Saturday, August 22, 2009

Funny People

Royal Bank of Scotland offered us free tickets to a movie on Fridays. While the last two were good. The one we saw yesterday was hopeless. Its called Funny People. IS THIS COMEDY??? I wanted to hang myself for seeing this movie. Not one joke worth laughing at. Seemed all of them were competing for "who speaks the most abusive language"award, ladies included. We walked out halfway through the film.

Seriously now my respective for Malayalam film directors and comedians have doubled. They are simply the best in comedy and maybe Hollywood could take a cue from them rather than making such silly films.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Thursday, August 6, 2009

New Relationships....

Why is it that new relationships freak me out? I dont know. I have had 3 jobs and each time I went into the new one I was so scared of meeting unfamiliar faces. Now I am scared of the new member coming into the family. Maybe I was never comfortable with any one person for long enough. I always have thought if I had made a different set of friends like the ones I have now when I was back at my hometown.

On the brighter side , my second slogan this year has won me a prize. A much coveted Friends DVD for a friendship day competition. Maybe I should concentrate more on slogans.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Chennai - Hop On Hop Off Tour

Recently we went on the Chennai Hop On Hop Off tour. It was the first of its kind that I was undertaking in India. There are basically 2 routes. One into the city of Chennai and one on the ECR. The ECR route was the one we chose. The stops included the Thiruvithanthai temple , Dakshina Chitra, MGM , Mayajaal, Crocodile Bank , Muttukadu boating house and Mahabalipuram. Ok I have messed up the order, but the idea is that it covers all these places which are major hotspots along the ECR. And there are certain discounts at these places also. Like for instance the Muttukadu boat ride is available free with these tickets. The bus tour has been organized by TTDC and costs around Rs 190 for the ECR route(after introductory discounts, dunno if its still there). I am told the city route comes to around Rs 250. The buses are new and air-conditioned. So the ride is enjoyable. There is a guide on board every bus.The only deterrent that day was the weather as it was the end of June and a good 40 degrees celsius of summer heat.

If it hadnt been for that everything else was perfect that day. I am hoping that this tour lasts for long, as the buses were mostly empty. But then we had traveled on a weekday. I dont know how the situation is on the weekends. Maybe it will find more takers in the so-called winter season of December-January. So here's wishing it all the best.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Girls of Riyadh , Mediocre but arrogant etc

Resignation and a long vacation has not done much good for me on the financial side but am reading lots of books these days a bit too much for my own liking , but its a variegated list.

Girls of Riyadh by Raja Alsanea
Mediocre but arrogant by Abhijit Bhaduri
Undomestic Goddess by Sophie Kinsella
The associate by John Grisham
Paths of Glory by Jeffrey Archer

Hope to review some of them in my next post.

Friday, June 19, 2009

What Next?

The job's gone. Money's gone. Life is at a complete standstill. What can I do now? I am completely helpless.I dont have anyone to turn to now. I am all alone in this world. Life hasnt even started properly, but I want it to end quickly.

Probably my state of mind is not uncommon in the cases of quite a few people given the times we live. Atleast that's what I read in a recent article in the week magazine. The confusion prevailing in the lives of many people in their 20's and 30's. In the 90's we were in a hurry to grow up. But now we want to turn back time . Return to childhood. Hoping life wasnt so complicated. Hoping that our parents were young again and taking care of us rather than we taking care of them.

There is no such thing as unrequited love. Earlier people stayed on in marriages because of bad names in society, children's upbringing etc. But now that is not the case anymore. Divorce is rampant nowadays. Who cares about morality anymore. Spend as much money and live life to the fullest in the short span of time that's the motto it seems nowadays. How long can life go on like this.

I really hope I am able to come across a messiah of sorts in the near future.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Saying good bye to what was once a dream job….

