October 14, 2010

He He He

Ha ha ha ha. Mazaa aaya aaja. Kisi ka kisi ko bheja hua SMS maine galti se padh liya. Ha ha ha ha. Mere boss ka meri subordinate ko bheja hua SMS. Thoda scandalous types.. ;). Mazaa aaya ji mazaa aaya. ;)

October 12, 2010

At your (dis)service

Getting bitter about people and circumstances can be so easy at times…heck, its easy all the time. Its so often a product of what you value against what others do…or difference in perspectives or simply not getting what you want. I find myself either irate or depressed or frustrated a lot these days. It’s like I’m asked to order what I want to eat and everytime I order something…its either not available/ will take years to make/ if made, doesn’t taste the same.


“An orange juice, please.”


“Sorry, not available”


“Do you have pineapple?”


“Yes, but we dont serve pineapple juice..it will be served diced”


“Umm..ok, do you have vanilla ice cream to accompany it?”


“No..we have Strawberry”


(Strawberry & Pineapple??)


“Ok..then can you get me a strawberry milk shake?”


“No, we don’t have milk”


“Great. Then just get me the strawberry icecream?”


“Sure. Will be served by another guy who’ll be here in 30 mins…I’m off my shift.”


Get the drift? I start with Orange juice and end up with Strawberry icecream..that too served at leisure. I face this at work daily…what am I supposed to do, if not get irritated?!!  Grr!!

October 11, 2010

Decision(?) Making

We are moving to a new office and seats were being assigned. So, the alignment started basis hierarchy and the VP/AVP population obviously choose the corner cabins/cubicles. Next in line were the Senior Managers, with yours truly being one of them. Now there were 5 cubicles left and 7 SMs to be seated. So, in a common sense scenario, you’d look at the profile & the job requirement and take a call. For eg. If someone is on a lot of customer calls, he gets one or if someone is in a role which has a higher privacy demand, he gets one. But lo & behold, how did we decide? We picked chits!! Yes!! School is not yet over and we still make long standing decisions by picking chits!!


And guess what? HR didn’t get a cubicle..(mebbe my boss isn’t lucky enough..I should’ve picked mine!!) and we, the ones whose main job is discussing about employees’ & their related concerns, will now sit in proximity with Operations. Bang in the middle of the floor!! So everyone can see what we are working on, who we meet, what we talk to bosses about their teams, so and so forth.


At first, I was fuming..and then couldn’t help but laugh at the stupidity of the whole thing. I even thought mebbe it was part of a sinister design to keep HR in spotlight…so I decided to let these guys have a taste of their own genius plan. All it will take is a detail of one senior guy to leak on the floor and watch the show unfold. Ha Ha Ha.


September 27, 2010

wow..its been 2 months since i last updated this space.

Never realised how difficult a self motivated change is...u r ur inspiration...u r ur detractor. 

Never mind.

Keep walking.

© Z.

July 28, 2010

I really don’t know how it feels to leave an organization..have been with the same one since my career started...people seem so happy and care free when they are in the exit mode!! I want to leave too!! But I will have to clock another 17 months before I can...sniff sniff



July 19, 2010

So often I find myself in this situation....wherein you dont want to be with a particular bunch of people..coz obv u dont like them or the way they are...but they are having fun and chilling out..and you want to be part of that 'fun'...so you are like.."ok...lets compromise" and u actually dont end up having either your self respect or that 'fun'.

This whole thing of being accepted is so wicked. Why the hell dont I have people I can easily gel with, around me? Its often those vain, bitchy creatures who make me want to scream. But if those are the only ones around..what do you do? Its a choice between being by yourself in your room or out with them. And its not easy, when such choices become a frequent thing.

So at some level, I'm so indifferent to all this..but at another level, I have this whole 'social image' thing which bugs me no end...you know, when how important your existence is defined by number of parties you get invited to. You want to be important..its a good feeling..but then..what are the means? Mebbe here's where you decide..what do you want to be important for? Answer to this question would help ya decide where you'd want to focus your energy.

Think, think.

And with this post, I surpass the number of posts I published in each of the last 4 years. :)

© Z.

July 16, 2010

Short Story

Normally, she wouldnt take up something she wouldnt do justice to. But this time around, there was a conflict in her mind. Her heart said, "Let's do it!!" but her mind was cautious. "I'm not sure", it said, "It would change a lot of things" "So, what..? Have never done something like this...and given the odds, you might make it through." "Hmm. Are you sure you want to do this?" "YES" "...Ok...lets go."

And with this last thought, she took the leap from the 45th storey of her office building.

End of story. Literally & figuratively.

© Z.

July 15, 2010

I am feeling happy today. :) I got infected by some queasy worm in my tummy and had allergic reactions all over my body :). Mom and dad learnt about it and called 5 times in last 24 hours :). My khaala who's my favt doc in the world called thrice :). After having lived by myself for such a long time and being kinda self dependent for everything...it felt great to have folks call up and trying to take care, atleast remotely :). I feel so cared for :)

I do talk to Mom & Dad almost every other day...but these calls were something else...beyond expression.

