Monday, December 31, 2012

SOMC - 11... From Serenades to Jingles in Goa!

This article is originally written for the ManipalBlog under my weekly column 'Serenade of My City'. It appears here. Visit this site for wonderful articles.   

The Christmas spirit was in the air and the breeze which brushed past me whispered a tune of cheer in my ears. The jingles of happiness tuned me into the atmosphere of the perfect place to be during Christmas…. you guessed it right… GOA! The land of sun, sand, sea and spirit! My serenade began singing the best Christmas songs in my head. It put a whistle on my lips and a hop in my step. I was on cloud nine.

That’s where I was this Christmas, and that’s the reason I couldn’t get to you guys through the Serenade Of My City this Tuesday. Sincere apologies! Christmas is my favorite festival, has always been. The best Christmas is surely the one when it’s winter and better when it snows. Couldn’t ask for it in Goa for sure, so we celebrated it in Goan style… on the beach!!!

There were shacks around, all decorated with beautiful lights. Stars hung everywhere. Looked like the universe had stepped down on earth for a day. Breath taking view everywhere, and the festive atmosphere was there to gobble everybody into it. The churches were illuminated and looked truly heavenly.
There were carols being sung around, people strolling with Santa caps. Parents doing last-minute Santa-shopping for their kids, and all the kids, being good and obedient so that they can get their gifts. Little brats! Festivals like these make me wonder why we do not celebrate each day like it was one.

There is so much happiness in the air. Everybody making merry in the ferry! Times when you feel ‘Everything’s going to be alright!’. Times when you find hope in the most hopeless situation. When you look up at the sky, find fireworks, and you feel like this is the moment you always wanted to live. You feel loved, you feel great, you feel at peace amidst the chaos!
I lived the spirit of this Christmas to the fullest and wished some magic dust in everyone’s life as I let the sand in my hands slip out from the gap between my fingers and felt the water rise to my legs, and then flow back into the sea through the gap in my toes. I took a step back, stared at my footprint in the sand. And at that precise moment, I knew I had made my mark. And then the water came with a roar, and went back wiping all my signs, so silently that maybe if I had not seen it, I would believe if somebody said it never happened!

Wishing you all a very Happy New Year, I sign off. See you all in the new year with new stories singing the serenade of new cities. Until then, Cheers to new beginnings and happy endings!

This article is originally written for the ManipalBlog under my weekly column 'Serenade of My City'. It appears here. Visit this site for wonderful articles. 

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Deep blue ink kisses!


Rustic pages blown
Smell of newly opened book
Deep blue ink kisses 

Rustling to the wind
Another story begins
New heart awakens

Wishing all my fellow bloggers and readers a very Happy New Year. I hope the new book in your life is filled not just with blue, but all the colors you have always wished for. May this year 2013, bring loads of luck and cheer your way and i hope it finds you all in the best of health and spirits. Cheers to a new beginning, a new start!!! :)

This Haiku is written for the Haiku Heights. The prompt for this week is 'NEW'.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Snow shadows' slow dance.


Snow feathers caress 
Warm memories churn feelings
Silent smile escapes 


White haunting daggers
Sharp emotions hide no more
Snow shadows' slow dance

This Haiku is written for the Haiku Heights. The prompt for the week is 'SNOW'.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

SOMC - 10...Always on the MOVE! Literally!

This article is originally written for the ManipalBlog under my weekly column 'Serenade of My City'. It appears here. Visit this site for wonderful articles.  

What is it to own your own vehicle, i did not know! (Except a cycle of course!) But finally my days of waiting and wondering were over yesterday and am now a proud owner of an Activa! Feels so good just to say that, you can only imagine my joy as I rode it for the first time.

My vehicle saga is a long one. There were talks of buying one since 2 years, but never really worked out. But after staying over three months in Pune, I realized the only way to save time and live in this place, is to own a vehicle! And being the city which boasts of the highest number of two wheelers, it was only sensible that I got my own soon because the public transport here is not something you can 
depend on.

Most auto drivers do not agree to a meter and charge a number that pops into their mind that second and every other auto fellow nearby seems to nod his head to it, even without knowing or hearing the price. They do succeed in giving us a lesson on unity though. Sigh! And the bus guys are a bigger disappointment. They do not even stop enough for a person to get on. By the time you manage to read the dusty board with faded paint which indicates the destination and get ready to climb, the bus is gone! And I have found myself wondering, did it even stop???!

