Category Archives: Rantings

Fifty Shades of Grey: A Review, A Rant and A Drinking Game

I have been reviewing books since a long time and I have a personal policy that I do not bash books and the authors. I believe that a book is a creative work and acknowledge the amount of effort the author has put to bring it to the readers. But then there are some books which command an exception and this includes some amount of rant, with otherwise an honest book review.

Author: E L James 
Publisher: Arrow Books 
Price: 399/-
Pages: 514

Fifty Shades of Grey is a book which is based on the life of a wealthy billionaire and a girl fleshly freshly completing the college. The story revolves around how the two accidently meet up and get attracted to each other. Anastasia, the female protagonists a normal girl in twenties gets awed as she becomes the target of the billionaires attraction and eventually finds herself falling in love with him. The story takes a twisted turn when she realizes that the person she loves is not a normal guy but a kinky sex maniac whose idea of relationship with her is superbly weird. The relationship governed with no disclosure agreements and a contractual obligation of what can sexually be done as a part of their relationship.

The book has a slow plot line but the writer manages capture the minds of the reader with either the clichéd romantic antics of a billionaire brat or the erotic descriptions of the lead pair. The fact that makes this book unique and probably intriguing is the way sexuality and sex are extensively used for the characterization of both the leads of the story.

Overall the book is average writing spiced up with sex. The story pace is slow and continues in two more books which are more difficult to read when the novelty of extensive use of sex in the story wears off. The book might be a good one for people who just want a spicy and breezy read without too much of literature and content.

Summary: An average book with lot of sexual spice, pick it up only if you have nothing better to do.

Rating:  5.5/10

Now I will come back to the ranting. I mean what is wrong with the world for such a lousy piece to make it to a best seller beating so many great books. After reading, it seems like the collective taste in literature across the world have gone down a few notches. There are glaring inconsistencies in the characterizations a girl who is indefinitely pricky about receiving expensive gifts from her boyfriend but in the entire 513 pages there are hardly any instances where she hasn’t wore her roommates’ dress. The best way of reading this book is to play a drinking game with it.

You have to take shot of your drink when any of the following words/phrases appear in the book-

1-      Fuck You Hard

2-      Audi

3-      Epitome of Male Beauty

4-      Mention of “The Contract”

5-      Playroom

6-      Kate’s Dress

7-      Dominant/Submissive

8-      You must eat

So by the time you will be finished with 100 pages you would be drunk enough to be unaffected by the book.

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The Above Average Crisis

If you were following the T20 world cup this year and if you are an Indian I am sure you would be fairly disappointed. For the uninitiated India played 5 matches in the tournament, won 4 and lost 1. The aforementioned 1 lost match cost them their slot in the next round, just to clarify the competitors Australia & Pakistan who progressed to the next round also won 4 matches each so it boiled down to run rate and the margin of defeat. But that is not what this post is about. The point I am trying to make is about the increasing competitiveness in sport, and in all other aspects across the world. When all the teams have won equal number of matches the qualification depends upon statistical factors, when the cut-off marks for admission in the colleges are set at 100%, when the dream companies recruits only from XYZ colleges etc. and a lot of other scenarios which I am sure you would have got the drift. This post is about the ones who missed it with a whisker, people who were almost there, team which lost due to difference of 0.547 in the net run rate, the students who got 98%, the folks who could not clear the waiting list of the coveted XYZ college, “The Above Average”.

It is like when you are running amidst the crowd and find most of them to be behind you except a few. You are giving what it takes to remain ahead, you are playing it fair. But only when you try catch up with few left ahead you realize the playing field is not level, it never was. And suddenly you start to wonder what happened to the “Fair play”.

You desperately want to prove yourself that race you lost with a whisker is irrelevant, you look for opportunities but the world doesn’t allow you one. You want to make up for that split second you lost last time but the world has made it a mile now. You try to think about the loss ends up getting you more frustrated. You try to console yourself of being happy with what you have achieved but deep inside you know it is a just a consolation, just like “The Consolation Prize” which says you weren’t good enough we are generous people and we will give you something.

