Monday, November 27, 2006

The Showstopper!

The situation and the circumstances in which u have to refuse a person something might vary greatly from one situation to another. So u may need to adapt to the situation. However, it is essential to keep the basic governing rule the same – be courteous. There is no need to alter your stand if you are justified in refusing. If you are convinced of your justifications, be firm in your refusal but try not to hurt a fellow human being with harsh words.

“You can only go halfway into the darkest forest; then you are coming out the other side.
We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit” - Aristotle

"Rules, the very mention of the word make u want to revolt and break through. Do this, do that, do not do this, do it only this way and not that way… an endless list. Rules, especially those formulated by others and imposed upon you make you want to defy them. We are forever looking for loopholes to escape from them.

People deride rules as–and-when they are posed. More often than not many are not so permissive to accept the rules posed in favor of the society or community or thyself.

There are many things we use today that have been a result of some great ideas pursued relentlessly by those who conjured them up.. Each and every one of these ideas faced ridicule and criticism when first voiced. One must know that, it is the persistent endeavor that ensured making some of the dreams come true.

Numerous other dreams may have withered at the offense posed in opposition to them and more often than not human race is renowned for having lost many a workable idea at the altar of ridicule.

For today’s life beacons for the most substantial survival attitude from its inmates, A positive attitude has a very strong influence on the mentality and motivation necessary for setting a goal to live and achieve it.

An inevitable emergency could possibly happen to anyone, anywhere. When confronted with an unexpected survival situation man has the potential to overcome many challenges, beat incredible odds, and come out as a survivor. But what is survival anyway?

Survival is the art of surviving beyond any event. To survive means to remain alive - to live. Survival is preparing oneself and being ready in taking any given circumstance, accepting the same, and trying to improve it, while sustaining your life until u can get out of the situation. And most importantly, survival is a state of mind. One definitely must be in the proper frame of mind to survive an unplanned situation. Survival depends a great deal on a person’s ability to withstand stress in emergency situations.

A strong desire to continue living is a must as far as your mindset goes. Ur brain is without doubt your best survival tool. It is your most valuable asset in a survival situation. It isn’t always the physically strong who are the most effective or better at handling fear in emergency situations. Survival more often depends on the individual’s reactions to stress than upon the danger, terrain, or nature of the emergency. To adapt is to live. Mental skills are much more important than physical skills in survival situations.

When times of crisis strike you, all you have to do is to decide with in seconds whether you are gonna say yes or no to the problems that’s gonna end up hounding you!

It resides with what you are gonna do with the problem…You decide to stick to it or discard it instantly at the face of it. Well to deal with the problem would mean your strict presence and your 100% attention to resolve the problem every time it resurfaces.

Choosing to ignore things would only mean that you are very weak to confront your self or others when it comes to crisis management.

Look at your self before you look at others…think …plan…decide and then execute.

Keeping a positive mental outlook is for certain the most important aspect of survival.

But then expecting the positive attitude to serve as the back up factor all the time cannot be practically true. Things do take their own stride in playing its role in ones life. So preparing for the worst and hoping for the best might probably help to some extent.

Controlling your fears and maintaining your balance is always good.

Dedicating this to no one in particular – But to the thin, shapeless AIR….

Monday, November 20, 2006

So much for a VISA Stamping!!!!!!!!!!!!

