Welcome 2014. Happy New Year!

Happy New Year everyone! Wishing you all a happy and prosperous 2014. :)

How did you’ll welcome this new year? Well, does it really matter?
Have you set a new year’s resolution for yourself?
Some might say, do we even need to welcome a new year? Isn’t every day a new day, and 2014 just another change in calendar day.

Probably, everything is okay as long as you are being true to yourself. As long as you are happy.
You may like to party hard and welcome the year with a bang of fun. You may love to welcome the new year with dancing to the tunes of your favorite songs, with your favorite people all night long. You might want to take it as just another day in your Life. You might not care, but just consider it as another reason to party. You might want to set or not set a resolution, just for fun. Could be a lot of other options.

Happy New Year!

 

Keeping all that aside, no matter what, wouldn’t it actually be a good opportunity to motivate yourself? To pep up yourself? To look into your Life, past and most importantly the future. You can’t move forward, with holding onto the troubled past. This is the time when you can look back, and decide what is it that you would want to take forward with you and what is it that needs to be left behind. Decide for good, and let go off the baggage. Look into the future, with respect to the past. Looking into what aspects of your Life would you want to focus on in the near future to make a better future for yourself. This is just the recipe to build hope and confidence within you, which indirectly helps you perform better.

Some might say, the same can be done on any other day. Yes, obviously. And if you do it on a regular basis, it is great. But, the fact is that most of us don’t. We don’t think analyzing our Life and deliberately focusing on improvement is important enough. Hence, New Year could well just be used as an opportunity to look into yourself too.
After some thinking we all will have a set of things we’d love to let go, and a set of things we’d love to follow or change moving on.

In general, looking forward to the Formula1 in 2014, with a complete new set of rules. Looking forward to new music and movie releases. Especially, music by Radiohead, Adele, Lana Del Rey and many more set to release their new albums in 2014. Looking forward to learning and growing in my professional Life and a lot more…

2013 hasn’t been a good year, as far as blogging is concerned with just 3 posts throughout the year. Surely do look forward to a little more blogging in 2014.

Wish you all a happy and prosperous New Year! 
Enjoy!

Random Office Conversation: Just for Laughs!

Office conversations can sometimes be too boring, and sometimes hilarious, out of nowhere. One of those epic hilarious conversations is what I thought of sharing for a laugh, maybe:

Part One:
*A technical developer having a voice call conference with the business development manager*
BDM: An XYZ functionality is not working as expected. It looks a bit weird.
Developer: (In an attempt to give a temporary solution) Please press F12.
BDM: Well, nothing happened. I did press F12.
Developer: Umm… Well, the developer mode should open up in the bottom of your browser IE.
BDM: Oh! Wait… Did you mean Function 12?
Developer: (Furious from within) YES!

Part Two:
*The technical developer comes back from the voice call conference to his team*
Developer: You won’t believe what just happened?
Team: What?
Developer: People are so stupid. The so called MBA degree holder Business Development Manager, I asked her to press F12, she is actually typing F 1 2… And later realizes that I asked her to press F12 key.
Team: (laughs out loud)
Developer: MBA Degree hai and dekho kahan pohoch gayi with this stupidity.
One of the members in team: Woh toh MBA karke kahan se kahan pohoch gayi. Aap yahin bhajiya tal rahe ho.
Developer: (Straight Face)
Team: (Laughs out even louder)

It’s amazing how, when sarcasm and humour are mixed together, they speak so much using just a few words.

Life Balances

When you read the title “Life Balances”, the first thing that strikes us, or rather working professionals mind is Work – Life balance, on which numerous articles have been written. Most of us today want a Work – Life balance. No one likes too much work and very little time for Life, family, friends, neither do we like too many useless holidays with nothing to do. Not much discussion required here, Flexi-time is one of the best ways to achieve work-life balance today. Now, that is professional Life, on which you don’t have too much control over.

When we say “Life Balances”, there’s actually more to it than just talking of Work-Life balance. The personal time in our personal space, on which we do have control.
Aren’t you many a times caught up in a situation, where it’s really difficult to decide where to spend the little personal time you have? With friends, lover, family, thoughts, movies, music, sleep, books, hobbies, exercise, skills improvement. There is so much to do. Even if you are sitting idle, it is always because you chose to sit idle at that moment. Or, is it because you are not prepared, you haven’t decided on what to do in that unexpected idle time.
So, the problem is clear. There is a lot to do in the ‘little’ personal time that we get and we have to learn to manage time effectively to make the most of it.