I miss home..

© Z.

July 07, 2010

Trust me! :)

The normal way to decide if someone is dependable or not is measuring how many times they've lived upto their commitment or deliverable.

But at times, you get this 'sense' that someone is dependable. This is most often triggered by the person's aura or the way they carry themselves. So if someone is charming and makes you feel at ease, its easy to believe that they are dependable. Not always, though.

People who are aware of their weaknesses often do a great job at hiding them. If I know I'm not dependable...I will atleast portray an image to the contrary. This helps me decide which ones to be dependable for or even hide behind my "good aura". If you have 2 people, 1 who does the work but starts with a "I dunno if I'll do it.." or "I hate doing this"..and another who starts with "Sure, why not" and eventually does not do it...its easier for people to believe the latter to be more dependable than the former. Coz..u built a trust factor with the latter when he said "Sure, why not"...and its difficult to accept that you trusted the wrong party. Its only with time you realise the difference.

Often, time is a luxury everyone cant afford.

© Z.

June 27, 2010


I usher in the 29th year of my life...28 years gone by, huh...without much ado, at that. By 29, my mom had all three of us, with sis & me in middle school :). I'm happy juggling professional life with a sketchy personal life.

Didnt mean to start my birthday post on such a note...but the ambience is such. I'm by myself, in my room in the central part of Guatemala city, Central America. Hindi songs from the 90s fill the room...those growing up years...somehow I always view my life from that point...its like am stuck there...I'm 18..looking at my life at 28.

How was life at 18? I had finished my 10+2 with Biology, physics & chemistry subjects. Mom & eventually Dad wanted me to be doctor...like most in my family. Munawwar Fatima was a thick friend at that point..who is now no longer a part of my life. I still rem'ber her landline number though. I didnt clear the medical entrance with kind of marks needed for a government seat. Dad was in Fiji Islands. We were staying at Granny's place. The kind of lady that she is...I never really liked her. Besides the point. I re'mber mom and my youngest maternal uncle asking me to drop a year and prepare for the medical entrance. I rem'ber my uncle's exact words "If you arnt a doctor or an engineer, the society has no respect for you." It was mom's dream. I gave in. I cried myself to sleep that night.

I didnt want to become a doctor...I didnt want the burden of so many lives been dependent on my ability to think right, at the right time. I was always someone who preferred being by herself...I couldnt imagine being ready to run at a short notice or house call. But it was a conflict between what I wanted & what mom had dreamt. What followed later is the story to be told on my 29th birthday :).

It was also the year of Hrithik Roshan :). Kaho na pyar hai released and we all got to see how insecure SRK could get. Around this time...I think Rajkumar, the Karnataka superstar, was kidnapped by Veerappan. 2000 was the first time I saw the Titanic.

I'm living in my past, aint I. The last one year has been pretty static...usual ups & downs at work & personally, nothing extreme. The crests & troughs would appear as a straight line from 10000 feet. Yes, I did tell mom & dad about him. And mom's reaction still clenches at my heart. It's like being summoned every night...to display the wound caused by the burn last night...to be burnt some more.

I feel like I'm suspended in mid air...neither falling nor being swooped away by Superman. The tension is evident. When I finally end this inertia...whether I crash land or manage a smooth one depends a lot on how this year progresses.

Have lunch with some friends tomorrow...I do know that I want a quiet birthday this year.

© Z.

June 15, 2010

One more down...

My boss quit. Sigh. She was a nice lady.


Shit happens.


Which brings me to the theory I have been postulating for some time....that my relation with any boss doesn’t last usually beyond 6-9 months...either they quit or I move out. The good ones quit, I move out when its a jerk.


For my personal records, the bosses list below


Apr 06 – Started working

Jul 06 – Boss 1 moves to Corporate

Feb 07- Boss 2 quits; Boss 3 is a super jerk

May 07 – I change cities..Boss 4 is nice

Sept 07 – I move across to a diff business..Boss 5 is ok

Mar 08 – Boss 5 quits

Aug 08 – Boss 6 quits, Boss 7 is a jerk

Feb 09 – As part of the leadership prgm, I move on a rotation. Boss 8 is the worse of the lot

Dec 09 – The worse had to be there for the longest period. Ass.

Jan 10 – Feb 10 – No boss

Mar 10 – Boss 9 is nice

Jun 10 – Boss 9 quits. Boss 10 is nice as well

Aug 10 – Boss 11 as my rotation ends and I move to a business for long term


So 4 years of working and 10 bosses. Super.





June 11, 2010

Seriousness of life has stuck in me in the past few days. What's important and whats not so important. What's a fleeting glory and what is long lasting happiness. So often decisions are made keeping the here and now in mind...we like to think it'll all add up to what we want to do in life. Sometimes it doesnt even fall in line with what we want to do, but we do it nevertheless.

