Friday, September 25, 2009

Festivity in true Spirit


Today in India begins the season of festivity and joy, with the arrival of most auspicious days in Hindu calendar the Navratras which means nine auspicious days starts the festive season which would eventually end by 20th of next month. This is the season of festivity, joy and most importantly the symbolic win of good over evil.

With the onset of navratra the first of the slew of festivity starts with Durga Puja, (reverence to goddess Durga). As we celebrate this event at home I happen to intently listen a prayer chanted quite often in goddess Durga’s reverence and I realized that the importance that the our culture gives to the female is immense even to the extent that the prowess of female overpowers any force in the universe.

Devi or the divine feminine is an equal or more then the counterpart to the divine masculine, and hence manifests herself as the Trinity herself - the Creator (Durga or the Divine Mother), Preserver (Lakshmi, Parvati & Saraswati) and Destroyer (Mahishasura-Mardini, Kali & Smashanakali ).

In the contemporary times though, the whole idea of female aspect has taken a shift and today viewed in a complete travesty of what it was traditionally. Too much adaptation of the western ways, a consumerism lifestyle devoid of means to achieve the end is what I believe has led to the shift.

The process of metamorphism has worked wonders for us and much can be attributed to this influence that has ultimately led to the eradication of Caste System, Sati and other negatives from our society but in the osmosis process of cultural exchange we have to be careful to weed out the negative influences.

As Mahatma Gandhi had once said “I have worshipped woman as the living embodiment of the spirit of service and sacrifice” let the spirit of Durga Puja (worship) once again rekindle this emotion among all.

Sac...

Monday, September 14, 2009


Events happen everyday in our lives, some are significant, some passes by; without leaving much flutter, and some go completely unnoticed. Every event though is of relevance and some seemingly insignificant event leave a huge impact in our lives so much so that it has the power to completely transform or mutilate it.

Some action somewhere at some point of time in some unnoticed by lane of a labyrinthine road network in some discreet town and lo the repercussion may come from the most unexpected quarters. That’s life they say.

For me one such event, of huge relevance though happened and I guess it has changed my live in more then one way and yes the event was expected but the enormity of it took me by complete surprise. I became the member of the fatherhood fertinety and for me it was a momentous feeling.

I know this event is witnessed by all and each of us will have his own reason to rejoice or revile but for me it was something like a divine gift as if on a completely overcast day a small patch of cloud opens up and the only ray that comes out, falls on you.

This happened more then a month back and my last few days have been spent on God knows what, and all I could recall is that the time seems like ethereal, just when I thought I have enough of it, little did I realize that it just disappeared. I felt different and it takes time for this to sink in, and this explains why I have been absent from bogging for last so many days.

I am sure this event will leave me more positive, more responsible, more enthusiastic and a more pragmatic view of life. This also means that I should continue blogging because this is one habit that I don’t intend to give up on easily.

Would also like to thank everyone for their wishes and to the readers of our blog for staying put.

Sac..

Sunday, September 6, 2009

After the hiatus

A big HI to all ... its been a while since the page has been updated... guess its been busy time for most of us , but we shall try to be regular once again ...

And to share some lovely news with you... one of our dear friend and author on " perspective "has become a papa :) . Congratulations brother ... I am sure you would become a great dad !! from "babe" ( as he was called in college ) to Dad has been quite a journey.. :) !! wish you and your family all the best from us and all the followers of this lovely page !! Godspeed to a bright future .

Monday, July 20, 2009

Cheers to Democracy !!



Democracy is a bad word in the lexicon of many. Radicals hate it, Liberals feel cheated, Minority feels that they have been let down, Majority feels deprived of their rights and Terrorist feel it is the biggest threat to their objective. Discontent and Disenchantment is the prevailing norm and no one seems to be for it. Yet if I ask any of these so called disillusioned gentlemen a more functioning alternative, they would churn in their bed, cringe their brains, bite their nails but will come up with no answers.

The more you come to think of it the more one gets convinced that this is the way to go. The Radicals have their voice here, the liberals anyways like it, Minority feels that at least they are being heard, Majority still has its say and the terrorist think that they can get away with what ever they want.

One might argue that a presidential form of government or a autocratic rule or even a monarchy or a Oligarchy could be a plausible alternative and my counter argument is a presidential form or a autocratic rule is a recipe for complete disaster, we saw what happened with Germany under Hitler, North Korea under Kim Jong II or closer home Pakistan under a slew of autocratic president. Monarchy is already an archaic concept and I am not sure whether it is being followed in any country of the world.
So; that leaves with very little to choose from. You can twig democracy a bit, make alteration, add some pepper, salt or other spices to suit your taste but have to settle for it.
I don’t see any plausible alternative and is open for any viable, enlightened suggestion but if your suggestion is remotely hinting on a form of governance based on religious lines then I would advice you to take a asylum in Afghanistan.

Now coming to our democracy, it is certainly not without flaws and a lot needs to be improved. Every country has to form the principals of democracy in its own way and have a unique way of functioning, with of course keeping the basic tenants intact. That explains why we are so different from States or other democracy of the world.
One of the many benefits of democracy is the right to opinion. I always believe that if all people thought in the same way the world will be the most boring place to live. The intellectual debate, the nerve wracking discussion, the stimulating thought flow and counter arguments all of these and many other niceties of life will be a thing of past.
In my earlier blog post I talked about opinions and its different shades. I also talked of the on homosexuality issue and that I haven’t been able to form an opinion on the same.

