Monday, December 28, 2009

स्वर्गीय तिवारी जी ! (मेरा प्रथम हिंदी व्यंग्य लेख)

कुछ दिन पहले हमारे मोहल्ले के मिश्रा जी घर आये थे कुछ देर बैठने। ऐसी बैठकें उनके दैनिक जीवन का एक अभिन्न अंग थी। यह खासतौर पर ब्राह्मण समाज के लिए महत्त्वपूर्ण विषयों पर होती थीं इसलिए मिश्रा जी के सत्संग का आनंद केवल एक जाति विशेष तक ही सीमित था। अबकी बार जब वे आये तो माथे पर एक दुःख की रेखा खिंची हुई थी। और इससे पहले की वे अपने दुःख के कारण से हम सभी को अवगत करा पाते , ३-४ फ़ोन कॉल आ गए जिनके कारण चिंता की रेखाएं और गहरी हो गयीं। फिर मैने पूछ ही लिया " क्या बात है अंकल जी परेशान नज़र आ रहे हैं ?"। तो पता चला की कोई तिवारी जी हुआ करते थे, जो की अमुक मोहल्ले में, अमुक के घर के सामने, रहा करते थे, वे स्वर्ग सिधार गए हैं। अब साहब स्वर्ग सिधारना तो ऐसा है कि जीवन का एक हिस्सा है मैंने सोचा। जो आया है सो जाएगा। मिश्रा जी जैसा ज्ञानी यह सत्य जानकार भी कैसे इतना दुखी हो सकता है। थोडा और पूछने पर चिंता का कारण सामने आया कि तिवारी जी तो गए सो गए, उनके जाने के बाद अचानक यह पता लगा है कि उनकी दो पत्नियाँ थीं। भाई अब समाज में कुछ लोगों ने २-३ पत्नियाँ रख भी ली तो ऐसा क्या पहाड़ टूट गया। कई ऐसे हैं जिनकी कभी शादी नहीं हो पाती और समाज का संतुलन बना रहता है। अन्य सभी १ पत्नी के आगे ही पानी भरते दिखाई पड़ते हैं, तो दूसरी या तीसरी की तो कल्पना करने का प्रश्न भी उठ कर खड़ा नहीं होता। तो हमारे हिसाब से तो तिवारी जी एक शूर वीर थे जिन्होने एक महान योद्धा की तरह दो दिशाओं से शब्दों एवं अपशब्दों के तीर झेले और अंत तक लडते हुए वीरगति को प्राप्त हुए। पर तभी मिश्रा जी ने दुःख का असली कारण स्पष्ट कर दिया। तिवारी जी कि एक पत्नी ब्राह्मण थी और दूसरी निचली जाति कि। तो भाई दुःख इस बात का था कि जब तिवारी जी जैसे महान योद्धा के जीवन में प्रवेश पाने का सौभाग्य एक और नारी को मिलना ही था तो वह भी ब्राह्मण क्यों नहीं हो सकती थी। यह ब्राह्मण समाज कि विवाह योग्य कन्याओं के साथ सरासर अन्याय था। साहब, मैं तो कहता हूँ कि तिवारी जी ने यहाँ भी अपने श्रेष्ठ होने का ही प्रमाण दिया था। हमारी प्रिय बेहेनजी (मायावती) कि ही तरह उन्होने सवर्णों और हरिजनों को जोडने का प्रयास किया था। यह कदम सही मायनो में मनुवाद के विरोध में उठाया गया होगा।

अब जब स्वर्गीय तिवारी जी कि असीम प्रतिभा का उल्लेख हुआ ही है तो मैं अपने कुछ और ओछे विचार भी व्यक्त करना चाहूँगा। तिवारी जी अत्यंत चपल और चतुर थे। यह सिद्ध होता है उनके द्वारा, दो पत्नियाँ होते हुए भी, भारतीय समाज में ५० साल से अधिक समय तक बिना किसी कष्ट के जीवन व्यतीत किये जाने से। हमारे समाज में तो किसी लड़की के किसी बालक के स्वप्न में आने मात्र से ही अड़ोसियों पड़ोसियों कि व्यर्थ टीका टिपण्णी प्रारंभ हो जाती है।मुझे दुःख होता है कई बार ऐसे कुछ अभागों को देखकर जिनके बारे मैं मोहल्ले वाले तो सोचते हैं कि वे कई लड़कियां घुमाते हैं जबकि सच्चाई में वे बालिकाओं के सामने आ जाने कि स्थिति में वे ऐसे हो जाते हैं जैसे सांप सूंघ गया हो। तिवारी जी काफी दूरदर्शी भी थे। वे जानते थे कि समाज में आज मनन और चिंतन कि कमी हो गयी है । विशेषकर युवा वर्ग में। अब अगर वे अपनी दो पत्नियों का पता मृत्यु से पहले ही लग जाने देते तो उनके समकालिक लोग ही उस समस्या से प्रभावित होते और शायद उसे सुलझा भी डालते पर नहीं , उन्होने अपने अंत समय तक रहस्य को खुलने नहीं दिय जिसके फलस्वरूप मेरे जैसे युवा इस गंभीर विषय पर चिंतन कर रहे हैं। चलिए अब जो भी है, तिवारी जी तो भवसागर से पार पा गए। आशा है हम भी अपने इस विचार मंथन की सहायता से आने वाले वर्षों में एक से अधिक पत्निया रखने वाले स्वर्गीय व्यक्ति होने का गौरव प्राप्त करेंगे । भगवान् तिवारी जी कि आत्मा को शांति दे। राम नाम सत्य है।

Friday, December 25, 2009

3 idiots - my reflections

I had the privilege of watching this so "talked about" movie yesterday.Watching it was a feat to my mind, as it was a holiday and the entire 120 million human beings residing in Mumbai were either expected to throng Lonawla/Khandala belt or the multiplexe. Right in the morning (yesterday) news had started trickling in about the heavy traffic jam enroute Lonawla.So we went and booked the tickets for the 6:25 pm encounter with the movie at 2:00 pm but still could get hold of tickets in the 3rd row from the screen only. I must say it was a hard earned movie watching experience.


Coming to the movie and the subsequent thoughts which are the causes for effecting this post. Movie brings home the central theme time and again which is "Kabil bano...success apney aap aa jayegi..", as in, the focus should be on developing the "kabiliyat" which can be translated into 'capabilities' approximately, rather than running after a specific job or a social status so as to be recognised as successfull by the society. The kabiliyat shall see one to a situation where the society automatically recognises the person as a success due to the beautiful work done by the said person because of his sheer interest in the field of work.In short, excellence has to be chased and not success.This is exactly what my father used to tell me and my sister always and i for one feel blessed for that.As to whether i have implemented the rule to the core in my life till date, is a subject for another post but i can definitely say that atleast i have done whatever i could see my natural inclination for. Hence i have enjoyed most part of my journey uptill here. I say 'most part' because there have been some periods where i took to ways not in line with my natural tendencies resulting in the loss of the state of equillibrium which is to be at peace with oneself i.e when the heart and the mind are in sync.


Very sound message or peice of advice delivered by the movie, i must say, for the entire human race.But i found some things to my utter dismay too."Gadha" is the word used to denote a guy who is shown to be an Engineer+MBA+who works for a foreign bank.I am not sure which act out of the three converted him into a "gadha".The engineering wala act , the MBA wala step or the working in a foreign bank wala decision.Now having committed the same crime i almost perfectly fit the above stereotype. Why almost ?.Because by the grace of god i chose to work for an indian bank.I don't have a problem with the title "Gadha" as i have been called that for umpteen other reasons by different people in the society at different points in time. And this i consider gross dis-respect to "Gadha" as it carries out its duties sincerely and without complaints making it even stand better than most of the human beings.Anyways my problem is with the underlying concept.We all have the freedom of making choices and if someone wants to study Management after his/her engineering degree, no one has a right to object.What if, that is the route for the pursuit of excellence in case of a particular person.The said person might be targetting development of as many different capabilities and mental faculties as possible for which staying put after an engineering degree might not have sufficed. Remember the legend called Lionardo da Vinci who was an a prominent engineer, inventor , anatomist , painter, sculptor, musician and writer.Engineering and MBA develop different skillsets and there is no 'either this or that' rule applicable.Hence i strongly dis-approve the criticism of engineers going for MBAs, said to have wasted their technical study, which is also at the state's expense in case of IITs and some other institutes due to the subsidised education.Study to me never goes waste.It is very likely that a person might be using his/her knowledge of engineering in a management poistion and that is when he/she has not become a scientist which could be naturally derived from the ridiculing of the character "Suhas" in the movie.


Another point which hurt me was the pathetic description of the household affairs of the Raju Rastogi.He is shown to belong from a family with a paralysed father, a mother who is tired and retired both and an unwed sister.The mockery which this movie makes of such a grim situation is despicable.To add to this is the roaring laughter that ensued in the movie hall after the description of these affairs.This is sick sense of humour at best.This is how a lot of families still live in india.And this is exactly why it becomes a matter of life and death for people to earn degrees rather than follw their interest where money does not come easy.All of us including the movie makers should be more sensitive about such depictions.


