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

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Diktats for Maintaining Discipline?

(This article is based on the 'Rules for Girls' for a college in Chennai that took Social Media by storm)

(This post has been featured in Blogadda's Tangy Tuesday Picks)

You form a system, single-handedly. You ensure that you are the deciding authority. All workflows end with you, irrespective of whether they are in favour or against you. You decide what the rules are and thrust it on others. You use the word ‘discipline’ and tag a hundred so-called-rules under it. Then you proudly claim that this model works for all because no one has spoken against it. But wait have you ever allowed anyone to speak against it?

This is exactly is wrong with many educational institutions in the city. I’m not going to pin point just one or two, because this phenomenon is prevalent in many institutions. When you take a list of the rules and wonder what significance some of them might have, you would get the same answer from all sides – Discipline. I remember the Dean of a very popular college, which remains the most preferred colleges to pursue studies in the city, saying that they believed in self-discipline and not in inculcating discipline after almost 2 decades after being around. At least that made sense.

I’m not advocating that ‘Discipline’ isn’t necessary. It definitely is. But in what context and to what extent is what matters. For instance, it blows my mind to think how a girl talking to a guy can be considered breach of discipline (this rule is common across many institutions). Perhaps folks from the Neanderthal age are still under the assumption that if a girl and a guy speak there can be only one reason for it, and we say we have come a long way from then. Sigh!

To make things worse, there are a few supervisors whose job profile demands that they monitor the activities of the students. Though I appreciate the intention of the institutions to provide a job for people who would have served as good body guards (I’m being very polite), it is annoying when students are not given respect and are treated like filth by people who I’m guessing were not hired based on their education. Where did the Human rights commission go now! 

At times, such rules make us forget the very intention of someone joining the institution. The managements get their priorities all wrong and in the name of promoting quality education they do all this drama. I’d really like to ask those people, if despite imposing all these so-called rules for students, how will they allow the student to concentrate on studies, when the focus is always on a god-knows-what definition of discipline? 

The school to college transition is important. But what is more important is the campus to corporate transition. That is where people get to know what it is to be out there. These institutes claim to prepare students for the future. But wait, which corporate policy says that guys and girls aren’t allowed to speak or celebrations of any kind are banned? We do have birthday celebrations at work, with team lunches and Fun Friday activities. These are not any privileges, it’s just basic courtesy and the right way to treat a fellow human being irrespective of where the person is in the hierarchy. Do those management gurus know that?

Like someone mentioned, if you want to avoid students getting distracted, instead of banning a hundred things, just ensure that you improve the quality of education. Fair enough? Or are you trying to camouflage the lack of good standards in education by imposing all this on students?

The nation needs an answer! 

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Alone? Yes! Lonely? Not Really!

A few days back, the parents announced that they had to travel for a few weeks. I wasn't exactly happy or sad, but staying alone was something I enjoyed. Of course I was going to miss my mom because she is always around when I’m home, but I was ok with that. I managed being by myself on and off for a few months in the past two years, all thanks to my nephew, so I knew I could pull it off.

So, I woke up on Saturday morning and savored by cup of coffee with the newspaper. I spent almost an hour reading and relaxing because my instincts told me that I wouldn’t get this time back, at least for a couple of hours. And then the routine started. I had to prepare breakfast, lunch, dinner,  clean up the house, go to the temple, do some grocery shopping for the week and take care of laundry among the many other chores. After all this I had time to actually relax just before calling it a day.

 Why bother to remember when you can put
 them down in these cute Sticky Notes. 
Amidst all this, I received a call from a friend. He invited me home for lunch as he thought I must be missing my parents and sitting thoroughly bored at home. I was happy he was calling on to check, but I told him I anyway had to go out in the evening and had so many things to be taken care of before that so I would come home another day. But I was getting reminded of what he said about me (sitting idle) getting bored and sitting all alone.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

The Battles That We Fight!

A few days back, I overheard a group of girls talking about one particular girl. The news was that the girl being spoken about hated flowers. She hated the smell and sight of flowers. Initially they thought it was one of those things which people normally do to get attention, but then they realized it made her very uncomfortable. Curious to know why she was affected by something as wonderful as flowers known for its visual appeal and aroma, one of the girls approached her and asked her the reason. This is what she had said, 

‘I remember the day our house was full of flowers, that was the last day my Mother was home.’ 

