Lessons from this Christmas day

As a reality check, I did not send christmas greetings to many – and the ones I sent were sent very late. I used to get a feeling like ‘people are just responding to what you you give’ – a business like attitude. I ended up being terribly wrong. This year, I received maximum christmas greetings.  Some ordinary human beings delighted me with their love through simple yet very valuable deeds. At the end of the day, I strongly believe that people are fundamentally good!.


On this Christmas day !

This Christmas is very different for me. It is a really silent and meaningful christmas time for me. There is no huzzle and buzzle of travel (thanks to recession). There is no big time partying (every one else is busy beating recession). So, this Christmas gave me enough self-time and I feel really good. This Christmas teaches me to be closer to God and reinforces the thinking that “Aby, irrespective of whatever you do on planet earth, the essence of happiness is your closeness with God”. The verse from Bible, If God is with you, everything is possible, allows me to get going. Whatever happens to me to day may seem to be ‘a very difficult situation’ and as per God’s plan, he may be just taking you away from your comfort zone for something better.

I found this link quite interesting and useful

financial crisis


Stupid distractions

One thing which has hampered my progress at work is – unwanted distractions, which I could have avoided. In the midst of serious business, which is my bread and butter, the calling  to cut loose, with these free flow creative ideas (stupidity) which in no way takes me closer to professional nor personal dreams – takes over. Not once, but every day, wasting my precious time.  Am I alone in this?.

The art of leaving

People very often say that life is all about making choices. In the present busy world, I think it is more appropriate to lead a life of ‘leaving’. It’s about leaving behind unwanted stuff, and doing it continuously. Unless we leave things aside, we will not be able to progress much. By leaving unwanted things behind, we become more agile. When some one dear departs – we can either latch on to the sorrow it brings, or we can leave it behind and move on, as fast as possible. When one looses his/ her job due to recession, it is always to leave it behind and move on – than brooding over the loss. That way, life can be better by ‘letting go’ the past, so that we can focus on the present better and move on to the future faster.

The Good, Bad and Ugly of King fisher airlines

Last week, while on my way to Oracle, Hyderabd to conduct an agile training program, I forgot to take my my mobile phone from the waiting room at the airport. I came to know about this, when I was inside the aircraft, and it was about to close it’s doors. I rushed to the air hostess and told her about the loss of my mobile phone. In a jiffy, they contacted their ground staff and I got the mobile back in no time. I was so delighted with great service.

On my way back to Kochi, from Hyderabd, I requested for an invoice for my air tickets, and the staff there took extra pains to get it delivered to me in the Kingfisher lounge at the Hyderabd airport. Again, it was a great demonstration of customer care, becuase, they had to literally chase me and deliver the the invoice to me, when I was busy buying a book at the Landmark bookstall inside the airport.

Then comes the anti climax, which nullified all these good acts of customer care. While inside the flight back to Kochi, I requested for a bottle of water, and it took repeated reminders for them to deliver it to me. . The most frightening thing happened towards the end of the flight. The flight landed at Kochi by 7.45 p.m, and it was almost dark. The ground staff, who was giving signals to the pilot for parking was giving it with bare hands, without any illuminators or lights. The pilot took the flight forward as if he was handling a car or a bike. Only after the parking was done, I could see someone rushing to the scene with those red torches. I reported this to the ground staff of king fisher at Kochi, and they were only trying to wash their hands off, saying that, it is handled by a separate agency. There was no answer to the question ” How can the pilot, who is a Kingfisher staff, can take the flight forward without proper signal?.”.

I just returned my frequent flier card (silver) to them and proceeded my journey home.

Will anything free work?

About five years back, we were crazy about open source. We in fact developed a project management software Pragati under the OGL. It was pretty decent stuff, and unfortunately did not reach the tipping point.  It’s usage got confined within the sponsoring organization. The most fulfilling moment of this project was, when one of the contributor’s presented this project for her entry into Harvard business school. This prompted us to really think about ‘Why people do not admire free stuff in emerging economies?”. This led to a self introspection in the first place. I have had received many expensive pens as gifts in the past and none of them are with me now, at the same time I have with me the pen which I bought from my own money – five years before. Whenever i organized a  workshop free of cost, the audience strength was very lean. The more expensive the workshop, you can expect more audience…people perceive free stuff as useless and costly things as useful. This is very much prevailant in India. My relatives living in US, cherish the gifts they got – more than the things they bought. May be, there the gifts symbolizes love and affection, which is very rare. Here till now, the joint family relationships were well knit. With the propgagation of nuclear families, even this is also questionable these days. I am sure that the next generation will not have the luxury of well knit family bonds, and this will lead to the boom for ‘gift marchants !.

So tip to the marketing team…. inorder to market anything in India, the price attached to it should not be zero. A zero pricing symbolozes zero value !

Tilting the Indian table

At last, Indian media is getting better and more credible day by day, by fearless reporting. This can be attributed to the professionalism in the media with the arrival of CNN-IBN, NDTV which are beyond the reach of politicians. It was very evident…and still evident …post Mumbai terror attacks. The result, One central minister and a chief minister lost their positions. Rahul Gandhi was criticised for attending a party during the eve of the terrorist attacks, The chief minister of Kerala saying Sorry, The army and the para military forces becoming heros overnight , the upraisal partriotism in the Indian mind and the anger against the corrupt politicians, police…. ….lot of such incidents suceeded the recent Mumbai terror attacks. Thanks to the media for their fearless non stop coverage of the events, un biased.

In one of my earler posts, I had post saying “Indians are at their best when challenged”. India would not have got independence from the British, if Gandhiji was not challenged by a white skin by  throwing him out of the railway compartment  because he was not  white skinned, despite having a valid ticket. Similarly, India would not have won the cricket series in Australia, if Australians did not abuse Indians (sledging). Going by these events, this Mumbai terror attacks is a blow to the pride of every Indian, and I am very optimistic about the repurcussions of this.

The Indian psyche based of ahimtsa can forget and forgive very easily. That is the only risk. Media can play a major role for not allowing this hurt to the Indian pride to subside and if it channelise the unrest of the common man in the appropriate direction, we will have a zero corrupt India …soon. Media and People have a great role to play here – to make the rest accountable.

Fish – the book I just completed reading.


This simple and effective book, is a very practical guide to convert the workplace into a more vibrant and enjoyable place.  Let me try to recollect the basics of this book.
1) Work places can have lot of ‘toxic energy dumps’. Meaning negative energy (gossip, back biting, frowning, complaining, blaming etc….).

2) Choose your attitude. There is always a choice about the way you do your work, even if there is not a choice about the work itself. Do not allow the surroundings to determine your attitude at the work place (can be your days as well). You choose your attitude. Choose the attitude of positivity.  Every day morning, tell yourself that “I am going to enjoy this day by doing the best I can”.

3) Play.  Play your work. Make it fun filled, and enjoy it to the core.

4) Make their day. Include others into the play. While making your day memorable, help others to make their days also memorable.

5) Be present. Focus on the ‘NOW’. Always live in the present, and look for opportunities to play and make their days memorable.

Authors  : Stephen C Lundin, Harry Paul and John Christensen