The conductors on asking the destination of the bus, look at you like you’ve asked them when they are going to die!!! Otherwise, they look past you, more like look through you, as if you did not exist! I’ve missed so many buses just because I could not figure out where it went!!! And even if I succeeded in doing that, climbing the bus is allowed only from the back door, which the bus driver cannot see and uses his sixth sense to start driving!!! And most of the times, I have a feeling the driver feels no one’s climbing, because he hardly lets the bus stop before hitting the accelerator again. God!

One thing Pune buses have taught me is to climb a running bus. Have gotten used to it. Have also missed and tripped and almost fallen a couple of times which has made me realize how dangerous it is to try to pull a stunt like that, but the question is, can you help it?! I would if I could. The irony is, every entrance of the bus has this ‘DO NOT CLIMB A MOVING BUS’ in Marathi written. What they failed to add is the fact that these buses are always on a move, so do not climb! Then there are those buses which are empty but choose not to stop at the bus stop and pass by as if they’re mocking you. And the buses that stop are the crowded ones!!!

All this to stand sandwiched between men who make sure they make you as uncomfortable as they can handle, making things more difficult than it already is. They wont budge, they wont move and won’t let you pass as well. Even if you have to get down within one or two stops, you are supposed to climb from the back, wiggle your way to the front of the bus and get off from there!!! The challenge is not just getting past weirdos, but also managing to climb down a bus that starts moving even before you’ve alighted. The best time to get off these things are when it stops at a signal, because you can be sure they won’t move till the light turns green!

Well, by now I think I’ve made it clear as to WHY exactly I was so desperate for a vehicle that I could rule!!! One which I could start and stop and move as and when I wanted to without falling off it! I wish public transport was given more attention in a city like this where it’s most needed. There is so much pollution and traffic that good, frequent and regulated transport facilities would be beneficial to the public in more than one way.

Anyway, a good ride availed and there can be no other than me feeling like a free bird now! So singing the serenade of freedom, I take off wishing you guys a beautiful Christmas week. May the spirit be alive, for my next post is gonna be co-incidentally on Christmas Day!!! Until then, wishing you all a happy time!

This article is originally written for the ManipalBlog under my weekly column 'Serenade of My City'. It appears here. Visit this site for wonderful articles.   

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Fixing magic to existence!


Crimson petals blown
In heart's deepest secret wish
Plethora of life

Smiling snowflakes fall
Fix magic to existence
Grinning warm teapot 

This Haiku is written for the Haiku Heights. The prompt for the week is 'WISH'.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Book Review - Wrong Means Right End

Book title :Wrong Means Right End
Author : Varsha Dixit
Published by : Rupa Publications India Pvt. Ltd.

After a failed marriage, Sneha, a single working mom, has no time, or inclination, for love. She resists every matchmaking attempt made by the overzealous Nandini, married to industrialist Aditya. But then the past intrudes in the form of the gorgeous and rich, Nikhil, who brings along Gayatri to break-up her ex-fiancĂ©, Aditya’s marriage. Sneha enlists Nikhil’s help to salvage the situation. But how does she even talk to a man who clearly loathes her? As Nikhil and Sneha try to grapple with their egos and combustible chemistry, love blossoms.

Wrong Means Right End is a sequel to the bestselling novel Right Fit Wrong Shoe, with the same memorable, relatable and engaging characters. It is an exuberant story about love and friendship, filled with surprises and a wicked twist at every turn.

Every love story is different. And this one's too. People support second marriage, and is now a common phenomenon. But not many believe they can fall in love after a failed marriage. The past memories, the hurtful heart shuts tight letting no access to even the possibility of a hint of something comforting and genuine. 

The character of a divorced Sneha, who is a mother of a wonderful little kid Advey and that of divorced Nikhil are the most interesting ones. The tension, the chemistry between these two banks of the river is so intense. Will these banks ever meet is something you should read this book to find out for yourself. The friendship Sneha shares with her best friend Nandini, is so heart-warming that you feel like picking up your phone and abusing 'Kulta', 'Kameeni' to your best pal.

The author, Varsha Dixit does full justice in expressing the anguish and phases these people go through. The characters involved in this novel are those you can relate to in your everyday life. There's surely a face you can attach each character to, which makes you connect to it. The book comes alive with the way the author has described each and every situation, giving little scope to your imagination. Reading this book is like watching a good movie in your head.

Varsha Dixit
Every emotion is covered so beautifully here, that most people experience with the bunch of people they spend maximum time with. There's love, friendship, gossip, jealousy, revenge, pity, gratitude, guilt, kindness, loyalty, anguish, lust, want, need, hunger and what not! True love and true friendship has been dealt with such finesse it only makes you want to read more of it. The sexual tension between Sneha and Nikhil is really something and the author manages to capture your full attention and succeeds in running your imagination wild in a beautiful way. The unexpected roads taken by these people, and the crossroads where they meet and separate again, only to meet at yet another junction is a game you would enjoy being a part of immensely.