Recession, recession everywhere…….while it has always been bad enough that I was working on temporary contract positions all throughout my stint in Dubai; I was hoping that at least this one will click but even that was not meant to be. Thanks to this recession. What is going to happen now?They have put a freeze on permanent positions , and I being the risk taker that I am went ahead went ahead , applied for a lesser known company and got through. Am I doing the right thing by leaving my current employer which obviously in everybody else’s eyes is the best you can get in UAE?The problem is the boredom that sets into me inevitably after one year on any job. I am not suited for these desk jobs and I don’t know how many times I will repeat the same story before finally getting completely tired of doing the same thing over and over again.What is my dream job……..I really don’t know now. I wish I could go meet a career counsellor but Dubai doesn’t really have too many options without paying good money for that as well.Here the whiter the skin the better I suppose. Last 3 years I went through this traffic nightmare from Sharjah to Dubai starting at 5.30 am daily from my home. I had to wake up at 4.45 am for this. Something I have not even done for my 12th board exams.And I guess it’s not just the job alone, life itself here has become very lonely, I didn’t have any friends or relatives here. It’s not enough to work with the best company here if you cannot bring your dear ones here. Every time I head back home I get the same questions, when are your parents coming here.
How long can I keep avoiding these questions ..............

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Gone are the days!

Another good forward:

Gone are the days!!!

The school reopened in June,
And we settled in our new desks and
When we queued up in book depot,
And got our new books and notes!
When we wanted two Sundays and no Mondays, Yet managed to line up daily for the morning prayers.
We learnt writing with slates and pencils, and
Progressed To fountain pens and ball pens and then Micro tips!
When we began drawing with crayons and evolved to
Color pencils and finally sketch pens!
When we started calculating
first with tables and then with
Clarke's tables and advanced to
Calculators and computers!
When we chased one another in the
corridors in Intervals, and returned to the classrooms
Drenched in sweat!
When we had lunch in classrooms, corridors,
under the trees and even in cycle sheds!
When all the colors in the world,
Decorated the campus on the Second Saturdays!
When a single P.T. period in the week's Time Table,
Was awaited more eagerly than the monsoons!
When cricket was played with writing pads as bats,
And Neckties and socks rolled into balls!
When few played
"kabadi" and "Kho-Kho" in scorching sun,
While others simply played
"book cricket" in the
Confines of classroom!
Of fights but no conspiracies,
Of Competitions but seldom jealousy!
When we used to
watch Live Cricket telecast,
In the opposite house in Intervals and Lunch breaks!
When few rushed at 3:45 to
"Conquer" window seats in our School bus!
While few others had "Big Fun", "peppermint" ,
"kulfi", " milk ice !" and "sharbat !" at 4 o Clock!
Gone are the days
Of Sports Day,
and the annual School Day ,
And the one-month long
preparations for them.
Gone are the days
Of the stressful Quarterly,
Half Yearly and Annual Exams, And the most
enjoyed holidays after them!
Gone are the days
Of tenth and twelfth standards, when
We Spent almost the whole year writing revision tests!
We learnt,
We enjoyed,
We played,
We won,
We lost,
We laughed,
We cried,
We fought,
We thought.
With so much fun in them, so many friends,
So much experience, all this and more!
Gone are the days
When we used
to talk for hours with our friends!
Now we don't have time to say a 'Hi'!
Gone are the days
When we played games on the road!
Now we
Code on the road with laptop!
Gone are the days
When we saw stars
Shining at Night!
Now we see stars when our code doesn't
Gone are the days
When we sat to chat with Friends on grounds!
Now we chat in chat rooms.....!
Gone are the days
Where we
studied just to pass!
Now we study to save our job!
Gone are the days
Where we had no money in our pockets and still fun filled on our hearts!! (this is what is still remembered very much)
Now we have the ATM as well as credit card but with an empty heart!!
Gone are the days
Where we shouted on the road!
Now we don't shout even at home
Gone are the days
Where we got lectures from all!
Now we give lectures to all... like the one I'm doing now....!!
Gone are the days
But not the memories, which will be
Lingering in our hearts for ever and ever and
Ever and ever and ever ......
Gone are the Days.... But still there are lot more Days to come in our Life!!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Sitagita contest

These were my entries for the sitagita blog contest:

