Posts filed under ‘General’

Results and Beyond

On 7th August, 1883 when Indian National Congress was 8 years old, Shri Aurobindo has said, “We cannot afford to raise any institution to the rank of a fetish. To do so would be simply to become the slaves of our own machinery.

Now, when the congress is 124 years old I would repeat the same. There’s a reason why I recalled this famous saying of Shri Aurobindo. I was watching the election outcomes on Saturday when I heard the 5th generation of Nehru-Gandhi, Mr. Rahul Gandhi, talking to reporters. He was praising the efforts of Advani. He was saying, at 80+ years of age Advani fought with great determination. He also said, “Great Job Done Mr. Advani”. A person, who has served this country for more than 60 years, is getting a pat on his back, from a 5 years old politician, just because he belongs to a particular family, a particular institution. That’s the irony of Indian politics. We must ask ourselves, are we matured enough for a democratic system like this?

This result opens up many dimensions which we must analyze. The first point, which I have already raised, is much bigger than our normal assumption. Why we always go back to a particular family? Can’t we produce a good leader amongst more than 10 billions of our population? Do we still have the slave mentality?

 

parliament  indian_youth

 

The second point is talking about Indian vision. We all agree to the fact that as a country India has its own set of problems and to solve them we need our own solutions. We have a different culture, different tradition, and different demography and we need a different strategy to tackle them. We can’t run our country on the same model US, UK or any other country is following. We need a political system which addresses an “India-centric-vision”. When our people will understand “who we are”? When we will realize that there’s more to think than few emotional issues? When we would start talking rationally?

 

L K Advani  manmohan_sonia_3-300x197

 

Next item to be discussed is what kind of politics we want in our country? I can see more than 100 secular parties which ask for vote because they are secular. It looks strange to me. When that is the only criteria to ask vote then why we need 100+ parties. We can have just one secular party? If there’s any other difference, let’s talk about them? Indian politics is revolving around this secular and communal philosophy which looks absurd to me.  We need parties with vision and not parties with religion. Let’s talk about issues like connecting cities, connecting rivers and connecting people. I get few arguments, if we have issues why don’t we talk on them. Yes, I agree we have issues but there’s no need to politicize them. There are other platforms to tackle those issues.

There are few good outcomes also from this election. Declination of caste politics from north India, especially from UP and Bihar, is one of them. The defeat of almost all “bahubalis” is a great thing for Indian politics. Though there are few wrong traditions also popping up, like, emergence of MNS. Mumbai went through a bad phase last year. People came forward and chanted the national anthem in one voice but few of them voted for a hard-core regional force. We made some good progress in this election but there’s a long way to go. I hope we’ll have more awareness towards this. I hope we’ll get better maturity from voters in coming future. I hope we would realize our real issues and our real leaders.

May 18, 2009 at 7:45 am 5 comments

A Trip to Mathura – Via Kanpur

You must have heard that man proposes and God disposes but in our case God didn’t dispose but he came up with a better plan for us. At least that’s what we all thought once we went through our entire journey. We were not able to achieve what we wanted to achieve but still we were more than happy with what we got. Instead of talking more on suspense let’s continue with our story.

We were invited to attend our colleague’s marriage in Kanpur. This was a 3-4 days trip so we decided to visit Aagra and Bharatpur along with the marriage. All planned, all set to go.  We started our journey from Kolkata in Rajdhani and we left it in Kanpur at early morning of 1st May 2009. We were 6 people in the group, though we travelled with 7 in the train. 7th person was the one who was getting married and I’ll exclude him from the story as he was in dreams (till Kanpur only). One of our trip-mate was from Kanpur and he was more than excited to invite all of us to his home city, of course with lots of boosting about Kanpur and with a promise to be a great host in the city. Let’s name him Mr. P. initially he was the one who was excited and dragged everybody to join his excitement. Mr. P was all game for this trip and that was visible through his action.


All set to go on the way to agra


Ok, so we reached Kanpur at early morning. We boarded a hotel, got fresh and went to Mr. P’s home. After taking a homely breakfast we started our trip to Aagra and Bharatpur. This time we were travelling with a Chevrolet Tavera. In few minutes we were running on Kanpur Aagra highway. This time we got to know about the specialties of Mr. B, another trip-mate. He was friends to few but not to all so it was great to have him in our group. He is a great story teller and his one-liners in between his stories add lots of spices, of course to add more taste.  You may forget his stories but not his one liner, there are just brilliant. Ok, let’s move back to our story. As the Tavera was rolling on the highway we started a discussion on “Love”. Initially it was to get the views of each individual, just to understand whether Mr. P was ever in love or it was something else.  It started with definition but went for around 1 hour and it included many rounds. We got many terms to support / define love. Terms were like care, devotion, dedication and even trade. Let’s not go into details of this talk and move further.