Over all, this book was a refreshing read after a long time. The style of writing can be related by the audience which makes it all the better. Grab a copy, i would suggest to all you suckers of romance and friendship before you hear everyone else talking about it! You don't want to be left out now, do you? 

Price : Rs.140
Pages : 311
My Rating : 4 on 5
This review is a part of the Book Reviews Program at Participate now to get free books! 

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

SOMC - 9... Is Happiness your journey or destination?

This article is originally written for the ManipalBlog under my weekly column 'Serenade of My City'. It appears here. Visit this site for wonderful articles. 

This week I’m singing the Serenade of  Happiness and new-found joy. Of meeting old friends, of making new friends, of bonding, of friendships, of love. 

Yes, that’s right! Good things happen when you are ready to accept that it’s OK to be happy in life. I just read a teaching by Sri Sri Ravishankar today. The gist of which is that we always seem to realize reality only when we are sad or drowned in any negative emotions. But it’s just an illusion because happiness is what it is to feel real. Everything else is a fake. Wanting to be happy is our natural instinct. Everything we do is for being happy.

But the problem is that instead of making happiness a journey, we make it our destination. That’s where all of us go wrong. Happiness is in the moment. Not in the past, nor in the future, but in the present. If we concentrate on making our present happy, our past would have been happy and so would be our future, yes?

I realized our minds are somehow tuned these days to a fear of being happy. When we are happy for a sufficient period and nothing goes wrong, a fear rises about how everything can be so smooth. We begin worrying for the bad that is around the corner, and in the process of worrying, we really end up facing the worst which is nothing but the result of our own insecurity.

We kill the happiness that we achieved. We become sad and then start looking for happiness again. Running around in circles all the time. It’s only when we accept the fact that happiness is a journey that we learn to really live in the moment and avoid worries. Just look at us! Rumors of the world ending in another 10 days is out in the air and here we are, still planning for the far future. How can we be so sure of an unseen future when we can’t be sure about the present that we can see, we can feel, we can live!

Our minds seem to have a mind of their own!!!  So complicated, so twisted! But when things happen, when you see signs of clarity, it gets a little simplified, a little untwisted. Thoughts seem to fall in the right place and we get a fresh insight into a stale life. In one of the older posts in the SOMC, I mentioned shifting to a new place and had wondered what this change has in store for me! Turns out everything surely happens for a reason. I’ve made such good friends already and it couldn’t get any better.I feel God must have thought, “OK, these people have gone through the same things in life. Let me put them together, so they realize they are not alone in this!”

Good things happen to good people they say. But I think good things happen to everyone who’s ready to receive it and own it. I have welcomed yet another chapter of my life with wide open arms. I have prepared myself to embrace every boon and bane it might come with and deal with it as it comes. I have tuned the channel of my life to the serenade of blissful happiness and unlimited joy. Have you?

This article is originally written for the ManipalBlog under my weekly column 'Serenade of My City'. It appears here. Visit this site for wonderful articles. 


Saturday, December 8, 2012

Heavy breath near cold fireplace!


Dripping dull moments
Heavy breath near cold fireplace
Coal turns blue pain red

Bottled pain is just another name for burning fire. Extinguish it before you get engulfed into it.

This Haiku is written for the Haiku Heights. The prompt for the week is 'PAIN'.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Yearning for free flight


Yearning for free flight
Pleasure of heart pumping wild
Storm of excitement

 The pleasure of letting your heart thump so wildly, that you can hear it in your ears is feeling alive in the real sense!

This haiku is written for the Haiku Heights and the OSI. The prompts for this week are 'STORM' and 'YEARN'.

SOMC - 8... KNOW when to say NO!

This article is originally written for the ManipalBlog under my weekly column 'Serenade of My City'. It appears here. Visit this site for wonderful articles. 

This week, i’m singing the serenade of power. What is it to be in power? Is it a good thing or bad? Everybody likes being in control of every situation if only they had the power. So how does one rise to power? Is it earned, snatched or passed on? Too many ‘power’ mentions already, let’s get on with it.

Once we get a job, we are mostly compelled to work under a lot of people. Being freshers, we are among the lowest scales and have too many higher authority people to boss us around. They have the power to dominate us, to tell us what to do and how to do it. They seem to have the power to rule the shape our career will take. Sometimes it’s a helpless feeling to be dictated. We end up doing things forcefully just because we are not in the position to say NO. We don’t have that power!

