Thursday, November 15, 2012

Rumbling Thoughts

An empty coffee cup
A blank notepad
Soft purring of the machine
And the many open windows

The blinking cursor
An idle mouse
Silence of keyboard
And an unfinished poem

For the mind has gone wandering
To a land far far away
Unknown to confined brain
Mind's source of freedom

A single thought
Looping infintely
Leaving everything else
Searching for neurons

Unable to leave the thought alone
It was a single thought marathon
Leaving the unattended thoughts fuming
The brain slipped into sleep mode!

PS: Thoughts were simply rumbling without any purpose. This was just to vent them out!

Sunday, September 2, 2012

So Gaya Yeh Jahan!

This post has been published by me as a part of the Blog-a-Ton 31; the thirty-first edition of the online marathon of Bloggers; where we decide and we write. To be part of the next edition, visit and start following Blog-a-Ton. The theme for the month is 'Strangers in the Night'
Cab at 0030 hrs is never fun. You are alone and work will still be pending. Roads are empty with occasional bright lights from 24 hours open ATM. And when the radio sings "So gaya yeh jahan.." the cocktail of happiness and loneliness shroud you. Yet he saw today another soul from the opposite sex today. His heart did skip few beats but he was aware of the protocol that follow in such situations. You get into the cab, she pulls out a mobile and there she goes with whatsapp or gtalk or music. You again are left with the radio singing "So gaya yeh jahaan" and remain strangers in the night.

As he approached the figure, pending work on his mind was replaced with the conflict happening between unpromising hope and anticipated disappointment. She was brighter than the lights at 24-hour ATMs. The slightly higher cheek bones and the beautiful smile accentuated the brightness. He was blinded in the dim parking light. Yet when she was assigned to the same cab and when she followed him into the cab he felt hopes rising within him. "Where to?” she asked. The question evoked more than an answer. Conversation flowed. His jokes were were getting the laughs. The radio was asked to keep quiet. As the cab sped away, her head swayed in sync with the song played by wheels on the rain-made contours in the road. Yet the smiled remained and his tiredness banished to deserted island of his mind. The rains were there to add the effects for him. He could feel the creaking of his wheel of fortune that had gathered dust making an effort to move. A slight push and he knew he would get the jackpot. 

All he wanted now was a traffic jam. He know it can happen and it has happened with the blessings of rains. It was raining But it never happens when you want it. Roads were emptier than life in a dried out stream. The only thing that he had were the passing moments. Every passing moment was both an unforgettable memory and a rising fear of separation. Every single moment was precious though precious little he could do to hold on to it. 

His eyes became like prisoner’s eyes close to his escape. But she laughed as gaily as a flower that has just bloomed in first rays of sunlight. "Bhaiyya, aage side me laga do". The voice sounded the death knell for him. It was expected, yet his heart had hoped every inch against it. Few moments were all that he had. It could mark a new beginning or a make it a sweet dream. The new beginning was what he craved for. The cab stopped. She started to get down. His eyes fell on her speaking his heart out. Her smile remained steady. He did not want to leave that gaze. The gaze only disturbed by a police siren coming closer. His mind was resolute in ignoring it, for his heart yearned for the gaze. Then the words came out from her beautiful lips - "tereko nahin uthna to alarm kyon lagata hain!"
The fellow Blog-a-Tonics who took part in this Blog-a-Ton and links to their respective posts can be checked here. To be part of the next edition, visit and start following Blog-a-Ton. Introduced By: Shilpa Garg, Participation Count: 03

[Comic Strip] Employee Motivation Levels

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

[Johari Window] Gjju-Mallu Comparison

As they say always aim for the Q1. But to have the best of both worlds, you need to have a healthy 80-20 mix!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

[Comic Strip] Wodehouse @ Work

Been on a mini-vacation at home and picked up Wodehouse to spend afternoons. The result..ahem is here :) Think, I am very impressionable!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Once Again

This post has been published by me as a part of the Blog-a-Ton 27; the 27th Edition of the online marathon of Bloggers; where we decide and we write. To be part of the next edition, visit and start following Blog-a-Ton. The topic for this month is 'Once Again'.
Endings are never happy. Nobody knew better than him. It is his job which he has been doing for centuries and he has seen it all. The screaming, the silent acceptance, the ignorant, the shock everything he has seen it. Yes he is death. The methods are his and the consequence always the same.

