May 21, 2008

Rest in peace

About a week back, I never thought such a thing could occur in my life.

She had been with me for 15 long years. She was more than a companion. Through thick and thin, success and failures, joy and sadness, she helped me see things differently from her perspective, her eyes. People and events made a lot more sense when she was with me. She has helped me through everything. Every moment I was awake, I could not have avoided her presence in my life. Rock-steady that she was, I have been unfair to her many times. Not giving her the respect she deserved, not treating her the way I should have. I have hurt her, left her broken many times. As is the case with most such actions in life, I immediately regretted doing it. For, I was left gasping without activity or movement in life, literally. Could I be dependant on someone so much in life, I kept wondering! Or was I over-exaggerating her presence? I wished I could not be so helpless without her. I could only wish, sadly.

I now remember those joyous moments she had presented me. How she helped me face the world… made me more confident and feel stronger. She was scared of few things… few little things in life. Never let me swim, for instance. But it was too little a sacrifice to make for what she had given me all her life.

And now, she is gone from my life. After 15 long years, gone.. kaput! I could not rehearse, I could not prepare. I could only stare blankly at the doctor when he said I had to let her go. Like a prophet, he added, it’s only for the better. So I must embrace the reality.

What if I need her again? I hope I don’t. Ever... I will learn to live without her. Still, somewhere in my heart, at some point in time, I will keep missing her.

This piece is in fond memory of my spectacles. I started using contact lens yesterday. Hehe.. :)

May 16, 2008

Not a bad prediction na...

IPL is entering the last phase with about 5/6 matches to go for almost all teams. I had predicted Chennai, Hyderabad and Mumbai to go through to semis. But my fav Deccan Chargers are acting like Dhakkan Chargers. :(

Mumbai could still go through, hitting a purple patch with 5 wins in a row (including 3 over the league toppers and a very comprehensive win over Kolkata today). Chennai look to be safe along with Rajasthan and Mohali.

No point in predicting who would go on to win it. It's all about hitting the form at the right time and as they, peaking at the most appropriate moment. Once into semi-finals, it's all about that day. Remember what happened to Lahore Badshahs in the ICL tournament earlier this year? The only 2 matches they lost in the whole tournament were the 2 of the 3 finals!

Still, if I am forced to choose a team, I would say Yuvraj's Mohali might win the tournament. The team is looking extremely good. That reminds me, have you noticed their opener Shaun Marsh batting? That guy doesn't move at all when the bowler is taking a run-up. Quite a stance it is.. really still.

You thinking, why am I saying all this? To prove my last piece's point - I am still the same guys :)

Guys, I'm the same old me...

The reaction that few people are throwing out on my blog pieces these days is "Oh no, not again! :) One of my friends think I am preaching too much these days like a good-for-nothing gyaani. I tend to agree with her. Not with the good-for-nothing part, but with the preaching part! Indeed, increasingly the perception is that I am on my way to become a spiritual guru who has done nothing worthwhile in life. Mind you, I said perception. The reality, like often, is far from it.

It's easy to see how this perception got built up. People who know me for years now also know the eccentric part of my personality. I am at best, avoidable! :) I have radical (bordering on the irrational) thoughts and views. All that was fine till I was a working professional and all this side was just a parallel. Things apparently turned from bad to worse when I quit my job earlier this year. Easier to be deceived then, since it means I was one step closer to doing nothing! Parents and friends feared that I had lost my ambitious side, a part that has helped me reach wherever I am today. About 5 years back, I wanted to be extremely rich. My conversations and discussion revolved around this theme of making money. I guess the fact that I am talking less about these things is creating the perception that I have lost the competitive drive and zeal.

Now to the fact. I still want to be rich. And I will surely have few crores with me in about 10 years from now (good friends and well-wishers will be happy to read this and retort - that's the over-confident and rude Harish we know ;)). Yes, I liked the book The monk who sold his Ferrari (Robin Sharma). But I also liked I bought the monk's Ferrari (Ravi Subramanian). You need to earn your Ferrari before you decide to give it away. But earning the Ferrari need not be at the cost of not being able to do things that you will after you sell the Ferrari. That is, strike the balance. This is precisely what I intend to do for the next few years till I earn my Ferrari. Earn, I will.

