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Sunday, December 30, 2012

Quota in promotion

Let me tell you a story. There were two boys. Both belonged to middle class families. One was from (so called) upper class and the other from the listed backward class. Both were really close friends. They studied together till high school. After school, both appeared for entrance for professional courses. The second scored 5% lesser than the first one, but got a seat in a coveted government college due to the reserved seat. The first one barely got a seat in one of the private colleges and paid hefty fees for it.

Fast forward 4 years, both of them completed their graduations with identical grades. Well, almost identical. Time to appear for job interviews now. An opening in one of the government agencies comes. They both appear for the interview. Both pass the interview, again with almost identical scores, but the second one gets selected based on reservation. The first one is heartbroken because not only his families' financial cofers are empty, but also he doesn't have a job.

Yes, this is a fabricated story. But so many people relate to it. Of course I do. But this is not the point of this story. A person who's got the job is already equal to everyone in the same department. Then what does reservation in promotions accomplish? Where does the necessity arise of reservation in promotions?

From experience I know that the reservations never worked the way they were supposed to. What does it accomplish? Civic unrest? We talk about equality and introduce a bill which defies the very base of that. Promotions at workplaces are based on the ability of a person who is believed to be able to handle the responsibilities and pressure which comes with the stated promotion. Where does caste, color, gender or religion fit into that definition? This is all bullcrap that plagues our country.

Yes, the story I stated above is not complete because the conclusion depends on the bill which is in the parliament. Only time and politics will determine the outcome, and public can only watch helplessly.

And if you think this doesn't affect you, think again. You might be in line for that promotion on which your and your family's future depends.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Hollow words

Words that come from my mouth
Are as hollow as they sound
Words that have no meaning
No rhythm, no rhyme, no structure
All that is left are hollow words

Devoid of feeling
An empty resonance they have
Nothing sounds correct
Everything is just a shadow
Nothing is real, everything is shallow

Fear stricken words
Their emptiness is so visible
But what is left when there is no meaning
What is inside, what may be outside
Nothing seems correct, what is left is sorrow
You don't fathom them, words are hollow

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Live and survive

For now, I’ll survive
Survive to fight another day
Survive to take another chance
Survive just to stay

Tomorrow will bring new things
The Sun will rise again
The ocean will be at my feet
I’ll stand among insane

Soon there will be order
Soon there will be sanity
Imagination will triumph
Weak will be vanity

I must not give up
I must not follow
Just keep my word
Don’t let them sound hollow

Dawn of new things
Would be upon me
For now though
I’ll just let it be

Things get out of hand
Sometimes out of control
But should I give up?
Just let them roll?

No I won’t have it
I won’t go away
Next step is the big one
And I’ll do it my way

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Happiness

So I sit here, looking in the vicinity, trying to find what is happiness. I look at all the gloomy faces around me who have similar questions. Everyone around me is running in a random direction; all in search of something. Difficult to pinpoint what they are after, but pretty clear that whatever they're after relates to happiness somewhere. What is happiness? What defines it? Is it part of our journey? Or is it the destination? What makes someone happy? So many questions, and everyone is looking for an answer. And guess what? The answer is there inside us. We just fail to see it. Refuse its existence and keep on dwelling on its non-existence. Yes! We like being unhappy. Worse, we don't like if someone else is happy. We talk about making world a better place to live? Then let's not kid ourselves anymore. Human intelligence should serve its purpose. We should learn to be content with what we have. All above questions would answer themselves. I rest my case.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

iLive

Life is a journey full of uncertainty and that is one thing we can agree on, right? What is it about life that makes it so special? It is that uncertainty I am talking about. Life is full of surprises, isn't it? And after I look at everything around me, I appreciate it even more.

The best thing about life is not knowing what is coming next. All that matters is the present. The past is bygone. The future is something we do not know about. And somewhere we keep beating ourselves over what has already happened and what is going to happen. Why? Do we really need to worry so much about it? Why can't we simply enjoy the moments we have now rather than thinking about the past and the future?

