Tag: successful

‘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.








‘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.

‘Hungry and passionate’

We have a team. Just that it is not a ‘winning’ team. The challenge is to have a ‘winning’ team. A team wanting to win at any cost. That is what we need. People who do not base their decisions on money. Who are not saleable items to be bought at a high price. Kahan milte hain? Every feeling,every emotion, every person today has a price tag. And that is the poverty. The worst kind of poverty. The poverty of thought.

Groupism, Unionbazi galore. Even in a small team such as ours. kar lo yaar. Kaam important nahin hai. Non issue ko issue bana lo. And let us keep fighting. Till we all die and persih. And then we can blame it on me or the country or the lack of opportunity or the weather or the food or the timing. What a waste of talent and intelligence. Just when we need to stand together and face the crisis the company is in, we are choosing to fight. Good work. let us keep it up. Let us use our fists and legs and punch each other. Why just prepare a demand charter. Let us go all out and show the stuff we are made of.

Will Gandhigiri work in such an environment? Simple living and high thinking. You bet.

‘Hamen bade log nahin chhahiye. hamen chhote log chahiye jinki soch badi ho’. Give us men and women who are alive. Give us men and women are are trained to do a job well to perfection. Who do not need to be trained to perform effortlessly and gracefully. Whose life and work is a perfect dance in harmony. Who do not need to be told to do an errorfree quality job. We can then talk about the package. We could then perhaps talk about the timings.

The problem is that we are all looking for an wasy way out. The shortest route to success. And a job. Just a job. We are not really committed to being successful or in winning the match. Just being on the field is enough for us. But it should not be enough. We have to be hungry and passionate about the match.

Hungry and passionate.

‘Worse than losing’

We are broke. Thanks to the misuse of a blank cheque by our ex-accountant, Suraj Sinha. The cheque was given to him for cancellation. Of course he did not cancel it. He kept it for malafide use in the future. And that future is now. He also blocked the pc he was using with a password which he refused to reveal. It was for this reason that his salary of a fortnight was withheld. And he found this way to to debilitate the company. He took what he though was due to him and more. In the way of a conman. Incidentally, he also had the online passwords to be able to check the balances and to be able to generate statement of accounts. He has made very good use of this information.

So we are in a beg,borrrow,steal stage. But we will not die. I mean we are not dead yet. But we just might.

I don’t think we can be a part of the system. So the corollary to this is that we can never ever be successful within the system and by its definitions. We have to learn to live with this reality. We will always be outcasts. Business is Politics. And politics is business. And in between the two are just survivors. Still wondering what category we belong in.

Aur hoga nahin. I mean you know what I mean. The hacking, the conning, the forgery, the lies, the manipulation, the mis-trust. Difficult to work with this. To win. And to have no meaning to that winning.

When to win is worse than losing.

‘worse than losing’

‘Raunak lagi rehti hai’

Another legal notice. Means that we are not dead dogs. Because no one kicks a dead dog. There must be some life in us. As yet. Abhi lawyer dhoodhna padega. It takes more work to create an environment for work rather than the actual work. The 80-20 ratio again. 80% of the time is spent in preparing to work. Only the balance 20% is available for the actual work. Being a failure is difficult. Being successful is even more difficult. I guess it must be easier to hang somewhere in between, neither quite here and neither quite there.

We had advertised for a consultant and did not get a single response. ‘Teachers’ are hard to find. ‘ students’ are even harder to find. Although the business of ‘teaching’ is the most ( maybe only) profitable business as of now. We are muddling along. A few mistakes there, a few mistakes here. Consequences, fear, panic, deep breath, back on track. The interviews for the selection of a GIS executive are over. Five candidates have been shortlisted. One of them will be finalized over the next week. Narendra Rana is leaving for Ahmedabad for the collection of constituency maps on this coming tuesday. Dimpi is struggling with the online shop. Kamakhya is worried about PHBAAS as the upoming airport in navi Mumbai has created quite a few complications in the development of the product. Narendra is working on the latest small project.

Today is daughter’s day and me and Appu have planned to go out in the evening. As of now she has gone for a movie with her friend. I am happy that she has begun planning these small outings. She has spent quite some time sitting alone in the house. The office was cleaned thoroughly yesterday and the house is being cleaned today. I wish we could also clean our hearts and souls. But that would take a lifetime or even generations.

