Here's a proposal for your consideration.
I think we should dress appropriate to the task you anticipate for the day. If you are not meeting external people, you can dress casually every day, not just Fridays.
If you are in a role where you are going to be meeting customers or potential business partners, then a degree of formality would be necessary. We certainly don't want sales calls to be made in jeans and sandals, so most sales people would need to maintain current standards of dressing.
However, in the office, I think we are all mature enough to decide for ourselves what is appropriate. I think maybe no shorts or chappals or t-shirts with obscene messages, but apart from that, anything goes.
What do you think? I know some people feel that having every day as casual dressing lowers the tone of the office, so I'm not pushing my point of view, just seeking feedback.
Let me know, ideally by responding to this blog ( you do that by sending a mail to email@example.com) or (if you are shy) by emailing me. If you choose the blog route, remember to add your name at the end of your mail.
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Here's a proposal for your consideration.
Words. How they cut through you at times! How they make you laugh, make you cry!.
Words- they make or break you, they get made into stories. They can make you immortal. Words, you can play games with them. You can twist them, turn them, throw them at someone, and catch them. Words– they mean so many different things. They stay with you for almost a lifetime. Words–they give a name to so many feelings. Passion is just one of them.
Music–it is something that soothes, something that heals, something that brings people together. There is music in the twittering of a bird, there is music in the rain, there is music in the laughter of a beloved. Music evokes so many sentiments. Passion is just one of them.
Colours. Put them on a canvas and it gets made into a picture. Make it into an adjective and everything seems so vibrant. There is a colour for every occasion. There is a colour for every emotion. Passion is just one of them.
People. They make relationships, they make epics. They make the “you”s and the “me”s . They make the “us”. They make variety, they create history. They make a difference.
People influence you. In many different ways. Some stay by you, some drift away. Some get you into trouble, some pull you out of it. With some, you make brilliant conversations, with some you make war. There are so many shades to their character, they are so same and yet so different. For some you feel love, for some you feel indifference, for some you feel anger, for some there is sympathy. There are some that make you feel passionate.
Dreams. They lead you to a illusion, they can lead you to imagination. Too much of it can ruin you, but most of it will lead you to great achievement. They are bizarre, unreal, they are scary and they are funny. They are ephemeral, but they also stay. Sometimes, you wake up from a dream feeling confused , sometimes you wake up from one feeling wary. Sometimes, they instill in you a passion that can make a great success story.
Words, music, colours, people, dreams. They are all small pieces of a great jigsaw puzzle. Sometimes they fit in neatly, sometimes they have rough edges. But when they are there, they make a beautiful picture called life. I guess that is what I am most passionate about–passionate about life, passionate about living.
I remember when I came to Delhi for a job in 2001 and was living in Gautam Nagar which is close to Gulmohar Park in South Delhi . We used to play in local parks in Gulmohar park where a lot of bureaucrat, judges and journalist etc put up .Once we had tough time when somebody dialed 100 and called PCR as they thought we were disturbing the society by playing in the park, However we managed the situation with one of our friends who was son of ACP south district otherwise we could have been booked for violating law and order of a otherwise peaceful society.
@Pearson I remember when I was playing my first match against Penguin at Siri Fort Sports Club height of passion I could see there was Srini fielding on the ground with a portable radio in his hand, which he was continuously pressing against his ears as some interesting match was going on and he didn’t want to miss the commentary, whenver ball was hit towards him he used to field it with his legs like football….
Everywhere I go generally I would find someone with similar interest, this reminds me of my cabbie when I used to visit Dubai, His name was Razi Khan he was a young Pathan from Peshawar (Pakistan) . Whenever I went to cover Dubai I used to call him for coverage of UAE schools as he had very good knowledge of UAE and was able to locate each and every school very easily. We started early morning at around 6 – 6.30 for the schools to avoid office hour rush and traffic jam and covered schools till 5 – 5.30 in the evening so we shared a lot of things and the most we discussed was cricket and hindi movies. Although he had never played cricket himself but was a hard core fan of Pakistani cricket team specially Wasim and Waqar to my surprise he didn’t like Shoaib at all but at the same time he admired Sachin a lot.
