May 26, 2014

The NaMo-logy : A Long Way To Go. [Guest Post]

Ahh... The NaMo. Swearing in as Prime Minister of the Republic of India today. India having an "Obama moment" of her own. 

Not just Narendra Modi but millions of Indians were dreaming of this moment for months now. And finally it's here. 

A day before the election results, my good friend Srijan echoed my sentiments on the current political scenario. Then two days later Namrata spoke for "her people" expressing the apprehensions in the minority communities about the alleged draconian style of Modi leadership. I am not sure if these apprehensions are valid but sentiments are understandable.

There shouldn't be an iota of doubt that Mr. Modi is pro-majority. But does that equate to Anti-minority? Was he REALLY involved in inciting the Godhara riots like so many us believe, even after being given a clean chit by Supreme Court itself? I don't know. May be he was shrewd enough to get away from all the scrutiny of so many people over the years. Sometimes justice is not served. 

I am really weak in understanding History and Politics, and everything in between. You know better and I am not going to argue with you on this.

But here's my truth : I voted for Modi (and note I didn't vote for BJP) just because I bought the dreams he was selling. Hopes of a Better India which is the only straw visible in this ocean of gloom and doom that's Current India.  

Will he be able to do justice to all the hopes that so many Indians have put on him, or will he work on his own agenda and prove to be the nightmare-came-true for certain sections of society? Only time can tell. Although, the kind of actions he has taken and the speeches he has given since election results, I am hopeful of the former.

I wanted to write more on Mr. Modi, but then another friend Akshita sent a great account of him. I learned quite a few things from it, so I have decided to put it on my blog (with her permission). This, of course, also allows me to be lazy too. 

I haven't done a guest post since a long long time, although I did a few crowd sourced posts last year. I don't really let anyone write on my 'personal blog'. But it's all about experimenting right? So, may be a few more guest posts in coming times.

Alright, enough chatter.

Over to Akshita Pal.

Narendra Damodardas Modi (cropped)


''NAMO'', doesn't seem to be a Name or a word one could be unfamiliar with.
I may Re-code this Nomenclature as,

N : Nationalist

A:  Administrator and Appallingly Determined

M: Mass Leader

O: Orator and Organizer.

Mr. Narendra Damodardas Modi, aka Namo/Modi/Modi Bhai/Modi ji,and now THE PRIME MINISTER of World's Largest Democracy, is the Man who not only me but, most of the citizens of India look up to. The only PM born in an Independent India till date, is here to stay. Probably, this streak of youthfulness is what makes it easy for him to read the pulse of A Young Nation. Does anyone remember, Mr. NaMo's recent Election Campaign was titled, "Vivekanand Yuva Vikas Yatra"?

Now, when He is just swearing in as the Head-Honcho of our country, I, on behalf of every citizen, would like to honour him with a Bouquet from my side; a bouquet full of Good Wishes, Hopes, Dreams, and Desires of a New-Age India.

Let's take a walk down the memory lane...

Modi ji, born in the small place of Vadnagar (U.P), on 17-09-1950 (now probably, even an 8 year old would know this), struggled hard, like most of the Successful Men do, to reach this place today. From being the Son of a Tea-vendor, to being a Tea-vendor himself, working in the Gujarat Transportation Corp. and joining the Rashtriya Swayam Sewak Sangh, this Visionary, has never had an easy Route To Delhi. Seems, this prepared him to take future hardships head-on.

Not many of us would be knowing that Mr. NaMo at the age of 15, during the 1965 Indo-Pak War, used to serve the Soldiers while on a transit at Railway Stations, and had even volunteered to serve the Gujarat flood victims in 1967. He did come across as a Patriot since the early days of his life (that is visible while He gives Speeches too); However, a leading Daily had reported that Mr. NaMo sent troops to save only Gujaratis from the flood struck Uttarakhand in June-2013. Ohh! I must mention, the Tabloid later clarified that it was a 'mistake'.

Known for his Oratorical skills (that I personally am awed by) and Strong Determination, Mr. Modi, never seemed fazed by what people have to say (read allege and crib), about him and his 'Development Model'. There is no stopping him, when it comes to being a Workaholic, sleeping for merely Three hours a day, while many of us still complain of having just Twenty-four hours in a day. A prolific Writer and Poet, He, exudes Power and Dignity.

