Watch your words..

One bad thing about having decided not to blog about my work is that I miss out writing on so much stuff and venting about numerous incidents happening throughout the day. But a good part is that I get to focus on the other things I would actually love to write about; else my blog would become just a gossip ground. ;)

A bad day at work can really shoot up the mercury of your stress meter. And that's when my blog is my relief, my hideout. Most importantly, it makes me realize that my work is not the only prominent thing in my life. It helps me forget about the outside world (non-digital). Till the time I work on my blog,  my world is the Internet and my country is WordPress.

This reminds me about various organizations coming up with their Social Media Policies, restricting associates to discuss work online and elaborate on work related issues on different social media platforms. (This might explain another important reason why I do not blog about my work!! I don't wanna lose my job ;) )

Anyways, it is quite amusing and ironical at the same time, to witness how the power of social media has threatened mighty corporates and business giants. Any kind of publicity on social media (coming from employees, particularly), may not always be a GOOD PUBLICITY!! ;)

As rightly said by  the rock band Alter Bridge, Watch Your Words!! Enjoy the song..I absolutely adore the guitar intro.

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Dem-O-Crazy

I couldn’t think of any other title for this and that too, on the eve of Republic day of India. Anytime that I have switched on the television to catch some news since past so many months, all that has been making headlines are protest marches, angry mobs, people unhappy with their governments and political leaders. A phenomena that has become universal due to sky-rocketing inflation and high unemployment rates. Seriously, looks like the principal of democracy which boasts about fundamental rights and power to general public, has taken a beating. And, under the present circumstances it is driving people CRAZY!!

Has democracy as a principle of governance failed? Because aren’t the top bosses, whom we are castigating today, been voted to power by us at some point of time. Anyways, I’m no political science expert to reach a conclusion on the failure of democratic establishment globally or make educated judgments and pass remarks.

However, I have come across an interesting observation amongst all the outrage against established and democratic rule in different parts of the globe apart from spiraling inflation and soaring unemployment rates. That is the underlying feeling of hatred and disgust for all the national leaders in different countries undergoing crisis. And ironically, all these leaders had been topping the popularity charts at one point of time.

Closer home, Indian Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh, now in his second term, has been recently voted by the Time Magazine as one of the most influential global leaders and most respected among his peers. Currently, he is facing a crisis situation due to various corruption charges against his government and losing support and faith among general public. American head of state Barack Obama took charge amongst so much of pomp and show, but has not been able to prove himself substantial, so far. French PM Zarkozy is as unpopular in his country as his other counter parts, globally. Tunisia which is currently making news for civil unrest (and also the fact that many people have been trying to locate it on maps!!), has similar story; as the masses are going mad at the Prime Minister and President (already fled the country) for price rise. And probably for Italian President Berlusconi, popularity was never his forte’ as he has always found himself under crisis and been named in numerous scams. I think that explains why these leaders can’t stop praising each other whenever they get a chance in different global meets, because that is the only way they get any form of appreciation. Pun Intended!

With so much of animosity for these leaders and masses becoming hostile against their governments due to underlying corruption, no wonder an institution and idea like Wikileaks is an instant hit among general public. No surprises why New York Times wants to imitate its business model. People want to understand the reality and watch their corrupt leader’s pride being torn apart. Apparently, it takes revolutionary minds and absolute courage like Julian Assange of Wikileaks, to take on the crookedness behind democracy, head on.

Perhaps, Chruchill made the following statement out of sheer clairvoyance.

“It has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all the others that have been tried.” – Winston Churchill

Photo Courtesy: www.fark.com

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Art of Giving..

Over the last few weeks, there has been quite a stir in the Indian media about the “Art of Giving” in terms of corporate social responsibility. All the buzz started because of Azim Premji’s philanthropic activities worth $ 4.1 billion!!

The general view amongst the Indian masses is the lack of any visible development of the economically challenged sections of the society, despite the phenomenal accomplishments of the Corporate India. Over the last two decades, Indian companies have gone international and are considered to be a force to reckon with, by the rivals abroad.

Surprisingly though, the general public has not seen that scale of development in their economic status. People have started questioning the responsibility of the Corporate India towards the social order and the not-so-privileged sections of the country. And, many think that it might be payback time. But a counter view suggests that these companies are not bound in any way to give back to the society, in legality. After all, philanthropy and social service is a choice and cannot be legally enforced.

And somewhere we have to accept that Indian society is not used to giving to the economically backward sections of the society. Our history books do refer to “bhiksha” or donations given to the brahmins (priests); but not the poor and the needy of the population. We never had the custom of community service for the poor.

For us, it had always been casteism till last few decades. Still continues to be, in some regions!! And the lower caste people were generally, the poorer of the lot and used to be neglected and barred from the society during occasions, while all the donations were pocketed by the higher castes. And from there started the custom of the rich becoming richer, and the poor becoming poorer.

I still remember two years back when I was traveling by Indian Railways, I met 3 European journalists, working for Reuters, on an India tour. Like curious tourists, they were asking me all sorts of questions about Indian culture. They asked me “Why do rich people in India do not help the poor?”. Needless to say I was embarrassed, and had no answer for that.

At a time, when we are trying to paint a broad and advanced picture of India to the world we are ignoring those sections of the society without whom, an all round development is going to remain a distant dream.  The development and prosperity in a society is a collective occurrence and cannot be fulfilled by the assets of a few individuals.

