Showing posts from June, 2008

Day 12: End of Another Week

This is the end of another working week - the second as I am counting from the submission of my visa application - and though I haven't achieved any major milestone in the last few days, I end this week feeling far more content and in control than I was last Friday. There are several reasons for this, but the biggest one surely is that I could instill a bit of discipline in life. I start travelling starting next Monday, but I have to watch out and not lose control again. The next week is sure going to be rough, as I am mostly staying away, with limited access to Internet, and attending so many meetings. However, considering that I haven't travelled since the 7th of May - OK , wrong, haven't travelled for work since then - this is going to be a bit of a break and return of normalcy. Today there is also the big birthday party for Nelson Mandela in the Hyde Park, which I spent time watching. Mandela was late, but when you are 90, no one minds if you come to your birthday party

Day 11

I did write something wrong on my previous day's diary, and I must start with a correction. I said that most of the legislation labour government passes excludes themselves - the public sector, by implication - and cited as example how on one hand, government is legislating against age discrimination but on the other, has a clearly ageist immigration policy. The correction is that the latest Equality legislation are indeed focused on the public sector, where the gender gap and ageism is very common, and it has been indicated that these legislation will be expanded in future to cover the private sector as well. So, I was not exactly correct in saying that labour government always excludes itself from its good-intent governance. However, my point about the immigration policy will still stand. Britain has a fairly muddled immigration system. All the people like me, who wanted to come and settle in Britain because of cultural familiarity, has suffered from inconsistent policy and ve

Day 10

I had an unexpectedly good day as work is building up again. I started early in the morning - and this is always helpful as I consider myself a 'morning person' - and got some work done. My day was good as I could intervene and part-solve a crisis, read books, and even our accountant told me that I should not consider there is a closed door and if I need money, I should indeed turn to him. I couldn't expect more surely. One issue resurfaced again. This whole thing about long term/short term thinking. I would think this is a bane of modern society - the inevitable drift towards short-term thinking. It is not about people, really. It is about how things are structured. Professional Management, Democratic Politicians, Public Listed Companies - by their very nature are biased towards short-term thinking. I am not saying that this is necessarily bad - politicians should not start thinking Long Term like Robert Mugabe, surely. And, also, quite obviously, there is no set rule for

Day 9

I guess I am somewhat superstitious in many ways. It is tradition mixed in my mind with habit. There is this old Bengali saying about Tuesday being a good day to start things. This is ingrained in my mind, and however much I try to appear rational, I invariably tend to start things on Tuesday. This is something I shall surely never admit - but there is no point denying that I do think this way. It may not be exactly superstition - as I don't mean to say that I don't do anything on other days of the week - but some sort of prefernce and habit that I live with. In that sense, my week tends to be a Tuesday-Monday week. Today was a fairly eventful day. There are a number of social relationships that I had to work on. This is interesting, as I am otherwise not very social. But, somehow, I did work on a number of these relationships today and had to do something about it. I also realized that I am wasting an undue amount of time on chat - something very tempting in the always-on worl

Day 8: The Monday

Here I am, in the second week, and as I reviewed my last week, I thought with satusfaction that I have achieved many things that I needed to, cleared many pending to-dos, and feeling a bit satisfied that I feel in control of my life. How much of that is due to this focus strategy, and how much is due to the simple fact that I am not travelling now and hence have more time and more predictable life style, it is difficult to tell. But, indeed, travel is surely life-wrecking, specially when one is trying to adjust to a new culture, give time to family, study a new subject and keep fit at the same time. I know my respite is only short-lived, and soon, come September, I am due to travel quite a bit. So, I am trying to make the best out of what I have - the next 90 odd days to fix my life! There are quite a number of issues I need to address within this period of sanity. First, where am I going to stay. This is not about going to Northern Ireland or not, which, I am now convinced, that I nee

Day 6 & 7 : The Weekend Really!

I am sure I can be forgiven to combine the last two days together. Diaries almost always do it, governments do it too; combine that with the fact that I did not do anything much, it looks perfectly justifiable. This has been a weekend in a long time when I was relaxed, did not have to work and did do things which people should ideally do in the weekend - cleaned the car, shopped, bought books, watched movies. Though I have just now turned down an invitation from a friend to go play Tennis in the Park to write this blog, this has been a near-perfect weekend. Also, importantly, I restored some of my reading habits. Started reading a long-overdue 'State of Denial' by Bob Woodward. I have read his Bush at War and Plan of Attack earlier, and did decide to go ahead with this 500+ page tome. That says a lot about his writing. As one reads, one may wonder - how does this guy know so much - and feel as if the author was sitting right there with Bandar Sultan, Don Rumsfeld, Dick Cheney a

Day 5

I behaved as if today was Friday, and thank god it was. I almost got used to this British habit of switching to weekend mode at 2pm on Friday. This is curious considering that I have to work most of Saturdays and Sundays as well. Of course I forget - I am possibly looking at a slightly relaxed Sunday because from now on, day to day operations in our Dubai office is being looked after by our Recruitment Director. I am still involved in business planning and new business development, but she is the one our Dubai representative is supposed to call if she needs anything urgently. That will allow me to relax on Sundays, for the time being, at least. So I switched off today and did not do much. But I dont really feel guilty. So far, this has been a good week, work-wise. I managed to achieve certain key things, and covered ground on a few critical issues. Managed to get a job offer and refuse it. Thought about certain specific career goals and as that crystalizes in my mind, hopefully I shoul

