End of journey

I would no longer be posting on this weblog going ahead. I have finally managed to own my presence on web completely, again. I knew this was a placeholder for my thoughts till I put together a planned-to-be-permanent place which could be controlled by me. I managed to get that done finally, read my views here.

I have already started writing at the new portal which I have simply named as {amit gawande} as finally that is what it is going to be, a portal just about me. If you have liked my writing, I assure you, you will continue to like it going ahead too. Subscribe to the new rss feed.

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Remembering names..

Another introduction where I am involved, as in I listen, happened today. These introductions haunt me, always. Names are exchanged and so is the purpose for visit and some pleasantries. We talk, we laugh, we share. Then the meeting, or the visit, ends. Everything is well and good. That is until we meet the next time. The other person smiles, starts talking. And all I am thinking, of course with a smile on my face, is what the bloody hell is your name again!? As it turns out, the last time we met, it was the name part that I conveniently side-stepped while registering the introduction in memory.

And this occurs with me way too often. Initial interaction happens with the introduction, then I forget the name. At first I just don’t take the trouble to know the name thinking may be we just won’t meet that often after all.  But the interaction continues. It increases often; we meet more. We talk more. We become acquaintances. We are on the verge of becoming friends. And all I am still thinking of is how the hell should I get this person mouth his name again. Asking for name is absolutely not an option now because I am already in a friend or a known person zone. The bridge has been crossed. So all I do is wait for him or some one else speak the said person’s name.

And I do realize this is a very assholistic behavior on my part. So this time I decide this behavior of mine has to end. And I query the web. You know what, this is way too common a phenomenon. So common that there are zillions of “n ways to remember names” self-helf articles across the web. Ways suggested stretch from plain childish to utter foolish.

For example, break the name into parts and remember the parts. Yeah.. a fool-proof way. Only if I could remember to break the name first and remember the parts next. Or associate the name with something. So if you are Ramesh, I will remember you as mesh. What bull crap. How awkward would it be to think of the made association every time you meet, say Vikas or Hardik. Nope. Not gonna work. Or make the name dance in front of eyes. Or what not. Complete non-sense.

Only thing that made sense to me was to speak the name out aloud. More times, the better. Well that is one thing I can do. That is one thing I am going to do rather. So next time you meet me and introduce yourself, please bear with me if I go on chanting your name in every statement that follows. And so will I if I see you doing the same.

Book Review: Inferno

Inferno (Robert Langdon, #4)Inferno by Dan Brown
Going in to the chapter 1 of Inferno, I didn’t have too high expectations. I was looking for a breezy page-turner with some anecdotes on sculptures, people, places intermingled with the story. However I was disappointed to see Dan Brown fail to deliver even that.

Anecdotes are way too many and completely irrelevant to the story. Many a times, the novel reads as Brown’s travelogue of places during his research, just there to increase the page count. I remember ignoring many paragraphs describing some sculpture or a building or a painting. Uninteresting. Plain boring. Do research Mr. Brown; just don’t force everything into a novel.

And there are so many discernible and ludicrous attempts at being relevant to the current tech-aware audience. All the references to iPads, iPhones, ebooks etc. fall flat, cringeworthy.

Finally to the story, what is expected is a mystery to be solved by Professor Langdon through the clues sprinkled in historic symbols. I feel the novel fails there too. Codes and clues are way too simple, straight-forward. Many don’t even lead something significant; they are just there to bring Langdon in picture. Inferno could well have been a sci-fi mystery novel instead of a Robert Langdon one. Disappointed.

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

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Book Review: Kane and Abel

Kane and Abel (Kane and Abel, #1)Kane and Abel by Jeffrey Archer

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

First two chapters down and I knew am in for an epic saga. The book had me right from the stories of the two protagonists being christened.

This was one of the finest examples of how the characters are built. Every single one, even the supporting ones, was well shaped. With that done in the backdrop of the historical events, they felt real. To see how each one of the events impacted the characters had a smile on my face. I was emotionally with them in their rise to success, rooting for one at times, while the other at others. Their stories might feel cliched, but I felt them. And then they met, right around the middle.

I felt the second half was a bit weak. The events became forced every time the characters had to meet. Kane and Abel, as individuals, had me intrigued. But Kane and Abel together? Not much. The rivalry felt contrived, childish. Agreed, I was interested to know what unfolded next. But it played out just the way I predicted. Interested, and then disappointed not to be proved wrong.

And I have to mention that the romantic parts were the weakest. Such lifeless, boring mentions of jumbled adult words. There for just no reason. Good they didn’t last long, I cringed every time.

