Tag: free

‘No questions at all’

It is a beautiful day. The sunshine is filtering through the doors and windows of the house and I am hoping that part of it will lighten up our hearts and souls. Have been getting no time lately. To sleep most of all, or to pause or to write. It is all one huge ‘ chakka jam’. Client visits, projects, meetings, technical discussions and the running of the house ( how can we forget that?). There is also a tiredness of the soul which cannot be measured or expressed.

We have clients visiting our office which feels very good. For a very long time we were the ones running hither and thither to showcase our work.  We have work and we have money to pay the salaries, electricity bills, telephone bills, the daily groceries and books. Yes we need to purchase a lot of books, manuals to understand the work we are doing and it feels very rich to be able to buy them and not use downloaded versions from the net. A lot has been lost along the way. ‘Time with Appu’, ‘my health’, ‘sanity’, ‘serenity’. But what can be done? To live in this world, the bills have to be paid. Just being a human being is not sufficient. Nobody lets you breathe in peace till you make the ‘moolah’. It is umimportant what you sell in the process, ‘ your brain’, ‘ your soul’ or ‘ your body’. Just make the money man. And make it fast. And if you are using dubious ways, just make sure that you do not get caught. Kill but do not let anyone know. That’s the ‘mantra of success’ today. And of course how can we forget that ‘looking good, looking beautiful’ is more important. Look good, look smart even if you feel like shit inside. Even if you are falling apart from inside, show that you are all together, a very happening and very successful man or woman. Fake it to make it. What a world we live in!

Appu’s college fest is over. She has made sure that her team won in the dancing segment by contributing long hours of gruelling practice to her team. well done bebu. Too bad you guys do not allow the parents to come in and watch. I mean parents have a license to visit any part of your life. In India at least!.

Appu is confused about the future course of action in her life. Aren’t we all confused? About what to, when to, how to? Sometimes till our dying day. She is worried that if she follows the dictates of her heart, which is pursuing a career in dance, she would be leaving me alone to run the house and office. Bebzer, do what is best for you. You do not have to become this sacrificial lamb for me. HP is looking after me. Always has. Feel free to pursue your own dream. I mean there will be times when I am overwhelmed and I will try to make you feel guilty but they will be few and you can let those moments pass.

There is gratitude and there is abundance in our lives and hearts today. And for that I am very grateful to the Higher Power.

Thank you HP.

For all that you have given. For all that you have not given. And for all that you have given and taken away.

No questions at all.








Below the surface

Me and Appu presented our case in court. Initially we were hesitant, doubtful and very unsure. But as the arguments proceeded and the judge showed a little willingness to hear us, we gained confidence and found our feet. We had the relevant evidence and I think we did a stupendous job. Actually Appu did a great job. I was the supporting actor. And the judge was listening to her very attentively. All in all it was a smashing hit and the icing on the cake was that we saved the lawyers’s fees. So we have decided that both of us deserve a treat, I mean dinner over the weekend  with a fraction of the money saved. That’s kind of cool. The case had no basis and was implicating us falsely. Sachhai ki jeet, is it possible? In today’s time? Ho sakta hai. Exceptions are always there. Maybe God was our invisible lawyer along with Appu. Ok so all is well that end well. Thanks Bebu. And thank you God.

I am getting half a day off on Saturday. From the office. From calls.  Appu has decided to spend half a day in office. I must say I am looking forward to the relief. Saturday is the day of cleaning, HR and administration issues. Very hectic. Thodi si shanti nil jayegi. Hopefully. Shanti to Nigambodh ghat mein hi milegi.

Got an opportunity to present our work to the who is who in the Ministry of Civil Aviation. It was a smashing success and I felt very appreciated. It was also a miracle since  just two days ago my mother had termed me a failure as I have not been able to make a lot of money. So according to her it has been useless to educate me. I was at an all time low and was actually thinking of getting the presentation re-scheduled. At the last minute I decided to face it and go through with it regardless of the outcome. I am sure HP had a huge role to play in its success as I could not have done it alone. Hopefully, we will be able to do some good work for MOCA. Fingers crossed.

Delhi has become a very hostile city to live in. Maybe it is just not the city. It is the people. We are the same as in primitive times. Knowing english and getting a formal education has not ensured that we will not kill for property, honour, ego, money. We are still doing the same things. But in the garb of being civilized. Option kya hai? Jungle mein reh lo. zamin bhi sasti milegi. Build a house in the jungles. Maybe the land will not be so expensive and we will not need to pay the EMI’s for an entire lifetime. What bullshit. How can one live in a jungle? But we are living in a jungle sweetheart. An urban jungle with the same rules that are applicable in an actual jungle. What makes you think that we are living in a civilized city with a different set of rules and regulations? Women are still being objectified, being bought, being sold.Reality shows toh bahut dekh liye. Thodi si reality bhi dekh lo.

