December 29, 2007

Christmas 2007

Christmas Evening with Friends & Family...


November 28, 2007

Arz kiya hai kisi employee ne...

Appraisal hote hain.........
Disappointment ka sama hota hai... ....
Aise mausam mein hi to ATTRITION jawan hota hai.......
Dil ki khunnas HUM jabaan se nahi kehte... ....
Ye fasana to resignation se bayan hota hai........

Forwarded by a friend: Nishant Verma

(The content above may be published earlier in other works. Please report objectionable content to: manohr@gmail.com)

November 16, 2007

Waqt Nahin!


Waqt Nahi!

This is just superb.  Every line of it speaks tons of truth about our present condition.  Can we not attempt to come out of this terrible situation.



"
WAQT NAHI "

Har khushi Hai Logon Ke Daman Mein,
Par Ek Hansi Ke Liye Waqt Nahi.
Din Raat Daudti Duniya Mein,
Zindagi Ke Liye Hi Waqt Nahi.

Maa Ki Loree Ka Ehsaas To Hai,
Par Maa Ko Maa Kehne Ka Waqt Nahi.
Saare Rishton Ko To Hum Maar Chuke,
Ab Unhe Dafnane Ka Bhi Waqt Nahi.


Saare Naam Mobile Mein Hain,
Par Dosti Ke Liye Waqt Nahi.
Gairon Ki Kya Baat Karen,
Jab Apno Ke Liye Hi Waqt Nahi.

Aankhon Me Hai Neend Badee,
Par Sone Ka Waqt Nahi.
Dil Hai Ghamon Se Bhara Hua,
Par Rone Ka Bhi Waqt Nahi.

Paison ki Daud Me Aise Daude,
Ki Thakne ka Bhi Waqt Nahi.
Paraye Ehsason Ki Kya Kadr Karein,
Jab Apane Sapno Ke Liye Hi Waqt Nahi.

Tu Hi Bata E Zindagi,
Iss Zindagi Ka Kya Hoga,
Ki Har Pal Marne Walon Ko,
Jeene Ke Liye Bhi Waqt Nahi.......







 

"Always keep smiling and be happy. Life is too small to complain." 
 
An e-mail forward on a HR e-Group by MAYUR MARU

October 27, 2007

Hello, is this a bloody sport?

Team dynamics can make team work a bloody sport when individual successes become more important than team success.

Joining for dinner with her colleagues, Ashmita wasn’t at all excited for any chat. She’s been thinking all day that her colleagues were playing a spoil sport. She couldn’t understand why?

Soon, her team leader picked up the conversation to give and take feedback about team members. To her surprise, Ashmita realized that all the time she was upset about her colleagues, she was the one at fault. Though she immediately apologized and requested feedback, she couldn’t help recollecting all the things she did against the team because she thought the others were wrong.

It’s something that we would call a bloody sport. If you must’ve seen a bull-fighting game (pic attached), you know what a bloody sport is. Either the bull gores the matador, or the matador jabs the bull with his sword. There’s only one survivor in the game. Look at the contrasting picture of the Rugby game. It’s a team of people enabling a single person to make the goal.

Does that make you say, “That’s a team!” Yes, from the bottom of our heart, we all know that a team has to have a single objective, work as one body, and complement each others’ weaknesses. But, we fail miserably. Reasons, if we have to analyze are more personal than interpersonal.

This is no thesis about teamwork, but, here are some useful tips for each of us to remember.
  1. Team success means Individual success, not vice-versa
  2. The least of designated member is as fundamental as the most skilled member for the team’s success
  3. Before forming any opinion about another, talk it out with them.
  4. Uphold team spirit at all times, If you can contribute in any way, contribute positive energy only
  5. Working in a team is not a bloody sport, it’s a healing game.
  6. Don’t compete with each other, join hands to compete against another
  7. Say it often to each other, “You are a good thing,”
As much a rotten apple can spoil the whole basket, a medicine pill can heal a body too.

Choose your role!

With inputs from Deepak Mehra.

October 10, 2007

Everybody needs an ear

"A spark of light for your interest... gives you many reasons to work hard..."

This was a 'status of mind' message a colleague of mine had put up after a 10 minute of talk last evening. Given that this colleague-friend was experiencing turbulent times in his career, all he needed was an ear to hear him out at the least.

As an HR professional, I always remind myself what Prof. A. Venkat Raman (Reader, FMS) used to emphasize during college days... HR stands for Human Relations. As a Christian ethic, I was always taught that we need to have a burden for others (primarily for salvation, not limiting to that, of course). Dale Carnegie's "How to win friends and influence people" further reinforced the concept of using the principle even in business and work-lives too. That's a contradictory statement I made, cos when we talk of HR (human relations) it surpasses work and business to touch lives, and they actually do. The effort while initiated for business purposes, yields mutual benefits, to both the company and the executive.

But there are perils of this HR practice of getting genuinely interested in people. As Carnegie warns too... when you get genuinely interested in others, you'll be welcome anywhere, BUT, do not expect ANYTHING in return. That's where the catch is -- you're not supposed to expect anything. In raw terms, it means, you aren't gonna get anything for your efforts.

Among the 6 points listed by Dale, the First is - Become Genuinely interested in other people; which becomes a foundation for the other five... without this, I believe, any relationship is an empty exercise of hypocrisy over one another.

October 9, 2007

Status messages or State of mind messages?


"A little spark of light for your interest... gives you many reasons to work hard"

That's what one of my junior colleagues had put as his status message on Google talk! It's interesting to observe that these messages convey more than status and are more widely and increasingly used to convey one's 'state of mind' or some 'life messages' which are useful to everyone. Another contact on my Gtalk! list uses the status message to communicate his location, 'Oxford, UK' for example.

Given that many people do not merely copy quotes from internet and in fact write personal learnings from experiences, it becomes a very good channel to share life lessons, and what's more, people intently read status messages. The status messages are often so interesting, that in my company, I've started a column "Status message of the week" in our official newsletter.

But then what conveys the status of availability? Ah! leave it to those green, orange and red buttons!

