Wednesday, December 23, 2009


I just finished reading ‘The Professional’ by Mr.Subroto Bagchi. Must say it’s an amazing book and I loved it. No words to describe how wonderful the reading has been. Mr Bagchi differentiates between a professionally qualified and a professional person. Though these two terms seems almost the same, they are actually poles apart. A professionally qualified person is one who has the necessary degrees and skills needed for a particular job. He may or may not have the right attitude and other qualities that make up a true professional, like integrity, professional honesty, ethics, timeliness and right sense of dressing, to name a few.

Also, a true professional may or may not be having formal qualifications required for a particular profession. That means these are basically two separate things. Mr. Bagchi has given a few relevant examples, his own experiences, to make the reader understand the thin line of distinction between the two terms. Here, I’ll too share four such experiences (two for good and bad each).

1) Once I was traveling to Delhi via Railways. When I reached Delhi, I called a coolie. As we came out of the railway station, I offered him the pre-decided amount. He remained silent and asked me where exactly my car was parked. He then unloaded the stuff near the rear of my car and said ‘ab poora kaam hua hai’ (now the job has been fully done) and then only took the amount.

2) I once went to a clothing retail chain called Globus. After browsing a bit I selected a black knee length dress. I found it beautiful and classy thus selected it in an impulse. That day I was in a bit hurry so I didn’t try it for the actual fitting. Suddenly a salesman came forward and asked me to try that dress, but I declined and proceeded to pay. He again requested me and tried to show the fitting and size. He told me that the dress was of a smaller size and that the next size was not available that time, and requested me to pick it up after three days. That salesman, whether professionally qualified or not, was a true professional.

And on the other hand, there is no dearth of unprofessional people who are highly qualified.

1) Once a guest faculty from a highly reputed management institute was invited to give us lectures. She was supposed to take a session of 10 lectures and we were asked to do a small study of the sales promotion schemes (after third or fourth lecture only) across the various retail stores. My team and other teams like us, tried our best. We roamed through the markets in hot summers to collect the data, applied our analysis gyan, compiled the results and finally submitted the reports. Three days later we came to know that this highly qualified and much decorated professor had written a paper and claimed all the studies as hers without giving us any credit or even a casual reference. So cheap! Our HOD pointed this out to her and requested her to collect her full and final payment right then.

2) I once took a connection from a leading mobile service provider. But after a few days I came to know that my number earlier belonged to a man who had defaulted on a bank loan and hence was on run. Thus, I started receiving many calls everyday from that bank. Some even threatening ones. I called the company that claims to follow their customer wherever they go, to look into my problem. No response came even after repeated pleas. Finally, I decided to surrender that number. As I told the sales rep he simply said “do as you wish” and gave a bored look. I immediately changed the service provider company.

There is a thin line between these two things that can create life-long impressions.

PS : Thank you Prashant for referring this book :)

Saturday, December 19, 2009

FICTION 55 no. 4

As he sat there, drops of tear fell from his eyes. He whispered sorry and said “please, please forgive me darling” again and again.

He apologized for all that she had gone through: loneliness, depression, trauma, poverty.

He again came forward and requested her to come back. But she didn’t reply,





for graves don’t speak.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


While discussing random things with one of my close friends, we were struck on a point that got us into a thinking mode. We really could not find an exact explanation for it.

We Indians are world famous for adapting to changes and moving on with life. Although our crisis management system literally sucks big time, still we have that spirit to keep the show going on and on. We adapt beautifully to the culture and the customs of other countries. We have inbuilt shock absorbers, whenever we have to adapt to something new. We quickly adapt to a new country, tastes, habits, customs and climate, we are willing to mould our generations according to that place and honestly that’s commendable. But the point is, while we are so very good at welcoming change, why do we detest inter-caste, inter-region and inter-religion marriages within our own country? NRI show off their foreigner wives like a gold medal, but why do we hesitate in supporting inter-region or inter-caste couples who want to marry?

