Posted in m@dness

All in a day’s work

I have always been proud of the fact that I am very good at adapting to situations. I still am, I mean. Like when 2011 happened or 2015 or that time when I was jobless and sitting at home looking up at the ceiling or now when I am balancing a full time job and parenthood. I have adapted quite well!  SO while at home, I’d hate it if someone bugged me from work or ate into my home time. At work, I like being a workaholic! Staying immersed in it and completing task after task gives me a strange sense of achievement and peace. Not that I love every tiny bit of it, but I feel good that I am delivering value. I don’t know what people really mean when they say that one should love the work one does, because there is nothing that one can consistently love or hate. I love some parts of the work I do, I hate  some others. What motivates me is the hope that the value I am adding at my end would create a difference in the chain ahead. After all, at the end of the day, I must feel worthy of what I earn; and in the instances I feel that, I think I love my work, too.

It is the same thing while doing stuff at home. I have to put in my heart and soul into what I am doing. Be it cooking, cleaning or any of those home errands. Oh and these days I have a puppy and my baby and then the husband too. Its like managing 3 offices in different locations while constantly keeping track of what each other is doing! This is one area where I know I am contributing directly to the lives of 2 humans and a dog! What bliss!I earn the love of each of these beings in return and we all know, love is what makes the world go around.

On puritan grounds there is nothing like complete job satisfaction. The satisfaction comes, when we are able to do justice with the skill set we possess or think that we possess. I love writing, but then I do not want to do arbitrary writing on topics I like. I want to do things more powerful than just expressing my thoughts, I want people to find value in what I write, be it personal or technical.  With time I have realised that writing is not the thing my soul really longs for (Thats not the excuse for not blogging often. I am lazy!), it is about using the words to get people’s attention and focus. And the moment I bring this perspective into my work, I find my work very significant; and automatically my focus and dedication towards it increases. I so hope the boss isn’t reading because he is going to question the work I submit to him!

I remember a quote about contentment that said that contentment is about enjoying what you have right now. It has actually very less to do what you want in future. Knowing yourself is the beginning of all understandings and accepting your value is the key. Of course, accepting yourself is not as easy as it sounds. It is very important to know yourself and be comfortable in your skin to really be better. Pretense helps no one, neither does believing that we are better or worse than other people. But whom am I teaching? As the age old adage, charity begins from home.

working-mom

Posted in Gelf News, m@dness

Back Again!

Yeah, I am back here. So? If you are thinking why this time? My answer is, well, this is my space and my will when ever I come, when ever I write. Lol.. With the first line, I guess by now you all must have made out, that mads is back!

There have been things in my life that transformed me into a complete different person. I did sulk and crib. I Might have showed it to some people and might not have to many. And I have moved on. I am looking forward to a new beginning. And this time, I am sure I am not at any cost, going to settle for something sub standard.

 All this while, when I was not me, I’ve discovered some aspects of myself I’ve never known before. The vulnerable me. The strength I thought I possessed was put to an endless test, and it helped me to move. As they say, life is all about moving on. After this phase, I am not just a new me, but someone totally different. And its nicer to grow up.
 
