Frequently asked Interview Questions – Standard or Substandard???

There is one thing I hate about the HRs/Interviewers. I am not generalizing all of them. But some HRs/Interviewers mock (Either after the candidate has left or right on the candidate’s face) at the way prospects/candidates answer questions thinking that there is absolutely no flaw in the questions asked by them. This blog is from my experience after attending nearly 30 interviews till now and from my peers’ experiences. The questions that they pose and the answers that they expect really fuddle me.

When you want a concrete/specific answer, then the question asked must as well be specific. Here are some sample questions asked by interviewers.

Tell me about yourself:

There cannot be a more generic question than this. I can talk any crap that comes to my mind. If HRs/Interviewers expect the prospect to tell about his work experience, then the question must be “Tell me about your work experience”. If they expect something specific in ones work experience and if they want to know a little about the personal qualities, the question should be like “Tell me who are your clients, what you did for them and what tools you used in the project. Also, state some of your hobbies, soft skills that you have and your best positive qualities?” Wouldn’t this give clarity to the prospect as to what he should do?

If you ask about the prospect’s work experience, some will try to tell all the things that they have done and some might keep it crisp. The ultimate aim of the prospect will be to sell himself in a way that he thinks will fit the requirement. He just can’t predict what you expect or what is running on your mind.

Some interviewers cut short by showing faces and try to ask them about something else. In reality, how is the prospect supposed to know if the employer is looking for his soft skills, attitude towards things, work experience, mix of all etc. If it was the interviewer who asked the prospect “Tell me about yourself”, he has to pitch in every time and drive the prospect in such a way that he/she answers specific to his expectations.

You want the prospect to be confident. But when such a generic question is asked, the prospect is not sure about what you are expecting and how do you expect him to be very confident about what he is saying. Confidence comes only when there is clarity.

If the prospect is going to beat around the bush even after the question is specific, then that is different. Firstly, the HR/Interviewer has to take the onus of being specific. They just blindly cannot impute the fault to the prospects.

The primary reason why interviewers are not listening in a very involved manner when someone starts to tell about himself/herself is that they ask this question just for the sake of initiating. If the interviewer does some homework on what he wants as an answer to that question, he will surely drive the prospect towards that.

Where do you find yourself 5 years/10 years from now?

Do you know where you will find yourself next moment?

I once told that I want to be a soft skills trainer/child psychologist or I will be striving hard to become one when I was asked “Where do you find yourself 10 years from now”. The HR looked at me bizarrely and asked “how would this role help you achieve that.” “The role as such wouldn’t help me much. 10 years from now is a very long time. That is my aspiration. Now I work to earn to make a comfortable living” I replied.

Of course I didn’t get through the interview. If I were to ask the HR the same question, what would she say? When we see new things in life, we get different exposures and based on that, we might change our desires, aspirations etc. If you were to ask me for the year or so, I can answer your question. 5 years is way too much. Please don’t ask question for the sake of asking it. Do you think you will get any reasonable answer if you ask this? Every answer for this question would be fictitious.

What are your strengths and weaknesses?

First coming to strengths – The prospect starts narrating his strengths;

Prospect: My positives are I am optimistic, I have a never say die attitude, I don’t panic in tough situations Bla Bla Bla.

HR: Can you narrate an incident at work to substantiate that you haven’t panicked in tough situations.

Nothing comes to the prospect’s mind immediately as every prospect goes through some degree of nervousness during an interview.

HR assumes that he can’t even state a situation or sometimes the HR would try to trick him. HR would ask “You said that your project manager was bad and unprofessional. Why have you succumbed to a tough situation because you are trying for jobs now?”

Prospects would give their own reasons and it would go on and on. But I feel this isn’t the right way to validate a person’s strength.

Aren’t there ways to judge how a person reacts to situations rather than asking him/her for past situations? Will the HR be able to give 2 instances right away where he has motivated people?