A touching movie requires the right amount of seriousness and sensitivity at all demanding places to have a long lasting impression on the minds of people.Taarey Zameen par and Munna bhai MBBS were such movies.Otherwise a very sensible and serious message gets lost in the entertainment tamasha that our movies generally are.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

राहुल गाँधी

आज मैंने एक टीवी चैनल पर राहुल गाँधी पर एक कार्यक्रम देखा जिसमे उनकी बचपन से लेकर अभी तक की यात्रा को दर्शाया गया था । मैं आज तक जब भी राहुल को देखता या सुनता था, विशेषतः जब कभी सुनता था, मुझे अनायास ही ऐसा प्रतीत होता था की यह एक ऐसा व्यक्ति है जो गाँधी परिवार से जुडे होने के कारण, वहां, जहाँ भी वह आज है, आसानी से पहुँच सकता था, इसलिए पहुँच गया है। यहाँ पहुंचना उस व्यक्ति के लिए उसके जीवन का एक और प्रयोग है न की एक साकार हुआ सपना जो उसे अपने देश के लिए कुछ करने हेतु अन्दर ही अन्दर निरंतर जला रहा था। साथ ही मेरा ऐसा भी अनुमान था की राहुल जी की सोच में उतनी भी गहराई नहीं है जैसी की मुझे दीख पड़ती है उन्ही की तरह एक अन्य युवा नेता सचिन पायलट में।

परन्तु आज के कार्यक्रम को देखने के पश्चात् और उनके द्वारा कहे गए कई शब्दों को काफी ध्यान से सुनने के बाद मेरा विचार उनके विषय में बदला है। मेरी सीमित सोच मुझे बताती है की भले ही राहुल में सोच की अभूतपूर्व गहराई न हो, भले ही उनके शब्दों में वाक्चातुर्य न हो, परन्तु उनकी बातों में, विचारों में, भाषा में और ह्रदय में एक सच्चाई है, एक इमानदारी है,जिसके कारण आज वे गरीबों के साथ उठने बैठने में नहीं हिचकिचाते हैं और साथ ही खुश भी दिखाई पढते हैं ऐसा करते समय। उन्हें आम जीवन में रूचि लेता देखकर और उनका लोगों से घुलना मिलना देखकर, उन्हें बच्चों को कंधे पर बिठाता देखकर मुझे कुछ मायनो में इंदिरा गाँधी जी की याद आती है जो मेरे विचार में इस देश के कुछ बहुत प्रभावशाली नेताओं में से एक थीं। गहरी एवं विस्तृत सोच होना , चिंतन और चरित्र में समन्वय होना , अपनी मातृभूमि के प्रति सच्ची निष्ठा एवं समर्पण की भावना होना और अपने देशवासियों के हितों के प्रति संवेदनशील होना मेरे विचार में कुछ ऐसे कारक हैं जो किसी नेता को अत्यंत बलशाली एवं प्रभावशाली बनाने में सहायक हो सकते हैं। भविष्य को तो किसी ने नहीं देखा है पर यदि आने वाले वर्षों में राहुल गांधी भारतवर्ष के एक दैदीप्यमान नेता सिद्ध होते हैं तो मुझे किंचित मात्र भी आश्चर्य नहीं होगा।

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Random musings on 'single'dom!

Singledom in an age when even toddlers claim to have girl/boy friends has its own nuances.And in my case when this gets coupled with the fact that mid life crisis is looming large,it becomes a deadly hotch potch capable of producing dire consequences for this peace loving world. Singledom is not considered a virtue like it was a few years back when it was a tradition to be single untill one got married and those with girl/boy friends were looked down upon.Today the time has changed.For the better or for the worse is a debate in itself. But it is a fact that being 'double' instead of a lowly single is a thing to be flaunted today.And the ones for whom this sticky label of 'single' is just not slipping away in oblivion, it has become really difficult to survive in the society as they are at times confused with the mentally challenged people and they are showered with sympathy and pity no end. As they say "bicharaa abhi tak single hai! kya pata kya gadbad hai iske saath".

So when i asked myself that what could be the reason of this change in the attitude , i just had to reflect on my life for the answer.This because of my single status. As for this status i personally believe that barring a few unintentional 'dates' over a few weekends of my life, which arose either by chance encounters with women or an arrangement by the parents of the party and the counterparty, i have come out a 'single' after every conscious assessment of my relationship status. So when i look at myself i can see why the young have had a move on offlate.

Singledom makes one prone to spending time alone over the weekends. I say prone because it might very well happen that one has company of other single cohabitants on the weekends for random walks and talks but it is also well nigh possible that all of them suddenly become busy leaving the single under consideration in limbo.

These lonely weekends are a dangerous proposition.Due to such weekends i have developed a chronic liking for the channel "Astha" and it seems as if Baba Ramdev and Krantikari muni shri Tarun Sagar ji maharaj are the only friends i have who talk to me on weekends.This virtual friendship might convert me into Baba Ramdev or muni shri part 2 which can have grave consequences for humanity.In addition to this i also have developed a quiet but peaceful relation with the species called lizards.I co-exist with a lizard who listens to me patiently by sticking on to the same spot for hours together when i deliver a discourse on my reflections on what the learned said on the 'Astha' channel. Sometimes i feel that may be it is in love with me as it listens to me with such great intent.I wish it is a she so that i could claim 20 years hence that i had a beautiful relationship with a female of atleast some species where we used to talk for hours together.This has always been the idea of a romantic relationship to me.So another danger highlighted so far is developing strange relationships with creatures not considered healthy and as evolved as human beings.

The third peril is - turning into a fanatic.To my amazement i am becoming an ardent follower of the RSS school of thought with no deliberate effort whatsoever.For the past few days i have been listening to Shri Arun shourie and Shri Mohan Bhagwat on the Youtube for no apparent need.It now appears natural to me that why the main acts of social service by Bajran Dal and Shiv sena are focussed on hitting out on couples on V-day. This happens due to prolonged singledom which makes people become followers of these groups inadvertantly like i am becoming.And then it is thier subliminal dislike for couples which comes forth and not the ideology of the groups as is projected by the media.

Fourth reason to my sick mind is that when one suffers from the single status he/she becomes paranoid and starts to visualize dirty things.When on a weekend i call up one of my "also single" male friends for a random talk and i am made privy to the fact that he is in Bandra at 9:30 on staturday night, i suddenly start visualizing hordes of scantily clad women all around him and this even goes till the lap dance climax at times. And all this when i am more confident of his ability to remain single against all odds then he himself.Thus it helps the young by not being single as it saves them from harbouring dirty thoughts which is supposed to save the society in the long run.

Last but by no means the least reason is that indian history is replete with cases when middle aged or even old single men led their sides to war. This because of an inherent feeling of worthlessness for having acheived only wrinkles and nothing else in life.Females who were to be won like medals and flaunted thereafter eluded them untill they were forced out of the hunt.Hence, to prove their worth to themselves they subjected their sides to war which were totally unnecesaary and uncalled for. Examples start from Bhishma pitahmah in the Mahabharata whom i assign the entire responsibility of the war that happened.Mr. Krishna Menon similarly was responsible for the indo china war due to the same reason and not to mention Mr A B Vajpayi was responsible for the Kargil conflict.Based on the above seemingly baseless allegations i feel that i could be blamed for World War 3 if my single status is not fixed soon.

So its my humble request to all the females of human origin inhabiting this earth to seriously contemplate a relationship with me even if the proposition appears intuitively to be for their own detriment.

Cammmaaaan gals....ensnare me or just buy me. I am up for sale anyhow!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

मूर्खता में ही होशियारी है - ज्ञान चतुर्वेदी

मूर्खता बहुत चिंतन नहीं माँगती। थोड़ा-सा कर लो, यही बहुत है। न भी करो तो चलता है। तो फिर मैं क्यों कर रहा हूँ? यों ही मूर्खतावश तो करने नहीं बैठ गया? नहीं साहब। हमसे बाकायदा कहा गया है कि करके दीजिए। इसीलिए कर रहे हैं। संपादक ने तो यहाँ तक कहा कि यह काम आपसे बेहतर कोई नहीं कर सकता और मूर्खता की बात चलते ही सबसे पहले आपका ही ख़याल आया था।शायद ऐसा उन्होंने मेरी फोटो देखकर कहा हो। कुछ ऐसी मूर्खतापूर्ण कशिश है मेरे चेहरे में कि आप किसी भी कोण से फोटो खींच लें, चीज छुपती नहीं। मूर्ख लगने, न लगने के बीच का एक संदेहास्पद क्षण हमेशा के लिए ठहर गया है चेहरे पर। सो लगता तो हूँ। पर आप जान लें कि ऐसा हूँ नहीं। फोटो तो हमेशा धोखा देते हैं। कुछ जो हैं, बल्कि खासे हैं बज्र टाइप हैं, वे फोटो में ऐसे नज़र नहीं आते। कई बार तो ख़ासे होशियार नज़र आते हैं। कुछ मूर्ख तो समझदारीवश कुछ इस धज में फोटो खिंचवाते हैं कि होशियारी का भ्रम खड़ा हो जाए। ठुड्डी पर हाथ रखकर मुँदी-सी आँखें रखे। चिंतन में मग्न, बगल में चार किताबें धर के या किताबों की रैक के बगल में खड़े होकर, या चेहरे पर आधी रोशनी, आधी छाया डालकर यदि फोटो खिंचता हो तो आदमी बिना किसी और कारण के ही बुद्धिमान नज़र आने लगता है।


चिंतन में पहला पेंच यही आता है कि मूर्ख किसे कहें? परिभाषा क्या है? मूर्खता नापने का कोई यंत्र होता नहीं। इसकी नपती का फीता भी उपलब्ध नहीं। बस, अंदाज़ से पता करना होता है। मूर्खता हो सामने तो अंदाज़-सा होने लगता है। फिर थोड़ी देर बात करो तो वह प्रकट भी हो जाती है।परंतु कई बार बातों से भी कुछ पता नहीं चल पाता। कठिन होता है, क्योंकि कई मूर्ख भी रटी-रटाई बुद्धिमत्तापूर्ण बातें करते हैं। साहित्य तथा चिंतन में तो हम नित्य ही इस दुनिया से गुज़रा करते हैं कि भाषा की आड़ से मूर्खता बोल रही है या विद्वत्ता? इसे समझना आवश्यक है कि मूर्ख इतना भी मूर्ख नहीं होता है कि सीधे-सीधे पकड़ में आ जाए। मूर्ख हमेशा मूर्ख ही नहीं होता। वह विद्वान तक हो सकता है।


मूर्ख टाइप के भी विद्वान होते ही हैं या कहें कि विद्वान टाइप के मूर्ख। पर ऐसे मूर्ख तब ज़्यादा खतरनाक मूर्ख साबित होते हैं और उनसे बचकर निकलने में ही होशियारी कहाती है। ऐसे मूर्ख-विद्वान या विद्वत्-मूर्ख किसी ऊँची कुर्सी पर बिराजे भी मिल सकते हैं। अब यह मत पूछिएगा कि मूर्ख होते हुए भी वह ऊँची कुर्सी पर कैसे पहुँचा।


