Tackling Failure

We start, we stand up, we move on, we reach closer, we don’t find success, we get tired, we give up and fail
We start, we stand up, we speak about it, we face cynicism, we get discouraged and we fail.
We start, we think a lot and therefore we never stand up, we fail but we don’t even realize it.

I can go on and describe various cases of failure. Many have told me that the chances of success and failure are same but they aren’t and they never will be. We all have tasted success and failure in some form or the other. There will be times when you will succeed but there will be many more times that you will fail. The frequency of failure beats success easily.

Failure is not always an end point but many a times the end point is a failure. Failure however is omnipresent.  It is present in the eyes of the clerk who had big dreams someday but couldn’t make it, it is present in the monotonous life of your colleague who is super smart but he stopped chasing his dreams by mastering the art of contentment, it is present in the eyes of the shopkeeper who didn’t have the guts to break the family business tradition and do something he wanted to, its present in the criticism of your close friend who failed and advices you to stop taking further steps towards your dreams, in the safety net of your parents who get scared and block you, when you plan to take any big risk. The presence of failure can be felt in various forms in our day to day life.

Every dream has its surface surrounded by various forms of failure. Failure is the strongest at the start of your journey. Its strength is determined by your past experiences. It never wants you to take the first step, it dominates your thoughts. It questions your actions; it haunts you and reminds you of all the failures around you, it uses them to block you. It tries its best to stop you, sometimes by itself and sometimes by the use of some of its slaves. It never wants you to take any step closer to success.

The strength of failure reduces once you take the first step and it starts to panic a bit but it doesn’t give up. It continues to use its forces harshly. From centuries, it has blocked many and killed their dreams. It acquired them and increased its power. Today it uses these powerful forces against you. It wants to acquire you too, it wants you to fail, and it wants to own you, increase it power and use you in the future to kill more dreams.

The path for success is a single thin line which is surrounded by big clouds of failure. When failure sees that all its harsh efforts are not having any impact, it tries an alternative. As you move closer to success, it builds a smooth parallel road towards its brother ‘mediocrity’. It welcomes you to this road and tries to fool you. It preaches you that mediocrity is not as painful as failure and it is good to settle for. This is the final test of your energy. Mediocrity is always worse than a failure but many don’t realize it. They fall in this trap and end their journey when success was just a few steps away. You join hands with a failure, you accept its proposal, and you get slowly acquired and become its slave without even realising it.

Failure is not what you settle for, it is not the end result, it is present at every step trying to acquire you, so that it uses you to increase cynicism around and become more and more powerful. Failure has its only enemy ‘success’, it’s a very weak enemy. Success had very few forces here and there which will encourage you. Sometimes you hear them while sometimes its voice is lost in the strong chants of failure. The longer the journey, the stronger are the failure chants. Failure never wants you to follow that path to reach success. It plants its elements to block you and sometimes change your path and catches you unaware at the final step. At every step, it tests you and the moment it finds you short of determination, it pounces on you and captures you unaware, and it breaks your will so that you never chase success again. You get dissolved, you become its slave.

Although failure makes you stronger, it only increases your endurance but it destroys your inner will. Once you fail, you get used to failures and don’t realize the deep hole you fell into. The only way to beat failure is but ignoring it completely at each and every step. Ignore those thoughts, ignore the people around, ignore everything and everyone which is a source of failure and just follow your dream. Don’t tell anyone about your dreams and journey to cease the power of failure. Once you do that, failure will have no impact throughout the journey. As the impact of failure reduces, the path of success becomes easier and you will reach it faster. The moment you hug success, failure gives up and starts repelling you. The more you expertise this art of reaching success, failure becomes more and more weak and eventually leaves you forever.


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The 7 rounds of marriage

Finally the Pundit (priest) asked them to get up and get ready for the 7 rounds of wedding. She was worried, scared and not sure if she was doing the right thing. She did not love him(groom) but was left with no options.
The boy she loved was diagnosed with a rare form of incurable cancer. Everyone said - he won’t survive. She strongly felt that he will be fine but nobody was ready to listen to her or wait. She succumbed to the family pressure and agreed to marry a very well qualified doctor. This doctor didn't love her either. He made her wait for 6 months post engagement for some silly case he worked on. Unwillingly she stood up for the rounds and the 7 rounds began




Round 1 – Round to pray God for plenty of nourishing and pure food
She remembered the way she met him for the first time. How happy he was to have topped the college! He was at the top of the world but he still showed the courtesy to walk up to her and congratulate her for a mere first class. She prayed for his nourishment.

