The Right to Paapdi

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Source – https://media.licdn.com

By Hardik Madani & Meher Legha

Imagine a world where you get all that you long for! And when it comes to desires, we know no bounds. I want this, I want that, I have this but still that’s better and I don’t have that. This draws me back to the time when I was preparing for my MBA entrances. I wanted a better percentile rank but at the same time I also wanted to end my under-graduation with nothing below an 8. When I try to reflect over this tendency of humans of keeping on asking for their never ending desires to be fulfilled, I can aptly say we are never content. That’s how we have become today, always wondering what life could have been if we had made it to that paymaster job or to that college. In fact, we can never be satiated since we have based all our accomplishments with respect to someone else’s. We are in the era of fierce competitions and comparisons. We are in the era where our intelligence is measured in terms of our stand in 90s percentile and anything less is regarded as a failed effort. We are in the era of relative grading. That’s the best metaphor I could come up with given the situation and time I am writing this, when all my textbooks are shouting to get rid of the dust they’ve collected on their covers during the last 3 months. Besides guts, courage and moral fibre, it takes a lot more to be out of the rat race – to be an outlier.

We have been making efforts like never before to get our internal evaluations revaluated because we somehow want those extra marks or we somehow couldn’t stand the fact our study buddy has performed better. For that matter, marketers always prove successful in hitting the bull’s eye. That yellow band of 20% extra, a catchy combo of a shampoo and a conditioner, adding an extra product in cart to reach the threshold of free shipping, those promo codes and wallet discounts while booking flights back to home and successfully availing them are kind of accomplishments for us. To be honest, many of us might have even gone to the extent of applying promo codes on already discounted products. That’s our right, isn’t it? When we pay cascading taxes, why can’t we avail cascading discounts also. Makes sense?

While rejoicing discounts, devouring the extra cheese at Dominoes (a rare deal though!) and celebrating those extra marks, we often tend to forget this concept called “deserving”. Do we really deserve what we desire? This is some major food for thought especially for our generation that seems to have everything handed to them on a silver platter. Academically, you are primed right through your childhood and provided with every possible extra facility you can think of to help you enhance your performance. From coaching classes, online courses, special ability groups in all metropolitan cities to tuitions at home at your doorstep – it is all tailor made to make an average student seem intellectually brighter. No wonder all this hard work, all this grit makes us subconsciously believe that we are entitled to every privilege, every ‘suvidha’ we so blatantly consume today.

For those who are inclined towards sports, there are training academies coming up by the turn of the road in every imaginable remote area possible. Coaches springing up to hungrily spot talent in a manner fiercer than that of Jerry Maguire in the movie itself. For the literary and artistic ones, there are opportunities by the month, or rather by the week, to showcase and display their talent at festivals, galleries and online competitions. Coming to the workforce that is employed and contributing to our GDP – the list of what all they think they are entitles to is endless to say the least. Whether they are proactive, innovative, believe in team work or are leaders is immaterial. The minute they walk in through that door with the company’s tag around their neck, they believe they are entitled to the free cups of coffee, the company guest rooms, the lavish boardrooms, the spacious office and the free branded stationery. All of these modern and with-the-times advances are excellent and productive because they are all factors that act as catalysts to bring out the best in and off the lot. To churn a diamond out of a block of coal. To cut, polish and refine a stone till it shines and achieves something worth being written about. The problem only arises once all these players start becoming complacent because of this false sense of achievement and entitlement. Think of every great leader and innovator in the world. From Einstein, Galileo, Shakespeare, Picasso, Gandhi to Obama, Indira Nooyi, Angela Merkel. Everything they’ve worked for, strived to accomplished did not possess the slightest bit of self-interest when you look at their journey holistically. Absolutely no sense of entitlement or complacency. They had grit, passion, patience and the strength to endure more than a man’s share of tough times. These are men and women who make history. They create what they think they deserve and work for a larger audience than just themselves. They never waited for a well-wisher to ring their doorbell and serve them their entitlements. They made well with what they had and then created an empire or a beautiful concept out of it. Because they were hungry. Hungry to bring about change. To disrupt the status quo. To solve problems that were brushed under the carpet.

As a country, we are a race that definitely believes in working hard. But the real question is whether we would still have it in us to create all that we have if the above-mentioned silver platter was missing. History is proof that that is exactly where the magic happens. When you start at ground zero, with absolutely no self-righteous or false sense of securities and entitlements. Maybe its time we disrupt our mentality and age old thinking of ‘This is MY share and I deserve it’ and move to instead ‘My share is what I worked extremely hard towards and tell me how I can help these ten other people deserve the same’.