Let me just list down some methods that really help in managing personal space:

  • Define and list down all that you would want to do in the personal time. Everything. Even the ones’ that may not be possible ever.
  • Prioritise your to-do list, depending on what you would want to do. What’s needed.
  • Identify and list down when do you have free time. How much free time. Which time can be used to do which task.
  • Take a note of everything above and plan accordingly.
  • Stick to the plan, when the time comes and defy laziness. (This is tough)
  • If it doesn’t work out for a while, still stick to it. Keep yourself motivated. Make some changes, if needed.

Follow the above for a month and you will realize that you have managed to complete a lot of tasks you would otherwise have missed out on doing, mainly due to poor planning and laziness.
Remember, it’s okay, if it doesn’t go as per plan, because it is not meant to. The motive here is just to be ready for free time, instead of planning free time. Most often, we are not ready for it, as free time usually doesn’t tell you when you are going to be free, unless it’s weekend. And even during weekends we end up saying, “Let’s just see, how things go. Will decide accordingly.”. Instead of pre-planning of what is needed to be done.

Cheers to free, personal space!

Woh jo ishq …

Woh jo ishq na samjhe,
usse marne ki kya hai zarurat.
Woh jo ishq se khelein,
usse jeene ki kya hai zarurat.

Cinema Impact on Society/People

This is my personal opinion here. You may judge me by my opinion, but I feel I am just being practical and factual. I do feel that Bollywood/TV, in short Cinema, does make an impact on the people, on the common man and I’ll try and justify it below in short.

By saying that cinema does make an impact on people, I do not mean to say that movies like Satya, The Godfather will be the reason for underworld dons, I do not mean to say that item numbers like Chikni Chameli, are the reason for rapes. But, they do make an impact, a subtle one. They do influence the general attitude of people. They not just influence, but also showcase the general culture of the country as a whole to the world.

The whole reason why documentaries are made, is to spread knowledge, spread awareness to the masses of the various issues that are faced across the globe, to showcase historical knowledge. Even mainstream cinema movies like 3 Idiots, October Sky, A Beautiful Mind and so many more are known for the story they tell, for the end message they convey to the people. The end message makes a difference. When it comes to music, there is soulful music, there are some really great lyrical songs that motivate you, that make you smile, that make you cry. Why does that happen? Because it does make an impact.

The paragraph above states only the ‘good’ of cinema and music and anything good can be bad too, if it is not used well. I believe, it’s the end message that matters. Some places where things are bad, especially in Bollywood are the item numbers. Item numbers are included in almost every movie even when it’s not needed. Worst, the lyrics, the dance, the overall presentation that most item numbers put up is cheap. Again, it’s not the clothing, it the presentation that matters, it’s the end message that you pass that matters. The movies too today are rarely a showcase of art and knowledge, it’s more commercial. The directors today display cheapness in the name of bold cinema. This is just Bollywood, let’s talk about Bhojpuri cinema. I do not watch Bhojpuri films, but I have come across many posters of Bhojpuri films that are released, and to me they say a lot. The posters itself give me an impression that the movie is almost a porn movie. What kind of message do you think these movies pass on to the people?

I am one of those who is ready to accept nudity in cinema too, but only when it’s needed, only when it makes a difference to the direction of the movie. Similarly, item numbers too, only if it makes a difference, only if it holds some decent meaning. Movies released, TV serials, especially the reality shows, should pass through censor board, while the censor board should not follow typical rules that say slang words are not allowed or there is no nudity. Without nudity and typical slang words a lot bad can yet be shown. It’s just a matter of playing the game and twisting the rules. The censor board should rather take into account the end message that the TV Series/movies/songs are showcasing.

Many may argue that only those who take cinema seriously will be influenced by it, but almost everyone is influenced. Each one of us is bound to be influenced by where ever your weakness or strength lies. It is just human tendency. If someone is not brought up well, not taught how to value women, he is bound to be more influenced by watching item numbers where women is considered as a ‘thing to play with’, which in turn will lead to his already bad attitude getting a boost. That same item number may probably not affect a man who is taught well how to respect women, and most probably he won’t like that item number. Let cinema be a showcase of art plus useful true knowledge plus entertainment and not ‘just’ entertainment in the name of bold cinema.

