Have been working nights. Continuously. There is a certain tiredness. Of the mind, body and soul. Part of the package deal I guess. The good and the bad. The beautiful and the ugly.
Appu has wished me Mother’s Day in the most innovative manner. As I went to brush my teeth in the morning, there were these lovely colored alphabets strung together in a wave over the mirror wishing me ‘Happy Mother’s Day’. And there was this little cartoon with her and me on the left side of the mirror. It felt beautiful. This is true wealth. Real abundance. To be loved and respected by your child. Thanks bebzer. You made my day.
There is work. Which is huge. I mean we are not begging. We are not even marketing our sevices anymore. Yet we can safely assume that we are employed, at least for some time now (!!). Wow. I mean we are employed employed. Not unemployed employed. You know what I mean.
We are still looking. For good team players. Difficult to find winners.
We are OK. Better than before. Barring the bills to be paid, a court case, interviews, looking for a new office space( as our lease is running out), the rest is OK. My father visited me recently (of course behind my mothers’ back). He suggested that I should get less angry. That I should practice acceptance. Valid point. He has forgotten the umpteen times that he got violent with me, my sister and mother. And his emotional absence in our lives. He was always there but never really there. These are the paradoxes with which me and my sister have grown up. And so it not news that my sister was beaten up by her husband a few days ago. Not just a slap. Violence which continued for an hour or more. And the roots are in our violent and abusive childhoods. How could we ever become confident or successful or happy as adults? But which court can punish this kind of crime? This emotional crime is the genesis of all kinds of other crimes, the mother of all crimes so to say. But there is no acknowledgement of them. Family hai. sacrosanct hai. No one wants to talk about it. kids get molested. Girls get raped within the family. Chup raho. Don’t talk about it. Push it under the carpet. Appear like a good family. But somewhere, some generation has to bear the consequences, the high cost of being silent, of the unspoken, of the abuse.
I ma grateful to the Higher Power for our life today. Me and Appu. We have a roof. We have food to eat and clotes to wear. We have work to do which is challenging and that we are proud of doing. More importantly, there is no viloence, emotional or physical. What more can we ask for.
Thank you God.
I have written in pain. I have written in joy. I have written in good times. And bad.
And yet there is this emptiness. This huge void now. I experienced this void in the family. When anything and everything was about looking good. About faking it to making it. And now in the professional world. Where ‘democracy’ means a huge organized white crime network. Where ‘bureaucracy’ is equivalent to ‘slavery’, ‘secrecy’ and ‘scams’.
We do not have access to AAI anymore. Their doors have been closed to us. We are the devious ‘third party’ trying to take away their bread and butter. Forget that we are only looking at earning ours, not taking away anyone else’s. And our trying to do ‘good work’ is a huge threat to them. Our trying to be ‘winners’ is making them feel like a ‘loser’. We have no idea how and why. Maybe losers can only deal with losers. Any winner would be a threat. Someone who does not belong to their class and needs to be killed.
Kuch to badlega. Something will change, even it is at the cost of throwing us out. And ‘change’ is ‘growth’. Till then, we have to keep our fingers crossed. And keep walking on the chosen path. Alone.
The accounts are shaping up. We have begun work on the software again. And yes, we have a core team. Finally. A team which will stay despite and inspite of. And we are no longer looking at new team members. We are fine. There is fear. As always. Of work, of bills, of salaries. But there is also faith. That we will make it. As always.
We will muddle through.
All that is so beautiful, so surreal, so worth experiencing always seems out of reach. Maybe that is why it looks so beautiful. Because it is so far away. And unattainable.
Re-structuring of the team. Always in a dynamic state. Influx and outflux. Maybe this is healthy for us. The team has to grow with us and as we change, the team has to change. Also I think it is very diffiult to stay with what is honest and true. In an honest environment, everyone has to be honest and that requires more than ordinary courage. It also needs letting go of all the masks behind which we hide. This requires exemplary courage and rigorous honesty. Tough. Very tough.
One project is ready for submission. Well almost. Why is it always ‘almost’ ? We ‘almost’ live. We almost ‘die . Yaar pura ji lo. ya pura mar lo. What is this almost? Whatever has to be done, let us do it 100% guys. Let us either live or die completely.
Appu has gone out with her friend today. It is very rare for her to leave the house. I am hoping that she will have a good time.
Baki theek hi hai. The first week of the month. Bills, salaries, rents. Breathe. Focus on your breath. Everything will fall into place. Eventually.
What a word. What a state to be in.
Tiring to deal with dis-respect, with humiliation all the time. From the men on the roads to the men in the family to the men at work. Puffed up male egos decorated with leather, latest electronic gadgets, property, the approval from society to live and behave the way they want. How can one beat that? It is a wonder that the men have allowed us to even live, to breathe.
Trip to mumbai, meeting with clients, exodus of team members, submission of proposals, discussions, execution, accounts,bank, payments,ghar. One two three. One two three. Its the same step dance.
I do not think we are running after money so much as the fake power and respect that it commands whenever it is displayed. There was a time when it mattered how that moolah was earned. But today, it is enough that you have the money (unless there is a scam to expose you, the chances of which are one in a million). So having money is the be all and end all of our existence. No wonder we are becoming poorer by the day.
