Wednesday, 29 June 2016

Being at Google

Well, my experience at Korrade's #AskGoogle 2 day event in collaboration with Google- Gurgaon wasn’t just an average happy experience; it was rather an overwhelming one, which amazingly opened up my mind to a Global oceanic body (Google) that is convincingly offering an endless array of opportunities and solutions for people like you and me to grow above and beyond.

I had in my recent past the opportunity to make visits to companies across the verticals for a variety of purposes, but somehow I never felt compelled with enough joy to pause and write about my experiences. Apart from having one of the most stunningly enormous buildings, interestingly innovative canteens, awe-inspiring work-station decor, tidy green rooms, there’s something more than this that makes Google, unlike any other workplace.

Can you guess what that “something” might be? Well, that something is nothing other than the spark of content and pride, which I assure you can spot in the eyes of each Googler and mind you the list includes not just Coders, Designers, Sales or Communication professionals, but also chefs, receptionists, and guards at Google.

During the sessions, I never for a minute felt bored, instead, I tried my best to absorb as much as I could from the humbly interactive execution of informative presentations. I strongly believe, to build any initiative into a phenomenal institution, one doesn’t just require swift funding, but more essentially an enthusiastic team of employees which feels happy and humble firstly about their association and secondly about their work.

So, to me, THIS is how any company should aspire itself to be like. 

Tuesday, 14 June 2016

Please, let only LOVE win!

As I vent this out, an uneasy dawn is yet again breaking over Washington DC. Frankly, I have barely slept a wink, since my cousin living in Florida spoke to me about what all she saw from underneath the table of a café near Pulse nightclub, where one of the most tragically horrifying mass-shootout happened since 9/11, leaving about 50 people dead and several badly injured.

Guns, Mental illness, Islamophobia, Hatred, Domestic Violence, Racism, Homegrown Extremism,  different people hold different things responsible for what happened at the midnight in one of the most enthralling gay nightclubs in Orlando, Florida. Untangling this senseless violence is an unnerving struggle not just for Americans, but for all the people around the world who fear that there could be more.

To many people, the mass shooting above all was an act of barbarity by a terrorist determined on harming America. To LGBTQ community, it was something else as well: an attack to puncture their flights and discourage them from celebrating the liberties that the patrons at Pulse were enjoying that night. The shootout evoked a spontaneous outburst of support and sympathy for a group that is still often mocked, with people expressing solidarity through whatever way they can on the social media.

Not-so-surprisingly, within 24 hours of the shootout, the Islamic State had publicly claimed the shooter—29-year-old Omar Mateen—as one of their own, igniting promises from presidential contenders to defeat the terrorist group. The ground level political reality for people of the Muslim community is no less disturbing; as after each incident of this kind, there’s an undeniable sad escalation of attacks and violence toward Muslims.

On the other hand, violent bouts are all too common in the LGBT community as well, which is strongly believed to be Omar’s intended target. Since the attack, Omar’s father, Mir Siddique told NBC News that his son had recently seen “two men kissing” in Miami and became “very angry.” But, can that justify the death of 50 beautiful people who simply had come to a nightclub to joyfully dance a step or two? What century are we all really living in?

However, it’s difficult to determine whether Omar’s alleged commitment to the Islamic State or homophobic anger was the primary trigger of what was the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. soil. But the fact remains that he targeted a gay club during the pride month.

Chad Griffin, president of the Human Rights campaign, told reporters during a press conference “This is what disgusts me the most about this tragedy: The maniac who did this was somehow conditioned to believe that LGBTQ people deserve to be massacred and that they are less-than in this society,” He also added “And he wasn’t just hearing this message from faraway terrorist organizations. He was hearing it from politicians and radical anti-LGBTQ Extremists right here in our own country.”

There are several lessons we all should learn from horrifying occurrences like these, but among those, I feel these four are most important; 

  • Learn to respect other people’s opinions, because it’s absolutely human to have a different opinion,
  • Rise above differences and love people as they are,
  •             No matter who you are, watch your words and your actions,
  •             Keep a vigil, but do not let attacks such as these terrify you to an extent that you stop living the way you always wanted.

