December 30, 2009
December 29, 2009
P.S. 2 (updated later): I am told by the blogger that it was a mistake and that he had copied the text long back & did not remember where he had taken the text from! I am still keeping this post with an intention to hope that such things are not repeated, not just with my writing but any original writing.
December 26, 2009
December 21, 2009
December 20, 2009
Firstly, I do not subscribe to the idea of unconditional love. I believe human beings are too complex a creature to do something selflessly keeping his own happiness at stake. A one-off act could be seen, but loving is hardly a short-term act. So to love without keeping his own interest in mind is too improbable. If I am in a relationship, I am in it for my own sake. So is the other person. When such self-centered interests gel with one another, it creates a lasting fulfilling relationship.
Why do I admire the man shown in the video then? It's not because I thought he was doing a selfless act or was loving unconditionally. The admiration comes from the fact that his happiness does not come by being associated with a charming outwardly good-looking girl who is highly educated, well presentable and someone who can add some 'status' to his life. I was amazed by his source of happiness. He has been able to remain content by spending ample time with the girl he loves, though she cannot reciprocate in a way most of us would expect in a relationship. Her well-being being the key factor determining his happiness is a rare sight, especially with her having gone through an unfortunate accident. That is what made me feel good about what he was doing.
Hypothetically, if he were to come upto me and talk of how much sacrifice he is doing to be with her and how he has kept his self-interest aside to take care of her, I would lose a large part of my admiration for him. What I appreciate is an acceptance that someone is in a particular situation in life because he wants to be in it. If someone starts to package it like a selfless, unconditional act, I would laugh my heart out.
So what I am effectively saying is, if Mr.A is in love with a good looking, 'socially acceptable' girl and Mr.B with someone like in the video, I would not respect B more than A for him being selfless. I would rather respect the make of his heart/soul that chooses to remain happy with something like what he is doing. Fact is, both are in the relationship because that is what makes them feel good and happy. The day that ceases, they would walk out citing one or the other reason. Rather, they should or else the relationship becomes burdensome.
P.S.1: Purely my thoughts. Don't have to be subscribed to! :)
P.S.2: I have no intention to demean the girl in the video. I do not mean that she is inferior in any way to a 'normal' girl.
December 18, 2009
Sure, love isn't a war or a competition to win or beat. Yet, I am truly spellbound having seen this video. Hats off to him for showing me and many like me the way to love.
For me, there is no better definition of true love than to do everything possible to make your partner happy AND still feel content & blissful yourself and not feel burdened. The second part of the statement is as important as the first, if not more.
When I look into my life today, with whatever I have and I don't, one thing that characterizes me these days is the lack of passion for anything. Strange yet true. Nothing, and I mean nothing, really incites me to be enthusiastic about. Events, people, work, matter, pleasure, sports, books. Nothing!
I am not mentioning this in a complaining/unhappy manner. It is just an observation of a strange phase. As much as I feel it's crucial, I am seeing myself without it. Any negatives? Well, just that the emotions are never too extreme in this phase. Never too happy, nor too down. The volatility of mood is lower. Mind is still.
As an aside, had been to a superb concert last night. It was truly blissful to see/listen to some extremely talented musicians performing together - Zakir Hussain, Shankar Mahadevan, Sivamani, U Shrinivas and Selvaganesh.
December 13, 2009
thartharati is dharti ko raungati faujiyo ki ik paltan ka shor
ya sehame se aasman ko chirata huwa, banduko ki salaami ka shor
shaurya kya hai, hari wardi par chamakate huye chand pital ki sitare
ya sarhad ka naam dekar andekhi kuchh lakiro ki numaish
shaurya kya hai
dur udate khamosh parinde ko goliyo se bhun dene ka ehsaas
ya sholo ki barsat se pal bhar mein ek sehar ko shamshan bana dene ka eshaas
shaurya, shayad ek hosla, shayad ek himmat, hamare bohot ander
majhab ke banaye daayare tod kar, kisika haath tham lene ki himmat
goliyo ki betahsha shor ko apni khamoshi se chunoti de pane ki himmat
marti maarti is duniya mein nihatte datte rehne ki himmat
shaurya, aane wale kal ki khatir
apne hisse ki kaynat ko, aaj bacha lene ki himmat
shaurya kya hai
An extract from a poem penned by Javed Akhtar, recited by Shahrukh Khan for the movie Shaurya.
December 11, 2009
In a London Laundromat:
AUTOMATIC WASHING MACHINES:
PLEASE REMOVE ALL YOUR CLOTHES WHEN THE LIGHT GOES OUT
Outside a London second-hand shop
WE EXCHANGE ANYTHING - BICYCLES, WASHING MACHINES, ETC. WHY NOT BRING YOUR WIFE ALONG AND GET A WONDERFUL BARGAIN?
Spotted in a safari park:
ELEPHANTS PLEASE STAY IN YOUR CAR
Seen during a London conference:
FOR ANYONE WHO HAS CHILDREN AND DOESN’T KNOW IT, THERE IS A DAY CARE ON THE 1ST FLOOR
Notice in a field:
THE FARMER ALLOWS WALKERS TO CROSS THE FIELD FOR FREE, BUT THE BULL CHARGES
On a repair shop door:
WE CAN REPAIR ANYTHING (PLEASE KNOCK HARD ON THE DOOR, THE BELL DOESN’T WORK)
People in other countries sometimes go out of their way to communicate with their English-speaking tourists. Here is a list around the world :
At a Budapest zoo:
PLEASE DO NOT FEED THE ANIMALS.
IF YOU HAVE ANY SUITABLE FOOD,
GIVE IT TO THE GUARD ON DUTY.
Doctors clinic, Rome
SPECIALIST IN WOMEN AND OTHER DISEASES.
