Friday, August 31, 2007

Brain-wave! Hunt for people with a weak memory

Aa..ha! It just occurred to me. Something paradoxical. A brain-wave! :) We ought to trust a person with a weak memory. Did you say ‘huh?!’? Let me try and un’huh’ you.

Because, a person with a weak memory is likely to stick to telling the truth.

Intriguing paradox, I think. Anyway, you can argue any which way. Like, what if he/she forgets what the truth is? ;)

UPDATE: It is also believed that a person with a weak memory tends to be happy! And, it would be quite understandable that a person with a weak memory will end up contributing to some entertaining situations due to his/her forgetfulness. So, all in all, looks like it will be fantastic to move around/be friends with people with a weak memory - guarantees truth, happiness and entertainment!! ;P

Wednesday, August 29, 2007


I realized something quite intriguing. When you chase a goal passionately but something about that goal happens to question your very intentions – for example…cast aspersions on your intentions - you actually tend to re-look at whether the goal is worth it and ultimately, I guess, get less emotional about it even if you decide it is worth it. Which is good, ironically! Does this make any sense to you/ring any bells?

PS: I’ve been away from introspective posts of late…just been babbling and narrating things. Yearning to get back to some significant introspection….though I understand that it is this swinging between complementary and/or opposing moods that helps one get charged.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

I went looking for inspiration....and look what I found! :)

I believe that I am an intrinsically motivated person. But even an intrinsically motivated person needs a trigger or two sometimes. I went looking for some inspiration and have returned with some gems. Here….you may need them as much as I do.

You can have anything you want if you want it desperately enough. You must want it with an inner exuberance that erupts through the skin and joins the energy that created the world.” --Sheila Graham

We are a living magnet. We attract people, events and circumstances that harmonizes with our dominant passion and accompanying thoughts & actions” – Not sure who said this but it looks like a spiritual counsellor called Nirup slightly modified the original quote, apparently by Brian Tracy

And while on motivation and the like, check out this great slideshow! :)

Monday, August 27, 2007

Ends Vs Means

The glory of great men should always be measured by the means they have used to acquire it. - Francois de La Rochefoucauld

Mmm.....something that does not invariably happen in today's

Sunday, August 26, 2007


"Past, present, future...can be positive for our growth if we can accept the past without regrets, handle the present with confidence and prepare for the future without fear. Life is not a problem to resolve but to live and life is wonderful if you know how to live." - Zenyasi

Friday, August 24, 2007

I've discovered a new animal...!

Look what I discovered today! A new animal!!!! I've always wondered how some people happen to be in the right place at the right time whenever I see an amusing/rare photograph. Today, I managed to catch something realllly amusing!! :) hahaha!!

Whooppeeee! :) Tra la la

Yeah! Whooppeee! The cast has been cast away. The blasted plaster has been taken off, in other words. :)

And, trust me, if it’s possible for someone whose heart stopped functioning temporarily to be alive, then I am that someone. What a terrible scare it was to watch the monstrous plaster sawing machine (is that what it is called?) come close to grazing my leg a few times when the doctor’s assistant was freeing me of the cast. I kept one eye on the machine and the other on the assistant to ensure that she was steady and prayed furiously while at the same time warning myself to never ever get into such situations again. The sooner I forget the sawing machine, the better. Shuddddder. God, Thanks a Trillion for taking me through that safely!!

Back to expressing my joy of being rid of the plaster - I feel like I am free to jump, dance and kick people I am not happy with, though I can’t yet do all this. After three months of continuous problems with my feet (sprains, ligament pulls and fractures) I am finally hoping that I shall get to swing my legs in glee provided there aren’t any dangerous objects within a diameter of one kilometer, excluding people I want to kick that is. (Ideally, I’d like to steal that sawing machine and use it on people I am finding it very hard to appreciate). The urge to tell everyone that the cast is off is immense. Maybe you could lend a hand…or in this case, a mouth? Tell the first bloke you bump into. Tell that inspecting insect. Tell that bubbly bird. Tell that buzzing bee. Tell that wobbly worm. Tell that darling doggy. Tell that curious cat. Tell that cute spotted cow. Tell that calm cloud. Tell that tall tree. Tell all the aliens you know. I really wont mind. And, please take this from me if you’re not on my hit-list - it never is good to break a bone if it happens to be yours. ;) Take care.

