Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Politics Politics Everywhere, Not a Moment to Breathe


A friend remarked one day, as I told him about my ordeal at work, "You haven't really witnessed office politics. What you said about your earlier stints, is not politics at all. Office politics is worse than that. I have seen it. It can push you to quit the organization. That's the real office politics." I didn't know how to react to that remark. I barely nodded.

A new genre of politics

Office politics is the new-age "political news" that you get to hear on a daily basis if you are working. And, if you aren't working, then you'll get to hear it from the never-ending sob stories that your friends would have to share about their office. Work culture, work ethics, relationship management, human resource management etc are the new buzzwords. In the garb of these new buzzwords, what you get is ample amount of dirt thrown at you from various ends- top to bottom, bottom to top, left to right and vice versa.

You never run out of "breaking news" in this genre of politics. You get your daily dose of news, gossips, and some head turning events to look at. It acts like that chewing gum which you want to chew even after it has lost its flavor. So, while on one hand, you scream and shout at how you were treated badly or manhandled or harassed; on the other, you like to indulge in someone else's messy affair even if that is not your business.

From where does this genre get its fodder?

I have often wondered why does this kind of politics happen? Or what led to this kind of politics reach a position where it is now? When we were in school, we were taught to be competitive. The feeling of competition was imbibed in us to make us strive to achieve the best, aim for the top. Things change as you come  to college. There is competition but in a healthy spirit. But, things take a different turn as you enter the job scenario.

- If you are good worker, and you are part of a team that wasn't doing well until you arrived, you will be confronted with people who would leave no stone unturned to find out flaws in your work cycle.

- If you have happened to outperform the one, who was probably boss' pet, you'll be criticised for the smallest things that hold no value. Result? The pet wins hands down.

- If you are more talented than their already existing resources, there will be 'plots' played against you even before you've managed to sail through their interviews.

- And, if you are lucky enough to have joined, the existing resources would ensure that your reputation is put at stake.

Where do you stand in the hue of politics?

Circumstances mentioned above are only the tip of the iceberg. Once the iceberg breaks, or melts, the circumstances become murkier and dirtier. You indeed are pushed to the extreme of either resigning from the organisation or absorbing everything like a bullet-proof jacket. Your temperament changes leaps and bounds. Your stress levels are at a peak. You tend to fight and argue with even those who have nothing to do with your current situation.

Where does the difficulty lie in having worthy competition?

Why cannot we have healthy competitions even in the job scenario? Can't there be a culture where everyone who's doing well is given a word of appreciation rather than selecting a few and rewarding them with perks. Sometimes even the smallest gestures boost a lot of confidence in the concerned person. Is that too difficult to ask for?

They say startups are building a different culture. I have read umpteen number of stories about those at the helm of organisations, who resign and start their own venture because they could not take the way things functioned in their MNCs. Yet, there are people who even talk about how startups once having got the VC funding and more start becoming like the so-called MNCs.


Do you have an answer?

I do not know which category of people, employee, employer do you belong to. What I seek is a simple answer to the question- who benefits out of the politics of office?; what do you receive in the end after having forgone your self-respect?; what kind of a person do you become in reality?; what personal achievement awaits you after having been the talk of the 'office politics'?

If you find an answer, do let me know. I will be more than happy. For I have been trying to figure out what personal joys awaits the people who engross themselves in business other than their own, who feel by pulling down the other they can climb the ladder of success, who see sweet talking the boss as the best way to ensure a promotion, and who exploit the situation of the employee to their advantage.

How we traveled to and within Diu

As promised in my earlier post, 2 Nights, 3 Days Trip to Ilha Da Calma- Diu, here I am with a new post on how we traveled to and within Diu. This would not really be a very long post. I will keep it short and simple for all purpose.

How I traveled to Diu and back

1) Chennai to Diu - By Flight 

There are no direct flights to Diu. They will all take you via either Mumbai or Ahmedabad. Since I was meeting my friends in Mumbai, I took a flight to Mumbai and then we all boarded the same flight from Mumbai to Diu. There is also another catch in this. If you book separate tickets, you may get the tickets at a cheaper price than if booked together.

2) Diu to Chennai via Ahmedabad

There are flights via Mumbai ONLY when returning from Diu. We got to know of this when we were there. Thankfully, we had our bus tickets reserved well in advance. All the private as well as state run government buses ply post 7pm onwards from the Jethibai Bus Terminus in Diu towards Ahmedabad. You will reach Ahmedabad early morning at 6/7am.

We had booked ours in Patel Travels. It cost us Rs400/ person. You can get off any of the points in Ahmedabad post Paldi. I am unable to recall the name of the stop where we got off. We paid Rs250 from their to the airport in an auto.

