Monday, December 20, 2010

Slap With A Kiss

Traffic in Pune can be looked at with various perspectives. Chaotic, amusing, disgusting, irritating enough that many times gives you a chance to vent out your frustrations. It is quite a sight to keep witnessing varied driving skills that most people have adopted themselves to, which they proudly exhibit even on jammed roads! The occasional war of words in the middle of the roads and a public gathering around as if watching a street play, just add to the spice.

How-much-ever we protest against the traffic scene by means of criticism or otherwise, it is ultimately left up to us to save our own skin between the rush hour madness on roads. I would like to share one of the most entertaining incidents' that such madness had to offer at Karve road recently.

An old person (who we would call ajoba, even if unknown), was riding his scooter on Karve road. A young boy in all his josh and form, zoomed through the road least bothered of how others were disgusted in an attempt to give him way, rather to save themselves a bump. This Ajoba too, had to follow suit.

The young fella had to finally cut his speed and wait at the red light, which had quite annoyed him (so spoke his face). Ajoba caught up with him at the same signal. The conversation that followed at this junction at Karve Road, was a classic example of what is called - 'A slap with a kiss'.

He said to the young boy (a friendly greeting as if he knew the boy), "Kaay Karve?" (Hello Mr. Karve). The boy was amused and replied somewhat irritatingly, "Aho mi Karve nahi. Mi Joshi aahe". (I am not Karve. My name is Joshi). To which, ajoba said, "Mala vatla baapacha rasta aahe mhanun garditun hi gadi palvat hotat. Mhanun Karve mhatla". (I thought you father owns this road so you were speeding your bike even in such traffic. So I greeted you as Mr. Karve).

The young boy's face filled with shame, and he could not utter a word. Rest who witnessed this 'scene' (or 'kissa' as we call it) on the signal had a hearty laugh as they moved ahead at the green light.


Pune traffic can be looked at with various perspectives,
There is no way to remotely understand the drivers' motives;
Those behind the wheel exhibit their skill,
Some barely manage to escape and some zoom out with thrill.

There is not a trace left of traffic sense,
Who cares for rules, at every step they commit an offence;
Traffic lights shine merely like a showpiece,
Disrespect for traffic rules result in breaking them at ease.

Riding is no more just a means to commute,
It now even personifies adventure and attitude;
While we await some strict measures to retain safety on road,
It would be a favour to discipline ourself first, as the best mode.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Innocent Doubt

Christmas holidays have begun for the little ones. My niece, Aarya, came home for a day and filled the day with her drawings, childlike innocence (this, I mention ‘coz this 10 years old likes herself to be called a grown-up), curious questions and talks.

One thing that I do quite often is, conveniently slide some boring tasks to kids by flattering them. “I know you can do this job well. Let me see your skills”, and such statements are enough to ready the kids and get the job done, more-so, a job well done! Quite mean on my part, but it is fun to be involved with kids as they do this ‘job’ for you. It’s a chance to be a kid yourself and join the naughty brigade. You may have some hazy memories of your own childhood, but the child in you is always ready to play its role for sometime. As the kid is doing the ‘job’ you also need to become a commentator and appreciate every task that they perform, be it just moving a paper and placing it where it is supposed to be!

When Aarya had come home the other day, once again I shifted the boring task of arranging the old Marathi and English newspapers as separate stacks. This is a very unexciting and unimportant task for me but, for her, it was a fun task to do. Why? I wondered. There were some papers stacked separately, and those left were to be piled in those lots. But kids as they are, Aarya pulled all the newspapers out from the rack and sat in the middle of the sea-of-papers.