September 20, 2007

Lagaan Vasooli

India loves 'superfluous stirring of emotions'

I woke up to this news headline yesterday on a Hindi news channel 'Lagaan Vasooli', and no, it was not about Income tax department. The channel was covering the story of Indian cricket team's flickering victory in the 20-20 World cup series against England. Given that 'lagaan' was a term used during the British reign in India for taxes, I felt the usage of term was very conspicuous and egregious.

Not the first time though, that something like this is being done, such incitement can be very often observed in the speeches of the species called Indian politicians, who incite religious and cultural sentiments over rational and economical issues to muster strength for personal reasons and vested interests. Consider for example the latest 'Setusamudram project', which for all non-issue based reasons has drawn attention at the hoo-ha of some protesters and the eventually admitted mistake of government officials. Papers have the drama that followed.

So long as we live in the past, its shame and glory, guess we have a little future to envision.

Ganesha wasn't destined to Glory

How would you like to have a god lie at your feet hapless, helpless?

You sure can see vivid images of a god lying desecrated and helpless at the mercy of 'his' creation on this blog. It brings back to my mind the age-old question over which perhaps many people gave life and also took lives. Should idol worship be banned?

Ganesha Chaturthi comes every year, and every year, and the markets are pullulating with idols, small ones, medium-sized, and humongous ones which make news. All of them are gods, being readied for worship and eventually drowned (I'd rather say desecrated). Though it creates a lot of pollution in our water bodies, a more poorer sight emerges after that when the desecrated (handicapped) idols are taken out and thrown as garbage.

And then, there are those religious policemen, who call for mass-destruction of public property when they find some idol brought down or desecrated by some miscreant which break into full-fledged riots.

Well, if those idols are gods, people better take care, and if they're not, they better not take notice, period.

September 3, 2007

Is the Cross too Heavy???

Oh.. Before you go through, please note that these graphics may / may not be copyrighted. The use of these on my blog is purely for non-commercial purposes and intended not to misuse. Pl report if this is illegal at manohr@gmail.com

Don't miss the poem at the end.

Whatever your cross,

whatever your pain,

there will always be sunshine,

after the rain ....

Perhaps you may stumble,

perhaps even fall,

But God's always ready,

To answer your call ...

He knows every heartache,

sees every tear,

A word from His lips,

can calm every fear ...

Your sorrows may linger,

throughout the night,

But suddenly vanish,

in dawn's early light ...

The Savior is waiting,

somewhere above,

To give you His grace,

and send you His love...

Whatever your cross,

whatever your pain,

"God always sends rainbows ....

after the rain ... "


To get out of difficulty, one must usually go through it !


Forwarded by my friend: Vikram Singh Parmar

August 21, 2007

Longing to break free!

Breaking free is not a one time act at all! Guess it's a repeatable process, cos the moment you're free from something, another one/issue is ready to get you!

It was India's independence on the August 15, and I remember wishing a colleague, "Hope you'll enjoy freedom personally from all of life's tensions and weariness." And, right now, when I am in a fix, longing to break free, I can't help remembering that I've felt like this many times before, and there has been some sorta solution always. While I do understand that this moment, too, shall pass away, guess its a reaffirmation to myself that that every dark cloud has a silver lining, and every night makes way for the light.

Hmm... but, what I can think of, right now, is actress Konkana Sen, how in the movie Life in a Metro, she shouts/ screams at the top of her voice to let out her anger/ frustration at the top of her voice on that building.

But, pity! There's no such buildings around my place in Delhi... and I can't afford to do that!

(This was written before 2 days of actual posting...)

When someone else controls your life...

Eevrybody likes to control... but, have you ever been controlled? Have an idea of what it's like?


Picture this: You're sitting in the driver seat of your car, but you realize that the steering wheel just doesn't respond to your directions, but it is controlled externally by someonelse. You're trying hard to take it to a direction you want to, but, it's just not possible... How would you feel?


Well, it's really very tiring mentally when you lose control over whatever's happening in your life. Cos, you just indulge in investigating petty details of life trying to find the missing clue, or what went wrong. Isn't it? That's when ambiguity strikes your life... and it's like a high-intensity earthquake which shatters and scatters everything around... It's in those moments that life issues do not let you take control of them, and demand absolute conformity... makes your head go absolute bonkers.


I remember writing "So, who's managing you now-a-days," a month or two ago, but that's only about career. I guess all working executives will concur with it when I say, that in the current lifestyles there's a very very very thin line dividing personal & work life, and in fact, for both the sides fall into each others premises leaving no distinction at all.


Right now, I'm just talking out... to this computer screen, on this blog... cos I seem to have a fascination for this friend without a face and odd little name...

August 13, 2007

Trainee's attitude alone can result in learning

There are no bad students, there are only bad teachers...

It's like saying that there are no bad bosses, only incompetent employees. Sounds ridiculous, eh? Given my bounded rationality and the recent experiences with a few students, I believe, the person who made that statement that there are no bad students was either not exposed to modern education, didn't have the slightest idea of what the education system might become, or how the student-relations might evolve to be.

I firmly believe that when it comes to training or teaching to a certain group of individuals, the two critical factors that can render the training dysfunctional or make it achieve it's objectives are--
  • Trainee / Student Attitudes
  • Readiness of Students / Trainee to learn (Conscious learning to overcome knowledge/skill gap or enhance one's knowledge)
A very recent instance, while teaching about Issues in Training & Development, I found that I could make example of the very students who were part of some crowd of 50 BBA Students at one of the private business schools. It was because the students were not sitting in the classroom (after rescheduling of the class post four-month break) to get some learning, but for a variety of reasons which include--
  1. It's hot outside the classroom, so to get some cool air-conditioning,
  2. Less attendance leads to penalties
  3. Need to, pass exams, so we'll get some questions to be answered from the teacher (Bottomline, get Questions & Answers basically)
  4. They're waiting for someone, so, classroom is a better place to wait.
Though these few are not the only reasons, they're worth mentioning cos they're the most common ones. It is really disturbing to witness the attitudes of students when they claim that they're not here to learn nothing, but to just vomit the text book and lecture content without any understanding in their answer sheets. And a few, just do the course so as to be branded as MBA for marriage purposes, phew!

