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Tag: everything

‘Jaane bhi do yaaron’

There was a time when I was running my life. Now I guess life is running me.

Living is all about negotiating huge traffic jams, money, bills, egos, garbage within and without. Everything is a business deal. Everything is for sale. Politics, relationships, work, hospitals, education, poverty. Turnover badhate hue to khud ko hi  turn over karna padega.

Bahar se sab theek hi hai. Phir bhi andar sab itna mess kaise hai. Inside Outside ka chakkar hai. Inside is not equal to Outside. Andar kuch aur chal raha hai, bahar kuch aur dikhana padta hai.

Appu is feeling low today. Cannot figure out why. Rommell Properties has refused  to pay our balance amount. A new project can be seen on the horizon after a gap of two months. It is not closed yet. It is as of now a possibility. But then we have always lived on possibilities. On hope. Aur hai hi kya hamare paas?

I miss having a ‘Mother’ in my life. I guess even my father has been an absent figure in my life. Never there when I needed him most. Toh thoda ‘Anaath’ wali feeling aati hai. Many times, I feel the burden of carrying this legacy of being an ‘orphan’. ‘of being unwanted’. ‘of being inauspicious.

The only way left to live is , to live without thinking too much, without feeling too much, without actually living at all.

Appu is practicing for an upcoming dance show. She loves dancing and that is what she is doing. It is a luxury to be able to do what one loves. I am happy for her.

‘Happiness’. Kitna achha shabd hai. And how rarely do we experience it. Fake it to make it. Fake kar lo yaar. How does it matter? So much of our lives are fake anyway.

Tumse toh baat karna bekar hai. Ulti hi baat bolte ho.

‘Jaane bhi do yaaron’

 

‘And why’

Work has begun in the newly leased office space. It is bareshell and a lot of renovation,fabrication,interior wok needs to be done to make it operational. Quite a job. Appu is coordinating with the architects and contractors and that is a major burden off my head. The biggest challenge facing us is that of building a good team. A team which has this ‘stuff of leadership’ one keeps hearing about. The stuff dreams are made of. We have a dream. A fantasy.

I think it is time we re-defined ‘poverty’. Poverty is not about having ‘nothing’. It is about having ‘everything’ and yet wanting ‘more’ by any means. It is about dis-respecting women and children. It is about hiding our true selves and presenting a painted mask to the world just to look good. It is about not confronting the truth for fear of loss of wealth or chair, even if it is staring us in the face. It is about producing bad quality work and getting away by saying that we are not educated enough. It is about selling our souls to make money fast. So the rich are sometimes poorer than the poorest. And the poor are often times richer than the richest. Bahut complicated hai.

We are also a country driven by bottomlines. Ten years ago it was ‘roti,kapda,makan’. And even today it the basics. The politics of this country is driven by the bottomline. Add to it ‘daaru’. So if the would be netas ( really?) offer khana,kapda and/or daaru, the promise of a few square feet of land, they get the votes. To achhi sarkar kahan se banegi? We are the ones selling our own futures so cheap. Whom can we blame? And the money to provide all this comes from the corporates. And hence politics becomes business. Based on M&M. Money and Muscle power. Mike par speech dene se koi neta thodi ban jaata hai. We have no leaders today. We have no one to look up to. That is a poverty that cannot be redeemed. Our younger generation is busy trying out the western culture. Whether it is clothes, lifestyle, drinking, smoking, girlfriends or easy money, they want it all and now. No spark. All plastic. I guess we are responsible. This is what we have created. Plastic people. Plastic money.

Where is the topline? What kind of a nation do we wish to be? What are the qualities we wish to live by? What do we wish to be known for? Can we just become clean for a change? Manage the garbage and drainage? Ensure clean water supply to all before creating more malls? Ensure enough parking space and open space before allowing more cars on the already overcrowded roads? Do good work in place of just trying to look good? We do not donate organs, we do not donate time and we certainly do not donate goodwill. Are we really human? The lawyers and judges are worse than prostitutes. Yes. The courts are worse than the so called red light areas where thousands queue up to buy and sell souls everyday.

More than money, we need to generate and achieve self-respect today. As a nation. As individuals.

