The Human Link

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Finally, I got myself to write my next post. Procrastination is perhaps the middle name of "human nature!"

Getting back into perspective, I will start with a video for this post, where the speaker talks about how individuals attach meaning to things, how various environmental and social variables influence our psyche. It's amazing how with so much knowledge, education, common sense, one can still be prey to marketing communication, branding etc and it becomes difficult to detach those aspects for a more objective view. It is truly said, that "Nothing is Objective," hopefully constant conscious effort can help inch towards it.

My first video post :)

Any thoughts?

Superman (Five for Fighting)

Sunday, August 14, 2011

I can’t stand to fly
I’m not that naive
I’m just out to find
The better part of me

I’m more than a bird...i’m more than a plane
More than some pretty face beside a train
It’s not easy to be me

Wish that I could cry
Fall upon my knees
Find a way to lie
About a home I’ll never see

It may sound absurd...but don’t be naive
Even heroes have the right to bleed
I may be disturbed...but won’t you concede
Even heroes have the right to dream
It’s not easy to be me

Up, up and away...away from me
It’s all can all sleep sound tonight
I’m not crazy...or anything...

I can’t stand to fly
I’m not that naive
Men weren’t meant to ride
With clouds between their knees

I’m only a man in a silly red sheet
Digging for kryptonite on this one way street
Only a man in a funny red sheet
Looking for special things inside of me
Inside of me
Inside me
Yeah, inside me
Inside of me

I’m only a man
In a funny red sheet
I’m only a man
Looking for a dream

I’m only a man
In a funny red sheet
And it’s not easy,

Its not easy to be me

Whirlpool of Technology

Friday, April 22, 2011

A year back, I got in touch with a school friend after 13-14 years.. (it makes me feel so old...) and very excitedly I remember exchanging numbers and contact details. Thereafter, we spoke once.. twice.. and realised that we are poles apart.. so after sometime of chatting about the good old days, which are not exactly very vivid, thanks to my brain filtering mechanism, we had nothing much to catch up on! We dragged the conversations for a while only to realise that the poles are literally tearing apart.. and the phone conversations gradually were replaced by SMS, forwards, and the occasional pings on chat.. only to be fizzled out to another past memory in the shelf.

Suddenly today I get a hi on "What's App" - the chat application that connects various phone users of BB, Nokia, iPhone etc - and I responded. After the initial tete-a-tete we realised that both of us have BlackBerry. So of course, I got added on to the BBM as well. Now what? He claimed to have a new phone and needed me to walk him through certain features as well as exchange wallpapers, music etc and we ended up having a BBM conversation for over an hour! Bored? Ok.. now I'll get to the point..

It made me wonder that the definition of social networking over the years has been changing drastically, rapidly, and so effectively. It has been smoothly eradicating social awkwardness and giving every person the extra opportunity to network, stay in touch, know one another and be less judgmental about the person sitting in another corner of the world. Its amazing how technology is gradually being infused in such a way to connect to the human psyche's lapses and eccentricities. It forces one to have the extra chit-chat, to form another bond, to know another person which otherwise for most of your life you would not even bother considering! So many times I remember seeing people's status messages and photographs and activity feeds on Facebook only to think "Wow! I didn't know he is so talented" or "I didn't know she had such great photography skills" or "Oh he/she does this too?" and it makes one realise the platform they stand on today, the changes happening around them, the abundance of opportunities around them.

For a good part although I believe we overdo it, I believe that social networking is towards the good.. the better..and I cannot wait to know what's next ..(Oops.. almost sounded like a Samsung advertisement).. so whether you like it or not the virtual world is soon going to be meshed with the real world or rather is, and the faster you accept it, the easier it will be for you to embrace the turbulence ahead :)


Everyday Sagas

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

This is how my day was, is and will be:

Scene#1: At Office -
I had enough work to last me all morning (ahem, afternoon). There was a new joinee, thus I coordinated some joining formalities, joined him for a cup of coffee, handed him over to his designated buddy, handled the paperwork. It was already time for lunch! Post-Lunch, I sat at my desk to complete a report, screen some CV's and complete some small tasks. Then, I logged in to the usual iGoogle, and there were 3 chat pop-ups in the span of 3 seconds. I religiously responded and continued to log on to my mail accounts, followed by my Facebook account. I logged on to a video posted on my wall with one of the latest ads from MTV's "Stay Raw" series. This hooked me on to the site for the next one hour where I saw almost all the other ads in the same campaign, and successfully managed to rope in my bay members and my chat friends to do the same. Then I surfed, twiddled, talked about the weather.. and so you get the drift!
Myth#1: Indian corporate firms make you slog like donkeys while the world is celebrating Christmas..!