Give the prospect a difficult situation and find out how he tackles it. Give him a problem and check out if he is an optimist. Why can’t the interviewers think of any situations and ask the candidates? Isn’t that their lack of preparation? A good interviewer will try to get the answers from the candidate through different methods. I have seen a few.

Now let us take the weaknesses part: Commonly stated weaknesses – Anger, Perfectionist. Anger is good in certain places and being a perfectionist is good in certain ways. They are context specific. So, people play safe with weaknesses like these. If any other weaknesses are stated like I am unorganized, I am lackadaisical, etc.  then these are correlated to work directly. If HRs just have the intentions to know if someone is confessing honestly, then people would state those. Else, they would wear the mask of a God. It is actually better to avoid these questions. Anyway the answers are going to be fictitious and not the self-realized ones

Why do you want to switch jobs?

Obviously there is a need for a switch right? It might be Salary, Poor environment, Cranky Manager, Politics, Peer Pressure (Salary, role) etc.

I personally know a HR who is in his 7th job in 6 years. He also asks the same question to the prospects.

People definitely have a reason to switch which many conservative Indian HR minds are not ready to accept. So prospects beat around the bush. Why should it always be the fault of the prospect regarding the job stability and why not the fault of the employer for project stability, for misusing the employee saying that there are lot of projects, for not giving hike etc.

I guess the standard questions need to be relooked at to improve the interview standards. Prospects tone, attitude towards the problems given to him in the interview, credibility in his points, conviction in his answers etc and many more are parameters to judge the candidate rather than these stupid generic questions.

Leave your views/suggestions on this. 🙂

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STA-STA-STA-STA-Stutterers – ACCEPT THEM

I was born with a stuttering defect. The first time I stuttered, my parents noticed me saying “P-P-P-P-Play” and they noticed me stutter few other times. I grew up to go to school. I was teased at school by other kids for stuttering. They called me “A-A-A-A-Anand”. I had the question “Why me”? I would be fiercely angry and I have hit few people and I have cried few times as well.

I have such bad memories in school sitting in the back of a classroom. When the teacher told all students ‘everybody is going to read a paragraph’, I skipped ahead to my paragraph and with the fear of being mortified, I read the paragraph enough number of times so that I wouldn’t stutter and stammer when I am called upon.

My parents encouraged me and really took good care of me so that I don’t lose my confidence by comparing myself with my peers. They took me to the speech therapist and I practiced hard. I got rid of it when I was in 7th or 8th. I used to stutter very very rarely at that point. It just couldn’t be noticed after that in fact. The sense of relief was bigger than anything else at that point. But it just left me to visit me 3 years back. I started noticing it again.

That was the time I was pursuing my passion “Toastmasters” (a forum for public speaking). My aspiration is to become a trainer and toastmasters served as the right platform for me to learn and experiment with public speaking. I was 5 months into it and I found myself doing well. Suddenly I noticed me stuttering few words. I became conscious about it. The more conscious I became, the more I stuttered. I feared if I would feel the same way like when I was a kid after so many years. Now, I tried to elude speaking in Toastmasters. I feared to stutter because people there knew me as someone who could talk fluently. I didn’t want them to know. The more I pretended, the more I became conscious and the more I stuttered. I stuttered in front of my club members. People looked at me bizarrely. “Does Anand Stutter?” was their reaction and “WTF! I didn’t want this” was my reaction. I didn’t like my weakness getting exposed to a larger audience. Slowly I was trying to get over it. I realized that to get over it, I had to accept the fact that I stutter but it was very hard.