I was talking to a real estate client in Mumbai. The one who has filed all these RTI’s in AAI. He opined that if he had powerful political links, the need for filing RTI’s would not have arisen. But that he had consciously stayed away from any affiliation with any political party although he gets a lot of feelers from them. He said he was not very ambitious and had no willingness to compete with the other real estate developers. That for him, life or work was not just about making money. That ‘Work’ is only an essential part of living. That is it. Nothing more. Nothing less. ‘Raunak lagi rehti hai’, bas. I like that. That work is only to create some liveliness, some movement. And not the most important component of ‘living’.

Why are we working?

‘ raunak lagi rehti hai’.

‘Jai Hind’

A visit to AAI, vegetables in the house, letter for limit renewal to the bank, petrol re-fill for the car and ad infinitum. Amongst all of these, the only ” Aaj ki dhyadi” wala work has been the visit to AAI. I was able to clarify one doubt and that is a huge achievement. Not that we are very welcome there. But what needs to be done, has to be done. One of our clients in Mumbai has filed numerous RTI’s asking for information and AAI thinks that we are behind it. It is untrue but in their heads, it will be true until proven false. So we have to live with their resentments. It is difficult for people to change.

Architects are finally waking up to the reality that just CAD drawings are not sufficient. That it is important to link them to the surface of the earth for realistic outputs. So we may have them working with us as a team rather than against. Finally, we have a small (really tiny) project in Mumbai. Like an icebreaker. A they say, something is better than nothing.
At least some of the bills (the age old story) will get paid.

Many invitations for all kinds of conferences all over. Have no wish to attend. Fake it to make it all the time. Paste a smile, look and act successful and keep exchanging cards. Any robot could do that. There should be better ways to market one’s work and connect (if shaking hands and eating together can be called connecting).

Appu has been experiencing mood swings and is not going to college today. I wish I knew how to support her better emotionally. Life and living. Entirely different realms.
We are on an even keel now. The accounts are getting under control. PHBAAS and the online shop are in process. Hopefully, the payment gateway issue should be closed by next week.
I have to believe that what we are being able to do on a daily basis is sufficient. If it is the best we can do on a given day, it is alright. There is no need to push ourselves to do harder. We just need to keep doing what we can on an everyday basis. Easier said than done.

We have two boys for housekeeping in the evening shift. They have worked in the Air Force and whenever we pack up in the night, they always sign off by saying ‘Jai Hind’. It feels good. It is strange. There is always a sense of pride in saying and hearing this salutation.

‘Jai Hind’

Surviving the trough

The work for the water proofing of the roof of the technical section will begin tommorrow. We pay for the water supply through private tankers and we have to pay to stop the rain water from coming in through our roof. What an irony.
The fire guys came apparently to inspect the premises but in reality to collect ‘chanda’. ‘Collection of money’ for their services without a receipt. I was very upset with our HR manager for giving away money like that and then he told me that all the offices were giving it. That it was a norm. Ajeeb baat hai.

PHBAAS, the thematic map showing maximum permissible height (according to AAI guidelines) for any given site in the city of Mumbai has been launched and we are hoping that it will generate a lot of interest in the real estate developers and architects. And hopefully we will be able to shift from being daily wage labourers to real engineers. Right now our life hangs between the start and end of a project.

The vendor who was supposed to integrate the payment gateway with our online shop has mis-behaved and hence the agreement with him stands cancelled. Kamakhya is searching for another vendor. The vendor who will provide us with the payment gateway has been finalized and freezed. So at least part of the work is done. The time it takes to convert an idea, a concept to a working reality is herculean. That is why it is so easy to give up at any stage. Cannot see the results or even hope for them for a long time.

There is ‘aloneness’ and there is ‘emptiness’. And I am not being able to connect to a Higher Power at all. There is a sense of agitation and meaninglessness. It is also dawning on me that my mother is a very ambitious woman and hence she moulded my brother on the basis of her own idea of a successful man. So he could never really be anyone or anything else. He has not been a brother at all, I wonder if he has been a father and son too.

After a very long time, we have an enquiry from a client. So that is good news. So far so good. Hopefully, we should be able to close it. A very small job but work is work. And revenue is revenue, all said and done.

Another day. Another hour. I have just suited up, booted up and showed up. My productivity levels are at an all time low. But after the trough, there should be a crest. That is how a wave is defined.

