Dry days one too many

The last few months have been rather dry for me as far as blogging is concerned. Not really sure why. And I am not able to change that, as much as I am trying. I can’t even get myself to blog-hop anymore. Surely somethings wrong with me. My last post was on Oct 25th. Yes, its been close to a month since I’ve posted. But that’s not bothering me. Oct 25th 2010 marks my blog’s third birthday. And I forget to celebrate it. I even posted that day and yet it did not strike me. I am a little ashamed. Not too long ago, this blog was were I spent most of my time. Now, I barely drop in once a day. Let alone post something. It’s like I’ve run out of things to write about. Is that even possible?

One reason is time. I always blogged from work. Never from home and never on weekends. Always managed to take out some time during the day to post, reply to comments, blog hop etc. But ever since I’ve taken up this new role at work, time has become a luxury I can’t afford anymore. I feel bad about it. More so because I loved blogging and everything that went with it. And not being able to blog leaves me feeling guilty and a little unfulfilled. I feel disappointed. I feel I am letting you all down as well.

Is it time to shut shop? :(

Lots happening, Good times, Eid Mubarak

It has never happened that I have neglected this blog for so long without taking a sabbatical. Not sure why but I just don’t feel like blogging anymore. But anyways, to counter that, I’ve decided to write a post forcefully. Maybe even at the cost of boring you all to death. But what the hell.

Life has been hectic lately. Mainly because during the holy month of Ramadan, the working hours here are reduced to 6 hrs. Yes, that is really cool but this also means we only have 6 hrs to do what we normally do in 8-9 hrs. Eitherways, Ramadan is about to end. And then we have Eid holidays from tomorrow till Sunday, though Eid is expected to be on Friday. So after what looks like an eternity, I will finally have my favorite latte from Costa on Monday morning! :)

Lots of stuff happening on the work front but I can only tell y’all this much now. More as things unfold in the next few days.

Ibrahim on the other hand has made sure he’s not left far behind in this rat race of life. If I measure up and put everything that’s happening in my life on one hand, he alone is enough for the other. He is a year and 8 months old now (Man, that’s how fast time is flying!) and is already a riot. He is shouting, running, throwing stuff, breaking things, not ready to eat, not ready to sleep, hurts himself while playing every day, you name it and he’s onto it – that’s his day in a nutshell. And to think of it, he’s our only child. What happens when we have a few more like him in the future. Jeez!

September is a good month for us. My wife celebrates her birthday this month and so do I. And so does my mom and my sis-in-law. Lots of cake. And lots of it on that waist line too!

Which reminds me, my diet has gone for a toss. Big time. And so has my workouts. Gotta hit back to the track from next week. Sheesh, I can almost hear my bones creaking!

And I need to get back to my reader! I think it is ready to explode.

All from next week though. For now, I am just waiting for the next 30 minutes to pass by uneventfully and I can take off from work. Only to be back on Monday after a long weekend of festivities and fun. Eid is our biggest festival and more so welcome because it comes after a month of fasting, prayers and spiritual introspection.

Wish you all a blessed Eid. See you on the other side of the weekend. Cheers.

Making it count

Its been a while since I posted. Not that I am terribly busy or something. Just lazy. And have been neglecting this blog and the blog world as well.

But a jolt woke up me. And that too from the blog world.

The news about IHM’s daughter, Tejaswee Rao, left me shocked and speechless. I could not believe it. This is so unfortunate. And it has been on the back of my mind all along. Every now and then, when it comes to mind, I am lost in my thoughts, often with a lump in my throat.

Last evening I revisited IHM’s last post and went through some of the comments and condolences. One particular comment really caught my attention. I did not read all of them so forgive me if there are more like these, but this one just stood out. It was from a person who chose to call herself  “Someone you know”. Here is that comment:

I’m there for you
August 13, 2010 11:48 pm

you have found so many daughters here on blogsphere IHM..we all are with you in your pain. not to shed tears, but to give you strength. We will never be able to take Tejaswee’s place, but we are there if you need us. this is the space where you will find us whenever you need us.

- Someone you know

A loss is a loss. No one can replace the loss of a loved one. But what IHM has done to the blog-world, by her posts, her messages, her thoughts, her values and her ideas, has helped countless others to look at life with a different perspective. Maybe even gather the courage to go out there and fight after all was lost. Not too many people can boast about that. Not too many have that kind of influence and respect amongst peers.

So it was not at all surprising to see someone leave a comment like that. I felt relieved and satisfied. Hats off to whoever wrote that comment for standing up at the right time and making it count. You have my respect.

May Tejaswee’s soul rest in peace. And may God almighty give you and your family strength to cope with this loss, IHM. God bless.

FB + Twitter > WP?

I think so. Over the last 4-6 weeks, most of my updates and social discussions have been either on Facebook or Twitter. And I have seen that trend for quite some time amongst bloggers.

