Friday, August 26, 2005

The first phone call

The Scene: The Girl is a 23 year old investment banker, working in New York. The Boy is doing his residency in Boston and was given her number by his mother, who is a friend of the Girl's aunt's brother-in-law's cousin's uncle's wife in Chicago.
Time: Monday night, 10 PM

Girl: Hello?
Boy: Shit, she's home! Umm, hi! Is this Pooja?
Girl: Speaking.
Boy: My name is Karan. I don't know if you know who I am. God, what if she doesn't know who I am? I don't even know why I'm doing this!
Girl: Oh, you live in Boston, right?
Boy: Yeah. Ok, so she was told about me, that's some relief. I wonder what she was told - "He's a resident, tall, and fair and he graduated from Ivy League school!". God, she probably hates me already!
Girl: Yeah, my mother mentioned you had my number. I can't believe he actually called!
Boy: So, how are you? Oh yeah, that's real original, but what the hell else I am supposed to say- Umm, hi, I don't know you, but do you want to be my wife?
Girl: I'm fine. And you? Ok, this is off to a great start
Boy: I'm good. Ok, think, think! So, I heard you're an investment banker? Oh, that's a real winner. Now I can be a bad conversationalist and an idiot!
Girl: Yes.
Boy: Ok, she is not helping me at all! Where do you work?
Girl: Merrill Lynch.
Boy: Hey, that's a great firm! I sound like a complete moron. I should just hang up except my mother would somehow find out and kill me!
Girl: Yeah, it's a nice place to work. God, this guy sounds like a complete loser
Boy: So... Stall, Stall!
Girl: So you're doing your residency in cardiology? Like my mom didn't tell me that 500 times already!
Boy: Ok, I can handle this... Yeah, I'm in my second year. Alright, now say something else, but what do I say? Do you drink? Cause if you want to marry me, you can't be one of those goody goody Indian girls who think that if they kiss a guy, they've practically gone all the waySo, what do you like to do in your free time?
Girl: Umm... get wasted... Oh, you know, hang out with my friends, go to movies...
Boy: Where do you like to hang out in NY?
Girl: Shit, what am I supposed to say? This guy could be some religious freak! I can't say bars - I'll say clubs, you can go to clubs and not drink... Oh, sometimes we go to the movies, or there's a couple clubs that are good... That was good, I made it sound like I like clubs, but I'm not really into them...
Boy: Ok, she goes to clubs, that's a good sign. If she was really religious she wouldn't do that. Yeah? I like to dance also.
Girl: He likes to dance- that's a good sign. He can't be that stiff! So where do you hang out in Boston?
Boy: Should I say it? Alright, I'll say it, what the hell! Umm, the same, bars, clubs, stuff like that.
Girl: He said bars! So he probably drinks. Good sign. I should explore this further... Are there any good bars in Boston?
Boy: Yeah, there are some nice ones, I mean, I'm not a huge drinker, but I like having a good time. Ok, that gives the impression of someone who enjoys drinking but is not an alcoholic - pretty good, if I do say so myself
Girl: That sounds really positive. This guy sounds kind of cool. But if he's so cool why is he calling me? Shouldn't he have a girlfriend? Or not need to call random girls his mother tells him about? God, what if he's completely ugly? Yeah, me too. Although I hope my parents never find out.
Boy: Yeah. I know exactly what you mean.
Girl: Ok, so he didn't freak out at the living a double life reference- another good sign. I just wish I knew what he looked like... So...
Boy: Or she could be really fat with a huge mustache. Well, there's only one way to find out! So... I know this sounds a little crazy, but I'm visiting some friends in NYC next weekend and I wonder if you'd want to get together for coffee sometime.
Girl: Coffee. That's totally safe. If he's totally nasty I can have a quick espresso and run like hell! Yeah, that sounds great.
Boy: Alright that went pretty well. Coffee's pretty harmless. And who knows, maybe she'll be cool. Now I have to get the hell out of this conversation... So I have your e-mail, should I just e-mail you soon and we can figure it out?
Girl: E-mail is sooo much better than the phone. Thank God for e-mail! Yeah, just e-mail, I check it all the time at work, so - God, this is getting painful
Boy: Alright, I'll e-mail you soon. Meaning in two days, cause I don't want to look too desperate, but at the same time I don't want to look like I'm trying not to look too desperate
Girl: Cool. Well, I'm glad you called. I think...
Boy: Me too. Well, I'll see you soon. Please be hot, please be hot!
Girl: Alright. Bye. I can't believe he called! Too late to back out now. Besides, maybe he's cool. He didn't sound so bad on the phone.
Boy: Bye. I did it! I am the man. I think she wants me. Yeah, she definitely wants me...

