Category : Social

2012 can bring the Best for You

Communicating with you through my 1st blog of 2012, let me start by asking what would you like New Year to bring you?

  • Would like to enjoy your life more than ever before?
  • Would you like your life to be full of pleasure; but, without problem?
  • You would like your boss to be nice to you at least in Twenty Twelve
  • Do you wish your spouse to be kind to you?
  • Should sun be always shining on you and you would always like to feel relaxed?

How many of above wishes you want 2012 to fulfill for you? May be all of above or most of these.

Let us assume, you want to take it all. Why miss any, when there is an opportunity?

Here is what you need to do:

  1. You obviously know, how you have enjoyed your life before. Your present desire shows that it was not good enough. So, why remember what was not up to the mark? Just forget it – the past.
    This would be a sure shot to enjoy more Now!
  2. It is clear you had problems before. You do not want them anymore; rather hate them, as those have impacted your pleasure.
    Are those still around?
    1. No; then why worry? In any case, you do not like them. Start to worry or think of those, whom you like or love. Why to be a nerd by bothering about what you dislike?
    2. If yes, then tell me of your problems. As a friend, I would be happy to help.
  3. Are you a boss and nice to your team?
    No; then you are stupid. Hang on, I am not saying this. I read it in a management guru’s book.
    If such is the case, why grumble; Behavior of your boss is commensurate with what you are.
    If yes, you have a case. Do simple things – go to the boss and tell him or her what kind of boss you are and ask politely, what you should do, so that he or she becomes nice to you – be more humble or fumble, work smarter or be less smart, be a yes man/woman or say no to indiscretions? I am sure; your boss would be nice to you….thereafter.
  4. If spouse is She, take her on an enjoyable holiday package.
    If spouse is He, give him a break and good food.
    So, you get what you give.
  5. Sun always shines; albeit you may not be seeing it. Surely, there are clouds, which are preventing sun to shine on you.
    Make efforts to remove these clouds and if required, seek some help.
    Once you are shining under the sun or sun is shining on you, your relaxation or comfort is guaranteed.

So, it is not that difficult to get the best out of 2012. Right?

You are, now, set to get what you want (though 15 days late in Twenty Twelve)!

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An interesting campaign for anti-corruption and support for Lokpal in my Housing Society

When Anna Hazare’s movement was at peak few months back, one fine evening, I saw a notice on my Society’s board requesting residents to join “candle march” coming Saturday. When that Saturday evening I heard loudest possible slogans “Mee Anna Hazare”, “Annaji, go forward, we are behind you” and so on, I could not hold back my curiosity and went down to see the march.

It was a group about 30 male and female residents in middle to old age group (out of 500 families, who live in our Society) holding candles and some wearing white cap painted with slogan “Mee Anna”. I saw that highest pitch among participants was that of an ex-government official, who seems to be having assets disproportionate to the position he had held. There were few sober residents, who normally like to follow others. There were few sober residents, who normally like to follow others. Then, there were some, who have known liking to hear their own voice, paying little attention to what they actually speak. Others were those, who like to create obstacles in good work, our Society would propose.

I felt pity on an old lady, who was not able to walk properly and raise her voice. I could not resist asking her why she is troubling herself. Brightness came into her eyes and she explained enthusiastically “I want to teach lesson to our society’s security supervisor, because he is corrupt and takes money from contract labor working in society’s premises. That is what I have heard from other residents; but managing committee is not doing anything about it. When Annaji would be successful, I would drag this fellow to Lokpal”! Next day, one of my friends told me that his driver wants to take leave and go to New Delhi to strengthen hands of Anna and his team to get billions of dollars of black money from foreign accounts back in India. He believes that when such money comes in, he would get some being backward class and would lead richer life.

I felt this candle march with its participants is a true image (at micro level) of anti-corruption movement at large! It left me wondering can Gandhinian ways of protest be applied to solve an issue, which is so deeply ingrained in our system and enact legislation with threats?

It is tempting for some to raise public frenzy and fury through brinkmanship. But then, expectations of people are also raised sky high and if these are not managed properly, such movement or strategy is destined to fizzle out! This is what seems to have dawned recently in Mumbai and enthusiasts of candle march in my society now!