I look around myself and I see people: worried people. Worried about their jobs, worried about their family, worried about their projects, worried about their children. Reasons unknown but all these worries start turning into frustration. When anyone approaches me, I ask him - Why are you frustrated? What frustrates you? Their answer is 'life.' These are some common dialogues you hear everyday. 'My life sucks', 'my life blows', 'I can't get a hold of my life.' Folks, let's clear this out of our way. It is not your life which is difficult. It is you being difficult on yourself. Frustration, desperation, emotion gets better of you and you start blaming your life. And part of it comes from not knowing what's coming. 

Speaking of future, isn't it good not to know what's coming? If you knew, would you be better prepared for your future? Would that bring any immediate change in your life? No, it won't. Be happy, be content. I know it's easier said than done but it's actually not that difficult. Be thankful for what you have, be firm on the ground you walk and let everything else take care of itself. Just for a while, forget everything. Take a deep breath, look in the vicinity and just relax!

Let's take a vow. Let's become that child again who smiles because of what he has and doesn't worry about what he may not be having. That's the best thing in life. Just be yourself and nothing else for a moment. Just say to yourself, "I am alive!"


6th sense: humor

From Wikipedia: Humour or humor is the tendency of particular cognitive experiences to provoke laughter and provide amusement. Well well, I just used a definition available on internet for humor. But is it that easy to define humor? Or understand it.

First of all, I think we can agree on one thing and that is not all have a sense of humor. Some people have it while others pretend to have one. I might be exaggerating but that's how I feel. Not everyone understands it. Not everyone can fathom it and not everyone can enjoy it. There are so many forms of humor. And everyone loves to laugh, isn't it? But everyone wants to laugh on someone else's expense. Can you laugh on yourself? Can you bear a joke directed towards you? Would you be hot under the collar if someone made a joke on you or took a dig at you?

Humor has so many forms and each form has its own appeal. Some may enjoy one form of humor more than some other forms. But everyone loves to laugh, isn't it? And that's the thing about humor. Some forms are particularly difficult to understand like a nice satire, deadpan delivery or simply sarcasm. But if understood, they can be so effective much more effective than. 

I am from teaching/training field and always thought that humor goes a long way in simplifying things while teaching. I believe that anyone tends to remember a good laugh than anything else. It's a practical thing. People around you would pay more attention to what you have to say when you are being hilarious. It's not an easy thing but always a way of generating more interest.

Just to finish things off, there is nothing like good humor. And it's not only the most popular way of entertainment but also the most difficult thing to perform and fathom. We don't need to dissect it but just appreciate and laugh at it. After all, you are the owner of your own mouth!


Sunday, October 14, 2012

Satisfaction V Contentment

So, my trainee approached me with his resignation. I asked why did he wanted to resign. "I am not satisfied with this job. I want to quit because I feel very dissatisfied. I think this place is not a fit for me." was exactly what he told me. And as usual, it got me thinking. Satisfaction. Is it overrated? Is it ever possible to be satisfied with your life, with your work or whatever you are doing? I have a job and I have experienced dissatisfaction at various points in my career. But I didn't quit. And I know a lot of people at my work place who aren't completely satisfied with what they are doing, but they are sticking anyhow. 

What satisfies someone? Doing what they want may be? Or achieving what someone wants in his or her life may be? But the question is: Can someone be completely satisfied? Can you actually be satisfied by what you have achieved? And what if you do not achieve it? 

Everyone has some dream, some motivation, something worth working for. Something which when you do, you feel satisfaction. But as a human being, I feel there is no way you can be completely satisfied. You work on and for something and you keep your fingers crossed, hoping that you'll successfully complete it and achieve that satisfaction that you were aiming for. But I feel you can't be satisfied. But wouldn't that become a paradox then? You can't be satisfied and you can't give up something because you are not satisfied. Then what is the solution? How can you be not satisfied and still keep on working with something you are not satisfied with?

The keyword here is being content. That's the state I believe is something which lies between being completely satisfied and not being satisfied but still going on. Sometimes, you may not achieve what you are aiming for. But for that moment, you can be content with what you achieved, what you got out of your effort. You can live with yourself and still keep on working. Of course, this is only my opinion. But won't you be rather content for the time being rather than completely satisfied? You look at a kid who may not be satisfied with what his father bought him for birthday, but is content because he at least got something. Would this approach help? Would you be content and keep working on for what truly satisfies you? 