Scene#2: Out-of-Office -
With the house as my destination, I marched boldly with the chai-shops, coconut water carts and shouting auto drivers passing me by. There is no point in asking the latter to drop me home as they will charge me 3-fold for the 3 km distance. When suddenly one or two hop in your way you ask them knowing well what their answer is. So it's something like this:
Auto 1, 2, 3, 4 & 5  - Where do you want to go (in Kannada, hindi, or body language)
Me - Jeevanbhimanagar
Auto 1, 2, 3, 4 & 5 - 50 Rs madame
Me - No
Auto 1, 2, 3, 4 & 5 - How much will you give?
Me - Meter charge
Auto 1, 2, 3, 4 & 5 - Eyebrows raise with shock, disgust, and your-so-stupid look
Auto 10 - Do you want to go to Jayanagar madame?
Me (thinking) - When did autos start having a specific destination like buses?
But then again, on second thoughts, with them anything is possible.
Myth#2: Autos are for public service!

Scene#3: Bus -
Conversation among two girls sitting opposite:
Girl 1 (To conductor): Does this bus goto BTM?
Conductor: Silk Board
Girl 2: Don't worry, we'll catch another bus from there
Girl 1: Nothing's going right
Girl 2: Everything will be fine
Girl 1: Do you like that song which I keep listening to?
Girl 2: Which one?
Girl 1: "Sheila ki Jawani"
Girl 2: Yea. (With eyes lit up) I like Munni too
Myth#3: Sheila and Munni is the topic of discussion among the male fraternity!

Scene#4: Home -
I reach home hungry, tired (don't ask me why) and slightly sick. I contemplate whether I should have dinner or not after which I think what can I cook that is fast, tasty, and filling. After running through a few options in my mind, I begin to romanticize about not eating.
After an hour - Burp! Excuse me.. Just finished the spaghetti
Myth#5: I am soooo thin that I survive by consuming air!

Scene#5: Laptop -
Its been a long time since I have written. Oh, who's going to search for a topic, let me just play some online games, or watch a movie, or wait download the latest episode of "How I met your mother." Oh, but I saw that only yesterday. (Groan) Fine, let me just write.
Myth#6: Do what you love so that it never feels like a task!

Well, the truth of the matter is that WE DO WHAT WE HAVE TO DO.
The seasoning, though, is upto us.  

On the Fast Track? Move on..

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

"Job-Hunting." This is a phrase that brings a lot of thoughts in my mind but mostly it brings back Exhaustion. I read a lot of blogs, understandably a lot on HR, and one striking subject across is the way a candidate should conduct him/herself during the "job-hunting" phase. There is a lot of advise on how one should treat it like a full-time project, dedicate his/her fullest time, have goals and deadlines and mediums assigned, get on to the Linkedins, Twitters, and Facebooks to network etc.

Reading all this always takes me back to the time when I was looking for that job where I would get the right industry, profile, pay and environment but at the back of my mind was still exploring everything well enough to know that I had to make compromises somewhere! It would be double standards for me to now advise candidates not to be desperate, not to do the entire 360 degree cycle of searching, applying, mailing, calling and following-up, not going all out to network.. because I did every aspect of that for the simple reason that among all the excess banter (both offline and online) it is a huge task to be heard and eventually noticed. And, I also agree that the more aggressive your approach is, the more rejections or disappointments you face, and the more you end up fighting your self-worth and self-esteem. You have to accept it as part of that process, you have to accept that it is important to believe, you have to realize that it will happen, in some time, but it will.

What worked for me? It was a bit of everything, but the two primary aspects that stood out was networking and a distinct identity (through my blog). Have you ever been asked during an interview to state something outside your resume? Have you been asked about your views on headhunting and the subsequent morality attached (if you are in HR)? Your political opinions (if any)? Well, your website or blog will help do that for you, and if your not so high on writing, your LinkedIn or Professional Networking profile should do it for you. Whether you like it or not, it is important to market yourself in a way that half of what you want to express can be heard by your recruiter outside the "interview arena."

Apart from this I strongly believe in luck, by being there at the right place at the right time. But then again, you have to be all over the place to land up at the right one! There is no shortcut, atleast not on this one, not as far as I know!


Monday, December 6, 2010

This post is more of an infomercial, wherein I am going to do some goodwill marketing that gets clouded among the hyped trash that we are hit by in our everyday life.

Pitch: This is a show aired on UTV Bloomberg. A fresh breath to the reality TV shows minus the drama, emotions, and gossip. This show has a lineup of competing entrepreneurs who have diverse ideas and are looking for some seed capital to take their current business ideas to the next level. Every week they have a celebrity businessman who understands certain aspects of each idea or poses a challenge to all participants to present their area of interest. I admit that when i was surfing channels, I hit the "back" button on my remote due to the show's host - Boman Irani but thereafter it was the show that kept me intrigued for the rest of the hour.

