Friday, March 27, 2009

Progressions and Appraisals

Mid way through the fiscal year and everybody wants to know about their performance, more so what future has in store for them. Yeah I am talking about the mid term performance discussions and the progressions associated with it. While the discussions will happen in their due course of time, its the progression which is the most interesting and difficult part to handle.

I find it difficult most of the times to make the associates understand why the progressions do not happen. Yes, there are cases where the picture is clear and we simply give them the reasons which are strong enough for the promotions being held up, but the borderline cases. Also the way one project leader will present his case is different from what the other project leader will present.

With the associates, its a different case. While some of them are ready to accept the improvement areas, there are who find it difficult that there can be improvement areas. Somehow they have started believing that once the eligibility criteria of a certain time period passes, they shall be progressed. They do no understand that fact that they are only eligible for the progression assessment, but that does not mean that they will be progressed. They need to clear the assessment for getting a promotion.

I have also noticed that people who got promotions very early, easily and that too at a fast rate, have developed an attitude which can be considered as rude. It seems like success has gone into their heads. Progression at an early stage has given them growth but they are still immature. This is another aspect which I would clearly see in an associate before recommending his name for progression. One needs to have that attitude and maturity to handle the senior position. No wonder there is always a certain number of years of experience needed when people at higher positions are required.

There are times when doing the appraisal, I want to tell the person that they need to work on their attitude and the way they communicate which has to be softer and in line with the corporate world, but I cant. As a manager, I have to be soft and never lose my temper. There have been times when I have actually asked the associate to have a glass of water, calm down and then start talking. I understand they are young and have aspirations to grow in the industry, but at the same time they need to develop their technical as well as soft skills. While the improvement areas shall always be there, the degree to which that is needed, is what matters a lot. Also I also feel that the person should be open to feedback and not come with a closed mind, when they enter into a room for discussion. While there are lots of positive points being discussed, one cannot run away from the improvement areas. The problem seeps in when the associate is unable to digest that he can have any improvement areas.

Everytime the discussions happen, I guess I am more worried than the associates. I am the one who is assessing them and putting their cases forward. I play a very importance part in deciding about their career and trust me, its not an easy job to do. Somewhere down the line, I feel like telling the associates that its easy to rave about not getting a promotion, but its not easy to do it when there are reasons strong enough to hold it back..

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Reminiscing Doon

I am back from my lovely vacation. Four days seemed very less, like always and I have already already started missing Doon.. There is something about the place which makes me want to go there all the time. This time it was a wonderful trip with things going a little easy. The weather was at its best. It was neither cold nor hot. Just the perfect to go on a vacation.

Day 1: Went to the tailor and gave a big bag full of clothes to be stitched. Almost half of the day was spent there which was worthwhile. Did a lot of designing and the outcome was worth appreciating. Once the job with the tailor was over, we headed towards the main market - Paltan Bazaar. Went to almost every other shop where I went as a child, teenager and then a growing adult. I was glad to notice that most of the people recognized me. Went to our good old bakery to get some yummy bread, biscuits and cake... Afternoon was spent lazing around..

In the evening went to meet a few school friends over a cup of coffee which made all of us nostalgic. A good amount of time was spent remembering the good old school days and whereabouts of the other friends. Its been 14 years since we are out of school but it seemed like yesterday.

Day 2: I went to the school in the morning in the hope of meeting some teachers. As the annual session had just ended, there were only a few teachers who were also busy with corrections and preparing the results. Spoke to our music teacher, whose son was our batchmate too, for almost an hour and it was good to get the news about the school and other things happening. The school has changed a lot. All the red and white buildings have gone except for the senior block, which has been declared a heritage building. Now instead of the red/white buildings, stood grey buildings which are newly constructed but are dull and boring.

Clicked a few photographs of the school and then I was on my way to meet one of the most special person. This person holds a very special place in my life, my heart and my outlook towards life. She is in the same school as I was. She never taught me but is very special to me. I met her through a friend. I started speaking to her only 6 months back and she has become so very close to me that I dont have think twice before sharing anything with her. She has stood by me in every phase, that I went through ever since I have known her. Her love for me is selfless. She has been my friend, philosopher, guide, motivator. Between us, its a heart to heart talk. I feel so fortunate to have met her. Spent the rest of the day with her talking, having lunch and then some more talks.. Everytime I bid goodbye to her, my heart sinks. I was so delighted to meet her and then I got a lovely gift from her, which was a big surprise for me. A lovely day spent with an equally lovely person. Rest of the day was spent at home with the relatives. In the evening, some more relatives came to meet us and then we all went out for dinner. Though the food was nothing great, but we all had a good time chatting and talking..

