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Ash. Spiritual. Happy in my own way. Writes Random Stuff. Ice Cream. Night owl. Ice Cream, again.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

The 'Life-Work' Balance!

Recently, I had an interesting conversation with a few like-minded bloggers. We were brainstorming about a new initiative which we had in mind. At one point we happened to discuss about Work-Life balance (You know when you're talking with a group of bloggers, you end up talking about everything but the intended topic). People spoke about how work-life balance was critical and even if the scales tilted slightly to any one side inadvertently, things might not be smooth.

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At this point, a senior in the group asked all of us to define what work-life balance was. We knew things were bound to get interesting and waited for people to give their own views.

Of the many versions of the definitions that we heard from others, the most striking one was given by the person who asked all of us the question, 

'Life-Work Balance : When you can talk about yourself for 5 minutes without mentioning what you do at work, you can conclude that you maintain a very healthy balance.'

Sunday, February 8, 2015

The Art of Small Talk.

Thank you Blogadda :-)


A few weeks back, I conducted a session on Client Communication for a group of associates at work. The session contains a slide on Small Talk. So before proceeding with the agenda, I tried to engage in small talk with the participants, without mentioning why I was doing so. There were about 15 people who had turned up early. I spoke about how it was nice to see people turning up before the session started, and how the system was taking all the time to boot. I tried to get into a conversation, so I looked at one lady and told her that I’d remembered seeing her previously. I asked vague questions about with Block she was from and she started responding. 

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After this small exercise, I proceeded with the agenda and when it came to small talk, I reminded them of the conversation I’d tried to initiate earlier. I was trying to convey the importance of small talk and what topics one can opt for when one of them said it was practically impossible to know what the other person might be interested in talking. Apart from general weather and non-controversial topics, I tried to explain that it wasn’t that difficult and we would probably need a few basic questions to get through. He wasn’t completely satisfied. So, I told him I could initiate a conversation with anyone in the room.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

The Confession Box.

I was reading a book, when I came across a point where the protagonist goes to a church and heads to the confession box.  That’s when I kept thinking how easy things are for those who go to churches. Not that we can do anything and then confess about it, but there are certain things, which might seem trivial, which are better off shared with someone rather than keeping it to ourselves. But there is a problem here, whom do we share it with?

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You might wonder why this such a big deal.  We have friends and family and there will be at least one person with whom we share a good rapport and a comfortable equation. But the problem is, people judge us or we are scared that people will judge us. Not in the wrong way, but we’ve come to a point where people around keep evaluating us. We are aware that the moment we open our eyes and take a step forward, people keep watching us. This includes our close family members and friends too. Sometimes we might not want to, but inadvertently and subconsciously we end up judging others. Not for each and every simple thing, but you never know.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Bye Landmark!

If you are currently in Chennai and a person who loves reading books, chances are that you would’ve spent your weekend running around Mount Road. Thanks to the Chennai Book Fair at one end of the Mount Road and the 90% Clearance Sale at Landmarks, Spencers Plaza at the other end, I’m sure even those who use only eBooks these days would’ve been tempted to pick up a few books.

I got to know from a few people in twitter that there was a 90% discount on selected (most) books at Landmark. I had just got back from the Book fair on Saturday, so I made up my mind to visit Landmark on Sunday. It was very important for us was because we knew Landmark was shutting down (for now). So we wanted to make the best use of the books available there, one last time.

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When I heard a few months back, that the Landmark outlet at Apex Plaza was closing down, I was surprised. I thought ‘Why would anyone want to close a bookstore which every Chennaite had fond memories of.’ There were many more outlets in the city, but somehow this was one close to my heart as I remember spending very many Sunday afternoons here. My dad, sister and I used to come here and spend hours reading books. After a while we would go to the stationary and buy different types of pens (My dad and sister had a big craze for pens).Then we would go to the Music section. We had the option of listening to music in certain corners and we used to pick up cassettes and CDs. Archies Greeting cards used to be available there, and irrespective of whether we needed them, we used to go through the cards. We would leave after a while only to come back in another week or so and carry out the same ritual. 

Saturday, January 10, 2015

So, What’s New?

Are you still wishing people for New Year? It already seems like something from the past for me. Today when an acquaintance wished me for the New Year, my immediate reaction was ‘Wasn’t that long back?’ Though it’s just been about 10 days since the year started, things are so hectic here that only now I realized I hadn’t blogged this month so far.

So 2014, was an interesting year for me. Taking a step back and looking at all what I did (and wanted to do), I wonder from where I had the energy to do so much. Most often my energy levels oscillated between I want to spend every minute doing something to I want, to I want to just eat Lays and watch Friends again (and again… and again…). I did waste time doing nothing, but I did do a lot of stuff. So when people who read my blog asked me what plans I had for 2015, I felt I had to take it slowly.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2014 - The year that was!

Wait wait wait!

As far as I can remember this is what I've been saying all through the year. I'm not sure if it's just with me but with every passing year, I feel the days keep flying quicker and quicker. 

