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Universal Truth. Complacency Kills.

USA, one of the most advanced nation of the world. One of the proofs of their advancement(by no means one of their greatest), they have cars, that when locked, will automatically turn off the headligths just in case you forgot to turn them off. But, what if your generation next starts taking features like this for granted. Instead of thinking of them as back up plans, they start using such features as if they were meant to be used day in and day out. I mean, they do have a point, if its something the car does for you why not just make use of it. Valid point, but, I think that there is more to that than meets the eye.

I would say, it makes owners of such cars dumber, maybe just a wee bit dumber, but it definitely does do that. How?? Simple. They just don’t want to burden their already highly underutilized brains. Why tax the brain to remember turning off the lights when the car is going to do it for you. Valid argument, But, what if someday the car malfunctions and forgets to turn of the lights all night long? I know, I know, a new battery does not cost an awful lot. But the gradual mental retardation could cost an awful lot.

The point is, generation next’s quest to find ways to make less use of their brain is something no country can afford and more so a nation that has done so well for itself so far.

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Universal Truth. Complacency Kills. by Pratik Mehta is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.
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Pot Bellied Policies

Has anyone noticed the pot bellyed Indian cops. Even if some magical spell were to turn them to honest souls overnight, they would still be good for nothing, because, 9 out of 10 them are not in shape, enough to chase a rogue for more than half a mile if they had to. I am willing to bet a zillion dollars on that. So, the cops are pot bellyed, fat ass, good for nothing jerks.

Let’s forget the cops for a bit. What if you were strolling down the downtown streets window shopping with your dearly beloved and some jerk were to snatch your beloved’s purse off her hand. Do you think you would be able chase the thug long enough to wear him down, hand him over to the cops, recover the purse and save the day. In all honesty, I don’t think so.

Do I need to take this lesson of the day any further?

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Missed Opportunity

SpiceJet – That is the name of the new low-fare airlines that is all set to take wings this month.

In order to rake in the moolah the airlines announced a never before fare of Rs. 99 for the early birds. Boy was it a smash hit. 35000 tickets sold within 12 hrs. Worth being on the Ripley’s

Believe It or Not! show, What say you?

The lessons to be learnt:

On the corporate front:

Be Innovative and use the media to brandish yourself. Its not about showing off. Its about sound business strategy. Think about it. The special fare of Rs. 99 is restricted to 20 seats per flight and is available only for the first three months. At a time when existing competition is steep and there are other players with you at the start line, I say, its a smart way of getting ahead. Atleast you have got 35,000 heads, who frequent the skies, hooked on to you in a single day, or atleast willing to give you a shot. Now that is some number considering that we are talking of a country where air travel is still considered a luxury of sorts.

On the personal front:

Although I had read about the special offer in the morning paper and had a fair chance to get my hands on the tickets, I blew it, because, I was slow. It did not strike me that I was looking at something that would sell faster than hot cakes. By noon, I thought of getting a couple of tickets and take my wife for a joy ride in the air. But I assumed that I was one of the few smart guys who knew about it and could safely wait till the time I get home in the evening and then call up my travel agent. I was so complacent that I did not figure that web-based booking would be available and that I should act on it. I underestimated others and overestimated myself. A typical human folly. Like the wise man said, those who don’t remember their mistakes are condemned to repeat them. Lesson learnt, complacency hurts and so does over-confidence.

Ciao.

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Missed Opportunity by Pratik Mehta is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.
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Experience Does Matter!

Yesterday evening I walked into a shop to buy a pair of shoes. At the door a middle aged salesman greeted me with a warm smile, it was as if in that very instance, having looked at me just once, he knew that I was not just there to window shop and that I was going to buy one of the most expensive pair of shoes that he had to offer.

Just one look… and he knew… Impressive…

I know that experience is a very good teacher but does everybody learn the lessons equally well? Am I learning my lessons well? Are you…?

Chao.