But again, why is power seen as a negative thing! People in power have the ability to do a lot of good too. They have the ability to make you or break you. It’s up to the person as to how he/she chooses to use the power he/she possesses. The thing with this boon/bane is that there are instances when good people rise to power, and then the sudden feeling of control changes their outlook to a selfish one. The people who use this quality for productive purposes, both their own and the ones they control are the true jewels.

Power can be attained in ways, too many! Some sincerely work for it.They are usually the types who just work, but their sincerity gets them power. Then there are some who work to achieve the power, because that’s the only way they feel they can bring order or do good. Then there are those who get it by hook or crook. The intentions all wrong and unfair. The ones who misuse their status and position. Then there are those who are born with a silver spoon and handed power on a golden plate and still they have no clue how to use it. These are the types targeted by the second type to rise to power from the background.

In this race for power, the common man suffers. Some resist it, some ignore it, and others suffer it. But when we come across those rare few who use their power to do good, we develop such instant deep respect and liking for them. Those are the kind of people we need today. The ones who encourage, who create, who build, who love, who live, and who let live!

How you handle power or the people with power is up to you. But let’s try and keep the ugly out of the picture folks. It’s one thing to let someone rule over you and another to walk all over you! Let’s be wise enough to know the difference and KNOW when to say NO! Have a powerful week you guys… Until then, i sign off from the Serenade of my city!

This article is originally written for the ManipalBlog under my weekly column 'Serenade of My City'. It appears here. Visit this site for wonderful articles.  

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Stuck in race of time.


Storm brewing around
She stays still amidst chaos
Stuck in race of time

There's nothing worse than being stagnant, while everybody seems to be moving in a pace faster than ever. But then, a short stop in a long run could do good in hindsight!

This Haiku is written for the Haiku Heights. The prompt for the week is 'STORM'.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

SOMC - 7... Is time management a trait of boring people?

This article is originally written for the ManipalBlog under my weekly column 'Serenade of My City'. It appears here. Visit this site for wonderful articles. 

Time and tide, they say waits for none.So it wouldn’t wait for me and you either, would it? And when you’re out on your own and into a new job, time management is very very essential. We don’t realize how time passes and before you know it, minutes turn into hours, and hours into days. It just slips past you. (Unless you’re sitting idle in your workplace. Then it’s just the reverse phenomenon!)

It leaves you with no time to pursue your interests, your hobbies etc. It spares you no time to have some fun! What’s life without fun? Why do we really work? We don’t work to earn. Ultimately we work to enjoy things in life which we can if we earn. That’s how it starts at least. But soon, we forget the ultimate aim and just concentrate on making more money and stock our bank balance. Just seeing those long number of digits makes us happy. But think again, does it really?

That’s just earning and soon we find ourselves yearning for better times. And that’s something no money can buy. There’s no point waiting for a good time. You just have to take it in your hands and make the full use of it. Live like there’s no tomorrow is a clichĂ©, but when you think about it deeply, it makes so much sense! The purpose of life for a human cannot be just money. That’s too shallow as an aim to live for. There are things, bigger than this waiting for us to explore. The things, which when you indulge in, makes you happy!

Time management is not just about being disciplined. The idea that managing time is for boring people is a myth! The more efficiently we can manage time, the more we can enjoy, the more we live. It’s not about having a rigid time-table and following it. Now that’s boring! It’s about being aware of the number of hours you have in a day, and working on how productive you can be in that time. Being conscious about time doesn’t let you waste it, because it makes you realize how important it is. Time is money, indeed.

Every morning take 5 minutes out and think of what you want to do that whole day. When we think in advance, we become more conscious and try to fulfill it. But when we just go with the flow, we tend to get lazy and ignorant. And before we know it, yet another day passes with lots of time wasted and even more time is lost repenting  later about how it could have been spent in a better way.
So why not avoid all that trouble and just be a little responsible. After all we have one life, and we really don’t know what’s in store for us in future. In fact we have no clue what is in store for us even in the next moment. A blink of an eye can change situations. In a crazy world like these, how do we even think of happiness at a later future? Happiness is not something you save for the future. It’s one feeling you should be free to exploit. Being happy is the best feeling and happiness comes at the cost of doing what you like, for which you need time.

So folks, let’s not get lost in this mad dash of people for success that is devoid of happiness. Let’s take some time out of it and enjoy, and balance our lives. We don’t want an “All work and no play” situation in our lives, I tell you!!!  Wishing you guys take some time off to leave a comment about what you think  of time management, I take your leave for this week in the Serenade Of My City! Toodles!

This article is originally written for the ManipalBlog under my weekly column 'Serenade of My City'. It appears here. Visit this site for wonderful articles.  

