Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Wednesday, August 05, 2009
Tuesday, August 04, 2009
Friday, July 31, 2009
Sunday, July 19, 2009
Have you ever had too much on your mind, or does that just happen to people who can admit to over thinking? I have SO many things swirling around in my brain lately that I cannot even focus on one simple blog post. I can barely even manage conversation which is very strange.
My first thought is around why I am "killing time" instead of doing something constructive. Yes, I keep busy with one thing or the other, but there hardly is any value addition - it's plain vanilla trivial stuff.
Second thought is around what all needs to be done in next two weeks - it's crucial because biking trip will overlap with other commitments, and I need to prioritize.
Third is argumentative – friends or extended family – which one comes first?
Fourth – a subset of third – with friends, how do you manage expectations? More importantly, transformation of good to great, or good to worse, depending on how external factors & personnel play their part.
Fifth one is around keeping personal and professional life separate!
Sixth thought my mind keeps boggling over is how to stay satisfied – and does it make sense to stay satisfied? Because if one does, there is no motive to improvise. If one doesn’t, it leads to expectations, which may or may not be logical.
Seventh, how much should one multi-task?
Eighth, related to seventh, is whether it makes sense to be a jack of all trades, or master of one?
Ninth, is whether being polite is also a matter of concern – last night, I had a fight with someone while parking my car, and the other person starting fighting saying “Don’t try to be sweet with me!” Duh! – did he want me to be brash instead of polite?
Tenth, I am feeling hungry now, though I don’t feel like eating anything alone.
And I won't go past 10 because if you have not already stopped reading you will soon. But my brain has never been so burdened with things I cannot solve with just making a list or drinking some beer.
Primary activity, trying to figure out “beck & call” issues, what to say to whom at what point of time, practicing for biking trip, things to file, filing returns, keeping the house clean, planned meet for friends sometime soon, insurance of my car which expired last month, career aspirations & putting them in place, books to read, meetings scheduled for the week..
Sometimes I briefly wonder if anyone realizes how difficult it is to organize this mess I have willingly gotten myself into and how much I appreciate having information early enough to help me figure it all out. I mean we are talking about a serious "spreadsheet situation".
Thursday, June 25, 2009
One of the earliest references I got for the phrase dates back to 19th century, when the playwright Dion Boucicault wrote in 1841, "Men talk of killing time, while time quietly kills them."
Kill time, but you won't get a sentence! (Pun intended)
Saturday, June 13, 2009
Thursday, June 11, 2009
Thursday, May 28, 2009
Forget the Gujarati 'snakes' (snacks) and 'takes' (tax). Or the Bengali 'brij' (breeze) and 'shit of paper' (sheet of paper). Or the south Indian spelling of banana: bee-yay-yen-yay-yen-yay. Or the Punjabi celebration of 'birdays' (birthdays), especially if they fall on 'Sacherdays' (Saturdays) and the person concerned is of good 'krakter' (character). Punjab is also famous for its 'loins' (lions) and its 'laiyers' (lawyers).
Our orthography is even more inventive. 'Child bear, sold hare' (Chilled beer, sold here) might be an exaggeration, just about. But lots of shops sell 'milk and cureds' (curds). And restaurants serve 'Chinees, Muglai and Conti' (continental) food. Many a political speech is made from a 'dias' (dais) which may or may not be 'miniscule' (minuscule).
Advertisements always proclaim 'Offer open till stocks last', never 'while stocks last'. 'Till' denotes termination (We will love each other till we die); 'while' denotes duration (We will love each other while we live). While, till? Termination, duration?
It doesn't. Like the use of the apostrophe 's', which indicates a shortened or contracted form: 'it's' for 'it is'. Technically, in the other use of 'its', as a pronoun (Its price makes the Nano a great buy), the 's' shouldn't take an apostrophe. But who cares a flying fig for technicalities. We apostrophise at will. As in our wont. Or should that be 'won't'?
Fewer and fewer of us can tell the difference between 'fewer' and 'lesser'. What's that you say? 'Fewer' should be used when we are talking in numeric, or countable, terms: Fewer people (not 'lesser' people) attended today's rally. 'Lesser' should be used in describing non-numeric quantity or magnitude: children of a lesser god; theft is a lesser crime than murder. But all of us including the TOI swap our lessers and our fewers with abandon.
We like to 'er', and generously add 'er' to words that don't need it as a suffix. So neighbour becomes a 'neighbourer', preferably a 'next-door neighbourer', to distinguish him from the neighbourer living 50 doors down the road. And forger, as in someone who forges currency notes, becomes a 'forgerer'.
