Saturday, December 31, 2011

In 2012 I resolve to...

Just a few more days to welcome another year and I'm not surprised that the year-end rule is followed this time, too. Resolutions are back with a vengeance. The same old rut : will hit the gym more, eat less and save more, will change the job, pick up that hobby and try for a baby et al !

Over the top of my head flew a few ideas that could make the list of resolutions shorter the following year, if adhered to.

All employees (Male & Female):

1. Stop walking in with a sullen face every morning. (No one is indispensable. If you are working at any place it's because you choose to do so.)
2. Stop making your presence felt at the workplace and do the job you are hired for. (Learn to earn your keep).
3. Stop looking for brownie points when you step in for your absent colleagues. (Points earned thus can turn into long ropes soon).
4. If you call in sick, please have some patience. Do not brag about the party you hosted the very day you return.
5. Stop cribbing about others not doing their job if you choose to be seen with the Boss. (Nothing comes free and easy).

All employers (Male & Female)

1. Stop acting blind. If you can't hike salaries, good words can keep the morale of staff up.
2. Strengthen your spine and walk up to the employees who are not heard or easily seen. They help you meet daily deadlines, not the ones who make the loudest noise and shake hands with you.


1. Stop posting positive quotes on facebook just because others are doing it. (First practise them, if it works for you then go ahead)
2. Stop replying to comments on discussions just because you need to have the last word. (Let not your character be an open case-study)
3. Stop reposting portraits of self that received fewer comments. (Brush up on response-analysing skills)

Housewives & Livelihood earners on returning home :

1. Stop complaining about lack of time to exercise. (Spend less time at the dining table or on internet - whichever is your bigger vice)
2. Don't wait to be invited by teetotaller friends. Visit them. They are human beings too just like the company you enjoy of men who booze or women who gossip or vice-versa.
3. Stop judging others even before you interact with them. (At least you'll learn why they never took the first step).
4. Learn to compliment boastful and I-know-it-all acquaintances the moment they get on a roll. (That's the easiest way to shut them up at the earliest and you get a chance to exercise positiveness)
5. Understand everything with relatives is relative. Either take their words with a sack of salt or ignore them, whichever is less labourious.

Teenagers :

1. Stop slaughtering English language in the name of virtual lingo, lest you forget the correct version. Your kids will be required to study A-Z alphabets and the basic words. 'd' for 'the' will take decades more to make it into the English lexicon.

Tweens (9 to 12 year-olds)

1. Begin to eat at least one vegetable and a fruit once a week.
2. Don't create facebook accounts. Wait for your turn. You will not regret it.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Anna Hazare walks into history books

It's all happening at a frenzied pace. With just a few days more for the winter session of parliament to end, Anna team is pressing the hazard buttons harder, the Opposition is desperately muddying waters further to pounce on the last fish; media is haunting anybody termed a politician to air their views; columnists are squeezing in a few lines before the next drama begins...
Whatever happens in this Parliament session I’m not particularly worried (apart from a chunk of public money wasted yet again with nothing constructive to show for) because there’s a hero out there. No, not in Mariah Carey’s heart. In the hearts of millions of Indians.
Anna Hazare – the man you can either hate or love but cannot ignore.
The Grand Old Man of modern India is determined to run the course. How long it will take, only time will say for the Bill is just the first lap of the long marathon he has set on. It’s a long track out to thousands of village and city corners. But he has already carved a path – one into history books. I can see children naming his head on exercise sheets and mugging up his bio-data for exams.
If the two Indian of the Year awards he is conferred with is anything to go by, it’s just a matter of time when regional news channels will queue up propelling his move into the world of academics.
He simply deserves to be studied. For it's no mean feat to have aroused the collective conscience of the nation after six decades. To have shaken the masses and the classes equally is commendable. No wonder he needed the aid of two heroes. His provocative speeches many a times have not settled down well with me. A Gandhian cannot influence the electorate any one way, I believe. But guess that’s the Shivajinism needed to wake up hi-tech mortals from their conscious slumber.
However, I wonder where his impatience stems from. If the so-called powers that be did mention the winter session for the Bill, shouldn’t he have given them the space to act? Threats of fasts, debates, mud-slinging… all through were not called for. This is when I’m forced to believe reports in certain sections of the media about his “team calling the shots”. Definitely a person who has worked against odds and transformed his entire village will know better. Then why this rush?  Waited for 60 long years is the oft-repeated conclusion. No more time to be wasted!
So what happens if another session goes waste? Will Annaji fast a fourth time before the year ends? Well, it's just another week that we need to wait. Fast or protest, the Bill will see the light of the day, indeed. As for the fruits of the proposed Bill, it shouldn’t matter if it takes another 60 years to cleanse the nation, for the process for another first is begun. The world’s largest democracy hitherto is dusting its image clean!
So shouldn’t the architect of the ‘Largest Clean Democracy’ have a title? Hero is too frivolous. Modern-day Gandhi? -That’s ignoring his other role model Shivaji. Father of Modern India? – that’s the easy way out. Settle for Indian? Should we check with Kamal Hassan for the copyright?