Like every other year, 2014 has been a good year and special in many ways. I wouldn't want to insult it by comparing it with its predecessors. I know I'm going to value the lessons I learnt from the good and not-so-good experiences, from the good and not-so-good people. And that's what matters to me!

So here’s what 2014 was all about, for me.

This year, I did take up a resolution to do something new (In other words, to make my life interesting).I also took up the GoodReads Reading Challenge (24 books). So for the first part of the resolution, I started baking. Initially it was an experiment and then I sort of got addicted to it. I baked almost every week during the second half of the year. Next, I ran 2 marathons. I was never the kind of person who would run. It was a fraction of a second decision, after a friend inspired me to take it up. Now coming to the Reading Challenge, I read about 14 books (of the set target of 24). During the second half of the year I had too many things on my plate and too little time. I wish I'd completed the challenge, but I'm happy I got to read so much (In my defense, almost all the books I read were 300+ pages). So to make it up, I'm taking another awesome Reading challenge for the next year :-)

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Being a Rebel!

I am a true Aquarian. I am very rebellious in nature.  I know that sometimes I make life difficult for those around me but sometimes I cannot help it. I think this another trait of us Aquarians - ‘Being Independent’ is the reason behind this one too.

Let me explain.

Let’s assume that there are apples and oranges in the table. On a particular day I’m in the mood to eat apples. So when my mom asks me if I want apples or oranges, I tell her my choice and go for the apples. Sometimes she says ‘You know, these oranges, taste much better than they normally do. If you want, you can try that. Your wish’. When mom tells me this way, I know she is just offering an opinion and I also know that she is not forcing me. So I reconsider my decision and opt for the oranges. Simple right? No, it actually isn’t.

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Now when I’m in the mood to eat apples and someone else in the family (Not my mother, because she knows how to deal with me) tells me to eat apples because of many reasons and start listing them down, I get slightly irritated. Normally I don’t give it too much of a thought. But when they keep stressing on the importance of something, to the point where they force me to do something which they want to, I DO NOT oblige. There have been many instances, where in such scenarios I had opted for the oranges (though it was not my choice) instead of the apples, because I did not want to do what someone was telling me to (for something as simple as choosing between fruits).

Monday, December 8, 2014

Running a Marathon, Again!


Oh yes! You read it right. It seems just yesterday when I wrote about running my first marathon and here I am already writing about the second one.

On December 7th, Chennai woke up to a beautiful Sunday to witness the second biggest marathon in India. An event organised at such a huge scale and how could I miss it. I successfully completed my second 10km run at the Wipro Chennai Marathon 2014 :-). To be honest, I was eyeing this marathon from last year and took up the first marathon as a practice for running this marathon. So it's extra special to me that I reached the finish line, something that I wanted to do for a long time! I feel so proud :-)


I'm a happy person today because 3 months back I was almost on the verge of giving it up because of a few issues (which I now realise were very trivial). And I thought about how much I've wanted to participate in the marathon and how much it actually meant to me. I then decided that I would run this marathon despite any obstacles that come my way. 

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Learning to Move On.



I had a horrible day.

I was down with a bad cold. Three days later, just as I was getting better, I had to spend 3 hours in a meeting room and the air conditioner aggravated my cold. Since the meeting was scheduled at a location within the city, I decided to drive on my own and took my two-wheeler. Just as I was preparing to leave for the day, it started raining heavily. Yes, it was time for our monsoons, but having witnessed an almost May-like-summer for the past week, I wasn’t prepared for it. Thankfully I had an overcoat in my two-wheeler. Just when it stopped raining, I rushed to the parking spot to leave when my vehicle wouldn’t start.

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Yes. I tried every little thing my dad used to do whenever the vehicle wouldn’t start. Friends and colleagues and those who passed by tried to help me, but in vain. The security told me there was a mechanic shop down the road and he asked me to take a chance. Having just one more option left (to leave the vehicle at office and pick it up later), I decided to give this a try. Hardly I’d stepped out of the gate, when it started pouring again. After waiting for another half an hour, I stepped out and was looking for the mechanic which the security told me about. I did not realize I’d been walking for half an hour on the same road, and I did not realize I was walking through a flooded avenue, I just kept walking. When my legs and head couldn’t bear it any longer, I decided to give up and turned to walk to the office, pick up my bag and take an auto when it started pouring again.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

When You Don't Know how You Feel!

Sometimes everything feels right

Sometimes everything feels wrong.

Sometimes you have no clue at all!

There are times when we are happy (and we know it). The world seems a wonderful place. We smile all day long and given a chance we would start singing and dancing and feel like flying in the air. We are at peace with ourselves and the heart feels light.

And there are times when we are sad (and we know it). Suddenly it might look like the whole world is conspiring against us. We start reading a lot into everyday occurrences and relate totally unrelated scenarios and complicate things and keep worrying. Phew. 

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Now comes the best(or worst) part.

There are times when we have absolutely no clue as to why we feel some particular way.
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