@ dhaba @ dhaba

After few rounds of hot and cold talks we wanted to have some food. We started looking for some decent looking “dhaba”. Around 70-80 KM before Aagra we got one. We ordered for typical Punjabi food, the butter roti, daal taadka, daal fry and mix veg. The food was awesome. The hot summer day couldn’t stop us to take a heavy lunch there. The temperature was roaring at 46-47 degree so we didn’t stop too long at that place, quickly grabbed our places in Tavera which started running back on the highway. We reached Aagra at around 4.30 PM but we didn’t stop. It was Friday so Taj was closed. We decided to go Bharatpur and spend the night there. We thought to catch up the Taj next morning. When we were moving towards Bharatpur we saw a board “Mathura – 56 KM”. Mr. M, our other trip-mate, popped up the idea to go Mathura instead of Bharatpur. We had few rounds of internal talks / arguments and finally we decided to go Mathura. It was a dynamic plan and none of us had thought on this before. Our Tavera started running on Aagra-Mathura highway now. Let’s have a quick introduction of Mr. M. He is a decent and matured looking gentleman though his talks can beat teenagers. He too has stories in his pocket but they are mainly covered with some decent wrappers. The trip saw some of his wrapped talks which were refreshing at times.

At around 5.30 PM we were in Mathura. We had no plans with us but we’re all game to explore the place.

Trip Continues…

May 6, 2009 at 6:42 am 8 comments

A Little Extra

Human mind is always tickling to achieve more. It sees many dreams. It craves to grab many things. A student wants to top in the class while a racer wants to be the first in the race. A CEO wants to take his company at numero uno position while a boxer wants to win gold in the Olympics. One question which prompts every mind is “how to achieve all this?” There are several “mantras” to succeed. Many a times these are situational but there’s one mantra which applies everywhere. It’s “A-Little-Extra”. It’s the difference between achievers and followers.

A Little Extra

You may like to read Sir Walter Raleigh’s story who applied this principle and grabbed the first position in his class. Or, you may like to see the video on 212 degree approach where just one extra degree heat makes water so powerful. The point is simple, “a-little-extra” always makes difference. It separates the good from the great. It gives you an edge. It helps you to achieve that first spot and it helps to remain at top. You just need to put a little extra effort in whatever you do. If you are a student and you study for 5 hours a day, make it 6 hours a day now onwards. If you are a professional who works 8 hours a day, make it 9 hours from now. If you are a blogger who writes 10 blogs in a month, make it 15 going forward. You should always remember that the difference between mediocrity and greatness is a little extra effort.

Now, the choice is yours. You want to make a difference like a human being or you want to just creep like an insect for your entire life. The difference is just “a-little-extra”.

Very recently, I gave my project 3 speech on this subject  in Salt Lake Toastmasters Club.

April 22, 2009 at 3:28 pm 2 comments

A Dig @ Indian Politics

A CD has created ripples in Indian politics. We all are talking about that, some words which are spoken by Varun Gandhi (not proved or authorized yet). We all know that words mentioned or said in that CD is not right, it’s wrong. But the question is why so much of media hype? Why everybody is trying to single out Varun Gandhi? What happened to Sajjan Kumar? What happened to Jagdish Titler, Sanjay Dutt, Abu Aajmi, Raj Thackrey, Pappu Yadav, Mh. Shahabuddin, Mh. Taslimuddin and many such politicians?

Is it because he has a surname called “Gandhi”? If that’s the case, are we still living in democracy? The point is, the entire political system in India needs a radical and thoughtful change.

I didn’t want to make any comment on this as there’s no point highlighting something which has no significance as far as masses of India is concerned. Normal Indians are still bothered about food, clothes and shelter regardless of religion, region and caste. But the politics or rather say politicians have something else in mind. They want to divert issues. They know that they have no better issues than hate speeches, religion and caste. They know that a normal Indian is very emotional, very sensitive. They know that their faces are colored when take bath in religious and regional streams and their tainted faces are grimly hidden behind those colors.

