Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Safety Factor

Did you ever wonder what is the price we pay for safety. Safety should unarguably top the list of priorities of every individual. But today I would like to draw the attention to another aspect of safety. This one does not relate to life safety but relates to mental peace than anything else.
Many a times we have to go out of the office for a meeting or a conference. It the meeting starts at 10 o’clock, we want to be safe and reach the venue 15 minutes. Though we know that the normal travel time to that place is 15 minutes, we usually leave with 20 minutes in hand. Again the logic is the same, we do not want to reach late and get embarrassed. Now if it happens to be a carpool we can easily add another 10 to 15 minutes.
We spend those extra minutes to buy mental peace, so that we do not rush, so that we are safe. But do we keep track of all those time of our life, that we earmark as safety factor, never to be spent productively!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

The Hope Of Winning

When I look up for the definition of the word HOPE, the dictionary lets me know that it is: longing; dream.
This definition perhaps couldn’t do enough justice to the feeling generally associated with this word. So I looked up for the words synonymous to this. And this is how it goes.....    
“Utopia, achievement, ambition, anticipation, aspiration, assumption, belief, bright side, buoyancy, castles in air, concern, confidence, daydream, dependence, desire, endurance, expectancy, expectation, faith, fancy, fool's paradise, hopefulness, light at end of tunnel, optimism, pipe dream, prospect, reliance, reverie, reward, rosiness, wish”
I am writing about a particular instance of this feeling: The Hope Of Winning.
For the past many years I have filled up hundreds and thousands of raffle coupons in countless marts and mall outlets. 
My routine has always been this: collect the coupons; fill in the details; drop them in the box and preserve the counterparts; wait for the draw; check the winning numbers and then discard those with a heavy heart. Till date this routine has remained consistently the same. But this has not deterred me from filling up another coupon the very next day.
And I know that I am not alone in this Game. We all HOPE to Win tomorrow. This hope is not limited to filling in raffles tickets but it applies to every aspect of life! That's how we keep walking...... 

Thursday, April 14, 2011

And then God created China....

One day last week I took my daughter to a Hobby shop here in Doha. It was a visit that happened rather by chance than by design. Once inside I was scanning through the displays while the little one was running around shouting occasionally “give me this” and “Give me that”. Nothing much interested me till two boxes filled with sconces and shells caught my attention. I have been looking forward to own a nice sconce for some time and was delighted to have a bounty with endless selection. I picked up one in my hand to have a closer look. I was very thrilled and my mind started to race to finalize the place that it would occupy in the living room and the accessories that it would require.  Then my eyes caught the sticker that said “made in China”.  But we no longer get surprised to find this sticker as majority of the merchandise originate from China these days. I quite got used to seeing a “made in” or an “Expiry date” stamped on every imaginable product but today it made me curious.
Was it made by God in China or was it made by some Chinese hands? After scrutinizing it a little bit more I found out that my suspicion was justified. It was never a living and breathing creature that moved around in this planet. Going back to the aquariums on display I discovered that alongside the underwater bridges and wreckages the sconces and shells were artificial too. Imitating the life that never existed!
A few forgotten bytes came back to my mind. I remembered someone had once sent me an email about artificial chicken eggs being made in China. On another occasion there was a big scam of making artificial milk powder. I dropped the idea of buying those anyways and returned home a bit puzzled. Have the Gods started to relax now that they have created China…….

Back at home I noticed a banana, artificial though, lying among other toys. Once again it is very easy to get deceived. But to find a replica of a banana was not shocking for my eyes. … and no credit for guessing where it originated from!!!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Cost Of Change

While studying for project management I came across the concept of “Sunk Cost”. It went on to explain that if there was some cost incurred for a certain wrong step, we should not consider that cost as a parameter in deciding the change of course. We need to book the loss and move on to restart our books. I think that this principle is also applicable to our life. Often we continue in a particular way because we think that we have already invested a plenty of time and energy into it and we will lose all of that. But this should not be the part of the equation.
 At times there is a strong temptation to continue to in a particular way only because we have always done it that way. Things have not gone unmanageably wrong so far and it is easy to cruise along in this known path within a cozy and comfort zone. It is easier and less expensive to correct our course now rather than wait till some major crisis descends on us. But then the course and process corrections come at a very high cost. I hope the nuclear energy agencies around the world take a lesson or two from the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant in Japan after the Tsunami.
The message is simple: proactive change can be painful but it is the key to our success and survival in this fast changing world.

I leave you with some random pictures taken from the city I reside.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Anything Worth Doing is Worth Doing Well

April 02 of the year 2011 will go down in the history of India as one of the most memorable days. India is a large nation of 1.2 billion people but we are not known to be a great sporting nation. But there is one sport which is a complete exception. Indians both inside and outside the country are so passionate about this sport that it is almost treat it as a Religion… they literally worship this game.  This madness started after India won the ICC (International Cricket Council) World Cup for the first time When Kapil Dev and his boys lifted the cup at Lord's, England in 1983. No one expected India to win then but ever since all Cricket lovers of the country has been hoping to get it back but this has been eluding us.
Finally history was written again in the Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai on 2nd April 2011 after a long wait of 28 years. India became the World Champions for the second time defeating the Sri Lankan National team convincingly in the final match (India won by 6 wickets with 10 balls remaining). This time around India was the favorite to win and they did it in front of the home crowd which is a record in itself. The pictures below captures a few golden moments…..