At last, I would like to quote Jimmy Fallon’s response to Orlando’s mass shootout "It's just 1 bad guy and 50 good people. There will always be more good than evil. Keep loving each other, respecting each other, keep dancing and we will build it back" 

Friday, 3 June 2016

Got Insomnia? Let's talk about it!

As a teenager, I always thought being an “Insomniac” was something incredibly cool. Surprisingly, now, I crave for a sound & proportionate sleep more than a perfectly warm slice of brownie. Sounds relatable?  Well that’s factually true for most of us who follow 9-6 work routine and wish to strive harder. Unfortunately, Insomnia is not growth supportive; instead it sharply kills our over-all productivity.   

However, before we talk about solutions, we first must know what exactly Insomnia is. Insomnia is one of the most common sleep disorders, which is characterized by difficulty in falling or staying asleep. Some people with insomnia may fall asleep easily but wake up too soon, whereas other insomniacs may have the opposite tendency. Of course, the end result is poor-quality sleep and an everlasting feeling of being lazy as hell.

If you dig deeper, you will come across studies that claim the existence of mainly two types of insomnia; primary and secondary. Secondary Insomnia is observed to be the most common type as almost 8 out of 10 people with insomnia are diagnosed with it.  Here, ‘Secondary’ in medical terms means that the insomnia is not the main thing; it is rather a symptom or a side-effect of some other chronic problem. Some of the problems that usually cause this type of insomnia include:

·     Serious medical illnesses; heart and lung diseases
·      Overdose of Caffeine, tobacco, alcohol, and other substances that affect sleep
·       Chronic pain, anxiety, and depression
·       Heavy medicines that lead to delay or sleep- disruption as a side-effects
·       A poor sleep environment; or a sudden change in sleep routine

So, to keep yourselves from giving a ‘below-the-mark’ presentation at a crucial board meeting or dozing off accidentally while appearing for an important exam, you have got to get rid of your ‘unhealthy’ habits.

Get the right mattress: Sleep comfortably or don’t sleep at all. Make sure you have got the mattress which is neither too hard nor too soft.

Make your room soundproof:  Often, insomnia is caused by being awakened recurrently by loud noises. So, try sleeping in a soundproof room, or else wear earplugs.

Cut down your caffeine-intake: I agree, caffeine is a great pick-me-up, but it can also become really scary. It’s a great stimulator, but when you get to the point of needing that morning mug like the air you breathe it’s time you cut down your caffeine intake at least by half.

Take a bath and listen instrumental music: Wash and make yourself clean and while you do that play Instrumental music in the background. Instrumental music stimulates positive vibes deeper and faster than anything else, so maybe you can take some help.

Never trade your sleep: Sound sleep is a precious thing, trade it for no film, work, or late night party. Once in a while can be acceptable, but repeated patterns create concrete problems and if pattern is related to disruptive sleep, it can result into insomnia.

Let-go all your stress: Stress is considered to be the mother of all problems especially the ones related to our health.  Surviving in a competitive environment is not as easy as it may sound, because stress comes more often than the rains. To de-stress your life you can indulge in anything which engrosses you and makes you happy.  For instance: you can swim, run, paint, bake, play, listen to happy beats, or dance a step or two.

So, don’t be an insomniac, nor let anyone else be! 

Wednesday, 1 June 2016

The other side

Know where the grass is greener? It’s on the other side of all your fears. The moment you stand-up with your chin held high and shoulders as strong as the sky, everything loses its capacity to break you down. When instead of giving up, you dare to make a louder roar, you actually kick start the process of breaking the cage.  

Somehow, I have always strongly held the belief that each of us sharing the same Moon and the Sun, are absolutely capable of doing the impossible.  But, then why is it that only very few of us are actually able to make it? Maybe, it’s because those few do not succumb to fear and even if they happen to do, they make it a point to overcome it and strive back even harder.

