Sunday, April 9, 2017

The fault in the Stars

  [Despite the light around us in cities, we cannot see the most beautiful wonders of all- A glittered night sky. What are your views on light pollution, and memories of those wonderful starry nights? #DarknessForStars ]

              Yes, it's the fault in the stars for them to not attract our attention. Quite truly, in this hustle-bustle, the simple things which attracted us once upon a time are no longer attractive. Perhaps, it is our cell phones and i-pods and so many other indispensable gadgets which have taken over from a simplistic thing such as the night sky. Sitting in a room lit by artificial bulbs and being happy by the flickering screen is all the more attractive.

                The stars cannot form the queen's necklace type of arrangement in Mumbai, for that matter the stars in the sky isn't fanciful at all. Why will then we be attracted to something that's so random, which doesn't entertain us or is pleasant looking. We are so used to observing a set pattern like the city lights. A set pattern makes us feel comfortable because they don't change. The stars on the other hand represent randomness and irregularity. The current times are so stressful that we love a set pattern be it a 9 to 5 job or something which is constant as it gives an apparent sense of stability. Everybody wants to settle down and have a stable life except a few who go against a wind.  The stars represent curiosity regarding the unknown while the city lights represents stability using the known. Seeing the same thing again and again majority of us feel that we are where we belong and we know where we are heading. This is the sense of security most of us need these days and the city lights represent this.

        The reason why we no longer even think of seeing the stars is because we have become what the stars do not represent. We have become like those beings who cling to the known for security, those who fear the unknown, fear randomness and also fear the uncertain. How can we, with these attributes then peacefully see the stars above which portray a different message altogether?

In response to Indispire Edition #164. Topic suggested by Shantanu Ashima Gaur .

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Wings of destruction

         While we humans are born with a pair of hands and legs for living our life, wings develop later on when a man understands just more than what he/she deserves. These are the wings which causes the descent of the person, a descent from the imaginary world he/she lives in. While whatever I stated might be a bit confusing, it is clear nevertheless; talking about a person who is staring an imaginary world which his imaginary wings developed to satisfy his greed for success take him in. What is this 'success' which makes you develop imaginary wings?

         In the recent wake of events around me, this question kept me pondering and I decided to dig deeper. The taste of success is so sweet that one keeps craving for even more. Let me ask you one question, what happens to your body when you increase sugar intake and don't exercise? Your body is unable to metabolize the excess sugar. Blood sugar increases which is very unhealthy. Similarly, when this thirst for success/material things never end and surpasses one's capacity to achieve, a pair of wings are developed. These wings represent deceit, treachery and blatant disregard for relationships(especially the ones who helped the person succeed).  So, the person becomes an iconoclast not because he was always like that but because he/she wants to disregard the ones in power to claim his own. Going against the higher echelon then becomes his/her identity but on what basis is quite questionable. He/She then tries to clip the hands of those who made him/her to surpass them.

        When does this all end? It all ends when he/she is stopped being given undue importance and is left for retrospection and void of support.  This bird which has developed imaginary wings to fly then becomes a bird with no base, nowhere to land and finally realizes the mistake it made. The point I make is that there are a group of humble people who are responsible for the ascent of a person. These people should always be respected as they have been your base/nest from where you flew.  This self realization brings a person back on track by clipping the imaginary wings. The signature of success is humbleness and often it is those who fail to succeed make more noise. This is to fill the gap between their ambition and shortcomings in a way convincing not to oneself but to others. Such people often seek the approval of others for their existence. Happiness and other positive emotions for them are in the hands of some other person who provides approval(second-hand person). When they don't get this approval, they start making noise and then the imaginary wings are developed to claim their supremacy.

       Next question is how to prevent someone from developing the wings of destruction? It is by avoiding a fundamental mistake made by humble and successful people. They exaggerate the other persons importance and skills and make him/her feel very special. These people then develop an air of over-confidence followed by developing wings of destruction. They then try to clip the hands which made them and taught them to stand on their own feet. Over-praising any person does more harm than good.

What do you think?


Sunday, February 12, 2017

A Roadtrip to Kutch

             It all began on 30th December when I finally agreed to go on my first long road trip with friends who are nothing less my brothers. The prospect of it being a long trip made me a bit anxious and also think about the logistics(stay etc) as it was not completely planned. We roughly knew where we need to head to but did not follow an itinerary.