THE MANAGER HAS PERSONALLY PASSED ALL THE WATER SERVED HERE.
In a Nairobi restaurant:
CUSTOMERS WHO FIND OUR WAITRESSES RUDE SHOULD WAIT AND SEE THE MANAGER.
In a City restaurant:
OPEN SEVEN DAYS A WEEK, AND WEEKENDS TOO.
By the way, received this as a forwarded mail!
December 8, 2009
November 29, 2009
November 22, 2009
People want a Bhagat Singh, but in a neighbour's house.
How apt and true! Pretty much the reason why the world at large have issues that needs to be sorted but have not been. We all believe somebody else should do the needful.
November 20, 2009
A Maharashtra born and brought up Shivajirao Gaikwad, calls himself a ‘Tamilian’ because that place made him ‘Rajnikant’. Hence he feels indebted to it and calls himself as ‘Tamilian’. Therefore when I don’t mind earning/living in Maharashtra, why should I mind the local culture and being called as Maharastrian.............. because it’s not about being Marathi, its about being 'Maharashtrians'.
November 11, 2009
An economics professor at a local college made a statement that he had never failed a single student before, but had once failed an entire class. That class had insisted that Obama's socialism worked and that no one would be poor and no one would be rich, a great equalizer.
The professor then said, "OK, we will have an experiment in this class on Obama's plan".
All grades would be averaged and everyone would receive the same grade so no one would fail and no one would receive an A. After the first test, the grades were averaged and everyone got a B. The students who studied hard were upset and the students who studied little were happy.
As the second test rolled around, the students who studied little had studied even less and the ones who studied hard decided they wanted a free ride too so they studied little. The second test average was a D! No one was happy.
When the 3rd test rolled around, the average was an F. The scores never increased as bickering, blame and name-calling all resulted in hard feelings and no one would study for the benefit of anyone else. All failed, to their great surprise, and the professor told them that socialism would also ultimately fail because when the reward is great, the effort to succeed is great but when government takes all the reward away, no one will try or want to succeed.
November 7, 2009
October 16, 2009
October 13, 2009
On a related note, 25% voter (read later that the final number could be close to 49%) turnout in Mumbai! Is it not largely a reflection of consensus view that no one is worth voting from the options given? Sure, textbook answer is find the right person to stand for elections then. My point is how is this different from some funda of voting for no one by filling a form? How does the latter score over the former?
October 7, 2009
October 6, 2009
Why don't they simple say man must cease to be man?
October 5, 2009
To add insult to injury, they say our smses chose them :) How many of us knew that Dara Singh had a son that looked like the one who is in the house now? And WHO is that gayish character?
Utter non-sense. Why not say that we are including 13 people in the house? Facade and farce.
October 2, 2009
I feel a desire is a desire. There are no good desires and bad desires. Material desires and not-so-material desires. Desires, in a spiritual sense, keeps you away from God since your mind is pre-occupied with trying to fulfill those desires. Good or bad, the nature of desires, must not matter. In fact, the very concept of good or bad is man-made. God does not judge our actions. God does not tag our deeds and put them into separate good and bad buckets. He just watches them and smiles, perhaps. I strongly feel that the closest we can get to purity is by being non-judgemental. Judging things around us and classifying them as good and bad is humane. As much as it is difficult to avoid judging things, we must strive to get there I believe.
So, taking the same point ahead, desires cannot be tagged good or bad. They just are means of keeping our thoughts on worldly things. Ideally, if a spiritual leader is truly spiritual, I would think he would not have any wishes or desires. He simply observes and spreads rays of happiness to those around him. Happiness, not in a material way. Happiness, not by making poor less poorer. Happiness, not by giving out alms and charity. Happiness, by making people FEEL happy, joyful and calm. That is the essence of a true spiritual leader. Mind you, such leader could be your parent, your best friend, a cousin or a neighbour as well.
For me, a desire of not having desires is also a desire. For me, I would love to be just see things as they are. I would love to have a third party approach to everything happening around me. I would want to believe that I do not necessarily influence things. They just are as they must be. I would want to simply be calm no matter what happens around me. For others looking at me, that would imply laziness and lack of initiative. For me, I would choose to smile, perhaps!
I have just put down my thoughts on this point. This does not obviously imply that I do not have desires or I have already adopted a third-party approach to life. What I meant is to try and reach there somehow, someday.
Thinking of Gandhiji always makes me wonder as to how on earth could one man be so influencing, so much followed and so much trusted like he was! Sure, we have seen the cult of SRK or Big B or Tendulkar or Beckham, yet these are people who entertain the world in one way or the other. MKG was just a man like any of us, wasn't he? When you are so popular, there are bound to be controversies surrounding your life. That's completely fine I guess if one is able to be the change agent in such a big way.
I will not claim to be the biggest fan of Gandhiji. Neither have I studied a lot about his life. But he surely inspires me in ways more than one.
Again picking from some Bollywood lyrics, I like these lines from a song in Lage Raho Munnabhai. The song's sung by the very talented Sonu Nigam. It goes like this:
Maati pukare tujhe desh pukare
Aa jaa re ab aa ja re
Bhoole hum raahein, humein raah dikha de
Aa jaa re ab raah dikha de
Ainak pehne, lathi pakde chalte the woh shaan se
Zaalim kaape thar thar, thar thar, sun kar unka naam re.
Kad tha unka chota sa aur sarpat unki chal re
Duble se patle se the woh, chalte seena taan ke
Bande mein tha dum, Vande Mataram
Bhai bhai ka dushman hain bana re
Nafrat ki aandhi behti re
Wehshi dilo ko bapu pyar seekha de
Aaja re bapu aa jaa re.
