Friday, February 03, 2012

People who leave a mark

When we get separated from someone dear to us, does their part or role in our life end there?

To answer this question, I would first want to categorize the people in my life into two: One, those who don't matter much and the other who matter a lot. Anyone who touched my life to make a positive difference would always matter to me. Whether they are alive or dead, near or away, they seem to have found a place in my decision-making algorithms.

When it comes to reacting to a situation, we tend to go back to our past and use the historical data to some extent. All those who were a part of those historical events that set my thinking to react in a certain manner are, in a way, with me. They are affecting my life by influencing my decisions. These people could be family members, friends, teachers, colleagues, or bosses. Sometimes, it could be one person you met while traveling and there is little chance you might bump into that person again.

If the interactions or stories of those separated people touched us in any positive way, they become inseparable and we can never write off their part in shaping our lives.

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Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Life's biggest Ally


When I think about companions and friends, I notice something very common to most of them. They all get separated from you at one point of time. This separation could either be temporary or permanent. While you move on in your life, you find more companions joining you but there is one companion that you should always have by your side. Most friendships are two-sided or mutual, that is, there is an effort from both sides to continue the relationship. This means that there is a dependency. Even if you give your best to a relationship, you cannot drag it if the other one is not willing to linger. So obviously, a relationship that can run with just your effort is supposed to be a better deal. Yes, it is... The companion or the friend for life I am talking about is HOPE. Never lose it... Losing it means giving in to battles of Life. Losing it means giving up the will to Live and betray Life. So, search for a loyal and trustworthy friend, a soulmate, and your "Companion for Life" in Hope.

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Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Chak De - India

Chak De is getting rave reviews from all corners. I got to see the movie, last saturday. Almost throughout the movie, I found myself on the edge of the seat. My review of the movie says:

Chak De is - Thrilling, Exciting, Motivating, Patriotic and Thought-provoking, besides being a throughly entertaining movie. A must-watch movie for all Indians.

Just look at the issues covered in the movie:


  • Team-building
  • Hockey - our almost forgotten 'National' game
  • Indian Women in Sports and their challenges at home and on the ground
  • A celebrated Hero who lost it all in one missed penalty stroke and how he fights back
  • Politics surrounding the Boards and Sports committees
  • Above all , the idea of being one nation, rather than a collection of states and regions.

I tried to list down a few lessons I learnt from the movie. They are:


  • Playing for ONE cause (one country) makes a team.
  • More than one reasons/goals, just gets a few individuals fighting their own team.
  • There might emerge two powerful lobbies lead by two probable leaders. One of them has to give in for the TEAM to WIN.
  • Reciprocating a favour builds trust and strenthens team bonding.
  • A common threat or enemy unites a divided team.
  • An individual's personal reason can affect his/her performace in both ways.
  • Personal challenges encourage people and help them set high goals and accomplish them. Without Team support, no personal challenges can be met.
  • When there is a determination, past failures, and injuries also MOTIVATE to win.
  • When there has been no past, there is all probability of history being written.
  • Lastly, the coach(boss) is always right ;)
Those who have seen the movie already can comment on this post. The rest can go "watch the movie".

~ Qais

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Wednesday, August 30, 2006

This IBSAF banner says it all

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My First Crush in Goa

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Just Arrived: Writing on the sand

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Qaisism: 1:03

"Sometimes, to understand the wheel, we may inevitably need to re-invent it"

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

IBSAF Pan-India Alumni Retreat, Goa

The Journey:

We nearly missed our train to Pune just because of the quarrelsome auto-rickshaw fellow. He wasn't willing to take any alternative route in traffic jam. He didn't have sufficient fuel for his auto to reach the station so he switched off the engine in traffic on the pretext of saving fuel. Even when the traffic got eased, he wasn't starting the auto and kept on pushing it on the road and picking up fights with others on the way. Somehow, we reached the station and I had to hire a porter just to be on the safer side.

Next day, we boarded the bus from Pune to Goa. Gautam and Prerna joined us in Pune. It was first bus service of Raj Travels running from Pune to Goa. As the bus moved, they started playing the movie - Taxi no 9211 and when the movie finished, the bus stopped for dinner. The place was Shivapur and we got to know that it was just 30 km away from Pune. The driver had to take an alternative route as the main road to Goa was blocked due to continual rains in the region. The alternate route was quite an adventurous one as it passed through the Ghats, Hills and Valleys.

We stopped for morning tea at a roadside restaurant on our way. We were told that it would take two and half hours to reach Panjim from that place. We weren't surprised as it was expected. The bus reached Panjim and we were a little relaxed that our destination- Margao wouldn't be far now. But that part of journey seemed the longest and toughest. Finally we reached Margao, tired and drained.

As soon as we got down, four of us pushed ourselves into a taxi (Maruti Omni) and started for the Nanu resort. It was this place where our stay was arranged by IBSAF. Photo


Nanu Resort is just about 13 km away from Margao Bus stand. It is hardly 100 meters away from the beach which is probably called Betalbatim.

Day 1: Saturday, August 12, 2006

The First Crush
Luckily, we got sea facing rooms. As soon as we opened the balcony door, we were swept by the breeze coming from the sea and the roaring loud noise of the sea served for us as the most pleasant music. We got recharged with tea we had ordered just then. Quickly, we took bath, went to Resort's Restaurant and had lunch. We had already decided to walk to the beach just after Lunch and we did that. Photo

It was a long planned but overdue visit to Goa for me. It was the first time I was face to face with the sea in broad daylight (I had seen a sea only when I had been to Chennai but it was in the night). I couldn't help writing on the sand - "Finally, I have arrived". No sooner had I completed writing it with my toes, it started raining and we had to rush back to the resort.

Boat Cruise in the Evening
In the evening, we were taken for the ride on boat cruise with all the members of IBSAF. I don't know whether it is a river or backwaters but it is called Mandovi River. They have a dance and music show on the deck. Some dancers presented Goan and Portuguese folk dances and then they played some good music and invited the audience on the stage. We had some good fun on the boat. For my record, I would like to mention the names of the people who came for the boat cruise. They are - Disney, Rajiban, Kashif, Gautam, Prerna, Mohit, Kartik, Saket Jalan and Saket's wife.

Shopping:
We picked up some packs of Cashew nuts, Bebinca - a Goan specialty and some Goa trademark T-shirts and Shorts.

First Dinner @ the Get-together
We met at the Resort Restaurant for the first dinner during the Pan Indian Alumni Retreat sponsored by IBSAF. This dinner wasn't sponsored by IBSAF but Saket Jalan did the honors. Laiq Ali Khan, Neeraj Singh and his wife, joined us there. After the dinner, we were thinking of having Tea but we were told that the kitchen was closed by then. So, we decided to have a stroll on the beach.


Day 2: Sunday, August 13, 2006

On the second day, we went on the conducted tour of South Goa. We started off in a mini-bus at about 11 am. The first destination was about 45 minutes drive from the Resort so we played some antakshari. The first stop was a temple, then we went to St. Francis Church followed by Miramar and Dona-Paula beaches.

In the evening, we had the IBSAF sponsored dinner and a DJ was also arranged for the entertainment.


Day 3: Monday, August 14, 2006

It was most exciting and eventful day for all of us. We were at the beach in the morning and had loads of fun. By the time we got completely exhausted physically, it was just 9:45 am. We realized how much one can get in a day if we wake up early. We had the sumptuous breakfast in wet clothes coz no one had the energy to walk to the room, change and take bath.

At noon, we all checked out from the Resort and started for North Goa. Now, this one wasn't an official tour. Disney, Rajiban, Kashif, Gautam, Prerna, Me and my family set off for this trip. We picked up some sandwiches and cakes for a quick lunch from Panjim and saw Aguada fort and beach, Vagator beach and Anjuna beach.

Prerna's mp3 music cd which she burnt especially for the Goa tour came in good use on this trip since the cab (a Toyota Qualis) had a CD player. We enjoyed the music, the wet and scenic beauty of Goa and the camaraderie. It was a soothing and rejuvenating experience for all of us.

