Friday, September 26, 2008

Lesson from a Sparrow

A little Sparrow was observing something from the parapet wall of the terrace, I had no idea what it was looking at.. The moth on the floor was too insignificant to be noted. In sudden burst of flutter the sparrow came down at the moth. The moth realised what was happening, and tried to fly away. The sparrow wasn't ready to give up on it.. It looked like a battle of wits.

The sparrow was the predator and the moth was the prey. Both of them were extremely insignificant, but they were competitors in their own right. What was happening was really interesting, in fact I would call it gripping.

It went on, on these lines. The sparrow's only aim was to get hold of the moth, and the moth's only aim was to get away from the sparrow. Every time the sparrow came closer to the moth, the moth tried flying away from it. But little sparrow was in no mood to give up without a fight, and the moth like a true soldier kept fighting till the very end. When the sparrow made a clever move, the moth hid away from it. It looked like a game of hide and seek.

The sparrow wasn't letting go of any chance, and the moth kept flying away from it. The moth was an intent observer of every move, and it gave away no chance.. This hide and seek went on for solid ten-minutes. At the end of it, the little sparrow won.!

The whole thing sounds very trivial I know. When you apply your mind into what was actually happening, you wouldn't call it trivial. What can be observed from it is that, both of them were extremely intelligent, each trying to out-do the other. They were playing their game with a strategy, the only aim was to get on top of the situation and get an upper-hand. In this case the moth wanted to save itself from the sparrow and the sparrow wanted its daily bread.

The lesson I learnt from this little sparrow is, life is a constant battle. If you want to stay afloat in life, you have to fight it out in this big bad world. In life nothing comes easy. There is a struggle attached to everything. Success doesn't come in a day. Success is a constant battle of intelligence, strategies and perseverance. To survive we need to be on our toes, act swiftly and intelligently.

Every move you make has to be backed by a strategic plan. Just imagine what would have happened if the sparrow had given up when the moth flew away the first time. The whole purpose would have been defeated. The sparrow was determined to get hold of the moth. There wasn't a single move that made me think, "Ah! There goes the moth".

The sparrow was no eagle, or a crow for that matter. It was a tiny little bird. It’s only focus was to catch the moth, and in this process it gave no room for complacency. In reality, we are the sparrows and success is the moth. Success eludes us every time we think we've come close to achieving it. Just when you say "gotcha" it flies away from you.. When we achieve a little bit, complacency takes over. Little do we realise that this complacency may cost us dearly.

Success in life is like the battle between the Sparrow and the moth. It doesn’t matter who wins at the end. All that matters is who fought harder.

Cheers :)

Monday, September 22, 2008

When you...

When..
1)You haven't slept for more than 4hrs during the night in the last week.
2)Your eyes are burning, you feel dead tired.. You want to sleep like a log but the Accounting assignment isn't complete yet..
3)You have this gut feeling that there might be an Organizational Behaviour surprise test tomo because the lady has asked you to read up and come..
4)Your ECG looks more like the Sensex graph..
5)Your heart skips a beat when you hear people talk about market-fluctuations, financial services, cash-flow and fund-flow, economies of scale, market-equilibrium.
6)You are still trying to figure out what GDP, NDP, Fiscal policy, sensex, stock-markets and the likes are all about...
)7)You shreik in joy when your balance sheet tallies or when your Operation Research problem gives out the right value...
8)You spend hours into the night wondering what good statistics is going to do your career as a corporate professsional..
9)You haven't figured out why you need communication skills!!!
10)You crib about assignments, unfinished "home-works" day in and day out.. Your brother chuckles at you when you say I have home-work to complete.
11)Your friends are shocked when they hear you say, "dude, I have work!" Some folks may even say "Yeah! It serves you right!"
12)Your Under-Graduate course now feels like an extended version of your summer vacation.
13)You haven't read one decent novel in the last one month. Instead you've been trying to read, analyse and review Harvard Business Review and The Economist.! Previously you read Chetan Bhagat's One Night @ a call centre, read, analysed and reviewed Shyam's love life!
14)Business-Line becomes your daily newspaper, you have been told by "intelligent" folks that you must also read The Economic Times.!
15)Folks at your place are stupified when they see you skim through your books..
16)Economics is more of Greek and Latin than English. Esp if you come from a science background like me.
17)Investopedia.com has become your homepage, not by choice but by compulsion...
18)You spend half your time reading articles on business in general.
19)Your google homepage boasts of high-funda articles from Market-watch, Business-world, and the economic times.
20)Discussions around you are all about Lehman Brothers closing down, Merrill-Lynch sell-out, and the bloodbath at BSE...
21)Your greatest fear is that at the end of two years, you'll either lose all your hair and become bald, and your power inreases to an all time high that you'll go blind someday..
22)You haven't watched a decent flick in ages..
23)You check your mails in the middle of an OB class..
24)Parallel reading is made compulsory, you have been asked to read, a parallel book on business, one business journal and a self-help book!
The self-help part is what I need right here; right now..!
25) You feel like taking a sabbatical and going off to the Himalayas. Or you are seriously contemplating on joining the Art of Living, and teaching them Sudarshan kriya!
26)You are wondering if this is your state after a month what will happen to you two years down the line!
27)Last year this time you were "busy" preparing for a plethora of B-school entrance exams..
28)You were busy dreaming about Life @ a B-school.. You got carried away by the cute-looking guys on the front-pages of B-school websites.
29)Your favorite line was "B-school join karenge, ladke hoonge, masti karenge..!" Now you've fucking forgotten what "masti" is.. :(
30)Finally, you thank your stars that you are not in an IIM!!!

