I just realized

I love having breakfast for dinner. Love love love! Where are the coffee and pancakes?

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The Calcutta Chromosome

What happens when you have no reaction after reading a book? I tried and tried and tried and the only word that came into my head was “meh”.

Sigh, Amitav Ghosh. Why?

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Look within

बुरा जो देखन मैं चली बुरा ना मिल्या कोय
जो मन खोजा आपना मुझ से बुरा ना कोय

 

“I wandered in search for the crooked, and I could find none,

I looked in my heart instead and found the biggest one”

-Saint Kabir

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Thought for the day

“The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude, to me, is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, the education, the money, than circumstances, than failure, than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill. It will make or break a company… a church… a home. The remarkable thing is we have a choice everyday regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past… we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude. I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% of how I react to it. And so it is with you… we are in charge of our Attitudes.”

- Charles R Swindoll

Source : Thinkexist.com

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We are all changing

I am slowly making my way through White Noise (Don Dellilo). For an award winning novel, it is amazingly slow. Or maybe my patience and passion are both slowly dying. Anyway, I am still determined to finish the book so I am dividing my time between White Noise and my latest copy of Newsweek (which surprisingly is really thin in this issue).

I was browsing through facebook yesterday when I came across some photos of people I was friends with some/long time ago. It was surprising to see that most of them are not in their initial cliques anymore. This made me think about the consistance of change in everyone’s life. How does everyone handle it? Do they even realize that change is happening? Do they just go with the flow and have no feelings about it? Are they happy to embrace it? Are they scared and cry under the covers every night? Will I ever know the answer to all these questions? I guess not.

I think of myself as forever-ready for a change. Yes I am. But I am also scared. I tread into unknown waters slowly. Not because I am scared of unfamiliar spaces but because I am hesitant to let go of the part of me that might change in the experience. Looking back, I realize that every time I embraced changes, it always turned me into something stronger and better. Not necessarily in everyone’s perspective. But that doesn’t matter. I realize that change is good and people do matter. But nothing matters as much as our own thoughts and our own relections. Things happen for a reason. Life takes twists and turns and we are all thrown off by the surprises. But as long as we think we are better than what we were yesterday. It’s all good.

No regrets :)

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Invictus

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll.
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

- William Ernest Henley

I usually don’t have the patience to read poems, but I came across this and was thoroughly inspired. Maybe I’ll read other of the poet’s works too :)

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Talk about bursting the bubble

An Open Letter to India’s Graduating Classes

By MOHIT CHANDRA
Students prepare for summer placements at the Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Bangalore, in this  November 10, 2008 file photo.

Namas Bhojani for The New York TimesStudents prepare for summer placements at the Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Bangalore, in this  November 10, 2008 file photo.

Dear Graduates and Post-Graduates,

This is your new employer. We are an Indian company, a bank, a consulting firm, a multinational corporation, a public sector utility and everything in between. We are the givers of your paycheck, of the brand name you covet, of the references you will rely on for years to come and of the training that will shape your professional path.

Millions of you have recently graduated or will graduate over the next few weeks. Many of you are probably feeling quite proud – you’ve landed your first job, discussions around salaries and job titles are over, and you’re ready to contribute.

Life is good – except that it’s not. Not for us, your employers, at least. Most of your contributions will be substandard and lack ambition, frustrating and of limited productivity. We are gearing ourselves up for broken promises and unmet expectations. Sorry to be the messenger of bad news.

Today, we regret to inform you that you are spoiled. You are spoiled by the “India growth story”; by an illusion that the Indian education system is capable of producing the talent that we, your companies, most crave; by the imbalance of demand and supply for real talent; by the deceleration of economic growth in the mature West; and by the law of large numbers in India, which creates pockets of highly skilled people who are justly feted but ultimately make up less than 10 percent of all of you.

So why this letter, and why should you read on? Well, because based on collective experience of hiring and developing young people like you over the years, some truths have become apparent. This is a guide for you and the 15- to 20-year-olds following in your footsteps – the next productive generation of our country. Read on to understand what your employers really want and how your ability to match these wants can enrich you professionally.

There are five key attributes employers typically seek and, in fact, will value more and more in the future. Unfortunately, these are often lacking in you and your colleagues.

1.You speak and write English fluently: We know this is rarely the case. Even graduates from better-known institutions can be hard to understand.

Exhibit No. 1: Below is an actual excerpt from a résumé we received from a “highly qualified and educated” person. This is the applicant’s “objective statement:”

“To be a part of an organization wherein I could cherish my erudite dexterity to learn the nitigrities of consulting”

Huh? Anyone know what that means? We certainly don’t.

And in spoken English, the outcomes are no better. Whether it is a strong mother tongue influence, or a belief (mistakenly) that the faster one speaks the more mastery one has, there is much room for improvement. Well over half of the pre-screened résumés lack the English ability to effectively communicate in business.

So the onus, dear reader, is on you – to develop comprehensive English skills, both written and oral.

