time for their parents at all. Everything else takes priority I guess, because, everything else if not attended to involves serious threats whereas close relationships do not demand and sadly are often being taken for granted.

I did not want Madhav and Rajini to say they did not have time for their 'Amma'. There are times when you expect some answers and you are glad if you get the same answers. This was one such answer and I was glad I heard what I wanted to.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Rajini, Madhav, and Me

After the question on tagline, the conversation picked up quickly. I relied on my mental tape to record the conversation.

I have stored the essence of the conversation and am trying to put forth what I heard as accurate as my tape has recorded. Since I am not sure of exactly recalling the entire 'One hour and twenty five minute conversation' word-to-word, I would prefer to write this post more in the prose form than an actual interview. I don't want to misquote. :)

Over to the interview...

Opinion on Failure: The question was pretty abstract to both of them. I reframed: If some one does not perform in the team, what will be your move?

Madhav and Rajini share the same opinion on this: They talk to the team member first, find out the problem which stops him from doing the best, give suggestions to the team member, and ensure he is comfortable working on what he is assigned. If the team member still does not perform,he is given a chance to exhibit his skills in any other stream in the office.For all you know, the person might be a good performer in some other stream.

They appreciate this flexibility of moving from one stream to another.Everyone is good at something. All it takes is to identify the plus point.

According to Madhav, Attitude is important to work in a team. No one without Attitude gets through Madhav's interview session.He says 'Even if the skill set of the person does not meet the expectation, Attitude has to'.

Rajini seconds this opinion. He is himself a person with an Attitude that one has to observe and learn from.

Opinion on Success:
The question was reshot back to me. According to me, Success is doing one's best. Madhav wanted to know how I measure it. I said, "I do something, to the best of my ability and satisfaction. If I don't have the luxury of really taking enough time to do my best, I say that it is not upto the mark".

Madhav's turn: Rajini spoke for Madhav. It was nice to see how appreciative Rajini was about his boss Madhav. "He commits a date and that is it. Commitments and Promises are meant to be kept according to his principle.He ensures that the timelines are met come-what-may. That is Success to him". Madhav gave an approving smile.

In Rajini's own opinion, 'Do what you promised to do. In software development, there are usually many phases, each one dependent on the other.Never let some one else skip deadlines because of your bad adherence to your own commitments'.

Their success mantra as I conclude is: Promises are meant to be kept. Never put some one down because of your own flaw.

Number of hours at work determines the success of your work. Yes or No?

Rajini says, he stays long hours at work because there are some unreasonable demands most of the times. Given that he has his principles, he stays late hours to keep them up. According to Madhav, most of the times, it is the imperfect processes that cause this whole 'late sitting' business. He is appreciative of his team who also understand the situation and put in their best. Again he cannot compromise on his principles either.

Every thing boils down to 'Commitment' in Madhav and Rajini's work place.

Define Workaholic. Where do u stand in a scale of 1 to 10 on workaholism?

Madhav defines: On a holiday, where there is no pressurizing work,if some one is in office, then he is a classiied workaholic. He says he stands at 1 or at the max 2 in the scale.

Rajini says, 'I am at 8'. I was taken aback when Madhav said, 'No Rajini is not a workaholic'. Rajini gave him a look which clearly said ' Come on.. don't you know?? or what do u mean?'. Madhav, quickly clarified: 'Rajini is hardworking but not a workaholic. There had been no days when he was at office if there is no work. It just happens that he is loaded enough to work on holidays. That is not workaholism.'

Rajini agrees that he had once been a workaholic when curiosity to know what is happening in the software world took the better of him and his weekend plans. He agreed that he has come out of workaholism according to Madhav's definition.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Rajini, Madhav and Me

The day seemed hectic at Madhav's paradise.Well, there was nothing unusual about it. With Rajini and Madhav frantically working on their computers, I almost decided that the interview I was hoping to have with them that day, was not happening. I did not even want to ask them. The least I could do for them was to just keep quiet which is very rare... If you know me , you would admit that.

Well, my favorite and tested saying: 'Expect the Unexpected' proved true, for the umpteenth time, when Madhav actually asked me if I remember about the interview appointment that evening. Thrilled beyond limits, I readily re-slated schedules at my end and geared up for the interview. I had prepared the questions about a few months back with Rajini in mind, but then, thought it is okay to have answers heard out from both Madhav and Rajini on the same set of questions. There were just a few questions, as I had always seen them with their 'Busy' tag on their forehead. I firmly believe that "if people are busy then do not expect them to be attentive when you talk". So after ensuring that the horizon was clear at Madhav's paradise I went over to talk. Rajini joined us with sandwich parcels presumably their evening snacks. On the 8th Floor of our office, over sandwiches, we settled down to talk.

