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Education for Special Children in India


Couple of my friends have special children.  This has given me some insight into how much additional care is required for the special children.  Whatever little I could understand, it made me realize on how critical it is to their parents to constantly look for help to support and coach few basic life skills to their special children.  The biggest fear they go through is “how my special child will face the world after me?”  and “how much I can coach the child on the basic life skills so that the child can atleast sustain independently”.

I hear the facilities and support for the special children and the acceptance from society is comparatively better in developed countries in North America and Europe. In India it still needs a lot of improvement when it comes to bringing up a special child.

I recently bumped into this smart lady, who use to be my neighbour couple of years back  –  she is an engineer by profession and it is almost couple of years since I met with her  – on that evening, when I met her, we were exchanging the regular pleasantries and checking about each other’s life  –  family, work, children, time management, festivals…….and what I heard from her was very inspiring.

She has completely shifted her field from engineering to teaching –  as a special education teacher in one of the best schools in Bangalore.  She has done the required special courses to qualify as a special education teacher in the last two years. I could see the passion in her  –  she said “you know what is difficult in India?  It is still lack of awareness about the need to handle the special children specially – lack of awareness to consider them as a child who needs some additional support in their development and seamlessly interweave them into the regular curriculum…believe me, it takes lots and lots of effort and challenges even with well-educated crowd  –  even the teachers in the school need lot of coaxing to make this happen  –  I read a lot, I fight for the special children’s rights at school and I keep looking at what the other countries are doing for them  –  it takes a lot of my effort –  my spouse keeps telling me that I am stressing myself on this ……….but, I want to do it and make the difference in whatever small way to these kids…..”

I was so touched by her passion and for the right cause  –  I congratulated her and said that it takes lot of courage to do the right thing and stand for it.  It honestly makes me feel so energized to see such determination in woman and I am sure she is going to make a difference for the special children and their parents!   All the very best and God bless!

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Women and Glass Ceiling


For those women, who are aspiring to break the glass ceiling at work………..While I am not sure about the source, this piece of note is very much in line with what I think women should have if  they are looking at breaking the glass ceiling

“The basic qualities any company looks for are leadership skills, maturity and the ability to manage people. Managers have to carry people with them, and make them execute the vision.”

Companies are not looking for different traits in woman. In fact, women have a higher EQ (Emotional Quotient), which in today’s companies, is rated higher than IQ. Hence, women have an edge over men in problem solving.

Tips for women:

Behave like a professional, not like a man or a woman. Don’t approach people with a chip on your shoulder that screams, “I am a woman.”

Aggression is immaturity. If you want to stand out in a male crowd, getting overly aggressive can make you come across as someone over eager or impatient to be heard. This can give an impression of immaturity. Corporate look for mature leaders, so to be heard, be firm. Talk sense. But don’t push too hard.

Stop bothering about men. Use your core strengths to further your career. Don’t get into competition with men. Competition is good with colleagues, but not on a gender basis. It makes you lose focus. Even a man who lacks maturity, will never reach the top, and remember that.

Remember that you are being taken seriously. Women tend to be pushy because they feel they need to be taken seriously. Remember that the moment you are good, your work and suggestions make sense, you will be taken seriously. Men are usually more patient with women. Don’t take advantage of that.

Up in the Air!


Category – (could not categorize);  Rating  – 3 ; Comment –  Interesting to watch

One of the movies i recommended to HR team!  I could relate so well to the dilemma which comes in with the job  –  the job of letting people know that their services are no more requried for the organization!  While it goes without saying that sitting on the other side of the table is much easier, this movie reminded me of the sleepless nights i had after one such session where the employee broke down and hysterically repeated about his thoughts of ending this agony!  Scary ofcourse.  I also liked the bagpack theory of Clooney  –  don’t overload your life!Relationships are the heaviest components of your life! the slower we move, the faster we die!

What was striking was, all the folks remembered only the miles collected by Clooney when i mentioned this movie, but not about the FIRING part! –  proves again that something differently wired in me!   🙂

Next Gen India! Thumbs Up!!


I continue to go through my own share of doubts  –  what is next Gen India going to do?  As part of parenting a teenager, there are times where I continue to compare my teenage days with the current teenagers  –   current Gen X has a lot of options and they have more access to anything they want  –  INTERNET is a big power……!  I sometimes have detested their ‘know-all’ attitude, but I also acknowledge that they know more than what I knew at their age  – but, still there are doubts on how they are going to fair in life!

When I listened to the two presentations by startup entrepreneurs, I was pretty convinced to give a Thumps up to Next Gen India!!

I was in the NASSCOM Product Conclave  and they had selected the top 8 emerging product companies in India.  Two of them are run by 2009 engineering grads

1. INNOZ –   When i saw Deepak waiting near the dais, i ignored him as one of the mike boys………..and bingo, he starts on his SMSGYAN…

2. INTERVIEW STREET – while I was pleasantly surprised with Deepak, it became a double ‘damaka’ with Vivek .

Thumbs Up!!!   🙂 🙂 🙂

Long Service Award


Yeah, it may sound crazy…but it feels like Oscar!   I am referring to the long service award which I got from my employer – 10 years in the same organization is indeed a milestone.