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

SUNSCREEN by Bazz Luhrmann

SUNSCREEN by Bazz Luhrmann

If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it. The long-term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists, whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience... I will dispense this advice now.

Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth - oh, never mind, you will not understand the power and beauty of your youth until they have faded. But trust me, in 20 years you'll look back at photos of yourself and recall in a way you can't grasp now how much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked. You are not as fat as you imagine.Don't worry about the future; or, worry. But know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubblegum. The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind; the kind that blind side you at 4pm on some idle Tuesday.

Do one thing every day that scares you.
Sing.
Don't be reckless with other people's hearts.
Don't put up with people who are reckless with yours.
Floss.Don't waste your time on jealousy. Sometimes you're ahead, sometimes you're behind....the race is long, and in the end, it's only with yourself.
Remember the compliments you receive, and forget the insults. If you succeed in doing this, tell me how.
Keep your old love letters. Throw away your old bank statements.
Stretch.
Don't feel guilty if you don't know what you want to do with your life... the most interesting people I know didn't know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives.
Some of the most interesting 40 year olds I know still don't.
Get plenty of calcium.
Be kind to your knees. You'll miss them when they're gone.
Maybe you'll marry, maybe you won't. Maybe you'll have children, maybe you won't. Maybe you'll divorce at 40. Maybe you'll dance the funky chicken on your 75th wedding anniversary.

Whatever you do, don't congratulate yourself too much or berate yourself either. Your choices are half chance.
So are everybody else's.
Enjoy your body. Use it every way you can.
Don't be afraid of it, or what other people think of it.
It's the greatest instrument you'll ever own.
Dance.
Even if you have nowhere to do it but in your own living room.
Read the directions, even if you don't follow them.
Do NOT read beauty magazines. They will only make you feel ugly.
Get to know your parents.
You never know when they'll be gone for good.
Be nice to your siblings.
They are the best link to your past and the people most likely to stick with you in the future.
Understand that friends come and go, but for the precious few you should hold on. Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle - because the older you get, the more you need the people you knew when you were young.
Live in New York city once, but leave before it makes you hard.
Live in Northern California once, but leave before it makes you soft.
Travel.
Accept certain inalienable truths: Prices will rise, politicians will philander, and you too will get old. And when you do, you'll fantasize that when you were young, prices were reasonable, politicians were noble, and children respected their elders.
Respect your elders.Don't expect anyone else to support you.
Maybe you have a trust fund, maybe you have a wealthy spouse; but you never know when either one might run out.
Don't mess too much with your hair; or by the time you're 40, it will look 85.
Be careful whose advice you buy, but be patient with those who supply it.

Advice is a form of nostalgia. Dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts, and recycling it for more than it's worth.But trust me on the sunscreen.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

What JRD means to me ....



The people at Infosys have been unabashed admirers of JRD Tata, who sought excellence in everything and pioneered the notion that ethical business is possible in India. A tribute by N R Narayana Murthy on JRD’s 101st birth anniversary.


