Friday, January 30, 2009

For some people, money is a foreign film without subtitles.

I am one.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Many-a-times, we lose control over pity things. So what if a rickshaw dweller tried to overtake your car, or a guy pushed over to get ahead in the queue - how much difference does it make really. If you're pissed off, nothing you ever do like scolding or getting into a fight can ever take that feeling away. It won't make you feel any different - It just gets you more lost and you get tired of being pissed off; you just get tired of it.

Hate is baggage. Life's too short to be pissed off all the time. It's just not worth it.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Fantasies have to be unrealistic. Because the minute- the second- that you get what you want, you don't- you can't- want it anymore.

Friday, January 09, 2009


There a quote I heard long time back -

"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 these factors can play an influence. For example, if a wall of cupboards were to be placed across the middle of the office, this would also form a 'natural force' that influences the communication flow and may separate the group into two further sub-groups.

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
The negative effect of a strong friendship might be:
  • 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
Whether it is good or bad depends on other factors.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Get ready for emosanal atyachaar!

I was talking to a friend a few hours back, and got this tip to notice "Dev.D". I had listened to one of the songs of the movie, "Emosanal Atyachaar" (yes, not emotional), and I quite liked it. The usage of pump organs instead of conventional guitars and keyboard gave it a unique feel.

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!

Friday, January 02, 2009 your back

I was in Bihar a few days back, and I must say, the phrase "Watch you back" has been custom made for the place. Not that I faced any problems in the area, and I frankly had no issues going to the place, though many people had told me otherwise. I don't really go by only the reputation of the place, but I choose to take a feel before making a judgment. And I should say, it's more of an experience than a comment made by someone. While I was traveling places within Bihar, I was told by many not to travel to far off places, and was strictly instructed not to be on roads during nights. And a chill went through my spine when I went against the suggestions, and started catching up on my travel during night - it was strange to see every shop closed by 7p in the evening. Hardly any soul was to be seen on the roads. I am not making an opinion about the place, but it's just that the aura of the place makes you feel vulnerable. No wonder why we have to include a "political" risk and a "security" risk while analyzing a project based in this land of Chanakya! Hope things get better soon enough. Or rather say, people start realizing that things are better, soon enough.