Just breathing

I can hear the birds chirping in the courtyard in the morning and it is a very soothing sound for the soul (which is in a constant state of agitation). Appu has gone to visit the various colleges for admission to a graduate program today. Ankit and ashok stayed back in the office yesterday as our discussions lasted very late into the night ( which happens quite often). There was a slight spark in the server room yesterday and it caused us some panic. The situation was brought under control very soon but nevertheless it is being planned that a cut-off be installed outside the office to be able to switch off all the mains in case of an emergency.

Finally the TDS certificates from NATMO have arrived although the balance payment is still pending. Rajeev is following up with them as my tolerance limits have long been crossed. Is it possible or realistic to wait for two years for any payment for a project which has been finished and delivered even before that? Well, it is a government body so that kind of sums it up. They are the ‘sarkar’. They are autonomous. They can do what they want. And everything they do is legal and everything that a private sector does is illegal.

The CA is finalizing the balance sheet for the current financial year. Hopefully, it will be a better picture than last year. Ankit and Bhagat are busy in getting all the components of the online shop ready so as to be able to launch it by August 8 this year. Similarly, Ashok is trying to have his first module ready, again by August 8. Dimpi and Narendra are in the process of wrapping up the report for the site in Chennai.

Theek hi hai. Everything is fine,on the surface. Bas bheja thoda fried hai (What’s new!). I have a lot of people to thank who stood by me when my own family did not. It is because of all of them and HP that I am being able to live a life of dignity for myself and my daughter today. And that has been a huge milestone. To be self-supporting. At last, I can say that I am employed (am taking home a salary now).

I would like to travel, to read, to live, to just be. This whole chakkar of ‘dal,roti,chat’ has been very draining. And restraining.

To live and let live is so difficult. To not become a monster in the midst of monsters, is even more difficult.
Is anything easy? Just breathe. That should not take any effort.

Just breathing.

Won or lost

It has been discovered that Vinod, who was supposed to be taking care of the hardware was actually visiting porn sites for entire days. The srever room is away from the technical section and the server is placed such that it is not visible even through the CC TV installed. Hence it was easy for him to indulge in these activities. ‘Respect for the workplace’ has become an unheard of phrase. It is disgusting to say the least. He has been thrown out but every time a team member deos something to damage the company, the faith levels go down and take a dip. It has also been discovered that the other team members frequently visit job sites. Nothing to be done. They cannot be stopped from looking for that ‘one dream job’ that would meet all their requirements, that would be painless with a lot of money and frills attached. It is beyond me. I think it has to do with not being at peace with where one is right now. Nevertheless there is pain and hurt at this kind of behaviour. The misuse of office time, resources and vision. We have not blocked any sites, we get no bond signed from any person and maybe it is difficult for them to handle ‘freedom’. Maybe ‘control’ is what we are comfortable with. ‘Discipline by force’. Pathetic.

A lot of work is pending in the house and in the office. The business plan is lying in cold storage. A lot of mails have to be sent. And of course we need work. A lot has been lost. In terms of faith in people, in family,in systems. It can be referred to as ‘growing up’. Or it can be termed as ‘disillusionment’. Call it what you may.

NATMO has still not paid up. I wonder what gives government bodies the right  to withhold payment after taking the entire work. Upteen calls and letters have not helped. It is pointless to take them to court. It would take ages and cost more than what is due. If we were to charge compensation for the delay in payment, that in itself would amount to ten times the original cost of the project. It might be prudent to explore the option. We will have to get used to the idea of taking errant people to court, even if it is unpalatable.

The atta and chawal have finished in the office. Oh God, not again. The washbasin is leaking in the toilet and there is seepage elsewhere. It seems that the plumbers,carpenters and electricians will be needed forever.

The battle has begun,or it is over. It has been won or it has been lost.

Or maybe it does not matter at all.

With gratitude

We have been able to submit the CMYK films for the Hindi Atlas to NATMO, with a letter requesting them to at least acknowledge our company in the prints to be rolled out. At least we have asked for what is due to us. This itself is huge. We had to learn to ask for what is due to us. It was a difficult learning process. It is so much easier to just let things be. Its the easier softer path. Jo ho raha hai, hone do. By default. Letting life run ‘by default’ can be debilitating.

