A perfume bonding

It was that time of the year, the Christmas festival which is known to bring cheer in life, an occasion that brings people closer with endless happy moments.

Last year, Raj Malhotra a Sales executive working with a multinational company clearly recollects that day which made a big change in his life.

It was the very first time that the newly joined HR head of Raj’s office introduced a new concept and hence came up with the idea of “Secret Santa”. For those who are not aware about this game then here it is; one has to pick up a chit and there will be an employees name written on it; he/she has to get a gift for that person whose name was picked, wrap the gift and drop it in the collection box in the office (ofcourse without writing the name of the person who has purchased the gift as the name of the game is Secret Santa 😊). Then on the decided day the gifts from the box are distributed as per the “To” name written in presence of all. The HR head made this Secret Santa game a mandate for each and everyone to play along. Raj has been working with the Sales team and is a hardworking person and most of the time traveling, meeting clients to reach his monthly targets. Raj would hardly visit his office and hence was not a very famous person among his office colleagues of almost 100 + staff on his office floor.

As usual Raj was out on field work when the HR person had distributed the chits across the office. In the evening once Raj was back in office to complete some work, at that time the HR person came and handed over the last chit remaining to Raj. Taking the chit in hand (without opening it) Raj was thinking whether he is unlucky or lucky to get the last left chit. Little did he know that this last chit will change his life.

Raj from his childhood days was always very particular about his style of dressing. He always had a liking for perfume and never missed out on applying it whenever he moved out from his home even if he went to play. As a kid he used to secretly use his father’s perfume whenever he got a chance to do so. His liking and taste of perfume increased as he grew up and from the last couple of years he had started using a very good perfume brand named “Kara Scentric”. Raj was awed with the fragrance and the long-lasting effect of the perfume.

So, the chit which he picked up was of a girl named Anjali Mehta. Raj was completely blank on the name as he hardly knew any of his office colleagues. Upon seeing the blank look on Raj’s face, the HR person informed him that Anjali had recently joined the company and is working with the Finance department. She is a hard-working girl and smart looking too (with a wink). Raj started thinking about what gift he should buy Anjali. Being a very shy person, he just could not figure out the perfect gift. Raj did not want to disappoint Anjali with some cheap and not useful gift and was not able to sleep properly that night and tossed and turned around with all these pensive thoughts. The deadline to drop the gift in the box  at the reception of the office was by the next EOD.

Early morning Raj got up and was about to leave when his mother asked him why he had not sprayed his favorite perfume and this sentence from his mother clicked a bell in his head and a big smile came to his face. He immediately hugged his mother and said thanks and ran out. First thing Raj did was catch an auto and went to a mall and he knew exactly which shop he had to visit. Since he was early the shop was not yet open and he had to wait for a while. During this wait he started thinking about Anjali and created an image of hers in his mind based on the description given to him by the HR. As soon as the shop opened he entered and asked for his favorite brand “Kara Scentric” perfume for women. The shop keeper knew Raj well as he was his regular customer and was also surprised that Raj asked for a women’s product. Raj asked for “La Dame” product of “Kara Scentric” and immediately got it gift wrapped and hurried to office to drop the gift in the box.

On the D day the gifts were distributed by the HR person, Raj was out as usual for a field meeting and hence he was not able to attend the get together. He was cursing his client for finalizing the meeting at the same date and time as the get-together. Since it was the Christmas weekend the office was closed and Raj was very anxious that whole time thinking whether Anjali would have liked his gift but on another note Raj was sure that the fragrance of “Kara Scentric” would make Anjali fall in love with the brand.