Yes, what is striking is that all these long service awardees have put in the best of their career years into this organization  – this is amazing!! I am sure if any of the long service awardees get their biographies done, this period in our life time will definitely be a focused coverage!.  All have been together, learnt many things, grown, been loyal, dedicated, etc……..

Professionally and personally I have matured a lot in these last 10 years and my organization has a very big role to play in my growth – when i say organization, it goes without saying it is the people who make the organization.

Coming back to the “feeling like Oscar”, it  is ARR’s Oscar award acceptance speech which crosses my mind – the famous quote ‘Ella Pugazhum Irayvanuke (All praise be to God)’  –  probably it is true in my case, but just that for me the God is in the people around me  –  ” my parents – who instilled the value of  life into me,   my spouse and kids – who understand me and relentlessly support  me to handle and balance my work load and personal life, my sibling – who inspires me to face  and live my life, my friends – who shape my thoughts and make me better every day,  my mentors -who put their faith in  my potential  and  give responsibilities which help  me grow professionally, my colleagues –  who bring in those  moments of happiness and belongingness  to keep me going , my team – who actually make it possible for me to deliver the expectations  –  so, it is people, people, people………..probably, my note should go like ” Ella Pugazhum Irayvanuke –  Ennai Sutri Manithanai irrukum  Irayvanuke”  (All praise be to God who is in the form of People around me!)

To close, i quote these lines from ttrangarajan -” Happiness is in small things!  Success is in big things”  and  these 10 long years in this organization gave the opportunities for small things and big things!!

God bless!  🙂 🙂 Makes me feel wonderful about this milestone!

Socially!!


It was almost lunch time and there were still five people waiting in the queue…It was a hot afternoon and all were hoping that the lady in the post office(PO) counter will attend to all of us within her lunch time, which was just another 15 minutes away. 

I have always seen the PO women to be very efficient and active…..very short and small built (typical of a middle class Indian women) with specs which is way too big for her small face. As far as I have witnessed during my monthly post office visits, I found that she is the most computer literate in the entire office….I have seen her handling the most busiest counter on all days and in parallel handling cash transactions and also helping her colleagues on their doubts. While on one side, I admire her as the most efficient women, I am also equally wary of her sudden bursts of anger. I have seen her snapping at customers in high voice, making statements like “I have only two hands!! Wait!!”  Nevertheless, I still viewed her as the most efficient person and the most dedicated.

 On that afternoon, I could see that all her colleagues in the other counters have already closed down their counters and started their lunch break.  This lady is still counting money and looking into her terminal. A man rushed in and stood at the end of the queue…the lady sees it and screams “Sir, time aagithe (time over).  You come tomorrow.  I have five people in the queue already and I should go for lunch”.   I was also surprised –  given that it is still another 15 minutes, she has a likely possibility of servicing him also.  But she was very determined .  I felt that this lady is stressed out and is screaming at everyone.

She turns her focus and continues in the same voice to the next customer in line – a middle aged women in front of me – a very well dressed fashionable women at her fifties…the type you may see in those high class boutiques.  The PO lady says – “madam..illi sign maadi!”.   The customer seem to have understood the instruction and started signing on the document.  The PO women jumps from her seat and with a total irritated mood says “madam, alli illa, sign her, madam!…on the dotted line”.  The customer  was embarrassed and told in a low voice   “see, I do not have my reading glasses and I cannot see well”.  Immediately, the PO women goes cool….”same problem for me also madam, I cannot see well if I take the glasses” and takes her specs and extends to the customer and said  “no problem madam, use my specs”.  While the customer hesitated, the PO women insisted it and again said “no problem madam, i can see well with these glasses, it will help you to see and sign correctly”.  The customer was so thankful and accepted the offer and signed off.

I was amazed by the PO women and her social skills –  I can never imagine this happening in any so called customer friendly  foreign banks or even in other shop counters….in the same situation, they would have made the customer feel even more uncomfortable for not able to sign off…..

Kudos, Madam!….You are so  very natural, true to yourself, efficient, screaming at issues and in the same whiff, helping the customer getting their work done.  I am sure I am going to ignore her short outbursts and enjoy witnessing her social skills in my next visits!!

Fun@Work – Everlasting four liners!!