Blogging is Therapeutic

While on this topic, I would like to give a brief introduction about blogs in general. A blog or "web log" is like a personal diary. An online journal where you can write whatever you feel like. It doesn't have an intended audience in most cases. It can include even photos, videos, links to other articles etc. You can set preferences as to whether your blog can be read by the public or only select friends. Blogs are normally listed in the reverse chronological order with the latest entry on top. You can categorize them according to different subjects as well. There are blogs on how to write, how to cook, techie blogs, health subjects. Anything, you name it you got it. Now, back to the topic: Is a blog therapeutic? Yes, I agree with that. Why? I can say from my own experience , that on the days when I used to feel bad, or tired from a hectic work day where nothing really went right , writing about something relieved a lot of tension from my mind, as I was focusing my mind on something else for a change. I must have started writing from a pretty young age. Earlier I used to scribble on bits and pieces of paper or old school notebooks, because nobody really presented a diary to me back then. Although I participated in quite a few creative writing competitions in school and college, I never really won anything. Well the fact is, I am no poet. I just try to write good English. A blog was a change for me. I wasn't competing with anyone for once, but at =he same time I became happy after I wrote something. I was expressing my opinion without having to really shout or make gestures to get noticed. And even if somebody disagreed, I didn't really care, because a blog =s not a debate. I always wanted to be a journalist or a writer. Somehow I got stuck with the software engineering profession instead. But one thing that amazes me is that many of the good blogs I have ever come across are the ones written by software engineers! Of course no offense meant to the people from other professions, maybe the reason is that the software engineers are technologically savvy and hence tend to embrace blogs more quickly than others. Basically anybody who has got a computer with internet connection, a good grasp of the language (could be any language) and ideas can be a blogger. It relieves the stress of daily life. And for a while you are transported to a different world altogether. Sometimes even when your personal life is in disarray and you constantly feel like you are down in the dumps, writing about it takes some weight off your shoulders. I guess that's why personal diaries came about. In this case, getting advice or sympathy from people who care about you helps avoiding a state of depression. Help might come from unlikely quarters. Writing can help you to get back on track in life. To conclude, writing has had a therapeutic effect on me. And blogging which I discovered about 4 years ago has helped improve both my language and writing skills, apart form the fact that I learnt a lot from reading other blogs by people both ordinary and famous.

Friendships - Do We Have Time for Them Today?

The answer to the above question for me would be yes and no. As I write this blog, I am reminded of something that happened to me very recently. A couple of days back when I opened my gmail inbox I saw a message stating that one of my friends had tagged me in a photo on facebook. I immediately logged into my facebook account and sure enough there was an old Class-2 photograph of mine comprising of a bunch of 6 and 7 year olds (quite a number were toothless) looking back at me from this friend's album. And there I was sitting in the front row smiling very eagerly and happy just to be seated right next to my then "best friend". The picture which was both comical and cute reminded of a bygone era of my school days when life was less complicated. What happened to all those kids in the photograph? If I had been from my mother's generation then I would have probably said "I don't know". But living in the technology era, I can safely say what happened to most of them in the photograph, where they are and what they do. Most of them are there either in my orkut or my facebook network. But I haven't met most of them in ages! So can I really refer to them as friends? Can I just pick up the phone and call them up like as if we had just met each other the other day! The answer is no. Most of them either live in different parts of the country or in other countries. My situation is not entirely different from my mother's. The only difference being that she probably does not know where all the Sita's and Gita's of her class landed up, whereas I do! But I am not really better off than her in any sense. While I am always glad I met those people in my past life. Friends in my current situation are the people at my workplace, people who travel with me daily to the office and the people who stay nearby my place whom we go out with occasionally. During my brief stint in Dubai I have come across people who have helped me in different levels without really expecting anything back in return. They are not necessarily well off or people who have all the time in the world for me. But they are folks who have kept some of their invaluable time aside especially for me. Like the colleague at my workplace who makes it a point to share all the sweetmeats he gets from others. The ex-colleague who went out of his way to drop me off at the Dubai International Airport in an emergency situation when my husband was out of town. Trivial though these may seem to some people, these kind gestures from time to time have rekindled my faith in mankind as a whole and have helped me to maintain friendships. We have to make time for long lasting friendships. Cause without it people will just remain as mere acquaintances and not friends. We all lead a hectic lifestyle juggling home and work. But one day we will retire and all this will come to an end. By then our children will be caught up in the proverbial rat race like we used to in our younger days. If we take time out to treat some of these people we see everyday kindly, then maybe there will be many more people on our Orkut or Facebook networks who will be more than just mere acquaintances and whom we can turn to in our darkest times. Or atleast some people with whom we could play an occasional game of cards... What say!!!

