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Udaipur 2017

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On our second road trip to Udaipur, we figured its not about the palaces, kings and history so much, but more about its people. These are regular folks who work in palaces, museums and common areas for tourists. They make the city feel great, and your experience memorable. What we are doing here is just watching people going about their daily task. We are sketching and photographing them without a purpose or agenda.




Be the gangster

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Met a pyramid network marketing professional at a Dunkin’ Donuts near office. Her sincere sales talk made me listen to her for two full hours. Maybe I could learn something here. The whol concept of making money with geometric progression was made to look very easy- though with considerable amount of work. Through the discussion, she pushed the fact that making money is the real purpose of life- something I disagreed with from the beginning. But she did make one good point- of two people who start financially at the same point with the same amount of money, it was their attitude towards that money that changes their fortune and future. The one who decides to immediately spend that money on things goes for instant gratification. The one who decides to invest it goes for delayed gratification. True and agreed one hundred percent. Recommend reading on this subject was the book called ‘Rich dad poor dad. The initial investment required came to ₹6 lacs. Though I turned down the offer to invest, what was admirable was that she was being the gangster here.

it was always about being able to sell with confidence. But the sales acumen has meat only when you show thorough knowledge and confidence in your product or service. Prime examples of total gangsters in our time are Steve Jobs and Jeff Bezos. Both don’t hold back when they know they have a great product in their hands. They jumped at opportunities and made it big. If you can hustle, grab opportunities under your nose and act fast, you can be the gangster the world needs.

The world needs people who do good work, and are able to get that good product across to the world and make it grow and sell itself. It’s pointless doing great work and not taking it to the next level.

Spot the defining moment

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There’s that one moment that stands out, like a flag made of vapor; fluttering in your face telling you no less louder that this is that instance your life will go to the next level if yo back now. There will be no more warnings and signs. It will now be for you to tap. Grab that moment. Carpe deim. Plan out your next hour, the day, the week and the month. Clear out the deadlines. And act.

In the best interest for the idea

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Block the world out,
Break a rule, flout
Go rummaging for that book
Read a page without context
Sleep, dream, forget it
Chat without a hook

Nurse a drink slowly
really ~ slow ~ down
Scribble about nothing
Feel grass between your toes
Slowly as it goes
super | slow

Everyone is rushing for nothing
So nothing to lose
\ Pace \ down \
A clown in a corner entertains
For? for nothing
Quite • comfort

Close your eyes hard
Now open, and wish for nothing
New things will come

Go for blank.

Stare : pointlessly
At the blue of a clear sky, the green of a new leaf, red of wine, a dog sleeping
Make your own story
Without ~ glory
In the best interest for the idea

Goa 2016: quick tips for a great vacation

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My sixth trip to Goa happened to be the best ever. Though we went during off-season, it was a better time to be here than December for New Year’s celebrations. Hotels rates are lower, beaches are cleaner and we saw lesser traffic, people and pollution. During our 5-day trip to celebrate our anniversary, we tried out different restaurants by the beach, rented a scooter for two days, got an awesome massage that undid some knots in our muscles, gambled a bit at a casino and just walked around the place. Here are some tips to make the best of your trip. 

Pack less than half your limit when you leave home. There is a hundred percent chance you will bring back loads of tshirts, cashew fenny bottles and memorabilia. Though our combined limit was 30 kilos, our luggage weighed only 16 when we checked in at the airport.

Walk as much as you can. Considering your appetite will swell here, walking between 6-8 kilometers a day will keep the metabolism burning off the indulgence. Beef, pork, sea food, mutton, chicken dishes and other local food goes really well with the weather. So does the local beer- Kings.

Converse as much as possible. Get chatting with people while you are here. You should get some tips from their experience. We got the idea of hiring a scooter from a couple who took the table next to us at the Sunny Side Up restaurant in Candolim beach. Scootering between beaches made our trip so much more enjoyable. We rode around 60 km between Fort Aguada, Candolim, Anjuna and Baga beaches. Our steed was a Honda Activa. It’s also easier to chat up with anybody because Goa is inarguably a happier place than any city you’re trying to get away from.

Carry cash. Most of the shops may not accept cards and that’s the charm of the place. For instance, you will need cash to buy petrol in plastic bottles from local shops – for your scooter! That’s because the few authorized petrol pumps are way too far from the beaches. Tent shops selling interesting tshirts will take cash.

Carry beach footwear. Pick up floaters, Crocs or anything that’s waterproof. You never know which beach you may turn towards- which is the whole point of being here.

Keep a cash and time limit for the casinos. If you recall the line from the Ocean’s Eleven films- the house always wins. That is true. Keep a time and cash limit, and walk way from the tables. Deltin Royale is an addictive place.

​​Lastly, don’t haggle with locals. If you don’t agree with someone’s rates, talk to someone else. You will get what you want. A few greens are not worth arguing over to mess up your vacation. 

Enough talk. Now go have a great time.

Creative culture- the holy grail!

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An interesting conversation on finding great talent whipped up philosophies of being part of a dream team, and we landed on three important aspects.
Hiring T-shaped people, autotelics, and a creative culture to sustain the greatness of the dream team.

First up, hiring T-shaped people. You have got to people in your team who are more than just technically good at what they do. 

They have to be versatile, interested in other stuff than just work. Those interests will invariably make their work more interesting. People who are passionate about some hobby will bring that passion into the final deliverable.

Next, Autotelics. Autotelic people hack away at perfecting their art or work till they get it right, and they do it without a reward or consequence in mind. Now that’s a toughie. Who in their right minds works without a reward in sight? But that’s what sets passionate people apart from employees. They work with their heart. They are the gems who bring love to your product. Stuff your clients and employees will really Love. 

And finally, creative culture. So you have the T-shaped people and the Autotelics. They’ve been hired and given their KRAs. But over a period of time, are they loving it? How is the rest of the team, temperament, rewarding, and general feel good like? That’s the part about culture. If you have great culture, even average performers can do wonders. During my 6-sigma green belt course, our faculty brought up the factor you can’t put a number on- culture. He gave the example of China at the Olympics. While most countries depend on super-talented individuals, China wins most medals and one rarely recalls their names. And they have been winning for many years. That’s where culture comes in- while selecting, grooming and making a winner out of average people. 
So if you have a talented team, the behaviours you set for internal conflicts, poor performance, celebrating wins and moments at the right time, giving credit (unconditionally) and whatever else you can think of- all for the sake of someone else’s happiness is what makes the culture. That’s the holy grail of the dream team. 

Kolkata 2016 in pictures 

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It was 2010 in Kolkata and I didn’t know what to make of this city- which is capable of changing, and yet remains the same. People are peace-loving, approachable and love a good chat on politics. Infra has improved. Flip side is – pollution is up and cleanliness needs to be high on the agenda here. Yellow cabs, hand-pulled rickshaws and trams are still around. I had to make my customary trip to KC Das- a famous sweet shop on Esplanade crossing.

Science City needs an overhaul. This meseum and exhibition ground has so much potential but has now been reduced to a selfie-zone for picnickers. Hope to see some change there in my next trip to a great city.

Street food is the best thing here. Avoid hotel food as much as possible. Be out there savoring the works of geniuses on carts and roadsides. Enjoy rummaging through second-hand books stacked on narrow footpaths.

It’s a quaint city to get away from everything, yet being in a city.

Mode of transport remains the same.

The life is on the streets. You can enjoy a walk with so much going on with yellow cabs, red cop cars and a city painted in blue – a show of power by the ruling party!

If you are making a trip to Kolkata, just enjoy yourself and don’t think too much about what local residents complain about.