Alone..

She stood on the terrace and watched the lightening strike again and again. As the rain fell heavier and heavier she allowed herself to soak in the water. Cold water trickled through her whole body. Tears mingled with the water that flowed down her face. She was beginning to shiver slightly. But she just stood that way – hands outstretched face upwards and crying like she was begging for mercy and God just roared back in reply. Tired she just closed her eyes, God would take her back with him, she didn’t belong on earth.

She started falling backward. She splashed into water and fell deeper and deeper into it. There was water all around her now, she couldn’t open her eyes , she just kept falling deeper and deeper into the water. There was no landing , no floating, the water was bottomless. she just kept falling. Then she realized that she couldn’t breathe in water. She tried but there was no oxygen flowing in. Only water. She started choking. She gasped for air and woke up.

She was on the cold stone of her terrace. She was still wet, the stone was also wet. But it had stopped raining. She had stopped crying. Her face felt sticky and filthy. She felt like a complete mess, unclean both physically and spiritually. Nothing was clean about her. Her bones were in pain. Her head was throbbing. She felt heavy and immobile. The stone was very cold but she couldn’t get up. She had lost command over her body. She couldn’t make it move. She couldn’t get up.

She started weeping again, weeping and wailing. She wanted someone to hold her hand , hug her. But she was too dirty for anyone to touch her. She was abandoned and alone.

My Blogging Tip #2 – Limit the Number of Posts per Day

Why? Why? Because when I get many email updates for the same blog in one day, I read only the latest one. It is not to say that I don’t want to read the other posts, but after one post, I decide that I will read the remaining later. And later never comes.

And I’ve been doing this since almost a month. I feel guilty that I did not read all those posts, but then I have only this much time in one day 😦 and there are so many good bloggers out there!

I experienced this with my blog too. On Thursday morning I published one post. I was happy about it. I was looking forward to seeing what people would think about it. But by evening, something happened that made me all emotional and unstable. I really needed to vent out and I did. I wrote a poem without thinking much. Just wrote whatever I felt like writing. It almost felt like my hands were typing independently without inputs from my brain 😛

At the end of it I had a poem. And I badly wanted people to read that one, because this blog is the only place where I can talk openly about those feelings. So tada, by late evening, there was another post! A lot of people read and “liked” it. I got some new followers. It made me feel really good. Some of the people who liked that post are blogging on topics that I really relate to. So I am really glad I posted that poem.

But the post before that. Poor thing. No one cares about it now. Hehe. So well that’s the thing. To do every post on your blog justice, you have to give readers time to read. Publishing one or at most two posts per day is what I would recommend if you want to do justice to each of your posts.

Again this is not criticizing anybody. This is just my objective observation and inference based on that. People are free to tell me if they disagree or have experienced otherwise.

Hope this helps. Have a good day 🙂

THE URGE TO HURT..

Hurt yourself
For the pain you have done her.
She was not happy to see you,
You reminded her of her pain….
You were the cause, you were the cause of hurt for her,
You are not good,
Someone was hurt because you did not care,
I cannot smile now, because I don’t deserve the happiness,
I feel so alone, what have I done?
Help me, will you?
Accept my reason,
Tell me it is going to be good,
That by gones are by gones,
Don’t matter now,
But don’t they?
She was hurt when she saw me,
I could see it in her eyes,
The hesitation, the desire to avoid me,
She knows, that I stole what was hers,
I had not wished it,
But she knows I am the one,
It does not go down well with her,
Seeing me,
I am such a pain,
And she is not wrong,
I deserve to be despised,
And cringe in pain……….

How to negotiate for lower prices at work (For awkward people like me)

If you are anything like me, you probably get really uncomfortable asking for favors or a concession in costs from anyone and avoid it was much as you can.

Unfortunately for me, yesterday my boss insisted that I negotiate the rates with a training organization for training some of the employees in my company. I was in a soup. I could see how the conversation would end with them refusing point blank, and my boss considering me a failure. (Catastrophizing?)

It left me feeling angry with him, because it was so much easier for him to do it. He can always get his way with people. Then why trouble me? Anyway, I am glad now that he left it to me 😀 Once in a while I think I need to get pushed into the waters. Only then I bother learning how to swim 😛

So here I have detailed what I learnt about how to negotiate prices, may be it will help some of you too. May be you will think it is all wrong, I would appreciate if you correct me then!