I've realised the importance of being around with your folks coz one never knows when they might need you..this whole shit of exploring the world is good for a vacation, not as a long term option.

The fact that I have people - friends  & family - who knew me as a kid, still in my life means the world to me. Really it does. It's so imp to be there for them ...

Am all senti in this post...just waiting to fly home...

© Z.

June 09, 2010


I’m going mad!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA



June 03, 2010

Saala bad luck hi kharab hai

Patience patience patience


I’ve slogged and done in 60 days what my precedessor didn’t in 1 year. And now…right before my performance review, my boss is hospitalized. Jinx, thou name is Zarine!

May 31, 2010


Until it passes by, the worth of the opportunity doesn’t strike u.



April 23, 2010

Pearls of Wisdom from Hiring team

If you cant fix it, forget it

After a long time...

As the feather floats eerily into the room
I look upon and wonder
Where did I see this one before?

As it gradually agrees with its gravity
I hold my gaze steadfast
Does this bring some ol memories to the fore?

As it glides on, slowly but surely
I ponder...
do I hold on or let go?

The dainty being settles to its fate
I cant tear away
Can the connect now built be foregone?

As its poised calmly at its shore
I send my thoughts across
May they rest with thee, dear feather...

For they no longer belong to me

© Z.

April 16, 2010

What to do!

They extended my stay here by 3 months. So I'll be back by Aug end.

My first reaction to this news was "Uh Oh".

Mebbe I should've been happy abt it...that they like my work and want me to do some more projects (read dirty my hands more) for them, but what concerned me was Vish. And his reaction...confirmed my fears.

My poor baby :(...

© Z.

April 13, 2010

Oh my handsome kid...

A good ol' friend has been after my life to post this...trust her to come up with weird ideas!!

Now what exactly is it?? Its a letter to your kid..yeh, beat that! :D So I'm to write a letter to my kid and tell him (yes, i want a boy) of all the gyan i learnt in my life. I think I can redirect him to this blog and he'll stop taking his mom seriously.

Ok..what pearls of wisdom do I have for my lil devil...lemme dig the treasure trove of my mind :P..ah..here they are :-

  1. Learn to deal with Cognitive Dissonance (hahahaha)
  2. There will always be a right thing to do and a good thing to do...unless u screw urself coz of the latter, u wont realise the wisdom of the former
  3. Love your parents...they cleaned after your shit
  4. Serious one - Dont let anyone tell you that you cant do something. And dont take everything that everyone tells seriously
  5. Have friends...lots of them...but have a circle u can bank on to pull the rug from right under ur feet when u r having  a ball of a time ;)
  6. Money aint all that great...experiences are
  7. Read. Whatever. But read. Voraciously.
  8. Pray...that's the only thing that can save your sorry ass ;)
  9. Dont be shy of taking risks...you are the product of one (hahahahhaha)
  10. Dont make a big fuss out of failure. Or success.
  11. Dont be stingy with love & laughter..spread both...with necessary precautions ;)

Thats all I can think of...!! :D And I know with scoundrels like Nikhil and Vipul around...all the good effect that Seema, Zareena and Chinnu will have, will rub off. Vish and I will also cancel each other out. Suhail will be too busy with his dozen. So the kid is at his own mercy :D. God bless him. :)

© Z.

April 10, 2010

I have run out of words to express myself. They all sound the same now. I'm like a piece of parched land, with nothing to offer to the life that sprouts from it. I'm so fatigued... with the insecurities and anxiousness that I have been living with for years now.

The tipping point sometimes just comes by. Its may not always be grand or significant. A tiny grain of sand can tilt the scales.

These hands dont have the strength to raise to the Lord and ask of Him...am so tired of asking. Its not that He hasnt provided me...but more often than not its like an SOS call to 911. Help arrives in time...but the experience leaves you exasperated. Its a close call. All the time.

I'm tired of being nice to people..of caring about everyone around...of thinking about them and their thoughts and their well being. I'm tired of thinking what will happen of me....I'm tired of thinking what will not happen of me...I'm tired of trying to provide to thankless people...I'm tired of thinking of what do I need to do to make up for any wrong I've done...I'm tired of thinking that I am the one who has to understand and adjust...I'm tired of trying to put myself in the other person's shoes...I'm tired of justifying others irate behavior towards me...I'm tired of thinking what could I do to make up to my folks...I'm tired of thinking how to get my bro back...how to make my sis happy...how to make mom happy...how to make my extended family happy...how to make up for any shit they go through...of feeling guilty for making them go through any, in the first place...of thinking how it all seems like a dead end...of what I'm fighting for...and at what cost...am tired of weighing my happiness against everyone else's...of trying to make the one I'm fighting for pay for it...of trying to constantly assure myself that everything will be alright...of cribbing...of running to friends for assurances...of constantly being on the edge...of thinking that what I have done isnt wrong...or right...or judging myself...of letting others judge me

I'm done. I give up. I'm totally devoid of emotions at this point.

April 01, 2010


All this traveling is making me mighty depressed.

© Z.