आपके मूर्खतापूर्ण प्रश्न का उत्तर यही है कि एक तो मूर्खता की वजह से ही उसे यहाँ बिठाया जाता है। फिर कई की मूर्खता कुर्सी पर बैठने पर ही प्रकट होती है। बैठने से पहले ठीक-ठाक लगते थे। बल्कि थे ही। कुर्सी की अपनी मूर्खताएँ होती हैं। उस पर मूर्ख भी बैठ जाते हैं।


फिर कुर्सी के लिए चालाकी की आवश्यकता होती है, होशियारी की नहीं और मूर्ख होने का मतलब यह कतई नहीं कि मूर्ख आदमी चालाक नहीं हो सकता। वह चालाक किस्म का मूर्ख हो सकता है, सो चालाकी से कुर्सी हथिया ले और मूर्खता के कारण कुर्सी पर सफल भी हो जाए। यह बात अवश्य है कि मूर्खता बहुत समय तक छिपकर नहीं रह पाती।वह प्रकट होने के लिए कसमसाती रहती है। वह मौका ताड़ती रहती है। आदमी लाख विद्वत्ता, लेखन, बड़प्पन, पद, कवित्त, बयानों, भाषणों आदि से ढाँकने की कोशिश कर ले, मूर्खता कहीं न कहीं से झाँकने ही लगती है। यदि आप मूर्ख न हों या अंधे ही न हों तो झाँकती मूर्खता को पकड़ सकते हैं।


अब चिंतन में दूसरा पेंच यह है कि अंततः कितनी मूर्खता हो कि एक आदमी ठीक-ठाक-सा मूर्ख कहा जा सके? या यह भी कि कितनी होशियारी के रहते आप मूर्खता पर ध्यान न देंगे? याद रहे कि दुनिया के बाज़ार में मूर्खता भी मूल्य की तरह है- राजनीति से चलकर कवि सम्मेलन तक इसी मूल्य पर आधारित सिस्टम है। कई मामलों में मूर्खता होशियारी से भी बड़ा मूल्य माना जाता है, क्योंकि होशियारी की एक सीमा होती है, जबकि मूर्खता सीमाहीन हो सकती है। आप जितना समझ रहे थे, सामने वाला उससे बड़ा निकल सकता है। उसे खुद पता नहीं होता कि उसमें मूर्खता की कितनी क्षमता भरी पड़ी है।मूर्खता कुछ तो जन्मजात होती है, पर बहुत-सी अर्जित की जाती है। छोटे मूर्ख बाद में बड़े वाले होते देखे गए हैं। जैसे हमारे कुछ लेखक मित्र शुरू से थे, पर बाद में किसी 'संघ' या 'वाद' से जुड़कर मानो मूर्खता को ही समर्पित हो गए और लेखन में भले ही रह गए हों, पर मूर्खता में ऐसी ऊँचाइयों को छुआ कि लोग हमेशा भयभीत रहे कि वहाँ से हम पर ही न कूद पड़ें।

तीसरा पेंच यह कि क्या मूर्खता ऐसी ही बेकार की चीज़ है और होशियारी बहुत बड़ी बात? मूर्खता को छुपाना चाहिए या होशियारी को? हमारे पिता जी हमें डाँटते थे तो यही कहते थे कि हमारे सामने ज़्यादा होशियारी दिखाई तो ठीक कर देंगे। उनसे ही हमने जाना था कि होशियारी भी एक लानत हो सकती है और होशियारी प्रदर्शित करना भी कई जगह मूर्खता की बात हो सकती है। आगे के जीवन में भी मैंने ही सीखा कि इस देश में मूर्खता के प्रदर्शन पर तो कोई बुरा नहीं मानता, बल्कि अपने जैसा पाकर प्रायः लोग खुश ही होते हैं।

होशियार भी मूर्खता देखकर खुश होते हैं कि वे कितने होशियार हैं, जबकि सब कैसे मूरख हैं। मूर्खता को प्रश्रय, बढ़ावा और सम्मान तक मिलता है, क्योंकि मूर्ख आदमी किसी के लिए न तो खतरा बनता है, न ही उनसे प्रतियोगिता में रह पाता है। सो दुनिया मूर्खों से प्रसन्न है। वह तो होशियारों, समझदारों और बुद्धिमानों से भय खाती है। चिढ़ती भी है। परेशान भी रहती है। वह बुद्धिमान को बर्दाश्त नहीं कर पाती। खिलाफ़ हो जाती है। विरोध करती है। किताबें प्रतिबंधित करती हैं। किताबें, अखबार जला डालती हैं। पेंटिंग नष्ट कर डालती हैं। देश निकाला कर देती हैं। फ़तवे जारी करती हैं। गालियाँ देती हैं। प्रदर्शन करती हैं। दुनिया बुद्धिमानों के खिलाफ़ ही रहती रही है। जीसस से लगाकर ओशो तक दुनिया की इसी सामूहिक मूर्खता के शिकार हुए हैं।

तो सारे पेंचों से घूमकर चिंतन का निचोड़ यही निकल रहा है कि इस दुनिया में आमतौर पर, और इस देश में विशेषतौर पर मूर्ख बने रहने में ही भलाई है। यह तथ्य सभी बुद्धिमान जानते हैं। इसी कारण जब यहाँ किसी मूर्ख को देखो तो उसे मूर्ख ही मत मान बैठना। हो सकता है कि वह इतना होशियार हो कि दुनिया में मूर्ख बना पेश आ रहा हो। जब मूर्खता एक अप्रतिम मूल्य बन जाए तो मूर्ख बनने में ही होशियारी है।

Friday, December 18, 2009

Respect for one and all!

I have come across a few incidents of bosses misbehaving with their reportees at my work place as well as outside (as recounted to me by others). I personally feel very strongly on the gravity of such incidents and would like to express my views on the same.

The kind of mis-behaviour i am referring to here is the one where an employee is not only ridiculed but also insulted by resorting to demeaning and demoralizing sentences embedded with expletives ,at some occasions at least if not all, by a superior (the word superior represents the fact that a person is above the other in designation as per the organizational hierarchy).This type of behaviour to my mind is not only unprofessional, insensible and immature to the core but also is indicative of the lack of basic respect for a human being which he/she deserves irrespective of his/her skillset, knowledge, caste or creed.Such conduct is also self-destructive from the point of view of the organizations as the energy of the workers get diverted due to such uncivilized behaviour of colleagues rather than getting utilized in the development of skills.

I fail to understand why the so called 'superiors' forget that people work for the organizations in different capacities based on their experience,knowledge and skill set and hence do not become lesser human beings just because some parameters have put them at a lower designation.The sub-ordinates also keep silent during such incidents as they keep their self esteem attached to their jobs which is fatal to my simplistic mind.They consider themselves to be worthy of such high handed behaviour because of their lower designation in the heirarchy.They also think that they are worthless human beings because they committed a mistake in doing a calculation that was anyways a figment of illusion of the top bosses.In addition to this they get immobilized by irrational fears like the relationship with their bosses getting spoilt further or losing the job at worst.I personally believe that starving for a month or two is better than taking on all the rough behaviour thrown towards one at his/her workplace by continuing in such a job.

I firmly believe that no job in this world is rocket science afterall.Right training coupled with a sincere and responsible approach followed by practice makes excellence acheivable at about every job that is out there. If the work of an employee is not found to be up to the mark then the employee could be made to understand this fact politely either by the superiors or by the HR , as a result of which the employee might put more effort in improvement or might leave the organization with no malice in his/her heart at all.At the same time i also feel that the training programmes or the recruitment procedures prevalent in the organization are to looked at more closely if the perforance of employees is not found satisfactory regularly, after having got recruited and trained by the organization itself.

I strongly feel that different people come together in organizations with their own reasons for doing so.These reasons may vary from previous work experience to professional/ personal aspirations or simply money.And that no one is inferior/superior to anybody else at the workplace, even the strongest justifications notwithstanding.All of us must deeply ingrain this value of respecting each other regardless of anything else.

Finally, I feel that the lack of basic respect for human beings should be nipped in the bud otherwise the work conditions at organizations run the risk of getting worse. Employees will join and leave but the behaviour/conduct an organization promotes/encourages highlight the values of the organization which are obsolete if unconditional respect for each and every human being is not one of its core values.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Are you from a 'Tear'-II Bschool ?

Today i came across a job post in one of the "post job openings for fun" websites.It had these three lines embedded between the other more irrelevant details about the job opening

Location:Mumbai
Education: BE+MBA from TierII management schools
Ps: Pre MBA experienced candidates not eligible and only Tier II MBA colleges
candidates should apply

This freakingly irresponsible behaviour of the people engrossed in the business of posting jobs has angered me no end.I spent a gud 5-6 years in planning my MBA from a tier-I b-school.That i still dont know what exactly is meant by the term tier-I is topic for another post.Some people say this tier-I comprises of only IIM A,B,C. Some add IIM L in the list as someone in their family had passed out from that institute and paying respect to him for his mis-adventure appears morally invetiable. Some ignorant beings add other lowly or should i say newly built IIM's like I & K to the list.But there are these 'fools' who extend the list to accomodate other lesser b-schools who then share the tier-I league with the IIMs.It was this category of people i.e 'the fools' upon whom i placed my complete trust while i was planning and preparing for my MBA.And finally when i was ready to boast my being a pass out of a tier-I institute here comes the requirement for the 'filth' that passes out of the so called 'tier-II' institutes.Do people remember that these are those institutes which make people think as if MBA is dumb shit.They create an impression that anybody can do an MBA while the truth is that even Sir Issac Newton could have been able to crack CAT only after atleast 5 attempts.And now they say they want tier-II people in a job. How do i tell them that an entire generation in my family was spent in getting us promoted from the sleeper to AC Tier-III in the indian railjourney parlance.Now how am i suddenly supposed to promote myself from tier III to tier II if that can give me the gumption to claim my belonging to the famous tier-II category for which the job requirement has been posted. The strangest part is that when it comes to defining the tier-I, atleast there is a rough guideline in terms of the IIMs being the tier-I with may be a few others alongside them depending upon the aspirations of the children of those involved in the rankings business.But how do you define this new class called the tier-II b-schools.Where does it begin and where does it end.How do i tell a tier (n-1) b-school from a tier n b-school.May be my being from a teir-II city of Bhopal qlalifies me for the above mentioned job.I am terribly lost in these increasingly stringent job requirements. How could i switch my tiers if at all possible so as to grab a particular job.I could have bribed the TC had it been a railway journey but how do i do it in this case.Assigning my self to a specific tier has become extreamly riskophillic.This latest discrimination against the tier-I college passouts would have done Maharaja Manu proud who conceptualized the caste system in india.