The 'Could be a Dictator', Mr. NaMo, gains his excellent art of mesmerizing the Audiences and his viewers, from the course He had pursued in Public Relations and Image Management in the United States. Undoubtedly, the outnumbering of male attendees by the female ones in a few of his Public-gatherings can be attributed to his Enchanting and Enigmatic Persona. Still doubt his magnetism? 

Adding Elegance to his Charisma,is his never failing Indian attire, preferably bought from his favorite store in Ahmedabad, Jade Blue (Remember? he was seen wearing a different set of clothes in every single appearance he made on his Victory Day: 16-05-2014).

Mr. Nilanjan Mukhopadhyay, in his Biography,'Narendra Modi: The Man,The Times', had described Mr. NaMo as an Authoritarian, someone who doesn't pay heed to people's opinions, Least Democratic Leader and an Insecure Man.

Again, 'How come an Insecure man start the Victory Preparations well in advance of the Election Result's Declaration, and even speculate about Potential Cabinet formation?', is a debatable topic in itself.

A great Economist, and Nobel Laureate, Mr. Amartya Sen, termed him as a failure when it came to Gujarat's Health and Education Sector's Management. On the contrary,a British Economist, Jim O'Neil,applauded him by saying,

''Modi is good at Economics, that India desperately needs in a Leader''.

Its more than evident, Men like him, are like musical glasses, to produce their finest tones, they must be kept wet.

Battling all odds ,viz, 2002 Godhra Massacre, Accusation of being an Anti-privatization, and Anti-globalization person, 'Slaughterer', 'Merchant of Death' and most lately 'Tsunami', this Man surely knows how to build a Mansion off the bricks people have been throwing at him since years.

Not very long ago, in  2012, his Live Chat made him the First Indian Politician to interact with Netizens this way. Of course, #Modi Hangout, was not the Most Trending Topic on Twitter without a reason. And enemies are enemies anyway, not trailing behind, #VoteOutModi was the third most trending.
Is this Record too easy to beat ?

Now, back to the Present ...

Cut! To 16-05-2014, his (or NDA's) Historic Win in 2014 Lok Sabha Elections, leaves no room for other competing 'clan' to be even in the Opposition. It makes not only the Indian Stock Market bloom, but also makes Mr. Modi beat Salman Khan as The Most Re-tweeted on Twitter.

I must admit it, I am no Fan of Mr. NaMo, nor do I go berserk for any Political Leader at all. But Yes, The Candidate who promises me to make my country shine globally, makes the youth go gaga over him, runs a chill down the spine of the Opposing Parties, makes even Kids take interest in Politics, can JUST NOT GO UN-NOTICED.

The people who called him a Tsunami, may not be knowing that Sea, has always had the nature of being calm for years of atrocities we people do to it but, if just once it retorts, it sweeps away the dirt off the shores, sometimes also away from the catchments .

This could be the impact of 'Modi-Leher'...

Also,not to forget, if observed closely, 'Leher' i.e waves have a tendency to absorb what is worthy, and ebbing out, all the dirt and mud back to the coast.

An old Hindi Doha goes as,

"साधू ऐसा चाहिए जैसा सूप सुभाए ,

सार-सार तो गही लए, थोथा दे उड़ाए "

It sums up Mr Modi's character, i.e, gather just blessings and positivity, take criticism in your stride,and move on.

Certainly, might of the 'Leher' is greater than that of some regular tide.

Be it the release of Diamond Merchants from China, taking support for a 'Vibrant Gujarat' from Japan and Singapore, making his 'Gujarat Development Model' a rage overseas, this Man did go every mile to make his State recover from the loss it went through after being shook by a major Earthquake more than a decade ago. Certainly, he has strong reasons to back up his being chosen as Gujarat's Chief Minister for four consecutive terms.

But, most of us have a habit, to focus on the bad ones, and neglect all the good deeds one has ever done.