I had already done my part by flattering her for her skills to do any work tidily (this work was no where related for the need to be neat and tidy, but still ;-) ) and quickly (which was my concern, else mom would scold me for the mess and also for little Aarya doing this work – who had come at Aji’s to play). Oh, and i even added that 'Aarya even I cannot do this work as good as you can!' ;-)

I must say, she made this dull task appear to be so much fun! As she was bundling up the Marathi and English papers separately, she would read out some sentences or headlines to me, which gave her a sense of pride. “See, I can read the newspaper now. Even the Marathi sentences!”, she exclaimed, of course expecting a pat on her back :-) She went on to read few lines, see pictures and could even recognize some people in those. This was very exciting for her, and as she separated the papers, it kept unfolding for me as to how such a lame task (according to me) be so much fun? As I had flattered her, she did her 'job' really well – tidily and quickly, and of course better than me :-)

While doing this assigned job, she pointed out a query, which startled me. I had asked her to pile up separate Marathi and English newspapers. She was doing it well, until she came across some supplements of the Marathi paper that had names in English! ‘Property Today’, ‘Classifieds’, ‘Lifestyle’, ‘Uth Tube’, ‘Jobz’, etc. She asked me innocently, “Now where should I place these papers? They have names in English, but all the content is in Marathi! Should I stack these separately as well? These are neither completely English, nor Marathi”. I had a hearty laugh on this, to which even she joined me, but rather puzzled. Her query had me thinking for a while, and I even concluded that wasn’t she right? Her doubt had a point there after all.

I had no logical answer to this, which she kept demanding. I could not provide her Marathi names for the English titles of these supplements. All I could say was, that’s the way it is, these names are catchy and are now popular. She resumed her task as she kept that query aside (maybe she understood that I really couldn’t answer) and kept the fun rolling with her reading and staring at pictures.

While I was posting this, I saw the title of my earlier post ‘Agar Biscuits Nahi Hote Toh Mera Kya Hota…’. Yet again I had a hearty laugh, without bothering myself to reason :-)

Thursday, November 25, 2010

A Writer or a 'Type'-Writer

Writing has become my passion ever since I could start making sense of what I read. The thought process that follows after reading something that has an impact on you, is what exactly made me dive in to writing. My words started giving shape to my thought process and writing has thus become one of my identities.

Yet, I wonder at times - I say I am a writer, but I hold no pen or paper. The keyboard on the laptop punches each letter for me and completes my script. Of late, I have realised that I have lost touch with the hand-written skills that formed the very basis of my writing. It seems as though I have always been punching letters on the keyboard.

There are very rare occasions when I need to actually write with the help of a pen, yet it seems a new experience each time. It is difficult to believe that my handwriting looks no more than few letters scribbled on a page. I was once proud to receive the best handwriting award in school, used to be happy to see the 'good' remark made by a teacher for my neat writing in the notebooks.

Alas, the hand-written script has taken a back seat with the convenience that the keyboard offers. The new age writers now hold a laptop/pc/i-pads... Earlier, a pen was the symbol for writing. And now, fingers running through the keyboard symbolises it. Holding a pen after a long time today, punched my mind hard as I could barely write with the speed that I used to, when I was not even introduced to the computer-aided writing!!!

Everything around has become digitised, so has my writing! I used to hold a pen in my hand and words would flow from my mind. Today, words do flow and faster, only that I am a slave to the keyboard now.

Yet, I hope to still write back with a pen in my hand. And, even hope that it turns out to be a neat script.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Agar Biscuits Nahi Hote, Toh Mera Kya Hota...

Agar biscuits nahi hote, toh mera kya hota.... Wohi hota jo wo nahi nahi hote toh hota... :)

For me biscuits are a saviour :) Oh yes, they are! and how... When I am down with any kind of illness, medicines become an integral part to recover asap, back to a normal ill-free life, which we often take for granted.

Well, back to the biscuits. I take pleasure to write this, as biscuits save me hell lotta disgust than the illness itself! Biscuits, medicines...??? I won't ask you to do join the dots and try to find a logical connection here...

Here is what biscuits do to me :)

Illness catches me rarely,
And when it does, it drives me crazy, literally!
More than the sickness and the pain,
It is the medicines that drive me insane!

But what to do, can't stay ill until I fall,
And that's how medicines get a call!
And, that is when biscuits gain high regards from me,
After all they save me from the dreaded medicines, you see!

