Rainy Night


Its 7:30 and there’s no Sun

It’s raining so I couldn’t go for my run.

It’s been raining all night

telling me its monsoon time all-right.

The lightening & thundering has me scared

And I am sleeping in fright under my bed.

I ask God to take it away

And he reminds me that it’s not the month of May.

 

Please I say, I am scared of thunder & lightening

The thunderous sound has me freighting.

God smiled and said,

Come out from under the bed.

It needs to rain as per plan

Just breathe and you will be fine in ten.

 

Just then the dark sky is lit up with light followed by a clap of thunder.

My heart flutters and I creep back under.

God, I say is this your way of a joke

I am scared and you mock and poke.

God says, no child, be brave and trust me

This thunder & lightening by morning will flee.

 

I sleep not throughout the night

And wait for the first ray of light.

I am welcomed by the monsoon sights

I am relieved that I lived through the night,

 

God says, child, life is a roller coaster ride

Yes I say, and many times I have cried.

He smiles, it’s filled with peaks & valleys

You will experience rainy & sunny days.

As you live your life, I will show you different ways.

If you endure the rains you will be able to enjoy the sun

And then you can go for your run.

So it is with life, if you endure the rains and pains

You will reap the joy & gains

 

Sometimes life pushes us to a wall,

Just remember it’s not the end of it all.

You will be relieved that you lived through the night

And with the first ray of light comes the sun

And I can now go for my Run.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Destiny – Do I have a Choice


“Do you believe in destiny” my friend asked. I looked at her and then replied yes I do.. She thought about it and then asked “what is destiny according to you”?  A fair question I though because her understanding of destiny is likely to different than mine.

While have always believed that we all have a destiny I never thought about it the way my friend was asking me. I told her the first thing that came to my head that our destiny is already decided, everything happens for a reason, and we have a destination, an end point that we all are headed to. What is my destination? while I understand I don’t really know the end point yet? She was not convinced with my answer and obviously her understanding of destiny was different. We never got to complete the conversation, but that led me to introspect a few things about destiny and destination.

What really is destiny, what is my destiny, do I have any say in the destiny. I thought about it, I looked up the meaning, below were the 2 that I could find.

  1. The events that will necessarily happen to a particular person or thing in the future.
  2. The hidden power believed to control future events; fate.

I am more of a believer of the second definition that there is a supernatural power, a God who is in control of our destiny with the aspect that everything happens for a reason. But then I thought if everything is pre-defined then do I have a choice, if not then what is the point of taking efforts & struggling in this life, when something is not going to change.

I thought about it, I realized that in life while God wants nothing but the best for us, the Free Will is with us humans. Remember the movie Bruce Almighty, this dialogue in the movie has stayed with me,  There are only 2 rules. You can’t tell anybody you’re God, believe me you don’t want that kind of attention, and you can’t mess with free will. Basically God does not interfere with the Free Will of us humans and we have the power of acting without the constraint of necessity or fate; the ability to act at one’s own discretion.

No matter what situation we are in good, bad or ugly we always have choices. The choices & decisions we make either lead us closer or further away from the destination. The Bible says: I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you, life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live:

The GPS analogy is good way to describe destiny and final destination. So think about it this way, you are going on a vacation and you are using your GPS. As you drive down the road you decided to use the fastest route to the destination as displayed by the GPS. We always do that, but sometimes as we know, roads sometimes in the interiors of a location are not mapped accurately and then we may end up taking a wrong turn. This then leads to a detour and the GPS then suggests another path to the destination. Assuming how off path you would have got, you will need travel that extra distance in order to reach the final destination. At times the GPS suggest multiple options and you make a choice which route to drive. So primarily we always have options, no matter what kind of a dire situation we are in.