OK! He might be alleged as a Pro-Hindu, Communal, not so Secular, someone who invaded a Lady's telephonic privacy, refused to wear a Skull-cap offered to him by a Muslim Cleric, involved in extra-judicial killings... Just MAY BE...


Why not see how he observed serial fasts, solely to make a communal contact, in eight different cities?

Why not admire, how now even a Neighboring country like Pakistan, looks up to Gujarat's Solar Park, and Kalpasar projects to seek a solution to their internal Power crisis?

Why not appreciate someone who claims he would give us a Cleaner India??

Why can't we just ignore his 'Relationship Status' and rather focus on how good relations he lets India build with the rest of the world?

Why can't we forget to which community he belongs? Now, Who is being Communal?

Why not respect him, who gives us the hope of Employment, Development, Empowerment and Economic boost?

Why not trust a Man with the future of our Mother Land who, at 63, doesn't forget to seek his Mother's blessings before even the smallest moves of his life?


Yes, I agree, it's not only the King who makes the Kingdom win, it's the Kings-men, and the cavalry too. A Leader is briefed about his responsibilities, BUT, in order to execute it, De-briefing is equally essential, so say the Principles of Entrepreneurship. And who could do this better than a Man who commands Respect, A Man who is surrounded with the Aura of Simplicity, Authority and Gravity?

Believing not him, but the wisdom that made us Vote for him, I am hopeful that HE WILL give us all the Country Of Our Dreams.

And as Mr. Narendra Modi himself urges, giving this SEWAK a chance to serve and replenish India, reward it with a New Era and a New lease of life, like all those who have invested loads of trust in him, I, offer my ode to Mr. Narendra Modi ji.
Wishing him all the Luck in his journey,

With the Caution:

"Handle our Nation with CARE and SELFLESSNESS.

We would want to cheer ... NAMOSKAAR BHARAT!!"


May 24, 2014

How To Invite People To A Wedding

I hate the world. Each and every person in this world. Well... actually not every person. There are a few people I love. My family. My friends. Babies. People who inspire me. Beautiful girls which make the world a better place just by being beautiful. My favorite Authors. Scarlette Johansson.

But besides them, I hate every living breathing person on this planet. The strangers on the way. The Politicians. The reality TV people. People who rub me the wrong way. People who don't rub me the wrong way but I think they will, sometime in future. Justine Bieber. My neighbors. The feminists. 

We group most of them in a single word... ahh.. the "Society". I hate society. And I hate all the customs, rules and regulations that this society has made for me, without even taking my consent. I hate it all more than I love anyone. 

I wish I could be compassionate with the people I don't like. I wish I could like them. Unfortunately I am not a Teresa or a Gandhi. I am a normal guy, and hence I possess a license to hate people. But yeah, I don't walk around with a play-card telling people "I hate you". I simply ignore them. I don't care what they have to say about me (or at least I try to). I only care about 0.0000001% people in this world who I know and love.

One of my friends got married last year. I so wanted to attend his wedding. We had planned this ever since we were in mid-school. And the reason I was so excited, was because that would have given me an excuse to visit the great state of Bihar. A state which has produced some of the greatest minds that I know of. But he didn't invite me. I don't know why. I waited even till one day before his wedding for the invitation. Then next day I forgot it was his wedding. I hated him for several months. Then I stopped caring. We haven't talked since then. But if we ever meet, I will congratulate him and move on. Why hold grudges?

Another of my friends got married 3 months ago. He invited me, but I turned down the invitation. He tried again a few days later. I painfully but shamelessly refused again. We haven't talked since then. Earlier this year, I got invitations from two other friends for their brothers' wedding. I refused them both. We haven't talked since then. Last year I got 5 (may be 6) invitations for wedding.  All of them personally called me (multiple times!) and emotionally blackmailed me. I either didn't pick up their calls, refused or gave a very confusing 'yes'. Then I didn't go to their weddings. I managed to attend one (which was a miracle in itself).

The point? I don't like to go to weddings. I am a lazy guy. Plus an introvert. That gives me a constitutional right to not attend  your wedding, howsoever great friend you are. I don't like big gatherings of people I don't know. I feel like they all are conspiring to kill me. But friends and associates who invite me don't understand that. They think I don't like them (which is not true 99% of the times).

