Because I’m bored

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Does anyone else think Friends and How I Met Your Mother [HIMYM] are quite alike?

I watched an episode of Friends the other day, immediately followed by one of HIMYM and it got me thinking, ya know, about how awfully similar they are. So I drew a bit of comparative-chart to identify some of the obvious similarities.

By chart I mean prose, and by drew I mean typed.

Friends

How I Met Your Mother

Ross commits to relationships too quickly.

Three divorces.

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Ted commits to relationships too quickly.

Says “I love you” to Robin on their first date.

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They hang out at Central Perk and sit on the same sofas every time.

Periodically, anyone apart from these six seen sitting on the sofas is asked to leave.

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They hang out at MacLaren’s Pub and sit in the same booth every time.

I think the Robin and Lily got into a silent-fight / stare-down with a few other girls who were sitting in their booth.

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Ross and Chandler have known each other since college.

Both were…interesting back then.

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Ted and Marshall have known each other since college.

Both were…interesting back then.

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Chandler and Monica are married. One married couple in the group.

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Lily and Marshall are married. One married couple in the group.

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Ross is a professor and tells the most sinfully boring stories.

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Ted is a professor and tells the most sinfully boring stories.

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Joey is a ladies’ man.

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Barney is a ladies’ man.

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Everyone hangs out at Monica’s grandmother’s apartment.

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Everyone hangs out quite a lot at Lily and Marshall’s apartment. Or is it Ted’s? Well, one apartment is frequented the most.

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Ross’ Halloween costume

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Ted’s Halloween costume

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Joey is of Italian origin.

Ok so this one was a long shot.

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Robin is Canadian.

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So they’re not identical *rolls eyes*. But you’ve gotta admit that that’s still a pretty decent number of similarities in the plot.

What did I miss?

*Note: None of the pictures used in this post are mine. They’ve all been taken from various sources across the internet. Most of them can be found by using these keywords: Friends, How I Met Your Mother, names of characters from both shows.

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I smile

As I chatted with a friend of mine today, I realized I’d forgotten.

Forgotten what makes me smile.

The word seemed to alienate itself from my existence. I had to distance myself for a while to realize that whilst I’ve been remembering to plaster it on each day, everyday, I’ve increasingly forgotten what truly makes my lips turn into a grin…into a heartfelt smile.

My smile curves into a lopsided grin when I sit back and listen to someone speak the words I want to hear. It’s lopsided because those words aren’t meant for me. They’re spoken for someone else…to someone else. I remain a mere bystander, observing. And somewhere in my fantasies, I see myself secretly trade places with the lucky lass.

I smile when I suddenly hear that song that somehow found itself at the bottom of my playlist. I smile at the memories that it brings along with the melody. And the words. Oh, those words! It pulls at those long-forgotten strings lying deep within a long-lost life…and there it begins to play a tune of its own. This time, however, a little different…a little nostalgic.

Dance… I smile when I see someone dance. I smile for I know I cannot. I smile because you can. Or he can. Or she can. I smile because they can. I smile because I know that someday, one day…so shall I. Dance…

My lips form an involuntary curve when I stumble upon a look that is shared between two of cupid’s newest victims. I smile when I find myself as an unexpected, uninvited and nonexistent part of their moment…of that glance they thought no one else noticed. I smile because I sense their desire, their passion, and their sheer helplessness when they seek each other out in the midst of hundreds of others…and I smile because I understand why they can’t break away from that stare. I smile because I know that for them…only they exist.

And…I smile.

For the first time in months, I truly smile.

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I Like Your Flaws [Re-blog]

There are some things you come across and just can’t help but share.

I do wish I could write like this. I also wish someone felt this way about me. =)

You can find the original piece by Stephanie Georgopulos here.

*****

“I like how you mispronounce words sometimes, how you fumble and stammer and stutter looking for the right ones to say and the right ways to say them. I appreciate that you find language challenging, because it is, because everything manmade is challenging. Including man, including you.

