Sunday, September 23, 2012

Work Apathy, it is real!

I wordlessly wonder why many individuals lose the zest to work the way they worked on the first day at their jobs. Perhaps the words spoken by peers, by the seniors have a role to play in affecting one's working style as time passes.

I read inspiring stories and motivational quotes in the papers, on the internet and yet much of the work-place conversation is dominated by themes of the opposite emotions. Yes, it may point to many many issues including the top management's policies and yet I can't help thinking that it boils down to the individual employee.

The things we get influenced by, is not accidental. Like everything that makes a difference to our lives, what we get influenced by is a matter of no one else's choice but our own.

I have observed that the individuals who matter, work ceaselessly. The ones who do all the complaining and whining, do that everyday. They work too, but the major theme in their lives is not their work, but their disdain for work, revealed in what they say.

I believe a man is defined by his work. Everything else is secondary. The workers whom we all recognize by their superlative working style, at any level of employment, form the backbone of any organization, big or small. I am trying to give these heroes words which they do not seem to need, but it has to be said. The employees who continue to do good work, must not be discouraged by the ones who are apathetic to any work.

Each such employee who works to the best of his ability runs on his fuel of self-motivation. They are the ones who need appreciation and commendations. If they are not encouraged by words and positive feedback at the time of writing their annual confidential reports, then we just add another number to the indifferent persons they work with.

The employee who is an asset must be treated as such, must be told so.

The others will not make a difference, any which way.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Honor killing.

Arushi Talwar's parents have today being charged by a court for the murder of their daughter. My father is of the opinion that it may be an "honor killing".

Honor is defined as
"honesty, fairness, or integrity in one's beliefs and actions: a man of honor.";"a source of credit or distinction: to be an honor to one's family";"high respect, as for worth, merit, or rank: to be held in honor" etc.

Now this implies that honor depends on one's convictions and beliefs. What if one's convictions are erroneous? The term is used by the media when ever a daughter is killed by her relatives for almost always, falling in love. Is this honor?

No, it is not. No man has the right to take the life of another. A murder by any other name, even "honor killing", is a murder. It does not matter what justification a murderer states, taking the life of another can only be justified if in defending oneself, one had no other option.

"Honor killing" is murder by individuals who desire respect in the eyes of the lowest in society. The respect of the unthinking, that is a contradiction in terms. The mentality that makes such individuals possible visualizes daughters and wives as nothing different from owned land or cattle. A "male dominated" society is not the appropriate term, a better, apt term would be a "savage-mentality" dominated society.

I grieve for the daughters, sisters and would-be wives who are killed in the name of honor. The fathers, brothers and mothers who are guilty of murder, I feel nothing.

For they are dead already.

Saturday, December 4, 2010


All of us are here for a limited time. That is a fact. What we do in the time we have is entirely up to each one of us. Time will pass, what we do in that time is what is important. There is no limit to the skills and knowledge one can gather in this time. When one sleeps, one may dream; but it is true that dreams will never transform into achievement unless one plans and works towards one's goal, how ever big or small.

I admire Brian Tracy and other motivational speakers like him. The reason is they stress the importance of knowing what to do and, more importantly, what not to do. I have learned much from him and other such speakers from their books.

Unless one falls ill or is asleep, there is no reason not to spend every waking moment observing, thinking and learning. Reading remains the most important source of increasing one's knowledge. I realize that an MBA is not just a degree. It is a course that, if approached correctly, increases one's awareness of the world. It teaches the student that one must always look at the big picture in any issue. Management is a tough task. I am learning this every day. There are some who manage and lead effortlessly. They may or may not even be educated, leave alone an MBA! Yet for most of us, the learning of the task of management becomes easier when studied.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

SRK and Shiv Sena

"Your freedom ends where my nose begins". These were words spoken by a historical figure and these are powerful words. In contrast, I watch the present state of affairs where Bal Thackeray Shiv Sena is intimidating Shahrukh Khan to apologize for his statement that if he had a slot, he would have considered taking a cricketer from Pakistan.

