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Archive for April, 2009

Mr. Narayan Murthy has written a book titled “A better India: A better world”. It is a collection of his speeches where he talks about values that shaped his life, his thinking. I had read the pre-commencement speech by Mr. Murthy at NYU Stern School of Business which also talked about events which shaped the journey of Infosys, and Mr. Murthy as we see today. He mentions about an incident where he had to spend 3 days in jail and starve for 4 and half days in strange country of Bulgaria; all this for allegedly sounding communist while he was having a casual chat with his fellow passenger – a small girl. This event totally changed his view from being a confused Leftist into a determined, compassionate capitalist as we see him today.

A year back when I was pumping myself with inspiration from all possible sources for the entrepreneurial journey, I had read several more of such stories, from well known college dropout heroes of Bill Gates and Steve Jobs, or lesser known guys like my colleague at an IT firm who is successfully chasing his dream of running a small company making dairy products in his hometown. I also spoke with many fellow, all-charged up entrepreneurs; some surviving, some rolling, and many more in anticipation of getting deserving payouts for their efforts. These guys have been a continuous source of inspiration for me, as much as those biggies mentioned earlier. Also, I have seen/heard about guys who gave their best shot but circumstances or destiny or whatever didn’t work in their favour, and they had to go back to more civilian life of being employed with someone else’s entrepreneurial venture.

With all of above, I see a common thread – everyone was possessed with some passion, some ambition in their lives which made them take the big leap of jumping in entrepreneurial fire and kept them guiding throughout the journey. Also there have been many such incidents like the Bulgarian adventure of N. Murthy which had impact on not only their professional venture and business acumen, but also shaped the personality that they are beyond their business life. They all had these years of wilderness which took them through a roller-coaster ride with intense emotions spanning unbelievable range and gamut. Whether they succeeded in their business or not was outcome of many other factors external to their control, but all of them must surely have had come out as a better person with certainly more interesting lives.

I am sure – these are my years of wilderness!

And I am already witnessing with awe and gratitude things life has been throwing at me and making me give it back. Over last 3-4 months there have been so many emotions I have been through, all to extremes. From hopelessness, defeat, loss of direction to being so intensely driven that I myself have been the biggest source of inspiration for me. Of course watching ‘Guru‘ and ‘Lakshya‘ multiple times also deserve their reasonable share of credit, besides speaking to numerous unknown entrepreneurs and listening to their stories. There have been bouts of gloom, despair which resulted in many sleepless nights and sad mornings; but those long walks alone in anonymity of concrete jungle helped me regroup my thoughts and have pushed me back in the fighting ring. Quotes like “the lure of quitting will be greatest when you are a corner away from succeeding” do have impact on a mind and heart grappling in dark seas of uncertainty and on verge of giving up. Personal life also hasn’t failed me in this roller-coaster ride.  It kept me entertained with flares of hopes of cozy comfortable happy future, reminiscent of past times – both good and bad, heartfelt carvings for certain friends who got too busy and lost in the chores of routine life and also fighting hard to cajole self out of the immense sense of loss of certain intangible called luck.

I am sure these are my years of wilderness. These are jungles which many have crossed, but thankfully did not bother to leave landmarks and signboards, making this journey of mine and the curious lessons learnt worth the every next moment of uncertainty.

At this moment I am remembered of lines from prelude of one of my favourite songs ‘Bahon Ke Darmiyan’ from Khamoshi –  “Magar woh jindagi hi kya, jisme koi namumkin sapna na ho!

