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Monday, August 27, 2012

Ad lucem

If people suffer, it is mostly because they have made some wrong decisions, or they just couldn't be resolute enough to make any decisions at all. I have great respect for free will. It never fails. It accomplishes the most amazing things.

We all go through some phase of darkness in our lives. The worst thing we can do then is clam up. At times of distress, we should reach out to others. NEVER force yourself to loneliness, unless you are preparing for a very tough competitive exam or you have a deadline for a book writing project.

Empathy for others is important for your overall well-being too. If we close ourselves from others, we lose a lot more than we can perceive immediately. But it is equally important to have the right people in our lives. People who are uninspiring, demoralizing, continually depressing and sans any hope for the future will grab you by the feet and try to drag you down to the dungeons of hopelessness with them. People who are positive, cheerful, know how to greet with a smile and can take control of their negative emotions have a certain buoyancy about them that no bad day can weigh down.

We all have our journeys ahead, wars to fight, mountains to climb- or whatever imagery we prefer to refer to our hurdles in life. My point is- keep your environment clean, happy, conducive to creation; be resolute and let no one say that you can not.

Friday, August 24, 2012

A very short story

I saw her for the first time when she interrupted my conversation with my colleague as she called out to him in the elevator, ‘Hello Chirag!’ Chirag avoided looking at her directly and squirmed uncomfortably, nodding half-heartedly. Later, I discovered that she had an interview scheduled with him and he was trying his best to pretend that he didn’t know the candidate personally. Chirag soon realized his mistake of making personal favors when her take-home salary was a lot more than her teammates, but her contribution to the team was less than zero. She not only seemed uninterested in her work, her attitude was morally calamitous to her peers. The complaints mounted, Chirag tore at what was remaining of his hair each day and regretted: ‘I should have never given her the job!’

Now, I am chronically inclined to see the silver lining in everyone, even if I have to tip my toe to the point of falling on my face. I tried to console Chirag saying, ‘Maybe it is just a phase. We should watch her performance over the next quarter.’ But even in my optimistic heart, I knew there was slim chance of her waking up one day and completely transforming her work ethics.

Then she got pregnant. Usually, women take a couple of months off from their jobs for maternity leave. But she was absent for eight months and then we heard that she had a miscarriage. When she got back to office, she came back with a worse mood- picking an argument at the slightest provocation. I think she sensed that Chirag was intending to sack her, so she applied for resignation with a notice period of 3 months. It was her way of getting back at everyone because those 3 months she did nothing but incur a cost to the project. We were relieved when she finally said goodbye.

A few months later, Chirag pinged me on Gmail chat asking if I remembered her. Bile filled me up from inside and I started complaining about what a headache she had been, and I offered, ‘She must be working for her husband’s firm now- nice and cozy.’ By then I had come to know that her husband was a corporate honcho at a consulting firm.

Chirag kept quiet for a while and then typed out carefully:
‘She died in an accident last week…’

I was taken aback, expecting everything but this. Now I was feeling guilty of having spoken ill of the dead. I wanted to share this with someone but did not know whom to share it with.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

How not to be an ass at the gym

I was working out at our residential fitness center with several others when a guy in a green T-shirt entered the door. A lot of people view their cardio-screens or read books while they work out. The first thing he did when he got in was try to switch on the big screen TV which was far away from the equipment of his choice. When he couldn't find the remote, he called the security and talked to him like he owned him. Then, he walked right in front of my elliptical and tried to switch on a ceiling fan at his end of the room. Common sense says the calibrated ones are for fans and the basic on/off switches are for lights. But he had to try all the switches several times, and still couldn't figure out- never bothering to set them back to their original settings.

He had a shrill, irritating voice with a very fake accent with which he hollered at his companion in a red T, who was obviously trying to disappear. Fortunately, I was almost at the end of my session and wrapped up in no time. When I was about to leave, I noticed while I cleaned my equipment, he was still busy with the fanfare of getting comfortable- with no apparent objective or workout plan.

Do yourself a favor, never be that jerk at a communal place.

Gym etiquette for Dummies