Sunday, December 14, 2008


Eyes - Kevin Rodrigues

I watch you looking as bright as the sun
I try to get closer
Smitten that I am by you
Your presence is like the warmth of fire
It draws me close to you

No words or actions are necessary
Just being close to you sets me free
Then begins to dawn reality
What could be and what is there to see

The heart has hope but the mind doesn't
A constant battle between the two
Leaves both in a state unpleasant
Indecision causes the mood to go blue

Wishing my eyes filled with hope
Would express what words could not say
Imagine how my heart would cope
If the moment of love was here to stay

Abruptly ends my illusion
As I watch in your beautiful eyes
There seems to be some confusion
As they seek someone's presence

They move away from my direction
To a place away from my stand
There seems to be some distraction
What seems like an entrance grand

My eyes have lost this fight
Now they are filled with tears
Tried with all their might
How true now are their fears.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Oh My God!

Watched the movie Oh, My God! It starts off pretty ok but the ending was average and could have been better. I'm actually beginning to kind of enjoy bollywood movies considering the amount of variety in story and concept that is available these days (I kind of dislike the typical run around the bush emotional types. They are OK once in a while but get on my nerves when every movie seems that way). I feel movies should have a message which a common person can relate to. So that when people watch a movie they have an aha (this happened to me moment). That's what makes it fun to watch.

Coming back to Oh, My God!, it is a movie which is based on the thought that earning money is not everything in this world. There are things (family, friends, life) which is much, much more important. How we should be giving a more priority to the small things in life which make life worth living. Many people spend most of their time running after trying to make more money. And most do so at the cost of spending less time on the things that really matter. Money is really important, considering that in our present world, many things can be bought by money. But then the question is how much is enough. Somehow, people are never satisfied by the amount of money that they have. Even millionaires and billionaires are always finding themselves in the race to earn more money.

Actually it's a people's choice. If you want to set your goal in life to earn more money, kindly do so. Personally, I consider money as a means of buying things. But it's love, values and respect that are far more important .

So when the stock markets crumble or the interest rates fall, some guys have to say "Oh, My God!, we have lost so much in life" while the wise ones just shrug their shoulders and say "Thank you God" for what we have in life.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Terrorist attacks in Mumbai

I am sure we all are aware of the terrorist attacks that happened in Mumbai.

Salute to all the heroes who sacrified their lives so that the city is once again safe for us. May their souls rest in peace.

Also I along with others hope that this will not be forgotten in a couple of months.

We need to start a movement as mentioned by people which will start a change in the way our country is being handled.

I am not going to perform a postmortem of this attack because I am incapable of doing so. Though I would be proud to be a part of any movement which can bring about the change that India badly needs.

Monday, November 10, 2008


Watched the movie EMI yesterday. It's about loans and credit in India. The movie shows a story of four people who use credit and loans and cannot repay them back. And how they end up being pressurized by the bank.

Some points were really worth thinking about. It's really scary how people borrow loans with repayment period of 15-20 years. We cannot even predict our lives tomorrow and we assume about such a long time. So much can change in those years. It's no fault of people as well. Consider the case of the housing loans. Middle class people cannot be expected to buy a house without a loan considering the current rates in real estate which seem incredibly high.

Then there are people who survive on credit cards. It's easy to get a free credit card. So just use it and when you need to pay up, just pay it from another credit card. And the cycle continues.

The moral of the movie (if it had any) was to use loans responsibly. What I feel is that people should not be greedy for the luxuries of life. Sure we should always aim for a good life. But do we really need that car when we have public transportation? Or do we really need that Rs. 2 lakh plasma TV? And that too on loans?

I guess it's just a question of how much is enough. Sadly for us it never is.

Sunday, September 28, 2008


There have been a spate of bomb blasts in India recently, especially in Delhi. I had a few heated conversations with a friend (since this is one of the subjects that I consider my emotional triggers). My point of view was simple. What is the reason to live in a country where you have a constant fear of getting yourself or your family killed by some idiots for no apparent reason. My friend told me the usual stuff that India is our country, we should not run away, etc, etc. And that I would be selfish if I would not stay there. I guess most of my friends will voice this same opinion. I asked why and it was mentioned that all of our family and friends are in India and so we cannot run away. Well, isn't that an even more selfish answer. 

The question I carried further was if you knew that your loved one was about to die tomorrow in a bomb explosion and you had a chance to save him by moving him to a more peaceful place, would you do it or not? Would you, just for harping a few words of patriotism allow your family to be killed? As expected I got no answer. I still think about this and can't still understand why people fail to realize the truth. The truth that we in India have placed our security in a very compromising position.

The movie "A Wednesday" express beautifully what I am trying to explain. Ah, but who cares and what will I achieve by mentioning this. Nothing will change, nothing ever seems to change in our country for good (no they are not pessimistic thoughts just reality). I just hope I can do something about it for my loved ones.

What is your opinion? What is your answer?

Monday, September 15, 2008

The girl by the window

The girl by the window - Kevin Rodrigues

I woke up as usual today
It's a cold, windy morning in Norway
Walking alone on my way to the station
Hands in my pocket, and in my mind, imagination
A handful of people walking along their path
I wonder what story each has in his heart
Passing by the Palace with its beautiful ground
Watching the birds as they scamper around

I reach the station in about fifteen
A few trains pass with their seats empty
Waiting for the train that is seven twenty
Looking around, observing as much as I can see
In the other direction, a train comes by
MY eyes wander, trying something to find
They finally see what they have been searching then
The girl by the window have I seen once again

Saturday, August 16, 2008

It's a wonderful life

I watched a black and white english movie called "It's a wonderful life" today. I really enjoyed the movie. It seemed a lot like one of those old Hindi black and white movies. And yet it did have a good story. Infact, a very inspirational story.