PS: I'll soon be covering parts of this story that I haven't gone into so far!

Nursing the world - A Nursery Poem

Felt like writing what I call a 'nursery' poem...inspired by some people I know... ;)

The fairy floated 'into' my dream...
and started off with a beam...! everyone you can...
plant, animal or man....!
but if there's nothing you can do to help....
at least, for God's sake, don't make them yelp!
help people something gain....
if you can't, at least don't give them pain!
be positive and keep the smile...
if you can't, at least cut out the negative pile!
for...if you can help, the world's a better place,
and if you can't, the world's is still a maze...
but if you add to the chaos, you leave it in more of a daze!

Team-work that worked for the team....

"So much of what we call management consists in making it difficult for people to work." - Peter Drucker

This quote rings a loud bell in my mind. Actually, it rings so many bells that it feels like a musical experience. Wind chimes, what? Now, if you happen to hear warning bells, you better pay heed to them. Because, here’s another of my stories. But this one’s very memorable and close to my heart and related to work, if that makes any difference.

My previous organization was a small and sweet place and I was given all the freedom in the world to run the KM show therein. And how I enjoyed it! After a year of baby steps and small but exciting discoveries, I had the complete confidence and aspiration to propose an Intranet. After a few initial hiccups, we were given the go-ahead. It felt like I was let off into a fascinating forest where it was completely up to me to climb up the right trees, pluck the right flowers and fruits and avoid the snakes and wild animals. A team of 7 was formed (including yours truly). 5 of these were ‘kids’ almost straight out of college but with the determination to get going in life. For the first time in my life, I was to lead a team that would perhaps look up to me for setting the direction and solving problems on the way. I was determined to not let them down while trying to rub off my excitement about seeing our Intranet materialize. Apart from the team per se, we had no significant resources at our disposal. We had to settle for freeware when it came to development tools and the like and we were determined to make the best use of what was available.

The zeal with which we went after it was to be seen to be believed. We ate, drank, and breathed the Intranet from then on. We were off to a shaky start for we knew not whether we were doing the right things and we knew not what was in store down the line. But as we decided to take things as they came, we found ourselves chasing our dream with increasing confidence. The brainstorming sessions we had were amazing. I learned my basics of brainstorming there. Good harmony, occasional brain waves, combination of multiple ideas, acceptance, subsequent exploration, awesome laughter et al. The requirements were gathered from various corners of the organization, our own ideas on what the Intranet should be like were pooled in, the overall design was created and a couple of technical experts from other parts of the organization pitched in to help us identify the right tools and start the development. Frequent meetings ensured we were always in tune and identified and resolved problems on the fly. Every milestone was celebrated in style. Misunderstandings and under-performance definitely crept in at times but were dealt with - sometimes dusted off easily and sometimes through a painful process. And well, we stepped on a few important toes as well. But nothing seemed to matter more than seeing the Intranet come alive.

7 odd months later, we were ready to show the world what we were capable of. We were trusted and allowed to follow our own path all along, though, we did invite some of the middle managers to take a peek when we completed some sections on the Intranet. But, the final presentation was more or less a grand revelation of a secretive effort. I can still recall the excitement that we had when we unveiled the Intranet to the organization’s senior management. It was a wonderful feeling when the man who mattered the most stood up and clapped at the end of the presentation. I felt extremely proud to have been a part of such a team. I had never felt as glad as that as a team member before and, unfortunately, haven’t felt that proud again as a team member till date. That, to my mind, was a team in the real sense – Together, Everyone Achieved a Miracle.

Hmm. Apologies! I broke into a long story when all I had to do was communicate this -> After the presentation, we stepped out and shared our joy with a good friend of mine and said something to the effect that we couldn’t believe that we’d done so well. To which my friend asked “Do you know why?” and then answered it himself before we could say anything “Because you were not managed! Nobody interrupted you in your dream journey.”