Not only here, but in many places I feared stuttering. One of the hardest things in life is having words in your heart that you can’t utter. Given below is a list of incidents,

  • There were times when I struggled to tell the bus conductor my bus stop’s name “Thirumangalam”. I said Th-Th-Th-Th-THrumangalam” and I felt embarrassed when the co-passengers looked at me.
  • There were times when I ordered carrot juice at office and stated that particular name for 15secs – “Ca-ca-ca-ca-ca-carrot juice”.
  • There were times when I felt inferior in front of people who spoke fluently
  • I have held myself back with the fear that I would not communicate my idea well
  • I felt awkward to speak in front of public. I still remember the day when I stuttered in front of 200 people while giving a presentation in my MBA days. I felt totally out of place.
  • The fear if I will stammer in front of a new person i.e. if he would get to know my weakness
  • Even when I attend interview, this stuttering which is natural to me is taken as a sign of nervousness.
  • When my bride search was on, I had the fear if I will be accepted by my partner. Will she think that our kid will also have the same problem and will she neglect me? Yes I have been accepted and thanks to my wife.
  • Post marriage, I fear how to face my in-laws and talk to them without stuttering. If they get to know that I stutter, they would think that I have ruined the life of their daughter. The only person whom I told about this problem before marriage was my wife and I never told her parents.

Fear, Fear and Fear… I hated it.. Fear was almost eating me..

I came across another story which made me write this blog.. A good friend of mine stutters like I do.. He got married recently. He shared his feelings with me 2 weeks back. This is what he had to tell me,

———-My wife keeps telling me “Talk slowly so that you will not stutter”.

I tried hard but sometimes I did make mistakes. I mean I spoke faster and I stuttered. Sometimes because of the presence of in-laws, or new people around, or some sort of stress, I was nervous and I stuttered more.

I once took my wife to a get-together with my friends.

I was so enthusiastic to meet my friends and with the same enthusiasm, I spoke fast without my knowing and I stuttered more times than usual. Immediately after my friends moved away to take their plates for dinner, my wife questioned me “Now why did you stutter? Did you notice why you are stuttering? It is because you are speaking fast. How many times do I tell you to talk slowly? You just don’t seem to listen.”

From that day onwards, whenever I meet with my friends or her friends especially, I become very cautious and I mostly don’t speak a word. When my close one is so watchful of me stuttering, I am pushed to a situation where I have to be cautious. Becoming more and more cautious is making me feel more inferior and it is making me pretend more in an unnatural way. I somehow feel very depressed about this issue. I wanted to share it with you. I would have felt very happy if my wife would have said “I don’t care if you stutter in front of people. All that matters to me is you expressing your views with all courage and completing your sentences without any inhibitions”.———

He wept in the end. I was able to relate to his emotions completely.

“Watch your stuttering, watch your stuttering.. Why did you stutter now?, Talk slowly etc.” When one asks/says these time and again, it hurts very much. Even if one asks this in a concerned manner, it hurts very much. What many people don’t understand is that the stutterer knows much better about his problem, about what he is doing, about what he has to do than the other people around him/her. There is no use in pointing it to them. It seems to them like someone is pointing out at their limitations. Telling someone to watch it every time only makes them more conscious about their way of expressing. By doing this, expressions seem lifeless. To add life to their expressions, try listening to them without taking note of their stuttering. It gives the stutterer immense confidence to talk to you. When someone is with you and stands by you how much ever you stutter, then confidence just oozes out in no time.

Having said all this, I did try out few things to overcome this.

Firstly I accepted that I stutter and I reiterated that to myself. Secondly, I accepted that I can stutter in front of people. This made me less conscious. Then I figured out some other ways to overcome it. I am not sure if stuttering can be cured but I am very sure that stuttering can be minimized to a larger extent by doing the below mentioned things.

  • First step is to bring your breath under control. Do yoga
  • Take a breath after 6 to 8 words are spoken
  • Talk slowly
  • Try out different pronunciations or accents that make you stutter less or that eliminate that stutter. US accent made me stammer less. I tried it off late. US people place stress on a lot of words and I similarly I tried placing stress on words like “Ifff, areee, orrganizedd” and that helps me cope up with the stutter in an efficient way. But I am still finding a way to cope up with my mother tongue Tamil.
  • Last but not the least, Environment to serve as the greatest support

Guys, when you find anyone who stutters, take time out in listening to him/her. He/she might piss you off sometimes by uttering a word for 10 seconds by stuttering, but you can give him immense confidence by listening to him so keenly. You can make or break him with your actions. Environment plays a major role in grooming stutterers. I hope you will extend support to a stutterer when you meet one next time.