The story begins with the Gods deciding to send an angel to help someone because there are a lot of people who are praying for that someone. Who is that someone? That some one is George Bailey. Whos is George Bailey? The movie continues from George's childhood where he saves his brother from drowning but in the process loses the hearing in one of his ears. As a kid he works in a chemist shop. One day his owner accidentally mixes poision in someones medicine and asks him to deliver it. He knows that its poison and does not do so. So he gets thrashed by his employer (of course, after knowing the truth, the employer apologises). George keeps on doing good acts for people. Thinking about other people before himself. He wants to travel the world and has many dreams. But as he is about to leave his hometown to go study in New York, his father passes away. His father had owned a Loan Bank which he does not want to work for. But after his father passes away to settle things up he works in it for four months. Later as he decides to go to college he comes to know that his loan bank will be closed down. And if that happens many poor people will not get loans as the only other money lender is a very greedy man. So once again he sacrifices his life and works for the bank for four years. He sends his brother to college hoping that after four years he will come back to work for some time and he can pursue his dreams. After four years when his brother does come back, he has already married a girl from New York and has a job at her father's factory. George is very disappointed that his dreams are crushed once again. But still he decides to sacrifice and is happy for his brother. After some time George gets married as well. As he is leaving for his honeymoon, he noticies a crowd near the loan bank. All the other banks have been shut down and so people have flocked to his bank for their money. But there is not much in the bank. So his wife who is a lovely woman as well sacrifices all their honeymoon money for the people. George has to overcome many difficulties in his life but he also gets a good wife in Mary and has lovely children who make his life worth living.

One day his uncle who goes to deposit all the money in the bank misplaces the money. So there is a deficit of 8000 dollars in the bank which they can't pay. This amounts to fraud and could land George in jail. George is very depressed and expresses his anger with many people he meets. He shouts at his wife and kids. And goes to the greedy money lender for money. But all he has is his life insurance. So he decides to end his life. As he is about to jump from the bridge, another man jumps into it and screams for help. George saves this man's life. The man tells him that he is an angel and he jumped in because he knew that George was about to jump and so he saved George's life instead of the other way around. George doesn't believe it. The angel tells him that his life is too beautiful to be wasted on such matters. But George doesn't agree. He feels his life is a waste and wishes he was never born. The angel grants him his wish. And then he does not exist in the world. None of his family and friends recognize him. Since he was not there, his brother whom he had saved drowned. His employer who had accidentally mixed poison in the medicine is in jail. His wife and mother don't recognize him either.

Finally George realizes what a wonderful life he has. He remembers his wife, kids and all the friends he had. He prays to God to return his life back to him. And so in the end everything is a happy ending.

P.S: Hope some one who thinks their life is not special read this and understood my pathetic way of conveying a message. That your life is very, very special. And don't you ever forget that.

Saturday, August 9, 2008


Hmm. Just watched Kismat Konnection. So some thoughts on Kismat are expected I guess :)

Kismat stands for Luck in Hindi. So what is luck? Is there really luck? As shown in the movie, do things such as lucky charms work? Why do so many people believe in luck? Does it exist or is it a figment of our imagination put by humans so that they can place their fortunes or misfortunes on something other than themselves when they don't understand some things happening in their lives?

My thoughts are that there might be something as luck. We might be calling it a wrong term maybe. Maybe it is a part of something more. But we can just feel whenever luck seems to play a part. Sometimes we get good luck and sometimes bad. Sure that doesn't mean we just sit and let things just happen based on luck. Scientifically, luck may be related to probability. If you can increase your chances to do something in a particular situation then you are bound to have more success and obviously can be supposed to have good luck. And the opposite is also true. So if you want to be more lucky, I guess you just have to increase your chances in whatever you want to do. And your success rate will increase. So I guess luck in humans may be related to intelligence. If you can face any situation intelligently, you have less chances of having bad luck and more chances of having good luck.

And yes, you should consider yourself lucky to read this post :)

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Contemplation about life

Have been thinking about life? What is it for us? Is it supposed to be having goals and trying to achieve them? Or is it just enjoying the moment for the time we have on the earth? Or maybe it is a combination of both.

Life with goals:
It seems that we always tend to fail at most of the things we do. Some people more, some people less. Every time I have some small goals in life. And every time I work towards them. Enthusiastic in the beginning but as time passes, it starts to decrease. Like I am trying to learn Norwegian, but since the last week I haven't read much of it. Maybe it is because the goals are not clear. Or maybe because I do not have enough discipline. Same case goes for my blogging. I started blogging because I wanted to write stuff that comes in my mind. But sometimes the mind just goes blank. So maybe it is human nature to fail. Maybe life is not about achieving success. Maybe life is to fail and struggle to get back on the road to success. This may be even more important than success. So that when success is achieved, the journey counts more than it.

All the people I have met, some time or the other have said that their life sucks because they fail. Even I say that my life sucks because I have failed in more things than I may have succeeded in. But maybe it is supposed to suck. Life is supposed to be good when it sucks and we try to make it better. Not only our life but that of our loved ones. When they feel their life is dull, maybe it is our duty to brighten it. So that indirectly, our life gets brightened too.

Hmm, so what to do when things don't turn out the way we want them to. I guess just realize that it is going to be that way. Life sucks and we got to live with it. Guess the answer is somewhat related to a positive attitude. Whatever happens in life, there is always something to learn. So that we don't make the same mistakes again. So that possibly the next time life doesn't suck because of that. And that learning from our failures we can succeed. That we have the discipline to get up if we fall in life instead of lying on the ground and sulking.

Enjoying life's moments:
I feel this is one of the most important things which we humans have been gifted with. We can savor a lot of moments in our lives. Everything is so beautiful. Nature, animals, family, friends, work. But then again we start taking everything for granted. We assume everything is just for us and start worrying about things we want. One day just have a walk in the park and look at the trees, the birds, the people. We need to see the beauty in it. Every moment of our life is a gift. I know we all have our worries and problems. But how much of that worry is necessary. I have seen people worry about success, money, happiness, etc. Yeah, to an extent we should be thinking about these things but never worry about them. As I said we have goals and we might fail but it just means that we have to try again and not stop. So why not enjoy the journey to our goals. Maybe some of us might find that the journey is our goal. That enjoying life's moments brings us more joy than what we supposed we wanted. So just realise that everything has beauty. We just don't notice how many wonderful things happen in our life. Taking everything for granted.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Love, rejection and acceptance


No I'm not a love guru or anything. But I intend to give my 2 cents about this topic. Because it has always been at the back of my mind and maybe it will do good to you as well.

We think of love as this wonderful magic that suddenly happens. We meet a guy/girl who seems to match our required characteristics. This is the so called "Love at first sight". For others, it is just a process of gradually falling in love.

OK, then everything is wonderful and we are in love. So that is great until something we forgot about. We do not know if that other person shares the same feelings as we do. So what do we do? We try to indirectly convince the other person to fall in love with us. By several ways such as trying to impress the other person. If the other person falls in love with us, everything is fine, everything is beautiful.