Given the consistency of these experiences over the past 3-4 years, I don't see this picture of student attitudes getting any better given the thought bombs that are exploding in the current Indian society. It's just a hope that there are only bad teachers, and no bad students... (Personally, I do believe that there are the worst category of teachers too...)

PS: This little piece of writing was with no intention to blame students alone... This is just one side of the story, there are many threads attached to this...

August 6, 2007

Is your company breeding incompetence?

Process leaders are not being trained well enough in the fast growing sectors like IT, ITeS, Retail, Banking among others...

It’s the same talk again, that India Inc. is hiring big-time. And, to train and manage the new recruits, there are the process leaders, who either have inadequate experience and expertise – or are just plain incompetent. As the bottom of the organizational pyramid continues to broaden its base, the woes of bottom-line executives too have risen… but this time, it is a question of their immediate process leaders’ competence in managing work. Ashish, a new recruit with a multinational bank in India is disgruntled and constantly bitches about his branch manager who keeps shirking his responsibilities on to him and adding to his burden. On top of it, he is also discontented with his process leader who keeps pestering him with requests of assistance over conceptual matters related to processes, or with complaints of his non-cooperation.

The company, which says that passion to perform is one of its core values, probably hasn’t got its performance managers trained enough. That’s not the case with just one organization. All you have to do is have a casual talk with any executive of a (xyz) company – as a customer or as an acquaintance – and you’ll get know it all.

But why is it all happening in the first place? The reason: intense restructuring due to market demands have led companies to go on a frenzied expansion (and recruitment) drive. To balance the organizational structure, companies need to create proportionate senior positions as well. “What’s happening now is that companies are filling these positions up on an ad-hoc basis. So executives with certain experience (regardless of training and managerial abilities) are randomly being picked up for promotions (internal or designated),” says an HR manager with a technology MNC. These newly promoted seniors take up higher responsibilities with new personnel coming in and mentor them.

Such practices, a blasphemy to management philosophies, cannot earn companies any respect in the business world, and such issues can only be resolved if organizations give enough time to plan, allocate and train personnel to meet the market demands. If that’s too much, here’s the classic excuse and most workable solution: Discount it as yet another common problem with organizations on a robust growth path…

Happy Friendship Day to All...

What if we don't meet up every day, and do stuff together?
We're still friends..




(This is a forward, if you feel these images are not to be put online, pl inform)

August 2, 2007

How about learning from movies?

Seems like employees can learn to work better by watching movies...

If you thought movies were just entertainment and a reason to feel good, corporate trainers want you to rethink! What’s common to Forrest Gump,Saving Private Ryan, and Cinderella Man, apart from being Academy award winners? Aren’t they all awe-inspiring and extremely motivating? Capitalising on these qualities of movies, trainers and management consultancies are increasingly finding use of movies as an effective tool for learning in corporate India. Other than the ones mentioned above, My Fair Lady, Bridge on the River Kwai, Executive Decision, and Scent of a Woman are others, which are used for various training modules.

Movies are no more pure indulgence as what sectarians might say... they are finding a place in the toolkit of various HR trainers to be used for imparting learning effectively. They are no more all about big biz and bigger bucks for directors and producers alone! A spokesperson for Genesis Events India, which conducts such workshops, says, “In the workshop, participants view snippets from popular Hollywood films, examine, discuss, and then evaluate the learning that they gather, and then assess the possible application of that learning to the everyday problems that they face at work.” Well, the methodology of these training sessions might be poles apart from conventional ones, but the point is the learning from these sessions is retained well. And so, the concept seems to be working well; after all, who does not want to have loads of learning entertainment?

Wait, what about desi movies? Lagaan has already found widespread use for training in businesses and B-schools as an exemplary leadership model. Then, there’s Munnabhai MBBS that is being ‘viewed’ for training on motivation. Similarly, Iqbal is being used for personal development, Ek Ruka Hua Faisla for negotiation skills... and the list goes on. Says an executive, “It’s like we’re back in school, learning lessons out of stories.”

So, next time you happen to watch some exciting movie, be sure that you get the moral of the story: It may be a corporate lesson!

July 28, 2007

Dera Guru gets stung by IndiaTV, Tehelka

To forgive and be forgiven is in our hands

The latest from India TV's sting operations was on Dera Guru Gurmeet Ram Raheem Singh (GRRS). A video was telecast today morning showing Gurmeet's driver Khatta Singh explaining the spiritual leader's sinful acts.

Tipped off by this sting, a spokesperson of the opposition, on the same news channel, heaped much more allegations that the Dera guru 'called himself a god'. He continued giving his account of investigations being carried out, even as the channel presented a letter written by a victim (woman raped by Dera chief Gurmeet Ram Raheem Singh) to the Prime Minister of India detailing the shady works of the spiritual leader.

I'm not giving out news, but what I'd like to point out, was how the opposition leader was in such fury, filled with extreme hate, attacking the Dera Guru pointing that the hypocrite deserved severe punishment and death. Not just that, but he even went on to say, that this Dera Guru was not to be forgiven at any cost, and the thought of forgiving him itself was not acceptable AT ALL.

The most obscure / puzzling fact was that the opposition spokesperson said that, anyone who thinks of forgiving or talks of forgiving the Dera Guru GRSS should also be given the same punishment as deserved by the Dera Guru.

That suddenly reminded me of what I was taught, that to forgive and to be forgiven is in your hands. Jesus said, at the point of his death, looking down from his cross at the people who persecuted him, "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do." And he instructed us to forgive.... and that forgiveness has no conditions no matter what.

Well, a clarification at that point is that, 'forgiveness' or 'deserving forgiveness' (from God) is subject to repentance. However, 'forgiving' or 'to forgive' is in our will alone, and the love we share for a fellow being.

That reminds me of the tolerance levels, as a citizen of secular and democratic India we claim to have, and what we actually display in our thoughts, words and actions...

Just sharing a thought...