It also reminds me when we went out for NSM to Colombo in 2005 & checked in at Taj Bentota , We came out of the hotel to move around and buy a couple of batteries for my camera , outside at the grocery shop their was this young guy who couldn’t speak English, neither we knew the local language but still he tried to talk to us he first said ‘India’ I nodded my head and said yes next thing he said was Sachin ……good , I again nodded my head he carried on and said….. Dravid…….also good ….. I again nodded my head in agreement I was bit hesitant earlier but then I also started talking to him in the similar manner and later on he was so happy that he ended up giving us a good discount … Well that’s cricket which is a language in itself , a religion …. a culture …philosophy ………a passion for life for so many people like me……
The post "The First Ninety Days' was written by me! Rema Arunachalam
It is said that the first ninety days of a new situation-this could be a job, a relationship or even a book-is fraught with peril and loaded with opportunity. I've clocked ninety days at Pearson and lived to tell the tale! Peril? Not any that I could see, and I'm good at spotting that, in my multiple roles as worker, friend, teacher, mother and wife. Opportunity? Definitely. In a new organisation, you're quickly taken through the procedures and processes, but who tells you how to get started and what to do to get off to a good start? The right answer is nobody! I spent a few weeks listening and learning. I've focused on sailing with a new team and setting realistic goals. I'm now pushing hard to achieve those goals. I love making (and keeping to) schedules. People who've worked with me before will attest to this. Covey's quadrants make me misty-eyed. Okay, I'm also rather sad!
It's a good time to be with Pearson now. Brave, imaginative, decent. Great words to draw inspiration from. I can feel the positive energy around me and this keeps me charged. More so, after the 'Reflections' programme in Delhi. It's exciting to know that I'm part of such a vibrant and vivacious team. Well, here I am now, racing into the next ninety days. I'm happy!
Manisha’s email for comments on last week’s training programme reminded me of a promise I’d made, and sort of spurred me on to post this piece.
Editing, in its limited meaning, is not new to me. I have been on the editorial boards of my school and college magazines, and as a teacher, the process of correcting papers has involved characteristics of editing (although, not in such detail). I have also had the honour of editing short pieces of work by friends of mine, and giving them reviews and feedback. And, in all honesty, when I joined Pearson, I thought that that was generally what my work load would entail.
I couldn’t, for the life of me, quite understand how one could review work constantly for eight hours a day, five days a week for months and years. True, logic and commonsense stated that there had to be more to editing than mere textual corrections, but what that more was was something I couldn’t even begin to fathom. That is, until I attended the training programme in
I came prepared for a complete introduction to editing. But what it turned out to be was something quite different. I’m not complaining, though. It was fascinating to see so many minds at work on something that is still, in many ways, alien to me. I felt like I was in a different dimension. Truly, my experience, I think, was rather surreal. If you’ve ever been in the middle of a college staff-room discussion, you might have an inkling as to what I mean. I could draw absolutely no parallels, and, if it did not hit home before, it did then when I realised that I had a great deal to learn about being an editor, and that it was a job that entailed so much more than mere nit-picking.
Before the meeting, Rohit had asked me how I found the job so far, and I had said that it was so much like correcting papers. After Reflections I realised that it was a far cry from that!
Apart from all that I learned and came to realise, I was also pleased to meet so many lovely people. I was amazed at the incredibly warm welcome I received, and the way I was made to feel so much a part of everything that was going on, when, in actuality, I had been prepared to be the proverbial wallflower that fades into the background. It says much, I think, for such hospitality that makes you feel special and like you have something to contribute. Also, the energetic atmosphere, and lively and healthy arguments and discussions that took place during the programme were like a breath of fresh air to someone who has been starved of such encounters and challenges.
