Saturday, November 7, 2009

Official Tours & Getting to Know People

It mostly takes a long trip together to get to know a colleague up close – may be it is because during the long journeys there is nothing much to do other than talk to your companion.

The discussions during these trips that last for a few days would bring up facets of the companion which you otherwise would never have found out. Recently I had a trip with my CTO which gave me a lot of insights – I have never spoken for this long with an IITian before, and found out that there is more to them than what Chetan Bhagat writes to earn money.

Another trip with another colleague was equally interesting, and brought in a much closer understanding that would never have come from our professional interactions otherwise. In these kinds of conversations, (if you connect well, that is) you can find out a lot about different points of view, and more about the factors that influence each person’s value system.

My current job profile gives me this opportunity to get to know many such people, and it feels good. Another trip I made was with an ex-IAS officer, who still does work for the betterment of India for no pay, simply out of passion. In times when you hear of more and more multi crore scams everyday in India, such interactions helps keep your hope alive.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

On a public holiday...

... stay at home and sleep! At least that's what I learnt on the birth anniversary of the father of our nation. After having "wasted" the last 2 or 3 public holidays by lazing at home, I & wifey decided to venture outside and watch a movie. Since we had not planned in advance for the movie, most of the cinemas were sold out, and we therefore tried our luck at Mayajaal.

At Mayajaal though we reached at 1:30 pm, we could get tickets for only a 5 o'clock show. We decided to make most of the available time by going to Mahabalipuram. As soon as one enters mahabalipuram panchayat, they collect Rs 20 as entry fees. Driving further towards the beach the traffic was very heavy with frequent jams, as everyone seemed to have come out for the holiday. We had to turn back as there was absolutely no space to even stop the car, let alone park. Thus we came back to Mayajaal having donated Rs 20 to Mahabalipuram panchayat and without seeing anything.

At Mayajaal also the crowd was huge, and the atmosphere was just like any Rs 20 ticket theatre. The only consolation was the goodness of the movie "Unnai Pol Oruvan" though I liked its Hindi original "A Wednesday". But then that's for another post

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Kahan Se Kahan Tak

At school amongst my friends I spoke the worst Hindi. Add to that the fear of being teased by friends whenever I made a mistake, and I seldom attempted to speak in Hindi. At Kendriya Vidyalaya we had to learn Hindi Course A till class 10, which is originally designed for native Hindi speakers. As I went into 11th standard, I thought of Hindi and Biology as good riddance.

Later when I made trips to other parts of the country I did realize the language's importance and advantage over English in many parts of the country. In many occasions, out of compulsion I became more and more confident of speaking in Hindi.

The culmination of all this happened recently when I was in Maharashtra which uses a common script with Hindi and uses Devnagari digits instead of the international numerals. Since I had no choice, I re-learnt what I had chosen not to study in my school days. Finally, at a function I made a full fledged presentation speaking in Hindi. My hindi teacher would have been proud!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

The Taming of a Wild Elephant

The temple elephant who had recently tasted wilderness has been tamed. It was after I finished an assignment for a client, who was earlier the president of a company I had worked for earlier that he'd asked me whether I would like to join full time.

The role was into marketing of Indian made ATMs for the semi urban and rural markets - giving me a profile I was wanting to do for a long time. The very reason I had done an MBA was that I wanted to get out of IT, and this role would finally take me into a non IT technology marketing. Thus, the ten percent driving factor has also been taken care of :-)

The icing on the cake is that I get to travel to many places in India.

Friday, April 3, 2009

One of my friends told me the analogy: that a regular employee is a Temple Elephant, whereas a freelance consultant is a wild elephant.

The temple elephant gets enough food at regular intervals, but is a slave to the temple authorities; whereas the wild elephant has to find food on his own from the forest, but he is his own master.

I can endorse this analogy 100% as I too became a wild elephant.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The Ten Percent Driving Factor

I've recently discovered that I am bored 90% of the time. It is the other 10% of the time when I get excited that keeps me going.

This 10% has come from different things at different times. The key is in having something to make up the ten percent, which drives the 90% boredom out.