Thursday, November 23, 2006

Life's Calling... Where Are You?

I start on my trip to Japan from tomorrow. Seems like a distant happening. Seems like it is happening to someone else. It probably hasn't sunk in yet. There's a mixture of excitement, anxiety and a calmness that I know how to learn and that's what matters. Above all, there is this feeling that I am blessed by all...

Am waiting to exhale... Am waiting to live this new phase of my life for I don't know, how much time to come... Am waiting to make good the dreams of all the years I have lived... All those days when I thought life would take off, my career would take off... I hope this is the start of that dream, that hope...

My friends tell me that I deserve it, I have worked very hard for it and they are happy for me. But somehow, I feel I am walking towards my destiny. Nothing more. I believe in destiny to a certain extent that it is guided by our Karma - past and present. I believe more in present Karma, but somehow also give importance to past Karma, owing to various happenings around me and from the teachings of more learned ones.

In a more practical perspective, I guess as one of the lines on my desktop says: "Career planning is an oxymoron. The best opportunities in life tend to be unplanned." I believe that hard work and dedication is essential, not optional, and it is a given to be successful. One can probably take short cuts to short-term victories, but it's my view that, even though the world may have changed, only those people who are technically very proficient in their field and dedicated towards delivering quality will succeed. The dedication musn't come from the lure of money or opportunity alone. I believe that it is something very intrinsic to any individual. It comes from within. It is individual attitude. And as most things in this world, some have it, some don't.

"Work smart, not hard." is the mantra of the current generation. How about "Work hard. Be smart."? :) I believe that to be successful, one needs a lot of luck in this world and it is hard work that creates this luck for us to enjoy.

Having said all this, I give enough room to the fact that there are N number of people in this world and therefore there are N number of life stories. So there is no one right way.

All said and done, thank you for all your blessings and best wishes. I believe what I am and where I am going is all due to this.

My life's calling. And I was born ready...

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

When You Were Nineteen

You say today, with a heavy heart
You are a has been,
Who's only nineteen.

But wait awhile and cast a glance,
To what you are and what you will be.

Life is short, life is tough,
But the journey is long and wondrous.

A long road awaits you today.
With its twists and turns, to keep boredom at bay.

You have a long way to go.
Many a people to meet.
Many a heart to touch.

Amongst the woods, shall peek the moonlight
Take a minute and be enthralled
The beauty of life is lived only once.

The barometer of success is not by convention
It is,
By love,
By joy,
By music,
By flowers,
By thoughts.

And no one but you is a success for yourself.

The days today shall come to you tomorrow.
To cherish a bygone era.

Many a tear, many a smile shall ensue.
As the pages turn by time.

The hearts you touched shall remember you fondly.
The tears betraying their love.

The sights and sounds that come your way, are manifold
Be sure they don't remain untold.
And when the mind stops wandering,
Come back and realize.

You are not a used up has been...

Your are only nineteen...


- Naveen

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Coming Into My Own

Saw a debate today on MTV that took me back about 7 years in time when I was a clueless, immature kid with stars in his eyes, a fiery competitive spirit and a never say die attitude :) Just watching it made me realize that while the competitive spirit hasn't ebbed away completely, I have learnt to combat it with my new-found maturity and perspective. Am definately progressing in the right direction...

During one of our recent late night work sessions, my PL, Andy, made a very profound statement. (I guess being in office at midnight is enough to make anyone profound :) He said: "Zindagi duaon se chalti hai. Jo bhi aage apni life mein karoge tum log, hamesha dua paana... Waise bhi badduaon se kya milega? Somehow, woh hurt karte hain..." It really was such a simple, yet powerful statement and I really was better for having heard it.

Considering that I owe all I have to the blessings of my parents and well wishers, I truly endorse Andy's views... Gracias...

Monday, November 13, 2006

I'm Free Again

This post is fully and fully dedicated to my Ozzy God... He truly is God in a human form... I just cannot express how much I LOVE his music...

This is one of my all time favourite songs and one that is very, very close to my heart. The lyrics are so simple, yet so meaningful that one just can't stop drawing parallels with one's life... The song is "Goodbye To Romance"...

Please join in the tribute to the God by turning off the lights, turning on the speaker to full volume and feeling the song's lyrics word by word...

