Two broken hearts :) (:

Two broken hearts,
oh, they’ve been squeezed so hard,
by the hands of the destiny? yes, maybe,
and yet they parade the streets,
marching on the tune only they understand,
it’s a way to the dreamland!

Two sets of eyes, both spectacled,
and yet spectacularly readable,
sometimes the pearls of sadness, not so frequent on the shore,
sometimes the awkward glances, and yet a playful galore,
reading the unsaid stories, propagated on the wind,
by the silence in between,
an absence has never been so abundant before!

A set of random notes on a table,
and the photos smiling on a wall,
a gallery to the past, and a reflection of the present,
with lights that spread a message,
creation by a gentle wave of a finger,
on a neck that looks proudly at the feelings on display!

Two tired birds, back in the nest,
one ready to fly, towards the uncertainty that awaits,
parting is a line in the black, darkness is a fact,
but not tonight, say the broken hearts,
as they listen to the beats of their counterparts,
the world dissolves in their arms,
and just a dream prevails!

Two stories, with two different endings,
yet so intertwined,
both incomplete without each other,
forbidden labels, but the feeling is love,
oh, poor broken hearts, you can’t be together,
but the streets will weep, in your memories forever!

There is a path I see!


(Inspired by the magical land of Scotland, where the nature leaves no stone unturned to mesmerize you!)

As I pull my jacket closer,
and touch my numb face,
with my cold hand, braving against the wind,
there is a path I see!


There is a path I see,
half-lit by the lamps from the houses,
where the sons of sea are ready to sleep,
wee lit as well by the street lights,
they can’t close their eyes though,
they have to guard the night!


And as my eyes cross the shore,

and rest on the other side,
to the path I see,
where waves try to gently embrace the earth,
only to be pushed back relentlessly,
again and again,
oh, but such a persistence they have,
is it the love that they claim?


And then there is an end,
deep down the darkness, across the path I see,
hidden, far, distance apart,
but there is an end, and it is a start,
to the magical bridge in sight,
connecting the land of realities,
to the world of dreams!


Ah, it’s a beautiful land,
where your dreams take a flight,
and there is no fear around,
hope never runs of your sight!
Pull your jacket closer to your heart,
brave the wind, and hold my hand,
let me take you to the magical land,
across the path I see!

How to maintain your productivity in this pandemic – 3C’s of WFH!

To be honest, when I was in office, I’d always think, that working from home would be much better than coming to office everyday.

No need to pull myself out of that dreamy sleep and slip into those formals, keeping an eye on the clock all the time.

No last minute rush to book an Uber, and forgetting my packed lunch in the kitchen itself, and then realizing it in the late of an afternoon (and self-cursing).

And I expected a substantial boost in my productivity as well – no water-cooler gossips, no frequent Tea-breaks, no afternoon slumps. Well, I wasn’t expecting a miracle, but being a consultant – a 13.33% (don’t ask the source!!!!) productivity increase, definitely was on the cards!

I was hoping for some event that would make the constant WFH a reality – that was the dream.

And when WFH home was finally mandatory due to the COVID-19 crisis, I suddenly found myself hating it, and that was the strangest part. And the major reason was, a 33.47% (never ask the source!!!!!!) in the productivity – which meant long nights required for doing almost the same amount of work.

And then I realized the fundamental problem – I have been thinking of WFH as a mandatory task being forced on me, rather than a dream every employee has been chasing – and from that point in time, I decided to treat it as choice made by myself, and things started to get better from there onward.

All thanks to a simple 3C’s framework I decided to follow (nope, you won’t find it in the Kotler 😉 ) – Compartmentalization, Collaboration and Connection.

C1 -> Compartmentalization

I decided to draw some clear boundaries between my work and personal life. The simple way for it was, defining a particular area of my home as the work area – you work only in that area, and when you are out of that part, you stop thinking about work at all – it helps you to get in and out of the work-mode, and stops the burnout as well. I have been using my personal room as the work area, but you can make your dining table/couch as that area as well.

Simple thing – but worked quite well for me.

C2 -> Collaboration

It is difficult to do a task individually, especially when there is nobody across your desk, whom you can walk up to and just ask for some help, and I initially felt the pinch. But later, me and my team decided to work on live documents (such as, live word documents in sharepoint), so that it is easy to know who is working on what, how much progress someone has made and if someone is stuck at something.

I also devised my version of the 80-20 rule of understanding – I quickly check my requirements and understandings of my work in the first 20 minutes of the day, and if I don’t have clarity about at least 80% of the tasks, I just check with my manager/colleague about how to work on it. This method saves a lot of time (no need to get stuck on a task for half of the day, and later realizing you needed to do something completely different), and gives me constant feeling that I am in control of the day!

