Binging on Vacations!

I’m in the midst of long vacations, which are sometimes interrupted by Pre-Joining formalities of my future employer. Being a post graduate with a management degree has its own share of downsides. So yes, every social interaction these days isn’t a delightful affair. I start working with as Human Resources professional from the 1st of July, so yes, the last few weeks have been spent in absolute and complete boredom.

Everytime I sit down with people, the questions eventually boil down to Human Resources, and how it’s a soft career. As someone once said, Left is Right. Similarly, soft, is hard.

A lot of questions are asked, and some are plain infuriating.

1. “Beta, kitna kama rahe ho?” (Child, how much are you earning?)

An absolute favourite at social gatherings, everyone really wants to know the “Moolah” that I’ll be raking in. Except, the money may seem like a lot, but isn’t. As some people say, its never enough. I modify it to say, It’s never enough because its not there!

2. “Beta shaadi kab kar rahe ho?” (Child, when are you getting married?)

This question is something that makes my parents cringe with me. For god’s sake I’m just 25!

3. “Kitna deti hai?” (How much does she give?)

This was just to check if you were reading. Nah, no one really asks me that. Well, not till I own a car or a bike

4. “Mere liye Black label, paani ke saath. Inke liye Paani, Ice ke saath” (Black Label whiskey with water for me, water with Ice for the kid)

Seriously! I’m not in kindergarten. The problem with Free alcohol is, you can never have it. 

5. “Beta, gar pe bore nahi hote?” (Child, don’t you get bored at home?)

Of course I do! Why on earth would anyone in their right minds ask that question.

Moving on,

Netflix & House of Cards taught the world something us engineers already knew. (Unbelievable, isn’t it, Engineers knowing anything. These days, the littlest thing they know is a Quora thread. Can you believe it, I’ve even started writing answers on Quora!). Binge-Watching. In my days in undergrad (way back in 2011), boys would measure social standing by GBs on their external Hard disks, and the number of seasons they had. College is a great equalizer. People who were from smaller cities and had not been exposed to the kind of cultural upbringing people from the bigger cities have, changed, a lot. From being unaware of who Greg House was, to rattling off IMDB ratings of shows and movies, they’d traverse the entire spectrum of TV and cinema. (I was no different, becoming a fan of comedy shows in my time at college).

So now, as I finally quit college (postgrad!), after 4 years of Engineering, 2 years of GE and another couple of years of studying human resources, I’ve been given a long long vacation (almost three months) before I hit the grind again. And trust me, binge-holidaying, isn’t as easy as binge watching TV.

Life isn’t easy these days. The initial thrill of vacations has worn off, and the excitement of starting work hasn’t kicked in yet. It feels a little bit like a soft, listless existence. I tried picking up a few sports, but then, the Delhi heat got the better of me. And as luck would have it, all friends have ditched grand plans of taking a trip to the hills. Very very sad indeed. So what’ve I been doing? Read on.

Binge-watching: Well, lots of free time, a fast internet connection and a hard disk that’s finally not locking up and dying, what does one do? I’ve gone on multiple binge sprees in the last week, watching Despicable Me, The Thick of It, Veep, Kings and I don’t know what. TV miniseries like Band of Brothers, The Pacific etc get thrown somewhere in the middle. Over the last few days, I’ve been like an angry caveman, stomping out of my room for food, and then walking back in again. I’ve even seen Johnny Depp’s much maligned “Lone Ranger” and surprisingly, I didn’t find it bad. The train scene, out if the world.

The latest is Boston Legal. Having stopped at The Practice, I’ve never really started off with the spin-off, and after I saw Age of Ultron, I wanted to see James Spader in action. And somehow I think I like him better as a badass lawyer, than a Pinocchio singing robot hell bent on destroying humanity. My mother has permanently put a table mat in my room. She just doesn’t expect me to eat at the table anymore.

Sometimes, I just feel like randomly saying out, “Denny Crane” and I, have William Shatner to than for that.

Running: While running plans aren’t very regular, they do end up happening (with decreasing frequency now) because of the heat, and running a few rounds to Rid of the Valkyries, or the William Tell Overture (Loved it in the Lone Ranger) is very satisfying indeed. Also, with my mother breathing down my neck for ‘getting active’, (result of all the binge watching), I need to atleast try and look active. And, I spent 4K on running shoes from snapdeal. So yeah, Dil ki deal needs some running by the legs. 

Reading : Junk it, I’m not gonna write another book review here.

Meeting people: On the rare occasions that I do step out of my little cave, I do actually end up meeting some people. However, conversations just go on a single track. What am I doing with these holidays! If only I knew. I’m gonna go out on a limb here and say that Holidays are the WORST TIME EVER! For someone who hasn’t worked on anything meaningful this year, at all, the end of five months of meaninglessness are very annoying indeed. And I still have 37 more goddamn days left!

So, what does a TISS graduate do in vacations. (Adarsh MBA types. I’m sure we’ll have a meme on it soon). This post is having way more lists than I thought it would.

1. Meet overenthusiastic relatives who wanna know all about how I’m going to transform businesses. (Yeah right)

2. Meet overenthusiastic friends who wanna know all about how I’m going to transform businesses. (Yeah right)

3. Explain to people what HR is. And how its not only payroll and hiring. (Though that is quite a huge portion)

4. Try and seem knowledgeable but always have an exit route out of a tough conversation. (So what’s your company’s Topline and bottomline growth over the last few years? Well, fairly strong, considering the industry and the operating environment)

5. Explain to people how TISS is not a bschool, but we’re all doing bschool jobs anyway. And the best ones at that. Not a very convincing argument, but its true!

6. Look enviously at other people at work, and wish you’d start already. (Lots of seniors at work tell me that I will revisit these thoughts once I join, but then, what the heck)

7. Think of blog posts to write.

8. Make lists (and, I should stop.)

So to sum it up, I’m a bored soul, and if you have any ideas of what to do, please please let me know.

Else, very soon, I’ll be hollering the following words every minute.

“Denny Crane”

A hard fought century! (of posts!)

100 is a significant number. It’s a number that’s a big milestone for a lot of us, and gives us a sense of fulfillment, closure, satisfaction and joy. Like age is just a number, so is 100, but it is an important one. At least, that’s what I feel as I type out my 100th blog post. I’ll take this post to write about two things (continuing from this last post, I think writing about two things is my forte, much like talking about Two things is my friend Menon’s). GE, then TISS, both had an adverse impact on my habit of reading, and as days have gone on, I felt both my knowledge and ability were on the decline. So, these vacations have been spent reading anything I can lay my hands on. From books about Cricket (which will get a mention later in this post), to reports of Standing Committees of parliament, this time I’ve devoured stuff like a madman. And, every time my Dad sees a new book at home, he reminds me, that once I start working, then he’ll stop paying for any book, ever again.