In our family, looking good was everything. The insides could be churning and you could be in a lot of emotional pain but as long as you looked good on the outside, everything was fine. So for a long time I believed that I could get away in life by just ‘looking good’. It was only when I fell flat on my face in every area of my life that I realized and accepted that ‘feeling good’ was so much more important. It was then that the focus shifted from the ‘outside’ to the ‘inside’.

We are off today. Man, it does feel good. A long weekend. Everyone is working long hours during the five working days to compensate for this ‘long weekend’. Willingly. Without any external force. Work is being done without the application of any external force. That’s like defyng Newtons’ second law of motion. But we can defy anything. GC is a rebel. Everyone in GC from top to bottom has no choice but to be a leader, be different, live alone,work alone.

The contractors working in the office did bother me in the morning (khopri ghum gai) for a while. But I came back to the equilibrium state very fast. Narendra has committed to giving a treat to all of us on Monday in lieu of the increment he has received (by the way it has been pending for too long guys) so I have been asked to keep my mood normal (meaning by default that I am mostly in a bad mood, what a compliment!)

Akshay called. He had worked me when I had started the last company (It sounds as if I started many companies and by that rate I should have been a business tycoon by now, what a joke that is) in a small room (duchatti). It was very hot in the summers as it was on the second floor and we had no money for an AC. And we had to give training to two professors of SPA (School of Planning and Architecture). So we hung ‘khus ka pardas’ and it was Akshays’ duty to sprinkle water on them every two hours to keep the room cool (making use of the evaporation effect). He says he can never forget that (also that he worked with me). He also reminded me that I had once thrown a glass at him (how pathetic?) I apologized to him but he said that, that is what he missed. He felt he was part of a family when I shouted at him. Thats a completely new perspective for me.

On my knees. This time with gratitude.
For all that has been given. For all that has not been given. And for all that has been taken away or lost.

The ‘U turn’

Long ago I had received an offer to write a book on ‘Time Management’ from ‘Penguin’. When I went with the manuscript it was rejected on the basis that there was too much ‘spirituality’ in it! They couldn’t figure out whether it was a ‘spiritual treatise’ or a treatise on ‘life management’ or ‘time management’. In which slot would they sell it? You see ‘selling’ of anything and everything is very important. So first the slot in which the ‘book’, ‘movie’, ‘product’ has to be sold has to be fixed. Then the writer,producer should go ahead and work in a freezed frame of parameters. My manuscript did not fit in any ‘slot’. The nadir was when they wanted the advance (I think around 8k) back. So any aspirations on a journalistic career went kaput then and there.

My take on the subject is that everything is connected. Wo we are being flows into everything we do. The way we move,walk,talk,eat,pray. There is a connectivity. And if there is a ‘spiritual anchor’ so to say for our insides (soul) , it will reflect in all areas of our life including the way we mange ‘time’.
A private financer had once purposefully misued a blank cheque given to him as security after his instalments got delayed( Also since my father had stood security for me and when my mother found out, she had a major fight with him. she also took out the money from the post office saving account whose papers had been pledged to him)). He filled in a huge amount, got it bounced and began criminal proceedings against me under section 138C. So it was that I had to go to the court as an accused and as a criminal (bouncing of cheques is criminal). And as I waited for my turn, I would look out from the court to the blue sky above and feel calm. I did this everytime I had a court date. It took more than a year for the matter to get sorted out but the spiritual connection was a great support. So for me the ‘connectivity’ is very important.

Even now when I am very scared, I say a small prayer to deal with the situation. In the office, with my daughter and whenever I need to make difficult calls to difficult people.

Narendra and Dimpi have ‘flown’ to Hyderabad this morning for a site visit. And I say ‘flown’ because for too long they have travelled in sleeper class or general class. Sometimes with reservation, sometimes without.
All the best guys.

Appu is having her exams ( today is the last) and she has been busy studying the entire week. The gas cylinder is empty although we have booked long ago. So will need to look into that. The pipelines supplying water to the house were changed yesterday at quite some cost to ensure a good flow of water.

There has been a miracle and the image of Uniyara on Google Earth is suddenly clear and bright. There could not be a better new year gift for us. The image provided by AVL, Jaipur was pathetic and despite repeated reminders there was no news from them so we were relying entirely on the Google Earth image for the geo-referencing of the khasra maps. Sandeep and Shikha have nearly finished preparing the required maps and hopefully, Sandeep should be able to show the same to STP Ajmer in the coming week.