I truly cannot understand you buddy. Sala kaam dhandha dekhna hai ya duniya badalni hai. Just focus on your work . What is this about changing the world. Take a look at the file of unpaid bills. Dimag center main aa jayega. Ok. yes, I mean there is Vodafone, airtel, bijli, rent, salaries. Good. Aur bolo. Yahi reality hai. So you mean to say that the politicians do not have to pay the bills so they can sell all these lies, gather votes and basically indulge in talk of changing the world. Because they have not brought about any changes. They just talk and talk about it. Just leave it. Drop it. Just look at your life, your bills. Kyun bhai? No whys. Just keep your mouth shut and live. But. No but. No ifs. No whys. Just breathe.

Achha jhamela hai. Pay the bills. Pay the taxes.

And keep your mouth shut.

The truth can be very violent.

Below the surface.




‘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

Only silence

The payment gateway for the online shop continues to be an enigma.We are still trying to figure out the compatibility issues for integration. And of course there is a huge cost attached to it. There are no free lunches anyway. The team is settling down to the absence of Bhagat. Narendra Rana has taken over the reins for the maps to be produced for the online shop. The software development has taken a backseat as of now although we are making a thematic map of permissible heights in Mumbai by integrating the guidelines on a GIS platform.

So far so good. The banks are not breathing down our backs. As of now. Thank God for that. After a very long time we are bidding again for work in a government body. So help us God. Working with a government body is like working with papers. We would need to exist on papers and the work needs to be done on papers. Whether it actually gets done on the ground is immaterial. The proof should exist on papers. This is tougher than actually working. The balance sheet for 2010-2011 is yet to be finalized and that is a major cause for concern. Murari, who joined us recently as an accountant has a herculean task on his hands.

Appu is happy about the upcoming dance performances. And the weekend trip she has planned for me. I am grateful to her. For a lot of things apart from choosing to live with me, with my crazy behaviour and even crazier routines.

When ‘living’ is bound by so may rules,regulations,I cards, bills, looking good, then where is the ‘life’? There is ‘living’ but there is no ‘life’. Sometimes there is ‘dying’ but there is no ‘death’.

Rations,bills,seminars,accounts,balance sheet, returns,tenders.vegetables,atta, sounds cool.
Real change needs real effort. And reality comes with its own cost. And when we become real, there are no words.

Only silence.

Tie your camel to a tree

Do the years make a difference? Do the hours make any difference? Does anything make a difference at all?
To what is. To what is not. To what could be. To what cannot be.

Is it possible to be free and trapped at the same time? And vice versa, is it possible to be trapped and yet free?
Kuch pata nahin. I just need to get away. Get away from what and from whom and from where?

We have a small team and yet there is politics. There is groupism. Is it so difficult to survive as an individual? Is it so difficult to be oneself without the protection of any group? It is very painful. To not use one’s own mind despite having it. Is this how and why one stops trusting?

A lot of issues have cropped up. Meaningful and Meaningless. We may have to lose the entire team. And even if they stay, the cracks will remain. The cracks can never go. Relationships are fragile. Sometimes it takes a lifetime, sometimes entire generations to repair them.

I do not think any meaningful work has been done in the office today. Just making issues out of non-issues. But I guess that is quite a task. Sometimes I miss the fantasy of the ‘Mills&Boon’ type. A knight in shining armour on a horse sweeps you away and lo behold, all the problems just vanish! Wake up time Aparna. Face life for another day. Who knows, tommorrow is always another day. Or is it? Does anything change?

Smell the coffee.

Just do the next task as scheduled.
Tie your camel to a tree and rest.

Rest. Sounds good. Too good in fact.

One more step,one more day,one more breath.

The notion of being free. How deceptive it really is. The more freedom one wants, the more disciplined one has to become. It is a very stange phenomenon. For one, being physically free does not imply being free mentally. And any kind of freedom brings with it its own bondage. Because to maintain that freedom requires sustained discipline and a similar level of responsiblity. Maybe more.

Ashok, our software developer decided to work the night, day before yesterday and me and Appu had to drive over to the office, way past midnight to deliver a mattress and chadar to the office to facilitate a short nap for him in the early morning hours (thats a long sentence by any measure). And I told Appu that despite what the MBA gurus say, the basic requirement for running a company was purely this: ‘To be able to deliver a mattress in the office past midnight’. Its funny what the management and education gurus fail to teach us.

We are ready to submit the report for the site in Hyderabad. Finally, with the work order in place,it is a huge relief. We are also working on the online shop and should have some maps ready by the end of the month.