In theory, we are the largest democracy of the world, but, in practical, we are still not a mature democracy. We are largest because we have people and we are immature because we have uneducated, unaware, unconcerned people. When I say uneducated I mean the education which injects a nationalistic approach and not the education which teaches A, B, C, D.

When we want to understand India, and the Indian politics in whole, we should ask few questions to ourselves.

  • Who are we?
  • Before 1947, what was the concept of country, nation and Rashtra?
  • What happened after 1947?
  • Why Pakistan, India, Bangladesh and why not a single Bharat?
  • Why Mahatma Gandhi was killed?
  • What went behind injecting “secular” word in Indian constitution?
  • Why reservation, what purpose it solves and how long it will go?

Before we talk on politics in today’s India, we should ask few questions to ourselves.

  • What is Congress and why the name Congress?
  • Why BJP is communal and why parties like SP, BSP, and RJD secular?
  • Are we satisfied with issues like religion, region, and caste or we need issues like Economic Policies, Foreign Policies, Rural Development, Infrastructure, Security and Prosperity?
  • We need regular politicians or we need part time politicians?
  • We need national parties or regional parties?
  • Do we need some changes in our political system?

Thinking on these questions will certainly give a better understanding of Indian Politics and it would surely have a long term impact. Let’s learn from our past and look for a bright future. Let’s enjoy the fruits of democracy and let’s throw unnecessary elements out of this system.

March 24, 2009 at 6:07 am Leave a comment

A Travelogue for Mandarmoni – Explore, Dream, Discover

A traveler without observation is a bird without wings. When I got to know about our office trip, the traveler inside me inculcated the observer within me, and then came the writer. I observed few people, few incidents, and few contexts and then wrote this Travelogue.  I tried to cover almost everything interesting which this trip had to offer, though there are chances that I might have missed something. I hope those who were on trip will add missing parts in the comment section.

Let’s see the background first. The speculation about an official trip was in air from last couple of weeks. I could hear people whispering softly about where we may go and on which date. The anxiety  came to an end when we got a form to fill as who would be coming for this trip, got another form as who would be eating veg and who would be eating non-veg. Once the trip date, place, food got confirmed the next round of talks started about planning for trip. The trip was planned for a night stay at Mandarmoni, a virgin beach at Indian East Cost, a place adjacent to Bay of Bengal. It is said, when anxious, uneasy and bad thoughts come, you should go to the sea, and the sea drowns them out with its great wide sounds, cleanses you with its noise and imposes a rhythm upon everything in you that is bewildered and confused. Ok, so if we go by this saying the plan for a beach was great.  Next was the individual planning for the trip? It included, identifying likeminded groups, activities (for obvious reasons), shopping for fun @ beach (no need to mention what was there in the shopping cart), etc.

@ Office Reception  All set for the trip

Saturday 06th March 2009, we started our trip at 9.00 AM from Kolkata. The first humorous tiff occurred when few back benchers were allotted seats in front row. With some resistance and some humor, people grabbed their respective places. The food packets were also kept there at front and the journey started with distribution of Kolkata’s famous “Sondesh”. It’s a sweet, distinctively famous in Kolkata. The next item in food was “Samosha” (the national snacks) and then “Jilebi” (the national sweet). We also had “puri-sabji” packets for breakfast. The plan was to take it when the bus will stop at Kola Ghat though few people were in little hurry. They tried opening food packets while the bus was on run and the outcome was some yellow-blue colored jeanses of some front-sitters.  Little trouble mixed with some spontaneous chuckles created little noise in the bus. Next few minutes went peaceful and the bus stopped at Kola Ghat . There was a bridge which was under maintenance. Only one side of that bridge was open hence we had to wait for ½ hrs for our turn to come. We took our breakfast there and moved again. The atmosphere in bus was quite low so the enthusiastic lot sitting at front tried to play music. It was a lovely song though very few were able to understand it. People started whispering again. I was asked, “Which language is this”? Actually, the song was in “Bhojpuri,” and was not understood by majority sitting in the bus.  After playing 3 songs, which was like a torture for many, finally the music was stopped.
Next on plate was a joke session and most of the jokes were mainly from “purvanchal (Eastern UP and western Bihar) region”. I’m not sure whether everybody was able to listen them but people sitting in front rows were surely enjoying that. It was a great humorous session which lasted for around 30-45 minutes and then we got trapped in a Traffic Jam again. It was hot & humid inside bus so we went to take shelter in a nearby Dhaba. Well, it was not only a shelter but for few, it came as an opportunity to cool down a little bit. They got a beer from that Dhaba, and it was shared “ghoont-by-ghoont” if not drop-by-drop amongst all cool-seekers. Bus was on run again. This time a session on s/w processes, project management methodologies started and the discussion covered, PMI, CMM, CMMi, ISO, Kaizen, ITIL, Prince, Waterfall, Spiral.. Ok, it was basically everything from theoretical to practical and after this interesting knowledge-talk we reached Chaulkhola, a place where our bus was supposed to stop. We got down and cabs from our resort came to pick us from there. The resort was around 14 KM from that place. It was a narrow road passing through local villages, but this time we were fortunate enough that our cab had some good old Hindi songs. When I say GOOD, it was good at least for me. Some love songs of late 80s especially from Kumar Sanu were good enough to create a nice feel of the trip. Very soon our cabs were running on beach. Yes, the cabs had to run around 5-6 KM on that beach to reach the resort. It’s the longest beach of Asia, a fact which we didn’t know before reaching here.  