Saturday, November 11, 2006

My Experiments With Truth

I was in Sacred Hearts High School, Vashi from Standard III to VIII. We had scouting from Std. VIII - X. I was selected as a scout in Std. VIII and as part of our curriculum, we had to maintain a diary. Till not very long back(probably beginning of this year), I had retained my diary with me. It contained a Scout card with levels completed, my information including my scout house, patrol etc and some writings in an ink pen.

One of the most poignant entries and most vivid in my mind is of an incident I had written about in our Good Deed For Today, which is a motto of scouting. It said of an incident, where I had gone to buy milk and curd from the nearby diary in Sector 3 Vashi. The shopkeeper aunty (a Sardarni) returned to me more money than stipulated, by mistake. I remember till this day, very vividly that moment, when while walking back home, I counted the balance money and was shocked to find that the aunty had made a mistake by giving me a few more Rupees than the balance. I remember going back and telling aunty that she had made a mistake and gave her the excess money back. And her words till today, I wear with pride. She looked at me with a mixture of surprise and probably thankfulness and said: "Honest boy."

I was too young to realize the importance of being or not being honest, but I did what came naturally to me. But all the same, it was my first experience with truth (atleast the first one I remember so vividly.)

The second very important incident I remember is in my Class XI. We had an English teacher (again a Sardarni!!!) named Mrs. Kaur. She was one of two teachers who taught us English and for some reason, I was not particularly in her good books. Now it so happened that I used to do proxies of a chap in my class. On that fateful day, going against my gut feel, I again did a proxy for him in Mrs. Kaur's class. And as luck would have it, she caught it and asked the culprit to stand up, failing which she would cancel the attendance of the entire class. The first time she said it, the entire class kept quiet. The second time, everyone started looking at everyone else. The third time, I placed my bag on my desk and stood up quietly, looking straight at Mrs. Kaur, as a hush fell on the entire class. She looked straight at me and it must have been about 3-4 seconds later, that a boy in another row passed a comment on me. She asked that boy to leave the class, cancelled the proxy, asked me to sit down and continued the lecture. Many people made fun and tried to scare me saying I would be in big trouble for this, but that trouble never came. Mrs. Kaur never punished me for it. I understood I had made a mistake and swore that I would never do another proxy and I mostly kept my word throughout the remainder of my college life.

I think that it is these two incidents that have made me today what I am. For good or for worse. And truly I do not regret it one bit. I never have regretted being honest and straight forward, even when it has brought me a lot of pain and unnecessary conflict.

While I have been in conflicts because of my ways, I have never been punished for being honest. My parents have always allowed me to go free when I have told them the truth. Even my teachers have spared the rod on me when I have been truthful. I have gotten my share of punishments, but never for being truthful. Probably that is why I have never been afraid to be truthful. Maybe it is me, or maybe it is because these people made me such.

Somehow, somewhere deep in my heart, I like to believe that all the good things in my life have happened because I have been honest and straightforward. With myself first of all. And with others. And I believe, somehow it is the blessing of that shopkeeper Aunty whom I didn't cheat and the blessing of my teacher, who appreciated my honesty and did not punish me and instead punished the person who made fun of me, that my life is so blessed. I am privileged to live the life I do and I truly believe that it is the blessings of such people and my parents that have made me today what I am.

Somewhere deep down inside, I also believe that it is because I am a very proud man. I don't like to be seen as weak and I would not want to gain benefit by cheating others or stealing their opportunities from them. I am very proud and I would like to earn my own bread and butter with my own abilities. If my abilities mean I can have cake, then I am thankful for that. If they mean I must subsist on oatmeal, I am thankful for that too. The echo of my words, I found in the book "The Kite Runner", where Baba tells Ali never to deprieve another man of what is rightfully his. I have followed a similar principle all my life and I believe that today what I have is mine rightfully and with grace.

People have told me time and again that I am living in a fool's paradise and I must change my ways or be steam rolled. I agree that my ways might not be the way the world works. But somehow, I am willing to sacrifice a successful career where I could make crores a year for a 15k job if that means I can just be myself and go ahead with my ways. I dont mean to say that I am perfect. I do tell lies when I don't want to get in trouble or to avoid long discussions I don't want to have or to save someones skin. But I am not comfortable with cheating. This might seem very contradictory, but I have a very satisfactory logic which I keep telling myself to keep going this way ;)

Why this post today? I was speaking to Anshum today and this issue came up. And it made me realize that being honest wasn't the way I was meant to be. It is the way that it always had to be...