           Our first stop was in Ankleshwar, Gujarat(India). We reached here at about 2 AM morning on 31st December. The luxurious hotel(APEX) ensured that we had a sound sleep. Next day was all set for the long car drive; starting at 8 AM we set our Accelerator to Kutch, near to India's western border with Pakistan.  The major attraction in Kutch is the Rann of kutch which is a salt laden white marshy surface. Kutch not only hosted the white Rann(white Desert) but also the vivacious Kutch Utsav.

Rann utsav, Kutch,Gujarat
The kutch Utsav depicts the Kutch culture at its best. With people from the local attire performing stage shows as also exquisite items from kutch are out for sale.  I got a exquisite bell enclosed in a heart shaped structure from the utsav as a gift to my parents. We then moved on towards the White Rann, the focus of the trip at somewhere around 11:30 pm on 31st December, 2016. While I was going towards the gate to this one-of-a-type place, I met a Border Security Force(BSF) Jawan whose warmth and patience in talking was surprisingly overwhelming for me. Despite handling an hostile border under strenuous conditions at the border, I was spoken to with care and politeness and asked to come the next day morning at about 6 am. This further increased my respect for our Paramilitary and Military(their silent sacrifices which at times do not get the highlight they deserve). From when did sleeping in the car turn out to be an option for me? Well, this was the first time and a good experience in the chilling cold and windows shut completely. I was busy with making and receiving calls for the new years greetings. The following morning, we were the first ones to get into the Rann of kutch, accompanied by nothing but pitch black darkness enroute to the white rann which is just a walking distance from the place we were stationed in. An apparent fear of getting too near the border was always ingrained in us and it came to the fore when we saw BSF jawans coming back from their duty. As we couldn't identify him in the darkness, we were a bit scared and sat by the bench nearby to let the convoy pass.

White Rann
White Rann
As mentioned earlier, the white Rann is a seasonal salt marsh in kutch. The experience got even more amazing when we were the first ones to climb the small tower at the mouth of the white desert and awaited to experience the sunrise.This was a first time experience for me to walk on this  unique landscape.  The food reflecting the culture of the place; the taste of Bhakri, bhaji and a special chatni in one of the stalls left my taste buds tickling and wanting for more! We also had a camel ride there, to add to the experiences.

Jalebi-fafda brunch
We then stopped near a place called Bachau in Kutch where my taste buds were tickled again by the Jalebi-Fafda brunch. This is the specialty of the state and needless to say, we enjoyed the taste.Our next stop was Ahmedabad, a city which welcomed us with a very gloomy climate(blame it on the time of the day- evening).  We rented a hotel here and visited a few places around. Though I don't remember the place names, it helped me with some good memories and moments to remember. By now, I was tired and wanted to sleep even more(most unfavourable thing to do during trips-SLEEP). We just went back to the room and dozed off. The next morning our journey onward Mumbai began. We had kathiawadi Thali at Ankleshwar(en route Mumbai) followed by experiencing tea at a local stall near the connecting road to Surat.The last memorable stopover was at the Tapi riverfront in Surat, a well maintained bay area with all amenities to spend peaceful time with friends. Once we left Surat, we began to sense the normalcy and routine life we were about to resume and were counting each moment spent in the journey henceforth. The exact following day, I had to resume working so I did not even have time to sit down and reminisce on the wonderful time spent.
Tapi riverfront,Surat

One of the important observations made by me during the road trip is that India is largely an agricultural country with vast expanses of land under cultivation. Having lived in the confines of cities around India, I was not able to understand the importance of agriculture in India(I learnt it in the textbook but this experience made me understand it). I also realised that cities are just a small part of the whole state but constitute the most action politically and economy-wise. This made my vision limited. I was able to overcome this illusion of mine after this trip. Besides, from a political perspective too, I came to understand the difficulties in governing a state and on a larger scale India because of the diverse landscapes and cultures, each having different wants and needs which are contrasting at times. This trip indeed expanded my horizon and outlook on so many issues.

One thing I was determined about was writing on this. More than a month has passed and as I write this, I am experiencing the same thrill as I did whilst in the Journey with my brothers. We also agreed that this is just the first road trip we have experienced and we should plan out for many more. With this agreement and enthusiasm, we left for our respective homes.