C3 -> Connection

Staying connected with your colleagues is very important aspect of your day, just to lose your steam and also get your daily boost of morale. So, I have been trying to catch with my colleagues on my coffee breaks (of course, can’t survive without them) and strictly keep these meetings casual. Ohh, and a video call helps – show your amazing cups of coffee and caveman hairstyles (why should only you laugh at it, right?)

3 simple tricks I tried to maintain my productivity in this pandemic – 3 simple tricks that worked like a charm!

Letter from a ghost!

A cold night, a warm black hoodie, hands in the pockets, and headphones in the ears. Eyes half-closed, as steps, blindly followed the usual route on the tune of “Perfect“. Serene streets, misty air, and not even a single living entity insight. It was just another midnight walk, on my favorite streets of IIM Bangalore.

Only, that it was not.

At 3:04 AM (Thanks to my weird habits of tracking time), in the middle of the walk, as I walk past the familiar road near the sports garden, I saw someone sitting on a bench near MHU (A facility in IIM Bangalore, where married students can live with their spouses). The face was not familiar, but we still exchanged a smile. He was holding something in his hand, a white paper, a letter perhaps. As I walked past him, I felt that I heard some strange sound. I stopped the “Perfect” in my ears and then turned back, just to see if that mysterious person was okay. There was no one. It is like that person had vanished in thin air, leaving my spine filled with chill, and that paper on the bench. I cautiously walked near the bench, picked up that paper, and started reading it in the light of a lamppost.

Dear Enigmatic Angel,

I HATE YOU!

Yes, you heard it right, I hate you!

Yeah, I agree, that we had a good run, for whatever time it was, but there are a few things that I never told you. Maybe it is about the time that I do!

I hated the walks that we took together. So many of them. All of them.

I hated all the nights that we spent together: some in the houses haunted by me, some in the dreams cherished by you.

Oh yes, I hated all of them.

The silent conversations and the conversing silences.

The eccentric touches and the shy blushes.

The hand that I could never hold and the hugs we could never get.

The smiles that I would die for. And the smiles that I would live for.

The stars in your eyes and the butterflies in your stomach.

Yes, I hated them; I hated all of them.

And I hate you.

Being the ghost, I have always been, an embodiment of night and darkness, and being the Angel, you have always been, an epitome of light and laughter, we were never meant to be together!

You have been always a collector of the colors, and I have been harnessing hues.

You have been a cautious cat and I have been a harbinger of hope.

I should have listened to the world when it said, fire and ice can never unite; sky and sea can never meet; a moon cannot kiss a sun, and an Angel can never be with a Demon!

The reason is quite simple: I hate you because I love you. Truly, madly, insanely, stupidly, wildly. I will probably run out of the adjectives, but I will not run out of the love for you.

I hated the walks because I knew they would be over soon. This place had been serene earlier too, but somehow these humans have managed to make beautiful too. And in your company, it became magical. The trees would wink, the birds would smile, the lampposts would be brighter when the hands were held tighter. Every walk is a story in the book of my heart: something which you have always owned, even more than I do!

I hated the nights spent with you; coz I knew the day would arrive sooner. Sleeping in your lap, looking at the game of moons and stars in the sky, time would fly like my eyes would dissolve in the depth of your eyes!

I hated all the touches, and blushes, the silences, and words, the smiles and butterflies, coz I always knew, that they were ephemeral. I only had access to them for the nights, that too for a few of them. Those moments lasted for very few lapses of time, but their effects resonated with me for a long time. I never wanted them to end. I always craved for more.

And I hated that killing, though I loved the feeling.

They said Angels and Demons can never be together – but a fire burnt on the ice, a sky met a sea on the horizon, the moon was always kissed by the light of the sun, and a ghost was always complemented by an angel. Opposites attract. Opposites merge. Opposites complete a picture.

Colors bring out the hope in the hues, and hues make the cautions cat crave the night!

I had thought, that feeling is only made for the mortal human beings. That is what I had thought for hundreds of years of my existence. I didn’t know I was wrong, until you walked into this place, out of the blue, mesmerized me for some time, and then vanished in thin air.

Yes, you finally vanished, as you had said you would, but it was still so sudden, so unexpected, that it left my heart in pieces. Pieces, thousands, and thousands of them, that escaped my body; Pieces, that constantly search you in the heavens and hells, lives and deaths, zeroes and infinities and every other possibility of the existing and non-existing worlds. And I, the foolishly misguided ghost, wander in the streets here, with a cavity in my chest, living in your memories, desperately waiting for any of my little heart to return and take me to you. But it has been hundreds of years now; neither the heart came back, nor did you; but if I see, both are the same, aren’t they?

You have always been an Enigmatic Angel: A puzzle I could never solve. I don’t know where you came from, and I’ll perhaps never know where have vanished too. But it’s true, that my nights and my life will never be the same.

