Professional Honeymoon

 

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Whenever I move on to a new company, I always make it a point to click all the photos of the surrounding landscape in the beginning itself; because that’s the time when the bliss and peace in your heart gets transferred to the pics and the effect you achieve is absolutely amazing. Later on, when the negativity of office politics begins to seep into your system, the last thing you want to do is click photos of a hopeless place. The sooner you quit, the better it is…

Here are some more pics…

1.  A white Hibiscus, a very uncommon variety. You usually see the colored ones. I saw this for the first time in my life when I joined this company in July 2017.

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2. Red Hibiscus, quite common, but gorgeous all the same…

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3.

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4. A crane-like bird. I don’t know its name yet. I saw it during the first few days only. It has disappeared now.

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4. This was while going home, the best time for officer goers…

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5.

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A City-Bred Cobra

First of July 2017 will remain etched in my memory for many years to come. 

It was on this day that I witnessed a black cobra striking a pose for the shutterbugs, just like Aishwarya Rai on the red carpet at the Cannes Film Festival (see pic below). If this doesn’t surprise you, here’s something more. The cobra arrived at our car workshop in great style, like a VIP,  in a BMW car!

The car’s owner (see pic above, the man wearing a pink shirt) pointed to the car and said, “I saw the snake entering from the bottom, near the axle. Please get it removed.” 

In spite of the gravity of the situation, he didn’t sound too perturbed and he seemed to have complete confidence in our capabilities.

My team and I were, however, very much taken aback as we had never handled this kind of a problem before. We were, in fact, already quite frazzled. Our systems were paralyzed as implementation of GST, the new single tax structure,  the so-called ‘Good and Simple Tax,’ was in progress. Our staff members were malingering around as work had ground to a halt. 

The matter was immediately escalated to top management as the After Sales Manager had left his job a month ago. Their advice was, “Let the Head Technician handle this.”

It was in the middle of this chaos that the car was quickly transferred from the flat bed truck to a car lift. It was obvious that something had to be done fast before the cobra leaped out of the car and slithered into our premises. 

Once the car was hoisted for inspection, our Head Technician flashed his torch into the underbody. The cobra reacted very strongly to this by raising its head menacingly through the axle, keeping its tail stubbornly coiled around the shock absorber. The Technician stepped back with a start and exclaimed, “Yes, it’s there.” A lot of employees who had been watching the proceedings earlier with great amusement hastily retreated into the safe confines of the closed office doors. The Technician also gave up and came inside.

Being a Customer Relations Manager, I had to get this sorted out soon. So I walked up to the Technician and suggested that we call in the wild life guys. After a frantic Google search and desperate telephone calls, we managed to contact the right people. They said they will reach in another 40 minutes, so we need to remain at a safe distance and watch out just in case it crawls away. They kept their promise. They were poised and confident and as you can see from the photos, even the cobra seemed to be quite awe-struck by their personalities. In just 30 minutes, they managed to draw the snake into a red bag, but not without letting us click lots of pics while it stood with its head held upright, proud and dignified, every bit a naag devta (Serpent God). 

I hope this cobra is well and safe. Because of fast urbanization, a lot of snakes are being thrown out of their homes. Homeless and starved, they crawl around and find themselves in precarious situations like the one I have described here.

Copyright: Jasbir Chatterjee

Rules Of Nature

I recently planted two Lobia seeds into a flower pot lying idle in my balcony. I got a pleasant surprise a few days later when two tiny green plants raised their heads through the brown soil. I wasn’t sure whether they would survive. 

Well, not only did they survive, they turned into two individuals with distinct personalities of their own. I have named them Mukesh and Anil. 

When the cool drops of rain fall on their big, green leaves, they remain erect and continue to stand proudly with their heads held high . 

While Mukesh, the one on the left in the above pic, continues to spread aggressively, sprouting more and more stems and leaves, Anil is more focused on producing flowers which will subsequently drop and give birth to more lobia beans. 

Mukesh probably has a long term plan and may even suffocate Anil to death while Anil is only concentrating on the present and trying to do its best under the peculiar circumstances it is caught in. Anil faces a threat from the ants too. They have already started nibbling its flowers.

Which approach is better and who will be more successful? Death is inevitable, but who will go first? Only time will tell…

Copyright: Jasbir Chatterjer

The World Beyond

My latest poem on Poemhunter.com today, ‘The World Beyond’ is inspired from my pics given below. Click here and read on.

https://www.poemhunter.com/poem/the-world-beyond-3/

Monsoon 2017, Delhi

We Delhiites have much to be delighted about in 2017. Monsoon has begun earlier this time; in June, instead of last week of July or first week of August as in previous years. So we didn’t have to bear the sweltering heat of summer for too long.

Here are some photos. 

A rainbow inside a car showroom! Can you imagine that? I never saw anything like this before during my last 13 years in the automobile industry.

A Wheel Of Progress

This patch of land in Sector 63, Noida, Delhi NCR, is a constantly changing panaroma. Development activities go on here throughout the year. A Delhi Metro station is also coming up nearby in sector 62. 

The big, round wheel in this pic is that symbol of constant change.  

An Unhealthy Side Of Indian Cricket 

At the outset, I must hasten to mention that I am not a sports buff. So if you find anything offensive or inappropriate in this article, please accept my apologies in advance.

