On Adjectives

branding-iron.jpgSo, it has been more than two years that I wrote something on this blog. Long time indeed! Why didn’t I write in the last two years? Honestly, I don’t know. I can rationalize by saying I didn’t get enough time, I had other priorities, I got interested in other things, I didn’t feel ‘inspired’….Hang on! Yeah, it is that last one. At least it sounds fancy and writer-ish. ‘I was experiencing a writer’s block.’ Yeah, that’s it.

I have been thinking about adjectives. Why, I hear you ask. I will tell you in a moment. Well, as it happens, in school, one of the few subjects I was good at was English language. When I say ‘good’ here, I must concede that the word is being used in a relative context. I mean I didn’t score 100 out of 100 in any test or exam. I didn’t score the crazy marks that students get in ICSE exams these days – 97.5%, 98.7%, 99.1%, 99.6%, mind-boggling, isn’t it? However, compared to my performance in and enjoyment of other subjects at school, such as Mathematics and Chemistry, English language was sort of a refuge. An oasis in the desert; light at the end of the tunnel; the first drops of rain on thirsty, parched earth…well you get the idea. I know some of the more pedantic ones among you will point to four grammatical mistakes in this piece already, so I must make this point emphatically – when I say I was good in the English language, I mean it in relative, comparative, terms. English vs Physics. It is just that in my case the gulf was so huge that it was like comparing the taste of chocolate cake with ganache to that of gruel made with gelatinous grains and tree bark. Continue reading

Doing Nothing!

Doing Nothing!

Doing Nothing!

On Monday morning, a colleague at work asked me, “So, how was your weekend? What did you do?” My answer was instinctive, “Weekend was good. Did nothing! Was at home.” When I thought about it later, I realized that this ‘Nothing’ actually meant a lot. It meant quality time spent with my wife. It meant playing and sharing laughs with my daughter. It meant conversations with my parents. It meant flipping through a good book. It meant watching a great movie on the television. It meant going for walks in the evening. This is just my definition of the ‘Nothing’ that I did over the past weekend. ‘Nothing’ can mean so much more.

‘Nothing’ is actually pregnant with possibilities. It is an open canvas on which you can paint whatever you want. How liberating! There are no limiting factors, when you start out with nothing. You can do whatever you want. It means freedom. Not everyone can handle it. I think a lot of us working in the corporate world would become quite unsettled with it. So much so that we like to keep a ‘To Do’ list for the weekends and even the vacations that we take.  Continue reading

The Simple Joys of Life

ImageWow! It has been a long time. A really long time. More than a year actually. An eventful year. I became a father for the first time, and may I add, probably for the only time. Fatherhood! I have always been scared of it. I have always questioned how can a person like me, who likes to call himself ‘an eternal child at heart’, shoulder the responsibility of taking care of a child. To tell the truth, I’m still scared. Will I be able to help my wife bring our daughter up well? Will I be able to provide for her? Will I be able to take care of her? Will I be able to do as much as my wife does for her? I don’t know. But what I do know is that I love her. A lot! My daughter, the light of my life. It is great to go back home and see her welcome me with a big smile, her hands clapping in happiness. It is magical.

That leads me to the topic of this post. When and how do we lose this ability to be happy about the everyday things in life?  Even if we do feel this kind of happiness occasionally, do we express it? Why do we become cynical over time? We keep postponing happiness. “I’ll be truly happy after I retire”, “I’ll be happy after I buy a house”, “I’ll be happy when I become self-employed”, “I’ll be happy when I buy a BMW” or in my case “I’ll be happy when I own a PlayStation 4”. Well, mine’s a weird whim, isn’t it? Continue reading

Rediscovering Tintin

Tintin and Snowy

No, this is not about the movie, ‘The Adventures of Tintin’, Spielberg’s cinematic adaptation of the classic comic series by Hergé. I have not watched the movie as yet; though I do want to watch it – in 3D. Maybe I’ll try and catch it this weekend. This is about the Tintin books, compiled by Hergè over many years, and loved by readers across the globe. This post is about my love for the books, or to put it the way Thomson and Thompson would have, ‘to be precise it is to book my love’ for the classic series.

I first read Tintin when I was in school. A great many Library periods were gainfully employed in reading about the adventures of Tintin across the world, from Congo to America to Egypt to India to China to Scotland; even the moon. I remember desperately wanting to buy all the 24 books that I saw in the school library, but I knew we couldn’t afford it. So, I continued reading and re-reading them in the library, wistfully looking at the attractive cover pages, feeling the glossy inside pages, marveling at the beautiful drawings, and laughing at the slapstick humor. And then I grew up. Continue reading

A New Beginning

The past few weeks have been about change. I’ve seen quite a lot changing for people around me. Both my sisters have decided to get married. Friends have got married, few others have been blessed with children. In the midst of all this, I decided to change jobs. Well, those of you who know me well and have been on my page earlier, would know that I was not enjoying my stint in my previous organization. I wanted to do something that I was passionate about. The right offer came at the right time and I jumped ship.

It has been a month now in the new organization and so far it has been great. Though the name is not as big as my previous organization, the role here is a lot more challenging. A lot is expected of me and I’m trying to deliver as best as I can.  People are a lot warmer and friendlier. Yes, processes are not in place, things are a bit all over the place, but then I have the mandate to fix them. Exciting, isn’t it? Continue reading

Where I Find Myself Today

I had once appeared for a job interview where the interviewer asked me, “So Ritesh, training & development!…was it by design or by accident?”  The interviewer was a typical corporate warrior, donning the badge of his many years of experience in the HR fraternity, proudly on his, may I add, puffed chest. He told me about himself, how many functions he handles and how he plans to change the course of the organization with his extraordinary leadership. With the restless energy that you quite often find in such corporate warriors, he shifted in his seat, head tilted back, trying to size me up. He was waiting for a response to the question he had posed to me.

I considered the question and contemplated on the best course of action. Should I tell him the truth or should I give him bulls**t about how much I love working with people and how I always had the passion to help people realize their potential. In the end, I thought, what the heck, let me tell the truth and I confessed it was purely by accident. I went on to add, however,  that having spent close to seven years in the profession, I have developed a passion for it and I cannot think of doing anything else now. You develop a passion for something only after you have done it for a while. Continue reading