Welcome to Baba Reality (BR)

Today, on the dining table, I asked by baba (grandfather) to tell me a story. He asked me what sort of story I wanted to hear. I told him to pick any incident from his school days. Baba went quiet for almost two minutes. He would often take long pauses between conversations. Although this time, while finishing the last bites of his meal, I knew he was thinking hard.

These two minutes made my mind start guessing what sort of story he will tell. Although before I could make up my mind, he kicked off today’s story. He took me back to 1947 when India got independence and when he was still in class 9. This story was about how he moved to a school in Kanpur, UP (India) because the school in his town wasn’t accredited to teach beyond class 8. But then, there were a series of events which brought him back to his original school, including the government’s grant of the accreditation.

While I won’t classify today’s story as one of the bests – because the best ones are about his dad’s luxury cars or camels and the gold smugglers, I did realize today, how beautifully my baba narrates stories. The expressions, the pauses and the description of the scene invariably sends you back in time and experience every bit. If I were to use a fancy name, I would use Baba Reality (screw you AR/ VR :P). Interestingly, all the nuances of his story telling skills are very similar to what is taught in business communication. Guess my coach is sitting right here, inside my house!

So, here’s to Baba Reality (BR). Cheers!

Do put in the comments if you have had similar experience with your grandparents 🙂



Decoding Dreams #2a Dream Problems

What triggers our dreams? Why do we see characters and places which we haven’t even seen in real? These are some questions which Freud has tried to answer here. Freud, with an elaborate critique of related past works,  identifies four broad dream triggers :

External Stimuli: A sudden drop in room temperature can trigger a dream and so can pressure on any body part. Ever found yourself stuck in a stinky dream, well it’s the change in smell in the surroundings. An interesting example here is of a common dream where an individual feels that she is falling down from a height. Ever wondered why that happens?  Well, while you were sleeping and shifting around , your long legs began to hang out in the air! That’s it!

Internal Stimuli: Once an individual sleeps the brain starts to focus on the organs. Yeah, no vision, not so much noise either, so the brain focuses on organs. Any existing or imminent problem in the organs can trigger a dream. Freud suggests that a heart attack can be prempted through dreams. An individual with a faulty heart will have dreams where she is burning. Sounds weird right! Can’t really challenge him though. So chill!

Pre-sleep Thoughts: This one’s quite logical. It says what one thinks of just before going to sleep triggers the Dream and also becomes a part of the Dream.

Psychic Influence: Now this one’s funny because he himself writes that whatever can’t be explained by above three falls under this. To be frank I myself couldn’t understand this part as much.

Ah, so now that we know what triggers the dreams, the next question is why we see all weird stuff in dreams, people we haven’t ever met or cuisine we haven’t ever heard of?  Freud says that all images that one sees in a dream is what one has already seen while he was awake. These images are there in one’s subconscious all the time, just that they pop out only even one sleeps. So, dreams are not entirely vague, they are in fact quite real. Just that we don’t know it!

Yup,  that’s it!  In the next blog I’ll try to cover why one forgets what one dreams about?  And yeah much more  🙂

Share your views and experiences in the comments. See you!

Why: Goverdhan Pooja?

Edited in Lumia Selfie
Annakuta (the green one) with puri. Yum!

Why do I get to eat delicious Annakuta sabzi everytime, just the day after Diwali?

Well, it is Goverdhan Pooja day after all. So, I googled why this day is celebrated, and I got this. In a nutshell, Lord Krishna lifted the Goverdhan parvat (mountain) on his little finger and protected the people of Mathura from the fury of Indra (Demigod responsible for rains). Why was Indra furious? Because Lord Krishna convinced the people of Mathura that they should worship the fertile Goverdhan soil more than the rains. Guess that was enough to blow Indra’s top!

