Prof Vijay is delighted to see Miss Rosy step into his corner cabin on second floor of the institute. 
Prof. Vijay sported a mustache just long enough to be not called ‘charlie chaplin’. His belly was size of a four-month pregnant lady and given his work routine the belly was expected to be ready for delivery in no time. He had lost his wife 10 years back and usually spent long hours at work. 
His English was minimal and more of a tukh-bandhi that somehow communicated what he wanted to. Once an associate professor peeped into his cabin inquiring about his subordinate who was missing at his desk. Prof. busy engrossed in preparing lesson plan for the new batch of students, was perturbed by the question responded, “He is no more.” Sensing something wrong, he repeated in Hindi that meant ‘left for the day’.  
Rosy had a fair skin and sharp features. Her eyes revealed her bubbly nature. She was just 23 years old but her mature manners matched that of a lady in her mid-thirties. 
Prof. Vijay quickly leans back on his reclining chair welcoming Rosy into her cabin. He runs a quick scan from top to bottom before welcoming her with a broad smile and remarks, “Where have you been? Atleast you should see me once a day. It will make my day.” “Surely Sir”, says Rosy.
She takes the seat opposite to Prof. and pulls the end of her dupatta down so that it rises from around the neck sporting the new fashion of revealing cleavage, just enough to attract attention. Prof. Vijay takes a glance and asks, “What will you have?” and turns around to dial for canteen service. “I will prefer a chocolate pastry and fanta for drink.” 
They discussed work peppered with jokes that Prof. Vijay took lead to share the most. Rosy seemed to enjoy this and never sensed anything wrong in them. Prof. Vijay had a rude tone but never had wrong intentions of insulting anyone. During sessions with students he was very intense, lecturing at top of his voice and was known to lighten the environment with a joke.
Rosy gets up to leave. “I am getting late, my boyfriend is waiting outside.” “You are a lucky girl to have such an obedient boy friend while people do not find such obedience in husbands.What have you done with him?”, remarked Prof. Vijay with a cunning smile.
Rosy left cabin with list of actions she needed to complete before the start of the management development program next week. 
Fifteen days later, “How can you be so irresponsible?” shouts Prof. Vijay just an hour before the start of the program. Rosy responds with a taunt on communication skills of Prof. Vijay rather than accepting the lacking on her part. 

Later, Rosy files a complaint with women commission. She was known to have been pushed by her boyfriend to file the complaint. A commission was set-up to look into the complaint and nothing concrete came up against Prof. Vijay. Finally, after two years of failed attempt to settle down well into the work, Rosy decided to quit. 

Raghupati Raja Ram, Sharma ji syndrome etc. etc.

When I was in Mumbai someone had shared a saying that was very popular in Reliance- “Jitna paisa utna kaam, raghupati raghave raja ram.” In our professional lives we come across several situations that when narrated can turn out to be a joke or an incident that continues to be quoted in future as well. I personally consider them as an informal or Desi Dilbert.

Some of these jokes or references are so true that you remember them the moment it is narrated to you, faced with a similar situation and it is uttered. Such references are usually funny and help tone down an otherwise tense situation. Smiles on faces appear immediately those who hear it making them more malleable towards solution proposed for problem in hand. I will not hesitate to claim myself a master of this technique in my office. It has not only made me more friendly to my colleagues but also get the problem addressed. 🙂

Subu (my boss at Jasubhai Digital Media) had once shared an incident about an individual with surname Sharma who was known to create a situation and then solve it to prove his excellence. A term coined by my boss was “Sharma ji Syndrome”. I have adopted it quite well since then. Often, in my current role, I end-up having a situation which is quite tertiary to demand attention. Once you are involved and even before you get to the root of the problem it is addressed by the person who had escalated it. If reprimanded for blowing such small issues out of proportion they end-up justifying the importance of systems and procedures that are to be followed without exception. 

Most of the time I find myself in an awkward situation despite it being obvious that we are addressing a “Sharma ji Syndrome”. But overwhelmed by the reaction of the person we most of the times stop short of terming it a “Sharma ji Syndrome”. To further add to the embarrassment we often clap or announce person’s achievement. 

“PTW” is another term (full form Pretending to work) that I coined when I was in Denave. Again I am honored to take the credit for this very valuable trait that does not find its place in any of the personality assessment scales developed over several decades of research. Often you are faced with people at work place who are busy without having enough work. You may end-up revisiting their KRA to decipher where is the disconnect in your assessment. Finally, it takes some experience and smartness to conclude that the individual in question is a master of “PTW”.

I was lucky to receive a new saying from my friend on Whats App- “Kam Utna hi Karo ki Salary Jaada lage”. Annual appraisal cycle is on and when I shared this with my teammates they looked perplexed at why this is being told to them. Within their minds they were treating this as a signal (principles of Singaling Theory) to validate their expectation on the increment percentage. Some of them told me upfront, “No Sir, please do not say this. We will work hard and deserve a good appraisal this year”. I burst into laughter and that made them even more edgy. Just to comfort them I explained, “This means do work that is on priority and important. Just do not be a PTW.” Does any term exist that can be coined for such a smart interpretation?

