(No) Horn. Ok. Please

Leaving Thailand with a bag and mobile full of memories (shopping and pictures, respectively­čśő). It had to be that way as Thailand – Bangkok, Krabi and Phuket offers a wide variety of scenic beauty, on and off the beaches, and beautiful and competitive options for shopping too.

Bangkok was a commercialised place and added Safari and Marine world in our experience. Krabi was an underdeveloped tourist place but with beautiful beaches and high scope of development, added Longtail boat and Snorkeling in experience for us. Phuket was an aptly developed tourist place, with focus on service and facilities for the tourists (Phuket’s economy is dependent on tourism). Added snorkeling, speed boat and sea swimming in our experience. An overall memorable experience and successful trip albeit monsoon making the days dull and gloomy, not-so-good hotel experience in Bangkok, foot wounds by beach stones, technical glitch delaying our return ticket booking and in turn a day extended in Phuket.

However, apart from all these, what I am also taking back with me is a No horn policy of Thailand which impressed me and all my family members since Day 1. Yes you read that right. No Horn. No sound Pollution. No honking. Being an Indian, it’s an awe-inspiring moment for us when traffic moves on the road with silent cooperation of drivers, without using the horns (which we Indians feel as a birthright to press every now and then when we sit on driver seat) . It is still an amazement to watch my taxi driver silently following the traffic, without any greed to press horn to the cars lined in front of us (if I were him, I would have pressed that noisy button 8-10 times in the last 20 minutes) and the same patience is observed in other drivers too, irrespective of private or public transport, 2 wheels or 4 wheels. You respect the other driver and everyone cooperates. Kudos to the people here for this traffic discipline and I take this lesson with me back home and try to spread it and apply it personally too. God save me in the traffic on Indian roads.

No Horn. Ok. Please. ­čÖĆ

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Rendering unforgettable service.

It’s time for vacation and we decided to visit Thailand for a relaxed vacation topped with shopping benefits. We started the trip with Family.. 7 members on the tour and the trip took off well, though after a 5 hours delayed flight which spoiled our leaving-for-a-tour excitement. The taxi driver that dropped us from home to airport was a real service person. On his four wheels he ensured his customers were entertained by his talks, from the words mixed with tobacco, and his intriguing attitude of knowing everything about his customers on board. When asked by me for putting on radio, an excuse to keep him shut as I was not at all interested in a talk with a stranger at that time, he declared his radio doesn’t work, but provided an instant solution to connect our phone by USB to his system and listen to songs we like, pleasing tactic for customers. When my husband declined to not connect his phone with his system reasoning draining battery of phone,he was very quick on responding with a charger he had and said “Sir, charger bhi hai mere paas, aap to bas gaane suno aur relax karo” (Sir, I also have a charger, you listen your favourite songs and relax).I chuckled.

He taught me a lesson of customer centricity. He taught me that serving your customer in a right way leaves an unforgettable impression on them. And it’s an art of delivering such service to your customer when service is a growing and highly competitive market. It is not a product that your customer keeps with you and remembers but your timely service which is highly perishable. Enthusiasm and interest in this field makes the person’s service memorable, undoubtedly. Be it a restaurant waiter, teacher, tour guide or as in my story a taxi driver.

I would like to summarise the moral of the story with lines I came through recently – “Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth ” by Muhammad Ali

She is your mother

She hears you when you cry silently

She feels your pain when you are broken and don’t want to discuss with anyone

She understands you even when you stay away from her.. Miles away..

She is happy when you laugh and she is hopeful when you don’t call her/talk to her

She prays for your health when she is herself not well.

She feeds you first when there is not enough food in her kitchen

She expects nothing, she is the Giver..

She is the first lady of your life who loves you unconditionally!

She is your Mother..

Take care of her!

Where did she went wrong?

“You bitch”

The words echoed in her head so loud as a bomb blast that she could not even hear any other sound around her, the clock tikking, the baby wailing, washing machine beeping to inform that the clothes are done. She was feeling suffocated in the open air flowing in the room from the window, where she stood. Tears rolled down her cheeks and she realised she was crying.

She hurried to bed after feeding the baby and making her sleep. Today the baby slept without annoying her mother, maybe the little innocent toddler understood her mother’s feelings, and how not when she was a part of her for the 9 months!

She tried crying out while washing her face, to mix her tears with the running water, but felt helpless. Her eyes turned red. She dried her face and kept thinking…All will get good.. He was just not in his senses. But other thoughts loudly said that was he saying the truth because people tend to speak truth when they are not in their senses?!

She silently sat on the bed, to the opposite side where he was already sleeping.. He was in deep sleep.. Snoring…. She thought, how odd of him of sleeping so peacefully after hurting me! She wanted to shout at him and inform him that she was hurt. That she wanted to talk to him. But her words could not gather the power to come out of the mind and mouth.

