It is time to re-design your New Year Resolution … you still have the time to do it.

Few more days and a grand year awaits us! Post Christmas celebrations which include rum, wine, red everything and of course chilly weather romancing lovely looking people, comes the time of anxiety, pensiveness and hope. Anxiety is due to the fact that around 11 months and 27 days earlier, consciously or sub consciously you would have used the dreaded word called ‘resolution’ or let’s make it 3 words ‘New year resolution’. And now is the time to view the report card for the hara-kiri that you committed. The report card that you would see is for a very unique exam by the way, you drafted the questions, you prepared for it or maybe did not and only you know the answers. Beautiful is the human mind!

It is the time to be pensive as another dreaded word post viewing of the report card, would cross your mind, known as ‘IF’. If only I would have put more efforts into the project and projected it well as thought, If only I would have exercised more as I had promised myself a year back … and the list is as much as you had made promises or resolutions, if not less.

Hope, the only word that Homo sapiens look forward to every new morning and after every failure. This is what keeps the human spirit alive especially on New Year’s Eve when the spirits as such are high. So, we drown the anxiety and pensiveness with kebabs and tandoor and dance away merrily as ‘hope’ is always there with us. We hope that next year we shall not commit same mistakes and improve ourselves maybe in terms of knowledge, skill, relationships and make some targets to achieve. We hope to live and survive and thrive. Being an insurance guy, this is real bad news!

My buddies from school and college could be still stuck on the phrase ‘romancing lovely looking people’ and wondering what it means though they exactly know what it means. Yet to give them a glimpse of our common thinking, it is that sight when you are outside the church post completion of mass and everybody is dressed up to make your heart skip a beat. So, now that the imagination machine is running at full speed, let me introduce a concept called ‘lo re’ or logical resolution, just fresh from my imaginative mind.

In the past year, we interacted with lots of people, some old ones, some new. We did different types of work or tasks, again something which we had been doing for donkey years or some hobbies that we picked few years or months back or a task which was totally new. There are many such things that happened in the past year. “Lo re” concept says that we need to take this (hindi translation literally means, take it) experience and analyze it basis our assumptions regarding the same. Ok, I am not down in high spirits and am making sense, so let me explain with an example. Let’s stick to People and Task only at this point for clarity of thoughts.

Lo Re

Suppose, you knew and interacted with a person, an office colleague, say Gajodhar who on 1st Jan 2014 as per your understanding was a typical Bihari, down to earth, simple and person with limited tastes. However, in the past one year, it is quite a possibility that due to some events this assumption would have undergone a change, Gajodhar became Gajju, was the rock star at annual meet and you found that he knows and loves imported cars more than you do. This experience you need to take it in and analyse as per the diagram. A very simple diagram which enables you to plot a person’s experience in one box of the 9 boxes (Low / Neutral / High) as per the ‘Importance’ and ‘Expectation’ you attached on 1st Jan 2014. And do the same for 01st Jan 2015.

Are both the boxes same? Has there been any change? This will help you in defining relationships as want them to see. Maybe you attached too much expectation with a person or maybe somebody’s importance in life surprised you over the past year. This will help you align yourself with the people you want to be associated with and make the relationship aspect of your New Year Resolution stronger, better and definitely logical. A similar exercise can be done for Task wherein the variables could be ‘Satisfaction’ and ‘Learning’. So, for a task say, vendor management exercise which you were involved in during the year, though the learning was high, satisfaction may have been low. It gives a clear idea that this is not a path you want to tread on although you have the necessary attitude and skill to execute it as and when required.

So, this is my concept “Lo Re” or logical resolution for you. Ab le bhi lo. However, I am still to unravel one particular concept which was rather intriguing for all my school friends during our school times. Why are guys in total formal gear post the church mass and the girls … well, whatever.

See, this is my resolution, to not allow myself to wander when doing important work. FOCUS. But still …:)

Why Sports Day is not exactly a precursor to ‘Rat Race’.

Ready Steady Go … and the rarat racece started. When there is a race, there are athletes involved and so are spectators who appreciate the hard work put in by different athletes. Everything was perfect barring few exceptions. The race was a 50 metre race and the athletes were able-bodied kids of 1st and 2nd Standard and the spectators were dutiful parents of the little kids. The hard work put in by the kids was on display – some innovative ones refused to be part of the rat race and made an attempt to reach the finish line; quite a few kept on running even after the finish line, however predominantly the big lot was of kids who ran to the best of their abilities till the finish line.

In the meantime, the mommas had a gala time discussing on topics ranging from the evil sasumas to the useless patis and of course how the school is mistreating the kids by making them run in heat. Had I been an Ekta Kapoor fan would have really appreciated the conversations. (Could not actually stop from overhearing). That leaves the guys, us proud fathers who never won any medal in any kind of sports yet do have some semblance of expectation that though genetically denied, our offspring would earn some sports medals. With this interest and expectation, we were glued on to the races and the lovely crowd (it is quite funny that ladies end up dressing fashionably for such events as if it was race time at Mahalaxmi race course). And of course, we had some interesting insights. Not about the lovely crowd; I hope you weren’t expecting that. The insights were about sports days during our times.