IREMEMBER a 1970s film called Chupke Chupke, in which the hero (Dharmendra) gets sick of his wife’s (Sharmila Tagore’s), penchant for turning every conversation into a paean for the virtues of her Jijaji. Dharmendra finally decides to teach Jijaji a lesson and succeeds very well at that! My case was not much better: most conversations with my thenfriend and now wife, Sudha, were spent in her extolling the virtues of “Apro JRD”, as she always called him. Unlike Dharmendra, when I got to meet Sudha’s hero, I was bowled, neck and crop, by his simplicity and affection for his younger colleagues.
It was a wintry evening in 1979, when I took a taxi from my Nariman Point office to pick up Sudha, from her office at Bombay House, on my way home. I had been delayed in the office. It was completely dark and I was worried that she would be alone on a deserted road. As the taxi ground to a halt, I saw a tall, old gentleman talking to Sudha. When I got out of the taxi, I met JRD for the first time. His words, which I remember even today, were a gentle admonishment that I should not make my young wife wait in the dark. I believe he saw her waiting alone outside Bombay House when he was leaving the office, and decided to wait with her till I picked her up. I was stunned by this gesture from India’s biggest industrialist to a young and lowly executive in his company. Most great people are remembered for their small acts of courtesy. This is what makes them great. To them, these are natural rather than put-on.
A few years ago, my daughter, studying in the US, wanted to profile an industrialist as part of her course on Leadership. I suggested she profile Ratan Tata. Sudha and I took her to meet Ratan. The perfect gentleman that he is, Ratan gave her two hours as against the scheduled half an hour. During this talk, we asked if ever he saw JRD abandon his principles, even slightly. Ratan was unequivocal. He said the old man always came on the right side of every issue no matter how tough the choices. That, to me, is JRD — a man who had simple values and stuck to them every time. We, at Infosys, have been unabashed admirers of what he stood for. In fact, the first hitech conference room we built in our heritage building, was named the JRD Hall. Of course, we had the privilege of Ratan inaugurating our even more impressive and, perhaps, Asia’s most advanced corporate conference room named after Jamsetji N Tata, a hero to many of us, but particularly to my colleague, Nandan, and Sudha.
Most of what I learnt about JRD was from Keynote, a compendium of his speeches, a gift from Sudha on my 40th birthday in 1986. Many of my own values and opinions were fortified by JRD’s views. In fact, there are only two public figures whose death evoked deep emotional reaction in me. The first was our young, dynamic and idealistic leader, Rajiv, whose ghastly murder deprived India of a fine leader. The second was JRD, who demonstrated, much before all of us, that ethical business was possible in India.
JRD sought excellence in every thing he did. When I irritate my colleagues with my insistence on excellence, I have sought refuge in JRD’s words — I confess to being excessively intolerant of slipshod work and irritatingly insistent on pursuing excellence even in tasks which hardly demand it.
To him, honesty was extremely important even from people who opposed him. He admired and respected people who were honest in voicing their opinion even if he did not agree with him. No wonder, his favourite politician was Jayaprakash Narayan. He had tremendous affection for even fiery union leaders like Prof Bari because they were honest with him. He believed that the high growth rate (he once put it as monstrous growth) of India’s population would be a burden for the country’s stretched resources. He did not lose a single opportunity to call for serious effort in controlling our population. Unfortunately, even today, our politicians do not pay heed to his advice.
HE TOTALLY believed in the welfare state, whose aim should be to assure every Indian the basic necessities of life, the right to work, and the right to earn a decent living. In his speech to the Rotary Club of Bombay in 1970, he said: “In the economic, if not the philosophical plane, a welfare state is the very essence of 20th century socialism to which I subscribe unreservedly”. He did believe there was a role for the public sector but a public sector removed totally from political and bureaucratic interference which has progressively increased over the last 30 years and emaciated every institution of promise in the public sector.
JRD was equally clear about his antipathy for what he termed negative socialism mindset of our politicians and the bureaucratic rigidities “which aimed at and have been aiming at preventing undesirable things being done rather than encouraging desirable ones; at reducing the income of the relatively well-to-do rather than increasing that of the poor; at restraining initiative and action by good elements because of misconduct by a few bad ones; and at pursuing ideological goals, however detrimental to the economy rather than harnessing all forces for producing wealth and taxing them for welfare purposes”. In a speech given by him at a Planning Commission meeting of industrialists in 1968, he said: “In fact, the only fearsome concentration of economic power, that exists today, lies in the hands of ministers, planners and government officials. It is this concentration of power which is a real threat to democracy.”
On communism, he was very clear: “The Indian socialists cling to a 19th century Marxist form of socialism notwithstanding the fact that almost every economic theory and prophesy of Marx has been falsified in the last hundred years.” His belief in corporate social responsibility was pioneering. His sense of fairness and transaction-orientation is something that I have come to cherish and practise. Such qualities generated warmth for JRD in even fiery union leaders like Prof Bari. What would his dream for India of 2030 be? In his lecture — India 2030 A D, delivered in 1981, he envisioned an India which will control her population growth rate; where women will see value in family planning; where Indians will make spectacular success in genetics, molecular biology and other sciences and technologies; and an India which will have reached 6% annual growth rate in GDP. Well, successive governments from Narasimha Rao’s to Manmohan Singh’s have made this possible. If only our communist friends show a little bit of foresight, I am confident we will be able to fulfill the worthy dream of one of Inda’s finest sons.
(The author is chairman, Infosys)

Monday, August 08, 2005

The Cracked Pot!!


A water bearer had two large pots, each hung on each end of a pole, which he carried across his neck. One of the pot had a crack in it, while the other pot was perfect and always delivered a full portion of water at the end of the long walk from the stream to the master's house, the cracked pot arrived only half full.