So that our children do not turn around and ask us:

‘What the hell have you done?’

‘And why?’

 

Any buyers?

The rapes, the drainage, the bribes, the abuse on the roads, in the families, the rot of the politicians, the glamourous malls and the shit behind them, the sale of mind body and soul.

There is truly no point in bringing more children into this country. Specially girls. They are not safe in their own families, on the roads, in their professions. Barring a few who are able to prove their mettle beyond reasonable doubt, the majority are always at risk. Any  father of a girl can have no peace of mind, ever. Izzat ke liye izzat becho. For gaining false respect in society, we have to give up on our self respect.

Aur is sab ke beech mein zinda rehna. Just to stay alive is a task. And what would success mean in a rotting society? Does it matter? When there there is so much of poverty of ‘thought’ all around, what would it mean to have a lot of money or fame or name?

Where are the young men and women of character? with a purpose? with a mission? Who can live and die for what they believe in? The youth of today change jobs for money, for glamour. Wish to make a quick buck without the hard work, change girlfriends faster than the websites they search, have no respect for education or research or seniors. How can they hold the future of this country in their hands? And what future are we offering to them anyway? A future where everything has a price? Relationships, career, sex? Everything can be bought if only you have enough money?

The lanes of the colonies we live in are jam packed with long limousines. There is no space to walk, leave alone cycle or play. And the more number of houses/cars one has, the greater the respect. Chalo bhaiya, sab cocaine bech lete hain. Let us buy houses, land, cars by hook or by crook. Ajeeb pagalpanti hai. Complete madness.

Daaru for votes, for elections is being distributed. Money, blankets, empty promises. That is all it takes to buy our vote. We are so cheap.

We are dying. All of us. And yet we wish to prove that we are a huge success. Every moment. Acting kar kar ke thak nahin gaye yaar?

We need some leaders and fast. leaders ready to die to make a change. Leaders with no political ambitions. No greed of the chair.

Everything is for sale.

Any buyers?

 

To keep walking

Money, time, self- respect.

Take your pick. Cannot have all at the same moment in time and space. One at the cost of the other. That’s the deal. Good or bad. All of them are mutually exclusive. Cannot co-exist.

The projects in hand are very challenging and require a great amount of precision and accuracy. Therefore working throught the nights has become the norm rather than the exception for us.  Interviews, court case, bills, water, AC repair, atta, dal, chawal for the office- the regular drill. Two GIS candidates joining us tommorrow. Fingers crossed. Will they be able to perform? To deliver? To sustain the pressure of giving a good performance. So many times we have hoped. Against hopes. That amongst the vast sea of applications, we would be able to find one winner. One leader. No success so far.

Appu has been experiencing severe anxiety attacks for the past  few weeks. The added stress of the office is too much for her to handle. Living alone (Since I am in office entire nights) and contributing in running the house is in itself a huge job for her. A lot of unmanageability in many areas of our lives. Mostly of time now. And delivering good work. The money, though not too much is enough for us to break even. To pay the monthly bills.

The plants in the office are dying. Its difficult to keep human beings alive. Abhi plants ko kaise bachayen? They need water which is just not available. And care. And attention. All difficult commodities in today’s time and age. Unless the plants produce some direct  tangible profits like in airports, five star hotels where they are part of the decor, part of the package, a necessary accessory which contributes to revenues. Everything, every relationship today is a function of economics, of the revenue that can be generated out of it.

Our work is being accepted by AAI now. Huge leap of faith. Quite a milestone in our career. The software development project has been in cold storage for a while and it is a painful matter but we have not yet given up on the dream. One day. Ek din. We will finish and launch the project.

There is the noise of criticism all around. It affects us less now.

The magic is to keep walking. Regardless.

To keep walking.

‘I have a dream’

“I have a dream, a fantasy, to help me cope with anything,

If you see the wonder of a fairytale, you can face the future, even if you fail,

I believe in angels, something good in everything I see,

When I know the time is right for me, I will cross the stream.”               Lyrics  By ABBA

We used to listen a lot to the songs by ABBA during the days of our graduation. The lyrics of this one still come back to me.

