ताका झांकी (Taaka Jhaaki)!

No matter the diversity,

Caste

Class

Religion

Race

Country

One thing that unites us all,

We are interested in what’s happening next door,

Be it Sharma ji’s daughter whom he is trying to get married at any cost,

Be it Tandon aunty’s maid woes,

Be it the modern Sweety ji, whom the uncles seem to drool over,

or

Be it Mr. Paul’s long due promotion party,

We want to know it all,

And

Participate in every possible ritual,

After all, what it is to live in a community, if it were not this,

Yes, it comes with it’s own pros and cons,

Yet

Fun part,

A true community,

Lives

Loves

Hates

Fights

and

Celebrates TOGETHER.

Though this very establishment seems to have gone for a toss in this modern era,

Neighbors not having a clue who’s living next door,

Meeting with a frown rather than a smile if they happen to be in the same lift,

That’s what individualism has come down to,

Wonder whether the long gone ताका झांकी has lost its relevance!

Guess, it’s time to move on?

Source for the image: https://www.pngall.com/community-png/download/24460

T- Woes

Am sure it would have happened with many of us before,

Just a day back, happened with a close acquaintance,

Flight day-after and you get a message from the likes of GoAir it has been cancelled,

Assuring that your money would be reimbursed,

What a relief? huh!

But what about the plans you had made contingent on this very flight?

Hotel bookings etc.

Next best thing,

You go online again to book another flight,

Being very careful its not the same airline,

To find that it’s double the cost of the initial booking,

Well,

You are left with little options but to book this one,

And

You are now all set to move ahead in life.

Am sure the airlines had their reasons for cancelling,

Though

It might feel very unfair,

To the extent that you feel exploited and helpless in many ways as a traveler,

You blame the airlines for being unethical and irresponsible,

Yet

All this blame game brings no relief to the grieved.

I sometimes wonder, what’s the way out!

Source for the Image: https://www.icicilombard.com/blog/travel-insurance/ti/debunking-common-travel-woes

Group Sensitivity!

Not that they have not existed since ages,

and

Not that we all are not social beings,

The way we communicate has certainly changed in this digital and especially Covid era,

Be it the video calls on apps like Zoom, Skype etc.

or

Be it the chat apps such as Whatsapp, Snapchat etc.

But the very reason am writing this post is because of an unfortunate occurrence on one of the whatsapp groups that I happen to be a part of,

Don’t know what the need was,

Cannot decipher why it was mentioned,

yet

What came out from a certain representation was sheer hatred for a particular community,

Which made me wonder,

Have we truly lost the essence of being human?

Have we given up on sensitivities of not hurting people around us?

Have we become ruthless letting our opinionated and judgmental mind to rule our persona?

If not,

Then why think and act in such a questionable manner?

Guess, we have all forgotten,

Some kind of restraint always helps and personal attacks never,

for

An eye for an eye will only make the entire world go blind!

Source for the Image: https://theconversation.com/how-whatsapp-group-admin-became-one-of-the-most-powerful-jobs-in-politics-126041

Behrupiya!

They say nothing comes free in life,

On most occasions I guess,

But one thing that’s certainly under our control and don’t have to depend on others is,

The face or the Venetian mask we choose to portrait to the world,

Depending on different situations and circumstances,

and

Various roles we play,

Be it a son/daughter,

A parent/grandparent,

A spouse,

A worker,

or

A boss,

Question being,

Does it fall under the category of a behrupiya or an impressionist?

And if it does,

Does it serve better to be one than not to be?

Who is a behrupiya after all?

One who possesses the intellect to know what’s required in a situation,

One who is a master at performing the way one is supposed to,

One who understands the person in front of him/her,

and

One who is empathetic enough not to hurt the other.

Looks like it’s fantastic thing to be a behrupiya,

What matters though is the intention behind being one!

Source for the Image: https://www.amazon.com/Hophen-Masquerade-Venetian-Jester-Decoration/dp/B07WFL3F8B

Don’t talk to Strangers!

Possibly the most common thing told to all kids by their parents,

Irrespective of caste, class or religion,

Across geographies and beyond borders,

Universally applicable and much accepted,

Yet

Have you ever wondered whether such teachings have even the slightest relevance in this era of Internet that we all live in?

Every day, kids are interacting with all kinds of strangers,

Be it on social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram etc.

or

Be it dating platforms such as Tinder, Bumble etc.

Getting influenced each day,

Building their thought process every hour,

Getting exposed to all sorts of content,

As a parent, it’s but natural to be worried of where this can drive their kids to!

More than worrying though, what helps is,

To work towards building trust and ladder of communication between themselves and their kids,

To try and become friends who hear them out whenever they need someone to,

and

To be able to unconditionally devote time and energy for the kids’ well being.

Parents out there have a choice,

To be or not to be, A parent that is!

