Sunday, 16 October 2016

The Martian

We were out for a family dinner and I always look forward to these dinners. It's great time to hang out with the entire family, chit-chat, loads of fun and some intelligent interesting conversations too.

What was interesting that night was “The Martian “

We entered the hotel and as we took the stairs to the restaurant I caught a glimpse of “The Martian” running on the HUGE TV… yes it was HUGE, in the lobby. And it all started the entire time from there to the table the topic was “The Martian “.

I will definitely suggest anyone to everyone to watch this movie. Though “The Martian “ is a sci-fi but if you look at it hard it is much more than that.

“The Martian “ is being directed by Ridley Scott, based on Andy Weir's 2011 novel The Martian. Well till date I haven't read the book but as per the movie it revolves around how one astronaut is left behind at Mars, how he survives and is being rescued back to earth.

Going by the same most people may let it pass if they are not interested in sci-fi but actually it is about life. The way I see it I found it very motivating. It actually is like documenting what we read in many self -help books.

The movie shows the main protagonist’s struggle to stay active and motivated alone on a planet with no communication, no contact, not even any faintest idea whether people know he is alive or not.

The main points that I grab from “The Martian” are -

It says it loud and clear that despite all odds one needs to keep going on never quit .

Self motivation is the biggest of all.

Study hard, because knowledge and learning help at every stage of your life.

Importance of team, one person can perform to his own strengths but he needs a strong team to carry forward. A team can pull up one at his worst and brings everyone at the same level.

A Leader has to take the initiative and exemplify.

The movie is gripping if you like sci-fi, but as I say just look at it closer and it may win anyone's heart.

And here are few of my favourite dialogues --

“Do your math"

“Everyday I go outside because I can"

“In your face.................. " go watch "The Martian" for this one ;)

* Image source the web.

Friday, 30 September 2016

10 Quotes I am drooling over...

I don't know if it's abundance of self - help quotes around or the advent of social media or what one wants. These days my phone, my laptop is full of collection of Quotes. I have several pictures worth drooling for saved on almost all the devices and I can't stop collecting them.

There are so many nice quotes. The best thing is they touch a chord. It's like someone writing out what your are thinking. Though the list is endless but here I want to share 10 quotes I am currently drooling over, do share yours

Your sexiest body part is your mind.

Dress like you own a private jet, because one day you just might.

Divas don't do drama, we do business.

The smarter you get the lesser you speak.

Work until your idols become your rivals

My goal isn't to wear brands, it is to become one.

तुम मुझे भूल भी जाओ तो ये हक़ है तुमको मेरी बात और है मैंने तो मोहब्बत की है

जब बेवज़ह कोई इल्ज़ाम लग जाए तो क्या कीजिये...हुज़ूर फिर यूँ कीजिये कि वो गुनाह कर लीजिये।

या तो हमें मुक़म्मल चालाकियाँ सिखा़ईं जाएँ, या मासूमों की अलग बस्तियाँ बसाईं जाएँ..

थोड़ा *सुकून* भी ढुँढिए जनाब...!ये *जरूरते* तो कभी *खत्म* न होगी...!!

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Thursday, 29 September 2016

Will you remember....this September

I will for sure.

September 2016 is going to be called the online learning month in the story of my life. There's a lot of knowledge online, many sites,  many courses, many teachings but for me it was online community learning.

I cannot thank blogchatter, and my stars to have found them, enough. They always come up with ways and means to keep moving ahead crossing level after level.

Last year it was a chance happening that I saw a tweet about blogbuddy and thought to be part of it. The blogbuddy program was already on roll and I was asked to wait for maybe next season.  But “kisi cheez ko dil se chaho toh puri kayanat tumhe usse milane ki koshish karti hai “ and a last minute dropout made way for me.

It's not even a year yet and I have so many things to count on….
-The blogbuddy program, being part of two seasons, two different groups, two different sets and two different kind of experiences I was exposed to.
-The January blogathan - I tried to participate in for all 30 days but did on few and got to try various genres.
-The April A2Z blogging Challenge - am proud to say, a first timer and a survivor . All 30 posts through on a theme - Memoirs
-Halfmarathon - My experimental struggle
-Personal Branding
-Blogging strategy
-Alexa campaign

This September was dedicated to Alexa campaign. From knowing nothing about Alexa to taking part in the campaign to see what happens next to actually crossing the line. I don't know how it happened but it sure did :)

The last 30 days brought my Alexa rank from  1,64,91,507 on Sept 1st 2016 to 699,351 on Sept 30th 2016. The blogging tip was real simple and practical given trying out work- life, personal -life and blog- life balance sticking to two posts a week and reading,  commenting and sharing for the community. Along came many many learnings viz
Working on a personal strategy
Working with data
Using various social media tools
Google Analytics

Now when I sit and think I feel what a big loss had it been if I hadn't sign up for it. So September 2016 learning online month :) :) and LOVE again never to be forgotten.