If I am destined to be on stage or to be a personality figure, than no matter what choice I make, like getting a profession which does not lead me to the destination. I will go further away from my destination. I have the power to make the choices. There may be times that I am evading my destiny and make choices which are in opposite of where my destiny lies. There will come a point in time where you will have to make a detour, if you don’t, you will make a destiny which is very different than the one that God planned for you.

God will only be supportive and try to provide us options and choices at all times so we can make the right choices and get back on track and move closer to our destiny.

Another movie that I remember is dangerous minds a quote that hit me home was, “Hey, listen. Nobody’s forcing you to be here. You have a choice. You can stay, or you can leave…. There are no victims in this classroom” another dialogue is “Because I make a choice to care. And honey, the money ain’t that good.”

We have a choice in everything that happens to us, we can do it or not do it. Doing nothing about something at hand is also a choice. So really when we are in our journey of life we have plenty of options and choices. Choices & decisions that we take in life really make us who we are and this can either a good reflection of who we were either meant to be or someone that is unrecognizable. I am made in the image of God so I am destined to a lot more in life and will not settle for less. Being more choice full and decisive will help ensure that I reach my final destination.

So in closing I will exercise my free will the power of acting without the constraint of necessity or fate; the ability to act at one’s own discretion.

 

The A Team


“Do you like working in a team”? they asked her. Rima said “yes”. “Give us an example of when you were working with a team what were the results and your role in the work”, the panelist asked her. Rima didn’t blink her eyes, her head was racing searching for an example. She was not sure of how to respond to the query.

Rima was in an interview and panelists were firing volley of questions at her and this one was the last volley at her her….She thought hard and blurted,,,”we had this massive project with a very tight timeline further accentuated by budget cuts and we managed to pull it off within timeline and slashed budgets”. “So what was your role”? Rima thought hard what had she done during the project, she was assigned legwork of the project. Coordination and compilation of the project. There were others who were leading the project, making decisions, some others system experts and others what you would call SMEs in the project. She tried to explain that she was one of the many who worked on the project to ensure that the team was able to deliver. Ms Rima can you explain what was your role in the project. Rima thought hard how can she explain what her role was. She was assigned certain work that she did very diligently, suggested some ideas to her seniors but at the end of the day just did her job.

Rima introspected did her participation in the team really count. What about the endless hours she spent at her laptop trying to complete her work. There were no weekends or any family time during that time, all she did wok. Was all that in vain, did it mean that the project could have been completed without her and her contribution was insignificant? What about that time when her colleague was unwell and there was an important milestone to be delivered she was a backup for her colleague. Did it not count to anything when her team members came to her when they were low or too stressed and needed someone to smile or crack a quick joke. Didn’t she help keep the entire team sane? Were her efforts of motivating or helping her team mates in vain? But this was not part of her job, she did it because she felt it was needed and she empathized and understood the team. She was the one person who team members would go to resolve conflicts on the team or if they just needed space.

“Ms. Rima it will be great if you can articulate clearly what was your role in this project”? Rima was quiet for some time and then simply answered, “Apart from doing the work that Is assigned to me. I maintain harmony and morale of the team”. The interview Panel were puzzled asked her to explain. Rima said, “the project lead and all other prestigious roles are taken and they have to lead a team, I am team member who is like a soldier in the infantry. I can work tirelessly and when others are tired I can bring a cheer to them. I don’t get paid for doing that but I think it’s is important to build a team culture and I help build it. Having a huge team can lead to conflicts, conflicts that even people don’t realize exits or accept. I help nip them in the bud. Overall I am not a quarter back, but I am someone who can help the quarter back gain ground and make a touchdown.

The panelist didn’t seem to understand. At that point Rima made a decision that this was not the place she would like to associate herself with. The interview ended, they were only interested in what her role was but didn’t understand the role she and many others played over and beyond their job. Many of us fail to recognize the need of such employees who bind the team together, they may not be star performers but are very important nucleus of an organization as they can change the way a team function.

