….right? Whose Perception?

There was a manger in an MNC

Who thought himself to be very wise

Once in a meeting showed a video

Depicting an organisation with hypocrisy and lies.

 

Cartoon of a man pulling a cart

Tagged as performer

Running alone but fast

Some more men appeared on the chart.

 

One sitting on the right

Trying to give speed to the wheel

But considered contributing to the plight

Putting his weight still driving the keel

 

Depicted as intentionally correct

Given right direction would perform best

One more standing on the wheel to the left

While rotating down gives speed

While rotating up becomes heft

 

Performer, he may not become

But given right direction

Would contribute to the total sum

And move organisation with protection

 

Last, at the back

One man pulling the cart to stop

Occasionally, would also smack

Fellow men and bop

 

Now manager who was showing this

Asked for each member opinion and not miss

To recognize who stands where

At each hierarchical layer

 

There was brief silence

And then manager himself opined

And expected everyone’s compliance

About what he said would be bind

 

He started telling each

To which category they fall

Before he could complete the call

One contigent named Adil put a new ball

 

“you consider yourself to be the performer, right?

The first man pulling the cart tight

Then, all the people you judge

In this the truth gets fudge”

After a short silence he added

“only inference we can get from this

Is that perception cannot miss

Judging wrong, as it is one sided “abyss”

 

Where you tend to fall

Take everyone’s opinion on roll

And you will find

To support your opinion no one is enough kind”

 

At this point another wise member opined

“Very difficult to find

the last man of the cart

people may be selfish by heart

 

However, no one would want system to suffer

Just for no reason, like a nut

There may be one who is indifferent but

Majority, though, may seem to be such”

 

Manager, at this logic went mute

“Opinion” word itself means individual perception

He got a good philosophical tute

And decided not to “judge” but go with indifferent route.

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Passion – luxury or reality?

George was telling the story of one of his encounter with a “wise man” he met near a lake at 5K ft during his Ladakh visit.

I happened to join George and others sitting at the lunch table a little late.

“What happened to the bike, you said?” I asked.

George was already deep into the story where his bike broke down and he met a person, a lama, by some strange name (I could not follow that name).

“You came in-between” he said and stopped.

I felt he was little rude but then kept quiet and after a short while he again started his story “…so where my friend was having breathing problem, that fellow was cool. I asked him how do you manage your food, he said, if I desire it, it will come to me automatically.”

“but how” was what I asked and it was irritating for him again.

“Do not know. He simply tells, what you desire, it will come to you.” Now this dialogue seems completely coming out of a romantic movie I had watched long back.

George continued “you know..people tell that my passion shows in my actions…but there I got the true meaning of passion. That person wanted enlightenment and he was very determined. And I saw that he did not had any trouble staying there alone.”

“But what is this passion, that forced him to leave the world?” I immediately asked.

People looked at me as they did not understand the question or purpose of it.

“Just wanted to ask that what we call as passion so casually is it so easy to recognise?”

“Why not? We all know what our “deep” interest is…and living your life for it is passion.” This time Abhi said.

“Ok but then even if we recognise, what if our “duty” does not match with our “deep” interest?”

“True. I actually want to retire at 45 and then travel. But then if I find that I am unable to save the amount which can feed my family then definitely I will not retire and continue to work for something which at present I dislike….in some sense..” last words were mumbled rather than said by another colleague named Raghav.

“And that is why passion seems like a luxury rather than a “way to live life”. You know when our company calls for passion in work, it definitely means so because we will perform our best. But the problem is that everyone does not have same interest and so it is good for people who really like the subjects but for others, they would rather need more freedom.” I continued from where Raghav left.

George wanted to say something but was not sure how to put it.

Finally after some moments when I was the last to finish the lunch and everyone was thinking of leaving the table one of the quietest person of the office slowly blurted out “for us family and duty towards them is more important than our own “passion”. If I live for my own passion, it would seem selfish.”

I saw George was in a hurry to leave the table.