At that time, I seriously did not see the full merit in what he said. But later, I knew he was quite right. :) What we were ‘reel’ing under was a labour of love and there were no –depending on the way you look at it - villains/comedians/multiple directors in it. ;)

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Petty, What? ;) :D

I’ve been confined to my room for a little more than two weeks now. No office. No engaging or absorbing work schedules. No business. No busyness. No loud and sans-reason laughter (the gangs that I am a part of are infamous for the Nitrous Oxide effect). I need to wait one more week for the binding plaster to be removed. It’s quite awkward and unsettling for me to stay away from regular work – at least for as long a time as two weeks. As some of my friends figured out, I haven’t so far stayed away from work even during weekends except while on vacation. So, it has definitely been boring to not go to work. But, admittedly, there were occasions in these two weeks when I quite enjoyed a nice spot of silence and solitude, some non-work thinking and a hilarious second-reading of one of Plum’s books. I probably deserve such a break…to sample life beyond work while not on a pukka vacation...and the fact that there’s nothing very inspiring about my work-life at present helps ;). Nevertheless, I’m hoping to be more productive this week – like read something good on KM! :)

So, when a friend called to find out how I was doing and what I was doing, I did not have too much to update her about. She then asked me whether I was spending time with my doggy (name withheld for reasons that will be obvious later). I winced at the thought (you’ll know why very soon) and told her that I wasn’t getting to spend time with him because he has his own room on the terrace and my movement (unfortunately for me and fortunately for my doggy) is restricted to my room. What I did not reveal to my friend was that I had indeed set up a meeting with my doggy and the consequence was an insulting (for me) episode that is better forgotten.

Before I go into the episode as such, (if you’re wondering why I am revealing it on my blog, think of writing as cathartic) I think I was right in suspecting that my doggy was secretly celebrating my absence from his life. Because, no me meant there was no one to disturb his siestas or babble continuously into his tired and already drooping ears or unnecessarily shake his paw when he had much better things to do in life like chase cawing crows.

So, after a week of hopping and dragging my feet and feeling bored, I arranged for my doggy to visit my room despite such dangers as my room being turned into a place for dog-poop. First of all, he trotted into my room and looked around and actually saw through me even as I kept calling out to him. I did not know dogs bought into the philosophy of tit-for-tat (of sorts). I almost choked but withstood the insult like a true woman and continued to vie for his attention. Once he had sort of settled down and had taken a critical look at all the objects in the room (excluding me), he grudgingly looked in my direction and showed slight signs of recognition. I took the cue and offered him a view of my plastered leg. Maybe he’d find it to be better than my face?! Though I wasn’t really looking for him to sympathize with me, I thought showing the plastered leg would help me communicate why I’d been out of action and out of his life for sometime. He gave it a quick questioning look and shifted his gaze to my face and immediately realized he had made a mistake and looked away as if hurt. Happy that he had at least reacted to my gesture, I misinterpreted his thoughts and expressions, as usual, and moved the plastered leg a bit closer to him so he could investigate it further if he wanted to. Moreover, I believed in his healing touch. To my chagrin, he seemed shocked and withdrew himself with a twitch of his nose and politely (to his credit) declined to have anything to do with leg, plastered or not.

I wonder if I am even half as good as he is when it comes to reading the other’s mind. His initial questioning look, I now understand, must have meant “Why are you getting weirder by the day? What’s this hard stuff around your leg? Have you replaced the contents of your leg with that of your brain?”

