Monday, December 21, 2015

The magic of intangibles!

The magic of intangibles!**
……….. and the Happiness therein!

“Everything that can be counted does not necessarily count; everything that counts cannot necessarily be counted.” ~Albert Einstein

All my writings talked of the magic of smaller things, the misnomer for the biggest of things, the intangibles. As I delve deeper into the more inhumane side of the world, I feel I keep finding more of emotions. A little of business in fact taught me a lot more of emotions than 'the better side' ever could. This writing comes from a world that duly underestimates the power of the smaller things…Let’s get down to business!

While we were running behind the ‘dot com’ boom or the ‘recession’ or ‘big data’ for that matter, did we stop striving for something far more important to our existence? While we were chasing towards success and expanding business, did we forget to live? Did we forget that businesses are run by humans, humans who have needs?

Today, a generation which is more educated, earns more and lives longer compared to any previous generation is one of the most depressed generation in world history. Perhaps, the most ignored fact in businesses today, is the human content of business. Chip Conley, a noted businessman and a renowned speaker emphasized on the fact that some of the biggest companies around the globe already know that customer loyalty, goodwill and brand-value are worth much more than sales, margins and material assets. Around 80% of assets on Apple’s balance sheet is comprised of intangibles. In fact Harley-Davidson, Whole Foods Markets, Southwest Airlines and Google are all intangible-driven companies. We do know that the intangibles are worth a lot more than tangibles, but in the absence of ways to quantify the intangibles in a definite way, we end up having to ignore them.

It was in early 1970s when nations started realizing the value of intangibles. In 1968, during a very memorable speech, Robert Kennedy stated that “GDP measures everything other than what makes life worthwhile”. It was a game changing event in the political and behavioral scenario. GDP must have been an important metric during industrial revolution when production was synonymous to development. However, with an 80% decline in poverty, was produce of a country, the only way to quantify it?

In 1972, Bhutan’s fourth dragon King succeeded his father at the age of 17. At a time when Bhutan was known to be one of the weakest nations financially, he was asked about the GDP of Bhutan by a journalist. The king in his answer changed the way people looked at Bhutan and the way we judge nations based on only what they ‘produce’, not what they ‘have’. He proposed ‘Gross National Happiness’ as an all-encompassing metric. He not only mentioned it, but also set up a procedure of quantifying the same through 4 pillars, 9 KPIs and 72 different metrics. Today more than 70 countries use GNH as a metric. UN recently identified happiness as one of the key ingredients of development.

Prof. Daniel Gilbert, psychology, Harvard University has done commendable work on importance and analysis of personal happiness. He has studied multiple cases and reached at a few results very intrinsic to human behavior. He very interestingly says that people are bad at forecasting the reasons for their happiness. One might feel that they will become happy if they get a promotion, a job or a partner they wish for, but even after they get everything they want, do they remain happy forever? After a period of time people learn to deal with ultimate grief and similarly dissolve extreme happiness. The fact is there are many things that can ‘make’ us happy, but there exists nothing that can ‘keep’ us happy. Who would believe that having kids actually takes one’s average happiness levels way below?! I clearly remember asking for a doll to my dad when I was a child and believing it while I said – “This is the only thing I will ever ask you for. I will always be happy if you buy me this doll”. My dad just smiled and got me the doll; knowing that I will never end asking him for more toys and a lot more in life. We keep striving for a goal to become happy and the moment we reach that, we shift the ‘goal’ itself and hence end up making ourselves unhappy for eternity! It can be said for the mankind in general that the frequency of happiness is much more important than the intensity of happiness. Also, generally a situation of no alternative surprisingly keeps people happier than people who have alternatives. The good part is one can’t remain unhappy for life and humans have a way of finding a way around situations.

