Personal Life, Uncategorized

Bye 2015, welcome Viewers

 

Required Coaxing and Deliberation

So 2016 sees me with my own site! This has happened after much coaxing and deliberation. I was told that if you want to be professional, you need to have your own domain. This led me to doing a small study, watching videos, learning the advantages and disadvantages of free sites, etc. Ultimately I got convinced to host my own site.

Which led to another journey. Not being too tech savvy, I had to consult a few friends, who bent backwards. It’s really heartening to note how one can make friends online so easily! My humble thanks to them.

Thanks all around

My biggest appreciation of course goes out to my Viewers. Few have “liked” my work, some have followed – my sincere gratitude. Often on FB, I have come across friends who have just informed me that they read my writing, which in itself made me feel good, and more importantly got me encouraged and kicked. At least I know there is someone out there in the universe who takes the time and effort to read me, so my efforts do not go down the drain.

More importantly, writing has helped me often voice my inner nagging thoughts. It’s not always easy to bare one’s soul. Of course, I have taken care not to be too open and admire some writers who are most descriptive to the minutest detail, of their personal thoughts and lives. Of course, I cannot afford to do that, else my site would be banned for pornography, lol!

Different Opinions Appreciated 

One of my memorable, if not better experiences, was when I wrote about a dear colleague who was on his deathbed, stricken with cancer, without naming him. A few friends wanted him identified, which I saw no harm in doing so. One of them expressed his opinion that should the wife of the ailing friend read my post, she may not take it in good taste. Whilst I agreed with him, I presented my case – the friend was not identified in the post, besides it had nothing derogatory, so if the wife still thought it was offensive, there was nothing I could do about it and I stood by my post. I thus got exposed to different opinions, which is always appreciated.

What do I propose to do with my own site? I really have no definite plans. Guess I will go with the flow. I have often been advised to adhere to one particular topic or subject, master it and assume leadership, akin to marketing, a subject that I have been thoroughly exposed to.  (And continue to familiarize myself with, except now in a different garb, as that of digital marketing).  Am not too sure about closing in on one subject, since I believe that there are many facets to a person. So let me expose the different sides to my personality. And you dear reader can judge – a colourful butterfly or case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde!

Oh btw, lost the very essence of this post. Do stay connected with me at: contentcouto.com

 

 

 

 

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Personal Life, Uncategorized

Soaring Desires, Torn Pockets

The Most Memorable Period

The period between final graduation years and entering the corporate world I think are the most memorable. In later years, one always tends to look back with nostalgia at that time.

It’s the time when one has just about wrapped up academic learnings and is gazing at the corporate world. Or perhaps still struggling with the thought of continuing with academics and moving to higher education. Whatever it is, the burden of acquiring that “must- have” MBA/graduation certificate is behind. And the world before you, stretched across the horizon, beckoning in various hues and  colours of the rainbow. And one gets starry eyed and wants to grab the most.

The Dawn of Maturity

It’s also the time when maturity dawns and with it the responsibility that one can no longer dig into the parent’s pockets. So that much desired mobile brand, that yearned for foreign trip, that dream car, is so so elusive. The only way to acquire it, is the hard way -earn it yourself. And compromises need to be made. You cannot have it all.

Satisfying Hunger, Quenching Thirst for Soaring Desires

I recall the days when a movie “stall” ticket at those famous south mumbai cinema halls, were a luxury. Every penny was saved for, counted and accounted.  The cheapest travel mode – train/bus – selected.  The distance from the station was done on foot in trendy Kolhapuri chappals. One such outing saw me with my extremely attractive out-of-town rich cousin, going through a similar phase. So post the movie, with nothing else to do for lack of money, we decided to head back home by bus. But hunger pangs overcame us. I decided to do something about it. So dragging her, walked a huge distance and skipped some bus stops. With the reduced ticket cost, purchase some road side chikki. She could never forgive me for this, but always cherished that trip close to her heart. (Alas, she is now taken the road to heaven!)

Youth also held aspirations and desires for better  brands  and categories, like IMFL (Indian Made Foreign Liquor) but one could ill afford it and compromised with the then newly introduced Government liquor – flavoured with Santra (Orange), Mosambi (Sweet lime, etc). For chakna or accompaniments, a friend’s vacant kitchen came in good stead, where onions and potatoes got fried.

Hunger for hi-fashion brands was satiated with garments from Fashion Street which also served as a hangout, perhaps equalled to today’s malls, sans air conditioning, water and toilet facilities.

Quenching thirst mean a road side sugar cane juice, ordered in 2 halves,because the quantity or volume was higher than a full glass.  Road lessons put to shame  what was earlier studied in theory – The whole is greater than the sum of its parts – making us street smart.

Higher education in terms of post graduate diplomas meant evening classes sponsored by full time jobs, taken up expressly for that purpose.

VFM or Value For Money implied attending sales promotions held at public halls, which took up the entire day travelling by public transport, saving money for the sales.