Make all you can, save all you can, give all you can. – John Wesley

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Constructive Conflict

All the time in our daily lives, we come across people arguing with each other. At times, it just makes you wonder why can’t people agree with each other for a change. Whether its your local groceries store, while traveling in a bus, discussion with friends or a boardroom meeting, arguments and debates are happening everywhere.

In this modern era of knowledge economies and the information revolution going all around us, everyone has access to facts and as they say everyone is entitled to his/her own opinion. As a consequence, the number of opinions are equal to the number of minds inside a room.

But in an argument whenever you say “I am entitled to my opinion”, have you ever tried to give a thought that so is the person at the front. And hence, instead of arguing with one another to prove yourself correct, try giving a lending ear to your opponent. Analyzing your opponent’s thoughts might prove to be quite an educating experience for you as you start viewing the things from other side of the fence. As you put yourself in your opponent’s shoes your empathetic towards your rival and hence, strong negative emotions suddenly start disappearing and you are able think more clearly. Result..a healthy debate or as they term it in management and corporate culture a “Constructive Conflict” ensues.

Unfortunately, not many cultures around the world give much of significance to listening. Japanese for one, have a different style of communicating and place a great deal of attention to what is being communicated to them. They are adept listeners and observe minute details, like body language and tone of the speaker, while the conversation happens.

While a constructive conflict sounds very much like an ideal case scenario, the practical situation as we had learned way back in our science classes, is quite different from the theory. In real world, there are heated debates, aggressive arguments and lot of negative emotions and live drama is involved.

Sadly, none of the solutions discussed in our conflict management classes are utilized in pragmatic situations in life. This is mainly because rarely people have the level of patience and a balanced sense of understanding while they are engrossed in a fiery exchange of words. Clearly, high level of self awareness is an exceptional trait.

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Unconscious Reality

“My unconscious knows more about the consciousness of the psychologist than his consciousness knows about my unconscious” – Karl Kraus quotes

A well framed thought that aptly describes the strength of our unconscious mind. The human unconscious mind is the most powerful creation of nature and can be quite dangerous and destructive too.

Have you ever wondered how your mind can create such clear scenes in your dreams with background, costume, storyline, sequence, actions and sounds everything in place and just the way it should be. I keep wondering all the time. Few days back, I dreamt of a huge aeroplane bursting in flames up in the sky, in front of my eyes in the dream sequence, and bingo..everything was like a sci-fi or star wars movie. At times, I do not even remember my dreams but when I go back to sleep sometimes they start from just where I left them. Its just for a fraction of seconds after I wake up, that I realize what I saw and then the memory starts fading.

Unconscious mind is a huge collection of mental phenomena inside a person’s mind to which the person is unaware of at the time of their occurrence. These can be unconscious feelings, skills, unnoticed perceptions, thoughts, habits, obvious but unnoticed reactions, complexes, hidden phobias and concealed desires. The unconscious mind or brain is also the source of dreams and automatic random thoughts. Its like a repository of memories that might be very well forgotten by the conscious.

Its also a center of all the routine things that we have been taught to do since childhood and still practice without much thought. Routine activities like riding a bicyle, tying shoe lace are kind of stored in unconscious mind as implicit memory.

Having said all of the above, the unconscious mind may also be the biggest enemy of a person. Remember all those times when you wanted to do/try something new in life and some inherent and latent force inside pulled you back. You wanted to badly learn to ride a bicycle when you were young and used to watch the older teenagers speeding in their bikes, only wishing you could be as much faster. However, you were scared because there was a fear of the unknown, of course, till you conquered that. Not quite often do we realize that our subconscious mind may be the biggest hindrance or inhibitor to the greatest of our desires in life..at times the single most reason of our existence.

The subconscious mind might be powerful with unlimited storage space but it is like a lazy school kid who never wants to go to school and learn new things. Its repulsive towards any sort of change. That precisely explains the fear of change in the human nature. And comfort zone, might be an euphemism that we use for this kind of human tendency.

Subconscious brain is classically conditioned to perform activities and store information and any kind of change in the pattern is not acceptable to it. Ever wondered, why old habits die hard!! Now you know. That’s why moving out of comfort zone and taking the road less traveled is a big deal.

What’s ironically sad is the fact that we always blame situations or people for our miseries in life. When the biggest opposition to our capabilities is not the immediate rival at work, instead it rests peacefully inside us.

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One great thing about hope..it never dies!

Happy New Year – 2011


“This year, is gonna be incredible
This year, is gonna be the one
All the planets are lining up for me
This year, I’m gonna have fun

This year, I’ll paint my masterpiece
This year, I’ll be recognized
I can feel like I’ll fall in love for real
This year, this year

This year, I’ll reach the pinnacle
This year, I’ll get to the top
People will ask where she get that energy
This year, I’m never gonna stop”

Absolutely beautiful song from the Serendipity movie soundtrack. And, I am going to start my new year on this note.

One great thing about hope is that it never dies. No matter how strenuous your journey has been in the past with patches of bitter experiences here and there, if you are human you will always secretly deep down inside hope for good times to shower on you once again in life. Doesn’t really matter if your a highly optimistic individual or a depressingly pessimistic person.

Here’s hoping that we would have a great 2011 ahead of us. More jobs would be created in different parts of world, less scams would materialize closer to home and people would get enough to survive.

Cheers!!

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