From Ahmedabad, I took an Indigo's direct flight to Chennai. Charges vary as the timings of your booking.

How did I travel in Diu

Diu is a very small town. You get bikes on rent. As per the people there, earlier there were bicycles given on rent as well. I don't know if they would be back again during peak tourist season.

You can cover the entire town in one day. The day we reached (September 17), we covered three of the tourist spots- Jallandhar Beach, st Paul's Church, and Diu Museum- all by foot. We stayed at Heranca Goesa Guest House. All the three tourist spots were walking distance from there. Moreover, the place is so calm and serene that you would want to spend some time walking and absorbing the life in there.

The next day (September 18), we decided to hire a cab or auto, since neither of us knew to ride a bike. We hired an auto through the New Khwaja Customer Shop. The auto ride cost us Rs500 for 4 hours.

Where we started from

The following is the sequence in which we went around the town:

1) Diu Fort
2) Naida Caves
3) INS Khukri Memorial and Chakrateerth Beach
4) Gangeshwar Temple
5) Nagoa Beach
6) Sea Shell Museum (Didn't find it worth going inside, too tiny)
7) Ghoghla Beach

Back to Guest House.

If you have time in your hand, and have planned it well, you can visit Somnath Temple that is some 2.5-3 hours away from Diu. You can hire a cab that can cost around 3,000 INR or take a bus.

Next post will be on food and the tourist spots in pictures...

Monday, September 28, 2015

2 Nights, 3 Days trip to Ilha Da Calma- Diu

Anyone would identify with the above video. It has been all over the TV since quite some time. Diu Tourism does try and make an impact on the tourists. When you watch the video, you are transported to a different land altogether. In fact, the first time, I ever saw it, I too wondered where this place was until the ad ended with Diu Tourism. I was mesmerised. I wanted to go right away to that place to feel the 'calm' that the video boasts of. But it seemed like a far fetched dream.

Then, one day, a whatsapp from my friend asking if I would be interested in accompanying her to Diu, piqued my interest back to where I had left it before. However, I wasn't sure. The thought of leaving my child behind was a little too unnerving. But my husband supported me a lot to go on this 'break'. There was a deal though that I would have to grant him a break too like that. I happily agreed to the deal. :-)

After a few talks over whatsapp and email, I booked my tickets to Diu from Chennai and my friend booked hers from Delhi. I will write separate posts on how we travelled to Diu and in Diu; where we stayed; what all places we visited. This post is more about how was my experience in Diu- the good, the bad, the ugly (if any).

Things that I liked about Diu...

The calm and serene environment is something that a tourist, coming from the hustle and bustle of a metropoliton, would love to immerse in. Silence prevailed the bylanes in Diu as the sun made way for the moon. I could hear the bats, frog and a few more birds whose names I do not know of. I could see birds fly back to their homes in the dark night. Surprisingly, there was just one star visible in the sky. My friend and I hoped to see some more. But we gave clouds the benefit of doubt.

The wide array of houses built in one stretch at every lane, bylanes. The houses are not just huge in size but are also well spaced out in the front. Flowers, plants, lawns throng most of them. Such is the nature's love that peahens come and sit on top of the houses. I spotted one such house at least.

Peahens on top of one of the houses on Firangiwala Road.

Needless to say, the green cover is something that I 'd have been disappointed had I not found it. Yes, colorful houses spring up amidst all the green cover across Diu. It's beautiful to the eyes.

View from the guest house where we stayed

I also loved the roads. Trust me, I have not seen such well-laid roads in any such small town. I know it is a Union Territory but even a Union Territory like Puducherry does not have such well-laid, demarcated roads. If you have a bike or car or cycle, you will love to drive on these roads.

Outside Diu Airport
What I also liked were the people. As I and my friend roamed around in the lanes, and tried finding our way to a church, one lady standing with her daughter in the balcony of her house asked us where we were heading to (in Gujarati). When we asked if the way led to the church, she smilingly pointed us further towards the road that led to the way, assuring us we were on the right path. Not just this, an old man who was at a shop- New Khwaja Customer Shop-  helped us out with an auto, when he realised that neither me nor my friend could ride a bike. He even drew a map for us - telling us where all we should go and in which direction- to ride in the auto.

On the last day of our trip, we were seeking ways to travel faster to Ahmedabad than take a bus, when we hired an auto. On hearing that we had to go to the airport, he suggested we first visit a tours and travel shop which would help us get a ticket instantly than going all the way to airport just to check on the tickets. We were disappointed because we could not find a flying ticket but had to adjust to the bus ticket that we had already reserved. The autowallah remarked, "See Madamji, I saved you from paying me Rs250 unnecessarily. Now, you will have to pay me 60Rs only to travel to and fro from the bus stop." We were amused by the honesty and helpful attitude of the autowallah.

