Nov 30th

Mumbai

By madathilnair

(Nine years have passed since the Mumbai terror attack  of 26th November 2008. The pain and trauma linger on.  This poem was written in December 2008 immediately after the incident.  It is the poet's fond hope that the current, committed political dispensation in the country will bring back the old camaraderie once again.) 

Mumbai lies bleeding again, 
Ah me, she has been struck
By men of satanic design, 
Senseless scary specters, 
In a horrible dance of terror.

She had seen her children die
In riots, blasts and fire, 
They are again mowed down
Now in a nightmare
By wickedness unparalleled, 
Devilish and devious.

Beautiful, bejeweled and demure
She made it always sure
That her children never had to suffer
And that they laughed aloud
Through summer, rain and cold, 
Whether they huddled in huts, 
Slept on littered pavements, 
Were stacked like sardines
In streaking trains, clad in sweat, 
Or ensconced in comfort
On Malabar, Pali, Cumbala Hills.

Her lap was home
For all those who came 
From distant lands
Indian and abroad, 
She was home for the persecuted
From all over the globe, 
A cultured madam to the sailors, 
Who set foot on her shores, 
In their quest for gold and scents, 
Gems, wisdom and condiments.

Her children were of diverse hue
Like a bird's colorful plume, 
Like a rainbow on Arabian Sea
In the glitter of monsoon eve.

In you were blended, dear Mumbai, 
Passion, culture, spice of life, 
Hidden beneath your wealth and posh
Indeed was an unseen bond
That tied us rich and poor
All alike like gleaming gems
In a necklace of Indianness, 
A marvel as ancient as Ganges
And our sacred unwritten scriptures.

We walked your streets
Like in a dream
As do romantic leads
In fairy-tales feathery light
Played on our silver-screens.
Our goals were sure, 
Our eyes azure, 
We never had time for care, 
Your embrace was so secure.

Temple, church and mosque we built
Together in one-nation spirit.
We didn't think even the least
Varied Gods in them we placed, 
For something sacred from our past
Told us we were never apart.

We cackled like Diwali crackers
As we feasted Ramadan nights, 
We smiled like Christmas morn, 
We were always one and one.

Alas, gone are those golden days
Of trust, friendship, healthy sport.
Ours now is a miserable lot
Full of distrust, venomous thought.

Laughter and felicity we forgot, 
Distraught we are by the thought: 
'The man next doors has a scheming look, 
Looks askance, he's a crook, 
Oh God, he has a different God, 
Time now I preserved mine dear Lord'.

We lost our sleep, we lost our mirth, 
We lost our soul of Indianness, 
We built walls and barbed their tops
Mounting on them barking guns.

Indians died and in their place, 
Hindus, Muslims, Christians rose, 
Language split our souls apart, 
For sons of the soil we all fought.

Down we sank - a diseased nation
Fertile ground for contagion.
Misguided religion, death and terror, 
Our enemies have them without any measure.

They are indeed a vilely lot, 
Who place bombs in market hearts, 
Desecrate all our holy hearths, 
Shoot and kill us sans any thought.

Drunk of political power, drained of wit, 
Leaders of the masses wilt, 
Cringing for crumbs, alms and favor 
On long corridors of power, 
Puppets moved by perpetrators 
Of crimes, arson, riots, who conspire 
To undermine what remains 
Of our humane Indianness 
And our strides in sciences 
All the way up to the Moon's surface.

Impotent we stand and witness
The gruesome terror senseless, 
A volcanic rage fumes inside
As poor Mumbai bleeds and wails
Her sons fall in acts of bravery
Never heard before in history
Sanguine buds in a sacrificial pit
In the darkness of November nights.

A nation cries aloud to heavens
To send her a savior son, 
Alas! in the pitch darkness around
Will she ever find that dear one? 

Will her prayers ever be heard? 
Will he come half-clad, 
With a disarming smile, bespectacled, 
Holding a walking stick, of concrete will, 
Speaking a language of peace? 
Or will he be seen under a tree
With a message to set us free
In the Kingdom of our Indianness
Of Love's Universal Consciousness? 

Peace, Peace, Peace. 