Ram hated bright open spaces. He always preferred to occupy a dark corner wherever he went, if at all he went. He ensured his room was always dark, with just enough light for him to wander around without tripping over anything. Over time, he became a recluse and almost cut-off communication with others. He liked spending time by himself, staring from the balcony of his dark room. 

He looked at his wheelchair and the prosthetic legs and wondered how different life would have been had he not met with an accident. If only the light from the Lorry had not blinded him that fateful night. 

All of us have our own battles to fight almost every single day. Of course, we are all human beings and its only natural that our lives are full of ups and down. Yet sometimes we forget that others around us, have their own battles to fight and we end up with assumptions and biased opinions even without knowing the big picture. We resort to generalizations under the assumption that what is good for one, would probably be good for all.

Monday, August 31, 2015

When Dreams Come True!

For some time now, a few things have constantly been on my mind. You can call them dreams, goals or whatever term you use to describe something that you work/pray for. Being someone who focuses on getting things done and striking them off the bucket list/ToDo list, it is annoying when you are left to wait and pray for things to happen, when they aren’t in your control (No, I wasn’t praying for a miracle).

When you have to work towards something, you know what you’re up against. You know what you should do and how long things will take. But when things aren’t in your control, and the wait seems almost endless, it can be slightly difficult to manage. Look around and those with similar goals get it done easily, but when it comes to you Murphy seems to take special interest ;-)

Image Courtesy: FreeDigitalPhotos
Ok, fast-forward to the current day. A few dreams of mine did come true. Those that I worked for and those that I had no control over.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Review : Three One Act Plays, The Hindu Theatre Fest 2015

The Hindu Theatre fest was back this year and what a lovely set of plays they had featured. I wanted to ensure that I went for at least one of the plays. I wanted to go for Hamlet first, but that was scheduled to be played on a weekday and I wasn't so sure about it. So I opted for Three One Act Plays - Timothy (Evam), The Grand Rehearsal (Theatre Zero) and Radiopotti (Stray Factory).

All 3 plays were wonderful. We were told that we could send our reviews of the plays. Promptly I sent mine. Not only did it get published in the following week's Metro Plus Edition under Citizen Reviews, it also won a meal for two at The Park :-) I was all hyper on Tuesday morning when I saw my name in the paper. Of course, who wouldn't be?

(Here is the link and the pic. I've posted the review here, as the contents might not be readable in the pic.)

You can read it here - Take 3 : Three One Act Plays

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Quotes Challenge #3 : Staying Wary of the Comfort Zone!

Through one of my friends at work, I got to know about a particular team. I was told that the nature of work was quite interesting and was not as hectic when compared to the other teams. The timings were set and there was hardly a need to stretch beyond the schedule or work on weekends for that matter. 

I thought this was such an ideal team to work in. You tell people in IT that they don’t have to work for long hours or work on weekends and I’m sure you’d see them all charged up and happy like a child with a candy. One possible disadvantage was that, there was considerable process work (popularly known as excel sheet work) apart from the actual work. Why I am calling it a disadvantage is because 1. It is boring and 2. Once you start with one set of process work, you get absorbed into more and more of it. Finally 2 years later if you tell people you were working on excel sheets (at a relatively lower position in the corporate hierarchy) you aren’t considered a good resource. 

Image Courtesy : Google

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Quotes Challenges #2 : Never Dim your Sunshine!

People. We are a strange bunch I tell you!

There are so many kinds of them. For this post, I am going to consider two categories: those who are secure of themselves and those who are insecure. The secure ones are happy. They know what they want from life and are not easily influenced by others. The insecure ones are a nightmare to be around. They might be extremely talented, but they get insecure when they meet someone who might be just 10% of what they are. They always feel threatened and need a constant source of approval from others. They aren’t confident about themselves.

Let me give you a very common scenario. There is a Manager, a Lead and a Team member. Let's say that the lead is very talented and has a sense of insecurity. The team member happens to be good at something and gets an appreciation from the manager or someone even senior. What happens now? The lead gets annoyed and threatened. The leads starts imagining situations in which the lead will no longer be required. To vent the frustration, the lead brands the team member as someone with an ‘Attitude Problem’.

