Thursday, April 24, 2014

Photos: Flowers in Victoria Embankment Gardens

After a wet winter and thankfully a no-snow winter, it is good to see spring arriving. On second thoughts, it is always good to see spring. Doesn't spring signify a new beginning which we all fail to kick off despite wishing so?

Last weekend was a mixed bag affair. Saturday was sunny while Sunday was wet. On Saturday, I was able to visit the Victoria Embankment garden in London and shoot this picture.

Picture Courtesy:
Please visit the page of Photokkaran. Don't forget to "Like" the page if you enjoy the pictures.

Tags: Photos


Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Pappettan defines what we do at work

If you are wondering who Pappettan is, click on this link and find out.

What do you do? Have you been asked this simple question? How did you react to it? Did you turn vocal embarking into non-stop verbal tirade? Were you at a loss of words struggling for the right words? It is an easy question for some while it is the most difficult one for others. It has nothing to do with how much you love what you do. It has got all to do your doubt in the other person's ability to comprehend your job and your responsibilities.

Last week, I was with Pappettan when a boisterous young man stopped in his tracks when this simple question was fired by Pappettan. The young man was tipsy with the copious amounts of alcohol and was cracking jokes after jokes enlivening the group when Pappettan fired the first shot.

Pappettan: *smiling* What do you do?

Boisterous Young Man(BYM): *smile vanishes and looks for the right words* Err..Hmmm..

Pappettan: *smiling and listening with patience*

BYM: *searching for words unsuccessfully*  I do a lot of... things.

Pappettan: *still smiling*

BYM: *looks back at Pappettan, pleading to stop this torture*

Pappettan: You could answer it this way.

All of us are looking at Pappettan now.

Pappettan: You could say. *pauses for an eternity* I do as little as possible for as much as I can get paid.

Tags: Pappettan Says,Work


Friday, April 4, 2014

A, AA, a dad and weird spellings

Tell me how do you pronounce A. Then tell me how do pronounce AA. Isn't there a difference between these two? I would pronounce AA as if I am responding after someone pinched me hard. A bit like aaaargh but ending a bit softer. That is how differentiate between A and AA.

My young friend name when written has AA in it but it is said as if there is only one A. It is my habit that I can't keep quiet. Nor can I stop myself from writing about it! So I ended up asking him.

Me: *cheerfully* So, what is the story?

Young Friend: *perplexed* What story?

Me: Your name has AA. But it is said as if there is only A! What is the story behind it?

Young Friend: *disinterested* Ask my dad!

Me: *shocked* Your dad? Why? *also thinking if I have to go to India to get this mystery solved!*

Young Friend: It should have A. But my dad put it as AA.

Me: Why?

Young Friend: *smiles* Numerology.

What can I say about dads? They scar us our lives!


Tuesday, April 1, 2014

God's house(s) in Wembley

I visited an area of Wembley near the Wembley Central underground station over the weekend. The visit was a result of occasional religious pangs I experience. It purely religious and not spiritual for spiritual should come from deep within instead of stemming from a fear of god. I am driven more by fear of god. Wembley Central has three temples to offer a spiritual/religious seeker. It also multitude of Indian restaurants and microcosm of Indian, Pakistan and probably Bangladesh. Even if your roots are from this area of the world, it is still overwhelming.

In order to ensure I will not subjected to this sudden pain in the future, I went to all three temples. But what finally captured my attention was another phenomenon. Cleanliness is a major part of any religious house. You can't wear your shoes into the house of god. This is strictly followed across religions. It is the same case here. In India, there is another thing to look for. The kind of businesses in the near proximity of the house of god. For instance, you will not find a bar within a certain distance. It is ironic since you can find people visiting temple and then ending up in one. It does make sense to have these nearby thereby reducing the travel time. But then life itself is strange. Who am I to question?

At Wembley, I found a meat shop right next to the temple. Somehow it stuck odd to me as I don't recollect such a sight in India. I am pretty sure such a thing would have bothered everyone back at home. Over here in London, it doesn't matter to anyone. I wonder why?

Tags: Musings,Religion,Spiritual,God


Friday, March 28, 2014

How to sign off a heated discussion?

Have you been in meetings which quickly descended into a screaming match? I have been in several of such meetings. One of the things professional life teaches you is not to take things too hard on you. You don't let these things affect you a lot. Recently, I was part of an interesting teleconference and learnt a new technique on how to sign off a heated discussion.

There were two colleagues the teleconference besides me. During the call, the first colleague explained what are the checks and activities needed to be performed. This irked the second colleague . My second colleague thought the majority of checks and activities had already been completed and the first colleague had not prepared well for the meeting. This was how the screaming match started.

After some time, the first colleague declared, "This is not going anywhere. I am logging off the call". My second colleague refused to stop and continued hurling veiled insults. This irritated my first colleague further. Suddenly I heard a beep, signalling exit of my first colleague. I was embarrassed not knowing what to do next when I heard my second colleague saying, "By the way, thanks a lot for joining the call and your inputs".

Tags: Musings,Discussion,Colleague


Thursday, March 27, 2014

Sharing is caring but you can't share everything...

Sharing is caring. But there are things in life which cannot be shared. The tricky part of this predicament is how you convey the underlying message. The message is not pleasant. Imagine you have to look into the eye of the other person and tell him you are not going to share it, whatever "it" might be. It is not easy to say "No", no matter what how cold hearted you think you are!

Last week, I was a silent spectator to a deal my friend was orchestrating. The deal was interesting where my friend came up with a very attractive proposition in terms of value delivered with respect to schedule, cost and functionality. As a result of his meticulous planning, my friend had a detailed work breakdown structure prepared in an excel sheet along with the efforts required to complete the various tasks.

During the meeting while talking about price, the persons sitting opposite him was sceptical about the price. They were not ready to believe my friend could pull this off at the given schedule in the given price. To win the critics over, my friend opened up the work breakdown structure and explained the rationale. Now, every one was convinced about my friend's capability. But there was a strange request from the opposite side. "Can you share this sheet with us?".

As soon as this question was spoken, both the sides went quiet. My friend and gang went silent because these details, if shared, might end up in the hands of his competitors. The opposite went silent because if my friend didn't say no, they have got a gold mine. I knew the answer before my friend spoke. So, I was curious to how he will frame the answer.

My friend started, "We will be happy to...". On hearing this, I winced. My friend was going to give away the critical piece of information. Then it dawned on me. He started the sentence in a positive note. But what he ended up saying was a "No" in a positive way. He actually said, "We will be happy to keep this file with us". He took me a few moments to figure it out. Once I figured out the meaning, I had trouble keeping the smile off my face.

As for you, here is the take away. There is always a way to say things in a positive way.

Tags: Musings,Sharing,Deal


Saturday, March 22, 2014

Photos: Powering the steam engine

This image was captured at Hollycombe Steam Collection.

Picture Courtesy:
Please visit the page of Photokkaran. Don't forget to "Like" the page if you enjoy the pictures.

Tags: Photos


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