Chennai Then And Now

The history of Madras dates back to the year 1639 when a piece of land, where Fort. St. George stands today, was transacted by the East India Company. Near the fort other settlements came up and over the centuries the city has evolved into the Chennai of today. The effect of the British settlement is evident in many monumental structures in this beautiful city. Also this city boasts of some of the oldest and amongst the best educational institutions in the country today. The most noted among them being MCC, The Presidency College, and Loyola College among a host of others. Many prominent personalities have studied in these colleges. Today, probably the engineering colleges in this city may outnumber the Arts and Science Institutions. It also would not be fair if we do not mention the 2 most famous engineering institutions IIT Madras and the Anna University. These institutions are the dream destinations of many an aspiring engineering student. These colleges played an important factor in making Chennai a viable IT destination. The software industry which has now become the pride of Chennai has evolved at a very rapid pace over the last 10 years. At the end of the 80's and early 90's most people were aware of only the big 3 of TCS, Infosys and Wipro. But today hundreds of software companies' large, medium and small have mushroomed in nooks and corners of this city. It is hard to keep count of them, much less remember all their names. The IT revolution changed the look of the city. It introduced 6 lane highways of world class standards. Tall glass buildings, well-manicured lawns, landscaped gardens and lighted fountains have taken over the old look of the city. A booming real estate sector has brought out skyscrapers in all shapes boasting of superb amenities found in the west. Not to mention the ever-changing shopping scenario which previously boasted of all Saravana's and Nalli's. Now they have Giordano and Bossini among several other foreign brands. No description of Chennai would be complete without a description of its rich heritage and culture. It has been a home to many famous carnatic music maestros and classical dancers. It has a season in the month of December dedicated only to music and dance. Today even the theatre has gained momentum as the people are more and more open to new ideas. It is by and large a peaceful city with many famous religious places to visit, be it the Kapaleeswarar temple or the Santhome Cathedral or the Thousand Lights mosque. Chennai is a place where the old world charm meets the new world. I started living here when it was still called Madras. From then till now after having visited many other cities, I still feel is the best place I have ever lived in.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Tips from Robin Sharma

The following tips were given by Robin Sharma at the recently concluded Emirates Airlines International Festival of Literature:

  • Read inspirational books, great autobiographies, go on the Internet and get good information in your mind.
  • Eat good food, because you become what you eat.
  • Listen to great music
  • Protect your environment and your thinking
  • Savor the simple, but don't give up your nice things
  • Take care of your health
  • Think about your legacy, the influence in the world around you.

Madras Oldies and Indian Bloggers - Old timers on Madras , there seems to be regular interviews of them these days in Metro plus. How I miss reading that paper now.

Top Indian bloggers address list:

Lightning in Dubai,UAE pics

These are some pics I received as an email forward. I dont know who took these pics but they are really fantastic.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Another bad day!

The amount of traffic today between Sharjah and Dubai was unbelievable. It took me 2 and a half hours to reach my office which is about 10km away. I shudder to think of the nightmare for people who would have traveled further than that. Who cares about the people working here anyway? There is a global recession here but all the people here drive expensive 4-wheel drives. And most of them have only 1 person seated in the vehicle. Why cant office colleagues car pool and go to the office.The traffic has worsened since the recession started thanks to construction work/metro projects on all the major roads. All the people were in some sort of a frenzy here. I think most of them have gone mad. Question is when is this going to end? Rents have all started coming down. But there doesnt seem to be any sure signs of a mass exodus from Dubai.

Dubai and Recession

Monday, February 2, 2009

White Tiger- By Aravind Adiga

After reading the White Tiger and watching Slumdog Millionaire, I really felt as if I was born and brought up in a 3rd world country. As is the case with the 2 previous booker prize winning books that I have read namely the The God of Small Things and The Inheritance of Loss this too was a disappointment. And I have decided not to pick up any more books just because they won the booker prize. What is the criteria based on which books are shortlisted for the booker I wonder? Adiga's White Tiger has no great storyline none whatsoever, it is just the story of another villager making it big in the city. And the usual city-slickers being bad stuff. I have seen "N" number of bollywood, kollywood and tollywood films on the same theme. Frankly why read one more book like this.Are everyone staying in cities bad?? Admitted that there is a caste system which is an unnecessary evil for India. But there are many using this caste system to their own advantage for education , jobs etc etc. Why do we still write about the caste of a person in this country?Its high time all this stops.And its high time we stop glorifying the booker prize.