Are bloggers moving away from blogging to other social networking platforms?

It is a rather sad and painful transition I must say. We bloggers have established such a fantastic forum of knowledge transfer (read: bakwaas & lukhagiri) and seeing that on the decline is quite upsetting. And what’s worse is that I also seem to be following the same path.

Is FB and Twitter eating up blogs? After all, twitter is considered micro-blogging. And with status updates on FB and subsequent comments, it isn’t too different from blogging. What do y’all think?

Edited to add: Is it even fair to compare them?

Real life and blog life – Are you the same?

The other day, I was having an interesting discussion with IHM and Sols on how different are we in real lives as compared to our virtual lives (or blog lives).

I think we live a dual life. Both could be similar or completely different. Why I say dual life is because our blog profile takes up a large portion of our time daily. It is very important to us. We give ourselves to it every day. We login without fail. We take out time from our daily chores and routines just for that. We make friends on blogs. We discuss stuff. We joke around. We have fun. And then, we logout and get back to our lives. To our families. To work. To the real world. Isn’t this like living dual lives?

In real life, we interact with people face-to-face, hear their voices, have physical contact, laugh out loud (in the real way and not just LOL!) while in the virtual life, we interact using only words and sentences. We send hugs and smileys and LOLs. We share our thoughts through comments that we can undo or edit if we want. Can we do that I real life as well? Would you walk up to someone you barely know and give him/her a hug? Or can we really speak out all that we write in comments?

So here’s a question to all of you. How similar are we to our virtual profiles? There are several bloggers out there who blog only through aliases. We associate that alias to that person. Are you and your alias the same? What do you all think? Lets hear it from the horse’s mouth. How similar are you to your blog profiles?

As for me, I think the real me, Masood Salem, and the blogger me, Logical Obscurity, are ‘almost’ the same. When I write a post, I write about what I think and what I stand for. IHM said it quite aptly “our blogs are a reflection of us”. I think that’s true. Where I differ is, in real life, I don’t speak up as much as I do on blogs and comments. For instance, on social issues, or on parenting, or on the global economy. I may hold opinions but do I have enough opportunities to express my opinion about these issues daily? I don’t think so. Plus, I don’t bother too much as well. Likewise when I meet different people. To many, I appear warm, funny and hospitable. But to many others, I may be silent, snobbish or egoistic. What I am trying to say is, in real life, our negative traits or characteristics, if any, are evident every now and then. But on blogs and comments, aren’t we making a concise attempt to reveal only our positive side, being all nice and sugar-coated?

Two years it is

Yesterday I completed two years of blogging. It’s unbelievable to think how far I have come compared to where and when I started. This blog was just a medium for self-expression (something that I never believed in before I started blogging). And now its an integral part of my life. Kinda like my virtual life.

Sometimes I feel I am actually living a dual life. One where I meet people with flesh and blood, and the other where I meet people only through words and comments. If something substantial happens in real life, it has to be updated on the virtual life.

Often wonder how similar are these dual lives. Am I too different in real life? Very few people know both of me closely. But I never really bothered to figure that out. Doesn’t really matter. As long as both co-exist peacefully.

I wrote a post last year on my first blog birthday. I summarized what blogging was to me then. So I don’t want to do a similar post this time. Rather let me think of what really changed from last year? Just one thing I guess. Ibrahim :). He became a part of my life. Being a father, a parent, has been the single-most important, the biggest difference from last year. And I don’t think anything else can override this one ever.

Everyone ends up saying the same things on such posts – thank yous and sorrys and we go about raving about how blogging has changed our lives and how we made such great friends through blogs etc etc. I’ll not say all that. Its been said before. And I have nothing new to add.

So lets just keep doing what we do. And keep having fun. And keep blogging away to glory.

Lots of love.

On Federer, blog break and responsible media

I usually don’t post the day after Federer looses. My last comeback post was after he captured the French Open crown. Last night, he lost his US Open title to an inspired Del Potro. Good game though. Fed had the momentum up until late into the 2nd set and looked on course to capture his 6th consecutive title but Del Potro had other plans. All in all, it was an entertaining final. Quite refreshing to see some young blood make the legends run after their money.

Anyways, so if it was not a Federer victory that inspired this comeback post then what was? Well, first things first, for the uninitiated, I was on a self-imposed blog break. Just needed some time off from stuff to get things back on track. Took a week off from work and spent the time at home with my family. Nothing like some good ‘ol family time. Also, needed to get my mind off work. Moreover, with the Ramadan fasts going on, it was quite challenging to keep work and all other responsibilities cued together.

A big big big thank you to everyone for all the kind and encouraging words via comments, emails, sms and calls. Though I did not reply to most comments, I did keep visiting the comment space to see what y’all been saying and read it over and over again. I am overwhelmed and thankful to be part of this wonderful blog-samaaj.