Day 3: The morning was spent in doing a few random errands. Today I was feeling very tired for no reason. I did not want to speak to anyone nor did I felt like doing anything. Had a simple good meal at home and rested for a while. During the late afternoon, went to meet one of Mom's very close friend and spent some good 2-3 hours with her and her kids. It was a good decision since it cheered me up and I could enjoy some more good weather of Doon. I had decided to eat some good chaat in the evening. My demand was fulfilled with Mama-Mami taking to a place where I had not been before. The chaat was awesome. I had not eaten such good stuff in ages. I actually over ate but I was contented. Lots of gol -gappas and tikki chat. It was divine. Came back later in the evening and slept.

Day 4: This was the last day and it seemed to be the busiest. My cousin's in-laws were coming over for lunch. Since morning everyone was busy in the preparation and arranging everything. Till the afternoon, we all were busy cooking, cleaning and arranging the house, table, cutlery. Afternoon was spent with the guests and eating some good food - all cooked at home. Evening was a quiet affair with just four of us - Mom, myself and Mama-Mami.. Spent the evening chatting, laughing and having a quiet dinner. That was the last evening I was there and I was back on Sunday..

Time flew by so quickly and I didnt even come to know. It seems as if the whole vacation was a dream. I still cant get over the childhood days that I have spent in the city. I feel so much at peace and at ease when I am there. Everytime I leave the city, there is a promise that I make - I shall come back soon..

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Doon Valley

The mystic mountains
The lovely trees
The blooming flowers
The cool breeze

The squirrels dancing
The birds chirping
The lovely mornings
The cool evenings

Warm hearts eager
to welcome you
Once you leave,
they even cry for you

The small lanes
The lovely homes
The lively city
The ever lasting memories

The sun playing
hide and seek
The soul rests
in peace

The warm sunny
winter afternoons
The cool breezy
summer evenings

Everytime I go
there, my heart aches.
For I do not
want to come back.

Someday will come,
when I shall stay there, forever.
Dehra Dun - Here I come,
to live all over again.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Doon time!!!

Yeah you guessed it right. I am off to my hometown - Dehra Dun and this time its a trip where I shall get time to spend there and not just run around. A few errands are there which is fine but since I will get 4 full days to spend there, I am on top of the world.. Going to Dehra Dun always makes me happy and kicks me out of the damp spirits and lifts me up. I guess it happens with all those who stay away from their hometowns - where they have grown up, spent their childhood, have good friends and relatives. Sometimes people around me get amazed when they see me all chirpy and jumping with joy and hopping around only because I am going to Dehra Dun.

I may sound like a crazy little child whose happiness knows no bounds simply because she is going home. As if I am in a prison or a hostel here and I am being freed for some days. But yes, it is that kind of a feeling. No matter how many or what all places I visit around the world, my heart lies in Dehra Dun. The city has given me everything that I could have asked for. It has everything one can ask for. Sometimes I envy those friends, who are staying there. What a peaceful life they are leading.

I have a whole list of to-do things besides resting and sleeping and simply spending time at home. I must visit the school and get some photographs. Meet some school teachers, school friends, few other people whom I love to meet, relatives.. Looks like I shall have some quality time to spend with not too much of running around.. I want to watch a movie as well in one of our old cinema hall.. Its a different feeling to watch a movie there unlike PVRs.. No computerized tickets, no popcorn/coke combos, no A/cs.. its just cold drinks served in those glass bottles, samosas, popcorn packets, patties and an occasional burger or sandwich.. Its nice in its own way..

Best thing would be the weather.. Not too hot.. not too cold.. Just the perfect to sit out and chit-chat... The lovely view of the hills, the greenery, the flowers, the birds, the squirrels, small lanes, one big main road, some famous bakeries, best schools of India and a very content and peaceful life - this is what sums up Dehra Dun pretty much.. I have already started counting down...

Thursday, March 12, 2009


Holi came and went. As a kid, I used to love running around with my little pichkari trying to wet people and throw colors on them. I loved the idea of getting colored and coloring other people. We used to be in a group of 8-10 kids and go from one house to the other and then finally to the society club where everyone gathered to play holi and the elders used to join us. Holi was much more fun and decent at that time.