March 26, 2010


I overheard this at work today. An agitated senior manager screaming at his team “Please!! I WANT you to participate voluntarily…do u get that???”


Wah. This is called ‘enabling employees’ ;) ;) ;)



March 17, 2010


Wheee!! I just accidentally discovered where Operations stores Snickers bars for ‘On Spot Recognition’!!! Here’s to happiness filled days ahead!! :D :D :D




March 10, 2010

U get it wrong, Senora!

Latest from my boss.


We were discussing launching a retention contest. I asked her how many voluntary and involuntary attritions we had. She says “Lot of involuntary and few voluntary”. I was like,”really?? We ask so many people to leave??”  To which she replies…”No no..u get the meaning wrong. We don’t want them to leave and hence the involuntary attrition is more”.


I and the Ops guys could stop laughing for few mins outside her cabin :D

March 09, 2010

I love hot chocolate!

I came back from work and headed for the hotel lounge. I was generally browsing through FB, et al and ordering nachos in steaming cheese with a cuppa hot chocolate (yes, feel jealous, thats the whole point ;) ) when I thought of making this post. Its a serious kinda post.

A good ol friend gets married this month. Dude, you have been part of my life and part of this blog. We wish you a content life ahead...the one where each moment is cherishable.

Which brings me to the point that all the readers of this blog are single. Now that this dude gets married, mebbe we should revoke his access to this blog :P

Have we ever thought how greedy we can get in life? more often than not this leads to not so good situations. when a guy and gal are good friends, when does it change to love? when do u know u r crossing the line? what is it about the relation that makes them want to take things forward at the risk of their friendship?all the guys i was in love with were my friends once, except for one. with tht bloke, i still cant figure out what came first....love or realization of the contrary!(dont worry he doesnt have access to this blog...so u know its not YOU!) ROFL.Shit...am full of crap man!! ;)))

So the thing I  was wondering is when do u know its beyond love and when things dont work out...how do u switch gears, reverse back from the diversion and get on the main street of friendship? How does it not get bitter? Im sure it does...in my case they did. but with the ones i really valued, i tried not to end things...though managing that aspect of the relation was nothing less than steering a ship in the storm.c'mon...u couldnt end up being married so what??? Whatever.

Why am I making this post? Have I lost it? Am I high? chocolate does these things to me man...!Well, the point is..its my blog and i damn well will write what i want to.ha!

So the thing is...love is overrated. friendship rules. so if any of u thinks of going around with a good friend...be ready for the high voltage stuff that will follow. not everyone can handle it.

And for all the dearies who have gone thru this shit...well..u survived...cheers to life man!! And to many more eligible guys and gals. (Honey, this post is for all the others..not for us..dont worry :P)

© Z.


Breaking News – Bryan is trying to flirt around with me. Yooo.Hoooo.


Kiska rasta dekhe aey dil aey saudaai

The lush green scenery reflects back at me from work station…I look ahead and see row and rows of workstations. Sometimes when I have time, I go thru the pagalguy.com site…dunno, that site has become a habit…if I don’t have anything to do, I head to it. Not an active contributor anymore, but like reading articles there.


So there’s one thread on “No IIM calls even after 99%ile - All izz not well”.  This thread has candidates ranting on the IIM selection methodology and how their lives are now ruined…so much hard work, still no call.


Circa 2003, when we were preparing for CAT, the IIMs did seem like the most important thing ever. Then getting a good summer placement, then a good job, then a good salary, then a good position, then a promotion, a better salary, a better position, a better promotion. 4 years have gone by since MBA days and I see the futility of it all. Being in HR allows you an exclusive view of the organization. Ha! So every time anyone talks about performance linked bonuses, you stifle a laugh.


Somehow my belief of not making my job my life seems more and more right these days. Though I’m afraid that should this attitude make me complacent, I wont have a life thanks to not having a job.


I’m reading this book “Dork” which Nikhz shared with me. Every night when I cant sleep, I read that book. It’s an awesome lullaby. I have finished 24 pages in 10 days so far…yeh..thats all it takes…roughly 2 pages of that book to put me to sleep. I had expected so much better from Sidin, but he falls into the trap of “chetan bhagat style humour”. I have to force myself to read this book. Its so bad. But good, if you want to go to sleep. Everything has its use, I guess.


I miss reading Nikhil’s blog…dude is it possible u input my work id and direct the feeds there..I cant access it from my work site and I don’t have a personal laptop.


I know u love me. Till next time…hasta luego.


Ps – the title has no connection..it was just a song I was humming while drumming away at the keypad.




March 03, 2010

Day 3

Hey folks,


Well, today’s the third day at work and not much is happening…umm..as in I met my boss on the first day and got my deliverables for the next three months…just that what I got for three months is something I can finish my march end itself. And I don’t want to tell her that and add more stuff to my list coz am sure, she’ll keep passing ad hoc stuff to me anyways.