But what if it doesn't happen? What if the other person doesn't share the same feelings as we do? What if the other person doesn't love us in return? It becomes difficult to accept it, right? Somehow, somewhere there is always hope that maybe, just maybe, there is a way of convincing the other person that we are the perfect match for him/her. We as humans are emotional and the heart has been given too much hope in such situations. Now it is good to have hope especially in case of love. But what if it is not working out. What if the other person is least interested in you? Then it starts to get dangerous, doesn't it? Everyday, every time we remember the moments, we get distracted from whatever we set out to do. The hope within us tries to find a way. We react like a drowning man who will try to grab everything, even a straw if he get's one.

Well, my friend, that is where comes the part of acceptance. Now I don't know how to draw the line between trying to convince the other person and acceptance of his/her disinterest, I really don't. Perhaps, somehow it just comes in our mind and we will know when we have to accept things as they are. But once we know that we have to accept the situation, it is better to accept it rather than causing pain to ourselves. Maybe we have trouble accepting it. But we can take help from our friends who will always be there for support.

Falling in love is a wonderful thing. I have fallen in love too. And there seems no greater suffering than rejection. That too I have undergone. So here is advice from one who has suffered a broken heart to another, some advice from experience of my own and other wise people before me. Falling in love is beautiful, being loved is even more beautiful, but letting a loved one have his own free will is spiritual. Time, my friend, will heal everything. It always does. Maybe, such things leave a scar or two on the heart. But maybe there is some lessons we learn from such events. Perhaps, it is to make us wiser so that in the future, our love gets what it deserves. Maybe, it happened so that we can appreciate true love when we will get it.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Where there is a will, there is a way


We always here the words "Will power".

What do we mean by will power? Will power is the inner strength to try to reach your goal even if the road to that goal is full of difficulties.

We hear a lot of stories about how people achieve success by sheer will power. All of the people who have been successful in any field, whether business or sports or education are people who have tremendous will power. Actually we haven't to look that far our in the world. Everyone including us as humans have great potential of using our will power.

Will power can and should be used by us for achieving what we want to. We all have goals in our lives. Some of us want success, some want fame, some want money, some love, etc. Whatever be our goal, we can and should use will power to achieve it. When we set out to achieve goals, there are going to be obstacles. It's like a football match. The goal post is right in front of us. But there is no direct way to get there. There are obstacles at many places. The path to the goal is not straight forward and every time we have to change our way. If we keep on worrying that we cannot achieve that goal, then it is not possible. Without will power, we fail even before we begin. But when we use will power, if we believe that whatever the difficulties, we will succeed then success becomes possible.

Can non practical things be achieved with will power? Well, things are unachievable unless they are achieved. If we look through history, a lot many things would not exist if it were not for sheer will power. The electricity that we get, the cars that we travel in, the technology that we use, nothing would exist if it were not the will power of the people to create them. Before these things existed, they were supposed to be unachievable. But it was because people believed that they could do those things and even though there were failures and many difficulties, they had tremendous will power and managed to reach their goals. Maybe, we might not want to achieve such things and change the world's history. But each of us has our goals to achieve which are big for us. So we need to keep using our will power to reach them whatever be the distractions.

My friend asks if will power can get you a promotion. Well, yes, if that is what you want to achieve. I can tell my views if that would be my goal. I would try and find out what it takes to get a promotion. This I would do by asking the people who provide promotions as to what they expect of people to give them a promotion. I would tell them that I will be working to achieve that. I would also look at people who have been successful at work. If possible try and talk to them, analyse how they learn, how they work. Learn from their life. And use my will power to try and reach that position.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Life can be boring sometimes, but...

One of my friends tells me that she is bored from life. Now I am not going to give some advice saying that life is not boring or anything because I can't preach even to save my own life. But it is true when it is said that life is what we make of it. Yes life can get boring because of the monotony in it. Doing the same things day after day can cause boredom. So what to do when such days come biting at you.

Now these are not solutions I suggest but those that have been given by wise people over the generations. One suggestion is to do something new and different everyday. Now by new I don't mean going on top of a mountain and doing a bungee jump. Anything simple is good enough. Trying a new way to reach home. Reading something different you were never interested in. Doing something you would rather dislike are some of the things that might be suggested.

At times we also feel that life sucks. Well, maybe it does. But it only does because we see it that way. We want a lot of things from life. Some want money, some want happiness, some want love, etc, etc. Believe me if we really want something, humans have a great capacity to achieve it. But there is a catch. Most of the times, we will not get it at the first try. And it's not that we f.ail. Every failure is a milestone to teach us somethings. It's like trying to find a destination. And we reach a dead end. We don't just sit and cry at that end. We go back some distance and then try a different way which may lead us to our destination.

Seems like I preached a lot of stuff and you may consider me an optimist guru. But on the contrary, I am more of a realist. Whenever I try doing anything in life, I expect that failures can be a part of it rather than always expecting that I will succeed. But then when I fail at something, it doesn't seem so bad because I knew the possibility was always there. So I accept it and try to rectify the situation as much as I can and get back to try and reach ny goal.

So the bottom line my friend is that life can be boring sometimes, but you have a beautiful mind to come out of that boredom.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Lazy Programmer

They say a lazy programmer is a good programmer. Because such programmers use their minds to minimize their work that to just do rigorous hard work. Most of the software problems can be solved by either of two methods. One is to try a lot of permutations and combinations. The other is to first sit down and analyse the different possible solutions and then go for the most optimal one. Each has it's own positive and negative traits. The good and lazy programmers know exactly what to choose or rather what combinations to choose depending on the time and technical constraints.

Lazy programmers really hate to do repetitive stuff. So here's what they will do. Whenever there is a problem, try to find already existing solutions to that problem and solve it. If the solutions do not exist, they break the problem into many smaller problems and try to find if solutions exist for the smaller ones. Lazy programming does not mean not doing work but it means doing smart work and concentrating on stuff which will enable them to learn something new rather than repeat the same work which they already know. This helps them to concentrate on finding solutions to newer problems than going into a monotonous loop of doing that which is already done.