Overcoming fear of any sort demands hard work and practice. Music, to me, has so far been the greatest motivator to do just that. So, to help you beat down your fears, repeatedly and religiously till the time they are completely gone, I would like to share my ‘eargasmic’ playlist with you.

Aerosmith's “Dream on”: Written by Steven Tallarico, four years before Aerosmith came to be in the New York music scene, Aerosmith’s “Dream On” stuck out as one of the finest and most enthralling songs till date. With its crux themed on ‘dreaming until your dreams come true’ the song continues to inspire people from across the world.  Focusing mind and energy on your dreams can certainly be the most exciting bait for not submitting to the trail of fears.

Florence and Machine’s ‘Shake it out’: Continuing the ‘superhero’ morph from an arty rocker to a stunning pop diva, “Shake it out” is considered to be Florence Welch’s most powerful song till date.  Released under the F&M’s album ‘Ceremonial’, the track fuels its listener's heart with an undying hope. The lyrics go like “'Cause I like to keep my issues drawn/ It's always darkest before the dawn.” Followed by beautifully sung chorus “Shake it out, shake it out, shake it out, shake it out, ooh whoa/ And it's hard to dance with a devil on your back, So shake him off, oh whoa”. So, shake off all your fears, because it’s hard to climb mountains when you have got a bagful of fears.

Bon Jovi’s “It’s my life”: Bon Jovi’s legendary song which went straight up #1 across Europe is lovingly played till date in each of his concerts.  The song gained such a huge popularity that it became one of the driving rock anthems celebrating human autonomy. With a catchy chorus, the song will make you question: whose life is it anyway? And if it is yours alone then why must you let others have control? So, tune-in to the song and shake off your desire to have other people’s opinion with lyrics like “ It’s my life/ And it’s now or never/ ‘Cause I ain’t gonna live forever…./ I just want to live while I’m alive/ ‘Cause it’s my” life!

Rihanna’s “Diamonds”: Penned by Sia and produced by Benny Blanco & Stargate, “Diamonds” emerged as something entirely different from anything tuned-up on any of the radio stations. It’s not really a killer club cut instead, it’s a stunningly soulful track. Where Rihanna confidently declares “Find light in the beautiful sea/ I choose to be happy/ You and I, you and I/ We’re like diamonds in the sky”. We can all shine bright like diamonds, but for that, we must face our fears. 

Ryan Tedder & Gym Class Heroes’ “The Fighter”: Released as an Olympic friendly cut number back in 2012, the track has inspired people to go beyond and raise the bar. With lyrics like “Give em hell, turn their heads/ Gonna live life 'til we're dead./ Give me scars, give me pain/ Then they'll say to me, say to me, say to me/ There goes the fighter, there goes the fighter/ Here comes the fighter”, the song furiously pumps up the energy level and thus is one of the most popular tracks played at gyms and clubs.  

Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way”: Well, the whole album is worth listening a thousand times, but “born this way” track in specific is incredibly thrilling and at the same time inspiring. The lyrics rock like “I'm beautiful in my way/ 'Cause God makes no mistakes/ I'm on the right track, baby/ I was born this way/ Don't hide yourself in regret/ Just love yourself and you're set/ I'm on the right track, baby/ I was born this way” So, stop doubting your abilities and compete confidently! 

Eminem’s “Not Afraid”: Regarded as the “Rap God” by music fans across the globe, Eminem has always been one of the most inspiring musicians. “Not Afraid” is largely seen as Eminem’s comeback song after having knocked down his drug addiction in the rehab. The song is a dedication, not just to those who have struggled with substance addiction/abuse, but to anyone who has had a hard time fighting with their demons (fears). Considering mistakes to be his life's greatest teachers, Eminem through his song expresses a bond of solidarity and offers motivation in his own unique way. The lyrics roll like “I guess I had to, go to that place, to get to this one/ Now some of you, might still be in that place/ If you're trying to get out, just follow me/ I'll get you there”

Frankly, there’s an amusing abundance of inspiring tracks which can help you fight and beat your fears to death. Because, music embraces all, disappoints none. So, tune-in to rise above and beyond.