...and then needless to mention, the next day was work as usual for all...(but hey, wait there was a sense of refreshment)

Sunday, December 4, 2016


              One of the prime pillars of any organisation on the basis of which an organisation thrives is its leadership. A leader is a visionary who is the podium on which his associates perform. This, my dear friends, this is the reason why some organisations sustain and certain institutions fail before they blossom.

                The true importance of leadership is misunderstood by people or I would rather say the power which a leader has blinds him/her greatly to the qualities to be possessed. I have seen numerous methodologies of leadership. Some leaders choose to be dominant and bossy over their associates to get things done while some choose to be friendly.In the first method of leadership, people often throw barbs at the leader and work unwillingly. Some introspection led me to believe that getting things done is an attribute of having good personal ties with the subordinate . A leader is the one who understands his employee at an emotional level and makes him work accordingly. You cannot be extremely strict with an associate/employee who is emotionally sensitive. This will often lead to hatred for the leader and on a larger scale decrease in productivity of that employee. In myriad cases, the employee who might be adept at work finally leaves the organisation due to the ineffective leadership he works under. I have seen people who haven't scored good grades in college but have performed exceptionally well at their work and the ones who scored good grades have failed to perform in accordance with their grades. This also made me wonder if the performer might be inspired by his/her leader?

            While I find emotional touch a quintessential leadership quality, I have also seen cases where certain leaders get too attached to their employees and this attachment then creates a negative environment for others. Leaders who were excellent have a blot on their names due to such incessant attachments with particular employees. A leader must know to draw the line between his attachments and the duties he is bound to. When a leader fails to realise this, he not only loses credibility but comes across as a person who is biased and emotionally immature. A leader I feel must understand the personal issues of his employees and empathize with them but should not take it far and make their problems his/her own to the extent of being biased towards them.

A true leader is the one whose vision becomes the inspiration for his followers; whose action sets the threshold for excellence for his associates; whose free will nature inspires one's mind to act without manacles and provide innovative solutions; whose superior qualities thus makes an employee submit his loyalty and make his goal aligned with the ones of his leader.


Sunday, October 9, 2016

Book review: The Calling

Title: The Calling
Author: Priya Kumar (Motivational Speaker, Author)
Genre: Philosophy
Web site:

While I was busy with dodging numerous issues in corporate about a month ago, I was approached by the author to review this book. While Indian authors by far did not play a very convincing game, this book was the turning point in my perception of Indian authors after I have reviewed a 2 books by Ravi Subramanian(which was the entry point and which convinced me to a great extent).

Arjun is a corporate employee who is trapped in a vortex of confusions in personal and professional life. Due to the imbalance he creates for better growth in corporate, he was on the brink of a divorce with his wife who was hardworking and smart. Arjun came accross as a person who had common traits like jealousy, pulling others down for one's own growth in his workplace which did make him successful there but always kept the greed  unsatiated and craving for even more. This greed led him to do a lot of unjust things at home and office costing his relationships dearly.

To get out of this confusion and trouble, Arjun took a trip into the heart of Himalayas, on insistence of a Sadhu who predicted that the journey up to Hemkund Sahib would align him to his purpose and change his life forever.

The plot is all about how Arjun realises his true purpose of his life. The way the mysterious sadhu whom he encounters in his journey plays a vital role by making him self-realise by his own actions.

My verdict:
     "Real sophistication lies in utmost simplicity".
 While reading the whole book;the above quote struck my mind regularly. The language and vocabulary is balanced and a smooth read.  The author has conveyed the message so lucidly while managing to keep the reader engrossed in the plot. While going to Himalaya's has now become the talk of IT-town, there wasn't much of a exciting experience I was looking forward to. This lack of excitement can be attributed to my inability to go there and experience the beauty of those mountains. My perspective hence changed after reading this book as I was beginning to relate to everything written there.
Some points and quotes have been wonderfully put down:

You respond to your name and therefore you limit your responsibility(on being nameless and not limiting responsibility according to name/title)
If  you dont know the people in your world, they will be a liability in your purpose(on knowing the purpose of each person in life so that their relationship is not a load to carry on your shoulders)

We need to ponder on the above lines; in this hustle bustle we have actually forgotten the basics or rather kept our mind shut to these thoughts.The second quote is regarding a person who the protagonist(Arjun) thinks just as a guide and never discovers his strengths and looks him down for his profession.

