Friday, December 28, 2012

6 years of blogging

6 years filled with posts. Some relevant, some rambling. Every single one of them a wrinkle added to the face of an advancing age. Mine, and the world around me.

183 posts and some unpublished drafts that talk, directly or discreetly, about the temporal rhythms tuned on the radio of time.

Of personal joys, mundane observations, terrible heartaches, and unsaid stories.

Stories. All of us have stories to tell. Few of us scribble them down so that we can read them in the future and do some therapeutic time traveling.

Every word you write today probably has the power to move you, satisfy you, leave you thirsty for more, in more than one inexplicable ways.

It's a free investment that will keep adding to memories in your account, which one day will be of more value to you, than probably anything else.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Of books read in 2012

Finally, I completed the challenge on Goodreads this year! (Though I cheated a little)

2012 Reading Challenge

2012 Reading Challenge
Kedar has completed his goal of reading 20 books in 2012!

I will make up for the shortcomings from the last year in the coming year.

But, let's keep that aside and talk about books. I read a couple of them. As compared to people who had challenged themselves to read 100/150/200 books, I had a meager 20 books to finish. I cheated my way through. I had to. Why, you ask? Why, I ask! Let's not get into that.

So, here are five of the best ones read this year:
  • The Sirens of Titan - So far, probably my favourite Vonnegut. Very, very close to Slaughterhouse-five.
  • Snow Crash - Metaphors, Avatars, and the humorous Mr. Stephenson. Our journey just began!
  • Perdido Street Station - China, you have redefined the way things can be written and fatansized.
  • The Sense of an Ending - A book full of quotes. Those History quotes, I will keep using them.
  • Good Omens - I love it when two chaps get together to have some rowdy fun. Specially if they are Gaiman and Sir Pratchett.
That's that. For now.

Crying of Lot 49 by Thomas Pynchon - Book Review

"...a revelation also trembled just past the threshold of her understanding."

My situation. Throughout the book.

Then I went out. Found out that a particular button on my bike was not working. Essentially muted.

Friday, December 14, 2012

The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien - Book Review

The HobbitThe Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a Hobbit." - Aristotle Took.

The Hobbit was a fun read. Without a doubt the fun part of the book was driven by the ghosts from the Took side of Biblo's genealogy. The humour was ticklish at times once I overcame the verbosity of Tolkien's sentence structuring. The adventures were predictable (often foreshadowed with hints laid by JRRT (Does anyone call him that? *cough*GRRM*cough*) himself) but fun.

I got to know how the game of golf was invented!

Bilbo comes across as the hero even through his self-doubts, mistakes, and the dwarvian underestimations. Oh, what with wits, luck, and a magic ring. (cue Gollum's "My Precious"). Gandalf is the best hippie ever! What with smoke rings that chase each other and all that.

"Hey, Boy, do you wanna score?"
And you know how it is;
I really don't know what time it was, woh, oh,
So I asked them if I could stay awhile."

- The lost songs of Gandalf, or Led Zeppelin, as many of us are familiar with.

The Dwarves are fussy, bearded macho-men who eat and drink a lot, and make a lot of noise nonetheless. All they needed were Harleys and Triumphs.

Oh and there are men, goblins, elves, eatables, bears, swords, eatables, trolls, eagles, ravens, and only one Dragon. I came to like the Dragon quite a bit. Oh, Old Smaug, who won't ever be Smug anymore.

And then the story, eventually, is about greed. As Gandhi(Alf) said, "Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's, elf's, dwarve's, goblin's, dragon's greed."

View all my reviews

Friday, December 7, 2012

Management Tips from KB/HH

The other day I bought a brand-new, cutting-edge broom and told the Kaamwaali Bai or House Help (Hereby referred to as KB/HH) to start using it from the next day. Suddenly all the noise in the world disappeared. She stared at me. The intense analytical gaze she gave me as she heard those words is beyond description.

“It is what it is,” she said point-blankly. “You cannot expect a new broom to be become a game changer from day one.”

“But we had briefed the shopkeeper to give us a broom that will be a value-add and at the same time be very customer-centric,” I said, very meekly. Such was the gaze!

“Your approach was totally wrong,” were the words of KB/HH, the rebuker. “You did not ensure to demand for End-to-End quality of services. Do you even know how I will have to multitask between cleaning the floor and cleaning the new-broom droppings? Have you given it a thought to the effect that will have on my performance measurement?”

I was on the verge of tears. Standing in the nearest corner seemed like the best thing to do.

“But… I tried my best towards a significant contribution,” I muttered in a barely perceptible voice.

“You know nothing,” said the ever-booming voice. “Do you have any idea about the disconnect that strategy will have on all my initiatives and objectives that go into the metrics? That will demotivate me for sure! Please keep such things in mind henceforth!”

I was lost for words and confidence. From that day on, I decided to leverage this learning and decided to become an achiever!