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Monday, December 30, 2013

2013 Kaleidoscope & Hope for Better 2014

Finally this year has come to an end. This year end is a bit better for me as last year it was ended with Delhi Gang Rape case which was very brutal and the mood was very much gloomy. Being a woman, imagining that it could happen to another woman, it sends chill to all of us. May Amanat's family be given the strength to face the ordeal.

If we see the overall situation, in all the families, there would be ups and downs. In some families, there might be loss of loved ones, while in other families, there might be new comers with their own cuteness and fuss. Some people might go out of our circles of life and become strangers, while some strangers could come into our lives and create wonder prints. Whatever happens, life goes on.

Other than that, all over the world, we have lost some of the public figures as well. Among them are:
  1. Nelson Mandela who has given a very good legacy to us by fighting for what he believes.
  2. Paul Walker, the boyish guy that has been the reason many girls watch Fast and Furious series.
  3. Tom Clancy, the writer whose books are pretty prominent for readers who are interested in politics, espionage, military science and strategies.
  4. Shakuntala Devi, the Maths genius from India whose brain functions like a computer.
  5. Margaret Thatcher, the Iron Lady (there is a movie "Iron Lady" about her if you wish to have a watch on how her life revolves).
  6. Hugo Chavez, President of Venezuela. I personally like his name very much.
  7. Mikhail Kalashnikov, the man who created the world-wide used weapon AK-47.
  8. Other than that, we have some people from India who has spent their lives in art, such as Poet Vaali (T.S. Rangarajan as a poet, lyricist, writer, and actor) and Raghuram Master (prominent choreographer in South Indian movie industry).
Note: The list above is not comprehensive as it is from my personal point of view.

Five of the worst world natural disasters happened in 2013: (Source: www.worldvision.org)
  1. Typhoon Haiyan in Philippines
  2. Typhoon Phailin in India
  3. Hurricanes Manuel and Ingrid in Mexico
  4. Earthquake in Central Visayas - Philippines
  5. Tornadoes in The United States
Other events that happened in 2013:
  1. The United States Government shut down
  2. Dubai, UAE wins the bid for World Expo 2020
  3. Tokyo, Japan wins to host 2020 Olympics
  4. Boston Marathon blast
  5. Microsoft bought Nokia for USD 7.2 billion
  6. Mount Sinabung and Mount Merapi eruption in Indonesia
  7. Ivory Coast stampede that kills many during New Year 2013 celebration
  8. Resignation of Pope Benedict XVI
  9. Bitcoins as virtual currency gain popularity (someone bought a luxurious car with Bitcoins)
  10. Kenya Mall attack
  11. Yahoo bought Tumblr for USD 1.1 billion
  12. Some words gain popularity: Gramming (To Instgram something, just like Facebooking, Twittering, etc); Twerking; Selfie (turns Felfie = funeral selfie, after President Obama did the selfie during Nelson Mandela's funeral ceremony), and many others which have been updated in Oxford Dictionary last August 2013.
However, beyond all that, let's hope that the coming year would be better than before - not only from our personal point of view, but also for the overall human community on this earth. And let's not forget that no matter how we jump up and down for the new year celebration, it won't erase the chronic problems that we are facing as human race. It's not going to change the reality and the daily things that we are facing UNLESS we are willing to start some changes within ourselves. Let's not be like a Kiwi bird who thinks that it is safe in darkness and can't be found in darkness by simply closing its eyes. I'm sure we are better than that.

And about New Year Resolutions, I am not so much a person with New Year Resolution because most new year resolution are not continued for a long term. Let's not make that simply as a trend, unless you really mean it of course.

If you are truly to determined to do something, then you won't wait for New Year to come and if you wait for New Year to start something, then I believe you don't understand the importance of it at all. Whatever you wish to do, whether it is losing weight or gaining weight, start eating healthy, start writing that pending novel of yours, start that business that you have been dreaming, propose that girl that you have loved for ages, ask for forgiveness for the mistakes you have done, have a health check for the issue that has been bugging you, get out of that destructive relationship... whatever it is, it takes more than a NEW YEAR RESOLUTION to motivate you in doing it. It takes determination, courage, and faith in order to get something. So if you want to do it, motivate yourself to the maximum and by the grace of God, I hope it will turn out just well.