The Farewell
Seven of us were at Panjim at around 8 pm. Disney, Rajiban and Kashif were to stay another day whereas Gautam, Prerna, Me, my wife - Sumbul and my son - Ayaan bid farewell to Goa and our friends. Paulo Travels' bus was ready to take us to Pune.

Thus ended a three-day magical bonanza

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Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Of Expectations, Reality, and Frustration

Blessed is the man who expects nothing, for he shall never be disappointed
Alexander Pope

In today’s cutthroat corporate world, it is not strange to hear people complaining about frustration. I never paid any heed to this phenomenon called “frustration,” until the time I experienced it myself. And there have been more than one instances when I have felt utterly frustrated; the latest instance being yesterday night itself. Yesterday’s frustration resulted from a really insignificant and personal reason, and I will cautiously not put it here… However, as always happens after the “frustration stroke,” I set out thinking on the reasons. I thought on why I am getting frustrated so much, and so often? Why don’t I have the same attitude and vigor of enjoying life as it comes, as I used to do some years back when I was in college? Why do things not happen the way I “EXPECT” them to happen? Alternatively, did things really happen they way I expected them to happen earlier? If not, is it that I have lost my aptitude of reconciling my emotional acumen with a reality stripped off the expected??? What is it that makes me adore the expected and belie and elude the reality??

All these bold and italicized elements gave me a self-explaining and befitting answer; and I set out thinking on expectation, reality, and frustration. Retrospection is an essential rejoinder to any frustration stroke; else, frustration gets instilled in your personality. And retrospection, to me, demands a solemn and comport comprehension of the past. Anyways, I had been attempting to compare present expectations and past expectations. Past always appeals to me, because it gives me immense learning in the form of relentless experiences and endeavors. And these learning forays have made me what I am today; what I EXPECTED to be some time back. “Treat a man as he is, he will remain so. Treat a man the way you expect him to be, and he will become as is expected from him.” Therefore, I have always treated myself as I expect myself to be. And self is the exact reflection of what you actually are. Retrospection on the past also gives me the pleasure of celebrating my triumphs over life; no, over the unexpected.

All said and done, what I analyzed about my past is that it was a lot closer to the expected. As a child, I was a struggler, since I only had expectations and realities. That phase of my life saw the most panoptic divide between expectation and reality. I never knew what it felt like when expectation and reality met. Then one day, they actually met. So started the next phase of my life; when I experienced the convergence of expectations and reality and started expecting expectations and reality to meet. This phase was still characterized by struggle, and I still felt the relishing finale of expectations meeting reality. An important thing that I learnt about life in this phase is that “Expecting the world to treat you fairly because you are a good person is a little like expecting the bull not to attack you because you are a vegetarian.”

With time, however, this phenomenon of expectations meeting reality became a vernacular part of my expectations; thus uplifting the schema of my expectations. Well, if expecting expectations to meet reality becomes inherent, this is the stage when frustration sets in. It is bound to set in, as this stage signifies the superlative degree of virtual triumphs and a sheer lack of struggling spirit. So, where am I now? Have I taken expectations and reality for granted? Has too much of good happened to me? So much that I have become insane and ignorant to reality as it is; stripped off expectations at times? Or is it that I want to transcend the boundary of time and want to see expectations and reality meet before they are actually meant to meet? All of it; perhaps. For one thing, expectations and reality do meet, always. Because time separates them and dream integrates them. I have stopped dreaming these days… Stopped living??? What I need to do is to revisit my old days, unlearn the triumph of expectations meeting reality, learn the art of relishing the struggle, and relearn the experience and joy of expectations meeting reality. What I need to do away with is to stop evading reality, rather evade the sense of frustration and dissatisfaction and enjoy the struggle that comes between expectations meeting reality. This enjoyment will set in once I start dreaming again. Never regret dreaming, for dreams are the supplement to reality!! :-)

Sunday, April 23, 2006

First day at Manugistics

I joined Manugistics on Friday, 21 April 2006. At the end of the day, a colleague wanted to know my feedback. I wasn't ready with it at that moment. So, now that I am ready, I thought I might share it here.

Overall, it was a wonderful day. The first thing that happened to me was the best thing. Probably, Manugistics has the tradition of welcoming their employees on their first day by putting up a welcome message, right in the front of the elevators. As the elevator door opened for me, I read the message " Manugistics welcomes Mohd Qais Mujeeb". It was so nice to find my name there as I stepped in to start my first day.

The joining formalities were completed in an hour. Fortunately, the personal data form wasn't very long and tedious. I was helped by my team members and support team to have everything I needed in a record time. In about 90 minutes, I was sitting on my workstation, already having something to do. I was introduced to other team members and they were quick enough to offer me some good companionship and some tips required for work.

In short, I would say: Good Infrastructure, Friendly atmosphere and a cohesive team is all what is needed and I seem to have got it now.

Serving a Notice Period

Disclaimer: Whatever I am going to write is an analysis derived from discussion with several people about their thoughts on serving notice period at their organization of work. This analysis is of generic nature and it doesn't relate to any person or organization in specific.

On Thursday, 20th April, I served my last day at VisualSoft Technologies. It was an end to my 27 month stay at Visualsoft. My experiences at Visualsoft have been fulfilling but last two months were particularly different from the previous 25 months. Quite apparent, last two months were my notice period.

The experience of serving a notice period is altogether different from working as a regular employee. The state of mind of employees serving a notice period works in a different fashion from others. As I have gone through it just recently, I wouldn't want to miss out on this opportunity to write on this topic.

Let me try to discuss this openly though this is an area most people wouldn't want to delve into. Most Notice Period Employees (NPE) think:

  • Why should they be compelled to work when they aren't interested in the job?
  • Why should they contribute towards something which doesn't fall in the line of their aspirations?
  • How can anyone work without any motivation?

One thing is for sure that the creativity and performance levels certainly go down after a person decides to quit an organization. NPE are more worried about their future job and employer. They are busy preparing themselves for future challenges. Surely, any kind of change needs some amount of convincing and readiness.

There could be some NPE who might also want to finish their work and transfer the responsibilities as soon as possible while some others might be reluctant to do so. In this situation, their managers have a mammoth task on their shoulders. To get some work from an employee who doesn't bother about it anymore is a tricky situation. There are several ways in which the managers behave. Some managers use their personal relationship to get the work accomplished while some of them try to use the authority and power to get it. Both methods have their own results. If the manager tries to be considerate, he might not get all the work but in most cases, will be successful in getting the critical tasks completed. In other case, if the manager tries to be bossy, then NPE can become malicious too. They might try to settle scores. One wouldn't know the damage they did until someone else takes charge of affairs and by that time, the NPE are safely out of their reach.

Adding a little more on whatNPE should do in their notice period:

  • They should try and complete the pending jobs as soon as possible. This will ease-off the pressure on the last working day when they need time for formalities of relieving process.
  • They should not take initiatives for new tasks or assignments as it will only add up to their liabilities.
  • They shouldn't invite troubles and deal with patience if they are dragged into some kind of unpleasant discussion.
  • Keeping their cool will help them being in a state of well being which will be required when starting new assignments.
  • They should try to be the perfect guests if their organization chooses them to be.
  • They should be polite to one and all as things wouldn't be the same in future and at least they can carry pleasant memories while they quit.
  • Sometimes, leaving people with lasting last-impression is far-fetching too.
  • They can choose to update their knowledge in the areas they expect to work in their future organizations.
  • They can use their spare time in building up good relationships with their colleagues and buddies.
  • They can also catch up with their old friends with whom they haven't been in touch for so long because of work pressures.


From the management POV, some organizations lay stress on relieving as quickly as possible. They believe that once a person has decided to quit, he wouldn't be useful to the organization. Their cost benefit analysis says that:

  • Such an employee will become a liability
  • Misuse of company assets and resources
  • He/she might breach security and loss of information
  • His/her prolonged presence may de-motivate other people and their efficiency might go down.

On the contrast, some organizations have strict exit policies where every employee has to serve the stipulated notice period, come what may. Their reasons could be:

  • Finding a replacement through recruitment needs time.
  • A long notice period may help in cutting down attrition rate.