2. You are good at problem solving, thinking outside the box, seeking new ways of doing things: Hard to find. Too often, there is a tendency to simply wait for detailed instructions and then execute the tasks – not come up with creative suggestions or alternatives.

Exhibit No. 2: I was speaking with a colleague of mine who is a chartered accountant from Britain and a senior professional. I asked him why the pass percentage in the Indian chartered accountant exam was so low and why it was perceived as such a difficult exam.

Interestingly (and he hires dozens of Indian chartered accountants each year), his take is as follows: the Indian exam is no harder than the British exam. Both focus on the application of concepts, but since the Indian education system is so rote-memorization oriented, Indian students have a much more difficult time passing it than their British counterparts.

Problem-solving abilities, which are rarely taught in our schooling system, are understandably weak among India’s graduates, even though India is the home of the famous “jugadu,” the inveterate problem solver who uses what’s on hand to find a solution. Let’s translate this intrinsic ability to the workforce.

3. You ask questions, engage deeply and question hierarchy: How we wish!

Exhibit No. 3: Consistently, managers say that newly graduated hires are too passive, that they are order-takers and that they are too hesitant to ask questions. “Why can’t they pick up the phone and call when they do not understand something?” is a commonly asked question.
You are also unduly impressed by titles and perceived hierarchy. While there is a strong cultural bias of deference and subservience to titles in India, it is as much your responsibility as it is ours to challenge this view.

4. You take responsibility for your career and for your learning and invest in new skills: Many of you feel that once you have got the requisite degree, you can go into cruise control. The desire to learn new tools and techniques and new sector knowledge disappears. And we are talking about you 25- to 30-year-olds – typically the age when inquisitiveness and hunger for knowledge in the workplace is at its peak.

Exhibit No. 4: Recently, our new hires were clamoring for training. Much effort went into creating a learning path, outlining specific courses (online, self-study) for each team. With much fanfare, an e-mail was sent to the entire team outlining the courses.

How many took the trainings? Less than 15 percent. How many actually read the e-mail? Less than 20 percent.

The desire to be spoon-fed, to be directed down a straight and narrow path with each career step neatly laid out, is leading you toward extinction, just like the dinosaurs. Your career starts and ends with you. Our role, as your employer, is to ensure you have the tools, resources and opportunities you need to be successful. The rest is up to you.

5. You are professional and ethical: Everyone loves to be considered a professional. But when you exhibit behavior like job hopping every year, demanding double-digit pay increases for no increase in ability, accepting job offers and not appearing on the first day, taking one company’s offer letter to shop around to another company for more money — well, don’t expect to be treated like a professional.
Similarly, stretching yourself to work longer hours when needed, feeling vested in the success of your employer, being ethical about expense claims and leaves and vacation time are all part of being a consummate professional. Such behavior is not ingrained in new graduates, we have found, and has to be developed.

So what can we conclude, young graduates?

My message is a call to action: Be aware of these five attributes, don’t expect the gravy train to run forever, and don’t assume your education will take care of you. Rather, invest in yourself – in language skills, in thirst for knowledge, in true professionalism and, finally, in thinking creatively and non-hierarchically. This will hold you in good stead in our knowledge economy and help lay a strong foundation for the next productive generation that follows you.

Together, I hope we, your employer, and you, the employee, can forge an enduring partnership.

The author is a partner with KPMG, and these are his personal views.

Source:http://india.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/05/23/an-open-letter-to-indias-graduating-classes/

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I am only getting wiser!

Two weeks ago I turned 25. Mid-twenties. haha

Although I would have loved to, I did not spend my day reminiscing over the past year and making a list of what-i-did-well and what-could-have-been-better. I did however, work until late, had a BIG lunch and spend a quiet evening (whatever I could have of it).

Today I realized that one thing I did not do last year was read like there is no tomorrow. The total number of books I might have read in the entire 24th year of my life would count up to less than 10. No kidding!

So today I took out my dusty old purple jhola and brought it along with me. On my way back from work, I am going to stop at the library and fill it up with as many books as I can!

Few of the books that have been on my reading list for a while and are finally going inside my bag tonight are:

- Slaughterhouse 5 – Kurt Vonnegut

- The Thirteenth Tale – Diane Setterfield

- Still Alice – Lisa Genova

- The Elected Member – Bernice Rubens

- The Nose – Nikolai Gogol

Yay!

I have not  been feeling top form recently. Not down or ill, just not top form. I want to recover from it soon so that I can live life just the way I like it and enjoy it just the way it’s supposed to be!

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Where did April go?

And May?

This wasn’t supposed to happen! Where am I? Where did all the time go?

Apologies as it seems like I am still not fully out of the time warp I seem to have been in since the beginning of April.

Sheesh. Is it really June?

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Global Giving

I believe that throughout our life we must not forget those less fortunate. Often I see people throw away clothes, shoes, books and food. If we look outside our windows, I am certain that we can find at least one person who needs them. Next time, instead of throwing our unneeded stuff in the trash, why don’t we walk two steps and donate them?

I found a website that can channel monetary donations to those in need. Please do check it out:

http://www.globalgiving.org/

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