Most spend their lifetime ignoring him as if he never existed. Yet his visit is the only certain event after birth in everyone's life. The more they live, the closer he becomes. Still people tend to ignore him. But he doesn't care. He is period at the end of sentences. He knows whatever happens the period is always there.

When he comes, it is over. He interrupts lives to make it complete. The times when people survive, are not when they are defying him. It is just that he never came. How well they survive death-like situations is what determines the quality of their remaining life till he actually comes  in to picture.

Tonight he is visiting another stranger. In his line of work, everyone is a stranger to him. But the struggle is what excites him. The challenge of prying out the soul from an unwilling body is the high that he craves for. He detests people who invite him for they are trading their soul to escape the pain.  But he is not expecting any resistance tonight. The person has been lying on the road-side without food or water for couple of days and he was sure he would not get the high. He will soon find out how wrong he is.

As the sun blazed on, he crept upon the helpless body. He seemed to be enjoying this moment. Sometimes he realized, the slow and creeping approach is also a thrill. Surprisingly, he felt the resistance. The person with no physical strength was not submitting. He was fighting. This is what has amazed him throughout the centuries. Fight even when all odds are against. Hope was their weapon.  Many before him relied on hope alone. But hope remains only hope when he is there. He is the finality. No weapon could beat his trigger.

He sucked out the life once again. His perfection remained unchallenged. Yet he was sad. He had always loved the fighters. For they gave him the thrill he always wanted with a weapon he has beaten time and again. Hope.

PS: Have been reading Tolstoy's Death of Ivan Ilyich. The book is thought-provoking to say the least.

The fellow Blog-a-Tonics who took part in this Blog-a-Ton and links to their respective posts can be checked here. To be part of the next edition, visit and start following Blog-a-Ton.

Saturday, May 5, 2012


The flame flickered
Trying to hold its own
Against the air
Its only foe and friend
For it burned
With the occasional flick
Yet the air remained twitchy
Ending the agony
Swiped the flame off
Leaving wax
The remnant

Monday, March 5, 2012

When Journey Meant More Than Destination

This post has been published by me as a part of the Blog-a-Ton 25; the Silver Edition of the online marathon of Bloggers; where we decide and we write. To be part of the next edition, visit and start following Blog-a-Ton. The topic for this month is 'When Journey Meant More Than Destination'.

It has been a tough last 3 weeks for him. Ever since the quarterly results were announced, the stakeholders have been baying for his blood. Today their wish will be fulfilled. Fortunately, for him there was no news of possiblity of CEO firing yet. It is much easier to face family after getting fired rather than have uncertainty looming over the family. He had given his best and had introduced initiatives which in any other situation would have given great results every quarter. But 2008 recession and now the uncertainty over Europe ruined his plans.Instead, the company has been posting losses for four straight quarters. His predecessor was lucky. He rode on the IT boom and now people want him back. 

In the rear-view he saw his 13 year old son coming in his school. Ever since they moved to Mumbai, he had always dropped him at his school, no matter what the situation was. He had always prided himself on this short drive. But he was afraid whether he will be able to drop him to school tomorrow with the words "Failed" written all over him. "Hi Dad!, he greeted. His family knew things were not rosy for him and they had been supportive all the while. "How was your game yesterday, son?"

The car moved forward.
"We lost.", he said. "Well, how did you fare?" 
"I missed the penalty that sent us packing", with no remorse in his voice.
"I can understand. Penalty kick is like a lottery and", his son cut him short.
"Dad, it's fine. I know I messed up. But I am a fighter. Just like you. Wait till the next game and I will fire right into that top right corner!"
The car stopped. "Have a nice day, Dad!"