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Deserted dreams breathe on me..


Still reminiscence 
Deserted dreams breathe on me
And i look away 

This Haiku is written for the Haiku Heights. The prompt for the week is 'DESERT'.

Book review - Zombiestan

Book title : Zombiestan
Author : Mainak Dhar
Published by : Duckbill Books and westland Ltd.

The War on Terror just took a terrifying new turn. It began with stories of undead Taliban rampaging through Afghan villages, and faster than anyone could have anticipated; the darkness spreads through the world.
In a world laid waste by this new terror, four unlikely companions have been thrown together- a seventeen year old boy dealing with the loss of his family, a US Navy SEAL trying to get back home, an aging, lonely writer with nobody to live for, and a young girl trying to keep her three year old brother safe.
When they discover that the smallest amongst them holds the key to removing the scourge that threatens to destroy their world, they begin an epic journey to a rumoured safe zone high in the Himalayas. A journey that will pit them against their own worst fears and the most terrible dangers- both human and undead.

The author, Mainak Dhar has succeeded in keeping you glued to the book by revolving the story around real life situations as well as spunking it up with a pinch of fantasy. The characters are diverse, which makes sure people from every age group relate to the book. The brave foreign soldier, the scared Indian teenager who turns into a Hero overnight, the helpless-yet-brave girl with her cute adorable mischievous little brother and the old lady who is a sucker for romance. 

As unrealistic as the name of this book screams, it's not hard to put yourself into the shoes of the characters in it. As you read the terror-struck state of India and the world, you begin to relate it to your present scenario, only worse. The word 'Zombie' which begins as a part of a game, takes no time in turning into harsh reality.

It's a perfect combination for a thrilling novel. There's bravery and vulnerability, there's love and hatred, there's humanity and violence, there's unity and diversity. The name of the book did not appeal to me at first, but the read got interesting right from the first few pages. The Zombies - the undead- the biters have been very interestingly and mysteriously presented in the novel. An idea never been read by me before. The whole journey of the changes seen in the Zombies as well as the people facing them has been worth the read.

Mr. Mainak Dhar has wonderfully captured the flavor of where the world is leading to in a fictional story. The book is a gripping read, but the idea of where our present worldly situations is leading us to, is not left untouched in the minds of people. I would say it's surely a different book with a unique take on zombies who wear black turbans and scream 'JIHAD' and bite people who turn into zombies in minutes! Outrageous, but interesting at the same time.

Similarly once someone sets hand on this book, it's surely gonna spread in the friend circle by the word of mouth or by literal passing of the book by hand!

Price : Rs.199
Pages : 248
My Rating : 3 on 5

This review is a part of the Book Reviews Program at Participate now to get free books! 

Friday, November 23, 2012

Book review - The Bankster

Book title : The Bankster
Author : Ravi Subramanian
Published by : Rupa Publications India Pvt. Ltd.

Bankers build their careers on trust, or so everyone thinks, till a series of murders threaten to destroy the reputation that the Greater Boston Global Bank (GB2) has built over the years. Who is behind these killings, and what is their motive? Is the banker at GB2 fast turning into a bankster? Or he was always one?

When Karan Panjabi, press reporter and ex-banker, digs deeper, he realizes that he has stumbled upon a global conspiracy with far reaching ramifications a secret that could not only destroy the bank but also cast a shadow on the entire nation. With only thirty-six hours at his disposal, he must fight the clock and trust no one if he is to stay alive and uncover the truth.

Spinning an intricate web of lies, deceit and treachery, bestselling author Ravi Subramanian, a master storyteller of financial crime and winner of the Golden Quill Readers Choice Award, returns with his most gripping thriller yet.

I have always thought of bankers to be those having a very boring professional life, but reading this book opened my eyes to those aspects of the field that i had no clue existed. Banks are associated first with money, and where there is money, there is deceit, fraud, competition, jealousy, greed and what not. Murder? Yes, that too! The fact that money is the root cause for all evil is portrayed excellently in 'The Bankster' by Ravi Subramanian.

The novel covers diverse topics. The scene of the story varies from amchi Mumbai to the peaceful Cochin to the beautiful Vienna and the dusty Angola. From high corporate parties to large scale village protests, the author manages to capture all the flavors of Indian brains beautifully while keeping the plot of the story very mysterious and brain-tickling right till the very end. Infidelity and commitment seems to be an irony at the end of this book somehow. The presence of non-Indian entities looting India, through Indians, of its deserving success is heartbreaking!

The story in most part of the book revolves within a web of many stories and you begin to wonder how all these are ever going to be related. As the story unfolds, slowly everything makes sense, things steam up and you can't wait to know what is up. This book starts a little slow and i had to struggle a little to keep the interest alive, but as it proceeded, i was hooked, and towards the end i was gripped and couldn't wait to finish it.