There were butter sandwiches, egg sandwiches and veg.sandwiches. Now, table manners and etiquettes demand that everyone around the table eats. Some book that I had read back in school or college reminded me dutifully. Don't refuse anything point blank.Look for alternatives.[ Amazzzinggg memory power...!!!!that reminds you of things that do not concern with academics.I am not complaining,just 'thinking out loud' of how partial the mind can be.]

I hate Butter and Egg and the vegetable sandwich was definitely not very tempting at the moment. Took a quick decision to taste Butter sandwich though I didn't like it. Angel Etiquette smiled. :):):) I smiled back secretly.

Madhav and Rajini : I can write a whole new post on what I observed from these Gurus.So let's drop the stylistic introduction I would very much want to give, like all those high sounding magazines do on the stars of the interview.

I thought it would be a major effort to get these Gurus to talk, but then it was easier than expected. The interview quickly shifted to conversation mode and time flew very fast. Heavy rain outside was playing Rock Music ( I like Rain but not Rock Music) on the asbestos sheet over our heads. As if the music was not enough, the building's power control machines were roaring just behind us.. ( God knows what all it controls).

Nice atmosphere, I thought. I was glad all the same because, I was not sure, if I would have felt comfortable in Madhav's paradise where every second minute there was a phone call for Rajini or a crisis call for Madhav.

There have been times when I have stood there and found myself wondering if they built the TITANIC's Control in his paradise, and the mechanism conked during the ship's first voyage, and few thousands of people died, and my office was sealed close, and all of us were arrested. Or if that didnt sound serious enough, then you could imagine a rocket launch failure... Remember, you built the rocket funded by the World Bank!!!!...... even if that didnt sound serious to you, then sorry, I am not able to paint the picture of the tension in Madhav's paradise right. Now read on.

Rajini - 'Patience and Patience unlimited' is the tag line I would give him.
Madhav - 'Perfection and Perfection unlimited' is the tag line I would give him. He says if others were to give him a tagline it would mostly be HITLER. He is perceived by most people almost always, to be strict, and ever-looking for perfection..

I have never thought this way, though I keep off from him when things just don't seem right at his end. Ideally no one should do that ( Books say, Don't go away from people when they are in trouble), but then in an office atmosphere, when there is very little I can do about tensions at higher level, all I do on most days is to just keep off both of them ....You see we are in different teams and we have different levels of work pressures, mine always less than his. :)

I have always wondered how people can carry themselves so well when nothing at all seems right. I can't help comparing my own attitude at times with that of these Gurus. Madhav, over two years into Management and Rajini, just into Management share their views on Work place and the way they handle it without any icing... It was a 'plain-cake talk' basically. They spoke straight out of the heart and I felt I had chosen the right people to get opinions on the subject I am researching on for my article - Work place and Paradise.

By the way, these Gurus have gained promotion as my friends over the last few months. So it was basically a cool talk with friends than that of an interview, but I still had a paper with questions printed, so I don't get into the casual chat mode without any purpose. You see, I am not supposed to waste their time. Remember, they have gladly taken off their' Busy tags' just for my questions.

The story will continue in the next post....

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Dont know what to write.......

You are reading it right...I don't know what to write... Right now, I am at work reading a document that does not make any sense to me.The writer in me wants to understand the content and write about it, but then the document stares me straight on my face with all its confusing points...

When I repeat the line, I actually find that the fault is actually mine.. It is entirely my problem if the document's points are confusing. Some one has put in the best of efforts to convey something. Obviously, there has to be a reason why some line is there in the document. It is upto the reader(me) to try and find out what it means. I think I am confused because of the heavy lunch I had in the afternoon which is draaaaaaaagging me off to sleep..So the document is not making sense.

I can relate this directly to almost all the books and articles we read each day. If our mind is clear we might enjoy every thing we read. Ofcourse we all have comments to make, but it does not mean that we can call some author or the book uninteresting.

If we are not in the right mood, then anything we read will be Nonsense... The author writes it from a point of view that may or may not be same as ours. It is entirely his right to write what he wants to. If we dont understand something that someone writes, it is entrirely our problem. If we dont like something then it is entirely our opinion.

When I criticise some write up the next time, I hope to remember this. I thought I would put it down for any blog traveller to read.. Again, it is entirely upto you to take it or leave it...

If you choose to take it, you will not have to check your Blood Pressure as often as you might need to otherwise.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Dawn - flash

During my visit to Kerala last weekend, I met an old man. I spent few minutes talking to him.

His view point:

All of us work on computers. In a computer, you run anti-virus software that saves your machine from virus related problems. You clear up your folders and arrange files once in a while. If there are files you do not need, you take time to delete them.

If you are taking so much care to keep your computer clean and safe, why not put the same effort to keep your mind safe ?

Your mind is your brain which is equivalent to a computer.

Anything that happens within you is due to the brain and anything that happens outside gets straight into the brain. Now, if you choose to retain only those points that give u knowledge, happiness, confidence and other such positive notes, then 'your computer' will remain healthy. Mental Health leads to physical health and happiness.On the contrary, anything that causes anger, worry, and other such negatives are to be deleted instantly from our minds.

