Thriving In Hostility

Prayer at Work

Every organization that manages to survive for at least 10 years has, I think, at least one good practice that it can proudly boast of as its ‘Best Practice.’

But how do you define a best practice? I can already imagine you asking this. Well, my idea of a best practice is a positive activity that is so deeply ingrained into an organization’s culture that it seems to happen almost automatically, requiring no supervision or intervention to keep it going.

In my current place of work, for instance, we begin our day at 10 AM by standing together in a common hall for a short prayer session. Lata Mangeshkar’s song ‘E Malik Tere Bande Hum…’ is played on the music system and all we have to do is stand with folded hands and hum along. As soon as the song ends, the music system is switched off and the hall reverberates with everyone saying ‘Om’ thrice, loudly and clearly.

The lyrics of the song have universal appeal as they are devoid of any references to any religion or prophet. This is important as India is a diverse country and organisations cannot afford to indulge in activities that isolate individuals.

I look at this daily prayer session as a best practice because

1. This practice is so wonderfully simple and deceptively easy to follow that it seems to happen daily almost automatically, which is, I think, a great thing, considering the fact that every other process requires a strong driving force. Without that force, everything falls flat and things fall apart.

2. It helps employees in starting work with positive vibes towards each other.

3. It inculcates a sense of humility and unity under all circumstances as everyone, including senior management, participates in it.

My organization is, I think, the only car dealership in Delhi NCR that follows this practice.

I recently read an article in LinkedIn about an organization where people have a short dance session before hitting work. Isn’t that wonderful? A great way of staying fit too.

Do comment, dear readers, and let me know about the best practices followed in your ieganization

Puree Magic

Photo courtesy: Shampa Das

I think of my kitchen these days more as a laboratory than a place where I slave away morning and evening.

Not only does this fulfill my deep-seated, unrealized dream of being a research scientist, it also helps me to take every botched cooking experiment as a learning experience and move on to other things without any guilt whatsoever about wasted time and resources.

I recently discovered, for instance, pureeing vegetables, especially the unpopular ones like the pumpkin and lauki, and adding other ingredients yields amazing results. The vegetables, when combined in this manner, get completely transformed beyond recognition into food items that your family enjoys eating! Isn’t that a great thing these days with sky-rocketing prices of vegetables?

Given below are some examples with pics.

Lauki Bharta

First assemble all the ingredients: chopped green onions, garlic, tomatoes, green coriander, soaked chana dal, boiled lauki, hing, whole jeera (cummin) seeds, mustard seeds.

Heat some oil in a karahi and add garlic, whole cummin, soaked chana dal, hing, and sarson.

Next, add onions.

Add green onions.

Add spices, roasted besan.

Now add tomatoes and green coriander.

Stir and add pureed lauki.

Add pao-bhaji masala. Stir and mix.

Keep stirring till oil separates and you get something like the pic on top..

Leftovers Bhaji

The pic on top is of bhaji made from leftovers, potato-beans-peas combination and pumpkin, lying idle in fridge. I mashed the combo in a karahi and treated it with tomato puree, chilli powder, and pau-bhaji masala…It tasted heavenly.😊

Leftover Khichdi Pakoras

I pureed leftover Khichdi in the mixie and added besan, one chopped onion, one chopped potato, green coriander, and some spices along with salt to the batter. I added some water to adjust the consistency. I deep-fried spoonfuls of this batter and turned them into pakoras. They were amazing! See pic above.

Choli Ke Peeche Kya Hai

This recent pic of mine reminded me of the opening lines of a Bollywood song mentioned above in the title. Its literal translation is “What’s Behind The Blouse?” That’s pretty straight and simple, isn’t it?

It is the metaphorical meaning, however, that arouses passions and raises controversies on what it represents, the female sexuality.

Way back in 1993, when the film Khalayak was released, its choli-ke-peeche song was banned both on All India radio and Doordarshan Television because it was considered vulgar and obscene, replete with double meanings.

But banning never helps, does it? It only whets the craze. In spite of huge criticism, the song became a rage and the film picked up lots of Filmfare awards.

Here is some free advice for still-not-bestseller writers. First get your books banned.