Round 2 – Round to pray God for a healthy and prosperous life
She still remembers the 1st time he asked her out. How he lied to her that all his friends will join them but nobody turned up. He never called anyone, he just wanted to meet her. She prayed for his good health and longer life than anyone else.

Round 3 – Round to pray God for wealth
She will never forget all the crazy things he did to propose her. From a simple ‘I love you’ to well-planned proposal of 'ring hidden in her cup of coffee' She wished lots of wealth for him

Round 4 -  Round to pray God for the increase in love and respect for each other
If ever anyone loved her truly, it was him. He offered his shoulders in her tough times and it will remain with her forever. She continued to pray for him and tears rolled from her eyes.

Round 5 – Round to pray for the beautiful, heroic and noble children
She cried as she remembered the day when he first told her about the detection of cancer. His honesty and how he asked her to listen to family and marry someone else, how he selflessly left her forever.

Round 6 – Round to pray for the peaceful long life
She bursted in tears worried – how he must be? It’s been a year, she has not met him. How he must have lived? Is he even alive? She felt a heavy guilt inside. She felt she was doing a wrong thing. She looked around if she can  do something to stop it.

Round 7 – Round to pray god for companionship, togetherness, loyalty and understanding between themselves
She looked around and her eyes fell on a him. Among the crowd, her eyes found him. Yes it was he, the one she still truly loves. He was among the crowd standing helpless,tears intermixed with his fake smile. She paused wondering if it was he in real.

Groom doctor asked – What happened? We have one more round left.
She asked – He..?
Doc said - He was my patient. Remember, I postponed the wedding as I was working on a special case? He had a rare form of cancer but I cured him and now he is perfectly fine. I thought of inviting him for the wedding.

She untied the knot, jumped the stage, ran towards him, hugged him tightly and cried on his shoulder. She felt the same warmth which she had missed from a year.
They both lived happily forever.

Live you own life


It was 6 pm and I was all set for yet another onsite trip to US. As time passes, these trips don’t excite me as they used to. Perhaps you can get bored with anything in life. Nothing can sustain. The most boring part of this US trip was going to be the journey. You sleep, you read, you check for some entertainment, you sleep, you sleep and you sleep again.

I reached the airport on time which is 2 hours before the flight. After completing the formalities, I reached my port of departure. Previously I used to talk to people on the way but I have started ignoring everything around me at the airport. Why will anyone be interested in knowing about me, my trip and reason of my travel? May be I have lost the excitement myself. After reaching my port – I began to wonder, why do some men wear suits while travelling? Are they directly going to jump in the meeting on landing or are they planning to have a meeting in the flight?

For a while such silly questions came to my mind. Why do people occupy alternate chairs? Strange but true. I got busy with my blackberry not because I had something interesting to do on it but because I saw everyone else was busy with their phones. I wasn't carrying a book this time; it was that time spent with blackberry made me realize that my phone is going to RIP soon.

Slowly passengers started coming and all alternative seats were getting full. I had kept my bag on the next chair. Blame my mom for this habit of mine. While I was still trying to find out why exactly I was busy with blackberry, I heard a strong voice.

'It that your bag?' – A strongly built man in suit asked me. He must be in his late 40's
'Yes, wait I will take it. Please sit' – I took my bag in my lap and offered him a seat.

I got busy with the blackberry again while he took out his Ipad. I might have deep admiration for Steve jobs but as a consumer apple products never attract me. For me it’s all about worth. If you are not worthy, you are not worthy.

It took me 30 minutes to realize that there was actually nothing I can do on blackberry to kill my time. While this proud man was reading something on his Ipad. I thought breaking the silence would be a better option. The only risk was an embarrassment of getting ignored to an Ipad.

'Hey, is that an Ipad?' – I asked a lame question even after noticing a bitten fruit on it.
'Yes' – He replied in a serious tone. This man was one of those serious types. He was not worth having any further discussion. He must be reading some important official documents and was not interested in getting disturbed. I judged him with his 1 word reply. We all do that all the time. Passing judgments is our favorite pastime.

