Sunday, 30 September 2018

Life of Vikram - Page 1 - The Bucket List.

The alarm buzzed for the third time today but still Vikram was lying on his bed. It was not that he was sleeping.

Vikram was a self-motivated and disciplined and used to take pride in his qualities. His routine was fixed. He used to wake up at 5, go for a sprint, do his workout and to office at 9.

He never actually needed an alarm. He used to wake up even before the alarm buzzed on a daily basis. But today, his mind was not at ease.

At 37, he was single-handedly managing his father's construction company. He had exapnded the business to 3 cities and was in talks with some government agencies for a huge contract.

He had been working since he was 21. All he ever dreamt of was how to take the company to the next level.

His father, who rarely went to office now, had started the low-scale business and grown it to 3000 employess, which now boasted of 10000 employee base under Vikram. Yet Vikram knew he had'nt reached the pinnacle.

He used to work from 9 to 9 and even at home, post dinner, till midnight. Living with his doting parents, he was happy but not content.

Work pressure never took toll on his personal life. He was ambitious but never too stressed. Stress is part of every busineeman's life but Vikram never let it go out of his control. But today, he was bothered enough to unsettle his set routine since past 16 years.

One his senior managers was going on world tour with his wife as part of their - BUCKET LIST.

While asking for the same he told Vikram - "Sir, this is the first item going off my Bucket List."

It did bring a smile on Vikram's face but also left a deep thought on his mind as well. Vikram never had a BUCKET LIST.

He had dreams and he did worked on them but it was only work that featured there. He used to sometime think about getting married but his attractions use to fizzle out soon. Infact whenever any girl used to approach him, he used to distance himself. He used to feel, giving time to someone else was taking away his precious work time.

But today he felt shallow. He always thought he was doing his best, living every moment, planning for his future but what use of all the money and achievements when his life is sans the enjoyment and experiences.

People had many, many wishes, he had none. For him it was like -

having feet yet not walking.....
having eyes yet not seeing the beauty around...
having hands yet no one to feel beside.....
having a stomach yet never feeling the butterflies inside...
having a heart yet never feeling it skiiping a beat.

Was he living his life?? A life he dreamed of when he was barely 16?? Or was he just moving where life was taking him?

He got up and sat on his table. He decided to write down his BUCKET LIST,  what he liked, what he dreamt of in those early days of his life. Sitting with a pen and paper...his mind was blank. Nothing was helping him think...what he wants.

Saturday, 29 September 2018

Before She Met You

Now that the pages are filled,
In the blue, that was first red,
By a girl who has been bleeding feelings,
From her heart as much as from her eyes,
Holding a pen and clutching on to it with all her might.
Give her back who she was before she met you.

Now that the darkness has said its goodbye,
And a new day awaits its first breath,
You still occupy her first thought of daylight,
As you did the last before she closed her eyes.
Refusing to accept everything that went down,
Give her back who she was before she met you.

Now that the times have changed,
A whole lot still remains the same.
She hasn’t been able to let go,
Even when the seasons changed.
And you are the one to blame.
Give her back who she was before she met you.

Now that she has heard from you again,
Her heart has danced it way,
To where she began in the first place.
Little does she know you’ll never be the same.
Yet, she keeps her hopes high.
Give her back who you were when you met her.

This is a guest post by @muskanrajani17

About the Author -

Muskan Rajani, a bibliophagist by choice, a bibliovert by nature and a writer by passion.
Can talk about the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe in one breath. Finds her solace in random
words strung together, blinded by a jacket that makes you think. Makes absurd decisions and
struggles to find perfect endings.

You can read more on THE BOOKMARKED WRITER  

P.S. If you like this post, do like the blog too.

Wednesday, 26 September 2018

Sipping with the stars

Starbucks is a feeling
It is an ecstasy of pleasure,
So Divine that it cannot be measured.
It Gives me a feel a sense of dedication
Drawing the scent of beans and brews,
This is love, a cafe full of mysteries.

I gather here with friends sometimes,
sometimes alone just to tell you
How happy you make me
My love for ‘Coffee’ - it is my final way;
Sharing all my desires of affection,
Showering me of your love and dedication in a cup

Fabulously you are on every corner I go,
Whenever I see you, I have to go to you,
The cappuccinos, lattes, and mochas don’t make me not a loner.

With the frightful weather,
I know I can trust you to warm me up with your hot blanket

Some tell me coffee is bad for me,
I differ, it just makes me feel better.
Many think Starbucks is for the snotty and stuffy
I scream it is a lie! It goes in all weather!