We also tend to be nervous 'the'-ists: we are never quite sure when to use 'the' and when not to. For example, all of us tend to talk on phone (not 'the phone'). On the other hand, when we fly, we prefer to travel by 'the plane', rather than 'by plane', which may or may not be made by 'the Boeing'.
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
I do my thing and you do yours. I am not in this world to live up to your expectations, and you are not in this world to live up to mine. You are you and I am I, and if by chance we find each other, then it is beautiful. If not, it can't be helped.
Sent from BlackBerry® on Airtel
Sunday, May 10, 2009
My Mother taught me LOGIC...
"If you fall off that swing and break your neck, you can't go to the store with me."
My Mother taught me MEDICINE...
"If you don't stop crossing your eyes, they're going to freeze that way."
My Mother taught me TO THINK AHEAD...
"If you don't pass your test, you'll never get a good job!"
My Mother taught me ESP...
"Put your sweater on; don't you think that I know when you're cold?"
My Mother taught me TO MEET A CHALLENGE...
"What were you thinking? Answer me when I talk to you...Don't talk back to me!"
My Mother taught me HUMOR...
"When that lawn mower cuts off your toes, don't come running to me."
My Mother taught me how to BECOME AN ADULT...
"If you don't eat your vegetables, you'll never grow up."
My Mother taught me about GENETICS...
"You are just like your father!"
My Mother taught me about my ROOTS...
"Do you think you were born in a barn?"
My Mother taught me about the WISDOM of AGE...
"When you get to be my age, you will understand."
My Mother taught me about ANTICIPATION...
"Just wait until your father gets home."
My Mother taught me about RECEIVING...
"You are going to get it when we get home."
And my all time favorite thing--JUSTICE
"One day you will have kids, and I hope they turn out just like YOU.. then you'll see what it's like."
In between all this, my Mother taught me how to Live!
Thank you Mom for all I have learned these years.
Best Wishes for Mothers Day!.
Saturday, May 02, 2009
- Is it Narendra Modi vs Lalit Modi?
- Both have intense action at hand. Till the last day's voting is done, no one can predict who will come to power - UPA was leading a few months back, until Fourth front came into picture. Varun Gandhi making his moves at an opportune time too. Likewise, till the dire end of a 20-20 match, no knows which way it'll swing. Whether it is a bowler who takes a hat-trick to change the course of the match, or a Yusuf Pathan who clears the short boundaries to leave Daredevils at dismay.
- 20-20 has teams that are city-centric. So is the case with political parties, with more and more regional parties coming at fore.
- Political parties are owned by families and dynasties (a la gandhis, scindias, pilots and more), and cricket teams are private property of business houses (reliance, red chilli, and others)
- Where there's power, there's controversy - so how can these be any different. On one hand is Varun Gandhi's speech, on the other Shahrukh Khan's call to Ganguly to step down from captaincy. There is slipper throwing incident on politicians, and there was Harbhajan slapping Sreesanth last time around.
- Interestingly, both are recession proof! The rates of politicians as well as cricket players have gone over the roof over last few months. Both follow the highest bidder!
- And how can we forget glamour - be it Salman Khan attending a political rally and taking his shirt off on request from the crowd, or a Shilpa / Shamita Shetty, trying to boost their team, throwing parties all over Jo'burg
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
10,000 years ago, there were two million people on the planet.
Now there's between 6 & 7 billion people on the planet, right?
Now, if we all have our own individual, unique soul, where do they all come from? Are modern souls only a fraction of the original souls? Because if they are, that represents a 6000 to 1 split of each soul in the last 50,000 years, which is a blip in the Earth's timeline. So at best we're like these tiny fractions of people, walking...
Is that why we're so scattered? Is that why we're all so specialized?
Sunday, April 26, 2009
Friday, April 10, 2009
Thursday, April 09, 2009
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
This "closure" can be applied to real life too - only difference being, there is no set timeline when it has to happen.
These days, with the year end closure, I have other chapters to close too - and this has been keeping me in turmoil, as to how to manage things. Normally, I can multitask, but in recent times, I have noticed a need to focus. Focus has become the key now, because without that, there is lack of direction of your actions, which render yours efforts meaningless.
There are so many fronts that keep me on my toes all the time these days, and lack of support does provide setbacks, but it's just a matter of taking things into stride, wait for when the time is ripe, and then proceed with what you have to say, or do. Even when you don't know what you have to. And all the instances of misunderstandings, well - they'll come and go, and things will be fine. Hope.