For me, big lavish weddings are a huge waste of time and money. May be you like to throw and attend such bashes. I am so happy for you. But please don't expect me to be the same. May be I am not from Mars (like they say all Men are). May be I am from Saturn. People from Saturn usually don't like to attend weddings. I have a few other reasons of not attending most of the weddings, but I am too embarrassed to tell them. So, let's not get into that. 

OK, let's forget about me for a moment.

I don't understand the point of inviting those people to the most important event of your life, whom you don't even like, or barely know of. People who only care about the food in the menu and the decorations. Why not invite the beggars and poor hungry people instead? They will give you more genuine "Aashirwaad", and make your wedding look bigger and more happening, if that's what you are looking for. You must understand, NONE of these people with their "pretentious happiness" for you, come forward when problems start coming in the marriages.

No, I am not anti-wedding. As I said, it's a special occasion which comes only once in a lifetime (for most people). So my thinking is that, we should call only those people, without whom your happiness won't be complete. If that means calling 30,000 people from all over the world or 500 FB friends, then so be it. But, I suspect that won't be the case for most people. May be just 50 or 100 people truly matter in your life. Why not just call only them?

Below is a 10-step process to invite people to your (or your near-and-dear one's) wedding. This process will guarran-damn-tee to bring at least 90% of those invited. It will ensure that only those people attend the wedding whom You want. And of course, this will significantly bring down the wedding cost, thus inducing less tension and hence more happiness. It's an irony I might not get to use this 10-pointer if I ever marry myself. My family doesn't listen to me (may be that's why I write). But, I hope you use this process. Let me know how it goes:

Step 1. Make a list of everyone you know of. This is going to take a lot of time, but it will ensure no one is left from the process. Think about your school, college, office friends. Think about your ex, neighbours, and ex-neighbours. Think about the guy with whom you did a short term course together. Take your own time here. Made the list? Good job. Let's move on to the next step.

Step 2. Take a big red marker and start crossing out the names of the people you don't care about, or hate in your gut. I would recommend cussing the ones you hate while crossing their names, but that's optional. If you are anything like me, your list will be down to 30%. You might also realize how much lonely you are really, but let's not concentrate on that. 

Step 3. Write down the names of the people you are left with in a separate sheet. Now take a green marker (or red one if you don't want to waste money), cross out the names of people who didn't contact you in past one year (remember, you contacting them doesn't count). They may have their reasons, but not remembering you even once in past 365 days is an unpardonable excuse. This should take out another 10% from your list. Screw these  people. 

Step 4. Again  make another list of people you are left with. Now take a blue marker (or again the red one) and cross out the names of people You didn't contact in past one year (they contacting you doesn't count here). I know you care about them. But the fact that you didn't contact them in last 365 days means they have become second priority in your life. Why do you want to guilt trip by inviting them to a wedding? Let's face it. Some people take priority and others get left behind. There is no need to feel sorry for them. This should again take out 5% from your list. Don't invite these 5% but if you can, get in touch with them today.

Step 5. If you were honest your list will contract to about 15-20% people than the ones you started with. Take a yellow marker (or red) and strike out the names of people which starts with "Q", "X" and "Z" (trust me on this one). Strike out the people who have a criminal  background (how come they reach step 5? Wait, how did they even managed to be in the list?), people who are cynical or die hard pessimist (yeah, they are good friends but they have no use to be in a wedding). 

Step 6. The list that you are left with is the one you are actually going to send invitations to. You have arrived at this list after a really painstaking process. Make it painful for them to refuse you. Start inviting them as soon you can, so that they don't have an excuse of not having time. Anyone can block their time if they are told 3 months ago. Do NOT message them to invite. Do NOT send emails. Do NOT send an ecard. Send an actual invitation card, if you want, but don't just do that. Actually, call them (multiple times like my friends do) to let them know that they need to come to your wedding. Tell them they hold a special place in your life and now you want to share a special occasion with them. Tell them that you crossed out thousands of names and they are one of the only few who made it to the final list. Tell them, you will feel hurt (which you actually will) if they don't make it to the wedding. No need to romanticize your call here, just be direct.