You wish that if you could turn back the winds of time, get back to that just one moment that made this difference. The moment where you missed by a small whisker, a few moments which can give you a chance to cover that split second distance when it wasn’t too late. The moment when you can succumb to the comfort of the known target and plans. The moment when you can bury the target of being “Above Average” once and for all; crowning in the glory of victory.

But none of it ever happens and you have to wait for the next big race, big match or the critical opportunity. You have to make peace and plan for the next big race in life and hope this time you cross the finish line before anyone does. That is the curse of being “Above Average”.

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Life and Other KnickKnacks Like That

It has been a long time since I have posted anything on this blog. There have been a lot of things happening in life, probably too many things that this piece of my soul got ignored for a while. It is weird that when pressed upon we tend to give up things which are really close to us, give us real joy. The lord almighty has ensured that some stupidity is hard wired into the human nature, probably for the kick of it.
As will all the other old friends I think the best way to start a conversation is to answer “Wassup?” And this is what has been up right into my posterior. Needless to say I have been super busy; after my long term assignment was closed I am assigned to a new client which is based out of Hyderabad. This involved a month long stay in Hyderabad couple April-May and a forthcoming stay there for next couple of months; but thankfully I have managed to stay back and enjoy Bangalore for some time. Life is tough when you switch from multinational fortune 500 clients to our own desi family owned business clients. You don’t have luxury of relaxed timelines, 5 days work week and proper processes, that is what I am trying to cope with these days.

Apart from work there are lots of things happening on the personal front too. I bought a new car, so this baby is now old and this is currently my new ride and needless to say that I am loving it.

In other news parents finally decided to visit us after a two year long hiatus, as always spending time with them was a lot of fun. Loads of shopping, eating and sweets happened, all this when I was trying to lose some weight which I am sure I would have lost but only in the negative quantities. It was great to eat sweets from my home town Kanpur. I tend to believe when it comes to sweets there are very few places in India which can match up to the quality, taste and variety available in Kanpur. So overall last couple of months have been eventful and fun. The times to come look promising too and now that I am back to blogging will be writing and sharing things more often.
So to end today’s post I leave you with a hilarious joke I heard sometime back, keep laughing enjoy life.
Santa: Mujhse panga mat lena, main Sher Da Puttar hoon (Don’t mess with me, I am son of a lion)
Banta: Yaar ek baat to bata Sher ghar aaya tha ya fir aunty jungle gayi thi. (Buddy, tell me one thing did lion came to your house or your mother went to the jungle)

Welcome 2012

So another year has ended, 2011 was good for me personally and professionally. I became a published author, had some great personal high moments, got a promotion, was recognized and appreciated for the hard work that I had put in throughout the year. All in all a year which was well spent some joys, some regrets but still full of life. However, this blog got grossly neglected during this year which is one of the regrets of 2011.
As I have already written I despise the general idea of the new year for my own reasons. However, after moving to Bangalore and living with the family I have started having our own kind of celebrations. Every New Year we identify a resort or a hotel on outskirts or weekend getaways in Bangalore and stay there for couple of days celebrating the New Year. We had a blast, spending the evening by the riverside enjoying the scenic beauty, a bit of dance, a bit of teen patti, antakshari and loads of fun. Here are some pictures I clicked of the place we visited.

So coming back to the New Years, the most prominent tradition in New Years for me are the resolutions. I love doing New Year resolutions and then trying to follow it all throughout the year. Last year I made multiple visits to Coimbatore with my boss, in one of these trips my boss inquired if I would mind listening to a discourse by his spiritual guru. I mean no matter how disinclined you are spiritually but you cannot say no to your boss; so I agreed (in my defense all my colleagues travelling with us agreed too). He then played a discourse called Dinacharya which was old I guess given on last eve of 2007, where his guru TT Rangarajan discussed the concept of Dinacharya and emphasized on promising to oneself on doing something for 365 days a year and then keeping that promise. The discourse was inspiring and visionary which challenged one to push the limits, and it would be an understatement to say that I was really impressed. Though I haven’t joined the institution but I have the Discourse with me and I keep hearing it once in a while to find self inspiration. If you are looking a spiritual, practical and yet inspiring way to keep yourself motivated you should try listening to that discourse. I have decided that the following activities would be my new year resolution which I would be try and accomplish this year.