But it has struck me like a lightning just now that as they say "every cloud has a silver lining" , i can also see a positive to my situation.I can take advantage of the ill-defined boundary between the IIMs and Non-IIM tier-I b-schools on one side and Non-IIM tier-I b-schools and tier-II colleges on the other.Thanks to the fuzzy memories of the subject called fuzzy logic studied during engineering i can say that i being from a non-iim and an approximately tier-I b-school i can claim to be from the tier-I or tier-II depending on the situation.I can switch sides at will based on the kind of job requirement. I can even demote my institute to a tier-III or a IV category with no pangs of conscience whatsoever which could have haunted me had i been from an IIM.Thank god i was saved from such a dilemma.Now that i realize that i am still in a position to fool around with the fools i hereby decide to send across my CV for the kind perusal of the person undersigned on the job post with immediate effect.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Lets play "Doubles"

"Double" is the name by which 'these' movies are known in the materialistic/individualistic world where human bodies are mere objects meant to act as a 'means' to an 'end' called 'sensory pleasure'.These movies stand a step lower than the category of movies known as the "Triple" in the progression of showing human beings as more and more savage in performing the sexual act, starting from utterly civilized demeanour in the normal 'saaf suthri' movies which even do not have a 'kissing sequence' to keep the youth of our country hinged to their seats.To illustrate the progression with an example

Ek ruka hua faisla (no male-female attraction whatsoever in the movie) -> choti si baat (males and females getting attracted to each other but steer clear of kissing) -> raja hindustani (kissing shown like being forced on the female) -> Kurbaan (a few kissing scenes with equitable participation from both sexes) -> any movie of Emraan Hashmi (umpteen passionate kissing sequences) -> Kama-sutra "the classic indian DOUBLE starring Indira Verma" -> Taboo 1 to 4 "the triple" ( zillion foreign as well as South-Indian versions on offer these days)


I have observed that most of the males, with whom i have interacted and have had a discussion on the utility of movies along with their corrupting influence on young minds,have a strange predisposition towards the 'double'variety as against the 'triple' variety.It is rather surprising because the focus of the latter variety is on 'doing' while the former variety focusses on 'slowly reaching that stage' of doing.But after thinking for an entire weekend, on this issue of immense national importance i finally made peace with the above fact remembering what the great 'sophie chaowdury' had said in the epic "dus ka dam".She had gleefully accepted that indian males are indeed very romantic."They feel 'pyaar' is very important" as per the wise lady.I think it is this romantic nature which makes us, the indian males, noticeably more inclined towards the 'double' variety.We love the process of undressing which i believe is what 'being romantic' is all about.Removing clothes one by one, slowly sloooowwwwwlllyyyyy....In case you like the undressing thing to happen like a channel change on the TV with a press of the remote control button then you run the risk of being labelled a "bhookha" as against the slow and steady 'pyaar ko importance dene wala'.Sometimes i have even observed guys being simply not interested in physical acrobatics to ensue after the 'remove the n layers of clothing' marathon.They get so lost in the 'means' that they get disenchanted with the 'end'. They keep rewinding the 'means' parts of the movie time and again as if a new peice of clothing is being added and removed thereafter in every replay with the help of some divine intervention like the famous one by lord krishna during 'draupadi ka cheer haran'.I strongly feel Bhavad-Gita should be imbibed better by the youth of this country as it is not advisable to lose sight of such an 'end'.

I by no means claim to be different from an average tom or for that matter dick and harry even though i feel slightly offended when being refferred to as a 'dick' in most of the social gatherings i attend.I also have a proclivity towards the 'double' variety but my social conditioning is responsible for that.When i was in the 10th standard Star Movies started airing movies with 'above 18' tag which, as i realized some years later, were the ideal candidates to be labelled as 'double'.They all had 5-6 undressing sequences on an average with only partial details of the activities that happened immediately afterwards but which to my romantic mind were anyways not important as the all important undressing had already been performed triumphantly by the hero so many times.Added to this was the thrill of watching all this at the risk of getting caught by an elder at home.Back then those movies were made 'easy to understand' for kids like me with Hindi subtitles. It gave me immense satisfaction to read lines like "Main tumharey saath sona chahta hoon","Oh..sundar ladkey..aur paas aao mere" on the TV screen as it showed the power of expression of Hindi unmatched by English which had dialogues like " oh..big boy..stronger..faster..harder" which sounded more like a motivational talk delivered by the coach of a 100 m sprint runner.Thanks to my sharp memory i had memorised the exact moments when the undressing was to happen and the duration for which it was to be performed in umpteen movies after watching them again and again on the channel. So much so that i could indulge myself in other seemingly meaningful activities untill i remembered the sudden arrival of that great moment and which i caught unfailingly.I clearly remember that at 7:30 in the morning i used to catch a few desirable sequences from the masterpeice called "the blue beard" while my mom prepared my lunch box and i consumed my breakfast sitting in front of the TV.Sahara Cup in toronto also helped me in consuming atleast 5-6 such movies as i could watch TV at 3 am in the morning with the back up of a live cricket match.I also used to visit the a vedio cassette library in the vicinity of my home which had a huge "double" collection.There were albums kept on display with 6 postcards of latest releases on every leaf of the album.But these displayed albums were the normal "thakeli" movies with no action whatsoever. I had to make a bharatnatyam like gesture with my eyes by looking in the northwest direction for 10 seconds and saying simultaneously " woh wali movies ka album dikhayiye" to tell the library owner that i was interested in the movies of transcendental meditation veriety and not the daily routine stuff.

Engineering gave me the taste of the real male world where i found to my utmost happiness that "triple" movies were available with everyone and that too everywhere. They were there in the hostel, in the vedio libraries, in the hard disks of geeks and moreover on the internet.But such was my love for the "double" stuff that i took to a fast taking a cue from Mahatma Gandhi.During the fast which lasted for 30 days i did not consume even a single movie of the "triple" variety.It was only when i got hold of some serious "double" material did i break my fast unto "death at the pornographic level". During the engineering days i realized that "double" and "triple" were universally accepted words and they were recognised everywhere."Double" was as important to an engg student as the "double-roti" for the poverty stricken mortals of the country."Yaar double hai tere pass kya" and " bhai double hai to de de" were the common sentences as if "doubles" were commodities necessary for existence like sugar or wheat.MBA brought a new term "Bhajan" into reckoning which was the term to refer to "triple".Day and night there were demands for bhajans on the IP messenger.An outsider might have found the root of indian spirituality in all this.The "doubles" were getting lost somewhere in the increasing maze of "triples" which was saddening.But i kept looking for them day in and day out and found a few hidden somewhere in the vast ocean of "triples".


Then came the work life where again there seemed to be no scope of getting hold of those lovely "doubles" as my colleagues only talked about work and "triples" if at all about movies.It was only two days back while i was returning from my workplace that i stopped over a small rickety shop which displayed many hindi song CD's.It had all varieties right from the Mohd. Rafi - Lata duets to De-dana-dan.I picked up a CD with songs of Rahat Fateh ali khan but it suddenly struck me that the shop owner who looked quite dodgy in every sense of the word was not the one to carry CD's of simple hindi songs.He was destined to be a "double" and "triple" distributor.Hence i asked him rightaway " double/triple hai kya"."Sirf double hai" came the reply.Voila! i had found my treasure.I asked him immediately to make me privy to his collection hearing which he started making movements as if he was about to hand me over some "heroine" the drug.He looked right, then left and then again right before going down on his knees and pulling out a plastic bad from a box kept under the table on which hindi song CD's were displayed.He added "chupa kar dekho" "sab naya maal hai" as if this was a part of a "brown sugar" consignment delivered at the mud island.With a mere glance i understood that this was what i was searching for quite some time and it convinced me that my love for double had won for the dodgy fellow a loyal customer.


Tuesday, December 1, 2009

India needs a strong philosophical foundation

I read a peice in the TOI a couple of sundays back i guess. It read like this - "In the early days of reforms, Deng Xiaoping set the parameters of China's global conduct ; Observe developments soberly,maintain our position,meet challenges calmly,hide our capacities and bide our time,remain free of ambition,never claim leadership."

These instructions to me highlight a major difference in the approach the two countries, China and India have taken in the past towards almost everything they have done in relation to their progress as nations.The difference is of a strong philosophical foundation.

China has forged ahead with a strong philosophical foundation in place, finding its roots in the ancient chinese wisdom which in my opinion is clearly evident from the nature of parmeters set by Deng.The rules as set above are 'spot on' as far as focus is concerned for China as a nation.A strong philosophical foundation helps in providing a clear sense of direction.It helps in seggregating "important things" from the "not so important things" or for that matter "not at all important things" which in a sense decides the priorities for an individual, institution or a country.It also provides the strength and determination to march ahead when things are not going right.It helps the entity in question to acquire immense clarity of thought in terms of what needs to be done, why is it to be done in the first place and then ofcourse how is it to be done. A very strong sense of determination is also palpable in the instructions given by Deng to China for its global conduct.

India to my mind never had a strong philosophical foundation in place to start with as a nation. The country was divided on religious grounds helped not only by the religious intolerance of people but also by the selfish personal ambitions of their leaders. A strong philosophy would have given the country a direction in those times which could have in all probability made people stay together to fight against poverty etc.rather than each other.It is all the more disappointing that India, that claims to have an equally old civilization, almost 3500 years old like the chinese, also blessed with great wisdom in the form of vedas and such similar writings, does not have any influence of this wisdom on the policies and government of the nation.Our foreign policy could be summarised as - prostrate before the US , frown at Pakistan at every drop of the hat and treat our other neighbours like shit. This might be a very biased view of the entire affair but the point i am trying to make is that all our policies when analysed, lack a clear sense of direction when it comes to establishing a growth path for a country for the next 20 years.I for one agree that our democratic system does not allow us to implement many rules like China does given its political fabric but i firmly believe that a strong sense of direction for us as a nation guided by a philosophy could make progress faster even with different political parties ruling, as the direction given to us by our philosophy would prevail over the temporary differences in the personal or political philosophies. And this shall make us walk ahead with a clear focus as against the haphazard development and slow progress India has witnessed since its independence.