I thought listening to some music is the only option left now. I had listened to music on my way to the airport. I was going to listen to music in the flight. Now I had to listen to it even at the airport when I have 100s of strangers to talk to. As I opened my bag to get my earphones, he asked – 'Where are you heading?'
‘Douglas, Texas. And you?’  – I asked.
'California' – He replied.
'Nice. How much did you get this Ipad for?' – I asked a cheap question. It’s not actually cheap but it depends on the person you ask, depends on his perception. I decided to correct it immediately.
'I am planning to buy an Ipad. I was thinking buying from US would be better. Wanted to know, for how much can I get it from there?'  - I reframed it well.
'I did not buy it' – He replied in a low tone.
'Then?' – I asked thinking if there were any offers of getting free Ipads J
'I work for Apple' – He replied.

Wow! I have read a lot about Apple, they have come out with revolutionary products. Working for apple is every IT employees dream. We always wonder – how it will be to work for Apple. When he told me that he works for Apple, I was awestruck.

'What do you do?' – He asked.
I work for Amdocs. I work as a consultant-cum programmer.
'So you get to travel and consult people. Nice job. Must be fun and interesting'
'It is, it is!! But I am sure it’s not as fun and interesting as working for Apple'
'What makes you feel so?'
'I don’t know. I always feel working for Apple is the best thing that can happen to you. It’s a huge brand. It’s such a well-known brand.'
'Not really' – He had a dull smile. I got a feeling that something was bothering him.
Before I could ask him why did he say so? There was a special pre-boarding announcement for him.
‘This is a announcement for Mr Shekhar Bansal….’

So Mr Bansal has left to board the flight with a big question in my mind. Why did he say that working for Apple is not really the best thing? Why was he not satisfied? He must be a rich man who was travelling by business class. Why will he not be satisfied? After all money plays a big role in life and working for apple earns you respect. His parents, relatives must all be happy with him. What can be the reason?

Lost in my world of questions, I heard an announcement for economy class passengers. I headed to my flight. On my way to my seat, I saw Mr Bansal in the business class. He gave me a dull smile, which made me feel that he was actually unhappy. Something is bothering him. It is very difficult to get the truth out of professionals. They will never speak their heart. Everything is judged & calculated by their brain before they speak. So I sat on my seat giving up on the hope that he will speak his heart. I was going to land in Newark, before I catch my flight to Texas. There were slim chances that I will meet him at the Newark Airport. However to a large extent, I had given up on getting to talk to him and getting answers from him.

The journey was as boring as it can get. I had a child crying not very far from me, not allowing me to sleep. I would prefer being hijacked by terrorist than a child not allowing me to sleep. I got asked again about all the silly questions which I have been asked in the past on every flight journey.

Is India as poor as they have shown it in Slumdog millionare?
Is india safe for women?
Do you guys actually marry a girl just cause your parents want you to marry her?

I always answer to all these questions, I have to clarify the wrong image people have about my country. When the journey is above 15 hours, it was obvious to expect these questions. Getting bored, trying to sleep, listening to some music, trying to sleep, answering repetitive questions, trying to sleep again & again, we reached Newark.

The business class exits first. So I had to rush a bit in order to get to meet Mr Bansal again. Luckily I noticed him in the immigration queue. I din’t call him but I tried all the weird ways so that he notices me. After failing at the immigration queue, i was disappointed, I headed towards the port of my flight to Texas

I walked towards my port and I was left with questions which will never get answers. This can get frustrating. As I took steps , my curiosity increased. I had a lot of time for my next flight. I can go back and find Mr Bansal in the time I have. I have to get the answers. I have to clear my mind. If I don’t get them today, I will never get them. I decided to walk back. I checked the flight details on the screen. I checked all the flights to California & noted their port numbers. I headed towards the port of flights to California and started looking for him. After a lot of struggle, eventually I found him.

