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Tag: world

A very good start

We are in the midst of some challenging projects. Thoda dar hai. I mean they are not conventional projects ( but when have we followed the conventional path in any area of our life?).  A lot of reading, discussions and brainstorming is required. We love it and that is what keeps us going. The fact that there are constantly new challenges and hidden threats at every nook and corner of the path.

There is money to pay the bills for this month. I mean that is great. Because the 7th of every month was a terror for so long. And all the bills (love letters) hold no fear for us anymore. That our lives are abundant today is a miracle beyond our wildest dreams. That we also have ‘respect’ is an added bonus. We actually worked only for earning ‘respect’ and somehow the ‘money’ came along with it. It has reinforced our belief that running after money is of no use at all. It comes to us when we are ready to receive it.

The office is running. The pantry is churning out three meals a day ( not to forget the midnight snacks) and is getting better at providing healthy meals for all ( from the peon to the manager, no discrimnation at all). There is water. There is work. Thank you God. Thank you very much. For everything. The admin is in place. The accounts is in place. The technical team is also strong. Amazing. Aewsome. We are truly blessed.

Appu has chosen to dance. Full time. Daytime. Nighttime. All the time. So be it. This is what comes naturally to her.This is who she is. A dancer. Just took me a lot of time to accept it in the ‘gut’. The ‘nut’ (brain’) accepted it but  takes time to travel from the nut to the gut. Wish you all the best Appu. Go follow your dream. Wherever it takes you.

I have been invited by ‘family’. Yes by my brother. It is strange as they have dis-owned me from the past so many years. My father has shared that my mother has willed the entire property in the name of my brother and that he wants to record my statement ‘ that I need no part of it and that I will never go to court to ask for my share’. Aisa bhi hota hai. How many laws can you make? If the men of the family do not wish to give the rightful due to their daughters/sisters, then all the laws are redundant and uselss.

We are working most nights. And attending calls/meetings most days. So we are all very tired. I guess that is the price we have to pay for earning an honest living, for wanting respect more than money. I hit a truck head-on in the early hours of the morning while returning from one such night out. The car got crushed and I have no idea how I got saved miraculously. Guess God has got some work planned for me on this planet Earth which is as yet unfinished. Thanks HP.

A lot is going on in the world outside. Politics, scams,dis-honesty,rapes. And it hurts. Yet, we have come to accept that we are powerless over everything except our selves and our actions. If we can live a good, clean, honest life, if we can each be a leader in our own area, if we can clean up our side of the street, if we can be self supporting and stop being parasites on the world, it will be a good start.

A very good start.

 

‘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.

‘Dhanyavaad’

Finally have a few moments to write. Finally there are a few moments of peace. Of silence. The phone is not ringing (Thank God!). There is water in the office and the house. Most of the bills for this month have been paid. There is work and we are in the midst of completing three projects. Can you imagine that? From ‘No work’ to ‘some work’ to ‘so much work’! Unbelievable. But so much stuff in our lives is unbelievable.

Have not slept well for the past two months. There has been too much work, too much stress. Ditto for Appu. The admin issues, the team creation, the execution and completion of projects has taken up all the space in our lives. There is nothing left for anything else. No time, no energy to do anything apart from work. Our relationship is getting affected with this overload and yet I have no solutions, no alternative path as of now. It is just like a one way street with no end in sight. We are following a gruelling routine and there is no exit route.

There is no time to go for long walks in the park. No time to do normal things. To cook for Appu. To be with her. To be normal. Running GC has become a juggrenaut which has taken up all the space in our lives. And living in a city like Delhi is a very tiring task in itself. There are too many people, too many cars, too many masks, too many ambitions and too many male egos to tackle. Being a common man does not help at all. Being a woman on top of it is a complete disaster. We keep talking about the physical rapes happening in the city. What about the mental and emotional rapes happening in our own homes and offices all the time? What about them? The court metes out punishment based on what is written on the papers. What about the unwritten committments? The unwriitten committment when we take on a project or have a child or make love? Are we not supposed to follow it through till the end? And will it not be a crime to abandon the project, child or relationship midway?? Which court in the land can punish such crimes? It is so ironic. The biggest crimes are unpunished. And we keep fighting for money, property and all the other unnecessary stuff in courts. Ladte raho bhaiyya. Keep fighting. keep shouting. For all the wrong reasons. At all the wrong places. The Gods above must be in despair.