I could also see how, to everyone in the team, work was hard work and play was play. It was a real relief to know that I wouldn’t be losing a part of myself to the drudgery of work (in the teaching line there is not much scope for losing your identity unless you very very consciously choose to) because it was so clear that no one else seemed to have lost themselves either. If anything, I saw a passion for editorial work and a zest for living, and I if ever I needed inspiration for a job like this, I believe I got quite a big and good dose of it during the programme.
Bottom line, I’m incredibly glad to be a part of this company (pun intended) and I hope to give my very best and more.
All the very best to each and every one of you!^_^
On vacation, my only objective is to have no objectives. I would lie where the sea meets the sand, and have someone ferry me cold beers and fresh fish, and occasionally smile at the thought of the shattered pieces of my blackberry as day drifts into night and back into day.
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In my dream vacation, it’s a late afternoon in March. The trees beside the lake are swaying gently in winds that bring the promise of summer and the memory of winter. The playful winds tease the still water of the lake, and an almost-shy sunlight rides on its ripples. There I am, sitting under a young champa tree, taking in its heady scent and reading a big fat novel that I started in the morning beside the lake, feeling ‘dappled and drowsy and ready to sleep’.
In this fantasy world, I have started taking dance lessons again—getting the same adrenalin rush I did the first time I took lessons as a little kid. There is nothing more beautiful on earth than the sensation of music flowing through the veins, making one move to its rhythm, joining the physical to the metaphysical. In another age, I would have been a whirling dervish.
At the start of the vacation, I began dusting the corner of my mind labelled ‘unfinished projects’, and one of the first things I found there was a sketchbook and pencil. I am very rusty, and will in any case never be very good at it; nevertheless, sketching what catches my eye is a self-indulgence I’ve been dying to engage in. And that is exactly what I have been doing. Sometimes I laugh at the result; sometimes I manage to surprise myself. I also jaunt across the small jungle on the other side of the lake to the lush valley beyond it, often scaring away the birds with my usual enthusiastic singing and only feeling more invigorated with every mile that I have walked. My eyes are losing their concrete myopia and becoming used to the open again.
And as I now go to sleep with a contented sigh under the tree, I think happily of the next day—when I’m meeting my good old friends from school after more than a decade.
Maybe things are not so bad with the world after all.
I’d be lying if I said here that I don’t want the wine, but that is far from being the sole objective of this post. As you will see, I dont have one ‘dream vacation’ that I can talk about. Just that I am very inspired by the responses we’ve been getting to this week’s topic and I thought I might as well join the club. Moreover, right at this point in time, there are a little too many things going on in my head and there is no better way to clear my thoughts than writing something.
So, what makes a dream vacation? Good food, good company, loads of excitement and anticipation, maybe an interesting journey, lovely surroundings? Most vacations would have those. Out of those many vacations, there might be some that gave you a ‘This-is-one-of-the-best-times-of-my-life-and-I-wish-it-stays-this-way’ kind of a feeling. Maybe, if you think too hard, you wouldn’t even be able to explain why you had that feeling. Maybe you were just elated that you were getting away from drudgery, and you wanted to savor the 48 hours you had. Maybe, the feeling hit you when you set your foot on a familiar railway station and you wondered why that dusty seat at the end of the platform gave you a high. Maybe, the feeling sank in when you were actually on your return journey and you winced at the fact that it was over. Maybe, the feeling stemmed from the fact that you had been planning something for ages and it finally materialized.
If I were to mentally calculate the number of times I’ve had that feeling during one single vacation and then come up with a winner, I guess there would be a tie. This is not because I came up with some conclusive number for both and they happened to be the same. It is because, during both these vacations, there was never a single moment which was bereft of that inexplicable sentiment.