फ़िर लौट आओ तथागत!

This is an excerpt from the speech delivered by Gopal Krishna Gandhi on the occasion of 2550th anniversary of the Buddha's mahaparinirvana at Bodh Gaya (February 2007).This, i read in the book called "Great speeches of modern India".I really loved the way he weaved together an instruction for all of us with the help of such beautiful words and thoughts.

हमें मदद करने की वह तमन्ना दीजिये जिसमें मददगारी का गर्व न हो
रहनुमाई की वह ताकत दीजिये जिसमें 'रहनुमा' की उम्मीद न हो
पर - पीड़ा का वह एहसास दीजिये जिसमें शुक्रगुजारी की ख्वाहिश न हो
सेवा का वह अवसर दीजिये जिसमें नेतृत्व का लालच न हो
पंगु को गिरी - लांघ बनाऊँ, ख़ुद अपांग रहते रहते
अंधों को सब कुछ दर्शाऊँ , ख़ुद अंधेरे में सिमटे
बधिरों को सत बोल सुनाऊँ, ख़ुद सन्नाटे में बैठे
गूंगे को आवाज़ दिलाऊँ, ख़ुद चित मौन धरे
निर्वाण, नहीं;परिनिर्वाण नहीं,'महा' उपाधि दी है हमनें। क्यों ?
क्या तुम्हें भुला देने को ?
नहीं, तथागत ! नहीं, तथागत !
फिर लौट आओ तुम ; फिर तुम लौट आओ ; तुम्हारी बहुत ज़रूरत है।

Friday, November 20, 2009

'Boss'ing around....

Its time for me to dedicate a post to the different "bosses" i have had the privilege to work with or observe from a close distance, till date.

1) Gyan Master Zorro - I believe the name here is self explanatory to a great extent. The gyan master riding a horse like the protagonist in the movie "the mask of zorro" with the mask on,doling out copius gyan irrespective of the situation/requirements.He was like a leopard on the prowl and i was like the prey running around for cover.Our usual conversations went like this:

moi- arey sir...xyz issue mein finally kya karna hai?
Zorro -See..we can do it this way...also that way and not to mention that other way..there are so many ways of achieving the desired end
moi - sir..woh sab to theek hai par...should i go ahead and do it the 'abc' way which i feel is correct
Zorro - yes i think u shud do it the way u feel is right but at the same time u can do it this way also...that way also and that remotely possible way also...
moi- but sir...big boss is saying 1234 way is better
Zorro - yes that can be better...but this way can also be gud...that way can also be gud and not to mention ur way cud also be considered...
moi- arey sir...finally boliye kya karna hai...main ab...1234 sey hi kar deta hoon...boliye...final..
Zorro - see it all depends...
moi- eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee
moi-runs away with an excuse of fake important call on the mobile.

Now as is evident from the above pointless rambling of his, he was an engineer and an MBA.His making a decision tree at every drop of the hat had its roots in the engineering curriculum and the golden "it depends" phrase must have caught his imagination during his MBA.All in all he had taken his studies way too seriously.And that was the source of his ever flowing "Gyan Ganga".On one occasion i saw him measuring the angle of the serpentine line depicting stock market crash that had happened on that day with his index finger on the computer screen of one of my colleagues. Gyan Master Zorro was trying to prove that he is quite gyani in that sphere also but my colleague looked at me with the expression "yeh agyani tumhara boss hai...tumhein dava ki nahi dua ki zaroorat hai".

But his 'gyan dene ki adat' helped me a lot when it came to making a decision of leaving for the day. He has developed this irritating habit of dropping by at my seat just before leaving for the day to "give gyan" on a randomly chosen topic.Those sessions lasted for about 15-20 minutes.But that was indicative of the fact that he would be leaving immediately afterwards. These were the only times when i tried to listen to him with great intent but more often than not my mind kept thinking about the prospect of his leaving as early as possible.

2) 'Nag'endra - Incessant nagging was his hobby. He was the boss of my colleague who sat adjacent to me.'Nag'endra kept calling him every 4th minute to ask the same"xyz task ho gaya kya?" question making my frnd go insane at the 10th call.In between this calling marathon he used to visit the seat of my friend whenever he had a suspicion that his subordinate might have run away not only from his responsibilities but also his home, may be this country due to a nagging boss.During all these visits he assigned new tasks to my colleague.

Nagendra - arey tum zara abc pehle karke do
prakash - are sir aap xyz ke liye already 5 baar call kar chuke hain
Nagendra - xyz bhaad mein jaaney do....abc karke do pehle
prakash - sir efg bhi karna hai...badey sahab ko dena hai 1 ghantey mein..
Nagendra - to maine kab roka hai tumhien...you shud be efficient
prakash - par agar abc beech mein karoonga to efg delay ho jayega
Nagendra - to abc bhaad mein janey do..
prakash - efg ke liye data mangana hai sir back office sey...time lag sakta hai...
Nagendra - to efg bhi bhaad mein janey do...but abc,xyz aur efg jaldi karke do..fast...
Then he went back to his seat and started the tele calling excercise immediately again.

3) 'Piya'relal - He was a sweet-heart drunkard who just lived from weekend to weekend with the hope of drinking some more beer before he withered away from this ephemeral world.He was drinking his way to glory i felt at times.He discussed the same stuff over his mobile every friday eve."Yaar kahan baithna hai?...2-2 beer lagayenge....nahi nahi ghar ke paas yaar...drink karke ghar janey ko dimaag 'g****' hota hai...arey wife nahi hai...isliye aaraam hai..ludhiyana gayi hui hai".He just kept shouting from inside his cabin at people regarding the status of random tasks and obtained immense sadistic pleasure out of hurling "teri Maaki/Behen ki " type of abuses on those who did not respond to his shouts. All this he did standing in the middle of the office space feeling triumphant when females made faces at his "gandi zubaan".One of the new joinees was an attractive female who was standing at the printer for some print outs. 'Piya'relal shouted coming out of his cabin " arey tum log sab usko hi dekhte rahogey ki kaam karogey" when i am sure no body was so absorbed in ogling at her that work was suffering. This was more to convey that Mr. Piyarelaal found her attractive as per the girl.This girl who had read a few articles on women empowerment and emancipation felt so disgusted at this behaviour that she was about to commit suicide.Her shared love for pizza and a strong resolve to decimate the empire of lizards at home stopped her from doing so.

4) S't'are khan - "He must have loved to ogle at females big time in his youth" was the feeling i used to get whenever i came across this fellow. That ogling had developed into an obsession of staring at people irrespective of their sex. He just kept staring at you untill either you withdrew or a person like me with no depth of character whatsoever winked an eye at him. His tendency to stare was indicative of the fact that his wife was simply not making eye contact with him at home leave alone talking.Hence he kept checking if the fault was with him or with the others.After all this staring he interacted with the colleagues telling them that he is reachable anytime in his cabin and on his mobile. This to all the female colleagues was like an invitation to enter the den of a hungry lion like a prey.Obviously there was not even a 'd' of desire present in them to 'reach' this "bhookha bhedia" at any point in time in their lives.He also yelled "fuck it ..chuck it" at his team members 5 times daily reaffirming his supposedly wicked intentions towards the entire human race.

5) I Robot - He came straight out of the issac asimov's I-robot series. Every thing had an algorithm.Numbers numbers everywhere."Internalize the numbers...Internalize the numbers...i say" he used to say everytime one of us was not able to recall a number to the 3rd decimal place. I felt he had taken the Turing machine and compiler type subjects during his engineering extreamly seriously.Our conversations with him either general or to apprise him of some thing,PPTs etc. everything had to be in steps.Every document produced was to have an underlying super structure like the IF-THEN-ELSE structure in computer programming.And strangely enough his turing machine comsumed the end result first and then went backwards if required or just halted at the final state. Once i had to follow up with a guy for which i was trying my best. I had called that guy up 3 times and he was in a long meeting it seemed.

I- Robot - "howz the follow up going?"
moi - I tried calling him.....
I-Robot - shut up..answer a 'yes' or a 'No'
moi - ummm...yes and no...i called him up 'yes' but have i spoken to him 'no'
I-Robot - bullshit
I-Robot - What is relevant and important here...the talking and not trying..
I-Robot - you should say " No" first. Then you should blurt out other words on need to know basis.
moi - yes sir. Subedaar dubey to follow your orders sir..
I-robot - What about the other 13 tasks u r looking at ?
moi - no, no, no, yes, yes , no , yes........................hufffff

6) Dodo kumar - 'As dead as a dodo' is what describes him.He always had the same dead stony expression on his face. Came to office at 9:00 sharp, kept staring at his pc till 7:00 in the evening as if porn was on display and left for the day with the same expression in his wagonR. Looking at him i could only think of Bertrand Russell who once had said that had he been a medical person he would have recommended one day's rest to every patient who thought his work was important.Dodo kumar's demeanour said that he was on a mission critical task like the 007 and he was to be the great survivor in the end.I had seen him smiling & singing with theatrical expressions only once.That was when a nursery rhyme played on the mobile of a co-worker.An extream longing for a child or may be the lack of it due to the child inside him, had made him like that i suppose.