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18th April

12:45am – Happy with day’s work, and also with things lined up for tomorrow, I set an alarm for 6:00am and go to sleep

5:50am – Wake up to check why hasn’t alarm rang till now :). Realizing that there is some more time left, I peacefully doze off again

6:00am – I snooze alarm and continue sleeping

6:12am – I think I heard my phone ring again, this time to tell me that I have received a SMS, but I continue sleeping

6:30am – I hear some noises which tell me that mom has begun her day in kitchen. I finally decide to wake up

6:35am – I check that SMS, a friend has asked to join for a walk in VRCE campus, I cannot say NO. I reply back with “see you at library at 7” and get ready for it

7:00am – Meet this friend after many months, a great senior whom I have always looked up to for advice when life puzzles me the most. No one has a more clear and structured thought for life than this guy

7:05am – After getting nostalgic about reading room, and time spent there, we quickly come out of it, and walk towards canteen

7:06am – 8:30am – As we walk around the campus, we have a hearty talk about my business, his job, and life in general. As always, his advice clears a lot of dark, and I feel I have a better clarity of what should come to me in my life, and what am I going to give back in return. I feel good about myself, at times its good to accept that you are faltering and losing sense of direction, and that you need help. And I know where to find it 🙂

8:30am – Happy with the clarity, we move to Coffee House at Dharampeth for a quick bite. Though we both have had much better stuff elsewhere, filter coffee, egg curry-parotha and cutlet at coffee house taste great again

9:00am – I be a silent company for friend’s sutta, take final pieces of advice from him, and say bye. On the way, I pick up Indian Express newspaper

9:15am – Back home, mom has started FM radio which is playing some good music. I take bath

9:30am – I switch on TV, and get to see following songs in that order

  1. Na Jaane Mere Dil Ko kya Ho gaya, Abhi tha yahi, abhi kho gaya – DDLJ
  2. Kabhi Kabhi Aditi – Jaane tu ya jaane na
  3. Agar mai kahu – Lakshya
  4. Teri Ore – Singh is King
  5. Bakhuda tumhi ho – Kismat Konnection
  6. Pahla Nasha – Jo Jeeta Woh Sikandar
  7. Baawre – Luck By Chance

As I surf channels, get to see faces of Kajol, Preity Zinta, Katrina Kaif, Sonam Kapoor and Soha Ali Khan.

10:10am – I switch off TV, skim through the newspaper, and find the horoscope section. My sun-sign says – “It’s all too easy to look on the gloomy side and magnify your problems, but if you cultivate such qualities as enthusiasm and optimism, and then go all out to pamper yourself, you will lift your spirits and do yourself a power of good”.

10:10am – I get back on day’s work. Cannot have a better start for the day! Need to make most of it now.

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I wanted to write this post some 3 months back, but it never happened. It’s about one of the most melodious song I have heard in recent times – ‘Rehna Tu’ from Dilli 6. Today I saw its video on YouTube, and that made me finally write this post.

There are two things about this song which makes me write about the song even after more than 3 months of its release, in which it topped the charts and and made way for newer releases (It’s a timeless masterpiece of art, but then slots on top-10 charts are commercial things with their own shelf-lives).

So I start with good thing first – the song is another gem from Rahman, but still stands out of his amazing treasure of music. Unlike the other Rahman songs which grow on you with time, this song hits the chord at first go. I had got the audio of Dilli 6 on day of its release, and this song simply refused to step out of mind and heart. It had stirred some strings somewhere in my mind, or heart, or wherever and continues to do so even today. Apart from the melodious music, Prasoon Joshi lyrics sweep you off the feet. For all those who say that song should have rhyming words, listen to this song. With lines that go –

Haath tham chalna ho, to dono ke daaye haath sang kaise…

Ek daya hoga, Ek baya hoga…

Tham lo, haath yeh tham lo… chalna hai sang, tham lo…

all myths about the rhyme pouring magic in the words go bust. More than how they sound off your ear-drums in a sequence, it is the thought that they convey which touches the heart.

And this song once again proves that Rahman is a greedy guy. He always sings the best composition in the album himself, and I thank God for this selfishness of Rahman – for I doubt if anybody would have come even 1% closer to him. Because he does not just gives voice to the melody, but adds all the world’s beauty to it.