That's what I believe in. Being content for the time being, keep working on what you want in your life and keep your fingers crossed that one day, you'll achieve that true satisfaction you've been longing for.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Social Networking

I've been very active on Twitter lately. More than I've been on Facebook. Now both of these are primary examples of our social networking sites, aren't they? We post status messages, we tell people what is on our mind, we tell everyone where we are. It has become a an integral part of our social life, or I should rather say, our life.

We may not have a penny in our pocket, but we have at least one active internet plan so that we can access our 'social networks' on the go. That poses a question. What is social network? Is it these networking sites? Do we actually value our social networks? Is everything limited to the internet now?

There are so many questions, but the answers lies somewhere in ourselves. Somewhere, I believe, we have become more disconnected than ever. Instead of simply networking, it has become a popularity contest. It's no more about connecting with out old friends or making new ones. Somewhere it is about statistics. Someone asked me about my friend count on one of the social networks. It was a weird question for me. What does it matter how many friends or followers I have? isn't it about me connecting with my old friends or connecting with some like minded person? 

That is not all. Look at the promotional material we have on our social networks. It has become a hell of way of advertising. And I understand that. Companies will look for revenue from any and everything. Isn't a business all about profit? But somewhere it has become more about business than social networking. Advertising is no longer limited to a footnote or banner. It has become more that this. 

Social Networking is good and social networking is bad. But no way it was ever supposed to be a popularity contest. It was never about how many friends you have. It is supposed to be about how you connect with the people you think are important to you. I just wish that we come back to that.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Chai kitli -- The meeting place

Believe me when I say - the conversation at a 'chai kitli' is more interesting than any 'current affairs' news segment. That is what my friend told me when we were having tea at, of course, a tea stall or better, 'chai kitli.' There is no denying the fact that the best and open conversations happen over a cup of tea. You sit at one of these road side tea stall and just listen to everything being talked about. There not one topic which is left out or not discussed.

Like just a couple of days ago, I overheard a couple of young guys discussing Indian politics, in their own way. The discussion was not only funny, but really illuminating. They were discussing how the next assembly elections would effect Gujarat. Who would be elected this time? Which party has the best chance? Who would be the next CM? More intricate details like which party could be the deciding factor etc. But this really got me thinking, these two guys are really discussing some very important issues. And not only that, they actually know what they are talking about. The question that I asked them after this (yes, I just couldn't hold myself back!), "Would you vote in this assembly election?" And the answer was equally thought provoking, "It would be my first ever time to vote, but can we get 'none of the above' as an option?"

This is just one of those thousands of amazing conversation we have at tea stalls. Some are illuminating, some result in arguments, and some other are just plain rubbish. But that is the beauty of a tea stall! No context needed. And you get to listen to some honest opinions of people who matter.

Long live 'chai kitli'

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Weblog

I don't know what is it with blogging. I start, I stop, I again start and it is just that. Writing is not my forte but I always thought that I'll maintain a blog because I want to air, if nothing else, at least my opinions. And you know, opinions are like noses; everyone has one.

This time though, I am thinking I'll stick around. I observe things and I would like to paint those observations in my words here. It'll be fun. I still don't know why I am writing this post, but well well, if sometimes it is good not to know why you are doing something.

Amdavad to Baroda

What is so special about this? This is a regular routine for countless people everyday. The people who 'up-down' everyday for job, may be for studies. Or someone like me who commutes every now and then between these two cities. So what's so special? The specialty lies in the fact that there is nothing special about it and yet, this whole journey has a beauty surrounding it. People have become so busy that they miss out on some of the best scenes and arid yet green pastures of Gujarat. There is nothing special about crossing Mahi Sagar River, nothing special about a couple of Poultry farms, nothing special about the farms which we pass on the way, or for that matter, the two citisque towns that used to be part of journey between these two cities but now are completely bypassed (thanks to Expressway). It is such a regular occurrence for so many people that no one even notices this is a journey anymore. This regularity defines our overly repetitive life where we miss the beauty of the journey because of the destinations where we have to reach. Most people sleep through what could be amazing experience. 

This is so analogous to our journey of life. In our life, we miss so many beautiful moments just because we are in a hurry to reach our destination. Life is a journey to be enjoyed. When did we forget that?