It’s simple – Problems in life keeps us alive

 

I knew it is going to be the same old story. My mother had something very important to say but in secret. The secret was again some goof up done by her daughter in law. This relation, as I understand till date, is one of the God – made – animosity and applicable to the entire world (India is not an aberration).

“At this age, hearing so many tantrums, how can one live….is this the life your father would have expected if he would have been alive?” My mother started speaking as soon as I entered the house after leaving my office.

I usually hear in silence and have off late stopped giving any opinion. In the night before sleep, my wife would also have some story against her and that also I used to hear in silence and sleep.

Office environment was energetic. There were people like Mr Babu George, who, unmarried at 45, would go on adventurous expeditions once in a year taking leave for 1 month. These types were actually a role model for us middle class slogging men/ women at office as their stories fanned our own fantasy of having a free time and being creative.

“He completed 160 km marathon after travelling to Udaipur from Bangalore on bike.” Sumanth, closest friend of George, informed us during lunch. After the lunch we went for a cigratte break where we used to do gossip on everything going on in office.

“You know, George was talking about committing suicide after he got that banging from his boss.” Murthy, who again counted among his close friend, informed us.

“He must be joking…how can such a macho personality talk like that…” I speculated.

“This is not the first time, he was talking this thing seriously. In the past too, I have heard him say this..”Sumanth added.

3rd wise man smoking among us (sarcasm intended) then made a very conclusive statement “It is very human…there are some things which one can take upto certain limit…in present case, his boss has been asking him to quit…George is just not wanted..”

“In that case, Nanda should have done this long back…he is temporary employee and has been asked to quit thousand times…still he is sticking. “ I said with little irritation.

“Anyone for that case…we all have so many troubles.” Murthy added.

“Babu has no relations to maintain. In fact he has no troubles that we know of. Still he is weak. Then should we say that physical fitness has nothing to do with mental fitness?” I asked for their opinion.

“May be….I think responsibilities makes us strong…I mean, in my case I know I cannot do anything against the situation still I have to keep trying to live and let my family live. And maybe that is why people like Nanda is also an example of why, he is still working here marring his ego.” Sumanth sounded so true.

In the evening at home when my mother again said the same dialogue, I had got a good opportunity of sermonizing and it went like this “these types of daily fight might be good as well. Just think mom, when father expired, for one year you were so weak. You stopped speaking and we were so worried. But now I see you are full of life. It is only because your mind became active solving family problems. Even your daughter in law in that case has grown mature and more responsible. I think no problems and so called contended life makes one dull and unhappy. God makes heroic stories only on those people who face problems. If you surrender then you are dead. Keep facing them and you are alive.”

Memories – Living in past is blissful

“Howrah!!…always the same…too crowded!!” my friend Shankar kept on exclaiming before I interrupted.

“Steel express will start from platform no 21 so we do not need to walk long…”

“thanks for that info…but the problem is we did not get reservation in AC chair car and it is a given that sitting class will again be crowded” Shankar was really frustrated with the development of things.

We boarded and sat on the reserved seats. There were 2 rows of seats and parallel to us there was a couple near window and an old lady (seemed a widow) sitting at the edge of the seat.

Just for a conversation I said to Shankar “what a contrasting look?”

“what look??” Shankar looked at me.

“See the couple is so lively, chatting laughing and see the mother..don’t know whose mother among the couple but she is expressionless.”

“Hmm…you started reading faces. But true…these old people sometimes seems to be just waiting for their death. Difficult to live with no money and no strength left in the body.” Shankar was very brute.

As the train passed through different stations, many vendors were coming on the train to sell things like combs, books and items to eat.

After 2 hrs of travel, the train came to a halt at Kharagpur junction. We were dozing off when we heard a very loud voice singing an old Bollywood song “yeh reshmi zulfen, ye sharbati aankhen, inhe dekhkar jee rahen hai sabhi (this beautiful hair, this intoxicating eyes…people are living just to keep seeing this (beauty))”.