1- I will do some form of physical exercise everyday of the year, minimum 15 minutes every day. This can be walking, gym, running, playing or anything else but at least 15 minutes every day.
2- I will update this blog at least four times every month.
3- I will update my professional blog at least once a month.
4- I will learn to play Tennis this year. By the end of this year I should be able to play tennis in the full court without a handicap.
5- I will be more responsive on my personal email. I will reply to any email I get on a working day within the same day.

So these are my New Year resolutions which I would try and follow religiously, what are yours?

Teletiquette

The cellular phone has been a part of my life since year 2003, and life with the cell phone has never been so irritating as it is now. Firstly I don’t know how and why but my cell phone number is available with everybody in the world starting from my bank to the random people calling me to sell cars, insurance, potency enhancement creams and even children. As a matter of fact I got a call from UNICEF offering me to “Buy a child scheme” where I was supposed to pay some money which would go towards a child; my telling them “No one in my family eats children” supposedly didn’t go too well with them and I haven’t heard from them since. All this when I am already registered for DND which I think in this country means “Dial & Disturb”.

So lately my share of irritation has not only been the telemarketers but also a set of people who have been testing me to my wits end; and here I categorize these tele-irritants:

1-      Lockers– Actually they are the folks who miss the “C” part of the Clock and don’t mind locking your number in their cellphone Big B style at any time of the day night. Apparently they don’t have anything significant to talk, and they might have just called to ask if you would wake up next morning.  Answer to which is ‘No’ as they would ruin your sleep, so the question of waking up is irrelevant as its answer.

2-      G-Pee-Yes-ers– These are the folks who would give you a call to find out where are you. There is no response which can satisfy their urge of tracking your location. Even if you tell them that you would reach a certain place in next fifteen minutes, they would call you back after five to ask “Till where have you reached?”

3-      Abhor-Ringers– They are the ones who do not understand the meaning when your phone goes on call waiting or is disconnected, they would keep on dialing back again and again until you reach your wits end and pick their call. Once you pick up they won’t even let you complete “I’m busy” but would say whatever they have to say like someone dumping the crap out after three weeks of constipation.

4-      Boomers– These are the ones who have their phones setup at the loudest level of ringtones to match the big boom boxes, irrespective of the fact that they are in office, meeting, hospital, or library. Also they would be the ones who would have funny, loud and irritating ringtones, so if you have a ringtone like this probably you belong to this category.

On second thoughts if you have this as your ringtone then perhaps you don’t deserve to keep a cell phone.

5-      Chew-Talkers– These are the ones who would be eating something and would suddenly have an uncontrollable urge to talk to you. They would simply call you in the middle of the meals and will talk while making chewing sounds on the phone, indifferent of how irritated you are with that sound or you can actually decipher what they are trying to say.

6-      Mid-leavers– These are the people who are having a serious discussion or a casual talk with you, and suddenly they would abscond when they get a call. Without even indicating or telling you if it would take time, or if you should wait. They leave all that on you to figure out.

So these are a few species of cell phone users which irritate me to my wits ends;  I am sure there would be some more which I might have missed. So how do people with cell phone irritate you?

Irony in India and Some Random Thoughts

Ironies of life are funny things, I mean not funny for those who are a part of it and at the time when it is happening but generally it is funny; you got the drift right. Given the state of affairs in our country the quotient of Irony has shot up by unparalleled proportions. If we had an index which would represent the irony (even stupidity for that matter) we would have been amongst the top nations in world following Pakistan, Libya and obviously US of A.

Very frankly we cannot match up to the Ironies in US, I mean how can you ever match up to a country where they are desperately fighting to create more jobs on side while at other side the Jobs have already resigned (cheap pun, I know but I couldn’t help cracking this one 😀 ). Coming back to Sonia Gandhi’s own country, no actually that would be Italy; So coming back to Manmohan Singh’s Own Country err that would be Sonia Gandhi; So coming back to Rahul Gandhi’s own country and that would only be found on television in the silent mode; So coming back to Kapil Sibal’s own country  but then he would be from the land of non-existant $35 Laptops. And this actually went on in my head for like one hour and I couldn’t come to a conclusion. Now you know how difficult it is to write a blogpost in times like these.