Master Chef Australia: (Yes, not India!) This show apart from appealing to foodies and cooks globally also engages the mass (read: me) due to the way it is presented, the freshness each episode brings with it, the methodologies and equipments used, the science and logic, the different accents spoken in, the personalities brought in by different professions, its all there. This is a website for those who aspire to do some social good, but may not be doing enough due to lack of time, opportunities or plain laziness. This organisation supports cottage industries and rural crafts by showcasing their work and raising funds online. The difference is that the funds are not a donation, but rather a loan, a sum that you receive in return with a minimal interest too. So it both serves your conscience and pockets at the same time!

Abhijit Bhaduri's Blog: Finally, this is the latest blog to catch my attention for sometime. The Chief Learning Officer for the Wipro Group, this individual has a very layman tone to his blog and yet those that create a striking impact. He writes about management, about life, satires, and his books. His latest title, "Married yet available" may just be the reason to click away into his blogging world.

Overload of information certainly exits and I sigh thinking "I wish there was an easier way to segregate the bits"

"Chosen" Life

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

How often have u planned dinner with friends and took an hour to decide which place you would like to eat at? Have you stood in a mobile store, surfed mobile related sites and enquired with people, only to be more confused in the end? How often have you Googled only to think that there is too much information you are flooded with? It is true that these days we are spoilt for choices, but do we really enjoy the privilege is something I am not sure of!

For example, at work we initially had laptops with no stripped down rights. We shifted to another campus where due to some security issues our admin rights were taken away, followed by that was the scanner rights and then USB drives. We all wondered how drastically our life would be turned upside-down at this intrusion.. Surprisingly it wasn't. As for those whose life was drastically affected,they found ways to soothe the hiccups!

Another instance is the applications/softwares in our computers - you have those that have overlapping functions like, MS Office Picture Manager is a stripped down version of Photoshop, but I still use the former for simple functions like compressing or cropping a picture. For calculation purposes, every once in a while I still use the Calculator rather than MS Office. I just like to keep it simple. Of course, it is also about one's usability but then again these softwares have been part of every new version of Windows/Mac that has been launched, surely with the user in mind.

An interesting article I read in Harvard Business Review might throw more "intellectual" light on the same, have a look:

Have been, and always will be!!

Monday, November 15, 2010

It had been a while since I took such a long holiday. A 15-day vacation where I just got away from everything, even my laptop.. Not to mention, that I even locked up my work laptop in office itself! Post-Vacation I realised that I couldn't actually have gotten more Marwari :) Here's a glimpse..

I started my vacation by going to Rajasthan. I met my parents and cousin at the Delhi airport directly and we drove to Bikaner, followed by Jodhpur, Jaisalmer, Udaipur, Jaipur and Agra. I must stop here to tell you that the tour was for 10 days, so we surely made full each and every rupee and minute count. The beautiful aspect about Rajasthan was that each place was so distinctively different from the other, although they all sport the mystifying havelis, forts, intricate architecture, magnanimous structures. For example, Jaisalmer has vast stretches of desert, Udaipur is hilly and full of lakes and Jaipur is an urban commercial city. I always wondered why everyone said that it is impossible to cover the entire state in one go, which is true, although we did manage to cover atleast half the hotspots there in a record time. The grandeur, (past) wealth, golden sands, and camels were just what we expected, and what we got in return. Most of India has a cultural and historical past, but this western state has managed to sustain, restore and revive them beautifully even in this day and age. An interesting fact is that 60% of Rajasthan's income is generated solely through tourism, and the most prominent tourist communities are a) French and b) Bengalis (Yes, Here too!). Our last destination, was Agra where I saw my First Wonder of the World, the Taj Mahal; History narrates Shah Jahan's wish to replicate the Taj Mahal in black too.. I probably would have liked to see both.

Then we flew to Kolkata, the second home of Marwaris. Personally, I think Kolkata Marwaris are going to form their own sect as they are so characteristic, different - the right word being unique - you have to be one to know what I am talking about ;). So then started Diwali celebrations filled with lights, pujas, crackers and little lesser noise - over the years the Kolkata police has realised what a ruckus we can create and have been proactive in implementing strict guidelines for bursting crackers. My entire Kolkata trip was spent in different festivities and occasions meeting the same people over and over again with difference in venue, perhaps to gauge where the best combination of bonding occurred (if any). It was filled with laughter, surprises, tiffs which was coupled with rich fatty food and sweets. The most fun part every year in Kolkata is the "cousin" gathering sessions where there is a deja vu effect, a pattern of over-planning, plans spilling over, someone missing, eating way past midnight, talking about our lives (even though most of us are on BBM) and sleepovers.

As I landed in Bangalore, I realised how much I enjoyed being a Marwari over the past few days and was glad that this cosmoplitan city would gear me up towards becoming a cosmopolitan again!