Surviving the trough.

We need a break

Have a meeting scheduled in AAI today. dekh lete hain. Trying is all we can do. There are a lot of doubts and huge gaps in our understanding. At least we have questions. We may not have the answers but I think having questions is also a good state to be in. We are in a state where we are ready and willing to learn and are looking for a ‘guru’ (we are constantly looking I guess !).

Narendra and Dimpi are working on the Chennai site. Ankit and Bhagat are trying to get the online shop on road. All of us have come up with a good name (so we think) for the online shop, i.e ‘Prithviprakaar’. The term ‘Prithvi’ has originated from ‘The Earth’ and the term ‘Prakaar’ has come from ‘Prakaardhar’ which means ‘one who gives shape (roop) to a map and is the cartographer’. And we are happy that we could come up with this unique nomenclature which reflects our culture and vision. Rajesh is working on the design and finalization of at least one batch of maps to be launched. The momentum has increased in the office and we are en-route to reaching a certain frequency very soon. We are also exploring the possibility of providing a jingle on FM for the online shop (it is damn expensive but what the hell, exploring does not cost anything). In this context Bhagat has prepared a 10 sec jingle and was rehearsing in the office the entire day yesterday. Needless to say, there were peals of laughter from the entire team and they were not even interested in listening as he was practicing his lines along with the timing. Everyone in GC is charged so to say. There is a dream and there is passion. What else can one hope for? We have no idea whether we will be successful or whether there will be enough money coming in . And for once, it does not really matter. We are doing what we can with all we have (body, mind and soul). The rest is the job of the universe. We have a place to work, we have food to eat, clothes to wear and a dream to fulfill. We feel rich. Already !

There are a lot of training enquiries. We do not think we can cater to everyone. Let us see. But it does feel good. A lot of people walked away from our earlier office because it was small and the toilet was not up to mark. Now a lot of people are walking in (I do hope that it is not just because of the looks of the office and that our work means something to them).

Appu is stressed due to the impending college admissions. Anything to do with a system is stressful. All she is is looking forward to is her upcoming two dance workshops. Well, what needs to be done, needs to be done. So we have to get ready with the required documents and follow the rules. ‘Follow the rules’, what a dead statement and how uninspiring.

‘Break chahiye’. From what and from whom? Kaise Bhaiya? Backup kahan hai?

Backup or no backup. back or no back.

We need a break.

Give me a break

Sometimes I go round the office after everyone has left, before closing it for the day. I feel the spirit in the effort taken to build it. I can see the history behind each system, each printer, each project. Sometimes that is all I have achieved for the day. Just being there. But as it is said, ‘they also pray who only stand and wait’, sometimes that all I am able to do, ‘ to stand and wait’. ‘Being in a state of prayer’ is also praying.

Appu has registered me on some property sites and I keep getting messages about apartments being available (of course there is no money to even think about buying any of them). So, I keep deleting them. A few days back I got one mentioning a studio apartment being available with a view of the Himalayan range somewhere in Ranikhet. I mean that sounded nice. To have a small space where one could get up and get a spectacular view of the strength of the mountains every morning. I shared with Appu and her immediate reaction was ‘what God forsaken place you want to be in’? But that is the point. I wish to be in a place where God’s work is more and man’s is less. Anyway there is no money as of now and the whole discussion is pointless. Its just that no property has ever interested me so much as this one close to nature.

The work on the online shop is moving ( at a slow pace but nevertheless at least it is moving). We are still waiting for some data from the site in Chennai to be able to initiate work (dal roti ka sawal hai). One license for ArcGIS 10.0 has been installed and at least the Dell machine is operational for the technical team.

I have been shouting. Nothing new. But when has shouting evoked an attitude of excellence and commitment? Lunch continues to be served in the office. Continuity is important. To start anything is so easy. To keep it going is the tough part. To do it day after day. Everyday.

Another day. Look good. Look tough. Look successful. Look as if you have it all. Even if you are crumbling inside. Even if you are scared to face anyone and anything. Its a jungle out there. All that talk on human values sounds nice buddy but that is what it is ‘all talk’. What is real is ‘green’. The ‘green money’. If you have it, let’s talk.

Give me a break.
Anytime sweetheart. After the banks and the bills let you go!

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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