A lot of people have tried to help me along the way. In retrospect, I believe that they were only trying to help themselves. More than helping me, they were helping themselves. All the time trying to oblige me. Very strange. To continue living with ‘respect’ . To keep the company ‘running’. to keep the money ‘flowing’. Quite a task.

There is no air in the environment. But there is so much air in the heads of people. It is difficult to guaze and even more difficult to deal with. What would it take to live a simple life. With no titles. No frills. A lot more than what it takes to live a life of drama, frills and accessories. A fake life so to say.

We are in the process of finalizing the reports for two sites in Mumbai. We will be depicting the shielding benefit using the height data generated by photogrammetry. Hopefully, we will do a good job. Hopefully, we will be able to deliver value for money. The file of unpaid bills is growing bigger by the hour. The month has ended and it is that time of next month again. A time to pay the rents, bank instalments and bills. Over to the Higher Power. On my knees again.  I have failed to lead the team. I thought I could change people. I thought I could change the way we work. I cannot change a damn thing. A damn thought in anyone’s head. I cannot change the way we work, talk, think, behave. And all this while I lived under the illusion that maybe I could change something, someone. I am powerless. And the realization and acceptance of this fact is of great relief to me.

The hype and the hoopla of living continue to surprise me. We are still in a jungle I guess. It is the survival of the fittest.

And yet, I have a dream, a fantasy.

‘I have a dream’.


‘Everything is pointless’

Making money. It is a game. A very smart one. And we have to learn the rules of the game. Bahut jaldi samajh aa gaya bhai. Very early in the day. Just when we are getting closer to Nigambodh ghat, clarity dawns. vow. The only excuse for the delay in understanding is that the old school of thought did not permit talking about money and sex. And yet these are the only two things making or breaking the world. So now what. We could do a sprint. Make a dash to win the last lap of distance left. Try karne me to koi harz nahin hai. At most we might break a leg or two. Anyway, the graves do not refuse to accept broken bodies or souls. Anyone and anybody is welcome to the grave. So we are going to try and play this game of chess with money. Master it so to say. Not become its servant. A slave to money.

Voting for the MCD elections today. Till late last night, daaru was being distributed to various local heads of colonies, caste groups, muslim heads. votes in exchange of alcohol. What a deal. cheap and shameful. Yes, we are poor. if we can be bought for a bottle of alcohol, for false promises, for a piece of land, we are very very poor. It means that the universities, schools and parents of today are not doing their jobs. We have failed to be role models for the next generation.

Have not gone for my walk today. Have been sleeping for less than four hours on a daily basis for the past few weeks. Plan to just sleep for a while today. If it comes that is. The head is constantly buzzing with the tasks left undone, the bills still unpaid. We need projects. Same ringtone yaar. Please change it. OK. we need money. Again the same ‘rona’. change this too. OK. we need a ‘team’. Not again. We cannot think of anything else. Just leave us in peace.

‘peace’. Kya baat hai. In these times? In this age? Try an ‘art of living’ course. We need money for doing that. paise chhahiyen. time bhi chhahiye. Aur ‘living’ hi nahi ho rahi to ‘art’ kaise aayega?

Its pointless talking to you. Of course it is.

That is the point my dear.

‘Everything is pointless’

 

‘Nothing’

Appu has left to be with her father and grandparents on Holi. Good for her. She is mostly on her own here and being with an important part of her family will perhaps take away some loneliness. Taking decisions, taking a stand, what a toll it has taken.
Enough I guess.
No more fighting what is. what could be. God is in charge. Definitely not me. A lot of people have problems with me because I am a woman. I cannot change that. I have a lot of problems with people because they do not speak what is in their hearts. They shy away from the truth. The truth could shatter a lot of myths. So by keeping quiet we manage to get by. To survive.
I have shared the truth of my life with my batchmates of IITK, 1988 batch. I have also asked them to support us in whatever way they can. Almost all of them have responded. And some of them are planning to visit the office soon. I had thought of doing this once. A long time ago. When myself and Appu were on the roads. And when my parents refused to support me. But I did not have the guts. I wanted no one to know that I was in deep shit. So the thought came and left. I sold everything I could, except myself. I have to keep reminding myself that it is over. We are not on the roads. Not anymore. That we are safe. And taken care of.

