Monday, November 24, 2008

GOD tussi great ho!

This Diwali I decided to purchase a handycam. After doing some research I decided to buy a Sony HDD model and finally bought it. As a free gift I got a handycam carrying case, a James Bond twin DVD and a lucky coupon. I felt no need to check about the prize details in the lucky coupon till I got a call this friday from Sony Head Office asking me the details of the purchase,invoice number etc. I had no idea what was in store; the gentleman at the other end told me that I had won the lucky bumper prize ( even that didn't ring any bell to me!!).
After the call, it took some time for me to absorb what I had won --- A trip to Sony Pictures Studio, Los Angeles for self and spouse to include return business class air tickets, three night accomodation at a five star hotel with all meals and airport transfer as per pre-determined itinerary. Now this is what you call a Windfall !! , We are really looking forward to the trip,..GOD tussi really great ho!!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Barrak Obama

Having little interest in the US Presidential election 2008,my ignorance of its nitty-gritties is understandable. But I had a chance listening to the winning speech of Barrak Obama, the President elect of the United States. His speech touched an emotional chord with its audience specially his reference to Ann Nixon Cooper and the 'Yes We Can' slogan. His speech was straight from his heart giving assurance to the whole world. After listening to him, I think - Yes HE Can.
I am sharing a nice cartoon which a friend shared with me on the just concluded US Presidential election.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Season of Sports.

Thiruvananthapuram: Having the Trivandrum Tennis Club (TTC) located just across the road from our house, it was giving in to a workable temptation of putting our daughter Mannat for the tennis coaching. To our mind,it appeared to be the best way to channelise her energies. The club has hired the services of Paul Tornquist, a canadian coach to train the young talent. Mannat at the Tennis Club
A badminton tournament was organised by the office on 19 October at Sri Mulam Club in which yours truly also got a chance to sweat it out.
It was a fun filled day for the families too for watching the non-stop action (and humour) at the court.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Fauji Diary - The Interview

Having grown up reading 'How to face an interview' columns in magazines like CSR, Competition Master et all, I could barely fathom the quadrants of personality an interview can explore. At a restless age of 20, expecting pre-conditioned responses is the last thing one can expect. So what transpired during my interview before the 20 Service Selection Board at Bhopal in December 1994 remains itched in my memory till date. It was a cold winter morning and I was sitting in front of Maj Gen B R Verma (Jat Regt) who was the President of the Board.
The President was trying to make sense of my heavily scribbled 'Personal Information Questionnaire' (commonly called PIQ Form), when we started off.

President: So Ashwani, how many friends do you have?
Yours truly: ( to prolong the prized interaction, I felt like giving a big figure but settled for less) I have ten friends.
President: What do you talk to your friends?
Yours truly: Anything from politics to personal matters.
President: ( with a pause) personal matters like what?
Yours truly: ( after a gap) like how to propose to a girl.
President: (writes with the pencil like grandmasters in chess do!) so which is the best suggestion you ever gave to anyone?
Yours truly: (interjection..) Sir,...presently I don't give suggestions, I take suggestions.
President: so which is the best suggestion you ever received?
Yours truly: The best suggestion I ever received was,- 'that first deserve and then desire'.
President: ( after taking some time with his pencil ) OK, ...then what do you think will make you deserving?
Yours truly: Sir, the selection in army through this interview will make me deserving.
President: (after finishing with the pencil, prepared with his googli) Ok, you are selected, you've completed your training and have become an officer, you are in your hometown on leave when you see this beautiful girl in the marketplace. You are attracted to her, you go and propose to her and she slaps you on your face, what will you do?
Yours truly: (interjects)...actually, the way of proposing was not correct, I should have got hold of some common friend, get myself introduced and then gone ahead...
President: (smiles with a BIG grin..) Son, don't challenge the situation, give me a solution after the slap incident.
Yours truly: ( confused....., felt like having already lost in this chess-game)(replied after more than one minute of deep introspection) No matter how hard I try, that girl will remain at the back of my mind, I will grow over that slap incident, get hold of a common friend, get myself introduced, cultivate friendship and then propose at an appropriate time.
President: (I could see a deep appreciation on his face, vibes of approval and affection emanating from him) ( I actually expected him to say something, but this time he took out a pen and wrote about four lines) thank you Ashwani, it was very pleasant meeting with you.(we shook hands)

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Fauji Diary

Thiruvananthapuram: 22 Oct 2008 - A team of senior officers from Army who are attending Higher Defence Management Course (HDMC) at College of Defence Management,Hyderabad visited my Bank today. They are on a field visit to the premier institutions of the country. As I stood greeting them at the gate, my eyes brighten up to see Colonel Rajiv Mahna who used to be my Directing Staff (a term used in army for Instructors) at Officers Training Academy, Madras (now Chennai).He has not changed all these years except for a few more grey hair which lend lot of grace to his personality. I met him after almost twelve years. As I introduced myself to him, I could feel the vibes of affection emanating from him. Colonel Mahna besides being an excellent professional officer; has qualities which are unique to him. When I had joined the academy in 1995, I used to be a 'dead sinker'( a term used for hopeless non swimmers). Despite my sincere effort at learning the skill, I came a cropper for which I was really ashamed. I was about to be given a counselling for not having passed the swimming test, when one day (then Capt) Colonel Mahna reached the pool with his four year old son during the class. He smiled and said something to brighten up the day in his inimitable style. All I remember is that I passed my test on that very day after being motivated by the swimming skill of his four year old son. Twelve years is a long time, life seems to have completed a full circle but I will always remain indebted to Colonel Mahna.