Monday, May 28

To Fix it All...

She could see the pain in his eyes when he ogled at her. He thought she wouldn’t notice. But she knew. Everyone did. It was so obvious. He could have screamed it out and it would still have sounded softer. His anguish was blaring.

He thought by ignoring her, by not acknowledging her presence, he would succeed at forgetting her. But even when he tried to criticise her, by bitching about her, he revealed how much he missed her… How badly he needed her… How incomplete and lost he felt without her.

He failed to fool himself, and nobody else was duped either.

His unspoken frustration was heard and pitied. It would make so much more sense if he openly admitted it and tried to make amends, try at least, to set things right.

But those days were gone. There was nothing he could do now.

Time and tide wait for no man.

She had waited. She had done all that she could, and she had waited for him, despite his eccentricities and idiosyncrasies.

And he had failed her. He had shamelessly thrown away everything that he now desperately wanted.

It was no use, crying over spilt milk, he said. So, he amused himself by saying shameful things about her.

Trouble was, nobody believed him. They only felt sorry for him, and his insolent imprudence.

Is there ever a way to go back and live life the right way? Correct all the mistakes made and make all the appropriate choices?

What would you do if there was a way…???

Better a mistake than a regret...

... So they say...


Wednesday, May 23

Of Lessons and Appeals

Hola amigos!

Been a while since I spoke Spanish.

Thanks to a colleague at work who is fluent in the language, I do manage to employ the Spanish greetings now and then, but that’s about it. Repeated resolutions to grab my books from the bedside shelf and flip through them revising and brushing up on the language have fallen flat as resolutions are wont to do… But ah, life goes one… I shall try again tomorrow…

(You wana be persistent? Vale. Hola mi chicos, como estais? No estoy bien. Quiereis escuchar a mi? Claro!)

Happy now?!! As if you got it!! Lol. Mind you smarties, I did not Google translate!! This much I do remember ;-)

Been a while since I wrote...

Just been caught up all these days. Busy in body and mind, stressed more than useful and civil. Cranky beyond par, and unbearable to say the least.  

I’ve been really down the dumps in the last few weeks. One of those (supposedly) rare times when nothing goes right, and no amount of optimism and taking it easy can fix either the issues or the mind. What would you say when I suggest that health, family and work – not one of these let me relax?

But this post is not my cribbing session. I do that enough with the friends and family already.

Just wanted to share a few things that I have been through recently. A 2-day training program that left a mark, for various reasons…

“Eat your frog” is a book, and a concept that smart people will stand by. So let me eat my frog first and admit that the most adventurous experience turned out to be the lack of arrangement of company transport to drop me back home from Hinjewadi to my place on the second evening of training. I was in a helpless state, and had it not been for a very human and generous colleague, I would have had to endure considerable inconvenience and anxiety.

(Thank you Rahul, and as I said earlier, I owe you one! Not just for being my knight in shining cab, but also for the knowledge and wisdom that you shared. You’re a reservoir of information/experience and a very vibrant, inspiring personality. God bless you!)

Moving on to the more pleasant aspects of this entire training episode, here are a few quick pointers that I found extremely useful and you might too:

1. Enable people in their work, do not get so blown off by your enthusiasm that you dominate the task and render the original person(s) useless or mere puppets.

2. Your intention will impact your behaviour, but perception may not be identical to the actual intent. Your behaviour needs to clearly and consistently communicate your honest purpose.

3. Focus more on the end result and take-away than rigorous policies and procedures. Rules exist to make life simpler, not difficult.

4. When resolving conflicts, always identify WHAT is right, not WHO is right. Listen to all parties involved, the solution might be simpler and more straightforward than what it appears or you assume. On the same lines, fix the ISSUE not the person(s) in crit-sits (critical situations). Believe that each person wants the best for himself and the team, and wants to perform well. Without this faith, the climate would not be conducive to growth and success.

5. Language plays a vital role and belies what you believe. NLP talks about paired items, for example, mom-dad, brother-sister, or any item that you spontaneously speak in connection to the first. Most people would hear the word “superior” and immediately blurt out the paired item “inferior”; that is how we start relating to our work and colleagues. However, the appropriate terminology is “senior” and “junior” in terms of age or skill or experience or whatever the parameter.

Insightful, eh?