14,100ft above the sea level!

By Viren Rajpara

4,300 meters above the sea level, located in the Kullu district of Himachal Pradesh, lies a lake named after a sage; Bhrigu. Legends has it that Bhrigu Rishi used to meditate alongside the lake and thus it is considered sacred. The lake never freezes completely even when the temperature goes into negative, arguably due to its sacredness.

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Well, to get a comprehensive view let me take you back to the summer of 2012. I was done with my class 12th and competitive examinations and was looking out for an adventurous trip to make up for all the hard work put together in the previous two years. The obvious destination was Kullu Manali for the snow filled Rohtang and the amazing expedition to Bhrigu. But unfortunately due to various constrains I could not make it happen.

But then came the summer of 2014. Wherein somewhere in the month of April my brother called me up and asked if I wanted to join him on his Trek camp to Manali. Though my final exams were just a month away, I accepted the offer. We had to depart in the next five days. As John Muir quoted: “The mountains are calling and I must go”

Well I will cut short the journey to Manali via train and buses, will skip the 4 degree sizzling cold water story of the Jogini falls and take you directly to the breathtaking experience of the Bhrigu lake. I was selected for the 14-member team out of a batch of 61 to trek 2,300 meters up the steep mountains. So initially we were taken to the upper camp from where we were to start our Bhrigu expedition. It was 4 in the morning, shoes on, loads of sunscreen, jacket and glares on, we started our expedition and left the camp at around 6 after having breakfast with tea/coffee. The first 1 hour was rough terrain with streams all along. Well that is the best part of the mountains, no need of purified water. Thirsty? Just drink the water flowing down the streams and it will taste better than any purified water you had. So after 1-hour of trek through rocks and streams, we finally reached the base of the snow covered mountains. Initially there was hard ice which tested all our energy and in each and every step we had to literally hard hit our shoes into the ice to ensure we don’t slip off. But none of us new that was just a trailer to what we were to explore ahead of us.

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After struggling through the hard ice for almost 1 hour we finally took a rest and cooked ourselves Maggie. After exhausting all the Maggie we had, we set out on what was going to be the best part of our lives. The snow was no longer hard iced and our legs were buried upto the knees in the soft snow. No prior mountaineering experience, no professional tools, all we had was the determination to make it to the top. Up the steep slopes we went, some broke their shoe soles, others their self-confidence. The 14-member team reduced to a 10. Some gave up easily, while others cried out but still kept moving.

So while on our way up, we only encountered 3 rocks amidst the never ending snow wherein we could rest. It was 11 and we had our lunch at the second rock that we encountered. But there comes a twist; no more food left, no more water to drink. Not only that, we also exhausted our ‘Alpenliebe’ supply which used to keep us hydrated and still there was a 2-hour journey ahead of us to make it to the Bhrigu lake. But that’s when we were told by our guide that we can still survive eating snow. Well, who wouldn’t like that. It was just like eating an ice dish without flavors for free.

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So we continued up the slope, moving zigzag up the mountain to save us from the steepness. At around 1 we finally reached the final checkpoint where we could rest. Bhrigu lake was now only a few steps far. We rested for few minutes and finally set for the Bhrigu lake.

Upon reaching the lake, we found that it was snow covered, but not frozen. We were supposed to have a bath in the freezing water lake, but due to time constrains and weather conditions we were not allowed to do so. We had plenty of photos clicked, shared hugs for successfully making it up the mountain, hoisted our flag and what not.

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But the story doesn’t end here, the even more amazing part was the way down. I had literally lost an inch or more of my waist on our way up. The jeans that was fit, now seemed to be loose. While it took us 7 hours up the mountain, the downward journey was only 2 hours long. We just had to freely release ourselves in the snow and slide down the mountain, it was no less than a roller coaster-ride. We had snow filled in our pockets, jacket, shoes, pants. But everything was worth suffering for. We were finally back to our camp at around 5 in the evening. I won the Best Camper Award for my perseverance.

The journey doesn’t get over yet. It was not only about reaching the top or getting the award. It was more about exploring your inner potential. With broken soles and tired souls, each step forward was like jumping over a hurdle. You may want to quit with every step you take ahead. But we had the greed to make it to the top even if we had to sacrifice our heart and soul. It is not about the altitude, it’s all about the attitude. It was solely the will power to not give up and make it to the top, that kept us moving rather than the energy generated merely by metabolism. The expedition changed my outlook towards life and made me realize the potential I held within. It is rightly said, and now I believe that there is no power stronger than Nature itself.