She’s an amazing lady, my boss. Her English amazes everyone. I intend to capture all those gems as and when they’re spoken and pass them on for greater human good. Some stuff she’s said till now:


“Carlos, I know you going but when you come back, for this project, I want u on top of me”


“Yesterday and today I will be going early to home on personal high”


“Are you kidding me my job”


“Can you mail me this so I can flag the pole”


Could only get these many in the cumulative 20 mins that I’ve had with her on 2 days. Shall keep updating, though. BTW, she thinks the task of processing letters in MS word for 300 employees, with their emp details and bonuses in MS Excel format, would take me 2 weeks. I make a note to not introduce her to Mail Merge.


I’ve been talking to the ERMs here and they totally don’t like her. The poor team is so high on will but low on skill. Pankaj (AVP, HR) would be in next week…actually, its coz Pankaj is coming and will hold the fort for a year atleast, is why most of my deliverables have been revisited. Suzzette has 3 items which she might pass onto me once she discusses it with Pankaj. So, work might gradually increase in the coming weeks.


Might most prolly move into an apartment by weekend…lets see.


Ah! There you go…Ma’am has just sent 2 more deliverables on which she’d ‘want to know my thoughts’. Does “I don’t want to do them” work?


Cya later guys,




March 01, 2010

Day 1 at Work

Got up at 5.30 am…on the way to work at 7.


Arrive at the facility at around 7.25…just one team member is in..Cindy. By the way, let me introduce you to my team here..


Suzzette – my boss

Cindy, Ana, Jennifer, Bryan.


Bryan is so delectable that post our first meeting I wanted to eat something!! :- ))))


I have this increasingly sinking feeling everytime I meet my team members…they jump around that I’m here and how much they need me and how they are all stuck and which basically means we are screwed and cant figure out how to escape and thanks for replacing our ass with yours.


Ok baby..lets see how it goes.

Journey So Far

Hey...how you doing? (somehow, everytime I say that, I picture Joey!)


This is gonna be a lengthy post with every gory detail captured (yes, am excited!!)


Ah! Did the last 30 hours just fly by?? I rem’ber being told by all and sundry that the 15 hours flight to US would be excruciatingly boring and then a halt of 4 hours followed by another 5 hours flight would turn me into a well done steak. Hmm…but actually, the one thing that I seldom scolded myself for came to my rescue. My inane ability to SLEEP. Anywhere, Anytime. So during the fifteen hours flight to the US…I was wide awake in the first hour…slightly drowsy by the second and post dinner, completely in slumber. Which lasted a good 10 hours :D. Well yeah, there were intermittent breaks coz of people wanting to move around and also since the first 2 hours of my sleep were uncomfortable due the position. But I remember being surprised and impressed by myself that I could so easily adjust and how comfortable the whole set up was for a nap (I told this to myself in the sleep!!)


I had good neighbours for company. Shirley on the right, some ol Indian uncle on the left. So whenever I wasn’t sleeping or checking the inflight entertainment, we’d talk (which u’d figure, wasn’t much!) But Shirley was a surprise. She was an American and was so courteous that I began to doubt her after a while! Nice lady. Uncle was also nice with his usual Indian style of conversation which begans with “What’s wrong with the world”. But he too helped me fill up the Customs form and am grateful to him for that.


So the DEL-EWR part of the journey was smooth. Infact, I noticed that turbulence doesn’t bother me if a Shahid Kapoor movie is playing :D. Cool. Umm..so though we departed an hour late, we arrived just in time at Newark at around 5 am local time. The Customs was a breeze. I checked in for the Guatemala flight and made some calls. (Note – Not the police guys in the airport, or the passengers or the security is aware how the phones in those booths work!!) I had to spend some time figuring it out…but chalo..calls made..I went about exploring the airport. I spotted McD’s and decided to give it a shot to see if there was any difference in the Indian and US service standards. Well, Yes. The coffee is much better, much creamier and same goes for the burgers. I sat there for 40 mins…just looking around and taking in the sights when I spotted Ben & Jerry’s. I totally cursed myself for not checking it out before the McD’s meal :-( …I wanted to try their “Ben & Jerry’s Belgium Dark Chocolate Ice cream” (wink wink) but was full and didn’t want an upset tummy on the trip  :-|


I passed time listening to some music and then boarded for the last leg of the journey. I wasn’t expecting a window seat and voila, didn’t get it either! Just kidding :D…I had a nice window view and again, touchwood Mashallah, a nice neighbour. This lady was American, worked as a nurse all her life and now was part of an organization which volunteered for social causes in Guatemala. We hit off pretty well…she showed me all the pictures of the work they do and must say, it was pretty impressive. For an hour or so, we discussed about her work in Antigua. And then we started discussing America and Indians. :D. She started on how seldom there’s any Univ topper who’s not an Asian or an Indian. How these kids are always acing their academics and learning languages and learning music and some more and some more! The American kids often get under pressure coz of the Asians. It was a good discussion wherein we discussed how the education system equals brilliance with straights A’s. She was from the school which believed that living a quality life was more important than being a topper in everything u did. So it was a typical “3 Idiots” kinda discussion. We then discussed about American way of life and the Indian. She also said how these days being American wasn’t so cool and everyone hated them. I told her how misplaced her thoughts were and she should pay a visit to India to learn how much we adore Amreekans. We talked about Indian rituals and American rituals and everything in between. And oh, by the way, she asked me if I had learnt English in the US coz I spoke it so well! Ahem. Francamente, even I was surprised at the compliment ;- ). Then I told her that in India, its normal for people to know 2-3 languages, English included and she went “Why am I not surprised!?” ;- ) .