So I’ll let you off with a few things…and then get back to regular blogging 🙂
…I have a job now. And I am actually happy about it. I thought HR was my thing but I realised, I liked it only because it was the easy way out. So here I am, doing marketing! These few months taught me that the easy way just doesnt pay off like the hard ones do.Till last year, I have been taking the easy way out always and so this new me is going to take the road that has the bumps and turns 🙂 Life has to be exciting, right!?
… I miss Cochin every single day.
…Joeey, Div, Deeps, Naani, Su, Chech, I love you guys a zillion times.
Div gave birth  to Faith!
…I learnt that money is important too 🙂
…” If you do, I do, If you dont then I wont” Should this be the attitude towards people we care for?Should tit for tat be the policy? Or should our love and care be unconditional always despite the indifferent attitude of the other person? If they value what we feel for them why dont they show it? Not related to my life at present. This was for somebody I used to know! And also please dont think this post is about you! It is abt no body in particular. This is something I’ve always wanted to be clear about in my head. I am sure everyone faces this dilemma every time the people they care about turn cold towards them (reasons may vary- mood swings, new friends etc) My policy by far has been I always tend to be very patient with the person till he/she cools down. I give them the right and liberty to vent out their frustration at me because if friends wont listen and understand who else will? Most of the times I take the shit. I hardly react.Now I will. You hurt me, I will hurt you!
…Ro, I am falling prey..to your mesmerizing ways:)
…Keep your ego aside in relationships. Talk it out! It works all the time.
…Save money. Really. I used to sulk and hate Das for taking  a chunk of my salary and putting it into a savings account. Left with no job and a financial crunch that I didnt ever dream of, that savings really helped! Trust me ladies, you dont want to walk with your head bent, around a huge mall with “75% SALE” written all over the place and shed a tear because you cant even afford a cheap sandal! And guys, you dont want your wives to go through that right?!
…The only people you need in your lives are the ones who have proven that they need you in theirs!
…I love blogging at work!
…Its Thursday and its weekend!!!
…Dubai is not the Capital of the Emirates! Its Abu Dhabi!
…Being careful is a good thing. Dont let it lead you to PARANOIA!
Thats it! Bye for now!!! I will be back soon 🙂 I promise!
Posted in close to heart

Ramblings-6

3 days in the hospital can give you perspective. Especially when you are in excruciating pain! Infections are like sleeping monsters. You can’t see them, you can’t feel them. But you must do everything in your power to contain them. Because when the monsters wake up, they’re out of control.All that time you spent convincing yourself the sleeping monster wasn’t real, it was gathering strength. The infection was spreading.

They hit you out of nowhere. When bad things come, they come suddenly, without warning. We rarely get to see the catastrophe coming, no matter how well we try to prepare for it.We do our very best, but sometimes it’s just not good enough. We take medicines for the smallest twitch,buckle our seatbelts, wear a helmet, we protect ourselves from bad weather and rain, we try to be safe. We try so hard to protect ourselves, but it doesn’t make a damn bit of difference. Cause when the bad things come, they come out of nowhere. The bad things come suddenly, with no warning.

But we forget that sometimes that’s how the good things come too 🙂

Posted in m@dness

Ramblings-4

I am not as smart as I think I am. I took a test a while ago just to make me realise such harsh truths. Made mistakes, passed though. With flying colours too 😛 But I had created the test, so the flying colours don’t count, the mistakes do. Yes, I made mistakes in a test that I had designed. One day I may even get lost in my own house. (Does “my own” deserve a red marker?) I think I have reached my pinnacle of stupidity (or feeling stupid, at least this way I can say that I am a woman and what I feel may or may not be correct) but I dont regret it. Not now, not ever.

And with this, I welcome a month of madness at work. Madder than before, if that says anything.

I had been waiting for this day for sometime now and today its all falling into place. After 2 years of pushing myself to work everyday and grumbling and moaning, I finally decided to take a break. Getting married is the excuse alright but well god knows its not entirely true. So this month, till 14th June, is going to be madness at its best.

Here’s wishing me good luck 😉

P.S- I think its really ok to show some madness sometimes. It gives you perspective.

Posted in Interesting Reads

Finding the Job of your life- An HBR Blogpost

Let’s face it. We all think about it. At times we think of little else — even if only rarely and in certain settings do we feel free to admit it. The conversation often begins furtively, the question murmured as if slightly shameful or out of place. How can I get more of it at work?

Meaning, that is.

Meaning at work, in work, from work. Despite work even. Meaningful work. However you put it, we crave meaning more than ever.

It may be because we are freer. If we’re fed up of soulless work we are told to take charge of our career, find our vision and carve our own path. But what if we can’t see clearly? What if a path that looks promising actually leads nowhere?

