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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.

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April 22, 2009 at 3:28 pm 2 comments

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

My Valentine’s Day Mail (2008)

Valentine’s Day

Sabki Khushi Ki Chah Karte Hain,
Bus Itna Sa Gunah Karte Hain,
Aaj Phir Unke Intezar Mein Baithe Hain,
Dekhna Hai Yaaro Kab Wo Humein Yaad karte Hain..

To try to write love is to confront the muck of language: that region of hysteria where language is both too much and too little, excessive and impoverished. Still, I tried to write love. I tried to convey that if you have love, you don’t need to have anything else, and if you don’t have it, it doesn’t matter much what else you have.

Sometimes when you look back on a situation, you realize it wasn’t all you thought it was. A beautiful girl walked into your life. You fell in love. Or did you? Maybe it was only a childish infatuation, or maybe just a brief moment of vanity. In any case it becomes a beautiful memory, some moment which you would cherish for your entire life.

If you observe carefully you would find that the greatest weakness of most humans is their hesitancy to tell others how much they love them while they’re still alive. On this special occasion I would like to urge you, please get out of your weakness, open your heart and express your feelings.

Don’t get into deep to understand what love is. Play the music of your heart and listen the lovely composition which is true, pure and untainted by any greedy human mind. I’m saying this because you will find, as you look back upon your life, that the moments when you really lived are the moments when you have done things in the spirit of love.

To love abundantly is to live abundantly, and to love forever is to live forever. And always remember, Real love stories never have endings.

Wish you all a very Happy Valentine’s Day.

With Lots of Love,
Ambuj 🙂

February 14, 2008 at 4:33 am Leave a comment

Meri Aankho Ne Dekha Ek Sapna !!!

Meri aankho ne dekha ek sapna,
Sapne me tha koi apna,

Arzoo thi kuchh sunaane ki,
Unhe hale dil bataane ki,
Kuchh pyar ki, kuchh takraar ki,
Aur kuchh lambe sath bitaane ki,

Woh pal the kuchh khwab bunne ke,
Yadon ke daaman me kuchh nagme sath gaane ke,

Unka ehsaas hi kafi tha dil ki vina me rag bharne ko,
Man ke chaman me phool khilaane ko,
Labo pe muskaan laane ko,
Aur zindagi me rang bharne ko,

Ek pyare pal me,
Aasha ki kiran me,
Humne chhedi ek raag,
Aur suna daala unhe apne dil ka haal,

Humaare dil me thi unke chahat ki madhoshi,
Lekin badle me mili hume unki thandhi khamoshi,

Unki khamoshi humse kuchh keh rahi thi,
Lab khaomosh the, aankhe ishara kar rehi thi,

Isse pehle hum samajh pate un aankho ki bhasha,
Unhone humse doori kar li,

Humne dil ke dard ko sambhala,
Chakchhu ke aanshoo roke,
Woh hume khoob rulate,
Usse pehle humne bhi apni raah badal li,

Raah badalte hi humaari aankh khuli,
Hum sapne se jaage,
Aine me dekha,
To humari aankhe ab bhi nam thi !!!

January 31, 2008 at 5:41 am 2 comments


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