And just a reminder for all of us:

If you can help someone in need, whether it is just a free tuition for the little girl next door whose family's financial condition is not so good, then help.

If you can be there for a friend's helpless condition and all you could do is just to give your presence & soothing words, then be there.

If you have too much extra money and you could educate one orphan, then do it.

If you have too much food and you could share it to the kids on the street who might not even have access to 3 meals a day, then share it. We never know that one piece of chocolate cake that you share might be the best memory for one of the kids until that kid reaches 90 years old one day.

If you can forgive, then forgive. If you can't, then let go.

If you believe in something (no matter how harsh, how controversial it is), then stand for it. Life is too short to stand on others' shadow.

One person can't help everyone, but everyone can at least help one person at one moment of his time. Let's pay forward!

And before I end this, I would like to share a link from Harvard Business Review Blog: 10 Extraordinary People and Their Lessons for Success. I find it very inspirational. Hope you will like it too.

Wish you all a wonderful year ahead and special thanks from me for all the readers who has been reading this blog all this year. I have been getting some good reviews and critics. All of them are taken as constructive feedback and I can't thank more for that. Thank you once again. Wish you all the best. God be with you!

Poetry: Dreams in a Box

DREAMS IN A BOX

I once moved ahead of time
To realize that my timeline was imaginary
I flew high thinking it was utopia
Until I crashed down to pieces

I was left behind
Time was laughing at me
I sat still

I put my dreams in a box
I locked them with my disappointment
It was a lock without a key
I shoved it deep inside the closet of misery
So that no one shall find it

No doors
No light
No color
It's invisible
No one shall find it

Dreams…
If my dreams are material
I shall find a way
But…
They are maya

There is a shadow hanging over my bed
Every night telling that my dreams are waiting
But each time I wake up
I tell myself, it was just a dream
That I have locked tight
No one, not even me, shall open it again

Even if I wish, I don't know how to open it
How?
It's a lock without a key
Once it's locked... It's for good

They say dreams should be chased
Where should I chase when I don't even know where they are
Where do I start?
What is my first step?

Reality is harsh
It’s bitter
It’s painful
But it’s true

Moving through the thorns
Having my feet bleed
And letting my heart be sliced & beaten up to pieces
Have been my only solace … that my mind is in a safe corner

My feet are on the ground
No more dreams
No more hope
No more wishes
All are maya

I put my dreams in a box
And walk away…
To reality
To free world
To man-eating-man society
I raise my sword
Hold tight to my shield

I protect my sanity

I put my dreams in a box
and...
Let the reality continue


 ***********

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Bribing God? Hmmm...

Today I was talking to a 53-year old man who has been pretty successful in his life if we see it from social network and financial point of views. At least those were what I saw.

The conversation has gone twisted here and there which eventually led into "financial corruption" general issues. From the opinions that he had shared, I could clearly understand that he approves of the so-called "white corruption" which doesn't involve criminal acts. In real world, we say that as commission taking from projects or even giving money to smooth out certain red-tapes.

However, one statement surprised me pretty wildly. He said "If you are scared of God for committing corruption, then give 50% of what you get to the shrine donation". And I was like "WOW".

I am not telling that I am a holy human being here because I know I am clearly not, but to the extent of Bribing God? Now, that's way too many steps higher than I could ever imagine. You want to donate some of your black money for good purpose, please Go Ahead, but by telling "God, I'm sharing half of this with you" clearly doesn't make you come out clean-slate. It doesn't make you right.

This man that I was talking to evidently wasn't sensitive at all. I know he goes for praying every day. Now, I start questioning "Is he allying God for an unethical acts in his prayer?"

Just because our concept is different from other people, it doesn't mean that it is not right. Yes, that is true, but Bribing God with black money in order to vote ourselves NOT GUILTY?

Come on!! What the hell are we thinking?