Link to India TV article: http://www.indiatvnews.com/level2_tmpl3.aspx?path=0/132
Link to Dera Sacha Sauda Organization: http://www.derasachasauda.in/

July 24, 2007

The power of a W-O-R-D

“Words are Pregnant!” Yes, do not be puzzled, that’s what I heard, and do believe after observing.

It was when I was getting ready to move to office, that I saw this preacher Bishop TD Jakes, uttering those words, and here’s the complete text…

“Words are pregnant,” he said, “They carry life within them. When you say something, it gets planted in someone’s conscience (just like a seed thrown on the ground). It gets planted and takes root, grows up and becomes a full grown tree bearing fruit it's kind.”

Remarkable! But, what does it mean? Take an example of a school teacher and student. If the teacher is displeased with student’s performance and starts scolding him, lets say, she calls him “Useless”, or “Dumbo”. Now, that word has got planted in his conscience that his teacher perceives him as a ‘Useless’ student in the class. Depending on the student’s psyche, he may either hear it and get it out of his head, or keep it within, and validate it every time he interacts with someone that most would find him useless.

This thought process may hinder him to explore new ideas ,as he’s under constant fear of making a mistake and of being perceived ‘useless’. The reinforcement of the thought only makes it worse.

Yes, now there are questions…
Q1: The student should understand the spirit in which the comment was made.
A: Well, many things ‘should’ be like they ‘should’ be, but not all are. The world is not in pure black and white; as the cliché goes, there are (too many) of gray. And so, not everyone thinks only positively and not everyone things absolute negatively.

Eventually, the student, if he takes the comment in a positive way, he shall work to overcome his weakness. Or, the student may dwell in those words of condemnation, and eventually become actually an useless being.

Q2. Is that all?
A: No, that isn’t all. There’s the responsibility of the teacher, or speaker. People who are in influential positions, whether or not by virtue of authority must be very mindful of the words they speak.

But, why? It is their influence which doubles the volume of impact in either creating positivity or negativity out of their their words.

The point of discussion about the power of words is because of the manner in which we might take each other for granted. We don’t question when we need to, nor do we appreciate when it is required. And our pregnant words do not deliver. And when issues accumulate, we hurt each other with our words not knowing what the baby is going to be - good or bad, kindness or hatred, positivity or negativity?

Next time you’re about to say something that matters, just remember that your words are pregnant.

July 22, 2007

The Dark things & Deathly hallows!

The sorcery and conjuring of JK Rowling's Harry Potter series that’s gripping the fascination of young and adult minds equally may be the explosion of the occult into our lives in a very subtle way…

‘Wingardium Leviosa’, ‘Expecto Petronam’, ‘Crucio’, ‘Stupefy’, these intriguing words are much beyond what they sound like. Pronounced at the whip of a wand, they can conjure extraordinary feats and unleash supernatural powers. The changes in culture and thoughts over the years is simply unfathomable should one draw a comparative analysis between the witches of Salem who were hunted, tortured and burnt alive as against the way the same phenomenon is cheerfully welcomed in our homes today.

Common audience is latching on to wizardry, sorcery, potions, spells, tarots, crystal gazing, which were all regarded as dark and eerie things. We (yes, including me), are getting addicted to mysticism. As I watched Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, and such movies which made use of Sorcery to overcome ‘dark lords’, I could only think and feel how close and real Hal Lindsey’s, ‘Satan is Alive, and well on Planet Earth’ (written way back in 1972, which spoke a great deal of mystic practices and the popularity of psychic powers and sorcery in the western world) is becoming.

It’s a great sign of warning to us, as I believe that the powers of Satan are subtly but accelerating to seep into the mindsets of all. Kids across the world fave these shady movies, and as a parent in India was talking to a news channel cheerfully as she got her first copy of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, “Me and my daughter keep fighting over who’s a bigger fan of Potter,” the attraction it gathers is simply consuming.

Personally, the images of Harry Potter and lord Voldemort have inhabited my mind too since a few years, and I’m sure they’ll continue to do so for still many more years to come. Thanks to the series of books written over ten years (1997 - 2007) and the movie series (last movie of the series is perhaps set to release in 2010) that’s following it which will keep bringing the mystic imagination alive.

Cinema is art, and art wields a great influence on the generation, the same is applicable if one looks back at how pop music, rock music, modern art, yoga etc., have influenced the masses, and today, as we know are an integral part of our lives. Similarly, sorcery too, may become a part of our lives, and we may not find anything wrong with it in a few years. Why wait for some time, tarot reading for example, another mystic art is already being practiced widely; if there are any disagreements, check out on people read their horoscopes in the newspapers or some magazines. You can be they’re addicted to the occult.

Sounds very simple, but it should really make us think how strange these mystic practices have become a part of our lives.

The trap of sweet and friendly words…


My professor, Sumit Chaudhuri always warned me about people who talked sweet. “I’m very afraid of such people. I’d rather have someone criticizing me upfront, rather than praising and flattering me,” he used to say. But, what’s the problem with that I used to wonder. It so happens many times, that people say what they do not mean, and such words have hidden motives, either to influence you to do or not to do some act; to extract some information or wield some power over you. Such people can only be dealt with, if you have a clear presence of mind, and be aware of yourself completely so you know if someone’s complimenting you, or simply fooling around!

June 27, 2007

Does God really talk to us?

"Today if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts." Psalms 95:7-8

A young man had been to Wednesday night Bible Study. The Pastor had shared about listening to God and obeying the Lord's voice. The young man couldn't help but wonder, "Does God still speak to people?"

After service he went out with some friends for coffee and pie and they discussed the message. Several different ones talked about how God had led them in different ways.

It was about ten o'clock when the young man started driving home. Sitting in his car, he just began to pray, "God...If you still speak to people, speak to me. I will listen. I will do my best to obey."

As he drove down the main street of his town, he had the strangest thought to stop and buy a gallon of milk. He shook his head and said out loud, "God is that you?" He didn't get a reply and started on toward home.

But again, the thought, buy a gallon of milk. The young man thought about Samuel and how he didn't recognize the voice of God, and how little Samuel ran to Eli. "Okay, God, in case that is you, I will buy the milk." It didn't seem like too hard a test of obedience. He could always use
the milk. He stopped and purchased the gallon of milk and started off toward home.