Nov 30th

Mount Rainier

By madathilnair

I have seen you flash by
Amidst thick green foliage and swaying pines
Like a distant silver dream
On receding skyline
But was never satisfied
For a close encounter I craved

I did then go up
The Space Needle in Seattle
Hoping to have a clear view
Of your snow-clad balding pate
That thought profound thoughts
Against mortal blues of the empty sky
But, alas, you remained
Elusive to sight
Hiding behind shifting clouds

Yesterday, I drove over a hundred miles
Climbed my way to Sunrise Point
Hoping for a close tete-a-tete
You played truant again
I saw a blank
Of nothingness, void
A grey screen of clouds and mist
As snow-flakes flew around
The board before me read
You were somewhere there
Amidst mighty peaks
Right before my unseeing eyes

Doesn't matter Rainier
You are there, I know for sure
Like the Himalayan peaks 
I haven't seen
And yet am charmed by their beauty
On calendars, picture-cards
Inherent philosophy
Their height and grandeur speak

Better luck next time
Rainier, you are a teacher
I have now seen 
Lofty nothingness, void
Against which I have all the peaks
Of the world that speak
Of Truth that belongs not to things
But to an evanescent dream
That the Lord, whoever He is
Conjures up for stupid minds 

Nov 28th

मन की बात

By Akirah

अधूरी सी रह गयी कुछ बातें

अधूरी सी रह गयी कुछ सपने

ना वक़्त की कमी थी

ना कोई शिकायत की

कमी थी तो सिर्फ विश्वास

और सबर की

Nov 25th

END THIS MENACE SOON

By MGN

.       Leaping flames and rising fumes

Billowing through shattered panes

Of Mumbai's majestic Taj Hotel *

Choked the helpless inmates

Who knew not why and what

Had caused the terrible blast;

Trapped inside burning rooms

Scampered and struggled in vain

To flee from the spreading flames

And bullets fired from Kasab's guns.*

Shocked and stunned,the whole nation

Watched with horror and bated breath,

On TV screens the terrorists' siege

And the commandos' daring acts

To rescue victims and seize fanatics

Who maimed and killed innocent guests

And left painful scars, indelible

On the minds and hearts of survivors.

When will the world find strategies

To end this menace of recurring crimes

And save peace loving people in all nations?

             ******.   M.G.N.Murthy

*Taj Mahal Hotel in Mumbai was attacked by

ten members of a militant organisation 'Lashkar-e-Taiba', on 26 Nov 2008. Fire engulfed the Hotel, killing 160 people.

* Ajmal Mir Kasab,one of the terrorists was caught by the commandos.

*On 24 Nov 2017, 235 worshippers were killed by terrorists  when they threw a bomb and opened fire.This inhuman attack has shocked the world.

 

Nov 18th

THE FLOWERY MORNING

By venu

  THE  FLOWERY  MORNING

 

Rubbing  drowse

Off my eyes

In  the morning,

I opened the door

Of  our house

And stepped out,

Lo/ there at the threshold

Near the  gate,

A white  rose

With its petals

Wide  open

In the morning Sun,

Waving its flowery head

In the blowing, cool  breezes

Greeting me cheerily

“Good  morning”

From  the potted-plant;

Gazing at the  rose,

I  wonder at its

Whorls  of petals,

Its  patterns  of beauty,

Its  marvel of shiny  white,

Its  mystery of exotic fragrance,

The white rose swinging

In the cradle  of  morning  breezes,

Bathing  in the showers

Of  the morning Sun,

Celebrating supreme  beauty,,

Feasting  my eyes,

Unveiling  the Master’s

Radiant signature,

Greeting  me

“Good  morning”,

Welcoming and savoring

The  flowery  morning,

I  grasped the happy day.

 

 

Nov 18th

In Search of Peace

By Rajeev

Peace, peace, peace

man in search of peace

here, there, everywhere

like one searching for his gold chain

even while wearing it!

 

Man searches in vain

for the elusive peace

groping in the dark

running from pillar to post

frantically, desperately....

 

while all the while

it was available

already there

 deep within him!

Nov 18th

Global Trend in Workforce Planning

By Rajeev

In this post, I am sharing the gist of the discussions that transpired during the professional evening meeting organized by NIPM, Karnataka Chapter. The speaker was Ms Debolina Dutta, Director (HR), VF Corporation, Bangalore. VF Corporation is an American worldwide apparel and footwear company founded in 1899 and headquartered in Greensboro, North Carolina.

 At the outset the speaker underscored the fact that quite a few leading companies worldwide, are acknowledging the changes in the expectations of the work force.They are accordingly making changes in their approach to recruitment and engaging of people. Research suggests that a poor recruitment experience could turn candidates away from that brand, for life.According to the report of an employer branding agency ph.Attraction, one in four British jobseekers have either entirely stopped purchasing (12%) or purchased less (11.5%) from a brand because of a negative candidate experience. 

The speaker cited  instances of  individual companies which learnt the hard way that future employees need to be handled with a lot of sensitivity. Let us take the case of  Virgin media. More than 1,30,000 candidates applied to work at Virgin Media in 2014, 18% of whom were existing customers of the company.  However, as a direct result of poor candidate experience more than 7,500 candidates cancelled their subscriptions and switched to a competitor, resulting in millions of pounds (£4.4m ) in lost revenue. The brand has since brought its recruitment function in-house, which allows it to take a lot more control and engage with individuals on a one-to-one level. The company has also invested in technology with a candidate portal that maps the recruitment experience; the focus being on what candidates want rather than Virgin media leading the experience. The process also features inspirational voice messages from brand ambassador Usain Bolt.