It was 12.40 am…. i get a feeling that all the teams at work are lost in galaxy!!…….probably this feeling is the after effect of two consecutive 13-14 hour grueling work days and my hurting throat infection…handling tiring telecons, (mis)communications, egos!!…….

and then suddenly i am gushing to list these four liners….. honestly, at the end of this listing exercise, I felt more positive about work….i could see the fun part of it……..all functions indeed knew what needs to improve(in other functions) for them to perform !!! Probably we are on the right track!!

whoever handles these functions, these four lines last ever…they keep  coming back in different flavors through different media …notice that all functions are 100% dependent on other functions to reach 100% !!   🙂  🙂

SALES

  1. Finance has to do better revenue recognition and better reporting
  2. Delivery teams have to keep all projects in GREEN
  3. Resourcing team must provide experienced high end resources with no lead time and forecast
  4. Management must invest more to improve customer relationship

FINANCE

  1. Sales team to have all clean agreements with customer with good rates
  2. Delivery teams must ensure that all timesheets are filled on time to enable timely revenue recognition
  3. Resourcing team need to allocate only cheaper resources so that Gross Margin for all deals will be good
  4. HR team to provide timely inputs for processing on time salary processing

DELIVERY

  1. Sales to sell a better estimation
  2. Resourcing team to get capable resources and provide additional non billing resources
  3. Client management should shy away from over committing and handle customer expectation
  4. HR team to give promotions and salaries for all the team members every quarter

RESOURCING TEAM

  1.  Sales team to provide accurate forecast and enough lead time
  2. Delivery team will accept near fit candidates
  3. All the resource requirement are only for plain vanilla skills (no niche skills which are not available in market)
  4. Management to approve larger bench so that resources are available to allocate in short lead time

HR TEAM

  1. Delivery to manage projects well so that they do not stretch people
  2. Sales to get good rates for projects to provide a better salary
  3. Delivery teams to handle resources like HR teams and keep the individuals always motivated to avoid any HR issues
  4. Management to approve new projects and larger budgets to energize all – through various FUN at WORK programs

Awesome Twosome


Whatever you call it…it gives lot of experiences when you get in touch with your roots….

I was watching a TV program on   Indira Nooyi” and was bowled over by where she has reached today……..i could not stop smiling when one of her associates from IIM C mentioned that she is from Chennai, Tamilnadu!!….indeed, she is one woman to be watched!

It was just a coincidence that i happened to watch another women in Chennai……..she is no where in the field of business, but by her knowledge and the skills she presented in her discourse, i am sure she is indeed qualified to be part of the most powerful women of the world!!………yeah, i am talking about Visaka Hari“……..she just bowled over the crowd….i could see people with tears in their eyes when she was presenting her discourse……..such clarity of thoughts, enormous knowledge, super self confidence ……….name it, and she has all ingredients for being the most powerful women!!   

What an awesome twosome from  Tamilnadu!!!

Coelho to Thiruvalluvar


Work is a blessing when it helps us to think about what we’re doing, but it becomes a curse when its sole use is to stop us thinking about the meaning of our life’  –  – Paulo Coelho

When i shared this quote with RK, as always he comes back and asks “what do you think of your current work?  While answering this, I have another question- how do you define ‘Truth’?”

………….now, i am thinking!!!!

I respond to RK –  “Today, many of us still have the freedom of choice on many of our life decisions . My challenge seems to be within myself – do I focus, analyze, make the right choices and take responsibility for my choices?. this holds good for my current work also. I have all the freedom to make sure that my work is a blessing and the challenge seems to be whether i am doing anything on making it so!”    

Then i think about truth and the couplet verse 292  from “Thirukural”  pops up in my mind and then i translate it to RK and write down – “Truth – anything which brings in good for a larger cause is truth.  There is a couplet in Tamil which goes like “lies are also truth, if it ends up in good!”. It makes sense now(only!!)

For a change, RK seems to be satisfied with the responses….and ofcourse, who has a choice against Thiruvalluvar!!!   🙂

Disappearing Boundaries ? !! (a secret wish on the Int’nl Women’s Day)


Ok, it was an official international call… and we are aware that the communication costs are expected to be kept to a minimum…………so what?, when the other person is someone whom you know for the last ten years and respect for the professionalism in them…….and also whom you have looked at as your GOD MOTHER sort off…………then, u still spend another couple of minutes on the official call to check on how things are…………before you really sign off.

“Tomorrow is women’s day!! Wishes to you! Any plans?”.

Without hesitation comes the response “Buddy, honestly, it takes someone to remind me that I am a women and tomorrow is a declared day for the women of the world. Tell me one thing, do you ever see any situation in the corporate world, where women can operate differently, because I am a women?………given the fact that we are moving into the times of having metrosexual men, I am confident that the gap due to gender difference is becoming narrower everywhere……at least it is true in our corporate world and also in the upper class and the lower class of any society”.

With an expected understanding and pride of having a pragmatic (& also dreaming!) confidante, the conversation is signed off…. “You are indomitable!! As always, you make me think more about women in your own way….bye till we catch later”

Topic to dwell further……….

Is the gender boundaries disappearing ?……….
Is it is always the middle class in all society who are caught in typecasting………whereas the upper class and lower class are all going ahead with what they want to do with their life!!

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