Many a times, the Management may use its discretion to take the decisions. However, having a flexible exit policy may be the best option in both employees' and the organization's interest.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Why do people commit suicide?

Recently, Medha Patkar's health became critical because she was on Hunger strike for the cause of Narmada farmers. She was forcibly sent to hospital and was charged with a crime of attempting a suicide which is a punishable crime under Section 309 of IPC.

There have been uncountable instances of suicide in debt-ridden farmers of Andhra Pradesh, India. It was almost impossible for them to pay their debts and earn livelihood for their families, at the same time. The government reacted by paying compensations to families of people who committed suicide. The result came as an increase in the numbers as poor farmers started thinking that if they committed suicide then at least their families will get some compensation. If they couldn't do any good while alive then they chose to die for their families.

Whenever I come across a story about people committing suicide, I try to figure what goes on in their minds that takes them to the Dead-end Street of life. Do these suicidal tendencies exist in people right from their birth, are a part of their personality traits or they are acquired right here in this world? Sometimes, when people are not able to achieve something they have desperately wanted and tried for, they think of suicide as the only option. Sometimes, they do it because of their own failure while sometimes they do it on others' failures. Sometimes, it happens when their close associates, friends or relatives, do not fall into their expectations and fall down from their standards. Talking about factors which are considered worth-dying-for, I can list some of them as:
  • One's Honour and Freedom
  • Failed or Strained Relationships
  • Nobody to live for
  • Lost purpose of life
  • Financial loss and bankruptcy
  • Social Cause
I guess that more of people who attempt a suicide are one of the most impulsive thinkers. Highly emotional and hypersensitive people are more prone to such tendencies. Often suicides are attempted in a spurt of emotions but there are instances when the victims have been contemplating the idea for a reasonably long time. They keep debating upon it within themselves. Due to some incident which adds to the problem, they get convinced and go for it.
Well, to sum it all, it needs the knowledge of an evil to eradicate it from the society. This post was just aimed at understanding the tendency of those who commit suicide. Yes, I have lost a childhood friend who committed suicide. Needless to say, I went into utter shock and disbelief when I got that news. I couldn't believe that a friend who was good at studies and seemed happy with things around, took that step. What would have been her state of mind?

I keep asking myself "How can I stop someone from wasting his/her precious life?" Do you do that as well? Think about it...

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Dearest one on Earth

Well, I do not know if this goes well with the theme of the blog, but this is one poetry I composed long back and always cherish to recall and recite.

But yes, to some extent, it does seek to analyze the role of an important ingredient of our lives. The irony is that this ingredient is the basis of our existence; however, it is slickly forgotten in our everyday lives. If I still sound indistinct, read this:



When the world turned to a rough end;
When clouds of fear belowed the den;
When the "he" within me trembled;
When with its might the world gambled;
When the scorch of sun had its hand;
And I had yet not learnt to stand;
An ocean of love wiped the clouds away;
A tranquil warmth mitigated the day;
It is she, it is she, it is she...
She secluded the clouds of trepidation;
And taught the world of actualization;
She is the unexcidable essence of Eternity;
Her love the sole upkeeper of humanity;
Behold! The world salutes to her worth;
Yes, MOTHER is the dearest one on Earth.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

What not to do?

Learning has two aspects. One of them is knowing “what to do” and other one is knowing “what not to do” . Out of these two, the former is limited and focused to some particular area while the latter includes everything excluding what comes under “What to do”.

When we set on a task of learning, we tend to face questions like what to do in order to achieve the objective. If we get distracted and start doing something which doesn’t lead to task accomplishment then we come to know that we did have the right approach. We can get distracted in many ways and at different stages. So, in order to accomplish our objective, we need to stay away from distractions. We need to have the right approach.

To summarize it all, if we know about all the possible distractions and misleading nodes in a task, we can reach our goals faster. Therefore, Learning doesn’t only constitute how and what to do. It also includes what not to do. Thomas Elva Edison, while inventing the light bulb took 999 unsuccessful attempts and got it right in 1000th time. Somebody asked, “How did you feel when you failed 999 times”. He replied to it saying, “I have not failed. I just found 999 ways that didn't work.”

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Friday, March 10, 2006

Qaisism: 1:02 Art of giving compliments

I have met some people who say that they don't like people who praise people on their faces. They go to the extent of claiming that they are not pleased on getting some compliments. But I completely disagree on this point. I believe that everybody likes compliments and sometimes they even like flattery. They might be aware that what is being offered is not an honest one but it's perfectly human to get moved.

Somebody trying to please you gives at least one assurance which is that you are useful and you can do some good to someone. It gives that sense of power to some people and a feeling of satisfaction to the altruistic kind. If nothing else then you are a likeable person and people would like to befriend you.

On the other hand, giving compliments is an art, too. If we feel someone has done something good or has some good traits, we should not hold back our compliments. It helps in reaching out to people. Moreover, making people aware of their strengths is a move towards getting the best out of them.

Talking more about compliments, some people like to receive direct compliments about the way they are while the reluctant ones like embedded compliments. Now, what could be an "Embedded Compliment" ? If you haven't got that already, let me try...

Embedded compliments are those which are given during conversations without stressing much on them. A careful listener or the intended recipient might pick it up casually or without getting noticed. The recipient of such a compliment doesn't even need to acknowledge it. Such compliments are given by people when they aren't sure that the person they want to compliment would be happy to receive a compliment. So, that's how "Embedded compliments" work. ;-)

People who come from Teaching/Defence/Army/IAS/IPS/Judiciary backgrounds or are strict Gandhian followers are the ones with whom one should be very careful while giving them compliments. They, in all probability want to be recognized and known for their discipline, truthfulness, dedication, principles and all similar attributes but they would always hesitate in receiving compliments. Sometimes, they would puncture your compliment and turn it into a joke while at other times they would want to defend themselves by quoting better examples of the attributes they are complimented on.

If compliments are given properly and received with elan then they can do wonders for one's PR. It's time that we come out of our humble -selves and learn to give/accept compliments.
Now, carrying this further... I would like to request you to add a few more finer points to this topic. Some ideas or events of your life must have crossed your mind while reading this piece. If you don't mind sharing it , share it in your comment.
Cheers !!!

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Stopping by woods...


Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
Robert Frost (1874-1963)


Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.


My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.


He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound's the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.


The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

This is one of my favourite poems. I find it very inspiring especially when the vagaries of life tend to have a wearing affect on me. Going through this poem and contemplating on it rejuvenates me and kinda brings me back to life...

Thursday, September 01, 2005

The Seven Ages of Man

The Seven Ages of Man
Shakespeare, William (1564-1616)


All the world's a stage, And all the men and women merely players:
They have their exits and their entrances;
And one man in his time plays many parts, His acts being seven ages.
At first the infant, Mewling and puking in the nurse's arms.
And then the whining school-boy, with his satchel,
And shining morning face, creeping like snail
Unwillingly to school. And then the lover
Sighing like furnace, with a woeful ballad
Made to his mistress' eyebrow. Then a soldier,
Full of strange oaths, and bearded like the pard,
Jealous in honour, sudden and quick in quarrel,
Seeking the bubble reputation
Even in the cannon's mouth. And then the justice,
In fair round belly with good capon lin'd,
With eyes severe, and beard of formal cut,
Full of wise saws and modern instances;
And so he plays his part. The sixth age shifts
Into the lean and slipper'd pantaloon,
With spectacles on nose and pouch on side,
His youthful hose well sav'd a world too wide
For his shrunk shank; and his big manly voice,
Turning again toward childish treble, pipes
And whistles in his sound. Last scene of all,
That ends this strange eventful history,
Is second childishness and mere oblivion,
Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

A Reunion of Sorts

I will always remember the weekend that came and went so quickly. It was such an eventful weekend as if it was filled with the stuff of a week. Yes, I am talking about the last weekend of August 2005.

One of my best friends was getting married and another one was about to leave for US to pursue MS Finance. Some other good old buddies from our MBA class made it there. All of us were so excited about it and were waiting for the time. But it came and flew so fast. Of course, it left us a spate of wonderful sweet memories.