7) Mr. Washroom - This person always bore a look on his face as if he was feeling an unresistible natural force to relieve himself and his running to the washroom for the same could happen anytime.Even his smile reminded me of the usual smile of a 6 year old school boy, marking fear and embarassment both at the same time,of my school, who could not reverse the nature's call during the prayer session and relieved himself of his duty on the spot but could not speak a word about it as prayer was on.One day Mr. washroom came to me and said "boss finish this on a priority basis...big boss might ask for this at 6:30 pm...and it was 10:30 in the morning...just 2 slides to be modified".I said 'ok'.His nature's call intensified "arey u understand naa...its urgent...jaldi sey kar do...fir wahan boss ke cabin mein rakh dena..ok??".I wanted to say"sir..washroom is towards the right...pehle aap aaram sey washroom ho aao...tab tak main kar deta hoon...zyada der ho gayi to izzat sare-aam neelaam ho jayegi".One of my colleagues was so ruthless that upon recieving orders from Mr. Washroom for doing a task he first proved the uselessness of the given task on the spot before starting with it. This took the anxiety levels of Mr. Washroom to such levels that i at times feared his succumbing to the pressure created, on his seat itself.

8) "Devi"prasaad - The name 'Devi'prasad is borne out of the frantic head movements he used to make as soon as he was placed in front of his seniors,making me remember the incidents that usually happen in interior india when some lady starts making such head movements and is believed to be governed by a Devi residing inside her body."Arey iske oopar devi aa gayi hai"goes the standard description.Once during a meeting with some foreigners where his seniors were also present he started moving his head at such a pace that the outsiders thought it was 'power yoga' in progress. I couldnt tell them that he was just in agreement with every word spoken by them even before they delivered it.He was a 'pre'sage of india afterall.He was a typical management person with his umpteen excels that he maintained for tracking almost everything even remotely related to his life. He had an excel for the work his team was supposed to do with different colors representing different resources.Note the word 'resources' as we all became mere objects to be goaded once we started featuring in his "almighty" excel sheet.Then he had an excel sheet to apprise senior management of the systematic damage he was doing to the entire cultural and financial fabric of the organisation.He had an excel to track his stock market portfolio which supposedly gave 30% return YOY which is why he 'made love' to the portfolio excel sheet for hours together everyday delegating all official work to the resources allocated to him.I had heard that he even had an excel sheet for the daily chores like buying vegetables and a broom as per the orders of his wife.He also was an easy boss to deal with, in many situations due to his unsatiable thirst for awareness.We the resources were just supposed to provide a status-update to him about all the tasks we handled every 20 microseconds.This was all he wanted irrespective of the chances of the eventual completion of the task.

9) Johny Walker - 'taking a walk in the park' is how he appeared while traversing across from one end to the other on our office floor. With hands swinging in happiness he rode across with a spring in the steps and a smile on his face. Throwing greetings and even winking his eyes at almost everyone passing by, even those hiding behind the pillar due to an unfinished task, he was respected by one and all.Not to mention his laughter which was extreamly contagious and a very high self esteem for he took no shit from nobody no matter how senior he/she was.He had such confidence and composure in his talk and his body language that the entire team took him as their natural leader.He backed his team members too.He used to visit every desk in his vicinity cracking jokes and delivering small lectures on the scope of improvement sandwitched in between the layers of jokes and anecdotes.I saw great leadership traits in him and always thought of him as a role model with respect to all the positives he exhibited.May be i did not scrutinize his behaviour very closely but if all i remember is what i have written till this point he definitely was an example of a good boss for sure.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Getting out of the 'Comfort Zone'

I came across some powerful peices on 'getting out of the comfort zone' in life. I found them a source of pleasure as well as instruction.I strongly believe that if one wants to realise one's true potential in life, the ability to get out of the comfort zone at any given point in time is essential.It has been my observation that irrational fears about the future have been one of the major roadblocks that i have encountered in my life till date whenever i have tried to step out of a comfort zone. And i have discovered new dimensions of myself and have found myself stronger everytime i have finally stepped out after having won over those fears.


Some of your hurts you have cured,
And the sharpest you still have survived,
But what torments of grief you endured
From the evil which never arrived.

- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Piece 1

When you face your own truth, you’ll find it’s an enormous relief. If you’re maybe not as wonderful as you’d like to be, you aren’t nearly as bad as you fear either. The truth really does set you free; free to work on being better and to forgive yourself for being human; free to express your gratitude to others and recognize what you owe them; free to acknowledge your feelings without letting them dominate your life. Above all, you’ll be free to understand the truth of living: that much of what happens to you is no more than chance. It can’t be avoided and is not your fault. There’s no point in beating yourself up about it.

What is holding you in situations and actions that no longer work for you often isn’t inertia or procrastination. It’s the power of habitual ways of seeing the world and thinking about events. Until you can let go of those old, worn-out habits, they’ll continue to hold you prisoner. To stay in your comfort zone through mere habit, or—worse still—to stay there because of irrational fears of what may lie outside, will condemn you to a life of frustration and regret.

If you can accept the truth about the world and yourself, change whatever is holding you back, and get on with a fresh view on life, you’ll find that single action lets you open the door of your self-imposed prison and walk free. There’s a marvelous world out there. You’ll see, if you try it.

Piece 2

Steps (for getting out of the comfort zone)


Make a fool of yourself. One of the biggest things that holds many of us back is our fear of what people think. After all, you don't want people to think you're weird or rude or creepy or obnoxious or annoying, do you? But wait -- think about the most lovable, magnetic people you've come across in your life. Odds are, they weren't the meek, agreeable people who are reliably pleasant to be around. They were the people who were crazy and charming. People who blurted out silly, maybe inappropriate things, or who made huge, slap-your-forehead mistakes, or who were over the top most of the time, but others forgave them for being less than perfect and in fact, liked them for it. So shatter your concern for what people think of you. You're allowed to be less than perfect, and you may find that people like you more for it, because it makes you a more exciting person to be around. Get laughed at, laugh with 'em. Do something you normally wouldn't do for fear of looking like an idiot. Be that idiot. You'll be fine.

Face your fears. There are the big fears, such as heights, spiders, tight spaces, and germs, but there are also hundreds of subtle fears we bow to every day. Like the fear of breaking a bone, or falling down, or getting caught in the rain. What are the precautions you take every day to circumvent "negative" circumstances? And are those circumstances really worth stepping around? Those steps add up! It's good to be proactive, but it's bad to let a significant portion of your life be devoted to averting things that never happen--Little things that could turn into adventures or funny stories if you allow yourself to deal with a little discomfort.

Become comfortable with taking risks. Your comfort zone is comfortable because it's where you know what to expect. Going out on a limb can be scary because you might fail. You might lose something. But you might also gain something, huh? In order to become comfortable with that uncertainty, you'll need to practice the following:

Non-attachment. When you decide to do something, do it for its own sake, not so that you can get a particular result. If you gamble, gamble with money you're ready and willing to lose; gamble for the fun and exhilaration of gambling. If you win, that's icing on the cake! But if you lose, no big deal. In other words, let go of your attachment to a certain outcome; instead, focus on the joy of doing whatever you're doing. Live in the moment.

Acceptance. When things don't go your way, and they won't, shrug it off. If you're clinging to your comfort zone, you're hanging on to an idea that the world is supposed to be a safe, predictable place, and that's an illusion. You're setting yourself up for frustration and disappointment. Open your eyes. The world is a dynamic place where things go right and wrong. That's just the way it is!

Enjoy the unknown. When's the last time you felt excited about not knowing what was going to happen next? If you're deep in your comfort zone, it's probably been a while. Don't you miss it? Don't you miss the mixture of anticipation and anxiety that makes your heart flutter and stomach turn at the same time? Bring that feeling back into your life.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Random cosmic events & yours truly

Today it has been raining since morning in Mumbai. I feel these are post-monsoon showers as i can not call these pre-winter showers akin to pre-monsoon showers for 'winter' is a word which went out of the Mumbaikar dictionary zillion years ago.Compared to a phased transition from a plain t-shirt to full-shirt to full-shirt plus half-sweater to full-shirt plus full-sweater in my hometown bhopal its a plain promotion from absolutely no-shirt to a half-shirt in mumbai when it gets cloder. This i am talking about my clothing at home and not the workplace where such clothing pattern can negatively effect the productivity of my co-workers in all probability.Now coming back to the rainy weather, one of my friends called me just a while back to recount what happened to him while he was travelling back home from the office.As it was raining it had become difficult to catch a "ric" (as the 'rikshaw' of the society circles and 'rikshaa' or 'Aaaato' of the lesser circles is known in Mumbai).He thankfully got hold of a 'ric' in no time. And as the driver ji rotated the meter-shaft in the clockwise direction a girl waiting in the rain looking for a 'ric' caught his eye. He offerred a lift to her till Bandra station which was her destination anyways. The extreamly favourable cosmic events did not leave him there.Just when he started towards khar (west) from Bandra Station another girl asked for a lift till linking road. My dear friend obliged gleefully.Now these females were not only very attractive in his words but he had very pleasing conversations with both of them. All this he narrated in a somewhat happy but indifferent tone as he is "morally" not allowed to feel elated due to an imminent wed-lock.


Listening to the description about this string of positive cosmic events i could not stop myself from visualizing what would have happened had it been me instead of my friend today in his situation.This visualization takes inspiration from the various random cosmic events as they have occured in my life till date. In simpler words i can say it is based on my experience in such similar situations untill today.Here it goes...