Oh, my love, you are not just a coffee shop, but an art very mine,

I'll take you over wine because you are so fine.

This is a guest post by Novemberschild.

About the Guest Writer – 
Novemberschild, 35, a veteran blogger has been around the blogging sphere since 2004. She is a voracious reader, e-books author, devoted coffee-drinker, avid thinker and a fashion lover who has a huge collection of bags. Music is her passion and you can find her writing most of the time. She is extremely friendly, helpful and a happy person. She accepts bouquets and brickbats on her writings. She can be connected on Twitter @romspeaks.

P.S. If you like this post, do like my blog.

Monday, 24 September 2018

The Superheroes - Part 1

Life is full of surprises and shocks. Sometime back I was diagnosed with a kidney stone and since it was bigger in size operation was the best option given to me by my doctors.

Being an overthinker that I am, the mere thought of surgery started giving me sleepless nights and I lost my appetite. Constant crying alone in room happened when Mom confronted me and told me she knew what I was going through. She did her best to console me and make me understand that there's nothing to be scared of.

"A surgery is just a medical procedure for the betterment of one's health. Women undergo surgery when they have babies and that's the most beautiful moment of their lives." - She said.
Just a few consoling words from a loved one eases a lot of stress and a few quotes online were also there to push me to stay positive and have faith.

But you know what restored my faith more?? The Doctor.

Let me start from the beginning, I had a severe ache in my waist and back, which lasted for two days. Thinking I sprained my back, courtesy recently started skipping we consulted an orthodontist specialist. On checking he said there seems muscle spasm but if it persists you should get the ultrasound done to rule out kidney stone.

I had the same thought in mind as my brother had stones and at one time even he complained of pain in the similar fashion. Though my pain subsided in 2 days yet my father insisted on urine culture and it had traces of blood and crystals. We went for sonography and it came out as 1 (but a huge one) stone.

The sonography doctor mentioned a renowned M.S. to us. When we met him, as it was the first time we were interacting with him but had got many references for him from several people the meeting made us anxious. The meeting was brief and the description even briefer. There was no small talk, no consolations just three surgical methods thrown around.

When asked what should we do -

Answer - How does it matter? We can start with the topmost, if we are unable to break down by that we'll move to second and if again fail we'll go for third. An urban family who has mediclaim how does these things matter. (My family doesn't have a mediclaim- don't judge, we'll talk about it later and you can surely leave your responses below)

I understand doctors or anybody in current secenario is pressed for time. I don't even expect one to spend hours with a patient but again you are talking to a patient not a customer. I am a marketing professional and I work on customer connect first and sales later. I for one do expect some, very minimal, connect. You are not even ready to listen to my problem, when my father was telling him what all I experienced the answer was - "Sush!" And you want me to just pick up one thing off your plate.

Already there's so much negativity we listen and read about doctors all around and such people just make one more fearful. Then thoughts like medicine becoming a business just keep knocking on your head.

Well we asked for some time from him and kept on asking people around. Took some homemade medicines and homeopathy pills but the pain persisted. We came to know about another doctor and my father could relate to him. He is also an experienced urologist and had operated my grandfather for prostrate.

We met him and as previously we had done the sonography and X-RAY so he asked for - CT URO scan. Again something as goes the saying around - all doctors want you to go for various tests because that's how they ear for the hospitals. So be it.

You know what made us stick to the second doctor? After the reports we waited for him for about an hour and yes again the discussion was of barely 10 minutes and he told us the same 3 methods. But, he brought us to zero onto one method as per his decision.

A patient is a patient because he is unaware of what all goes around. It is expected that the doctor, the specialist will let you on towards the best possible outcome. Aakhir log doctors ko Bhagwaan bolte Hain na (people call doctors God.). It is the quantum of trust one lays in the doctor.

Of course here we didn't know anything and he explained the method which, by default, we googled to be sure of what we were getting into. Somehow the interaction increased our level of trust on him.

He asked us to take our time as the stone was in kidney and won't be much of a trouble to be immediately addressed. We were suggested PCNL - mini PERC and on thought, we decided to go with it.

P.S. - If you like the post, do like the blog.

Thursday, 20 September 2018

Baatein baatein aur baatein....Communication

What is the most important thing in sales???

Sales comprises of communication and convincing and yes both are equally important.
Convencing follows communication so communication by-default tops the charts.

In todays fast paced world everyone wants everything quick. The mind-set of the salespeople has also gone down the same line. Based on my observation of dealing and training people in sales over a period of time, especially millenials in the recent years, has proved the same all the time.

