Best Way to Solve Ayodhya Problem!

Here is the best way! 😀

Cartoon by Lahri

I’m sorry I could not give credit to the original cartoonist or the original poster as I received it on an email and it had no back link.

Looking for Designers

🙂

No fashion designers yet! I’m looking for some one to design the cover of my book. Most of you have read my stories. So most of you probably know what is the flavor and essence of it. So I’ll be highly obliged if you can help me design the cover too.

Artworks, photographs, abstracts, any thing will do. Size of the page will be 7″ x 4.5″. So the size of the total cover design has to be 7″ x 10″.

Interested? Do send me an email with a sample design if possible. And do not forget to mention the cost as well. I have limited budget, you know 😛

Addendum: Pallavi has already referred me to one talented designer. So I guess others have competition. 🙂

Do you think I have too much attitude?

Through a friend’s reference, I went to meet a director of some MBA college here in Mumbai. The purpose was to deliver a 3 hour lecture on career planning to their students. The director insisted that he will interview me before he can let me take this opportunity. I said fine and I went to meet him today. This is what happened.

After reading through my resume back and forth for some time, he asked me just three questions.

1) (in Hindi) Son, tell me about yourself… but in English.

Me: Sir, my name is Mayur Pathak. I have close to 6 years of industry experience, mostly in managerial roles. I have led teams as well as been in teams to know what exactly a management aspirant should look for from a corporate world. I have conducted such trainings in the past. So I feel I have the right experience to guide your students.

(Pause) (I guess he was expecting some thing else) Is it done?

Me: Yes. Can you tell me what else are you looking for apart from what is written in my resume and what I just said?

 

2) Err… Ah no. Thank you! What is your objective?

Me: Sorry? Are you asking my life’s objective?

D: Yes. Life career… I’m asking in general.

Me: (I didn’t understand what he meant by ‘in general’. But since he asked, I had to answer.) I can define two objectives for myself. The first one is more philosophical and rather egoistical. But I have grown up believing that it is only the larger than life aim that keeps you going when the time is not so good. The second option is more realistic.

(1) “I’d like to die as a person whose death will be mourned by the whole world, at least by the fraternity I will belong to. I want to contribute some good in a manner that my death be a loss to the community.”

(2) “I want to start and run one of the most successful management consulting companies in the world.”

The second objective has again come from a belief that India hasn’t been able to achieve the world dominion in industries and trade not because of lack of technical or financial know how but because of bad decision making. I want to help all the small companies to shape up their business so that at least few of them go on to become big.

(The answer baffled him. He was expecting a ‘I want to be Ratan Tata‘ kind of objective. He was obviously disappointed.)

(Second Pause)

 

3) Okay tell me about your strengths and weaknesses.

Me: A SWOT analysis? (He nodded). Well, doing a generic SWOT analysis of a person, in my opinion, will return a very subjective result. The reason is our inability to qualify and quantify our strengths and weaknesses. How can I be sure of what is good and how good is good for me? For example, I may be able to type fast, but that does not necessarily become my strength. At the same time I can not run like Usain Bolt and that again is not my weakness.

To be a world class consultant, I need to be a good teacher, preacher and an exceptional orator. So in that context, I can say that my communication skill, both written and oral is my strength. However I also understand that to be a teacher, guide and visionary, my communication skills will have to be backed by strong knowledge and expertise in my fields. Gathering knowledge is an ongoing process. So lack of in depth knowledge will always remain my weakness.

He pondered over my answer as if I had sent him a legal notice and was looking for a response. Then he peeped back into my resume before extending his hand towards me. Then he thanked me for sparing time to meet him but said sorry that he will not be able to allow my lecture. He said the questions he asked me were important from a career perspective. And I answered them with too much attitude. He said he didn’t want any of his students to follow me or my advice. Otherwise they will be spoilt with attitude.

Huh? Attitude? What the…

A Mistake is Making me Sad!

I was travelling on a public transport bus to the office today. The bus was already crowded and many commuters were standing. Two seats ahead of where I was standing, I saw a short lady struggling to keep her feet on the ground. She was obviously in lot of discomfort. I felt bad that other people seating were not willing to help her. Then I saw a young man seating on a seat reserved for ladies. That sight irked me. I could not see the woman struggle more and I shouted at the man occupying the seat meant for her.

“Bhaiyya… zara ladies ko baithne do.”

The man twitched a bit, tried to turn around. But then decided against it and sat where he was. The lady waved her hand towards me as if she was suggesting me to let it go. But I was not prepared. There was a lady standing in discomfort and there was a man conveniently occupying her place. I had to confront him. I stepped up and patted on his shoulder while the lady curiously looked at me, as if she feared a quarrel was about to break. I moved up a step further and started speaking as the man started to turn towards

“Bhaisahab aap ladies… oh… I aa… I’m sorry!”