Mask utar lo bhai. Let us show our real faces to the world. Let us not be  poor in thought or action.

We have a team. A well paid one. For once we are capable of offering high remuneration to our technical team and we are very happy about it. It definitely takes us out of the realm of just earning dal roti or of meeting our basic needs and from being a part of the ‘aloo pyaaz ki GIS mandi’. We are doing good work. We are earning good money and we are very very grateful. To our Higher Power for this abundance in our lives today.

Thank you HP.

Dhanyavaad

 

To live.

The Gods laugh I believe. When we struggle so much to just acquire money, status, cars, accessories, land.

When we fight to survive. Marna to hai hi bhaiyaa. Marne se kya darna hai. This is the only irrefutable absolute truth. Baki sab adhure sach hain. Incomplete truths.

We are being respected for the work we are doing. Amazing achievement. Unbelievable. A miracle beyond our wildest imagination. Travelled to Mumbai to meet a few potential clients and they were looking forward to the meeting to discuss their height related issues in various real estate projects. I could see respect in their eyes. That is all we have earned I guess.

Respect.

Have been looking for it you know. For a long time now. In the family. In the world outside. And within myself.

But a victory in the professional world does not necessarily mean a victory in the personal realm. My family cannot respect me. That will always be an unachievable target. An impossible mission so to say.

Need to vacate the office by August. We will have to move. Huge task. Any change is stressful. Even if it is for the good. Even if it is healthy. Ok. 24 hour slots. Will think about it later. For today, the phone is not ringing. There is water in the house. And we should be able to pay the rents of the office and the house.

Let us practice some gratitude. Roti, kapda, chhat. Aaj ke liye hai. There is work. And Appu is reasonably happy. That is enough reason to celebrate.

To live.

Just open your eyes

The admin takes up 80% of the time. Arranging for water, electricity and gas. The basic utilities. In the office and the house. Only 20% of the time is left to do the actual work. Talk about growth. When the basics are not in place, how can any development happen?There is no water supply in the office. So the private tankers have to be called.  Ditto for the house. So much for the developing country. So much for the hype and hoopla raised by the political parties just before the elections.

The rejection from one’s own family is hard to digest. I guess that is the curse I have to live with all my life. That has been the greatest challenge, the most debilitating handicap. To top it,  Appu and myself have also been fighting. I do not know the reasons. We are just not ok with each other. So it is very tough to focus on work at the moment. Have not been reading. have not been learning anything new. The entire energy is channelized into somehow running the office and the house and complete the bare minimum activities to keep the show running. Need God to step in here. Loads of unmanageability.

Everyone is running after money and sex. But we do not talk about it openly in our country. Why can’t we accept that we want the money. Huge amounts of it. We talk about the crimes we can see. But we do not talk about the unseen emotional crimes committed in silence in millions of families in the name of love and respect. A betrayal most heinous. Every time a child is abandoned or abused, every time an infant girl is killed or molested, every time a child is humiliated, every time there is violence in any home, a crime is committed. Hence the rapes, the scams are just the tip of the iceberg. The larger picture is below the surface. Education happens in the families, not in the schools. When will we understand that? When will the mothers stop treating their sons like demi-Gods with freedom and license to rape? Every rape, every scam is a wake up call for us. But we are so used to living in a dream world and so scared of the pain of facing the reality that we refuse to wake up. The deep rooted problems will not go away just because some of us make a lot of hue and cry and create noisy drama.

Dekh lo yaar. Open your eyes. For once see what is real and what is not. It might be painful but at least the wound will be opened for healing and the pain just might go away. Like this it will keep festering for generations and we will be building a society where money, might and sex will rule.

Just open your eyes.

‘Shor se pare’

Dharti per reh kar jeena. To be on the earth. Huge task. It is easier to live in a make believe world of ‘larger than life’ pictures. And bloated egos.