Some of the financial liabilities are being cleared (the emotional will take generations to clear). The banks are OK with us. They are getting their money. We are heading for a financial audit beginning next week. Rajeev is going to be busy with the auditors and will be quite unavailable for other jobs. Shikha has ordered more chairs in the office (the chairs are always a problem, the entire fight is about the chair and its power).
Dimpi and Kamakhya are scheduled for a training on ArcGIS 10.0 on this coming monday and tuesday by NIIT. We managed to purchase one license for the Dell maching with Windows 7.0 as the operating system (since the earlier versions of ArcGIS that we have,were not compatible with it).

Appu is still recovering from the pressures of our educational system. She is still not back to normal. She coped and that was the long and short of it. she survived school.

One more step, one more day,one more breath.


My mother would be appalled by the way I run the house. The ‘dals’ are not kept in a linear row in the store, the containers are not symmetrical and probably have not been washed for a couple of months now. To top it, we have rats in the house. And for the larger part, we let each other be. As long as ‘us’ and the ‘rats’ do not cross paths, it is truce. But my daughter is OK with it and that is what matters.

There are a lot of deadlines to be met in terms of delivering work and my mind is in a frenzy. Of course this has never happned before. We were always looking for work. So to get an opportunity to just focus on ‘doing work’ is a new experience.

Have a meeting at the ‘Airport Authority of India’ today. Need to understand the complexities of the Hyderabad Airport. Yet again. Working with AAI has definitely re-taught us the value of precision.

Appu mentioned last night that being an enterpreneur was like getting sucked in by a tornado. That business was like a shark which never sets you free till you die. Qiute a grim scenario. She is living with the effects and consequences of this way of life at very close quarters. She must be right. The pressure always increases in geometric progression.

Need to go for an NA meeting. Need a space to be silent. To be quiet.
Too much noise in the world around. There is ‘Euthanasia’ to end ‘physical pain’. I think ‘Euthanasia’ should also include ‘emotional pain’.

More often than not ‘emotional pain’ is worse than any ‘physical pain’.

‘Pain’. Feels and sounds familiar.

Once upon a time

And so it has come to pass that I have had an accident. The car smashed against a truck while I was driving for work. I was on the right side of the lane and must have been driving between 40-50 km/hour. The truck was in front of me and I have no idea whether it stopped suddenly or moved backwards for some reason. I had a blackout for a few milliseconds and when I regained consciousness, the truck was driving away and the car was completely damaged from the front, the windscreen glass had cracked and my head was hurting very badly. I have not been hospitalized and am still functional. Thanks to my HP. I do not know if it is the stress which has been building up for the past few weeks or a wrong judgement by the truck driver. The car is now in the workshop and I am travelling to work by public transport.

We are in the dumps now. We were banking on picking up some money against the car. So much for our planning. The ‘Bank’ is being very nasty now and we are getting all kinds of threats and this is a nationalized bank. Also picked up a plotter against the credit card which has to be cleared. And the ‘recovery agents’ employed by the citibank keep calling up. Yesterday, I just lost it. I told the guy, ‘bhaiyya jail mein dal do’. Instead of calling up and harassing, just put me behind bars. He was like ‘aap kaise baaten kar rahi hain’? And I said, what could be worse than this. So just do it. Aapko abhi paise chaahiyen. And I need time. So each one us is free to meet our goals in any possible way. He did not call again, at least yesterday.

Dimpi is working on the data products and Narendra is working on the methodology for a ‘zoning atlas’. And Shivaji is basically pulling his hair (at least most of the time). He has begun taking my late night calls and that is quite a relief. We all work 24/7. And have nothing to show for it.
Appu is also affected by the stress around. She is also desperate for a break. For a moment when everything is ‘manageable’ and her mother is ‘stable’.

Just feeling this need to be quiet. To not take any calls. To not interact with anyone.
Every interaction is a drain on the already depleted quantum of energy available.

Once upon a time, there was peace.

Being free

We went to visit a doctor today for a surgery scheduled for my daughter. I was convinced of the doctor’s skills. However, the ostentatious clinic and the vulgar diplay of artifacts made me feel claustrophobic. What is this huge need to display one’s material possessions? It implies that my being is not enough. That I need props to reflect my high self esteem. Anyway, the surgery has to be done and we are gearing up for it, emotionally and financially.

Increasingly, I feel that there is really nothing much that I can change in the context of the larger picture of my life. Small changes in the direction of the path being traversed, that is all. These delta x changes may or may not change the larger picture. I mean controlling outcomes or situations does not mostly work.

The accountant and the CA are working on the balance sheet for the current year, which is extremely urgent. Hoefully, it will meet the approval of the bank.

I guess need to let go of Ramky, Uptron, Jaunpur, Barabanki. Jo hoga woh hoga. Manipulating  and forecasting outcomes may not be the best way.

And I think in controlling, I am controlled. And in ‘letting go’, I am free myself.


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