Wednesday, March 31, 2010

My country, my people..!!

It has became a fashion statement now a days to say "I love my country". But how many do really care. If its my country, then it should also be my fellow people and my rules too.

How many of us wear a helmet or use a seat belt or never drive after drinking because its my country's rule and I should respect it? Although I met someone last week who refused to drive after a drinks session, these type of people are rare to find. He said, its our rules and we should respect it, I am impressed. Instead most of us will prefer to ignore the rules and they rarely care for the law enforcers.

Today I saw in the flight, my fellow British passenger switched off his mobile on being instructed but one of our fellow Indian (he was wearing shirt of one of the biggest auto manufacturing company) left his mobile switched on. When we were about to land he got a message on his mobile and surprisingly he was not sorry to commit that mistake, rather he was smiling, how shameful. That British guy was surprised to see my fellow passenger's reaction and said, its really bad that people don't follow the rules.

If we really feel India as our country, instead of wearing a I love my country statement, or wearing a tri-colour  face paint we should try to follow and obey the rules, which are formulated to save ourselves.  We should be a bit more polite to our fellow travelers, be more patient while standing in a queue at a airport, or at ticket counter for a movie and so on.

Then we can say proudly, my country, my people, my rules and I respect them all..!!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Change in Life ....!!!

I owe this to so many factors and people in life....

Here I am sitting in my office @ night…
Thinking hard about life
How it changed from a maverick college life to strict professional life…..

How tiny pocket money changed to huge monthly paychecks
but then why it gives less happiness….

How a few local denim jeans changed to new branded wardrobe
but then why there are less people to use them

How a single plate of samosa changed to a full Pizza or burger
But then why there is less hunger…..

Here i am sitting in my office @ night…
Thinking hard about life
How it changed…..

How a bike always in reserve changed to bike always on
but then why there are less places to go on……

How a small coffee shop changed to cafe coffee day
but then why its feels like shop is far away…..

How a limited prepaid card changed to postpaid package
but then why there are less calls & more message……

Here i am sitting in my office @ night…
Thinking hard about life
How it changed…..

How a general class journey changed to Flight journey
But then why there are less vacations for enjoyment….

How a old assembled desktop changed to new branded laptop
but then why there is less time to put it on……….

How a small bunch of friends changed to office mate
but then why after 8'o Clock it always feel like getting late….

Here i am sitting in my office @ night…
Thinking hard about life
How it changed….. how it changed……..

How to handle criticism...!!

Destructive criticism has become a regular part of our lives. This is a criticism that tears down rather than builds up the person it is targeted at. The more ‘public’ a person is, the more criticism he tends to face, simply by virtue of the fact that more people know him. These people can be writers, blogger, artists or people with ideas, even at office.

Almost always, someone else will have a different method of doing things, or a different opinion on a matter, just as we have our own methods and our own opinion. We all like to impose our methods, as we think that we have the best method and the best opinion on the matter. Our inherent pride only serves to increase the friction and spark division and conflict. This can easily lead to uncontrollable anger, a sense of injustice, insecurity from a lack of approval, or depression from being unappreciated. How to handle all this?

Be prepared for the unexpected

Yes, this is probably the first mental step. Whenever you start something new and you are upbeat about it, obviously you think for the best and think that everyone will like what you have accomplished. However as the saying goes, prepare for the worst. It doesn’t mean that you should be pessimistic, but you should have a frame of mind where you are ready to face all kinds of feedback.

Humbly learn what you can

There may be some truth behind what your critics say, despite their motivations. Be humble and be willing to listen and learn. The critics can be a means of grace by which we learn to be more godly, or wiser in some matter, or become more competent in some skill. So treasure them. In fact be highly suspicious if no one seems to be coming to you to point out our mistakes.

Reduce the passion

In the previous point I mentioned about being prepared for the negativity. Now, I know this is easier said than done because when we are in a positive frame of mind and cheerful about something new, we don’t usually want to think about the negative aspects. Hence the way to get in that frame of mind is to reduce the passion and be calm before you announce something new. That’s when if negative feedback pours in, although you will get upset, but you will handle it in a better manner without getting frustrated.

Face it as it comes and then analyze it

Now when negative feedback and criticism does start pouring in, there is nothing much you can do. Well, yes, you can always stop the comments, sign out of your IMs, mails, twitter, log out of your computer and then run away to your home. But does that solve the purpose? In fact if you do this, the next day you will face double the criticism and you may be titled as a coward who knows how to tickle the dragon but can’t face the fire.

So here the important thing is to face it as it comes and then analyze it. Check why you are getting negative feedback and what exactly people are disliking. You could also participate in the discussion and be candid and answer the questions. This can help you in two ways:

  • You get a lot of constructive feedback and a lot of support from your followers.
  • Those who criticized you bluntly may change their mind after participating in the discussion and may accept that they were actually wrong.

Hence instead of running away, you should face it in a brave manner.

Believe in yourself

Last but not the least, no matter what happens, its important to believe in yourself and in your work...!!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Has India’s poorest and most lawless state turned the corner..!!

If you believe the government, the answer appears to be in the affirmative. According to it, Bihar clocked up a giddy growth rate of 11.03% in 2008-2009. This would make it India’s second fastest growing state economy, just behind the industrially developed western state of Gujarat.