O jhooth ka badhta jaaye o raaj o bapu
Apne hi ho gaye dhokebaaz
Aaj hamein apno se bacha le
Aa jaa re bapu mere
Pai pai mein insaan bika re
Jaan yeh ho gayi sasti re
Soya zameer bapu phir se jaaga de
Aaja re bapu mere
Beautiful song, Beautiful movie, Beautiful life.
Stay happy. Keep smiling.
September 30, 2009
I will leave it to you to instrospect on this.
September 28, 2009
When I think of Dussehra, I remember a beautiful line in a song from the movie Swades
Mann se Ravana jo nikale, Ram uske mann mein hain...
Beautiful line. Very inspiring.
September 25, 2009
September 24, 2009
1. A couple went with their three children to the beach one day. The children were making castles and enjoying themselves. They saw an old lady in rags coming slowly towards them. She was bending down and picking up some things and putting them into her bag. As she came near the children, the parents shouted out to the kids to stay away from her.
The old lady smiled at them but they did not smile back.
A few days later they learnt that the old lady made it her life to pick up small pieces of glass from the beach sand so that children would not cut their feet.
2. One day a duck hunter went to the market to buy a bird retriever dog. To his amazement he found a dog that could walk on water! He immediately took it home.
He invited one of his friends to hunt the next day and took the dog along. When a flock of ducks came near, he took aim, fired and silently watched. The dog walked on water and retrieved the bird. He looked at his friend for a reaction but the friend remained silent.
He asked him, "Do you see anything unusual about my dog?". The friend replied. "Yes, your dog is unable to swim."
As a part of my professional life, I have got opportunities of being quoted in the press, mostly financial media. Dealing with the press has always been tricky and exciting. Tricky, because a lot of times I said one thing and what was typed was technically same yet different in gist. Exciting, because I am being read by a lot and my name's on the news page! So here's a collation of some of my brushings with the press over the past:
As a part of my life with ING
My only interview - was with FE! The print edition had my photograph with the article. Cannot find it on the online version though.
Some of my views/quotes: Reuters, Yahoo Finance, Hindustan Times
As a part of my current professional start-up
FE 1, FE 2, Yahoo Finance 1, Yahoo Finance 2
I decided to put these things up on my blog for three reasons:
1. I wanted an 'artificial' feel-good.
2. I wanted to put these links up in my records and have it till they are available on the net.
3. It is a part of a 'deal' with someone.
P.S.: I know it is 'cheap' to put up these things up on a post! :) But then, I am human too :)) Happy reading
September 19, 2009
I am stuck in this phase in a game we call life. I have crossed many levels and it has been an exciting game. But now, I feel stuck. I cannot see the next level and hence obviously the way to get there. Sure, there has to be some next level in this game. Till I see it, I roam around at this level. And since I know this level quite well now, it is a boring stagnant phase.
Conventional wisdom would suggest that I get married and that is the next logical level in this game. Well, if I were conventional I would not have been here at the first place. So, that is surely not the level I want to jump to. There has to be something else.
Next is what, I wonder!
September 18, 2009
September 15, 2009
September 13, 2009
Personally, I have almost never been involved in a physical fight. I have had fights with cousins as a kid but never after I have 'matured'. Sure, I am not a 6'3" giant who can get on top of any body. So one clear reason why I would not believe it is smart to try and 'beat around'. Would my take on violence be different if I was indeed a macho stud? Not sure. Don't think so actually. About being macho, never understood the hype about looking a stud and having a great physique over which girls would drool. Again, may be because I don't match this description. But that's hardly true. One could try and work towards 'style' I guess. I have never tried. never would.
I have always carried the image of a softie-softie guy. Right from my school days. The emotional metro-sexual guy if it sounds savvy :) In fact, a friend's testimonial in my Orkut profile has this mention about me being called a 'baby' by a girl in college. Not in the romantic sense of that term but more like a 'cho-chweet-you-are'! And when a girl says that to you, she won't touch you with a barge pole! During those days, I used to dress pathetically and carry myself oddly. Actually, I'm still the same to a large extent, isn't it? So, those days, for a girl to choose me to 'date' (whatever that term actually means - never understood it) would have been improbable.
I remember an interesting incident from my college days that I must share here. I was in First Year B'com back then. On one of those stupid sham-days of college life called 'Friendship Day', a girl wanted to befriend me. Tying a band/writing her name on my palm was how friendships worked! I was one of the few students who had cleared CA Entrance exams in my college, so that explains why someone would venture doing something like what she did. 'Perceived' intelligence has always been an ever-green quality, right? Any way, so after the 'Day' you tend to talk and interact with your 'new friends' and so was the case between me and her. I had no clue what we were talking for. It seemed too forced. So after a couple of days, as we are talking (rather trying to talk something that made sense), a stud walks up to me. Checks me out. Gives a wry smile. Asks the girl to leave. Looks at me. No, actually stares. Keeps staring. Throws off attitude. Puts a hand on my shoulder and blurts something out, something that went like this: 'Dude, you are a kiddo. Be like one. The girl you are talking to is my chaavi (a dirty-sounding word that vaguely means girlfriend). I don't like her talking to you. What are you doing with her? Do not try to play smart and hook her up. It won't be good for you. You won't even know how and where you get beaten up. It would be better if you stay away from her and leave her for me.'
I guess he expected me to go macho and threaten to beat him up and some mumbo-jumbo like that. Where as, I am like why is he saying all this to me! So I reply, almost smiling, 'Well sure Sire.. all yours!' His expression in return reflected he missed a chance to start-off a brawl.
