Wednesday, March 25, 2009

HR at home? - Food for Thought

The article by Alain de Bouton that appeared in The Hindu today, discusses various aspects of office culture. I particularly liked this remark of his - In the olden days, home used to be the place of kindness and refuge while the workplace was cruel and blunt. Now the equation is often reversed. How politely we tend to behave at work, next to the insults we throw at one another at home, where there is no human resource department to coax us into being more civilised.

It may seem amusing but there is a lot of truth in those words. We are on our best behaviour to those who probably matter the least in our lives and are rather harsh on those who matter most. It can be argued that we do not have to put up a false front for those close to us. And after all if it were not for a few minor squabbles, life could be dull and monotonous. And what about the joys of baseless arguments?!!

But do give it a thought - let it not come to a stage where we need an external source to counsel us in our personal lives.

Monday, March 16, 2009

My friend....and her pearls of wisdom

My friend spent a day with me.

She had these words of wisdom for all those like us, who were growing older, trying to make sense of our lives.

She said as we grow older there are four things we need :

1. Physical fitness and good health
2. Financial independence
3. The ability to perform household chores effectively
4. The ability to resist doling out unsolicited advice to children

The last one is the most difficult . And being welcome in their lives solely depends on it.

Well said....

Sunday, March 15, 2009

If you want to be happy ....

An excerpt of an article that appeared in The Hindu , by Shyam. He has quoted Warren Buffet, in an informal Q&A session with MBA students at the Richard Ivy School of Business in Canada. :
I am also reproducing the quote as it appears in the article, makes good reading and good sense.

What can you possibly do with billions of dollars? The problem in life is not getting rich, but finding things you enjoy and living a normal life. The most important thing is finding the right spouse. If you make the wrong decision on that you will regret it, there is a lot of pain involved; but if you have the right spouse it is just wonderful. What qualities do you look for in a spouse? Humour, looks, character, brains, money or just someone who is simple with low expectations? The most important decision that you will make is that. If you make that one decision right I will guarantee you a good result in life.

One of the things I use with students is, I ask you to imagine that I am going to give you an hour and in that hour you have to pick one of your classmates to own 10 per cent of for the rest of your life, or even better someone whom you have to work with for the rest of your life and another person whom you would short-sell or disassociate yourself with. Now, on the buy-side you list the qualities of the person who you want to own a share of or partner with and on the sell-side you list the qualities of the person whom you want to disassociate yourself from. On the buy side, you won’t necessarily pick the person who is richest, first in your class or the one with the highest IQ; you will pick out the human being that is going to be effective, sincere, generous, humorous and forgiving. On the sell-side, you would pick the person whose qualities turn you off. It could be selfishness, hypocrisy, envy, short temper or any other negative attribute. It is such an elementary proposition.

Everybody, absent some terrible illness or tragic death, has a passion for happiness. A spouse is the most important thing.

It is important to have a job you love, it’s not so important how much you make at it.

PS:I do not find it necessary to give my take on this. Nothing more need be said.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

A story about Saigal

Last week, we had been to a friend's house to celebrate the 80th birthday of his mother. A grand lady with a lot of guts. She has always been one who regaled us with stories of her time . Stories of her childhood, days at Nizam College and so on. Even the children found her company interesting .

Her children had organised an evening of music - of old Hindi songs. It was three hours of Mukesh, Hemant Kumar, Rafi, Talat Mahmood with everyone pitching in with the main singer. And specially for the mother he sang a song of K.L. Saigal, a singer of the 1940s. It feels nice to mention here that this era was much before my time!!

I probably would not have been exposed to Saigal's songs or appreciated them if it was not for my father. I always thought, my father sang the songs better than the original. For one, my father had a nice voice, and maybe the poor recording quality of the songs in that period of time did not do justice to the singer. To get my father started off , one had to just start a discussion about Saigal and sooner ( than later) we would have a full singing session till all songs were exhausted. Another time, you could be sure that he would burst into song would be during a power failure, when he would start singing the famous Diya Jalaao till the lights came on.

Back to the present - Auntie had a very nice story to relate about Saigal, which I shall share.

Saigal was an alcoholic. He was convinced that he could sing only after he had a drink, and all the music directors ensured that he had a glass in his hand during a recording. It was much later that Naushad came onto the Indian music scene. For his first recording with Saigal, he refused to allow him his drink. Saigal was vehement that he could not sing without it. Naushad refused to give in. Reluctantly he sang the song, and to his surprise he found that it was probably one of his best rendering ( for the movie Shah Jehan). Very sadly, he is said to have remarked to Naushad I wish you had come into my life earlier. It might have been a different story. It was too late by then.

PS: There was no alcohol served at the singing session either. And all sang very well .

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

The Old School

The Bar Council of India, has stated that those above 22 years cannot seek admission in law schools. Now, is that fair? Age should never be a restriction for those wishing to further their education. Anyone who has gone back to school, or even attempted to study after a break can vouch how difficult a task it is.

A 10+2 of school followed by three years of undergraduation and two years postgraduation is a natural sequence of studying for most of us. There are times a break might be necessary; it could be the finances, or the inability to clear the entrance test, limited seats and intense competition. Some land up with a good job immediately after undergraduation and thus postpone the studying for a while.

At home, the Man went back for his masters a few years ago after a break of 30 years. It was not easy. He had to appear for the entrance test. After having cleared the first hurdle, he had to ensure minimum attendance to appear for the final exam. The lecturers were many years his junior and some of them were intimidated by his presence and would not show up when he was around. However, he persevered and succeeded.

I went for a course in french ( three courses to be exact). My sole aim was to learn the correct pronunciation . I preferred the mid morning classes. The students were mostly part-time workers or those in night shifts and a few housewives . I was the oldest in the group. And since it was the basic course , we all had to introduce ourselves in french; state our name, age and date of birth. At my turn, I noticed, quite a few heads looked up from their books. I was very diligent and the family cooperated and ensured meals were cooked and served while I struggled with the assignments. I must admit, if not modestly, that my notes were in demand among students who missed their classes.

For anyone above 30, getting back to school is no cakewalk. All things being equal in terms of the requisite qualifying certificate degree and marks, age should not come in the way of higher education. An older student is more mature and comes with a more favourable attitude to class. They come with rich experiences and class discussions could be more meaningful. Lecturers as well as students could benefit from this interaction.

A couple of years ago an 80 year old grandmother earned a law degree from Syracuse University. She had some difficulty, she said, carrying the heavy books to class, otherwise she managed rather well taking down her notes in longhand as opposed to others who keyed in on their laptops. She submitted all her assignments on time and earned the respect of her fellow students as well as teachers.

It is only right that age restrictions be relaxed, and while ensuring that youngsters are not deprived of their seats, allow the aspiring older students to pursue their dream.

Jaago Re

After the success of Jai Ho, the next theme with elections coming up could well be Jaago Re. Two beautiful commercials made can be watched at this link on YouTube and
Wake up!
Related Posts with Thumbnails