2nd April, 2011 brought few of the best “I was there moments” of our lives!
I was there when:
- GOD carried the world cup in the victory run in Wankhede Stadium!!
- Dhoni hit the most memorable six of our lives.
- India celebrated Diwali in April.
- We witnessed Indian skipper calm and composed when the whole nation was tensed.
- Indian Tigers proved themselves the best cricket them in the world!!
Communication is independent of language and humans are not an exception; though I didn’t understand most of what the kids said (read I don’t know Kannada, the only language they speak), the smile on their faces communicated it all!
The visit to one of the Akshara Foundation funded schools this Friday was more challenging from my previous visits for we were only 3 and none of us knew Kannada.
All earlier CSR events I attended had at least 15-20 volunteers and a couple of them knew the local language. As soon as we entered the classroom, we realized that we didn’t know how to get started; the kids too seemed hesitant seeing unfamiliar faces. Not that we were unprepared for this kind of situation, chocolates we carried came to the rescue and we decided that whoever introduced himself/herself or performed something would get a chocolate. It worked well as an ice breaking exercise and the kids became so comfortable after initial half an hour that they actually danced on a Hindi song (for the records, they didn’t speak hindi)!
We wanted to involve all the kids in non academic and fun activities because books accompanied them all other times anyways. The group consisted of all kinds of children, few were very enthusiastic about everything and a couple of them were not so extrovert. We recited poems, rhymes, names of days and months etc. and they were really good at it! Kids did very well in the group activities but we also wanted to see how did they fare in individual assignments. We were told that (by the class caretaker) that they couldn’t draw things on their own but they could color them which triggered our next activity of having fun with colors! We drew some figures in their books which they had to color; to motivate everyone about the activity, it was announced that whoever did it well or faster will get his/her pic clicked. The announcement got them excited and now they associated coloring with the privilege of getting themselves captured in the camera which ensured full participation(this might not be a big deal for most of us but the kids were really fond of it.) Everyone had his/her own color preference and it was fun to see blue elephant, green water and several other creative combinations. Clap Clap
During the activities I realized why do they say some people have innate oratorical skills or someone is a born leader. There were many takeaways for us and I hope kids also learnt many things besides having fun! We realized how contagious a smile can be, reiterated that happiness is a function of inner feeling & confidence and is not much influenced by external factors, and had great fun. The overall experience was enlightening and I always find it good to share my experiences and skills with kids so they can make informed decisions about their future which eventually relates to nation’s progress and well-being of humankind.
P.S. Click here to access more pics!
Those 12 months, of the year 2010, have been special and unforgettable for zillions of reasons; primarily because I was into situations that I always wanted to handle earlier in life such as dreading dilemmas, difficult decisions, weird choices etc. I learnt that the scores of books which I read since childhood weren’t just ink spilled pieces of paper, they had deeper meaning.
In 2010, I also:
- Met stupendous people with infectious thoughts.
- Learnt that we control our lives through our actions
or their absence.
- Realized that the most important lessons I learnt in college were “how to make friends” and “how to survive cultural shock.”
Less philosophical events such as keeping the new year resolution and getting a bike was no less joyous either! It wasn’t all romantic though; I made mistakes
(there is a long list which can’t be put here), learnt things the tougher way, and procrastinated something important.
As we let go 2010 to enter into a new decade, all the digits of which is my date of birth (1.1.11), new hopes emerge signifying a lot to be done on our part. For this new year I would still like to make mistakes (new ones though, repeating the old ones doesn’t sound wise) and try to have more control over procrastination.
Hoping to continue the good deeds and chuck not so good ones, let’s welcome the year 2011!!
I’ve been hearing a lot about the latest laptops with Intel i7 processors, they really seem to be very fast and efficient; I am impressed for sure! But the million dollar question is whether a person who uses computer for simple stuff such as surfing net (including blogging, visiting social networking sites, tweeting and all those fascinating stuff), reading documents, making presentations and checking mails etc. needs such a processing power.
Cut-to 6 years back when having a laptop was a privilege and no one felt that more than 256 MB RAM was required for efficiently using day-to-day applications; My laptop had 1.4 GHz celeron processor and I could install oracle on it. I couldn’t have asked for anything more and the fact that the laptop didn’t give any trouble and even after using so recklessly made me fall in love with it! I am still using it and I don’t plan to get a new one unless I am sure that I need to do something that is not possible with the configuration mentioned above.
For those geeks who believe that they need the latest and the most powerful processors to show off or for whatever weird reason, my colleagues invented the term “Enterprise Laptop.” though I was not present at the enlightening moment but I heard them credit this to a customer who wanted everything to be done with a single really powerful system. My colleagues were like, “take the enterprise laptop and install SAP, it will be portable as well!”
If you are planning to buy a laptop then first think about the utility, which among the zillion features that would be used, number of simultaneous applications and various softwares to be used because though those compelling, powerful and more efficient processors are worth the price tag they have, they are not worth if you can manage the show with lower configuration; proud owners of i7 who think that they have the most powerful laptop on earth would not be so elated as soon as something better comes which is not going to take too long considering the exponential technological advancement. Even i7 would be obsolete some day.
After answering the million dollar question (you know the answer by now), I did think about things that can not be done on my outdated laptop:
- Can not install Windows vista: I don’t care, that’s a flop product anyways.