A similar scene in a bollywood movie would have had the hero in my place reply - 'Dude, I never wanted to hook her. Now since you are asking me not to, I will. I want to see what you do.' :)) My interactions with the girl continued till the 'Friendship Day' thingie fizzed out. I hope he eventually got to marry her :D
P.S. 1: Did you notice that one of the purposes of posting this piece is to tell the world that I have testimonials in Orkut? :P :))
P.S. 2: One of my friends from the fairer sex tells me that girls drool over softie guys these days. Wow, am so happy :))))
P.S. 3: Informed readers who knows me reasonably well must know which parts of this post to be taken seriously!
September 8, 2009
Yes and I am your student: 5 (7%)
No and I am your student: 54 (76%)
Yes and I am NOT your student: 1 (1%)
No and I am NOT your student: 11 (15%)
Thanks to every one who took the time and effort to opine with a vote and their comment. I am glad that the majority is okay with my posts. Of course, I do consider that the minority's views are important too. I can only say that I don't think of posting 'objectionable' stuff for the heck of it. I do it if i strongly feel it must be shared for a larger good and purpose. Most of my posts are in any case random musings with nothing core in it :-)
As a side thought, I'm particularly surprised that about 60 of my students track my blog actively. I did not think the number would be this high. No, nothing about it. Just an observation.
Keep smiling :)
August 24, 2009
August 16, 2009
A very close friend of mine thought that it was awkward to read my last post about using condoms to prevent AIDS. Basically, he said this in the context that I am also a teacher and my students will find it odd that their teacher is writing about things that are considered to be taboo in our society.
This made me think about whether I must be conscious about these things keeping in mind that some of my students also read my blog regularly. Should I refrain from writing about issues that are generally considered a taboo since coming from a teacher (who in our society is looked up to as a parent), it can make the student feel awkward? Or do I blog keeping my 'teacher' avatar separate from me the individual? Are these roles separable in the eyes of a student?
So, to get a real sense on this issue, I am creating an opinion poll for you to tell me what you think about this matter. Be honest in replying and feel free to add your comments. Quite obviously, the opinion of my student-readers matter the most! Also, add your comment separately to this post if you are my student!! It will help me in knowing your views better. There are separate options if you are a student and if you are a non-student reader - will help the analysis better.
Waiting for your thoughts!
August 12, 2009
August 6, 2009
In this context, 'Unconditional' refers to 'Selfless', perhaps. If that is so, I cannot disagree more on the concept! For, there is no such term as 'Selfless' as far as I am concerned. Every single thing that we do since the day we are born till the moment we die are always self-centered. At times, some of these acts also helps somebody else or society at large. But that does not change the fact that you did it because you cherished doing it or simply put, you wanted to do it.
Using the same principle, even love cannot be unconditional. What we might call selfless is the ability of a person to keep the partner's interests and likings above his. Each day, each moment, each time. This, obviously, is not easy. Yet possible. And to my mind, one of the most necessary ingredients to love someone 'selflessly' is a sense of very deep and strong self-love. If you cannot love yourself strongly and genuinely, you cannot love your partner genuinely either. Sure, you will do things to make her happy and please her and call it 'love for her'. Well, that's just a deception. What you basically need is her approval of you as a person and lot of acknowledgements of how amazing a person you are. This type of 'unconditonal love' will evaporate the moment she says/does something that is against your desire or hurts your ego.
On the other hand, if you are in a relationship with her without a need of re-assurance about your own self, then the only thing that you are really bothered about is how much more value can you add to her life and soul, how much more happiness could you give her, how much more of her real self can you help her discover. Now, is this being more 'selfless' than the earlier case? Kind of. Since you were always a content/happy person before you entered the relationship, the only reason you might have opted for it is with a belief that you could keep your partner really happy and joyful. This, the world perhaps believe, is selfless. I do not. Because if you are not enjoying the process, you would not be doing it. If that is the case, it cannot be unconditional. Here the condition is that you must feel the joy of her being happy. Being unconditional does not just mean you do not expect your partner to do something for you.
The character in HDDCS is indeed a realistic one because he too has shades of selfishness. If the character would have forced his wife to stay with him and not attempt to find the person she loves (and that would be against his own wishes), then he is doing that to please his parents and the society at large. That, surely, is a more selfless act than what the character actually did!
Finally, after all this, the most obvious question: Would I do what the character did? Well, rather than me saying anything, I sincerely hope (somewhere down my heart, I know) that there are a handful of people in this world who truly believe that I would indeed do so. Reason being I'm one of the most selfish person that one could come across. Simple enough.
July 14, 2009
For a change, I understood this movie (if there was anything to be understood that is)! An achievement in itself. The movie is pretty okay kinds. Nothing really to write . There are a couple of very very hilarious moments though. The laugh at those moments makes up for pretty much everything or the lack of it.
Somehow, I suffer from a mental hallucination that English movies must not be as 'simple' and 'irrelevant' as most Bollywood ones. I expect all of them to have some message to give out. I know, it is a stupid thought. That's why I said it is just a mind thingie.
Nevertheless, after a long gap I caught up on a Hollywood release for a change. And that too before seeing New York! Whoa, what am I upto!!
Well, looking forward to it. Must be interesting to see whether the questions are as potential relationship breakers as in its US counter-part.
July 7, 2009
The headline is a beautiful play of words - Save Trees. Trees save. And the visual impact is quite stunning.
This is a very catchy ad for a karate school. Looks like they have a very practical approach to learning it!
The ad says: 'Harry's bread. Nice and Soft.' Indeed.
This is a print ad taken out by Rodasol insect killer in the Obituary section of a newspaper. Death to the Bugs!!
Says it all.
A very interesting print ad by Frizz skin salon. Catchy.
Thank God the zoom was invented!
Here is one of the best anti-smoking ad, released by Cancer Patients Aid Association.
A very simple but hard-hitting advertisement by the Mumbai Traffic Police on the importance of wearing helmet.
Drunk drivers get preference over others in prime parking spots. Surprised? Here's how!