We still kill lovers in the name of honor just because they eloped to get married but suddenly get selective dementia and heartily welcome a bahu (daughter-in-law) from a free and forward western society. We use, ‘jati’, ‘gotra’, ‘nakshatras’ and all that jargon for denying approval to a girl from another region but same religion or vice versa. I have seen ladies cribbing about how they are living on antidepressants, for their bahus come from other regions of India; in fact the same aunties would have been glowing out of joy like a 1000 watt bulb if that very bahu happened to be a foreigner. We have many problems adjusting to an Indian bahu but feel innate satisfaction in moulding our habits and lifestyle according to a firangi.

One of my distant cousins married an American girl years ago but still their whole family is so proud of this fact as if their son has got a noble prize. The very same family treats another bahu from different Indian caste as a complete outsider. That is indeed sad.

Why do we still bow down to gori chamdi?????

Saturday, December 12, 2009


I once had an opportunity to visit a village deep inside Gujarat, with 3 of my team mates as a part of my rural dissertation project. I would call visiting a village an opportunity because what I felt there was a peculiar feeling of purity and rawness that’s always absent in metros. That village was quite unapproachable and we had to walk a lot and also take local modes like makeshift autos and carts.

The serenity and tranquility there was capable enough to cast its spell on anyone; I too fell in love with the pristine nature. The view was quite scenic and very beautiful. We interviewed a farmer as a part of our project. That old farmer and his wife were very courteous and requested four of us to stay back for lunch.

The food was freshly prepared. The chapattis were made on an earthen tava (hot plate), the menu consisted of baingan ka bhurta, kacche chane ki sabzi, bajre ki roti, achar (pickle), gur (jaggery) and chhachh (thin salted curd). The taste was as wonderful as that village itself. Flavor coupled with loving hosts made that lunch truly memorable. No cuisine in this entire world could match that taste and flavor. I still long for that tadka! The spices were far more aromatic than all those packaged ones available in the cities.

Also, there was a cotton tree in their backyard. With their permission I collected lots of pure cotton in a plastic bag; I still use that for my puja-path.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009


I am writing this based on the personal experiences I had, not once but many times. Not just with me, I have seen this happening with other people as well, irrespective of genders.
This has to do with a psychic conditioning of people: that if a person is sitting alone, he/she is sad for sure! Many a time when I would sit and enjoy the natural beauty in solitude and lost in my dreams, some ‘well-wishers’ would come and bug me for being alone, about what was ‘bothering’ me and would go on giving sympathy and advice absolutely uncalled for, like a radio without controls. It becomes difficult for me to ask them to leave and let me enjoy my time alone. Often, such people think they are doing me a huge favor by sharing my ‘depression’ and are worthy of special respect. It really becomes difficult for me to convince them that I am actually enjoying!

More I stress on this fact, more ‘sentimental’ they become and more sympathy they give. I’m grateful to them for showing such concern, but anyway, why can’t they just leave me alone when I want and let me enjoy the natural scenery or ponder over other important things! I am sure you all too must have faced such a situation at sometime or the other.

Why a person sitting alone is perceived by default to be depressed or sad. Why do we love to poke our noses in the private time of other people???

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Fiction 55 no. 3

Since poor and illiterate, they wondered why their anemic teenage daughter fainted frequently.

Thus they went to a famous ‘tantrik baba’ who announced she was possessed.Baba took their semi-conscious daughter to a dark room for ‘treatment’. They were relieved that the evil spirit was gone.






But only she knew what else she had lost.....

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Fiction 55 -no.2

That day kitty party was in her posh penthouse.

They raised a toast for the hapless children, spoke highly on how child labor must be stopped at all costs and that such kids desperately need love, education and care.

When done, hungry Chhotu rushed to clean the mess with his tiny hands and hopeful eyes.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Fiction 55

That hall was clumsy. Elderly people everywhere, like discarded and rusted tools that were once sharp and shiny. Son again convinced the father about their shifting together to village for which the father sold off his property. Outside, with cool breath and a fat cheque, son passionately kissed the letter which read ‘permanent immigration granted’.

Angelina Jolie