Welcome to life @ a B-School... :-)

Thank you for reading about our sad-ass lives.. I have half a mind of talking people out of B-school dreams.. But whats the fun in that... The sadist in me says "Naan petra tumbam vaiyagumum pera vendum" Meaning: I shouldn't be the only one going through the torture.

PS: This post is dedicated to my Best-friend Satya, who is in the same boat as I am..!!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Enna Koduma Saar Idhu!!! :(

I have this strange fetish when it comes to babies, kids and children in general... I cannot resist pulling their cheeks or blowing a flying kiss to them or make funny faces, smile at them everytime I see one..! I have a weird ability to attaract kids.. No! Am not one those poochandis aka scary people :P, am quite a nice person... I even baby-talk to them sometimes much to the embarrassment of my friends.. Today was no different. I saw this reallyy cute looking 3-yr-old standing in front us in the queue, me being my usual self, smiled at the kid and did all of the above.. What happened today was unexpected... This kiddo's mom was like "Aunty ku Hi sollu!" I was shocked!!! I could hear the echo aunty all over the place (remember the old Godrej hair dye ad??... Where a guy calls a lady Aunty and she goes like Aunty.. Aunty.. Aunty...!!) I had this What-the-fuck-did-you-call-me just now look!!! The kid was ismyling at me and said "Hi Aunty" *thud thud thud*....
Let me ask you a simple question: Just because I was wearing a Salwar with a bindi, does it make me an aunty???.... I call people who are of my Mom's age aunty and a few of them akka! And this stupid kid was calling me Aunty...
Is it the changing Indian demographics or the influence of western culture!!! Ok! if you decide to call me Aunty what will you call a 40yr old lady trying to fit into a jeans which is 2-sizes smaller?? "Didi"?? And a lady, ok let me call her "paati" or "maami" who is 70yrs old "Aunty"?!!! Ungaluku manasakhi nu onnume kadayadha?? :( (I am in no mood to do the English translation!) Lets do some quants here (I suck at numbers), considering the fact that the mom might be say 27, you call people of her age, people -2 yrs, and 27+ x(x, can be any variable from 1-100). I think we should come up with a rule that people above the age of 25 should be called aunty.. Lets make it 30!!
Am not anti-modern dressing.. But isn't the age of a person obvious the very first time you see him/ her??.. How can you people be soo unfair...
Next time I walk out of my house I'll make it a point to dress up like a 13-yr-old, maybe I'll be called something else then! Hmphhh... :( Maybe we guys should take a leaf out of the foreigners book and call people by their last-names, this will not have the personal touch, but atleast saves people from embarrassing themselves in public... Or maybe I should stop smiling at kids!! Whatever.. !!!!
Enna koduma saar idhu!!! :(

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Alma-Matter

Date: 12th September 2008
Time: 11.00Am
Place: M.O.P.Vaishnav College for Women.
Purpose: Collecting my certificates.