Mr.Ravi had a very good command over his knowledge in Banking and it certainly shows in his work. The whole book is a compilation of  intelligent and tricky moves and is also an eye-opener to people stepping into the corporate world today with whom-and-how-do-we-trust issues. Over all, a very interesting and intellectual read and definitely a book to grab from your nearest book store.

Price : Rs.250
Pages : 358
My Rating : 3.5 on 5

This review is a part of the Book Reviews Program at Participate now to get free books! 

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

SOMC - 6... Of missing Manipal and facing two-faced owners!

This article is originally written for the ManipalBlog under my weekly column 'Serenade of My City'. It appears here. Visit this site for wonderful articles.

The air around me has sung a familiar tune this week. You ask why? I was back to Manipal for my convocation! Manipal – the word itself is music to our ears, isn’t it? Frankly, I wasn’t excited about the convo. What I was back here was for the feeling of being back to the place which spelled HOME for the last couple of years. Then again they say, home is where your heart is. Though my home is elsewhere now, I realized my heart had still been singing the tune of the essence of Manipal.

Spending time with near-and-dear ones in a far-and-dear place was a refreshing experience. So refreshing that I wished I never had to leave. I wished I could relive the Manipal Experience. Maybe do a few things differently. I have this idea now that if a Manipalite gets to relive their time there, they would turn out much wiser and successful, because this place has affected every life in one way or the other and taught us one too many lessons of life. Again, maybe that’s just an excuse to fall in love with the place all over again!

Having come back from heaven, Pune seemed to have lost its charm for a day or two. But then, you begin to get attached to every place you live in and the people! It’s time for some more goodbyes and Change is again in the picture. Right around the corner waiting for me. I think there is not going to be a single post in the Serenade Of My City without a mention to Change! It only strengthens what I always stress on – Change is the only Constant.

It’s time for me to shift my shelter, time to adjust to new roomies, time to adjust to the new locality and time for believing that everything happens for a reason. Sigh! Don’t you sometimes wonder how easy it would be to believe that everything happens for a reason IF we knew THE REASON?! Hmmm… Anyway, I have a new problem in hand. I’m sure a lot of people will face this problem once they are on their own. When you hunt for houses, you meet the good face of the owners. And then when it’s the time for them to return your security deposit, they seem to have chosen a new face from their own version of Face-book!

My owner refuses plainly to return the deposit in spite of having a legal agreement. How irksome is that! Having followed the rules of providing one-month notice before vacating, he refuses to even agree to the fact that he signed one. He’s either a fool, or we are losing all our money. Moreover the agent/broker who got us this contact refuses to take even the slightest responsibility. The super-friendly talks have been replaced by rude replies. So the point I’m trying to convey here is, be very wary of the people in a place that is unfamiliar to you. The meethi boli (sweet talk) can be the perfect mask for a dhokebaaz (cheater). Every place has them in plenty.

Wishing a safe money-recovery for me and a pleasant experience for you in future, I sign off. Have a happy week you guys. Adios!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

SOMC - 5... All you have to do is ASK!

This article is originally written for the ManipalBlog under my weekly column 'Serenade of My City'. It appears here. Visit this site for wonderful articles.

Socializing is not a quality everyone is born with. Some get it naturally and others like me have to work for it. It takes much more than just words for these people to communicate to new people. An enormous amount of energy and efforts goes into the initial phase, after which it is smooth sailing. I like to call it the Starting Problem. But with practice, there’s nothing humans can’t conquer. And this is one aspect most of us should try to be good at, both professionally and personally.

When i joined my new workplace, everything was obviously new. New place, new people, new methods, new rules. And it takes quite a bit to get these right. There are some things you can learn by reading up, but then there are those undocumented obvious rules in the air, which everyone seems to know, but you. Only recently, i realized this is actually a problem with a solution so simple, but not so much when it comes to implementing it. The solution i’m proposing is ‘JUST ASK’.

Most matters are the ones you get to know only by talking to the people you work with. Forget socializing, asking a simple question to a new colleague can make you tongue-tied sometimes. But if you think over it, most problems can be solved just by asking the right questions. Sometimes we know the right questions, but we hesitate to ask them. Asking doesn’t guaranty positive results. But it surely eliminates the time we waste before getting to it. Sooner or later, the outcome might be the same, then why waste time! In fact if it’s a negative outcome, we’ll have more time in our hands to work on it. And if it’s positive, then why miss the opportunity waiting, while you could be living it!