Having said that, I also noticed some behaviours of the facilitator and my fellow participants that left lasting impressions. Some good, some bad, some neutral. Like people trying hard to connect and be friendly, like how suspicious and cynical people are about anything positive around them, like people ignoring or licking a$$ for no visible reason, like how someone’s words and actions can be interpreted to be boorish and childish, like people wanting to appear intelligent and informed but full of bull$hit in reality and open visibility, and so on.

Overall, they were interesting two days, and in my quest of learning and development, another step up. The road is long, and unclear, but as long as I am learning something (almost) everyday in ways formal and informal, planned and sudden, I am content. It’s rightly said that the day you stop learning you die. Either figuratively or literally.

As Rahul has gleaned from a Buddha philosophy, “when you are ready, a teacher shall arrive”. Don’t lose sleep over an absent teacher, look at the ones that are right next to you... It’s surprising that we miss so many lessons and opportunities that are staring us in the face.  

I wish I could write some more details about what life’s been doing to me these last few months, but my lips are sealed until pending matters are crystallized.

I can, however, divulge that my reading is fairly on track. After Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged, it was Devotion of Suspect X (reviewed for Blogadda). I am currently reading Pyre of Queens and Forest of Stores. Have lately gotten into the habit of reading two books simultaneously. Found that pretty unorganized earlier, but now it seems more convenient and entertaining as my moods fluctuate and needs vary.

Yeah yeah… I hear you calling me names for being mean and difficult. Trust me, if you feel it now, I’ve felt it 10 days ago in 10 times worse intensity. The reason why I’m giving you a hard time, is coz I’m going through an absolutely horrible phase.

I understand if you want to take time out being incapable of addressing and tolerating my volatile emotions. 

Actually, scratch that out. 

I mean I know I would be willing and available to stand by you when you were going through a challenging time personally or professionally. (Unless of course they are proven excuses and recurring lies). 

Isn't is popular that when an individual deserves love the least, he/she needs it the most? Why then, would you not allow me to be myself in this sorry, helpless state? You know me to be independent and strong, but that does not mean I be deprived of or forbidden my weak moments and desperation. Why then do I need to appeal for your empathy and tolerance in my tough times when I call you my dear friend, partner, colleague or family? 

Once my professional and personal priorities are achieved (both within 2 months or less), I shall be back on track with the writing, the living and the celebrating... you know it as well as I do...

Those of you who cant deal with me right now… take a hike.
Do come back if you must, but with greater patience, empathy and trust.

Coz I deserve my down time. 

With Love (even in times of anger and hatred),

Saturday, May 12

Crime: Experience and Review

Our bike got stolen a few days ago.

(I’m not kidding you.)

(Who jokes about things like that?!!)

Our brand new Pulsar 150 DTSi, the gleaming black adorable beastie, which we’d bought just this Gudi Padwa (March 22, 2012) vanished in broad daylight from the Pulse parking lot (which we later learnt was not the “official” parking place).

Didn’t know this happens in Pune.
Can’t believe it happened to us.

Aren’t good things supposed to happen to good people?
And if not, can’t at least the bad things stay away?

Life’s not fair, I knew it. After all, can’t expect a hungry lion not to eat you coz you’re vegetarian. But this very disappointing. Very annoying. All my optimism has gone astray and my peace of mind is shattered.

All the good muhurat banter while buying the bike seems like nonsense now, and I have little faith in Indian policemen and justice-vendors now that the vehicle’s lost. All we can do now is wait a while and claim theft insurance that we fortunately took. However, the pain won’t go away, and the wound will stay. It’s not fair. And there’s nothing we can do about it. Period.

Let’s move on to the book review requested by Blogadda : The Devotion of Suspect X by Keigo Higashino.


Don’t get me wrong, I’m far from being racist or discriminating, but with lengthy Japanese words, reading and writing becomes a daunting task. So much so, that I have a mental block towards making an attempt to comprehend those seemingly similar and equally complicated names of people and streets. I more than once skipped the name and came back later to verify it when a prior reference was made. I am aware that not all global citizens have easy names - Spanish, French and Italian, for instance. But this post is about the BOOK review, so let’s bid adieu to deviating linguistic discussions.

“Sometimes, all you had to do was exist in order to be someone's saviour.”  

Fantastic thought, innit...?? 

The story revolves around a police investigation of the murder of a man who had divorced his wife but continued to haunt and harass her. It involves in important characters, the man and his wife, their young daughter and two wanna-be-lovers of the woman apart from the detectives and an informal sleuth. 

(Pls do not ask me to name them; have pity on me and the remainder of the post. However, Ishigami is my favorite character... He's one of the two wanna-be-lovers, and a very smart and sincere mathematician.