One example can be provided with STL in C++. Suppose we have a task of maintaining a dynamic list of entries of the employees in an organization and processing that list. A programmer who does not know about STL will start writing his own logic, probably linked list implementation. After he spends time in that, he will have to test and debug the errors from that. Still it might contain bugs. A lazy smart programmer will use STL, probably vectors or linked lists. He saves his time of implementation of linked lists by using existing code. And there will be no major bugs in it since it is provided by the ANSI standard and already tested. So he saves additional time. Now he can concentrate on processing that list and complete his work in a fraction of a time than the first programmer. This helps him to finish his work on time with good quality and provides him time to perform the tasks he enjoys.

So be a programmer but be lazy and be smart.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Best friends

Last weekend as some of my friends will have known I had spent time introspecting upon the concept of best friends. The only way to get more information was to ask some friends what best friends means to them. Now you may ask why best friends when we have friends. Well, seems like one best friend is more precious than a 100 friends put together.

Now I will just put a gist of the points that seem to validate this statement.

1)Being there:
Most important thing I found was that best friends are there for each other. By being there I mean physically, mentally, emotionally or all put together. If one wants to share his life whether good or bad, best friends are always available. There is no wait for some time or wait till tomorrow. Best friends seem to have an instinct not to encroach on each other's time but at the same time they seem to know to be there for each other whenever the need for it arises. And that is what makes best friends, always ready to provide a shoulder to lean on to, always ready to listen.

2)In touch:
Best friends are always in touch with each other. Many a times best friends communicate with each other on a daily basis. As I mentioned sharing life seems a priority for them. But then I also found out that best friends might not be constantly in touch whenever boundaries like long physical distances are present. But they seem to make up for it through other means of communication and really make it count whenever they communicate.

3)Have fun:
Best friends have a lot of fun together. There is no disappointment most of the time. As I mentioned best friends seem to have an instinct on what time is favorable for them. Imagine wanting to go to a movie or a picnic and being sure that you best friend will always be ready to go with you anywhere. A best friend sees no better way to spend time than with his friend. That is so very cool :)

4)No boundaries:
This is something I think about. I heard best friends have no boundaries. By boundaries I mean age, gender, religion, etc. While many best friends share a lot of their characteristics and interests, it is also that such things are not necessary and a lot many people are best friends because they be there for each other. Even when their ideas and views differ their hearts do not.

I'm sorry if I left out some points but right now I can recall the above ones. Thanks to friend Heena for kind of encouraging me to write this post about best friends.

Monday, April 28, 2008

I love tea breaks

By tea break, I mean the break that we generally have in offices. It's been almost four and a half years (and three companies) since I started working as a professional. And of the things that I remember about those companies, the first thing that comes to my mind are the tea breaks.

The first company had a hectic schedule of 12 hours per day for 6 days a week, so tea breaks were inevitable. What made it special was that we had to make our own tea using the tea bags and the tea would turn out pathetic thanks to our culinary skills :P So we would end up going to the roadside tapri (roadside tea stall in Mumbai style slang) :) Several times we even managed to take our Japanese bosses to that tapri to have adrak wali chai, at their expense of course :D

The second company was a little different. Tea would be brought twice a day on to our desks :)
But even here we would go and enjoy tea breaks in the canteen in the adjacent building.

The third company (which I am currently working in) has an excellent shelter for tea breaks in an open space which I really enjoy (even though the tea sucks) :) Sharing time with some of my closest friends surely makes going to office a less heavy burden.

Best thing about tea breaks is the bonding that it creates among the co-workers. I have met some of the most wonderful people during my work and I have known a lot about them especially during tea breaks. Whether there is some bug irritating the hell out of you or a cracking joke that cheers your heart, everything has been experienced in tea breaks.

So here's to all you tea break lovers, CHEERS to a cup of tea :)

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Fair and Lovely: Once More + Height Craziness

Man, this topic has become a emo-trigger for me :P Recently, there was the Pantaloons Femina Miss India. The next day on the front page of the newspaper two stores were printed. On the left was the news about the Pantaloons Femina Miss India winners and on the right side was the news about how Dark taunts to wife puts man in jail.

In the story, the man would taunt his wife repeatedly about her dark complexion which depressed her so much that she contemplated suicide. This once again showed how biased we tend to be with regards to skin color. And it is ourselves we have to blame. Always it is the affection towards the fair skin. The positive point was that the court ruled the case in favor of the woman and came down heavily on our disgusting views on fair skin.

Seems like we always like things in people which are just gifts given by God. Already mentioned fairness. Another thing I am sick and tired of hearing is the height factor. Every time there is talk about how a person should have good height. I mean what the hell :( , if a person could choose his color or height do you think he would want to be dark or short. No, but that is how the world sees a person, and it is downright irritating. Rather than taking the pain of understanding what a person has become by his own abilities, we choose the easier path of judging a person by the talents that have been handed over naturally to the person. Either it is fairness or height or something else. Where's the justice in that?

I guess things won't change and people will continue to be eggheads. Can't change that. I tend to have hope that there are at least some people who think differently. Who know what it truly means to get discriminated against and who do not discriminate. Sadly, I haven't found anyone who has this superior sense of being a thoughtful human being.

Monday, April 14, 2008


C R D has written a beautiful poem about loneliness.


हमसफ़र हमें अपनी राह पर हाथों मे हाथ लेकर चलता है,
तन्हाई हमें अपनी राह खुद बनाना सिखाती है।

हमसफ़र सोच से सोच मिल लेता है,

तन्हाई हमें खुद सोचने को मजबूर करती है।

हमसफ़र की बाहों में सपने सच होते नज़र आते हैं,

तन्हाई के घेरे में हम सपने देखते ज़रूर हैं,
लेकिन हम यह भी जान लेते हैं कि वो शायद कभी सच नहीं होंगे।

हमसफ़र ज़िंदगी के हर कदम पर साथ देने की कसमें खाता हैं,

लेकिन कसमें तोडी भी जा सकती हैं।
तन्हाई कोई वादा नहीं करती,

लेकिन सबके छोड़ देने पर वही साथ देती है।

हमसफ़र साथ छोड़ता है तो हम सब कुछ खो देते हैं,
पर तन्हाई हमें छोड़ देते वक्त वह सब कुछ दे देती है,
जिनकी हम तमन्ना करते थे।

तो क्या तन्हाई ही हमारा सच्चा हमसफ़र है?