One vacation I had planned for two months in advance, the other was almost a surprise. One was a visit to the most familiar place on earth-home. The other was a quiet visit to the ‘unfamiliar’ Mcleodganj. If you are wondering why a trip back home is exceptional, try staying some 1500 kms away and you will know why. You will also know why that first trip back home is doubly special. There was so much to say, so much to catch-up with, so much pampering that I was left wondering why I had been staying at home for so long in the first place. Of course, this vacation had all those normal ingredients of a good vacation that I had talked about- food that I had been longing for, probably the best company ever, excitement over that squeal from the 12 year old sister when I gave her the book she always wanted ( and this courtesy the Pearson Book Sale), an interesting journey where I may have had to answer a 5 year old to ‘Achha, aap didi ho ya auntie ho?’( and when I had successfully established the fact that I was young enough to be a ‘didi’, pop came the next toughie ‘ Toh phir apke saath koi kyoun nahi hain?’), but this vacation had that something extra that reminded me of that line from Katrina and the Waves-‘I am walking on sunshine, and don’t it feel good’. Like I said, I can’t really explain why.
If the trip back home meant going back to the familiar and enjoying every moment of it, the trip to Mcleodganj was all excitement over new discoveries. The absolutely-finger-licking-ly delicious deserts at Nick’s Kitchen, the breathtaking view of the Dhauladhar range from the verandah of the guest house, the stunning 19th century architecture of the church of St John’s in the Wilderness, the beautiful trek to the not-so-beautiful Dal Lake ( yes , there is one in Himachal as well), the intricate paintings at the Namygyar Monastery and so on. Of course it helped that you had extremely knowledgeable company and you were constantly fed with little pieces of history of the place- that Mcleodganj was the summer capital of British India before it was shifted to Shimla ( Many may be aware of this , but I confess I wasn’t), that it was shifted after the great earthquake of 1905 , that some Francis Younghusband led the British invasion to Tibet and so on. Like they say, there is something about ‘Little Lhasa’ that captivates you, something in the air that makes you feel at home.
My ‘dream vacations’ ( as I will have to term it for the sake of this topic) were not something that I had dreamt about, most of it was actually an afterthought, or at the most an opinion that was formed during the course of a vacation. I probably place too much value on feelings and it shows.
To me, the word vacation has always been synonymous with facing the astounding big white Himalayan peaks! So, when the topic “dream vacation” came up, I thought of penning down one of my many treks that I undertook in the Himalayan wilderness, and of all the places I visited in the Himalayan belt, the name KEDARTAL echoed in my heart and mind.
In 2005, when I first decided to trek to Kedartal, I could not find any reliable source of information anywhere. However, I had seen some photographs of this heavenly landscape and I knew that this was the place to be—a place so beautiful that its photographs appeared almost unreal. And to me, the only way left to believe in these photographs was to go through an arduous 18 km, high altitude trek, which starts from Gangotri (3140mts) and culminates at heavenly Kedartal (4912mts/16100 feet).
As told earlier, I did not have any information about the place; I spoke to few locals in Gangotri, about the trail, its difficulties, weather conditions, things to carry, and the most basic requirements for the trek. The first fact that came up was that Kedartal was not a place where a casual trekker could go all alone (what I normally and strictly prefer). As there are no sources at all of finding any food/drink on the entire 18 km stretch, you need to carry all the provisions for your journey with you, adding to the weight of your backpack significantly. You invariably need an additional person to share this load. I found Uttam Singh (US), a local guide. For the next sixty hours he was my guide, friend, companion and cook. I had to pay him a small token for performing all these roles!
One early morning, just after finishing our breakfast, we entered deep woods and right from the beginning, I got an indication of the toughness of this trek. The whole stretch seemed to be excessively steep right from the beginning, as just 18 km of stretch makes you gain an altitude of about 1700mts! After half an hour I needed some water and to my surprise we had left the bottles at the dhaba where we had breakfast. US told me not to worry as there was a water stream nearby. However, it took an hour and half for those ten minutes to get over. In the mean time, he kept on repeating—bas ten minutes sa’abji. And then, there in front of me was a big and beautiful waterfall, and I think, I must tell you, how the water tasted? It was and is, still the sweetest thing I ever had in my life! To this day I remember the smell and the taste. I wonder why scientists around the world think water is an odourless and tasteless liquid.