It was great to see so many readers expressing their view, in fact we haven’t had such an outpouring of feeling in any of our previous post, so that was clearly a high point. But among this I also found many radicals who would not consider the opinion of others. As I had said earlier, I respect differing opinion and am delighted that so many stepped out to express themselves. I hope the radicals on both side will leave aside their prejudice and try to give a more rational and humanitarian thought to the whole issue.

Thank god we live in a modern society, by modern I mean adjusting, functioning, vibrant and evolving society, in some other part of the world I would have been behind bars to write such sacrilegious post(At least in the eyes of some)
Cheer to Democracy.
Sac..

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Unseen side of mumbai terror

Stumbled upon this video on a friend's msgngr...... anybody connected to mumbai in any way, should watch this to get a reality check of 26/11 .

Channel 4 - Dispatches (June 2009) - Terror in Mumbai from Mskadu on Vimeo.



Friday, July 10, 2009

Opinion Galore...




(The above pic. are of some gay rallies in Sydney).

Opinions presents a queer set of quandary, it ranges from grand moral withstanding, a liberal overtone, radical to the point of no return, chameleons like, changes with every event or like a whore, ready to shift places at the most opportune time. Excuse me for using such a ignoble example to make my point, but the more I think of it the more convinced I become.

Of course people are entitled to change their opinions based on knowledge, understanding, experience and research, also changing opinions based on these activities is the sign of learned, mature and evolving society but when opinion change happens out of convenience rather then conviction, petty compulsions then out of rational judgments then it assumes a whore like character.

Opinion formation is also quite a task, for me its the collection of information, assimilating them, reading editorials and getting to know of differing views, looking into my experience on the topic, weighing the arguments in favor and against and finally coming with a kind of opinion. Of course its evolving process and can change based on reason and logic. At times opinion formation can take long and having given much thought to it, I still remain indecisive, on other occasion it comes without much effort.

One such issue that has been baffling me for some time now is the legality of Gay relationships and the acceptance of the same in society. Last few week Delhi high court passed a judgment legalizing the gay relationship among individuals. This has created quite a stir and lots of heated arguments were presented for both sides and to be honest both had quite a meaty point.

Here is my take on this, though I still haven’t been able to form opinion completely.

Homosexual relationship has always been existing in the society since the time we can trace History. I have tried to draw a parallel with mental disabilities and homosexual behavior. From what i have gathered from Shakespeare plays in school days and a quick glance at wikipedia, mental disabilities was looked upon a curse from god. People with such disabilities were treated as a social stigma, thrown in prisons, punished with hunters and treated as scum of society. Even in Indian society they were treated as a result of bad karma from past life and thus left to the fringes. With the progress of science and evolutionary process one has come to realize that its a biological disorder and just as any other disease it can be treated and cured. Today a person with such disability can live a normal life with no such stigma attached. It is also true that though we acknowledge disability although we don’t treat it as a normal behavior and try and find cure for the same.

Now coming back to homosexual relationship, this too has had a similar fate and over the years people with such tendency were ridiculed and cursed. It is only now that we have begun to acknowledge it and regard it as just another human behavior; also it has the direct co relationship with commitment to the values enshrined in the fundamental rights of the Indian Constitution that no person shall be denied the rights to equality, freedom of expression, and life, on grounds of sex.

We have to realize that such a behavior, though have been there for ages is still an aberration and does not confirm with the existing socio culture. An open espousal of such activity can only lead to more discomfort and make things more complex. Unlike mental retardation we cannot classify homosexuality as a disease and therefore i am not sure if there is a cure for the same.

I always believe that in acknowledgement likes the solution and denial can only accentuate the problem. Acknowledging homosexuality by making it legal is the first step in solving the problem, beyond this my opinion still remain indecisive...

Sac...

Sunday, July 5, 2009

few days back

Pitter patter on the window and rain snakes slithered down the glass pane. Presenting a distorted view of the world outside. The engine awoke setting the wheels in motion on a damp road. Beads of water hung loosely from the window rubber frame like sentries standing in straight line... dropping and loosing their form one by one.

Still soggy , overcast skies qualifing brightness and the wind ,cool and soothing.gushing in on my face had an effect of openness, of freedom.I was heading towards town. I needed the view.

Water film stretched across the drive as the gears moved .Tyre grooves of passing vehicles sprinkled broken water droplets in every direction like the desultory conversation of the radio jockey. While i kept at it ,rain drops like a barrage of tiny harmless arrows came in heavy in at slant soaking the seat. Red tail lights streaked the fuzziness of evening and night as the car neared the queen's circle.

I was there .I was convalescing .I was glad.

Rahul

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Goal Setting - II

Its the begnning of July, half year gone and half still to go. We have treaded some distance ...much more to go. I remember some one saying me long back that if you do a goal setting exercise and go public you would be compelled to take it to its rightful conclusion or at least you would make a greater effort to take it through because you become answerable to so many. Well, i thought he had a point and a very valid one. When we started this blog last year it started with a goal setting exercise. We decided on the short term measurable goal so that we can access the achievement at regular intervals and rectify the areas where we have gone wrong and decide on the next set of goals. The idea was these measurable goals will serve as a lamp post showing us the path until we stumble on newer ones. Clearly in the hindsight it seems that life without goals is like playground without goalpost you don’t know where to score and at time end up scoring for the opposite camp much to delight of the opponent or like trekking in the jungle where if one gets used to the terrain he/she can just loose the way without realizing that they are in the wrong track all this while.... 1st week of July seems to be a good time to review and revive, to analyze and revamp and to a new set of new targets and to look forward to new achievements, of course it doesn’t comes without failings.

