Thursday, December 4, 2014

Subject Matter Expert

In an alcohol factory as a regular taster died, the director started looking for a new one to hire.
One day a drunkard with ragged and dirty look came to apply for the position.
The Director of the factory wondered how to send the fellow away. They tested him.
They gave him a glass with a drink and asked him to identify the drink. He tried it and said, "It's red wine, a muscat, three years old, grown on a north slope, matured in steel containers."
"Well that's correct", said the boss, "bring him another glass..."
He tasted the second one and said, "It's red wine again, cabernet, eight years old, a South western slope, oak barrels."
"Correct." The Director was astonished.
He winked at his secretary to suggest something on the sly. She brought in a glass of urine.
The alcoholic tried it. "It's a blonde, 26 years old, pregnant in the second month..... and if you don't give me the job I'll tell you who's the father."

He was instantly hired!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

The Miracle

A little girl went to her bedroom and pulled a glass jelly jar from its hiding place in the closet. She poured the change out on the floor and counted it carefully. Three times, even.. The total had to be exactly perfect.. No chance here for mistakes.

Carefully placing the coins back in the jar and twisting on the cap, she slipped out the back door and made her way 6 blocks to Rexall's Drug Store with the big red Indian Chief sign above the door.

She waited patiently for the pharmacist to give her some attention, but he was too busy at this moment. Tess twisted her feet to make a scuffing noise. Nothing. She cleared her throat with the most disgusting sound she could muster. No good. Finally she took a quarter from her jar and banged it on the glass counter. That did it!

'And what do you want?' the pharmacist asked in an annoyed tone of voice.. don't you see that I'm talking to my brother from Chicago whom I haven't seen in ages,' he said 

'Well, I want to talk to you about my brother,' Tess answered back in the same annoyed tone. 'He's really sick....and I want to buy a miracle.'

'I beg your pardon?' said the pharmacist.

'His name is Andrew and he has something bad growing inside his head and my Daddy says only a miracle can save him now. So how much does a miracle cost?'

'We don't sell miracles here, little girl. I'm sorry but I can't help you,' the pharmacist said, softening a little.

'Listen, I have the money to pay for it. If it isn't enough, I will get the rest. Just tell me how much it costs.'

The pharmacist's brother was a well dressed man. He stooped down and asked the little girl, 'What kind of a miracle does your brother need?'

' I don't know,' Tess replied with her eyes welling up. I just know he's really sick and Mommy says he needs an operation. But my Daddy can't pay for it, so I want to use my money..'

'How much do you have?' asked the man from Chicago .

'One dollar and eleven cents,' Tess answered barely audible.

'And it's all the money I have, but I can get some more if I need to.'

'Well, what a coincidence,' smiled the man. 'A dollar and eleven cents---the exact price of a miracle for little brothers.'

He took her money in one hand and with the other hand he grasped her mitten and said 'Take me to where you live. I want to see your brother and meet your parents. Let's see if I have the miracle you need.'

That well-dressed man was Dr. Carlton Armstrong, a surgeon, specializing in neuro-surgery. The operation was completed free of charge and it wasn't long until Andrew was home again and doing well.

Mom and Dad were happily talking about the chain of events that had led them to this place.

'That surgery,' her Mom whispered. 'was a real miracle. I wonder how much it would have cost?'

Tess smiled. She knew exactly how much a miracle dollar and eleven the faith of a little child.

In our lives, we never know how many miracles we will need.

Moral: A miracle is not the suspension of natural law, but the operation of a higher law.

Power of Negotiation

A zoo had among its animals a female gorilla, whose mood was becoming increasingly difficult.

The vet concluded that she was on heat and that a mate should be found.

The vet contacted some other nearby zoos to find a partner for the broody female, but to no avail.

The female gorilla's behaviour continued to worsen, but the vet noticed that she grew calmer, and strangely responsive, whenever a particularly well-built and not-too-handsome zoo keeper entered the enclosure.

