Day 44 – Liquor’s Dichotomy – #IndiaFightsCorona #Lockdown

Allow liquor sale; illicit trade burden on exchequer: CIABC to 10 ...
(Image Courtesy – https://www.indiatoday.in/business/story/allow-liquor-sale-illicit-trade-burden-on-exchequer-ciabc-to-10-states-1664333-2020-04-07)

The Liquor’s Dichotomy

I come from those factories where the chimneys are blowing loud and hot,
My death usually happens from a can, glass or a shot.

The love for me is every growing,
Some say its their lives that I am ruining.

I come in many brands, flavors and colors,
People love me whether it is a cold winter or its bright summers.

I have some companions in cold ice,
You can have the better of me when you mix me with my cousins and add some spice.

Singers and bards have dedicated a lot of their work to me,
Love for me is natural whether its from they, he or she.

In movies, I am regular companion to show class,
I am available to all whether its the celebrities or the general mass.

My age is also a strange conundrum,
In some cases I last few months, in some cases years,
But as I age more, people are ready to pay a heavy sum.

They say that I am a bad influence on people,
I cause addiction,
I break families,
And many a times I am the spoiler in a ritual.

They vilify me and want me banned,
Some people earn their livings from me by taking an adverse stand.

But tell me something,
Did I invite you to meet me?
Remember you come searching for me,
From land, mountains and the sea.
And pay a heavy price as I seldom come free.

You may curse my makers and my marketeers for the tricks they play,
They are the bad guys, you can punish them or even slay.

Today we are in uncertain times,
I have been waiting in my shelf while you stand in lines.

I know your love for me and you know my love for you,
This shall also pass, together we will see it through.

I am the savior of economies as they claim,
If you have a problem, regulate my consumption,
Why punish me with all the blame?

I feel happy when I see that the love from many towards me is so true,
I usually want only adults to like me,
Unfortunately now there are more youngsters, earlier they were few.

But I do save the day as I help governments earn more,
Corona or anything else, together we will settle the score.

Sometimes I get scared with the obsession I see,
As if it was not enough already, you named a virus after me?

As I am the curse that you may have not realized,
If not controlled, I will destroy you, even if its death you have defied.

So, lets not complain and make a promise
You will not be greedy for me whatever is the premise.

We will fight and sustain together in these times changing,
Lets sit together buddy as if there is no tomorrow again and today is the ending!

Day 40 – #Expensive #Crashes – #IndiaFightsCorona #Lockdown

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The current pandemic and associated lock down situation has led to multiple strange paradigms for people – some hypothetical and some real.

Just few days back, I was discussing the wonderful weather and how it makes for the perfect recipe of an outdoor picnic, that is not to be due to the lock down.

The beautiful rain and associated lightning made me humming about some of my favorite songs from the yesteryears. Most of them are still refreshing.

That also took me years back into some of the wonderful lyrical renditions backed with strong guitar strums and excellent percussion of the late 90s when grunge rock was at its peak. Along with the greats of Nirvana and Chris Cornell, was another great band called ‘Live’. Of all its songs, Live’s song ‘Lightning Crashes’ is one of the best songs that gives you happiness then sorrow and then happiness to conclude. Hear it at your convenience here.

 

 It also made me wonder what are the things that may qualify as an ‘expensive crash’ in the current situation, if it were to happen. Other than the utilities like electricity, water and now (convincingly true) internet, I also wondered what would make one useless even when these utilities are available.

After a lot of thinking and by application of ‘Method of Elimination’, my quest ended with ‘Laptop’.

I had concluded that laptop is the most expensive crash one can have in the current situation if it were to happen.

Following are the five reasons for this –

  1. You need laptop to do something meaningful and productive – for office or otherwise.
  2. Its your excuse to hide away from other household work.
  3. While staring at it, you can still seem busy.
  4. It opens up new world of learning – even if you are not executing it, but even if you are exploring it.
  5. Its your buddy in this time of isolation.

Just as these thoughts were passing through my mind, I decided to move to a different location in my office (basically from my home office table to the bed) with my favorite laptop (a Dell 7280) in my hand.

And as I placed it on my lap, my dear buddy went dead.

Just like that, it stopped responding… nothing. It stopped detecting the power cable as well. The power button was also gone.

In soccer we call this as sudden death. The play goes on till either team gives up and concedes a goal. In my case it was the quest between the man and the machine. The machine gave up.

I have to admit. At that moment I had the strangest feeling that I could have ever got. Suddenly thoughts of wastefulness, helplessness, sorrow, irritation, repentance (for changing my work location in my house), confusion,  disappointment and tension of not meeting my commitments for the day crossed my mind. Surprisingly, an equal opposing current of joy, liberty, playfulness, relaxation, ability to make valid excuses, vacationing, relief and ‘no worries’ rushed through my brain.

A combination of these feelings made me light, really light in head but heavy at heart. I felt that there was a loss in my family but at the same time I felt unshackled.