I would not like to go into the details of targets I kept for myself but I would divide theses goals into professional and personal. On personal front I am about 90% from my target which is not bad at all, as for the professional target I am about 50% of what I had set for myself and have to re look at my efforts and the way I went about it. Obviously there has been a gap in my aspiration and my effort and also the path I took to achieve it. Another area where I would like to score some brownies is in respect to a social initiative. I have a vague plan in mind but haven’t been able to implement it or rather let me put it this way, have been reluctant to move ahead. Now that it is on papers and on record I should be able to focus on this aspect as well.

Aside to the readers: You can post ur goals in the comment section or mail us at sac2goal@gmail.com and we'll make a post out of it and you can review it yourself after six months or a year, depending on the time period you have set for urself. Even if we can be about 80% of what we had set, we can really say...yes, we have earned it.

Sac..

Friday, June 26, 2009

Scarcity in Abundance


Have you ever wondered what possibly could be the most scarce commodity in the world, gold, silver, diamonds, platinum, or it could be any other limited resources or may be even petrol. It send down a shiver just by the thought of any of these so called scares commodity would deplete completely and would be a thing of past, but sure it doesn’t threaten the existence of mankind. Now come to think of the stuff we take for granted, stuff that don’t value much and things that we use extravagantly without much thought, becomes scarce, it would be the worse holocaust that will befall the planet and the aftereffects of it are unparalleled in the history of mankind.
The situation here I am trying to create is not out of a sci-fi movie but a very likely possibility.
A quick Google search would be an eye opener and no. of web pages that open up highlighting depleting natural resources is mind boggling. The fear of such an eventuality is looming large and if it is asking for too much to wake up from the slumber it is going to be too late.
In India we are in middle of the Summer, the heat has gripped the nation and temperatures are soaring like never before. There is unexpected rise in temperature and places that once witnessed highest rainfall are in a drought like situation. There is already a lingering fear of a delayed monsoon and even if it comes it will be only about 80% of its normal quota. Most of the states are facing sever water crises and due to the depletion in water levels of major rivers and this in turn means less production of electricity, less food production, rise in inflation and many other aftereffects.

Since 1900, there has been a six-fold increase in water use for only a two-fold increase in population size. This reflects greater water usage associated with rising standards of living. In most part of the world there is no economic cost involved and so there is a tendency to splurge.

The other day watching television I saw a news item which showed that in some parts of the country the problem has become so acute that people are ready to kill each other and some incidents have already been reported where some one had to pay for water with their life.

Some of the direct fallout of water crises can be:-
Water Crises Can Lead to Outbreaks of Diseases
Water Shortages Can Cause Economic Problems
Water Crises Can Cause Political Unrest
Water Shortages Can Cause Global Outrage
Water Crises Could Happen to You

What is really lacking is a concerted effort by every individual and policy makers to solve this problem; with the recognition that there in no unlimited supply of water. If this does not happen then you would have to pay for water with the price of diamond or gold and if it gets worse, even with your life.
Sac..

Friday, June 19, 2009

The Career Venn



It’s that time of the year again when anxiety runs high, trepidation is the only feeling; temperatures soar not only in terms of mercury rising but also in the heat of the moment. The verdict is almost out, some are gearing up to fly high and ready to soar others are still licking their wounds and cursing their soothsayers whom they had disposed so much faith on. Yes, it’s that time of the year when the board results are out and every one has to make a choice. Richard Bach Says “We live by the power of our choices”. Yes choices are what we make, and we are what we are by the power of our choice.
Just like migratory birds these young, vivacious and enthusiastic students with a dream in their eyes will be flocking to the higher seats of learning. It’s like swimming in the sand praying for some holy water. What awaits them no one knows; the future is all clouded in the shades of black and grey. Just like kayaking in the ocean with waves becoming graver with every passing second, you always have the choice of coming back to the shore or keep on moving; enjoying the trill of it like an adventure junky. Of course if you were to reach the other end you need right tools and technique. Merely a courageous heart or being a junky is not good enough. Nor is it enough to have merely willpower and right attitude.
This Venn diagram may be a good tool to make the right choices and take the correct decision that can help you tide the wave and eventually reach where only a few can treed.
As very clearly depicted in the diagram, Success is the amalgamation of all the three attributes i.e. Interest, Scope and Aptitude.
Say for example, if a particular area has interest and scope but you lack aptitude for it, the result is poor performance. Similarly if an area has lots of Scope and you have right aptitude for it but you lack the interest then it results in low happiness also if there is both interest and Aptitude but the Scope is low then clearly the growth would stagnate.
So go out there, at least try and make the right choices and follow you dreams because following dream is the most important thing. It all depends how much hunger you have and if you really crave for it, all the doors will open up. Also be an adventure junky for life, enjoy the process and have fun.
They say “Fortune favors the Brave”, so be brave enough to take your chances and surely the gods will be smiling at you.

Found these lyrics from Bon Jovi to be very apt…
“Some day I’ll be Saturday night Ill be back on my feet, I’ll be doin alright
It may not be tomorrow baby, that’s ok
I ain’t going down, gonna find a way”
Sac...

Monday, June 15, 2009

I dont have much to say today ... Would like to share this piece of music ..

Take out a moment and listen .... it feels like I am 12 and home again :)



Rahul

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Colour of the Skin


We have known what media can do, the power that it wields and also how irresponsible it can get. Sensationalizing is the fodder on which media lives and gossip is what it swears by. The latest talking point in Indian media is the so called "Raciest attacks" on Indian Students living abroad. In Various News Channels and Newspaper there is a constant rhetoric of racial attacks and it gets louder by the day. From the way media has been reporting this, it seems that every Australian is raciest and studying or working in Australia is clearly not the best thing you can do.