I read this joke on the Laugh it Out Blog

Having already downed a few power drinks, she turns around, faces him, looks him straight in the eye and says, ” Listen here good looking, I screw anybody, anytime, anywhere, your place, my place, in the car, front door, back door, on the ground, standing up, sitting down, naked or with clothes on; it doesn’t matter to me. I just love it !”
Eyes now wide with interest, he responds, ” No kidding…………………….. I’m in Congress too. What state are you from?”
And I sadly realize that this is true for our majority party in the government which coincidentally is also called the congress.

I sincerely hope these many days of fast by Anna Hazareji for our country brings a downplay in the role of corruption and one day in my life time I would wake up in a country as envisaged by Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore, whose poetry I have been reading since I started my school.

WHERE the mind is without fear and the head is held high
Where knowledge is free
Where the world has not been broken up into fragments
By narrow domestic walls
Where words come out from the depth of truth
Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection
Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way
Into the dreary desert sand of dead habit
Where the mind is led forward by thee
Into ever-widening thought and action
Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake.

On a very different note I am participating in the Indiblogger, Samsung Mobiler Contest and I need your help to become an official Samsung Mobiler. If you have an indiblogger account or a blog (which is required for an Indiblogger account) please promote my post on Indivine here.

MF Hussain And Freedom of Self Expression

So this renounced artist MF Hussain, who was a citizen of Qatar when he died yesterday. Though my heart prays for his soul to RIP, but I have never been a fan of him or supported him. To set a brief context, he is an Indian who supposedly had to leave India to escape from arrest which was due to some court cases against him. There was a lot of agitation and legal retaliation against him because he painted Hindu goddesses in nude and sexual manner.

This had time and again in our country created debates on freedom of expression. So before I discuss my views on freedom of speech and expression, I would also like to quote where legality stands on this particular issue does. So this is what our constitution says about Freedom of Speech & Expression-

 

(1) All citizens shall have the right—

(a) to freedom of speech and expression;

(b) to assemble peaceably and without arms;

(c) to form associations or unions;

(d) to move freely throughout the territory of India;

(e) to reside and settle in any part of the territory of India; and

(g) to practise any profession, or to carry on any occupation, trade or business.

(2) Nothing in sub-clause (a) of clause (1) shall affect the operation of any existing law, or prevent the State from making any law, in so far as such law imposes reasonable restrictions on the exercise of the right conferred by the said sub-clause in the interests of the sovereignty and integrity of India, the security of the State, friendly relations with foreign States, public order, decency or morality, or in relation to contempt of court, defamation or incitement to an offence.

So coming back to my point I respect our forefathers to include the freedom of speech and expression in our constitution; but my respect trebles on their foresight when I read the clause 2. Now coming back to case of MF Hussain, I see these areas where I think whatever happened to him weren’t totally unjustified.

 

Firstly if he painted some goddesses in a naked and sexual way his freedom of speech and expression was clearly shaky on the grounds of morality, decency and may be secularity too. When there were cases against him, he left the country, if one is convinced that whatever his expression was it was not indecent, immoral or affected the secularity of the state then he always had the option to fight the legal way out running out of the country is not an answer.

Secondly, he chose Qatar as the place where he would belong after separating from India; did he try and attempt to do an illustration which might have been a bit controversial for the people of Qatar. I am sure that would not be the case but instead he worked on the project under the ruling family glorifying the Arab history. Not that I have a problem with that but then my problem lies with the fact that between India & Qatar there is a drastic change in his idea of creative expression through art.

Now, coming back to a deeper question which a lot of people have been demanding, the creative freedom of expression should not be restricted by the rider in the clause (2) is where I have a huge problem. My entire argument in this regard is based on the premise of non discrimination and equality in the constitution would hold true. So when you waive off the rider for someone like MF Hussain to allow him to paint whatever he wants no matter how offending or immoral or indecent it may be, but he should be allowed to do as it is his form of creative expression. This is where my problem starts, now a good for nothing guy is standing on the corner of the crossroads and making lewd gestures to women passing by. Now he doesn’t say anything nor physically touches them. So technically he is performing an art form which can be a mime (or we can call it something else) which is offending, indecent & immoral to a lot of people (while it might be funny to some idiots standing around) but our constitution would allow it in the absence of the clause (2). I would accept a lot of arguments on this, but I would not accept an argument which is based on the premise that the laws of this Good-For-Nothing-Guy should be different from MF Hussain and I would not accept that Art & Paintings need to be given more rights than Mime (or whatever you want to call those lewd gestures technically).