Her heart wept. She turned around and tried to sleep. Her heart could not contain the tears, filled her eyes and tears slipped from her eyes through her nose, making the pillow wet with every drop of her tear. She gulped down the saliva formed in her mouth. She closed her eyes. She sobbed. She recalled what happened just a couple hours earlier and tried finding where she went wrong.

****

She was done with dinner preparations, was cleaning the house, kept the clothes for washing, checked out on baby and found that baby was playing with her toys. She felt relieved and excited as she thought now baby will sleep sooner and she could enjoy her time with her husband. Baby was 7 months old and since the baby came into their life, the couple had less time together, let alone “privacy” . She went to dress up, chose a red bright dress and was applying makeup when the door bell rang.. 4 times in a row.. She gasped her breath for once as she was expecting her husband to come at this time of the night and these bells startled her. She went towards the door, peeped from the peephole on the door and could see her husband. She was amazed as he carried another key of the house and generally steps in the home by his own key. She opened the door for him. He was drunk. Messy hair. Red eyes. Bad breath. He walked in. Managed himself to walk in. She was unhappy to see him this way..This was an unexpected situation for her as he had promised on their baby that he won’t drink alchohol for his life when she gave birth to their baby. She was angry. She was angry on him to break his promises… She was angry on herself to be stupid and believing him. A flood of emotions drove through her, leaving her weak.

“Where are you coming from? Where have you been?” She enquired, while imagining where he would have been.

“I was at work. I work all day long! I am not you who sits home and relaxes” He shouted. She was dumbfound. All she could think about was their baby. Her baby.

“Shhhh… Why are you shouting? Reduce your volume.! Baby is also in the home” She requested while tears filled her throat.

“Baby baby baby, I am tired of you and the baby. You have made my life hell.. You bitch.. Get lost.. Let me live my life.. I will do what I want. Get lost.” He screamed and rushed to his room like a thunderstorm and closed the door with a bang.. Like a cloud burst in thunderstorm. She shivered. This was not how she expected to welcome him. This was not all she expected to happen tonight. She felt helpless.

Before she could let his words sink in her mind and before she could find sense in what he said, she heard her baby crying. The baby got afraid of the door banged by her father and his shouting. She went to her baby and tried to calm her down. Meanwhile she also cried and the baby watched her and stopped crying, god knows how seeing her mother crying made her mature enough to stop cry and console her mother by silently watching her.

*****

7 months before.. She was so happy when he promised to leave alcohol. He sweared on their baby and she thought it was the best day of her life having her baby and her husband.. All to her. She loved him 10 times more for leaving alchohol. He used to overdrink. He was becoming an addict. He abused her and she prayed from god nothing else but him leaving alcohol and her enjoying her life with him as a happy couple.

ADDICT..She thought.. “Yes, he was an addict and so he went back to his addiction.. He lost to care for his wife and their baby.. He didn’t remember us, that we were waiting to be with him. He found his happiness in alcohol. I used to found my happiness in him..Where should I go now.!? “..

And tears rolled down her cheeks..and she tried finding where did she went wrong..

Journey of thoughts to words

What we speak is a result of what we think. This is a natural phenomenon and it should be followed in the same way – Say what you think, Think before saying. However, when this phenomenon is literally followed, it may lead to problems such as hurting people, unwanted advices, untimely information dissemination and inability of corrections as the spoken words cannot be taken back. So this phenomenon was required to be coupled with another advice which is – Think “twice” before speaking. Thinking twice helps to first create your own thought and then scan it against the other person’s requirements and it’s impact on you or the other person. This advanced phenomenon if developed as a habit can be useful in all areas of life for an individual.

However people also tend to think 10 times or more before speaking! Believe me on that! These people have a long list of scanners for their thoughts, they think about other people’s reactions, their reputation /image change after other people’s reactions, the impact of their words, the alternative impacts of their words, their then reactions to the alternative impacts and so on… To summarize, these are the fearful individuals! Scared of the outcomes of their thoughts after it takes the form of a speech.

The extremity to this thought process gives birth to the manipulators, who, after processing their thoughts through multiple scanners, manipulate their thoughts in a way which delivers their best impression on the listener, even if they are cursing someone.

Such manipulators can be seen at many places, often seen at job places, so called kingdoms of “rat races”, where every rat is in the race to prove its potential against a rat that it assumes is weaker than it, ignoring the fact that every rat is not the same. Pardon me for digressing from thoughts of thoughts to rats, but that’s where my thoughts led to.!

Coming back to the crux, I read this line written somewhere – “Don’t think too much that you start doubting your own thoughts.”