With so much of racisms in air I wonder what it is all about, also is it only about the colour of your skin or it could also be the way one looks, his income level or even sexual preference? Are we less raciest the so called raciest society? Even on a individual level haven’t we shown the tendency of racism at different point of our lives. Living in Delhi I have know how difficult it gets for a person from North East to lead a perfectly normal life without developing a feeling of hatred for anything remotely Indian, the difficulty that a resident of Bihar faces working in any part of the country and all the more in Maharastra or instances were a poor is considered entirely a different race from the so called upwardly mobile is not an exception.

So the whole talk of racism is misplaced and misconstrued, I am very much against any kind of violence; more so on students, the fact that the govt. has been a muted spectator and police grossly incapable and unwilling to act is deplorable but to brand a whole society raciest is being far too irresponsible. Also i think that the attacks have lot to do with economic downturn and job losses.

The world has made great strides in trying to curb this menace, we have come a long way from the Ku Klux Klan gang, Religious Wars, Cast System and many other religious and ethnic divide but we have a long way to go. We are still driven by religious fervor, sectarian politics, petty fights and maltreatment based on the levels of income. Any nation; be it (Australia or India) can truly come alive when each group will come over petty differences and acts as a unified entity, at the same time retain its originality. If each nation can do that only then we can call the world a truly Globalize Village and the whole talk of racism will be the thing of the past.

Sac..

Saturday, June 6, 2009

INDIANS AT THE T20 WORLD CUP

These colours and sounds are uplifting ... green grass below , flags fluttering above , swinging bats, flying white ball, accelerating voice of commentators and those collective hands in the stands waving 4s ..

It has begun ... sweet echoing willow, sliding jersys , scampering boots , shies at the stumps and collective aahs from the crowd.

And it is building up ... chanting anthems , painted faces, thumping of chests , fists in air and war cries calling out boldly for a challenge.

Its the T20 world cup and its back after 2 years . This form of cricket is more about the new generation and its way of meeting life with a certain fearlessness.... the little audacity in self belief.Chancing uncertainity by backing instinct is what is new in the minds of these young players.

They say man has progressed more than other species on this planet because of its ability to understand and take calculated risk . And with passing time we've become increasingly better at it.

And thats how the young Indians think today ... perhaps thats why we are defending champions.

Rahul

Monday, June 1, 2009

Have i earned it??



Have you ever felt a sense of betrayal, someone has been cheating you all along in spite of all your commitment and best effort. You feel let down and disappointed and suddenly as if you have been transported to another world, you seem completely detached from the happenings around you. You might have been in the best of places, rocking music, great food but then nothing seems right, nothing tastes right.
Is this the betrayal in love I am talking of ?? naa…come on guys I know that’s the first thing that comes to mind but here I am trying to talk about a more serious issue not to suggest that issues pertaining to love non serious and whimsical. The issue here is related to self and not anyone else. We have always believed in our abilities and had disposed our faith to it, but there are times when this very self has let us down.
Most of you must have watched the advertisement of Cadbury Bourneville, the caption goes like "Cadbury Bourneville cannot be bought, it must be earned".
This advertisement on television really got me thinking, and I could relate this to various instances in my life where I had a lingering question that did I really earn this to have it. In such times there is invariably a feeling of detachment and disenchantment. The place, the people and plot don’t matter, and a feeling of guilt overpowers me, just like a school boy who has been caught eyeing a good looking teacher.
In other times the settings is very ordinary, but the mood is exuberant, the music is good but the spring in my step is a step ahead then the beat, and the whole atmosphere is charged up not because of the influence of alcohol but the feeling that I deserved this.
In my B-school days we were engulfed by a similar felling at the success of the maiden event called perspective. What started with just an idea developed into a full fledged event and we pulled it of magnificently. There was no monetary gain or a career enhancement nor was it about winning laurels and accolades but the trill of its success was beyond comprehension and I guess it was more so because of the honest effort all three of us had put in. No wonder we have named this blog as Perspective. Even in an everyday setting; the joy magnifies several times if I know that I have been honest to myself and that I deserved every bit of it.
So next time you really want to enjoy and be on top, just ask yourself “Have I earned it??

Sac...

Sunday, May 24, 2009

First Half is over - time for a "STRATEGIC BREAK"

Some how they managed to stick 30 candles on the same 1.5 pound cake that i have been cutting even before i knew what it was.

Counting the candles was fun and blowing them off was challenging. But every year i made sure i had enough to blow them off. Yeah I blew each one of them " year over year"

Nothing can be reversed, things already said (good/bad) can not be taken back but there are another 30 years to relive it; hour by hour day by day and year by year.

Bon Voyage!!!

NASH

Saturday, May 23, 2009

INTENT , WILL & A PACK OF MARLBORO

The caption on Marlboro lights makes for string of interesting thoughts.

" SMOKING KILLS " in bold, covers almost bottom half of the packet providing information to customers on ill effects of smoking, unequivocally - though am not sure it changes intent for any of us smokers. . .lol !

Warning of disastrous consequences on health is not brand new piece of information and really, reiteration of this by the manufacturers ( obviously to meet statutory requirements) has no bearing on their intent as well.

Information is powerful , yet intent rules -for both the customers and the manufacturer.

We all are party to similar behaviour, deep down we know what we need to be doing or what is the right thing to do in most situations, despite that it is the intent which differs.

Now, lets take this and turn it around, for a positive message to all.