Keep reflecting...

Until the next flash,

Thursday, July 06, 2006

My friend weds..........

Ever been to a wedding where you have the invite but without the girl's name?

That is exactly how i felt when my friend called me up to announce that he is getting married. He has given me the date, the place and said that i am invited for the wedding.

He has also said that I may or may not know her.. may or may not get shocked to see her as his wife...

These were the clues he gave me among others that i am pretty confused about.

The point is, the very idea of attending a wedding knowing that you know both the girl and the guy, but are left with guessing the name of the bride till the date of exciting.

My friend is one of the very few who can come up with such strange ideas... strange as it may seem, it is great if you try to imagine one such invite.

I am still wondering if i should go ahead and guess. Why not go for the wedding and then wait for the bride to appear on stage ??

Let's see, will let u know about this experience and whether or not i could crack the Queen Code.

Picture perfect bedroom vs Sound sleep

Cool blue colored walls
Soft carpet to match the ceiling color
Dark colored drapes on the windows
Room freshener
Cozy bed
Cozy blankets
Spongy pillows
Teddy Bears
Soft music
Pleasant Wall painting
Night lamp
Bedside Table with a bright table lamp
A nice book

These days people have all these, but they are unable to sleep. This whole picture-painted bed room flashed in front of me, when i was held up last evening in the bridge at Kodambakkam High Road ( one of the renowned places in Chennai for traffic jam and prolonged 'Red' light on the Traffic signal post.).

For those of you who are unable to imagine what Kodambakkam high road looks like in the evenings, i will try my best to picture paint this place here.

A bridge that connects one busy cross road with the other. Both the signals have at least hundred vehicles waiting for the 'Red' light to turn to 'Green'. A hundred other vehicles cross the bridge. It is a two way traffic. This means there are two hundred vehicles approximately ,crossing the bridge at a time.

There are shops and office buildings on the roads parallel to the bridge. So if you are on the bridge you can see the first floor of shops and offices. The evening sun on July day, may not be as soothing to your skin as you want it to be. Chennai does not fall in the list of those cool climatic zones you know of....There is a mosque, college,wedding card shops and all shops that you can practically think of. Then there is the perennial cell phone buzz, the vehicle horns, the constant yell of the people, and the cool chatter of the kids in autos coming back from school.

You cannot miss one or two jam-packed Pallavan buses (City transport is named Pallavan) where typically every waiting minute( is it 'hanging minute'? , because you don't really get to find place to stand upright. Almost always, you will stand over some one else's foot or if you are short, you have the luxury of hanging onto the holders on the bus's ceiling.) So, every minute inside the bus is spent yelling over each other, or grumbling about the news of the day - ' Chennai is bad, Climate is hot, People are ridiculous, watch your language' and other such NOISY stuff. There is lots more that you can possibly hear, but I have not mentioned the exhaustive list here.. :).

There is the 'one -stop-shop' Shekar Emporium in this prime zone which is flooded almost always with people. I have never stopped wondering about the shopping spree of people.. That is a separate avenue altogether.

That is a view of Kodambakkam High Road for you on a July evening. Now, tell me, is this place a picture-perfect bed room? Definitely not.. But, I saw a man sleeping
peacefully on the terrace of one of the buildings .. (God knows if he was drunk, but then since I am not too sure, let's just say 'He was sleeping peacefully')... which is why I could not stop thinking about the picture-painted room that most people seem to have and still are not able to get a sound sleep.

So, the next time you think you are not able to sleep, think of Kodambakkam High road, the next second you will go off to sleep.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Not much to say

There is not much to say..
How easily we say this statement...

How is work?
How is life?
How are u?
How is your son?
How is your daughter?
How is your new car?
How was the food?
How was the party?
How is the project coming up?

Ever asked any of these questions to any one u know? i am sure you would have....

The answer would be one of these mostly:
'Yes, going on'....
'Hmmm.. okay....'
If u notice, most of these will not take more than 1 minute... and the same question is posed back to u.. and u also answer one liners...
There are no open ended questions, no discussions apart from work. It is not because there is 'NOT MUCH TO SAY' but because there is 'NO TIME'...

people rarely say that there is a problem, because it will lead to a question and answer session where you have to talk and waste time... this leads to unfocussed , troubled minds, which means more of loss in focus and more of troubles...Most of the times..

People are BUSY always....

I dont understand this logic at all.. You have 24 hours in a day,you have time for office, its people, its parties, its gossips, its interviews, its reviews, its meetings, everything related to it, but no time to enjoy the benefits of the money it gets u. Forget benefits, basic food and sleep is sacrificed for work.
Why does this happen? Sometimes i feel, people will eat better if the company pays them for eating and sleeping also....

well forget it.. what is the point in writing this in a blog and putting this up on papers and books... people have NO TIME anyway...