It was Reetu's wedding and Namita is one who has already left for US. Arshad and Rashmi came up from Bangalore. I must not forget to mention that Maryam bhabhi accompanied Arshad too. Kashif has plans to come but he got engaged with Typhoid. May God bless him with speedy recovery. Among others present were - Hemant and Richa, Mita - Kama and Aishani, Manish Narisetti and some others from Junior batch. Of the juniors, the ones I know, were - Rohit Mehrotra, Manjusha and Anuj Kapoor.

We had a gala time together. The wedding photos and movie are ready. The next day, I spent some quality time with Arshad, Maryam bhabhi and Rashmi. It was when we had lunch at Lasani's and went for a walk around Husain Sagar.

The weekend is over. All of us are back to our mundane things. It feels like I have just paid a visit to my dreamland. But this was worth it... Pray for many more of such visits.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Mission in Life!

“There is one way for you to know whether you have fulfilled your mission on Earth: If you’re still alive it’s because you haven’t fulfilled it yet.”

Many of us give it a thought. At least, I am regularly haunted by this question. What am I sent on this Earth for? Well, the above quote says it all. I will cease to be on this earth once I served the purpose of my creation. Of course, apart from fulfilling the purpose, there is a time limit as well. Every test has to be taken for some fixed duration of time.

Here, I would like to quote a sher from a ghazal by Mughal Emperor Poet - Bahadur Shah Zafar. It goes like this -

na kisii kii aa.Nkh kaa nuur huu.N na kisii ke dil kaa qaraar huu.N
jo kisii ke kaam na aa sake mai.n vo ek Musht-e-Ghubaar huu.N

Qaraar - Peace/Harmony
Musht-e-Ghubaar - Fistful of dust

I never want to lament my life in this way. I wish God answers this supplication from a sinful servant.

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Tuesday, August 23, 2005

To be your own man



To be your own man is a hard business.
If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened.
But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Trip to Mahabaleshwar

I will remember this independence day all through my life as I spent it in a very special way. Clubbed with Saturday and Sunday, it was a long weekend for most people working in IT sector.

I had already planned to pay a visit to Pune. So I was there to meet my brother. Somehow, some other relatives also planned their visit to his place at the last moment. When all of us reached his place, we decided to go somewhere. My cousin suggested that we should go to Mahabaleshwar - a hill station in Maharashtra which is over 4000 feet above from sea level. We didn't want to spend much time deciding where to go so all of us agreed.


Next morning, we set off. It is about 140 kms from Pune and anybody can imagine the topsy turvy roads that lead to hill stations. The trip seemed like an adventure to me. All along the way, I could never take off my eyes from the lovely green hills and mountains. They looked so fresh after being washed with rain. I could never stop marvelling at the steep curves on the road, view of the clouds covering the top of mountains as well as blocking the view of villages down the valley. The air was so fresh and pure. Every breath was fulfilling.

While I was still busy in adulating what I was watching, we reached Panchgani - a place before Mahabaleshwar. Panchgani has a lot of those Hill-station boarding schools. One of them was where my cousin studied too. We went to a spot which is like a table mountain, that is, the top of the mountain has a stretch of flat land which is as flat as a table. This point was supposed to give a wonderful view of the valleys but the day we were there it was full of clouds. We could not see beyond 30 feet or so. We enjoyed ice-creams in the slight drizzle which went on throughout the day. At times, it got heavier and we had no other options. We didn't take any umbrellas or rain jackets. After spending some time in Panchgani , we started for Mahabaleshwar.


The waterfalls and the lakes in Mahabaleshwar were such a delight for one's eyes. A first time visitor from fertile lands could do nothing but keep gazing at the exotic locales. A lot of tourists had thronged the place because of the long weekend holiday. Finding a parking place in the small market area of Mahabaleshwar was a problem but after a little effort, we got it. Apart from people and cars, the streets were occupied by a number of Horses. Taking a horse ride seemed a popular game for tourists. One could have a ride on Sikandar, Saddam, or Shahrukh for a paltry sum ;-). However, I didn't take a ride as I couldn't find the one I was looking for. I guess, Basanti's Dhanno would have been very much in demand. Who knows she would have gone to Mumbai to shoot for the new SHOLAY. ;-)

Well, that is all about it. We picked up some Chikki, Chana packets and inexpensive Fruit Jam bottles from one of Mala's many factory outlets lined on the road. We also brought some ever-lasting memories with us. Some trapped in our cameras which are yet to come and others - fresh in my mind which let out this write-up.

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Friday, July 22, 2005

Dancing in the Rain

As it's rainy season here in India, I tend to go back to my memories of rainy days in my life. A number of scenes flash back in my mind. So, I just wish to give them some space on my Blog, as well. Why not? After all, there's no life without water, too.

From rainy days at school to getting drenched till recently, I have a good list of my romance with Rain. Getting started with my childhood, I remember looking at rain from the window. I was never tired of it and the most common and obvious pastime - making paper boats and leaving them only to see how far they reach before drowning somewhere.

Then, in my college days at Aligarh Muslim University. I remember when I planned to watch the first day- second show of the movie - 1942 A Love Story. There were three other friends with me, including my best buddies - Ansar and Fakhir. We decided to reach there a little early so that we could get tickets easily. It was a pleasant cloudy day. We had not been far when we were forced to take shelter under a tree. I was riding my bicycle and my friends were on a cycle rickshaw. We waited impatiently for sometime but then it was getting difficult to stay there as we thought we might not get the tickets. So, with Rickshaw puller relenting to our request, we started off our sojourn towards the movie theatre.

For a few minutes, we were a little worried about getting drenched but when we already got drenched then we dropped all our worries somewhere on our way. It was such a heavy rain that there wasn't any traffic on roads. People were standing under whatever shelters they could get. Most of the eyes were fixed on us as we were passing the market of Rasal Ganj which is very close to Nandan theatre - our destination. They looked at us in awe or some other feeling we couldn't understand. But, at that moment we were not even bothering to wipe the rain water dripping through our face rather we were busy talking as if everything was perfect and normal when it wasn't. Finally we reached the place. Our patience was paid; we got the tickets and the movie was a visual treat, especially the Rain song- "Rhim Jhim Rhim Jhim" .

Another incident from the recent past, happened on a friend's Birthday. His name is Disney and we call him "Diz". Diz loves to get wet in rain. We had got bored of sitting at his place and waiting for the rain to stop. With two others friends, we set out for a walk. We simply had fun on the streets of Hyderabad - enjoying the rain, singing songs and cracking jokes. Diz felt that he had a great birthday and we all felt that we had loads of fun.

Even this time, I had my share of getting drenched in the rain. Sometimes it was planned by me and at other times, it was destined by God. What about you? Thinking of your experiences ? Have a drenched journey into the Rains you enjoyed...

Don't forget to have some hot pakodas and aromatic tea or coffee on your way...

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Monday, July 11, 2005

Learning and Living

Learn as if you were going to live forever. Live as if you were going to die tomorrow.
- Mahatma Gandhi

Ever since i came across this quotation, my perspective towards life has changed. I feel I have developed a profound interest in learning new things. Along with that, I have got an answer to the Never-ending Human thirst for material life.

Imagine if we know we are going to die tomorrow, what is there that we would need? Imagine what would we want to have if we know that we are alive only until tomorrow.

For me, Almighty Allah's forgiveness, my loved ones around me and a peaceful death ensuring smooth and silent departure from this world, would be all i need. Then, why am I a part of this rat race for wealth and power.

The Holy Quran says in Surah At-Takathur [102:1-8]
"The mutual rivalry for piling up (the good things of this world) diverts you (from the more serious things), Until ye visit the graves. "

True, when we don't know how long are we going to stand on this earth then why do we spend all our lives in amassing material wealth.

So, finally i try to seek a balance between things like learning and living. Learning can make our life better with every single day we continue to live. We can share what we learnt, with our friends and folks. It is a lot easier to share knowledge as it grows with sharing but not so with material wealth. Material possessions weaken our desire to love, share and prosper. Everything is our life has a limit, so do the material things. They are supposed to make our lives better. Let's not allow them to take control of our lives.

