Tuesday, May 17, 2016

The train journey

A short story written during my train journey on the Pune Mumbai route

A family of three. A son probably of 5 years. Son sitting on mother’s lap. Father standing throughout the journey. Mother and son wearing nice footwear. Father’s footwear is worn-out and reflects life’s struggles. My assumption is that only seat was booked instead of 2 if not 3. 

A vendor comes and sells some drawing books. Son sees a picture of doraemon and wants it. Mother and father talk in signs about the cost. Mother scans through the books and after much deliberation purchases a set of 3 for 50. Son is happy. An extra train ticket would have cost 120. Inspite of their struggles parents do their best to give the best to their son. 

Story of countless lower middle class people.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Perspective on Technology

I have been working with Avaya for more than 5 years now. Avaya as we all know deals in enterprise communications. By using the technology provided by Avaya, enterprises are able to reduce costs that would be normally incurred for telecommunications, especially when executives travel frequently for meetings, conferences, etc. Basically by using products developed by Avaya, companies benefit in the long run.

However, what about the technology that’s involved in our personal lives? How beneficial is it? Do we see any changes in the way we have been communicating in the past decade? I just wanted to share a few of my thoughts on the same.

Mom, can I play outside?
When I grew up, I used to go to school from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. I used to wait for the evening so that I could go outside the house and play with all my friends. We used to play different outdoor games from cricket to football, hockey to ludo, etc. Basically, step outside the house and play literally any game under the sun with friends.

However, today I see that most kids want to play games on their computers, tablets, and mobile phones. The games that kids play are mostly with virtual characters. Kids just don’t know what it is to step outside the house and play in the open.

Before we point a finger at kids, how about our behavior as adults? Are we also in a similar trap? Possibly we are busy with our mobile devices, even when a family member is waiting to communicate.

Going the mobile way
When I was in my early teenage years, I recollect that in the area where I stayed there were about 15-18 families. However, there were just 2-3 families that had landline phones. The remaining families used to go to the public telephone booths to make calls.

Earlier, when a family member stepped out of the house, we had no means of communication until they got back home.

In the mid-90s, the era of mobile phones arrived. In the beginning, hardly one family member had a mobile phone as even incoming calls were chargeable. Gradually with time as the costs reduced, almost everyone in the family started having mobile phones. Hence, very few families have landline phones now.

It’s so easy to communicate now. Dial a number and speak. But, do we really speak?

Am I chatting with you only?
With the advent of IM and Facebook, most people communicate using offline and online messages. It’s easy to chat without worrying about the emotions that are involved when you actually communicate over the phone or in person.

In fact, a person might take a different persona and interact with you. The person you think you are interacting with might actually not be the same person. Technology is easily misused nowadays. The end result unfortunately in some instances is blackmail, deceit, etc.

I for one yearn to hear the voice of the opposite person rather than using the IM medium. Unfortunately, not many of my friends share the same view. The result is that even though I would like to call and speak to my friends at least once in 2 weeks, I for sure will never get a return call. For my friends, it’s like we are anyways chatting on and off using IM, what’s there to speak about now? :)

We have 100s of virtual friends on our Facebook list. It’s so easy to friend and unfriend. However, how many friends do we really have who will stand by us when we really need their support and help?  

Forget friends, do you know who your neighbor is?

Love thy neighbor as yourself
With globalization, family members are present in different parts of the world. IM works cheaper than calling every day. So usually a mix of IM and calls help us to stay in touch with our near and dear ones.

Technology helps us communicate with folks who are away from us at a distance of 1000 miles and more. But, the sad part is, forget about interacting with neighbors, in today’s times, we hardly know who our neighbors are.  We are too preoccupied with our virtual world to even know what our neighbors do for a living.

Closing statement
If you read a few of the above scenarios, you would have realized that a mix of technology and physical interaction definitely helps. Unfortunately, most of us have allowed technology to rule us rather than the other way around.

The end result is broken marriages, unhappy relationships, lack of trust, etc. Don’t get me wrong; these issues can happen in the absence of technology too. However, most research data indicates that instances of these issues occur more in today’s times.

I keep hearing that excess of anything in life is not good. Similarly, I feel that technology is very good if used in moderation.

What do you think?

Friday, April 03, 2015

Life is a journey..Enjoy the ride

It’s been just over a week since the Malin tragedy near Pune,
Almost 160 people lost their lives in a landslide,
The rescue and relief operations were really challenging as I witnessed on television,
However, I did not know just a week since then I would witness a landslide in person.

What a day we had until then,
A day when 13 of us from office decided to go on a trek to Sinhagad fort in Pune,
The journey with colleagues along with the scenery on the way was so amazing,
For selecting such a location for the trek, for our colleague we were all praising.