A fabulous read, every Indian history buff and cricket fan must read it!

A fabulous read, every Indian history buff and cricket fan must read it!

A book I absolutely am loving reading is Ramachandra Guha’s ‘A corner of a foreign field’. A fabulous book about cricket’s impact on social change in the Indian subcontinent, it is one of those books that you dislike reading, because the farther the bookmark travels in the book, the more you realize that there’s lesser of it left to read. A section of the book deals with the Palwankar brothers (Vithal and Baloo being protagonists) and how they fought against caste discrimination to pursue what their true love was, playing cricket. Baloo was a fabulous left arm spinner and Vithal, an amazing batsman. Guha has also included a lot of social commentary in the book, and one of the most peculiar things I found about Pre-independence cricket was the Bombay Quadrangular, which had 4 teams, Hindus, Muslims, Parsees and Europeans battling it out year after year for what was then, India’s premier cricket competition. With stories about the remarkable battle of European Polo versus Indian Cricket, this is a fabulous book. The description of players like C.K. Nayudu is such that you feel they’ve literally walked out of the book to stand by your side. It is an ambitious book, and a must read book for every INDIAN cricket fan, because the making of India, did, and always will have a lot of cricket in it.

The entry pass!

The entry pass!

Today was one of the most remarkable days in my life, because I finally got the opportunity to attend a debate in Parliament. No, I’ve not abandoned my fledgling career for a jump into politics, but I did get the opportunity to sit and watch the entire proceedings of the Lok Sabha today, perched atop the house in the Speaker’s viewing gallery. Unlike the usual visitors gallery, which allows people to attend a debate for only one hour, this gallery has no time limits (but it must be vacated at the time of voting), and has equipment to hear simultaneous translation of speeches into English/Hindi, as they are made. The Sansad Bhawan is a magnificent building, but as always, TV channels do not do it justice, and it is simply a sight to behold. As we took our seats in the Gallery, the house was just being called into session, and then, the treasury benches were slowly occupied by the government. Mr. Modi also dropped in for a few minutes, while Dr. Harshvardhan answered Member’s questions in the Question hour about Nepal, our preparedness for disasters, our technological progress etc. A very entertaining passage of events was when a member questioned the Telecom Minister, Sh. Ravi Shankar Prasad about the sorry state in which BSNL is today. The sparring that took place between members of the government on these issues was very entertaining indeed. The opposition was very lively too, with Jyotradiya Scindia playing the role of disruptor-in-chief, by ensuring that he made interjections at appropriate times. Sonia Gandhi’s pointed questions about non-appointment of a Chief Information Commissioner Chief Vigilance Commissioner had the MoS (Personnel), Jitendra Singh reeling out red tape as an answer. However, the truly majestic part of the debate was when Sh. Arun Jaitley introduced a Constitutional Amendment for the passage of the Goods and Services Tax. A detailed discussion followed, with Veerappa Moily, Bahrthruhari Mehtab of the BJD and Thambi Durai trading punches and counter punches with the FM. And then, the Congress Party did stage a walkout, with a BJP MP shouting out “Madam Sonia Ji, aap inke behkave me na aayein” (Madam Sonia, please don’t fall into the traps of your leaders), as she and Rahul Gandhi were followed out by a bunch of Congress MPs. An interesting bit of the debate was on inclusion of Tobacco within the ambit of the GST bill, whereas Alcohol had been left out. Mr Jaitley humorously quipped “Saugata Roy ji, you are the most frequent user of the MPs Smoking room, it is good that the West Bengal government charges you a luxury tax for it.” What was interesting to see was that every MP who asked a question, or a supplementary had put in a lot of effort. Their were multiple files they carried with them, with flags, post-its and even highlighted text (Yes, Mallikarjun Kharge had a document with him, with his pertinent points highlighted in Blue). As we met one of the officials from the Lok Sabha secretariat, he said that there is a huge misconception about MPs. Most of them do actually put in a lot of effort in Parliamentary debates, which was a point that was reinforced by the staff at the Parliament library.

The Draftsmen

A tour of the Parliament is never complete without a visit to the Parliament museum, which took us through the history of the Indian Constitution, how it was drafted, some memorabilia of previous speakers, and a massive auditorium dedicated to the Late G M C Balayogi, the NDA speaker who met his demise in a helicopter crash. Another fabulus attraction is the ability to sit among life size models of the members of the First Constituent assembly (S. Radhakrishnan, Sucheta Kripalani, Vallabhbhai Patel, Shyama Prasad Mookherjee), and hear Pandit Nehru’s life size model read out the Tryst with Destiny speech as Dr, Rajendra Prasad’s model looked on. I chose a seat next to Vallabhbhai Patel, as I heard the speech that has been imprinted in our minds from when we were children. As we reached the memorial for the people who gave their lives up for this democracy in December 13th 2001, true realisation of how sacred this democracy is sank in.

Tagore.

Tagore.

Finally, we concluded the visit by polishing off highly subsidized food at the Parliament Canteen. The Fish Fry and the Mutton Curry are to die for. Setting foot into the heart of Indian democracy further strengthened my resolve to be a responsible Indian, to follow my duties, protect others’ rights and be the citizen our forefathers wanted us to be. And as I walked out, a renewed sense of delight, inspiration and a Marble Pen Holder (bought from the Parliament Souvenir Shop) accompanied me back. “We are citizens of a great country, on the verge of bold advance, and we have to live up to that high standard. All of us, to whatever religion we may belong, are equally the children of India with equal rights, privileges and obligations. We cannot encourage communalism or narrow-mindedness, for no nation can be great whose people are narrow in thought or in action.”

Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru, 15th August 1947

(For those who wish to attend proceedings of the Parliament, the best way to do so is to get authorization from the MP of your Lok Sabha constituency, and a magnificent experience in the Lok Sabha awaits you. The Parliament Museum, Library and Canteen (which are all housed in a separate building), are open to general public)

Three Books, Three Stories, Three Experiences

Its been a tough few weeks, walking out of college with a feeling that there aren’t going to be too many opportunities for all of us to meet together, again, for a very long time.

