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Tag: better

For better or for worse

If I could just run and if I could just hide. From people, from the fakeness of the world, from the lies in the relationships, from the constant need to prove one’s worth. If we could stop living our lives on visiting cards and bank statements for just a few moments. But that is like asking the earth to stop rotating. For as long as we live, this is what will matter to us, the titles, the turnovers, the cars, the houses. It is quite pathetic actually. Because at the end of all this madness, we have to stand naked in front of ourselves, in front of our maker, will all our faults and follies. Tab kya karenge? Where will we hide then? and from whom? and for how long?

After so many years of being alive, I finally shouted at my mother. She was playing the same old tune. That of her son being the most successful child amongst all three as he had made the maximum amount of money and property. And it always triggers me. So I reacted. I told her that she was uneducated and illiterate, that she cannot understand what I am trying to do and that she never could. I am not proud of all that I said to her. It does not beehove me to go down to her level. But she has been humiliating me and all that I have been trying to be that I just wanted to hurt her once. For her to feel what I feel every moment. The rejection, the pain and the constant loss of self esteem because of my parents’ abandonment. I guess it would have been easier to accept the rejection if they were dead. There is a finality in death. A sense of loss which can be dwealt with over time. But with life, there is always hope. A possibility that maybe someday they would be able to accept me and love me just the way I am.

So I reacted, shouted and walked away. From all that could have been but was not. From hope and dreams and illusions. To reality. To what is real in my life. To Appu and my work.

Challenging projects in hand. Lot of reading to do. We have bought many books, Thank God we have the money to do that. We have Document 8168 ( vol I and II), Annexyure 14, Annexture 4, Aircraft operation manual, Jeppesen Charts. Ab padai karni hai. Between the bills and the admin, accounts, client call,meetings, sleeping, time nikalna hai. Very tough. It is a fight every day. To just read and digest a few lines.

The TV in the pantry is quite a distraction for all the class IV staff. The cook, housekeeping boy ,guards and office boys love being in the pantry. The admin is proving to be tougher than the technical part. The story of our country. Satellite launch karenge lekin bijli paani nahin hai.

The technical team is getting stable ( fingers always crossed). They experienced flying in the simulator installed at the Delhi Flying Club and I think they are just beginning to fall in love with aviation and hopefully GC.

Hope is a good thing. Hope is all we have.

For better or for worse.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

‘A letter to Mom’

The day just gone by happened to be my biological birthday. Nothing great about it. I do’nt even think that I have had a spectacular innings or have broken any world records. All I can honestly say for all these years is that ‘ we survived’. Me and Appu. Appu and me. Whichever way.

But Appu thinks otherwise and she and ‘The Team’ at the office decided to throw a surprise party for me with lunch and it was very touching and inspiring. No fakeness. Just down to earth affection and caring. No huge gifts or glamour. A huge potted plant from a nursery ( because of my love for plants) and an illuminated portrait of Krishna( as they saw the Bhagwad Geeta) on my table. Very thoughtful. The best part was that that everyone from Sunita ( who cooks food in the office)  to Sana ( who takes care of the phone and various admin issues) to Rajesh ( the guard) to the technical guys, Rajat and Soma, all came together as a team. This bonding was beautiful. And the ‘sutradhar’ of course was Appu who also choreographed the show in anonymity. Myself, who claims to know every little event that happens in the office had no clue that this get together was being organized.

Thank you guys. For the team spirit you displayed. For the bonding. For the TLC (tender loving care).

My father called. Wished me. Asked me to save some money for the rainy days. So far so good. Then the same tape. My classmates were making so much more money than me. ( So what papa? It is ok. I have my dignity, work that I like doing and Appu. We have a decent life, we are self supporting). And then some more. You should not make friends ( what you mean is ‘men-friends’, right? But where were you when I was alone, without money for any treatment even when I was sick? Did you think then that I could get used or abused by men/women alike? Aaj yaad aya aapko? Aaj aap advice de rahen hai?). It is Ok papa. You could not be there for reasons best known to you. I have stopped judging you. Please stop judging me. We did our best, you and me.

