Sailing away


The day has come. As it comes pretty much in every household in this country.

From the time the child is born, all our energies get focused on the child. The world starts to revolve around her. And if the child happens to be a daughter, she connects with us like nobody else can.

From the time my daughter was born, the first time I held her in my arms, the first time she smiled at me, I knew that she is the centre of my universe.

She had the capability to turn me into a jelly. I could never say no to her for anything. Her smile every morning used to brighten up my day.

Watching her grow, and yet be the same little girl is an experience I will never trade for anything.

Last one year (12th!), was extremely stressful for her and for me. The choices she made in terms of what she wants to do with her life, I stood by her. Through all the stress of Boards and all the entrance exams, she never lost that smile. She was the sunshine of the house.

I would sit till late in the night while she studied. I went with her for every entrance exam. I held her while she cried with disappointment when she didn’t make it through couple of entrance exams. I heard her crying with joy over phone, when she did make it through one of the colleges she want to be at.

All the preparation, all the fights (yes we fought too but they never lasted very long), all the dreams, all the hopes, all the insecurities, I tried to be her pillar of strength. I kept my emotions in check so that she could let them all out.

And then it all boils down to this day. From today, she joins her college in a different city.

She will be lifting the anchor and be ready to set sail.

She will create a void in my life that will be very hard to fill.

There will be no morning smile or a hug anymore.

The only contact (while she is away), will be the calls.

Life will be tough. Waking up in the morning and getting ready, without the cheerful smile is going to be so tough.

She will get a group of friends and perhaps even the guy who will become her new anchor.

I hate Indian culture. It makes us so closely knit. Makes us believe that the reason of our existence is to bring lives into this world, nurture them and then watch as they move on with their lives. Why are meant to create such strong bonds?

I will be at her orientation today. And tomorrow I will leave. This perhaps will be the real cutting of the umbilical cord.

I only hope that in times to come, through all her life, she will always turn to me when she is most happy and most stressed in her life. I hope I have taught her well enough how to handle all that life throws at her.

For granted


Yep we take most things and people for granted.

After all, we are the chosen one. If things happen to us, we deserve them. If people are at our beck and call, hell they better be!

That’s how we go through our lives. Especially with people. The ones who are constantly around, doing things for us, ready for anything, they are the ignored lot. A boss, a subordinate, a friend, a partner… we know they will be around unfailingly so they become invisible. The invisible cosmic machinery that keeps working in the background. Making things happen for us. We talk to them or message them or connect with them when we have some free time. After all why bother. They have chosen to make us the centre of their universe.

But Karma, that unfailing symbol of payback (good or bad), does come visiting.

We become so ignorant of those who have been around all the time, that over a period of time, we drive them away. And then bam! Suddenly the life spins out of control and we look for the ones who used to be there and are not.

Even then, we don’t realise that it is our fault that we drove them away. All we do is blame them for not being there. For doing things that were expected of them. We realise the void that has been left but we do not want to acknowledge it. Because to acknowledge is to accept that we were wrong.

Get going


No one is gonna help you.

The ones who do, will always have a motive.

Stop whining. Stop blaming people and circumstances for what you can’t get. Did you give your best? Or rather did you exceeds even your best expectations when going all out to get somewhere?

Stop looking for a Godfather in professional world. You be the Godfather.

Stop looking for an emotional anchor in your personal life. Everyone is looking at you to be an emotional anchor.

Stop saying I will do from tomorrow.

Stop saying the year I wanted to do so many things has already come and I haven’t.

It’s just three days into 2018. There are still 362 days left to achieve what you want (is this a leap year??).

Just get off your butt and get going! Let this be the year!

How far will you go


Utterly random.

How far will you go to get what you want?

What will you do if all your efforts are not getting you what you want?

How much will you give up to get the one thing you want?

How much will you compromise on your principles to get what you want?

How many toes will you step on, people you will hurt to achieve what you want?

Will you cheat, will you lie, will you bribe, will you let go of your morality, will you kill yourself inside every minute… just so you get that one thing.

Once you get what you wanted, will it make you happy, will you cherish it, will it be worth everything you had to do and give up.