The all new iPhone 7!

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Source – http://static1.businessinsider.com/image/57d0691cb996eb94008b66f6-1200/the-iphone-7-comes-in-five-colors-rose-gold-gold-silver-and-two-shades-of-black.jpg

By Raghu Prashanth

Say hello to the new iPhone 7 – with loads of cool new features and design upgrades minus the headphone jack. That’s right folks. On one hand, it has a superior performance with a better camera but on the other hand no port to plug your headphones into. Moreover, if you look closely, it looks remarkably similar to the iPhone 6.

The iPhone 7, like all the other iPhones previously, has been released with the usual three configurations: The 32GB model, the 128GB model and the top-of-range 256 GB model. Now let’s have a look at the features of the latest iPhone.

Distinctive Features:

  • No headphone jack
  • Water resistant
  • Dual Speakers

The new iPhone doesn’t really have anything new to offer in terms of looks or design. It is quite similar to the iPhone 6 model. However, there is a huge change when it comes to the headphone jack. The primary theory as to why Apple implemented this change is to promote their new air pods and apparently to move on from the ‘ancient’ port. You must be wondering how are you ever going to use your new headphones on your new iPhone 7 if it doesn’t even have a port. Well, worry not people. The new iPhone 7 comes equipped with an external Lightning to 3.5mm jack headphone which would help ease the transition.

Secondly, the new iPhone is also water resistant. Note that the phone is water resistant, not water-proof. The iPhone is equipped with the IP67 protection (Ingress Protection) which gives the phone dust and water resistance.  iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus are splash, water, and dust resistant and were tested under controlled laboratory conditions with a rating of IP67 under IEC standard 60529. Splash, water, and dust resistance are not permanent conditions and resistance might decrease as a result of normal wear. But while they may be water-resistant, they aren’t water-proof, so you can’t expect your smartphone to work after you’ve dived head-first into the nearest body of open water with your iPhone 7 in hand.

So all you have to do is

  1. Not go scuba diving with your new iPhone
  2. No venturing into salt water
  3. Don’t drop it into the toilet.

Sounds easy enough right?

Finally, the camera. The new iPhone 7 has better low light performance, improved color aperture and 4-color LED flash. What does all that mean? It means that the features are just marginally better than the iPhone configuration. The big change here is the improved color reproduction – the picture looks OK in the first look, but it didn’t seem anything startlingly better. Perhaps the monochrome demo area wasn’t the best place to try it out, but it seemed that it could be a little brighter.  The front-facing camera has been boosted to 7MP, with some of the light-enhancing smarts from last year’s iPhone 6S rear camera too, to enhance the ability to take selfies.

Well there you have it folks!! The all new iPhone 7 with almost the same old configuration (if not marginally improved) and no headphone jack.

Greed is Good

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Source: http://www.warrenphotographic.co.uk/photography/bigs/36455-Young-Grey-Squirrel-with-pyramid-of-hazel-nuts-white-background.jpg

By Siddharth Shah

Shaifali was sitting on her seat working on an issue which was just reported, while being simultaneously engaged in assuring a client of quick resolution of a problem over the phone and reporting the progress made at the same time.

Her manager texted her on company’s official instant messenger that she should meet him in Meeting Room no. 4 as soon as she is free.

Shafali knew the agenda of the meeting, in fact, she was waiting for this meeting to happen.

It was a performance review meeting.

She was a fresher, passed out of college one year ago and hired by a multinational company for a job profile which suited boys more than the girls according to the manager himself.

In fact, her team lead publicly declared a few days after her joining that their Manager basically was against hiring girls in the team.

He had to bypass the manger by going to his Second line manager, and only after convincing him that a good gender diversity ratio is good for the environment in the team and the company, was he allowed to hire 4 girls out of 9 fresh recruits in an unprecedented expansion of team.

The Team Lead and the Manager were obviously at odds with each other over multiple issues and their politics had really spoiled the environment of the team with many people supporting one over the other.

Shafali was one of the few who managed to retain a respectable amount of neutrality and was in good books of both.

She had worked hard, she had to, after all she had lots of responsibilities, her graduation loan was still partially pending, her father was retiring in another year, and two of her younger siblings were still studying.