But yes, those were the days whose memories still linger, which made us stronger and more resilient.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Uncategorized

Silently…..and Sooner than Expected….you Slipped into the Night.

Hi again Friend

The Telephone Call.

Yesterday, after I had just announced a short break to my advertising students, a common friend, whom I had earlier informed of your status, and shared my blog with,  called me to inform me of your demise. Being preoccupied, and having no way to confirm the information, I did nothing. Just felt a bit uneasy and disturbed.

The Confirmation Call.

This afternoon, another common friend, who had worked with both of us, called  to ask me if I recalled your name. She said your name sounded familiar to her. So asked her how she came across it, and was told that she had read your obituary. I then brought her up to date on your status and how I had the pleasure of your company intermittently through all these years. Needless to mention, she was grief-stricken. It was then that I reread the papers, to see your cherubic face with that mop of grey hair. So indeed your demise slipped me…was sooner than I expected.

RIP Nitin Mukadam, am sure the angels will enjoy your company, your effervescent spirit and cheerful smile,  as much as I did!

http://bit.ly/1BG29qK

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Personal Life, Uncategorized

Softly And Silently Into The Night

Hi Friend

Third Time in a Month.

Yesterday, for the third time in about a month, tried calling you and was again blocked by your wife. Who was protecting and shielding you from any and all disturbances. And so obtained an update from her on your health. She told me how you are too weak to talk, slip into drowsiness often caused by the painkiller, morphine, days slip into nights and vice versa. Seems the diseases has spread to your spinal cord making it difficult for you to lie on your back, so often you sleep in the sitting position.

Just 2 Months Ago.

And less than 2 months ago, when I was lucky to have a long conversation with you, I clearly recall how you promised to fight that dreadful disease. How you told me you would never give up. The inspiration you got from the 3-year-old girl in the neighbouring bed, always so cheerful and chirpy, that her visitors left her bed with tears in their eyes.

I think we were more colleagues than friends, but I recall your bubbly demeanour, bouncy rotund personality. You were always eager to lend a helping hand and cared little for the opinion of others. I recall how on a crowded dance floor on a New Years Eve, I bumped into you, unabashedly teaching your partner the 1,2,3 of fox trot, to the oblivion of others. And the influence your father had on you. “Never have too much of a good thing” he advocated. Which you in turn passed on to our group, who post a drink or two, wished to indulge in more…..fun.

I am grateful to you, for in the not too distant past, visiting my house, to acquaint me with the basics of the digital world. You made no fuss over the breakfast we shared, no formalities were required between us. And yes, something  perhaps I should have shared with you earlier. Decades ago, when that Agency owner called me to switch over to his side, I learnt that you had recommended me, thank you for this. Whilst we both may have had our individual talents and skills, we never let that impact our relationship.

My Respect Deepens.

You were the person, not too long ago, who introduced me to the organiser of group meetups. And through that I came in contact with many other individuals who all claimed to know and respect you well. And then you apologised to me for being unable repeatedly to attend a few meet-ups. It was then that I suspected all was not well with you, and got the sad news straight from the horse’s mouth. Am really hurt and surprised that the rest of the groups, are perhaps still unaware of your condition, else I may have heard from them. It could be a confidence you shared only with me, for which my respect for you further deepens.

I do not propose to write a premature obituary. It is just that I am thankful I have bumped into a person like you at a few junctions in life and have been enriched by that experience. And I do hope that as you fight that terminal disease, you are granted added strength. Am also aware how grateful you are to your family who solidly support you at this hour. My salutations to them and you as you ease softly and silently into the night. May the force be with you, my friend!

 

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Personal Life, Uncategorized

Thank you, your honour!

Limited and restricted or neutral and unbiased?

As I stand before you your honour, let me admit, that I am not a Bollywood movie buff, nor a Salman Khan fan. Hence my knowledge in his hit-and-run case, may be limited or restricted. On the other hand, it could serve to my advantage, as I could be considered neutral or unbiased. I plead as an average citizen.

Hope that does not prevent me expressing my opinion. (Something to do with Section 68? I really don’t know!).

Trial and re-trial

The case has dragged on for 13 odd years. First a trial, then a retrial. The earlier charges withdrawn and fresh, more serious charges levied – a late inspiration or the role of an outside hand, I really cannot figure out.

Different versions and claims

Then the actual case hearing, prosecution and defense. Different versions and claims – water consumed in a pub, not in the driver’s seat, improper blood analysis, punctured tyre, crane dumping, so on and so forth. In those 13 years, the police body-guard and witness expires, a driver appears, the anxiety of the victims families increase and the accused  avails his freedom.

 

Moving on…..

But the prosecution moves on relentlessly and fearlessly. Against a celebrity, a famous personality from a star family, a page 3 person. The courts play a stellar role, the advocates continue their arguments. And the case trudges along. Yes, the media too played its role as the fourth estate.

And ultimately we get a verdict!  Agreed, justice may be delayed. Whether it is challenged or not, is not for me to debate. If the sentence is light or not, not for me to figure out. I am just thankful that the wheels of justice have moved and the case has a logical end.