“Wisdom does not come with age. Maybe it is born in the cradle ­ but this too is conjecture, I only know that for the most part I have followed instinct rather than intelligence, and this has resulted in a modicum of happiness.” ~Ruskin Bond

In Prof.’s words, “The secret of happiness is that it’s not a secret; it’s like weight loss – You know the right things to do, you just don’t do it.” Happiness can be generated only by knowing what counts for you. Chip Conley devised a simple equation to explain the mathematics of happiness; which is more like gratitude/gratification; what you have vs. what you want to have. It's up to us to increase the numerator or denominator! :)

As our worlds grow bigger, we start to realize smaller the things are, the more they matter. Days that just go by waiting for our hours to get over, moments that just pass in a need to be noticed and people who just cross right before our eyes in hope of being acknowledged, all the small things that keep looking for our attention till the time we lose time and start looking for them when they are lost. A silent day, a lukewarm coffee, a half read novel and peace at heart is the way a perfect life is! Sunlight meshing from a canopy of leaves, droplets of rain on your face and a smell of the mountains, what else can a life wish for?

**Originally penned for internal usage at Mu Sigma Inc. – Please take permission before copying or reproducing

Monday, June 29, 2015


As I skim through all I have written, each piece relates to an event in past and I realize that I have been only as mature as the hardships I have faced. Perhaps everything I ever wrote seemed the most important emotion at that time and at different times, having faith, forgiving, loving, letting go, changing and living to the fullest seemed to be the most thing….however, through all this, we forget something important, more important than everything else and that’s – Loving ourselves.

*Going by the trend, this piece should contain wisdom from all events of my life and should be at all-encompassing level of maturity with all emotions intact! :D

Despite the popular belief that everyone loves themselves, very few of us actually do. Being selfish should not be confused with loving oneself. We all have been involved in acts of selfishness; Adam couldn’t hold himself from having taste of the apple and that’s what led to the human race, so guess being selfish is being humane! Not wanting to lose on my atheist audience, my intention is to drive attention to being there for oneself. Knowing all the weaknesses inside us, knowing that we are not as good as we are perceived, knowing that we look pathetic without make-up, knowing that we thought ill of someone, knowing that we harmed someone, knowing that we have a devil living inside us, knowing et all, even though no one else knows, and still wanting to embrace ourselves without having to act is the act of loving oneself.

There have been times in everyone’ life when we have felt lonely, betrayed, unfit for a gathering, not capable of living, grief beyond bearable limits, unable to let go and worse, unforgiving of ourselves. We tend to hold ourselves for everything that went wrong. Someone broke our trust, and it was our fault to trust too much. Someone didn’t give us due attention, and it was us who let them take us for granted. Someone didn’t love us back, and we were not good/attractive enough. Someone hurt us beyond measure, and it was our mistake to let our hearts open. Someone thought of our competitiveness to be cut-throat and moved away, and it was us who couldn’t be good enough friends. Our stories all cross each others’ and more often than not, end sooner than expected majorly because constants come with small frequency for anyone and everyone. Through all relations we build, all actions we take, if we end up blaming ourselves, we end up disliking ourselves and sooner or later, stop loving ourselves. There is no denying that we have made mistakes and we act to like ourselves despite them, but it’s important to know that once we stop loving ourselves, we don’t only become incapable of seeing good in ourselves, but also in everyone and everything else. Also, while we start loving ‘self’, we ensure that we will never be lonely, however alone we are left, that however brutal the world turns, we can still hug ourselves when night falls – however long and however dark, that whoever betrays us in however unexpected ways, it’s not our fault, that whoever crushed all that we believed in, we still have ourselves to fall onto, that love might have disappointed us once, but we can give it another chance because someone right will come to love the person we really are and because we love ourselves, that being happy doesn’t require a particular thing, person or place, it’s within us, that every emotion hits us the way we perceive ourselves – we cry if an important person betrays us, we fight if that person is not-so-important and we don’t care if the person holds no importance.

One of the most gifted actresses of our times, Kalki Koechin once observed something really deep:
“Love is giving without expecting in return. It sounds like the ultimate act of self sacrifice right? But the trouble with giving, and I mean happily and limitlessly giving without expecting in return, is that one has to be self sufficient, and full of love for oneself. So, in a way, I believe love is selfish, because only a person, who loves themselves fully, can give fully without expecting, without needing, without dependency. I’m not there yet, but I fight to be myself everyday in a world where we are constantly pressurized to be someone else, and that daily fight is my pursuit for love.”