Having said all, I did enjoy the novel, an entertaining read. It had me interested in Kane and Abel till the end. And that’s where it succeeded.

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Stop overthinking

We, the humans, are a race of thinkers. We are pampered while growing up, someone always making the decisions for us. Proving the point from time to time that the decisions they made for us were correct, were for our greater good.

We are deterred from erring. We are convinced that erring is bad. We are asked to make sure we think through what we are doing. We are told that erring can be, should be, avoided by thinking. We end up not erring much. But we end up not doing much. We end up thinking, and thinking again and then again.

In relationship. Do I like her? Does she like me? Will my friends like her? Do I really like her? Will my family accept her? Am I rushing? Am I not going too slow?

While shopping. Do I like this? Does this suit me? Is it better than what my neighbor has? Is it too costly? Does it look too cheap?

At home. At work. While driving. While sleeping. While eating. While breathing, even.

We think. We analyze. We halt. Paralyzed.

Analysis Paralysis. That’s what science people call it.

Paralysis, of any part, drives the part unmoving, static. A complete loss of feeling. This paralysis drives complete ‘you’ unmoving, static.

So next time you are faced with such situation where you cannot make a decision, think about what worse can happen if you decide and err. You will be surprised to realize that majority of the cases work out not affecting you much.

Think, decide and do. Don’t overthink, give-up and halt.

Speechless…

Another rainfall, another stroll to the cafeteria, another shot of similar feelings. Just couldn’t help but dig out this old post and repost.

Speechless …. That’s how today’s incident caught me. Really felt am i missing something? Am i really enjoying my life? Corporate world has indeed made me dry. Juiceless. Deprived of whatever fun element I had in my life. Saw the wet earth today and there loomed the childhood days in front of me.

Those hours I spent sitting on a sofa employing my eyes out at rain beaten roads. “Chai-Bhajji” or “Pohe” that i relished. Slightest sound of a rain drop that made me run towards the porch. Spellbound eyes of mine that tried to gulp up a sight of lush green fields. An enchanting effect that even a midget breeze created. The restlessness that a sight of river or even a small stream gave me. The dew-laden grass plates that endorsed the mesmerizing capacity of the nature. “Aai” who always dabbed me forcefully in the sweater and monkey-cap. Soothing effect that the cooler-chilled room created after returning from burning heat. Glasses of Rasna i gobbled. Waits for the “Chachaji-Sabu-Raka” Combo. Exchanges of comics and greedily moving through the pages, just to make sure we read the most. Carrom Games, Cards, Cricket matches that we played, ignorant of screeching sun, blowing winter or pouring rains. Dirty clothes that i washed so as to keep “aai” unaware of mud-ridden football matches. And the list just goes on, endless. I never knew what really allured me so strongly. But I do was.

And today, here I am looking at the rain-hit porch from my AC cubical. Without a sofa, “Pohe”or “Chai Bhajji”. Drops kept pouring, waiting for me to run into the porch. Lush-green lawn’s spread out there, just to make me spellbound again. Gone are the rivers/streams and am in the middle of bulk of fountains. But these don’t make me restless. “Aai Daddy” are there, always at the other end of phone line. Mirinda can’t take the place rasna holds. Dan Brown or Sidney Sheldon can’t surrogate “Raj or Diamond”. “Batman-Superman” can easily be kneeled down by “Druv-Nagraj”. Gone are the games. Gone are the friends. Gone are the fun-filled days. Nature’s still out there. Calling me. Waiting to mesmerize me. With me completely oblivious.

Thanks a lot, corporate world. Thanks a lot!!!

Make us fools, but we hate waiting.

Some years ago, executives at a Houston airport faced a troubling customer-relations issue. Passengers were lodging an inordinate number of complaints about the long waits at baggage claim. In response, the executives increased the number of baggage handlers working that shift. The plan worked: the average wait fell to eight minutes, well within industry benchmarks. But the complaints persisted.

Puzzled, the airport executives undertook a more careful, on-site analysis. They found that it took passengers a minute to walk from their arrival gates to baggage claim and seven more minutes to get their bags. Roughly 88 percent of their time, in other words, was spent standing around waiting for their bags.

So the airport decided on a new approach: instead of reducing wait times, it moved the arrival gates away from the main terminal and routed bags to the outermost carousel. Passengers now had to walk six times longer to get their bags. Complaints dropped to near zero.

There is some great theory there. Man I love human tendency to fool oneself into not hating something.

Make us fools, but we hate waiting.