The trek was not difficult,
However, the time taken was long and hence was hectic,
Some folks decided to give up and cut the journey short.
However, after a little over 2 hours of steep climbing we finally reached the fort,

Reaching there we felt we were in paradise,
We just forgot all our tiredness and were enjoying nature in all its glory,
The cool breeze and the beautiful scenery from up above was not something we witnessed every day,
After an hour and more we finally decided to go away.

Just as we almost reached the exit of the fort,
What we witnessed just took us all by shock,
6-7 huge boulders along with mud just decided to give away,
From a height of about 100 feet and at a distance of 25 feet from us they came crashing all the way.

For the next 10 minutes no one moved an inch,
As we were still left in shock and did not know if more landslides would follow,
After that all groups at the exit of the fort decided to move out slowly one by one,
Our hearts then were probably beating for each other as one.

We had witnessed 2 different sides of nature just within a few hours,
We decided it was better to take a vehicle down for the return journey,
However, we saw more landslides had occurred on the way,
A few of us were silently praying, while some shared jokes to lighten the mood and keep fear away.

We safely reached down and were really relieved a lot,
Had a good meal and then decided to rest before leaving for the day,
Wish we could reflect just on the happy moments that we shared on this trip,
However, memories of witnessing a landslide are not something I can easily skip.

(Had accidentally deleted this post from August 2014)

Today's times

We always keep talking about how proud we are to be part of our culture. However, what values are we leaving for the future generation? If you pick up the paper or watch the news, the only thing you can read about is violence, rapes, thefts, murder, religious intolerance, fanaticism, corruption, what one should eat and not, etc. The list simply goes on.

I am sure most of us would not want to see any of these things in our society. However, the fact is none of these issues seem to be on the downward trail.  

Some of us might think and say we are many times better than our neighboring countries or countries with much bigger issues of religious extremism. However, that’s no excuse for us to start getting tolerant of the issues that we see in today’s society.

We have a central government with absolute majority, which came into power on the promise of development. If they desire, they can bring most issues under control if not eliminate them. The initial signs are not encouraging. Only time will tell how they perform and take our country forward or two steps back.
                                                                      - From an unhappy reader and viewer of today

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Coming home

Context: Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 (MH17/MAS17)

I was looking forward to reaching home,
As I was eager to see your smiling faces,
Also, to share the moments when you would unwrap your presents,
However, only destiny could have known about the tragic turn of events.

Met so many happy people, kids and the elderly, before boarding the flight and during the journey,
What had they done to deserve this?
298 lives were lost in one cruel moment,
Hope justice is delivered sooner than later to the dear ones whose hearts did get broken.

I am sorry we could not meet one last time,
Else, I would have liked to say good bye the way we did always,
I hope you can all continue your journey in life positively without me,
As having tears in all your eyes is not what I wanted to see.

Sunday, September 01, 2013

Out of sight and out of mind

Out of sight and out of mind,
We are all one of a kind.
News from today is forgotten tomorrow,
Each individual is left alone to face his or her own sorrow.

Some of us might show solidarity with the victim or survivor for a few days,
However, sooner than later we all go our own ways.
Can we blame others for not standing alongside until the end?
Finally everyone has a stomach to feed and a job to attend.

We have elected a few representatives to look after our well being,
However, most of them themselves don’t appear to be law abiding.
Fear of the law might only apply to the poor and the middle-class in today’s times,
The filthy rich and the powerful seem to be always getting away with all their crimes.

Appeals in most cases never seem to end,
Hence, justice delayed is definitely justice denied.
Even if you want to, you lose track of the cases unless the media covers them once in a while,
Hence, each of these cases just ends up becoming part of a larger court file.

The only time you might get involved,
Is when unfortunately you or one of your close ones is dragged into all of this,
Until then you have an option and can continue to be blind,
As out of sight is mostly out of mind.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Being Frustrated…

Used to waking up when the alarm rings,
You wake up and stop the alarm when it rings.
However, one fine day if the alarm rings and then you wake up 30 minutes after that,
You feel what a start to the day. You get frustrated. You are frustrated.

Reaching your workplace and then comparing it with your previous firm,
You speak about all the faults that you see in your current firm week in and out,
You still stick around as you love your current pay check,
However, you prefer to be unhappy every week. You get frustrated. You are frustrated.

Walking on the road during a hot and humid season,
Before you reach you destination, you are sweating profusely,
You feel like taking a shower 3 times in a day,
You don’t like the summer season. You get frustrated. You are frustrated.