Well, what really got me to write this post is actually the brilliant ads been aired on TV these days. Not sure how many of you saw the latest ad by the ‘jaago re’ campaign team – ‘Khilana Bandh pilana Shuru’. Fantastic social message against one of the biggest problems faced by India today – Corruption. Such a simple way to convey a message so strong and so relevant. And what more, it is lead by youth. Common scenarios such as traffic violations, in govt offices, in trains with the TT, in religious places, by politicians, in education institutions etc.

I confess I have been a contributor to this all my life. I have opted for the easy way than the right way. But not anymore. I hope India opens its eyes to such fantastic social messages.

Heres the video of the Khilana Bandh Pilana Shuru ad:

Other super marketing campaigns are the ones aired by Hindustan Times. I’ve seen a few and loved each one of them. The basic idea behind them are on responsible news reporting. I can’t seem to find them on youtube. But will post the videos once they are uploaded.

Great to be back. And now I have a Google reader about to explode with unread posts.

Weekend is early this week

Yes, it’s only Thursday and I am already into weekend mode. Why? Because my boss is only leave today and tomorrow!!! :D

Ain’t it cool?

Infact we’ve been celebrating since yesterday. As a matter of fact, my weekend started yesterday.

Before y’all rush to conclusions about my boss, she’s actually pretty cool (read: pretty & cool). Doesn’t give us too much shit but, in principle, I think all sales managers are a pain. Plus, we have our weekly sales reviews on Thursdays, where I have to come up with new stories (and dramas and excuses and grammar) each week for not being able to close some deals. And I’ve gotten good at it now. For 5 weeks straight, I was able to give 5 different excuses on 9 deals that I am tracking for this quarter! ;) For the record, I did close one of ‘em.

Point is, none of that happens today. I can do my stuff and not worry about what my next alibi  is going to be. That’s priceless.

Another thing made my day. A colleague (and friend and husband of fellow blogger Tara) came to me this morning informing me that he made uppam & chicken stew last night for dinner. He hunted for the recipe on Google. Guess what was on top of the search results?

My blog :)

Not sure why coz I have no freaking idea about the recipe. Apparently, there was some mention of uppam stew in some comments. There you go!

I’m telling ya, internet is a very small place.

Welcome and WIP!

Hey guys,

I’ve finally moved to WP. Thanks for dropping by. Honestly speaking, I am totally lost. Trying to figure out how to add custom widgets. And when I add my blogroll, my stats disappear or vice versa. So right now, this is a complete mess.

Work in progress! :)

Cheers

Of Dogs, Century and Work times

While driving back home last evening:

Me: Hey, guess what? I saw a dog today!!!! Ain’t that something?!?
Bro: I saw two the other day!
Me: Whhaaat??!!??
Bro: Yeah, can you believe it?!
Me: Noooohhh! Lucky you. The blessed one.
Bro: I beat you at it.
Me: Don’t rub it in.
Bro: (After a few seconds) What are you thinking?!
Me: About my next blog post (smiling wryly)

….which also happens to be my 100th post. That’s 100 posts in 1 year and 4 months of blogging. That’s 1 post every 4.87 days. I never blog on weekends. So that’s one post every work week. Not a pretty bad average I guess. Work reminds me….

Last Tuesday I had the most optimized work day. The expected in-time at my work is 9.30 am with 15 min grace so effectively that’s 9.45! Expected out-time is 6 pm. On Tuesday my entry-exit log read:

In-time: 09:44:38 AM and
Out-time: 18:01:12 PM

I’ve had several 9.45 ins and several 6pm outs. But never on the same day! I always thought the best possible combination is to get in 1 min before time and out 1 min after time. And coincidentally last Tuesday was the first time that happened. Which takes me to another point….

I think no one should work beyond their stipulated work hours. At my last job, leaving on time was almost like a CLM (Career Limiting Move). It was a taboo. Colleagues spoke about it behind your back. Managers gave sarcastic comments. Even the cab drivers stared at you. You almost wished to be invisible. Leaving work on time would require maneuvering. (Guys, I’m going to take a bio break (or smoke break or a quick snack). Anyone coming?). And you walk towards the rest room (or the balcony or the pantry) and then quietly slip out.

But it was my first job; full of energy; all guns blazing; out to prove to the corporate world that the next big thing has arrived. So it hardly ever mattered. I’ve stayed back at work even upto 7-8 hours. Overtime was not part of the package. So never got paid for it.

Thankfully, my current job has no such ‘culture’. People come on time and leave on time. Period. And so do I. Work never requires me to stay 15 min more than my time. Guess I learnt a bit of time management as well. And I almost never work from home. Have 8.5 hrs to do my job and I make sure my job gets done in that time. Work should be at work. It should never take up your personal time.

Ofcourse if you get paid to work late, that’s a different thing! Go, dog…err…Tiger!

(p.s.: For the record, you never see a stray dog in UAE)