So the next time you are in the interview panel, be clear of who you want to hire, the star performer, project leader, or just someone who sits at the corner cubicle but acts like glue for the team. You dont always need a star performer sometimes you need someone who help others excel in what they do.

The below link hosted by Performia Australia is a good representation.

Feedback – The Gift


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We all receive and give feedback continuously. We may not realize it but we do give feedback when our food has not arrived on time, we don’t like the way we are being treated or the service we receive. This may mostly be negative or constructive feedback. There are times when we give positive feedback but on very occasions. Feedback can be directed to unkown person – cab driver, the waiter in the restaurant, Laundry man, paper boy etc.

If you think of it we don’t necessarily pay attention to how we give feedback. Since we give and receive feedback so many times a day, we would do a world of difference if we could observe and improve on the way we give feedback especially to those who really matter.

I was introduced to the concept of OFNR (Observe, Feel, Need, and Request) during a training session and thought it was an interesting concept. The way it works is that whenever you want to give feedback you can frame your conversation without blaming the other person. Typically when we give feedback we tend to blame the other person, which is entirely incorrect.

The basic tenets of feedback is that it should:

  1. Never be personal, the feedback should be on the behavior or the action and not about the person.
  2. We should not blame the person.
  3. Ask if you can give feedback
  4. Give feedback 1 to 1 and not in public

The OFNR concepts work very well and is very effective at work and in relationships. The execution of OFNR is very simple.

Feedback covers the four aspects Observe, Feel, Need and Request. Assume you want to give feedback to someone. You should simply start by asking if you can give feedback, feedback should be given 1 to 1.

Once you and the person are in the room, you can introduce the topic by saying you want to give feedback.

Start with Observe – Let the person know your observation’s, these are facts, the persons actions, data points etc, then inform the person that as a result of this action how this has made you feel. Eg if there is someone who has been coming to office late, let them know the number of time they have been coming late, is there a patter etc. Then you can inform that, how this makes you feel that they don’t enjoy the work, they are not interested to maintain decorum, it hurt your or made you feel angry.

The next is letting the other person know your need – tell them that you need them to come on time as the decorum needs to be maintained or this can ensure that they don’t miss out important points discussed in the team meeting etc. You need them be more accountable and report to work on time etc.

Lastly make a request – Request the person to adhere to work timelines and work ethics.

Many a difficult conversations can be overcome by using the simple OFNR concept. It appears to be overtly simply but if the message can be got across to the other person than why not. During the conversation it is likely that you may get into a discussion where the person receiving feedback may want to justify, clarify or refute the observations, showing empathy and understanding the other person’s point of view is very helpful during such conversations. What is important in this feedback style is that while you do give feedback to the person you don’t blame them rather you let them know your feeling, needs and wants. Hence one has be willing to be vulnerable while having such conversations.

For those receiving a feedback it is a gift, so welcome it with open arms.

Power Play – Scales


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By Power Play I am not referring to a sporting terminology rather I am referring to positions people play or take in any relationship.

Knowingly or unknowingly many of us are emotional victims of power play. Let me explain the concept by simply putting it like this -if two or more people are in a relationship and if there is one or more persons dictating the terms of the relationship then this is what is called Power Play in relationship.

Power play can exists at work place in personal life and even among spouses married to each other for years. Many a relationship can be destroyed if the power play are skewed or the possibility is that one of the participant in the relationship can be emotionally challenged.

Power play exists in all types of relationship for those dating, when we meet, where we meet for how long, place of meeting etc is decided by the one more in power or in control. As children the power rests with the parents, they make the decisions for the kids early on in life. At school, teachers are in control of what the students should do.

As per Google one of the meanings of Power Play is tactics exhibiting or intended to increase a person’s power or influence. Sometimes this concentration Power can corrode the relationship as the recipient may be hurting and may not have the courage or heart to speak up for the fear of losing the other. Ultimately the relationship turns sour and is stale and no longer relevant to the parties in the relationship.