My eyes felt on the singer, a middle aged man with harmonium along with a little boy, singing his way through the crowed and little boy, accompanying him, asking for money. As they were passing us, I saw the old expressionless face, looking sideways at the couple. Then she took out 100 Re note from her blouse and gave it to the boy. In doing this her face did not change and the couple did not notice what she did. The old lady kept on looking at floor, the way she was doing from the start of the journey.

I recalled Shankar’s comment “may be they are just waiting for death”.

“No” I thought “may be they have life left. Life of memories, beautiful memories which got instigated by that old romantic song of 60’s.

It is very difficult to make out that the old wrinkled expressionless faces would have been once a beautiful young face. They would have faced same challenges as the young people of today. We ignore them thinking they would not have interest in life while we have to do so many things.

In this ignorance we fail to remember that all human have same emotions. Everyone will go through this phase and so It should be as beautiful as the other phases of life. Struggle is inevitable but loneliness can be eliminated.

 

 

Laziness – blessing disguised as vice

“In night shift, Saumik has all the time to play computer games” Sanjoy, head mechanical by designation, was complaining to the production head by the same name.

“let me check why he did not report this big breakdown incident….” Head production, Mr Sanjoy Paul said and looked at the night shift report again.

Meanwhile in the field i.e operation area, production still has not started and everyone was talking only about the incident that happened in night shift and blaming the shift in-charge.

“We all know he is lazy. He won’t go to field and takes all report from his room only, still he is the favourite of production head because they belong to same caste.” Santu was telling the very obvious thing which everyone seems to understand.

“I am scared Santu by what you are saying, the current promotion vacancy will be filled by him” I laughed a little after saying this.

What people feared came out to be true and Saumik became senior manager. All other 5 shift in-charge was frustrated by the result including I. After big blows we usually turn to God and ask why inefficient people get rewarded.

I changed my company and joined the new one and again the same incident repeated. Whom we use to think as under performer, came up with good performance ratings and sometimes promotions.

The biggest blow to me was the promotion of one of my colleagues named Rohan who was pitched against me. I was highly disappointed and couldn’t sleep for long time on the day of announcement. It was close to mid-night that I finally fell asleep.

“Who automated this whole process? It is actually marvellous.” I asked my night shift associates.

“It is Saumik..he is too good at it….we people in manufacturing do not give importance to programming and world actually is moving towards that” Mishra, deep in thought, blurted out.

“And you are telling me that I am of no use…to this company…to earth itself..” Saumik’s voice was loud as if he was scolding me.

“Same here Nishant….who are you to judge people’s laziness….you think you work hard…what did you get in return is long hours of sitting, back pain and “EXPECTATION” which should be set right. It is a swirling well where you go round and round thinking you are coming out of it while the truth is that you keep going deeper….” Rohan’s voice also was loud as if he was scolding me.

How both Saumik and Rohan did came at one place? I got confused and after sometime felt that I was fully awake.

It was still 3 am. When logic comes in mind, dream ends.

I could still reflect on all the conversation. What we perceived as laziness might be God’s plan of creating new things through people who refuse to follow the same trodden path. Creativity gets rewarded.

Human Element in Success

“That is a pure desi baniya company man…they suck blood and with bad mouth.” One of the marketing managers, who has been transferred to Chennai, was telling about denial of job opportunity in one of the private sector company.

“I have also heard bad reviews about it….our company is much better. Atleast you have some democracy here to denounce the bad decisions on face…even if it is your boss” Abhi could not agree more!!

Marketing manager had a job at hand so he said good bye and left. I along with 2 more collegues set out for a short walk. This is usually a routine for us that after lunch we go out for short walk.

I continued the topic of conversation “one of my friends in Rel*** was telling the same thing…work culture is not easy to manage there”.

“Yes if compared to other MNC’s, it is one of the worst. The only thing I appreciate about Rel*** is that its founder made whatever it is today, all by him. Really a man to be saluted.” Abhijit expressed a little enthusiasm through his voice.