After eight hours of backbreaking uphill trek our bodies simply refused to move forward and the weather favoured us. At 3:00 pm, clouds gathered, it became dark, and within minutes it started snowing, making it impossible for us to go any further. We were fortunate to have reached Kedarkhadag, an exceptionally scenic high altitude meadow (4270 mts). The spellbinding beauty of the meadow, however, we could see only the next morning. We pitched our tents quickly, sank in our sleeping bags, and tried to get some sleep, enduring the wear and tear our bodies had undergone due to the high altitude trekking. We woke up at 7 in the evening, and US found a big rock nearby and got our dinner ready. Within the next hour, in below freezing point temperature, we had tea, soup, and Maggi noodles out in the open! It was an exceptional dinner in an exceptional setting. We were again in our sleeping bags with the alarm set to 5:00 am, to shoot Thalaysagar bathing in early morning glory.
In the morning when I came out of my tent, it was still dark outside with sub-zero temperature and the whole stretch of land was covered in a thin layer of snow. But then, to shoot the first sunrays kissing a Himalayan peak, one has to brave all these adversities.
It was a clear cloudless morning and I witnessed the golden sun rays bathing the tip of Thalaysagar. It is the second highest peak (6,904 m/ 22,651 ft) on the southern side of the Gangotri Glacier, but it is more notable for being a dramatic rock peak, steep on all sides, and a famed prize for climbers. It is adjacent to the Jogen group of peaks, and the lake, Kedartal is situated at its base.
We had our grand morning tea and left for Kedartal at 6:30 am. Now we were trekking at an altitude of almost 5000 mts. The air was freezing cold and every step of mine at that altitude was making my body dehydrated and the water in our bottle was still frozen. The steep climb, low oxygen level and the freezing temperature were making every step of ours feel like a gigantic effort. While crossing one of the many streams, the thin frozen upper layer of ice cracked and my right foot sank in the stream. In the next few seconds frost appeared on my shoe and my trouser got stiff with filled in ice crystals!
After three-and-half hours of slow and rigorous trekking, I now stood on a huge mound. As I moved further, what I beheld was something I had only seen in photographs. I felt relieved as my belief in the existence of such a beautiful place was restored. In front of me, at the foot of the peak, was a huge mile-long green spread, the glacial Himalayan lake, Kedartal. And in its backdrop, was an imposing 7000 mts Thalaysagar. Together they constituted a dream like composition.
I spent about two hours there, without taking my eyes off from what you see in the picture above. To me, this has been the most beautiful natural surroundings I’ve ever been to…. very close to be a dream.
I always think, some time down the line (may be in my early sixties), when I’d be still young and strong enough, I shall go to the Himalayas and spend my last years roaming in this wilderness, falling somewhere in the lap of these majestic mountains. And then I’ll claim a piece of land not more than 3’ by 6’, which will be mine forever. Then only, I believe, my dream vacation will begin, when I won’t have to ever come out of my dream. I’ll remain there being a part of them till eternity.
DREAM VACATION – A World of Oneself…
Most of us in Pearson are more than 20 years; hence partially crossed the dreamy, exciting and happening stage of life that contributes maximum to the upholding desires and finally head towards the ultimate glory of life.
My recent vacation to Jayalgarg and Shivpuri was such an ultimate experience to bud the glory of life to adventure. It was the most daring and cherishing dream vacation that inspired me to take more such wonderful adventures in search of the spark…
This small piece of desire happened with me just 3 months back with the group of my friends for camping in the beautiful valley known as Verdant Valley as an excursion and contributed towards the most dazzling experiences realized throughout in my 23 years of journey.
The heartbreaking ultimate adventures includes: Bridge Slithering, Rafting, Rappelling, Cliff and Bungee Jumping, Rock climbing etc.
As a remark to this vacation, it contributed as one of the most appealing and exhilarating event of my life.
The height of the world of dream vacation contributes much to ones’ state of mind and desires to fulfill in life. It’s not about the place you see but the one yet to be created full of shining rays of sun and showers of rose. Even the journey from planning to execution can excite you to limitless possibility and ultimately lets you reach the trail to sky.
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