As the plot builds up, there are a variety of twists that will confuse you, astonish you, impress you and then strike you as totally reasonable. You will find yourself feeling empathy and anger, frustration and trepidation. Alibis, love, wit, worry, thrill, simplicity – this novel has it all. You will feel pity and concern for the murderer and accomplices, and hate the victim’s guts. You can connect with the people who wish to protect their loved ones, yet fear and applaud the cold, calculative and accurate ways of the geniuses. The detective's inclination to let off the hook some folks, and frustration over not comprehending the situation will appeal to you as will the sympathy that most people feel towards an exploited woman. 

Under no circumstances will you be able to predict what comes next. What more could a reader wish for?

To me, the book is more about the clever and rapid interaction between the sleuth and lover of the woman, two alumni and friends, than anything else. Their speed of thought and action is amazing, and their respect for each other’s intelligence is awe-inspiring.

Serendipity hit when I read in black and white, two ideas that I’d always toyed with, myself. One, is it more difficult to solve a challenging problem or to create one. Two, is it easier to solve a problem yourself or check if someone else has done it accurately.

How they form part of this post and the story, I shall let you discover for yourself.

The book is a quick read, I finished it in just a few hours in a very busy week. The narration is fantastic – direct, uncomplicated and engaging. I did not realise when I finished 50 then 100 pages and finally 200 pages. It’s been a while since I read a novel that made me forget the ticking of the clock, and that this book achieved this feat is no lean task. Good job there, Mr. Writer (ahem! I’m not taking names…!!)

Apparently, this book sold over 2 million copies in Japan and became a national obsession in 2005 post which it was translated in English in 2011. It has also been made into a cult film. My, I would like to watch that sometime…

But for now, grab your copy of the Devotion of Suspect X… and enjoy the chase!


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Wednesday, May 2

Amen to Life... and Struggles

Have you seen the Mula river, the part near the Holkar bridge?

Its surface is filled with green plants – water hyacinth, I believe (that’s the only relevant one I remember from my school days).

The other day, when I passed by that area, I grew extremely restless. I couldn’t take my eyes off the view nor could I blow away this feeling of dread and doom.
A gurgling, flowing river would never allow plants to grow on top of the waves. Nor would it permit them to stay and cover its entire surface to the extent that it appears like a green lawn rather than a blue stream.

When one living thing tolerates another living on top of it, what happens to its own life?
Death is imminent, if not today, then tomorrow. However, dying while you’re still alive, is that what some living things aim for? Is that considered virtuous and praiseworthy?
Nothing personifies life as accurately and beautifully as a river. Its swaying curves, the liveliness around its banks, the soothing sound of the waters, the elegance of its confidence and sense of duty towards the awareness to keep moving. A river is synonymous with growth, vivacity and spirit.  

And yet, when it’s flow is successfully obstructed by another thing, living or non-living, should we approve of its flexibility and generosity, or condemn it for being spineless and ambitionless?
I read Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged recently. Had read Fountainhead earlier and loved it, but was daunted by the size and solemnity of the prequel. The characters in both novels are so strong, so focussed and so assured about themselves and their goals. Howard Roark. Dagny Taggart. Henry (Hank) Rearden. John Galt. Francisco D’anconia...

They, who have the awareness of their purpose in life, are massacred by those that purely exist for making life hell for others without no capability or strength of their own. Yet, the first folks continues to fight and rebel, while the second continue to make their lives difficult. Who wins? Intermittently, the second category. They crush the efforts and the will of the first group, succeeding momentarily yet not emerging victorious in the long run. The first group leaves no stone unturned and no action incomplete. The second set find new and pathetic ways to curb their victories. The productive first folks are exploited and harassed by the second directionless and useless second group.

Would you want the second to take over the first? Coz that’s what is happening with the Mula river that is being encroached and destroyed by the water hyacinth… The river surface is almost entirely covered by the greens, so much so that is appears like a lawn, and not a water body.

I went past the bridge again a few days ago. Noticing a small pool of water in the greens that I hadn’t earlier, I turned to take a better look.

Looks like the concerned bodies have asked for the water hyacinth to be removed.


Long live life and productivity, and the people who make it possible!!!

They might be few, but they shall win in the end.

Don't be afraid of struggles, they make you stronger... and they're a sign that you're alive... Whoever challenged a dead man??

May you win, and may goodness prevail.



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