What Indians Want from the Government & Why

This post is with regards to the Delhi Protest that’s triggered after the ‘brutal’ gang rape of a 23 year old Indian Citizen in a bus that was freely roaming around in the streets of New Delhi. The nature of the crime is such that it did hurt each and every one of us concerned citizens of India deeply. Having said that, it isn’t the first time such incidents have occurred in India, and not the first time that such incidents have hurt our sentiments, but why the sudden outrage of people after this particular incident is what the Government Of India, in fact all politicians really need to understand. It really needs to connect with the people who have put them to power. Government is there in power for the people to make them feel safe, feel satisfied if not happy.

A common example, which best describes why that sudden outburst, is the fights that you see, witness in your own house, in your own Life. No one is perfect, no one expects everyone to be perfect. But there is always a threshold limit of the amount of wrong that you can tolerate. You may have various issues with your friend, but not argue and fight over every issue with him. But each time you face the issue, it sticks at the back of your mind. At some point, and that point usually is very random, when various issues are being tolerated together that the bubble bursts. You fight, you argue, and in that argument, the frustration and anger of the present issue which triggered the outburst plus the past issues all is seen at once. Hence this protest is not really just related to one rape case, but all rape cases, general freedom for all to roam around at any time, the inflation, the unemployment, the poverty, the corruption, and to top it all the attitude of the laid back, ignorant & rude Government.

Laid back, because when any protest or an issue reaches it’s peak, it’s at that time when the Government even bothers to start thinking towards addressing it, instead of an immediate action. It is then, when some top official bothers to just address the nation, giving false promises as usual.
Ignorant, because people are at a daily basis facing countless issues, inflation topping the chart for most Indians, but there is no issue that seems to take a downward turn. Not just that, we don’t see an effort by the Government to help resolve these issues. Instead we do see scams and more scams which are only worsening the already worsened economy, leading to more inflation.
Arrogant, because even if they are ignorant, people of India are reaching out to the Government, to know what is wrong, to sit together and help solve issues. If a wrong step is being taken a loud shout of NO is given by the people of India, or may be the opposition party, but the Government is not bothered, they yet do as per their will and wish. Biggest example here being bringing in FDI, the way GOI has handled various protests that’s happened since past few years.

What we are seeing until today is that this rape case is being given importance (which is good), but at the same time, it’s clearly visible that the attitude of GOI still remains laid back, ignorant & arrogant. This rape case seems to be given some special importance just for the sake of politics, to pacify the protesters. We yet do not see the change we want to see in the Government.

I write this article with a hope that, the message reaches the people who are part of the Government, to the people who may be a part of the Government at some point. Let this mistake not be repeated. It’s never too late.

Balasaheb Thackeray – All You Need To Know

Balasaheb Thackeray, a cartoonist, a politician, a public figure who is not on news everyday but yet is known to all. When he is on news, we know there is something major, something to watch out. But since he is on news rarely, only a few know much about him. Also, considering the fact that in the past 10 years or so, he’s hardly done much, this left a big amount of crowd, especially the urban literate to not respect him because they know him as a man who instigated violence and fear(thanks to paid media, may be), and some Valentine’s Day protests. This post is mainly to highlight some of his acts, with explanations if possible.

Call it paid media or the fact that he didn’t do much in the past 10 years, I think this is a big failure of Shiv Sena to educate every class about his achievements. Many supporters themselves may not know all and only know some instances. When it comes to vandalising property, creating fear, his supporters blindly followed his commands without really understanding why. I take this as a failure too, not that his commands were wrong, but highlighting the cause, giving reasonable reason is necessary too. It will help in moving forward the legacy too, educating the crowd for what he really stands for. This is the main reason why at times there’s violence even when there is no order from the Shiv Sena leaders. They are unable to control their own followers. Nevertheless, he is not perfect, no one is.

