Dire need to overhaul my office persona!

On the 14th January’11, after a bout of drinking (I’d like to think as being persuaded to drink, rather) multiple tequila shots & thereafter puking a little bit (in the office guest house’s washroom basin, I must hasten to add, though), & being the subject of a few jokes/jibes made at my expense, I returned late in the dead of the night, from an office team gathering, to my home, via the Delhi Metro, wherein I also saw a few sloshed men making a fool of themselves in the bogey (hope I never ever end up like ‘1 of them’),

I made a commitment to do the following, in the next few days, to change the way I’m perceived at my office, and begin my life on a fresh note:

  • I’d sit at the seat allotted to me (in a faraway corner), instead of sitting alongside cramped up with folks who can sometimes turn into some sorta jackasses.
  • I’d laugh aloud lesser no. of times, & less intensely; instead giving a polite smile.  Appear stoic.  Don’t give an impression to people that you laugh off insults hurled at you, just like that.
  • I’d address people with an informal ‘Tu’ instead of a courteous ‘Tum’/’Aap’, to return the favor.
  • I’d not allow people to steamroll over me, or my dignity/self-respect; and give it back when such a transgression takes place.
  • I’d try to become a complete teetotaler, and not even indulge in ‘Social Drinking’, since I’ve realized the hard way that my body constitution ain’t geared up to handle alcoholic stuff.


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Learn, Earn and Return – The mantra to live one’s life by

On the 14th January’11, on the sidelines of the 2010 Economic Times Leadership Awards telecast on ET NOW (with this year the theme being Corporate Philanthropy, with the chieftains of 2 of India’s largest IT firms: Azim Premji of Wipro & Shiv Nadar of HCL, announcing giving away 2 billion $ & 10% of his personal net worth, respectively to their respective foundations, predominantly committed to the field of education), Deepak Parekh, Chairman, HDFC quoted his mother (if my memory serves me right): “First 25 yrs, are where one learns; Next 25 yrs, are when one earns & the next 25 yrs, are where one returns (read: to the society as charity or otherwise).”

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Do Dooni (2*2) only equals Chaar (4), not 22 in our Middle Class lives!

On the 9th January ’11, I saw one of the best yet underrated critically acclaimed movies of 2010 ‘Do Dooni Chaar’ by a debutante director Habib Faisal, on TV – Such an evocative portrayal of the lives of the middle-class, their dreams, their trials & tribulations, their moral dilemmas, their insecurities, and so on.  It was such an endearing sight to see the most wonderfully cute on-screen & offs-screen couple Rishi Kapoor & Neetu Singh, back on the silverscreen after an extremely long hiatus of about 3 decades.  The basic premise centered around the Duggals’ family’s dream/goal of buying a car before a certain point of time, to honor their vow impulsively taken in front of their neighbors, to keep up with the Joneses’, so to say.  Mr. Duggal, who’s you average lower middle class honest school teacher, struggles to make ends meet; and in his quest for getting the money to pay for the car, almost falls prey to unscrupulous means / temptation(s) coming along the way.  His youngest school going son’s character succumbed to betting money on cricket matches, to have a lavish lifestyle covertly & entertain his girlfriend; up until when the other gang members are apprehended, subsequently leading him to finally realize his follies & seek forgiveness from his family.  The young daughter’s character is shown as the one who’s frustrated by her family’s modest economic stature as compared to her peers at college, and feels an inferiority complex at her two-wheeler wielding father whose occupation is as an insignificant teaching one; up until the climax of the movie, when a teacher’s unappreciated role in character-building is acknowledged by Duggal Sir/Master’s ex-students & a current student’s guardians.  I really felt connected with almost everything portrayed in this flick – E.g. the middle class characters & their middle-class high virtuous lives; expectations of exhibiting material possessions, even going to the extent of spending beyond one’s means, just to keep up; or my mother also being a teacher, and me also feeling slightly embarrassed by my parents’ small minion jobs; my pa’s little yellow Priya scooter (which we sold off, sadly without any photo as a piece of remembrance, to a scrap dealer, to make way for our new car’s parking) etc.