One of the best, by Seagram, that asks drivers to choose carefully between two things!
IWC, the famous Swiss watch makers, used these stickers on the holds in airport buses to catch the attention of travelling pilots and other passengers for their new 'Big Pilot's Watch'.
A 'Don't Drink and Drive' campaign by Vasir breweries on their beer bottle caps. Upon opening the bottle, the car printed on the cap appears bent, and on reverse we get the simple slogan.
July 3, 2009
I love suggesting reading to anyone who appreciates suggestions! Be it my studens or friends. For, it is needed. In a typical batch where I teach, the response to my question about how many of them actively read books beyond their academic syllabi is not very encouraging. I am talking of an above average batch of students pursuing Chartered Accountancy. Sure, there are few who are avid readers. Yet there are many who are not. And the difference shows up sooner or later. Be it in the number of mistakes they make while they converse in English, be it the language they produce in their writings or even in the basic confidence level they exhibit while communicating. For all this to be good, grip over language and its usage is necessary. And I do not know of any better way of developing these skills than by reading a lot.
Reading gives you perspective. It makes you think about aspects you would not have thought of otherwise. It takes you to a world you would not have traveled otherwise. Books, by reading them, have the power to change you for the better. In thoughts and actions likewise.
I'm glad I love to read. I could survive happily by doing only that. One of the dream lives for me is having enough money to buy any book I wish to and spend all the time I have reading. Whatever grasp I have over language and writing is all due to the reading I could manage over the years. It defines a large part of what I am today.
Please do whatever you can to make a child take into reading. You never know how it transforms the child into an excellent human being and a person to look upto. It is probably the best gift we could give to a child and the generation that follows us.
July 1, 2009
1. Write a book that goes on to become a best-seller.
2. Start a full-fledged NGO primarily (but not restricted to) working for under-privileged children.
3. Give a live performance by playing Tabla, preferably supporting a vocal artist [within that, preferably a Ghazal singer (within that, preferably Jagjit Singh or Hariharan!)] I am yet to learn how to handle Tabla though.
4. Give a talk to a gathering of thousands and thousands of people on love!
5. Be a RJ and host a show on radio.
6. Be a pre-paid cab driver, say for Meru, Easy Cabs..etc, for at least a day! Bizarre but true :)
June 30, 2009
This has been the case for months now. I am sitting on a pile of deliverables, both personal and otherwise. Each day I think today's when I will clear them. Umpteen days have evaporated like that. I have become a lazy, procrastinating pig. Hate it.
There is so much to do beyond my scope of activities to make a difference. There are NGOs waiting for resources and hands to help them. I know them. Yet I am not doing anything. Each day there are moments or people that kick me saying you ought to do those things soon. Yet I am not doing anything. Of course, I blog and preach and blabber and talk. Armchair renaissance.
It is as if there are two mes! One who sleeps and one who thinks. Need a third one who acts. How? I wonder. Till the time I realize how, I'll keep screwing up the opportunities and time.
I truly, really, deeply need a stroke of inspiration. And soon, lest I become a desperate loser :)
June 29, 2009
May 25, 2009
Overall, happy that the team won. In a way, I am glad Gilly did not contribute with the bat last night. It required the combined efforts of Gibbs, Symonds, Rohit Sharma, R P Singh, Ojha and Harmeet Singh to win the match for the team. It leaves the critics without a point to attack that it was Gilly winning the series and not the Chargers. As a closing note, it was evident that the calmer heads on the field won the game. A look at RP Singh and Harmeet Singh carrying on with their overs with smiles and a sense of calm was re-assuring, for they are the future of Indian cricket.
Now, the focus must shift to the T20 world cup. A different series, surely more challenging and important. Over to MSD to try and repeat the performance of the last edition. After all, we are the defending world champions! The expectations are higher and so is the belief on the team for their potential to defend the world cup. India is going with a highly talented/able team. The probable playing XI might look like this:
3. Rohit Sharma (Raina as an option)
4. Yuvraj Singh (again, Raina as an option)
5. MS Dhoni
6. Yusuf Pathan (could sit out if Raina, Rohit and Yuvraj plays)
7. Irfan Pathan (could justify a place over Praveen Kumar for his batting prowess)
8. Harbhajan Singh (left-arm Ojha in the bench could be a good motivation for the offie)
9. Zaheer Khan
10. RP Singh
11. Ishant Sharma
There are a lot of options with both ball and bat for MSD. The team surely has it in them to go all the way. I guess the roadblock for the talented players could be themselves. The forms of Sehwag, Gambhir, Yuvraj, MSD and Yusuf Pathan looks uneven. At least three of them should hit their purple patch to get the job done. Also, by having 4 bowlers only in the team, MSD could go with 7 batsmen since Sehwag, Raina, Yuvraj, Rohit Sharma and Yusuf can all bowl.
With 12 teams in the tournament divided into 4 groups for the first phase of the tournament starting on June 5 in England, India is placed in Group A with Bangladesh and Ireland. This is the easiest group India could have wished for. Other groups are: B - England, Pakistan & Holland; C - Australia, Sri Lanka & West Indies (the toughest draw); D - South Africa, New Zealand & Scotland.
So now, awaiting the next euphoria sarting next month. Let the play begin!
May 21, 2009
May 18, 2009
What I have also been doing a lot is reading many other blogs. Mostly on topics like finance, politics, personal, spiritual, etc. That always makes me wonder, I do not have a theme for this blog. It is as varied as the languages in India. The specific finance blog I have is craving for my attention. I always end up giving it a cold shoulder. Hey blog, I will be taking care of you soon. Don't worry mate.