Can we say willingness is more powerfull then intellect . If you are willing to give it a go even though you may not have complete information or intelligence , you are more likely to get favourable results. Let me give you an example to seal the argument . Forrest Gump was not very intellectually inclined.but he did stuff - be it cross country run, table tennis - and he excelled.

While not begetting intelligence and power of knowledge , at our individual levels the power really lies in going ahead of the doubt which information can create; and charting your way into the direction of your will ,even though intelligence might be sneering the decision.

The IBM ads which go " STOP THINKING - START DOING " or the vintage nike line " JUST DO IT "is a befitting extension of this thought.

Do write in your thoughts , while i go get a smoke .... :)

Rahul.


Thursday, May 21, 2009

Change....is it really so imp.??



So finally the day has come when things might change or will it. As much as i would like it not to change, deep down i know that things change and that it would change for good is what i am hoping for.


From being a complete nerd, anonymous, shy, small built, malnourished and i can continue...i have had quite a ride and many paths to tread. Its been a wonderful, exciting and eventful journey to say the least and when i look back, a very fulfilling one. This also takes me back in time when i was just about 11/12 and studying in a non decrepit school in town. Back then studying in a big school was a dream and i use to look with awe and admiration at students coming out of bus, wearing those really smart uniform. There was also a feeling of exasperation and envy for i was not the part of the elite group and was missing something big in life. Then suddenly as if it came from heaven like a meteorite that has shook the earth from nowhere, my dad asked me if i really want to join that school, like a oracle who knew all along what was in my mind. And before i knew it i was the part of so called elite group. To my surprise i mingled with them like water in milk and the feeling of being a part of privileged group completely vanished.
Then the next big event...cut to our 12 boards and i feared miserably, the only person who stared in disbelieve at my marks was...guess who...me of course.


When i first landed in Delhi and it was like a revelation..everything seemed so big and hostile. Putting up in a flat on top floor with the weather showing no signs of mercy, no air conditioner, cooler the only saving grace and that too a shared with four friends, it seemed back then that having cold drinking water was a luxury, having a fridge would be a super luxury. We didn't dream of dating good looking Delhi girls but of drinking cold water.It actually seemed like a manna from heave only to wake up to reality and find that the nearest place to get water was a municipal established water cooler a kilometer away. If that was not enough the realization of the fact that we have to travel in the infamous Delhi buses know from everything but for safe driving.


But all this did not dampen our enthusiasm one bit and we made sure that we treaded every bit of Delhi never mind the hostilities. I must admit three years in Delhi changed me in more ways then i can think of.


That was then, crisscross to my Bschool days in Ahmadabad were life was king size. Two years went in a whisker, tried to do so many things but so many things left undone. When the end came too fast to soon, little did i realized that's it time to step in the so called real world.


Five years into reality and so much water has flown under the bridge. Somewhere between the time span i come across a grey strand of hair, just to realize that i am ageing but that feeling disappear quickly in the haze of the day. And now i have just turned 30..does it change anything...i have always believed in "18 till i die" philosophy but is it time to relook at old thoughts and give way to new set of rules? I don't know and the question has not found a answer. I guess with every new phases i have changed without realization and improvisation; and would be best if the process is natural and not forced upon. The point is why the hell should i care when the process has always been natural. As i had said earlier things change but there are something that never change and neither will i want it to change.


Sac...

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Bill Gates to the Gen Next----

Here's some advice Bill Gates dished out at high school speech about 11 things they did not learn at school. He talks about how feel-good politically correct teaching have created a full generation of kids with no concept of reality and how this concept set them up for failure in the real world. Go ahead tell the kids:-
1) Life is not fair, get use to it
2) The world wont care about your self esteem. The world will expect you to accomplish something before you fell good about yourself.
3) You will not make Forty thousand dollars out of high school. You wont be a vice president with a Car, Phone until you earn both.
4) If you think teacher is tough, wait until you get a boss. He doesn't have tenure!!
5) Flipping burger is not beneath your dignity. Your grandparents had a different word for burger flipping they called it opportunity.
6) If you mess up its not your parents fault, so don't whine about your mistakes, learn from them.
7) before you were born your parents weren't as boring as they are now. They got that way from paying your bills, cleaning your clothes and listening to you talk about how cool you are. So before you save the rain forest from the parasites of your parents generation, try delousing the closet in your own room.
8) Your school may have done away with winners and losers but life has not. In some school they have abolished failing grades and they'll give you as many times as you want to get the right answer. This doesn't bear the slightest resemblance to anything in real life.
9) Life is not divided into semesters. You dont get summers off and very few employers are interested in helping you find yourself. Do that on your own time.
10) Television is not real life(nor are video games). In real life people actually have to leave the coffee shop and go to job.
11) Be nice to nerds. Chances are you will end up working one. 

Words of wisdom there from the worlds most successful man. Sure we can relate to our lives even if we are working and in some sense we all are students, still learning and growing.

Sac..


 

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Reclaim Your Life

Looking at the misty sky with rain drizzling down, the chirping of bird, the aroma of the hot darjeeling tea mixed with the smell of earth and to compliment it all a Sunday afternoon. Sometimes one cannot help but count the blessings and be grateful for all we have but that is an ephemeral feeling. Come Monday morning and the whole feeling is lost in the daze of the day, where the chirping of bird is replaced by the mobile phone ring tones, shouts, and arguments, the aroma of tea is taken over by sweaty summer and the relaxed attitude is metamorphised into a hyperactive mode. The whole feeling of containment is overridden with dissatisfaction and distress.

