Wednesday, July 07, 2010

WITnessed : Women!

On facebook...

Rohit's status : "Women should have labels on their foreheads saying, 'Government Health Warning: women can seriously damage your brains, current account, confidence, and good standing among your friends." My friend said this when he was not in his senses... Does anyone agree...???

Sneha comments: I agree... that your friend was not in his senses! :p

Quick Links :
Erm... What exactly is "WITnessed"?
The full WITnessed series...

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Quotes : Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing...

Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature,
nor do the children of men as a whole experience it.
Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure.
Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing.
To keep our faces toward change and behave like free spirits
in the presence of fate is strength undefeatable.
~ Helen Keller
I love this quote!
Hellen Keller so succinctly and directly acknowledges the oft ignored/dismissed/forgotten/hidden fact that life IS a like a theme park of roller coaster rides - anything can happen, to anyone, at anytime - which is part of the fun!

It's up to you to enjoy the ride or to get off, and find another ride you might enjoy - remembering the whole while that there are going to be ups and downs. Or you could just sit on the sidelines, complaining about your last ride & pretending to be helpless.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Updates - Work, Eurotrip, Puppy...

Lot's of folks have asked me why I haven't posted in so long. I find this both flattering and inspiring! : )

So I'll start my return to blogging with a quick update on what's been keeping me busy...

I've been crazy busy at work. I'm a Program Manager on Bing. This involves a LOT of thinking & writing - email, documents, specifications, which leaves me with precious little "thinking & writing energy" for blogging.

Then I also took off on a little Eurotrip. Frankfurt, Cologne, Amsterdamn!, Prague, Nuremburg, Bayreuth, Bamberg, Freiburg, Frankfurt. (I'll post some pictures soon & hopefully an interesting video too).

My girlfriend's got a puppy - a black labrador with white paws and a white patch on his chest. Very cute. Also very naughty annoying! That little rascal has been keeping me busy too!

But, I'm still ambitious about making time to blog - I've got some WITnessed and Fun Photos lined up in my drafts. Will finish and post some of of them this weekend.

Cheers, and thanks for reading! : )

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

WITnessed : Childhood "dreaming"...

After watching this awesome TEDtalk about tasty cooking and healthy farming...

Markus : If I had to do it all over again, I'd learn about international cuisine and become a master chef!
Sneha : It's not too late! There's this very inspiring talk called the Last Lecture about fulfilling your childhood dreams! Wanna watch it?
Markus : (opens the video) But this is over an hour long! : |
Sneha : It might be an eye opening experience for you Markus!
Markus : Its so long, it might become an eye closing experience for me!

Quick Links :
Erm... What exactly is "WITnessed"?
The full WITnessed series...

Monday, April 05, 2010

WITnessed : Life Insurance

An annoying telemarketer called me.

Telemarketer : Hi Sir,  XYZ company would like to offer you Life Insurance.
Pratik : I'm a student, so I don't need any insurance. Please take my number off your call list.
(this is my standard strategy to get my number off loan/insurance calling lists etc.)
Telemarketer : Oh ok. Can you give me your father's number? When can I call him for life insurance?
(I pause at his audacity - I am taken aback but also impressed by this guy's tenacity.)
Pratik : *serious + sad tone* My father is no more.
Telemarketer : Oh... Sorry sir!
Pratik : You should have called a year back, we would have been rich by now!
Telemarketer : *silence*

I think he cut the call before I burst out laughing.

FYI - My father's very much alive and kicking! He found this hilarious! : )

Quick Links :
Erm... What exactly is "WITnessed"?
The full WITnessed series...

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The Advice Dilemma

I enjoy love reading about (or meeting) a variety of "awesome" people, and "checking out" their advice on how to be awesome.

I was checking out some great career advice today, and it is intriguing to find that amidst so many diverse points of views, lots of the advice agrees with/complements other advice. Whats even more intriguing is that oftentimes, some advice is very conflicting with other advice.

The habits/strategies/tactics/tips that one awesome person swears by just don't work for another equally awesome person. "Early to bed and early to rise" v/s "work when you're in the mood & sleep when you're sleepy" is a classic example. In fact, some people use both of these "strategies" very effectively at different times.

I also enjoy giving advice - figuring something out, by myself or from someone else, and sharing it with others.

If there is one "absolute" lesson I've learnt about giving and taking advice, it is that "everything is relative".
The only advice that's reliably true is "it depends" - on the person, his unique motivations, the situation, the time, the environment etc.

Which brings me to the Advice Dilemma -
How can one give (or take) good, true, generic, scalable advice when everything is relative?
I can think of 2 approaches :

1. Generalise : Distill the advice down to its first principles - the underlying principles common to all good advice on the subject. Trust the audience to apply the principles effectively.
2. Specialise : Tell your specific story, and how your approach helped you in your situation. Trust the audience to pick up from the context, the lessons relevant to their unique situations.