Medicines and me don't get along quite well,
When I force them through my throat, it feels like hell!
And then, I immediately gulp some water,
To have a quick bite of a biscuit later!

Nothing special about these biscuits otherwise,
But they are a real saviour post a dose of dismal medicines, to be precise!
They help me overcome that miserable taste of a pill,
That's how biscuits play their part for my recovery, and then I can chill!

So that's the connection between the medicines and the biscuits for me,
I have stopped wondering about the logic behind this, but I am happy :)
If it were not biscuits, I could have had a cake or something,
But it is biscuits that fill the khau cha dabba first than anything!

Tabhi toh,
Agar biscuits nahi hote, toh mera kya hota.... Wohi hota jo wo nahi nahi hote toh hota... :)

Friday, November 19, 2010

Innocent Punch

Atharva, another name for Lord Ganesha, one of the most revered by many, holds a special place in everyone's hearts. Atharva, also the name of my seven years old nephew (my didi's son), also holds high regards for the elephant god. So much so, that he advocates his being a strict vegetarian, in the name of the Lord! "My name is Atharva, meaning Lord Ganesha. I will not eat meat or even eggs", is what he reiterates ever since he started getting sense of the world around. And, he has stuck to what he believes in, at this tender age! Although his parents and little-elder sister, all love to slurp and burp over non-vegetarian delicacies.

Once didi took a pastry for both her kids. They ate it with joy and didi brought the same pastry for them yet again the next week. Slip of tongue, especially at the wrong time and in front of the wrong person, is exactly what happened on didi's part that day. While chatting with her daughter Aarya, she said 'ya, this pastry has an egg content'. That was it! Atharva was just around and these words could not escape his ears. He got furious and said, "Why are you telling this so late? I have already eaten this last week! Why did you give it to me?" He did not touch the pastry this time. Didi was left with no words as she did not expect him to react so strongly. She thought it was okay to eat the pastry for him too.

In yet another instance, this kiddo left his mom speechless. He loves pets, but is not allowed to keep them at home. He had spotted a cat in his society and had made place for her in a corner. He is the cat's caretaker, he claims. Once he asked his mom for an old towel or a cloth to keep the cat from cold. She said that there is no such cloth to give. His reply was a shocker! "I knew you would say this. You have no love for animals, you only know how to eat them!"

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

All In A Day's Work!

Your billable hours for the month are due close of business today. Your top client has been waiting (somewhat impatiently) to see you for over 20 minutes. You had 30 days to complete a project, and your deadline is… say, tomorrow. And you are due home now for your daughter’s birthday celebrations.
Congratulations! You have entered Work Overload, the state of ‘Too Much Work, All the Time’. Anxiety, burnout, irritability, forgetfulness- all part of the clinic scenery - having a stressful day…

Seriously, how did we all get here?
We are all driven to Work Overload by our need to cope daily with clients, deadlines, scheduling conflicts, dozens (or hundreds) of e-mails, the continual interruptions of phone calls and other paging devices, and all the other demands of working.

We are stressed and we are wired! E-mail, cell phones, laptops, PDA’s- they were supposed to liberate us from Work Overload. Instead, mobile office technology has taken us hostage. Thanks to all this cool gear, we are now able to conduct business anytime and anywhere, we can no longer shut the office door. We check e-mail on the weekend or late at night, answer pages at all hours, send faxes from home, and work while we are on vacation- all because we can, and feel we have to.

Tactics to leave Work Overload behind:
The situation may seem out of control, but it is not hopeless. There are number of tactics you can use to blunt the worst impacts of Work Overload.
Don’t over-commit: Gracefully get out from under your most time-consuming and energy-draining clients. Ask yourself whether the work you are doing for the client is profitable, or more stressful than profitable. It is difficult to say ‘No’ to a client in today’s economic circumstances. But, just by relieving all the stress you are under, from one difficult client, you make yourself open and available to more of your ideal clients. And, have you noticed you are more productive and efficient when you are working with your ideal clients? Increased productivity equals increased billable hours used efficiently.