Give you must, but after you earn. Share you must, but after you have. In today's world, money speaks. If you wish to have the power to change things, money is a very important tool. But do not chase it recklessly. Have a purpose in life and live towards it. Earn for the cause and earn big time. Earn using your skills and utilise it for a noble cause. But again, earn you must.

I like and believe in what Infosys' Narayana Murthy says: For Heaven's sake, there is nothing wrong in creating wealth by legal and ethical means. Do not ever get confused about choice between creating wealth and charity. First, you create wealth efficiently and only then can you donate your share a part to any charity. If you don't earn, what will you give?

The only variation I would have from what he says is to create a balance and not just do one of the two parts (earning and charity) at a time. Work for causes whole-heartedly, garner resources, help create opportunities and balance things in this uneven world.

As Robin Sharma writes, the purpose of life is to live with a purpose.

May 13, 2008

Each one, teach one... can't we?

As a part of my profession, I write research reports on Indian economy. One of the key USPs of Indian economy that we (economists/analysts) sell is the country's demography. India has and will continue to have one of the largest pools of working population, the way our demographic structure is. However, I always end this point in my reports by specifying that the policy makers and think-tank will have to exploit this talent pool by ensuring that the youth is skilled and educated. That’s obviously a big challenge in a country as vast as ours. However, this post is exactly on this point – as to how each one of us could make things happen in a small but sure way.

I happened to witness a small incident today. Something that I have seen many times in the past and I am sure most might have witnessed in this city. A group of some 10-year old slum children were playing on the road. Soon after, some petty argument broke out and the children grouped up to fight. All of it was quite normal. What happened after that is also quite normal, unfortunately. A couple of them started abusing each other using the F-words in Hindi. Those words sound so yucky, more so when coming out from children. Clearly, the children were uneducated and came from backgrounds that are not conducive to their ideal development.

I remember another incident that happened few months back. I was at a teaching centre of one of the NGOs at Byculla. There was this little kid of about 11-12 years. I asked him his name to which his reply was Ridhiman. I did not get that clearly the first time, so I asked him to repeat it. He did so. Again, not very clear. The third time I asked him, he patiently repeated his name and then added “Teacher-didi kehti hai ki hamari pehchaan hamare naam se nahi, kaam se honi chahiye”. I could not say anything sensible after that. At that moment, I felt I really could not have added value to that kid.

The difference between the two kids mentioned above is education and values. Of course, many educated people are also filthy and stupid, but that does not take away the fact that every child deserves quality education. If their families are not able to provide it for whatever reasons – that of ability or willingness, it does not render the children undeserving.

In my last post, I had mentioned that I can feel a sense of renaissance that’s sinking upon the people that surround me on a daily basis. I teach a young crowd of anywhere between 18 and 22 years doing Chartered Accountancy and an inspiring proportion of them do have a facet in their personality that is already (at this age) willing to think and act for the under-privileged. The skeptics might say that it is their young age that makes them feel so and with age, the ‘soda-water-spirit’ would fizz out. I do not think so, but that is quite another aspect.

I believe it’s a wonderful trend that should emerge and sustain. It will go a long way in re-balancing opportunities among the privileged and under-privileged. Slowly but surely, as I said in my earlier posts, things will change. Let us all be the change agents and make a difference to the world around us. And not just to our personal lives and those of our loved ones. Let’s expand our universe of people we care for and want to do something for. Let’s be a little less selfish and see around for opportunities that we can handle.

Let’s create a better world.

May 7, 2008


A new era of renaissance is dawning upon us... slowly but surely. India is moving towards the better, bigger, deeper... Extremely pleased to see the developments. Will share them in due course...

Jai Hind