When you sleep on your side, I like to map the constellations between your beauty marks freckles pimples, the minuscule mountains that sprinkle your back. I like the tufts of hair you forgot to shave and the way you smell when you haven’t showered in a while; I like the sleep left in your eyes.

I like the way your skin dies in the middle of the night, how you die from embarrassment the next morning; how you writhe in the snake casing you’ve left behind. I like that you think pillow snowflakes carry more weight than pillow talk; that you think my opinion of you is so fickle that it could change overnight. (It’s not.)

I enjoy seeing you insecure, vulnerable. I like to watch red steam light up your cheeks, a spreading mist of shame when you think you’ve done something unacceptable like missing a step on the stairs or not having the perfect answer to something I’ve said. It’s like you honestly don’t know how wonderful you are, it’s like you have no idea.

The burns, the scars, the black and blues on your face body heart, I want to know their stories. I want to know what hurt you, who hurt you, how bad the damage is. I like your hard, ugly toenails and the layer of fat that lines your belly, the soft parts you try to hide. It’s okay to be soft, sometimes.

I appreciate your ability to get inappropriately angry as much as I appreciate your willingness to apologize afterward. I like how your passion manifests unpredictably and uncontrollably, how your feelings cannot be caged or concealed, how you’re incapable of apathy.

I like how you can’t dance, how you have pedestrian taste in music, how the worst song on every album is your favorite. I like how enthusiastic you are when you hear it, it’s like you don’t know how terrible it is, it’s like maybe how you’re able to love someone like me. (Perhaps that’s your biggest flaw, perhaps that’s the one I love most.)

Your flaws single you out, set you apart, make you different from the rest, and thank god. I don’t just put up with settle for accept your blemishes, I like them. I like them because they make you human, and humans are easier to love than photographs and illusions and ideals; humans fit more easily between arms and between legs; humans are welcome to their imperfections because if there’s one thing humans can do perfectly, it’s love. Humans can love, they can do it flawlessly.”

Not my poem

I just StumbledUpon this link and couldn’t resist re-blogging it. =)

“If you can pronounce correctly every word in this poem, you will be speaking English better than 90% of the native English speakers in the world.

(This is not my poem!)