How fabulous a thought it is! How can you possibly love someone who you will never know well enough if you don’t love yourself whom you know, who will never leave your side, with whom you have spent all the days and will spend the rest of your life? If someone else’s attention, respect, love, faith and togetherness are an essential to your happiness, rest assured, it will wane away much sooner than expected. I would never deny the importance of people and loving them because, there should be some axis for our revolutions; these constants are a huge part of who we are, but never completely us. As we grow, we know however painful, it’s crucial to get hurt, rebuild and give everything else a second chance….even ourselves. Know that whatever you did in whichever situation was the best you think or could fathom. Know that one day it will all make sense, one day when the huge pieces of jigsaw fall in place and you smile back at life. After everything that I and my ‘self’ has been through, I love myself…do you?

Monday, April 6, 2015

I never asked to grow up!

As easy as life continues to get tougher. With every birthday that I celebrate days start looking so much difficult to survive. Where did so many responsibilities get loaded? Where did the point of always making sense come from? Since when am I expected to choose? Since when I am expected to make decisions? Since when managing my whole finance get started? Since when I started being bad to someone? Since when hurting someone became necessary for setting things 'right'? I am fine growing old but I hate growing up!

Last time I checked one should get happy looking at come my first reaction, looking at a child is burst out crying? Looking at the way everything is always perfect in their world, someone always to look out for, someone always ready to clear any magnitude of filth they make around them, someone to always say that "Okay no next time"

How come I get just one chance? Just one, to decide and be right? How come I am expected to set everything right? How come everything is expected on time? Why is there no diary of complaints, where everyone could write and only my mom got to decide which ones I was to blame for and which ones are not my fault? Some way that could explain people I was just at the wrong place at the wrong time.... I am tired of being a grown up...
I loved the carelessness of the child I was. How I could engineer a wind mill with a leaf and a twig and could keep running beyond forever to keep it I could bring the house to a pin drop silence because my doll needed some the only competition was the number of bubbles someone could make out of a safety a white stone that could spark, was strategically rescued by my brother from 'goons' of the I could keep posing and my dad could be a photographer whole day long! I could be rebellious and all I could break was a toy, never a I could decide anything and never fear a loss I could bring to fortune 500 I could almost ask of anything without depriving anyone else of I was capable of never being there were always same set of dolls getting there never was any doubt, no second thought needed for practically everything in all I had to choose was the frock I wanted to wear for the easy was an understatement....

I can really give off anything to bring back those days....I can...perhaps even if it means growing up in exactly same way...I don't regret anything that has happened as I sincerely believe in a reason for all that happens...but sincerely a time travel will be the only thing I would ask of Aladdin's lamp. Having never to make a difficult decision, having never to hurt anyone, having to know that all you can do to people is show wonderfully miraculous moments is being a child....and I am losing that very swiftly....May the child within us live forever :)

"Give me some sunshine, give me some rain
Give me another time, I wanna grow up once again!"

Saturday, February 28, 2015



Let me post it before I change my decision of scraping it off…and you all better read it before I decide taking it off from here….because I am possibly the angriest I can be!

I write this in complete frustration of the storm I am holding inside. I am angry, very angry. Not on someone or something. I am generally angry. Mostly on myself. I am frustrated to the limits of heavy breathing and hyperventilation, even scratching my head (!!) and it’s no one’s but my fault. I tend to be over-caring, sometimes being nice to people and I go out of my way to accomplish it. Sometimes trying hard to not show my negative reactions on people. (Those who know me just little will laugh their hearts out on this because I am someone who shows reactions on every single thing. I make sure I am heard before I accept something that I don’t believe; although I have worked on my listening capabilities!) I am talking about people I am really really close to. I gathered over time that people are obviously more important than arguments and tend to accept what the other person says, either to avoid hurting them by careless words or may be just avoid any further arguments and lose any further energy. I am not someone who believes in just accepting something without reasons, though. I believe in talking my heart out, (that explains the loquaciousness), in arriving to a conclusion through a healthy discussion. I like ends closed. My inner self demands a proper closure.  I hence end up fighting up with myself while the vicious arguments and counter-arguments keep going on in my head. And I end up asking myself, “Does niceness need to be carried to a level where it starts rusting your insides?”