Monday, June 12, 2006

Another Day of Life....

That is the last line of the book 'Veronika Decides to Die' by Paulo Coelho.

Finished reading this book last evening.

Book Glance:

A gifted individual commits suicide just because she is gifted with everything she wanted in life. There is nothing interesting happening in her life, or so she thinks. Since she is just bored with life, she decides to 'call it a day' to Life.

She proposed and God disposed. She is saved and as per the country's norms, is admitted in an asylum for 'recovery'.She learns from the doctors that she has very short time to live on earth. Apparently,the unforgiving suicide attempt caused a serious problem in her heart. While she was there, she comes to know more about life and comes to accept the fact a little too late, that 'Life is a Gift'.

Insights on my mind from the book:

Life is a Gift.

Life is not as problematic afterall, as it seems to be.

Live life to the fullest.

Find yourself and Be yourself.

Love yourself.

As you wake up every morning, be thankful for another day of Life.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Miss. Right

After carefully reading through my article on 'Mr.Right', one of my friends actually suggested if i would some day write an article called 'Miss.Right'. Not a bad idea... Let me try...

Who is this Miss. Right?

Is she the kind who

is honest?
knows to differentiate Love and Friendship?
can trust people once in a while?
can come out of a shopping complex without shopping for a rupee?
can cook a nice meal for herself?
can understand that career comes first for the 'Guy' of her life?
does not complain when a preplanned outing does not happen because of the spouse's work load?
can sacrifice her career for the family?
knows when to stop crying?
can talk when she has to?
manages to stay in touch with most of her friends well past college years?
can vent out her emotions?
knows that it is okay to forget appointments?
can stop bothering about her looks?
can stop advicing?
can take life easy atleast once in a while?
does not spend on stuff toys and dolls?
can accept the spouse as he is?
never complains on smoking and drinking?
can take work light?
can smile when everything goes wrong?
can take rest when it is absolutely necessary?
can stop worrying about tomorrow?
can grow up to understand men?

Does such a woman with all these qualities exist at all in this world?

This is not a complete list.. there might be lots more.. My work demands that i have to stop here and get back to whatever i was writing. This is cent percent my personal opinion and i am sure you have your opinions.. :)

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Life is an Exam

Life presents you with Problems along with solutions...

Just as you have more than one way to solve a question in an examination, every situation in life also has more than one solution. Exams require preparation while Life does not give you that allowance.As it happens, you are forced to expect the unexpected situations in life and live through them to clear the exam of life.

We also term it as experience. So when u say, I have a good experience in 'this' field, it only means that u have been through enough problems and are confident enough to handle any such problem, if and when it arises.

Coming to think of it, we all feel good, if our job resumes state 'Five' years of work experience. Surprisingly, we don't feel good at all if we are faced with a problematic situation outside our 'work'. Our immediate tendency is to feel lost and disturbed about it instead of taking it as a positive challenge.

For all you know, in the RESUME of LIFE, it probably will add a lot of value at a later date.. If you can't think of a solution immediately, just remember, there HAS to be a solution... You are faced with it because u can solve it, else you would not be presented with such a situation.

In a nutshell.......

Life is made up of problems.

Life gives you very less choices when u are faced with problems but a number of attitude choices.

You choose how you want to react to a situation.

You don't want problems, it only means you don't want to live..

Another Flash crosses my mind now.... Each one is unique. Each one writes a unique 'EXAM of LIFE'. No two question papers are the same.Even if the papers are the same, the comprehension level of each person is different. This presents LIFE with varied unique experiences for each of us. Let us try to understand LIFE better with each passing day....

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Excuse me.........

Excuse me.....I will be back in a moment.
This is from a bright cell phone newbie..

Haachhooooo .......Excuse me......Haacchhh
The sneeze shook everyone in the office to reality...

Excuse me..... I have a doubt. "Why is the...".
This fellow goes on and on with questions between the meeting where every one else is trying to ward off sleep.

Excuse me..... I made a mistake.
A 'sincere' junior.

Excuse me......Come again.
A 'serious' learner.

I can think of a lot of instances when we use the words 'Excuse Me'. Still I cannot think of one reason why my senior friend didnt say this to us when we were busy solving an English crossword.

Over to the office desk... This friend of ours had apparently been waiting to talk something technical to us for a very long time and all of us were busy trying to solve an english crossword puzzle. He never said 'Excuse....' so we never got the chance to notice that he was around.

Unfortunately the issue he had come to discuss with us had been testing his patience since morning. After all the hard work over it, he wanted a one-minute clarification.

I looked around casually trying to solve one of the questions when I incidentally saw him waiting right behind us waiting for one of us to look back. We shifted gears quickly, got the job done for him, but then......

All he needed to have said was 'Excuse me' to avoid the impatience that usually accompanies the long wait to meet some one.. He didn't say and we didn't know.

So the next time you want your job done, remember to say 'Excuse me'.....

