Thursday, August 18, 2016

803. Respect a NO

So we were at this supermarket. My daughter was sitting in the trolley. This middle aged man in his early forties was making funny faces at my daughter. I was watching this from a distance. As my daughter did not find his facial expressions amusing she simply ignored him. 

This 40 year old man thought that it was a grave insult by a 4 year old. So he made the next move and came near her and pinched her cheeks. I do not like anyone pinching my daughter's cheeks. That man's wife gave him a sign of approval. I did not understand how she could think that her husband's act was cute. 

My daughter was taken aback and she gave a bad stare at the man and said " Stop touching me". He did not seem to get it. He and his wife started laughing and that infuriated me. So I decided to intervene. But before I could move, this guy leaned forward and pinched her cheeks again. My daughter decided to take matters in her own hands. She spat on his face and swung her right hand wildly and ended up slapping him. 

The people in the supermarket were stunned to see a kid slapping an adult man. But I was elated. I rushed to my daughter and gave her a hi5 and told him "The next time someone says No, learn to respect that". His wife started giving bad stares at me. She might have thought that I was not bringing up my daughter by teaching her good manners. But I am glad that my daughter did that or else I might have done that and it would have ended up as an ego clash between two adults.

When some one says NO; respect that

- Chronicwriter

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

802. A business magnate in the making

A True incident

Date: 14th August 2016, Time: 10:30 pm
Place: Outside Zaitoon, Velachery, Chennai

Representative Image
My wife, daughter and I came out of Zaitoon ( A restaurant) after a sumptuous dinner. The guy at the door went to fetch my car and I was standing at the entrance when a little girl approached me with a few things to sell. She must have been around 8. She had a few Indian flags in her hand, a few strips of sticker, a few pens and flannel cloth to wipe the car.

As I have worked in an NGO, my immediate thought was that this girl must be a bonded laborer or must be a part of a mafia. So I looked around to see if any thug is orchestrating her movements from nearby. But I could not find anyone around. So to make sure that she was not in trouble, I initiated a conversation with her. My wife and my daughter were standing next to me.

Me: How much are these?
She: Rs 10 each.
Me: OK. I will buy two sticker sheets from you
( I bought two sticker sheets and handed her Rs.20. My daughter was happy now because she could now stick the walls with these stickers. I made two little girls happy with that single transaction)
She: Sir, I am hungry. Can you give me that food parcel? (She was pointing at the food parcel I had bought from Zaitoon)
Me: OK. Here you go.
(By this time, my car had arrived; but I wanted t know more about this little girl
Me: Do you think you are safe working at 10.30 pm here?
She: My parents and my elder brother are also selling these in that signal
(She points to the near by signal and I can see a couple of people selling the same things to cars parked at the signal)
Me: Where do you get these things from?
She: My father buys it from Parry's corner, Chennai.
Me: Where is your house?
She: We live in Avadi
( Those who are well versed with Chennai will know that Velachery, Parry's corner and Avadi are at three ends of Chennai)
Me: So when do you go back home?
She: We will leave in another 30 minutes.
Me: Are you studying?
She: Yes, I am studying in 3rd standard. I come to sell with my brother only on weekends.
(This girl sensed that I was asking this question to check if she was forced to Child labor and she was brainy enough to give that additional answer that she works only on weekends. Apparently she was earning along with her family to take care of her education)
Me: How much do you buy these stickers from Parry's corner?
She: Dad buys them for Rs 3/- per strip
Me: Wow! So you just made a profit of Rs 14/-
(Here I was having a conversation with a brilliant mind who could logically understand my question; but was innocent enough to reveal the money for which she originally bought that sticker for. That was the innocence of her age.)
She: Sir, I make Rs 500/- profit by selling these in a day
(I thought she was making up this number. So I asked her a cross question)
Me: So how many of these stickers do you sell in a day?

She: I sell around 80 things including the stickers and flags (It was India's Independence day the next day). So I make a profit of around Rs 500/-
Me: But Isn't 80 multiplied by 10 = Rs 800?
She: Yes sir. But I am only talking about the profit. I deducted Rs 300/- from that
(Here was an 8 year old girl who was taking a class to me on multiplication and was also teaching me about basics of financial accounting. I was overwhelmed by this.)
Me: So what do you want to become in future? (Expecting her to say "Engineer or Doctor")
She: I will be rich one day. Very rich. (She was confident in her response. She could have said that she wanted to be rich one day. But her words were that she will be rich one day)

I said good bye to her and came back home. I forgot to click a picture of the girl. Today morning, when my daughter took the sticker strip to stick them in her favorite wooden board, I remembered each and every single word she spoke to me.
Key takeaways:
1) She was not begging and she was not part of any mafia
2) She was not doing bonded labor. She has the right to education and she was studying
3) She was good in numbers and she knew what she wanted to become in life

Yes! poverty was making her do all these. But she was a confident girl; not arrogant; but with a vision which I am sure she would achieve.

I did not ask her name. But I am sure that I would be able to see her around Velachery on a weekend. When there are thousands of people who choose begging as a way of life or cheating as a lifestyle, there is this little girl who has started carving her own future with a determination that will surely take her where she wants to go.

- Chronicwriter

Thursday, August 04, 2016

801. Ten Management lessons from 23 Pulikesi

23 Pulikesi is a Tamil humor period film directed by Simbhudevan. Actor Vadivelu's role in the movie is still etched in our memories. The script was strong and Vadivel's acting took it to a different level. People may see it as a comedy movie and move on. But the director has hidden many management lessons in the movie. This blog post will unearth ten management lessons from the movie Pulikesi for the friends with benefit of the readers.