At times, in a new environment, we feel hesitant to pester others with questions, considering we’ve still not gelled well and upon that, the fear of the questions being perceived as dumb or foolish is scary. But as every preacher has preached, there is no such thing as a silly question. Without questions, there will not be answers. So ask away! I was hesitant too, but what i do now when i’m faced with a situation where i have to open my mouth and ask something to someone, i imagine that someone way back in time. He/she would have been a fresher too and i’m sure they went through the same initial jitters and problems that we are going through. They evolved over the years and so will we.

My point is most of our problems can be solved just by asking. When we don’t ask, we tend to assume stuff. And assumptions, especially in the cocoon stage, can grow us the wings we can never fly with! Clearing things by asking questions is the best way to lead. Not just professionally, but in our personal lives as well!
Having said that, keep tuned to Serenade Of My City. Next week i have a personal story for you, which shows how NOT asking questions can get you in trouble… deep trouble! Till then, practice shooting the right questions in the right place at the right time. Adios!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

SOMC - 4... Tuning into your new environment made easy!

This article is originally written for the ManipalBlog under my weekly column 'Serenade of My City'. It appears here. Visit this site for wonderful articles.

Every beginning has an end. Without an end, there can be no new beginnings. But with this, comes the time to face the inevitable, that something none of us look forward to mostly – Change!  But my friends, as i always quote - Change is the only constant!

Two months back, when i joined my new work place, i met strangers, who then became friends over the span of time and now it’s time to bid farewell, to people who are not strange anymore. Transitioning to the new workplace, new project, new people – more strangers. The whole process of formal introductions, heartfelt greetings, cordial hand-shakes and not-so-accurate-judgements repeats!

As i sit jobless on my second day at work, with a system that refuses to boot, and a mouse cursor that won’t budge, i feel like i don’t belong here. A familiar feeling every time a person is thrown into an unfamiliar environment i think. But then i imagine myself here, two months from now. How’s that gonna be like?
I would probably have turned some of these people, who i still haven’t spoken to, into good friends! Every place becomes what we make it. We can’t just sit mute, and expect people to come running to make things comfortable for us. We would be really lucky if there are such people around. So it’s we, who have to take that step forward, make some efforts – go to your colleagues, introduce yourself, shake some hands and build the rapport required for a cheerful workplace!

Also something i realized is that people see and learn. But people behave in the ways that they have experienced. ‘What you know’ and ‘How you are’ are two completely different things. If we’ve been treated well, we are more likely to treat others the same way. But if we’ ve not… then… well..!!!  So next time i find a new-bee around,  i’ve decided to make an effort and make their presence felt. A simple time-to-time smile, a courteous nod, a ‘How’s-it-going’ or a ‘Need-any-help’ would surely help break some ice.

One simple typical Indian example for this is the age-old battle between the Saas-Bahus which is decreasing tremendously now. Yet, this has been the bread and butter for our TV-Shows. So well… The new D.I.L gets ill-treated by her M.I.L. The D.I.L soon becomes a M.I.L and treats her D.I.L the same way she had been treated. Why ? Only because she wishes everyone D.I.L around to face what she had to, when she was one! Tit for yet another tat! The one who breaks the chain is the one who brings harmony into the family.

Anyway, this is all that my serenade sings this week in my city. Gearing up for a week of unfamiliar notes and grilling tunes, i sign off! Have a wonderful week you guys. So long!

This article is originally written for the ManipalBlog under my weekly column 'Serenade of My City'. It appears here. Visit this site for wonderful articles.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Nature hops along!

Fluttering heart beats
Swinging to the musical
Nature hops along

This Haiku is written for the Haiku Heights. The prompt for the week is 'NATURE'.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Black witch reins tonight!


Her strong dark aura
Enchantress of the east side
Casts off her shadow

Smoke from the evil
On the rise of the new moon
Black witch reins tonight

This Haiku is written for the Haiku Heights. The prompt for the week is 'WITCH'.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

SOMC - 3..... What's in a Name?

This article is originally written for the ManipalBlog under my weekly column 'Serenade of My City'. It appears here. Visit this site for wonderful articles.

The first thing most of us worry about when we go to a new place is making new friends. Friendship is such an amazing bond we share with others, it’s hard enough to leave our old friends behind while we shift, but the thought of how the new people we are going to meet will be like, can be perplexing at times. Especially for a person like me.

My childhood was a riot with my parents pushing me out to socialize, while just the thought of saying a HELLO to someone freaked the life out of me. Well, things have changed, and that’s not the case anymore. But there’s a little part of that little girl still hidden inside somewhere, who resists the thought of change of environment and people. I think a lot of people would nod their heads in agreement to this and say – “I know the feeling!”