Nothin Lasts Forever And We Both Know Hearts Can Change...

One of the most beautiful and brilliant songs and one of my all time favourites. I remember a time when I listened to this song 9 times continuously without a break. Just shutting out the lights, turning the discman to full volume and closing my eyes and GNR playing for me, just for me...

Heaven...

The song is "November Rain" by Guns N' Roses

Friday, November 10, 2006

First Of All... I Would Like To Say... Im Proud To Be An Indian...

In April this year, there was the Davis Cup tie between India and Pakistan in Mumbai. The tie was level at 2-2 with Aisam Qureshi really playing his heart out for Pakistan. The final match was to be between Aqueel Khan and Rohan Bopanna. But then, the great man Leander Paes stepped in to play the final game instead of the inexperienced Bopanna. And what a match it was.

Leander won the first 2 sets easily and looked poised to finish off the match. But as luck would have it, the rustiness from not playing singles for a long time resulted in cramps which affected his game. This enabled Aqueel to pick up the next two sets, the fourth set being won 6-0. All this while, Leander could do nothing, but hobble and walk. But Leander came back to fight cramps and his opponent to win the final set 6-1 thereby scripting an epic comeback. Now, knowing Leander's propensity to raise his level in the Davis Cup, it came as no surprise that he won against all these odds. But what really got me sitting up and watching was that just 2 points before he won, he had tears in his eyes before he served and again after winning the last point, he burst into tears. It was just too amazing to see someone have the heart for these challenges even after 17 years on the circuit. Specially in a non-monetary tie like the Davis Cup.

My heart beats for India. And this is the reason why...

My Anthem

Time after time, each and every time, when under pressure I hum this song softly and all of a sudden, the adrenaline begins to flow, the spirit refuses to die and I achieve...

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Main Kaun Hoon?

Raah chalta musafir hoon main,
Zindagi ke in galiyon se guzarte hue.
Har lamha naya lage mujhe,
Har saans mein nayi umeed mile.

Kisi aur ke liye nahi,
Bas khud ke liye jee raha hoon main.
Apne khwab, apne armaan,
Inko sajata hoon main.

Bolne ko toh dosti nibhata hoon,
Par shayad khudi se hi hai dosti meri.
Log kehte hain aise na raho,
Par shayad kisi ki aaj tak suni nahi hai maine.

Apni duniya chalata hoon ummeed se, dridh nishchay se.
Koi manzil door nahi, sivay logon ke.
Har faasla hausle ko buland kare.
Haar kabhi nahi manunga.
Dum todke bhi aage badhunga.

Khudi ki bahut ooncha sochta tha,
Par hamesha sochta hoon kitna pyaar mila hai sabse.
Kya iske kabil hoon, kya iske layak hoon,
Sawal uthte hain, par jawab nahi aate.

Kaise meri duniya badal gayi in dinon,
Sochke bas muskurahat aati hai.
Kya woh din bhi dekhe maine,
Kya kuch koshish nahi ki thi,
Sochke aaj mein mann ko shanti dilata hoon.

Waqt ke pehle, taqdeer ke bina...
Aaj waqt aur taqdeer mere saath hain.
Toh na zyaada khushi hai, na un dinon ka gham.
Bas ek garv hai khudpe.

Zindagi ke pannon par likhne waali kahaniyon mein,
Ek chotisi kahani shayad meri bhi likhi hogi.

Likha jayega aise umeed karta hoon,
Ki sachchai aur imaan ki jeet hui thi.

Kya hoon, kaise hoon, kyun hoon.
Sochna chod diya hai ab aur mann ko milta hai sukoon.

Unko shukriya, jinhone sahay diya,
Aur unko bhi jinhone nahi.

Aaj main jo hoon, sab aapki dua se.
Bas aapki duaon se hoon main aaj.

Raah chalta musafir hoon main.
Bas raah chalta musafir hoon main.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Friday, November 03, 2006

The Land Of The Rising Son

Thank you all for your blessings and good wishes and support... It is because of these that I am...