The girl in the restroom

It was a regular Tuesday morning at work. I enter the rest room and see a girl sobbing – the body shake kind of sob. Her friends were trying to calm her down and reason. While I carried on with my business, I couldn’t help be curious. Unfortunately I did not know the local language and could barely pick up a few words – “manager….no respect…very rude…I work so hard…I don’t know…” I hurriedly left the scene not wanting to make the girl conscious.

On my way back to my desk, two things happened – One, memories of my first week at work came flashing by where I was sobbing in the ladies room after some supposedly harsh words were showered (now it just sounds silly). The exact scene enacted in a different city, different language with a different bunch of girls trying to calm me down. The funny thing is today I have no recollection of the person, the content or the girls who were there that day. Its a vague memory.

Two, I was forced to reflect on my professional journey since. How the professional, personal events as well as time has toughened me up. My perspective has changed. Over a period of time I have come to believe that any one perspective cannot shape your day or life be it your supervisor, close friend, classmates, peers, perhaps even family.  It is up to you alone to decide the advice/feedback you want to take, and the ones you don’t. I have met so many people in the last six years – with so so many perspectives about right and wrong, about what one should and should not do – all the while projecting their personalities on people around them that I now am quieter, observe well and know better. In the end you need to establish your own standards and stick to them. You are answerable to no one else apart from yourself.

Over the years, I guess one develops a thick skin and sort of grows up, learns to navigate & make the most of the environment – be it work or outside. As I am jolted back to reality by the smell of the huge mug of filter coffee at my desk & the calendar reminder popping up on my screen for a meeting, I hope that the girl in the washroom would also learn with time.

A letter to my 21 year old self [part 2]

There is no such thing as a plan

Yes, this might be shattering, but its true. Life will not go as per a plan – accomplish A,B,C then move to D. Nope. That is not how it works. There will be roadblocks, bumps and curve balls along the way. You might achieve D before B or C, get stuck in A and after a lot of hard work and time get to only point B. It is NOT a competition neither a checklist.

Live in the present. Does that mean you stop making plans? Absolutely not. Only that you don’t beat yourself when things don’t work out for you know that you gave in 100% and there is nothing you could have possibly done to change the way things are. Kid, everything isn’t in your control – for your sake I wish it was. It is a frustrating helpless feeling, but that’s the way it is. Trust the universe – what happens is meant to happen

A letter to my 21yr old self

On many days when I am lost between choices and decisions, i often wonder how awesome would it be to have my older/future self give me directions in life? Get the right advice by myself to myself all the time. This thought has appeared and re-appeared quite often in the last 4-5 years. So here I am finally beginning to pen down a series of such posts, this being the first of many. Perhaps the advice penned here could be of some use to others

A letter to my 21yr old self

Dear Sneha Das,

Congratulations on your first day at work! I know Mumbai can be daunting and the monsoon has only begun. I also know that this city is filthy and stinks. The people seem to be in a hurry all the time, and blunt/rude too…But I assure you, it grows on you. You will be coming back to this city more often than you know and soon this shall be home. This city will become one of your greatest teacher and teach you lessons – you will have your highest highs and the lowest lows here 

2. Have patience – I know everyone around is either going abroad, cracking entrance exams like a pro or getting on with their life one way or another. Miracles do not happen overnight. Remember to have fun and a lot of patience, your journey has only begun. Do not doubt your abilities and there is no reason or logic to prove anything to anyone. Don’t compare and make hasty life decisions as different people want different things out of life. What might be joyful to someone else might not be so for you, hence there is not point chasing someone else’s dreams 

3. Respect relationships – The next five years will seem like a roller coaster. I know you feel like “you’ve arrived” but trust me kid, there’s a long way to go and its a marathon, not a sprint. You will hit (what it would seem like) rock bottom. Just like a marathon, where you need your people running beside you to nudge you to run harder, to pep talk/support you when you lag and to cheer you when you reach the finish line; life is more fulfilling when you have meaningful relationships. The biggest mistake you will make is to take people for granted. Keep to yourself when you are tempted to say a harsh word or two to people who matter the most – family, your boyfriend or friends, as words cut deep and the wound is long lasting. It takes less than a few seconds to break something and years (and a lot of hard work) to mend the pieces. When the times are tough, and trust me there would be such times too, these are the people who will love and support you unconditionally.  

