Politics of Persia and a Sultan of Sense

I am not an Iranian. I am not an American. But I have been in positions of conflict. And found them difficult. And therefore, I am happy. Really happy with this interim arrangement crafted between Iran and the six global powers. Drop in oil price is a good enough reason to smile but there is more:

  • this is a conflict that is older than half of our world’s population (median age of the world is just short of 25 years)
  • this is about restoring ‘dignity to the nation‘ and to around 80 million Iranians
  • this is about mediation by a country that is comparatively small and a statesman who is incredibly wise – Oman was a secret venue and Sultan Qaboos the mediator
  • I have, so very often, and so very naturally, been trapped. Restricted by vision of a future that is past ensnared. It has happened with family members, it has happened with colleagues and it has happened with friends. And it nags. It pains. As I get older (not old), I find conflict a waste of human ingenuity. Therefore, I have started to unravel, negotiate and attempt solutions.

    And this has always happened by building a ‘what-if’ scenario. What if there were no wars? Often when bilateral engagement was awkward, I found mediation useful. Leaders I have worked with have had a wonderful way of intervention. Often without invitation. They assess, provide a place and time to meet. They inject empathetic prodding to keep the conversation going. They offer their personal commitment for making it work. They believe.

    I am not an Omani but I am really thrilled to be with many. After all, this was an agreement crafted by many princes of politics and the Sultan of sense.

    #theyeahway: it may be natural to get into situations of conflict and sensible to get out of them.


    The house where Drama comes visiting


    With the first notes of the first overture at the Royal Opera House I got introduced to many new forms of drama.

    Possibly inconceivable once, but today, the ROHM is part of Muscat mundane. Heroes are born, villains vanquished and romance celebrated. All part of a season ticket.

    Fun. Beautiful. Entertaining. Lively. Energising. Different.

    #TheYeahWay: mundane is no reason for the drama to cease

    Saying Yes to a No

    Some months back a leading head-hunter called. They had a mandate for a real cool opportunity in the region (Middle East). Nice company. Nice job.  With all the benefits and limitations of a Middle East opportunity.

    The head-hunter did his job (real well) and got me to start the process.

    Online psychometric tests with results not shared with me. Followed by many phone conversations. And then the first interview. They wanted me to travel to the city where their head-office was located. And I was ready to. Until I was told that this was merely a screening interview by the HR Chief and a potential peer in the C-suite. I found this very odd. So, I insisted they do a tele-interview. They countered by flying down to my city – for a face-to-face. I was impressed by this earnestness. And happy with the meeting. The three of us had good, intelligent, probing conversations and promised to meet again. And we did meet again. Albeit after six odd weeks. And this time I went to their head-office. 

    Prior to this meeting the head-hunter called. I was to meet the CEO and the leadership team – all six of them. And they wanted me to make a formal presentation. In the beginning I found this request rather ridiculous. But then I realised that this was possibly a great way to filter out the bullshitters from the doers. So, i prepared a presentation. And I made the presentation. The seven of us had brilliant conversations. Prodding, sharing, explaining, laughing, testing. Post which I was told that I would be contacted shortly and driven back to the airport.

    After few more weeks, the head-hunter called. The message was that I was selected and a formal offer would be made but before that, purely as a formality, they wanted me to meet their Directors (to the Board). By this time around 10 weeks had elapsed since the process commenced. There had been something nagging me about this offer. While I could not pin-point the cause, it was clear that I did not have a warm-fuzzy feel about this opportunity. And so, I said No to the meet-the-directors meeting.

    The head-hunter called. His boss called. And they pushed, sold, cajoled. The HR Chief called. And made the offer. Attractive. After a day’s consideration, I sent an email apologising but regretting. Three days passed. I had more or less forgotten this opportunity. Until the head-hunter called. With a revised offer. Which was nearly 25% more than the original attractive offer. I slept over this revised-very-attractive offer and said No the next day.

    The meandering, bureaucratic, committee style decision-making process demonstrated by this potential employer was the reason for my No. I know I have compromised my potential economic wealth by not grabbing the offer. But I have saved myself the irritation of being trapped in effective in-activity.

    #TheYeahWay: choose a orgnisation that demonstrates a conscious bias towards action. Always.

    God once played cricket

    I was 28 when i first witnessed Sachin play for India.

    And I was hooked.

    It was possibly the combination of his vulnerable child-like looks, his immaculate politeness & humility combined with his magical, smooth yet make-no-mistake aggression and ability to dominate that grabbed attention.

    This was an infatuation that would become love with the many high-fives, pumped-up-fists, midnight celebrations and those quite smiles of victory while pretending to be working.

    sachin tendulkar

    Ahhhh #tendulkar: well played and #thankyousachin for all the smiles, the high-fives, the punches-in-the-airs, satisfied celebrations at random times & locations.

    God can now go back to normal godly stuff and pack up his pads.

    Some sun-lotion and be sure to pack that umbrella?


    a situation in which a difficult choice has to be made between two or more alternatives….

    Its been months in planning. A gathering to celebrate young love. Celebrate friendship. Celebrate parenthood. Celebrate all this and more at the great-food-happy-feni-laid-back-musical-swaying-beaches of Goa. And the flight to Goa is now.

    And then I decide to check the weather. Forecast: rainstorms, cloudy, hazy, humidity and hot.

    New Plan:

    Celebrate all this and more at the great-food-happy-feni-laid-back-musical-swaying-beaches which we can still see from the windows of the air conditioned rooms of Goa.

    Oh Yeah!

    Some days you just got to fort up!


    Yes, somedays you just gotto fort up. These are days when you stand alone. Solid, even under an intense spotlight. Secure, even in isolation. Royal, even amidst the ruins. Yes, there are days when you need to fort up. And become a beacon, a symbol, nearly an icon. A catalyst.

    Are you having enough of such fort days?

    Love on the Sill


    Monday morning. Adrenalin building for an imminent business meet. Suddenly I spy. Love at the work-place. Love on the edge. On my office window-sill. Unabashed, unapologetic, intimate, tender. Monday morning blues? Whatever.

    And if I had, the sun and moon

    And they were shining

    I would give you, both night and day

    Love satisfying

    Feel like making love

    – Bad Company

    Just a moment said the Moon to the Minaret


    And the moon continued to climb. And soon it was above the minaret. And the moon looked down. But then, it started slipping. And the moon soon disappeared.

    The minaret stood where it was. Unmoving. Unchanged but for the light that fell on it and reflected sundry shadows.

    And waited for tomorrow. For the moon rise. Again.

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