"My name is Khan" releases tomorrow. Still there are fears among mutiplex owners, some of whom are reportedly talking to SRK, probably asking him to apologize. What he said were reasonable comments. The fact is, there are no Pakistani players in the Kolkota Knight Riders.

When men stop using reason as the means of communication, the only alternative left to them is using brute physical force. Another reason why a "democracy" is a questionable means of government. The largest majority matters. Numbers. That's all.

Anyway, SRK is the only one voice of sanity that does not oppose the Shiv Sena, but merely exposes them. Who gave the Shiv Sena the right to hold the citizens of Mumbai to ransom? Who gave them the right to be the "voice" of the public? No one.

The men who call themselves Shiv Sainiks damage public and private property. They intimidate and threaten. When asked, they reply "it was an outburst of public anger...". Once again, the issue is not Shiv Sena. The issue is the security of every individual citizen. The issue is preservation of law and order.

The state government was splendid when Rahul Gandhi visited Mumbai. How I wish the ordinary citizen without Z security could speak and move as freely as Rahul Gandhi did. The foremost function of a government is to maintain law and order, to defend tax paying citizens from violence, irrespective of whether it comes from an armed robber or from a Shiv Sena.

What comfort can an individual feel in a place where the larger your gang, the stronger your voice. Where it is not the truth or reason that prevails, but the number of men on your side-right or wrong. Not much. None, sometimes.

How come what a Bal Thackeray believes is holy and what a SRK thinks is unholy? This is a battle between force and reason. The way to fight it is not opposing but exposing the enemy.

As long as we live in a civil society, a free society I must not fear the mindless hordes of men who roam the streets. I must only fear becoming like them

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Raj Thackeray

Raj Thackeray admires Hitler. I am watching "Auschwitz" on Fox History channel. I am watching the systematic planning and execution of men by men. Of Jews by Nazis. Raj would strive to become Hitler were it not for the constitution of our country. I also read in the Indian Express yesterday how the owners of a grape farm in Maharashtra are welcoming workers from Bihar because they work harder and longer. "The locals are lazy, they arrive at 9am and want to leave at 5pm", said one owner." The Bihar workers work from 7-8am till 6-7pm". Raj Thackeray and his MLAs say they are doing what they do for Marathi pride. And what do they do? They beat up young men who alight at railway stations to write some exam; they beat up taxi drivers; they hound out workers from their shanties in Nasik; they beat up Abu Azmi for not taking his oath of office in marathi......

All of this does not reflect on Raj Thackeray. What he is is for all to see and judge. The inaction of the government is what is worrying for all us citizens of Mumbai and of India. Karan Johar has to apologise for an inconsequential issue. Because he knows the government of the day will not be willing or able to stop the MNS workers from stopping the screening of "Wake up Sid".

Germany in 1941 was not the Mumbai of 2009. Hitler spoke fiercely about his love for the Fatherland, and how the Jews were responsible for the German loss at some war. He was voted into power soon after. If Germany had British, American, Indian, African men, Hitler would not have become what he did. Mumbai has Gujuratis, Oriyans,Sindhis, Mizos, Biharis, UPites, Delhiites, Punjabis, Rajasthanis, Nagas, Nepalis etc etc residing here and thus, giving the term "Cosmopolitan" to the city. One uses violence or force only when one cannot persuade, by reason, his opponent. What reasonable man will agree to the vile diktats of Raj Thackeray? Fear is the only weapon he has on his side. He intimidates and his men carry out his threats.

The government has the moral and constitutional duty to protect citizens from the acts of violence the chief of MNS perpetrates in the name of love for Maharashtra. How can love for anything bring about hatred? Raj Thackeray's stand is irrational and the battle lies not in opposing him, but in exposing him.

All dictators in history caused unspoken grief and despair on their "victims". Yesterday, the enemy were Malayalees and South Indians, today the enemy is the man from Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, tomorrow it could be you and me. Someone wisely said if you want to see whether an idea is good or evil, look at it's consequences. My eyes are open, my mind is active. I see what Raj Thackeray's ideas are achieving. Think about that.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Scientist Munir Khan.....

