Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Ghalib

ऍ बुरे वक़्त ज़रा अदब से पेश आ
वक़्त नहीं लगता वक़्त बदलने में 

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Read at tandem

It was serendipitous that I started reading two books together - so similar and so different. One is Fatima Bhutto's Songs of Blood & Sword and the other is Ramchandra Guha's India After Gandhi. One is about Pakistan's journey so far and the other is about India. Both are as biased as possible - one against Benazir Bhutto and the other towards Jawaharlal Nehru. Yet the accounts are fascinating.

We know so little about post-independence era. India and Pakistan took different paths and while the roots lie in how they were created way back in 1940s, there were events later on which tested both the countries and both took further detours.

My advise - buy both the books and read them at tandem.

Friday, May 8, 2015

l-e-m-l

l-e-m-l is how I define the change that is at play in the contemporary consumer internet business. From local-commerce to e-commerce the journey was cumbersome and took many many years. Transition to m-commerce (mobile based) will be complete within couple of year. The transition of using mobile to find products in nearby marketplace will happen within months. Its already happening.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

10000

Hundred times growth in 3 years was fun and a hundred times growth target in next 6 years will be challenging but you know what's insanely, freakishly, confoundingly bizarre -  combining the two. Witnessing ten thousand times growth over nine years.  Living every day of it as if it's a dream come true. Being part of the first $100Bn Internet based enterprise in India. Tell me if you are not jealous. 

Friday, October 3, 2014

Back

The most devastating thing happening right now in this world is that the ones who love are not being loved back the way they should be. Love kindles love while apathy should be a dead end. I have this feeling that the world has turned upside down.

Go home. Kiss your mom. Hug your brother. Ask advice from your dad. Tell a friend he is the best. Then, maybe, we can start thinking how to turn up this toppled planet.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Mothers: Entry 2

Last time I got a raise, I shared with Ma and she was delighted. It took me a moment to realise that she was not happy over my salary hike. She was happy because I was happy. I am her natural extension - just like her legs or her eyes. The chord was cut at birth and allowed me to move away but for a mother it is impossible to think of her child as a separate entity. She lives multiple lives in one lifetime in this way. Its a curse and bliss at the same time.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Recharge

The future generations will remember contemporary age as the Age of Recharge. We recharge our laptops, our cameras, our smart phones. We recharge our day with a pint. We recharge our life with those quick trips to a hill station or a beach resort. Its all good except that every discharge - recharge cycle eats a part of us, just like a rechargeable lithium - ion battery. Shared from Google Keep

Thursday, June 26, 2014

life/wife

In the venn diagram of life,
happiness of husband is 
a subset of happiness of wife.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Pooh...

I now know what Winnie the Pooh meant when he said those words. All he desired was a life-long companionship.

Friday, June 6, 2014

... and no good thing ever dies

... and no good thing ever dies.

Why not? Why won't a good thing die? Good things die every day - good people, good views, good acts. Yes, their memory never dies. Everyone likes to cherish a good moment and tries to forget a bad one. Maybe good things live forever in those moments. Maybe all that they need to be immortal is a good memory.

Mothers: Entry 1

That is the trouble with Moms. They are all awesome. Their service level to their child across the world is spectacularly equal so instead of being considered a POD (point of differentiation), their effort is treated as a POP (point of parity) !

Thursday, May 29, 2014

thought ...

Shaw once said 'Get what you like or you will be forced to like what you get.' It was a strong statement and resided in my mind for quite a while before I thought over and over and questioned 'Can I get all that I like?' Not even Lord Krishna can claim that. When he preached Arjun about Dharma in Gita, the most quoted expression was 'Do your duty without bothering about the outcome.' There was a sense of helplessness when he said this. Neither circumstance nor outcome is in your complete control. Why bother? It is karma and only karma that is truly yours. Hence it is karma that should occupy you in entirety. Shaw's statement was just reduced to a hard truth about life in my mind.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

the first night hero

It was my first week on floor. News came that the night shift manager met with an accident. I had to fill his shoes. I took up the challenge although reluctantly. There was a big lot of 100K meters running on the continuous mercerizer and the saying was 'bigger the lot, easier the life'.

At around 3 AM, an operator pointed out to me that stains were visible on the fabric at regular interval and casually suggested we stop the machine. I was of two minds. I had heard that operators will find minor reasons to stop the machine and then go to sleep. On the other hand if he was right I was wasting 60 meters of fabric per minute. At Rs. 300 / meter, each minute wasted was equal to my two months salary then !