Those were my thoughts on Learning and Life. What are yours? Think about it and if possible try and share them with me.

~ Qais

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Faith

Faith is:

Believing without Seeing or Hearing.

Knowing that there are some things that will be made known only in the hereafter.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Qaisism: 1:01 Making an Impression

"First Impression counts, so does the second, third and so on..."

There is a saying "First impression is the best impression" that has led many of us into believing that if we couldn't give a very good impression to somebody when we first met him/her, we will never be good in his/her opinion.

Contrarily, my belief is that even the second, third and following impressions count. They can either add up to first impression or create their own space and sometimes, very much reverse the first impression. So we must keep trying our best.

Looking at it from the other side, we must not base our final opinions about people we see and meet, solely on first impressions. Well, i admit that first impression does help us form an opinion about a person but it should be kept in soft and molten form. It should be like a rough draft of an essay which can be improved and enriched with further time, effort and exposure. Making an opinion about a person as soon as we meet a person does help us in the long run. We can rely on our first opinion if we never happen to see that person again but if we meet that person more than once, then we should try to add, subtract or change our opinions so as to collaborate all the experiences with the particular person.

All this opinion-making process helps us in learning to understand people faster. In other words, it accounts for our better understanding of people, in general. All of us have our own parameters to gauge people. We all have our own unique standards and we tend to observe people under our own microscopic or telescopic lenses. So, in order to be successful, we need to know about our expectations from various people and we also need to know "what do we want to project ourselves as", to certain people.

So, that's all from me about "giving and making impressions". Hope that gave some insight into me. ;-)

~ Qais

Monday, February 21, 2005

Qaisism: My Rules for Life

All of us follow some rules in our lives. Those of us who are popular for breaking rules and are often termed as 'Iconoclasts' also follow one rule. Of course, their rule is to break all rules. These rules come into being after we start learning from our failures. We need to think of our petty mistakes and mighty blunders, in order to create some rules that save us in future. There are mistakes which we tend to repeat ever after and to check some of these, we need to stick to our RULES.

Talking about myself, i try to conceptualise some theorems even from others' lives. As goes the saying,

" The best is one who learns from others' mistakes as we can't always afford to commit all of them ourselves and then, learn from them"

I have chosen a term for my theorems and axioms; Here onwards, I would call them "Qaisism". This term is inspired from a friend's life. His name is Kashif and he is an instruction designer. He faced a situation where his boss asked him to get more of "Kashifiyat" in his writings. That set him thinking and deciding his own powerful and individual style. To know more about Kashifiyat, go the post - "Why Kashifiyat?" and read the comments for that post, as well.

Moving to Individualism, one of the greatest poet cum philosopher who inspires me is - Sir Mohammad Iqbal. His concept of khudi is simply marvellous. According to him, Khudi (Ego) is the most important factor responsible for a person's development. To read more about the concept of khudi, read the translation of Sir Mohammad Iqbal's famous work - "Asrar-e-khudi".

For those who can't very well comprehend the concept of khudi, ther's a popular sher by Sir Mohammad Iqbal. The sher goes...

Khudi ko kar buland itna
ke har taqdir se pehle
Khuda banday se khud poochhe
Bataa, "teri raza kya hai?"

(Let your personality be so strong that before God apportions fortune,
He asks you, what you would like to have.)
So. coming back to my philosophy, I would want you to keep coming back to this blog to know what's there in Qaisism.

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Eid-ul-Adha: The Learnings

Most festivals are celebrated to commemorate an important event that happened centuries ago. These events have lessons for the mankind that are relevant even after all these centuries. Eid-ul-Adha or the Festival of Sacrifice reminds us of the great sacrifice of Prophet Ibrahim (peace be upon him). It was perhaps the greatest sacrifice in the history of mankind. Eid-ul-Adha makes us realize how important it is to follow the commands of Allah (SWT). There are some lessons to be acquired from this great sacrifice:

Firstly, following the commands of Allah (SWT). Allah (SWT) had asked Prophet Ibrahim to sacrifice his only beloved son. A son that was granted to him at an extremely old age (86 years according to the Bible), and still the prophet had no hesitation in sacrificing him. The entire episode tells us the importance of obeying His commands. These commands have been conveyed to us by His prophets.

Secondly, obeying ones parents. Prophet Ismail (PBUH) was just a child of 13 years when this incident of the sacrifice occurred. Still, he was not at all hesitant in sacrificing his life just to fulfill his father's wishes.

Thirdly, shun all the thought stopping you from obeying Allah (SWT). When Prophet Ibrahim (PUBH) had decided to sacrifice his son, the Satan tried to influence him and stop him from obeying the commands of Allah (SWT). Prophet Ibrahim (PBUH) threw pebbles at him. Even though he knew very well that it would not harm the Satan, still this helped him remain steadfast in his decision to abide by the commands of the Almighty.

Fourthly, practicing the Islamic way of living. The most amazing and noteworthy, point to be observed in the entire episode was the perfect coherence of thought, attitude and outlook of the father and the son. We do not see any generation gap between the two because both of them were looking at life through an Islamic paradigm - that a Muslim must submit to Allah (SWT) in any circumstances and that love for Allah (SWT) is over and above any other love in the life of a Muslim. A properly practicing Muslim family does not encounter a generation gap between different generations of Muslims. A gap between two generations is caused only by the presence of un-Islamic behaviors or attitudes in either of the generations or both.

Eid-ul-Adha is not just an occasion of rituals and formalities but also an occasion to tune up ones lifestyle so that it becomes a lifestyle that is totally submerged in submission to Allah (SWT). May Allah (SWT) grant us the strength and will to emulate the examples of Ibrahim and Ismail (PBUT) in every facet of our daily struggle.

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Eid-ul-Adha

Eid-ul-Adha ("Celebration of Sacrifice'), also known as the Eid-ul-Zuha, is one of the two most important festivals (Eid) in the Muslim calendar. It marks the end of the Hajj, the annual pilgrimage to Makkah (Mecca). It takes place on the 10th day of Dhul-Hijjah, the last month of the Islamic calendar.

Eid-ul-Adha is the celebration of sacrifice, and it is important for two reasons:

First, during Eid-ul-Adha we remember the spirit of Prophet Ibrahim (Abraham) (peace be upon him) andhow he was willing to sacrifice his loving son, because it was Allah's (SWT) command. Eid-ul-Adha iscelebrate to commemorate the occasion when Allah conveyed to Ibrahim through a dream that he has to sacrifice his son Isma'il as an act of obedience to God. The devil tempted Ibrahim by saying he should disobey Allah and spare his son. As Ibrahim was about to sacrifice his son, Allah intervened and instead, Allah provided a lamb as the sacrifice.
When Allah asked Ibrahim to sacrifice his own son Isma'il, Ibrahim didn't even once think "why" or didn't say "no" and it was because of his pure faith and belief in Allah. His faith was rewarded when his son's life was spared by Allah at the very last minute. Just as the knife was coming down, there was a lamb in the place of Isma'il and that's what Ibrahim actually sacrificed.

Second, Eid-ul-Adha ends the period of Hajj (the 5th pillar of Islam). Every year, about 3 million people go to Mecca and perform the pilgrimage together. Everyone is dressed the same, nobody is better than anybody else. For muslims, seeing the Kabah is like a homecoming - the place on earth where they can be closest to Allah. This is the spot they face everyday at home when they do their prayers. They forget about everything else in the world except what they are doing at that moment. Even the people who do not perform the Hajj that year think about what it symbolizes and celebrate that.

Celebrating Eid-ul-Adha with family and friends strengthens the emotional bonding. In the morning, muslims go for a short congregational prayer and then they celebrate. Muslims who can afford, sacrifice animals (like goats or lambs) on this occasion in the memory of prophet Ibrahim. When this is done, 1/3 of the meat goes to the needy people, 1/3 is given to neighbors, relatives and friends, and 1/3 stays with one's family. This way, the needy and poor can really enjoy the festival, too.

In the end, I would like to quote a sher from the legendary poet, Sir Mohammad Iqbal.