I would have walked out of the office. Looking at the rain i would have thought " today i need to catch a ric really fast or else i m doomed". And from here on the extreamly unfavourable cosmic events would have hit me real hard. The 'ric' which on any other day would have "taken me for a ride" in about 15 mins, would not have simply turned up. I would have kept running after the 'rics' one after the other to the point where i would have been totally drenched and pissed off like hell.But all in all i would have gotten hold of a 'ric', after some solid hard work though.When the 'ric' would have started with the meter running like "Milkha Singh" i would also have spotted a girl waiting to be "lift-ed" but just when i would have thrown my head out of the vehicle to offer her a lift a male voice would have rather pre-empted my effort. That voice would have said "boss..thoda aagey tak chod dena yaar...kaafi bheeg gaya hoon". With utter disappointment i would have given him a chance to share the limited seating space available to hear some more words being blurted out of his mouth "boss 2 frnds aur hain mere...peechey aa rahey hain...woh bhi bheeg gaye hain". And i would have thought " haan saaley...poora desh bheeg gaya hai aaj...sabke sab mere sar par baith kar hi samandaar paar karenge".In this manner i would have shared a lowly 'ric' with 3 other hefty men rather than the girl waiting for a lift and would have listened to their ranting rather than a melliflous voice of the female left behind.Now while that girl would have wanted me to drop her at bandra station these men would have taken the vehicle to some unknown corner in Chembur citing the devilish rain and would have just run away at the first opportunity of doing such so as to evade the meter-fare sharing excercise.In the end it would have been just me and no girls to have a nice conversation with,in the rain, coming back from chembur where i never wanted to go in the first place, with the entire fare against my anyhow very low salary.And then last but not by any means the least unfriendly cosmic event would have struck with the 'ric' breaking down somewhere in the middle of chembur and my home in santacruz and driver ji announcing " bhaisaab..kharaaab ho gaya...ab nahi chalega...doosra rikshaa le lo aap". I would have mumbled " gadhey ke bacchey...tera rickshaa pehle hi nahi leta to accha rehta...ab yeh doosra kahan sey milega". And i would have spent some 30 more minutes to get hold of another rickety 'ric' to get back home just to feel utterly cheated and fooled by these so called cosmic events which occur always in a friendly mode when they happen to others but show their evil self when it comes to yours truly.

Monday, November 9, 2009

My fav English poems - 2

The Road Not Taken - Robert Frost

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that, the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
two roads diverged in a wood, and I --
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

My fav English poems - 1

'if' by rudyard kipling

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or being hated, don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream - and not make dreams your master,
If you can think - and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build 'em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it all on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breath a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on!"

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings - nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And - which is more - you'll be a Man, my son!

Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936)

Friday, November 6, 2009

some food for thought

I recently read this book called " Guilty Men of India's Partition" by Ram Manohar Lohia.Reproduced below are some excerpts from the book which forced me to think. Even though i somehow intuitively agree with the ideas expressed therein but i would personally want to contemplate over these in the times to come.

"The Haldighati spirit takes a long term view and does not mind a succession of defeats. It does not believe that the world will end with the current generation. It believes that the ultimate source of strength and goodness lies in the power of the will. How clean, knowing, unselfish and undefeated in this spirit. The indian people have only rarely known the Haldighati spirit, at least in their politics. They have known too much of the Panipat,Kanva and the Buxar spirit. This latter spirit measures and calculates and does not generally give battle to the foe. Even when it does,it continues to measure and to calculate, and is ready early to accept defeat and to surrender, or at least to run away without the intention to fight again. It does not regroup after a defeat. I would refer such as have not understood the Haldighati spirit to the Thermopylae spirit, for both are alike, except in location and personnel. For one Haldighati there are at least a hundred Panipats, Kanvas and Buxars in Indian history.India shall truly change when her youth vows to cast out of the mind all the Panipat, Kanva and Buxar manipulations."

"Those in india who sometimes threaten - more in private conversation than in public speeches- to destroy Pakistan by the force of arms are either lunatics or cheats, probably the latter.Such a thing is impossible in the present international context.Probably because of this, the anti-Pakistan spirit has generally deteriorated into an anti-Muslim spirit.As it is impossible to strike at Pakistan, the mad men or the scoundrels decide to strike at Muslims whenever they get an oppotunity. Such activities reinforce the Partition of the country.Partition can be undone only with increasing identification between Hindus and Muslims, the absence of which was the prime cause of Partition."

"Manipulation may be all right,at least in the selfish way, for men of great skill, who are also backed by some decisive strength.It becomes a curse in persons with lesser craftiness and little backing."

"A look back at history can at best analyse and enumerate alternatives, but it can in no way ascertain whether these alternatives were possible at that time.Such an analysis and speculation may be at best broaden the mind,which is what goes into the future and is not part of the past."

"Sugary sentimentalism is part of the Indian character.This weakness also derives presumably from the absence of identification between the ruling class and the masses. What is not obtainable through strength is sought to be achieved by prayer and wheedling and praise and hyperbole.The otherwise rich languages of India, than whom no language of the world is richer in a total way, suffer from this grievious malady of hyperbole and sugared sentimentality.Everything is turned into sacral shape.All becomes holy. Everything is turned into a nectar.Everybody is an ocean of something or the other, of learning or generosity, of wisdom or courage."

"Not disunity, but caste has been the prime factor behind India's susceptibility to invasions and her frequent submissions to them."

"Who knows if, after all, the man is not really to blame, and that in his blood courses the art of adjustment, acceptance without acquiescence and surrender without cowardice, the capability for limited sacrifice and the desire for unlimited recognition and superb intelligence of statecraft and groupcraft, of which India's ruling castes of four thousand years or more are the world's unmatched example."

"Some are tempted by power.Some are frightened at the prospect of holding power. Both attitudes can become equally hazardous. A politician , who is also a statesman, would so strive that he is neither tempted by power nor shies at it."

"The revolutionary, down to the lowest village revolutionary, is a bit of a prophet. He wishes to change his people, their mind as well as their life.He is not distressed over much if he cannot witness the last stages of this change in his lifetime.He is satisfied that he is piling up the conditions for that change, which will most assuredly be accomplished by his successors"

"Groups and people are often unable to percieve thier own true and large interests and are easily led into running after doubful or less fruitful ends"

"Most men reason by example.They do not reason by premises"

"India is the land par excellence of spiritual equality, of which Mahadevi* is a grand example, and Europe is the unmatched region of social equality, of which the British Duchess is no less grand a symbol"

"The system of castes has given to the Indian character certain extraordinary virtues and vices. The virtues are obvious. The indian character, moulded as it is by the caste system, does not easily take to change, which it inspects over and over again before acceptance and, more often than not, which it strangles by a surface acquiescence and a basic rejection. In times of prosperity and strength, such a character strives for an odd kind of justice and, at all times, for stability and maintainance of identity.The vices are much more numerous and deep going. Indian character has become the most split in all the world.The total loss of identifiaction between higher and lower castes has produced a situation of great unreality, of lying and double dealing, of tensions that have become a normal part of the mind, of readiness to whine and wheedle and cajole at the moment immediately before or after threatning, bullying or assaulting, or great bravery without tenacity and cowardice without total submission, of a ruling class unparalled in all the world for its duration or its ability to adjust, alongside its stubbornness to maintain its identity."

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Introducing Mr. Sleeparound

One of my good friends called me up a few days back and announced that he had finally 'arrived' in Mumbai.And that to him it is just the right time to have a few (kindly notice the plural nature of the word) females "sleeping around" with him who are also genetically allergic to the word commitment.All this because of his high paying job in a US based consultancy after passing out of an IIM. This was probably the 500th time a male was telling me his wild fantasy, thinking that it sounded like a possibility. And once again this was in words so passionate that even i could feel the force to not entirely rule out the possibility of such happening. I have nothing personal against that friend in general or that idea in particular but how could have i believed in such an outrageous idea given some facts.It takes on an average 30 years for an average indian male like 'yours truly' to sleep around with 'a' female and that happens usually after marriage and unusually otherwise.Here Mr. Sleeparound was not only 3 years away from that "striking" age but also was talking of a 'few' females and not just one.On top of this he never in his recent past (stretched to a period of 27 years to counter his claim that he had a girlfrnd in school) could get hold of even a "non-sleep-around" type of girl leave alone the target variety.The definition of an average indian male above obviously excludes those blokes who get initiated in this "sleep-around" art right from an age of 16 and reach the "striking age" with an amazing talent to "sleep-around" with almost anyone who comes in thier way.And Mr. Sleeparound was definitely not of this category for sure.All this made me flay his proposition in my mind rightaway but the wise man in me instructed me not to "jump the gun" and atleast try and look at some other capabilities of his which might have acted as a basis of his new found confidence.

He had very recently acquired the virtue called "drinking" to probably make himself ready for that proverbial "sexual encounter" which is a common dream of all males from early puberty. The ground work to such encounters (as shown in the movies) happens with the male buying a few drinks for the female at a pub,both shooting off immediately afterwards without talking, having assumed the inclination of both the party and the counterparty for "one night stand". To me "One night stand" means standing outside the room for an entire night while your "could have been" girlfriend ecstatically sleeps with her actual boyfriend. But in the present context my defintion does not apply due to the serious nature of discussion in progress.


A habit of drinking i think would anyways have been helpful in his case for atleast helping him with creating an imaginary "sexual encounter" in his mind as probality of such an actual happening was always sub-zero.It is a historically proven (and experienced by yours truly) fact that the dream of a "wild sexual encounter with a hot babe" brings all 'single at that point in time' men to pubs on the new-year or any such other eve, thanks to the free passes distributed left,right and center by the wicked salesmen.But after having 'arrived' at such places these men invariably realize that the only encounter that could happen is with other males bearing "you filthy insect ...go kill yourself" look in their eyes.At the same time they all feel cheated by the "smart ass" boyfriends of the target "hot babes" who took their girls to some other place where the so called untouchables 'the stags' were not allowed to enter.

Coming back to my friend i thought he had increased, very marginally though, his chances of such an encounter by taking to drinking.This forced me to ask the next question that "how do you plan to bring this dream to reality". He started answering in all earnest as if i had already fallen in his trap of"wishful" thinking."I have my own room here in the flat that i share with my roomie" he said."And you know what...my room is so good in terms of the sexual ambience that my roomie and i intuitively feel its the best room to have sex. It has mirrors all around". Whatttt.Was he talking of having sex or playing hide and seek with her "Bruce Lee" a la Enter the Dragon.One thing was for sure that his roomie also never had got an oppotunity to sleep-around with any female whatsoever as two such men only could indulge in such childish talk.I have seen 'men' who just get up, get ready and go for the kill. And all they have is a sofa set in the in the hall of a flat shared by two more roomies but thats more than sufficient for them. They dont believe in talking they just believe in 'doing'.

Just to carry the conversation further i said "may be having a full flat might have been better".In such a case the girl might get an impression that the guy is rich and could afford a few more "sleeparound" sessions before being dragged into penury due to the overly expensive nature of such sessions.I added " Why dont you buy a car also dude. That will really help". Imagine a situation where a guy has bought a few drinks for that 'hot babe' in a pub.Just when she is turning into a 'wild cat' the guy shouts " Aye rickshaw...Master Dina Nath colony, kanjurmarg (east) chalogey kya". This will make the wild cat (already turned into a wild boar) run away with immediate effect.He conformed to my view and said he was already thinking in that direction.