 

The Big Variable


When we embark on a plan, we strategise for everything. We take everything into account. Every possible factor that can impact the plan and our lives.

However, there is one variable we do not account for. The one variable we do not know anything about. The one variable that can make us a success, make us happy OR it can lead to a complete disaster.

The variable is linked to us being humans. Humans who have emotions. More often than not, our decisions are driven by emotions. We all like to be called rational beings but it is far removed from truth. Gut feel. Instinct. Like. Dislike. Fear. Exciting. Emotions come in various forms which make us who we are. Make us choose or not choose.

Imagine a scenario. A VC has five proposals in front of him. Every proposal is well thought out. The ideas are excellent. Every proposal almost on par when it comes to a sound business proposition. But he can only fund one start up. How does he choose? It boils down to personalities. People he will feel comfortable giving money to. His judgement of a person. His instinct. Now most will say the plan must have been better and therefore the funding. That isn’t the truth.

When we are hiring somebody, while qualification and experience is fine, we are focused on our interaction with the person. Likeable personality comes into play.

Same goes for relationships. We like a person. We hate a person. We love a person. It is all emotion.

Our love for brands is also in the same category. Yes we do rationalise purchasing a particular brand but it ultimately is about how the brand makes us feel.

We can never account for this variable. We have no way of knowing how the person will react. What are his motivations. What are his barriers. Did he get up from the right side of the bed when he was taking a decision. Is he under some kind of intense stress. Is there something happening in his life that might impact his decision. Maybe he doesn’t like people in beard. Maybe he is short and doesn’t want tall people around him. You never know. And you are left wondering what went wrong. Similarly, there can be pleasant surprises too.

The point is that your success or failure is not about whether you planned right or not. It is not about whether you were good or bad. It is a function of somebody out there making a decision based on his emotion. How he feels about you. Yes being good at what you do matters but only up to a point. After that, emotions come into play.

And the truth is, it all happens in first two minutes. The first two minutes usually decide what is going to be the outcome. So look for the signs. You will know.

 

Songs


Ok Ok so I had said I will not post for a while but this came to my mind and I just had to post.

Songs are such an integral part of our lives. Usually they fill in a void. When you are doing nothing. When you are driving. Or even when you want to silence the world around you.

In my profession, jingle always played an important role. It became the audio identifier for a piece of communication. Sadly though, now a jingle is just a piece of cacophony. the soul has gone missing.

Similarly, the soul had gone missing from songs for past couple of decade or so (my personal view).

Of late though, it seems to be back. There seems to be a focus on lyrics rather than music created through electronic crap. Over the last 6 months I have heard the songs that teens of today are listening to (having teens in the house is an advantage). While I will not mention songs (avoid getting judged), there definitely is a trend towards putting more into every song than trying to ensure that it gets sold and heard.

Through time immemorial, songs have always associated with the mood we are in. Or is it the other way round? Mood dictating the playlist. There are happy moments, melancholic moments, party, being with friends, road trip. We have playlists for occasions.

Songs and emotions, they go hand in hand. You hear someone listening to a particular song and you can probably figure out the mood of a person. Except if the song is special to that person… something only he/she identifies with.

We all have such songs in our playlist. They remind you of a person, of an occasion with that person, a special moment that was truly yours. Songs that make you yearn for the person. Or a song that you hear and you just want to share. More than photographs, I think songs are what make our memories.

Sometimes the same song can make you feel elated or melancholic. It is all a function of what point you are in a relationship.

For me, songs have always been about nostalgia for a long time. I had stopped listening to new crap. It used to be all about rock (I had written about this in a post called ‘Sunday Evening’). But I have dabbled with some of the new music and I like it (much to the consternation of my daughter. She thinks my generation shouldn’t be listening to these songs!)

Generation. Songs and bands have always identified a generation or a decade. They are a window into the environment that existed in that decade. One can actually travel back in time by just listening to songs from the past decade.

The funny thing about this post is that there was a thought in my head when I started with the post but it totally went missing from my head.

So how about this. Reply  with title of one song that you think is truly you. Symbolises you. Resonates with your current mindset. Anything.

For people on LinkedIn who actually reached this point in the post, it will be a break from all the drivel that you been going through by way of posts 🙂