Humsafar Humein Apni Raah Par Haathon Mein Haath Lekar Chalta Hai
Tanhai Humein Apni Raah Khud Banaana Sikhati Hai

Humsafar Soch Se Soch Mila Leta Hai
Tanhai Humein Khud Sochne Ko Majboor Karti Hai

Humsafar Ke Baahon Mein Sapne Sach Hote Nazar Aate Hain
Tanhai Ke Ghere Mein Hum Sapne Dekhte Zaroor Hain,
Lekin Hum Yeh Bhi Jaan Lete Hain Ki Woh Shayad Kabhi Sach Nahin Honge

Humsafar Zindagi Ke Har Kadam Par Saath Dene Ki Kasmein Khaata Hai
Lekin Kasmein Todi Bhi Jaa Sakti Hain
Tanhai Koi Vaada Nahin Karti
Lekin Sabke Chhod Dene Par Wahi Saath Deti Hai

Humsafar Saath Chhodta Hai Toh Hum Sab Kuch Kho Dete Hain
Par Tanhai Humein Chhod Dete Waqt Woh Sab Kuch De Deti Hai
Jinki Hum Tamanna Karte The

Toh Kya Tanhai Hi Hamara Sacha Humsafar Hai?

Saturday, April 5, 2008

The Temptation to drink

Warning: This post might be thought of as a way of self-promotion and I guess it is.

Well, I made a trip to Goa last week and as we know drinks are freely available in this part of the country. As surprising as many people may find, I have not drunk even a glass of beer. Why, some people may ask, when I do not have any restrictions to hold back. Some reasons are:

  • Addiction
  • Loosing senses (misbehaving, drunken driving, etc)
  • Health problems (liver can get seriously damaged. Also other body parts if you fall somewhere)
  • Lack of strength (emotional, mental, physical)

Well, the reasons to why I avoid drinking are manifold but the most influencing reason for me to avoid them is the perception that drinks are for weak people. People who cannot fight their emotional, mental or physical battles turn to some form of intoxication to escape, if only for a moment, from the realities of life. Rather we should face the moments of truth in life because they are the things that make us stronger.

I try to introspect what is the reason we get tempted. The major reason I think people use alcohol is to try to find solutions to their emotional problems. Something keeps on bothering us in our mind, there is pain in the heart. There seems to be no solution on the horizon. So people drink expecting the drinks to pour over their heart and make things clearer for them. It's a destructive practice as drinking only amplified the emotional state to an extent it makes the mind numb. Any form of intoxication seems to free the mind from stress for a brief period of time. It's like handing control of your mind to a small kid as the drinking gradually increases peg by peg.

I'm not preaching for other people to stop drinking (People never listen to me anyway). It's their choice and they are free to do so. In fact, I too have tasted alcohol a few times, never liked it though. For me drinking goes against my values and if at anytime I go against my values, I guess I will start drinking.

I have just touched on one of the reasons that make me feel strongly against drinking. As I mentioned there are several more reasons I dislike about drinking. Hope to introspect on them in the future.

Till then Cheers!!! (the non-alcoholic type).

Monday, March 24, 2008

Feeling down? Don't bring others down

It happens to all of us, doesn't it. Some days we are happily walking down life's road, watching to the roses bloom on both sides of the road. And then there are days, we are dragging ourselves on the same road, rocky this time and thorns to avoid on both sides. Well, it's the same road, the same flowers but our view of it had changed this time. Because we stumbled over a few rocks, we now see the road as rocky and because a few thorns pricked us, we forget the flowers.

The worst part is that when most of us feel low, we tend to (whether knowingly or unknowingly), try to bring people, especially our friends and close ones down as well. Just imagine having a bad day at office, then coming home. Getting a nice greeting from family and friends and just exploding in their faces. I've been guilty of doing that and believe me, that's not a nice way of meeting some one close to you. Because it ends up passing your bad mood onto that person especially if he/she is close to you. Most of the times, family and really cool friends will understand that you are having a really bad day and will be most comfortable listening as you blast about how you day was bad. But then it takes one nasty word, a few hasty sentences that can really put strains on a person's mood.

The best thing is to keep a control when we feel down. Sure, it is not easy to not get upset when you just missed your 7:48 local and you are jammed up in the train. But then again it is easy. When we feel low, we continuously think about it. We should realize that if we can do anything to change our situation we should. But if not, then there is no use of thinking about it and worse passing it on to our loved ones.

So the next time you come home and feel like banging a cricket bat on your boss's head, remember to postpone that till you reach office the next day and the friend in front of you is willing to take it but does not deserve it.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Indian education kills

Everyone knows the Indian education system sucks when it comes to exams and the grading of students by their marks. The recent spate of suicides by students all over the country is an indication of what happens when marks are giving so much importance than the education of a student.

Parents should be blamed for putting much pressure on their children. In trying to keep up with the ever increasing competition (in scoring good marks), children lose their childhood and peace of mind. Stress is a killer disease for all ages and it has a very significant impact on the minds of children. Kids are made to run for tutions and classes the entire day. The tension just keeps on increasing from school, the 10th, 12th, so on and so forth.

We are always obsessed with marks and percentages. Parents who want their children to do well in life get stuck to making their children into doctors or engineers. They pressurize their kids to do well in school. Every child cannot score 90+ percentages. The schools also should be blamed. The kids who score well are placed on pedestals. The kids who are unsuccessful in scoring marks are made to feel inferior with red marks on their reports, disrespect, etc.

One of the ways to be adopted it to do away with the marking system. Instead of teaching them to mug, children should be educated with knowledge. Knowledge not just about physics, maths, chemistry, english or marathi. But also knowledge they can use to cope with their life when they venture out into the world. More emphasis should be placed on the development of the child in all aspects like education, sports, arts, etc.

Some level of understanding is growing among parents who have realized that education is something that can be put to use and not just mugging. Schools have started realizing the importance of the all round development of children. But that is occurring among the affluent, autonomous schools. The education provided by the government aided schools and colleges still continue to sit in the comfort of deciding student's fate by how much they can memorize and put on paper. Hopefully, the media which is helping people realize this folly, should be able to bring about at least some changes in our education system.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Eskimos and the wolves

I went to church today so that I can save some morning time tomorrow. Holy week has started with Good Friday and Easter this week.

Today's sermon was short and sweet; Eskimos and the wolves.