Dearest creature in creation,
Study English pronunciation.
I will teach you in my verse
Sounds like corpse, corps, horse, and worse.
I will keep you, Suzy, busy,
Make your head with heat grow dizzy.
Tear in eye, your dress will tear.
So shall I! Oh hear my prayer.
Just compare heart, beard, and heard,
Dies and diet, lord and word,
Sword and sward, retain and Britain.
(Mind the latter, how it’s written.)
Now I surely will not plague you
With such words as plaque and ague.
But be careful how you speak:
Say break and steak, but bleak and streak;
Cloven, oven, how and low,
Script, receipt, show, poem, and toe.
Hear me say, devoid of trickery,
Daughter, laughter, and Terpsichore,
Typhoid, measles, topsails, aisles,
Exiles, similes, and reviles;
Scholar, vicar, and cigar,
Solar, mica, war and far;
One, anemone, Balmoral,
Kitchen, lichen, laundry, laurel;
Gertrude, German, wind and mind,
Scene, Melpomene, mankind.
Billet does not rhyme with ballet,
Bouquet, wallet, mallet, chalet.
Blood and flood are not like food,
Nor is mould like should and would.
Viscous, viscount, load and broad,
Toward, to forward, to reward.
And your pronunciation’s OK
When you correctly say croquet,
Rounded, wounded, grieve and sieve,
Friend and fiend, alive and live.
Ivy, privy, famous; clamour
And enamour rhyme with hammer.
River, rival, tomb, bomb, comb,
Doll and roll and some and home.
Stranger does not rhyme with anger,
Neither does devour with clangour.
Souls but foul, haunt but aunt,
Font, front, wont, want, grand, and grant,
Shoes, goes, does. Now first say finger,
And then singer, ginger, linger,
Real, zeal, mauve, gauze, gouge and gauge,
Marriage, foliage, mirage, and age.
Query does not rhyme with very,
Nor does fury sound like bury.
Dost, lost, post and doth, cloth, loth.
Job, nob, bosom, transom, oath.
Though the differences seem little,
We say actual but victual.
Refer does not rhyme with deafer.
Foeffer does, and zephyr, heifer.
Mint, pint, senate and sedate;
Dull, bull, and George ate late.
Scenic, Arabic, Pacific,
Science, conscience, scientific.
Liberty, library, heave and heaven,
Rachel, ache, moustache, eleven.
We say hallowed, but allowed,
People, leopard, towed, but vowed.
Mark the differences, moreover,
Between mover, cover, clover;
Leeches, breeches, wise, precise,
Chalice, but police and lice;
Camel, constable, unstable,
Principle, disciple, label.
Petal, panel, and canal,
Wait, surprise, plait, promise, pal.
Worm and storm, chaise, chaos, chair,
Senator, spectator, mayor.
Tour, but our and succour, four.
Gas, alas, and Arkansas.
Sea, idea, Korea, area,
Psalm, Maria, but malaria.
Youth, south, southern, cleanse and clean.
Doctrine, turpentine, marine.
Compare alien with Italian,
Dandelion and battalion.
Sally with ally, yea, ye,
Eye, I, ay, aye, whey, and key.
Say aver, but ever, fever,
Neither, leisure, skein, deceiver.
Heron, granary, canary.
Crevice and device and aerie.
Face, but preface, not efface.
Phlegm, phlegmatic, ass, glass, bass.
Large, but target, gin, give, verging,
Ought, out, joust and scour, scourging.
Ear, but earn and wear and tear
Do not rhyme with here but ere.
Seven is right, but so is even,
Hyphen, roughen, nephew Stephen,
Monkey, donkey, Turk and jerk,
Ask, grasp, wasp, and cork and work.
Pronunciation (think of Psyche!)
Is a paling stout and spikey?
Won’t it make you lose your wits,
Writing groats and saying grits?
It’s a dark abyss or tunnel:
Strewn with stones, stowed, solace, gunwale,
Islington and Isle of Wight,
Housewife, verdict and indict.
Finally, which rhymes with enough,
Though, through, plough, or dough, or cough?
Hiccough has the sound of cup.
My advice is to give up!!!”

Love in the time of Mumbai

 

Was it a gang war that broke out? But it was in the heart of Mumbai – Mumbai’s underworld couldn’t be taking that big a risk, however drastic the cause.

So who was shooting? And a taxi blew up too? Wasn’t it miles away from Taj?

As I unpacked at my Mamaji’s place in Mumbai, more such comments were being heard. I’d reached Dadar a little over an hour ago and was freshening up for dinner. The next couple of days were going to be insane – lots of people to meet, pots of shopping to do before heading back to Dubai. I just wanted to get the stress and fatigue of my friend’s wedding in Delhi out of my system.

Stress? At a friend’s wedding? Why would I be stressed at a friend’s wedding, you’re probably wondering. Well, that’s because at the same time as my friend, there were about 40,000 other people in Delhi getting ready to pledge their loyalty, their life and their existence to their soul mates. And one such couple was Rohit’s first cousin.

And I, being Rohit’s girlfriend at the time, was coaxed and cajoled into attending the wedding reception and to then have a mini “muh-dihayee”, as it were. This shouldn’t have been that big a deal had he toned down on the extent of his affection for me in front of his family. More so since no one in my family except my brother Shashank knew what was going on between us. Long story short – I met his family and belatedly realized that there had been no reason to stress over! I was showered with nothing but good wishes and love.

With Rohit in Dubai and me in Mumbai, I could finally heave a sigh of relief and unwind. Which is exactly what I’d planned to do in the four days I was to spend in Mumbai.

And if only life went on as planned!