Being an unprincipled and adventurous fellow, the vet put an outrageous proposition to the keeper: For a fee of Rs.5000 would the keeper consider spending a little 'quality time' with the gorilla, purely in the interests of research of course?....
The keeper pondered the suggestion, and after a few minutes agreed to the offer, subject to three conditions. The vet, intrigued, listened to the keeper's demands:
"First," the keeper said, "This thing should happen only after zoo hours."
"Fine," said the vet.
"Second, no-one must ever know."
"You have my word," said the vet, "And your final condition?"

"It's just," said the keeper a little awkwardly, "I require at least a month to save Rs.5000, would you mind giving me a credit period?"
Moral: It is more important to know each others position before indulging in any Negotiation. Otherwise we will end up negotiating for things which we have already acquired or accomplished.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Meaning of Stupidity

One day a truck driver was doing his usual delivery to IMH (Institute of mental health).

When he wanted to drive back after delivering the load, he found that one of his tyres had gone flat. He jacked up the truck and took the flat tyre down.

When he was about to fix the spare tyre, he accidentally dropped all the bolts into the drain.. As he can't fish the bolts out, he started to panic.

One of the patients from the hospital happened to walk past and asked the driver what had happened. 

The driver thought for a moment and told the patient the whole incident.

The patient laughed at him & said "can't even fix such a simple problem.... no wonder you are destined to be a truck driver..."

Here's what you can do, take one bolt each from the other 3 tyres and fix it on to this tyre. Then drive to the nearest workshop and replace the missing ones, easy as that" The driver was very impressed and asked "You're so smart but why are you here at the IMH?"

Patient replied: "Hello, I stay here because I'm crazy not STUPID!"

A lesson on observation

The first-year students at Veterinary Medical College were attending their first Anatomy class, with a real dead pig.  

They all gathered around the surgery table with the body of the pig covered with a White sheet. 
The professor started the class by telling them, 'In Veterinary Medicine it is necessary to have two important qualities as a Doctor:
The first is that you should not be disgusted by anything involving the Animal body'. For example, the Professor pulled back the sheet, inserted his finger into the pig’s anus, withdrew it and put it into his mouth. 
Now he told the students, 'Go ahead and do the same thing.'

The students freaked out, hesitated for several minutes. But eventually took turns putting their finger into the anus of the dead pig and tasting it in their mouth.

When everyone finished, the Professor looked at them and said, 'The Second most important quality is observation.

"I touched the pig with my middle Finger but tasted my index finger. Now learn to pay attention !!? "
Moral : Life is tough, but it’s a lot tougher when you are stupid.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Knowledge is Power

Two Managers who were friends decided to go mountaineering. 

One became a Manager by virtue of his experience and learning while the other had designed his life to be a Manager by doing his Post graduation in Business administration (MBA) from a reputed B-School. 

All through out the trip the Sophisticated Manager (MBA) kept asking a lot of questions on business, Data analysis, Planning, Finance, Economics etc to the Practical Manager. 

When the Practical Manager expressed his ignorance, the Sophisticated Manager used to feel so proud and happy about his smartness. He kept emphasizing on the important role that education plays in sculpting ones career or even the future.

Like this they kept climbing all day and finally reached a flat surface by late evening. They decided to rest there for the night. They set up their tent, have their drinks, eat and fall asleep.

Some hours later, the Practical Manager wakes his Sophisticated MBA friend. 

Furnished is the conversation between the two Managers -

Practical Manager                    : Look up at the sky and tell me what you see.

Sophisticated Manager MBA  : I see millions of stars.

Practical Manager                    : What does that tell you?

The Sophisticated Manager MBA pondered for a minute. He felt Happy and was extremely satisfied that his friend now considered him as a repertoire of worldly knowledge had accepted his supremacy. He turned towards his poor friend and began; 

Sophisticated Manager MBA :-

Astronomically speaking, it tells me that there are millions of galaxies and potentially billions of planets. Astrologically, it tells me that Saturn is in Leo. Time wise, it appears to be approximately a quarter past three. Theologically, it's evident the Lord is all-powerful and we are small and insignificant. Meteorologically, it seems we will have a beautiful day tomorrow.

What does it tell you?"

The Practical Manager was more amused than amazed. He went silent for a moment and then spoke.