The description of the two tests given by the sadhu is really commendable and reflects the human tendency to copy himself/herself others if the situations are similar. Arjun fails in the first test and after knowing the way to pass it, tries to copy the same strategy in the second one. Will the same strategy give him success?(I was remembering my University exams where there were repeat questions which helped us somehow pass but never score a distinction).
Through the tests, the author primarily wanted to highlight that we humans yield under pressure and fail to perform as per expectations. The only thing in Arjun's mind during the sadhu's test was avoiding sitting on the rock which Sadhu was seated on for Sadhana. This fear never really got the best of him but finally he got the message loud and clear.


I only felt that the mess Arjun was in could have been elaborated a bit more on as it was something which most of us in corporate experience. If his problems could have had a greater mention, it would have been much of a read knowing the exact background.

Final word:

I would give it a 4.5/5 as it has broadened my perspectives while not being too boring to read.
Keep up the good work Priya (Paulo Coelho of India I would say), the positivity in the book just cannot be ignored!

Monday, September 5, 2016

Equality:a state of mind

The recent events of shameless rape incidents in a few parts of the country have disturbed me. Time and again I feel I have highlighted that women should be stopped being considered as objects of pleasure and sex should be stopped being considered as an act comprising of only pleasure.

I recently heard that a 6 year old girl was raped and was so shaken by this activity. I really could not understand what transpired in the mind of that beast to have committed this atrocity that too with a child. Today when I speak of equality, I am confronted on two fronts and both are extremes. On one hand we have a few men shameless and dastardly committing this sinful act of raping minor girls and on the other hand I find a few women who misuse the power given to them. This puts me in a quandary as to which side is correct and can there ever be an agreement in one aspect. The argument is always stuck in a never ending deadlock where I and the women activists are stuck eternally with the above points which rightly prove each others point but not leading to a consensus.

On a larger note, what actions can we take apart from brutally punishing such guys? Will the problem of rape will ever be resolved merely by punishing the person after he has indulged himself in this sinful activity? How will we change first the patriarchal mindset of a few men? The answer is with education and iconoclasts rising in the society, such belief's will be eradicated but not so early. Any change in the mindset of a billion people takes years to form with generations being under the umbrella of change.

It is said that there was a time when men dominated the society by imposing restrictions on women. I might never understand their pain having absolved them of pursuing their desires. I sincerely feel now that times have changed and that women thinking the same about today's men especially generalising would be a grave fault. I find today's men to be compensating, pure at heart and also no control freaks(with exceptions as they exist both sides). India is such a huge country and men and women living in much developed cities and under developed villages are having diametrically different lifestyles. Devising gender specific laws leads to mass misuse in cities where people are excessively aware of them while hardly used by those who should be using it(rural areas). My point is devising laws defeats the true purpose for what they were devised for in some cases.

The only solution apart from devising laws is to educate both the genders and induce an attitude of progressive thought in the minds of people. Rather than having gender specific reservations, we can as well ignore the gender of the person seated for an interview and judge him/her purely on the basis of merit.I sincerely believe that respect and equality should come from our heart rather than being imposed by someone/some organisation. Hence I say, equality is a state of mind and let it gradually seep in rather than enforcing it on us.

To all those women/men who believe that men are at fault in every case, here is a video by a Deepika Bharadwaj you should watch:

So, will imposition of principles really lead to equality and justice?

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Boxicular life!

