Saturday, March 21, 2009

What is an MBA?

"What is an MBA?", asked the black lady sitting in front of a Burger king outlet..

Location: Some rest area en route to Virginia.
We were traveling from New Jersey to Virginia to have a fun vacation. We stopped at this rest area to have some food and water. It was 5 a.m. in the morning. I went up to Andrea (the lady sitting in front of Burger King) and kicked off a conversation. She asked me, "What do you do Shailee?". I said, "I am a student. I study in FDU. Am pursuing MBA." And it was then that she asked me, "What is an MBA?"
For a minute I was shocked. MBA is such a common term! I mean who does not know about MBA's? I was taking the world for granted in that moment.
Every day in our MBA classes we talk about issues like globalization, the dying American economy, politics, Obama's measures to combat recession and blah blah.. never once did it cross my mind that someone on the planet might not even know what MBA is..
All the huge talks about everyone doing something to tackle recession would then sound so trivial when more than half of the population on the planet doesn't even know what is going wrong.
People in countries like Africa, Pakistan or Bangladesh wouldn't even care for something like this. Because everyday is a struggle for people in these countries. Everyday they, probably, wake up with fear in their mind whether they will get water or not, or whether they will get bread to eat or not.
It sounds ridiculous when people here are worried about not being able to pay mortgage or shop in extravagant shops when more than half of the people on the planet don't even know what mortgage is or what DKNY, Gucci or Chanel is..
We cry now, because we have to face problems now. We can now, perhaps, empathize with more than half the population on the planet. We now know what it is to be an African caught in a famine or a Bangladeshi staying in a refugee camp. We, hopefully, now know...

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Straight from Eleven Minutes...

One day a woman saw a bird and fell in love with him. She watched his flight, her mouth wide in amazement, her heart pounding, her eyes shining with excitement. She invited the bird to fly with her, and the two traveled across the sky in perfect harmony. She admired and venerated and celebrated that bird.
But then she thought:He might want to visit far off mountains! And she was afraid, afraid that she would never feel the same way about any other bird. And she felt envy, envy for the bird's ability to fly.
And she felt alone.
And she thought: "I'm going to set a trap. The next time the bird appears, he will never leave again."
The bird, who was also in love,returned the following day, fell into a trap and was put into a cage. She looked at the bird every day. There he was, the object of her passion, and she showed him to her friends, who said: "Now you have everything you could possibly want." However a strange transformation began to take place:now that she had the bird and no longer needed to woo him, she began to lose interest. The bird, unable to fly and express the true meaning of his life, began to waste away and his feathers started to lose their gloss; he grew ugly; and the woman no longer paid him any attention, except by feeding him and cleaning out his cage.
One day, the bird died. The woman felt terribly sad and spent all her time thinking about him. But she did not remember the cage, she thought only of the day when she had seen him for the first time, flying contentedly among the clouds.
If she had looked more deeply into herself, she would have realized that what had thrilled her about the bird was his freedom, the energy of his wings in motion, not his physical body.
Without the bird, her life too lost all meaning, and Death came knocking at her door. "Why have you come?" she asked Death. "So that you can fly once more with him across the sky," Death replied. "If you had allowed him to come and go, you would have loved and admired him even more; alas, you now need me in order to find him again."

- From Paulo Coelho's Eleven Minutes.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

The Dancing Girl..

I was walking down from the gym and going back to my apartment. The weather was nice (for a change) and I was enjoying myself. Suddenly I saw a girl walking in my direction. Now from the place where I was, I could see her first and she couldn't see me. She was doing a little dancing jig while walking. She looked so happy and it seemed like she was really enjoying her little hop (read dance) on the road.
I felt good, that at least someone is so happy and has the courage to show it to the world. But as soon as she saw me coming, she stopped dancing and started walking normally. And our paths crossed.
Now this is just a small simple thing that happened on another regular sort of a day. But what touched a deep chord within me is why do we try and hide our true selves from everyone. There is nothing wrong in dancing on the middle of the road and feeling happy about it. Then why suddenly stop in between and change the track?
The biggest sin we can do, according to me is try and please everybody. We put on masks, don different roles and in the whole process just forget who we actually are. There is nothing wrong in being absolutely crazy if that is who you actually are..