How I prepared:
1. I googled, “How to negotiate for a lower price.” You know me 😀 ….. But there are quite a few good articles out there. What I learnt from those?
i. Don’t underestimate your power as the buyer. You have the right to demand a lower price.
ii. They are used to people negotiating with them, so don’t be embarrassed. Be shameless and ask for shamelessly low prices
iii. On the same lines, always quote lower than the price you want, because they are going to try and reach a midway price.
iv. Show that you are interested in buying but also give a reason for hesitation, which makes them want to take that extra effort to keep you in the deal.
v. One interesting tip that I did not get to use – If both fall silent during the negotiation, let him fill the silence, because he will end up blurting out a reason why he won’t reduce the rates or he may end up giving in to fill the uncomfortable silence (sly this one, I know! Poor fellow)

2. Next, I made a list of reasons why we should get a lower price.
i. We would be sending more number of employees for training
ii. We are sending our applications early, so we should get the early bird benefit (so said my boss)
iii. We have already sent employees for training in the past and since this is useful for us, we would be regular clients

3. The above point helps us to convince ourselves that we deserve the price discount. That brings me to the next step, which is keep yourself in the right state of mind. Yes. The state of mind that you really need the discount and you deserve it and it would be unfair of him to suggest that there won’t be a discount. It comes through when you talk.

4. Go ahead and call!

So below I tried to recollect my conversation and note it down. Not all of the above points helped. But the process helped me to speak confidently, which I think helped me sound authoritative.

Me: Hello? Sir, is this Mr. Peter*?
Peter: Yes, Speaking
Me: Sir, this is Radhika* from AAA* Inspectors Ltd.
Peter: Yes, Radhika!
Me: Sir, if you remember, we had sent 2 inspectors to the symposium you had arranged last month
Peter: Yes yes, I remember
Me: Sir, some days ago I got another email from XYZ* about a training on painting and coating inspection. We are very much interested in that course as we have many inspectors
Peter: (interrupted) Yes, I know a large base of inspectors!
Me: Exactly sir, and we would definitely like to give them this training. But I wanted to know if it is possible to get a concession in fees? Then I will be able to arrange for more number of inspectors to attend the training.
Peter: A concession in fees can be made. How many inspectors will be attending?
Me: about 8 may be.
Peter: Oh wow, 8 is a lot. May be we can give a concession of upto 10%.
Me: 10%? Ok ok that’s great! (writes down on a piece of paper). Sir, I also wanted to know, if we are able to increase the number of inspectors still further will there be any more concession?
Peter: uhhh, Radhika see, world wide recognized course like ABC cost as much as Rs. 90,000. And we are charging only Rs. 18,000 even though our course is much better than theirs. We must start giving value to good courses conducted in India.
Me: Yes sir, I agree that this is the scenario today. In fact, even here the fact that this course is not recognized among our clients like ABC’s courses was cause for some hesitation
Peter: but Radhika, even though ABC is more recognized you will see, people trained by them don’t really know so much. Whereas our course is definitely more value adding. ABC is keeping a high rate solely on the basis of the value attached to their name. Whereas we are losing on the profit margin. We are providing course material like notes and CDs too as take away. There is very little scope for cost reduction.
Me: (after listening intently) Yes definitely sir, we have a lot of faith in your trainers, which is why we are trying to send maximum of our inspectors for this training.
Peter: (Interrupted again) Ok, let me see ….. if 10 inspectors will attend, we will decrease cost from 18,000 per head to 15,000 per head.
Me: Oh ok sir, that would be brilliant! Thank you so much sir!
Peter: you are welcome dear
Me: Sir, can you send an email or something confirming the cost?
Peter: Just go ahead and send the amount with the filled up forms. I will endorse it don’t worry!
Me: Ok sir, thank you, thanks a lot !!! 🙂

And that is how I successfully managed to reduce the rates for my company and keep my boss happy 😀 …… Do you think this was a result of my preparation? Or just beginner’s luck? Is beginner’s luck a real thing? I have had many instances for sure, but that discussion would be for a different post.

One mistake I made, that one should avoid: I should have been aware of what price I wanted to bargain to. Oh yes, that’s obvious. But my boss only asked me to negotiate the price. He didn’t tell me negotiate to what price. So if the man had asked me what was the price I would like it for, I would have been clueless. Heehee.

