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Living wisely….

5 Apr

As we grow older we have farther to look back. Maybe that’s why it’s easier to make mistakes when we are young we have too little to look behind and too far ahead to look. But that kind of changes as we grow older. You are in the middle of of what was and what will be. The distance between what is and what was has widened too much. Heartbreaks, broken friendships, lost opportunities, bad decisions made and those stupid mistakes that in hindsight definitely diagnoses you as a retard. How many of us when we take a stock of our lives can truly say that we have made good choices, that we have made less mistakes because of those choices?

They say live without regrets, but can we really? They say let the bygones be bygones, but can we really? They say we have this life just once live it as you please, but can we really? When we stand at the point of what is: we see that we have little to show for our past and very little to accomplish for our future or we maybe exactly where we always wanted to be. If you fall in the former category please stop reading. This may not interest you. But if you are the victim of the former, read on.

We always look back. We don’t necessarily want to, we may even try to bury it deep down inside and hope it will all go away or even better pretend that it never happened. Almost making ourselves believe that all that happened in the past happened in the alternate or parallel universe. But then one dreaded day it all comes back to you. Choices are hard to make. Not all of us are good at choosing wisely. But we only know that once we reach the outcome of that choice, so then where is the saving grace. It is in living wisely. There is no alternative. We can be as young and foolish as much as we want, as we are living the life we are so ordained to do by this world that accepts noting less. We laugh at those who live a life lesser than that. We aim to make choices that are naturally wrong at so many levels – morally, ethically and spiritually. But we do it anyway. Atleast we are happy in the moment – who has seen tomorrow right? How many of us make choices assuming that we should live in the moment, seize the day, carpe diem? How many of us take the quote by Gandhi “Live as if you were to die tomorrow” to the extreme? As we stand at what is: I realized that the choices we make bring us to the point where we are today not our circumstances alone. Circumstances and our choices are intertwined with each other in an obscure way. I am not saying the point you are standing at is necessarily bad, after all it built you up, it taught you to pick yourself up. You learned quite a few life lessons along the way, so I won’t say it was all bad. But if we had chosen wisely and asked ourself what if I do do this? How would that affect me years from today? Maybe we would have made a different choice. I am not discouraging you from living spontaneously or at the spur of the moment. I am not asking you to stop believing in destiny and what will happen will happen or stop humming to yourself que sera sera. All I am asking you is to evaluate your every thought, every action, every choice and every decision on whether that will edify you and the others around you? Will this build you up or break you down?

Ephesians 5: 15 says this: So be careful to live your life wisely, not foolishly. Even more interestingly Proverbs 13:20 says this: He who walks with wise men will be wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm. Do you want to be someone who is known to be a fool, who would come to you for counsel or advice? Do you want to be counted among the unwise, who would like to hang around with you? Let your choices determine the person you are. Let your decisions be sound and wise not just as they affect you personally but also for those who are attached to you. Maybe today from where you standing in the ‘what is’ zone and looking back at all that you have done, makes you seem foolish. But that very thought right there, yes the one where you want to make a change just made you wise. 

So don’t think its too late, you are only half way there. You can choose to be wise, to live wisely and choose it today….

Good Job

4 Apr

Ladder 49 is one my favourite movies. Each time I see this movie I must confess I have a provoking thought – the thoughts would defer based on my circumstances and personal situation. So this time round I was stuck asking myself this question: Why would I or rather anyone want to be a firefighter? 