Sun in Gemini
Like the inconstant moon, your mind is constantly on the move--inquisitive, precocious, restless and changing. Versatility is your mainstay, and you can do many things at once. You have a need to communicate on all levels, whether it be through speaking, writing, broadcasting or sign language. Your logical, rational mind works quickly, and has great potential--especially when it works through some media.
You most likely enjoy talking on the telephone, whether initiating a conversation or responding. Your youthful, lively personality is like a magnet, and people of all walks of life are drawn to you. Your worst fault is that your many interests could make you lean towards superficiality. This could also lead to never finishing projects once started. You can curb these traits by focusing in on your skills, and choosing only a few areas in which to become an expert.
Your winsome ways make you the natural salespeople of the zodiac; you could sell anything to anyone, anytime. You could work almost anywhere--department stores, advertising, commercial sales, business. Your need for communication also makes you gifted in teaching, writing, or reporting; notice all of these are not desk jobs and they do not involve routine. In addition, you excel in anything to do with diversity, which can be public or behind the scenes. You could also make a good counselor since one side of your split "twin" personalites is always listening. Other possible career choices for you include acting, politics, researching, or being a librarian.
You can be very shrewd and cunning, and your chief fear in life is boredom. Because you are a twin--the first dual sign of the zodiac--you can either be at war with your self, or achieve a high state of harmony, like the yin-yang. You represent the split between the divine and the human in all of us, and your biggest achievement is finding a way to harmonize that split. If it is weak, you could be like a whimsical butterfly, flitting from one situation to another. If controlled, you grow incredibly by your many varied experiences, which add depth to your person--even wisdom.
Though you are not known for your concentration or persistence, you are very versatile and adaptable, making you a natural social creature. You need to move around and mingle. Your mind is your greatest asset, and anyone wanting to reach you should do it through logic or reasoning. You enjoy your freedom, and it is difficult to pin you down. You have a tendency to dramatize things, to "think big" then not carry through, to let your imagination get the better of you. If you do not master both of your split persons, you could become neurotic. Also, because Gemini rules the nervous system, they are more prone to nervous breakdowns than other signs in the zodiac.
Your quick mind, unfortunately, can be many times preoccupied with #1 (yourself). The solution to a happy life is to think about others and try to be of service to them. Spread yourself out, but not too thin; use your new ideas to help others. Venture out from curiosity, but use your intellectual mind to understand the world and the relationships between people, places and objects. This could help you in your communication, and really make you an asset in your chosen career.
You may have a dark side, which is changeable and moody. This is when your mind and your heart disagree, when the twins are at war with themselves. Like Geminis Bob Dylan, Marilyn Monroe, and Judy Garland, you may sing lonely ballads or be prone to depression. Often, Geminis leave the family to seek a larger world.
A Gemini woman seems to be all over the place. She can talk, and talk, and talk--on any number of topics. Though her knowledge is mostly superficial, if she has a passion for it, it can be deep. She excels in communication, is frequently flirtatious and flighty. Her restlessness makes her reluctant to commit easily, so a potential mate may have to play the waiting game before she'll settle down. Wait until she makes peace with herself, has sown some wild oats. Remember she's a late bloomer.
Gemini men, you are quick, witty, enigmatic. You keep constantly changing, like a kaleidoscope--just when women have you figured out, you do something completely different. Women should appeal to his intellect if they want to woo him, and remember that he is like two people inhabiting one body: one person is attentive, the other could care less. Ultimately, he needs to know he is appreciated on all fronts. A strong woman can help him fit the two pieces of his personality together.
Geminis can get along socially with just about anyone. They feel most at home with other air signs, particularly Aquarians, who also have quick minds, but they can also get along with their polar opposites, Sagittarius. In romance, Geminis love with their minds first. They thrive on mental stimulation, and many times they will seek friendship first before love. Though they are fickle, once their hearts are won they love deeply. A potential Gemini mate should always remember to seduce the mind first.
You enjoy spending money on things you love. Because you are split, your money habits depend on which "twin" dominates--the spendthrift or the spender. In terms of religion, your restlessness precludes you from being faithful to one denomination--you tend to sample different ones. As an air sign, you enjoy the abstract world of concepts and open-ended plans--and you could debate endlessly the validity or existence of God, or your philosophy of ethics. Committing to one, however, proves difficult until you find one you can completely believe in.
Your love of words and language also makes you a strong storyteller. You may be the best joke teller at the party, or you may write poetry. Whatever the case, you enjoy experimenting with ideas and expressing opinions just to be provocative. In some cases, content is not as important as contact; your need to express is more important than what you say. Because you are filled with imagination, you are the eternal pre-adolescent, a Peter Pan who never grows up, or takes a long time. You are often a late bloomer, and present yourself as overconfident to hide your youthful insecurities.
You must ward against talking too much, which prevents you from doing things or finishing projects. Although you are charming, you need to get the job done. Your challenge is to try to stick with things, instead of giving in to your short attention span. Stay with relationships and jobs, unless they seem doomed to failure. You have many gifts; your challenge is to figure out the best way to express your talents.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Madras Musings