The next week was the usual routine as Raj was too busy with his field work and was not able to visit the office. He either went to the office early in the morning or late evening when most of the employees had already left for the day. One day Raj happened to be in office during lunch hours and was sitting at his desk engrossed in his laptop when all of a sudden the smell of a familiar fragrance made him look up. Yes! this was the scent of “La Dame” of “Kara Scentric” the perfume and Raj was very confident that this is same perfume he had brought for Anjali. And the lady who passed by him was a young gorgeous female. Raj could not control himself and gave a shout out to Anjali. On hearing her name Anjali immediately stopped and turned around to check who that person was. She was also surprised as how someone knew her name as she had recently joined the company and hardly knew anyone in the office. Raj got up from his desk and extended his hand to Anjali introducing himself and once they were done with their pleasantries. Raj immediately understood that Anjali was startled and shocked by such a spontaneous calling of her name.

Raj being a sales guy did not miss this opportunity and said “nice perfume, I liked the fragrance”. Anjali was speechless, she was not able to find any words to reciprocate her shock. Raj mentioned the name of the perfume she was wearing “Kara Scentric-La Dame”. Initially Anjali could not figure out how this guy knew her name and also the brand of the perfume she was wearing. She just said “Thanks” to Raj and moved on. That night Anjali could not sleep a wink trying to figure out how Raj knew details about her and all of a sudden it struck her that he could have been her Secret Santa. Next morning the first thing after punching into the office biometric device she went to that same place where she had met Raj, there he was seated at his desk having coffee and reading something in his laptop.

Raj smelled the fragrance once again and immediately looked up to see Anjali standing at the door looking at him. They both just stood looking into each other’s eyes dumbstruck. It was the breaking of a cup which made Raj and Anjali come out of their trance.

This was the beginning of a romance between Raj and Anjali which eventually ended up by tying the knot. Anjali was equally a perfume lover. “Kara Scentric” helped Raj and Anjali meet their love of life. Raj will never forget as how a perfume helped him find a partner for life.

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Trust vs Doubt

Who is the winner between the battle of Trust vs Doubt? A Winner can be anyone but a loser is oneself. If “Trust” wins then “Doubt” will always remain hanging and if “Doubt” wins then “Trust” will end.

Trust – is a single word but has 2 different meanings; Trust in noun form means firm belief in reliability, truth and honesty. Trust as a verb means believe in the reliability, truth and honesty of someone. There is a great saying that “relations have to be built on trust”. Relations can be of any form; be it parent-child, husband-wife, brother-sister, between 2 friends, boss-subordinate and the list is endless. Trust is something that two people in a relationship can build together when they decide to trust each other. Trust cannot be one-sided. It has to be from both sides. Trust shouldn’t change with problems, pressures, conflicts, temptations between any relationship. No matter what happens, you should be able to count on each other. Trust is created by deep and innocent love and one who does not trust himself, cannot believe in others. Trusting one another is very important to strengthen the bond of relationships. We trust, love and respect God although we have not seen Him. Where there is no trust there is no love.

Doubt – it’s a feeling of uncertainty or lack of confidence. Instead of trusting one another in any relationships, if we doubt always, then by this act, the love in the relationship reaches to a complete end. Doubt in relationships is a sudden fear or uncertainty about the person we are with. There is no stoppage for doubting. One cannot change the mindset of the opposite person who starts doubting on the person which till now had a very healthy trust relationship with each other. Doubt is also the fear within oneself, fear to loose the opposite person. Sometimes we think we are doubting the partner we are with, but really we are assuming certain things about our present relationship based on past experiences. Doubt about our partner can also be our own doubts or insecurities about ourselves. It might be our own behaviour towards our partner that is being assumed as a “Doubt”.

We all, normally at some point of time have some sort of doubts in our relationship be it any kind of relationship which I have mentioned earlier, but the best remedy is to sort it out with our own trusted partner before it gets to a point where in there is no chance of turning back. If one has trust in the partner then let the trust not be broken.

Startup line …………

Running Marathons is now becoming the most trending sport in India. Every Sunday one can find a Marathon event happening somewhere or the other. A nice organized event will normally have around 4k-5k participants and the numbers are increasing day by day.