The movie made it look like an esteemed job, a job that would bring one pride and sense of fulfilment. I only have the movie to compare it to as I have not really interacted or seen a firefighter at work (the later by the grace of God). But this time round I learned a different story. The movie portrays perfectly well the life, the threat to it and their selfless and relentless effort to save lives, to help people.But today something else stood out as I looked on. Why does one really work? Why do we so easily give up on our personal lives to be available for our employers? Why do we abandon our sick parents or lonely partner or neglect our children and their plea to spend time with us? What makes it all worth it? For some it maybe the paycheck, for some it maybe the sense of security, for some it maybe the sense of fulfilment or of achievement.  While those maybe true, but  this I can say with a surety that we all work for – Appreciation. In my 6 years of corporate work experience I have realized that people work for you (the employer). Their jobs may not be as life threatening and life changing as the firefighters but it is no less a sacrifice. How did I get this out of the movie you ask? Well the words “Good job” with a pat on the back by the captain is the only time you see the firefighter beam up a smile. They are too caught up in the series of events and actually saving lives that they forget that, that’s their job. The”Good job” reminds them that what they do is appreciated and recognized for what it is.

The people that work for you are much like them. On some occasions they leave behind their aligning parents to come meet your deadlines. At times they are unavailable to attend their best friends wedding because of a client deliverable. Sometimes they pop pills and drag themselves out of their sickness and put on their best smile for the clients you trying to impress. Their children go to bed waiting for them to come home and their spouses wait for their phones to bring in a message – only to say they will get late at work. They may not be saving lives but they are definitely sacrificing theirs. I realise you going in your heads – well we have promotions and salaries that take care of that and they do it out of their own will no one subjects them to? I completely agree with you upon that. But saying “Good job” when they actually have done so will not make you a less of a person will it now? In fact I see that it is so scarcely said. I have heard Managers refrain from saying those two magical words cause they are afraid of one: if the subordinate is indeed doing a god job and if the Manager so much so says it – his job is at threat- as now he needs to share the limelight and two: then there is the risk of the subordinate becoming overconfident and not doing a good job in the future maybe. I know they sound ridiculous but believe me that these are few of the major reasons why the words “Good Job” are so sacred in the corporate world. To get an appreciation you really need to deserve it. You should have done something so remarkable like gone to the moon or discover a new molecule in order to be worthy of those precious words. Why can’t Managers understand that it is the cheapest way to retain and motivate someone? People work for appreciation and recognition. Let your seniors know how well your subordinate has performed and what he has accomplished – for one it will show you in a good light (that you have taught him/her and guided him/her well) and will allow the person in question to experience a sense of accomplishment and pride in what he does.

I know you thinking: all this I learned from Ladder 49. Well not really I learned it at work but Ladder 49 made me realize it’s importance enough to write. Each individual each day gives up something so that you can achieve something. Each individual each day chooses to work for you so that you can become somebody. So why not let him be a partaker of that sense of accomplishment, that success that puts you on the front page of a magazine that reads -”Good job So and So”.   

Are we loving right?

21 Feb

Royalty Free RF Clip Art Illustration Of A Cartoon Couple Engaged In An Argument

I have always wondered about the phrase “You bring out the worst in me”. I have never really understood it until one day I witnessed something that made me think and search the answer to the question that dwelt on my mind: “Are people what we make them to be?” Do we have the power to make them loving, kind, considerate and understanding just by our behaviour and how we treat them? I have seen so many couples not working out and then just working out perfectly well with someone else. How is that even possible? Things that were evidently wrong like short-tempered, possessive, stingy, uncaring suddenly change to patient, kind, giving and dotting. Either we are doing something wrong or something is setting off their wrong to become right by this significant other. It’s a very difficult equation to grasp I know. But it is still something that I am looking to research some more. Couples break-up all the time saying “You just not right for me?” Is this what they mean? Are they naturally bad or do we bring out the bad in them? 

I am wondering if my theory can save marriages or relationships that are at the brink of their break-up. If not atleast I can have a reasonable reason to believe why some relationships don’t just work out even though they are meant to be. Let’s do this: Pick up any couple you know well and see what brings out the best in them? Is it their spouse or their children or their parents or even their pets? Then see how their ‘reason’ talks to them, treats him/her in front of others and watch his/her reactions closely. You will see the person who once would eat off the head of anyone who cut him on the road now just moves aside and allows him to pass. You will notice a guy who could barely express any feelings, throwing a romantic dinner for two at a open air restaurant with the works – violin, flowers, champagne. You will observe a girl who never once stopped to listen to what her guy had to say now sits with rapt attention savouring every word of her new beau. Can people change? Of course, you would say. But then were they always this way all along and we just failed to unveil that part of them? Or did we change them to be who they are not? 

