Category Archives: Uncategorized

Why villains are important

A villain is generally accepted to be the antagonist in any story or scenario.

Can one define light without darkness? or Good without evil?

I know this is not a new argument and neither am I trying to invent one at this stage.

However, we evaluate most things around usย in relative terms. And such aspects as goodness and greatness are no exception.

(Before I go any further, do note that I expect exceptions in all and every category, however I am only focusing on a general and common trend) ๐Ÿ™‚

Is a Hero really a hero without an adversary? Would we really accept political messages from one party if they were not opposed to another? “Comparison” ?

Absolute’s are relative. Debatable indeed, however go along with this thought.

I will not get in to the religious sentiment and rather on purpose stick to HR.

While we used to interview a batch of candidates, we would mostly end up hiring the best out of the batch, who may often not be out first choice if the person was placed in a different batch.

Overall the quality of our heroes enhances or deteriorates in direct proportion to the adversary ๐Ÿ™‚

Enough for now. Would love to read your thoughts.

 

ONE STEP AT A TIME โ€“ HOW TO BE HAPPY PART 2

Letting go has never been easy. But often letting go is the only option to survive.

Normally when we do let go, we feel an acute sense of guilt – For no reason. However believe me it is only temporary and time will heal it.

Why would you want to let go ?

Every day you will come across people and issues that will give you only stress and nothing more. If you stop to think about them you will realise that there is no “solving” them. There is no recourse that will lead to happiness in these people or issues. These are the ones to let go.

There will be useless “problems” , illogical issues, fake and selfish friends, backstabbing colleagues / classmates etc where we find ourselves involved due to the simple sincerity of thought and honorable purpose. But really ? Is it worth it?

Be happy my friends and let go of your individual poison that is leaching onto you and draining your positive energy.

Let’s be clear on this. Life is not easy and it’s not a fairytale. One rarely gets a choice in the issues we get to tackle. So, in the challenges you do get, reconsider the importance of that challenge in your life or the life of your loved ones… then maybe its worth it. The issues or people may be a mix of fortune and misfortune and you can decide which one is more important based on logical arguments.

Then, there are others which we choose to keep in order to torture our own selves ๐Ÿ™‚ Yes, I would say it’s our choice when we do this.

So there are 2 options:

  1. Let go and carry on with the positive life
  2. Try to handle it while keeping your own sanity and happiness intact.

My next post will be on how we can accomplish number 2 ๐Ÿ™‚

Till then – Be Happy !

To love

True they say ” its better to have loved , and lost then never to have loved at all”. Even better I presume is if love were to happen more often.

Even better than this would be if it were not one directional and had the occasional surprise of a reciprocation ๐Ÿ™‚

I dedicate this post to all my uni-directional lovely lovers out there ๐Ÿ™‚

The irony is when no one actually thinks about this. One can fall in love with his / her car, mobile, laptop , ipad or much about anything and anyone in existence and in may cases virtual.

Then we have the workaholic who is in love with his profession / job and in some cases like a hard to get sweetheart … work just doesn’t respond the way our workaholic buddy wishes.

Then there is eternal love and the cycle to keep getting the high again … and again ๐Ÿ˜‰

I would like to simply pay tribute to those who are in love with someone, something or anything / anyone with all their heart … and are yet to get any response …. may it be a “Bad Command of File Name” ๐Ÿ˜‰ ย [ readers familiar with DOS will get this]

I took a little break writing and this just sort of just came across as a thought and I liked sharing it. The usefulness or lack there off the post is absolutely not intended.

Would appreciate if you can suggest any topics you wish to read on and I can share my personal experiences if possible.

Till later…. Keep loving as love is reward in itself ๐Ÿ™‚

Compliance VS Commitment

I have always tried my best to be a person who puts work and objectives before personal ego. However, I feel a little guilty when I quote myself so having said that I am going to do exactly that. My subordinates will perhaps attest to the fact that I have been found saying โ€œ I am only as strong and successful as my team!โ€ many times during the course of my dozen or so years as a professional.

There are two very important words that I have come across as traits in a team / team Member.

  • Compliant
  • Committed

There are compliant teams / team members and then there are committed teams / team members.

Whatโ€™s the difference?

