Images

Gateway to the ABANDONED Splendour

The Abandoned Splendour
Gateway to The Abandoned Splendour

Old Fort ruins, New Delhi, India

Shot in February, 2010 | Traditional 3.2 megapixel Sony digicam

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The Waiters who Own Hotels

Some of the life’s most crucial wisdom is conveyed in Jeffrey Archer’s epic 1979 novel Kane and Abel. I could see it in an entirely new light as i continue the rigorous MBA with some of the best and the brightest in India.

Abel Rosnovski, an orphaned Polish immigrant in America, started off as a waiter in New York’s Hotel Plaza while taking night classes at Columbia. Davis Leroy, owner of the Richmond group of hotels, impressed by his work, appointed him manager of his flagship hotel. Abel converts the ill-managed hotel to a profit-making one. During the Great Depression, Davis, unable to find a financial backer for the hotel, committed suicide leaving the Richmond Group to Abel. Kane & Cabot was the bank that hadn’t supported Davis. That moment on, Abel took Kane to be his arch enemy and plotted his crushing downfall.

There are countless rags-to-riches transformation stories. And before we get lost in the plot.. (and the analytically inclined readers have pointed out some ‘inferential fallacies’).. THE LESSON:

Abel went on to become one of the richest men in America BECAUSE he was an outstanding waiter !

The people who succeed have a compelling need, and are relentlessly driven, to perform a task well. And this they do no matter what the task is or how mundane it may be.  It is that passion for excellence they bring with them that radically transforms any work they take up to something much greater.

walt disneyPlumbers who become contractors had, at some point in their lives, a burning desire to repair a valve better and more accurately than anyone else. Waiters who end up creating million $ hospitality chains were once exceptionally good waiters loved by every one whom they served.

On a more corporate-practicality note, what you do beyond your job description (JD) is what is going to fetch you the most credit and appreciation. The job is just there. Go beyond. Stretch yourself and your assigned functional responsibilities.

All too often, we have fantastic candidates chasing larger-than-life jobs (Band Manager! Front-end Investment Banker! Sky-diving Instructor! iPhone designer!).

Instead, strive to become The Professionals’ Professional who makes even the most mundane jobs look hyper-glamorous.

So what if you don’t feel that killer enthusiasm to drive that nail straighter and faster than everyone else ?

Find…

The one thing that you always go the extra mile to do better than those around you.

The one thing that gets you angry when you see someone ruining it.

The one thing you could have done more justice to than the incompetent ass who got that chance.

And, when the cosmos conspires to give you that opportunity, grab it with both hands and put up the greatest goddamn show the world will ever see !

Juxtaposition – The Pensive Porter

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Click on the pic to enlarge 🙂

New Delhi railway station | January 30, 2011

Porters are common on Indian train stations, helping passengers carry luggage.

Captured this rare sight of an old porter in a pensive mood at the edge of a bustling train platform on a winter morning.

It took a 4x zoom-in and loads of patience to successfully shoot!

The Rare Dare

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Click on the pic to get the thrill of being on the track with the train about to roll over 🙂

Faridabad manned railway crossing | Haryana, India | 1706 hrs | August 31, 2010 |

“IT WILL KILL YOU, YOU GODDAMN FOOL”
“Just a moment, Sir”

The train hurtling down the tracks at over 120 kmph.

“You’re under arrest for breaching railway security”
“Sir, Just a moment”

The roll and thunder growing louder on the metallic tracks.

“You’re dead”

Now hardly 100 meters away.
No time to zoom-in. No time to auto-time.

WHISTLE BLAST FROM THE ENGINE

Click!

The brightest.. among all Stars

Dearest Didi,

It has been 8 years. I’d be lying if i said i have remembered you every single day. Truth is i have not forgotten you even for moment all these years.

Who says time is a great healer? I begged God to return you to us, but he never did. I cried until tears dried up. So did everyone in our family. And deep down in my heart, anger still boils up questioning God’s design. There are some hurts that go too deep.ImageThere have been so many other losses after you. Friends. Family elders. But you do know that your being snatched away by God has had the single biggest impact on my life. It has been said truly that the younger the age at which we put aside the delusion of personal immortality, the longer the period of intense, focused living wherein you tremendously value each day, each waking hour, each minute. The lingering awareness of death and fragility of life encourages one to live more intensely.

I have, in my own small way, tried to live with that intensity and an unwavering sense of purpose. Though i am not entirely sure of where i am headed to or what kind of work or love will make me truly happy, i am closer to figuring that out much more now than ever before.

ImageI know you’re out there among the stars, protecting me at every step of the path i dream to blaze

It is not my finest hour at the moment, but someday you’ll be very, very proud of me. This, I promise you.

And we’ll meet again. In that faraway universe of yours from where you shine upon us.

But not yet.

Not yet.

Yours,

– – – – –

*Didi is the Hindi word for “elder sister”

My beloved cousin sister, 3 years older than me, died at the age of 20 in a fiery car crash on Interstate 10 in the US on 15th January, 2006. She was on her way from University of Florida at Gainesville to her hometown in Jacksonville, Florida. She was driving the car when it veered off the highway in Columbia County, struck a group of trees and exploded.

She was the loveliest and the most vivacious person i’ve ever known.