Well, there’s no escaping from anything and you end up meeting all kind of people. If making friends is difficult, keeping them is even more! So at your new workplace, you will meet a lot of people and the first thing you would ever exchange with them is probably a smile. And the second thing, their NAMES! Can i take a moment out here and tell you guys how important this step is? It’s always nice to immediately map the name to the face, so the next time you meet them, you won’t be tongue tied. Situations where one of them calls you by your name, and you just cant remember their’s can be very very embarrassing to both the parties!

People always love it when someone addresses them by their names. And while you’re at it, please make it a point to learn the right pronunciation of the name. It annoys the sh*t out of me when people pronounce my name wrong and i’m sure i’m not the only one with this problem. And let me tell you i get that a lot, like A LOT…. Everything, but my name is what i hear! I keep correcting them until they get it right and there are times when i’ve just given up!

Anyway… every individual depends on his name, though superficially, for his identity. Nevertheless, it’s not good on our parts to mess that up. We never know how sensitively a person is attached to his name. Especially, while at work, we might be in a position where we’ll need to interact with a foreign client. We surely wouldn’t want to annoy them or shame ourselves by not knowing how to pronounce it. Some people even take it as a personal insult! 
This whole practice of remembering the RIGHT names of the people around you turns into a nice memory activity if you choose to play it as a little game in your head. It would also be interesting to know what new names mean, don’t you think?

So there you go… enhancing your knowledge, increasing your friends, strengthening relationships, building a solid base for maybe a new budding friendship! Amen to that.

This article is originally written for the ManipalBlog under my weekly column 'Serenade of My City'. It appears here. Visit this site for wonderful articles.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Now dreams come alive!

Morning mist wakes me
Floating back to clear conscious
Now dreams come alive!

This Haiku is written for the Haiku Heights. The prompt for the week is 'CONSCIOUS'.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Serenade of My City - 2 ... When serenade turned into noise!

This article is originally written for and appears here.

Well, the serenade of my city right now is more of a noise, than a melody. And i mean it literally. The city of Pune, though a very nice place to stay in, is filled with more vehicles than people. The traffic is horrendous. The sawaari-autos wheel around like heroes on the wrong side of the road and people pounce on them like bees to their hive, only worse!!! I hear that Pune holds a record for the highest number of two-wheelers in the world! So, with a traffic like this, you can only imagine the city's contribution to pollution.Sigh!

I've seen a lot of people here, especially girls cover their faces with scarves. Only a pair of beautiful eyes peering out! I first wondered the reason behind this, because no way was Pune a conservative place. I did not have to ask anyone the reason behind this. All i needed to do was take an auto from home to office and the thick layer of dust over my face and hair, had the answer etched all over it for me! And i'm not kidding or exaggerating when i say a THICK layer of dust!

Anyway, the point i'm trying to make is, when you shift to a new place, a lot of things change. You may or may not find a suitable accommodation in the area of your choice. One has to be ready for a lot of compromises. A nice home at a longer distance, or a not-so-good place to live, but at a walking distance. And if you get lucky, maybe you'll find the perfect combo! But brooding over discomfort is avoidable if we prepare ourselves for what is in store for us. And that's why i'm here to help you not fuss over issues that i did, 'cos at the end of the day(a month in my case) you will adjust. So save yourself the negativity and get on with it!

We're so used to getting what we want all the time that we find ourselves in unimaginable situations. But you'll be pleasantly surprised as to how capable we humans are to adapt to our surroundings. The more prepared we are for the inevitable, the more faster and easier is the transition! Strangers become friends, Greek becomes Marathi and hell becomes.... Well, no... even i'm not that optimistic! ;)

My question to you as i sign off for this week is how ready are we to welcome change in our lives? Why do we like to confine ourselves to the boundaries set by others, and sometimes unfortunately, by ourselves! Why do we like to underestimate our abilities? How are we so comfortable living a life that is not lived to the fullest?

Crashed into you by Chris Daughtry playing in my ears and somehow i'm able to relate these lyrics to my post. Maybe you can too...

Well, I was moving at the speed of sound
Head spinning, couldn't find my way around and 
Didn't know that I was going down 
Where I've been, well, it's all a blur 
What I was looking for, I'm not sure 
Too late and didn't see you coming! 

Serenade of My City - 1

Would you like to read my first post on Serenade of My City...???
Click here  ---> Serenade of My City - 1

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Shroud of black deceit.

Shroud of black deceit
Dark hazy recollection
Carry to my grave

This Haiku is written for the Haiku Heights. The prompt for the week is 'SHROUD'.