A compliant member is one who shows up to work because they have to!

It has nothing to do with attendance or schedule. You will note such people who will be fretting to leave at the end of the shift-Per say. They will most likely walk off to the parking lot in a hurry only to wait another 20 minutes for their taxi or for the parking lot to clear up BUT they will leave work right on time as if waiting for the clock to strike the proverbial School Off time ๐Ÿ˜‰ These are not bad people. Its just a classification really. These are people who are at work because โ€“ only because —where else would they be??

Then there are committed members. Work is their extension โ€“ their baby. They may even obsess over it. The committed member will treat work or the project as their OWN. They take ownership of what they do and really believe that the output is a reflection of their own self. These are people who think ahead and forecast challenges and are prepared with solutions or attempts.

I recall reading somewhere that itโ€™s only natural to progress easily from a committed to Compliant while the reverse is not only hard but rarely achievable.

The great thing about committed teams is that the team will not treat a task as an assignment from the manager. They will or ideally would treat it as their own objective, take pride in it and gloat in the success of completing it with efficiency and accuracy.

Thou I am not the best of managers, however compiling a lot of what I have read and experience I would like to share a few point on how to develop high performing committed teams:

  • Trust: I value trust above all. If there is no trust then there is nothing to begin with. Thou I hear that trust needs to be earnedโ€ฆ I believe that it also required a leap of faith. This goes both ways. As the boss one needs to start by trusting and as the member of the team one would have to take positive leverage of the trust and revert in kind.
  • Empowerment: With empowerment comes ownership and with ownership comes responsibility and accountability. Hand over tasks to your team and make them the owners. Most importantly give them the agility to plan and execute and deliver. Remember humans err. Give them chances BUT not in a manner where they walk all over you!
  • Recognition: Always remember to appreciate and recognize achievement. You as the manager are there to highlight your team. If you will not give them the spotlight โ€ฆ who will?
  • Friendly: Donโ€™t make it all work and no play. Be humorous and friendly with you team. Work is work but letโ€™s not run a coal mineย ๐Ÿ™‚

ย 

I would love to hear back from you on your own stories or experiences. I am not a researcher or an absolute on the topic. I have just shared what I feel and your feedback and comments will make this more comprehensible.

Thanks.

 

Anarkali

Baa Adab Ba Mulahiza Hoshiyar ….

Zilay Subhani … Sirajudaula … Sultan E Hindustan … Sultanย E Azam …

Baadshah E Hind … Sahib e Zaman….Jalal Ud Din Muhammad Akbar …

Jalwa feroz Ho Rahay Hain !!!

In the midst of the glory and intimidating architecture of the Mughal Empire lays a dirty little secret lostย to reality and time to be more famously known as a work a “fiction”. The Emperor enters the darbar only to be presented with a criminal …. Anarkali.

Her crime …. Theft. Well as they say Theft is theft may it be big or small and in this case it was huge. She had inadvertently stole the heart of the Crown Prince Jahnagir. Oh My God. What every will become of her ๐Ÿ™

One can always see the Indian movie Mughal E Azam to get an idea of what happened … or allegedly happened.

History as we know is only a perspective of the one who writes it. When the memory of Anarkali was fresh …it was Akbarnama and of course he didย not mention anything of her. Later when Jahangir become emperor and his reign produced Tazkir E Janagiri … I believe the memory of a love affair long ago was forgotten or replaced by new and more approachable one(s)…so we do not find anything there of her either. All we have is the tomb of Anarkali. I don’t wish to elaborate on that.

What is my point… well I imagine or wish to imagine what was going on in Anarkali’s mind when she was standing against the wall being “built” in to it brick by brick, line by line by the Royal mason while Akbar and his courtiers looked on.

What was going on in her mind??

I sense that every brick she saw being added was a reminder to her of the hopelessness of her adventure. Every inch that the wall grew closer to trap her inside she felt she had nothing and she had sacrificed everything for Nothing. Then she may have been thinking of the good times with the prince. Remembering the promises made by him and now the hollowness of those promises. She must have felt like being reborn and starting life again.
She may even have thought about how Jahangir could have tackled the situation where the result was not her gruesome death. He could have talked to his father he could have kept the affair in wraps like one of the wazirs she knew of.