Last time when Rahman, Prasoon Joshi and Rakesh Omprakash Mehra had come together, we had got ‘Rang De Basanti’. Along with several other things worth dying for in that movie, the delicate on-screen depiction of songs like ‘Lukka Chuppi’ and ‘Tu Bin Bataye’ had left me in complete awe and admiration for the director. So when I heard ‘Rehna Tu’, and saw ravishing Sonam Kapoor in promos, I was sure this song has got more pleasure to give to me when I watch it on screen. Seldom have I had built up so much excitement for watching a song in a movie based just on the audio of song.

And when the song actually appeared in movie, I could not believe what I was seeing. I think Mehra must have doped marijuana or cocaine or something even worse when he thought about picturing this song that instead of beautiful Sonam, he filmed this song with Rishi Kapoor chewing paan and showing off his antics on pool table! Prasoon Joshi’s wife must have tied him to his chair so that he does not jump off his balcony after seeing Delhi beggars and poor homeless people sleeping on footpath and so on for one of his most romantic creation. For those who haven’t been tortured by this horrible choice of setting for the song, here is the video (bad audio quality is regretted):

No offence about the love for one’s city and birthplace, but there was this entire movie and a proper song ‘Yeh Dilli Hai Meri Jaan’ to vent out all that long-buried love. Mehra had no right to spoil the tenderness of this marvelous romance in the song this way. I would have been okay even if this song was filmed in Switzerland or Mauritius or Film City gardens in Goregaon with Sonam and Abhishek dancing disco around flowers and trees, but please no Rishi Kapoor roaming empty Delhi night streets and playing pool. I will never forgive Mehra for ruthlessly killing the gentle, warm and simple feeling of undying trust, faith and love in the song! 😦

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‘Wait’ is a ‘four-lettered’ word.

Like the other four-lettered word beginning with F of ‘Four’ (and also of ‘Five’), it may often be accompanied by pain. But one loves that pain, like the masochists who likes to inflict pain upon oneself. May be pain is at times sweet and bitter, leaving you with a good taste at the end.

But then there are other three-lettered words which claim themselves to be four-lettered, making them proudly indecipherable, and proving that it is not only humans of flesh and bones and water and air (not fart – another four-lettered one beginning with F of ‘Four’ and also ‘Five’, but not the one referred to in previous paragraph) who love to take pride at strangest possible things. Plain simple words made of curves and lines and gaps are no less. ‘Wait’ – though actually a normal four-lettered one, often boundaries on this wrong side of indecipherability. I will tell you how.

What comes to your mind when you hear ‘wait’?

Cuckoo shouting mindlessly in its wait for showers; an old desperate farmer standing on a parched broken land waiting for cuckoo to shout and bring rain; a tired Mumbaikar waiting for 7:04pm local at CST to crush himself into it, and his wife and kids waiting for him at home to see him back home safe and one-piece; hapless bowlers and slip fielders waiting for one mistake from Sehwag or God Sachin for the whole day; a struggling model waiting for his/her first break; a restless school kid waiting for his mathematics class to get over so that he can escape the next question from his teacher; a ‘mad-in-love’ boyfriend standing for hours in sun outside his girlfriend’s classroom waiting for the class to get over so that the two can have time together; and so on…

We always ‘wait for’ – wait for something, either tangible or intangible!

How about waiting not for anything, but simply waiting? Something like ‘Hum intezaar karenge qayamat tak’ :). Not for anything, but just for the heck of it. Wait for waiting. When the outcome does not matter, and you care a damn about it! You wait, because you know it’s the right thing to do… You wait, because that’s what you like to do… You wait, well… simply because you want to … and cannot do anything else! How that wait will be? Is this what they call eternal wait? Something which simply does not have a purpose; or something which will never end, because it is simply not for anything that is possible! Totally insane for others, totally indecipherable for everyone else than the wait itself!

Yes, I am now 100% sure that ‘WAIT’ is although not a three-lettered word, but still it is a four-lettered word like the three-lettered ones who think they are four-lettered but they are not; and they give a damn about it!

 


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