Friday, December 11, 2009
Thursday, November 26, 2009
One year after the gruesome attack on Mumbai where do we stand? I don’t think much has changed. Few days immediately after the attack, everyone was talking about taking the government to task. Everyone wanted to change the system. However, no one could ensure sustained efforts to make a positive change. The spirit could not be kept alive. Now on the 1st anniversary of the terror strike, everyone is planning for candle light vigil at the site of the incident. Why? Is it because we care or is it because we want to show that we care? I feel that such candle light walk in the city does not serve any purpose. It is not going to help anyone except the candle manufacturers and candle salesmen.
If we really care, we should take some concrete action not just on this day but each day towards making the system more effective. How about fighting corruption? Has anyone thought about this? How do you think these terrorists could attack us? Corrupt government officials facilitated a safe haven for the terrorists. Driving license and passport could be obtained by accomplices who helped terrorists with all the information they required.
Government is no doubt responsible for ensuring safety and security of the citizens. However, is it only the government’s responsibility? Are we not supposed to contribute in anyway? Have we done anything in this regard? I don’t think many would answer in the affirmative. Yet when it comes to showing that we care, I don’t think anyone can beat us. Today we will raise our voice and tomorrow it will be back to square one. I know you might think that I am being pessimistic but actually I am being realistic here.
How about using this day to start something positive? A positive action that is not restricted to one day but for a lifetime or beyond. Some sort of an initiative that will bring about a positive change in the society and help humanity.
Saturday, November 7, 2009
"Move out of your comfort zone. You can only grow if you are willing to feel awkward and uncomfortable when you try something new." -- Brian Tracy
I read the above quote and could relate it with everything that we do in life for the first time. The first word we said, the first step we took, the first day in school and so on. The list is endless. The uncertainty involved in knowing the unknown is daunting. The more time we spend in thinking whether we should do a task or not, the more difficult it becomes. To set the ball rolling is the most difficult aspect, once it starts rolling the momentum takes it further and further. So, is with our lives. It is always difficult to get started. Once you get started you always think why so much time was wasted in decision making.
Nobody can learn to swim through a correspondence course. You got to take the plunge. Sitting at the shore staring at the water can help you day dream but can’t help you learn to swim. Application and focus is necessary. Observation is the key to learning. At first we learn by imitating others. Creativity can only be the next step.
On the work front I have been successful in getting out of the comfort zone and do tasks that were challenging. That helped me move ahead. Not knowing something was never an excuse for me to stop being inquisitive. Today getting information is no longer an overwhelming task. Internet has made it very easy to keep ourselves informed. You need to know something; there are search engines that will give you thousands of pages. Social networking sites can help you connect with like-minded people. If you have the will, then no one can impede you. It is only you who can restrict yourself.
Unlike on the work front, I think on the personal front I have put some restrictions on myself. There are many tasks that I would have loved to do and still would love to do. Yet I have not taken that first step. Maybe next time I read this blogpost of mine, I will inspire myself to get started on something that I always wanted to do. ;-)
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
The topic of this blog post is prompted by the closing statement of an article I read. You never know from where you will get your next inspiration to write. No wonder reading plays a critical role when it comes to writing. When I read that closing statement, I could relate it to a very recent incident in my life and also to certain incidents that have affected friends or people I know.
Last week my dad had to be admitted to the hospital and was in ICU as his blood platelets count had dropped. I was required to go to the blood bank along with prospective donors to arrange for the platelets. While I was at the blood bank, I realized that it was not just me who was there for this purpose. There were at least 3 others in a similar situation. With help from my cousin I could arrange for the required platelets and my dad was out of danger.
My dad recovered soon and he was at home in 4 days time. A person who knows my dad came to visit him. He started inquiring about my dad's condition. Then the conversation topic changed as my mother inquired about his family. He was telling us about how he had to sacrifice his aspirations for the sake of his family. His dad was getting old and was alone at his native place. So he got his wife and younger kid to stay there and take care of him. He and his elder son stayed here and have managed through many hardships. He had to put aside his plans of improving his career as he had to focus on his son's education and other day to day activities.
The closer you get to a person, you will realize the pain that is getting masked behind the broad smile. You get to see the tears that go unnoticed. Every person you meet will have his own unique story to tell. I know of a friend who too had to choose a career different from what she aspired for, just to ensure that her family does not suffer due to the financial burden. Also, not to forget Ravi, the guy who sells peacock feather fans at Hanging Garden, Mumbai. A guy who started working at an age when kids start going to school.