I thank my Office clerk for opening my eyes about the above named personality. The colleague in question has Diabetes and a lot of anxiety. He brought a DVD of "Dr Munir Khan-the great Scientist" excitedly and said that this doctor has a product for Rs. 15,000 that cures Cancer and almost every other ailment afflicting the human body. The clerk wanted me to watch the DVD and explain the product to him so that he could perhaps try it.

I googled "Munir Khan Scientist" and read a lot about him. Most of his claims are vague, but impressive. I realised there is nothing scientific about this so-called scientist! There is no mention of the ingredients of his "Body Revive" product. I do recall watching a TV show late in the night where an actress of yesteryear, Tabassum was interviewing Munir Khan. She talked sweetly and he responded confidently that his product could cure most ailments-from Cancer to Diabetes!

Now, the clerk at my office is not uneducated. But he is almost convinced about the potency of this product by "Doctor" Munir Khan. This made me understand that one requires two traits to cause this kind of effect on potential victims/ customers. The first is to appear confident about one's claims. The confidence of a con-man or a guru-that surely appeals to many many persons. The second is to be sufficiently vague about the claims one is making. Science, or for that matter, logic demands reasons and explanations. Faith requires none of that. Hence, appeal to faith, not reason. This is Munir Khan's modus operandi.

Since the majority of mankind is religious and have faith in some sort of a higher being-it may not be too hard to be adequately vague and impressively confident about selling a cure for all illnesses. I can see that when a man is very sick, any hope of a treatment appears attractive. But I cannot see what happens to such a man and his family when they are honest enough to realise that they were defrauded. Both spiritually and financially. It must be a terrible feeling then.

I believe Munir Khan is a good listener and a better talker. And a rich man. All the money that persons like the clerk at my office have given him in exchange for a chance at a "cure" for their various ailments. He knows that most people respect hard work and the achievements of science. Thus his claims of being a "Scientist" with 24 plus years of "hard work" and "research" behind his miracle product. I would say that like any fraudster or con-man, "Doctor" Munir Khan must be a good reader of human psychology-their fears and desires, their doubts and sorrows.

I never did see the DVD till date, but the more I think about it, the more I am convinced that he will have more believers than doubters. I am firmly in the latter category. Because of the simple reason that I choose reason over superstition.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Michael Jackson

Michael Jackson died yesterday. I don't think the world will see a performer who can equal his on stage persona, his performances that had audiences screaming even when all he did on stage was stand still in his unique way!

I was in 8th or 9th standard when I first heard "Wanna be startin' something" from his "Thriller" album. That was the start of me becoming his number one fan. I bought large posters of MJ sticking them with gum on the official quarters' walls. Thankfully, my parents did not object. The moonwalk in "Billie Jean" was what made me try and learn break dance, as it was called then. No luck, but made me realise even then how hard it was to master. "Beat it" was and still is an addictive song, what with its beats and Eddie Van Halen at the lead guitar solo.

"Bad" was anticipated by me like a child awaiting Santa Claus in Christmas. "The way you make me feel" and "Smooth criminal" rocked and the videos were a must have, even as video cassettes as was prevalent then.

"Dangerous" was not much of the MJ I had loved. I didn't buy that album. I saw that his career was slipping, though "Black and white" was incomparable then. The media was taking digs at his eccentric lifestyle, the price he paid for his super-duper star status.

I bought "Invincible" in 2002 which was a huge disappointment. But I did manage to get a DVD of him "Live in Budapest" and I was mesmerised by his onstage performance. No one can match him there. On stage, he is the MJ he always was. Sorry, for using the present tense.

I remember, back when I was in school, the only competition MJ had, or near abouts, was Madonna. That's what a monopoly is, by his sheer singing and dancing talent.

He gave me so many hours of happiness-just watching him do what he loved to do-sing and dance. And for that, I am sad he passed away in my lifetime. He came and went as I turned from a boy to a man.

RIP, MJ. I salute your passion for what you did. I will always remember you as the one and only "King of Pop".