People’s thoughts are the first expression of their own emotions, intuitions and point of views, which are original to them. Some people themselves destroy their own thoughts by overthinking on it, manipulating it in fear of other people’s perceptions, thus losing its essence and importance of being their own, which builds their identity and leaves an impression on others. A different impression will always be remembered. So have confidence on your thoughts if they are different (not damaging) . Do not judge them. Do not hesitate to let them take the form of speech and provide you the freedom of speech that you deserve. Give your thoughts the wings of words and let them fly. They are yours, be proud of them. You also need to take good care of your thoughts, so nourish them by good reads and more good reads.

What do you think?

Passage of time = Passage of life

You waste a minute, and you do not realise.. As it was just a minute.

You waste an hour, and you do not realise.. As it was just an hour.

You waste a day, and you realise, and think to cover it up the next day.

You waste a week, only thinking about what you ought to do rather than acting upon it and you persuade yourself by making another plan for another week.

You waste a month, and are guilty for not being able to make it up, and count the remaining months left in a year, and plan another plan.

You try a day or so or a week, feel good, and hit bed for another day or so, and are left where you were at the beginning.

An hour, a day, a week, a month, and a year passes just like the previous ones, leaving you the same as you were before.. until you try hard, work upon it harder, stick to your plan, keep an eye on your goal and imagine your life after you achieve the goal, OR else one day, your life too shall pass, leaving you with regrets of those things you didn’t do, especially those which you could, but you chose not to, because when you realised the waste of time, it was too late.

Remember : It’s never too late to start over. Greet the new day with a new you and feel the positive vibes working with you.

As you sow, so shall you reap.. Or your successors!

“Why doesn’t your son goes to college for higher education?” My grandfather asked his office accountant, in a surprise.

“He has completed his schooling, it is enough in our family, and now will help me in my work, I need an assistant to look after your company’s accounts. And sir, I cannot afford his higher education fees too. He dreams to settle out of India”. Mr. Sharma replied, hesitantly.

“No need of him to work here” My grandfather ordered in a high pitched voice, “Send him to high school, he is a bright student, I will pay his fees. You should have informed me earlier ” Grandfather added, and left to smoke outside the office.

My grandfather was a charming personality, with shine on forehead, smiling lips, eyes scanning people and places, and brain calculating profits and losses. He loved children. He was a chain smoker. He smoked partly due to addiction and partly to show off. And he thought why not smoke for show off, when then smoking was a status symbol and when he owned a house and a successful business in his name, 3 cars with a driver, all of this in the year 1984 when there was no one in competition against him and people struggled throughout their lives to build a house alone in their name. He was proud of his children, two daughters and two sons, and could imagine of passing his legacy to his two sons whom he considered deserving, able and efficient enough to improve and expand the business, mint money and live the life people admired.

But, as they say, Destiny has it’s own way.

1992, in my birth year, my grandfather died in an accident, he was a diabetes patient too and recovery from an accident was not easy for him. What he left behind him was his wife, family, his savings and his growing business which then required to be expanded and fight strong against the growing competitions with modernization, all this in the hands of his two sons who weren’t prepared to handle it immediately after his sudden demise. Albeit they struggled to overcome the challenges. They tried hard. Their family tried hard together.

Years passed…… business suffered, families suffered and so did health. The two brothers separated their ways, separate business and separate families. Children suffered too. The problem I and my brother-sister faced, among many, was delays in paying tuition fees of the school. We used to hide heads in the initial times when our names were called out to pay the overdue fees, but gradually it became so regular for us that when the school peon entered our classroom with a list of students whose tuition fees was pending, we used to come out by ourselves without letting him announce our name. Our teachers and friends became used to it too. We used to smile when we saw each other in the same line of such students called out by the school’s administrative officer. Life taught me that struggles, when faced and fought and are laughed at, by a family together, brings the family members closer and strengthens their bond.

Well the school time passed with this and other beautiful memories and it was the time for pursuing higher education.

I wanted to become a Chartered Accountant. I didn’t knew then, but was more than happy to learn that the course was the cheapest course in India for commerce students, albeit with highest dignity of a Chartered Accountant. Though cheap, but the fees was required to be paid in advance. It was not a school where delays will be allowed. The time was tough and my father was joining money from various sources to pay for the fees as we didn’t have savings then. My father did his best..

It was then when that accountant’s son (Mr. Junior Sharma) arrived India and wanted to meet his old friends, my father being one of them. Just then! Imagine the coincidence..! They met. They talked. The accountant’s son decided to pay for my education fees until my father managed from his own resources and would repay him. When asked by his wife of his sudden kind gesture for the daughter of one of his “just a friend”, he replied ” I was able to complete my science graduation because that girl’s grandfather paid for my higher education. A little money from his fortune then, helped me shape my life and now I would be able to repay that debt by helping them in their need”.

Through this post, I thank him for that support extended by him. I thank my grandfather for securing my future, unknowingly! I thank my father to instill hope in me and to believe that thoughts matter, so keep them always positive. He says-“If you do your best, then the rest will be taken care by god.”

I Thank God for making the ends meet, then, for me.

Truly, Destiny has its own way!