Monday, December 19, 2011

Networking on social media sites - a sham

As I sat to write today, I realised it has been almost two weeks since I penned my thoughts as I was tied up at work more than I could help. Neither did I follow networkers nor checked mails. Worse still felt guilty as I didn’t tune in to any new channels on TV either.  However, thanks to the wisdom literature I’m chewing on of late, I looked at the half-full portion of my glass. And realised that I learnt quite a few valid lessons.
Here are a few…
Off from facebook gives you space to think about yourself .
Off from twitter gives you ample time to form your own opinion about subjects you love and not tow others viewpoints.
Not checking your emails is not suicidal. Any earth-shattering news will be delivered on your phone anyways.
Not tuning in to news bulletin will leave you less stressed and less depressed.
As I was reveling in the feel-good endorphins released by the two-week hiatus, one of my family friends came in singing praises of LinkedIn.  It’s worth spending time on LinkedIn; I got several new leads; It’s the forum for serious professionals…
Even before I could debate its necessity in my head, I was half-way through thinking of a login name. Old habits die hard.
No sooner I keyed in my job details than a list of ‘people you might know’ appeared on the side. Curious enough, I browsed to see my everyday colleagues and acquaintances stare at me.
Spent a few minutes more and discovered the professional networking link is yet another mockery of a platform. Majority of those I knew are upper management. Reporters are editors; clerks are managers; assistants are managing a team of not less than10.
There are several ‘experienced journalists’, ‘experienced administrators’, ‘experienced sales executives’… with no job profiles mentioned – now how do you define ‘experienced’?
I also learnt some bitter truths…a few diploma holders are in the upper echelons while some post-graduates are way lower at their respective workplace hierarchy.
What a sham, if potential employers were to scan LinkedIn accounts of jobseekers. Gosh.
Being a professional for about 15 years; being on facebook for almost two years and on twitter for a decent while, I conclude thus…
Truth No1: Be it workplace or networking sites making your presence felt is what matters.
Truth No2: Serious networkers will have ‘real human contacts’ not ‘friends’ on social networking sites.
Truth No3: Maximum response on facebook will be on your personal pictures; followed by YouTube videos. Replies to any serious discussion or suggestions will be only ‘like’.
Truth No4: twitter accounts are to follow celebrities and compete with ‘fellow friends’ on other sites in breaking that bit of ‘newssips’.
Truth No5: Take professional details on LinkedIn with a spoon full of salt.

I admit social networking sites have, indeed, played key roles in raising social awareness in the recent past so much so governments are spending sleepless nights trashing out counter-ideas. But, herein again I see a trend. Only a social cause or celebrity posts will get mass response. A common man who sincerely wishes to network to enrich himself will find few true friends in the virtual world. 

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Pocket money

Scene: A lower middle-class home with only the head of the family earning a meagre salary
Characters: Father and his teenage daughter
Situation: Month-end; Father needs urgent cash...Asks his daughter if she has something left from her pocket money. The college-going girl's deadly yet pathetic stare sends the man into his past, only to be jolted back into the present as he hears her suggestion to the monthly problem...

A tetragenarian father
On the date of 20
Asks his college-going daughter –
‘Did you spent your pocket money this month?’

………..…The days of scarlet blood
Thoughts of a robust future
Faith in the best education pocketed
Confident of tearing shackles
I held my first pay pack.

Humble a son
Succumbed to his mother’s choice
Beautiful a girl, I loved her whole
Partner she became, our dreams were green
Wife she became as her womb grew heavy
Mother she chose to be
Far-sighted was she
Decided two kids and no more
Dignity mine was kept
Reputed schools my kids stepped in
And when grades they collected excellent
Pride mine soared high
Sublimed in joy
The world was at our feet
But college did they step in
Status of mine jolted out
Their career became my thought
Donations and bribes apart from fees and influence
New arrivals and cosmetics
To excursions and study tours
Politics and authenticity to
Reservations and corruption
Made me knock at my courage constantly
My wife dusted her certificates
Rhymes she recited for a valuable sum
As our dream became childrens’ careers
Our efforts never flickered once
Their personal vehicle was our determination
Their strength was our love
We won on all fronts
But for their ‘whys’
Why can’t we own a bike of our won?
Why don’t we plan a holiday to a hill station?
Why can’t I pursue painting as a hobby?
Why should the movie wait for next month?..........

‘Here papa
Why don’t you increase our pocket-money
So that every month-end
We can give you the increased amount
At least we’ll get to spend our pocket-money.’