Is the above advice correct? I would certainly like feedback on whether all my better experienced readers agree with what I have written or they think this is plain bull shit 😀

Thanks for reading, hope you found it helpful. Good day! 🙂

* Name changed to protect identity 😉

Baby Steps Towards Improvement..

I did it! Dad yelled at me, and I didn’t break down. I was chanting in my head this newly developed list of words I’ve made for myself.

Strong
Undeterred
Determined
Focused
Energetic
Sincere
Hardworking
Never Give Up!

It kept me sane to some extent. I am not angry OR feeling like hurting myself OR feeling helpless as would generally happen in this situation. I am quite composed in comparison. I am typing a blog post instead. 😀 I am getting better I think. Yes yes!

Though I still have that my life is not in my control thing. There is this interview coming up on 4th April, which I am not interested in giving. But he wants me to go. I tried to avoid once before by telling him that my boss didn’t want me to take leave from work on that day because we have an external audit. Not the right way of going about things I know. I should just tell him directly that I don’t want to go. But this brilliant idea of mine didn’t work anyway.

And today he yelled at me and said if I don’t want to go I should just say so. I was like, what the heck. I was thinking all along that I was being forced, hence I was going. I should have told him the truth immediately. I should have answered, “Yes! I don’t want to go!”

But I didn’t.

In my defence, it is not as easy as it seems.

He would have yelled at me and lectured me on all the reasons why he thinks I should go and wouldn’t stop till I gave in and said “Ok! I will go!”

And if I still didn’t give in then there would have been the taunts every day.

But you would say I never really tried it, how can I just assume and foretell? Valid point. But I just know this from countless previous experiences. And I managed to tolerate the yelling for a short time this time. But I am still not ready for the prolonged yelling that my “no” would have triggered. It scares me. Yes it does. I’ll admit it here. And all the emotional blackmail, taunts and extrapolating to unrelated situations that would have followed.

I know, I know. These are just excuses. I should just turn back, put my foot down and say, “I won’t go because I don’t want to. I am a 23 years old adult so I can take my own decisions!”

Yes sounds good. But no I still can’t do it. Call me a coward. I deserve it. But I can’t see how to do this. And that does leave a depressing feeling behind. But I don’t want to give up. I will keep trying may be…

My Blogging Tip #1 – Keep it short!

I hate reading long posts. Posts should always be short. Short enough for me to read in about five minutes.

In those five minutes I should learn something new, or develop a new perspective or just feel an emotion, be touched somehow, it could be laughter or extreme sadness or anything.

Of course, if it’s a story, then I may be even read a post that will take me ten minutes. But for all other posts I can only read about 500 words, not more. I start shutting off, I close the page or I just look at how much more there is to read and lose interest.

I know I’ve been blogging for only a month now, so I’m no one to give judgments. But this comes more from the experience of reading posts and articles. Especially now that I am following quite a few blogs by email, I click on every email notification I get for a new post. But I don’t finish the long ones. I don’t have all day. I work, I get phone calls, I have studies and in the middle of all of that I read blog posts to get refreshed or feel better in some way.

So, when I learn something, I feel better. When I am touched by a story or a thought I get a new perspective to life, so I feel enlightened. If I don’t get any of this in the first one minute, I stop reading, because there are other better posts waiting in my email.

I am not writing this because I want to criticize people. It is just my observation. A point that I thought I should note for my future posts. Just thought it would be a good idea to share it here as well. Have a good day 🙂

Craving for freedom

Trapped like a caged bird,
It’s suffocating, how this is,
I want to get away; I want to feel happy again,
I’ve felt it, felt it before don’t know when,
The fresh happiness and unadulterated pain,
Life is long and vain,
I am trapped, I crave for control,
Control over my own life,
I crave to do the things,
That I have dreamed,
Set set set me free,
It is too much to bear
Too much pain
Love is but a farce,
There is no such thing,
They all just take away a little of me from me,
The love as I had thought of, does not exist,
I was but a fool to bond with humans,
They don’t care, they don’t care,
Let me be sometimes, I have life in me,
Sacrifice sacrifice,
This will last how long,
I am crushed in pain,
Life is still just the same,
Forever,
I am trapped in this forlorn cage,
Help me, help me,
Someone please, before I go insane.