Well, I got into running marathons almost 2 years back and running each day is helping me getting stronger and stronger. Few weeks back in one such running event I was lucky enough to get myself positioned at the very beginning of the startup line. Till now I always use to start my runs either in mid of the crowd or at the end once most of the crowd has crossed the starting line. But during one of my last run event (Indian Navy Run) I tried the other way of starting the run before rest of the crowd. Surprisingly it was a delight to be among the first few runners to cross the starting line leaving all the crowd chasing you (minus the elite runners 😊).

Upon completion of my run I analyzed below few points of starting it among the first few runners :-

  • All your co-runners standing next to you are of the elite category making you feel proud that you are among them and you will have tough competitors 😊
  • You can run at your own pace since you are the among the first few to cross the starting line and do not have to bother dodging rest of the runners by asking them to excuse and give way to you incase you are a fast runner.
  • You can easily pick up a bottle or glass of water from any hydration points as later on it gets fully crowded and you have to wait for your chance and hence wasting your precious minutes.
  • More chances of yourself getting clicked by the official photographers before rest of the crowd pulls in.
  • You can achieve your PB (Personal Best) as the road ahead is clear and no blockage of others (I missed this by few seconds ☹).
  • You don’t have to worry for tripping over on any slow runner who is ahead of you.
  • No waiting in long queues for getting medals and refreshments.

I thoroughly enjoyed my run and was happy to experience a very different startup as compare to my previous races.

Unspoken fears of a runner …

As a runner I feel everyone has some sort of inside fear for running a Marathon be it your maiden marathon or you are running your “nth” marathon. Basis on my experience I have listed few of them.

Unspoken fears of a runner …

  1. First and foremost … will the alarm buzzer wake me up next day morning?
    Will I be able to get up and reach the venue on time?
  2. Fitness watch betraying …
    Be it Garmin or fitbit or any app in the mobile phone not staring or dying mid run. If your race is not recorded in any form means you did not run that day wink
  3. Using the washrooms during the race
    It is ok to use washroom before the race starts and get yourself lighter but using it during the race can cost your PB (Personal best) by few seconds which you would not like to even think about it.
  4. Will I be able to do my PB in this race?
    All the pre race efforts and hardwork should be result oriented. And incase it fails, you kick yourself.
  5. Not finding any race photos of yourself
    1st day, 2nd day after the race and still you are trying hard to search your race pics with no luck. This again means you did not run lol
  6. Looking weird in your race photos
    Finally you manage to find couple of pics and you are looking weird in running poses which means you cannot share your pics on any social media and which also means you did not run biggrin
  7. Your startup line section is not what you had expected
    All the practice runs and your app shows that you should be in section C instead of section F and now you can’t do anything to change it sad
  8. Your running app judging you
    Overcoming all the cramps and pains in each and every part of your body, finally you manage to reach the finish line and your app says you are 3.49 seconds slower than your usual runs. This is the time you feel like hitting the lady (for male runners and vice versa for female runners) who announces loudly in middle of so many co-runners smile emoticon

As a runner, what other fears do you have?

Drop them in the comments sections, let’s laugh together.

Girl on train

I was consumed with thoughts of her, the model on the magazine laying in front of me reminded me of her smile. I remember everything about her, the way she moved her hands while explaining something, the way she tilted her head while laughing, and the endless conversations we had while traveling in the train. I slipped into this imaginary world, where only the both of us existed, I’d take her on coffee dates where we’d share one cup and then hold hands while watching the sunset. My train of thoughts abruptly stopped as I felt someone’s hand on my shoulder, my heart skipped a beat and with butterflies in my stomach I turned hoping to see her beautiful face with honey like eyes and dimples that complemented her smile. Unfortunately the face I saw after turning was my manager’s, he stood there with his hands on his hips – his favorite stance when he’s angry – I looked around and realized I was in a tech meeting and by the looks of it my clients and colleagues were waiting for me to snap out of my dreams for a while.

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Two months back my manager decided to start work earlier; hence I have started taking the earlier train. Since my station is the starting point for the train, I get to choose my seat , which is generally the window seat, but a few weeks back I was late and I was pretty sure that my preferred seat would be taken.