I have been shouting and screaming a lot lately. Appu says I need a soundproof room. In the house and in the office. My mind says: what would be the cost sweetheart? The cost. There is a cost to everything. I have learnt that the hard way. There is a cost for being honest. There is cost for not pleasing people. There is cost to just living on this planet, apart from the bills of course.
I do not think we are after money or power. Its just that life becomes very easy on many fronts if there is excess money and power. It is as if with money, we can move from the Newtonian frame of reference to the Non newtonian frame of reference. Many laws,rules and regulations which are applicable in the Newtonian frame do not apply in the Non newtonian frame of reference. And then it is easier to make even more money (and mayhem). Nobody wants to know how that money has been earned (until it is too late in the day to hide a scam or the deeper politics behind it). We bow to money, to power and to a portrait of Gandhi. makes us look good you know. If we could just respect ‘time’ more than ‘money’, we would not have to deal with corruption and bribes.

We have finished the first phase of calculations for the site in Mumbai. We are also very close to testing the software module for the Santa Cruz airport. And Gagan is struggling with the kind of maps to be launched in the online shop. The basis are in place for the online shop. We just need to keep adding different and good quality maps.
We are in the process of re-structuring the team (please have one first!). I mean we are trying. More interviews (Oh God! Not again).

Dear God, please bless us.
What do you want my child, time or money?

we don’t know. What will we do with time and no money?
And what will we do with money and no time?
I mean what about a negotiation here?
A combination you know. A deal.
Wait wait God. do not just walk away like that. Let us think.
can we talk?

No, my child we cannot talk. We cannot do a deal here. You have to choose.
Keep thinking. maybe clarity will dawn when you reach Nigambodh ghat.

Nigambodh ghat?

Yes, the final destination.
When nothing else matters. The houses built, the name and the fame earned or unearned. The matches, won and lost. Nothing matters.

‘Nothing’.



‘To be content’

OK. Hold your breath. This one is unbelievable (but when have believable things happened with us?). The payment gateway of the shop has been successfully integrated and it is working fine!! Just when we had given up hope of it ever working fine. Just when we thought that our e-commerce venture would go down the drain, that it would never work with all the technical glitches and the  fiasco with the last team( I mean so many have happened, right!). So the shop is technically and financially open and we should be in business soon( I mean not even one of our maps has been sold as yet but what the hell).

Thanks to Hariom and Gagan ( who has recently joined and is a fresher). Thank you guys. For winning this one.

Hariom is also very near to testing the logic to be used in the software for the calculations with reference to the surfaces and the instruments for a single airport. Chandrakant is doing some reverse engineering for a site in Mumbai and he will also need to visit it very soon to collect a few coordinates. Amit has joined us in accounts and OmPrakash in administration. Let us see. Fingers crossed as always. The beginning is good. I have already shouted once (or maybe twice) and they have not quit. Hope is a good thing anyway.

It is so difficult for us to just manage the office ,bills,clients,meals. Wonder how HP manages the earth with its rotation and every miniscule life on it. It would be good to exchange notes with HP. I mean free of cost of course. Why would HP charge us? It is only man who cannot think of anything without charging.

A lot of potential team members are reading the blog. Sone pe suhaga. I mean why would they like to join after knowing all the nitty gritties of GC? A million dollar question. Kya hoga tera kaaliya. I hope it cannot get any worse. That the worst is over ( we have said that many times in the past too).

I don’t think I am writing intelligent stuff. I should pack up. One of the tyres in my car is punctured and that will need changing before I can reach home, hopefully before the time freezed by Appu which is 1:30 pm ( in the night of course). The team packed up early today (which means by 9:30pm) and that is amazing. They have only been able to leave by 11:30pm or 12:30pm in the past few  months.