(Refer previous blogpost: http://vijitspeaks.blogspot.com/2009/01/day-i-met-ravi.html )
I know people who have sacrificed their biggest and possibly their only dream for the sake of someone they love and care for. A good singer who could have made it great sacrificed her dream because she didn't get the support from her family that singers now get. I am sure she would have otherwise given all the Indian idols a tough competition.
So guys, do not get bogged down in the battle of life. If you look around, you will find people who are fighting a more challenging battle than you.
I would like to end this post with the following quote by Albert Einstein:
“When you look at yourself from a universal standpoint, something inside always reminds or informs you that there are bigger and better things to worry about.”
~ Albert Einstein ~
Friday, October 9, 2009
I wish I could read people’s mind. Many a times they say something and mean something totally different. It seems everyone has a hidden agenda. Even close friends at times say things that make you think why they said something like that. Also, ability to read minds would be helpful when you would like to say something and not sure how the person will react to what you say. Is that person in a receptive state of mind? Will my words hurt to such an extent that our relationship could get affected adversely?
I am an intuitive person and can sense things that words do not convey. Yet my intuition may not give me clear indications every time. It may just give me a weird feeling when things are not right but not tell me exactly why it is so. This causes confusion because you know that something is wrong but not sure why it is so. If I could read minds atleast of people who matter to me, I could know why they are upset. I can then work on solving their problem and thus be able to bring a smile on their face.
Mind reading would also be helpful in deciding whether you can open up to a person and convey your heart felt feelings. If the other person is not on the same wavelength things may not remain the same between the two. Words always do not convey the feeling appropriately. However, at the same time if you knew everything before hand, life would become boring. The surprise element will be missing. You won’t feel the adrenaline rush caused due to uncertainty.
Though mind reading has its pitfalls, yet in certain situations in life you yearn for it.
Friday, September 25, 2009
Life is a puzzle that needs to be solved by us. These days I am hoping for something important to happen in my life. It is difficult to achieve but definitely not impossible. Out of the blue this thought came into my mind and so I feel that almighty God is the driving force behind it. To achieve what I am thinking involves great risk. The personal loss I may suffer if things don’t turn out the way I want is something that I will regret for the lifetime.
God’s ways are irritating at times. He gives you a thought and plays with your mind. He tests your patience and your trust in Him. This is not the first time that He has done this with me. Making me wait has been His favorite past time. Both in personal and professional life I had been made to wait. In the past I have acted in haste. I tried to make things happen rather than putting the onus on Him. This time I am prepared to wait. On the career front things are better than expected. On the personal front, certain questions have been haunting me for a while now. The answers to which only He knows.
Today I had been to the doctor for a routine checkup and while waiting for my turn I read this statement on a poster on the wall:
“Purity, patience and Perseverance are the key ingredients for success”
This thought of mine is pure. Patience and Perseverance are two things that I need to focus on now. I am sure I will be triumphant in my endeavor. The jig-saw puzzle called life involves many pieces. Pieces concerning my personal life are the ones I am trying to sort out now. God jumbled them around and is making it difficult for me to locate the ones I require badly for finishing the puzzle. On previous occasions God gave me subtle hints. This time too He is giving me such hints. I still am not sure about relying on the hints because this time the stakes are too high.
Succeed, I will. My patience and perseverance will definitely get rewarded.
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
Work helped me find a friend who fits the definition of friend word by word. A friend in need is a friend indeed. My work required me to interact with her and I did not realize when this interaction transformed into a great friendship.
At my work place I was getting into a new role and to cope with it I needed support in the initial stages. This person was a stranger for me until then. With each passing day I had to approach her with my doubts and not knowing how she will react I used to approach her with apprehension. However, the way she went out of the way to extend help and support to me came as a big surprise to me. We had never interacted with each other before and so I was bound to be amazed with the way she went about extending a helping hand to me.
First impression never gives you the real picture of a person. I started believing in this statement because of her. Initially when we did not interact with each other I had formed a negative impression in my mind about her. I did not expect her to be a patient or hard working individual and definitely not a person who would go out of the way to help someone. Working with her I realized how much committed she is towards work. Even on a holiday she was available on phone without throwing any tantrums. Patience shown by her in my efforts to understand the work I am doing helped me learn fast and become confident.
I was just starting to enjoy working with her when things started to go wrong for her in the workplace forcing her to take the inevitable decision to quit the organization. I was not at all happy to see her go but then for her good it was imperative that she bid adieu.
Since then, we never got an opportunity to work together. I always pray to God that I get an opportunity to work with her again. It was fun working with a thorough professional like her. Our friendship is not bound by work anymore but then the experience I had working with her makes me yearn to relive those days of working together. I hope this wish of mine will get fulfilled very soon.