Practical Manager :- "I was thinking about who has stolen our tent".

Moral: "Practical Management is all about 100 % COMMON SENSE "


A man hated his wife's cat and he decided to get rid of it. 

He drove 20 blocks away from home and dropped the cat there. 

But the cat was already walking up the driveway when he approached his home.

The next day, he decided to drop the cat 40 blocks away but the same thing happened. 

He kept increasing the number of blocks but the cat kept coming home before him.
At last he decided to drive a few miles away, turn right, then left, past the bridge, then right again and another right and so on until he reached what he thought was a perfect spot and dropped the cat there.
An hour later.... The man calls his wife at home and asked her, "Jen is the cat there?" "Yes, why do you ask?" answered the wife.
Frustrated the man said," Send that damn cat on the phone, I am lost and I need directions to reach home!!!

Moral: Do not become too emotional when taking decisions

Deaf Wife

A man suspected that his wife had lost her hearing and that she might need a hearing aid.

Not quite sure on how to approach her to discuss her problem, he browsed the internet to find a solution.

He read about a simple informal test that he could perform to understand if she was suffering a hearing loss.

This is what it said, "stand about 40 feet away from her, and in a normal conversational speaking tone see if she hears you.

If  not, go to 30 feet, then 20 feet, and so on until you get a response."

That evening, the wife is in the kitchen cooking dinner, and he washing the den. He says to himself, "I'm about 40 feet away, let's see what happens."

Then in a normal tone he asks, 'Honey, what's for dinner?"

No response.

So the husband moves closer to the kitchen, about 30 feet from his wife  and repeats, "Honey, what's for dinner?"

Still no response.

Next he moves into the dining room where he is about 20 feet from his wife  and asks, Honey, what's for dinner?"

Again he gets no response so,

He walks up to the kitchen door, about 10 feet away. "Honey, what's for dinner?"

Again there is no response.

So he walks right up behind her.  "Honey, what's for dinner?"

"James, for the FIFTH time I've said, CHICKEN!"

Moral of the story:  The problem may not be with the other as we always think.... It could be very much within us..!

Up selling - Need Creation

A keen immigrant Indian lad applied for a salesman's job at London's premier downtown Department store. In fact, it was the biggest store in the world - you could get anything there.
The boss asked him, "Have you ever been a salesman before?" "Yes sir, I was a salesman in India", replied the lad.  
The boss liked the cut of him and said, "You can start tomorrow and I'll come and see you."
The day was long and arduous for the young man, but he got through it. And finally 6:00 PM came around. The boss duly fronted up and asked, "How many sales did you make today?" 
"Sir, Just ONE sale." said the young salesman. 
"Only one sale?" blurted the boss. "No! No! You see here, most of my staff make 20 or 30 sales a day. "If you want to keep this job, you'd better be doing better than just one sale. 

By the way "How much was the sale worth?"  

“300534.00 pounds" said the young salesman. 

"What"," How did you manage that?" asked the flabbergasted boss.
"Well", said the salesman, "This man came in and I sold him a small fish hook, then a medium hook and finally a really large hook.  Then I sell him new fishing rod and some fishing gear. Then I asked him where he was going fishing and he said down the coast. So I told him he'd be needing a boat, so I took him down to the boat department and sold him that twenty-foot schooner with the twin engines.  Then he said his Volkswagen probably wouldn't be able to pull it, so I took him to our automotive department and sold him that new Deluxe 4X4 Blazer. I then asked him where he'll be staying, and since he had no accommodation, I took him to camping department and sold him one of those new igloo 6-sleeper camper tents. Then the guy said, while we're at it, I should throw in about 100 Pounds worth of groceries and two cases of beer.
The boss took two steps back and asked in astonishment, "You sold all that to a guy who came in for a fish hook!!"

"No" answered the salesman, "he came in to buy a box of Sanitary napkins for his wife and I said to him, "Sir, Your weekend is screwed anyway, you might as well go fishing."

Friday, October 31, 2014

Need Identification

There lived an old farmer on a Hill.

One cold winter day, he slowly walked several miles through the freezing snow to his local and very remote chapel for Sunday service. 