When Eskimos would want to hunt down wolves which would kill their cattle, they would take sharp swords and apply thick coatings of fresh blood on them. Then they would place the swords into the ground pointing upwards. The wolves would get the smell of the fresh blood and get attracted to the swords. They would then start licking the swords. On enjoying the taste of the fresh blood, they would continue licking it. As the layer of blood became thin, the sharpness of the sword would increase. Gradually, the wolves tongues would get cut and start bleeding but the wolves would be so engrossed in licking the fresh blood that they would not be able to make out that they are swallowing their own blood. Eventually, they would grow weak due to loss of blood and pass out. After which the hunters would come and kill them easily.

This story was compared with what we do in our lives. People who fall into the vices like drinking, smoking, drugs, etc are compared to the wolves. In the beginning, they enjoy their addictions with the most pleasure. But in the end it leads to nothing but their death.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Late stay = Hard work?

I've always been asking this question to friends about late stay and hard work. Because I've always been confused about my stand on this. Considering today's work culture especially in the IT industry, late stay has become a norm. People don't mind spending 10-16 hours in office. So does this equate to productive hours?

Maybe in other industries like those involving manual labor, working more may equate to working hard because more output will be obtained. But the IT industry works differently (by IT I mainly refer to software producing companies). Here people work their best in bursts because the main tool used is the mind and concentrating cannot be done for long stretches of time. No person can be productive continuously for 10 hours. It is in taking breaks and then concentrating for some time which produces the maximum productivity. So we have different views regarding late staying. One is that because we work in bursts, late stay is good as we can relax and work periodically instead of working under stress. This sounds good but then what happens is people tend to over stress themselves. That is why many young people are suffering from illnesses like blood pressure, diabetes, heart problems, which sometime back were heard of only in old people.

Looks like it is the managers who promote late staying. They themselves stay late and expect other's to do so too. Now working late during deadlines is acceptable but when it turns into a routine something is wrong somewhere. It seems that the crazy scheduling of work is where the problems start. Companies are into competition and the best place where they can compete is reduction in the delivery time. But this decision is paid heavily by the employees in terms of mismanagement of time.

So what is the solution? Frankly, I'm still searching for answers by analyzing what people have to say about this. But the solutions are definitely there. Many countries like Germany, UK, etc have strict norms laid out when it comes to work. Do you work with utmost efficiency and go and live your life. Such norms should be enforced by the organizations like NASSCOM who have a say in the IT industry. Only then can we expect some regulation in this matter.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

This song is dedicated to guys/girls like me who sometimes feel low because we are not someone else.

Joey Mcintyre - Stay The Same

Don't you ever wish
You were someone else
You were meant to be
The way you are exactly
Don't you ever say
You don't like the way you are
When you learn to love yourself
You're better off by far
And I hope you always stay the same
Cause there's nothing about you I would change

I think that you could be
Whatever you wanted to be
If you could realize
All the dreams you have inside
Don't be afraid
If you've got something to say
Just open up your heart and let it show you the way

Don't you ever wish
You were someone else
You were meant to be
The way you are exactly
Don't you ever say
You don't like the way you are
When you learn to love yourself
You're better off by far
And I hope you always stay the same
Cause there's nothing about you I would change

Believe in yourself
Reach down inside
The love you find will set you free
Believe in yourself
You will come alive
Have faith in what you do
You'll make it through

Don't you ever wish you were someone else
You were meant to be
The way you are exactly
Don't you ever say
You don't like the way you are
When you learn to love yourself
You're better off by far
And I hope you always stay the same
Cause there's nothing about you I would change

Ooooooh yeah
You were meant to be
Oh whoa..
Whooo Love yourself..

And I hope you always stay the same
Cause there's nothing about you I would change
No there's nothing about you I would change

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Where are we headed in life?

When you determined what you want, you have made the most important decision of your life. You have to know what you want in order to attain it. ~ Douglas Lurtan ~

If you don't know where you are going, you will probably end up somewhere else. ~ Laurence J. Peter ~

Well, life is like that. A life without goals is somewhat wasting it. Just getting swayed like a leaf in the wind, having no sense of direction just causes us to fail to live the life that God has given to us. So the first thing we should have is a goal in life. Actually we should have many goals in life.

We should have at least a long term goal as to what we want to achieve say 5 to 1o years from now. We should put ourselves in place of that person that we want to become after those years. Seeing how it feels to be that person will help us to be motivated towards our goals.
For me, in about 5 to 10 years, I see myself as a successful person both at family and at work. I want to have a lovely family, take care of my parents and increase my position at work.

Also we should have short term goals. Short term goals are like the energy pills for our motivation. When we achieve success in our short term goals we feel good and motivated for moving forward towards our long term ones. Short term goals are basically milestones in achieving your long term goals.
For me my short term goals include improving myself as a human being, learn to respect and love others, keep reading to improve myself and my work, trying something different, etc.

But just setting goals will not help us achieve them. Action is what will achieve those goals for us. If our goals are from our heart, we will always be motivated towards achieving them. We should use our short term milestones to achieve our optimal best.

Sure when we try to achieve our goals, we will face obstacles. That does not mean that we should give up. Life just tells us that we should take a different path than the current one but our final destination should still be the same. Never, ever, give up on our goals and we will find true happiness.

So what are your goals? What are your milestones to achieving your happiness?

Wednesday, February 27, 2008


Exercise is one of those things which everyone knows will be beneficial to their health but no one is willing to put in the effort to live a healthy life. Advantages of exercising are good immune system, better body, relief from stress, longer life, etc.

I'm not an expert at exercising but I do know a few points about it gained from experience of learning some forms of exercise. Exercise means different things to different people and it should be based on the end result that people want to achieve. If you want to stay fit, regular walking, jogging, swimming, should be enough. If you want to tone muscles, weight reduction and weight training exercises are necessary. To bulk up, heavy eating and heavy weight training is required.

There are n number of exercise techniques available and it just confuses the hell out of people (it did confuse me). But I prefer to keep exercise into two basic forms keeping in mind my goal is muscle toning. Before I mention them, before any exercise an important thing is warm up to avoid any damage to the muscles or soreness. Warm up means light stretching movement of the muscles and the body before beginning heavy exercises.