As expected there was a handkerchief laying on my seat, in suburban trains there’s no pre-booking of seats hence people keep their handkerchief to indicate that the seat has been taken. I turned to find another seat and suddenly heard a voice saying “the seat is reserved for you” surprised and unsure if the pleasant voice was addressing me, I turned realizing that the woman had in fact saved the seat for me.

As I sat down she explained how she noticed that I occupied the same seat everyday and saved the seat realizing I was probably late for work. The truth be told is I sat opposite this beautiful lady everyday and I tried finding ways to start up a conversation but I never had the courage to do so.

Ever since that interaction I’ve been thinking about her, hence I drifted into space during the meeting. All I can think about is when will i get to see her ……..

Things that ease me…..

Some days are just not our days, sometimes things don’t go as planned no matter how hard you try. There are days where we wish we could travel back in time to start all over again, on such days it is best to stay calm and take a few minutes to get a hold of your thoughts and feelings.  Although if you work for an organisation it may be hard to take a break, during such times you should focus on the positives of the scenario and wait patiently for the storm to pass.

I know everyone has different feelings and ways of handling situations, and I’m sure a lot of us think of doing terrible stuff under pressure, things that we would generally not think of with a cool mind.

Listed below are the four things I like to do on such days to comfort and bring peace to my mind.

  • Writing – no matter how bad my day is, writing always helps to make me feel better. After a long and trying day penning down all my emotions brings sort of relief. Pouring my heart out is the best possible remedy for a bad day.
  • Reading – reading is one of the best ways to escape from all the negativity you have faced in the day. Personally, it helps me escape the real world and focus on something more positive.
  • Music – listening to music is proven to be extremely soothing, it’s one of the most effective ways to calm yourself. I often do this at office as it’s the quickest and easiest method to apply. Trust me, just plug-in your headphones and listen to some slow and comforting music to ease the tension.
  • Running – Although running is not an easily accessible method, it does help in calming my nerves. My daily dose of running has proven to help me stay focused and calm in trying times. It also helps in getting rid of your laziness and gives you a healthier lifestyle.

So what are the things you do in order to calm yourself on a bad day? I’m eager to read your replies 🙂

A revisit …..

A few weeks back after a very long time I had the opportunity to travel to Pune by train. As soon as I reached my seat and as the train gave a loud whistle indicating it was time to leave the station, it brought back old memories, of around 20 years ago when I used to travel on a regular basis to Pune from Mumbai during my Post Graduation. Well, those were the days which I really cherish and will never forget.

Waking up during wee hours of the morning and leaving in a hurry from home to catch the early morning train to Pune. This was my routine at the start of every week for about a year. I made many friends who also had a similar schedule and travelled to Pune by the same train. I recollect that I had got a monthly train pass and how we used to meet up at a designated spot to catch the train (as during those days there were no mobiles).

For this trip, I got my seat reserved and was more at ease as compared to my earlier travel days. So here started another mesmerizing journey to Pune. Sitting by the window, watching the greenery, the hill-tops, blue sky passing by as the train sped up and the parallel railway track which are always running with me irrespective of the train speed took me 2 decades back.

I still recollect that we (including my friends) used to catch a fixed coach and mostly a fixed seat. It was like we owned that coach J As soon as the train started we used to chit chat, pulling each other’s legs and sharing our snack boxes. Then it was time for a small nap as the train passed through the hills of Khandala (Mumbaikar’s favorite hill station to visit) with cool breeze hitting you. This had become our routine schedule during our to & fro journey to Pune.

Now I was travelling alone and I did miss my friends. I made a mental note to get intouch with all of them and plan for a revisit to Pune the same way which we all used to do before. But alas! I wish we all could do that as most of my friends (the Pune train friends) are working out of the country and hence it is next to impossible to make all of them come together.

A little jerk from the train brought me back to into the present. There was hustle and bustle in the coach with people pulling their bags from the side stand. The train had slowed as it was entering the station. Old memories are always sweet and I never realized that it was time for me to get down at my destination.