Okay, so Indra got angry, Krishna happily lifted the mountain for a week, where exactly does cooking awesome Annakuta fit in? I mean, seriously, who would have cared for such tasty food amid of this drama? Although I couldn’t find a definite answer but here’s my reasoning:

A small replica of Goverdhan mountain is constructed with a lot of different food items to celebrate this day. In a similar way, the Annakuta subzi is made with a small amount of a lot of different vegetables. Well, that’s the maximum correlation I could establish. If interested, check the recipe here.

Phew, whatever be the reason, the taste of this sabzi is just too good!

Exclusive Baba Content

Just before Diwali poojan I was lying down on the bed, with my head on my baba’s (grandfather) lap. So comfortable it is. Especially because he always has interesting stories to share from his life.

Baba: You want to hear a story which no one knows?

Me: Yeah baba, why not. *It’s not us cooking food in the kitchen or preparing for the pooja, we can relax*

*So, baba started his monologue*WP_20151111_20_56_03_Pro

Baba: Do you know that Lord Ram once asked Sita, #pause# *A bit used to baba’s style, I waited for him to continue*

Baba: ..to fulfil one of his wish. #pause# But Sita said that she can fulfil his wish only if she gets something in return #long pause# *Given baba gave such long pause, my mind started wondering what exactly she would have asked for, a necklace or a new saree?*

Baba: Lord Ram promised commitment; that he’ll not marry anyone else. Then he asked for.. #longest pause# *Oh man, what would Lord Ram want? Sex? Dirty mind*

Baba: Lord Ram asked for a new name. He wanted Sita to give him a new name.. *Whaaat! Seriously!*

And so baba continued and finished his story in some time. His slow but accurate articulation of each word creates so much suspense in each of his story. More than that, his pride in each story he narrates makes it even more interesting to hear.

I feel our grandparents are a treasure trove of knowledge and wisdom. However busy we might get, it’s always good to hear #ExclusiveBabaContent

No Credits Please!

In my opinion one of the most amazing aspect of living a good life is good food. Without good food there is no joy, no excitement and no motivation. Perhaps that’s the reason why all the ingredients need to be present in right measure. Therefore, my favorite Rajma with a pinch of excess salt is just not done! So, you great cook don’t spoil my food and my life by adding something so useless that it makes the whole curry sour.

Opportunities in life are often like food recipes, an ingredient more or less and the entire experience is ruined. Take the example of an initiative by a college in Mumbai to send its students for rural internships in NGOs for development of corporate citizenship and sensitization. It is a once in a life time opportunity to experience something unique; an exposure to the people and lifestyle in rural areas. The program gives students hands-on experience in solving actual problems of the NGO. In a nutshell, there’s nothing like it and no other college across India; in my knowledge, offers anything even close. Oh wait, weren’t we talking about recipes of opportunities? Opportunities like these which have a social development bent get spoilt the moment you add credits to it. What I mean is that the college asks you to submit a report of the work done and you gain some credits (marks) against it. I personally feel that if you add credits to an opportunity of this sort, the opportunity just loses its taste. It robs you off the joy of helping someone less privileged purely out of your own will.

So let’s not mess up with the recipes of such opportunities, maintain their sanctity and let people cherish them! Say NO to credits!

Stuck in a Limbo!

Long time!

The MD of Facebook India came to SPJIMR, Mumbai a few days back. I was asked to emcee the event and hence had prepared quite well. In fact, I was awake till four in the morning practising my part in front of the mirror/ my roommate etc. Usually, I don’t prepare for such events/ interviews because from inside it feels very fake to me. However, this time it was BIG, Kirthiga Reddy, the MD of FB India was here. So, I prepared and practiced diligently.

Head of SPJIMR with the head of FB, India
Head of SPJIMR with the head of FB, India

When the moment arrived and she entered the venue there were two things which happened. First, I was stunned by her beauty at the age of 42. Second, I couldn’t understand when to start because she was just roaming around; and not settling down. Finally she occupied a seat at the corner with her colleague and looked at me expectantly. I looked at the audience and then my team. All had settled down. It was my time to roll.