As he passed Seventh Street, he again felt the urge," Turn Down that street." This is crazy he thought and drove on past the intersection. Again, he felt that he should turn down Seventh Street. At the next intersection, he turned back and headed down Seventh. Half jokingly, he said out loud, "Okay, God, I will".

He drove several blocks, when suddenly, he felt like he should stop. He pulled over to the curb and looked around. He was in a semi commercial area of town. It wasn't the best but it wasn't the worst of neighborhoods either. The businesses were closed and most of the houses looked dark like the people were already in bed.

Again, he sensed something, "Go and give the milk to the people in the house across the street." The young man looked at the house. It was dark and it looked like the people were either gone or they were already asleep. He started to open the door and then sat back in the car seat.

"Lord, this is insane. Those people are asleep and if I wake them up, they are going to be mad and I will look stupid." Again, he felt like he should go and give the milk.

Finally, he opened the door, "Okay God, if this is you, I will go to the door and I will give them the milk. If you want me to look like a crazy person, okay. I want to be obedient. I guess that will count for something but if they don't answer right away, I am out of here."

He walked across the street and rang the bell. He could hear some noise inside. A man's voice yelled out, "Who is it? What do you want?" Then the door opened before the young man could get away.

The man was standing there in his jeans and T-shirt. He looked like he just got out of bed. He had a strange look on his face and he didn't seem too happy to have some stranger standing on his doorstep. "What is it?"

The young man thrust out the gallon of milk, "Here, I brought this to you." The man took the milk and rushed down a hallway.

Then from down the hall came a woman carrying the milk toward the kitchen. The man was following her holding a baby. The baby was crying. The man had tears streaming down his face.

The man began speaking and half crying, "We were just praying. We had some big bills this month and we ran out of money. We didn't have any milk for our baby. I was just praying and asking God to show me how to get some milk."

His wife in the kitchen yelled out, "I asked him to send an Angel with some. Are you an Angel?"

The young man reached into his wallet and pulled out all the money he had on him and put in the man's hand. He turned and walked back toward his car and the tears were streaming down his face.

He knew that God still answers prayers. Sometimes it's the simplest things that God asks us to do, if we are obedient to what He's asking,we will to be able to hear his voice more clear than ever. Please listen, and obey! It will bless you (and the world). Phil 4:13

Jesus said, "If you are ashamed of me, I will be ashamed of you before my Father."

You might want to share this with someone else... Remember, "Today if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts." Psalms 95:7-8

Note: This was a email forward received from Bro. Maynard

June 25, 2007

So, who’s managing you now-a-days?

Well, well, well, that’s quite a thought to ponder over for a little while. We all were managed by our parents when we were kids. Similarly, our school and college life was managed by our teachers and professors respectively.

Of course, when we have had a little freedom we’ve all done some mistakes and learned lessons the hard way.

But what of our career and daily operational issues in work life? Are you the Captain of your career cruise, or, some one else is?

On a positive note this week, let’s reflect on our attitude towards our work, career and life. Ask yourself the following questions—

  1. Am I giving my 100% to my work?
  2. Am I serious about progressive learning on the job?
  3. Am I asking intelligent questions to my seniors?
  4. How does my boss rate my work and the quality of it?
  5. How do my seniors perceive me as an individual?
  6. Have I ever asked for feedback from my boss, seniors or colleagues?
  7. Am I so involved with my work that I am ignoring my work relationships?
  8. Am I so busy making friends and chatting that I’m ignoring my work?
  9. Am I proud of at least 3 contributions to my company?
  10. With the current situation, where do I expect myself to be in the next year?

It’s a dog-eat-dog world, and, in a highly dynamic sector like ours, it is an imperative that we’re abreast with the current market scenario, and continuously improve ourselves.

Make your choice today, do you want to manage yourself? Or are you content with others managing you.

Have a productive week ahead!

June 18, 2007

Friends With / Without Faces and odd little names

It speaks straight to our hearts... the Internet generation!!!

We sit and we type,
And we stare at our screens,
We all have to wonder,
What this possibly means.

With our mouse's we roam,
Through the rooms in a maze,
Looking for something or someone,
As we sit in a daze.

We chat with each other,
We type all our woes,
Small groups we do form,
And gang up on our foes.

We wait for somebody,
To type out our name,
We want recognition,
But it's always the same.

We give kisses and hugs,
And sometimes we flirt,
In MIRC we chat deeply,
And reveal why we hurt.

We do form friendships
But why we don't know,
But some of these friendships,
Will flourish and grow.

Why it is on the screen,
We can be so bold,
Telling our secrets,
That have never been told.

Why is it we share,
The thoughts in our mind,
With those we can't see,
As though we were blind.

The answer is simple,
It's as clear as a bell.
We all have our problems,
And need someone to tell.

We can't tell "real" people,
But tell someone we must,
So we turn on the computer,
And to those we can trust.

Even though it is crazy,
The truth still remains,
They are Friends Without Faces,
and odd little names.

I've received this wonderful stuff on a e-mail forward by my friend Manu N. Should you know the author of this, please email, or leave a comment, so the person may be acknowledged here...

June 13, 2007

We don't need golden words...

What we need is some seeds -- words of life

The preacher was meeting the congregation after the service was over, and people started greeting. "Lovely thoughts you shared," said a brother, when another approached "Very good message brother." After a while, a lady approached to compliment him yet again, "Golden words you have spoken." Gosh! Those are few delightful moments for the preacher.

That reminds me of many experiences, where I've seen and heard individuals comment about the preachers message, scrutinizing it and passing judgments. We start of with, "the way I see it..." or "the way I interpret it...", and there you have some varied opinions. Whatever happened to the 'one accord', in which the early disciples used to be in!

I hope most of us have read and understood what the Sadducees and Pharisees used to do. That's what we've exactly become now. It's no surprise though, that we have 600+ (figure might not be exact) denominations only among protestants, and so, we have varied doctrines and philosophies, formation of cults, which only multiply every day. And then, there are counter-teachings about the new-age doctrines.