But then, the convocation is coming up, so life should be good, right? That’s what I hope, anyway.

So, I’ve moved to the next best thing, Books. I have an extensive collection of books, and these few books have made a long boring holiday, worth something. Everyday, as I settle into a long bus journey to my NGO, a good book makes the one and a half hour journey seem very short.

A book I’d been avoiding reading completely for a very long time was the Emperor of All Maladies by Siddhartha Mukherjee, a book, that the author says was inspired by a patient’s question. “I was having a conversation with a patient who had stomach cancer,” he recalled, “and she said, ‘I’m willing to go on fighting, but I need to know what it is that I’m battling.’ It was an embarrassing moment. I couldn’t answer her, and I couldn’t point her to a book that would.

Truly, the Emperor of All Maladies

Truly, the Emperor of All Maladies (The disease, not the man!)

 

As I delved deeper into the book (with true determination), I absolutely couldn’t think of what it would be like to be an oncologist and see a lot of patients fight a battle that if won, is always a Pyrrhic victory. In most cases, there isn’t a victory to be had, but an agonising defeat. Having lost a family member to cancer years back, my family does have first hand experience of what a beast caner can be, with its moody, volatile unpredictability. A treatment for cancer was born out of War itself, when in the Second World War, hundreds of Tonnes of mustard gas were released in the Bari Harbour in Italy. This gas decimated the white blood cells, leading pharmacologists thinking about using a similar chemical to kill cancer of the white blood cells. Chemotherapy, literally, was a product of war. In the end the disease wages a war on the body, and doctors, literally, nuke it in hopes of a victory. A sad, sad war, if there were ever one.


 

As I flew back to Delhi after spending almost 22 Months in Bombay, I was welcomed home with Mom’s homemade Chicken Biryani, and a book from my future employers, ITC Limited. They’d sent me George Orwell’s 1984, for leisure reading. Felt good to receive a good book, and it was fun, kickstarting this vacation with the same. When it comes to Orwell, I’ve read Animal Farm (partly because of its length), and seen John Hurt in 1984 as Winston Smith. The book drew a lot of parallels with present times, where Censor boards give us a list of acceptable words, the government controls what we eat, and private corporations, making a huge attempt to control what we use our smartphones for (#NetNeutrality?).

Napoleon and Snowball!

Napoleon and Snowball!

Speaking of Animal Farm, before I forget, how many of you think that Kejriwal is Napoleon, and Yogendra Yadav is Snowball? Very good metaphors to describe the state of the Aam Aadmi Party.


 

Coming back to books, another (and the last for this post!) book that’s been a wonder to read is Daniel Kahneman’s Thinking, Fast and Slow. An author (and a Nobel Laureate!), whose work caught my fancy in arguably the best lecture I’ve attended in TISS. A lecture on Prospect Theory in advanced compensation, it remains one of the most valuable lessons I’ve learnt at TISS.

The book is an anthology of Daniel Kahneman’s life of work, and the way he tells the story to us with believable anecdotes of his research with Amos Tversky, give a human touch to ears of his research. The anecdotes are real, and in a lot of cases, very funny. A fantastic and engaging read, this book (and rightly so) puts Daniel Kahneman head and shoulders above other writers who work on similar themes.

So, to wind up this filler vacation post, I’ll leave you with a simple thought.

“Luck plays a large role in every story of success; it is almost always easy to identify a small change in the story that would have turned a remarkable achievement into a mediocre outcome”

– Daniel Kahneman

Moral of the story? Always thank your stars!

 

Growing up with the Indian Cricket Team

There’s always something about the ball sweetly striking the middle of the bat and racing through the covers for a four. A stroke that’s sweet, grounded, and effortless. Something we don’t see as much anymore in the brute hitting that’s come to characterize modern cricket. I like Glenn Maxwell, and AB and the big hitters that we’ve all seen, but the classy play of a Hashim Amla, or a Virat Kohli grafting a brilliant innings together is what I cherish more in a game of cricket.

There’s much more love I have for Test Cricket though, and the matches played on fast seaming pitches are one of the most exciting matches that can be seen. Pitches and rules today are biased to batsmen to such an extent, that commentators have started considering economy rates of 5 a good one. Gone are the days when Glenn McGrath would beat a batsman 5 times in an over, on any pitch.

India’s tour of Australia, though it ended winless was a beautiful display of test batting. With Virat Kohli’s imperious form, and bright spots like Lokesh Rahul and Ajinkya Rahane, Indian Test Cricket seems to have a bright future up ahead.

For all the love Indians have now started professing for the Manchester Uniteds and the Liverpools of the world, if its the last over of an India-Pakistan game, every single Indian tunes in.

As India won their 9th World cup game in a row today, by beating Ireland, I look back at some past world cups through my eyes, and some memories that are strongly associated to them. Somehow, they’re all vivid, and every single run scored is something I remember.

The 1996 Wills World Cup

This world cup is a faint memory, where names like Kaluwitharana & Jayasurya would evoke terror in the hearts of my cricket loving parents and uncles. I dont remember too much of this one, but there’s still a certain fondness for the cup, considering that’s when I became aware of Cricket for the first time. But this World Cup did turn the game on its head.

The 1999 Cricket World Cup

This totally had my generation hooked!

This totally had my generation hooked!

This was the time when every single kid was devouring packs and packs of biscuits. The ‘Britannia Khao, World Cup Jao’ ad campaign caught on like a bush fire. Every single friend I had was busy collecting wrappers to exchange them for a ticket to the world cup. I remember, there was a flurry to get the scratch card booklets, so one could actually get something. I was convinced I’d get a Britannia Bat, and with Dravid and Ganguly both batting with Britannia Bats (I was too young to understand that the Britannia was a sponsor, and not the maker).

But gimmicks aside, this was the one World Cup that put me into the Sourav Ganguly fanclub (and since then, I’ve been a big fan of Left handed batsmen. There’s something simply classy about a southpaw). The 183 at Taunton agains a Sri Lankan attack was probably one of the best one day Innings I’ve seen Dada bat in. Ably assisted by Rahul Dravid, it was one of my favourite performances of the 1999 world cup, along with the 5/27 by Venkatesh Prasad against Pakistan at Old Trafford. I was hugely impressed with the New Zealand team, with Geoff Allott’s strike bowling ability, Gavin Larsen’s economy, and Astle’s sheer destructiveness. It was a fun world cup, that one, and sadly, inspite of collecting a lot of wrappers, I never even got a keychain. But even though India didn’t reach the semis, a passion for cricket in a 10 year old had been born.