A world where we are self proclaimed ‘Gods’. A world where the ‘God’ resides only in temples and has no business in the matters of running the world. There is utter chaos everwhere. No wonder. Man is trying to be the Boss everywhere. So to resolve the chaos, we are creating more chaos. Well done guys. We are doing great.

We do not need so many laws and so many people to ensure that the law is followed. We just need one law. That is to be ‘human’. How can we ensure that ‘humanity’ is practiced? In all situations? Under all circumstances? In poverty? In aloneness? When we are being watched and when we are not being watched? When there is money? Even when there is no money?

Which school, which college, which institution can teach us to be human beings? And if we could just be human, all the other laws could be scrapped to set free a battery of lawyers, advocates, policemen who are not doing their jobs anymore because they have ceased to be human. They have become parts of a machinery which neeeds more and more oil in the form of money to run and is becoming monstrous and out of control. The machinery to force people to behave and become more human is itself a monster and we wish to run away from it.

Aur laws mat banao bhaiiya. Insaan bana sakte ho?

Can our politicians be more human?

Can the cops be more human?

Can the rest of humanity be more human? All over the world?

Just so much noise. Nothing in action,or deed,or thought.

Aur halla machao.

Kitna shor hai. Charon Taraf. Thoda chup ho jaate hai bhai. Thoda soch lete hain.  Pagalon ki jaise bhaagte ja rahen hain.

Just running. Just creating noise.

Shor ke pare bhi to kuch hai.There must be meaning beyond the noise we are creating.

‘ Shor se pare’

 

Still searching

Why did we choose this path?

Wanted to look cool? to look good? Is that it?

you ask as if there were many choices.

Of course there must have been. At least a few, if not too many.

So you tell me. Which one would have been a better choice?

To live or to die?

To face dis-respect in the family or to face dis-respect in the world outside?

To let goons rule this country and become one in the process?

Or to fake that everything is fine, that education eradicates all evils and hide behind a good image? Behind more cars,mobiles,money. That I am OK and you are OK and everything is OK. When the truth is that nothing is OK.

But to face the truth would be too devastating. Too scary. So let the facade go one.  Yes,we are a growing country.

Yes we are an emerging economy. yes, we are moving towards gender equality ( I mean we are talking about it, a lot I must say), yes we take a holiday in the name of Gandhi, we say the right words at the right time. But that is where it stops.

Look beneath the surface and you will see that the first qualification to enter politics is the ability to indulge in mindless violence, to have a criminal background, to have loads of money and the ability to distribute liquor, dreams, promises to the poor, the scheduled castes and the have-nots without having to work for it. The poor are promised the world without working for it, if only they vote for them. How is that possible?

Success or failure in such a world would not matter. I guess we are all failures in some way. For allowing all this decay to continue. For not having the courage to stop the wheel and re-invent it. Even in our own lives, forget about others, society and the world at large.

A colleague asked me, your life is still not on track? You are still getting beaten up and dealing with the cops, actually goons in uniform. And my answer is:

My friend, I do not know whether my life is on track or not because I am still looking for the track. Where is the track?

I am still searching.

Still searching.

 

An illusion

The difference between the masses and the classes. Can be measured only in light years.Politics, a synonym for business, is driven by the masses. By the underbelly, underworld, ghettos, slums, everything that is unauthorized. So the most authorized business actually runs from the most unauthorized places and the people at the bottomline, yearning to be heard somewhere, somehow, sometime. How can we even begin to think of cleaning the system? Kahan se shuru karoge? And how can one deal with hunegr, poverty, lethargy, the attitude of being a loser and the powerbrokers who exploit these needs to whet their hunger for power and control.

Appu has been upset. With the constant financial crisis situations in the office and house. With the hostility shown by AAI officials. I guess this is the cost we are paying for taking  a stand. I am sure that easier softer options exist. But we have never taken them. And now is the time to pay for the choices made. Good or bad. Right or wrong.

Sab golmaal hai. And yet we gloat over the fake statistics, the fake turnovers, the fake signs of outward success. All the time, becoming poorer inside. All the time becoming empty and hollow.