Being yourself in a relationship is key. Any relationship not just a romantic ones. These days holding up a friendship also is an act that requires Shakespearean expertise. So does that mean in order to find someone with whom you can be your ‘good’ self and in whom you can bring out the best will require many combinations and permutations? Or does it simply mean that you being a good person will set everything right? How hard is it? Don’t you think if you were loving, giving, selfless, patient, kind, forgiving, understanding, apathetic,empathetic, simple and caring, one won’t have an option but to love you with all honesty. You cannot shun such a person or hate someone who gives you all of that. Think of your parents who love you even if you haven’t called them all year or seen them in three years. They continue to love you with fervour.Let’s take a perfect example of true love – GOD. He loves us so much that even though we do not merit it He continues loving us (John 3:16). It will be hard to ever accomplish that ‘agape’ love. But we can try to at least be a close second best in loving those who are in our lives.

We always blame circumstances for things not working out – “it was never meant to be”. But are they only circumstances that makes relationship fail or is it time we take the responsibility of how a relationship shapes up? No relationship is perfect. No man is either. In our imperfectness we can make nothing perfect. We need God and his existence in our life to keep us concious in our relationships. It needs work, concious and deliberate work. Husbands you have to get ready for a long midnight conversation with rapt attention and a warm hug:  when you are tired from work and do not want to hear her go off about how her friend or colleague did her wrong. Wives you will have to get ready to slap a smile on your face and bounce back to life: when you are swamped with housework and only now sat down in front of the TV to relax with a nice hot coffee when he walks in all hungry and grumpy. Sounds like I am suggesting you to put on an act. Maybe for the first two or three times it will take an effort but when you will see that smile on her face returning as you listen her out patiently or when he fondly looks at you with contentment and happiness, you will willingly do it for the rest of your life. It is indeed hard to put him/her before you. It is definitely tiring to always be kind and caring. But when you stop living for yourself but him, he will live for you and not for himself too. Such an attitude and willingness to give yourself to your significant other will come only from God (Bible reference: 1 Corinthians 13:4-7). Each day you will need to draw your strength and patience from his well of wisdom and word. You are in control of your actions, behaviour, moods and words. With that you can either make your relationship or break it. What will you chose? 

 

 

Choose to let God in!

12 Feb

Do you believe in second chances? Do you believe that if you let go of one thing just to gain another and when you turn around you will find that thing right where you left it? Do you really believe that?
Nothing stays for ever. Everything in our lives are series of events we consciously or unconsciously choose. We choose to walk away from people, we choose to stay with some. We choose to move on in life, we choose to stand still. We choose to get affected, we choose to stay unhurt. Whatever it is,  but sometimes we have no choice but to live with the consequences of the choices we make.
Sometimes a missed opportunity takes you down a new road in your life. Sometimes a heartbreak makes you meet the love of your life. Sometimes leaving it all behind brings you home. Sometimes not knowing the known keeps you going on.
I am not sure if we will find all that we are searching for in this lifetime. I am not sure if all our choices will take us there where we can say we have lived a complete life. But I am sure of this one thing, that we have little to no control of where life can take us. I am sure of this one thing, that no matter what choices you make, if you have not chosen to allow GOD to work in you – you are going to fail to be content or joyous. Cause in human capacity there is only this much you can do – to please people, to work hard, to forget, to regret, to live unconsciously, to remorse, to cover up and to try and make it all work. It’s like piecing a broken vase together. It will never fully be restored to it’s full purpose and capacity.
So let go and let God in!