He no doubt was one of the best painters India ever had but then he was a pathetic movie maker too (If I would have met him I would have asked my money back for GajaGamini).To conclude I would only say, my Hussain saab’s soul rest in peace. I have no issues with him or what he did; he paid a hefty price for it in his life time.It’s not an easy thing to live in self-imposed exile. I am sure the majority of the Indian population is gracious busy enough to forgive and forget him as they would soon forget the likes of A Raja & Kalmadi to elect them back in power then I guess the best painter of India deserved the “Saare Gile Shikwe Maaf” from us.

 

Redefining The Blog

Warning: Long Rant Ahead

As I mentioned in my last post, I have been in a lot of introspective mood lately. There has been something which has been putting me off blogging, or rather making me rethink about one of my favorite areas where I spend my time. I have been blogging close to 6 years and I have been following other blogs since then. Over a period of time the blogosphere has changed dramatically, and somehow I started to feel that it might not be an as interesting place as it used to be.

I don’t know why but I too face the problem which D faced and mentioned it here. Though I followed a lot of bloggers without any gender bias, but over a period of time a lot of male bloggers have disappeared from the block leaving my readers dominated primarily by female bloggers, which I don’t have problem with but my Google reader opinions are lot more female centric as they used to be. I don’t know the reason for this sudden disappearing of the male species from the blogging, some of the very good India male blogs I used to read are simply gone or are not frequently updated- Twisted DNA, Hitchwriter, Rajeev Karwal, Sidin, Amit Varma, Desi Pundit blogs, Nariyal Chutney are some which I miss reading on regular basis.

Another factor which has lately been a cause of disappointment for me in the blogosphere has been the quality and type of posts. If I would generalize the posts which actually carry me away from the blogging world would be-

  • Feminist & Male Bashing: There would be a lot of posts on how the women are being mistreated or some piece of news/article how males raped women or tortured them etc. Now don’t get me wrong I too feel towards the cause of the women and support it whole heartedly. But its kind of boring reading similar posts and similar comments on a lot of blogs but not a single blog about actions being taken; a lot of blogs wrote on “Why Shiny Ahuja should be hanged/ castrated etc for what he had done?” but I didn’t see a single line on any of those blogs “I had a conversation with my husband/ brother/ son/ father on how to maintain the decorum when our maid is working in the house?” Some how all the talk without an action makes me disappointed. Similarly when lots of blogs were supporting Pink Chaddhi campaign over the top but I missed a picture of a set of Pink Chaddhis which were sent by those bloggers. All this makes me questions are we just the high society who would sit with a hot cup of coffee and discuss how much problems the world is in and then go back to our home without doing anything?
  • Wordless Wednesdays : As far my knowledge of the concept goes it supposed to be wordless because the pictures posted should be expressive enough and shouldn’t require words to describe the photograph. But somehow Wordless Wednesday has become more of filler posts which would be schedules for weeks with actually no thought going in what goes into the posts. Though I am all for the awesomeness of the abstract art in photography but then may be its not such a bad idea to write a line or two about the photograph and set a context where the reader of a low IQ like me can get it too.
  • Too Many Filler Posts: I am sure most of us have been guilty of posting posts without any actual content in it. But lately the filler posts have started exceeding the posts with actual content on the blog. So if three consecutive posts were only on how you didn’t have time to post and you would start doing it from tomorrow may be you should have combined the three posts into one and written something which would have satisfied you as an author and the readers too.
  • Celebrity Posts: which are primarily about announcing to the world when and what they ate, generate controversies and then address them for free publicity. Having been on the block for a long time, I also know that most of them might not be even managed by the so called celeb themselves, but a trained PR professional might be doing it for them creating the so called “Public Image”.