I didn’t know that I was lost until I found you.

I didn’t know what I have found until I lost you.

– A Misguided Ghost, Lost in the streets of darkness

P.S. Waiting for you to come home!

I did not know how to react when I read this letter.

I do not know who this ghost is. I do not know where the Angel vanished. I go on walks every night at 3.04 AM, hoping to return the letter to my mysterious friend, the Misguided Ghost! Maybe, some night, I will see him take a walk with that Enigmatic Angel, embracing her hand, and lost in her eyes.

I will just pass by, smiling at them, as my headphones play “Perfect” again, and my heart silently says to them, “You look perfect tonight!” 🙂

Perfect colors and imperfect hues!

Steam rising from a colourful teacup. A colourful teacup lightly perched on the delicate glass table. The glass table holding the dreamy hand of a girl with light bangs and deep eyes. Her deep eyes holding the secret to her beautiful smile. As she waited in anticipation for her interview results to come out, she could not help but notice the beautifully imperfect sunset hues, or was it the perfect shades of orange that made the sky so beautiful?

As she was doing a quick mental revision of the exact aahs and ohs from the interviewers, he came out with a smile and sat down to have some Adrak chai. No interview revision, no stress lines, and definitely no set answers. She looked at him and wondered what a carefree unplanned wanderer. He too couldn’t manage to ignore the snobbish perfectionist sipping tea like the queen of England.

Inside the interview room, the panel debated and concluded. The secretary came out and offered the job – to both of them. The secretary congratulated them and decided to answer their astonished gazes – after all it was just one position and the role requirements were tough. She knew they needed an uptight perfectionist. He knew they needed a free-flowing dynamism to hold the position.

 The secretary said, “this role is like making a painting”, explained to him, “she knows how to collect those colors”, and remarked to her, “while he knows how to harness the hues”.

quote credits – @misguided ghost

– By The Paradisiacally Imperfect

Bookmarks!

“I am really tired of your any-time-reading habit now.”

His anger was indeed genuine for his co-passenger. She would always carry a book or two in her purse, and open them at every opportune moment.

Order a coffee – and start reading.

Catch a flight – and start turning some pages.

10 extra minutes to spare in the lunch break – squeeze in a book for the dessert.

And he was really annoyed about it now, as he expected his colleague to be a little chatty during their ride from their client’s offsite office to their hotel in that isolated region, their driver didn’t know a syllable of English and the streets of that small town were far asleep to offer any muse on the way.

“And what is that bookmark?” He picked her bookmark lying on the seat of their car and glanced at it in surprise. “This looks like a two-year-old flight ticket.”

“Hey, give it back to me!”

She suddenly broke her saint-like calm and snapped that ticket out of his hand in a jiffy, and then carefully placed it back in her purse.

“I see a lot of tickets there. Do you use all of them as bookmarks?” He managed to get a glance at that pile of tickets in her purse, carefully packed in a metal case.

“Yes.” She closed the zip of her purse, like she was trying to protect her prized possessions from the world.

“And may I know why?” He was trying to hold on to that stand of conversation he had finally managed pull.

She calmly looked back at him, with a smile that he had never seen in the past 6 months they’ve been working on this project, folded her book, and started staring at the emptiness of the streets now.

He thought he had lost her attention, until her found-again-calm voice came from the other side.

“Because every journey has a memory to offer; and some memories claim the right of becoming bookmarks in your story!”

The streets were empty, but her eyes could still follow the kaleidoscope of her bookmarks.

Guest post: ‘Bois locker room’ has many more doors to open!

There’s a lot of talk about how we need to rein in our boys when they are young.

Of course, all of this precipitated by recent events regarding the IG group of boys demeaning their classmates. This will keep creating social outrage for some time until some new fad takes over and all our social media warriors nee ‘influencers’ will pick up a new cause. There’s a saying, a week is too long in politics. But I guess that’s a case for public memory in general.


All this while, we keep forgetting the most important point, these boys are behaving exactly in a way they have been taught to – whether it be movies, their contemporaries or their “cool” seniors. Having been a part of a industry that’s predominantly male dominated or college where 90% students were of one gender, I can claim that I know a thing or two about “Bois Locker Room”.


I believe everything here comes down to the values that we are imbibed with. Most of the kids have both set of parents working these days and in nuclear families these kids are left to their own. Here’s where Ambani’s Jio works against. These are kids with access to so much potent stuff. One is considered an uncool parent, if they try to restrict their kids access to internet.

But the thing is, Internet, in the hands of teenager, is just a sitting time bomb, waiting to explode.


I can in no way defend what has happened in Delhi. I won’t be surprised if there aren’t anymore such locker rooms.

But the fact remains, it because of what we have become as a society that we have reached here.