1) Cardiovascular exercises:
Cardiovascular exercises are those when you perform will increase your heart rate. So exercises like brisk walking, jogging, swimming, aerobics fall into this category of exercises. They are simple exercises which anyone can do and are the fastest way to lose weight (brisk walking for around 45 minutes daily can work wonders to lose weight and it also refreshes the mind). Since they improve the heart rate, they are good for increasing endurance. Everyone can and should be doing these. Highly recommended by doctors.
I have been able to incorporate cardio by walking from the station to my house which gives me a 30 minute brisk walk.

2) Weight training:
Weight training involves strengthening the muscles of your body by providing resistance to them. This involves lifting heavy weights like dumb bells, bar bells, and all the other fancy gym equipment you can think of. By straining your muscles, you break them and when they repair they become much stronger. That is the basics of weight training.
I don't have fancy equipment nor the time to go to a gym, so for me weight training involves push ups, crunches and bicep curls.

Any form of exercise is better than nothing. While I have mentioned these exercises, people who don't have time (which I can't see why) should atleast try simple stuff like taking the stairs instead of lifts, walking short distances instead of taking bikes and cars or participating in sporting activities.

This is what I can share about exercising. I too am a learner and hope to improve as I go. I did not mention another aspect of fitness which is equally important as exercising and that is the diet we follow. Maybe in another post.

Best way to communicate

A friend of mine mentioned that she feels the best way to communicate with friends is through a phone call. And that internet communication, mainly text chat was way too manipulative as per her experience (I guess some friend might have pissed her off on the internet by being manipulative. Well, then he/she shouldn't be a friend in the first place) . As usual, I dislike generalization of habits to people because each and every person is different and we cannot expect everyone to be the same.

I feel every mode of communication, be it direct face to face, on the telephone or through the internet has its own purpose. Of course, still the best form of communication is a straight face to face and heart to heart talk. But then what happens when distance separates the people? Telephone and the internet serve this purpose of long distance communication. Telephone has the advantage that we can still hear the tonality of the voice of a person which internet chat fails to do (of course, yahoo, gtalk and skype can be used to talk on the internet as well). When telephone calls become costly, that is inter continent calls, then the internet is the best medium of communication.

Frankly, it was orkut that helped me gain contact with many of my friends whom I would not have heard from (bless the person who introduced me to it). And yes to improve our relationships, we need to communicate as much as possible either directly or through the phone. But the important thing is we need to keep in touch even if it is passively through the internet (once again, yahoo, gtalk and skype are closing the gap between calls and chat).

And one more lesson: If a person is manipulative, he/she will be the same whether talking directly, through the phone or the internet. So instead of blaming the internet, maybe we should spend time building good friendships using whatever way is possible.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

IPL: What does it hold for Indian sports future?

IPL (Indian Premier League) had the auctioning of its players recently. And from what can be seen a huge amount of money has been spent by industrialists on bidding for players on their team. The IPL will kick off in April with a total of 59 twenty20 matches. More information can be found at
It is basically trying to create a sporting event somewhat on the lines of Premier Leagues that are seen in soccer or baseball. As in players play for clubs and clubs are involved in bidding for players they want.

So how will the IPL change the way cricket is played in India as well as the world?

Only time will shed some light on this question. But from what was seen in the twenty20 world cup, this version of cricket does generate a lot of appeal because of its fast entertainment providing way. No more waiting for days or hours to watch the outcome of the match. Like in popular sports like soccer or tennis, less boring moments can be expected by the spectators. So basically I feel that in terms of the entertainment factor, the IPL will succeed in providing a lot of cricketing entertainment to spectators. But then what happens to the other forms of the game i.e One day cricket and Test matches. Well, from what has been seen since the introduction of twenty20 is that Test matches are still popular especially among the purists and they still generate interest among the viewers. It seems like One day cricket is the one which might suffer loss of interest because people do find twenty20 better in terms of entertainment that the One dayers. Also there is the issue that can good twenty20 players play well in One days and Tests? Well, I think twenty20 players can do pretty well in One days but Test matches require real skill and the instinct of a twenty20 player will make him unsuitable for the longer version of the game. On the positive side, some guys might emerge who are kind of allrounders who can play all versions of cricket with ease and that will be exciting.

A thought has to be given to the bowlers who will bowl in twenty20 matches. Bowlers will have to have real heart to participate in these matches as batsmen will surely score a lot of runs from them on most days. So while the number of wickets they take will increase, their run rate will increase as well.

Some purists have shown displeasure with the IPL and it's bidding because it seems like commercialization of cricket. Well, cricket was commercialized since a long time and the spirit of cricket hardly matters nowadays. It can only be found in Test matches if any. As previously stated, twenty20 and IPL are for entertainment sports. But there is also a thought provoking side to this. As some people have mentioned time and again why is it that only cricket generates such revenue. If something similar would be done for other sports (hockey, football, etc), we would be having better teams, better players and better interest in those sports by now. Well, I feel the reason for that is a cycle. Cricket seems like the only sport in which India does show some skill and winning ability. Other sports (hockey is an on/off thing, not like it used to be and don't even talk about football) can compete with cricket only if the produce some great wins backed up by good promotion. But then promoting other sports is what is lacking. Hoping someday this might change. Personally, even I have more interest in cricket that in other sports (hoping to change this).

So in short, what IPL will do is it will strengthen people's interest in cricket (as twenty20 world cup did when India was knocked out of the ICC World Cup). Sure players are now more like pieces of talent to be sold or bought but then considering how it has worked for soccer hopefully the same happens for cricket.

So, let's wait for IPL to begin and enjoy the show.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

The most beautiful woman in the world

We had this story in our English textbooks in 4th or 5th standard with the title "My mother is the most beautiful woman in the world". It was about a Russian boy and his mother who was ugly looks wise but her love for her son made her the most beautiful woman in the world in her son's eyes. I don't remember the full story though. But I do remember another one.

There is this widowed mother and her child who are living in poverty. The mother sacrifices her life and working hard educates her son and brings him up with the most love and care. Every need of the son she tries to fulfil. The son grows up and becomes a man. He falls in love with a beautiful girl and they get married. Now unfortunately the mother due to old age and working hard becomes sick. Her son knows the sacrifice his mother has done for him and takes care of her. His love for his mother makes his wife jealous. So she tells him that if he loves her then to kill his mother and bring her heart to her. The husband does not want to lose his love so he reluctantly agrees to do it. He manages to kill his mother and puts her heart in a bag. As he is walking home, he stumbles and falls and the heart pops out of the bag. At once his mother's heart cries, "Son, are you ok? Did you get hurt?"