I am reminded of Luke chapter 8, where Jesus compared the word of God to a seed. While the gap in comparison and Jesus' comparison with respect to 'golden words', and 'seed' is quite visible, what's to be pondered over is - 'Why do we preach'? To impress people or to get complimented? To get more viewers, more donations? Well, I agree that our motives might be mostly right in line with the word of God, but are we packaging it too much with stories, experiences, humour that we're robbing off God's word its spirit and essence?

To adapt the sowers parable in today's scenario, people come, listen, criticize / appreciate, forget... (there's a flip side to this, which is a whole big issue in itself). Whatever the case, maybe be it's time to introspect if we're trying to frame golden words for people to accept, or we're actually sowing some seeds...




We don't need any golden words, we need word-seeds that can sprout and bear some fruit.

June 11, 2007

Priceless words, worthless people

For such, even words seem to loose their value!

It's those first few days when you've fallen in love, and all those words lovers exchange... Man... Priceless! There's no count of the 'I love you's,' Mushy smiles, 'Honey's', 'Darling's', ah! and all those luvy-duvy conversations...

And then, such songs seem to make perfect sense...

'Nothing's gonna change my love for you, (Geroge Benson)
'I'm everything I am, because you loved me' (OST, Up Close and Personal), for instance, or
'Everything I do, I do it for you...' (OST, Robinhood)

Wow, that's a ready made service to express your feelings, isn't it, just play the tape, and pass that love-filled smile, and whisper - 'that's for you, dear.' Easy way to winning hearts!

But, then, look what happens when a lover's got ditched, dumped rather? The love turns sour when people are left closest to tears... Ha! Most of us have been through that... Dean Sherman, in his 'Love, Sex and Relationships' writes, ask an elderly person about their first love, and they'll fondly tell you stories of the same. . No one forgets their first love, and so, no one forgets what left them heart-broken.

And then there are friends, and dear ones who come over, sympathize, empathize... and extend help to get over the 'ditcher', say kind words... and then you realize, that the person neither 'was' or 'is' worth all those words, nor your tears... and whatever time you even spend on thinking about them. 'Worthless', is the word.

Yet, we see such songs, filled with meaning and love... Huh! Priceless words, worthless people, indeed!

Having said that, undoubtedly, there are a very few of those who deserve such words...

June 7, 2007

Pathetic political leadership

What choice to we have instead?

It's election time once again, and there you are, discussing in groups... "Who do you think will win this elections?" All politicians are the same..." and the same common talk sipping tea... Undoubtedly, you'll see the same old faces of politicians splashed everywhere in the media, and should you come across a new one to vote for, you'd not know completely if this one's a good one or not.

There are messages by the election commission, encouraging every eligible citizen to go and caste their votes, and to make their decision. But, are people really that free to make their decision? Do we have the choice to actually not vote for anyone... cos, you might know how filthy are the acts of your local politicians, and how sincerely they do live up to their promises. Many for that matter, can even be called a disease for the community they exist in.

While I was thinking about this issue... It's a great coincidence have this mail in my Inbox today, which is given below, talking of exercising your complete choice--

THE E-MAIL>>
Did you know that there is a system in our constitution, as per the 1969 act, in section "49-O" that a person can go to the polling booth, confirm his identity, get his finger marked and convey the presiding election officer that he doesn't want to vote anyone !!!!

Yes, such a feature is available, but obviously these seemingly notorious leaders have never disclosed it. This is called "49-O".

Why should you go and say "I VOTE NOBODY"... because, in a ward, if a candidate wins, say by 123 votes, and that particular ward has received "49-O" votes more than 123, then that polling will be cancelled and will have to be re-polled. Not only that, but the candidature of the contestants will be removed and they cannot contest the re-polling, since people had already expressed their decision on them.

This would bring fear into parties and hence look for genuine candidates for their parties for election. This would change the way, of our whole political system... it is seemingly surprising why, and election commission has not revealed such a feature to the public.... please spread this news to as many as you know... Seems to be a wonderful weapon against corrupt parties in India... show your power, expressing your desire not to vote anybody, is even more powerful than voting... so don't miss your chance. So either vote, or vote not to vote (vote 49-O) and pass this info on...
<<END OF E-MAIL!

This is a forwarded e-mail, and I do not vouche for it's authenticity. More information is available on Wikipedia at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/49-O. In case, this is not entirely true, you may drop in a mail or comment so that appropriate changes may be done.

June 6, 2007

Who made them No.1?

Silly claims to fame can get a bad name

Just came across yet another No.1 XYZ yesterday, after lots of No.1 Website, No.1 Business, No. 1 College, and No. 1 ABC… It looks so naïve when you start getting into the details. So, who’s given that title—‘No.1 Company’? NO ONE! It’s like listing your best qualities, and then calling yourself, ‘God, I’m the best’. Such things are figuratively compared to ‘a frog in a well’ (at my native). The frog, because of its limitations thinks— this is my world, and I’m the best. LOL!

Given that we’re now living in a global village, guess companies and individuals must grow beyond these gimmicks of ‘No.1’, ‘world-class’, Best this, Best that… whatever!

I must admit that there have been many other companies to have written about, but this specific one is what triggered this—

Raj Travels had aired a television ad, calling themselves the No.1 in tours… so I Google’d ‘Raj Tours’ to get a warning that this site may be harmful to your computer - http://www.google.co.in/interstitial?url=http://www.raj-travels.com/...and then, the company profile – specifies that… “The CHANGE had taken place and Raj Travels began its journey to become the Number 1 Outbound Tour Operator in the country.” There are no dates to when, how they “revolutionized the entire travel industry in a short span of time.” Nothing more than a typical attention drawing, PR exercise.

The company has rights.

Every individual has those rights, but all such folks need to take a break, think it over – whose yardstick matters when you claim such (treacherous towards ignorant) frivolous ‘best’ titles.

For the audience, it’s time to do some reality check.

June 4, 2007

Whose money is it anyway?

Who can thrive on chaos, and make money out of destruction?

Can you think of someone who can make money on someone's sheer existence? Whether you did or not, I guess you want to include the ‘Media companies’ to that list. Ever wondered how the Media industry has evolved? I am no journalist, but I’m sure they must be teaching some stuff in college.

