Wednesday 16 April 2008

A new thought - reality check!


This post is in reference with one of my earlier posts, 1999-2000 - The Best Phase of My Life.

I have mentioned in that post that I learnt how to deal with hard-ships, developed sense of self-belief, learnt and grew by reading books and listening to music. Well...all this did happen...I did learn all that, I did develop my personality for the better...but I didn't write about the side-effects of all this (for me and should not be taken in general), which now I feel that I should.

I have believed in being honest and content with what I get. I have always managed to convince myself that whatever happens; happens for good. And I have, thus, managed to lead a relatively less anxious life and have rather pitied my friends and colleagues who participated in the so-called 'rat-race' to climb higher.

I have had an eye-opener, rather a series of them in recent past that have completely shaken me up. These events have not only challenged the way I work, but the way I think and the way I live my life. From being a highly 'satisfied' person to now not knowing what is actually the right way forward!

As of now, I can't even explain what is going through my head. I am torn between the philosophy that I have lived with so far and the new challenge / opportunity that I have been made to see. The idea of living in a safe environment (probably a shell) and calling it God's will is quite safe. What-ever goes wrong is then treated as God's doing and managed through with the belief that there must be something good hidden in pain. But now, I am being asked to move my butt out, I am being pulled into the world that is actually out there and compete with the best and the rest. More than anything I am being asked to think what future I want than just sit and accept the future that comes.

I think I have been shown a 'mirror' - something I hadn't done in a long time. There is something good that will come out from this mental churning - I am sure. The question is, how soon and how much am I ready to change!

Friday 11 April 2008

Catching up with old friends...

It is true - Internet has brought the world networking sites have brought long-lost friends back in touch...professional networking sites has managed to bring complete strangers on some sort of a common platform. At the same time, hasn't it taken us farther from a few people who matter...well, that is not what this post is about!

Today, I did something that I usually do once in a blue-moon. Take out one hour from work and call up a few friends, who matter but I still don't manage to be in touch with them regularly. And it feels takes me back a few years and this experience cannot be explained.

I started with calling up Samar, this was actually a return call. He had called a few days back and I had politely told him that I would call back, which I just didn't find the time for (or so I make myself to believe). But today evening, I just did. Both of us are the kinds, we stay in touch with those who want to stay in touch and make efforts in doing so...basically bad at networking and bad at keeping in touch! We spoke for 10-15 minutes, shared good amount of information from how each other had been doing, to how others from our batch (TSM-XII) doing, to our past days as co-students and then colleagues...Talking to Samar is an enriching experience everytime...he is one clear-head and clear-heart person. Doesn't mix his words as this thoughts are usually crystal clear.

After this, somehow, I was on a roll and called up Prashant, a.k.a. Mallu. Now, I last met him sometime Aug / Sept last year and would have spoken to him about 2-3 times in between. He's in Ahmedabad - but that is not the reason for this low frequency of calls. Just that both of us are like that only. Talking to him was a laugh riot, as always...he brought up his biggest passion - Cows. He is one person who started a dairy farm, had cows of his own and has participated in helping a cow deliver a calf! An excerpt from our tele-chat:

Me: Hi Mallu, how have you been?
Mallu: Arre bhai-saab, aapka phone aaya hai, to theek hain
Me: So - what's new?
Mallu: Yaar, kuch acha nahin lag raha hai...
Me: Why, what happened???
Mallu: Saala, bahut development ho rahi hai sheher mein...
Me: That is supposed to be good, no?
Mallu: Haan, lekin ab road par gow-mata kam dhikhti hain...isliye thoda pareshaan hoon...

There is another joke related to this...we used to tease Mallu that looking at cows is the closest he can go to looking at a naked female body and that is why he just likes them so much...tacky joke, but then between friends...I am sure you would understand!

After this, I spoke to Mr. Jai Sogani...he is one of the first true entreprenuers from our batch. He always dreamt of owning an ad-agency and today he's been the boss of one for a few years now. He has lived his life on the edge, lived a roller-coaster life. Wasn't sure of where he is going or even where we wants to be at a time...took refuge in a few bad habits, had the guts to kick that bad habit out of his life, was one of the least probable to pass out with all of us...but he did and now is his own boss as well. The best thing he did was to find his anchor in Gunjan...his wife. He's just been blessed with a baby girl and thus his life's a different sort of a roller-coaster these days.

After this call - I dialled Calcutta based Soumya. Now, she's one of the rare girls from our batch that I am still in touch with and actually enjoy talking to her after all this while. This could be probably because I respected her the most (amongst women in my batch) back then...She's been doing good...just returned from a phoreign trip and keeping busy managing her job and nine month old baby girl.

My last call in the series was to Saurav, a.k.a Chakru. Well - he is one bengali by birth but a Goan by heart. He has recently been promoted in his company, now he is a DGM (ahem ahem) - really glad for him. He has been in the media business since ever. But, has been ever-evolving and ever-moving ahead kinds. Thus - success hasn't come easy - but has come for sure to him.

Well - now I had spoken to 10% of my batch and that ends my list for the day. I could have called another 3-4 guys, but ran out of me-time-when-at-work!

Guys - there is nothing just as good as catching up on with good ol' friends. It has made my day...completely! That's it from me for today...take care.

Thursday 10 April 2008

I have lost some weight...


First I must confess that the image used is copied from someone else's blog...but then I liked it enough to use it. Thank you Angie!

I just wanted to share with you all the in the last one month that I have been going to the gym, regularly 5 days a week and burning 500 calories per-visit...the good news is that I have managed to shed 2.5kgs from my huge mass! This measurement was done in traditional way and not as suggested in the image shown above.