The 2003 Cricket World Cup

If 1999 belonged to Dravid and Ganguly, 2003 belonged to Srinath, Zaheer Khan and Nehra. Yes, Ganguly did hit three tons (two against Kenya), Sachin played that blinder (with that six!) against Pakistan, but the consistency of the Indian Pace trio was fabulous (the game against Sri Lanka didn’t even need a fourth bowler. Haha, revenge for 1996!). I could have never imagined Indian fast bowlers being as good as they were. While the final (cruelly so), slipped away from us because of Ponting’s brilliance, there was a new found belief in the team that Ganguly infused. All of us thought, maybe West Indies was the place where we’d conquer it, once and for all. The Indian team did bunch together and play a fabulous cup, but in the end, Ponting’s squad were just too strong. A far cry from the underdogs who won the 1999 world cup, gone were likable medium pacers like Tom Moody and Paul Reiffel, and the ferocity of McGrath, Gillespie and Lee was too hard for anyone to handle. That team, was a great team.

This world cup is also the one where I became an absolute fan of Rahul Dravid, for his keeping and the way he took one for the team. There are very few cricketers who are as amazing as he is, and maybe, the hurrah with which India reached the final had a lot to do with the game’s ultimate gentleman being behind the stumps.

The 2007 Cricket World Cup

2007 was an aberration. Matches at ungodly hours, halfway across the world. If the ICC would have learnt one thing, it’d be never, ever, host a World Cup in the West Indies ever again. A forgettable world cup for India, with defeats against Sri Lanka and Bangladesh sending us back, and killing my interest in the tournament. I didn’t even watch any of the games after it, which is a shame, because I was told Glenn McGrath had a tournament to remember.

And the earth did shake.

And the earth did shake.

A defining memory of that world cup is the Bermudan player Leverock taking a great catch to dismiss Robin Uthappa. Literally made the ground shake, that catch.

The 2011 Cricket World Cup

What a win!

What a win!

 

2011 was a fairy tale. The defining moment where M S Dhoni launched Kulasekara over long on to fulfill dreams of the Indian crowds is still imprinted in my memory. That night was the crowning glory for all us cricket fans, with the beuatiful batting of Sachin, Yuvraj’s all round performance and Dhoni’s captaincy. But events leading upto the final were more special, with Ponting’s ton in the quarters in vain, the tie with England, the defeat to South Africa. Emotions came pouring out that time round. It was the year when I finished of college and was about to start working for GE.

As the 2015 World Cup goes on, I realize I’m about to start working again as college draws to a close.

While this world cup has been dominated by stories about Southee’s yorkers, McCullum and Maxwell’s big hits, there’s a strong Indian story developing, with Kohli and Dhawan in great form, Dhoni having his instincts intact and Shami and Co hunting in packs. Even Ravi Ashwin, who gets a lot of stick about overseas pitches seems to be in control of his spells.

So, to wrap this up, I just hope that work starts again the way it did after 2011. With an Indian Win.

Step Out, PNK

This is a momentous post. So much that I’m taking the liberty of modifying the words of a song the great poet Roger Waters wrote.

Tired of lying in the sunshine staying home to watch the rain
You are young and life is long and there is time to kill today
And then one day you find two years have got behind you
No one told you when to run, you missed the starting gun

– Pink Floyd, Time, The Dark Side of the Moon

Two years (well, a quarter short, but then who cares?), quite a rollercoaster ride. The memories are so many, and my words too mediocre to actually even make an attempt to summarize it my own words. Except state that yes, two years have gone behind me.

There’s no easy way to summarize how this course has been, except maybe using the phrase, life affirming.

There are somethings at TISS, that puts it apart from the rest. The neverending credit facility at DM canteen, the sessions of drinking in the room, or the amphitheatre, Hans Zimmer and Pink Floyd playlists on never ending loops are just some of the things that stand out, but its really really hard to pin it down.

As the last lecture ended a couple of days back, there was a strange sense of disbelief. The end of student life as I’ve known it. In my days at GE, there was always a belief that a few months or years down the line, I will quit the job to go back to academics. As I look at TISS and the end of days, it seems sad that I will be unable to go back to assignments, crazy deadlines, walks in Bombay, early morning tea at the Taj among other things.

2014 was a year that was, by far the toughest I’ve had, with internships, academics, existential issues, a general state of being unhappy and facing issues of credibility, both personally and professionally. But then, I put all of it down to character building, and to the fact that good things in life, are never easy.

So let me recap a few things that I believe made TISS very special for me, and I will always keep them very close to my heart.

The Placement Committee

Brothers-in-Arms!

Brothers-in-Arms!

Anyone who knows me well, knows how much I’ve valued the 5 other people who are a part of the TISS placement committee with me. Placement committees, historically in colleges are a bed of intrigue, a melting pot of conspiracies, but for us, I think we ended up being the best of friends through meetings that would last entire nights.

While a few of us did have certain personal commitments to cater to, the committee came first (on most occasions). Being one of the few committees to have an exemplary track record, we humbly accept that none of it would have been possible without all of us. The ingenuity of Anurag, the ability to see the bigger picture of Akhila, the doggedness of Srinidhi (find someone who has the enthusiasm she has for meetings and I’ll quit my job), the out-of-box(or window) thinking of Bhat, the sheer brilliance of Meghna, and well, my ever constant presence brought together what was an extremely high performing, yet a well gelling team. While there aren’t too many happy memories, considering the pressure we operated in as a committee, the questions we had to face, the days where we couldn’t believe what the insecurity of a few individuals could make them do, we understand that we got through the tough days because we stuck together.

It’s a curious thing, insecurity. We all are insecure, but it’s how we deal with it, that makes us different from the rest. Life is not about channeling insecurities negatively but having faith in yourself. There’s no one who is out to purposely ruin things for us. Our enemies are the creations of our own minds. Life isn’t a movie, where there’s an arch enemy. Differing opinions exist, and Tiss has taught me that they need to be respected, and not hated.

The Room

From A-602 to C-302. A pleasure indeed.

From A-602 to C-302. A pleasure indeed.

I’ll quote my good friend Damahe here ‘the first set of friends we make in college are more incidental than by design. They’re more a matter of convenience’ and three of my closest friends have been my roommates. Damahe, Godara and Saha, from A-602 to C-302, all four of us have come a long way. Three of them are fairly well settled when it comes to life, with priorities pencilled in, and what makes me sad is that inspite of there being a lot of commonalities, the bond is not as strong as it once was. I don’t know what or who to blame, but there’s always the hope that things will be back to the good old single days at Nandanvan, where every drunk was not enough, and every laugh would not have an end.