Friday, May 19, 2006

Speed Thrills but.....

'Speed thrills but Kills' said one of the signs near a traffic signal. All I could think of was 'Speed thrills but fools you'. If you are wondering what I am trying to say, it is just that I just learnt this morning that I am not as smart as I claimed to be the day before yesterday evening.

The day before yesterday, I was confronted with a question from a friend asking me if I think I am cute. Very interesting question actually. I hate to admit the fact that all of us lose the 'cuteness' in ourselves once we are out of the 'Innocence'. As you might have realised by now all of us are well out of innocence and smart enough to understand lot of things... So I thought 'Smart' would define me better. I told my friend that I am Smart.....Obviously God heard me... all boastful of myself... and He in fact acted upon the line immediately, as immediate as yesterday morning...

As usual my day started slow, waited for the energy of the morning cheer to flow in, and picked up speed when I did my usual chores. The smart person that I thought I am I would definitely not miss out on cooking a detailed meal for myself. Besides I packed my lunch box, got ready to go to work place, said hi to the 'Good God' for all that he is to me, practically stuffed my breakfast that I had made, closed all the doors and windows, switched off all the fans and lights in the house, plugged the mobile phone off the charger... (not forgetting to pull the charger off the plug point lest any ‘incident’ occurs), cleared the kitchen and sent things straight into the fridge, checked if I have closed the stove's knobs, carried the cheque to pay my dear Mobile phone service provider( The company is dear as long as you pay your cheque), locked the door, pulled the lock once or twice to check if it is actually locked properly, and finally leapt out of the first floor along the flight of stairs as if I was a Gymnastic professional in Olympics.

I jumped into the auto as usual and headed straight to the bus stop where I caught up on a phone call that I was supposed to have made early in the morning...The bus which usually comes at least minute earlier than me, came about 7 minutes late yesterday.. :) Needless to say I smiled to myself thinking of the fact that I had started the day smart... 'Smarter than the Bus'... or should it be the bus driver?? doesn’t matter... the idea is that I was pretty high-headed....

Every reason for me to be high-headed, I thought, as I had managed to remember to do all these just in 15 minutes.... Well, whether or not you believe me, this is my routine between 7:35 and 7:50 A.M each day.

Window seats are places of enlightenment I would say... after all the hurry early in the morning, when I finally settled down in my window seat, I realised that I had not closed one of the taps at home. I usually fill up one bucket of water every day before I leave the house each morning, just in case of emergency water pump repair or any such 'serious' issue... (Well, you don’t think it is serious...? you will, if you were in Chennai which is full of small (smart) surprises every minute)....

‘So what is the big deal?’ is your question which I can clearly hear from your end.... It is just that the water is going to overflow and rush out through the sink…. and in Chennai city, if you waste water...... you will have to answer every Tom, Dick, and Harry in the flat where you stay. I for one person can’t stop to answer every one, simply because, I have lot of other better things to do..... As you might have known from this mini episode...

In spite of taking care of the minutiae in the day's chores, I forgot the seemingly easy but important task of closing an open tap…One reason to prove that I am not smart enough to handle it all in the morning rush hour.

Just then, I saw a biker rushing past the bus I was in.... Speed thrills but kills said the sign post... "Speed thrills but fools you..." I rephrased....

In the busy day at office, I took a break to write this page. I am sending the link to my friend whose question gave me a new insight.....I need to find out the kind of person I am.... Cute, and Smart have been crossed out.. Let me see what other option would describe me best.. When another enlightenment dawns, I will surely let you know... Thanks for your time... By the way, the time you invested to read this article is not going to be useless, for I am sure you would have already pondered over the times when your speed or ‘The Rush’ has proved you 'Not-so-smart'....
Today, I woke up 10 minutes early to handle things at a slightly normal pace trying hard to retain the inherent 'Smart Girl' profile that I claimed to be, the day before yesterday.
”Time is precious... Plan your time and outsmart the Murphy’s Laws” – Another golden thought pops out in my mind whether I like it or not….

Monday, May 15, 2006


Who is this Mr. Right?

Is he the Maharaja Harishchandra's son who is more honest or as honest as his father?
Is he the kind who loves to be simple?
Is he the kind who has hobbies and has all the time in the world for it?
Is he the kind who has time for personal space?
Is he the kind who laughs atleast once a day?
Is he the kind who makes many friends?
Is he the kind who is cheerful most of the times?
Is he the kind who talks out his mind to a close friend when he needs a vent?
Is he the kind who marries a girl and not his job?
Is he the kind who calls a spade 'A SPADE'?
Is he the kind who gives respect to the girl as a person?
Is he the kind who has clean habits?
Is he the kind who loves his family?
Is he the kind who stands by the girl when the world steps aside?
Is he the kind who respects himself?
Is he the kind who has dreams and aims and hopes and aspirations for himself?
Is he the kind who knows a straight forward method to achieve it?
Is he the kind who knows that anger is short madness?
Is he the kind who knows what he is doing?
Is he the kind who takes life easy?
Is he the kind who understands a woman?
Is he the kind with whom the girl can spend hours together talking about anything and everything under the sun?
Is he the kind who believes that God is behind everything?