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Stupid is what Stupid Does!

I am a bank representative responsible for soliciting business for the investment banking division.

I get lucky and a potential inquiry gets converted to tangible business. I fulfill the one off requirement but don’t see the underlying potential and give my new client a cold shoulder (unknowingly ofcourse). The client decides to pardon my could shoulder and give me some more business. Now the total business generated so far is big enough even for the dumbest man on earth to notice it. But I take things for granted and see no need to change my style of handling the client.

The result, I lose out on 3 times the business I did get initially, that too in a time span of just two months. (of which, obviously, I am not aware of, why else do you think they call me STUPID)

As for the icing on the cake, the frustrated client calls me up one last time to ask for the last set of documents that I have left with me. My phone is busy and I don’t even bother to call back on the number that was calling – why, you ask? Well, I hadn’t even stored the client’s number, how in the world was I supposed to know it was him.

So folks, STUPID is what STUPID does and today I have proved it.

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Lessons from my car

I believe, if you pay enough attention, life will not waste even a single second to teach you something new, something exciting. I guess that is what life is all about. Learning.

This weekend my car taught me a valuable lesson in life.

Friday night, my car key broke off while I was trying to open the trunk. I know, its weird, but believe me, it did happen. Half of it in my hand the other half, cmon use your imagination. Ofcourse, in the keyhole of the trunk. I panicked. My first thoughts, “My wife is going to kill me”. No really, I mean it, that was the first thought that crossed my mind.

Although, I guess its a very normal reaction that any married man would have, this time it was special, because, just a couple of days back my wife had asked me to get an extra key done and I had put off doing that till the weekend.

I’d let you be the judge of what you think is more scary, the only key to your car in two pieces or your wife who is mad at you because had you listened to her in the first place, there would have been no problem in the first place.

So, here I was, in a foreign land, with the only key to my only car broken into two pieces and my wife cursing me for not listening to her. Eventually, when I did come to terms with the situation, I realized that back in India I had never heard of anyone who could make a duplicate key out two broken pieces of the original key. That thought made my feet wobble.

How was I ever going to get my car started up again. I don’t know how, but when I did gather back my senses I did call up the guy who I knew was my only hope. I had never in the wildest stretch of my imagination thought about the solution he had to offer. He asked me to go the authorized dealer alongwith my car’s Vehicle Identification Number and some kind of proof that the car did really belong to me. The next morning that is the first thing I did and

Poof!! Before I knew it I had a set of new keys in my hand. I could not believe it. It was amazing. For a moment, what I had thought was a total disaster, got resolved in a giffy.

The lesson I learnt:

Fear is nothing but imagination gone berserk. I mean, everytime something goes wrong I start imagining about the worst possible consequences. I mean cmon, its not that if I broke or lost the only key to my car, that I might never be able to put my car to use again. I know, at hindsight, its sound utterly stupid but the thought did cross my mind and lets be honest, when fear gets the best of us there is no limiting the devil inside us, the devil is that is nothing but just us not willing to put our thoughts straight. Most of us, most of the times, fear and worry about things that might not happen. And more often that not, they never do.

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Lessons from my car by Pratik Mehta is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.
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Sardars

They are one community I really admire. Why, you ask?

Go see the movie – ‘Jo Bole So Nihaal’. From an entertainment point of view, its just ok, but to my mind it really does portray WHO and WHAT ‘The Sardars’ really are. Most people would argue, its an exaggeration of their naiveness, well, all I have to say to that crowd is, Think It Over!

The most common of jokes revolve around ‘The Sardar’. Yes, its very easy to fool a Sardar, agreed. But, did you ever ask yourself as to why is it so easy? Is it because they are stupid or is it because you are the despicable bum who is taking unfair advantage of their naiveness and sheer benevolence.

They flood the Indian army, they plough the crop that most of India lives by, One of them is responsible for most of the economic prosperity that India is rollicking in. I can go on and on.
They are brave, hard-working, humble, benevolent, God-fearing souls.