NH7 Weekender

21 Oct

Somehow it seemed longer. Like I was waiting right at this place forever. Nothing had changed yet all things familiar looked different. I was breathless and I had not moved an inch, my heartbeat was racing while I was standing still.
That’s what music does. It transports you- To a different realm, to space and back, to a place of quietness and peace amidst 1000 people who surround you right there.
With music- you never alone!

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Mentor Matters

31 Aug

I stepped into the corporate world 5 years ago, but I got the real taste of what it entails only just recently. I was always told by the wise and alike, ‘let your performance do the talking’. But soon realized performance is an introvert, it refuses to get out and get known. He likes to be watched from the sidelines and is soon forgotten. Some other Management Guru’s said, ‘you have it in you to become all you want to be.’ But soon realized it’s not in your hands alone to reach where you want to go – you will need directions, a roadmap perhaps, a little encouragement and sound advice from time to time.  Then what matters to be successful in an organization?

MENTOR MATTERS.

Three years ago I was a naïve, lost and an under confident HR professional. I believed all the wise men and the advice of the management gurus and thought I was set. But I was in for a rude shock. This place is not a garden, it is a full-fledged jungle where you need to fend for yourself. But I had nothing to worry cause I was placed in the hands of one of the best Mentors one could ask for.

Mentors are much like a parent, only in this case at work. Like parents you do not get to choose your Mentor, they are destined. How are they like your parent you ask?

1. Mentor puts up with your shortcomings:

Like every child you want things your way, not knowing that that way leads to a dead end. Your Mentor very kindly gives you reasons to turn away and holds your hands and leads you in the right direction. In between puts up with your tantrums and utter stubbornness.

2. Mentor fends for you:

He takes the blame for you. Put up a fight to defend your point and will not give up till he has driven the point home. He puts himself in the line of firing while all along you sit protected in your chair being oblivion to the things around.

3. Mentor gives you wings to fly

Much like a parent, the Mentor instructs you how to fly, demonstrates it a few times and when the time comes allows you to fly alone. He will be there to pick you up when you fall, he will heal your wounds, he will not ridicule or laugh along with others but give you the strength to stand up and do it all over again.

4. Mentor makes you realize your true self:

Like a child looks for approval from his parents, a mentee looks for the approval of his Mentor. He does everything to please him and ensures that his Mentor is never disappointed in him. The Mentor trusts you completely. He understands you and knows your potential. He nurtures your strengths and eliminates your weaknesses. If you have a Mentor like mine he will make you love what you once hated to do and make it your goal in life. He will make you realize what you good at and what you made for.

5. Mentor will never leave you or forsake you:

Your Mentor may leave the organization but he never leaves you. He continues to inspire and motivate you. You will constantly strive to make him proud and when someone sees you they will see a reflection of him in you, hence leaving his mark in the organization forever. As the Mentee will someday become a Mentor too and he will do all that he learnt from his Mentor.

Mentor does matter and to my surprise a little more than I would like to admit. Before I leave this space I would like to take a moment to acknowledge my parent at work my Mentor – I call him my Godfather.

Dear Mentor,

I came to you with a stubborn mind, a hard attitude and a naïve heart.  I came with no goals, no vision and an absolute dreamer. I had a mouth that would cut deep and a temper that could set a stadium on fire. I recall the hours of arguments and endless disagreements we had.  I recall the hours I have cribbed and complained about things not being right. You have patiently heard me out throughout. How can someone be so selfless, so invested in the success of someone else, amazed me. You were genuine, always put the needs of your mentee first and always stood by our side. You have relentlessly steered me in the right direction, motivated me to step ahead and inspired me to do well. You have given me the strength to stand up for the truth, to defend what is right and to fight for the weak & the meek. You showed me  what integrity stood for in a corporate world, what it meant to be respected and looked up upon. You taught me to stand by what I believe in no matter what. Mentor you gave me dreams I now aspire to fulfill, you gave me confidence to reach new heights, you gave me a new road I am eager to tread on, you made me realize that Mentors do matter.
I am a Mentor today (once again thanks to you)and I hope to inspire and influence her as much as you have inspired and influenced my life. I thank you for all that you have done all through these years for me. Today I am a successful HR professional and I would like to dedicate all my success and talent to you. No matter where life takes us and what heights or depths I reach I will always consider myself fortunate and blessed to have a Mentor like you!