Does such a person with all these qualities exist at all??


Tuesday, May 09, 2006

From an email forward...........

I know blogs are to have what YOU write.........I think Blogs can also hold what you LIKE... I am posting content from an email forward I received from my friend Arul. All credits to the writer whose name is Pravin.. You would have read his work at give him all credits for this write-up. Lots of appreciations Pravin...
Even if you have come across this content in your emails, I am sure you will agree that this is worth a second reading..:)

I've learned that no matter what happens, or how bad it seems today, life does go on, and it may be better tomorrow.

I've learned that you can tell a lot about a person by the way he/she handles a rainy day and lost luggage.

I've learned that regardless of your relationship with your parents, you'll miss them when they're gone from your life.

I've learned that making a "living" is not the same thing as making a "life."

I've learned that life sometimes gives you a second chance.

I've learned that you shouldn't go through life with a catcher's mitt on both hands. You need to be able to throw something back.

I've learned that whenever I decide something with an open heart, I usually make the right decision.

I've learned that even when I have pains, I don't have to be one.

I've learned that every day you should reach out and touch someone.

People love that human touch - holding hands, a warm hug, or just a friendly pat on the back.

I've learned that I still have a lot to learn.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Networked Cross Word Puzzle

If u have noticed, in crossword puzzles, in the beginning, no answer you think of, will fit into the grids.. Then you take the clues one at a time and try to solve them slowly....

After a while, you feel that something is just not right, but still go on.. you don't think why a particular clue is given.. you just go ahead, try your best to figure out what it means and fill the grids.. In the end, you are amazed that all the Grids are full and the cross word puzzle fits perfectly well....and of course, it brings a feel of learning and triumph.

Life is more like a network of Problem - Cross Word puzzles .... There are a lot of Grids in each Problem Cross Word... There are lot of Confusions, Trials, Mistakes, Learning, the Clues, and the blind faith on the basis of which you follow the Clues. In the end, after you manage to solve the problem, you gain a new perception and a new strength like never before. Some times, you find that the problem was never meant to be a problem. It would have opened new rays of hope and strength in your mind.

Everyone wins the Networked Cross Word of life... There is no failure here because the puzzle is framed uniquely for every person, much within the capability of the individual, to stand all the challenges .. There is no chance of copying, rating, score, or speed comparison. This is because the Cross Word is not common... There is no platform to compare.

Keep putting in your best to solve all the challenge grids with the clues presented by Confidence, the most reliable resource.

Just remember, YOU CAN STAND IT ALL...


Tuesday, April 18, 2006


In the Kingdom of God, a major decision was taken this morning.God decided to make you invisible for the whole of tomorrow. You get an email on the decision. No one will be able to see you but you will be able to see every one around. You cannot speak to any one, but can hear every word that any one speaks.

How do you plan to spend the day as 'Invisible Man' or 'Invisible Woman'? How best will you make use of this opportunity?

Send in your fancies as comments on this post. Have fun. Your imaginations can run really wild, but run a censor on what you write...We all care for the ethics of this blog. Dont we?? :)

Start your Imagination Car/Bike/Horse/Camel/Jet/Plane/Rocket/Anything else that would define the speed you enjoy.

Thanks a lot.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Take a little Time to....

Take a little time each day to....

1. Pray for your loved ones
2. Admire Nature
3. Appreciate whole-heartedly
4. Greet your acquaintances as you walk past them
5. Learn something new
6. Respond to your e-mails
7. Share a Joke
8. Recall appointments with people
9. Plan your calendar
10. Maintain promises
11. Listen to a friend in need
12. Speak to your Loved ones
13. Say 'Thank You'
14. Read few pages of a book that interests you
15. Listen to Music
16. Understand people
17. Count your Blessings
18. Spend with your ‘SELF’

These thoughts just sprang up on my mind when I was just finishing a technical document. I have no idea why, but then i think these eighteen points are worth a try.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Response to E-mails.

How often do we realise the importance of response to an e-mail communication ? Only when there is a major problem or when there is an appreciation or when your opinion is explicitly asked for.

Admittedly these three contexts are good reasons for you to write back to e-mails but there are other reasons you could possibly consider.

Some one has actually thought of
1. Sending you a mail
2. Addressing you by name or as Dear
3. Spending time on the e-mail message
4. Wishing you well or saying 'Thanks' or 'Good Day' or 'Thanks and Regards' as a sign-off line

In group emails, apart from the content of the email,your name in the mailing list and the time that the sender has invested in writing the message are two good reasons for you to respond to the email.

This idea applies to cases when you dont write back because you dont have time.. This does not apply to situations when one deliberately avoids writing back to emails. I have no comments on the later case.