Well the moral of that story is a mother's love for her children is unending.

And truly when we look at our own mothers, don't we know that it is true? Personally, I feel my mother is a reincarnation of superwoman or something. The amount of work she does at home along with tending to the old members of the house as well as the young and also being the society secretary makes her more than a superwoman. We tend to forget the amount of love that mothers have for their children. When we have our life, we ignore them, forgetting what sacrifices they have done for us. No one wants an old person in their house as it is too much of a burden. How fickle and selfish we humans can be? Only wanting the good things of love but not ready to sacrifice for that same love?

So I pray to God that whatever the situation may be, please give me the strength so that I can provide to my mother at least some measure of the love that she has given to me.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Books: Our best friends

I love reading books. Right now I am reading "The Magic of Thinking Big" by David Schwartz. Fiction, non-fiction, technical, any will do. It is true that books are our best friends. We laugh with them, learn from them, sometimes even shed a tear with them.

The best thing about books is that we can learn from the author's experience. What takes a person decades to learn has been put in an understandable way into books. It is thanks to such wonderful gifts of learning that we can enrich and improve our lives.

There are good books and bad ones. Picking out the good ones is an important task and only true book lovers master that skill. Also knowing the treasure troves of books is very useful especially in a city like Mumbai which discourages reading. I would love to know about the small book shops especially down town which offer some really good bargains on really good books. There are plenty of book chain stores in the city but they all keep the usual stuff: best sellers and all.

And first hand books are out of my budget as for many of the city's book lovers. So the few options that we have is either to purchase pirated books available at railway stations or the city streets (Just bought The Greatness Guide - Robin Sharma). Or go to some book store with second hand books. Or go to CST and try to find some goodies in the piles that are stacked on the footpaths. Another option if you cannot travel easily is to find a local raddi wala who stacks books (most are very impolite and don't be optimistic about bargains). One other option which I find is great for people who read books is to join a library. I think the good ones are all downtown. I hear the British Council Library is good. It has a vast range of books in many diverse subjects. Also it has an online library access provided with membership. So that is pretty cool.

Hoping we read lots and lots of good books this year.

Visit my book shelf at

Friday, February 8, 2008

What is the most important thing in life?

Spending a few days in the hospital taking care of a loved one made me think about this. What is the most important thing in life. Money, career, success? What matters? Well the truth is only love matters. Money, fame, career, everything is just to give some direction to our lives. But the one thing that defines human life is love. We would not be here were it not the love of our parents. Their love cannot be re payed even with our lives. Having some one to love you for who you are is the best achievement a human being can have. Not just farcical love but love that is unconditional. Love that does not only see the strengths of the person but also accepts the weaknesses.

And love is what matters in the end. At the end of our lives, it will not be the money, fame, success that will matter. But how many people loved you and will miss you that is what matters. To love and be loved is what makes life successful.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Our Progress: Good or Bad

I travel by trains everyday. Today it got me thinking about what India would be like without this tremendous medium of transportation. I don't know much about the period when the British ruled India but I thank them for providing education, judiciary, transportation and technology to us. We can't imagine what our country would be like without this progress.
But it also holds a counter view. What if the British had never ruled over India. We might have become independent of the world. Right now we all follow the British legacy, be it the education system, the transportation or the judiciary. Even our economy has major contributions from foreign countries mainly due to offshore work provided due to our ease with the English language. Maybe we would be like Japan or China, independent and sustaining our own economy. One wonders.

Progress now seems to be coming at a snails pace in India. Sure we have a booming economy to talk about. But that seems only in the urban areas. Rural areas have always been ignored. Only the progress of the people of the country can result in the progress of the country. Also we are too selfish to consider of the progress of the country. I don't mean about things like working for your country not for a foreign country and all that stuff. Working depends on an individual and if he wants to earn money it is in his right to do so. But one of the things that I mean is the cleanliness. We Indians keep our houses spic and span, but empty the garbage on the streets. Education and progress does not have meaning until and unless it is utilized. Somehow we have lost civic sense along the way. Corruption is the major force which is eating away at the progress of the country. In fact, it is considered as a norm in most of the government offices.

Frankly, I don't see any solutions for all these problems. India seems to be trying to become a country that could have been but just isn't. Well, too bad Adbul Kalam. Your vision 2020 just doesn't seem possible.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Men of honor

This post could be considered as an appeal maybe. It is with reference to the atrocities against women especially in the city and the country, whether it be the Juhu molestation case, rape of tourists in the country, child molestation, female infanticide or eve teasing.

Journalists and women groups seem to generalize this disgusting behavior with all the men of the country. Any article about such incidents talk about men being unable to control their instincts. The articles seem to reflect that all men are evil monsters incapable of respecting women.

I would like to remind them that men of honor still exist. There still are men who respect women. In the Juhu case, a lot of people who helped the women were men. Yes, there are also men who are perverts. Especially seen eve teasing in trains and buses. For them women are just objects. Many of them do seem to come from parts of the country where women are suppressed. So seeing women participating shoulder to shoulder with men is somewhat unacceptable to them. Unfortunately nothing much can be done against such people.

So an appeal again. Men with values do exist. So next time we generalize, please give a thought to the good guys as well.

If cold is so common why is there no cure?

I've been down with the common cold for about a week now. All the symptoms, sneezing, coughing, body ache, head ache, even fever. So if cold is so common that many of us get sick from it every time the temperature changes, why is there no perfect cure?

The reason is that the cold virus mutates every time. It means that if we create a cure for it one time. The next strain of virus will be immune to it. Nature is so interesting that it has given resistance to every living being on this planet. It is like we get inoculated against viruses like polio, hepatitis and stuff, in which we actually allow our body to be attacked by a small dose of them. The common cold virus is smart enough to mutate.

So how to protect ourselves from the common cold? As they say prevention is better than cure. It may sound stupid to receive advice from a guy who throws caution to the wind in such matters but best way is to restrict cold water intake and to drink purified water. And even after this if we get a cold, as we will, the best way is to expect it to remain for a week. So get your handkerchiefs and tissue papers out. Rest and chicken soup can help a lot. Chicken soup contains a mucus-thinning amino acid (got that from the internet :D). Nasal decongestants can be used to get relief from a blocked nose (like I am having right now).

Oh, I forgot there is another way to get relief from the common cold. Share it with your enemies (or friends) with a handshake ;P