Coming down to achievements which I doubt anyone will disagree on. He started off as a cartoonist and must say a good one. Even in the later stages his cartoons did speak a lot. If he has lacs of followers who just go by his word, it definitely means a lot, says a lot about his leadership skills. Inspite of a few goof-ups here and there, he has managed this large number of followers in a way none of us can even imagine. His oratory skills are evident from the fact that within a couple of years he could manage to gather lacs of people to just listen to him. And this was done with only speeches and writing down some amazing articles in his magazine in the very early stage of his career. He has helped his community in a way like no other. You may be from a different community, feel jealous that you don’t have anyone of that stature to fight for your community, but you can’t deny what he did for his community, gave them job security, food, shelter, and Life security too. He was fearless and pursued what he believed in, no matter what. No matter how many enemies he created in that course, it didn’t stop him. Here, we read inspirational quotes each day from the greats to do what you believe in, to not fear. He was a man who lived it and proved to the world that those are not just quotes, they can be put to reality.

Coming down to some issues which all do not agree on, I will raise my opinion here with explanations.
He is often known as an enemy to the so called “outsiders” in Mumbai. My family is Sindhi-Gujju, an outsider too, and we have never faced any issue ever from them, infact we have been saved and helped at times. Reason being my family is contributing to this nation, to the city by working, having a decent job, a decent business. He has given security to Sikhs during the 84 riots, that were almost spread into Mumbai too, but didn’t because of him. He gave security to Kashmiri Pandits, who were forced out of their own states. In Mumbai, there are many immigrants from other states with absolutely no idea of what they want, they just hop in here, and start the search for job, shelter, food. This leads to them using resources that are already low for the people here, increasing population which indirectly hits the city in various ways. Increase in slum dwellers, affecting the hygiene of the city, also a reason to lot many infrastructure development hurdles. Since am not from the 1970′s, I don’t know why exactly was he against South Indians, Gujjus back then. But today against UP immigrants makes sense, because majority of them are from UP, the very lower class, without a job, just roaming around with the main motive of eve teasing, spitting at public places. The one’s running auto, taxis resort to meter tampering, being rude to passengers. Compare this to Bangalore, Hyderabad, Delhi may be, there are immigrants in these cities too, but those are mainly service class people who first secure a job and then move in. They know how to behave too. They don’t just come in, make their own tent in some corner of the road and claim to get resources and land for free some years later. Yes, violence is not the way to treat this issue, but the issue raised isn’t wrong.
BJP ruled Maharashtra from 95-99. And it’s not a secret that Balasaheb was the ‘remote control’ minister. That was the time when Maharashtra witnessed a lot of development, but that was also the time when the development didn’t reach his own true followers, the poor Marathi Manoos. May be, he went wrong in distributing the development equally. Since then Mumbai has been losing it’s charm slow and steadily, in subtle ways, for which you can view my blog post on Mumbai written a few months back,  Mumbai – A City Of Dreams, Yet?
Balasaheb may have been linked to violence a lot many times, most prominent being the one is 93. The question is why. No one likes violence, especially not a person who is working for the welfare of the state, of the people. Not going much into details, that was the time when various events took place, which sparked one another. Someone needed to take charge and ‘retaliate’, retaliate to protect and stand for Hindus, that someone was Balasaheb Thackeray. Many of this generation parents would not have been alive today or rather worse would have been raped if it were not for him to protect at that crucial moment. I somehow remember this quote now from the man who is known as the epitome of non-violence.

It is better to be violent, if there is violence in our hearts, than to put on the cloak of non-violence to cover impotence. ~ Mahatma Gandhi

Balasaheb himself said that he is not against Muslims, he is against those Muslims who are against India. Well, aren’t we all against them? Atleast, I am. I don’t want people like Kasab to be called Indian Citizens and spread terror in the country, in the name of being a minority. Infact, the Muslims who are not against India will not like themselves to be called a minority because they know how much they are loved by all.

Me, being born and brought up in Mumbai, having my parents live the 1984, 1993 riots in Mumbai, I admire the man for the way he’s shown courage, for what he has managed to accomplish, for the strength, for his accomplishments as a politician, as a public figure, for the hold that he has developed over the city, like no other can. Yes, I may not agree to all of Balasaheb’s acts, techniques, but then me and him are not the same. I respect him for the amount of work he has done, I doubt most of us can even achieve 10% of what he has done in his Life.

Respect earned.

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