Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Silent Warrior

The silent warrior keeps fighting...

He doesn't tire,he doesn't lose.
he may be bruised..but he knows how to get up again.

There have been moments when we have loved him...he obliged and kept fighting for all of us.
There were times when we doubted his strengths...he still went out to fight against the strongest of enemies.

We got nervous for him as we loved him...
We got anxious for him as we wanted him to succeed.

but i think...nerves,anxiety,success and failure are for the mere mortals like us..

Warrior doesn't get nervous,sad or happy.
We do..

We may be unsure of his skills
but he himself knows how to rise to the occasion...

Battle after battle..
He just

raises his Arms in the air ,

throws his head backwards

offers himself and his weapons to the GODs up there...

and we ,the mortals...
Hail the warrior whom we have seen all our lives...fighting for us.

The greatest becomes greater.

Monday, February 22, 2010


All of us have our heroes...all of us have a few people who have influenced us in a way that they touch your lives. I have got my own set of heroes ....They are my Gurus.

Weird part is that all of them are named STEVE.

I have somehow learn't the most craziest lessons of my life from STEVEs.
I'll try and take you back in a journey with my GURUs till date.
Ok so i'll start with the latest Guru and go back chronologically...

The one that i am closest too is STEVE JOBS.
Look up to this man if you want to change the world.
Look up to him if you want to know the power of dreams.

When he was 23 years old, 
One reporter asked him about "What does Apple stand for? What is Apple here to do?
Jobs looked straight into his eyes ,paused for a while and answered  "We are here to make a Dent in the universe.."

Pause. Let it sink...

Promise'll say this someday in an Interview.
Even if not in an interview..Please promise to say it to yourself ...
with the same passion and with the same messianic sense of purpose.

and when you say it have certainly begun with the Dent making process.

Second in the list is Steve's partner...Steve.
Woz..that's his nickname..

STEVE WOZNIAK is a person who'll fire you up as a technologist.
He was the top guy in Apple computers but left it in 1987.

Reason that he gave while leaving was...
"I loved to work in Apple because this was an Engineer's company.
Engineers used to make things that used to excite them.
Now managers and marketing people used to go out and create a market for these products
...but lately it has become a market driven company. Market analysis and the market trends determine what the engineers will create.
Creativity has just died out.We have to drive the market,not vice versa.

This is no more an engineers company and i'll quit Apple....just for the love of Engineering."

I would love to have this passion for engineering someday
I know it's going to be a long process....but I have just started loving things...Technically.

Third in this list is a person whom you might have seen in a discovery show (The Crocodile Hunters) ..STEVE IRWIN.
The valor with which he used to embrace the crocs was something that excited me immensely.He taught me to be courageous (no matter if it's crazy as well). 

Infact one day in my place (Solan)..It was early morning and i was sleeping .
Suddenly i heard my Mother shouting..Saaanp saanp(Snake Snake...).
I heard the shrieks and got up...I went up to the snake and i don't know why?
...but i pushed my mother to one side and picked up the snake.

I was not wearing my spects so i went to my room to get my spects as i was not sure if i was holding the tail or the face.
In all this excitement i took the snake along with me to my bedroom.

My mother was about to faint seeing all this madness...and she was imploring me to throw it away.
You won't believe when i came out...i took it to a  field behind our house...

I was analysing the snake with a stick in my hand and his tail in another.
I pointed towards the snake and shouted to my mother "Ye bahut hi khoobsurat maada hai."(This one is a beautiful female. :))

That was the closest i ever got to enacting Steve but he has surely left me with the lessons of courage and a strong belief that no matter how strong the opponent is ,if the technique is right you can always hit his Achilles heal.

Last in this list is Austin....Steve Austin WWF fame.(I wish i could play that glass breaking sound for you)

3:16 ...bald cans and of course the STUNNER.
This man didn't teach me any life lesson but i sort of loved him.
He was according to me a guy who thrashed the bad guys.
He just knocked the hell out of them.....

I was so much in awe of STEVE AUSTIN that one day i gave a STUNNER to my little sis.
Yeah are right i stunned my sis.

Her neck was broken and she had that weird bandage around her neck 
...her whole body used to turn even if you had asked for only her head to look at you.

However i didn't like Austin much after that day, 
as in the evening it was my father..who turned into Undertaker and  knocked the stuffing out of me... 

Saturday, February 20, 2010

How to fail in life?

Hmmm.... a very loser sort of topic for a blog post but still let me give it a shot.

Suppose we have a locked door and we are told that there is a beautiful view behind that door.
Now all of us want to enjoy the vista but we have to go through that locked door.
In order to enjoy the view ...
We should first find the key and once we do that... we can be HAPPY about it.

Simple common sense stuff....get the key and enjoy the view.
..but what has door,key and view have to do with "Failing in Life" (blog title)??