 

Ms Debolina said that IBM responded to the attrition nightmare by developing a predictive analytics model which helps in identifying those likely to leave and this helped to reduce attrition by addressing issues. Further, the Bell curve model of performance assessment has become outdated and is being given up by many organizations. GE has now come up with a regular updates model (feedback to employees on how they are doing) resulting in a five times increase in productivity. Similarly Adobe introduced instantaneous feedback system that contributed to a 2% reduction in attrition. Cisco has moved away from ratings and annual reviews and are looking at team oriented incentives.

 

It is clear from the above that employers are no longer perceiving employees as mere numbers but are looking to provide a humane experience to candidates right from the stage of interview and during their tenure in the organization.The speaker said that in the IT industry, as HR is not sure of how many will join, there is a tendency to issue offer letters to more than the required number of employees. But then what if all the 5 Java programmars who were issued offer letters ( as against the 4 required) join? Companies are looking to engage them through gamification portals etc even before they even join the organization so as to ensure better predictability of the candidates joining. Readers may like to see an earlier blog of mine covering the L&D Leadership League organized by People Matters, wherein the VP (HR) of TCS explained how gamification is used to engage young engineers. 

  https://hrdian.blogspot.in/2014/12/l-leadership-league.html

 In accordance with the latest trends ( the millennials presence is very high in social media), HR would do well to utilize the services edge networks which scan the net for inputs from the social media, Linked in etc.to find out the best fit employees and recommend those deemed 100% fit for a position. Edge networks  are focused on the development of workforce planning solutions with the use of artificial intelligence and data science technology solutions. The speaker said that in her company this tool  was used for internal bench management.

 Another trend is to get career counselling done for employees by a doggie/bot on their desk tops so that they would be able to open up freely without being intimidated by human seniors, some of whom may also be reluctant to give undiluted honest feedback. Websites like Wade & Wendy help in this connection, providing instructive conversation with a chat bot.

 Further, technology today has made available the tool of machine learning. Machine learning explores the study and construction of algorithms, which can make data driven predictions or decisions by building a model from sample inputs.This enables companies to zero in on the optimum workforce.In future, there could be a situation of 73% of the workforce being flexible, part time freelancers. Dell, which presently has a 25% flexible workforce is planning to increase it to 50%.

  The global trends indicate that talent will be procured by companies from anywhere in the world.The focus would increase on engaging and mentoring the employees after they have joined. Johnson & Johnson has a web enabled mentoring platform.There is bound to be increased collaboration between man and machine. Amazon has started using around 30000 robots at their distribution centres. The good news is that understanding the trends in advance can enable organizations to be prepared. It is for each company to look at its own unique context and become ready to face what the future may throw up. The bad news is that the trends predicted are not going to affect the IT industry alone but all organizations, across the board....  

Nov 17th

New Bundle of Joy

By Padma

Ten little fingers touch me softly

and welcome me to hug him fondly;

I jump with joy and smile at him

to make him hopefully cherish 

the world he stays in!

 

His babling sound lingers around

His happiness has no bound

Eats on time, drinks in time

His musical device has no rhyme!

 

His brown sparkling eyes observe me

I gaze at his enchanting features;

His zealous nature is so cheerful

Whatever he does is truly beautiful!

 

Inquisitive mind vigorously reads

the creatures, pleaces and people;

His angelic face is certainly charming

I love his cheery deeds, mesmerising!

 

Colourful toys captures his attraction

Musical sounds avoid his quick motion;

Human voice has love and affection

He longs for his parents' attention!

 

A sweet little treasure sent from above

a coo and smile, wrapped up in love

A son is mummy's little loving angel

and daddy's little virtuous man!

Nov 15th

Dream Within A Dream Within A Dream……

By madathilnair

A moon-lit day 

End of Fall

The Sun an unseen presence

Far down south-west

Behind some silver cloud

Maples showering gold

On a lengthening walkway

Lovely as the Milky Way

 

A young couple in embrace

On a lonely bench

Hush, hush, silent speech

Tip-toe vagrant breeze

 

A  teenage cutie

In Halloween fancy

Of rainbow hues

Floats her way

Did the trees around

Send her down

With their sliding leaves?

 

Time in lethargy

The skies in brood

Life in slow motion

Fowl in meditation

Perched on the bank

Their eyes lost in the sheen

Of the placid pond

 

Is this an evening

Or a dream?

 

Rub your eyes

Pinch your thighs

This can never be

Anything but a dream

 

“Wake you dreamer”

“Into what?

Another dream?

A dream within a dream?

And then a dream within a dream within a dream….?”

 

Isn’t life an evening of Fall

Unending within a dream within a dream……?

No one wakes here 

A dream-some nowhere

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