No, he had to go and confront the King..his father and evoke all wrath that comes with standing against the king no matter waht the topic.

There she stood being trapped and at one point her tears stopped. She could see that she had nothing and that is where her hopelessness was coming from and the one she blammed well he had everything and now without her he had nothing and that is where his dejection was coming from . He was not to blame.

It was fate and this is how their love was to be immortalized —ย she smiled.

She smiled because now she no longer feared death. She KNEW now that it is from this moment on that she will actually begin to live.

This is how I think she felt. She may have been just standing there drugged and unconscious…I don’t know but I think she was strong and she was fearless and this scared the life out of Akbar.

Coming back to the moment, I am sure if she had aย mobile she would have liked to slip one with her secretly and called Jahangir after being trapped to let her loose ..or … I imagine her sending a selfie to Jahangir from inside the walls ๐Ÿ˜‰

We do many things in our own frame of reference and we live our entire lives within that frame of reference. Absolute in our mind and yet always fluid and dynamic.

While making decisions in life I feel it important to not have too many absolutes as they will sub-consciously and perhaps in a pre-determined manner reject the many choices that might exist in any situation showing only one?

Next time I would like to talk about …. Till next time ๐Ÿ˜‰

How it all begins

Like all things in life , learning too starts at a very very early age. If I were to give a number I would say as early as the mothers womb. A lot of material is available on the internet about different kinds of learning and how events effect our personality etc. I will not not go it to all that.

I will like to share a story very dear to me personally with you all.

Going back to 1958 a young boy of around 8 year is strolling and jumping near his home in a government officers housing scheme in Mid-town Lahore.

This boy, lets call him him Shani , to his surprising delight notices some money on the street. He is more over joyed by the prospects of what that money can get him than the surprise of actually spotting it.

Shani approached the money and picked up the whole lot and counted…Aath Ana, Rupaya….. SIX RUPEES!! Wooo….Half Anna

In 1958 for a boy of 8 this was very well a small fortune! Shani’s mind ran across what he wanted to do MOST in this world.

Shani thought and thought and quickly he came to a singular conclusion. His most loving desire was to suck on Sugar cane cubes ( AKA Gandarees) .

He rushes to the nearby street trolley vendor. He orders Gandarees worth Half a Rupee. He gets a TRUCK load of Gandarees ( figuratively of course – consider it my poetic licence)sugarcaneijpg

Just imagine yourself at 8 years getting a bag full of M&M’s or Mars … now you can relate to Shani.

Shani is on top of the sixth heaven. He keeps sucking the Gandarees and he gets so lost thatย he doesnt realize he is late getting back home.

Back home everyone was getting worried. Now Shani’s Mom passed away when he was very little and he had a number of older brothers and sisters. Being the youngest and perhaps somewhat pampered – his absence caused an uproar and confusion.

Almost everyone went out looking for him. A dozen or so long minutes later Shani was located in the park…lost in his world of Gandarees.

Long story short – he was brought back to his home and everyone wanted to know where he got so many Gandarees from??

Words were thrown around and a general sense of anger and disgust was growing.

Visiting that day was Shani’s maternal Aunt. Her husband has just got a new Fiat and wanted to drive the kids around ๐Ÿ™‚

FIAT-500-1957-EDITION-SIDE-AT-LA-MOTOR-SHOW.jpg

In the midst of all the anger and resentment at a lost soul who was now destined to be the next dacoit of Pakistan ๐Ÿ˜‰ Shani’s Aunt calls him and sits him on her lap.

She asks him where he got the Gandarees from. He in all innocence replies that he found 6 Rupees on the road and continues to tell the rest of his tale.

His Aunt asks him to produce the remaining 5 and Half Rupees and show that he is telling the truth. He promptly does so from the pocket of his shorts.

His Aunt takes the Half rupee coin and gives him a one rupee coin and tells him to go back and put the whole 6 Rupees back exactly where he found them.

She send him alone , unattended. Shani goes and puts the money exactly where he found it and returns in a short while and shares the completion of the task with his Aunt.

His Aunt then explains to him that he should never take what is not his. This is not how we were brought up. Then she tells his father not to scold him as he has learnt his lesson.