Little did I realise that the man was blind. The lady had voluntarily offered him the seat while many healthy men sat and slept else where. I felt very sad. Very very sad! I should not have confronted him.

Attitude

I could not find a right title for this interview. And then I thought ‘Attitude’ is the word that goes perfectly with Sachin Patil. An old colleague and friend, he exudes the perfect blend of passion, knowledge and attitude you would look for in a person who you want to be around every time. Most people on my blog know his as Bruce. Here I present him to you in a very candid conversation. I hope you like it.

Tell me about yourself is a dreaded question. But I’m going to ask you anyway. And the answer I’m expecting is the one you have never given to any one. Go on… who are you?

Let me first thank you for considering me for this initiative.

Tell me something about yourself is a Femina Miss India Question, however here it is in the right context and hence let me tell you something about myself.

I am a simple God fearing, Mom fearing, Boss Fearing and Wife Fearing man who wears the mask of being a fearless (Dabangg, as you may want to call it) person 🙂 I live for very very mundane things in life and I enjoy things that most of the people around me do that includes two (or more) pegs in peace, chicken sukka (preferably with Neer dosa) and sound sleep ( I enjoy sleeping in the afternoon when I am home )

I like making an impression of being an arrogant and blunt ( on the face ) type of person but I am not that kind. Please refer to my intro above 🙂 I actually enjoy being given importance in my social circle though I create an impression that I give a damn about it. My secret desire is to be a Rock Singer and I fantasize doing all the crazy acts that my Gods e.g. Bruce Dickinson, James Hetfield do in concerts and sometimes I do those in front of mirror when nobody is at home 🙂

I can’t get more candid than this 🙂 Continue reading

GPOW: Rosa

GPOWs and POWs have been suffereing lately on my blog, thanks to my apathy and focus being diverted from a place to other. I’m trying to restart them again here with a picture from Ajay. I hope to keep this as a regular feature. Keep the pictures coming people!

R A N D O M : Insolence

Chill out

I’m quoting an incidence from my past. I was about 15 and half years of age. And I had this friend who was about a year younger to me. We used to chill out a lot and do, what we call these days, time pass. Although my junior, he had an influence on me. We both were athletes. But he was better. Add to that he was a good singer and had a distinctive style, which had lot of girls hovering around him. So became a part of his fan following, which later developed into a good friendship.

There was also this female in my class and a very good friend as well. But I never thought about her as a potential girlfriend. In fact, 15 some thing was not an age for me to think about it. But one day, he infused an idea inside my brain. The idea cultivated for few months and finally I proposed that girl on my sixteenth birthday. Continue reading

One Man Army!

My first interaction with Prateek was when he was just 20 and already a front runner to become an associate editor of Crazyengineers.com. For a boy just out of his teens, he showed great maturity and had more knowledge than what his other 20 year old mates had or probably what we had when we were just 20. Few years have flown past and today I feel proud to interview him. For I know, with interests in NGOs, Engineering and armed forces, today I’m talking to a future business leader.

Who’s behind the rather reticent, shy, complex yet arrogant looking Prateek Varma?

That is a bit difficult to answer because you are asking me to open up which I hardly do. The truth is that there is no one behind it. I am shy and reticent but also loud and talkative. I am a contradiction i.e. I keep contradicting myself. By nature I am shy and reserved but on occasions or when the situation demands I can be the most outspoken and outgoing person you have known. I have to be the centre of attraction and once I am, I start looking for an escape route

Complex because I have shown different personalities and I change from one to the other with ease. I grew up alone and that has a lot of benefit in a way that it gives you ample time to develop your creativity and imagination. I created different worlds and personalities through my imagination that I can go to at will. I know it baffles the other person but I seem to enjoy it.

Arrogant yes, because I have to believe that I am better than everyone around. It is some strange quirk that I have to be physically, mentally and psychologically superior to everyone else.

If I ask you to choose a persona, what will you choose and how will you describe yourself as? An unemployed graduate? A money splurging spoilt brat? A radical activist with extremist views on Politics, Kashmir and Corruption? Just another human being?

I am already all of these. But I would rather be none of these and certainly not just another human being. My fantasy would be to rule the world but in the long run I would like to be known as the man who changed the world. And I would rather not have extreme views.

You are from a family with a military background and war heroes. Don’t you think the hindrances and threats to India’s growth as world power and world economy are more internal than external?