'Hey , Mr Bansal' - I said
'What are you doing here?' – He asked surprised.
'I was just passing by and I noticed you. I thought of completing the unfinished conversation which we had at the Mumbai airport.'
'Unfinished conversation?' – He had a confused look
'Yes. I told you that working for apple is the best thing that can happen but you said its not necessarily true' – I reminded him.
'Everything in life is situational' – He gave a general reply and tried to dodge my specific question. As I said – we software professionals never speak our heart. We will never express ourselves.
'I know that, but I am referring to your specific reply. What makes you feel that working for Apple is not the best thing. I mean you have everything you want'. – I pushed him for a reply.
'What will you do with my reply. I mean we don’t know each other. We might not meet again'.
'I actually want a reply now as I know that we will never meet. Not getting a reply will mean, not getting a reply forever. Please sir' – I pushed him again. I can be very pushy. I push people to an extent of pissing them off.
'Whats your name?' – He asked
'Preetam. But that’s not the subject here. Let’s stick to our subject' – I was pushing a big Apple employee now. But I had to. No options. Max, he will get pissed off and I will be satisfied that I tried.

'You know Preetam, I have a strange feeling. This trip of my home town in India has made me wonder, it has made me question my entire life' – He sounded extremely serious. Finally I could sense that it was his heart which was speaking out. There was something inside him which wanted to come out and I guess I succeeded in getting it out.
'Why, what happened?' – My curiosity of 20 hours was craving for answers.
He started narrating his story.
'I came to India to visit my home town Pali in Rajasthan. When I was a child, I had a friend called Rajesh. We used to stay far but we had the same school & college. We were always competing. I used to always be ahead of him. I was blinding competing with him on every subject. I was judging myself everyday on how could I be better than him. I use to work hard and win every battle. My parents, my relatives were all happy. We completed our Engineering and started working. I got better offers than him. When we started working, we lost touch as we dint have all the latest social networks and cell phones then. Last I heard about Rajesh was that he joined a small local company'.

'When I was in India, I was driving to a relatives place. My car gave me a minor issue on the way, so I decided to get out to find someone who can help me. I noticed a painting store while I was walking to find help. I noticed a painting of a bitten apple hanging outside with the title ‘The Crazy ones’. I walked towards the shop and I was shocked to find Rajesh there'.

'He was lost in his happy world, the smoothness with which he painted colors, the smile he has on his face, the flow, the brightness etc. I met him, told him proudly that I was in Apple, discussed with him about life and how he has been and since then I have this strange feeling inside me'.

'Rajesh got jobs from various companies, but after working for 3-4 years, he realized that he was not made for it. Although he was doing well, but he was not happy with what he was working on. He decided to quit everything and started to paint. He started a painting store and sells his paintings to different part of the country. He may not have the same money that I have, but he was extremely happy. He has lead his life of a painter. Every day he paints. He loves it. He is doing it from 20 years and even today he is excited when he does it. I found him much more happy than i have ever been.

What’s the point? I mean even you must be proud. You have everything. You have money, respect etc. – I questioned.

'That’s the point. Everyone around thinks the same about me. You know I have 2 houses, expensive cars. Throughout my life, my parents have been proud of me. They are very happy. The complication is that parents want you to be happy and have a relaxing life, therefore they don’t encourage you to try anything new. In return , you want your parents to be happy too so you do what they want you to. In this process, you end up making your parents happy. You are happy because they are happy while they are happy because they THINK you are happy. The bottom line is I have satisfied my parents, their relatives, I have the money, houses and cars but I have NOT LIVED MY LIFE. I have lived a life what my parents wanted me to and I can’t get my life back. I had one life, just one life and I spent it satisfying others. People who work for apple are not the crazy ones. Crazy ones are the one who listen to their heart, take risks and live their own life. I wake up every day to go to office. I don’t do what I wanted to do, but I do what my boss expects me to. I get frustrated often because I don’t love my work. Every month I decide that I am done, and I will quit but I never did. I have lived this way for fucking over 20 years. I got so much money and I used it well but I just got one life, and I couldn’t…'





With this he headed to board his flight. I tried to stop him but i couldn't. I was shocked. I thought working in Apple is the best thing but I guess painting in a small store is better if you love it more. I saw a very rich man, walking with his head down questioning everything he has done in life. He was sad, extremely sad and therefore he spoke his heart out. The world thinks of Mr Bansal as a big success but he doesn’t. Today probably he hates all that he has earned his life. He had too many regrets. The saddest part is that he can’t change anything. 