It may be because we are too focused or not focused enough. We feel stuck on a narrow path and we wonder what lies beyond it. Or we hop between jobs without commitment or a clear direction.

It may be because we are more exposed. Courses, networking events and social media may not open so many doors but they provide plenty of windows — into a myriad of new neighbors’ lawns whose grass often looks greener. Take Facebook. Everyone has fulfilling lives there. Their colleagues are helpful and fun, their partners attractive and caring, their travels exotic and food delicious. Their glasses are full. Children always smile and never have tantrums.

Someone always seems to be pulling it off. Whatever ‘it’ is. So why aren’t we?

The more we reach for meaning, the more elusive it becomes. Interrogating its nature, what it may look and feel like, makes it more mysterious. Thinking about meaning only deepens our longing.

When you look at it that way, meaning is like love.

Yearning for either turns some into poets and drives the rest of us on a quest to experience it.

But when it comes to love, most grown-ups realize what that quest will take.

We long ago gave up the fantasy that a Prince or Princess Charming will show up one day to sweep us off our feet. We know that finding love takes more than hopeful waiting. It takes building a relationship with somebody to share love with.

Love, the sentiment, is a consequence of having found our somebody. It begins when our desire for love morphs into desire for a person . In fact, when we are in love we may not even think much about our desire for love. We’re too busy doing what lovers do — holding hands, writing letters, promising, being consumed and scared and comforted, raising children, fighting, making up, making out, having a laugh.

When it comes to meaning, however, many grown-ups still believe in a version of the handsome prince and perky princess.

We call them “dream job” or “fulfilling life” and imagine them to be out there — at the other end of the marshes of torment, waiting for us to wade through a forest of doubts. Ready to understand us perfectly and delight us ever after.

That very belief keeps us confused and stuck.

Meaning, like love, is a consequence. Not a destination. It is the sentiment we experience, usually in passing, when we’re engaged with activities, people, or purposes that keep us busy and make us feel alive. It is not the big warm light at the end of the tunnel. It is the tiny LED that signals “life is ON.”

If meaning is what we seek, then, the best we can do is to find something so engaging that we stop thinking of meaning. How? The same way most of us go about finding our somebody when we are looking for love.

Yes, fantasizing, getting advice, and taking to the Internet are all well and good. But sooner or later you have to play the awkward, exciting, unpredictable game.

Dating.

In her landmark study of career transitions, Herminia Ibarra echoes the psychoanalyst Adam Phillips’ view that flirtation — a form of experimentation suspended between imagination and commitment — is the royal road to explore potential interests and discover who we are, not only when it comes to romance.

On a first date you rarely ask yourself, “Is he or she the one?” Ok, maybe you do, and you might be able to tell if someone isn’t. But you are more likely to wonder, “Is this going any further?” or more precisely, whether and how you would like it to. The latter question is far more useful, for three reasons.

It is (more) answerable. It is impossible to know in advance if a job you are considering will be meaningful. You can tell if it is attractive, which does not hurt — but this offers little real guidance. It is possible, however, to sense from a project, an internship or even just a meal with potential colleagues if that attractive job may be worth pursuing further.

It reveals what you want (and what you are prepared to give). Considering a concrete option, as opposed to a fantasy, puts your expectations to the test of reality. If you went further, what might you have to invest, rearrange, give up? What would you want and fear? How much work are you prepared to put in to make it work?

It exposes you (or makes you withdraw). It is impossible to love and learn without making ourselves vulnerable. To rejection, hurt, disillusionment or exploitation. To surprise, affection, understanding and transformation. Dating won’t help you assess those risks and opportunities accurately, let alone prevent them, but it gives you a chance to entertain them and maybe take the plunge.

Any job, like any relationship, brings out some parts of yourself and demands that you put others aside. At best, they free you to express more of who you want to be. At worst, they make you feel unsafe. When flirting with a job, you may feel freed up or want to shut down. That is a sign of how the job may change you.