What could have ended with a simple compliment, is unnecessarily blown out of proportion and someone is targeted personally for something in the professional environment.

This wonderful cake was given to me on my last day in a team. This was organized by my mentor, all the way from Delhi who got in touch with a few people in Chennai to get this done. This is the same person who sent the quote referred to in post. Am I not lucky to be blessed with such a wonderful mentor?

Monday, July 27, 2015

Potpourri of My Life!

I'm writing this because someone asked me how I was feeling and I realized I was feeling all this at the same time. Trust human beings to complicate the most simplest of simple questions. 

I'm happy!
I'm getting to do something that I've always wanted and it all happened by luck. Speak about being at the right place at the right time. 

I'm (slightly) worried!
I've been trying to do something for a while, despite my best efforts and despite taking help from an expert I'm not able to make much progress. Giving up seems easier and the thought has occurred to me many times, but somehow I'm pushing myself to keep going. I celebrate even the smallest achievements but I'm not sure when I'll give it up. So tough to stay motivated when you don't see results. I'm slightly worried!

I'm proud!
Yes, I'm proud of myself (not haughty). I completed my 4th 10k run at the Dream Runners Half Marathon 2015. Not the best run, but enjoyed running it. I think I'll run again just for the medal. Aren't they getting fancier day by day! :-)

I'm nostalgic!
I've been doing something for 2 years. At a high-level it's the same routine, but at a low-level the work involved was interesting and not monotonous. Moreover it took me to the most amazing work location one could've asked for. And now things are changing. I'll miss the people and the comforts of the workplace. I felt so comfortable, the open spaces made me feel at peace. Didn't they rightly say that life begins at the end of your comfort zone. Sigh!

I’m excited
After years of travelling to school, college and office by vans and buses, I finally finally finally get to ride to work. Earlier I used to spend almost 4 hours in travel, and now it’ll be reduced to about 1.5 hours. As Ross said, ‘I’ve been given the gift of time’. I feel like I have more time now. I’m beginning to like this already.

I wanted to include a few more things, but they weren't as overpowering as these. 

Anyway, how are you feeling?

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Quotes Challenge #1 - The Problem with Being Strong!

I like quotes. There is something about those words, which have been spoken from experiences. When you can relate to the quote, it feels amazing that years back someone had similar experiences about it. So, when I saw posts on the Quotes challenge, I naturally decided to take it up.

One of my favorite quotes, that I’ve come across till date,

Image Coutesy : Google
I don’t know how exactly it happened, I’m a strong independent person (to an extent). People whom I’ve known have told me this very many times and even asked me how I became the person I am today. As much as I like to talk, I’m very bad at answering things that happen without my conscious effort. I tell them it’s probably got to do with the genes, the upbringing, the environment, exposure and all that. I’ve never really given it too much of a though myself, to be honest.

Sometimes I’ve wondered if I was being a hypocrite and putting up a bold front to justify my persona.  Only then I realize that it’s an option that I chose and inadvertently it became a habit. I have very clearly defined lives – My life, Life with Family, Life at Work, Life with Friends and so on. So if there was a problem with any one, I had my way of taking care of things with the help of people from my other lives.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

What is your dream career?

"Twenty years from now you would be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do, than by the ones that you did do"

Mark Twain's words have had a great impact on me. I happened to read this a few years back and the words remain intact in my mind.

The other day I told my Mom I wanted to learn to play the keyboard. She gave a sarcastic look and continued with her work. In her defence, her reaction is justified as I'd told her I wanted to learn music the previous week, and the week before that I said I wanted to learn to make terracotta jewellery and the week before that... You get the drift!

My name in Sanskrit means a horse and I was born in the Chinese year of horse. So there is a considerable influence of horse in my life. Just like a horse, I get distracted easily. If something doesn't hold my attention for long I don't think twice before giving it up. I'd rather try something new and fail in that attempt rather than doing something which doesn't challenge/stimulate me. So that’s how I took up activities like painting, dancing, yoga, Zumba, marathon, swimming, baking, driving and a few other activities. I have given up a lot after getting bored.
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