Rewind: Exactly 60mins back I was at the bus-stop waiting for the all familiar bus to come.. This is one route which I know like the back of my hand. I know the place inside out. You blindfold me, I'll reach the place! So, on the all familiar route there were a trail of thoughts. I was going to the place which I fondly refer to as "jail" To me it was always M.O.P.Vaishnav Jail for Girls! The place somehow resembled a matchbox more than a college. Imagine 2400 girls being stuffed into one single building or a long building which is 6 floors high! You could actually take space management techniques from the people in my college. There was a famous picture which was a pictoral representation, a student standing behind the bars, and at the bottom of it there is a line which says "I am in MOP Jail!!" I could completely relate to it then.. There was another famous joke as well "Message on the highway: Drive carefully, dead-end ahead. Don't kill the students, leave it to the management!". I really wanted to laugh out loud thinking about all this...
After 45 mins I was at the gate, I walked in like a royale, the security called out "ID card enga?  Me: "Naa Pass-out sir" :D. The purpose of my visit was to collect my certificates, It was a ten-minute procedure. I still have no idea why it took me solid 1hr to get out of there.. Maybe thats the power the place holds.. I was supposed to go straight to the office room produce my ID and get my certi and get out of the place. But what I did was completely unexpected. I walked up straight to the lab.. Went in there said a Hi to all the teachers who were there.. It felt nice actually.. There was a practical exam going on, and the examiner called out to a girl "output vanduda ma?" The girl gave out a blank look.. 3yrs back I did the same bloody thing... There hasn't been a single practical exam where I've got the output on time leaving out a few exceptional cases..!!
After my salutations and my showing off session was over, I went down to the office to collect mt stuff. I should have left the place right then. But no visit to college is ever complete without visiting the canteen. It was my temple, my second-home and my comfort zone..!! I was shocked when the people at the counter actually "remembered" me!! I ordered my food, collected in and sat down on a corner table to eat.. Looking around at all the hustle-and bustle around the place, I wanted to be there again.. The chitter-chatter, the discussions we've had in the canteen... The gossip sessions.. Unfinished assignemnts, the chocolates we've wiped out. Nobody recognised me, but I could see a little of me in everybody around me..!! Everything happening around me was amusing and I was enjoying it... Littlle did I know that I will miss this very place when I walk out of the portals 3yrs later.. And yeah I call myself a Computer Applications student anyway!
MOP I miss you...!!! I never thought I'd say this.... And for all you people who hate your colleges, hating it is fun, but when you walk into the portals a few months or years later, the moments which made you laugh over there will come out gushing... Finally I owe what I am today to this institution. It has brought the best in me.. Thank you MOP!

Celeb status or Intrusion of privacy?

Sample this: I came back home a week back, and the phone calls haven't stopped coming.. I made a very low key return back home. Only a handful of my friends knew that I was actually coming back. Nobody else knew it.. My mom's friends were aware that I was planning to come back home for good. The reactions I got weren't entirely positive.. A few of them were very veryyy critical about me coming back. The minute I stepped in, my neighbor walked in.. She saw packed bags on the floor which can be grossly translated into 1-big carton, 2 air bags, 1 suitcase. That lady was so cheeky she was like "Have you come on a vacation?"!!! Audacity I say... Yeah so where was I celebrity status.. Ever since I walked in a week back, I've been amusing people... Anybody and everybody wants to talk to me all of a sudden! People walk up home and are like "Oh you are back!" "Oh you got through XYZ college, veryy good decision kanna! Every time I stepped out of home I had random buggers walk up to me and start off like "why did you come back?”,” you dint like the food in the coll", "health problem?" "Was there something wrong with the college" "Did you get through XYZ college through mgmt quota!" To make things even more amusing they discuss me.. Sideways glance at me, and hushed conversations! So on and so forth... I see no reason why I should tell these people about my personal life? DAMN! I've been ripped off my privacy... Where ever I go the network follows..!! Gimme a break people... Hang in there ladies! Yes I am back home for good.! My life is my own and I don't wash my linen in public. It’s a harrowing experience... Now, I know what these poor little celebrities feel like when the paparazzi follow them everywhere.. Get a life is what I want to say!!!
**Peace Out**

Sunday, September 14, 2008

When Shit happens!

Evrything in life happens for a reason.. Shit happens! Every action has an equal and opposite reaction. I did not realise the power of these sentences until sometime back.. Anything good or bad actually happens for a reason. There is no destiny factor involved in it, but somewhere deep inside you realise that there is an external power that controls your life.. I am not trying to say everything that happens, happens because of externals.

Shit happens for a reason.

What has happened has happened.. Honestly I don't really have the time or the energy to actually crib about it.... Looking at it from an inpersonal point of view, it looks like a chain reaction one action leading to another and another and finally a blast. I am glad that it happened... Sounds stupid but yes I am happy, infact I am ecstatic..!!

