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

Recurring Motifs in Calvin & Hobbes – The Cardboard Box

The Time Machine

Want to time travel? Or make clones of yourself? Or transmogrify yourself into something else; let’s say, a pterodactyl or a dinosaur or a lion? You’d be wondering what is the connection between these apparantly discrete activities. What if I told you that you could do all of these with one simple device – a corrugated cardboard box? Well, at least in Calvin’s world, you can.

You can change the function of the box by simply turnning it from one position to another and changing the label. Let’s say you want to time travel – all you need to do is keep the box’s face up with the top open and sit inside it. Well, you have to be careful with which way you are sitting; otherwise you may time travel the wrong way. Calvin once went into the past when he really intended to go into the future. He realized his mistake when he saw a dinosaur. Continue reading

Games People Play…in Jamshedpur

How many of you have heard of ‘dadhi chhua’? Now, what was that? No? Never? Well, how about ‘Padda Kudi’ or ‘Atti Patti’?  ‘Gobar Danda’? No? No clue? I don’t blame you. If you are not from Jamshedpur, you wouldn’t have heard any of these names ever in your life. These are games that kids play, or at least, used to play in Jamshedpur.  Mention any of these games to a Jamshedpur guy and you can be sure of sending them on a trip down memory lane evoking a strong sense of nostalgia. Hell, you might even see them secretly shed a tear in the memory of those golden days that will never come back. Yes we used to play the usual cricket, football, basketball, badminton and hockey, albeit with tree branches, not hockey sticks. But then, during the long summer holidays, when we got bored playing the usual games, we would go back to ‘Atti Patti’ and ‘Gobar Danda’. My limited research in the field indicates that these games are completely indigenous to Jamshedpur. Nowhere else have I seen or heard of kids playing ‘Dadhi Chhua’ for instance. 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

I’ll be Bach

“I’ll be back” is the famous line from Terminator. I loved the movie as a kid and have watched it countless times. Years later, I read a joke in some magazine about a filmmaker who wanted to make a movie on the greatest musicians of all time. He called four actors in his studio and asked them to pick the parts they wanted to play. “I’ll be Mozart”, said the first actor. “I’ll be Beethoven” chimed the second. Suddenly a booming voice declared “I’ll be Bach”. No surprises for guessing that the voice belonged to our very own Terminator, Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Well technically I should have titled the post ‘I’m Back’, because it is about the end of my hiatus from this space after over four months. However, I could not stop myself from using one of my favorite lines from the movies, ‘I’ll be back’ or rather, with a twist, ‘I’ll be Bach’. Continue reading