Watch out for the next article on the e-mails in the next post.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Have a Great Day

This is something i wrote for a newsletter that never came up. Ideally this article takes the credit of the first set of lines i have ever written outside my profession.
I spent about half a day putting these ten lines in place. Not sure if it would really take that long, but i think i took extra care because the world was going to read it... So now that i have a platform to publish it, thought i would very well put it up here........

Check list to having a great day at work:

Do you
• Say a cheerful "Good Morning"?
• Say "Please", "Thank you" and "Sorry" and mean it?
• Count on self-confidence?
• Believe that "Mistakes do happen and it is okay to make mistakes"?
• Forgive and cheer yourself when things go wrong?
• Believe that problems could be "interesting"?
• Define fun as "solving interesting problems at work"?
• Try to do your best even when you don't feel like it?
• Know when to take a break from work?
• Think of "Work" at Work and "Home" at Home?
• Wish someone "Have a great day"?

If your answer to all of these is "Yes", then you are sure to "Have a great day"

Monday, April 03, 2006

First Interview

All firsts have an importance. In those lines, this is my first interview for the book i dream of writing someday..........

I typed out around 35 questions and took it to this Miss.Busy friend of mine who had given me an appointment to talk to her on Work Place or Paradise.

Now, for those of you who wonder why should i take appointments, u forget that i am starting out as a writer and would need people's attention completely when they talk to me. I dont want to land up at their desks at the wrong time. I better start out professionally where you talk for the appointed number of minutes to the appointed person at the appointed time. Lot of people think that i am being formal though.

The questions are on the lines of work life and personal life of a person.

She is a sincere, dutiful, responsible programmer of a team which is forever motivated by 'Work is Worship' proverb. A good morning wish cheers her up. She takes her mistakes seriously, is not a perfectionist,and has a mix of 'Easy to satisy', 'Hard to manage' and 'Quick to get tensed' attitudes.

Music , she says, keeps her cool. She sleeps for five to seven hours a day. The rest of the day is all about work mostly. Programs ( Sequel queries in particular) are the
heros of her dreams. When asked for an instance of heights of joblessness she tries hard to recall one such instance and finally replies 'NONE'. That simply means she
loves what she is doing.

Some of the interesting questions from the interview and the exact answers i got for them are here for your glance:

Your ideal day at work:

Does walking into the office cheer you?
Smiles again.

Your weekend:
Sleeping at home

If you were asked to give a tag line for yourself what would that be?
Soft and Reserved

If given a chance to change your career what would that be?
Any career related to computers that allows a balance between work and home along with an ample money to lead life.

If given a chance to swap a role within the organization, whose role would you like to take up?
I would not be able to answer about the swapping, but I would like to perform like my PM who is versatile, has got good balance between tech and management, is good at
analytics, is well focused and always keeps things under control. ( Dont u think you need to know about this Mr.Outstanding PM of hers? I think 'Yes'. Lets see if i can
catch up a conversation with him and know what he he has to say for us.)

What, in your perspective, gets the work done – Constant follow up, Anger, Warnings, Pat on the back?
Constant follow up and Pat on the back.

Are u happy at work?
Fifty-Fifty for a 'Yes' and 'No'

Do you remember your recent dream?
Yes… It was about some technical problem at work. It was pending for about 2 days on my mind without solution.

What is your idea of peace?
It depends on your state of mind.

How many minutes or hours do you get for yourself per day on an average ?
15 minutes to half an hour

Your idea of success
Think Positive, try to get along with people. Remember to be good at communication.

Your idea of failure
Ignorance. ( May be according to the software minds, it is no more a bliss , as against the proverb "Ignorance is a Bliss')

How many hours in a day do u think u can concentrate non-stop?
I cant concentrate non - stop ( Non-stop sometimes reminds us of 'Nonsense'.)

Do your folks at home complain about your work timings and the temperament u carry home from workplace?
I don’t carry work tension over to my people though it is on my mind. They have complaints about my work timings though.

It is an important occasion at home. You get a frantic call from your boss asking you for some clarification that might require you to report to workplace as early as possible.. What will be your first move? How will you handle your people at home?

I will tell my folks that it is important for me to go and leave the house immediately.

How would u react when the situation is vice versa ? You are in office and there is a call from home.. In any case, both the situations demand ur attention.. What will be your move?
I will tell my boss that it is important for me to go home and leave office immediately.

That was Miss. Busy. I left some of the questions with her and gave her her own time to answer them all. When she turned in her responses, I drafted this.I thank my friend for her time. I believe that the time she has spent talking to me would prove very important for a lot of people who read this page.

Of what good is the analysis to us? According to what I have understood, everybody doesn’t get to experience everything in life… You need to learn from others’ experiences. An interview is a mode of getting into someone else’s mind. I think what we read just now is nothing but the truth. Only then will i be able to conclude something at the end of this interview series...