Quite early in our pedagogy we are told that
"Failure is the key to Success"

never do i remember someone teaching me about the modus operandi to fail in life.
never do i remember any lecture titled "How to fail in life?"

I was only told to Succeed in life....but Success is the view behind the locked door.
What about the key?
It was as if the door should open but don't ever try to find the key.

Have i tried to find my keys?
If  i am not finding the keys often... may be i am compromising on the view.

I think i should try a lot more to find my keys and just feel HAPPY about it.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Starvation Week

If you have read A healthy might be knowing how difficult it was for me to put on weight.
It was with sheer resilience and determination that i have been able to achieve this forte.

Right now i weigh 81 kgs.(too much for a 5 ft 7 guy :( )

Now ...How i pray so that i can reduce a few kilos...

I am too lazy to join a gym so i have made one of my friends(Prav) join it.
Now the gym instructor tells him a few magic tricks by which you can lose around 5-6 kgs a week.
One of these tricks is the Starvation week...The trick is self explanatory and guarantees a loss of 5 kgs.
So we(me and prav) decided that we would starve ourself for a week.

Day one we could just have the fruits..nothing else.
I had 3 nice and big oranges in the breakfast and carried 3 huge ones to office for lunch.

In office one of my colleagues asked that why wasn't i having lunch.
With utmost indifference i told him about the Starvation week thing.
He stared at me as if he didn't get a bit of what i just said.

I emphasized and repeated --"Starvation week Yar!! Come on..." 
He pointed towards the two huge oranges that i was carrying and his gestures asked for an explanation for the "Starvation " claim that i was making...

I was trying to explain the concept to him...and suddenly Prav comes with 4 still huger apples in his hands.

PRAV ---"Gaurav ,Come for lunch .. i have washed the apples."
Our Colleague wanted to sue us both for using a misnomer for all the hogging that we were doing....

By the end of the day we had consumed 1kg Oranges,1 kg apples and 1 kg Chikoos plus 4 glass juice.

When i reached home, my maid had preapred 5 Roti's for me as she was not aware of my latest mania.
I told my roommate that i have to starve so i won't be able to have those Rotis.
We could not throw those rotis so next morning i got up and went in search of a black Cow.
I had to feed her those 5 Rotis. :) 

Again it was for A Healthier Me....

PS: I am into 2nd day of our Starvation week.Would let you know about how far it goes . :)

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Sometimes HE Wins.....Sometimes WE Lose

We: Well you joined IBM ,then why did you leave it?
He: Hmmm...It was huge. It was the company that was big,not me. I was getting lost.It was a big fish.

We: So  you mean Identity is more important to you than brand name?
He: Yes absolutely.Its natural also.You want your work to be recognized.You want yourself to be somebody.

We: That's Interesting....So you joined a startup in Chandigarh? How did you find the small fish?
He: Yeah i joined the small startup,enjoyed it for sometime.But again i was not doing something meaningful with my life.
I was not doing what i wanted to do.

We: You mean small fish was also not tasty?
He: [Laughs] It was for sometime,but yes not tasty enough to be had for life.

We: So you quit again...and that too in the mid of the worst recession of 50 years?
He: Yes i did..and that was because i didn't want to waste my coming 50 years doing something which is just not me.

We:  You Quit the big fish,you quit the small fish.Now would you try the mid sized fish?
He: No..i'll quit having fish.[Smiles]

We: What are you plans now?
He: Nothing ...i just want to go home,i want to go to my village.Find my passions.I want to know who i am?
I want to learn .I want to question what i have read, i want to confirm my beliefs.I want to study.

We: ........but why do you need to do that?What kind of job will you get after doing that sort of stuff?
He: It's not about job,You do a job for only 8 hours a day.These actions are to figure out what i do the other 16 hours,and gradually increasing those 16 hours and decresing the 8 hours.

We: Hmmm Interesting stuff  but You said that you would be studying further? Are you preparing for higher studies?
He: May be yes...It has to fascinate me and if it does It doesn't matter if it's higher study or lower study.It's not about reading hi-fi stuff.I think i need to clear a lot of basic stuff as well.If needed i'll study 8th standard books.

We: Ok...So now that you agree .What are you preparing for? MBA or MTech ?
He: [Laughs]MBA or Mtech.Well you make it sound a very close call....I just don't understand how you can juxtapose both these degrees? I would have loved it if you would have asked me about my interests and then figured out the possible options for me.Are these two degrees synonymous to higher studies for you?

We: No No got me wrong.I was just giving you the most obvious options.
He: They are obvious because none of us has ever questioned their obviousity.Infact most of us have never tried to question ourselves that if i want to do an MBA ,what would i like to manage. If i am an engineer what would i like to engineer,It's like whatever branch i get according to my rank.I'll engineer India that way.