A rich and famous person gets divorced and her life is in turmoil, media has news. A kid has fallen in a manhole, it’s sensational. Someone has got killed, the family is emotionally devastated, and media wants quotes, news… Whatever is the sanctity of this profession, it baffles me to look at various newspapers, magazines and realize that they’re trying to make money even out of the dying and billions of others who are either happy or weeping o’er their tragic lives (both rich and poor). When nations are waging wars, media houses are concerned about making money about it. Oh, and there’s who wanna argue about its usefulness—Media plays an important role, it creates awareness and blah blah blah…

No, let’s not discount the role of all the journalists risking their lives to bring news of wars, people at remote locations, get shot and killed for nothing! My journo friend Surabhi wouldn’t want me to sound so very negative… But unfortunately, that’s the greatest paradox today… journalists at the bottom keep running pillar to post finding and breaking stories and file them, but unfortunately, the decision of what goes for print, and what doesn’t is not theirs to execute. Pity, when honest stories might sometimes be tampered with to give them a unwanted facelift, and change the whole meaning of it. All the sweat, blood and efforts… flushed at one decision of the editor.

Having said that, do we really believe that today’s media is only about revealing facts and breaking stories… I believe those values have got buried long ago till people started minting money out of it through public relations, advertisements, add to that powerful people wielding their influence over the media. The situation today is… people don’t even know if what they get to know is true… “You never know,” remarks one of my associates. “Nevertheless,” says another one, “students get benefited, as their communication skills get honed, depending on what media they’re reading/ watching.”

Television channels are interested in TRP ratings, so we have all the unnecessary ‘Flash news’, foolish sensational stories; and the print media's more interested in readership. So, some newspapers in India go the extent of, I quote one of my professors ‘making their supplements equal to pornographic books thrown at your doorstep early in the morning’. Huh! Some heights there! What about all the researches about Top brands, Top Celebrities, Top This, Top That… Some Bull**** they’ve got to offer there. What else, they also have a lots of buyers to it!!! Let me share a secret (if it actually is) — You can be clear of all doubts that these ratings and rankings given out by almost all publishers are (at least a little) fudged.

Says Joy Suchitra, a research consultant, “Refer to the recent madness on television about celebrity weddings like that of Abhi-Ash… the media went bonkers overdoing their coverage… wonder how many days media ignored the rest of important happenings to cover that private affair.”

There’s still a great trickery adopted by media which not everyone discusses openly. The presentation of truth and lies on the same platter, it’s like the Da Vinci Code recipe; you give few facts, add loads of fiction, and bingo, you've created an illusive story… So media houses have sections of handpicked letters to the editor, wanted, unwanted, deliberated and forceful stories, articles and other messages to create the packages called magazines, newspapers, tabloids, and of course, not to miss all those innovative titles given by various news channels. What more, they’re a hit!!!

Tampering, Fudging, Fraud… they’re all so common in the media… I wonder if we could do a sting operation on key media personnel. Cos, it’s become a vicious cycle, controller of media, the ministry of information, politics, the other authorities, and people in power join hands to make a complete mockery of it (of course, there are exceptions always)… But one thing is certain—they’ll never cease to cash-in the most bizarre event or people, ‘cos that’s where they make their big bucks from. Making money out of everything, anything! Coming to serious issues that affect you, me, the society at large, this question still remains unanswered—will we ever know the truth?

If the media industry is just evolving now in India, wonder what’s the state of media industry in developed and underdeveloped nations is like!

May 31, 2007

When your present shapes your past...

Can your present truly change your past?

I can already hear resounding 'No'. Well, even I couldn't believe that till I came across this really really famous author (thanks to all his ghost-writers). Guess what it took him to be famous? A rich dad willing to let flow his booty, and lots of emotionally-intelligent fools who could be bought for 'less than' their moneys worth, and you know... the rest just adds up...

It is possible for everyone to change their past, provided there were enough time machines (ha ha). Unfortunately there are none. But this one has his way, cos he can write whatever **** he'd like to, and make believe the masses. Now, need we discuss the masses' intelligence? Let it be...

So, because you're now an influential person (or their son), you could present yourself as the then brightest kid in town, the revolutionary ideator, most evolved teenager (though a failure actually) thinking and analyzing strategies of country leaders, world economy... What more, people won't ask a thing, cos you're famous and influential... Guess what people see is just what they believe...

Here's what my friend Surabhi Agarwal, a young journo says: "It's never too late to start over again, if you screwed up your past, sex-up the present"

The bottomline... "There are better ways to sex-up things which you screwed up earlier..."

Ah! another one.. "If you try to change your past, which you can't, you might be screwing up things further!"

May 29, 2007

Missed Calls…

…there are many, but is there a log?

We all have missed calls sometime or the other… oh, yeah, that mobile phone keeps a log of those missed calls too… But what of those calls you miss, of subtle voices that reach out to you? Do you have a log of it?

It was raining almost every evening during the last two weeks in Delhi, and then it occurred to me, when I was driving home alone on NH-10, that I saw someone completely drenched asking for a lift… I just ignored, who wants to wet their car for a stranger? And that too taking in strangers on a highway, when you’re alone, is it safe? Huh, why bother so much! Just ignore. I thought I missed a call?!

I recall a year back, when I was driving from Faridabad with my friend to Delhi, that we saw a big stone blocking our way, the road was empty and we drove past; but, we stopped by agreeing that we should remove it, lest a mishap take place. Guess that call was an answered call!?!

Well, I believe each of us do receive such calls to answer everyday. Children, adults and crippled begging when you’re waiting for the traffic-light turn green or when you’re shopping at a market place, a friend asking ‘can you do me a favor?’, or sometimes our own family members are silently seeking attention…

Do we have a log of those missed calls? If we had, I’m sure it would count more than the days of our lives… Guess we should start working on reducing those hereafter?

May 15, 2007

I'd rather lose to his winning ways...

I’ve recently had a job shift. It wasn’t that easy a process, as it took me two months of careful consideration of that move; add to it another three months of the process of interviews, elusiveness, communication and exit from the previous job.

