Monthly Archives: January 2011

The Winds of Change

A Jan winter night
Soldiers passing by
Listening to the winds of change.

The haunting strains of this ever popular Scorpion’s song has been running amok in my head for the last couple of weeks….ever since that young unemployed graduate Sidi Bouzid stood in the main square of his village , doused himself in petrol and set himself on fire.

As he ran helter skelter through the streets, screaming in agony before dying of his burns on 4th January, his shrieks awakened something…that was stirring restlessly in its sleep for decades. As he breathed his last he bequeathed his life on to something that was waiting behind the curtains…..awaiting its grand entry. Waiting for that someone somewhere to decide that it was enough and that it cannot be taken any more…..

The embers from his lifeless form caught on…..setting hearts on fire. One…. Two…. Three… till it stumbled upon critical mass… and the inferno beckoned the future.

The future’s in the air
I can feel it everywhere
blowing with the wind of change

Even well trained, die hard soldiers lowered their guns. Citadels of power crumbled. Bastions of tyranny imploded and the dreaded, tormentors fled for dear life. Moving from threshold to door….begging for sanctuary. As a nation rejoiced.

As an ardent student of change management, I have always tried to touch and feel the magic of the drivers of change. Some undefined thresholds that get breached somehow starting that slow and steady fall of the dominoes.

That threshold that was breached once again by Sidi and will be by many like him again…..

So many things to be changed. Within us and without. Bad habits. Bad attitudes, Bad systems.

How far are we from the thresholds? And where could Sidi be?

Still unborn

Still Working as a vegetable merchant,


Still staring at that crackling matchstick?

Take me to the magic of the moment
on a glory night
where the children of tomorrow dream away
in the wind of change

(This song just refuses to let go)

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Got HOT?????, now BE SAD

After abandoning a heated (“Explosive ” is a better word) argument with a complete stranger in the middle of the road, amidst a cacophony of blaring horns and abuses (in multiple languages) hurled by other irate drivers, I got back into my car. Trust me, we would have gone on if the wail of a police siren in the distance hadn’t driven sense into our overheated heads.

Once I zoomed off with a flushed face and got ourselves out of the imbroglio, my long suffering wife gave me “That look” , saying “Tsk”, “Tsk”, “Tsk”.

What ?”, I growled. “Didn’t you see how he behaved?”

“I don’t think he is a Corporate Trainer and I doubt whether he is a coach either. And I am very sure that he doesn’t host a popular self development blog”, She retorted.

“And I really hope that none of your trainees saw your performance tonight”, she continued.

To end the patronizing preaching, she decreed…. “After all your reading and training, you got HOT. You should BE SAD, not sounding self righteous”

That last phrase got me thinking….HOT…BE SAD

HO: HOW did I create this overblown situation? (The sequence of events)

T: What was I THINKING? (He shouldn’t have done that. How dare he? Doesn’t he know how to drive? Doesn’t he have any manners?…………………….)

BE: What were my BELIEFS? (Everyone is a good driver. Everyone will accept sincere polite criticism. Everyone will understand my point of view. Everyone will respond the way I want them to…)

S: What did I SAY/DIDN’T SAY that lead to this situation (When I told him to drive carefully, he asked me to ^%&* off. Then I called him an uncivilized animal instead of saying “Thank you/May god protect you/Please take care” and driving off)

A: What ACTION did I take/NOT TAKE ( I blocked his car, got out, tried opening his door…. Instead of just driving away….)

D: What will I do DIFFERENTLY next time (Make sure that he hears what I want to say politely and get lost without even waiting to hear his version or reply)

I felt a lot more wiser and self composed after asking these questions to myself and finding the answers. At the end of the day, you can’t blame anyone else for the mess that you are in. You have to take 1000% responsibility and get yourself out of the mess.

So if you find yourself pointing fingers at someone at any point of time (could be your boss, or your neighbor, wall street, climate), ask yourself : HOT…BE SAD. And the next time will be different…..better actually.


Filed under A new sunrise

Meet SARAH, my Change Management consultant

I should thank my close friend Motaz for introducing Sarah to me, an absolutely stunning change management consultant who perfectly coached me to come to terms with people’s resistance to change.

Without her help, I would have given up on my valiant efforts, despite the hours of positive self talk and self conditioning done, with the sympathetic support of my more experienced colleagues.

This is what SARAH told me, in her soothing voice.