A few hours after I reached Mumbai on 26 November 2008, there were confused, unsure reports trickling in of some kind of a shoot-out happening around The Taj Mahal Palace. As the minutes turned into hours, the severity of what was happening hit us hard.

This wasn’t a gang war. This wasn’t a drunken-shooting incident. This wasn’t a poor-little rich boy’s venting session with his well-connected father’s licensed pistol.

This was war. War on Mumbai. This was war on India soil.

Within minutes of first being termed as a terrorist attack, Mamaji’s landline started ringing off the hook. The first call was from my parents who sat in Dubai, knowing that I’d landed in Mumbai a little while ago. Despite knowing that I was at home with family members, safe and sound, they sounded stressed. I reassured them that I was safe and wouldn’t be venturing out on my own.

All this time, I kept looking at my phone, wondering why I hadn’t heard from Rohit yet. He would usually send me a text or two in an hour, at least. Maybe he hadn’t heard about the shooting. Regardless, this was very unlike him.

I sent him a text a just to see if things were ok. Within seconds the text bounced back. Now, I knew I had enough credit, so that couldn’t be the issue. I didn’t want to call him from the landline and have him calling back, in case I missed speaking to him. Since I’d told Shashank a few days ago, obviously no one in Mumbai knew about the two of us.

Whom could I possibly take into confidence? I had to get in touch with him somehow!

Since it was rather late at night, I decided to let it go for the time being. He was probably stuck at work. He’d call or text when he had the time. There was really no point stressing. On that note I drifted off to sleep.

It was when I checked my phone in the morning and didn’t see a message or a missed call from him that I really began to wonder what was going on. I took my cousin into confidence and told her I needed to use her phone to get in touch with Rohit. I gave her a brief round-up of who he was and boy was she thrilled! I’m not an emotionally-open person in general, so it must’ve been quite a shock for her to hear me talking about him.

This time around the text went through to Rohit and within seconds my cousin’s phone rang. I answered and ran out of the house for some privacy.

“Hey you, Mr. Bu– “, before I could finish, there were a gazillion profanities that I encountered, followed by an equal number of questions.

“Where on earth have you been? Why is your phone not working? I’ve been trying to call you since last night! Have you seen the news?! Do you know how worried I’ve been? Well, say something!”, he exclaimed.

“I’ll say something as soon as you give me a chance to!”, I managed.

“Yaar…what’s going on? Are you ok? Is everyone there ok?”, there was a resignation, a concern in his voice I’d never heard before.

“We’re all okay. Relax, we’re fine. They must’ve blocked off external sim cards. That’s the only reason I can think of for my phone not working. But I’m ok…really”, I went on.

The mood of the conversation suddenly went from concerned to drop-dead serious within a matter of seconds. “Swati, just come back, please. I just want you to come back. I can’t stand the thought of you being there all by yourself. I can’t stand the fact that you’re in an ounce of trouble – or could be in any potential danger”.

I had a mile wide smile plastered on my face as he said this. Our relationship was taking a new turn. Even though I sensed this new level we had gone to, I couldn’t have even imagined what he said next.

“I’ve…I’ve made up my mind. I’m going to speak to Mum tonight. Before you say anything, hear me out. I can’t bear this…I can’t have you so far away from me. I’m talking to Mum tonight about us. Now, either you talk to your parents, or I’ll ask Mum to do it directly. All I know is…I don’t ever want to be in a situation where I can’t get in touch with you again. Ever”, he declared. “I’ve been watching the news for the past two days, hoping against hope that I don’t see or hear your name. I’ve cringed every time something new from Mumbai is reported. I can’t…I can’t not be with you.”

As I listened to him talk, tears seemed to roll down my cheeks on their own accord. All I could do was smile and nod. Yes…yes, I wanted to be with him.

A month after this conversation on Christmas day Rohit went down on one knee and proposed. Our parents met subsequently and Rohit and I were warmly welcomed into each other’s families.