Priyanandhan , my good friend has come a long way in life after he joined toastmasters (A supportive environment where one hones his/her public speaking skills). He was confined to himself. He felt he was neglected because of his stuttering. When he found people who accepted him whole heartedly and provided him the warmth, he grew in confidence from a person who wasn’t able to utter his dad’s name to a person who is inspiring many with his speeches.

To conclude, Breaking words is not a sin, but breaking hearts definitely is.

Please share this blog with your friends to create some amount of awareness.

Life is a race or something to embrace?

When does this concept of competing fiercely come into picture?

“Life is a race.. Run. . .Run . . .” is a  very very common scenario. It was portrayed beautifully in Tare Zameen Par movie where a little boy’s abilities were misunderstood and that he was asked to race like a horse.

I think kids are being trained to live life that way. My opinion is that many Parents, teachers and friends instill this art of competing but not in a healthy way.

Haven’t we heard these statements at home time and again when we were kids??

1)      Let us see who eats and finishes first – Kid would gulp the food and say “Yayyyy I am firsttttt”

2)      Let us see who runs and touches the wall first – Kid would run with all its heart and say “yayyyy I am firstttt”

3)      Let us see who comes first in this game – Kid would finish the game well and would shout in sheer joyyy

These basic expressions/statements place emphasis on the word “FIRST” and kids start presuming that coming first is something unbelievably awesome. This concept of FIRSTTT doesn’t end at home. It continues even after the kid joins school.

A month back, I went to my nephew’s sports day. He is in LKG. The school conducts running race for the kids and shortlists good runners from that large pool of tiny bunch. It then conducts a race among the shortlisted ones. Finally they select the top 3. Can you believe that the school is short listing from a group of LKG runners? J

Post the race, the winners’ announcement was about to happen. The MC (Master of Ceremony) was all set. She calls the 3rd place winner – “The 3rd place goes to Gaurav Sharma”. The kid calmly comes and stands in the podium. Claps come in from the audience.

Now she calls the 2nd place winner. The 2nd place goes to Ashwin Narayan. The kid calmly comes and stands in the podium. Claps come in a little louder from the audience.

And now she calls the 1st place winner. With all the stress that she could manage with her tongue, she says “The Firsssssttttttt Placeeeeee Goesssss ttttttoooooooooo – Anushhhhhh Choudhrryyyyyyyy”.. And the audience without their knowing clap hard and loud for a long time.

You should have looked at the other 2 kids’ face on the podium. They felt that the attention given to first prize winner was much more than their prize itself.

And the other kids were wondering as to why that aunty was getting hysterical.

Look at the stress that is being placed upon Firstttt. It might sound great for the comperer but it doesn’t sound great for the kids’ future.

Because of the attention that is being given to someone who is number 1, because of the emphasis time and again on the word “First” and the importance it has in the society, I feel many kids are not able to take failures easily.

Have you seen kids react after they lose a normal sport like lemon and spoon?

“Mamma I lost. You know what happened? They gave me a small spoon” and many other reasons come up.. With a worried face comes lot of excuses. Let us leave the excuses apart. Kids are not able to digest the fact so easily that they have come second or third.

Now from smallest of games, let us move into education and here the environment just doesn’t spare a kid. Everyone wants to grow toppers and rankers in their homes

Education is one such thing that screws the hell out of an individual. I grew up scoring good marks and coming first but ultimately I wasn’t educated for 19 long years. I mean I couldn’t apply what I learnt. It was all about racing ahead of others.

Haven’t we heard these statements?

1)      I will buy you the toy/cycle you wanted if you come first in class

2)      See Raj and Arun. They are scoring well. They are in the same class as you are in – Here in the name of comparison emphasis is on coming first when compared to Raj and Arun or racing ahead of them.

