Sunday, October 20

Travel Time

The giant metallic bird takes off into the sky sealing our individual destinies together only for a couple of hours. We come together and become one, united in this journey - somebody's first and maybe someone's last. 

What's to come, who can say? All we can do is hope to be safe and secure. As safe as we were before  the trip, and as secure as we plan to be once we set foot on land again.

Oh Pune, you're so pretty from way up above. Way more than you actually are down below! My heart goes out to you, and you charm me all over again, my hatred for your traffic  and roads falling away into oblivion as the altitude rises. I've not even left you technically, still flying in your boundaries. And yet, I can't wait to be back, I miss you already...

Floating above a sea of clouds, not even the flap of wings to show flight and motion. Time passes and hundreds of miles fuse and disappear, taking us to destinations far and strange for work or leisure. A neighbour reads a book I know to be boring and untrue while the passenger behind me snores away  to glory. Thankfully no children bawl to make the journey difficult and the sun rises crystal clear, all geared up to spread enthusiasm and hope.

That the airplane itself is like an Asiad bus (the semi luxury ones that were considered preferable to the regular ST buses earlier) is little joy and hence I keep my eyes closed and try to catch some sleep. When that plan fails, I  gaze out the stained window catching my fill of my rainbow hues at dawn. It's about time we reached Hyderabad.

... Just a few lines that came to mind while I was travelling for work earlier this week. Shall be back by next weekend. For now, it's a whole lot of learning, un-learning and re-learning. Such is life. You gotta do what you gotta do. Stay away from your spouse and parents, get used to new people and processes, miss your folks and sleep well without worries of waking up and doing household tasks. 

Signing out from the land of Nizams and biryanis... 

Happy weekend and howle jaisa nakko karo. 


Monday, October 14

Naya Job, Naya Phone... Super Baddhiya!!

Hi fellas,

Happy Dushera! May all evil in your life die and goodness and success persist :-) 

My life at work was nothing short of torture these last few months. While professional ups and downs are common in every working man/woman’s life, not many lows last as long as my last 1.5 years. All thanks to a horrible manager who I shall not name here, but let me assure you, no matter how bad yours is, mine was worse.  

Am I glad to say it’s over!

Despite my getting promoted to an Assistant Manager level, my work at IBM had become mundane and the policies and environment were no longer favorable for my career growth. I’d started off as a travel executive with Optimos and later became a part time language instructor at inlingua. Armed with a masters in Psychology, I knew training was my calling and I took up training and consultant positions at Alchemy and Yellowbox. A break in IBM was too good to be true and I accepted their offer as a Learning Facilitator primarily in the VnA and communication skills domain. My final goal was the LnD department so I took up projects and stretch assignments in Learning and OD. A lot of initiatives and hard work got me excellent ratings throughout, but my ambition remained beyond reach. Apart from that, I was at the receiving end of a lot of warm wishes but more envy and hatred. It took its toll on me; I am a very sensitive person and I get attached mighty quickly. But well, here we are – a dream opportunity arose with Hitachi Consulting, an IT firm in Magarpatta and I grabbed it with both hands. Only time will tell whether my decision was right or wrong, but for now, two days later, I am a happy professional. Touch wood!

(And a big chunk of that merriment goes to a new LG G2 handset that I have bought and my new employer will sponsor... Killer, innit?!! Loving the new phone... and learning its myriad functions!)

Between IBM and Hitachi, I had a nice 10-day break.

Initially, it seemed like a heavenly and welcome lengthy period and I was elated at the prospect of having over 200 hours all to myself, do the things that I long wanted but never could for various reasons. As I’ve said before, 24 hours in a day is not enough. With handling the house as well as going to work full time, along with keeping family and personal commitments, there is no space left for leisure or relaxation. I was looking forward to catching up on my reading, sleeping, watching movies and TV shows.

And yet, as the 10th day drew to a close, I realized that I’d not done half the things that I had planned. Though I managed to finish John Grisham’s The Racketeer (a fine book with great narration) and commence Ramesh Menon’s Siva (fantastic so far), others like And the Mountains Echoed, Inferno and several Readers Digests remained unopened. I’ve seen a few of the latest movies (reviews up on the blog already) and I’ve also watched my favorite (Anger Management, Two and a Half Men, Comedy Nights with Kapil, Masterchef) and not so favorite (Bigg Boss, WWE) shows. However, my Disney cartoons and movies on the laptop stay untouched :-(

All in good time, I guess. I shall have the evenings all to myself going forward so I still have a chance to complete all the pending stuff listed above. Unfortunately, I will have to be an early bird, contrary to my night owl lifestyle of 3.5 years. Let’s see how these changes agree with me...

