Dumb and Dumber !

I was a dumb kid. Correction – I am STILL a dumb.. Err.. Kid !!Image

I was always intrigued with life. Well, the feeling would go through states of bafflement, bewilderment and in some days, utter confusion! My brain seemed to continuously process information and look to find answers. This nearly-total lack of a mental filter can cause increased stress. Things find their way to my brain, things that don’t belong there, just as things don’t belong in my lungs, like dust.  Being inquisitive, I would ask lot of questions.. And would often be tagged as being dumb..

“Why do you ask so many dumb questions?” – my friends would say

“Stop it Ari.. Sometimes, you ask really dumb questions.. GO NOW!” – my teachers would say.

Every time I asked a question, my self belief took a beating. During those turbulent days, my pillar of strength was my mother. She always supported me. She said everyone goes through this PTT syndrome (no it’s not Push-To-Talk, it is Pre-Teen Trouble). As you grow older, you gain more KNOWLEDGE, and you will find the answers yourself.

I imagined that in the distant future, the fog around my brain would dissipate, the smoke would clear, and I will be able to begin the satisfying task of gathering pieces of understanding and storing them in my mind.  I was convinced that just like every item in the food store came with an expiry date, my dumb-ness also will have an expiry date? The day will arrive when I will finally have the power of “insight”, the gift of “knowledge”.

I patiently waited for the moment to come…Through my teens, my twenties, thirties..

I am still waiting.

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Confessions of a novice blogger

This is my 25th post.

When I started writing this blog on Sep 23rd, it was more like an experiment – wifey’s idea actually – and it seemed like a hobby I could pursue once in a while outside of my usual work schedule. I didn’t really think I could write anything more than 5-10 posts. Then, my first post seemed to be liked by few people – “Here To GO” – and then, I got hooked. I really wanted to write – share my thoughts with the blogosphere. I looked around at other people’s blog – and there were many accomplished writers. They seemed to have immense natural ability – writing on varied subjects – able to make the reader read intently – even long for their next post! (When will Charles write his next post? He is brilliant!! What about Priya – her posts are so thought provoking?)

Within the first few posts, I realized that this had become more than a just a hobby – every post was similar to getting your own book published – the anxiety, the excitement, the nail biting eagerness – the eagerness of wanting people to visit your blog, to see that first comment, someone “Liking” your post! So, here’s to all the eager over-eager writers/bloggers who continue to hope.. And write… that someday, yes someday….

So, here we go folks – The confessions of a novice blogger…

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700+ and counting…

“700+ and counting :-)” – read a Facebook update from a friend – He had gone past 700 friends in Facebook.

“ABC XXXXX 1500+” – read the name of a profile in LinkedIn –  The 1500+ added recently to signify the number of connections he has.

Well… let’s face it – social networking has become ubiquitous. Facebook is the favorite “hangout” for many – be it in schools, colleges or after-work hours.  Not having a Facebook ID can be considered anything from being “uncool” to “Living in the Stone Age”. Most, if not all of us, feel happy to see the number of friends or connections on social networking sites increase – so much so, that some of my friends see it as a sense of competition (I must have more friends than X or Y)

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MD 13 : Spick n Span

It was unusually cool Sunday morning in Bangalore this week. It had rained the previous evening and almost through the night. I woke  with a rare feeling of energy pulsing through me – Its amazing how some days – it just feels right! “Today’s gonna be a very productive day” – I told myself.

Wifey was already making breakfast  in the kitchen, and my MIL (mother-in-law) was incessantly brushing away at the kitchen slab. She was cleaning up the apparent mess I had created when I tried to make myself some “Ready to eat” food late in the night – suddenly feeling hungry…

ME: Good morning folks.

WIFE: Good morning dear..

MIL : (Smiles and continues to brush the kitchen slab)

ME: So, what’s for breakfast?

WIFE: French toast!!

 Hmm…. I wonder why is bread fried with egg yolk is called french toast… hmm.. More research needed, but that’s for later…

ME: Ok… BTW, I feel today’s gonna be a highly productive day for me!

WIFE: (Gives me the We shall see Look)

MIL: (Continues to brush….)

ME: MIL, the slab is grey – it wont turn white if you continue to brush it!!

My MIL is a cleanliness freak – I think she has spent about 90% of her life cleaning something or the other. For her, everything’s got to be speck-less – yeah, in literal terms – no kidding!! Wifey – like her mother, has got the “Cleanliness DNA” well engrained in her as well. On the contrary, I am a bit of a messy person. Not the filthy types, but more the “cluttered and blissfully ignorant about it” types. As you can see, its not really a “Made for each other” scenario.

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The Elusive Popularity Pie

“How to be a popular leader?” I asked Sam (name changed), the role model leader in our company.

 As a budding project manager in 2006, I looked around for motivation, a mentor who would help equip me with the “Art of Leadership”…  I sought mentorship from Sam. He was an ideal role model – he had charisma, quick decision making, adept in domain and technology, and above all – great people connect.

“No wonder everyone loves him.. What makes him so popular among his peers, sub-ordinates and bosses” – we discussed in our circle of budding project managers who where taking their first few lessons in leadership.

In one of our mentorship sessions, I discussed with him on several topics on leadership… finally, I got to the question –

“How do I become a popular leader? How do I have people like me as their leader of the pack like you do?

I expected a bullet pointed list that would give me the recipe of the elusive popularity pie, and had my notepad ready with eager anticipation

Instead I got a short and curt response….

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From this Diwali….

It’s Diwali week – the festive season has set in and all of us are in SUPER FESTIVE mood. For a Bong, the Oct-Nov months are the festive months – starting with the Durga Puja (which is BIG in Bengal) to the Diwali  – it really is “Live life to the fullest, get and give lotsa gifts” time.

Here’s Diwali again – in all its lights and glory – spreading warmth and joy to one and all. So, to all my dear readers –

  WISH ALL OF YOU A VERY HAPPY DIWALI and a great year ahead!!

As I soak in the excitement, I ask myself – What will we do differently from THIS DIWALI? What will I change in myself to lead a fulfilled life?

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The KISS Effect

Have you been confused with long winding vision statements that are difficult to comprehend? Have you found yourself struggling to align with the BIG picture that your boss / manager paints about the END GOAL of your project / program / initiative?

I always struggled with the answer till that Friday afternoon….

Picture this – A lazy Friday afternoon, when all you want to do is “head home”. An email pops up from my then manager, Krish, calling for a meeting in the afternoon to discuss the “Knowledge Mgmt” initiative.

“Another knowledge management initiative, what a waste of time” – I thought

The meeting at 4 PM, however, will be etched in my memory throughout my life….

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