                          So finally after a long vacation, I am resuming blogging. The 'vacation' I am referring to is not as rosy as sitting in an island and looking at the stars in peace/enjoying water sports in a resort. This vacation involved living in a box and being totally drenched in that environment which almost isolated me from all of my other activities. It was obviously unpleasant and involved tons of monotonous moments even though the work wasn't the same over time.
                           One of the major observations in my IT life has been regarding the innovation expectations from their end. IT industry expects us to be innovative by themselves restricting us in a box. What they fail to understand that being innovative involves opening up the shackles of mind which cannot happen in an enclosed building. Wherever you see is the same monotonous color of the walls around; how can you then expect people to be innovative at all.  Innovation isn't a trait which can be thought of and come up with; it involves rigorous observation of one's surroundings and its phenomenon. Observing a slow paced snail teaches you to be silent and work constantly if you have sufficient time to complete your work. On the other hand, you need to be like a cheetah who is quick and unforgiving when it comes to deliver in tight timelines. There are Lions who want to be the king of the jungle and want submissive associates.Then there foxes, cunning in behavior with two faces to show; one to the Lion and one to his associates/coworkers. So basically, every situation and behavior can be deciphered by keen observation of the environment.
                          More than the kind of work we are involved in, its living in a box that is tiring and energy-sapping. Even though there are so many things which are not so pleasant, leaving this life becomes equally difficult as it creates a comfort zone which one doesn't want to leave. Hefty pay packages, an inherent feeling of'settled life' and some ability of buying what you want. This additionally makes us materialistic and leads to a creation of a false status quo. This is such a negative cycle which one gets trapped in that even the best talent in town is blinded and trapped. He/she then crushes his/her innovative capabilities to lead a cozy but unfruitful life. For intelligent people, the work becomes very easy and leaving hence becomes difficult. For others who are just managing hold the rope somehow by creating false relationships/attachments
                     The frustration arising out of all the above is vented out by living a non-social and isolationist life, troubled emotions coming out on unrelated people and under unwarranted circumstances. It's no so uncommon these days to see short tempered parents scolding their children for very small mistakes they do. Its also not uncommon to see we criticising each and every situation around even though it might not need our attention. If you have traveled in a local train first class in Mumbai, you will find a bunch of intolerant people who start ranting at the slightest discomfort in an overcrowded train. Our emotions, ambition and probably even our own values are at times sacrificed for the apparent success this life offers. People tend to flatter other people even though they might not like him/her(fox and lion above). Well, life in this mirage obviously doesn't seem really good.
                      So, the million dollar question: Is this boxicular life really worth it?



Friday, May 6, 2016

Time: An Enigma

         I have been recently pondering on the mysterious nature of time. All of you might have come across the quotes, "Life is too short", "Have patience, only patience will yield results". I find contradictions in these adages by the same people who quote both according to circumstances. Really, time has an enigmatic nature.
       One of the pillar of success is patience. I feel patience is a relative concept which implies that there is no defined measure or benchmark. Sometimes, people carelessly say that just wait for a year more as if it were just a  seconds time. So many things can happen over a span of a year. How can people so carelessly dismiss one year in a scale of a few minutes? The one year wait which people so carelessly degrade in comparison then becomes a painful wait for the associated endeavor to bear fruit. When I was in my third year of undergraduate college, people often told me just one more year dear and everything concludes. Only I knew how I felt each day of that one year. So a request to people not not inappropriately scale time. Time becomes a manacle during such times
     On the other hand we get to hear that life is short. If life is so short dear friends how come then living for one year becomes such a task. We are asked to forget the grudges and strike truce with everyone. Does holding grudges prolong life? Does it make each moment count as if it required tremendous efforts to breathe with the load of grudge we carry inside? All these factors seem so intertwined and complicated that only experience can unveil its veracity to each individual.
  I write this article with great heaviness. With paradoxical and contradictory thoughts, time is the most tantalizing enigma to decode. Let time only decode time!

GOOD DAY TO ALL on that note!

Tuesday, February 16, 2016


                 Fury can do wonders, fury can change one's life, fury can make a person go up to his maximum limit of tolerance, fury can bring about the best in a person, fury can destroy a person. The fury I am talking about is following something in such extreme passion that it may lead to success or even failure but at least not keep you hanging in the middle.It will drag you to a phenomenal level of activity/dedication that you maybe extremely focused.
               What is this fury all about after all? It is a driving force, a force which drives your lethargy away and pumps in the energy which compels you to achieve something. I sternly believe that a stoic person is incapable of achieving anything because his reaction to all things is the same.In this regard, it is strongly advised to have an opinion on things which one has to achieve. This approach may often lead to criticism from people who will pull you down from the ladder stating prejudiced opinions/goals.Fury provides you a protective shield which actually blinds you in a way from external resistance. It is dangerous as it may blind you to realities and may lead to failures as well. I must say that once upon a time travelling to a Mars was deemed impossible but today its as possible as it might have got.Failures(a branch of fury) are those milestones in life which will make one realize the true taste of success and will drive one to work harder and harder.The worst fear I have encountered till date is to not be afraid of failures. When you feel that you are no longer afraid of any failures either of the two things maybe true in this case: You have overcome that fear or you no longer care about the outcome because there isn't enough motivation. The latter case is a benign feeling which is actually poisonous for one professionally/personally in which he/she may not even realize the gains/losses. This again makes me reminisce the point that we need to be passionate about something and that passion must be unique; you cannot love everything at the same time or be passionate equally for all activities.It is equivalent to stating that one cannot love everyone equally.
          So guys, it's time we have our preferences/choices very clear and feel for it strongly as only "Fury" coupled with hard work will help you accomplish your goal.I do not advocate hatred/anger in any way but one must have his preferences/choices in certain things especially professionally. The shield which "Fury" provides will provide resistance from all the negativity and 'impossibility barbs' which people throw at you.Embrace this fury for all the right reasons to take yourself and this world to a next level altogether.