Monday, March 16, 2009
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
I have been away, and many-a-times, I feel I should get back to you since you always are with me during the thick and thin of times. Let me apprise you of proceedings of last week, which has proved wanting.
1. I managed to play cricket last week (which, you by now know, is something I cherish). However, exertion led to ligament tear, that forced me to bed for a few days :(
2. I have been trying to close a few projects, but seems like every time I try to get closer to closure, something new crops up, pushing me one step behind! This has been real pain.
3. Met with an unfortunate accident this week, which took my beloved car to the workshop. And this comes on top of my ligament tear last week - week's been bad, dear.
4. Next two weeks will be testing me, since I have loads of things to do - two weeks for two months worth of work. Which means, I may tend to ignore coming back to you. Have patience - I'll try and seep through once in a while
5. On a happy note, it's only a few weeks, after which I see interesting times ahead!
Friday, February 20, 2009
Net net, the movie is a cacophony.
It could be cheaply disparaged as a film about rich people's annoying problems, but the acting has a weight and complexity that drags you in, even against your will.
A genuine revelation, Kym's pained wastrel is cutting and articulate – I loved Kym going off to "register as a general biohazard" – but also needy, damaged and more vulnerable than she likes to show.
Rachel matches her with a combination of gracefulness and snippy backbiting. Playing their parents, we get brilliant sketches from the great Bill Irwin, as their floundering peacekeeper dad, and their mother who has divorced herself from intimacy with her own girls.
It is dysfunctional family drama on a combination of grainy, handheld 35mm and consumer video – without rehearsal, with a huge ensemble cast made up of actors and musicians
The script is, perhaps, the best thing about Rachel Getting Married; many things are left unsaid, many things are unexplained, and many things are said and explained through the natural ebb and flow of the conversation. When Kym steps into "her" room at the family's house; it's preserved as if in amber, still and airless and perfect and dead. It also captures the jumbled, joyous chaos of a mixed-race wedding - the weird mix of territorial squabbles over everything from seating charts to roles in the bridal party and warm, loving, celebration. And as we go from rehearsal to reception, difficulty to disaster, we learn how much Kym truly has to atone for. The characters bring to life someone who has, through her own fault, earned a crushing sorrow that she will feel every day of her life: Kym notes, of her gravest error, how "I can live with it, but I can't forgive myself ..."; Hathaway makes us believe it. At the same time, Rachel Getting Married is very funny - from quick-cut gags to smart character-driven asides to a character's explosion of annoyance late in the film that may echo the audience's feelings about one of the film's devices.
Movie is meant for those who're not afraid to open themselves up to it.
Thursday, February 19, 2009
What this simple act of kindness made me realize is that often it doesn't take much to make someone else's day. Or even your own day. So here's what I think:
1. Ping. Time is NEVER an issue.
2. Compliment. Everybody loves to receive a sincere compliment.
3. Remember a birthday / anniversary. Everyone loves it.
4. Stand up for someone. Nothing like it.
5. Listen. Sometimes people just need to vent.
6. Listen to music.
7. Tell a joke. As Cummings once said, "the most wasted of all days is one without laughter." So tell a joke, even if it is just to your car.
8. Say thank you. Saying "thank you" is perhaps the easiest way to show someone you appreciate.
9. Have lunch with friends. If you haven't seen a friend for awhile, taking them out to lunch is a great way to catch up.
10. Give chocolate. Even if you don’t eat it.
11. Donate to a charity. You may not see the person you help, but that's not really the point, is it?
12. Believe. In yourself. In friends.
13. Show you care.
14. Share a happy memory. Have some photos from a recent outing - send a quick email to your friend so that they can relive the memory.
16. Read. Keep reading.
17. Buy gifts. This shows that you think about the person you buy the gift for.
18. Play with babies.
19. Smile. Period!
Thursday, February 12, 2009
Many-a-times, it happens that you yearn for something that you would want to look forward to. Some of the days, it's a cuppa for me! A book along proves an icing.
However hectic or consuming day has been, come a cup of tea, and there’s hope again. The spirit of tea is one of poise. It’s serene. Tea being prepared, favorite conversations galore - my dear friend, there’s always time for you.
Last few months, every evening I make it a point to meet this friend of mine outside office – and we go to this place that serves awesome tea. It’s heaven. With a cup in hand, we talk about endless endless things, worrying about nothing, forgetting about all the meetings. About emails. About office politics.
And now this friend is shifting to another city. Wonder what’ll keep me serene from next week on!
Rightly put - The whole point of civilization is to provide one with someone to drink tea with at the end of an evening.