It has made me understand and realise certain aspects of life which I would have never realised if these happenings had not happened... Sometimes in life you need bad to realise the good things life has to offer....

The essence of life is not looking at the darker side of life and cribbing about it..

I am home now.. I know that my future is secure.. I needn't worry about anything else... Life's good!!!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Pullaiyar Chaturthi

Today morning when I woke up I had this strange feeling that something was amiss... It wasn't the usual Pullayar Chaturthi (for obvious reasons).. There were no familiar sounds in the background... There was only silence when I woke up at 5 in the morning... No suprabatham playing at vol-20, no sound and smell of something really nice made in the kitchen... There was no Amma calling "Sandhya ezhunduru di" from the kitchen (Sandhya wake up), or Meenamma(my grandma) prodding my feet conveying the same message.. Today was just the opposite.. It was only me and me.. I went to the temple near the college without my Amma telling me that I should go to a temple.. I was there for close to 2hrs... I watched the whole Abhishegam and took the prasadam.. If Amma or Paati or both of them had seen me over there they would have had a heart attack (No kidding!). It was nothing when compared to what happened at home... No familiar people walking upto you and wishing you.. I missed all the simple glory of being at home.. A friend of mine even invited me over to her place for the Poojai.. I may go; I may not go.. But it will never equal to being at home.

Festivals are the most important part of Brahmin households and mine was no exception. It was more important at my place because, with my parents working and Sundays being the only weekly holidays festivals were something we always looked forward to.. Another thing I really like about festivals is - the clothes (brand new ones), the food, and the pampering you get!! The preparations start the previous evening. Going to the poo-kaari (The lady who sells flowers) down the lane, buy coconuts, lots of fruits, arigampul (a variety of grass), and some other garland, I don't know what its called. Helping Amma draw the big maavu-kolam (Btw, kolam is not to confused with rangoli, they are two different entities)in the corridor, and my job was to fill it with kaavi, and writing "Happy Pullaiyar Chaturthi" with the maavu dripping all over my hand... Once the kolam was done, the door was left open to make sure nobody stamps it... My paati has the habit of shouting at anybody who walks anywhere close to the kolam...
Poojai preparations started early in the morning!! Work is usually delegated (Mgmt principles) Amma does the cooking and poojai related work. My job was to help paati make kozhakattai and apply kumgumam chandanam to the vellaku. The best part of making kozhakattai is licking off the poornam when paati or Amma are not watching you..! Infact Paati used to sneak out some poornam for me and Adi and we used to snack on it after the Poojai got over.. The Menu for the day was something like Vadai, payasam, Kozakattai, avial, moor kozhambu. Sharp at 7, Me and Appa used to go out to buy the Pullayar Idol, and the umbrella.. Buying the idol is a process in itself, you have to make sure its not flat or too on your face. (Amma's favorite instruction: Avar pakarthuku Azhaga irrukanam seriya???.. Meaning: He should look really good) Then comes the umbrella for the God. Appa does the job of decorating the Idol, and Amma does the monitoring making sure the Poonal is there, the Kodai (umbrella) is not tilted to one side, the eyes are in place etc etc... Once all this was done Amma used to place him on the tambalam(big wide plate made of steel or brass). The music in the background changes to some ashtotram now.. Next came organising the kitchen-turned-poojai room, arranging the flowers on another tambalam, thenga, pazham, vethala paaku in another. And finally the food...

Once all this was in place the real poojai starts... Appa, Amma, Me and Adi sit in the kitchen, Paati doing the monitoring. Once the poojai starts me and Adi give each other funny glances.. The food is tempting mind you ;) The poojai is the longest... Starting from Shlokam, to Stotrams to everything else.. Appa reads it out from a book then a cassette gives the instructions... Finally after 2hrs the poojai comes to an end... Amma does the deevaradhanai (Aarti) and the poojai officially comes to and end.. All us do our namaskarams (prostrating in front of God). No! The food is not served now, first it goes to the kakaai (crows), then the neighbours, we distribute the prasadam and finally US!!!

I miss all of it now.... The Poojai would be over by now, and I can imagine Appa, Adi, Amma and Paati watching TV and munching on Kozhakattais... I so want to be there again... I am waiting for my chance to catch the next bus or train to Chennai...

I miss home... I miss Pullaiyar Chaturthi at home...!!! Can I have some Kozhakattais please???...



PS: I dint know typing out Tamil words in english and translating them would be so difficult.. Spelling mistakes and grammatical errors are regretted...