Yes I do believe that. First reason is that we are not united. We are divided according to religion, region, creed, sect, caste etc. It was this disunity that allowed the English to rule us for 2 centuries and we have not learnt any lessons from history. Today, it is the politicians who divide for vote bank politics. Divided we fall.

Second thing is that we don’t have a strong leadership. Self interest is given more priority over national interest. Every person in power thinks that they have only 5 years to plunder the nations resource and they do that. Plus no one is ready to hold the bag, they would rather pass the buck. The way Mamata Bannerjee is misusing her portfolio as Railway minister is just one example. Beaurocracy and grass root level corruption is a big problem too.

Third is that we are a democracy only on paper. In reality our politics is like a monarchy where the child of the king is the next in line to the throne. Democracies don’t work like that. And I am not talking only about Congress; almost every party is like this.

Do you often ask yourself this question, “What next?” What answer do you get?

Actually…..No. I define a long term strategy for myself and continue with new tactics and changing old ones as I move forward. My usual question is “Did I finish the things I had planned today?” answer is usually “No you started many things but left everything in between.” There is a minute moment of depression and then another voice says, “What the heck? Go to sleep now. We will see it tomorrow.” And the cycle repeats like an infinite loop.

Quoting a dialogue from a popular movie, Paycheck. “If you remove suspense from life, even the hope fades away.” Your comment please!

It is true. If you already know what is going to happen then you have nothing to look forward to. Take an example of a cricket match. When India requires 50 runs from 5 balls to win, people start leaving the stadium. They know what is going to happen and they have lost hope. Even the players on the field know that. Similarly when India needs 1 to win from 5 overs with 5 wickets remaining, people are happy but there is no suspense. Heartbeats don’t stop; it’s more like a relaxed happiness.

But when they need 5 from 1 ball, there is still hope though very minute and every supporter and player clings on to it like their life depended on the last ball. There is suspense and hope and that makes the moment exciting and worth living and remembering.

Thank you so much for your time. Would you like to refer me to some one who I can interview here?

You are welcome. I was hardly doing anything worthwhile anyway. 😉 By the way thanks for featuring me. I know many people and naming one will be quite difficult. I think will choose the diplomatic path and skip this question.

In the Delhi(zen) Zone

Pallavi Walia, or Delhizen, as she calls herself came to my blog in search of love stories. Today she has become an eternal part of the readership and a very good friend. She lives and tells the perfect PunjabiDelhi lifestyle. Very effervescent, lively and bold, I know her as a person who believes living on her own terms. I’m presenting this interview as a birthday gift to her. Belated happy birthday Pallavi. I hope you had a great day.

Punjabi’s are known to be brazen and bold, not only in their demeanour but also in their attire and style. And the Punjabi kudis? Well I dare not say it in front of one here. What makes you Punjabis so vivid?

Two things you will always find across the world no matter where you go are Potatoes and Punjabis, such is our charm! It is said, Punjab was-is such a rich land that happy go lucky attitude became a part of our DNA.

Everyone says when in Rome do as the Romans do- Punjabis believe- no matter where you go create a mini Punjab and feel at home! Everything has to be colourful, full of life and high on calories for us… Size is sign of prosperity- bigger is better… Look at the number of Mercs we have to the quantity of ghee dripping halwa we consume. We look for reasons to celebrate and make merry and must add we rub our affect on those around us too! Continue reading

C for Crazy, K for KK

I have known Kaustubh Katdare for 11 years now. I continued to know him since I met him because I liked him playing guitar and singing Kishore Kumar for us, we liked walking, eating bhel and mocking at people and because some where our thoughts were alike. In fact I was probably the first person to laugh at him when he joined a GRE class in Pune. Little did I know that I’d be interviewing him in the form of a budding entrepreneur. The_Big_K is the apt way to start the interview series. I hope you enjoy it.

— — — —

i. Your superblog has been a popular stupidity buster. How stupid do you think people thought it was? What kind of reactions you faced?

K: I started blogging because corporate world forced me to. I sincerely believed that my managers were insane. In corporate world any simple decision would mean : Decision to call for a meeting – Time wastage in getting the right conference room – Time wastage in asking the co-workers to vacate it so that we could get in no later than 10 minutes after our scheduled time – dialing remote team’s conference phones – waiting for them – reading out agenda – resolving disputes on agenda items – tackling everyone’s intelligence – finally arriving at a consensus defined by the manager – assigning ‘task’ items and documenting them all in the name of ‘process’. I needed a place to vent out my frustration and blog was my secret place to do it. I observed that the shabby looking, never smiling and always ‘busy looking’ coworkers were rated higher in appraisals and got better paychecks. Slowly, I started realizing that people exhibit stupidity almost everywhere in various forms and levels. Continue reading