The Course

Compensation, Advanced Compensation, Labour Law, Diversity, Employer Branding, OB 1, these are just some of the subjects that were an absolute delight to study. After all, we come to Tiss so that we learn some HR too. I loved an internship that I had at Mondelez and the chocolates that accompanied it. Never did I learn as much about human resources as I did at my month there.

Godara and I were once talking that every single advanced compensation lecture was like a hidden gem. We’d never want a break, nor would we want it to end. A seminal article, ‘the pretence of knowledge’ by Sumantra Ghosal is one that’s imprinted in my head, and shall be for a very long time.

Those classes were fun, challenging ourselves, trying to put in as much effort as we could and also realising that our boundaries were set only by us.

The parties

The last party!

The last party!

The parties at TISS have always been a cut above the rest. After all, put 120 drunk people in a room and what you get is mayhem (as owners of Sindhi Society and Oasis will tell you). I’ve been a part of a few crazy ones myself and its a great thing that I remember almost nothing.

The People

Bunch-o-crazies!

Bunch-o-crazies!

There’s a lot I’ve written about my class but a few of my closest friends have been those who I’ve never shared a classroom with. A really close friend being Hamsini, who is, in all probability going to work in chennai and will be tough to trace going ahead, but she and her gang have provided me with peals of laughter (of late, I’ve been returning the favour), good moments, and crazy head blowing movies. (kingsman, ftw!)

My classmates have always been a source of support when I needed it, criticism when I deserved it and help when I was lagging behind on assignments. A big thanks to all of them.

The lessons

Everyone’s read Tuesdays with Morrie, and it remains, one of the best quick reads that have had a profound impact on me. While life’s lesson wasn’t taught to me like Mitch was taught by Morrie, I’ve had many Morries, whether it be Malvika who propped me up in a really tough phase last year, the Placecomm girls who always made me believe in myself, my superboss at ITC, Mr Sajiv Nair, who told me that I give up too easily and kicked me into action, a certain gentleman who lives in Mysore and is fond of the Laphroaig who’s been riding shotgun with me every way of these two years, telling me when to speed up, or Hams, Nen, Shreya and The tall one, who’ve all been my Morries, giving me life lessons, one after another.  To all of them, I’m grateful. And if you’ve been reading my blog, you know I don’t take names easily here.

So to close this rather sentimental post, I’ll leave you with a thought.

Step out, 2015.

“House on fire, leave it all behind you
Dark as night, let the lightning guide you”

Sisyphus and some Economics

(This post is built out of several ideas I had been working on simultaneously. While they could not each become substantial posts in themselves, this aims to be something of an anthology that brings these ideas together. It also, I hope, explains my hiatus)

There’s an ancient Greek myth I’d read about when doing a Coursera course on Greek and Roman mythology about Sisyphus. As I was randomly scrolling through some of my Dad’s documents, I came across an HBR article called the Sisyphus Trap, which draws parallels between Sisyphus, and working for the Government.

To recap, the Legend of Sisyphus is about a treacherous Greek King. He was punished for chronic deceitfulness by being compelled to roll an immense boulder up a hill, only to watch it roll back down, and to repeat this action forever. Even the French absurdist, Albert Camus, in his famous essay ‘The Myth of Sisyphus’ goes on to observe that Sisyphus was the absurd hero who lives life to the full, hates death and is tragically condemned to a meaningless task.

This story becomes important for the likes of us, the batch that will be stepping out as managers, consultants (that term makes me laugh, but I’d not want to paint the profession with my myopic, and negative view) and entrepreneurs, into a country where ease of doing business, inspite of the government going crazy in PR exercises is abysmally low. Camus is interested in Sisyphus’ thoughts when marching down the mountain to start anew, and calls it the tragic moment, when Sisyphus becomes aware of his wretched condition and does not have hope but still keeps pushing.

It is this moment that I’m scared of. The moment where I realize that I’m too small to make a difference, but have no other option but to do so. My greatest education in these 18 months at TISS has been my stint as a member of the Placement Committee. Conflicts, crises and celebrations aside, this stint has finally attached a tangible meaning to the phrase “Character Building”. As my responsibilities drew to a close after running two placement processes, I realized that what bound our committee together was us being oblivious to Sisyphus’ tragic moment. Because once that hope disappears, no matter how hard you push, your mind works lesser, your bones ache more, and you yearn to not reach the top of the mountain, because the boulder’s going to roll down anyway. However, maybe it was the boldness of our ambition, our the naivety of our thoughts, or the fact that we didn’t know about Sisyphus, that such a day never came about. And sadly, as the term slowly, but inevitably draws to a close, the anguish of being close friends who never hung out just to chill out together has slowly started creeping up to us.

I was having an interesting discussion with a professor a few days back, about how I really hated studying science as a kid. Now don’t get me wrong here, everyone who knows me, knows that I love science. And not only Asimov’s science, but studying science in general. My interest worked in the opposite way. Through history. The heroes of Bletchley Park and more importantly, Los Alamos, made outstanding contributions to science, and it was this very fact, their genius, coupled with their heroism, that made me feel that science was something I’d like to learn. After all, Fermi estimations just become a whole lot cooler, when you realize that Enrico Fermi built the first nuclear reactor on a racket court. Maybe it is the geek inside me, maybe it is innate curiosity but Oppenhiemer and Hiesenberg competing against each other to build the bomb first was something that made me read their works in greater detail.

Simple enough, no?

Similarly, my liking for economics is fairly recent. Sylvia Nasar’s work, ‘A beautiful mind’ made me read up about the Game theory. Another instance is Levitt and Dubner’s debut work Freakonomics, which made me explore the neoclassical microeconomic concepts of rational-utility maximization, something I’d have consigned to a few notes taken in a class otherwise.

Another book I’ve recently picked up is the new sensation that’s outselling both fiction and non fiction on Amazon, Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the Twenty-First Century. A book replete with charts, tables and equations, Piketty’s magnum opus (as the Guardian puts it) in its graphic Ivory and Red cover is unmistakable. Even though I’m only a 100 odd pages through it, it says as wealth grows quicker than the economy, (a concept, Piketty captures elegantly in the expression r>g), there will be soaring inequality, unless there’s a global tax on wealth. I quite like the idea, taxing the rich. If Robin Hood were an economist, he would be Piketty. I will be writing more about Piketty as and when I finish parts of the book, but it is, if nothing else, an excellent link between history and economics.