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Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Teacher's Day #MyFriendAlexa

It's teacher's day again and I don't like to say I have seen many but truth is I have. Every year I don't expect anything yet yearn for at least something.

This year too I was thinking the same, when as usual there were few students who came with cake, some with cookies,  some had actually been preparing skit and so we had a good competition to cheer on. Overall again this day was good fun for me. But amidst all this I never expected I'll be surprised.
It was not a heart felt letter or a huge bouquet but a handmade card that made my day.

This student was himself a teacher and now wanted to better himself. When I first met him I never thought he'll join. And he didn't joined instantly but took his time and joined about 2 months later. He is very humble and sincere but I never expected such a gesture at his age. I don't know if it was coming from him that surprised me more or the sheer simplicity of the card. The card is actually made out of a recycled sheet. Many may have avoided the thought itself as who-cares-attitude but he didn't deter.

This card touched my soul. It actually reinstated two beliefs for me -

--Perceptions /first impressions never do justice.

--No matter what anyone thinks you have to do your thing.

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Tuesday, 27 September 2016

The leap..... #MyFriendAlexa

Meetings, meetings and meetings, what a jam packed day with back to back meetings. I didn't even get a chance to take a sip and my throat is aching now. I am a no makeup girl and though I work in corporate set up tieing my hair and putting up a light lipstick is all power dressing for me. Most days when I wash my hair, I don't even comb. But this next meeting made me check myself in the mirror and I had to rush to the ladies room. I don't know what I should do before such meeting,  I think my dress and hair are in place, should use a face wipe, some deodarant and a hint of lip balm would do. All set, let's go!!

As I opened the door to leave I could hear some sulking. Yes I did hear it right, someone was crying in the washroom. 
"Hello,  Hi, darling come out. What happened??"

I was trying to remember all the girls in my office, more so trying to remember whom did I not see while on my way here. Oh! If I am correct it's Sheena, the strong, go-to girl from the cards department. At the same time she did open the door for me. She was crying hard by now, my asking did that damn! I am getting so insensitive.

"Hi Sheena, are you ok?? What happened? Can I help you with something?"

She was getting sober slowly. She had always been a performer and had been leading a team since past 2 years now. Today when her boss lashed out on phone she just couldn't take it and broke down. I tried to console her but to no avail. Finally she yelled at me irritated and said "He fired me."

OMG!! That was the last thing I expected. Sheena was fired not because of her under-performance but because the company was going through a bad phase and was retrenching to cut costs. Sheena, for them was getting unaffordable. She was among the high-payers and with her equally strong performing team the management thought to lay her off.

She was been given a month's notice to find a new job. I tried to tell her to be positive and look at the brighter side. She need not tell anyone she is being laid off and get to find a job, maybe better than this one. She can even negotiate based on current stats and it would work out the best. I knew it seemed all gyaan from me as I was not in her shoes.

"I know Sheena, you think I don't understand but you know sometimes, when we resist to move out of our comfort zone we need an external push to reach where it's meant for us. Tell me, what do you think of my job?"

"Your job is great. You are doing good infact I always believed you have that spark and the various feats you achieve, the accolades you get are far lesser than you deserve."

"Thanks dear and I believe that apart.. You know this has always been true for me, even with my old job. You know I was working with a local firm and was happy there and my parents used to say that I am not utilising all of my capabilities. I used to just laugh it off. I knew I was doing a lot for my company and they didn't acknowledge but it barely mattered to me. 
        Then one day I got into an argument with my boss as he informed about something very trivial and it was not one of my first arguments with him. But somehow, somewhere it hit a chord and in that moment I applied to a few places for job. The very next day I got a call for interview here. I was the first one to interview that day and found it good but was unsure as there were 20 or so other people too. But look I got selected and got a 100% hike"
    "On a casual chat with my previous boss after my resignation he asked me when did I apply here as he always knew, everyone including me knew, I was happy there and when I told him about that day, I still remember the silence between us to date."

And the look in Sheena's eyes told me she knew what she was going to do next.

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Sunday, 18 September 2016

Those were the days....Part 4

Another dawn and this sunshine don’t mean a brighter day for me. I was called for an interview 4 days back and today have to leave without one. I guess destiny has something else planed. I shouldn’t have unpacked at first; packing back is really not exciting. I have to keep some cash handy, need to give some to the caretaker and cook of the circuit house. Oh good! the caretaker is already in my room, he must have been anticipating me to have left sooner. With one hand I was taking out cash to hand him and what I see is he is ready to give me something. It’s a letter!! I finally get an invite to see the bureaucrat.

I never expected this and was been packing recklessly. It’s difficult to find an ironed shirt now. I rushed towards the caretaker again and asked him to iron one of my best shirts as I had the interview in an hour. Too happy with the recently acquired wad of cash he readily took my shirt and rushed downstairs. It didn’t took me long to get dressed and out of the circuit house, I knew I had to meet him at his bungalow.

