Friday, June 28, 2013


उनकी रांहो में बैठे समय रुक क्यू जाता है
पर उन्हें अपने काम से लगाव भी कुछ ज्यादा है।
इन आँखों को उनकी गैरहाजिरी पर रोष आता है
क्यों न आये आखिर आज मिलने का जो  वादा है।

सिलसिला यह जो शुरू हुआ है तेरे मुस्कुराने से
डर लगता है इस दिल को उनका यादें बन जाने से ।
यू तो यादें भी तेरी काफी हसीन है ज़माने से
पर क्यों लगता है जन्नत मिलेगी मेहेज़ तेरे आने से। 

Friday, June 21, 2013

My Musical World

I remember there was a question in the old-forgotten-orkut profile page – What are five things you cannot live without? Not very sure what I actually answered then but I am sure books and music were pretty much there. If you ask me today the other three will be phone, laptop and iPad (I know how materialistic). Anyway so I am going to write about my only pure passion – music. I don’t even consider my other hobbies to be as passionate or even as pure as music has been to me. I always tell my friends that I think of myself to be a mercenary. I am always focused relentlessly (at times even robotically) on getting better. Almost all of my time is spent on work, books, reading, sports and exercise – each of these activities I do for the sole aim of getting better physically, mentally or monetarily. I watch movies, TV series or any other time-pass is just a break from the bigger agenda. To a large extent meeting new people and old acquaintances is for knowing something more. In all this pursuit for perfection, music is the only thing of which I did not expect anything, did not feel anything else but love and could not leave it for anything in the world. It has been my solace in troubling times, my friend who shared my happiness and gloom with equal ownership and a teacher who exposed me to poetry, art, beauty and never experienced emotions. So on this eve of world music day I will write about the two aspects that I love about it – ability to transcend into different world and poetry.

A few years back I happened to witness a painting by an artist focused on women’s different avatars and problems at her exhibition. While staring at that painting I suddenly went into a very gloomy, emotional phase and then into a deep thought about the issue at hand. I was close to tears at a point of time relating that painting to people in my life. That night thinking about that incident I defined in my own terms what an art is. To me good art is any form of expression which can transcend you to different world, make you feel what you weren’t feeling before that and probably not even related to your current state of affairs. And good music does exactly that to me. I listen to Yellow by Coldplay and I can feel love for a non-existent girl being single, I listen to Mumma by Kailash Kher and I start missing my mom while working at office or when I come all exhausted from long day and I am all charged up after grooving to any Linkin Park song. Try listening to This is Home by Switchfoot and feel as if you have just died and it is you singing that song or can you feel the slow life from your grandpa’s perspective while listening to Gran Torino by Clint Eastwood & Jamie Cullum. The range of emotion is endless and if only I had a song to feel everything possible.

And poetry…ah…where do I start in that!! Don’t we all want to use the perfect word in our conversations, at least in the conversations that matter? And I so envy and also admire the lyricists who end up touching us so deeply. I am a very impatient reader and if left to read poetry on my own I think I would find it very hard to finish something. Because of music I have had good fortune to witness the work of poets like Irshad Kamil, Prasoon Joshi, Javed Akhtar and Gulzar sahib. Most of the English songs that I love, I have been amazed by the level of maturity and depth in their lyrics. I guess our musical cultural background makes us relate good lyrics to slow songs like gazal, sufi and soft soundtracks and fast numbers are more equated with mindless words. In English track I have found some amazing word play with very fast numbers in rock bands like Creed/Linkin Park or rappers like Eminem. Good music improves the beauty of a good poem further and I understand that it’s a shame that many a good poetry is undiscovered because of the bad music associated. I do not want to highlight examples of amazing poetry as I am sure we all have witnessed that but I request that next time you like a song just find out who has written it. Lyricists go so unappreciated and singers hog all the limelight.

Happy World Music Day and Happy Listening!!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Book Review: Getting Past No by William Ury

Being recently introduced to the books related to negotiation, I feel more enlightened about how human mind works and how emotions play a role in its working. Negotiation is a game where human mind and emotions are at their peak and hence gives more insight into our behavior. What makes negotiation important is that at the end of this there is a decision which has to come out and that decision is going to determine who is going to get what! But a sharp person looks much beyond the simple how-much-I-get question. He knows that much more is at stake in a negotiation – your future relationship with the other party, your reputation/perception as a negotiator and the benchmark for any future negotiation. And what happens when the other party is not ready to listen at all and is hell-bent on getting what it wants?


Getting Past No is answer to this problem but first I will advise you to read Getting to Yes as it sets basic but very effective guidelines for all negotiations. You might very well be doing something wrong and that is why the other side is stubborn because of being genuinely concerned. The author has stated that there are five parts of the strategy of getting past no – going to the balcony, stepping to their side, reframing, building them a golden bridge and using power to educate. Out of that the first three are corollaries of the basic guidelines set in the amazing book “Getting to Yes” and that’s why didn’t impress me much. But the last two parts were uncovered in that book and amazingly clear in this one. Your opponent needs a respectable face to show to whomever he is going to answer about the negotiation. And if that is not the case then the person has high chances of not budging from his stance. So it will help if you can show your opponent how this deal will look good to his boss/coworkers/friends/wife. Also too often we try to use our power to threaten the opponent in accepting what we want. This might work or might not work but in either case your future relationship is spoiled already. There is a graceful way of showing your opponent what will be the consequence if they don’t agree and if he is clear and convinced about it then it is safe to walk out. If he is ready to face the consequences then your threat might not have worked also and this also gives him time to think and come back to you.

I do believe that everyone should be reading the two books mentioned above and also Difficult Conversations . These books will invariably help you in every aspect of your life and will make you a more mature human being. Difficult Conversations and Getting to Yes are the results of Harvard Negotiations Project and the quality of language and advice speaks for itself. Happy Reading!!