It is to be noted that this text is published on this blog with the permission of the concerned person. In interviews, I have decided not to publish the names of the persons concerned. The text in this post has been read and verified by the star of the article.

You obviously have the right to send in your opinion on anything related to this post. Please ensure that your comments do not hurt the star of the article in any way. Thanks a lot.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

My article on ' Work Place - A Paradise ?' begins like this:

Work Place…. It could be a paradise, if only we want to make it one. For a few people it identifies as a place that gives as much happiness and peace of mind as would any other hobby. For most others, it is a place to which they come and go just because a bank balance is credited at the end of the month. Which of these sounds better? I am sure ‘The Paradise’ sounds better than just another ‘Place’.

The article and the conclusion that we will be able to draw from it would require opinions on a few points from interesting people i come across. My blogs will have such interviews on and off for all of us to analyse. Let us believe that the friends I interview, speak the truth. The questions pivot on Work Place and Mind states of the people.

Later, when i have spoken to a definite number of people , i plan to close the article with excerpts from the interviews.

Towards this end, i have spoken to one of my "ever-willing-to-help" friends and colleague. She is fortunate to work for one of the best teams of the company.

I hope to catch up a conversation with the other team members and leaders some day when they find "Time" to tell me about their success as a team.

Will post the interview later. have some work to do now.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Coromandel Express - Conversation with the old man from Bihar

I was seated at the window seat of Coromandel Express bound for Chennai. It was 6.45 A.M and i had just boarded the train from Vizag at 4.45 A.M. It is very difficult for me to get a sound sleep during train journeys. The same must have been the case for the old man who was sleeping on the lower berth in the same compartment. He was looking around to find everyone sleeping except me. I was enjoying the scenic beauty around me. Practically in my own world of thoughts outside the box of life.... the kind of thoughts and joy you find when u are watching a 'manpasand' scenery...
Now if u notice, i have used a Hindi word.. it is because of the Conversation that the old man started off with me...

Some of the topics that we covered were My Job, Importance of Hindi, Tirupathi and Lord Balaji, Career, Salary, My wedding, My expectations about my life partner, Agriculture, Difficulty about studies and learning something, Eye hospitals, Chennai, mangoes, Andhra Pradesh, How easy or difficult it is to learn a language, Why tamil is not easy to grasp, and finally closed with "Dahej" or Dowry.....

He had been an agriculturist, couldnt let his daughters study college, as college education for a girl results in more "Dahej" which he couldnt afford, and about which this person feels bad till date.....

After this talk with him, i recalled for the umpteenth time, how lucky i am in every way.... Not many times we do realise how gifted we are... The conversation with this person helped me realise this...... I resolved never to complain about anything.... For i think we are all gifted to have more than this Old man's family.

The best part of the entire conversation was this : " Do your duty putting in the best of your interest and do not wait for reward... It will come to you when it has to. What you think is right may not be actually right and you never know tomorrow. There is a reason behind everything".

I have heard all of these many times and have some of it registered on my head, but then it was amazing to to hear it from a stranger who is not educated. In a group of 10 edcuated strangers, rarely people catch up a conversation....... Could be due to various reasons that i dont want to bring up here, but then, conversation is a gift that the Bihari Old man had, I would say, that most of us would have to learn from.....

Monday, March 13, 2006

I learnt........

I met a potter. He was skilled at crafting every little bit of clay into beautiful pots of various shapes and sizes. I learnt never to ignore anything in my life....

I met a weaver. He was weaving a beautiful silk Saree for this famous shop called 'Sundari Silks' in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India. He crafted his designs for the saree on a graph paper and fixed the threads on the loom accordingly. In minutes, there was a beautiful swan design on the saree's border. I learnt that his knowledge of Graphs and concentration was more than mine.....

I came across a palm reader. I learnt that her 'tactics' in people handling was more than mine.... Should ask Srijith, my friend about what was it like to have your future read.. I must admit that he was bold.

I met an artist. I was amazed at how confident he was about his strokes on the fabric, that could very well qualify as a curtain cloth. I learnt that his 'patience' was more than mine.....

I learnt that inspite of the fact that all these craftsmen were more 'qualified' in terms of all these skills, they are never rewarded as much as I am.

I could not help wondering about scores of my folks from the software industry who work mostly without any of these tactics in their personal as well as professional life, and who are invariably paid more than these craftsmen.

- Mindspeak - On a visit to Dakshin Chitra , ECR Road, Chennai on 11th March 2006 with my friends from office.

Friday, March 10, 2006

An interesting link - Speech by CEO - HP

Get motivated..........

A friend of mine forwarded this link to me yesterday. I have my opinions on the content of the speech. Still, the speacker deserves appreciation for her courage and perseverance..

Have a motivated Day....

Wednesday, March 08, 2006


With new opportunities also comes to fear and self-doubt. How can we navigate these very strong forces in order to reach our fulfillment...