Learn to under-promise and over-deliver:
Give yourself a reserve of time. Make sure the client always feels he or she got more than expected. For example, if you can prepare the contract by Wednesday noon, tell your client you will have it done by Friday afternoon. Deliver it on Wednesday and you will be a hero! If you find that you cannot meet a deadline or deliver on time, let the client know about it immediately. Explain when you can complete the project, then get it done on time. Most people will not mind because you were honest.

Calendar everything:
When it is on the calendar, you do not always have to decide what to do next. Use your calendar to schedule appointments, deadlines (promised as well as statutory), time to actually do the work, and personal commitments. This will let you see at a glance when your workflow is headed for trouble, and allow you time to make adjustments.

Technology allows us to zip through many repetitious (and boring) office tasks. Automate as many of these tasks as possible. Start with standardized documents. Get in to ‘type it once’ mode for any standard letters, forms or notices. Use an advanced document automation system to produce or modify documents, and watch your paper workload shrink.

Tackle clusters of similar tasks each day:
Switching continually from one task to another and back makes your workload seem greater, and breeds inefficiency and stress. We all know how it is too easy to stop what you are doing to read a new e-mail. Try this: three times a day, do nothing but answer your e-mails (rather than answering them intermittently all day). If your internet connection is always on and the computer dings whenever you have a new e-mail, turn the ‘instant notification’ off. Similarly, nothing breaks concentration like having a client call about a matter unrelated to what you are working on. Set up ‘telephone free’ time. Mark off on your daily schedule the times when you accept phone calls and when you don’t. if you need to, give your administrative assistant a list of ideal clients to put through. Educate your clients on when you usually accept or return calls. They will usually call during those hours. Streamlining your workflow increases productivity with less stress and work anxiety.

Take a load off at least once a day:
Go to lunch. Take a short walk. Try to take a break during which you are not involved with clients, partners, or any work at all. If you cannot leave the building for even half hour, train yourself to step away from your desk now and then. If you need to discuss an issue with co-workers, think about having the meeting around a conference room table instead of through e-mail. Make sure your day includes some calls to friends, family, anyone outside of work who will not stress you out.

Reserve ‘sacred time’ to plan, everyday:
This means no interruptions for 20-30 minutes, so you can review your progress, prioritise work and set your schedule. It will clear your mind and your schedule.

Institute a ‘closed door’ policy:
Remember, the door swings both ways. Nothing stops unnecessary conversations like a closed door. Educate your partners on your work habits. They won’t be offended if they understand when you need to be left alone.

Turn these tactics in to daily work habits and wave Work Overload good goodbye :-) You will find you can still excel at your job and maintain a healthy professional livelihood.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Adarsh Commonwealth!!!

Our politicians make hay in their power game,
They seem to be believing in it without shame,
After all it is all about money honey,
While the common man strives hard to earn each penny!

Ministers have made it a legacy,
Scams and scandals seem to fit their policy,
Issues start surfacing and ultimately gain limelight,
What follows is the 'Winds of change' - a fake political sight!

Maharashtra is defamed as an FSI state,
Ministers have well adopted the land mafia trait,
Merely changing people for positions won't change its fate,
Good governance is what we await!

'Commonwealth' - some live up to the name,
And gulp it without a trace of shame,
Finally they have to succumb for they have been caught,
Else would still enjoy their positions - if not!

Politics is a gamble,
Where even the highest mantri may fumble,
If the party high command wants to shuffle,
No one can say a word, but to hobble!

Each minister then starts eyeing for a meaty position,
And the party has to brace itself to choose and handle the situation,
These changes are ultimately adjustments,
In the name of fine-tuning and corrections!

Yet they need to satisfy a minister's desire,
Else there is a risk of the party being on fire,
No where do they seem concerned for the common man's financial health,
Soon they will come up with more such mess, like the 'Adarsh Commenwealth'!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Getting Over It....

Difficult times tear you apart,
Yet these serve a new start...