Corruption in all walks of life needs to be tackled with strong will and for that, realism and foresight should descend on our leaders. Corruption is an ailment, which not only requires treatment through well thought out laws and honest practices; but it would also need preventive measures like teaching Ethics in every school, college, institution and enterprise and implanting same in the minds of people like a Faith.

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If India has poor image, it is largely to do with our poor attitude and approach

On 31-December-2001, my wife asked our maid how she and her family were going to celebrate New Year. She said in despair they have debt but not money, so what is there to celebrate?

Exactly 10 years later, our same maid came to work on 1st Jan morning, mumbling song of movie Body Guard and started narrating to my wife how she celebrated New Year eve. She and entire family went to McDonald restaurant, ate burger and fries, watched midnight TV screen program, before getting back home at 2 a.m. My wife could now understand hangover of Body Guard.

Our neighbor told us that her maid was praising her stars on the midnight of New Year, as her husband fondly surprised by getting a pizza and coke for her (and of course country liquor for himself).

So, is India as poor as perceived or we feel shy to project our improving image to the world? We do not seem to take pride in how India and large section of its population have progressed. May be it is because we tend to rue and cry a lot over problems; blame everybody else from our stars to fore-fathers, genes to God for what we do not have. If nothing else, we find the Prime Minister of India as the best scapegoat to take out our frustration. Most of us would expect someone else to come to our rescue. Hence, some would believe that astrologers or horoscope readers can do that.

Such attitude does not encourage you to take pride and hold your head in high esteem for what you are and becoming. Shun above attitude, put faith in yourselves, make efforts to address your needs and shape your own destiny, then you would be on top of your world (1).

There is yet another aspect typically present in most of us. If we face a problem or crisis, we tend to distance ourselves, especially when we believe we have no or little role to play and instead, we like to point fingers. Until some weeks back, we had a problem at national level of food inflation raging high. Common perception was this is a problem of only government. All that every other person at home or street would do is to unleash acrimony in private or public or through internet, TV and print media. In the whole chain of producing food items to reaching end consumers, there are several players or agencies, which have some role to influence pricing. Rather than showing a responsible behavior, they were mostly spectator or crying foul. Now that inflation has nearly become zero, no one has remorse for what was said.

Problems are solved easily and efficiently by helping, if you can or at least not hurting by your actions or expressions (2).

So, India’s image is on the roll and by changing our attitude and approach – refer (1) and (2), we can not only accelerate our own growth; but also help that for nation.

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Measures to improve quality of students

There was quite a media buzz after Infosys chairman emeritus N.R. Narayana Murthy’s recent observation on the quality of IIT students. One of main reasons cited for the downslide in quality is the shortage of faculty. Such a qualitative downslide over the years has been experienced by the industry even in colleges, which did nor face any such shortage of faculty. There are a number of reasons for this.

Efforts by students to secure high percentage have taken precedent over fundamental learning of the subjects. Competition and the desire to get a placement in major organisations have accentuated this tendency. Is the percentage of marks in examinations not an automatic consequence of fundamentally strong knowledge? Ultimately, what helps you succeed in the career is in-depth knowledge and some other qualities.

There is a crucial aspect that merits immediate attention. Even if a student is a topper and knows the discipline well, if s/he is weak in communication skills, s/he is most likely to be rated poor in quality by an interviewer. Do not be surprised, if 80 percent of the impact, which a student creates on interviewers, is by his/ her communication skills and how s/he presents self. Even interviewers often are not aware of how their own decisions are influenced by these qualities.

Barring some, most educational institutions do not do a good job to develop the communication qualities in students. A student may have all the knowledge about the discipline, s/he is qualified; but that by itself will have no meaning in practical life, unless s/he is able to demonstrate it effectively during the hiring process and then during actual employment. We may blame the faculty, external coaching classes and so on; however, what we need is to make learning of communication skills and personal grooming a part of college curriculum. The faculty members need to know this and they have to have these qualities to begin with.

Then there is a paramount need for students to imbibe ethics and quality. There is literally no emphasis in academia on these. Here quality means “doing it right the first time.” There is a false notion that a quality system is necessary only in industries and quality costs more efforts, time and money. Actually, it is exactly the opposite. If we can make faculty and students conscious of ethics and quality, in due time, we will have quality manpower needed by the industry.

Originally printed in (November 16, 2011)

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