3)      Your cousin got State First Rank

4)      Girls always come first in board exams

5)      If you score really well, you will be in high achievers’ class. Else you will be put in a section which has average students

First, Firsttt and Firstttt everytime..

Do we really train kids to see a game like a game, see a sport like a sport, and see education like education?

Racing.. Racing… and Racing ahead in life…

This attitude grows up with us and finally when we start working we start comparing the Salary of our peers and we wish to be first among our peers.

I am sick of the concept called “FIRSSSTTTTTT”. FIRST is not FIRRRRRSSSSTTTTTT. First is just First. It isn’t something big.

Every try by an individual deserves a pat or a clap. 1 is a mere number and it denotes nothing.

Image

JOG (Joy of Giving) Daily

The trip from Chennai to Pondy was on. I challenged my wife that I will cover the distance in 3hrs.

“Remember you will have to cross Chennai traffic as well. There is no way you can do it” she said

Deal!!

We got into our car. The gear moved from neutral at 1PM. Drove fast through the traffic, kept honking and reached the highway and went at an average speed of 80KMPH. I never allowed vehicles or passengers to cross the road. I either kept honking or I turned the headlamp on and off. Finally we reached Pondy when the clock ticked 3:58 sharp. Yayyy!!! I was happy that the small deal between us was accomplished.

We checked in into  our hotel “Sea side guest house” in Pondicherry  and threw our bags on the couch. I opened the balcony and was awestruck at the view of the sea. Without any second thought, I pulled a chair and sat there with my head tilted. Thoughts were running mellifluously like the sea’s music. Thoughts were flowing so rapidly that a wave of change was about to happen.

Let me cut short the long array of thoughts..

“Whenever I drove in heavy traffic, I wanted to be the first person to move ahead of others.

If the signal wasn’t working, I would want to cross first.

I always became restless to reach the destination as soon as possible.

What about the people who try to cross the roads on the highways? Or on the normal roads? Who waits for them? Why shouldn’t I wait even if others don’t?”

And a lot more….

There was another deal while coming back from Pondy. This time a deal with self…

Every time I saw people struggling to cross the road, my gear shifted to neutral and I stopped rather than honking or switching on and off the headlamp and moving ahead

imagesCrossing

I still remember two very old people heaving a sigh of relief after crossing the busy GST highway

I still remember women and children pointing one of their hands towards me with palm open saying STOP plsss.. And not to forget the expression on children’s face after they crossed the road – oh so priceless.. 🙂 One jumps, another laughs, another hops.. ha ha children are awesome and their expressions – heaven 🙂

By doing this again and again, my inner self was at peace and I saw happiness surround me. The joy of giving made me feel jubilant.

The joy of giving is always beautiful. Try and you will cherish it for sure.. 🙂

Opinions have expiry dates!!!

Rahul: Mom, my close friend Anitha is getting engaged. You know who the guy is?

Sharada: Don’t make me wait. She is such a nice girl. Hope she gets a nice guy. Who is it?

Rahul: It is my college friend – Anish

Sharada: Whatttttt??? Anitha and Anish?? I pity Anitha. Anish is not a nice guy… Can I talk to Anitha’s mother so that she gets to know about Anish before engagement?

Rahul: How do you say he is not a nice guy?

Sharada: Anish is such a flirt…

Rahul: Then……

Sharada: His circle of friends isn’t good. He is very arrogant in his way of talking.

Rahul: Agreed. What you say is 100% true. You last saw him 8 years ago when we were in our final year of college. Do you know how Anish is now?

Sharada: (Keeps mum)                                      

Rahul: Post College, Anish worked for 2 years, he did his MBA from a reputed institute for 2 years, and he has post MBA work experience of 4 years. He heads an NGO and is helping the destitute. A lot of people look up to him now. The last time you saw him was 8 years back. Were you the same 8 years back? Weren’t you short tempered? Haven’t you changed now? People see you as a calm person now. Yes you did take efforts in the form of Yoga, meditation etc. But the crux is you have changed over years. Same is the case with Anish. People change with time and experience. Opinions once formed cannot be opinions for a lifetime.