Day 4

I am writing this post at 6:30pm. That by itself is an admission that I haven't done much today so far, despite the frenzy my morning started with. I have seen this - frenzied mornings for me do not work - and I eventually don't get anything done through the day. The days when I can take a few minutes to write down what I want to achieve always work better. This is possibly a psychological thing, but then I can't possibly escape that. I am possibly being a bit harsh with myself saying that I haven't done anything. I spent hours on phone, selling, sorting out issues etc. Had written different emails, answering those which were lying in my inbox for a while. Well, the whole idea of this 100 day project was to practise focus - on things that I must do - and I was supposed to work on the web content and design of the new training business website today. While I did review bits and pieces, and spoken to Partho , who is putting it together, I haven't done much of substanc

Day 3

Two posts in a day should count as work, shouldn't it? That's what my 100 day agenda is doing to me. I am trying to keep as many commitments to myself as possible. But bad habits are really really hard to scrub off, so I had to struggle for most of it. However, I guess I am getting there. I was sluggish and tired the whole of today. I guess yesterday's efforts got me. I always prided myself being a hard worker when I worked. But I am sure this is age - I am almost old now, though I want to deny it as much as I can - and I do feel this when I am off-routine. I indeed am off-routine. I am sure I have sleep deprivation to start with. But also long hours of working in front of the computer is getting me. I had a terrible headache most of today - which led me to drink coffee, something I rarely ever do. I am a tea-man, out and out, and pride myself of my colonial heritage. But today, my mild colonial self was not enough to overcome the tiredness from yesterday, so I had to inje

Day 2

That was yesterday. Already I missed one commitment - writing the diary every day. I have an excuse - I did write a lot yesterday. The story was not very dissimilar from that of rest of my life. I took up a Masters course in Marketing Management in the midst of all the chaos around me. Lot of people told me I was very brave; but I guess the real reason was that I did not think. However, I run into expected trouble with coursework, which was due yesterday. A case study on a Dutch Kitchen Manufacturing chain - Bruzyneel Keukens - and I was supposed to give them suggestions on the factors they should consider while designing a new supply chain in view of their growing retail operation. I knew my colleagues in the class were working on this for a long time. They did loads of studies on supply chain. I did take out books on supply chain from the library, read the table of contents, and kept them for an appropriate day when I can really read them and write an excellent piece of coursework. O

Day 1

I had a rather terrible start of my 100 day project - my alarm clock died! Well, I set it up for 6am, and managed to get up only at 7:30, so by the time I came to rescue it, the poor Chinese free-giveaway clock was at its last gasp. Then I opened my mailbox and was presented with my last month's mobile bill. I usually clock about £20 a month, but this time, it would be £102, all because of an inadvertent call to my sister spanning 50 minutes on my birthday, which cost me £80 by itself. The sad fact is that I never made that call; it was my mobile phone inside my bag, with an unlocked keypad, which decided to dial the number. After this fairly tragic start, I set out to do an agenda for the day. This is something which always helped me - listing out all the things I want to do and wish to do. I learnt a lot of this from my former supervisor at NIIT , who made endless lists for almost everything she handled, and amazingly, followed all the lists and mostly achieved everything she p

Next 100 Days

I have been writing this blog for last three years, and this has been the place to come to when I felt like writing. I have never taken it seriously [despite proclaiming to do so], but posted endless essays on complex subjects with a 'know-all' pretension, which I seldom display in real life. I suspect this is my hidden desire to be seen as a learned man that made me write, though in person, I am too painfully aware of my shortcomings and hence, more often than not, I keep my mouth shut. I must admit there was another reason behand starting to write this blog. Then, I just read Julia Margaret Cameron's 'Artists' Way' and wanted to follow her trechniques to 'unblock' the writer in me. Well, yes, that's a clear admission of pretension, but I did believe [and still do] is that I can make the million dollars I want to make by writing. You may call this delusional, but I reached this conclusion from the other end of reasoning. I realized that I am hopeles

Duke of Edinburgh - A tribute on his 87th Birthday

Yes, to Prince Phillip, a tribute is due on his 87th birthday. A representative of a generation living in an empire in their imagination. Read some of his famous observations here:

How Hillary Lost It

Clinton for Veep? What's in it for me? American Presidents do tend to think that they rule the world, and the world thinks that they are entitled to an opinion how Americans should choose their president. On a more serious note, everyone in the world seems to get affected by the choice of American President, and therefore the interest is real and practical. So, I should have a say in who Obama, now that he is the Democratic candidate, chooses as his running mate. There has been a lot of speculation on Hillary Clinton, and Mrs. Clinton herself has positioned her candidature. She said she was open to the idea and have not conceded yet, apparently a gesture to be in the race. There was a talk about the Dream Ticket - Obama-Clinton Ticket - for a long time now, and people tend to believe that this will make a great combination and unite the democratic party, which stands bitterly divided. Obama himself has pronounced that Mrs. Clinton will have a role to play in his administration. Dem

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