Source for the Image: https://unsplash.com/s/photos/stranger

Easy Wheezy!

When you look beyond yourself, what do you see?

Few might notice the kind of environment they might be in,

Few might be lost in a trip down their memory lane,

Few might be wondering what the future has in store for them,

and

Few might just look at successful people around them,

Hoping to be like them one day,

or

Cribbing why they themselves couldn’t make it whereas those who did,

How easy it was for them and that they got lucky!

But as you might have experienced yourself,

Nothing comes easy in life,

Be it the likes of Virat Kohli or M S Dhoni,

or

The likes of Shahrukh Khan or Amitabh Bacchan,

Be it the Neeraj Chopra next door,

or

Chetan Bhagat’s in your college,

Be it the well known among startup circles, Bhavish Aggarwal,

or

Be it the not so known yet, Shashank Gupta.

Who ever it might be,

Let me state the obvious,

Without hard work and discipline, achievements and success remains a dream,

Without hours and hours of practice and dedication, goal remains a thing to ponder over,

For

There is no shortcut to success,

There is no alternate to hard work,

There is no success without tons of failures,

No matter which path you want to tread upon,

Be prepared for

Hours and hours of hard work,

Lot of so called sacrifices,

For if it was so easy wheezy,

Majority won’t wonder how they got it so easy!

Source for the Image: https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/15931-not-easy-but-worth-it,

At-Ti-Tu-Dine!

A disclaimer right away for this post:

Might have an inherent bias!

If you are wondering what am referring to,

Let me throw few names at you:

Ajeet Singh Kushwaha, Shweta Dasgupta, Saurabh Saxena, Anirudh Syal, Tushar Garg, Vivek Joshi, Jitendra Singh;

What do you think they have in common?

Successful in life, Yes!

Founders, VPs, Directors etc. Yes!

Worked hard at one point of time to become IITians, Yes!

Let me also throw few other names at you:

Ritu Ashar, Atul Satija, Sarita Raichura, Sangeeta Beri, Buta Singh, Parvati Matkate, Zaheer Adenwala, Rahul Varma,

Successful in life, Yes!

Founders, VPs, Directors etc. Yes!

IITians or not,

IIMians or not,

ISBians or not,

Harvardians or not,

Stanfordians or not,

or

Whatever IANS or not,

If you want to emulate the journey and derive inspiration,

or

Somewhat be like the folks similar to the ones mentioned above,

What matters in life is to have the right kind of ATTITUDE towards:

The very concept of success to begin with,

The near and dear ones in life,

A cause that draws you to put all in and work hard,

That routine that you follow day-in-day out to accomplish that very thing,

and

That dire need and responsibility to make a contribution in and give back to the society,

Which, by the way, has contributed immensely in making us who we are today!

Source for the image: https://forbesbooks.com/can-one-bad-attitude-destroy-your-team/, https://www.purewow.com/wellness/positive-mental-attitude

Waah Taj Waah!

Came across a social media post yesterday by thebetterindia,

Which spoke about how Taj group of hotels has been able to imbibe “atithi devo bhava” as one of its core value.

Must admit that I have had wonderful experiences while staying with Taj in different cities.

But my first impression was certainly a disaster.

Year 2003,

Us, a group of badminton team mates representing IIT Kanpur had gone to play inter IIT sports meet in IIT Bombay,

Most of us were visiting Mumbai for the first time in our lives,

And guess what, Gateway of India was on our list of places to visit,

Right opposite stood the Taj Mahal Palace, a beautiful architecture matching the grace that Gateway of India had to offer,

Afternoon, we all felt hungry and decided to have a rendezvous with The Taj.

Considering, it was a first for most of us who had been to a 5-star hotel,

We were really looking forward to it,

I still remember, it was 1:30 pm,

Having heard so much about the hotel from who’s who of society,

When the four of us decided to have a walk-in,

By the way, we were wearing casual sports t-shirts on the day,

Might have looked a bit shabby as well!

As we approached the entrance,

The big man, durbaan (doorman), a sardar ji,

Waved his hand,

As if ordering us to move aside and give way to a guy who had just stepped out of a beautiful BMW, to let him enter first,

In his same rude mannerism, he asked,

What’s the purpose of your visit?”

Oh, we are students and have heard so much about Taj that we thought we will give a visit”, one of my friends spoke in an excited tone.

You cannot enter like this”, he spoke back.

“How can we enter then if not like this?“, all of us wondered what kind of privilege would require us to enter the hotel.

Let me do my work, you cannot enter”, he seemed to have no reason for what so ever for not letting us enter.

We all thought there was no point arguing and we left.

They say, first impressions are the last impressions.

Well, not so, at least in my case,

Because every time I visited thereafter, I was impressed by the hospitality,

Though would certainly want to speak about few lessons that I learnt on the day,

Whether it’s a good thing or a bad one,

Limited in her ways, society perceives you by the way you dress on most occasions,

Some of us might say, that we don’t care,

It’s a choice, to each their own, how one wants to dress,

yet

Society will have her own means of developing her perception.