Just when you think you are sinking,
They promise you a new beginning...

Everything seems to be losing like sand,
That you dearly wish to hold tightly in your hand...

Whatever happens, happens,
We need to move on with these life lessons...

Time has the power to heal,
For the rough phase to seal...

For if we don't face difficulties,
How can we gather strength to overcome realities?

Neither a good time nor a bad one is permanent,
Dare to stand strong against all odds you think are adamant...

Difficult times shatter us, no doubt,
But learn to soon bid them a goodbye with a pout...

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Haadse hote hain, bikhrakar jaate hain...
Har pal chubhta hai, mann sochta reh jaata hai...

Mann ghabrata hai, fir wohi pagla samjhata hai...
Mushkil waqt aate hain, yahi himmat badhate hain...

Raah dhoondli ho jati hai, andhere me roshni dhoondne ki chahat uthati hai...
Nayi manzil fir dastak deti hai, kuch khokar kuch paana - zindagi sikhlati hai...

Raat jab bahot kali ho, toh samjho subha hone ko hai...
Fir naya din laaye nayi roshni, mann nayi udaan lene ko hai...

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Being By Yourself

Its been two months already! Two months of parents staying away, two months of cooking everyday, two months of waking up at the doorbell by the milkman, two months of keeping the house clean, two months of doing office errands, two months of attending people at home and office, two months of understanding how it all works, two months of playing host to friends, two months of being the elder at the house... two months of being by yourself!!!

Yes, it has been over two months now that aai-papa have flown to the US at sister's. Days jsut flew when we were backpacking for them back home. It was a great feeling that they would be going there after five long years of my sister being married and flown there with just a short visit here three years back. It is already two months now that aai-papa have gone there, their long stay that sis so deserves....

My little sis and me were kind of happy and felt responsible that our parents have left with nothing to fear back home, that all will be well and fine and as it was when they had left. We were even to savour a long freedom-vacation at home without parents being around. Not that they are very strict or demanding or rigid, yet their absence was going to make hell lotta difference. And, it made too!

With all the fun planned, came in great responsibility as well. And now we bet, no one ever can take their parents place though you are temporarily wearing their shoe. Its a whole new world out there. But it is fun... Fun to carry on things responsibly and also keep yourself pampered at the same time.

Initially, it was like a puzzle to even get closer in to the daily chores that aai does. It was a bit okay with doing the office errands, as I was used to doing those. I started losing patience on the himely tasks that punched me in the face to start with, but knew very well that I needed to pull up my socks to find myself in a better position. I was bad at handling the home affairs and office works together, coz i have always gotten myself pampered to go my own way. It was a test for me, and now I can say it with pride that little sis and me are fairing well :-)

Each passing day is a big lesson... Trust me, it is always much more fun to have your people around than be by yourself.

Until my parents are back, I shall be back to being by myself again.....

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Regularly Irregular???

There are always so many things on my mind that I need to and wish to do in a day's time. These are random things that keep occuring in the mind, besides routine works. Most of them are fulfilled with an upbeat mood, yet a few things have to or are dropped due to reasons such as time constraints or just a 'no mood' attitude.

Yet, the thoughts and to-do lists keep pouring in the mind daily. A long ride on the bike, dinner at some hotel, late night movie, lazing around, catching up with friends, reading, writing, playing, dancing... so many things to do to rejuvinate the self, yet sometimes I fail to do any of them and have just labelled it as an irregular pattern as a synonym to my lazy being.

When I started this blog, I thought it would be a good excuse to brush up with wroting on a daily basis, be it a four-liner or something in detail. I wishe to write everyday, but each day became a new one without penning anything here. Today I just sat down and told myself - better write something... be it anything, but just write. I don't know what is making sense out of this writing, but i m at least satisfied that the wiritng is back.

Hope to fill up this space more often..... with different topics, varied thoughts, experiences or just anything....