- Can not install Windows 7: I don’t want that since I am a fan of Linux and I already have the latest version of Kubuntu.
- Can’t install latest version of Oracle: We got servers.
- Can’t play games: ah.. I’d rather like to surf net or blog.
If your work is not restricted by the above limitations then choose to spend your money over the new laptop wisely!
K: Hi Sir, We have a call for DCH with the target of 146.
I: What’s the current price?
I: Is it an intra day or delivery?
K: Delivery, we’re expecting it to go to 146 by Monday.
If I go by my stock broker, in theory, I’ll double my money every 3 months. One fine day I asked him what does his portfolio look like and he was shocked as if I asked about his extra-marital affairs! “I don’t have a portfolio sir, I just advise people based on research;” he hesitatingly replied. Eureka! Eureka! I just discovered why my money was not growing. Not that I rely on him for stock advise or blindly follow whatever he says but it’s good to have, as IT world puts it, an SME (Subject Matter Expert) and I believe if someone doesn’t have his own portfolio, he shouldn’t be allowed to give any advise; just like if we want to join a gym to become fit then the gym instructor should already be fit. It’s all about credibility!!
Have you ever gone to a grocery shop looking for a book? No, because that’s not the correct place. Likewise we need to be aware of where to find reliable advise or correct information. I recently met a person who believed he could talk about financial literacy. Upon asking which all books he was familiar with and would recommend for financial literacy, he said: “we don’t really need a book, that’s not important.” I proceeded to ask whether he attended seminars or lectures about finance and got disappointed again. You are no good, I said to myself, I’ve at least read a few books on that topic and I don’t call myself a financial adviser.
This is so common in our daily lives that more often than not we take suggestions or advise from wrong people, who claim to be experts, and end up in trouble. The other day I was talking about risk taking and the its pros and the other guy was dumbstruck; he never took risk in his life and believed only in security and all those good stuff he had learnt since ever. So next time when you require an advise or information or a tip, think about the credibility of the source because that can make all the difference. Not talking to a poor guy on how to make money is pretty much common sense.
I like the way Zig Ziglar puts it, “If you want to lose weight, go to a skinny doctor!”
Whoever said “money can’t buy happiness”, must have either misunderstood or didn’t know about the causal relationship. Whether money buys happiness or not it doesn’t buy unhappiness for sure! We must have heard various prejudices since childhood such as “Money isn’t everything or Many poor people are happy and rich are not.” Let’s not be myopic and take a look at the other side of the coin; there are as many rich people who are happy as there are poor and vice-versa. Having said this, it can be safely concluded that happiness doesn’t have to do only with riches otherwise we could find a pattern among so-called happy people of the world.
I hear people say that they don’t want money rather they are looking for happiness. Awww… what’s wrong with the preceding statement? (any GMAT guy around?) It assumes that people can choose either money or happiness but not both which is unlike the way it works in real life. Now if we have 2 options and we are free to choose either 1 or both of them then what we choose depends upon our mindset and various other social influences; Sheena Iyengar would definitely agree to this.
The fact that we can choose both money and happiness is, more often than not, ignored; I believe this is mostly because of the lack of understanding that money is just a symbol of exchange that tends to make life easier. If Joseph Murphy were to comment on this, he’d say there is no virtue in poverty and it’s a disease like any other mental disease. Choose money as a part of balanced life which includes happiness and peace of mind.
Linus Torvalds’ fans might say, “Talk is cheap, show us the proof.” Well a worldwide survey of more than 136,000 people in 132 countries that included questions about happiness and income revealed that life satisfaction certainly does rise with income; also a recent research by National Academy of Sciences says people’s emotional well-being — happiness — increases along with their income up to about $75,000!
There is little wisdom in the old saying cut your coat according to your clothes. The new world would like to get more cloth to have a bigger coat!!
Thought of a change is perhaps more scary than the change itself but avoiding change is no wisdom either! When I was wary of the recent changes of the life, Spencer Johnson’s words, that he sold years ago, flashed through my mind (The Quicker You Let Go Of Old Cheese, The Sooner You Can Enjoy New Cheese) which made things a lot easier. When I read one of the best books about changes a decade back, I had no idea it will pitch in at a later point of time like this; I don’t remember anything about the Hem and Haw story now but the central idea of adapting to the changes continues to be Life’s panacea. I decided to move on believing that everything will work out okay, things look good so far!
Changes gives virtue and fortitude to endure adversities and lets us find ourselves. It allows to see things from different perspective thus giving meaning to life; there is no point avoiding life’s one of the greatest tools of wisdom by sticking to the comfort zone because there is no comfort zone in reality. Comfort is a state of mind and the earlier we understand the fact, the better we enjoy the changes! It expand the horizons as well, being at one place makes us think about life in a definite pattern; once we move on, we see the other side of the coin. Having said all this, have you ever thought whether changes or options presented to us are random or they follow a pattern? My friend, trying to be politically correct, said: “Most of the times it depends on the what we chose previously and the way we reacted to changes in past but they can be random as well.” Whatever may be the case, we can not opt for a change looking at good or bad, profit or loss because of the very fact that everything is relative. Many a times I’ve been reprimanded for not picking the option that made more logical sense but I was happy to follow my intuition.
So next time when a change knocks the doors, think of it as an opportunity to move to a different chapter in life’s book and enjoy the progress!