There are as many kinds of meaning as there are kinds of love. Claiming and liberating us at the same time, both elicit the full range of feelings that come with being alive. Our “meaning lives” are as complex and messy as our “love lives.” Both can be frustrating at times and gratifying at others. In fact, it is the possibility of experiencing a broad range of feelings, in relation to someone or something that matters, that makes them meaningful.

A meaningful job has boring moments, scary moments, angry moments. It is not a flat line of unvarying personal fulfillment. Nothing is great if it is monotone. There is no job of your life out there, waiting to be found

Posted in m@dness

What experience taught

“Time it was, and what a time it was, it was
A time of innocence, a time of confidences
Long ago, it must be, I have a photograph
Preserve your memories; They’re all that’s left you”

 I miss my academic life(school and college) all of a sudden. Some weird withdrawal syndrome or something. I miss the people (even those I hated and laughed about and didn’t really know), I miss the teachers (okay, that is just a lie in the guise of sentiment) and I miss the stupid staircase I had to climb up 4 floors of every morning (the biggest lie of them all).
2011 and 2012 have taught me a lot about people and the rules that apply in relationships.And those two years and my experience of 25 years have taught me,

# That succumbing to peer pressure is just not worth the hassle, short term, and definitely not long term. No, you don’t need to be the jet setting, party going alcoholic,you’ll still live if you don’t have high-top Converse shoes, and it’s okay to not be able to afford a 90 bucks coffee every day.

#I realized that the friendships I am most secure about today are those that have endured distance, prolonged silences, insane fights and simple, but long-standing misunderstandings. Sometimes just a text-message, or an old insider joke is enough to dissolve all differences. But you should be ready to put in a lot of heart into each friendship. Every person counts. Specially, in that inner circle.

#There are people I am more than happy to have out of my system, now that the academic(junior-age) life and all the associated drama is over. Me being me, I look for a happy ending to all stories, but now, I also know that it is statistically impossible for me to please every person. And vice versa. I’ve made my peace with this fact. I’m happy in my space, and wish them happiness in theirs. Period.

# I feel extremely lucky that I’ve met people who can tell me I’m fat, judgmental, stubborn, bitchy, a midget, stupid and childish. I call them my best friends. 🙂

#First impressions, surprisingly are sometimes,the most accurate impressions. You may know someone for the longest time, yet never really know them. I learned the not-so-nice way that people can disappoint, irritate, provoke and disgust you to the point of no return. And that my first instinct on meeting them was “Stay Awaaaaaay!”. And to add to it, listen to other people’s opinions too. Hundred people cannot be wrong about someone’s character and personality, you could be the one having the wrong impression.

#Sometimes, it’s okay not to listen to the “friendly” advice given to you. In fact, that goes for most times. Credit yourself with more brains, than to mindlessly give in to others’ opinions of you. Just a few times in life, listen to your heart, yourself. IF things do go wrong , atleast you will know who your real friends are when they come and offer you their support inspite of you not taking their advice!

# I learnt that people cannot be in each other’s lives forever. Do not ever depend on someone else to keep you happy. In life, we will lose out on a lot of people to death, to money, to misunderstandings, to ego and to fate. You need to remind yourself that, everyday. The only thing you need to do to have a happy life is to do something that makes you smile from your heart, everyday. Everyday.

#Stories aren’t coins. Of course, there are more than two sides to every story. Every person’s unique way of spinning it, with their own dramatization and exaggerations. That may make you cry when you’re in the middle of it sitting confused, but will also make you laugh at your blindness later. Rumors and gossip are only fun for a little while, that too when they’re aimed at someone else. You forget you’re hurting someone with your acerbic laughter.So do not spread unwanted information.

#I realized how genuinely happy I sometimes am, when people beat all odds and fight to get what they want. Other times, I’m just shocked out of my chair and wish “Goddamnit, if he/she could do it, why not me?” Just being honest. 😛

#The measure of a person’s personality is the manner in which he/she treats people lower than him in status and higher than him in experience and age. It shows just how egoistic the person is. And believe me, ego is dangerous.