  • Sports Day is Free breakfast day: Since it was obvious from our well framed bodies what our past would have been, earning no medals during School days was not a surprise. And as we discussed, we realized that though we belonged to different schools, the sports day that we celebrated was of the same structure. Few kids ran ON the field and the major chunk ran OFF it in the stadium / ground, playing cricket or paper football. Even though it was not allowed, there was always an entrepreneurial kid who could get a bat, somebody a ball and if luck maybe, some stumps. Now I can truly relate to the origin of ‘jugaad’ in a typical Indian DNA. And of course we all were provided a packet of wafers (Read wafers and not some branded chips) along with biscuits (Read Parle G and not cream stuff).
  • Dutiful parents were not allowed: Unlike today’s scenario when parents are delighted to watch race after race of different standards and divisions on beautiful hot and humid Saturday afternoon, our parents were not that privileged. They were either on duty or mother was a housewife and more often than not, the significance of Sports day wasn’t that great. We are the privileged lot today who pay extra for special sports day uniforms along with special photographs of the occasion. (Of course it is not free, dint I tell you that we are privileged!). All said and done, the event goes a long way in building the confidence of the little ones when the parents applaud all of them.So yes, times have changed. The perspective towards raising kids has changed. During our times, we were taught to be independent without being pampered. (Discipline and fear did the trick). Now, kids are again being groomed to be independent and confident while being pampered. (Mobile games, fast food and soft drink does the trick). However, the evolution of Sports day from being a race-centric day to a cultural event which includes drill, a taekwondo show by kids, a gymnastics show by kids along with variety of races with dance performances thrown in between is a step in the right direction. Not only does it expose kids to different aspects of life by engaging them in sports, dance, coordinated events but also builds up their confidence levels in front of a big audience. At the same time, the emphasis on competitive spirit is never lost as there is always a 1st 2nd or 3rd position for each race.

Kudos to such days, but like kids have a day off on Monday to compensate for the hard work put by them, can we dutiful parents also have the same rights. 🙂

A typical Delhi Wedding … Have you seen it, yet?

If you have not witnessed a typical Punjabi wedding and that too at Delhi, then chances are that you have missed an interesting experience in your life. Well, I’m the blessed one who could witness the wedding related amazing scenarios during my stay at the city this week. It was not the first time that I was attending a Punjabi wedding, however the blogger in me could not resist in observing the nuances more closely and then share with you later.Wedding

Just like the “Great Online Shopping Festival” which allows different retailers share their products online, I firmly believe that there should be a site  (Great Indian Wedding Festival) wherein all can share their experiences related to weddings.

First things first, do not be under the impression that Punjabi weddings are Karan Johar movies – Opulent wedding pandals, synchronized song and dance performances, rivers of alcohol and ample cleavages.

In fact, reality is far different. Yes, I know for different people the reality would seem a lot pleasant if at least one of the above from K JO movies is true. Obviously, you are thinking of opulent wedding pandals  .. right 😉 😉

Anyway, some of the scenarios that I wish to unfold before you:

  1. Toad dancer – All Punjabi weddings have an event called as ‘Sangeet’. Herein, family members dance, sing or both, and prove themselves as ‘Indian Idol’ which they never could during their entire lifetime till that moment. There would be one such budding idol in the crowd, a typical hen pecked grandpa, who would silently be a part of the crowd while the DJ is playing and dance as if there is no tomorrow. He dances in a semi-foetal stance throughout with his hands pointing upwards (asking for salvation from wife maybe) and the back a little bent giving an impression that he is willing to kneel down as punishment ( from wife maybe). This toad dance of jumping around and maintaining same expression till the DJ stops makes you wonder what a dancer he would have been had he not been dancing to his wife’s tunes.
  2. The drunken ‘Mobsters’ – This specie is predominantly active during ‘Sangeet’ but they have a tendency to create noise any possible opportunity during the wedding. Usually a gang of 5 or more, they feed on freely available liquor and more liquor. Some traits of this specie, Even after consuming inordinate number of pegs, they would crib “Mazza nahi aaya. Brand XYZ would have been better”. They would normally make noise and throw tantrums as ONE .. Releasing their frustration in front of their wives and parents by giving an impression that they are ALSO to be deemed important. It’s a different story that post hang over there is NONE.
  3. Doctor’s Food – The wedding was at a well-known place at Delhi, The Tivoli gardens. The entrance to the wedding hall had a lovely thought-of-the-day ‘You can never cross the ocean unless you have the courage to lose sight of the shore’. The ideal motivating words came true once I had a look at the buffet. It was an Ocean of food (nearly 160 odd items) which definitely required courage to lose sight of the burgeoning Waistline. Thankfully I preferred not to cross the ocean. However, what struck me was that nearly 60% food was not consumed. So was it a case of a typical Paneer Tikka in night being reinvented as Paneer Kadhai next morning and maybe Paneer Lasagna next afternoon? Sure seemed that way.. A way straight to the Doctor’s clinic.
  4. Money Exchanger – I bet that the money exchanged over all the weddings in Delhi on a particular night would be a lot more than exchanged by FOREX companies, maybe in a month. And they talk about poverty!! There is ‘Maya’ everywhere – Beautiful attires by beautiful ladies, exquisite jewellery and ornaments, variety of alcohol and of course, ‘Dhanno’ which the bride groom rides on.

There are other characters and many other scenarios which can be covered, like a typical husband tending to his kids, a babysitter .. well, which was me to a large extent.

But to know it all and relish the adventures of a Punjabi wedding, go attend one! Give yourself a hormonal boost:)