I had been praying throughout about this decision, but haven’t received the Lord’s direction explicitly. And then, I took a leap of faith, giving up my thoughts and my strategies about successful living as I started to attend interviews. I waited and watched as mystery unfolded into news of rejection once, and news of job offers twice, which added to further confusion. As I waited on the Lord, the circumstances had zeroed-in on one offer.

People who know me closely know what I had to endure during those times, but, here's what God reinforced as he took me through this experience— “To submit to His will, take a step in faith, and he’ll establish the way, according to His will.”

Here’s something I read in my daily reading… “When a man’s ways please the Lord, He makes even his enemies to be at peace with him.” And, that's exactly what I had experienced... Him, making the crooked paths straight

So, if you're at some crossroad at any point in life... Just give into his winning ways!

March 9, 2007

"Making a Difference: Lessons from Daily Life"

Many a times, we're caught up introspecting and telling ourselves, that we want to make some difference, but we end up just thinking or just talking and then regretting!

Many, often fail because they look at their desired personality and struggle to be the same, but even then, they can't make it! Most probably, because, we tend to overlook the "process"! What happened to the fox which desired to eat the grapes that were too high for it to reach? It couldn't get it! So, it called them sour grapes and walked away...

The very same thing, invariably, without a change happens to most of us. The difference here, is that though we do not have the limitations of foxes, but are blessed with a mind that can comprehend issues and device ways to achieve our set targets.

One of my dearest friend was recently arguing about the matters (theories, concepts and practices) written in books (Guess he read something on Possibility Thinking). He felt that it all was "deception". He said it was all idealistic; nothing like that happens in the world, and whether the author followed it or not, no one knew! He further argues..."If it was only for someone to write, they can write much more, 'cos it's their mind at work, and they can say a lot many other things, but if it was to be enacted, it was next to impossible."

I think many of us, if not now, at some point of time must have thought: "This thing is too much!" "I can't do it!" "It takes too much to do it!" and many other reasons. Friends, we need to understand that if we want to make a difference that actually personifies the difference we want to bring about, there's much more to pay for! Or, we'll be just like that fox who would think that the grapes once he aspired for desperately are sour!

If you really want to make a difference, check out the next post...

February 12, 2007

"Lovest thou me?"

How many of us are genuinely interested in the people we relate with? Do we really care for our friends?

A new commandment I give unto you "Love one another, as I have loved you..." To love someone therefore, is not a request, or a choice, but a command to be obeyed. "Do you love me?" a question asked by Jesus who gave that commandment, was a thought on my mind for quite some time.

For a Christian, Love ought to be a top priority in life. A great responsibility rests on a Christian. Every born-again, and a believer knows that he ought to love all, as commanded. Yet how many of us, truly love our friends, and people we relate to, in the sanctity of the word? Refer to I Corinthians 13, if you want to know what love actually is.

It is surprising sometimes, how you do somethings (e.g., loving) over a period of time, and they become a routine than being meaningful and stop having that initial charismatic effect on you... Nevertheless, today, I woke up to an sms, that gave me news of one of my school friend's father's death. As much dismay that death causes, it always puts me in a pensive mood. It was then, that the Spirit spoke to me and inspired to share this small message.

I was reminded of Simon Peter, St. Peter, whom Jesus questioned: "Do you love me?", and not once, He did that thrice!!! And, naturally, Peter was grieved at that. Because he walked so close with Jesus, he was led by the Spirit, acknowledged Jesus as Son of God, and he belonged to Jesus' very close group "Peter, James and John." Yet, Jesus chose to ask him, Simon Peter. Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these?"

To that, Peter answered: "Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee."
And Jesus replied: "Feed my sheep."

All three times, Jesus replied "Feed my sheep..." eventually said "Follow me!"

I have made many good friends and I profess to love them. I also guess you must have too. But what is the limit of our love? Till we're together? Till we help and are of some use to each other? Jesus said "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lays down his life for his friends." And he demonstrated his love for us all, and they that believe in Him." Perhaps that's the limit we ought to have: To the end of the world, Till death parts you.

"Love" has lost its sanctity. The culture is such now, that deeper words are used to express lighter and fleeting feelings and emotions. How much do we mean "I love you" expressed so often with friends or near ones when it costs us dear? There was never a situation perhaps. But Jesus wants us to focus on our friends' spiritual needs. He instructed "fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell."

How many of us are genuinely interested in the people we relate with? Do we really care for our friends? Do we love? Isn't there more to friendship and loving a person beyond talking, playing, partying and making them other source of entertainment? Do you only care for the person's physical needs? Would you not care for the soul?


What would you tell Jesus if He asked you "Lovest thou me (with reasoning, intentional, spiritual devotion, as one loves the Father) more than (anything material or spiritual) these? If you love Jesus, are you feeding His sheep? Do you really love Him? Are you following Him? Do you really love Him? Are you spending time with him? Are you spending any little time on the Father's business? Do you know what the Father's business is? Remember what Jesus said? "I have come to seek and save that is lost."

Everyday, you are spending so much time with His lost sheep. Many of your friends are, isn't it? Do you have any intention, how much Jesus is missing them? Are you spending any time in getting back His lost sheep to Him? Have you ever shared Jesus with them? Or, are you afraid that you'll be caught converting someone? What we should be knowing is that we can never be successful in conversion, simply because we cannot. We can just share Christ, it is Spirit who will inspire or convict the person, who will then choose to transform or reject the message.

Are you doing your job? Are you actually loving your friends? Something I read yesterday: The Church of England criticised Madonna for using a crucifix in her promotional tour and stated: "Is Madonna prepared to take on everything else that goes with wearing a crown of thorns?" Jesus is not asking you to put a crown of thorns and get crucified on the cross. He just wants you to share the love that you've experienced with others. Is that too much for you?

Jesus is asking you: "Lovest thou me above all these?" If your answer is yes, he says, "Feed my sheep."

As always I just hope this message would mean any good to atleast one. I pray that the Lord bless us with a renewed mind and spirit, and that we grow unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.

Keep doing the Father's business!