Corporate Slave” that my friend Debraj and I had coined together to define a working professional who complains about being in a rat race but fails to do anything about it. 

Next post will be on Principles of Signaling theory in corporate world… wait please it may take a week.  


My elder daughter interrupted our (Monica and I) conversation while I was at the wheels and Monica seated next to me. We were returning from Panipat after visiting Mausoleum of Hazrat Bou Ali Shah Kalandar, we also call him as “Panipat Sarkar”.  

She asked, “Who is Khwaja Gharib Nawaz that you are talking about?”. Monica gave a straight forward reply, “One who is God/King of Poors.” She then referred Khawaja as Khawaja Moinuddin Chisti. “Oh! so you are poor and hence want to visit him”, she remarked. 
Khwaja Gharib Nawaz was favorite of his guru. His guru once promised to share a special prayer/fruit/blessing only with him. Khwaja was asked to wait for his guru outside the village at Sunrise time. He was told to come alone and not inform about this to anyone since his guru wanted to share this only with him. 
Next day, as told by his guru, Khwaja Gharibb Nawaz was waiting at the designated place for his guru to emerge from his morning prayers. When guru emerged he was surprised to see a big crowd waiting for him. Amongst them, he saw Khawaja Gharib Nawaz as well. Surprised at this, guru asked Khawaja why did he inform everybody when he had asked him to come alone. Khwaja Gharib Nawaz said that he wanted all to be blessed like him so that they are free of worldly pain and grief. Khwaja's guru conferred on the him the special powers and also the title of Khwaja Gharib Nawaz- one of who is capable of blessing the poor, the god of poor. 
I had narrated this story as heard from one of my acquaintance when I was in Indore, some 15 years back. I never felt the need to get the facts right about this story believing that when it comes to believing god, try not being logical- my uncle says “Bhakti vishwas ki baat hain, tarq karne ki nahin”. 
We went on to explain our elder daughter (younger one was yet to comprehend what we were discussing) that poverty is not to be understood only in economic sense, by level of income earned or wealth accumulated. An orphan is poor since he has no parents, a childless couple is poor since they have no kids and blind has no sight to see the world. Each one of them is poor in some way or the other. 
We explained to her that she was infact rich since she had been gifted with a health mind and body, caring parents and got to possess whatever she desired till date. 
It is so very important for our kids to understand things/phenomenon beyond the worldly possessions. 


English language in our daily lives plays such an important role today that we have forgotten Hindi substitutes for most English words. For most of us
dwelling in cities, we prefer English for formal communication. A couple of
weeks back, I tried writing emails in Hindi (alteast one in a week) but failed to use it effectively to communicate formally. We are doubtful of impact or impression that writing or speaking in Hindi will carry compared to English. What will you write in Hindi, if you want to say, “I am really ‘disappointed’ with the progress.” What is
the word for “things” as in “Why are things not in place” in Hindi?”   

I have tried to compile some most frequently used  English words, substitutes of which in Hindi are not being used. 

1. If we have
to get the attention from a stranger we say “Excuse Me”. What will you say in
Hindi? “Suniyein” or “Kripaya Suniyein”.

2. “Thanks” is
so deeply ingrained that use of “Shukriya” makes people laugh rather than

3. Addressing
a gathering in a formal set-up we prefer “Ladies and Gentlemen…” or “Guys..” to
sound less formal. Visualize addressing a formal gathering, “Deviyon and Sajjano….” Or
“Bhaiyyao or Behano…”

4. “I had ‘lunch’ at office but will have ‘dinner’ with kids.” Imagine substitute in Hindi
“lunch” and “Dinner”. Could you think anything other than “Din ka Khana” and “raat ka

5. “Class” as
in “Mere boss ne meri class le li” or “going for dance classes”. I just know
that “khaal Khand” is hindi substitute for “classroom”.

6. “Can we have
if said in Hindi, I am sure I will never get to have it. Though, for “fuck” we have a highly used and well known Hindi substitute. When irritated, you may still use “fuck”
in front of your female colleagues but its substitute, if used, may land you
before anti-harassment cell of your company.

7.  “Call” in
“Please call me when free”. What will I say in Hindi to communicate the same

8. “Mobile”
has no word in Hindi, I suppose. Though usage of “cell” is more popular amongst

10. We can
easily rhyme “A B C….” but what about “K KH G GH….”. We do not even remember it

11. “Bell”, “Train”, “car”, “plane” are permanent
translations into Hindi. 
“Shoes” are
still called “joota” and socks may still be called “Juraabein” but for
“underwear” we do not prefer “Jhangiyaa”.