It is a fact of life that one has to go to work on a Monday morning, toil hard to achieve success and sweat it out but the whole thing can be made into a much more enjoyable experience rather then a drag that one has to go through every day. I have encountered some people who take the level of enthusiasm in work to altogether a different level and from the look of it seems that they are thoroughly enjoying their work even when doing what it seems to be a very menial work.
The other day in gym we again chanced upon a discussion on happiness and containment in life. There were skeptics who said that there was too much of a problem and confusion to really enjoy and be happy, others had a differing view. One of them came up with a very meaningful quote “Problems are inevitable, worrying is optional”.

Imagine a life without problems and challenges, the whole world would be so dull, there would not be any aspirations, people would be content with what they do without any hint of anxiety and to be honest a situation beyond comprehension. 

I believe the so called Ethiopian world would have made our lives more miserable, stunted any kind of growth and taken us back to Stone Age. In fact problems are a boon to the mankind and the progress of our race can be directly attributed to the problems we face. The current financial meltdown has caused lot of distress and depression, the big corporations who had a air of invincibility has fallen like a pack of cards and a domino like affect has gripped the whole world. With such a grim scenario it is easy to fall prey to the lure of negativity and worry but I am convinced that a new world order will emerge rooted to ethical standard and will be much more robust and firm. As Obama had said “House on the rock”.

So next time you encounter a problem stop worrying and start acting. This video of Tata Safari is absolutely amazing…do check it out

Recommended Reading –
“Fish”
“The Pilgrimage”


Cheers,

Sac...

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Talk to me




For me reading is conversing with the author.

More appropriately listening . Words flowing into sentences ...talking to me.Like swishes of a brush giving form and colour to thoughts...holding my attention and leaving me elated.

I present short excerpts from two of my favourite books: Wind in the willows & To kill a mocking bird.

Wind in the willows is an endearing fable of Toad, Rat , Mole ,badger and otter . Their frolic around the river and confrontation of problems created by Toad who lives in an imposing "Toad Hall " . The animals talk and behave like humans and the result is jolly mischief and sheer entertainment .

Toad is imprisoned and depressed . He hasn't spoken for days , but now he has a daughter of the jailer attending to him :

"When the girl returned, some hours later, she carried a tray, with a cup of fragrant tea steaming on it ;and a plate piled up with very hot buttered toast, cut thick , very brown on both sides , with butter running through the holes in it in great golden drops,like honey from honeycomb.The smell of buttered toast simple talked to toad and with no uncertain voice talked of warm kitchens, of breakfasts on bright frosty mornings, of cozy parlour firesides on winter evenings, when one's ramble was over and slippered feet were propped on the fender; of purring of contended cats and twitter of sleept canaries."

The description is so amazing that its no surprise that my culinary vices arise every time i read this. Samuel butler has rightly said : " all animals, except man, know that principal business of life is to enjoy it"

And still further , listening to these men/ women has given clarity to jumbled thoughts which ,on many occasions, I've willingly embraced as code of conduct for life; Like these few quotes from Harper lee's classic novel which talk about innocence and goodness of life :

"Mockingbirds don't do one thing but make music for us to enjoy. They don't eat up people's gardens, don't nest in corn cribs, they don't do one thing but sing their hearts out for us. That's why it's a sin to kill a mockingbird"

"I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand. It's when you know you're licked before you begin but you begin anyway and you see it through no matter what."

Suggest u pick one of these as soon as u can !

Rahul

Friday, May 1, 2009

Its All in the Mind….

Watching David Blaine the other day on television makes me realize what mind power can do. Even if the unbelievable shows he put up has to do with tricks, illusion and camera work, the show of endurance and courage like being in the Box for 44 days, hanging over river Thames with no food, Spending 7 days in a transparent coffin with 6 inches of head room or standing on a pole for 42 hrs, 62 hours standing encased in an ice block etc is nothing short of superhuman effort.. He even sets a world record for holding his breath for 17 minutes on The Oprah Winfrey.

Amazing feat by any standard, just goes on to show what powers does human poses if only he starts believing. Watching some amazing feat in Riply’s Believe it or not makes you wonder if it is humanly possible to pull off such mind-boggling trick with such ease. One cant help but to relate it with ancient Indian saint and yogi’s who performed such amazing acts which are beyond the comprehension of humans in today’s times. Even today one can trace them to some remote corner of the world and be spellbound by their acts.

The other day in Gym we were discussing usual stuff about life and work, and somehow this discussion took a turn about being successful. I came up with the argument that everyone in his capacity does his best, puts his best foot forward and does everything he/she can to be successful but not everyone is successful. This gentleman had a very interesting point to make, he said that it’s true that everyone in his capacity tries his best but what makes the difference is the extra mile one is willing to travel. That extra or the little push, believe in oneself and sincerity of effort is what differentiates an achiever from a non achiever.

I couldn’t have agreed more and could immediately relate with the quotation by Arnold Schwarzenegger hung in the gym right in front of us, it says:-

“The Mind always fails first and not the Body; the trick is to make the mind work for you and not against you”.

Off course he was relating it to the art of Body Building but this is so true for everything that we do in life. Most of us cannot be David Blaine or even come close to being those Yogis’s but we can certainly travel that extra mile, give that little extra push, endure a little more and play even harder and that may makes all the difference.