No-one else was there except the clergyman.

"I'm not sure it's worth proceeding with the service - I think it would be better to go back to our warm homes and have a hot drink?.." said the clergyman inviting a mutually helpful reaction from his audience of one.

"Well, I'm just a simple farmer," says the old crofter, "But when I go to feed my herd, and if only one beast turns up, I sure don't leave it hungry."

Hearing this the clergyman, felt ashamed about himself and his behavior. 

He delivers his service - all the bells and whistles, hymns and readings, lasting a good couple of hours - finishing proudly with his fresh learning that no matter how small the need, our duty remains. 

"Was that okay?" asks the clergyman, as the two set off home.

"Well I'm just a simple farmer," says the old crofter, "But when I go to feed my herd, and if only one beast turns up, I sure don't force it to eat what I brought for the whole herd..."

From which we see the extra lesson, that while our duty remains regardless of the level of need, we have the additional responsibility to ensure that we adapt our delivery (of whatever is our stock in trade) according to the requirements of our audience.


Two men, both seriously ill, occupied the same room in a hospital.

One man was allowed to sit up in his bed for an hour each afternoon to help drain the fluid from his lungs. His bed was next to the room's only window. The other man had to spend all his time flat on his back. The two men developed a friendship and spent their time talking for hours together. They spoke of their family, their home, job, involvement in the military service, favorite holiday spot and so on.

Every afternoon when the man in the bed by the window would sit up, he would pass the time by describing to his roommate about all the things that he could see outside the window.

The man on the other bed began to live for those one hour periods where his world would be broadened and enlivened by all the activity and color of the world outside.

The window overlooked a park with a lovely lake. Ducks and swans played on the water while children sailed their model boats. Young lovers walked arm in arm a midst flowers of every color and a fine view of the city skyline could be seen in the distance.

As the man by the window described all this in exquisite detail, the man on the other side of the room would close his eyes and imagine the picturesque scene.

One warm afternoon the man by the window described a parade passing by.

Although the other man couldn't hear the band - he could see it. In his mind's eye as the gentleman by the window portrayed it with descriptive words.

Days passed by….

One morning, the nurse arrived to bring water for their baths only to find the lifeless body of the man by the window. He had passed away peacefully in his sleep. She called the hospital attendants to take the body away.

As soon as it seemed appropriate, the other man asked if he could be moved next to the window. The nurse had no objections to make the switch and after making sure he was comfortable, she left him alone.

Slowly, painfully, he propped himself up on one elbow to take his first look at the real world outside.

He strained to slowly turn and look out of the window beside the bed.

To his amusement it faced a blank wall. The Man talked to the nurse and found that the wall had always been there. He asked the nurse what could have compelled his deceased roommate to describe such a wonderful world outside the window.

The nurse responded that the man was blind and could not even see the wall.

The man closed his eyes. Tears rolled of his eyes. He thanked his friend for all those happy moments…. those happy afternoon hours….

Emotions are the outcome of our response to the stimuli from the environment. He realized that if we are responsible for the creation of the world around us, then we are in command of our response to the stimuli affecting us. Emotions are just a state of mind. That includes Happiness too. If the mind resides within us….why run in all directions chasing this Happiness.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Value of Life

There was a farmer who grew superior quality and award-winning corn.