‘Everything has its wonders, even darkness and silence,

And I am learning, whatever state I am in,

therein to be content.’ – Helen Keller



God knows

I freaked out. Narendra made a huge mistake in the on-going project of Hyderabad. And I lost it. I went to the pantry ,closed the door and threw whatever came within my reach (thankfully they were all steel utensils). Also the basket with vegetables. It all went in the air in a parabola. I was angry with him. With myself. For not checking the minute details. The details which need attention for perfection. Time for some serious reflections on our QC process. And our attitude towards doing quality work. The team was shocked. Bit I think we can all do with some shock treatment.

Doing a glamourous job is so much more better than just looking glamorous in a glamourous environment.
Wake up guys. We cannot afford the luxury of making mistakes. Not even minor ones. There is no Godfather to protect us. Good work is all we have. And maybe each other.

Attended an NA meeting yesterday after a long time. It felt really good. No pretensions. No faking. No acting. No looking good. Just showing the real faces to each other. And the vulnerability of our emotional parts. Addicts are all insane but I think given a chance we would do a better job of running the world than all the sane people. Some insanity is needed to change the rut. After losing everything, one learns how to give.

Appu had her farewell party in school yesterday. The dress code was a saree. Seeing her look her so beautiful, so graceful in a saree took my breath away. I am not sure if we have proved to be parents or people worthy of having such great kids. And if we have done our bit for leaving this earth slightly better for our kids in any which way.

Aakar Consultants refuses to talk to us. Kya kaare. So many people are not keen to communicate with us.
Either we are very real or very fake.

God knows. Hey, buddy come down on this earth and provide some clarifications. Its getting very confusing down here.


The earth will continue to rotate

Everything about the real estate is huge and heavy. In stark contrast to us. Everything about us is small and light. Our work (data )comes in a CD ROM which is small and light. We ourselves (barring me I guess) are light in weight and accessories. Our furniture is light, our maps are extremely light and the software we use is invisible. What a combination. Real estate and GIS. Anyway that is what it is and we are tuning in our parameters with these guys (with Mercs and solid teak furniture and marble flooring). I must say we are feeling quite out of place. Large and huge and ostentatious is scary. It would be nice to just have a cup of tea sitting on the pavement by the roadside. At least one is closer to the earth (the real world).

Yesterday was very hectic. An early morning meeting in the office (why do clients suggest morning meetings? I mean there is no need to look good all the time. (Rising with the sun is good but whoever said that one has to also start working with the  ‘rising’?)  This was followed by a meeting in Gurgaon and ended with some disussions with the team in the office. It was one of the most hectic days of the past fortnight where I was shuttling between walking, driving and taking the metro (with the phone ringing constantly, that has become such a constant feature now).

The refrigerator in the house conked off (for the second time round) and since I was exasperated with all the meetings scheduled for the day, I left it to Appu (supported by Shiva) to handle the mess. She did a fine job and it is working now. The cooling is not great but I guess it it will survive the winter after which hopefully we will have enough money (what a joke) to get another one.

I gave up the fight for my height (which is barely five feet and one inch) long ago. However we are fighting for the heights of various buildings being constructed by the real estate guys. What an irony?

I have been thinking of getting a neat clean crew cut. It will be easier to just wash the head and go to work. The shampoo required will also be less (cost cutting you see) and overall it will give a no nonsense look (don’t mess with me types). And once we cross a crore (if ever), I could add a cigarette to the whole look. The visualization of the scenario is quite appealing. I will have to check with Appu though. If she would be Ok with a ‘whacky’ looking mom.

Got more threats for removing the blog or to stop writing. I think the blog is harmless. Its just a creative pursuit of a mind which has lost its balance. No idea why its bothering so many people. But I have no idea of so many things and events which take place around me. No idea why my family left me (emotionally and physically). No idea why I could not be so ‘successful’ in the terminology of the outside world. No idea why I chose this path? No idea why people waste so much time in boosting their own egos and in maintaining hierarchy at the cost of just doing good work and living well.

Regardless of all the above, the earth will continue to rotate . The sun will rise and the sun will set. And people will be who they are. Thank God, we cannot meddle with everything. Somethings are best left in better hands. Otherwise there would have been a fight on who would control the rotation of the earth.

Rotation of the earth.

Our life depends on it. Yet it happens so silently, so magnificently, so effortlessly. With no controls required.

Maybe we need to live our lives like that.

Just a thought.


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