We need more projects. More revenue. More income. And above all winners in our team. Change your tune bhai. It is really an old one now. Maybe we should get some people from the western world to get the work culture right. Maybe in place of our guys looking to work abroad, we should import some of them here.

The admin is ok. The pantry is working. The chairs in the office are being repaired today. Can we ever hope for a day where no repair is needed for anything in the office? Or for our souls? A client visit is scheduled for tommorrow. Need to make a trip to Hyderabad for another project. Good to stay busy. Lagta hai kuch kaam ho raha hai. Feels as if we are acheiving huge things.

A dream. Which keeps us going. Keeps us alive.

An illusion.

 

 

 

 

Only and lonely

Kuch nahin badlega.

Why are you even trying? yeh desh aise hi chalega. Be a part of the system or the system will kill you. Throw you out. Make you a pariah.

That is quite disappointing. I mean what about education and research and development and justice and goodness. Of course the words exist. Maybe, just maybe, even the meaning exists  as long as the system is not threatened. The keywords are ‘as long as the system is not threatened’. The moment any research, any thought, any goodness so much as even poses a threat to the existing set-up, all hell breaks loose. The catalyst of change is looked down upon, stripped of social acceptance and made a pariah.

I guess that is what has happened to us.  Overtly and covertly. None of the AAI officials are keen to talk to us. Forget about talking, they do not wish to take our calls or see our face.

Aur sach bolo. You wish to survive or bring about a revolution.  Kya mission statement hai bhai. Then what is the point of education if it is ultimately controlled by politics, by what is redundant. Of course that is a good question. What is the point of education?? of degrees? Simple jawaab hai. To get a job. To get a salary, to obey the rules and to get a certificate of honor, a raise now and then. Look, this is getting depressing. Let us focus on the problem of others, other countries, other people. At least we will forget our own pain for a while.

Bahut bolna, bahut sochna is a disease. Needs treatment. Specially in this part of the world.

Akele rah jayoge. All alone.

Only and lonely.

 

‘In the end’

So scared.

Of what?

Of losing it all. The name, the fame, the fakeness,the cloak of respectability, ‘samajik pratishta’(social respectability).

What about sanity? Are you worried about losing your peace of mind, your sanity?

No. I mean they will come with the money, right?

What if it’s not really a package deal. What if decisions based purely on the ‘money factor’ backfire?

How will this spiritual discourse help us pay the bills? For God sake, get real. We do not wish to bag any Oscar awards here. OK, Can you hear that? We just need the bank (or is it banks) not breathing down our backs, we need the rents paid, the telephone bell ringing in the office, the salaries paid. If you have to kill, just kill man. What is all the song and drama about? Don’t you see that is does not matter why you wish to kill. It does not matter to the banks how you make the goddamn money. It does not matter to society how you bought that bloody long limousine. You are a star if you have been able to do it, by hook or by crook. And who does not wish to be a star? And what is wrong with wanting to be a star?

Apna discourse lekar kahin aur jaao bhaiyya. leave us alone. Allow us to do our job, that of making more money. Everyone wants a good package these days and we have to be able to give it to them. team kaise banegi? Never mind that most of us have our ‘fundas gol’, never mind that most of us do not have the required capabilities but ‘package’ toh chahiye na.

Fast Forward. We are trying to do something different with GIS here. We are trying to change a process. We are re-inventing the wheel. We are trying to use a technology for greater accuracy, faster results and lesser costs. And the dinosaurs of the trade are rattled with us.  And therefore we are a threat. And therefore we are un-employed with our oxygen fast running out. And maybe that is what the powerbrokers want. To kill us. Silently. No sign of our blood on their hands.

Now we understand. Why our path has been so difficult. Why it is so difficult for people to work with us. We are treading a different path. We are trying to create a new path. We are trying to prove that GIS technology does not belong to the ‘Aloo Pyaaz Ki Mandi’.

We are demonstrating that we are passionate about GIS and what it can do. That we are romantically involved with it. And that we can win the game with a new set of rules. And create history in the international world by developing new applications and not just doing the outsourced underdog’s manual work of digitization and what have you.

And that we are willing to die in the process. Just so our lives mean something.

In the end.

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