Having talked to him all this while i felt my initial belief stood vindicated that the chances of his dream turning into reality were second only to none. Only a divine intervention could make him walk his talk. With this at the back of my mind and having given the suggestions of owining a flat as well as a car i wished him best of luck in his endeavour. I hope the execution of his plan will get me some more stuff to write.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

The world of numbers - as i see it

It was my first job in pune where i first came close to the "Stock Market". As against the sabzi market where i went and bought stuff after haggling with the seller, here i just had to login into the online trading account and buy whatever i thought was appropriate with absolute peace. This false sense of peace prevailed untill i saw stuff i had bought a few days ago being offerred to new buyers at a flat 50% discount to what i had paid for.


Investing my own money in the stock market got me into understanding different businesses and industry sectors as my investments were supposed to grow based on their perfomance in the times to come. Its always believed that markets discount the future and to my mind a discounting for the next 6 months is usually what happens. So not only i was required to understand how the businesses earned revenue and made profits but also the macro level stuff which helped taking a view on the future. For the first time in my life i was looking at numbers under different headers like PAT, EBITDA , Revenue, Inventories , Current assets, Fixed assets etc. and was trying to make sense out them.I for one found it very interesting and that helped me in deciding to go for an MBA so that i could understand businesses to a greater depth.


Now having done my MBA (where finance was my major area of interest and to which i dedicated most of my time during the course) and having worked at a bank in project financing for more than an year i think i am well placed to atleast list down a few of my observations till date about this world of numbers.


First- Numbers are for measurement. They are used to measure objective things like the number of mangoes in a basket and also the subjective stuff like the expected growth rate of revenues in a business. Its amazing that putting things in numbers makes it so easy to understand a situation, the effects of an event or to compare, among others.But this does not take away the fact that numbers themselves don't say anything. What is being expressed with numbers is what makes them either very useful or completely useless.


Second - Finance is a language. Like Hindi/English which help us with understanding what is being communicated, finance is also a language for understanding the system that human beings have put in place where production, consumption, buying and selling happens at the activity level or where the resource called money is getting invested/managed at the conceptual level.Businesses express themselves in this language and people understand their talk with the help of the same language.

Third- Finance is so deeply entrenched in our daily lives that it should be taught in the school curriculum as a compulsory subject. Be it looking at one's assets/liabilities in life , making a budget, deploying resources to the optimum use,investing money or a cost/benefit analysis of decisions, its there making its importance felt at every point in life.


Fourth - The field of finance to my utter surprise showers at you pearls of wisdom no end. Like "any decision is as good as the a underlying assumptions". What all things we assume at the time of our decision making, be it a financial decision or a social one, decide the exact course of future.Change the assumptions and you could have taken a different decision altogether. Like "returns are linked to the risk we are ready to take".Playing safe attitude can give you a comfortable life but charting troubled waters might lead you to realising your true potential which will in turn rank very high on personal satisfaction index and might give to a lot of money too.Also the golden rule that "for every debit there is a credit and vice versa" applies to almost every aspect in life.The list goes on.


Fifth -Numbers are not sacrosanct - Numbers are not something on which one should bet one's life. They can be manipulated, tweaked and played around with. Which one of these will happen depends on the purpose for which numbers are to be employed. Some of the most frequent applications of numbers that i have noticed are to support an already formed belief or to justify an already taken decision through effective story telling.Financial statements i felt were the home of numbers where atleast we could find them in their purest form. But even here almost every number has a schedule/note/footnote linked to it exposing the slieght of hands that has gone into generating that number. From the investment decision point of view numbers can not be entirely relied upon and decisions taken finally are based more on things like judgement which are completely subjective.


All in all i believe numbers are a framework for putting "a number" to different things.This in turn helps us in simplifying a situation in front of us making it easier for us to make decisions.In situations where a lot of subjectivity is involved they can only provide an approximate measure and not at all an exact one. How close the number is to the real depends on how close our assumptions are to the reality.Finance as a language gives us the ability to understand, analyse and communicate these numbers better and to learn things for further decision making.And finally in making decisions numbers can only provide an additional comfort to that obtained through the understanding, judgement and interpretation of an investor which are subjective at best.Numbers afterall are just a means to an end and not the end in themselves.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

वो नई दुनिया

वो नई दुनिया जहाँ सभी जा रहे हैं
और संपन्नता का नया गीत गा रहे हैं
जहाँ का fixed हमारे fixed+variable से double होगा
जहाँ ज़्यादा न की कम पैसा जीवन का trouble होगा
जहाँ हम पा जायेंगे अपने millionaire मित्रों का साथ
जहाँ बढ़ा हुआ वेतन लायेगा जीवन में नई सौगात

जहाँ हमारा भी अपना एक सपनो का घर होगा
मकान मालिक को किराया देने का न डर होगा
जहाँ परियां होंगी हमारी दौलत पर फ़िदा
हम भी होंगे relationship की डोली में विदा
जहाँ हम भी बनेंगे Kingfisher के frequent flyer
दौडेंगे जहाँ सड़कों पर हमारी Merc। के टायर
जहाँ हम भी खड़ा कर लेंगे एक पैसो का पहाड़
रईस business men भी कापेंगे सुनकर हम नौकरी वालों की दहाड़

जहाँ हमारी भी 5 -10 lakh की FD खुल सकेगी
Official visit के नाम पर विदेश यात्रा सम्भव हो सकेगी
जहाँ हमारी भी होगी money matters पर टाइट ग्रिप
weekend पर लग सकेंगी New-Zealand/ऑस्ट्रेलिया की ट्रिप
जहाँ आम आदमी से ख़ास आदमी होने का सुख हम पा जायेंगे
उस नई दुनिया में नव जीवन का गाना गायेंगे

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Boy friend who?..Rohit...no no...he is my "Best Friend"

This post is dedicated to the species of males known as "Best Friends" in the female circles in india atleast. (I wont be surprised though if this practice turns out to be prevalent worldwide). These are plain looking creatures,their names sounding like any other male around us like anand, anant, prashant, vivek,vineet etc. but they have a distinct identity in addition to all this. They are 'Best Friends' of beautiful females or for those not having a strong predisposition for sophistication - 'hot babes'. As against males who make a pass at beautiful females at every opportunity these are sober people, always found loitering around with these females,lending their ears completely to them. They can often be spotted lending their shoulders too which is to help their 'Best Friend' the female that is, give vent to her "i feel like cryin..dunno y" emotion.

Many males happen to become friends with beautiful females at different points in thier lives thanks to their reasonably well established self esteem, an ego smaller than the 'Himalayas' and one of the following a) an urge to be at least friends with such females to trample egos of fellow males i.e psychological warfare b) an urge to woo a female c) an accidental transactional situation where verbal exchange with such females can not be avoided and which gives rise to friendship eg : writing assignments before submission d) a craving to feed their own ego by proving " i can befriend any girl outthr no matter how attractive she is".But what is exactly that which takes one from being just a friend to being the "Best Friend". I am told that an exceptional listener is perfectly qualified for the transition. But so many of the "friends" variety can claim to be good listeners but all of them don't make the cut. So to my educated mind 'a gud listening performance delivered year after year for atlest 3-5 years without expressing liking for the female in ways not in tune with her understanding of friendship' is the recipe for achieving the said transition.But to my rudimentary mind a male 'who wanted to sleep with the female right from the word go but could'nt because he was'nt as sexy as George Clooney or Johny Depp for no fault of his own and still hangs out with the female after having made peace with this fact' makes the ideal material for a 'Best Friend' of future.

Now once there, these so called "Best Friends" annoy other males no end.First of all they give the impression that the girl has a 'Boy Friend'.Second to woo a girl sometimes this pesky creature called the 'Best Friend' also has to be woo'ed.The first situation sometimes is devastating for some males who after assuming these friends to be female's Boy Friend opine " Yaar agar yeh chu**** itni sundar ladki ko girlfrnd bana sakta hai to mera jeena bekaar hai".These men then drown themselves in drugs which is harmful for the society at large.

Females use these 'Best Friends' obviously not only as an emotional drainage system but also as an appendage who accompanies them wherever they go, in whatever they do and irrespective of what they speak.They use these BFs as accessories to protect them from eve-teasers and as an exterior which helps them in checking out hot males in a flash.These males are also 'back-up' options for marriage in case the proverbial 'prince charming' failes to show up on time.But mind you this goes on only till the dreadful day when either the female finds her MAN or this seemingly innocuous fellow starts making advances.Females handle both these scenarios with great finesse.In the first one they say " hey..guess wat..this guy xyz has asked me out...i also like him..i think hez really cute...and will make an excellent boyfriend...u r d first one with whom i m sharing this...coz u knw...u r my best frnd".In the second one which is a bit dicey it goes like this " hey...u r very nice u knw...u r very sweet...i really like ur company...u v always been thr when i v needed u...bla bla bla..but we r best frnds..no..i never saw u dat way". These females i tell you are ruthless creatures.

One of my philosopher friends once said that these "best friends" are like " Ramu Kaka" in the movie Sholay. He did his 'bit' sincerely in the movie which no one remembers was what. But he remains synonymous to 'a loser' in most of the (sick) conversations irrespective of the context.

Their fellow males might think that they are complete losers but let me caution the others by saying "Never underestimate the force". The "Best Friends" if smart can get all their assignments/work done in return for their ears and a shoulder.They also get the benefit of being there all this while in almost all the cases when the girl is in marriageable age with no "Prince Charming" in sight and there is a serious societal pressure for getting married. In such situations all females share the same thoughts" umm..i hv to get married now...xyz is my best friend...i know him for so long...my understanding with him stands better than neone else in this whole world...hence i will marry him". These occasions turn out to be the 'windfall gain' type in financial parlance as otherwise such beautiful females would never have married these bunch of "Best Friends".

I firmly believe my above observations could be used by my fellow countrymen not only to assess as to where they stand today in the freind, best-friend, Boy friend sequence but also to target one of these positions based on their own attributes.