The last part of this post is again, as unstructured as the parts above, and mainly recounts a recent evening spent at one of the popular clubs in Bombay, the Big Nasty. For someone who’s been averse to going out partying in huge groups, this was a welcome change. An overcrowded pub, a fun bunch of people, good food, and Miller High Life. Quite an excellent start to February, I’d say. Everyone had fun, whether it be headbanging in the course of a normal conversation, bumping into an old acquaintance after 7 odd years, spilling Millers on a friend’s clothes (and not getting beaten up for it) or just screaming out north Indian names in a heavy, pronounced south Indian accent, it was a fabulous evening.

That's a Nasty bit of fun!

That’s a Nasty bit of fun!

However, what was interesting to note was a particular guy, who made constant attempts to hit on a couple of my friends, through the DJ, through shady compliments, a bottle of kinley water (he said, “you girls are so hot, so I brought along some cold water”) and at one point, he even tried to make me drink Blenders Pride straight from the bottle. (Blenders’ Pride? Some class man, if you’re trying to join people having better stuff?). He was one of those muscular brawny types, but didn’t have a lot of brains, apparently. And then, I remembered the famous scene from A beautiful mind, where John Nash trashes Adam Smith and says that no one should go for the blonde. This guy, however, decided to go for everyone. It was quite funny. Also funny was the fact that I was thinking economics with “This club can’t even handle me right now” playing in the background.

To close, I’ll quote the American Economist Robert Solow, “Everything reminds Milton Friedman of the money supply. Everything reminds me of sex, but I try to keep it out of my papers.”

To be (free), or not to be (free), that is the question…

The heavens have opened up in Bombay, (in evenings) and the Jim Morrison’s voice crooning, along with a hot coffee would be a perfect start to this long weekend.

The Doors have created some mind blowing music. And now, after almost a year of crazy committee work, internships, academics, assignments, I have absolutely nothing to do, so what’d be better than hearing Jim & Co. sing ‘Riders on the Storm’ and devouring chocolates, courtesy of my field work organization, Mondelez.

Presents for the festive season!

Presents for the festive season!

So, my insane efforts put in my summer internship at ITC have paid off, and I shall be joining ITC next year after being awarded, what in B-School lexicon is called the ‘Holy Grail’, or in simpler terms, a Pre Placement Offer. All those days spent reading about competencies, Validity and statistics seem to have paid off. And with most of my committee responsibilities done, I can look forward to a relaxing few months ahead before I rejoin corporate life. These few years have been so different. From doing an engineering role at a global industrial powerhouse like GE to a Human Resources role at a true blue Indian FMCG company is a remarkable transformation indeed. Even when it comes to dating, before TISS, I dated a psychology graduate in a whirlwind romance almost half a year, in a relationship like no other. A relationship that does not have too many memories due to its very alcohol induced, hazy nature, but was a great one, none the less.

That's how much weight I've lost!

That’s how much weight I’ve lost!

So, yes, I’m at a happy place in life, and I absolutely cant wait for the coming vacations, because of planned trips to Jim Corbett, travel plans with close friends, and party plans with family. These vacations will probably be the first set of stress free holidays I’ve had. Sometimes, I’d wonder how poets like Wordsworth or Tennyson could immortalize Daffodils or a Brook. Now I know , that you truly need to let nature touch your happy soul, for words like that to emerge from your pen.

'To be or not to be?'

‘To be or not to be?’

I’ve been reading a bit of Shakespeare of late. And this odd choice (today in the world of Rowlings, Martins and Levitts) was because of how impressive I found the trailer of Shahid Kapoor’s upcoming movie, Haider. After all, is an adaptation of Shakespeare’s Hamlet. I remember, my first introduction to Shakespeare was by this 2 hour play I saw in Calcutta at Kala Mandir, which covered all 37 plays of Shakespeare in 120 minutes. An absolutely rip roaring comedy, it made me delve deeper into the writings of the mysterious man from Stratford-upon-Avon.

Hamlet’s brilliance lies not only in its plot (which is full of mystery and intrigue), but also the complexity of human emotions, where love and lust lead to incestuous relationships, ego towers over love and jealousy brings the worst out of men. A potboiler, indeed. One of my favourite plays of Shakespeare however, remains King Lear, maybe because it is a simple story of a father. And it is touching, to say the least.

I’ve been called opinionated, strong headed and on many occasions, unreasonable, but I have a firm set of beliefs (one of them is, be smug!), which I do not compromise on. Of late, I’ve noticed people form judgements and opinions without having complete information. And these very people were characters Shakespeare made legendary. Brutus, Ophelia, Othello, all of these characters made the same mistakes, because they didn’t know what was happening, and they chose not to find out too. My advice to all such peers of mine is to please, form opinions and judgements on complete information.

So moving away from Shakespeare, and back to TISS. TISS is a wonderful place to be in now, for people like me. No effort needed for office, no effort needed for lectures, its just a countdown to the days when I can be back home in Delhi, with close friends, family and good food. This, I think is going to be an absolutely fantastic set of holidays.

I chatter, chatter, as I flow
To join the brimming river,
For men may come and men may go,

But I go on forever.

Blurry Reflections!

After following the recommendation of a TISS Senior, I’ve started spending a lot of time on the Caravan Magazine website, and there’s something or the other that always catches one’s attention. Reproduced below is a letter written by an Indian Soldier serving in the Great War (link here), and this thought, for an Indian in the early 20th century is forward indeed.

A Brilliant read!

A Brilliant read!

Khalil Ullah (Hindustani Muslim) to Ganiullah (Muttra District, UP)

[Urdu]
2nd Lancers, France
3rd March 1918

I am sending you a picture of an American lady aviator, I want you to study it and see what the women of Europe and America are doing. I want you to contrast them with our womenfolk, and to think what sort of education they can give to our children when they themselves are lacking in knowledge and training. I am hopeful that, if you pay careful attention to what I have written, you will be able to effect some improvement. The advancement of India lies in the hands of the women; until they act, India can never awake from her hare’s dream. Forgive me if I have spoken too strongly.

Almost looks like Sunny Paaji!

Almost looks like Sunny Paaji!