Ye faizan-e-nazar tha ya ke maktab ki karamat thi
sikhaya kisne Ismail ko adab-e-farzandi

This couplet talks about the obedience of Isma'il, son of Ibrahim (PBUT) with which he wholeheartedly got ready to be sacrificed for Allah. Which son in this creation could be more obedient than Isma'il (PBUH).

With this, I wish you all a very Happy Eid.

EID MUBARAK !!!

Thursday, January 06, 2005

2004: The Year that was... ( 1 )

The year that passed gave us all something or took something from us. Well before I get busy in this current year and forget the past, I would love to think a little and pen down some memories of 2004.

To begin with, the year brought me a new job and another job offer which i rejected. The job I took up, is certainly important to me but the job offer i declined actually gave me some good feeling, too.

I had been trying very hard to get a job at a BPO in Noida because of the reason that i could stay close to my family. After almost 3 attempts, I could know that i would not get into this company. It also rasied a few questions in my mind. The obvious one was - Am I not fit for this job? I could answer this question very fittingly when i got through the day long recruitment process of a close competitor organization of the one i was trying to get into. SO, here was it... I got the answer and a favourable one, too...

Now coming to the job i actually took up. It was because of my love for "it". "It" means "Technical Writing" here. This job didn't give all the money i expected but it did give me the job satisfaction resulting from other factors. I learnt and gained confidence. Won friends and made contacts. Went ahead to prove a couple of things. Surprised some people with what i could do. To sum up, it was an year of reckoning in my professional life so far. I would call it as the foundation building year of my career.

Monday, December 20, 2004

December 2004

I dedicate this post to the twelveth month of the gregorian calendar. For me, this month has brought a lot of things. In fact, it has given me so much in terms of results of my pursuits. The long awaited STC Conference concluded in this month and I was successful in giving a smooth presentation in front of scores of technical writers from all around the country and some corners of the world.

At my office, they were celebrating 9th anniversary of the organisation and there were a lot of cultural events happening. I bagged a runners prize in Essay Writing competition and successfully organized Hindi Antakshari. It was so exciting and fulfilling experience that it gave me the satisfaction I ever wanted.

There are things which i always wanted in my childhood and I think that I got them in this month. They are small things, no doubt... but looking at the happiness they bring, they don't look life small, at all. It was funny but i also participated in a fancy dress competition. I tried my best to portray the great personality of the eighteenth century urdu poet - Mirza Ghalib. I didn't get any prize but even then I was satisfied. I knew i wasn't nervous. I was calm and composed. I knew what i was saying... Having that control is what made me happy..perhaps...

I guess I have discovered something new, within myself. I know this may not make me a perfect actor or a dramatist but it can certainly give me one thing. And that is to actually enjoy doing the things rather than having that 'vicarious' enjoyment which we may get while watching others perform.

Friday, August 20, 2004

Life made us what we are…

Recently I wrote an article on Hyderabad for my college “alumni newsletter”. Some of the readers found it very interesting. I showed it to my colleagues as well and they found it good too. Later, one of my colleagues asked about what inspired me to write. Well, I was a bit surprised at this question because I wasn’t prepared to answer it this early in my life but then I found out that I wasn’t expected to write even that small article. To find an answer, I went flipping the pages of my childhood and adolescence where I thought the writer in me took birth. As I could recall, debate and then re-arrange the sequence, it all started like this…

When I was still in school and to be more precise, I was in Standard IX then my English teacher used to give us a lot of topics for writing compositions and essays. I remember two of the topics, which the teacher gave, as particularly interesting. One of them was – If you were given three wishes, what would you ask and the other one was to write an autobiography.

While writing my autobiography, I got a chance to look back and recall all the important events of my life, till then. I wrote about ten pages of my notebook and still felt that there was more that could be added. At that moment, I realized a few things and they were – one, I had a number of memorable, adorable, forgettable and unforgettable events in my life; two, If we spend some time looking back then it encourages us to go further on; three, I could write about my life and it was easy to write than to relate, as the notebook won’t get bored of listening to your tale.

After finishing my school, I went to AMU. I didn’t want to lose my writing habit and I knew I wouldn’t be getting too many chances to write compositions here. So, I decided to write a Diary. Everyday, I would pen down the happenings in my diary. I followed a strict and religious routine of writing the daily account on a daily basis. I mayn’t have studied or opened my textbooks but I definitely filled my diary.

When I was pursuing my graduation in economics, I knew that it would need to write lengthy answers to get good marks in Exams. So, once again I tried to be a good writer. I also made up my mind to join MBA, after graduation. Talking to seniors, cousins and friends led me to the conclusion that to get an admission into a management course, you need to have good English Vocabulary and inter-personal skills. Well then, I dived into books on English vocabulary, grammar and creative writing and to improve upon my language, I wrote some poems and articles for the Hostel magazine. They didn’t get publish in the Hostel magazine but nevertheless, I gained lots of confidence. To ensure that I got good dose of literary inputs, I made sure that I was there to witness all the Literary and cultural events at AMU campus and there were many of them, round the year. I didn’t participate in many events but I was there, somewhere among the audience, absorbing and assimilating whatever I could. All this paid up when I got a ‘safe and sound’ admission into ICFAI Business School (IBS).

I learnt graphology much before I became a Writer. I got hold of a book on graphology before knowing what it was...started reading and found it very interesting and practically useful. I got immersed into it and came out a graphologist.

Tried my knowledge and hands on friends, first. It verified my knowledge and then started analysing strangers' handwriting. This is how I became a graphologist.

