Friday, December 07, 2007

Kindness and the nice people..

The comment on this post on a blog that I frequent went so long, that I decided to have a post of it on my blog as well.
there's still some kindness left in this world! I take this chance to pray for those strangers who have been nice to me when least expected. I do not remember all of them nor do I remember all the times, when I came across such nice people. I pray to God to shower them with happiness, nevertheless. During my college vacations, I had joined some computer classes. At times, I used to walk almost 5 km to home from my computer classes. Besides, sometimes I would get a rick right frm the start or half way. This one time, it was a hot and sunny day and I was very thirsty. I kept telling myself that home was just a few steps away and I could make to it. i kept looking around to catch sight of a rick which could take me home faster. It was the afternoon and kids from the school were coming out. If I were in luck, some auto-rickshaw filled with such kids would stop by and to earn a few bucks drive me to atleast a few feet away from home, if not to the home. But that was the day, when my lucky star didn't shine on me and a few auto rickshaw that stopped were either not going that way or were asking too much fare. Some even refused to budge from their parking. My thought was running dry and I was licking my lips every few
seconds to keep them wet. It was then I saw these two young girls, almost my age with a small kid in a school uniform. One of the girls had his bag and a bottle in hand. Obviously, they all were heading back to home after fetching him from school. They were walking just a few steps in front of me. I kept walking and eyeing the bottle. I couldnt help but keep looking at it. Obviously, they were going home and whatever little water was left was of no use to them. After walking for a few minutes with that tempting water bottle infront of me, I finally approached them and asked them to pity me. They looked at each other, obviously baffled at my intrusion (or my daring!?!) and then said that the bottle was empty. They offered me to go home with them instead and drink as much water as I like. There home was just at the corner and as I was very thirsty and they looked nice, I went along with them. Believe me, water never had tasted so sweet! And they were such nice people. They not only offered me water fresh from well but a freshly squeezed lemonade too, inspite of my denials. I do not remember their names, nor do I remember their faces now, but I pray to Almighty to bless them with happiness wherever they are!!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Of queues and waits!

Things like this freak me out. and what freaks me out more is when I am not able to give it back to the person concerned! Seriously, sometimes I feel that the poor image that we Indians carry is very right and it's us and nobody else to be blamed for it. We want people to respect us and not to treat us like a piece of crap but do not work towards it! And to top it all most us ruin the hard work others put in to improve our image!!

Okay where is all this going?? What am I rambling about?

It is this particular incident earlier in the evening that is still troubling me. I usually check our mailbox in the evenings when I go downstairs to take my daughter for her walk. It works for me as our mail guy comes at about two o'clock in the afternoon and ours being a very huge apartment complex, it takes like almost an hour for him to put in all the mails. So, I club the evening strolls with the mail-picking. Besides, the time I go works if we have any package waiting at the customer desk, I can pick it up without having to wait until the next day. Now, this evening was very lovely and a perfect one to take my little baby out without having to worry about wrapping her up or of her catching any cold. Past two weeks, and last week particularly, were very cold and we had missed our evening strolls. I did not want to miss this chance of going out and enjoy the weather and let a little bit of fresh air in our lungs. So, put my baby in the stroller and set out for our walk. As a routine, I checked our mailbox and found a note that there was a package for us. There was something I had ordered for my baby and was expecting it to have arrived today. As the desk was open and I did not want to wait one more day, I took the note and went to collect the package. The associate was not at the desk (I had just seen her going to the storage with another resident), so I played with my baby while I waited for her to come back. A couple of minutes passed by and there came these two young men with their office bags and all, went past me and stood at the desk, some distance away from me (The customer service desk in our apartments is a wide one). I was about to ask them if they were waiting for B(our associate, a very nice lady) when my daughter dropped my cell phone with which she was playing. I was distracted and that was when B came in and attended them. As i waited for her to finish, I thought I would tell them that I was in the queue first and they should have waited for their turn. What gave them the impression that I was not?? Why else would I be standing at the customer service desk?? They should at least have the courtesy of asking me whether I was waiting for B! They didn't even look at me and went past behind me and stood at the desk just two steps away from me!! Now what sort of a queue is that?

