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दो जोड़ी कपड़ा

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हमारे जीवन में एक ऐसा भी समय आया जब दुकानें बंद हुईं। एक दो दिन के लिए नहीं, बल्कि लम्बे समय के लिए। और जैसा की ऐसे समय में अक्सर होता है, लोगों को महसूस हुआ कि हमें वास्तव में दो जोड़ी कपड़े से अधिक सामान की ज़रुरत ही नहीं थी।   ये वो लोग थे जिनकी मम्मी मेरी वाली से अलग रही होंगी। पूरा बचपन अम्मा को घर में दो चार कपड़े ही पहनते देख बीता। ये उसकी ही देन है कि अपना खुद का घरेलू जीवन दो-चार कपड़ों में ही व्यतीत हुआ, और संभवतः ऐसा ही होता रहेगा। माँ और पापा, दोनों की राय इस विषय में एक सामान रही।  स्नानघर से एक जोड़ी पहन कर बाहर निकलते तो हाथ में धुली हुई दूसरी जोड़ी रहती।  एक दिन में धुले हुए कपड़े सूख जाते, और cloth management का यह क्रम तब तक चलता जब तक कपड़े छीज नहीं जाते। सर्दी के दिनों में, आसानी से कपड़ों के न सूखने की वजह से, पोशाक की संख्या में 1-2 का इजाफा दर्ज़ होता। कई बार तो (ख़ास कर के पापा को) कपड़ो से ऐसा लगाव हो जाता कि हमें अपने कर कमलों से उन वस्त्रों को डस्टिंग के कपड़ों में बदलने का सुख प्राप्त होता। अपने घरवालों की पुरानी बनयान, कमीज, सूट, सलवार, मैक्सी और निक्कर के चीथड़ों से घर क

The Super Blood Moon

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  To the friend who missed seeing the moon of Buddha Purnima on the day of lunar eclipse: Dear friend, I begin to write this while simultaneously gazing at the moon. Or Super Blood Moon, as it is called today. This is a sight meant to be drunk in with the eyes. It calls for a complete surrender. If at all I am taking my eyes off this spectacular vision of life, it is to convey to you, the unspeakable beauty I have the fortune of witnessing today. I was walking down the road this evening in a nonchalance that typically accompanies a deep meditation session. It was a normal evening, until this sight came to vision. I went out for a walk. Soaked in the colors of twilight. Sat by at my everyday corner to meditate. Completed the meditation and started walking down the remainder of the road, looking out for little feathered friends and the usual canine company. It was then that the road turned and brought me face to face with the moon of today. It was like being thunder struck. I w

The Golden Silver Oak

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The silver oak tree...with its golden flowers Kasauli shivered in the summer night. The COVID era wedding allowed for only 25 attendees, and all of them were unprepared for the cold. Who packs up winter clothes in north India for the month of May? Moth, earwigs, and other insects lay dead or dying, also unable to cope with the whistling winds. The wedding was arranged in a hotel that stood atop a hill with the valley on one side and a lawn on the other, the latter being used for the functions. The white and golden canopy of the wedding tent was complemented with the simple and startling decoration of hundreds of tea lights. Though electronically controlled, their flickering flames looked real in the weather. Yellow fairy lights swirled around tree trunks and branches around the lawn. Natural mist diffused the lighting (and the mood) in a way that most exotic places couldn’t match. It looked like the place was ready to welcome gods of heaven. A sickle moon rose above the imposing Deod

With jargon, from Jargon

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  Some folks have it. The ability to talk for hours without meaning a thing. Hi, I am Jargon. I come in handy to disguise shallow language sense. I even save the day if you lack the courage to speak the truth. I usually seek time to check and get back to you, because I know how short your attention span is, and how you’re going to forget this after six seconds. I am great at specifying the need to peel the onion before getting into the task because I dread working. See, I just gave the Hindi idiom of pyaaz chheelna a new lease of life. As they say, old wine in a new bottle. Wink wink. I’m often banking on the synergy of other people because I am unparalleled at social loafing. This is why I insist on touching base, and not dissecting through. When I’m borrowing other people’s original thoughts, you may label them as stealing, but I’m actually curating thoughts and experiences for a bleeding edge customer experience. I love the creative stuff. Or the disruptive stuff. Take your p

The two sides of Leadership Branding

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  The work of leadership profiling entails both – the portrayal of the edifice and its continuous upgrading Every time I have seen vacancies for the Communications function solely harping on ‘Branding and PR’, I have cringed inside. The ask is so little. One of the earliest and best examples of Leadership Branding that we know of exists in popular folklore of Akbar and Birbal. The former is a king and a venerated leader, and the latter his sharp and witty counsel. As a court advisor to the king, Birbal not only adds sheen to Akbar’s popularity, but foundational strength to his leader’s rule. The instances are galore. He helps his leader understand the ground realities of his gemba . He comes to the rescue of those who may be suffering injustice at the hands of the leader. He educates and sensitizes his leader on the changing spirit of times, keeping Akbar updated with news and views. He even manages to prick the ego bubble that the leader sometimes lapses into. He does all this with

We, the Entitled

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  Who are we? Genuine seekers or under-cover hypocrites garbed as intellectuals? It is true that there are good, average, and bad employers. It is equally true that there are forever dissatisfied employees asking for more. That’s why there are consultants and agencies selling us the dream of contented and happy employees. They know it’s a matter of dreams alone. Let’s get realistic. We are human beings. We are never satisfied with what we get. If the salary doesn’t have a variable component, we’re like: Where the additional ‘incentive’ to perform? If the salary does have a variable amount, we hate that uncertainty. If we get 30% of our incentive, we bemoan the remaining that doesn’t come by. If we get the full amount, we compare it against 3x incentives received by our friends in the banking sector (never mind the working hours). If we don’t have a job rotation policy, we feel stagnated. If we have a job rotation policy, we feel our competitive advantage isn’t used best. If the offic

A tete-a-tete with my ache

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  Ache: Hey there, honey! Me: (I look up glumly) Ache: One of those days that you're invoking my transformational powers, eh? Me: About time you stopped making fun of my lows. Ache: Lows? You call them lows? I provide free-of-cost revelations to you, and you label them lows? I mean, people hire fancy consultants for unearthing those nuggets of gold. Me: Not all your revelations are pleasant, you know. Ache: If they were, you wouldn’t have developed the ability for compassion, would you? Me: Agree. And I’m also human, and I also need compassion. Now do you mind leaving me alone? (I choke)   Ache: There, there…I would leave you forever, if that’s what makes you happy. I am not an unsolicited guest anyway. Me: Is it? When did I invite you, I don’