What’s up next? A lot of learning so that I can start performing my AM in Learning and Development role with poise and efficiency. Travel as well, to get to know my professional network and team. Our new house is almost ready so we need to get started on the interior work. Also, a trip to Tirupati and my native place is on the cards. October and November will pass in a the blink of an eye, and come December, we’ll be getting ready to welcome the new year with new resolutions and plans.

What’s ticking at your end? Diwali plans and cleaning I suppose... Wish you a wonderful festive season!


Tuesday, October 8

Faith and Fortune

Hello readers,

First of all, wish you a very very Happy Navratri! May the Goddess bless you and shower you with love, luck, laughter and success, satisfaction, strength.

A lot of you (112 followers now, and at least thrice more nameless ones that read in secret) have recently walked up to me or pinged me on various social networks saying that you read my blog. Thank you so much! I am glad you are able to relate to what I write and I love that you like what you read. Of course, I have some cartoons who have chosen the "Yawnnn" option multiple times on recent blog posts. It's so cute, I am not annoyed at all!! The fact that you keep coming back to click that zzz button itself shows you cant stay without a peek at my blog. No offence taken, you're cute! :-)

Life is so full of fun and fuller of troubles, right? Every day seems to bring new joys and the same old sorrows and disappointments. People hurt you, some make you jump with delight. Things work out, sometimes all your efforts fail miserably.

I just want to tell you that you're not alone in whatever bliss or agony you face. I know life's challenges sometimes seem unsurmountable. But trust me, and I say this from experience, everything turns out well in the end. You will survive, and if you act sensibly, you will come out stronger with a valuable lesson.

Problems with family, issues with lovers, crappy work and disgusting people, unusual accidents and daily chikchik - it happens to the best of us. There will always be someone who is jealous of you and who wants you to fail. But there are also those who wish the best for you and rejoice when you succeed. As a colleague recently told me - Its not necessary that those who are not with you are against you... Wise words! Just keep calm and have faith in yourself. Many a times, that is what is lacking in a situation. Don't let anyone make you feel like shit. You may not be the best person in the world, but believe you me, there is always somebody worse than you ;-)

I have learnt so much in my (let me count) 28 years on earth. Quite a lot of it has been during my tenure at IBM. I worked hard, and I hit hard bumps. I had people who supported me and those that made life hell for me even though I was harmless to them. Maybe they saw me as competition. Maybe they were just depressed in their own lives and hence gained some sadistic pleasure through my pain. I shan't name them or pass judgement. It's not my task to do. Destiny keeps a tab of everything that happens down here and the best part is, we all pay for it here itself. There is hell and heaven, but it's nowhere up above - it's all here, while you're alive and breathing. You give someone tears and they will come back to haunt you in your own peculiar style. But the good bit is, if you make someone smile, that comes back to you as well. I call it the boomerang effect.

At times, you might wonder why things happen to you - especially the bad ones. (Noone seems to question or complain when they are hounded and surrounded by good fortune.) Deep inside, you will know exactly why. And if you think that it's a mistake and you haven't possibly done anything so revolting, then maybe it is the other person's karma. Let him enjoy the moment, but your scores will be settled with him later. Mind it. That goes for you, too. So be good. It's the easiest thing in the world. Being mean takes effort. Avoid. Spread the cheer. Life's a bitch anyway, so you don't be one.

One thing that gives me enormous strength is my faith in God - I know he will reduce the intensity of everything bad that is bound to happen to me. He protects and saves me. I fight with him and I plead with him, but I never forsake him. I don't really chant his name or do any rituals as a habit, but I just carry him with me everywhere I go. Call out to him whenever I want, he's always near. And that way I don't blame fate.

Speaking of IBM and fate, I've already told you that I've moved on from IBM GPS (formerly IBM Daksh). I now will take up a much awaited LnD role in an IT company called Hitachi Consulting. It seems all positive now (as it always does) - day shift, desired job profile, non-BPO company, good package, great location and so on. Everyone I know is upbeat about me bagging this opportunity. Little do they know how much I've been through prior to this windfall!