We come across situations like this in our daily lives. Even we do this sometimes.

Parents create you and your environment recreates you. If you move to a different environment, that will again recreate you. Every environment around us gives us an experience from which we learn. Introspection and environment majorly contribute to the transformation of an individual.

You would have come across a person who was dumb (Might be he is really intelligent now)

You would have come across a person who wasn’t emotionally stable (Might be he has sound emotional intelligence now)

You would have come across people who are big time flirts, who are chain smokers, who aren’t confident, who have low levels of self-esteem, who rob others’ things, who play pranks at the cost of others’ happiness etc. But are you sure that those people are the same now?

Opinions formed have an expiry date. So refresh your opinions frequently and build lasting relationships 🙂

Wonderful People In My Life

Friendship is such bliss.

On this friendship day, I would like to thank all the wonderful people who brought about a difference in my life..

8th StdEshwar, Deepak and Pradeep – I was left alone during the first day in my new school and these guys were starting to the cricket ground and I shouted “Hey guys. Can I join you?” With little hesitation, they said “yes” and our friendship began. The first set of friends from whom I learnt what being 18+ meant 😉 They love playing pranks and I have been a victim a number of times.

10th Std – The moments would alwayssss be cherished. The time when wrestling happened inside class; The time when teachers were teased and we were at the principal’s doorstep; The times when I laughed nonstop like a stupid and was sent out of the class; The times when we all cycled together to our home. Aah pleasure to think about it again and again – Arun, sankara Krishnan, Manoj, Gokul, Rathish, Krishnaraj, Christopher, Sakthivel, Sharad

Nishanth and Arun11th and 12th – Hardly there was a day where we weren’t together. Sleeping on top of the tank in terrace and gossiping; Times when group studies meant eating biryani, watching movies and playing cricket; is there a secret that is left unshared between us? 🙂

College UGKicha, Aravinth, Karthik, Deepak Sundararaj – Kicha from a forest (Just kidding!), Aravinth from hill station, Karthik from the city of summer (Chennai Of course!) and Deepak from the land of Kusumbu (Coimbatore). During my college days, I felt insecure about certain aspects of life and there was Kicha to listen to all that I cribbed, blabbered and what not. Thanks to his patience! Deepak has a big big big heart to help people around him and that attitude of his has touched me so much.

Friend in need is a friend indeed!! There was one phase in my life where I felt the real heat. I was protecting my friend against a womanizer and to help me out, there were two people – Rajeev Nambiar and Mahesh Selvaraj. Any help I asked for, they just came forward. I salute you guys. Thanks for being with me 🙂 I just got introduced to Mahesh 8 months back but the bond I share with him is beyond anything. Not sure why. May be a divine intervention 🙂

Through Mahesh, I got to know Karthik and Venkat. The number of breaks we took in Infosys each day would have outnumbered the number of good looking girls we looked at.. Might be the good looking girls were less in number. Just kidding. There were lots of them. 🙂

I have not experienced the love of a brother or sister. I haven’t had a brother or sister to share my feelings, express my emotions, ask anything when I wanted it, etc. But I experience all of these through them – Saravanan and Deivanai

Chidu – Never would have I joined Toastmasters (My Passion now) if he had not told me to try it out a 100 times. I feel it is important to interact with people who are positive. He is one among them. He makes me feel positive about the things I do.

Sriram RajaramanTCS – Saravana Bhavan (Vendor) literally thanked us for improving their business. Once in 3 hrs we would be there in the food court to try out the different menus the vendor had. When foodies join hands, eating becomes heaven and weight becomes a concern 🙂

Toastmasters:

My mentor Deepak Pandian – The first time I stepped into toastmasters (Public Speaking Forum), I saw a guy named Ananth Dharmasthala giving a brilliant speech. I wanted him as my mentor but Ananth said “Deepak is very talented. Take him as your mentor”. Thanks to his words. Else, I wouldn’t have got a mentor like him. Whatever I did, he motivated me and he had full confidence in me that I would pull it off with full vigor. This helped me improve my levels of self-esteem and self-confidence. Thanks a ton Deepak.

