Sunday, July 26, 2009

Peace

It is 12.30 PM. I have just woken up after an all night long party yesterday. In the first mail I have received in the day, my dad has sent me this poem by Swami Vivekananda. In complete contradiction to the hangover I have started my day with, the poem is intellectually invigourating. Read on. May peace be within you!!

Behold, it come in might,
The power that is not power,
The light that is in darkness,
the shade in dazzling light.

It is joy that never spoke,
And grief unfelt, profound,
Immortal life unlived,
Eternal death unmoored.

It is not joy nor sorrow,
But that which is between,
It is not night nor morrow,
But that which joins them in.

It is sweet rest in music,
And pause in sacred art;
The silence between speaking;
Between two fits of passion - It is calm of heart.

It is beauty never seen,
And love that stands alone,
It is song that live un-sung,
And knowledge never known.

It is death between two lives,
And lull between two storms,
The void whence rose creation,
And that where it returns.

It is the tear-drop goes,
To spread the smiling form.
It is the Goal of Life,
And Peace- the only home !

Source: http://www.ramakrishnavivekananda.info/vivekananda/volume_4/writings_poems/peace.htm

Friday, July 24, 2009

The Meeting

One of my best friends is someone who I didn't meet for over a year into our friendship. For the people that we were, it was an oddity that we became such close friends over what was just a series of bytes exchanged over the net (I have one more reason why they call it the net, because you can catch some great friends here). Series of bytes is an understatement though. We literally shared our lives, or so I would like to believe. We knew what was happening with our common and non-common friends, our families, on the work front, inside our head, outside our head, whether emotionally, materialistically, spiritually and otherwise. Our wavelengths matched perfectly. Our attitudes were similar. We were both rational, ultra-liberal, thinkers and believers in reason and the merit of work.

It was too much of a coincidence. We would ask each other if we were for real. The friendship seemed too good to be true. As a consequence, we would wonder if it would be the same when we met, whether the people we are would match the person we perceived each other to be. The burden of expectations, I tell you! But we never let it supersede the joy of a good conversation.

Living in different cities created a problem. But never there is a problem for which there is no solution and so we found our. Contrary to expectations, I was not excited about the prospect of the meeting. Perhaps, I was so preoccupied before the meeting that the 'ifs' and 'hows' never ran into my mind. But I had circled the date on my mental calender!

We met in a third city. We spent a whole day together. And it didn't feel any different than it would meeting your old friend after a long while. She didn't look any different from what I had seen of her in the photographs. She spoke like she usually did. It seemed like we had a history together and this was definitely not the first time we were meeting. We went animal-spotting on a safari, got soaked in the rains, had imli dipped in red chilly powder and ice-cream, baked pizzas, plus clicked loads of photographs (as if you didn't know!).

Though everything about her was just the same as I had expected, there was something about the meeting that was markedly different. I don't know if it was the place, the people, the chemistry or just destiny.

PS: Another one of the posts that I wanted to write but did not have the time for earlier!

Friday, July 10, 2009

What an (aspiring) manager does?

I just finished my lecture on Human Behaviour in Organizations (HBO) and have my Marketing Planning and Managerial Economics lectures coming up. The beauty of a b-school is that when you are doing the stuff you are supposed to do, i.e. study, you feel sleepy and when you are doing everything else that has no correlation with you becoming a manager, you are awake. It is involuntary. Which is why they have quizzes. Like today, our HBO teacher comes in and says I have a surprise for you. The whole class roars "No Quiz!!" Having a quiz is less surprising than not having one. But then 10 minutes of staying awake through those 10-20 questions is not as painful, is it? It is definitely less painful than a thirty page case study which you have to make a presentation on with one day's notice (my sympathies to my friends in HR). But then we don't start when we have 24 hours in hand, it is too un-manager-ly. We strongly believe that it is important to learn to handle crisis now than while you are in your jobs, so we begin when there are 4 hours to the deadline, sometimes fewer. In effect, it also helps us to work better in teams and improve our efficiency. The rest of the time can be used for productive activities like playing sports, exercising at the gym, social work, gaming (our gaming club is called WTF...May be to highlight WTF are we doing), chit-chatting, partying, drinking and smoking, if you belong to the clan, and of course the local favourite sleeping (note it's more about quality than quantity). Isn't that what we call hole-is-stick development? What I mean is you get stuck in a hole so deep that only out of the box thinking can help. So now we have handled crisis, improved efficiency, managed time, networked, developed out of the box thinking and lived through evaluations. Oh, evaluation reminds me I have a Concept Application Exercise to complete!! Damn, I am so dead. Remember I spoke about creative destruction? This is what I meant by dying everyday. See you in hell.



A Part of the Campus: The resemblance to a holiday resort may explain the attitude of its bright students


Note: This post is purely a satire and does not reflect the complete or true picture of lives of students at the Management Development Institute (MDI). The post or any portion of this post cannot be reproduced in any publication relating to MDI quoting Whispering Shadow as a source.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Why God Exists?

On my trip to Bangalore, I had gone out on a walk with my maternal grandfather, or Nana, as I lovingly call him. Most of the time he was feeling his way along the road. Feeling because he couldn't see. He developed Glaucoma a few years ago after a stroke and ever since his vision has kept degrading reaching a figure of 25% of normal this year. He was also not able to recognize the sound of approaching vehicles since he couldn't hear their engines rattle. He is deaf in one ear and partially deaf in the other. To illustrate, he would not know a truck is approaching him till it is around 10 feet away from him.

Despite his health constraints, he has never missed his 5 KM morning walk in the past 23 years that I have known him. Of course, the walk I was on with him was not a morning walk since my morning happens a good four hours after his. It was just a stroll to the vegetable market.

We reached a road crossing. It was a two way road with three lanes in each direction separated by a structure that was an unthoughtful mix of a divider and a footpath. I asked him to hold my hand but he laughed at the idea saying "How do you think I manage when you are not around?" I knew we were on our own but decided to wait with him till he is good to go. He lifted his left hand and started walking towards the other end. Drivers honked. Some drivers were harsh enough to open their windows and throw abuses at a handicapped old man (it didn't matter to him because he couldn't hear what they were saying). Some vehicles' horns were just audible enough for him to realise he had to stop. Some missed him by a whisker. We reached the divider. He almost stumbled while crossing it. After a while, he lifted his right hand and started walking. The story repeated again. After putting both our lives in jeopardy, we successfully managed to cross the road.

On my way back, I told him he should not take such risks and ask for assistance. I also asked him to get himself a walking stick. He tells me, "I have suffered the effects of the stroke in recent years but I have never asked anyone for help in my whole life, not even my children. I can't change my way of living as a result of a handicap...If you have faith in God and he will take care of you." There was an inkling of truth in this considering he has been living like this for the past 10 years and living well.

As cliched as it sounded, there were forces up there that were at work, an invisible hand guiding the ones who believed, ones in need. 'God'da take Him seriously!