Each year he entered his corn in the state fair where it won honor and prizes. After the fair, the farmer used to come back to his village and share his seed corn with his neighbors.
One such year, a newspaper reporter came to interview the farmer after his win. During the interaction he learnt about the farmer’s habit of sharing his seed corn with his neighbors. He was perplexed. He felt very sorry about this innocent behavior of the poor farmer. So he decided to enrich the farmer with his knowledge of the so called definition of competitiveness in today’s Corporate World.
He began with asking the farmer; "How can you afford to share your best seed corn with your neighbors. Aren’t you aware that by giving them your seed corn you are jeopardizing your chances of winning next year?"
"Not at all Sir”, replied the farmer. Since I give them the seeds, we are at a level play on the quality of the Seed. So I am challenged by my fellow farmers on ideas and other efforts required in growing good quality corn. This challenge keeps me afresh and alive in my work and imparts a lot of learning. In fact this made me understand the interconnectedness that exists in the Universe.
He continued saying, “Further the wind picks up pollen from the ripening corn and swirls it from field to field. If my neighbors grow inferior, sub-standard and poor quality corn, cross-pollination will steadily degrade the quality of my corn. If I am to grow good corn, I must help my neighbors grow good corn."
The farmer had given a definite insight into the connectedness of life. His corn cannot improve unless his neighbor’s corn also improves. So it is in other dimensions! Those who choose to be at harmony must help their neighbors to be at peace. Those who choose to live well must help others to live well. Those who choose to be happy must help others to find happiness for the welfare of each is bound up with the welfare of all. If we are to grow good quality corn, we must help our neighbors grow good quality corn too.

Moral: Value of a life is measured by the lives it has added value to….

Decisions - The right one

A group of children were playing near two railway tracks, one still in use while the other unused. Only one child played on the unused track, the rest on the operational track. The train came, and you were just beside the track interchange. You could make the train change its course to the unused track and save most of the kids.

However, that would also mean the lone child playing by the unused track would be sacrificed. Or would you rather let the train go its way?

Let's take a pause to think what kind of decision we could make................

Most people might choose to divert the course of the train, and sacrifice only one child. You might think the same way, I guess. Initially, I too thought exactly in the same way. To save most of the children at the expense of only one child was a rational decision that most people would make, morally and emotionally. 

But, have you ever thought that the child choosing to play on the unused track had in fact made the right decision to play at a safe place? Nevertheless, he had to be sacrificed because of his ignorant friends who chose to play where the danger was.

This kind of dilemma happens around us everyday. In the office, community, in politics and in a democratic society, especially the minority is often sacrificed for the interest of the majority, no matter how foolish or ignorant the majority are, and how farsighted and knowledgeable the minority are.

The child who chose not to play with the rest on the operational track was sidelined. And in the case he was sacrificed, no one! would shed a tear for him.

One of my friends said that he would not try to change the course of the train because he believed that the kids playing on the operational track should have known very well that track was still in use, and that they should have run away if they heard the train's sirens. He also added that if the train was diverted, the lone child would definitely die because he never would have thought that a train could come over to that track!

Moreover, that track was not in use probably because it was not safe. If the train was diverted to the track, we could put the lives of all passengers on board at stake! And in your attempt to save a few kids by sacrificing one child, you might end up sacrificing hundreds of people to save these few kids.

While we are all aware that life is full of tough decisions that need to be made, we may not realize that hasty decisions may not always be the right one.

"Remember that what's right isn't always popular... and what's popular isn't always right."

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Out of the Box

Many hundreds of years ago in a small Italian town, a merchant had the misfortune of owing a large sum of money to the moneylender. The moneylender, who was old and ugly, fancied the merchant's beautiful daughter so he proposed a bargain. He said he would forgo the merchant's debt if he could marry the daughter. Both the merchant and his daughter were horrified by the proposal.

The moneylender told them that he would put a black pebble and a white pebble into an empty bag. The girl would then have to pick one pebble from the bag. If she picked the black pebble, she would become the moneylender's wife and her father's debt would be forgiven. If she picked the white pebble she need not marry him and her father's debt would still be forgiven. But if she refused to pick a pebble, her father would be thrown into jail.

They were standing on a pebble strewn path in the merchant's garden. As they talked, the moneylender bent over to pick up two pebbles. As he picked them up, the sharp-eyed girl noticed that he had picked up two black pebbles and put them into the bag. He then asked the girl to pick her pebble from the bag.

What would you have done if you were the girl? If you had to advise her, what would you have told her? Careful analysis would produce three possibilities:

1.The girl should refuse to take a pebble.
2.The girl should show that there were two black pebbles in the bag and expose the moneylender as a cheat.
3.The girl should pick a black pebble and sacrifice herself in order to save her father from his debt and imprisonment.