Meanwhile the scenery outside was so breathtakingly beautiful! Esp the part when we crossed the Atlantic Ocean and entered Guatemala…it was like…velvety rich brown mountains on the left, blackish sand in the middle and pristine blue ocean to the right…wow! Sorry, no pictures captured as the cam was in the bag overhead and I didn’t want to miss these moments in scurrying for it and trying to capture the best angle. Sorry again.


The landing was another adventure. The journey was smooth so far but as we approached the Guatemala City airport, Judith (my neighbor) was already nervous. The plane started shaking (?) in all directions….I couldn’t figure out why coz there were no clouds…we were just 2-3K feet above the ground. We went right and then 180 deg to the left, up and down…it was like those horrible adventures rides I so hate. As we approached the runaway, the plane did some more disco moves and on landing, we all got pushed to the front due to the sudden halting or something…this lasted for some 15 seconds and trust me, Judith was in tears. As soon as the plane stopped, the passengers started clapping!! Reminded me of my watan (sigh, nostalgic already!). Infact, I used to think that we Indians are the only morons who stand up in the aisles as soon as the plane stops…but no Sir! The Americans do it, so do the Spanish and Guats. So it’s a social global phenomena. :D


We arrived 1.30 pm local time. The Customs at Guat was smooth too and I decided to test some of my Spanish. Err…welll…learning by yourself on the Net is so different from actually speaking it with those who have an accent! So the customs guy (CG) and me went like


CG : Bienvenidos (welcome)

Me : Gracias (thanks)

CG : something something in Spanish

Me:  Umm?

CG : *smiles* Espanol?

Me : Yo hablo espanol un poco (I speak spanish a little. This I had read on one of the cust rep’s badge and then added “the little” improvisation)

CG : Oh.

We both look at each other.

CG : It’s okay! You’ll like Guatemala!

Me : Muy bien. Mucho Gracias (that’s nice, thanks so much)


I scurry out and to my disappointment..I have to repeat the same sentence every where… “yo hablo espanol un poco” :- (. One of the guys at the baggage clearance asked me where I was from. “India”. “Oh India! We are so similar…we have so much in common!” he beamed. I smiled back thinking “Yeh, wish u spoke Hindi as well and then we’d be like 2 lost brothers separated at birth by the oceans!!”


The guy from the hotel was there, waiting for me. Roberto was his name. I tried impressing him with my Spanish…hehehehe…he liked it. You need some practice, Senora..you are doing fine, he said. :D. And yeh, he told me that I had a cheerful face and I smiled from my heart unlike most people who faked it. I gave him a big grin. :D


At the hotel, I checked in and called Glenda, a colleague from Philippines who was also putting up there. She came over, we chatted and ordered some lunch. Grilled Fish Fillet with stewed vegetables and Chicken Breast Salad. And we got Grilled Chicken Breast and Vegetable salad. The funniest part was when the waiter showed us the dishes, asked us with a beaming face on how nicely they were presented. We looked at each other…and were “Muy Bien! Me encata! Gracias!” (Very nice! I like it! Thanks!) Its another story that first the grilled chicken and coke arrived and they completely forgot about the salad. So we had to do this routine of “wow!” twice coz the poor waiter really wanted us to like the stuff.


All this while, we had the CNN on coz Chile was stuck with an earthquake and there was a Tsunami warning for Hawaii. The Americans recorded every inch of increase/decrease in the water level till both of us dozed off. Jennifer from the HR team here had called to check if I had arrived and wanted to go out..it was so sweet of her. We decided we’d go out at 6…and she called me at 6.30 to check if the plans were still on :P. Thanks to CNN, I was so deep in slumber, I told her we’d go around on Sunday. So let’s see…how that goes.


I’ve been at this article for almost an hour now…it’s 6.20 am here. I don’t have a net connection, so this might reach the blog later. Breakfast beckons. And I broke my specs… :- (. Thank god, I had spares.


All in all…its been good so far. Mashallah. Glenda and I would go apartment hopping sometime this week and might check out by fin de semana (this weekend).


Till then…Hasta Luego….!!











February 20, 2010


Step 4 done!!! Kick ass!!!

© Z.

I need this!

Please..I pray to the Almighty...let me not wander...let me not get tempted...let me not go astray...let me...please please let me finish Step 4 today... Jeez..I just have 3 hours to do that!!

 © Z.

February 17, 2010


Step 3 done!! Dhin chak dhin chak dhin dhin!!