Thursday, August 27, 2009
As a child when anyone would ask me, what I would like to be? I would say, a doctor. However, today if someone would ask me that question, teaching would be my answer. You would be hard-pressed to learn and acquire knowledge in order to impart it. Students will shoot many questions at you. Questions you would not have asked yourself before. A multitude of view points will force you to think deep. One gets a great sense of accomplishment by imparting knowledge.
I am not a great fan of our education system though. Whatever we are learning in schools today, how much of it are we implementing in our lives? Things we learn from books are rarely helping us in our day to day life. Practical side of learning is not emphasized on. Just because a particular book mentions it, it must be true. This is the way that a majority of us think. We have not nurtured the curiosity that we are born with. The curiosity to learn has been dying a silent death. Memorizing answers to questions and writing it down word by word during exams gets you good marks. Once exams are over who cares whether you remember anything of it. We are creating robots and not thinkers. As a teacher this mindset is what I would like to change. Laying emphasis on the practical side of learning and creating thinkers would be my primary aim.
Maybe someday I will end up being a teacher or at least get to play a similar role in whichever field I am.
Monday, August 17, 2009
Seven colors define a rainbow
but black is the color of my shadow
Light keeps it alive
else into darkness it will dive
It keeps changing shape
but it's me that it always tries to ape
As long as there is light
it never goes out of sight
With me it will walk
but never will it talk
Events in life may make me sad
but an indifferent attitude is all it had
Saturday, August 8, 2009
08th, August, 2009
Dr. Manmohan Singh,
The Prime Minister of India,
Subject: Invitation to take a bike ride with me from Thane to Mumbai and back
Respected Prime Minister,
I know you are one of the busiest men in India if not the world. A huge responsibility rests on your shoulder and it is not an easy job heading a nation like India. However, I hope that you will spare five minutes to read this letter of mine. I will try to keep it short and simple. This is to highlight the risk a common man goes through travelling on unsafe roads in India.
I stay in Thane city, neighbouring the financial capital of India, Mumbai. My office is in Hiranandani, Powai. It is close to IIT Powai, one of the premier educational institutes in India. I ride my bike to office and it has become a risky affair these days. I travel on the Eastern Express Highway and then move on to the Jogeshwari-Vikhroli Link Road which passes through Powai. The road is undergoing widening and concretization. This is fine. However, the condition of the existing road is pathetic. There are pot-holes everywhere. In the night, street-lights do not function. This is also the case on the Eastern Express Highway. I do not know whether you understand how risky this is for a bike rider. Rains add to the danger.
So, I invite you to take a bike ride along with me from my residence in Thane to my office in Hiranandani-Powai, Mumbai. I am a safe rider and you can trust me for that. We could start the journey in the evening, spend some time in my office and then in the night we could take a ride back to my home. I have never been to Shanghai but have heard a lot about your dream to convert Mumbai into Shanghai. I am not sure how much of it you have achieved. Since, I have not been to Shanghai I do not understand the condition of the roads out there. Do they also have pot-hole ridden roads and unlit roads? Is that the reason you wanted Mumbai to have them too? What purpose do they serve? Maybe the Chinese government would want its citizens to take up adventure sports. Are you trying to emulate them? If yes, then it concerns me even more. I understand that when a Prime Minister pays visit to any part of the country, the administration there ensures that the road he takes is devoid of pot-holes and all the streetlights function properly. I fear that if they chose to do the same when you decide to accept my invitation of taking a bike ride along with me, then your dream will remain unfulfilled.
It also seems that the World Bank is not aware of your dream to convert Mumbai into Shanghai. Please check the link below:
In the above link it has been mentioned that The World Bank has expressed displeasure over handling of the road widening project on Jogeshwari-Vikhroli Link Road (JVLR). They fail to understand that unsafe roads in India help control the ever growing Indian population. Being an economist, you can explain the effects of over population on the country’s economy. It was foolish of me to have complained at the following website about the condition of the roads in Mumbai:
This is the status of the issue that I reported on the Public grievances portal:
Registration No : DARPG/E/2009/09301
Name : Vijitkumar
Received by : Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances
Forwarded To : Government of Maharashtra
Address : Shri. Sanjay Ubale
: Secretary ( AR and O&M)
: General Admn. Deptt.,
Date of Action : 15/06/2009
I am sorry to have acted in haste on this. I reported the issue in the month of May 2009 and expected to get it resolved by July 2009. I kept following up with them but never got a reply. I realize it now that India works on a 5 year plan. Maybe I should approach them in May 2014.
Please let me know when you will be able to spare time for the bike ride I suggested. I am eagerly awaiting your reply.