In June 2009, I married Rohit in Glasgow in a small yet unforgettable civil wedding ceremony. In August that same year, we had our much-awaited Bollywood style Delhi wedding.

And every single waking hour of my life I wonder what I’ve done to deserve an angel for a life partner.

Go Movember! Go Ro!

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Yep, that’s right – it’s that time of the year again when you’ll get to see random men with massive tashes walking around town.

What is Movember? To cut a long story short, men across the world put their shaving kits aside for the entire month of November. They grow their tashes, some even grow their beards.

Yep, for the entire month. All 30 days.

Why? Like most fun things, this one’s for charity too. =)

Movember aims to raise awareness around prostate cancer, among other men’s health issues.

You can read up more about Movember on Wikipedia or on the official Movember website.

While you wait for that information to sink in, go watch this video.

So why am I blogging about Movember? Cuz this year, there’s a very special man who’s joined the Movember band-wagon: my darlingest husband. =)

And I’ve decided to support him all this month by taking a picture of him every single day for the rest of the month. These pictures will go on my Twitter, Flickr, Instagram and Tumblr feeds.

At the end of the month, I’m going to consolidate these pictures and blog them right here. So if you want, check back here in a month’s time to see how Movember went for Rohit and I.

So, what’re you doing this November? =)

Forever, Steve Jobs

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I bought my first Apple product, an iPod back in 2007. I have never picked up another mp3 player and I’ve gone through 3 iPods since.

Not because the older ones weren’t working anymore. Oh no! Apple makes products for life. And that’s one of the biggest lessons I’ve learnt since 2007. My reasons for having moved from one to the other iPod was just the requirement – more space, more features, so on and so forth.

Last year around this time I bought my first MacBook. Yes, I’d used iMacs when they’d come out in their funky colors what now seems like a lifetime ago, but I’d never owned one.

I’d been missing you.

Of course I realized this belatedly, but I did realize it.

It is over-rated? Some say so. Is it worth the damn hype? I say: every last bit.

Having been a PC user for almost 15 years and having transitioned to Apple in the smoothest way possible is something I had never imagined. And yet, here I am.

And it is in this past year that I have truly understood the genius behind Apple.

And the man behind that genius: Steve can-do Jobs. The life, vision and enigma that this man created can be seen with the millions of Tweets, Facebook updates and ‘RIP’ messages floating around. And yet, nothing compares to the subtle yet profound tribute to him on Google’s homepage:

You changed the way the world perceived technology and you’re probably the only reason Apple is what it is today. Here’s hoping you find peace wherever you are, Steve Jobs.

iSalute you, your life and the legacy you’ve left behind.

In every Apple product, within every half-eaten-apple logo you’ll live. Forever.

Rest in peace.

The 100 Social Enterprise Truths – a ‘reblog’ of sorts

I’ve been siffing through a number of emails I’ve ‘starred’ in the recent past. Some of them are related to literature that I need to read up on, but most of them are on potential (suggested?) blog posts for myself. It is during this browsing-spree, if I may, that I changed upon this post.

I don’t even remember when I came across the post about The 100 Social Enterprise Truths. I don’t remember when I came across it online, I mean.

Now that I’ve gone through it again, I see why I’d starred it. There’re a lot of interesting points here. And now that I’m on the brink (or almost!) of taking baby steps into (social) entrepreneurship, I have a few things on these points. The reason I keep ‘social’ in brackets is because I’m still trying to figure out if I can officially term what I want to do with Aham Asti in that category.

I’m sure some of my comments below might change over time, especially once I actually start with the venture. But for now, this is it. =)

So without further ado, here’s the list of 100 Social Enterprise Truths. And incase you didn’t catch it earlier on, you can find the original post here.

 

1. Measuring social impact is about improving what you do, not just proving how well it works

2. Choose legal structure after getting clarity on mission, activities, financing, governance

3. It’s not the size of the profit, it’s what you do with it that counts
My comment: I absolutely agree here. Although…hmmm…the word ‘profit’ does make me a bit wary.