He again started the car and turned on the radio. But the words - "I am a fighter. Just like you" resonated through his body giving him goosebumps. Yeah, he was a fighter. He had forgotten and his 13 year old taught him that again. His heart lightened and a smile escaped after an eon. He cried out - "Wait till the next game!" and sped off.

The fellow Blog-a-Tonics who took part in this Blog-a-Ton and links to their respective posts can be checked here. To be part of the next edition, visit and start following Blog-a-Ton.

Monday, February 27, 2012

[Devil's Guide] Essential Skills Of A Manager

Disclaimer Alert: These experiences are partly fictional and has been collated over my brief stint in the corporate world and does not correlate singularly to any of my past / current managers or even my friends' managers. 

Though, we may not like it, we all spend quite a bit of our time of our lives with our managers if we are employed. At certain point of time, we do have people under us whom we have to manage and they too won't like us in most cases. Here are some of the sure shot ways which will make their lives a bit more tougher and project you as a leader of men in front of your own manager for your next appraisal!

  • Irrespective of the directs' performance, you need to learn to rate similar performance the lowest or the highest. Your job as a manager is the ability to justify both ends of rating for a similar performance. The bell curve, your peer's performance and the organization's hierarchy are your primary weapons. Learn to use them effectively.

  • During any discussion, when the direct has a valid point, it is imperative to take the valid point so far as infinity so that like a unit positive charge sitting at infinity, it  has no effect. You need to have a wealthy experience of anecdotes, and ability to change the context without the direct's knowledge. Some managers are so good with their anecdotes, the direct suddenly forget, why on earth he is listening to him. Then there are managers (the most dangerous kind) who can make the direct's valid point completely against him. 

  • Learn to create a story. Mistakes happen in a professional environment. The true test of a manager is to create a story that will deflect the blame. The blame can be shifted to another person, team, process or even the tool that is being used. The best in business convert the mistakes into achievements. On a separate note, this probably is a reason why IIM grads get into writing books. They are good at creating stories.

  • Learn to be provocative. All the directs will say "I am fine" when asked how are they doing. Only by probing and instigating, does the true emotions come out. Good managers are very good at provoking. For each and every word you utter, they observe closely your body language and hit you right where it unnerves you. Some are so good at this, that every meeting is an emotional drain on you and you come out just thinking, how on earth you opened your mouth in the first place.

  • Learn to manage your directs' time effectively. You read it right. it doesn't matter, how you manage your time. But it really matters whether you can manage your directs' time effectively. The ideal state for a manager is to have all the directs working 8 hours non-stop. Productivity and innovation are the buzz words to live by.

  • Learn to schedule a meeting without an agenda and still exceed the schedule at least by the duration of the original meeting. This tactic helps you pass up time when you do not have anything to do or when you are getting bored. Talking with the team, increasing the bonhomie within the team and status updates are your arms for this.

  • When asked to present, present for the whole duration of the meeting. Even if there is a single slide, talk as if there is no tomorrow and stop exactly a minute before the meeting is supposed to end. Your authority is stamped. Everything will be followed, no questions asked.

  • Learn to use the meeting room wisely. When I say wisely, it means indiscriminately. It just sends out a message, that you are very busy and should never be messed with.

  • Finally sometimes, when your directs make a mistake in a report and try to cover it up, make the cover-up fool-proof. It helps!

For the more office gyaan click here. Self is not responsible for any misfortune arising out to anyone following this sagely advice. 

Sunday, February 5, 2012

[Poetry] The Wave

The Wave
The clouds cleared, paving
The way for the moon
Stars dimmed themselves
For the queen has arrived

A sudden sweeping force
Lifted us from buzzing drone
A new song was in the air
For the moon made its presence felt
Pulling us out from
The earth's darkness
Our hearts fluttered
As we kissed the winds

The new song was within us
The higher we went
The song beats increased 
The moon glowed 

Living on the higher plane
Exhilaration engulfed us
Lords of the dull earth
Was what we became

Yet the earth was still the master
The moon a mere imposter
And slaves we remained  
To the jealous earth

As we looked above one last time
Grateful for the hope of freedom
Smiled before crashing 
Into the hungry rocks below

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Mallu Christian Weddings in Gujarat

It is Mallus this time with gujjus as the chicken leg-piece! Read on before taking out the daggers! 

