Monday, June 30, 2008

Day 1 - 7 day challenge

I got up quite late, 9:30 am, as I was watching Euro 2008 finals late on Sunday night. Usually, Richa keeps my tea ready and I just have to microwave it. Today, I did not have the luxury of ready made tea. I had to make it myself.

I then had some cereal, got ready, and before leaving, folded up the damn quilt and made my bed. It was a hectic day in the office. I also had my share of the traffic when I went to HDFC in the afternoon to collect some damn certificate. In the evening, I worked out in the office gym - a bit more than usual. I came back home pretty tired and very hungry. I thought Richa would have forgotten all about the challenge. I was probably day dreaming.

I was greeted with a sarcastic smile - a smile that said - "Dear, I haven't forgotten anything about the challenge. It is time for some supper". Fortunately for me, there was plenty of "Pav Bhaaji" from last night. I just had to heat it and set it on the table. I was feeling a bit relieved.

Before dinner, I had to place all the washed utensils in their proper locations, and believe me, I had no clue which one went where. I have seen Richa do it in less than 2 minutes. I had to open each and every drawer quite a few times. Took me some 15 minutes to finish it. During dinner, Richa continuously kept teasing me - "How has your day been so far?". Each time, the smile got a bit more sarcastic and annoying.

After finishing the last chore of the day - cleaning the table and kitchen - without a doubt the most annoying one, I was back on my bed, relaxing and watching TV. I was hoping to catch some Federer - Hewitt match, but the remote was in Richa's hands.

I should have seen it coming!

7 day challenge

On a quiet Sunday morning, I was relaxing in my bed and watching sports on TV. Richa had gone out to shop with our common friend. Usually, I am not amused at the thought of Richa going out for shopping, but this time, Richa had gone to shop for our common friend.

She had asked me to get the weekly grocery. I did not bother too much about the grocery till it was time for her to be back home. Hurriedly, I went to the store and got what she had asked for. In my hurry, I forgot to make my bed. The bed sheet had come off and the quilt was lying on the floor - unfolded. My clothes were strewn on the bed. It was indeed a real mess. I had planned on cleaning up the mess once I came back from the store.

When I got back home, Richa was already there. Quite angry at the sight of the mess that I had created. I got to hear a lot about how she keeps the house clean and how I mess it up, how she spends hours cooking and cleaning in spite of her hectic schedule, and how I do not realize my responsibilities etc etc etc. Then she dared me to exchange roles with her for just 7 days. By now, I too was a bit agitated hearing all my flaws and gladly accepted the challenge.

I had no idea what I was getting into then, but it seems accepting the challenge was very very stupid of me. Now that I have accepted the challenge, I will not chicken out of it. That is for sure.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Oranje flatter to deceive

Euro 2008 has produced some fantastic football, the Dutch being the best of the lot. The Dutch along with Italy, France, and Romania formed the "The Group of Death". The Dutch played fantastic, fast, attacking football to beat Italy and France in the league matches, and won all their encounters with ease. In the process, they scored a total of 9 goals and only 1 goal was scored against them.

In the quarter final against Russia, who had been erratic till then, the Dutch, yet again showed that when it comes to the crunch situations, they choke. They looked like a school side in front of Russia, who thanks to Andriy Arshavin, played some very attacking football. The Dutch showed no fighting spirit, no will to win. They were lucky that the scoreline was just 3-1. Russians could have easily scored more if not for the Dutch wall Edwin Van der Saar.

When I look at Germany, they come across as a side that always bounces back. You cannot relax against Germany till the final whistle is blown. They always fight till the last. Sure they may have a bad match or two, but they still fight till the last. They always have the stamina and the energy to fight.

Unless the Dutch inculcate the German will-power, they will never win any major competition. They will always flatter to deceive.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

A Drucker Gem

After a long time, I am able to lay my hands on a book worth reading. My company, NetApp, has a tie up with Safari Online Books. When I have little work or I am not so keen on working, I can just pick up a book and read it online. Fantastic.

Currently, I am reading a book on Peter Drucker. There are lots of gems in this book. I am quoting the one I liked a lot. Peter Drucker was talking about the importance of asking the right questions when one of his students asked him -

"How do you know the right questions to ask? Aren't your questions based on your knowledge in the industries in which you consult? How did you have the knowledge and expertise to do this when you were first starting out with no experience?"

to which Peter Drucker replied -

"I never ask these questions or approach these assignments based on my knowledge and experience in these industries. It is exactly the opposite. I do not use my knowledge and experience at all. I bring my ignorance to the situation. Ignorance is the most important component for helping others to solve any problem in any industry. Ignorance is not such a bad thing if one knows how to use it, and all managers must learn how to do this. You must frequently approach problems with your ignorance; not what you think you know from past experience, because not infrequently, what you think you know is wrong."

Monday, June 9, 2008

Help Ashutosh Mishra

One of my classmates and a very good friend, Ashutosh Mishra, is suffering from blood cancer. Please visit We (all his friends, colleagues, classmates) are trying to raise funds so that he can undergo Bone Marrow Transplant.

I would appreciate if you could give some ideas about how to go about this fund raising activity more effectively, any social forums or organizations who can help us in this endeavour.