Letter to the Editor of 7days Claiming ‘Slumdog’ Wednesday 28 Jan, 2009

I totally agree with the reader Jayakrishna about his views on ‘Slumdog Millionaire’. While Danny Boyle’s depiction of poverty is not totally incorrect, there are several scenes in the film which was toofar-fetched. The scene where the boy Jamal jumps from the makeshift“toilet” was un! called for. And both the real life hosts of the TV show‘Kaun Banega Crorepati’ namely Amitabh Bachchan and Shah Rukh Khan were very courteous towards the contestants and treated each of them with the same amount of respect no matter which part of society they were from. Unlike the protagonist played by Anil Kapoor in the film. Even if this film were to bag all the Oscars it has been nominated for. We as Indians should not rejoice about them. On the occasion of our Republic Day, we should take a vow to improve our country and remove poverty so that no more movies romanticising our poverty should be made.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Measuring Success

How Do You Measure Success?By Shawn Driscoll

One of the places I often start with a new client is to have them answer this question: "At this stage of my life/career/business success is?"
By starting with a clear definition of what success looks like for them, we have a compass by which to measure their success.
But recently, I've started to notice an interesting pattern. Many of my clients, colleagues, and friends (and yes, even yours truly!) go after certain goals for one set of reasons, but then later measure their success against a completely different set of reasons or standards.
Here's an example of what I mean:
One of my clients had set a goal of increasing the visibility of her business by getting lots of PR. So, she set about doing the things that would get her media interviews and lots of visibility. And it worked like gangbusters! In less than 90 days she had been featured in several prominent national newspapers, radio shows and even television.
And yet, she came to a coaching call declaring the visibility plan a failure. Curious, I asked her how she saw this as a failure when she was being featured everywhere and had become an in demand expert to the media. She shot back "Well, I'm not making much more money than I was before all this media attention."
Aha! A new standard of measuring success was sneaking in. She initially said her goal was "to get lots of visibility"and she got exactly what she asked for. But now she was realizing she had a "secondary goal" to increase her revenue. The problem was that she hadn't actually put a plan in place to convert all the media attention into revenue because she never stated that goal. She was missing a step in her process because she hadn't clearly defined how she would measure success. Once we fixed that issue, and she made just a couple of small changes to her focus that she had a system for turning the attention into business, she brought in several new clients and had a week of record revenues.
That's the power of really having a clear definition of success, and then taking simple, straightforward actions to achieve it.
Another great example happens quite often with my executive career clients. They usually come to me after having taken a job that was their "dream job" and yet they are feeling frustrated, dissatisfied and discouraged.
Turns out, they went after the job because of the title, salary and prestige of the position-which they got. But now they are measuring success in the role against things like work/life balance, love of the work itself, the people they work with, and the challenge. It's those things that aren't measuring up and they feel like they've failed. But the truth is, they just weren't totally clear on what success for them was . Once they understand how they really measure success, they can easily get their career back on track.
So my point is this: be really clear about how you are measuring success in your life, and make sure the actions you take are toward that complete picture.
And if you find yourself frustrated or dissatisfied with where you are - look back and see what you set out to accomplish in the first place. My best bet is that you have accomplished what you set out to accomplish, but now you are measuring it against different standards of success. So, it's probably time to upgrade your 'success standards' and get them in alignment with what matters most, now.
Take a few minutes right now and answer this question, "At this stage of my life/career/business success is?"
Here's to your success!
About the Author: Career Success Coach Shawn Driscoll, of Succeed Coaching & Development is a certified coach, speaker and the author of "The Ultimate Guide to Landing Your Ideal Job". As an expert on career transition and the art of reinventing yourself she can teach you how to take control of your career and create your ideal work-life.