Dogs, they have to admit, for some reason are not very creative and versatile when it comes to facial expressions. They rely on their eyes and tails to do all the talking. Given that the whites of their eyes or more or less hidden under normal circumstances, there are just two scenarios for us to weigh - when the whites are visible and when they aren’t. That way, my doggy showed me the whites of his eyes frequently as he kept rotating his eye balls in the opposite direction as if afraid that he’d be spotted in my room of all the places. After a while, it got worse. I got to see his tail and had no clue what he was doing with his eyes as his back was turned towards me. Extremely offensive, to say the least. I gave up and kept the plastered leg to myself. When a woman’s best friend refuses to play with her, perhaps, the next best thing is for her to play with words? That’s why this post. And, I am contemplating a new society a la SPCA. This is to be called Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Humans. Want to lend me your paw? :D

PS: Whether you know me or not, you will have no doubts that this story is an exaggerated narration but it is certainly true that my doggy was more interested in the wall opposite me and noises of some quarreling dogs outside than my plastered leg or me for that matter. Grrrr. :) Every dog has its day. :D :) :D

Friday, August 17, 2007

Words of wisdom

Reading Swami Vivekananda's thoughts on "Work and its secret" (published by Advaita Ashrama, Kolkata). Some extracts:

"That man alone will be able to get the best of nature, who, having the power of attaching himself to a thing with all his energy, has also the power to detach himself when he should do so. The difficulty is that there must be as much power of attachment as that of detachment."

"We must learn that nothing can happen to us, unless we make ourselves susceptible to it"

" will find that every blow you have received, came to you because you prepared yourselves for it"

"I have no control of the external world, but that which is in me and nearer unto me, my own world, is in my control. If the two together are required to make a failure, if the two together are necessary to give me a blow, I will not contribute the one which is in my keeping; and how then can the blow come? If I get real control of myself, the blow will never come"

UPDATE: Thanks to MT for the info! Here's the online version of this book! :)

Thursday, August 16, 2007

The Waves of Life

Another break the silence.... (I'd like to thank Alok for encouraging me to write more poems :))

The Waves of Life

The horizon was dipped in beautiful colours!
A splendid visual treat for nature lovers!
The grand sun was just about to bid goodbye...
The charming moon was on its way in, with spirits high!
The water sparkled like gems galore!
I couldn’t have possibly asked for anything more!

As I ran unabashedly toward the shore...
The sea responded with an ambiguous uproar!
The waves though caressed my feet with a bubbly smile...
But, alas, the next moment they withdrew a painful mile!
I waited for them to return, full of faith and hope...
For I discerned this seesawing was fully in life’s scope!

I submerged myself in the wonderful sound of the waves...
It was just the kind of divine music for which one craves!
When from afar there came the distracting sound of a new rhythmic beat...
Perhaps someone who was to me meet and greet?!
There was darkness all around, but only for a while...
I could soon see a milky white horse come galloping in style!

I looked on as the stunning animal came to a halt.
But for its appearance, I could not trace who was at ‘fault’...
I hesitated just a bit before the animal saw me vault...
I knew I was the master and had to ride it alone...
Horse-riding skills I had to but someday hone...

As I rode away, it seemed like Nature felt no remorse!
To ask me to make mine alone the horse!
One more time, I looked back into the sea...
And saw just what I expected to see...

The waves had returned to the shore...
Of this seesawing, there would be more...
The charming moon was just about to bid goodbye...
The grand sun was on its way in, with spirits high!!

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Being Different...

My obsession with quotes continues. This time around, the “Quotes, Quotes and more Quotes” phase that I’ve got into seems to be an extended one. Status Quo(tes) about sums it up. ;-)

"Don't be afraid to be unique or speak your mind, because that's what makes you different from everyone else." - Dave Thomas

Have you been cheating yourself by not doing or saying what you believe in? Have you wanted to be different but somehow not dared to be? Being different, apart from making you feel happy, increases your confidence and sense of self-worth. There are phases wherein the world eyes you askance because of your unconventional behaviour, but as long as you’re not doing anything against your own conscience and values, nothing really matters. Life gives.

Letting the obsession with quotes continue, I’ll end this post with another (popular) quote. “"Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do, than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade wind in your sails. Explore, dream, discover.” - Mark Twain

This, I think, is the case for both the external as well as the internal world. Go on, discover yourself and, then, be yourself! :)

Tuesday, August 07, 2007


Swinging between smiles and intense emotions,
The heart holds on to imaginary chains!
While cleverly managing the world’s notions,
It constantly fills up and then drains!

Serendipitous encounters provide the punctuation,
But the full-stop is elusive as ever………………………..
What the soul doeth to find motivation?
Creation at its best in every endeavour!

