Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Tomaranu Kokoro

I don't know what set off the chain of conversation that I had with a friend today morning. Perhaps it was sleep deprivation, perhaps it was the steaming cup of cappuccino that I had just completed, perhaps it was a culmination of thoughts that had been lingering around in my head the last couple of days. Whatever it was, it was good.

I was on my way to Ramanagar (again) and was sitting in the privileged rear seat of the car when all of a sudden from nowhere ideas started floating around in my head and I just knew that I had to tell somebody about it. So, I shot off a SMS to a very close friend, and the following is a transcript of the SMSes that went back and forth:

Me: I've realised something. I can either choose to live a very ordinary, mundane existence; or else, I can push the envelope each day and go all out for a high achievement life. The idea is to pursue glory, to pursue greatness. And in that if I fail, at least I've tried to achieve the impossible, whereby I would have achieved much more than in a humdrum, mundane existence.

Friend: First one is a good option.

Me: First one is a good option; I've been living it the last two and a half decades. And guess what, I'm not too happy with the results. I am now in a state of mind where I want to improve by leaps and bounds each day. And that would require pushing myself to challenge the limits of my mind (and body) every single day.

Friend: Have you realised... you ought to slow down your thought process. :-)

Me: I don't want to slow down my thought process. No disrespect, but I want to firmly believe that we intentionally slow down our thought processes, which is unnatural. The Japanese have a saying - "tomaranu kokoro". It means "the mind which knows no stopping". Why should we humans unnaturally stem that flow of thought? Why shouldn't we be as dynamic as the river which flows and gushes and brings the fertile soil of ideas to the land around itself?

Friend: I blame it all on sleep deprivation... It makes people cranky. :P

Me: It makes me edgy, and I seem to thrive on it. ;)

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Book week

I was fortunate enough to find time-out during the last week to go visit the Landmark store at Forum mall.

For the record, I think Landmark @ Forum Bangalore rocks! In my opinion, it is better than the Landmark at Calcutta (now renamed as Starmark stores). Again, Landmark is my favorite book shop in Calcutta when it comes to locating a book, otherwise it is the Crossword book-store on Elgin Road which I regularly haunt. Two reasons for going to Crossword:

a) I find the ambience at Crossword more pleasant than that at Landmark. It just seems to be the place where you can plonk yourself down on a comfortable sofa/bean bag and read a book.

b) It is just a 10 minute walk from my house.

Anyway, back to the book-hunting expedition that I launched into when I was at the Forum Landmark. I had planned on buying only one book, but then the excitement of buying a new book got to me and I ended up buying three. To add to my joy, I went to Landmark again yesterday and bought another book. Here is the list:

1. Antony & Cleopatra - Colleen McCullough
2. Bombay Tiger - Kamala Markandaya
3. The Best of Saki
4. On Self Knowledge - J. Krishnamurti

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

The Samurai Entrepreneur

While reading my current book, "Fighting to Win: Samurai Techniques for your Work and Life" by David Rogers, I came across the following extract:

"Naoshige (1537-1619), leader of the powerful Nabeshima clan, told his army of twelve thousand samurai: "When things are done leisurely, seven out of ten turn out poorly. A warrior is one who does things fast."

It reminded me of a quote by Sam Pitroda:

"An entrepreneur is one who has a sense of urgency even when there is no emergency."

PS1: I had read Mr. Pitroda's quote in a book titled 'Business Mantras' by Gita Piramal. The book is a compilation of quotes from Indian Business greats such as Dhirubhai Ambani, Aditya Birla, Rahul Bajaj, Ratan Tata, Sumantra Ghoshal etc.

PS2: Have not been reading regularly at all. Let's hope this book (Samurai Techniques) brings me back to my old ways.

Egg-ing it

The most complex meal that I've ever cooked for myself is Maggi. Yesterday, I decided to get a little more adventurous. And mind you, I've never ever prepared boiled eggs for myself.

Here's the story in pics:

The two boiled eggs that I made on my electric stove (which I later found out were only semi-boiled)

Taking the shell off the first egg was a bit of a hassle

The second one wasn't such a big issue

Voila!! Lunch... Maggi with egg. :)

~Sighs~ The joys of a blissful bachelor life.

Now playing: 01.Welcome-Shaan, Wajid & Soumya Rao
via FoxyTunes

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Sunday's guided tour

I was wondering how to put into words the wonderful evening that I had on the Sunday that just went by. For starters, the lunch was great (simply cooked rice, dal and potatoes...yumm!). Later, made a new friend and we formed an impromptu brotherhood... err... the 'Brotherhood of Deepika Padukone Fans'. And the evening was spent roaming the streets of 'namma Bengaluru'.

But, Motee put it best on her blog here. Read it to get a glimpse into the magical evening.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Where in the world?

Where in the world is Shekhar? No, not a reference to the classic computer game, but a very genuine question a few people were asking when I took a break from blogging a month ago.

To bring everybody up to date with events in life, I'm now in Bangalore. Work is challenging and I'm enjoying the independence and responsibility that comes with living alone. Kinda like what my friend Ridhi was saying here:
You need to come out of that comfort zone and then see what life has to offer to you. And believe me it's not easy. It's not easy to come back home to an empty house after a long day at work; it's not easy to come home and wonder what to do for dinner; it's not easy to survive on McD/Pizza Hut for 6 months; it's not easy to learn cooking right from scratch... it's not easy to spend the weekend doing odd jobs like washing your clothes, going grocery shopping etc.
And as for work, yes I'm pretty proud of the fact that towns in Karnataka which were little more than tongue-twisters for me a fortnight ago are places where I today have developed business contacts all on my own and have kicked off the negotiation processes. Trust me, it's a great high when you know that the odds are stacked against you, your superiors do not expect much out of you since, hey, "you're only a management trainee and you also do not know the local dialect" and yet you manage to take long, positive strides towards your ultimate objective.

Okay. Enough of blowing my own trumpet.

Let me just leave you with a pic that I took from my mobile-phone when I was at a place called Ramanagara, which is 42 km south-west of Bangalore. Movie enthusiasts would immediately point out that this is the same place where David Lean's 'A Passage to India' was shot. Hindi movie fans, however, are more likely to point out that this was the place where Ramesh Sippy created magic when he shot 'Sholay'.