Saturday, November 21, 2009

26/11 ...Let us never forget

Its going to be a year now, they came and did what they set out to do.

I was trying to compile like any other hapless and helpless citizen what have we done to:-
a.) prevent an attack like this again on our soil
b.) bring the accused to book, through a trial in the court of law
c.) ensure preparedness if at all another such gory incident happens people are aware how to react to it

Unfortunately in a true Indian way of doing things, we have bought 2 new boats for the Indian coast guard, we have set up 2-3(may be more) institutions to find out what and how things happened last year on 26/11. We still do not know for example if the bullet proof jackets used by our officers were of quality grade to save them from the attackers bullets!

What we have done isn't enough on all 3 counts that i was looking at. no prevention, not fast track booking of criminals in hand, no preparedness of our people.

Are we expected to forget 26/11 like any other attack that we have been asked to forget after its taken place reminding us the resilience of the people (of Mumbai in this case, could be anywhere in India though).

I feel sad, i feel angry and i feel we should not forget 26/11, at least till we have done enough on the 3 counts or prevention, justice and preparedness.

Let us never forget 26/11, till each one of us is convinced enough has been done.

Tact and me.... a failed combo :(

There have been innumerable incidents now and in spite of my trying to be tactful with people close to me, i think i have really not been able to make it up in any significant way!

A very recent example of this failure is when i was supposed to pick up a friend from near a hotel close to their place. I saw someone standing by the hotel entrance but felt it looks to be someone else and stayed in the car for a while thinking my friend is definitely not as dark and also not put on as much weight as the person standing out there.

I stayed put in the car for almost 10 minutes and much later figured out, after a phone call that it was my friend :)

The worst was yet to come...I also told my friend about why i first did not notice and thought that it was someone else :) I spoke the truth again and got into some sort of trouble... for...
a. Not being able to recognise a friend from a distance of 10 metres
b. Indirectly calling the friend dark, though my friend is anything but dark
c. Suggesting in a way that my friend has put on weight

I wish i could be a little more tactful, i must actually thank people around me for accepting me as i am, else i might have had no friends by now, with all the sense of tactlessness that i have displayed for dozens of years now!

Thanks Friends. I owe you all a lot...a lot lot more

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

History of the Internet in a nutshell

The first "network" was set up in the late 60's, almost 16-17 years before yours truly was born!
My first brush with the net was while i went along with a friend who was applying for his MS in the US in the mid nineties and decided to email a piece of information. It cost him about INR 100/- or even more for a single page! :)

Email in itself was a big thing and to be able to send messages back and forth in real time was an amazing feeling coming out of college! Me and my roomie Rajesh would send each other messages sitting just next to each other in the computer room in our first organization after college.

It was seen as an dramatic phenomenon when i opened the "times of India" on the computer in my office and showed it to my Manager. It was jaw dropping. Today it feels great to see my ex Manager and Mentor send me messages over email.

The Internet has come a long way and its history is captured here for the keeps, interesting read,

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Sachin Tendulkar - 20 years and still not out!

Sachin Tendulkar the Master Blaster!

His most lasting contribution may not be the thousands of runs he has scored against all cricket playing countries and in practically all forms of the game all around the world. It actually would be that he made complete non cricket guys take on to the game.

Sachin also brought a nation together when he played i could see the hostel TV room other wise a fertile ground for fights (debates rather) over language, region and programs tune into the only thing of common interest for all and sundry. It could drive away all class, mass divides, everyone was one. I am even able to recollect a Victory rally that was once taken out by the students when he got India thru with one of his marvellous and aggressive innings.

Sachin, you would be remembered as not only a great cricketer, but someone who made significant contribution in keeping us smiling ans happy too, NOT many cricketers or sports stars could ever be able to achieve this part, isn't it?

Got this peice written some 21 years back by Harsha Bhogle, from a friends blog. Nostalgic, worth a read -

The Great Indian Language Debate!

The recent debates over language somehow make me uncomfortable and also fearful of the time to come.

The whole language thing was a good debate when in the old days there was barely any migration across the country. Today, with immense amount of migration, one simply cannot assume and more importantly force a certain language on people.

I am a Maharashtrian by birth can speak decent Marathi, born and brought up in suburban Mumbai, grew up with Tamil brahmins as my best friends (some of them friends for life now), spoke Hindi (Bambaiya, tapori Hindi :))

I always wrote in Hindi, thought in Hindi and then moved on to Gujarat, i almost fell in love (with the place and the language too). I can speak Gujarati and can do it well too. I was in Karnataka for some 9 years and could pick up bits of Kannada and like the language, but was a little difficult for me to pick up.

What language should i know, assuming that in my profession i am well versed with English which gets used as the language of operation?

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

"Birthday Friend" from Kerala

We have known each other for some years now and known each other well, we have helped each other with pep talks and in other possible ways.

It would not be correct to say that we are in constant touch these days, nor do we speak or write to each other frequently.

There is one day in the year when I know for sure, I can expect a pleasant email and that is my birthday, never has it been forgotten.

Makes it special every year and this year was no different. Thanks for this and all the years in the past.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

The race...where do we stop

As anyone who started life in the pits, I personally, perhaps have had a dream run over the last few years - personal as well as professional front! AND then there have been tough times, real tough ones, tougher than i feel i could have really thought and imagined them to be! :(

I have always wondered and at times given a deep thought as to where does this stop, how would this end some day?

It took me a while to realize that life does have its own way of slowing you down when you are going too fast, when you are at times thinking you are doing good for some one/some people, but actually are misunderstood or are understood right but people just would not want to believe that's how things are with you.

The slow down needs to be a feature that one must be prepared for, it would almost always last a little longer than one's patience and determination can bear! A TEST is how i have always termed it and dealt with it.

Quite successfully as well. I must admit... So also tells a good friend and an ex colleague of mine, That i inspire people like them to do more, fight issues and problems harder and make the most of what's on hand, with out losing out more than what is required!

I have always ensured that when the times are tough, there are more things that go wrong and also there are more people who stand out there and are trying to either find faults or at least appear to be doing that to us.

The trick really is to keep at it, never lose focus, be realistic with your decisions and also be truthful in accepting what is on the plate. NEVER ever loose your self respect, at all costs, its not worth it never ever!

Don't stop, Believe in yourself, Keep fighting, have good friends around who can keep the spirits (some times with a little bit of spirit for the tummy as well :)) high. The race is never really out, it sometimes gives you a break, that's all the luck one can ask for :)

Building Self Confidence

I recently decided to speak to people on our team on how to build self confidence!

I had couple of alternatives and all of these could have been fit and fine since the team is known to me and i possibly could get away with a little bit of a here and there kind of a talk.

I gave it a thought and decided to make it a picture/image driven presentation, well it took me a while to create, since i had to do some work on getting the right images and pictures to fit with the 8-10 point that i had on the slides.

I felt the picture/image driven presentation worked well, the informal feedback i got was positive and i have now begun to think that messages stay a lot longer and have a better impact when passed on with images and pictures that go well with the words.

It's build my confidence in presenting better with pictures and images :)