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Life’s Reallyyy Awesummm!!! (Barney Stinson style)

On the 8th Jan, upon browsing the TED talks’ Recent/New talks’ list, I happened to listen to a guy called Neil Pasricha’s quite funny yet very deeply profound & poignant talk (given in his hometown in Toronto, in 2010) on the 3 ‘A’s to have an ‘AWESOME’ life:

1) Attitude: Choosing to move forward & moving on, whenever life deals you a blow, despite all the lumps & the (speed) bumps, 2) Awareness: Embracing your inner 3-year old – Doing/Seeing something for the first time, and savoring the tiniest of joys that make life so sweet, 3) Authenticity: Being true to yourself – Being you & being cool with that! Letting your heart lead you, and putting yourselves in experiences that satisfy you…

“Every teacher you’ve ever had, everyone that’s ever woken up beside you, every single person in your family, everyone you love, and you – will be dead in another 100 yrs! Life is so great that we only get such a short time to experience & enjoy all those tiny little moments that make it so sweet, and those moments are counting down and fleeting! You’ll never be as young as you are right now!”

In fact, upon probing further about him on the web, I came to know that he has a Webby Awards (the highest recognition in the blogosphere) winning Blog ‘1000 Awesome Things’ (wherein he’s been writing on a daily basis on the very little sweet joys of our daily lives, which underscore how beautiful life truly is, and that we should embrace an positive & optimistic attitude towards life), and he’s also written a Bestseller book ‘The Book of Awesome’…

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Office Random Musings

We’d been preparing for quite sometime for the Annual HR Review of the HR Head with the CEO of the Co. I work for.  And Friday the 7th Jan, marked the culmination of all the efforts put in.  I’d been called in early before the office hours at 8 am, to cater to some eleventh-hour data cuts asked for, etc. – just in case!  After I’d completed such last-minute tasks, I had to take the various printouts of the different sections of the PPT being presented, to be handed over to me Boss.  But I must say, it was really daunting walking into the EBR (Executive Meeting Room), with all the stares of the big hotshot participants in the meeting following me, as I was pacing up & down the corridor, waiting for my Boss to step out from the meeting, to collect the  relevant printouts & an USB Pen drive, from me.  The CEO presiding over the meeting has such a powerful dominating persona that despite having his back to many second-rung leadership participants, they were all listening intently & with their eyes glued towards his side, without batting an eyelid.


But perhaps the major key takeaway of this overall experience was, that while running up & down the office corridor firstly giving the Print command from my laptop & thereafter collecting the printouts from the various printers in the office; various questions springing up at the back of my mind were– is this what I’d signed up for, is this my true calling in life, do I see myself doing the same scampering around a few yrs down the line, does this constitute a part of the ‘job’ (or as they say, ‘what comes with the turf’), and is this a true utilization of my inherent talent which I possess?

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Fuck – one of the most beautiful words in the English language: Osho

On the 4th Jan’11, in the commute back from office to home in the Delhi Metro (the underground & overground tube service crisscrossing Delhi & adjoining NCR region’s satellite towns), my iPod Nano (5th generation one with 16GB storage), which has the song shuffle option enabled, played the track ‘Osho on Fuck’ – a really funny analysis sorta, of the various usages of this oft-quoted cuss word…The irony is, that the next song which played itself was the ‘Hallelujah’ song, the cult song written by Leonard Cohen, a sacred word of invoking the Lord Jesus, but this song of the same name had subtle references to the contrary…And Osho was one of the legendary atheists ever, who denounced organized religion.

Anyway, here’s how the talk goes, for the uninitiated:

Transcript (As per the video available on the web – when I’d searched it out a few days later):

Spiritually Incorrect

Selected excerpt from an Osho talk “The great Pilgrimage: From Here to Here #23”

(Written before the video) When Friedrich Nietzsche declared “God is dead”, “Fuck” became the most important word in the English language.  (Spoken by Osho) The problem is if God is dead, then you lose the most important word in your language, and you will need a substitute.  And God was one end, one extreme; and when one extreme disappears from your mental vision, the necessary and inevitable is that you will fall to the other extreme; and that is what has happened Milarepa.  Instead of God, “Fuck” has become the most important word in our language. (Roars of Laughter)  Even if Friedrich Nietzsche comes back, he will be surprised & he will try to resuscitate somehow the dead God back.  Because this is stupid. But he will need a whole report on it, a whole research.

As heard on the iPod:

Last question Bhagwan, I feel shocked when you use the word ‘FUCK’. What to do?

Sargamo, it is one of the most beautiful words.  The English language should be proud of it. I don’t think any other language has such a beautiful word.