IBS provided a great opportunity to writers in the form of subjects like HRM, Management Skills and Marketing Management and writers like me didn’t spare even the subjects like Operations Management, ERP, Software Engineering, Systems Analysis & Design, and Data Mining/Warehousing etc. Once, I wrote a speech for an Independence Day function at IBS but I couldn’t deliver that speech myself. I am thankful to my friend who delivered it in a wonderful way.By the time I completed my studies, I was a thorough professional in writing but nobody knew until I started writing articles for ICon - IBS Alumni e-newsletter. It proves to be a good outlet for not-so-popular writers like me.

~~~~~~~~~~~

Actually, I believe, we become what life and circumstances lead us to, with a little of our liking and determination.

To Hyderabad, With Love

"God, give us grace to accept with serenity the things that cannot be changed, courage tochange the things which should be changed and the wisdom to distinguish the one from the other"
-Reinhold Niebuhr

One day, I was pondering over the meaning of the word - Indigenous. In plain sense, it means "local" but I thought there should be something more to it than just being 'local'. And when I came back to the real world, from my own world of words and ideas, I found myself in an Irani café. Well, what was I doing there? Nothing but sipping my routine cup of Irani chai. Just then, I paused and asked myself, "Is this Indigenous?" The answer was a reluctant "yes". Though Irani chai seems to come from Iran but it has become an inseparable part of this city, the city that owns me for about five years now.


This was beginning of a thought string for me. Since that day, I started looking at Hyderabad from a different angle. I started searching for things characteristic of Hyderabad. No doubt, a city with such a rich history is sure to have an attitude. Just as when we know about our talents, we take pride, we try to boast and sometimes we may go t the extent of hyperbole in saying that we are this way or that way. So why wouldn't Hyderabad have attitude like that? If it was there, I was to find it out for me.


Take the case of Irani chai. It might have come to Hyderabad, all the way from Iran while taking a break at Bombay. But Hyderabad calls it a hyderabadi speciality. Hyderabadis are proud of Irani chai. They not only drink it but they adore it, admire it and sing praises about it. Surely, the taste is different but it takes some time before an outsider could really appreciate it. The pre-requisite is that you shouldn't be a tea-totaler. If you aren't a tea-totaler then you are sure to find yourself all-out for Irani chai. Either you would want to have the normal tea or a pauna(light tea). If you are the one who likes your tea as sweet then you would go for Khada chammach - a cup of tea which has so much sugar that a spoon could be erected straight inside the cup. If you were a real tea-buff, you would go for Suleimani - the thick black tea. If you like a lot of milk cream in your tea, you would definitely enjoy Pardaposh in which all you get to see in the cup would be cream. In other words, the cream would literally hide the tea in the cup. So there's tea for one and all.

The Hyderabadi Auto-rickshaw
One of the first things you get to see, as soon as you drop in Hyderabad is the Hyderabadi rickshaw. Cycle rickshaw would look strange and funny but an auto-rickshaw? You would know about it only after you take a ride. Some of the things to look for, in a Hyderabadi auto-rickshaw are - the Nawabi Sofa-style seat, the music system (hi-fi), hooters and horns, exceptional driver's skills (Skills that can send either the passenger or other road users, to a dispensary) and last & the best - the meter. All this is pure Hyderabadi.

Hyderabadi Food & Culture
Hyderabadi Tehzeeb (culture) has won praises and accolodaes, all over the world and Hyderabad is famous for its Mehman-nawazi (hospitality). Hyderabadi food has a rich variety to choose from. Even if you were a stranger in Hyderabad, you would be completely bowled over with the Hyderabadi dishes in any of the umpteen restaurants on the streets of Hyderabad.

Hyderabadi biryani has no parallels among the connoisseurs of biryani. Haleem is another delicacy, which associates with Hyderabad. The best and worst thing about Haleem is that it is largely available only in month of Ramzan. It is the best thing because people keep waiting for this month to savour this mouth-watering dish and it is the worst thing about Haleem as people who miss it in Ramzan may need to wait for a year. In this case, the only people who suffer are the visitors to Hyderabad. They get to hear a lot about Haleem but if they are unable to visit during Ramzan, they miss the opportunity. One of the must haves in Hyderabadi food is "Khubani ka meetha". You may have anything for the main course but for dessert, you ought to have Khubani ka meetha with ice cream or custard.


Hyderabadi Lingo

When I was new in Hyderabad, I was puzzled at the Hyderabadi dialect of Urdu. Apart from the usual Hau and Nakko for Yes and No, there were so many strange words and usages. For example - Hyderbadis say - "Paani naha lo" when asking you to take a bath while in any other Urdu/Hindi speaking region, "Naha lo" would suffice as it is taken for granted that we take bath using water and not milk etc. Another difficult situation arises when Hyderabadis want to say "Yes" and they move their head sidewards, with a difficult to comprehend, vertical dimension. Any North Indian would definitely take it for "No" and move on…

Hyderabadis can't sit at Home in the Evenings
Most of the people here prefer going out in the evenings. If not evenings, then they would love to go for a ride to an ice-cream parlour, post dinner. The rides would usually be around Tank Bund, Necklace Road or KBR Park. For Ice creams, a lot of people would wish to go to Moazzamjahi market for having famous fresh fruit ice cream at Famous or Shah Ice cream.

The City does sleep but wakes up late
In most of the authentic Hyderabadi families, there is still the culture of having dinner, very late. They wake up late, too. Typically, the business starts here after 10 AM only. It may, in all fairness, start at 11 AM. The truly nawabi style people don't want to compromise on this.


Epilogue:
Winds of change may sweep the streets and bylanes of Hyderabad. It may become popular for IT revolution or for anything else, in future but the basic temperament of the city would continue. The spirit of Hyderabad would live longer than any fever or revolution. To Hyderabad, I wish… It may…


Wednesday, June 30, 2004

Kashif and I

After a long time, I woke up early in the morning, today.
Reason: I had to go to Secunderabad Railway Station to see-off Kashif.

Today, Kashif has left Hyderabad for Noida. Something, which brought him here, has taken him to Noida. It's the Career...of course. Well !!! I wish him, the best, throughout the Life.

Looking back at the time we spent together, I find there are many small, not-so-small, big and not-so-big things. It's really tough to get all of them in writing, as most of them can't be described. We can only feel them.

Kashif and I, came to Hyderabad at almost the same time. We studied at the same college and almost the same subjects. We worked for the same company for two and a half years and stayed at the same house for the same duration. But we have been very different in our own ways. Though we had different temperaments yet we went along very well. In other words, I feel that we complimented each other too well. I also feel that we will always remember this part of our lives like Rizal, Razi and I, do remember our days at AMU.

So, Here is a wish for Kashif that he may live life happily, accomplishing all the goals and passing all the milestones, successfully. And…a tribute to our friendship – “Salamat rahe dostana hamara...”

Tuesday, June 29, 2004

"In making others happy" ...A story on Life.....

Two men, both seriously ill, occupied the same hospital room.One man was allowed to sit up in his bed for an hour each afternoon to help drain the fluid from his lungs. His bed was next to the room's only window. The other man had to spend all his time flat on his back. The men talked for hours on end. They spoke of their wives and families, their homes, their jobs,their involvement in the military service, where they had been on vacation.

Every afternoon when the man in the bed by the window could sit up, he would pass the time by describing to his roommate all the things he could see outside the window. The man in the other bed began to live for those one-hour periods where his world would be broadened and enlivened by all the activity and color of the world outside. The window overlooked a park with a lovely
lake. Ducks and swans played on the water while children sailed their model boats. Young lovers walked arm in arm amidst flowers of every color and a fine view of the city skyline could be seen in the distance.As the man by the window described all this in exquisite detail,the man on the other side of the room would close his eyes and imagine the picturesque scene.

One warm afternoon the man by the window described a parade passing by. Although the other man couldn't hear the band - he could see it. In his mind's eye as the gentleman by the window portrayed it with descriptive words.

Days and weeks passed...

One morning, the day nurse arrived to bring water for their baths only to find the lifeless body of the man by the window, who had died peacefully in his sleep. She was saddened and called the hospital attendants to take the body away. As soon as it seemed appropriate, the other man asked if he could be moved next to the window. The nurse was happy to make the switch, and after making sure he was comfortable, she left him alone.

Slowly, painfully, he propped himself up on one elbow to take his first look at the real world outside.He strained to slowly turn to look out the window beside the bed. It faced a blank wall. The man asked the nurse what could have compelled his deceased roommate who had described such wonderful things outside this window. The nurse responded that the man was blind and could
not even see the wall. She said, "Perhaps he just wanted to encourage you."

Epilogue:


"There is tremendous happiness in making others happy, despite our own situations"

"Shared grief is half the sorrow, but happiness when shared, is doubled"

"If you want to feel rich, just count all the things you have that money can't buy"


"Today is a gift, that's why it is called the present."

Regards,
Riz.

Friday, June 18, 2004

To “My Mom & Dad”

Today is my Mom-Dad’s wedding anniversary. It has been 31 years since they started walking together on the topsy-turvy primrose path. I sometimes think about the feelings people might have about their spouses after being together for 20, 30 or 50 years.

The kind of understanding I share with some of my friends as old as ten years is amazing in itself even though I didn’t spend all these ten years with them. I wonder what we would be like...after this kind of togetherness with our spouses. May God keep us alive and together to experience it ourselves. I believe nobody can understand this until he experiences it, that is, how is it to be with one same person for this long time. It also takes me to another thought, like, our Dads had been doing their jobs at the same organization for last 25-30 years. Don’t they get bored of the monotony, the predictability, and a sense of deja vu?