This weight-loss is one of the single-biggest motivating factor for me to want to continue with gymming (something I have never done before the last one month). Guys - wish me the best!

As promised earlier as well - the day I lose enough weight - I shall share my pre / post pics to celebrate the weight loss. Till then, let's just sweat it out!

Take care...


Tuesday 8 April 2008

1999-2000 - The best phase of my life


There are two ways I can approach this post - one being my usual long text post, which is self-explanatory and generally gives a background to the situation being talked of...or the other style being - this is what is!
I think I will take the second approach today...probably I am in that sort of mood right now.

Fact - I dropped a year in my college and repeated the second year.
Fact - Had I not decided to drop this year, I would have been forced to do so - my preparedness for exams would have ensured that result.
Fact - It wasn't an easy thought and was most certainly not easy for my folks to accept.
Fact - As it turns out, it was probably the best decision I ever took in my life!

I never really got going with my understanding of this subject, Statistics. Not that I couldn't understand it, but I could not understand why am I being taught what I am being taught and why am I being taught in this manner that I am being taught in. My mind could never come around the fact that I am being made to learn (rather memorise steps) to prove minus of minus x = x, i.e. -(-x)=x. Yes, there is a proper way to prove this, which would involve two more variables and a few assumptions!

Come July (of 1999) and it was time to go to college - but with no compulsion to attend classes, nor any pain of sitting through lectures that made no sense to me. My dad was hell bent in ensuring that I get up every morning and still go to college - as he didn't want me to vegetate sitting at home. So I did that - got up every morning, went to the U-special stop, boarded it, got down at the college gate...but rarely entered it.

I had somehow decided that if I want to utilise this year for my growth / development in any manner - then college is not going to help me. I decided to make DSE's open area my favourite hang out spot...sat there all day long - seeing people move around at their own pace, either hurriedly or otherwise. For some inexplicable reason I found comfort at being there. Probably because nobody knew me there or because it didn't remind me of KMC.

In just a few days I realised that sitting there wouldn't solve be honest had got bored of sitting alone doing nothing. This brought an interesting turn in me - I got into reading books and listening to music, both that I had not been exposed to earlier. This was one phase when I could read anything, from philosophy to psychology books, from fiction to biographies...and during all this, I had my faithful walkman with me.

I used to carry the following articles in my bag - the book I was reading then, my walkman, 5-7 cassettes and similar number of battery sets (this made me popular amongst few similar people, who would request for battery replacements for their walkmans). There was a tea-stall there, which would supply me my morning cup of tea - my target was to make it last for at-least couple of hours...then to take another. Sitting area was comfortable - under a tree, on a stone, on the side-walk or at times (if lucky) on grass.

To be honest, I still didn't study for my course or for my exams. Now that I look back, I think that I did study and learn that life, books and music had to teach me. Things that would have gone past by me, had I not stopped and taken a break from my psuedo academic learning. I learnt to think, I learnt to feel and most importantly, I learnt to express my feelings on a piece of paper. I learnt how to deal with adversities, I learnt how to handle pressure (it wasn't easy at home those days, looking at my worried parents) and most importantly I learnt to believe in myself. All those learnings hold me together even today and I am proud of the single most difficult decision that I have had to make.

This is just to share my view on the subject. Please don't try this at home or anywhere else. I wouldn't take responsibility of your undoing!

Take care and all the best!

Thursday 3 April 2008

Jassi a.k.a Jasbir a.k.a Jus-Beer


This post comes from the heart (once again). It is about one of few friends I have.

A little background to this story...I never, even in my wildest dreams, had ever thought of being outside the realm of being a salaried professional. This was not really a choice to make or be burdened was in my blood. With dad serving the Indian Air Force for twenty six years and since then (eleven years) been working with one organization...there was no doubt that all I would do is try and make a mark for myself, in the corporate world - climbing the ladder of success.

In my first job (TOI), I met a uniquely different character - Jassi a.k.a Jasbir a.k.a Jus-Beer! The reason I say he was unique because I hadn't met people like him in my life till then...He was one person who had a single-minded approach towards things he did and towards goals he had. This was at times so weird that I thought it was better to bring the dude back on ground than see him get hurt anytime in the future.

From everything that we have discussed under the sun - the two biggest dreams he had were...go abroad and the other that he would want to start something of his own. Going abroad - well I had no problem in accepting this as a dream, but to start something on your own (when you don't have stable finances to support a business)...I couldn't see logic in this. To be fair on me - as I had mentioned earlier - my mind set and my background didn't allow me the bandwidth to think beyond and appreciate a guy who had the balls to think beyond boundaries!!!

Despite our different goals and absolutely different approaches - we did manage to hold on to our friendship over the years...Today, Jassi is most certainly in the UK...and has also managed to start a small outfit of his own. He might / might not be doing what others had imagined he would be doing right now...but he is one guy who has neither feared nor cared about what the world thinks of him. From starting part-time with MacD in India (while he was still in college) to TOI to UK as a student (did his MBA) to becoming a delivery-boy in the UK - all that he did was with just one aim in mind - "how to get started on my own...with something that I can justify to myself"

Jassi has today made a small and modest start in the UK (how many people do you know who have gone abroad to start a business there - I don't know any), I don't know whether this is his calling or not...but this is certainly his play-field to learn the ropes and become is certainly his stepping stone to success.

I now know that there is worth in dreaming out of the normal, there is merit in trying for it and there is hope beyond the pain! I salute him - for his strength of character, for his never-say-die attitude and his big heart!!!

All the best Jassi - I today know you are living your dream...make the most of it!