So in short I was having what I would call crisis of faith on the blogging itself because either the world has changed or I am not following the right people, which led me to a point that I was considering that I should formally quit blogging. What brought me back was a series of posts from Sayesha (who from now I claim to be my blogging idol) whose blog I have been following since so many years. She underwent through a very difficult phase while giving birth to her baby where she also had to consider an option of terminating the baby. All the while in the hospital when she was struggling amidst difficult time she held on and never blogged about it and this is the reason she mentions on her blog which she also calls her barSome of you have asked me why I never mentioned all of this on the blog when it was happening. Well, here’s the reason. The bar is a happy place. It has always been and it will always be. I wanted our story to reach at least a small positive point before sharing it.”

It was reading these lines from her made it all come back to me “Why I started blogging/ Why I kept on it even when people around me were letting it go/ What do I owe, if I do when I Blog?”

So I guess its time to establish revisit the tenets which form the core of my blogging-

What is Ginger & Cardamom?

Ginger & Cardamom is a place which is open, fun, creative, humorous and happy while still being reflective on life, India and the world view.

Who are the people to which Ginger & Cardamom is responsible to and what that responsibility means?

  • The Readers: Since they are the primary consumers of the content posted on G&C it is a responsibility to ensure the readers get the quality posts which maintain the Ginger & Cardamom character of fun, creative, humorous and happy
  • Authors of the Post: Should allow the authors to reflect experiment and feature their creativity without editing or post processing the original posts.
  • Aggregators: Any people (other bloggers or non bloggers) or forums (like Blogadda and indiblogger) who recommend G&C or a post on G&C; the G&C should strive to live up to the recommendation.
  • Blogging Community: G&C would always be ethical and responsible to the basic tenets of the blogging community and would neither entertain evil practices like Plagiarism nor support people who indulge in these evil practices.

How do we plan to achieve the characteristics defined above?

  • Open: The blog would be open about the authors’ identity and contacts while allowing the reader community to have a voice in terms of comments on all posts without moderating or editing.
  • Fun & Humorous: The blog would strive to be a fun place retaining a sense of humor in posts, comments and replies
  • Creative: The blog would be a mix of fictional, poetic & non fictional posts allowing multiple areas for creativity
  • Reflective: The blog would constantly try to keep a perspective on things happening around us (events, news, politics, books, movies etc) to give the readers an opinion to rely on.
  • Happy: The blog would be a happy place where the reader should be either happy with the effort put in or because the post left a smile on the face. (Thanks a lot Sayesha for this)

So this is what I think Ginger & Cardamom stands for and this is what I would be trying to achieve through this blog. However, since this is a changing world I would be revisiting this post again and again to chart out the future course till then see you when I see you. Meanwhile if you as a reader have some views on how can I improve this space or what can be a better direction for this place I am all ears.

Life Lessons from a Paani Puri Wala

I have been away from this blog for a long time but that is not what is troubling me right now. The reason for the lack of updates is not that I have been terribly busy, which I have been, thanks for asking by the way. I have been thinking about lot of things about my life, the stuff I do at work and otherwise. Its good to introspect some time and raise questions about life and the direction of it. A lot of questions were raised including the reason for existence of this space, and the relevance of it in my life.

 

This month of May has been more of a learning experience for me. I have met a lot of new people travelled to a totally new place, but I witnessed something today which brought on the surface a lot of things which were simmering down under my mind. To set the context I would summarize about myself and my life a little. I am a 29 year old guy (man still sounds too old) with a business management degree from one of the finest B-Schools in India (No it is not my usual satire and I am not a shining diamond from the Chaudhary & Sons vulture venture) employed with one of the best known consulting firms in the country.

 

Coming back to today’s incident, I was returning from office early evening and it started raining cats & dogs. I was in a hurry to reach back home and log back in for work, but the lack of visibility from rain and the additional craziness of the Bangalore traffic slowed me down and I was actually observing the roads and surroundings while driving. This was when I observed a Paani-Puri wala on the side of the road. He had a small round stall of thin bamboo sticks like generally the street vendors have and he had a red cloth and a piece of plastic tied around to support Paani-Puris. He was standing on the footpath holding another huge sheet of plastic over his Paani-Puris to make sure they don’t get wet and spoiled. I could see him his hands keeping the sheet tight protecting his stall and getting drenched in the process.

