Friday, October 19, 2012

Stop Cashing In On Your God

It was the 3rd day of Ganesh Festival when it hit me.

I was returning home after work that day when I was caught in a traffic jam. The traffic was moving at a snail's pace. It provided me an opportunity to observe the roadsides - which were buzzing with activities.

I noticed how so many Ganesh pandals were set up on each side of the road. You could count that each lane had about 3 Ganesh pandals. Two at each end of the road, one in the middle. If there was another lane emerging from the middle of the lane, there would be two more pandals - on the diagonal sides of the same intersection. And so on.

Ganesh Pandals
And likewise imagine how many pandals would they be "squeezing" per square kilometer. And simple arithmetic will tell you how many in a township, and then in a city.

There's more. Each pandal is owned by a Ganesh Mandal (Committee). And it is a matter of prestige for those Mandal owners to decorate their Pandals better than others. And so they splurge money. From where does the moolah come from? From the same people who pay tax.

How? Simple, each Ganesh Mandal owner(s) will send their "members" to collect donation from residents of the nearby area. And can you refuse them? They're all politically connected. Getting the idea?

They also play loud music much to the annoyance of the people staying nearby. I can tell you that it is not sensible music. It is not devotional music either. Add it the fact that the horrible traffic jams and chaos it causes. No committee seems to bothered about the tremendous amount of waste it generates. Every year.

Which brings me to the title of this article - Are we really cashing in on our Gods? Are we monetizing them? As long as the concept of God has come into being, we have monetized him - milking his omnipotence. That's in the couple of thousands of years of our civilisation.

Why not sanitize everything? Why not just 1-2 Ganesh Pandals per square kilometer? How about just believing (theists) or not believing (atheists) in that Higher Being and still live happily? Why all this hype around God?

Navaratri has just begun, Dussehra and Durga Puja is just round the corner. Pandals will again be raised. More chaos will pervade. More money will be spent. The cycle will repeat. May the Gods bless us with a sane mind.

Durga Puja
[Image courtsey:]

Let's go green in celebrating our festivals. A motivating trend is that there is less intensity of Fire Crackers these days during Diwali. Many families, societies, townships have started recognizing the nuisance caused and have started celebrating festivals in an environmentally friendly manner. But those families can be counted on fingertips.

What is the starting point to curb it? Where do we start? Would like to hear your thoughts/ views in the comments below - even if you disagree with my thoughts.

Thursday, October 04, 2012

Don't Just Sit On It: Decide and Act, NOW

"Probably one thing worse than a bad decision is Indecision."

There are three types of people around - Those who make good decisions, those who make bad ones, and those who don't make any decisions.

The indecisive ones simply sit on a given task/ decision and do nothing. What they fail to realise is their indecision is negatively impacting others, in sometimes tangible and many times intangible ways.

Without tapping in your will
All you do is wonder and stay still
When that decision just lingers on
When you're lost, don't know where to move on
Take A Stand

When all you do is delay
That decision you just sit on and pray
Someone's waiting, but all you do is stall
When you play safe and let things take their toll
Take A Stand

When you want to feel right
Take that decision to feel pleasant and bright
Don't hesitate, be brave, but don't fake it
Just go ahead and stake it
Take a Stand

I feel decision making can be cultivated like a habit. Like habit, discipline your self to regularly take decisions and more importantly, act on it. Procrastinators tend to make a decision and then delay action. Avoid this trait.

Start now. Whenever you feel hesitant, think about the risk involved. If it is a low risk task, just take it up and finish it. If there is a high risk involved, you can consult someone before taking that decision. The important thing is not to sit on it just because you think it is high risk.

If it is decision you are stalling at work, it is costing the company money. If it is a career decision you are dilly-dalling, you could be missing out on several opportunities. If it is a personal decision you're delaying, your family might be getting affected by it. Think about it.

Sort it out. Consult. Discuss. Clarify. Arrive at a Decision. Then just go ahead and Act on it. Move to the next task.

How do you counter indecision? Which habits have helped you become a master decision maker? Do share in the comments below.

Monday, October 01, 2012

Doing Good Work

Stop cribbing about how your boss neglects that awesome work you are doing for him. Stop feeling anxious about what others think about you. Stop feeling bad about that jerk who doesn't pay attention to you.

It doesn't matter. They don't matter.

Remember, you are here for a purpose. If you don't know what it is, relax. Just remember that you're here to do good work you'll be proud of. Keep at it. Rest doesn't matter.

Spend quality time at work. Ignore the jerks. Ignore the put-downers. Ignore the behind-the-back comments. Take what is good. Move on.

Make a difference every day you come to work. Be better than yesterday. That's a simple plan, ain't it? Just keep doing it.

Make a dent in the universe. Only that matters. Every single day. Every single moment.

Remember, sometimes you'll find yourself digressing from your purpose. Soon as you realise it, re-focus your efforts. Once you've taken its cognizance, don't waste a single iota of energy doing banal work. Re-align your actions.

Do good work. Focus. Make a dent in the universe. :)