This post has been in the Draft state for sometime now. So to end the agony of this post languishing in the confines of Draft status I am moving it to Published state. Hopefully it will feel better there.

Mallu christian weddings in Gujarat are generally a dull affair and self takes extreme measures in avoiding them. However, during the childhood stage of existence, parents exercised their veto powers against every motion of avoiding these weddings. So having gone to a handful of them, have come out with the some of the prominent features of the wedding!

The wedding reception can also be termed as a Gold Show. Ladies across all age will be heavily armed with gold all around them. The challenge for the bride is to have the heaviest artillery of gold on her. The order of magnitude by which bride should outstrip the other ladies in terms of weight of gold is comparable with Sachin's runs against WI batsmen (the current crop). This will ensure the other ladies will talk in hushed awe tones about the gold. Else the groom will be titled "Pavam*" and the bride will be termed as bringing ill-luck to the family. Alright, I exaggerated there a bit, but it is on the similar lines.

The next persistent characteristic is the queue. It never shortens and you stay rooted to the same spot although the number of people ahead of you increases in an exponential manner. Have heard that this is a typical  characteristic of every wedding happening in the Indian sub-continent. Maybe it is to do with our caring nature. We just cannot fathom that a person known to us is standing so back in queue when we ourselves are soon going to gorge on the delicious looking chicken biryani. More on chicken biryani later in the post. We really want to help the poor relative / friend who is standing way behind and help him get the food almost at the same time when we get it. However this kind of care is only limited to weddings and the care vanishes soon after the wedding.

Food Counter
This is the most happening place at the reception. Mothers, grandmas, wives will scream, steal, and beg for the elusive chicken leg-piece. The perfect almost queen-like women of all ages with their stiff upper lips suddenly turn into blood lusting vampires the moment they near the food counter. Believe, the strong aroma of the biryani rice activates the release of soon-to-be-named hormone which causes them to turn into vampires just like the sight of moon turn people into werewolf. The unbearable heat, the smelly arm-pits, the jostling, screaming - nothing deters the mallus from getting their prized chicken leg-piece. It is the cherry on the cake and nobody can take away their right to this chicken leg-piece!

Chicken Biryani
Yes it is always the chicken biryani. This fascination with chicken biryani never ends. People crib about the biryani when it is not there and when it is there. Like a true cricket fan who carries all stats and match incidents in his memory, people will remember the texture, flavour, type of rice, the softness of chicken, etc they have eaten so far in their lives at wedding receptions in their convoluted mallu brain. The memory remains. Whatever the marrying parties do to make their  biryani best, their biryani will never be able to match the best biryani that each of the mallu present at the wedding ever had.

After last post, I did not want anymore posts on them after my friend threatened with dire consequences. But then he usually does. So here I go again. Gujjus in Mallu weddings are the most clueless people in the wedding. They won't understand all the hoopla happening on the chicken biryani counter as most of them won't eat chicken. Of course some of them will be salivating after  smelling the chicken but this being a public occasion and the chances of mamas, mamis, phoi et all lurking around the corner, they just give the chicken a slip. Some respite for the chicken from the blood-thirsty mallus. Additionally, Gujjus will move in groups i.e. Neighborhood group, office group or college group. They are very easier to spot as they will be the most clueless group around with question marks on each of their foreheads. They only understand two things in the entire wedding. First is the bride and groom and second is the veg good counter. They religiously attend to these two places and go home.The problem is with the hordes of Mallus around and a smattering of Malayalam happening everywhere, they suddenly forget they are still in Gujarat. Poor souls get disoriented. But they do go back with a huge smile on their faces and their orientation corrected for Gujju food is specially served at a zero queue veg counter.

* Pavam - means innocent or in this case naive. The groom gets sympathies if he gets the title of Pavam

PS: Never planned to mention chicken so many times. It just happened and so the disclaimer. No chicken was killed in writing this post.:)