More details when I finally set foot in the new firm. Until then, thanks for all your love and prayers. They keep me going. They make me who I am. And I try to be a better person everyday. Pardon me if I've hurt you in this journey.

Keep reading, and do drop a line to let me know your thoughts on anything under the sun!


Wednesday, October 2

The Bullies and the Bullied

So you must have heard that the world is made up of two kinds of people - the have's and have-not's.

Well, let me enlighten you on another differentiating factor - These are the bullied and the bullies.

Etymologically,a bully is someone who hurts or frightens someone who is smaller or less powerful than them, often forcing them to do something they do not want to do (Cambridge online dictionary). While this definition seems more relevant to schools, it is not unusual in the corporate or domestic world.

The rule is simple - either bully someone or be bullied. That's how the world operates. There is no room for co-operation and negotiation. Those in power will command (the decent ones might ask 'favours'), and you cannot refuse or argue. You gotta do what you gotta do. Else you must put up with the consequences which could be corporal punishment or worse, mental and emotional torture. Either way you're helpless and most people bow down to the pressure. Get it over with. Make peace with your demons and go with the boss wants.

However, once a bully is not always a bully. He could be bullying Mr. X but then there will be a Mr. Z that bullies him in turn. And he gives in. And probably dishes out even more to Mr. X since he has to vent somewhere and dominate someone. Just to make him feel good about himself in a bid to forget what a loser he actually is.

And then there are those like me, who speak up when they are bullied. I refuse to be pushed over and walked upon. I give it back, and how. Not only when the topic concerns me directly, but also when someone else who isn't brave enough is suffering at someone's hands. This gets me into a lot of bad books, but as I keep telling my mom, you can't be liked by everyone. And that shouldn't be your aim anyway. Show me one person who can please everyone all the time and I will prove you wrong.

Even people who love each other tend to fight and assert their supremacy. It's not unusual. The desire to make someone obey you meekly has crossed many minds and hearts, not necessarily evil or wicked. And as my boss once told me, it's not really that bad to be dominated once in a while. I'm still not done digesting that fact completely. The point I'd like to make is, you got to know when to stop. The perpetrator as well as the victim. If you let the bully walk over you all the time, you indirectly motivate him to do it more and you deserve it. However, if you set expectations about what is right and what is unacceptable, then there is a fair game. As they say in the soft skill world, 'assertiveness' is more effective in the long run than either 'submissiveness' or 'aggressiveness'.

I am a very inquisitive person. I love asking questions and understanding people, motives and needs. Blame the psychology streak that had me fetch my Masters with top honours. Frequently, my curiosity is perceived as resentment, disagreement and denial. I don't know how to fix that, so I tell people I am not against the view but I only seek to grasp it better, in a more holistic way since I am very uncomfortable with ambiguity and need a background and way forward to most things in life.

Anyway, after all that long winded monologue, here's what prompted me to write about bully-ism in the first place. One of my relatives hates being questioned. He takes it as an affront and becomes extremely hostile and rude. And I invariably end up being fierce myself in a bid to kill his arrogance and make him see light. A flaccid conversation ensues and I'm sure both of us end up angry and upset. The solution: control your emotions, don't get personal and over sensitive. I forget this when I am stirred up. Hopefully you can put this advice to some use.

To sum up, don't be a bully, and don't get bullied either. Live and let live. Give respect and get respect. Over and out.

Here are some interesting things I read on the web recently:
The first one is not surprisingly about rape. People generally have a hundred tips handy for the victim, but nothing to say to the criminal. This article talks about what the rapist ought to do when he feels the "need" to molest a woman. Absolutely brilliant -

The second one, to make us all feel a little more hopeful in our rape-ridden country, is this proud achievement where Mumbai was named the second most honest city in the world behind Helsinki and ahead of 14 others... Way to go, Mumbaikars! Read here and rejoice -

And the third's related to the world of bosses and reportees. Some things that you may sometimes feel but you should never say to your boss -

God bless ya guys. Be good.


Dream last night

I dreamt of you last night. I know I dreamt of you last night. I don't know why I dreamt of you last night. In my dreams, you were at my...