Lot of time these days are being spent on watching IPL. For many including my mother, that means sheer waste of time. Yet, passion cannot be compromised on. We are reaching the final lap of the tournament soon. Looks like we will eventually see Delhi, Chennai, Hyderabad and Punjab playing for the cup. The games have been good and it has thrown out the characters of many a players. To see them perform under stress is amazing. As they say, sport teaches us the qualities of life and keeps it out for everybody to see how you are faring. I think it was Sehwag who recently said that he finds IPL more competitive and tougher than international cricket.
Talking of character, I'm re-reading the autobiography of one of the strongest character I have seen in a person - Stephen Waugh. What a book, what a man.
Lot of noise around the UPA victory. We still do not have the final texture of how the ruling government will look like. In few days we would.
This post was random. Objective was to tell the world that this blog is 2 years old. I will now spend some alone time with it and share thoughts with each other. :-)
May 16, 2009
Kudos to the Indian voters. Despite low turnout, they have voted for what I believe is the best bet for the national government. Despite strong anti-incumbency factor in Indian politics (same government not being re-elected), UPA has been voted for. And in a manner much better than 2004 elections. The discriminative, regional, negative and extremist politics have been thrown out of the window. The Left, BJP, BSP, etc. have been impacted negatively due to the same reasons. How else do you explain Mayawati faring poorly in UP, her own backyard!
There were concers about a hung parliament, or a coalition government where BSP/Left has a significant say. It is clear that is not going to happen. It is really heartening to know that. I do not have anything against these leaders personally but their ideologies are not forward-looking and inclusive in perspective. Congress was the best in the fore, including having a good second-generation leaders in the form of Rahul Gandhi, Milind Deora, Jyotiraditya Scindia, Sachin Pilot, etc. We want to see a younger parliament to represent our aspirations and ambitions. This elections verdict reflects that the Indian voters have voted for what they believe is right for the future.
I am very pleased with what I am seeing on my TV screens. There is no denying the fact that Congress is way different from BJP. The latter, I believe, has got their priorities wrong. This might well look like wisdom in hindsight, still it is true.
End of the day, as a citizen of this country, I am very satisfied that there will be a stable government at power without the anti-reforms partners like the Left. This, I strongly feel, is good for the country and the economy.
May 15, 2009
For me the right stance is a matter of time and not efforts. It is counter-intuitive but that is how it is. May be because I do not assign a lot of blame on myself for lazing around. So I do not try to shake around my routine or the things I am doing and not doing. May be I lose precious time in the process. But big deal! Is it not my life?
To the stakeholders in my life, I wish I could explain to them that this stillness is not permanent. In fact, the stillness is only on the outside. Stillness is not stagnation. Wish the people in rat-races realize this too to take a step back and search for the right stance! In life, as in cricket these days after the T20 avatar, a boundary is what only matters and not the way it is scored. Yet, the satisfaction of seeing an elegant cover drive is different from a top edge going to a boundary while playing a rash, desperate shot. Same way, scoring we all are. But how? Does the manner not matter? If it does, a back-foot straight drive cannot be produced without an extremely serene and balanced stance. Stance, my friends, is the key.
As I search a little (searching is by putting efforts) and wait a lot for my stance, some lyrics are lingering in my mind (from the movie Guru):
Jaage hain der tak
hamen kuch der sone do
thodi se raat aur hai
subah to hone do
aadhe adhure khwaab jo
pure na ho sake
ek baar phir se neend mein
woh khwaab bone do
May 6, 2009
- Clashed with Salsa class
- Election whites not drycleaned
- No candidate a hottie
- Tony Jethmalani contesting from suburbs. Sigh
- No valet parking at booth
- Spotted servant in queue ahead of us
- Driver not come
- Elections over dude, Obama won!
- No party tackling real issues, eg, reduce Goly Gym rates.
- No home delivery!
Ofcourse, these reasons are South Mumbai specific (with a shade of humor). One common reason across Mumbai seemed the same though - We do not care a damn about what happens around us.
May 4, 2009
Tu Hi To Mannat Meri, Tu Hi Rooh Ka Sukun
Tu Hi Ankhiyon Ki Thandak, Tu Hi Dil Ki Hai Dastak
Aur Kuch Na Janu Mein, Bas Itna Hi Jaanu..
Tujhe Mein Rab Dikhta Hai, Yaara Mein Kya Karu
Sajde Sae Jhukta Hai, Yaara Mein Kya Karu
Tujhe Mein Rab Dikhta Hai, Yaara Mein Kya Karu..
Tum Ho To, Gaata Hai Dil
Tum Nahin To, Geet Kahan..
Tum Ho To, Hai Sab Haasil
Tum Nahin, To Kya Hai Yahan..
Tum Ho To Hai Sapno Ke Jaisa Haseen Ek Sama..
Jo Tum Ho To Yeh Lagta Hai Ke Mil Gayi.. Har Khushi
Jo Tum Na Ho Yeh Lagta Hai Ke Har Khushi.. Mein Hai Kami
Tumko Hai Maangti, Yeh Zindagi..
The first one's from Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi and the other from Rock On.
April 22, 2009
Still learning to use the phone and features! Will update my feedback soon.
April 17, 2009
April 14, 2009
On April 9, I was having a web-chat with my maternal cousin who serves the country being in Indian Air Force. He asked about how my dad is doing after a surgery that he underwent last week. He told me that he is flying down to Mumbai on the 10th night and he will be coming home to meet my dad. Well, meet we did. But on the unlucky 13th. There was a small change in the setup too. We all met him at his house after his dad, my mom's second brother, had an untimely sudden death.