Forward about being a Hindu!!


Four years ago, I was flying from JFK NY Airport to SFO to attend a meeting at Monterey , CA An American girl was sitting on the right side, near window seat. It indeed was a long journey - it would take nearly seven hours. I was surprised to see the young girl reading a Bible unusual of young Americans. After some time she smiled and we had few acquaintances talk.I told her that I am from India
Then suddenly the girl asked: 'What's your faith?' 'What?' I didn't understand the question.
'I mean, what's your religion? Are you a Christian? Or a Muslim?'
'No!' I replied, 'I am neither Christian nor Muslim'. Apparently she appeared shocked to listen to that. 'Then who are you?' 'I am a Hindu', I said.
She looked at me as if she was seeing a caged animal. She could not understand what I was talking about.
A common man in Europe or US knows about Christianity and Islam, as they are the leading religions of the world today. But a Hindu, what?
I explained to her - I am born to a Hindu father and Hindu mother. Therefore, I am a Hindu by birth.
'Who is your prophet?' she asked.
'We don't have a prophet,' I replied.
'What's your Holy Book?'
'We don't have a single Holy Book, but we have hundreds and thousands of philosophical and sacred scriptures,' I replied.
'Oh, come on at least tell me who is your God?'
'What do you mean by that?'
'Like we have Jesus and Muslims have Allah - don't you have a God?'
I thought for a moment. Muslims and Christians believe one God (Male God) who created the world and takes an interest in the humans who inhabit it. Her mind is conditioned with that kind of belief.
According to her (or anybody who doesn't know about Hinduism), a religion needs to have one Prophet, one Holy book and one God. The mind is so conditioned and rigidly narrowed down to such a notion that anything else is not acceptable. I understood her perception and concept about faith. You can't compare Hinduism with any of the present leading religions where you have to believe in one concept of god.
I tried to explain to her: 'You can believe in one god and he can be a Hindu. You may believe in multiple deities and still you can be a Hindu. What's more - you may not believe in god at all, still you can be a Hindu. An atheist can also be a Hindu.'
This sounded very crazy to her. She couldn't imagine a religion so unorganized, still surviving for thousands of years, even after onslaught from foreign forces.
'I don't understand but it seems very interesting. Are you religious?' What can I tell to this American girl?
I said: 'I do not go to temple regularly. I do not make any regular rituals. I have learned some of the rituals in my younger days. I still enjoy doing it sometimes..'
'Enjoy? Are you not afraid of God?'
'God is a friend. No- I am not afraid of God. Nobody has made any compulsions on me to perform these rituals regularly.'
She thought for a while and then asked: 'Have you ever thought of converting to any other religion?'
'Why should I? Even if I challenge some of the rituals and faith in Hinduism, nobody can convert me from Hinduism. Because, being a Hindu allows me to think independently and objectively, without conditioning. I remain as a Hindu never by force, but choice.' I told her that Hinduism is not a religion, but a set of beliefs and practices. It is not a religion like Christianity or Islam because it is not founded by any one person or does not have an organized controlling body like the Church or the Order, I added. There is no institution or authority..
'So, you don't believe in God?' she wanted everything in black and white.
'I didn't say that. I do not discard the divine reality. Our scripture, or Sruthis or Smrithis - Vedas and Upanishads or the Gita - say God might be there or he might not be there. But we pray to that supreme abstract authority (Para Brahma) that is the creator of this universe.'
'Why can't you believe in one personal God?'
'We have a concept - abstract - not a personal god. The concept or notion of a personal God, hiding behind the clouds of secrecy, telling us irrational stories through few men whom he sends as messengers, demanding us to worship him or punish us, does not make sense. I don't think that God is as silly as an autocratic emperor who wants others to respect him or fear him.' I told her that such notions are just fancies of less educated human imagination and fallacies, adding that generally ethnic religious practitioners in Hinduism believe in personal gods. The entry level Hinduism has over-whelming superstitions too. The philosophical side of Hinduism negates all superstitions.
'Good that you agree God might exist. You told that you pray. What is your prayer then?'
'Loka Samastha Sukino Bhavantu. Om Shanti, Shanti, Shanti,'
'Funny,' she laughed, 'What does it mean?'
'May all the beings in all the worlds be happy. Om Peace, Peace, Peace.'
'Hmm ..very interesting. I want to learn more about this religion. It is so democratic, broad-minded and free' she exclaimed.
'The fact is Hinduism is a religion of the individual, for the individual and by the individual with its roots in the Vedas and the Bhagavad-Gita. It is all about an individual approaching a personal God in an individual way according to his temperament and inner evolution - it is as simple as that.'
'How does anybody convert to Hinduism?'
'Nobody can convert you to Hinduism, because it is not a religion, but a set of beliefs and practices. Everything is acceptable in Hinduism because there is no single authority or organization either to accept it or to reject it or to oppose it on behalf of Hinduism.'
I told her - if you look for meaning in life, don't look for it in religions; don't go from one cult to another or from one guru to the next.
For a real seeker, I told her, the Bible itself gives guidelines when it says ' Kingdom of God is within you.' I reminded her of Christ's teaching about the love that we have for each other. That is where you can find the meaning of life.
Loving each and every creation of the God is absolute and real. 'Isavasyam idam sarvam' Isam (the God) is present (inhabits) here everywhere - nothing exists separate from the God, because God is present everywhere. Respect every living being and non-living things as God. That's what Hinduism teaches you.
Hinduism is referred to as Sanathana Dharma, the eternal faith. It is based on the practice of Dharma, the code of life. The most important aspect of Hinduism is being truthful to oneself. Hinduism has no monopoly on ideas.- It is open to all. Hindus believe in one God (not a personal one) expressed in different forms. For them, God is timeless and formless entity.
Ancestors of today's Hindus believe in eternal truths and cosmic laws and these truths are opened to anyone who seeks them. But there is a section of Hindus who are either superstitious or turned fanatic to make this an organized religion like others. The British coin the word 'Hindu' and considered it as a religion.
I said: 'Religions have become an MLM (multi-level- marketing) industry that has been trying to expand the market share by conversion. The biggest business in today's world is Spirituality. Hinduism is no exception'
I am a Hindu primarily because it professes Non-violence - 'Ahimsa Paramo Dharma' - Non violence is the highest duty. I am a Hindu because it doesn't conditions my mind with any faith system. A man/ woman who change 's his/her birth religion to another religion is a fake and does not value his/her morals, culture and values in life. Hinduism was the first religion originated. Be proud of your religion and be proud of who you are. Om Namo shiva……………