#Having muscles, or money, or word-power, does not give you the right to think you are better than the next person or the right to treat someone as shit or the right to take them for a ride. It’s high time to get off that high pedestal you think you deserve. The role could change anytime!!!

#Look around. Listen more. Learn from little things. Take time for yourself. Whenever possible, spend time with infants and toddlers, orphans and abandoned elders. They can teach you what it takes to be a nice human being. Patience, Innocence, Humility, optimism and perseverance.

#Travel as much as you can. Short or long, just travel. It gives you insight. It gives you experiences that could help you take life changing decisions. How, you  may ask. Its simple, the more you see, the more you know and the more you know, the more you understand.

# When in doubt if you’ll make it through this roller coaster journey called life, take inspiration from the Hogwarts school song-

“Just do your best, we’ll do the rest,
And learn until our brains all rot.”

Bridges have been burned, pages have been turned.

Lessons have been learned. 🙂

Posted in m@dness

I have a job, too.

So I have a job, too. I’ve had it for the last three years and 6 months. It would be fair to say that it really is nothing like I expected it would be. I love that line. It is so loaded. It could be the statement of an HR fresher who has been lucky enough to find her niche in the World of Work in the first attempt, or it could be the gripe of a disillusioned HR Professional who finds that the World of Work has placed her in its very dregs.

Don’t worry, I’m somewhere in between. I’m not likely to die of too much happiness or become an embittered, cantankerous old lady who lives with a parrot with a charming disposition anytime soon.

I work at a manufacturing firm that makes seasonings and food ingredients. A pretty huge firm with about 135 permanent staff and 100 casuals, I am proud when I say that I am the sole HR who takes care of all the issues. Right from sourcing to exit interviews of all of them is taken care by me. So when you come to think of it, its a dream job for all HR professionals. You can learn everything and have a first hand shot at every aspect in HR. But thats that. When you work for a family business, you have a lot of limitations.

Anyhow, I’ve learned some valuable lessons during my not so long career. One is that mindblocks are very pesky things, and they have lousy timing. Secondly, levels of ignorance are bound to be higher once you step out of your hallowed college campus, so that shouldn’t surprise you. Third, most people will not understand your need to talk aloud to yourself or have fun with ur friends at work, and they will react by smiling indulgently and giving you their best “She’s SUCH A Child” look. Next, people say some shockingly inappropriate and offensive things sometimes. When you simmer down, you’ll realize that the bloke has a daughter, who shall grow up someday. And then you smile slowly, sure in the knowledge that life will teach him. Finally, you will sorely miss the time when your friends were the people that you spent most of your days with. Understanding, empathy, love and friendship are very, very precious things. And if you’re lucky enough to actually find a friend in your workplace, go break a coconut in a temple or something. Most people bring only one part of themselves to their workplace, and that is not really enough sustenance for a friendship. It’s good enough for a few laughs and general niceness, but not really friendship.

Oh and if you are an unmarried girl of marriageable age, a gazillion people will ask, in tones of utmost concern.”Why don’t you get married?”. After the fifty-eth time, you’ll smarten up, stop explaining, plaster your best wise-grandma smile and say,”Because I don’t feel like”(and say”Because I am scared that I’lll turn into something like you” on your mind.)

I like parts of my job. I like that I have a few good friends. I like that I can present ideas to the boss,even though he thinks it is bull shit and rarely heeds my advice. I like that there’s a room where I can read the newspaper everyday after lunch. I like the fact that tea is free. What I don’t like is the amount of  nagging that takes place here. I hate the narrow mindedness almost everyone seems to posses here.I don’t like the profusion of gender offensive cursing, and the lack of awareness about the offensiveness of it. I don’t like the recycling of old ideas. I don’t like that people just detest change in any form.

But inspite of all this, I’m very, very lucky that I actually get to do what I’m good at, and have my work taken seriously. Sometimes….Rarely.