NATMO has suddenly woken up and needs CMYK films of the maps prepard by us. Initially they were saying that they would do some more editing on the maps submitted by us. But now the latest news is that they are fine with the final maps submitted by us and that we should make CMYK films and submit the same to them for printing. We are hoping (we can only hope in this country) that they will acknowledge our work and name in the Atlas to be printed. But ‘acknowledgement’ is hard to come by in a country where ‘cut’, ‘copy’, ‘paste’ is common and ‘originality’ is not respected. We have written to the Director and are hoping that he would do what is right and fair.

The new office space is getting ready and we are getting ready to pack. The stay in the current office has been tumultous with fights, cops, lack of work, money.

Hope the ‘U turn’ is here to stay.

From scalar to being vector

And the presentation for the real estate guys has been postponed. And so has the Atlas. Since it can only be brought out in the next academic year, there is enough time for the publishers to take a decision. The only deadline which is beyond postponement is the clearance of the TOD (Temporary Overdraft) which we had taken from the bank to execute the yashi project and which is 2.5 lakh and needs to be deposited in the bank like yesterday.

So back to where we started, We have become a scalar quantity with no direction. We keep moving and working but since there is no actual displacement, as defined in physics, the work done is zero. And hence the money generated is zero.


We are working on making digital map products but that is like an investment for the future. Aaj ka to pata nahin. Our maps have always been appreciated ,but then is there a place where ‘appreciation’ could be encashed. I doubt it very much.

NATMO has work. They need to create hindi Atlases for two more states. But since I have already written against the ‘system’ which implies the ‘Director’ to DST (Department of Science and Technology), there are clear instructions that GC should not get work. So there is no point in even applying. We have already been deleted. How encouraging!


Appu has her exams from next week and the tension is building up. It is an ordeal for her to go to school and it feels almost criminal to send her against her wishes. Truly, learning should be much more than just going to school and obeying the teachers (who only have interest in marks and percentages). Follow the system. Generate powerlessness. Create losers.

My father wants that I should go to my brothers’ house on Rakhi. As if the brother-sister relationship needs to be acknowledged only on one particular day. Now we have these colorful, expensive rakhis and mithais and chocolates on display. When this relationship did have a meaning, only tying a thread was enough for a woman to get protection from any man she was tying it to, not just her brother. And it meant protection for a lifetime. As of today, it is a display of affection for one day. Anyway, my brother has never been available and I really see no reason to carry on this facade or faking a relationship for a day. But maybe somethings are just done, for the sake of doing them. If my father calls umpteen times (because my brother never does), maybe I will go to pacify him.

All of us need to meet our own demons (in our mind and the outside world) and fight our own battles in our own time.


Need to prepare a price matrix for our digital maps. Pricing is also stressful. Hopefully, I will start today. Ramesh was late in reaching the office today and I had to send ‘Amma’ and although she cleaned the office well, she made her presence felt in more ways than one.


This entire routine that I have created sometimes seems like a pack of cards which can crumble at any time. A separate camp so to say with a different set of rules for GC, for everyone associated with it, for Appu.


Ok, so we have to stop being scalars and get a direction.

Wake up and smell the coffee. The banks are knocking.

The woods are dark, lovely and deep,
But I have promises to keep (and loans to repay),
and miles to go (in search of work) before I sleep.


The NATMO guys are refusing to pay even after we have submitted the final proof of all the maps for UP and India in Hindi. The refrain now is that we need to submit the CMYK films before they will release the payment. I truly cannot understand the ‘chakkar’. If a project extends over two years, anyone would need payments commensurate with the submissions. And it is a project funded by the government for the government. It is not their personal money but just being the custodian makes them behave like they are the owners (the masters) and we the service providers are the servants (the slaves). I guess getting respect is a far cry, if we get paid at all, it will be a miracle.

Taking work is as much an art as doing good work.

Par kisko bolen?

The ‘mining’ project is through(a very small one) and I am hoping that we can do it well.
We do need more projects and I am not being able to focus as of now because unless the rent and salaries are cleared, my head will remain jammed.

Its Holi time and everyone is looking forward to the long weekend. I guess the same goes for me, not so much for the festival as for the change in routine. The spirit of the festival has long been dead. Its just the sense of holiday,color and permission to flirt that is very attractive now. Also that it generates emotions which sell. And anything that is saleable is good( supposedly).

The beginning and the end is all mixed up for me as of now.


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