Sac…

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Religiousness vs. Spirituality


Last few days a very pertinent question has been troubling me, in fact this question has been around for quite some time and I have tried to answer it in one possible way or other but have never been able to come up with a defining answer. The question though on the face of it seems small and insignificant but this dichotomy has started having a slight bearing on my personal life as well. I have carefully observed that in last few years I have refused or have been very reluctant to actively involve my self in any kind of religious festivals or visiting temples or any religious places, and have with a small reservation been participating in most of the well defined rituals. I have been searching for the answers but it has seldom come. The answer I guess has come in my visits to places close to nature where I feel empowered and spirited and closest to God. One such place is the picture that you see, a place that I have been visiting from last fours years and have never been able to get enough of it. In fact the more I visit this place the more enchanting it grows and the lure to visit again is stronger the ever.

The climb of the mountain and the sudden retreat, and the arrival at the valley with small streams flowing and if you are one of those really lucky ones to visit the place at the right time of the year….  A sea of butterflies of all hues and colour would welcome you. After a further lurch what awaits you is an enchanting waterfall and if you happen to be as adventurous type as me and dare to take a dip in icy cold water then it’s an almost holy experience. Also my once in a year or two, visit to the mountains of Sikkim ( The Himalayas) where I trek almost to the foothills of Mt. Kanchanjunga is as power an experience as it gets. At the edge of cliff you realize the distance between life and death is less then an inch. Also the huge mountain ranges stretching beyond the point your eyes can see, the breathtaking view, the chill of air all but make you very vulnerable. The small act like looking at the sun every morning and gaining strength has actually become one of the most important task of the day.

The whole feeling that comes with it when realization dawns that your existence is almost less then a speck of dust or next to insignificant and that you are in all respect is one with nature and in a way god

It also gives you a different kind of high, a kind which no drug on earth can give and also has a more lasting affect then any thing else.

On the contrary going to the places of worship does not have a similar affect; it does give the feeling of tranquility and peace but cannot match the aura of being close to the nature.

Being religious or spiritual is still a tricky question; I believe that different religions of the world have been given a form and well defined structure so that man can live in a society which I think is very important. Also with evolution of man, the culture and norms have also evolved in a way that it suits the modern times and the contemporary lifestyle. These cultures bind us and give us an uniqueness… for the regular readers if you can remember my article on “Indian way of Life”. At the same time I firmly believe that one can remain fully ingrained to culture and also be deeply spiritual in his on way which has nothing to do with religion and rituals.

Sac...

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

The Audacity of Hope


Watching Obama speak yesterday on CNN was the kind of fodder for my soul that i was yearning for a very long time. More often that not we get so much caught up with our day to day activity that we tend to forget the real we and the goals that we have set for ourselves until there is a moment of revelation and the reality dawns on us. One such inspiring and eye opening speech was the yesterdays address to the congress. Here was a leader who was willing to call a spade a spade, who was willing to travel that extra mile, who was willing to take risk and hard decisions and was willing to do whatever it takes to build the house on the rocks and not house on the sand.
I have been trying to read the book " The Audacity of Hope" by Obama and what stuck me most was the clarity of thought and an honest approach to solving the problems faced by today's generation. I am not sure how much of that will translate into real economic recover and wealth generation but even if 20% of what he said can be put into action and implemented, it would surely take America and the world to newer heights of economic development. In his speech he also talked about the current state of the world where we look for shortcuts, instant gratification, quick results just like fast food and ATM Cards but the road to recovery would be long and painstaking, more troubled times ahead, more pain and heartburn's but there is a glimmer of hope and light at the end of tunnel.
I myself is a die hard optimist and share Obama's optimism in the future of the world. We have seen the world emerging stronger from the catastrophic events like World War I & II, The great Depression, the Hiroshima Bombing, the various natural calamity that has befallen our planet time and again and i have all the reason to believe that if the direction and the leadership is right it will only emerge stronger. It is also the fact that we don't live in a unipolar world with America being the only superpower, emerging economies like China, India, Brazil are the next hotbed of powers but for us to reach the next levels the world leaders has to share the vision that Obama has.
His vision and the road map outlined in 5 pillars for the foundation of economic recovery is the way to go...namely:-
1) New rules for Wall Street that will reward drive and innovation
2) New investments in education that will make our workforce more skilled and competitive
3) New investments in renewable energy and technology that will create new jobs and industries
4) New investments in health care that will cut costs for families and businesses
5) New savings in federal budget that will bring down the debt for future generations. 
 As someone had said..."Extraordinary times require Extraordinary actions" lets hope these are more then words and translate into action and the audacity of hope will someday be reality for the world.
Sac...

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

April Fool's Day



There is a famous saying which says " You can fool some people all the time, you can fool all the people some time but you cant fool all the people all the time" am not very sure how relevant that saying is in today's scenario

In India nothing gets bigger then elections, the mother of all event and festival. We are scheduled for voting in next 15 days and the whole country is already in a tizzy. From television to newspaper, sms campaign to portering, street talks to roadside rumors, no stone is left unturned by these wily politicians. In one of those election rallies i heard one of them make such promises that if he were to come to power things would change for ever, no one will ever sleep hungry and all will be literate, just the kind of Ethiopian world that Shri Ravindranath Tagore had imagined ( Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high...where knowledge is free). It doesn't matter what he did in last five years, the kind of corruption charges he faces, doesn't matter the fact that his constituency has shown a negative growth, this person has the audacity to face the public with shameless arrogance and impunity. The most surprising thing is that the poor public will again buy into his argument, may be this candidate will be re-elected and in all probability things are going to get worse.