Somehow, there’s something very romantic about Great Wars. Rhetoric of heroism, a battle against all odds, and victory, or defeat. I recently had a discussion in my Power & Leadership class with the Professor about how ‘History is always written by the victors’. The thrill of victory is equally strong as the crushing disappointment of defeat. While all of us in India know about winning the 1965 and the 1971 war, all of us have probably grown up playing ‘Border’ with our GI Joes, we’ve probably never known that there was a Pakistani Pilot, who shot down 4 Indian aircraft in 30 seconds in 1965, a world record.

But leaving India & Pakistan aside, even when it comes down to our daily lives, the victories are celebrated beyond reasonable measure, and the defeats, barely discussed. Victors never look at the vanquished as equals. It’ not the lack of effort that decides a favourable out comes. A lot of times, it is luck.

I recall, that during an interview I had an FMCG major for an internship, I described myself as someone who works more with a sound backing of theory, than instinct. While that interview was unsuccessful, I’ve still tried to look for a theoretical backing to all things I do. Whether it be theories in Psychology to back irrational day-to-day behaviour (One Freud fits all, as they say), or theories in Economics to analyse why my bank account is always in the red, there’s sound backing for everything.

A very key part of an HR professional’s life is two courses, namely Organization Behaviour and Compensation. While, an indutry veteran once told me, ‘There are two types of HR professionals. Those who believe in OB, and those who believe in Comp, but when a star performer is leaving, it’s a 20% salary hike that stops him, not a discourse of Vroom’s Expectancy Theory’.

The Principal-Agent Problem?

The Principal-Agent Problem?

While the argument is compelling, a lot of Compensation principles evolve from theories of Human behaviour, which in turn evolve from issues in Economics. Let’s simply look at the Principal – Agent Problem. This is the theory that backs up incentive grants and Performance pay, but it is an economic theory, which in the words of our Professor, ‘takes a very dim view of human nature’. Sumantra Ghosal, in his final article goes on to say ‘Casting shareholders in the role of “principals” who are equivalent to owners or proprietors, and managers as “agents” who are self-centered and are only interested in using company resources to their own advantage is justified simply because, with this assumption, the elegant mathematics of principal– agent models can be applied to the enormously complex economic, social, and moral issues related to the governance of giant public corporations that have such enormous influence on the lives of thousands—often millions—of people.’

Ghoshal then talks about Martin Seligman, and Positive Psychology. Seligman argues that after the Second World War, research has been grounded in the ‘Disease Model’ of human nature, and this is what Positive Psychology tries to change. The Holocaust irreversibly affected, not the nature of one man, but that of an entire race, and when that race, today destroys schools in Gaza, Americans do not look into their past to understand their actions, but justify them, because Israel and USA have been victors together. While I am not the right person to comment on the politics of the issue, simply from a human perspective, Israel’s actions in Gaza, can never be analysed from the lens of Positive Psychology, because hope, optimism, altruism, courage, joy, and fulfillment are something that the Semitic races (and yes, Semites include both the Arabs and the Jews) have never grown up with.

But, then leaving Israel and Palestine to Natanyahu and Hamas, it’ very important to look at one-third full glass as one third full, but not drink it, because as Stephen Colbert says, ‘the last third is usually backwash.’ As HR Professionals, we’ll be expected to take sides. Between Unions and Managements, between Employees and Managers, between girlfriends/boyfriends and excel sheets, and I personally believe that by not looking at situations as battles, would lead to us having happier lives. The phrase, ‘pick your battles wisely’ might work for General Douglas MacArthur, but for simple ordinary souls like us we shouldn’t really fight non existent enemies.

Another course I’ll write about here is a course on Leadership, where a lot of the discussion revolves around defining who’s a leader, what are the characterstics that define a leader. A definition of a leader depends on whether the person checks the boxes literature sets out. Business leaders are expected to be ethical, but there’s a thin line between fair and unfair competition. There’s a thin line between lobbying and corruption. and does crossing of these thin lines not make you a leader? I find the whole debate a little confusing. And hence, my reflections on the same are. Maybe leaders are born, but then so is everyone else. Maybe leaders follow their instinct, but so does everyone else.

To sum up, what started as a post praising the brilliance of the Caravan magazine has now become a 1000 word ode to human resources. I guess they’re never wrong when they say, ‘Give an HR manager a blank page, and he’ll make a living out of it’

A Good Laugh!

Resistance to Change comes in many ways. The first of those ways probably is the refusal to use the new WordPress Editor for typing out your posts. Thank you very much WordPress, I prefer the classic editor. Now that unrelated bit is out of my system, here goes!

‘We’re getting ready to get on a plane for that first frog town we never jumped into. All of a sudden Heffron stops dead in his tracks. Bing and a bang and a boom. Everybody banging into each other. Heffron’s just staring at the nose of the plane because on it is panted this beautiful pinup. And written underneath: “Darling Doris.” Doris, which just happens to be the name of the skirt who just, that day, sent Babe one of them letters.’ – SSgt. William ‘Wild Bill’ Guarnere, Band of Brothers.

William ‘Wild Bill’ Guarnere, Tyrion Lannister, Stephen Colbert, these three funnymen have something in common. They know exactly WHEN to crack a joke. So, yes, while most of us may have a sense of humour, the timing is very important.

The joke's on you, Joffrey!

The joke’s on you, Joffrey!

So when Wild Bill cracks a joke after Easy Company captures Normandy, Tyrion talks about Kings dropping dead like flies, and Stephen Colbert roasts George W. Bush at the annual White House correspondents dinner, you can’t help but feel, that humour is something we all need in our lives. A set of videos are doing the rounds on the Internet of late, with Bill Gates, Satya Nadella, Mark Zuckerberg, all dousing themselves with a bucket of Ice Water to spread awareness about ALS. While cynics may dismiss it as the ‘billionaires’ hobby’, if a few of us actually opened Wikipedia to read about ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease, the joke would have achieved  something. (I personally cant wait to see Elon Musk take it up!)

There’s a laugh to be found in every moment spent at TISS, whether it be Malvika’s siestas, Menon’s Hindi, Damahe’s assumptions or Saha’s plain and simple laziness. Every corner one looks into, there’s a heart warming laugh. We’ve fought, we’ve cried, we’ve kicked and we’ve screamed, but now when you look back at those moments, there’s nothing but a big smile plastered across all our faces. That’ the power of humour, which I suppose is enshrined in the power of hope, and optimism, love and camraderie.

That's a cast!

That’s a cast!