What I also remember from the day gone by is that my mother never called me. I wish I could write to her and ask: ‘ Mom, would you have loved me if I had made more money? Or if I had been more successful in the world outside? Or had more name and fame? Would you have loved me if I had been more of a traditional daughter? Would you have loved me if I had stayed in my marriage despite knowing that it had broken up long ago? I tried you know. For a long time. To make you happy. Even if I was dying inside, I wanted you to be happy. And then somewhere I gave up. Do you even know when I gave up trying?

It was that moment when I had no money, no husband, no place to hide myself or my daughter. I called you. You came with Dad. And then you said that it was all my fault that my marriage broke. My fault that everyone left. And so I had to face the consequences on my own. You drove away with Dad and I was running behind your car. Till I was tired. At that moment I knew I was alone. For better or for worse. That it was just me and God. That you were never there. And it was at that moment I accepted that I had no Mom. I loved the title of Mom. but there was no one there. never had been for a long time.

So I guess you just gave birth to me and forgot. I do not know if I need to be thankful to you for giving me birth or resentful for abandoning me.

And so , I really do not know how to be a Mom to Appu. I just keep trying to not do, what you did to me. Maybe that is not enough. I do not know.

Maybe someday I will have the courage to write that letter or ask you face to face: ‘Why the hell did you abandon me’?

Someday, I will write.

A letter to Mom.

Still searching

Why did we choose this path?

Wanted to look cool? to look good? Is that it?

you ask as if there were many choices.

Of course there must have been. At least a few, if not too many.

So you tell me. Which one would have been a better choice?

To live or to die?

To face dis-respect in the family or to face dis-respect in the world outside?

To let goons rule this country and become one in the process?

Or to fake that everything is fine, that education eradicates all evils and hide behind a good image? Behind more cars,mobiles,money. That I am OK and you are OK and everything is OK. When the truth is that nothing is OK.

But to face the truth would be too devastating. Too scary. So let the facade go one.  Yes,we are a growing country.

Yes we are an emerging economy. yes, we are moving towards gender equality ( I mean we are talking about it, a lot I must say), yes we take a holiday in the name of Gandhi, we say the right words at the right time. But that is where it stops.

Look beneath the surface and you will see that the first qualification to enter politics is the ability to indulge in mindless violence, to have a criminal background, to have loads of money and the ability to distribute liquor, dreams, promises to the poor, the scheduled castes and the have-nots without having to work for it. The poor are promised the world without working for it, if only they vote for them. How is that possible?

Success or failure in such a world would not matter. I guess we are all failures in some way. For allowing all this decay to continue. For not having the courage to stop the wheel and re-invent it. Even in our own lives, forget about others, society and the world at large.

A colleague asked me, your life is still not on track? You are still getting beaten up and dealing with the cops, actually goons in uniform. And my answer is:

My friend, I do not know whether my life is on track or not because I am still looking for the track. Where is the track?

I am still searching.

Still searching.

 

‘Why’

Why?

Never a good question. There are no answers.

What?

A shade better.

How?

Definitely sounds good.

In fact, ‘what’ and ‘how’ are the only two questions to which we can assign some answers, some solutions. But the ‘why’ is unsurmountable. A wall. We can keep breaking our head over it. It will still yield no results. The question just sits there like a rock.

Aaj ki ‘dhyaadi’? Just one meeting and administration issues. Wow. Now that’s what is called an output. Bhai turnover ka kya hoga? Turnover toh saal ke baad dekhenge, ‘dal roti chat ka kya hoga”? This is not the US. Just because you are born does not entitle you to food and shelter. kaam karna padta hai. We are a poor country you see.

The Ministry of Civil Aviationa and AAI are involved in the re-structuring process for the issue of NOC, the clients are waiting and watching the next moves ( who will kill whom, after all it is a bloody game) in the wings. And we have no work. We are unemployed yet again. Rahul continues to work on the software but that is not currently a ‘paid project’. In our field the sound of  a ‘paid project’ is very nice. Bolne par hi achha lagta hai. Kya kar rahe ho? Paid project par kaam ho raha hai ( as if working with a future technology but yet unpaid project is anathema).