So rather than blaming a gender or generation and treating this is as an ‘event’ to boost one’s credentials, it would be great if we can make some permanent changes and contribute towards a better society.

So next time, when you see such stuff, please stand your foot down and raise your voice. It might make you a spoilsport or uncouth in eyes of those people, but you need to call them out.

Next time, you see your mom or sister or wife, slogging hard in kitchen, why don’t you lend her a hand? Or better, why not you cook the dinner tonight (and do that often), as she returns from her busy day at work?

Next time, think beyond the gender and race and caste – and just try to understand the person maybe?

A small step by each one us will probably be a giant leap for human decency (too cliched, eh ?)

But guess what, cliches are cliches for a reason – and they work!

– By Anirudha Hulsarkar

Making it work!!

“You what’s the problem of your generation?”


He looked at his boss with as polite cold eyes he could, as he slowly stirred the his black coffee – something he needed desperately after a sleepless night. The presentation was in about an hour, and he wasn’t in for a generation-gap lecture before it.


“You live in the world of tinder and LinkedIn. You have option Z ready even before you completely explore your option A.
Be it a relationship or a job, you start with an attitude that this doesn’t suit me, this won’t work, and I need to have my backup ready. Oh boy, you swipe right too often before exploring all the matches.

I mean, you should experiment, but what if you think, I’ll make this thing work from the beginning? Won’t it be a different experience?”

He calmly sipped his coffee with a smile, as boss walked over to the jukebox and tuned in a song.

A fall has gasped the nerve of the spring generation, as ‘Aint no sunshine when shes gone’ played suggestively.

Free fall!

“You know what, I am tired of your excuses now!” She was looking at him with an intensity unknown to him. She was furious. The devil was dancing on her face, and the tune was vibrating through her cheekbones.

“What excuses?” He tried to play dumb, but he knew what she was going to jump at.

“I can’t just quit my job for the startup yet. I am not ready.”

” I can’t fall in love again, I don’t want to get hurt again.”

“I can’t just travel on a solo trip to Europe – I am not ready.”

“I can’t write that book. What if I fail?”

Oh, the 100 things we don’t try, all with a single cry – “I am not ready yet.”

He was ready for a parade today, but she had decided to try a different approach.

“Have you taken a salsa class? Like ever?” The question was as unexpected, as the sudden change in her tone. A scold was now a mellow, with her hands gently stroking his cheek.

“I had taken a few sessions with a friend. And you know what do they teach you in the very first class – a free fall.”

“A free fall?” He gently held her hands and kept them away from his face. He was aware about her mood swings, but this one was getting more and more cryptic.

“Yes – a free fall – where you stand in front of your partner, with your back facing his face, and you gently let yourself fall down, hoping that your partner will catch you. The premise is, you can’t dance properly with your partner, until you trust him completely. And if he doesn’t, well, you just fall and laugh it off.” She burst into a laughter while completing her sentence. The memory of her fall was still quite fresh in her mind.

“Oh, okay? So what about it though?” The laughter added more to the puzzle.

“Don’t you think, we should treat life in a similar way? See, we will never be ready, but then you have to trust your life blindly sometimes, and just fall freely. You’ll either fall in the right place, or you’ll have a hilarious story to tell.” She gently squeezed his hand in her palms, giving enough time for the warmth and words to make an impact.

She released her hands from his grip, and walked slowly towards the balcony. The sun was slowly disappearing on the horizon while dispersing it’s orange vitality in on that blue canvas.

“You know, there is a third possibility as well?” She ensured that he followed her to that magical mezzanine.

“Sometimes, you just grow a pair of wings during the fall, and fly in the sky of your dreams.” Her finger pointed towards a flock of birds returning to their nest, as she conspired to anchor a heart away from its home.

Addiction

Love, well its very difficult to understand it,

and yet so simple to define – its just the best drug out there!

When you are standing on the sidelines, you feel it’s a stupid game,

you just don’t understand the rules;

oh sure, you’ll cheer for a goal,

but you also laugh at the wild and free desperation of the players involved,

sleepless nights, causeless fights all-abused rights and the darkness in lights

you are pretty sure you are completely immune to this mass hysteria,

until, you finally fall for it – you only know how good it feels when you taste it by yourself,

and then, there is no going back,

you’ll do all the insane things you once despised,

you live the stupidity you yourself premised,

“Oh, but it is the best feeling in the world!”

“Oh, it is nothing but a small bump in the road!”

“Oh, but we are going to make it work someday!”

And the 147 other reasons you give to justify the addiction,

and even if you stay away from it for sometime – oh boy, you just can’t,

you soulless life and lifeless soul – you’ve never been more miserable in your life,

the cure is the drug, and the drug is the cure,

cause you know, you can’t live without it anymore,

my dear friend – welcome to the greatest addiction that has ever been invented,

and you are now hooked for life!

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