He was not flying down to Mumbai on leave because his dad was unwell, as the above turn of events might suggest. My uncle was doing well and my cousin was coming to be besides his wife as she delivered a baby. The baby boy saw the light of this world on the 11th. As one would imagine, he was one happy soul. Till the next day when my uncle developed some breathing trouble and had to be hospitalised. After few hours, he left for his heavenly abode on 13th. Can you experience a more stark bout of mixed emotions in your life as my cousin is going through? Between a new-born baby and an extremely supportive dad lost in the inevitable meeting with death. The grand father did not see the new-born. Or did he come into this world as the grandson? As they say, child is the father of man. Though not what it is meant to suggest, the saying quite literally fits here.
The way I see it is that my uncle timed his exit perfectly to try and erase whatever little pain he could with the new-born around his son. A baby's innocent and vibrant smile can heal many a wounds.
I wrote about death few days back. I never imagined even remotely that it was a feeling that I was going to experience this soon. How I wish this was not real. But as I said even then, reality just is.
A man who went to the holy Sabarimala for more than 40 years, my uncle I guess knew he was being called for by Him. He spoke to almost every one whom he loved over the last week. He told someone he was going to leave this world on 13th. On that day, he asked the doc the time twice before going back again to a semi-conscious state. The third time he asked, he smiled to the reply and he went to sleep for ever. He probably also knew the time he was supposed to leave.
On both occasions, we did not realize that when we last met them, that it was the last time we were seeing them. When someone's ill and bed-ridden, you start to factor in the inevitable. Not when a person is walking now and is no more few hours later.
Such is life! I cannot dare to think that life is even close to predictable after all this. Today's Vishu and Kuttimama has always been one of the firsts to visit home this day and give us the Vishukaineetam.
This one's for you Ammama and Kuttimama. We will miss you.
P.S.: I do not wish to receive any condolences/emotional replies on this post. Please. I am doing very fine. The reasons why I posted about this does not include anything to do with my/our sorrow.
April 12, 2009
Elections 2009 is one of the most closely watched national elections ever. After 26/11, the young, restless, forward-looking India wants change. It is so very evident with the kind of pro-voting stunts that we are witnessing for few weeks now. In Mumbai, going by a recent news report, the voter registrations have touched an all-time high. If not anything, it means there is a desire to see things change for the better. Also, we are seeing an interesting mix of candidates venturing out to stand in the polls. Shashi Tharoor, Capt. Gopinath, Mallika Sarabhai, Meera Sanyal to name a few. Fresh minds, thoughts and ideas are surely welcome. Will they be able to win their respective seats? Not sure. Tharoor might, for he is fighting on a Congress seat. Mallika is up against L K Advani! Brave woman!! Meera Sanyal in the plush South Mumbai against the likes of Deora. Hmm.. tough. On a related note, here's a good piece on the independent candidatures. I quite agree with his thoughts.
Wishing them all the best any way. And kudos for standing up for what is right. True inspirations in many ways.
So who looks good to win the elections? Purely going by the media bytes, UPA. One major factor that could hurt them - anti-incumbency. Can NDA clinch it? Probably. It is not a very unrealistic scenario. Can a widely spoken-about Third-front emerge? Difficult. Very difficult. Whom do I root for? I prefer to choose from the lesser of all evils and that would be UPA.
Just one thought to close on. When we pick stocks to invest in, we consider the management of the company as an extremely important criteria to base our decision on. After all, they run the company in which I invest. Same way, the leaders are extremely crucial, at least the ones who would hold the key portfolios like finance, defence, home, law, trade and ofcourse the prime ministership. We must know the political parties' nominees for each of these portfolios to base our decision on. That way, I know whom am I choosing to be the Finance Minister, Defence Minister, etc. What say?
I cannot wait much for IPL 2.0 to start. There was a lot of noise about shifting it to SA. I care two hoots about it. It does not matter where it is held. What matters is it is being held against all odds. 8 exciting teams. Lively matches. Super show in waiting. Who will win? Can't say. My heart is with Mumbai Indians for the captain being a God named SRT, literally. My mind says Delhi. On form, that is. Rest all depends on the day. Too difficult to pick a winner here. Team with key South African players might have a lot of advantage. Again, in form Duminy is with Mumbai Indians. :)
I am extremely annoyed with the amount of controversies that gets raked up relating to both the two events, especially elections. Most of it is unnecessary gibberish. A lot of it is due to ultra-stupid media reporting. I am sure there are many politicians saying great things at many places and positive speeches and remarks being made in this big country. Yet, what we get is the he-throwed-dirt-on-him and shoe stories. It makes one think whether we are so rotten deep inside! I'm sure we are not but that is not what comes out in the light. Sad.
Ironically, we do not have a lot of movie releases lined up for the coming weeks. I'm not complaining. Too many choices are always confusing.
March 31, 2009
There is a difference between happiness and what we describe as joy and pleasure. On a warm day what a glass of cold lemon juice gives you is pleasure for it is momentary and sensory. Happiness, on the other hand, is experienced in the mind and is therefore infinitely more powerful.
Are we happier today than we were a hundred years ago? If we're not, isn't it amazing that technological aids have not been able to add to our happiness?
What could we do to feel happy or happier?
1. Identify what makes you happy: I have met very few people who are clear about what makes them happy. Since they are unclear about their objectives, they live a perennially unhappy life. List down what will make you happy. Generate goals that are specific, achievable but challenging.
2. Compete with yourself: A study conducted at Harvard demonstrated that people are happier when they are relatively more prosperous than their compatriots. Respondents chose between two situations: a) Your annual salary is $1,00,000 while your compatriot gets $75,000; b) Your annual salary is $1,50,000 while your compatriot gets $1,75,000. Though the salary was more in the (b) situation, respondents overwhelmingly preferred (a). Why not compete with oneself instead of grieving over others' achievements?
3. Don't expect everyone to agree with you: We usually equate disagreement with enmity in spite of knowing that intelligent people rarely agree on anything; every individual has a perspective that's unique. So try and persuade the other person but don't be unhappy if you fail.