Loneliness or solitude? Which way will I go, which way will I end up? I don’t know, I wish I did know. I like people, but I am paranoid about them. I have to learn to bond with people without having to live for them. But how? I always fail. People either hate me or make me their slave. There are times when I hang by a thread. Just a phase, just a phase. But its hard to know it when you r in it. But I tell myself, it will pass.

I’m Addicted :)

I have started to feel this compulsive need to write. I am not sure if it is turning into a habit. I think writing a blog post in wordpress is kind of gratifying. More people read your blog. People “like” it or “follow” it. It’s kind of delightful when I find an email informing me that a certain blogger has decided to follow my posts.
And then you want more. Haha ……… that’s where the addiction begins I think. Now suddenly I want more people to check out my posts. I want more responses. I read other people’s blogs, I “like” them if I think it’s good, and then I start hoping that they notice my blog too. I wait for responses.
Suddenly just one or two likes are not good enough. I want more people to notice. I want more people to read and tell me what they think of what I write. I check my blog more frequently because I want to know how many people might have read my posts.
I start reading more and more of other blogs, I try to find good ones and “like” or “follow” them all. In a way when a good blogger appreciates something I write somehow it is more valuable :P. The more I read blogs of other people the more inspired I get to write something worth reading like they have written, and then all day I think about what I could possibly write. Then I post it and this time I check several times to see if anyone has read the post yet.
All day, no likes, no comments, no new followers. Late night I get one new follower who also posts a comment and I am on top of the world. I celebrate. I am too eager to reply to her.
And then I think, “Gosh! I am desperate.” 😛
Yes I am late to join this place, but I am definitely addicted now 😀

Yet Again?

I felt stiff and cold. I walked upto his cabin once with the intention of entering but at the last minute I changed my mind and walked past the door. My face was flushed red even with the thought of facing him. Then I saw one of his subordinates walk in and I got the courage to go in. At least he wouldn’t be mean to me when other people were around. I went inside with the documents. He looked up from his phone and mouthed, “What?” very casually.

I found myself at ease suddenly. But I did not respond just nodded my head. He finished his call and asked me again, “Yes?” I was prepared for curtness. He was going to be curt and rude. Who likes to be treated like a stranger after such a close friendship, who likes to be ditched? His ego must be hurt. He must be trying to find ways to get back at me. “I just needed these issues closed, the Principal was not happy with the explanations you have provided”, I said, showing him the documents in my hand.

He looked at the documents for a while and asked for a few clarifications. I explained what the Principal had said. He did not react defensively. He didn’t stretch the matter. Only said, “Ok, it will be done. I may not be able to go the college today, but you will get it by the end of the day.”

I managed to smile and say, “Thank you!” and he replied with a polite nod.

I came out of his office lost and confused. This was not what I was prepared for. In fact this was so……invalidating. Almost like I would have preferred if he had been rude to me instead. Why was he so nice and polite and cooperative when he had every reason not to be? All these months I kept away from him, I had made this mental evil image for him and reminded myself everyday of what he had done to me. All the betrayal, all the hurt, all the horror and helplessness. The anger I had felt at him for putting me through so much trouble and fear. The numerous times I thought about hurting him. And yet today he seemed like a nice humane person. Was I then wrong all this time? Was he indeed a nice person?

I couldn’t hold myself back anymore. After having broken contact from him for so many months, I finally messaged him on my own, “How can you be so nice to me?” I texted.

I wanted to tell him that it confused me. If he was evil he should act evil, not be so sweet and cooperative. But I couldn’t tell him that. After a while he replied, “Because I love you. I did something which was not right. You showed me the right path and an opportunity to correct myself. I respect you for that. One rarely comes across such people and I am happy that I met one.”

I felt warmth and relief. But on another level I felt unsettled. Because he couldn’t be a good person. I had good reason to believe that before. The reason still holds. But I felt the hatred for him vanishing. I actually felt respect for him. But couldn’t this also be pretense? As always, maybe he just knows the right words to show that he is a good man.

I don’t know. I wish I understood. This is just another of those times when I fail. When I fumble in judging people because my heart believes and trusts easily. Each time I fall prey to it but this time I decided to write about it. Let’s hope now that I will hold on this time till my mind is more rational and I am sure about what I am doing…