Within 30 seconds of this mental interplay of opposing feelings, I recovered to the present tense. I quickly reached out to our office help desk. Still in early hours of the day, they just gave me an automated reply saying that they will get back.

I swung into action and pulled out my stone age personal laptop to carry with the day.

In the next hour or so, I was back on the saddle with my personal laptop but only 50% productive for several reasons, primary being lack of familiarity with my personal machine after years of its ignorance.

Anyway, my employer’s IT support staff were very swift in their process. In less than 48 hours of this episode,  I had a spare machine with me. It not as great as my original allotted machine but it does 90% of the job smoothly. So no regrets.

My Salute, Saludo and Saluto to our support staff from IT to admin who made this arrangement in record time. I have great respect for their contribution.

This episode surprisingly times with the announcement from some IT service providers that they would shrink their office working staff to 25% in next few years and bring more ‘Work from home’ policies.

I also started thinking of the factors that one would need to consider to make this model work –

  • Connectivity to main hubs – Rural and semi-rural areas will pose a greater challenge in shipping and installing the devices required for one’s productive work
  • The old school of thought believes in reading access card logs to identify the attendance of the employee. This would need to change to a new set of metrics.
  • There are some managers who take pride in their ‘aisle walks’. They need to change their ways of working.
  • Problem solving would need to be more technology based than close interaction based.
  • How would field forces operate in such scenarios?

Its a deeper subject than the scope of this blog. However, a well-thought through process and system would make this new way of working a reality. This is here to stay. The virus though should go away.

What are your thoughts on this?

Day 30 – 30 Things in 30 Days – #Lockdown #COVID-19

Brown Cave Great Outdoors Month Facebook PostWhile we wait for the situation to normalize after the extended lock down due to the COVID-19 situation, we recently completed the 30 days of quarantine.

If nothing else, everyone went through a life changing experience in ways of working or in the ways of connecting with people.

The following are the 30 things that I have experienced or mulled over in the last 30 days of the lock down.

Some of these could be a repeat from a similar earlier post for 7 days or so. However, it is still worth enlisting the current thirty we have.

  1. Freedom to move is a big freedom. We should preserve it without taking it for granted to be with us always.
  2. Man made problems are closer than we think they are.
  3. Technology cannot solve all our problems but can definitely make it easier for us to live with it.
  4. There is no substitute to good home made food.
  5. More time with family is the best stress buster one can have in their lives.
  6. Internet is definitely an essential utility and we should perhaps have a ‘Right to internet’.
  7. An essential service that is not counted as one is barbershops and saloons. Well-being requires good hair cut and well-being of hair as well.
  8. Content on Netflix is the best if you are interested in international content and not just local language/national programs.
  9. One should try something new. I am experimenting with multiple things at the same time. Succeeding in few and failing in some.
  10. You should learn the side effects of performance hacks that you try or they can be counter productive. One must take proper precaution before trying them as well.
  11. I tried the performance hack of increasing your grey cells by taking shower in ice cold water. As I didnt put a warm jacket after the shower, I fell sick with fever for two days. So read the fine print, surrounding notes and foot notes properly before trying anything new.
  12. One should definitely take up writing as an important part of their everyday life. it improves your control over your thinking significantly.
  13. The best first task of the day is to make your own bed when you wake up. It gives a huge feeling of accomplishment.
  14. Regular news channel have the potential to make your thoughts toxic.
  15. Whatsapp and FB are still full of filth and spoil your ability to think clearly.
  16. One can achieve a regular schedule with little effort.
  17. I took up Yoga and have been practicing it for last 15 days now. Its an excellent exercise to start your day.
  18. Breathing as I learned in Yoga helps in multiple ways such as regulating your blood flow, reducing stress, helping you calm your minds.
  19. Human needs are much simpler than what we usually exercise. We survived without a mall visit for the last 35 days. Isnt that strange?
  20. Technology detox is required and essential. Best way is to take breaks in between your work to ensure that you are in your best performing shape.
  21. Participating in household work is a great foundation for team play.
  22. Mankind is far off from preserving itself from itself. A whole lot of inventions are required to achieve a state of steady preservation.
  23. Many people dont understand that risk taking works both ways, as was seen with recent six scheme bust of Franklin Templeton.
  24. Indian startups are yet to come to main stage with essential inventions. Fact that still most of the users hook up to tools like Zoom etc for conferencing shows the lack of local innovation in large countries like India.
  25. We should have many new chefs by the end of the lock down. So there could be a glut in the market of household cooks for hire.
  26. Majority of world population does not know what their priorities. In advanced countries like US people are protesting in name of freedom while in lesser advanced countries like India, people are crowding in some places to grab essentials for their survival.
  27. Virtual communication is here to stay and will change the way we operate in the world.
  28. The obvious impact of 27 should come on commercial real estate. So, one should stay away from it.
  29. Social interaction is a definite grease one requires to smoothly control their overall well-being.
  30. There is no better way than engaging in some fun activities with your families and kids. The video below is the proof of the same.