On the way to Mandarmoni  The Beach

We reached there at around 3.00 PM. Our booking was done in “The Sana Beach”. It was a beautiful beach resort. Rooms got allocated. We got fresh and then walked towards the cafeteria. Food was good and we had a good lunch. The next plan was to go on Beach and have some fun with waves. We changed the dresses and the beach dress got ON for most of us. At around 4.00 PM we reached there on the beach. Initially people were little reluctant to go inside but soon everybody was there inside sea, playing with small tides. There was no any safety guard so we were making sure not to cross the danger line.  We had a football with us though we were using that as a handball in the sea. It was great facing those waves, rising against them, floating with them. Amongst this entire fun one of our guys felt like some pinch at his elbow. He said, “I felt like some small creature coming towards me and biting me at my hand”. His pinch attracted many sea-experts and we heard several theories, like, “it might be a jelly fish”, “It might be a sea snake” and the most humorous was, “it might be a Shark”. I further added, “we never know, if might be a blue whale”. Ok, let me make it clear, I’m not a sea-expert (you might have guessed it by my above statement). I just wanted to take the theories to an extreme.

Inside Sea  The Game was ON

Sunset  Some Fun

After hours of fun with waves we were tired and we rushed towards our resort. After taking shower with normal water, we relaxed little bit. Till the time the night had already started. We went towards sea for an evening walk. The sea was looking awesome at that time. After few minutes of walk we sat in a nearby “tapri”.  We were facing the air blowing out from the sea and we ordered few chips, biscuits, and chai, spent around an hour there and then walked back to our resort.  The preparation for “bonfire” and drink party was ON and some people were busy with Badminton. I preferred to stay at badminton court. We started playing knock-out badminton matches. I was playing it after years and to my great surprise I had not forgotten the rhythm. Went for playing a double (in fact half mixed double) match and after trailing at 11-6 we won it by 15-12. Great, now it was the time to stop the play and move towards bonfire. The drink party was ON, I tried to get some snacks for me but I was failed to make a way for me there. Along with the drink, the “Sher-o-Shayaari” session also started. We heard some beautiful humorous “shayaaris” of Kumar Vishwas. The singing performances were next in the queue. We heard some nice Hindi-Bangla songs. In between “Sher-o-Shayaari” and “singing” the party mood was rising like anything. There came the music, loud music and the place near bonfire area became a mini-disc. Public started moving, rolling on the grass. We saw some very nice dance steps and I would like to talk about few of them. We had dance steps for each and every professional. Yes, the dance steps were based on what you do in your real life in the office. MBAs were asked to do “debit”, “credit”, “turn-overdance. Creative guys were asked to do “brush-up”, “erase” and “move-around” dance and some of the guys were asked to perform “snake-dance”, not sure what was the reason for that. We had limited number of dance songs and there was no DJ, so, I was playing a role of Part-Time DJ, faced some shouting on the song selection but I knew I have no option to play. I was just trying to continue the music so that people can get something to dance on. We also had some slow solo-dance performances, especially from some very conscious people. Lack of quality music was definitely a concern though some brilliant dance performances entertained people, and it was something to remember for years.

Strange face of Fire  Cat @ Bonfire

The evening had enough to make people tired; we had our dinner at around 12.30 AM. Some of us wanted to go for a walk again to sea-shore. I preferred to fall asleep. Missed the beauty of sea in the night and also missed the story to write.