Step 7. The above process should convince most of them. But don't stop there. Actually take a clear "Yes" or "No" from them. If they need time to decide, ask them when to call back. I don't recommend emotionally blackmailing anyone, but if you do go that route make sure you mean it. Telling someone you will stop talking to them and then starting to talk to them after a few months, only makes you look stupid. If someone says "No", try to find  out the reason. See if you can help them avoid avoiding the wedding. By the way, "I don't want to attend your wedding. And for no particular reason" should be considered a perfectly acceptable No. Respect that.

Step 8. By this step you should be convinced that 99% of people who said are going to turn up. The ones who still don't make it after saying "Yes" should be hated. They are lower than the ones who outrightly said "No". Don't go to any invitationals of such "betrayers". You will always have family pressure to call the neighbors and relatives. The ones you barely know. Yeah, it's important to call them so as to keep up with the "society". But don't buzz. Screw society. Don't care about the "Obligation" to call everyone in your office, or on your FB list. It's (most probably) your wedding , you should have the first right of whom to call and whom not. 

Step 9. I don't have a step 9. But remember, the last decision of coming to your wedding or not should be left to the invitees. Some people have genuine problems. People like me love you, and they are genuinely happy for you. But they hate weddings. So, they should be left alone to lick their wounds. Just be grateful for those who could make it.

Step 10. I don't have a step 10 either. But if you call me after actually following this process, then let me tell you one thing. I am just so grateful that I hold a special place in your life. This invitation means a lot to me. I might still not make it, but that's my personal problem. I love you. Wish you (or your near 'n dear one) a Very Happy Married Life.

I did a survey amongst my friends a few months ago. Most of them informed that only 60-70% people who get invites actually turn up. I don't have real numbers to back it up, but I am sure the above process will fetch you at least 90%. And you are also sure that all of them are actually genuinely happy to be present at this wedding. Now, isn't that wonderful?

May 18, 2014

Why It's Important To Be Lazy

PS: I wrote this article 2 months ago, but was too lazy to edit it and post. Until...

I used to feel sad. I would find everyone around me to be so awesome, and I had nothing in me to match them. I mean of course, I am fair to good in a number of things. But not good enough to be titled "awesome". So, I would feel sad. 

But one day while I was floating in my sadness, I had an epiphany that I was actually 'awesome' in one thing : Being Lazy. 

I don't know why Salman runs "Being Human" Charity. If I tell you "Be Human", you would ask "What the heck does 'Be Human' even mean? I look, walk, pretend to be like human. What else do you want me to do?". Nobody wants to be human in today's world.  But then after 15 minutes if I ask you to "Be Lazy", you already know what you have to do.

It's a world of "Being Awesome" not "Being Human". And "Being Lazy" is one of the simplest (but certainly not easiest) ways to achieve awesomeness.

But then some of you are so stupid (don't mind, I will one day prove I am "stupider" than everyone else), you won't even give it a thought that being Lazy is a MUST to have a long life. So, here I am trying to sell you the idea of why you must be lazy. 

A. Being Lazy saves resources : I seldom bathe on weekends. So easy. Result? Gallons of water saved. I imagine myself to be a Superhero, with all the water droplets saying "Thanks RavS, you saved our day. You are so awesome".  Water is a scarce resource. If I could I would go without bathing for weeks, probably months. 

The only reason I bath on weekdays is because not bathing affects my routine and hence productivity. Yes, I stink on weekends. Say "ewww". Don't call me on weekends. But then, I meet a lot of people who stink mentally all through the week. What shall I do about them? 

Someway or the other I am also reducing my carbon footprints. Nobody should be able to trace me back by my carbon footprints. 

B. Being Lazy saves time : Time is the only resource that's truly irreplenishable. I mean you put the dead plants and animals deep inside mother earth, wait for a few billions years and voila! you get all your coal and oil back. They taught me in school that Sun is the ultimate source of all the resources (read energy). I don't know how Sun can give me back my time once it's gone. But procrastinate on an important task and all of a sudden you have more time to waste. Laziness ahoy!