3.55am Mom: Saloniiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii get up.... its 4am, you got your Stamping today and you’re still sleeping like a lazy donkey!!!!!!!
3.55am Saloni: Hmmm...hmmmm....Ya ma will get up.. gimme 5 mins... 4.00am - Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr... goes the alarm....groggily I stretch out my hand from underneath my cozy covers and hit the alarm clock angrily to silence.
4.05am - Finally, I make up my mind to get outa bed and got up to do some stretch outs....
4.10am - I switched off the A.C pushed away the screens to see the outside climatic conditions and was for a minute taken-aback at the sight of the heaviest down-pours happening blissfully at that early hour of the day.
4.11am - Hmmmmmm... with a deep sigh... I push the curtains back to its place and break into a little jog to attend to my first nature's call of the day!
4.17am - I get out of the loo, having cleared my bowels and try to peek into my bedroom once again to catch-up with a little nap for few minutes.
4.21am Mom: SALLLLLLLLLOOONNIIIIII Where the heck are you??????? Stillll on bed???? Get up you dumb ASS!!!!!
4.21am Saloni: uh-oh!...rghh....errr...uummmm... No mommm...I am up already...and in the restroom brushing... I run into the restroom with my toothbrush and paste and shut the door so softly that she doesnt end up hearing the door-bolt.
4.27am - I am out in my balcony sit-out area with a steaming mug of filter coffee, home made; mom made; fantasized with the purest blend of morning coffee, Suprabhadham (The Morning Raga of almost all the south-indian homes), a beautiful rain and a dim lit street with a couple of early morning birds chirping the dense old mango tree of my neighbor’s.
4.30am - Looked up at the sky, the clouds were clearing up on the east while they were taking in different forms of thick dark grey masses along the west.
4.35am - I found out an elephant, a sun flower, a bucket, a cone ice-cream and a woman holding a baby in those dark patches of clouds....
4.36am Mom: - How long will you take to finish your coffee??? Your hot water is ready... Go get that oil bowl, lemme apply that to your hair, you have ample time, so wash off the oil thoroughly, n don’t be in a hurry...but make sure you are out by 5.15am at the max.
4.37am - I nod my head in agreement and went in to get the bowl.
4.38am - With the usual wish-lists submission to the god and blessings from her end, she worked with her expert hands to apply the warm gingely oil mixed with methi seeds & curry leaves, deep down my scalp, giving me a feel of heaven.
4.39am - with a loud pat on the head, as a finishing note she asked me get-set-go to have my bath.
4.40am - I went in, Took my time to do the best to my hair with the bowl of shikkakai powder and made sure that i was out by 5.20am. Two loud bangs on the washroom door and one call for time-check were a part too, which i shouldn’t fail to make note of.
5.27am - I am out with my formal pants (deep purple) and brand new off-white (Van Heusen) shirt.
5.30am - dried my hair, tied it up neatly. Smeared some cold cream and applied the same on my face. Sprayed the deodorant.
5.45am - Time to pray - 10mins here, Lighted the lamp, chanted the slokas that I knew, Decorated the idols and picture frames of gods with flowers. Prostrated in front of god.
5.50am - Took the akshadai, Came upto dad and mom, and took their blessings as well.
5.55am - Honk from driver, to indicate that the car is ready.
5.57am - Kissed mom, wore the sacred ash on my fore head, one last glimpse at the puja room, Took my purse, docs and walked down the staircase with dad to get into the car.

6.13am - Arrival at the U.S consulate office
6.14 - waited inside the car till
6.45am as it was too early to get to the queue(Well there wasnt any queue at all for that matter!!! )
6.45am - Stood in the queue 7.20am - handbag screening and security checking done.
7.35am - Was made to wait in chairs for the documents checking.
8.15am - All BEP candidates were called separately and were sent in directly to the Visa interview building, where in couple of Indian consulate officers segregated my documents and handed over the entire original and Xerox of my educational/job related documents.
8.40am – Was waiting for my green folder to come back to me with the VISA information slip (Green one for L1 Blanketers to be filled in by the Indian officers).
9.30am – Was given my folder and was sent into counter number 1 for both the index finger prints.
9.50am – Was sent into counter number 4 where in a female consular was to interview me.

The interview is as follows:-
I step forward and place my original educational and job related documents on the counter slab that’s laid in front of me and smile at the officer.
Saloni: Good Morning Officer! How are you?
Officer: I am fine. Thank you. How are you?
Saloni: I am doing good.
Officer: So you are a candidate of Blanket L1?
Saloni: yes, that’s right. Officer: What’s the purpose of your visit?
Saloni: To work with XXXXY.
Officer: And where’s your XXXXY office is U.S?
Saloni: It’s at ZZZZ, PPPPP State.
Officer: Is that the Headquarters’ of XXXXY?
Saloni: Yes, it is.
Officer: So what’s your type of work there?
Saloni: I’ll be there to carry-out the implementation of my project.
Officer: What is your project?
Saloni: WWPPPP. It’s a customer support representative application designed for credit card customers.

Officer: Okay… why have you been chosen for this role at your onsite office?
Saloni: I am a credit cards specialist, possessing a rich experience of 21months in the cards domain. Hence I have been selected for this role.
Officer: How long would your stay be?

Saloni: For 3 years from now.
Officer: Okay Saloni, Congrats, you are through with your VISA, you would be receiving your passport on the mailing address mentioned by you, I hope its your office address.
Saloni: Thanks Officer.Yeah, That’s right. It’s my office address.
Officer: Before you leave, May I know your educational qualification Saloni?
Saloni: I am a YYYY in XXXX.
Officer: Um hmm.. Do you have an onsite supervisor at your onsite location?
Saloni: Yes, I do. Officer: okay that’s it then. You are through. Congrats again.

Saloni: Thanks officer. Have a good day and Bye.

10:02am: I collect my documents and walk out of the consulate office.
10:06am: On the streets of Anna Salai, elated with happiness. Informing the same to my dad who was waiting outside the US consulate office.