The above story is used with the hope that it will make us appreciate the difference between lateral and logical thinking.
The girl put her hand into the moneybag and drew out a pebble. Without looking at it, she fumbled and let it fall onto the pebble-strewn path where it immediately became lost among all the other pebbles.

"Oh, how clumsy of me," she said. "But never mind, if you look into the bag for the one that is left, you will be able to tell which pebble I picked." Since the remaining pebble is black, it must be assumed that she had picked the white one. And since the moneylender dared not admit his dishonesty, the girl changed what seemed an impossible situation into an advantageous one.

MORAL: Most complex problems do have a solution, sometimes we have to think about them in a different way.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

The Fable of Porcupine (worth reading)

It was the coldest winter ever. Many animals died because of the cold.

The porcupines, realizing the situation, decided to group together to keep themselves warm.

This way they covered and protected themselves from the cold but the quills of each one wounded their closest companions.

So they now decided to distance themselves from one another. Immediately they began too began to freeze to death like the other animals.

So they had to make a choice.

Either accept the quills of their companions or disappear from the Earth. Wisely, they decided to go back to being together.

They learned to live with the little wounds caused by the close relationship with their companions in order to receive the warmth and heat that came from the others. This way they were able to survive.

The best relationship is not the one that brings together the perfect people of the World, but happens when each individual learns to live with the imperfections of others and learn to admire the other person's good qualities.

Moral: It is better to be surrounded by warm pricks than be frozen in solitude!!!!!!

Tuesday, April 29, 2014



This is a true episode….

The helicopter appeared over the late morning horizon. We were to receive Mr Lachhman Singh Rathore who was visiting our Flight Unit to perform the last rites of his son, Flying Officer Vikram Singh. 

Only the day before, I had sent the telegram which read, “Deeply regret to inform that your son Flying Officer Vikram Singh lost his life in a flying accident early this morning. Death was instantaneous.”

It was the first time for me- to meet and manage the bereaved next of kin, in this case the Father of the brave officer. 

While most of the desolate family members insist on seeing the body, many a times there isn’t a body to show !!

Flying Officer Vikram Singh’s remains were only a few kilos – scrapped from what was left in the cockpit. We had to weigh the wooden coffin with wood and earth. 

The pilot brought the helicopter to a perfect touchdown. Soon Mr Lachhman Singh Rathor was helped down the ladder. A small and frail man he was, maybe of 80 years, clad in an immaculate dhoti.

As I approached him, he asked in a quiet and dignified whisper,
“Are you Venki, the Flight Commander?”
“Yes Sir.”
“Vikram had spoken to me about you. I’d like to speak to you alone for a minute.”

We walked to the edge of the concrete apron. ‘I have lost a son, and you have lost a friend. I’m sure that you have taken great care in arranging the funeral. Please tell me when and where you want my presence and what you want me to do. I’ll be there for everything. Later, I would like to meet Vikram’s friends, see his room and, if it is permitted, visit his work place. I then would like to return home tomorrow morning.”

A commander couldn’t have given me clearer instructions. 

The funeral, with full military honours, was concluded by late afternoon. After the final echoes of the ‘Last Post’ faded away, Lachhman Singh spent the evening talking to the Squadron Pilots. Vikram’s roommate took him to see Vikram’s room. Lachhman Singh desired to spend the night in his son’s room instead of the guest house we had reserved for him. Early next morning after a tour of the squadron area, my boss took him to his office.

A while later, the staff car took Lachhman Singh to the civil airfield two hours away. 

As the car disappeared round the corner, I remarked to my Boss, “A brave man he is. Spoke to me like a General when he told me exactly what he expected from us during his stay here. I have never seen a more composed man on such an occasion. I admire him.” 

“Yes, Mr Lachhman Singh Rathore is a warrior in his own way. He sired three sons and has laid to rest all three of them.

His first son Captain Ghanshyam Singh of the Gurkha Rifles was killed in Ladakh in 1962 War. His second son, Major Bir Singh, died along the Ichogil Canal in 1965 in an ambush. The youngest, Vikram Singh, who had the courage to join the Air Force, is also gone now. This simple farmer has contributed more to our country than all of us combined.” 