If given a choice, I would prefer to curl up with a book than watch a cricket match. But there are certain aspects of Indian cricket that are glaringly obvious in their murkiness. Even disinterested people like me can’t ignore them.

On Sunday, 18 June 2017, India and Pakistan cricket teams locked horns with each other for the second time in the ICC world cricket tournament in UK.  This time it was the final round. The Indian team’s entry into the final was very much expected as they had played consistently well throughout the tournament. But the manner in which the Pakistani team rose up from the bottom position to the topmost was really amazing and to a certain extent unbelievable. Was the final match also fixed? It is quite possible, considering the huge amount of money that is being pumped into cricket in this region currently by corporate groups, film personalities, and underworld organizations. The media these days only toes the official line, so this matter was a topic of hot discussions in whatsapp and secret Facebook groups.

In the backdrop of internal politics within cricket organizations in India, cross-border terrorism, and our soldiers losing their lives daily at the Indo-Pak border, one can easily understand the mental state of players of the Indian team in a highly emotional, supercharged, jam-packed stadium with abusive boos and catcalls from the audience constantly falling on their ears.  In spite of everyone’s best efforts to remain normal, the venom of political hostility invariably suffuses itself through a India-Pakistan match and the game no longer remains just a game.  It takes on sinister dimensions.

An Indian Army officer reported recently that a defeat of the Pakistani national cricket team at the hands of their Indian counterparts generally leads to a violation of ceasefire by Pakistani forces at the border, so the Indian security needs to be extra vigilant in such situations. Was it perhaps to avoid this kind of confrontation that the Indian team ultimately lost so badly to the Pakistan team on 18 June 2017? Was the Indian team threatened or bribed to literally give up on the match and appear as a happy loser? There’s no proof. So you can only keep guessing and speculating.

When playing professional cricket turns into just another ordinary job and day in and day out, that’s the only thing you do, it is perhaps natural to set aside patriotic feelings and blindly follow your superiors’ orders without considering whether they are ethical or not.

Just a few hours before the match began on 18 June 2017, the Indian team captain Virat was asked on TV how his team felt now that they were in the final. He said very diplomatically with a straight face that he has instructed his team to stay calm and composed, since it is easy to make mistakes when you are worried and tense. Winning and losing is all part of the game. You just need to accept the outcome and move on to the next match. Well, nothing wrong with this; it was quite a sensible thing to say. But the manner in which he said what he said introduced an element of doubt and gave me a premonition that the victory crackers being burst outside by my neighbors well in advance were probably all in vain.

As the match progressed from 3 PM onwards, my husband and daughter remained glued to the TV while I carried on with my Sunday chores as usual, washing, cleaning, and cooking. By the time I woke up from my Sunday afternoon siesta, Pakistan had already made a sizeable score of runs and it was clear that India was going to have a tough time catching up.

During the running commentary and panel discussions by Kapil Dev, Virendra Sehwag, and Sunil Gavaskar, a female reporter also participated. Her provocative bearing and physical appearance were in stark contrast to that of the fully suited-and-booted male commentators and gave the impression that her sole purpose of being there was to provide the much-needed eye candy during those boring moments and to grab eye balls for the advertisers and sponsors of the tournament.  Why can’t female sports commentators come in as individuals, as experts in their chosen field, just like the men, on their own terms and conditions? Why must they dress to please anyone? Isn’t it enough to sound knowledgeable and look nice and presentable? These were some of the questions that I asked myself that day. Things will perhaps improve in future when women’s cricket also becomes popular and more and more women get the chance to call the shots.

When the match ended, Virat was asked how he felt as the captain of the runnerup team. He declared with a beaming smile on his face that he didn’t feel any shame in losing to the best team and Pakistan team really played well. India also had a great tournament with several wins and that’s fine! Not a single iota of regret or remorse there. Compare this with the scene at the end of a world Soccer final match where the intensity of display of emotions of both the losing and the winning side is always on the extreme corners of the pendulum.

It was for the first time in my life that I saw a losing captain in an international tournament looking so cheerful. It looked very unnatural. That’s why the needle of suspicion points to our Indian team. They have all probably made the kind of money they wouldn’t be able to make in a lifetime of cricket. The only player who displayed some sign of disappointment on the field was Hiren Pandya when he was run out at a time when Indian hopes had just started building up.

A few days after the match, Times of India newspapers reported that the Indian team’s Head Coach Anil Kumble gave his team a sound scolding for their dismal performance and added that he was unpopular with the team because of his ‘high-handedness.’ Some of the players’ injuries during were not ‘cricket-related.’ Kumble subsequently handed in his resignation because of serious differences with Virat Kohli. Kumble had kept a low profile throughout the tournament and had not spoken to any media person whereas Virat did not mention anything about Kumble in any of his press conferences. Kumble and Virat hadn’t been on speaking terms for as many as 6 months! What can be worse than this?

The organizers, we have been made to understand, allowed Kumble to leave because they can’t afford to lose the captain, Thats’s very tragic indeed. A trend has now been set, it seems, for future coaches of the Indian team to be spineless people who would always be scared of taking new initiatives to improve team performance.

God save Indian cricket! Mera Bharat mahaan…

Copyright: Jasbir Chatterjee

photo-blog with non-fiction content

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