Friday, February 27, 2009

Of Dogs, Century and Work times

While driving back home last evening:

Me: Hey, guess what? I saw a dog today!!!! Ain't that something?!?
Bro: I saw two the other day!
Me: Whhaaat??!!??
Bro: Yeah, can you believe it?!
Me: Noooohhh! Lucky you. The blessed one.
Bro: I beat you at it.
Me: Don't rub it in.
Bro: (After a few seconds) What are you thinking?!
Me: About my next blog post (smiling wryly)

....which also happens to be my 100th post. That's 100 posts in 1 year and 4 months of blogging. That's 1 post every 4.87 days. I never blog on weekends. So that's one post every work week. Not a pretty bad average I guess. Work reminds me....

Last Tuesday I had the most optimized work day. The expected in-time at my work is 9.30 am with 15 min grace so effectively that's 9.45! Expected out-time is 6 pm. On Tuesday my entry-exit log read:

In-time: 09:44:38 AM and
Out-time: 18:01:12 PM

I've had several 9.45 ins and several 6pm outs. But never on the same day! I always thought the best possible combination is to get in 1 min before time and out 1 min after time. And coincidentally last Tuesday was the first time that happened. Which takes me to another point....

I think no one should work beyond their stipulated work hours. At my last job, leaving on time was almost like a CLM (Career Limiting Move). It was a taboo. Colleagues spoke about it behind your back. Managers gave sarcastic comments. Even the cab drivers stared at you. You almost wished to be invisible. Leaving work on time would require maneuvering. (Guys, I'm going to take a bio break (or smoke break or a quick snack). Anyone coming?). And you walk towards the rest room (or the balcony or the pantry) and then quietly slip out.

But it was my first job; full of energy; all guns blazing; out to prove to the corporate world that the next big thing has arrived. So it hardly ever mattered. I've stayed back at work even upto 7-8 hours. Overtime was not part of the package. So never got paid for it.

Thankfully, my current job has no such 'culture'. People come on time and leave on time. Period. And so do I. Work never requires me to stay 15 min more than my time. Guess I learnt a bit of time management as well. And I almost never work from home. Have 8.5 hrs to do my job and I make sure my job gets done in that time. Work should be at work. It should never take up your personal time.

Ofcourse if you get paid to work late, that's a different thing! Go, dog...err...Tiger!

(p.s.: For the record, you never see a stray dog in UAE)

Friday, February 20, 2009

Random rantings - 1

Ever get that feeling when you know you have it all yet you also know it's incomplete? Or like not having any reasons to complain but still feel like complaining.

Feeling something like that today.

I'm really tired. And sleepy. Have headache and that nagging backache due too long hours behind the wheel. Still haven't recovered from flu and my antibiotics are over. I am overweight. And I need to see a dentist! (Groan). Health has taken such a backseat in my life that someday I think I might just drop dead.

Work front is OK but I hate spending close to three hours commuting daily! Sucks

The wife and kiddo are OK but I hate being away from them for so long! Sucks

I start with Atkins tomorrow. That sucks too.

I stood up my friends today. Has happened for the first time ever. This after I had booked the movie tickets myself. BIG sucks.

Phone at my desk doesn't work. The watchman did not wash my car today. I want to change the curtains in my room. The kiddo's birth certificate (required for his passport which is in-turn required for his visa) is taking forever to come. I need to start working out or play some cricket or tennis.

Whoever said I had no reasons to complain?!?

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Passionné par les parfums

Very few things in life that I am really passionate about. One of 'em is perfumes. There is no measure about how much I absolutely dig good perfumes. Every time I step into a departmental store or a mall or duty free, by default I get dragged to the perfume section checking out the latest testers. I make notes on which I like and hope to add to my collection. Ah, by 'collection' don't get wrong ideas. I have a rather modest collection. But am determined to increase it moving forward.

I think a good fragrance is like a person's identity. And careful consideration should be taken before selecting one. Not just pick something that smells good but check if that fragrance goes with your overall personality. I'm no expert on personality traits neither on perfumes but, little that I can understand, I try and keep these aspects in mind before selecting one.

And hence it does not take a genius to figure out that the gifts I've given out most often are perfumes. I know what fragrances go best on me. There's not much left to uncover actually. So what's the next best way to keep this passion rolling?! Buy for others! :)

I don't remember when this started. Back in college, all that mattered was a good deo. And Adidas was a clear winner then. I did have a large collection of deos though but again, they were purchased mostly on offers or bulk and they were cheap. No passion per se. When I got to b-school, my bro bought me my first real one. He took me into this store, walked to the perfume section and asked me to go crazy! Imagine my excitement!!! After almost an hour, I finally picked up Baldesarini from Hugo Boss. It was my most prized possession - A Hugo Boss perfume! I still have it :)

As I got to my first job and more financial independence, which I think was the key, the passion really kicked in: Dunhill Desire Blue, Davidoff Deep, Remy Marquis, Eternity by CK, Gio by Armani, Euphoria by CK & Davidoff Echo. Next on my desirables list is Bvlgari Soir, Ferrari Black and Dior Homme.

This is one passion I wish to continue pursuing in the future. Ofcourse, provided Oracle keeps rolling out those commission cheques! ;)

Wednesday, February 11, 2009


'Dowry', as it is known in India, is one of the oldest prevailing so-called 'customs' of our great country. This country, which in the 21st century, is arguably one of the most powerful on the planet, largest democracy and stated to become one of the largest economies in the world some day! Yet, we still haven't got rid of dowry, amongst others.