4. More-than-profit is better than not-for-profit (profit’s not a dirty word)
My comment: THERE IT IS! Ha! Those are my dad’s words. Exactly! Last time I spoke to him in depth about Aham Asti, he said to me, “Beta, why does it seem to me that you’re feeling guilty about making money?” My response was a mix of ummms and errrs. *shrugs*

5. Successful social entrepreneurs build trusted, authentic relationships

6. Social entrepreneurs aren’t individual heroes; they build teams, create networks, mobilise movements
My comment: Absolut-o-mundo! Not that I would ever want to catergorize myself as one or the other, but I do want to make a change. I’m not sure about a ‘movement’, but a change, yes.

7. Social entrepreneurs can work at community, local, national and international levels
My comment: I think it’s almost vital for that to happen. Growth invariably equals more number of people being reached. Reach out and think big!

8. If a pound was donated each time a social entrepreneur quoted Gandhi, no-one would need to fundraise

9. Teach too many men to fish and you screw up the entire marine ecosystem and deplete the fish stocks

10. Scale of impact is more important than scale of organisation (or scale of ego)
My comment: Bulls-eye. Get the self-interest out of the picture, and you’ll do fine. But I s’pose it’s important to keep in mind that you’ve gotta feed yourself and handles finances, keeping daddy dearest’s words in mine.

11. A particular legal structure doesn’t guarantee an organisation won’t be rubbish (or that it will be brilliant)

12. You don’t need an MBA to be a social entrepreneur; you need a JFDI
My comment: Well, I’m getting my MBA and I’m hoping in some way it helps me. Also, I’m just fucking doing it. So yeah, best of both? =)

13. Successful social enterprises have a ‘network mindset’ not an organisational one: focus on the mission

14. All money comes with strings attached; that’s fine as long as you know what they are

15. Social enterprise isn’t a panacea; but it can provide a treatment for some social ills, and help prevent others

16. Social entrepreneurs’ work has a ripple effect: mobilising and inspiring others to get involved
My comment: And I do hope I get that going once I get where I want. During the initial stages of me conceptualizing Aham Asti, my mom said to me, “Don’t talk to everybody about your business idea – they might steal it!” I responded to her by saying, “If they steal my idea, I’d’ve won. If more people do what I want to, I’ve achieved what I sought out to do.”

17. There is nothing more tedious than a social enterprise definition debate (apart from two of them…)

18. Not everyone is a changemaker (FAO Bill Drayton)

19. The thing that connects most organisations that have successfully scaled is length of time
My comment: Hang in there – it’ll happen!

20. Social enterprises overestimate what they can achieve in the short-term, and underestimate it in the long-term

21. Organisations are powered by people, and they should be trained, supported and invested in

22. Networking is important for social entrepreneurs: be generous and genuine, and it will be reciprocated

23. Even if you call them a client, an end-user or beneficiary, the customer is still king

24. Social enterprise leaders need to look after themselves; if they burn out, often so does the organisation
My comment: I suppose this is where partners come into the picture. People who’ll be by your side and work with you and help you share the workload. These people, to be honest, have to be people who share your vision (if I may). Else, it’ll just spell disaster.

25. Populate the organisation with radiators not drains

26. Before you get the right people in the right seats, be sure you’re driving the right bus

27. Enjoy it: it’s not called “earnest-and-worthy-and-dull” enterprise; humour is allowed (& often necessary)
My comments: I completely agree! Humor’s the flavor of life! Enjoy it while you still can. =)

28. All organisations live or die by the quality of what they deliver (at the price they do it)

29. Buy from other social enterprises, and get them in your supply chain: but only if they deliver
My comment: Absolutely. Make the change…but also help others make a change. That’s always a refreshing feeling. =)

30. Underpromise and overdeliver: all too rare in social enterprise

31. A crisis might be a terrible thing to waste; it’s also a terrible thing to cause (#bigsociety)

32. There are more holy grails in social enterprise than in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade

33. When talking about asset transfer and finite resources, don’t forget the most important assets + resources are human

34. For ‘niche in the market’, read ‘need in the community’ (and vice versa)

35. Addressing market failure probably won’t have a commercial rate of return

36. Learn by doing, learn from others, learn from failures, keep learning
My comment: The day you stop learning, you stop growing. Period.