Sun under Palm  Group Photo

Beautiful Sunrise  Red Crab

Before hitting the bed we planned to wake up early and capture the first glimpse of sun-rise in the morning. We knew that Indian East Cost offer an excellent sun rise scenery. I took the responsibility of waking up a group of guys in the morning, set the alarm for 5.00 AM and went in sleep. I hope you are not expecting a story from my dreams. Anyways, there wasn’t any dream to talk about. As planned I woke up at 5.00, disturbed few others and went for a morning walk on the beach. The sea shore was on its best in the morning. The shade of blue and green sea was looking beautiful. The fresh air was amazing. We were just enjoying that excellent atmosphere. We captured few snaps of that awesome sunrise. We also checked out some red crabs which were wandering in hundreds there.  Our morning walk was of around 6 KM and we reached till a river delta, though not sure which river was it. We walked back to our resort and there the live cricket match between India and NZ was on. Sachin and Yuvraj were hammering NZ bowlers. We forgot tiredness and stuck to the TV set.  Saw entire Indian inning and then went for the bath. Our trip was coming to an end. We took breakfast and started our journey back to Kolkata.

Everybody was tired, so, this time in bus, instead of any fun, people preferred just relaxing at their respective seats. Most of them were taking some naps. We stopped again at Kola Ghat, did lunch and boarded back in the bus to Kolkata. This time we had managed to get a music CD of old Hindi songs. The music was ON and people were taking naps in between. It was comparatively peaceful. We reached Kolkata at 5.00 PM and our official trip came to an END

March 9, 2009 at 11:51 am 5 comments

~~ Flowers – Spread Happiness ~~

In the midst of global conflict, global warming, global recession, I learnt to spread the message of global peace and global love from some lovely flowers. These colorful flowers are always ready to spread happiness and love. They cheer our heart and create a feel good atmosphere.  

My latest fascination towards nature photography, especially flower photography has the same inspiration. I want to capture the beauty of a flower in different colors and in different forms. They show, how we can organize different things to make a complete product, which is great to see and nice to feel. Perhaps, this could be a big lesson for those who don’t believe in diversified existence. In last few days, I clicked many snaps of some lovely flowers. I have uploaded those flowers at many places on my web space; some of them are here too.

LovelyRed  Bunch

Standing Tall  CuteFlower

Let’s gather wisdom from these flowers and let’s learn to spread the happiness in the world. 

February 9, 2009 at 7:23 am 2 comments

New Year Resolution – Time Management

 When we talk about software development, we talk about certain requirements, certain design, technology, coding, testing and implementation. It goes through some process. Software engineers follow these processes to achieve the target. Initially the processes were made for the entire cycle but later people realized that we need process at every level. In 1994, Watts Humphrey wrote a book called “A Discipline for Software Engineering”. There he emphasized on the need for processes for individual software engineer. He named it PSP (Personal Software Process). PSP is a quantified method aimed to the improvement of the quality and productivity of the personal work of individual software engineers.

The PSP philosophy is largely based on reviews at every stage of the development cycle. I would not go into details of all reviews but I would definitely like to talk on the review / self-assessment we do for our TIME. The need for time management grows with our growth as a professional. Let’s talk on few things which we can do to manage our time in a better manner.

To start with we can do few things like preparing a To-Do list. Put some items in the list and prioritize them. Put a deadline also for them. Pick them one by one and finish them. The purpose should be to make that list empty. This is an agile approach which would help us to complete our work on a priority basis. It would also help us to monitor our present and future engagements.

 

todo-timemanagement

To-Do List

Start marking our hourly tasks. Let’s prepare a spreadsheet and mark 14 hours. Start filling “what did we do” for each passing hours. Make it a daily routine to fill this sheet honestly. It would help us to assess our own work. It would also help us to plan our daily work. Each individual has a high-low effort hours when he likes to work more. For me it could be in evening from 16.00-20.00 while for someone else it could be morning 9.00-12.00. This spread sheet will help to divide our work within a day. We may put the high priority task in our high effort hours and so on.   

 

TimeManagement

TimeManagement

Learn to say NO when you feel that you are overloaded with work and there’s no space in your To-Do list. This is important to do justice with your work. Everybody has a limit as how much he can work. Let’s understand our limits and work accordingly.

Let’s keep these three things as our New Year resolution and let’s follow it rigorously. 

December 31, 2008 at 9:49 am 1 comment

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