To all who are Mentors out there you have a job that can make or break someone’s life. if you ain’t taking it seriously, I suggest you speak with my Mentor or connect with me to see what you do really matters :)

Turning and turning the world goes by

29 Aug

(As transcribed from: “Engelbert Humperdinck: His Greatest Hits”) Turning and turning The world goes on. We can’t change it, my friend. Let us go riding all through the days, Together to the end, to the end. Les bicyclettes de Belsize Carry us side by side And hand in hand we will ride, Over Belsize. Turn your magical eyes. Round and around, Looking at all we found. Carry us through the skies, Les bicyclettes de Belsize. Spinning and spinning, The dreams I know, Rolling on through my head. Let us enjoy them, before they go. Come the dawn, they all are dead. Yes, they’re dead. Les bicyclettes de Belsize Carry us side by side And hand in hand we will ride Over Belsize. Turn your magical eyes. Round and around, Lookin’ at all we found. Carry us through the skies, Les bicyclettes de Belsize.

The best part of being 16 is you feel like you can become anyone, you can achieve anything. The worst part of growing up is realising you cannot. At 30 as you will take a stock of your life it will shout “Bazinga”
I know what my faithful readers are thinking – ” yet another depressing post” No it’s not. I wanted to write this morning to think about how simple life is and how we complicate it? How straight the path in front of us is and how we entangle it? How magical our future is and how dull we make it? As I listen to our forefathers choice of music and one of my favourite artist Mr. Engelbert Humperdinck I realise how melodious life is And how precious time is. We ought to do each day what we love to do the most. If we ain’t doing that – forget what the world will say, even if you 60 and want to climb the Himalayas get up and get going. Cause “Turning and turning The world goes on. We can’t change it, my friend. “

How To Be Rich in Your 20s

6 Aug

How To Be Rich in Your 20s.

Arrange marriage? You not finding a suitable spouse? – Have you changed your cellphone yet?

1 Jun

Recently I read an article in a leading newspaper cover the topic of how the questionnaire in a marriage matrimonial site and marriage consultants/ bureau have evolved over the years to keep by with the technologically inclined world..

I know what you thinking it’s time to switch newspapers, but it was very insightful as I was tempted to read further. I cannot disagree, some of the questions are life altering or you may say life changing. Come on you have a right to know if your prospective spouse is using an Android or iOS or Window cellphone? Does he/she have a laptop, which brand, colour, processor or an iPad, which version, how many GB, which colour? How is it fair for me to decide whether I want to marry this guy without this important piece of information?

I am not sure what the world is coming to if a leading newspaper dedicates a whole page along with interviews and satisfied customer photographs, actually endorsing this lunacy. I understand the need to know the family background, where they live, what the prospective spouse does, what are his passions, interest etc. But which phone he owns is stretching it a little. Imagine the kind of pressure you putting on the young ones. You will soon see people flocking to the cellphone shops saying – “I am looking for a match and my match maker has recommended me to come to you to improve my social status – could I have a S5 please. I want to be ahead in the game.” Since when did marriage become about material things, since when did finding the right partner become about knowing your social net-worth. How popular you are on FB or how witty you are on twitter, may be some of the first questions that pops up in the prospects mind. “You wanna know more about this guy, click on the quick links below <twitter bird, f of the facebook, in of the Linkedin>”

Why do we weigh more what car he drives over how much he can care for me? Will he be standing by your bedside when he learns about your cancer (let’s face it, it is depressing but most of us are going to die discovering all sorts of new cancers)? Will he love your children? What are his views on raising a family? How many children he wants? How will he treat my parents once we are married? Will he respect me? Will he continue to find me beautiful and adore me? Will he pull me down or give me wings to fly?