While training, I tell them that the first step should be rapport building, be it a face to face communication, a telephonic conversation or through the digital medium. The customer connect is vital.

While in digital medium a -
Dear Rahul,

Hope your are doing good and we would like to make life even more beautiful.

Can be a good start.

In a face to face communication and a telephonic conversation it may involve exchange of few basic courtesies and trying to know the customer as well through some right questions.

The problem with everyone around is they, say they don't have time. They are in a constant hurry to reach everywhere. Once the destination is reached then again the rush to get somewhere else.

Neither the customer wants to wait and listen nor the salesperson wants to elaborate. Now both are a problem for the organization. 

If I am a customer and I buy into something with half the conversation assuming I have already searched for all the information on internet, I may lose out onto vital information which maybe beneficial for me or maybe knowing my specific need the salesperson may guide me to something not known to me.

But then customer is King and hence it has to be the salesperson who has to come up with ways to win hearts.

If I am a salesperson and I am in a hurry then I'll never be able to explain all the features to the customer, which may eventually lead to him not coming back.

More dangerous than this is the attitude of the salesperson when they think that the customer doesn't wants to listen so how can we go in depth and elaborate. Now this becomes a bottleneck in empowering the front-line as well. 

Sales is dependent on the front-line. The front-line has to have knowledge, expertise and salse sense. But all this often makes the salesperson complacent and reluctant to communicate, to break the ice and move closer to the person. At times the salesperson forgets that it is not just a deal for him that he is dealing but a "person" - with knowledge, expertise and feelings.

For a sales to conclude with the customer being Happy with the dealing it has to be a two-way-communication.

What matters in any interaction is, careful communication. Ask the right questions to know the customer and be willing to listen sans judgement. It automatically fuels two-way-communication.

Being a marketing person and looking and training the front-end sales closely I have found the business that we lose is often because of lack of rapport building between the employee and the end customer. 

Yes, times have changed what earlier used to be the first 10-minutes of the conversation, is now the first 3-minutes of the conversation, but still it is vital.

The most important thing is to incorporate need, interest and excitement towards not the product or service first but to "oneself".  A cold attitude always disassociates and distances people.

I will urge everyone be it the customer or salesperson, start communicating. The more we talk, the better we understand each other and better equip ourselves with valid information.

Now here comes the catch, how do we know we have made proper communication? Or was it too long  to actually ruining the relationship?So this is what I am going to talk about in next post in the series.

Thursday, 13 September 2018

P.T.O. - A Book Reading Session

I don't know when I fell in love with reading and writing. All I remember is that it happened when I was in school.

Reading started with compulsory library class in primary school where we were enticed by the children's picture books.

From children's books to Nancy Drew's to Sidney Sheldon to Mills and Boons the interest just grew and grew.

But as I started to work, I tried to read but due to tiredness, laziness and work pressure both reading and writing took a back seat. Infact there was a time when I used to finish a book in a year!

A couple of years ago, I found a community of people interested in reading, writing, sharing knowledge in my city. It is a start-up known as - Kaffienated Konversations. And I must say, community helps one a lot.

So now, despite my busy schedule, I find time to read and write. It was like a reunion for us.

Last week I was invited by Kaffienated Konversations to be one of there reader's for the book reading session in our city of the book - P.T.O.

This was my first experience to be a reader. Of course we all have done it numerous times, in schools and colleges, but doing it as a special organised event is rare.

I was elated and nervous both at the same time. Thinking it to be a great stepping stone and a good learning experience, I agreed to do it.

On agreeing, I even made the action plan. I need to read the book, find out the excerpt which goes most with my personality and liking as well as one that stirs listeners interest to read the book. I was confident with my strategy. But given my busy schedule I was not getting time to read the book too. And then the event promo started.


This image itself made me nervous. Though I shared it in my social groups and took the compliments in full spirit but it made me all conscious. The more the people appreciated, the more conscious I got.

Finally the D-Day. As I was unable to trace the location I got a bit late to the event. The good part was, it hadn't started. People settling in, conversing with each other.

I could see a mix gentry. Some teenagers, a college group and a professor, few professionals. I knew my choice of story is going to work for all. This did gave me a bit confidence.

The book is written by 4 new authors and is a collection of 4 short stories.

The titles are -

Serendipity? Not so much
Resistive Approach and Strategic Thinking
Journey of essence

I read an excerpt from the first one. Here's a clip of it.