So let us play the pretense game a little longer. Let us pretend that we are a civilized society. Let us pretend that we are educated, that we care about the earth and the environment and the handicapped and the poor. Let us pretend because the truth is that we don’t really give a damn. About anyone and anything. We want the best deal for ourselves. Come what may. And this is the real crime. The crime of people against people.
I don’t think we have achieved much. At least I have not. And there is not much time left. So I do not know what needs to be done to leave this earth and civilization, a little better for the next generation.
Maybe the earth needs to stop rotating for a while to jolt us out of our complacency and self-destruction.
‘Stop the earth’.
We have a team. Seriously. As of now. We have work. But no money. I wish I could say that this was true vice versa. Of course tommorrow is always another day. Another life. And we have practically lived off miracles. So let us say that we are waiting for a miracle. Again.
The survey of the control points using DGPS is complete. The stereo satellite images are being worked upon for the extraction of building heights. Fingers crossed. We are doing this for the first time. I mean using this combination of GIS and photogrammetry to depict the shielding benefit as laid out in the guidelines for aviation safety. We are sincerely hoping that our calculations will be ranked and accepted based on their technical merit and not on history and prejudices. Chandrakant is having a tough time.
All the maps in the online shop are being re-worked upon. Chandan is scrutinizing each map and is not satisfied with the quality of most of them. So we are back to zero. In terms of products. I guess the ’India maps’ are OK. The rest are under the scanner. Here is wishing best of luck to him and his team (yes, we have a team!).
I had a lovely ‘Mothers’ Day’ (which was thankfully on a sunday) recently. Appu did not allow me to work in the kitchen the entire day and night (specially the cleaning and scrubbing part). She bought a lovely mug for me ( owing to the muliple cups of tea I have morning and night, I mean I am not allowed to have cigarettes, right?). She also booked a pedicure for me and forced me to go( me and pedicure, strange combination) followed by a movie. And when I returned home from the movie hall, I find this lovely cake that she had baked for me herself. I was completely overwhelmed. And she had done quite a professional job of it too. With all the right ingredients and the temperatures and the icing. Thank you bebzer. I have not had such a lovely time in ages (decades) now. I do not know if I have been as good a mother to you but I certainly felt like one that day. Thank you for making me feel so special bebu. Love you. It is lovely to have daughters( except that one is constantly worried about the fights that lie ahead of them for pursuing their dreams).
Appu also reminded me of a very powerful concept. ‘Everything is not about money’. When I told her that we had no money to run the next month, she was quite OK about it. She said that people could respect us for our work and that was a huge thing. Yes. ‘Respect” is a good thing. ‘Dignity’. Cannot buy it overnight. Or with turnovers.
And where is there ‘ dignity’ without ‘honesty’?
Dignity without honesty.
Not happening son.
Not happening at all.
And we lived happily ever after. Aisa hota hai kya? I mean where and in which time frame. Tell me about it. In movies my dear. Also in books, sometimes.
We have been invited for conducting campus interviews by BHU (Benaras Hindu University). No, I do not think that it is by fluke ( Really?)or that it is a mistake (OK). I am sure that they have done their homework and they are interested in placing their students with us. Or maybe it is just to provide placement opprtunities to their students. Whatever it is, we are going and hoping that we can build a good team soon.
Ashok is back. Chandan is back. And maybe this is all we have earned. That some of the people who leave are willing and keen to come back. This re-earning of people is our hidden turnover. We are glad. Welcome back guys and let us get going. The reasons for their leaving and coming back do not really matter anymore. What matters is that they are back in the team and willing to win the match (hopefully).
I am learning how to understand the balance sheet. You should have learnt this long ago buddy. Still not making too much sense. But the numbers tell a story and I need to understand what that story is.
Everything is a story. Kya kya samjhoge.
The story within the story. Or the story of the story.
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’
Schedule, Planning, Numbers, Events, rate of hits, rate of success, money made and lost. All boils down to one word, one event. ‘Survival’. Of the fittest maybe. The rest is a story. To cover the brutality of all that is ‘real’. Just to make it ‘surreal’.
The satellite images have not yet been received. If the deadlines are crossed, we will also be dead. I mean we are not fully alive even now but are breathing.
We are still trying to understand the requirements of the trainee ( who is actually a professional) from Afghanistan. He is here for a month and we are hoping that we can add some value to his learning while he is here.
The software development has stopped. The online shop is still chugging along with the support of Rajesh. Pradip is trying his best to build a good team. It is quite an impossible job. First to have a ‘team’ and then to have a ‘good team’ is like asking for too much.
Need to understand the PAN-OPS criteria. Very tough to understand. Looking for a ‘guru’ again. More than half of our lives are spent in looking for ‘gurus’, ‘teachers’. Wonder when the actual learning will happen. A client from Mumbai is coming down to Delhi to meet the chairman of AAI. We will need to be a part of the discussions (on the strategy to be followed) that follow after the meeting. I mean there cannot be a clear cut strategy but talking somehow creates an illusion of a solution. And it is good to live in illusions. They help us feel safe, even if temporarily. They help us to form a safe cocoon from which we do not really wish to emerge.
If the genie from the magic lamp were to ask, ‘aur kya chahiye’?
Just some peace and quiet.
‘Just some solitude.’
‘Away from the chaos’