Appu is drafting the reply for the court case and I am very grateful to her ( No lawyer will represent us and even if somebody agreed by fluke, the charges would be beyond our budget). Thanks Bebzer. Amma is trying to show how much work she can do by cleaning the house before Diwali (Ab to gift dena hi padega).

Still stuck with the many why’s.

Why.

‘This Earth’

It is quite a job. To be a woman. To be constantly aware of the fact that at any moment, anyone can trespass our boundaries. Emotional or Physical. It is quite a scary thought and to constantly live with it can be very tiring and exhausting. Just behind the thin veneer of liberty, equality and freedom for women is this stark, brutal reality of being inferior to men. The moment we step out of the defined boundaries , there is hell to pay. In the family, in the society, in our professional lives and in the world at large. I guess that is why we are struggling with the bank so much. I am a woman and I have no land. There cannot be a worse combination. Add to it the lack of a ‘man’ behind me. pathetic. It is very difficult for the bankers to trust me with large amounts of money. Even though we have been paying the installments consistently. Even though our performance has been consistent, if not mind blowing or path breaking.

I do not know what the Higher Power has in mind for me. The HP’s intentions are not very clear to me as of now. To give in or to stand up. I was recently able to attend an NA meeting and a member shared how his daughters had no toilet to go to. How they did not dare to venture out in the night for relieving themselves as they could be molested or raped in the fields. So they have to wait the entire night until dawn breaks for going to the fields.  One of his daughters is now living with us and I have no idea how we could make her life better and if at all such a possibility exists. This is the development of our country if you may please. This is the reality behind the malls, the glitz and glamour of high technology gizmos. sachhai dekh lo yaar. Before it is too late. Maybe it already is too late.

We need to invest in the technology of ‘Photogrammetry’. So we are looking at the universe to open up sources for the funds and energy required. The stereo satellite images ordered for a specific project have not yet arrived. We are a unique country. Everything takes time. Even time takes time.

We continue to look for leaders. As I mentioned earlier, we are constantly in recruitment mode now. There is nothing much to say. There is fear. Constantly lurking behind as a backdrop in the mind and heart. Need large doses of faith here.

Choose between faith and money. Well?

I mean what about both. Or is there a guarantee that faith could lead to money and vice versa?

Just go to hell. But we are already in hell. I mean we are on this earth which is like hell.

‘This Earth’.


‘Zero’

I guess I am angry. And hurt. And the freedom provided in GC will need to be curbed. We are not ready for democracy. For freedom. Freedom has a flip side to it which is ‘responsibility’. And most of us want the freedom without the responsibility. We want all the pluses. With no minus at all. But the two always co-exist. There is no company, no person, no area on the surface of earth which will have only one of the two. But in our short sightedness, we cannot see too far. Our visibility levels are below 50m. Maybe we need some CATS procedures to be able to see the entire length of the runway of our life. OK, So we will need to block naukri.com, facebook and personal mails. ‘Blocking’. Something we have never done in a decade. But I guess it is time to change. We will need to lower our bar of expectation for honesty, integrity and commitment. Very saleable words. Very flimsy. Very lying. Kitabon mein hai shayaad. It is in the books maybe. But that is where their existence is confined to. It is nowhere else in real life. ‘Reality’ bahut ho gayi yaar. Its bloody painful.

Chandrakant Pandey has been asked to leave. He was found using the company resources, time and money for searching a better job on naukri.com. He has apologized but it is too late. Too late to restore our faith in anything and anyone. So while we are busy ensuring that the salaries get paid, the heaters work in the office and the meals are served in a clean and hygienic manner, our team is busy looking for better options. What can one say to this? Kya bol sakte hain? Best of luck Chandrakant. Let us see who turns out  to be a winner. The race is not yet over. And while you keep looking for better opportunities and jobs, you will miss what is right on front of you. All the best, nevertheless.

I think animals would be more loyal. Just that we cannot train them to do GIS. What a pity. Yes we are poor. Very poor. As a society, as a nation, as people, as a generation. We have no values, no integrity. And that is the worst form of poverty. The rest does not matter.