Such instances make me compare ourselves with the well-mannered people out here. I have been in such waits earlier and believe me, the non-Indians have always stood behind me or at least have the courtesy to ask me if I was in the queue. Such actions compel you to follow as they are always good learnings and it doesn't hurt to give people their due, especially when theirs nothing that you are losing here. As a matter of fact, I feel you are gaining respect and dignity for yourself and being a good person over all. What kind of a professional you are when you do not even have the patience or the courtesy to ask?

And I am angry with myself on letting these people go.. and this is something i do very often. just let people go.. i have to work on this thing. .not only for me but for my chinipie's sake. I do not want her to be taken advantage of.. she should be able to voice herself.. loud and clear! And who else would teach this to her if not me?

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Save our planet Earth!

I have grown up in a very environment friendly home, where both my parents and my brothers did every bit that they could to save the precious resources on this earth. From our childhood, we were strictly told to switch off the lights after using the bathroom, during the day, when not in the room; check all lights and and fans are off before leaving the house; switch off the refrigerator if going for a long vacation; do not keep the tap running when not in use. All this, even when we were staying in the company provided house where electricity and water was almost free! We could have splurged the electricity and water like it was our resource but our parents made sure that we learn to conserve and they did this not by preaching but practicing and setting an example before us.

To this day, my dad prefers to either bike or walk down to all the places where he can. I distinctly remember, how impressed with this news, almost one and a half decades back, where they showed that the people in China bicycling to their offices to control the pollution and to keep healthy. The videos of people in their business suits and ties on their bikes was a very inspiring sight. When dad had started going to the office on a bicycle, we had opposed him. His reason- to stay fit, to preserve petrol and to save the cost of petrol. Our reason- people made fun of an officer coming on a bicycle. Fools we were! Worrying about some people who were not even enlightened enough and who are concerned with only showing off their positions, ranks and money. We had branded him as 'KP'(kanjoos papa) then, but even if he was saving some pennies, it was to provide us the best education and the best upbringing! but in our teens we were then, and were rebellious to everything and as I said earlier, were fools, indeed!

Even then, even we did things which we thought were right and went along with the conservation of resources, probably inspired by our lessons in social sciences and the advertisements on Doordarshan. Remember, those ads where a little girl, with sleepy eyes, is brushing her teeth with the tap running in the basin and as soon as she puts the brush below the tap, it stops. And that ad, where a person stops his car to talk to this dad and daughter duo, and has kept the engine running, when the daughter politely asks him to switch it off. Yeah, those ads had made a deep impact on our young and impressionable minds and we did whatever we could. My brothers, used to switch off their bike engines at red signal. We had started re-using the plastic bags, taking either the cloth bags or used plastic ones to the grocery stores. Even the milk bags were collected and later sent to be recycled instead of being thrown in the bins. We started following our mom and used water in a mug whenever we could instead of using the running water. My mom always had and still has this habit of washing vegetables by filling water in a large container. Running water is consumed more, she says. The water in the container is then used to water the plants or stored in the buckets to flush away the toilets. A very novel way of reusing the water, isn't it? Even for washing dals and rice, she would never throw away the strained water, instead she would keep storing it in a container near by, and re-using it in a similar fashion as above. She would never keep the water running while washing the dishes or the clothes. She would open the tap only when required, the remainder of the time it was kept closed. We took up this habit from her and saved as much water as we could. Our rough work was mostly done on the notebooks made from the pages remaining from the previous years' exercise books which were later replaced by the discarded blue and white computer papers from dad's office. At a certain point of time, we even re-used the envelopes to conserve the paper and wood. This was inspired by some do-it-yourself series on the television. All we needed to do, was open the folds of the used envelope and re-glue it on the reverse side.

I do not know when and how I stopped following all that was, in a way, imbibed in me. The other day while I was cleaning the dishes and putting them in the dishwasher, I suddenly thought how much water I was wasting and made a promise to myself to start using the resources judiciously. This post inspired me to put in some more thought to re-start doing my bit to keep the earth green!

Here's my green list. Some of these, I already follow and some I intend to, starting from now!
Btw, where's yours?