Monday, February 09, 2009
Sometimes, when we lose ourselves in fear and despair, in routine and constancy, in hopelessness and tragedy, we can thank God for what we have. And, fortunately, when there aren't many things to thank for, we can still find reassurance in a familiar hand on our skin, or a kind and loving gesture, or subtle encouragement, or a loving embrace, or an offer of comfort, not to mention soft-spoken secrets, and maybe the occasional piece of fiction. And we must remember that all these things, the nuances, the anomalies, the subtleties, which we assume only accessorize our days, are effective for a much larger and nobler cause. They are here to save our lives. I know the idea seems strange, but I also know that it just so happens to be true.
Friday, January 30, 2009
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
Hate is baggage. Life's too short to be pissed off all the time. It's just not worth it.
Monday, January 12, 2009
Friday, January 09, 2009
"Every day in the forest, when a gazelle wakes up, it knows it must run faster than the fastest tiger or it will be killed. Every day when the tigers wake up, they know they must get the slowest gazelle or they'll die. It doesn't matter if you're a tiger or a gazelle; when the sun rise—you'd better be running."
There are many takeaways from this quote. One is obvious - be on your toes, always. Another one, though a bit subtle, is how important team work is. If you notice the second line of the quote, it says "when the tigers wake up", and not just a tiger. A team is as good as the team collectively is.
Been a part of quite a few teams; been audience to a few - the only thing that has come out as a standard observation is, team dynamics make or break the objective of having the team. And more often than not, it's not our preferences that cause problems; it's our attachment to them.
Team Dynamics are the unseen forces that operate in a team between different people or groups. Team Dynamics can strongly influence how a team reacts, behaves or performs, and the effects of team dynamics are often very complex.
One can recognize team dynamics by looking for the forces that influence team behavior. These forces might include:
- Personality styles (eg: including or excluding people)
- Office layout (eg: cupboards dividing teams into two)
- Tools and technology (eg: email, bulletin board, information pool enabling hidden communication).
- Organisational culture (eg: flexibility of working from home)
Sometimes, an "absence" of a natural force can also be a team dynamic. For example, if the leader or manager is permanently removed from the office, the group may be drawn into a change of behaviour.
To manage team dynamics constructively, one needs to:
1. look for the team dynamics - the 'natural forces' at play
2. determine whether they are acting for good or ill,
3. make interventions to make the effect of those dynamics more positive.
For example, if a wall of cupboards is inhibiting communication within a group, that wall can be repositioned and the room layout designed to encourage communication (without making the environment too uncomfortable for those who value their privacy when working on individual tasks).
There is one more kind of factor - social factor. Suppose in a small team of people working in one office, there are two people who have a particularly strong friendship. This friendship is a "natural force" that may have an influence on the rest of the team, and can manifest in various ways, either positively or negatively.
The positive effect of a strong friendship in a team might be:
- the friends communicate a lot together...
- ...which naturally results in other members being drawn into the discussion
- ...which results in a good 'social' feel to the group
- ...which makes people enjoy being in the group
- ...which improves motivation and commitment
- to cause the other people to feel excluded...
- ...which means decision making will be skewed
- ...which means that there are likely to be sub-groups
- ...which means that information may not flow across the whole group, but only within the subgroups
- ...which means that miscommunication may lead to misunderstanding and poor collective performance
Thursday, January 08, 2009
But as I now notice, that song was only the tip of the iceberg. Listen to other songs (there are as many as 15 songs in the movie), and you know that there is another music marvel shaping up - Music Director Amit Trivedi (Amit Trivedi who? - I myself had to do some google search to get to know, but I now know he is on my watch list for sure!) is another Rahman in the making, if I may call that.
The movie has world music, Rajasthani folk, head-banging rock, street band baaja, an Awadhi song, Punjabi song and 1980's Euro-pop song.
Dev D is about Devdas, Chandramukhi and Paro. Devdas is called Dev D. It is about today's Devdas, who doesn't drink alcohol but is into drugs like cocaine and ganja. His character is psychedelic so there are hard-rock songs (notice the posters of the movie for the same).
Chandramukhi is not a kothewali prostitute but today's school-going 16-year old prostitute. Chandramukhi is Chanda, a London-returned woman, so her songs have a western classical flavour.
Paro is from Chandigarh here. There are a lot of Punjabi and Awadhi songs for Paro.
My personal fav songs are Nayan Tarse & Pardesi - and lyrics blow you away with somelines going as, "Kahaan Chali Gayi Hai Saari Khushi..". Dejavu, Amrita Pritam?
And finally, look at this poster - creativity at its level best!