She wanted to help her family, and it was only possible by earning more. Earning more money was a necessity, call it greed or call it need.

She went to the Meeting Room once she was done with the issue.

There her manger showered praises on her for her performance throughout the year. He went further to say that she was one of the best employees he ever had and told her to continue the good work.

She was happy post the review meeting. Her colleagues, all of them, had a review where they were told to improve upon certain factors. In her case there was no such feedback. Even her colleagues were convinced that her promotion and increment was a sure thing long before performance review happened.

However, when her increment happened it was a meager one.

She was surprised to see that two other people got the same level of increment in the team as her, and both of them were criticized for not being as hard working as her.

She was puzzled. She discussed it with her father, her friends outside work and after a lot of discussions she decided to talk to her manager.

She mailed her manager, requesting a one to one discussion for which he agreed.

In the meeting, she went forward with the line that she wanted a promotion and a big increment, she even quoted a figure, and this time she wanted to know beforehand if her performance is not up to the mark and the reasons getting in the way of her promotion.

Her manager was surprised by her new attitude, but agreed to her demands.

Within a few days, gossip spread around about her chat with her manager and everyone was surprised to hear about her demanding attitude.

Some people termed her greedy and some disagreed with her way of negotiation.

She remained brazen and ignorant to all of it.

Fast forward one year later.

Once again the performance review came up and once again she had a meeting with her manager.

She had many meetings with him in the past few months and each and every time he had a new bunch of demands about taking more responsibilities and doing more.

She came through every time never forgetting to remind the manager about delivering on his part by giving her a decent increment.

This time there was no nervousness, she had met him just one week ago about yet another demand of taking more responsibility and doing more; which she did.

Once again she was showered with praises, once again she was told to keep up the good work. But this time she got the increment which she asked for.

People talked about her behind her back, calling her a greedy girl.

She worked hard, she demanded the amount of compensation which she believed was her right, and she got it because she deserved it and she earned it.

Was she really a greedy girl?

If yes, then is greed such a bad thing?

More for less

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Source- http://www.qualityconnectionssw.com/Assets/moreforless.png

By Tanay Singh

Greed, like most diseases lies within us. Understanding greed, one needs to bring it down to the atomic level. One must see the nitty-gritty of the entire world of philosophy. There are different things we want. From God and ourselves. Here comes the table turner, we expect more from the one above us rather than what is inside us. God hasn’t had to deal with so many expectations and they keep on growing exponentially. Our delusional sense of being the higher beings has left us demanding more. Our governments have given us the right to free will and freedom of speech. For the rest of the things – we claimed our right on them anyway.

Do we always demand more, much more than we actually can have or even deserve? An honest answer would be: materially yes, morally no. Therein lies the paradox. There is much to celebrate. We now have, as average Indians, doubled real incomes and doubled what money buys. We own twice as many cars per person, eat out two and a half times as often, and pay less than ever before (in real rupees and minutes worked) for our cars, air travel, and hamburgers. We have espresso coffee, the World Wide Web, sport utility vehicles, and caller ID. Democracy is thriving. Military budgets are shrinking. Joblessness and welfare rolls have subsided. Inflation is down. The annual national deficit has become smaller and keeps on shrinking every hour of every day. The rights of women and various minorities are better protected than ever before. New drugs are shrinking our tumours, lengthening our lives, and enlarging our sexual potency. But what have we done to deserve all this? Of course we have worked hard, the sweat of our brows, we wear as crown, our witness. We pay our taxes on time, give a better lifestyle to our children and do well, be better human beings.

But there are those anomalies, the ones who dirty the streets because they feel it gives employment to sweepers. Some kill people because they feel there will be more food in the world. And many steal because they just want more. Greed, fundamentally is a driver. It is our morality and conscience which ploughs the way. We buy more when there is a sale, pick up items which are samples and eat as much as they possibly can in a buffet. When people pray, it is a selfish act, albeit morally sound. People do not just want to pray for peace of mind, but to connect to a higher being. The selfish reason being, to ask for more! It’s not an easy task close your eyes and fold your hands. Behind the veil of deeper things that lie within, lies an effort to make a complete list of all your hopes and aspirations which people are too lazy to accomplish themselves. They go to the extent of asking for the output, the final result and not assistance. The blind wants to see again, the deaf want to hear symphonies and the mute want to say their stories out loud. Maybe it is time to pass some good wishes to other people. You have the right to something more, but maybe it’s time to share the pappadi.

The Official Newsletter of SIBM Bengaluru