Between these two ends of the spectrum, we have many infinite different levels of abstraction. Which is the most effective? Or is it best to use both extremes to complement each other?
Once again... "it depends".

Friday, March 19, 2010


I've got many little ideas and theories, that I'd like to develop and record.

But developing a little idea into a full blog post before putting it up is a barrier that I don't usually get past. So I'm going to start posting these little "nuggets" for us to chew on, and then develop them as we go.

The idea behind this "Nuggets" series is to
1. Explore ideas. (writing makes me think)
2. Start conversations about these ideas. (with all of you wonderful readers!)

[Inspired by Seth Godin. He never fails to post precious little nuggets every single day!]

These two previous posts qualify as nuggets :
Self Discipline and Sacrifice
What's Your Sentence

Quick Link :
The entire Nuggets series

Thursday, February 04, 2010

WITnessed : Petrol Panic...

Pratik : I wonder why there's a crazy mile long queue at the petrol pump! There must be a petrol price hike tomorrow!
Vikas: Why do they bother? Hike in petrol prices makes no difference to me - I fill exactly 100 bucks ka fuel everyday!

As it turned out, people were frantically filling petrol because there was a "bandh" the next day.
I drove on, took a turn off the main road and passed another petrol pump. It was just 1 minute away from the above mentioned petrol pump, but there was no rush at all!

Quick Links :
Erm... What exactly is "WITnessed"?
The full WITnessed series...

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Self Discipline and Sacrifice

"Self discipline does not mean suppressing or sacrificing your desires.
Self discipline means always choosing your deepest desires, over your many superficial desires."

When you sleep early tonight to get up early tomorrow, you are not sacrificing your late night movie.
You are simply choosing a good nights sleep and a fresh start to an engaging and productive day tomorrow instead.

When you avoid overeating, you are not suppressing your desire for another slice of that delicious pizza.
You are simply choosing to feel light and healthy rather than stuffed and heavy.

When you get your butt to the gym, you are not sacrificing your time and suffering an hour of physical exertion.
You are simply choosing to be healthy and energetic, instead of spending another hour blogging/surfing aimlessly.

(Reminder to self)

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

What's Your Sentence?

Two questions that can change your life from Daniel Pink on Vimeo.

"A great man is a sentence"
Mahatma Gandhi lead India to Independence, using non violence as his weapon.

Bill Gates realized his vision of a PC in every home, and is investing his time and money in tackling health and social problems in the world.

2 questions to ask yourself...

Q1. What's my sentence?
Pratik was awesome, and he inspired others to be awesome.

Q2. Was I better awesomer today than I was yesterday?
Hell yeah! : )

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

WITnessed : Slang...

This one's from Sneha... It happened over SMS...

Frauke : When we reach the theatre I will prank you...
Sneha : Eh? You will what me??
Frauke : Oh... In Aussie slang giving a missed call (one ring on the phone) is called "prank".
Sneha : Oh... In my slang that's just called- CHEAPSKATE!

Quick Links :
Erm... What exactly is "WITnessed"?
The full WITnessed series...

Monday, January 18, 2010

WITnessed : Manager Baggage...

Rakesh, my ex-manager, was taking a ride with me in my car. We approached the car and he wanted to put his bags in the boot/trunk/dickey.

Rakesh : Open up your back side!
Pratik : Never! The only thing I'm opening up is the trunk of my car...
And I'm so glad you're not my manager anymore!

After getting into back seat...

Rakesh : I'm too big to fit in the back!

(Though the last line was a general comment and not in the same context – you dirty mind!)

Quick Links :
Erm... What exactly is "WITnessed"?
The full WITnessed series...

Friday, January 15, 2010

WITnessed : Surfs up!

I was admiring the awesome waves on the Vizag coast...

Pratik : Wow dude! Those waves are awesome! Much better than Goa... Do people surf here?
Harika : The only "surfers" you'll see here are the washerwoman washing their clothes with Surf!

Quick Links :
Erm... What exactly is "WITnessed"?
The full WITnessed series...

Thursday, January 14, 2010

WITnessed : Work Tips (or Not)

Harika : Dude, I was happy about getting my own desk at work... but its in this ugly little corner and I have nothing to do most of the day.
Deepika : *thinking seriously* Hmmm... Do you have a window next to your desk?
Harika : Ya ya ya! Why? *excited* (anticipating some brilliant advice)
Deepika : So then stare out the window whenever you're bored!

Quick Links :
Erm... What exactly is "WITnessed"?
The full WITnessed series...

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

WITnessed : Welcome Farewell...

We were having Amar's farewell lunch at this hotel called Swagath De Royal.

Rakesh : They should rename it "Alvida-De-Royal" for today!

(In Hindi, "Swagath" is "welcome", and "Alvida" is "farewell".)

Quick Links :
Erm... What exactly is "WITnessed"?
The full WITnessed series...