The journey inward is what giveth free,
The world outside questions yet…
The roots of this wisdom tree.
Little realizing what it can potentially get!

Note: Not having much to do makes me poetic! ;)

Sunday, August 05, 2007

HOPpy Birthday!

Yesterday (Aug 4th) was my happy birthday. If you’re wondering why I am declaring this akin to an excited kid, here’s my story. Because this was not just a regular ‘happy birthday’ but a hoppy birthday as well. I’ve fractured my left ankle and have been hopping around on one leg. That’s why. It’s been a happy (laughter-filled) one despite all the hopping only because of a couple of smart and entertaining kids nearabouts me. Sample this.

Kid 1: What is your worst dream?
Me: I don’t get dreams
Kid 1: I think you’re concentrating too much on your fracture because of which your dreams are getting fractured

Kid 2: Can you get up and hop to the kitchen?
Me: No, The doctor has asked me to not try any such things for a few days
Kid 2: <Points to a poster in my room that reads “All power is within you. You can do anything and everything. Believe in that.” – Swami Vivekananda> Then what is this for?
Me: Opened my mouth only to shut it the next moment. I know it when I am defeated.

It’s annoying to be confined to one’s bed even on normal days, leave alone one’s birthday. But wishes from friends who really care makes a world of difference. Love certainly makes the world go round. It makes everything seem just a hop, jump and skip away. Pun intentional. ;)

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

The innovation/design and business-as-usual paradox

Excellent article, this. On a topic I ponder over often. I started off by extracting whatever appealed to me most in the article and looks like I’ve ended up reproducing most of the article here! :) The emphasis of phrases is by me.


Many businesspeople have long regarded designers as mere stylists. More than a few designers see businesspeople as Neanderthals all too willing to forfeit quality for the sake of profit. Their mutual pique springs from a fundamental difference in the way each side thinks about creating value: Corporate types, by and large, seek to fuel growth by building from bulletproof, reproducible systems; designers generally attempt to do so by imagining something new, different, better. That difference can be seen as a trust in reliability on the one hand and in validity on the other.

A valid process…….flows from designers' deep understanding of both user and context, and leads them to ideas they believe in but can't prove. Valid thinking demands an inspired leap of faith.

Perhaps the most glaring difference between the worlds of business-as-usual and business-by-design is the way each side actually thinks. In traditional organizations, the dominant forms of logic are inductive (demonstrating through observation that something actually works) and deductive (reasoning from a set of existing principles to prove that something must be). Designers use inductive and deductive reasoning as well, but they also rely on a third type: abductive reasoning, the logic of what might be.

If that sounds like a schizophrenic way to run an organization--where one-half functions like an accounting firm and the other collaborates like a design shop--well, perhaps it is. But that's the way Google does it. Call it schizophrenic, but the challenge for CEOs like Schmidt is to manage the paradox of freewheeling innovation and buttoned-down operational discipline.

In traditional firms, status--the protein that nourishes the ambitious as they claw their way up the corporate org chart--is conferred on those who run brawny organizations with big-time budgets. The relationship between size and status is pretty straightforward: The larger the revenue and the bigger the staff, the higher one's station and the greater the reward. That's why most executives prefer the known to the unknown. It's a lot easier and safer to run a billion-dollar business than it is to invent one. Among designers, however, the tinder that fuels the creative fire comes from solving wicked problems. The best designers are not necessarily known for the revenues they've generated, but for the challenges they've cracked.

The biggest challenge for all of us, designers and businesspeople alike, is to become equally adept at quantifying the now and intuiting what's next. There's simply no other way to win.


Inspired by this article, it just struck me that I love leaps of faith as compared to balanced and measured steps of reason. And this is what gives me fuel for many an argument. What is your style and why? Do enlighten me.

5S Philosophy

Ilker explains what the Japanese 5S philosophy is all about. Sort, Straighten, Shine, Systemize, and Sustain. Sounds like plain and simple common sense. I don’t know if everyone feels the way I do, but I think most of the Japanese philosophies and methods are embarrassingly obvious in retrospect. :)