Karthickraja – Techie guy. IT companies will need him badly. I would stay in his room with access to his cooking. Awesome dishes they make (Karthick and Deepak – Roomies). He has been another source of encouragement for me. He was the very first person to whom I rehearsed a contest speech. Remember those moments….

Krishnan Chidambaram –The long talks about anything and everything (Big time mokkais – If you overheard us speak, you would have hanged yourself) and especially his cribbing that he didn’t get through a reputed MBA institute. There he is now in a very good role in cognizant post his MBA.. Prolific writer.. He has been there for me in times of joy and distress.

Ramprasad Sir – Every time he told me “Your speech was awesome, You are very talented”, I felt on top of the world. I haven’t heard these from my parents as well. I felt as if angels came down and blessed me whenever he praised me. Haaaa that gave me so much confidence. Thank you sir 🙂

Lalitha Giridhar – Fondly called as maami.. She was one of the reasons why I started loving toastmasters from liking it. I looked up to her. When you look up to someone and when that person appreciates your speeches and talks to you for your betterment, it gives you an amazing feeling. Thanks maami.. I have tried my best to incorporate each of your comments

Sabapathy – Very unique in whatever he does. His thoughts on many topics have left me thinking for a while. Best part about him is you cannot identify if he is poking fun at you or complimenting you. Aah a confusing personality 😉

My mentees Gopi and Pankaj – Gopi is out there making people laugh and Pankaj is out there in Wipro trying to figure out a figure who would fit in his life. You guys are great individuals.

Bharath Kumar, Arun Sridhar, Rohit, Yuvaraju, Divya, Karthik, the whole of wordsmiths family is so lovable for each one of them have instilled something in me to make me a better individual. 🙂

Great Lakes:

Ahalya – The first time you start something be it a business, a small club, or anything for that matter, you need someone to be with you throughout and support you once you start it. When I started a public speaking club in Great Lakes, Ahalya was the first one to come forward running with full of enthusiasm. Thanks Ahalya. Your interest and enthusiasm towards it made me feel special that day.

Sathya Anand – One person who understood me really really well during my MBA days. A friend who gives awesome company for bird watching, for trying to catch birds and for saying “Aiyooo vada pochaeeee”

Shyam – Owner of a swift who swiftly drives me home every time he comes to Chennai from college. So sweet of him 😉 He has this uncanny way of talking that makes one get addicted to him and his way of talking. To say in short about Shyam – “Machi enaku unmaela heavy image available”

Sathya Narayanan – We both don’t talk so much to each other but we trust in each of our abilities so much.

The whole of KG gang – For they are awesome, awesome, awesome (Read in Naeram Naasar’s style) in terms of fun and pun

Wifyyy:

Last but not the least – My wifyyy Ramyaa.. While reading this, my wife was searching for her name and she thought “How can he miss my name? andha pakki varatum.. vechukuraen”.. 🙂

I see her as a true friend and the society sees her as my wife,

Whatever crap they call it, all that matters is she adds life to my life!

HAPPY FRIENDSHIP DAY ALL!!

PS: There are so many other important people in my life. It is impossible to mention all. 🙂

Deteriorating Pitch

The pitch looks very different. It is quite hard with very less grass and no cracks in it. Grasses are very weak that they are dying quickly. The pitch has deteriorated very badly that in another 5 years we will not be able to see even a trace of grass. I am not talking about cricket pitch but about my pitch, my scalp. My hair line is receding or rather my scalp is advancing.