At the same time, don’t judge a book by its cover!

and

A customer never forgets his/her first experience.

Two,

I know Taj is extremely proud of its core values,

Yet, a failure to be able to percolate these same values to each and every employee results in such bad customer experiences,

Which surely affects brand loyalty to begin with,

and

A bad word of mouth for the concerned.

Hence, extremely important, how and what each and everyone in a company communicates to her stakeholders,

Which in turn means having a fantastic mechanism of hiring and acculturation.

Third,

Nothing is so called perfect in this world,

As a startup founder or as CEO of a big company, if one gets entangled in the fame and adulation,

One tends to drift away from his/her core purpose,

As, there is always scope for improvement.

Considering Taj and the likes of Marriott, Leela etc. are the go to hotels for who’s who of our society in any case,

The General Managers and the senior leaders of their properties may want to take a cue,

When it comes to ensuring wonderful experiences for their clients and customers.

Source for the image: https://www.tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Review-g304554-d302179-Reviews-The_Taj_Mahal_Palace-Mumbai_Maharashtra.html, https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/dont-judge-book-its-cover-eliot-clarke

Just Bow Down!

Every year I have this tendency to write a post on माँ (Mother), 

Not necessarily on Mother’s Day!

Why, you may ask? 

Why not I may answer!

Surely, not because my mother forces me to do so 🙂

But for no other reason that I can confidently state, 

Just feel like doing so, 

After all, would I even be writing this, if it was not for her, 

and 

Of course my father, not to take any credit away from him 🙂

If she would have not taken care and nurtured me for the critical nine months to begin with,

and 

If she wouldn’t have taken care of me thereafter, all these years. 

I always seem to run out of words when it comes to Her, 

What can I possibly say or do which could do justice to the very Being!

For it’s beyond comprehension, 

Why and how a mother does what she does and keeps doing all Her life!

The only gesture possibly is to bow down to the very nature that She represents. 

Wonder, where She gets this devotion, 

This strength to go beyond Her emotions, 

This compassion to be able to include someone in Her life and make him Her priority, 

Amazed I am every time to witness this amazing phenomenon of Motherhood!

Bewildered I am to even come up with a synonym for the very Word, 

and

Small and Belittled I am to understand the very creation whom we all refer to as our Mother, 

If only everyone could move towards imbibing the kind of love and inclusiveness a Mother has towards Her kid, 

The world would become a much better place to reside in. 

The only thing I can possibly say to conclude:

Lucky are those who have Mothers, 

for 

We are what we are because She is what She is!

Source for the Image: https://kencarlson.org/bible/worship/we-bow-down-2/https://www.amazon.in/Voorkoms-Temporary-Waterproof-Beautiful-Transfer/dp/B07WCYDR6R, https://www.dreamstime.com/illustration/bow-down-worship.html

G for!

For those who are reading this: 

Most of us might have felt at some point of time in our lives that we could have been or could be doing much more

Might have felt that the true potential has not been realized. 

Might have had been haunted by thoughts and questions: what if I would have taken some other course

But 

A thing that we don’t realize is: 

After all, whatever we have achieved is nothing short of a feat. 

What we have in our possession is not that everyone has a privilege of claiming. 

Be it the:

Job,

Family,

Friends, 

Or

Other material possessions, 

Why then:

This feeling of disappointment,

This frustration, 

This temperament, 

This constant need to prove to the world

And

This inability of being able to appreciate and praise others for so called small things in life. 

Does it even register: 

Just few words of genuine praise can change or even save someone’s life

Just few words of courtesy can make someone’s day, 

Jadoo ki jhappi (an affectionate hug) of Munna Bhai does work, 

Considering we are maintaining social distancing in these times, 

And 

Considering people are getting depressed for so many reasons, 

What’s stopping us from offering something that doesn’t take a lot of effort and could indeed impact lives in the real sense! 

So, my dear friends, please don’t stop yourself from offering this genuine praise, 

to 

Whosoever comes in contact with you in these challenging times

Might even act as a life saving fresh breath of air to the affected and the depressed. 

Wondering what this G is for?

Grateful for:

To begin with alive in these times,

Getting those all important meals,

The health of our loved ones, family and friends,

There is still hope,

Enabling us to take a break from mindless and senseless lives,

and

Being able to connect and communicate, courtesy social medial platforms and calling apps,

If these are not enough for one to be grateful,

I wonder what will be!

Source for the Image: https://leadx.org/articles/we-know-we-ought-to-be-grateful-but/, https://steemit.com/writing/@doitvoluntarily/the-pursuit-of-wanting-more, https://www.amazon.in/initial-Alphabet-Monograme-Notebook-monogramend/dp/B083XVYVY3