On second thoughts, I also question our generation. Are we mad and obsessed with change? We don’t want to stay in the same job for more than 2 –3 years. We want to get rid of our vehicles so soon and we want to changes our houses, locality or even cities like our clothes. I know it’s good to change and "Change" is what should always happen to life to keep it going but... Should it be so frequent and so generic that it be applied to all aspects of life?

Unwillingness to change is bad and unwillingness to stay in a state for sometime is also bad, not in fashion or something uncalled for…Is it???

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Feeling Lonely?

When a man sets some goals and sets off to pursue them, he is alone. He doesn't like it so he calls some other men to accompany him. For some distinct reasons, none can accompany him, so he is left alone. Desolate and lonely, yet with a fire to Go and a desire to Succeed, he starts off. He hasn't reached far when he hears somebody yelling, "Hey, I am coming with you until our paths don't divert and separate us". Well, what would the man say? He happily agrees, for, they are just a few steps that matter.

(We all are here to walk those few steps for us and then we might cease to be, but Life never ceases. It goes on and will go on until, the Creator, decides otherwise. We must try to walk those two steps of our few steps with someone who wants us or whom we want. We can always take our own path on the crossroad where we take our separate paths to our individual goals.)

While the two were on the way, they were happy but felt there could be more. So, they called up more people to join in. They heard someone saying, "I am already on my way and will join you guys at milestone 'A'. Now there is hope for these guys. Hope to meet this person at milestone 'A' and they have got a short-term goal to reach milestone 'A'.

This is what Life is made of...Short and Long-term goals, Starting-off alone with hope of meeting more people, Going on even when u r alone, with hope...We must never be afraid of starting it, all alone, as looking at your desire to reach your goals, more people would want to join u. I believe, positive attitude attracts. Let's have it.

What do u say? Helloooo!!!! Anybody there? Am I all alone? So what, I hope they would soon join me...

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

These posts and how it all started........

Ladies & Gentlemen, and dear friends, Good Evening to
you All....(yes, its evening here in Doha, and the time here is 20:29PM, which is GMT+3).
It all started a few days back, when Qais had yet another of his wake up calls , and this time, to start a
blog on the public domain , his latest interest being in writing , which is quite understandable, since he's a quite capable technical writing expert by now...
And cheerfully as ever, i did agree to join him on his discussions, and thats all i did do about that, hoping that he would be quite happily dozing off somewhere, in a nice and cosy place..However, while checking my mails as usual, today evening , i saw a post from qais, that only mentioned about a link to one of his posts here....
Unfortuantely for me, i found out soon that i was the subject of a post on this public domain !!....
Hmm... yet another one of those tricks from the Shahid Hussain school of thought.....So well, thats how this post has ended up...
Qais and I , we are old pals from the AMU , where we were class mates at +2.And it was almost 2 years ago that we met again ,in hyderabad , where i had enrolled for some
technical training programmes in some favourite subjects of mine ( Systems Administration & Networking). We had some nice times there , and in the company of some wonderful guys like Kashif , and his friends there, at 10-5-18A,Masab Tank.
And among other things, we had quite a lot of friendly discussions and talks on a variety of things, some of them being mentioned here, like the Campus Life at AMU,
The 2 schools of thought mentioned here, about The Differing Colours and myriad hues of Life, The experiences it brings along,...etc etc...
I hope this introduction helps, even at the risk of having had to write up such a long intro, and having
to slightly bore my good natured buddies here.
But as Qais says,
"The debates and discussions still go on.So Who says the emails should be kept short ??? "

Cheers...
Riz
(15-June-2004)

Shahid Husain School of Thought !!!

Before talking about this school of thought, let me tell you something about this great personality. Mr Shahid Husain comes from a very noble family of Hyderabad and something that he holds in great dignity is the fact that he worked for the last crown prince of the legendary Nizams, Prince Mukarram jah Bahadur. He had the “Power of Attorney” to act on behalf of the prince in his absence and he was much more than just being a Personal Assistant to the prince. He also claims to have had the keys of the majestic Falaqnuma Palace at Hyderabad. Presently, he holds many important posts in various Non-Profit Organizations including the post of Vice-President, Aligarh Club (AMU Alumni Association).

By now, I hope you must have figured out what all he might have seen. Yes, he has experienced great power in his hands and which is very intoxicating in its own way. He loves to give commands and anybody would take it from him, with the kind of personality he is. Tall built, polite manners, a high taste of life, command over English and Urdu languages, passion for cars, horses, books, pens and cigarette lighters and a voice that could be very gentle and at times, could go on to become a thunder. This is what describes him very briefly. Besides, he is very good extemporary speaker. Usually, he talks using very crisp language but when in a jolly mood, you would find him citing anecdotes from his life, quoting great, renowned poets and garnishing it all with matchless humour. He is too fond of using idioms and analogies in his conversation. To sum up, he never lets his listeners get bored. Rather, he keeps them busy thinking, engaged and mesmerized.

If my description of Mr. Shahid Husain helps you get his picture, then I guess you have already arrived at the "Shahid Husain School of Thought". You are most welcome here.
And...Ifff...You haven’t and are still thinking...then, Bon Voyage!!!...because I am still not as articulate as Mr. Shahid Husain.

Tuesday, June 15, 2004

Who the Hell iz Riz ?

Two years back, when Riz was leaving India, I was thinking about the nice times we had during his 2-month stay at Hyderabad. He came here to pursue his MCSE and Networking courses err...Actually...he came to have some good time with me, reminiscing the good old past on pretext of training and blah blah blah. We really had a gala time. I used to rush back from Office to a nondescript hostel room where Riz stayed. We went around the streets of Hyderabad, sat by the side of Husain Sagar, watched movies, had Irani chai at most of the Café and tried biryani at most of the popular joints. While doing all these things, we were always in touch with our glorious past stay at AMU.

When Riz was leaving, I was getting the feeling that a chapter has been closed and now we won’t have our never-ending discussions until we meet next. And when would that “next” be? Would it really “be”? This maverick called Riz answered all my queer queries, one by one, over these two years.

When we were parting, we promised to mail each other but I felt that like all other friends or relatives, we would get busy in our lives, slowly. Emails would become smaller and soon we won’t have anything to tell or discuss but I am now forced to abandon these views. All this is because of our exceptionally long emails whenever we get engaged in an email discussion. We think for hours or a day or two and then write emails that would fill mills of pages. The debates and discussions still go on. Who says the emails should be kept short ???

Monday, June 14, 2004

Tariq Sultan School of Thought !!!

Mr Tariq Sultan, a retired IFS Officer happens to be an alumnus of Aligarh Muslim University. He loves to stay calm and his way of explaining things and debating on various topics is very subtle. He always adopts a very practical and pragmatic approach. He uses simple words to express himself, clearly.

Once, Riz and I, were in Aligarh Club (The AMU Alumni Club) along with the great personalities like Mr. Shahid Husain and Mr. Tariq Sultan. We had many discussions and they shared many anecdotes from their lives. All this while, Riz got the time to analyse them. Thus, were invented the "Styles of Thoughts".

I won't divulge about "Shahid Husain School of thought" at this moment because it requires more time. I want to give it more attention as I am the one to identify with him, the most.

An E-mail from Comrade

Monday mornings are usually dull n murky but sometimes they could become as good as what I had today. Guess what ??? I got an email from my good old buddy - Rizal, for short, Riz. Riz and I, share a very contagious habit of sharing ideas, analysing each other and ruthlessly yet mercifully attacking each other with words. Ruthless in the content and Merciful in language. Did u get it why is it both ruthless and merciful at the same time?

I felt overjoyed to know I was successful in getting him out of his slumber chamber but was soon bogged down by subtle, patient, simple, cool, calm and imaginative "Tariq Sultan way of thought" as opposed to tricky and puzzling "Shahid Husain school of Thought" of mine.

Well to know more about these schools of thoughts, keep coming to my BLOG...the Ingredients of Life !!!

Friday, June 11, 2004

Life at AMU

Life at Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) campus used to be great fun and of late , it has become one of my choicest memory lane.

The campus, with lots of greenery and old n new buildings, is a confluence of architecture and natural beauty. The beauty of AMU campus lies in the peace and pace. Talking about the pace, it is such that no one would be left behind. You can always catch on...no matter where you've been...

Sipping tea at the dhabas( Roadside Cafe) was a compulsory act before and after every important or unimportant activity. People riding bicycles and cycle-rickshaws seemed to be in a little (just a Little) hurry. Looking at this, the pace would automatically be set to RELAX mode.

Local people working in Delhi used to come back on weekends and found the place very soothing but the students or people living around the campus would try to rush back to Aligarh whenever they visited Delhi for any work...

The evenings used to be calm. Slowly, the energy level of resident students would rise up. By that time, it would be around 7 pm. Obviously, the evenings would continue as long as 1 am or 2am.

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Life Inspires...

Life is full of different hues and shades. In a way, life itself inspires me to live by showing its colours. Sometimes bright, sometimes not so bright and at times, the dark ones...

It inspires me by showing people much powerful, higher, stronger than me and it makes me patient and thankful when it shows stark realities like hunger, impoverishment, illness, disability and loneliness.

Therefore, I believe, Life Inspires ...