37. A 3-year government contract is no more sustainable than a 3-year grant

38. Sustainable financing comes through not being over-reliant on any one source of money
My comment: Yes! Diversify your income channels. For instance, write a book. =)

39. Optimistic pragmatists and realistic opportunists flourish

40. There a lot of good social enterprise business plans, not many good businesses
My comment: Deliver what you plan. Deliver what you promise. Deliver deliver deliver. That’s what it’s all about.

41. If the motivation isn’t really there at the start, it certainly won’t be when times get hard
My comment: Yes, believe in what you’ve set out to do. If you don’t believe in it, no one else will.

42. Charm and ‘being nice to people’ are enormously underrated

43. Edison was right (1% inspiration, 99% perspiration)

44. The “Facebook for social entrepreneurs” is Facebook

45. Newsflash: your social network for a niche community won’t fund itself by advertising
My comment: Yes, but it sure will help you identify people who’re worth associating yourself with. Know how to work various channels.

46. Honesty builds trust builds credibility builds support: ‘calculated candour’ is the way forward

47. Diversifying too early usually means doing lots of things averagely rather than one thing well
My comment: I believe that. Jack of all traits isn’t the best thing to start with. Aim for being the king of one, at the beginning at least.

48. Don’t scale up before the model’s proven, however much noise & encouragement there is

49. There’s more truth spoken over drinks and meals at a conference than on the stage
My comment: Couldn’t have said it better myself!

50. BigSociety, Social Enterprise, Civil Society, Third Sector: it’s more important what we do than what we call it

51. Believing your own hype is the start of the downward spiral

52. The biggest challenge for spin-outs is not technical but cultural

53. The UK is a pioneer in the field; but first mover advantage also means first mover mistakes

54. If the government created an investment fund for construction, it would be called BuilderBuilders

55. Measuring social impact is where financial reporting was 200 years ago (so don’t beat yourself up)

56. Too many people confuse innovation with novelty; an idea is easier than continuous improvement

57. It is possible to go to a social enterprise conference or seminar every working day of the year

58. There is a difference between having great contacts and actually making use of them

59. Work is needed on better exit strategies for social entrepreneurs (no more ‘life president’ stuff)

60. More than 146,000 new species have been discovered since the first Social Investment Task Force began

61. UK social enterprise debate is too internally-focused: huge amount to learn from international models

62. Mission isn’t about a nice statement: it’s for decision-making, communication & planning

63. Beware the ‘self-styled’ social entrepreneur; normally means it’s more about ‘self’ and ‘style’ [see Melody on the Apprentice]

64. Empowerment means giving power to and equipping with skills, not ‘asking a few questions’

65. You can’t really solve or change much from your desktop #slacktivism

66. Entrepreneurship is a mindset, an attitude, a set of behaviours (so is social entrepreneurship)

67. You can’t teach entrepreneurship, but you can learn it; learn it by doing and from others

68. Look back after you leap, and work out how you might leap differently next time

69. There are many social impact measurement tools, with more in common than they care to admit

70. Social entrepreneurs are often ‘biographical’: powered by a personal injustice or experience

71. The word ‘synergy’ should be outlawed from daily use

72. Risk literacy and risk awareness are where we need to get to (not just risk vs risk aversion)

73. The best CaféDirect coffee is the Machu Picchu: not too strong, but smooth + robust

74. (Social) entrepreneurs are a little bit born and a lot made

75. A group of social entrepreneurs always ultimately revert to gossip

76. Bad partnerships mean muddied thinking, a multitude of meetings, & compromised delivery

77. There are a spectrum of replication options: it’s not ‘open source’ vs ‘command and control’

78. Social enterprise blends outlooks and approaches; so a blended return makes sense

79. Understanding the problem is part of the solution (tackle the causes, not the symptoms)

80. Imperfect action is almost always better than perfect inaction

81. BigSociety is a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma (apols to Churchill)

82. Financial management matters; you need to know your way round a P&L and cashflow
My comment: *sigh* My biggest fear! Maybe this is where my MBA will help!