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Jai Bhavani, Jai Shivaji

The great maratha warrior, Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj has been an inspiration for many over the years. This great king has a place of pride in all our hearts. Like each year’s celebrations, Shivaji Jayanti is a special reason for all of us to pay our respect to this great ‘Janata Raja’.

Shivaji Maharaj was raised by Jijabai by familiarizing him with the great lessons from Ramayana and Mahabharata. He went on to become the greatest kings’ our country has ever had! In times when the country was living under the shadows of the Mogul Empire from all four sides, Shivaji Maharaj faced the Adilshahis and Nizamshahis with intelligence and courage.

In the history of our country, Shivaji Maharaj’s struggle for Swarajya was the first fight for independence against any outside rulers. For 400 years, from 1200 to 1600, Maharashtra did not have any king of its own, yet the great saints preserved Hinduism through their preaches. When Shivaji Maharaj was born and was ready to fight against the mogul rulers, he was sworn in as the king, the Chhatrapati who was blessed with the love and trust of the janta. And rightly so! He had earned this love and affection by leading from the front and his zest for making his fellow people free from the clutches of the moguls and that of pain and sufferings they faced.

He was the first and only king the country has had who worked selflessly as a trustee of his empire. ‘Shreencha Rajya’ was what Shivaji Maharaj believed and carried forward all his works under trusteeship. He was also the first king to have prepared an ‘Ashtapradan Mantrimandal’ where he had appointed people of great caliber to look in to issues concerning the public, and where the suggestions and needs of the public were given respect.

This great visionary had also sensed the danger that the British would pose for the country through the water ways, 350 years back! He was the first to build the Navy and had the likes of Kanoji Angre to head it! He was also the one who prohibited the East India Company from owning any property on our motherland and limited them to their business only. Shivaji Maharaj had also realized the worth of farmers for the country long back and had special provisions for the shetkari raja during his rule. He had reasonable levy provisions for them then and had always kept the farmers a happy lot, who were the annadata for all! The farmers, who are the heroes of our country, sadly have to be victims of dirty politics and are even committing suicide!

The Great Wall of China has become a famous tourist spot and also has a mention as one of the wonders’ of the world! This wall was built by generations together and has received world wide praises. Back home, Shivaji Maharaj has built tough walls for the protection of his strategic forts, which are kilometers in length. He built these walls for number of forts providing a strong sense of security, all in his own lifetime! His efforts and foresight does not have a mention anywhere! His works should make us proud and should have a mention as the wonders of our country which were toiled for the security more than anything else!

He is known as the best strategy makers’ during wartimes and his strategies and gimmicks have been adopted by the world! The guerrilla war that was started in Vietnam was inspired from Shivaji Maharaj’s ganimi kava, meaning fighting the enemy through hide and seek. Shivaji Maharaj is one among those kings who poured tremendous respect for women and even gave them important positions in his empire!

Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj is the only king whose pictures and statues can be found in number of households, where people worship him! We celebrate the Shivaji Jayanti each year, yet need to know much more of this great personality that our country was blessed with. The need of the hour for our country is to understand the history of this king and adopt his strategies for present day situations. This king evolved a very long time back, but his vision and leadership strategies are relevant even today. His leadership skills, his foresight to appoint the accurate person for a particular task, his administration; all can be studied and applied even in today’s modern world.

The much needed waves of change the society is talking about today could actually be realized in the real sense when we understand this great personality. Today our country has become so vulnerable from outside attacks and terrorism, if only these present politicians can take lessons from Shivaji’s life!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Pune Lives On....

26th of November
Is a day to remember,
The spirit of courage and heroism
A salute to the martyr's patriotism!

13th of February
Target was Pune's German Bakery;

A place where people would flock
Came to a standstill with shock;

A place of pride and prominence for the town
Was blasted in to pieces and brought down;

Political bigwigs made their round
To get a first hand view on the ground;

It was the eve of Valentine
A day of love so divine;

The eve witnessed fear and horror
Due to parallel existence of life and terror;

We took pride to live in a safer city
Such incident is a pity to its identity;

Its a hard way to learn this norm -
Remember to play after every storm!