This being my first experience I got a bit shaky. There were places, things didn't go as I planned but overall it was a great experience.

An experience which made me think of what to wear based on people's perceptions to be comfortable to retain confidence.

An experience which made me go back to my roots, my school days and to learn something new with this new reading experience.

An experience which made my heart glow with people's good wishes and compliments.

Thank you Kaffienated Konversations for this wonderful opportunity, I definitely look forward to do so more.

P.S. If you like this like the blog as well.

Every alternate Wednesday is dedicated to stories or instances or learnings that I learn or implement at work. So stay tuned for #WorkWednesdays

Friday, 7 September 2018

Life of Kia - Page 1

Sitting beside the window looking at the raindrops moving with the wind, changing the course as per wind, Kia wondered, was she also moving along as life wanted her to??

She was 26 and due to sales pressure at job she decided to quit. She could not see where her life was heading.

Her parents wanted her to continue her job and give things time but being a rebel she didn't listen.
Infact she didn't discuss anything with anyone. 

It had been almost 3 years with the bank and it seemed her life was going nowhere and the office politics was getting on her nerves too. She didn't know how to use people to attain her goals. She was still a child as opposed to others.

She always wanted to work and gain fame. It was her dream since she was 16. Infact for her parents it was just a job but for her it was everything. But she never expected things to be so tough and people so rude.

So Kia decided to quit. She was so fed up that she made up her mind that she will get married soon and be a housewife and maybe go for a mediocre job which may give her a decent pocket money so she need not ask for money from her husband.

She had altogether shunned the idea of a career, her dream to be a career woman forever.

It had been four months that she left her job. Apart from shopping and travelling she was doing nothing and she was getting bored.

Her parents told her that they want her to meet someone and consider for marriage. Kia was happy. Finally life will change and she can think for future. She didn't like the picture of the boy and so was meeting him half-heartedly. Before the meeting she even went on to say to her parents that she is going to outright reject the boy.

The boys family came at KIA's house and this being KIA's first experience she was nervous. But she was happy as they never made her feel uncomfortable. They were a warm bunch.

When KIA saw the boy she was shocked. He looked nothing like the picture. He was smart and sweet. Instantly KIA had a change of heart.

She liked conversing with the boy as well as his family. She never had any dreams of what kind of boy she wants to marry and so the congeniality took her heart.

When her mother asked her what did she think, she readily said yes to marry him.

Three days later KIA got to know, the boy had rejected her.

LIFE OF KIA is a fictional series part of #FictionFridays.

Tuesday, 4 September 2018

Book review : Rip Tide by Stella Rimington

Title - RIP TIDE

Author - Stella Remington

Format - Hardback

About the author - Stella Rimington, former Director General of MI5, returns with a tense and heart-stopping spy thriller where the stakes are high and the enemy is always just out of sight. Given her experience with MI5 you can imagine the detailing in this book. Her other novels are Secret AssetIllegal ActionDead LinePresent Danger, The Geneva Trap and Close Call to name a few.

Book blurb - When pirates attack a cargo ship off the Somalian coast and one of them is found to be a British-born Pakistani, alarm bells start ringing at London's Thames House. MI5 Intelligence Officer Liz Carlyle is brought in to establish how and why a young British Muslim could go missing from his well-to-do family in Birmingham and end up on board a pirate skiff in the Indian Ocean, armed with a Kalashnikov.

After an undercover operative connected to the case turns up dead in the shipping office of an NGO in Athens it looks like piracy may be the least of the Service's problems. Liz and her team must unravel the connections between Pakistan, Greece and Somalia,relying on their wits - and the judicious use of force - to get to the truth.And they don't have long, as trouble is brewing closer to home: the kind of explosive trouble that MI5 could do without ...

My View

"Life is about love and work. If neither is right you are in trouble. If one's right, you'll       probably be ok. But for a truly fulfilled life you need them both to be in order."

It is a well laid out thriller. Stella has created well thought of characters. I am an independent woman and I value my work a lot and hence the character of the protagonist -  Liz, was an instant draw for me. 

She is a strong woman with total focus on work. Anyone can connect to her as the story focuses on her work as well as the love and attractions that keep knocking on her doors.

The storyline of RIP TIDE is captivating and just doesn't let's you keep away the book even for once. So as it is a thriller, I won't reveal much, but will add that the characterization makes one doubt almost all the people until the truth is revealed. RIP TIDE is bound to keep you on the edge all through-out.

I will rate it a 5 on 5.

P.S. This is my third year of participating in #MyFriendAlexa and this is my first post in it :)