Then , she takes out the Half rupee coin she had kept earlier and gave it to Shani and said ” Enjoy your Gandarees again another day whenever you want. This is your reward for being honest”

What Shani did with that other Half Rupee is a mystery to me.

However what I can tell you is that Shani grew up to be a very ethical and morally upright person with numerous successes in life.

So, my little note to this is that we must try to inculcate these and more basic moral values in our kids at an early age so that they are not confused about them as they grow up and leave home to learn and venture on their own. It is these basic guidelines that will help them build more complex principles in life and give them success.

Till next time ๐Ÿ™‚

A Dog in Sheesh Mahal

Don’t be too amused at the title just yet. Its a local idiom showing how a dog in a palace would behave. Out of place, bewildered, confused even bedazzled. Most of us started out careers at the entry level. We all have come from different backgrounds. Some have been exposed to corporate setups due to our parents or family and some of us have not. Some come from elite institutes while other from very humble beginnings. What all of us have in common is that we started somewhere and today we have achieved a certain status in our professional lives. Going back in the journey and recalling our first day at work …. Do that…please go back in time and remember. The nervous insides, tingling unexplained sensations, the fear of the unknown … Are you there yet? Good, or not too good ๐Ÿ™‚ Now, do you remember the first senior who took you on and explained some of the basics to you. The first senior who corrected your mistake and told you ” Its ok. We all make mistakes…learn from this and you will be ok!” I feel certain that we can all name at least one senior in our professional lives who carved the path to our achievements , to our success. Being senior professional in our respective fields today … we owe it to those mentors, friends, guides to Pay it forward ! Acknowledge the fact that our knowledge and skill cannot be taken away from us, cannot be stolen. The purpose of our experience is to “share”, to give away to our new generation ( batch ) of budding professionals who stagger in to the hall ways of professional greatness .. unsure and unaware of the magnitude of potential they are carrying hidden away inside them. It is up to us to act as guides and in many cases as catalysts to build confidence and transform these freshers. I am a result of many great minds who have in their own unique ways contributed to my professional path. And today I would like to say “Thank you ” to all of them. I would request a moment from everyone reading this post to take a minute, remember those mentors and send them a thank you note, sms or email today…now . It may not seem much, but appreciation goes a long way. I am in the process of emailing mine ๐Ÿ™‚

Listen Up …

I read an article recently and got inspired to share my thoughts on the topic. The article titles “Shut up and Listen” written by Dave Kerpen is available on LinkedIn. My current thoughts on silence included a poem by someone called “The Desiderata” ( Translated as Desired Things) starts “Go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence.” Followed by the all time repeated and overly used quote “Silence is Golden”. And of course lets not forget ” Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt”.

Now that I have put out the quotes known to me …. may not be appropriate to the topic but those are the thoughts that passed my head anyway. What that out of the way, I shall move on. When we listen, we actually show respect to the other person that we are interested in what they are saying. At least superficially. What are we thinking on the back of the interested face ? Franklin Covey is quoted to have said something along the line that mostly we don’t listen with the intention to understand, but rather with the intention to reply. So there I felt is the answer. If we are listening but not understanding since our intention is to respond and not analyze and process WHAT & WHY the person is saying what he / she is saying …Kaputs. No use. So, I have learnt this formally today and I have started to make an active and planned intention to observe this principle going on. We have two eyes, two ears and ONE mouth for a reason ๐Ÿ™‚

Trust

At the end of the day … Who can you trust? Professionally, I trust my team. I hope that they trust me too, it would be amusing to find myself being a necessary nuisance that needs to be tolerated. One instrumental and default challenge with Trust is that it can easily be broken. I feel that I try very hard not to let the trust break either way. However the reality is that no matter how hard I try somewhere along the line I will end up breaking someones trust and the same is true in the alternative direction. I really am at a loss to find something like 10 easy steps to regaining someones trust or 6 steps to trusting and not loosing it. All in all its a risk.

Generally I tend to be vigilant and try my best to be observant. However I have to accept that there are things which are beyond my control and the best I can do in such cases is to learn from my behavior and reaction. We continuously learn and I feel it should be synonymous to breathing. It really is that essential. Would appreciate your views on the matter.