Once I reached the teenage, I started detesting the festival. Teenagers of my age started using dirty colors which refused to go off, no matter how much oil, cream you used. After the holi, I still used to look like a joker who has colored her face and never bothered to remove it. Joker may still look cute with those colors but I used to look horrible. And with it came skin problems. Rashes, acne, sore eyes and throat, dry and rough hair.. I preferred to stay at home unless someone came who really wanted to play decent holi with just gulal. Also the idea of people wanting to get physically close because its Holi, had put me off. I was happy staying at home with Mom while my brother went out to play with his friends and have fun.

This year also I had preferred to stay at home. My neighbor and my school friend who stay in the same society asked me a couple of days in advance, Where would I like to be colored - in the house or in the park. I was not very sure what to tell them. I decided to go to the park – I didn’t want to make the house dirty and I knew them very well. Also I knew people are decent enough in our society and they dont get into rowdy or uncivilized behavior. Thats what happened yesterday.

I had not played Holi since a long time and it was so much fun. Quite a few people had put color on me and that also lovingly, not forcefully. Small little kids who knew me, tried to put water on me with their cute little pichkaris. The whole society had gathered in the central park but everyone played very decently. No forcing, no dirty colors or stuff like grease, paint, eggs, muck or fast colors. I dont remember when was the last time I enjoyed Holi so much. Everybody wished everyone and made sure that they enjoy rather than spoil the mood by forcing themselves on anyone.

To add to it, the society had put some food stalls and there were a couple of games. This was the first time I played in this society despite staying here for the last three days and I can safely say that I would not mind playing Holi if it is played in such a nice and decent way. I loved this Holi and I wish it continues like this for the years to come, wherever I am... Happy Holi...

Friday, March 06, 2009

Relationship vs. Sex

Boy: I love you and I want to make love to you.

Girl : I love you too baby but I am not ready/comfortable with making love as of now.

Boy: Why not? You love me. what is wrong in it?

Girl: My conscious doesnt allow me. I cant have sex before marriage. Call me backward or from 19 century!!

Boy: I want to be more close to you, thats why I want to make love to you.

Girl: Is that the only way to get close? Is it the only important thing in a relationship?

Boy: It is one of the MOST important thing in a relationship. I want my girlfriend to be sexy and horny. I want to make love to my girlfriend.

Girl: There are other important things as well in a relationship besides getting into the bed.

Boy: If you behave like this, it will be difficult to continue this relationship.

Girl: That is something for you to decide. I cant make love before marriage. PERIOD.

I am not sure what happened after this.. A very common situation prevailing in today's world. What do you think??

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

The big fat Indian wedding

Back from a cousin's wedding and I have whole lot of things to say. I am the kind of person who always runs away from attending marriages. There is no special reason.. Just that they are too tiring, boring, too much of decking up, smiling (sometimes fake as well), meeting even the unwanted people and greet them.. I know I sound like a ungrateful person but I cant be diplomatic.

So the wedding was nice. Lots of running around, exchanging of gifts, rituals, ceremonies, the guy's side throwing tantrums, the baraat arriving late, dance, mehendi, the long never ending days, the late nights, the early mornings, getting ready, making all the arrangements, taking care of the guests.. The list is endless.. Though I was the elder one, still I managed to grab the groom's shoes and then do the negotiation..

We were supposed to look our best all the time. Then all the recommendations start coming. Wear this saree with that jewellery with this bindi and that lipstick and this footwear and that hairdo... Phew!!! Too much... One of the reasons why I run away from attending marriages... I was thinking about the poor bride.. How much does she have to go through in all this. I was much better than her. Everyone had their own suggestions to give her... Being close cousins, we simply told her to be quiet.. Listen to everyone, but in the end, do whatever pleases her...

It was as if, this was the platform to flaunt your wealth, money, diamonds, swarovskis, gold... No matter how the design looks, whether it suits you or not, it should be shimmering all the time.. Bigger and more the number of diamonds, the better it is - according to them... Too much of glitter which I cannot handle.. My idea is be elegant at the same time, be classy... No overdose.. I cant look like a X'mas tree..

After 4 days of lots of very nice and some irritating moments, the wedding was over. I guess I was the one who enjoyed the most, since I clicked the pics as well as managed to interact with everyone including the guy's family and get to know some nice people. It was certainly a milestone to be achieved.. Now I am waiting for the photographs and the videos...