Yes, he is indeed a brave Indian ; in fact HE is MORE INDIAN than anyone else - His sacrifice can never ever be repaid by the Country !! He is almost a Martyr himself !!

But our Great Nation does Not know this simple Giant -- India only knows that Super Rich Cricketers need to be conferred BHARAT RATNA while a bunch of actors and actresses need to be conferred PADMA VIBHUSHANs and PADMASHREEs !! Yes, they are so called 'Achievers'. They achieved Fame & Fortunes mostly for themselves and a wee bit for the country. (Ever wondered as to HOW on earth do actresses bring glory to the Nation??)

But what about the ' Losers '?? Those who have SIMPLY LOST their EVERYTHING to the Nation, like this Father of Three Brave Soldiers.

Awake INDIA Awake! Stop being patriotic when you need to be sportive and be sportive when you ought to be Patriotic.

Vande Mataram….

Friday, March 14, 2014

My Joe

Joe received a call from a lady named Shuba.  It took some time for Joe to recognize that the woman on the other end was her classmate, to whom she was speaking after 30 long years. Joe felt so excited and tears rolled of her eyes. They spoke for a long time exchanging their where about, family details, talking about their other friends and so on.
Shuba invited Joe to a family get together that their class mates were organizing in a week’s time at Coimbatore, a city which was almost 500 kilometers away from the place where Joe lived. She said that this would be a wonderful opportunity for all of them to meet each other and their families. Finally Shubha signed off insisting Joe's presence for the event.
After the call was over, Joe rang up Ravi, her husband and abreasted all that had happened. Ravi observed Joe recollecting and reliving every moment of her childhood. She was feeling overwhelmed and nostalgic.
During the call with Shuba, Joe had taken the contact details of some of her other classmates. She decided upon calling them and chose to begin with Preethi.
Preethi just like Joe was very excited to receive Joe’s call. They exchanged goodies. Preethi said that she was a news reader for a leading channel in the media. She also told Joe about how famous she had become being in the media. Now Preethi asked Joe about what she was doing.
Joe replied innocently, “I am a Home maker”
Preethi immediately excused herself out of the call stating something important had come up. But that was the last time Preethi attended Joe’s phone call.
Joe then decided to call Sangeetha.
Sangeetha by this time had turned an entrepreneur. She too asked Joe about what she was doing.
This time Joe replied reluctantly, “No…I am…just...a…Home….Maker…”
After this Joe never heard from Sangeetha too.
Joe was unable to understand this behavior of her friends. She shared this experience with Ravi and felt sad about it.
All of a sudden, as if having remembered something she told Ravi, "I may not be able to attend the Get together."
She continued, "I have important things to do…Pay the exam fee of Guji (her only daughter), help her prepare for her Exams…even your regular Health checkup is due…."
Ravi understood her feelings and the real reason behind her decision.
Ravi wanted Joe to attend this get together as he felt that it would give Joe a break from her routine. Two days later he spoke to Joe and convinced her on this. Finally Joe agreed to go and they prepared for the journey.
The day had come and it was real. Most of them seemed to have lost with age and turned beyond recognition. "Grey haired, Baldies, Big tummied, Spectacled, Disguised youngish, High in Status, Acting high in status, news of some abroad and some dead…"
It was a delight to see these children in their 40’s.
The program began with an introductory session. Everyone was supposed to give a brief about them self.
Now it was Joe’s turn. She walked up to the dais and began…..
I am Shobana (Joe is her nick name). After completing my post-graduation in computer applications I married Ravi. We have a daughter named Nimaeshika. 
After marriage I became a Research Associate in the field of Human Relations & Child Development.
I have a continuing program of research in the laboratory and on the field (normally indoors and out).
I'm working for my Masters (the whole darned family) and have earned one credit (one daughter).
The job is one of the most demanding in the humanities (any mother care to disagree).
I often work 14 hours a day (24 is more likely).
The job is more challenging than most run-of-the-mill careers and the rewards are more of a satisfaction rather than just money."
She continued and went on and on….
Finally she completed and walked down the dais, head held high with pride on her face.
There was a roaring applause. Her friends were looking puzzled….but one thing they understood for sure…Joe is holding a High and responsible position in the organization she works for…
Even for Ravi, it had taken 20 married years to understand how big a role Joe had played in shaping his life.
He realized that Joe is a "Leader without a Title"