 

The fact that it rained with utmost intensity and it kept raining till 2300 hrs it was highly unlikely that he would have got any customers for his Paani-Puris. Also given the highly windy rains for such a long period would have ensured that his Puris were all damp and he won’t be able to reuse them in any case. The way he was standing in the rain getting all drenched he also might have gotten sick. I think he knew all of this all along when he was sticking out in the rain protecting his business out there in the middle.

 

When I see people like him, is when my mind questions the littleness of things I do in my life. I tend to question my own work ethic in front of the dedication of this Paani-Puri wala, his love for his work & business compared to mine. I am saying this all in the light of that I have had one of the busiest months in my career and I haven’t slept for more than 4 hours since last few days. I have heard from so many colleagues that consulting is a high pressure industry and how we need to slog (which is true) but still I feel I have it lot easier compared to guys like these.

 

I also tend to wonder that what exactly holds me back to stick out like that guy for my work. I don’t think this has got to do anything to do with follow your heart and do what you love fad which is going around; I don’t really think that guy is following his passion of being a Paani-Puri wala (possible but too hard to believe). Is it because I have a qualifications that give me a comforting factor that I will be able to earn my living while he fights for his earnings everyday? Or is it because that irrespective of his size of business he owns it and feels responsible for it and I look and argue for every task that whose responsibility and job description it is? Or is it that despite being a Paani-Puri wala who might not even be educated has a clear sense of direction how he is going to move to the next phase of life by selling Paani-Puris while I clearly have loss of direction where I am going with all my work and what I intend to do with my life?

 

I really don’t know the answer, which might be simple or may be a complex mixture of everything above, but I am glad that two seconds of view of that Paani-Puri wala gave me a set of questions to think about and may be seek answers to them. So what do you guys think of these grass root level entrepreneurs, don’t they have a lot to teach us and make us ponder?

 

Rantings on Osama and Launch of a Friends Book

So my feed reader, newspaper, televisions, and both real and virtual discussions are all packed with the same event. The untimely death of Osama Bin Laden, untimely as it happened tad too late. So while the whole world is going gaga over it finding conspiracy theories if he is still alive, was he killed after being captured yada yada, I really feel how it makes a difference to my life. Though it does makes me feel like I am in the middle of a Jeffery Archer novel (not that I love being in one) but then the significant events happening over a time difference of 10 years do take the pace and steam out of the story.

However, the events and the way they unfolded were quite ironic, or rather laughable. So if I recount the series of events, there was a covert operation, which involved breaching the air space of an “important” ally and conducting a critical military operation right in the heart of a civilian area. Obviously this was done without informing the “ally” and was ordered by a Nobel Peace Prize winner, who incidentally also interfered in the local leadership of Egypt, bombed Libya, deployed additional troops in Afghanistan and Iraq, way to go for peace.

Coming back to the most wanted terrorist of the world, who was living in a million dollar mansion in one of the posh Abbotabad area at a stone’s throw of the military academy of the “ally”. This shouldn’t come as a surprise that this “ally” is also receiving critical 3 bn USD aid in terms of war planes and other military supplies to strengthen their military and intelligence agencies for war against terror. The minor fact that the mansion where Osama was living since past 5 years, is owned by the agencies funded by the same army and intelligence is not really relevant. I guess its high time Oxford dictionary needs to revamp their definition of peace and ally.

What is really funny is, that the same American government doesn’t wants India to follow their suit and take down people like Dawood Ibrahim and Hafiz Saeed, who are openly living in Pakistan and appear on National television every other day. So to cut a long story short the message is while US can kill terrorists attacking their soil and India should act restraint against their terrorists and their ally. Not to mention our honorable government who is a step ahead of US and is currently singing melancholy of bilateral ties and discussion, I mean can’t you learn from 3 wars and effin 60 years of discussion dance?

Anyways as I said all this doesn’t make a difference to my life, I hope the truth of what happened that night would emerge to the world sooner or later.

One of my co-authors in Urban Shots has come up with his own book titled “The Lotus Queen”. The book is set up in Medieval Rajasthan and is a historical fiction based on the mysterious life of queen Padmini and the rather infamous siege of Chittor. So if the genre is your type do give it a try.