Thursday, December 12, 2013

The Boomerang of Hiring a New Personnel

A couple of days ago, I was in the position to select a person in Freelancer to do some of our tasks and I found that pretty confusing. It is not something that I have done before and it definitely taught me some lesson. I realized how hard it must be for an HRD to decide which person to be placed in which position. I could really understand if mistakes are bound to happen due to the polished outer peel.

Since this was my first experience, I couldn't tell much but if there is one thing that I would like to focus is "language". It's not merely the grammar but the tone where you use that language. You don't simply apply for a job without understanding the proper way of communicating.

You don't simply go to the person who hired you and say "give me money" or "good morning give me payment".

I'm not telling the message is wrong. What I'm telling is, the way you convey the message is wrong. Of course, if you provide a service, you are entitled for a payment, but making you look as if you were chasing the employer with "give me payment, give me payment" won't sound so good. I definitely could understand the concern where you are afraid that you won't be paid, but chasing with such unethical tone is not going to help you in any way, especially when you haven't delivered the task as per the criteria.

In a professional world, there are protocols to follow. You can't simply barge in with such straight forward approach. If you do such thing in a real corporate where you meet viz-a-via with your superior, I could really understand if you are kicked out of the company in a snap of a finger.

Wouldn't it be more nice to say "Good morning mam. For the services that I have provided, would you please release the initial payment? I would really appreciate that."

You may say "That's my money. I earned it, why should I beg?"

It's not begging. That's the Protocol. It's not only for your superior, but that's how things are operating in corporate world if you want to create a harmony among your peers, subordinates, and superior. No matter how low a person is in the management ranking, he is entitled to the protocol, but yet, not many people understand this and hence, there would be grudge and eventually, like a boomerang, the issue would return to HRD with a name of "Staff Grievances".

A well-polished CV with all the skills certified with flying colors do not guarantee a person could perform a task well. AND EVEN THOUGH, he could perform the task well, in order to survive in corporate world, that alone is not sufficient. You must have a proper character and proper way of communicating. You like it or not, certain protocols must be followed even if you are the owner of the entire empire.

I think that is the only topic I wish to touch at the moment and it reminds me to an article I was reading some time ago by Richard Branson in the LinkedIn. You could click here to read:
Seriously, I LOVE the last line he placed in that article. That was epic ;). Everyone should read this, because this is not only limited to the corporate world but also in our daily life. Happy reading!

Monday, December 9, 2013

Random Food Photography

Today, I think I will just share some of the food photographs that I have taken since some time ago. Not very special ones, but might be entertaining to have a look at your leisure time :)

Weekend Lunch = Water Spinach + bean sprouts stir fry, Tofu + fish sambal (cooked in chili) + Oyster Mushroom Finger chips + Pepino fruit

Tofu + Brinjal sambal + Ground spinach curry

Cashew + Almond, Pistachio, Walnut, Black Raisin, Anjur

Roasted almond soaked in Honey

Obettu = Karnataka traditional sweet (I am not so good with the shape, so I made the shape like a Bolani). Bolani is Afghan Paratta.

My All Time Favorite - Instant Noodle

Lemon

Soaked & Peeled Almonds

Steamed Sweet Potatoes

Tilapia Fish sambal

Fried Bihun with Prawn

Childhood breakfast - Salted butter crackers with sweet black tea

Soaked almond + cashew + black raisin

Worst combination of snacks - Boiled egg & salted butter crackers

Chocolate and Cheese bread - The best ever

Water Apples

Salted Crackers with Choco grain

Roast banana topped with grated cheddar & chocolate grain


Indonesian traditional sweets - Kolak (Banana cooked in coconut milk + jaggery/brown sugar)

Quail Eggs

Quail Eggs

Drumstick Chocolate Doughnut

Indonesian traditional steamed jaggery cup cakes

Indonesian traditional layer cake

Indonesian traditional dish - Tauco (with quail eggs, tofu, prawns, and french beans)

Indonesian traditional snack - Onion chips

Butter Nut Caramel Candies. A cup of candies anyone? :)