1. Turn off the taps while brushing teeth, cleaning dishes or any other chores that I can think of. It takes less than a second to turn it off and on again, whenever required.
2. Turn off the laptop, when not on desk. (I have this habit of leaving it on as I always want to return to whatever I was working on. I would be back in 5 min is what I think, which extends to an hour to 5 hours at times, before I realise that I should turn it off!)
This rule applies to all electronic items.
3. Use fans, instead of air conditioner, as much as possible. Wear the lightest cotton clothing in summers and let your skin and yourself breathe in the fresh air too!
4. Switch off the lights during the day. Try using the sunlight, you would realise how much it helps!
5. Switch off the lights after using the washrooms (even the public ones, if possible).
6. Switch off the lights before getting out of the rooms (even the office conference rooms, meeting rooms and cubicles also apply)
7. Dispose the waste in the bins, especially in the reservation areas.
8. Sort the waste, like, biological waste, recyclable plastic and paper. Find the local recycling collecting bins in your area and dispose the recyclable waste there.
9. Try to re-use old papers as much as possible. Do not print, if you can read some stuff online or you can borrow the paper version from somebody. Use recycled paper, if possible.
10. Avoid using plastics as much as possible. Again, the rule of reduce, reuse and recycle applies here.
11. Avoid use and throw products. You are only adding to the waste.
12. Avoid CFC products like sprays.
13. Avoid buying products made by killing animals and cutting down forests. Better still, buy recycled products.
14. Avoid processed and canned foods.
15. Do not microwave plastics.
16. Do not use non-stick pans.
17. Use rechargeable batteries.
18. Use warm water instead of hot. Think how much you are saving this way!
19. Use clothes with natural fibers, like cotton and wool.
20. Do not wear your outdoor shoes inside the house. This reduces dust-bound pollutants.
21. Avoid using driers if you can hang the clothes in the sun to dry.
22. Try using the alternate energy options, like solar heaters, solar lamps, etc.
23. Use fluorescent lighting.
24. Avoid taking cars whenever you can. Try walking, bicycling, carpooling, taking public buses or trains instead.
25. Plant trees!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

The List

Here's the list of books which I am hoping to read before the year ends. Am making the list so that when I try to think what should I read next I will have an easy option to choose from.

1. A Short History of Nearly Everything (Bill Bryson)- eccentric stories behind the greatest scientific minds

2. Death and the Penguin (Andrey Kurkov)- a satire

3. The World is Flat (Thomas Friedman) - analysis of globalization

4. Snapshots from Hell (Peter Robinson) - a book written by a Stanford Business School Gradaute based on his experience in the first year of the MBA programme

5. The Dilbert Principle (Scott Adams) - a satire on the middle management

6. The Goal (Eliyahu M. Goldratt) - for the theory of constraints on Systems Management

7. Liar's Poker (Michael Lewis) - the author's experiences as a bond salesman on Wall Street

8. Den of Thieves (James Stewart) - the trading scandals of the Wall Street financiers

9. The Great Indian Novel (Shashi Tharoor) - the story of Mahabharata reset in the Indian Independence

10. India - From Midnight to Millenium (Shashi Tharoor) - covers India from Independence to millenium

Friday, July 20, 2007

..only if

Groom: You will offer me food and be helpful in every way. I will cherish you and provide for the welfare and happiness of you and our children.
Bride: I am responsible for the home, and take charge of all household responsibilities.

Groom: Together we will protect our house and children.
Bride: I will be by your side, and be your courage and strength. I will rejoice in your happiness. In return, you will love me alone.

Groom: May we grow wealthy and prosperous, strive for the education of our children. May our children live long.
Bride: I will love only you for the rest of my life, as you are my husband. Every other man in my life will come second to you. I vow to remain chaste.

Groom: You have brought sacredness into my life, and have completed me. May we be blessed with noble, obedient children. May our children live long. Bride: I will shower you will happiness, from head to toe. I will strive to please you in every way that I can.

Groom: You are my best friend, and staunchest well-wisher. You have come into my life, and have enriched it. God bless you.
Bride: I promise to love and cherish you for as long as I love. Your happiness is my happiness, and your sorrow is my sorrow. I will trust and honour you, and will strive to fulfill all your wishes.

Groom: May you be filled with joy and peace.
Bride: I will always be by your side.

Groom: We are now husband and wife, and are one. You are mine and I am yours for all time.
Bride: As God is witness, I am now your wife. We will love, honour and cherish each other forever.

Groom: I (name), take you (name) for my lawful wife, to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, until death do us part.

Bride: I (name), take you (name) for my lawful husband, to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, until death do us part.

So Beautiful ! filled with depth and meaning!

...Only if they see marriage in the light of these vows and not just as a flashy affair where they flaunt their dresses and jewelery.

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