Hair loss was bothering me to the maximum possible extent. Whichever place I went or whatever I did, embarrassments or tough times followed. Even my friend’s little daughter Anuja makes fun of me. She saw my FB profile pic (shown below) and she sang,

Anand FB Profile Pic

“Johny Johny yes papa..

Using Cap No papa

Show your hair, Ha ha ha..”

At Salon:

With the hair that was left in my head, I walked to a beauty salon “Naturals”

Without any hesitation, I asked the stylist “I wish to get some hair styling done. Do whatever is possible with my hair.” He replied “Am sorry sir. Styling is not possible for this hair”

Grrrrrrrr… I was irritated. I wanted something on my head and I decided to visit a doctor.

At doctor’s place:

Doctor asked for my problem and with a pitiful face, I told her “I have less hair but I don’t have any dandruff”

“Dandruff comes only if hair is there”, she replied

There cannot be a better way to kick start a conversation 🙂 😦

The doctor examined my hair.. Ouchhh! She suddenly pulled out a bunch of hair from the front portion of head. I was shocked on seeing that bunch. That seemed like Gold to me. That was the first time I valued my hair so much when I saw it going out of my head as a BUNCH.. A BUNCH!!!

“I took this bunch to check the pattern of your baldness” she said

“If you could have asked me, I would have told you” was my inner voice.

She calmed me down and she prescribed some medications after doing some tests on the sample bunch.

She gave me a hair cleaner.  After applying the hair cleaner, my hair fell so badly that I needed a vacuum cleaner to clean the place. Never trust the doctors who say “We will help you grow your hair”. In the end, it is we who end up helping them grow their business.

My thought process before visiting a doctor was “Money would go and Hair would come in the empty spaces”

But after visiting, I realized “Hair would go and nice air would come in the spaces”

I lost my hope on doctors after that.

At home:

I went home. My parents were discussing about my marriage and they asked me “Do you have a girlfriend?”

Ask bald guys about girlfriends/relationships and they will stare at you like they are going to kill you. At least most of them will. You will uncover at least 100 different stories from them.

I said ‘No’ and I went to my bedroom. I have heard some parents say to their sons “You must compromise on the beauty of the girl as you are bald headed”. How demotivating? Thank god I had some hair.

The brilliant dream:

Thoughts about all these were fluctuating in my mind at the speed of light and to get rid of those I decided to doze off. I had the dream of my life – Dating my girlfriend. Usually dreams come based on something that we see or think about. But what is this totally unrelated? Read further to know if it is related or not.

Usually men take 2mins to get ready but I take 10mins to get ready – 1min to dress up and 9mins to comb my hair. It is a tough job..

Gap analysis has to be done.

Long hair analysis has to be done..

Pulling long hairs to the gaps has to be done.

Since it was dating my girlfriend, I took 20mins to get ready with extra tinkering done here and there

After I got dressed up, my girlfriend and I started walking. Some dust particle fell in my eyes. She opened my eyes widely and blew with full force to remove that dust particle. When she blew, my long hair flew showing that extravagant space. My girlfriend looked at me bizarrely. And I woke up. A dream had just told me the fact of life.

Yes, one blow or one soft breeze will make that long hair stand up showing that extravagant space. This is one of the reasons why people don’t keep table fan during their wedding reception.

Root Cause Analysis:

Because of my hair loss, tough times were part of my life. I contemplated for the reasons for hair loss and I found 1 major reason..

My Mother’s father, my mother’s younger brother, my mother’s elder brother, my father’s father, my father, his younger brother, his elder brother – none of them have anything on their head. I mean the hair. They are so bald that even a wig will slide and fall.

I kept pondering over what can be done. Remember, A hair a day keeps my marriage away..

Solution:

I decided to get married as soon as possible…

Rigorous Bride search was on,

After hopes on my hair were gone

Days passed, months passed….

Now that I am married, I find my life bright and sunny,

Looking back, I laugh at those instances for they seem funny

This was a different attempt using self-deprecating humor. Need your comments to know about my attempt 🙂

PS: We need moments in life to look back and laugh at… 🙂