Travelling before the rainy season,
Less of traffic on the roads and you reach home on time,
However, in the rainy season, you get stuck in traffic more often and reach late everywhere,
You don’t like the rainy season. You get frustrated. You are frustrated.

Your friend earns five times more than you earn,
You only wish you could earn as much as he does,
You might not acknowledge, but deep inside you know that you are not as good as him,
However, you prefer to be dissatisfied with what you have. You get frustrated. You are frustrated.

Alarm bells usually don’t stop ringing by themselves,
Seasons are not in your control, nor is your friends salary,
What is in your control my friend is how you think and react to a situation,
Else, every single day you can continue to get frustrated and be frustrated …

Tuesday, May 07, 2013

Second Wedding Anniversary



It’s been 2 years my girl, and the ride together has been amazing,
At times, the journey might have seemed long,
As it has not been a bed full of roses,
However, it is not as if it was completely unexpected.
I guess it is our destiny, hence, we decided to travel as one.

Nothing better could have occurred in my life,
Than you being a part of it as my wife.
I have learnt a lot from you in these past 2 years,
This only speaks volumes of the person that you are,

Hence, just as I said last year, I want to say,
I really like you for what you are my girl,
Hence, don’t change yourself even one bit just for me.
If there is something, that still has to change,
I know that change has to occur only within me.

Happy Wedding Anniversary, Wilma!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

The GIVER

I have given you everything that you want.



Can you give me everything that I want?



What you wanted is something that you desired for yourself and your family.

What I want is something that will only benefit you and your family.

So can you also be a GIVER like me?

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Christmas Season - Santa time

Each one of us has received gifts at some point of time in our life. Most often, we receive gifts from people we know. The joy that one feels is for everyone around to see when one opens the gift-wrappings.

As a kid, I used to eagerly wait for Christmas Eve. I used to hope that Santa would come and gift me something I desired for during that age. Most elders and family members always stated that Santa would only gift you something if you were a good kid throughout the year. After that, they used to remind me of the bad things I might have done and why Santa would not gift me anything in that case.

However, my parents would try to figure out what I really wanted before Christmas. Alternatively, they would buy something that would make me happy.  Under the disguise of Santa, my parents would keep a gift under the Christmas tree that I would find the next morning when I would wake up.

This continued for a few years until I grew up and my parents updated me that Santa would stop visiting me, as I was no longer a kid. Around the same time, I realized that Santa was just an imaginary character in the life of us kids. This hurt me more than the fact that I would not receive gifts from Santa any more. It took me some time to overcome the lie with which I had grown up.

However, at quite a later stage in my life when I looked back over those years, I realized that gifts were just one way of expressing love and care by those people who were close to us. Gifts could be in form of material objects, people, a feeling, or even kind words that make the other person happier or less sad.

Each one of us is a Santa to our loved ones. My parents made me happy when I was a kid during the Christmas season by taking the form of Santa.

Now, I am 30 years old and am still waiting for Santa during the Christmas season. Yes, you read it right.

The reason being for the last 2 years at my workplace, we have been playing Secret Santa. For people who are not aware, Secret Santa is a Christmas tradition in which a person in a group is randomly assigned another person in the group to whom they anonymously give a gift.

So are you planning to be a Santa for your loved ones?

Wishing you and your families a very Happy Christmas.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Thank you...


I had been for a funeral of a neighbor today who was in his 60s. This uncle was very sick since the last 2 months and had health issues from the start of this year. My mom did update me about him being serious since the last 3 weeks. He finally passed away a couple of days back.

He was a very jolly person from what I knew about him. The priest and his wife only confirmed the same at his funeral ceremony. However, what touched me about his final days is the following incident.

Just a few days before his death, he asked his wife for a piece of paper and a pen. He started making a note of people involved in his life that he wanted to thank. I understand that his family members have already passed and would pass on the message to others on behalf of him.

Here is a person writhing in pain in hospital for the last 2 months. For some reason, he felt he would not make it. What does he do? Thanked all the people who played an important role in his life. I never heard something like this before. What an amazing thought from his side at his deathbed.

Life does not give such an opportunity to all of us. Some of us will pass away all of a sudden. I know there might be a big list of people in our life with whom we might have not been happy. However, there might be many others, who might feel the same about us too. Is it worth holding these ill feelings inside us?

We might not get an opportunity as this uncle got, or maybe we might not be in a good frame of mind during our sickness to have such a positive thought. Just imagine how nice would it be if we could continuously appreciate the role of people that have played a positive influence in our life. A small thank you would really go a long way in making someone’s day.

I do not want to regret later on missing saying, “Thank you…” Thanks uncle for the wonderful lesson that you taught many others and me through your death. Cheers Uncle!