“Sweetheart, don’t lose heart. The only thing that likes quick change is a baby with a wet diaper. The rest of the world would resist it till it spells imminent and immediate doom. And the more senior they are, the more impenetrable would there fortresses be”

“But SARAH, I need to get it done, because it is the right thing to do and shame on me if I can’t bring about a change that is not just something good to have, but something vital for our improvement”, I crooned, staring softly into her mesmerizing eyes.

“Be Patient Ibrahim. It will happen. But it will take time”, SARAH explained….

“First they will be SHOCKED! How can someone have the audacity to tell us to abandon our old ways?”, she said.

“Then they will be ANGRY- It won’t work here. And who the *******are you? It hasn’t worked here for a hundred years; all this is just talk and never will be done. ”

“Now, if you stay perfectly calm and persist with your agenda exuding absolute confidence and steadfastness, they will start REFLECTING. Though you will never get it from their words and body language, your determination will get them thinking”

I listened on…. Nodding my head for every word SARAH said.

“Then, they will AGREE with you. Partly at first and then they will relent more and more day by day. But don’t think that you have won yet. There is one more stage to come”

“Just one more?”- I thought. I could have listened forever.

“Finally, they will come to your for HELP. With all their arms in sheaths, hands in the air, they would want to be the first to adopt the change… and win accolades”

Having said this, SARAH abruptly stood up to leave. My heart skipped a beat. I was trying to invent problems to seek her help and make her stay. But she was in a hurry and after a quick goodbye, walked away, leaving a totally crushed me behind.

After she faded away into oblivion, I gazed at her visiting card that she handed over just before she left.

It said

S: Shocked
A: Angry
R: Reflecting
A: Agreement
H: Help

Thanks a lot SARAH. Thank Motaz. I am a wiser and more patient driver of change now. And after reading my post, hope you are too…….


Filed under A new sunrise

Are you suffering from these symptoms ?

1. You write down the pros and cons of your job and the cons list laughs at the pros list

2. You spend at least 30% of the time &^%&^%& the company

3. Your best friends are all disgruntled staff

4. You are performing much much below your potential

5. You are ashamed to talk about your salary to your peers or even your juniors

6. Your wife has to push you into the elevator every morning

7. You start shutting down your pc 10 minutes before exit time

8. The last time you took part in social activities at work is in 2001

9. The last pay rise that you got cannot even get you a full tank

10. You have long given up trying to impress the boss

11. The office boys serve you coffee last

12. You yawn 20 times each day

13. All your erstwhile juniors are now your super seniors

If you suffer from at least 6 of these above symptoms. Then you have been diagnosed with a severe bout of overstaying.

The only possible cure is getting out into the sun as soon as possible and finding another job.

Hope you will come back for another consultation only in 2015 after a relapse at your new place.


Filed under A new sunrise

A to Z of Failure…..

After basking in the glory of having recognized all the qualities in the A to Z of Success list within yourself, just recheck to be sure. Here is the new list- The A to Z of Failure. Once again thanks to all LinkedIn mates for their inputs, especially to Dr. Syed Suhail Osmani , Charul Sharma & Ranganathan.
Here they are…..

A: Apathetic (indifferent), Arrogant and Aggressive

B: Belligerent (excessively hostile), bad mouthed, biased and blamer

C: Careless, cheater, cruel and closed (never listens or communicates properly)

D: Diffident, deceitful, player of divisionary tactics

E: Egoistic, Escaper (without taking responsibility)

F: Fault finder, fake

G: Greedy, Gossipy, Grudge holding

H: High handed, Hard hitting

I: Intolerant, Indecisive, In disciplined, Intemperate and Incompetent

J: Jealous

K: Know it all

L: Liar, Laissez Faire (let things happen)

M: Malicious,(vicious), Mediocre (bad quality), Mind Reader, Manipulative and Merciless

N: Nagging

O: Opportunist

P: Pessimist

Q: Quitter, quack

R: Rude, rigid and raw

S: Selfish, submissive

T: Tyrant, Trouble maker, Timid (never takes risks), Talker (all talk and no action)

U: Unethical, unforgiving, unfaithful

V: Vagrant (one without any goals)

W: wasteful

X: Xcessive (never optimal)

Y: Yes man ship

Z: Zeolot (fanatic)

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A to Z of Success

I had asked my Linkedin contacts to help me compile a success checklist with words starting with each letter of the Queen’s language. Here they are…. A million thanks to the contibutors.

Assess yourself wrt to the A to Z of success and see where you stand…..