4. Live life according to your beliefs: Intellectual independence must follow financial independence. Implement your beliefs without inconveniencing others and be happy.
5. Live in the present: The past is dead and gone. Peep into it only to learn from mistakes. Dream of the future but remember you can't enjoy it until it becomes your present. So don't postpone what you can do today.
6. Increase the sources of your happiness: Gardening, singing, playing an instrument, exercising, meditating... The more the merrier.
7. Limit your desires: We get caught in that vicious spiral of infinite wants. The happiness you derive from moving from one product to another 'bigger, better, more expensive' is at best short-lived. Try to figure out what you can do without. Incremental benefits as you climb up the value chain of materialism are fewer than the incremental costs that you might incur.
8. Forgive and forget: Forgiving your opponents who played dirty may not make you a winner but it would surely make you happier. Jealousy and prolonged anger are agents of death.
9. Keep your curiosity alive: People who vigorously retain the childlike habit of questioning are happy on two counts. They enjoy getting to know the answers and their curiosity keeps their mind alive and kicking.
10. Shun hypocrisy: We worship women as goddesses but don't respect them at home, workplace or any other situation. We keep our courtyards clean by dumping garbage in the neighbour's compound or on the street. Double standards don't contribute to happiness.
11. Spend time with the young: Their happiness is infectious and costs nothing.
12. Give liberally: Share your smile, advice, cheer, money, help or just company. Giving should reduce your assets but giving happiness actually increases your own inventory - just try it out!
Courtesy: The Times Speaking Tree
March 30, 2009
These days three abstracts are occupying my mind a lot. Death, poverty and future.
Death is painful, always, for everybody. Not for the dead, but for the surviving. I am scared of being a survivor too, witnessing such painful deaths. Very scared. Dying is easier than leaving someone behind when you die. I feel so. I believe so. Death is a great leveler. Most people get more respect after death than they earned when they were alive. When someone around you part away from you forever, for how long would you feel the difference, the absence, the void? A month, a year, few years? The question sounds harsh, but the question is real. Reality can be harsh. Reality does not try to appear before you in a manner you wish or like. it just appears. Reality is. IT simply IS.
I was seeing a movie the other day in which a little girl, who has lost her mother, retorts while she is crying, looking at her mom's snap: I am afraid I will forget mom. Very deep words. Truthful words. Only a child could say that. Adults are incapable of that.
Nobody prefers to be poor yet many are. Poverty makes you lose perspective of what you are capable of. A person living on hand-to-mouth basis cannot, in most cases, think of creating a better world. And there is a lot in this world that has degraded. A less poorer world can take care of other tangibles more aptly. Many of us have a genuine chance to make a real difference to the world around us. Many of us do not. Give me a crore of rupees and I could spend it away for the greatest of comforts and luxuries. I am already doing it. Not a crore, but may be a million. For a bigger house, for a more peaceful life, for a more secure future.
Future. It could mean hope. It could mean gloom. I spend my millions, some their crores, for hope. I leave many to look forward to gloom. I could change it for them. I could at least try to.
I do not fear MY future. I do not fear MY death. I do not fear MY poverty. But I fear each of it for many OTHERS.
March 25, 2009
During my last days at my last organisation where I worked, I turned up late many times. I hated it myself. I quit very soon thereafter. I find it difficult to justify/tolerate people coming late for my lectures, trainings, meetings, etc. And then a lame sorry with a equally lame smile does not help either. How can everyone be late at the same time? Every time? Is it a problem that I have to tackle? The concept of democracy/majority applies so blatantly to everything around us. We can see what it has done to our political system. I can see it changing the rules of our daily lives too. Punctuality is surely passe. It is making a fool of ourselves to be on time and wait for the more useful, busier, worthy lot. They did not ask us to be on time, did they? Yeah, may be they suggested that we are meeting at 9am. So what? We must be aware of the way it works.
A doctor coming late can be understandable many times if he is coming from another clinic/patient. Yet, I believe it is manageable by keeping a good buffer between two clinics. Why would they? It would mean lesser hours/patients to make money during a day. In any case, it is the useless lots of patients that are waiting.
A lecture/training/meeting starting late because students/participants are not in on time? It is a criminal waste of time. Period.
Marriage receptions starting late! Holy crap. I cannot find a more stupid thing than that. The next reception I attend and not starting on time, I hope to walk off from the venue. Will that change the way the receptions are held? Of course not. The majority walks in only with/after the couple. So neither of them mind that. What about the time printed on the invitation card? Oh, that's just a formality.
I wonder whether the army at the border protecting the country decides to start a counter-attack 15 minutes late! Would they also believe punctuality is an act of stupidity? Does a doctor who has to operate on a critical patient decide that going in on time would mean he is sitting vela? So he decides to wait for 15-20 minutes before he enters the OT? My sense is that they do not. And I am very thankful for that.
If there is a true punctual person reading this, my sympathies are with you. I can imagine the numerous minutes (accumulated into many hours) you would have wasted waiting for the more important others.
For the readers who are late generally, do not offer the mortals like us a suggestion that we also must accordingly set our watches and come late. We cannot do it even if we want to. Being on time is a habit, and you must know habits do not die soon. Your habit of not coming on time, for instance.
As a closing note, imagine a world around us where the flights and trains always run late (this is not the case now, mind you), the financial markets start whenever the majority decides to, movies at cinema halls are a function of majority coming in, examinations never stay true to their timings, television programmes are always not on schedule, banks operate without timings. Would you want to live in such a world? If not, change yourself. Respect time. The only thing that is equally distributed to everyone in this world is time unlike money, respect, opportunities, intelligence or happiness. Value it before it stops valuing you.