I recently saw Wes Anderson’s latest movie, ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’, and simply put, the movie is a masterpiece. Set in the 1930s, it followed the adventures of M. Gustave played by the magnificent Ralph Fiennes, the hotel’s concierge, making “a marvelous mockery of history, turning its horrors into a series of graceful jokes and mischievous gestures”. The movie reinforced to me, the importance of humour. After all, who could find a prison sentence, a country ravaged by war, and a death report with four fingers missing, funny, if not Gustave H.?

There’s always some mention of love or women in my blog posts, simply because they’re both fascinating to write about. Out of personal experience, I’ve felt that more than looks, money or other materialistic things, the better halves (it goes for men too!) value humour and wit (However, please don’t ever be in the misconception that ‘it’s so bad it’s good’ works, ever!). A joke becomes so much more powerful when cracked at a tender moment, as an interruption between days of seriousness, as a way of letting of tension, and giving people relief. After all, what’s love, if not a joke (a cruel one at times, ask all the guys in the friendzone if you don’t believe me!). A friend of mine, who spent some time with me, in Vellore, knows the impact of a simple phrase like ‘What’s up?’ cracked at an (in)opportune moment. But that story is a post in itself, so more on that some other day.

Love’s funny, and while our generation today scoffs at the concept (as two people are always dating, but never in love) because having someone for keeps is not an aim, but a scary thought, and the fact that we want to know where the exits are so we can leave when we wish to has made us cold, bitter and machine-like. People set shelf lives to their relationships, or restrict it under rules, under regulations, and this leads to pain, to grief and to the loss of humour. My resolution is to never fall in what I call, ‘Conditional Love’, because I wish to be Severus Snape, and say the words ‘Always’, I wish to make sacrifices the way Rebecca did, and I wish to love with both intensity and tranquility, and I wish to live a life of acceptance. And if I fail, then I want to crack a really good joke out of it. Haha.

Forever in our memories.

Forever in our memories (Taken from the Apple Tribute)

To wind up, a deep sense of loss is what I felt when I read about Robin Williams’ passing. Ever since I was a child, I remember him making me laugh, and his comedies weren’t the Ben Stiller or Jim Carrey kind of mindless laughs, but comedies that touched you and made your soul smile. Right from Patch Adams, to Zathura and Jumanji to Flubber and Good Will Hunting, there’s a part of me that’s wanted to be a doctor, an astronaut, a wildlife conservationist and a Professor. And when I realize that there was a small contribution that he had to my dreams and visions, I can’t help but smile. Even in his absence, that goofy smile, the defiance in his eyes and the heart of gold will never leave us.

“Those who believe in telekinetics, raise my hand.”

Life, The Universe and Everything

There’s a very famous question.

What’s the answer to life, the universe, and everything? And the answer, has always been, or will always be, 42. (If you don’t believe me, ask Google!)

Check this out!

Check this out!

So every time I’m looking for answers, I just open to the book (which very famously has Don’t Panic written on it), and read any page on it. Any page. Yes, the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy has the ability to answer all your questions. Even the most ultimate question of all. (The answer to which, as Adams said, is 42)

Beauty in simplicity

Beauty in simplicity

As Adams says, the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy is even more controversial than Oolon Colluphid’s four famous books, ‘Where God Went Wrong’, ‘Some more of God’s greatest mistakes’ and ‘Who is this God Person anyway?’. He then goes on to use the Babel Fish argument to release a fourth book, which was ‘Well, that about wraps it up for God’.

This book, simply put is a must read for everybody, because its a philosophical marvel, that has you in splits. I understand Nietzsche is an essential read, but he could’ve dropped in a small joke too.

So enough of Philosophy, let’s get to the point.

The universe has a very strange way of making its presence felt. Imagine standing on a cliff, under a starry sky, and feeling the atmosphere engulf you, with a slowness that is both definite, and scary. If you’re doing it right, suddenly, you don’t feel like your soul is trapped in your body. You’re free. To roam around the world, to see dreams, to cross boundaries built by society.

The road Ahead.

The road Ahead. Or the road forgotten?

Simply put, there’s the road ahead, and the road forgotten. The road forgotten is your past, the road ahead is your future. The Present is momentary, its your inflexion point. It’s the time you decide whether you accept the status quo or not. I have a very odd habit, of writing letters. Our generation is lucky, in a way that the dawn of the digital generation has happened in front of us. So from putting pen to paper, its now become putting fingers to a keyboard, and the scribbling sound of a pen has been replaced by the tapping sound of keystrokes. he emotion, however, remains the same. There are a few friends, who once in a while find an email in their inbox, which is written in a moment of distress, in a moment of longing or in a moment of joy. A lot of times, these emails go unreplied, which makes me question, whether it is worth writing these mails or not, but there are occasions when, these mails remind you of the days you’ve been through, the joys you’ve had, and they chronicle your past. So, yes, while being a ‘man of letters‘ might be an old fashioned notion, all the letters I write are generally very personal, very thoughtful and, in most cases painful reminders of my own shortcomings.

My previous relationships have all been very different, and have all been an education. They have taught me the value of patience, of forgiveness and of the differences that exist between individuals. I was talking to a friend who lives in Sydney yesterday, and we were punching holes into the entire dating hypothesis. Yes, people say one should never date a friend, and I believe it has a sound backing to it, but when it comes to choosing someone for the long haul, wouldn’t you want to wake up next to your best friend everyday? Wouldn’t you want to be with someone who understands that your anger, your words, your mistakes arise out of insecurities and not spite? A little heavy as a thought, yes, but do reflect on it.

I was watching the movie, ‘3 Idiots’ yesterday, and then I realized that even at TISS, we’re not pursuing excellence. We’ve fought for summer internship offers, competed in case studies, insomuch hidden crucial information from people when we thought it benefits us the most. For what? An extra bit of money? Approval by peers? A better offer? Why race, why compete? Isn’t excellence achieved when you exceed your own boundaries, and not those set by anyone else?

I like to think now that I have a set of regular readers, and they must be wondering, what I’m getting at? To be frank, like the director of an arthouse movie, even I’m not sure of what I intend to achieve through this post, but as I said above, every action is not meant for achieving something. Its just like a feather, floating in the wind, carefree, relaxed and simple.

My aim in life has always been to yearn for simplicity, and that simplicity is not very easy to find.

‘The answer, my friend, is blowing in the wind, the answer is blowing in the wind.’

P.S. : This post has been written in record time with minimum revisions. Maybe soaring body temperatures do that to you. Now where’s that strip of Paracetamols?