Sometimes when I ponder over the reason I want to be nice to people, I fear the honest response that my mind throws back – “Aren’t you being nice to people to be perceived as a nice person, Aren’t you just continuing on the camouflage just because you don’t want to break the ‘good girl’ image, Aren’t you hiding your weaknesses by acting all around?” There is a ‘congenial behavior’ and then there is pathetic self-destructing attempt at being benign.  This reminds me of an episode in the popular TV series, ‘Friends’ where one of the character claims “There is no selfless good deed”. How true!!  Childhood is the best; your tantrums are okay because you are a kid. Once you grow up, you are expected to hold everything inside, even if it’s breaking you down. It’s not anyone’s mistake, it’s how the society made its way.  Still, somewhere, it gets on everyone’s nerves. All of us are angry on each other and not all the anger can always be shown and be done with it. Some of it stays, becomes bigger with time and explodes out at the most inappropriate time.

When it’s building up, every single thing irritates….People have all the time in the world to know “He dropped an egg into his coffee….because he is a genius, She crossed the road…because she is genius,  he threw his child, but when I saw why…I knew he was a genius” OMG!!! Einstein just got an inferiority complex!! Whatsapp keeps pinging all day long…there must be numerous groups we rather put on mute than exiting from there, because we are ‘NICE’. Honking vehicles, pollution, smoking zones, smirks, running nose, low energy everything becomes so unbearable at these times. Sometimes when the person in front talks of the most irrational things, we rather listen to them and try ignoring it because, OMG, who will handle guilt of being ‘not nice/good’, it’s obviously rather easy to make guilty than be guilty!

When I thought of a personal superman for everyone, I forgot to talk of a ‘Joker ’ needed for everyone too. Although your superman will be there for all times, in thick and thin, but can you take a chance to hurt someone like him/her? Would you not be dead cautious about the way you treat them because they are so valuable? There should be someone you can hate completely and without guilt. Someone so bad that all your behaviors, however bad, are still justified, despite you being a grown-up. Someone who everyone detests, someone made for hatred. It’s strange that in a world full of terrorism and supposedly ‘bad people’, it’s not just difficult, but impossible to find someone who is disliked by EVERYONE. So let’s move to someone who is hated by a majority. Let’s just consider Ravana, most of us now know that he was a staunch Pundit, still he is bad for most of us because he raged a war against our favorite Rama. But have we ever thought on the fact that Rama wouldn’t have existed for us, had Ravana not been there? That there would have been no Krishna without a Kansa, no batman without a joker and no Spiderman without his ever changing enemies? Isn’t bad a necessary evil then? Isn’t bad the breeding ground for good? Isn’t bad the actual good? How about the Hulk?

 Lucky are the ones who have someone they can whole-heartedly detest, because the bad relations actually help us save the good ones! J When I started writing this, I was back from a really long tiring day, ready to hit anyone who messes with me, had just invested a pail of ‘angry-frustrated-meaningless’ tears into my ever-reliable pillow and screamed out my frustration in a closed room loud. I didn’t feel as good as I feel after penning this down. Now that the words have flown (as must be very clear in the progress of the piece through paragraphs :P), I feel myself, I found my closure! J

Friday, February 20, 2015

Random thoughts :)