As I walked towards my port, I was still lost in the words on Mr Bansal which had immense value. Words which can change anyone’s life. I also wondered what was he going to do now? Was he going to quit his job now or was he going to continue working and doing what people want him to do? Was he going to listen to his heart and take a risk now or was he going to live a safe dull life?
If YOU were Mr Bansal, what would you do?

Do It Now!




There have been predictions that end of Mayans calendar will lead to the end of the world on 21st December 2012. Less than 10 days remaining, one of the questions which i have been asking my friends is 'What is that one thing they would like to do, if the world was seriously supposed to end in few days ?' I got various replies ranging from simple pleasures of life to conquering the world. These replies can be categorized as - spending time with their loved ones, forgiving old friends/lovers and getting back to them, falling in love, trips to some crazy places, achieving dreams and proving a point, world tours and the list goes on. There were some silly replies like - deleting the Facebook account to clearing the browser history indicating how seriously is this prediction about the dooms day for few.

These replies are interesting and they made me think that people have lots of wishes & dreams and they want to do it only if they know that they will die soon.We all know that someday we will leave this world but the trouble is, we think we have a lot of time in hand. We realize that we have decades of life ahead and we continue to be lazy and postpone that one ultimate thing forever.

As children, we had many wishes, we were interested in various things, we dreamt without boundaries & we were always motivated by elders. Everyone around supported us saying that 'Nothing is impossible’. As we grew, the same elders limited our thinking. We are asked to follow the same known roads rather than discover the unknown paths which interested us. We become a part of this rat race, follow some, compete with some, live others life and forget who we actually are and what we actually wanted. We have that ultimate thing in the back of our minds but it keeps fading as days goes by and it remains unaccomplished. We all are somewhere leading a fearful life, playing it safe and avoiding risks.

For most of us life is a boring routine and we don’t get time to do something interesting. We always have time to love, forgive, care & let go but we don’t, may be cause we are not children anymore, we are grown-ups - the perfect ones, bounded by rules created by us, blocking our vision and dreams.

Think about that one thing which you want to do, something which you are holding on from long and waiting for the right day. Believe me, the best day to do it is today! Don't wait more and compromise. Write down that one thing you want, read it every morning and put efforts towards it for the rest of the day. Do it now before it’s too late and your deepest desire fades away leaving you with regrets.

I don't know how much truth lies in Mayans Calendar prediction about the end of the world, but i do know that countless dreams and wishes are dying daily. I strongly suggest you to go for it, make every day count. At the end of life you will have regrets about things you haven't done than the things which you have. The world might not end but the year is about to. Have you accomplished everything you planned for this year? Dreams, goals, wishes, Remember them? A new year is about to begin, let it not be a year of unfulfilled wishes & regrets, do your best every day. Be fearless, make your existence count!








Typical day in the life of an IT employee


Beautiful Morning

There is nothing much as great as a good night sound sleep but there is nothing as bad as an early morning alarm which spoils it.

He turned off the alarm thinking he will wake up in next 10 minutes at 7:10. He thought, he will compensate these 10 minutes in the bathroom and still manage to reach office on time.

After a while he woke up with a shock.

“Damn! Its 7:30 already” – he said to himself as he dragged his body out of the bed in a hurry.

Beautiful morning, birds singing, everything had a new energy, even the sun trying to come out as an attempt to get a view of it. Ignoring all the beauty, he entered the bathroom. A half brush, half bath and without any tea, he got himself ready and rushed to catch the office bus.



Bus Stop

He reached the bus stop and he did not find any colleagues around. He rechecked the time, he has reached at the same time as he does daily and manages to catch the bus. He was only 2 minutes late. He waited for couple of more minutes convincing himself that the bus was late today. He was relieved to see his colleague Teena approaching the bus stop. Besides getting excited he was also convinced that bus had not yet come.

“I got a call from a friend. The bus has already left” – Teena told him while drying her hair with her hands.

It was a wonderful sight but he got more tensed now. He had to reach office on time for a early morning standing meeting. He has missed the bus today cause the bus was on time.

“Now? what will you do?!” – He asked her so that he can find a resolution of his sad state.

“Lets share an auto” – She suggested him with a mean smile ( She wanted to save by sharing)

“Sure” – he smiled at her gesture of sharing an auto with him.