Having heard him speak i wondered why people celebrate April fool's day on 1st of April. I am sure that there is some crazy reason for doing so and if you search wikipedia you would know, but the point is we get fooled all the time. Why blame these poor people, the so called upwardly mobile, learned, opinion makers of the society are no less impressionable then any of them. American citizens have been the biggest fools of the century and when the fed said that nothing can go wrong with their economy knowing very well that some day bubble will burst, they all seemed to believe him. United States have also been sucessful in fooling the world, we all know that the Taliban is the creation of America and its allies, but no one is willing to look at the real issue. The whole invasion of Iraq was a sham, the weapons of mass destruction was never to be found because there wasn't any. One can easily say it to be the oil diplomacy of worst kind and yet Bush was re-elected by the wise Americans. Sometimes i think that the whole concept of organized religion is basically to fool people for some grave, vested interest. The world has always been fooled by some kind of conspiracy theory and its seems that there is no end to that. The big corporations like Enron, WorldCom and now Satyam have fooled people for decades and i am sure many more are party to this act. The politicians fool us all the time and we get fooled all time.


To my mind the April fools day should have a broader connotation and world over it should be recognized as a national holiday, it should be a month long celebration with lots gusto and funfair paying homage to those who have left us gullible and week. What do you guys think....
sac...

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

"Seeing is believing"


And i always thought "seeing is believing."
This actually reminds me of a incident in the last few days of our post graduation programme. The hay days were just about to end and the new reality was round the corner. We grudgingly passed the days hoping against hope that it would never end and feeling of nostalgia completely gripped the campus. We have had great placement season baring a few who actually nurtured a feeling that the whole system was unfair to them cos. they deserved much more then a petty job, nevertheless they too were disoriented with the imminent end  in sight of the paid holidays.  
With the end in measurable distance and future up for grabs the only pertinent question that was bothering everyone was what the future beholds and who could actually be the next shining star among us. So much so that some creative mind thought that this could make a great fodder for some discussion and gave a much needed impetus to our shagging spirits. The college was now rife with speculation as to who could possibly be at the cover of time magazine anytime in future. There were many contenders for the coveted post and as obvious as it may sound i was completely out of the contention. Behind closed doors my batch mates had heated discussions and debates but i am not sure weather they actually managed to pen down few individuals for the same. Though i never even figured in the discussion i somewhere felt to have been given a raw deal and should have been atleast present in some small, meaningless, isolated, one in a many, discussion. 
Never mind that, the above picture leave me amazed and if not in real life, in reel life i surely can now be on covers. For anyone who saw and understood Matrix or the Trueman Show the whole concept of real life is at question and sometime i wonder how real is the so called real life and how unreal is the reel life???? The point is i am in the billboars and that makes me happy and  i can find all the reason to justify it (We just crossed 1000 hits.....and i am loving it)
Sac...

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

That day !

That day , like most days , my eyes moved stealthily just to catch a small glimpse of her - -  she was there , gently holding a rose in her palms.  The dainty flower, radiant as the vivd sight in my memory, lying blissfull and silent at the center of her attention.

Ensconced in a green chair ,her arms outstretched a tad ,elbows resting calmly on the office table.Brown hair in slight curves hung over her forward leaning shoulders ..fingers softly turned the slender stem of the yellow flower ...the slow movement appeared to turn back time ...taking her away ...thoughts, as if transparent, floating question in a whisper ...

It was women's day and I realised something that morning.

Rahul

Saturday, March 21, 2009

BONUSES - I SAY WHY NOT ?

This is just a short Saturday take on the recent uproar coming in from almost every quarter on the reclaim of bonuses from AIG. 
Its difficult for me to understand as to why we suddenly seem to wake up and complain about equity, moral deprivation and greed all tossed together like salad over a kitchen bar. Perhaps , now spice of morality is being added to the bring the zing back to the water cooler conversations on financial quagmire, which by the way, seems to be serving as the ready explanation for all inefficiencies around us .  

Much as we may dislike the thought, the world has always been like this -a place of haves and have nots. From the archaic ages where people haggled for food and protection, to the medieval power struggle on land, the current era is all about gathering financial might . The empires still remain - only the underlying form has changed .Earlier they came in forms of Romans , Mughals , English and now they are better known as the AIGs, GEs, Arcelor Mittals , Tatas, Reliances etc. But we must respect that time abound ,they have been the best in doing what they set out to.

To reiterate, there has never been an equal and / or fair distribution of anything -and that includes money. 

For all who feel bonuses should not have been given out , and with no pretence of being a myth breaker , i thought i would offer a slight paradigm shift : AIG has been the carrying heavy troubled assets . Currently out of$ 2.7 trillion in toxic assets , the troubled & bailed out corporation has been able to trim down to $1.6 trillion and this would not have been possible without the contribution of its employees . And they need to work further to bring it under acceptable levels . Maintaining competitiveness through human resource comes with a price tag. perhaps equivalent to an exclusive category this time. 

While we all are pots of selfishness many times brimming with greed, we never hesitate to opine when few seem to do better than others. It is also a fact that we will always have reasons to feel belittled and wronged. Its just a reinforcement for human and social behavior. Nothing more.

Rahul

PS : This gives an opportunity to table a long standing thought . Since the time subprime became a house hold scare across the world, and all the packages offered by governments across the world in terms of fiscal as well as monetary , i have been thinking that that there has been no direct measure to attack and focus on the root cause of trouble - the so called toxic assets -they are still existent in their initial form. The risk perceived around such securities needs to plummet . It is only now that the fed has offered to purchase these ( of $1 trillion )and hold . This to me is the first direct attempt to resolve the situation. The previous ones have been centered around on bail out of organizations and restoring the credit flow  ( deployed to  ease the tight credit situation and restore confidence ) .This one is the first to hit the bull's eye.