I am not saying that they dont have their shortcomings. They do and so do all of us. But, I think its time they got valued as ‘The Gems’ that they are. Its time, that all of us learnt a few things for them. I am sure, if nothing else, it would make a happier us.

Think!!

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3-week rule

It really does work – The three week rule!

As a child I read somewhere that the humans take roughly three weeks to get ‘used to’ things.

e.g. I recently moved to the U.S. for a long-term(1 or 2 years) assignment. Initially I felt like any other red-blooded Indian. I want to go home. I am getting the hell out of here as soon as possible. But, then on the 24th day of my stay, something changed. In a moment, I was like, this place is not so bad. I think I will be able to manage a year or two here and it’s going to be child’s play. From that second on everything seemed so different, so nice, so wonderful. Then I said to myself, the 3 week thing really does work.

I have seen many other instances of this rule in my life as well as those of others. As for any other rule, there are exceptions to this one too. But, then it does work.

Doesn’t it?

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Appreciate It!

Most of us don’t have the time to say our prayers more than once a week. Very few of us manage to spare the few extra moments to say our prayers during a 24hr period. Even fewer deem it necessary to thank God for the food that we eat.

We are at a point in time, when each one of us is busier than the rest of the world. Busy doing what? I wonder if there is even a single living soul who has an answer to that. I don’t. Anyways, since we are so busy doing SOMETHING or should I say doing NOTHING, we do start taking a lot of things for granted. The air we breathe, the water we drink, the food we eat and millions of other things that God showers upon us day after day forgiving our idiosyncrasy.

Guess what folks, I have some great news. God is OK with us not showing him the gratidute that we should be. He is OK because He is the Supreme being, he is Perfect. But, all the other humans you and I are surrounded by are not. We start taking the ones we love for granted. The lady of the house cooks two meals a day out of love and affection for her family, not because its her duty. The grandparents babysit the children not because its their duty, but because they love their children and even more so their grandchildren. Hardly EVER or should I say NEVER, do we find time to say or do something that would make the ones we love feel that what they are doing for us means the World to us. NEVER.

Ask yourself this, when is the last time you said or did something as simple as a hearfelt Thank You!

I say, NOW would be a good time to start.

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Appreciate It by Pratik Mehta is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.
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Life in the fast Lane

Recently I came across the following fact in an article on discover.com:

“More people commit suicide in New York City than are murdered.”

The instant I read that, I said to myself, “So much for life in the fast lane”. I have always struggled to understand what that phrase means. “Fast lane” towards where? I even dared to ask out loud the same question to some of the super achievers that I have had the fortune of interacting with. The unequivocal reponse that I got was, “Towards fame and fortune”. If I were to answer that question, I would say, “Towards stress, ill-health and misery.”

Don’t get me wrong. I am not the guy who drives at 40mph on a 6-lane freeway. I just don’t see the point of trying to go at 100 mph all the time when you very well know that the odds of you making it are one in a gazillion.

Riding in the fast late for a while is a smart thing. Living in the fast lane is foolish. But hey, that’s just what I think.Recently I came across the following fact in an article on discover.com:

“More people commit suicide in New York City than are murdered.”

The instant I read that, I said to myself, “So much for life in the fast lane”. I have always struggled to understand what that phrase means. “Fast lane” towards where? I even dared to ask out loud the same question to some of the super achievers that I have had the fortune of interacting with. The unequivocal reponse that I got was, “Towards fame and fortune”. If I were to answer that question, I would say, “Towards stress, ill-health and misery.”

Don’t get me wrong. I am not the guy who drives at 40mph on a 6-lane freeway. I just don’t see the point of trying to go at 100 mph all the time when you very well know that the odds of you making it are one in a gazillion.

Riding in the fast late for a while is a smart thing. Living in the fast lane is foolish. But hey, that’s just what I think.