 Management lesson 1 : Prepare monthly/ quarterly reports without fail

This is the first lesson we learn from Pulikesi. His performance is not really worthy to be mentioned in public. But he knew how to manipulate data and project an appealing report. We all do this by uploading edited photos in our Facebook account. Similarly lot of corporate companies project an edited output in their reports. Once you master this art, you become an efficient management professional

 Management lesson 2: Always have an allakkai with you

It is imperative to have an allakkai (who will always put aamaansaami ) close to you. This guy will make you look important in group discussions when you make a point. If this allakkai laughs at your silly jokes, it will be highly beneficial for you. You can always give him those extra donuts during appraisal time. The allakkai knows that you already know that his actions are fake. But you both have no other choice but to travel together.

Management lesson 3 : Stay away from the honest person

In every company there will always be one or two people who will stand for justice, rights and will always call a spade a spade. Keep yourself far away from them. If possible make sure to dig a pit for them so that they fall inside it. Such people will be problematic for your growth in the corporate ladder. So eliminate them as quick as you can. Pulikesi made sure that he eliminated a poet who seemed to be causing trouble to him.

Management lesson 4: Have some entertainment at work

Companies like google have a corporate culture that is envied by many who do not work in such companies. There is a common assumption that employees there get free food and a lot of time to party and play. Pulikesi always encouraged games in his kingdom even if it meant loss of lives. 

Management lesson 5:  Have a good work life balance

It is always good to work hard and party harder. Pulikesi knew it all. Be it in the palace or in the jail, he always maintained a good work life balance. This made him to come back to power even after being locked up in jail.

Management lesson 6: Never be ashamed to accept defeat

When you make a grave mistake, never be ashamed to admit it. Fall flat and accept your mistake. People will respect you for that. If you try to defend yourself by giving justification for your actions, chances are that people will gang up and beat you black and blue. Pulikesi had the heart to accept his mistake for eating Vallavarayan's dove. The poets in his kingdom lauded this move by him.

Management lesson 7: Be Shrewd in making strategic decisions

Even though Pulikesi was lazy, he was shrewd in his decision making skills. He knew how to make winning solutions. When a spy tries to fool him with a cooked up story, Pulikesi uses his analytical skills to identify the lie in it. This business intelligence is important for every business leader.

Management lesson 8: Learn from your failures.

Some projects may fail and you may lose hope and get dejected because of that. But Pulikesi taught us that even when a bear spits on his face, he would not feel bad for it; but take that as a lesson to move forward in life. He taught us to be emotionally stable in all situations

Management lesson 9: Keep that useless resource in the team.

There might be some employees in your team who may be completely useless. They will do everything wrong. Don't send them out of your company. Preserve them. They may be useful for you in future. Pulikesi had a kollan who was fit for nothing. All the weapons made by him were faulty. But that comes in handy for Pulikesi at a point when he actually needed in life. This management lesson was adopted by Dhoni. Dhoni followed this principle and had Sreesanth in his team for two world cup winning finals. The reason for having Dhawan in certain matches and Rohit Sharma in certain other matches may be the same too.

Management lesson 10: Upgrade your skillset

A lesson learnt from his failure made Pulikesi to upgrade his skillset and learn an art form that was greek to him. In the process, he ended up killing a few people and still did not learn the art form. But who cares!!! At least he tried. As Ravi Shastri says, two teams played and cricket was the winner


Wednesday, August 03, 2016

800. My wife is a murderer

When I was sleeping in the night, the blanket moved away exposing my leg to mosquitoes and just when a mosquito was about to bite my leg, she comes and kills the mosquito and covers my leg with the blanket. That is my wife who does not allow even a mosquito to hurt me. Yes she is a cold blooded murderer. 

She walks around the house like a tennis player, swatting mosquitoes at will. If there is an Olympic sport for killing mosquitoes, she will easily win a gold medal for team India.

But, though I would like to thank her for protecting me from mosquito bite, I am sad for the mosquito's family. You might know that only female mosquitoes bite human beings. The male mosquitoes feed on flower nectar. 

The female mosquitoes require blood to produce baby mosquitoes. The mosquito that was killed by my wife, might have been pregnant. Her husband might have been waiting for her to come home and he might still be waiting with tears in his eyes. The deceased mosquito's children would be in a state of shock. Their home would have a gloomy atmosphere now. 

If film director Rajamouly had seen this murder, he would have taken a movie "Kosu" which would have given tough competition to his earlier movie "Eega".

Blue cross activists have not started their agitation against this murderous act. They would raise slogans against topics they have no clue on; like  "Jallikattu"; but would keep quiet when a mosquito is killed. Is not that a living creature too? When people can raise slogans like "Black lives matter", " Say no to beef", why not raise slogans to protect and konjufy mosquitoes? 

You might be thinking that I am harsh against my wife here. I might be! But I can't keep quiet when an innocent soul is killed. What mistake did the mosquito do? She just wanted some blood from me to lay eggs. My blood investment would have made her happy. But my wife killed her and this brings great grief to me. I am unable to sleep for the last two days because of this.

As I type this, my friend who sits next to me says that if I publish this post, I would not get dinner tonight at home. I guess it is gonna be my favorite dish "Chilly beef" for dinner. I knowI will have to stay hungry and look foolish tonight for publishing this blog. But I don't care. At least I would have peace for standing up for mosquito rights. I can hear you saying "Indha kosu tholla thaangalabaa"

My wife and I completed 5 years of married life on 1 August 2016. Click this [ link ] to know how I met my wife. 

Click this [ link ] to read how I was attacked at my wedding.

Note: This is my 800th post in this blog. The journey goes on

- Chronicwriter