So your lordship, hats off  and thank you. My appreciation to the state and the government for standing up and caring for citizens, like me.

 

 

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Personal Life, Uncategorized

Do our own principles, morals and value systems bind us?

Abiding by Values and Principles

Have met many people with strong values, morals, and principles and secretly wonder how they live life. Can they abide by those virtues at all times? Or do they stealthily stray? Can they live a full life with those values?

I personally believe that values and principles are good but up to a point. Beyond that, they tend to be a huge restraint and cripple an individual. Admittedly, this is controversial. But wonder, can one get caged by values, etc all one’s life? Why not throw the doors open, once in a while, and fly free? I know friends who believe in “Living Life to the Hilt” because “Life is short”.

A Fling or Two, a White Lie Now and Then

Was absolutely dumbstruck when in the prime of youth, overheard a young, brazen, ambitious gal ask her most prestigious client, whose daughter was on the verge of a proposed marriage, “Why don’t you first let her have a torrid fling? Let her see the world ” Of course, she did this in a light vein, but the message was not lost. The poor marketing head was left with no words. But then, did my colleague have some valuable advice? I really don’t know.

It’s not that am against principles. Take for instance, the virtue of honesty? Can one really live one’s life with all honesty, day and night, through every phase of life? Then how does one define the term “white lies”? Will refuse to believe that both don’t exist. In fact, most often they co-exist!

The Conscience Suffocates, the Head Liberates

I know of people who strongly rebel against their conscience and feel suffocated by this at times.  But then, as they admit, it’s the conscience that binds them. In everyday life, can one live honestly to the hilt? Why should you not jump the traffic light, with no danger to pedestrian or vehicle, on an empty street? A little harmless “consensual” flirting, will only jog the heart beat a bit. When that guy is a “player” why not play with him in return and prove to him, you are a better player, babes? The company expects you to be loyal, but can loyalty, in turn, be guaranteed by the company?  You know that guy is a hypocrite, yet you choose to strip yourself with your honesty?

Tit for Tat?

In my personal belief, principles, morals, values, all help to live a good life and for the benefit of society at large. But one needs to also apply one’s mind and bend them when required, particularly when no harm is caused to the other. They cannot be followed so rigidly that life then becomes claustrophobic. If there is a human being that can claim to follow all principles, etc then the place for that individual, would be heaven and not mother earth. “Forgive and Forget”is good to follow at all times, but let’s not become a sucker. Why not look at “Tit for Tat”? It pays at times!

 

 

 

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Uncategorized

What is “Financial Freedom”?

Is “Financial Freedom” a dream?

Must confess the first time I came across this term, some 2 years ago, (perhaps late in life), was quite confused. After that and suddenly, have been exposed to the term many times. Was introduced to an MLM (multi-level marketing) company, and like most such organisations, they encourage you to first dream, and dream big. It was here that most people craved for “financial freedom”.

Evaluating Financial Liabilities

Financially free? To do that, one first needs to evaluate the financial liabilities or burdens or dues. And this is where the core problem arises. People do meticulous and tedious financial planning, and come up with figures for living life till a certain age!  What age please? 80, 85, 90? What happens if one lives beyond?

Was introduced to this lovely thought in insurance; Life is not only about dying too young, but living too long! But pray, how long is too long?

Predicting the Future Accurately

Came across a very intelligent gentleman quite recently and whilst in conversation on the subject of insurance, he declared with confidence, that he was on his way to “financial freedom” which would outlast any world war. His boss had already achieved it! I was truly happy for him, but still wonder, is that really possible? Can one foretell the future so precisely? I certainly wish I could!

Will the Finances Hold Up?

Then again, about 3 years ago, met a fairly young NRI, in the lobby of the ICU unit of a hospital, who was spending  anxious days for his mother. She had developed some minor alimentary ailment which whilst being treated,led to one complication after the other, which called for surgery several times. Her body developed immunity to the drugs being administered, which led her to remain in the hospital for 6 months, and he was yet awaiting her clearance, worried about “how long will the finances hold up”?

How Much is Enough?

My Dad’s banker friend, rose to very senior management positions, which led to his posting abroad. After amassing sufficient wealth, he decided to live a care-free retired life in Mumbai, in a fairly renowned township. Whilst back from a swim, got a stroke. Not long after, had to undergo surgery for a totally different health issue, and was confined to bed. Caused him to shift to another city, and when I lost spoke to him, his concern was his hugely accumulated savings, was fast depleting, despite having a crorepati NRI daughter! Which to me just highlights the unpredictability of life.

A Catch 22 Situation!

On the other hand, am hesitant to be guided by the ordinary cliché “Health is Wealth”. Today, for that good health, with the prices of hospitalization and medication soaring, wealth is required. Catch 22 situation!

Who Blinks First?

A distant relative was not too long back, diagnosed with cancer. Medicine bills are mounting. It’s now a question of who blinks first!

Does “Financial Freedom” still hold good?

 

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