A: Assertive, Appreciative and Ambitious (Having highly challenging goals for all areas of ones life)

B: Bold , Balanced and Benevolent ( Having an Intense burning desire to do good)

C: Confident, Competing and Committed to acheive ones goals at all costs (Though hell should bar the way, NO EXCUSES !!!!)

D: Disciplined , Daring, Doer (action oriented) and Dependable (Give it to him and just forget it)

E: Endearing (Loved by all the worthy ones )

F: Having Faith in oneself, one’s team and god almighty

G: Giver and Gratitude to god, parents and all those who have touched our lives

H: Humble, Helpful, Health concious and Honest

I: Integrity, Influencer and Innovative (Coming out with better and bigger solutions to everday problems)

J: Just (Fairness in every decision, even if own interests are involved)

K: Knowledgeable (A life long learner)

L: Loyal to ones cause

M: Motivated (Takes initiative and says “I must” before someone says “You Must”)

N: Negotiator and Never giving up (Keeps fighting till god grants victory)

O: Optimistic (Hoping for the best, seeing the silver lining in every cloud)

P: Proactive, Prioritiser and Patient (In the face of setbacks and opposition)

Q: Quality champion (Over exceeding expectations, making every work a masterpiece)

R: Responsible and Respectful (To the needs of others)

T: Temperate, Time Concious and Trustworthy (Will never ever break commitments)

U: Understanding (To the challenges and limitations of others)

V: Vanguard (Always in the position of leadership)

W: Watchful (For opportunities and threats)

X: Exuberant (forever an epitome of enthusiasm, happiness and hope)

Y: Young at heart

Z: Zealous (passionate in everything he does)

Come back soon…. I will have the A to Z of Failure for you Insha allah….


Filed under A new sunrise

2010 in review

The stats helper monkeys at mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Wow.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

A Boeing 747-400 passenger jet can hold 416 passengers. This blog was viewed about 2,900 times in 2010. That’s about 7 full 747s.

In 2010, there were 56 new posts, not bad for the first year! There were 67 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 3mb. That’s about 1 pictures per week.

The busiest day of the year was September 16th with 110 views. The most popular post that day was Pick the odd one out.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were,,,, and

Some visitors came searching, mostly for soulverses sangeeth, bad boss, enthralling movies, soulverses blog sangeeth, and soulverses.blogspot.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.


Pick the odd one out September 2010


About July 2010


Mother UAE, Happy birthday November 2010


The Best Self Help Book August 2010


A Tiny Test of Faith November 2010

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What will you carry to your grave?

A new year and decade has suddenly dawned on us and we have all dived headlong into its days without hesitation. Standing on the diving board at the very end of the bygone year, we have all set ambitious targets as well. Grand plans made during the dying hours of the yesteryear…..

Let me share with you a story passed on by my colleague and friend Mansoor Ali Samnani. This tiny tale motivated me to take a relook at my goals and helped me to shuffle them around in the priority racks of my soul.

There was once a rich old man who was on his deathbed. While he was in the throes of giving up his soul to the afterworld, he pulled his beloved son close to his cracked mouth and whispered-“In my cupboard, you will find a pair of old socks. They are quite faded and threadbare. But I have loved them nevertheless. Make sure that you put them on my corpse before lowering me into my grave.” Having said these words, he passed away.. drifting into a future where he had only his past to keep him company.

The grieving son quickly located the pair of socks and took it to the room where his father’s body was being washed for the last time. He relayed the last request and requested his relatives to put the socks on his father’s life less feet. They outrageously declined and said that it was impossible to do so and all that he could wear was his white shroud. The son was enraged. They were stopping him from following his father’s last request. He stormed to the Imam and repeated his demand. The Imam was even more adamant on his refusal to relent. The son kicked up a storm and used all his persuasive skills to have the socks put on. But all the respected elders in the family unanimously decreed that the socks must not be worn.

Finally the mortal remains of the old man was buried and after tearful prayers, the bereaved son threw a few handsful of earth on his grave and returned.. to the rest of his life.

A few days later, while rummaging through his cupboard, the son finds an envelope addressed to him….in his father’s handwriting. With shaking hands he opens the letter. It had only a few lines written on it.

My dearest son. In my lifetime I have made a fortune. But they did not allow me to take along even an old tattered pair of socks. I had to leave everything behind. So ……

Dear Brothers and Sisters

Let us all ensure that we spend our valuable time in this new year on creating things that we can actually carry with us to our graves…. A few quenched throats, filled stomachs, unburdened backs….. and a handful of tears that we have wiped off and a bouquet of smiles that we have donated.

Have a Worthy 2011


Filed under Till sunset and beyond