One Tom from California has done some great research on it. I think he must be the famous Tom of Tom, Dick and Harry fame. He says: One of the most interesting words in the English language today is the word ‘fuck’.
It is one magical word: just by its sound it can describe pain, pleasure, hate and love.

In language, it falls into many grammatical categories.

It can be used as a verb, both transitive (John fucked Mary) and intransitive (Mary was fucked by John), and as a noun (Mary is a fine fuck).
It can be used as an adjective (Mary is fucking beautiful).

As you can see, there are not many words with the versatility of ‘fuck’.

Besides the sexual meaning, there are also the following uses:

Fraud: I got fucked at the used car lot.
Ignorance: Fucked if I know.
Trouble: I guess I am fucked now!
Aggression: Fuck you!
Displeasure: What the fuck is going on here?
Difficulty: I can’t understand this fucking job.
Incompetence: He is a fuck-off.
Suspicion: What the fuck are you doing?
Enjoyment: I had a fucking good time.
Request: Get the fuck out of here!
Hostility: I am going to knock your fucking head off!
Greeting: How the fuck are you?
Apathy: Who gives a fuck?
Innovation: Get a bigger fucking hammer.
Surprise: Fuck! You scared the shit out of me!
Anxiety: Today is really fucked.

And it is very healthy too.  If every morning you do it as a Transcendental Meditation — just when you get up, the first thing, repeat the mantra “Fuck you!” five times — it clears the throat.

That’s how I keep my throat clear!

Enough for today! (Osho smiles feebly)

(PS: While I was listening to the recording again on my iPod, as a freakish coincidence, the next song as per the random shuffle queue turned out to be ‘Jesus He Knows Me & He Knows I’m Right’ by Genesis…Phew!)

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Though Agnostic, Religions Respected – I (Sikhism)

A few days ago, my Driving Instructor narrated a really profound incident, which has left an indelible impression on me.  There was an elderly man clad in a really shabby torn attire (perhaps an understatement), at the Golden Temple, Amritsar.  Seeing his pitiable state, a gentleman sitting alongside offered him a few thousand bucks to make his life a better one.  But the old man politely refused the offer, and thanked the gentleman for his generous act.  He said that he, in fact, owned a huge fleet of trucks; and that it was he who’d tear out a small piece of his cloth(es), every time he bought a new truck (and thus the numerous holes on his clothes signified an equal no. of trucks’ acquisitions) and come to the Golden Temple to pay respects.  He said that he did so, in order to keep him grounded (he didn’t want to forget the humble beginnings from which he’d risen to where he stood today) & he wanted to remain close to his maker i.e. God.  What a great man!

This is one of the many things I admire about the Sikh religion & its practitioners.  One frequently comes across even the extremely well-to-do people doing ‘Guru Sewa’ (Service for the Prophet) in Gurudwaras (places of worship in Sikhism) – doing chores like making food in the community kitchen, serving food,  washing dishes, sweeping floor etc.  In a ‘Langar’ (free community lunch), there are people across castes, economic standards, etc., all sitting on the floor & relishing the same food.  One hardly notices a Sikh beggar on the streets, since Sikhs typically are an extremely proud, self-respecting race of people, who’d never hesitate in even doing perceivably small  jobs like that of a mechanic/driver etc., instead of begging for alms.  Also, they are a real sport too, who take all the jokes & jibes made on them, sportingly with an ever-present smile.

Just for the record, the discussion had started when a beggar child/woman banged on my car windows at the red-light signal; and, I, like always, refused to budge since I detest such folks who have all their limbs intact but still aren’t ready to do a respectful job.  Then I’d mentioned about a general observation of mine (as mentioned aforesaid) that I couldn’t recall seeing a Sikh beggar on the streets.

(PS: if I can be cheeky, one more appreciable thing about the Sikhs, or rather the ‘Punjabi’ community in general, are what I’d call the PPs i.e. Punjabi Patakhas – a vernacular slang for Punjabi girls whom I’d describe as Bombshells 🙂 – A testimony to this would be the fact that almost all of my crushes / infatuations, thus far, right from childhood to adolescence to adulthood, have been associated with PPs…Although, an unfortunate fact, to contend with, has been, that they were either married off really early than girls of other demographics, or they already had a serious relationship going on, by virtue of being so eye-catching & bestowed with great charismatic personalities, to say the least…)


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