We:  You mean the whole of India is going wrong?
He: Well no .. i just said that India is not going right. See i'll give you an example.One of my friends managed some pathetic grades in college and as a result he was not placed. Now if you see he is in total turmoil.He didn't get "the single thing"(job) for which he went to the college.So He asked his parents as what can he do now?
Parents suggest why doesn't he go for an MBA.
Now Please tell me that a person who has not been able to manage himself how can we expect him to somehow manage the Businesses.

I mean it's ridiculous.

We: That was a very good point but...MBA/M.Tech is an necessity these days.
He: Yes i agree ...If only you know what you want to manage or else they are as necessary as the Xth and the XIIth results.Does someone ask you about your hindi marks in 10th.Things which we don't have seem fascinating till we achieve them.

We: You mean to say Education done till now was worthless for you?
He: I feel cheated yar...why was i told that moral science is an optional subject and Integration is compulsory for me to learn?
everyday i feel that i am using moral education much much more than i am using integration.Moral Values define me ,integration doesn't.

We: .... but all of your friends are doing there jobs,won't you feel left out on the corporate experience.You have already gone behind by 6 months in corporate world experience.
He: Hmmmm Life is a race. right?....Well i think you are also from the same school of thought. Experiencing pain in meaningless work is relevant or getting experienced in meaningful work.
I am not here to defeat someone else.I'll create my own track.

I m learning and i am learning everyday 
moreover i am learning ,i m not being taught.

We : .........but where are you going?What is the destination?
He: I am enjoying each and every day...i have found my passions and i don't know when i'll be successful but i also believe that success is not some place to reach.
It is a road and this road is always under construction.
One thing that i am sure about is that my road doesn't ever intersect with your road so you don't need to worry about me winning or you losing.

We: You winning or me losing...??!!  I lose in either case.
He: Oh is it.... [Smiles]

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Phone Number

I don't know how many of you dream of having a standing ovation after a speech in front of 2000+ people.
I do....
...and i also know that even if you don't dream of it, you won't mind receiving it.

but this dream has a anti version also ...
What if people just don't get my point?
What if i get Boos ,thumbs downs and a lot of middle fingers?
What if people are giving me the widest possible yawns or
looking at there watches
or seem to be bored to death during my speech?

I fear the anti version a lot and i know i have to keep working on my communication skills to remove Anti from my Dream.

I want to test my comm skills in real world but without feeling any pressure,
I don't want to do it in front of people who would be meeting me frequently.

So i decided i won't try my comm skills with my friends,family members,office colleagues etc..
I know that doesn't leave me with much options to try but story takes a twist here....

I travel quite frequently from Delhi to Chandigarh in Shatabadi Express and it's a 4 hour journey.In this journey you tend to meet a variety of people.Just to categorize you can meet Aunties,Uncles,Girls or Boys.

Now i have to start a communication with whatever category that is sitting with me...
This communication has a lot of benefits like
1)You are going to get real world feedback,it's not like rehearsing in front of the mirror.
2)You don't know the person, even if you bore him and even if he lets you know of your exceptional boring skills.
It would be over in 4 hours and not even a single person would come to know about your fatal comm skills.

Alrite ,now what does one talk in the first meeting and that too without irritating the other guy??
It mostly depends on the person sitting with you.
If you want I have got a few time tested,battle hardened thumb rules for you..

If its a Aunty Ji- Talk about her kids,what do they do ?What class are they in? Tell her how much the children need to study to make it big in life.Tell her how much hardwork you used to put in when you were her children's age.(Make up some huge and scary numbers like 18 hours a day).

If Its Uncle Ji-  Talk about politics or about the deplorable state of India,India according to them is a huge mess and nothing can be done here.They'll tell you about how tough the worldy affairs are and how you need to be strong enough to cope up with this cruel world.

If its a girl need to be real careful.Pick some neutral topic like...Baba Raamdev or may be Big Boss .Don't get technical or preachy,it's a big turn off..

If it's a guy...just ignore.(A guy will most of the times debate you to prove you wrong and strive to be the alpha male.So its a time wastage.)

Alrite so now you have some idea of how to initiate the talk,

Try and be genuine in your questions,counter argumnets and the facts that you provide.
When he is all ears and you are sure that he is all yours.... listening to whatever you are saying .
Somehow start the speech that you have prepared for that 2000 plus audience.
Damn the context of what you were talking earlier.Just put in the speech .
Try and engage him for the duration of your narrative.

It should end in 30 minutes or so.
Watch his reaction when you will tell you how you performed?

If he is awe struck, seems as if he wants to stand up and clap and if he asks for your phone number....

you have done it my friend :).
He'll shake hands totally stunned and give you a thumbs up. You rock.

However if towards the end of the journey he is acting to be sleeping or reading a novel and his body language is pleading you to stop. You didn't rock :(. It was the anti-standing-ovationary response.
In latter case Just rewind and analyse what went wrong? What turned him off?
Don't feel disheartened ......

just try and do well on your way back from Chandigarh to Delhi. :)
Do this religiously to and fro on every trip of yours....

Don't stop till someone asks you for your phone number ....