I am not sure a guy cares so much about what phone or car the girl drives. I hardly doubt he cares so much for her social networking skills. Maybe for once guys have got this right too. Majorly because he can buy you into a new phone or car incase that is really bothering him. And girls will be delighted. Also, in the Indian arrange marriage setting, boys family, social status and how loaded is he is questioned, not so much of the girls. And our system thinks that it is unfair only for women. I would assume a guy who has all the latest Apple or Droid or Windows product as soon as they are launched would be a suitable match as he can fulfill all your dreams. While some one still using Nokia (even if it is a semi smartphone) is seen as less progressive, less aggressive and an under-achiever. Why would I settle for less? Fair analysis I would say, at least superficially. I am not saying all who have the money are bad – I am just saying money will only keep you happy for sometime, but if you do not have a spouse to enjoy with or a family who will care for you. That money will look after your cancer treatment but you will be left alone on your hospital bed while he goes away to Bali for a week as this pressure is too real..

Your world just got better – because of YOU!!

5 May

As a child we look at the world as a big, massive thing. The geography we learnt for all the years showed us how even 10 years of learning the same cannot do justice of emphasizing how vast this world is. But as we grow old or should I say grow-up we see the world around us shrink.

From 10 best friends in school to 5 in college to 2 as we steadily approach towards our career and none as we start a family. From being a block away to down the lane to moving cities and eventually moving countries. From having a huge family to rarely seeing them once in three months. From being carefree to worrisome. From being happy to resentful – our world is constantly shrinking as we grow old enough to fit into these often spoken about boots and bust our backsides to the grave.

‘Stop and smell the roses’ or ‘World hold on’ or ‘Stop the clock’ (this does not apply to the biological clock) . I have read enough poetries, songs and books that coax us to get out of the room we have confined our worlds to and step out and dare to live – but I have realized that few have the courage to. We always think – but I have a stable job, I have a loving family, I can’t leave this one or that one behind. We tie ourselves down with these imaginary ropes and then slowly start narrowing our lives to please those people just so that we get the satisfaction of living a big happy life. The only truth to this is – we are living a lie.

How many times have you hung out with a bunch of people you only smile at all evening without actually talking about anything substantial or real, meanwhile thinking in your head please kill me with that butter knife. Makes me want to think if that’s the reason why most group of people refrain from going to quite dinners and instead choose loud noisy and cheap alcohol places, just so that they can force themselves to have a good time – hence explaining the expression “happy high”. Also, how many times you have said – “I wish I could just go for a retreat, a holiday -ALONE! ” But never to actually leave your doorstep to even go to a spa or visit your parents unless there is an emergency. How many times have you tried making friends with your colleagues by choosing to hate the same people? Only to turn around and see the so called friend being the best friend with your enemy. Successful in convincing others that they are actually best friends while all the time loathing each other. This is how low you can go – it’s even lower than six feet under my friends.

I understand, life happened to you. You went along. You did not stand in it’s way, just chose to get washed away like a lifeless body in a gushing water. Stop wishing – make it happen. Not just once in awhile- don’t let this be like the spell of rain at Atacama Desert - be consistent in getting what you want. I don’t mean be ruthless or selfish or do anything illegal or unethical or ungodly because believe me that will give you no satisfaction just sleepless nights. Find yourself, love yourself, embrace who you are, change for the better, know what you want to be – and be that person. Go for a safari, a spiritual retreat, a spa, a holiday, a walk in the park – just you with well – you. And discover who you are. What you love to do, what gives you real happiness, what makes you smile, what songs make you happy, what have you being missing, what are you searching for? Each time you unveil who you really are – you are  expanding your world and extending it to your loved ones. Who wants to be trapped in a room with four walls, so you let no one in. But once you are in this open and blissful world – you will attract the ones you love and the ones who love you, to come and join you there and your world will keep getting bigger and better.

Only if we are content and at peace with ourselves can we be of any use to another – else we are just a hindrance!

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