Snake Fruit

Santang Daun Oranges (very small, but damn sweet) :)
And approximately 2 weeks ago, my friend suddenly called "Hey, get your front yard ready, we are coming for BBQ" and here are the shots :). Thank you for Kevin, Ensui, Kiminiko, and Ensui's girlfriend for the extraordinary evening. And special thanks to Ensui's girl to make a grand salad & perfect sour-sweet chili dip for the grill. They were excellent. Love you guys :)
Chicken in the process :)

The walking tray of drinks, rice, chips, glasses, and plates

Cucumber and Lime for BBQ Salad

Sweet Onion and Lettuce for BBQ Salad
Chicken pieces are ready

Grilled Salmon

Salmon in the process. Brushed with butter & chili using lemon grass root

Gourami. The best when grilled :)

And let's not forget the best of all - Milk Corn grill :). Eating it at 1 am with an interesting conversation :)

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Suicide: 7 Questions To Ask Before You Decide!

Suicide topic has come to my ears this morning and suddenly it hit me like a lightning... "Ahhhh yes... that's the personal experience that I haven't specifically shared".

In a man's life (man = both man & woman), there would be a point where he at least once thinks of suicide and I think it's pretty common. It can't be said as abnormal. The issue is that some people go to the extend of actually committing it, while the others have the capacity to bounce back from such thoughts.

I personally ever was in this position in my life. The pain that I felt was so intense that the only pain-relief that I could think of was ending my own life. That thoughts were scary. It was dark, helpless, hopeless. I couldn't sleep for many days. The cause of the pain keep shouting in my ears. I had nightmares all night along. My heartbeat was a total mess. It was like I had a dead brain. There was no rational reasoning anymore, only darkness & the pain - the words. I heard words that I thought I never would hear, but I did and I didn't have the capacity to accept those words. I didn't even think about the people who love & care about me. All I could think of was death as the solution. I chided God for what I faced. I hated God for what happened. I was angry with God.

BUT, in the end, there was one thing that came across my mind. It was a question. The question was "Are you going to let go the entire history of your life just because one incident that was beyond your control? An incident by a person who no longer deserves to be a part of your life?"

And that question was enough for me to stop thinking about suicide ever. I may not sound so modern, but what help me have a clear head was prayers - the best weapon for human beings. There were several people who helped me see the blessings that I have had in my life, the responsibilities of mine, the dreams that I have to catch. I started praying again. I asked for forgiveness for my radical thoughts, my radical anger, my uncontrollable hatred. I prayed for peace in my heart. I was blessed and I still am.

I don't know how many people are right now in the position where I was long ago, but if you are in a suicidal situation, please stop for a while and ask these questions to yourself:

  1. Have you seen God through the blessing & the people that you could cherish in your life?
  2. Is there a person whose world would crumble down if you die?
  3. Is there a goal in your life that you want to achieve as a human being?
  4. Is there one single tiny reason for you to keep that precious life of yours intact?
  5. Are you sure God's willing in your life is for you to die in your own hands?
  6. Are you that blind that you can't even have faith that every bad thing happens for good reason?
  7. Is the incident that you are facing now worth sacrificing the entire history, present, & future of your life?

If you answer YES for any of the first 4 questions or NO for any of the last 3 questions, then get rid of that dark thoughts.

The reasons for your dark thoughts may come from your own mistakes or from others' mistakes. Whichever it is, it's worth forgiving. You may not be able to forgive others, but you can forgive yourself and that's more than enough. Our harvest is based on the seed we throw, so next time, pay attention on what kind of seed you are throwing.

You don't have to have a strong inclination to prove that you are better to the people who did wrong to you. If you live with such intentions, the responsibility will be too heavy for you. You would be driven by revenge to prove that you are better. Trust me, I was there once and it's not worth it. The more peace you create for yourself, the more you focus in your daily task, and the more you give the best to everything you do... the more the best would come.

All you have to do is, focus on your daily task. Do your job, whatever it is; Eat healthy food; Go out and get some fresh air; Meet new people; Do new things. By the grace of God, sooner or later, you will be completely out of that dark stage and be reborn for something better in your life.

Just remember: What doesn't kill you, will only make your stronger, brighter, and braver... if only you swallow it hard & move up ;)

Have a blessed weekend folks and God bless you!