C. Being Lazy is fun : People say we should get outta door, breath in fresh air, talk to people, probably go to parties if that's your thing. Don't listen to those people. They are probably Congress supporters. I don't know what could be more fun than lying on your bed, watching episodes after episodes of Prison Break (or House or 24 or... ). I once stayed on my bed for 3 days straight, doing nothing but watching mindless junk on TV/Internet, then sleeping and watch some more TV, getting up only for loo breaks (I even brought food on the bed). Ahhh... those were the 3 most fun days of my life. May be I will repeat that sometime this year.

D. Being Lazy is good for health : I don't know why there's this myth that Lazy people get obesity and other lifestyle problems. I mean I have been lazy ever since I learned the spelling of layzee and I am as lean as the word "LEAN" written in Arial font size 120. I tell you what, fat people are fat. Lazy people are Lazy. There is just no conclusive scientific evidence correlating the two. It's just a conspiracy theory created to stop people from being lazy and hence awesome. In fact, I would argue, being Lazy makes you healthy. Eating is one of the most energy consuming activity that I do. So, sometimes, especially weekends, I skip meals. Unintended Intermittent fasting. And THAT is scientifically proven to help you get healthy.

E. Being Lazy is hard : I can give you a list of 100 ways to be lazy (anyone interested?), but then some people will still find it hard to be Lazy. It's just outside of their comfort zone (see the irony!). My Grandmaa sleeps around 10.30 and gets up around 4.30 in the morning. Everyday. She would then manage to do so much physical work in next 3 hours that I can't do during whole day (and I am preparing for a triathlon, remember). It's been her routine since time immemorial. During school/college days I had more faith in her than mechanical alarms to wake me up early for exam preps. 

Which brings me to the point : no one is born with inherent Laziness (just like creativity). It's not about genes, you can only get lazy by sheer determination and hard work.

F. Being Lazy attracts other Lazy people. Ergo, community : Some of my best friends are super lazy. We make plans to hangout, and then get lazy and cancel them. We never call each other, because once you call you have to actually talk. I have at least 7 people whom I promised to call in last 3 months but then never responded. 3 people did the same with me. Thank goodness. We rarely chat or message, because that takes energy as well. Now, I don't know if I was lazy enough to deserve such friends, or their laziness (read awesomeness) rubbed off on me. Anyways, I am always grateful they are a part of my life. 

As a corollary to this, I am thinking to start a social network where just lazy people would be allowed to create an account. They would have to fill a survey to prove their laziness, first. People must be so lazy that they even forget to login once they create their account. People won't be allowed to post comments. There would be only be a Like button if you ever want to respond. And you won't even have to press that button, it would get auto-pressed if you hover your mouse over it. 

G. Being Lazy makes you productive : Do you remember those school/college days when you won't do homework because you had better things to do in life. But then next day right in the morning, you would copy a 2 hour homework in 20 minutes flat. And don't dare argue about "Quality" or "Learning". I don't even remember the names of all the 50 subjects that I studied in college. 

For a long time, I used to be the guy who would do the 2 hour homework at home, and then everybody would copy from him. What a loser I was. 

Well, I have a few other points on why you MUST be Lazy. But then, this article is already over 1000 words and I am too lazy to write more. 

My aim in life is to achieve greatness. I strive hard to get lazier everyday. I don't even say "Hi" to everyone I meet everyday. I want to become the master of Laziness. When I die, probably you will come to my (artificial) grave and read  "Here lies the tomb of the Great RavS who redefined the term 'Lazy' ". R.I.P.

Some people will take this post as a joke. That's alright. Probably I have written it as a joke. But here's the most important take away: We all get lazy. We all procrastinate on some level or other. Life is hard sometimes. Things are hard. Our hearts are at the right place but we just don't know how to take the next step forward. So, we stop. We get lazy. Then, we feel guilty. Then we regret. Then we hate ourselves. Then we decide we don't have it in us to complete the journey. And then we stop completely. (Replace 'We' by 'I').

It's a vicious cycle. May be you have it in you to break this. Or may be not. But I just want you not to feel bad about it. World would be a better place if you are happier rather than more productive.