83. Investors and social entrepreneurs don’t speak different languages, they speak different dialects

84. There are as many social enterprise support agencies & networks as actual social enterprises

85. “Build it + they will come” only works if you build it right (& listen to the people you’re building it for)
My comment: I was chatting with a friend of mine recently and he said something that really stood out. While talking about a venture he’s created recently, he said to me, “Go out there and do it. Commerce will happen. Commerce always happens.” Do it well, is all I’ll add, and the money will definitely flow.

86. Social enterprise isn’t an easy option; starting a business never is

87. Finding a good social enterprise web designer is like finding a needle in a haystack
My comment: I’ve already started my research on finding web designers and website creatorthingamajigs. Wish me luck, especially since I’m a total doofus in that area.

88. ‘Be the change you want to see in the world’: with fewer ‘deep’ quotes and more doing

89. If London-Edinburgh trainline was a social enterprise, it would stop outside Newcastle when it ran out of funding

90. Most investors, funders, policymakers to do with this space are in London (it’s not an anti-Northern conspiracy)

91. The dark Divine Chocolate is a bit full on: go for the (lovely) milk / mint / orange / hot chocolate

92. Sectors are diverse + contain multitudes; don’t talk about the public or private sectors (or social enterprise sector) as if they are uniform

93. Survival rate is meant to refer to the business, not the social entrepreneur

94. There is an over-supply of loan finance already, with not enough organisations fit, able or willing to take it

95. Social entrepreneurship isn’t a career, it’s a calling (do something before you take the label)

96. Secretly, most social enterprises are still pursuing the “hope for a sugar daddy or mommy” business model

97. The first social entrepreneur was a Sumerian who started the first library / tax system in 1500 BC

98. Enterprise support agencies are often amongst the most un-enterprising organisations around

99. Despite the cynicism + in-fighting, there are great orgs, great people, real change happening
My comment: I can see that too. And lots of people out there who’re not only trying to do something, but who’re actually bringing people together from across the globe to help each other. If you don’t know them already, you must check out the guys at Make Sense.

100. Don’t believe anyone spouting supposed social enterprise truths at you; they clearly don’t know what they’re talking about ;0)

 

I do hope one day I can say “I knew what I was talking about!”.

I’ve been meaning to blog about what Aham Asti is and what I want to do with it, but haven’t had the time. But I will get down to it soon enough. And when I do, I’ll add a link here for those of you who might be interested.

For now though, I’d just like to say that I’m going to start my MBA in e-commerce in the next month and once I’m done, I hope to jump right into Aham Asti. During this next year though I plan to implement what I learn.

Here’s hoping things fall into place.

Remembering JPD

Blue chappals.
Bunny Bakery.
Phone calls.
RD 350. Red.
Cricket bet. Baldness. Cheating.
Donald Duck hair.
Fear. Apathy.
Friends. Fake.
Threats. BDA complex.
Koramangala.
Pecos. Diwali.
Amma bhenchod pump.
Rooftop. Smiles.
Smirnoff.
Club X.
Seetha Circle.
BDA complex.
Casablanca. Ek simple si coffee.
Katriguppe.
Pot.
Big Bazaar.
Dollar’s colony.
MSR. Fuck ups.
Bihu.
R T Nagar.
Silver. Platinum?
BS.
The Club.
Violence.
Birthdays.
Diamond studs. Lost. Remade.
Momos.
Zippos.
FC.
Pranks.
Pork.

You were an A-class asshole, but there are things about you that will always be missed.

Rest in peace, JPD.