Not so long ago, Bihar was written off as a basket case, trailing behind every other Indian state. Its infrastructure was pathetic, jobs had disappeared, factories had shut down, lawlessness was rife and the government was in a mess. I believe that with a change of regime four years ago – regional leader Nitish Kumar’s Janata Dal (United) leads a coalition government with the Hindu nationalist BJP – Bihar’s fortunes have picked up.

Even if this is an exaggeration, there are definite signs of the economy turning the corner. 

Consider this:

  • Government spending on infrastructure and “social development” has been pegged at Rs 200 crores every year
  • Use of cement in the state has grown 28% in the last four years against the national average of 9%, pointing to increased construction work
  • There has been a 78% growth in air traffic in and out of the state during the same period, the fourth-highest in India.
  • Automobile sales in the state have recorded a whopping 700% growth.
  • More than 6,800km (4,225 miles) of roads have been rebuilt and 1,600 bridges and culverts have been constructed
  • The government says it is working overtime to tame Bihar’s runaway crime rate – nearly 40,000 criminals, it says, have been convicted in the last four years.

“All this proves that there has been all round growth and development” says Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi.

“Bihar is back on track”

But many doubt these claims. These figures are too good to be true, says many. They wonder how the state could have recorded double digit growth when last year’s economic survey – a central government publication – showed that the growth rate was just around 5%. Also, last year’s economic survey said that Bihar had recorded negative growth in the farm sector. At Rs 1,451 per capita social spending remains one of the lowest in the country.

Most economists do however agree that the Keynesian nature of growth in Bihar – most of it spurred by government – has led to increased spending in construction.

Also, the savings rate remains pretty high – Patna alone has more than few hundred crores in bank deposits, which is higher than many prosperous small cities in India.

Since Bihar’s development base is abysmally low, even a small investment here results in impressive growth in percentage terms, but still I would say these signs are for sure good for people of Bihar.

Good going guys..keep it up..!! 

A mixed feeling...!!

I never belong to a category who is very happy to come to office for any thing on any given day. I prefer to work as per my wish, in my style keeping in mind the timelines given, but not in the traditional 9 to 6 orthodox style. But today when I came back to office after a gap of around two weeks, it was a different feeling altogether. One bit of me was happy to be here while other was not so happy.

Last two weeks were crazy for me, nothing was fixed, no schedule, sleep was missing as peace inside mind was missing. Body's internal cycle went for a toss, late nights and early mornings, errant eating patterns along with all type of junk being dumped into my stomach as food. News of few people leaving us at job front and an uncertainty of what next will come.

When I reached office, it was like coming back to place where I belong to, but the bad part was that so many things were missing. I missed someone who used to be there everyday, his comments, his jokes, his teasing comments, his guidance, the fun time we used to have, but on the other hand I was feeling good to be back with my guys all around me. Those leg pulling sessions, pseudo working..sometimes really working, conference room gossips and all.

The day ended with a session of match watching with present and ex-colleagues. Enjoyed that too, reminded me of college days when we all used to go out for movies together. Now I am trying to settle down from inside of my mind with what I am left with.

This is what we call as life, full of unexpected events and lacking few expected events....still it moves on..!!

Friday, March 05, 2010

A vacation you will never forget...!!

I have no idea how many of you had ever tried a eco-holiday or eco-tourism. These words may look fashionable marking term used to promote tourism but if you ever try to understand what exactly they mean, they are very simple.

The idea itself of taking a break from our daily routine life and moving more and more towards nature will look like a crazy one to most of the people. Forget about going on a vacation at a place like this, where you will be spending money but won't be getting Jacuzzi or a personal swimming pool. The idea itself will look weird to most of us. They may end up experiencing this vacation as a guilt trip instead. How can someone pay for a vacation in today's times to get nothing of these so called luxuries, with no mobile, no Internet or no television?  No, I am not interested..will be the reaction from most of us.

Now think of a place in Kumaon, where only bus you can catch is bus number 11, your own legs to explore the place. Or at Haridwar, where you have to climb a 7,000 feet high mountain by yourself for trekking. Or at Kanha national park, where you can travel across the park fastest in a bullock cart, where food is organic and the wheat in your bread is pounded in a water mill, at a near by village not at any big food processing factory.

The adventure package may include walking across the villages accompanied by porters who helps you in identifying the places, flora, natural resources around and sometimes will assist in carrying your luggage, or staying every night at different rest house across villages, or having local delicacies cooked on either solar cooker or dung cakes but no electric ovens or LPG, in night you may have some dim bulbs glowing, thanks to usage of solar power or else you can sit in the varandah and enjoy the breeze. For the health freaks, you will get packaged drinking water, a chance to go for a cycling trip across the terrain, a swim in fresh water rivers with no contaminations. And above all a rejuvenated body and soul that none of the so called healing spa sessions can provide. 

Although most of us reading this write-up may not be much enthusiastic and eager to take all these challenges, there are people who prefer to take a break for a vacation at one of these places. And yes I belong to that crazy category.

Give this a thought next time when you are planning a holiday, remember, your life is calling, where are you...??