At times people may continue to be in the relationship oblivious to the power play, each one adopts the position of either being offensive or submissive. Over a period of time what would have been acceptable by the person being submissive is no longer acceptable as they may no longer be enjoying this position and they want to be more in control. The ones in control, may go about their decisions and way of life without understanding the other persons need and decision making in the relationship.

For people in power it is rare that they would like to control a relationship to the extent that they would want to hurt others in the relationship. Sometimes this power position arises becomes the other persons are in awe of this person and looks up to them or at times they may not be willing to take the decision or risks that the other person is willing to take. Hence by default these individuals are put in the power play position by others hence leaving no choice this person assumes this power position.

It’s important to bring about balance of this power play especially at work and in a relationship. While for some it may seem natural to be in control of the conversation or have a power position in a relationship.  This may be as a result of their personality which is shaped up by the experiences they have had in life. Similarly those lesser in power may be in that position because of their unique experiences.

The fact is that Power Play exists and it’s not right of wrong to be in either of the pedestal of high or low in power. It’s how to balance this power play, maintain the dignity and respect in a relationship is important. For others in lower end of the power position it’s important to recognize that they should be open and should communicate to those in power of how they are they feeling and if they want to be more in power or change the current power scale. For those in control or power – It simply means, have I considered what the other person is feeling, wanting and needed.

The more we communicate the more issues of power play their possible extremes can be avoided. In areas where these do exits open dialogue with the other can help create balance in the relationship.

My way or the highway


 

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Motorists especially those on two wheeler’s (Motorcycle) have no sense and respect for Traffic Signals. They almost seem ignorant of the lights as though they are meant only for 4 wheeler’s and other vehicles. My angst is against those two wheeler – motorcycle rider who think they own the road and everything in between. I have tried to outline the type of motorcyclist one would experience while in the city that never sleeps.

  1. Your Father what going – These are the ones who have no respect to road safety and would care less if they were riding their vehicles in your house. They will honk and continue to honk for no reason. They rather carry the helmets on their arms instead of wearing them on the head. The head gear is for a style statement and not for protecting the grey matter.
  2. My Fathers road – These riders were born to ride. For them every road belongs to their father or to them. They will ride right in the middle of the road without bothering to let you go by. They may either be in full speed but at times they are just slow enough to stall the traffic behind especially if they are in the mood of enjoying the traffic around. In a traffic jam, you can see these motorcyclist doing acrobats on the footpath. So what’s a footpath it’s a pavement or sidewalk where pedestrians should be walking. But these motorcyclist have no empathy for those on foot and plunge their motorcycle on their path without a second thought.
  3. Living on the edge – These are the stuntman’s, they will strut their motorcycles as though they were the only riders on the road and on a motorcycle circuit. Valentino Rossi would be embarrassed by looking at some of their antics. They have a brain of their own, they will cut lanes at the last minute which will make others lose sense of direction and control of their vehicles. These are daredevils who think it is their birth right to put their and others lives at risk. So long as they can drag, do near cartwheels with their motorcycle, or practice leaning in on a busy traffic they are not bothered of the weak nerves of other motorists or their lives. They think on the lines of here today and gone tomorrow, a life is worth a penny.
  4. Long lost Friends – These are the ones that seem to be brimming with a lot of love and friendship & brotherhood towards each other. Basically its two motorcycles ridding together. The riders oblivious to other cars or pedestrian, lost in deep conversation and eye contact. They zig zag on a road that would have lots of vehicles wanting to press the gas pedal but alas! are unable to do so due to the sheer PDA showered by one rider towards the other. I often wonder why can’t these guys celebrate their friendship elsewhere and let roads be for what they are meant to be.
  5. Space Shuttle – These are the crazy motorcyclist who ride with a measuring tape with them. They ride or at most walk with their bike so close the vehicle I almost feel that the vehicle is going to scrape the other vehicle, but voila they are able to move through without a scratch. Any sight of space now is gone in the next second. They will ensure maximum utilization of space, even if it means inconveniencing other motorists. Its not their responsibility if their motorcycles do scrape the others vehicle. The other vehicles should make way for them cause they are two wheelers and don’t use much space.
  6. Passing the buck – These are those, for whom, everyone else is at fault and they are the best riders in the world. If they crash against another vehicle or pedestrian it’s the other persons fault. They always have someone or something to blame if ever they are caught.
  7. Vroom Vroom – These are those who care less about biking and more about showing off. They will roar down the streets at full speed with no thought for others on the road. Their mean machines making the loudest and at times the ugliest sounds that one can hear. It’s not so much about the sound as much it is about the speed at which they ride their motorcycles. Dangerous for themselves and others.