Things I did not like in Diu...

There is nothing much to dislike in Diu. It is a relatively cleaner town, well-spaced, with helpful people. But there are a few instances that did put us off. One of the foremost thing was that tourist places like the Diu Museum, INS Khukri Memorial haven't been kept in the best condition. Chipped walls, Pigeon poops greets you inside the Diu Museum; while INS Khukri Memorial had replica of the ship wrapped in blue sheet. According to the autowallah, the ship broke during rains last time and is in the process of restoration.

A little more effort in restoring the museum would do wonders and attract more tourists as well.

Alcohol is legal in Diu. So, all the Gujaratis throng in their lavish cars to this UT close to their borders. Though I did not find any security concerns but I would have been happier with a bit more police patrolling to keep a check on such revelers. For women travelers, it is a herculean task to avoid the gaze of men, whether drunk or sober.

Overall, a day's visit is enough...

This is where my friend and I went wrong while planning the trip. Being a small town, entire Diu can be seen in one day using a hired bike/car/auto. If you are the vacation traveler, you can of course take your own sweet time but those who are more like the backpackers gang can tour around in a day and then head on to other places in Gujarat accordingly. So, plan your trip well.

We did not want to hurry through our trip, so spent our time lazing around the rest one and half days in Diu. It was a 2 nights, 3 days trip.

More posts in the pipeline...

In my next posts, I shall tell you about- how to travel to Diu, and places to visit in Diu.

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Friday, September 25, 2015

A published author and a trip to Diu, what more could I ask for

I have so many things to update you all about. Where should I begin from? Let me first say that yes, I had been extremely occupied with something or the other. There were times when I would open the "new post" section of the blog, stare at it for hours, switch tabs to Facebook and then eventually close the blog. But today, I decided I had to post. So, here I am with a few updates.

First things first, the biggest news of this month is that I, yours truly, is now a published author :-) Those of you who have frequented my LinkedIn and Facebook profile, would know by now. But for those of you, who read my blogs, this update had to be made. Pardon me, for keeping it short and simple in one post itself. Interested in knowing some details? So here it is. I and a bunch of seven other talented bloggers from across the country were part of BlogAdda's Celebrate Blogging initiative. We took part in one of the events of that initiative- Game of Blogs. Our team was amongst the top 3 teams. We were selected from among 30 teams with approx 300 bloggers across the country and outside. The book was finally launched on Sunday, September 20th at JW Marriott, Mumbai. The book is titled, Six Degrees, and has three stories of the top 3 teams from Game of Blogs competition. I am yet to receive my copy though, and your queries about when they'll hit the stands shall be answered once I get a word about it. But, once they are out, please do buy and read the story- Entangled Lives- and tell us how it was :-)

Second thing is, I made it through a 3 nights and 4 days trip to Diu from September 17-20. Mind you, not with family but a friend. Okay, yes I know you'll have raised eyebrows by now, like how a few in my family had ;-) Thinking how could I go on a trip leaving my 14 month old son behind. Let me tell you, it is because I have an extremely supportive husband, who ensured all was well when I was away. And, did I tell you that my son is definitely more attached to his father because of the very reason that his father takes care of him like no one else does? I finished a good tour. Though, I do not know how much will I be able to tell you about it but I do have plans to update the blog with at least two or three posts on Diu. What will be the posts about is something I have not yet thought about! Of course, something on food and how did I go there will be there but there could be something more than that too. Till then, you can have a view of the following photograph.

There is another thing that I would like to share with you all but I have to wait till it gets a final shape. Updates soon. 

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Poetry Trails: #5 Trace my heart

Hi Friends,

This is the fifth poem in the series Poetry Trails. Hope you'll like reading it. This would also be the last poem in this series. The poems shall come back soon again. :-)


In the contours of my heart
You lie like a king
I yearn for your presence 
In the world around
I stretch my arms around
To hold you in embrace
You seem running away 
From the mere stretch of my arms
I haven't even said that 
I want to take you with me
I hoped that you'd do that for me
But, as I stand here miles away
I see you hold her hand and run away
You giggle as she teases you 
You hold her tight as if to never let go
She tries to move away but you pull her closer
Oblivious of my presence miles away
You make love to her in the lap of nature
I stand there with my heart broken
I turn away unable to see your passionate love
I wonder what did I do to deserve such hapless love..

Poetry Trails #1 | #2 | #3 | #4