As I reached the bungalow, the watchman called and asked the residents whether I was called and thankfully the answer was affirmative. The compound had a pebbled path towards the house and a lawn on my left and huge Deodar trees lined my right. The lawn was in impeccable condition, well cut grass, and beautiful plants bearing flowers – roses of several kinds and a few tulips and lilies. The water that I heard that night was coming from a small fountain, flowing to a swimming pool with a good pool side bar setting and a tennis court.

The bungalow is even more majestic from inside. After crossing the veranda there is this huge Hall with plane walls but intricately painted ceiling. The ceiling was bearing a story with an equally detailed chandelier in the middle. There were three sets of sofas in the hall and there on one of the sofas sat Mr. Rao. This bureaucrat doesn’t seem less than a king neither in money nor in his looks. Tall, princely face, a well built body, must be an athlete for most of his life. As we got talking I found him very polite and amicable. He is a charming person and one can easily get fond of him. We chatted about Shimla, Lucknow, Law, politics, my family and I didn’t know when and how amidst all I was selected.

He asked his assistant to show me my desk and the general know-how that I need to have to get started from tomorrow. So on the day I was leaving Shimla I got my JOB.

There was a smile on my face and no matter how much I thought to conceal the same I couldn’t. After a while as I was moving out of the bungalow towards circuit house to get prepared for tomorrow I saw that girl from the jungle playing tennis. She just waved a casual HI to me and that was the first day I realised the existence of GOD among mortals.


“Madam, madam, get up madam, it’s time for your medicines.” – said the nurse bringing me back from the adventure of my life.

P.S. This is part 4 of a 4 part story.

People who have read all the four parts , please your feedback is utmost important.

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Sunday, 11 September 2016

Those were the days...Part 3

These are dense jungles but I can clearly see a man sitting under the tree by the lake. I don’t know if I am deep inside the jungle. Damn! Should have never got off the horse and now I can’t find him, how am I going to go home. Will he attack me?? Is he alone or there are others too?? Let me get a bit close and look at him.


The hustle, yes I did hear it and now there is nothing. Was it just my mind or really a wild boar? The wild animals take their time to make the attack. They never miss their kill in haste. The sound came from the left just at the start of the lake. Even my peering hard is not helping in this full moon night. I need to get up and take charge or else I may never be able to make out of this jungle alive and my new employer is already least concerned about me.


The moment I made a move he got up. Oh God! This man is already taking charge. You don’t know me mister I am no timid city girl, I can take care of myself. Enough of hiding behind the trees girl! Let’s show him he has tough competition.

“Hey you, don’t even think of coming close to me. Where are your other gang members, they are still hiding? Since when are you following me? You think I am alone, no I am not. I am here with my horse and my dogs. They are wilder than any animal and will tear you apart. You better just stay there and let me go back home. “


The moment I took charge and started towards the animal a voice shook me. That’s not an animal, it’s a girl. I can’t see her face but yes she is a tall, slender girl and she is saying ......what....she thinks I am a goon? This is what I made of myself, coming here. Superb!

“Listen lady, I am no goon, there is no one else hiding around and I am not following you. Don’t be scared or angry and don’t unleash your dogs on me. You can leave as you came and let me be.”


Oh! There was a very peculiar calm in his voice. He sounds like an educated man. On a closer look, he looks suave – tall, robust, clean-shaved, well-dressed.

“Hi, I mean no harm, actually there are no dogs and my horse is on his own grazing somewhere. I just said all that in case you are a goon, but you don’t look like one. This is my first time in this jungle. Do you come here often?”

“Hi, that’s OK. I am actually from Lucknow and came here two days back. This is my first visit to the jungle too and maybe last.”

“Last?? Why would you say that? Isn’t it beautiful?? I was always drawn to this place and now that I have seen it, I can never ever get over it.”

“Madam, I have a strong feeling we are from different backgrounds. I am a common guy and for me visiting jungles and contemplating is a leisure which one gets by chance. Besides I am not here on leisure I am here all the way from home to work. And if I don’t get to work I don’t think I can sustain myself here for long. I need to get going and find work.”

“Work? What work? Where are you working? Tell me maybe I can help if you have a bad boss.”

“Bad boss? (Laughs at himself)

My boss, I mean the person who called me to interview for a job has already forgotten me. I am waiting for a call since the past two days and he hasn’t responded. I think I should just go back now and start finding a new job.”

“Who is this boss of yours?? Tell me maybe me or my father might know him and we may help”

“Thank you madam but I just know his name. He is a bureaucrat Mr. Rao. I know there are many bureaucrats at this time of the year in Shimla with this conference around. Anyway I hope I didn’t scare you a lot. I can see your horse there; it’s time we both should get going.”

“Yes, right. I am sorry to misunderstand you. All the best for your future, may you get all that you deserve.”

P.S. This is part 3 of a 4 part story.

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