“But I heard that many laws were broken to establish his company.” There were many stories against Rel***, some of them I read in magazines.

“Now that is true with many other so called success stories. Take for example the construction companies which were actually built on mafia connections and are still associated with it.” Raghavendra mentioned the very obvious thing in Indian context and added “but then some are genuine like..aa…”

Abhi, who has already tried establishing his own ventures but was not successful, had many other examples in hand which were actually to prove that enterprises are built on crooked plots “that is a very obvious example such as success in Bollywood which comes with many sacrifices like we heard about this heroin who was used by the Director when her father was the Prime minister of Nepal. Think how powerful the director would have been. Why Deepika Padukone went into depression?…I mean everywhere there is some story behind the curtain which is not obvious to us except in some cases like Nirav Modi and Vijay Mallya.”

I pitched in again at this time “Why only India…take the example of USA which, it is said, gives space as well as rewards for failure. I said this as per the books that I have read like the one by Nassem Nicholas Taleb who opiniated the same. Whoever has seen the movie of facebook founder will know that nothing comes straight. I mean he also did some things which led him to court. The obvious name that comes with “Apple” is Steve Jobs who actually did not make the software. It was made by the other person. Then Microsoft had a case of trying to finish the competition in the market. I mean every success story has a story of manipulation attached to it.”

“And finally what success story remains are the ones where reality is not known till the end.” Abhijit exhibited emotion of hate which was unwanted.

“Its not always the case…I mean look at so many examples like….” Again Raghavendra wanted some examples desperately but before he could give it out, Abhijit cut him short “that’s what we are telling Raghav…the example which you are trying to give may be correct but the problem is it may not be correct also…because we do not know some dirt which is there behind the curtain of life of famous people.”

“In fact you all might be knowing that Nirav Modi, who ditched 2nd largest public sector bank of India by 11K cr Rs, actually gave a very passionate interview about his success story  just two year prior to the time he ran away from the country. At that time whoever read that article must have felt  inspired by this fellow.” I again took reference of the magazine article.

Raghav, finally agreed as he remembered the “right time, right place, right chance” thing “This is what is the summary of Malcom Gladwell’s “outliers”.

We were about to reach our corporate office gate back from the walk. After some silent moment while entering the gate, I again started the debate “but will we do what these people tried. I meant to say would we break the law, if required, to achieve the so called success?”

“What put us off actually is FEAR. And this trait is conquered by these people.” Abhijit concluded.

“Hmmm, even after “right time, right place, right chance” thing, there is one human element that is always required to be successful and that is courage to win over fear and take risks.”

ZEST – part excitement part anxiety

It feels great to start a blog. Writing, privately, ad-hoc on varied topics, even stories and completing my own Bhagwad Gita (as I understand it reading revered Radhakrishnan’s book), there are some thoughts and understanding which seemed mature (to me – sarcasm intended) enough to let the world know the ideas that people can relate to. So I decided to blog.

Working in a manufacturing sector for close to 11 years now, there were times when I felt like a robot. Either work as per instruction or use logic for even one step that you take. Writing is the only task that felt different. One can create one’s own world in their stories and the best thing was that end will never be negative.

Spirituality is one such topic which forced me to explore it more and more. When I moved to Bangalore, connecting with art of living gave me enough food for thought in this direction.

Writing poetry on the teachings of meditation programs was one such inspiration. Stories was always the part of anything that I write so it was natural that the teachings would be explored through poetry with a story in it.

Other than spirituality, the most important thing for me is to explore the history of the world. My best of reads is historical stories especially the ones where protagonist always wins. Be it Chanakya’s story or Alexander’s – one of my favourite book is Vallerio Massimo Manfredi’s novel on Alexander’s life.

I would love to connect with people who love reading and writing, who wants to present their perspective which should be genuine. People who can give ideas and information in simple ways on topics which does not seem simple like pscychology, crime and adventure.