This post is dedicated to Zareen Kazim.

Babes, I salute the way u manage to stay happy and spread cheers inspite of all the crap u face. I really pray God grants us all with such perseverance and blesses you with happiness and love that is clearly overdue.

You make me want to do stay happy and shrug away all the bad things in life!

*Standing Ovation* *Clap* *Clap* *Clap*

© Z.

February 15, 2010

Corp (Crap) Life

I caught up with a colleague from my previous business unit and as usual, gossip was in the air. Somethings never cease to surprise me. How being visible matters more than being efficient. How some business decisions are made just to appease to some big guy’s senses. How slogging your ass off is no guarantee for any acknowledgement, leave alone recognition. How for some people their positions and titles mean so much, that they are willing to be as mean as possible. How its easy to stab your peer in the back…and how hollow people can be.


What amazes me is…how difficult is it for people to be nice?? To simply acknowledge that someone did a good job…to be courteous. Why are people so secretive about their promotions and movements? Why cant an organization be confident enough to be transparent? Why do people hush about someone’s growth? Why doesn’t that person him/herself talk about it unless asked?


I used to think that maybe I wasn’t up to it…but now when I see a pattern emerging, I realize…I didn’t want to be part of something like this. It’s not me…it’s how they are. Insecure.


Jeez. I guess my latest stand on not taking my job seriously is right. Not the people, not the dynamics. Nothing’s worth it. And to measure one’s worth by depending on such a set is humiliating to self. Life cant be just this. Experiences cant be just this. Happiness definitely cant be this. Life outside work is no more a choice. It’s critical if you wanna survive and be sane.

February 11, 2010

Some day in Feb '10

Being by yourself can do weird things to your mind. Besides wondering what to do next, you find yourself often being sucked into the past. People, moments, thoughts, incidents. And if there's any particular song, which meant something back then on the playlist, then the roller coaster ride is guaranteed. It's like a pause in a life playing in fast forward. 

I am still stuck in Step 3. Being more than 2 weeks since I studied spanish. Tengo que aprender mas espanol pronto.

I wish I was paid a rupee everytime someone had "Give me some sunshine, give me some rain, give me another chance, I wanna grow up again" status messages! And invariably, they'd be a couple of folks who'll 'like' this status. What's wrong with people? Was their growing up so fucked up that they'd wanna do it again...or mebbe it was so awesome, that they'd live it again?!

When I think about my past...I am so fine with it. There's no part I wanna do again. I just want those people who were part of it then to be part of my life forever. I've been doing some serious reading lately...and atleast started on "Learn all religions" journey. It's so simple man...God made it so simple for us...and yet we choose to complicate things. But yeah...it's tough to be simple. To be honest and good.

I also learned something more in the last 2 months. How crisis can show a person's true colors. How much resentment and angst people keep within their hearts for years together. How those pent up feelings show up suddenly and wash away so much with them. They leave behind trails of feelings and relations destructed. But then, we humans have a wonderful attribute of forgiveness. All may then seem hunky dory...but its not. A broken mirror can never do away with the crack, no matter how well its fixed. It's all parked somewhere in the mind, to be brought up when the next opportune moment arrives.

I often try to forgive, though I seldom forget. That's a burden of a different kind.

Bah. That was one long blue post. I wanna go for a long walk now.

© Z.

January 25, 2010

Thus spake Rumi

My dear heart never think you are better than others. 
Listen to their sorrows with compassion. 
If you want peace, don't harbor bad thoughts do not gossip and don't teach what you do not know. 

© Z.

January 21, 2010

And so on..

Step 2 done.

Received the offer letter today. Sent the acceptance. Might fly by first week of Feb...hope that the fog clears out by then. Turbulence scares the s*** out of me.

© Z.

January 16, 2010

Music time

Hola! Step 1 over...I start Step 2 today. Yipee!

I decided to organize my huge music collection and while at it...I decided to create playlists. The first one to form, of course, was the romantic songs (Nikhil - stop wincing)

Here's the English collection of romantic songs. Not in any particular order...not even alphabetical:-

  1. I don't want to miss a thing - Aerosmith
  2. Aint no sunshine - Al Green (Notting Hill)
  3. You belong to me - Jason Wade (Shrek 1)
  4. I'd love you to want me - Lobo
  5. Love Story OST - Andy Williams
  6. All I want is you - U2
  7. My heart will go on - Celine Dion (of course! ;) )
  8. Endless Love - Lionel Richie & Diana Ross
  9. I will always love you - Whitney Houston
  10. Now and Forever - Richard Marx
  11. Stand by me - John Lennon
  12. When you say nothing at all - Ronan Keating
  13. I will be there for you - Bon Jovi
  14. Can't help falling in love - Richard Marx
  15. How deep is your love - The Bees Gees
  16. You're beautiful - James Blunt
  17. At Last - Etta James (it should be the last track...nicely wraps up the mood)
  18. Take my heart back - Jennifer Love Hewitt (If Only)
  19. All for love - Sting and Rod Stewart
  20. With or without you - U2
  21. Wonderful tonight - Eric Clapton
  22. I can't stop loving you - Phil Collins
  23. You sang to me - Marc Antony
  24. Iris - Goo Goo Dolls (City of Angels)
  25. Right here waiting - Richard Marx
  26. Your body is a wonderland - John Mayer
  27. Your song - Elton John
  28. Truly Madly Deeply - Savage Garden
  29. The Wind beneath my wings - Kenny Rogers
  30. I will - The Beatles
  31. Unchained melody - The Righteous Brothers
  32. Nothing's gonna change my love - Glenn Medeiros

