My Corporate Superstition

Every morning at 9:00 AM as I am about to swipe my access card and enter the office; the guard looks at me and carries on with whatever it is that guards do! But occasionally he will look straight at me, pass a smile and say Good Morning!

This usually has the effect of throwing me off completely; I didn’t expect that, he just bowled a Googly! And every time he says good morning – my day goes unbelievably shitty – so now I have this superstition, and have evolved tactics to defeat it”:

1) Come in really early – like 8:00 AM. This throws the guard off balance. He didn’t expect anyone at this hour. Score!

2) Running Late? No worries I have that covered as well. Take the stairs and enter from the fire exit – usually no one is there.

3) Fail safe precaution: Have headphones on!

Touché mister Guard, Touché!

Civic Pride & Patriotism

I am a typical middle class fellow, who’s first sojourn outside India was on a company sponsored trip to Thailand; a place that I visited again – for its unrivaled beaches and people.

But that first time also made me wonder! Why is that none of our cities even resemble Bangkok in cleanliness. To the western eye the Bangkok traffic is chaos personified. But my Indian sensibilities of traffic struggled to hear horns being blown unnecessarily, find people cutting into wrong lanes and missed seeing a whole lot of road rage.

Moving on to Krabi, we met some of the most hospitable people, spic and span turquoise beaches and people with a genuine pride for their native land. A country that started why behind us, after us has become better off than us. This thought dissipated from my head over the next few weeks.

With lady luck supporting me – I recently got back from Europe, with a whole week in Germany, another in Switzerland and a couple of days in Salzburg. This thought burned again in my head.

I understand that the population of Germany is 80 odd million and ours is 1.24 Billion! but the system works for another reason – Civic pride.

For Example, in Switzerland, some tourist had thrown a cigarette packet over the railing on the descent from Trummelbach falls. It hung perilously on a few blades of grass over a 70-80 feet drop.

The lift operator came out, said a warm hello; threw a leg over the railing, hanging from it he scooped the litter and threw it in the garbage can before taking us down – all the while politely talking to us. That is civic pride!

On the other hand some colleagues of my wife in Germany who have been delegated from India, met her in the city bus. Now my wife had a ticket – its 2 Euros for 2 hours – unlimited journeys in the city. The amount might seem high to an Indian on an Indian salary – but when you are paid in Euros its on par!

Her colleague tells her that you are wasting your money – no one checks for tickets here so I never buy one! A system that works on honor is shamelessly exploited by us.

When ever there will be a surprise check (which are common) it will be India’s name that will be pulled down!

To that gentleman I say – India is lucky that you have spared her for a couple of years; Germany not so much.

Input – Output

Every morning I wake up to the call of an electronic rooster, promptly silenced by a swift flick of my finger!

What happens next to me and many others is this:
1) We wake up our phone and check the pending messages, emails, whatsapp messages, Facebook pokes etc.
2) Switch on the lights and get out of bed.

The interesting thing is the order. We live today in a world of constant inputs on our intellect. We respond as biological robots with immediate output to these.

My day sees me sitting in front of a display from 6:30 in the morning to Midnight in some form or the other. The only time I smell the roses is in the air freshener of my car! The only music I hear is interlaced with the horns of a million others around me on the road.

The lunch hour; you go down to the cafeteria with your colleagues and there are an inordinate amount of people on the phone. Even 20 minutes away from the chatter is difficult to find

The demands on our time and cognitive capabilities are ever increasing and there is no end in sight. I am embracing a simple solution for myself – NIPO – No Input no Output.

Every Sunday I will switch off all my devices, except my phone and switch data off. I will only be available to my wife and parents on the phone and try and stay away from all the electronic noise!

I will instead read a book, go out, meet friends explore the city and eat copious amount of good food!

My Kindle is Toast!

It was love at first sight for me, standing there in Pune, midst the August rains exactly a year ago. My girl friend then and Fiancee now, got me a 3rd Gen Amazon kindle for my birthday; complete with the cover light!

As I am lucky enough to live in India, it had to be ordered to a friends address in the states and have her relatives coming back to India haul it over for me (cheaper than international shipping by Amazon).

Me being a reader par normalcy;, I used it more regularly than even my phone till the day it departed our word to go to gadget heaven. I suspect the battery’s dead or the charging circuit is toast! But even in the mecca of all things electronic in India – Nehru Place; no one had seen a Kindle before, let alone attempted a repair.

So dejected, I have ordered another one from Chroma, who have been kind enough to get them to India at an affordable price of 7K INR. The order is through and the wait begins!

Waiting for gadgets is tough – but for my kindle in maddening.

 

Life Lessons From Haryana Roadways

On a recent impromptu trip to Jaipur to catch up with some friends I had the pleasure of being the guest of honor of Haryana Roadways.

Five hours later I alighted at Sindhi Camp, Jaipur an enlightened man. Below are the 5 lessons I learned in that Journey, free with the ticket.

5) The world is far more flexible than you give it credit for; case in point, 4 people can sit in a bench made for 3.

4) The best things in life are often not what we think. Case in point, never ever sit by the window; the lady in front might just spit/vomit in your face!

3) To be closer to god, live on the edge. Case in point, on every speed bump, turn, overtake you nearly meet your maker.

2) Learn from our elders. In this case our politicians who were watching porn in Karnataka and Gujarat. Watch Porn in Public on your cell phone, like the two middle aged, mustached gentlemen in the row ahead of me.

1) What ever you do, don’t get caught. This seems to be issued in public interest by Haryana Govt, as all over the bus there were notices painted telling people “Finger prints from a crime scene can help the police identify criminals. Please wipe the place down.” Italics added by the author :)

And the only place on earth they would need a notice like below : Haryana!

Image

-AP

Bengaluru

On a recent trip to Bengaluru, I hailed the holy grail of transportation in India, the veritable three wheeler, the auto rickshaw!

As I sat in my seat, clutching firmly to my bag and life, as the driver flicked through the traffic; a strange thing happened. An unnatural force, something pure evil stopped my auto. It was the demon of the red light, helped in his endeavors by the fellow demon the traffic jam.

Agitated with the possibility of being late I cursed under my breath and noticed something. The driver casually killed the engine and took out a newspaper, folded his legs and starting reading about the relationship status of a B town celebrity.

The humble bangalorian taught this finicky Delhite (a temporary arrangement) a thing or two about keeping cool!

-AP

9 random thoughts of the wise man. (cause there is no rule that says Lists have to be 10 items long)

Please bear in mind this is a first Draft*

1) The wise man says, “ when everyone agrees with you; you know you are wrong!”
2) The wise man says, “A Man who sinks into a woman’s arms; will soon find his arms in the woman’s sink!” Funny story this one– another time another day!
3) The wise man says, “Talking of Pain; few things beat the truth in causing it.”
4) The wise man says, “Talk is cheap; Until you hire a marketer for it!”
5) The wise man says, “In any meeting – the fewer the facts, the stronger the opinion!”
6) The wise man says, “In all meetings, progress depends on the unreasonable man!”
7) The wise man says, “A Liar needs the best memory! Therefore all men suck at it.”
8) The wise man says, “A Clean desk is sure sign of a sick mind!”
9) The wise man says, “The first draft of anything is Sh**!”