4. Do a favor – Go the extra mile for someone, do a favor or two for someone today. People remember kindness and trust me, what goes around does come around. Well, not always so don’t get your hopes too high 

5. Lighten up –  There is absolutely no logic is spending all your waking hours thinking, doing and talking about work, your future or your boyfriend. Do your job, give it your best and that’s all you need to do. Remember, just like all things in life – your job too is a part of life and not your entire life. Take care of your health and your mind. Travel, meet new people, read a lot, listen to music – A LOT. 

All in all, love yourself, trust your instincts & do not regret the choices you make as it will all tie in together (I am from the future remember?) …have fun! Remember, that time is the only thing you have, so spend it wisely 

P.S: With regards to your boyfriend, chill! This might sound implausible, but the two of you get married with the blessings of your parents and all is well with both sides of the family  


Sneha Khasgiwale

Time Vs. Money

Well, I am back to making my lists again. Its a bitter sweet experience. Bitter as there is less time to do things you want to do. Sweet as at least I can now afford them when I want to. I have something to look forward to. The question thus is not of “how”, rather “when” will I do those things – read those books, watch those movies, go to those places, but those things..etc.  Its a full circle now, from beginning to make lists, to fulfilling them all thanks to a cushy job, leaving it all for a non profit stint to going almost broke and returning back to corporate life like a phoenix from the ashes.

One thing is for sure – you can’t have your cake and eat it too! Where is the fun in that?

Its not a task



Well, at the beginning of the year, I had taken a resolution to end my blogging vacation. I was successful to say the least as I penned two blogposts within a month (success!). The unsatisfied soul that I am, I further challenged myself to write a blog post every week from thereon. And what do have here? Nothing.

While all of the last two weeks, I looked around for some inspiration for my next blogpost, I also wondered how could some people write every day? How do they come up with ideas? Well each to his own. I felt that I turned a perfectly leisure “write whatever whenever” activity, to a calendarized, more viewership gaining topic writing task. Moral of the story – I should not attempt to write to make a living. That would be a disaster.

Hey, what about thinking what you readers would prefer? Drop a comment as I refuse to play guessing games. So until the next time I feel like writing absolute non-sense, adios amigos!

At 27..

At 27, you begin valuing your mother’s advice [and if only you had listened to her earlier]

At 27, you begin appreciating all that your parents have done for you, all the sacrifices they have made and you begin wondering “How in the world did they do it?”

At 27, you already have stories to share from your travel around the world, interactions with people from diverse backgrounds, interesting anecdotes from all the jobs you held, concerts and gigs you attended, mistakes you made and achievements you have worked hard for

At 27, you can no longer eat like a pig and survive on generous portions of alcohol or dope.

At 27, you prefer a house party with friends to a club with loud music and a bunch of strangers.

At 27, you prefer spending a quiet day at home watching movies, catching up on sleep, lazying around rather than running around trying to be cool/awesome.

At 27, you appreciate and prefer real relationships – spouse, parents, grandparents, siblings, cousins and all others, and you invest in forming strong ties.

At 27, you begin to appreciate the impact of collective effort & realize you are just a cog in the wheel. While your contribution is important, it is single handedly not going to change the face of the world. Hence you know to keep your head over your shoulders & it is okay to relax, it is okay to smell the roses.

At 27, you really stop caring about popular opinions and focus on extracting the maximum of life as per your values. You are confident and comfortable in your own skin.

At 27, you realize the value of money. You know that you need to maximize your potential.

At 27, you realize and appreciate the value of time as you are no longer in your early twenties with the world ahead of you, and are soon approaching 30. You realize this is possibly the best time of your life and you leave no stone unturned to maximize it

At 27, you realize and begin valuing your body by treating it well

At 27, you realize that making a life is more important than making a living

At 27, you have arrived…. With your head firmly on your shoulders and feet on the ground, you are ready to fly

2014 – The year that was

2014 has been a fantastic year, in more than one ways. Here is a brief snapshot of the year gone by.

2014. Happiness. Marriage. First International Trip. Excitement. Honeymoon. Tata Institute of Social Sciences. Formal studies in Human Resources. Pride and sense of satisfaction. Networking. Meeting and making friends with other HR folks. Twitter mini celebrity. Thrill. More interactions. Kerala trip. Serene. Looking for job opportunities. Long distance love [again]. Change of jobs. Change of sector and industry. Happiness. Looking ahead.

This has truly been a remarkable year and 2015 marks my return to the blogging world. While I would be continuing to write here, I am working on building a professional blog on my observations and ramblings in the corporate workspace.

May this year be bigger and better than 2014! Amen!