These motorcyclist, I am sure have learnt riding from their friends, parents but they have forgotten to teach them is road safety and to share the road with others. I am sure many would agree with me on the above points. I am unsure if this city would be a better place with replacing motorcycle with bicycle as the riders would still do some of the above stunts. So what is needed a change in mindset of how one sees riding motorcycle.

2017 Musings


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Doggy Tale……On my way to the gym sat a dog, he was obstructing my way to the gym. Foggy early morning, he just slept there and didn’t budge much,  he wagged his tail and then he looked up and his eyes almost said..what are you doing here? go back to sleep. The wagging of the tail told me that he is a friendly dog and I have passed him on my way to a work out in the past. But today was different, today he was just in the middle of the path and I had cross over him and I was afraid that he might bite me….Another gym enthusiast came to my rescue and we crossed over him….others too had to walk over the dog. Unlike us the dog was least interested to move, he was enjoying the warmth of the ground and the winter chill.

Selfie Narcissist Time —- its always felt that selfie is more a millennial thing, absolutely wrong. Gen Y & Gen X is equally indulging in this craze. I was walking down the road and seen a guy on the bike, he stopped his bike and started taking a selfie, it looked so hilarious J. Frankly I don’t understand the selfie craze. You can see groups of people or singles either pouting, putting on a funny face, or adjusting their phone and clicking a pic. These people forget the company & freinds they have the with and are busy clicking pictures of themselves to upload on social media.

Garam Chai – Sipping a tea in a Udipi joint I look around, the place looks empty. Its not time for business yet. Then a guy in shorts could easily be passed off as a delivery boy sat at the adjoining table, took out a local language newpaper and started reading. One look and I am thinking,,, doing time pass will drink a tea and go off. Then another person entered restaurant and set across at another table, he was a serious kind of a person and into his phone. The waiter went to him with the Menu card – he just looked up at the waiter (Angry Young man)– cold stare, no words from his lips. I thought how rude if he didn’t want to order anything he can just say it. Alas how wrong were my impressions of both these individuals. The waiter placed food at the newspaper guys table- a complete meal. In a few minutes the waiter kept some idli before the angry young man. All this while I was looking at them but had no clue when and how they placed the order. I realized that perception built within minutes can be incorrect.

Joyce Meyer – Story of the prodigal son where the younger son is sulking when there is feasting when the elder son returns home. This hatred was not built in a day, it built up over a number of years and manifested in unhappiness on the feast prepared for his brother.

Life Truth. Forgiveness is not a feeling but an action, so don’t wait for the feeling to forgive, just forgive and let the feeling catch up.

Rickety Ride: A road leading to a very posh locality will finally be made up. Currently in no man lands, thousands of vehicles ply via this road on a daily basis. Yet no one was willing to take responsibility to construct and maintain the road. Finally there are signs and unconfirmed statements that the road will be constructed and commuters can have a peace of mind to reach their destinations without any major injuries.  Roughly over month ago-some mountain stones were offloaded on the path, and still continue to remain in their heap. Iron barriers and the unofficial toll is now taken away. Where there is a will there is a way. So hopefully the upcoming elections prompt the authorities to complete the much needed road in quick time.