Thursday, March 13, 2014

The Pendulum Clock

There used to be an old pendulum clock in my house. It stood tall in the hall, wooden body with a white dial and two large hands to show the time, of course one smaller to the other. My Father used to say that it was as old as himself. The clocks face had two key holes and a key. I used to imagine the key as a butterfly. My Father used to lift me on his shoulders so that I could wind the keys to keep the clock ticking. Though I never knew the purpose of this, my self-esteem used to get boosted to the level of having conquered the Everest once. My Mother used to be feel afraid and shriek at my father to take care of me during this exercise. My Mothers fear used to augment my Heroic feeling.

One of my favorite past time was to count the oscillations of the pendulum comparing it to the movement of the Hands. The oscillating long pendulum was always a puzzle to me. How could this oscillating thing move the hands of the clock? Why doesn’t it stop swinging after some time? Where does the sound come from?

I still remember that our clock was always ahead of the Indian standard Time by 15 Minutes. I never understood this logic.  But many times I used to feel good when I reached my school thinking I am late and the school bell is yet to go.

This friendly clock always became an object of fear at night. I always felt that it used to increase its volume of “Tick Tock” at night. The chime usually melodious at day time used to be a horror at night.   Some nights the chime would wake me up and I used to imagine this fellow walking to me and stretch his hands as if to strangle me. At those moments I used to hold my Mom tight and she in her sleep would embrace me. Feeling cozy I would fall asleep again. Probably he felt I was into the hands of a much stronger being?!!...(Love you Amma)

Today I lead a very sophisticated life or I should say I am suffocating with sophistication. I am surrounded by technology and fascinating devices. But still I am feeling void. When I look back I see that I have missed them all. It is not about them alone but a lot more like Love, Care, Togetherness and Confidence and so on.

I now wear a superfluous gadget to show me the time with utmost precision compared to that old pendulum fellow. But during those days of the old pendulum fellow I had a lot of time to do many things which my heart desired…."a lot of time"

But with these superfluous gadgets…"I do not have Time"?....Ironical isn't it.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Our Transactional Trap

A man sat at a metro station in Washington DC and started to play the violin; it was a cold January morning. He played six Bach pieces for about 45 minutes. During that time, since it was rush hour, it was calculated that thousands of people went through the station, most of them on their way to work.

Three minutes went by and a middle aged man noticed there was a musician playing. He slowed his pace and stopped for a few seconds and then hurried up to meet his schedule.

A minute later, the violinist received his first dollar tip: a woman threw the money in the case and without stopping continued to walk.

A few minutes later, someone leaned against the wall to listen to him, but the man looked at his watch and started to walk again. Clearly he was late for work.

The one who paid the most attention was a 3 year old boy. His mother tagged him along, hurried but the kid stopped to look at the violinist. Finally the mother pushed hard and the child continued to walk turning his head all the time. This action was repeated by several other children. All the parents, without exception, forced them to move on.

In the 45 minutes the musician played, only 6 people stopped and stayed for a while. About 20 gave him money but continued to walk their normal pace. He collected $32. When he finished playing and silence took over, no one noticed it. No one applauded, nor was there any recognition.

No one knew this but the violinist was Joshua Bell, one of the best musicians in the world. He played one of the most intricate pieces ever written with a violin worth 3.5 million dollars.

Two days before his playing in the subway, Joshua Bell sold out at a theater in Boston and the seats average $100.

This is a real story. Joshua Bell playing incognito in the metro station was organized by the Washington Post as part of a social experiment about perception, taste and priorities of people. The outlines were: in a commonplace environment at an inappropriate hour: Do we perceive beauty? Do we stop to appreciate it? Do we recognize the talent in an unexpected context?

If we do not have a moment to stop and listen to one of the best musicians in the world playing the best music ever written, we are caught in so many daily mundane transactions that we do not have time to think about life goals, our beliefs, close relations.