I had kept the printout of what was to be spoken at the front desk; just in case if it was required, and went ahead introducing her and her colleague. I was speaking well till her educational qualifications. The moment I moved to her work-ex, I just couldn’t recall anything! I blanked out, completely! 300 eyeballs stared down at me, questioning, stunned and stuck! It was pin-drop silence.

Not again, I spoke to myself. At least not now!

I looked at her, her smile was slowly disappearing. The audience was still quite. I heard a faculty member whispering and asking me to read from the printout. I turned back, and told Kirthiga how our communications faculty always advises us to carry cue cards and that stubborn that I’m, I refused to do so! Fool I’m! That blatant admittance brought back smile on her face; and relief to my over-pumped heart. She appreciated the fact that I tried; to give her introduction without reading, and applauded. The audience followed the suit. So I read the rest of her introduction from the printout with the same enthusiasm.

Back to reading after forgetting :P
Back to reading after forgetting 😛

Now when I think of it, I feel a bit disappointed and a bit satisfied too. I admit that I get stuck, but I am not giving up! #SPeak

Does Jaipur deserve your heart?

Jaipur, the Pink City, the capital of Rajasthan has a lot to offer. In this piece let’s try to explore if it has all to lure your heart. The city should be examined from its conservative culture, restrictions, its rich history and architecture. The pink city which boasts of clear blue skies and is also a home to numerous exotic birds. The roads and civic amenities in this city are in a bad shape and require attention of the local government. Lastly, let’s look into the aspects of Jaipur’s ability to stir one’s intellect thereby setting a word stage for open discussions.

Jaipur has a very conservative culture, where the people prefer keeping things to themselves and their respective homes. Population which is largely devoid of service sector jobs tends to sleep by 9pm. No wonder that the shops began to shut down after 7pm. It’s a bigger threat to the youth here because their opportunities to enjoy or relax after a tiring day are curtailed by phone calls from parents and the shops pulling down their shutters. For instance, the liquor shops in Jaipur shut down at 8pm and Hookah is banned. Conservative restrictions of this sort result in black marketing of such commodities. In addition, it also force the youth to resort to incorrect means.

The Amber fort should be visited during late winters..
The Amber fort should be visited during late winters..

On the other hand, Jaipur flaunts its majestic outlook with its forts and palaces. People across the word travel to the city just to get a glimpse of the Amber fort or the Hawa mahal. Architecture and might are equivalent to the forts and palaces one can see in many other cities of Rajasthan. The clear blue skies, sunrise and sunsets are the most beautiful. The colorful animated birds one gets sight of here are yet another attraction.

The roads in Jaipur, however, are ill maintained and are not pedestrian friendly. Most of the footpaths are either broken or encroached upon. What adds to the woes of a pedestrian is the garbage which lies openly on the road side, many a times occupying almost half of it. Civic amenities like public transport are in an abysmal state. Metro which was promised by the government years back has missed all of its deadlines, thereby becoming a distant dream for a Jaipur citizen.

A discussion on democracy at the crossroads..
A discussion on democracy at the crossroads..

The city is also famous for its literature festival; an yearly event which draws intellectuals from across the country to discuss and examine important world issues. Magnitude is big, owing to Jaipur’s unparalleled tourist destination status but the content at its base is similar to literature festivals of Calcutta and Delhi.

From the above observations, one can conclude that the Pink City does come close to gaining your heart but it merely touches it, in totality Jaipur loses out because of its static values/ culture and absence of basic civic amenities. A dynamic city needs to have both the traits at its core, only then can it exhibit continuous growth and win hearts of its people. One can hope that the development agendas raised by the present government will be fulfilled in the coming decade. Till then, Jaipur, you don’t deserve our heart..!

#Views expressed are entirely personal 🙂

PS: I still like Jaipur..! 😉