Altaf aaya tha. job chahiye. Mar raha hoon. Job de diya. And then what?He harmed us at the first opportunity. Chandan aaya tha. Kuch bhi nahin aata tha. Mauka diya seekhne ka. kaam karne ka. Kya kiya. Peeth piche waar kiya. Hit us behind our backs. Ritesh aaya. Jobless. Unemployed. Just a lot of gas in his ballon of ego. chance diya. Vishwas kiya. what did he do. He masterminded the hacking of our sites and e-mails to damage us and start his own company. Accha nahin kiya guys. You have just harmed the next team at GC, the next generation. In place of creating more freedom for them, you have ensured that the next team will get limited rights and limited opportunities in a limited space. You have killed the faith that we worked so hard at building and maintaining. Well done. Khush raho. Live with the history you have created. Job to mil hi jayega. Repeat your performance again. And blame GC, blame me. Thoda bojh kam ho jayega.

Focussing on building a new team. Again. And again. No idea what to look for. How to judge. Hariom is shortlisting a few candidates. He is the only team member left. Its me and him with the housekeeping staff and the guard to give us company. Good. So far so good.

Back to zero.

Zero, a good number. An auspicious number. Anything can be done with a ‘zero’. There are immense possibilities.

‘Zero’.



Re-thinking

In the course of shifting our website hosting, the passwords of our control panel, e-mail id’s and related online shop accounts were handed over to Ritesh Mehra, Chandan and Altaf. Ritesh with an IIT background, Ritesh with a background of hacking huge amounts of data from the servers of IIT Mumbai and Chandan with connections for getting fake certificates made, for converting fake to real. We were overlooking all of this to give them a fair chance. And they used this fair chance to discuss the possibility of opening their own company and hacked our website and e-mail accounts. We had no access to the online shop, to our corporate website, to the e-mails starting monday afternoon. Everything was hijacked and we were disabled for more than 24 hours causing us huge losses in terms of work, money and reputation. We are stumped as always. Appu and I had to struggle an entire night to get the controls back and to restore the deleted files on the websites. So much for trust and faith. So much for team building. I wish I could punch all three of them in the face.

We are back on track. On my knees. Thank you God. Everytime someone tries to destroy us, we have been saved. In the nick of time. By a hairs’ breadth. Its just the number of times that we have been sabotaged. The number of times we have scrambled for safety. And the number of times we have had to protect ourselves. Very tiring.

We are recruiting but this time round it is going to be tough getting into GC. All the references will be cross checked. We will need a letter of guarantee from a reference whose background will also be checked. The communication skills will also be judged. It is difficult to continue checking the spelling mistakes of everyone in day to day e-mails or letters. No, we are not interested in teaching anymore. We have done our bit. We have trained a lot of people who have used GC as a platform to then get the so called ‘better opportunities’, ‘better jobs’. Not anymore. We intend to take only capable and honest people through a stringent recruitment process which is being re-defined now.

Appu cried a lot yesterday night. I am invariably spending the night in the office and she sits up waiting for me. She is tired of the constant tantrums and crisis situation in GC. I guess so am I. I am truly sorry bebzer. I have no idea how to balance things anymore.   Amma has been asked to leave. She was creating a lot of unmanageability and chaos in the house. At least need some peace in the house, if not in the office.

I think that as a society, although the technology quotient is increasing, the human value quotient is decreasing and that is creating and will create huge social, emotional and financial problems for us as a nation.

Time for some re-thinking.

Re-thinking.


In Process

Breaking news. The office rent has been increased by 20%. What a grand closing to 2011! Happy New year guys. Could you please earn some more revenue for the company? And do not spend money on partying or on girlfriends. I do not know about ‘saving the planet or the earth’ but do ‘save our lives’ The office ‘kharcha’ (expenditure) has increased ( And I mean exponentially, not even in a linear path).
One has to pay for everything in this life. Man, how I am realizing the truth of this statement. Yes, of course. One has to pay for every deed, good or bad, done or undone, every tea,every coffee, every call, every text message,every project,every payment, every word spoken in anger, water, roof,electricity,petrol,vehicle, living ,dying till we get some space in Nigambodh ghat. and I guess we have to pay for that also. So bottomline is that we have to keep generating the moolah. For better or for worse. In good times or bad. Keep earning and paying.