So less can be explained about what one wants and why...what can not be even tried for knowing that is the right thing...what has be taken even though it might be the worst thing...Perhaps as much as life is about dreams and's also about 'don't care' and compromises...explanation is the last thing that should be tried for what the heart says....and yet that's always the right thing to do...or is there something like a 'right' or a 'wrong'? Is it all not just a game of perspectives? Does it even matter?
Some of the biggest mistakes of past look just like tiny things one can laugh at, future always seems to scare...present never lived into...what's that always goes missing..even at the right place, right time with right people and right situations? Perhaps the biggest and most vulnerable of treasures with us is 'ourselves'. Losing that is easy...and fatal. Inability to love oneself is the worst of things to happen to anyone...perhaps even with biggest of mistakes, the ability to forgive ourselves was hence imbibed in the human's a survival instinct! smile emoticon
Fears never leave the head, pains never cease...going through the pain is necessary...but coming out of it is furthermore necessary...Decisions which are either 'right' or 'wrong' are easy to take...difficult are decisions that are 'right' both the ways...or worse...'wrong' both the ways...What then? Nothing...sit back and enjoy the ride? Yeah...pretty much! Let the moments take away your breath while you wait for the next miracle to happen....because that is almost sure to come....

Thursday, January 8, 2015



I am taking the liberty of using a public platform to share something very personal. To answer the ‘why’ – I believe it might be personal, but it is commonplace too. We all have lost someone close. We all know the sorrow of a loss, some of us closely, some not so closely. We all think there is lots of time left. We all find pride in the non-essential ways of the world. We all are different and yet the same.
For instances in the piece you don’t agree to, please feel free to write to me…for instances that make any sense, please feel free to write it to yourself…to your heart…because you need it while the time is running out…Hating the life you might have gotten is easy, loving difficult…Love life while you can! 

*Also, I don't promise this piece to be a real soul-lifting experience, so please don't read it while you are low...all I can promise is a soul-stirring experience...self-reflection more often than not, helps!

The first time, ‘time’ and the passage of it really scared me was when they said – “There is nothing that can be done. He only has up to 14 months”. I perhaps can’t register till today that he is no more and that’s majorly why even my close friends don’t know about it. I had pulled myself back into the artificial world I had created for myself, into work, into roaming aimlessly and just sitting with a book without flipping a page. He feels around…after all people still know me by the name he gave me, people still love my writings that he kept improving  through strong criticism. It just doesn’t feel like I will never be able to talk to him ever again...ever discuss the trifle issues I had, never be able to write for him, never be able to argue endlessly, never be able to hate him for being as adamant as me, never be able to love him for standing by me the few crucial times he did,  never be able to get irritated every time he playfully licked my nose, never be able to convince him endlessly that I didn’t have a boyfriend, never be able to have someone believe in my abilities despite my consecutive failures, never be able to see that level of modernity  in any other relative, never be able to be so close to the other generation, never be able to be scared to touch those souvenirs he brought from exotic places he travelled to, never be able to easily assume that my anger will be understood because he was the angriest anyone could get, never be able to enjoy the fact that although we disagreed so much, there was so much I had inherited from him, never be able to wear those ear-rings without clinching about the fact that the hands that gave it to me don’t exist anymore, they were burnt in belief that they will meet the five elements…I experienced the loss of my grandparents…but nothing took so long to hit and nothing hit so hard.

He did nothing wrong, never drank, never smoked, never did anything out of the ‘bad boys’ book’, didn’t even choose sports as his career despite being awesome at it because his parents didn’t want him to….still there was nothing they could do for him…the guy who was my “handsome hunk”, the sexiest old man that could be, a man who had a most subtle sense of fashion, who loved his blue shirt beyond measure, who kept his uniform speckles white, who was gonna be captain next, who loved his hair way more than anything; had a swollen face, a shrunken body ready to get paralyzed any second, a voice that was good enough to only mumble, a head that had lost most of ‘the’ hair due to life-sucking-so-called-medicines chemotherapeutic drugs and a heart that could not sustain that fatal heart attack – AND THERE WAS NOTHING THEY COULD DO TO SAVE HIM. If there is anything I hate the most, it’s cancer. It just doesn't make sense for a disease to exist without a cure, a problem without a solution, it’s just not balanced in this world, and it’s not fair. There must be something we can do. I had my grandfather eaten away by it and I have a very brave friend who fights it every day. It is probably the worst thing to happen to someone and the amount of courage it takes to fight it is on a scale that any worldly way cannot measure it. The eventual helplessness that you feel while you see something alive getting deteriorated as time shows its colors is beyond any explanation by mere words. Every time I talked to him, I very well knew it could be the last time; last time he talked to me, was when he couldn't really speak, he used to be so funny…he could make people laugh, hysterically, he loved talking, for hours…and then he couldn't…I kept running away from talking to him, I didn't wish him his birthday that was just 5 days before he decided to rest in peace, I was running away from seeing him in such a different light, I was running away from the scary truth…but, it happened nevertheless.