Harsha Bhogle's video adds a new dimension to my argument i.e presence of talent in this endeavour.

Talent without passion is best described by the state of dormancy.

Be passionate(another word for Fury) to adjectivize your name as excellent!

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Book Review: The Bestseller She Wrote

Well, I wont divide this review into logical divisions as done earlier for a change. To give you all a background, I was reading 'The Fountainhead' by Ayn Rand which is quite deep and a heavy read and I was desperately looking forward to read a thriller/suspense to lighten things up. Through Blogadda, I caught hold of this review copy which kept me enthralled for hours.

       Getting to the storyline, it all starts with projecting Aditya as a successful author coming to IIM as an alumni speaker.He is married to Maya, an elegant woman with all the ideal qualities a man might desire in his wife. While promoting his book, he crosses horns with a girl named Shreya who raises objection at him calling a book as a 'product' to be sold. It never started well with them; but Shreya, who was an opportunist wanted to be an successful author and Aditya was the bridge. An inchoate relationship which once began on unfavorable conditions and terms develops into something murky, transactional and later on complicated with emotions.To make it more interesting, the character of Sanjay, who is Aditya's close friend doles out a lot of surprises at the end.

     Ravi has given all the ingredients required for a book to be a bestseller in the book through the fictional character Aditya and it seemed to be too realistic for it to be classified as fiction. The overall story seems to be quite predictable after reading the prologue but still the suspense quotient is retained owing to the characters. Mention of known characters such as Anurag Kashyap, Nirav Sanghvi takes it further towards reality and away from fiction.However, the fact of Aditya not reading books but still able to write lucidly and be able to become a stellar author is something strange as I feel for effective and powerful writing, reading is a must.

     A very good attempt made at description of erotic scenes. This makes it murkier. Each encounter Aditya and Shreya had, I felt was backed by guilt, discomfort all overshadowed by pleasure nevertheless. It was like any other transaction of debit and credit until it got too personal. I couldnt really get if Shreya really loved Aditya or was it just his fame she wanted to inherit, it was really confusing till the end when the truth was out! In fact I still couldnt believe the genuity of emotions at the end!This part of the book, I felt was a bit puzzling as the love seemed to be only because of Aditya's stature and emotions couldn't have been genuine in any case.

   The roles played by Sanjay and Diana, I felt could have been elaborated a bit more. Sanjay did have a history to throw in the whole story.This history could have been elaborated a bit more as a separate chapter keeping him anonymous in that chapter. This would have added suspense and kept the reader wondering on the culprit half way through the book.A short trail would have been better.

  What a wonderful masterpiece, Ravi Subramanian, this is by far the best novel you have come up with. Throughout the book I was wondering if you have been through this situation/have seen a close person in this situation which you put Aditya in. For me, I could only imagine you in Aditya's place whilst playing the story in my mind like a movie. All in all, it is a perfect blend of suspense with quite a bit of romance.
The book briefly quotes its own review from my angle. Here it goes:

I loved it because  a)it is a great story  b) it's brilliantly paced  c) it ends very well d) the language is simple and easy and e) the characters are relatable"
- The bestseller She Wrote, page 117

I am reviewing ‘The Bestseller She Wrote’ by Ravi Subramanian as a part of the biggest Book Review Program forIndian Bloggers. Participate now to get free books!