What exactly is dowry? As stated by a friend on her blog (which by the way is the inspiration behind this post), it is the price of a groom. Period. The bride's family is forced into buying a match for their girl. How cool is that! What is most disturbing is the fact that these dowry demanders are none other than today's bloody youth. Family pressure they say. How can an educated, twenty something male of today's India succumb to that. Why can't they oppose it? What are they risking? Will they not get married if they don't take dowry? Will their families, cast or community boycott them? What is the fuckin problem?!?

Is money the problem? Go fuckin earn it, jackass! Why beg? And if that's what you really wanna do, go hit the streets loser. It's a thriving job for sure. What's the difference between asking for dowry and begging anyway. All the same.

I know of many people, personally and by acquaintances, who have demanded and/or accepted dowry. Isn't the bride's family already giving away their girl to you? First, they give away their girl. Second, they end up paying off their asses for it. And thirdly, that's not the end of it. Repeat demands and if, unfortunately, they are not fulfilled, I can only imagine the hell she has to face by her in-laws.

What is wrong with our fuckin society? Why can't we put an end to this? All hell broke loose when women were beaten up by those rama sena goons in Mangalore. India's youth stood up and made their voices heard. There are campaigns in place to oppose it. But is anyone doing anything about the dowry system?

I proudly state that I did not demand any dowry when I got married. Nor did anyone else from my family. And nor did I give my sister to a dowry demander. I strongly condemn it. I'd just like to ask one question to these dowry demanders. When you put a price tag on your boy, does this mean that your boy is worth that 'x' amount of money only? Can we so easily decide what your boy is worth? How do you decide the price then? For instance, if I am to sell a commodity, I take the cost of raw material, manufacturing costs, labor charges, transporting cost, taxes and then a profit margin. Do you decide your dowry this way? I bet you do! Then why not just put an ad in the paper and sell him off to the highest bidder?

Some families voluntarily give dowry (gifts/jewelery/cash etc) with their girl. Nothing wrong with that. It's their girl and they decide what they wanna give. It's up to them. Resist but, if they insist strongly, respect that.

Others argue that since they paid dowry for their girl, they will demand dowry for their boy. Well, in that case, if someone robs you, do you go and rob someone else? Or if someone jumps off a building, would you do the same? Eye for an eye, eh? Jokers!

It's about time that we put a stop to this. There is awareness for sure; news reports on some one-off cases where the girl refuses to marry the guy and reported his family to cops. But more needs to be done. Guys/Boys/Men/whatever, please put your foot down. You are the one who is getting married. Not your families. You guys are educated. You are the future of this country. Respect that. Honor that.


(I write this because one of my friends was asked for dowry recently. She refused the marriage proposal. Kudos to her)

Friday, February 6, 2009

What a welcome! :)

I had taken 3 weeks off for my wife's delivery in Jan. This, at a time, when going on vacation or leave might result in a memo from the management asking you not to come back ever! So in that context, I think my boss is really cool. And that too after giving me 12 days off in December as well. Does the fact that I hit my annual sales target in December matter? For argumentative sake, let's just ignore that for the time being! ;)

And was it hard for me to leave my new born baby and wife behind and come back to work? Hell, Yes! How on earth was I supposed to concentrate on work? How would I feel when I sat at my desk?

This is what awaited me when I got to my desk.

Balloons, a big teddy bear, candles, chocolates, sweets, a baby record book, wind chime, small baby porcelain boy, funny messages posted on my cubicle walls, message saying 'Welcome Ibrahim' and a card signed by the whole team - everything in BLUE! And to top it all up, everyone was dressed in blue as well. Here are some more snaps of my desk

It was just unbelievable. My team had spent a large portion of Friday making arrangements. It was perfect. There couldn't have been any other way that I'd have liked to get back to work with. It raised my spirits. Felt so much at home. I was amongst a team where human emotions mattered. We are not working at a sweatshop. They were there to share my happiness and welcome me. I felt happy when I could have felt sad, lonely and depressed. It was so overwhelming that I almost cried. To me, this is a TEAM. And I am proud to be part of it.

Later found out that it was my boss's idea and another member of my team. But in the end, everyone helped set things up. I've been raving about this to whoever I find. Surprisingly its taken me four days to blog about.

Monday, February 2, 2009

A day in the life of Ibrahim

This is what a typical day looks like in the life of little Ibrahim (and thus his parents too!)

12 am: Sweet sound sleep (ZZZ)
Cycle 1 start:
12.30 am: Hungry baby wakes up crying. Feeding time.
12.45 am: Burp burp
1.00 am: Hic hic hic (hiccups)
1.10 am: Potty time! Nappy change.
1.25 am: Potty again. Nappy change again.
1.30 am: Hungry baby again. Quick feed.
1.40 am: ZZZ
Cycle 1 end.
4.00 am: Repeat cycle 1.
8.00 am: Repeat cycle 1 but no ZZZ
9.00 am: Play time with momma and yaba (Arabic word for Papa)
10.00 am: Quick feed and ZZZ
12.00 pm: Potty time. Su-su on yaba. Nappy change.
12.30 pm: Massage time followed by sponge bath.
1.00 pm: Change of clothes and play time.
1.30 pm: Tired hungry baby. Feeding time.
1.45 pm: Burp burp. ZZZ
4.00 pm: Hungry baby. Potty time. Total chaos. All hell breaks loose.
4.45 pm: Finally ZZZ
7.00 pm: Repeat cycle 1.
9.30 pm: Repeat cycle 1.
12.30 am: Repeat cycle 1.

With able assistance from Ibrahim's:
1. Naani (Maternal grand mother)
2. Daadi mummy (Paternal grand mother)
3. Mamujaan (His mother's elber bro)
4. Khala (His mother's younger sis)
5. Nanujaan (Maternal grand father)
6. Phu (His father's younger sis)
7. And others