She too returned a smile.

With true & fake smiles all around, both left in an auto.



Travel to Office

As time passed in the auto, he tried to think of topics to break the silence but she was continuously busy on the phone.

So he decided to show off a bit and decided to call some random friends and talk on his phone. He spoke some big things in the air and kept an eye on her to see if she notices anything but she din't.

More Time passed, now he got tensed as it was taking longer to reach office due to heavy traffic and some smooth road on the potholes.

They reached office late but he still wanted to make her feel better by paying more than half.

“Are you sure” – she asked and smiled. (An attempt to make sure that he pays more)

“Yes I don’t have change, so its fine. Have a nice day!” – he replied.

Thanking him, she left quickly. She did not want to be noticed with him. She was just happy that she saved some money.

He reached his desk with a smile thinking it was his day. He was accompanied by a pretty colleague, the day could not have started better.



Office Office

Before he could unlock his machine by entering his password (Teena1234), his manager reached his desk.

“Can you meet me in my cabin”- he said in a strong voice.

“Sure” – He replied and followed the big ugly a$$ of his manager.

“Why were you not present in the standing meeting” – His Manager asked him. He was ready to blast at him , no matter what reason he has.

“I was working late yesterday, I missed my bus in the morning” – He replied in a low tone. He somewhere knew he was cheated by the bus which was on time today but he could not give that as a reason.

“All are working late. All were present in the meeting. It helps the team to know about others work. I want you to work on the ABC design document and complete it today” – The manager ordered.

“Sure, I will do that” – He said Yes to calm the manager down but knew it would be difficult to complete the doc today.

As he returned back to his desk cursing the manager, He was disappointed and knew its going to be a very long day and he might have to sit late at night again.

He logged on to his machine. The 1st window he opened was Facebook. He logged in with his password – Teena_MyL1fe.

He was happy to see 3 likes for his late night status – “Anna Hazare tum sangarsh karo, hum toh office mein kar hi rahein hai”.

Then he went to Teena’s Wall and saw her morning status – “Beutiful mrning, Me & u on phone”. (she referred to a person she was talking on the phone)

He thought that she mentioned him and he liked her status! (By now this silly status had 13 likes as it came from a girl)



Smoking Zone

After Lunch, he went to the smoking zone as usual with his friend - Ashok. No matter how his day is, he gets huge confidence while smoking. While he was smoking, he saw Teena passing by.


"Do you see her?" - He asked ashok and blew a smoke rings to create some special affects.

"Yes" - replied Ashok.

"She is Teena, She likes me" - he told Ashok while keeping his eyes on Teena.

"Seriously? Did she tell you? Why din't she stop then?" - A puzzled Ashok questioned.

"Today i did not come to office by bus as she wanted to come along with me as she likes my company. Therefore i could not make it to silly Standing Meeting" - He informed Ashok and blew more smoke rings.

He threw the remainder of the cigarette down and said

"Standing Meeting - The most boring meeting that puts you to sleep. Hence people are asked to stand by their boss" - He laughed wickedly as he pressed & moved his feet over the cigarette to put it out.



Evening

He continued to work on the document. It was getting more and more difficult for him.

At 5 PM

“Please mail me the doc once you complete it” – His manager ordered and left for the day.

He worked under a lot of pressure and completed it by 11 PM. He mailed it to his manager and kept his senior Manager in CC to show people that he was working late.



Back to Starting point

He reached his apartment, was tired to prepare something to eat. It was a tough day and he had to get back to office early morning.

“Its not my day today – late to office, angry boss and so much work” – He told to himself.

He lied on his bed, logged into his laptop and again went on facebook for a daily night dose.

He was surprised to see 2 notifications.

4 likes for his morning status – “I want to be promoted to a Manager. I too want to do employee exploitation”

Teena replied to her status in typical internet slang – “Thks for d like ppl”.


“Its my day today – Auto sharing with Teena, people liking my status & Thanks from Teena”


Suddenly he was happy and he shared a joke on his facebook status

"Aryabhatta was asked to count Rajnikant's mistake, so he invented ZERO".


He checked his personal emails and checked if someone liked/commented on his joke.

There were no comments. He then commented on his own facebook joke - "Rofl".


Happily he went off to sleep & again had a good night sound sleep!!! J