P for “People at Work & Play” # A to Z Challenge

I started blogging in 2006 and  today for me P is for “People at Work & Play” one of my earliest blogs. At that time I was a practising Human Resources professional. I had a small consulting firm called “People 1st Consulting” and it was natural that most posts were related to issues concerning career, work/life balance, talent acquisition & development and the like.

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A for April: #A to Z Challenge

Today is the start of the Blogging A to Z Challenge in which I am participating after a break of a couple of years. Did you know that some 1800 bloggers from all over the world are participating in this event? I am proud to be one of them and have chosen to go without a particular theme this time.

Seeing that the challenge starts off on April 1, A has to be for April . Today, April 1, is celebrated as April’s Fools Day or All Fools Day in many parts of the world. Friends pull each other’s legs with pranks and everyone has a good laugh. With so much tension and stress around us, I think April Fool’s Day is a great stress buster. Of course, much of the enjoyment depends on whether or not you are on the receiving end of the prank.

Decades ago when I was working in Mumbai (then called Bombay), some of us decided to teach a lesson to a colleague who was very stuffy and looked down on our easy-going attitude. He used to mutter, “Grow up, fellows. You are no longer at school,” whenever we cracked jokes or had a laugh which was very often.

There were no emails in the ’70s and one morning he found a hand written message slip on his desk that the Big Chief, the General Manager of our Division wanted to see him at 9.00  a.m. the next morning. We youngsters and, I suspect, most of our seniors too, were terrified of the General Manager who was a nice person in his own way but a strict disciplinarian. Our colleague didn’t mention about the note , nor did anyone else. The next day at 9.00 a.m. sharp he presented himself at the GM’s office. The Executive Secretary to the GM who wielded almost as much power as he did, stared at him in a cold manner. She asked what brought him there so early in the morning as she had just walked in after a harrowing journey on the local trains which most of us used in Bombay. Our friend said he wanted to meet the GM. She said he can’t be seen without prior appointment. He said, ” He wants to see me. ” She replied, “I decide who gets to meet him.” When in triumph he showed her the message slip, she laughed loudly, bringing work in that part of the building to a standstill. “You poor fool. Someone has made an ass of you. I don’t blame them for it. Today is April 1. In any case, the boss is in Tokyo and he can’t see you or anyone else.”

Coming back to A  for  April, I find that April is the month for the National Poetry Writing Month, where poets write a poem a day. I guess this is much like NaNoWriMo where we writers write a 50,000 word novel during the month of November each other. I am thrilled that I have successfully completed NaNoWriMo for five consecutive years. Frankly, I believe writing a poem every day for a whole month is far more difficult than writing a 50,000 word novel in a month. To each his own, I guess.


All Set For The A to Z Challenge


You may have seen my earlier post which speaks of the Blogging A to Z Challenge I await this as excitedly as I am sure many do from all over the world. When I last checked, I found that 1800 blogs/bloggers were already registered for the mega event. I use the term blogs/bloggers because some bloggers have more than one blog in the fray!

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Z for Zeal

Zeal or zest mean more to me than zebra or zoo which were the other two words starting with Z that came into my mind. The days have flown past , we have reached the last letter of the alphabet. I can’t believe that the Blogging from A-Z  Challenge will soon come to an end! Z then for me is for zeal. The dictionary tells us it means ” intense enthusiasm, ardor or fervor”.

Apart from everything else, doesn’t the word itself sound good?  Some words like zeal and zip sound really positive. When you say ” He does it with zeal” one can literally imagine the energetic and enthusiastic approach to the task at hand. Zeal knows no barrier of age, background or disability. The feats done by some people irrespective of their being physically challenged are astonishing. As a child, I remember hearing stories of Wilma Rudolph who had a polio afflicted left leg but went on to become a champion athlete. In the 1960 Rome Olympics she was a trail blazer winning the 100 and 200 metres dashes and anchoring her team to a gold in the 400 metres relay. She became a role model for many aspiring athletes.

This is not to suggest for a moment that zeal is restricted to people with physical disabilities. There are many who have come up from crippling circumstances, overcoming great odds to become eminently successful in their careers. You will know of many such examples so there is no need for me to list them here.

To my mind, any and all of us have it within ourselves to demonstrate zeal. One need not be specially gifted to display it. Be it writing a novel, preparing for a competitive examination, pursuing a career or carrying out our responsibilities to our families, we can do all of these as if they are a pain or we can do them with zeal. Often zeal is that factor that sets the winners apart from the ordinary.

I know you cannot generalize but it’s interesting that psychologically most of us have a lot of zeal for things that we like doing. If you an avid runner, you would think nothing of doing the marathon. You won’t have the same kind of zeal for  say, collecting stamps. Conversely the accomplished philatelist may be unlikely to have the same zeal as the runner for the marathon!

I am happy that I participated in the Blogging A-Z Challenge. I am glad too that for me it ends with Z for Zeal. May this give me the zeal to contnue writing even without the “pressure” of having to post every day as part of this challenge. I enjoyed writing 500 words per day for the last one month thanks to this initiative. The challenge ahead is to continue this practice until it becomes a habit with me.

To my fellow participants who have successfully completed the Blogging A-Z challenge, here is a message :

” A Bouquet of Compliments for your Dedicated Efforts to Finish this Great challenge. Here’s wishing you Incredible Joy. Keep Looking for More New Opportunities to Participate.  Quit Reneging! Look for Success and Tell your Unique stories. Very Warm Wishes for that something eXtra that made You complete the A-Z Challenge. Your Zeal!”