    Not so sure if I'd want a hindi collection...simply coz they are sooooooo many of them that I like...it'll end up looking like a 'playdatabase' :))

    © Z.

    Yeh, whatever

    One of the reasons I made this blog private was...I really wanted to vent out a lot of stuff without fear. All the people who can read this are the ones who know what's on in my life.

    It's dark and cold. Just got off a call with my school pal. It's so important that as you grow old...you ought to have those people who knew you when you were young. 

    Anyways, the discussion veered around friends getting married, some becoming proud parents, to pestlike colleagues, personal lives et al. I do envy some of them for being happily married and settled down...and their posting gorgeous pics doesnt help either.

    To be honest, when I do ask myself, what do I envy them for...its for the certainty in their lives. From where I look, they have good jobs in good companies, have a good partner and a good family life. Atleast, that's what all those pictures suggest. I miss those in mine. Ok...I do have a good job in a good company...but it could've been better. Ok...am getting greedy here. I do have a good partner. I do have a good family. But I need a good partner AND a good family. I have the pieces of the puzzle...I dont have the complete picture.

    We next discussed religion. How warped our senses are coz we are too lazy to actually read and understand what the ancient wisdom implies. How undisciplined our lives (esp mine) are...I dont remember resolving to do something and doing it. Ok...consistently doing it. Short attention span is a not an excuse...its a disorder. 

    And well, life aint as fucked up as it sounds above...but...you get the drift? It's kinda empty...it lacks quality. I know once I get onto my new role...I wont have time to think on these lines and all this could just be a phase...but I'm sick and tired of phases. Esp when the phases recur for the same stuff. I so hate giving myself orders or motivational speeches. I dont like making resolutions. I dunno how many times I've told myself that...its time to do things.

    What things, though? Well...thats the whole issue. What I feel so strongly about now...2 days later, I'll be wondering why was I hyperventilating? I'm so random that its not funny.

    I shall hopefully finish Step 1 of my Spanish lessons today. 3 more steps to go.

    Hasta Luego.

    © Z.

    January 14, 2010

    Ekdum Lukkha

    It's break time...or rather bench time. I'm on bench!!! That's what an employee is when they have no work 'officially', right? 

    So cool. :D

    Well...nothing much is happening these days. I play weird games on Facebook, watch TV, learn some spanish, do some household chores and that's kinda about it. Day starts at 12 pm and ends at 12 am. I check mails intermittently, with the hope that the team from my next role will finish the paperwork and let me know when I can join them. 

    So here's to vella panti...cheers!

    © Z.

    January 08, 2010

    You need all the ingredients, sir

    Nicely put by Seth.

    It's increasingly common...this kind of thinking. Do your own stuff, be accountable, dont be the victim, be the change you want to be and so on.

    What gets me thinking is....if so many of us are thinking in this direction, why are so many of us still cribbing too? Thought is the first step towards action but many a times, it's just not enough. One also needs vision...the vision of how the changed state will be. One also needs reasons...reason why the change needs to happen. One also needs guts...to make the change happen. And above all...one needs conviction...that the change HAS to happen.

    So while someone's job may suck and thinks he deserves better....he'd need a lot more than that thought.

    © Z.

    January 05, 2010

    How Peculiar

    Most of the folks in HR function...when they start giving a speech or presentation, start at a very elementary level. You know....if they want to relate 2 concepts....2 very simple concepts....they'd invariably start with explaining both the concepts, no matter how simple or well understood these are already. They make sure everyone gets to hear from them anyway. And when they relate the concepts...they behave as if they discovered e=mc^2. Voila!!! And they also await the reaction from the audience....clap everyone!!!

    Come to the finance function. They'd first hate you for wasting their time in giving speeches to dumb audience. And they have a completely opposite approach. They'll start with e=mc^2, expect you to know how they derived it, sigh in disgust when you give a blank expression, explain the whole concept in the most dry manner and get done with it.

    Operations? They'd start with whining about why e=mc^2 had to exist and how many challenges they face daily due to it. They'd have charts and graphs on how they are overcoming these challenges and how's all in the world 'coz of them.

    IT is least bothered. They'd talk about how much upgrade is required, no matter what the equation is.

    And through all of this, HR will sit and think..."I did a damn good job...everyone now knows about the equation! I must include this in my appraisal!"


    © Z.