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Books , books and more books.

It's been a while since I posted anything meaningful on blogger. Well reason being that I was on holiday in December. And January has been really hectic with new projects , parties et al.

Apart from that for the first time in many years I have read 3 books in 2 months time. This is really an achievement for a time constrained person like me. The books are : The Immigrant by Manju Kapur, Married but Available by Abhijit Bhaduri and Grandmother's Tale by R.K.Narayan. Admitted that the last one was rather a small book but I consider all this an achievement nevertheless.

Of the lot the book I liked the most was Married but Available by Abhijit Bhaduri. Of course with due respect to R.K.Narayan who still remains my most favorite author till date. Its just that MBA(Married but Available) dealt with so many real life issues and yet had a good feel about it. And unlike most NRI authors it was not degrading India for a change.I liked the way he brought in simple management principles into the story and gave it a different perspective. I hope to read more of this author(unfortunately havent been able to spot his other book Mediocre but Arrogant).

I am yet to read the White Tiger by Aravind Adiga which is adorning my bookshelf currently. But I am sure I should finish that in another one week if I maintain this momentum with my books. Will try to review that ASAP.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Food for thought!!

When discussing about the ongoing war, I realised the lesson I learnt from playing the game of Risk. I quit the game early on primarily because I didn’t want to be attacked nor did I want to attack. While with the others it was only a question of winning. Even in real life people are only bothered about winning and they will trample whatever is on the way to achieving it. The final result of the game ? Nobody won! As is the case in real life nobody wins! But some people lost the lives of their loved ones.