We need a U turn. A turning point. In the company and in our lives. Look up to the sky buddy. The sky might have some answers. And at least looking at the sky is not taxable ( up to now that is). If the government realized that the common man was getting some fringe benefits by looking at the sky, I am sure there would be a ‘Sky tax’ or ‘God support tax’ applied to the activity. So till then, we can look up and seek support from HP.

Ritesh has joined the team. kab tak rukega? The most common and the most powerful question. And that also in GC ( a madhouse with a mad woman). After all he is an IIT’an and GC would be too small a canvas for his huge vision. Ok, let us use the common cliche, ‘it is after all a growing company’ (kabse grow kar rahi hai bhai, kitne saal ya decades lagenge?) Like we are a ‘developing company’ in a ‘developing country’. We are ‘IP’. I mean ‘In Process’. That is a good state of being. To be in IP. We are not like ‘finished’ (as if that is a huge acheivement).

The ice tray of the fridge has been replaced. The gas cylinder has been bought in black (the legal one has not yet arrived although we got a message after fifteen days of booking that it is on its way, in IP that is). There is water in the house. And milk. And vegetables. And a few fruits. My God, we are rich. And let me not forget the plum cake that Appu bought on the eve of Christmas. Also the lunch and dinner being served in the office. Aur kya chahiye. Gratitude. Dude, practice some gratitude. It could have been worse ( I mean let us forget about the bills for a moment).

Truly, there is a lot to be grateful for. Despite and inspite of everything. Even the fact that we are in IP.

For being a work in progress.

In process.


Still on the battlefield

Narendra Kumar Das has left GC. A huge loss. One step backwards for GC. But maybe it was time for him to check out new horizons, new associations. He has contributed to GC for a very long time and all of us wish him all the very best.

We collected a few copies of the quarterly in-house journal of CREDAI where a write-up on our work has been published and it felt very good. After so many years our work is being recognized and there is a feeling of pride and joy in the team. Anand (our senior accountant) has even kept a copy for himself. OK, a pat on our back would be well deserved.
The job for the integration of the payment gateway has been given to the X-Cart guys. Found no other suitable company to handle it. So now the online shop will be able to handle payments in Indian rupees as well as US Dollars. Another step forward.

Still looking for the constituency maps. From the Election Commissioners’ office to the Registrar General of India’s office, no clue till date. Or maybe we are not desperate enough, as of now.
More interviews, tests, shortlisting. Tough job. To find the right guy for the right job. Either one finds a right guy for the wrong job or the wrong guy for the right job. Bahut complicated hai.

No water supply in the house. ‘Money’ and ‘water’, from the right sources are difficult to find. Of course there are ‘other channels’ but then they are not ‘ authenticated’ or ‘straight’ channels. And anything ‘straight’ is difficult. A straight path, a straight man. Very rare.

‘Darr’. ‘fear’, has been a very large part of our life. Sometimes there is fear in making a call to a client or to the landlord or to the banker. There is fear in receiving bills. In facing the next day. Or the next hour. The ‘what if’s’.
What if no project comes our way. What if the rent is not paid. What if the salaries are not dispersed. What if there is no money for petrol. The never ending ‘what ifs’. Need a large dose of faith here. We are OK. And We will be OK. Just breathe.

Appu is upset with me. And yet she has designed T-shirts with the GC logo, for giving away as gifts, on the eve of Diwali. Thanks bebu. Many times, I lose my connection with her. It is sad.

So here we are. Two steps forward. One step backward. So the actual displacement is just one step. Kya kare. Maybe this is the best we can do right now. Maybe there is no need to compare. What is meant to happen will come our way. There is no need to run, to panic, to become desperate.
We can allow the events to unfold as destined. Allow people to walk in when they are meant to. And leave when thay want to. Its alright.

We have not run away. We have not balked at what we need to do. We are still on the field. For better or for worse. Regardless of a win or a loss.

Still on the battlefield.



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