For two years this process went on daily, with the bearer delivering only one and a half pots full of water to his master's house. The perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments, but the poor cracked pot was ashamed of its own imperfection and was miserable that it was able to accomplish only half of what it had been made to do.

After two years, it spoke to the water bearer one day by the stream. "I am ashamed of myself and I want to apologize to you." "Why?" asked the bearer. "What are you ashamed of?" "For the past two years, I have been able to deliver only half of my load because this crack in my side caused water to leak out all the way. Because of my flaws you are made to do all the work, and you don't get full value from your efforts", the cracked pot said.

The water bearer felt sorry for the old cracked pot and said compassionately, "As we return to the master's house, I want you to notice the beautiful flowers along the path." As they went up the hill, the old cracked pot took notice of the sun warming the beautiful wild flowers bloomed on the path. But at the end of the trail, it still felt bad because it had leaked out half its load, and so again the pot apologized to the bearer for its failure.

The bearer said to the pot, "Did you notice that there were flowers only on your side and not on the other pot's side? That's because I have always known about your flaw and I took advantage of it. I planted flower seeds on your side of the path and everyday while we walk back from the stream, you've watered them. For two years, I have been able to pluck these beautiful flowers to decorate my master's table. Without you, he would not have this beauty to grace his house."

Friend, each one of us have our own unique flaws. We are all cracked pots. But if we will allow it, the Lord will use our flaws to grace His Father's table. In God's great economy, nothing goes waste. Don't be afraid of your flaws. Acknowledge them and you too can be the cause of beauty. Know that in our weakness we find our strength.

"..for God everything is possible." Matthew 19:26

If GOD has got u to it,

He WILL get u through it..
PS:
Thanks to Lakshmi who sent this one for sharing with us

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Content is Important, not the container

A group of working adults got together to visit their University lecturer. The lecturer was happy to see them. Conversation soon turned into complaints about stress in work and life. The Lecturer just smiled and went to the kitchen to get an assortment of cups - some porcelain, some in plastic, some in glass, some plain looking and some looked rather expensive and exquisite.

The Lecturer offered his former students the cups to get drinks for themselves. When all the students had a cup in hand with water, the Lecturer spoke: "If you noticed, all the nice looking, expensive cups were taken up, leaving behind the plain and cheap ones. While it is normal that you only want the best for yourselves, that is the source of your problems and stress. What all you wanted was water, not the cup, but we unconsciously went for the better cups."

"Just like in life, if Life is Water, then the jobs, money and position in society are the cups. They are just tools to hold/maintain Life, butthe quality of Life doesn't change." "If we only concentrate on the cup, we won't have time to enjoy/taste the water in it."

Monday, August 01, 2005

Being a Boss

Scientists at the Rocket launching station in Thumba, were inthe habit ofworking for nearly 12 to 18 hours a day. There were about Seventy suchscientists working on a project. All the scientists were really frustrated due to the pressure of work and the demands of their boss but everyone was loyal to him and did not think of quitting the job.

One day, one scientist came to his boss and told him - Sir, I have promised to my children that I will take them to the exhibition going on in ourtownship. So I want to leave the office at 5 30 pm.His boss replied - O K, , You are permitted to leave the office earlytoday.The Scientist started working. He continued his work after lunch. As usual he got involved to such an extent that he looked at his watch when hefelthe was close to completion.The time was 8.30 p.m

Suddenly he remembered of the promise he had given to his children. He looked for his boss,,He was not there. Having told him in the morning itself, he closed everything and left for home.Deep within himself, he was feeling guilty for having disappointed his children.He reached home. Children were not there.His wife alone was sitting in the hall and reading magazines. The situation was explosive, any talk would boomerang on him.His wife asked him - Would you like to have coffee or shall I straight away serve dinner if you are hungry.The man replied - If you would like to have coffee, i too will have but what about Children???

Wife replied- You don't know - Your manager came at 5 15 p.m and has taken the children to the exhibition.What had really happened wasThe boss who granted him permission was observing him working seriouslyat5.00 p.m. He thought to himself, this person will not leave the work,butif he has promised his children they should enjoy the visit toexhibition.So he took the lead in taking them to exhibitionThe boss does not have to do it everytime. But once it is done, loyalty is established.That is why all the scientists at Thumba continued to work under their boss eventhough the stress was tremendous.By the way , can you hazard a guess as to who the boss was????????He was A P J Abdul Kalam.