Just the moment before I was going to say 'lets continue', an old worker pulled my sleeve, took me to the corner and said 'aa naa chaale saab, ye fabric white che'. I looked at him, saw genuine concern in his eyes and immediately asked the operator to shut down the machine.

Next day 'my' decision was applauded and I was declared 'the first night hero'. The name of this old worker was Adil. He became a trusted assistant and a friend. He taught me my first lesson on people management at Arvind Mills.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Performance targets

Some performance targets are achieved by strategizing and some by keeping your fingers crossed. Prashant Kumar

Freedom of choice ?

Some days ago I had an interesting discussion with Ankush. I was of the opinion that people of older generation were less happy because they did not have much choices to recreate. Choices for me have represented freedom and consequently happiness. Choices generate a sense of freedom or empowerment over what is going to happen. It was a long standing thought process in my mind which was questioned that day.

Ankush had another theory. Having more choices bring more disharmony and restlessness according to him. Consider the choice of spending time with smartphone vis a vis sharing days events with wife, he said. Disharmony is guaranteed. Jokes apart I agreed to his point to some extent. Choices make you rue for chosen one over the other.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Gujjus

Back in 2005, I rented a cab from Veraval (Somnath) to Diu. The cab driver was a typical talkative Gujarati. He confided to me in the first few minutes of our premature companionship, on why he took a cab on loan and how much he is earning. The returns were modest and he was happy. He told me how the government is helping minorities like himself by providing discounted loans. He was a Muslim.

The last bit was more remarkable back then after Godhra and all but now that I think about it, the recollection should get a  tag of 'Gujjus'. He was a Gujju by heart and had his numbers, nafaa, nuksaan all sorted out. It is the Gujju way of life and much is to be learned from it.

Gujjus do not believe in showoffs since they do not see nafaa (profit) in it. They do not buy big cars for the same reason. They prioritize almost everything except family. Almost everything apart from family is weighed on the basis of how much return it will give and at what risk. Life is simple and beautiful. I sense it is this simplicity that engines the industrious nature of Gujarat. Modi has simply added to this approache and has thrived.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

I want ...

A compulsive wanderer turned obsessive workaholic turned decrepit philistine - life has brought so many colours from within me in last few years. I lost hard gained friends on the way and gained hard forged wisdom or two. The cycle seems spiralling up unless someone stops winding. It is not in me. I have a choice though.

I want to walk barefoot on the dewy grass. I want to dance in the rain. I want to see the sun drowning in the sea. I want to read a book in one go. I want ...

Autobiography: Entry 6

The two years in Colwell & Salmon had characters and twists that could make a masala movie. There was ruthless ambition, misgivings, travel to exotic locations, confusion, blankness, flexing of moralities, indecency and of course an out and out engaging fun.

In my second week in the firm, I was flown to a small town near Sheffield with a bunch of bright domain experts who became like family in the one month of stay there. It was there that I realized how strong a factor of binding it can be to stick together in a foreign land with nothing but each other to fall to.

We used to have a couple hour session at the end of each day where we would share jokes and make fun of people around. It was our only stress buster there. Often the confusion there made us quote the famous lines of Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron - ' Ye sab kya ho rahaa hai beta Duryodhan?'

Once the project ended and we settled back in India, the time of the grapevine ripened. The next one year was an exodus of near and dear colleagues of mine. I took pledge not to switch into a job that did not give me good company at office. I was that alone.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Why

One can keep questioning 'Why' except when the answer is 'Love'. There is no reason expected when there is love. Somewhere beyond the realm of logic lies the realm of what a commoner understands not much. Love attracts wrath of the general public for this exact reason. People do not understand why someone did something because he/she was in love and they do not accept what they do not understand. Such is the tragedy of love.

devil's ball

A clear difference between Ramayan and Mahabharat is the unequivocal demarcation of evil in the former compared to the later. Ravan is evil at his purest while Ram is the righteous. Duryodhan is neither pure evil nor Krishna is all good. In fact Mahabharat is considered as the finest collection of grey characters who behave differently in different circumstances.

The greyest of them all is the mighty Karn. He has compassion and revenge in his heartin equal proportions. Indeed when Dinkar eulogised Karn and highlighted his dilemma in Rashmirathi, it was done keeping a balance of words. Else it would have been rejected.

The transition from Ramayan to Mahabharat is, according to me, a change of stand the devil took. It lost to Ram because it was concentrating on Ravan and with Ravan's death the game was over. So devil took a strategic step of diversifying the risk. It took longer than planned but now at the edge of Kaliyug when every human is a shade of grey, devil is finally going to have a ball.