Perhaps that was not the worst part; time scared me even more after this happened. I couldn't stand the air of that house knowing that he breathed one of his last there. It started suffocating me the moment I saw his kids who are too little to even know what has fallen upon them, I couldn't stand to see his wife without vermillion and bangles that never left her in ten years of marriage, his mother to have seen his child dead in front of her own eyes. It just was so abnormal to behave so normally, as if nothing had happened. His clothes were being washed to be kept in the wardrobe forever. His watch was lying in a corner of the wash-room knowing that there will be no time in future it will be worn on the same wrist, his slippers were lying at the same shoe rack. His room has his signs everywhere. The family was searching for a picture of his to be used for the final ceremonies. I had agreed to find one, then too without believing that it was really happening. Going through numerous pictures, he was coming live from, was not a good idea, I realized. Going through emails was even worse. He was more than an uncle to me. A brain tumor was not enough to kill the man he was. I hate the ‘was’ in the last sentence. I just don’t want to be in face of the truth. I simply have not been able to gather courage to go back to the place ever since.

I remember one of my favourite author's statement, "The thing with pain is that it demands to be felt" true!

What positively scares humans are things they believe are out of their control; what’s ironic is that there is nothing, however small, in their control, because the datum that decides everything, ‘time’ is beyond their control. They said this is what makes life so eventful; something that even Gods envy. They said unpredictability of life was something that makes life beautiful. I believed them…but somehow the highs and lows have exhausted me. Somehow I don’t think I am ready for times to ever change again. I am fine with what I have right now…somehow I feel I hadn’t seen enough of life when I wrote the last piece about change being inevitable and yet beautiful. It’s just inevitable…I wish it was beautiful too. I have many happy memories with him, but they will take time to resurface…His loss has again sent me to the dungeons that are invisible to everyone else. I am tired again, very tired of worrying about the passing time, of what the future holds. I am again scared of time, of losing someone important, of things not working out the way I want them to, of what my career will be like with the kind of indecisive nature I carry, of which stranger I will end up marrying, of never experiencing love the way I believe it to be, of seeing my mom’s hairs starting to grey suddenly, of seeing my dad’s knee hurting every time he sits for long, of leaving them alone at a time they need me the most, scared of not talking to them enough, of sleeping way too much during the day…scared of losing the whole lifetime running behind a job that I keep claiming to be challenging and behind getting a hike, a salary that is proportional to my efforts!...all this in fear of saving enough, of having enough so that if something unexpected happened, it will be alright. To be honest, it’s never gonna be alright and it’s never gonna be enough. Still we all run…in the hope that one day things will be alright, someday it will be enough…and then comes the day life gets tired of us…it becomes too late to realize how important living in the present was. We all say it…we all know it and yet we spend precious moments in front of a living person on gadgets, don’t take our parents’ calls, keep thinking of calling friends for moths, never take a leap of faith, never really value smiles-on ourselves or others, never soothe ourselves with nature, never take time out for ourselves or those who matter, never take a moment never stop, never just be….always believe that there is a lot of time for  everything…perhaps these are really not controllable actions...unlike the common belief…and then the time runs out without a single alarm….life is rendered meaningless…everyone dies with the same regrets and yet no one learns…no one keeps a cue of the fact that in the end things don't matter, people do- because they don't return once they leave....the cycle of life continues exactly how the devil desires!