Most of the problems in this world are due to inappropriate communication. Religion, ethnicity and economic background all influence and further complicate our interpretations and understanding. I was just reading an article in today’s Brunch (free supplement with Sunday Hindustan Times) that talked about tanned skin and the way it is interpreted across the world. In the Western world, tanned skin is looked upon as a luxury with the person believed to have enough time to bask in sun while in eastern part of the world, tanned skin is related to a person with lower economic status. Interpretations will differ (whether linked to reality or not) and hence the importance of effective communication.

We often hear celebrities appreciating different forms of art stating that art traverses across cultures and national boundaries. Poetry is one such form of expression that communicates effectively to its reader/listener. The choice of words are like sea shells that are handpicked by the poet walking across the sea shore of life.

One of my best ghazal  is by Late Bahadur Shah Jafar. I am impressed by this one since Kings are known for power and authority and this soft expression is a rare one:

baat karanii mujhe mushkil kabhii aisii to na thii
jaisii ab hai terii mehfil kabhii aisii to na thii

(Expressing was never so difficult as is now in your assembly.)

le gayaa chhiin ke kaun aaj teraa sabr-o-qaraar
beqaraarii tujhe ai dil kabhii aisii to na thii

(Who is he who has taken away your peace of mind? Such impatience, my heart was never seen before)

chashm-e-qaatil merii dushman thii hameshaa lekin
jaise ab ho ga_ii qaatil kabhii aisii to na thii

(Your eyes were always killing but not such killing, as they are now)

un kii aa.Nkho.n ne Khudaa jaane kiyaa kyaa jaaduu
ke tabiiyat merii maa_il kabhii aisii to na thii

(God knows what magic his/her eyes did that my mood is affected so much)

aks-e-ruKh-e-yaar ne kis se hai tujhe chamakaayaa
taab tujh me.n maah-e-kaamil kabhii aisii to na thii

(Who has polished you so much, my reflection, you never looked so perfect before)

kyaa sabab tuu jo biga.Dataa hai “Zafar” se har baar
Khuu terii huur-e-shamaa_il kabhii aisii to na thii

(Why do you get so angry with “Zafar”, never before were your dispositions so beautiful.)
Very crude interpretation and apologies if interpreted wrongly. 
Thousands of such poems exist that are a beautiful expression of a man’s relation to a woman. There is beauty in everything written whether words are for appreciation, criticism or complain. 
Why cannot we revive this art in our homes, more now, than anything else? Will this not help us change our outlook towards Women? Who can explain the young today that never WAS or IS anything PHYSICAL about LOVE. Its all in the heart. 
Now, heart is not where we all know, I am referring to the EQ that exists in one part of brain itself. Heart between the chest is too busy to beat and keep you living. 

Owning a Bullet

Bullet retains its unique position amongst Indians since decades now. Most of the time the experience shared by riders and admirers is same- “People make way for a bullet rider.” Its considered to be symbolic of masculinity and an object of desire.
My father owned a bullet in 1970s when he must be in his teens or early 20s. In those times, in a  town like Jamshedpur, it was a matter of pride and something that only a well-off could afford. Jamshedpur in those times was a small industrial town with most work force employed with Tata Steel and or Tata Motors. My father recalls that majority of the population commuted via bicycles and or Lunas (mopeds). Bullet was a rare possession, owned by very few. The other prized possessions in those times was JAWA motorcycle. Bajaj Scooter became common in late1970s.   
My father spent a good time riding it and also mastered a few stunts that could have impressed girls but then he met with some minor accident and fearing a serious one in future, my grand father decided to sell it off. Finally, he had to secure his son and also discipline him a little. 
May 1 2013 was again a special day when I offered my father to ride the bullet home for me from the showroom. He is today 61 years old and with the style of his ride and control of the bike, I visualized what he would have looked like in 1960s, 7-8 years before I was born. 
He said, “It has changed completely since then. Its much lighter, the sound of silencer is also not that prominent like older models.” He must have drawn several more comparisons within his mind and would have restrained them so as not to spoil the moment that I was living through.
While I never  owned a bullet before, I had a good opportunity to ride and experience it during 1993-1995 when I was in Chandigarh. My cousin owned it and I had the chance to master its ride. Bullet has a special place in our life (Monica and I) since I was a pillion rider when I went to meet Monica for the first time. Rahul was the one who was riding and he wanted to impress Simran and I had to just accompany him.
Since then, and till a few years back, Monica always doubted my ability to control the bullet since I was very slim. But she, as in most cases, insisted me to fulfill my dream of owning a bullet. While my decision was prompted by savings on fuel cost compared to an Alto and still wanted to have a bike that gave me a sense of pride in my decision. Afterall, I had to live through the peer pressure of opting for a two-wheeler while most were upgrading to higher models of cars.
Stats: 150 Km ride done between Office (Gurgaon) and home.